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21 February 2009 @ 11:14 am
Shining a Spotlight on Appalachia  
Feministing has a wonderful article on the coal mining industry and its effect on Appalachia. This is a must read for anyone concerned about the poverty there and the monopoly the coal industry has on the region, as well as for anyone who worries about the environment and energy issues.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 21st, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
I highly recommend Harry Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands. He published it in 1963, but it's an amazing capsule from the mid-1800s forward. I've learned so much about myself and about the place I grew up in, it's incredible.

Too - have you followed the "children of appalachia" thread in the general news folder at OC? :eye roll:
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 21st, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Would like to add here for the masses that there's no such thing as "clean coal" and there's never going to be.
Tapatitapati on February 21st, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that seems like a nice fantasy.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 21st, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
People just don't understand the damage mining does. It's awful.
Tapatitapati on February 21st, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
I'll check out that thread!

The picture in my mind of Appalachia is very dated and from Catherine Marshall's book "Christy." I'm sure it was a good portrayal of the time it was set in. But I'd be curious to know how things developed later on, whether the access is better, how education is going there now, and so on. I'll see if I can find that book in the library--I've been meaning to get a card in my new area (LOL, it's been a year...).
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 21st, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Well, one thing they didn't even bat an eye at in Harlan County was the $50m brand new high school. That high school is a technological marvel, in a lot of opinions, even mine. It's amazing. Diane Sawyer and her crew while they were in Harlan, focused on Oxy selling for $120 per pill on the streets there.

Highway 119 was upgraded to a nice highway through both Pike, Letcher, and Harlan - it's four lanes through most of Pike. They're wanting to make it four lanes through Harlan, too - which would be just fantastic. They recently finished up Highway 421 restructuring. It's a nice, broad, clean highway like 119 now. They straightened it - as much as a road through Harlan can be straightened - and improved the "bypass" through downtown as much as they could.

Those are the two main roads in Harlan County. Highway 38 out to Highsplint (and on to the Virginia border) certainly could use some love and care, as could Highway 72 into Pathfork (and on into Alva).

One thing I learned reading Caudill's book was that until around 1927 it was against state law in Kentucky for the state to provide funding for highways and roads! Oh man, that really fried my brain! I had to read the passage several times before it sunk in!! o.O

I probably could write my own book about Appalachia...Have you seen my photographs? http://picasaweb.google.com/mari.thehorror

Preston got my copy of Caudill's book from Half.com for 75 cents plus shipping. It apparently had been used as a text book and had some writing in it, but that was fine - gods know I wrote all over it when I started reading it.