Saturday, February 12, 2011

Update from inside the Capitol: Rick Handshoe

Rick Handshoe is a retired Kentucky State Police radio technician and lives in Floyd County. 

"Well, I'm tired.  I'm tired of meeting with these people.  If they think that's all their job is, then that's why I'm here.  I want to see action.  I fought for five years to protect the stream rnniung through my property.  I lost.  After two years, it came back a little, but now it is completely dead.  Nothing alive in the stream.  The EPA has told me that in my lifetime, they don't think it will ever come back, and they don't know that it will EVER come back.

"My concern at this point is the health of my family and my neighbors.  Do we need to leave?  I don't want to find out ten years from now that I should have got my daughter out of there.  Everybody affected by this stream and their children and familities could be in danger.  This is drinking water for everybody, not just me.  It needs to be brought to everybody's attention.  This is just not an Eastern Kentucky problem.  And people are not outsiders just because they live outside of Appalachia.  They are affected by the water running outside my home. 

"I spoke to everybody from the inspector to the commissioner to Governor Beshear last year.  And I'm back again, asking for help once again.  But it can be too late if this goes on for a few more years.  Coal companies will not have to fight us, because all the coal will be gone.  And our mountains too. And then our children and grandchildren will be left with trying to repair this, and I'm afraid of the health issues that will cripple this nation."

To speak with Rick Handshoe, call 859-779-1594.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there Rick. Stay strong. We will finish our walk against mountaintop removal from Prestonsburg, which you started us off with a tour of the devastation on Raccoon Creek, by standing vigil out on the capitol steps with your all's other supporters tomorrow. It will be an honor to end the walk this way. Thank you so much for all your work and for your current witness before the powers that be in Frankfort.