Dear Appalachian Voice,

I like to get your paper even if our government will not stop [mountaintop removal mining]. I received my first copy through a friend. I was born and raised in SW Virginia in the beautiful mountains.
Now it’s terribly dirty. The mountains in Pardu, VA, north of Appalachia are nothing but one big, big mud plot. Houses are gone, the post office is gone, stores are gone; there’s just an extra-high wire fence surrounding the whole area. I’m sure this extends into Kentucky.
Now I read the “Coalfield Progress that “9 mine Spur” is to be done next. This used to be a picnic type place where old-timers let their coon dogs run. They stayed all night around the campfire and enjoyed it. If they cut down this, the people will have to leave. Look what has happened. Appalachia, VA used to be a nice town but is mostly boarded up. Two miles away up Inmar Road a huge boulder (many tons) rolled into a house, killing a sleeping 3 year old and came to rest on another bed. The papers are full, but it is still going on today.

Wilma Buchanan
76 years old
Dear Appalachian Voice,

I am not a coal miner, nor do I work for a coal company. I am in the parts industry. I am just curious as to you whether you people realize just how many people are positively impacted by the coal industry. I make my living, along with 140 other employees at my company, which is very closely affiliated with the mines. I have two children and a farm to support. I do understand that some people are inconvenienced by these mines, but they are a big part of a lot peoples lives, and their financial stability.
I wonder if you have ever been to a strip surface? I was in the frame of mind, also, that the removal was hideous. I have seen first hand that the reclamation once rooted is beautiful! Rolling hills, deer eating in the fields with their fawns, etc. And EPA, dictates very strongly that they must clean up their mess. People with your attitude, if you succeed, with push the people of West Virginia into poverty! Starving children aren’t as pretty as a mountain though!

Open your eyes!

Dear Appalachian Voice,

After reading the article on Blair Mountain, I’m simply outraged at the greed and stupidity of this coal company. Also at fault is the lack of democracy in our country. Who would vote for this crap?
I think the long-term solution needs to be a virtuous education that teaches that the dollar bill is less important than doing the right thing. Ruining the air, water and soil is not the right thing. Improving it is!
Every environmental problem in this country can be lessened by simply reducing our consumption and our population. Seldom is this talked about – it might piss someone off. Less people should mean less consumption, but people also have to be consciously aware.
Our modern tax system is way off and the funding for more nuclear and coal energy is stupid. Energy should come from the sun, wood and biodiesel. We need honest, ecologically concerned politicians in the White House and Congress. What we don’t need are a bunch of bought-off liers who see nothing but green. They need the courage to do what’s right. Every individual, business owner, corporation and our military needs the same. It’s hard to do this, but don’t you think it’s time we start?

Tom Brady


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