Tag Archives: Kentucky

Thorne Peters and his 4/20 “Potcastathon”


peters

I was very much looking forward to a three hour 4/20 show with Thorne Peters on Facebook.

It was going to be about the use of “No Men’s Rae” when pleading a Marijuana case,  and was featuring several guests along with Mary Thomas-Spears of Kentucky for Cannabis who was offering a different view on the use of this plea in a Court of Law, which apparently Mr. Peters did not wish to hear.  However, he DID invite her to his show for her to give her point of view and I knew it would be a good debate … or at least I thought it would be… 

There has been a much heated environment of late concerning “No Men’s Rae”, particularly on Facebook where both Thorne Peters and Mary Thomas Spears reside.  Both are long time Activists.  Mr. Peters is from Tennessee and Ms. Spears, is a long time Kentucky resident.  Both have had a number of legal cases involving Cannabis/Marijuana and are no strangers to the Legal System. 

RELATED:  Is No Men’s Rae “The plea to SET US FREE” ?

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthorne.peters%2Fvideos%2F1309776462436029%2F&show_text=1&width=560

I, as well, received an invitation from him.  I am assuming because I wrote the article concerning “No Men’s Rae” about  a week ago.

I invite you onto my 4/20 LIVE POTCAST to call in and talk about activism. I will be on from 4:20 pm ET til 4:20 pm PT 3 hours LIVE!

Thu 1:52pm

Psycho Mary will be calling in.

I replied later that day,

Thu 5:05pm

Need a call in #…. Isn’t Mary supposed to be on the show? At what time? Im listening!!!

Chat Conversation End

I knew as soon as I saw that message from him, and the way he referred to Ms. Spears, that it probably wasn’t going to be a fair debate, but thought maybe that was just his way of being “funny”.

Ms. Spears also speaks slowly and has a very deliberate voice, explaining details as she goes, and tries very hard to tell it in a way that everyone will understand.   When someone deliberately tries to talk over the top of her in a conversation, as he did, she can get very annoyed, understandably.  He purposefully spoke above her and never gave her a chance to fully explain herself, and as well actually made  “fun” of her during the “conversation”, (if you could even call it a conversation).  He had previously during the show used an automated voice of her commenting about “No Men’s Rae”, to which she had no chance to respond.  (Please review video starting at @1:55).

Oh and I finally listened to his broadcast and he sounds like he studied one of my broadcast nearly repeats everything I said only in stead of screaming repeal he is screaming no Mens Rea (Rev. Mary)

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmarythomas.spears%2Fposts%2F654968434600555&width=500

 

No automatic alt text available.

Mary Thomas-Spears aka Rev. Mary EITHER IT IS BEING CENSORED OR IGNORED. NEITHER CAN CHANGE THE TRUTH LINK

It suffices to say that I believe that there is no place for this kind of badgering between Activists.  There are a lot of us, we all have differing opinions on a lot of things.  We should not be harassed when being spoken to especially in a public conversation. 

When looking at the comments displayed under the video it seems there where a few with a differing opinion of No Men’s Rae and a few others which were not happy with the way Ms. Spears was treated while a “guest” on his show.

I was very disappointed and I feel it puts a cloud over the issue when a “Host” acts as Mr. Peters did on his show.  Everybody center’s on the ongoing “entertainment” instead of the real issue – the Justice System in this Country.  But then entertainment invites listeners and gets people talking and I’m thinking maybe that was what he was trying to do – use her for entertainment purposes?  I hope that he thinks before being this disrespectful to anyone again!

We will be watching when “No Mens Rae” goes to Court in July!

And yes, I still wish him much luck in his endeavors!

As well, I have much respect for Rev. Mary Thomas-Spears and her opinion.  I have seen years of Activism and teaching as well as actual Court Cases in the  Justice System which she has endured.  She has spent years learning from Activists such as Jack Herer, Gatewood Galbraith,  Ron Kiczenski, Joseph Zoretic as well as educating  Cannabis Activists, including myself, and I have never had her tell me anything that did not prove to be true.

I trust her judgement.

The following is a few excerpts from Facebook Messenger conversations:

Rev. Mary:  His Attack Began on the Comments he left on post on my wall he then starts contacting people on my list I guess to attack me personally… Because then I get this from Jeri Rose…

Jeri Rose:  just got this PM from that man (Thorne Peters), trying Mens R Here is what he wrote: She identifies herself as a psychic. If her victory had any merit, I would not be facing CANNABIS charges and no one else would be arrested…I will accomplish that on July 31, 2017. 750k getting arrested every year, only a brain dead sheeple would declare a legal victory. Getting your own ass off the hook with a begging plea for mercy does none of us any good. Follow the law. NO MENS REA.

Rev. Mary:  At which point I think… Really????That’s what your going to do??? Make personal attacks to my character like a government agent or psych-ops?

Thorne Peters (to Rev. Mary):
I will be reading your take on NO MENS REA from your group post on my LIVE @ 4:20 pm CT POTCAST as a shining example of how even intelligent people can be led astray by flock mentality. Perhaps you should listen to the facts from a court of law. If your position on MENS REA is true, then how come Negroes didn’t follow the laws against them? …

Mary Thomas-Spears:
You are singing to the choir here but your also wrong in your approach
Apr 11
Mary Thomas-Spears:
@Thorne Peters Yes! I know! I already proved that in court = pot is Legal already!
Years ago as you can see by the above!
Problem is, it is still Prohibited by an Unconstitutional CSA!
And you are wrong about how your going about it!
Because of your being out of order…
Order is very important!
I say this to you as someone who has been there and who has been through more from experience in an attempt to help.
Please try to understand that you are contradicting yourself
And they will use it to their advantage because it is what they do
Hear ???

Thorne Peters:
I invite you onto my 4/20 LIVE POTCAST to call in and explain your position. I will be on from 4:20 pm ET til 4:20 pm PT 3 hours LIVE! Call in and set me straight if you are up for it.
Today at 12:11am · Sent from Web

Thorne Peters:
My 35 years as a strip club dj has trained me to win over all audiences . . . my charming wit is undeniable. My deviant style pales in comparison to the evil inflicted by the DA. I am following the law. EWE THE SHEEPLE and The Ministerz of Injustice seek to redefine the law by ignoring the fact there is NO MENS REA for POTHEADZ. You proved NOTHING, because people are still busted for POT After my case the jig is up.
10 hours ago · Sent from Web

Mary Thomas-Spears:
ok good luck with your slide show in Court
10 hours ago

Mary Thomas-Spears:  Still don’t have a number and I am being told by everyone around me not to lend my name to any more of your BS just so you know!

#

I received this message from Rev. Mary:

About my calling myself a psychic…
See these posts here
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=859464480858420&id=287554521382755

I don’t have to be psychic to know his games will not work in their Courts because that is their Game!

Just saying… When he hadn’t read the transcripts from Any Of My Cases or Others Whom I have Advocated on behalf of…. He is Clueless as to how I addressed any thing or What We Proved!!!

and it was all recorded as well by voice recorders and video…

So like I said, he is only helping him and tooting his own horn and really he is just tooting his own horn and helping himself to a jail cell in my humble opinion!

 

PLEASE REVIEW THE LINKS BELOW:

 

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1309776462436029/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2017/04/13/is-no-mans-rae-the-plea-to-set-us-free/

https://marythomasspearsblog.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/marythomas.spears/posts/654968434600555

https://marythomasspearsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/the-most-important-lesson-in-understanding-how-you-are-screwed-by-the-words-used/

https://revmarythomasspears.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/the-why-and-how/

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1756126138033609&id=100009087183261&ref=bookmarks&refid=52&__tn__=%2As

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1756018908044332&id=100009087183261&ref=m_notif&notif_t=like

SMK

Kentucky Reaches Settlement in Radioactive Waste Dumping


Image result for radioactive waste

Kentucky officials have reached a $168,000 settlement with one of the companies accused of being involved in the dumping of radioactive waste in a landfill.

| April 14, 2017, at 4:26 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials said Friday they reached a $168,000 settlement with one of the companies accused of being involved in dumping radioactive waste in an Appalachian landfill.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services said it reached the settlement with Fairmont Brine Processing, which operates a wastewater treatment facility in West Virginia.

Kentucky officials accused Fairmont Brine of arranging to dispose of radioactive waste in an Estill County landfill in eastern Kentucky. The company had appealed its more than $1 million civil penalty order issued by the state cabinet late last year.

The state said Fairmont Brine contracted with a Kentucky company called Advanced TENORM Services to pick up, transport, treat and dispose of the waste. Some of it ended up in Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill County, the state said.

Fairmont Brine denied all liability but agreed to pay the $168,000 civil penalty over a 30-month period, the state said.

“All settlement proceeds will be directed to the Estill County Public Health Department,” cabinet Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said in a release. “The funds will be used for radiation-related public health issues in Estill County, particularly radon education and detection.”

Fairmont Brine was one of several companies targeted with civil penalty orders related to disposal of out-of-state radioactive material in Kentucky.

Fairmont Brine cooperated with Kentucky authorities, the cabinet said.

The company maintained it did not intend to violate Kentucky laws. When it contracted with Advanced TENORM Services to dispose its waste, Fairmont Brine relied on the other company’s claims that the waste would be safely and legally deposited in Kentucky, the cabinet said.

Monitoring and testing of areas at Blue Ridge Landfill have shown no evidence the disposal caused radiation or radioactive contamination above federal and state safety limits, the cabinet said.

When the state announced the penalties in 2016, it was also seeking fines from Advanced TENORM. The company is appealing the penalty order against it, the state said.

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Legendary pot grower Johnny Boone, leader of Kentucky’s ‘Cornbread Mafia,’ back in U.S.


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John “Johnny” Boone, the leader of Kentucky’s “Cornbread Mafia,” once the nation’s largest domestic marijuana producing organization, is back in the United States after eight years on the lam.

Boone, who was once featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” was apprehended in Canada in December 2016 and was ordered detained Wednesday after appearing in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, about 90 miles south of Montreal.

He had been extradited to the U.S. and will be transported to Louisville soon, according to Kraig LaPorte, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Burlington. Wendy McCormick, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville, said it could be a week or two before he is flown to Louisville on a U.S. Marshal Service flight.

Boone, 73, a legendary figure in central Kentucky, faces charges on a 2008 indictment that accused him of growing and distributing marijuana on his farm in Springfield, where more than 2,400 marijuana plants allegedly were found by Kentucky State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The government is also trying to force him to forfeit cash, vehicles, a handgun and an AR-15 rifle.

He fled after a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he faces up to life in prison if convicted.

►EARLIER COVERAGE: ‘Cornbread Mafia’ fugitive in court

Federal prosecutors in Vermont requested his detention, saying he faces a long prison term and at age 73 has a strong incentive to flee. The motion also noted that he’d lived illegally in Canada for eight years, “which alone renders him a flight risk.”

The Cornbread Mafia, a group of mostly Kentuckians, pooled their money, machinery, knowledge and labor to produce $350 million in pot seized in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, prosecutors said in 1989.

The organization operated on isolated farms in nine Midwestern states, some of which were guarded by bears and lions, and by workers described by the government as a “paramilitary force.” Boone’s exploits were the subject of a book, “Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code Of Silence And The Biggest Marijuana Bust In American History,” by Kentucky freelance writer James Higdon.

U.S. Attorney Joe Whittle said in 1989 that marijuana had been seized at 29 sites, including 25 farms outside Kentucky. Sixty-four Kentucky residents were charged, 49 of whom lived in Marion County.

The detention motion says Boone’s criminal history extends to 1969 and includes a 1985 conviction for marijuana possession with intention to distribute, for which he was sentenced to five years, and another conviction for unlawful manufacture of 1,000 plants or more, for which he was sentenced to 20 years and paroled in 1999.

Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189 or awolfson@courier-journal.com.

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Donald Trump Jr. bagged bull elk on Kentucky hunting trip


Donald Trump Jr. at his father’s estate in Bedford, N.Y., Feb. 25, 2017. The president’s once-wayward eldest son has embraced his new role in business and politics on his terms. (George Etheredge/The New York Times)

By Fernando Alfonso III

falfonso@herald-leader.com

Donald Trump Jr. is an experienced hunter who has stalked elephants in Zimbabwe, pheasants in Hungary and, as of January, elk in Kentucky.

On Jan. 14, Trump used a bow and arrow to kill a bull elk on private property in Martin County, said Mark Marraccini, communications director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Marraccini said he believes Trump’s elk weighed about 700 pounds.

“It doesn’t really matter what you’re hunting, if you’re an archer, that’s a higher skill level than using a rifle. He made this kill with a bow and was probably 30 yards away,” Marraccini said. “To get close enough to make a kill with a bow, there’s a lot of skill involved in that.”

Trump was able to procure a hunting tag quickly thanks to the unique relationship the department has with certain private landowners, Marraccini said. There are about 40 of these landowner-cooperator tags in Kentucky.

“Say you’re a big coal company or a big power company and you own 40,000 acres of land. The department has entered into an agreement with some of those landowners that for every 5,000 acres that they will deed over to us to be used for public recreation year round, we would let them have one elk tag, and they can use that tag anyway they want,” Marraccini said.

For the rest of the public, obtaining a hunting tag takes luck.

In 2016, there were about 75,000 applications for elk hunting licenses in Kentucky put into a lottery. Nine hundred ten licenses were granted. The license drawing is random, Marraccini said.

This December marks the 20-year anniversary of Kentucky bringing seven elk into the state to establish a population, Marraccini said.

Marraccini said he has put his name into the lottery for an elk tag every year since 2001 and has never been chosen.

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

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(KY) This Week at the State Capitol


March 31, 2017

This Week at the State Capitol

2017 Legislative session draws to a close

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky General Assembly wrapped up its 2017 legislative session on Thursday night after a final swirl of meetings, debate and eleventh-hour votes. After leaving Frankfort for a nearly-two-week veto recess, members of the House and Senate returned this week for two final days during which several major pieces of legislation achieved final passage and seem poised to become law.

One of the most closely-watched measures was Senate Bill 1, which makes sweeping changes to public education in Kentucky by changing how students, teachers, and schools are evaluated and held accountable. The bill is designed to return more control to local school districts, giving them a stronger voice in measuring and improving performance, including that of schools that are struggling.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, Kentucky schools would review and revise academic standards with recommendations from educators and suggestions invited from members of the public. Local school boards would also be responsible for evaluating teachers, the amount of paperwork now required of teachers and administrators would be reduced, and new locally-controlled accountability measures would be enacted for success indicators such as graduation rates and college admissions. The bill had widespread support from education groups and easily passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 1 comes on the heels of another major change for education in the Commonwealth – the passage of the charter schools bill earlier in March. House Bill 520 passed both chambers, clearing the way for local school boards to authorize and operate charter schools in Kentucky. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, such schools can be established by contract and governed by independent school boards, providing students with programs that meet or exceed student performance standards adopted by the state’s Board of Education.

A third measure affecting Kentucky schools was House Bill 128, which establishes a method for allowing public high schools to offer courses in Bible literacy. The classes, which would be voluntary for schools to offer and elective for students to take, would be part of a school’s social studies curriculum. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday after being cleared earlier by the House, so it is now in the hands of Gov. Matt Bevin.

Also achieving final passage this week was Senate Bill 120, which is designed to give convicted felons an easier path to successfully re-enter society. The bill would enable prisoners to gain work experience while still incarcerated, reduce probation and parole times for certain offenders, and prevent defendants from being jailed for inability to pay their court costs.

One of the week’s more vigorously-debated measures was House Bill 333, which would prevent physicians from prescribing more than a three-day supply of opioid painkillers such as fentanyl and carfentanil, with some exceptions allowed. The bill, which is now in the hands of Gov. Bevin, also increases penalties for trafficking in opioids and authorizes the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General to investigate trends in drug usage and trafficking in a further effort to tackle the state’s increasing problem with painkiller addiction.

Also achieving final passage this week were:

· House Bill 524, a measure to prevent and reduce human trafficking, including sexual and labor exploitation, in Kentucky. The bill requires public schools and highway rest areas to post hotline phone numbers for reporting human trafficking.

· House Bill 253, legislation to require unannounced welfare checks on children who have been the subject of reported child abuse or neglect. Such visits would continue until the child’s safety has been ascertained, and schools would be unable to deny access to a child who is the subject of an investigation.

· House Bill 309, which enables tenants who are victims of domestic violence to terminate a lease  with 30 days’ notice to their landlords and prevent abuse victims from being denied a lease because of their history as domestic violence victims.

Finally, the General Assembly voted this week to override Gov. Bevin’s vetoes on four pieces of legislation that had been approved by the legislature earlier in the session:

· Senate Bill 91, which will allow court-ordered outpatient treatment for certain mentally ill people and hospitalization in some cases after getting a petition from loved ones, legal guardians, law enforcement or medical professionals.

· Senate Joint Resolution 57, which will designate honorary names and sign placements on Kentucky roads.

· House Bill 540, which will create state regulations for drones.

· House Bill 471, which will create funding for public charter schools. The governor’s line-item veto on this bill would not have affected charter school funding, though. It only targeted a portion of the bill dealing with the disbursement of funds from a multimillion dollar legal settlement with Volkswagen

Although the legislative session has concluded, constituents are still encouraged to contact their Representatives and Senators to voice their opinions about issues of interest. If you’d like to share your thoughts and ideas with state lawmakers, please call the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at (800) 372-7181, or find contact information for individual legislators at www.lrc.ky.gov.

–END–

Kentucky Hempsters | April 2017


 

 

Springing into hemp season!

 

April showers mean May planting is right around the corner! We’re excited to spring into year four of Kentucky hemp crops, and can’t wait to show you the progress that has taken place through the hemp pilot program over the past three seasons!

Last month, our state took another step toward progress as the Kentucky General Assembly passed two bills that aim to improve the hemp pilot program. House Bill 333 and Senate Bill 218 will protect and expand the Kentucky hemp industry, particularly in regards to CBD (cannabidiol or hemp extract) crops and the products derived from them.

Looking forward, we are eager to share updates as we prepare and plant our crops this season! There are also several events coming up with opportunities to learn more about industrial hemp, get involved, purchase Kentucky Proud Hemp Products, and network with others in the industry.

State Hemp Legislation

Last month proved particularly stressful for those involved in hemp legislation on behalf of the Kentucky industry, as several bills included language that could have negatively impacted hemp pilot projects. Fortunately, and due largely in part to the many concerns expressed by program participants, these bills have been revised to benefit and expand the emerging industry.

House Bill 333

KY HB 333 is an effort to deal with the state’s growing opioid abuse problem. As introduced, the bill included a controversial provision which would require CBD (cannabidiol, or hemp extract) to be prescribed by a physician and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)

Fortunately, this language has since been altered to protect and expand CBD hemp protection within the state. According to Commissioner Quarles, the bill removes any remaining doubt that CBD products derived from industrial hemp are legal, and not “marijuana” under state law. Click here to learn about the subsections in HB 333 that concern industrial hemp derived CBD and CBD products.

Senate Bill 218

KY SB 218 revised legal framework enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly Senate Bill 50 in 2013, and aligns the state law with Section 7606 the 2014 Farm Bill. In a recent press release, Quarles described the bill as “a product of six months of close collaboration and consensus-building with the Kentucky State Police and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.” It passed early last month, and the law immediately took effect after Governor Bevin signed it on March 20, 2017.

Click here to learn more about KY HB 333 and KY SB 218

Federal Hemp Legislation

We are anxiously awaiting the introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (2017) by Kentucky Congressman James Comer! If passed, the bill would: 

  • Get the DEA off the Farm: Remove industrial hemp from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act; empower states to monitor and regulate.
  • Redefine Industrial Hemp: Distinguished from its cousin, “marijuana,” industrial hemp is all parts of the cannabis sativa L. plant with a THC level of less than 0.3% (and potentially up to 0.6% if states permit.)
  • Create A New Industry: Allow for the growth, production, and commercialization of industrial hemp and hemp products.

Those working alongside Congressman Comer on the bill have informed us that the legislation should be introduced sometime early this month, if all continues to progress accordingly. Stay tuned for updates on social media! 

Click here to learn more about the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (2017)

CONTINUE READING…

…Under (HB 315), a gang can be any three people who share a name, symbol or leader, or who have been identified as a gang by any state or the federal government…


 

The Kentucky House and Senate are poised to pass a bill this week that is both unnecessary and likely to be costly in terms of both money and human potential.

If it reaches him, Gov. Matt Bevin should veto House Bill 315, the so-called gang bill. It flies in the face of the evidence-based criminal justice reforms Bevin has pushed as governor.

Last June, Bevin appointed his non-partisan Criminal Justice Police Assessment Council, saying he wanted “a smarter, compassionate, evidence-based approach.Senate Bill 120, passed this session to improve employment opportunities for people leaving prison, was a result of CJPAC’s work.

HB 315 didn’t come from CJPAC, and that’s no surprise. There’s no evidence it would reduce gang activity but its broad and vague definitions and heavy-handed punishment provisions will mean that young people who have committed low-level, non-violent crimes could spend a long time in prison with little hope for the “second chance” Bevin so vigorously supports.

Sponsor Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, said HB 315 is based on a similar law in California, prompting Senate President Robert Stivers to ask when Kentucky modeled itself on California.

Good question.

Even more concerning, California’s STEP Act, passed in 1988 to “seek the eradication of criminal activity by street gangs,” hasn’t achieved that goal. A 2009 study of the measure reported the opposite: “harsher sentences for minor gang related crimes may actually increase gang commitment because individuals are forced to join gangs and strengthen their gang ties in order to survive in prison.”

Without question, HB 315 would increase our already staggeringly high prison population — over 23,000 state inmates and a $530 million annual budget. The Corrections Impact Statement on HB 315 estimated the cost at over $38 million over time.

Criminal gangs are real and responsible for crimes that deeply damage our communities. People should be punished for recruiting others into gangs, as they can be under existing Kentucky law.

In the almost 20 years since that legislation passed, there have been 22 convictions under it, including six in 2015 and none in 2016.

There will be more convictions under HB 315 because it casts a wide net in defining gangs and what it takes to tag an individual as a gang member.

Under it, a gang can be any three people who share a name, symbol or leader, or who have been identified as a gang by any state or the federal government. Their “pattern of criminal activity” could be crimes committed by one or more members at any time over five years.

The evidence a gang actually exists includes identification by an informant, a member’s parent or guardian or participation in photos or social-media interaction with gang members.

Think about it: many young people have hundreds of social-media contacts: long-ago classmates, friends of friends, former co-workers and team members. If one of them is identified as a gang member, then so can all his or her “friends.”

The results are catastrophic if the gang label sticks. Judges lose most discretion over sentencing. A Class B misdemeanor such as harassment — now subject to up to three months in jail or simply a fine — would carry a mandatory sentence of 76 to 90 days. Felony charges must be prosecuted for one level more serious when the gang element is present and those convicted must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.

So, a Class C felony that carries one to five years in prison, with possibility of parole with 20 percent of time served becomes a Class B with five to 10 years and a minimum of 85 percent served before possibility of parole.

These mandatory prison terms not only fill up jails and prisons at enormous cost, they also discourage rehabilitation. Consider, a person sentenced to five years with the possibility of parole after a year, is motivated to participate in drug rehab or career-oriented classes.

But with a certain four-plus years inside, motivation shifts away from rehabilitation to survival. As noted in the California study, people join gangs to survive a long term in prison.

“Gang” is another in the long line of frightening terms invoked to bloat the criminal code, fill prisons and drain our treasuries while doing little to make us safer.

Bevin’s right in rejecting this trend. He should stay the course and veto this bad bill.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky congressman says ‘Hell No’ to Obamacare replacement bill


Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., listened during a committee session in 2013.

By Fernando Alfonso III

falfonso@herald-leader.com

A tweet from a Northern Kentucky congressman went viral Wednesday afternoon after he used his voting card to double down on his disdain for the American Health Care Act, the Republicans’ attempt to replace Obamacare.

Rep. Thomas Massie’s tweet features a photo of his “new” voting card and the words “HELL NO” on it. Within two hours after sending the message, Massie, who manages his own Twitter account, could not believe it had collected more than 8,200 likes and 3,000 retweets.

“I didn’t expect it to go viral. I thought maybe we’d get 5 percent of that,” Massie said over the phone in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s another version of Obamacare, in my opinion, and it’s not as well thought out. We need to leave the socialism to the socialists. If I thought the bill were a glass half full proposition, better than the status quo, I’d vote for it. But I think it will make insurance premiums go up.”


Sen. Rand Paul predicts House will vote down GOP health plan

“It’s important for Republicans to understand that once we pass something, we will own it,” Sen. Rand Paul said of the GOP health care plan. “If what we pass is not going to work, it’s a bad thing to own.”

jbrammer@herald-leader.com


The AHCA would replace the subsidies in Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, with a flat tax credit that would not account for income or local insurance prices. The new law would also allow insurers to charge older people five times what they charge younger customers, compared to three times under Obama’s health care law, according to the Associated Press.

Massie, a Republican, has made his displeasure over AHCA clear on Twitter over the past week through hashtags like #sassywithmassie.

“(The proposal) just won’t work and Republicans will get blamed for escalating health insurance costs,” Massie said. “The bill doesn’t do enough to reduce the cost of health care. I feel the momentum is against the bill. I don’t see any of my colleagues changing their votes and they’ve had 24 hours to switch people from a no to a yes to no avail.”

Angry constituents confront U.S. Rep. Andy Barr about GOP health care bill

U.S. Rep Andy Barr faced angry constituents in Richmond, Ky., during a town hall on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Barr was defending the Republican proposal to replace the federal Affordable Care Act.

Daniel Desrochers ddesrochers@herald-leader.com

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

Related content

5 things to know about the CBO’s report on Paul Ryan’s ACA replacement

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It’s with a great respect for all persons of the Kentucky Hemp Industry that I address you today as the new president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association


The KYHIA is pleased to welcome Chad Rosen as our new president. Chad shares his thoughts and thanks you for your support of the Kentucky hemp industry. 

It’s with a great respect for all persons of the Kentucky Hemp Industry that I address you today as the new president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.

Dr. Trey Riddle will continue to serve as a board member for the KYHIA and we thank him for his leadership this past year.

For those of you that attended yesterdays Annual Conference, thank you for coming out to educate yourselves and engage with the community of advocates in our young industry in order to arm yourselves with knowledge that will continue to build upon the strong foundation of this industry that we are shaping. Also, thanks is due to the researchers across the state who continue to do the hard work of helping us understand what all is possible with this plant as we move to commercialize hemp in the myriad of possibilities. The research findings and presentations we heard yesterday are in large part what make Kentucky the leading state for our industry. 

I ask each of you individually as members of this industry to share with me your thoughts on how we can build a stronger industry alliance and think of what your role in this process might be. The members of the KYHIA board are volunteer, and it’s in the spirit of service that most serve. If you have ideas of how the KYHIA can have broader or better impact to serve our industry please speak up and take action, your voice serves to alert, and your action serves to lead and effect. The platitude about a rising tide lifting all boats could not be more acute to our highest objective as an industry and I hope to hear from you throughout the year as we continue to build an industry that serves our communities.

With Gratitude,
Chad Rosen

ps. for those of you that attended yesterdays event, a few asked me for the recipe of the hemp encrusted salmon. Enjoy!

Charter school bill passes, goes to governor


For Immediate Release

March 15, 2017


Charter school bill passes, goes to governor

FRANKFORT—The Kentucky Senate and House each voted today in favor of legislation to allow publicly funded charter schools to operate in Kentucky. The bill now goes to Gov. Matt Bevin, a supporter of charter schools, to be signed into law.

House Bill 520, sponsored by House Education Committee Chairman and public school teacher John Carney, R-Campbellsville, HB 520 would allow local school boards to authorize public charter schools in their school districts beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. The schools would established by contract and governed by independent boards to provide Kentucky residents with nonsectarian educational programs that “meet or exceed student performance standards adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education,” according to the bill.

The Senate voted 23-15 this afternoon in favor of the bill. The House, which already approved a version of the legislation earlier this month, cast a 53-43 vote this evening officially accepting changes made to the bill by the Senate.

Changes to the bill approved by the Senate and the House would allow the state school board to override a local school board’s decision regarding authorization of charter schools and allow for judicial review of the state board’s decision. It would also allow mayors of the state’s two largest cities (Louisville and Lexington) to be authorizers of charter schools upon their request, and emphasize that only certified teachers and administrators approved by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board could be hired to teach at the schools.

Other approved changes would allow, not require, charter schools to give enrollment preference to lower-income students, and would allow charter school students who cannot participate in state-sanctioned school athletics at their school to participate in sports at the traditional public school in their district, along with a few other changes.

Kentucky is one of seven states that do not already allow public charter schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Latonia, read from a Presidential Proclamation issued by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to make the case in support of charter schools in the Senate this afternoon. McDaniel quoted Obama’s proclamation as saying: “Whether created by parents and teachers or community and civic leaders, charter schools serve as incubators of innovation in neighborhoods across our country.  These institutions give educators the freedom to cultivate new teaching models and develop creative methods to meet students’ needs.”

In a House debate this evening, Carney said that that public charter schools will give Kentuckians a choice in public education.

“The reality is we have a system that does not work for every child in Kentucky. We teach to the middle,” he said. “Too many folks are being left behind.”

Among those voting against HB 520 was former House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green. Richards said that charter schools would be money-making ventures governed by what he described as “for-profit” companies. 

“If you believe it’s unfair for a for-profit management company to take money away from your school system, you can’t vote for this bill. And it will. These management companies have to make money, folks,” said Richards.

Following passage of HB 520, the House voted 61-34 for final passage of House Bill 471, sponsored by House Appropriations and Revenue Chair Steven Rudy, R-Paducah. That bill would amend the 2016-2018 executive branch budget to create a funding mechanism for charter schools created under HB 520.

Bills to allow charter schools in Kentucky have been filed for consideration in the Kentucky General Assembly since 2008. No charter school bills have passed the House until this year.

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