The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas on October 10, 1971 · Page 23
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The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas · Page 23

Hutchinson, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 10, 1971
Page 23
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Threat to Survival Up in Arms Over Strip Mining LOTTS CREEK, Ky. (AP) A thin brown stream oozes past a mucky mountain road that abruptly ends at the comma nity hall where Robert Ratliff and his Kentucky neighbors chuckled over the local boy "gone wrong." The boy it seems, "miscalculated" and went to work for a strip mining company. "We all know'd him; right nice fella too, did some drillin' work," said Ratliff. "But he got to talkin' to this big mine operator and he told him, 'I've got a lot of friends in Clear Creek; and that he'd go in 'n' strip. "On Thursday, he brought in the bulldozer 'n* on Sunday night it blow'd all to pieces. "Elmer,' I said to him a couple of days later, 'I would do things for you I'd only do for my daddy, but when it comes to strip mining, nobody ain 't got no friends in Clear Creek.*" 'Get My 30-30' "They might strip in Clear Creek after we're dead, lady, but not while we's alive." Ratliff, a former underground miner turned farmer, is not alone in his feelings. He and many of his neighbors view strip mining as a threat to their survival. And they resent it all the more because the coal stripped away by the encroaching bulldozers goes primarily to help feed generators producing electricity for big cities many miles away. "We could care less about people freezin' to death in New York City or Washington, D.C., if they're going to destroy us," says Joe Begley a Blackey, Ky., grocer and head of the Citizens League to Protect the Surface Rights. "Them people in New York are already in trouble," Begley says. "Why should we worry 'bout their welfare when they're takin' our mountains and streams? They're destroy- in' the last damn place on earth they may hope to exist on." Coal Demand Spirals The demand for coal has spiraled in the past 18 months, parity because of a fear that promises of inminent nuclear power and inexhaustible reservoirs of natural gas are pipe- dreams. The renewed demand has prompted miners to extract the minerals as cheaply and as quickly as possible—by ripping open the land acres at a time. Gargatuan machines enable strippers to mine coal far faster than underground operators. New federal laws regulating the health and safety of deep miners also have driven many small coal mine operators to abandon the underground shafts in favor of easier methods. Strippers don't have to worry about mine roof supports, dust standards or many of the other requirements imposed on underground operations. Tempers Kindled But the surge in strip mining has kindled tempers to a degree reminiscent of the mid- 60's, when angry mountaineers fought off coal companies with buckshot. A Knott County housewife, Bessie Smith, and other members of the Appalachian Group to Save the Land and People recently held off bulldozers by sitting in their path near Hazard, Ky. In another confrontation, shotgun -toting friends of a property owner stared down miners until state police roared in to prevent any bloodshed. "Once we had the prettiest mountains," said Mrs. Cliff Davidson, the wife of a retired Coaldale, W. Va., deep miner. "Now they're not fit for a jackrabbit." Their frame home was rock­ ed by blasting from nearby strip mining operations. "That winder's caved in. Our roof's tore all to pieces. If it started rainin', we'd be hurting," she said. "Why, even our cistern's all busted to pieces." Mrs. Nathaniel Lee, mother of eight, who lives in Kincaid, W. Va., escaped serious injury when a rock the size of a basketball crashed through her kitchen roof from a mountaintop blast half a mile away. Different View National Coal Association President Carl E. Bagge views the future differently. "The 70s will be the decade in which coal achieves its natural birthright as the principal energy source for the nation," he told a coal industry convention. He said 610 million tons of coal—40 per cent of it stripped—will be mined in the United States this year. Ten years ago, 403 million tons of coal were taken from the ground. "A new day is dawning for coal," says Bagge. The coal industry predicts that 650 million to 685 million tons will be mined in 1974, half of which will probably be stripped coal. By 1980, stripping will have ripped up 5.8 million acres—an area the size of New Jersey, estimates the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Since the advent of mining in the nation, 4.2 million acres of the total, million acres affected by coal mining have been stripped, the bureau says. Although 22 states have surface mining laws, the bureau figures that only two million acres have been reclaimed in some fashion so far. Much of the strip mining in Kentucky is done with the help of much hated board form deeds. Upheld only in Kentucky, the documents allow a company owning the mineral rights to a piece of property to mine the land anytime it wants to, des­ pite the surface owner's objections. In many cases, ancestors of current land owners traded all mineral rights away forever in exchange for only a few dollars. To soothe the pain, coal companies usually pay a token fee to the present land owner, 10 cents a ton of coal or up to 50 cents a linear foot. When the Weather Is NICE You Will Find That CLOTHES Look Even Nieer When DRY CLEANED BY SAYLOR Just Phone 5-7371 We'll Do I The Rest CLEANERS HOME OWNED OWNER OPERATED SIXTH AND ADAMS Hutchinson News Sunday, Oct. 10, 1971 Page 24 Buy now at Pre-Taril Loyaujay for Christmas. 'AM ^ lllilliplKIPiilil Solitaire bridal set, $275 Solitaire bridal set. $350 Frttace bridal net, 4 diamond* $250 Classic diamond solitaire $295 Diamond trio Ml, 17 diamonds, 5395 mondt. ' -I Diamond values are dazzling in Zales Anniversary Spectacular Why do we urge you to buy now? Why do we suggest that you m.ikc your selection now—and put It in Layaway? Because price imrcascs on such imports as diamonds and watches are inevitable ctue to the government's recent ruling on import tariffs. But, whatever you buy now, from present stock, is safe from price i acreages. And remember, there is no interest orcarrying charge on your selection white it is in Layaway. My,howyoaVe dinged Uyiway mn* for Christmas. Or, chargf it fWt Smile Button wtwn you opeinZaks Qu torn Ourgt or ZakfRmftrtng Chef*. OruMyoiirMtilACruiiJiorBinkAaicrfeard IllustntioMMlvged. THwi may wry according to met dtomond weight. Zale's Jewelers, I S. Adams, Hutchinson Plaza Shopping Center. How can such a big Bank fit into such a -compact— building? Comfortably. COMPACT •BANK NORTH GATE NATIONAL BANK ILTON ieauty, lightweight durability, and a low price combine to make this automatic percolator- an exceptional buy. It also features: v Easy to clean Aluminum body- Avocado finish—:10-cup capacity- Coffee level gauge—Flavor selector —Signal light. Retail Value $12.95 €OO0 DEAL PRICE Handsome ... decorative ... it blends liquids and foods with precision, while it mends beautifully with your kitchen decor. Appetizers become more appetizing when dips and spreads are mixed more thoroughly. Use it in preparing sauces, salads, beverages, soups, vegetables, or making foods for baby more di- S estible. Create a world of delicious com- inations. There's no limit on what you can do. It features: 60-second timer or manual operation—Detachable surgical steel blades—powerful 720-watt motor— 44 oz. Tyril container—3 colors- Classic white, Harvest Gold or Avocado. (Limited Supply) witii coated lenses The rugged, yet handsome way to make sports events, nature study, and the whole world come closer at a wide angle field of view. And our low price brings owning quality binoculars even closer to you than ever before. You get: Coated lenses to greatly increase the light- gathering power and to insure sharp, clear viewing — Center focusing that easily adjusts both lenses — Individual focusing that gives you a separate adjustment for each eye. 7-power, 7 X 35 center focus—371 ft. field of view at 1000 yards—Fully- lined carrying case with strap. Retail Value $29.95 A 1Q Q A GOOD DEAL PRIGE f*Oi55 Your friendly AFCO dealer wants you to have an AFCO credit card for two good reasons: (1) So you can buy the merchandise pictured here at great savings. (2) So you can use your AFCO credit card to conveniently buy Command Performance gasoline and the other fine AFCO products for your car. Even if you already have an APCO credit card, you can take advantage of the v 601 East 30th N663-1201 / Hutchinson'

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