KFTC Blog

President proposes major new investments in Appalachian transition

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on February 2, 2015

The budget proposed by President Obama today calls for significant new investments in economic transition in Central Appalachia. The President's ideas for the region are being called the "Power + Plan." 

Among the highlights of the President's plan are the following:

  • $1 billion over five years to restore lands and waters degraded by decades-old mining and support related sustainable development projects.

  • $56 million to invest in job training for laid-off miners and to support economic development efforts in Central Appalachian mining communities. This figure includes an additional $20 million in job training for miners and power plant workers; an increase of $25 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission's annual budget, to be directed at "communities most impracted by coal economic transition"; $6 million more to the Department of Commerce for "place-based regional innovation efforts," including grants to economically distressed communities; and $5 million more for the EPA's brownfields program to help communities deal with the closure of coal-fired power plants.

  • $3.9 billion over 10 years to shore up health and retirement benefits for many retired miners.

Register to Attend the Second SOAR Initiative Conference

Posted by: Kentuckians For The Commonwealth on February 2, 2015

KFTC members are encouraged to register and attend for the 2015 Strategy Summit of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative. The initiative was established by Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers in 2013. It’s mission is ”to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity,improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.”

It's time – it's long past time – to Let Us Vote!

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on January 28, 2015

KFTC members and allies are planning a series of public actions with the message of “Let Us Vote” during the upcoming legislative session.

MSU food services workers looking for better treatment through union representation

Posted by: KFTC staff on January 19, 2015

Food service workers at Morehead State University will be voting Wednesday on whether to be represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Whose moment is it?

Posted by: Meta Mendel-Reyes on December 17, 2014

This is a Movement moment.  Whose moment is it?  Like any of the risings of the past, there are people trying to claim the moment.  But you can’t own a moment, hold it within your hands like a flu

Long-time KFTC leader Daymon Morgan remembered

Posted by: KFTC staff on December 14, 2014

Daymon Morgan, one of KFTC’s longest and best-known members, has died. He was 88 and had experienced a brief illness.

Daymon joined KFTC shortly after moving back to Kentucky in 1986. As he described in the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:

"I went into the Army when I was 18 year old. When I came out of the Army I bought a mountain farm in Leslie County. I moved to Ohio and worked for the Chrysler Corporation until 1986. We moved back to the farm. I bought a portable sawmill, a horse and some Mountain Cur hunting dogs. I spent most of my time cutting timber, sawing lumber, hunting with my dogs, farming and working with KFTC."

Daymon also found that a coal company was claiming the mineral under his land.

Black Lives Matter: KFTC member reflections and resources for learning and taking action

Lexington Black Lives Matter Rally. Photo credit: Meta Mendel-Reyes
Posted by: Lisa Abbott on December 13, 2014

Back-to-back decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City not to press charges against police officers who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men, have sparked massive protests, along with heartache, anger, and calls for accountability and change in communities across Kentucky and the nation. The injustices exposed by these recent cases are sadly not new, and neither is the movement that is growing in response to them. However, recent events have created a moment filled with a sense of urgency, energy and determination. 

2014 Kentucky Kicks Ass Brewfest

Posted by: Sarah Martin on December 2, 2014

Austin Norrid, Danielle Empson, Tyler Offerman>800 Tickets

50 Beers

35 Volunteers

14 Breweries

3 Food Trucks

3 KY Hops Organizations

1 Awesome Honky-Tonk DJ

= FUN!

Big win: Judge rejects deals between Kentucky officials and coal company

Posted by: KFTC staff on November 24, 2014

The Franklin Circuit Court on Monday issued two long-awaited orders rejecting settlement deals between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and Frasure Creek Mining arising from the coal company’s thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act from 2008 through 2011.

In extraordinarily vigorous language, Judge Phillip Shepherd said that due to the coal company’s actions, “The inherent danger of the violations at issue here to the environment is impossible to determine based on Frasure Creek's wholesale abdication of its monitoring and reporting responsibilities, and the cabinet's inability to fully investigate the environmental harm that is likely to have occurred.”

“Since October 2010, we have been in the courts to see that the law be enforced in the state of Kentucky,” said Ted Withrow, a member of KFTC's Litigation Team. “These rulings by Judge Shepherd serve to enforce that right of the people."

In 2010, Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Waterkeeper Alliance, Kentucky Riverkeeper, KFTC and several individuals made public more than 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act from 2008 to 2010 by Frasure Creek and a second coal company, International Coal Group (which later settled out of court). Under the law, these violations could be subject to hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. On the 57th day, the cabinet and Frasure Creek entered a proposed consent agreement that included only 1,520 violations and combined fines of just $310,000.

Building power for KFTC and for Kentucky: KFTC PowerBuilders

Posted by: George Eklund on November 18, 2014


We are our own best hope for change in Kentucky. We have a vision of the Kentucky we want to create and how to get there. Hardworking Kentuckians share their hopes and dreams every day in laundromats and coffee shops, over kitchen tables and on front porches. How do we share our visions for Kentucky in an intentional way with our friends and families?

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