Thumbs up...to the Pinnacles being named No. 1 hike in Kentucky, according to Outside magazine. The publication's April issue listed the best hikes in each state, and the Pinnacles topped the list in Kentucky for their beautiful views, proximity to Daniel Boone National Forest and easy access to local attractions. Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said, "I think the ranking and the publicity of the Pinnacles being the top hike in the state of Kentucky is revealing a secret we always knew. Now it's being shared with other people in our state, our region and beyond. I hope that we're able to bring more people to town to experience the beauty of the Pinnacles, Indian Fort area Berea College Forest and our city." Officials should be happy to see this ranking as hopefully it brings more people to the Pinnacles, Berea and Madison County. The more visitors from other Kentucky counties and states means more money going to local restaurants, hotels and shops. And that's good for all of us.
Thumbs down...to fewer retailers being inspected as the e-cig epidemic grows. Illegal sales of tobacco to Kentucky children have trended up in the last few years, according to the annual federal report that measures states' progress in reducing youth access to tobacco through random, unannounced inspections. Meanwhile, the number of inspections in Kentucky has declined, and the state has no comprehensive list of retailers who should be inspected. From 2014 to 2017, violation rates by Kentucky retailers trended up, going from 5.4% to 10.4%, but dropped to 7% in 2018. The national average in 2018 was 9.6%. The rate rose to 9.7% in the first seven months of the 2019 fiscal year, which runs through Sept. 30. "The whole epidemic of e-cigarette use points up this problem even further because now we have vape shops and other places that may or may not be selling traditional tobacco products, but are selling e-cigarettes, and we don't know where those are, because they aren't licensed either," said Amy Barkley, regional advocacy director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. That's a major problem and one our state leaders need to fix.
In addition to our thoughts, reader Jamie Ford had this thumbs up: Thank you Liberty Place! Residents of the Liberty Place held a car wash this past weekend, and I was so impressed with their hard work and attention to detail. My car has not looked so good since the day I bought it and that was 235,000 miles ago. In fact, I was so impressed, I returned with two more cars needing a wash. I suppose I should not be too surprised at their dedication as I witness their hard work at the Telford YMCA as they help clean the equipment and facilities and do an equally wonderful job, and all with a great disposition. If you missed this car wash, watch for another one this summer. Or if you would like to make a donation, they accept women's clothing, ladies hygiene items and household items. Keep them in mind for your next donation. Thanks again Liberty Place Ladies.
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