- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:


May 9

The State Journal on Frankfort encouraging locals to drink tap water:

In Frankfort we’re blessed with an abundance of a particularly critical natural resource - clean water.

Daily, the Frankfort Plant Board converts millions of gallons from the Kentucky River into drinking water. For those who prefer otherwise, bottled water is readily available at local stores. Those who don’t like either of those options can purchase a filtration system. And, though our newspaper’s online polls are not scientific, it appears there’s an equal spread among those options.

With water usage in the area reportedly declining, the Plant Board on Monday announced a rebranding campaign that encourages locals to drink tap water. Without wading too deep into the tide of water-quality arguments, we agree that it’s a good idea to encourage locals to drink tap water over that in plastic bottles.

The latest water-quality report from the Frankfort Plant Board shows no violations of government standards. In a statement, FPB said it complies with all drinking water regulations, including the Clean Water Act, state standards and others. Organizations such as the Environmental Working Group, which released a nationwide water-quality database last year, has raised questions about whether water standards are too low and encouraged the use of filters for tap water.

Buy a filter if you like, but tap water sounds like a pretty good deal to us, particularly as compared to plastic bottles.

Importantly for most Frankfort households, the cost of bottled water is tremendously higher than tap water.

Particularly noteworthy is a statistic cited in reporter Alfred Miller’s article on Tuesday about the FPB’s rebranding. Chief Water Engineer David Billings said the price of tap water is about $0.005 per gallon. Try buying a gallon of anything for less than 1 cent at a grocery store.

Plus, most plastic bottles and jars are not recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. For every person who purchases bottled water and recycles every piece of plastic, there’s at least one who does not. That means more trash clogging up our landfills with uncertain dates of decomposition, or plastic waste ending up in streams, rivers and lakes.

Frankfort has an ample supply of clean water to draw from and we should take advantage of our natural resources.

So, next time you lift a glass, make it a glass of Frankfort Plant Board tap water.

Online: https://www.state-journal.com/


May 6

The Daily Independent of Ashland on local officials slowing the purchases of security devices for schools:

Sometimes it is OK to take a step back.

This applies to the decision in Greenup County to slow down this week on purchases of security devices for schools in Greenup, Russell and Raceland districts. Understandably, county leaders on the Fiscal Court moved quickly in the aftermath of the horrendous tragedy in Parkland, Florida by putting forth the movement to purchase new security devices for area schools. It is safe to say, after all, that pretty much everyone in America is on board with the commitment to making schools across the nation safer.

The question is how to do it.

After Parkland, the fiscal court rightly held meetings to examine the possibility of purchasing super-tough doorstops and others that darken or toughen windows. Businesses donated to the cause and the county said it was ready to do what is necessary to make the devices available to the county’s schools as soon as possible. This was a potential purchase that has a big price tag on it. Again, all of this is of course logical and well intentioned.

This week, however, leaders of the state education system, Greenup County Schools and Russell said they wanted to take a step back and do more analysis of such devices and how much they would actually help. One concern about the doorstop devices is they could prevent law enforcement from getting into classrooms if needed. There were also concerns about teachers’ ability to install them properly in the face of a panicked, terrifying situation. Schools of course lock classroom doors during class. Metal detectors bring with them associated problems. In Greenup County there are needs for other security measures including exterior door replacement with enhanced security features, better alarm systems, modified entry points and modified classroom doors. More human resources obviously in the form of resource officers on campus can help as well.

On display here is the complex dilemma we face as Americans and the complex dilemma law enforcement, school and government leaders face as well. Solving this is not going to be easy. It is made even harder by a lack of consensus and true leadership at the national level. As soon as you start talking about school safety, inevitably the debate turns to firearms - a debate that, whether we like it or not, is a quagmire. In Our View - out of practicality - the two should for now at least be separated. Whatever policy the nation is going to come up with on guns needs to come from a national level. At the top of the list here is keeping deranged lunatics from having weapons. That is a no brainer, but we are not optimistic about any progress on this discussion being made given the current leadership in the federal government.

Separately, though, the federal government, in coordination with states and local governments, can tackle campus safety. We hate the idea of turning schools into fortified bunkers, but the reality is comprehensive strategy combined with adequate funding can make a world of difference if this is done right.

In the meantime, we are seeing wisdom in Greenup County and across the region playing out regarding these decisions. It’s important to get this right over the long haul, and if a change in direction needs to be taken, expediency combined with thoughtfulness is a winning combination.

Online: http://www.dailyindependent.com/


May 9

Bowling Green Daily News on volunteers for a Civil War re-enactment:

Some might have never heard of the Battle of Munfordville that occurred during the Civil War.

The three-day battle - also referred to as the Battle of Green River - in September 1862 was a costly and bloody one, with the Union Army suffering 4,148 casualties and the Confederates suffering 714.

It was a short-lived victory for the Confederate army that bought it time, but ultimately the Confederates retreated back into Tennessee after holding the town in Hart County for a brief period of time.

Today, the battlefield, which has been preserved and managed by the Civil War Trust, is a tourist destination for people all over the country. Each year, thousands of people come to this hallowed ground where so much blood was shed to see the 135 acres that have been preserved and to imagine what it must have been like to be there at that time and place in history.

Since the 1970s, Civil War re-enactors have come to Mundfordville for Civil War Days to put on a re-enactment of the battle that took place there. For those who haven’t been to the event, it really is quite a sight to see. Soldiers are dressed in their respective Army uniforms from that era, re-enactors sleep in tents modeled from that time and re-enact on the battlefield with Civil War replica muskets and cannons to show spectators what the battle was like. Our area is really fortunate to have this event, but it was sad news to learn that this year it appears the re-enactment event might not be occurring due to a lack of volunteers to help with it.

Harold Cottrell, chairman of the Celebrating Munfordville board of directors, said volunteers for the annual re-enactment need a break from the work of organizing the event and furnishing resources.

Volunteers provide re-enactors, who often camp out the night before, with gunpowder, food and firewood.

Cottrell said the decision wasn’t about Confederate monuments and was not political, and instead stems entirely from the difficulties that come with providing resources for the re-enactors.

If this is the case - and we have no reason to believe it’s not - we are glad that it wasn’t based on monuments to either side that might be at the battlefield.

While it appears the re-enactment has hit a bump in the road, it was encouraging that Cottrell said the committee will still work with any re-enactors who decide to come out to re-enact the battle. Cottrell said he hopes re-enactors come out even if they won’t be provided with food, gunpowder or firewood.

“If there is a group of re-enactors who really want to do this, we will do everything we can to help them out,” Cottrell said.

This is too big of an event to not have. This is real history we’re talking about. We really do hope that more people will come out to volunteer so we can continue to commemorate this important event in our local history.

Online: http://www.bgdailynews.com/

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