Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:
The Daily Independent on giving:
As the holidays draw near, we tend to think about giving.
This year, it might not seem there is much to be thankful for, given the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the divisiveness in the country.
Those are, perhaps, just the most prominent problems. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, lists as some other major issues in the country health care, immigration, religious liberty, marriage, education, environment and welfare. Pew Research Center adds drug addiction, economic inequality, racism, sexism and terrorism to the list.
Despite the huge voter turnout in this month’s general election, some still believe their vote doesn’t matter. Some feel as though there is nothing they can do to resolve these problems.
Whatever problems we face in the United States, there is something we can do as individuals. We can give.
Sometimes, giving is about monetary donation. Sometimes, it’s about donating time. Both can lead to positive change.
Sunday is National Philanthropy Day, meant to honor those who give back to their communities.
What we might not remember — or know — about philanthropy is it aims to not just offer a temporary solution to a social problem, but to provide a permanent fix.
We’re not all in a position to be philanthropists, but we are in a position to do something to support our favorite causes. We can give money to the things we like to support. We can volunteer our time to help the less fortunate, animals, children, the physically challenged — any cause that’s important to us.
The word “philanthropy” comes from the ancient Greek, meaning “to love people.” The love of people inspires philanthropy. Synonyms for philanthropy include benevolence, generosity and humanitarianism.
You don’t have to have a huge bank account or join an organization to celebrate National Philanthropy Day. Just make a commitment to yourself to help those in need, whether it’s a family member, close friend, neighbor or acquaintance. Be there for them during this pandemic. Run errands (wearing a mask), visit them (while socially distancing) and give of material and monetary goods as you can.
If you are financially able to contribute to a society-changing organization, do it.
Everyone has something they can give to help someone else. Be it large or small, do it. You will feel better and someone else will, too.
The Daily News on plans to clean up illegal garbage dumps in Kentucky's Warren County:
With help from state funds, Warren County is taking steps to rid the county of some eyesores that have had county residents talking trash.
While it’s regrettable that Warren County residents have identified seven illegal open garbage dumps, it’s commendable that the county’s Division for Environmental Planning and Assistance has responded to citizens’ complaints and is working with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection to get these eyesores cleaned up.
Stan Reagan, the county’s environmental planning and assistance coordinator, said his division is using funds from the state’s Illegal Dump Grant Program to clean up seven sites where irresponsible people have dumped debris.
Reagan explained that 75 percent of the cleanup cost will be covered by the state grant.
Two vendors will be involved in cleaning up the seven sites.
B&J Transfer of Laurel County won the contract to clean up, at a total cost of $45,278.40, three sites: Brannen Tobacco Warehouse, the J.L. Young property near Scoggins Road and the Linda Matthews property in the Richardsville area. Bowling Green’s My Projects LLC won the contract to clean up the remaining four sites at a cost of $10,820: Friendship Church Road, Shive Lane Mobile Home Park, Lower Stone Avenue and Scoggins Road.
The total cost is $56,098.40, and it will be money well-spent if it rids the county of sites that are not only unsightly but potentially dangerous if some of the garbage makes its way to water supplies.
The county government staff and fiscal court magistrates are to be commended for their efforts to enhance our quality of life by addressing this issue.
They also deserve some kudos for another effort to put the “green” back in Bowling Green.
County staff and magistrates have in recent months been hearing more complaints than usual from residents upset about litter along roads.
Those roads would normally be kept clean by inmates in the Warren County Regional Jail’s Class D felon program, but the coronavirus pandemic has kept those inmates off the roads and led to a vacuum in the county’s litter abatement efforts.
As a first step toward addressing the litter problem, the county road department took up the task of picking up litter along Moorman Lane in the northern part of the county.
Then, at the Oct. 28 fiscal court meeting, magistrates voted to have the county’s public works department advertise for contract litter pickup.
Warren County Public Works Director Josh Moore explained that the county has litter abatement money that it hasn’t been using while the Class D felon program is unavailable.
So, Moore will put out a proposal saying the county will pay contractors to pick up the litter.
Reagan estimates the county has more than $80,000 in litter abatement funds remaining this year. While some of that will go for litter prevention education efforts, that should still leave a good amount for contractors willing to clean up county roads.
Moore hopes to get some interest from mowing and landscape companies that aren’t busy during the colder months.
“I think we can make a dent in this during the winter months,” he said.
Like the investment in cleaning up illegal dumps, this innovative approach to litter pickup would be money well-spent.
The State Journal on positive things that happened in Frankfort, Kentucky this month:
To say it has been a difficult week in Frankfort is an understatement. From anxiously waiting for days to receive the official results of the Nov. 3 general election to an unprecedented surge in local coronavirus cases and a fatal stabbing in broad daylight across from the police station downtown, the past seven days have tensions running high in our community.
So perhaps there is no better time to highlight some of the good things going on around town as well.
Frankfort residents Ronnie Lang and Mike Penn took it upon themselves to resurrect a local holiday tradition. The pair constructed a 16-foot star that will glow like a beacon of hope over the capital city every night during the season from its perch in the Frankfort Cemetery.
The local Knights of Columbus and cemetery staff helped Lang and Penn put up the star on Monday.
“With this political climate and with the virus, we thought this would maybe be a positive thing for people to think about, even just for a little while,” Penn told The State Journal.
On Tuesday, the Frankfort Fire Department came to the rescue at Capital Day School using its ladder truck to attach a new rope on the school’s flagpole so the stars and stripes could be hoisted in time for Veterans Day.
“It’s pretty important. The flag represents this country, and it represents the people who have made sacrifices,” Capital Day School P.E. instructor Mark Matthews said, adding that since the flagpole’s rope broke over the summer the eighth-grade students haven’t been able to participate in the tradition of unfolding the U.S. flag for him to raise before the school day begins. “It’s good for the kids to see when they come to school in the morning.”
It’s also refreshing to see neighbors helping neighbors — something Linda LaFontaine and Karen Pearl are doing at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul thrift store at 325 Wallace Ave., where they volunteer.
For more than 40 years, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — an international voluntary organization in the Roman Catholic Church run locally through Good Shepherd Catholic Church — has been providing services for those in need, including an emergency food pantry.
“When I leave here I feel really good … like I’ve done something to help someone,” Pearl said.
And that is a feeling we all crave right about now. Instead of focusing solely on the bad news of the day, let’s appreciate the good that surrounds us and pledge to make Frankfort a better community.