To the Editor:
This past Monday, March 20 marked the third anniversary ofour invasion of Iraq. We remain an occupying force. On March 10, the body of Christian Peacemaker Team hostage, Tom Fox from Virginia, was found having been tortured and dumped on a garbage heap in a plastic bag. He and three others of his teammates Norman Kember from England and two Canadians, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden had been missingsince November 26. The Christian Peacemaker Team has hada presencein Iraq since October 2002.
The four missing menwere present in Iraq to live out their Christian faith. They were present there to witness to an immoral, illegal, unjust war and occupation. They were present there to witness to the nonviolent, redemptive love of Christ, even for enemies.Tom Fox witnessed to his faith in his death. St. Paul wrote about the foolishness of the cross, saying that Gods foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and Gods weakness is stronger than human strength.Jesus said, Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He also said, No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends. The peacemakers consider the Iraqis to be their friends.
I do hope that the remaining peacemaker hostages may be released unharmed. I also hope that our occupation may end soon. The United States must get over its arrogant, imperial notions for our sake and for the sake of the world. Tom Fox may have been the one killed because he was theAmerican.
Anne G. Woodhead
(Editors Note: The three hostages were freed Thursday.)
An enormous shoebox
To the Editor:
In a recent Courier Journal column, Byron Crawford pointed out that Kentucky is witnessing a resurgence of classic and traditional architecture in a number of new public buildings. Marion, Perry, Wayne, Simpson, and (what probably bears the most resemblance to Frankfort) Warren and Madison counties have opted for traditional or classical designs that relate to their surrounding architecture. Crawford quotes Bill Pickering from CMW Inc., the Lexington architectural and engineering firm, who says that, for many years...we saw a trend of tearing down old buildings and the new building that went up was a shoebox.
Frankfort loses nothing by replacing the current police station, formerly a grocery store that was poorly retrofitted from the get-go. However the enormous shoebox designed to replace it lacks any aura that enforces the rich history and culture that Frankfort seems to so casually toss away or ignore -- particularly along the riverfront that was once the lifeblood of the entire state. Indeed it served as an early east-west highway of the nations early commerce (surely Dr. Thomas Clark is rebuking from on high).
This design, which was not the last minute unveiling from the architect that the community has been led to believe (for that is not the way major projects unfold), would better fit on Northern Kentucky Universitys campus in the early days dubbed Concrete U than a small, historic downtown.
Those of us in the community who care deeply about the varied issues that face us appreciate the decision to keep this facility downtown in the center of the entire community with a presence and close to the population center. But if Newport and Maysville can provide aesthetic leadership through their community buildings, Frankfort can do the same without generating a crisis. The fallout over the design process for St. Clair has finally begun to heal so this process has been ill-managed with little input from stakeholders in much the same way.
Crawfords article says it beautifully:We wanted [the building] to meet the architectural context of the town, Shelby Deputy Judge-Executive Rusty Newton said. Youre talking about a [huge] building and an $18 million project that will have a huge impact on the downtown. Architects spent a tremendous amount of time visiting the downtown and taking pictures.
Weve come to learn, Pickering said, that we need to relook at the way we think of buildings that make up our environment, and ask, Can we do something better?
Absolutely is the response for Frankfort in process and product. It merely takes the kind of leadership at work in these other locales. Frankfort has the advantage over other communities to collaborate with state government for EOC needs. Its a good bet that should terrorists come calling, the Kentucky State Police and Military Affairs would take over, making part of this project a duplication of services that fails local taxpayers. Funds could be better used to add more police or fire personnel or much-needed city staff (management and planning perhaps).
To the Editor:
As a recent transplant to the capital city from Northern Kentucky, I was disturbed to learn of the plan for the new public safety building in South Frankfort.
Investing in my home in the Capitol District, with its design and building restrictions, was somewhat intimidating - but worth it. It was reassuring to know that the city fathers were committed to preserving the history and integrity of my neighborhood.
Imagine my chagrin to learn that apparently the powers that be feel they do not need to adhere to the same standards they impose on others. I trust I am wrong, and the design plan for the building will be reviewed and revised to better reflect the history and environs of our South Frankfort community.
A grand tradition
To the Editor:
Good government and good sense win out again in Frankfort, with a citizen review scheduled for the architects first design for the Public Safety Building. A grand tradition of this community continues.
The present Library building, circa 1886, was built as it stands today because the citizens asked for major changes in the original design (a stodgy, brick Queen Anne-style building) and even added their own money to the federal funding.
The present South Frankfort floodwall is the third design presented to the city by the Corps of Engineers, after strong citizen input followed the presentations of the first two designs.
Most would agree, I think, that the compromise design finally agreed upon for St. Clair Street between Main and Broadway is better than those first discussed.
The public library under construction is based on the third design presented by the architects, and includes elements suggested by interested citizens.
And now, this good tradition continues. I think we can expect, based on these over 100 years of participatory decision-making in Frankfort, that the final design arrived at by the architects will be better than the first design, because of citizen comments.
One of Americas most successful industrialists once said that greater things can be accomplished if it doesnt matter who gets the credit. Lets prove that saying here in Frankfort.
To the Editor:
In 1999, Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning insisted that no man is above the law. That is why, presumably, they voted guilty on both the articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. They believed that lying to the American people was sufficient to make him unfit for office.
Fast forward seven years. We now have another president who has been caught lying to the American people. I have written our two public servants to ask them to remain consistent and support their colleague, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, in his move to censure President Bush. I now await to see whether a president of their own party caught illegally wiretapping American citizens and then lying about it afterward is above the law. I cant wait to see their answers. Senator McConnell is already in good practice: He was one of only four Republican senators to vote to censure President Clinton.
Surely, theyll be supporting the censure measure, right? To do otherwise would make them the most disreputable sort of hypocrites. And cowards. After all, if they cant put democracy ahead of party politics, how can they stand up to the terrorists?
In America, no man is above the law. I hope our two U.S. senators agree.