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To the Editor:
On March 29, the Frankfort Police Department was put to the test and it passed with flying colors.
A gentleman in the Old Town Village condominiums exchanged words with another neighbor and retreated to the house where he was seen loading a gun. Police were called and a 10-hour standoff ensued.
As a resident in the complex I watched the event unfold for several hours. The Tactical Response Unit arrived and effectively locked down the surrounding areas so many of us were unable to leave.
At no point did I feel threatened because of the professionalism employed by the FPD, even when shots were fired at them. They treated the gentleman with care, using several humane strategies to coax him from his home. The police officers did their best to keep us informed and safe as the events unfolded.
Under the leadership of Rob Richardson, the Tactical Response Unit had a successful, peaceful resolution to what could have been a nightmarish end.
Too often we read about these kinds of situations that take a terrible turn, resulting in serious injuries or deaths of innocent bystanders, family members and police officers. Responders sometimes react too quickly to the situation in an attempt to bring about swift closure.
This was not the case on March 29 and I commend the patience and outstanding manner in which the Frankfort Police Department conducted itself. The City of Frankfort should be proud to have such an exemplary police force led by Chief Walter Wilhoite.
Editor’s note: Keene is the 67th District state representative.
To the Editor:
I want to celebrate the city’s decision to hire a sustainability coordinator.
In these tight budget times, it is hard to create a new position, especially when there are positions, such as in the planning department, that have gone unfunded and unfilled for too long. There is a lot of good work waiting to be done, and not enough resources to fund it.
How do we best use the resources that we have to sustain and build a thriving community? The logical place to look to cut spending is in areas like energy use and landfill tipping fees. There is no one out there arguing that we should be putting more money into electricity use or fuel purchases. We want the lights on and the buildings warm in the winter, the police car to show up when we need it, and the streets to be clean of garbage, but, if we could spend 25 percent less on energy and landfill tipping fees and still accomplish these things, no one would complain.
The good news is that the City of Frankfort has the opportunity to save money on energy use. We currently spend about $1.5 million on energy, and we are wasting a lot of that money through inefficiency. I’d rather hire another police officer than spend money on heat escaping out of a poorly sealed building. I’d rather reward city employees for years of good work than spend money to throw aluminum cans and other recyclables away in the landfill.
These are not new ideas. Cities around the country have been saving money for years through energy efficiency and conservation:
nIn 2009-2010, the City of Asheville, N.C., reduced its energy spending by 5.9 percent and saved $336,216.
nCleveland, Ohio, saved over $1.1 million through increased recycling and energy efficiency improvements at its water treatment plant from 2005-2008. When the recession hit, the city focused on further energy efficiency improvements to avoid layoffs.
nThe Ann Arbor, Mich., city energy office has saved taxpayers more than $5 million over the past decade.
nCloser to home, in 2010, Louisville cut energy use in buildings and facilities by 10 percent, cut city fuel consumption by 5 percent, and increased recycling rates by 10 percent.
Saving money through efficiency and conservation is not hard, but it does take time and attention. Our city has achieved some energy savings over the past several years through the work of existing city staff, and their accomplishments should be celebrated. However, current city employees already have full-time jobs, and it is unfair and ineffective to lay full responsibility for improving city energy efficiency on them.
To stop wasting our scarce dollars on inefficient energy use, we need to establish energy reduction goals, create a plan for achieving them, implement the plan, and track our progress towards achieving these goals. This can only realistically be coordinated by someone whose time and energy are dedicated to this effort – a city sustainability coordinator.
To the Editor:
I am Trayvon Martin!
In Sanford, Fla., a teen is dead, shot and killed by a neighborhood security patrol. All the details are not known yet, but just the overzealous act of the security guard is enough to cause a national outcry. And now some reports say the young man died after an altercation with the security guard. Who knows what happened if you didn’t see it?
I graduated from Frankfort High School in 1956 as the last all-Caucasian class. It was a milestone and a benchmark. However, adding children of a different culture and background did not take away the prejudice that still plagues America. The reason can come from many definitions, however my close friend and intelligent debater, Max Thomas, has his own story:
“I am Trayvon Martin. For the past few weeks I have been watching the Trayvon Martin story usually ending up teary-eyed because it brings back the memory of my parents telling me at an early age about being black and walking in different neighborhoods and the issue of racial profiling.
“Twenty-five years later my wife and I shared these same warnings with our son. Now in 2012 I can truly say ‘I am Trayvon Martin’ as I believe any parent, regardless if you are black or white, male or female, you have to feel for Trayvon’s parents and wonder how this can happen in 2012. I believe racial profiling is alive and hopefully this is a wake-up call for everyone!”
The wake-up call, my friend, will not come until we have a higher level of education among our population. Prejudice is born of ignorance and supported by a huge lack in public social behavior which very well could be the product of ignorance.
A better-informed society may bring about an improved attitude toward public behavior. This racial profiling will not change in the near future.
I wonder, are the police part of the problem or part of the cure? And has Florida’s gun law gone too far?
This won’t help the family of Trayvon but as my friend Max Thomas says, it may be a wake-up call.
As those us who have lost a child know, whatever the circumstance, the pain, suffering and sorrow of the family last a long, long time.
Jim Anderson Stivers
To the Editor:
Another delightful profile for your recent Monday issue, re: Bubby Moore and his motorcycle shop...but hey, please enlighten us: Why would author Ms. Wasson, after extolling Bubby’s myriad virtues within this little-known subculture of the motorcycle world – then tantalize us not once, in a five-column headline on the second page of the article, but twice, by the headline and a reference within the copy, that “the only bikes he won’t work on are the Goldwings”?
C’mon Katheran – share: WHY won’t he work on Goldwings? I’ve always thought they were a pretty unique and beneficent group, those grey knights with their equally grey ladies aboard, riding to support charities and all that good stuff. You raised the issue, Katheran – now give it up, tell us. Awaiting with bated breath....longtime MS 150 Bike Rider grateful to Goldwing sags....
To the Editor:
I encourage people I meet to visit our great city and think that it should be “user-friendly,” but when I took my two grandsons to visit the renovated Military Museum, this was not the case.
After you park and enter the building, you are told that you have to go to the History Center on Broadway to get the tickets. Back in the car, negotiate the one-way streets, find a place to park, get tickets, and drive back to the Military Museum. Thank goodness that I am from Frankfort and know the streets and where to find parking. I think this is asking too much of visitors, especially senior citizens. There is a donation box at the Military Museum, and a simple $5 an individual or $10 for two or more could be charged. Most people have those denominations with them or the museum greeter could easily charge a credit card. This was my second attempt to visit this museum. The first time, we parked and went to the door only to find it locked. It would be nice if an “Open” or “Closed” sign could be hung below the main sign since the museum is closed for a few months during the winter.