The News Standard
Greenwave season comes crashing down, Page 8
U.S. Postal Customer Standard Mail Permit No. 5 Postage Paid at Battletown, KY
S t r a i g h t fo r wa r d • S t e a d fa s t • S o l i d
BY CHARLES L. WESTMORELAND
Shop clothes county’s needy BY PHILLIP STITH
BRANDENBURG — A cracked asphalt parking lot, a faded awning and an ordinary white sign welcome visitors to the Meade County Clothes Closet and Food Pantry. From the outside, the former Dairy Mart gives little indication of the remarkable story unfolding inside its walls. A staff of just two paid employees and a small group of core volunteers are at the heart of a clothes exchange and food distributor for the needy that exemplifies the Thanksgiving spirit. Hazel Cundiff, 72, of Brandenburg, has been a volunteer for five years, and she still is enthusiastic about her work. “I think we do good stuff,” Cundiff said while busily sorting a box of new donations. “There are a multitude of people in Meade County who need help, and we do our part.” They do their part in a big way. Last year, the Clothes Closet distributed 25,000 pieces of clothing, “and that’s
The News Standard/PHILLIP STITH and Food Pantry with Mary Collins of Brandenburg. The Clothes Closet benefits the needy.
not counting the items that were given away,” Director Linda Whelan said. The organization has a partnership with Meade County Community Action to help outfit families or individuals who are struggling to do so themselves, using a voucher system. “Individuals who need help can bring proof of income to Community Action,” Whelan said. “If they qualify, they will get a slip they can bring to us.” A recipient of a voucher is entitled to six complete, free outfits from the Clothes Closet during each season of the year. Besides the voucher program, the Clothes Closet uses a popular sale to distribute clothing at very little cost. It holds a Brown Bag Sale open to the public the last Saturday of each month in which customers can fill a large paper sack with anything in the store for $1. “Anybody can shop here,” Whelan said. “You don’t have to be low
income.” Following the Brown Bag Sale, the entire inventory is removed from the store and replaced with newly donated items. This practice keeps the inventory fresh and seasonal. However, nothing goes to waste at the Clothes Closet. Unsold items in good condition and recently donated items that are out of season are sent to Mountain Mission in West Virginia. Even clothing that is unfit to be worn is not thrown away. Fort Knox Recycle buys this type of clothing by the pound for other uses. Clothing, and just about any other item, can be donated to the Clothes Closet 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Whelan points out that donations are tax deductible and are accepted any time. “We take summer clothing in the
NEEDY, PAGE 3
Meade County, Kentucky Volume 1 No. 7
County to bid trash collection Magistrates vote to take authority over garbage
Hazel Cundiff, 72, of Brandenburg, folds donated clothes recently at the Meade County Clothes Closet
Friday, November 24, 2006
Meade County will trash its current garbage collection strategy and look to bid the job to a private contractor. In retrospect, members of Fiscal Court agreed the county should never have entered the garbage-collection business, but the mistake ultimately will become customers’ burden. Customers likely will have to pay an additional fee to repay debts from the failed system. Fiscal Court approved a $250,000 loan Tuesday so the solid-waste department can continue garbage collection at the current $12.50 rate through March, at which time a private contractor should be selected. “We’ve got to stop the bleeding now before it gets any worse,” Magistrate Harold Davidson said. “The taxpayers are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this thing. One of the biggest mistakes this county ever made was going into the garbage-pickup business.” Garbage collection was running smoothly until the 109 Board’s proposal in 2000 to go into the garbage-pickup business, Davidson said, stressing that the dilemma is not the fault of current 109 Board members who inherited the problem. Regardless, magistrates voted unanimously to dissolve the 109 Board, bringing garbage collection back under control of Fiscal Court. Magistrate Don Callecod estimated a $2 franchise fee must be applied to future trash
“The taxpayers are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this thing.”
Harold Davidson, magistrate
collection rates to pay off more than $700,000 of debt over the next five years. Solid-waste department Coordinator Mark Gossett drafted the proposal to outsource trash collection. He said the $250,000 loan will pay off solid waste’s debt through the end of the year and will pay off a $48,000 loan to the Kentucky Association of Counties due in January. Gossett said the KACo loan is the only large payment due in the first quarter of 2007. Under Gossett’s proposal, requests for bids will be sent out Dec. 1 and private contractors will have 45 days to respond. The solid-waste department will have until April to make a decision before re-entering the red. “Given this amount of time, we can leave the rate as it is for the first quarter. I think that’s something we owe the people,” Gossett said at Monday’s 109 Board meeting. “It’s come to the point now where we don’t want to get in this financial problem again.” Gossett said accepting bids
Fanning flame of volunteer firefighting Fire departments reach out to families, youth for members BY CHARLES L. WESTMORELAND
DOE VALLEY — When Meade County volunteer firefighters George and Jane Eid met a year ago, flames sparked immediately. The couple hit it off from the start and married last July at the District 1 firehouse — the place where the two met. Fire fighting brought the happy couple together but also ensures they’ll
Viewpoints ......2 Youth ...............5 Business ..........6
Fun & Games...7 Sports ..............8
never have to leave each other’s side when duty calls. “When a fireman is woken up by a phone call at midnight and has to leave to go to a fire, the wife stays at home and worries,” Jane Eid said. “I don’t have to worry like that because I’m heading out the door with him.” The couple once again worked sideby-side last Saturday while training on a controlled structure fire at the Doe Valley Craft Cottage on Lakeshore Parkway The Meade County and Flaherty fire departments partnered for the exercise so its volunteer firefighters are better prepared for when a real emergency strikes. More than 30 volunteer firefighters, along with two Emergency Medical
Obituaries........4 Chester Benham, 73 James Crutcher, 75 Edgar Jamison, 74 Patricia Logsdon, 74 Desiree Rogers, 3 Mary Seymour, 95 Suzanne Smith, 60
Zoning laws are effective tools for warding off sexually-oriented businesses . . . . . . 2
Technicians, attended the training. Meade County Fire Chief Larry Naser said training on real fires is necessary so new volunteers gain on-thejob experience, while also keeping veteran firefighters proficient. “We have some people that have been with us as little as six months. With a volunteer fire department we may have five or six fire runs a year at actual structure fires, but because of school and work, some may never make a fire,” he said. “It’s a good confidence builder, not only for the firefighters but also for the engineers. It gives
FLAME, PAGE 12
TRASH, PAGE 3
The News Standard/CHARLES L. WESTMORELAND Junior firefighter Danielle Hicks uses a hose with Meade County fireman Logan Noyes during Saturday’s training.
Town home to post office, church BY MATTHEW LEE MILLER
RHODELIA – The sleepy town of Rhodelia now sits quietly, but two remnants of its past still stand: the post office and St. Theresa Church. Modern communication in the form of fax machines, email and cell phones often make us forget what an important role the U.S. Postal Service played in the development of the American landscape. Since mail was often the only contact farming commu-
nities had with the outside world, rural residents of old greatly valued their mail service. The Postal Service experimented with innovations such as steam engines, stage coaches and automobiles before those became popular modes of transportation. Dagmar Taylor, 51, provides “postmaster relief” in Meade County and recently filled in at the post office in Rhodelia. Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Taylor took a job with the postal
service after 20 years in childcare and enjoys spending time in rural communities. “I like the little post offices, because it’s more like a family,” she said. “There are nice people in this area.” The history of Rhodelia would be incomplete without mentioning St. Theresa Catholic Church, the oldest church in Meade County. St. Theresa’s parish was organized in 1818 and the current church was built in 1856. As was the case with many
migrants in the 1800s, Catholics moved to rural farming areas in the Midwest in part to escape religious conflicts in the east. Churches serviced by missionaries sprang up in farming communities, particularly those with proximity to established trade routes such as the Ohio River. Deacon Ernie Singer, 66, lives in Doe Valley but ministers at St. Theresa and its sister
TOWN, PAGE 3
Friday, November 24, 2006
Sex shops: Best offense zone defense
lanning and zoning laws often are a mixed blessing. Many people are initially unhappy because planning and zoning laws limit what landowners can do with their property without first seeking approval. That means they can’t just start a home-based business on a whim or sell property to anyone they want. But that feeling changes as soon as a nearby landowner wants to put in a junkyard, bar or sex shop. Then they see how fences aren’t the only things that make good neighbors. Brandenburg learned the lesson from its neighbor to the east, Muldraugh, of what can happen without a restriction on undesirable businesses. Muldraugh was caught with its pants down, so to speak, when a sexually-oriented business wanted to move into town, and the city had no limits on where such an unsavory institution could go. You see, a business that panders to the lowest forms of human nature and depravity is no different from an ice cream parlor or beauty shop unless planning and zoning laws say it is different. So a city must specify where a sexually-oriented business can go or it risks letting those dregs of humanity go wherever other businesses are allowed. So Brandenburg limited sexually-oriented business to its Industrial-2 zone, which sits east of Ky. 446 and south of Ky. 933 near the county’s recycling center — ironically near Christian Church Road. The city’s law restricts sexually-oriented businesses from within 500 feet of other such businesses, schools, hospitals, government buildings, and liquor stores and bars. Every community, including the county, should make sure it has the toughest planning and zoning laws possible to restrict these vile establishments. It would be nice if they could be banned altogether. But they can’t, as the people who own these disgusting holes have enough filthy money to sue their way into any unprotected community. Any government that has several hundred thousand dollars to fight such a lawsuit should instead give its residents tax cuts. Instead, communities should make their planning and zoning laws so prohibitive, and allowable locations so undesirable, that sexually-oriented businesses decide to go elsewhere to peddle their filth.
Honest first impressions
Honesty is always the best policy, right? Well, maybe not. There’s a saying that you only have one chance to make a first impression, and maybe being totally honest isn’t the best way to make it. Especially in a job interview. There are folks who make it their job to teach other people how to get a job, and they make a nice living at it. But some of the tales they tell are pretty eye opening, most of them involving job applicants that are honest. Too honest. OfficeTeam, one of those big companies that teach people how to get jobs, recently surveyed a bunch of human resource specialists. And they got an earful. One applicant gave the prospective employer a lengthy, detailed list of her faults and failures, followed by a list of days she would need to be absent from her job. Another applicant, when asked what he had done during his recent period of unemployment was honest: “Stayed home and watched TV.” Real inspiring stuff, that. Torn clothing, worn-out blue jeans, flip-flops and even see-through
clothing have been reported by prospective employers. One applicant wanted the job so badly that, even after being turned down, he showed up for work anyway. One lady told the interviewer she wanted the job so much that she would pay him to give it to her. People who interview other people for jobs all the time must waver between total discouragement and fits of laughter, like those surveyed by Accountemps, another big staffing company. Days that would be discouraging would be those when applicants cursed, argued that the requirements for getting hired were wrong, said they would have preferred a job offer from a competitor, or just wanted the job because it allowed for “a lot of time off.” Days that would be a little more humorous would be when the applicant actually fell asleep, or invited the interviewer out for a drink afterward, or the fellow who was applying for a customer-service job but said he did-
n’t like dealing with people. Now, it’s the truth that you can’t always tell what a person is really like from just one conversation. There are some no-no’s in job interviewing that can be overlooked. Shy people, once they become comfortable, can reveal a really hardworking, pleasant person. A person who doesn’t sell himself well may be revealing a truly refreshing and alltoo-rare personality trait — humility. A person who has all kinds of ideas he wants to sell you on may be a little annoying — but one boss I had told me he would rather have to chastise an employee for overstepping his or her bounds than to find they never did anything because they were afraid to make a move. Still, I don’t think the folks mentioned by these prospective employers fell into the gray areas. There are times when being absolutely honest when making a first impression is absolutely the wrong thing to do. Write to Francis Shrum in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send an e-mail to letters.kfws@hearstsc. com. © 2006 King Features Synd., Inc.
This is last chance for Latin America’s radical left
Is Latin America at a turning point? Before the end of the year, voters in several countries will either show trust that market-oriented democracy is the only political system conceived by humans that has produced freedom and prosperity, or hand over power to demagogues who will produce tyranny and poverty. The issue seemed to have been settled in the 1990s. After two decades of Marxist guerrillas and right-wing military dictatorships, every nation in the region except Cuba was an elected democracy. But discontent with the failure of corrupt governments to provide economic opportunity for the millions of poor people made some voters question whether Western democracy was really the answer for Latin America. One result was Hugo Chavez, first elected president of Venezuela in 1998, six years after staging a failed coup d’etat allegedly aimed at ending corruption. He was re-elected in 2000, and in 2004 won a recall election that has been challenged as fraudulent. With his petrodollars and support for Castro’s Cuba, Chavez has pushed an anti-American, anti-democracy agenda throughout the region and
Roger E. Hernandez
the world. Things seemed to be breaking his way after the 2005 election of Evo Morales, a lost soul who dreams of bringing back a sort of Inca socialism, as president of Bolivia. It seemed Castro, with his charisma and revolutionary experience, Morales with his connection to poverty-stricken indigenous people, and Chavez with his oil riches, were set to steer Latin America in their direction.But then candidates of the radical left started losing presidential elections. In Peru, Alan Garcia defeated the Chavez-backed Ollanta Humala, in no small part because the latter was seen as too cozy with the Venezuelan strongman. More recently in Ecuador, businessman Alvaro Noboa beat another Chavez ally, Rafael Correa, and will go to a runoff. As in Peru, a leading theme in the campaign was Chavez’s influence. Then there was the election in Mexico, in which the right-of-center Felipe Calderon linked his opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, with
Chavez and won. Further discrediting the radicals is Chavez’s clownish speech at the U.N. calling President Bush the devil and saying the podium still smelled of sulfur. Nobody liked that — not Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who is as far on the left as anybody in Congress, and not diplomats who, even if they disagree with U.S. policy, like their United Nations a bit more decorous. The ridiculous show Chavez put on is partly to blame for Venezuela’s failure to win a seat on the Security Council. Chavez had predicted he would win the seat and deal a blow to “the empire” (yawn). He has lost 35 rounds to Guatemala, and even though the latter has not reached the two-thirds majority needed to win the seat, a Venezuelan victory is out of the realm of possibility. Venezuelans have a chance to end the threat radicalism poses to the region by voting Chavez out of office on Dec. 3. Roger Hernandez is a syndicated columnist and writer-in-residence at New Jersey Institute of Technology. © 2006 King Features Synd., Inc.
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The News Standard
Meade County and Flaherty firefighters watch as the Craft Cottage on Lakeshore Parkway is reduced to ashes during Saturday’s training exercise. “You can study
photos by Charles L. Westmoreland/ The News Standard
Meade County Fire Chief Larry Naser, left, briefs his crew on the upcoming drill as junior firefighter Justin Davis awaits his turn.
Above, Meade County firemen Michael Thompson, left, steadies the hose line while Robert Trent takes aim. Right, Maj. Donny Clark, a Flaherty fireman, is engulfed by smoke while supervising training.
Friday, November 24, 2006
in a classroom and watch videos and all that, but until you actually do it, you can’t learn everything,” Meade County Assistant Fire Chief Mike Curl said.
us an opportunity to evaluate our company officers.” Firefighters ignited small fires in the cottage and several fourman teams entered the building to extinguish the flames throughout the day. Each team consisted of one supervisor. Naser said each group responded as if it were the first truck on the scene of a fire. They were required to evaluate the conditions, maintain accountability and communication with fellow firefighters while in the building, maneuver hose lines, ventilate the building, and determine how to best attack the fire. “The first-in fire truck on the scene will make or break 90 percent of the operations that we do as far as structural firefighting,” he said. “If we don’t get that part down … nothing else will flow as it should.” Veteran firefighter Chris Wardrip and Capt. Mike Curl, Meade County assistant fire chief, ignited the training fires. Wardrip, who also works as a Radcliff firefighter full-time, compared the inside of the building to a sweltering inferno. “It’s like hell, honestly,” he said. “Today I’ll lose anywhere between 10 and 15 pounds from sweating. Tonight I’ll drink two or three gallons of water, and tomorrow morning I’ll still be tired.” Temperature inside the building ranged between 200 degrees at floor level and surpassed 1,000 degrees near the ceiling. As if conditions weren’t already harsh enough, the firefighters each carried up to 100 pounds of equipment. Curl, an 18-year veteran, is
in charge of training volunteer firefighters. The weeks leading to the structure fire were spent training volunteers in a classroom environment. “You can study in a classroom and watch videos and all that, but until you actually do it, you can’t learn everything,” he said. “What this teaches younger firefighters is it gives them a physical tool to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. They’ll be prepared because they’ve had a live fire to prepare with.” Quality training is important to Curl, whose two sons are volunteer firefighters and rely on the same training. Each of Curl’s sons joined the Meade County Fire Department as junior firefighters when they turned 14 to follow in their father’s footsteps. Following family tradition is a common theme among many of Meade County’s firefighters. Naser’s son also is a junior firefighter. “There will be a day and time when Dad’s too old to do this and they’ll continue the legacy,” Curl said. Curl said he’s proud of the changes he’s noticed in his sons since joining the fire department. “It has taught them respect and helped build their selfesteem,” he said. “They’re more sure of themselves, and it’s directed them in … a positive manner of giving back to their community and fellow man.” Junior firefighters can join the Meade County Fire Department at 14 if they have a parent or guardian who also volunteers, or else they must be 15 to join. “The junior firefighter program in general feeds people to the fire department,” Naser said. “If we don’t have junior firefighters, then five years from now we don’t have fire-
Curl catches his breath after exiting the burning building. He was in charge of starting the training fires.
fighters. We found that if we can put a hook in them by the time they get their driver’s license, we’ll keep them for 10 or 15 years.” Naser said junior firefighters are not allowed to be first responders to a fire but can assist firefighters on the second or third trucks to arrive. For sophomore Justin Davis, Saturday’s training exercise was the first step in what he hopes will be a long career path. “I like to give back to my community so I decided to be a firefighter,” he said. “The experience has been good. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of good people and learn a bunch of new stuff I’d never have learned otherwise. The best part is being able to work with your team and solve problems.” Davis’ eagerness to serve his community is shared among his new colleagues. “I do it to help people,” Wardrip said. “When we have to work, it means someone else is having a bad day. We do what we can to make their day a little better.”
Viewpoints ......2 Classifieds.....11 Fun & Games...7 Business ..........6 Magistrates vote to take authority over garbage Volume 1 No....