Kentucky editorial roundup
Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:
The State Journal on a celebration for Kentucky writer Thomas Wolfe:
Writer Thomas Wolfe penned the novel “You Can’t Go Home Again.” However, on Sunday Frankfort native and film and theater great George C. Wolfe proved it can be done, triumphantly returning to his hometown to be honored for his accomplishments.
At the first of two events sponsored by the Capital City Museum, folks packed the Grand Theatre for “George C. Wolfe: At Home on Broadway,” which included an introduction by fellow native son Robert Barry Fleming, who is artistic director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville; a one-on-one on-stage interview with journalist Betty Baye; and a showering of gifts from students in the Frankfort High School Drama Club — of which Wolfe was once a member.
Beyond the hoopla, it was Wolfe’s words that resonated most. He said it was ironic how he and other African Americans were denied entry into theaters such as the Grand during his youth because of their race, and that it was fascinating to be back.
“People telling you ‘no’ are one of the most valuable steps for you evolving the muscles you need so that you end up saying ‘yes’ to yourself,” he told the crowd, adding that he has also been fortunate to have supporters — including his grandmother — who helped him in his journey, as well as a fair amount of luck.
Wolfe also announced he is in the process of developing a screenplay based in Frankfort from 1924-54 and stressed the importance of believing in yourself. “You exist in every single story,” he added.
At the event, which brought in nearly $40,000 for the museum, Frankfort author and filmmaker Jerry Deaton also named a scholarship in Wolfe’s honor for FHS students who are interested in the arts.
We applaud the organizers of Wolfe’s homecoming. Retired state legislator Hank Hancock came up with the idea, and a hard-working committee of volunteers, including Wolfe’s lifelong friend Sheila Mason Burton, worked tirelessly to pull it off. We agree with Capital City Museum board member Steve Brooks, who told The State Journal, “It’s about time that Frankfort said, ‘Hey thanks, George.’”
The News-Enterprise on a mobile training unit providing employment skills to Kentuckians:
When the Kentucky Community and Technical College System began its Workforce Solutions program in 2000, it picked a very appropriate name.
One of the leading employment training efforts in the state, Workforce Solutions has served more than 3 million Kentuckians. It’s success perhaps is defined by the objective so clearly stated by its name.
The latest example of this successful search for answers is parked on the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College campus. The mobile training unit, a bus equipped for on-site training, is an innovative answer to industrial and business needs.
This external training effort can accommodate up to 16 staffers and the classroom literally can be placed at an business’ doorstep.
The training can be tailored to specific technical skills or address general information areas critical to operational success such as organizational leadership and computer skills. ...
Having a skilled and effective workforce is vital to industrial expansion and commercial development. This is yet another way ECTC and KCTCS has stepped forward to help meet the challenge.
The Bowling Green Daily News on a proposed solar farm in Kentucky:
A large tract of Logan County farmland could soon go green — and not because some industrious farmers are putting out double-crop corn or soybeans — and that could mean more greenbacks for the county.
If a Pennsylvania-based company called Community Energy Solar gets the approval from the Tennessee Valley Authority, a parcel of real estate large enough for roughly 1,200 football fields could be transformed into one of the largest arrays of solar panels in the Southeast in the next couple of years.
Community Energy is proposing to build a solar farm on 1,600 acres south of Russellville and produce enough electricity to power 40,000 households for a year.
Whether you’re a tree hugger or a climate change denier, you should get behind this development.
By necessity and increasingly because of economics, TVA and other power suppliers are ditching their coal-fired power plants and switching to renewables like wind and solar.
Logan County is hoping to cash in on that trend toward “green” power while taking advantage of the move away from coal. The county is located along the high-voltage power lines that served TVA’s Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County, where two coal-fired units have already been converted to natural gas and a third is expected to be taken offline next year.
Chris Killenberg, Southeast director of business development for Community Energy, saw a sunlight-bright opportunity in the black news of the Paradise plant’s demise.
He jumped at the chance to find land along those transmission lines and put together a proposal that he submitted to TVA, which is looking for solar power providers.
Community Energy’s proposal made it through TVA’s initial winnowing of bids and is now a finalist in the race to produce green power for the agency tasked with providing electricity in parts of seven states.
Although it’s a departure from the brick-and-mortar factories that have traditionally been the target of economic development efforts, this solar farm proposal has plenty of merit.
As Logan County Economic Alliance for Development Executive Director Tom Harned points out, the solar farm would mean a huge capital investment in the county and more property taxes than could be generated from farmland.
Logan Fiscal Court has seen the benefits as well and took action in August to change the rules for how far electric generation units must be from existing structures, thus making the county more inviting to the likes of Community Energy.
We hope those efforts succeed and that TVA gives Community Energy the green light to help light up the Tennessee Valley.
Locating the solar farm in Logan County could be the start of the diversification of a southcentral Kentucky economy long known for its manufacturing.
A 1,600-acre solar farm — which could be returned to agriculture use eventually — would quickly put the region on the map in the renewable energy game and only enhance the local economy.
As Simpson County Judge-Executive Mason Barnes observed: “We might as well embrace the fact that solar farms are coming because TVA is looking for other ways to produce power. There are going to be a substantial number of solar farms going up.”
Including, we hope, at least one rather large one in Logan County.