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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Oct. 18

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Plan for Red Cross building moving forward

After months and months and months of hold-ups, work can finally begin in earnest on the intensive outpatient drug program officials want to open in the old Red Cross building.

The technical deed issues are at last dealt with and now leaders can move on to the more involved problem of constructing how the program will operate and how it will be funded.

It’s a program that is desperately needed because it addresses a huge problem — the societal costs of drug addiction. And it’s not a Band-Aid; this program would tackle the root of problem at its source.

A large number of inmates at the Boyle County Detention Center on any given day are repeat offenders. Many are in for drug-related offenses and many more for offenses they committed because of drug addictions.

We’re currently stuck in a vicious cycle. The way out is not through harsher punishments or bigger jails (though the latter may be a necessity if laws don’t change), it’s by helping people reclaim their lives.

This program would do just that by giving former inmates a support structure to help them rebuild.

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Danville’s responsive  reaction on fireworks

Last week, the Danville City Commission approved the first reading of an ordinance that will attempt to restrict the days and times when people set off fireworks.

The ordinance has been in the works for months, ever since complaint calls came pouring in to police in the days surrounding the Independence Day holiday.

We wrote in support of the original draft ordinance, which would have prohibited the sale and use of fireworks inside city limits because there were so many people with legitimate complaints and a dearth of cogent arguments against it.

However, many citizens took the effort to voice their dissatisfaction to city commissioners directly. Reasonable arguments were made for why a total ban might be well-intentioned but ultimately wouldn’t work.

Now the commission has listened and responded, as a public agency should, with a less restrictive ordinance that seeks simply to limit when people set off their fireworks.

This newest version of the ordinance still has the potential to solve many of the bevy of complaints heard earlier in the year. If the ordinance text is followed, no one will be woken up at 3 a.m. when they have to be at work at 6 a.m.; and dog owners and those who suffer from PTSD will know when to expect noise.

The ordinance would also hold those using fireworks responsible for what they do, which has apparently been lacking in the past.

The whole reason this is even a topic of discussion is because people weren’t bothering to think of their neighbors. If people had limited themselves to setting off fireworks at reasonable times and in reasonable locations in the first place, this never would have reached the city commission in the first place.

Hopefully those who fought to keep fireworks inside city limits realize this and will encourage their friends and fellow big-boom aficionados to follow the rules so complaints don’t resurface.