Thumbs up; thumbs down, March 20

Published 8:50 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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New community gardens

The Morning Pointe retirement community and the students at Toliver Elementary School both have something new growing outside. Community gardens have been planted in both places, thanks to the hard work of Centre College students and local gardener extraordinaire Bob Ziesmer.

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The garden at Morning Pointe will provide the retirees living there with delicious veggies as fresh as you can get them — right out off the plant and out of the earth. And it should provide those with a green thumb a chance to get back into gardening a little bit.

The garden at Toliver will help kids learn about how food grows and where it comes from. We’ve all read about how kids these days think chocolate milk comes from brown cows, or that carrots come from Walmart. Having food growing right in front of their own eyes means Toliver kids certainly will not be among the agriculturally uneducated.

Beyond the direct benefits, we think the community gardens are a good indicator of a healthy and active community, and a positive move for inter-community relations — between Centre and Danville, between retirees and students, between kids and the leaders they should look up to as role models.

With these gardens, the local communities have planted the seeds of both vegetables and friendships. Now let’s see what grows.

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Statewide awareness of NGL pipeline plan

With the passage of Senate Resolution 254 in the Kentucky Senate on Thursday, the plan to repurpose Tennessee Gas Pipeline No. 1 for transport of natural gas liquids has now gained another level of visibility.

Folks in Boyle County have been sounding alarms about the plan for years, and already have quite a list of accomplishments to show for it. Boyle County was an early adopter of a zoning ordinance amendment that requires anyone who wants to pipe hazardous materials through the county to prove they can do it safely, without endangering the local community. Boyle’s amendment has served as a model for other communities along the pipeline’s route.

Boyle County produced a substantial portion of the comments on the pipeline plan when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was accepting public comments while it considered whether to let the plan move forward.

Boyle County is the source of the idea to write letters to Kinder Morgan, the energy company behind the plan, asking it to terminate the project because it’s creating uncertainty for economic development along the path of the pipeline — an idea that’s now being utilized by others outside Boyle County in comments submitted to Kinder Morgan and FERC.

Now, Senate Resolution 254 has passed, and its roots are unsurprisingly in Boyle County, as well.

“This esteemed body collectively shares a bond of protection for all the commonwealth’s natural treasures to be enjoyed by citizens and visitors alike,” the resolution states. “… This honorable body expresses its concerns about the proposed repurposing of an existing natural gas pipeline and expresses its expectations of due diligence by proponents and state and federal regulators should the project come to full realization, and requests that any future repurposing practices be approached in the most environmentally and socially responsible way.”

Whatever happens with the pipeline plan in the end, no one will question whether the passion and activism of Boyle County’s people — from all different stripes — made a difference in the outcome. That’s something to be proud of.