Thursday, December 27, 2018

Help Wanted in Cumberland County!

Landscape Gardener II
Salary $10.20 - $13.52 Hourly
Click the link below

The Landscape Gardener II position at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park is located within the Golf Maintenance Department. Be a part of maintaining a beautiful, award winning 18 hole golf course. 

Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park offers a beautiful, family-friendly location on Dale Hollow Lake. 

We offer a great package of employee and family-friendly benefits, including: 

  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Wellness Incentives Program
  • Optional Health Reimbursement Account or Flex-spending (or Dependent Care Flex Spending)
  • Complimentary park familiarization visits for you and family
  • Employee meal and Parks gift shop discounts
  • Paid Time Off (Sick and vacation)
  • Paid Holidays
  • Training/Career Development Opportunities
  • Optional Deferred Compensation program (for 401K)
  • Employee Discounts on electronics, health & wellness, retail, travel, events, entertainment services and education

Conservation Officer Recruit
Salary $29,129.28 - $38,588.64
Click the link below

Do you work in the Law Enforcement field? Are you ready for a change of scenery? 

We have all the scenery you could ask for! The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) is "hunting" for people to join our team! Yes, we’re "fishing" for applicants! 

Preferred candidate will have their Peace Officer Professional Standards (POPS) certification and at least 2 years of law enforcement experience. 

Working as a Conservation Officer Recruit, you will perform tasks such as :

  • Patrol fields, forests, and waterways to observe activity and violations of law.
  • Issue citations to violators and assist senior officers in apprehending violators and making arrests.
  • Prepare cases and present in court.
You will be required to operate various types of equipment such as a firearm, boat, ATV, vehicle, radio and other essential items. During your first year, you will be trained in our Fish and Wildlife Academy, which covers such topics as:
  • Firearms
  • Drug Identification
  • Hazardous Devices
  • ATV operation
  • Krav Maga Self Defense
  • Water survival
  • Species identification
  • Media relations and job related legal topics.
Upon completion of the Fish and Wildlife Academy, you will be placed with a field-training officer for 16 weeks of hands on training. Benefits include paid continuing education, Health Insurance, Retirement, Deferred Compensation, $20,000 life insurance policy, group rates for dental and vision plans, paid holidays, and an above average starting pay that includes a $4,000 per year training stipend. Upon successful completion of probation, you will be rewarded with a 5% probationary increase. We also offer defined a career path with regular salary increases for the valued officers of KDFWR. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hemp Farmers Wanted!

On Thursday afternoon of December 20, 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles then immediately applied for federal approval of Kentucky’s hemp program.

The farm bill removes hemp from the list of controlled substances. That will now allow farmers to grow commercial hemp and apply for crop insurance.

Kentucky farmers grew almost 7,000 acres of hemp in 2018 for limited research and development.

Mr. Quarles wrote a letter to the U.S. Agriculture Commissioner and said, “By removing hemp from the list of controlled substances, and directing USDA to make hemp growers eligible to participate in federal farm programs on an equal footing with other crops, the new Farm Bill has laid the groundwork for full-scale commercialization of this promising crop.”

Hemp is closely related to marijuana (cannabis), but doesn’t contain as much THC. It was grown widely in Kentucky during World War II and was used for clothing, paper, rope and more. In the last few years the market for products made with hemp has been on a steep increase, but the problem has been that the plant was still on the controlled substances list. That meant that businesses had to import the commercial hemp, which could then be legally made into products.

This bill creates an exciting opportunity for local farmers! But it doesn’t seem to be a farmer’s market type of crop. In fact, some say the minimum acreage to be farmed to turn a profit is 50 acres. And the machinery necessary to harvest the fiber from the stalks is expensive and hard to find. One option for farmers, instead of high investments in machinery, would be to contract with companies at a regional level that accept the raw plants, then they process.

Is it profitable? That has yet to be seen. We are still in the very early stages. A study by Cornell University found that profits could range anywhere from $130 to $730 per acre. (I don’t know how they came up with those numbers, but I’m thinking the high number is wishful thinking.) Compare that to soybeans and corn that do good to average the lower end of that scale.

I do hope our local farmers will investigate the possibility of growing hemp, and see if it would be beneficial to their farming operations.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Young People, the Need to Congregate and Littering

Believe it or not, I was once young. Full of energy and ready to take on the world. I still am ready to take on the world, but the energy level has dropped a little over the years. As a young man in high school I was always parking around town talking to people. It's just what young people do.

Since before my time there has been a lacking of things for our young men and women to do around town. And I hope that we can change that in the near future. Boredom and idle hands can sometimes be dangerous.

But this post isn't about what we can do, that post will come later. This one is about littering.

Groups of young people have congregated in various spots around town over the years. But over the last couple of years littering has become a problem in these areas. Eventually the police have to come and tell these folks that they can't park there anymore, and they have to find another spot.

Recently the spot is the large gravel parking lot on Upper River Street by the City Park and the River. The morning after Thanksgiving there was lots of trash in the parking lot. Our city employees had to pick it all up. Speaking to the young folks here, IT'S NOT THEIR JOB TO PICK UP AFTER YOU! The citizens of Burkesville pay taxes, and part of that money goes to paying city employees.

So, I spoke to the Public Works supervisor and he promptly put a large blue trash barrel in the parking lot. Thank you, Coach. Has it stopped the littering? No. But it has helped a little.

This morning, after walking at the track, I took the above photo. Zoom in to see all the trash. Then I walked around the parking lot picking up the trash from the people that sat there last night. Some of the trash laying right next to the trash barrel. I didn't get it all, had to go to work.

Again, speaking to those that congregate in the "gravel spot"...

If you see someone throw their trash on the ground, tell them to do the right thing and throw it in the trash barrel. Police yourselves. We don't want to stop anyone from parking and talking to their friends, but if the littering continues you will have to move to another location, and those are getting thinner by the day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rescue Squad Christmas Dinner and Teddy Roosevelt

I would like to thank the Cumberland County Rescue Squad for inviting me and my family to their annual Christmas Dinner. My wife was working late and couldn’t make it, and my daughter was out of town. I appreciate the hospitality that was shown to me. The food was delicious, and the fellowship was wonderful. A big thanks to all the folks that prepared the food and got the building ready for the event.

Their effort and willingness to help others defines this organization. They are called upon for tasks that range from dangerous river, woods and cliff rescues to traffic control, and they do it all with professionalism, humbleness, and respect.

This group is one of many in the city of Burkesville, and Cumberland County, that go beyond their normal call to make our community safe. And we appreciate them more than they will ever know.

The attitude of the Rescue Squad should be observed and emulated as a goal for others. In my last post I spoke about how attitude can either kill a community or lift it up; and how the attitude of the fear of change can destroy almost any good work, and nip it in the bud before it even begins to flourish. 

Instead of striving to return to the past, we must learn from the mistakes made before, and focus on the positive future of our town. We must step out of our comfort zone and explore any and all ideas. We must not be complacent. We cannot sit idly by and watch as our community grows weak. We must stand up, step in to the batters box, and use our collective resources, ambitions, enthusiasm, passions, hope and energy to knock this thing out of the park.

But we can’t be scared to try. One of my favorite quotes about trying is from Theodore Roosevelt.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ TR

That man knew what he was talking about. He lived it. He walked the walk. 

I am excited to be sworn in as Mayor of Burkesville on the 28th of this month, and enthusiastic to do the work. And I am very pleased to be able to work with the leaders of the various committees, boards, and organizations in Burkesville, Cumberland County, and surrounding communities.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Living in the Past

Revitalizing and growing our community is about attitude.And the closing of a grocery store does not spell automatic doom. It is NOT a good thing mind you. But it does NOT mean a life or death difference for Burkesville. The beginning and end of our wonderful community is our people and the collective attitude we have about how we define success and whether or not we want to achieve it. 

Attitude is what communities live or die by, and one of the most destructive attitudes of all is living in the past. Don't get me wrong. The older I get the more I reminisce about childhood days. It really was busier in town when I was a kid than it is now. People did seem to be nicer to one another then. But our brains are always in self-preservation mode, quietly deleting the painful memories and saving all the happy times we had. 

Rural America, of which Burkesville is a part, has had a hard time adapting to technological change over the past few decades. Change is scary for many people.And not just in a technological sense, but also in economics, politics, ethics, values, and our social structure. All that makes us want to return to the good old days.When life was simpler, moral decisions were less complicated, Burkesville was stronger, and we were all happier. 

The sad fact is, that we can't simply return to the past. In fact, discussing it all the time and trying to find ways to get back to the life we once had is distracting us from the discussions we should be having about the future, and how our community plans to fit into it. We need to be making plans to meet the future, not lamenting about the past. 

People that live totally in a romanticized vision of the past are excellent at draining the energy of forward thinking, creative individuals. Before a project even gets started you have good intentioned folks bringing it to an end because of their rejection of change and what the future might bring. 

Growth = Change 

We have all adapted to change over time. We don't farm the same way, using the same equipment as our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Dentists and doctors don't use the same technology as they did in the past. Logging and sawmills have had equipment strides. And the list goes on. We have adapted. 

When we as a community, set out to accomplish something, mistakes will always be made.The only time you don't make a mistake is when you don't try. When you do nothing. Wrong decisions may have been made in the past in our community, things that may have contributed to the economic period we are currently in, or things that could have made a huge difference in Burkesville for the positive. But, at some point we have to realize we can't change the past, and we must look forward to the future and solving the problems that lie before us. We either fix it if it's fixable, or forget it and move on. The future of Burkesville is at stake, not its past. 

Forget the past. No one becomes successful in the past. 

Those trying to live in the past, complaining about wrong decisions that were made years ago, are distracting to those that have projects in the works, investments to make in our community, and initiatives that will help build Burkesville's future. 

Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it, or at least trying to. 

We hope to have community forums at some point soon, to get the public together to discuss out future, what we would like to see in it, and work on a community plan to achieve those goals.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Our Park and Its Future

I usually do a few laps on the walking trail at the city park every morning. It gets my blood pumping and gives me a little quiet time inside my head.  Not long after that emails start coming in, the to-do list grows, and dragons need to be battled around every corner. That quiet time is essential.

As I’ve been walking lately I’ve noticed some open space I think could be utilized more efficiently. There is a small grassy area that surrounds the outside of the t-ball field that I would like to see put to good use. And by that I mean some cool equipment for kids and adults alike.

I recently took a short visit to Livingston, Tennessee, to visit their city park. I’d heard about it from some friends, and it sounded like it would be worth the trip. It was. The park is laid out very nicely with covered areas, a water feature, almost indestructible musical equipment, lots of things to climb on, and some heavy duty exercise equipment that is affixed to the ground and meant to weather the elements. Below are some photos. 

There's also a link to a PDF of the exercise equipment below. There are 5 sets of equipment, with two stations each. 

The park was designed and equipped by a company that specializes in recreational design. LOTS to see at their website.

I would love to see something like this in our park. Of course it would mean finding grants that could cover the cost. I’m researching grants and funding options for not only this, but other possible projects as well.  Including something along the riverfront for families to enjoy. I have ideas about this but that can wait until a later time to discuss.

For Burkesville to grow and become a place where young families want to live, we have to check a lot of boxes at once. Jobs. Affordable housing. Social gathering places. Amenities. Education. Businesses. And the list goes on. That means the next four years are going to be very busy.  That’s good. I look forward to the hard work ahead. Everyone will need to play a role in the revitalization of our wonderful town, and that’s what will make this community even stronger, and more accommodating for all. 

Are you ready?

No Regrets

I read an article recently that really hit home. I want share some of it with you. It was about living life with no regrets, and about l...