Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 14, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Editorial draws sharp criticism

In response to the Nov. 10 editorial offering advice to the new city manager, I couldn't disagree with you more. I have worked under both systems of government and believe you are confused as to the role of a city manager.

It sounds like the paper would pay Mr. Bitter $110,000 a year plus a $500 a month vehicle allowance then tell him not to express any opinions or utilize the education and talents which were the reason for his initial hiring.

Retract that ridiculous rubbish. Wish Mr. Bitter well, and tell him to both manage and lead. Perhaps you should tell the elected officials to get out of his way and let him do the job they selected him to perform. This also goes for department heads. Perhaps it is time to move outside your philosophical comfort zone in order to improve our city.

Not to insult our city commission, but part-time politicians exist due to voter popularity, not based on their talent or expertise in moving Ashland forward. That’s why we hire a city manager. City commissioners did their job and selected the best candidate. Mr. Bitter must now move the city forward. I hope and pray for his success.

Perhaps Mr. (Bill) Fisher (former city manager) wasn’t all that good. Doing nothing may increase a city manager’s job longevity but it won’t benefit the city of Ashland.

Please encourage Mr. Bitter to use his education, knowledge and ability. Ashland is in decline and no matter how much we want to hold onto the past, the future requires change and vision. If I were Mr. Bitter and read your editorial, I would have serious concern as to the type of regressive, backwards focused city that employed me.

The editorial embarrassed both the city and The Independent.

 Mike Wilson, Ashland

He’ll miss how it used to be

The cover of Friday's paper had a strange tale to tell.

Another store closing after 60 years in business downtown.

Parsons Furniture is closing around the corner.

Stump’s Hallmark already closed last year.

But we have a ribbon-cutting for a brand-new big-box store up on Melody Mountain at the same time as the others close downtown.

It's truly a melancholic melody if you think about the generations of families who ran those businesses for so many years downtown. And to also think of the generations of customers’ families that came into the smiling store clerks whot served them and call them by name.

I don't know what it will all mean in the future for the economy, the downtown buildings and the quality-of-life, but I'd like to think that I will sure miss the way it used to be on Main Street.

Vincenzo Fressola, Ashland

A non-Hollywood exorcism recalled

I am intrigued by reference to Hollywood's version of exorcism, as an anniversary of the film by the same name has come ‘round again. Throwing up pea soup may be disgusting, but it plays no part in any such rite outside of Hollywood.

In 1966, as an Episcopal priest, I was for three months or so a fill-in for the pastor at Ascension Church, Frankfort.  One day, a woman asked to speak with me in the garden of the church.  We talked for about 15 minutes. I went away feeling that the woman was  not just upset. She was possessed.

Accordingly, later that week, standing on my father-in-law’s farm  125 miles north of Frankfort, I exorcised the woman. She was in Frankfort. I was in Boone County.

Later that summer, I received a letter from her which said:  “It was within three or four days of talking with you in the garden of the church that a face I had seen beside my own face for 15 years disappeared. I know you did something. What did you do?"

I did the same thing an  Orthodox priest (as I am now) would do for any child coming to the priest to be baptized: I exorcised her. 

Ordinarily, the priest breathes in the face of the child, and says: “Expel from her every evil and unclean spirit that lurks and makes its lair in her heart." That is said, three times. It is expected God will grant that. The Devil and his minions cannot resist the power of the church's exorcism, and we never ever expect Him to resist.

Father Andrew L. J. James, Grayson

Letters invited

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