Sunday, June 24, 2012

Founder of project to help exploited and abused women and girls in India to speak at Christian Church

Midway residents have an opportunity to learn about the Anchal Project, which helps abused and exploited women and girls in India, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Midway Christian Church.

Colleen Clines, a co-founder of the project, will speak and offer for sale quilts made by women and girls she has helped. Coffee and dessert will be provided.

The quilts will be part of a trunk show at Damselfly Gallery Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 1. Marcie Christensen will be on hand to talk about the project.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Francisco's Farm arts festival is this weekend

The annual Francisco's Farm arts festival will be held at Equus Run Vineyards from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The festival is juried, meaning that the 100-plus exhibitors have been approved by a committee of artists, and that has helped it win regional and national recognition. For examples of the art, click here.

Musical entertainment begins at noon Saturday with the Seth Murphy Band, a folk group. Bluegrass, jazz and flamenco fusion groups will also perform. For the entertainment schedule of entertainment and activities for children, click here.

The festival is named for Col. John Francisco, who owned the farm where Midway was founded with the building of Kentucky's first railroad in the mid-1830s. Francisco's Farm is being produced this year by the Lexington Art League, Equus Run and Midway Renaissance. For those groups' contact information, and inquiries about the festival, click here. Sponsors of the event include Midway College, where it was held until last year, and the Midway Business Association. To help with the festival, click here.

Admission to the festival is $10 per vehicle. For more information, go to www.franciscosfarm.org.

UPDATE: Here is the Lexington Herald-Leader's story on the festival.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Woodford Tomorrow adopts vision statement to guide and enhance the county's development

By Al Cross and Alex Ruf
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Woodford Tomorrow, a community improvement organization focusing on economic development and natural resource preservation, adopted its vision statement tonight after almost two years of discussion and work.

"I just think it's amazing," Midway City Council Member Joy Arnold, the group's chair, said after the unanimous vote. "There have been times when we didn't think we would get anyplace."

Woodford Tomorrow is the latest in series of citizen groups that have tried to guide development and preserve the county's rural landscape in the last 40 years, starting with Woodford Save the Land and the Woodford Coalition. Some who were in those groups are in Woodford Tomorrow, but say it is less a preservation group than a strategic development group.

Woodford Tomorrow members at last month's meeting
"We just want Woodford County to succeed," said lawyer Hank Graddy of Midway, a leading preservationist in a county that is one of Kentucky's richest, but lacks assets and amenities that other successful communities have -- such as a hotel, an arts council, a full-time economic developer and a brand to identify the county and attract tourists and investors. All are goals in the vision statement and the summary of the group's analysis of the county's economic clusters.

"We're not saying we're against -- those are things we're for," farmer Hampton "Hoppy" Henton said at last night's meeting. "The whole thing is that we're positive. It's not same old over-my-dead-body" attitude.

The group's statement of purpose says, among other things, "We are pro-business (small, medium and large)" and "We are for eliminating Woodford County's reputation for being 'lawsuit-happy'."

The group has identified many short-term and long-term goals for the county, one that has already surfaced: a "Uniquely Woodford" brand for "destination industries, the arts, value-added agricultural products and all that is uniquely Woodford in the community."

Graddy compared it to the Kentucky Proud brand, which is given to qualified foods and products grown or made in Kentucky. The brand is used to encourage Kentuckians to support Kentucky agri-businesses. The Uniquely Woodford brand will be put on items that are made, grown, or manufactured in Woodford County.

UPDATE, July 6: For a story by Greg Kocher of the Lexington Herald-Leader about the brand, click here

Woodford Tomorrow plans to schedule events promoting the brand. The first event was to be the “Uniquely Woodford Local Food Fair,” April 29 at Equus Run Vineyard, but it had to be rescheduled due to too many conflicts, such as the Kentucky Derby, but likely will be held in the fall, said Woodford Tomorrow member Elizabeth “Libby” Jones. The food fair will feature free food and live music and allow people to meet growers and chefs.

“The simple act of restaurants informing the providers of other products they now purchase outside the county or area will assist the providers in knowing what others lines of products they may be able to sell locally.” said Dan Roller, a Midway City Council member who is supportive of Woodford Tomorrow.

The Woodford Tomorrow vision statement puts strong emphasis on cooperation and collaboration, and the first lines in the purpose statement say "We are a research and fact-finding organization, open to any citizen, organization or company. We strive to provide support and input to city and county officials to help in their decision-making process regarding the betterment of our county."

The group's next steps include taking the vision statement to other groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, to get their comments and support, and then present it to the county Fiscal Court and the city councils of Versailles and Midway. A formal, uniform presentation will be developed by Lori Garkovich, a University of Kentucky rural sociologist who lives in the county and has been active in development issues.

Some members said other groups might not accept the vision statement as a whole, but could list their exceptions. Garkovich said one of the effort's great potentials is that individuals or groups will get excited about individual parts of the plan and make them happen.

The first three decades of battles over development and preservation in Woodford County are chronicled in "Land (and how it gets that way)," a documentary film by Walter Brock, which premiered in 2004. It will next air on KET-KY (the Kentucky channel) at 9 p.m. June 22.

Woodford Tomorrow meets every second Monday in Versailles at the Community Trust Bank at 6 p.m.

John McDaniel's eclectic and interesting life is wrapped all around Midway

By Martha Groppo
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Few people are more thorough experts on Midway than John William McDaniel III.

“He has stories that few have heard or known about,” said his good friend, Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth. “He has a lot of knowledge about Midway and our history.”

McDaniel with a big pencil, all about his writing. Mayor
Tom Bozarth (in background), his friend, calls him "Scoop."
But few in Midway are thorough experts on John McDaniel. Even he struggles to remember everything he has done. It would take much time to know everything about McDaniel, a lifelong Midway resident who has been a police officer, sold carpets, jailed in a jail he helped run, and ridden his horse down Main Street.

“He dabbles in a little bit of everything,” Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Turner said. “He knows everybody.”

“I just seem to be in the most weird places at the strangest times,” McDaniel said, coming to the same conclusion others seem to reach after hearing a few of his stories.

McDaniel started his eclectic life in the Woodford Memorial Hospital on June 11, 1949, 63 years ago today.

For the full story, click here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Midway business faculty write problem-solving book

Business faculty members at Midway College have written a book aimed at helping businesses solve their everyday problems. Solutions: Business Problem Solving will be published Thursday, June 14.

"The book idea came about when Dr. Eric Bolland, chair of the MBA Division, joined Midway and found the business faculty's combined talents spanned the spectrum of problems that business people face day in and day out," a college press release said.

Bolland said the book is written as both a reference manual and a textbook, covering 19 topics including "everything from deciding whether to buy or lease equipment to human resource issues to analyzing your competition and the book addresses needs of various size organizations," the release said. The 406-page book is published by Gower Publishing and is available in hard copy through AshGate Publishing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Council will meet Monday to discuss garbage bids

The Midway City Council will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m., Monday, June 11, at City Hall to discuss bids for garbage services. All council meetings are open to the public.

'Furlong Fridays' to start on Main Street tomorrow, repeat on second Fridays of summer months

The Midway Merchants Association is starting a new event tomorrow, called "Furlong Friday," to attract people to the furlong or so that is the commercial section of Main Street.

The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m., starting with musical entertainment in the bank parking lot from the popular Lexington band Superfecta, which played at Midway’s Horsey Hundred Block Party last year.

Furlong Fridays will be held the second Friday of each month during the summer. "Remember, it’s good to be seen having fun in Midway," says John McDaniel, Midway correspondent for The Woodford Sun. "So be one of the first to get in on Midway’s newest event. Become a leg shaking, foot-stomping, hand-clapping, finger-snapping, and Midwegian boogieman."