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Community Works

I�ve never been to a barn raising, but I don�t imagine they happen as artfully and effortlessly as shown in the day of work by the Amish in the memorable 1985 movie Witness.

Someone had to choose a date, arrange for lumber, prepare food, organize workers, and a hundred other details.

It takes work to make a community.

The 24 electric distribution cooperatives in Kentucky just finished a summer of work holding their annual meetings. These gatherings brought communities together for the business of the member-owned utilities, as well as for some music, food, and visiting with neighbors.

The Co-op Postcard this month shows one of the activities�a skydiver trailing a 5,000-square-foot American flag. I get tired even thinking about the planning required for just that one part of the evening.

It takes extra diligence to create communities in this era of diverse interests and busy schedules. This month�s cover story describes what libraries do these days to get people involved in the variety of ways to learn and interact with the world. From terrapin races to teen nights, libraries are doing the work to stay part of modern life.

Kentucky Living works at being part of an active community of co-op members with contests and drawings for travel getaways, like the one this month.

Letters to the editor have long been a form of community conversation. That forum is being updated as well. Nearly all the reader letters we print these days come as e-mails through the www.KentuckyLiving.com Web site. I cite that fact partly as an excuse to point your attention to a thought-provoking letter.

�Carbon trading mumbo-jumbo� takes issue with the idea, described in last month�s The Future of Electricity column, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by swapping credits with a person or organization that produces less.

I agree the idea seems crazy. But it is being discussed and that seemed worth reporting.

And who knows? A couple decades ago, a similar program of trading pollution credits seems to have worked to reduce other types of industrial emissions.

Sorting out that kind of issue will take years, along with a lot of community involvement.

It will be a lot of work. But getting the community�s best ideas is always worth it.

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