At issue | Feb. 14 Herald-Leader article, "Houseboat maker shifts to homebuilding" and Feb. 25 editorial, "Case of federal funds well spent"
Your recent coverage of a Wayne County houseboat manufacturer beginning production of newly designed, energy efficient homes is appreciated.As your editorial stated, the project is very worthwhile and will benefit not only the manufacturer, but also our local economy, severely hurt by the economic downturn.
For the last several years, the new houseboat market has been almost non-existent due to the weak national economy. Prior to the downturn, our local manufacturers were producing the finest boats constructed anywhere in the United States and hundreds of our local people were building those boats.
Now, most of those people are no longer employed in the industry and many of them are still struggling to find work. Thanks to the hard work of many people and organizations, there is now a potential for some hard-working people to re-enter the job market and make a decent living using skills they already have.
Again, thank you for your coverage of the project and the editorial supporting the idea.
I do, however, have one issue with your news coverage and editorial. In the news article the dateline for the location said Somerset when the manufacturer is actually located in Monticello. Stardust Cruisers was one of the first houseboat manufacturers in the area and has been located in Monticello for many years.
In the editorial, the manufacturer is referred to as "a Somerset luxury boat company" and as "one of the Somerset-area boat building companies that has idled production and laid off workers."
I do note that one headline of the editorial states "Wayne housing project promising," but then the company is referred to as a Somerset company on several occasions.
This may seem like a small matter, but Monticello has traditionally been known as the "Houseboat Manufacturing Capital of the World" due to the number of manufacturers here and the number of boats our people produced. At the market's highest point, seven houseboat manufacturers were located in Monticello and Wayne County.
At no time has Somerset been the home of that many houseboat manufacturers.
My wish is that our local manufacturers would be recognized as residents of the city and county in which they reside.
I do not think that a progressive Lexington-based business or Lexington's citizens would like to read that one of their own companies is being recognized as a Louisville-based business when it does something positive.