LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.
In my letter to LEO (published March 15) about the 1971 gubernatorial election, I failed to note that Happy Chandler received 39,493 votes as an independent candidate. This does not change the fact that Democrat Wendell Ford’s margin over Republican Tom Emberton was a mere 6 percent, no landslide, but the figures were 51 percent to 45 percent, rather than 53 percent to 47 percent as I wrote. Chandler got the other 4 percent. Sorry for the omission.
John David Dyche
Dissin’ on Indiana
Why does Christopher Hall feel a need to put down all the residents of Southern Indiana in his dining review in last week’s LEO? His restaurant review of the Come Back Inn in Jeffersonville included the following statement: “Maybe people think the attitudes and people in Southern Indiana are a little backward, a little stuck in 50 years ago, and maybe in some ways they might be right.” I have read many restaurant reviews and have never seen a reviewer insult the residents of the particular geographical location of the restaurant. And Hall doesn’t just confine his broad brush to Jeffersonville, but to all of Southern Indiana. This is a large group of people. Such canards needs to be blue penciled out before they reach the light of day and are recognized by readers for what they are.
Library Gets Props
Cheers for the main library bringing Ladysmith Black Mambazo to their stage (Thursday, March 6). This renowned a capella group, providing mesmerizing vocals, transported the studio audience to a sonic tour of South Africa — the real deal. Throughout the show, reminiscent parts of Paul Simon’s Graceland album, of which they were integral, came to life. Arguably, these guys rival top talent of the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
One wonders, this may not be your mom and dad’s library anymore.
Cars to the Curb
In March 15’s “Lofty Challenge,” Michael A. Lindenberger asserts “living without a motorized vehicle in Louisville remains about as practical as going without air conditioning in Orlando.”
Mr. Lindenberger, have you tried living without an automobile? It’s not as hard as “they” want you to think it is! I’ve been doing it for years, and I can rattle off the names of a half-dozen friends who do it too. “Impossible” you say? Not at all.
The first trick: Move to one of Louisville’s core neighborhoods. Just look for the “infill.” These neighborhoods tend to have all their residential/commercial zones intermingled, which is a nightmare for car traffic but great for walking errands. For example, think of Bardstown Road at Bonnycastle.
The second trick: Be ready to learn. Growing up here as a teen new driver, it took me about two years to learn how to efficiently use a car. Efficiently using shoe-leather, bikes, public transit and cell phones together is at least as difficult!
The good news for me: Once freed from my automobile, I started bumping into unbelievable numbers of neighbors. In these core areas of the city, most everyone has a couple good transportation tricks they’re willing to share.
Good Advice from Rapper
I’d say Carl Brown is absolutely right in his interpretations of Thomas Jefferson’s advice for the 21st century (March 17 LEO). Jefferson expected that we’d need to reorganize our country every generation or two for the purpose of protecting the liberty of future generations. That’s what his famous “blood of tyrants and patriots” quote is about. Right-wing pundits and politicians like to say this quote is “confusing” or irrational. But, I figure everyone else gets it.
Here’s something else the right-wingers are trying to ignore about Jefferson. He was ardently opposed to accumulations of power — in government, business, the churches or anywhere else. His quotes on the subject of power refer mostly to government because he hadn’t foreseen the power of multi-national corporations in modern times. Almost all business was small business in his day.
Jefferson’s ideal for society and business was the village marketplace. He imagined dozens of proprietors competing with each other in the same market. Small was always better than big with him. I believe he’d want us to find new ways to preserve that ideal.
Water Company Site!
I’ve been a believer in downtown Louisville all my life, as was my father before me. Mayor Abramson said the arena should be built at the LG&E site, as that would encourage development at the old Water Company site. Here’s a bit of history:
Thirty years ago, one block away, the Galleria was built — nothing happened at the water company site! Twenty years ago, two blocks away, the Kentucky International Convention Center was built — nothing happened at the water company site! Four years ago, one block away a second Galleria (called Fourth Street Live) was built — nothing happened at the water company site! Two years ago, across the street, a 14-story Marriott Hotel was built — nothing happened at the water company site!
Where’s the logic?
Every city’s downtown has a Broadway. Why don’t we bring Broadway downtown by taking downtown to Broadway. By building the arena at Muhammad Ali Boulevard, we will be more than halfway there! Think of all the parcels that come into play for development between Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Broadway and Brook Street to Ninth Street. Further, I would hope the U of L officials will realize that “as goes the City of Louisville, so goes the University of Louisville.”
In conclusion, again we should extend our thanks to David Jones and John Schnatter, who gave and continue to give their time and finances so that all the Water Company site facts were presented to all of us. Now it is up to the decision-makers to make the right choice.
Robert A. Montgomery,
Chevrolet/Honda dealer, downtown real estate owner
One Logical Location
A number of Louisvillians have been suggesting from the very first hearings, a clear answer to our “arena dilemma.” If we must have an arena, we have a plan for 1) reducing the cost, 2) saving the historic Water Company structure and 3) having a clearly visible structure from 1-65 and 1-64, the Ohio River and Indiana. In addition, the site we have consistently recommended — at 15th and Main — will contribute to the expansion of our center-city economy, as did the building of Slugger Field. The site even has the potential for establishing a rapid transit rail connection between U of L and the urban center. This alone could be a huge step into our future for transportation and fuel economy.
Since our recommendation, there has been proposed a new facility even closer to our site solution. According to The C-J, “the Museum Plaza will be located in the heart of the West Main Street Historic District, adjacent to the Muhammad Ali Center.” Including the soon-to-open and nearby African-American Museum, our solution site seems quite obvious when one looks to the future of Louisville, rather than to some PCB-ridden site or removal of a historic landmark.
The location to which we refer is currently FOR SALE at less than $1 million and is a vacant, empty and ready-to-build-on 4.5 acres. It is surrounded by warehouses, which could be converted to new chic housing or torn down for hotel construction or even parking garages. Restaurants and related businesses would undeniably follow such a project, as they did demonstrably for our new Slugger Field. Additional attractions are a “trolley hop” away. All of this economic activity would be sure to advance the economic development of our entire center city. It is simply waiting in silence at Main and 15th Street.
Why do you suppose our “decision-makers” continue to ignore this huge opportunity and just have it disappear, or even worse, wish it weren’t so obvious a solution to each question raised about the current locations being selectively considered?