Issue August 21, 2007

Erosia

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 leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.

City Indifference

How can a community thrive when it rapes its people of two things: 1) not supporting the people in trying keep their community healthy to live and thrive? 2) a chance to give voice to something that is obviously flawed? I just can’t get past these two articles (in the Aug. 15 LEO): “An air of indifference” and “The lone voter.”
Swift wants to pump more crap into the air of the people who might one day, down the line, eat something they pack. “Well, Ma, this pork sure does taste good without those extra chemicals in it now.” “But, Pa, we still eat that when we breathe …” Have we not learned anything in the last 20 years? Swift’s track record has increased violations … so why should they even consider asking to increase what they want to pollute into the air, when it’s obvious that they have things they need to clean up first? Fix what’s broken before breaking new stuff!
The term nitrogen oxide is used to refer to any of these oxygen compounds of nitrogen, or to a mixture of them: nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen (II) oxide; nitrogen dioxide (NO2); dinitrogen monoxide (N2O), nitrous oxide; dinitrogen trioxide (N2O3), nitrogen (III) oxide; dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4); and dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5). (Note that the last three are unstable.)
So exactly which nitrogen oxide do they want to pump more of into the air?
But wait — sulfur dioxides are the leading ingredient in ACID RAIN and SMOG! Yeah, I can’t wait to see what is going to happen to the paint on my car in the next 20 years if this gets approved. The people of the community have spoken about how they feel, but have they really been heard? The “city leadership has sat on the sidelines” and not stepped in to support the people or even make Swift clean up its already dirty act!
And just like Swift, MSD is now allowed to charge customers $6.95 more per month of service without even hearing from the customers or giving people a chance to say anything on the matter — out to make it so open-and-shut so no one knows what happened. I’m really glad Doug Hawkins is on the council. It appears to me that he is someone willing to ask questions about bad practices and where the money will go! He is someone with power who has to speak for the people when no one will give them a chance!
So please, Louisville, there are plenty of reasons to keep us weird! I hope for the right reasons. Please, city officials, you must listen to the people, you must help them when they ask for it, and you must always do your best to protect and encourage healthy growth in the community — without destroying the people who make it a community!
Tiffy Lafferty, Louisville

That’s the Ticket

I read Dave Mancini’s letter to LEO regarding the Forecastle Festival (Aug. 8 issue) and wonder if Louisville is really CHEAP, or if people just weren’t enthusiastic about the music. It is expensive to host a festival or any large event, so making it free probably wasn’t an option unless sponsorship dollars covered the operating costs (something I highly doubt). Another thing is maybe the reason Louisville attracts only second-rate festivals is because of its unwillingness to support a festival like Bonnaroo. Louisvillians, however, travel in droves to that festival and SXSW when it occurs. What is wrong with trying to do the same thing and keep that revenue in your hometown?
I think one of the main missteps is quality. Bring the quality, and people won’t mind paying. Another issue is support dollars. It takes a lot of support dollars to be that big. Maybe, similar to what Cary Stemle said, Forecastle is getting too big for its britches. When Louisville finds itself a festival that will help “Keep Louisville Weird,” maybe it will finally capture its Bonnaroo.
Rumors are the next Terrastock will be here. It definitely fits the bill for something unique, almost weird, with its relatively narrow musical focus. And you can be sure it will cost more than $15, as it is an international festival. Until then, my question is, when does Louisville pull itself together and support the local events that are trying to make our town more enjoyable? Fifteen bucks isn’t that much, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear something that blows your mind. When the Monterey Pop Festival was booked, almost NO ONE knew who Jimi Hendrix was in the United States. Most of the acts, in fact, were complete unknowns. Break new ground, Louisville, and support yourself. Save your pennies for your local events and concerts. If you want better acts to come, you have to buy the tickets.
Val Marie Lewis, New Albany

Coexisting With Bikers
Let me first say that I’m a big advocate of bicycling. I love areas with good bike trails. But I feel the need to respond to what seems like a lot of sanctimonious bashing of car-drivers that’s been going on in LEO lately.
Just as most bicyclists are not riding wild and out-of-control, most car drivers are not callously running down hapless bicyclists. Most of us do attempt to share the road, politely changing lanes to pass our two-wheeled friends. I am upset by (and concerned for) those cyclists who weave in and out of my lane unpredictably. Having a heart and a conscience, I would like very much to avoid hitting them, but they make it challenging.
Earlier this summer, I was on Eastern Parkway and found myself behind a cyclist who was “claiming his lane.” I had no objection to that because I knew where he was going to be and I knew what I needed to do to safely pass him. Along with several other cars, I politely changed lanes and passed the cyclist. All went according to Hoyle … until the next red light. As I waited, our cyclist coasted past us on the shoulder and parked himself in front of the line of cars that had recently passed him. When the light changed, he resumed “claiming his lane.” We had to pass him again. If you are going to “ride with traffic,” then you’ve got to follow all the same rules.
But bikes are nothing like cars. They are not motorized, cannot go nearly as fast under most conditions, weigh much less, and their riders are much less protected from harm (helmets notwithstanding). My strong opinion is that bicycles and cars do not belong in the same place. I’m all for bike lanes. We should have a lot more in this city. Or at least legalize riding on the sidewalk. I believe bicycles and pedestrians can coexist far more safely than cars and bicycles.
Jay R. Lillie, Louisville

Editor’s note: What about it, cyclists? Let us hear from you on the notion of having it both ways.