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July 25, 2006

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.Keep on Truckin’I was a little put off when Stephen George referred to only 70 tractor trailer trips through the historic neighborhood center (LEO, July 12). I know this came from the language in the lawsuit, but I thought I explained that when I filed the suit, I pretty much took Swift for its word, that there would be only 70 trips from the MSD lot north of the neighborhood by Swift’s “shag” drivers through the neighborhood on Cabel Street to their plant, and then back to the MSD lot the same way. Swift had advised that access to the MSD lot by the over-the-road drivers would be from the north via River Road. However, when I investigated further, I realized that was patently untrue.Within one mile of the MSD lot via Adams Street are ramps to both east and westbound I-64. From I-64 you can go in any direction, out to the Watterson to get to I-71 or southbound I-65 or continue east to Lexington, Knoxville, etc. If you go west on I-64, you can continue west to St. Louis or get on northbound I-65 to Indianapolis. Why would an over-the-road truck driver, who doesn’t work for Swift and is frequently an independent owner, go three miles out of his way to go to Zorn Avenue if he were going any direction other than toward Cincinnati? In point of fact, he wouldn’t. That driver will take the short route through the neighborhood to the I-64 interchange. Since Swift packs 35 trailers a day with product, that means the over-the-road drivers will have to deliver 35 empty trailers to the MSD lot and then pick up 35 filled trailers to take them to the final destination. In between times, the Swift shag operators will ferry the trailers on smaller tractors through the neighborhood on Cabel Street. That’s 140 tractor-trailer trips through the neighborhood. Sounds like a lot of tractor-trailer trips to me, and if allowed to proceed, it will mean the end of the Butchertown Historic Neighborhood as we know it. Ken PlotnikAttorney representing the Butchertown Neighborhood AssociationStinky Thing to SayOn July 17, I sent this note, via MetroCall, to David Morris, Director of Metro Development Authority, and also to Mayor Abramson regarding the July 12 LEO story concerning the city’s plan to lease city-owned land to Swift Corp. for truck storage: “I read your comments about the Butchertown neighborhood in a LEO story in which you are quoted as saying that Jim Segrest and the Butchertown Neighborhood Association are not fully representative of the neighborhood and are a guerilla group that regularly phones in stench complaints to the Air Pollution Control District and the Metro Health Department and generally tries to stir trouble for Swift.What were you NOT thinking? Allow me to suggest a few absent thoughts or realizations: 1) I work for the people. Taxes pay my salary; 2) My boss is running for re-election.3) What if I lived in Butchertown?4) What if my house or business was on the truck route?5) Neighborhood associations have boards of directors that are elected by the neighborhood residents.6) Let’s see ... where is the high road here?7) In a government structure sadly lacking in advocacy for neighborhoods, neighborhood associations are organizations that give the people a voice.8) The people have a right to honestly complain about stench to Air Pollution Control.9) The people have a right, and maybe a responsibility, to honestly complain to the Health Department.Finally, perhaps you did not think about ...10) The ethics of demonizing to discredit a resident and a neighborhood association.Let’s see ... where is the high road here? Please ask someone to help you find it.”Patria Fielding