August 15, 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.Hog-TiedI’ve stayed out of this, but I feel I can no longer hold my silence (which, in my opinion, is just what Mr. J. David Morris wants neighborhoods to do). Calling a neighborhood association a “guerilla group” just because they speak up for themselves, and for what surrounds them, is unforgivable. That’s what these groups are designed to do, not just have pot luck get-togethers. I hope that if my neighborhood ever encounters such an offensive business, that my community council will show such solidarity and step up and be heard! And, YES, I do mean offensive!The stench (from Butchertown) wafts all the way to my home, two neighborhoods away, on some days. I loathingly call it “hog death hanging in the air.” Tonight, I experienced a “closer feel” when leaving a meeting at the Home of the Innocents. Standing in the parking lot, talking to a couple of folks, I heard hogs not just squealing, but screaming in fear and, most definitely, in pain. I could not stand it. I abruptly ended my conversation, ran for my car, turned up the radio and sped away. I will have nightmares, I am sure. What a horrific sound for people in their beds to have to endure! Think of the children in the Home of the Innocents. So, please add me to the list of the “small group” that would like to see Swift gone. I have felt that way for the entire 13 years I have lived in such close proximity to the hellhole. Now they want to add to their air and noise pollution, and I say, if they need the addition, they’ve obviously outgrown their current facility that when first opened, did not transport by semi tractor trailer, and did not need such a parking lot. The neighborhood has evolved, as well as Swift, and there’s only one hog-killing plant and a whole bunch more neighbors. Swift should move. Or become something less offensive.Please realize, neighborhood associations are the voice of those who are speaking up, an advocate for the people who live in the area. It is their right and responsibility, as caring citizens, to report to appropriate authorities when they hear, see or SMELL a violation. Please keep up the good work!Mr. Morris should at the very least issue a formal apology to ALL neighborhood groups for addressing the Butchertown Neighborhood Association as a “guerilla group.” It was not just inappropriate, but an attempt to stifle other organizations that may have unpopular opinions in the future. If this is more than he can muster, perhaps he, like Swift, should be asked to relocate to a more suitable position where he is not so offensive to the city he serves.Cherise Williams, Clifton Neighborhood ResidentArena a Non-IssueA couple of things I felt were missing from Michael Lindenberger’s arena article (LEO, Aug. 2). First, this was a KNOWN issue for at least three weeks prior to the Metro Council vote the first time adding the PLA. Abramson ignored it then, which led to this fiasco. Second, Kelly Downard voted AGAINST the labor agreement in the original Council vote. He could have worked with labor and Democrats sooner. Instead, both waited for the situation to dissolve, discounting what they were being told.Abramson has lost all clout with labor in this community, and Downard’s supposed support from labor is a facade. Fact is, many issues like this can be avoided by simple communication. With a polarized Council, divided on party lines with major issues, neither can or will be honest in these situations. They are beholden to too many people.As an independent candidate for Mayor of Louisville that LEO, and mainstream media refuse to allow a voice, I am involved in these issues daily. I have been very vocal on my arena stance and most other major topics of the day today. Yet no one mentions that.Bottom line? Simply this. Abramson and Downard have agreed on most major issues of the day. Backed by voting records for Downard on the Council and Abramson’s public performance, there is a trend there. Neither offers any difference, and the arena is not one either.Check out my Web site at www.MyViewMatters.org for my stance on major issues and the arena in general. You may be surprised at how much support I will get come November.Ed Springston, mayoral candidateWorld Leader PretendThank you so much for Linda George and Catherine McGeeney’s article and viewpoint “Military might cannot win a war of ideas” (LEO, Aug. 2). I must confess to not really seeking out an alternative viewpoint to what is regularly reported by our domestic news venues on this terribly important region of the world. Up until now, that is. The current conflict in Lebanon and Israel, as well as in Iraq, is very complicated — so much so it has had me at a loss to form a coherent picture. It isn’t easy to divine the truth of things. In the many reports I sought out (just in recent days), the truth often changes with the teller and the teller’s agenda.Your statement that violence begets violence is one I can relate to. We (the United States and our allies) need to reassess the situation in Israel-Lebanon with an eye to the entire region and start thinking outside of the cozy box we’ve put ourselves in with our ally Israel. We need to become friend and protector of the human race — valuing every life equally. And we need to start forging ties with those very entities that may be planning our demise. It is the right thing to do, and the sign of a true leader. By our size and might we have attained the status of world leader, but I hope we start to embody the true role of a leader — by our example of doing the right thing and, when needed, the hard thing.At the end of the day, we all want to live safe and happy lives.Mary VaananenPath to PeaceLinda George and Catherine McGeeney’s concise, honest and thought-provoking essay is a must-read for realists who know the path to peace must come through dialogue, and not via U.S. weapons that Israel uses to massacre women and children. Given the deaths of innocents — in Israel, Lebanon and Palestine — are we any closer to peace, any closer to winning the “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, any closer to winning the “War on Terror”?Will anyone benefit from all this carnage?Blessings and peace to you and yours,Dr. Jack ShaheenViolence Begets Violence, IndeedThank you for the thoughtful Guest Commentary by Linda George and Catherine McGeeney regarding the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East. As was stated in the article, and as my friend retired Presbyterian pastor Jim Chatham recently lamented, “violence begets violence begets violence ...” Israel has valid reasons to fear Hezbollah and Hamas; and the United States, which has supplied the weapons allowing the destruction of Lebanon, has a duty to aid the Israelis and Lebanese civilians by supporting the French effort to deploy an international force to act as a buffer in southern Lebanon. Israel will not be rid of its enemies through force, but will instead create new enemies, the families of the innocents who have suffered. The United States compounds the difficulty of resolving the situation by refusing to talk to Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.Yes, there is much prejudice in the world. (I will never be able to see Mel Gibson again without thinking of his anti-Semitic remarks during his D.U.I. stop.) But the answer to the problem will not be found through war nor violence, but rather through mediation, cooperation and listening. Urge your representatives to enforce all U.N. resolutions that touch upon the Middle East crisis.Ken NevittBleeding CutsI am retired military. My wife usually gets her annual mammogram done at the Fort Knox Hospital. This year they said there was not enough staff to do this test. This is also true of a number of other medical benefits such as medical prescriptions. In addition, the Bush administration wants veterans to pay more for their medical benefits while reducing them.The cuts have been made to help pay for the Iraq War and War on Terror. This is while Bush, Northup and Davis support tax cuts for many well-off Americans.Harold Trainer, USAF (Ret.)