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September 7, 2011

Inbox — Sept. 7, 2011

Letters to the editor

Meat Sundae

The Kentucky State Fair had almost everything — tropical fish, ugly lamps, antique furniture and long ropes of cured tobacco. We saw a huge sow suckling eight adorable piglets. We saw a 500-pound boar hog and a 2,200-pound bull. Lots of booths offered lots of scrumptious treats, including the “Meat Sundae” — a towering mound of cheese, mashed potatoes, ground beef and sour cream topped with a cherry tomato. What the Kentucky Fair didn’t have but BADLY needed was a gastric-bypass booth. It could offer $50-off coupons to the morbidly obese cruising around in electric wheelchairs.

John Gamel, Crescent Hill

Keep it Local-Access

The Ohio River Bridges Project continues to be frustrating, infuriating, complicated, divisive, polluting, congestive, worsening, as well as causing more delay and cost. Now is the time to take the bold initiative to get more cross-river connections sooner than later, and at an affordable price.

Three local-access bridges can be built within the next five years for less than $500 million. These would be located as follows: in southwest Jefferson County; parallel to K&I Bridge; and either parallel to Clark Bridge or further upriver. These non-federal bridges would greatly encourage economic development, lessen congestion, reduce air pollution and minimize sprawl.

Kentucky and Indiana’s leadership should take positive progressive action to build local-access bridges. The debate on federal bridges can continue, but this traffic infrastructure nightmare must be resolved within the next few years, not decades. Let’s get our community moving again, both economically and traffic-wise — now!

Steve Wiser, Crescent Hill

Tolling Necessary

With all the churn going on over the past several months concerning personal preferences, political posturing and emotion, perhaps it’s time to just step back and let the facts determine the next steps in the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The taxpayers spent close to $23 million and thousands of advisory team hours to conduct the DEIS, which determined that an eastern bridge could not solve the traffic and safety issues associated with the downtown Kennedy Bridge and Spaghetti Junction. Clearly, the most important community need was identified within the Ohio River Bridges Project by this study.

When our forefathers back in 1929 determined they needed a bridge downtown, they arranged for funding, set up a toll of 35 cents to pay off the 20-year bond to cover the bridge cost, and we have the Clark Memorial Bridge. The 35-cent toll in today’s value would be in the $3-$4 range. Tolls are really the fairest method to help fund a project since they are user-based and generate revenues both by local residents and transient travelers. Go to any of the 15 cities larger than Louisville and one is digging in our pockets to help pay for their infrastructure projects. What’s wrong with a little reciprocity?

To move forward with the Bridges Project, leaders must set schedule priorities based on need and adopt a funding plan that will help cover the overall project cost.

Bill Huff, Green Spring, Ky.

Uniting the Middle

There are not enough preachers, pundits and politicians in our country who advocate consistently for the people so close to God’s heart — the poor. Enough is never enough for the greedy. Greed kills; it is selfish, immoral, spiritually bankrupt, cut-throat and devoid of love. It poisons all areas of our lives. Something is terribly wrong with an economic system that runs on greed and creates unjust, rapidly growing income gaps between haves and have-nots.

Today, some politicians run on the anti-government issue. Will we ever see a politician make anti-greed an issue in their run for public office? Politicians from both major political parties are easy prey for the rich corporate interests that buy the politicians’ souls and votes. It is time for the overwhelming majority middle class and poor to get smart, unite and revolt nonviolently against the forces of greed. Now, more than ever, America needs drum majors for justice like Martin Luther King Jr.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews