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June 25, 2008

Inbox — June 25, 2008

Letters to the Editor

FLOYDS FORK FIX

Kentucky Waterways Alliance is disappointed in your reporting on the lawsuit recently filed against us in Jefferson Circuit Court (LEO Weekly, June 18). We are constrained by our attorney from presenting our side of the case to the media. But we can correct the record about our organization and factual errors in the story.

Your article errs when it says the “grievance filed in May was dismissed this month”; the lawsuit has not been dismissed, but a motion to dismiss has been filed by us. The article should have clarified that in April, the Office of the Attorney General concluded that there was no violation of the Open Meetings Act by the Floyds Fork Watershed Management Plan Steering Committee, as it was not statutorily obligated to comply with the Open Meetings Act.

KWA is an incorporated nonprofit association that is independent of the government. Our programs are overseen by a board of directors, most of whom are elected by our statewide membership. No current member of our board is a state or federal employee.

KWA advocates forcefully for the protection of Kentucky’s waterways. Sometimes we partner with the state environmental agency, like the watershed planning project for Floyds Fork. Sometimes we take an adversarial role, including our lawsuits to prevent the degradation of the state’s waterways and to stop valley fills from mountaintop mining.

KWA stresses the importance of watershed protection in all our programs, and values involving all parties in developing consensus about how to do accomplish it. An inclusive and comprehensive watershed plan for the Floyds Fork watershed is needed by the five counties through which it flows, and it will continue to be important to us.

Bruce W. Scott, president, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Frankfort

 

WHEN IN ROME

I agree with Carl Brown on English being the official language of the United States (LEO Weekly, Plain Brown Rapper, June 18). Correction, though … we need to make English the official language. It’s not currently. It’s merely the majority language. Language is probably the most unifying element in any culture, more so than ethnicity, geography and probably even religion. In his one opportunity to actually put feet to his platitudes, Barack Obama voted against making English the official language — so much for his desire for unity. 

Making English the official language would give the country the moral and legal will to require that immigrants who move here learn English. My parents came from Germany in the 1950s. They learned English. They assimilated. They contributed. Yet, they retained their culture and often spoke German at home. One would be making a false dichotomy suggesting that requiring immigrants to learn English forces them to give up their culture of birth … or that it is somehow racist.

With the greater influx of immigrants who are not learning English, along with some foolish public educational institutions who prefer multiculturalism to actually helping immigrants become Americans, we’re setting ourselves up for future problems. Our melting pot will turn into fragmented islands filled with people who have never learned American values and can’t operate outside of their isolated communities. Just look at Europe. It’s increasingly dealing with pockets of isolated, disenfranchised, resentful ethnic groups unable (or unwilling) to become part of the larger culture. I welcome immigrants. But if you come, do so legally and learn English.

Ray Rieck, Louisville

 

FLIER KARMA

Thank you, Jimmy Brown, for contacting WFPK about our show, and Stacy Owen for informing your staff to mention the Bodeco/Glasspack/Night Shades gig on WFPK’s “Concert Calendar.” The calendar is an excellent way to promote a show. Stacy, I appreciate that you took time from your busy schedule to read, contemplate and respond to my concerns voiced in LEO Weekly’s June 11 Inbox. And I understand it’s your job as WFPK’s station manager to respond to such a letter.  

So please understand that I must voice my opinion when I feel I’ve been wronged. I was stating in this forum that I should have the right to pass out my handbill to familiar and friendly-faced folks in a public space. Or is it a private space? My research tells me Waterfront Development Corporation was created with both private and public funds (i.e. my tax dollars). My greatest hope is that the WDC’s hired clean-up crew saw my handbill and said, “Hell yeah! The Glasspack is playing with Bodeco! I’m so there.” 

Yes, two brothers who were drinking beer illegally flanked me. I knew they might come to our show, so I gave each a flier. Since the city now fines those who post fliers on telephone poles, one must resort to passing out handbills, posting fliers in the shops and on the Internet. The bottom line is that our show was well attended, and everyone seemed happy. Bodeco has always been the best band to dance to. They’ve still got it. It was an honor to play on the same bill with them. 

As one who hangs fliers in local shops, I’ve never covered up or torn down a competing show’s flier (Mr. Grantz may as well have covered up my flier when he told me to stop passing them out). I do look for expired fliers at local businesses and replace them with mine. Sometimes a clerk might want an expired flier. So, friends, make sure to check with said local businesses before discarding expired fliers. Flier karma is a powerful thing! 

Brett Holsclaw, Louisville

 

DOWN WITH THE DRIVE-THRU

Reducing idling time of motor vehicles was or is supposedly being proposed/studied to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption. However, there seems to be little discussion of emissions from the frequent large number of cars lined up at drive-thru windows — e.g. fast food restaurants, banks, etc. — with engines running. What would it take for drivers to shut the engine off when not moving in the line? Better yet, how about parking and going inside for counter service. This would yield an additional benefit: exercise. 

Perhaps environmentally conscious establishments might even eliminate drive-thru windows to appeal to environmentally aware customers. Beyond voluntary customer and establishment compliance, operation of drive-thru windows could be regulated. 

What are we waiting for? These obvious strategies seem straightforward and simple enough.

Marvin Fleischman, Louisville

 

FLEDGING PLEDGE

Politicians who wear a flag on their lapels or talk strongly of love for country show a shallow patriotism when they strongly support “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and fail to realize the phrase is inconsistent with the most important Pledge words: “With liberty and justice for all.”

I was still in uniform in 1954 when “under God” was added. I did not include it in my Pledge and still don’t. During my 20 years in the Navy, I served with honorable, proud and patriotic people. Some did not have a religious belief, or one that included a god. Yet, they loved this country and were willing to give their lives for it. Many did! When “under God” was added to the Pledge, it told them they are outsiders, lesser people. Ugh!

America was founded as a secular democracy in order to best protect the freedom of everyone to believe as they see fit. I am aware religious faith can be pretty binding. I’m also aware of our national motto: “E Pluribus Unum” — out of many, one. 

Bob Moore, Louisville

 

FLIP-FLOPPING STOPS NOW

A significant majority of American voters believe the country under President George W. Bush’s leadership continues to move in the wrong direction. A John McCain presidency would be extending the pain of the past eight years for at least four more years. To want more of the same-old, same-old reeks with self-loathing and further deterioration of our economy and reputation throughout the world. The GOP way of governing from the top down is a dismal failure.

Senator McCain’s flip-flopping on so many issues puts his credibility in doubt. I don’t believe the “fear” card he will play throughout the general election will triumph over the “hope” probable Democratic challenger Barack Obama will offer the electorate. McCain’s “peace through strength” will not bring peace. Our military power will not solve the world’s problems and never has. Obama’s “peace through justice” and dialogue approach is strength and one those who trust in God can believe in.

McCain abdicated his maverick reputation by pandering to particular factions of the Republican Party in order to win the nomination. It will take a miracle for him to win the presidency.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., Louisville