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October 13, 2010

Inbox — Oct. 13, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Not So Nulu
My wife and I paid a visit to two Louisville festivals Saturday. Though so close they were nearly co-located, the differences between the Nulu Festival and the Bluegrass Brewing Co.-sponsored, beer-centric Volksfest were stark. A mere five minutes of our time was spent at the self-aggrandizing Nulu Fest, which seemed to be a celebration of greenwashing and crass gentrification. Around the corner, however, we had a great time sampling a large and diverse assortment of beers poured by a knowledgeable staff (volunteers?) who seemed to be having fun themselves, sans pretense.

While many struggle in these dour economic times, the smugness, cliquishness and speed of the East Market gentrification seem a little tone deaf. The Nulu Fest — for our five minutes, at least — seemed to be as much about people selling things or friendly political campaigning than any other noble theme or purpose. I fail to understand how a booth hawking cheap, Chinese-made scooters, for instance, fits with Nulu’s self-styled image of eco-consciousness.

With the understanding that not everyone gets excited over beer, of the two Saturday festivals in Phoenix Hill, the Volksfest won hands down for us.
Jeremy Mott, Butchertown

House of Cards
I would like to respond to Inbox writer Joseph C. Wohlleb (from the Sept. 8 LEO Weekly):

Dear Son,

Mom had to go to the office today. She’s trying to find buyers for some foreclosed properties. She says real estate is a buyer’s market, which means there aren’t any buyers. She showed me your letter, though, since I have more time because I’m “prematurely retired.”

That rally with Glenn Beck wasn’t a Tea Party rally, although a lot of Tea Party supporters were there. You seem to think that the folks at the rally were all against Dr. King. I didn’t get that from listening to them. Did you listen any?

You brushed off Tea Party concerns about taxation and spending. Taxation, of course, is the use of force to take money from someone. Interestingly, that’s illegal unless you’re the government. And with all the spending that’s been going on, and with Social Security and Medicare close to paying out more than they take in, some folks wonder if the whole house of cards is going to implode. To me, these are pretty important things to worry about.

Now, you know I’m an atheist. This still mortifies your mom after all these years. I know some religious folks think this should be a Christian nation in the theocratic sense. I also know that Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Payne were not Christians despite the protestations of the theocratic types. But I don’t think everyone on the “religious right” wants a theocracy or to demolish the First Amendment. And it’s normal and healthy for someone’s religious views to inform their politics. Your friend the president is probably a believer in Black Liberation Theology. It seems to explain some of his policies. It’s his right to do that.

It’s also our right not to like his policies and our right to be angry because we don’t think they’re just. And, please Son, don’t confuse indignation with hatred. I am angry at the president and can’t wait for 2012, but I don’t hate him. He’d probably even make a great neighbor. Come to think of it, there’s some houses for sale on our block right now ...
Rich Mills, Shawnee

Frenemies
Harold Trainer and I have been antagonists for quite a while, but I write to commend him on his letter in the Sept. 29 issue of LEO, wherein he advocates for equal care for all veterans, not just post-9/11 veterans. He summed it up well when he wrote, “If we can afford to send them to war, we can afford to take care of them.”

We will battle again another day, Harold, but for today, I say well done.
Ralph Koslik, Highlands

Lost Jobs

Dear mayoral candidates,

Jobs are at the forefront, and we hear all kinds of claims about job creation. The one thing I have not heard either candidate address is something that should be near and dear to them. What about the Louisville Metro government employees who have been laid off? Our local government talks about job creation but has had layoffs within its own infrastructure. Can someone explain that?
Lee Goldsmith, Middletown

Lally’s Laments
In Todd Lally’s first ad, he claims John Yarmuth is bad for jobs. As his only evidence, he offers a boarded-up plant, which turns out to be the old Ehrler’s Ice Cream factory. The Ehrler’s factory closed in 1994 — more than a decade before Yarmuth took office. By that logic, here are some other areas where Lally might find fault with Yarmuth:

1) Environment: Allowed Louisville to have 90-degree heat all summer

2) National Security: Failed to prevent Lincoln assassination

3) Education: Continues to fund. Elitist.

4) Kragthorpe

5) Healthcare: Permitted centuries of leeches and senseless bleedings

6) Energy: Did nothing — NOTHING — to stop crisis that stemmed from 1979 oil embargo

7) Ehrler’s was so tasty.

8) Veterans: Revolutionary War heroes have still not gotten full pension.

9) The Galleria

10) Taxes: At lowest level in 50 years — wait, really? (Yep)

Members of Congress can’t change the past, but Yarmuth will keep us from moving backward.
Jason Hope, Fern Creek

Nonprofits in Jeopardy
We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned because as many as 4,100 small community-based nonprofits in Kentucky are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. The loss of this status could greatly impact the organizations’ charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions.

Among the organizations that could lose their tax-exempt status are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.

The organizations that are at risk failed to file the required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to IRS records. The requirement to file is the result of a tax law change that occurred in 2006. For many of these small organizations, complying with the new law may be as simple as completing a 10-minute form online. They can preserve their exempt status under a one time relief program the IRS announced in July, but only if they file by Oct. 15.

The IRS has made numerous attempts to alert these organizations, but we are concerned that many may not have gotten the word. A list of the organizations that were at-risk as of the end of July is posted at irs.gov, along with instructions on how to comply with the new law.

We encourage everyone who is connected with a small nonprofit community group to make sure their organization is aware of the law change and is in compliance before the Oct. 15 deadline.
Jodie Reynolds, IRS Media Relations Specialist, Indianapolis

The Pill Creed
The birth control pill has been around for 50 years. It has proven to be safe and effective. A reliable study determined at least 40 percent of American girls are on the pill, fewer than in most developed nations. Restrictive birth control policies don’t shield teens from sex nor protect them from pregnancy or abortion.

Women don’t have to have a prescription to get the “morning after pill” and shouldn’t have to experience the cost/doctor hassle for the contraception pill. I discussed this with seven women — three married and four single. All gave it a thumbs-up. One mentioned she understood a powerful group of men are advocating prescriptions to obtain the “morning after pill.” Made me think of misogynists who impose the burqa upon women to render them powerless.

A gifted young woman claims, “This shouldn’t be an issue of religion and morals but one of safety and legality.” I add: Moral values change over time. They aren’t absolute. We have to stop trying to fit females to creeds and fit creeds to females.
Bob Moore, East End