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September 14, 2011

Inbox — Sept. 14, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Busing Not Good
I am a fan, and I have always enjoyed the “What a Week” feature as a way to connect with stories I might have missed or as a reminder of things I have also noted. Unfortunately, I may have to rethink my position. Steve Shaw missed by a mile when he addressed Judge Kelly Thompson this week with a -7. It should have been a +10.

Diversity and support for public schools are both properly liberal topics to be addressed by LEO, but knee-jerk reactions have no place in concepts so broad and involved. It is not baseless to blame busing for lower test scores. Busing has had 30-plus years to prove itself in JCPS, but scores keep getting worse. It does not make people bigots if they support the idea of neighborhood schools. Louisville in the new millennium is not Louisville of the 1960s. Diversity has many other opportunities to prove its value. In fact, the latest studies find that busing might be detrimental to diversity goals. Duke University’s James Moody found that the more diverse the school, the more the kids self-segregate by race and ethnicity within the school, and thus the likelihood that any two kids of different races have a friendship goes down.

It does our public schools no good to stake out a position that espouses diversity but ignores the current research and throws a ton of money at transportation instead of education. Even if you ignore the cost of fuel, pollution and upkeep of all those vehicles, you can’t ignore the cost to kids’ educational readiness. It is nearly 5 p.m. when the last school bus drops students at the corner of my block. That much time on the school bus cannot possibly contribute to positive outcomes in education.

Perhaps you could do a little more investigation before blindly following JCPS down this road of folly. Both diversity and education could benefit from a proper treatment of student assignment.
Tom DeSpain, Jeffersontown

Not So Silly
Regarding the news story in the Sept. 7 LEO Weekly: Perry Clark has a silly opinion. He has come to the wrong conclusion because of bad facts. The question is, “Does that matter?” If I can painfully pull the lever for a president that hasn’t lived up to his promises because the alternatives are too extreme, and I can accept leadership from a Congress that is out of touch, I can accept Perry Clark’s silly opinion. I have met Clark at the market, I have known constituents and activists who have gone to him in times of need and have been met with a sympathetic ear and a helping hand, and I have seen his works. He is a champion for Louisville and working people. A lack of critical thinking has put our country at great risk, but the thing that has hurt it more is a lack of political will to do the right thing, something Sen. Clark has in abundance. It’s a quality that outshines a silly opinion.
Nick Clark (no relation), South End

No Parking My Ass
I am beginning to wonder if the city of Louisville tries to discourage on-street parking. For example, despite WorldFest this past weekend, on Main Street there were several parking meters with no-parking covers. Why? What else was going on that on-street parking would interfere with? I have seen these no-parking covers left on parking meters when there was no visible evidence justifying them.

Then there are all the no-parking signs outside of businesses and office buildings that are basically closed or empty on weekends and evenings. True, those parking illegally may not be ticketed during events such as WorldFest, but the potential for such is still real. Then there are the businesses, closed on evenings and weekends, with “No Parking 24 Hours,” etc., signs on their parking lots.

All these unnecessary and perhaps meaningless parking limitations are an affront to residents and visitors alike.
Marvin Fleischman, Highlands