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 [email protected]. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.
Thank You Kindly
Dear LEO, I have been a reader for about 10 years and just want to thank you for having all the local info I need on events in and around the city. I tried to find something on the AIDS Walk in the Sunday C-J and was unsuccessful — tried their Web site and was asked to “sign up” to read a previous story. I came to your site and found a whole page after a couple clicks. If you all had the Sunday comics, my Sunday paper would be gone.
I’ve been reading about the 8664 campaign for several months, and I don’t doubt the sincerity of the people involved. The riverfront has come a long way in the last couple of decades, and the notion of erasing the ugly interstate is compelling and romantic. I have to offer an alternative viewpoint on the matter, though, and that is one that doesn’t involve traffic studies or measurements of lanes.
That elevated maze of roads along the waterfront is one of the best places to see the beautiful development that is taking place along the river. One may say that removing the interstate tangle will improve the aesthetics, and that is true from a bird’s-eye view in a photograph, but the reality at ground level is those highways aren’t as impressive. When you walk or bike down to Waterfront Park, and throw a Frisbee or watch a concert, do the interstates really make that much of a negative impact on your experience?
An east-west interstate traveler new to Louisville has a special view of the surroundings. If the 8664 idea is implemented, eliminating the downtown waterfront expressway, that would divert interstate traffic away from the downtown area, effectively bypassing what is our most visible asset. There may be better ways to show out-of-towners what Louisville has to offer, but the 30-second drive-by is priceless.
Gordon M. Lowe
Mass Transit Missing
I should be a supporter of 8664. I loathe cars and highways, love Louisville’s waterfront and downtown, embrace traditional urbanism (strong core, limited sprawl) and HATE most of the misguided Bridges Project. But for two very important reasons, I can’t embrace 8664.
First, there’s nothing more than creative Photoshop work to support the plan. To date, there is no comprehensive traffic study to bolster 8664’s claims. According to Stephen George’s article (LEO, Sept. 27), 32 percent of I-64 traffic passes through Louisville without stopping. While that 32 percent would easily be re-routed through Southern Indiana, the remaining two-thirds would be shifted to surface roads. Anyone who drives downtown streets during peak hours knows that the existing traffic capacity is already low and congestion is a nightmare.
Second, 8664 lacks any mention of mass transit. I’m all for demolishing highways if commuters are given real transportation alternatives, like light rail or even a subway. Why is Louisville so terrified to discuss the obvious merit of commuter rail? In our desperation to be a “world-class” city, we’ll build ugly Lego skyscrapers and spend too much on a waterfront arena, but nobody even considers alternative transportation. All truly world-class cities have some kind of efficient, rail-based mass transit. With an oil crisis looming and urban sprawl’s many problems, it’s clear that gas-powered transportation will have to be supplemented for true urban revitalization to succeed.
If the 8664 plan was truly visionary, it would include more substance — like, say, hard data — and room for real mass transit. Right now, it’s hardly more than pretty pictures and good intentions.
Gut Feeling Instincts
I have read the Louisville Eccentric Observer as long as I have lived in Louisville, around two years, mostly because it’s my favorite price and lying in convenient piles all over the city.
Paul Kopasz’s 9/11 demolition comments (in an Aug. 16 review of the Oliver Stone film “World Trade Center”) did not faze or astound. I had the same gut feeling on 9/11 that I had in 2000, 2004 and during Katrina. You, too, have experienced that dreadful, sinking unease. Reliable polls show that it is a feeling shared by the majority, non-media mainstream of this country. Thankfully, we all share the commons of online access to ideas, and some are using it to foster a new independence.
One of the most intriguing 9/11 investigation films of the moment is the first part of a trilogy — “911 Mysteries: Demolitions” (Google Video) was begun by an incensed conservative Republican demolition hobbyist after he saw one of those silly liberal conspiracy movies online and set out to prove it wrong.
Can you guess what happened during the course of his exhaustive research and factual analysis?
We may no longer be herded as theorists, liberals or conservatives.
Give Us a Break
As a regular reader of John Yarmuth’s column in LEO, I thought his comments were frequently satirical, sometimes sarcastic, but never “goofy.” It appeared to me that he was reacting to the extremist agenda of our radically right-wing Congress in many cases. So, the point of his comments frequently went like this: “If you’re willing to accept their crazy ideas, then let’s consider this one, too.”
In the vein of John Stossel on ABC-TV, Yarmuth’s columns implored the extremist politicians to “gimme a break!”
As we know, this is called context. If Yarmuth’s comments of 10 to 15 years ago sound outrageous, it’s because he was responding to extremist ideas that time has proven to be utterly ridiculous.
I’ve become so thoroughly disgusted with everything Anne Northup stands for — not the least her sleazy, gutter-level attacks against John Yarmuth — that I’ve pasted the following sign to the inside of my front door: “If you are working for the re-election of Anne Northup, please get off my property immediately or I will call the police!”
I urge all your readers to do the same.
N. David Williams
State the Obvious
Bush, Northup, Davis and the Republican administration have made us less safe from terrorism. This is because the Iraq War is attracting more and better trained terrorists to fight in Iraq and to fight us throughout the world. Bush’s own intelligence report stated this.
Not only was it a huge mistake that cost more than 2,700 American military lives and billions of dollars, it is increasing our vulnerability at home.
We need a better plan than a war in Iraq, and our government needs to give us one soon.
Cut and Run
It’s hard to imagine any administration from either party during any moment in this nation’s history being more pathologically dishonest, as morally corrupt, more arrogantly unrepentant or as profoundly dangerous as that of George W. Bush.
The newest low came when the president and his cronies renewed their call for the allowance of torture as an officially sanctioned act of our government, takes one’s breath away. For this president to actually argue that any “interrogation techniques” that don’t induce organ failure or death, be considered something other than torture and, therefore, within the bounds of a civilized society, exhibits a wanton disregard for the rule of law and a cowardly surrender to the dark forces he claims to be fighting.
This presidency is a malignant fraud dressed up as patriotism. It and its rubber-stamp toadies in Congress, including our own Anne Northup, are not, as they claim, defenders of all things good and American but are, in fact and deed, willing partners of Osama bin Laden in his quest to undermine our democracy. bin Laden could not have dreamt of better.
The time has long since passed to say so in the bright light of day from which these people, like cockroaches, cut and run.