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.

Keep Bike Letters Rolling

With cycling in the news lately, LEO asked folks, particularly avid cyclists, to write in and share their views. What’s reasonable? What about cyclists who don’t follow the rules? And so on. The response has been strong, and LEO is working up to a larger piece where we print several responses. We’d like to hear more, though, so keep those cards and letters coming. The particulars on how to submit are printed at the top of this page. —Ed.

Step by Step

A true patriot! Damion Maynard is walking a mile for every soldier killed in Iraq (LEO, Aug. 22). Today, it looks like his walk will exceed 3,800 miles. Most of us cannot match Maynard’s commitment. But, maybe we can walk 3,800 steps. If your stride is 30 inches, that would add up to about 9,500 feet or about 1.7 miles. Many of us are healthy enough to do that.
Tom Louderback, Louisville

Yelp for Welp
I am writing to say how much I enjoy Jim Welp, and how glad I am that he has his own column now. I love his sarcastic sense of humor, and I myself did a little celebratory dance as I pulled out of the school parking lot on the morning of Aug. 13. So, because of my fondness for Mr. Welp, I wanted to give him a heads up: You are going to be buying much more than Kleenex this year! This is the combined list of supplies I got this year for my two kids:

Two 12-packs of colored pencils, two 24-packs of crayons, four 10-packs of No. 2 pencils, two 10-packs of washable markers, two packages of cap erasers, two 6-packs of glue sticks, six composition books, 12 plastic folders (no, not the paper kind you can get at Staples for 1 cent on sale), two packs of whiteboard markers, six boxes of Kleenex, two rolls of paper towels, four LARGE bottles of hand sanitizer, two bottles of hand soap, four packages of Lysol or Clorox cleaning wipes, two reams of copy paper, two boxes of gallon-size Ziploc bags, and two boxes of quart-size Ziploc bags. Plus, each teacher wanted $15 for magazine subscriptions!

I got the sense your children are older than mine, so you’re probably safe from the crayons and markers, but I hear the older kids are required to have flash drives and hundred-dollar calculators! I anticipate that in the next few years, we will be receiving bills for our children’s share of JCPS’s LG&E bills, or at the very least MSD’s rate hikes.

Also, Mr. Welp, I implore you to have a peek at the galleys for the rest of the paper before you submit your columns, because you missed a great opportunity for sarcasm in the Aug. 22 issue. Elsewhere in LEO I discovered that $4,100 of my personal tax dollars (and presumably $4,100 more of yours) have been spent on the war in Iraq! I know I can’t do sarcastic justice to the fact that my children’s school can’t afford COPY PAPER and SOAP, and yet I personally have spent $4,100 on a war that I oppose with every fiber of my being. But I know you could have! I’m counting on you to point these things out in print with clever quips that make George W. Bush’s cheeks burn with shame (or would, were he capable of feeling that particular emotion)! No pressure, though. Keep up the good work!
Amanda Clark, Louisville

Pork the Project
It is time for the city leaders to “step up and bite the bullet.” Downtown is not the proper place for a pork processing plant. Both this company and the surrounding area are being strangled. Swift & Co. is trying to continually expand and has grown beyond its limits. It is now flooding the downtown air with polluting elements both from the plant and from the diesel exhaust of more than 100 refrigerator trucks. (About half of these are idling 24 hours a day.) This is not counting the tanker trucks and the pig transporters. All these trucks are making two trips a day, and that does not include the shag trips to pull trailers to and from the plant. Wide-reaching adjacent areas are being affected with respiratory illnesses, cancer and heart trouble. Recreational riverside parks and athletic events (runs, walks and biking) are infected with these toxic emissions. Children are suffering lasting damage to their developing lungs. Even a quick search on the Internet will reaffirm these dangers. Both EPA and the American Lung Association testify to these facts.
Prominent developers are striving to build ambitious projects in the surrounding area. Nearly 600 condos are planned at the foot of Frankfort Avenue. A large complex, including a restaurant and a park setting, has been designed for location on Lexington Road. This is right behind the pork processing plant — what kind of odors would you expect to come wafting by? A nearby condo development has been built as a “green building” with an eye toward energy conservation. There is a huge movement toward making this part of the city a very exciting place to live and enjoy, one our city can take pride in. The city needs to recognize the wonderful benefits that will occur with the relocation of this pork processing plant. I am sure we can have an answer to this problem that does not strangle anyone, and, as an added benefit, it will remove as many as 1,300 vehicles (trucks and employee cars) from congested downtown traffic. Our city leaders need to find the courage to make the decision to place this company where it can expand and thrive without torturing the surrounding area with foul odors, toxic air quality and huge semi-trailer trucks. Take the noose off our necks!
L.C. McKinley, Louisville

Cruelty Cycle
Cruelty is cruelty, no matter what color face it wears. It has been documented that those who torture and kill animals move on to other crimes/sports. What would happen if a child made Michael Vick angry, or a friend, intimate or otherwise, let him down in a big way (costing him money)? Perhaps the NFL should put in place a rule allowing team owners to hold the heads of coaches and/or quarterbacks who lose games.
Misty Lee, Louisville