Inbox — Aug. 4, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Aging Pets
I just finished reading the article about former Metro Animal Services Director Dr. Gilles Meloche (LEO Weekly, July 28). I am not surprised the current city administration missed the obvious clues surrounding this degenerate individual. In my mind, the shelter’s parking lot should have been covered in red flags indicating something was wrong. I cannot imagine how many pet owners lost their runaway or misplaced animals to a death sentence by an overzealous agency. But I don’t want to lament on the ills of a hiring mistake the city made, because I have discovered an even more potentially
disgusting problem.

Not long ago, I rescued a middle-aged cat. After nursing him back to good health, I called a few animal rescue agencies throughout the city in an attempt to find him a good home. To my surprise, I was told by two agencies that they have a difficult time placing dogs or cats that are older than 1 or 2 years. And to my horror, I was told that you had to be careful offering cats up for adoption because some sick individuals are using them to train pit bulls to fight. So for God’s sake, people, please do not let age be a factor when adopting a pet and reconsider abandoning a pet because you cannot afford to care for it. Don’t these animals have enough problems working
against them?
Vincent Vermeulen, Middletown

Female Support
“Leading ladies” by Phillip M. Bailey (LEO Weekly, July 14) was an exceptional article and a tremendous eye-opener for the challenges women in Kentucky face when running for public office. I was disappointed (but not surprised) where Kentucky ranks among states regarding women holding public office. Even more disappointing was the lack of support groups such as the Metropolitan Louisville Women’s Political Caucus and successful women in politics gave former Democratic mayoral candidate Shannon White. For female candidates to make significant progress running for public office in Kentucky, women groups and successful political women need to support women running for public office and programs like Emerge Kentucky.
Jennifer Adams-Tucker, Newburg

The Next Leading Lady
I really appreciate your article “Leading ladies.” So many “leading ladies” are our unsung heroes. Another Emerge Kentucky candidate I support is Attica Woodson Scott. Although some may consider a local school board race to be less significant than the races mentioned in your article, it’s one of the most important for people like me. Scott’s run for the District 1 seat of the JCPS school board is vital. Our children and schools are lacking progressive and innovative leadership. It’s time to elect a dedicated, proven community organizer, educator and activist to our school board.

For too long, we have elected officials based on family names, connections to status-quo organizations or big businesses. What happened to homegrown, grassroots leadership development and mentoring? People want change, and that is apparent by recent political activity in our city and nation. Scott represents this city of possibilities as a productive, African-American woman who is a single parent of two children enrolled at Jefferson County Public Schools. She lives an intergenerational life, is active in her church and involved in her children’s schools (serving on the PTSA and SBDM).

Scott has experienced many of the trials and tribulations that our students experience daily. What I find amazing is that in 12 years of JCPS matriculation, Scott never missed a day and has a sterling silver platter to prove it. She can relate to our students who deal with busing, homelessness, parents who are unable to be involved, poverty, single parenting and other educational challenges. As a mother who lives in the district and has four children enrolled in JCPS, I am excited about the possibility of having a leader I can relate to on so many levels.
Shameka Parrish, Louisville

Small Mall
To see the answer to the recent complaints against Germantown bars, all you have to do is turn the page to the Fourth Street Live ad.

I understand the noise complaints by the neighbors, and I’m sure the owner of the Nachbar, James, does too. Unfortunately, local small-bar owners have to use these old neighborhood bars to follow their dream of having their own place.

Try to buy a $1.50 beer on Fourth Street or hear any interesting live music. Hopefully, when Jerry goes, he’ll take Cordish with him.

Support live music.
Tim Whalen, Highlands

Vetting the Vermin
We have two problems in Louisville: Impoverished people cannot find affordable housing, and many empty houses are being neglected by their out-of-town owners. Both of these problems are costing Louisville taxpayers money. I have a simple and elegant solution: Legalize squatting by allowing families to occupy empty and neglected housing under the condition they maintain the property as their primary residence according to law and community standards. Once the empty house has been thus squatted for a certain period of time (say 15 days), the owner has to show up in court to reclaim (and thus take responsibility for) the neglected property. As long as the owner fails to reclaim the property in court, the squatters can legally occupy it. The law could be named the “Restoring Our Communities Act,” because a neglected empty house in a neighborhood attracts vermin of the human and nonhuman variety.
J. Miller, East End

Limbaugh Love
There are errors in the arguments of letter writer Paul L. Whiteley Sr. (LEO Weekly, July 28). Asking what any of the people in his list would do to combat the oil spill, as opposed to President Obama, does not count. Any writer is to speak only to the merits of the actions of the person in the discussion, President Obama. It is moral relativism to do otherwise.

Yes, Rush Limbaugh hopes President Obama’s policies fail, which is understandable, because Rush does not want the United States to continue further down the road of failing. Rush is, in fact, a patriot because he knows U.S. patriotism is being supportive of the best interests of the security of borders, finances, health care, etc., of the United States. Patriotism is not allegiance to the desires of the president of the Unites States, because President Obama works for the U.S. citizens and is not a king or tyrant. The Republicans, Democrats and independents are to make “common good decisions,” as you put it, as a balance to the president’s wants. Any president is not to get a blank check or go unchecked.
Robert Veith, Brandenburg, Ky.

Not So Free Speech
You’ve already heard the campaign for mayor this year is by far the most expensive in our community’s history. About $4.6 million has been spent so far. Some folks might take this to mean free speech in Louisville is livelier than ever before, especially those in agreement with politicians who like to say “money is speech.” More money means more speech, they say. But the rest of us know better. We see that most of this money is used to buy TV and radio ads that distort the issues and sometimes tell outright lies. It’s all spin. Ads for junk food are more reliable.

Let’s not confuse speech with advertising. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (a Louisville native) saw free speech as “both an ends and a means.” Its function in a free society being “the discovery and spread of political truth” and to “free (us) from the bondage of irrational fears.” Put simply, free speech is a public discussion open to everyone. It’s pretty obvious TV and radio ads do nothing to promote this kind of free speech. The money spent on those ads is actually the power to deceive people.
Tom Louderback, Highlands

Mitch & Me
For what it’s worth, I got a kick out of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s doublespeak, evasiveness and gassy generalities fed to me during the past decade. At times, his form letter reply doesn’t even deal with the issue raised.

Mitch — may I call him Mitch? — and I have two things in common: We annoy other people and don’t possess the qualifications to effectively hold such a high office.
Bob Moore, East End