Inbox — Feb. 29, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Laughable Development
My thanks go out to Steve Shaw for describing an under-reported drama being played out in this community, in his piece on sprawl in Louisville (LEO Weekly, Feb. 22).

Anyone who has attended a Metro Planning Commission meeting will find Bill Bardenwerper’s comments on the way developers, builders and their professional representatives are treated laughable. If developers were given any more deference or respect, there would be no hearings at all. The hearings currently run with a tacit assumption of project passage, given that the majority of the participants have a monetary interest to see all projects approved. Citizens of the affected communities make an unpaid volunteer effort to attend meetings to speak and are rebuffed as NIMBYs — while the sprit of Cornerstone 2020, which was hoped to be a guide for growth, is flaunted at every turn. This community will bear the burden/pay the price (not the developers — ”they are looking to get away with something”) of an extended infrastructure that is currently being built. This should not be a community priority.

So much of what appears as an approval process is a “formality.” The outcome has actually been decided in private by the bankrolled parties, and the planning and design meetings are simply smoke and mirrors for public consumption. Mayor Fischer surely can’t be letting Bardenwerper drive the review process any more than he already is.
Peter Bodnar III, Floyd’s Fork Environmental Association

No Kill Now
In his statement regarding Louisville Metro Animal Services, Mayor Greg Fischer referred to “Austin’s eight- to 10-year journey” to a No Kill shelter. What he didn’t tell you is the city of Austin stated it wanted to be No Kill in 2000 but did not put in place proven No Kill measures at that time.

Sound familiar? It’s exactly what Fischer is doing. Now, consider this, the city of Austin became No Kill within months after recommitting to the effort in March 2010, this time with those No Kill measures in place and working with the No Kill group Austin Pets Alive.

Basically, the mayor is saying he’s using our tax dollars in the same way the city of Austin was 12 years ago. He’s delaying the No Kill efforts he promised, and, if we’re on the same track of not taking action until 10 years later as Austin did, Mayor Fischer won’t likely be the mayor any longer.

No Kill groups across this country are proving that once you truly commit to No Kill, it doesn’t take years. It happens immediately. It’s a matter of will, intelligent business practices and taking killing off the table for any but those pets deemed dangerous or gravely injured/ill. Again, Fischer is proving he has no true understanding of the No Kill movement or how it works, nor is he interested in spending our tax dollars in a way that better serves citizens.
Jessica Reid, president, No Kill Louisville, Germantown

Third House
Republican presidential candidates and the conservative blogosphere accuse President Obama of being out of touch for not allowing the Catholic hierarchy to dictate U.S. health care policy. But it is the Vatican that is out of touch with Americans.

A 2011 Guttmacher Institute survey found 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptives. A February 2012 Public Religion Research Institute poll found Catholics, by a 58-percent-to-37-percent margin, agreed with the statement, “All employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception at no cost.”

The Catholic hierarchy is out of touch on other issues like their handling of sex abuse cases. Lay Catholics disagree with their practice of not reporting cases to police and transferring, rather than dismissing offenders. By a 3 to 1 margin, Catholics disagree with both the ban on married priests and the ban on female priests.

President Kennedy vowed not to let the Vatican dictate his presidency. Neither should President Obama nor Sen. McConnell kowtow to the Catholic hierarchy, a hierarchy that doesn’t even listen to its own parishioners. Catholic bishops are not the Third House of Congress.
Sam Sloss, Highlands