Cost of Safety
As a longtime member of the Louisville Zoo, I have taken my children and grandchildren on numerous outings there. I have been following with concern Joe Sonka’s series of articles regarding the zoo’s practice of using Dismas Charities inmates as unpaid laborers with unsupervised freedom to roam zoo grounds. Now, after reading Metro government spokesman Chris Poynter’s response to LEO’s investigation, I can only say that I am appalled by Mayor Fischer’s callous disregard for the city employees, zoo guests and their children who are regularly and unknowingly being exposed to potentially violent offenders, such as alleged rapist Todd Duke. No one would deny the Dismas inmates the chance to become useful members of society, but the zoo is not the appropriate work assignment for convicted felons. According to Poynter, the main reason the city uses Dismas workers is because they provide free labor. I ask him and Mayor Fischer: What is the cost of the safety and wellbeing of a child? I also ask Louisville Zoo director John Walczak to consider the financial impact to the zoo after I — and other concerned parents and grandparents — decline to renew our zoo memberships out of concern for our children’s safety.
Karen Smith, Highlands
Over and Out
Well, LEO, it’s been a great 15 years or so that I’ve been reading your publication every week without fail. Yes, I’ve periodically bemoaned the foul language that makes your otherwise well-written magazine unusable in classrooms, etc. On balance, however, I’ve enjoyed it.
The column you’ve recently added by Dan Savage is the end for me, especially the one from Dec. 26. I thought I had picked up LEO, and here I was reading Hustler! This is over-the-top graphic pornography, or pornographic “advice.” I guess your mission statement must have changed — if you have one. Perhaps it now reads: “We will not hesitate in our race to the lowest common denominator in journalism.” Well, it was great while it lasted. I’ll miss you, but I get the feeling you won’t miss me.
Paul Deaver, Goshen
An NBA Jewel
Dear Joe Manning,
Thanks for the Dec. 12 column. I share your feeling that Louisville is not needy. We don’t need to put on Spandex and suck it in to “keep up with the Portland(s).” I was confused, however, by your Billy Joel persiflage, followed by your framing the NBA issue as one of need, or lack thereof. As someone who would love to see the NBA come to our home, I don’t see it as some keystone or final piece; I reject the idea that “if you aren’t growing, you’re (fill in corporate-speak consequence here),” because the ’Ville is great as it is. Simply put, I would love to drive my kids 15 minutes to see the greatest players in the world perform in the Yum! Center.
Doubtless, one of the things that makes Louisville’s “it” is diversity. Hell, we’ve reached a sort of eclectic critical mass around here. It’s great! I love this place! So, let’s add one more jewel to the crown and maybe pay for the Yum! Center with something other than a tax hike.
Garrett Sorenson, St. Matthews
Attention Joe Manning:
An NBA franchise in our city would give us the privilege of having the town we call our home embedded in the minds, mouths, televisions, newspapers and computer screens of not just every city in America, but in every country of the world. We could have kids in Germany talking about the next Michael Jordan who plays for the Kentucky Colonels. Ask a teen from Boston to name something associated with Oklahoma City, and their answer would undoubtedly be “the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant.”
If you are not an NBA fan like a large amount of Americans, the “Thunder” is the team that just played LeBron James’ Miami Heat in the worldwide broadcasted and streamed NBA finals this past year. The team with multiple worldwide icons who sadly have more social status these days than that of Muhammad Ali, Jennifer Lawrence and Rick Pitino combined. The team that, in 2009, could have been established and playing in Louisville if we had the ambitions of the larger, more modern cities of America. I drool at the potential economic impact.
Jordan Winemiller, Downtown