Inbox — July 9, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Taxi Cab Confessions

This rebuttal is to set the record straight regarding certain facts left out of the column by the Bar Belle in the June 18 LEO Weekly. The Bar Belle writes, “They tacked on a ‘Derby’ fee before I had even closed the cab’s door.” She also writes, “I feel like they gouged the prices to take advantage of tourists.” In both cases, it is made to sound as if the cabbies in this city are arbitrarily making up whatever fares they like, when, in fact, the rates are issued to all cabbies by the City of Louisville. Because cabs are regulated by the city, the Bar Belle had recourse to report this rogue driver to Metrocall 311, but she fails to mention that in her column.

The column says both Uber and Lyft say their fees are cheaper than most taxi companies. In fact, Louisville cab meters are regulated by the city and all meters are set to the same rates, whether you take Yellow/Ready or Green cab. An example is given of a ride with Uber that was an affordable $10.76 from BBC on Main to the Highlands. Did the Bar Belle ride a cab over the same route to see the comparison?

Finally, in order for a cabbie to get a permit from the city, he/she needs to produce a five-year driving record and criminal background report. Who checks Uber/Lyft drivers? They are NOT regulated by the city or anyone else. If you ride with Uber/Lyft, hope they carry commercial insurance in case of a wreck, because to carry passengers for pay, regulated companies like limos or cabs are REQUIRED to carry it. Again, Uber/Lyft are operating OUTSIDE the jurisdiction of city ordinances. The traveling public needs to know all the facts to make a smart choice.

Philip S. Lassman, Highlands


Burger with a View

Attention Sara Havens: Loved your “Admiring the view” article in the June 25 LEO. I, too, found the view at Widow’s Walk to be the best from the Indiana side. When I first ate there, I ordered a cheeseburger. When I saw it come out of the freezer, I wasn’t expecting much. It was the best burger I’ve had since moving back to the area! And adding the view, you have a four-star location!

Bruce Miller, Pekin, Ind.


Vague Characterization

For an admirer of Sallie Bingham, reading Steve Shaw’s June 25 column about the sale of the mansion in Glenview is infuriating. Worse than “simplistic.”

Sallie is characterized first as a veteran of “two divorces” — a truly 19th-century discrediting appositive –— and as probably “crazy” (in the view of a brother with a “holy reverence for ethics”). It’s suggested she is also guilty, with the other women on The C-J Board at the time, of “allegedly (doing) needlepoint” during meetings. Finally, she “sputters,” and comments — cavalierly, the writer suggests — that “there was no loss of life involved” in all these contentious events. (Sallie’s register is about as far from the “sputter” as it gets; the observation about “loss of life” was an ironic but wise caution.)

More significant is the vague characterization of what Sallie has done with her life since the family war. Sallie Bingham does not merely “cast herself as a gadfly who asks hard questions”: She is an icon of that activity. The “worthy feminist causes” she is credited with include the 30-year work of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the most significant philanthropy for women artists inside any state.

Reading Sallie Bingham (in memoir, stories, novels, essays and plays) will help the curious. The selection of her words about why she came to write (in many ways and genres, ultimately) about her family’s “dysfunction” suggests some craven, callous person, not Sallie Bingham. The column by Shaw, close-read, also usefully illustrates some of the problems Sallie Bingham spent her life battling.

Cia White, Highlands