Aug 29, 2006 at 8:46 pm

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.

Stephen George’s story about the future of public housing in Louisville (LEO, Aug. 16) said that Gordon Stoudemire pays no rent for his subsidized apartment. In fact, he pays $198 per month. LEO regrets the error.

Northup ‘Cutting’ and ‘Running’
It seems that Rep. Northup not only voted to cut veterans benefits, but now she is running away from her record. The vote that we MoveOn members are using to cite her hypocrisy of cutting benefits while sending our service men and women to war is sound. The controversial vote generated major news in 2005 when the budget resolution passed, primarily along party lines, by 218 to 213.
Budget resolutions lay the framework for spending; they are the benchmark for setting the budget figures by the appropriations committee each year. This budget resolution contained reconciliation orders that specifically required the House Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Committee to cut benefits by $155 million in a year or to tax veterans by increasing their fees. The budget resolution is a blueprint for the budget process, and Rep. Northup was wrong to vote to cut $798 million from veterans’ benefits.
Rep. Northup also voted against two amendments that sought to provide additional funds for veterans in the budget resolution. Politicians can try to remedy their bad votes later (as Rep. Northup is claiming), but the fact remains that in 2005, she voted to cut veterans’ benefits while sending our troops to war.  Kentucky’s veterans deserve better.
We will continue to hold her accountable. Our response to Northup’s claim (budget resolutions don’t appropriate money and MoveOn is lying) is: Northup is “cutting” and then “running” from her record. She voted for a budget resolution, an important benchmark in the budget process, which cut veterans’ benefits by $798 million over the next five years, while voting to send our troops to war. That’s wrong and the people in KY03 deserve to know she’s been caught red-handed.
Mike Bailey
Kentucky MoveOn Coordinator

Local Love
The recent commentary by Michelle Manker, “Where is the local love?” (LEO, Aug. 16) is an absolute wake-up call for us all. If we value the diversity and unique qualities of our local businesses, we owe to them to patronize them above all others.
Many local businesses offer products and services that are qualitatively above what we find at big-box, franchise and chain stores. They are also business people who are our neighbors and fellow local taxpayers who support the local community directly through contributions of not only money but of time and effort as well. We need to seek them out and give them our support with our purchases.
Sure, you can save a nickel at Wal-Mart, but what is the real cost when we find that our favorite restaurant or local hardware store has closed its doors? Will the CEO of Home Depot be coaching our Little League teams? And will he have his VPs baking for the church bazaar? I’ll bet not.
Support your local small businesses. They deserve it!
Bruce Herdt

Open the Red Door!
What a sad day, unbelievable, I am shocked: The Red Lounge on Frankfort Avenue has closed its doors. The ultimate non-mainstream bar in Louisville. The perfect hangout for those like me who refuse to wear stupid colored plastic bracelets and — excuse me, please! — do not want to be asked for their ID when ordering a beer. I loved to go to the Red Lounge, I loved to take people there. Why did this lounge close? What do I have to tell you, dear owner, to consider a re-opening? Do I have to tell the other people to go there? Does it help if I tell you that I compared the Red Lounge to those cool hangouts in Zurich and Munich where I used to go to (I am European)? The Red Lounge in Munich or Zurich: It would be the absolute “in” place. Americans would look for (and love!) such a bar in Europe or wherever in the world. Why not here in Louisville? Students, college graduates, snow boarders, engineers, freaks from the neighborhood, late-night working people … these people live in Louisville, too. There is no substitute in Louisville for the Red Lounge. The old gas station, the train tracks outside, located on Frankfort Avenue — everything is just perfect. Nothing needs to be changed for a re-opening, absolutely nothing, just unlock the door, please! The local love is here!
Doro Rosenberger

We Are Keepin’ It Local
Michelle Manker blamed the closing of three local businesses — Mayan Gypsy, Red Lounge and Lentini’s — on a lack of support from locals (LEO, Aug. 16). According to quotes from the owners published in The Courier-Journal, the Mayan Gypsy and the Red Lounge closed not due to a lack of support, but because their owners wanted to do other things for awhile. Mayan Gypsy owner Bruce Ucan was quoted as saying his lease was up and, “I need to take a break.” He also was quoted as saying he was considering opening another restaurant.
In another C-J article, Red Lounge owner Andy Blieden said his partner Bea  Chamberlain was leaving the country for awhile and, since the building was for sale, it was a “good time for a transition.” He also said the location would have a “nice, new restaurant soon” and that the “... restaurant will be something cool, I can assure you.”
These do not sound like owners beaten down by empty tables and a lack of community support. Instead of Ms. Manker jumping into a tired old rant about how the big bad chains are squashing all the local businesses, she should have talked to the owners of restaurants that have been mainstays in this community for years ... Cunningham’s, Ramsi’s, Kunz’s, Vincenzo’s, The Bristol, Artemisia, Lynn’s, Café Mimosa, City Café, Uptown Café, Third Avenue Café, Irish Rover, Café Metro, Twig & Leaf, Asiatique, Jack Fry’s, Jade Palace, Bearno’s, Azalea’s, Genny’s, Kim’s, Nancy’s Bagels, etc. Not to mention the local restaurants that have gone big-time ... Papa John’s, Tumbleweed, Texas Roadhouse, etc.
Louisville has a rich tradition of great local restaurants supported by locals and visitors alike. It is good to point out the locally owned choices available — as LEO does each week in the HotBytes and Aftertastes sections. Maybe Ms. Manker should try reading these before she decides to write another undeserved smackdown of the locals.
David Harpe

Makin’ It Funky
As a lifelong resident of this city, I know what a good place Louisville is, but like a lot of other cities our size, we always seem just this side of greatness. Louisville’s a place where it feels like something big is always about to happen, but it never does. What’s the problem? It’s just not a cool place to live, nor are we funky enough.
Oh, we’ve got a lot of cool and a good deal of funk. The performing arts scene is superb, the aboveground arts scene is intriguing, the underground arts scene is vibrant. I don’t know much about the music scene, but from what I’ve seen, there’s promise. We have a string of neat festivals. Our downtown is finally waking up. The restaurant scene is amazing.
What we lack is the kind of funky coolness that put Seattle on the map. It’s the kind of funky coolness you find in New Orleans (which invented it) or San Francisco, Savannah, Portland and a handful of other cities. (Key West is no longer cool or funky: too many T-shirt shops.)
How do you make a city cool and funky? You can’t. You either are or you’re not. But with the right political and cultural leadership, you can encourage what’s already here.
The Rolling Stones at Churchill Downs is a great start, but we need more funky events like that. Otherwise, we’re always going to be what we’ve always been: one of the greatest overlooked cities in the nation.
David Williams

Truth was Stonewalled
Paul Kopasz’s analysis of the failings of Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” is absolutely correct (LEO, Aug. 16). We don’t need to be reminded that 9/11/01 made us sad, angry and frightened. We need to look at what actually took place that day unflinchingly and hold all of those responsible accountable. I, too, hoped for more from the man who showed portions of the “Zapruder” film to millions on the big screen.
There are many issues about the “official 9/11 story” that need debunking, such as the fact that any pilot or aeronautical engineer can tell you it would be virtually impossible for inexperienced pilots trained on Cessnas to have any clue as to how to navigate a 757 35,000 feet off the ground, halfway across the country to a precise location. They would have no idea where they were going.
Kopasz is right to be disappointed that Oliver Stone did not address the issue of the controlled demolitions of the Twin Towers and WTC 7. By stating the obvious, Kopasz has joined the ranks of 9/11 hero/survivor William Rodriguez, physics professor Steven E. Jones, former Reagan administration economics adviser Paul Craig Roberts and former MI-5 operative David Shayler among thousands and thousands of others. Jones has recently confirmed that the molten steel in the Twin Towers basements tests chemically positive for Thermate, a commercially available thermite variation used in controlled demolitions.
A recent New York Post poll found that 37 percent of Americans believe that elements of our own government conspired against us in 9/11. My friend and California Green Party Congressional candidate Carol Brouillet has had extensive discussions with Stone about 9/11, so he knows very well what is really going on and what is at stake.
Oliver Stone has indeed disappointed.
Abel Ashes

Controlled Theories
In regards to Paul Kopasz’s “World Trade Center” review (LEO, Aug. 16), in which he speaks of the idea that the towers’ collapses were a “controlled demolition” and “is becoming harder each day to deny,” to whom is he speaking? People from all over the world watched live and in horror as the towers burned and then collapsed. I love a good conspiracy theory as much as anyone, but any structural engineer could explain to Kopasz or any other conspiracy theorist how the buildings collapsed. Personally I respect anyone’s right to speak their opinions, no matter how wrong they are, but comparing the tower footage to the “Zapruder” film is also incorrect, as there were many different people and cameras from different angles witnessing the towers as they collapsed. Many people lost loved ones and friends on that day, and it is a shame as close as we are to the five-year anniversary of this event that this was published in your paper. The fact that even Oliver Stone doesn’t think it’s a conspiracy theory should speak volumes.
Matthew Fleitz

No You Didn’t!
Alan Abbott’s potshot review of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” (LEO, Aug. 16) reminds me of recent hatchet attempts at discrediting Al Gore — kill the messenger. Does Abbott believe his patronizing putdown of an important film will make our gigantic environmental problems go away? Contrary to Abbott’s own naiveté, millions of leftist Democrats do strongly believe that a Democrat in the White House would profoundly alter our lives and our country’s uncertain future. Abbott also failed to recognize Paine’s perceptive satire. What exactly is the consolation of Abbott’s own hit-and-run ranting?
LEO readers deserve an actual review of Paine’s worthwhile documentary — not the grandstanding Abbott substitutes for thoughtful discussion.
Michael Gregoire

Love for the Shack
Attn: Bar Belle:
OK, two weeks into your fun new column and I can hold my tongue (figuratively) no longer. Jager, in any form, is strictly for lightweights (to borrow your term), children and amateurs. And while “Love Shack” may be overplayed, it remains one of the great party tunes, and, unlike “1999,” it’s not inherently dated. Do you also hate “Burning Down the House”? I don’t “get” karaoke, anyway — leave singing to singing professionals, I always say.
Same with drinking, come to think. Cheers.
Robert Lutz

Flipped Out
I just wanted to write and express my appreciation for your latest column, The Flipped Lid. It’s a breath of fresh air ... original, funny, insightful. Carrie Wright has a gift of connecting to the reader. Please accept this e-mail as my resounding endorsement of her column. I look forward to it being a permanent addition to the hallowed pages of LEO.
Scott Brining