May 28, 2008 at 1:28 am

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.

Turning The Page

Today we are turning a new page. We are now under the ownership of SouthComm and the leadership of its CEO, Chris Ferrell.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people in Erie, Penn., for the support and encouragement they gave me over the past five years. The challenges and rewards have been many, and I feel privileged to have worked for such a fine group of people. Erie — our shorthand for the Times Publishing Co. — decided to sell LEO because they were facing an overhaul of the presses they use to produce their daily newspaper, which will cost millions of dollars. They have decided to concentrate their resources on their core product.

Before coming to LEO, I had worked in a more corporate environment. There was a certain protocol and political correctness that was expected. I found the alternative newspaper world to be very different. At first it was a little unsettling, but I have come to appreciate the candor and honesty of the culture. The elephant doesn’t get to stay in the middle of the room for very long before he is called out. I would like to address the elephant in the room now. There were people on our staff last week who were not offered employment with SouthComm. I would like to personally thank each of them for their contributions and accomplishments, which were many during their time at LEO. To Cary Stemle, Michael Steiger, Kelly Gream and Mark Bacon, I wish you the very best both personally and professionally. You will be missed.

I am optimistic about the days ahead. Chris Ferrell brings with him a new energy and enthusiasm. He worked as the publisher of the Nashville Scene, our sister alt-weekly, and has an understanding and appreciation for alternative newspapers. He is building a diverse portfolio of publications in the Southeast and, if the first few days of new ownership are any indication, there are exciting days ahead for us. We were already working on a redesign to update our look, but we are not going to change the DNA of the paper. We want to build on what we have, make it bigger and better. We will continue to give you great journalism, information and opinions about the community, politics, arts and culture that you won’t find anywhere else — and, as always, a little attitude.

P.S. Holiday week + paper sale
= 40 pages.

Pam Brooks, LEO publisher


In last week’s Summer Fun Guide, LEO unintentionally omitted four farmers markets from our listings. They are listed below. LEO regrets the omissions.

Victory Park Farmers Market — 22nd & Kentucky; Sat. noon-4 p.m. starting June 7-Oct. 25. Accepts EBT/food stamps and FMNP vouchers. Urban Fresh is the vendor.

Russell Neighborhood Farmers Market — Russell Community Garden, 22nd & Cedar; Fri. 3-6:30 p.m., June 6-Oct. 24. Accepts EBT/food stamps and FMNP vouchers. Urban Fresh is the vendor.

Urban Fresh Market at Spalding University — Kutz Green, South Fourth Street between York & Breckinridge; Mon. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., June 2-Oct. 27. Accepts EBT/food stamps and FMNP vouchers. Urban Fresh is
the vendor.

Smoketown/Shelby Park Farmers Market — Meyzeek MS, Preston & Breckinridge; traditional farmers market, Sat. 9 a.m.-noon, June 7-Oct. 25. Accepts EBT/food stamps, FMNP vouchers and WIC coupons.

Meet in the Middle

Your endorsement of Barack Obama confidently declares that you are “not scared” by speculation that white middle-class voters might not support him in sufficient numbers. I’m not too worried about that either. My hunch is that Colin Powell’s immense popularity in public opinion is a good indication that the United States is finally ready to elect a president who is African American.

But, I’m worried that Obama might have another electability problem that Powell would not have. Might Obama be just a bit too liberal?

I think of myself as liberal, too, but I never forget that we live in a pretty darn conservative country. This means that liberal-minded candidates have to compromise and give concessions we don’t much like in order to win high public office. It’s a cold hard fact of political life. The Clintons understood this very well, for good and for bad.

Some folks figure that Obama will convert our country to liberalism. I wish that were true, but I just don’t believe it’s a realistic expectation. Obama will either compromise or lose.

Tom Louderback, Louisville

Divide and Conquer

Why was it that when George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry all lost the rural vote and income bracket under $60,000 in Kentucky, it was because these candidates where out of touch with rural Kentuckians? Now that Barack Obama loses the same rural vote, Kentucky is labeled uneducated and racist. Could it be that Obama is simply out of touch with rural Kentuckians the same way that McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry were? Could it be that Clinton, her husband and daughter all campaigned harder in Kentucky for votes, and Obama made only one visit to Louisville? Many times if you fail to ask people for their vote, you will not get it. Kentucky is much more than Louisville.

Barack Obama is a good candidate. Hillary Clinton is a good candidate. People have had two good choices. But to continue to break this country into bits and pieces as the media has done is unacceptable. The cartoon in The Courier-Journal last week that implied Kentucky is racist was irresponsible. Clinton supporters are no more racist than Obama supporters. Saying they are is just a joke.

The media in this country has a responsibility to the public to be fair and honest. Labeling entire groups of people as racist is irresponsible. I hope the divide-and-conquer mentality stops soon.

Gregg Wagner, Louisville

Melts in Your Mouth

Well, LEO, what’s on my mind — and it can be warned there is no easy way of stating this — is the packaging of a certain snack item purchased in a pre-work haste this afternoon. This item was a 5.30-oz. package of peanut M&M’s, which I purchased along with a bottle of spring water and several packs of sugar-free gum from a gas station employee (beady, glazed eyes, sparse goatee, sad grin). It wasn’t until I had arrived at my place of employment that I had realized that on the yellow package of M&M’s was an anthropomorphic representation of each color of M&M, except the dark brown M&M, which is also the ostensibly rarest of the colored candies.

Could this be racism or simple oversight? The answer to this is unclear, but one thing has been established: Not only is there just one of the five humanoid M&M’s that is female, but there is only one that was omitted — the minority.

Joe Strother, Louisville

A War By Any Other Name

In my frequent visits to the well-run VA Medical Center, I encounter some of the more than 24,000 maimed vets who served in Iraq. Today, after talking with a young man who has a prosthetic leg, I recalled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s aphorism, “You go to war with the army you have.”

Perhaps he should have added, “You come back from war with the body you have.” Should I be ashamed in sharing this thought because it implies he spoke in unpitying sympathy? After all, like the rest of us, he has the ability to fool himself into believing the world is a certain way.

An official document from the VA informs me, “The records reflect that you are a veteran of the World War II Era, Korean Conflict Era, Vietnam Era and Peacetime.” While sweeping mines during the “Korean Conflict Era,” I gave no thought to it not being called a war. I believe five minesweepers were sunk during what I now call the Korean War.

Despite what we were told, Iraq was not an immediate threat to the United States when we invaded. The administration has been successful in having media refer to it as the Iraq War. This is utter madness. It was an invasion (storming) of another country.

Will it matter to the young amputee, and others, how history refers to it?

Bob Moore, Louisville