Jul 17, 2007 at 8:12 pm

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Smoked Compromise

Love it or hate it, it’s the law! Chubby Ray’s has been open 15 years, and this has got to be the biggest NEGATIVE impact on our business that I have ever seen. Even 9/11 was nothing like this. Approximately 60 percent or more of our regular guests smoke, and even though they have not given up on us completely, this first week of non-smoking has been a disaster.
Our budget is based on “X” number of dollars coming in and out. We were accomplishing that before the smoking ban with steady growth. The first week of the smoking ban, our sales were off 30 percent. I can’t absorb a 30-percent reduction in sales for any sustained period. I can lay people off, but that’s only part of my overhead. Insurance, mortgage payments, utilities, etc., stay the same regardless of how much we sell.
The compromise of separate dining rooms with separate ventilation would have worked for everyone, but they couldn’t see that. I think within the next year, approximately 25-30 percent of the dine-in restaurants will close. The good thing is that even though it is a smaller customer base, it won’t be divided up as much. I just hope I will be one of the few that makes it until then. I am very bitter about the whole issue. This is how I feed my family.
Even the tobacco farmers got a federal buy-out when they reduced their price support system. Where’s the love for people like me?
It’s really unfortunate that King Jerry and his royal court (the Metro Council) find it necessary to decide what’s best for everyone, with no room for compromise. I hope everyone will keep that in mind in the next election and vote for change.
“Chubby Ray” Perkins, Louisville

Apologies By Proxy
Recently, a 4-year-old child went missing in a nearby neighborhood. The gender and race of this child are immaterial. When a child goes missing or is killed in a community, each of us should consider that child as our own child. We should all behave as if this tragedy is happening to our own families.
Instead, many of us run to the posting sites beneath news service updates and condemn the mother for neglecting to be omniscient. I am dismayed to read statements such as: “She should have kept a better eye on the child,” or “That’s what she gets for being distracted.” Shame on all of you who post things like this. I pity you, because as a former member of the holier-than-thou club, I happen to know that there is one quote that is truer than any other I have ever heard: “Pride goeth before the fall.”
I am sad to think of the karmic retribution in store for you and yours. Good mothers also empathize. So we should also pity you people who lash out with your ugly self-righteousness at a woman who is trapped in a hellish horror story. We should feel sorry that you don’t have enough love and true righteousness inside to realize that this mother is you. This child is your child. This crime affects us all. It is our problem. This is our community, and it is utterly unsafe.
To the parents of the child in question, I am truly sorry for the agony you are experiencing. I am sorry that some “people” out there would rather condemn you than help you. It is NOT your fault that there are monsters in the world. It is NOT your fault that children can’t play safely in your own backyard for less than 10 minutes in this country. It is NOT your fault. And I am sorry for the additional atrocities strangers are heaping on you, instead of either tending their own gardens or truly giving care to the community one.
To you others, there will come a day when you will go to look for your own child, and he or she will not be where you expect them to be. You may have only turned for a moment, but your heart will leap. You will feel all the blood rush through you as you experience a most terrifying panic. If you are lucky, your son or daughter will appear in seconds and fail to notice your terror, as he or she skips past you on the way to the next activity. You will probably fail to notice how grateful and lucky you are.
Ende Myers, Louisville

Underground Film

In Alan Abbott’s excellent article on film (LEO, July 11), Dave Conover of Baxter Avenue Theatres made a point that rankled: “He hates the idea of removing small movies from theaters and putting them into the hands of a few small groups ... ‘ghettoizing’ movies.” Conover’s theater is now showing, among others, “Transformers,” “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Knocked Up” and “Evan Almighty,” instead of actually screening “La Vie En Rose,” “Once,” “You Kill Me” and “Paris, Je T’aime.” Baxter’s abysmal programming, which is only a slight step away from mimicking suburban mall multiplex fare, might be the reason a few small groups have stepped in by necessity.
And, by the way, Abbott was wrong about the lack of theaters playing indie/foreign film in the region. Both Lexington and Nashville have theaters that program films the Baxter (or someone) ought to take a nod from.
Michael Sell, Louisville

Thanks Again, Mitch

Consumers can breathe a sigh of relief (for awhile anyway) thanks to Sen. McConnell. He and his clear-thinking colleagues voted down an energy bill amendment last month that would have sent us a $32 billion tax increase.
This proposal would have placed a 13-percent excise tax on oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, regular Americans would have ended up paying for it every time we filled up our tanks or paid our home heating bills.
Maybe Congress is finally starting to realize that our energy problems cannot be solved by more taxes. It’s pretty simple. Taxes raise production costs, and those costs are passed directly on to the consumer. They discourage investment in domestic energy production, increasing our dependence on foreign imports. They hurt our economy, working families and small businesses. They’re bad.
Thank you, Sen. McConnell, good job — but you’re not done yet. There’s still an alarming number of politicians out there who want to see increased energy taxes, tax subsidies for inefficient alternative fuels and illogical government mandates to tell consumers what kind of fuel they have to use. Don’t give up, Senator, until we’ve seen all these counterproductive strategies tossed. We’re depending on you.
Steve Mallory, Cadiz, Ky.