Inbox — Jan. 6, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Jan 6, 2010 at 6:00 am

Thanks, Louisville

On behalf of myself and the entire Tim Krekel family, I would like to thank the Louisville community for its loving and generous support during Tim’s illness and following his passing. It is difficult to find words to adequately express our profound gratitude to the many people who gave of their time, their talent and themselves throughout this year.

Although there are literally hundreds to whom this debt is owed, I would like to acknowledge just a few of those who gave so unselfishly: MERF (Musician’s Emergency Resource Foundation), John Timmons and ear X-tacy, Al Moreschi, Morgan Atkinson, Hippie Jack Stoddart, Dan Colon, John Gage, Clarissa Ragland, Connie Tyler, Robert P. Benson Jr., Bill Heuglin and LKH&S Inc., Barry Stevens and Giant Graphics, John Dant and The Back Door, Kenny Pyle and The Rudyard Kipling, Tim Cain and Zeppelin Café, The Vernon Club, Dean Corbett and Elizabeth Henderson of Equus Restaurant, Karen Howe, Laura Shine and WFPK, the Office of the Mayor, Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, the Louisville Metro Police Department and, of course, LEO Weekly. For all that you and so many others have done, thank you.

Tim was an amazingly gifted and talented man. His music touched thousands of hearts around the world. Yet he achieved a humility and spiritual awareness that allowed him to appreciate the really important things in life: family, friends and, of course, music. When he became ill, those of us who knew Tim best saw just how humbled and truly touched he was by the outpouring of what he called “a love that I can’t explain.” For all his many accomplishments and accolades, I believe in the end Tim took his greatest satisfaction from the knowledge that in the hometown he loved so much, and which gave him so much inspiration, the feeling was mutual. And that was the sweetest gift of all.

Debbie Krekel, Shepherdsville

Mindless Charter

We are going into 2010 with a bleak forecast for our state’s legislative session. Thank you to Sarah Kelley for bringing to light the disappointing news that there are two proposals being presented to legalize charter schools in Kentucky (LEO Weekly, Dec. 23).

What we know is that charter schools “receive public funding and are free to students but are not bound to the same statutes as public schools.” What we don’t know is how to hold the administrators, counselors and teachers accountable at these schools. We also don’t know if parental involvement of poor students and students of color is significantly higher than in public schools. And we have yet to see any real significant improvement in student achievement at charter schools as opposed to public schools.

If we go the way of charter schools, we will be selling our children to the highest corporate bidder. And let’s be honest, for the 2010 legislative session, some lawmakers in Kentucky only want charter schools so that we can compete for “Race To The Top” monies being offered to states by the Obama administration.

Instead of focusing on charter schools, let’s focus on making our public schools stronger by creating inclusive curricula that reflect our global society, recruiting culturally competent educators, encouraging critical thinking and leadership in our youth, providing support to parents who want to be active in their child’s school, and addressing the issue of students coming to school in the morning with no home to go to in the afternoon.

Attica C. Scott, Chickasaw Park/Rubbertown

Speed Elaboration

On behalf of the Speed Art Museum, we sincerely appreciate the mention of our upcoming “Louisville 27: Community” project in LEO Weekly’s Dec. 30 Staffpicks section. I hope you will allow me to briefly elaborate on its purpose. This community project is to be a fun, democratic open call to artists — no solicitations are being made, and any artist, any age, professional or amateur, can enter a 5-by-7-inch work of art to be exhibited as part of a larger community installation at the museum’s next Art After Dark event on Feb. 5, to then be sold for $27 (1927 being the year the Speed opened its doors to the community). The focus should be on the art and the buyer’s immediate response to the work, not whether a well-known artist made the work, and therefore the artist’s identity will not be revealed until the work is purchased.

In keeping with primary goals of the museum to be more relevant and part of the community, engage local artistic talent in experimental, imaginative ways, and have a stronger artistic voice present in all that we do, the theme of AAD is “fleur-de-lis, community of Louisville.”

Suzanne Weaver, curator of contemporary art, Speed Art Museum, Crescent Hill

Speed Bump

The opening two lines of the Speed Art Museum’s first Open Call Exhibition say it all: “Do you love Louisville? Prove it with art!”

What the hell does the Board of Directors and its fundraising arm think the artists of this community have been doing for the last three or four decades? We in the “artist” community have been making it possible for just about every charity in town — from save the kitten, fight cancer (or fill in the disease), save the theater — while at the same time enabling the “great art supporters in town” to say, “Look, I helped, and we got it so CHEAPLY!”

How about this? To celebrate the number 27: 27 hours of free doctors’ visits from 27 doctors for 27 artists; 27 hours of free legal advice from 27 lawyers for 27 artists; and 27 months of free health insurance for 27 artists.

You can see the endless array of things that would be possible! Artists continuously give from their heart — some have given three, four or more times a year. But enough is enough! Please do not continue to insult our mentality by saying, “It will be great exposure!” Please do not continue to pressure the artist to donate their percentage back to the charity. And for god’s sake, do not ask an artist to produce a piece of work that will sell for 90 to 900 percent less than its market value.

Please let the Speed know how you feel.

Billy Hertz, artist, Shelby Park

Obama Has It Right

I have to disagree with both Stephen George and Jim Welp in their assessments of the president’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. Obama repeatedly campaigned on the issue of reducing troop levels in Iraq to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. He campaigned on capturing or killing bin Laden. He mentioned it in nearly every speech I heard him give.

There are many national security issues I think Obama has gotten wrong. He should have joined our NATO partners in supporting a ban on landmines. He should support criminal charges against members of the Bush administration. He should be supporting the pro-democracy movement in Iran. He should make a commitment to never issue an air strike that might put civilians in jeopardy no matter how high profile the target. And he should support re-opening investigations into 9/11.

But on the issue of troop levels in Afghanistan, I think he has it right.

The United States, USSR, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other nations are responsible for Afghanistan becoming a failed state. The United States funded an insurgency in order to “knowingly increase the chances” that the USSR would invade. The United States and USSR left Afghanistan in the “stone age.” The Afghanis didn’t do that to themselves. With no government and hence no law and order, a band of illiterate, far-right wing religious nuts were able to take over in 1996 and create the most brutal government of our age.

In Afghanistan, we are faced with roughly two choices. We could pull out immediately, which would be devastating to both international security and to the human rights of the Afghanis (who deserve the same rights that we do). Or we can increase troops to the levels that our military commanders say is necessary to stabilize the country and to capture or kill the leadership of al-Qaida and the Taliban, so we can leave things in better shape for both ourselves and the Afghanis.

Abel Ashes, Highlands