Inbox — May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010 at 5:00 am

Spotlight on Portland
We are the Executive Committee of Portland Now Inc. Maybe not really the “intelligentsia” of Portland, but we are the ones who spoke with your reporter for the Portland article (LEO Weekly, April 14).

We feel like it’s important to say we agree it was absolutely wrong for anyone from Portland to go after Cheri Bryant Hamilton’s mother with the fear-mongering lie about trying to “blow up Portland” in the 1960s. Going after anyone’s family is unfair, but these are people who were found not guilty in court.

Cheri herself tries to support Portland’s organizations all of the time. The Portland Festival, Portland’s Plan, Portland’s Housing Committee, the liquor store zoning issues, and even the ongoing issue over renaming 35th Street, all get her help. If we don’t have wrought-iron trashcans yet, it’s because, so far, we think we have more important things to spend the money on.

We know the reporter could not ignore such a horrible smear as he heard from Portland resident John Owen.

However, we certainly don’t agree that the neighborhood has “a sense of psychic doom.” The story we wanted your readers to hear was about what all of our Portland organizations and good neighbors, black and white, are doing to hold things together.

Regarding another point made in the article: Please, do not “support the local economy” by buying prostitutes ... that’s why good people intervene against crime, and for real economic opportunity.

We’re disappointed that, one more time, the only hopeful information was about what other people plan for Portland and missed many of the ideas we talked about for two hours. But we’re the ones who have stayed here, so we’re going to keep speaking out, and we are happy to work with everyone who can bring good things to Portland’s people.
Executive Committee of Portland Now Inc.

Funny Jim
I just wanted to say that I was rolling on the floor laughing at Jim Welp’s last column about the arena (LEO Weekly, April 28). I busted a gut at the bit about the combination design of a “printer/fax/copier.” It was such a great pick-me-up in the midst of my hellacious study sessions during finals week. God bless Jim Welp!
Bobby Steurer, Jeffersonville

Don’t Ask About Math
For those who care about such things, and for those whose minds prefer order and accuracy, if Pam Swisher were to step back a moment from her fireworks and actually “do the math” (LEO Weekly, April 28), she would find that being bisexual would ostensibly increase the chances of getting a date on Saturday night by 100 percent, not 50 percent. In actuality, however, the question is debatable. The more important question would be what kind of date. I thought some of your readers would like to know this.
Ralph Koslik, Highlands

As a beer lover, I’ve been meaning to visit New Albanian Brewing Co. in New Albany. Then I read in LEO that owner Roger Baylor has a Che Guevara wallet (April 21 Mug Shots). Thanks for saving me a trip, Roger. I wouldn’t want my dollars to end up in a leather homage to a sadistic, enslaving murderer.

I’m also confident Che would not approve of the high prices Roger charges for his simple water and grains product, but he’d probably dig the wallet. Then he’d take it … at gunpoint.
Steve Newberry, Highlands

Runners’ Road Block
I don’t know who is in charge of planning the route for the Mini-Marathon, but their complete lack of consideration for those of us who live in Old Louisville never ceases to amaze me. I made the mistake this year of thinking it would be a good idea to try to run a few errands. I had a carefully planned route designed to get me past any known roadblocks, but once I got past, I discovered the route ran differently than expected, and I sat gridlocked in a line of cars waiting for a rare opening between runners.

When I finally tried to make my way back home from another direction, I realized I was trapped on the wrong side of the runners’ route, and upon asking a police officer how the hell I was supposed to get home, I was informed that the only thing to do was sit in my car until the last of the runners passed through; they weren’t allowing any cars through until then.

Events such as the Mini-Marathon can be fun, and they can be good for the community, but whoever is in charge of such things has to remember those of us who live and work in the area. This is my home, and while I don’t mind the occasional inconvenience of needing to take a different route, being completely cut off from my apartment and being told I have to wait in my car is completely unacceptable. I have had to deal with this for three years now, and it is simply infuriating. There must be a better way to do this.
Allan Day, Old Louisville

Truth Be Tolled
The truth be told, tolling on some or all of the Ohio River bridges appears to be necessary and should become a reality. The real question is not between tolling or no tolling, but for whose benefit tolling on the Ohio River bridges (existing and proposed) will be implemented? The two real-world options are privatization championed by Indiana’s GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels, or some Metropolitan Louisville version of New York’s public-owned Bi-State Port of New York and New Jersey Authority.

The real focus of the debate on the financial aspects of the Ohio River bridges should NOT be on the estimated costs of $4.1 billion but on the estimated profits of about $10 billion that a reasonable toll could earn over a 20-25 year period. As toll bridges, the Ohio River interstate bridges will not cost money, they will earn a healthy profit for whoever controls them.

The real question before us is: Who gets to pocket the estimated $10 billion a 2007 Arthur Little & Associates study suggested placing tolls on all existing and proposed Ohio River bridges in Louisville will earn over a 20-25 year period? Will this profit go to foreign investors in China and Saudi Arabia, or the people of Kentucky and Indiana?

The only way to keep this estimated $10 billion toll profit in Kentucky and Indiana — and to prevent the perils and pitfalls of privatization — is to create a modern, transparent Bi-State Public Authority empowered to operate all Ohio River crossings legally obligated to the best interests of the people of the two states, and NOT the profits of private for-profit foreign investors.
David Eugene Blank, Highlands

Drill, Baby, Drill!
Drill, baby, drill! Burn, baby, burn! If you are heading to the Gulf of Mexico beaches for vacation, a new attraction has been added. Instead of going to Alaska to see the Northern Lights and hunting wildlife from helicopters, tourists can head south, sit on the beach, and cheer the burning waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The deep-fried oily fish and fowl will be a new entrée on the Cajun menu Louisiana is famous for.

Instead of seashells and starfish, children can collect the black, sticky, smelly gobs of goo that will cover the beaches from Texas to Florida. They will make great “show and tell” for school projects, plus they will burn nicely in old-style oil lamps.

The oil industry has professed that these accidents do not happen anymore because of “state-of-the-art” technology. OOPS! In the meantime, the Atlantic coast and other areas are being opened for development. What are we thinking? Since when has any oil or coal company been honest with the American people? America the beautiful or America the gullible?

The gulf oil leak has destroyed an area the size of Delaware and is still growing. King Coal is tearing the Appalachians down, and people sit in their 2-ton road capsules and chant “Drill, baby, drill.” But hey, companies like Massey Coal say not to worry. We need the cheap energy, and it won’t hurt anything. Trust them. They wouldn’t LIE. Have a nice summer.
Joseph C. Wohlleb, Highlands