Inbox — Sept. 23, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Sep 23, 2009 at 5:00 am

Shepparding Out

Appreciation to reporter Phillip M. Bailey for writing about the planned razing of Louisville’s Sheppard Square public housing complex (LEO Weekly, Sept. 16). In more so-called “progress” authored by city leaders who unfailingly put the interests of big business first, the plan will displace thousands of residents, most of whom will have no option to return to a community known for its neighborhood ties, strong community engagement and rich African-American history.

As Bailey points out in his interviews with residents, people agree the housing project needs improvements, but it’s outrageous that “renewal” does not give ALL residents the chance to return. Wherever we live, what’s happening in the Smoketown neighborhood should matter to us.

Carla F. Wallace, Prospect

Just Business

In response to the health care article by Cary G. Stemle (LEO Weekly, Sept. 16): The article attacks the misconception of the difference between health insurance and health care. In each case, it talks about the insurance companies denying coverage of health care. The coverage by the insurance company might be denied, but health care itself can’t be declined. The patients could still receive health care — they would just have to pay out of pocket. Too expensive, you say? We live in a society where people are willing to go into debt for cars, homes they can’t afford and luxury items they “must” have. But it seems to be a problem when you have to go into debt for your health.

As for insurance companies not covering pre-existing conditions, you can’t expect the insurance companies to make a losing investment — much like our government would like to make taxpayers invest in their failing policies. Insurance companies are a business, and their goal is to make a profit, not a loss, on investing in your health. Now while charging outrageous fees may be unethical, it is their right to do so. Health insurance isn’t a right. The bottom line is while your health insurance might be denied, your health care will not.

Zachary Sanders, St. Matthews

Unlucky Strike

It occurred to me while reading Jonathan Meador’s latest installment in the ongoing exposé of The Cordish Co.’s use of city loans (LEO Weekly, Sept. 9) that there was, sadly, another missed opportunity for Abramson to put a spit-shine on this embarrassing lump of “night soil.” To read about the demolition of the bowling lanes of Lucky Strike, imagining nice, new pin setters being shipped off to other businesses (or some worse fate) while deserving local businesses, like our unique Vernon Lanes, have to keep using ancient models that routinely cause league bowlers to wait up to 30 minutes while long-suffering employees devise ever-more miraculous uses of chewing gum and prayers to keep them limping along, was frustrating. The knowledge that apparently the old pin setters rarely had significant issues while the bowling lanes were still owned by the church may be the subject of a different column, still it seems that both the mayor and the attorney general missed an opportunity for some good PR on this one by not requiring the generous donation of this gently used equipment from Lucky Strike for the good of the community, especially since both politicians appear to need it.

Stephen Jett, Clifton Heights

Tyler’s Hope

Leaving Tyler Allen’s press conference last week, I couldn’t help but notice that I had a sense of hope for Louisville’s future that couldn’t be classified as renewed. I think that’s because this isn’t the kind of hope we have seen before ... Tyler has a vision for our city that is better than I can even imagine, and that’s more than OK.

Also, he’s not tied to the patchwork approach of making our city better. He’s looking at the big picture, and that’s hot.

Finally, and most importantly, it’s pretty obvious that he has the ability to maintain vigilance to his passion, despite opposition from the old-money elite. In this town, that would be extraordinary. He’s got my vote and my support.

Curtis Morrison, Old Louisville

Speed Geese

Let me add a comment about bikers not obeying traffic regulations. I live near Big Rock, and it’s a three-way stop-sign intersection. Over and over, I see bicyclists come down the hill from the Alta Vista area and blow through the stop sign at high speeds without a thought.

I have seen a minimum of 25 near accidents caused by this as cars with the right-of-way slam on their brakes. Certainly drivers need to watch out for cyclists, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Charlie Bensinger, Highlands

Understanding Interpretation

Response to Rob Crehan’s “Rim-Shot Response” (LEO Weekly, Sept. 9): I am afraid we are at an impasse once again. While I respect your right to disbelieve the Bible, it’s another thing altogether to suggest the writers/editors of the Torah were incapable of communicating a coherent message without contradicting themselves.

Of course the isolated statement “Thou shalt not kill” could be interpreted any number of ways. But meaning is found at the level of discourse, not in individual words or sentences. Thankfully, Exodus is part of a larger body of literature that informs our understanding of a given sentence. Readers of the Pentateuch would think of Genesis 1:27, which claims that humanity is made in the image of God, and Genesis 9:6, which declares harming the image of God is wrong. Exodus 20:13 is clearly a recapitulation of an already-existing ethical ideal. This is not a drastic leap of faith (though Christianity demands this at other places), it is basic interpretation.

Also, your comment concerning Bible translation is terribly mistaken. The primary reason such a large array of modern translations exists is that language is dynamic, not because of disagreements concerning textual criticism. There often is no direct correlation between syntax and even words in different languages, and the best way to translate a text is fairly subjective. This is further complicated by the fact our own language is constantly evolving. Certainly there are different presuppositions and biases that affect translation, but the large selection available can help us develop a more holistic understanding. Besides, what would be the point of only reading what you already agree with?

Michael Butterworth, Shelby Park

Always a Dawg

When Commissioner Roger Goodell gave Danté Stallworth his one-year suspension for DUI manslaughter, he told him, “The NFL and players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations.” However, when he conditionally reinstated Michael Vick, after completion of his sentence for a dog-fighting conviction, he said, “I accept that you are sincere and will turn your life around.” On Sept. 3, he decided that Vick will be permanently reinstated after a two-game suspension.

What Stallworth did was a one-time tragic accident. What Vick did was deliberate and executed over many years. However, players, coaches, sportscasters and many fans are welcoming back Vick, even though what he did was despicable. This indicates that many of them don’t care about animal abuse. Sure he paid his debt to society, but that doesn’t mean he deserves a second chance in the NFL. The message that Goodell is sending with all these second chances is that the good players can do what they want, take a couple of games or a year suspension, be reinstated, and still earn millions of dollars.

I believe Vick has conned everybody with fake remorse, because what he did was sadistic, and sadists don’t change. Until he actually does something, besides make a speech or video, like going to an animal shelter to volunteer, my opinion won’t change. Meanwhile, it is a shame that some decent player lost his roster spot to a killer.

William Wilson, Jeffersonville