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July 18, 2006

Erosia

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 leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.Bound and UndeterminedIt is ironic that we as taxpayers should be footing the bill for Anne Northup’s sure to be nasty attempt to discredit her opponent, LEO founder and former Editor John Yarmuth, with his own LEO columns. But it also strikes me as appalling that no collection of LEO’s editions is available at the Louisville Free Public Library, University of Louisville or even the Filson Historical Society. All 16 volumes (16 years, I’m guessing) and 36 numbers should be available to future trawlers for political dirt as well as those who one day might try to understand the nature of late 20th and early 21st century River City society, arts and culture. Though it’s probably too late to ask the bodyguard overseeing the photocopies to stick around for this job, the repositories of our history should make amends and use taxpayer and/or private money to the benefit of us all.Emily BinghamNo Whining ZoneI found your article about Anne Northup wanting to review LEO’s archives a bit disingenuous and whiny. While John Yarmuth has had no ownership for three years, when he announced he would stand behind everything he wrote in LEO, he opened the door. No one running for office or their campaign staff would ignore that statement. To me it would be incompetence on Northup’s campaign manager’s part not to want to see them. It may well be that there is little there, but Yarmuth made his writings an issue. I think you should complain to him for at least part of the aggravation. The only reason I can see for you to be upset is the bother and wanting to ensure that the only complete archive is unharmed. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that Yarmuth failed to keep copies himself. I know LEO will be a mouthpiece for Yarmuth, but try to avoid whining when it comes back to bite you.Kent O. Sublett Exile on Fourth StreetThanks so much for Billy Reed’s terrific send-up of Anne Northup on Fourth Street. (Hmmm, is that something like Nixon in China? Naw! Nixon had more class.)How many of your readers want to bet that was the first time our congresswoman has been in the 600 block of Fourth Street this millennium? (Thousand dollar fundraisers at the Brown Hotel don’t count.) You could almost feel her nervousness oozing from Reed’s prose. God forbid a Bushie should have to come in close contact with some of the problems her party is perpetuating, like homelessness and sagging central business districts. And if she knew she was in the same block as our evil public broadcasting stations (she probably didn’t), I bet she would have thought twice about showing up.To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, Congress is not a solution to the problem, it is the problem. Anne Northup, with her slavish obeisance to our cowboy president, is one of the biggest problems of all. November can’t come too soon.David WilliamsStem the TideAfter reading about Rep. Northup’s hijinks in front of your office and the various goings-on with the Yarmuth campaign, I think it’s pretty obvious who would be best to lead the 3rd district: Cary Stemle.Phil J. GattonFueling Our LeadersGreater Louisville Inc.’s recently formed Transportation Committee has met four times. In the second meeting, there was much discussion of: 1) the mayor’s new question: “How do we move people, not cars?”; 2) the need for more public transit (decreasing commuter traffic while increasing freight capacity on interstates); 3) future fuel costs; and 4) the uncertainty of future fuel supplies/sources. This turn was apparently not welcomed by GLI, for in the third meeting a GLI employee told the group to focus on: 1) the bridges (“under construction for the next 20 years”); 2) the airport expansion; and 3) getting a larger share of transportation funding from Frankfort. After listening to 40 minutes of discussion of these three mandates, it was pointed out that the two elephants in the room (the mayor’s transit question and fuel volatility) were not being addressed by GLI. An attempt was made to brush off fuel volatility by praising Indiana’s ethanol efforts, a note was made to address the public transit question, and the meeting adjourned. The fourth meeting widened the focus beyond the airport expansion and getting transportation funding from Frankfort, to include TARC.Fuel went unaddressed again. Transportation cannot be discussed without discussing fuel — excepting pedestrians and cyclists. GLI promotes building two major energy-intensive transportation investments “for the next 20 years” without reasonable estimates of fuel costs in 2026. It may not be reasonable to assume the availability of plentiful fuel supplies at any price in 2026. Yet the institution entrusted with shepherding our local economy pushes ahead with projects we will live with for many years beyond 2026.Fuel alternatives to petroleum are not on the horizon at costs and quantities supporting our current consumption. Large-scale ethanol and biodiesel deplete the fertility of the soil our children are depending on for their future food and, as put by the Wall Street Journal in its June 30 issue, “the effort to make ... ethanol into a full-blown power source ... is embryonic, and its outcome uncertain.” Cute little electric vehicles are mountain-top-removing, mercury-releasing, acid-rain-inducing, miner-killing, global-warming, coal-fired vehicles. Nuclear power is an exchange of one pollution for another. None are a solution.Conservation and accompanying changes in lifestyle and the way we do business are our best solutions. As a local economy that produces no energy, every dollar we spend on fuel leaves our local economy. The long-term health of our local economy (and so much more) is at stake. Local businesses and citizens should demand of GLI (and of elected political leadership) a realistic, long-term evaluation of energy before committing one more dollar to long-term transportation systems. In the meantime, businesses, households and individuals need to take conservation measures of their own. We must lead our leaders.Margaret Goslee, Louisville Energy Resources Awareness; Chris Cogswell, Chancery Financial Advisors; Cindy Baker and Jackie Green, bike couriers; David Coyte, citizen; Craig McCluney, George G. Perkins, Naomi Voit and Joe Roehrig, Louisville Peak Oil; and Trudi Hoekstra-Kubik, citizenSick to the Stomach/EarsHave you noticed that more and more good Louisville restaurants are playing annoying recorded background music ranging from barely audible buzzing schlock-rock to loud Cuban dance? Management must think that during a four-star meal we want to leap from our chairs for a Rumba or luxuriate in what sounds like flies in a sealed jar. Scott VarlandPaper Trail VoteWith the November elections coming up, I had to write in regards to our current voting machines. In 2004, only 27 percent of voters cast their ballots on voting machines in states requiring a paper trail. This year, 65 percent of voters have a paper trail or are about to have one. Paper trails are now in the majority. So why aren’t our representatives for Kentucky making this change? One Kentucky representative in Congress, Ron Lewis, still hasn’t taken up the fight for a paper trail of every vote.This shouldn’t be a partisan decision, based on politics. Trust in our current voting system has suffered greatly. We need to have our faith in our system returned, so that no matter who wins an election, the people have faith that it was done fairly. So what does Rep. Ron Lewis have to lose?We need our representative to co-sponsor H.R. 550 — the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act. It’s the right thing to do. Scott Brining