January 2, 2007

Erosia (Letters to the Editor)

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.CorrectionsLast week’s dining review misidentified the Oakroom’s chef as Todd Edwards. Todd Richards is, in fact, the chef of the Oakroom. LEO regrets the error.Also, the Dec. 20 edition of City Strobe incorrectly named the original owner of the Old Louisville Coffeehouse as manager Peter Berkowitz. The coffeehouse opened in 2003. Kim & Tres Hundertmark managed it briefly after it opened until Berkowitz took over. LEO regrets the error.Dog NazisDear Mayor and Metro Council,It would appear that some of you, in your zeal to respond to dog issues, have done great harm to the responsible dog owners of Louisville and especially to the dog-show hobbyists who have added millions of dollars to your economy in the slow month of March.You have listened to the largest animal rights (not animal welfare) group in the United States, the Humane Society, a group that is run by vegans who want to end all animal use by humans. You have bought into the idea that penalizing anyone with an intact dog will solve your problems with irresponsible dog owners. Since, in most communities, fewer than 30 percent of dog owners actually bother to license their dogs, you have chosen to penalize your law-abiding citizens. You have included veterinarians, asking them to report on vaccinations. As a result, fewer dogs will be vaccinated. Was that your plan? That’s what happens when a draconian law such as yours is passed. By listening to the no-animal-use voices, you have created one of the worst ordinances in the country.Henceforth, I will not be attending the Louisville Kennel Club shows again until they have moved to another city. I will avoid your city and not drop a dime of my money at any restaurant, hotel, gas station or store in your city. I have attended the shows in the past. They have been important to the dog show sport nationwide. I am truly sorry the dedicated dog fanciers in Louisville are being treated like common criminals. I regret that your veterinarians will be turned into dog Nazis. I regret that you may experience rabies in larger measure in future years because people will choose to keep their dogs, hide them from you, and not vaccinate. It is such a shame.Lyndon Johnson said: “You do not examine legislation in light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered.” Your ordinance should just have been killed. It won’t solve any problems, but hopefully it will come back to haunt those who voted for it at election time.Charlotte McGowanNewton, Mass.In the Dog HouseThis has been and continues to be a fantastic example of government at its worst! This ordinance will hurt the citizens; there is nothing here that is a good thing. Glad the breed-specific piece was removed, but the rest is very bad. Vets, like doctors, maintain patient confidentiality, but no longer can they do that in Louisville. The rights of citizens who own dogs have been totally violated with this legislation. Council did not listen to their own citizens.Glad I don’t live there, and certainly don’t plan on retiring there. It was an option, but not now.Ann NagyNorth Ridgeville, OhioRich PoochesHave our City Council members gone mad? This should be a warning to every single dog owner in the city. The new dog ordinance will make every single dog within the city limits a potentially dangerous dog with a license fee of $250. Is this what we were expecting with a tougher dog ordinance? I know I wasn’t. I was ticked off, so I wrote Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and the mayor on Dec. 21 after the story in the paper. Guess what, no response. I guess Councilwoman Hamilton only wants rich people to have a dog. Animal control is going to have a huge boom in dogs found wandering the streets as dog owners dump their beloved family pet when they can’t find the extra $250. The wonderful ordinance as passed states that any dog who bites or harms a pet or livestock will be considered a potentially dangerous dog. That is every dog in the whole city. Guess we better tell pet stores to shut their doors and look elsewhere for business. If you own a dog and are a little ticked off, call Councilwoman Hamilton and the mayor and tell them. Their numbers are: mayor’s office: 574-2003, and Councilwoman Hamilton: 574-1105. Remember they work for us — it should be time they listen!Tony BuschPitiful Politics Parallel Thank you for your print and blog coverage of the Louisville dog ordinance. The animal rights and partisan politics and late-night fighting of this disgraceful episode so closely parallel Albuquerque’s 2006 HEART ordinance, it’s uncanny. Check out http://www.dukecityfix.com/index.php?itemid=1791.Bob Kane, president of Virginia Hunting Dog Owners’ AssociationBad Louisville!Thank you for your account of the Louisville dog ordinance debacle, truly a dismal day in the political life of such a grand city. It is a shame that politicians can and do arbitrarily vote into law a totally flawed idea and then sit back and see how much money private citizens will pour into litigation to get it repealed. I will attend the Louisville Kennel Club’s cluster of dog shows (the most prestigious in our nation), but I will not spend one red penny within the city limits of Louisville. I will secure motel reservations across the river in Indiana. Louisville has seen the last of my money.Julie Nover-Horn, Indiana Animal Owners AllianceNot Just for Spectators?Ken Herndon’s appeal for an innovative arena design (LEO, Dec. 20) mentions “maximum interior functionality, successful interaction with its neighbors” while proposing a structure “speaking to and taking the risks necessary to enliven our collective future.” Here’s a suggestion that might make our community’s major investment in spectator sports functional for all of us — even those who can’t afford a ticket. Why not build an elevated interior walking and exercise path around the inside of the arena? A warm and visually exciting downtown spot for everyone to get some exercise on inclement days or with a few minutes to spare before or after a game or event. Hello, Mayor’s Healthy Hometown!If the walking path incorporated interesting visual features (local artists’ work — traditional and video, sections sponsored by other city arts and cultural attractions and, of course, a likely sports memorabilia area), the connection between the arena and our other host city cultural attractions might garner for both the international slam-dunk Herndon wishes for. I know he meant its architectural neighbors, but the arena could do something maximally functional for its human neighbors beyond just providing them with a good seat for a game. Gregory AckerThe Slow MapThe debate over “slow food” raised in the Dec. 13 LEO has provided an opportunity that few journalists experience in their careers. By taking the process one step further, LEO could do something original. You could be the first to actually map out a modern day version of an American agrarian food system.What this involves is a dedication to describe and detail the actual steps to implement Michael Pollan or Wendell Berry’s agrarian vision. For example, you could explain how to teach farmers to market their products and control their entrepreneurial destiny in less time than, say, two human generations. You could take the Alice Waters challenge and teach the chefs of America to wean Americans away from corn-fed beef to their tougher — but more environmentally friendly — brethren, the grass-fed bovine. The ultimate challenge will be your approach to affecting consumer preferences without coercion. You know, something akin to a command and control system.For the record, you could do this, it is possible. I just don’t see Americans doing it on your schedule or for the reasons you appear to hold dear.Gary OwenStreets of ChangeI just came up with a simple make-everyone-happy solution to the brouhaha over the idea for a Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard: Turn 22nd Street into MLK Boulevard to the south of Market (as is now being pushed), and change 22nd into Abraham Lincoln Boulevard to the north of Market.Imagine this: An Abe Lincoln exit off of I-64, and a boulevard that flows from emancipator Lincoln into civil rights activist King, which ultimately intersects with the powerful favorite son Muhammad Ali.Steve MagruderGiving ThanksFor more than 25 years, I have written hundreds of Letters to the Editor of newspapers and magazines. The events of 2006 — war in Iraq, election, Amish forgiveness, etc. — motivated me to write many more letters this year than in previous years.I am a regular person who is thankful for the right to express my views in print. Freedom of speech is a right every American should be thankful for. I am also thankful for the right to vote and to worship as I please. I’m thankful for the wall that separates church and state. To tear down that wall would lead to freedom-killing theocracy. I’m thankful for leaders who work for the common good of all Americans and who seek world peace via peaceful means.Even with so much evil in the world, we have much to be thankful for. Every day is Thanksgiving.Paul L. Whiteley Sr.