January 9, 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. Idealism Down the Drain While I rolled my eyes at yet another promotion of 8664.org (not as blatant as the cover nor as clandestine as a book review) in your interview with Mayor Abramson (LEO, Jan. 3), I was thrilled to see you finally print the definitive answer: “It’s not going to happen.” 8664 had no feasible studies or transportation experts weighing in, just misplaced idealism based on a pretty Photoshopped image. Presented as a green effort to replace concrete with grass, examinations of the statements on 8664.org reveal that their arguments were absurd: The Web site claimed that by building I-64 in the first place, “we divided our city.” No, it’s a bridge that connects east and west Louisville. Removing the waterfront expressway says to all the citizens living in the West End who work and shop in the East End to exit downtown. 8664.org called itself “a bold new vision for reconnecting to our origin: the Ohio River” and that “Louisville will reclaim its past.” What from our past are we missing? At the end of the workday, we want to get on the highway and drive home, not sit on the shore of a muddy river and reflect on the good ol’ days of taking a steamboat to the office. They said that “by realigning I-64 … across an eastern bridge … we will divert traffic away from downtown.” It’s called a bypass loop that was approved by the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project three years ago, and I think it’s very misleading for 8664 to take the credit for what thru-drivers will do on their own. I find it sad that thousands of progressive idealists were manipulated into littering their yards with election-style signs, and good-hearted citizens actually donated money to such an impractical vision. Jacob Zimmer Mayor has Blurred Vision Mayor Abramson’s comments about the Bridges Project in last week’s LEO left me a bit mystified. I’m not entirely sure how he plans to “enhance the waterfront experience with very little negative effect as a result of the approach.” Wedging a 23-lane, Giant Flying Spaghetti Monster of a concrete interchange between Louisville’s Waterfront Park and some of its most “expensive gleaming glass condos” is not the kind of enhancement that I’m looking for in my city. Why would residents want to live in a downtown where their back yards are smothered and interstate-level noise and pollution is brought to their very doorstep? Equally mystifying is the apparent age bias in Abramson’s remarks. Are youthful idealists really as disconnected from reality as the mayor seems to believe? It makes little sense to ruin the heart of our city because of mistakes we made in the past. For whom are we promoting downtown redevelopment if not for the youth of our city? They are, after all, the ones who will have to live with the consequences of some very critical decisions that we are about to make. We owe it to them to decide wisely. There isn’t enough space here to properly address all of our concerns with Mayor Abramson’s remarks. LEO readers can be assured that we will do so in the near future. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to join us at 8664.org, and help us shape a real vision for Louisville’s future. James W. Moore Spay Me the Details Thank you for the article on the dog ordinance (LEO, Dec. 20). In my opinion, all this legislation does is harass responsible dog owners. It does nothing to address the “problem.” Most localities have reasonable and enforceable animal control laws — the problem being lack of enforcement of those laws. Adding cumbersome “new” legislation only muddies the waters; if the current laws are not being enforced, how do the “powers that be” expect to enforce the new legislation? What this form of legislation does is send both the good and the bad underground. Asking the local veterinarian to be an informant hurts his business. One of two things will most likely happen: 1.) People will go out of county (and possibly state) to vaccinate their animals, and/or 2.) People will go underground and not take proper care of their pets. Those animals may never see the outside world. I do not live in Louisville or even Kentucky. However, I have testified in front of the Agriculture Committee in my state. This law is not enforceable! Is the next action by this Metro Council to require the pet store to report the name and address of any person buying dog and cat food? I show dogs for recreation. I periodically breed a litter of puppies; all of my pets are required to be spayed or neutered as a condition of sale. However, if this law stands, I will not support the Louisville Metro by attending the local dog show, and I will not sell any puppy to a resident of Louisville. Obviously, these council members do not realize how much money is spent in the city by dog-show participants. Furthermore, I will be notifying my contacts within the horse world. They will be next! I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Lynne Foster, New Albany Film Reviews Suck! As someone who loves movies and reading about them, I’ve found Louisville to be seriously lacking in quality cinema critiques these days. The C-J generally recycles AP reviews, and Velocity has its cute little capsule reviews. Perhaps it is with higher expectations that LEO proves to be the biggest disappointment week after week. It’s not simple critical disagreement that encourages the morbid curiosity that my peers and I share when turning to that particular page — a curiosity that often turns to frustrated laughter at the amateurish, out-of-touch and often inaccurate writing that awaits local cinephiles each Wednesday. “Requiem for a Dream” was Aronofsky’s first movie? “Anchorman” isn’t funny? “Caché” came out in 2006? “Robocop” wasn’t a realistic portrayal of Detroit (the one I will never forget, thanks Mr. Kopasz)? Films get tepid reviews and then pop up on the same writer’s “best-of” list. And on top of that, we only get these after the movies have already been released, sometimes weeks after. I know movie reviews aren’t a big deal, but I’d expect better from a paper like this one. So, LEO, I beseech you. Find some better writing and tell the current bunch to stay home and wait for video. Andrew Padon

Mr. Mayor, I'm 40 and support 8664

By Stevietheman

Mr. Mayor, am I the "young idealist", or am I a realist who sees that since construction hasn't begun yet on the downtown monstrosity known as _your_ Ohio River Bridges Project, we can look at less invasive, *cheaper* alternatives. How many "young idealists" are fiscal conservatives like me, Mr. Mayor?

I am an enthusiastic supporter of 8664, and I'm a forty-year-old hard-headed geezer.

However, I am open to compromise so that traffic can continue to flow through downtown. I would propose creating a ground-level boulevard to replace I-64 through downtown. 8664's I-364 would simply end temporarily, change into a boulevard at downtown, then recommence as I-364 once out. I base my idea on Chicago's Lakeshore Drive. You see, Mayor, it's *already* been done. Tell me how "idealistic" that is.

As for those who would criticize the boulevard idea because it would be susceptible to the rare flood, that's what temporary detours are for.

The reality is that with a downtown boulevard, the Spaghetti Junction mess could be *greatly* reduced, and downtowners would no longer have to deal with the nasty obstruction of a raised I-64.