April 21, 2010

Inbox — April 21, 2010

Correction
A photo caption in last week’s Staffpicks section incorrectly identified Louisville Ballet Executive Director Dwight Hutton. LEO regrets the error.

Trash Talk
The April 14 LEO cover story seemed to put Portland down more than cover its great history. A lot of good people worked in Portland and did a lot for us Portlanders. You need to talk to the people who were born and raised here in Portland and see their point of view and hear the stories they have to tell instead of talking about how trash is scattered all over the area and about all the empty houses.

We in Portland are the last to get anything done to improve our area. But if it weren’t for Portland, Louisville might never have become what it is today.
Jerry Pannell, Portland

Restored to Glory
I was impressed with Jonathan Meador’s thoughtful and thorough account of the Portland neighborhood. My own family’s presence in Portland dates back to the early 1800s. I’m excited about the revitalization efforts undertaken by community groups and individuals, particularly Gill Holland’s plans for a warehouse and the preservation of shotgun homes in the area. If our next mayor takes cues from Holland, this Louisville treasure could be restored to its former greatness.
Jennifer Recktenwald, Highlands

Portland’s Red Tape
The article “A Portrait of Portland” by Jonathan Meador was very good. I would expect that we will see a similar article soon in The Courier-Journal — they do seem to sometimes borrow your good ideas for articles. I really enjoyed the history and some of the hope for the future in the area. It was enlightening to read some of why much of the area is so depressed. I have driven through there many times, and some of the areas and neighborhoods are very nice.

I will say, one of the problems related to why it is rare for new investments in the community is an experience I have personally witnessed. My brother had a plumbing business, and he was pursuing building a nice shop in an area zoned residential and commercial. Before he could build on the property, he was required by the city to spend another $15,000 or so to fix and repave the alley that bordered the property. As a right of way, I would think that is something the city should fix; or if they required a business to fix it, they should also offer tax incentives. We decided to look elsewhere. These types of issues make investment in the area difficult, especially for small businesses.
Don Hensley, Lyndon

Talent Talk
I wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for the Kathleen Lolley article (LEO Weekly, April 7). It’s nice to see such a talented artist finally getting the attention she deserves from her hometown. Too often, Louisville ignores the best of its homegrown talent until the rest of the world discovers it first (see: Will Oldham, My Morning Jacket). Thanks for taking the time to show that this city can support the exciting, talented artists who are right here in our own backyard.
Bradley Harper, Highlands

Flower Power
In response to Lucy Blackburn’s April 7 letter in LEO Weekly: I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I was shocked to find out: Mushrooms are actually unhealthy. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, “All contain various levels of amanitin. Some are immediately poisonous, and others with lower concentrations may cause slower-moving chronic diseases … According to (the book) ‘Sick and Tired,’ all mushrooms contain a minimum of five active ingredients that have been shown to cause cancer in animals.”

Although you may not consider salad greens as dreams waiting to manifest, in a way they are. When and what you eat has an enormous effect on your dreams, your sleep and the chemicals pumping through your brain when you wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I do not think Holly Clark’s prose is “flowery” or counterproductive to the locavore movement. Once people realize raw foods are incredibly delicious and they make you feel great, the locavore movement will increase exponentially along with the raw foods movement. Everything I have read by Clark is part of a real, observable phenomenon, even if some of the subject matter is not widely known about. My grandmother told me Dr. Oz was seen on television drinking a drink “that looks like that stuff you drink (spirulina or fresh vegetable juice)” and that he recommended a diet of raw foods to one contestant. What Clark is writing about is relevant and capable of bringing about change.

“Everyone should seek out the bounty of readily available food in nature.” On that, we agree completely.
Ryan Johnson, Louisville

Glass Houses
A response to Inbox writer Alex Bradshaw (LEO Weekly, April 7): I never said gentrification doesn’t happen. My original point was that it is easy to offer politically correct platitudes about the destruction of communities (and then offer no solutions) when neither you nor your neighborhood is directly affected.

Forgive my scapegoating you. To me, however, your first letter was representative of an attitude that is all too common in some of Louisville’s wealthier neighborhoods: “compassion” but no action. In spite of the Highlands’ veneer of populism, that section of the city contains little affordable housing, virtually no public housing and couldn’t even be bothered to allow a shelter for women and families to encroach on its borders. Perhaps Louisville could find some answers for its housing problems if those who had any real stake in downtown development cared as much as you do.
Robin Schmidt, Old Louisville

Toll Away
For those who abhor the idea of a bridge toll, remember that you pay to use many public conveniences and are often glad to do so. I would hate to go to New York, Paris or D.C. and not have the opportunity to pay my subway fee. If you went to Freedom Hall, or will go to the new arena, you expect to pay admission, don’t you? When I ride the bus, I have my coins ready. It makes sense to publicly finance these projects, because, in many tangible and intangible ways, it benefits us all, and to have an added user fee, or toll, for those who actually use them.
Phil Adkins, Highlands

This Land is Our Land
One of America’s great strengths over the centuries has been its reputation as being a diverse melting pot society, a land of opportunity. We need to get a grip on the current rage that is engulfing our nation if we are to remain the United States of America. If we are a civilized nation, we will settle disagreements with civil discourse and at the ballot box, not with vile, hateful language, guns and brickbats.

Songwriter Woody Guthrie wrote, This land is your land, this land is my land. From California to the New York Island, from the redwood forest to the Gulf-stream waters, this land was made for you and me. Perhaps the last verse of his song sums up where we are today in America: In the squares of the city — In the shadow of the steeple. Near the relief office — I see my people. And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’. If this land’s still made for you and me.

I am firmly convinced that love and compassion trump hatred and selfishness and will prevail in the long run.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews

Don’t Crap on the Wrap
Regarding the Inbox letter in the April 7 LEO Weekly: The writer of that letter was “extra miffed” at receiving his FREE issue of LEO in a plastic bag, and further castigated LEO for its supposed indifference to the environmental impact, to wit the plastic bag lingering in a landfill “practically forever.”

First, I was equally irritated that he complained about a free item. And the plastic bag does not diminish the value of LEO using 100-percent recycled paper. Speaking of recycling, I hope his bag will not linger in a landfill. Any responsible recipient of the bag should take it into one of many recycle centers, which are abundant in the Metro area.

Second, the writer offers no alternate solution. What is better than a plastic bag … aluminum foil? Wax paper?

Geez, guy, find a truly important issue next time (and check the facts).
Walter Barth, Crestwood