February 17, 2010

Inbox — Feb. 17, 2010

Letters to the Editor


• Last week’s story “A new brand of offense” incorrectly identified University of Louisville guard Reginald Delk by the name of his uncle, Tony, who played basketball for Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky in the 1990s. LEO apologizes (especially to Cards fans) for the mistake. 

• Also in last week’s issue, the story “Bologna by any other name” incorrectly stated Daniel Pfalzgraf is employed by the Speed Art Museum, when in fact he left there several years ago to take a job at B. Deemer Gallery. LEO regrets the error.

Righting the Wrongs

I just now got around to reading the interview with the mayor in the Feb. 3 LEO Weekly. While I have always been a fan of the mayor, I feel compelled to point out several factual misrepresentations contained in the interview.

1) The pet adoption center being built on Newburg Road was not the idea of Gilles Meloche, former director of Metro Animal Services (MAS). In fact, I saw detailed architectural drawings and research of possible locations in early 2004, long before Meloche’s arrival. At that time, a bank account had already been established to accept donations for the planned facility. Even after he arrived, Jackie Gulbe, not Meloche, spearheaded the brunt of the fundraising for this project.

2) The S.P.O.T. vehicle also was not Meloche’s idea. It had been conceived, bought, paid for and delivered before Meloche’s first interview. In fact, Meloche referred to the vehicle as “stupid” during the first staff meeting when the subject came up. He originally refused to allow any employees of MAS to get the commercial driver’s license required by law to operate the vehicle.

3) The mayor has no idea what effect Meloche had on adoption rates because there are no accurate records after December 2005. Meloche’s first order of business when he took over the department was to dismantle the record-keeping system in place. So, where every animal that came through MAS was accounted for in 2003 and 2004, hundreds were unaccounted for in 2005 and 2006.

4) Comparing adoption rates before and after Meloche is apples and oranges. Prior to his arrival, it would have been considered unethical to give a known cat hoarder 72 cats and call them adopted.

Prior to Meloche’s arrival, the procedures for keeping and euthanizing animals were clearly spelled out by the mayor’s office and were specifically linked to budgetary constraints. The budget for MAS had a huge increase after Meloche’s arrival, and the budget increase is the reason for any improvement in policies and procedures.

Michael J. Potts (former Animal Care Supervisor at MAS, January 2004-February 2006), East End

No Big Deal

As far as the interview with the mayor a few weeks ago (LEO Weekly, Feb. 3) — putting up some smoke-free bars on Fourth Street as résumé fodder does not impress me much, and building an arena while ignoring our proud police force whose work far outweighs any day on the job with Jerry. Mayor Jerry loves to build up his job appearance, but it is only spend, spend, spend. Thanks for the bartender jobs and a lawn to play on. Big deal, Jerry.

Maggie Martin, South End

Actually, It Is Hyperbole

I agree with the atrocities of mountaintop removal (MTR) mining that Joe Manning points out in his column (LEO Weekly, Feb. 10). It’s true, MTR is absolutely despicable and shouldn’t be excused for cheap energy prices. But stop right there, Joe: There is no chance you will get arrested if you protest MTR in the right way. Storming around the capital acting belligerent won’t help the cause at all. A fine document called the Constitution allows reasonable protests.

So, Joe, after reading your expletive-laden article, I think I’ll read the Constitution.

Parker Lawson, Prospect

Step Up, LEO

Your coverage of the People’s Forum (LEO Weekly, Feb. 10) was not, in fact, an unbiased article on what took place that night at Metro United Way. I would suggest you give more room for analysis in your articles, because you made it seem like all the candidates who were debating agreed on every subject that was discussed, and this is not true. While there was much agreement among the candidates, I do remember specific instances where Jackie Green stood up to vehemently oppose things that everyone else agreed on. You mentioned nothing of Green in the article and have barely mentioned him in the past. The same goes for many of the other obscure candidates who don’t get much coverage in your articles — just because they aren’t “front-runners.”

I would suggest you run an online poll asking people who they would vote for if the election were held today instead of going by hearsay that Tyler Allen is someone a lot of people support. Lastly, please stop name-dropping Jim King and Greg Fischer so much — both of those candidates have stacks of money to spend on this campaign and don’t need any more help from the local media.

Basically, for the mayor’s race, can you please try and step up and be the “alternative” weekly that you claim to be and truly represent each candidate with space in your articles?

Brent Tinnell, Old Louisville

Loose Cannons at C-J

I just want to thank LEO for being an objective forum that doesn’t twist the friggin’ truth. Recently, The Courier-Journal issued a thinly veiled threat to mayoral candidates to “get with the program” and support the Ohio River Bridges Project. This follows the announcement by candidate Greg Fischer that he supports building the East End Bridge first. This is a position Tyler Allen held for years before Fischer was even known as caring.

Now Fischer, whether he is sincere or not, is experiencing the same condescension from the C-J that Allen has endured for years. Of course, the C-J forwent the disclosure that the vast majority of the citizens of Louisville and Southern Indiana stand firm in their desire for building the eastern connection first. As they also forwent the disclosure that Keith Runyon, editor of the opinion page, is married to Meme Sweets Runyon, who is the director of River Fields, the obstructionist group trying to prevent the eastern connection in the first place.

Is it a coincidence that the same paper also misquoted 8664 co-founder J.C. Stites regarding the Drumanard Tunnel? Probably not.

I’m calling on C-J readers to contact their parent company, Gannett, and let them know how “out of control” their editorial board has become. I have a hunch they have no earthly idea.

Curtis Morrison, Highlands

Idiot’s Delight at Cherokee Park

It is lined with sledders waiting to go down. Snow boarders try weaving between those who tear down in everything from huge inner tubes to deflated pool mattresses to a big plastic truck liner. Small dogs race behind their masters adding to the confusion.

Splayed across the face of the hill, spent sledders attempt the top. Those who thought sneakers, moccasins or L.L. Bean rubber Mocs were good snow-wear need help while some choose to crawl on hands and knees. Oncoming sleds, infuriatingly prone to switching direction at the last moment, hurtle close by. The crowd yells with each near miss.

In the few hours I was there, I saw two little kids and one teenager knocked ass over teakettle by silent sledders. After her second head-sled collision, the teenager had to be assisted up the hill between two people.

I learned how to sleigh ride as a kid in New Jersey. Established sleighing protocol said you ride down the centers of the slopes, then walk back up on the sides. It made sense and eliminated almost all collisions that I could only see increasing this day.

I say this not to have local government rush in to put up barriers or figure out how to allocate funds for Sled Police. I say this as an appeal to the idiots who delight in sledding down, then, slipping and sliding, walking up into the face of other sledders barreling down upon them. Without the idiots in government who delight in making our lives more complicated, can we clean up our own slopes? Can we do the right thing and self-police without hostility or resentment? Can we just have a lot of fun without being idiots — to delight in our city’s snowfall?

Nicholas Eastman, Louisville

"Idiots Delight"

By dinkydao
In regards to the "idiots" at Dog Hill, I think you're looking at the situation there with Yankee eyes, as it were. While I too, (as someone who first visited family in town at age 2 months but grew up 300 miles North on 65), have marveled at some of the local customs I think you're missing the point about local sledding. First, Dog Hill can be sled down from just about any angle. This lets the little kids start out on the side with the short drop on the left. More in the center is the long run that most people prefer. On the right is the insane and awesome fast run down into the picnic table area. Further right is a shorter, slower run. You may start out in one area and end up in another, it's easy to get turned around and squirrel. Any kind of barrier would likely be a safety hazard. So you can't really fence off any one area or make people walk around on the bottom to the lanes you would rope off without dictating the run and therefore the safety of their sledding. The bigger issue I think you're referring to is the complete uncontrolled nature of the place. I would argue that that is what makes it unique and wonderful. In fact, my 12 year old son and I enjoy the strange anarchy, particularly on the way up. As the hill drops off quickly, it's difficult to see the approaching sledders if you're not paying attention. They gain speed and change direction suddenly. It's hard to walk up the hill, and everyone finds a line that seems right so you they end up spread out. Yes, sometimes sledders hit people not watching or moving out of the way. Sometimes they don't yell watch out, as we do. Sometimes their stupid dogs almost bite your child, as one almost did mine. But the anarchy of the place is exactly what makes it what it is. Do I wish people didn't ride that car hood down the hill? Yes. Do I wish they didn't take the picnic table up the hill and ride it down upside down, last week? Yes. Do I wish the ramp wasn't put up occasionally, as people wipe out? Sure, I guess. And trees, yes there are trees and people run into them sometimes. (You're supposed to bail out if that seems to be in your immediate future). But when I take my son to Cherokee Park to sled, I'm aware that it's a wild place and we watch out when driving up the hill and when we sled and walk up. And while I may think riding down the hill in a laundry basket is stupid, I enjoy the fact that someone with only a garbage can lid can come out and have a blast in a way you couldn't in a big city. It's awesome. Just WATCH OUT! Man did you see that guy?!?