July 6, 2011

Inbox — July 6, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Walk On By
Thank you, friend Joe Manning, for putting into fine words (LEO Weekly, June 29) the tragedy it is that the space left vacant by a place that held so much meaning for me and for so many has been filled by a place that is just … a place. When I first drove by and saw the sign being erected, all I could muster was a slam on the brakes, followed by a loud, “Are you fucking kidding me? A fucking Panera?,” followed by tears.

Attention fellow people who love this neighborhood: Please, please, please do everything in your power to walk on by the chains and instead choose one of the many local establishments that make the Highlands what it is. We have the power.
Lisa Crabtree, Germantown

Not So Evil
Attention Joe Manning: Maybe you’re not old enough to remember that the building that now houses the “evil” Panera (LEO Weekly, June 29) once housed a Pier One Imports for years before ear X-tacy was there. A quick Wikipedia search shows that Pier One employs 17,000, compared to Panera’s 4,746.

While I totally support your call to patronize local businesses, and I do with my dollars, this omission from your otherwise well-written article was worth pointing out.

In closing, I believe that Panera is one of the least-evil corporations that could have been put there. Imagine a McDonalds, or a Red Lobster, or a Wal-Mart grocery store there … or another Pier One Imports.
John Conaway, Highlands

Casting Thanks
I just wanted to take a few minutes and express my thanks to your publication and specifically Mary Welp (“Podcasts you might be missing”) for bringing to my attention the “In Our Time” BBC radio site. It’s a great show/site with really interesting subjects.
David Martin, Crestwood, Ky.

Bridging Bad Decisions
I’m beginning to believe that those in leadership positions in this area on both sides of the river need glasses that will allow them to see beyond the ends of their noses and into the future five, 10, 20 years.

In my opinion, the East End and downtown bridges are no closer to being built than they were 20, 30, 40 years ago. In an amazing display of myopia, the talk now is about downsizing the East End bridge from six lanes to four. Admittedly I haven’t seen any projections for potential traffic on this bridge, but common sense tells me a four-lane bridge will be obsolete before construction begins, and a six-lane bridge will barely be sufficient five years after its construction.

I’m not picking on Kentucky/Louisville, but here are a few examples of past myopic decision-making:

1) The original design of Spaghetti Junction. Quick and cheap won out over a design that would/could have provided a safer, more efficient passage from I-64 to I-71 to I-65.

2) I-64 at the Cochran Hill tunnels. Widening I-64 will be a major expense should it ever occur. By failing to see future increased traffic on this major road, the original planners failed us.

3) Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. By refusing to build a domed stadium, Louisville instead has a facility that sits idle most of the year. I’ve no idea what the costs of maintenance on this open-air facility are. I wonder if a cost/benefit analysis was done comparing the added costs of a domed structure vs. the yearly maintenance costs of what was built.

4) Failure to relocate the airport outside of Jefferson County decades ago. Didn’t Cincinnati move their airport out of Ohio and into Kentucky? Seems to have worked out rather well, don’t you agree?
Edwin Hurt, Clarksville

Possibility City to Super Region

By Akademic09
Please observe the following comments from the column by Anne Marshall; "Meanwhile, Louisville tends to clumsily tumble eastward. Some wonder if a potential super-region can or will re-engage the city’s core and benefit our community as a whole." "Smart growth has not been Louisville’s forte. According to the Greater Louisville Project’s 2011 Competitive City Report, most of the jobs in Jefferson County, 69 percent, are in the metro area, but it’s the eastern suburbs that have swelled." "The percentage of vacant homes, mostly bundled in the West End, jumped from 5 percent to 10 percent in the last half of the decade, largely due to increased poverty and foreclosures. It’s estimated that half of those living in the Portland and Russell neighborhoods are living in poverty." "Katz actually co-authored an opinion piece in 2005 addressing this hollowing out of the city’s core: “Troubling signs warn that a relatively cohesive region is beginning to decentralize to the east, especially cookie-cutter sprawl is gobbling up land, fueling the demand for services, and further undercutting the centrality of downtown and the West End.” What will it take to convince people that busing is a bad idea whose time has passed? People who want the best for their children will avoid the Student Assignment Program by any means available. Moving east is the most visible rejection of the program. People who leave the state altogether we will never be able to quantify. . . nor the people who refuse to move to Jefferson County because of the Student Assignment Program.