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March 18, 2009

Inbox — March 18, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Correction

Last week’s dining review incorrectly stated that Danny Mac’s uses cream cheese in their Philly cheesesteaks. Danny Mac’s owner Dan McMahon says, in fact, he uses mozzarella and provolone cheeses. “No soup for you! 1 year!” he told us in an e-mail. Damn.

Fostering Care

Thank you for the cover article “Consider the Kid” (LEO Weekly, March 11). Fortunately, it appears that Senate Bill 68 has gone away for this legislative session. I continue to be amazed that so-called conservatives are intent on intruding into people’s personal lives to this degree. They seem unable to grasp the ignorance of this kind of proposal and unwilling to look in the mirror and see the hateful intent they are displaying. I am a Christian pastor (United Church of Christ), and my wife is an experienced Child Protective Services social worker. Children in our state are in desperate need of foster care and adoption. There is zero evidence that gays and lesbians provide less loving or safe homes for these children (or any children, for that matter). In fact, the opposite is true. The vast majority of actual perpetrators of abuse are people who appear to be heterosexual. The bill’s sponsor also seems to have no idea about the number of male-female couples living together without being married. At least 80 percent of the couples I have married over a 30-year career in ministry have already been living together for some time. If a bill like S.B. 68 were to pass, who would police people’s bedrooms, and how? I have a feeling the list of eligible foster/adoptive parents would be very short.

I know several same-sex couples who are raising children with all the love and care any child could want. I know a lesbian couple in another state eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child. Children do need men and women to care for them, to love them unconditionally and to provide for their safety, but “family” can take a lot of different forms. The childhood history of our new president is a great example of this truth. 

I have a church friend who says, “I think God is more worried about who we hate than who we love.” I could not agree more. Let’s stop this purge mentality and focus on helping children in need.

Greg Bain, Crescent Hill

Belle of the Bar

Attn: Bar Belle:

I’m a longtime reader and always enjoy your stuff, but I just got a hold of this week’s column (“Bar Belle blows”) and had to give you props. “Inner glory hole”? Hilarious, and you draw attention to a great activity in town. Awesome. You truly make my day sometimes. Thanks!

Brian Bruenderman, Highlands

In My Backyard, Please

What a great disappointment to have LEO Weekly assign negative reporting to new legislation ending a ban on Kentucky nuclear power plants (“What a Week,” March 4). As most people do not know, Kentucky already has the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant, where nuclear warheads are converted to enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear plants the world over. That means a lot of nasty materials are constantly coming into and leaving our commonwealth. As the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Leeper from Paducah, most probably already knows, this plant is decades old and is likely far more dangerous than any modern nuclear power plant design.

As global-warming pollution concerns continue to mount, nuclear power is the only real interim solution to wean ourselves off dirty, CO2-emitting coal. And no matter how loud environmentalists claim renewable power sources are up to this task, the fact is we cannot manufacture and install enough distributed renewable power to overcome the overwhelming majority of coal-based power generation in America.

The bottom line is that the new generations of nuclear plant designs are far more robust than the current operating fleet. Modern redundant controls and cutting-edge, fail-safe designs will eliminate fears of another Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. And what recently unemployed Kentuckian would not benefit from the high-tech, well-paying jobs found in a nuclear plant? With an expected 10-year-long construction period, great new jobs could be realized as soon as the first shovel hits the earth.

This Kentuckian would graciously welcome a new nuclear plant in my own backyard.

Kelly M. Flannery, South End

Unbridled Tolls

In response to the Bush era of secrecy and good ol’ boy contracting practices, President Obama is instituting measures for more transparency and accountability in government operations: more openness, more public involvement is better. Yes we can! But news travels slowly to the Bluegrass.

Disappointing, but not surprising, Ohio River Bridges Project players are steamrolling state legislation (House Bill 102) to get the bridge and tolling authority in place to do their $4 billion cramdown. Through his power to appoint allies to the authority, the mayor becomes our tolling czar. The House budget committee barred public input on this bill. Rep Jim Wayne called it right: “That’s not the proper way to do public policy.” The sniff test? Smells like a $4 billion suitcase of potential shenanigans.

Even in the best of economic times, $4 billion is a lot of moolah. Now is the worst time to be asking folks to pony up for these mega projects, especially one with such a massive, nasty carbon footprint. Besides, enough folks are already losing their homes without bridge projects and highway expansions coming through their neighborhoods.

Common sense and fiscal reality should be driving these decisions, not the road construction and oil lobbies. I’m for moving our community forward, but not over unnecessary concrete through unbridled tolls.

Aren’t we supposed to be going green, doing the healthy hometown thing? Just slogans? If we’re going to be investing in projects, $4 billion would go a long way toward public transportation improvements, park maintenance, more sidewalks and bike lanes, solar initiatives, community gardens and helping uninsured folks with medical care.

The recent state auditor’s report of Metro Housing documented how mucked up things get when political favoritism and absent oversight drive appointments. How about a few bucks for green lighting to see how these dudes are working their deals?

Mark McKinley, Schnitzelburg