New air service essential for future growth

LRAD’s efforts to attract more and better air service to the Louisville market is essential for the area’s future economic growth and development. The recent announcement of new nonstop service from SDF to Los Angeles is a move in the right direction and hopefully a sign of things to come.

For far too long Louisville and its leadership have been complacent to the point of lethargy when it comes to developing new air service and the business growth that is a result of it.

The citizens of Louisville Metro and Kentucky have had to suffer long flights and overpriced fares to get to major business centers on the West Coast. This while our neighboring peer cities have seen far more rapid growth and wages related to their success at attracting new nonstop service to the West Coast and international business centers.

Nashville and Indy, which were of similar size to Louisville just 20 years ago, have grown into vibrant regional hubs with high-paying jobs and national and international exposure through major league sports and the tourism/business travelers that both hosts with numerous flights to financial and cultural centers around the world, including Nashville’s recently inaugurated London service on British Airways, and Indy’s Paris service.

Louisville International has world-class infrastructure thanks in part to the presence of UPS and the funding secured by the late Sen.Wendell Ford, Jerry Abramson, Mitch McConnell, and secretary of transportation Elaine Chao.

If Louisville and Kentucky want to be competitive in the 21st century, they must focus on attracting and nurturing the nonstop air service that businesses require.

Cincinnati metro suffered the loss of the Toyota of North America HQ to Plano, Texas, and Chiquita foods after Delta dehubbed its operation there and has just recently won new low-cost service to replace some of the lost Delta flights. Let this be a lesson for us to not be satisfied with the status quo and continually seek improvements. —Matt DeCamillis

Pushing for more direct flights

Jefferson County and surrounding counties have approximately 700,000 residents and the greater MSA including Indiana has over 1,300,000 residents.

One of the main obstacles to substantial growth is our poor air service. It is difficult to go to most major cities without a stop in another city. If there are straight flights to some destinations, often the time of the flight is not convenient. It is too bad that the residents have to drive to Nashville or Cincinnati in order to fly.

We need to support the airlines to include more direct flights from Louisville. That may be the top priority for Metro Government. —Linda English

Support stronger laws against hate crimes now

I agree fully with the Mayor and Metro Council members that Louisville must enact stronger laws against hate crimes. Our entire community is grieving the loss of Maurice Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones at the horrible Jeffersonville Kroger shooting that occurred recently.

We have seen too many examples of hatred resulting in violence against valued community members that have led to unspeakable loss. We must live up to being a Compassionate City and enact laws that will protect each and every citizen against hatred and violence and for the rights of victims, so that if such a crime occurs again the full force of law can be brought to bear. —Nancy Givens

Mayor’s call for stronger hate crimes

I assume Mayor Greg Fischer meant action against stronger hate crimes. I think there are so many components to the hate and rage that it will take a multipart and expensive front to change these actions.

I think hate thinking starts with our children when they see parents and friends and shows on TV demonstrating hate, even if the writers think it is cute or funny.

If children were in classes and play yards with all walks of life, in a kind and sensitive way, we can show that all humans are basically the same — no matter the differences they see every day.

Start with the kids, then provide education for the adults and mental health services to those who need it. All of us need to drop the “no consequences” reactions we have toward misbehavior in anyone.

I am glad to the some “show kindness” ads on TV. Do not let your kids or yourself watch TV full of hate and bad behavior and bad choices. Let’s teach our children and young how to behave and demonstrate that tacky, unkind remarks about other people are no good for anyone. —Jerry McCombs

Calls for civility from both sides of the political aisle

I’ve listened to a lot of lectures the past couple of days on civility from both sides of the political aisle and am unmoved by the passionate finger-pointing, no matter how well-intentioned.

The criticism of others may make us feel better in the short run but it doesn’t seem to improve things in the longer run. I keep thinking back on a college class several decades ago.

The course was American Government and the topic was civil rights and race. The white professor began the lecture by asking: “Who here hold some racist beliefs? Even if it is just a small attitude of bias about other races? C’mon. We all do. I do. Let’s see a show of hands.”

He raised his hand and slowly, one by one, every student in the class — of every color and nationality — raised his or her hand.

I didn’t want to raise my hand. My grandfather had sponsored and championed Kentucky’s Civil Rights Act, for goodness sake. But I had to admit my self-serving resistance didn’t ring entirely true to me and I raised my hand.

There we all were, hands raised, admitting we each had our own personal biases against one another based on race, just before we began discussing the racial injustices that led to the Civil Rights Act. It was a refreshing and humbling exercise that led to a more honest and respectful discussion on a very sensitive and difficult topic.

Today, listening to all the overheated rhetoric from both sides about political biases (seeing political opponents as personal enemies who are dispensable or deplorable — in short, who are less valuable as people), kept taking me back to that class.

Instead of more self-righteous finger-pointing — which only escalates incivility — what if we imagined being asked: “Who out there has political biases which cause them to believe that those who disagree with them are less worthy as people? Even if it is just a small attitude of political bias. C’mon. We all do. I do. Let’s see a show of hands.”

And what if once hands were raised, figuratively speaking, we each challenged ourselves not to blame anyone or anything else until we were able honestly to put our own hand down? It would get quiet for a while and we’d probably be far more humble and respectful when we tried to discuss this sensitive and difficult topic.

I don’t want to raise my hand and have good reasons that I don’t think I am part of the problem. But I have to admit my self-serving resistance doesn’t ring entirely true to me and I raise my hand. —John Y. Brown III