Here is a roundup of Insider Voices reflecting recent news developments.

MSD must build trust

I cringe every time I pay my MSD bill — am I paying for sewer services or investment corruption from years ago? Specifically, a Wells Fargo interest rate swap with at one time an $80 million loss. I think MSD should try to legally recover from Wells Fargo before going to ratepayers. However, the priority seems to be keeping this corruption buried. Christopher Tobe

Co-op groceries are a great idea …

Cooperative groceries provide a venue for local products while serving people who may not have an opportunity to buy fresh produce at a reasonable price. However, the success of the co-op is in great part dependent on the manager. There is a co-op grocery in Lexington that has been successful for over 10 years. If you talk to the manager, you will be told that success has not come without difficulties, but it does and can work.  Rodney Henderson

We are former residents of Louisville and are moving back from Pittsburgh where we have lived for 17 years. We joined the East End Food Co-op in Pittsburgh in 2001 and have been faithful shoppers there ever since. One of our regrets about moving is losing the co-op.

We like to travel and we often look for grocery co-ops for lunches and supplies while on the road. We like buying local and we always eat organically and we’re grateful when we find one. Wally and Eve Mastropaolo

… but it takes sweat equity

It’s a grand idea: To have complete control over the necessities of life.

To have complete control over your food supply, overall sustenance for a community, but in a capitalist world, someone loses. The farmers will compete, the consumers want the best quality, the retailer will demand the most affordable rates while pushing profits driven by the hopes consumers will pay a premium.

The concept of cooperatives works great for a community-run electrical grid. The idea that we could effectively be sustainable, produce our own power, owe nothing to no one and be able to go on burning the sun and consuming electricity.

When it comes to a cooperative system of food, there will need to be sweat equity, the community’s involvement in every step of the food system. To rewrite the playbook on how we acquire and consume food.

To ensure zero waste from a cooperative food economy, there would also need to be some insight of overhead, or investment from a philanthropist who has an endless supply of resources to provide shelter, storage, and effectively fund the paychecks of those running the system until it can somehow develop a profitable model to return on that investment.

I would love to see it happen. I have observed groups in the area find gain from volunteer efforts off the backs of the youth, only to run with grant funds and grow their outreach to be almost evangelical.

Nonprofits have a system which permits the liability-free collection of food from for-profit enterprises that would normally go to waste. This is through the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Farmers, grocers, bakeries can all donate to a nonprofit and have that excess, or waste, be utilized. This is how I presume Dare to Care operates, only on less dress, more packaged “food” items.

A cooperative could operate more as a public food bank to really be a community asset. It should hold the values of a “common-place” commodity. One where all walks are welcome, regardless of ability to pay. That’s how a cooperative economic system would be valuable, but again it could never be profitable unless it fell to the ideals of capitalism. Capitalism is consuming our nation’s culture and an idea of cooperative economics can be a sustainable solution to food accessibility. Brian Deis

Downtown doesn’t need bike lanes

In my opinion, the downtown area of Louisville is the business hub of the metro area. It has been and always will be, because Metro Government’s main offices, the central medical facilities, and the county, state and federal court systems are there.

The continual talk about bicycle and tricycle and scooter lanes that has taken place (and now the discussion even extends to Broadway — the major thoroughfare — connecting the east and the west of Metro Louisville with the downtown business hub) is ridiculous.

It makes absolutely no sense, in my opinion, to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it difficult to travel to the downtown area of Louisville.

Nobody is going to ride a bike to come to the courthouse, nor are they going to ride a scooter to go to the hospital, nor are the attorneys, bankers and businessmen and businesswomen going to ride a bike to downtown Louisville to go to work all day long.

Come on folks — let’s find a better way to spend tax money. J. Bruce Miller

Home incarceration should not mean losing your vote

Kentucky already bars people convicted of a felony to lose their right to vote. If you are on home incarceration, that should not affect your ability to vote unless is already affected by a felony conviction(which should be overturned, but that’s another issue). Deb Silverman

Insider Louisville is on a mission to give a voice to our readers who want to weigh in on the critical issues of the day. Insider Voices is a regular Sunday feature for those who want to keep the conversation going when it comes to our five cornerstone coverage areas: culture, economy, education, government and health.


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