Council should reject zoning for 'Fort Kroger'
Kroger is seeking to enlarge its store on Euclid Avenue, right in the heart of urban Chevy Chase. It wants to expand from 37,594 square feet to 96,546 square feet, including basement storage and food prep space.
The current B-1 zone, Neighborhood Business, the existing zone throughout the unique Chevy Chase village-like retail area, doesn't accommodate such a large footprint. So Kroger is seeking a zone change to B-6P, Planned Shopping Center.
However it will be the only shop within the "shopping center" and the only lot in Chevy Chase zoned "shopping center."
Fayette Mall is zoned B-6P and is a recognizable shopping center. The intent of that zone is to accommodate diverse and mixed-use businesses allowing for the sharing of common denominators such as parking, landscaping and customer allure and to encourage coexistence as a complementary commercial collective.
Unable to realize its desired expansion even within the B-6P zone change, Kroger is also asking for variances that will allow it to bypass standard requirements of this zone.
Arguing that without the zone change and the five variances it would suffer undue hardship, Kroger has applied for the "best fit" zone which it now wants rewritten and tailored to suit its expansion demands.
Is there a property owner in Fayette County who wouldn't like to successfully employ this same argument?
Council meets in August to vote this zone change up or down. I urge the council to vote no to B-6P. No to Fort Kroger.
Jury got it right
Is a person guilty by accusation? Is a person guilty by assumption? Is a person guilty by racial prejudice? Is a person guilty because he or she has a white parent?
"Yes," says the Rev. Al Sharpton.
George Zimmerman seems to be a humble, peace-loving man. He has had African-Americans in his home many times. He considers himself a member of a minority group. He had a right to join a neighborhood watch association. He had a right to observe a suspicious person (black, white, young, old) and report to police.
Zimmerman had reported suspicious persons eight times before Trayvon Martin. Two were African-American. He never described Martin's race until asked to do so. Zimmerman likely was surprised and attacked by Martin on his way back to his car. Martin was a six-foot-tall slim, but muscular, 17-year-old.
Martin sucker-punched Zimmerman, broke his nose, knocked him down, banged his head on a sidewalk and told him he was going to kill him, tried to suffocate him and was shot. Zimmerman had a God-given right to self defense.
Am I prejudiced? The first white boy at a segregated "colored" swimming pool in a small southern town, I did volunteer work at an African-American church for 10 years. Many times I've held hands in prayer with African- Americans. I loved the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.. I hate lies and prejudice. Seems I am in the minority. Thank God for sane juries.
Tale of two trials
I don't remember the president of the United States having anything to say about the O.J. Simpson trial.
Equal justice under the law is all a matter of perspective.
President Barack Obama's remarks about the Zimmerman verdict should have provided white Americans insight into the sensitivities experienced by black Americans.
In the aftermath of the verdict, conservatives at Fox News tripped over one another to proclaim the acquittal was not about race. Fox ignores the 41 prior 911 calls made by Zimmerman complaining about blacks he thought criminally suspicious. Then Zimmerman follows Martin, contrary to neighborhood watch rules and the instruction the 911 operator gave him, because he was going to get this one because "those a... holes always get away."
However, Fox pundits steadfastly assert race wasn't involved. Anytime someone claims their argument doesn't involve money or race, you can rest assured it does.
State's Attorney Angela Corey whose office prosecuted Zimmerman also prosecuted Marissa Alexander, a black mother of three, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison, not for killing or wounding anyone, but for firing a handgun to scare off her abusive husband when she feared for her life.
Black indignation with the justice system arises because it charges, prosecutes and sentences blacks differently than whites — a disparity rooted in history and never fully appreciated by white America.
Couple that with the recent implementation of voter ID laws designed to suppress the black vote under the guise of stopping vote fraud when the handful of voter fraud convictions have been of whites.
So, yes, it's definitely about race because disparity is never equality.
James F. Wisniewski
The recent letter titled "Martin made a bad choice" sickened me to my core. It seems the writer pulled his entire script from Sean Hannity's playbook. This proves racism is alive and well in America with no sign of letting up.
According to the writer, standing up for yourself is grounds for murder in this country. Who in that situation would not stand up to a person who was clearly over-zealous, and after being stalked and profiled? The writer claims Zimmerman challenged Martin. A challenge? Who would challenge a 17-year-old boy who had nary an inkling for wrongdoing? Have we backtracked to the 1800s of old spaghetti western duels? But for it to be a duel, both sides would need a gun, so it was plain murder. What end could've possibly justified Zimmerman's means in that situation?
The letter so callously written shows the true nature of our division.
To even think of Martin being the cause of his own death is deplorable and downright stupefying. I have always enjoyed the letters to the editor in the Hearld-Leader but this one missed the mark on so many levels.
That the writer was able to get this racist retrograde published is astonishing. For shame, Herald-Leader, for shame.
'A Chorus Line' soars
Kudos to the Kentucky Conservatory Theatre for its highly-polished and uplifting production of A Chorus Line. After Friday night's performance my family and I left the Arboretum with added bounce in our steps and songs in our hearts.
Although some of the strong language may not be appropriate for younger children, the show continues this weekend and I highly recommend it to all.
Jeffrey L. McDanald
A boy and his dog
Looking for a guaranteed warm feeling to begin each day? Turn to the Herald-Leader comics to read "Red and Rover." How could it not work?