Tuesday, December 30, 2008

UPDATE - Sun Valley Dumping

I drove over to Sun Valley Park today to see if Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson & his Public Works Department kept their word on cleaning up the park. As you will remember, the park was used as a dumping ground for the debris left in the wake of the September windstorm, and was completely covered in limbs and garbage and suffered extensive turf damage from unattended piles of waste. The site was also confirmed to be harboring filthy, disease-carrying rodents that then plagued the neighborhoods surrounding the park. Take a look at the condition of Sun Valley below. Metro Parks said the park would be cleaned up by Christmas. The following photos were taken at 2pm today.

HERE is my original post on the subject.

As you can imagine, the place still remains an awful, outrageous, embarrassing mess. There is simply no excuse for this type of inaction. While I was there, I witnessed one (1) man operating a backhoe, loading debris into a large semi trailer. The same man then got in the truck and drove away. That's right. There is one man on this cleanup job. It is being handled by Chip Trucking, based in Louisville. HERE is the website for Chip Trucking.

I am waiting to hear back from Tom Yonders, an area property owner that confronted Mayor Abramson during the last Community Conversation over the rodent issue. I'll let you know what he says.

UPDATE 12/30/2008, 8:45pm: I just got off the phone with Tom, and he has been in constant contact with the proper city people concerning the cleanup process and is frustrated over the utter lack of progress. Tom has been given a few flimsy "estimated completion dates" by the city, yet the people he has spoken with refuse to guarantee a date on which the work will be completed. Mr. Yonders and I are urging everyone in the area to call Metro Call @ 311 and demand Sun Valley Park be cleaned up. Tom said he was told by a city official that Cox Park in Downtown Louisville was being cleaned up first, as it was a priority because of "Thunder Over Louisville". Disgusting.

This is yet another example of bad, lazy, ineffective and downright incompetent city management, especially when it comes to listening to the concerns of the citizens in Southwest Louisville. Please call 311 and voice your concern. In a few days, if there is no significant change in the pace of the clean up effort, we will go to the mainstream media outlets with these pictures and Tom's story. This issue will get the attention it deserves.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mayor's "Top 10" A New Low

Many bloggers in town have already opined on Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson's "Top Ten Accomplishments" of 2008, so my commentary here is a bit late. I have withheld comment because of the sheer stupidity of the idea, and frankly because it took me by surprise to hear a failed mayor with failed policies publicly patting himself on the back. It seems a huge display of arrogance for he and his massive, well-paid staff to compile and list these items, particularly when he had little or nothing to do with what went on in each instance. Bottom line, this is embarrassing as hell. Check it out:

1. New cars and trucks — Ford announced that it would invest at least $200 million to re-tool the Louisville Assembly Plant to build a new fuel-efficient car for the American market. Ford also announced it would move production of the Navigator and Expedition to the Kentucky Truck Plant.

2. Overcoming adversity — From natural disasters to the economic downturn, the city faced numerous challenges. The city hosted 1,200 evacuees from Hurricane Ike and, weeks later, a major windstorm knocked out power to more than 300,000 LG&E customers for days. A major economic downturn also required more than $30 million city budget cuts over two fiscal years – $13 million in early 2008 and $20 million in late 2008. The cuts were achieved without laying off city workers or major reductions in city services.

3. A sports city — Louisville’s reputation as a sports center continued to grow, after hosting the 2008 Ryder Cup, viewed by 600 million people worldwide. The city also hosted its second Ford Ironman Competition and landed the Breeders Cup for a return engagement at Churchill Downs in 2010.

4. Best in America — Louisville won numerous national accolades, including:
* America’s Most Livable Large City, U.S. Conference of Mayors
* One of America’s Most Improved Cities for Cycling, Bicycling Magazine
* One of America’s Best Towns, Outside Magazine
* America’s Best Tasting Water, American Water Works Association

5. Downtown growth — Construction began on the new $238 million downtown arena and the city completed the deal to expand Fourth Street Live with the Center City project, which will create 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. Downtown’s newest high-rise, Zirmed Gateway Towers, started construction. West Main Street was named one of America’s 10 Greatest Streets by the American Planning Association.

6. Improving the environment — The city launched its Go Green Louisville initiative that includes the first green roof on a city-owned building, at the Metro Development Center, and the Kilowatt Crackdown to lower energy use in 230 buildings, including schools. Mayor Abramson fueled the movement by switching to a Ford Escape hybrid for his work vehicle. By the close of 2008, the number of ENERGY STAR buildings doubled, from 5 to 10.

7. Creating new parks – The City of Parks initiative reached another major milestone – the opening of the first 25 miles of the 100-mile Louisville Loop. The city also purchased land in the Floyds Fork area for the greenway parks project, including a 98-acre walnut farm.

8. Improving public safety – The city’s focus of safety continued with major investments in state-of-the-art equipment and buildings that improve public safety including:
* Twelve new communication towers were built or upgraded for the MetroSafe radio communications system, which will open in summer 2009.
* Two new firehouses, one in Butchertown/Clifton and one in Portland, are under construction as part of the city’s 21st Century Fire plan. They will open in early 2009.
* All of the city’s EMS vehicles have been equipped with handheld computers, called ePCRs, which record and disseminate patient information to hospitals in real time so doctors can begin treatment as soon as the patient arrives.

9. More visitors – The FFA Convention announced it would return to Louisville, starting in 2013. The convention, one of the largest in the nation, attracts 55,000 people and has an economic impact of $40 million. Tourism in Louisville had $1.4 billion in economic impact in 2008.

10. Better students — The city, in partnership with Greater Louisville Inc. and Jefferson County Public Schools, achieved its plan to raise $8 million to improve reading scores with the Every 1 Reads initiative. The city also reached its goal of 10,000 volunteers to read to students in their classrooms. When the initiative began, 18 percent of students – nearly one in five — were not reading at their grade level. That percent has been cut by more than half. The city and school system also hosted a Dropout Summit to lay plans for reducing the high school dropout rate in Louisville.

A rebuttal:

1. Mayor Abramson failed spectacularly on the Ford incentive.

2. The foreign-owned electric utility will continue to rape the citizens pocketbooks to recoup the windstorm damage repairs, and the Mayor will again give his tacit approval. His budget proposals have been a joke.

3. A sports city. Right.

4. A few obscure magazines felt compelled to mention Louisville as a nice place to live. We already know it is nice to live here, and it is in spite of having such a goofball as mayor.

5. Downtown projects, with the exception of the useless arena, have ground to a halt.

6. Improving the environment by running businesses out of town doesn't really count as improving the environment. They will just go to a country where there are no environmental standards, thereby worsening the global crisis.

7. Creating new parks? Didn't he just close the biggest and best one?

8. Improving public safety by jacking up fees for officers to take their police cars home and refusing to properly compensate fire fighters is not sound public safety policy. Neither is less EMS on the streets or closing firehouses.

9. More FFA visitors....starting in five (5) years. Then it goes back to Indianapolis.

10. Better students? Let's try better education.

As usual, I want to hear your thoughts. Have a good evening.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weekend Update

I hope you all had a great Christmas. It would be a nice way to send off this rotten Year of our Lord, 2008. A year when even the hot cocoa was poison. In a few more days we shall have a clean slate; a new beginning. 2009 will be better. It must be. But no worries. Take a look at what is in the news over the weekend:

  • Expect another round of truly psychotic weather today; 70+ degrees in late December, humid, crazy thunderstorms, deadly lightning, hurricane winds, maybe a flash of ice/sleet and then some flooding. Tomorrow it will be -30 degrees. Get ready for a serious sinus attack or a swine flu epidemic.
  • The foreign-owned electricity company here in Louisville wants $24 million from you to pay for the September windstorm damage. I guess they will have to get in line with everyone else, eh?
  • This report on Fox41 tells how some locally-owned businesses are dealing with slow sales. I spoke with a local restaurant owner last night about the state of the economy. Needless to say, he is worried. Try to do your part to help out. Visit a locally-owned business or restaurant this weekend. That is money that stays here and is spent here. If you are into barbecue, try Porky's Barbecue on Valley Station Road. Good people and good food.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Shively Area Ministries Report

On Christmas Eve in the Courier-Journal, there was a piece written on Shively Area Ministries and their Angel Food program. It was a wonderful story about a family that pitches in for the greater good. I had the good fortune of growing up in the same neighborhood as the family featured in the article. They are the real deal; an asset to our community. Read the story HERE.

There should be more stories like this these days. It is always refreshing to read some positive news. Stories like this illustrate just one of the reasons I choose to live in Southwest Louisville. We are lucky to be surrounded with such caring individuals as these.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Next Meeting of OCP Committee Set

Monday, January 5th at 7 PM at the Southwest Government Center, there will be another meeting of the new Committee to Save Otter Creek Park. Please make plans to attend. This is a growing and exciting movement that is putting together a workable agenda to save the park we all love. The group is growing daily!

Come take part in what will be a winning battle to insure the park remains open for future generations of outdoor lovers.

See you there.

Judge to Mayor: Pound Sand

As you have probably heard, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary injunction against Louisville Metro Government yesterday, prohibiting the city from raising fees associated with police take-home cars. Read the Courier-Journal article HERE. The judge said the city cannot raise the fees before a hearing on the matter is held by the state Labor Cabinet.

Yo-yo spokesperson Kerri Richardson said, "We maintain that the cars are a privilege, not a right, and the cars are not a part of the union's negotiated contract,". What Richardson and the rest of the mayor's office fails to understand, however, is that the issue of take-home cars are a little thing known in the labor world as "Past Practice". Benefits like take-home cars that have traditionally been offered for as many years are often ruled as "past practices", meaning that they have essentially become as good as contractual.

Congratulations to the FOP. With such hapless opponents, you guys should get used to winning.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slow News Days and Christmas Wishes

If you are thinking about last-minute shopping ideas or maybe trying to figure out what to do with your old computer when your new one gets unwrapped, then there's news for you:

  • -- You can recycle that old computer or other electronic device through the city's CyberCycle program. Residents can drop off up to three (3) items at the Louisville Metro Waste Reduction Center, 636 Meriwether Avenue. For more information, click HERE.

Lastly, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and say "thank you" for reading The Valley Report. Now, get off the computer and spend some time with your family and friends. I'll see you on Friday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We Can Do It

The Southwest Government Center on Dixie Highway was reduced to standing-room-only status tonight, as around 150 people jammed the main courtroom to share ideas and plan strategy in order to save Otter Creek Park from permanent closure. Nearly 20% of attendees were from counties outside of Jefferson. The meeting, assembled by concerned citizen Patsy Bowman and moderated by local Realtor Kevin Martin, included Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14) and Mary Ann Vetter, a representative of Metro District 12 Councilman Rick Blackwell's office. Also in attendance was Renay Davis from Metro District 25 Councilman Doug Hawkins' office and Joel Hunt, a concerned citizen that maintains a website dedicated to saving Otter Creek Park. No traditional media attended this event.

I didn't know what to expect because I had heard so little about the meeting, but thankfully the word got out. Those in attendance had the opportunity to throw out ideas on how to generate revenue or expand activities at the park in an effort to keep it open. Here are a few of the suggestions:

  • -Paid memberships
  • -Formation of a "Non-Profit" foundation
  • -A Tri-County Park Commission, consisting of representatives from Meade, Jefferson and Hardin Counties
  • -A First-Class restaurant with an alcoholic beverage licence
  • -Admission fees (per vehicle or per person)
Also mentioned were efforts to involve sportsman, horseman, biking and hiking groups. People seemed against any type of Wildlife Management Area status or residential/commercial development of any kind. Also heard were calls to "open the books". There are formal petitions circulating. Please sign the petition when you get a chance.

In the end, a formal committee was formed and a chairperson was elected. Congratulations to Joel Hunt, chairperson of the new Committee to Save Otter Creek Park. There will be advance notice of the next meeting. I was very satisfied with the coming together of so many personalities and backgrounds to accomplish this feat. We have only just begun. With this diverse and determined group, I feel confident that there will be a plan developed allowing the park to remain open. They've got the guns, but we have the numbers. Get involved now.

Meeting Tonight on Otter Creek Options

Interested in what you can do to support Otter Creek Park? Then you will want to be at the Southwest Metro Government Center tonight at 7:00PM. Activist Patsy Bowman is inviting supporters to attend a public meeting to discuss options on how to keep Otter Creek open. Ms. Bowman has invited the Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to attend.

This is an excellent opportunity for concerned citizens to gather in a warm place to trade ideas on how to save the park.

And special thanks to Doug Hawkins for sending out an email blast on the subject.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Additional Thoughts on Above-Law Mayor

"Truth is not determined by majority vote."
-Doug Gwyn-

To ignore a legally filed Open Records Request is, to me, a serious matter that requires extra attention from citizens and media. It also requires examination by proper authorities. This situation reminds me of a quote in one of my favorite books, "Kingdom of Fear" by Hunter S. Thompson, a fellow Louisvillian:

"Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."

Will we continue to allow the mayor, a man elected by the people, to ignore the people's lawfully submitted requests for information? In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law. What do you say?

Friday Morning Run-Down

  • * This weather sucks. It is going to be 90 degrees with super-high winds today and -10 tomorrow with blizzard conditions. Everyone is sick with swine flu and unable to drive normally. Stay home or take your chances with those maniacs on the streets.
  • * Idea: Metro Louisville should pass an ordinance forcing everyone to have trash pickup. What say ye?
  • * Do not forget to pick up your copy of The Local Weekly, the South End's only paper. Look for it at many Southwest Louisville places of business. If they don't have it, tell them to get it by calling 502.994.6263. And visit those that advertise in The Local Weekly. They keep it coming to you for free.
  • * If you are into financial transparency for Louisville Metro, check out this group on Facebook. More members = more clout. This is a bipartisan effort. JOIN TODAY!

Find A Felon Friday - 12/19/08

This week's felon is named Ronnie Tudor, wanted for a probation violation. Tudor was a meth cook. He obviously never got high off his own supply. He is 5'9, 250lbs.

Let's Get 'Em Boys!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mayor Ignores Open Records Request

The All-Powerful, Infallible Mayor of Louisville has decided not to answer an open records request made by the city's unions with regard to the $20 million dollar budget shortfall. The Mayor states all information can be gathered from the metro website, something that citizens as well as labor groups do not believe to be true.

According to the Sunshine Review,
The Kentucky Open Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Kentucky, so that citizens have some idea of what is happening with their government. Statues KRS 61.870 to 61.884 define the law.

The Kentucky Open Meetings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted.

Freedom Kentucky also states:
If your request is not responded to in 3 working days, or they charge more than 10 cents/page copying fee, then you have the option of turning them into the Ky. State Attorney General's Office:(1-502-696-5300). Be sure to have documented evidence of the date of your initial request, (i.e. certified signature of receipt card for a written request or a copy of your emailed request mentioning your initial request by phone).

WHAS11 has a small tidbit on this HERE. KRS 61.872 can be seen HERE. A large Q&A on Kentucky Open Meetings and Open Records laws can be viewed by clicking HERE.

I would like to know your thoughts on this matter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Restaurant Added to Shively Center

Ground was broken for a new Bob Evans Restaurant today to be located at the renewed and revitalized Shively Center. A portion of the new Norton's Medical Center Plaza located in the Shively Center is now open. Although the property did not develop into shopping as residents had hoped, the Center is nearly full of tenants and the building no longer an eyesore for residents or those entering Southwest Louisville via I-264. For that the community can surely be glad.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Louisville-Based Republic Unmasked

Although it is small, a Courier-Journal report out today details part of Louisville-based Republic Bank's strategy of fleecing the poorest citizens through high-fee and high-interest loans. Read it HERE.

Many residents of Louisville do not know that Republic Bank is the official bank of the Louisville Metro Government. They also do not know that on December 1st, 2008, while everyone was freaking out about the service cuts in city government, Mayor Jerry Abramson quietly appointed Steve Trager to the Louisville Regional Airport Authority board. Trager is CEO of Republic Bancorp. Republic was in the national news recently when it was revealed that nearly half of it's profits came from predatory-lending schemes like payday loans and advance tax refund loans, sometimes costing the consumer as much as 400%. Read about the way Republic conducts business by clicking HERE.

In 2004, Mayor Abramson hired Republic Bank to be the sole provider of general banking services for Louisville Metro Government and government employees. That contract lasts until 2009. Republic Bank sponsor's the Mayor's "Music in the Metro" series, and just recently, gave a discounted mortgage to Elaine Chao, the wife of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, for their home in Washington, D.C. Previously, blogger Mark Nikolas has stated the McConnells "secured a 4.625% rate from Republic Bank on a 15-year fixed mortgage on their home in Washington, DC in 2003. This was the second re-finance on the property. The original loan had a rate of 6.25% in 1999 and was re-financed in 2002 for 5.5%".

One must wonder if Republic's request for the change from "bank" to "trust" is a ploy to get around the FDIC regulations. In this case, I think you know my opinion. Read up on this subject. There is no telling what it is costing you at the city level.

Monday, December 15, 2008

UAW Local 862 President on WAVE3

Tonight on WAVE3 News, Louisville UAW President Rocky Comito did a "Guest Editorial". If you missed it, check it out HERE. It was a well thought-out argument on how the national auto problems affect us right here at home. Listen to what he has to say.

Monday: Bad Weather = Bad Craziness

  • * If you are interested, a meeting of the Cane Run Road Improvement Club will be held on Wednesday December 17, at the Mill Creek VFW, Post 5421, 7111 Lower Hunters Trace. The meeting starts at 8 p.m.
  • * The FFA Convention is headed back to Louisville, but not until 2013. The convention will then bounce back to Indianapolis in 2016. The plan to get the convention back to the city reportedly included the $100 million dollar + expansion of the KEC and construction of new hotels. Seems like a lot to spend for a return of $40 million in "economic impact".
  • * There's a Winter Storm Warning in effect for Louisville at noon today with a 60% chance of freezing rain this afternoon. You are better off staying at home, if possible.
  • * There's also a 90% chance of irony here: The Metro Council Transportation Committee meeting has been canceled tonight because of the possibility of bad weather. The committee was supposed to hear from Jackie Green, co-founder of "Safe Streets Louisville".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Auto Industry Trouble Breaks City Budgets

A report on CNNMoney.com confirms my theory of why Louisville is having so much trouble economically. Here's an excerpt:

"States and cities around the nation are already slashing budgets and services as the deepening economic downturn shrinks their coffers. To close their budget gaps, governments are cutting public health programs, reducing aid to public school and universities, and laying off workers.

Problems in the auto industry are only exacerbating this turmoil. Not only have nearly 800,000 people lost car-related jobs this year, accounting for 40% of the increase in unemployment, but auto sales are at a 26-year low and at least 660 dealerships have closed their doors"

Read the whole article HERE, and let's make sure the government extends the help to main street as well as Wall Street. Louisville as well as the Commonwealth would certainly be in worse shape should one of the Big 3 go under.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Update: Southwest Community Association of Neighborhoods (SCAN)

This is a follow up to my prior story on the Southwest Community Association of Neighborhoods and its Founder, President and Director Letty "Diana" Newton, a group that I had been told was no longer a going concern by several interested parties. According to the latest available information, Mrs. Newton is still an employee of Louisville Metro Government and works in the office of Councilman Doug Hawkins (R-25). I opined that the group appeared to be raising funds but not following the law in filing the proper IRS 990 forms.

After a little searching I found some information on the Kentucky Secretary of State's website that pertains to this group. It is, indeed, still operating, although not in any real sense in service to Southwest Louisville's neighborhoods. The group's mailing address has been changed to a P.O. Box downtown. The group has also been filing reports with the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office. To Wit:

My concerns are now amplified on this subject. We have this group, SCAN, that claims to be representing Southwest Louisville neighborhoods that is not doing anything of the sort. This group is also very possibly raising money, which should mean they are distributing money to others. After checking with the Internal Revenue Service, I found there are no records pertaining to the required yearly reports (Form 990) for this 501(c)3 group in the federal government's possession. And the group's founder, president and director, Mrs. Newton works for a Metro Councilman, which to any concerned citizen would logically seem like an enormous conflict of interest. The organization has a website, but it has been abandoned and has not been updated since 2004.

The questions are: When will SCAN file the required 990 reports with the IRS? Will Councilman Doug Hawkins disclose if he or anyone on the Metro Council has directed any city funds toward this group? Who is benefiting from any funds dispersed by the group? Is the group still based in Southwest Louisville now that it's chief officer has moved from the area? Is it legal or ethical for the group's leader to be working for and have access to city government or its resources?

These are questions being asked by me on behalf of the citizens of Southwest Louisville. Not out of malice, but because we need good, quality organizations that are looking out for our best interests. This is obviously not such a group. The questions asked here must be answered thoroughly, and soon.

More to come.

We Aren't Bankers...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Help Is On The Way

Help is on the way for United States-based automobile manufacturers in spite of Mitch McConnell & Co.'s best efforts to bust the Autoworkers Union.

Yesterday, right before the U.S. Senate loan deal for automakers fell through, Senate Republicans like Mitch demanded the UAW agree to lower pay and benefits "that would be in line with compensation earned by workers at U.S. factories producing cars for Japanese companies such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan." Having Senate Republicans try to set salaries for autoworkers is reckless and idiotic. Consider this: THEY are the ones who have spent this country dry on pork projects and a misguided war to the tune of $600 billion, and just last month gave away, without condition, $700+ billion to banks that didn't even ask for the money. To think they could set an hourly wage for an autoworker in this country is downright insulting to Americans. How about we Americans get a chance to set THEIR salaries?

This is an excerpt from an article by Eric Boehlert on Media Matters:
Felix Salmon at Portfolio did perhaps the best job explaining the misinformation at play:

The average GM assembly-line worker makes about $28 per hour in wages, and I can assure you that GM is not paying $42 an hour in health insurance and pension plan contributions. Rather, the $70 per hour figure (or $73 an hour, or whatever) is a ridiculous number obtained by adding up GM’s total labor, health, and pension costs, and then dividing by the total number of hours worked. In other words, it includes all the healthcare and retirement costs of retired workers.

Indeed, according to this Associated Press report, a chunk of GM’s $70-an-hour labor costs goes toward paying current retirees’ pensions and health-care coverage. In other words, that’s money that’s not going to end up in the pocket of any autoworker when he cashes his paycheck this week. That’s money GM has to set aside in order to pay off costs associated with workers already in retirement. That money has absolutely nothing to do with calculating the hourly wage of a full-time UAW employee today. None.
The United States helps foreign auto companies; gives them land worth billions, state incentives worth billions and training funds worth tens of millions of dollars. Japan helps the Japanese automakers, Germany helps the German automakers, Korea helps the Korean automakers. The United States had better start helping Americans keep American jobs at American auto companies. The nonsense you are hearing from Republicans in the Senate, the idiots on talk radio and the anti-union, corporate-owned media crowd only glosses over the facts. FACT: Senator Shelby from Alabama has no problem throwing piles of your money at foreign based automobile companies to locate a plant in his state. HERE'S THE PROOF. McConnell has no problem making sure we negotiate crooked, one-sided trade deals where foreign cars get dumped in America but American products have no chance being sold overseas. Wake up!!

There are a lot of union autoworkers in Louisville, and many reside in Southwest Louisville. These people are your friends and neighbors. You go to church with them. Your kids play with their kids. Don't insult and degrade them by acting as though you think you know how much they deserve to be paid per hour. With these high-paying jobs, they are paying more taxes so you don't have to. But when these jobs are gone, watch your tax bill, because the shortfall in receipts must come from you.

This matter affects all of us. Stand with American industry, and back the union autoworker. Thanks to the government, you are all the support he/she has left.

Call Senator Bunning (202-224-4343) and Senator McConnell (202-224-2541). Tell them to get their asses in gear.

Find A Felon Friday 12/12/2008

Today, courtesy of LMPD, there are four (4) suspects for our "Find A Felon Friday" feature.

Kenneth L. Malone - Murder. Considered Armed and Dangerous
William Woods - Attempted Murder of a Police Officer
Joey Saho
- Escape. This guy cut off his home incarceration bracelet
Pearl V. Moxley - Drug Charges

You may view the suspects HERE.

Let's get 'em boys!!

Local Union Activist on 590am WLVK

Louisville Ford retiree and UAW activist Kirk Gillenwaters will be appearing on the Sue Wylie Show from 10am - 11am on WVLK 590am in Lexington. He will be speaking on the failure of the Senate to pass the loan package for the Big 3 automakers.

You may listen live HERE, and call in your support or questions Toll Free: (877) 777-0590. You may also email the show: SueWylie@WVLKam.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yarmuth Assigned to Ways and Means Committee

Your 3rd District U.S. Representative, John Yarmuth (D-KY), has been assigned to the Committee on Ways and Means starting next month upon the opening of the 111th Congress. This is good news because Ways and Means is a powerful committee that has jurisdiction over Health, Trade, Social Security, Oversight and Income Security & Family Support.

More on Ways and Means can be found HERE.

A local report by WLKY32 on Yarmuth's appointment can be seen HERE.

Special thanks go to John Yarmuth for continuing his tradition of donating his congressional salary to charity and for keeping the working men and women of the Third Congressional District in mind as he casts his votes. We are grateful for your service and wish you the best.

My friend over at State of the Commonwealth is posting on this also. Check him out HERE.

McConnell Says "NO" to Automaker Loan

UPDATE 12/12/2008, 12:22am: Mitch & Co. just killed the automakers loan bill. Read the disaster HERE.

Aren't you glad that Mitch McConnell got re-elected? Mitch came out today and said "No" to a bridge loan for the Big 3 automakers. Yes, the same Mitch McConnell that voted to give away money in a bailout of banks with no string attached. A free bailout to firms whose CEO gets $354 million in total compensation over the past five years as Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers has. But when unionized companies come and ask for a loan, there are conditions.

McConnell seems to want a guarantee that the unions will be busted at the companies before he agrees to LOAN money. What an ass.

HERE is a take from the West Coast.

CNN has it HERE.

Local coverage is lacking at the moment. All the C-J has is an opinion piece on the matter. When there is a local news outlet that covers McConnell's statement, I'll put the link up. Until then, enjoy this video clip by my friend Jim Pence from The Hillbilly Report. It is good stuff.

Mayor's Bluff Called: No Layoffs

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has filled the $20,000,000 hole in the city's budget without laying off city employees, despite constant threats of layoffs and desperate attempts to blame labor unions for prolonging the process. Included in the plan is the delay of over 40 building projects. At this hour, there is still no word on "opening the books" or any type of transparency associated with the budget crisis, despite calls from citizens, local bloggers, the Louisville Metro Council and organized labor for such. The Courier-Journal has the story on the details and you can read it HERE. WHAS11's story is HERE. WLKY has video HERE. FOX41's report is HERE.

I am still struck by the level of contempt shown by the Democratic mayor and his supporters towards labor unions. The local budget crisis and the American automobile industry's congressional loan deal has brought out the worst anti-union sentiment I have seen in a long time, especially among liberals, a group that has seemingly lost its collective marbles with respect to unions. Future contract negotiations with Jerry should be a real hoot, as should political meetings between trade unionists and Democrats.

All is not lost, however, and we shall eventually recover. Let's all take a breath and get back to work for Southwest Louisville, but remember to continue to push for openness and please continue to back our police, fire and other public safety unions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mayor Talks Budget Cuts LIVE

Courtesy of the Courier-Journal, here's the Mayor's news conference that began at 3:30pm, December 10, 2008.

The Local Weekly - The South End's Only Paper

For those of you who do not know, there is a local paper covering the South End called The Local Weekly. Courtesy of Southwest Louisville resident Trevor Hemingway, it is distributed for free and read by 6500 people a month. Lets help this guy double his numbers. Here are the locations where you can find The Local Weekly:

Mike Linnig's
Ken's Haircutting
Tuscany Italian Restaurant
Greenwood Drycleaners
SportsClips Haircuts
Yorktown Laundromat
Siggy's Pizza & Pub
Mr. Lou's Country Cottage Restaurant
Taco Tico
Shively City Hall
Dr. Richard Keeling, DMD
Circle K (2 Locations)
1st Wok
CC Rider of Louisville
Coco's Bakery
N&V Auto Repair Service
The Pie Pantry
El Nopal
Moby Dick (12416 Dixie Hwy)
Wick's Pizza
Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken
National College
Shooter's Indoor Golf
Treat Ur Self
Hometown Buffet
A & W
China Dragon
Crown Staffing
Hemingway & Travelstead
Fire Fresh BBQ
Jimbo's Bar-B-Q
Jessie's Restaurant
Spectators Bar & Grill
United Staffing
Granny's Apron
Sister Beans Coffee House
First Class Nails Hair Tanning
The Edge Hair Salon
Beef O Brady's
Savinos Italian Restaurant
Steelhorse Saloon
Golden Palace Buffet
Porkys BBQ
World Nails
Mexico Tipico
Popeyes Chicken
Rumballs Family Restaurant
KFC ( Valley Station)
The Southwest Center
Gailor Animal Hospital
Claude Reynolds Insurance
Penn Station East Coast Subs
Beargrass Medical Associates
1st Stop Food Mart (National Turnpike)
Hair V

The Local Weekly can be reached by telephone @ 502-994-6263 or Fax 502-966-4654. Please support these local businesses and our local paper. Spread the news!

Unions Join in Call to Open the Books - Fox 41

See the story from Fox 41 HERE.

The information that is available online is incomplete, and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is coming before the end of the month. The CAFR will tell the tale. That is why the Mayor says, "There's no time!!"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Poll Question: Mayor & Budget Crisis

Joint Statement From The Valley Report & LouHI

Dear friends and readers,

The following is a letter co-written with Steve Magruder at Louisville History & Issues with help from residents concerning the citizen's desire to have the city open the financial books for public scrutiny. It has been a work in progress and writing it has been fun. It will be sent to the editor of the Courier-Journal this evening. If you would like to sign your name to this letter, please let me know. Thank you!

While Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson is busy slashing salaries, enacting furloughs, cutting programs and ignoring calls from citizens for transparency in city finances, local bloggers are taking the word to the streets with a simple message: Open the Books.

People from all walks of life, from all neighborhoods, political stances and economic backgrounds are making plain their demands to us and, as citizen journalists, it is our responsibility to deliver this message. The citizens of Louisville want city government to make public the financial records that prove Louisville to be in such dire economic straits. The citizens demand that the Mayor and the council make transparent all records of revenue and expenditures so that we may assist in helping to determine what appropriate budgetary changes to make. Accordingly, the citizens also demand that local government freeze all decisions on personnel and service cuts for at least thirty (30) days, so that we may make sure our examinations of these records as well as the forthcoming annual report on city finances are thorough and complete.

We learned the hard way in these last eight years what to expect when a Mayor, Governor, Legislator or President says, “There is no time…we must act.” We are committed to not let this happen again. We need more than the opinion of a mayor with a history of exercising "carte blanche" accounting in a highly opaque manner. And we will not sit idly by while highly necessary services or personnel, particularly those related to public safety, are cut while there's a potential for extraneous high-level staff, bloated, unnecessary programs or any of the mayor's hidden expenditures escaping the budget cutting knife. For the sake of our beloved hometown Louisville Metro and its citizens, we demand action NOW. OPEN THE BOOKS. After all, it's OUR MONEY. And this mayor was elected to SERVE US.

Needed: Volunteers for VITA Tax Service program

Needed: Volunteers for VITA Tax Service program

Louisville -- This year, 1,088 taxpayers and their families in District 14 were helped by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. As the program gets ready for 2009, two workshops will be offered to train volunteers.

“I am so pleased with this program because it helps families who earn less than $42,000 a year with the filing of taxes,” says Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14). “Now, we are offering training to volunteers who would like to help with this program.”

The VITA program is a free service offered and is manned by volunteers.

The two training workshops will be held on two Saturdays in December, the 13th and 20th. It is from 9:00am to 5:00pm on both days. The training will be held in at the Southwest Library in the Kroger Shopping Center, 10375 Dixie Highway.

“You only have to attend one session or a morning and afternoon session on different weekends,” says Henderson. “This may seem like many hours but the reward in helping a young family or an elderly person, far outweigh the time you put into volunteering.”
Henderson says if there are some who do not wish to help in filing taxes, there are other ways to help. Some volunteers will be greeters or as a screener to help clients with their initial paperwork.

“The people who worked the service last year were elated and surprised at the fun they had with the service they provided,” says Henderson.

The VITA Program will start up in January 16th and not end until April 15th There is a goal this year to help 2000 people with their taxes. If you would like more information about the workshops, contact Councilman Henderson’s office at 574-3459 or 574-3529.

Sun Valley's Holiday Happenings

Sun Valley holds Holiday Happenings in December
Events planned for kids and seniors on Dec. 12th & 23rd

Louisville – The Sun Valley Community Center will officially welcome the holiday season with a series of events for children and senior citizens during the month of December.
“This is a special time of year, and the staff of the Sun Valley Community Center is making sure everyone has a nice holiday,” says Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14).
The Children’s Christmas party will get underway on Friday, December 12th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
There will be treats, arts and crafts, games, cookie decoration and Santa Claus will also be on hand. Bring your camera for a picture taking session with the Jolly Old Elf from the North Pole.
Then, on Tuesday, December 23rd, the Senior Christmas party will get underway beginning at 10:00am. The party will include food and lots of fun. The “Showtime Seniors” are also set to entertain.
The Center is also planning field trips for children, ages 6 to 12, as part of the holiday fun. The field trips are set for December 23rd and 30th. The time is 8:00am to 5:30pm. The cost for the two days is $30.00 per child and reservations must be made to participate. The number to call is 937-8802.
“If you have never been out to the Sun Valley Community Center, this is your chance,” say Henderson. “The facility is one of the finest and the staff is working hard to serve everyone out in our area.”
The Sun Valley community Center is located at 6505 Bethany Lane.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Valley Report Needs Your Input

This site, along with Louisville History & Issues, needs input from our readers on crafting a letter to be sent to the editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. We are looking for your ideas and suggestions to help alert the public to the importance of opening the books ahead of Mayor Abramson's announcement Wednesday. The mayor is expected to lay out more cuts and possibly layoffs.

We could do this alone, but we would rather have help from the citizens, making it more broad-based and accepted as being more than just a concern of the "blogging community". It is with your help that we can expect to make the case for transparency in our government.

You may either leave a comment to this post or email one of us directly.

Thank you, and remember the number one rule: "Politics is the art of controlling your environment".

UPDATE 12/08/2008 10:00pm: Thanks to Steve @ LouHI, we have a good draft going.

While Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson is busy slashing salaries, enacting furloughs, cutting programs and ignoring calls from citizens for transparency in city finances, local bloggers are taking the word to the streets with a simple message: Open the Books. People from all walks of life, from all neighborhoods, political stances and economic backgrounds are making plain their demands to us and, as citizen journalists, it is our responsibility to deliver this message. The citizens of Louisville want city government to make public the financial records that prove Louisville to be in such dire economic straits. The citizens demand that the Mayor and the council make transparent all records of revenue and expenditures so that we may assist in helping to determine what appropriate budgetary changes to make. Accordingly, the citizens also demand that local government freeze all decisions on personnel and service cuts for thirty (30) days, so that we may make sure our examinations of these records as well as the forthcoming annual report on city finances are thorough.

We learned the hard way in these last eight years what to expect when a Mayor, Governor, Legislator or President says, “There is no time…we must act.” We are committed to not let this happen again. We need more than the opinion of a mayor with a history of exercising carte blanche accounting in a highly opaque manner. For the sake of our beloved hometown Metro Louisville and its citizens, we demand action NOW. OPEN THE BOOKS.

After all, it's OUR MONEY. And this mayor was elected to SERVE US.

It's Monday Again

  • - Local news had reports last night on the gathering at Otter Creek Park. WAVE3, WHAS11, FOX41
  • -They are "Closing The Deal" at Valley High School. Check it out.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cordish Drops Casino Plan in Kansas

When times get tough, Cordish bails out. Louisville's Business First has an article today stating as much. An excerpt:

Citing the struggling economy, the developer of the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel at Kansas Speedway withdrew its application for the project because it needs the option to phase in construction of the hotel, convention facilities and other parts of the project.

Kansas Entertainment LLC, a joint venture joint venture between Kansas Speedway Development Corp. and The Cordish Co., said in a release Friday that when the state reopens bidding, it intends to reapply to build the $400 million Hard Rock-branded casino.

Baltimore-based Cordish, which also developed Louisville's Fourth Street Live, requested a refund of the $25 million privilege fee it paid last year, and the Kansas Lottery is processing the refund, the state of Kansas said in a news release.

Read entire article HERE.

Cordish also wants to wait and see if Kansas Speedway gets a second Sprint Cup race and construction begins on a road course at the speedway.

It has been my opinion that Cordish will wait on a casino gambling referendum in Kentucky before constructing anything at Center City. These guys are good at stalling projects and getting local money with no guarantees.

Find A Felon Friday

The Shively Police Department is looking for a guy named Juan Ramirez-Saenz for murder and tampering with physical evidence. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Black Hair, Brown Eyes, 5'10, 200 lbs.

Since this photo was taken, he has shaved his head and wears a small ponytail. (?)

With a head like that, this freak should be easy to find. If you see him, call the Shively Police Department @ 502-448-6181

HERE is the full release. Let's get 'em boys!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Otter Creek Park Meeting

There will be a meeting of concerned citizens on Sunday, December 7th at Otter Creek Park for the purpose of discussing and trading ideas on issues facing the park, and generally to show support for such a rare jewel in our tri-county community. The meeting begins at 2:00 pm and will be held at the Main Pavilion, located at the third left from the entrance in the Dogwood section.

Forget the cold and come on out in support of the park. The mayor, in his infallible greatness, has allowed the park to remain open for us, the unwashed citizenry, until January 1st instead of the original date of December 14th. Take this extra time to share your thoughts about what can be done to keep it open, or just to say goodbye to the fun and togetherness that was shared among generations of Louisvillians and other Kentuckians for the last 71 years.

People needing transportation may call 937-6044 or 807-8295.

Here are a few links about the park and the people putting together this gathering:
Facebook Group - Save Otter Creek Park
Metro Parks Site
Tree Identification Chart

"Santa Land Party" in Fairdale

District 13 is where kids can find a “Santa Land Party”
Councilwoman Welch joins 200-250 children for holiday fun

Louisville – The Jolly Old Elf is a popular person this time of year and he will make a special visit for holiday fun in Fairdale on Tuesday, December 16th when Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13) joins the Fairdale Community Club for the “2008 Santa Land Party”.
“This is a wonderful event for families and children in our area,” says Welch. “I want to encourage everyone to come out and join us in some holiday cheer.”
The Santa Land Party will take place at the Fairdale Playtorium, 10616 West Manslick Road from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
Some 200 to 250 children are expected for the Party with free refreshments and entertainment for those who attend. Various groups from the Fairdale area will transform the Playtorium with displays and decorations into a Winter Wonderland.
The special guest for the evening, Santa Claus, will be on hand to hear requests from each child who will also receive a small gift from Santa’s elf.
The Step-n-out Dance Studio will be performing at 7:00pm
“The Fairdale Community Club deserves at great deal of thanks for remembering children at this special time of year,” says Welch. “They are an example of how our community reaches out to others.”
For more information about the 2008 Santa Land Party, contact Councilwoman Welch’s office at 574-1113

Thursday Morning Rush

Just a few items to start your day:

  • - For some reason, Mayor Abramson and Governor Beshear felt they had to say "Ford plants are vital to Louisville". I don't know why they thought they had to issue a press release stating as much, but they did. They both will be attending a rally this morning in support of Ford Motor Company.
  • - The Louisville Metro Council finally decided it wants to have a say in the budget. Councilman Kelly Downard says the Mayor won't show them any evidence the budget is in $20,000,000 trouble. Welcome to the club, Mr. Downard.
  • - The city has extended the deadline to close Otter Creek Park. They are also discussing ideas on dumping it on some other entity. WHAS 11 has a report HERE.
  • - UAW President Ron Gettelfinger pulling another about-face, now says he'll go back for more concessions as Ford releases yet-another restructuring plan, it's fourth in five years. The effect on Louisville employees won't be known until later this week. The report is on Fox 41.
Also, I would like to publicly thank all of those very kind individuals for kicking in the Tip Jar this week. It means a lot to me and I hope I can continue to meet your expectations. You are all exceptional people. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

WAVE 3 Covers Mayor's New Tax

WAVE 3 has a story on a subject I touched on a while ago. It seems, as predicted, charities are having a tough time coming up with the money to pay the Mayor's new tax for security, a tax city officials call "police fees". Read the report HERE.

Here's a snippet:

According to LMPD officials contacted by WAVE 3, the demand for event security increased at a time when department resources did not. Of the 107 LMPD-assisted events in 2007, 61 were walks or runs. Officials say the volume left the department paying more overtime to meet the demand.

"We simply from a fiscal standpoint could not put those officers on those events without jeopardizing public safety," said Sergeant Robert Biven.

According to this statement, Sgt. Biven is saying it is ok to "jeopardize public safety", as long as someone is paying for it. Nice.

I still feel this is the wrong way to do things, because once the city starts charging fees, they never stop. And you can expect more fees, like for calling the fire department. Don't laugh. It could happen, and essentially, you will be double-taxed for public safety services.

It is worth noting that the Kentucky Derby Festival, the biggest "consumer" of free police protection, is exempt from paying the fees. So are things like "Light Up Louisville".

The other alternatives are to cancel the event or go somewhere else. Neither is good for the city. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in New Jersey in 2007 over police fees. The city wanted $1500 to allow a group to protest. The ACLU won the suit.

By continuing down this road, the mayor is putting the city at risk for lawsuits and the loss of community charitable events. Stop this idiocy now.

Valley High School Gun Incident "Uncommon"

Yesterday when I heard about the story about a 15 year old kid from Valley High School being caught with a gun, I figured the South End hater-brigade would rise up. After reading the Courier-Journal article and the offensive comments left by some of the readers, I felt like I should find out more. So I did.

Earlier today I called the school and spoke with Assistant Principal Dennis Williams, who reiterated that this was an uncommon occurrence. "I have been here for 22 years.. ", Williams said "...and there was only one other time.." something like this happened.

Despite what people may think about Valley High School and the 880 students there, the facts show it is no more violent or susceptible to violence than any other high school in Louisville. And there are some good things happening there. College programs, college test preparation and other academic highlights are on display daily at the school. Valley is training the next generation of business and civic leaders....879 students who should not be judged by the actions of 1.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Southwest Louisville History Book

The Southwest Dream Team's Historical Committee met at the University of Louisville's library archives this afternoon for the purpose of researching pictures to use for the organization's highly-anticipated book. The book, a history of Southwest Louisville, should be available by next holiday season.

The enthusiasm and dedication I see in these individuals is incredible, and I want to share that enthusiasm with you. I will urge you again; please, if you find yourself with any extra time or have always wanted to take part in a neighborhood group, this is the one.

You could feel the excitement of the project as we flipped through photographs of forgotten times and familiar places. We realized in short order just how large of an undertaking this project is. From Shively to Kosmosdale and everywhere in between. That's a lot of history. I feel lucky to be a part of what we are doing, and so will you. Please contact them by visiting the website above. You will not regret it.

Also, if anyone has any photos that could be used for this project, please contact me by clicking on "About Me" in the left hand column. We may be able to work something out. Right now I am looking for old pictures of Dixie Highway's treasures like restaurants, landmarks or old shopping centers. Especially anything from Valley Station, as there is a shortage of such items in the archives. I thank you in advance.

Southwest Dream Team Update; MSD Hearing Tonight; Open the Books!

Today I will be meeting with the Historical Committee of the Southwest Dream Team. We will be visiting the Louisville Photo Archives to gather materials for a long-overdue book on the history of Southwest Louisville. It looks to be an exciting afternoon, as I always enjoy spending time with the members of this group.

  • - The next meeting of the Southwest Dream Team is Monday, December 9. The meeting is to be held at the Southwest Government Center and starts at 5:30pm. Try to make it if you can. It is a worthwhile cause.
  • - And do not forget that our MSD public hearing is this evening! Everything you need to know about the MSD hearing can be found HERE. Register now to speak if you have not already done so. Your comments will be entered into the official record.
  • - The city's unions have a great idea on how to deal with the budget shortfall. They have demanded the mayor "open the books". HERE is the story in today's Courier-Journal.
  • - Keep sending those emails! I appreciate those who have taken the time to write. Again, all emails are strictly confidential.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Valley Station Area Business Association Lives!

A loyal reader has sent information about the state of the Valley Station Area Business Association, an organization feared long dead. But good news:

Hi Brian,
The VSABA is still in business and meets monthly at various locations around Valley Station. The current president is Hank Hensley. He can be reached at Henry.Hensley@RaymondJames.com

I love reading about your passion for SW Louisville. Keep up the good work.

If your business would like to be a part of this association, please contact the president at the email listed above.

And thanks again for sending the information. I couldn't do this without you.

Winterfest Returns to Iroquois Park December 6th

Winterfest returns to Iroquois Park for the holidays
Seasonal lights and sounds return on Saturday, December 6th

Louisville – A holiday tradition will be making its return to one the city’s popular locations with the help of the Iroquois Area Business Association and the Louisville Metro Council.
“Winterfest at Iroquois Park – a Family experience” returns to spread holiday cheer and give a helping hand to the South Louisville Community Ministries. Winterfest was put on hold in 2007 after costs associated with the event surpassed $55,000.
“With a renewed spirit, it is good to see so many groups working together to bring holiday cheer to South Louisville” says Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15). “I applaud the businesses and social organizations that have come together for this event. By working together, costs were contained and families can gather for holiday festivities.”
Since its inception some 18 years ago, the festival has taken many forms and most importantly touched the lives of thousands of Louisville’s families.
Winterfest will officially kick off on Saturday December 6th at 12:30PM near the children’s play area.
“There are many holiday celebrations around Metro Louisville but this one is special to the people who live around Iroquois Park,” says Councilman Dan Johnson (D-21). “It is just one more reason why people have come to love Iroquois Park.”
Metro Council members Rick Blackwell (D-12), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13) and Doug Hawkins (D-25) are join Johnson and Butler in being sponsors of Winterfest. The Council members are partnering with the Iroquois Area Business Association.
Area business owners, local government and the community have come together in support of the South Louisville Community Ministries (SLCM) outreach to those in need. In addition, Louisville Fire Department will be present demonstrating their many roles.
Among the highlights of Winterfest aside from glittering lights and holiday cheer will be, Santa, “hable ingles y espanol'' which arrives at 12:30. The Jolly Old Elf will hear children’s wishes until 6 p.m.

Mayor Abramson to Announce Service Cuts @ 10:30am

Rather than release all the necessary accounting information and take input from citizens on the budget matter, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson will announce hasty service cuts this morning at 10:30am.

You can watch the announcement live at the bottom of this post, courtesy of the Courier-Journal.

It is unfortunate that the city is unwilling to listen to the residents' suggestions on the matter. There is a way to avoid these service cuts that I believe will hurt West and Southwest Louisville the most. There are literally millions of dollars in the Metro budget that are being spent on unnecessary executive director positions, deputy mayor spots, spokespersons, aides, unaccounted-for "supplies", surplus city vehicles and absurdities like undercover Animal Services agents and badly timed downtown development projects. Abramson has not yet trimmed his staff or eliminated perks for his top people, yet is willing to cut services for Louisvillians so badly affected by the economic downturn. This deficit is a city management problem and so far, city management has failed residents.

If the mayor had led by example, there may have been room for compromise on raises for city employees and made layoffs a viable option. Instead, we get more of the same failed policies: cuts to libraries and cuts to parks, all while Abramson keeps his army of staff. Please make your voice heard. Call Metro-Call at 311, voice your opposition and demand financial transparency for Metro Louisville.

You can read Metro Government's Press Release on service cuts HERE.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Citizens to Mayor: Open the Books

I, as a blogger on Louisville issues, am hereby calling on Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson to open the city's accounting books to the citizens for public scrutiny, so that we may offer our own ideas for how to deal with the budget shortfall. We, as tax-paying residents of Louisville, have an interest in this matter and we demand local government make public the financial records of Louisville Metro so that we may offer our suggestions to the Mayor and Metro Council on layoffs, cuts and spending priorities.

Since the Courier-Journal will not make this request on behalf of the citizens, several Louisville bloggers are uniting to get the word out and take it to the streets. I am happy to contribute to this cause. If any of you would like to join us in calling for complete disclosure of the financial records, please let me know and I will be pleased to help you. This is not a partisan issue and thus we are welcoming all Louisville area bloggers.

You may visit these fine local sites for information. I will add more links as they become available. If you are a blogger and agree to promote this issue, let me know and I'll link up to your site below. Thank you. The city's '08-'09 budget can be seen HERE.