Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hunter S. Thompson, Fellow Louisvillian

I see many of those grand photos plastered on buildings about the city. Harland Sanders, Diane Sawyer, Muhammad Ali. I always wonder who is in charge of these things. I want to recommend to the person or persons responsible for developing and installing these murals to develop one featuring Louisville's own, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. It is a fitting tribute to our native son, and world-wide celebrity. It will surely take money and influence at a level of which I do not possess.

I see an economic boost to the city. Forget Aspen, CO. Invite the tourists here, with open arms. Set up tours of his boyhood haunts. Have lectures and writing symposiums and conferences. His status is legendary around the world, even today. Is Louisville a first-class city or what? Do we not care enough about one of the most influential American writers of a generation? Especially one of our own? Our unwillingness to do this is becoming conspicuous. I think it is past the time someone work on this idea. If anyone knows any way to get the ball rolling, please let me know.

Who knows? Maybe all the visitors will go to Center City for a cocktail.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Do Not Forget: MSD Meeting on Monday!

MSD's plan to pump raw sewage from Jeffersontown to Valley Station is nearing reality, but we can let them know that enough is enough. We can stop this plan and insure future growth for all of Louisville. There are alternatives. Please go to the meeting Monday night and voice your opinion. HERE is the official public notice.

Monday, November 10th
6:00 PM
Southwest Government Center
7219 Dixie Hwy.

We have a real opportunity to change the Southwest for the better with this issue. We should let it be known that this is the last time we will withstand "proposals" like these that decrease home and property values and stifles growth in Southwest Louisville while promoting it elsewhere. When we demand better, we will get it. Learn as much about this issue as you can.

We need to urge MSD to invest in infrastructure in all parts of Louisville, thereby improving the quality of life for all parts of Louisville.

WHAS-11's Mark Hebert has an exclusive report on the corruption at MSD. View it HERE.

And check out this link for more:
Louisville News and Politics: MSD Wastewater Plan

Need a Job? Work Union.

If you are looking for work, and all you can find are managerial or food service jobs with low wages, then check out the Greater Louisville Building and Construction Trades Council's website for various apprenticeship opportunities. You can click HERE for the website. The following is taken from the website to help you understand the benefits of an apprenticeship with a trade union.

Apprenticeship in the building trades is the doorway to opportunity. Apprentices learn skills which can be used throughout their careers. Today's ambitious apprentices will become the supervisors, contractors, estimators and superintendents of tomorrow. They will be instrumental in guiding co-workers and other apprentices to improve their trade skills.

Additional benefits of joint labor/management Apprenticeship Programs are:
- Excellent wage rates with guaranteed scheduled increases
- Paid health insurance
- State of the art training facilities
- Safe working conditions
- Guaranteed pension benefits
- College Credits

Sun Valley Community Center Upgrades

Excerpt from the Courier-Journal:

The center, at 6505 Bethany Lane, is undergoing a $350,000 internal renovation officials said could make it even more popular.

The renovations began several weeks ago and will include new offices, a fitness room and new restrooms.

Dana Delepierre, the center's director, said the handicapped-accessible restrooms probably will be the most noticeable change for center users, many of whom are seniors.

"They haven't been upgraded since the 1950s," she said. "We're really excited about things."

Renovations are expected to be completed by the first of the year.

Metro Parks spokesman Jon Reiter said the center -- which was constructed as a country club in 1952 -- has seen improvements to its pool, outdoor restrooms and roof over the past several years.

Given the popularity of the center and its programs, Reiter said he expects the interior improvements to be welcomed.

"They do a very good job out there," Reiter said of the center's staff. "We're trying hard to give the residents something out there to be proud of, because they use it."

Sun Valley's web page detailing programs and events can be viewed HERE.

It's Time To Join Your Community Groups

Now that the elections are over, take some time and invest it in your community. There are several exciting things starting to happen in Southwest Louisville, and I urge each of you to try and take part in at least one of them you care about. Here's some information and contacts you may find useful:

  • Valley Women's Club -

There are also a number of political clubs and advocacy groups in Southwest Louisville. You can check the newspaper's Neighborhoods section each Wednesday to see if there is something you like, or just send me a message. I look forward to seeing you at some of these events. Let's take pride in our Southwest neighborhoods!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sun Valley Center to hold Veterans Day Celebration
Event to honor those who served on Tuesday, November 11th

Louisville – Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14) is encouraging everyone to take some time next Tuesday to honor the men and women who have served the United States of America in uniform.
“We owe a great deal to our veterans,” says Henderson. “Next Tuesday, we should take the time to thank them for their service.”
On Tuesday, November 11th there will be a Veteran’s Day Celebration at the Sun Valley Community Center at 6505 Bethany Lane. The Celebration will be held from 10:00am until 12:00pm. The event is sponsored by Metro Parks and KIPDA.
Everyone is welcome to attend and light refreshments will be served. Bob Holt and the Primetime Band will be on hand to provide music and entertainment.
If seniors want to stay for lunch that day, you must call 502-935-0535 before noon on Monday, November 10, 2008.
“This celebration is just one of many ways to show our veterans our appreciation,” says Henderson.
For more information about the Veteran’s Day Celebration at Sun Valley Community Center, contact the Center at 937-8802.

Holiday Party in Okolona

Flood and Radio Disney to bring in the Holiday Season
Post Parade Holiday Party set for Saturday, November 8th

Louisville – Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) will help usher in the 2008 Holiday Season with help from Radio Disney by hosting a Post Parade Holiday Party at Jefferson Mall on Saturday, November 8th.
“I want children in the area to come out and have some fun with us,” says Flood. “It’s a great way to kick off a very special time of year.”
The Post Parade Holiday Party will get underway from 11:30am to 1:30pm at the Sears Court of Jefferson Mall. There will games, music and prizes.
It follows the 30th Annual Santa Parade at Jefferson Mall.
“Radio Disney knows how to entertain and this is something for the entire family,” says Flood.
There will also be a chance to register to win two tickets to see the Cheetah Girls “One World” Tour at Rupp Arena in Lexington on November 29th. The drawing will be held at 1:25pm and you must be 14 years of age or younger to win. You must also be present to win.
The Santa Parade will begin at 9:00am at Tymberwood Circle of the Outer Loop and end at the Sears Court.
For more information on the Post Parade Holiday Party, contact Councilwoman Flood’s office at 574-1124.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mayor's New Tax Has Exemptions

Mayor Jerry Abramson's new tax on groups wishing to hold events like marathons, bike races or any other event that may involve a street closure unfairly excludes all Kentucky Derby Festival events. This new tax is supposed to cover police overtime and expenses that are all ready being paid for by your tax dollars. It seems the Mayor thinks that you should pay a "fee" (tax) if a cop has to show up and close a street for your organization, unless you are the Kentucky Derby Festival.

I think this is a bad idea.

The mayor wants a first-class city with events held downtown, but he wants your group to pay the tab for the police.

I'm interested in your views on this matter, and what we can do to solve it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It Is Over

With only a few exceptions, I feel like we did pretty good tonight in Louisville. Yarmuth buried Northup, which was very satisfying to me. A friend of mine saw Northup today on the back of a trolley, waving. No one was waving back. She said it was like Northup on a train heading out of town.

But at least "That One" is now "The One".

Kentucky is still stuck with Mitch, and Boswell got beat by a guy that thinks $7.73 an hour is a good wage. We have a lot of work to do. Have a look at what my buddy Jim @ the Hillbilly Report has to say about it HERE.

Congratulations to Perry Clark and Rick Blackwell. Both of these guys ran clean campaigns while under constant attack from inept and unethical competitors. Residents in the 14th Metro District got Bob Henderson back, for good or ill. Henderson had better use this term wisely, because if a strong Democrat ever emerges in the 14th, he's done.

The judicial races were good, except for that silly Katie King thing. I will never be able to understand why or how that happened.

A new day starts tomorrow, and we have much to discuss. I'll be digging in on the Mayor's new tax on charitable organizations or any other groups looking to host events in the city that may involve a street closure, and I'll take a critical look at who gets the exemptions (yes, there are exemptions). Until then, good night.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Metro Government Grant Wrongfully Used For Sex Offenders

Metro Government grant wrongfully used on Sex Offenders

City to Sue NexStep to Independence, Inc.

Louisville – In the summer of this year, Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12) became aware that several apartments along Hackel Drive were housing registered sex offenders. Blackwell immediately asked the Jefferson County Attorney’s office to look into possible housing violations with these sex offenders.
In late August it was discovered that NexStep to Independence, Inc had been given a $25,000 grant from the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government to be used for salaries, operating expenses and assistance to clients.

The financial assistance to clients was to be used for rent, personal items, utilities and transportation. Under the terms of the grant agreement potential clients for NexStep would be screened and could not have a prior history of violent crimes, a history of sexual offenses, or any psychiatric problems.

“NexStep is clearly violating the terms of their grant agreement,” says Blackwell. “It is my hope that when this money is returned these residents will have to find more appropriate places to live.”

In light of the grant violations, the County Attorney’s Office sent a letter to the NexStep program declaring all monies by returned by October 15th. To date, NexStep has not responded.
“Since NexStep has not complied with our request, we filed a lawsuit against them last Friday,” said Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell.

“My office will continue to monitor this situation and we will make sure the grant money is returned to be used for its original intentions,” said Blackwell.

For more information, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Bill Londrigan Pledges help for Local Building Trades Council

I just got off the phone with Bill Londrigan, President of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO. He once again stated his support for the Greater Louisville Building and Construction Trades Council's initiative to bring local jobs to local workers by pushing for a metro ordinance requiring contractors to hire local hands, and offered his help whenever it is needed.

As a Union Ironworker, I appreciate this idea greatly, because there is work in Jefferson County, and there is no reason why we should have out-of-towners doing it rather than experienced Louisville tradesmen. Part of this battle will depend on the kind of politicians we elect locally. Please vote tomorrow, and vote for those that support organized labor.

We live, work, play and pay taxes locally. We should be building our own bridges and buildings, too.

Mayor, Louisville Police to Charge Special Fees for "Protection"

In today's C-J, there is an article that should disturb anyone that believes in the right to free assembly. Read it HERE.

I really believe that this will end up at the point where normal citizens will have to pony up some money in order to protest, peacefully gather or assemble in public in any other way. Although they will say you are still be free to assemble in public, you will probably have to pay a fee. If you cannot afford the fee, you cannot gather. This is crazy. The Mayor and his cops are charging charities "police fees". Something we already pay taxes for. How long before it will be applied to other groups of people? The ACLU filed a lawsuit last July on this type of nuttiness in New Jersey.

If we had some representation on the council, (am I really saying this?) someone would come out in a thoughtful way to remove and prohibit these types of fees on charities, interest groups or anyone else. I don't give a damn if other cities are doing it. Our city shouldn't. And it is an issue that a councilman from Southwest Louisville should grab and run with.

Contact the mayor, and tell him we do not want our constitutional rights to be taxed by the city. You can see him Monday,November 17 at the next Community Conversation at Pleasure Ridge Park High School. The meeting starts at 6:30pm. Or you may email the mayor HERE.

UPDATE: 5:00PM, 11/03/2008

Below is the message I sent Mayor Abramson this afternoon and his reply:


You must drop this stupid idea of making people pay for a police presence for their events. It will hurt charities and, I believe, will soon be expanded into making ANY groups that meet publicly pay for a cop that has to show up. This is ridiculous, like having people pay to use public parks.

Save what is left of your legacy. Drop this nonsense now, please.


Dear Mr. Tucker,

Thanks for taking the time to write about the fees involved in community events like road races. This was not a decision we made lightly, as we understood that many community events would be affected.

We had been able to provide traffic control services for community events for a long time with little cost to the event organizers.

However, a number of factors have challenged our police department's ability to accommodate every event.

First, on any given weekend from early spring to the holiday season, there are at least two or three events that require police coordination (traffic control, crowd control, street closures and the like). Every officer that we assign to those details is either assigned there as part of a regular shift, which takes that officer away from other police work, or is an overtime assignment, which costs much more per hour. The number of requests we get for police coverage continues to grow, straining our resources further.

Many of these events are for several hundred to a couple thousand people. In the larger perspective, we have to balance the safety interests of the entire community of 700,000 residents with the needs of a road race that could involve 500 people.

Second, in every instance where event organizers have indicated they'll have trouble paying for the traffic service, our officers have offered to help find alternatives. The fees are not static; fewer major intersections blocked means fewer officers needed. We can work with organizers to find other routes to meet the needs of the event while not overwhelming city resources.

We remain committed to the Healthy Hometown Movement, and our police department is more than cooperative with organizers to help find ways to continue events that meet their budget needs. In these tight economic times, I am sure you can understand how critical it is that we spend taxpayer dollars wisely.

Thanks again for writing, and if I may be of service, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Circus Skips Town, Leaves Clowns Behind

Doug Hawkins just put out yet another email on the tired, tired subject of the "bomb storage facility", and this time he is "Setting the Record Straight" by blaming Rick Blackwell. You see, Doug can't make friends or gain influence on the Council because his combative style annoys everyone, so he must blame others for his constant, disasterous failures.

It is obvious today that the Hawkins-Witten bund is turning to wax, as they rely on circus-style campaign tactics instead of issues. You can't blame them, really. They never had any ideas, relying instead on fear and ignorance of the issues, and mainly hoping that voters wouldn't ask for much during this election.

Voters are asking for leadership, vision and results. Hawkins/Witten cannot provide these. Only goofy emails and overblown hype, headline-chasing and reactionary buffoonery. These two clowns, through these past actions, have made us the laughingstock of the metro area. Remember what type of campaigns Doug and Dwight ran, and hold them accountable.

UPDATE: 11/03/2008 - 2:10PM

Doug has sent yet another email on "bomb-storage", this time claiming that he has helped to draft a State Senate Resolution with Dan Seum to prohibit this action. His constituents in the 25th District of Louisville Metro remain unimpressed, still looking for signs of life in his office. Wish us luck.....