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

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.

MSD Public Hearing This Tuesday, December 2

The following is from the Official Public Notice sent by MSD to the citizens of Louisville, KY.

Public Hearing
December 2, 2008
6:00 p.m.
MSD Main Office Board Room
700 W. Liberty Street
Louisville, KY 40203

Oral comments received during this public hearing will be recorded, transcribed, and treated in the same manner as written comments. People wishing to speak at the public hearing will be asked to register, either in advance or in person at the hearing. Comments will be limited to no more than 5 minutes per person, and speakers will be scheduled in the order that they were registered. Advance registration can be made via email to Kandris Goodwin at (502) 540-6000.

If you did not send a letter to MSD opposing their plan, you must be present at this meeting to have your comments put into the public record. Do not forget that you must register to speak. This is your last chance to voice your opinion on this issue. When the process begins to select the treatment facility that will receive the excess sewage, your comments will be reviewed and considered. If you do not attend this meeting and get on record as being against this plan, you cannot complain about it if MSD decides to pump the sewage to Southwest Louisville. Please be in attendance if at all possible to influence this decision.