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 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.