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.