Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Night Blahhh

- Construction has begun on the addition to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, hot on the ass of a losing season and calls for the coach's head and first born child. When finished, the stadium will seat 55,000 unsatisfied fans that will be in the parking lot by halftime. That is, if they can afford the tickets. FOX41 has got the story.

- Today was the last scheduled day for operations at the historic Firehouse 7 in Old Louisville. The mayor saw fit to close the firehouse, leaving residents boiling hot. They have sued to keep it open. Stay tuned. See WHAS11 for more.

- Unemployment is reaching staggering levels, with the U.S. losing 2.6 million jobs in 365 days. If you are still working, congratulations. Some of my Republican friends just think the out of work bums should go back to college to get new skills. But you don't need a degree to stock shelves or sell pre-paid cell phones now, do you? The Courier-Journal has all the terrible news.

Have a nice Sunday, and keep the faith.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Find A Felon Friday - January 9

The felon I was going to feature this week was caught, so we will go a different direction today. If you are nosy like my wife, you want to know what is happening when you see police vehicles on your street. Well, thanks to the LMPD, you can listen to Urban or Suburban scanner channels online. Just go HERE and click the links.

Be careful, this is addicting. Have fun.

Finally Friday

Jefferson County Public Schools has announced proposed budget cuts aimed at saving $22 million dollars. WHAS11 has the story HERE.

The U.S. unemployment rate has jumped to 7.2% for the month of December, as employers continued to lay off workers and banks continued to hoard billions in bailout money. The Courier-Journal has the depressing details HERE.

I am currently under a marital mandate to paint the living room and hallway today, but I will be back shortly to discuss this week's Find A Felon feature and other local news as it happens.

Thanks for making The Valley Report part of your day.

UPDATE 1/09/09 - 6:0pm: The courier is now reporting that Christian Academy Southwest may be closing the high school part of the facility. Read it HERE.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Former Dixie Elementary Principal Gets Prison in Plea Deal

Adrian Sanford, the former principal at Dixie Elementary School, will serve a five (5) year prison sentence as part of a plea deal involving four (4) felony charges. Sanford will also testify against the school's former bookkeeper and co-defendant Toneke Bullitt. The Courier-Journal has the full story HERE.

The bottom line is, he is a lowlife thief that stole funds from a school where nearly 75% of the kids are on a reduced or free lunch program, just so he could pad an extravagant lifestyle for himself. Prison is too good for this sleaze.

Have fun in the slammer, Sanford.

FOP Wins Another Round; Corrections to Stay on Job

Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Wine handed the FOP another win yesterday in a ruling that denied Metro Government's request to collect increased fees from police for the use of take home cars. The FOP claims the city refused to negotiate on what has been a past practice for decades, instead choosing to force another $1200 per year out of each officer in what is, essentially, a pay cut for the "privilege" of using the vehicles. WLKY has the story HERE.

An Excerpt:

Wine wrote that Metro Government failed "to demonstrate irreparable injury prior to resolution of the underlying expedited appeal procedure."

This is the second time Metro Government has lost in court, but don't expect that to prevent them from trying again. Here is my last post dealing with the subject: Valley Report - Judge to Mayor: Pound Sand.

In other Metro Government news, The Courier-Journal is reporting that the Metro Corrections chief has decided not to comply with the mayor's furlough days, saying jail safety would be severely compromised as a result. Corrections Director Mark Bolton says since the city has never divulged what the savings would be for furloughing corrections officers, he doesn't know how much money to try and save through other means. Read the article HERE.

I offer my congratulations to both the FOP and Corrections Officers for sticking together to win these battles. Stay united, and I wish you all continued good luck.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Waverly Hills Casino - Let's Get It Done

WHAS11 has a report on Kentucky's newly-elected Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo's initiative to place slot machines at race tracks to help cover the state's enormous half-billion dollar budget shortfall. There has been much discussion on this issue in the past with both sides refusing to cede any ground whatsoever.

It is personally my opinion that the state should allow full-blown casino gambling, and not just the "half-measure" of slots at race tracks. The reality is that if we would allow casinos we would keep gambling dollars in Kentucky. That is the bottom line. The gamblers are already here. Currently, all of those dollars go across the river to Indiana and help educate Hoosiers and pave Hoosier roads. It isn't much of a moral issue, in my opinion. We allow much more "immoral" behavior in the commonwealth. Besides, no one is forced to walk into a casino and we can all certainly agree that the state needs the money. The revenue generated by state wide casinos would virtually eliminate the need for any tax increases on Kentuckians.

It has been a dream of mine to see a full service resort hotel, casino and entertainment complex constructed at the site of the old Waverly Hills Hospital in Southwest Louisville. One could only imagine the potential of having such a place on the hill and the economic boost it would give to the area. I envision a vibrant showplace that pays tribute to the history of the area, and architecturally stands out as a fantastic landmark. Let's face it; as it now stands, the property is a super-limited attraction, appealing to "ghost hunters", "ghost busters" and goofballs that want to vandalize something. The property deserves better than to be promoted as some type of haunted hotel and fodder for late night cable. HERE is the "official" website for the property.

Casino jobs pay well over the average of other service-related jobs and traditionally include benefits. The construction of the facility would create more opportunities for local trades. The location is ideal for travelers, since the area is well served by highways and interstates and perhaps, in the future, passenger rail.

What do you say? Let's bring an elegant first-class casino to our part of town and give our neighbors and the Commonwealth the opportunity to make some real money.

Process Simplified for Help with Heating Bills

Times are tough, and for some people something simple as paying the heating bill is becoming a huge struggle. Fortunately, there is an agency dedicated to assisting low-income people pay their bill. The process has also been simplified, as there are a record number of citizens seeking help. This simplification eliminates the long lines by establishing a phone appointment system for people seeking to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

If you or someone you know has received a disconnection notice from LG&E, and you meet the income guidelines, you may request an appointment with the agency by calling 574-HEAT. Appointments will be issued by phone, and the program will continue until funding dries up.

For more information, click HERE. Thanks to WDRB FOX41 for re-posting this information.

Give Blood Today

The failure of last week's "Donorama" has the Red Cross searching for blood donors. Head down to East Chestnut Street from 11am - 7pm today and help do your part. Here is more information on the story, courtesy of Fox41.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Local Weekly - HOT This Week!

I recently received the opportunity to comment to the owner and publisher of The Local Weekly, the South End's only paper. He has published my piece in the paper and it will be available this week at various locations throughout Southwest Louisville. Pick up your copy soon at your favorite local merchants, and support the advertisers. This is what makes our part of Louisville so great.

For more information, visit the website HERE. And thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday's Top News

- In what may be a sign that Louisville's Public Libraries are doomed to further cuts, Mayor Jerry Abramson and University President James Ramsey announced yesterday that the University of Louisville's on-campus library is available for use by the citizenry. The reminder came during a windy press conference that, by some accounts, nearly blew Ramsey's comb-over off his head. WLKY has the story, but photos of President Ramsey's curtain-waving coiff remain elusive.

- KY. State Representative Tim Firkins has suggested that legislators take a 10% pay cut in the wake of a massive, half-billion dollar budget deficit to "share in the pain". People with day jobs say the legislature should just go back to meeting every other year, since most don't know the difference anyway. Read the Courier-Journal article HERE.

- Whatever happens with the weather today, please do not freak out and jam on the brakes at the stoplight. If you feel like driving is just too much to handle, stay home. What the hell? You probably still have some "thank you" cards to write for all that stuff you got for Christmas. If you must go out, wait until Wednesday so you can catch this month's Southwest Dream Team meeting at Valley High School. It is from 11:30am - 1pm, and lunch is being served. You will be glad you made it. I always am.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's Official: Meet The Friends of Otter Creek Park

Traditional wisdom says that in order to get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three persons, two of them absent. But that policy did not apply here in Southwest Louisville this evening, where nearly 250 people filled the main courtroom at the local Government Center for an orderly meeting on saving Otter Creek Park. A resolution adopting the formal name of the group as well as the election of officers were among the agenda items tonight.

Here are your elected officials for the Friends of Otter Creek Park:

Secretary: Dave Baker
Treasurer: Kim Lucas
Chairpersons: Joel Hunt, Donnie Basham, William Mudd, John Oliver, Angie White, Bill Ralls

The treasurer and secretary positions will serve three (3) month terms. A President will be elected from among the six (6) chairpersons. A non-binding resolution was passed stating the group may legally incorporate into some type of non-profit entity at some time in the future if the members deem it necessary. All of the decisions were made by voice vote and much discussion followed each item. In the spirit of transparency and openness, every resolution was debated before voting, with dissenting opinions noted and given equal time, thought and respect.

Seven (7) subcommittees were formed:
  1. Petitions and Volunteering
  2. Public Relations and Media
  3. Non-Profit & Charity
  4. Government Liaison
  5. Legal
  6. Bylaws
  7. Recreation and Special Interests
Volunteers were asked to sign up for the various subcommittees according to their area of expertise or interest, and judging from the number of concerned citizens in attendance, there should be no shortage of talent on these committees. If you can help, please let me or someone named above know. The dedication and sincerity of the people at this meeting tonight shall go a long way towards accomplishing our ultimate goal: Saving Otter Creek.

As Robert Strickland, a concerned citizen, stated, "This mayor is on notice."

Thanks to everyone who came out and participated tonight. It was great to see so many people from diverse backgrounds gathered for a non-partisan cause. This is only the beginning. Also, thank you to WLKY, LEO Weekly and The Local Weekly (The South End's Only Local Paper) for helping cover this event.

For more information, please visit the blog Save Otter Creek Park or the Save Otter Creek Facebook Group.

Shively Thief Takes "Highway to Hell"

It is a new low, and unfortunately, it is happening in Shively. Some scumbag is stealing from automobiles parked in Louisville Memorial Gardens Southwest while the owners are visiting the grave sites of loved ones. Rarely do I feel shocked to see something odd, or to react this way to an item or event, but this one got me. It is as though this guy is on some type of drug that no one knows about.

WLKY has the story.

When they catch this idiot, I hope the Shively Police let the citizens dole out the punishment. One shot at a time.

FOX41 - Save Otter Creek Park Info

Fox41 has posted an item about the Friends of Otter Creek meeting.

WHAS11 also has an item on the website. Click HERE to read it.

See you tonight.

Iroquois-Area Emergency Siren Finally Repaired

It seems that four months was enough time to finally put the issue of the emergency siren near Kenwood Elementary School to bed for good. The siren has been replaced with a modernized model with a battery back-up feature. It has also been moved to a new, nearby location and has twice the range of the old siren that was destroyed during the September windstorm. The city blames the delay on FEMA and the agency's slow approval of a $20,000 funding request. There's no information on the total replacement cost of the siren. There was a concern that citizens in the area were being left vulnerable by the lack of a warning system.

WLKY has the story HERE.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Animal Services More Aggressive Than Dangerous Dogs

In today's Courier-Journal, there is an article on Metro Animal Services and the department's "aggressive" enforcement tactics. This situation should alarm everyone, even if you are not an animal owner. The article details the gestapo-like "raids" on unsuspecting citizens who try to sell a few puppies. The department even admits that only "one in four" raids are targeted toward supposed dangerous breeds.

Back in mid-November I wrote this post about Metro Animal Services. Nothing has changed.

This looks to be more of a scheme to generate revenue for the city more than an attempt to protect residents from dangerous dogs. I would like to hear your comments.