Saturday, February 07, 2009

Horseshoe Casino Still Smokin'

My wife and I had the opportunity to visit Horseshoe (formally Caesar's) Indiana the other night, courtesy of the fine people at LEO Weekly. We were given two tickets to see Cheech and Chong perform in the ballroom. It was a great show. I had not been to the casino in several years, so it was the first time I had seen the casino and related facilities since the changeover to the Horseshoe brand. Not a big deal, in my opinion. The biggest difference, and my strongest complaint, is that there seems to be more cigarette smoke in the place that at any other time I had ever visited. I was sickened by the thick, rancid clouds of smoke. At first I chalked it up to people smoking those cheap-ass, off-brand cigarettes, but it was really because 9 out of 10 people in the place were smoking. I was sick all day yesterday from being in there, and that is unusual for me.

There was zero circulation of the air on the gambling boat, and you could actually see a haze in the air, not only aboard the vessel but in the areas leading up to it. Then today I read this report on that details an unpopular plan to ban smoking in Indiana. I hope it passes. Not only would it improve the chances that I would go back to Horseshoe within the next 5 years, it would level the playing field should Louisville ever get a casino. The air situation at Horseshoe is being badly managed.

What are your thoughts on smoking in casinos?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Free "Dumpster Drop" Available

If you represent a neighborhood group or other organization, you can apply to have Louisville's Public Works Department drop off and pick up a large dumpster for storm debris removal. I would urge you to utilize this service if you can, and apply to use it even if you aren't sure if you qualify. It is certainly worth trying. The city isn't really promoting the service that heavily. Public Works seems to be offering it so officials can claim they did something to help. Here's more:

For a limited time, Metro Public Works is offering a free dumpster service to those who qualify. If your organization, neighborhood group or association or small city, for instance, would like to apply to have a storm debris dumpster delivered and picked up from your area, use the form below. Dumpsters are available on a first come, first served basis. Dumpsters will be left for up to three days.

Click HERE for the application, and please let us know if you use this service or if you get turned down.

"Coffee With Your Councilman" This Saturday

If you District 12 residents aren't busy this Saturday, come out to Sister Bean's on Manslick for the first "Coffee With Your Councilman" event. Rick Blackwell's buying. Here's the release:

For Immediate Release: Blackwell announces “Coffee with your Councilman” Residents encouraged to come out to February 7th event Louisville – In his continuing effort to bring government to the people, Councilman Rick Blackwell is announcing a new event “Coffee with your Councilman” beginning in February for residents of District 12. The first “Coffee with your Councilman” will be held on Saturday, February 7th at Sister Bean’s, 4956 Manslick Road beginning at 10:00am. “I want to provide opportunities for neighbors to voice concerns and suggestions to me in person,” says Blackwell. “We had a great response to our monthly District 12 Dialogues, this is a chance for those who may not have free time during the week to come out and meet on a weekend.” “This is a less structured event with no predetermined agenda. I hope residents will come by, have a cup of coffee on me and just chat,” says Blackwell. In 2003, the Councilman created monthly District 12 Dialogues held on the third Tuesday of each month. Each dialogue features a different agency of local government in addition to having representatives from MSD, Codes and Regulations, Louisville Metro Police Department, Neighborhoods and Congressman Yarmuth’s Office. For more information about “Coffee with your Councilman”, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

DTV and LG&E

With all the empty talk and infomercials dealing with the transition to digital television and now the subsequent delay in the switch-over, I think we may be forgetting to ask ourselves an important question: Are we setting ourselves up for failure?

The Commonwealth is still in the midst of a massive power outage in the wake of the freakishly large and menacing "Ice Storm 2009", and many folks are now complaining they knew little on where to go for help or government efforts to aid citizens because of the lack of power. For those who can actually see it, I bet it looks mighty good for the Governor and the Mayor to be on television crowing about ongoing repairs, emergency shelters and giving lectures on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

But what about the majority without power who couldn't?

Things will seemingly get worse once the transition to digital television is complete. The switch will make your old, reliable, "emergency-only" battery-operated televisions obsolete, and the digital converters that are required to "catch" the new digital signal have to be plugged into the wall outlet.

These storms are not going away, and the electrical utilities utterly refuse to take a proactive approach to protecting the power infrastructure (i.e. buried power lines).

It's not a pretty picture, even if it is broadcast in high definition.

Radio seems to be the last resort, but with public service announcements and real news being pushed to the rear in favor of flimsy "talk" radio programs, you may have to suffer through a few hours of Rush Limbaugh in order to find out what is going on. It is a strange time, indeed. The most highly advanced technology the world has ever known is at our fingertips, yet without something as simple as a 110 volt outlet the equipment is totally useless.

Buy a generator. And hope for the best.

Otter Creek Park Petition NOW ONLINE

Thanks to the Friends of Otter Creek Park, the petition to save the park can now be accessed online. Click HERE to download the form, then just print it out. Bring any signatures you collect to the next meeting, the date of which will be announced soon.

FYI: The group has formally adopted a set of bylaws that govern the way business is to be conducted, and their strict use should help streamline the meetings. Look for the bylaws to be posted on the group's official website soon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Southwest Family Needs Our Help After Disaster

Thanks to my good friend Trevor Hemingway at The Local Weekly, I present the following information. I hope you will take the necessary steps to help this family in any way you can. - Brian

On a regular Tuesday afternoon, Melissa Peguero called home to check on her kids after they arrived home from school. Ten minutes after calling home, Melissa received a frantic call from her son about a fire in the garage. Melissa's son phoned 911 before calling his mom but their home and belongings could not be saved. Two of Melissa's children were at home when the fire began and escaped before the hot water heater exploded and spread the fire through the house. The home was devastated and the Peguero family has lost everything in the fire. They now need the Southwest's help. The children need clothes, school supplies, toys, blankets, socks, shoes, and coats. Mr. and Mrs. Peguero need work clothes, shoes, and household items. Melissa's co-workers have started a fund at River City Bank on Greenwood Road. If you would like to donate any items or money please stop by the bank and they will help you help the Pegueros. You can also take donations to Louisville Physicians for Women at 4121 Dutchmans lane Ste. 101, in Medical Plaza 3 at Norton Suburban Hospital. Contact Jennifer Rogers at 502-876-8035 or at the LPFW office at 502-897-2531 option 2 and ask for Jennifer. If you would like to send a prayer or just a letter of encouragement to Melissa and Family please mail to the doctor's office or drop it off in the waiting room. Pray for the Peguero Family: Melvin, Melissa, MJ, Tori and Maria.

Let's take this opportunity to show the goodwill of the citizens of Southwest Louisville.

Squeaky Wheel Gets A Greasin'

Thanks to an alert reader, I was notified of a unique way some South-End folks were using to notify Louisville's foreign-owned electric utility the area was still without power. I went by the corner of Pages Lane and Chase Road this afternoon to investigate, and I saw the following sign:

And on the sixth day...

Now, this may just be a fluke, but I would like to think these residents changed their environment by raising a little hell about their situation. It is a good lesson, and worth a shot in times like these. Congratulations to the residents of the Chase Road/Pages Lane area on having their power restored. And thanks for being vocal about it. It is indeed the only way some things have ever been accomplished.

Louisville FOP President McGuire Speaks; Are You Listening?

The following is a letter from FOP President John McGuire regarding the police "take-home" car issue. I forcefully agree with him.

While making my way to work today through the snow and ice covered roads, I was monitoring the police radio mounted in my take home cruiser. The radio traffic reflected that many officers, who were off duty, and in an unpaid status, were busy rendering aid to those in need. To these dedicated law enforcement officers, I offer to you my sincere gratitude and applaud your continued devotion in these times where your very own Mayor and Chief ignore and eschew your bravery and dedication.

In addition to deterring crime, the take home car program comes with the responsibility to respond to citizens in need of help, whether the officer is on or off duty. There is an enormous distinction between a “free car” that is similar to the average citizen’s car and a police car with lights, sirens, and the words “police” and “911” affixed. An officer does not have individual freedom in a police cruiser as he or she would in their personal vehicle. Yet somehow this has been viciously misrepresented. The real benefit to this program lies with the community for which it was created.

If you remove the officers assisting people while they are off-duty and unpaid, the statistics are frightening. In 2007, there were an average of 2.8 police officers per 1000 residents for cities of similar size to Louisville. Even if LMPD was fully staffed, the number falls to 1.76 officers per 1000 residents, making the Louisville Metro Police Department nearly 750 officers short in comparison. Taking this into account and using the Mayor’s own figures for pay and population, the take home police car program saves this city almost 70 million dollars per year.

To those officers who know what it means to be a public servant and to risk your very lives to protect our citizens and respond to their calls for help, whether on duty or off, I commend you! Without your sacrifice and continued dedication to honor your oath, our community would not be safe. To the Mayor and his minions who are trying to undermine the integrity and critical need to have extra officers and patrol cars protecting our streets, you have our oath as well. When we, off-duty police officers, see you and your families in crisis, we will serve and protect you as well. That is our oath. That is our integrity. That is our sacrifice.

John McGuire
FOP President

This program has become the main focus of penny-pinching tightwads bent on cracking the police union. Forget it. As I have said before, the take-home car program is a "Past Practice" and is here to stay, and I am confident that state Labor Cabinet will agree. I wish McGuire well in educating the public; That alone seems to be the biggest obstacle to overcome.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Notes on Impending Doom

Metro Louisville's unemployment rate has reached an unacceptable 7.6%, people are dying in foolish ways because of the ice storm, Grayson County Kentucky is in tatters, the "Killer Peanut Butter" will not go away, those idiots from Arizona utterly failed (but covered) in the Super Bowl and you have to find somewhere to haul your storm debris.

But at least there is some good news in all of this: You can get a free Grand Slam at Denny's tomorrow. Check it HERE, and I'll see you there.