Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yeah, It Smelled BAD.

The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District welcomed about 25 people to the Guthrie Water Quality Treatment Center this morning for a tour. It was part of an ongoing effort by District 12 Councilman Rick Blackwell to educate the public about the challenges involved in treating waste water in Jefferson County. They call it a "Water Quality Treatment Center" because that name paints a much prettier picture than what actually happens there. In a word, "disgusting". Another word would be "essential".

The conversion of seriously fouled liquid into water that can be safely discharged into a river is one of the things that makes civilized life in Louisville possible. It is also, perhaps, more complicated than you might ever imagine. After spending the morning at the facility, I have a better appreciation for the service provided by MSD. It has not, however, given me much faith in the bureaucracy's ability to explain to customers what it is doing with their money. The political aspect involved is very real and very discouraging. Out of the 25 or so in attendance, about a third had their own political agenda and, to a small degree, disrupted the tour in a search for answers to their personal problems with the agency. But this wasn't a discussion of the agency. It was a discussion of the service.

The process of waste water treatment is not something that can be properly illustrated by "dumbing-down". That fact makes it hard for MSD to interact with residents, particularly the residents living near a treatment facility or people that fear the expansion of one. This makes it important that each resident actively seek out information and educate themselves on the subject.

The Guthrie plant can handle tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage. Just bringing up the possibility of expansion sets off extreme paranoia, and as history has shown, for good reason. The fact is, people just do not understand the process, and until they do, MSD can expect challenge after challenge to any plans in Southwest Louisville, for good or ill.

They are trying, as evidenced by the tour. But there is no "try". Only "do". MSD has a long way to go in educating the public on the real issues, minus the politics. That, in a word, is "essential" too.

Southwest Louisville Young Professionals

Southwest Louisville Young Professionals is an affiliate of the Southwest Dream Team that links young professionals -- who live in or grew up in -- Southwest Louisville for business and professional networking.

Formed in 2008, the Southwest Dream Team is an organization consisting of business and civic leaders in Southwest Louisville. We came together to raise community expectations and promote the wonderful attributes of our community, with our goals being to:

- Attract more quality businesses and employers
- Retain the educated and skilled workers currently living in our community and encourage more to relocate to the area
- Improve the quality of life for all Southwest Louisville residents

Our mission is: we will lead a united Southwest Louisville to take action, to raise expectations and to energize our community.

Our vision is for Southwest Louisville to be the best place to live and do business by promoting and enhancing the qualities of our community.

For more, join the facebook group HERE.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Find A Felon Friday - 2-27-2009

Kenneth R. Love
LAST KNOWN ADDRESS: 1476 Glengary Drive
Louisville, KY 40118
Wanted for: Assault, 4th Degree (Child Abuse).
***Bond To Be Set Upon Arrest***
DOB: 05-15-68

Let's Get 'Em Boys!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Parents Pack Wilt For Answers

WHAS11 has more on the situation at Wilt Elementary involving David Grider, a fourth grade instructor at the school who allegedly threatened the life of the principal there during a counseling session with a therapist. Parents packed the school tonight looking for answers, and judging by the reaction shown in the WHAS video, school principal Kimberly Kent disappointed them Immensely on a Grand Level.

I have previously laid out my personal opinion of the teacher, which you can read by clicking HERE.

The more we know about the situation, the more it looks like Principal Kent over-reacted to a foul-ball remark made by an miffed, George Costanza-like character. This probably will not end well for Grider. But I still think it is a mistake to create some type of monster out of the man.

I have put myself in the shoes of the parents, and I believe Grider should be kept on. I also hope the parents find whatever it is they are looking for.

This is the latest example of how inept JCPS Superintendant Dr. Sheldon Berman truly is when it comes to investigating goofy behavior among employees and reporting to parents. There seems to be no system in place to involve parents at any level. Spare Grider. Blame Berman.

...And Now For The Weather, and Other Dismal News.

It was 66 degrees in Louisville today. By Saturday it will be snowing. It will rain the entire time in between, your mailman will slip in the mud, your newspaper will be wet and your tarp(s) will probably fly off the roof of your home. If you are lucky, you will have enough storm debris in front of your home to contain the inevitable mudslide.

There are a lot of rotten moods out there right now, and I am a firm believer that this demon weather has contributed to all the hate-filled hearts in Louisville. Our mayor is a sap, our public school system has run amok and everyone with a marketable trade is either out of a job or on the bubble. There are more people on unemployment and food stamps than ever, yet the local paper seems content running weekly features on the Good Life That You Will Never Have, showcasing grand homes with "Media Rooms" bigger than your grandfathers farm.

The State Legislature is still in session, but there's not much going on. Just a mammoth display of hand-shaking and throat-clearing with the occasional nutty bill causing an uproar.

And if you are a University of Kentucky Basketball fan like me, you are truly desperate.

So, that covers weather, local news, politics and sports for today. Don't worry. The month of March is coming, and with it, the promise of spring. Keep the faith.

King & Blackwell Propose Labor Ordinance

Local jobs for local workers. This is what it's all about.

For Immediate Release:
King and Blackwell propose Labor Standards ordinance for local jobs and contractors
Ordinance would impact public/private partnerships

Louisville – In an effort to promote local jobs and businesses, Councilmen Jim King (D-10) and Rick Blackwell (D-12) have proposed a new labor standards ordinance that would cover all projects where taxpayer subsidies or assets are involved.
“This ordinance will put in writing the expectation of Metro Government that tax subsidized projects assure the hiring of local workers and contractors when taxpayer assets are involved in a local project,” says King. “The Metro Council has always been an advocate for local employment but the variety of projects involving Metro Government tax subsidies merit a standardization of our expectations for local employment. Developers deserve to know what is expected when taxpayer money is involved.”
The Labor Standards ordinance would set minimum standards for the developers of a major project receiving taxpayer assistance. Among the requirements:

• A goal that at least 75 percent of project jobs are given to Kentucky and Indiana residents
• A goal that at least 60 percent of project jobs are given to residents of the Louisville MSA
• A goal of at least 20 percent minority participation, including minority owned businesses, for all employees and contractors on the project
• A goal of at least 5 percent women participation, including female owned businesses, for employees and contractors on the project
• Opportunities for both union and non-union employees and contractors
• The payment of prevailing wages and benefits, as established for each profession or trade used on the project

Contractors would be expected to report their efforts to achieve the standardized goals and they would be expected to participate in recognized training programs for their employees.
“This ordinance will let everyone know what we expect, if you want Metro Louisville’s financial assistance,” says Blackwell. “In years past, we have had to impose these standards on an ad hoc basis. That leaves too much to chance when you are talking about taxpayer money.”
The proposed ordinance has been assigned to the Metro Council’s Labor and Economic Development Committee.
“We have seen great success with the Louisville Arena Authority in meeting similar labor standards with the new downtown arena,” says King. “Other developers will see the ultimate benefit of using the local workforce for their project.”
For more information about the ordinance, contact Councilman King’s office at 574-1110 or Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

More Restaurants Coming to Southwest

With help from my friend Trevor Hemingway at The Local Weekly, we now know of a total of six (6) new restaurants will be coming to Southwest Louisville. A few have been announced previously. Here they are:

Qdoba's Mexican Grill

Our Best Restaurant
Bob Evans

MSD Tour This Saturday

You can tour MSD’s Guthrie Water Quality Treatment Center this Saturday, February 28th, at 10am, 11621 Lower River Rd. This is a great opportunity to gain knowledge so that we may speak more intelligently about our drainage and sewer issues in Southwest Louisville.

It is not the most glamorous setting, but essential nonetheless. See you there.

Join Councilmen Rick Blackwell and Bob Henderson for a tour of the water treatment facility that serves Southwest Louisville. The tour is free and open to the public. Attendees will be free to ask questions of MSD employees regarding the future of drainage in Southwest Louisville. If you are interested in attending please call either Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112 or Councilman Henderson’s office at 574-1114.

Mayor Appoints "Louisville At Work" Team

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has put together a team of people to administer the spending programs associated with the stimulus package approved by Congress. Here is an excerpt from the city's webpage:

Former Deputy Mayor Rick Johnstone will manage the Louisville At Work team, which will help prioritize projects and implement the spending programs outlined under the federal recovery bill. Work teams will focus on the following areas:

* Transportation and Infrastructure
* Social Services and Homelessness Prevention
* Public and Affordable Housing
* Workforce Training
* Education
* Public Protection
* Economic Development and Energy Efficiency
* Water and Flood Protection
* Health and Wellness
* Arts and Faith-Based Groups
For more reading on the subject, you can click HERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mower-Gate: City Spends While Citizens Suffer

In the face of mounting budget deficits and service cuts for Louisvillians, WHAS11 is reporting Metro Parks has purchased new mowing equipment. The cost of the mowers, over $600,000, is well beyond what the city hoped to save by closing Otter Creek Park.

You really cannot make this stuff up.

See the awful truth HERE.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Financial Peace University

South End resident and attorney David Yates will be volunteering as the course coordinator for the program below. David has worked in the Commonwealth Attorney╩╝s office and served as an Assistant Attorney General. He is currently retained by the UAW legal service plan where he has gained significant experience in consumer protection litigation.

In a note attached to this information, Mr. Yates says, "I have witnessed the daily struggles that so many of our family, friends and neighbors are facing just to make ends meet. Week after week, I observe families collapse under the strain of financial debt. It is my hope that through this course some of our residents will learn how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and build wealth."

Please do not miss this opportunity to make the most out of your money.

Financial Peace University is a life-changing program that teaches you how to make the right decisions with your money. You'll be empowered with the practical skills and confidence needed to achieve your financial goals and experience true financial peace

The class will meet 13 times from March 4, 2009 until June 3, 2009.
Classes will be held on Wednesday nights from 7:00 pm to 9:00pm at:

St. Lawrence Church Community Room
1925 Lewiston Drive, Louisville, KY 40216
Phone: 502-448-2122

David Yates will serve as the volunteer coordinator for the course.

Change the Way You Think
Each of the 13 Lessons deals with a different topic that will change the way you think about personal finance. Dave teaches about how to save money, live on a budget, communicate about money, eliminate debt, find bargains, and experience the joy of giving.

Proven Success
Over 650,000 families have completed FPU with amazing success. On average, they pay off $5,300 in debt and save $2,700 in just 13 weeks. That's an $8,000 change in position in just 91 days!

Powerful. Enlightening. Fun.
In FPU, you will meet with your class each week to watch a video lesson and participate in discussion groups that will change how you think about money. Dave explains how money really works in a simple, easy-to-understand style. You'll actually have fun as you learn.

You join this FPU by purchasing a Membership Kit, which contains essential tools to guide you through the class. FPU Members receive a lifetime membership that will allow you to attend a class anywhere, anytime at no extra charge.

Class membership regularly cost $199. However, St. Lawrence Parish will be receiving the Church and Religious Organizations discount of $93.00 per family unit. Call the number above to order your Membership Kit in time for the first class.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Commentary on David Grider

Jefferson County Republican Party Secretary and JCPS teacher David Grider's current situation at Wilt Elementary has taken up much room in my thoughts of late. After reading all the available information and speaking with concerned parties, I offer you my opinion on the matter:

Grider is a gifted educator that has the respect of all his students, both past and present, that I have spoken with. He, like you and I, also suffers from a fatal flaw: He can't keep his mouth shut when he gets pissed off, and his outrageous comments routinely make a situation spiral out of control. But so what? We all have our quirks. Who among us has handled every situation perfectly with top-notch diplomacy? Not me, sure as hell. But at the end of the day, Mr. Grider is there to teach your kids, and if they are happy, you should be too.

Teaching is a noble profession, one of which most of us are spectacularly unqualified. But there are still some similarities in work life. I think we can all relate to the "office politics" that can make one's work life miserable. This is where Grider under-performs. But parents and the media need to get off this teachers back, because he is obviously fulfilling his commitment to his students, and that really is "Job 1".

This situation, like all the others of late, has been handled terribly by JCPS Superintendent Dr. Sheldon Berman, and speaks more to Berman's inability to handle crisis (real or not) than it does David Grider's inability to shut his mouth. Get rid of that ridiculous security guard, and get Grider a class in tact.

Case closed.
Class dismissed.

Defendants Added In Gilpin Case

Fox41 is reporting that three defendants have been added to the civil suit brought by the parents of Max Gilpin, the 15 year old PRP high school student who died following a football practice last August.

Click HERE for more.

Ex-Dixie Teacher Grider Getting Wild at Wilt

The nuttiness at Wilt Elementary is getting cranked up to unacceptable levels. To Wit: Nearly a week after the sentencing of ex-Dixie Elementary School principal Adrian Sanford on felony theft charges, there is another former employee of the school in the news. WHAS11 reports that teacher David Grider is being followed by a security guard at Wilt Elementary after allegedly making a threat against that school's principal.

Mr. Grider taught at Dixie Elementary under Sanford, and was once accused of hitting a student with his car during a protest and being verbally abusive to fifth grade students while at Dixie.

See the complete report HERE.

If there is anyone with additional information on the accused, please contact me. Confidentiality Assured.

Have You Read Your Paper Today?

Monday usually equals a terrible newspaper, but today's Courier-Journal has come alive with no less than four (4) hot articles. Look:

- Absent a miracle, Stumbo's slot bill will not receive a vote this session. It looks as though some legislators are content to wait until the state's economic condition is terminal before doing anything to bring revenue. Read the details HERE.

- National coal waste storage standards are badly needed and may become reality soon thanks to a series of environmental disasters involving the millions of gallons of liquid poison sludge stored in "ponds". James Bruggers has the story HERE.

- One year after Metro Public Works engineering supervisor Ali Ahmadi illegally constructed the building housing the Javanon Soccer Club, neighbors are still outraged, the structure still stands and the club still operating. More about the cronyism HERE.

- Joe Gerth writes about the "Mayor for Life" and his political future. Juicy gossip HERE.