Friday, April 03, 2009

Marty Meyer to Challenge Seum in Senate

Marty Meyer announced his plans today to become a candidate for the 38th State Senate District. He will be facing incumbent Dan Seum. Marty is well known in the district and has a proven track record of success. He currently works for Congressman John Yarmuth (D-3) The 38th Senate District is large and covers a vast portion of Southern Jefferson County. HERE is a map of State Senate Districts.

Marty's campaign website can be seen HERE.

This will definitely be an exciting race to watch. More info as it becomes available.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Meeting in the Middle, Louisville-Style

Over the last 48 hours, I have received a barrage of emails concerning the bike station issue. The vast majority are opposed to the idea, but those that are for it are...well...let's just say they are "quite enthusiastic" about their cause.

Because of the growing animosity and the intense correspondence I am receiving on the subject, I offer the following for your consideration:

Early in the debate on the bike station, I proposed an alternative. It occurred to me that many more would benefit in both the short and long term if the city were to build some sort of "biking infrastructure" that would connect our wonderful Olmstead Parks. It would build a community of people interesting in biking recreationally, and may actually lead to a citizenry that actively seeks a downtown extension leading up to construction of a bike station that many more would be willing to support and/or use. The short-sightedness of the current plan, in my opinion, has politically charged the situation and will probably end up leaving many people trembling with anger and acting out in idiotic ways. City leaders keep bringing up Chicago's bike station as a model for Louisville's. But recent media reports have stated that there are only "up to" 500 dedicated users that pay an annual fee ($150) to utilize the station in a city of 3 million people.

Remember, this blog is about Southwest Louisville. The majority of people here want the city to pick up months-old storm debris and maybe entice someone to open a decent bookstore on Dixie Highway that doesn't involve peep shows, or at least for the residents of this community to feel as though they are involved in the dialogue when it comes to priorities. Downtown projects such as Fourth Street Live and the bike station only alienate and divide our city, and are seen by most in the Southwest as catering to "the elite".

To all this, I propose we open up a discussion on the bike issue. Can we meet in the middle? Or will we continue to separate ourselves according to imaginary boundaries? We are, after all, Louisvillians.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Betting, Beautification and Banners...It's All Good

- This sounds like a good idea: Churchill Downs is asking the Kentucky Racing Commission to approve three (3) night-time dates of racing during the spring meet. The track will utilize temporary lighting to showcase the first night races in Churchill history. Check the C-J for more HERE.

- Stonestreet Elementary School is receiving stimulus funds to construct an outdoor classroom and a walking path for community use. Click HERE.

- The Southwest Dream Team has posted an excellent video of the banner dedication ceremony in case you were unable to attend. Click HERE to watch it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Like It Or Not, You're Getting A "Bike Station"

It is official: Louisville is receiving $1.8 million federal dollars to construct a downtown bike station. You might remember the story. The subject came up around here in February, and I beat it savagely. I still thinks it speaks to all that is stupid and aloof and arrogant and wasteful in this city. The center, which may be used by up to 2000 people, will feature lockers, showers, personal storage, a cab stand, a TARC kiosk, a coffee shop and a rental car business.

The Courier-Journal has an article on the bike station, and they managed to find one person who biked his way downtown "most days" for nearly 25 years. That statement brings up an interesting point: Louisville experiences an average annual snowfall of 16.4 inches and an average annual rainfall of 44.53 inches. The wettest seasons are the spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant year round. Who would ride a bike to work in the snow or in the rain?

Gas prices are certain to rise in the future, no doubt about it. But I don't think this is the answer. Bicycles are not the future of transportation in a city like Louisville. I think a $1.8 million dollar investment in light rail would have benefited many more citizens and done more for the regions air quality. But I'm not making the decisions.

I bet I can find up to 2000 people in Louisville who enjoy riding horses. Would they ride a horse to work? Who knows? Would you be willing to pay nearly 2 million dollars for a downtown stable to find out?

FDIC Slaps Order On Republic Bank

According to an article over at the Lexington Herald-Leader, the FDIC has stated Louisville-based Republic Bank is in violation of consumer protection laws in the tax-refund loan business. Here's an excerpt from the H-L:

"In a 16-page cease and desist order, the FDIC ordered Republic to end the practices by retraining those involved in the loan program, including outside loan originators, and by conducting regular audits to ensure the program complies with the law.

The agency also ordered the bank's board of directors to appoint a committee of directors to meet monthly to review bank management's compliance with the order.

...The Republic loans are offered by more than 8,000 originators nationwide, including Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, Republic's largest refund-loan client...

Consumer groups have repeatedly said that Republic's refund anticipation loans are the most expensive of any lender. It looks as though one can get a better rate from an independent loan shark. The official "cease and desist" order can be seen HERE.

Monday, March 30, 2009

PETA Doubles Down On Pothole Repairs; Hilarity Ensues

This morning, PETA sent a letter to Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson offering to double the payment that KFC has offered the city in exchange for the right to place advertisements on top of repaired potholes. If Louisville agrees to reject KFC's plans to stencil its ads on the patched holes, PETA will pay the city $6,000 toward street repairs in exchange for ads that depict an evil Colonel Sanders next to the tagline "KFC Tortures Animals."

"Louisville streets may have suffered winter damage, but it's nothing compared to what chickens endure on the way to KFC's buckets and boxes," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "KFC needs to focus on the holes in its animal welfare policy and try to patch up its reputation for cruelly produced food."

Mayor Abramson has not responded to the organization's offer.

For more information, please visit PETA's blog.

PETA's letter to Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson follows:

March 30, 2009

The Honorable Jerry E. Abramson
Mayor of Louisville

Dear Mayor Abramson:

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters--including thousands in the Louisville area--to offer the city twice the amount of money that KFC has paid to place ads for its cruelly produced products on repaired potholes if you will use our funds to stencil "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" artwork (see attached) on the potholes instead. Motorists and pedestrians should know that there is a mile-long record of cruelty to animals behind KFC's business interests.

KFC is a blight on Louisville and beyond. Chickens killed for KFC's fast-food outlets grow up in filthy, extremely crowded sheds, mired in their own waste with no room even to even spread their wings. They are drugged and bred to grow so large so quickly that their young bones often become crippled under the weight of their massive upper bodies. At the slaughterhouse, the birds often suffer painful broken wings and legs when they are dumped from trucks--they are handled as if they were bricks, not living beings made of flesh and blood. Then, their legs are slammed into metal shackles--usually resulting in more broken bones--and their throats are cut while they are still conscious. Many birds are scalded to death when they enter the defeathering tanks. Members of KFC's own animal welfare advisory board have resigned in disgust at KFC's failure to stop the worst abuses of chickens raised and killed for its restaurants.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

The question is who will step forward next to outbid PETA? This could be a laugh riot at our expense.

Heiner Seeks Opinion On Cordish Giveaway

Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner has asked the Jefferson County Attorney's Office for it's opinion on the legality of the mayor's "forgivable loan" to the Baltimore-based Cordish Co. The Courier-Journal has the story HERE.

The "forgivable loans" are defined in the article as being "noninterest bearing and don't have to be repaid as long as certain conditions are met." That means it was not a loan. It was a free giveaway to an out of town developer to build and manage another beer joint on Fourth Street that most citizens will never visit.

Imagine how much faster the disgraceful storm debris could be cleaned up with an extra $1.8 million. Sunday hours at our libraries could have been restored. Otter Creek Park could have been reopened. We, as a community, can think of better uses for that amount of cash.

Hopefully, the County Attorney will issue a favorable opinion and the Metro Council will begin to play an active role in how money is being spent by the mayor.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Louisville Knocked Out Of Tournament

As a die-hard member of Big Blue Nation, it would be easy for me to sit back and enjoy the results of the Louisville vs. Michigan State basketball game this afternoon. But no. Not this time. I really thought the Cards had it in them this year, and I would have been fine with them winning the whole damn tournament. Besides, my hatred for Michigan State, those rubes from Oklahoma, the bums at Villanova and that bastard with the barn owl eyes from North Carolina far outweighed any contempt I had for the Louisville Cardinals.

Many dollars were lost by the hard-core gambling elite today, but thankfully I was not one of them. I don't even know what the point spread was. I am actually a bit disappointed in the loss. The Cards were beaten like rented mules in the second half, as I and countless others were left waiting for the team that blasted Arizona to show up.

It was a good run, as they say. I just wish it would have lasted a little longer.

Basketball is dead...Long live basketball.