Saturday, May 02, 2009

Happy Derby Day

I wish you all well today. Pick a winner, and good luck.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moron Dressed As Klansman Embarrasses PRP, SW Louisville

I have avoided this story since it broke, hoping it would be buried under the crushing weight of Swine Flu Madness, but alas, it is being covered heavily by WHAS11 and I am now forced to say something about it.

Robert "Danny" Heil, a man who holds the rank of Captain with the PRP Fire Department, has been suspended without pay after he allegedly dressed up in a white sheet and hood and exclaimed "It's dark now, it's KKK time". If true, this act illustrates an astonishing display of stupidity on the part of Heil, who has been with the department for more than 10 years. This incident, along with another last year and the frequent, ongoing use of the "N-Word" by Heil is the subject of a criminal complaint filed by Christopher Glass, a black PRP firefighter.

People in the workplace, particularly people in leadership positions, that demonstrate such creepy, ignorant behavior should be given the firefighter's boot to the ass and thrown out the door with no recourse. We in Southwest Louisville have tried very hard to show the community that our part of town is not some haven for racist rednecks in white sheets...then a Captain in the fire department does something like this to blow the whole thing. Sadly, Southwest Louisville is once again, in the eyes of the community, a gang of ignorant Klansmen with NO CLASS or MORALS. Thanks, Heil. If this case ends up as a civil claim, it is anyone's guess as to how much money this could cost the fire department.

The PRP Fire Chief says Glass' claim is being taken seriously. I believe that to be true. If guilty, Captain is a rank of which Heil is spectacularly unqualified to fill. This is one fire PRP should allow to burn out.

Rainy Thursday Rundown

- As expected, Trey Grayson has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for the U.S. Senate against Jim Bunning. Bunning has no comment as yet. Let the weirdness ensue. The C-J has it HERE.

- The Kosmosdale Oral History Group is having a reunion May 16 at West Point School in Hardin County. For more info, contact Ronnie Jupin @ 935-1959 or by clicking HERE.

- I have picked my Derby horse but I am still miles away on deciding an Oaks bet. What do you think?

- Don't forget, The Valley Report can now be accessed through, and in a few days, we will be launching our Cafe Press Store!!

St. Paul's Derby Celebration Starts Tonight!

My friend David Yates passed this information on to me today. If you don't have plans, this is the place to be in SW Louisville!

I thought your readers might be interested to know that St. Paul's Derby celebration continues tonight and Friday Derby Eve 5 pm - 11 pm. There is free live music performed by DC-6 Band , Spare Change Band and Rock Station. Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Roast Beef and much more will be served along with Ice Cold Budweiser and Coca-Cola products. The show will go on rain or shine under the big tent. Its a great event here in the south-end.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

HOT--Ford Layoffs at LAP Confirmed

Union officials at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant will be announcing that approximately 380 employees will be permanently laid off from the facility. Employees having seniority of November 27, 1999 will be affected. Text messages received from elected UAW leaders confirm the numbers. The layoffs will begin shortly.

This layoff will reduce the number of Louisville Assembly Plant employees down to around 1050, down from nearly 4000 in 2002.

More info as it becomes available. Remember, you heard it here first.

UPDATE- 4/29/09, 7:50pm: WHAS11 is reporting on the story. Layoffs will begin July 1st, according to union officials. Click HERE.

The Courier-Journal has a report HERE.

I keep my former co-workers in my thoughts as they continue to deal with the stress and hardship going on in the American automotive industry. The last several years have been very tough for autoworkers with major contract concessions, layoffs and rampant speculation. I wish you and your families all the best, and good luck.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Auburndale Neighborhood Group Gathers Steam

There's a new, expanded neighborhood group forming to serve South Louisville's Auburndale area. This meeting has already been held, but in case you missed it, here are the details of how you can get involved. The following appears courtesy of the Courier-Journal's website:

The Auburndale Neighborhood Group will have an organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at Kenwood Elementary, 7420 Justan Ave.

The new group takes in neighborhoods south of Palatka Road near Third Street, Manslick and Cristland roads.

The group has been working with the Louisville Department of Neighborhoods to become a nonprofit neighborhood association. It consists of a core group of several members who are looking to add other neighbors to the group.

For more information, e-mail Ray Whitener at

You can also access the group's website by clicking HERE.

Neighborhood groups like this are essential to the well-being of our community, and allow us to speak with a more unified voice. In short, you can get what you need/want with a group more easily than you can by acting alone. Neighborhood groups can pull a lot of weight if done correctly, and it is a project I would like to see started in Valley Station and Pleasure Ridge Park. If I can be of assistance in helping you form a neighborhood group, please let me know. I would love to be involved. We need more involvement in SW Louisville, and this is the way to be heard.

Hicks House Update for Tuesday, April 28

Upon my arrival to the Hicks home, I stopped and took a look at the old mailbox at the highway. It is extremely old, and has some markings on it that have somewhat vanished and some that are partially covered by stickers. There are markings that seem to say "Hillmeadow Builders" on the box. "Hillmeadow" I am sure of. The "Builders" part is a best guess.

Upon further examination, the home is beginning to look severely dilapidated. The windows are boarded in the front, but the addition on the rear is suffering greatly at the hand of squatters. Vandals have seized the property and are using it for a restroom and glass-breaking parties. The rear addition as well as the additions on the left and right side of the home should be secured and eventually torn down in order to protect the integrity of the whole structure. There is an interesting array of debris strung about the property, the most notable of which is the well-preserved green shopping basket that came from Consolidated Stores. Most of you will remember CSC occupied a space at then-Westland Mall many, many years ago. No additional information was gathered about the home from this visit. Please browse the pictures below:

After mulling around on the outskirts of the highway-front property, I decided to follow the gravel path leading up the hill. When I rounded a curve, I saw three abandoned automobiles. One has an expired plate from Indiana. I do not know who owns the vehicles, but they are badly damaged and look to have been stolen and left there for dead. When I ascended to the top of the winding gravel pathway, I saw a sight that literally took my breath away. See these pictures below:

This is the home that was built by Dr. Hicks' son, the man who had the "Jesus Is Lord" sign constructed on the hill below. There is also a cross made of lights affixed to the rear of the home. This once-magnificent showplace stands boarded also. It has a view that would knock your socks off. It is a much more modern home that offers a three-car garage and many amenities, such as a over-garage patio that allows for scenic views of Indiana. I want this place very badly. It would be the perfect secure location for me to spend the rest of my life blogging in obscurity about the issues facing Southwest Louisville. The last picture in this series is just one of the many perfect scenic views. The hill in the foreground is Southern Indiana. The white thing at the bottom is the roof of the Target store. Emotions aside, this home is really interesting because of the location, and I am sincerely glad I ventured up the hill. There is a story for this one, too. We just don't have it yet.

That is all for now. I am still waiting on a few replies from the proper people regarding the historical value of the main, roadside home. Keep those tips and stories coming in, and thank you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Derby-Week Monday Madness

- Three construction workers were injured during a concrete pour at the downtown stadium today. Thankfully, none of them suffered life-threatening injuries. Read more at the C-J.

- Talk about a timely reminder: Tomorrow, April 28, is Workers Memorial Day. HERE is a flyer. Mourn for the dead, fight for the living.

- I took the opportunity to visit the Hicks Home today and snapped a few pictures. You will not believe what I found. Watch for the update tomorrow.

- Calm Down: The Commonwealth is still free from swine flu, just like nearly all of the United States. But, be free of swine, eh? And Don't Worry: Officials have said the Derby is still on despite the "swine flu madness" that has gripped the news media and paralyzed the public in a panic of fear and silliness not seen since Y2K.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Derby Week...Have You the Swine?

The weather is shaping up to make this one rotten Derby Week in Louisville. Rain, thunderstorms and wind. Besides the weather, everyone is paralyzed with fear because of the swine flu, which will probably show up in more than a few excuses for missing work this week. But so what? We have beat swine flu before and we shall do so again. But not until Sunday at the earliest.

In a nation of 300+ million, there are 20 cases of the disease. That's not many people. But it will be interesting to watch the stock prices of Roche and GlaxoSmithKline rise on Wall Street along with furious orders of their respective drugs for treatment. Some folks are going to be very rich by the end of this week, and it will not be because they had the Derby winner.

So that makes two things I do not have this week: The Derby winner, and the swine flu. But the week, as they say, is not over yet.

SW Louisville's Bussey Drafted by NFL Patriots

Southwest Louisville's George Bussey, a 6-3, 306 pound lineman that played football at Western High School and walked-on at the University of Louisville before earning a scholarship, has been chosen by the New England Patriots in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

Bussey earned All-Big East accolades for the last three seasons at Louisville, and started on the OL in every game between 2006 - 2008. A star at Western High, George was named a Jefferson County All-Star. He's a hard worker and a class act. Remember him. He is a winner.

Congratulations George Bussey. Southwest Louisville is proud of you!