Friday, March 25, 2011

Disaster at Carbide: Mourn the dead, fight like hell for the living

Note: The following was posted at Insider Louisville on Wednesday and has generated significant interest. I'm reposting it here today for my readers in case you missed it. Have a safe weekend - Brian

Trade unionists have many phrases to live by, not the least of which is this one: “Mourn the dead, fight like hell for the living.”

After finally breaching what seemed to be an “Iron Curtain” of silence among current and former employees of Carbide Industries on Bells Lane, Insider Louisville has been able to speak with two people who have direct knowledge about Monday’s incident in which two men were killed in an explosion.

A former Carbide Industries employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Insider Louisville on Wednesday, “It is my understanding they had plans to overhaul that furnace within two to three years. They should not have waited.”

The former employee then added with emphasis: “The place was a ticking time bomb. They constantly had smaller explosions there, you just didn’t hear about them on the news. Maybe if profits were put aside for a minute, those poor souls would still be alive today.”

Carbide Industries is North America’s largest producer of calcium carbide products, according to the company’s website

Calcium carbide is the primary source of acetylene gas used in metal fabrication.

The building Carbide operates out of is an old one, having been among the very first to begin operating in the Rubbertown area, an area that was to become the largest producer of synthetic rubber in the world.

Old facilities like the Carbide plant are inherently more hazardous than modern ones.

Carbide Industries’ Louisville location takes raw materials and turns them into calcium carbide by means of super-heating all the ingredients inside of a furnace in which temperatures can reach 3800 degrees Fahrenheit.

One insider told me that Carbide always was and continued to be a “filthy, nasty place to work” up until Monday’s explosion.

Time will tell if the sources are correct in their assessment of the situation. Until then, we should call on all traditional media outlets to stop repeating what they are told in press releases and use their resources to get to the bottom of the story.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reminder: Second "Southwest Greenways" meeting tonight

Metro Parks is planning a proposed new trail system in southwest Louisville called the Southwest Greenways to connect neighborhoods to the Louisville Loop and other key areas and facilities, and increase active lifestyles. Three public meetings have been scheduled in the southwest area so you can hear more about this project and share your ideas and input. One already took place this past Monday at Farnsley-Moremen. There is another one tonight:

Wednesday, March 23rd - Iroquois Library - 6:30-8:30 pm (601 West Woodlawn Ave.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dist. 13 is ready for Brightside Spring Cleanup, are you?

Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch knows when the spring cleanup is over on Saturday, March 26th, there will be some hungry volunteers. That’s why she holds a very special cook out as a way of saying thank you to those who want to help keep District 13 clean.

“A few years ago, I decided we need to say thank you for those who would give up their Saturday to help us out,” says Welch. “I have never been disappointed in the turn out of people in our area who want to make a difference and help their community.”

Welch will hold her Annual Cookout lunch at Lassiter Middle School beginning at 12:00pm when volunteers have finished their work. The school is located at 8200 Candleworth Drive.

Several groups are planning cleanups in District 13. They include:

· The Green Mile

· Holsclaw Hill Road Block Watch Group

· Candlelight Neighborhood Assoc.

· Fairdale Community School

· Fairdale High School / UPS Freight Facility

· Kenwood Heights Christian Church

· Fairdale Florist

“District 13 covers such a large area and many of these groups over the years have done a wonderful job of getting litter and trash out of some of the more scenic and beautiful areas of our district,” says Welch. “We can always count on them to do a great job.”

To learn more about the District 13 Annual Brightside Cleanup or to find a group with which to volunteer, call Councilwoman Welch’s office at 574-1113.