Monday, December 31, 2012

Taking out the trash: 13 discarded quotes for a lucky new year

Unfortunately, this is my last submission to Insider Louisville. Goodbye, friends.
The notebook
We have, at long last, reached year's end.

For the record, I'm not superstitious. I happen to think 2013 will be a magical year and the best in our last several attempts.

In 1999, I began building a sophisticated intelligence network of insiders, nabobs and know-it-alls who trusted me with confidential and sometimes sensitive information. At the time, I had no idea what I was doing.

Sometimes, I still don't.

During this time, I recorded hundreds of quotes from sources that were either irrelevant to the subject at hand or too risque for the audience (there seemed to be a lot of the latter). 2012 was an especially gritty year, with high-ranking people feeling more free to drop the F-bomb on me than any other time in memory. They also commented on unrelated subjects, some of which I found to be hilarious.

Just for fun, I have compiled the 13 best quotes of 2012 to lead us into 2013. I have presented them as they are written in this black, wide-ruled composition notebook that resides in a messy, "catch-all" drawer. The quotes, taken out of context, don't really mean anything. I just thought it would be fun to talk about them. Plus, now I get to get rid of the notes.

In no particular order, here we go:
  1. "That bastard had the balls to suggest I visit a Buddhist haberdashery. Of all the nerve. I mean, what IS that anyway?"
  2. "...the kids, man, they grow up fast. One minute you’re propping up a baby bottle on a wadded blanket to feed her while you finish your work, and before you know it she’s funneling beers in the backseat of a convertible with some popped-collar douchebag named Chip. Oy Vey!"
  3. "You are utterly untalented as a writer, but I still love you."
  4. "You are one of this city's most brilliant writers but you suck are JUST TERRIBLE at being a journalist."
  5. "Have you ever seen Ben Hur? It's kinda like that."
  6. "I have not had time to read any of that other garbage but I want to tell you about MY issue." (this entry has "dopehead" written next to it. Reason unknown.)
  7. "He's a credit-whore. Can't stand him."
  8. "The whole government in Looeyville relies on citizens being as stupid as possible. They have succeeded on all fronts."
  9. "Whatever Terry Boyd is paying you, he needs to double it. Then stick it right back in his pocket. lololololol"
  10. "I mean, these government-sponsored free movies at Iroquois Amphitheater? That's communism right there. Everybody ignores that."
  11. "At first I thought you were just being mean, but after reading this I was as angry as anyone. Thanks for doing this. It really opened my eyes."
  12. "His pizza sucks."
  13. "No wonder they mistreat women. They're all in love WITH GOATS."
The end of 2012 also brought an end to my "Tucker Everblasting" blog at Insider Louisville. It was a great two-year run, but it's nice to be back. 

Here's to a clean slate and more room in the notebook. And watch here for the next big thing.

Thank you for reading the Valley Report.

Happy New Year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

MSD seeks input from customers on overflow projects

Storm water overflows from a manhole cover, flooding a city street.
The Metropolitan Sewer District has scheduled a meeting to provide customers with an update on Louisville Metro’s sewer overflow abatement program.

This program, referred to as a "consent decree", is in response to a 2005 Federal mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency that required MSD to eliminate combined sewer systems. Combined systems handle sewage and runoff from storms. During periods of heavy rain, the combined systems can overflow, causing a discharge of untreated, raw sewage into the Ohio River.

Customers will hear about sewer overflow abatement projects in their neighborhood and tips on how each person can help keep sewer rates lower.

MSD is seeking public input from you so that these specific projects and property decisions can reflect concerns of the people that are directly impacted. MSD encourages your participation so that together we can promote a clean, green, growing community.

WHERE: Moore Traditional High School, 6415 Outer Loop
WHEN: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:00 p.m

Although MSD encourages your attendance, questions and comments regarding sewer overflow abatement projects may also be submitted until Tuesday, February 12, 2013, via email at Comments may also be mailed in hard copy addressed to: MSD IOAP Project Comments Attn: Project WIN Program Manager 700 West Liberty St. Louisville, KY 40203 For additional information about this program, refer to the Project WIN website at

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Louisville hitting "NuLo" by adopting silly neighborhood names

Goofy hipsters say it loud and say it PROUD!
Louisville's leaders seem to "borrow" most of their ideas from other places.

That's not an impressive quality coming from the self-titled "Idea Capital of the World."

Rather, many Louisville residents see their hometown as the "me too" capital of the world; a place where original ideas go to become replicated on a half-hearted, half-scale basis.

You don't have to look much further beyond Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's defining first term issue for proof. Fischer's local option sales tax idea was "borrowed" from Oklahoma City and/or Denver.

Another troubling trend seeping its way into our city is the concept of re-branding neighborhoods as fashionable shopping districts with silly, two syllable names.

This trend cannot die quickly enough.

As is the usual custom, we have adopted an idea that has already run its course in other places. People have begun to openly mock the re-branding concept in other cities, just as we run head first into it.

It began with NuLu (New Louisville), also known as the East Market District. The word "NuLu" is what is known as a portmanteau - a combination of two words into one new word - and is some of the world's most pretentious B.S.

Go anywhere outside the Watterson Expressway and ask citizens what they think of NuLu and they pretty much say the same thing.

They don't get it.

"What a stupid name," says my friend Scott from South Louisville. "That naming bit is the worst possible thing they can steal from other places. There's a serious backlash in New York City and Denver over it. The whole thing is so fake. And it's idiotic because we have some great history here. Where does it end?"

Indeed. Opponents of these re-branding schemes say the names erase the historical aspect of a city and sanitize it in an effort to make white people feel safe enough to venture downtown with a pocket full of money to spend.

New York City is ground zero for this naming goofiness (TriBeCa, DUMBO), and Denver, Colorado has become saturated with hipster 'hoods that have terrible names like LoDo, SoBo, NoBo, BuCu and RiNo.

Chicago even has a MoFo.

Is this what you want?

Mostly a creation of real estate developers, the names are traditionally affixed after a formerly undesirable neighborhood becomes gentrified. The problem with the names are many. Generally, people don't like them. Some dismiss the newly-named area immediately as a matter of principle. "It's about authenticity, " says my friend. "They are trying too hard. It's almost like one of those fake towns in the old western movies, with the storefronts propped up by two-by-fours."

If you think Louisville's flirtation with re-branding stops with NuLu, you're going to be very upset. We also have been saddled with SoBro (south of Broadway) and SoFo (South Fourth Street).

SoBro? It's where the Main Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library is located. It was either "SoBro" or "LuFrePuLi".

The SoFo thing is very contrived and stands for all that is wrong about this phenomenon. Just read these words from the SOFO Louisville Facebook page:

SOFO Louisville is the new Retail Shopping District in Louisville, KY! Located on South Fourth Street between the Historic Seelbach and Brown Hotel we will offer unique local shops & boutique's, fabulous dining and five star hotels!

SOFO! Ya know...South Fourth! Say it loud and say it PROUD! SOFO Louisville will be supported by the SOFO Louisville Merchants Association.
I am too young to have experienced shopping downtown on Fourth Street, but like most lifelong Louisvillians, my parents have vivid and fond memories of the ritual. It was all very romantic in a way, and was emblematic of something that was uniquely Louisville. Just saying the words "Fourth Street" to any 60-year-old who was born and raised here is enough to conjure up happy memories and a story or two about Stewart's Dry Goods or the Palace Theater on South Fourth.

Note to developers: That is what you sell. The realness. The authentic. The historical.

Not "SoFo," the forced, artificial creation of some transplanted hipster who has obviously never understood the significance of Fourth Street to Louisville.

We should be shooting for One Louisville in which everyone's invited. SoFo and places like it say, "This is not for you."

Buying into this nonsense only furthers the fragmentation of an already divided city.

Please resist this dying fad before we end up with NoDo, SoPo and MoRon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Southwest Pride Cleanup this Saturday

Homeowners, business people, children and adults will be among the hundreds of volunteers who will answer the call of the Southwest Pride Community Cleanup on Saturday, October 27th.

“We continue to see many people and groups who volunteer to make our community a special place to live and work,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12). “This event has grown to be one of the most successful of the Brightside community wide cleanups.”

Volunteers will gather at 7053 Dixie Highway on Saturday and then fan out across the area to pick up litter and trash along roadways and other areas.

The cleanup will get underway from 9:00am to 12:00pm this Saturday. Everything needed for the cleanup will be provided, including coffee and doughnuts. Cash prizes will also be awarded to the largest group of cleaners. A prize of $500 will be awarded to the largest group with 30 or more volunteers. Then $250 will be given to the second and the $150 to the third.

Registration for the cleanup begins at 8:30am on site (7053 Dixie Highway).

The Southwest Pride Community Cleanup is sponsored by the Pleasure Ridge Park Businesses Association and Brightside. Blackwell, Bob Henderson and Councilman David Yates (D-25) are also sponsors of the event. “The Southwest Community has a great spirit and dedication to the community and this cleanup,” says Yates. “I am not surprised because when you live in a community that cares, you will always have people willing to roll up their sleeves and help.”

For more information about the Southwest Pride Community Cleanup, contact Kim Leanhart at 502-367-3880 or by email at

Thursday, October 11, 2012

27th Annual Southwest Festival, this Saturday, October 13th at Sun Valley Community Center

Over 20,000 people are expected at the Sun Valley Community Park the weekend of October 13th for the 27th Annual Southwest Festival.

It is not only a fun event for young and old alike but it also helps Southwest Community Ministries.

The Festival will get underway at Sun Valley Park, 6505 Bethany Lane.

The Valley Women’s Club will host their Bean Soup and Cornbread Dinner on Friday, October 12th. This event is a fundraiser for the various programs the club offers in the area and will also be held at the Sun Valley Community Center.

On Saturday, October 13th the Festival runs from 9:00am until 5:00pm. The day will feature the Southwest Car Fest coordinated by River City Street Rods. The car and motorcycle show, Kid City, Teen City, arts & crafts, food booths, "Toddler Town" and a senior tent are just some of the highlights of the weekend.

“It is just a fun day,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12). “The great thing about this Festival is people come out to enjoy the fall weekend and enjoy themselves.”

The event is also an opportunity to help those in need. At 8:00am, on Saturday morning, Southwest Community Ministries will host their Annual Pancake Breakfast. “The Ministries continue to serve many in our community who need a helping hand. The pancake breakfast is a great way to help this group with funding especially with the holiday season not too far away,” says Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13).

“This Festival defines the spirit of our community and brings a wide range of people together for a celebration of our community spirit,” says Councilman David Yates (D-25).

Free shuttle service is available on the grounds to assist those who may need help getting to the car show and other festival events.

For more information about the Southwest Festival, call 368-1196 or visit the Festival website at

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

District 13 “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” set for Tuesday, October 16th

Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch will host the next “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” for District 13 residents on Tuesday, October 16th at 9:30am at Bob Evans near Preston Highway.

Bob Evans is located at 11800 Standiford Plaza Drive.

“We have many things going on in the district and in Metro Louisville this fall and I want to update everyone on many programs and listen to any comments about how Metro Louisville can serve you better,” says Welch.

The Councilwoman offers an informal setting to come out and ask questions about Louisville Metro Government raise concerns about your neighborhood and get updates on many new programs in South and Southwest Louisville.

“There is no appointment necessary to come by and talk with my staff and I and even if you don’t have an issue just come by and say hello,” says Welch.

For more information on the October “Coffee with Your Councilwoman”, contact Councilwoman Welch’s office at 574-1113.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September District 12 Dialogue to feature Craig Buthod of the Louisville Free Public Library

Metro Louisville is moving forward in developing new, improved and state of the art libraries, including the proposed new Southwest Regional Library.

On September 18th, the District 12 Dialogue will feature the man in charge of moving the Libraries forward. Craig Buthod, Executive Director of the Louisville Free Public Library System.

“Construction of the proposed Southwest Regional Library is one of the top priorities in this year’s budget,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12). “Mr. Buthod will be able to provide the latest update on how the process is moving forward in getting the library built and open to the public.”

The Executive Director will also be on hand to answer any question about the ongoing programs and services provided by the library system.

The September District 12 Dialogue will take place at the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway beginning at 7:00pm. Representatives from IPL, MSD, LMPD, and Congressman John Yarmuth's office will also be on hand to answer your questions. “I host these dialogues as an opportunity for the community to learn about important issues or government agencies designed to serve Metro Louisville,” says Blackwell. “I hope everyone will come out to learn more about the Southwest Regional Library’s progress.”

For more information, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blackwell and Yates to host 7th Annual Back to School Pool Party for southwest students in District 12 and 25

Councilmen Rick Blackwell (D-12) and David Yates (D-25) are hosting the 7th Annual Back to School Pool Party on Friday, August 31st from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Southwest YMCA.

“Now with school underway, this is a way to do something fun for kids and their parents as we say goodbye to summer and welcome a new school year,” says Blackwell.

The Southwest YMCA will open its doors for free swimming.

There will be free pizza and drinks will be provided.. Street Heat will perform for the event.

For Safety reasons the Southwest YMCA has the following rules in place:

· Family appropriate swim wear must be worn in the swimming pool. A white t-shirt can be worn on top of suit for women and as a shirt for men if you choose. Cut-off’s or denim shorts will not be permitted as swim wear in the pool. 

 · Minimum of one adult per child in the pool for children 6 and under. 

· One parent required to stay in pool area (not necessarily in the water) for children 7 and older. 

 · Children 7 and older who want to swim in the deep end will be required to take a safety test. 

 · This is a family event—an adult must stay with the children—no drop offs

“While we want everyone to have some fun and enjoy themselves, this will also be an opportunity to find out about the many programs the YMCA has to offer for children and adults in the area,” says Yates.

For more information about the 7th Annual Back to School Pool Party, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112 or Councilman Yates office at 574-1125. To learn more about the Southwest YMCA, call 502-933-9622. The Southwest Y is located at 2800 Fordhaven Road.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

3 out of 4 ain't bad: Upcoming SW Metro meetings!

If you have a local government issue, question, or concern that you would like to have addressed by a live person, there are three (3) upcoming opportunities for you to do so (with one notable absence, as always).

Three of the four Southwest Louisville representatives of the Metro Council have events for constituents to air concerns. As is the usual custom, District 14 has no meetings or communications with residents. None whatsoever. Not even a monthly or yearly email. 

If you live in District 14, I urge you to attend one of these meetings instead. You can have your concern addressed by a capable, competent and trustworthy representative that has made him or herself physically present for a frank, casual conversation. The people below are not hiding from you or avoiding your calls. They, unlike the District 14 office, go out of their way to hold meetings so they can listen to what you have to say. Please oblige them! And remember to VOTE in November!

Coffee With Your Councilwoman
 District 13
 Saturday, August 11, 9:30am.
First String Family Sports Grill
 5921 New Cut Road. 

For more information, contact Councilwoman Welch’s office at 574-1113.

Coffee With Your Councilman
 District 12
Saturday, August 11,10:00 am.
Sister Beans Coffeehouse
 5225 New Cut Road.
If you would like more information, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112. 

Talk to David
District 25
Tuesday, August 21, 7 p.m.
 Southwest Hospital Community Room
9820 Third Street Road (Use Stonestreet Entrance)
For more information, Call the District 25 office at

Friday, August 03, 2012

Not to be missed: The Southwest Center's upcoming events

The Southwest Center is holding two fabulous events this month. Please make some time for them. The Southwest Center and the people who run it stand for everything that is good and positive in our community.

  • The Southwest Center’s 8th Annual Open Rod Run: Saturday, August 11, 2012 from 10am-4pm at the Center, 8009 Terry Rd Louisville, KY 40258. Registration is only $15. Food, Cars, Raffles, Cars, Silent Auction and more Cars All proceeds benefit the people who attend the Southwest Center.  
  • Back To School Golf Scramble: August 25, 2012 at Quail Chase Golf Course, start at 1:00pm All proceeds to benefit Southwest Center and Pitt Academy. Pitt Academy is an accredited, independent, non-profit school that serves students in K-12 with learning differences or learning disabilities. The Center needs golfers and sponsors! Cost is $300 per Team .Sponsorships start at $50. For more information, Please call the Southwest Center at 502-935-1848
The Southwest Center is a 501 C(3), non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a supportive environment combined with enriching work opportunities that foster growth and independence for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All services provided are designed to help each person to live and enjoy life in his or her community.

For information, please contact the SWC at 935-1848.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Louisville Metro Council passes scrap metal ordinance

A new law will enhance a state requirement of daily tracking of scrap metal purchases in Louisville.

By a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council is putting into place significant steps to address the problem of scrap metal theft throughout the city. In recent years, a growing number of small businesses, churches and residents have reported metal as stolen.

Commonly stolen items include air conditioners, gutters, piping, manhole covers, sewer grates and even cars - all taken to scrap metal buyers who pay cash for the value of the metal.

The ordinance will offer tools to track scrap metal transactions and make it more difficult for scrap metal thieves to successfully sell stolen property. “Working with the recycling and scrap metal industry locally along with Metro Police, we believe we can now realistically track the theft of scrap metal and catch those who have victimized so many groups and individuals,” said Councilman David James (D-6), the primary sponsor of the ordinance. Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9) is a co-sponsor of the legislation. “It was critical to our success that all the stakeholders worked out a solution that adds new tools in law enforcement’s bag to stem the tide of metal theft,” says Ward-Pugh. “I particularly appreciate the legal expertise around the table of River Metals Recycling, who helped lead the statewide amendment in the Spring General Assembly.

The Council’s action follows recent legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. The ordinance enhances the requirements of House Bill 390, calling for daily reporting of purchases made by scrap yards.

In addition, the measure includes:

· A requirement that no vehicle 10 years or younger may be sold to a scrap metal business without a title;
· The creation of a database maintained by the Louisville Metro Police Department that will aide LMPD in their investigation of scrap metal theft;
· Confiscate any vehicle used in the act of scrap metal theft.

“This is a good piece of legislation that enhances what state lawmakers have already passed,” said Councilman David Yates (D-25). “We are now putting those on notice who think they can steal scrap metal for profit that you are going to be caught.” Since last year, James along with Ward-Pugh, Yates, and Council members Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Marianne Butler (D-15), Kelly Downard (R-16), Jerry Miller (R-19), Kevin Kramer (D-11), Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14) and President Jim King (D-10) along with others have talked with representatives from the scrap metal industry and the law enforcement community to come up with a solution to the growing problem of metal theft.

The new ordinance will take effect upon the signature of the Mayor.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Copart's junkyard close to becoming reality

In a note to constituents today, Councilman David Yates (D-25) tells the awful truth about Copart and the company's plans to open what any sensible person would call a junkyard on Pond Station Road.

There has been significant outrage in the community since Copart's plans were revealed.

Yates' statement:

The District 25 office has been notified by Metro Planning and Design that the proposed Copart Facility does not require a Conditional Use Permit, citing that their operation does not exceed the already permitted use of the property under the Land Development Code.
Metro Planning and Design has based their decision on the contention that Copart has applied to only stores vehicle, will not "part" them out for sale, and may only store them in a manner that allows for ease of access.
After several meetings with Copart representatives and their legal counsel, we have voiced our objection to the proposed use at the proposed location. However, our office has continued to work diligently to assist Copart in finding an alternative resolution for all parties- that embraces new business, but protects the use and enjoyment of our neighbor’s properties and the integrity of neighborhoods. We have proposed four alternative suitable options as locations for the Copart facility in other, already heavily industrialized areas more suitable for their business, and we will continue to lobby for their consideration of another site.

It is an understatement to say that we are disappointed with Metro Planning and Designs decision. Based on the current Zoning of the proposed location, it was understood that your Metro Council did not have the authority to review the BOZA decision of the conditional use permit. However, both I and several of my colleges on the Metro Council were prepared to speak out for our constituents and voice our concerns with the proposed use. It is unfortunate that we will no longer be afforded the opportunity to make a public argument to a neutral board on behalf of the citizens directly and indirectly affected.

We will continue to keep you up to date on the progression of this issue.
Click HERE for a copy of the Opinion from Planning and Design.

Please contact our office should you have any concerns, or would like any additional information.
How this plan fits in with the Southwest Greenways project, the Louisville Loop project or the Dixie Highway Corridor Study plan isn't clear. That is because it doesn't fit.

Promised improvements to "quality of life" are obviously not coming for people here.

Just more junk.

The next time you see the mayor, you should ask him what he thinks of our new junkyard. Hell, maybe he will cut the ribbon on it.

While timing the traffic lights on Dixie Highway is nice and new bus shelters and trash cans are better than the over-turned shopping carts riders sit on to wait for the next TARC, these things do not make a real difference in people's lives.

It doesn't help political careers, either.

Last year, people said they didn't want Miller Transportation to build a giant bus maintenance facility at the entrance to a neighborhood. Residents lost.

Last year, people said they didn't want a developer to transfer a parcel of property over to the city because Metro Parks couldn't explain what they were going to do with it. Residents lost.

This year, people said they didn't want these yard sale or flea market businesses to be able to pop up just anywhere. Residents lost.

This year, people said we have finally have enough Family Dollar and Dollar General stores. Please stop granting them permits. Residents lost.

It is over.

We lost.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Get on board for the New Cut Road Trolley Hop, beginning July 28

Saturday, July 28th brings a monthly opportunity to see and enjoy the best attractions in South and Southwest Louisville when the New Cut Road Trolley Hop kicks off its inaugural run.

“We are announcing an easy way to combine the fun of many events in our region with a convenient and economical way to spend a great day with family or friends,” says Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). “This Trolley Hop is a first for our area and wonderful way to showcase some of the great places we know and love in the Southwest.”

On its inaugural run, the New Cut Road Trolley Hop leaves the Iroquois Amphitheater headed for the Jefferson Memorial Forest's Welcome Center. Along the way, there will be stops at the Little Loomhouse, Auburndale Village Shopping Center, the southwest corner of Third Street Road and New Cut Road; Outer Loop Center, northwest corner of New Cut Road and Outer Loop and the new Fairdale Library.

“Our kickoff coincides with the Kentucky Music Weekend at Iroquois Amphitheater which is a traditional event for the summer,” says Councilman Dan Johnson (D-21). “This event is a tradition for many people and the Trolley Hop will show people who may not come out to this area that we have some great attractions.” Metro Council members are providing the funding for the program.

Joining Welch and Johnson as sponsors are Rick Blackwell (D-12), Bob Henderson (D-14), Marianne Butler (D-15) and David Yates (D-25).

While the July Trolley Hop is being held in conjunction with the Kentucky Music Festival, in August the Trolley Hop will run in conjunction with "H.M.S. Pinafore," the classic Gilbert and Sullivan musical that will have a six-night run at the Amphitheater.

September's Hop will feature the Fairdale Community Fair.

October will highlight the Mayor's Healthy Hometown Hike at the Jefferson Memorial forest.

“This is another example of the Southwest members of the Metro Council working together and, in this case, promoting a growing area that is special and unique to us,” says Yates. 

For more information about the kickoff of the New Cut Road Trolley Hop, click HERE.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yates and fellow SW Councilmembers invite residents out to discuss Dixie Highway Corridor Study

Councilman David Yates (D-25) is encouraging business owners along Dixie Highway and residents throughout South Louisville to come to a special public meeting on Monday, July 16th at the Southwest Government Center.

Council members Rick Blackwell (D-12) and Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13) are working with Yates to actively encourage residents of southwest Louisville to attend the meeting which seeks public comment as the Dixie Highway Corridor Study moves into its final phase.

The meeting is also an opportunity to see how the project is moving forward. “We have now arrived at the point where the consultants will soon begin finalizing their recommendations for the full length of this project, “says Yates. “We need to hear from the people who live, work and drive along Dixie Highway to ensure all hopes and concerns are addressed.”

Yates secured $52,000 in the 2011- 2012 budget to fund the planning initiative.

HNTB is the consultant firm on the project.

The Dixie Highway Corridor Study is an effort to revitalize one of the area’s busiest thoroughfares and continue to seek improvements for traffic flow, economic development and sustainability. “This study is critical if this area plans keep pace with others areas of Jefferson County,” says Blackwell. “We cannot neglect Dixie Highway if there is a way to improve it in the future.”

Joining Southwest Metro Council members at the meeting to answer questions will be Mayor Greg Fischer, State Representatives Joni Jenkins, Charles Miller, Dennis Horlander, Mike Nemes and State Senators Perry Clark and Dan Seum and Louisville Free Library Director Craig Buthod.

“It is crucial to this community to bring Dixie Highway into the 21st Century,” says Yates. “If anyone has a thought or idea on how to achieve that goal, they should attend this meeting.” The Southwest Government Center is located at 7219 Dixie Highway For more information, call Councilman Yates’ office at 574-1125

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free summer movies continue at Iroquois Amphitheater

“Moneyball” is this weekend’s free featured film at the Iroquois Amphitheater.

“We have a great film for the whole family and now that the heat has broken it will be a fabulous weekend to get out and enjoy a summer evening,” says Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15).

The 2011 film stars Brad Pitt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the story of the 2002 Oakland Athletics and how the team took a different approach to winning and broke an American League winning streak record.

The film begins at 8:30pm and is free to the public thanks to funding by several members of the Louisville Metro Council. Joining Butler as sponsors this year are Dan Johnson (D-21), Rick Blackwell (D-12), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Mary C. Woolridge (D-3), David James (D-6), Jim King (D-10), Bob Henderson (D-14), Kelly Downard (R-16), Jon Ackerson (R-18) Robin Engel (R-22), David Yates (D-25) and Brent Ackerson (D-26).

“This is turning out to be a great year for the Amphitheater and Iroquois Park,” says Butler. “The community has given us a very positive response to this program and other events that are ongoing here.”

Here is the schedule of Free Summer Movies for the remainder of the summer:

Sat. July 14 Moneyball PG-13
Mon. July 16 The Magnificent Seven NR
Mon. July 23 The Secret Life of Bees PG-13
Mon. July 30 Raiders of the Lost Ark PG

Mon. Aug 6 The Princess Bride PG
Sat. Aug 11 Cars 2 G

Sat. Sept 8 Zookeeper PG

Concessions will be available. The Iroquois Amphitheater is located at 1080 Amphitheater Road, off New Cut Road. To learn more about events at the Iroquois Amphitheater go to:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Neighborhood update- Summer solstice edition

- Dixie Highway Corridor Meeting: This meeting will be an opportunity for the public to see the process involved behind the development of the Dixie Highway Corridor Masterplan. All Southwest Louisville residents are invited to attend on Monday, July 16, 2012 6 the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway.

- Crime alerts: In an effort to bring you the most up to date and graphically clear maps, LMPD has implemented a new mapping system to view crime in your neighborhood. Click here to view Division 3 Crime Maps and click here to view Division 7 Crime Maps. You can save these links in your favorites to view crime anytime – the maps are updated daily. Use the Quickfind tool to put your address in and subscribe to crime trends, alerts and block watch reports for your particular police beat.

- "Black Jacket Symphony Performs Led Zeppelin", concert at Iroquois Amphitheater, tickets $15, $25 and $30. June 23, 8pm.

 - Guided Hike at Waverly Park. Meet in playground parking lot. Free. June 29th 9am to noon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Community Meeting to feature information about Mayoral Appointments to Boards and Commissions

WHAT: Dialogue on Appointments 
WHERE: Southwest Government Center 7219 Dixie Highway. 
WHEN: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 7 p.m.

Lori Hatton, Mayor's Office Director for Boards and Commissions, will be on hand to talk about the Appointment process and to give information to Southwest Residents about what traits and skills Mayor Fischer is looking for when making an appointment.

The Metro Boards and Commissions are vital pieces of our City government. The Southwest Members of the Metro Council are taking a more active role in recruiting applicants from the Southwest to serve.

Representatives from LMPD, IPL, MSD, and Congressman John Yarmuth's office will also be on hand to answer residents questions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Commentary on SW library noise

Robyn Clark-Burns of Valley Station has written to me about a subject that has been on her mind lately. I have edited it for clarity and am posting it here with her permission. If you would like to write a guest commentary, please contact me.

As recently as Saturday May 16, 2012, I spent a good part of my day at the local SW library by Wal-Mart and Radio Shack on Dixie Hwy. My air conditioning went out at home, so I decided to take advantage of some "free" cool air at the Library as well as reading a book and futzing around with my new Kindle Fire - and the Library offers "Free Wi-Fi" .. So a  few "Freebies" I latched onto while visiting.

Since I am not a "regular" library hanger outer.. I usually run in.. check the cork boards to see what is going on locally and browse the New Book Arrival and check to see if there are any free library seminars coming up, I grab my book I put on a request - via the website the LFPL has. Then, I leave.

Saturday was different. I was there longer than my normal visit. I found a comfy chair near where the magazines and newspapers are in the front of the place. I dragged out my 1000 page novel I was trying to get going on and relaxed.

In the door comes a few "non library" types. I just observed. I am and a people watcher and can tell who is a reader and a library connoisseur and who is not.

Here is my bitch:  What happened to being quiet in libraries?  I was sitting there reading my book and two "street peeps" plop down their dirty-clothed behinds on the chairs next to me and crack up a conversation. Not a quiet one, but loud and rude. I understand folks with no air conditioning on a 90 degree day want to take advantage of the cool air as I was doing, but c'mon! Loud bar-room banter in a library is just plain "out there".
I shushed them and the look I got was one that they wanted to bitch slap me, so I moved to another location near the PC's.

It was worse. Cell phones ringing off, people talking in their Bluetooth devices like they were schizos, chattering about shit that should not be said or heard in the library at all. Funny, the kids on the PC's and in the book reading areas were quiet as church mice. It was the friggin adults!  What happened to quiet libraries and courtesy to others who are there for learning, reading, thinking and just plain taking in the scent of books old and new.

I remember when I was younger in the school library or the public one, if you made a peep the librarian shot fire from her eyeballs at you so you did not make a sound. EVER! It was like a mind meld from Dr. Spock -via the scary librarian. DO NOT MAKE A SOUND OR YOU DIE!

Don't get me wrong. I love technology. Cell phones, tablets, PC 's etc.. but please, when there is a posted sign in an institution such as a library, please wake up! Have some courtesy for others and TURN OFF THOSE BLASTED ARTIFICIAL BODY PARTS YOU CALL SMART PHONES. Do you really need to chat up with your buddies on the phone while being in the library, disturbing the tranquility of the environment and others folks peace of mind while visiting?

The Librarian was not even paying attention to the racket going on.. That is another disturbing thing I observed also. What ever happened to the fiery eyeballs?

Thanks for reading, Robyn Clark-Burns

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Little Loomhouse Spin-a-Yarn Storytelling Festival

The fourth annual Spin-A-Yarn Storytelling Festival is set for Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 11:00 AM -3:00 PM at The Little Loomhouse, 328 Kenwood Hill Road.

The festival will be presenting storytelling from eleven talented Kentuckiana residents, including Dawne Gee of WAVE 3 News. Other activities include bluegrass music from The Shuttle Winders, weaving and spinning demonstrations, authentic Cherokee crafts on display, and historic cabin tours.

Home of the Happy Birthday Song and founded in 1939 by Master Weaver Lou Tate Bousman, The Little Loomhouse is one of the few organizations devoted to keeping the ancient art of hand-weaving and its history alive.
Since 1979, it has been operated by the nonprofit Lou Tate Foundation, Inc. The Little Loomhouse consists of three restored, century-old, board and batten cabins listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is designated as a Kentucky State Historic Site, and a Louisville Landmark.
The first 200 visitors to the Spin-A-Yarn Storytelling Festival will receive a free Little Loomhouse t-shirt. 
General Admission is only $2.00 per person.  Seniors 65 and older will be admitted for $1.00, and children six and under are free.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase.  All proceeds benefit The Little Loomhouse.  
There will be free parking behind DeSales High School at 425 West Kenwood Drive and free TARC Trolley transportation between DeSales and The Little Loomhouse.  Please be advised that the Little Loomhouse is in a rustic setting on a steep hill.  Access to the storytelling area is via a sloped gravel pathway.
You can learn more about The Little Loomhouse by visiting the website at

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eighth Annual Forest Fest ‘12, Saturday, May 19

Spring is in full swing at the Jefferson Memorial Forest and on one special day every year, Bluegrass music can be heard in the air as you walk the trails and enjoy the scenery.

“The Forest Fest ‘12 is a great way to showcase the beauty and fun of the Jefferson Memorial Forest,” says Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). “It is a great collection of local and regional bluegrass musicians who love to play for people who love to listen to a unique blend of American music.”

The Eighth Annual Forest Fest ‘12 kicks off on Saturday, May 19th beginning at 10:00am until 7:00pm. It features four musical groups throughout the day and best of all admission is free. However, there is a $10 per car parking fee for restoration of the grounds after the event.

Headlining Forest Fest ’12 will be Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers. Sparks began his career in the 1950’s and is one of the most recognized touring bluegrass musicians in the country. He was recently inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Other groups performing are Hog Operation, 23 String Band and New Town. “We will also have various arts and crafts booths on hand for those who would like to spend a nice Saturday afternoon with family and friends,” says Welch. “If you have never been to Jefferson Memorial Forest come out and enjoy a true gem of nature.”

Forest Fest ’12 will also feature a Kid Activity Area with bouncies, face painting and other activities for children.

The Councilwoman is primary sponsor of Forest Fest ’12. Other Council members who are sponsoring this year’s music fun are Rick Blackwell (D- 12), Bob Henderson (D- 14), Marianne Butler (D-15), Madonna Flood (D-24), David Yates (D-25), Robin Engel (R-22), Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9), James Peden (R-23) and President Jim King (D-10). Metro Parks is also a sponsor of this year’s event, For more information about Forest Fest ‘12, call 368-5404.

The Jefferson Memorial Forest is located at 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Forget the flea market, there's a REAL junk yard coming to Valley

A typical salvage auto auction yard
This Thursday, there will be a public meeting to discuss the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit to Copart USA to allow an auto storage and title processing facility on approximately 57 acres at 3100 Pond Station Road.

WHEN: Thursday, May 10, 2012 7 p.m. WHERE: Virgina Avenue United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall 10015 Stonestreet Road

Copart auctions used and salvage vehicles to auto parts dismantlers, rebuilders, used car dealers, wrecking yards, and the public for insurance and rental car companies.

I have spoken with several residents who are concerned this will be an auto junk yard in direct view from their homes. They cite increased traffic, noise, light pollution as reasons they are against issuing the permit. Also, they don't want anything that resembles a junk yard anywhere near their homes.

I don't blame them.

Copart operates a facility in Lexington, doing business as "Copart Salvage Auto Auctions".

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Had enough? Old Melton's now a junk yard/flea market

The Valley Report facebook page has been buzzing with activity over the opening of yet another flea market/yard sale store in the space formerly occupied by Melton's Food Mart on Valley Station Road near the railroad tracks.

Commenters say they are "fed up" with this type of development.

Join our discussion and tell us how you feel about this latest store, and while you are there, check out the photos of this atrocity.

How long do you think it will last? How long can you live with this type of commerce?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Coffee With Your Councilman - May 12

Residents of District 12 have another opportunity to meet with Councilman Rick Blackwell when “Coffee with Your Councilman” gets underway on Saturday, May 12th.

The event is a chance to talk about any issue or concern in your neighborhood in an informal setting.

There is no agenda, just come out and talk one on one over a cup of coffee. May’s Coffee with your Councilman will take place at the Old Louisville Coffeehouse, 4956 Manslick Road beginning at 10:00 am. If you would like more information, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dixie Vietnam Vets memorial to be re-dedicated

The Southwest Government Center is a fixture on Dixie Highway offering services to residents in many areas with a LMPD substation and rooms for community meetings. The Metro Council’s Southwest Government office is located there. The Center also is a special place for area veterans.

On Sunday, April 29th it will have an enhanced distinction in the community as a place to remind everyone of the brave men and women who serve our country now and those who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom. “Anyone who has driven past the Southwest Government Center has seen Jefferson County’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “ says Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12). “Now, they will have a new reminder of the men and women who keep our country safe from harm.”

This Sunday, April 29th, the Government Center will hold a special ceremony to rededicate the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and officially dedicate a new companion monument for those who are listed as “Missing In Action” from Jefferson County. The ceremony will also highlight five new flag poles which will fly the proud flags of each branch of the United States military. “It is a wonderful tribute to the men and women who wear the uniform of our country,” says Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13).” It will serve as a reminder to all that we are a nation of freedom and liberty.”

The flag poles were donated to the Government Center by Craig & Landreth, Bob Montgomery, Sam Swope and Neil Huffman automotive dealerships and the Veterans Committee of United Auto Workers Local 862. The special ceremony is being organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts 1170, 5421 and 1181.

“This Sunday, we will be reminded of the sacrifices many have made in service to our country,” says Councilman David Yates (D-25). “It is our opportunity to say thank you and remember that our freedom is secured by those who are willing to step up to serve.”

The re-dedication ceremony will get underway at 4:00pm on Sunday, April 29th. The Southwest Government Center is located at 7219 Dixie Highway.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Riverview Park Independence Festival

Mark your calendars for the Riverview Park Independence Festival on Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to enjoy one of Southwest Louisville's best attractions in the newly renovated Riverview Park.

This year's festival will include music by The Monarchs, 31W, and Ode 2 the Gnu and an added bang with a $5000 Independence Day fireworks show.

For more information, visit

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Riverside annual plant & herb sale this weekend, April 14-15

Visit Riverside, The Farnsley-Moreman Landing at 7410 Moorman Road for the annual Plant and Herb Sale!

There will be a variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, seeds, gardening items, and gardening advice available.

All proceeds go to support the mission of Riverside, The Farnsley-Moreman Landing.

Saturday, April 14
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, April 15
12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 502-935-6809.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Louisville Loop public meeting set

Your input is needed on master planning for south-central/southeastern portion of the Louisville Loop.

Metro Parks invites you to attend the initial meeting for the planning of the Fairdale to Floyds Fork section of the Loop. The meeting will take place Monday, April 16th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Okolona Christian Church, 10801 Faithful Way, Louisville, KY.

The purpose of this Project Initiation meeting is to introduce this new area of study for the Louisville Loop and gather initial public input on the project. The meeting will begin with an Open House from 6:00–6:30pm, followed by the project presentation from 6:30 to 7:00pm, and concluding with additional Open House and discussion from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

For more information about the Louisville Loop and its related projects, visit

Friday, April 06, 2012

Free Summer Movies return to Iroquois Amphitheater

First run features and Hollywood Classics will light up the silver screen when a new summer season of fun and entertainment gets underway with the return of “Movies under the Stars” at Iroquois Amphitheater in May.

Members of Metro Council are once again providing free movies in the magnificent setting of Iroquois Park.

“We are looking forward to another successful year,” says Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15). “It continues to be a wonderful way to showcase a great place to watch movies, the Iroquois Amphitheater.”

Since 2007, Butler and members of Metro Council have sponsored free movies during the summer as way for families to enjoy Iroquois Park.

Here is the 2012 Free Movie Schedule:


Sat. May 12: Soul Surfer PG


Mon. June 4: Citizen Kane PG

Fri. June 8: The Help PG-13

Mon. June 11: The Muppet Movie G

Mon. June 18: Romancing the Stone PG

Mon. June 25: Chicago PG-13


Mon. July 2: Stand and Deliver PG

Mon. July 9: From Russia With Love PG

Sat. July 14: Moneyball PG-13

Mon. July 16: The Magnificent Seven NR

Mon. July 23: The Secret Life of Bees PG-13

Mon. July 30: Raiders of the Lost Ark PG


Mon. Aug 6: The Princess Bride PG

Sat. Aug 11 :Cars 2 G


Sat. Sept 8: Zookeeper PG

Joining Butler as sponsors this year are Dan Johnson (D-21), ), Rick Blackwell (D-12), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Mary C. Woolridge (D-3), David James (D-6), Jim King (D-10), Bob Henderson (D-14), Kelly Downard (R-16), Jon Ackerson (R-18) Robin Engel (R-22), David Yates (D-25) and Brent Ackerson (D-26).

“Bring the kids and blankets,” says Butler. “This is a great way to kick off the summer.”

The Amphitheater is located at 1080 Amphitheater Road, off New Cut Road. To learn more about events at the Iroquois Amphitheater go to:

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A plea for affordable housing. Take a look.

And now, a message from my cousin, Drew Tucker, about the Metropolitan Housing Coalition. Please do what you can to help make affordable housing a priority in Louisville. -Brian

Hello friends!

Over the last three years I’ve been working with Metropolitan Housing Coalition of various projects around affordable housing in Louisville. Cathy, and Curtis are good friends of mine, and I find the work they do around advocacy, education, and research of affordable housing here in Louisville to be an invaluable resource for our city. Right now our city has around 7,000 vacant properties many located in the West and South end (where I grew up), a 25,000 person section 8 waiting list, and many homeless families, including 9,000 homeless children, in desperate need of affordable housing. MHC is working with the metro council, Mayor Fischer, and other non-profits to make sure that these properties don’t stay abandoned, and that they are repurposed so that they can provide new affordable housing options for residents of the Louisville metro area.

MHC has brought in Dan Kildee, a nationally renowned expert on foreclosed properties and tax liens from Detroit, to speak to the Mayor and others, about what Louisville can do on the city and state level to change the legal landscape such that these properties are available first to our land bank and not outside private investors who do not have much concern for the state of housing in Louisville.

MHC was also integral to mentoring me while I organized residents at Sheppard’s Square public housing complex as we prepared them for the changes they would experience after the demolition of their homes, and the subsequent scattering through the section 8 program. Without Cathy and Curtis’s help I would have been at a loss at how to create a direct link between the Housing Authority and the residents of Sheppard Square, who felt a significant amount of fear and anger due to the uncertainty of their impending move, and because of a breakdown in communication between the two parties in previous projects. With their help I was able to make sure residents received information directly, face to face, rather than through mailings, phone calls, etc. And although in the end they were still scattered throughout Louisville, they were directly involved in the decisions leading up to the move, and were able to speak directly to the Housing Authority when they so desired.

I cannot tell you how important membership is to Metropolitan Housing Coalition. Nowadays, grants only cover the cost of projects implemented by non-profits. Pay for the talented, and already vastly underpaid folks that make up these organizations is in short supply. And while I understand that we are in an economic downturn, it’s essential that we don’t let the groups that advocate, and educate us fall by the wayside.

Today, I am asking you to not only make a donation, but to show your ownership over the issues we face in Louisville around affordable housing. For $3 a month, $36 a year, you can support MHC in the second most vital way possible; the first is by giving your time to participate on one of their committee’s or volunteering your time. Three dollars a month may not seem like much, but imagine if 200 new members made this pledge? Sustainable giving, like this, is how we make sure organizations we value remain viable in times of economic crisis. Furthermore, it shows our commitment to the work they have done, and will do, into the future.

Please take a small amount of time today to visit the below website and let MHC know how much you value the work they do around creating education, advocacy, and research about affordable housing in Louisville.


Drew Tucker
Metropolitan Housing member, and sustainable giver

Thursday, March 29, 2012

2012 Southwest Pride Cleanup set for Saturday, March 31st

Homeowners, business people, children and adults will be among the hundreds of volunteers who will answer the call, roll up their sleeves and get to work at the Spring Southwest Pride Community Cleanup on Saturday, March 31st.

“This event has always had so many people and groups who come out to help make our community the special place that it is to live and work,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12). “It’s one of the most successful of the community wide cleanups held in the spring.”

On Saturday, volunteers will gather at 9080 Dixie Highway, next to Dairy Queen in the Park Place Mall and then fan out across the area to pick up litter and trash along roadways and other areas.

Registration for volunteers begins at 8:30 am. The cleanup is from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Individuals and groups are welcome. Everything needed for the cleanup will be provided.

“The organizers of this event have everything ready to go,” says Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14). “I want to encourage everyone who has some free time on Saturday to come out and help us.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to the largest groups of volunteers so recruit friends from your neighborhood, business, school, church, sports team or troop and choose any area you feel needs cleaned. All groups must be present at the sign in location to participate in cash award contest.

“We had such great success with our cleanup last fall and I look forward to yet another successful effort this weekend,” says Councilman David Yates (D-25). “This is how people make a difference in a community and set an example for others.”

For more information about the Southwest Pride Community Cleanup, please contact Kim Leanhart at 502-367-3880 or Jim Caskey at 502-367-3886

Monday, March 19, 2012

'Grand Opening' for Fairdale library, March 24

The grand opening celebration of the new Fairdale Library will take place on Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. at 10620 W. Manslick Road.

There will be tours of the library, refreshments, and fun activities for the whole family.

The first 250 people over 12 years old will receive a commemorative USB flash drive - courtesy of the Library Foundation - with a downloaded copy of Don Wittry’s “History of Fairdale.”

Note: The former Fairdale Library branch (in the Playtorium) closed this past Saturday to move books and materials to the new building. The new branch will be open after Saturday's ceremonies.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March District 12 Dialogue to focus on Economic Development

The effort to coordinate job creation and economic growth for Metro Louisville will be in the spotlight for Councilman Rick Blackwell’s next District 12 Dialogue on Tuesday, March 20th.

“Metro Louisville is slowly recovering from the recession and it is important to understand the role of economic development and job creation,” says Blackwell. “Many people may not realize what all is involved in growing the local economy.”

Pattie Claire, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Innovation for Metro Louisville will be on hand to give an overview of his department, its function, and the new added role of Innovation and what it means for residents of the city.

"Innovation is an interesting concept for Louisville," says Blackwell. "This is a fantastic opportunity for District 12 residents to learn more about what that means for them."

The March District 12 Dialogue is set for the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway beginning at 7:00pm.

Representatives from IPL, MSD, LMPD, and Congressman John Yarmuth's office will also be on hand to answer your questions.

For more information, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fairdale library grand opening, March 24

The new Fairdale Library officially opens on Saturday, March 24. There will be an event at 1pm.

Tour the library, try out the new computers and enjoy refreshments and fun activities for the whole family. The first 250 people over 12 will receive a USB flash drive - courtesy of the Library Foundation - complete with a downloaded copy of Don Wittry’s “History of Fairdale.”

The free-standing 7600 square foot library more than doubles capacity. Built adjacent to the current Fairdale branch library in the Playtorium., the new Fairdale Library employs state-of-the-art technology, has a large children’s section, and makes use of energy efficient and green building methods and materials.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Public hearings on landmark ordinance scheduled for March

The Louisville Metro Council’s Planning and Zoning Committee will hold two public hearings on a proposed ordinance amending Louisville Metro’s Designation of Historic Districts and Local Landmarks.

Public Hearing#1: Tuesday March 13 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. at Metro Council Chambers of City Hall (601 W. Jefferson Street). It will be aired live on METRO TV (Insight Cable, Channel 25) and will also be streamed live on the Metro Council’s home page. Go to and click on the “Watch Gavel to Gavel” icon.

Public Hearing #2: Tuesday, April 3 from, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the meeting hall of UAW Local 862 (3000 Fern Valley Road). This hearing will not be aired live via Metro TV or streaming video due to the fact that the meeting is being held at a remote location. An audio recording of the meeting will be available on the Metro Council’s website after the conclusion of the meeting and recording of minutes.

Hearing Rules: Persons wishing to address the committee will have the opportunity to sign up one (1) hour prior to the start of either hearing. Those who sign up to speak will be called to address the committee in the order in which they signed up, and will each be given up to three minutes to speak. Persons will not be allowed to sign up to speak via phone call or e-mail to the Metro Council in advance, nor will they be allowed to grant their time to another person. Any person who speaks before the committee or is unable to speak will be allowed to submit written testimony for inclusion in the record of the hearing.

Persons attending the meetings are not allowed to bring signs, props or other materials that are larger than 8 ½” x 11” in size or that might block the view of persons attending the hearing.

Councilwoman Vicki Welch has released the following statement on her support for modification of the ordinance.
The ordinance would change Louisville Metro’s Designation of Historic Districts and Local Landmarks by changing signature requirements and place final approval of a local landmark with Metro Council. Currently, 200 signatures are required to have a structure declared a landmark. The proposed amendments to the ordinance would require that over half of the signatures be from residents who own property within a mile of the proposed landmark. This would give residents actually living near the proposed landmark a say in the designation of the property. This community input is vital since these local residents will be most affected by the designation of the property – as it may affect their homes’ values, safety in their communities, and economic development in their neighborhoods.
These proposed changes came about because of controversial landmark designations, such as the debate over the landmarking of the South End’s Colonial Gardens. Myself and many of my colleagues are supporting this ordinance so that community members, rather than just the members of the Landmarks Commission, can have an equal say in what is happening in their neighborhoods. Allowing Metro Council to have a final say in approving historic landmarks will help provide oversight over the Landmarks Commission.

You can read my commentary on the proposed changes via Insider Louisville by clicking HERE.

A copy of the ordinance is available at

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Valley Woman's Club accepting scholarship applications

Applications for Valley Woman's Club Scholarships are now in the schools. High school seniors should contact the Senior Counselor. JCTC students who will be second year students should also see the Counselor at JCTC for these applications. The information for completing the application is at the bottom of the application.

ALL information MUST be completed and a written narrative included for the application to be considered by the committee.

The requested information and application MUST be received BEFORE March 15, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

District 12 "Coffee with your Councilman" - Saturday March 3rd

Councilman Rick Blackwell invites residents to District 12 to come out and chat over a warm cup of coffee at the “Coffee with your Councilman” on Saturday March, 3rd.

“I hope that the District 12 residents will take this opportunity to talk directly with me about what matters to you,” says Blackwell.

The relaxed atmosphere allows for residents to voice questions, concerns and suggestions to Councilman Blackwell.

The event will take place at Old Louisville Coffeehouse, 4956 Manslick Road beginning at 10:00 a.m.. There is no formal program, just stop in to talk with the Councilman and enjoy a cup of free coffee.

For more information about the March “Coffee with your Councilman”, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

State and local lawmakers to attend coal ash meeting

Metro Council members Attica Scott (D-1) and Rick Blackwell (D-12) along with the Sierra Club are sponsoring an informational community meeting concerning the problem with coal ash in Southwest Jefferson County.

The meeting will be held on Monday, February 20th at the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway from 7:00pm until 9:00pm

“This is an opportunity for the community to receive an update on what is going on with coal ash and LG&E,” says Scott.

State Representative Joni Jenkins and Reginald Meeks will also be in attendance.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

District 13 “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” set for February 18th

Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch is beginning a brand new year by once again extending an invitation to residents of District 13 to come out for “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” on Saturday, February 18th at 9:30am at First String Family Sports Grill .

“This is an event designed to offer an opportunity to talk with your Metro Council representative one on one if you have an issue in your neighborhood,” says Welch. “My staff and I will be on hand to listen to your concerns. We will also update you on projects and initiatives currently happening in District 13 as well as all over our community.”

The Councilwoman says “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” is designed to answer the following:
  • Do you have a question about Louisville Metro Government?
  • How about a concern for your neighborhood?
  • Is there an important issue facing our community you’d like to share?
The February “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” gets under way at 9:30 am at the First String Family Sports Grill, 5921 New Cut Road. Coffee is complimentary from First String Family Grill for those who come out to talk. Breakfast may be purchased at a reasonable cost.

“This is a very casual and comfortable setting to have a conversation,” says Welch. “So come have a cup of coffee and just say “Hi” if you want. I would love to meet you!”

To learn more about the February District 13 “Coffee with Your Councilwoman” contact Councilwoman Welch’s office at 574-1113.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Rumor patrol: Ashby Lane apartments "upscale", not "Section 8"

Not a housing project.
There are rumors flying around the southwest about the housing development beginning to take shape near the Greenbelt Highway on Ashby Lane, and I think it is appropriate to address the issue to eliminate any confusion as to what is happening.

Ashby Green Apartment Homes are now under construction at 7401 Ashby Lane. The complex is owned by W.M. Bullitt, LLC.

Ashby Green is not "Section 8" or "low-income" housing nor is it a replacement for Iroquois Homes. It is not owned or being built by the government as a "housing project".

Floor plans and examples of units that will be available are online at the company's website,

The developers of Ashby Green welcome your questions and comments and have made their contact information available on the website.

So now you know.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

He's back: Hawkins to battle Thieneman in 37th district primary

Like a bad rash that won't go away, former Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins is back on the ballot.

Hawkins joins fellow Republicans Chris Thieneman and John Yuen in filing for the State Senate's recently-redrawn 37th district - a political hot potato that is being thrown around in Franklin County Circuit Court.

Incumbent Senator Perry Clark was drawn out of the district, and therefore is unable to retain his seat.

On the Democratic side, challengers include 21st District Metro Councilman Dan Johnson, attorney Robert Walker II and Democratic Party insider Steve Bittenbender.

Analysis: This should be an interesting race should all the candidates remain on the ballot. One item of particular interest is Chris Thieneman's current address. On the filing paperwork he submitted to the Secretary of State, Thieneman listed his address as 7650 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40258.

7650 Dixie Highway is the address for Fort Locks, a self-storage business of which Thieneman is listed as "manager".

Either Thieneman lives in a storage locker or something is wrong here.

Tan, rested and ready, Doug Hawkins tries to revive a dead political career by running in a race he's already lost. Hawkins was beaten by Perry Clark in a special election in 2006. The special election was ordered after it had been revealed the Republican winner had lied about her address.

The office of State Senate, like other state offices, has a residency requirement. For the Senate: "At the time of election, [the candidate] must be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, resided in the State 6 years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen."

There will be more on this contest next week as the new, extended filing deadline approaches and as more information on the candidates becomes available.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coffee with your Councilman set for January

Councilman Rick Blackwell is starting off the new year with an invitation to residents of District 12 to enjoy a free cup of coffee and some conversation on Saturday, February 4th.

The first District 12 “Coffee with your Councilman” of the year will get underway at Sister Bean’s Coffeehouse beginning at 10:00am.

“I invite the District 12 residents to come out for an informal chat,” says Blackwell. “There is no formal agenda so residents are welcome to voice their opinions or ask questions about issues that concern them.”

Sister Beans is located at 5225 New Cut Road.

For more information about the February “Coffee with your Councilman”, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Revised dumping ordinance allows confiscation of vehicles

Louisville Metro Council is sending a strong message to anyone illegally dumping in Metro Louisville. If caught, you not only face a fine, but impoundment of your vehicle for up to twelve months.

The Council on Thursday unanimously approved the new section to the illegal dumping ordinance.

“I want to thank the Council for their strong show of support,” said Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15), the primary sponsor of the ordinance. “We now have another tool at our disposal to make it very costly for anyone who decides to use an alley, side street, vacant property or empty field as their own personal dumping ground.”

The legislation allows for LMPD Officers, Code Enforcement Officers and any other city officials authorized to enforce any provision of the Louisville Metro Code the ability to enforce the additional section of the Code. Prior to releasing any vehicle that has been impounded, all outstanding citations, towing, handling and storage charges shall be paid in full.

During the review of the new law, Council members saw how easily hidden cameras used by Metro Public Works in certain areas clearly show illegal dumping and the vehicles involved.

“We feel strongly that this new law will put a dent in the illegal dumping problem. At a minimum, it might make someone think twice before dumping debris,” says Butler.

The measure will take effect once it is signed by the Mayor.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dixie Highway "business census" to begin soon

In the coming weeks, I and a handful of faithful volunteers will be conducting an informal census of businesses located along Dixie Highway, starting in the Valley Village area and extending to points north yet to be determined.

The point of all this is to properly illustrate and inventory the types of businesses we already have and compare them to the ones most commonly mentioned as ones residents say they would like to have in Southwest Louisville.

The census will be an informal affair and will not include any conversations with the owners or customers. We are after raw data, here. Not opinions.

If you are interested in helping out, drop me a line by clicking here. Don't forget to include the amount of time you would be willing to dedicate as well as what part of the highway you'd like to inventory.

I'm certain that, while we know what we have, we may be shocked by what we see. To actually see it written down in cold hard numbers may be a wake-up call to all citizens.

Thanks for your consideration, and thanks for reading the Valley Report.

The Valley Report

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SW news updates 1/17/12

- The VITA Tax Service begins today. VITA has been a huge success, helping low income individuals prepare and send their tax returns. Click HERE for locations and times.

-  Councilman David Yates (D-25) has been named chair of the Metro Council’s Contracts Committee by President Jim King (D-10)

“I am honored for the opportunity to serve as Chair and I want tax payers to know, especially in these tight financial times, we will be very thorough in our review of how contracts are bid,” said Yates.

In his first year on the Council, Yates served as Co-chair of the Contracts and Appointments Committee.

“In that first year, I have seen numerous contracts come before us that I feel could have been bid out for a better return of the tax payers money,” said Yates.

The Contracts Committee reviews all contracts for goods and services used by the Metro Government. The Committee interacts with departments and agencies of government to learn what is being purchased and why it is needed.

-  This year, Kentuckiana Works Youth Career Center and partners are offering 16-21 year-olds the opportunity to be ready to meet employers at the Showcase with a series of Workforce Education Training Workshops. The two hour workshop prepares youth for the job hunt with tips on how to dress for success, how to complete a job application on paper and online, expressing their transferable skills as they build a resume and how to conduct themselves in an interview. Young people can get more information about these workshops at