Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tell us what you think about newest retail/restaurant options

With the new year comes a flurry of announcements regarding new stores and restaurants scheduled to open in Southwest Louisville, but the quality of the merchants is up for discussion.

Many readers have asked about the new construction on Greenwood Road near the River City Bank location. The Valley Report has just confirmed the spot will be the site of another Family Dollar store.

A proposed Family Dollar store near Pendleton Road and a franchised salvage place opening next to Target on Dixie caused many residents to question the direction of economic development policy has taken in this part of town, and has strengthened my suspicion that we are doomed to a downward spiral of cash-based businesses that only sell "yard sale" quality goods or off-brand merchandise.

Several residents are now grumbling about the size of the new Cracker Barrel restaurant slated to appear on the corner of Dixie and Bethany Lane. The location is supposed to be considerably smaller than comparable locations throughout Louisville.

You know how I feel about these things.

It is now your turn to sound off about these new announcements. Yes or no? Will you visit these businesses? Or are you so disgusted with the new and existing options that you would consider moving away from the area?

Fire away with your opinions by leaving a comment, and thanks for reading the Valley Report.

Welch 'honored' by National League of Cities appointment

Southwest Louisville Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13) has been appointed to Vice Chair the National League of Cities’ (NLC) 2012 Human Development Steering Committee.

The Human Development committee is responsible for developing policy positions on issues involving social services, children and learning, poverty and income support, employment and workforce development, equal opportunity, Social Security and seniors, individuals with disabilities, public health care, mental health parity and immigration reform.

The appointment was announced by NLC President Ted Ellis, Mayor, Bluffton, Ind.

“I am honored and look forward to the challenge of leadership for this committee that sends resolutions to our federal government on issues affecting our cities and towns,” said Welch. "Louisville Metro has much to offer other cities with our many innovative programs initiated to improve the quality of life for our residents. And I can learn from other elected officials across our nation about their solutions to some of our shared problems.”

As a member of the committee, Welch will play a key role in shaping NLC’s policy positions, while advocating on behalf of America’s cities and towns on Capitol Hill, with the Administration, and at home.

The chair of this year’s Human Development Steering Committee is Van R. Johnson II, Alderman, Savannah, GA. Serving as this year’s vice chairs are Mary Dorothy (Dot) La Marche, Vice Mayor, Farragut, TN., and Vicki Aubrey Welch, Council Member, Louisville, KY.

For more information on NLC’s other committees and councils, visit

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

Friday, January 06, 2012

You got your Cracker Barrel. Now what?

Metro Louisville government has issued a permit to Rueff Sign Company for the construction of signage for the Dixie Highway Cracker Barrel. Here is the text of the permit application:
"four signs for "Cracker Barrel". 1) 7'6 1/2"x13'3 double face illuminated 2) 7'x13' single face attached non-illuminated 3) 7'x13 attached single face non-illuminated and 4) 7'x13' attached single face non-illuminated. Shall comply with KBC 2007 and LDC Chapter 8."

The cost is estimated at $8000 for the sign work.

As of this writing, there are no details on the amount of incentives given to Cracker Barrel for the opening of this location. You will remember that tax incentives were one of the demands by company executives when considering the site at 11000 Dixie Highway.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Upcoming SW events, meetings for January 2012

- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer hosts the next “Talk to Greg” meeting on Monday, January 9th at Fern Creek High School, 9115 Fern Creek Road, from 6:00-8:00pm. Fischer will be joined by city department directors, mayor’s office staff and Metro Councilmembers.

-  Don’t miss the next Southwest Women’s Roundtable event on January 11th. Registration begins at 8:30am at National College, 4205 Dixie Highway.

The program begins at 9:00am and will feature Ann Selerno, the COO of The Change Cycle and Director of Education and Training at the NCAA Women Coaches Academy.

Please RSVP to

January is often a time for change –both personal and in business. “Dealing with organizational change – big or small – is about everyone getting through the emotion and commotion with minimal damage to their blood pressure, career, relationships, and confidence.” - Ann Salerno. Ann will discuss how to develop a playbook of positive plays for adjusting to and handling change. Equipped with fresh ideas and confidence, 2012 can be a successful year of embracing and making changes.

- Councilman Rick Blackwell of District 12 will be hosting the first District Dialogue of 2012, which will feature Justin Scally, Director of Metro Animal Services, as the Guest Speaker.

The District Dialogue will be held in the Southwest Government Center courtroom at 7219 Dixie
Highway on January 17, 2012 starting at 7 p.m. All Southwest Louisville residents are invited to attend.

The past few years have seen quite a public response in regards to the management of Metro Animal Services and in 2011 Mayor Fischer appointed Director Scally to take the lead in correcting those issues. The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), Department of Inspections, Permits, and Licensing (IPL), and a representative from Congressman John Yarmuth’s office will also be on hand at the District Dialogue to answer questions and concerns.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

So long, Gatewood. You were the man for your time and place.

Kentucky politics lost a giant today with the death of Gatewood Galbraith. He was 64.

Gatewood added to the colorfulness of our political landscape and held a wide variety of beliefs. He was more than the "pot candidate", as he was so often portrayed in the traditional media. More than any of that, he was a nice guy.

I first met Gatewood during one of his five gubernatorial campaigns. In 1991, I was a student at the University of Louisville and had the pleasure of meeting him between classes in front of the Ekstrom Library. He was the only candidate hanging around college campuses at that time and his issues were simple. To me, Gatewood possessed much common sense- a trait not often found in today's political figures.

During that short talk at U of L, Gatewood asked us to give him a shot at running the state. I shook his hand and promised him my vote. In fact, after reading the flyer that was handed to me, I promised him I would vote for him every time he ran for office.

I kept that promise, like so many other Kentuckians who became frustrated with the normal process of electing leaders in the Commonwealth.

In the coming hours and days, you will likely read much about Gatewood's past and the many nice things people have to say about him. It will probably be the first time he has ever received a fair shake in the media. I think he would be pleased.

He will be missed.

Stay free, Gatewood. And thanks.

LIHEAP enters "Crisis Phase"

The LIHEAP Crisis Phase began Wednesday, January 4, 2012.

LIHEAP, the Low income Home Energy Assistance Program, helps income eligible residents of Jefferson County with their utility bills. For the Crisis Phase, applicants must have received a brown, disconnection notice from their utility service provider, or an eviction notice if their utilities are included in the rent.

Appointments are required to apply for this program and are being issued in person only at the Central CAP Office only located at the Urban Government Center, 810 Barret Avenue. When scheduling an appointment, applicants need to bring a picture ID and a most recent heating bill (must be a "brown bill"), or an eviction notice if utilities are included in the rent. Beginning January 4th, appointments will be issued at all three CAP offices.

Please click here for more information about hours, addresses and criteria to apply.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Like gypsies in the night: LMPD 3rd Division crime trends for January, 2012

Courtesy of your SW Metro Council representatives, here are the most recent Crime Trends for the LMPD 3rd Division. Specific trends to be aware of are as follows:

There were three separate burglaries reported in the 4800-4900 blocks of Dixie Hwy. Each time, a concrete block was thrown through the front window of the business and all three happened after dark. One report had a suspect listed as a white male.

There was a home burglary reported in Hunters Point. The victim was inside when a white or Hispanic male wearing a red hat and blue jacket, forced his way in the back of the home. Please call police with any information you may have regarding this case.

A green utility trailer was reported stolen from a driveway off Upper Hunters. The trailer is reported to be metal with wooden sideboards and floorboards and has B &G Framing written on the side in black marker. If you spot this trailer, please call police.

3 car break-ins were reported on the lot of Wal-Mart at 7100 Raggard Rd. Police arrested the suspect, who admitted to breaking in to all 3 cars. All property was then returned to the victims.

A theft of a vehicle was reported on Freeman Ave. The vehicle was taken while the victim still had the keys. SUV is a red Mercury Mountaineer KY 040MBN.

A separate vehicle was reported stolen from Iroquois Gardens Dr. That vehicle is described as a 1997 black Honda Civic KY 111HES.

A home burglary was reported on Palatka Rd. where 2 guns were stolen, along with other valuables. The weapons are described as a .22 Springfield rifle and a Remington 12 gauge shotgun.

A burglary of a garage was reported on Elmer Ln. An unknown suspect kicked in the door and took tools along with a red Honda motorcycle.

Vehicle parts were taken from a car lot on National Turnpike during closed business hours. Parts were later recovered after being found by the business owner. Please keep an eye out if you are out along this road, especially during the overnight hours.

A burglary was reported on Gleam where the back door was kicked in and 2 guns, along with a computer were stolen. The weapons were a 12 gauge shotgun and a Remington 860.

2 thefts from autos were reported on East Dr. One vehicle had the window broken out and the other was left unlocked with a purse and its contents taken from inside. Remember to always lock your cars while away from them.

An air conditioning unit theft from a church was reported on Deering Rd.
A business burglary was reported on Valley Station Rd. Entry was made to the building and a safe with cash inside was taken.

Another air conditioning unit theft was reported from a church on Valley Station Rd.

Sun Valley on Ashby Ln. was burglarized last week when an unknown suspect/s gained entry to the parking lot and building and took a trailer and valuables. Any information you may have regarding this, please call the police.

There were 5 home burglaries reported South of Greenwood Rd and North of Hwy 841 during the last week, all were entered with force. Keep an eye out, especially if you are home during the day, for any suspicious activity or people that may be around your neighbors or your own home. Never hesitate to call the police with any concerns.

2 home burglaries were reported on Kinross Dr. The back door was pried on one and valuables were taken from inside both homes.

A John Deere green and yellow Gator was reported stolen from a construction site on Lower River Rd. Any information you may have in regards to this theft, please pas along to police.

Again, 2 separate vehicles were reported to have been “broken in” to by the victims leaving them UNLOCKED. If you have anything inside valuable enough to report to the police, LOCK YOUR CAR.

We appreciate any help from the community to solve crime. Please talk to all of your friends, family members, social and professional organizations and make them aware of this new service the Louisville Metro Police Department is offering. The more the information gets out to the community the better our chances of keeping Louisville safe.