Friday, January 11, 2013

Register now for Neighborhood Institute Spring 2013

The Center For Neighborhoods has launched the Neighborhood Institute for Spring 2013.
It will be held at New Directions Housing Corp. (1000 East Liberty Street) January 29th - April 16th. The Institute is held every Tuesday for 12 consecutive weeks from 6:00-8:30pm and dinner is provided each week. 
The Neighborhood Institute Spring 2013 is open to all neighborhoods, Metro Council Districts and the whole community. 
To register for the 12-week program, contact Lisa at 502.589.0343 or
Begun in 1987, the Neighborhood Institute is a comprehensive leadership program designed to provide neighborhood leaders with the skills and understandings necessary to lead effective neighborhood organizations.  The Institute is conducted as a twelve-week seminar twice each year.   
The Center For Neighborhoods (formerly the Louisville Community Design Center) envisions a community driven by an array of lively civic institutions working in partnership with local government and one another to create sound neighborhoods and community. The purpose is to empower citizens and citizen-based institutions to have an effective role in making their neighborhoods good, decent, and attractive places to live. Continuing 33 years of work, the Center For Neighborhoods pursues its mission and fundamental purpose through leadership education, through community planning, and by assisting neighborhood-based development and improvement.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Flea market fail: Vendors Village closing doors

Vendors Village, Dixie Highway
Multiple sources are confirming that the Vendors Village flea market at the old Kroger location in the Dixie Valley Shopping Center will be closing permanently on January 31, 2013.

Reports are circulating that Planet Fitness will take the place of the controversial flea market.

Opened last year, Vendors Village was the subject of heavy criticism from some forward-thinking Valley residents who had higher hopes for the then-vacant retail space. Prompted by anger and frustration, several residents wrote letters to Baceline Investments of Colorado, the owner of the shopping center.

Shortly after my series of columns appeared on the subject, I was contacted by Baceline executives and assured that the flea market would not remain in the Dixie Valley Center, as a flea market business was not what they considered to be a desirable tenant.

Baceline's David Puchi said last year, "We had no control over that flea market going in there, and we are committed to bringing in high-quality tenants, and that does not mean a flea market … that doesn’t fit with our plans for the center.”

Messages left for executives at Planet Fitness were not returned.

But a win is a win. Let's do more of that around here.

Thanks for reading the Valley Report.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Open door: Councilwoman Fowler takes reins in 14th District

Council members Rick Blackwell, Vicki Welch, Cindi Fowler and David Yates
Residents of Metro Louisville's14th District finally have an available and capable representative as Councilwoman Cindi Fowler has officially been sworn into office.

Since the merger of city and county government in 2002, the 14th District office has been occupied by Bob Henderson - a polarizing figure who never seemed to resonate with citizens, despite his long tenure as councilman. Says a neighborhood activist, "There were so many people who would run against him, it constantly split the vote too many ways and he'd get back in. If you ever argued or disagreed with him, he took it personally, and you could never get anything done. Calls weren't returned and there was little or no communication between the office and the people, particularly toward the end of Bob's last term. He was just absent. We are thankful to be able to turn that page of history and look forward to the future with a team that seems ready to improve the southwest area. It's an exciting time."

In the past, I had my share of run-ins with the councilman. He never seemed to forgive me for my criticisms of his performance and always treated my questions as a nuisance to be endured rather than a chance to move forward.

But it is a new day in the 14th and we don't have to talk about that nonsense any longer. With the election of Cindi Fowler, the team is now complete. With all of Southwest Louisville's elected representatives working together for the common good, progress and opportunity should be much easier to obtain.

Councilwoman Fowler has already promised to begin the practice of constituent meetings and says she will treat communication with residents as her highest priority. I personally look forward to hearing from her office as the agenda is set for a new direction in Southwest Louisville.

A press release regarding Councilwoman Fowler's swearing-in ceremony follows:
On Monday, January 7th, Cindi Fowler joined 25 others as one of two new members of the Louisville Metro Council following the 2013 Organizational Session. Fowler won the seat in the November 6th election and is ready to begin her four year term as Councilwoman.
“I am ready to begin the work of serving the people of District 14,” said Fowler. “I want the people of the district to know I am ready to listen to them as I join others on the Metro Council. Together, we can make this a better city for everyone.”

Fowler says she plans to stay in regular contact with constituents in Valley Station, Pleasure Ridge Park, Kosmosdale and other areas of the district through email newsletters and community meetings.

Michael Bowman has been selected to be Fowler’s Legislative Assistant. He has served the last year as coordinator for the Southwest Regional Office for Councilmembers Rick Blackwell (D-12) and David Yates (D-25).
“I plan to follow through on what I heard from people during the campaign. I will be out in the district keeping everyone informed on issues and how I will address them.” 
For more information, contact Councilwoman Fowler’s office at 574-1114.