June 30, 2010

Save Louisville Hosting Petition Drive at Waterfront Park

Here's a press release about a petition drive happening tonight at Waterfront Park:
Contact: James Harvey, 812-987-3597, info@savelouisville.net
Save Louisville to host petition drive June 30 at Waterfront Park

Group collecting signatures of Louisville residents pledging to leave city if bridges project built as proposed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 29, 2010) –The Save Louisville organization is holding a petition drive in opposition to the Ohio River Bridges Project on Wednesday, June 30, throughout the day at Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville. Media is invited to attend.
Residents who sign the petition are pledging they will not live in Louisville if the current design concept of the Ohio River Bridges Project is built.
Save Louisville will have a booth set up to collect signatures from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. located on the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park. The booth will also feature information about the Save Louisville design contest and recycling program. Stu Noland, founder of Save Louisville, said: “Our organization is dedicated to preventing the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century: The current design of the downtown Ohio River Bridges Project.” Noland continued: “Save Louisville supports the common sense approach to solving Louisville’s growth and traffic problems: Build the east end bridge first and then re-evaluate the situation downtown.”
For more information about the organization, please visit www.savelouisville.net.
# # #

June 25, 2010

$3+ Tolls = Protest for Thursday

New tolling scenario released: $3+ tolls. Is that the high-end? Nope! Steve Schultz, executive director for the Louisville Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, talked to News Tribune's Branden Lammers, for this story: Tolling scenario outlined at KIPDA meeting, Plans may change, but for now tolls start at $3.

What's amazing is that the $3+ tolls, which are the top end examined in the Wilbur-Smith study, are actually the low end for these lunatics:
“For planning purposes ... we decided to use a conservative assumption for air quality purposes,”- Steve Schultz
What I want to know is how a single working mom, like I was raised by, is going to be able to afford an extra $30 +/ week to get back and forth to work on the other side of the bridge?

This is why I'm planning a protest of next Thursday's Bridge Authority Meeting. It will be between 9:30 am- 10:30 am In FRONT of NEW Greater Clark County Schools Admin Building (BEFORE & DURING MEETING). That's located at 2112 Utica Sellersburg Rd, Jeffersonville, IN. Bring your friends! Handmade signs are great, but we'll have some there if you forget.
More info and RSVP on facebook:  LINK

June 24, 2010

Community Reinvestment Act at Work

Sure, now I'm out of college, it's complete. Ladies and gentleman, I give you: 3rd Street and Eastern Parkway is again open. Kudos to the Community Reinvestment Act.

June 23, 2010

No, Joe Arnold.

Ever read a story title that irritated the be-jeezus out of you? Well here's one from Joe Arnold just this afternoon that irrited me: Council weighs race vs. gay rights to choose Unseld replacement

This is the most stupid blog headline ever, and I write some stupid ones. 3 questions:

Question 1: Is it a sensational headline?
Answer: Yes

Question 2: Did that wine from the John Waltz for Congress fundraiser go straight to my head walla go?
Answer: Yes. Yet even buzzed, I can see through how ridiculous this headline is on at least 3 different levels.

Question 3: Does Arnold have any evidence at all that any of our esteemed 25 Metro Council members are looking at the selection of George Unseld's replacement through the lens of race or gay rights? (Or even sexual orientation or race rights, to inverse his thought?)
Answer: No, he does not. I expect more from bloggers that are paid.

June 22, 2010

Ken Herndon Endorsed by CFAIR!

CFAIR Endorses Ken Herndon for Vacant Metro Council 6 Seat 

(Louisville, KY) The Fairness Campaign's Political Action Committee for Fairness and Individual Rights (CFAIR) endorses the appointment of Ken Herndon to the Louisville Metro Council Sixth District seat left vacant by the sudden death of Fairness friend and close ally Councilman George Unseld. CFAIR had previously endorsed Councilman Unseld in each election in which he ran, including his first bid for a seat on the Louisville Board of Alderman in 1999, the year he co-sponsored the original Fairness Ordinance. CFAIR most recently endorsed Councilman Unseld in his 2008 primary campaign against Herndon, who is a Fairness Campaign co-founder and narrowly lost to Unseld by 112 votes.

"Given Councilman Unseld's legacy of service to his district and commitment to civil rights, CFAIR urges the Metro Council to appoint the candidate who best reflects George's passionate devotion to his constituency and to social justice," said CFAIR Co-Chair Nick Wilkerson. "We believe that person is undeniably Ken Herndon." 

"As a member of both the African American and LGBTQ communities, I stress the importance of choosing Councilman Unseld's successor based on individual merits rather than seeking to confirm someone based solely on a certain demographic profile match," shared Dawn Wilson, CFAIR Co-Chair. "Of the 20 candidates who have filed for the seat, Ken Herndon is the only one with the proven history and experience of directly supporting both the district and our social justice community, clearly proven by the volume of votes he received in the 2008 primary."

June 20, 2010

TSCA REFORM NOW RALLY in Rubbertown!

Families living near Rubbertown and their supporters rallied today to push for full disclosure and notification of residents during toxic chemical leaks and other dangerous incidents like the one that took place last week at the DuPont Dow Chemical plant in Louisville. Residents were instructed to "shelter in place", and many were unaware for hours and did not fully understand what it meant to "shelter in place".

The continued failure of companies to protect and educate the community make it clear there needs to be reform of the Toxic Substances Control ACT (TSCA) of 1976.




I just want to say it's ridiculous that the residents of Rubbertown find out about chemical leaks hours later, from like, their friends facebook status updates. What kind of citizens of our community are these companies? Why can't they employ technology to text people when they screw up?

Also, it was a treat to see Attica Scott, David Lott, Drew P. Tucker, Shameka L. Parrish-Wright and Beth Bissmeyer there. They're like rockstars to me!

Update: June 21, 2010: 12:02 am:
WLKY Coverage

June 19, 2010

Ken Herndon: Who the 6th District Wants.

While the Metro Council is debating between all the fine candidates that aspire to fill George Unseld's shoes, I'm hoping they pay the most attention to who the 6th District voters actually want to represent them. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Ken Herndon came within 2 percentage points of winning the nomination for that seat. Remember of the 4074 votes casts, Herndon received 1981 votes, or 48.6%. Unseld achieved his victory narrowly, with 2093 votes.

Let's not forget, in the 2010 Democratic mayoral primary, the WINNER didn't receive 48.6% of the votes, he only received 45.1%, yet he still gets to go on the general. Simply, since nearly half the Democratic voters of the 6th District have stood up for Herndon already, he's who the District wants.

If you also support Ken for this position, there are 4 things you can do to make this happen:

1) Contact your Metro Council member, preferably by phone, and let them know you wish them to vote for Ken.

2) Contact any Metro Council members with whom you have a personal relationship, and ask them to support Ken.

3) Contact the Clerk of the Metro Council,
Kathy Herron, and let her know you support Ken Herndon's appointment:
Kathy Herron
Clerk of the Metro Council
First Floor, Room 108
601 West Jefferson Street
Louisville KY 40202
(502) 574-1230

4) Write a letter to the editor voicing your support for Ken ASAP!:
a) Courier-Journal: http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=999980212021
b) Leo Weekly: E-mail to leo@leoweekly.com

5) Oh yeah, and you can become his fan on facebook, but the other 4 ^^^ are a lot more effective!! :-)
Ken Herndon for Louisville Metro Council

Promote Your Page Too

June 18, 2010

EEB NOW

I'm a fan of building the East End Bridge NOW. So much so, tonight I created the facebook page, EEB NOW. It's imperative that the community remain vigilant in our enthusiasm for the East End bridge.

Here's an animation showing what it could be like, compliments of the Bridges Coalition:

EEB NOW

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June 17, 2010

Say No to Coal Ash

Have you seen how big the proposed coal ash combustion site is that LG & E is proposing for Southwest Louisville? It's 60 acres. LINK That's pretty much unacceptable addition to an environment and community they have historically abused. Here's more info on what you can do to stop it, directly from tonight's KFTC- email blast:

Take action against LG&E's proposed coal ash landfill expansion in Southwest Louisville!

Problem:


LG&E has applied for permits to add a 60-acre coal combustion waste (CCW) landfill adjacent to their Cane Run Rd. power plant. This fill would hold 5.7 MILLION cubic yards of coal ash waste and could reach a height of 14 stories



The current CCW pond on-site at the Cane Run Power Station is one of 44 classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “high hazard” – meaning that a spill would result in significant damage or loss of life.
2010_06_13 Cane Run Rd. coal plant and coal ash landfill--bethb 
(27)

CCW is the solid waste left over from burning coal. CCW is a combination of waste from the coal plant’s air filters and the residue from coal boilers. The ashy part of the waste, called coal ash, contains concentrated pollutants, including many toxins known to cause cancer in humans .  Learn more about coal ash here.
The proposed permits would:
  • allow 5.7 million cubic yards of CCW, which contains toxins known to be hazardous to human health, to be dumped on site. The U.S. EPA states that 1 in 50 adults and 1 in 100 children that live near CCW storage sites are at risk of developing cancer
  • allow more than 3,000 feet of ephemeral and intermittent streams and 8 wetland areas to be filled
  • allow use of an inferior containment liner that deteriorate over time, likely resulting in toxic chemicals leaching into groundwater
  • ignore restoration requirements for 5 of the wetlands and require only minimal restoration for the other 3
  • allow this waste to be dumped on land located at the end of the Ohio River floodwall, clearly in the river’s flood plain putting residents downstream at risk
Solution:
Help Louisville lead the way toward better environmental standards. We may rely heavily on coal now, but we know coal won't be the way when our children get older. LG&E can invest in energy efficiency, weatherization, and renewable energies to reduce and eliminate the need for hazardous expansions like this current request.
Action Needed:

You can help stop this new coal ash landfill from being built! Act now by writing to the KY Division of Waste Management
Please help lend your voice to clean water and public health by submitting written comments to the KY Division of Waste Management by close-of-business Friday, June 18th!
Deadline for responding: Please take action by June 18th, 2010.


Here's who to contact with your input:
In subject line: In reference to: AI # 2121 and Application APE200100001
Email Jeff Pratt, Acting Branch Manager: jeff.pratt@ky.gov

June 10, 2010

My View Matters Bridges Edition Pre-show Madness

To the right you'll see Louisville News and Politics blogger and My View Matters talk show co-host Ed Springston explain to Ed Martin, Shawn Reilly, Martina Kunnecke and me what's up with the Republican party, only he's using appetizers. It was a riot. At first the public was a chicken finger, but then it became a roll, and actually I got confused.


Before every episode, Martin and Springston meet their guests at Buckhead's to get acquainted first. Tonight was especially tricky, as Springston is known for being no fan of Metro Councilman Jim King, while Reilly supported King from Day 1 of the mayoral race. We got through that, alright.


What I didn't see coming was Springston making some remarks preservation-insensitive remarks while sitting right beside Kunnecke, who is the founder of Neighborhood Planning, and Preservation. A knife was raised, mostly in jest, but Springston backed down. And all this before we even got to the studio!


Tonight's show was on tolls, and in addition to Kunnecke and Reilly, Steve Wiser, AIA, also joined us in the studio. Was a great show.  Reilly said "These people need to sit down. And they need to shut up." referring to River Fields. I. Almost. Died. Reilly announced on the show tonight that the Say No to Bridge Tolls group is formally requesting that the Drumanard Estate be removed from the National Historic Register. I got a peak at the letter requesting said removal, and it makes multiple, sound arguments. Listen to whole show: LINK


In related news, the Leo Weekly today revealed a little more information about the Drumanard Estate: LINK. As much as I love Jonathan Meador, I was a little disappointed he didn't breach the subject of who actually lives in the house. This information is much-guarded, as I first wrote about in February: LINK. The link to the deed was even disabled by the PVA-how does a private citizen Soterion Corporation, that is listed as the owner of the estate with the PVA. Yeah, here's what their office in the Cobalt Marketplace looks like. Nice:

June 6, 2010

Americana Worldfest Awesomeness

As covered by the Courier-Journal (LINK), the American World Festival had a great turn-out this year. I worked the KFTC table for a couple hours and had a great time.


^ Beth Bissmeyer staffed the Student Environmental Action Coalition- table next to the KFTC- table I was staffing, and thank goodness. Not only is she great company, but she knew answers to hard questions, which allowed me to be lazy and yield them to her!


^ I don't normally say good things about banks but Fifth Third Bank has been showing up and doing good things in the community even as the economy got rough, so kudos to them for reaching out and stuff.


^ This is a great picture of mayoral candidate Jackie Green, don't you think? Councilman Hal Heiner had also stopped in earlier in the day.


^ Lots of cool music.


^ Lots of yummy food. 


^Lots of cute, yet mildly bratty kids. A couple were relentless in their efforts to get a hold of Beth Bissmeyer's bananas, but she would have no part of that.


^ I don't know how old the guy with the white t-shirt is, but I'd like to think he's at least 18.

June 4, 2010

Rubbertown Economic Development Strategy WTF

The Louisville Metro Economic Development Department threw together a quick, 2-day notice, meeting today where they laid out their Rubbertown Economic Development Strategy.

The strategy had lots of good features and a couple frivolous ones, and I have really good notes I took on all of them. And they don't matter. They are irrelevant. The question posed by the 30-50 folks that made it on such short-notice could mostly be summed up with 3-letters:
WTF?
WTF is the city doing trying to develop industrial property in a community where the majority of residents are parties to class action lawsuits because their families and neighbors are dying of cancer attributed to environmental pollution the city is doing nothing to buy them out or remedy the pollution?

An attorney present that represents many of the residents,  Peter W. Macuga II, shown to the right, sited the extremely high levels of Sulfer Dioxide that are emitted from the LG&E plant, as well as the Superfund Site that sits at the end of Lee's Lane that the city hasn't cleaned up. At more than one point during the meeting, C. Bruce Traughber, the Director of the Development Department, got in a heated exchange with Macuga. Traughber was very unprofessional and disrespectful, even patronizing Macuga by cutting him off with "Counselor, we appreciate your closing arguments."

Let me just list some of the other bat-shit crazy, ridiculous things that Traughber said that will assure that he will not have his current job in any future mayoral administration in our city:

1)  "We're here because we're running out of flat land in Louisville." - C. Bruce Traughber
Confucius say when tricking cow to give you milk, remember to stay in calf costume. In other words, try to at least pretend like you give a shit ABOUT THE PEOPLE and not just the land they live on.

2) "You (Macuga) understand that LG&E isn't in Rubbertown?" - C. Bruce Traughber
Well, technically, no, it's not. Because you guys drew the maps so that it wouldn't be, no doubt hoping you could avoid the awkward pollution/ cancer discussion, and definitely the discussion of the proposed LG&E ash pond. See picture to the right as Scott Page, a consultant with Interface Studio, shows us the boundary that you guys told them to pull out of their asses.

3) "Black smoke is not an indication of air toxins."- C. Bruce Traughber
Um, wow. Dude has a future with BP.


4) "This was conceived as an economic development study and not an environmental study."- C. Bruce Traughber
Okay, we're  not stupid. The mystery is why would you guys dream up the idea of having an economic development study completed- before the existing environmental concerns were addressed?

5) "The study was conducted on behalf of the Development Department, Greater Louisville, Inc, and a couple of the chemical companies located in the area that helped fund the study."- C. Bruce Traughber 
The study was not inclusive of the residents, an indication that they are irrelevant in the eye of the incumbent Louisville Metro Government. Also, a discrepancy I'm not sure on, the CJ reported Tuesday that "the metro chamber of commerce" also contributed.

At one point the presenters clarified that this was only the beginning steps of the process, but then it was revealed by Page that this was the final meeting. Most meeting attendees were somewhat dumbfounded how that could be. Page had said to the Courier-Journal on Tuesday, "We are just sharing ideas at this point, There is nothing that has been finalized." He had also indicated a time line of a few months to wrap up the plan.  LINK. Since Mayor Abramson will still be in office when the plan is completed, there's really no accountability for whether tonight's feedback would be included in the plan.

When grilled, Traughber estimated it would take $150,000-$175,000 to relocate each family if that option was considered, which to him seemed to be an impossible feat. He explained how the airport neighborhood was bought out using mostly federal money, while FEMA money was used to buy out Minor Lane Heights, and there simply wasn't federal money available to buy out a community that was polluted.

Using Traughber's $150,000 figure, and Metro Councilperson Judy Green's estimate of 500 homes, Tyler Allen who was standing beside me calculated on his phone that a proposed-buyout would cost about $75 Million. Relative to a lot of other things going on in this city that don't have to be itemized, let's face it, that's very doable. 

One very promising point about the meeting, though, there are politicians that care enough to show up, ask tough questions, and represent their constituents. Present tonight were Metro Councilpersons Judy Green & Hal Heiner, who is also a candidate for mayor of Louisville. Additionally, Representative Jody Jenkins, whose district used to include Lake Dreamland but now is nearby, was also present and engaged in the discussion.



More pictures in facebook album, including pictures of the slides presented with witty captions: LINK (If you're the kind of person that cares about this issue and others like it, friend request me while you're there!) Look for some really in-depth reporting on this issue upcoming in the Leo by my hero, Jonathan Meador. Here's link to FOX 41 coverage: LINK

June 3, 2010

LOST CAT WITH BIG REWARD!

I don't know the guy that lost this lazy, fat-ass cat but he's obviously very passionate about getting it back. This sign is up at W. Market St & Roy Wilkins.

If you find said kitty, please deliver him to ME, and I'll take care of it from there. I'll be sure to give you a shout-out on the blog! Thanks!

Tour de Olmsted Cycling Festival

Do you guys follow The Valley Report? It's pretty groovy. Here's a couple things I'm stealing from it today:



Also, tonight (Thursday, June 3), there's a meeting called "Rubbertown Economic-Development Meeting" at the Nia Center, 2900 W. Broadway from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM. As inferred in The Valley Report, it's really odd an economic development meeting for one community would be held...in another.

Louisville Reacts to Gulf Oil Spill

A bunch of do-gooders gathered on Wednesday, June 2 and talked about the BP oil spill at the First Unitarian Church for event called "Responding to the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster: A Community Conversation." The meeting started with an acknowledgment by Mark Steiner, with Cultivating Connections, that there are two ways to respond to what's happened in the Gulf:
1) Wake up and be part of a conversation that we previously were not having or,
2) Rollover and wait for a larger crisis to justify our attention.
Pam Platt, whose recent letter to the editor was part of the inspiration for the meeting, read that very letter. She ended with "If you've been to Dustin's beaches, and odds are you have, this is about you, too."

We started singing "This land is your land. This land is my land..." and before we knew it we had made it to the lyric "to the gulfstream waters." Yeah, it's in there. I almost choked up. "This land is made for you and me."

Local poet and educator, Aletha Fields, who grew in in Alaska as the pipeline was completed, delivered a poem she had written for the meeting. Her poem was amazing. Hoping it ends up on the internet soon and when it does, I'll share for sure. One lyric that was especially moving: "...when the crime of greed publishes itself as tourism,..." Fields makes it clear that we have a lot of reasons that we need to be concerned about this disaster and the least of wish is the economic fortunes of industry. There are humans and creatures (her word), that can't defend themselves and their plight deserves our prioritized attention. As we can always trust Fields to do, she left us with hope: "..Step forward with righteous action and passion." she said.

The Greater Louisville Sierra Club boasted of their goal to have an oil-free Louisville in 20 years. This comes just a couple months after they endorsed Greg Fischer, the mayoral candidate that supports the 23-lane wide spaghetti-junction proposed in the Ohio River Bridges Project. LINK
(---SINGLE SENTENCE REDACTED IN 3/15/2012 EDIT TO REFLECT A MORE ENLIGHTENED VIEW OF THE AUTHOR---)


Although he didn't speak, everyone's friend and candidate for mayor, Jackie Green, was the only political candidate present. This blog's author had the rare and educational treat of cycling alongside Green following the event.

Barefoot activist Tyler Hess made the point that "Eating meat increases our carbon footprint while eating plants decreases it." He's right. Abstaining from meat helps to conserve the rain forests and reduce green house gases and I need to work on this myself.

Marty Hanka, of Good Oil Boys, talked about how oil-powered cars were a good thing. Sam Avery with Kentucky Solar Energy Society talked about how promising solar energy is. He really thinks it is THE solution, which doesn't do any harm really. But I've always thought windmills were neat, too.

Gary Heine, of 15000 Farmers, gave everyone in his focus group a Heine Brothers coffee cup. Then we added some worm-worked coffee grounds in there, and then we planted a foot-long bean in our cups. then we watered our little seed. It was very exciting, really. I was bummed when I realized I had to give mine away since I came on a bike.

Steiner asked the question, "What are we willing to give up so life will flourish?"There were also representatives there from KFTC, CART, and Earthsave Louisville. The event ended with a song, here's a snippet:


Rachel Stoner, also with Cultivating Connections, says another event is planned with a venue TBD.

June 2, 2010

WHAS INTERVIEWS KUNTER

As I kind of saw coming, YESTERDAY, WHAS was able to find the 2nd perspective of the story. Because we all know anything newsworthy has PRECISELY and ONLY 2 PERSPECTIVES! The perspective of those that have harnessed your attention, and the perspective of the person doing the spin for the people that have caused the problem. Agghhh! There are more perspectives than 2 to this issue and oversimplifying it does an injustice to those that have been killed.

The majority of yesterday's demonstrators were neither Jewish, nor Muslim, although there were both present I noticed. The folks there were people that are passionate about human rights and social justice of all people, and I'm pretty sure that would make (let me see...1+1+1)...At least 3 perspectives. Oh wait, but everyone one of those activists were there for a different reason, like the gal that held the "Lunatics with Nukes"-sign. Maybe her perspective was a little more personal, and since she was 1 of over a 100, maybe her sign didn't represent the feelings of everyone there? Maybe there's more perspectives to this story than can be fit into 3:04 minutes?



Also, Daniel Kunter said "...there's a protocol to take humanitarian aid into Gaza." Does he really want to talk about protocols in the United States? Does he realize what our protocol is for dealing with international terrorism?

June 1, 2010

Louisvillians Protest Israel's Actions


Israel raided a ship in inter- national waters, Monday, as part of their blockade that's been ongoing for 3 years stopping supplies and aid into Gaza. Sixteen were killed and dozens injured. While the legality of actual raid is disputed, what's not disputed is this event has turned up the heat on Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

This afternoon in Louisville, Ky, activists gathered outside the Jewish Community Center to protest a speech by Daniel Kutner, Israel's consul general to the United States. Information circulated about the protest said it was to last an hour, but it started early and ended late, lasting closer to an hour and half.

Expect media outlets to have a report balanced by whatever this persistent guy from J.C.C. wanted to say. He was all over anyone that remotely resembled a journalist. I'm not sure what you call that, pro-active public relations?:


One thing that makes the Louisville activist community unique, there's a very profound understanding about the intersectionality of oppression. Minorities repressed stand up for each other, and this day was a great example.
Video: