March 31, 2011

Whiskey Row cited in New York Times

"Louisville has one of the largest collections of cast-iron facades outside SoHo in New York, but because of inattention and insensitive development, several of these buildings known as Whiskey Row faces destruction. Some, however, have been restored."- 36 Hours in Louisville, Ky

If the New York Times cited my "inattention and insensitive development" I'd be very ashamed. Keep Todd Blue in your prayers tonight.

Of course, our mayor doesn't let pesky little things, like words, bother him:


I've, of course, friend requested Diane Wilson for calling him out before me.
Also, more news on a Whiskey Row tangent forthcoming next week. Check back!

March 30, 2011

A sad day for Indiana

And I copy paste: Marriage Discrimination Amendment Passes Indiana Senate by 40-10 Vote
Issue to face the State Legislature again in 2013

The Indiana Senate today passed House Joint Resolution 6 on a vote of 40 to 10.  Authored by Representative Eric Turner (R-Cicero), HJR-6 would also bar similar legal structures such as civil unions, threaten domestic-partnership benefits, and endanger other legal protections for unmarried families.

During debate on HJR 6, a number of Senators, including Tim Lanane (D-Anderson), spoke against the resolution, clearly explaining why a constitutional amendment banning same-gender marriage is wrong for Indiana.   Others who spoke against passage of HJR-6 included Senators Greg Taylor, Lonnie Randolph, and Vi Simpson.  Lawmakers opposing the amendment questioned the necessity of the amendment, and also focused on the sentence which declares that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.

Proponents of HJR-6, led by Senator Dennis Kruse, stated that the constitutional amendment is designed to protect the way marriage has always been throughout the course of Indiana history, U.S. history, world history and the history of civilization.

Senators who voted no on HJR-6 included:

Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis)
John Broden (D-South Bend) Tim Lanane (D-Anderson)
Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) Earline Rogers (D-Gary)
Vi Simpson (D-Bloomington) Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute)
Karen Tallian (D-Portage) Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis)
Please Take a Few Minutes TODAY and Contact Your State Senator

Either thank them for their NO vote on House Joint Resolution 6 or register your displeasure for their yes vote.

What happens next?

HJR-6 must pass through both the House and Senate again in 2013 or 2014.  If it passes, unaltered, it will be on the ballot in November 2014.  This means that Hoosiers will cast their vote either for or against HJR-6 as it is written today.

How You Can Help!

The next best opportunity to voice your opposition to HJR-6 is during the 2012 elections.  Be sure that you, your family, your friends, and your co-workers are registered Indiana voters.
Volunteer to help defeat the Marriage Discrimination Amendment. Contact us by sending an e-mail to info@indianaequalityaction.org or mail to the below address.
Make a contribution to support IE Action’s advocacy and lobbying efforts. You can donate on-line at www.indianaequalityaction or by sending a check to Indiana Equality Action at PO Box 20621, Indianapolis, IN  46220-0621.
Join our Action Network and assist with communications to our elected officials about supporting equal protection under the law for ALL Hoosiers. To sign up, go to the IE website or send us an e-mail to receive regular updates.
Contacting Your State Legislator

For information on contacting the legislators who represent you, go to www.in.gov/legislative/legislators.  If you do not know who represents you, find out by going to Project Vote Smart - A Voter's Self Defense System at www.vote-smart.org.

Important Phone Numbers

House: (317) 232-9600 House Toll-Free: (800) 382-9842 TDD-local: (317) 232-0404
Senate: (317) 232-9400 Senate Toll-Free: (800) 382-9467 TDD-long distance: (800) 548-9517

another ugly day in the ville...

It's kind of hard for a certain someone to claim he invented something that's falling from the sky, eh?
I know I should be writing about the Bridges, but I missed the meeting because I slept in with my boo.

So, let's think about warmer places than Louisville today. Here's a portal to my sister Lizzie Morrison's picture blog to take us there:
Rainbow at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

March 29, 2011

Bridges Authority Meeting: Just stand up and heckle

Wednesday, March 30, 10:30 AM
Bridges Authority Meeting:
Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel
Second Floor Ballroom
700 W. Riverside Dr., Jeffersonville, Indiana

They're calling it a committee meeting but typically the Authority has rubber stamped everything to occur in a committee meeting, so public attendance is encouraged, by me it is at least. And Say No to Bridge Tolls. The Bridges Authority on the other hand, has a history of not having the audio right, turning the chairs away from the public, and well, the public isn't even on the agenda:
If the Authority still had a public comment section,  as was PROMISED by Governor Steve Beshear, former Mayor Jerry Abramson, and Governor Mitch Daniels, it would be fun to ask them questions at the meeting publicly.

But since the Governors haven't kept their promise, here's some suggested things to heckle as the meeting goes along below. I'm serious. Since they don't allow public comments, just stand up and talk real loud-like whenever you want, about whatever you like. Yell "Boonedoggle" every once in a while too. If it gets annoying enough, maybe they'll do something REALLY STUPID like have us arrested. Or maybe they'll make the Democratically responsible choice, and re-allow public comments at their meetings. Either way, Wednesday could be fun!

* Who won Louisville's "Your Big Idea" Contest? (Hint: 8664) Isn't it time to take the 8664 solution seriously?

* This question is for Executive Director Steve Shultz. Recall Friday, September 18, 2009, the day Irwin Union Bank and Trust, under your counsel, was seized by the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. What day will be the Bridges Authority's September 18, 2009?

*So we have some nonsensical ORBP-revisions by Governor Steve Beshear, Governor Mitch Daniels, and Mayor Greg Fischer. Does the Authority realize how ridiculous it looks entertaining these revisions after telling the general public FOR YEARS that the record of decision could not be altered? In fact, let's listen to Mr. Shultz explain all the friggin bullshit reasons why the ROD COULD NOT be revised from last August?:

*So Steve, what happened to all these objections? The 20/10 rule?

*Finally, my favorite. Is the Authority aware of the legal precedent set whereby an Authority failed to consider a transportation plan alternative and moved forward with a plan, and later lost the litigation brought to them by the affected community? And if you're aware, prove it. What community was that, and why is Louisville & 8664 any different? Thank you very much I'll set down now.

Switching Gears to the Louisville Metro Council & their responsibility for stopping tolls:
(Tony Hyatt, please include this in the digest):
I'd like to bring to the Councilpersons attention that the Bridges Project could be greatly influenced by a simple vote of the Council to repeal R-127-07-09. Since the Bridges Authority has disregarded the clear message sent from the Council last year, now is the time to play hardball and take away their right to exist. And here's how the math will go down if you don't...

TOLLS = A COMPLETE DISASTER FOR INCUMBENT METRO COUNCIL MEMBERS CHANCES OF BEING ELECTED

Sorry for screaming. But later, I want to be able to tell you that I warned you. Too much sugar in my diet. Just kidding, BTW, Tony. You just keep putting CJ stuff in their digests and hope for the best! W00t! W00t!

March 25, 2011

Important (?) regarding mayor and Bellarmine game


Spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer's office,  Chris Poynter, who doesn't show up in the Courier Journal government salary search because he was working for Fischer's campaign when the data was last gathered, is shown here using social media to contact his friend JC Cissell, the public relations guy for Bellarmine University, "regarding mayor and Bellarmine game."

Poynter and Cissell are both really pleasant and passionate public servants, and this exchange appears pretty harmless. But if Mayor Fischer takes the mic at halftime, there might be a few preservationists in the audience chanting "Save Whiskey Row! Save Whiskey Row!" Oh wait, that's only if JC could hook us up with some free tickets, too? After all, I do write a blog, that you, apparently, read? Thanks for that, btw.

Also, interesting article this morning by the Courier Journal's most-handsome Marcus Green: Breaking the Census barrier: Louisville Metro becomes No. 17. Revealed Thursday, Louisville Metro is "the 17th most populated incorporated place." Refreshing to hear from Poynter this revelation won't result in a changing out of the signs.

Finally, it looks like no other media outlets have taken an interest in Fischer's not-so-timely slightly inaccurate revelation that his father had an interest in Whiskey Row. Looks like Jake Payne with Ville Voice got an adorable new puppy from Louisville Metro Animal Services, so maybe the slip will actually avert the news cycle altogether. I'm waiting for WFPL's Gabe Bullard to get the link working to the broadcast here.  You don't have to listen to the whole interview, it's just in the last couple minutes. Although it was a good interview.  My thoughts and assertions following the broadcast can be found here: Louisville Mayor Pinocchio is at it again. 

The CJ's Sheldon Shafer did cover Preservationists urge effort to save Iron Quarter buildings,
but he didn't leak anything Fischer's father's interest in the buildings. I found this surprising because Shafer knows himself that Blue purchased his equity in Whiskey Row from a group. Here's a snippet of Shafer's words from a CJ Piece still appearing on Blue's website:
"Blue, who recently bought nine adjoining tracts in the block for $4.75 million from a group headed by architect and developer Jim Walters, said he hopes to break ground on Iron Quarter by year's end and complete the project in mid-2010, right before the arena opens.-Sheldon Shafer, Courier Journal

If I was an employed journalist (#notbitter just #transparent), I would research the titles to all 7 buildings of Whiskey Row, where I'd likely find George Fischer probably never appears in the chain of ownership. This would mean he is definitively part owner in one, or I suspect (bloggers can do that) more than one, of the entities that have held or currently hold title. Then ask Mayor Greg Fischer which specific entities those are. I think Greg's cell is 502-727-1570 (bloggers can do this too). But if I'm wrong, or he screens your call, Poynter's is above.  Heck, ask Jim Walter. I understand there's a little bad blood there between Todd Blue & at least one staff member there at Bravura. There's a Mary Cawain on their website listed as marketing director. Maybe it's her.

Have a great day, Mayor Fischer!

12:19 PM Update:
Looks as if the Mayor plans to milk this Bellarmine thing for all he can. They've declared Saturday “Scarlet and Silver Day”. A couple days of this "GO, TEAM, GO!" and we'll forget all about Whiskey Row, and the Rubbertown/ Butchertown emergency notification failures, right? Poynter really earns his keep with these folks.

March 24, 2011

Louisville Mayor Pinocchio is at it again

On State of Affairs just now, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says his father had an interest once in "one of the buildings in Whiskey Row." The buildings have sold as a package for the last few sales, going back 20 years.
Shoot, my battery is dying. To be updated later!! Also, it's my birthday! :-P

2:53 PM: I'm back! Kudo's to Java Brewing Frankfort Avenue for having working electrical outlets. Here's what's up. I sent this tweet to State of Affairs this afternoon: 
Host Julie Credence asked that very question at the end of today's show. Mayor Greg Fischer's response was something close to "I believe my father owned an interest in one of the buildings but that was long ago." Once it's up on WFPL, it's at the end of the show. Last question.

There are only three problems with Fischer's revelation today.

First, Mayor Fischer waited until today to make that disclosure. Today marks 49 days after the Mayor signed an agreement with Todd Blue, which was negotiated privately, to permit the destruction of Whiskey Row. I first asked him this question, via email, twitter, and facebook in February and received no response. In Mayor Fischer's defense, he's never responded to one of my emails.

While Blue bailed out Jim Walter, there's no evidence that Walter's partners were bailed out. Those partners very well could still hold equity interests in the Whiskey Row properties and they likely do. Whoever those partners may, or may not be, is relevant. Failure to timely disclose the George Fischer's precise ownership interests in Whiskey Row could prove to be the most heinous breach of public trust in our city's recent history. If George Fischer stands to gain a direct, or even indirect benefit from the Mayor's decision, there's been some ethical violations for which he's going to need to answer. (Emailing Crit now.)

Secondly, I think Mayor Fischer's claim that his father only had an interest in one of the buildings, is untrue. Here's why.
The pertinent 7 buildings of Whiskey Row sold as a package in 2007. The seller was Waterfront Investments, LLC, a corporation headed up mostly by Jim Walter who developed Waterfront Park Place. (Note: George Fischer, Greg's dad, has a pretty nice pad in Waterfront Park Place.) It's my belief that George Fischer held an equity interest in Waterfront Investments, LLC, which would mean he held an interest in ALL 7 buildings. The last prior sale of those 7 buildings was in November of 1999, also as a package. So if George Fischer held an interest in Washington Square, Inc., then he also would have held an interest in all 7 buildings. Don't take my word for it, here's excerpts from the deeds:





Thirdly, our mayor acts as if his dad is a frigging acquaintance he golfed with once. Maybe they see each other at the Y? Or maybe he's read about in the paper? Seriously, we don't want to hear "I think he does" or "I think he doesn't." Our mayor's father has been very generous to him, and no one believes for a quick moment that our mayor is clueless to the history of his father's equity holdings.

CLOUT's Nehemiah Action Assembly: It's coming.

What's CLOUT? The term is an acronym for Citizens of Louisville Organized & United Together. From their website, they're "an organization of religious congregations and groups which are working together to solve critical community problems."

This year, CLOUT's main focus in education, and they started off Monday discussing the problem of bullying. Other focuses of CLOUT have included fighting payday lending, advocating for restorative justice, and lobbying for a revenue stream for Louisville's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

I'll be attending CLOUT's 2011 Nehemiah Action Assembly with my friends Eric and Mary Beth Brown. They got involved because their congregation, the St Agnes Catholic Church is a member. I'm not planning on joining a church anytime soon, but I sure like to see when people get together and organize themselves to make social justice change. So here's the info. Let's not just talk about change, let's show up and make it happen! 


Also, as a perk, Mayor Greg Fischer will be there, and they're planning on subjecting him to some neat ideas.

Where: Knights Hall, Bellarmine University, 2001 Newburg Road
(additional entrance at 1800 block of Norris Place)

When: Thursday, April 14, 2011 6:30 PM

For tickets (They're free), contact my friend Mary Beth Brown:
502-802-3720. I'll be there!

March 22, 2011

Urban Freeway Removal goes mainstream

Check out today's story on NPR

Does anybody know how I can put this in Greg Fischer's face? I put it on his Facebook wall, but not sure that's going to do it. Maybe I'll drunk text him later.

Rubbertown explosion, residents left in dark

There was an explosion Monday afternoon at Carbide Industries in Rubbertown, and residents weren't told for two hours whether they were at risk.  Two hours. No alarms sounded. Residents were concerned. Mayor Greg Fischer visited the scene to get an earful from my friend Eboni Cochran.



Unfortunately, a worker lost his life in the explosion. My heart goes out to his loved ones.

Just in June of last year, following a Dow chemical rail car leak in the same area, and while the alarm warnings sounded that time, many of the residents that heard the alarms didn't know what they meant. Cochran called for education in the community, then. (WLKY) Yet her warnings have been ignored for just over 8 months now. I was going to track down Poynter's own words on that leak, but I'm feeling kind.

Here's some less than comforting words following that 2010 leak, though:

"...It's not the first time it's happened here, and it probably won't be the last..." - WHAS,  June 20, 2010 

Leak, explosion. Not the same thing. I know. But my point is this: These plants are operating adjacent to neighborhoods, and a complete disregard and lack of respect has systematically been shown to the residents of those neighborhoods. And I'm embarrassed for our city for this. Will be interesting to see how Fischer spins this Tuesday. I really don't know if I can take 3 years and 9 more months of this.

Rally to stop bullying, tonight!

There will be a rally to stop bullying this evening at the 4th Ave. United Methodist Church, located in Louisville at 1111 S. 4th St. The rally's participants include Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT), and my good friend, Mary Beth Brown.

The rally starts at 6:30 PM, and I hope to be there. If you have questions about the rally, comment & and I'll have Mary Beth get back to you.

March 21, 2011

Kentuckians for Progress creates new issue for Mayor Fischer

There is a new entity in town, Kentuckians for Progress, that has launched a campaign, including a billboard and newspaper ad, to end River Fields involvement in the Ohio River Bridges Project lawsuit. An initial red flag was raised by Say No to Bridge Tolls founder, Shawn Reilly when he called the number listed on the Kentuckians for Progress billboard, and the person that answered refused to identify the entity's funding or their membership. The number on the billboard is identified as River Fields, but isn't actually River Fields.  That number is directed to an outside firm hired by Kentuckians for Progress to collect data. A Kentuckians for Progress representative, Joe Burgan, who was listed on their press release as the contact person, told me this afternoon that's a quirk he'll look into. Burgan was previously involved in 8664 before running the Hal Heiner for Mayor Campaign.

Burgan also said other members involved in Kentuckians for Progress are former Jefferson County Judge Executive Rebecca Jackson, and former Louisville mayor Dave Armstrong (Edited 3/21/2011. My mistake, sorry!) and Bill Schreck, formerly with the Abramson administration.  Burgan said Kentuckians for Progress has a narrow, non-political, focus on opposing River Fields influence on the Bridges Project that Burgan said was unfair. Some 8664 supporters, like myself, are hesitant to force the East End bridge component forward in it's current form. "The ultimate capacity of the East End Bridge WOULD BE REDUCED by the Steve Beshear, Mitch Daniels, and Greg Fischer proposal" I wrote in January. The revisions proposed by Fischer, Beshear and Daniels would cut the capacity of the East End bridge to 4 lanes expandable to 6. It was originally 6 lanes expandable to 8. It's unclear by what degree the feasibility of the 8664 idea is impacted by reducing the maximum capacity of the East End bridge.

Across town, preservationists are fighting to become a party to Todd Blue's lawsuit against the city in his efforts to demolish Whiskey Row to make way for his proposed Iron Quarter development.  The Fischer administration has until April 4th to respond to preservationist's request to become a party to that suit.

As many of Mayor Fischer's original supporters were River Fields' members, and the mayor has never publicly opposed the River Fields' lawsuit with the Bridges Project. In the coming weeks, we'll discover if Mayor Fischer justifies his continued opposition to preservationists joining in on the Blue/ Whiskey Row lawsuit, while continuing to turn a blind eye to River Fields lawsuit against the Bridges Project.

Qdoba committing crime

Remember when Stu Noland was forced to take a deal, for his activism by chalking downtown sidewalks about information about the Bridges Project? (July of last year)

I had asked the ACLU to intervene on Stu's behalf. They did not.

Almost a year later, we find Qdoba doing basically the same thing on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Rd, and to my knowledge, no one is going to jail. Maybe the ACLU has their back? Or maybe Stu's problem was he was telling the truth, about something very powerful people (Jerry Abramson) didn't want the truth told about. I'll let you do the math.

March 19, 2011

NPP's SAVE WHISKEY ROW Letter Writing Event

NPP's SAVE WHISKEY ROW Letter Writing Event


When
Saturday, March 26 · 11:30am - 3:30pm




Where:

Crescent Hill United Ministries Community Center (in Historic Clifton)
150 State Street (Frankfort and State Street)
Louisville, KY


More info:
Now, more then ever, we need your help. Come write letters to the Mayor, the Courier and Leo, to Metro Council etc. about the circumvention of law, the lawsuit, why we should NOT pay Todd Blue $450,000, the inequity of it all, and/or your desire to save these unique buildings. THERE IS LOTS TO SAY and we will help you with fact sheets, language you can cut and paste, sample letters, laptops, paper and pen. Take your letter(s) to email or mail or we will mail them for you. Please spend 30 minutes making a difference.

March 17, 2011

Radiation hitting California?

Granted, you can't believe everything you see on the internet. But you can't believe everything the government omits telling you, either.



Duct tape your doors and windows. Really, what do you have to loose. A roll of duct tape is $6. Radiation causes lots and lots of health issues. Do it.

March 15, 2011

So there's no confusion...


I will not be attending the March 29th Fischer/ Abramson fundraiser. You can though. God knows they're going to need that $50 /ticket. Subverting the public will in the age of the internet: it ain't cheap. They were smart to put Lisa Tanner on their team, as she carries more political credibility than both of them combined. Sure has lots of sponsors. These people are probably going to want something in return in the near future. What. A. Mess.

Other updates on Greg:
1) I still haven't received a response from my January 12 inquiry as to how exactly Greg's campaign finances were co-mingled with his inauguration. See Iceberg-gate. Citizen's Bill of Rights, still doesn't apply to me. Of course, it's only been 63 days. I think I need a ticker on the blog. Maybe I'll change the name to "January 12..." Just a thought.

2) I didn't make the"Talk to Greg"-forum at Carter Elementary, but I heard he's using the same format that Jerry used where he talks a bit in the beginning, but allows no one to speak publicly. Like the one I went to back in July, 2010. Only Greg apparently is also having individuals screened before they get actual face time with him. #FAIL #FAIL #FAIL I hear transportation activist Rex Vest might have got to talk to him, but I haven't touched base with him yet. Oh, I also heard Metro Council President Jim King was at the meeting, and very accessible to whoever wanted to talk to him, as I might add, he usually has been.

3) Great letter to the editor in the CJ by Dave Robinson itemizing how much traceable money Todd Blue & family gave the Greg Fischer for Mayor campaign. oh how i hate to link to the CJ
Note: This information of public record was revealed in a friggin letter to the editor, and not reported by a journalist. I'd make a good journalist, I think? Maybe?


4) Politico Jeff Noble has recently revealed to me in a Facebook thread that he questioned by motives in supporting Hal Heiner. This has been really bothering me because I don't know if he was inferring I was ambitious or what. So I'll clarify. My motives for not supporting Greg Fischer is that I don't trust him. Here's a clip of him lying about his past, by the way:



5) Greg didn't look that good on Fox 41 tonight. He looked tired. I certainly hope I'm not contributing to that. That's ridiculous. Who reads this but bored kids in Russia? But if I am the reason, it's just politics. Get more sleep, dude. 

6) Finally, the Kentucky Real Estate Commission Staff Attorney Kristen Reese has not contacted me back regarding my complaint to the Commission on Mayor Fischer directing the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation to do activities they are unlicensed to do. That's. Disheartening.

March 14, 2011

Rain, blah

Greg Fischer will be at Carter Elementary tonight at 6. Stop in and ask him this question for me:
"Do you or your father now, or have you ever, had an equity interest in the ownership of Whiskey Row?"
Elton John will be in Louisville before Thunder. (linky link) I might wanna go to this if someone wants to buy me a couple tickets? There might be an ad on this blog just for you!

Also, this is from Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade. For some reason, it scared me to death.

Finally, my heart goes out to those in Japan. My friend Eric Brown shared this helpful link: Why I am not worried about Japans nuclear reactors. It's not sensational, but is easy to read, and leaves one with a fundamental knowledge about nuclear energy that we probably should have anyway.

March 9, 2011

What do Greg Fischer & a Class A Misdemeanor have in common?

KRS 324.990 is titled "Engaging in real estate brokerage without license." Mayor Greg Fischer will probably be referring to it as another one of those KRS-whatevers. (See KRS-whatevergate.) For those of you just tuning in, Mayor Fischer has "directed" the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation to find a buyer for Whiskey Row. Here's the problem:
KRS 324.990 Engaging in real estate brokerage without license –
Penalties
(1) Any person engaging in real estate brokerage without a license
shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a
Class D felony for any subsequent offenses.  A person who engages in real estate brokerage without a license due to a failure to renew a previously valid Kentucky license shall not be subject to this penalty if the person is entitled to and does avail himself of the remedial provisions of KRS 324.090(3).
(2) In addition to the penalties set out in this chapter, a Circuit Court may impose an additional penalty on any person who violates any provision of this chapter by fining them not less than one hundred
dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand ($1,000) or imprisoning them for a term not to exceed six (6) months, or both.  Upon conviction, in addition to the aforesaid fine, there shall be added to the fine the amount of any real estate brokerage commission paid or received as a result of the violation or violations in question.  Each transaction shall be regarded as a separate offense and shall be punished as such.
Here's how property is sold in Kentucky. The owner list it with a LICENSED real estate broker, and the real estate broker markets the property for sale. The mayor does not "direct" an entity that is NOT licensed to sell real estate, even if the seller is on the board of said entity, to market property that the city simply doesn't own. Even if the true intent is not to sell the property, but just pretending like we are trying to sell it.(See Distract, distract, distract, okay now BOOM! Whiskey Row!) This is like reading that LEO Weekly column about dumb criminals.

Remember when Alan Delisle, the Executive Director of the LDDC , told the Courier Journal just last week "we are making the strongest possible effort to get this done”? Let me be very clear here on the allegations I'm making so no one feels ambushed when the formal complaints reach the Kentucky Real Estate Commission:

1) Mayor Greg Fischer does not own the property at Whiskey Row, (or does he?). He is therefore breaking the law if he is trying to find a buyer for it, or even if he is enlisting someone else with that responsibility when he does not have the authority.
2) Mr. Alan Delisle is not a licensed to sell real estate in Kentucky that he does not own, and if he is truly making the "strongest possible effort" to locate a buyer for Whiskey Row, then I regret to conclude he's committing a Class A misdemeanor. By following Mayor Fischer's instructions.


Other Whiskey Row Stuff
I wanted to thank Councilman Tom Owen and Councilman Jim King for being the only two council persons to respond today to my (repeated) plea that the council hire counsel to sue Mayor Fischer and Todd Blue to force them to honor the Landmark process, and prevent the demolition. Unfortunately, neither seem completely on board with this idea, but they are committed to keeping Blue from getting his greedy little hands on the $450,000 promised by Fischer. Bless their hearts, they believe that is leadership enough. At least they responded, and were kind. Something I need to work on.  I can barely wait for 2012, so our city can see the emergence of a less passive Louisville Metro Council. I have to share this excerpt from Owen's email, in the interest of teaching my readers the new word I learned today:
"I genuinely believe that it is polemical at this point to suggest that the Mayor acceded to "demolition" of those wonderful historic buildings."- Councilman Tom Owen

March 7, 2011

Distract, distract, distract, okay now BOOM! Whiskey Row!

So Greg Fischer wants us to believe that the Downtown Development Corporation is looking for a buyer for Whiskey Row. So I did a search on their search engine. It didn't show up.
(image to right)

Oh but wait, Iron Quarter, Blue's fancy name for Whiskey Row, is listed on Development Projects page. Not only is the Downtown Development Corporation NOT looking for a buyer to pay Todd Blue 2-3 times the value of the property, but they are actively marketing his development which calls for the destruction of the buildings. I couldn't make this up. Found on the DDC site just now (March 7, 2011):
I've been in the real estate business for just under 20 years, and I'm calling shenanigans. Todd Blue, and even his brother Jonathan Blue, are both on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Development Corporation. It's a shallow gesture that Greg Fischer would direct a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) entity, of which Blue is even a board member, to find a buyer for the property. What's going on?

It's a distraction. This is just a game called:
“Distract, distract, distract, okay, now BOOM!” 

What happened to the Louisville Metro Council? I'd like to propose, again, that they hire their own legal counsel to intervene. Please. Let them know here if you agree.

Be sure to check out our PVA Tony Lindauer's defense of Whiskey Row's assessment at more than half of Blue's asking price: Lindauer weighs in on Whiskey Row.  

3/08/2011 Updates:
1) I forgot to plug my sister Lizzie's photography. She took some great pictures of Whiskey Row in 2009. Check them out: Whiskey Row!
2) I published the email I sent to the Metro Council in a Facebook note: here it is.
So far, my own Councilperson Tom Owen is the only one that's acknowledged my email.
3) A Todd Blue-apologist has stepped forward. 
Chris Simon, just made the following interesting comments on that Facebook note on reasons to let Blue proceed with the demolition (image right). 

The highlights I thought were:

"And when Todd and Jonathan took over, they saw a future that was clean and green. They sold the property to the city, and helped develop the park...How many non-whites lived within 5 blocks of the Belvedere 20 years ago?"


Apparently this cat thought that that the Hope 6 demolition of Clarksdale was intended as some kind of racial cleansing. Oh, and there's this:

"These buildings are a danger to the homeless population, that seek out shelter within their dilapidated walls,..."

Because homeless people, they're safer in parking lots. Because everyday is earthquake safety day around here, apparently. The presumption that the buildings would set empty if they're not demolished kinda destroys the argument that it's proximity to the arena makes it the hottest real estate in the land, meh.


3.09.2011 Update
Chris Simon is African-American and now my facebook friend. So he gets a pass for the non-white reference. Honestly, I can't seem to get my head around how the Hope 6 demolition of Clarksdale supports the demolition of Whiskey Row, though, but I need to spend more time with my dog. Figure it out amongst yourselves.

Lindauer weighs in on Whiskey Row

In response to my emailed inquiry, PVA Administrator Tony Lindauer has weighed in gently on the proposed demolition of Whiskey Row. Specifically, I inquired:
"...Could you please advise whether the PVA has these properties assessed at more than half of their actual value, or is  it your opinion that Mr. Blue attempting to exploit our city with these asking prices?"
Mr. Lindauer's timely response:

Mr. Lindauer is including the vacant lot in his figure, which is insignificant and irrelevant to preservationist's concerns. The 7 Whiskey Row properties that are improved and owned by Blue, as I have blogged about Saturday, are assessed for $4,002,230. There's now a rumor afoot that Mr. Blue has raised his asking price to $15 million, which would make sense to me, as his intention is to prevent their sale and not facilitate it.

Also, it was Mr. Lindauer, our PVA administrator, who misspelled "assessment." But I am grateful for his response.

Finally, the preservation of Whiskey Row does have some national spotlight, check this story out in The Architect's Newspaper: Paved Paradise Along Whiskey Row.

March 5, 2011

What is $6,497,770?

Save Whiskey Row- Get it?
Todd Blue, the principal partner in Whiskey Row, LLC, supposedly wants $1.5 million /piece for the 7 buildings he owns on Whiskey Row, or $10.5 million total.  At that price, he's really holding the buildings ransom more than trying to sell them in good faith. Let me explain:

1) Blue paid $3,705,000 for those seven properties in 2007. Everyone knows the market has gone down, and not up, since 2007.

2) Let's look to see how our Public Valuation Authority has them assessed for property tax purposes:

105 W Main    $459.900
107 W Main    $876,840
109 W Main    $574,010
113 W Main    $450,520
115 W Main    $532,050
117 W Main    $531,930
119 W Main + $576,980
                     $4,002,230



Blue's Ransom:                        $10,500,000 
PVA's Assessment:        -  $4,002,230  
                                                   $6,497,770

So, what is $6,497,770?
It's the amount of money that Todd Blue hopes to extort from people that care about our city's heritage more than him.

I have learned that many in our preservationist community believe in the fairy tale of buyer(s) coming forward to make a deal with Blue. I'm skeptical because I can't think of any real estate investor that sets out, to lose money in that ridiculous a fashion. I can't believe I've nearly written this entire entry without comparing Blue to Charlie Sheen. #Winning

I have just emailed Mr. Tony Lindauer, our PVA administrator to weigh in on this issue, and will publish the response if, and as soon, as I receive it.

Also, some TARC News:
My friends that are religious users of TARC are tired of trying to view gigantic PDF's of the TARC system map on their phones to figure out alternative schedules. Especially while TARC pays former Courier Journal reporter and Bridges Coalition (Astroturf) Director, Kay Stewart, an entry level salary of $85,000 to be their marketing director. Barry: Get it together. It's 2011 and you're running that place like it's the 1980's for Christ sake. Cut Stewart's salary, and hire some geeks with an ad on craigs list. It's #notthathard.

March 4, 2011

I agree with Greg Fischer

Greg's performed at about a "6" level. I'll give him that...


I'm not done contrasting the treatment Fischer's getting from Fox 41 with the treatment Judy Green is getting. Remember just a few days ago, chasing Green down the stairs like Bananas in pajamas, Bennett was.

Also, what was that BS about "making peace with Todd Blue." Who gave Fischer the authority to make peace between Blue and the Landmarks commission?

March 3, 2011

Bennett chases Councilcritter Green like he's some kinda News-ninja



First, I'd like to say I'm not apologizing for anything Green has done wrong. But I would like to say it's a very irritating to see how confidently our local media is to jump on her now they see her as weak and vulnerable.

Remember how Mayor-elect Greg Fischer flat-out-LIED about his past several times throughout last year's primary election, and he was given a pass by our media. Fischer started the year off by using the city's logo on a website owned by his Iceberg Ventures to raise money for his campaign account, ...yet crickets. I've never seen Bennett or anyone for that matter follow Mayor Fischer down a stairwell, but black lady that's been accused of stuff- Oh hell yeah, he's on it.

Also, one detail. I am very grateful to Council members that set in on committee meetings, even when they are not voting members. This is a good thing.