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April 28, 2011

Highlands Preservation ALERT

We mourned when earx-tacy was forced to move.  So much mourning in fact, their facebook page now has over 10,000 fans. Impressive.

But now we have a new thing to mourn, or bitch about, depending on your perspective. The architectural details of the building are being placed in a dumpster. I make this up NOT.



And for what is this travesty taking place?...A friggin' Panera Bread? That's the unsubstantiated rumor on the street. The old rumor was Seviche was expanding, but there was a detail missed by most in January's Mystery Fail that suggests that's probably not the case.

It is of course ridiculous to destroy our history anytime. But in times like these, when it's about all we have to hold on to, it's even sadder. There doesn't appear to be a building permit posted with the renovations underway either on or around the building.  Call Louisville Permits & Licensing and ask them about that: 502-574-3321. I just did, but it was after 4 PM so I got a recording.

And if you didn't know, there are ways to fix old windows. Check out the Kentucky Heritage Council for more info on that.

April 27, 2011

Dear East End Automotive: U picked the wrong telephone pole

A big traffic problem near my home is people attempting to turn against traffic on my one way street (Bonnycastle Avenue at Bardstown Rd). I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why it happens so frequently, and have come to the conclusion that the one way sign is lost in the myriad of distractions on the corner. And now, there's another one. And this one is not legal.
A google search reveals the phone number 502-291-6866 is either East End Automotive or AM Auto, both located at 976 S. Preston Street, Louisville, KY. Neither appear to not have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau, one has to wonder about the scruples of company that is willing to break the law to market their business. Is there someone at LMPD that could pick up the phone and call them to tell them to stop it, or better yet, ticket them? I'm not necessarily against free enterprise, but I do want to keep my street safe.

April 21, 2011

President Obama protested at his own fundraiser



Sorry I lacked the means to be there myself. Well done, guys. I found the lyrics on NPR:
"Dear Mr. President we honor you today sir
"Each of us brought you $5,000
"It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
"I paid my dues, where's our change?
"We'll vote for you in 2012, yes that's true
"Look at the Republicans — what else can we do
"Even though we don't know if we'll retain our liberties
"In what you seem content to call a free society
"Yes it's true that Terry Jones is legally free
"To burn a people's holy book in shameful effigy
"But at another location in this country
"Alone in a 6x12 cell sits Bradley
"23 hours a day is night
"The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain't right
"We paid our dues, where's our change?"

#slapthemayor

GLI tweeted this interesting blog post by Adam Fish, Answering Mayor Fischer's Call.

I'm a believer that Louisville, like any great athlete, should compare it's performance and health with its past performance and health. Mayor Fischer believes otherwise.

He thinks we should compare ourselves to cities Nashville, which Dan Johnson pointed out to him on facebook during the election, is smaller than Louisville. To be fair, I also have a clip somewhere on this computer where Fischer says we should compare Louisville to Paris. (This works better drunk.)

Nonetheless, I offered myself to "Fischer's Call." You should to, do it here.

April 19, 2011

State Department being forthright about Manning, NOT



AP writer Matthew Lee & Reuters reporter Arshad Mohammed are officially on our good-guy-list.

Bradley Manning does not deserve solitary confinement.

"But LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan said company officials don't believe the results."

Can me has work at currier Jurnals?
 My hat's off to James Bruggers with the CJ for this piece on Louisville Gas and Electric's coal ash pond and how it's affecting the environment of it's neighbors:
Mountain coal ash of 
When questioned about the samples found with fly ash on window sills of a neighboring home,  LG&E spokesman says they just don't believe the results. The sad part is, they probably paid a PR firm for advice to respond with that brilliant answer.

This is why I'm against nuclear power. We just can't trust dumbasses with our environment anymore.

Oh, but back on the CJ- not sure about this headline. Might want to re-think this before it hits presses tonight?

April 16, 2011

Have you seen Bradley Manning?

A chap named Jacob Freeze posted a picture on Facebook of Bradley Manning alongside a photo that was allegedly Bradley Manning, post-confinement. The latter photo was very disturbing, but I can't link you to it. It's gone.

A contentious photo comment discussion thread ensued, in which a couple Facebook members, specifically Jill & a  Patti, wrote some awful things about Manning, and suggested Julian Assange be killed. Specifically, it was suggested that he be put in a car and shoved in the Atlantic. Well, now that thread is gone, as well the photo. For a couple minutes, just the comments were gone and the photos were still up. But all gone now. As it appears, is Jacob Freeze.

One explanation being floated is that someone probably reported Freeze as a spammer since he tagged so many people in one picture, and maybe that was it. I have no idea why the thread was taken down, or the photo. Whether it was Facebook, the government, or the internet warlock that sold Manning out: Adrian Lamo (http://twitter.com/6). But it's troublesome when free speech disappears without explanation. Also, if it wasn't a real photo of Manning post-confinement, we have to wonder, why there isn't such a photo out there? It would be nice to see that he's still alive at least.

Back to the bigger picture, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stepped up to call out China for their human rights abuses, our country is denying the United Nations access to see Manning. (Bradley Manning case sparks UN criticism of US government)

This is not my America, but I'm not going to move. As of April 12th, nearly 11,500 people have signed the petition "We Stand with Brad." I hope you consider signing, too. 

Update  4/16/2011 10:31 PM: Found screen shot of photo comparing Manning before and allegedly after:

April 15, 2011

Mayor Fischer releases private information to non-government agencies

When Louisville Metro Animal Services shares private information about animal foster parents with a non-government agency like the Kentucky Humane Society, you can bet your ice-maker that pitchforks and torches will ensue. And it begins...

April 14, 2011

Can I has sexy sexretary?

Warning: This link will make you wonder if life is worth living in Louisville:Louisville craigslist jobs listing of the day


Say what you will about a "Mayor Hal Heiner," he would have put an end to this kind of ugliness. To my mother, sisters, and nieces: I apologize for my gender and my city. You deserve better.

April 12, 2011

Oh, Great. Tea Party this Friday

Marilyn Parker just invited me to a Tea Party in Louisville Friday. The Facebook event says:

"This is a freedom loving and family friendly event."

If there's anything I've learned in 42 years it's that "family friendly" means no homos. Marilyn must be confused. Anyway, if you're into this kind of thing, and you feel welcome, and you weren't disgusted by their demands to de-fund Planned Parenthood, NPR, and PBS, then yeah, go. Knock yourselves out.

April 9, 2011

Louisville Courant surpasses 20,000 views!

Or has it? Look to counter to the right to see for sure. Actually, if it says exactly 20,000, say Hi, because you made it happen, and I'll give your favorite non-profit a little push on here! Actually, anyone that says Hi! can get the same. 

Also, good news for Whiskey Row neighbor DKH Properties, and four non-profit preservationist groups: Judge John Heyburn signed and released an order today allowing our (I'm in NPP) intervention in the lawsuit between the owner of seven of the Whiskey Row buildings and Louisville Metro. Sweeeeet!

Mayor Greg Fischer and Todd Blue had opposed the intervention.

April 7, 2011

Glenn Beck getting off horse

Yes, Glenn Beck is getting off his horse. Just like Paul Revere did.


I know this doesn't mean he's going away for good, but it makes me happy nonetheless. I do regret this announcement will cause my mother discomfort though. She's in my thoughts.

Is your hippie yard a hot mess?

Is your hippie yard a hot mess?
Parked today on Fernwood Dr at Maplewood.
Get with Eco Lawn: 859-492-6415, or email: ecolawn08@gmail.com

 I've never even met this individual but I want to plug the business anyway because it's so obvious they're epically amazing.

April 5, 2011

Courier Journal and another Captain Obvious headline

Depressing story in CJ by Marcus Green on population shifts in Louisville:

Populations soar in Louisville's eastern suburbs, while West End neighborhoods shrink

As some of you know, our dear mayor is on spring break. Hope he gets rested because when he gets back, he's going to need to shift his position on development in general. Fischer spokesperson Chris Poynter told Green his boss "is concerned with 'making sure that we do develop (Floyds Fork) in a very environmentally sensitive but commercially and residentially viable way."

Jackie Green is going to freak the hell out. While Fischer is concerned about developing Floyds Fork, the condition of existing neighborhood sidewalks, streets, and parks sink into deeper decay. Yet, demographically it was the voters within those neighborhoods that showed Fischer the most support (Citation: Facebook wall discussion with Jeff Noble). If Fischer is already neglecting the folks that put him in office, does this mean he's already decided against a second term? Cue: Council President Jim King jumping out from under a rock, with a twinkle in his eye.

April 4, 2011

Kentucky Real Estate Commission investigating Louisville Downtown Development Corporation 's search for Whiskey Row buyer

I agree with most of what Rachel M. Kennedy has written in the Courier about Whiskey Row:

Rachel M. Kennedy | Preserving Whiskey Row and ending myths

But she has accidentally perpetuated another myth that I'm obliged to call out: The buildings are NOT owned by Cobalt Ventures, but by WHISKEY ROW LLC. (See Public Records).  Why is this pertinent? As George Fischer, our Mayor's father, held stock in the previous entity that owned the buildings, isn't it plausible, if not likely, that he owns stock in WHISKEY ROW LLC?

A mayor that ran pretty much solely on transparency, still hasn't released to the public the true ownership of the corporation with which he's made this secret deal, or the history of his father's equity interest in the properties. And no, I'm not going to let this die until he releases both.

Finally, here's follow-up to my March 9th entry, What do Greg Fischer & a Class A Misdemeanor have in common?. The Kentucky Real Estate Commission has assigned an investigator, David Hate, to look into the claims by the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation that the Corporation is trying to locate a buyer for the Whiskey Row buildings. 

LDDC isn't licensed to look for a buyer, so either they're breaking the law, or the buyer search is a dog and pony show? I suspect, it's the latter. Hate told me that he planned on meeting with LDDC this week, so Louisville's mindful journalists, all three of them, might want to follow-up with the KREC & LDDC to find out how this turns out.

We Are One Block Party with Public Workers Tonight

Tonight's best ticket for the conscientious progressive:

"Many of Kentucky's unions and KFTC ally Kentucky Jobs With Justice will be hosting block party to stand in solidarity with workers in across the country to demand the freedom to bargain, affordable college education and justice for all workers! The party will be held April 4th in Louisville's Jefferson Square Park and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the Grammy award-winning group the Nappy Roots."- From the KFTC newsletter
Facebook event created by Kentucky Jobs with Justice

Greening of Louisville on Floyds Fork

Got this fancy press release from the greenies today:

"Floyds Fork Park makes great sense only if it does not encourage the destruction of farms, fields & forests.  But alas, The Courier-Journal article confirms it: unsustainable development drives Floyds Fork Park and Floyds Fork Park drives unsustainable development.

The picture in the C-J article speaks volumes as to who benefits. ( See story here: http://www.dnj.com/article/B2/20110329/NEWS01/303240103/Real-estate-deal-could-help-pay-Floyds-Fork-park-land )

Brownfield redevelopment and reinvestment in our existing neighborhoods is smarter.
Buy the parkland.
Protect the parkland.
Conserve the farms, fields and forests around the parkland.
Limit our asphalt, concrete and rooftop footprint to it's current size."


But I don't think it's going to get much traction with the Fischer folks. They're about growing the city, or at least their rhetoric is. These guys are about keeping our city the size it is and I think I'm down with that.

April 3, 2011

Taking the Urban League to task

Ben Richmond, at Bridges Authority meeting
When Urban League President Ben Richmond publicly sung the praises of Representative Tom Riner during his re-election campaign against a much more progressive, Mike Slaton, in the 2008 primary, we looked the other way.

As Richmond sat completely quiet on his Abramson-appointed seat of the Bridges Authority for the past year, as $3 tolls were proposed for the Sherman Minton Bridge to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project, no one said much, then either. (Admittedly, after Fischer appointed Richmond to his transition team, a few weeks after praising him and his colleagues as being "objective, non-political people," I did make a little video.)

But now we find out that Richmond has truly tipped his own boat. He's sent a letter of endorsement of the Yum!'s plan to take food stamps at specific locations for specific kinds of people. (Yum! Brands lobbies Kentucky to OK food stamps for restaurant use)
From that story...
“It sounded very reasonable,” Richmond said. “People need to have access to good, hot meals. And even though they might be fast foods, they can be healthy.”
Kudos to the Courier Journal's Tom Loftus for some great reporting. If you care about homeless people, or senior citizens, let's advocate for making their lives better, not worse. Louisville native Ryan Stultz, now lives in Cairo, recently shared an idea that is an appropriate and affordable solution to food desserts: Give grants to people to setup vegetable carts in food deserts. I think we should take that seriously.
Origination of "vegetable cart grants"-idea

Homeless advocate, and my friend, Drew Tucker, has proposed an email/ letter-writing campaign to the Urban League in response to Richmond's endorsement of the Yum! plan. Here's the email he sent:
"Dear Urban League,

I was dismayed to find that the Louisville Urban League, who claim in their mission statement to act, "As an active partner, leader and catalyst {to} assist African Americans, other minority groups and the disadvantaged attain social and economic equality and stability through direct services and advocacy," would do their community such a disservice as to support YUM brands being able to accept food stamps.  

You well know that parts of the Louisville metro area are essentially food 'deserts', and that access to fresh, healthy food is almost impossible to come by.  You should also know that fast food chains, like those owned by YUM, target the poor, and low income families in an attempt to scrap the bottom of the barrel, economically.

Your support of this program, while clearly an attempt to create access for the worst off, is completely unsustainable, non-progressive, and in the end encourages and allows the economic exploitation of those you claim to serve.  These results not only contradict your mission statement, they are the very forces you are acting against.  

Please reconsider your support of what YUM brands is trying to do to the poor and under privileged in Louisville.  

best,
Drew Tucker"
Join Drew and me in writing the Urban League, and letting them know how you feel about Richmond's endorsement of Yum!'s plan: Contact the Urban League. 

Disclosures: I am employed by a Yum! restaurant. I am also on a committee for the annual Race to End Homelessness sponsored by Louisville's Coalition for the Homeless. And yes, I now have a headache.

April 1, 2011

Move over, Congressman Awesome. Mayor Awesome is here.

Thank you, Mayor Awesome.

Thank you for the thoughtful personal note of goodwill, outlining comprehensive explanations on why the decision-making processes for your proposed Bridges Project revisions were conducted in complete secret, with no absolutely public input or notice of any kind. Urban infrastructure is such a boring topic. Build it, don't build it, it doesn't matter. As long as you don't take coverage away from Karen Syphers, we'll always love you unconditionally, sir.

Thank you for negotiating with Todd Blue on Whiskey Row in complete secret, without including us preservationists. As you know, we tend to not be spring chickens, and we're kinda prone to get worked up whenever some big-haired kids start talk about "parking lots." I'm relieved, really, that you didn't include in this issue. Also thank you for not burdening us with the details of your father's interest in Whiskey Row, LLC, as this would only confuse the public. Your greatest legacy will be your love for preservation and for protecting preservationists from what they don't know, because you haven't told them.

I'm also grateful for your outlining your ethical justification for allowing Iceberg Ventures to use the Metro Louisville logo on a website that was raising money for your re-election, I'm sorry, inauguration festivities. Now that I know that your Brandon got the idea from watching re-runs of the Sopranos after the election, I'm actually okay with it.

Most recently, I'm amazed with how succinctly you've convinced me the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation is really looking for a buyer for Whiskey Row, despite the fact they're specifically not licensed to do such a thing. Honestly, under Jerry, this organization never did anything but guard the Cordish leases. It's about time someone delegates them to do something. Kudos!

Finally, if you had anything at all to do with my rejection from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, either in 2010, or 2011, and I'm not saying you necessarily did, thank you, thank you, thank you for that!! It would have been so much reading, and I know that you know, reading is kind of hard. Reading, like yachting should be reserved for privileged folk. Because after all, they are the ones making the decisions around here, behind the scenes. Why should I waste my time reading if I'll never have a say in decisions? I was so very blind, but now, I can see. And I'm so very grateful to you Mayor Awesome. Thank Jesus for you knowing what's best for me.

Happy Squirrel
You, sir, are pure awesome sauce. Move over, Congressman Awesome. Mayor Awesome is here. Glory be to God we are blessed with your integrity-oozing presence. So smitten with you, Mayor We don't deserve you. Thank you for making me a happy squirrel. What can I personally do for you, mayor, so that you can achieve all your hopes and dreams?