August 31, 2011

Letter from our friend Bill McKibben

Let's finish strong
Friends -

After all of the hard work and sacrifice you've put into this action, I want to make sure that we end this with something big - something worthy of the spirit you've shown over the past two weeks or so.

This week our action has grown tremendously. Each day, more and more people follow your lead (over 100 people were arrested today). To put a real exclamation point on this action, we should aim to make Saturday's final sit-in our biggest yet. If you've been on the fence at all about whether to get involved, this is your last chance to join this action, and one of the most important as well. Please get in touch with us if you have any lingering concerns about participating. If you can attend the sit-in and risk arrest, definitely do so.

For those of you who have been wanting to get involved but know you can't risk arrest - or have been arrested once already - there's another important opportunity Saturday as well. Our friends at the Sierra Club, 350.org and Interfaith Power and Light are organizing a rally against Keystone XL and the tar sands this Saturday at Noon at Lafayette Park, just outside the White House. I'll be speaking there, along with Naomi Klein and many others. There will be music from our ally Joe Uehlein, and aerial art that we will compose with our bodies coordinated by Daniel Dancer.

The sit-ins over the last few weeks are a way for us to show the depth of our movement, and this rally is a way to show its breadth: Everyone is invited. When you come, bring a black shirt and a water bottle (the shirt is for our art, the water bottle is for you to stay hydrated while wearing black in the sun).

To sign up for the rally click here: http://action.sierraclub.org/site/Calendar?id=156721&view=Detail

As I've said several times, we don't yet know what the President's final decision will be, and the odds are still stacked against us. But we're changing those odds with every person who joins.

Let's finish strong. I'd love to see you this Saturday.

-Bill

Can I tell you how easy it will be for someone to talk me into driving back to D.C. Friday night after class? Like, very damn easy. That's how easy.

Foulou: capitalizing on the Mayor Fischer Todd Blue precedent

Louisville Downtown Development Corporation is giddy about the results of their Village Solutions report, called a "Retail Enhancement Plan." It outlines how they can transform the 2 blocks of S. 4th Street between W. Muhammad Ali Blvd and W. Broadway into something fancy like 4th Street Live, only not like 4th St Live because, well, it won't have the Cordish name on it. Yet. I've uploaded the report for my readers:download here.

Let's say you're an investor reading this report and your mind ponders serious questions...What about preservation? If I want to invest in this project, can I tear down buildings willy nilly, or do I have to worry about pesky preservationists?"

Why of course the hell you can tear shit down! Check out the referenced precedent on page 51:
"Mayor Fischer negotiated the settlement shortly after taking office without input from the general public and bypassed applicable ordinances that would ensure public review and input."
That's right. Remember when I wrote, "With this mayor, it looks like we're going to need it (Downtown Preservation District)."(Courier Journal:Curtis Morrison|Why historic district is needed) Don't everyone tell me I was right at the same time. So recap, LDDC has commissioned a report that FLAT-OUT BRAGS about how Mayor Greg Fischer can get around preservationists! FLAT-OUT BRAGS!

But there's more...
There's some problems with some facts here:
"...36% or 105,200 square feet are occupied by a variety of uses that lack a coherent retail presentation,"
And:
"A successful retail strategy is most effective when it builds on existing assets."
Yet, JJ Wigs,located at 525 S. 4th Street, has been locally owned and operated for 30 years. There are at least two other wig shops on the same block. The word "wig," however, does not appear once in the 154 page document.

Yep, I'm calling shenanigans, of the snooty-white-people variety. But if you want a grass-is-always-greener-wherever-Gil Holland is peeing-perspective, check out Terry Boyd's piece in Insider Louisville: Get ready for FouLou, South Fourth Street’s entertainment and retail nexus

On a side note...it's not just black people that buy wigs. There's an upcoming fundraiser for Gilda's Club in September, check it out!: Fourth Annual Wigs On Tap
Facebook: 2011 Wigs on Tap
When: Friday, September 30, 2011, 7pm - 11pm Where: BBC: Clay and Main

8/31/11, 3:28 AM Update: This Retail Enhancement Plan is the gift that keeps on giving. So when I lived in the Henry Clay, I guess I was part of this demographic:
"Bohemian Mix – 1,075 households and $55,665 average household in-
come. Young white collar workers, artists, students, writers, public interest crusaders, hippies and gays live together in these racially integrated neighborhoods."-p. 92


August 30, 2011

Development in ICG and Frasure Creek water pollution discharge case

Just got this action alert from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. I'm free Thursday if any journos or citizens want to carpool? Get with me: curtster3@gmail.com/502-403-9498. (I can't do it Friday, going to sub during day, class in the evening):
"Join us in Frankfort for an historic court case against the coal industry!

Join us Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (possibly) for a court hearing on the ICG and Frasure Creek water pollution discharge case. The court hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Franklin County (Temporary) Courthouse 669 Chamberlin Ave. Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

We are asking KFTC members and friends to join us to watch first hand our judicial system in action. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week Judge Shepherd will be hear the case to determine if a consent agreement between the state Division of Water and ICG and Frasure Creek Coal Companies is in the best interest of the people of Kentucky. This is a historical case and we could use as many people in the courtroom as possible.

And if you cannot make it out to Frankfort, check out our blog and Facebook for updates about the case.

Background on this case:

In the fall of last year KFTC and allies filed a 60 day notice of intent to sue under the Clean Water Act because we had discovered thousands of water pollution discharge violations by ICG and Frasure Creek Coal Companies. In December of last year, on the 59th day of the 60 day notice, the Kentucky Division of Water preempted our lawsuit and entered into an inadequate settlement agreement with both coal companies.

KFTC and allies then filed to intervene in this agreement; this had never been done before in Kentucky. Judge Shepherd, who is hearing the case, agreed to allow us to intervene. Since then each side has been collecting information through deposition and reviewing records related to this case.

Now, this week, on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. the case will begin to be heard in court and we could use as many people as possible in the court room to show that we believe this is a ground breaking case and that the alliance between the state and coal companies should be exposed.

In the past KFTC members have worn their red I Love Mountains T-Shirts, but if you don’t have one please come anyway.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call me at 606-335-0764 or email me at kevin@kftc.org.

Directions from Exit 53 off of I-64:
Take exit 53 off of I-64, if you are coming from the East take the first exit, and if you are coming from the west take the second exit. You should exit 75 going toward downtown Frankfort.
Go to the first intersection and turn left onto Leonardwood Dr. (It will look like you are going into a Lowes parking lot but stay on Leonardwood Dr. and it goes to the left around the shopping area.
Stay straight on this road and it will turn into Doctors Dr. and then it will turn into C Michael Davenport Blvd.
Eventually you want to turn left onto Fido Ct. (if you come to the intersection of Cardwell Ln then you have gone one block to far)
Then turn right on Chamberlin Ave. and the Courthouse is at the end of Chamberlin Ave."


Video of Bill McKibben from Day 10

This was from yesterday. Today Daryl Hannah was among those arrested. I challenge anyone who can to make it to D.C. this week and take a stand for our climate.

If either of my readers are wondering when I'll return to writing about Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Ohio River Bridges Project, social justice, or LGBT rights, well, you'll just have to wait.

I do have in cue about 5-6 issues coming down the pike, but I keep thinking, if we screw up the climate, none of them really matter, do they? Whether gays can marry or not marry really doesn't come up if we don't have a habitable planet to marry on.

One thing is certain though, no matter what happens to our climate, our sea levels, the mortality of our species, Councilwoman Judy Green is not going to resign, is she?



August 29, 2011

Fancy sidewalk map getting refurbishment -Germantown/ Paristown

Was by the Germantown Paristown Community Center today and noticed a couple committed folks working on refurbishing the sidewalk out front (Margie & oh shoot, I forgot).

Fun fact about the area I learned today, there used to be canals connecting this community, and it was so reliant on dairy, that Oak Street was referred to as Milk Street. Also cool, while you're there, check out the public art in the front yard, open up the toolbox and find stuff found in the neighborhood.

It was good I ran by this place, because it will my neighborhood gathering place (not final destination) to walk, bike, skateboard, scoot, bus or unicycle down to Moving Planet at 6th and Jefferson on September 24th for 4:00 PM-5:30 PM. The event was the idea of 350.org, which was named for, well, I want you to dig and find out for yourself: Moving Planet. And watch this video, too!

August 28, 2011

Urban gardens taking over

Well, they aren't taking over. But there are more and more and more and it's an incredible thing that makes me happy. Here's a partial plot of what we have compiled by the incredible Mary Beth Brown. If you see one missing, comment here and I'll forward the info along to Mary Beth:
View Louisville Urban Gardens in a larger map

As long as we're talking about food, mark your calendars for upcoming events, also compiled by Mary Beth, so I means her, not me ;-):

-Saturday, September 24: [approx. noon-4:00p] Urban Garden Tour by Bike - anyone interested in helping with this or hosting us at your garden? I'll put you on our route. The goal is to finish in time to attend the "Moving Planet" rally at 6th and Jefferson. I'd like to concentrate on gardens in downtown, Portland, West End. Facebook event here

-Sunday, October 16: [times TBD] Tour de Farms (by bike), in conjunction with the Healthy Foods, Local Farms conference. This will most likely be a tour of farms in the east end, Oldham County, etc. Still working on this. I'd love some advice or help planning. What I'd really love is for Wendell Berry to open up his farm, and for Colin Beavan (the conference keynote) to lead the way. ;)

Tar Sands Action- loose ends

On the 3rd day of the Tar Sands Action, Monday, August 22, 2011, a couple things occurred that may or may not be related, but I like to put them side by side anyway.

The National Park Service offered "forfeit and release" to all Monday-arrested civil disobedience sit-in participants, resulting in some the first arrested to be released before the last arrest was even made. This was in stark contrast the procedure from a few days prior. In fact, the first-day arrestees, known amongst themselves as the Tar Sands 65 (me=#51), weren't released from custody until 4 pm that afternoon, after approximately 52 hours of incarceration. Pictured to right is Michael Grantz, another member of Tar Sands 65.

Also that Monday, Vice President of Exxon, Franklin Robert Stuart, exercised an option to purchase 20,000 shares of stock at $37.12/share, and then sold them the same day. Maybe's he see's the writing on the wall and he's dumping his stock before they find out they're going to be stuck with whole lot of bitumen that just ain't ever gonna be refined?

Breaking this weekend, it looks like all of Exxon's problems with the Alberta tar sands are not limited to Washington, D.C., either. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Idaho, 6 "megaloads" protesters were arrested early Friday, although their actual website is mysteriously down. According to the Spokesman-Review, another 3 were arrested Saturday, bringing total to 9 so far for the weekend.
"Last quarter, Exxon made more money than any company in the history of money." Bill McKibben
Think about that. I stand in solidarity with people putting their bodies in the way the destruction of our environment. The resistance to extracting oil from the Alberta Tar Sands is strong.

Oh hell, I have to add something. I have an etrade account so I get Market Wire on there. The Market Wire for Trans Canada's latest story has this quote that is the biggest bunch of utter bs I had to share:
"The fundamental issue is energy security. Through the Keystone system, the U.S. can secure access to a stable and reliable supply of oil from Canada where we protect human rights and the environment, or it can import more higher-priced oil from nations who do not share America's interests or values."

That's right. TransCanada Corporation, protecting human rights and the environment. If they say so it must be true, right? Also, their PR department didn't mention that President Obama has final say on whether or not to approve the pipeline permit. This omission is proof positive they know they don't have their shit wrapped up as tightly as they're saying, lest they would be transparent with that detail in the process. Are you bored? Tweet at them, call 'em out for being sneaky losers: @TransCanada

Finally, if I did PR for Satan, I don't think I'd screen phone calls from Al Jazeera:
Next they'll use #dogatemyhomework.

August 26, 2011

Friday's Tip of the Day

If you ever want to lecture me about what you call my "extreme preoccupation" with myself in an "anonymous" comment, take the care not to arrive at my blog via a Google search for your own name.

August 25, 2011

Caution!.... Connections

The video below uses pretty effective imagery to illustrate the May 2011 editorial by Bill McKibben that appeared in Washington Post:

But don't despair...watch this next:

Tar Sands Action/ Josh Fox from JFOX on Vimeo.

I know both of my readers are waiting for something brilliant on my experience at the Tar Sands Action. I'm collaborating with Tyler Hess on a CJ Guest Ed that we hope to have completed and published in the coming week.

I'd also plan to write a piece on Bill McKibben, the person, and why it's time to trust him to be published just before his visit to Louisville for the Festival of Faith's in the beginning of November. Not sure where to put that yet...Herald Leader, Louisville Magazine? Ideas?

August 24, 2011

CJ: Please call me / Fair Board, Shmare Board

While I'm lobbying the CJ to let Tyler Hess or me to write a guest-ed on our weekend experience being incarcerated with Bill McKibben in D.C. for the tarsandsaction sit-in, I find, quite ironically, that there's at least one CJ reporter that doesn't read my blog. (Head>Desk)
Louisvillians get arrested for stand on "carbon fuse" pipeline
Also, shout out to Mark Steiner and his friends that made it! We didn't even know they were there, or them us, vice-versa, on account of us being in jail.

Also, on this bike thing....(See: Facebook: Boycott Kentucky State Fair) Fair Board, Shmare Board.
Mayor Fischer: Flex some muscle, turn off the water to the Fairgrounds for Christ's sake, quit being a wimp. I know you have it in you to stand up to stupidity because I've seen you do it before. Now be that guy, that does that. Thanks.
Also, Chuck Forcht had an idea on your Facebook wall where we have cyclists use a specific gate and are charged a minimal charge for valet/ parking attendant. I approve of that idea.

Also, yes this is Bill McKibben and me. (goosebumps)

And this is Tyler Hess, Bill McKibben and to the far right our good friend Alec Johnson:

275 arrested so far, and 10 days to go. President Obama: don't you grant this permit.

Update: August 24, 2011 6:30 PM:
I've learned there's a good chance Tyler Hess & me are going to be able to get a guest-ed in the CJ so I'll be focused on that, not writing here, until that's knocked out. If you want to know the latest with the Tar Sands Action, check out the website which is updated continuously: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/

August 20, 2011

First day of Keystone XL protest!

They're talking about us on Democracy Now:

WATCH IT LIVESTREAM. STARTS AT 11 AM! We'll probably be arrested in minutes after we start. I'm wearing orange shirt and jeans.:
http://t.co/W94QAgN

For more info: Tar Sands Action starts Saturday! Stop the Keystone XL pipeline

August 19, 2011

Tar Sands Action starts Saturday! Stop the Keystone XL pipeline

I'm excited. Staying in Columbus, Ohio tonight. Leave here tomorrow at dawn with Tyler Hess, and a couple other great tree-huggers, for the Tar Sands Action in D.C.. This is an event to stop the Keystone XL pipeline to the Canadian tar sands. Here's some more info via videos:
Here's Exxon Mobil's view, which is a little different: http://www.youtube.com/exxonmobil?x=us_showcase_59

This 2-week sustained sit-in is being held on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. This location was chosen because it's up to President Obama whether he will grant a "certificate of national interest."Congress will not be involved at all. This 1,500+ mile Keystone XL pipeline will travel to Houston, from the Alberta tar sands, the second largest carbon-emitting project on the planet.(2nd only to the Saudi's) This pipeline will stretch across sensitive environmental territory, specifically the Plains region, and the Ogallala aquifer. That aquifer is, well, the freshwater source of water for the bulk of our heartland. See image:
(Source)

This pipeline will put the tar sands on track for doubling it's carbon emissions by 2020. And this is not acceptable.

We will get um, arrested. Glad mom doesn't read anymore. This would stress her out.

Kind of amazed I've made it this far in life without that happening. I'll probably also get branded an eco-terrorist, which shouldn't effect my life much. It's not like one more unmarked white cargo van on my street is going to make a difference.

Oh, small detail. If you guys don't see me blogging by Wednesday, can someone come find me? I believe the station they'll be processing the arrests over the weekend is the Anacostia station, located at 1901 Anacostia Drive S. E., Washington, D. C. 20019. Ok, must sleep now. 'Til next time...PEACE!

Update 8/19/11 10:43 PM:

Made it to DC. Action training tonight was great. Dan Choi was there, and he'll be there tomorrow, and we hung out a bit. W00t! Stoked about tomorrow!
Uploading photos to facebook as I can

August 18, 2011

PurposeandNeedgate: DEMAND The Bridges Project tell the truth



That was an overview of the following facts:
To kick-off a June 27, 2011 public input session, the Ohio River Bridges Project released a video encouraging the public to comment on the "modified alternative" proposed by Mayor Fischer, Gov. Daniels, and Gov. Beshear.

On August 11, 2011, the Project released another video claiming the public comment on the "purpose and need" as well?

On August 16-17, 2011, John Sacksteder, the Project Manager of the Bridges Project, backed up the erroneous video claim in an email in which he wrote "The Purpose and Need White Paper was open for comment during the Public Meeting Comment Period. That period has passed."

Only, the public was NEVER TOLD they could offer input on the reconsideration of the "purpose and need." And only 4/1300 comments received even referenced the "purpose and need."

DEMAND: The Bridges Project tell the truth

For the whole scoop, check out prior entry: Window to look at Bridges Project's "Purpose and Need" CLOSED!!

Update: 8/18/2011 3:35 PM:
If you're frustrated with the breach in fair SEIS process, the people to contact that regulate that process are:
Jose Sepulveda jose.sepulveda@dot.gov Division Administrator (502) 223-6720
Duane Thomas duane.thomas@dot.gov Major Projects Coordinator (502) 223-6749

August 17, 2011

Window to look at Bridges Project's "Purpose and Need" CLOSED!!

The Ohio River Bridges Project is NO LONGER seeking public comments on whether the 2003 "purpose and need" should be revised. While they were seeking those comments, they were instead saying they were seeking comments on the "2011 modified alternative." This is not right. And it will not stand.

The "purpose and need" is the mission statement for this boondoggle, and one of the reasons the Project is so screwed up. See, the 2003 "purpose and need" includes 5-bullet points, and the last one is a 2-bridge solution, and this is why we've never been able to separate the project. If you wanna know more about the technicalities, download the new "white paper" draft.
"The Purpose and Need White Paper was open for comment during the Public Meeting Comment Period. That period has passed. We are only currently seeking comment on the Alternatives Evaluation document."-John Sacksteder, Ohio River Bridges Project in this email
The last public comment period, including two events on June 27 and 28, was marketed not as an opportunity to influence the "purpose and need" at all. Doe and Anderson made it into a dog and pony show about checking out how wonderful the 2011 "modified alternative" was. That's the compromise proposed by Governor Beshear, Governor Daniels, and Mayor Fischer. And if we, I, had be studious enough, yes, I could have discovered that comment period was actually seeking the so more important input on the "purpose and need."

Of course, I would have had to known to look behind the misleading propaganda on their website. Go there right now and tell me if you think they were shooting straight with the public and asking us for input on the "purpose and need.": kyinbridges.com/.

I understand only 4 of the 1300 public comments even mentioned the "purpose and need," and (As soon as I get them back from Dan Borsch, those four will be uploaded for sure.) This kind of shenanigan has Steve Beshear/Greg Fischer written all over it. "Nothing to see here, move along. These are not the droids you're looking for."

Yeah, there's a comment period now and you could comment and stuff, but with the same jacked up 2003 Purpose and Need that requires a 2-bridges solution, good luck expecting any input to make a difference. Might I suggest a better use of our time?

Join me in reporting the fowl play to the Department of the Transportation. Here's how easy it is. Email their fraud line: hotline@oig.dot.gov

Copy/paste from me if you like:
Subject: Purpose and need input on the Ohio River Bridges Project
I'd like to report a concern I have with the process currently underway in my community. The purpose and need for the Ohio River Bridges Project is 8 years old and I believe it is no longer aligned with what is best for our community, but my voice has been stifled.

John Sacksteder, the Project Manager for the Project recently made the following representation on August 17, 2011: "The Purpose and Need White Paper was open for comment during the Public Meeting Comment Period. That period has passed. We are only currently seeking comment on the Alternatives Evaluation document."

In reality, the Bridges Project pushed for public comments NOT on the purpose and need during this comment period, but on the "2011 modified alternative." They were assisted in this endeavor by the public relations firm Doe Anderson.

Not surprisingly, about 4 of the 1,300 public comments they received even mentioned the purpose and need. And now our community is being told it's too late for us to influence the purpose and need.

Please help me procure input on this Project by telling Mr. Sacksteder he cannot rig a federally-funded project by stifling public input. Thank you.
If you wanted to be ambitious like me, you could upload these documents too (not required):
Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project SEIS Purpose and Need Whitepaper
Email from John Sacksteder saying the time for input for Purpose and Need has passed


In other corrupt Kentucky Department of Transportation news, this family is being forced to move their historic farmhouse for no good reason at all: Tom Eblen: After 8-year fight, farmhouse will soon be moved out of road's way

Update 8/18/2011 1:02 AM:
No. They. Didn't. Fast forward in this video to the 9 minute, 30 second period:
"...During public meetings in June, citizens made comments and suggestions about the project's "purpose and need" and the recommended alternatives..."
Only....NOT! Let's see how long my comment stays up on the youtube video...anyone else want to add a comment?
I'll be in DC the next few days, can anyone swing getting me an audience with Ray Lahood?
Update 8/18/2011 3:43 AM:
I decided to have some video fun: PurposeandNeedgate: DEMAND The Bridges Project tell the truth

Update: August 18, 2011 11 AM:
NOTE: This page was edited to update a more effective way to report mismanagement to the Department of Transportation.

August 16, 2011

NuLu from the sky

Supposed to meet my friend Mary Beth Brown and other bike nerds at 8:30 PM tonight at Louisville Beer Store. Yeah, I know, in NuLu. Considering my Insider Louisville piece on NuLu, I may be putting myself in harm's way.

But before I depart, I was verifying the location of my destination, and yes, of course. NuLu was also branded on the Green Building...from the air.

I don't know if the developers of this building saw M*A*S*H re-runs growing up, but our tents were marked from the air there, too. And we see how history judges that war.

Bridges Project 3 options defined, I think

The Bridges Project is seeking public input again, this time through August 25. Here are your options. Choose:

1) No Action
2) EIS Selected Alternative without tolls (2003)
3) Modified Selected Alternative with tolls (2011)

Yeah, I know. It's hard. All 3 options kinda really suck.

"We are only asking for comments on the information provided in the (Range of)Alternatives Evaluation document." - John Sacksteder with the Bridges Project, says. So here's the 21-page Range of Alternatives document that outlines the alternatives with screwed up formatting on the last page.

Say NO to Bridge Tolls and No2BridgeTolls hope to shed more light on a strategy to respond to this request in the coming days. I've spent a week now trying to figure out what the purpose and intent of this public comment section is and I'm still clueless. Readers, insiders have any insights?

Also, for this input, there's no fancy form. You just email John Sacksteder: jsacksteder@hmbpe.com.

Update August 16 4:41 PM:
Did you all realize the "Purpose and need" of the Ohio River Bridges Project, was up for reconsideration during that last public comment period that began June 27th? Yeah, I didn't either. More on this to follow soon.

Update 4:52 PM:
"The purpose of this reassessment is to ensure that the SEIS is based on a valid purpose and need statement and to ensure that an appropriate range of alternatives is considered, as required by
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)."- top of Page 3 in the "range of alternatives" document:
http://www.kyinbridges.com/pdfs/range-of-alternatives.pdf

This public comment period might be more important than we realized. More to follow...
For additional information on this latest public comment period, check out the CJ: Ohio River Bridges project seeks comment on environmental study plan Although it's possible they may have also missed the point of it, too.

August 15, 2011

Talk with Greg: reflection

There's no doubt I could make many criticisms and praises about the efforts of the Mayor and his staff to engage their citizenry tonight. But the 100's of comments and dialogue are still up, go look for yourself: Facebook: Mayor Greg Fischer, Twitter: @Louisvillemayor

The exchange I can't get out of my head, however, came from Andrew Walker. I first ran across this guy in September of 2010 during the mayoral election. (Louisville Courant:"Now DO us all a..."). He's probably the hottest guy to ever work for the Family Foundation

Walker was persistent with the Mayor tonight on the legitimacy of extending partnership benefits to LGBT Metro employees. I can't fault anyone for persistence. Walker also sent a tweet to me clarifying his organization, the Family Foundation, has no connection to Frank Simon. And hell, maybe he's right. But whether the Family Foundation and the American Family Foundation are affiliated or not, does not change the fact that they both exist to lobby for the idea that people like me, are "less than" people like them. Here's Andrew's tweets tonight:


How do you respond to this stuff?

...I'm waiting for the bus in 3rd grade, in Silver Lakes Mobile Home Park. I was the new kid that moved in from the country. I was called "fag," and I didn't even know what it meant at first. Didn't take me but a few minutes to realize it meant that I was "less than." I learned, as a 3rd grader, that I had less value than other kids, and therefore it would follow I'd have less rights. When the kids hit me, I wondered then if I even deserved to live. For a long time after that, I hid who I was so I could survive. I was screaming on the inside but no one really was around to listen to what I had to say. That was tough.

I don't see open bigotry very often in Kentucky, because I spend my time in circles insulated away from it, but tonight I'm reminded it is still there. An organization of people are funded and dedicated to oppressing people that are like me. They want to convince you that people like me are different, that we're less than. The vast majority of the people they're talking about are probably now younger than me, and more vulnerable.
The mayor did not mince words in his response to Walker:
So yeah,um, I'm impressed and thank you, Greg.
And a virtual hug to Andrew, too. I can imagine it's not easy doing what you do.

University of Louisville's contract with Higher One has GOT. TO. GO.

So I graduated from the University of Louisville in May of 2010. And consequently cut up the little debit card from Higher One, as I expect most people do that are happy to be free of U of L.

A year and half later, I am beginning grad school at U of L, next week in fact at the Kent School, and this financial institution, also known as "The Bancorp Bank," will not re-issue me a new card unless I pay a $21 fee, and for reasons unbeknownst me at this time, their stupid server won't take my other debit card.

So I tried their customer service and got nowhere.

I know I said I was going to email Dean Ramsey, but this is just as effective as someone in his office surely has a google news alert set up for him. I mean, he has his own PR guy, right? (Hi, JP!)

I want to spend a couple minutes today sharing some facts many Louisvillians may not know about Higher One (The Bankcorp, Inc.):


FUN FACT: The Bankcorp's, Inc.'s CEO, Betsy Z. Cohen, is the 95th highest paid CEO in the country, at $1.88 million/ year. philly.com: Those who make the cool millions Forbes Profile: Betsy Z. Cohen

FUN FACT: "Prepaid card fee income increased 75% to $4.4 million from $2.5 million in second quarter 2010." Business Wire: The Bancorp, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results

FUN FACT: This institution that is trying to unfairly shake me down for $21, was a recipient of TARP corporate welfare bailout funds. Reuters:The Bancorp, Inc. Announces $45.2 million Repayment of TARP Funds

FUN FACT:Outside of The Bankcorp, Inc.'s Board of Directors, their largest shareholder is Wellington Management Co. LLP. As of 2003, Wellington Management Co. LLP was also the largest shareholder of King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION: 2003 K-10 for King My most loyal readers will recall that University of Louisville School of Business Dean, and Bridges Authority director, R. Charles Moyer, is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of King Pharmaceuticals., Inc.
Moyer is sitting on $2,665,607 worth of exercisable options with King Pharmaceuticals., Inc, while the University of Louisville only pays him a measly pittance of $386,131/ year. Forbes: Moyer profile(CJ Salary Database)
As a Director of King Pharm, Moyer might have a relationship with it's largest stockholder, who incidentally probably also has a relationship with The Bankcorp, Inc.

What's next in my quest for info?
Anyone with insight on how the University of Louisville came to contract with Higher One, aka The Bankcorp, Inc, please email me directly, curtster3@gmail.com. I tried to find out from the U of L website,but ran into a little problem that's more than slightly amusing. Go to: University of Louisville: Accountability & Sustainability, and click on Accountability on All Fronts.
Couldn't make this up if I tried.

Also, if anyone knows of any links between The Bankcorp Inc. funding Israeli apartheid, Alpha Coal's mountaintop removal, or drowning autistic puppies, please send me that information.

I'm seeing a potential for a Huff Post guest editorial somewhere here. The point is, I'm not going to pay this stupid $21 fee.

Update: 8/16/2011 4:15 PM
"Curtis, I will be happy to send a replacement card to you at no cost."- Karen Giaquinto
Higher One, Customer Care Department

Why is Obama silent on BART's tyranny over citizen's rights?

San Francisco's BART transit authority instituted a practice of blocking all cellphones under threat of a protest, and for some courageous people that are handy with the internet, and go by the name Anonymous, that wasn't cool at all. So they hacked into BART's computers and shut them down. Here's what Anonymous has to say:


"The decision to cut off cell service in order to prevent the protests violates fundamental principles of our democracy."-San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Phil Ting, SFGate: Reset San Francisco Founder Phil Ting Releases Statement on BART's Decision to Shut Down Cell Phone Service

I stand with Anonymous here. For President Obama to tell Mubarak that he must restore cellphone service during protests in Egypt, but stand by quietly while those same liberties are stripped in his own country, is hypocritical and embarrassing. Go Anonymous for standing up to it. And where the hell is President Obama? What country is he waiting for to school us on democracy? If it's Australia, we're in trouble: Censoring mobiles and the net: how the West is clamping down

August 13, 2011

God supports the EPA, and other good news

Louisville, Kentucky got hit by a crazy, tree-killing storm this afternoon. Roads are closed. Electricity is out. Chaos really. Even power outages downtown, which is really rare. But there's still good news to report and I'm obligated to share it, too:

Before:
(Photo by Curt on FB, May 29, 2011)

After:
(Source: Sara on WAVE 3 Facebook page)

MORE GOOD NEWS:

As of 5 AM, the Boil Water Advisory is over.

Mayor Fischer received 132,050 votes in November's election. LG&E is reporting ALL of those people have lost electricity and there are no plans to restore it before the 2014 election. "They were in the dark, anyway," said drunk LG&E spokesman that preferred not to be identified.

Just thought you'd enjoy some lighter thoughts.

Last tip from Curtis:
If you have food in your fridge/freezer, keep it cold with ice tonight. The donation booth at Wayside Christian Mission opens Sunday morning at 7 AM, and they will be grateful for your donation! (Per Paul) Call them with questions 584-7711. They're located on the corner of Jackson and Jefferson.

Dylan Ratigan on extraction



I'm glad he's brought up extraction because I'm working on a long-term piece on Senator Mitch McConnell and his father-in-law's relationship with China. Dylan's rant reinforces my belief that this is necessary. Look for it in the coming month. Not sure if I'll put it here or elsewhere, might try to make it my first HuffPost piece.

August 12, 2011

LWC/ Mayor Fischer Boil Water Advisory notice doesn't meet EPA guidelines

In case you missed it... This weekend: order cocktails this weekend "without ice"

Research has revealed that the EPA only requires notification of a Boil Water Advisory within 24 hours, so the 2-3 hours it took for LWC/ the Mayor, while in my opinion portrays incompetence, is well within federal guidelines, that haven't been updated in 11 years. EPA: Drinking Water Public Notification
However, there were problems with the notice:

Per the EPA document linked above, Boil Water Notices must include:
A description of the violation that occurred, including the potential health effects
The population at risk and if alternate water supplies need to be used
What the water system is doing to correct the problem
Actions consumers can take
When the violation occurred and when the system expects it to be resolved
How to contact the water system for more information
Language encouraging broader distribution of the notice

Here's the actual Boil Water Advisory Notice issued by the Louisville Water Company:

The population at risk was not notified, as that would include areas that lost pressure in as far East as the Upper Highlands.
"When the system expects it to be resolved"- not disclosed.
Contact info for LWC: Nada.
Broader distribution language? Please. The Mayor Newsroom didn't even update a press release.

Also, why don't we overachieve and have the advisory listed in Spanish, too? That would be fancy.

This weekend: order cocktails this weekend "without ice"

Even though water pressure disappeared in upper Highlands last night, causing creepy ground water bacteria to get into the lines...Mayor's office and LWC seem to believe there's a "5 second rule" with creepy ground water bacteria.

Not trying to be an egomaniac, but this is the boil water advisory that was called, seemingly at my demand. Why they waited until 8:45 AM today, about 11 hours after the breach in the line, is a mystery to most. (link) But Mayor Greg Fischer was on the scene per news reports:

Unfortunately, the area they ultimately issued the boil water advisory didn't include the entire area that lost water pressure:
http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/39320C07-04AF-4392-80FE-A7848BB05EE7/0/BWA81211.pdf
"I live on Stevens Ave in the Highlands and I barely had water last night when I got home about 8pm. I wasn't home all day so I don't know how it was earlier or when it started. Then about 11 it was okay."-my friend, Marilyn Belak
More on creepy bacteria in our best-tasting Louisville Water Company drinking water, check out overview: Loss of water pressure, but no Boil Water Advisory?

So yeah, about that...order cocktails this weekend "without ice." Cause ain't nobody invented an ice machine that kills bacteria.

Update 8/12/2011 4:55 PM
There is a slight factual error that I have reported above. The Louisville Water Company apparently issued their boil advisory last night between 1 AM -2 AM per their Facebook wall. I may have missed it on their website about that time, and took no screenshots between that time and 8:45 AM to know any different.

This doesn't change that the boil advisory was called:
1) Too late. Hours after the water was polluted. And probably only because I demanded it.
2) Covering an inadequate area that didn't include all the areas affected with possibly infected water. This LWC map does not include the Highlands, and they lost water.

I do not know why there was a 2-3 hour delay before the advisory was made, nor have I seen that disclosed anywhere, (I'll tweet Greg the question now), but I suspect it could have taken that long for the mayor's office to debate the negative political consequences for causing an inconvenience to citizens alongside the negative political consequences of causing health risks to our citizens. And correct me if I'm wrong, but no news media picked up on it? Apparently, I have the public's honeymoon with Mayor Fischer is still in effect.
This update was edited to correct a communication I misunderstood. My apologies to the aggrieved party.

Update 08/12/2011 6:16 PM
This story continues here: LWC/ Mayor Fischer Boil Water Advisory notice doesn't meet EPA guidelines

Is River Fields going to ask for more tunnels?

The letter River Fields submitted during the most recent Ohio River Bridges Project public comment process is signed by Lee Cory, President, Board of Trustees, and it is 14 pages with a bunch of attachments and it's dated July 15, 2011. There's lots to analyze in this letter, I'm not done myself. I'm hopeful we'll be seeing one of our better local journalist take this task on soon.

But I did want to break this secret to you guys as soon as possible. There's a new argument on page 13 of the latest River Fields letter:
"In the eight years since the ROD was issued, enough time has passed that there are new properties which are eligible for National Register Listing which were previously ineligible. Among the obvious examples are the Nutall House and the north field on "Belleview" farm. An analysis of the eligibility of, impacts on, and mitigation for any newly eligible properties should be part of the new section 106 study..."
According to National Register of Historic Places, the Belleview farm was placed on the Register in 1992, and it is located at 6600 River Rd, Harrods Creek, Ky. It has 1232 acres, 4 buildings, 2 structures. Per the PVA, the house is here:

It's inferred by River Fields that more property on the Belleview farm is either eligible or already listed on the National Register, although I have not verified this information.
Belleview is a pretty home, per the PVA's picture. The home is owned by Alice Thompson.

River Fields described Belleview as a "circa 1855 historic farmstead with 123 acres" on page 3 of their lawsuit to prevent the Harrod's Creek Bridge. (River Fields lost that lawsuit)

Not sure what Cory means by the Nutall House. But yeah. If you thought the tunnel beneath the corner of the Drumunard Estate was excessive, how would you feel about a couple more tunnels under these properties, too?

Kentuckians for Progress to start acting like a bunch of Republican spider monkeys jacked up on Mountain Dew in 3...2...1...

August 11, 2011

Loss of water pressure, but no Boil Water Advisory?

To boil or not to boil? Who knows?

Recording when you call the Louisville Water Co. hotline tonight:
"There has been a large transmission main fail near the Crittenden drive area. Some customers may be without water or experiencing low water pressure. Louisville Water crews are responding to the issue."

Reduced pressure means the line is being compromised with untreated ground water, but tonight, for some reason, the Louisville Water Company and the Mayor's office seem to think that's okay, and have not instituted a Boil Water advisory.

Is it too early to announce my candidacy for mayor in the 2014 Democratic Primary?

8/11/2011 10:48 PM Update:
Chris Otts: Water main break floods Eastern Parkway, Crittenden Drive


8/11/2011 10:58 PM Update:
People are reporting low water pressure as far away as the Highlands, but no Boil Water Advisory has been put in effect. And now, they're saying everything is okay.

Screenshot of the Louisville Water Company website from 10:58 PM:

Maybe it's okay if you don't mind STUFF in your water. I'll be boiling, thank you.

8/11/2011 11:16 PM Update:
So the Mayor's telling folks that were in the vicinity of the break to boil water, even though pressure was lost outside the vicinity as far away as the Highlands. I'm demanding he issue the Boil Water Advisory- now.

Senator McConnell's Lexington and Louisville offices protested

In Lexington:


"Banks got bailed out, we got sold out."

In Louisville:
MSNBC: Protest Held At McConnell's Louisville Office
WLKY: Protest Held At McConnell's Louisville Office

August 10, 2011

Mayor spins merger failures like a hula hoop

Stay tuned for 2 PM.
Mayor Greg Fischer has promised on Facebook to post a news release in the Mayor's newsroom:
This may or may not be related to Chris Ott's piece on Monday: Study: Louisville’s growth fueled by UPS, but little else, which brings awareness to a June study by the Brookings Institute that questions whether GLI is effective, as well as whether the merger has helped economic development.

I know Jerry Abramson's not mayor, but I still feel his presence.
"Clear, your mind must be if you are to discover the real villains behind the plot."
―Yoda to Obi-Wan

In other news, I've written something controversial for Insider Louisville and I expect I'll receive fewer Christmas cards as a result:Intolerance: The creative class and (painful) lessons from NuLu

Update: 8/10/2011: 2:09 PM

Here's the news release:
Citizens Satisfied With Merger, City Services, Poll Shows
Can't say I didn't warn you. Citizens are only satisfied because of this 24/7 pr BS that continually spins us in circles. If the merger didn't solve it's core goal of promoting economic development and job growth, does it really matter whether Metro Government has convinced the public that we have more happy puppies and rainbows?

NOW: a good time for Doug Hawkins to update his facebook

In November 2010, the incumbent Republican Metro Councilman in the 25th District,Doug Hawkins, was unseated by Democrat David Yates.

And now it's eight months later, and Doug Hawkins is still representing himself as the 25th District Metro Councilman on his Facebook page:

And on Myspace (yeah, right I know), he's itemizing the Committees he "currently serves on:"

And yep, on Twitter, too:

And on Linkedin:

Even Scott Harrington, is still representing on Linkedin that he's the 25th District Legislative Aide:


The problem, inherent in these representations is obvious. When constituents contact Hawkins or Harrington, with Metro Council business, what happens then? And is that acceptable?

As an aside, the former councilman's son, J.D Hawkins, can REALLY play some soccer:
What? I wasn't creepin'! Honest! Councilman Hawkins, obviously a proud father, tweeted this vid yesterday!

August 9, 2011

Louisvillians for Modern Mass Transit > Let's get it started


Haven Harrington, Steve Magruder, Dan Borsch, Drew Tucker, and me are getting together a group of citizens who care about modern mass transit so that we can take the necessary steps to make it happen in Louisville. If you care about this, come join us.

Our First meeting:
Time: Sunday, August 14 · 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Location: Douglas Heine Bros
2200 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY
Created By: Louisvillians for Modern Mass Transit

Agenda:
1) Meet and Greet,
2) Brainstorm Ideas about project (size and capacity, bring your realistic hats),
3) Share connections, contacts, and personal commitments,
4) Set date for next meeting and adjourn.

Co-moderators: Drew Tucker and Haven Harrington

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."-Margaret Mead

Feel free to RSVP and share on Facebook: Louisvillians for Modern Mass Transit > Let's get it started
Louisvillians for Modern Mass Transit

Promote Your Page Too

Can Louisville copy Williamstown? Is that allowed?

The city of Williamstown, Kentucky will also be giving a 75% property tax exemption to Beshear's dino-boat: WDRB: Huge property tax break for Biblical theme park

This inspires me. If a town can determine what properties get exemptions and which don't, I have a couple proposals for property tax exemptions in Louisville:

1) A blanket property tax exemption for all properties located West of West 9th Street. This would keep money in their community, and make economic development in Russell and Portland more attractive. But also, they deserve a break after a complete decade of flagrant over-assessment. And yes, I hold Tony Lindauer partly responsible for this. If you want to know more about what I'm talking about go here: Louisville assessments vs market values.

Providing an exemption to the west end could help mitigate the damages of the class action lawsuit that will someday ultimately be filed for this injustice taxation, by myself if I'm ever accepted to Brandeis. (Note to self: possible factor in why you haven't been accepted to Brandeis.)

2) A property tax exemption for stewards of historic properties in the proposed Downtown Preservation District. For preservation of historic structures to really work, we must be not only mindful of the needs of the property owners, but we need to support them in preserving properties as well. A property tax exemption might make the difference on whether it's more economical to demolish a building versus save it. What is it they say...the greenest building is a re-used building? This promotes that.

Have a great Tuesday.

Why did Dan Logsdon run Gatewood out of Fancy Farm?

I didn't go to Fancy Farm, but I read about it. (And I wrote about it but that's irrelevant at the moment.) Read this: Joseph Gerth | Auditor Crit Luallen's political future a mystery

That's right. The Kentucky Democratic Party's Dan Logsdon ran Gatewood out of Fancy Farm.
You think this might be why?

8/09/11 Update:
I've been told that incident occurred at a bean supper the night before Fancy Farm. While I don't think that invalidates my speculation (Can't Gatewood enjoy beans too?), I apologize for the error.


August 8, 2011

The real lessons from the Standard and Poor rating

Blaming Obama or the Tea Party for this "crisis" is pretty convenient, but we all know deep down it's dishonest. But worse, an unproductive distraction. Instead of debating who will suffer the most politically in the next election, we could instead take a pause and consider why we're really upset. We feel like we had prosperity, and it's been stolen away. But that's not the whole story. The prosperity we had, wasn't real.

Americans have collectively lived beyond our means by exploiting the world's poor for decades. We live in suburbs, but who built our brick homes? And when poor people, often minorities, wanted loans to buy homes, we allowed a system to charge them higher interest rates, helping to make our white suburban mortgage lower. And as minorities and the poor are losing their jobs at faster rates than the white middle class, we are kicking them out of their homes, and we have the audacity to fight homeless shelters when they want to relocate near us.

Who picked the fruit we're eating? When our clothes are made in developing countries, do we really believe they were made by adults? We continue to defend burning coal despite cancer rates near mountain top removal sites soar exponentially. We fill our privatized prisons with poor people we arrest for smoking pot, then when we finally let them out, we won't even let them vote.

We were told it was okay to spend money. We were told it was more patriotic to buy things we couldn't afford, than to put the money aside for our future. We were told that all this oppression is just capitalism and we should accept it, and we did. And now here we are. It's time we take responsibility for what's wrong if we expect to be the ones to really do something about it.

Louisville's Monday laughable things: Bridges Project /Preservation Louisville

Just ran across some disturbing images from the 2011 "Modified Alternative" to the Ohio River Bridges Project:
All concrete, as in, no steel support? Um, what?
Also, people obsessed with sidewalks and bicycles might want to click on the link above to also notice the sidewalk for bikes is being proposed to be not as wide. I had missed that before.

If you're wondering what's happened to the 1300 public comments that were collected beginning June 26th? Well, the Bridges Project has been extracting data from them. I bet that's hard. On behalf of Say NO to Bridge Tolls, I've asked for a copy of the comments and they're mailing them all to me. That should be a big envelope. We believe it's mandatory someone looks at this input and extracts the data besides the folks whose livelihood depends on a certain outcome. If you have any interest in working on this, let me know: Curt: curtster3@gmail.com.

Oh, and cropped this out of a Preservation Louisville fundraiser email that just went out:
The caption below the image is kind of ironic because that image focuses in on two of the five buildings that will be sacrificed as a result of the Whiskey Row contract. Secondly, how did Preservation Louisville's funding have anything at all to do with the Whiskey Row deal that was ultimately made behind everyone's backs? And thirdly, this tag line drives me nuts...
"As Metro Louisville's citywide non-profit historic preservation organization"
It is misrepresentation, really. Neighborhood Planning and Preservation, Inc. (NPP) was incorporated as a 501(c)4 in December, 2003, and it's leadership and members have had continuous involvement through the years in fighting preservation, and rarely ask for money. In the event we do ask for money, and we will in the near future to cover the $1,500 application costs for our Downtown Preservation District application, and maybe a little extra for a photographer, but we will not be not be inferring we're the exclusive non-profit preservation organization for Louisville.

So a big clarification before you open up your checkbook, it is Neighborhood Planning and Preservation, Inc. that proposed and is advocating for the Downtown Preservation District, and not Preservation Louisville. See Friday's Courier-Journal for more information:
Editorial : Preserving Louisville
Curtis Morrison | Why historic district is needed
And I'll be happy to take your check payable to Neighborhood Planning and Preservation, Inc. and get it to our treasurer. You can mail it to me at; NPP, %Curtis Morrison 1100 Lydia #1, Louisville, KY 40217.Thanks.

MSNBC spins young earth creationist misinformation

Do you believe Noah saved the mastodons? Well you aren't alone at least. In this MSNBC clip, it's reported that those little critters were around only 3,700 years ago. Even though they've been extinct for 10,000 years. Yeah, go figure.

This clip initially appeared on MSNBC on August 8, 2011 at this link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/44045171#44045171

Music compliments of karaoke at Highland Taproom, Louisville, Kentucky.

Links cited in video:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061003-mastodons.html
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/01/11/what-mean-these-mastodons

August 7, 2011

What I'd like to see from Greg Fischer this week...

This week, I'd like to visit the handy-dandy Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom link, and find a release where the Mayor covers these four issues:

1) I'd like to see our Mayor apologize for the lack of transparency in the details of the Whiskey Row deal.

2) Since $1.5 million of Metro Louisville money was appropriated, and a city-owned lot, were both bargained away in the deal, I'd like the Mayor to disclose the names of all the parties to the deal. The city can't be giving away $1.5 million to "anonymous" people. Is one of them George Fischer? Or is Todd Blue actually one of the buyer's of the buildings he's selling too? Is Karen Syphers an owner? Anonymous- it'aint right.

3) I'd like to see our Mayor make his position public on the Downtown Preservation District.

4) This one might catch some of you by surprise, I'd like to see the Mayor propose an across the board incentive for owners of historic properties to maintain their buildings. (Explanation below)

If we're going to honor Ann Hassett's legacy, and emulate the best of what Mayor Harvey Sloane did for our city, then our Mayor's going to need to come out and support it. Or, if he chooses to oppose it, he will have supporters that endorse that decision, too.

I've received a rebuttal of my CJ guest editorial via email from someone I have never met. His spelling might be a little off but I was educated in Indiana and have a lethargic golden retriever for an editor, so I give him a pass on it. Looking past the grammar, the mayor can oppose this District and there are people that will support his decision, but I have a better idea (Below the email).

"im confused, who owns whiskey row? you?mm should a person who legaly obtain a property be able to do what he wants, if its a brand new building or 1000 years old he work an payed for it, if you feel diffrent maybe you should purchase the properity an do as you see fit this is capitalism , thats how it should work you nor i have any right to tell the owner what to do with his land. you an the city viloate his rights by making him make a deal to save part in order to build other part, this is like the mafia making him a deal he cant refuse.i would think a reporter would be protecting rights of the individual not trying to infringeon them, the city instead of giving millions of dollars away of tax payer owned properity like 4th street could have sold the properitys an pursashed historical properitys it would like to save instead of forcing there will on a legal properity owner.being a construction worker whos been on the site i say theses building are far from what i d call sound,there outdated old unsafe wasted of money, tear them down let new buildings new jobs be created , get outta the way of progress, you see 3 protesters on the news , maybe we can get them jobs in the new buildings give them something constructive to do,the 1.5 million exspenditure was not even needed to be created if the city would have let the legal owner do what he should have the right to do with his properity, well maybe the city can increses it debt like the nation an let the grandkids pay for it,.to take a person land for a dam a powerline something thats benifiacal i can see but to save a old past its time building i cant see.seems i remember a city ofiical getting hurt from a stairwell falling in a old(historical building)i say if you own it ,its yours,as long as your not conducting ilegal activtys you should be able to do as you wish , tear down rebuild new safe up to code bussinesses an revive our econmnoy/ cut out some redtape, stop empeding bussiness theses are the kinda things that are stopping are economny from growing , how much money , an time , delays have you cost
, how many jobs?the same things with the bridges a few a very few are fighting it , evry day theres delays things go up, but because of the media a few looose wings nuts cause all of us to pay more to study a the enviromental impact, even though hundreds of bridges have been built before in usa, with very minamL IMPACT ON A RIVER"

Thank you, citizen, for taking the time to share your opposing view. While I don't agree with your conclusions, I do recognize in his email a recurring theme from preservation opponents that is valid, and we're going to need to address as a city, if not as a state and a country.

Old historic buildings are costly to maintain, and unbridled capitalism will eventually lead to their demise. I have an idea on how to curb this trend and if our Mayor wants to co-opt it, he can have it as his own. (ice machine joke refrain here):

If a property owner is being a good steward of our history, then he/she/it should be rewarded. We totally have this capability by extending a special property tax exemption to those property owners. If we had a Downtown Preservation District which defined what we value has historic, then implementing this idea would be that much simpler. I'm off to a meeting. Happy Sunday.

August 6, 2011

Fancy Farm: Crit Luallen woos...Beshear's existing supporters?



First, Crit Luallen is really wrong about one thing and everyone knows it. It's not a great time to be a Kentucky Democrat. We have a coal-loving, Noah's Arc advocating Democratic Party Governor that couldn't create a job to save his life, and even if he created one on accident, he'd shake down job applicants for campaign contributions as part of the hiring process. We have a Democratic Party Attorney General that uses Kentucky's resources to defend Kentucky's law which says God is the Director of our Homeland Security. We have an Auditor that believes her audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems was okie dokie peachy fine, when the pile of money that's missing is so enormous, mountaintop removal equipment was borrowed to haul it away. (WFPL: Galbraith Campaign Manager Rips KRS Audit)

In Kentucky, it's a really sucky time to be a Democrat.

But here's what's most interesting about Luallen's remarks today: She's running away Tea Party voters by misrepresenting their intentions. Tea Party Republicans voters were never after "their own narrow partisan interest." They want things to get better, just like we all do. Tea Party Republicans simply put a higher value on balancing the deficit, than on the safety net. Democrats put a higher premium on the safety net than balancing the deficit.

But Luallen represented that balancing the deficit is a "narrow partisan interest" and that's just plain inaccurate. I value a balanced budget, and I would be very suspicious of anyone who did not, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent. Declaring a jihad against the Tea Party when Kentucky is as red as a freshly-painted barn is just plain plum politically stupid. Ain't no new cows going to let Kentucky Democrats milk them as long as they continue shooing them away.

But if shooing away the Tea Party away wasn't enough, Luallen chased off the Gatewood Galbraith supporters, too. Listen to Gatewood's speech at: Gatewood Galbraith speaks at Fancy Farm 2011 When Luallen was asked what she thought of the speech, this is what she had to say:

"I thought Gatewood's speech was entirely inappropriate. Um, he attacked the Governor, basically, for visiting with our troops. And it was way off base. It was wrong. It shouldn't have happened. Ah, it was an embarrassment, frankly, to Gatewood and his candidacy. I think he has stood for some important ideas over time, but today he was off base."
The only thing is, Gatewood was RIGHT. He wasn't inappropriate, off base, wrong, or an embarrassment. He was RIGHT. When Beshear was parading around in Iraq, he reminded me us all of this guy:
We should all know better to trust that shit, right?

Since it's apparent Luallen wasn't trying to connect with Tea Party voters or Gatewood supporters, we have no choice but conclude she was trying to connect(?) with existing Beshear/Abramson supporters. Considering the election is only three months away, this strategy indicates a REAL FEAR that they might loose some of those supporters to David Williams and Gatewood Galbraith. I believe her fear is legitimate.

Hipster house rent in Germantown

Since I operate this blog-thing without advertisements, I need to sell/manage some real estate, too. A house I manage in Germantown is coming up for rent on August 15, 2011 for $750/month. If you know anyone looking, please share the links. Thanks:
http://louisville.craigslist.org/apa/2533349272.html

Unrelated to said hipster house, as of 3:14 PM and 3:44 PM this afternoon, respectively, both the CJ editorial and my guest editorial endorsing a Downtown Preservation District from Friday have both went back on their website, but with new links below. They were off the site for at least 26 hours and no I don't why. But I can guess.

Editorial : Preserving Louisville
Curtis Morrison | Why historic district is needed

Highway construction winding down? What?

Were you hoping that the potholes on the Kennedy Bridge would redecked with asphalt to remedy the pothole problem? Like, before winter, right? Oh silly you. Not only is that apparently not going to happen in the forseeable future, the Courier Journal reports today:
Rush of Louisville-area interstate projects slowly winding down
In Sheldon's defense, I don't think he reads my blog. The last time I ranted to him on the phone about something in hindsight that was mildly insignificant, I got the feeling he thought I was nuts, and well, okay. That's fair. But the CJ claims to reach "700,000 actively engaged consumers every week, " so they should expect that well, details matter.

Anyway, if you were wondering what's up with when those potholes will be repaired on the Kennedy, to my knowledge and Google's, I was the last person to report on that:
State "waiting" to get money for Kennedy Bridge potholes
SPOILER ALERT: The above link will not gain Governor Steve Beshear a single vote in Jefferson County.

August 5, 2011

Courier Journal endorses Downtown Preservation District

The Courier-Journal endorsed a Downtown Preservation District today:
Editorial | Preserving Louisville | The Courier-Journal

And so did I:
Curtis Morrison | Why historic district is needed in Louisville | The Courier-Journal

Update 8/05/11, 6:10 PM:
Well that glory was short-lived. Sometime before 1:07 PM today these two links were disabled, and in their place is a bunch of nothing. They kept up the picture of Ann Hassett, at least.

I would re-publish the editorial here, but errrrr, I signed an agreement with language:
"...agree to give the Newspaper, Gannett Co., Inc., its affiliated corporations and licensees exclusive publication rights of your Work in the Newspaper, as well as the exclusive rights to reproduce, edit, adapt, modify, perform, transmit and otherwise use the Work, including any derivative works created therefrom, in any manner or medium throughout the world in perpetuity without additional compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to reproduce and distribute the Work in electronic or optical media, or in CD-ROM, on-line or similar format."

Update: 8/05/11: 6:55 PM:
And Fischer spin is in full tilt. The CJ just put this story up:
Partial roof collapse closes Washington Street
And it looks familiar, see: WDRB does lil piece to cover mayor's ass

Note: This roof did not collapse yesterday. It did not collapse last week. In fact, they have absolutely no idea when it collapsed. But they knew they had to put a fence up right now and make it the biggest story since Rick Pitino and whatever her name was.

8/06/11: 4:51 PM:
As of 3:14 PM and 3:44 PM, respectively both the CJ editorial and my guest editorial endorsing a Downtown Preservation District have both went back on their website, but with new links:

Editorial : Preserving Louisville
Curtis Morrison | Why historic district is needed