September 29, 2011

Ottawa Action kills notion of ethical oil

Thanks to my fellow Tar Sands Action jailbirds, Bryan Farrell and Eric Stoner, with Waging Nonviolence, the piece I wrote on Ottawa is now online, and people outside of Kentucky, yes, they exist, are reading words I have sort of combined together to make sentences about stuff that is important:

Ottawa Action kills notion of ethical oil

Attica Scott submits resume for District 1

State Representative Mary Lou Marzian plans to introduce an energy bill to the Kentucky legislature you can find out about here: Anne Marshall with LEO Weekly: Renewed energy
Then you can get off your ass take a few moments out of your day, and contact your state legislator to urge they join Marzian: Find your member

Most hilarious website hits of the day.

Did someone say Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Greater Louisville, Inc.'s (GLI) Joe Reagan just left Toronto?

Oh, what the hell. Let's make that easier for Canadians find: Louisville Courant: GLI Joe Reagan's salary revealed: $369,268

Attica Scott, Louisville social justice activist and former candidate for School Board of Jefferson County Public Schools, has submitted her resume for Louisville Metro Council's 1st District seat. Here's the complete announcement:
After being asked by folks in the District and reaching out to folks to ask what they think, I have decided to submit my resume to fill the vacant seat for District 1 on Louisville Metro Council.

District 1 is where I live with my two children and where I have built relationships over several decades. I lived in the District when I was in high school and moved back to the Chickasaw neighborhood a couple of years ago to care for my great Aunt who cared for me in the same house when I was a student at duPont Manual High School. I am committed to serving my community on Metro Council and to being a team player with my colleagues.

While my academic background is in political science, it is my real-life experiences that have prepared me to lead by listening and by engaging. I want to know what keeps folks in District 1 awake at night. Folks have shared with me their concerns about vacant properties, economic development, and the individual and environmental health of the district. I will be the kind of elected official who is concerned about people and who will work with neighborhood leaders to address these issues.

Metro Council is the legislative body of Louisville Metro government. When I am on Council, I will forge partnerships with other Council members to ensure that DISTRICT 1 receives its fair share of funding for capital projects and for social service programs. I will also be active in the Democratic caucus to ensure that my values of inclusion and fairness are fundamental principles of Metro Council.

And as we move forward with redistricting of Council districts, I am ready to build relationships with our brothers and sisters in the southern part of our district and welcome in our newest neighbors so that we can have a more unified district.

I would be honored to serve on Metro Council and I have been preparing myself for this opportunity by fully participating in the first class of Emerge Kentucky, joining the Metropolitan Louisville Women’s Political Caucus and serving on the Hispanic/Latino Coalition board of directors in order to help find ways to truly create a city that is inclusive and welcoming and ready to compete in the 21st Century.

I was named a Leadership Louisville Connector because of my ability to build bridges across divides and to connect people to information and resources to change their lives and their communities.

Can I count on your support for the appointment? I am ready to win in 2012 and 2014 so that our District will have real, long-term representation.

In community,

find me on facebook: "Attica Woodson Scott"
follow me on twitter: @atticascott
Impressive, eh? When Attica kicked off her race for School Board last year, the support she had from the community was immediate and energized. Oh wait, I was there, and have a picture:
Attica's youth and passion for social justice would make a great addition to the Metro Council, AND she's not an insider that's answering to another council member. If selected, as she should be, I'm confident she'll serve the voters of District 1 well.

September 28, 2011

Ottawa Action photos

Monday in Ottawa started out with a Solidarity Rally in support of the Ottawa Action, a civil disobedience uprising in opposition to tar sands, oil sands, whatever you want to call them, and in support of indigenous rights of First Nations. The rally extended throughout the day while hundreds supported those being arrested. Here are the pictures your Louisville blogger snapped:

And then there are the badasses who were either arrested, or not arrested because the police finally just quit arresting people:

28.09.11 Update:
And here's the best video in the history of post-civil disobedience videos, compliments of the great people at Greenpeace Canada:

And I am writing quite a bit myself, I'll let you all know when it's out there.

29.09.11 Update:
Pleased to say I have finished writing a piece on this Action, and hope to let my loyal readers know where it ends up by the end of the week.

September 26, 2011

Ottawa Action: Honouring indigenous rights = no tar sands

The historic Ottawa Action in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada will occur today. A solidarity rally is planned before the action with several speakers, beginning at 10 am EST on the front lawn of Parliament Hill. Even if you aren't planning on participating in the action, if you are near Ottawa you are definitely welcome stop in and listen to the speakers. You may be able to watch it live on the website linked above. At the very least, I'll tweet a bit from @curtster.

Although I had a little trouble getting out of the airport,(See: LC: They let me in Ottawa. Barely,) I easily found last night's training for the Action thanks in part to a sign made with Expo markers. This was my first reassurance I was in the right place. (Glossy media posters can be overrated.)

A couple of the earliest people to arrive were Julie Burke, Chair of Keepers of the Athabasca, a sub-group of Keepers of the Water, and Roland Woodward, a respected Cree Nation Elder.
(Pictured below, respectfully.)

The First Nations have been fighting the extraction of the tar sands for a very long time. When I asked Burke how long, her reply was "Forever!" There's no doubt the fight feels like forever for them. She clarified that the organization her and Woodward were representing was formed at a gathering of First Nation Elders on September 7, 2006, in which the Deh Cho First Nations Declaration was signed. That declaration is remarkably simplistic and beautiful, and explains why they made the trip:
"Water is a sacred gift, an essential element that sustains and connects all life. It is not a commodity to be bought or sold. All people share an obligation to cooperate to ensure that water in all of its forms is protected and conserved with regard to the needs of all living things today and for future generations tomorrow."- Keepers of the Water Declaration, Sept. 7th, 2006
Before the training, participants who are planning to risk arrest signed up at the legal table.

All of the activists involved in administrating this action radiate some kind of supernatural charm. They don't need to wear reflective vests, as you could find them with your eyes closed. And none of them, sadly, live in my home country.

Our training began with a sacred moment honoring the Algonquin people. "...Whose land we are now on," said Dave, whose last name and native tribe I regrettably missed.

A member of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Dave expressed a sentiment that is very powerful yet I have never heard it expressed. He said the action was an opportunity for all of us to step out of our routines, our assigned roles in society, and "claim our humanity" by working in solidarity for our earth.

A simple idea, like Dave's, we know is profoundly good.

Compare Dave's simple idea with the idea of extracting oil from tar sands. The extraction process takes unprecedented amounts of electricity, natural gas, undisclosed toxic chemicals and clean water, all to create processes and infrastructure just to move the corrosive, unconventional oil to refineries through pipelines proposed through British Columbia to oil tankers four times the size of the Exxon Valdez, that will of course need to also navigate one of the most dangerous ports in the world.

Or the tar sands oil could a proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline running through precious farms and rivers, and a huge aquifer to dissect the United States, all so the oil can be refined into a final fuel product that burns 20% dirtier than what we use today. And we want to do this when the amount of carbon dioxide in our planet's atmosphere is at a level never before seen by human life?

I like Dave's idea better.

Another new hero of mine is Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Mathais Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Thomas-Muller gave us a history yesterday of the tar sands, from the beginning. It took 10,000-15,000 years for nature to form the boreal forests of Alberta above the tar sands.

But it only took man a few years to figure out a way to get to it by clear cutting the forests, and using heat as a separating agent to get to the now-prized bitumen. In every five tons of unearthed Aberta, the prize is only one barrel of oil.

"You can't buy into tar sands oil, without buying into ecocide," said Thomas-Muller.

"While canoeing, we used to be able to drink water right from our rivers." - said one of the organizers during a slide show.

The First Nations were offered $1.5 billion to not resist tar sands development. "We told them what to them to take their money, and shove it." said Jasmine Thomas, a Cree woman whose great grandmother was a famous Cree healer. "Our healers today tell us our medicines are losing their power because our water is contaminated on our land," Thomas also said.

"Seeing all you people here gives me goosebumps," said Thomas.

Actress Tantoo Cardinal, of the Cree Nation, and who appeared in Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall, and Smoke Signals, was staring at me when I first entered a room yesterday. She had noticed I was wearing a t-shirt from D.C.'s Tar Sands Action, which she participated in as well.

She introduced herself to me quietly and earnestly, like I was important, I sat completely humbled.

I've never cried because I was embarrassed before, but indigenous people are grateful to see any white people at all, no matter how few, care about what remaining forests, lakes, and rivers we have not yet destroyed.

Unlike the United States, the Canadian Constitution obligates the Canadian government to hono(u)r the wishes of the First Nations. The administration of Canada's Conservative Party Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, however, has seemed more interested in developing the tar sands than respecting his country's constitution. And that's why this action is on Parliament Hill.

If you want learn more about how tar sands affects indigenous people, prepare to cry, because it turns out they are BETTER THAN ME at blogging:

September 24, 2011

They let me in Ottawa. Barely.

If you didn't read my entry a few days ago, Why I'm headed to Ottawa, then this might confuse you so go read it first, thank you.

I made it into Ottawa today, but indicated on my declaration form to Canadian Customs that I flew into Ottawa on business.

When the Customs guy asked, "What business?" I said "freelance journalist, covering a civil disobedience action," for the first, and possibly the last, time in my life. Honest as it may be in the context of this trip, it is just not a way to expedite one's way through through an airport.

I kind of knew things weren't going as well as they could when the immigration officer asked me why I hadn't wrote "on Saudi Arabia oil, and the oppression of their women?"

Here's the last picture I took with my phone before it was confiscated and taken into a private room, where the data was that said officer. If you have texted/emailed me in the last couple years, think about's a little spooky.

After what seemed to be longest hour of my life, at least 100 questions, an unpacking and inspection of both my bags, and an attempt to view the pictures on my camera, I got good news: The immigrations officer indicated he was going to let me stay in Canada, but he needed to counsel me on the legal advice I received from the organizers of the Ottawa Action. Advice that he had found in one of the emails he had read on my phone.

The Action's legal team suggested that, if arrested for civil disobedience, US citizens could face a delayed court date and probation in Canada.

The immigration officer insisted that US citizens would be deported immediately without a privilege of return, and he's probably right. I just wonder what he thought of the thousands of other emails, texts and messages though. I also wonder if he downloaded the data.

I know we need to be protected from people with violent intentions, but for a few minutes today I felt very vulnerable. Like I was on a frayed rope bridge between two countries who both say they love democracy, but are struggling with what it means.

Oh good news for my Tar Sands 65 brothers and sisters, our arrests in the D.C. Tar Sands Action do not show up on the Canadian immigration department's background check.
I disclosed the ambiguity of the situation to my officer, and he told me frankly it wasn't showing up. So I guess they've re-wrote that history for us, and we were merely detained for that 52 hours. That's good to know.

Looking forward to meeting other people in town for the Action. I haven't met anyone yet, but I'm staying at this Travel Lodge that William Shantner thought was a good idea. Remember to follow my tweets, tweeps, especially Monday:

09.26.2011 3:11 AM Update:
First, I ran across a clue to the triggering event of my delay, here's where I checked "business" on my declaration form:
And I snapped for my readers this addendum thingy in my passport that makes me feel REALLY SPECIAL:

And finally, I may have figured out why I was let into Canada. One of the most recent emails in my inbox was a notification of a specific tweet Louisville's Mayor Greg Fischer sent me thanking me for exercising my influence with President Obama to get him a meeting: REAL TWEET I'M NOT MAKING UP.

Shhhh! No one tell the Canadian Immigration Department that Greg was just being a smart-ass until I make it back!

September 22, 2011

YPAL ORBP Forum turns fascist, fast!

Seriously, folks in audience like myself holding signs that say "East End Bridge Now."
YPAL lady just came up & takes them out of hands of audience, and gives them to LMPD officer who keeps them!! I make it up not:

Bennett Haeberle is our moderator, and just introduced Bob Griffith without citing his connection to River Fields, lol.

Bob Griffith confesses River Fields not perfect, defends free speech rights of his opponents in audience, embarrassing YPAL, and compares KFP campaign to McCartyism.

Tyler Allen talks about 8664 vision, tells us East End Bridge will serve community's needs.

And I bail. As did WHAS. Fox41 reporter there but that's probably because she' married to Bennett Haeberle.

9/13/2011 1:06 AM Update:
I've been reflecting on how odd it was that YPAL had a LMPD officer at their meeting. I'm in a lot of clubs, and we never do that. Anyway, Here's photos of YPAL/LMPD action against on East End Bridge.

God, these YPAL people dress up like they are SOOO important. If Stu Noland hadn't showed up, I would have been the only dude in jeans:

The panel:

Here's right after the YPAL lady gave the signs she confiscated to the LMPD officer, and fled when she realized I was taking picture:

And here's the LMPD officer holding the contraband, formerly known as expressions of free speech:

And here is Bennett with Bob Griffith, who appears to be looking straight at me, Yet he is later overheard complaining about the things Shawn Reilly was saying about him in his blog. lol. Shawn doesn't have a blog. Poor guy really is clueless.

Oh, and Tyler Allen. (He always likes to see his picture ;-P)

Link clearinghouse thing Jake does- day

The significance of Beshear's appointment of Bob Griffith, I broke here first on Tuesday, was republished today to a different audience, with a little update (Say NO to Bridge Tolls is resubmitting their petition to de-list the Drumanard): Insider Louisville: Guest blogger Curtis Morrison: River Fields 01, Louisville 01

More cracks on Sherman Minton & Councilman Jim King generously commits to pitch in with financing of East End Bridge. The CJ didn't specify the offer was financing, so the inference to the casual reader was the offer was a donation. Guess that was in the interest of equal treatment since that's how they treated Jones offer. Even so, I'm impressed with King. Mayor Greg Fischer probably has a lot more money, but we sure haven't seen him offer up any of his own money: CJ: More cracks found on Sherman Minton Bridge
2:36 PM CLARIFICATION: It's been pointed out to me the offer was for interest-free money, which does make the offer significantly more generous than I had represented. (CJ: Bridges...)

Ambassador Matthew Barzun may be eclipsing Senator Mitch McConnell as the most important Kentuckian: Bloomberg: Obama’s Top 2012 Fundraiser Prefers Farming to Hunting to Raise $1 Billion

Thanks to Jim Pence,
for covering Governor Scott Walker's campaigning for his ALEC-buddy Kentucky Senator David Williams:

Tim Wise,
a powerful speaker on the topic of Racism per one of my Kent professors, will be speaking tonight at Spaulding University at 7:00 PM. The presentation is free and the Spalding University auditorium is located at 824 S. Fourth St. "If you don't have other plans it should be terrific." my professor emailed. I probably need to be there, eh? “Colorblind”: Antiracist essayist and educator, Tim Wise talks race issues at Spalding University

Just some thoughts out loud on the Sherman Minton Bridge:
In the early 1960's, the Sherman Minton was opened, connecting Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky in a modern way. They were still connected before.

Before the construction, my grandfather, Robert "Bob" Faith worked at the International Harvester where UPS is now located, and commuted from Mauckport, Indiana. Driving the Laconia back roads through to Elizabeth and ultimately New Albany where he either passed over the K and I Bridge or to Clarksville to cross over the GRC Bridge. Harvester paid good money for a South Harrison County-man, and so Papaw Bob drove a fancy 4-door black Mercury. Nearly no one in those parts drove a car so nice, unless they were running shine, as my Dad told me.

Point being, people from Indiana could get to Louisville before the Sherman Minton Bridge, and they did.

I once sold a grand property located at 219 Lafayette, in New Albany, that now faces a huge wall where I-64 connects to the Sherman Minton Bridge. The owner of that property, an elderly man who lived in Georgetown, explained the house had been built grand because it faced a beautiful park. But in the 1950's, it was explained to the people of New Albany that the sacrifice of the few is justified for the progress of the many, and the park was replaced with the opposite of what a park is.

I haven't been able to locate any photos of that park this morning, but I would say if I-64 cannot be repaired, maybe New Albany might want to reconsider what was lost and consider replacing it? I imagine Roger w/NA Confidential will have a breakdown when he reads that modest proposal, but it was just a thought. And what was the name of that park, by the way?

Oh, I can't rant anymore. Time to read. Oh, last thing, it's the Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth's birthday.

September 21, 2011

It's great Greg's getting w/ Obama: BRILLIANT IDEA!

That was my comment to our Mayor's first Facebook status update following the closure in which he offered the action that drivers, "choose alternative routes."

Why I'm headed to Ottawa

On Saturday I'll be flying from Louisville, Kentucky to Ottawa for Monday's Ottawa Action. The training for the action is Sunday, with the actual Action taking place Monday. At 10 AM Monday, there will be a solidarity rally with broader participation that will include folks like me.

Since I'm not Canadian, I don't plan on getting arrested but taking some pictures and doing some writing. First, I hope to be kind of returning the favor of the Canadians that did the same for the Tar Sands Action in Washington. Like Milan with, who makes a good point about the need for taking the climate debate "post-partisan" today: Bury Coal: Clinton on climate deniers..

Seeing as how the mainstream U.S. press barely covered the 1250 +/- people that were arrested in Washington, I'm less than optimistic they plan to cover one in Canada. So not that I'm special, but I'll be there doing what I can. My niece, Isabella, has committed to letting me borrow her fancy camera, even. I plan to learn to use it in the airport, which may or may not get me arrested for terrorism.

Tangent: If you didn't see the guest editorial Tyler Hess & I wrote following Washington's Tar Sands Action, it's still online: Courier-Journal: Curtis Morrison and Tyler Hess|The monster below.

Civil disobedience, and even witnessing it, can be tricky when fascists are around. (See: Mubarek) Maybe I'll be arrested, or hell, maybe I'll be shot.

Don't know. If you're a person of faith, and you say a little prayer for me, I appreciate it. But more importantly, say a little prayer that the Ottawa Action will get the attention of the apathetic voters that are allowing Stephen Harper, and potentially Barack Obama, to sell out our planet's climate by permitting Transcanada's Keystone XL pipeline.

If you aren't a person of faith, I think this video about Tar Sands gives us all some insight to why:

September 20, 2011

River Fields 01, Louisville 01

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he's for the East End Bridge. But is he?

A couple weeks ago, Beshear designated River Fields General Counsel Robert W. Griffith as chair of the Kentucky Heritage Council. (the Lane Report: Gov. Beshear makes appointment to Boards and Commissions) River Fields is a conservancy that does some good stuff, but mostly opposes the East End Bridge.

This designation is significant and quite unfortunate, because the most expensive hurdle to an East End Bridge involved a proposed tunnel beneath the Drumanard Estate. The estate's historical status was challenged by Say No to Bridge Tolls.(Louisville Courant: OMG: Drumanard HISTORIC STATUS REVEALED AS HOAX!!) The allegedly historical status could be repealed by the the Kentucky Heritage Council.

Or well, it could have been had Griffith not been appointed Chair.

The Kentucky Heritage Preservation website shows Griffith, known usually as "Bob" Griffith, is a resident of Big Springs, Kentucky, near Vine Grove. This is probably true, as he and his wife own the 1851 CLARKSON- HARDAWAY HOME located there. (tangent)

LEO readers may remember Steve Shaw's interview with Griffith referenced in the legendary 2009 issue on River Fields that was particularly hard to find because it was allegedly stolen from downtown receptacles. In that article, Shaw noted Griffith was a "gentleman with thinning gray hair whose spirit betrays no hint of ill will." LEO: Burned Bridge.

Griffith is with the Louisville firm of Stites and Harbison, on whose website he proudly boasts he is the "volunteer General Counsel to River Fields, Inc." (Linkylink)

This development could prove poignant for Beshear, especially since it was discovered earlier this year he had overlooked conflicts of interest in appointing Bridges Authority Chair Charles Buddeke.(LC: Watch to see Charles Buddeke resign)

DISGUSTINGLY CORRUPT OVERSIGHT is apparently part of Beshear's platform.

Note to River Fields Director, Meme Runyon: Well-played.

Note to my family and friends in my native homeland: I'm sorry.

Note to Governor Steve Beshear: Expect David Williams, the Kentuckians for Progress, and any Republican paying attention to use angry dogs to pull you and Mr. Abramson both over some very hot coals for this bullcrap. As they should.

Note to myself and EVERY OTHER SELF-RESPECTING KENTUCKY DEMOCRAT WITH A PULSE: You were a fool not to challenge Beshear from the left.

9.20.11, 6:01 PM UPDATE:
Faithful readers have suggested I include the following information for my more ambitious readers:

Stites and Harbison is not only the law firm to Bob Griffith, but Beshear was with the firm, too. Beshear's son, Andrew Beshear, who is kind of handsome, is with them now.

Beshear also appointed Oliver H. Scott Barber, III from Stites. And Robert M. Beck, Jr. from Stites.

Beshear's new Chair of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees, Jennifer Elliott, is also with Stites and Harbison. According to her Stites' profile, Elliott, of course, also sits on the Audit, Investment, Retiree Health, and Legal, Compliance & Governance Committees of the KRS board, and serves as Chair of both the Retiree Health and Legal, Compliance & Governance committees.

But there are lines, for instance, Elliott is not U of L's lawyer in the hospital merger...oh wait, never mind. Yeah, she is.

Not that there's anything wrong with completely ignoring conflicts of interest and somehow staffing an entire state government from the same law firm.

September 16, 2011

Clue found to Mitch McConnell Shermageddon solution


Happy TGIEOW1OS- I mean, happy end of week one of Shermageddon.
Here's some random stuff:

In Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday some Keystone XL Pipeline opponents, also known as my peeps, held a rally when President Obama came to their city to remind him of his 2008 promises to DO SOMETHING about climate change. President Obama can expect like rallies at all his upcoming appearances, including his Thursday, September 22nd visit to Cincinatti. I understand those details will be released after Obama's office releases details on his visit.

Jackie Green sent a this link this morning that is an interesting backdrop to Mayor Greg Fischer's inaction in curbing sprawl:
Alexis Madrigal/The Atlantic: The Beginning of the End for Suburban America

And I was reminded this morning while I'm grateful I don't write for the Examiner. My readers are not subjected to Goldman Sachs promoting stuff shitty lies stuff that's really not true. Well they will be today, but only as an example. Screenshot:

Finally, I'm on this committee for Louisville's Race to End Homelessness. If you're on Facebook, like our page below. If you're not on Facebook, and you actually get off your ass and walk or run like I should be doing right now, then participate!:
The Race to End Homelessness 5K | Promote Your Page Too

September 15, 2011

David A Jones, Sr., bully

Here's David A. Jones Sr. latest plan for Beshear and Fischer to become heroes at the expense of democracy and public input, especially from New Albany.

The plan is not near as awful as the audaciousness of a corporation (Humana) attempting to intimidate government officials, interest groups, and citizens alike:

"Re: Bridges – Minneapolis magic ingredients: Leadership and will!,

Closing of the Sherman Minton bridge is catastrophic.  We don’t know when/if it will reopen so we need to build our six-lane, shovel-ready eastern bridge now, creating a dependable new link for I-64, a vital backup for I-65, and thousands of new jobs.

This disaster is adding 4 or 5 hours to routine commutes and deliveries to and from southern Indiana.  The same is true for ambulance runs, jeopardizing lives.

A large planned business expansion has gone on hold and will die unless our political leaders recognize the seriousness of our situation and act decisively now.
I offer a plan, and I hope you will join me in urging Governor Beshear and Mayor Fischer to become heroes by successfully adopting it NOW, or providing a better plan and implementing it NOW.  Quoting Winston Churchill, "Sometimes it is not enough to do one's best.  Sometimes one must do what is required."  Today it is required that our leaders deal with our emergency NOW.
My plan is for both the governor and the mayor to contact President Obama today and describe with utmost urgency our terrible disaster; request that he declare an emergency, fly to Louisville today or tomorrow, pick up a shovel with our elected leaders and begin construction of our eastern bridge.  Kill the quarter-billion dollar tunnel meant to save a $2 million house and all regulatory delays for the last link in our interstate highway system. This bridge was planned in 1959, and 52 years of such delay is a profound, regulatory-induced tragedy.
This bridge can likely be completed in less than two years, as Minneapolis did in 13 months when its
I-35W bridge collapsed four years ago. Whatever non-state/federal funds are needed for construction must be covered by tolls.  Short-term funding to allow an immediate start can be loaned by local banks and businesses. I will lend $10 million personally. 
This immediate, effective action will enable us to assure nervous CEOs that our region, like Minneapolis, is a dependable "can do" community, ready and able to support their current operations and planned expansions. 
If you agree with me, please forward this plan with your endorsement and comments to our governor and mayor and ask them to report promptly their actions and results.

Many thanks for becoming engaged in seeking an effective, immediate response to our massive bridge disaster. Together, we can find solutions.


David A. Jones Sr."

Thoughts??? If you want another perspective on how the Republicans misguided war against River Fields, check out my Rachel Maddow inspired, Chris Crocker-esque rant from last night: Louisville Republicans: Leave River Fields Alone!

Update 4:44 PM:
CJ: Humana co-founder offers $10M to start east end bridge wins deceptive headline award. He's offering to loan it, not donate it. I need to check my calendar, is today free PR for Humana day?

Louisville Republicans: Leave River Fields Alone!

If you picked up a copy of this week's LEO Weekly, in Broken bridge you'll see one of Louisville's finest journalist fairly laying down the law in several ways, but one specifically deserves attention at the moment: River Fields is not the evil holding up the Bridges Project.
"Contrary to popular myth, River Fields’ lawsuit is not delaying the project — yet."- Shaw
But I'll tell you who is causing a delay in the Sherman Minton Bridge repair...that would be Louisville Republicans, like Rebecca Jackson and Joe Burgan with Kentuckians for Progress, WHAS talk show host Mandy O'Connell, and Metro Councilman Jerry Miller. While they're pointing fingers at River Fields, we are supposed to overlook the fact they support fiscal policy that leads directly to less funding to maintain and repair our physical infrastructure.

When Republicans support Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell in his fight against Obama's jobs bill, THOSE REPUBLICANS ARE DELAYING REPAIRS. Thank you, Rachel Maddow:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I do regret that Rachel didn't scorn our Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer for his hesitation in pushing TARC to expand express bus routes in Indiana on the model of New Albany's route 65X. We desperately need those kind of routes for Sellersburg, Clarksville, Jeffersonville, and Floyds Knobs.

September 14, 2011

Noam Chomsky's 9/11 anniversary interview in Iceland, in English

I love Noam Chomsky. I love Iceland. I love how they introduce him as the "most influential public intellectual." How come no one ever calls me a public intellectual? Don't answer that, enjoy.

2108 W Broadway is going get Todd Blued

EJW PROPERTIES LTD., has applied for a Todd Blue Permit for a possibly historic building adjacent to corner of S. 21st and W. Broadway, which sets on property recently for sale for $750,000. Muhannad and Linda Fraihat owned the property up until this spring, when they took William A. and Jane K. Whitlow in as partners.

Per the PVA the building was built in 1920 is classified as an apartment building.
According to the permit to IPL, however, it was built in 1900 and is single-family. Has the Fischer-Blue-Whiskey Row-precedent paved the way for willy nilly, expedited demolitions?

Here's the generated info from the IPL:
"The Department of Codes and Regulations has received a demolition permit application for the property listed below:
Subject Property: 2108 W BROADWAY
Case Number: 308764
The above referenced property is listed or eligible for listing in The National Register of Historic Places.
Per LMCO (150.110), the requested demolition permit can be issued on the following date:
For additional information regarding this application visit the website or
contact George Pate, Plan Review Supervisor at 574-3321 or
Richard Jett, Metro Historic Preservation Officer at 574-5210.

Louisville Metro Division of Inspections Permits and Licenses
444 South 5th Street-Suite 100, Louisville, Kentucky 40202-4313"

Scott Render and Paul Nicholson with city just helped me figure out how to navigate that IPL website, so now I feel empowered, yay! The comments on the permit application were possibly truncated before they got to the juice:
"Demolition of a existing single family dwelling. Must tear down structure,remove the foundation and haul away all debris. lm"
3:14 PM Correction: This comment was not truncated, LM is the issuer's initials, Louis Marsili.

EJW PROPERTIES LTD. own this entire corner of S. 21st and W. Broadway. No info available yet on whether they are making room for a drug store, gas station, check-in to cash or barber shop. Oh, Greg-stalgia from October of 2010, you know you want to jam to it:

Oh, and a random detail for the mindful researcher, those signing on behalf of a corporation aren't necessarily, or even typically, the only owners. (See:What I'd like to see from Greg Fischer this week...) In the case of EJW PROPERTIES LTD., they have their property tax bills and the wrecking permit paperwork for the above referenced property sent to the home of KINMAN AND JANE WILLIAM in St. Matthews. (Photo credits: screenshots from PVA)

Governor Scott Walker to have 2-day bromance with David Williams

As I reported here in July, Kentucky State Senator and Republican candidate for Governor, David Williams, has previously received a "Legislator of the Year Award" from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. This is an organization that produces custom legislation for corporations, yet Williams has bragged about that award multiple times. (Louisville Courant: ALEC's Kentucky connection: Senator David Williams)

So who is Senator Williams getting intimate with besides ALEC? Looks like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will be spending the night, tonight.

First this morning at 9:45 AM, Walker is due to meet David Williams for some frisky morning fun at William's Lexington "Victory" Office, located at 241 Southland Drive, in Lexington. (Per CN2)

From there, Walker and Williams will be hooking up with what looks like a potential for 12 confirmed guests,(Per Facebook: Victory Rally with Governor Walker and Senator Williams), sometime around "mid-afternoon" at their "Northern Kentucky "Victory" Office. This small circle jerk, pretend rally with almost no people will be located at 3005 Dixie Highway, Suite 60, in Edgewood, KY. Since there are only 12 Kentuckians who dare be recognized as attending an event with Scott Walker present, I think we might as well recognize them all here for their, um, courage, especially since one of them is an employee of United States Senator Mitch McConnell, and another owns a concrete company, and well, some of the guest may not even exist in like, for real:
Ann Mahoney Altherr, On Facebook, home city hidden, profile picture not of a human

Julia Bright, Per Facebook, lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Robert Burgess, On Facebook, home city hidden, profile picture not of a human

Andrew Carroll, On Facebook, home city hidden

Chase Crigler, Per Facebook, lives in Florence, Kentucky, field representative for
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Steven L. Frank, Per Facebook, lives in Covington, Kentucky, where he is City Commissioner

Rachel Jacobs, Per Facebook, lives in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

John T. Kemper III, Per Facebook, lives in Lexington, Kentucky, running for State Auditor, drives a pickup truck*

Kathleen Jarvis, On Facebook, home city hidden

Chris Mcdaniel, Per Facebook, lives in Taylor Mill, Kentucky, owns Mcd Concrete Enterprises

Mike Moreland, Per Facebook, lives in Union, Kentucky

Iris Brooke Wilbur, On Facebook, home city hidden
*Kemper will be leaving the event early, per Wilbur to support his own volunteer(s):

Looks like an hour and half drive from Louisville. Sure would be a good place and time for Kentuckians who stand with unions to show up with signs that denounce this endorsement. Hint, hint:
View Larger Map
Hopefully for Williams, Thursday's fundraiser will get more than the 12 hoped for at today's. Per the Tea Party of Boone County, Thursday's will be at the Metropolitan Club, located at 50 East River Center Blvd, 19th Floor, Covington, Kentucky and will be from 12:00pm -1:00pm. The cost is $1,000 (Co-sponsor level), $500 (Sponsor level) or $250 (patron). Email if you have a spare $250, and can fit a couple spare pies under your shirt.

September 13, 2011

Talkin' on the Tar Sands tonight in Louisville

I'll be joining Drew Foley tonight at 6:30 PM at Crescent Center in Crescent Hill to discuss the Tar Sands Action at Green Convene.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a recap of the Tar Sands Action:

Open K&I Bridge

Go to Facebook right now and like this: Open K&I Bridge

Shawn Reilly set it up and I think it's a great idea. If nothing else they could have mini-van shuttles with professional drivers delivering people from midtown New Albany directly to downtown Louisville.

September 12, 2011

Sherman Minton closure: my take so far

If you haven't already, check out Saturday's Mayor's Newsroom on how to cope with the Sherman Minton closure: Officials Announce Transportation Plan for Sherman Minton Bridge.

Basically moving lanes around, sounds like an okay plan. Although I noticed 1,000's of cars at 6:00 PM tonight that wanted to go Southbound on the GRC Bridge (from Indiana) and since there was only one lane to do that, they were stuck and backed up to Eastern Parkway. (Tweek that!)

As an afterthought o the plan, this line appeared at the end:
"In addition, officials from the Transit Authority of River City are working with the two states to develop plans to use public transit to move people by buses across the river."

I'm very disappointed that Mayor Fischer chose to focus on how to get more vehicles across our remaining bridges than getting humans across them. Why wasn't an off-site parking lot designated in Clarksville over the weekend, with express shuttle service ready to go by Monday morning? I would think the River Falls Mall would be a nice place for this.

As Greg has over 5,000 employees, and a healthy $500+ million budget, I am utterly flummoxed why he can't react to problems faster.

And in case Greg doesn't read my blog, I mean, he never comments, I put this perspective on his Facebook wall too.

When I'm mayor, if I pull one of these "wait and see" approaches to managing the city's public safety, I would hope that the good people of Kentucky would get the legislature to recall me.

September 9, 2011

Sherman Minton closed indefinitely

Governor Daniels has closed the Sherman Minton Bridge indefinitely due to structural integrity issues. I saw it first on WAVE 3.

No word yet on whether Mayor Fischer has contacted Barry with TARC to ensure expanded lines to Indiana.... Surely he won't wait until Chaos Monday. Greg: Be pro-active.

September 7, 2011

Upcoming Preservation Kentucky meeting

Got this email today about a planning meeting for Preservation Kentucky:
"Preservation Kentucky requests your presence at our Final Regional Planning Meeting

Frankfort, KY (August 29,2011): Please join Preservation Kentucky, the Commonwealth's statewide historic preservation nonprofit organization, at a preservation planning session in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the historic Peterson-Dumesnil house, located at 301 South Peterson Avenue in Louisville. Directions and more information on the house can be found at: Light refreshments will be provided.
PK will discuss potential preservation funding sources, preservation legislative opportunities, and ask for feedback that will help guide Preservation Kentucky’s action plan for moving preservation forward in the Commonwealth.

For more information contact: Rachel Kennedy at (502) 871-4570, or Amy Potts, amy@preservationkentucky.orh"
If you're interested in preservation, just show up! The preservation community is always looking for fresh faces and new energy!

September 6, 2011

Guest Ed in today's CJ on Tar Sands Action

The guest editorial Tyler Hess and I co-wrote regarding the Albertan Tar Sands appears in this morning's Louisville Courier Journal.

I'm traveling and probably won't be updating this week. Be safe! Peace!

September 3, 2011

Last day of Tar Sands Action: the Bill McKibben email

After 1,252 arrests, this particular Tar Sands Action is over, but the fight has just begun. October 7 is the next one, although details have yet to be released.

Of all the arrests, the one that should catch most people's attention is of course not mine, or any of the other celebrities (chuckle), but the arrest of NASA climate scientist James Henson:
Photo by Mohawk activist Ben Powless

Here's the email Bill sent out today:
This is only the beginning

I’m sitting in the rain in Lafayette Square Park, typing while I listen to the chants behind me. There are 243 people sitting, soaked, in front of the White House, including an 86-year-old man from Sarasota Florida wearing a sign that says “World War II Vet, Handle With Care.” This is the last day of Phase 1 of this campaign—we’ve now done three important things:

1— Successfully, thanks to you, carried off the biggest civil disobedience campaign about anything this century. It’s been calm, peaceful, dignified, powerful, beautiful. Unofficial final count: 1,252 arrested. (If you didn’t make it, no worries—I fear there will be more opportunities ahead)

2— Made the tar sands pipeline the focal point of environmentalists around the country, the biggest flashpoint we’ve had in decades.

3— Put the president on the spot. Everyone is well aware now that he, and he alone, can make this call.

That doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that we’ve won. We’ve changed the odds—but as the president’s baffling and heartless decision on ozone regulations yesterday made clear, the odds are still in big oil’s favor.

Which means, on to phase 2. Extensive details will follow within 48 hours—suffice it to say, no rest for the weary, we have an extensive battle plan for the next six weeks. We need you more than we ever did, to capitalize on the momentum we’ve built together. To be in the loop on the details, sign up here:

Job one is to get everyone you know hooked in to this electronic network. Send them this email, so that they will sign up at We’re making this up from scratch, but so far it’s working. Please please please push it along.

And as your reward: a gallery of some of the thousands and thousands of great images from the two weeks just past: Let them fire folks up for what comes next!

With great respect,

-Bill McKibben

September 2, 2011

Metro Council releases instructional video on how to remove Judy Green

A few Metro Council members have put together a video to talk about how unique they think their districts are, AND of course, how they're going to remove Metro Councilwoman Judy Green. Because that's not awkward at all.

Councilwoman Marianne Butler (District 15), Stuart Benson (District 20), Sherry Bryant Hamilton (District 5), and Kelly Downard (District 16) all star in the video. But it is Downard who explains the Councilperson removal process.

The Get Smart music was a little over the top, but the video is educational. Just strange, that's all.
"...I think the community will be pleased with the process. I'm not knowing if they'll be pleased with the result..."- Kelly Downard

Oh, and if gambling were legal, I was curious who my local Louisville readers believe will be removed first, Muammar Gaddafi or Councilwoman Green?

Extracting oil from Albertan Tar Sands will take 18 nuclear power plants

So not only is the Keystone XL, Tar Sands pipeline as fuse to a carbon bomb that would mean "game over" for our climate, and a certain threat to clean water in the Midwestern United States, but there's another sinister detail not discussed much...

To power the Tar Sands operation, will take 18 nuclear power plants.

Oh, and also, our good friend Canada will probably be cutting the U.S. off from the natural gas it is currently supplying because they'll need their domestic supply for the operation.

This is per a June 2007 M.I.T. report I've uploaded to google docs: Integration of Nuclear Energy with Oil Sands Projects For Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Natural Gas Consumption

The report is courtesy Roger Fox with DK GreenRoots:
Tar Sands expose, how 7 pipelines and nuclear power fit into the overall strategy.

But here's a #funfact, I found the link to Fox by following what may be the green department of the group Anonymous on Twitter. Yep. They're here:

Another #funfact, TransCanada Corporation's server is currently located in Florida, but if the Keytstone XL pipeline is approved, they'll likely need to move it so it won't be underwater:
Oh let's have fun, specifically, their three servers are hosted by TERRENAP DATA CENTERS, that are located in this pretty building.

Damn, these guys always have the best music, too:

September 1, 2011

Did Deepwater Horizon spring a new leak?

A couple days ago, founder and pilot Dr. Bonny Schumaker flew over the Gulf of Mexico near the Louisiana coast looking for signs of life, but what she found instead, was oil, and lots of it. As BP continues it's Pollyanna-"It's all good..."-PR campaign, and the network news is caught up in the latest cute cat in a tree, join me in watching this 11 minute video, while contemplating the the benefits and costs of our country's addition to oil:

Video compliments of On Wings of Care: Oil Sharks, Doilphins, and Sea Toitles -- Enough is Enough!

It appears BP may have known about this latest leak since August 13 as they hired a bunch of ships to conduct a boom-laying mission that weekend. New leak near Deepwater Horizon site quickly becoming a massive oil slick

How long before Anderson Cooper gets there? I'll take the liberty of tweeting him.

UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, 11:54 PM:
Looks like this oil belongs to BP. How many days before this story hits mainstream media? Maybe BP will have time to hide it, like under a couch or something. Not.
CONFIRMED: Oil bubbling up above Macondo well is chemical match to BP’s crude, says NOAA’s Ed Overton (PHOTOS)