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January 31, 2012

Switching tracks.

On January 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm, I withdrew my candidacy for Louisville Metro Council. With 3 other candidates on the ballot, voters have choices. I believe we deserve choice in who we send to Frankfort, too.

So at 4 PM, I was in Frankfort at the Secretary of State's office, filing to be a candidate in the Democratic Primary for State Senator District 35. (Secretary of State)
Also, Dan Johnson did file for the 37th. He was leaving as I arrived.

January 30, 2012

Permit possible for Occupy Louisville

It looks like IPL Director Jim Mims is presenting the city's change of heart to the media, before presenting it to Occupy Louisville directly. 

The 1% support their minions

Councilman Jim King has joined in my call for defunding Greater Louisville, Inc., albeit a month after he and the Council voted unanimously to fund them $500,000. Mayor Fischer went along with it, even though all "sky is falling"-stuff he talks about now, we knew then.

Would this defunding talk lead GLI to work on their image? Certainly. I've seen more about those scholarships they're giving to African American high school students in last few days than I have in last few years.

But alas, they're still in the business of connecting the rich and powerful together with our without our tax dollars, so they're going to slip up.
Like this tweet:

@GLIchamber: GLI welcomes new member Harmony Landing Country Club! http://t.co/SMj7utNX

Original Message:
http://twitter.com/GLIchamber/status/162995810705997824

Sent from HootSuite for iPhone
http://ow.ly/7trFE

January 28, 2012

Dan Johnson considering 37th Senate

Shortly before 11 pm Friday evening Louisville's 21st District Metro Councilman Dan Johnson who is a Democrat, let his Facebook friends know that he's considering filing for Senator Perry Clark's vacated 37th District Senate seat. Redirecting moved Clark into the 35th with Denise Harper Angel (And a couple dozen other Democrats who would make great state legislators.)

I was recently impressed with Johnson for introducing a resolution for the Louisville Metro Council to let Congress know that we want the re-instatement of the Glass-Steagall Act through HR 1489. Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999, but only in the last year has it become crystal clear that bankers and gamblers shouldn't be doing business with one another. This is just one of the issues Occupy Louisville, and Occupy Wall Street, are all about.

Chris Thieneman, a Republican and former mayoral candidate who successfully led the charge against a proposed library tax a few years ago, filed for the Republican primary for that seat earlier this week. (http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120125/NEWS01/301250081/Chris-Thieneman-state-senate-filing)

Public Works eliminating 16 parking spaces from Deer Park neighborhood

The house fire on the 1800 block of Stevens Avenue last November may be extinguished (LC: Wednesday before Thanksgiving), but a spark from that fire may have lit another.

Seven people rescued from the fire, many with help from neighbors Randall and Gaia Bohannon before Louisville Fire and Rescue arrived, were taken to the hospital. One victim, Benjamin Rau, 88, died two weeks later.

Mistakes may have been made.

"No trucks" sign on 1900 block of Steven's Av
On their way to the fire, Louisville Fire and Rescue chose to ignore the posted "no trucks" sign on Stevens, thus scraping the right front corner of an unoccupied car parked on the corner of Stevens and Fernwood.

At least some of the ambulances responding to the fire that morning were perhaps overly intimidated by the "no trucks" sign, choosing instead to park in the Gate's Automotive parking lot, and wheeling victims of the fire an entire block.

The delay Louisville Fire and Rescue experienced by scraping the car or by the ambulances parking a block from the scene is unknown.

Also unknown, is why emergency vehicle drivers did not take advantage of access to the 1800 block where the fire was located directly from Norris Place.

While emergency vehicles they would have needed to travel down a way down a one way street for a few hundred feet, it was about 6 AM. There likely was no traffic.

No one would ever find fault with the route chosen by the driver of an emergency vehicle. Emergency responders must choose routes quickly, under unimaginable stress.

But in what happens next, this author sides with the Deer Park neighborhood.

On January 11, 2012, Ashley T. Sells, a Traffic Engineer with the Department of Public Works, sent a letter only to the 10-12 homes closest to the intersection Fernwood Avenue and Stevens Avenue. The letter starts:
"This mailing is being sent to inform you of a parking change on Stevens Avenue."

'Barefoot Campaign' targeting Frankfort

On February 7, University of Louisville students and their sympathizers will be headed to Frankfort. Only barefoot.
The Barefoot Campaign is described on signs around campus as a rally for higher education that characterizes Governor Beshear's proposed cuts to education as "Kentucky's attempts to fulfill its own stereotypes."
Registration is at http://UofLSGA.org/Register
I'm hoping someone checked to see if admission into the Capitol is permissible barefoot...Where's Tyler Hess? He would know.

Nuttall house: River Field's latest weapon

See today's CJ? River Fields is trying to use additional properties, like the Nuttall House, to hold up the East End bridge. (New ruling sought on historic...)
The Nuttall house formerly belonged to, that's right, a Brown. Someone get the Pope involved because surely that alone makes it sacred.
I told you they were going to try that in August. Shouldn't I get donuts for predicting future and stuff? Cream-filled with chocolate icing, please.
http://louisvillecourant.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-river-fields-going-to-ask-for-more.html

January 27, 2012

Reader threatens to jaywalk

To the 'educated' reader who recognizes my role in promoting the idea to de-fund GLI:
1) thank you. 
2) It's going to be okay, really. Please don't put yourself in harm's way. 
{virtual hug}

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "GLI Joe Reagan's salary revealed: $369,268":

An overwhelming number of companies and educated jobs have been brought to this city thanks to GLI and Joe Reagan. UPS, Humana, and most every other large employer in this city is a partner with GLI...but perhaps they should be spending their time with you instead in all of your wisdom. The largest tax payers in this city support GLI. Our average education level is a joke and our unemployment is partially a reflection of that. Defunding GLI will only increase unemployment and shift funding from job creators to the inefficient government. The day that our economic development efforts are driven by polls of the uneducated and the "will of [our mediocre] public" is the day that I step into oncoming traffic...or better yet, move.

Posted by Anonymous to Louisville Courant at January 27, 2012 8:12 PM

January 26, 2012

'Holding the line' on deficit spending

Republican candidate for Louisville Metro Council District 19 Marilyn Parker wants to "hold the line on deficit spending that ultimately hurts the private sector."
Putting aside my lack of compassion for the oppressed billionaires of the private sector, I'm going to be mean here and point out that the city of Louisville doesn't do 'deficit spending.'
Also, the "limited government" Parker's proposing on the local level would mean decreased city services. The courage to ask for change isn't enough. Which city services does she want to cut?
I commend Parker for her interest in transparency and ethics, though.
Parker is challenging the incumbent Councilman Jon Ackerson as well as the first candidate to file, Teague Ridge.
So far, District 14 is the only other council seat with a 3-way race in the Republican primary.

Southern Indiana legislators betray union workers

Below is an email I received tonight from John Sodrel indicating the fate of Indiana's unions lies in (gulp) Governor Mitch Daniel's hands.

"See link below to find out how your representative voted. It has now passed in both chambers and will likely become law in Indiana.
The two people (Representative Ed Clere and Senator Ron Grooms) representing me in Indiana's legislature are Republicans and, not surprisingly, voted for "right to work." Here is the message I sent them today:
     'VERY disappointed (but not surprised) with your vote on the so-called right to work bill. Why do Republicans ALWAYS side with big business at the expense of average workers?
     There's not one shred of evidence this bill will help Indiana's economy, but there's plenty of evidence it will depress wages. In a nutshell, it's a crummy deal for hard-working Hoosiers....'
...

January 25, 2012

Another victim of redistricting releases statement

My friend Shawn Reilly, who was hoping to run in the upcoming primary to represent his 19th District found out last Friday that the 19th District moved, without him. His statement, with very helpful maps of where Louisville's senate districts are now located (provided by Reilly), are below:
It is with great regret that I must inform you that I will not be a candidate for the State Senate in the 19th District.

January 24, 2012

Police raid Occupy Lexington

After 118 days of continued protest on the corner of Main St and Esplanade, Lexington, Kentucky police, under the supervision of Mayor Jim Gray, came by Tuesday between 12:30-1 PM and confiscated occupiers' tents and canopies.

Kentucky House Distraction #2 = Miss America

This legislative body is so desperate to take our minds off their performance, first they offer a penguin, now Miss America.

Frankfort General Assembly = ZOO

For reasons I'm not really sure about, there's a penguin lobbying on the house floor seven minutes after this General Assembly was scheduled to convene.

01.24.2012 Update A few minutes later we learned that the African penguin's name was Paula, and she was there because the House was voting on a resolution (HB96) of appreciation for Newport Aquarium. Another image: http://ow.ly/i/qAOd

January 22, 2012

Senator Greg Fischer?

The hosting of the domain FISCHERFORSENATE.COM was all set to expire with Godaddy.com nine days ago. But alas, that didn't happen.

The hosting of the domain was renewed by Iceburg Ventures, at Greg's home address, for one year.

I can think of lots of reasons why someone just wasted $9.99, but this is the one I've written on already today: LC: Fischer supporter: '...let the truth guide him...'

 

Fischer supporter: '...let the truth guide him...'

I swear. I'm about more than holding Mayor Greg Fischer accountable. My big vision for Louisville can be summed up in one sentence: I want us to have inclusive and transparent local government, aimed at being the most environmentally conscious and socially responsible city we can be.

But as my Metro Council campaign moves along, I'm getting press mostly for my efforts with transparency and accountability. (WFPL) (Courier-Journal) So I'm going to do a quick recap of where all this stands, and then not think about it for days.

One of Mayor Greg Fischer's most-enthusiastic supporters, activist Harold Trainer, offered up some advice for the mayor in a WFPL comment this morning:


While I agree with Harold, Greg should "let the truth guide him completely," I don't think Harold understands the scope and risks for his friend to follow that advice. Rather than the matter going away,
the consequences that could follow 'the truth' may be much dire, indeed. Let me explain...

CJ misrepresents union support of Keystone

Dear Courier-Journal,

It was distressing to read your article "Pipeline Issue will not go away." (http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012301220026)

January 20, 2012

Mayor Fischer slammed on sustainability

Here's what Jackie Green has to say today:

"The Mayor's Office of Sustainability 
by Jackie Green, former mayoral candidate
20 January 2012

Sour Grapes
Late 2010 it was erroneously believed that I had traded a mayoral endorsement for the directorship of the Office of Sustainability.  Hear clearly.  I have no interest in serving this Office of Sustainability.  To begin with, I have my hands full shepherding three bicycle shops through yet another year of recession.  But more to the point,  I long have maintained that Louisville cannot recruit a Director of Sustainability currently serving in another city because they, like me, want nothing to do with Louisville's current land use, transportation and energy policies.  The following critique is not of the Director of Sustainability, but rather it is a critique of the office, the structure, the priorities, scope, authority and resources of the Office of Sustainability as determined by the mayor.  It is also a critique of the mayor's selection criterion for the directorship.  The mayor's selection criterion informs what the mayor expects from the office.  The selection should leverage leadership-by-example.  The Director of Sustainability should be held to a higher standard than most people in the private sector.  It is analogous to expecting members of Louisville Metro Police Department not to drive drunk.   Again, the following critique is not of the Director of Sustainability, but of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability and his choices relative to the office.  

Louisville's Occupy the Courts a huge success

Former mayoral candidate Tyler Allen was in attendance, as were over a hundred of my closest friends!

January 18, 2012

Rand Paul is right about something

Senator Rand Paul is on the right side of history by pledging to filibuster PIPA and SOPA. Republican or Democrat, we owe him thanks and our support for him standing up for constitutionally protections on due process.

Piracy is wrong, but it can be policed without actually creating a police state.

Jeffersontown- Thursday night- treehugger alert!

FLOYDS FORK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION 

Cordially invites you to attend and hear:

 

Arthur "Art" Williams, Attorney

Director Kentucky Conservation Committee

 

"Legislative Update"

 

on

An opportunity to learn about proposed environmental laws that will be proposed in the 2012 Legislature/General Assembly on

 

 

January 19 (Thursday), 2012

 

Social Time:   6:30PM - 7PM(snacks & refreshments)

7:00PM announcements

*7:10PM Presentation in Building at Floyds Fork Park *

 

Directions: Behind Shell Gas Station at 14305 Taylorsville Road ,

 

Turn Right (from Lou./J-town) onto South Pope Lick Road to park and parking lot

 

 

FFEA Mission : Protect, preserve and conserve Floyds Fork Creek and its watershed.

 

To join FFEA or for other information, contact Co-President Teena Halbig teenahal@aol.comor 267-6883www.floydsfork.net

 & facebook

 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Floyds-Fork-Environmental-Association/259755579497

KFTC tearin' up Frankfort today

It's a good time to be a Kentucky activist. Events:

Have you RSVP'd to these events for Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Saturday?
When: 8 am, Wednesday, January 20
Where:  Frankfort, but carpool departs at 8am from KFTC Office,  901 Franklin St. Louisville, KY 40206 (Corner of Franklin and Campbell Sts.)
What: KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day
Join us for our Economic Justice Lobby Day to tell the legislators: "Kentuckians deserve good schools, college affordability, and safe and healthy communities. The revenue is up to you!"
I'm going & there's room in my car for 4 others, just show up & it will work out, or text at me, 502-403-9498.


January 16, 2012

MoveOn uses 99% term like they're Occupying or something

In a mass email MoveOn.org just sent out, they used the term 99%,  not once or twice, but six times, without even mentioning the Occupy movement that coined the term in modern dialogue.

To make matters more confusing, across the country this week, Occupy movements across the country are planning "Occupy the Courts"-events for Friday, January 20th's anniversary of the Citizen's United decision. So MoveOn is planning their events on Thursday.

U of L Hospital headed away from coal, toward natural gas

In the realization of a plan that was originally laid out in 2010 (Agreed Board Order pdf), our downtown hospital complex is headed one step closer to gas from coal.

But, is this the right direction toward sustainability?

January 14, 2012

Congressman Yarmuth receives Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Occupy Award

Louisville's own Congressman John Yarmuth is doing his part to remedy how Citizen's United has screwed up our country's democracy. In the bill he's co-sponsoring, "financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment."

The bill also will enable Congress to establish a public financing system to serve as the sole source of funding for federal elections. (Yarmuth Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Get Money Out of Politics)

Today, Occupy Louisville participant David Barfield presented the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Occupy Award to Yarmuth. 




January 12, 2012

Preservation Kentucky license plate, neat-o!


Fischer launches c̶l̶a̶n̶d̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶v̶a̶t̶i̶z̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶s̶c̶h̶e̶m̶e̶ Task Force

BREAKING! From Metro Newsroom: Fischer names Utility and Public Works Task Force

Wendell Wright was appointed by Jerry back in the day.

Joe Wise is a good guy so I'm told.

Pete Mahurin wrote $30 million in bonds for Yum! center. He’s no doubt going to be a key player in the c̶l̶a̶n̶d̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶v̶a̶t̶i̶z̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶s̶c̶h̶e̶m̶e̶ group to explore merger options.

So who is this “national consultant with experience in utility management and operations,” and how bright is the red flag that they already know who it is, but aren’t disclosing it?

Let me save everyone time, there's no value in consolidating these two entities unless we're preparing to sell them. Greg's experience at bCatylist wasn't in creating jobs, people. It was doing screwed up mergers and acquisitions that made his friends rich. Like this one will.

I have class in 4 minutes. No photo for you. Errrr.

James Mimms time sheets kinda funny

Everyone keeps saying how wonderful Mayor Fischer has been in his attempts to evict Occupy Louisville. You may have noticed I have not. Because, um, he's trying to evict the occupation, people.

Anyway, before Christmas, circumstantial evidence and my own intuition, suggested the mayor's office tried something real sneaky and so I tried to catch them.

See, IPL Director James Mims had meetings with Occupy Louisville participants on December 22 and December 22, 2011, and told us he'd get us the rejection of the permit quickly so we could appeal it, then Mims skipped out on vacation before he provided what he said he would provide.

This could have given a legal opportunity for Mayor Fischer to evict Occupy Louisville without threat of media oversight, had our attorney Chris Harrell valiantly filed a legal complaint anyway, without the rejection. For more info on all that, see: open records request from Friday

So now the open records request is back, what do we know now? Metro Louisville could find no records of communication regarding Mimms vacation, except on his own time sheets for the two weeks in question, and here they are:

Mayor Fischer's "Sky is falling"-address at 12:30 PM

I'm hopeful, because he's a Democrat, he'll be offering up courageous solutions that don't place the budget shortfall's burden solely on our least fortunate. Let's find out at 12:30 PM:

Warning: Don't go early, or you'll see overpaid hospital executives making pitches for privatizing our public hospital. And it hurts the ears.

Economic Justice Lobby Day in Frankfort next Wednesday

Editor's note: This was mostly a copy/pasted mass email which I agree with 100%.

KFTC is inviting Kentuckians to join us at the Economic Justice Lobby Day on January 18 to tell the legislators: "Kentuckians deserve good schools, affordable college degrees, and healthy communities. The revenue is up to you!" RSVP on Facebook: here.

Kentuckians deserve a good quality of life, and right now, today, we have common sense solutions that would make it possible to invest in smaller class sizes, college affordability, public health and safety, and better protections for our water and air. But a broken tax and revenue system is standing in our way.

January 11, 2012

Mayor Fischer appoints another campaign contributor

Metro Newsroom: Maria Koetter Named New Director of Sustainability

Would I have preferred he appointed someone who doesn't boast about working for Shell Oil and Halliburton Energy Services, a couple of the most disgusting corporations on planet Earth? Yes.

January 10, 2012

Tom Owen is alarmed, dismayed by first world problem

Is this really happening?
News Release from Majority Caucus: Councilman Owen dismayed by garbage collection changes of Metro Public Works in the last two weeks 
The Ville Voice: Deeper Look At Tom Owen’s Garbage Remarks
WHAS 11: NEWS RELEASE: Councilman Owen dismayed by garbage collection changes of Metro Public Works in the last two weeks
WFPL: Owen Alarmed by City Changes to Garbage Collection
Tom Owen, Greg Fischer, and Bill Burbank. Random: I've sold properties belonging to Owen and one belonging to Burbank.

Councilman Tom Owen is “alarmed” and "dismayed" by Mayor Fischer changing the garbage day.

To be specific, he's upset that a bunch of white people won't get their garbage picked up the week of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Not only does the Highlands have a large percentage of Monday pickups, which will be skipped, but it's a district, embarrassingly, with one of the lowest percentage of African American residents. I think we need to live with this little inconvenience, but Tom is picking now to disagree with the Mayor, which is interesting...

January 7, 2012

It's Friday night! =Open Records Request!!

I have struggled to understand whether Chris Poynter is trying to keep Mayor Greg Fischer's administration as secretive as possible to protect him, or whether Mayor Greg Fischer just prefers privacy over transparency. Someday, one of them will write a book from prison and we'll find out.

In the meantime, if one wants to find out a simple detail about city government, like whether the mayor manipulatively ordered IPL Director Jim Mims to go on vacation for the opportunity to evict Occupy Louisville, this is what one must do to find out. File an open records request, and then file a second open records request. I've pasted below the entire request I just sent in. Just realized I addressed it to "Dee" instead of Ms. Dee Allen. I meant no disrespect by that, just missed it on my proof read. I'll be sure to keep readers in the loop on the outcome of this second attempt

January 6, 2012

look for bicycles and avoid them

I'm probably not the only cyclist in Louisville who has frequent thoughts while cycling, of my own mortality. 
Daring to cycle in a city where motorist believe they get points for hitting targets on two wheels, probably a factor. 
One cyclist Facebook friend of mine, Andrew Kang Bartlett, took the time to articulate what he would want his legacy to be in the event of his demise as a projectile. I thought it was profound and worthy:

January 5, 2012

Occupy Louisville may be 'well suited' for federal court anyway

Our Occupy Louisville attorney got news Wednesday night that our complaint for an injunction, which could have allowed the renewal of the tent permit, will not be heard this Friday after all.

Judge Chauvin
The city explained how the Jefferson County Attorney thought the case should be heard in federal court instead, because it's about the First Amendment. So now we wait, until we are assigned a hearing date with a federal judge.

It's important not to forget that what initiated this crisis is Mayor Greg Fischer's wishes to effectively evict the protest via the forcible removal of tents, and possible arrests of those who resist to surrender them.

Because this is about Mayor Fischer's wishes, a hearing before Judge Arch Cox McKay Chauvin, who was originally set to hear the case Friday, might not have been ideal for us. Not at all. Here's why:

Jefferson County KFTC Chapter invites Occupy Louisville to lobby training

People who feel a little uncomfortable doing one kind of activism, are often more comfortable doing another. Winning the hearts and minds of legislators, one at a time, is decidedly different than protesting/occupying public space. But it's still hard work to accomplish the same kind of goals, and it can be empowering.

Mayor Fischer: "These are silly questions"

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer got some sobering advice from the Courier-Journal Wednesday, which I may or may not had framed for my mantel. In summary:
"There can be Tommy Elliotts in campaigns, but not in governing."- (CJ: Editorial | One job too many)
Only hours after getting hit with that advice, Fischer was in the hot seat explaining on air to WFPL's Phillip M. Bailey, how he was not influenced by the contributions he solicited from Insight. Fischer explained how his toughness in dealing with Insight was proof enough that he's not done anything wrong. (audio to full interview)

January 4, 2012

Say who you are, new people trying to delist Drumanard

Did you see where Denis Frankenberger has managed to get his petition to delist the Drumanard in the Chicago Tribune? Developer wants Louisville area estate removed from National Register of Historic Places

As the comm-dude for Say No to Bridge Tolls, the group who submitted the last petition that didn't get coverage in Chicago, or hardly anywhere, except well here, I'm impressed. (October of 2010).

However, Frankenberger's little website, http://www.eastendbridgeconspiracy.com/ needs some fixing.

Republic Building co-owner admits no harm from Occupy Louisville

I accidentally scrolled through the comments of the Courier-Journal story on Occupy Louisville, Occupy Louisville stands ground amid wintry weather, to see my friend and former co-worker, Gant Hill,  asking some questions about Occupy Louisville that are getting old after 3 months.

But he's redeemed himself with this:
"It does not hurt our property having the tents across from the Republic Building."- Gant Hill

January 3, 2012

LOLOLOL.

Doing research on story for Friday and came across these campaign contributions to former Councilwoman Judy Green for first time. They made me giggle.

Who knew Greg Fischer's father and his sister took such a big interest in the outcome of the last 1st District Metro Council election? They must have an eye for potential, eh?


January 1, 2012

Mims speaks on Occupy Louisville Sunday

Hess, debriefing after phone call with Mims.
James Mims the Director of Louisville's Inspections, Licensing and Permits (IPL), returned the call of Occupy Louisville supporter Tyler Hess, this afternoon. Hess is a UK student and writes at revolutionbytruth and also for the Kentucky Kernel.

Hess had emailed Mims a couple weeks back after hearing of IPL's plan to deny the renewal of Occupy Louisville's tent permit.