Monday, December 29, 2008

ABRAMSONS TOP TEN: PATHETIC

As usual the Courier did their annual fluff piece trying to paint the Mayor in a good light with his top ten achievements of 2008. Mayor Abramson's Top 10 for 2008 courier-journal The Courier-Journal . Sometimes it really is just too comical to read.

For more check out Rick Redding's take at www.thevillevoice.com.

Let's break the top ten down:

1. New cars and trucks

Ford announced that it would invest at least $200 million to re-tool the Louisville Assembly Plant to build a new fuel-efficient car for the American market. Ford also announced it would move production of the Navigator and Expedition to the Kentucky Truck Plant.

This is laughable at best. Abramson had nothing whatsoever to do with this. As a matter of fact since 2006 he has ignored Ford until he could not afford to any longer. He ignored them with their concerns in regards to STAR in 2006, ignored them for 8 months when they announced their Way Forward plan in January of 2006, and had to beg for a meeting at least twice in the last 2 years. Pathetic example once again.

2. Overcoming adversity

The city hosted 1,200 evacuees from Hurricane Ike and, weeks later, a major windstorm knocked out power to more than 300,000 LG&E customers for days. A major
economic downturn also required more than $30 million city budget cuts over two fiscal years – $13 million in early 2008 and $20 million in late 2008.

Seriously? Hurricane Ike gave Louisville something we had not faced before. I love referencing the 300,000 without power but neglecting to mention LG&E is trying to MAKE US reimburse them through higher fees. Nuff said.

3. A sports city

Louisville’s reputation as a sports center continued to grow, after hosting the 2008 Ryder Cup, viewed by 600 million people worldwide. The city also hosted its second Ford Ironman Competition and landed the Breeders Cup for a return engagement at Churchill Downs in 2010.

A sports City? This may well be the last time the Breeders Cup comes to Louisville thanks to some problems with CD ownership. We are on the hook for an arena NONE can afford. We are hemorrhaging good paying jobs out of the City in lieu of low wage service economy jobs.
Who will be able to afford the price of admission? Not many yet we will all pay through taxes for the dismal future we are headed towards.

4. Best in America

Louisville won several national accolades, including:

America’s Most Livable Large City, U.S. Conference of Mayors
One of America’s Most Improved Cities for Cycling, Bicycling Magazine
One of America’s Best Towns, Outside Magazine
America’s Best Tasting Water, American Water Works Association

There isn't enough room here for my rant on this. Check this out for more: Louisville News and Politics: LOUISVILLE #1? Remember Abramson essentially owns the Conference of Mayors.

5.Downtown growth

Construction began on the new $238 million downtown arena, and the city completed the deal to expand Fourth Street Live with the Center City project. Downtown’s newest high-rise, Zirmed Gateway Towers, started construction.West Main Street was named one of America’s 10 Greatest Streets by the American Planning Association.

The arena will bankrupt the City. Well that and MSD of course. Center City is a project that is unnecessary and possibly illegal as I have asked for an AG ruling on the legality of it. Oh and the Metro Council did too later. Louisville News and Politics: SHAME ON THE COUNCIL

6. Improving the environment

The city launched its Go Green Louisville initiative that includes the first green roof on a city-owned building, at the Metro Development Center, and the Kilowatt Crackdown to lower energy use in 230 buildings, including schools.Mayor Abramson switched to a Ford Escape hybrid for his work vehicle.By the close of 2008, the number of ENERGY STAR buildings doubled, from 5 to 10.

Interesting to try to use Ford Escape as a great example of going green. Abramson was called to task by local Ford employees for not supporting Ford and this is his payback to act like he cares. Pathetic display.

7. Creating new parks

The City of Parks initiative reached another major milestone – the opening of the first 25 miles of the 100-mile Louisville Loop.The city also purchased land in the Floyds Fork area for the greenway parks project, including a 98-acre walnut farm.

Another example of continual spending at a time when he says we are "broke."

The following are pictures from April 2008 depicting City problems with property in District 14.

While Mayor Abramson was bragging about the Louisville Loop, and one of his favorite rubberstamp Council members Bob Henderson was bragging about cleaning up District 14, this is what the residents had to look at on their part of the Louisville Loop. Building is one thing maintaining is another.






8. Improving public safety

The city invested in equipment and buildings to improve public safety including:

Twelve new communication towers were built or upgraded for the MetroSafe radio communications system, which will open in summer 2009.



Two new firehouses, one in Butchertown/Clifton and one in Portland, are under construction as part of the city’s 21st Century Fire plan. They will open in early 2009.



All of the city’s EMS vehicles have been equipped with handheld computers, called ePCRs, which record and disseminate patient information to hospitals in real time so doctors can begin treatment as soon as the patient arrives.



This would be laughable if it weren't totally necessary to emergency communications. Anyone care to guess or ask the question why it has taken so long to accomplish? Merger began in 2002 shouldn't this have been done years ago? Oh wait in 2006 myself and Kelly Downard, as Mayoral candidates, told Abramson it should be a priority and yet it still isn't accomplished. Perhaps it has to do with the funding problems by his administration. Yep.

Additionally, he has made a mockery of his public safety "improvements" of late with his stance on take home cars, furloughing emergency service personnel (of course saving ZERO dollars since the ones working will be on OT), his wasted money LOSING 8 different lawsuits against the firefighters, and the list grows daily. Buildings and equipment do not run themselves. Without people they are just buildings. He needs to remember that.



9. More visitors



The FFA Convention announced it would return to Louisville, starting in 2013. The convention, one of the largest in the nation, attracts 55,000 people and has an economic impact of $40 million.Tourism in Louisville had $1.4 billion in economic impact in 2008.



Good to see this but they should never have been allowed to leave. We had the chance to keep them and bumbled it. In the meantime this is one more example of relying on tourism dollars for local economy. This would be great if it brought in extra money but how much are we losing forcing jobs out that provide for us daily.



10. Better students



The city, in partnership with Greater Louisville Inc. and Jefferson County Public Schools, achieved its plan to raise $8 million to improve reading scores with the Every 1 Reads initiative.The city also reached its goal of 10,000 volunteers to read to students in their classrooms. When the initiative began, 18 percent of students – nearly one in five — were not reading at their grade level. That percentage has been cut by more than half. The city and school system also hosted a Dropout Summit to lay plans for reducing the high school dropout rate in Louisville.



And it only took roughly 20 years of his administration to address this growing problem. Funnily enough we will educate our kids then send them outside the City for good employment. Where has his interest been the last 20 years?



Really folks if this is the best he has got then we are in worse trouble then many of us even thought.



Continue the spin CJ. We are used to it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

CITY GIVING AWAY LAND: PART 2

As many of you know I have made it a mission to expose the fallacies of the Mayor and his way of doing business in Louisville that costs us all. One of those was an article I did here: Louisville News and Politics: City giving away land?.

Additionally further research reveals much more than we realized. In October at the Metro Council meeting lo and behold the City agreed to give up approximately 116 acres to MSD for FREE! Now they will say most is unusable land and very well may be but it does bring up some very interesting questions.

The Jefferson County PVA office has those 28 parcels on the tax rolls at approx. $1 Million.

With a budget shortfall, why would we give away $1 million dollars in land for no money? Taxable land at that?

Details:R-160-09-08 - A RESOLUTION DETERMINING THAT IT IS IN METRO GOVERNMENT’S BEST INTEREST TO TRANSFER TWENTY-EIGHT (28) PARCELS OF REAL PROPERTY LOCATED THROUGHOUT METRO AND SET OUT IN EXHIBIT A ATTACHED HERETO TO LOUISVILLE AND JEFFERSON COUNTY METROPOLITAN SEWER DISTRICT (“MSD”) AND AUTHORIZING THAT TRANSFER. - Source: Metro Council Meeting, Oct. 9, 2008 - http://agendas.louisvilleky.gov/SIREPub/agdocs.aspx?doctype=agenda&itemid=12258

Interesting to note that the land went to MSD as we all know is a major problem waiting to happen.

Think of it this way.

No offering of this land to the public.

No competitive bidding.

No notice to the public.

Just a mayoral edict and giveaway. For FREE!

And it was given away to another agency that will not pay any taxes on it, further compounding this blatant lack of fiscal responsibility.

Is it allowable for the Mayor to GIVE AWAY our tax assets for free?

Additionally, two parcels side by side were equal to 30 acres in the 40220 area so during the Bomb storage arguments we were told there were no other options. This particular property even has a road to it and appears to be surrounded by some sort of a rock quarry.

Would a 30 acre area be a better option than on top of a major water supply in close proximity to a YMCA?

I would think so.

With property valued by the PVA at $1 million, property that would be a better fit for a bomb storage facility that would directly affect noting if the worst happened, and property that essentially the Mayor feels he can hide or move at his whim, we must start looking at the big picture.

We need transparency and we need it now.

What other deals have been slid through we do not know about?

Stay tuned there is more to come.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

DEADBEAT DADS? Not always....

I admit I do not do enough public interest stories. I spend so much time trying to get to the bottom of the problems throughout this City that I sometimes do not get to some issues that need getting to.

Take the following for example.

I came across this story from a comment by a poster on another story on this blog months ago. I meant to followup on it and quite honestly was consumed with so many other stories I just flat out did not have time and forgot about it for awhile. Today as I was perusing the net and checking out www.pageonekentucky.com as I usually do, Jake does some great stories remember the Felner mess?, I found this small story today about this problem. And You Thought You Had It Bad?

You see we spend so much time trying to blame single parent families, or more specifically lack of father's in their children's lives more often than not, that we sometimes forget that there are fathers out there who want to be part of their kids lives but the children are used as pawns for some personal self gratification play by a parent. Whether from vengeance for being wronged to just flat out anger really does not matter. NO CHILD should be used as a pawn in the vengeance of either parent.

The story begins with an affair by Julia Ricketts, wife of noted attorney Jon Ricketts, resulting in a pregnancy by someone other than her husband. Ms. Ricketts originally allowed the boyfriend to have some time with his son then decided to stop all contact thus denying the true father of any parental rights to visitation with his son. On top of all that after at least 3 DNA tests, accompanying pictures and video of the boyfriend and Ms. Ricketts together where she openly calls him the father of her baby, miraculously the Supreme Court has refused him any parental rights.

Of course the father of Jon Ricketts is none other than Charles Ricketts a very noted attorney.

What gives?

I cannot do justice to the story here. Honestly it is one of the most bizarre politically driven cases I have seen when it comes to the rights of the parent. In this case the courts are also essentially denying the rights of the paternal Grandparents as well.

Isn't there a movement across the Country where courts have upheld even Grandparent rights as well?

Are the continuing court challenges designed to delay any chance of the natural father to have contact until the child is old enough where the courts can use the excuse:

"Based on no contact with the natural father we feel at this time contact would be harmful to the child."

Justice delayed is justice denied. There will come an age of a child where the above excuse could actually be valid in some cases. Not in this case though. This particular case is one that proves the only things that matter where our kids are concerned is who can make a mockery of the system to benefit themselves. Not our kids.

I urge you to read this link for the story complete with evidence, www.letmeseemyson.blogspot.com, and ask yourself one question:

If this was your child what would you do?

If your answer is the same as mine contact your legislator and ask them to help unite this father and son.

Demand that the rights of fathers are just as inherent as the rights of mothers. No parental rights should outweigh the other based on some personal scheme or shame. I was raised by my stepfather when my mom abandoned my brothers and I. I know firsthand that there are deadbeat PARENTS. My mom proved that. It works both ways.

It is puzzling to me that in today's world we still want to believe that a woman is always the best parent versus the man. There are many fathers out there that want to be part of their kids lives emotionally, financially, and every way that matters, yet are not given the opportunity to do so because of idiocy like this case shows. I know from experience.

Let's demand equality in the most basic area of all.

For our families including our Dad's.

Our kids are our future do they not deserve to know the past they came from?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I spend a lot of time writing about the problems in the City and the administration and as many of you know I am NOT politically correct nor hopefully do I ever foresee a time when I will be.

So in that context:

Merry Christmas to you all!

I wish you all the best. May you all be blessed during this Christmas season and may your prayers be answered in the upcoming New Year.

My sincerest thanks to each of you for making this blog a part of your day.

God bless you all.

Ed

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ABRAMSON AND THE DDC: A LOOK AT THE MACHINE

As many of you know there is now a new Downtown Development Corporation Executive Chairman. The DDC first hit my radar sometime ago considering that the rent from Slugger Field is given to them each year by our lovely Mayor who just happens to be on the Board of Directors there. I have done a couple of articles referring to this: Louisville News and Politics: ABRAMSON AND HIS CROWN, Louisville News and Politics: SHAME ON THE COUNCIL.

Now, to use the old Paul Harvey line, is the rest of the story.

The new DDC head is a man by the name of Alan DeLisle who comes from a very brief stay in Durham, NC. For more on Mr. DeLisle read here.

Durham economic development chief leaving for Louisville: Alan DeLisle: Moving out: News: Durham County: Independent Weekly: ..

The above story truly shows a great many interesting things in regards to what the DDC and Abramson do here when compared with Durham. Take for example the following.


Recently, Abramson, who sits on DDC's 25-member board of directors, approved a $250 million no-bid contract with Baltimore-based Cordish Companies—which DDC helped negotiate—to develop a four-block downtown district, the details of which are not yet available to the public. The Metro Council approved a $12 million land purchase associated with the deal, but it did not vote on the actual development agreement.

"In this instance, you had the Center City project, which the mayor did on his own, and then you had [DDC], which is funded by this money that the mayor diverted on his own, and they're cheerleading for the project," Courier-Journal reporter John David Dyche said.

Like Cordish, the Swedish construction firm Skanska USA Building was awarded a no-bid contract to build Durham's DPAC. However, unlike Louisville's Metro Council, the Durham City Council approved the contract, and all subsequent amendments, which DeLisle brought to council in the form of memoranda, after negotiating with developers.

Interestingly enough yet another no bid contract was approved. Think this will fit in with the Abramson regime here?

More interesting however is the fact that at least Durham City Council had to approve the contract.

Unlike here in Louisville where Abramson generally does whatever he wants with NO Council oversight. One more pathetic example of how much we lack in accountability with Abramson unlimited power. The article then goes on to state the obvious to us here:


In Louisville, where the mayor has greater executive power than in Durham, DeLisle will not have the same constraints."The mayor is driving the agenda, and has priorities and goals, and makes those very clear. There's really no guesswork about where the administration is headed," DeLisle said.

Very telling statement isn't it? Or consider the following.

Though Bonfield said he had been "incredibly impressed" with DeLisle's work pushing through downtown development, it often came at the expense of neighborhoods outside the downtown core, he said.

Another interesting thing is the fact that the last Executive Director according to this report made about $160,000 a year for 35 hours work a week! That is one heck of a salary for a private enterprise that we fund huh? For less than full time?

Here is a head to head comparison:

Old job, new job: Alan DeLisle's career move

From: Assistant city manager for economic and workforce development, City of Durham (six years)
To: Executive director, Downtown Development Corp., Louisville, Ky.
Pay: $124,500

Pay: According to 2006 tax filings, the previous director earned $160,477 for a 35-hour work week

Accomplishments: Durham Performing Arts Center, American Tobacco Campus, Durham Athletic Park, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, West Village, Parrish Street, Cultural Master Plan

Accomplishments: Fourth Street Live!, Downtown Development Plan Upcoming projects: Louisville Arena (22,000-seat basketball venue), Museum Plaza (a 61-story hotel/ apartments/ condos/ museum tower), Fleur-de-Lis on Main (condos/ retail)

It would seem to be fairly obvious there appears to be a serious question about the private entity known as the DDC. When we take legitimate money that should go to the City from Slugger Field rent and give to private enterprise there should be some sort of accounting for it.

But alas not with Abramson controlling the strings on both sides of the equation.

With the Slugger Field rent given to the DDC, which accounts for most of its funding, in the amount of $750,000 or so and $160,000 goes to the salary of one less than full time worker, should we not have questions and demand accountability?

The amount paid to the less than full time Executive Director is almost 25% of the total we send them. Who else is getting paid for a private enterprise business at our expense?

This is a simple scheme to pay money for Abramson's own field of dreams, Louisville News and Politics: Abramson and his Field of Dreams......, and a scheme that demands transparency where none exists today.

We are still awaiting the Attorney General decision on whether there has been a violation of anything, in regards to Slugger Field rent going to the DDC signed by Abramson, obviously creating a conflict of interest since Council had no say so and Abramson's role on the DDC Board.

Until then it would appear that Abramson has bought himself another yes man with our misdirected money. One who has no problems ignoring everyone for the Downtown area and one who would appear on the surface to have no problems following the Abramson regime with no oversight.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 22, 2008

AUTO INDUSTRYAND UNIONS: EVERYONE SUFFERS. EVERYONE GAINS

There have been many stories about the auto industry over the last several weeks. With the problems of the Big 3: Ford, Chrysler, and GM being the predominant topic.

There has been much division among the critics. Some blaming the unions for the downfall and the problems associated with the losses in the industry and none have suggested plans, other than the typical get rid of the unions mentality bashing, that would help the industry. They all have one common theme though.

Make the Big 3 like the foreign competitors such as Toyota.

I have never understood the willingness to trash the unions and blame them for the economic woes of the industry in general. Unions are what helped to create a strong middle class and forced the working way of life we enjoy today such as a 40 hour work week, safe workplaces, health care benefits, retirements, pensions. You get the idea. Bust up the unions and what do we have?

A return to low wages and unfair work practices. Think I am wrong? Ask anyone you know that works through a temp agency so abundant today how they are treated in comparison to regular workers. It is amazing how much they get abused and who cares right? They are only temps. But that is another story.

Without the unions our way of work life would be drastically different. I admit I am a union supporter. I have worked both sides from white collar management in a union environment to a union line worker. And coming from both sides I can assure you that in most major plants a union is definitely necessary. I could tell you stories about when in management the upper echelons would try to force us white collar guys to do things that were in essence unethical in regards to our employees.

I can also tell you things as a union employee that the union leadership would ask us to do that I consider equally unethical. To-ma-to, to-mah-to. They both rely on each other to coexist and provide a living for our families and in most cases it works.

That is why in many cases I generally do not get the "be like Toyota" mindset.

Take today's Courier article for example. courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal. This article shows Toyota is realizing the same problems as the Big 3. They are losing money and having to reevaluate their operations as well.

According to this from the article:

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday it will report the first operating loss in 70 years, acknowledging that after a decade of rapid growth it can no longer escape the slowdown plaguing the global auto industry. The Japanese auto giant also lowered its global vehicle sales forecast for the second time this year and said it was putting ambitious expansion plans on hold, in large part because of a precipitous drop in demand in the key U.S. market.

"The tough times are hitting us far faster, wider and deeper than expected," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told a gloomy news conference at the company's Nagoya headquarters. "This is an unprecedented crisis requiring urgent action."

This is perhaps the biggest statement I see in the article:

But Watanabe said a severe drop in demand, especially in the U.S., which accounts for one-third of vehicle sales, and profit erosion from a surging yen were too much for Japan's No. 1 automaker. Overall U.S. auto sales fell to their lowest level in 26 years last month.

One third of Toyota sales come exclusively from the US. How many autos does that take away from the Big 3 that support thousands of US jobs and company profits each year?

Accordingly: Toyota said it expects an operating loss of 150 billion yen ($1.66 billion) for the fiscal year ending in March, compared with an operating profit of 2.27 trillion yen ($25.2 billion) a year earlier.

That is a 1 year change of minus $26.8 Billion. Unions are the problem?

Interestingly enough Toyota is non union and have based their sales on the same small car mentality that many blame the Big 3 of ignoring.

In addition the article goes on to include this.

"The problem is next year," said Mochimaru. "It's unmistakable that things are extremely tough for Toyota."

Welcome to our world.

Watanabe and other Toyota executives repeated a recent announcement that expansion plans will be on hold, including a new plant in Mississippi and projects in India.
Toyota said there were no plans to lay off any full-time employees, though it plans to cut the number of temporary workers at its Japanese plants in half to about 3,000.


Let's not forget this as well. Last week, Japan's No. automaker, Honda Motor Co., also lowered profit and sales forecasts and declined to give a vehicle sales goal for 2009.

It would seem that Toyota is in dire straits as well would it not? Is that the fault of the union? Not in this case.

Toyota has always been fed with a silver spoon from mainstream media and anti union types intent on destroying the middle class way of life. The comparisons have always been "Toyota is lean" or "they put out a better quality product."

With leading indicators showing the Big 3, primarily Ford, have matched or exceeded the quality aspects it would seem Toyota is going through the same problems the Big 3 did for years. Growing pains.

This should clearly show that unions are not the problem at the Big 3.

The auto industry overall is going through some major growing pains today as are all in every industry with an economy in shambles, people struggling to pay the bills, unemployment equalling record numbers, and no readily available money to correct the problem with increased spending by consumers.

Yet we give $700 billion in tax money to the banking industry who so far have spent it on bonuses to failing leadership, extravagant weekend getaways (think AIG), and bank takeovers of what? You guessed it other banks. The rich get richer or at least stay that way at our expense.

Then we have to fight for taxpayer assistance in the auto industry with the Big 3 for a paltry $17 billion in comparison that will help save thousands of jobs. Let's quit blaming unions for costing jobs and put the blame where it lies.

Anyone see the problem here? It isn't unions. It is faulty greed driven decision making by corporate interests at the expense of all of us.

Union the problem? I beg to differ.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ABRAMSON AND MSD: WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?

There is much talk about the meeting between Abramson and Obama's aide on Thursday. Considering he was elected President, or oh great one for the Mayor's conference, he should have been there. I can think of a few better people to send but it was his duty. No beef here for his appearance. I do, as usual, have at least one beef about his requests though.

Or perhaps it is just an observation.

According to the C-J,
Abramson meets with Obama aide on stimulus plan courier-journal The Courier-Journal, Abramson submitted a list of projects that cost roughly $607 million. Of course it is a wish list and he hopes some of that money comes to us. He has even been bragging about creating 17-18,000 jobs with this money. Of course these will be short term jobs that last about 18 months -2 years. But I digress.

Personally, I hope that if any of that money comes to Louisville we have someone outside the Abramson hand of power to oversee the use of it. As we all know Abramson's people have problems overseeing federal dollars. Kimberly Bunton anyone? In fact some of it doesn't get used at all.

Wonder where it goes. But again, I digress.

The biggest thing that stuck out to me based on his wish list was the request for Water and Sewer of $218 million.

Why did that stick out so bold to me you ask? MSD has had numerous meetings touting their responsibility based on their EPA consent decree for the need to get $800 million for sewers upgrades and other necessities to comply.
Louisville News and Politics: EPA Consent decree: Bankruptcy near for Jefferson County If this is the case why only ask for $218 million?

According to the article this money, if we get it, will be spent on improvements to treatment facilities, pumping stations, water and sewer lines. Therein lies the rub. Someone needs to explain why MSD says they need $800 million for sewer lines etc to comply with the EPA and Abramson only asks for $218 million.

This is a staggering difference of approximately $582 million!

So what is the truth here?


Will it cost another $800 million to fix our sewage problems? Or will it cost $218 million. We deserve to know.

MSD used an astronomical rate increase of 32% last year to offset their costs, with little to show for it other than new carpet, and some other frivolous spending in their offices, and we can expect more increases for the foreseeable future according to the public meetings.

So let's look at facts here. Abramson says we need money for sewer improvements. Shardein says it will cost us $800 million. Abramson says we need $218 million.

Since Abramson appoints each and every board member to MSD he should certainly be informed of what the costs associated for improvements should be right? One more pot he has his hand in isn't it?

So who is telling the truth?

If Abramson did not ask for money to help with the EPA consent decree then why not? If this money is for that purpose then why is it $582 million LESS than Shardein says we need. Who is telling the truth?

Something doesn't smell right here once again in regards to MSD.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ADVERTISING, FUNDRAISING JUST SEND US MONEY LOL

Some have asked if I would allow advertising on this site. For a couple of months now I have been wrestling with that question myself. I cannot express how appreciative I am for the readership of this blog and the massive support it has received. It is because of this that I even have the question before me of having advertisers.

Heckuva problem to have isn't it?

I must confess my initial reaction was to never use advertisers on this site. I do not want to feel like I "owe" anyone. I have the Mayor I guess to thank for that mindset. I also must admit I do this for free for the people. It is totally enjoyable and I love every minute of it.

With that being said, I have to admit that this blog has become a full time job in itself. And does cost money used for open records requests etc. My wife thinks I am nuts and cries every time I hit the checkbook for the blog. Seriously I will get you pics!

In the interests of marital harmony (after 25 years of marriage I better be nice huh) I have decided to forgo my initial hesitation about selling ad space on this site or asking for donations. As much as I know money is tight for everyone it is also tight for us as well. We live here too. Funding is a necessary evil to continue getting the message out to each of you.

It also is a necessary evil to continuing working full time on this site. In order to take us to the next level I need to get freed up to attend all the garbage, I mean meetings etc, that the Mayor does during the day. This means working towards this blog as a full time paid job somehow. I hope you understand.

With all that said anyone interested in advertising, or making donations, on Louisville News and Politics can simply click here contact me. Or call me at (502)742-8519.

I mean hey if I am going to beg I may as well beg everyone huh?

:-)

"NEW" METRO ETHICS ORDINANCE?

Today's LEO examines the soon to be "new" Metro ethics ordinance. I highlight "new" because it appears, based on the article, there is in essence nothing "new" about it. Take a look yourself here: New metro ethics ordinance closer to passage - FatLip.

Oh sure they want to change the timeline to 60 days but so what? Will it matter when the "ethics" are ignored anyway?

Take this statement for example:

“I think it’s a very strong, transparent ordinance that will hold people accountable for their transactions and activities,” says Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, the sponsor of the ordinance. “It goes along with the theme that this government should be more open to the taxpayers.”

Yeah right. Pure political posturing at it's finest. Two paragraphs later tells the tale.

Fleming says the revised ordinance would keep the commission at seven and allow the mayor to make all appointments, like now, but requires a super-majority vote of 18 council members for approval.

Another way for Abramson to control the outcome? Appoint whoever he wants and then use his rubber stamps to vote his way.

Transparent? Only in the sense that once again Abramson has the power and that is as transparent as everything else in Metro.

Interestingly enough here is Bob Henderson's concern.

Councilman Bob Henderson, D-14, questioned if legislative aides should be included for ethics violations for small transactions they're allowed to make daily in the name of their bosses. Henderson said the wording leaves council members open to false accusations of political patronage from opponents.

Of course he is worried about his Legislative aide Larry Mattingly since both had to testify in federal court over a whistle blower case Sarah Lynn Cunningham brought forth in regard to MSD. There are many allegations and rumors in regards to Larry Mattingly and Bob Henderson. Political patronage? He should be concerned.

For more background on this check tis out from LEO: Dirty deeds? LEO Weekly

Henderson testified in Federal Court that he improperly used MSD dirt for his political friends and notably his own yard. Not a big deal? Perhaps not except that Sarah Lynn Cunningham, the whistle blower, lost her job because she brought it up under the whistle blower laws in existence.

She won her case. Now MSD has it tied up in appeals to delay justice even longer.

Ethics in government is one area we cannot allow to be put to the wayside. When we elect someone we expect them to be ethical in their dealings on our behalf. Why is this an issue now? Simple we are finally waking up to the fact that we have not been dealt with honestly, or ethically in many of our minds, by this administration and some Council members. As a matter of fact check out Jake at www.pageonekentucky.com with this: Oh, Look! Kentucky is 3rd Most Corrupt State

Our current incumbent in District 14, Bob Henderson, recently had an ethics complaint thrown out by his buddy District 12 Councilman Rick Blackwell. The reason cited? Lack of evidence. Now I am no lawyer, nor have I ever professed to be one, but I would ask what is considered evidence in any case. I would think federal testimony would at least be enough evidence to investigate before any ruling. Just shows the Abramson rubberstamp's taking care of things again.

And it only took almost 3 years to decide to throw it out.

As a matter of public record how can this be ignored? Accountability is severely lacking and this is yet one more example of it.

Mr. Henderson has always sided with MSD in issues including the 32% rate hike we all now have so it was no surprise that he would be involved in this whole sham.

A "new" Metro Ethics ordinance? Far from it.

Here is an idea.

Stay true to ethics in the first place then we have no problems do we?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ABRAMSON: More from abramsonuncovered.com



H. 7/20/88
Confidential
To: Bill Summers
From: Frank Quickert
We are exploring the possibility of having the Mayor serve as the “paid” Chairman of the Board of the Louisville Water Company.
Don’t get the Mayor’s hopes up just yet, but this may be a possible avenue toward a solution.
(signed Frank Quickert) FQ

It really is fascinating to break down the www.abramsonuncovered.com information. Many people assume the only income Abramson receives is from his Mayoral salary. That is not true. As a matter of fact he receives income from multiple areas. And all have his thumbprint on almost every organization that is involved with Louisville. There was a scheme in place to get Abramson outside money from other sources for quite awhile including the Louisville Water Co. Take the above for example from the www.abramsonuncovered.com website:

Interesting isn't it?

Now take a look at everything Abramson is involved in from "Board" positions to Director or President positions. Want to know how much he makes off all of these? Do you still think he is doing the job of Mayor because he cares so much? Being the Mayor has been a lucrative goldmine for him. At our expense of course.

Here are some examples of Abramson's "involvement" in our community. Wonder how much he gets paid for each.

Waterfront Development Corp Board

Downtown Development Co Board

Louisville Water Co Board ex officio

Director Jefferson County, KENTUCKY, CAPITAL PROJECTS CORPORATION A-Active

Director CITY OF LOUISVILLE PUBLIC PROPERTIES CORPORATION A-Active

President CITY OF LOUISVILLE PUBLIC PROPERTIES CORPORATION A-Active

President JEFFERSON COUNTY, KENTUCKY, CAPITAL PROJECTS CORPORATION A-Active

Director LOUISVILLE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, INC. A-Active

Vice President METRO DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, INC. A-Active

Director METRO DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, INC. A-Active

Chairman LOUISVILLE MEDICAL CENTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Director LOUISVILLE MEDICAL CENTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION A-Active

Director LOUISVILLE RENAISSANCE ZONE CORPORATION A-Active

This does not even include the trust set up as a monetary "gift" from the community
Internal Docs, Internal Docs mentioned on the site.

Folks Abramson has created a gold mine for himself and cronies. He has not done it out of the goodness of his heart but out of his own personal greed.

Do you wonder now why he has so much control at our expense?

JOHN FLOOD UPDATE

update correction: It has come to my attention that I erroneously referred to Judge Karem as the wife of Dave Karem. She is the wife of Scott Karem not Dave. I apologize for the oversight. The article reflects a change in the wording alluding to Judge Karem as Dave Karem's wife.

Sorry to be so late with this post for you avid readers who keep emailing me. I will do my best to do better. Seriously this topic is one that many have stayed on top of and I got busy and dropped the ball.

With that said here is the latest info available on John Flood and his court case. John Flood was not given a plea deal at this time. He appeared in court and was told to make a plea of guilty or not guilty and refused to do so. As is standard practice in this situation Flood had an automatic plea of Not guilty entered into the record and given a trial date of February 24, 2009.

His trial will be at 9 am on February 24 in Room 302.

To all who kept the heat on to NOT allow a plea deal good job. Remember this though. There could still be a plea involved prior to the trial date so it is important to stay on top of this so it does not happen. In my opinion the hopes are that the publicity will die down and a secret plea deal entered when they feel no one is looking.

Also it has come to my attention that Flood has not resigned yet. I am working on whether he will resign at end of month (as he was intending to do before all this). In the meantime questions must be asked. I wonder if he doesn't resign prior to his trial and is found guilty of committing another felony during his duties, would his retirement pay be jeopardized?

Be diligent folks in your efforts and continue forcing accountability.

In the meantime there is more to the story.

The Judge that will listen to this case is Judge Karem. Why is this important? The Karem name. Is Judge Karem related in any way to former State legislator, Abramson insider, and current President of the Waterfront Development Corp Dave Karem.Waterfront Park - About Us

If so should Judge Karem recuse herself from this based on the family ties?

Dave Karem has benefited from his insider ways and Flood is part of that inner circle. It would not be a stretch that if a hidden plea deal is not put in that there could be favorable treatment in the trial based on associations.

I mean we are finally waking up to the realization that Abramson deals in half truths and deception are we not?

While Judge Karem may be above board in her approach, as a relative of Dave Karem, if indeed she is, it is important to make sure justice is served and the judicial integrity is not harmed. I mean we already have Katie King on the bench how much harm does that bring to the bench currently? The perception of politics in this case must not harm the outcome either way.

We expect this case to be tried fairly with no outside influence.

Can we stand together and demand it?

It is, as always, up to you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ABRAMSON'S REAL POLITICS














As many of you know there is a link to the left to abramsonuncovered.com. I also realize that sometimes you just do not have time to check out each link. Today I will start reprinting some info from that site for your review.

The above are samples from that site.

Have fun.


Jerry Abramson handed out no-bid city contracts based on who he “owed” for helping him politically.

R. Steve Yussman
Lawyer – Kipda Law Dept.
Part-time – 18-20
Full time – 25,000-30,000
Check with FXQ

To: FXQ (Frank Quickert)
I don’t owe this guy – but is there anything available?
(Jerry Abramson’s handwritten note)

Insert confidential memo to Mayor Jerry Abramson.

L. 2/5/87
Confidential
To: Mayor Jerry Abramson
From: Frank Quickert
Stuart Jay, Mary Ann Watkins, Rick Wyatt & myself met with Stuart Billington & Ron Rubin about J.C. Bedford’s analysis of the $1.5 million +/- savings possible from refinancing the Parking Authority’s outstanding $30 million of bonds.
We’ve given our blessing – the savings is real. To do the issue – and the fee will be a large one, we need to select an attorney.
J.C. is “plumbing” for Wyatt, Tarrant. They’ve furnished some advice to Bradford on this deal.
They did the last one. They are familiar with PARC – it’s operations and documentations. They could move the quickest.
We “owe” Carl Fust who put in an extensive amount of time on the city’s 1986 Mortgage Subsidy Bond issue which aborted due to market conditions.
There may – obviously – be others: Stites – Brown Todd. Whom?
(signed Frank Quickert) FQ
cc: Stuart Jay
Rick Wyatt

2/9
To: FXQ
Wyatt – did Water Co
Stites – doing Parking Garage
Brown Todd - ?
Fust - ?
Barnet - ?
Let’s choose someone who helped and is due. Recommend and let me call.
(Jerry Abramson’s handwritten note attached to Quickert memo)

O. 4/4/89
Confidential
To: Mayor Jerry Abramson
From: Frank Quickert
Our law clerks are hired on a year round basis, and all of our positions are currently filled. One of our clerks, however, is going to clerk for a Federal Judge and is expected to leave in the future.
There could be a vacancy but the date is not certain.

We’re desperate for minorities. FQ

P.P.S. We can make room if you want! Or we owe!
(signed by Frank Quickert) FQ

M. 2/11/87
FYI Confidential
To: Mayor Jerry Abramson
From: Frank Quickert
Wyatt Tarrant is putting up a battle to at least get a part of the PARC refunding. Steve Burger has provided J.C. Bradford with a two step mechanism that would operate (in essence) as follows:
1) Bond Issue #1 – a step bond refinancing would bear low interest in early years and higher later. This issue would permit potentially some arbitrage gain. Step #2 – Bond issue #2 – This would be a refinancing of Bond Issue #1 occurring about 30 days later.
Our gain would go, under this 2 step process, from $1.5 million to $2.8 million +/- Wyatt Tarrant either wants to be hired as “issuer counsel” in a one issue process (which isn’t needed) or as bond counsel on Bond Issue #2 if the two step process is adopted.
I don’t want to push them out unless you know and approve. It might generate bad blood.
(signed Frank Quickert) FQ

N. Confidential
To: Mayor Jerry Abramson
From: Frank Quickert
You sent me the resume on Richard Heideman’s firm. The Law Dept. will hire any attorney the Mayor says hire; provided the Board of Aldermen has given us the money to do so.
You asked if anything was available. If you want’em it’s available. If not – of course, it’s not. (signed Frank Quickert) FQ

To: FXQ (Frank Quickert)
When will we propose attorney contract to aldermen?
(Jerry Abramson’s handwritten note)

To: FXQ ( Frank Quickert)
No push from me…but if something comes up keep them in mind.
Thanx
(Jerry Abramson’s handwritten note)

Monday, December 15, 2008

SHAME ON THE COUNCIL

It is said that mockery is the sincerest form of flattery. According to today's Courier Report Council members want AG opinion on mayor's Center City deal with Cordish courier-journal The Courier-Journal I should be flattered as heck.

Sad thing is I am not.

The big story today is the Council asking the AG to investigate the deal with Cordish Group, a deal I have questioned repeatedly throughout this blog and I am glad to see they did this, as well as asking for a ruling on the Slugger Field rent going to the Downtown Development Corp (DDC) without Metro Council oversight.

I agree with asking the questions.

In fact I agree so much I asked the AG for a ruling on the conflict of interest concerning Slugger Field 2 DAYS SOONER then the Council on December 10.

This is a problem that has been ongoing since 2003 and I have reported on it here: Louisville News and Politics: ABRAMSON AND HIS CROWN

The questions were asked then about Abramson bypassing the Council in many regards. John David Dyche entitled his CJ article that led to mine Abramson's Lordly ways.

The Council does read my blog and I guess they decided to act AFTER I did. Interesting isn't it? That a lowly blogger can put enough heat on the Council to do what they should have been doing all along?

Come to think of it guess I am flattered after all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

WEST END CRIME

This from thevillevoice: Local Film Examines West End Crime.

A documentary called “Wake-Up Call” will air Saturday night at 9 on Fox 41. It’s produced by T-Shombi Basemore, a morning editor at the station who had the bright idea a while back of producing a film addressing the cycle of violence and crime in the West End.

All I can say is it is about time.

For too many years to count the West End has been ignored and crime has been allowed to go on regardless of any efforts to stop it. While there are many variables to be sure as to why, the fact remains that we must get involved and stop this from happening. In my opinion it is a part of our recent past history we need to correct. The West End at one time was Louisville. When Louisville started migrating slightly East the neighborhoods and primary area of the West End was forgotten.

As many of you know during the Mayoral race in 2006 I stated we must focus on West End development and job creation to help get rid of the criminal element. This would be done through an aggressive economic plan that would include incentives for business to locate there such as necessary needs: groceries, shopping, etc, as well as, an economic plan streamlining small business monies to aid in local growth and development of small business.

How much better could our money have been spent in the West End versus the money we just gave to Cordish Group for Center City?

Some will argue that is a bad comparison. Some will argue that I am wrong. So be it.

Here is my take on the whole situation. When you have nothing to look forward to in your own backyard what will you lean toward? When the only "business" open to you growing up is the crime business then you will migrate toward that. It really is a very simple concept. If that is all you are exposed to then typically that will be your choice in footsteps to follow.

When we get serious about economic development in the West End, along with a visible involved police presence, AND an accountability for some of the parents who do not do their job, we can and will beat these criminals back out of our neighborhoods.

The old saying is that crime doesn't pay. Well in this area crime has paid well for a select few at the expense of all of us.

By lowering crime through direct community involvement including the initiatives I have spoken about we are indeed helping ourselves.

One of the greatest costs to taxpayers is the criminal system. We can lower that cost exponentially by letting the criminals know we do not want them anymore through initiatives like take back our neighborhood, through economic development towards necessary services, and through the goodwill of all of us in this City wanting more than what we have come to expect.

Do we want a vibrant City?

We do that by taking back our neighborhoods and providing economic opportunities for ALL to succeed. This is not a west End problem this is OUR problem together. While I spoke constantly of UNITY in the commUNITY during the Mayoral race this is one reason why. We are all in this together.

Times are bad right now and crime will rise. Let's take a stand now to stop this from happening.

Check out the documentary it airs at 9 PM tonight.

I saw the trailer it should be very telling.

Friday, December 12, 2008

JIM AND KATIE KING: Questions abound

Imagine if you will that you are a rich bank owner with a couple of kids to send through college. Also as a CPA you can find loopholes, or play with the books, to make their tuition a write off helping your bottom line with tax breaks. Hard for most of us who work for a living to imagine but a real life scenario nonetheless.

Take Katie King, and her dad Metro Council President Jim King for example. King is owner of the King Corporate Group which owns King Southern Bank, his CPA firm, and Peoples Bank in Nelson County. It has been said that Katie received paychecks from her dad for work she supposedly did on behalf of King Corporate Group or specifically King Southern Bank. Matter of fact what were her qualifications and what work did she actually perform?

Reasonable questions to be sure.

A great way to pay for college and get the write off huh? I mean Katie had all kinds of time to work at King Southern while attending school full time AND playing volleyball. Kind of hard to find where she would have time for a job isn't it? Good way to give money to the kid for college AND get the write off too. Not exactly legal so perhaps it should be investigated for merit.

Strike One.

Let's look at Katie's living arrangements shall we? She resides at 2440 Tyler Lane, a public record, and though the house is in her name the tax bill is sent to where? You guessed it 2900 Newburg Rd or King Corporate Group headquarters. So now King also pays the tax bills on property Katie owns.

Hmm. Strike two?

Finally this. According to mortgage records on file Katie has a mortgage on her house through People's Bank in Nelson County. Who owns the bank? Why none other than Metro Council President Jim King of course.
Nelson County bank opens branch in Jefferson CPA office - Business First of Louisville:

Why would the mortgage be out of County in Nelson through a different bank then the one he owns here? Perhaps there is more to the financing than we know. Either way it is very interesting to say the least. It would also be interesting to note that she got a mortgage of $145,000 in 2002 on this property yet what was she doing for income at that time? Were mortgage guidelines followed in this regard since her dad owns the bank?

Strike Three.

For now we know that Katie reportedly received a paycheck from King while a student for work that probably was not performed thus enabling him to write off at least a portion of her tuition. This seems awful close to illegal action. We also know that Katie has her mortgage through daddy's bank, in another County, of which the tax bills get paid through King Corporate Group not Katie herself which makes one wonder again about the write off being given to daddy King.

And finally a mortgage one wonders who is really paying for, Jim King or Katie. Was it taken out of County to be harder to track and question? Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Questions should abound about possible tax evasion, possible lending violations, and many more.

Kind of makes you wonder how she has gotten by on her County Attorney salary doesn't it?

And of course we believe she had $194,000 to lend her own campaign to buy an election.

Time to seek answers.

There will be more to come.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

KATIE KING AND JOHN FLOOD CONTINUED

Katie King reportedly LENT her campaign $194,000 during her race against David Holton according to a report by Mark Hebert at WHAS11 Katie King Lent Campaign $194.000 - WHAS11 Political Blog.

We really should be askng the question "how did Jim King lend her the money, denying it of course, and why has she not been challenged on it?"

Anyone care to take a guess?

How did Katie King, who before becoming a prosecutor, and now one of the worst experienced sitting judges in our history, come up with a personal small fortune of $194,000? She never did anything before going to work in the prosecutor's office and last I heard they did not make that much in 3 years even if she banked it all and lived off daddy.

This raises more questions then it answers and needs to be investigated.

UPDATE: JOHN FLOOD

For those who keep asking for more on John Flood's case this is the latest. He will be in court DECEMBER 15 at 9 am Courtroom number 302. At that time a plea deal will be presented. What the plea deal contains is anyone's guess, but unofficially I am told he will get 2 years probation, no jail time, and will retire immediately.

Like I didn't report this months ago.

Show up at the hearing and speak with Chip McKay before court.

ABRAMSON AND HIS CROWN

Today's C-J has a great opinion piece by John David Dyche called Abramson's lordly ways Abramson's lordly ways courier-journal The Courier-Journal. It is great to see someone in mainstream media join the fight. Of course given the C-J's lack of muster to stand against the Mayor I must wonder how much longer Mr. Dyche will be writing for the C-J.

In the meantime I found it telling that he used other examples of Abramson's ignoring the Metro Council and doing what he wants on his own without consulting or soliciting their opinion such as:

In May 2003, Abramson, entirely on his own, signed an agreement giving the city's $750,000 annual rent from Slugger Field to the Downtown Development Corp. Considering he is on the executive board of the DDC is this a conflict of interest? Can we challenge this legally and seek retribution?


Additionally John goes on to mention the DDC, or Downtown Development Corp. From the article is this from John:

The DDC is a private entity that says it is "responsible for planning for the long-term economic health and vitality of downtown, providing a forum for establishing downtown development priorities among private and public entities, and taking strategic catalytic actions to move these priorities forward." It may be the most worthwhile organization this side of the Salvation Army, but, if so, why did Abramson act alone instead of making that case to the council?

Sure enough the DDC is considered a 501(c)3 entity. Great way to get by some situations but I digress. You can check out the Board of Directors on the DDC here: Board About the DDC Downtown Development Corporation

Interesting to note the familiar names as ex-officio such as Jerry Abramson, Joe Reagan, Jim Host, David Tandy, and David Karem.

Joe Reagan of GLI and Abramson are both executive board members.

With Reagan heading GLI, Karem heading the Waterfront Development, Host leading the arena authority, Tandy wanting to be in the clique, and Abramson lording over all using his puppetmaster mentality, seems it is kind of obvious what the problems are doesn't it? Too many rats in the cheese.


The common denominator is the same one as always.

Abramson essentially heads everything, regardless of what we are led to believe, and that is the essence of the problem. This just more proof that a select few control it all.

It is vital with one man pulling all the strings that we get transparency and accountability as soon as possible. We have lived with this thumbprint long enough. Let's change the direction for the future.

John titled his article: Abramson's lordly ways.

A fitting title indeed.

ABRAMSON IGNORED WARNING SIGNS SINCE 2005

As most of you know I ran as an independent in 2006 for Metro Mayor of Louisville. At the time I felt it necessary to force issues to be relevant and many of us did not think we would get that at the time. I left the Democrat Party for one year to run independent knowing full well there would be backlash. You cannot challenge the local favorite Democrat son and not expect backlash with lies, deceptions, and innuendo about myself, my character, or my values. Seems I was right on that as well but that is another day and of course my problem not yours.

I will live.

At that time I mentioned a Mayor's conference report from 2005 that showed we were heading in a downward spiral economically. The question is: If I saw it as an outsider why didn't Abramson and the machine in place charged with overseeing our finances?

I certainly never claimed to be an accountant nor do I have a staff at my disposal to inform me as he does.


I am occasionally asked why I refer to the budget as a "supposed" crisis.

For more on that read here: Louisville News and Politics: ABRAMSON: SPIN IT WELL!

Or read here: Louisville News and Politics: LOUISVILLE BUDGET SURPLUSES:WHERE DID IT GO?

Either way there have been many economic indicators showing a trend toward the negative for some time now. At least 3 years in my opinion. The example below deals with hunger and homelessness. There is a direct link between a dour economy and a rise in hunger and homelessness that cannot be spun. With this in mind the below report is very telling from the Mayor's conference in 2005 of which Abramson was an attendee.


Also note the causes referred to that include Louisville:


Unemployment and low wage employment, medical costs, transportation costs, utility costs (noteworthy since I spend so much time on utilities such as MSD and currently the Louisville Water Co), lack of affordable housing, and drug abuse (and now we are thinking of cutting back on police?).


As you can see these problems have not been addressed, since the economic indicators say all have risen in the last 3 years, yet we continue to push projects down the throats of taxpayers such as Centre City, an unnecessary expense at this time, while ignoring the hard choices necessary in our budget to help with the supposed crisis.


Note the areas Louisville is mentioned in and then ask one question.


Could we have prepared better for the current future we face with at least 3 years of firsthand knowledge to lead the way?


I believe so and so do many others.


How about you?


From my report on August 15, 2006

Today as I researched the 2005 Mayor conference results I found this a sad state of affairs. Mayor Abramson attended this conference and the results for Louisville were bleak then and expected to get worse in 2006. I ask all of you can we not do better? The state of our local economy and working families continues to erode on a National level for the working class. Louisville is doing nothing to combat that with Abramson at the helm.

Big US cities report steep rise in hunger and homelessness.


Hunger and homelessness continued to rise in America’s big cities during 2005. Requests for emergency food assistance increased by 12 per cent, while demand for emergency shelter went up by six per cent.


However, the US cities report that evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had not been a significant strain on their resources, but they are concerned about a lack of federal commitment to the evacuees. Furthermore, according to big city mayors, the outlook for 2006 is bleaker still, with 90 per cent believing hunger and homelessness will increase further.


On average, 18 per cent of the requests for emergency food assistance are estimated to have gone unmet during the last year. For families alone, 18 per cent of the requests for assistance are estimated to have gone unmet. In 43 per cent of the cities, emergency food assistance facilities may have to turn away people in need due to lack of resources. Fifty-four per cent of the people requesting emergency food assistance were members of families - children and their parents.


Forty per cent of the adults requesting food assistance were employed.


Twenty-one cities cited unemployment and other employment-related problems: Boston, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Louisville, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Providence, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Santa Monica, Seattle and Trenton.

Nine cities identified medical or health costs: Boston, Cedar Rapids, Cleveland, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland and Salt Lake City.

Four cities cited transportation costs: Cedar Rapids, Detroit, Louisville and Salt Lake City. Los Angeles, Portland and San Antonio cited childcare costs; Nashville, San Antonio and Trenton identified lack of education; and Cedar Rapids, Denver and Louisville cited utility costs.

Lack of affordable housing was identified as a major cause of homelessness in 19 cities: Boston, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Providence, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle, and Trenton.


Low-paying jobs were cited by 17 cities as a main cause of homelessness: Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Providence, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Seattle.


Mental illness and the lack of needed services were identified by 16 cities as a primary cause of homelessness: Boston, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Charleston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Louisville, Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, St. Paul, San Antonio, Santa Monica, and Trenton.


Substance abuse and the lack of needed services were identified by 15 cities as a main cause of homelessness: Boston, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Louisville, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, St. Paul, San Antonio, Santa Monica, and Trenton.


Outlook:


Officials in 90 per cent of the responding cities expect requests for emergency food assistance to increase during 2006. Eighty-six per cent expect that requests for emergency food assistance by families with children will increase during 2006. Officials in 93 per cent of the cities expect that requests for emergency shelter will increase next year. Ninety-five per cent expect that requests by homeless families will increase.


Survey participants:


The mayors of the cities included in the 2005 survey are members of the Conference of Mayors Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness.


They are:

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle
Cedar Rapids Mayor Paul Pate
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley
Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley
Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson
Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz
Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell
Philadelphia Mayor John Street
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon
Portland Mayor Tom Potter
Providence Mayor David Cicilline
St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson
San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels
Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer


This is yet another indicator that Louisville needs change from someone willing to address the issues and not the corporate politics that devalue working families even further.

Thieneman lawsuit approaching, Dan Johnson, and more

Much is happening here are the updates. Metro Council to remove Dan Johnson.   An abuse of power in many opnions, including mine. ( WHAS 1...