Monday, March 30, 2009
Let's take this whole bailout mess apart.
The whole concept of bailouts began years ago with Chrysler Head Lee Iacocca asking for money to bailout Chrysler. At the time everyone jumped on board. I mean why wouldn't we right? A major American employer was in trouble that would devastate, at least temporarily, the industry and cost thousands of jobs. This coming at the end of the 70's when inflation was out of control, home loans costing as much as 11% for good credit, and all of America footing the bill for a lousy economy.
Made great sense then.
A funny thing happened then. The 80's brought about major greed and corruption, junk bonds, paper money and so forth. Thanks Michael Millken. Gas was cheap per se, people wanted bigger and better, and status symbols became the norm. With the advent of cheap financing gimmicks, the introduction of affordable SUV's, and the profit margins afforded those sales, the automaker's got lazy and greedy.
As the 90's rolled around with cheap credit available to almost anyone the problem worsened. When the Joneses could buy a new SUV everyone wanted to keep up with them. Why be left behind? Somewhere along the road we forgot about savings, and sacrifice, to realize our dreams. Dreams that would last a lifetime.
Not just until the first missed paycheck.
We became a Country of little or no responsibility for ourselves and our ways. We became dependent on the Government to bail us out instead of becoming creative and bailing ourselves out. We said "it isn't our fault it is theirs" clearly avoiding the responsibility that rests on our shoulders for our decisions and actions.
We became used to easily available credit with interest sucking us dry and rationalizing it with "everyone else does it." Cheap money gotten easily and banks willing to cram it down our throats. Not once did anyone think about the possibility that it could dry up.
We continued this throughout most of the years of George Bush. 911 came and it was a great excuse to turn a blind eye on our problems and say "we are Americans we must unite against the evil terrosists in the world out to destroy us." We allowed the spending on the war to cloud us and give us cover for the evil terrorists coming from within.
We became apathetic and became followers of leaders who did not have our best interests at heart into the gates of hell.
And now we all suffer for it.
Anytime questioning began and the cloud lifted about our current financial mess we were bombarded with the mantra call of "911." It was used at every opportunity to derail us and make us forget to see what was happening right under our noses. The evil terrorists from within quietly seeping it's way into our daily lives and destroying many of us in the process.
And we bought it. Why not? After all, war has always been a great rallying cry for America historically and has helped us tremendously fix our economic problems in the past.
The funny thing is those problems were fixed through a rigorous manufacturing economy that was converted to make planes, ammunition, tanks, etc. All vehicles of war. Ford was one of the first American manufacturers to jump in and help in WWII for the good of the Country. Did we learn about the effects of a robust manufacturing base on our economy?
Nope. We continued to erode the manufacturing base in this Country for a cheap less expensive service economy. Or so we thought. Less expensive? Not really. Look at what it is costing us now with high unemployment and no way to work our way out of this mess. Politicians continuing to load these so called "stimulus" plans with excessive pork spending on things we simply do not need at this time. Is this what we should do in times of supposed budget "crises?" I think not.
Without the manufacturing base our course is tougher. We simply cannot build our way into prosperity. And if I know that so do the politicians yet they do nothing to combat it.
The mindset has been lost through the decades and continues to fail us everyday. How could anyone claim to be American and care about We the People and then sell us all out for personal financial gain and ruin?
That folks is the underlying question we must ask ourselves today. How did this happen and why did WE allow it to. Greed at all levels.
We gave the banks a $750 Billion bailout with little to no stipulations involved. Money that was supposed to be used to make loans and get money circulating again. Free up credit they said. Allow people to buy things again they said. In short, the bailout did not accomplish any of that to date.
Instead the money has went for buyouts of other banks creating a larger bank in most cases eliminating competition. It has been used for lavish spending and corporate graft and greed (read about AIG fiasco's anywhere on the Internet). Throwing money at a problem is a short term solution to a long term problem and will burden us for years. We must change the mindset to fix the problems. We must demand better from our elected leaders.
The auto buyout money has been loaded with stipulations clearly designed to help bust unions. I will catch flack for this statement I am sure but so be it. The facts are the concessions made by auto employees and the UAW have been extraordinary and by agreeing to these concessions the auto workers themselves have proven they are willing to do whatever it takes to make the industry successful. Yet with this in mind all the concessions given by the UAW and the workers amount to a miniscule paltry amount in the millions of dollars when even Ford lost $17 Billion last year. The employees could give up everything and work at minimum wage and that would still not be enough to offset the losses thanks to corporate greed.
Self serving to save their jobs? You bet. A painful way for employees who have built their future on contractual promises to save them, nonetheless, considering they had absolutely nothing to do with the problems today. These people sell their bodies for better wages and benefits, which incidentally are no better or worse than most anyone's today with co-pays, deductibles, etc. I mention this to avoid at least one part of the sure to come arguments about the benefits being part of the problem.
In fact, thanks to the efforts of the auto industry employees, you know the line workers who build the cars they are told to without any consideration of what they think should be done, the bottom line costs associated with employees have been dramatically lowered. With little effecton the bottom lines of the industry.
Have we seen any concessionary things coming from those who receive bank bailout money to this degree? Nope. But we have seen the lavish spending on weekend getaways and bonuses to management at AIG and others.
Buyouts have become just another way to avoid responsibility for your actions and choices. We should have learned the lessons long ago with Chrysler leading the way. Cause and effect would have taken a natural turn and many would have learned from the mistakes of Iacocca and Chrysler. Unfortunately, we did not.
Now we have become a buyout mentality Nation. If it is good for one then why not the other? At least if we are going to use buyouts to "stimulate" the economy make it fair across the board. Put uniform rules in place that apply equally. Do not allow the money buddies of politicians, like AIG, get a free ride compared to others in the same predicament. Personally, I see the need to help the automakers IF they do what they have to do. I do not believe in the billions being given to the banking industry for failures that continue thanks to little oversight.
I do not believe the government should dictate to any private company what they can or cannot do outside of agreed upon stipulations. That is not the job of government. We must be a Nation that believes in giving people a hand up not the one we have become as a Nation of giving handouts.
That used to be a Democratic principle. Somewhere it got lost in the equation.
Hold the leadership accountable. The employees are the ones who really suffer in hard times yet are the least of the problem in regards to waste. Survival of the fittest says it all.
Big fish will always eat smaller fish. They have to in order to survive.
I don't know about you but these days I feel like our Government and their Corporate buddies are the sharks.
I am, unfortunately, their next meal. The guppy.
There has been no answer from the KREF as of yet for the complaint I filed. As you who have been following this story are aware Jim King has done everything possible to win this case, as I certainly understand that, including hiring former KREF Chairman Joe Terry to help. read more about that here:
Louisville News and Politics: KING UPDATES AND MORE!
In the interim I have received countless support from people throughout the community who want honesty and integrity in their officials asking me to not give up.
Do not be absurd. Of course I will not give up until we receive answers. I have reviewed what I have so far and what I can prove about this case and decided to go one step further towards getting answers. I have filed a complaint with the Department of Finance and Insurance (DFI) for the State, and a Federal Reserve complaint as well.
If indeed I am right that there have been lending violations these steps were necessary to insure an honest accounting to We The People who demand better.
It also ensures that if the KREF sweeps this under the rug we will still get answers.
CYA is what I say.
For copies of the complaints contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Internet and open records are a wonderful thing I say.
Do these zoning people have a clue?
I have outlined many problems and exposed serious issues as well in regards to the mess in zoning. This particular case just shows how little is done in enforcement of agreed upon building.
Really it takes time to build something of this magnitude. It isn't done in a day. How could they NOT respond and stop this from happening?
Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think.
To those who may have read some coverage or seen it on television or for those who just care about the planning process being fair to neighbors, here is a history and an update on the Javanon Soccer Club case:
1. I represent the Tucker Station Neighborhood Association and all the adjoining residential neighbors to the property, all of whom object to this building and the way it was built.
2. In August, 2005, the neighborhood supported Javanon's application for a Conditional Use Permit to build two outdoor soccer fields at 12411 Rehl Road.
3.. That CUP was approved with the conclusions "that no structures are proposed at this time, only two soccer fields...that no lighting... is proposed; and that the site will have an extensive landscape buffer area with evergreen and deciduous trees; that no lighting is proposed." The conditions of approval included:
a. "The site shall be developed in strict compliance with the approved development plan... No further development shall occur on the site without prior review and approval by the Board."
b. "No type of lighting is allowed."
c. "The conceptual landscape plan submitted July 27, 2005 shall be the minimum."
4. In 2007, a building permit was issued by the Louisville Metro Department of Inspections, Permits and Licenses because plans for a parking lot had been stamped as approved by Planning and Design. Those plans were presented to PDS by Ali Ahmadi, President of Javanon Soccer Club and also the Engineering Supervisor for the Louisville Department of Public Works. The plan presented showed an "Indoor Practice Facility", not a "proposed" building as previously shown.
5. In late 2007, Javanon proceeded to construct a 23,000 square foot, 30-foot tall metal building.
6. On February 13, 2008, I notified PDS that the building had been built illegally.
7. At that same time, Ahmadi informed me that he had ordered parking lot lighting, despite the provision for no lighting in the CUP.
8. On March 17, 2008, PDS acknowledged the mistake and informed Ahmadi (on his Works Dept. e-mail) on March 18, 2008 to submit a CUP modification application.
9. Ahmadi replied through City e-mail on March 21, 2008, that all the adjoining neighbors had no concerns and that he had received "construction approval from all agencies".
10. In April, July, November and December in 2008, we asked PDS what was happening with the case.
11. In September, an electrical company was on the site to put in parking lot lighting. We informed Ahmadi he could not do that and it was not done.
12. In late October, Channel 41 inquired to PDS about the building.
13. On November 10, 2008, an application to allow parking lot lighting was submitted by Javanon, signed by Ahmadi.
14. On February 13, 2009, we sent another letter to PDS asking about the building, lighting, landscaping, parking lot, etc. This was one year after our first notice.
15. On February 16, 2009, another modified CUP application was submitted by Javanon, signed by Ahmadi, asking for a waiver of all landscaping requirements and a sidewalk requirement. There was no mention of the building.
16. On December 16, 2008, and again on January 6, 2009, I requested of PDS to be copied on any correspondence in this case and to receive notice of any filings. This has never occurred. However, on March 9, 2009, PDS received a letter from me asking questions about this case. At 9:16 that morning, my letter was forwarded to the attorney for Javanon with the notation "FYI".
17. On March 16, 2009, BOZA heard all this and deferred the case to April 20, 2009. They required Javanon to submit details of the building, to hold a neighborhood meeting, to submit revised landscaping plans and to close down the building until further notice.
18. We have received a copy of a February 15, 2000 "Written Reprimand" of Ali Ahmadi that is in his City personnel file. He was reprimanded for signing the approval for driveway construction to property owned by Javanon when that approval was not allowable. At the same time, he used his "position with Jefferson County to seek approvals from another government agency on behalf of the Javanon Soccer Club" when he twice in the same day tried to convince MSD officials to approve the permit. The reprimand goes on further: "Effective immediately, you shall refrain from any and all activities related to the Javanon Soccer Club within the workplace and during your working hours at Jefferson County Government. Likewise, you shall not use your position at Jefferson County government to seek preferential treatment for Javanon Soccer Club or anyone else. Failure to abide by these requirements will result in a much stronger disciplinary action including the possibility of termination of employment." And that was just for building a gravel driveway.
I will keep you informed of further happenings.
Stephen T. Porter, Attorney
2406 Tucker Station Road
Louisville, KY 40299-4529
Fiasco to say the least.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
So what is the question?
If the interior was recently extensively renovated then why would you have to do the same thing again AFTER the appraisal was challenged in a complaint?
This appears to be what King is doing now. Trying to justify the inflated appraisal. I mean why else would you send a virtual army to renovate the interior immediately after you have it stated that it already had received it and the house is up for sale?
I do not know but here check this for yourself:
Of course there is absolutely nothing illegal about doing a renovation but the timing is suspect based on the record. So many questions yet to be asked. In a word?
Stay tuned and have fun....
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It was just brought to my attention that one of the names on the JCC response sheet is Joyce King Jennings. The name King in her sur name brought up a red flag and they asked if she may be related in any way to Jim King. I do not know how I missed it. Any of you faithful readers want to help out? if anyone knows let me know. If she is this is just another great debacle involving conflict of interest. Write me at email@example.com. Thanks.
So much has been going on, personally and professionally, that once again I am a bit behind on posts. My apologies. With the deaths of my mom and a friend the last couple of weeks as you can imagine things have been busy and a little hectic to say the least.
For now there is much to update.
JIM KING and the KREF:
Jim King's legal staff has responded to my complaint. Noticeably absent is any PROOF refuting my claims. It spends most of the time accusing me of using a ghost writer essentially and says it has proof, but yet did not attach any that this was above board. As a matter of fact he has since hired Joe Terry, former head of KREF, as a lawyer as well. You may recall a quote by Joe Terry in the CJ at the beginning of this whole debacle as this does appear to "stink." Now he is on board the King machine. Does it make you wonder what that cost?
For a copy of the response and my rejoinder write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to post it here in the near future.
Department of huh? JCC answers complaint:
As you may recall I also filed an ethics complaint with the Judicial Conduct Commission (JCC) in regards to the whole fiasco and Katie King. Here is their response:
Anyone care to decipher this response? Essentially it says, my interpretation of course, that we discussed your complaint and whether we did anything or not we will not tell you but rest assured that whatever we did, or did not do, we did correctly.
Folks this is as asinine as it gets.
JAVANON revisited:For my take on JAVANON read here: http://springston.blogspot.com/2008/11/code-enforcement-javanon-are-we.html
You can also read the CJ's take here: Board shuts down Javanon facility built without zoning approval courier-journal The Courier-Journal
I particularly love the comments credited to Judith Francis in the article. She states as follows: "I am appalled at the things that have happened." Of course we all should be but coming from Judith Francis is a shock. Anyone who has ever sat in at the Board of Zoning hearings conducted by Ms. Francis can certainly understand that one. I have been critical of her in many areas as a hack, especially in regards to the way she handled the Morris dispute, and still believe so. You can read about it at http://www.myviewmatters.org/ in the news section.
In the meantime wait to see who takes the fall as everyone knows Charles Cash will pass the buck and come out clean as usual. Only problem is NONE of the leaders ever get to take the responsibility. Sad really.
This is Dick Irby's latest on Javanon. Keep up the good work Mr. Irby!
Until next time.........
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I guess when Jim King, and his buddy Bob "rubberstamp" Henderson get together I must be the topic of conversation. Funny really but on with the story.
Yesterday Henderson' pet IPL inspector decided he wanted to visit me. Miracle that this happened AFTER Henderson was at the church next door Friday night and Michael Baugh showed up Monday morning at my house.
As per the usual he said he received an "anonymous" complaint about a car I had parked in my yard (my son's) and it needed to be moved. Funny thing is I live at the end of a dead end street where only 6 houses are on. And all my neighbors are friends who help each other in every way.
As a matter of fact my son pulled his car in the edge of my yard instead of the street beside it allowing my neighbor across the street better access in and out of his driveway. Of course he has no problems with it. Nor do any others.
I just happened to be home working on some home stuff when I walked out my front door and caught Mr. Baugh on my property. He wasn't even looking at the car. I guess he decided he was a police officer or something because when I caught him, with my brother as a witness, he was bent over peering into my brother's Ford Ranger trying to see what was inside. The Ranger was parked at in my driveway NOT my yard.
This is a clear violation of law and his responsibilities. As such I guess Michael Baugh and IPL will now be sued for criminal trespass.
Upon seeing Michael Baugh, pet inspector for the Metro Council, I immediately said what are you doing. His reply I am Michale Baugh of I.. he never got to finish his introduction. He knows who I am and I know who he is and who he represents.
I asked him what he wanted then he came up with the "anonymous" crap. Immediately I informed him he was a liar, which he is, and then told him he was trespassing and to get the hell off my property.
He left immediately.
Of course he sat around the corner from my house waiting for me to leave as I knew he would so 15 minutes later my brother and I decided to leave and see what happened. When we left I had my brother go around the block to prove he Baugh was just waiting for this chance.
Of course I was right. I stopped went to his vehicle and told him simply to tell King, Shreck, or Henderson, whichever sent him, that this was not going to stop me that I have much I have not revealed yet, and to keep playing games. I will expose them and I told Michael that since he is "playing ball" this way in violation of his job, I will now pursue action to take his job away.
And because they read this blog daily I must also say I am not the only one with the info to carry forward. I believe in spreading the wealth of knowledge. You know just in case. And of course this would include everyone they know and how they are related.
These idiots are so predictable it isn't funny. the only surprise here is they actually sent Michael Baugh instead of someone else.
The obvious in this whole situation is constant. When you get caught try to instill fear.
Sadly for them their idiocy does not scare me.
So King, Henderson, Shreck keep playing this game. I for one am not intimidated by the absurdity of your foolishness.
MAY 30, 2008
DOWNTOWN MAIN STREET CRUMBLING?
I met with a couple of business owners in Downtown Louisville today concerning their properties around the Main street area and found out there is a problem.
Apparently the Museum Plaza folks and/or arena folks found out there was some major stone in the areas they are trying to develop. This was an unforeseen problem.
There has been some buried info reported in the Courier and other sites but this problem is ongoing and not revealing all info. Every time the contractors start working to get the stone out the buildings on Main Street literally shake and rattle and there are many complaints filed now that have not been reported concerning the safety of these projects.
The safety aspects are valid ones.
The integrity of the buildings themselves are at stake and if they topple (worst case scenario) the damage to the area and the lives possibly lost are irreplaceable.
More needs to be done to guarantee the safety and integrity of this area. Matter of fact a PLA allowing labor help plan this could have prevented some of these problems. Safety should always come first. Hopefully they will realize that.
Stay tuned for more as I get it.....
According to the CJ today it would appear that indeed there are some problems now surfacing. A stairwell collapsed today injuring City officials that were in the building across from the Louisville Slugger Museum. You can read about it here:
Stairway collapse injures downtown agency officials courier-journal The Courier-Journal#pluckcomments#pluckcomments#pluck...
A thorough safety inspection must be done on all surrounding buildings to insure they are stable for those who enter them. It mus be done immediately. Safety is paramount to anything else.
My thoughts and prayers go to those who were hurt in the hopes of a speedy recovery.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The text of the article concerns LG&E changing their billing practices that will help them gain momney through the use of "late" fees. Please read and forward and contact LG&E to let them know your feelings.
LG&E Turns Off Customers
You would think that in these trying times, a publicly owned utility company would be a little more consumer friendly and understanding. Well, apparently not at Louisville Gas and Electric in Louisville Kentucky.
For years, the local utility company allowed slight modifications in payment dates since the typical customer is paid on the 15th and last of the month while the bill is always due on the 28th of the month. By simply allowing an additional 2 or 3 day “grace period”, customers get their bills paid on time.
But that’s all changed.
The utility company recently sent out a notice to its customers that effective April 1st (appropriate though I presume unintentional), there will be no more grace period because of a change in their billing system. The bill is due on the 28th and it’s late on the 29th. And that means paying a late fee (which, as readers of this blog know, is a form of corporate tax on citizens). That means, through no fault of their own, the average customer could find themselves being penalized for something that is not only not their fault, but the result of changes being made by the company (it's like being fined for a crime someone else committed).
In an effort to try and reach some reasonable solution, my wife phoned customer service at LG&E to see if there was anything we could work out. After all, I doubt my employer (or anyone else’s) would agree to change my pay dates to accommodate LG&E’s billing department. While the conversation was reasonably polite, the customer service representative all but acknowledged that this was one of her employer’s dumbest ideas. Still, there was nothing she or anyone could do about it.
However, if you were receiving “brown notices”, which are letters threatening to turn off the electricity, they would be willing to work with you on your payment dates. Huh?
Simply put, if you’re trying to pay your bill in full and essentially on time, they can’t help you. If you’re late because of how you are paid, sorry about your luck. It’s a strike against you and to add salt to injury, they tack on a $20 late fee. However, if you can’t pay your bill, they can work out a payment plan with you that will fit your needs.
Maybe it’s just me, but where’s the logic here? Shouldn’t they be a little more accommodating to those who can and are willing to pay their bill? Are we, the average working class Joe and Jane, being penalized for trying to do the right thing? Well, it would certainly seem so to me.
By the way, I understand that our formerly “One Great Newspaper”, the Courier Journal, is going to be doing the same thing. I suspect this will simply result in a further decline in subscriptions, which will ultimately send newspaper to the archives of media past. I look for the local water company to try this gimmick as well. The result for each will be more late payments (of course, the upside for them will be more late fees for their coffers) while we could end up with black marks on our credit while we juggle our checkbooks ever more perilously.
I would urge readers to contact LG&E and urge them to stop penalizing their customers and reinstate the grace period to accommodate how the average worker is paid. You can reach them through their link at: https://secure.eon-us.com/common/CallCenterMail/contact_lge_css.asp. You can also reach them at (502) 589-1444 or (800) 331-7370 if you live outside Louisville.
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