Spin Is In Session

Maybe “Kentucky is for Losers” would be a more appropriate state motto, as suggested in today’s LEO. After spending $600,000 for a special session, state Dems have the nerve to pat themselves on the back (see below).

Brings Back Memories: A southern governor is caught in an affair with an exotic woman. Promising political career ends. Hmm. Sound familiar? [NYTimes]

Bridge Finally Getting Built: No, not that bridge. But construction has started on the Harrods Creek Bridge, which will be a two-lane thoroughfare by Christmas. [WAVE]

Do What Your Momma Says: If your Momma saw you on tape committing a crime, would she make you turn yourself in? That’s what happened when a robber’s Momma saw him on TV. [WLKY]

Let’s See, Shouldn’t the Rally Have Been Held Before the Vote: KEEP is hosting a rally for the horse industry tonight at Keeneland, and Gov. Beshear and Speaker Stumbo are scheduled to speak. [Thoroughbred Times]

Already, Slots Dead in 2010: Guess the horse industry should get the message. If it takes slots to keep the racing industry alive in Kentucky, David Williams prefers to let it die. [Courier]

Baptist Backhand Compliment: The SBCers kind of sort of said they liked Pres. Obama, but made sure to not mince words in criticizing his position on abortion. [Peter Smith]

No Disaster After All at U of L: Remember the horrors predicted at U of L over the brain surgeons who left to form a new department at Norton?  Well U of L hired new surgeons, and announced today that its residency program in neurosurgery was reaccredited. There are still some hoops to jump through, but the world is not ending for the school. [U of L]

Oh, So the Session was a Big Success, Huh? Check out the spin from Kentucky’s Democrats, as if everything that happened in the special session was like, really good for us. [Page One]

Tim Krekel Passes Away

After a brief illness, local musician Tim Krekel passed away this afternoon.

Please feel free to use this space to leave a tribute to Tim Krekel, who was a beloved figure in the local music scene. As we get more information on funeral arrangements and tributes, we’ll post them here.

Tim’s website has a wonderful biography of his life. He was 58.

King Says Budget is Set

Even though today’s meeting between Mayor Jerry Abramson and Metro Council Budget Chair Jim King seems fraught with opportunities for conflict, King says the spending in the budget is set and the $4 million in additional spending in the Council’s budget proposal will move forward.

King explained the way the separation of powers works, in this case. “We have the power to limit spending, and he has the power not to spend,” King said this afternoon.

In other words, the Council has put money in place to re-hire Neighborhood Place administrators, but Abramson is not required to spend the money to hire them. Alternately, the Council did not authorize money that Abramson wanted to use for fleet purchases, so the Mayor can’t just go ahead and spend that money.

King says the Mayor could make a compelling case for changing some aspects of the budget the Council is proposing, and the Council would react, but the money the Council wants to spend can’t be vetoed.

“Our spending proposal is just $4 million, which is less than 1 percent of the budget,” King said.

On the revenue side, King said that Abramson doesn’t have to follow the Council’s direction for additional monies, such as the suggestion of taking $2 million from the Water Company or $750,000 from the Downtown Development Corp. It doesn’t mean, however, that if he doesn’t do so that something else will have to be cut.

King said he expects near unanimous approval of the Metro Council budget on Thursday night.

Wilder Case Draws Media Spotlight

Here’s proof that if you’re a public figure, you can’t get away with going on a drunken binge in which you end up sleeping in a garbage can. At least not in your own neighborhood.

Jeffersonville attorney Larry Wilder resigned today from his position as attorney for the Jeffersonville City Council and the school board, and every media outlet is all over it. Though he was listed as unavailable for comment in the C-J, WLKY’s Hailee Lampert talked with Wilder off camera, who told her he resigned because the media attention was too much for his family and friends.

Meanwhile, the story of how the incriminating photo made it to the newspaper took another twist. Turns out it was standard procedure for a police officer to photograph the scene, in case a crime was committed. When the officer, still unnamed, uploaded the photo to the police department computer system, someone with access found it and took it outside the department, where it ended up in the local newspaper.

That info certainly widens the net of people who had the opportunity to distribute the photo. And now a battle has ensued between the Mayor (who accused a rogue police officer) and the FOP, which seems now to have a legitimate defense against the charge that one of its officers was out to get Wilder. Apparently, even if an internal investigation pins the blame on someone, there’s no department policy against taking photos from the department computers.

Mayor Galligan would be smart to drop the whole investigation and let the story die. It’s already been front and center on newscasts for a week. But that’s not gonna happen.

The Bats of Summer Book

Thanks to the good folks at Louisville Slugger, we’ve got another copy of the new book about our most famous local company to give away to some lucky reader.

The book, “Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and the Louisville Slugger” is written by David Magee and Philip Shirley, who will be in town Friday at the Slugger Museum to sign copies of the book and talk a little baseball.

They’ll be there Friday from 3-5 p.m. and Saturday from 9-Noon.  The book will be on sale at the gift shop.

But if you want our copy, just give us a good reason to give it you in the Comments  section of this post.

King and Abramson Holding Weighty Meeting

Oh, to be in on the 4 p.m. meeting this afternoon at Jerry’s office.  In one corner, our Mayor for Life and budget slasher — Jerry Abramson. Across the desk, Budget committee chair and a suddenly big spender for the Metro Council, Jim King.

It’s hardly a prize fight, but going into today’s meeting there are clear areas of disagreement. Yesterday, King’s Council committee released its suggestions that restore funding to plenty of organizations and using money to do it from sources that the Mayor considers off the table.

For instance, King’s plan calls for simply taking $2 million from the Louisville Water Co. City spokesman Chris Poynter said that’s one of several items in the Council plan that won’t fly.

“The Water Company has an agreement in place to return money to the government,” he said. “And remember how wet it’s been, and there’s not as much water being used.”

Poynter said the idea of marketing the building housing the Neighborhoods department by August 1 is not realistic and would not likely raise the $1.5 million promised in the plan. He said Council ideas for shutting down the Neighborhoods Department and eliminating Brightside would also not be agreed to. And taking $750,000 from the Downtown Development Corporation is unlikely.

So how much of the millions in additional spending proposed by the Council yesterday will actually be funded?

Zoning Mess Unresolved in Brownsboro

Bob Roos and the 100 people at the Brownsboro Road zoning meeting last night walked away unsatisfied with the answers they were given by Nicklies Development. WAVE’s Lindsay English covered the meeting.

Roos said the meeting wasn’t what he expected, and that Nicklies didn’t provide his group with any answers. It just asked for input from neighbors. Nicklies told neighbors that because of the economy, it no longer made sense to build the 170 units, priced at $350K and up, on the former Kitty’s Nursery property.

But Roos thinks  the idea of building a nursing home, or lower-priced units with higher density, would raise objections from neighbors, and he vows to fight zoning approval for any changes to the plan. He said plans being discussed call for as many as 600 additional units on the 30-acre tract.

“They’re talking about pricing at $150,000,” he said. “And there’s nothing that low in the neighborhood.”

Roos said he thinks the developer, who must call a public meeting to request zoning changes, is hoping to wear down neighbors. Nicklies said it is doing a study to determine the best use of the property. A new meeting date is not scheduled.

Hot, Really Hot, and Ready News

Too Little Too Late: Would it have made a difference if the Governor had campaigned around the state for the slots bill? Probably not, but it’s kind of troubling to know that he was at odds with Greg Stumbo on the all-important legislation. [Courier]

Another Look at Parking: Does it make sense to outsource the job of writing parking tickets? To a company in Georgia. Maybe. But the city’s taking bids on a new contract for parking enforcement.  What’s so hard about the job that we can’t keep all that money in town? [WFPL]

Remember that Larry Wilder is the One Who Got Drunk and Fell Asleep in a Garbage Can: Good to see the C-J keeping the Larry Wilder story alive, and digging up a goofy mug shot of the Indiana lawyer. Now the FOP in Jeffersonville is objecting to Mayor Tom Galligan’s criticism of the police for providing a photo to news media.  [Courier]

Connected Disconnect: NPR’s On the Media takes a look at Kentucky as it examines Connected Nation, which promotes the expansion of high-speed Internet to rural areas. [The Edit]

Something Smells in Butchertown: Air Pollution Control District officials are determining fines at the Swift plant for smelling up the neighborhood, but it may be dangerous to workers as well. [Fox41]

Unemployment for Bunton: Former Metro Housing Director Kim Bunton has gotten more than $10K in unemployment benefits since she resigned last year under pressure. The city didn’t challenge her claim, and Kelly Downard says it’s outrageous that she’s getting the money. Mayor Jer was quoted saying she deserved it for serving the city admirably for six years. [WLKY]