We Could Learn A Lot About Neighborhood Rebirth

Maybe some day Louisville will get its act together like this:

During the ’90s and aughts, many of Savannah’s poorest neighborhoods spiraled into disrepair. Aging residents lacked the money and energy to maintain their properties; younger residents and business owners were fleeing in search of livelier communities. Fed up with rising crime and plummeting property values, residents staged protests. “They needed help,” says Martin Fretty, who oversees Savannah’s Department of Housing, “and they needed it soon.” In response, the city launched Neighborhood Renaissance Savannah in 2000.

Click here to read the rest.

Maybe my hopes are just too big? Or maybe someday we’ll use money like this to fund a redevelopment renaissance throughout our great city.

Extreme West End Foreclosure Rates

Yesterday PVA Tony Lindauer released a statement indicating that foreclosure, vacant structures and escheatments is at 13% in the West End. Compared to 3% for the rest of Louisville, of course.

More of what he had to say from a release:

“The percent of west Louisville residential properties that are in foreclosure, vacant structures or escheatments is 13% compared to only 3% for the rest of Metro Louisville,” said Lindauer.  “This has a significant impact on neighborhood property values and quality of life for residents here.” Lindauer, a Portland native, released the PVA annual state of the real estate recently and this is one major area of concern.

“West Louisville is particularly vulnerable in a shaky economy because so many of its residents live paycheck to paycheck and have fallen prey to predatory lenders,” said Lindauer.  “A good number of these properties are investor held whose intentions were to renovate and sell but the sliding economy prevented those plans.”

In the coming weeks, the Jefferson County PVA office will continue to call attention to specific aspects of the annual report which will be announced in full length soon.

“We have a unique opportunity to bring up this part of our community, said Lindauer.  “By calling attention to the data, we hope to create a focus on the change this neighborhood needs.”

Should we hold our breath over the thought of the rest of the city not ignoring the West End?

C-J Profiles Yancy-Adams State House Race

Last week we discussed Frank Simon confidant Jimmy Yancy and his opponent, Julie Raque Adams. Yancy, who received $2,000 from Frank Simon and his wife, consistently attacks Adams for not being closed-minded and bigoted enough.

The Courier-Journal’s Stephanie Steitzer took note of the race. Here are some highlights:

Adams, who co-owns a public relations firm in Louisville, Adams and Call Inc., is known as a moderate Republican who often crossed party lines during her tenure on Metro Council.

She supported the proposed Jefferson County occupational-tax increase in 2007 — defeated in a referendum — that would have paid for an expansion of the city’s library system, and she also supported the smoking ban approved by the council.


Yancy, who served nearly 27 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, said his military background makes him qualified to serve in the House.


“I have a strong conviction that gambling leads to poverty,” he said. “I just feel very adamant about that when I say that.”

Steitzer didn’t examine Yancy’s Simon-leanings, which is unfortunate. Because Louisville Republicans are the best in the state and don’t waste their time with discrimination or worrying about everybody else’s personal life.

But we’re glad to see Adams profiled as the middle-of-the-road person both Republicans and Democrats support.

It’s Early On Oaks Day. Anyone Else Awake?

Yesterday Greg Fischer rolled out the endorsements of the Horsemen’s Benevolence & Protective Association and two outsider jockeys: Robby Albarado and Calvin Borel. That’s just weird. At least Pat Day, who endorsed Hal Heiner earlier this week, is someone locals know and appreciate as a Louisvillian. [Press Release]

That sound you hear is the Convention and Visitors Bureau unveiling a Destination Development Plan earlier this week that stressed the importance of preserving the Iron Quarter. [Click the Clicky]

Abbey Road on the River is coming back to Louisville. I guess this is a big deal for Beatles fans. There will be contests and such that we do not understand. [Click the Clicky]

This week Fairdale Bigfoot has advice for going to Churchill Downs. Mustache rides, seersucker, pleats and light beer. [Consuming Louisville]

The Watterson-Westport interchange is finally live. What’s it like, folks? [C-J]

How’d we miss this story? Mellwood Arts Center cited for illegal dumping. [WAVE3]

Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race is out of control and one of the Democrats is concerned about losing. [We’ve Got Audio]

Just a reminder: the Ohio River Bridges Project “data” are a load of horse shiz. [FatLip]

The destruction of Iron Quarter isn’t going to happen without quite a fight. People from all walks and political bents are coming together to express outrage. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Telegraph Mentions Earth Day Highlights

And Louisvillian Peter Byck (son of the late great Dann Byck!) got a big mention:

Hollywood is producing 40 million pounds less trash as a result of the day while Peter Byck, a filmmaker, has produced a new film called “Carbon Nation” showing how people across America have successfully moved to a low carbon economy.

Byck, of course, is producer of Carbon Nation, which we have covered in the past.

The best part? The film will premier on May 6 at 7:00 and 9:00 P.M. at the Louisville Science Center. Click here for ticket information. Making a tax-deductible donation in any amount (seriously) to Earth School Educational Foundation gets you access to a pre-film reception and the screening.

After the premier, Village 8 will host the film for a week.

Go see it!

Something’s Going Down On Dixie Highway

An April 23 Courier-Journal story noted that a neighborhood meeting will be held today to discuss a possible retail center at 7144 Dixie Highway.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Mosaic United Methodist Church, 8008 St. Andrews Church Road.

Mark and Terry Clemons, owners of Park TV Sales and Service are planning to construct a retail center on four parcels of land they own at the site and along Textile Avenue. Before submitting a development proposal, however, they are required to hold a neighborhood meeting with adjoining property owners and community leaders.

Then somebody left the following comment on the story:

CRACKER BARREL was committed to establishing a location on the northwest corner of Dixie Hwy. and KY 841 (Snyder) a few years ago.

BUT, they backed out because of the actions of Bill Gray, the Trustee Chairman of Bethany United Methodist Church and a close associate of 14th Metro Councilman “Bubba” Bob Henderson. (Bill Gray was later appointed by Abramson to the MSD board of directors.)

How do I know this?
A letter from Cracker Barrel dated Sept. 29, 2003 addressed to Bill Gray is in the Planning and Zoning file for that case, and it states: “… you represented … that the church could not sell its property. … We are now at a point where … you are selling the church property. This was a COMPLETE SURPRISE …. I no longer have confidence in this project….” (Signed) David Sawyer, Real Estate Manager.

So folks, it was Bill Gray, Bob Henderson, and Bethany United Methodist Church that screwed things up. Cracker Barrel no longer trusted these guys. So they backed out.

I’m not sure what the entire deal is, but it’s interesting and involves Chris Thieneman.

Here’s the letter referenced by the commenter:


Our anonymous tipster apparently wants us to go on a wild goose chase. So if anyone has information to add, please do so in the comments.