Lexington’s New Mayor Pulls A Crazy One

Dear Jim Gray: You just probably killed your entire administration. Hiring Jane Driskell? REALLY? Have you not read about ANY of the hoopla in Louisville? Wow.

Check this from the Herald-Leader:

Jane Driskell will be Commissioner of Finance and Administration…

-SNIP-

Driskell comes to Lexington from Louisville city hall where for 12 years she served in a variety of finance and budgeting positions. Since March 2009, she was Chief Financial Officer and director of management and budget for Louisville Metro Government, appointed by former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.

Here are a couple things that come to mind:

Guess Mayor Jimmy didn’t bother paying attention to the Metro Government audit, either.

Wow. Just wow.

Way to taint a good thing before you get off the ground.

Beshear & Fischer Make A Bridges Announcement

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Mayor Greg Fischer just made an announcement that they plan to explore “cost cutting’ options for the Ohio River Bridges Nightmare, saving more than $500 million.

Check the release from Beshear’s office:

The leaders also signaled their desire to keep the Sherman Minton Bridge (I-64) and Clark Memorial Bridge (US 31) toll free.

The major cost savings for the project, which currently has an estimated price tag of $4 billion, could come from changes in these key areas:

Rebuilding Spaghetti Junction in the existing location rather than move it south

Reducing the East End bridge, roadway and tunnel from six lanes to four lanes, with the option to add two lanes later if traffic demand warrants

Completing the Big Four Bridge pedestrian walkway and bike path as an alternative to including pedestrian and bike paths on the new downtown bridge

In addition, the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority will explore other cost-saving solutions in design, construction and financing by soliciting private-sector ideas at an industry innovation forum next month.

“Now is the time to dig deeper and move faster to make it a reality,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are firmly committed to getting the job done and done right. Let’s start the new year with a firm commitment to reduce the costs of the project.”

“The key to our success moving forward is a lean design that meets our needs at the lowest cost,” said Gov. Daniels. “Our ability to move with creativity and innovation will reduce costs and, ultimately, the tolls to make this project happen. It’s time to unleash the power of the private sector.”

“Time is money,” added Mayor Fischer. “One estimate suggests that every month of delay costs $10 million. The faster and smarter we move forward, the more we can make those checks payable to ourselves.”

The cost-cutting plans are the result of a continuing commitment by both states and the Bridges Authority to complete the project in the most financially responsible way. The two governors have challenged their transportation staffs and consultants to find ways to reduce the project’s cost and accelerate its progress.

The plans will require further study and consultation with federal officials. But the leaders believe the changes will reduce the overall environmental impact of the project, meet the established Purpose and Need and avoid any additional delay.

Head spinning yet?

UPDATE: Here’s what the Say NO To Bridge Tolls folks have to say:

Shawn Reilly of Say NO to Bridge Tolls said “This is a victory for our NO TOLLS campaign. We have been fighting for almost a year asking for this project to be scaled down and built without tolls. The Governors and Mayor finally agree with us that this project is too big and too costly and we are glad that they recognize we can’t afford to toll our existing infrastructure”

Dan Borsch of Say NO to Bridge Tolls said “This is move in the right direction for the Bridges Project, now all we need to agree on is keeping the Kennedy Bridge Toll Free and building this project in affordable phases so that nothing will need to be tolled.”

Borsch also said “We call on officials to stop making backroom deals and to involve the public in a discussion of how to right size this project to best create jobs, reduce congestion and improve safety.”

Peep the bits about an “Industry Innovation Forum” and keeping the Sherman Minton and Clark Memorial Bridges toll-free after the jump…

Read moreBeshear & Fischer Make A Bridges Announcement

Congressman John Yarmuth Says It Gets Better

In the wake of discrimination, bullying and general homophobia, Congressman John Yarmuth has filmed an ‘It Gets Better’ video:




Regardless of your politics, it’s tough not to like what he has to say in that video.

The points he makes should make Louisville proud – not just because of him, but because Louisville is a leader on the front to end discrimination.

Jerry’s Event Was Way Less Circus-Esque, Really

Want to win tickets to the Actors Theatre-Second City production of It Takes A ‘Ville!? Here’s your chance. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Here’s what we said on Page One last night about the Andrew Compton update: Horrific news on the Andrew Compton front: LMPD says they found areas where blood had been cleaned up in the home of Gregory O’Bryan. This sad and terrifying saga continues. Here’s hoping they find Andrew’s body. If you read the story in A Kentucky Newspaper, you’ll develop quite a rage. So be sure to check out the latest story. [WAVE3]

Greg Fischer cited three goals for his new administration: better education, health and compassion. [FOX 41 & WFPL]

Here’s how Reuters is looking at Greg Fischer’s inauguration. [Reuters]

Some people love the way Louisville smells like acrid, burning rubber when it’s super-cold outside. Some people love the way downtown smells after the hog slaughtering factory flushes about ten million gallons of hog guts into the river. Others love Blue Dog because it is flipping amazing. [More Consuming Louisville]

Today Greg Fischer will announce his “key hires” – which will likely be folks that already work for Metro Gubmint or state gubmint. [FOX 41]

Here’s footage of Jerry Abramson being sworn into office as mayor in 1985. It was no circus. [WHAS11]

Locals haven’t read too much about it, but, uh, there is a Northern Kentuckian who is aiding and abetting terrorists. [Page One]

A Kentucky Newspaper apparently asked a single family who the most powerful person in Louisville happens to be. It’s no surprise that they all named their family members or super-close friends. Don’t worry, this isn’t a link to the paper. Here’s betting State Rep. Larry Clark is ticked his name isn’t mentioned. There’s only one person on that list who thinks/wishes he were the most powerful and it’s not Greg Fischer or Mitch McConnell. The real power brokers don’t even get a mention, which is good. [Scribd]

Heard from representatives of The Healing Place that the organization did remarkably well during its five-week fundraising campaign. Final numbers will be released soon and this entire community is to be thanked. [Email Report]

Mayor Greg Fischer Must Act Immediately At LMAS

Last week we kinda foamed at the mouth over news of the latest scandal at Metro Animal Services.

But check this comment we found on the WAVE3 “investigation” story:

Liberty Justice

Way to go, WAVE3. Outstanding. It’s really an amazing piece of investigative journalism when you ask the target of your inquiry if he is guilty or not, and then take him at his word. Wayne Zelinski has been named in the same sexual harassment lawsuit that the former director Meloche was, and yet you think of him as some kind of trustworthy person? What about the fact that he is having an extra-marital affair with one of his current employees? What about the fact that he has no idea what happens in the shelter, because he never actually goes into the shelter itself? What about the fact that they have suspended adoptions at the Manslick Road facility, and have ordered that any animal who isn’t a small cute puppy to be killed with all haste? What about the fact that he turned the new multi-million dollar Animal House over to a 22 year old girl who’s only work experience was some retail job, just because he fancies her? The employees and volunteers who brought this to your attention feared for their jobs, and trusted that you would do an investigation that was thorough and valid. They were horribly deceived. Wayne Zelinsky is “Meloche Junior”, and he needs to be immediately replaced. I dare say that he should also be investigated for violations of law and ethics as well. The only reason the massive euthanasia wasn’t carried out yesterday was that the news crews descended on the place, and he had to scramble. Also, the volunteer and rescue groups stepped in en mass to save the animals that he had slated for execution. He still hasn’t looked into the Dismas worker who is killing animals at the facility by stomping them to death. He still lets his employees H***** and R****** make arbitrary rules and regulations off the cuff, which allow them to do as little work as possible. Mostly because of the affair with the former, and his wish to have an affair with the latter. They discharge their responsibilities, and order mass euthanasia all the time. R****** has ordered that adoptions be halted at the Manslick location, and if you want an animal from there, you have to drive to the NEW Animal House facility across town to apply. It’s bureaucratic environmental racism. That means that you have to drive all over Louisville just to adopt. People will balk at that idea, and they will get to kill even more animals (so they can sit around and not do any work). I sincerely hope that you don’t let this piece stand as the final truth in this matter. Lying, malfeasance, corruption, cover-up, scandal, deceit. This is what awaits the journalist who really digs deep and gets the real story. I know Zelinsky has fobbed you off with his lying, I hope you will take a second look. You think he just installed a huge new incinerator at Manslick for the aesthetics of it? No. He has planned on opening an abattoir, or slaughter-house, if you will. His plan to fix the animal problem in Louisville is to kill them all, and burn the evidence. The more you kill, the less paperwork, and work involved. We are paying these people to sit around and do nothing, as is evidenced by a Dog Catcher who still insists on using the imperious title of “Captain”, and wears a suit to work every day. Or by people like H**** (a former bartender), and R******, (a former Mall worker), to handle such a huge enterprise with no direction whatsoever. Dig deeper, WAVE-3. Don’t annoy those of us who know better with these fluff pieces that make Zelinsky look good. He is a jackal, and he is laughing at how easily you were mislead and beguiled. Dig up the truth…present it to the public…It’s called journalistic integrity. Please make a note of it….

What a salacious comment. I have been unable to prove the allegations of affairs, but a lot of the rest – while rumor – are matters easily confirmed by other LMAS employees.

Even if only 10% of what’s alleged int he comment is true? I think that’s plenty for the new mayor to take swift action to clean house at Metro Animal Services.

Wow. Have at it.

Win Tickets To Second City: It Takes A ‘Ville!

What better way to start off a new year than with a show at Actors Theatre? So let’s do just that.

I’m giving away tickets to The Second City: It Takes A ‘Ville!.

About the show: World-famous comedy, tailor-made for Louisville! The Second City, one of the world’s most celebrated comedy troupes, uses its signature talents to tailor a Louisville-centric revue exclusively for Actors Theatre—complete with riffs on big hats and hot browns, bluegrass and bourbon. With some of the nation’s most skilled comedians exploring the hilarious possibilities of our beloved city, It Takes a ‘Ville will be a show to remember.

See? I’m pretty sure you’ll want to go. The show runs tomorrow through February 6. Two winners will receive a voucher for two tickets.

Here’s how to enter: leave a comment on this post, send me an email or message me on Twitter. Simply saying you want to win the tickets won’t cut it and you won’t be included in the drawing, which will take place tomorrow.

Tickets are valid for use Sunday through Thursday or during Saturday matinees, January 4 – January 16.

Not a winner? Click here to buy tickets to the show. They’ve got a pretty sweet deal for select performances.

Oh, here’s an interesting Second City video:




Why I Am Embarrassed For Greg Fischer

His inaugural circus. Plain and simple. I want to like Greg – even after all the crap – but things like this just keep making my eyes bug out.

In these recessionary times, massive amounts of money should not be spent on some gigantic dog and pony show. This does not send a good message to average Louisvillians.

Just take a look at plans for the entire day. This is just for the breakfast:

INAUGURAL BREAKFAST CELEBRATION

7:00 A.M. DOORS OPEN TO CASCADE BALLROOM

7:15-7:35 A.M. ENTERTAINMENT BY INTERNATIONAL GROUPS

7:30 A.M. VIDEO LOOP OF NEIGHBORHOODS, CITIES BEGINS
SHOWING DURING BREAKFAST

7:40 A.M. DOWN BY THE WAYSIDE CHOIR PERFORMS

7:50 A.M. BLESSING BY FATHER FRANK SMITH
PASTOR OF CHRIST’S CHURCH FOR OUR COMMUNITY

7:55 A.M. MALE DRUM CORP LEADS NEIGHBORHOOD/NON-PROFIT/SMALL CITY REPS WITH THEIR OFFERINGS AND GIFTS TO THE COMMUNITY TREASURE CHEST IN FRONT OF STAGE

8:05 A.M. PROGRAM BEGINS
LYNN FISCHER – MC

GLI VIDEO PLAYS

MC INTRODUCES CO-CHAIR TOMMY ELLIOTT
WHO INTRODUCES HONORARY CHAIRS –
CONGRESSMAN MAZZOLI, DAVID ARMSTRONG,
SENATOR GEORGIA POWERS

THEY WILL EACH SPEAK 1-2 MINUTES

8:20 A.M. GREG MAKES REMARKS

8:30 A.M. MORE PERFORMANCES BY
INTERNATIONAL PERFORMERS

9:00 A.M. PROCESSIONAL TO THE CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION LED BY GREG FISCHER

I just… yeah. A simple swearing-in would have sent a great message.

Oh well. Maybe another time, right?

See the schedules for the Interfaith Prayer and Swearing-In after the jump… cause there’s a parade involved (seriously)…

Read moreWhy I Am Embarrassed For Greg Fischer