Historic Rosewell Estate Suffered Storm Damage

The historic Rosewell Estate in the eastern part of the county was significantly damaged by storms last night. The 1820s Greek Revival mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and was being preserved as part of the Ohio River Bridges Debacle.


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The home suffered broken windows and, according to the Transportation Cabinet (which owns the property), “major damage to its roof.” Contractors have been assigned to temporarily cover the roof and windows to prevent additional water damage. Structural engineers will assess the building’s integrity soon.

You’ve Got Time & Money, So Let’s Do This

In this period of political rancor it’s easy to forget those who are most often ignored. It’s easy to forget how blessed you are. Easy to distance yourself from the reality that kids often aren’t just hungry or alone – they’re without parents who care or altogether without families. Sometimes kids have suffered such severe abuse that they require inpatient treatment.

Often they truly need extra love and support.

That’s where Brooklawn comes into play.

The facility – home to 126 boys and girls aged five through 18 – supports youth suffering from the lasting effects of severe abuse and neglect. Brooklawn provides comprehensive care, treatment and education our kids need to overcome their traumatic pasts. With the assistance of the organization, most go on to live successful lives. There’s no denying everybody deserves just such an opportunity.

I’ve tried for a few weeks to decide just how to present Brooklawn to our readership and how to ask for support. There are many ways to help and volunteer. I encourage you to get directly involved.

Beyond that, though, I really want you to know how rewarding it is to give back. I asked State Representative Joni Jenkins, a Brooklawn board member and volunteer, to tell me what she does with the organization and why her work matters to her:

As a tutor, once a week I spend 30 minutes or more with my 12-year-old student. We read books, do homework, play Skittle Math, play games and sometimes just talk. He is a remarkable young man who has many challenges in his life. He tells me often how he wants to go home, but that he knows that’s probably not a good idea. While I grieve for his loss of his family, I am so thankful that he is in this very special place that will help him heal and grow and meet all those challenges.

For the little that I have given, I have been given so much. After a really bad day in Frankfort, I often pull out the thank you letter that one of the residents sent to Santa (me). “Even though I really wasn’t good, you still brung me alot of gifts”.

Not sure Jenkins’ story could be any more succinct. It illustrates what a difference a few minutes per week can make in a child’s life. Particularly a child in need of a patient ear and some educational guidance.

Basics aside, I also wondered what we could do directly to support the kids at Brooklawn. My conversation with Jenkins covered quite a history of the organization and tugged all the appropriate heartstrings. But she said something that resonated with me on a more emotional level: “Brooklawn is still a place where kids can be kids.” And that – to me – may be the most important thing to remember. Playing sports, gardening, learning music, putting on talent shows and taking part in activities that leave lasting, happy memories of childhood are a big deal at Brooklawn.

So that’s where we’re going to help.

Thanks to Missy Fountain, Director of Community Involvement, we’ve got a list of “Summer Fun” items needed for a proper childhood. Buy up the following and take them to Brooklawn: hula hoops, water balloons, face painting supplies, sidewalk chalk, basketballs, Nerf balls, footballs, frisbees, bubbles, beach towels, beach balls, volleyballs, tennis balls, Badminton sets, large sponges, corn hole bags, golf balls, softball gloves, softballs, baseballs. Those are things we can all afford to purchase and deliver with relative immediacy.

Brooklawn’s also got something called the Reward Store. It’s designed to motivate kids by giving them the opportunity to use “Brooklawn Bucks” they earn for positive behavior to purchase toys, clothes, books and hygiene products. Here’s a list of current Store needs:

  • Board games
  • Hot Wheels
  • Action figures
  • Hygiene products like toothpaste, hair gel and deodorant
  • Puzzles
  • Snacks
  • Batteries
  • Boomboxes
  • Skateboards
  • Helmets
  • Posters

We can all help on that front, right? Call Missy at 502.515.0474 if you need additional information. And please get these items to Brooklawn. It’s a great opportunity to make a child’s life better with a bit of happiness.

You’ll thank yourself when it’s all said and done.

Let’s Please Start Loving Louisville For What It Is

I’m baaaaaack. What kind of debauchery is in store this week?

Uh, Greg, Louisville is NEVER going to be an international player if it can’t even be a player in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A severe lack of promised transparency – just to benefit your family – isn’t helping matters. You get to shoulder a bunch of this blame now. [WFPL]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have been cleared. No evidence was discovered that they manipulated climate data to support global warming. Mouth-breather meltdown in 3, 2… [NY Times]

You folks may really love Tom Burch. But don’t you dare every tell me he’s not bought and sold like the majority of Frankfort electeds. [Ralph Long]

The pet psychic needs to forget about Indiana. She needs to haul you-know-what to Louisville Metro Animal Services. POSTHASTE! [FOX41]

The Humana Festival of New American Plays is under way! Get thee to Actors Theatre posthaste. [ATL]

It seems giant corporations tend to receive all the TIF money in this country. Rather than spur development? TIF dollars tend to flow into the pockets of businesses that are already hugely popular. [NY Times]

Student hunger is the third-biggest problem facing teachers, according to a recent study. One of the many reasons you should support Dare to Care. [CNN]

Seems like it was just yesterday that Jerry Abramson was working hard against neighborhoods and initiatives like block watches and such. [WHAS11]

Did you take part in the annual Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Kentucky? At least $330,000 was raised during the event. [WAVE3]

Ever wondered how many lobbying dollars are spent in Frankfort? Or who gets paid what? You should probably check this out. It’s a monthly feature. [Page One]

Metro Council Having Bed & Breakfast Nightmares

Last night, in a moment of serious panic and fear, the Metro Council approved an ordinance that updates the land development code – specifically the portion that issues conditional use permits.

Here’s what some Democratic Councilcritters had to say about it all:

  • “I requested the Planning Commission to review the Land Development Code to protect our neighborhoods. Businesses operating within a residential zoned area should not have an impact on their neighbors.” – Councilman Dan Johnson, District 21
  • “The changes made to the Land Development Code reflect our more urbanized area and go father to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods while still allowing non-intrusive businesses to operate within a residentially zoned district.” – Councilwoman Marianne Butler, District 15
  • “I am glad I was able to help the Council reach a compromise that will work not only for neighborhoods but bed and breakfast operations. I look forward to working with all parties involved to see how we can continue to improve this ordinance to provide more opportunities for our bed and breakfasts to continue to grow and thrive in our community.’” – Councilman David James, District 6
  • “I ‘m glad we are taking steps to maintain the character of neighborhoods and answer the needs of a growing industry.” – Councilman David Tandy, District 4
  • “I think these changes will help everyone understand what kinds of businesses will now be able to operate in various areas around Metro Louisville. As we see growth in the bed and breakfast industry locally, these changes ensure that we are taking a realistic approach to keeping a balance between economic development and unique neighborhoods.” – Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, District 5
  • “This ordinance will not only assist a growing industry here in Metro Louisville but residents in all of our neighborhoods will have a better idea of what can and cannot be located near their homes when talking about a conditional use permit.” – Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13
  • “We need to always make sure we protect the integrity of any neighborhood. When you have invested in a home you should not have to worry about the noise and traffic problems of a new business that may be in your neighborhood. I believe these changes will go a long way to ease those kinds of concerns from homeowners.” – Councilman Bob Henderson, District 14
  • “I hope this shows residents of Metro Louisville that we seriously review all changes to zoning and at the same time are well aware of the needs and concerns of our neighborhoods.” – Councilwoman Madonna Flood, District 24
  • “I am pleased that we were able to reach something that not only helps business grow and more importantly protect the use and enjoyment of our neighbors and set guidelines for any future considerations.” – Councilman David Yates, District 25
  • “My first concern is maintaining the integrity of our neighborhoods. Homeowners should be able to feel they do not have to bend to impractical changes to enhance economic development. I want to see a level playing field with no special treatment for a business that may have an impact on neighborhoods. These changes will maintain that balance that treats the neighborhood residents and businesses equally.” – Councilman Brent T. Ackerson, District 26

Something smells funny.

Main Street Association On The Iron Quarter

The Main Street Association sent a letter to the AKN/C-J, Greg Fischer, Todd Blue and Metro Councilcritters to reaffirm its 2010 position regarding the Iron Quarter buildings.


Couldn’t find the letter anywhere on the paper’s website, so let’s just dig in:

In light of the recent announcement concerning the agreement reached between Mayor Greg Fischer and Todd Blue as to the future for the Iron Quarter Buildings located between 105 and 119 West Main Street, the Main Street Association (“MSA”) feels compelled to reaffirm its position on the importance of saving the facades of the buildings. On May 11, 2010, the MSA approved a motion stating that, at a minimum, the facades of the buildings located along the 100 block of West Main Street be preserved with continuing development to follow. The motion was made in an effort to abide by our mission statement which is to promote and advocate for the uniqueness of the neighborhood and the diverse historic, commercial, architectural, cultural, residential and educational assets of Main Street.

-SNIP-

In order for the City to continue to grow and become an ever more vibrant community, its leaders, developers and citizens must work together to protect our treasured architectural and historic assets while, at the same time, supporting opportunities to redevelop properties in a financially responsible manner.

The Iron Quarter presents a real and significant opportunity to move this community forward and to take advantage of the extraordinary business development currently occurring near the KFC YUM! Center. Ensuring that the Iron Quarter is not turned into a parking lot should go without saying. Louisville’s downtown maintains some of the most beautiful architecture in the United States, but year after year we see this architecture being turned into surface parking lots so as to avoid the hard work and effort that goes into bringing landmark properties back to life.

Developing a downtown is not like developing a suburban area – people want density and continuity in a downtown; turning the Iron Quarter into a surface parking lot stands in direct contrast to this notion.

-SNIP-

Unfortunately, the citizens in this community find themselves again scratching their heads at the decision made by its leadership.

-SNIP-

We implore Todd Blue and Mayor Fischer to reconsider their agreement and try everything in their power to think for the community – either preserve these beautiful buildings, or at the very least the facades, or sell the buildings to someone who is interested in doing so for Louisville and its future!

Click here (Warning: PDF File) to read the letter in its entirety.

And then ask yourself what the heck kind of jacked up situation this city has gotten itself into the past few years.

These secretive, non-transparent backroom deals are everything Greg Fischer campaigned against. They’re everything that’s wrong with this city. It’s a real shame we can’t move forward when we need to. A real shame the self-professed change agents are just as misguided and ridiculous as the folks we wanted to get rid of.

What was that, again, about me being wrong about Greg the past few years? Yeah, about that…

Looks Like Judy Green’s Pants Are Sagging Again

Want a copy of Rand Paul’s new book about the Tea Party and his ascension to Jim Bunning’s former U.S. Senate seat? Then enter to win. I’ve got buncha copies to give away. Today’s the last day to enter. [Page One]

This evening at 6:30 P.M. UofL student Brett McGrath – with the United Nations Association – USA Louisville Chapter – will present his trip to Palestine in a talk called “Universal Decimation of Human Rights in Palestine.” It’s at the Egan Leadership Center at 901 South Fourth Street. RSVP to TeenaHal@aol.com. Should be interesting. [Press Release]

Gatewood Galbraith doesn’t care for mountaintop removal. Because most folks with common sense don’t care for it. [WFPL]

We’ve pointed this out twice in the past (like here). But it’s happening again. Yesterday Steve Beshear ONCE AGAIN took credit for Senate Bill 1 – despite working against it for an entire year. His office even sent out press releases about how awful it was while crazy Vicki Glass was still in charge. [Head – Desk Moment]

Finally! The take-home police car nightmare could be over for Louisville Metro Police Department officers. Funds could be returned soon. [LMPD.com & WAVE3]

Metro Councilcritter Judy Green is probably about to you-know-what her pants because she’s caught red-handed. Metro Ethics is set to hear a complaint against her, too. The woman should just resign and let her district push a councilperson who won’t embarrass the ever living shiz out of them 24/7 with stupid legislation, potentially illegal campaign contributions and corruption. [FOX 41]

Six Flags Over Jesus will host its 15th and final Easter Pageant this year. You should buy your tickets right now. LIVE ANIMALS. Like a million in the cast. Jesus flies around on a wire. It is worth it. [WHAS11]

The State House approved a bill that alters oversight of for-profit education. With all the Daymar scandals going down in Louisville, this could be ripe. [H-L]

Whaaat? Job grown is concentrated in low-wage industries? Surely not! Surely everything is puppies and rainbows. [HuffPo]