News Commenters Will Quickly Rot Your Brain

Wondering why 99.9999% of comments never see the light of day?

Here’s an example, fresh from the WAVE3 story about Kentucky Kingdom:


The text:

Bwaaha haha — told ya there Koch family — waste of time and money even if you get it up and going the “Hood Rats” will ruin it for everybody — it will never be like Holiday World — to “Urban” that is why Holiday World is so successful it’s not close enough for the Hood Rats to go to very easily

Rather than show the world that most people leaving comments have limited brain function? It’s best to keep commenting at a minimum.

Newspaper Folks Suckered Into Fischer LMAS Spin

We recently rolled our eyes hardcore at a story A Kentucky Newspaper ran about Louisville Metro Animal Services. Primarily because the author of the story didn’t bother checking any fact or figure they were provided by Justin Scally, Margaret Brosko and Sadiqa Reynolds.

Seems we weren’t the only ones who rolled our eyes.

A former LMAS employee wrote to the paper and the author with actual figures and information from LMAS. Naturally, they received no response. So we’re publishing the letter in its entirety. Not even going to hide part of it behind a jump link.

Dear Editor,

I am writing about the article Sheldon Shafer wrote in the Courier Journal online edition of May 11, 2012. There were several inaccuracies that I feel you should be aware of.

Mr. Shafer states that “new director Justin Scally has greatly reduced the percentage of euthanasia of animals taken in by the shelter, while increasing the percentage of adoptions or transfer of animals to other animal-care groups, the figures show.”

Mr. Scally has stated he prefers to use similar months for comparison purposes. Therefore, if we compare the first quarter of 2011 to the same quarter of 2012, euthanasia is down by only 2%, if you compare the number of animals euthanized to the number of animals brought into the shelter. In Jan, Feb, March and April of 2011, 3,690 animals came into LMAS and of that number, 1,369 were euthanized. In Jan, Feb, March and April of 2012, 2,904 animals were brought into the shelter and 1,026 were euthanized.

In my opinion, 2% is not a “great reduction.”

As for “increasing the percentage of adoptions,” the statistics show that for the first four months of 2011, 652 animals were adopted from LMAS. Of that number, 52 were returned for a total of 600 adopted. For the same period in 2012, a total of 739 were adopted and 69 were returned for a total of 670 total adoptions. This increase of 70 adoptions in a four month period equals less than 1 additional adoption per day. This, despite having two more full time adoption personnel at Animal House in 2012 than in 2011.

The reduction in the number of animals received by the shelter is significant but the increase in adoptions is not. When the shelter boasts of increasing the percentage of adoptions, they fail to mention this increase is primarily due to the decrease in their intake numbers. The actual number of adoptions performed has barely changed. If anything, it shows that productivity has actually decreased as there are fewer animals to care for (reduced intake), more staff and an almost imperceptible increase in adoptions.

As far as transfers to other animal rescue groups is concerned, the figures for the first quarter of this year show a decrease to those of the same quarter last year. In Jan, Feb, March and April of 2011, 915 animals were transferred to rescue groups compared to 777 for the same period in 2012. It should be noted that LMAS was recently removed from Petsmart charities Rescue Waggin program after participating for only five months. Rescue Waggin is a rescue program that had the capacity to take up to 90 animals a month out of LMAS to safety in No Kill shelters in the eastern part of the country. Despite a significant amount of publicity when the program began, the loss of this program wasn’t announced by any LMAS staff person, including their own Communication Specialist.

I am not sure what figures Mr. Sheldon used to make the calculations used for this article, but the figures I’m quoting came from LMAS through an open records request. I will be pleased to share these with you if you would like to examine them yourself.

After confirming the above, I am confident you will want to give your readers a revised analysis in order to maintain the journalistic integrity of the Courier Journal.

Sincerely,

Karen Dickson

Sadly, all of those figures have actually been published on this website. So the author didn’t even have to file an open records request – everything was readily available. They just decided it was best to accept spin from three overpaid, inexperienced individuals instead of allowing the actual numbers to speak for themselves.

We can’t wait til June 14 when LMAS will have to address its poor performance at a budget hearing. You can bet Greg Fischer’s office will have someone else show up to speak on behalf of LMAS because they’ll be “too busy” – can’t be having LMAS folks face detractors or people asking legitimate questions. So if you’re at all interested in the LMAS shenanigans, you should consider filling the Metro Council gallery.

Possibility City!

Not Letting The Kentucky Kingdom Scandal Die

Ed Hart was on Mandy Connell’s show the other day talking shop about the Kentucky Kingdom mess.

Some highlights:

[audio:http://thevillevoice.com/audio/EdMandyShow.mp3]

Voodoo theme park economics, indeed.

Mandy later speculated about why the Kentucky Kingdom deal went south with Ed.

So we’ll go ahead and say why: his ties to Bruce Lunsford, his opposition to Greg Fischer, et al. It’s because Ed has been on the opposite side of the Beshear/Hayes/Fischer crew. I.E., this is Democratic Party bitterness.

Be sure to go listen to the entire podcast.

Then there’s this – A Kentucky Newspaper decided to publish an op-ed written by Hart:

Having led the effort that built Kentucky Kingdom into a thriving regional attraction in the 1990s, I am dismayed by the state’s decision to downgrade the theme park to what is essentially a local water park. In doing so, the state is passing up $3.5 billion in economic benefits over the next 20 years (as confirmed by the state’s own economic impact study) and allowing millions of tourism tax dollars and many jobs to go to neighboring states.

-SNIP-

Holiday World’s owners have no idea what their plan will cost, but have stated that not one of Kentucky Kingdom’s former eight rollercoasters would be opened or replaced and many of the park’s other major rides would be closed as well.

By contrast, Holiday World’s owners add millions of dollars worth of new rides each year to their Indiana park. So why are they proposing something so different for Louisville? Maybe it’s because they understand that reopening Kentucky Kingdom as a theme park will only jeopardize Holiday World.

-SNIP-

The plot thickens. Holiday World is projecting 600,000 visitors at Bluegrass Boardwalk in its first year. That’s the same level of attendance that Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom drew. Can we really expect Bluegrass Boardwalk, with none of Kentucky Kingdom’s signature attractions, to draw the same attendance as a full-fledged theme park?

Here are some more equally disturbing data. The top 12 water parks in the U.S. (excluding Florida) average 450,000 visitors annually, and each of these parks has three times the number of water attractions proposed for Bluegrass Boardwalk. Is there any plausible reason why Bluegrass Boardwalk will outperform these parks?

-SNIP-

By failing to preserve the highest and best use for Kentucky Kingdom, our state officials have failed miserably in their duty to protect the interest and property of the Commonwealth. Where is the leadership? Where is the outcry?

It’s clear the Beshear/Hayes/Fischer crew didn’t realize just how much they were biting off when they took on Ed Hart. Remember when he castrated WHAS/BELO? The same thing is about to happen with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Fischer Continuing To Drag Feet On LMAS Issues

Greg Fischer is trying to “innovate” everything and here’s how he says he’s going to improve Metro Animal Services:

Increasing Metro Animal Services live release rate of healthy, adoptable animals – The rising homeless pet population creates a huge challenge for Animal Services, which receives more than 12,000 animals yearly. Through greater use of technology and stronger partnerships with vets and advocacy and rescue groups, the number of pets coming into Animal Services will be reduced while pets being returned to owners and adopted by new owners will increase. Goal: increase the live placement rate to the national “best practices” standard of 90 percent within five years.

Unfortunately, he’s had more than a year to implement changes that could have dramatically decreased the kill rates at LMAS. He hasn’t done so.

He’s had a year to get a new staffer who can handle narcotics. He hasn’t done so.

He’s had a year to have LMAS partner with non-profits and community organizations in an attempt to increase adoptions and awareness. What’s he done? He’s allowed his staff to kill dozens and dozens of relationships with organizations, turn away dozens of volunteers and absolutely refuse to work with anybody remotely (and legitimately) critical.

You can mark our words: this goal will not be achieved by Greg Fischer. The rest of his goals? There’s a good chance. But this one? Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

It’ll only happen with a new mayor who takes Louisville Metro Animal Services seriously.

Before you Fischer employees lose your shit and declare us haters? Check yourself. We’ve been one of the only joints in the city to adequately cover LMAS and you know we’re spot-on. And let’s not even get started on no-kill efforts.

Let’s Rehash That Kentucky Kingdom Situation

Again.

Before we get into it, here’s a refresher on the big I-told-you-so moment.

The latest from A Kentucky Newspaper:

The Koch family partners paint a bleak picture of the conditions they face in reopening the former Kentucky Kingdom amusement park at the Kentucky Exposition Center as Bluegrass Boardwalk.

-SNIP-

The ordinance, if passed as expected, would authorize the city to enter into an agreement with the Kochs to rebate a share of the occupational taxes generated by Bluegrass Boardwalk.

-SNIP-

The Kochs last week again said that lining up financing is taking longer than expected — they also have a state application pending for up to $3.9 million in tourism tax credits — and they raised the possibility of having to push back the park’s reopening to 2014.

Yeah, nothing to see here, move along.

Also this:

After Six Flags abandoned the park in early 2010, the fair board spent nearly 18 months negotiating with Louisville businessman Ed Hart to reopen the site. The board ended those talks abruptly and then last October sought out the Kochs.

Interesting that there’s no mention of the millions (yes, multiple millions) the state now owes (this means you, the taxpayer) Ed Hart.

Some Fancy LMEMS & Teamsters Stuff To Share

We hear through the chattervine that Teamsters (national) gutted Local 783 yesterday.

Apparently the organization decided it was time to castrate local organizations that didn’t support national leaders in their last election.

On a semi-related note, LMEMS is doing a “national search” for a new Car 1. That’s because Neal Richmond ran the last guy off.

It should be noted that the last “national search” conducted yielded Neal Richmond. And you know how that’s worked out.

Possibility City!

Will Locals Even Notice The Insight-TW Transition?

This will be happening more and more in the Louisville market beginning in 3, 2… [NYT]

Did you hear? We’re all supposed to pretend everything is suddenly puppies and rainbows at Metro Animal Services. Despite reality being, you know, way more bleak. Flowers on a desk and a few new cat boxes doesn’t change much. [FOX41]

Why, yes, the Board of Education met in secret to evaluate superintendent Donna Hargens. Will her questionable hires be an issue or will the Board just wink and nod? [Toni Konz]

Not even trains want to be in Southern Indiana these days. This one burst into flames in New Albany. [WAVE3]

What kind of person steals a sick cat’s donation jar money? The kind of person who needs to be kicked in the face, obviously. [WKYT]

Yep, it was another great day at the University of Louisville. With flooding causing flashbacks to 2009 and a even a few buildings suffering damage. [WHAS11]

Here’s how the Lexington media is looking at the Passport audit we mentioned last evening on Page One. [H-L]

Attica – or as Greg Fischer calls her, Atticus – Scott hosted a meeting to discuss violence in the West End. [WLKY]

Like we’ve said for months, breaking Passport up is going to lead to Medicaid problems like the rest of the state is currently facing. Leave it to Kentucky, though, to always toss out what works. [WFPL]

First, it was FOX41 losing “FOX” and becoming just WDRB. Now they’re about to get dropped by Time Warner for demanding more money. [Business First]

Can you imagine what Louisville could accomplish if Greg Fischer hadn’t given all that Bloomberg cash to Lexington? [C-J/AKN]

Indiana realizes an East End bridge is the most important bridge needed in the metro area. Kentucky? Haha, yeah, still dragging its feet. [News & Tribune]

David Yates Taking Wrong Advice From Marty Meyer

You know it’s a cold day in hell when Greg Fischer does the right thing. And here he is doing just that:

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will give up his discretionary account to help fill the budget deficit next year, but the Metro Council is split on whether to follow suit.

But David Yates is taking the wrong advice from Marty Meyer:

Councilman David Yates, D-25, says residents want to reduce spending, but local representatives should have the ability to appropriate taxpayer money.

“Should all that money be allocated from the mayor’s office or should it be better left, at least some of that money left all the way down to the Metro Council offices where we’re actually out there on the street talking to the neighbors. I think that’s a very good use of that money,” he says.

Let’s get real for a second. Metro Council still has the ability to shut Fischer down when it comes to the budget and allocation of funds. Yates is acting as if his pot of cash is going to get squandered.

If people like Yates are going to be trusted with your taxpayer dollars, you may want to speak up to let them know they need a reality check.

Why The Hell Does David Whitlock Have This?

Warning: this one will make your blood boil.

Why the hell would David Whitlock – the trigger happy constable – have a mobile command center?

Who on earth paid for this? And who gets the proceeds from this sale?

Take a look:



Just in case the auction should disappear, feel free to click here for a screenshot of the entire thing.

Who allowed this to happen? The residents of Jefferson County deserve to know.

This is some bullshiz.

See additional photos of this “mobile command center” after the jump…

Read moreWhy The Hell Does David Whitlock Have This?