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.

No Stopping the Slowing of Mail

Valley Station may be losing its post office, no matter how many signatures that local residents get on a petition to prevent it.

Brenda Silveria, a resident of Valley Station, has circulated the petition along with Metro Council member Doug Hawkins. She and Hawkins hope to meet with the postmaster this week, and present him with the 1,500 signatures they’ve collected protesting the closure. She says officials she’s talked with continue to deny that the post office is closing, but it was certainly on a list released last week by the federal government.

“It’s a shame. We have such a large area out here and some rural areas, which will make it even harder for those people,” said Silveria.

The petition says that Valley Station residents want the post office to remain open, that it serves about 8,000 delivery addresses, 23,000 voters and that many are retired and military veterans.

Brenda Silveria said she’s contacted John Yarmuth and Mitch McConnell. But she fears there’s no stopping this action, which could occur by Labor Day.

Post offices in Beechmont, Buechel and Plainview PO’s were also on the list to be closed, though no groups have made any noise yet about closing them.

It may be an inconvenience for folks in Valley Station, but there’s no denying that U.S. Mail is on the decline. Recent national stories detailed how the Postal Service has removed thousands of pick-up boxes and is seriously considering cutting back service to five days a week. USPS is on track to lose more than $7 billion this year.

Yates Launching Campaign to Unseat Hawkins

David Yates has the ideal pedigree to knock off Doug Hawkins in the 2010 Metro Council race in District 25.

Yates’ grandfather, James B. Yates Sr., served 22 years in the Kentucky General Assembly, often taking his grandson with him to campaign stops, government meetings and trips to Frankfort. The younger Yates, 29, is an attorney. Graduated from Holy Cross High School, U of L and law school at NKU. He was political even in college, winning the presidency of U of L’ s College Democrats.

He married his high school sweetheart and has a three-year-old child. He’s active in his church, and has volunteered as an instructor in that Dave Ramsey course. He addresses people he doesn’t know on the phone with a respectful “Sir.”

He’s done plenty of other resume-building in Valley Station, and he’s launching his campaign next weekend at the Carpenters Union Hall on Dixie Highway. Just this week, he opened his own private law practice. He was previously the in-house lawyer for the local UAW, which he said he’s retaining as his first client.

Of course, I couldn’t get him to say anything negative about his opponent, Doug Hawkins. Yates’ downfall could be that he’s exceptionally polite. Except he did tell me he wasn’t a supporter of the whole guns-in-church idea, which Hawkins has supported to the point of doing one of his increasingly frequent YouTube interviews with the pastor and getting his name in the New York Times.

Hawkins has won two elections for Metro Council, neither by a substantial margin. He lost a race against Perry Clark last fall for State Senate. He holds the Council record for being on the short end of 25-1 votes, including every budget bill. His attempts to block a bomb shelter from being put in his district, in retrospect, seems pretty silly. If Yates chooses to attack Hawkins on the campaign trail, he’ll have plenty of ammunition.

Hawkins knows how to get his name in the media, and how to use technology to get attention. Some would say he can stir up a crowd. The question in 2010 will be whether all that publicity will be a positive in the minds of voters who, for the first time, will have a real choice.

Bring Your Sidearm to Church Day

There’s a church in Valley Station that is promoting Independence Day by encouraging its members to bring a gun to church, and to bring a friend with a gun to church. You can enter a raffle, for just a dollar, to win your very own handgun. And local gun shops are invited to come, TO CHURCH, and stand before the congregation and do a commercial about their stores.

Now all this activity is being promoted through a mail campaign that an alert South End reader told us about. You can find details on the New Bethel Church website.

Is anyone else out there disgusted by this?

New Bethel Church, on Valley Station Road, is calling the June 27 event “Open Carry Celebration” in celebration of the 1st and 2nd amendments. If you go, you’re supposed to openly carry you sidearm, securely in a holster. Oh, you’re supposed to leave the ammo at home. Wonder who’s gonna be checking the guns at the door to make sure no one brings a loaded weapon?

Last week, a doctor was shot while attending church services in Wichita. There have been church shootings throughout the country. But at New Bethel, Pastor Ken Pagano thinks it’s a good idea to encourage members to bring guns to church.

In Non-Layoff News…

We’re sorry for the 119 folks losing their jobs in Metro Government, but still think that layoffs should have been an option taken a while ago…

Flagged: There’s been so much national buzz about the Kindred Hospital in Texas, in which an employee was asked to remove an American flag from her workspace, that the Louisville-based company finally sent out a statement reassuring the world that the company loves America and the dispute was over the size of the sign. [press release]

Disputing Dan’s Numbers: Dan Mongiardo released internal polling showing him way ahead of Jack Conway in a Democratic primary for Senate, which is about a year away. Turns out they only polled Mongiardo’s family members.  Just kidding, but it was a really small sample. [Page One]

How to Make a Million Dollars: Ever heard that joke about how to make a million? First, you get a million dollars…  That seems to be the idea behind the Affordable Housing Trust Fund that the Mayor has been sitting on for a year. The mil set aside for seed money will now likely be used to set up a non-profit organization whose mission, other than funding affordable housing projects, will be to raise money through grants, a task which doesn’t belong in government. [Courier]

Talk to Ed: Tonight is the debut of Ed Springston’s radio show on WKJK 1080-AM. Ed’s not a professional broadcaster, but we’re certain his rants on city government and the South End will be entertaining. [Springston]

Carbon Film News: Check out the this enviro-friendly film event coming to the Green Building June 10. It’s a documentary by Kentucky native Peter Byck. [Page One]

What’s It Take?: What laws do you have to break in Metro Government’s planning division to get yourself fired?  The e-mail trail shows Charles Cash, the city’s planning director, organized an illegal meeting. [V.V.]

Page One & The ‘Ville Voice on TeeVee

Haha, so, funny story… we made Rick do teevee all by himself today. He was on right after Jack Conway, who probably launched his U.S. Senate campaign on the CW this morning.

Sewage in Louisville’s South End, Chris Thieneman going crazy and nearly inciting an uneducated riot, all kinds of hot, sticky mess. The audio sucks for like the first 20 seconds because something is jacked with TiVo and the internets this morning.