House Resolution 83 Honors Francene Cucinello

Shortly after Francene’s passing two Fridays ago, I suggested to several Jefferson County legislators that they should file a resolution to adjourn the State House in honor of Francene. Because there’s no question she’s one of the few people in the entirety of Kentucky who worked hard to keep our legislature honest. There’s no question she worked even harder to stand up for Kentuckians who needed her support most.

Representative Joni Jenkins came through with House Resolution 83, which adjourned House proceedings yesterday in honor of Francene:

Adjourn the House of Representatives in loving memory and honor of Francene Cucinello.

Every legislator from the Jefferson County delegation – both Democrats and Republicans – signed on with enthusiastic support. With the exception of one person: Larry Clark.

You’ll want to CLICK HERE to read the rest…

Francene: I’ll Miss You, Doll

Francene Cucinello was a friend and idol to many. And she’s surely missed today. So I want to take a moment to express my gratitude at having had Francene in my life on a personal level. Please forgive me for getting personal and making this a bit about myself. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not always a piranha ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Just want to get this off my chest and I figure at least a few people out there will read this and remember my friend and the impact she continues to make on this world.

For most, Francene was a glaring voice of reason and excitement on the radio. That was our beautiful Francene in all that she did. Her life charmed many and she left an amazing trail where ever she went.

Being in her presence was cathartic and comfortable. She brought an unexpected and most welcome bit of calm to this hectic life. She always allowed me to (or insisted, if we’re getting technical) leave work at the door. She always knew when something was wrong. She always knew how to get it out and how to handle it. She was that kind of person.

Who knew that meeting her for the first time a few years ago as a guest on her show would lead to such joy? I certainly didn’t it. I’m not embellishing in the least when I say that I smiled inside and gave thanks to some higher power each time I was around her. Her personality was just that intoxicating.

We planned to spend my upcoming birthday together watching the premier of LOST (she never forgave me for not inviting her to meet William Mapother the last time we sat down – she would have hogged the entire conversation, if you’re wondering why I didn’t allow that to happen – I’m sure she’ll get the last laugh some how). All the while cackling over how embarrassingly both political parties were running their special election on the same night. She wasn’t sure if she’d be in Charlotte or Louisville, so our back-up plan was to hang out via iChat or Skype. You can imagine how excited we both were to cause a little bit of a political stir.

She’ll be heavily on my mind that night. I’ll honor her by doing exactly what she wanted.

I started this morning by listening to Francene’s last voicemail and reading through our text message archive. Her catty remarks were a necessary reminder to never hold back. A reminder that being oneself is important. I hope I live to be half the courageous soul she was at her young age.

Sitting through the memorial service was no simple feat. Listening to people like Congressman John Yarmuth share their love of Francene didn’t make it any easier to accept this physical absence. But it certainly reminded me of what’s important in life. Of the important role Francene played in everyone’s life.

Today I said goodbye to a friend. I miss her.

Please send your memories of Francene to:

My Beloved Francene Cucinello

I just don’t know where to begin.

My dear friend Francene has passed away at the age of 43.

I can’t breathe. I just. Dunno. She’s the one person I’ve been able to count on for three years. I love her dearly.

May she rest in peace.

I’ll miss you, doll.

EDIT: If you loved Francene, please stop by any BB&T branch to make a donation to support aneurysm research. The Francene Fund.

From Congressman John Yarmuth:

“Francene brought so much passion and joy to every aspect of her life and was genuinely driven by compassion for those around her.  She woke up every morning excited to use her position to help make people’s lives better.  And that’s exactly what she did– entertaining and informing us, always giving back, personally helping people find jobs, and so much more.  The more time I spent with her, the more I respected her intellect and admired her generosity.  I am devastated for the loss to this community and heartbroken for the loss of my friend.  My thoughts and prayers are with her mother and all of her friends.”

From Attorney General Jack Conway:

“This is such a terrible tragedy. I thought the world of Francene and she was just far too young to leave us. She contributed greatly to the public discourse in Kentucky. Her listeners were her cause and I loved that passion. It was never a nine-to-twelve radio job to her. For example, just a few weeks ago, she and I both attended a play at Fern Creek High School on a Friday night to spotlight the issue of cybersafety. She carried her commitment with her at all times.

Francene never minced words and frankly, she made me a better public servant. I didn’t just answer questions on her show, she always followed-up to make certain we were taking action. When I was on her show talking about the issues, I knew she and her listeners were holding me accountable. I always found her well researched and she will be missed.”

From Metro Councilman Jim King:

“I am shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Francence Cucinello.  Best known as simply “Francene”, she provided radio listeners in the region a provocative, interesting, dialogue on the issues of the day.  The thoughts and prayers of our family and staff go out to the family and friends of Francene.”

From Chris Thieneman:

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear and good friend Francene Cucinello. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this time of surprising loss. Francene touched the hearts and minds of so many in this community, and I hope each of each will celebrate her life and dedication to Louisville. She spent her life bettering those around her, and her passion for life will be greatly missed. Many knew her as a radio personality, but I am grateful that I knew her as my friend.”

From Councilwoman Madonna Flood:

“While we may have had differing opinions on political issues, the fact remains that when it came to helping the community, especially taking care of our our soldiers and service women with “Doing our Part from the Heart,” there was no political party or opinion as far as Francene was concerned. She had a caring spirit when it came to helping those in need.”

From Governor Steve Beshear:

“I am deeply saddened to learn that one of Kentucky’s most beloved radio personalities, Francene Cucinello, passed away unexpectedly today.  I considered her a friend, despite her tough questions, and I enjoyed our frequent interviews on her show.  People felt like they knew Francene because she was so open and honest, and her death is a terrible blow to the community.  She was savvy, warm, whip-smart and compassionate.  She will be deeply missed by all.”

From U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell:

“I was saddened to hear about the passing of Francene Cucinello. Francene’s open debate on a wide-range of political and social issues kept Louisville talking, and that’s one of the reasons her show was so popular. Elaine and I send our condolences to her family and friends and to the entire WHAS family.”

From Mayor Jerry Abramson:

“While we didn’t always agree on the issues, Francene had a special way of spurring people to talk about subjects important to our community and our state.”

From Secretary of State Trey Grayson:

“Nancy and I are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Francene Cucinello, and our thoughts are prayers are with her family, friends and her co-workers at WHAS. Francene’s passing is a huge loss for the Louisville community and all of Kentucky. Her many talents and her skill at sparking important dialogue about politics and current events in Kentucky will be greatly missed.”

UPDATE @ 10:30 P.M. – Here’s a screenshot from Google Trends:

One of the top searches in the United States. Infectious. Just like she’d like it. A welcomed bright spot on this emotional evening.

Hey, Want Some Francene With Your Congress?

Francene was approached by prominent Louisville Democrats to run as a Republican against Congressman John Yarmuth. Let’s speculate on who that might be. [LEO Weekly]

LG&E wants to jack your electricity rates up 12% and natural gas rates nearly 9%. Just what this region needs – more bills. [C-J]

Mayor McCheese Jerry Abramson will deliver his final State of the City address today at noon. The speech will take place in front of the Downtown Rotary Club in Grand Ballroom A, second floor of the Galt House’s East Tower. [Press Release]

No surprise. Jerry Miller announced in a press release yesterday that he’s running for the 19th District Metro Council seat. [Facebook]

Jim King loves all kinds of things about Louisville, too. Apparently all candidates have difficulty picking one thing. [Consuming Louisville]

The American Printing House for the Blind was selected as the official charity of this year’s Marathon/Mini-Marathon of the Kentucky Derby Festival. [Press Release]

Does JCPS suck or not? No one could decide at the Louisville Forum yesterday. [WFPL]

A fancy “upscale” chain restaurant is coming to the former Starks Building on 4th Street. Even more reason for locals to avoid 4th Street. [C-J]

Any locals paying attention to the U.S. Senate race? It’s been interesting watching at least one local reporter swim around in the tank for Ayn Rand. [Joe Arnold]

One of your current U.S. Senators is fond of never offering solutions or alternatives, ever. [WAVE3]

Your Four-Day Weekend Has Finally Arrived!

I’ll be on Francene later this morning to discuss the whole Steve Henry mess. Tune in.

Take a trip down the Steve Henry memory hole, with video. [Page One]

Judge pronounces Henry guilty in election finance case. [Ralph Dunlop]

Steve Henry accepts plea deal on campaign funds (read it). [John Cheves]

Steve Henry and his wife Heather French Henry are still calling the Rosemary Clooney House a non-profit. It’s not. Just ask Leslie Holland about the IRS investigation because Steve & Heather live inside the home. Interesting that the Courier would provide this positive press on the day of the biggest campaign finance corruption story in recent history in Kentucky. [C-J]

Roger Alford wrote the most inaccurate and empty story in this week about Steve Henry’s guilty plea. Which is interesting, since I sat with Alford for about 30 minutes yesterday and he understood all the facts He didn’t invent anti-biotic beads (see 2007) and it was political aides (plural). Wow. Thank goodness no one reads newspapers or they’d never know the full story. [AP via State Journal]

Ambassador Matthew Barzun hosted a luncheon to honor Nobel laureates. [Spotted]

This morning Mayor Jerry Abramson and Congressman John Yarmuth will visit a home being made more energy efficient. 10:30 A.M. [Media Advisory]

Wanna see something sadistic? Check out this photo (second in the bunch) of Steve Henry laughing in court as he is pleading guilty. [C-J]

Here’s another angle on the water main flood downtown. Lots of great photos. [Broken Sidewalk]

Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo is finally a parent. Congratulations to his family. [WKYT]

Gaying Up the Radio & Uncovering Corruption

Yesterday I shared details about Southern Indiana taxpayers getting hoodwinked. After uncovering details of Greater Clark County Schools officials deliberately misleading a Courier-Journal reporter, I appeared on The Francene Show to discuss the whole mess. (read what happened after my appearance by reading yesterday’s story)

So I thought I’d share the audio from my appearance on Francene for those of you who weren’t able to listen live:


If you’re at work or can’t play the mp3, you’ll find a rough transcript of the appearance after the jump…

Read moreGaying Up the Radio & Uncovering Corruption

Only Francene Could Make This Mess Funny

Piggish behavior all around, indeed:

Little Pig One, a neighborhood association, built pretty loft condos and fostered urban development in a place called Butchertown, where unpleasant smells and industrial traffic from the local slaughterhouse shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Little Pig Two, Food and Commercial Workers Local 227, over the past 10 years watched companies that were once its employer’s competition close up shop. It believes that because JBS Swift was in Butchertown before the neighborhood went residential, the company’s rights supercede those of all others — especially those of the neighborhood association.

And that brings us to JBS Swift, or Little Pig Three, the slaughterhouse company itself. Not only has Swift thumbed its snout at the law in a couple of instances, in order to shift blame it has purposely inflamed tensions between Pig One and Pig Two.


This is where city leadership should have stepped in. When Swift decided it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission and started expanding without the necessary permits, city officials should have levied harsh consequences and stopped construction immediately. Instead, BOZA fined the company $500 and gave it permission to continue building. BOZA, of soccer club Javanon fame, is infamous for letting serious infractions slide if it approves of the perpetrator.

No wonder homeowners were furious. As for Swift, like it or not, times have changed. The company has residential neighbors now, and they have a right to be consulted about an industrial expansion.

Click here to read the rest.

Go to This: Southwest Community Forum

You live in the southwestern part of town? Then you should go to the Southwest Community Forum on Tuesday, November 10th.

Southwest Community Forum

7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. on 11/10/2009

Southwest Government Center
7219 Dixie Highway

Sponsored by the Greater Louisville Project, the event is free and open to the public. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Learn what the research says about education in Southwest Jefferson County
  • Ask a panel of experts your questions about the current state of education and efforts that are under way
  • Participate in a brainstorming session to discuss what we can all do to break down the educational barriers for our children

Special guests include: Rep. Darryl Owens; Rep. Joni Jenkins; Rep. Tim Firkins; Rep. Kevin Bratcher; Sen. Perry Clark; Councilcritter Rick Blackwell; Councilcritter Bob Henderson; Shively Mayor Sherry Conner; Carolyn Gatz, Greater Louisville Project; Glenn Baete, Doss High School principal; JCPS board member Linda Duncan. We hear Francene will also be there. So go!

It’s Thursday & The Sypher Mess Is Still Around

From the Fairness Campaign yesterday: Just before 3 p.m. today, President Barack Obama signed into law the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act that includes the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act as an amendment. The bill will expand the 1969 federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The bill passed the Senate last Thursday with a 68-29 vote in favor of the bill; both Kentucky Senators Bunning and McConnell voted against the measure. It passed the House on October 8 with the support of Congressman John Yarmuth, Ben Chandler, and Republican Brett Guthrie. [Press Release]

I’ll whore it out one last time: if you missed me on Francene yesterday, listen to me on the internets. Don’t try to count the number of times I said “apparently” in 15 minutes or your head might explode. HUZZUH! [Jake Was On Francene’s Radio Machine]

Think Jerry Abramson is nervous about Richie Farmer mulling a run for governor? [H-L]

While we agree that Jim King is fair game as a candidate, his family is not. The Courier-Journal has already received copies of all court record – provided by Ed Springston’s ghost writing attorney – so we’re wondering why the paper doesn’t just write what it already knows. [C-J]

We’re purposefully ignoring the trans-fat debate, mostly, because it is borderline ridiculous. If people want to be fat and die, let them. [Just Saying]

Will Jerry Abramson’s Metro Government ever get the Affordable Housing Trust Fund up and running? Don’t hold your breath. [Phillip Bailey]

Gone to the dogs. Louisville Metro Animal Services and director Gilles Meloche face a barrage of criticism about how they do business. Guess which fancy pants mayor is once again passing the buck. [Jonathan Meador]

David Williams is a whiny ass titty baby. If he wants to shove Christmas down my throat? I’ve got something he can kiss. Not every Kentuckian worships Jesus and this man needs to offing realize it. Absolutely offensive. The one time Steve Beshear doesn’t screw up and David Williams has to cry about it. [C-J]

Mitch McConnell is STILL complaining about health care reform. He’s still not offering a viable alternative. And he never will. [The Hill]

The Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law yesterday. 11 years after the death of Matthew Shepard. [Huffington Post]

Two sealed motions have been filed in the criminal case against Karen Sypher. Her attorney wouldn’t spill the beans, though. One can only imagine just how juicy the details could be. [Andy Wolfson]

Miss Me On the Radio? You Can Listen Here

Roughly a year ago I appeared on Francene to discuss the hot mess that was/is the Robert Felner scandal at the University of Louisville. Click here for that. It really was a hot, hot flustercuck.

Today I made another appearance on her program to complain about the corruption of Metro Animal Services’ Gilles Meloche and Mayor Jerry Abramson’s complicity. Juicy bits about a federal lawsuit potentially coming as soon as Friday.


More importantly, this isn’t about me. But about corruption in light of years and years of media reports. Give it a listen.

We love Francene. She’s one of the folks who deserves great credit for shedding light on this disgusting and heartbreaking situation.