I Wanted To Like Fischer’s Latest Stunt

Greg Fischer went to SXSW, where people don’t know what an anti-transparency good old boy he’s been:

Austin’s tech and startup industries are fueling that city’s growth. Here, Fischer says, he wants to keep pushing the elements he believes foster a better environment for new businesses.

“We need to double down on entrepreneurship, we need to double down on transportation, we need to dive down on our cultural scene that we’re developing on bourbonism and the arts,” Fischer says.

Along with Austin’s booms have come rapidly-increasing rents, areas of the city that longtime residents can no longer afford and all the other fun things that come with wealth-based gentrification.

While Louisville definitely needs to take entrepreneurship seriously and needs real public transportation (TARC? Please. Embarrassing for the region.)… let’s get real for a bit.

This doubling down on bourbon and the arts is cool and all. In part because bourbon is more stable than coal. But it’d probably be a good idea for the city to focus on solving its problems before jacking up rents and housing costs. Maybe it’d be a good idea to make sure we aren’t killing 10,000 pedestrians per day before focusing on expanded transit. (The last time we tried that, we ended up with two bridges we don’t really need and can’t afford.) Maybe we could start with building sidewalks in every neighborhood and on main drags like Frankfort Avenue? That’d be a cool thing to do. Maybe we could start caring for pregnant women and young children instead of closing half of our WIC clinics while sending our mayor on fancy trips to music festivals.

And this whole LIFT sales tax increase that folks have pushed through with no regard for reality — just because it feels good? Maybe we could make sure our working poor aren’t hit with the brunt of something like that before we go crazy. Maybe we could stop fighting minimum wage increases, as Fischer has done, before we raise sales taxes for projects few will benefit from. Sales tax may not matter to you if you’re annually clearing $80,000 but if you’re squeaking by on $20,000, you’re gonna leave the area to make purchases or avoid attending events. It becomes increasingly more difficult for one to have upward mobility the Fischer crew claims actually exists.

Do we really want to find out what happens when our creative class can’t afford to live in our city? Wait — I mean the creative class we already have. Because we all know creative-types and entrepreneurs aren’t clamoring to come to Kentucky in light of the latest racist, homophobic, anti-woman efforts that have been put into place by Frankfort. They’re going elsewhere.

Brown Gave Master Class In Throwing Shade

Community activist Angela Newby-Bouggess has died. [WDRB]

Nearly 500 sexual assault kits that would have continued to sit untested in the Louisville Metro Police property room will now be sent for lab testing after a shift in LMPD philosophy. The department is sending 1,386 untested rape kits to Kentucky State Police for testing – 463 more than originally intended. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! “We have to start opening our eyes and reconciling the fact that these things happened,” says Attorney Larry Wilder, a statement he has repeated since October when his client’s book Breaking Cardinal Rules hit store shelves. [WHAS11]

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission has dedicated 88 acres to an existing preserve in Pulaski County. [H-L]

Another day, another fun pedestrian accident in Possibility Compassionate City! [WLKY]

The White House has narrowed its search for a Supreme Court nominee to three federal appeals court judges, Sri Srinivasan, Merrick Garland and Paul Watford, a source familiar with the selection process said on Friday. [HuffPo]

If she can do it, you can do it. One year after her story went viral, Asia Ford returned to the Rodes City Run 10K Saturday. [WAVE3]

Obama Administration transparency is a lot like Fischer Administration transparency. It’s not a real thing. Two years ago last month, I filed a public-records request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of my reporting into the flawed response to Hurricane Sandy. Then, I waited. [ProPublica]

Kelly Downard has apparently turned into all bark and no bite. No clue what happened to him but he’s been entirely neutered. [WFPL]

Environmental policies are often vilified as economical agents of destruction. From the Clean Power Plan, to methane rules, to the Paris Agreement, every time a new environmental policy is proposed detractors argue that new rules drive costs up, kill jobs, and hamper trade. But a new study is challenging the idea that curbing pollution hurts business to the point of stifling export trade. [ThinkProgress]

A pair of sisters is opening a barber shop that will be a little different than most others. [Business First]

Two contracts up for a vote in April got some scrutiny by the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.’s board of trustees work session Monday. [News & Tribune]

Wait. Nope. Another Bad Week For JCPS

JCPS has received 115 calls through its bullying tipline. Fifty-two calls have come from middle schools, 31 from elementary schools, and 25 from high schools, while seven calls have come from other areas. [WDRB]

Jessica Green needs to hold Greg Fischer’s feet to the fire. She’s one of the few people who could do it and get away with it. Metro Council members blasted Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration Thursday for failing to alert them about a key vacancy on the planning commission last summer that resulted in an appointment being made without the mayor’s or council’s approval. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! An 18-year-old Jeffersontown High School student appeared in front of a judge Friday morning, charged with a felony after police say he and two other students beat another student, leaving him for dead. [WHAS11]

Just what Kentucky needs! Another tax increase. The very thing the working poor cannot afford is sales tax. [H-L]

The new and improved Speed Museum has reopened its doors. The museum had been closed for 3 1/2 years for renovations and construction of a new wing. [WLKY]

In NPI’s telling, white Americans are increasingly under siege in their own country, doomed to be a hated minority as people of color grow ever more numerous and politically powerful. And Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy has given the group’s members more hope than ever that help is on the way. [HuffPo]

There are new developments for a firefighter’s widow fighting with state government over whether her husband died in the line of duty. [WAVE3]

Kashiya Nwanguma, a student at the University of Louisville who is black, attended a Trump rally in Louisville this month, she says, to better understand the Trump phenomenon. She said in an interview this week that she suddenly felt the crowd’s attention turn to her after Trump saw the anti-Trump sign she was holding and asked that she be removed. Someone promptly snatched it out of her hand. Next, she was being roughly shoved by several white men. “I think a lot of it has to do with ignorance that’s rooted in fear of the other,” said Nwanguma, 21, when asked about the incident Thursday. “None of the people who were attacking me even knew what was on my sign. I obviously stood out in the crowd based on my appearance.” [WaPo]

Louisville has officially kicked off an education and advocacy campaign to promote the use of solar energy. [WFPL]

More than 30 states have enacted some version of voter ID law in recent years. How much do these laws change voting rules and what impact could they have on the general election? [ProPublica]

“‘Population health” has become something of a trend in the health care industry. [Business First]

The Clark County Council will vote Monday, March 14, on a budget revision to account for cuts dictated in the state certified budget order, for the sixth year in a row. [News & Tribune]

JCPS Can’t Catch A Break With Hargens

It’s one thing after another with Donna Hargens. Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens admits the district made a “data entry discrepancy” in reporting to the state the number of times students were either physically held down or confined to a room last school year. [WDRB]

One victim was found in a garbage can. A second was beaten to death and set on fire, his body found burning on a sidewalk. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The story of Katina Powell, the UofL basketball scandal, and possible new details will be getting nationwide attention once again. Powell sat down with ESPN’s Outside the Lines for the second time on March 8 in Louisville for another interview. [WHAS11]

The Kentucky state Senate has approved a bill that would give public school districts an incentive for starting school in late August. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! It was bizarre-o watching Greg Fischer speak at a Jefferson County Board of Education meeting. [WLKY]

Can you imagine the Kentucky Democratic Party doing something like this? Of course you can’t. We can’t. The KDP not only fears the gays, it fears women. So something like this isn’t going to happen any time soon. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro police are investigating after two people were shot in the Chickasaw neighborhood late Tuesday night. [WAVE3]

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Tuesday he expects the House to vote on a two-year state budget plan early next week, one which will restore most of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed funding cuts to education. [Ronnie Ellis]

The University of Louisville has won a gold ranking in sustainability from a global group, making it the first university in Kentucky to achieve gold status. [WFPL]

“Religious Liberty” is the new FEAR THE GAY buzzword. Candidates in Kentucky sure are taking advantage of it. [FiveThirtyEight]

Believe it or not, CEOs and investors of these innovative software and technology companies have Congress to thank for an upcoming banner year for startups. [Business First]

Several ongoing projects in downtown Jeffersonville may look stalled, but work inside and behind the scenes is moving forward. [News & Tribune]

The Sadiqa Reinvention Tour Is Underway

Turnaround efforts at Jefferson County’s eight chronically low-performing middle schools have presented ‘unique challenges’ when it comes to improving academic achievement and increasing student growth. [WDRB]

Pbbbbbbt. Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds is pitching Mayor Greg Fischer’s office and Metro Council members on dedicating part of the city’s $10 million surplus to the civil rights group’s housing redevelopment program. [C-J/AKN]

One of Katina Powell’s attorneys, Bart McMahon, confirms she is scheduled to meet with NCAA investigators Monday afternoon, March 7. [WHAS11]

For many years, this editorial board’s position on the death penalty has been keep it but fix it, because some crimes are so heinous that no other punishment will do. We now must concede that the death penalty is not going to be fixed and, in fact, probably cannot be fixed at any defensible cost to taxpayers. [H-L]

Convenience stores and gas stations in Oldham County can now apply for a packaged liquor license after voters expanded alcohol sales in December. [WLKY]

After learning that Donald Trump apparently kept a volume of Adolf Hitler’s speeches at his bedside, Bill Maher made a scary comparison between the GOP front-runner at the German dictator on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday. [HuffPo]

A firefighter’s widow claims Kentucky Retirement Systems is playing hardball with her in her time of need. [WAVE3]

Tim Cook got almost $400 million of restricted stock when he was named Apple chief executive in 2011, succeeding Steve Jobs. Regardless of whether Apple shareholders fared well or badly over the grant’s 10-year term, all Cook needed to do to collect that stock (worth about $700 million at today’s price) was keep his job. It was the kind of deal that pay mavens derisivelycall “pay for pulse.” [ProPublica]

Holy crap! After all the havoc Sadiqa Reynolds wreaked in Metro Government, she’s now trying to spin some tale of hopefulness. And media outlets are taking her seriously. We’ll take that hack seriously the day she takes responsibility for her role in the Metro Animal Services shenanigans. Spoiler alert: Sadiqa will never do that. [WFPL]

Regulations that limit heavy metal pollution from oil- and coal-fired power plants will continue to be enforced by the EPA — at least for now — thanks to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. [ThinkProgress]

The nation’s largest pharmacy retailer is about to open a smaller location in downtown Louisville. [Business First]

Residents in need of a watchful eye now have three designated safe place locations under surveillance at the Clark County Government Center in Jeffersonville. [News & Tribune]

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Murder City’s Homicide Unit Is Expanding

The small city of Hillview is suing its former attorney for more than $15 million. In a complaint filed in Bullitt Circuit Court Tuesday, the city alleges Mark Edison, who served as Hillview city attorney from Jan. 2003 to March 2015, failed to properly advise city leaders during a land dispute case in the early 2000s. That case led to a judgment against the city of $11.4 million. [WDRB]

At the end of every April, OneWest interim director Jenny Recktenwald says, out-of-town companies hunt for western Louisville’s most vulnerable residents with overdue tax bills. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Louisville Metro Police Department is expanding its Homicide Unit in an effort to lower crime in 2016 and take more violent offenders off the streets. [WHAS11]

With Gov. Matt Bevin’s blessing, a state House panel Thursday approved a bill that would allow Lexington’s Urban County Council to pass an additional 2.5 percent transient room tax to help pay for an expanded Lexington Convention Center. [H-L]

Another day, another fun shooting in Compassionate City! [WLKY]

Remember when this happened in Kentucky and then everyone forgot about it? A Georgia-based telecom startup had a clear, pointed response after the state’s senate approved a measure that will allow business owners to cite their religious beliefs in denying services to same-sex couples. [HuffPo]

Surprise! A new ranking of the happiest and healthiest cities is out and it is not good news for Louisville. [WAVE3]

New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods in January rose by the most in 10 months as demand picked up across the board, offering a ray of hope for the downtrodden manufacturing sector. [Reuters]

Deborah Collins squinted her eyes, triple-checking the information on the screen in front of her. She traced the blinking cursor with her finger, repeating her ZIP code, address and phone number. [WFPL]

The FBI’s much-discussed request to Apple can seem innocuous: Help us extract six weeks of encrypted data from the locked iPhone of Syed Farook, an employee of San Bernardino’s health department who spearheaded an attack that killed 14 people. Most people believe Apple should comply. But the FBI is demanding a lot more than the data on a single phone. [ProPublica]

Kindred Healthcare Inc. will be selling four transitional care hospitals and acquiring five long-term acute care facilities from Select Medical Holdings Corp. [Business First]

Jeffersonville police and fire chiefs are asking for some of the money the city council didn’t fund for this year when it tried to create a balanced budget. [News & Tribune]

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There Are Now Daily Scandals At UofL

We hear this racial tension stems from a small number of bigoted white people who obviously come from horribly backward families. But the University of Louisville didn’t send out an email or issue a statement until AFTER the media and members of the local legal community started poking around. [WDRB]

More than one-fourth of Louisville roads are considered in poor condition or worse and it will cost about $110 million to fully rehabilitate those thousands of miles, according to a Metro Public Works report provided to Mayor Greg Fischer last year. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! According to WHAS11’s news partner The Courier Journal, a University of Louisville trustee is requesting personal records from Charlie Strong, a former U of L football coach, in connection with his divorce proceedings. [WHAS11]

Spending and programs at Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts would face more scrutiny and financial reporting under a bill filed Friday. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Apparently, everybody is freaking out because a car smashed into a pizza joint on Bardstown Road. [WLKY]

If shame is the only real tool that President Barack Obama has to force the U.S. Senate to consider a Supreme Court nomination in his final year, let the shames begin. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) declared over the weekend — within hours of the news that Justice Antonin Scalia had died — that the Senate should not even hold hearings on a replacement. [HuffPo]

A discussion on the Louisville downtown civil rights demonstrations was held Sunday in honor of Black History month. [WAVE3]

Churchill Downs Racetrack [yester]today announced a multi-year agreement with Fanatics, the largest retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, to exclusively operate both online and on-site retail for the Kentucky Derby race weekend, starting with the 2016 event. [Press Release]

A surplus spending plan backed by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is being held up in a Louisville Metro Council committee. [WFPL]

In 1992, Bill Clinton ran for president promising to “end welfare as we know it.” In 2016, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders should promise to bring welfare back. [NY Magazine]

Three former local Kroger Co. employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Cincinnati-based supermarket giant, claiming it failed to pay them for overtime work. [Business First]

Clark County is gearing up for the 2016 primary election by fine-tuning some of the processes for getting out absentee ballots and deciding how many total ballots will be needed. [News & Tribune]

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