Landmarks Cat Fight Is Getting Snipey And Bizarre

Remember how David Yates and Marty Meyer were super-confident that Greg Fischer wouldn’t veto the landmarks bill? HAHA, yeah, about that. He vetoed it. [C-J/AKN]

For decades, the U.S. government has stashed gold five stories beneath Manhattan in a vault under the Federal Reserve’s fortress near Wall Street. Or has it? Written by a local guy. [LA Times]

Police find two juveniles dead inside an apartment that was the focus of a SWAT standoff. Police responded to a report of shots fired near South Jackson Street and East Saint Catherine Street just before midnight. More gunshots were heard inside the Jackson Wood apartment, after officers arrived. [FOX41/WDRB/Whatever]

Kentucky fails to make the coal industry pay enough to clean up the environmental wreckage it leaves behind, according to the U.S. Office of Surface Mining. It’s interesting that Keith Hall, of all people, would bring legality into any discussion. [H-L]

The Louisville mother who police said murdered her two year old son by leaving him in a hot car once again got emotional during her trial. [WAVE3]

Will Greg Fischer’s cat fight over preservation get even more crazy today? Here’s that letter he sent. [C-J/AKN]

The KFC Yum! Center does not need an NBA team to thrive, the arena’s new general manager said on Thursday, dismissing concerns that the facility’s calendar has too many empty dates and making it clear that the University of Louisville as primary tenant will decide whether an NBA team is appropriate for the venue. [WHAS11]

The U.S. Department of Education will continue funding Advanced Placement tests for Kentucky’s low-income students this school year, but public schools in Jefferson County with the highest passing AP rates also have the lowest number of low-income students. [WFPL]

The nation’s employment picture likely improved only slightly in July, strengthening expectations of additional monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve. [Business First]

Police in southern Indiana are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing mother and daughter. [WLKY]

You’ve read us for several years and now you’ve got the chance to help create our new ad-free project. Your contribution can be public or private (but you have to tell us in writing that you want it to be public) – it’s up to you. [Our New Project]

Fun Meltdown Over Metro Council & Landmarks

It’s a ruh ro week for David Yates and his aide, Marty Meyer.

Take a look at this exciting email conversation (that’s been CCd to everybody in the city) that started Monday evening:

From: Stephen Porter
Subject: Landmarks
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 5:54 PM
To: Meyer, Marty


You have just confirmed to me by telephone that CM Yates intends to push action on his Landmarks Ordinance amendments at tomorrow’s Planning/Zoning committee meeting. Please send me and the copied persons to this e-mail the latest revision of David’s proposed ordinance. Also, please note that this Committee meeting is not even listed on the SIRE system as being scheduled for tomorrow. Is there really a meeting, and, if so, what time?

I want to say very clearly that pushing this at tomorrow’s meeting, with no public notice, no promised continued discussion and a final version not available until the night before, is not the kind of legislative procedure that is open and transparent to the public. Our last conversation indicated we were making progress on some compromises and that we would meet and discuss further. Now David is cutting that off and backing away from that promise. That is unfair to the public and as discourteous to those of us who have been involved as I can imagine. I am extremely disappointed. As an attorney, David should understand professional courtesy. None has been afforded here. More importantly, the public is being blind-sided. This heavy-handed approach is poor conduct for an elected official. I ask David to reconsider.

Stephen T. Porter, Attorney

Then everyone from Francis Aprile to Mary Moss Greenbaum chimed in:

From: mary moss
Subject: Landmarks
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:08 AM

So Stephen Porter,

WHAT DO WE DO about this?

Is the Mayor involved in any way or is he remaining “neutral” and standing to the side?

The answer to that question is unclear to everyone I have asked (so far.) Surely he doesn’t favor negating the “considered opinions” of a Landmarks Commission, dedicated to protecting our heritage, and politicizing each decision by tossing it to the Metro Council.

Also just what is Mr. Yates’ agenda?

Thank you for filling me in, as have been out of town.

mary (moss greenebaum)

Today, Marty Meyer finally saw fit to respond:

Mr. Porter,

Not sure why your trying to imply that Councilman Yates tried to push this through without notice. Please see the committee minutes from two weeks ago

And that, kids, his how David Yates’ political prowess petered out.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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


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…

Take A Look At Whiskey Row Then And Now

In light of the Whiskey Row-Greg Fischer-Todd Blue controversy, I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at what’s changed in the past four or five years.

Thanks to photos from prominent local attorney Don Vish, we’re able to see what’s changed.

December 27, 2007:


February 2, 2011:


Click the images to view the originals.

Interesting changes, eh? Lots more plywood in 2011 than in 2007. Why, it’s almost as if the buildings were left to rot so someone could eventually use the property as a parking lot for the arena and other area businesses.

Important City Hall Historical Nerd Moment

The main entrance for City Hall reopened this morning and here are a few photos, courtesy Metro Council:

“We have seen a resurgence of economic development on Main Street Downtown. There have been many restorations of Metro Hall (formerly the Jefferson County Courthouse), it was time to take care of this historic structure,” said Owen. “Restoring this unique building adds to the resurgence of our downtown.”

Here’s Owen making the first trip through the entrance:

Thank you for this nerd moment.

Louisville’s Coming Unglued Over Sheldon Berman

Will any of these super-wealthy and prominent folks show up to support Dare to Care this evening? Or are we just holding our breath? It’s the 41st anniversary of the death of Bobby Ellis, a nine-year-old boy who died of hunger. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Metro United Way will wrap up its 2010 fundraising season with an event at the Salvation Army Male campus on December 1. Greg Fischer will speak at the event. [MUW]

A memorial service for Andrew Compton has been planned for next Monday in Indiana. His family has returned to their home. So flipping sad. So frustrating not to know where Andrew’s body is.  [FOX 59 & His Brother’s Site]

The simple fact that Jerry Abramson and Greg Fischer had to pledge to say out of the search for a new superintendent is hilarious. [WFPL]

Just because it’s way too hilarious/insane, go watch the latest interview with Sylvia Lovely interview again. Our crazy-o-meter is going off as we watch the former ringleader of the Kentucky League of Cities downfall rant on and on about hookers and blow or whatever. [Page One]

The search for a new Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent is getting started. Who will it be? [WHAS11]

No one in their right mind thinks there needs to be a CVS on the property of Twig & Leaf. But should Twig & Leaf become a local (official) landmark? [WAVE3]

Imagine having new hands attached to your body… only to have your body reject them! Heart palps just thinking about it! [FOX 41]

LG&E and Kentucky Utilities are suing over faulty thermostats. The suit alleges Comverge energy-saving thermostats are a fire hazard. Everybody panic. [H-L]

HEY LOUISVILLE: Do You Love Cherokee Park?

Then you should probably help save Hogan’s Fountain Tee Pee Pavillion. Or joint the cause’s Facebook group.

The historic structure is definitely at-risk. Here are the details:

In 2009 the Olmsted Conservancy and the Metro Parks created a master plan for Hogan’s Fountain. The plan is part of a continual development of our parks in Louisville. Though the plan included the “proposed” removal of the teepee pavilion. The teepee is the only structure of it’s design in the country and is unique to Cherokee park, Louisville and the Hogan’s Fountain area of the park. It has a history involving tens of thousands of visitors over the year and deserves the dignity it provided the park and it’s guest for so many years. Now the history and the future blend.

The history of this fine architectural piece needs to be preserved as does the structure. Helps us to make the future a historical one.

It’d be a shame to lose it.

You should also go to this benefit concert tomorrow. Starts at 10:00 P.M. at the Hideaway Tavern (1607 Bardstown). A $5 cover charge goes directly to restoration efforts and lets you enjoy some great local bands.

People Do Want To Save The Iron Quarter

The Louisville Historical League and Preservation Louisville held a meeting at the Iron Quarter on Sunday. Since it was raining, folks just stayed inside a parking garage. But 60 people turning out on a rainy Sunday? I’d say that means there’s serious interest in protecting that downtown block of history.

Some photos, courtesy Louisville Historical League:

According to Marianne Zickuhr, executive director of Preservation Louisville, landmark petitions will be submitted this week for processing.

Colonial Gardens Update

As expected, the city’s Architectural Review Committee denied a developer’s request to demolish the South End building that was designated a landmark last fall.

The South End Investment Group knew it was coming. The group distributed a letter asking someone to come up with a better plan than theirs, which is to demolish the 107-year-old Colonial Gardens building and put up something similar, but better for retail development, in its place.

The developers have another option, but may as well give up on getting permission to knock it down.

While not exactly suggesting a new plan, Steve Magruder, creator of a Facebook group called “Save and Restore Colonial Gardens” (and a frequent VV commenter) wrote this: “So, practically speaking, we hopefully will be moving on soon to see how the building can be restored and the corner it’s located on returned to vitality.”

Doesn’t look like anything’s happening over there soon.