Keeping the ‘Hood Free of Plasma Centers

Last spring, there was a big story about the efforts of politicians to prevent a national company from spending $500,000 to locate a plasma center just west of the University of Louisville. No one, except the owners of the property, seemed to want the unsavory business of collecting blood to happen in their neighborhood. Some even put it on a level with porn as a threat to neighborhood safety.

You can check our coverage of the issue here, here, and here.

Councilwoman Marianne Butler, whose District 15 includes the area in question, has now effectively made it impossible for plasma center businesses to open in any Metro neighborhood.  Butler pushed for and got passed a change in the Land Development Code that adds plasma centers to the list of business which are required to get a conditional use permit before opening.

After all the hubbub last spring, PlasmaCare dropped its plans to build its center near U of L. Maybe they just weren’t up for the fight with neighborhood activists.  Councilman Tom Owen owns property across the street, where his plans for university housing remain stalled due to difficulty in finding financing. And the owners of the property proposed for the plasma center, heirs of Vern Ferguson, haven’t done anything with the property, to our knowledge.

Don’t expect any backers of plasma centers to apply for a conditional use permit there, though. Even the LMPD was included in groups making public announcements against the idea.

“These changes go a long way in easing the numerous concerns of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods want development that brings positive improvements to the area.  This change in code is a step in that direction,” Butler said.

Look Who’s Still Winning the Popularity Contest

Let’s take a look at what you people are thinking, at least according to a Survey USA poll released last week.

The headline at WHAS-TV was that Mayor Jerry Abramson’s approval rating has hit a new low. But it’s far from being really low. He’s still popular enough to easily win if he were running for re-election, which is an all-but-assured eventuality in 2010.  His LOW level in popularity in the three years they’ve done the poll is now 54 percent.

It’s like criticizing U of L for wining by just 45 points yesterday. Sure, the Cards could have gotten to 50, but what’s the point? More interesting was the poll’s results on issues concerning Abramson’s actions in office.

The public doesn’t have much sympathy for cops in their battle with the Mayor over take-home cars. Six in 10 think police should either not have the cars at all or have the fee they pay for the cars go up.

Furloughing city employees is popular enough, with half of respondants supporting it. But the idea of closing parks is not, with 73 percent saying they don’t want to see that step taken.  And cutting back the hours at libraries is unpopular, with 56 percent resisting.

The public saved its harshest crtique of the Mayor’s action for an issue that gets the most publicity — closing fire stations.  More than 8 in 10 think that’s a step too far for solving the budget problem.

So the poll results say, basically, that the people don’t want fire stations, parks or libraries closed to save money, but they’re OK with jacking up the cost of take-home cars for police and giving employees a few unpaid days off.  Which leads me to think the Mayor is overestimating the negative feedback he’d get if he were to announce layoffs of 10 percent.

It’s easy to explain the Mayor’s popularity numbers. Unlike the other 19 years of his oversight of the city’s budget, he’s been put in the position of telling people things they don’t want to hear. So surveys aren’t going to be kind to him.  But it’s hardly an uprising from the people.

The Mayor’s critics may be getting louder, but they’ve got a long way to go before they dent his popularity.

Bank Robber Shot to Death in Louisville

A man who robbed the Beechmont location of Stock Yards Bank in Louisville was shot to death today just after 12:00 Noon.

It’s 2008. Why do people even attempt to rob banks these days?

This is what happens when you do crazy crap. You get shot – 14 or 15 times – until you’re dead dead dead.

From the C-J:

About noon a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy saw an individual wearing a bandana enter the bank at 4825 South Third Street, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Robert White said.

When the man left the bank, the deputy confronted him and the man showed a weapon and at least one shot is fired, White said. It was not clear who fired the shot, however, and the suspect fled in a car with an undetermined amount of bank money, driving south on Third Street.
Sue Griffin, who was visiting relatives on Tenny, said a neighbor called to say they had heard on a police scanner that a Stock Yards Bank branch had been robbed and that Griffin’s relatives should lock their doors.

Shortly after that, she heard gunfire begin. She said she heard 14 shots. Kenny Hite, who was visiting a friend on Tenny, said, “It was wild. I’ve never heard nothing like it before. They told him to put his gun down … and they opened fire.”

Also peep WHAS11’s noon coverage. Effing crazy.