Your Monday Morning of Lawyering & Educating

Everyone seems upset that Lee Eldridge left WAVE. It’s been two weeks since people started emailing us. Goodness. [Just Saying]

Louisville mayoral candidate Connie Marshall has written in about, well, various things. What are your thoughts? [The ‘Ville Voice]

Our condolences to Councilman George Unseld who lost his wife, Jacqueline, on the 21st. [Obit]

Maybe some day Louisville drivers will learn to respect pedestrians. But maybe not. [Broken Sidewalk]

When federal judges are cracking jokes about you, you know you’re nearing the end of your reign as governor. This is quite possibly the most awful story written about Beshear yet. And I love it. [Joe Gerth]

Inside the arena: the view from the nosebleeds. [More Broken Sidewalk]

See??? This is why I live for Architectural Salvage. [Consuming Louisville]

This morning at 10:30 Jerry Abramson and John Yarmuth will announce plans for the 2010 Youth Opportunities Unlimited Showcase. The job fair will aid teenagers seeking summer employment. [Media Advisory]

Is it cool for these guys to want a portion of Hans Poppe’s legal fee if they didn’t perform the work? Chime in, lawyerfolk. [Andy Wolfson]

Rep. Joni Jenkins’ HB 305 would make it illegal for the University of Louisville to charge mandatory athletic and meal fees for students who commute to school. [Page One]

Going the Distance on Liquor Law

Seems pretty simple.

St. Matthews has a law requiring that new liquor stores must be at least 700 feet from existing liquor stores.


And as you can see from this picture, the new Liquor Barn under construction on Shelbyville Road is pretty darn close to the Beverage Warehouse operation across the street.

The Beverage Warehouse owner, Greg Anastas, is suing St. Matthews, Liquor Barn and the state ABC Board for allowing construction to continue toward a planned early October opening. A judge will rule this week on whether or not to delay things — with the case hinging on how you measure the distance between the front doors of the two storefronts. Here’s how the C-J covered the story.

The St. Matthews ABC administrator, James King, issued a letter to Liquor Barn attorney Kenneth Handmaker March 10 indicating he’d measured the distance and found it to be too close. Not the end of the story, however.

The next day King got a letter from Handmaker, threatening an appeal.  On March 11, King changed his mind and approved the application for St. Matthews.

Liquor Barn believes the measurement required by the law is that the 700-foot barrier must be taken by going out the front door, walking to the nearest crosswalk, crossing the street and coming back. Anastas says you merely have to go to a nearer spot to cross the street.

Anastas believes the opening of the store across the street would obviously impact his business. He’s got four stores in the city, including one that competes with a Liquor Barn near Hursbourne. When he opened that store three years ago, he says he was able to take 30 percent of Liquor Barn’s business in that location.

The new Liquor Barn, on the site of a former car dealership, would be at least five times as large as the Beverage Warehouse on Shelbyville Road, and would be right across the street.

“The St. Matthews law is obviously  being broken,” Anastas said. “My goal is to win this or to get a legal answer on why I’m wrong. Neither has been given.”

Anastas says he explained how and why the law was being broken in May, and provided copies to all concerned, and that he still hasn’t gotten a response.

Cordish Facing Lawsuit by Fitness Operator

Most of us are pretty perturbed about the whole issue with Cordish and Fourth Street Live and the $950,000 gift from Mayor Jerry Abramson. We’ll never know how they spent the money, but if they did manage to blow that cash on the Sports and Social Club, it says something about the company’s mismanagement of resources.

Here’s more evidence of that. Next week, there’s a pretrial hearing on a lawsuit filed by local investors who had planned a fitness club in the space directly above what was then Lucky Strike Lanes. The space was nearing completion for a fall 2004 (a lease was executed in Nov. 2003) opening when Cordish canceled the lease, which would have brought in $20K per month.


CLICK TO ENLARGE

The unfinished space sits empty still today. You can kind of peak into the doors on the 2nd floor and see where the reception desk was going to be. It’s what’s behind those horse racing posters above the Sports and Social Club. Want to know how much rent Premier Fitness would have paid by now, had Cordish not canceled the lease a month before opening?

$1.2 million.

Read the Rest After the Jump…

Read more…

Pre-4th Media Meanderings

Awarding Behavior: LEO’s Phillip Bailey picked up a NATIONAL award from the organization of alt-weeklies. His stories on a West End resident, a controversial radio station decision and last year’s fiasco over the homophobic flyer that influenced a Metro Council election got the attention of the AAN. Worthy of re-reading. [AAN]

Fixed Sidewalk: Our pals at Broken Sidewalk, the local blog about neighborhoods, is back up to speed after a short hiatus. Welcome back! [Broken Sidewalk]

He Got What Was Coming: J.D. Sparks, the loony Republican who tried to stop LEO from filming a GOP fundraiser, got a $250 fine and an order to stay away from LEO writer Jonathon Meador. For no extra charge, he got humiliated publicly, threw away his chance at a political future, and became a persona non grata with the local party. On the bright side, he gets to keep his guns. [S. George]

Heine on the Web: It’s generally hard to get us to say “Ooh, that’s cool” about a local retailer website. But then there’s this new one from Heine Bros. [Heine]

Telling Anthem’s Side: Deb Moessner, president of Anthem, did one of those WAVE Hot Buttons to explain that Norton just wants more money, which is why the two parties split. I’m expecting some C-J editorials from both sides tomorrow. I kind of like this new trend of settling public arguments in the media. [WAVE]

Belles Again: It’s episode 7 tonight, in which Kellie (now the most troubled and, therefore, most intriguing, Belle) figures out she can get pregnant, but the current long-distance BF wants none of that. And Shea goes crazy wedding shopping, though we know the wedding will never take place. Fickle Hadley has a date. At 10 tonight on SOAPnet.

Better to Read Something: I heard Esquire editor A.J. Jacobs is coming to the Idea Festival this fall, so I read his book, “The Know-It-All,” about his experience reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Funny, funny stuff, and it does make you feel smarter. Not as smart as if you read the whole thing, but still. [IF]

48 Hours Deadline: We’re big fans of the 48-Hour Film Festival, which is coming up later this month. Thus far 38 teams of filmmakers are signed up, leaving about 10 spots open. If you hurry. Teams get their assignments July 17, and the films will be screened July 22-23.  [48 Hours]

And on KET: Tomorrow’s Comment on Kentucky features Ryan Alessi of the Herald-Leader (who broke the KACo story), Al Cross and Laura Cullen Glasscock of the Kentucky Gazette.

A Little Local Teamwork

For residents of the Highlands, trips to Wild and Woolly Video and Heine Bros. are a routine part of life. Now the two local businesses have teamed up to make things a little more convenient. You can now drop off rented videos at any of seven Heine locations.

Wild and Woolly’s Todd Brashear said the idea has been tested, and came up with the fact that the service saves an average of 73 trips a day.

It’s a step in the right direction for the two members of the Louisville Indpendent Business Association, which is encouraging local operators to come up with benefits for customers that drives business to other local businesses.

Valley Station Worried About Losing P.O.

Yesterday, rumors were circulating that the tiny Valley Station post office on Dixie Highway was being considered for closure because the government needed to consolidate offices to save money.

Bob Henderson, the District 14 Metro Councilman, confirmed that there had been rumors coming from within the branch that a move to the Pleasure Ridge Park branch might be in the works.

In addition, we had multiple sources advise us that workers at the Valley Station branch had been ordered to keep news of any impending changes from the media and that they weren’t to discuss the matter publicly. Citizens say the branch is always busy.

Today we’ve obtained an e-mail sent from local postmaster Steven Gregory. It reads, in part:

The Postal Service is losing volume and revenue and is looking to consolidate facilities. 

Last year, the Post Office announced it was cutting back on the number of mailboxes. Now it is apparently taking a look at closing branches.

Is this just another example of a government agency dumping on the South End? Or are a bunch of post offices getting ready to go away? Anyone else hearing that their post office is being considered for closure?

Getting a Fresh, Green Start for Farmers

This is how a lot of good ideas get started.

When Steven Paradis started doing some small scale farming, he wanted to be kind to the environment. But when he went shopping for enviro-friendly fertilizer, he couldn’t find anything in town and soon learned that his only option was to pick up supplies out of state.

Next week, Paradis is hosting an open house at his new business, Fresh Start Growers’ Supply, at 1007 E. Jefferson Street. He sells non-toxic agriculture products, and hopes to provide much-needed enviro-friendly products to farmers in the region who grow food. There are also retail products for backyard farmers.

“If farmers like it, and I think they will, we’ll be a good alternative to chemical-based products,” he said.

Paradis is also producing a film, Dig It, about protecting the environment.