Finally, DTV Deadline Passes and A Cameo

Does Your TV Still Work?: Maybe, just maybe, this will be the last time we mention the DTV transition. Who am I kidding? Expect stories about the people somehow caught by surprise when their TV didn’t work this morning, who blame the goverment or their TV stations, or better yet, who decide to get rid of their TVs. The analog transmitters shut off at 9 this morning.

Belles Cameo: The Southern Belles series was taped last fall, so that was Judicial candidate, not Judge, Katie King in a lengthy cameo on the show last night. Hadley was looking for a mentor/adviser, because she was having man/career troubles, and sought out our fave judge at the St. James Art Fair, proceeding to wear a campaign t-shirt and hand out buttons.

To the Ninth Degree: A new study from the Greater Louisville Project is not good for city officials. Louisville finished 9th among 15 cities in the study measuring the number of college grads in the 25-34 age group. The ‘Ville is at 31.9%, while Raleigh leads the way at 49.4%. The rate is barely improved (0.9%) compared with 2007 numbers. [Courier]

Saying No to Tolls: Gov. Beshear’s economic plan includes setting up a tolling authority to finance bridge construction, but the plan doesn’t sit well with Louisville lawmakers, according to Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, who says city leaders won’t vote for Beshear’s plan. We don’t think the Gov’s gaming plan is going to get done, either. [Courier]

No Wonder: You guessed this, but the top recipient of tobacco money in Congress? Mitch McConnell. Ed Whitfield, Jim Bunning and Ron Lewis are in the Top 15. [Open Secrets]

Zip Code History: Check out a nostalgic look at the history of local post offices in a V.V. comment from Jeff Noble.  The point — post offices come and go. Other point — Mail? you’re still using mail? [Comments]

Get In the Train Line: More lawsuits have been filed against the Louisville Zoo. And the injuries seem to be getting worse as the dollar signs light up. [Fox41]

Mongiardo Announces: Lt. Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Mongiardo announced wife Allison is pregnant, expecting at the end of the year.  Jack Conway’s wife is pregnant too. Which will be the first to a diaper-change photo opp? [Fox41]

No Bitterness Edition

Shooting the Sh.. Guns with Jake Starr: Now here’s a unique angle. LEO’s Phillip Bailey got some shooting lessons from New Bethel church pastor Ken Pagano, God’s representative for gun rights, whose handle in his gun league is Jake Starr. Good story.  [LEO]

Guess Who Touched Another Nerve at Sixth and Broadway: As Jake puts it, the C-J’s David Daly has a “bitterness boner” for both LEO and me. Was it that we mentioned Joey Wagner’s split with the paper  that ticked him off this time? Or was it making fun of their Southern Belles story? Well, we’re not going away. [Page One]

More Bad C-J News: Tonight the Metro Council is expected to approve its anti-littering ordinance, which will keep the paper from throwing those annoying green bags on your driveway.  Gannett’s plan is to pay Jon Fleischaker to fight the ordinance on First Amendment grounds, which it’s not, and which will make citizens angry. And the paper’s coverage — highlighting a minor point in the ordinance about mailboxes — isn’t what you’d call balanced. [Courier]

Getting Up for Film: Don’t forget this weekend’s Flyover Film Festival, starting Friday with Hart-Lunsford Pictures’ “Bart Got a Room.”  One of the folks behind it is George Parker, showcased at I Live In Louisville. [ILIL]

Let’s Trot Out A Rumor: We hear that a certain local TV station might be adding a nightly newscast which might air on another station in which it already airs one of its newscasts. That’s just what we’re hearing.

Enough Already: In less than 24 hours, stations will drop from their rotations all those DTV warnings, and the 12 people who haven’t gotten their TVs ready for the digital transition will find something else to do.

Don’t Act Surprised at This: Board members of the Kentucky League of Cities didn’t know about Sylvia Lovely’s latest salary increase, a sweet $31K that only three board members, who were all apparently wimps, approved without question. [Herald-Leader]

Saying You’re Not Under Investigation by the State Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Under Invesigtation by the State: Despite evidence to the contrary, Dr. Gilles Meloche of Metro Animal Services said in an interview that his department was NOT being investigated by the state.  And bringing three kittens to your budget hearing won’t insure that Council members will be nice to you. [Fox41]

Cheating Causes a Do-Over: The folks running that Best Cities poll noticed some cheating going on, and reset the numbers. So now Louisville trails Roanoke and Pittsburgh (????) in the poll. So honor your inner geek and vote again. [The City Poll]

At Least It’s Not Breaking News

Worst Misuse of the term “Breaking News” We’ve Heard in a Long Time: The headline on the e-mail blast from Jack Conway’s camp screamed: “Breaking News: Conway Gets Major Backing From Key Unions That Represent Over 100,000 Members.” IN ALL CAPS. Happy for you, Jack, but let’s not get in the habit of releasing news this way. [Joe Arnold]

Fancy New Toy: The Full Signal media empire has a new camera, and Jake used it at the Lincoln Memorial Dedication last week. So now we have a new way to make snarky comments about local politicians. [Page One]

Costs More, But Not as Good as Before: TARC held a board meeting this morning to discuss how to stabilize its budget, with the idea of raising fares by a quarter and cutting back on service somehow leading the way as a good idea. [Courier]

Cops On Deck: Tomorrow the Metro Council resumes its budget hearings, with the police scheduled for three potentially contentious hours.

Finally Friday: That’s right. It’s the cut0ff for the digital TV transition, so expect plenty of whining from holdouts who have refused to get their TV’s upgraded. Converter boxes on sale at Meijer last weekend were going for $49.99. [WFPL]

Egotistical Gasbag: The not-so-delicate description of Senate President David Williams in Billy Reed’s piece on how unlikely it is that the Special Session will accomplish anything on the slots issue. [BillyReedSays]

Neighborhood Prejudice: For Fox41’s Bill Lamb, a trip to the Ukraine was inspiration for suggesting that we break down our local South End, West End, East End barriers. Not likely. [Fox41]

Turning Around?: The median homes sales price was up by 1.5% in May, and real estate pros are getting all excited about the market turning around. Even the Home Builders Association’s Chuck Kavanaugh is trying to convince us that the market is good in this editorial, or is it an ad, on WAVE? [Hot Button]

Citizens Group to Offer Tipline

A group of activists based on the South End is launching a tip line that will be more effective and expose wrongdoing in city government that the one currently being set up by the Administration.

“We hoping for tip leading something akin to the Kim Bunton scandal,” said Paul Holliger, who heads Stop I.T. organization along with Ray Pierce. “Based on national studies, I’m betting that we’re going to get one or two really good tips within the first four or five months.”

Holliger said it will process information, conduct a preliminary investigation and if warranted, will bring it to the attention of an appropriate agency. One of those is LMPD’s Public Integrity unit.

The group was formed in the southern part of Jefferson County, where distrust of Metro Government runs highest. Holliger said residents believes the region doesn’t get its fair share of services. The group is holding a press conference downtown on Wednesday, in which it will announce the launch of the tip line.

The Metro Council, after months of discussion, recently passed authorization to set up an official tip line at a cost of about $25,000. But that wont’ be operational for as long as six months. Holliger said his costs are substantially less than that, and that his operation will be self-funded.

For the Last 79,130 Local Households

Finally. We’re in the home stretch of the digital TV transition, and according to the FCC, only 79,130 households in the market are still watching over-the-air TV signals.

The FCC says we’re down to 2.41 percent of households not ready for the DTV transition in the market. The magic date is June 12, so expect to enjoy one final week of public service announcements from local stations attempting to get the attention of the holdouts. Every station has plenty of info available on its website, and a dramatic countdown clock.  Here’s WLKY’s.

The big news from a business standpoint, and the reason local GMs were upset when the date was pushed back from February, is that the transition allows local stations to turn off their analog transmitters, which cost up to $10K a month to operate.

WLKY’s Glenn Haygood, however, says his is a “Nightlight” station, meaning that it will keep its signal operating for an additional month past June 12. Those who tune in via analog will get an informational message about how to get up to speed digitally.

Another April 15 Deadline — TV

Tonight, for all you TV watchers tuning in with rabbit ears, is your last night to enjoy the fine fare on KET.

The statewide network is shutting down its analog transmitter, which means that you’ll have to have cable, satellite, or a digital converter box to see Comment on Kentucky on Friday.

Of course, this was all supposed to happen in February, but the federal government delayed the date because it didn’t feel enough citizens were ready.  Now, for the rest of the stations in the market and many in America, it will likely be June 12. The issue gets a lot of press, and plenty of notices on TV.  Lawmakers in Washington this week discussed whether or not there would be enough digital converter boxes to meet the demand.

People are getting the message. The latest stats from Neilsen indicate the number of households considered “not ready” for the switch is down to 3.2 percent. In Louisville, it’s 2.9 percent. And really, it’s for those people that local stations are spending thousands of dollars to keep their analog transmitters going.

We’ve written a lot, right here, about how local GMs like Fox41’s Bill Lamb think we should have already made the switch, reasoning that anyone who’s not ready will never be ready until the day they turn on the TV and get snow.

It would be interesting to hear, from anyone reading The Ville Voice, if you’re still not ready, and if so, why.

U of L Fires Shot in Brain Surgeon Controversy

A law firm representing the University of Louisville in its ongoing dispute with the eight neurosurgeons who joined the Norton Neurological Institute sent a letter to Norton lawyers yesterday alleging that Dr. Christopher Shields and his team may have broken the law by negotiating their deal with Norton.

They’re demanding that the surgeons negotiate a new deal to extend the surgeons’ service to U of L while the school works to recruit replacements.

Apparently it’s much more time-consuming to recruit high-paid surgeons than basketball coaches.

The letter, from Boehl, Stopher and Graves attorneys Edward Stopher and Kent Wicker, claims that the May 12 date the surgeons agreed to continue their work at U of L was insufficient time to recruit replacements, because it “may take months, not weeks, to recruit and hire these new physicians.”

The five-page letter addresses Shields’ involvement with Norton, claiming that Shields broke state laws by negotiating with Norton. From the letter:

By secretly assisting in the organization and development of the Norton Neuroscience Institute for Norton Health Care and soliciting other members of his practice group to join the effort, he may very well have breached his fiduciary duty.

The letter charges that Norton interfered with the contractual relationship between the doctors and U of L, saying the surgeons collectively agreed to work more closely with U of L in 2008 in exchange for $1 million per year through 2010. But it claims that six months after signing the deal, the surgeons signed their deal for full-time employment with Norton.

If the surgeons don’t agree to continue their work at U of L beyond May 12, U of L officials fear it could put the school is “serious jeopardy” and result in trauma patients being diverted to hospitals in other states.