This Is Not Goodbye

NOTE: Updates will appear below this post, as it will be stickied at the top for the next several days.

Late Sunday I announced something that’s resulted in a lot of chatter and unbelievable attention: I’m leaving Kentucky. Just hold your horses before cheering – I’ll still be covering the ongoing scandals that have been uncovered by this website (like Montgomery County Schools, hemp, various Democratic Party messes) and will still be releasing huge amounts of documents and recordings that I have worked hard to acquire over the last few years.

Page One and The ‘Ville Voice will be focusing more on covering Kentucky’s delegation in Washington, as that’s something we’ve all dropped the ball on for years. As I begin to dig in, I’ll transition to several updates per week instead of several updates per day. The change is necessary for progress and sustainability.

I’ll also be transitioning back into doing what I love – research! Unrelated to my work here. It’s essentially what I did before this and have continued to do in order to get great stories. It’s exciting and affects real change. Only makes sense to keep my network of sources, law enforcement contacts, friends, legislators and the like intact. Democrat or Republican, candidate or issue, cause, concern, reporter, that means I’m for hire. My work speaks for itself and there’s a literal decade of material proving my value. Not afraid to toot my own horn here because there aren’t many others who have had the persistence and determination to dig things out of the darkness these last several years. Need someone to uncover something in Kentucky? A typical D.C. firm won’t have the access I have struggled to gain no matter how much you pay them. Just ask Louisville Metro Animal Services, Will Coursey or the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Those paying attention shouldn’t be surprised by this departure. The latest efforts in Frankfort to enact homophobic “Religious Freedom” legislation have had a chilling effect on business and progress in Kentucky. 90% or more of our advertising (location-targeted, mostly directed at state employees and the education community) comes from the enterprise world outside the state. All but two of those sponsors have expressed serious concern and outright doubt about spending money here as a result of that homophobic mess. It’s not just North Carolina – its happening here, just quietly. Who could blame them? Kim Davis and the unreal marriage license circus she kicked off haven’t helped.

After a few years of progress, we’ve jumped back at least 20. Remaining in a state that wants to deny people housing, jobs, access to care and other basic human rights because a handful of old guys are gay-panicked is no longer an option.

Governor Matt Bevin’s decision to back off the expansion of broadband infrastructure while slashing and burning the already starving higher education budget are additional setbacks that will keep Kentucky in the dark ages for decades to come. And in this world of Netflix 4K streaming and feature-rich websites, the only places in Kentucky keeping up are our major cities. That’s not good enough for the Commonwealth and isn’t exactly acceptable for Kentucky’s 110 other counties. The best places, the best people and the most important stories aren’t in the Golden Triangle. When you can’t reach them, you can’t reach Kentucky.

And no offense to the city I love but people in Somerset just don’t care about your arena, your bridges, your murder rate or Rick Pitino. There’s another world outside the expressway and it deserves our attention.

The health care roller coaster is another nightmare and you don’t need to hear my thoughts about that. Because young creatives are leaving, the working poor are beginning to suffer, those who need help the most are being treated as expendable. In fact, I never would have had access to affordable care if it weren’t for kynect.

All of this is happening while the Kentucky Democratic Party is officially in turmoil. People are getting indicted left and right and all the key players seem content not rocking the boat. With the exception of Mary Lou Marzian, Denise Harper Angel, Morgan McGarvey, Darryl Owens and a few other legislators? Complacency reigns supreme.

With that out of the way, I don’t want to be super-negative. Not sure how to put the rest of this into words because it’s not a goodbye, though it’s still tremendously difficult to express.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I’ve chosen to live my life here because of that beauty and its people who love what I love. If you’re a Kentuckian, you *get* what I mean. It’s not something that’s easily explained. It’s just in your blood, you catch the bug, you get sucked in, hooked on it. From fine Kentucky bourbon to Eastern Whippoorwills to the foothills of our Appalachians, I love it all. Every bit of it. It’s intoxicating and I hope I get to return here some day soon.

When people close to me have died or I’ve hit bumps in the road, support has come from the most unexpected places and from people no one would have ever imagined. I’ve mostly kept things to myself all these years but want to highlight a few of them today:

  • When a corrupt hospice organization was complicit in draining my dying mother’s accounts and keeping me from seeing her, former Congressman Geoff Davis was on the phone with me within an hour. He went out of his way to help mom all the while knowing I would continue to publicly criticize and scrutinize his every move. Democrats don’t like hearing it but he’s a man of tremendous integrity. He never allowed me to thank him but I remain grateful.
  • When mom died, former Senate President David Williams and his family unexpectedly jumped to my rescue. The sent food (OH GOD THAT CARROT CAKE!), made sure I was functioning, sent people to my home. They showed compassion that made me believe family isn’t just blood.
  • When I wanted to bridge two unlikely forces to tackle some major holes in Kentucky’s anti-elder abuse efforts, I wasn’t sure what I could do. But my mind was blown when Senator Rand Paul’s people stepped up to the plate and State Represenative Joni Jenkins did the same. They sat down with me over several meals and they made things happen. Who could have predicted THAT? I still can’t believe it occurred. They put their differences aside and started something that’s rolling on to this day. Whether they admit it or not, those two camps are responsible for improving Kentucky on that front.
  • When Jack Conway’s people launched a nasty defamation campaign against me in 2011 (how dare anyone highlight corruption involving Democrats! especially when they’re gay), Dan Canon stepped up to help. He fought for me and for others and helped change the game. It may have cost me everything I had but it was worth it because Dan made it worth it. He’s gone on to score one of the biggest equality victories in history with his team. All while helping people from all walks of life seek justice. He’s a treasure in your own backyard and you don’t even know it.
  • When a tornado struck my hometown of West Liberty in March 2012, an unthinkable number of people jumped on the Red Cross website when I asked. No one said no. It warms my heart to know that every single person I called made contributions while on the phone and almost everyone emailed verification. Some of them sent trucks of food and supplies. Others got their congregations and friends together and moved quickly into action when I suggested they could stay with my loved ones back home. That remains one of the most impressive things I’ve witnessed in life.
  • After nearly a decade of uncovering corruption at Louisville Metro Animal Services, ousting director after director, documenting instance of horrific abuse after instance of horrific abuse, someone in a position of power finally took me seriously and put his foot down. Metro Councilman Kelly Downard, a conservative Republican, stepped in and launched an effort to clean things up. He got his colleagues together and used my years of work to hold people like Sadiqa Reynolds and Margaret Brosko accountable. Along with the assistance of his fellow councilmembers, Cindi Fowler and the incomparable Tina Ward-Pugh, they even changed the law. Sadie’s Law. Named in honor of the dog I profiled. That heartbreaking story ultimately changed the law and altered the direction of animal care in Kentucky’s largest city. It’s humbling and I’m grateful for Kelly Downard.
  • After uncovering a level of corruption – I still can’t fully believe it! – in Montgomery County Schools that shook my knees, I jumped on it, shed light on the situation day in and day out for what’s going on three years. Everyone in power sat on their hands, turning a blind eye to abuses of authority and outright law breaking, thieving and good old boy shenanigans you only see on television. Until an attorney at the Education Professional Standards Board named Alicia Sneed took action and launched a years-long investigation. That investigation is about to come to an end in a few weeks but it’s what helped me get the ball rolling. Once she started taking things seriously, I was able to get superintendent Joshua Powell removed, got his illegally-hired wife ousted, swept out about 50 (really) members of his henchman-filled inner circle, changed the makeup of the school board and got the former Commissioner of Education “resigned” from his contract nearly two years early. If it weren’t for Sneed, thousands of children and hundreds of teachers would still be suffering. She gives me hope that public servants can be inherently good.

That’s just scratching the surface but I hope it gives you a feel for what I’m talking about.

So many of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help and there’s one big way to do so:





You can also make contributions via secure credit card invoice if you shoot me an email. You could even consider purchasing ad space because you know Frankfort is watching. This website is their guilty pleasure.

Traffic here is insane even on days when I don’t publish, so I know you’re getting something out of it. If you do and you want to see me continue to cover what your mainstream media outlets ignore, please chip in. Immediate support will help me move a storage unit filled with documents to a more secure facility where I’ll be for the next year. Seriously – Uhaul is outrageously expensive.

Never imagined a gay kid from the mountains could get this far. With your help, I climbed to the top in a homophobic place like Kentucky. Now I just want to continue lending the voice I’ve gained to people who deserve it far more than the person writing this.

I’m never giving up on Kentucky and I hope you don’t give up on me.

NOTE: Updates will appear below this post, as it will be stickied at the top for the next several days.

Spend New Year’s Eve At Kentucky State Parks

We write about it every year but Kentucky State Parks are gearing up again for New Year’s Eve celebrations around the Commonwealth.

If you’re looking for something to do in your own backyard, go to the nearest State Park! Some are offering dinner buffets, entertainment, dancing and theater.

Some of the events:

Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas — New Year’s Eve Party: Barren River Lake State Resort Park invites you to ring in the 2014 New Year with us Dec. 31. Sit down to a delicious buffet in the Driftwood Restaurant, then go dance the night away as we ring in the New Year with DJ Cindy Cossey from 8 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. We’ll also have the big screen up again this year to watch the ball drop and have our own balloon drop at midnight. Refreshments and party favors provided during dance. A lodge package for $179.95 plus tax, tip, and resort fee includes lodging Tuesday night, Tuesday night dinner, dance, and Wednesday morning breakfast for two. A cottage package for $299.95 plus tax, tip, and resort fee is also available. The dinner and dance only for two is $85 plus tax and tip. The dance only is $20 per person. For more information or to make reservations call 1-800-325-0057.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet — Comedy in the Parks: Blue Licks Battlefield brings you this year’s installment of “Comedy in the Parks!” Join us for an evening of fine dining and comedy entertainment. Dinner starts at 5 p.m., followed by “The Comedy of Lee Cruse” at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy music from “The Piano Doctor” Dave Stahl and saxophonist Freddy Helm from 9 p.m. to midnight. We’ll have the dance floor in place and the large projection TV showing you what’s going on around the country when the clock strikes midnight. Join us for the dinner and show with event tickets or stay at the Worthington Lodge with a room package that includes a lodge room and tickets for two. Tickets: $37.04 per person. Includes tax, dinner and show for one person. Package price: $126.08; includes tax, dinner, show and one lodge room for two people. For information call 1-800-443-7008.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn — New Year’s Eve at Buckhorn Lake: Awake to the New Year amid mountain tranquility. Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park is offering a special lodge room rate of $50 per night Sunday, Dec. 29, through Saturday, Jan. 4. The park is also offering a special plated dinner from 5-8 p.m. with tender chicken breast and petite ribeye, tossed salad, side, and dessert for $25. Or choose the seafood platter, sides, and desserts for $14. (Not including tax or gratuity). For reservations call 800-325-0058.

See the rest by clicking here

Brown-Forman Leading Where Lou & KY Should Be

Brown Forman was recently recognized as a climate leader:

Brown-Forman has been named to the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) for its approach to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the risks of climate change. The company received a distinguished disclosure score of 93 and an “A” performance rating.

Brown-Forman also announced that it has signed the Ceres’ Climate Declaration, a business-backed effort to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change through stronger climate policies. Brown-Forman joins nearly 700 signatories, including General Motors, Owens Corning, Intel, Microsoft, VF Corp. and other leaders.

“We applaud Brown-Forman’s leadership in making the critical connection between its long-term success and the need to tackle climate change,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, which launched the Climate Declaration in the spring. “We are delighted that Brown-Forman is the first Kentucky-based major company to sign the Declaration and welcome others to join as well.”

The Ceres Coalition? It’s an interesting group, made up of members like:

  • California Public Employees’ Retirement System
  • California State Controller’s Office
  • California State Teachers’ Retirement System
  • California Stat Treasurer’s Office
  • Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc.
  • Center for a New American Dream
  • Center for Political Accountability
  • Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.
  • Connecticut Office of the State Treasurer
  • CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan
  • First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC
  • Florida State Board of Administration
  • Green Century Capital Management
  • Harrington Investments, Inc.
  • Illinois State Board of Investment
  • IW Financial
  • Maryland State Retirement and Pension System
  • Maryland Treasurer’s Office
  • Mercy Investment Services, Inc.
  • Miller/Howard Investments, Inc.
  • Mountain Association for Community Economic Development
  • New York City Office of the Comptroller
  • New York State Comptroller
  • New York State Teachers’ Retirement System
  • North Carolina Department of State Treasurer
  • Portfolio 21 Investments
  • Praxis Mutual Funds
  • Rockefeller & Co.
  • Sentinel Investments
  • SJF Ventures
  • Social Responsibility Investment Group
  • SRI World Group, Inc.
  • Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
  • Trillium Asset Management
  • Vermont Office of the State Treasurer
  • Walden Asset Management
  • Winslow Management Company

Notice anything missing?

Once again, a business is light years ahead of nearly every agency in Louisville and Kentucky.

Councilcritter Ignoring You? Show Up In-Person

Today, Metro Council’s Health, Education and Housing Committee will meet at 2:30 P.M.

The committee is set to review a resolution for the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program to be administered by the Metro Public Health and Wellness Department.

The agenda for the meeting is available here.

If you’re currently living in a property owned by a slumlord and you’re being ignored by your councilperson and your mayor? You can show up to meetings like this, wait outside, and get embarrass your electeds into listening to you. It’s a good opportunity to have members of the press hear your pleas for help.

Fischer Admin Hits Yet Another Whistleblower

We’re closer and closer to hitting our goal and launching our new project. Consider helping make that happen. [Support Our New Project!]

A Louisville high school student has been taken into custody after authorities say he threatened to kill school staff. [WDRB]

Another day, another whistleblower scandal in Louisville Metro Government. This time involving a police officer who did the right thing. And you wonder why people get so pissed. [C-J/AKN]

Police say this guy who ran from them in the Shawnee neighborhood had an AK-47. That should make you feel really safe, obviously. [WAVE3]

That’s “transparency” Greg Fischer can believe in. The next time you submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. government, it may end up in the hands of a company you’ve never heard of. [Bloomberg]

Basically, you can’t trust leaving your kids at a daycare without some pervert working there who happens to be a sex offender. [WHAS11]

Kentucky was ranked No. 24 in terms of states with the best business tax climate, according to The Tax Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that monitors tax policy. [Business First]

A record number of people are registered to vote in next month’s election, but exactly who are these voters? [WLKY]

Louisville’s solid waste board is set to vote on the city’s five-year plan at the end of this month. If it passes, residents could see changes in how their trash is handled and recycled. [WFPL]

What a Kentucky antique dealer thought was a neat aircraft part caused police to evacuate her store in Paris. [H-L]

A month after Sellersburg teenager Ethan Hunter Bennett was last seen driving his parents’ silver Jaguar, local police and Bennett’s family still haven’t been able to find him or the car. [C-J/AKN]

Connie Marshal Speaks Again & It Is Super-Sad

Oh lawwwwd. Now Connie Marshall is claiming that LMPD beat her.

Here’s a comment she left on The ‘Ville Voice last night:

Connie Marshall // Jul 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Please see my website for the truth regarding what occurred on June 26, 2012. The LG&E Rep. did not have I.D. and refused to give his last name. Also the police refused to give a report number. I did not drag a police officer, but I was beaten by the police and those pictures are on my website, http://www.justiceforallcitizens.com Also patents for Directed Energy Weapons are on my website, including audios and videos. Know the truth.

And here are the goodies from her own website:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

On June 26, 2012, I left my home briefly to drop my grandson off downtown. A couple of days earlier I spoke with Louisville Gas and Electric Company regarding the Smart Meters that they have been installing at my home and made a request to have it taken off of my home.

So she freely admits SHE is the person who requested LG&E come to her property. And then she wants to go even more crazy on them when they get there. Okay, got it.

She continues:

I am currently receiving Social Security Disability for “Frequency Devices and Neurological problems,” therefore a Smart Meter is a hazard to my health. Also, I have never given permission for LG&E to install this “Surveillance” Meter on my home. For the record in 2010 LG&E came to my home while I was away and left a hanging tag that stated they were at my home and had my service off for about 15 minutes and I had not requested a service call. When I arrived home from work I begin having Extreme Muscle spasms and Extreme Sleep Deprivation so severe that I lost my job due to lack of sleep.

Hmmm.

Read the rest of this hot mess after the jump…

Read more…

Metro Community Services & Revitalization Review

Have you taken a look at the 2012 review of Metro Community Services And Revitalization?

Nah, of course you haven’t. So go here to download the 58MB PDF and do so.


SEE? LOOKS SO FANCY

We’d link the report ourselves but someone in Greg Fischer’s office decided it was appropriate to scan the report and turn it into a PDF file. Because this is 1997 and people still do things like that.

It’s another hot mess, courtesy Sadiqa Reynolds.

It promotes her sorority sister, Jean Dunlap, while undermining the apparently talented current director.

And it fails to mention that the first recommendation of firing the now-former assistant director has already taken place.

On Monday, Sadiqa called an all-staff meeting for the department and instead of presenting the review, she tried to give everybody a pep talk.

Possibility City.