Mayor for Now and Other Monday Stuff

Rocky Road: This morning Joe Gerth speculates on Jerry Abramson’s future, wondering if all the problems he’s dealing with are making it less fun being Mayor for Life. Jerry told him he’s getting lots of positive encouragement. Surprise! He said he’d decide on whether to run for a sixth term in late summer. [C-J]

Speak of Hate: It’s really discouraging to watch HBO’s special — Right America: Feeling Wronged because it makes you realize how much hate, bigotry and racism still exists in America – the South in particular.  One guy looks into the camera and says “I ain’t votin’ for the n____.”Still, you ought to see it. Then lighten up with Flight of the Concords. [HBO]

Kick This One Around: That Javanon soccer facility in eastern Jefferson County is finally getting some scrutiny by the Board of Zoning Adjustments, which has a hearing March 16.  The bottom line is that you’re not supposed to be able to construct a building without permits — but Metro Planning director Charles Cash and others weren’t paying attention. And a Metro employee had no qualms about taking advantage of the siutation. So should they make them tear it down? [C-J]

Your Comment on the Water: The state is seeking public comment on its plan to clean up Beargrass Creek as required by the Clean Water Act. You have until March 24. [Ky. Div. of Water]

And on the Parks: If you’re interested in the future of Hogan’s Fountain or Tyler Park, there’s a publci meeting tonite at the Highlands Library. Officials are developing master plans for the parks. [Metro Govt]

Four in Sports: Anybody notice that today’s C-J sports section was all of four pages? That’s the smallest I think that it has ever been.

Congrats to the Petcheniks: The WLKY-TV reporter and his wife welcomed a new daughter, Julia Brooke, to their home.

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.

Start of A Dark and Stormy Day

Jerry To D.C.: President Obama is calling leaders of major cities to D.C. for a Friday meeting to discuss how to spend the stimulus money. And Jerry Abramson got an invite.  Jer’s also meeting with Gov. Beshear on Thursday to talk about distributing the federal cash. My advice — avoid the Metro Housing Department. And if you want to know everything about the guy who got him elected, check out the David Plouffe feature. [Esquire]

I Can See For Miles: WHAS11 this week launched its Mobile Traffic Tracker, a mobile phone application which allows you to see the road ahead via Trimarc cameras placed on the interstates. Why would you do this? Because you can.  WHAS G.M. Mark Pimentel hopes to get 20,000 people signed up and use it to sell advertsing. [Herald-Leader]

E-Mail Distress: Meanwhile, corporate bigshots at Belo are forcing WHAS-TV staffers to bring some uniformity to their company e-mail addresses.  So a lot of them are changing. No one is happy.

Cop Crimes: Are you starting to get the idea that the guy a U.S. Marshal shot at a local Thornton’s may have only been guilty of being out late at night and black? You should see the piece on HBO’s Real Sports about the son of former Red Bobby Tolan, now living in a white Houston suburb. Local cops shot the young Tolan, a promising baseball player, on the front porch of his house while his parents were inside in their pajamas.  Bad Cops, Good TV. [HBO]

Work, Work, Work: Don’t forget that Francene’s Job Jam is this Saturday at Bellarmine. We’re a sponsor, so we are planning to take credit if there’s a big crowd. So go and sign up now. It’s a great lineup. [Francene]

 Can’t Get Enough of This Audit Stuff: LEO’s Stephen George weighs in with some insight on the state auditor’s report on the Metro Louisville Housing shenanigans. This is a story thick with documentation that can’t be over-covered. [LEO]

Even Jerry-Loving Steve Langford Can’t Believe What’s In the Audit: He’s Hot Button-ing all over the place on the misuse of public funds. [WAVE]

Another One Somebody Should Get Canned For: LEO’s also followed up on that East End soccer facility that mysteriously got built by a guy who works for the city, Ali Ahmedi. The story was first reported by Fox41’s Dick Irby. You know Ahmedi’s guilty of something, because he won’t talk to the media. And BOZA has a hearing set for March 16, but nothing will come of it. [LEO]

Working Late: A pothole repair crew from the city was out on my street at 9 p.m. Tuesday. I was impressed.