Even Bill Lamb Calls Letter Absurd

Conservative Bill Lamb is causing racist white peoples’ heads to explode. When Bill Lamb is on the same side as Attica Scott when it comes to the FOP’s threatening letter? All hell is gonna break loose. [WDRB]

A joint interim Kentucky legislative committee called Wednesday for updating the rules governing property tax assessments while questioning Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer about whether his office is examining taxable properties in accordance with state law. [C-J/AKN]

efferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer appeared Wednesday morning before a legislative panel at Kentucky’s Capitol to explain and defend his office’s valuation practices. [WHAS11]

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The Louisville Metro Council’s budget committee voted to add more than $5 million for road repairs. [WLKY]

Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi’s declaration goes so far as to say that “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” [HuffPo]

Critics are questioning lawmakers jumping on the anti-confederate bandwagon and the president of the NAACP Kentucky State Conference and Louisville Chapter Raoul Cunningham said he’s just fine with that. [WAVE3]

The old gay Louisville. A writer returns to the city where he was raised—and exiled—to find what was lost when gay life entered the mainstream. [TNR]

The Louisville Metro Tree Commission holds its final meeting this evening and is expected to vote on a draft ordinance that could create a new tree commission and new city policies for tree management. [WFPL]

An overwhelming majority of Americans say they believe protests against unfair government treatment make the United States a better country. Unless, that is, the protesters are black. [WaPo]

For Tim Gramig, a longtime broker Louisville’s commercial real estate market, opportunity has knocked twice this year. [Business First]

Mayor Jeff Gahan failed to sign an ordinance calling for certain financial information be provided to the New Albany City Council at the last meeting of each month. In response, the council voted unanimously Thursday to again approve the measure, and thus overrode the pocket veto of Gahan. A pocket veto occurs when an executive takes no action on a bill as opposed to an outright veto of the measure. [News & Tribune]

Frankfort Clowns Panic Over Needles

Why not work to educate the man? Maybe try to get him and people tossing about veiled threats and racist dog whistles to realize that crap isn’t okay? [WDRB]

One week into the opening of Louisville’s syringe exchange, health officials doled out 1,352 clean syringes to drug users and collected just 189. So get with the program, small town Kentucky! [C-J/AKN]

There is new information on a deadly night of crime sprees leading up to a Canadian tourist’s murder on Derby day. [WHAS11]

For Rand Paul, the rubber is meeting the road. In the wake of last week’s racist shootings in Charleston, S.C., the Republican Party has been torn on the issue of whether the Confederate flag should continue to fly on the grounds of the state Capitol in Columbia. [H-L]

Don’t worry, everything is puppies and rainbows with JCPS’ Donna Hargens! [WLKY]

After getting the cold shoulder, U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc. said it’s raising its offer to buy smaller rival Cigna Corp. for about $47 billion, including cash and stock. [HuffPo]

LMPD Chief Conrad promises real changes. We’ll believe it when we see it. [WAVE3]

Leave it to backwater Republicans to complain about Louisville’s needle exchange. [WKYT]

On any given night, as many as 300 people in Southern Indiana are sleeping in shelters, cars or on the street, according to a street count earlier this year. [WFPL]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a Los Angeles ordinance that lets police view hotel guest registries without a warrant violates the privacy rights of business owners, taking away what the city called a vital tool to fight prostitution and other crimes. [Reuters]

Greater Louisville Inc. said the 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly produced some definitive wins, but it also said that the state legislature missed key opportunities to move the state forward and help it become more business-friendly. [Business First]

After about two months on the job, new Jeffersonville Police Department Chief Kenny Kavanaugh says additional officers are needed to meet the demand of law enforcement within the city. [News & Tribune]

FOP Leadership Needs To Change Now

While dozens of protestors called for his resignation Monday afternoon, Fraternal Order of Police President Dave Mutchler denied that his open letter last week was “dividing the community” and claimed he has heard nothing but support from the officers he represents. [WDRB]

Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed a businessman and a Fairdale High School teacher to the board of the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly after the news spread that 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof had shot and killed nine men and women during a prayer meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the River City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 614 President Dave Mutchler released a controversial letter to local activists and community members. [WHAS11]

Two sustainability projects in Louisville have won awards from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Protesters gathered outside the Louisville Metro Police Department Monday as a response to what they called an attack. [WLKY]

Russell Moore still thinks the religious right will win the battle against same-sex marriage. Oh, not at the Supreme Court later this month — like nearly everyone else, Moore is almost positive the right will lose there. But the long game… that, he says, could be a different story. [HuffPo]

A local church is honoring and praying for lives lost in Charleston. Bates Memorial Baptist Church says although they’re miles away, they feel pain their brothers and sisters are suffering. [WAVE3]

“The Confederate Battle Flag means different things to different people, but the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it, and that the time for a state to fly it has long since passed. There should be no confusion in anyone’s mind that as a people we’re united in our determination to put that part of our history behind us.” [Mitch McConnell]

Kentucky gubernatorial candidates Matt Bevin and Jack Conway lobbed barbs in their first joint public appearance on Friday. [WFPL]

Many of the quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers in two of Rand Paul’s books are either fake, misquoted, or taken entirely out of context. [BuzzFeed]

Michigan-based Village Green announced this week that it has closed on the purchase of the 800 Apartments buildings, a 29-story apartment tower at 800 S. Fourth St. it bought from Chicago-based owner Leon Petcov. Why aren’t more people excited about this? [Business First]

From emergency contacts to pants size, Paul Stensrud knows the men and women he helps through Jesus Cares at Exit 0, a homeless outreach organization that operates throughout Clark and Floyd counties. [News & Tribune]

Fischer’s New Letter Re: FOP Mess

Here’s Greg Fischer’s letter:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear colleagues,

A recent letter by FOP President Dave Mutchler highlighted some of the very real challenges you face as law enforcement officers. When we sign up for public service, we are held to a high standard and at times face criticism — some of it constructive and reasonable, some of it dishonest or unfair, all of it allowed under the First Amendment.

Sergeant Mutchler also has a First Amendment right to speak his mind. However, responsible dialogue must be made with sensitivity to community relations, historical challenges, the raw and emotional time our city and nation find themselves in, and the recognition that words can have real consequences.

For many, it was hard not to interpret Mr. Mutchler’s letter as threatening. While he said that was not his intention, he used language that made many people fearful and defensive. Furthermore, some of his statements have the potential to undue (sic) years of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s work to develop thoughtful and constructive relationships with community members. That is why I rebuked his letter last week.

While I disagree with some of Mr. Mutchler’s words, I want to be absolutely clear in my support for LMPD, and my understanding of the even more difficult task of policing in the post-Ferguson world, as well as the importance of LMPD protecting every one of our citizens’ constitutional rights.

Through my regular interaction with LMPD and the community, I know we can be a model city for balancing the difficult work of policing and community activism. In order to advance that critical work, and protect not only our community members but also protect you, I will continue to speak strongly against any words or acts that potentially lead toward unrest.

I remain inspired and proud of our force, and will continue to do all I can to lift up, advance and promote your good work.

Sincerely,

Greg Fischer

Strong words from the mayor to the LMPD.

Meanwhile, Mutchler still hasn’t responded to the Human Relations Commission’s Advocacy Board.

John Yarmuth Running For Re-Election

Despite the deluded dreams of a handful of Republicans, Congressman John Yarmuth is running for re-election.

So said Yarmuth a moment ago at a press conference on Lower Brownsboro.

That’s fun and… wait for it… not surprising.

UPDATE —

If you want the press release, here it is:

LOUISVILLE, KY – Today, at his campaign headquarters, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) announced that he will seek a 6th term as Louisville’s U.S. Representative in 2016.

“As the lone progressive voice in Kentucky’s federal delegation, I take very seriously my responsibility to fight for our community’s values in Washington. The Republican Leadership has become more extreme, and they have increasingly pursued an agenda that threatens the livelihoods and opportunities of families in Louisville and throughout the nation,” Congressman Yarmuth said. “I believe the work of changing the priorities of the next Congress is critically important, and that’s why I’m running for reelection in 2016.”

Kentucky candidates for federal office are not able to file for 2016 campaigns until November, but Yarmuth didn’t want speculation about his race to distract from the issues in campaigns for statewide offices.

The second ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, Congressman Yarmuth has advocated for a budget that prioritizes investments in communities, families, and businesses. While most now agree that income inequality is a major problem, the Congressman said the Republican budget would cut funding for job training, education and infrastructure, while trying to take health insurance away from millions of Americans. He has become a vocal and persistent opponent of the gimmicks in the current budget proposal that hide the massive costs of greater tax breaks to the well-off and well connected.

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the 111th Congress, Yarmuth was active in the development of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which has helped more than 500,000 Kentuckians gain health insurance and cut Louisville’s uninsured rate by 81%. He remains a strong national advocate for the law and plans to continue working on improvements to ensure all Americans in need of medical attention get the care they need when they need it.

In the last Congress, Yarmuth served as part of the bipartisan group of 8, helping to craft a compromise comprehensive immigration reform bill that received wide support but was not brought up for a vote. He pledged to continue working for a law that promotes humane enforcement, provides a path to citizenship, and keeps families together.

Long before he was elected to Congress, Yarmuth was a strong advocate for equality for women and minorities, and he reaffirmed that commitment today . “America should be a place where, partners have the freedom to marry, prayer is personal, and no one ever loses their job, home, or life based on how they look, whom they love, or where they were born,” he said.

His platform was decidedly progressive but hardly partisan. Among numerous issues that receive broad, bipartisan support nearly everywhere but within the halls of Congress, Yarmuth singled out gun safety. Initiatives such as background checks and limits on magazine capacity have garnered favor from voters in both parties in poll after poll. But, amidst a plague of shooting deaths and calls for action by Yarmuth and numerous colleagues, Congressional Leadership has failed to act.

He addressed another topic that is taboo on Capitol Hill despite near universal support: campaign finance reform. The lead sponsor of a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, Yarmuth stated, “Until we get the big money out of politics, our elections will never be honest, and our government will never be responsive to the priorities of the American people.

“As long as our laws say money equals speech, speech will not be free,” Yarmuth added. “That’s just common sense.”