More “Compassionate City” Bullshit Floats To Top

Right now there is only an old run down tobacco barn on the site in rural eastern Shelby County. [WDRB]

Want a load of bullshit to start your morning? Here’s some compassionate city nonsense, written by a PR lady, pushed by her law firm bosses. It’s absurd and offensive, sadly. [C-J/AKN]

Louisville Metro Public Works will present a report to the Metro Council Thursday evening about the new bike lanes. [WHAS11]

“Does the $11K the campaign paid for the bus include fuel costs?” the Herald-Leader asked Norton in an email Tuesday night. “The driver and bus rental are included in the fee we pay; fuel is additional,” Norton responded. But Politico wrote Thursday morning that Norton’s answer to the Herald-Leader “directly contradicts what they told Politico in an Aug. 8 email and what Federal Election Commission reports show.” [Sam Youngman]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The Kentucky State Fair is also world stage for the World Championship Horse Show, one of the biggest horse shows on earth. [WLKY]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to weigh in on the issue of man-made climate change in a recent interview, giving it a wide berth ahead of his re-election battle in November. [HuffPo]

A mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service is facing charges that he stole drugs from packages being mailed from a hospital to the homes of patients. [WAVE3]

Former governor Martha Layne Collins addressed the Women’s Network of Madison County on Tuesday night in a packed community room at Central Bank in Richmond. [Richmond Register]

State law makes it possible for students to have an excused absence as early as the second day of the school year to attend the Kentucky State Fair. [WFPL]

Most attention Thursday at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast at the state fair was on ham and the U.S. Senate race. But two of the three announced candidates for governor in 2015 — Republicans Hal Heiner and James Comer — were on hand busy shaking hands. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Louisville Metro Council Budget Committee voted unanimously, 10-0,Thursday to extend an agreement with Cordish Cos. through Dec. 31 to develop the downtown property located on the block bounded by Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Liberty, Second and Third streets. [Business First]

Above the doorway from the office to the garage at Grider’s Automotive in Jeffersonville hangs a map of the United States. It’s yellowed around the edges, and duct tape keeps the lower corners affixed to the wall. [News & Tribune]

Sadiqa Reynolds: Greg Fischer’s Whitewashing, Excuse-Making Machine On The LMAS Front

You already know all about Sadiqa Reynolds and you know she’s responsible for the nightmare that is Metro Animal Services.

You know she’s worked hard to cover up the problems at the shelter. You know she’s worked to shut volunteers and employees out when they dare offer suggestions, do the right thing, in any way ask a question or raise a concern.

Until now, though, you haven’t heard her spin.

Remember Briana Holloway?

A Louisville Metro Animal Services volunteer says she was dismissed after she posted videos of shelter dogs on her Facebook page took her case to the Metro Council Thursday night.

Briana Holloway told the council her constitutional rights were violated and shared her ideas on how LMAS can do a better job of meeting their goals.

Holloway had been a volunteer for Metro Animal Services since May 2012 and she thought she was doing a good job. She wanted to help the dogs get adopted so she would post videos of them playing and getting exercise at the Manslick shelter.

-SNIP-

After she posted to Facebook Holloway received a call from a Metro Animal Services administrator telling her she was not allowed to take or post videos unless they were approved through management. Holloway was told she was not allowed to volunteer for a month and then she can meet with administrators to talk about the future.

She was one of the many volunteers who spoke up. After Bree went to the media, Sadiqa decided to do damage control by having a 35-minute telephone call with her.

It started off friendly. Sadiqa sounded as if she was taking Bree’s concerns seriously… but then she started blaming her, chastising her and dismissing her concerns.

Listen for yourself:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The file is 33+ megabytes in size, so if you want to download it and listen later, right-click here and save as. Be patient – there’s a lot of attention on this storyline at the moment.

Hear it all? Hear all the promises Sadiqa made? Hear all the excuses? It’s Bree’s fault for embarrassing LMAS, it’s the budget, it takes too much time to show people animals available for adoption, it’s the union, can’t publicize animals because we euthanize them too quickly, blaming advocates for harming animals, yadda yadda yadda.

Wasn’t it interesting to hear Sadiqa admit the LMAS live release rate is bad? Totally contradicts everything Greg Fischer has attempted to claim.

Even more interesting to hear Sadiqa pop a vein when she’s called on honesty. To later tell Bree she sounded like she was “clean”. To completely deny that Donald and Margaret are rigid and problematic. Fun stuff.

That was months and months ago.

Nothing has changed. Sadiqa’s done nothing. Animals still aren’t posted, still aren’t publicized, volunteers are still being shut out, rescues are being shut out. Empty words.

Sadiqa never followed up.

That’s what’s wrong with LMAS. Sadiqa and her nonsense. Because you know about the scandals we’ve already uncovered.

Why publish this? It’s just the first recording of five. Just the warning shot, to get all cliche. The others don’t involve Bree and get nastier and nastier. Hope the Fischer Administration is ready.

We also decided to publish this legally made and legally obtained recording to finally prove that Bree was never difficult as the Fischer Administration claimed. She always tried to do the right thing and, as you heard in the recording, is the kind of person this city needs as a volunteer at LMAS. She was always right, always working hard, always giving friendly, honest and GOOD suggestions. She was fair and never once gave the administration a hard time. But they trash-talked and blacklisted her anyway. Now you know the truth. She deserves praise, not the Sadiqa stink eye.

Why O’Connell Should Recuse Himself Right Away

County Attorney Mike O’Connell should immediately recuse himself from investigating Louisville Metro Animal Services.

Why?

When Karen Dickson was working to obtain public records from LMAS, O’Connell’s office refused to force LMAS to pony up… by pushing bogus concerns from Sadiqa Reynolds, of all people, that releasing those public records (from Margaret Brosko, the documents we’ve already published) would put LMAS employees (Brosko) at risk of retaliation. By Karen. A longtime animal advocate and former LMAS employee.

It’s absolutely as crazy as you think.

Here’s the letter O’Connell’s office sent her:


CLICK BOTH TO ENLARGE

Fortunately, Karen is no fool. So she fired back:


CLICK BOTH TO ENLARGE

Note: Karen never asked for any identifying information other than the name of the employee(s). The OAG ruled that LMAS didn’t have to provide address, social security numbers or telephone numbers… all information she’d never requested.

In order to make sure there’s no appearance of impropriety, O’Connell needs to refer the complaint letter he received from anonymous folks (Rebecca Eaves at Arrow Fund… cough…) to the Office of the Attorney General so a special prosecutor may be appointed. Someone from outside Jefferson County. Someone who is not tied to Greg Fischer and will do a solid job. Then O’Connell won’t have blood on his hands.

Meanwhile, Greg Fischer continues to lie through his spokesperson.

This city deserves better and the entire community should be outraged.

Holy Wow! Hell Has Truly Frozen Over In Louisville

This is big – can you believe it? We’re on the same page as the paper! WHAT! And it involves Greg Fischer! Essentially, the paper points out that he’s full of it. Because the jackass had the audacity to lie to the media after we’d already published a mountain of evidence. [C-J/AKN]

Authorities in Clarksville, Indiana are hoping the installation of a number of surveillance cameras will discourage criminals near Ashland Park. [WDRB]

Some Section 8 Louisville recipients will soon be asked to begin paying a minimum rent of $50 a month. The board of commissioners for the Louisville Metro Housing Authority unanimously approved a rent reform study Tuesday that will initiate a minimum rent for selected residents for the first time. However, unlike the controversial original proposal, those selected will be able to opt out. [More C-J/AKN]

A Louisville teen shot in the head Monday night continues to recover at University Hospital. [WHAS11]

One company, Star Coach in Atlanta, said the $456-a-day rate was legitimate. But Dan Neuen, the company’s vice president of operations, said he would have charged the campaign every day regardless of whether they used the bus. “If they’re paying 11 grand to have that bus wrapped for 266 days and use it however many days they want to use it? That’s a sweetheart deal,” Neuen said. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A woman beaten by her boyfriend was found stumbling down a Clarksville street, desperately calling out for help, police said. A couple of residents heard her cries and came to her rescue. [WLKY]

As American students return to classes in a public education system projected to be majority minority for the first time this fall, new test scores provide alarming evidence that students of color remain far behind their white counterparts. [HuffPo]

Ford and the United Auto Workers celebrated Tuesday after building their 100 wheelchair ramp for disabled residents. [WAVE3]

The he said, she said of the legal questions over how the campaign of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is renting her 45-foot campaign bus continued Wednesday as companies cited by the Grimes campaign take issue with the numbers and Jerry Lundergan’s business says they do not provide transportation services. [CN|2]

A report released Wednesday by a climate change nonprofit has ranked Louisville among the top 10 U.S. cities with a serious urban heat island effect. [WFPL]

All hell broke loose in Louisville this week and hell froze over. Read Jake’s thoughts on what’s been a long time coming. [The ‘Ville Voice]

After more than two years in business downtown, the partners in Food 4 The Soul are ready to open a second restaurant. But co-owner Calvin Harris said finding a location at the right price has proved tricky. [Business First]

After an analysis of this year’s ISTEP+ scores, administrators at Greater Clark County Schools said they want to pay special attention to middle schoolers taking the test. [News & Tribune]

Greg Fischer Begins LMAS Whitewash Phase Two

Here’s a release from Greg Fischer’s spokesperson, Chris Poynter:

Mayor Requests Review of Alleged Animal Services Incident

The Metro Council’s decision to appoint an ad hoc committee to examine allegations involving a dog at Louisville Metro Animal Services — without first receiving the information that the Animals Services team had offered for weeks to provide them — led Mayor Greg Fischer today to ask the city’s Public Integrity Unit to review the incident.

Fischer said the review involving the canine Sadie would ensure that all details are aired in a fair, unbiased way.

“We have made unprecedented progress at Animal Services and have turned around the agency, but anytime questions arise about city services, our citizens deserve the details,” Fischer said. “My approach is to always seek the facts and let the data inform the process.”

Fischer noted that in 2010, just before he became Mayor, Animal Services was a department in crisis, with a vacuum in leadership and a live animal release rate of 38 percent. In less than four years, the agency has been transformed with a live release rate of 74 percent while creating strategic partnerships with local and national animal agencies, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Best Friends Animal Society. Both partnerships resulted after an intense review of Metro Animal Services’ staff, policies and strategic objectives by animal care professionals from around the nation.

Fischer said his team examined allegations surrounding Sadie when they first surfaced earlier this summer and determined that employees did nothing improper. In fact, although Sadie was surrendered by her owner and could have been euthanized upon intake, staff worked to find a foster home in an attempt to save her life. The team constantly works to reduce the number of animals euthanized, even paying for trips to transfer animals to other cities, where they are adopted.

“I believe that a review by the Public Integrity Unit should answer all the questions that have been raised by my team, the public and the Metro Council,” Fischer said. “The data shows that, under the leadership of Assistant Director Donald Robinson, impressive performance gains have continued even though the employees of Animal Services have some of the most emotionally challenging jobs in Metro Government, taking care of animals that people abuse and neglect or abandon.”

As you can see, it’s complete b.s. Little, if any, progress has been made at LMAS. I’ve proved it for literally years.

We’ve already proved the “live release rate” nonsense is just that — nonsense.

The part about investigating the Sadie complaints? That’s just shockingly absurd. It’s sickening.

And the opening part about Councilman Downard not accepting information from Metro Animal Services? Unreal.

This is why LMAS has festered for nearly a decade. Complete horseshit from people like Greg Fischer.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Tomorrow I’m publishing more damning information. And then we’ll start releasing recorded telephone conversations involving Sadiqa Reynolds.

If these folks want to play revisionist history? We’ll eat them alive with reality.

Grit, Determination, Heartbreak And Frustration

Don’t worry – this isn’t another angry rant!

Thank you, Louisville, for doing the right thing. You’ve renewed my faith that good can prevail.

All these years later, it’s nice to have a bit of breathing room. Nice to feel like a little bit of weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

While this truly isn’t about me (this is where I make it about me, duh), I’ve spent years and years on the Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) beat seemingly banging my head against a brick wall. No one in the media wanted to take me seriously. Folks in Metro Government from Jerry Abramson to Jim King to Greg Fischer have gone out of their way to perpetuate the madness. Even our beloved Tina Ward-Pugh turned a blind eye. It’s been, admittedly, intense and hugely disappointing.

May not seem like a big deal to most people but having been deeply involved since the beginning, it’s rocked my world.

No one wanted to deal with the mountain of messes because it was tough to think about domesticated animals being tossed in landfills, rotting to death, being mistreated, abused, tortured, slaughtered. All on our watch. With our taxpayer dollars. With our cheerleaders like Jerry and Greg knowingly at the helm. It’s understandable.

Years of effort. Tens of thousands of dollars. Thousands of work hours. Coming home time and again with feces and blood under my fingernails, urine and vomit on my clothes. This story nearly broke me on several occasions.

But here we are. Finally. Light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Lou. Metro Council creates committee to look into LMAS complaints [WHAS11]
  • Council Members Launch Investigative Panel Into Louisville Animal Services [WFPL]
  • Council, attorney probing animal services, alleged cruelty [Courier-Journal]
  • Former LMAS employee accused of negligence [WAVE3]
  • Committee to look into operations at Metro Animal Services [WLKY]

Thank you to every mainstream media outlet that’s finally decided to pay attention. You’re doing the right thing and you’re serving your community.

All those years ago I sat in the studio with Francene detailing all that had gone wrong with LMAS. We were both disgusted. The community was disgusted. We were in tears during commercial breaks, devastated by what I had uncovered, unsure of how to proceed. We had no idea the status quo would be maintained for so long, that our community would be so sadly failed by its leaders.

I fought it. Denied it. Tried to run from it. The story always found me, always caught up with me, always roped me back in. It changed me and every relationship I have with every other living being. It was inescapable. Even during a period of major personal turmoil (remember the defamation nonsense? yeah, tons of fun — and a crazy backstory that’s never been told. maybe soon.) in 2011, it haunted me, consumed me.

It even brought this little man into my life:




MILLHOUSE

It caused me to put my money where my mouth is.

I’ll never be the same. Will never un-see the things I’ve seen. May never sleep through the night again.

But I feel like we’re on the edge of change. Thankfully, people like Kelly Downard are finally going to hold those responsible accountable. We’re all going to move forward. Though, this story isn’t over and I have a treasure trove of scandals to reveal.

Who knows? Maybe LMAS will no longer blacklist me and the agency will allow me to promote the animals available for adoption. The sky’s the limit.

Thanks for reading this disjointed personal brain dump. Needed to get it off my chest.

-Jake

P.S. To media folks wondering who was behind that letter about LMAS (Page 1 & Page 2) sent to the county attorney? One of the folks is Rebecca Eaves of the Arrow Fund. Force her to come clean, folks. While she’s done a lot of good in this community, she’s known about the Sadie mess since February and has refused to come forward because she doesn’t want to harm her ability to pull animals from the shelter… and because Greg Fischer’s pal, Allison Woosley, has her scared to death. It’s ridiculous and cowardly. Force her out. Make her come clean. Subpoena her. Haul her to Metro Council and get to the bottom of it. She means well but enough is enough. (If you hadn’t guessed, I’m done with all of these people who can’t be bothered to stand up and do the right thing. If *I* can do it? They can. There’s no excuse.)