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Councilmen Benson and Engel to Speak at FCCACC Monthly Membership Luncheon

From the desk of Steve Haag, Director of the Minority Caucus of Louisville Metro Council:

 

Louisville, KY Metro Councilmen Stuart Benson (District 20) and Robin Engel (District 22) will speak at the June 2, 2009 membership meeting of the Fern Creek Community Association and Chamber of Commerce (FCCACC). The event, which is scheduled to run between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. will take place at Wildwood Country Club (5000 Bardstown Road). Persons interested in attending are encouraged to register online at www.ferncreek.org, via e-mail to fccacc@bellsouth.net or via phone by calling 239-7559.

 

 

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Councilwoman Ward-Pugh seeks volunteers for Louisville Xstream Clean-up

From the desk of Tony Hyatt, Communications Directro for the Majority Caucus of Louisville Metro Council:

 

15 Sites in Metro areas targets for Saturday, May 30th event

 

Louisville –On Saturday morning, volunteers in Kentucky and Indiana will get to work cleaning up local waterways for a healthier and safer community. That’s when the Louisville Xstream Clean-up will get underway as part of a nationwide effort spearheaded by Living Lands & Waters.

            “This is something every community should focus on,” said Ward-Pugh. “It is a chance to renew our concern about our environment and at the same time restore our waterways as beautiful piece of land and not a garbage dump.”

            The Louisville Xstream Cleanup will get underway from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, May 30th. Volunteers of all ages are needed to assist with the cleanup effort.

            At many sites, there will be a clean –up by removing trash such as tires and junk that may have been dumped. Volunteers will also clear out invasive species of plants as well as put in native species.

 

Sites locations in the Metro Louisville area:

 

  • Falls of the Ohio
  • Portland Wharf Park
  • Eva Bandman Park
  • Butchertown Greenway
  • Lexington & Payne
  • Bluegrass Trail
  • Cherokee Park –Willow Pond
  • Cherokee Park – Big Rock
  • Louisville Nature Center
  • Greasy Ditch
  • Wilson Creek, Fairdale Road & National Turnpike
  • Salt River- Fort Hill Park in West Point Ky

 

Joining as co sponsors of the event with Living Lands & Waters are the Metropolitan Sewer District, Brightside, Metro Parks, American Commercial Lines, Natural Resource Conservation District, Salt River Water Watch, Jefferson County, Jefferson County Soil Conservation Science, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Louisville Nature Centre.

“If we are serious about being good stewards of the environment, then this event is one way to show our commitment,” said Ward-Pugh. “I hope everyone will get involved.”

To learn more about the Louisville Xstream Clean-up, you can go on line to:

www.livinglandsandwaters.org/XStreamLouisville/default.htm. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as all sites have a volunteer limit and can fill up quickly.

 For specific questions, please contact Shanon Reineke, Louisville Xstream Cleanup Coordinator, at 309-236-5627 or at shanon@livinglandsandwaters.org.”

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Councilwoman Woolridge Administers Oath to Students

  Students of the Leadership Academy Magnet Program of Mill Creek Elementary has selected Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge to administer the oath of office for the National Elementary Honor Society induction of Student Council officers for the upcoming school year.

  This induction will occur in a special ceremony on Monday, June 1st at 6:30 p.m. at Mill Creek Elementary which is located on Dixie Highway.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Budget Brings Big Buzz

  Mayor Jerry Abramson will be officially presenting his budget to Louisville Metro Council and the public today at four p.m., and already the budget has brought about much discussion.

  In a headline story, Dan Klepal of the Courier-Journal reported of 119 metro government employees and major cuts in funding to various projects, without the elimination of  services to the citizens fo Louisville. This budget, and all the monies allocated tot he various departments will be outlined tonight. The Council has set the schedule for hearings for reviewing the mayor’s proposed budget,. Those hearings will begin on June 2.

  Both Caucus’ of the Council has expressed concern regarding the termination of employment of the metro employees, but they will be offering differing concerns. “The Democratic members of the budget committee will be asking how those determinations were made.”, states Tony Hyatt, Communications Director of the Majority Caucus.

  “We understand how hard a layoff hits families. We will review the Mayor’s recommendations and will work to ensure that any person displaced from a Metro Government job has the chance to return should another job open.” states Kelly Downard (Rep- 16th Dist).

  The priorities between the two caucus’ are different as well, and that may become a factor in the hearings as the Democrats are “glad this is the final year of allocations to complete Metro Safe”, and are “glad the new Newburg Library will be completed.” The Republicans have listed their priorities as “

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Proposed Ordinances, Revenue Report | , , , , | Leave a comment

Could It Happen Here… In Our Schools?

In earlier posts there has been issued the question of whether or not the public outcry which erupted out of Frisco, Texas over the distribution of Bibles from the Gideons International organization could occur here. If various residents, residential groups, or businesses distributed religious material in various places owned by, and paid for with public taxes, attempted to pass out literature that was religious in nature, would their be an outcry? What exactly does the law allow regarding the distribution of religious material?

 

  In Frisco, the Gideons International was allowed by the school system to enter into the various schools and distribute the pocket sized New Testament Bibles to any student that desired one. The school system provided many statements that confirmed that the intent was to assist in curbing the proselytizing that was occurring in school hours. The students never seemed to mind the organization passing out the Bibles, but the parents did.

 

  Here in Jefferson County Public Schools, the attitude toward organizations passing out religious literature is to keep them out of the schools. When asked  what regulations, if any, existed regarding the distribution of religious materials and literature existed within JCPS, the Public Information Officer, Lauren Roberts wrote “We do not allow representatives of outside organizations of any kind to distribute materials to our students on school property. “

 

  This has not always been the case with the school district, however. In the late 1980’s, famed champion boxer, Muhammad Ali  was at a few schools in Southwest Jefferson County, presenting autographed copies of a book discussing various beliefs of the Islam movement he is affiliated with. A copy of this book has been shown to representatives at this site.

 

  When Mr. Ali presented the books, there was no reports of  frustration or complaints elicited by the students, faculty, or parents.

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Muck for Metro Animal Services

  Last week, Kelly Downard (Rep.- 16th Dist.), requested that the Louisville Metro Auditor, Michael Norman, audit the Metro Animal Services. Local media sources announced that this audit would be ready in approximately two to three weeks.

  After receiving various bits of information that there could be more investigations on Metro Animal Services and the director of Metro Animal Services, Dr. Gilles Meloche, regarding the  recorrd keeping on various financial transactions, Mr. Stephen Haag, the Coummunications Director for the Minority Caucus issued the following statement at our request:

  “Members of the Metro Council are focused on getting back the results of an audit by the Metro Auditor. The Metro Auditor is currently conducting a review of Metro Animal Services (MAS) at the request of OVersight Committee Chairman Kelly Downard (District 16) and is expected to file a report in the coming month. Councilman Downard and other representatives have received infomration from persons associated with MAS over the course of the past month and are currently investigating some of the statements of those sources.”

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Budget Is Big Topic

  This week the Louisville Metro Council will be listening to Mayor Jerry Abramson discuss the various amounts of money that will be sent to different departments. After his speech, the budget will then go to the council for review.

  Last week, the Louisville Metro Council made public the list ranking 44 different departments by the importance. With 19 of the 26 council members participating, Council President David Tandy (Dem- 4th Dist.), Jim King (Dem- 10th Dist), and Kelly Downard (Rep.- 16th Dist), met with the mayor and presented him the list. After a brief meeting with the press, the mayor stated that he would keep the list in mind as he prepared the budget for council approval.

  This budget is highly anticipated to have various cuts in it due to the poor economy, and is expected to bring much discussion amongst the financial consultants and the council members in Metro Government.

  According to Council rules, the Louisville Metro Council must discuss and pass the budget by the beginning of  July.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Revenue Report, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Councilwoman Green Receives New Award

  This morning Tony Hyatt, Communication for the Majority Caucus, sent a release out confirming the newest award given to Councilwoman Judith Green (Dem- 1st Dist.). Following is the text of the press release:

Green honored as 2009 “Childfriend of the Year”

By Home of the Innocents

Councilwoman to attend special breakfast ceremony on June 3rd

 

Louisville – Every year, the Home of the Innocents honors a group or individual who has provided exemplary service for the protection and advocacy of children.

            On June 3rd, the Home will again honor such an individual when it names Councilwoman Judith Green (D-1) as its “2009 Childfriend of the Year”

            “Children and their welfare are a top priority in my life,” says Green. “It is an honor to be recognized by an organization that knows how important it is to protect and advocate for children every day.”

            The Home of the Innocents will host an event honoring Green on Wednesday, June 3rd from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Mellwood Arts Center.

A native of Henderson, Kentucky, Councilwoman Green and her husband James have been proud parents of two biological children, and 11 adopted children. In the last two years, Dr. Green and her husband have been the foster parents of approximately twelve (12) teen-age boys. She has been a strong advocate for foster and adoptive parenting for at least twenty-five (25) years.

“I am happy to be joining thousands of others in this community who are advocates for children and who have helped keep an organization such as the Home of Innocents operational,” says Green.

The Home of the Innocents has acknowledged over 32,000 Childfriends who help the organization.

For more information about the event, contact the Home of the Innocents at 502-596-1016.

 

  As stated in a previous biographical post regarding Councilwoman Green, she has been an advocate for children for many years, serving as an adoptive parent, as well as a foster parent.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Could It Happen Here?

  Recently, in Frisco, Texas there was a “situation” that occurred where the Gideons International was allowed to enter various schools in the area and pass out New Testament pocket sized Bibles to any student that desired one, free of charge. These students were informed that they did not have to receive a Bible, but they could if they wanted one. Some did not, many did receive a Bible, and upon arriving home,  much, much more.

  Parents that stated that they believed in God would be at the forefront of the argument against receiving the literature in shcool. They stated that the school is to pay attention to the education of their child, not the spiritual development of them. They protested, attended meetings, and showed in mass amounts to various press releases their anger toward the school district.

  The school district stated that it allowed the Gideons to enter and pass out their Bibles to help reduce the evangelism that was occurring on campus, stating that it would, at times, occurr during school hours.

  Some parents, and many students that received the Biblles were appreciative of the efforts of the school to allow a group to come in and pass out this literature.

  Question is, if it happens in Frisco, Texas, can it happen here? Can students be allowed to receive Bibles on school grounds here? Would the distribution of religious literature cause a protest and massive media rush here in Louisville? What exactly are citizens allowed to do if they desire to pass out literature considered to be religious in public arenas? After discussing the matter with various individuals, then asking some questions by individuals involved in politics, a school board spokesperson, and a county attorney, we have the answer in three different arenas: Schools, Public, and Political.

  We will begin with informing you about what schools allow, and do not allow, when it comes to the issue, as well as the basic students rights in regards to religion and religious practices at school.

  Tomorrow we will inform you of the passing of literature in the public arena, and Thursday we will inform you of the law in regards to the distribution of religious literature in the political arena here in Louisville.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Series Issue | Leave a comment

JCPS Fails In Another Area

Jefferson County Public Schools has already had many parents complain about the placement of students, and the transportation of students throughout the county. For those issues, many parents have filed for hardship transfers, but some parents are wondering what document can be filed to complain about the issues of communication that have been occurring at JCPS.

  Recently, therealville has obtained a letter addressed to the parents of a student that claimed that they did not receive the notification of student placement until after the hardship transfers begin. “I had to call down to the school that I thought they would be admitted to in order to be informed of where they had been assigned and how to file a hardship transfer”, said the mother of two students enrolled in Jefferson County Public Schools.

  “Since filing the hardship transfer, I regularly call down to the school district office, and have even called the Superintendent’s office. They keep telling me to be patient and that I should have the information in about 15 working days. Why should I believe that when they did not get the letter to me until after the time to file for a hardship transfer?”

  When reviewing the student assignment letters, the envelope on both letters are machine stamped with the date of May 12, 2009 from the area code 40211. The letter that is contained within the envelope is dated for May 1, 2009, and is sent from the principal of the school that the district assigned them to, which in this case was Stephen Foster Traditional Academy.

  Therealville has sought for answers on why it has taken the school district eleven days to send the letter after it has been typed, and if the principal of the school would accept homework assignments twelve days after it had been assigned, no comments were given.

  The length of time has not been the only issue for these and many other parents, the distance away from the home, and the time that it would take to be on the bus, away from the home has caused various difficulties as well. When addressing this issue previously in the Courier-Journal, Mr. Sheldon Berman simply stated that parents should be patient and they may grow to appreciate the school that the school district had chosen for them. This has caused a minor cry to break out.

  “Why should the school district, who has never met my child or myself have the choice of where to bus my child? I live in this area, and I want my child in this area. There are openings for their grades at the school one mile away, and they deem it best to bus them over twenty miles? I see why the education level of children seems to be diminished,” states one father.

  When these parents have attempted to get in touch with school officials, they are continually told to be patient, and is often on hold for a good deal of time. Some have been informed that the school district is calling the various schools where the students are wishing to be transferred to, but after checking at various schools within the district, as of Thursday, few calls have come to request information regarding class openings. “We have not received any calls regarding school transfers”, stated one JCPS employee at a school in southwest Jefferson County.

  Parents have already stated that they are frustrated that the Jefferson County Public School District has determined that their children should be placed in an area a good distance from their homes, now parents are angered by the lack of proper communication and the tardiness of  the JCPS staff in determining the  status of hardship transfers.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment