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Got Two Cents on the Iron Quarter? Councilman Tom Owen Ponders

I always respect my Council representative for his near immediate responses to  constituent’s questions and needs. He is passionate about Louisville and one of the most accessible leaders in Metro Government. I know that he is a Voice for the city as well as our Highlands community, which has enough history in a few square miles to make any preservationist proud and enough dining, pubs and retail business to inspire locals and impress any city. It took a few rounds of email and here are Tom Owen’s two cents: My first blush thoughts: Someone from the Louisville Downtown Development Commission–over…


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Fischer Rejects Developer Proposal; Orders Audit of Planning Dept.

When the Mayor took office, he put attorney Bill Bardenwerper, the city’s leading attorney for developers and homebuilders,  on his transition team. Of course, Bardenwerper was a big financial supporter of the Mayor’s election campaign. So Bardenwerper wrote a report suggesting wholesale changes in the way the controversial Department of Codes and Regulations works, including the creation of a new Department of Building Development. The report, he admitted, did not include input from anyone who wasn’t a contributor to the Mayor’s campaign. To the astonishment of those familiar with the wink-and-a-nod way of doing business down there, Bardenwerper’s report said…


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Got Two Cents on the Iron Quarter? Mayor Fischer Offers His Reasons

Amid the dinners, speeches, ribbon cutting and ground breaking of the first month of the Fischer administration, there’s this one pebble in the proverbial shoe that has thrown many out of step with City Hall. Dubbed the Iron Quarter, by developer Todd Blue of Cobalt Ventures LLC, several structures at the mouth of the Clark Memorial Bridge  known as Whiskey Row a.k.a that embarrassing block of doomed buildings at the gateway to our city, could become a parking lot in a matter of days. The opportunity to go from asphalt to high-rise is apparently on the table. Buzz of a hotel development…


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A Forge for Entrepreneuers

Adam Fish came up with an interesting idea during a summer internship at Chrysalis Ventures, the local venture capital firm. Talking with Chrysalis senior associate Matt Winn, Fish learned about the failed effort in 2007 and 2008 to start a local social networking organization for entrepreneurs called Forge. He learned that interest in the Forge website, which was to be a resource for local entrepreneurs and stakeholders in start-up ventures, had waned in 2009. So Fish, a U of L MBA student who spent much of his life in start-up rich California, is re-organizing Forge in hopes of creating a…


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Welcome Douglass Loop Farmers Market!

I trust Louisville and the Highlands neighborhood will embrace the newest addition to the Farmers Market family—Douglass Loop Farmer’s Market, beginning Saturday, April 16. The goal of market organizer, Blair Helvey, is “to provide a direct conduit between Kentucky producers and local consumers for the sale of healthy and affordable goods.” With Kentucky Proud products along side info on sustainable living, the vendors should create a wide range of interest for local merchants, schools, organizations and families in the Highlands and beyond. The spring market runs through Sept. 24with a Fall & Holiday market running from October 01- December 17, 2011.  It…


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Bridge Toll Opposition Reloads

Even as a two-day forum on the Ohio River Bridges Project was wrapping up, with all right people saying all the right things while failing to come up with anything new, one of the staunchest groups of opponents of the project is planning a new public relations push. Organizers of the Bridges Forum seem to believe that hammering home to the public, over and over, about how important the projects are will somehow make it true.  So they trotted out Rick Pitino and John Calipari, and got 800 people in a room to listen. But the crowd was mostly made…


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Bye Bye Borders

Louisville’s retail real estate market just took a really big hit — two prominent and huge Borders stores will be closing as a result of the parent company’s bankruptcy filing. The biggest gap may be downtown, where a 23,000 SF Borders anchors Fourth Street Live. Let’s start the speculation now — will the city’s economic development staff offer up some cash to Cordish to put something in there to keep a black hole from developing in the middle of the city’s major tourist attraction? Let’s just wait and see. Given the flack Jerry Abramson and the Metro Council caught for…


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New Slogan: Kentucky, the Charlie Sheen of Commonwealths

Thanks, Shelly: On Monday, Sheldon Berman spared us all some drama by telling the school board to save its breath on saving his job, he’s ready to move on. So that’s that.  Note to those who pushed him out – be careful what you wish for. The diversity vs. student achievement problem won’t be solved by a new chief. Kentucky Greedy Festival: Last night Mike Berry pulled out the best he had in his P.R. basket to try to justify charging people to watch a free fireworks show in a public park. And the media ate it up. Berry whined…


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Big Four – A Bridge We Can Actually Finish

Most of us know that the Ohio River Bridges Plan is never going to happen, despite all the hysteria over this week’s Bridges Forum. But every time we pass by the Big Four Bridge and that wonderful looping expanse we’ve built in Waterfront Park, we think about how nice it will be to ride and/or walk across the scenic old railroad bridges – especially if officials have the sense to prohibit vehicular traffic. At least that’s what I’m hoping happens during today’s press conference at the Waterfront, where Greg Fischer “will announce that Kentucky, Indiana and the City of Jeffersonville…


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I Love Mountains

Right now, a group of concerned citizens are camping out in Gov. Beshear’s office in hopes of getting his attention on the issue of mountaintop removal, contour mining, strip mining, surface mining – whatever you care to call it – that’s been destroying Eastern Kentucky for half a century.