89.3 WFPL http://wfpl.org Louisville's NPR® News Station Wed, 27 May 2015 21:43:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.6 Louisville Flood Work Group Considers Buyout For Homeowners http://wfpl.org/flood-mitigation-work-group-considers-buy-out/ http://wfpl.org/flood-mitigation-work-group-considers-buy-out/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 21:43:00 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37248 A work group tasked with coming up with solutions for Louisville homeowners affected by spring flooding is considering a “quick-buy” program that would provide money to qualifying residents to help them raze their homes and relocate. But Greg Heitzman, executive director of … Read Story

]]> A work group tasked with coming up with solutions for Louisville homeowners affected by spring flooding is considering a “quick-buy” program that would provide money to qualifying residents to help them raze their homes and relocate.

But Greg Heitzman, executive director of Metropolitan Sewer District (the groups tasked with enforcing that rule) and chair of the work group, on Wednesday said there is not enough money to “deal with all the homes” affected by the flooding.

He said MSD will need at least $1 million to kick-start the quick-buy program. The program, he said, is still in need of more consideration and is in a preliminary state, but it could potentially provide a flat rate of $50,000 to all qualifying homeowners affected by the flood.

A $50,000 buyout, for example, would still leave nearly $50,000 in unaccounted costs for demolishing a home valued at $100,000, Heitzman said. And that is accounting for FEMA grants and small business loans available for moving or demolishing a home, he added.

“The higher price of home, the more subsidy or grant would be needed” to buy out the home, he said.

Many homeowners who attended Wednesday’s meeting said $50,000 isn’t enough for them to get out of their damaged home and find a new home in the county.

Heitzman said local, state and federal funds are available—as well as insurance money and funds from MSD—that could be put toward helping residents out of a situation that many say has them stuck.

Heitzman also said the work group in a future meeting will consider a variable buyout program that will provide payments based on a home’s value.

Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet, a Republican from District 7, said the homeowners are going to have to make a “tough decision” about whether to try to rebuild or take a buyout.

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At Thursday’s Metro Council meeting, members are expected to vote on a proposed amendment to the 2006 ordinance that would change the rule prohibiting repairs to some flood damaged homes from 50-percent damage over 10 years to 50-percent “per incident.”

On Wednesday, the work group agreed to endorse the proposed amendment to the ordinance.

If the council approves the amendment, some homeowners will be eligible to rebuild their homes.

Leet said homeowners would have to decide if they will rebuild or rather try to qualify for the buyout payment. The specific criteria for what would potentially qualify a homeowner for a buyout program has yet to be set.

Howard Wuest, 52, said amending the ordinance is a “scapegoat” for MSD.

But Leet said she doesn’t feel amending the ordinance is a “scapegoat,” but rather a “tool in the toolbox.”

“It gives homeowners an option,” she said.

If the amendment to the current ordinance is approved at Thursday’s meeting, it would be null in six months, Heitzman said. By then, the work group must come up with a long-term solution to deal with flood plain management.

The work group was developed earlier this month by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Council president David Tandy.

]]> http://wfpl.org/flood-mitigation-work-group-considers-buy-out/feed/ 0 U.S. Finalizes Rules To Protect Rivers, Streams From Pollution http://wfpl.org/u-s-finalizes-rules-to-protect-rivers-streams-from-pollution/ http://wfpl.org/u-s-finalizes-rules-to-protect-rivers-streams-from-pollution/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:33:50 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=37245&preview_id=37245 The regulations are intended to clarify recent court decisions on which bodies of water are protected, but many farmers and congressional Republicans oppose what they call an EPA "land grab." Read Story

]]> The Obama administration announced new clean water rules today that it says will protect sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans, rules welcomed by environmental groups, but bitterly opposed by congressional Republicans and farm state democrats.

The rules clarify which waterways fall under the Clean Water Act.

President Obama, in a statement released by the White House, said that in recent years:

“Court decisions have led to uncertainty and a need for clarification. One in three Americans now gets drinking water from streams lacking clear protection, and businesses and industries that depend on clean water face uncertainty and delay, which costs our economy every day. Too many of our waters have been left vulnerable to pollution. That’s why I called on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clear up the confusion and uphold our basic duty to protect these vital resources.”

The rules have been in the works for some time, and have already drawn opposition from many Republicans in Congress, along with farm groups. The House approved a measure to block the new regulations earlier this month, and a similar bill is pending in the Senate.

David Luker, a cattle farmer in central Missouri, told NPR’s Scott Horsley:

“Anyone that owns any land in this country that has any type of little creek or puddle or anything in it, in order for you to do anything on your property you’re going to have to go to someone and ask permission from them to do it and then they’re going to tell you how you have to do it and they don’t care what it costs.”

The Associated Press reports that Republican Sen. James Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said his panel will consider a measure this summer and “continue our work to halt EPA’s unprecedented land grab.”

But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, writing in a blog post on the agency’s website, said the measure doesn’t add any new burdens for agriculture:

“The final rule doesn’t create any new permitting requirements for agriculture, maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions, and even adds exclusions for features like artificial lakes and ponds, water-filled depressions from construction, and grass swales — all to make clear our goal is to stay out of agriculture’s way. Just like before, a Clean Water Act permit is only needed if a water is going to be polluted or destroyed — and all exemptions for agriculture stay in place.”

Environmental groups praised the new rules. Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica says the “common sense steps” will “ensure our waterways stay clean.”

On the other side, according to Politico, are some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington:

“The Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have joined the American Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, pesticide manufacturers, mining companies, home builders, state and local governments, water utilities, flood control districts, the timber industry, railroads, real estate developers and even golf course operators among the more than 230 organizations and companies that have listed ‘Waters of the United States’ on federal lobbying disclosures since the administration proposed the rule in March 2014.”

Several farm-state Democrats are also on record opposing the new rule. In a statement, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp pointed to bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored to send the rule back to the EPA and “require the agency to consult directly with states and those affected by the proposed rule, like local farmers and ranchers.”

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

]]> http://wfpl.org/u-s-finalizes-rules-to-protect-rivers-streams-from-pollution/feed/ 0 Louisville Police, Council Members to Introduce Body Cameras http://wfpl.org/louisville-police-council-members-introduce-body-cameras/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-police-council-members-introduce-body-cameras/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:31:59 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37101 City officials are encouraging residents to attend a public meeting on Tuesday during which Louisville Metro Police will introduce the body cameras that will soon be worn by some officers. The meeting comes at the request of Metro Council members Bill … Read Story

]]> City officials are encouraging residents to attend a public meeting on Tuesday during which Louisville Metro Police will introduce the body cameras that will soon be worn by some officers.

The meeting comes at the request of Metro Council members Bill Hollander and Tom Owen, Democrats from the council’s 9th and 8th districts.

Both council districts cover Louisville Metro Police’s Fifth Division, which will host the department’s body camera pilot project.

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The pilot project is expected to begin later in June. About 100 officers work in the Fifth Division. The pilot program is expected to last about 45 days, and then the body camera program will expand to other divisions, said Chief Steve Conrad. Officers in the Second Division, in west Louisville, will be next to wear the cameras.

Hollander said the meetings will give a chance for officers to demonstrate the cameras and allow residents to ask questions.

“I think body cameras are proven to work very well, but they work because everybody knows the police officers are wearing body cameras,” he said. “So, the more that know the police officers are wearing the cameras the better they will work.”

Louisville Metro Police has been looking to outfit officers with body cameras since about 2012. Earlier this month, Conrad and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the program’s details to the public.

The total cost of the body camera program will be about $2.8 million, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

field elemAbout $950,000 will come from the city’s general fund, about $900,000 will come from a short-term debt note, and about $900,000 will come from federal forfeiture funds, said Daniel Frockt, interim chief financial officer for Louisville Metro.

The public meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Fiels Elementary School in the Crescent Hill neighborhood.

“It’s really just an awareness meeting,” Hollander said. “Show people what’s going on and answer any questions.”

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-police-council-members-introduce-body-cameras/feed/ 0 Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones To Host Fancy Farm Political Speaking http://wfpl.org/kentucky-sports-radios-matt-jones-host-fancy-farm-political-speaking/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-sports-radios-matt-jones-host-fancy-farm-political-speaking/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:17:45 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37233 Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones will host the political speaking at Fancy Farm this year. Jones will introduce the candidates and make remarks as the emcee of the 135th annual St. Jerome Catholic Church picnic that has become the … Read Story

]]> Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones will host the political speaking at Fancy Farm this year.

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Jones will introduce the candidates and make remarks as the emcee of the 135th annual St. Jerome Catholic Church picnic that has become the premiere political event in the state. The picnic is known more for the crowd than the speeches, as supporters holler and heckle in equal measure throughout the event.

The highlight of this year’s event will be speeches from the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, who are both vying to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

Jones, whose Kentucky Sports Radio show is broadcast on more than 30 stations statewide, called it a tremendous honor. He said he hopes to bring the uniqueness of Fancy Farm to a new audience.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-sports-radios-matt-jones-host-fancy-farm-political-speaking/feed/ 0 Bevin, McConnell Joint Appearances Will Have to Wait http://wfpl.org/bevin-mcconnell-joint-appearances-will-have-to-wait/ http://wfpl.org/bevin-mcconnell-joint-appearances-will-have-to-wait/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 11:09:58 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37230 Kentucky Republicans waiting to see U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell put his arm around his political nemesis Matt Bevin will have to wait a little longer. Bevin canceled an appearance at the Elizabethtown Rotary Club on Tuesday where McConnell, the Senate … Read Story

]]> Kentucky Republicans waiting to see U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell put his arm around his political nemesis Matt Bevin will have to wait a little longer.

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Bevin canceled an appearance at the Elizabethtown Rotary Club on Tuesday where McConnell, the Senate majority leader, was the scheduled speaker. And McConnell has said he will not attend the state Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner on Saturday when Bevin will be the featured speaker.

The absences seem to highlight a tense relationship between the state’s senior senator and its likely Republican nominee for governor one year after McConnell defeated Bevin in the Senate primary.

A spokesman for Bevin said a scheduling conflict forced him to change his schedule. McConnell said he has to return to Washington on Saturday to prepare for a rare Sunday session to vote on the Patriot Act.

]]> http://wfpl.org/bevin-mcconnell-joint-appearances-will-have-to-wait/feed/ 0 Louisville’s July Fourth Festival Returning After Year-Long Hiatus http://wfpl.org/free-fourth-of-july-celebration-coming-back-to-waterfront-park/ http://wfpl.org/free-fourth-of-july-celebration-coming-back-to-waterfront-park/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 21:27:12 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37206 Following a one-year hiatus, a free Fourth of July festival is heading back to Waterfront Park this year. The Louisville Orchestra will headline this year’s event, along with cellist Ben Sollee and the hip-hop group 1200, according to a news … Read Story

]]> Following a one-year hiatus, a free Fourth of July festival is heading back to Waterfront Park this year.

The Louisville Orchestra will headline this year’s event, along with cellist Ben Sollee and the hip-hop group 1200, according to a news release from the Waterfront Development Corp.

Last year’s Fourth of July celebration at Waterfront Park was canceled after state lawmakers cut about $420,000 from the state budget that had previously gone to Waterfront Park, said David Karem, president of the Waterfront Development Corp.

Karem said a surge of local sponsors, coupled with support from the city, will allow this year’s event to take place.

The one-day event will cost about $180,000, he said.

“With the exception of the money from the city, the rest of it has all been from various sponsors,” he said.

Louisville Metro will contribute $50,000 for the event, according to a report from The Courier-Journal.

Karem said he expects the Fourth of July celebration to have an economic impact in the “millions of dollars.”

And he said that economic impact, in addition to the mounting revenue from other large events at the park, such as Forecastle Festival, makes a case that the park should get more funding from the state.

“Because you want to keep the park maintained in the proper style, you want it to get the reputation that it’s one of the cleanest parks in the country, that’s the goal we have,” he said.

The announcement of the return of a free Fourth of July celebration comes just a day after Abbey Road on the River’s organizer said the festival would leave Louisville after 2016. The festival organizer cited a dispute with the Galt House as the reason.

Abbey Road on the River is an annual Memorial Day music festival held at the Belvedere adjacent to Waterfront Park.

Karem said despite the Waterfront Development Corp.’s role as “broker” of the Belvedere for events such as Abbey Road on the River, solving the dispute seems to be out of his hands.

“When Abbey Road puts their event together they do it under the rules and restriction that we’ve developed, but as far as whatever is going on in any kind of conflict, it’s not between us and Abbey Road,” he said.

Karem said he hopes the conflict can be resolved “because it is a good event.”

But he said “there is always going to be new opportunities.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he hopes all parties involved in the Abbey Road on the River dispute can resolve their differences.

“We want to do everything we can to make sure its successful.”

]]> http://wfpl.org/free-fourth-of-july-celebration-coming-back-to-waterfront-park/feed/ 0 Louisville Cardinals Get Home Advantage For Baseball Tournament Opener http://wfpl.org/louisville-cardinals-get-home-advantage-for-baseball-tournament-opener/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-cardinals-get-home-advantage-for-baseball-tournament-opener/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:08:39 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37222 The Louisville Cardinals baseball team open play at home Friday against Morehead State in the NCAA Tournament. U of L is seeded third nationally and is hosting an NCAA regional for the third straight year. Being a host school not … Read Story

]]> The Louisville Cardinals baseball team open play at home Friday against Morehead State in the NCAA Tournament.

U of L is seeded third nationally and is hosting an NCAA regional for the third straight year.

Being a host school not only gives U of L the luxury of playing in friendly confines, but it allows them some extra preparation time for the double-elimination regional.

“We’re doing everything that we’ve done all year,” Sophomore outfielder Nick Solak said. “Really, when it comes down to it, we’re squeezing everything that we worked on offensively, defensively, pitching-wise.”

Morehead State has won 27 of its last 34 games.

“I know they’re a good club—I think all 64 teams in the run to Omaha are very good,” Cardinals hitting coach Eric Snider said. “I think they’ll probably have very good starting pitching, a good bullpen as well as their closer.”

The game begins at 6 p.m. at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Michigan and Bradley square off in the other opener in Louisville.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-cardinals-get-home-advantage-for-baseball-tournament-opener/feed/ 0 Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable Reach Merger Deal http://wfpl.org/charter-communications-time-warner-cable-reach-merger-deal/ http://wfpl.org/charter-communications-time-warner-cable-reach-merger-deal/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 17:40:50 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=37210&preview_id=37210 The deal would make Charter Communications a significant rival to Comcast, which had also sought to buy Time Warner but it met regulatory objections. Read Story

]]> Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications announced Tuesday that they had reached a merger deal.

If the deal is completed, the new company would become a major rival to Comcast Corp. As we reported, Comcast and Charter had already made earlier bids to buy Time Warner, but Charter was outbid by Comcast and the Comcast deal fell apart after the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission raised concerns that it would lead to an anti-competitive environment.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s math, this deal is valued at $55 billion and it gives cable mogul John Malone “the prize he has been chasing for two years.”

The Journal reports:

“The acquisition by Charter, which is backed by Mr. Malone’s Liberty Broadband Corp., would vault the cable operator into the ranks of the biggest U.S. broadband and pay-television companies.

“The firms have agreed to terms for a cash-and-stock deal that would value Time Warner Cable at $195 a share, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Bloomberg reports:

“‘The idea that Time Warner Cable and Charter are merging isn’t a surprise, but the price raises some eyebrows,’ Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson in New York, said May 24 after Bloomberg News reported a deal was near. …

“The Time Warner Cable deal enables Charter, whose largest shareholder is billionaire John Malone, to almost quadruple its number of cable subscribers, gaining 12 million customers in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.”

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

]]> http://wfpl.org/charter-communications-time-warner-cable-reach-merger-deal/feed/ 0 Kentucky Should Do More to Put Foster Kids With Family, Report Says http://wfpl.org/kentucky-put-foster-kids-family-report-says/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-put-foster-kids-family-report-says/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:00:45 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=36869 Years ago, Laura Cooper and her husband were working and preparing for retirement. But then the Hardin County couple were forced into something they never expected–caring for their granddaughter. Kentucky has thousands of children in similar circumstances–kin caring for a child … Read Story

]]> Years ago, Laura Cooper and her husband were working and preparing for retirement. But then the Hardin County couple were forced into something they never expected–caring for their granddaughter.

Kentucky has thousands of children in similar circumstances–kin caring for a child whose parents can’t or won’t. But nearly 1,300 of the more than 7,000 kids in the foster care system are without the care and comfort of a family, according to the Kids Count report released earlier this month.

Experts say kinship care is better for the child–but hardship is usual for the families who take in foster children.

“It works,” said Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, which released the report with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“It’s good for the kids, it’s good for families and the real punch line, when it comes to state politics, is it’s good for the state budget.”

The report said group placement cost up to 10 times more than in-family placement.

But the state must take steps to put more foster children into the care of family members, instead of group settings, the report said.

The Kids Count report’s recommendations include expanding services to ensure children stay with families, creating more relative and foster families and supporting decision making that ensures the least restrictive placement.

Unexpected Parents

“It’s something we never thought we would be doing,” Cooper said of caring for her granddaughter.

They’d already been parents.

In the late 1970s, she and her husband adopted a 5-year-old girl.

“She had gone through so many separations in her life,” she said of their adopted daughter. “From losing her mother, relative care givers, from being put in one foster home to another.”

The girl started running away from home at 12 years old. At 19, she had a baby.

Three days after the birth, Cooper said she had a conversation with her daughter that ended with the grandmother taking over the care of the child.

“Basically, she was just turning her over to me right there,” she said.

Cooper and her husband didn’t shy away.

“We’ll automatically do what we can to help the child,” she said. “It’s the love.”

The adoption process was difficult, for starters, but it was their only option, Cooper said. They weren’t prepared to send their only grandchild into the foster system at just 3 days old.

Group Setting Concerns

The 18 percent of the state’s foster children who aren’t in the care of kin are instead live in a group setting, like a foster home, according to the report.

Nationally, more than 40 percent of children living in a group setting have no mental health diagnosis, medical disability or behavioral issue that “might warrant such a restrictive setting,” the report stated.

Group placement is a vital option for a small percentage of youth who cannot live safely with any family, but it should work to get children back to families as quickly as possible, the report states.

“Family is the best medicine,” Brooks said.

And research backs this up. Brain development, independence, self-esteem and self-reliance are bolstered when a child grows up in or around a family environment, according to a 2012 report from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

“We need to start at one end of the spectrum and do everything we can to keep families safely together first, before looking at other options,” Brooks said.

Another factor is to remove barriers that keep kin from being licensed and financially supported as foster parents.

This, Cooper said, has been a challenge for her.

Raising a child isn’t cheap, she said, and she and her husband hadn’t really considered they would be bringing an infant into their home when they were lining up their retirement budget.

Cooper said she worked nights, cleaning offices, to make some extra money when her granddaughter was a small child. Her husband would work during the day.

She said that if state officials want to see more family members–grandparents, uncles, aunts–fill the void parents sometimes leave in a child’s life, either through abandonment, death or other (usually unforeseen) circumstances, then lawmakers need to ensure support.

“We need financial help, just give us a clothing allowance, a food allowance, anything,” she said. “Stop looking at us like were just grandparents and were going to do it, help us with it, it’s not cheap.”

She also said the state should take steps to remove the red tape many family members looking to adopt a relative child must navigate.

“It’s very expensive for a grandchild to even try to get custody,” she said.

To help others, Cooper and her husband have run a support group since 1998 for grandparents tasked with being the primary caregivers to grandchildren, and in some cases great-grandchildren.

There’s about 20 grandparents in the “core” support group. But others often seek advice, she said.

“I usually get one to two phone calls a week from a grandparent that needs help, like how do I seek the right attorney, how do I get temporary custody, what’s the difference guardianship and custody, why should I go for adoption, different things like that,” she said.

The money she spent raising Amber, her granddaughter, was money well spent, she said.

Growing up, Amber had a knack for swimming, Cooper said. So, nearly every week, they’d drive from Elizabethtown to Louisville for swim meets. That wasn’t cheap.

But Amber earned a scholarship to the University of Indianapolis, where she swam for four years.

“She was a success story,” Cooper said. “But it doesn’t always turn out that way.”

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-put-foster-kids-family-report-says/feed/ 0 Kentucky Earns ‘D’ Grade For Political Participation Among Women, Study Says http://wfpl.org/kentucky-earns-d-grade-for-political-participation-among-women-study-says/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-earns-d-grade-for-political-participation-among-women-study-says/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 15:56:25 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37127 Kentucky earns a “D” grade for political participation among women in a recently released report, but the state’s overall results show a complex landscape. Kentucky ranks 46th out of 50 states for its number of women holding elected office in … Read Story

]]> Kentucky earns a “D” grade for political participation among women in a recently released report, but the state’s overall results show a complex landscape.

Kentucky ranks 46th out of 50 states for its number of women holding elected office in the state, according to the Status of Women report released by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

But women in the state take advantage of voting rights more than men, the study said.

Cynthia Hess, one of the study’s authors, said the state did well in some metrics of political participation.

“In Kentucky women are actually 13th in the nation for the percentage women of who register to vote and 26th for the percent who voted,” she said. “So, [it’s] one of the higher ranking states in terms of registration and in the middle in the percent who actually go to the polls.”

Hess said the state also does really well in providing institutional resources for women in politics—campaign training for women, having a state chapter of the national women’s political caucus, a women’s commission and other offerings.

Overall, though, women in Kentucky are struggling compared to men.

“Kentucky came out as—what we named—one of the worst states for women,” Hess said.

Kentucky tied with Tennessee for the No. 49 spot in the study’s rankings, Hess said.

The state also got low scores for factors such as poverty, employment, safety and health of women compared to men.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-earns-d-grade-for-political-participation-among-women-study-says/feed/ 0 Check Out Your Waterway’s Health With Kentucky’s New Water Health Portal http://wfpl.org/check-waterways-health-kentuckys-new-water-health-portal/ http://wfpl.org/check-waterways-health-kentuckys-new-water-health-portal/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 11:00:38 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37115 The Kentucky Division of Water has unveiled a massive Water Health Portal to share information about the health of the commonwealth’s waterways with the public. The recently launched portal was created after legislation passed the General Assembly in 2013, tasking … Read Story

]]> The Kentucky Division of Water has unveiled a massive Water Health Portal to share information about the health of the commonwealth’s waterways with the public.

The recently launched portal was created after legislation passed the General Assembly in 2013, tasking the DOW with presenting the information included in the department’s biennial report to Congress in a more user-friendly format.

Now, you can zoom in on any waterway in the commonwealth and see whether it supports aquatic life, is safe to swim in, or is on a “pollution diet.”

Jefferson County is a sea of red, indicating that the area’s streams are not healthy. The Middle Fork of the Beargrass Creek, where many swim and wade in Cherokee Park, is not healthy for swimming. But on the flipside, that section of Beargrass Creek is still able to support aquatic life. And according to the map, the stretch of the Ohio River upriver from the I-65 bridge is both safe for swimming and aquatic life.

Check out the map here on a computer; the site won’t work on mobile phones.

]]> http://wfpl.org/check-waterways-health-kentuckys-new-water-health-portal/feed/ 0 Abbey Road on the River Leaving Louisville in 2016 http://wfpl.org/abbey-road-river-leaving-louisville-2016/ http://wfpl.org/abbey-road-river-leaving-louisville-2016/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 20:57:06 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37196 The founder and organizer of the Abbey Road on the River Beatles festival says next year’s event will be the last one in Louisville. Gary Jacob said in a statement on Monday that ongoing differences with the Galt House Hotel … Read Story

]]> timthumbAbbey Road on the River

The founder and organizer of the Abbey Road on the River Beatles festival says next year’s event will be the last one in Louisville.

Gary Jacob said in a statement on Monday that ongoing differences with the Galt House Hotel led to the decision, adding that: “the Galt House thinks that somehow Abbey Road on the River is theirs.” He offered little other detail.

The festival is held over the Memorial Day weekend on the Belvedere-adjacent to the Galt House-and nearby venues. Jacob says the Galt House undermined efforts to make the Marriott the host hotel next year.

He said he’ll spend the next year trying to find someone in Louisville to buy the festival or find a new city and hotel along the I-71 corridor for the event.

Galt House officials said  in a statement on Facebook that they’re deeply disappointed in the decision and hope it will be reconsidered. Abbey Road on the River moved to Louisville from Cleveland in 2005.

]]> http://wfpl.org/abbey-road-river-leaving-louisville-2016/feed/ 0 Seniors in Kentucky Among Unhealthiest in the U.S., Report Says http://wfpl.org/seniors-kentucky-among-unhealthiest-u-s-report-says/ http://wfpl.org/seniors-kentucky-among-unhealthiest-u-s-report-says/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 19:00:35 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=36912 A new health ranking of senior citizen health in the U.S. puts Kentucky near the bottom of the list. America’s Health Rankings looked at the health and well-being of people age 65 and older. Kentucky seniors were ranked 48th in the … Read Story

]]> A new health ranking of senior citizen health in the U.S. puts Kentucky near the bottom of the list.

America’s Health Rankings looked at the health and well-being of people age 65 and older. Kentucky seniors were ranked 48th in the country. The low ranking was attributed to a high prevalence of smoking, high premature death rates and a low percentage of dental visits.

Louisiana was at the bottom of the list, with Mississippi just below Kentucky.

In Kentucky, 11.8 percent of seniors smoke tobacco, 53 percent report visiting a dentist in the last year, and there are 2,357.2 deaths per 100,000 adults age 65 to 74.

No single service or approach will help the state’s seniors become healthier, said Dr. Julie Daftari, medical director for United Health Foundation in Kentucky.

“It really is the responsibility of the entire community as well as the individual to really help change some of these lifestyle behaviors that might not be so healthy,” she said.

The elderly population is expected to more than double by 2050. That’s even more reason to ensure the health and well-being of seniors in Kentucky, Daftari said.

“It’s imperative that we address these health concerns now so that we can sustain services provided for all of our senior Americans over the long run,” she said.

But overall, seniors in Kentucky do have some healthy behaviors. The survey found a low prevalence of chronic drinking and many receive flu vaccinations every year, among other things.

]]> http://wfpl.org/seniors-kentucky-among-unhealthiest-u-s-report-says/feed/ 0 Wendy Whelan Gives Impeccable Hometown Dance Performance in Louisville http://wfpl.org/wendy-whelan-gives-impeccable-hometown-dance-performance-louisville/ http://wfpl.org/wendy-whelan-gives-impeccable-hometown-dance-performance-louisville/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 16:26:46 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37176 The Brown Theatre was packed on Saturday night as Louisvillians came out to support and enjoy native daughter Wendy Whelan in her groundbreaking four-duet program. The performance Saturday night was impeccable. Much has been made of Whelan’s “retirement” from the … Read Story

]]> The Brown Theatre was packed on Saturday night as Louisvillians came out to support and enjoy native daughter Wendy Whelan in her groundbreaking four-duet program. The performance Saturday night was impeccable.

Much has been made of Whelan’s “retirement” from the New York City Ballet; but with her Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative it is clear that one ending is creating opportunities to embrace new ways of working. The Restless Creature program features choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo, Joshua Beamish, Kyle Abraham and Brian Brooks, who also dance each duet they created with Whelan.

The evening begins with “Ego et Tu” by Cerrudo. Whelan has said that Cerrudo’s choreography is closest to “home” for her in its balletic references. Beginning with a solo for Cerrudo, he then retreated up stage and from seemingly nowhere lifted Whelan into the space. Together the interweaving of their arms and bodies created a symbiosis that allowed them to explore I and You as both discrete and interdependent. There is one particular tableau, in which Whelan supports Cerrudo, that brought the evening’s first audible response.

Beamish’s “Conditional Sentences” was created this year, and thus is new to the Restless Creature program, which premiered in 2013. (Whelan postponed a Louisville performance last spring as she recovered from surgery.) Set to Bach’s “Partita No. 2 in C Minor BMV 826” and played by the inimitable Glenn Gould, this piece feels like an homage to mid-2oth Century storyless modern classical ballet while at the same pushing the envelope of the style. His crisp and sharp figures are also delightfully playful as Beamish and Whelan interchange delicate hand and head movements, as each sets the conditions for a subsequent interchange.

“The Serpent and The Smoke” shifts the mood of the program exponentially, as choreographer Kyle Abraham silently and vividly erupted into the audience’s consciousness after the briefest pause following the previous piece. Abraham and Whelan are compelling in this piece; whether they are directly connected or echoing sequences in different areas of the stage their form is perfectly synchronized in shape, attitude, and phrasing.

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Restless Creature - W&P - Christopher Duggan, Photographer - hr_20130415_057Louisville Native Wendy Whelan Moves Beyond Ballet

The finale, Brian Brooks’ “First Fall”, generated audible breaths as he and Whelan explored falling and rising, dropping and lifting, in a complex interweaving of bodies giving and taking weight and balance. Set to a variety of musical accompaniment, including Philip Glass, and also judiciously using silence, “First Fall” pushes the boundaries of what might be considered dance in provcative ways. Brooks and Whelan demonstrate the inherent tension of making these sequences seem effortless and, at the same time, performing the effort such intricate articulation requires.

These four brief pieces collectively cover a huge expanse of contemporary choreography. Each of the choreographers is an excellent dancer, attested to by their enthusiastic reception from the audience, but the evening is Whelan’s as, in under an hour, she unconditionally slips into the world of each choreographer. Joe Levasseur’s lighting design serves each piece distinctively, helping to sculpt the bodies’ forms and shapes evocatively. The closing moments of “The Serpent and The Smoke” were particularly strong.

Restless Creature - W&P - Christopher Duggan, Photographer - hr_20130415_057Christopher Duggan

“Vantage Point”, Whelan’s intimate photo exhibit is on show at the LVAA’s Public gallery through March 31. From her unique position in the wings and in the dressing room, Whelan has created a charmingly idiosyncratic visual journal of her career. At a reception earlier this week Whelan reflected on her childhood years when her family introduced her to the arts here in Louisville–the ballet of course, but also theatre, painting and more. A cogent reminder that when we take a child to an arts event we could be laying the seeds for another great artist.

Whelan’s photography and her embracing of the physical demands of contemporary dance, at a time when many dancers truly retire, are a powerful testament to the dynamism of this enchantingly restless creature. Wendy Whelan’s newest dance project is scheduled to premiere in London later this year. Here’s hoping that Louisville will be on her calendar when U.S. performances are scheduled.

]]> http://wfpl.org/wendy-whelan-gives-impeccable-hometown-dance-performance-louisville/feed/ 0 Louisville’s Bike Share Program Probably Won’t Launch Until 2016 http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-bike-share-program-probably-wont-launch-2016/ http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-bike-share-program-probably-wont-launch-2016/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 15:16:11 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37125 A Louisville bike share program won’t likely roll out this summer as originally expected. Rolf Eisinger, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator recently said it’s more likely that residents will be able to begin renting bikes in 2016. Late last … Read Story

]]> A Louisville bike share program won’t likely roll out this summer as originally expected.

Rolf Eisinger, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator recently said it’s more likely that residents will be able to begin renting bikes in 2016.

Late last year, city officials said the program would begin late this summer. Eisinger said his office is still working to finalize where bike share stations will be located, among other things.

“Either it be coordinating with our utility companies with regards to the station locations, traffic management plans, right-of-way certifications, making sure we don’t need any encroachment permits from the state,” he said.

Eisinger said city officals “are still working on” getting sponsors for stations and bikes on board.

He said the company CycleHop will be operating the bike share program in Louisville. The company will help city officials develop a business plan and be responsible for maintaining the rental stations.

“The operator will have to remove the graffiti, pump up the tire, they’ve got to service the stations, make sure the bikes are distributed appropriately,” he said.

CycleHop also operates bike share programs in Phoenix, Atlanta, Orlando and Santa Monica, among other cities, according to its website.

Once introduced into the city, any resident or visitor will be able to rent a bike.

The price for a bike share is projected to be at $3 for a single use of 30 minutes or less or $7 for unlimited trips totally no more than 60 minutes in a 24-hour period, according city officials.

Residents who wish to use the system will do so with a credit or debit card or by stopping by an operator office for a one-time use voucher or annual pass—meaning people without a credit card can still access the system.

“It really helps provide that last mile of transportation,” Eisinger said.  “Maybe you take that TARC and it gets you so close to your destination, but you need to get a little further, so now you hop on a bike and access that destination.”

Bike sharing can allow people to explore the city in a “healthier way and get some exercise.”

For suggested station locations and more information about the program, go here.

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