GLI Boss Praises Rep. Riggs For Passing Crowdfunding Initiative Thursday, Mar 26 2015 

From Kent Oyler, GLI

The 2015 General Assembly session has ended and a meager handful of legislation has made its way to the Governor’s desk. One bill that flew under the radar was HB76 sponsored by Representative Steve Riggs (D-Louisville). It enables folks in Kentucky to invest small amounts of money in Kentucky based companies in return for a piece of the action. It’s called equity crowdfunding and previously it was only open to the one percenters; those proverbial ‘certified rich guys’ who qualified as accredited investors. With responsible restrictions and protections, HB76 opens the investing game game to everyone in KY.

As the founder of Commonwealth Crowdfunding, which was created to promote equity crowdfunding authorized under the 2010 JOBS Act (since misplaced in the SEC for over 3 years), I was especially pleased to see this legislation passed to allow intrastate equity crowdfunding in Kentucky. Eventually the bureaucrats in DC will issue guidelines that may override state laws, but until that happens, if it ever happens, Kentucky joins a small number of forward thinking states that have enacted their own rules.

GLI's Kent Oyler

GLI’s Kent Oyler

The oversight and diligence the legislation offers has been fully formed by the experience of the other 14 states that have already adopted similar bills and in many cases, House Bill 76 provides even stronger safety measures to protect these small investors. It’s worth noting that both Indiana and Tennessee have passed their own version of equity crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is of vital importance to Kentucky as we continue to look for ways to attract and support the best and brightest entrepreneurs. In many cases, the small investors who will participate in crowdfunding are living in the same towns as the entrepreneurs and have a real interest in participating in the funding of their companies. By “democratizing” this fundraising opportunity, we allow a much broader group to participate in this investment process while companies can now tap into a potentially vast pool of capital.

Small businesses represent the majority of our economic base, accounting for close to 93% of all registered businesses in Kentucky. These businesses employ over 44% of the working population. This legislation, which GLI strongly supported in Frankfort, along with the existing state programs sponsored by the Cabinet for Economic Development, has the potential to position Kentucky as an even more attractive place for the entrepreneurs to start new ventures.

At GLI we work with business owners every day who are facing challenges in the capitalization of their companies. This legislation allows us to offer business owners the chance to seek investors right in their own communities, and shows that our state legislature is indeed capable of passing win-win bills when it so chooses. Thanks for standing above the crowd(fund) Rep. Riggs!

54,000 Trees Being Lost in Louisville, KY Annually; Fischer Wants to Change That Wednesday, Mar 25 2015 

From Metro Government

Metro <a  href='http://louisvilleky.com/about-louisville-ky/'><p class=Louisville photo" width="300" height="167" /> Metro photo

– Releasing a first-of-its-kind survey that shows is losing 54,000 trees a year, Mayor Greg Fischer today called for public input to help reverse the trend.

The year-long study shows that the city’s tree canopy has declined from 40 percent to 37 percent in eight years—the result of insect damage, ice storms, trees not being replaced and many other factors.

“A poor tree canopy isn’t just an aesthetic issue, it’s a business, homeowner and health issue – trees bring huge value to our city and its citizens,” Fischer said. “Reversing this decline must be a true community initiative.”

Fischer urged citizens and businesses to provide input and ideas, through the end of May, on the Tree Canopy Study — which can be downloaded at http://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/tree-canopy-assessment. Input can be sent to communityforestry@louisvilleky.gov or submitted to the Sustain Facebook page. In addition to public comments, the city will hold a series of public meetings. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 at Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson St.

Fischer said citizen input will be combined with the results of the city’s ongoing Urban Heat Island study, which will help complement the canopy study and provide further data on the tree canopy decline. That will lead to a citywide tree strategy and a citywide annual tree planting goal that will be announced later this fall — in time for the peak planting season.

A depleted tree canopy leads to higher energy bills for businesses and homes, and makes the city physically hotter, which exacerbates health issues especially for the sick and elderly. Fischer said it also makes less desirable compared to cities with greater canopies – and it affects property values.

“Only a limited number of major US cities have undertaken a comprehensive urban tree canopy assessment, and none has developed a plan for managing extreme heat,” said Brian Stone, Associate Professor in the City and Regional Planning Program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who is conducting ’s heat island study. “The coordination of these planning efforts ensures not only that will become a greener city in the coming years, but that the investments made in tree canopy will yield the greatest health and environmental benefits to the city’s residents.”

The canopy study concludes that trees in provide $330 million in services each year to our community, including costs avoided by keeping water out of the sewers as well as removing carbon dioxide from the air.

Fischer said his administration has already taken steps to address the tree problem, including the creation of the Tree Advisory Commission, hiring a city Urban Forester, and making tree planting a strategic goal for the Brightside organization.

The study, completed by Davey Resource Group, also showed there are disparities in neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with the largest tree canopy — and therefore neighborhoods that see the biggest benefits from trees — are Cherokee Gardens and Iroquois Park. Areas where the tree canopy is lowest are Phoenix Hill, Algonquin and California.

Fischer also announced the creation of a new, non-profit group, Trees . The new entity, which is being funded by local philanthropist Henry Heuser, will be dedicated to raising money to plant and maintain trees — and engaging the public in encouraging tree plantings. The executive director will be local gardening expert and former broadcaster Cindi Sullivan.

Fischer said there are many things citizens can do today to help, including planting a tree then reporting it on Brightside’s tree tracker count at www.brightsideinc.org/louisville-tree-trackerHe also urged people to organize tree plantings for the annual Give A Day week of service, which is April 18-26.

The American Forests organization recommends a tree canopy of 45 percent.

“Clearly, we have significant work to reach the recommended canopy. It will take many years, decades even, to accomplish that goal. But our environment, our health and our community deserve and demand that we start now,” Fischer said.

Mayor: Seeking Healthy Photos in Louisville KY, and You Can Win Soccer Tickets Monday, Mar 23 2015 

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  – At a press conference recognizing a special moment of health and compassion that occurred last weekend in Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer also announced #Goalkeeper – a social media contest to celebrate healthy habits throughout the city.

Five winners will each receive two tickets to the City FC season opener – the first regular season game since the professional soccer franchise moved to . The tickets are gifts from the team.

The Johnathan Roberts photo from Saturday

The Johnathan Roberts photo from Saturday

The Mayor encouraged people to share photos, videos or even poems about how they stay active.

“Whether they are jogging laps around the soccer field where their children are practicing, taking stairs instead of the elevator at work, or skateboarding to school, we know Louisvillians go out of their way every day to stay active,” Fischer said. “We want to highlight that, share ideas – and give away some great soccer tickets at the same time.”

The announcement came during a press conference to celebrate Asia Ford and LMPD Lt. Aubrey Gregory, who walked the last two miles of the Rodes 10K with her this weekend. In photos taken by Paramedic Danny Carlton and professional photographer Jonathan Roberts, this story spread throughout the United States this weekend. They were shared on social media more than 3 million times and picked up by People, BuzzFeed, and several national news outlets.

“If you look at the reaction to those photos,” Fischer said, “you really see the power of social media to inspire a community, even an entire nation. Those photos went viral and this is one virus we want to keep going!”

Mayor Fischer said he was especially interested in entries that feature children being active.

Louisville’s Hal Heiner Pushes E-Verify in New Statewide Ad Friday, Mar 20 2015 

from Hal Heiner campaign:

LOUISVILLE – Republican candidate Hal Heiner announced today his proposal to implement E-Verify in Kentucky, a measure to ensure that Kentucky jobs go to legal Kentucky workers. The E-Verify program allows employers to identify the immigration status of potential hires by checking names against government databases. E-Verify comes at no cost to employers. Heiner’s proposal would require the use of E-Verify to confirm legal worker status for all employers, government employees and government contractors and subcontractors.

“Washington continues to struggle to address illegal immigration”, Heiner said. “E-Verify is a simple, commonsense measure we can put in place at the state level to protect employment opportunities for Kentucky citizens and legal immigrants. It comes at no cost to employers, makes it easier for them to comply with existing employment law and rewards our current citizens and those who have immigrated to the US legally.”

Heiner’s support for E-Verify is part of a new television ad airing across Kentucky starting today.

Rusty Satellite Features Thorntons Chief Tony Harris and Underdog Tony Vanetti Thursday, Mar 19 2015 

LISTEN TO THE RUSTY SATELLITE SHOW HERE.

Rusty visits Two Tonys this week as the ‘Ville braces for a total work stoppage — the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Louisville is the national leader in TV ratings for the tournament, and with the Big Blue as even President Obama’s choice to win it all, you can bet this year will break some records off the court.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 6.36.35 AM

Tony Harris of Thornton’s; Tony Vanetti of the Afternoon Underdogs, are on the Rusty Satellite Show

Tony Harris is the president of Thorntons Inc., one of our most generous corporate citizens. I talk with Tony about all the changes in the look and feel of Thorntons stores, the company’s contribution to a U of L academic center, and how I can get more free stuff with my Refreshing Rewards card. Plus, we both went to WKU and are big fans of the Hilltoppers.

Speaking of fans, nobody caters to the crazies like Tony Vanetti, half of the Afternoon Underdogs (with Dave Jennings) radio duo on WKRD-790. On Monday, the station was part of a radio marathon in which they discussed this one basketball  tournament for about 14 hours. Ventti tells me how he got into doing sports when it appeared the market for rock and roll disc jockeys was drying up.

In other news, there’s a Royal Visit coming to the city on Friday, a new owner for O’Malley’s Corner and if you like cool stuff, there’s an auction planned of Sam Swope’s possessions. All on the 89th Rusty Satellite Show.

Parking Requires Planning for NCAAs, Louisville KY Metro Says Wednesday, Mar 18 2015 

From Metro Government

Twitter hashtag — #louparking — will show available parking in real time

LOUISVILLE KY —  Fans headed to the KFC Yum! Center for NCAA basketball tournament action this week are advised to come early, find parking and enjoy downtown restaurants and attractions. Parking and traffic will be challenging due to lingering Ohio River flooding near the waterfront arena and the ongoing bridges construction project. Parking will also be in shorter supply Wednesday and Thursday with people working downtown.

biebertrafficFans headed to Wednesday’s public practice sessions or Thursday’s opening round games can find a full list of parking locations at louisvilleky.gov — the site scales to mobile devices for easy use.

People can also see what garages and parking lots have open spaces by using the twitter hashtag #louparking — attendants in city-owned and private parking lots will use that hashtag to show open spots. Simply search for that hashtag on twitter

With top-ranked Kentucky, plus regional schools, Cincinnati and Purdue competing in the NCAA Midwest regional, thousands of fans are expected to drive into Louisville for the tournament action at the Yum! Center.

Adding to the excitement — and traffic and parking challenges — will be a royal visit to Louisville Friday. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will visit several locations throughout the day.

“This will be a super-exciting week for our city hosting both basketball fans and Prince Charles,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Basketball fans should come in early and enjoy downtown and the many new restaurants and attractions that have opened since the last time we hosted the NCAA men’s basketball regional in 2012.”

Mayor Rallies Community for “Give A Day” Week of Service, April 18-26 Tuesday, Mar 10 2015 

From Metro Government…

New projects, ways for people to be involved added this year

A tractor-trailer load of toys and supplies for school kids in need, bikes for refugees from war-torn countries and a community drive for stuffed animals for kids who have experienced crime, fires or other crisis. Those are some of the projects planned during the fourth annual Give A Day volunteer week April 18-26. The week of service helps launch the 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival.

Last year’s week produced 150,000 volunteers and acts of compassion. Mayor Greg Fischer said this year’s goal is at least 165,000 volunteers, donations and other good deeds.

“We’re all busy, but to be good people and good citizens we should make time to help others and improve their lives and our community,” Fischer said. “We’ve added more ways that people can be part of the week – I’d like to see every company, organization and citizen do something.”

MWEEK2015New projects and initiatives this year include:

  • An entire tractor trailer of toys and school-related supplies will be distributed to school-age children by the Kids Wish Network and its Holiday of Hope Tour, working with JCPS and volunteers;
  • Individuals and bike shops can put older bikes to new use by donating them to the Pedal Power Project, providing basic transportation for refugees in Louisville who’ve fled war-torn nations and other calamities. Bikes can be taken to Beargrass Christian Church, 4100 Shelbyville Rd.or call 502-896-1161;
  • A special Give A Day eve concert on April 17 will raise funds and encourage volunteers. Alex Wright & The Maven Down, Thirty Spokes and a special guest will perform along with an art auction. 8 p.m. In the Mayor’s Gallery at Metro Hall. It’s a ticketless event, but donations are suggested.

Other ways to be involved include:

  • Joining the Brightside communitywide cleanup on April 18;
  • Providing a stuffed animal to the Bears on Patrol program at Kosair Charities so kids will have a special friend in times of violence, fire or other crisis. Stuffed animals can be dropped off at all Comfy Cow locations;
  • Giving new or gently used shoes to WaterStep, helping fund the Louisville-based organization’s work of providing clean drinking water around the world;
  • Donating a dollar while eating at local Wendy’s, Fazoli’s or Mark’s Feed Store restaurants, through March 31. Money raised goes to local non-profits for supplies to make more projects possible during the volunteer week.

Individuals or groups wanting to find a project should visit www.mygiveaday.com where projects and needs submitted by local non-profit agencies and other groups are listed. Fischer urged individuals and companies to also use the website to report their own community service.

“If your church or civic group is doing a project that week, let us know about it so it can count toward our new world record,” Fischer said.

“We connect people with the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done to reach our vision of a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “We’re proud to continue to lead Give A Day volunteer connections because we know that people who share their time and talent are rewarded in so many unexpected ways, and this is how, together, we improve lives in our community and Live United.”

The Brightside cleanup April 18 is one of the most popular ways to participate in Give A Day. Last April, more than 10,500 people helped clean up neighborhoods, schools and parks.

Students from Jefferson County Public Schools along with independent and Catholic schools will be tackling projects of all kinds. Last year, JCPS recorded more than 57,000 volunteers and compassionate acts. Area businesses are also heavily involved. Employee teams from companies and organizations such asGreater Louisville Association of Realtors, Hexion, Humana, Louisville Homebuilders Association, Outfront Media, Orr Safety, PGA, Texas Roadhouse, UPS and Yum Brands will tackle a variety of service work.

Fischer said having Give A Day week as the lead-up to the world-famous Kentucky Derby Festival helps residents remember and plan for the service week each year and puts Louisville’s caring deeds in the world spotlight.

“The Festival has grown from one event in 1956, to more than 70 events now 60 years later and we’re grateful our volunteer base has grown along with us,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. “We literally could not produce our events without a large and dedicated group of volunteers. We’re proud to be part of this important initiative.”

President Tandy applauds TechHire Initiative announced by President Obama Monday, Mar 9 2015 

Louisville joins 20 other cities in effort to connect people with Tech jobs

President David Tandy (D-4) applauds a new effort announced by President Barack Obama to work with local governments to get people the training they need to move in to well-paid technical jobs.

         “The President’s TechHire Initiative is an opportunity for cities, like Louisville, to connect people regardless of resume with experience in coding and other related fields to jobs that are in desperate need of their talents and other people who want to be trained in this growing area to the places where they can get the skills necessary to then move on into this sector of the new economy,” said Tandy. “Louisville is ready to meet that challenge.”

Metro Council president David Tandy

Metro Council president David Tandy

          President Tandy is in Washington DC for the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference where President Obama this morning unveiled the Tech Hire Initiative and announced Louisville as one of the first cites in the country to launch the initiative.

           From the White House, The TechHire Initiative highlights the following:

 ·        Over twenty forward-leaning communities are committing to take action – working with each other and with national employers – to expand access to tech jobs. To kick off TechHire, 20 regions, with over 120,000 open technology jobs and more than 300 employer partners in need of this workforce, are announcing plans to work together to new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their actual skills and to create more fast track tech training opportunities.

·        $100 million in new Federal investments to train and connect more workers to a good job in technology and other in-demand fields. The Administration will launch a $100 million H-1B grant competition by the Department of Labor to support innovative approaches to training and successfully employing low-skill individuals with barriers to training and employment including those with child care responsibilities, people with disabilities, disconnected youth, and limited English proficient workers, among others

·        Private sector boosts tools and resources to support and expand continued innovation in technology training, with a focus on reaching under-served populations. Private sector leaders are announcing commitments to provide free training through online training slots and expanding “coding bootcamps” – which provide intensive training for well-paying jobs, often in the course of just a few months – to low-income and underserved Americans including women, minorities, and veterans across the nation

          “Ensuring that all Louisvillians have an opportunity to have a high quality of life begins with educational opportunities that meet the ever-changing demands of the marketplace,” said Tandy. “If we are to be successful as a community in attracting, cultivating and growing businesses in Louisville we must be creative in how we address our need for this type of skilled workers.  This program will help us improve the middle class of not just Louisville but this country as we rebuild the economy in the 21st Century.”

            Louisville will join the following cities and states as part of this new program:  New York City, Philadelphia, Delaware, City of Kearney and Buffalo County, NE, Colorado, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Los Angeles,  Minneapolis, Kansas City, Memphis, Rural Eastern Kentucky, Nashville, Rochester, Detroit, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Chattanooga and Portland.

Huge Book Donation Launches New Community-wide Student Reading Program Monday, Mar 9 2015 

from Metro Government…

Thanks to a generous local educational company, and collaboration with Metro United Way, UPS, Jefferson County Public Schools, YMCA, and Teamsters Local 89, the Louisville Free Public Library received a donation of nearly 149,000 books! The books include 28 popular, nationally-acclaimed titles including: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Velveteen Rabbit, and Millions of Cats.  While some of these will be added to the Library’s collection, most will be distributed to JCPS and Archdiocese schools, grades K-3, as part of a new Library initiative called Share 100 Stories Before 4th Grade.

Share 100 Stories is a school-partnership program that encourages students, kindergarten through 3rd grade, to read aloud with their families and discuss what they are reading. For young readers, reading aloud helps to strengthen language skills, increases their confidence, builds relationships between child and caregiver, improves the educational attainment, and fosters a love of reading.

Library_Logo_color“This is an exciting opportunity to improve the reading skills and achievement levels of thousands of our public and Catholic school students,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This generous donation and creative collaboration shows our community is pulling together to implement our Cradle to Career initiative which recognizes that you must be constantly learning and, in this case reading, if you want to succeed and if we want our community to succeed.”

The donated books, housed in a JCPS warehouse, are currently being prepared for distribution by a team of community volunteers.  Groups from the Friends of the Library, Metro United Way, UPS, and others are hard at work sorting copies of twelve different titles – more than 40,000 books – for delivery to all K-3 classrooms in JCPS and Archdiocese schools before spring break. Each book will contain a bookmark with questions about the book for parents to discuss with their child.  The bookmark also describes the Share 100 Stories program and has a simple registration form. Parents/caregivers that return the registration card to any library location will receive another free book for their child, along with a Share 100 Stories Reading Log to track how many stories they read aloud together.  When they have shared 100 stories, they can return the completed log to the library and receive another free book: The Random House Book of Fairy Tales.

“Some of the key components for a child’s educational success are ownership of books and easy access to reading materials,” said Interim Library Director Lisa Sizemore. “The Library is thrilled to be a part of a project in which so many children in Louisville will receive their own copy of a great book.”

“We’re proud and excited to help more of our children and their families have access to books to read together and learn to love learning,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way.  “Our vision is a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives – the building blocks for a good quality of life.  And we encourage everyone in our community to demonstrate your support for our kids by volunteering to read to a child; we know you’ll get back more than you give!”

By encouraging children to Share 100 Stories—at home, at school, and in our city—LFPL seeks to foster a love of reading and strengthen relationships in the community. In addition to LFPL’s Share 100 Stories Before 4th Grade, these books will be used to support JCPS’s Third Grade Reading Pledge—an initiative to ensure all students are reading on grade level by the end of third grade—as well as YMCA after-school and summer programs, and several “little libraries” throughout the community.

“Share 100 Stories fits with our Third Grade Reading Pledge, which invests in boosting student literacy,” says Dr. Donna Hargens, Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools.  “We know that students who can’t read on grade level by the end of third grade are more likely to struggle in school and throughout life. Our Third Grade Reading Pledge focuses on great teaching strategies, but at the end of the day, our students need more access to great books.  The gift of access makes Share 100 Stories the perfect partner,” adds Hargens.

To learn more about the program, visit LFPL.org/kids or call (502) 574-1620. And join the conversation on social media by using #Share100Stories on your Instagram and Twitter posts.

Gov. Beshear Declares New Statewide Emergency Thursday, Mar 5 2015 

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear has declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth – the second such declaration in less than a month.

“Two significant winter storms nearly back-to-back are rare in Kentucky, and pose a challenge for our emergency management teams, road crews and local emergency responders. This emergency declaration will allow us to deploy any needed state assistance, including National Guard troops if necessary, without delay,” said Gov. Beshear.

Snow continues to accumulate, approaching up to 20 inches in some parts of Kentucky. Rain and sleet preceded the snow, making pre-treating roads impossible. Road crews working to clear highways and interstates were hampered by the fast-falling snow, which re-covered roads almost as quickly as they were plowed. As a result, roads across the state are in poor to treacherous condition.

The statewide declaration allows local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts. A separate emergency order will alleviate certain trucking restrictions so that vehicles carrying emergency supplies may travel through the state more quickly.

Gov. Beshear and state officials remind drivers that it is extremely important to avoid travel if possible so road crews can salt and plow interstates and major highways. He encouraged citizens to check on elderly neighbors.

Word of the Day: snow

Word of the Day: snow

The storm brings other dangers as well. Yesterday’s warm temperatures, snow melt and rain caused flooding in several areas before the snow began to fall. Heavy snow accumulations may also cause power outages or roof collapses.

A statewide emergency declaration does not create mandatory closings for schools or businesses. Kentuckians should monitor local media for announcements of school or work closings. Employees should consult their employers’ policies regarding inclement weather for guidance on attendance or leave time.

The Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center (CEOC), located in Frankfort, remains activated with additional staffing from Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), KYNG, state cabinets and volunteer organizations monitoring the situation, fielding calls and responding to requests for assistance. The National Guard has been activated to several locations to support emergency response efforts.

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