Slow Friday Press Release Time

Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-03) just announced $452,746 in federal funding from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to fund support services for Louisville’s hungry and homeless.

“This will provide a major boost to the people in our community who need it most,” Congressman Yarmuth said. “The funding will go help people get off the streets and back on their feet.”

“The emergency food and shelter program is a fantastic partnership between the federal government and local homeless service providers throughout the United States,” said Greg Hudleson, Community Coordinator at Metro United Way. “It’s a tremendously efficient operation, and this funding will immediately benefit the most vulnerable citizens of our community.”

Since Dubya’s done his level best to kill funding for food banks and programs to help those who can’t help themselves, this is positive news. Organizations like Louisville’s Dare to Care are the silent backbone of our entire community. We see it day in and day out. Can’t even begin to count the number of lives that have been saved just because a foodbank was able to get a jar of peanut butter into the hands of a child of a crackhead. They’re able to open the jar themselves and get necessary protein. You’d be surprised how serious I am and how often this takes place.

P.S. Don’t forget the Wendell Ford Dinner tonight. Come hang out with us. We love attention and gossip.  But if you can’t, look out for photographs and mean stories tonight/tomorrow.

Almost Friday Update Edition

The state Senate approved an HIV/AIDS testing bill for inmates of the Kentucky Department of Corrections which would require tests for inmates 30 days before their release. Jack Brammer called Dan Seum a Democrat. And Ernesto Scorsone wants to protect peoples’ privacy. [PolWatchers]

The Protector of Our White Women is woah out of control. Poor Doug Hawkins has gone batshit yet again. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Everyone is peeing on themselves a little now that they’ve found a piece of paper on which Bruce Lunsford admits to having a residence in Chicago. Like he does in like 483920 other cities. [Rural Democrat]

A glimpse at life in a trailer park and what down when those in poverty are trampled over. [H-L]

Crappy Gannett faux weekly Velocity made a silly attempt to call LEO out as “corporate.” HAHAHA. Further proving why Democrats and Republicans alike hate the Courier-Journal and any other by-product they peddle as news or journalism. [General Sense of Outrage]

Could Budget Cuts Result in Deaths?

In a flash of reality, the Herald-Leader’s Sarah Vos has begun to wake Kentuckians up to the nightmare they face. While most are aware of looming educational budget cuts and the inevitable degradation of services we have come to expect, things like health care and assistance for those less fortunate take position on the back burner. It’s those very things that are on their way to hell here in the Bluegrass.

Cabinet officials painted a bleak picture of the Health and Human Services budget Wednesday, telling lawmakers that cuts proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear would lead to fewer Meals on Wheels and elimination of programs at the state’s 14 community mental health centers.

The cuts discussed Wednesday will destroy some programs and leave people without places to go, Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, said after the hearing.

“We can’t take these individuals and put them in storage,” he said. “If they don’t receive these services, some of them will actually die.”

Meals on Wheels is screwed, mental health centers are suffering and people could literally die. Gloom and doom, sure, but it’s a reality we all need to face. Instead of screwing around in Frankfort all session long, maybe our legislators could try to, you know, do something other than argue about gambling. And maybe Governor Steve Beshear could show some leadership in solving the budget crisis by working with said legislature to avoid serious cuts. But we’re not holding our breath.

What’s Your Rank? Health of Kentucky Counties

It’s no surprise that smoking, poor nutrition and lack of insurance put Kentuckians at risk. There’s a whole host of other issues to tackle, though, and for the first time ever all 120 Kentucky counties have been ranked from most healthy to least healthy.

Maybe health care is more important than gambling? Maybe health care should be taken more seriously? Wait, wait– we apologize. Gambling and alleged accountability are the most pressing issues facing Kentuckians.


120 County Ranking - Health



Oldham County leads the pack as the state’s healthiest. Wolfe County is at the bottom. No surprise, as Oldham is also one of Kentucky’s wealthiest. Wolfe is among the state’s poorest, as are the other ten counties ranked as Kentucky’s least healthy. All ten lowest-ranked counties are in Appalachia. Further evidence that our gubernatorial candidates should be focusing on the eastern part of the state.

While not the most important, we found it notable that Kentucky leads the nation in work-related injuries. Nonfatal injuries are 28% higher and fatal injuries are 75% higher than the national rate. Mostly thanks to our high concentration of workers in risky industries like mining and manufacturing.

Notable statistics: % of high school graduates: Oldham 87, Wolfe 54; % of uninsured: Oldham 8, Wolfe 21; number of drug arrests per 100k: Oldham 37, Wolfe 2,128.

Jim waters: Stomach grumbling? It’s time for a change, not a pill


Stomach grumbling? It’s time for a change, not a pill

By Jim Waters

Dissatisfaction serves as a necessary component of change. Most find change hard and dissatisfaction uncomfortable.

So procrastination usually trumps dissatisfaction. We often simply adapt to avoid the usually messy process of change.

Sometimes it’s necessary to do so – at least temporarily. We have to know for sure that we simply cannot accept the status quo. We count the cost before we pay the price of change.

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Exclusive: Fletcher & Beshear Take on Poverty

A few days ago Page One asked Kentucky’s gubernatorial candidates what they would do to eradicate poverty. We asked that the candidates respond with specific solutions for eradicating poverty without resorting to personal attacks and without bringing gambling into the discussion. We’re pretty sure there’s been enough bickering without any solid conversation about the issues facing Kentucky.

We know the respective campaigns are busy in their own right so we thank them greatly for taking time to respond. To keep things on equal footing we have decided to publish responses in full without any editing. Please read them for yourself and form your own opinion about who rose to the challenge of tackling one of the biggest problems in the state.

We have to be critical here. This in no way is a representation of our political preference and nothing should be considered an endorsement or denouncement of a candidacy. We’re not picking sides, but it’s obvious Ernie Fletcher’s campaign is addressing the poverty issue more seriously. Whether Steve Beshear has an actual agenda for addressing poverty is not clear from this response, and we’re open to hearing more from the campaign. Meanwhile, Fletcher’s folks put enough time and effort in that we’ve had to divide his response into three parts, with the rest to follow.

While only offering suggestions and not providing specific solutions for poverty itself, Beshear’s campaign has responded. Having plans for the state as a whole is a great thing. But lumping poverty in with the rest is part of the problem. Poverty will have to be specifically addressed without regard to those who aren’t suffering. We have no doubt that Steve Beshear can and will deal with poverty but we want to know what the heck he’ll do specifically. It doesn’t take much to put it in writing. Guess we have to remind ourselves that this is a campaign and getting too specific would require holding oneself accountable.

The Fletcher campaign has offered a three-part response to our question and we’ve published the first portion. To our surprise our concerns have actually been addressed. Or have begun to be addressed, anyway. The campaign deserves credit for doing so. Sure, a lot of this substance comes from Fletcher having been in office for four years (Beshear’s been an office holder, as well, and could have mentioned what he’s done in the past) and the campaign relies heavily on what it says he’s already accomplished. But the point here is that the campaign specifically addresses poverty and is beginning to offer specific solutions.

Both candidates teeter on the edge of generality almost as if they’re afraid to get their hands dirty. They have taken major steps, however, to move away from gambling and have begun to enter the territory of real issues facing real people. We hope this is a sign of things to come and look forward to both candidates dealing with the reality of life beyond casinos. Have to also congratulate the campaigns for thus far ignoring ridiculous wedge issues like gay marriage and gun ownership.

We hope Beshear’s running mate, Dr. Daniel Mongiardo, forces this issue to the forefront. Being a state senator from the poverty-stricken hills of eastern Kentucky gives him a unique perspective that needs to be more prominent in this race.

Responses after the jump.

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Living in Poverty

Poverty in Kentucky - MapWe’re map geeks at Page One. What do maps have to do with living in poverty? Well, while wasting countless hours looking through graphical analysis I stumbled upon something that hits home here in the Bluegrass State. It’s a map at Social Explorer (choose Poverty from the middle drop down menu) detailing the percentage of the population living in poverty (rather, all 120 counties in Kentucky along with the % of their population living in poverty). The map was created based on the latest census data so take it with a grain of salt. Reality is likely a bit darker.

Poverty - Front PorchLooking at the poorest region of Kentucky, the Appalachians of the east, one really has to question why neither of our two gubernatorial candidates are actively discussing ways to improve the situation, nor are they making poverty a centerpiece of their campaigns. A quick search of Beshear’s website reveals only a few instances of the term ‘poverty’ and there is only one instance on Fletcher’s.

What does this mean for the future of the Commonwealth?

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