Saturday September 21, 2019
News Sections

Family-friendly activities that include crafts, music and games will be part of Archaeology Day at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site on Sept. 21.

The day – part of Kentucky Archaeology Month — will feature demonstrations and hands-on educational activities about archaeology for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Activities include a mock excavation for kids, artifact laboratory station, spear and atlatl throwing, stickball game area, flint knapping, bow and arrows, finger weaving, basket weaving, corn shuck dolls, a drum circle and make and take home a pottery craft.

This event is sponsored in part by the Kentucky Heritage Council.  Entrance to the activities is included in the museum admission of $5 for adults and $4 for kids, seniors and military.  Parking is free. For more information, call the park office at 270-335-3681 or email carla.hildebrand@ky.gov .

Wickliffe Mounds is an archaeological site of a Native American village of the Mississippian culture. The park features a museum, mounds, walking trail, picnic area, visitor center with tourism information and a gift shop.  The park is located along the Mississippi River’s Great River Road National Scenic Byway at 94 Green Street, Highway 51-60-62, Wickliffe, Ky. For more information about this and other Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov

Last week, Mayor Greg Fischer joined Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith and community members to unveil a new public art project, the Louisville Knot.

Through a series of bent and bundled steel tubes, the Louisville Knot transforms the Ninth Street highway underpass that connects Museum Row to west Louisville into a welcoming pedestrian thoroughfare. The installation, which is illuminated at dusk, serves as an interactive sculpture and street furniture that can be used as seating, tables, a bike rack, and an extra-large swing.

“For too long, we’ve allowed an imaginary distinction to exist between downtown and west Louisville along the Ninth Street corridor. By activating this previously underutilized space, the Louisville Knot welcomes residents and visitors to explore the corridors leading to the Portland and Russell neighborhoods,” the Mayor said. “I’m delighted to already see people of all ages and backgrounds coming together at the Louisville Knot.”

The Louisville Knot came out of a call for proposals from Louisville Metro Government and Louisville Downtown Partnership seeking a project that combined art, design, and infrastructure. The design team is led by Philadelphia-based Interface Studio Architects (ISA) with fabrication by Louisville’s Core Design.

“The Knot project was a special opportunity for ISA to get to know a city – its history and people – and devise a unique intervention to help enliven an underutilized piece of urban fabric. We hope the installation not only reinforces the Main Street link across two neighborhoods but motivates creativity, sharing, and social connections among the broadest range of people who live in and visit Louisville for many years to come,” said Brian Phillips, ISA Principal.

The project was funded by Louisville Metro Government and the Rotary Club of Louisville.

“For 107 years, the Rotary Club of Louisville has supported worthy causes in our community,” said Luke B. Schmidt, Rotary Club of Louisville president. “The Club is focused on ‘Connecting our Community,’ and we believe the Louisville Knot’s location will help build a bridge as we work to eliminate the Ninth Street Divide.”

Mayor Greg Fischer joined with Metro Council members and community outreach representatives yesterday to announce the initiatives that will receive Louisville Metro Government funding to continue addressing the needs of homeless individuals and families in the city.

Building on work started early in 2019 when the city allocated $500,000 for programs, the plan provides $1 million from the city’s FY20 operating budget toward initiatives chosen in collaboration with the Coalition for the Homeless to align with the eight recommendations outlined in the University of Louisville study, “Solving Street Homelessness in Louisville, Kentucky,” released in June.

“Louisville, like many American cities, has seen a rise in unsheltered homelessness in recent years and an increase in homeless encampments. We’ve made clear progress but there’s more work to do to ensure that every Louisvillian has a place to call home,” said Mayor Fischer said, adding that, “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. We have to help our homeless population deal with and overcome their challenges one person at a time. That’s what a compassionate city does.”

The allocations include:

  • Funding to move the transitional storage launched at a temporary location in March 2019 to a permanent location at the Salvation Army that will have expanded hours. The storage provides a place where individuals experiencing homelessness can store their belongings when going into shelter.
  • Three options for low-barrier shelter beds via St. Vincent de Paul, Wayside Christian Mission, and the Healing Place.
  • Continued funding for rapid rehousing services and emergency shelter for homeless families, provided by Volunteers of America.
  • Ongoing street outreach teams enhanced by social workers and other professionals who can provide behavioral and mental health counseling, drug and alcohol addiction assessments and counseling services, as well as legal expertise.
  • And the University of Louisville is given the task of evaluating the effectiveness of the individual programs in this initiative.

The newest round of funding is part of work begun in fall 2017 when Mayor Fischer created the Homeless Encampment Task Force, chaired by Eric Friedlander, director of the Office of Resilience and Community Services.

That team helped inform decisions made about the funding allocations in January, which resulted in these outcomes:

  • Wayside has provided 19,607 nights of lodging to a total of nearly 740 different people since opening its low-barrier shelter.
  • Nearly 240 people have found a safe, secure place to store their belongings at the storage units temporarily operated by St. John Center.
  • Nearly 500 clients were served by outreach teams from the St. John Center & UP Louisville.
  • The Healing Place added 24 low-barrier shelter beds, and Volunteers of America served 17 families through various rapid rehousing paths and 63 families at family emergency shelter.

“We know that no one idea will address the multiple issues impacting people who are homeless, nor the complex needs of this diverse population,” said Friedlander. “That’s why I am so appreciative of the work, expertise and understanding of our partners, including organizations that are part of the coalition, and the street outreach groups that engage people where they are. Working together, we’ve shown we can make a difference.”

Metro Councilman Bill Hollander (District 9) said: “This funding builds on the work we started in January.  It provides shelter for men, women and families and also funds outreach workers who can help address the root causes of homelessness.  Even as Louisville Metro deals with a very difficult budget, we can’t ignore the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness.”

Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (District 4) said:  “Our local government is focused on implementing common sense solutions for the complex challenges surrounding those experiencing homelessness. I have stated several times before, there is room for everyone to step up and help. In addition to the more than $1.5 million made available during this past year we still need more businesses, nonprofit organizations, healthcare, education and the interfaith communities to reimagine their roles and create common sense solutions that will produce real results for real people needing assistance because this is our reality.”

Friedlander added that the city also provides support to issues that directly affect homelessness, including $41 million invested in affordable housing over the past four years, implementing a plan to battle substance-use disorders, and directing $1.5 million in federal funding to local agencies such as the coalition, Volunteers of America, St. John Center and Wayside.

“The Coalition for the Homeless is so excited to see the city’s commitment to addressing the needs and best practices identified in the University of Louisville ‘Solving Street Homeless in Louisville, Kentucky’ Study,” said Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless.  “We know these important programs saved lives over the last six months and are excited to see them extended and improved.”

The U of L report, “Solving Street Homelessness in Louisville, Kentucky,” was the result of a five-month long assessment study that outlined the process of applying best practices to Louisville’s Continuum of Care (CoC), a process developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that helps communities across America address the problems of homelessness in a coordinated, comprehensive and strategic way.

Special programs at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will celebrate the beginning of the monarch butterfly’s annual migration south. Participants can learn more about these valuable pollinators and receive expertise and advice on gardening for Kentucky’s native pollinators on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Salato Center.

The event will feature activities suitable for individuals of all ages, including butterfly crafts, face painting, a monarch tagging demonstration and waystation tours, and a nectar plant and milkweed sale (while quantities last). Butterfly costumes are welcome.

Salato Center staff also will unveil a new Monarch Waystation at the event. This waystation will be dedicated to the late Mary Carol Cooper, who served as director of Salato’s Native Plant Program from 1992 to 2012.

Activities and demonstrations will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Eastern Time) and are free with paid admission into the center. The center features native wildlife in naturalized enclosures, conservation exhibits and paved walking trails through a variety of habitats.

For a detailed list of activities and times, contact the Salato Center at (502) 892-4460.

The center is located off U.S. 60, approximately 1½ miles west of the U.S. 127 intersection. Look for the bronze deer statue at the entrance of the main Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus.

Except for select events, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Salato is closed on Sunday, Monday and state holidays.

Except for select events, admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth 5 to 18. Children four and under are admitted free. The center also offers annual memberships for individuals and families.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is reminding the public that households, businesses and communities can increase their preparedness by following this year’s theme of Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters during September – National Preparedness Month (NPM).

This nationwide effort is organized each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage citizens to prepare and plan for emergencies in their homes, business and schools. This yearly observance was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness awareness in the U.S., a fitting time to join the effort to help communities prepare for emergencies, such as natural disasters and potential terrorist threats, and to encourage individuals to take action.

“Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime and anywhere, often without notice and can leave us scared and confused,” said Jim House, Preparedness Branch Manager at DPH. “By taking the time to follow the ten steps outlined below, we all can better prepare ourselves and our communities should emergencies or disasters strike. Remember that preparedness is a shared responsibility – it takes a whole community to prepare and respond to emergencies.”

The following ten steps of Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters can encourage households, businesses and organizations to prepare for emergencies during National Preparedness Month by taking the following actions:

  1. Assemble a Go Bag with supplies in case of an emergency.
  2. Prepare digital forms of important documents for an emergency.
  3. Have extra supplies in case of an emergency.
  4. Download the FEMA app (https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app) to provide emergency information at your fingertips.
  5. Have an alternative power source for devices during emergencies.
  6. Set up an In Case of Emergency (ICE) emergency contact in your cell phone.
  7. Choose an emergency contact when out-of-town.
  8. Find a local, pet-friendly evacuation center.
  9. Update your social media to tell loved ones you are safe during an emergency.
  10. Remember that in an emergency – text and don’t call. Phone lines will be backed up with calls reporting important information. To let your loved ones know you are safe, send them a text message instead.

For more information about preparing for and responding to emergencies, visit http://www.ready.gov.

Mayor Greg Fischer joined Metro Council members, the Commission on Public Art, artist Todd C. Smith, and community partners at the base of the Big Four Bridge to unveil Bike Sense Louisville, a public art project that will promote healthy lifestyle habits and provide new data on the city’s air quality and temperature.

Using sensor units that fit into cyclists’ water bottle holders, data is collected about the cyclists’ speed and location, as well as the temperature and air quality outside. The data is then translated into sound that is streamed in both real-time on the Bike Sense website and broadcast over the Big Four Bridge speakers.

“Bike Sense encompasses our city’s core values of lifelong learning and health by incorporating science and exercise into public art,” said the Mayor. “This project will get people moving, either as volunteer cyclists collecting environmental data or as pedestrians crossing the Big Four Bridge to listen to the sounds created.”

The data will be publicly available and support the work of University of Louisville’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute.

“The Center for Healthy Air Water and Soil and the Superfund Research Center in the UofL Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute are partnering with the innovative Bike Sense project to raise awareness of the health risks posed by many volatile organic compounds,” said Dr. Ted Smith, Deputy Director of the Envirome Institute. “We look forward to providing technical assistance and health risk information to the project and its many cycling participants.”

The project was selected by the Commission on Public Art through a call for artists and is funded through a mix of private donations, public dollars, and an ArtsMatch grant from Fund for the Arts.

“By collecting volunteer cycling data that considers location as well as environmental factors, like temperature and air quality, we could learn a lot about where people are biking and how healthy it is to bike here. The sound part of the project was my creative way of sharing this data with the public,” said artist Todd C. Smith. “The bridge is a public space that sees thousands of pedestrians and cyclists and is the symbol of connection for the Kentuckiana region. I look forward to seeing how this year-long project progresses.”

For more information, visit BikeSense.net.

The Department of Public Health and Wellness will host a Birth Equity Town Hall Meeting on Thursday September 5 at 6 p.m. at 400 E. Gray St.

The meeting will consider policy initiatives to close the gap in infant and maternal mortality between the general population and minority communities. The meeting will seek input from community residents and will hear from local and national experts on best-practice policy solutions.

“Louisville has made progress in lowering overall infant mortality rates over the past twenty years,” said Public Health director and the city’s chief health strategist, Dr. Sarah Moyer. “However, there is still a significant gap between the rate at which white and black babies die before their first birthday. African American women are also still far more likely to die in childbirth. The Town Hall Meeting will seek solutions to bring about the day when every child and every community in or city thrives. I encourage people to attend.”

A panel at the Town Hall Meeting will be led by Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Acting Chair of the U.S. Health and Human Service’s Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. Panelists will include Dr. Carol Brees of the University of Louisville; Dr. Brittany Watkins of Centerstone; Dr. Olugbemisola Obi of U of L Physicians; Dr. Kelly Pryor, a mother; Arthur Lemons, a Healthy Start father; Asia Ware, a Healthy Start mother and Emily Whitsett-Pickett of Mama to Mama. Dr. Moyer will also offer remarks.

While the overall infant mortality rate, the rate at which infants die before their first birthday, has fallen in Louisville from 7.6 to 6.1 per 1000 live births (five year averages of 1995 – 1999 and 2013 – 2017), African American babies still average 5.8 more deaths per 1000 live births than white babies. Also, according to the American Medical Association, African American women in the United States are two to six times more likely to die of complications from pregnancy than white women.

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