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Photo: Neighborhood Place

Neighborhood Place partners join in holiday celebrations at the Park DuValle Holiday Festival in early December and a Kwanzaa reception later in the month A variety of workshops and events will also be offered throughout December including an Energy Management class, a conversation with youth regarding the impact of violence, a Healthy Living Club and much more.  To learn more about these offerings and several others please refer to the list below.

Dec. 2, Park DuValle Holiday Festival in the Park DuValle Neighborhood, 2 – 5 p.m.
Call 775-7000 for more information.  The Park DuValle neighborhood is reviving its Holiday Festival and adding some new events including a holiday stroll, visits with Santa, a holiday concert and a tree-lighting celebration.  Ujima Neighborhood Place will also host a cookie decorating station, holiday Bingo, and face painting at the Duvalle Education Center located at 3610 Bohne Ave.

Mondays and Wednesdays, Free Professional Financial Coaching
Call Rosie Wright at 612-0819 to schedule an appointment.  Free, one-on-one financial coaching will be offered to provide individuals with support, accountability and tools to help make informed decisions.  Hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Mondays, South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, Bridges of Hope Neighborhood Place, 1411 Algonquin Pkwy, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Mondays and Thursdays, YMCA’s “Caring and Learning with Me” at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd., side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Call Keyonna Humphrey at 974-8457 for more information and to register. This free program provides a wonderful learning environment for children ages 3-5 years old and their caregivers focusing on play and exploration. The adult caregiver is required to attend with the child/ren and you may also bring other children ages (0-2). Sponsored by the YMCA with support from First Neighborhood Place.

Dec. 5, Energy Management Workshop at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 1 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave.   Call 313-4635 for registration.  Project Warm’s free workshops help families take control of their energy usage and learn “do-it-yourself” energy-saving tips. Free supplies will be distributed at the end of the workshop such as clear plastic/tape for windows, caulk to seal openings around windows and sealing foam.

Dec. 5 and 14, Healthy Journey for Two Educational Baby Shower
RSVP is required to Mendy Mason at 341-5400 or Join us at to explore the do’s and don’ts of a healthy pregnancy in a free, fun setting.  Seven Counties and KIDSNow Plus will host an educational baby shower to share information on how to care for yourself and your baby while being pregnant. Pregnant attendees receive a baby tote filled with baby items and a gas/gift card, with more chances to win prizes like gift/layette set(s), bottle sets and more.  Fathers are welcome but must be registered..

  • Dec. 5, South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 14, First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Rd., 1 – 3 p.m.

Dec. 5, Car Seat Fitting Station at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 9 – 11 a.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave.  Call 629-7358 for an appointment. Learn how to install your child’s car seat or booster seat at this car seat fitting station offered by Norton’s Children’s Hospital. Find out if it’s time for a change.

Dec. 12, Fall Youth Conversation with Students at the Academy at Shawnee, 5 – 7 p.m.
Located at the Academy at Shawnee, 4001 Herman St.  Call 313.4892 for more information.  All youth are invited to join in a candid and engaging conversation entitled, A View from Shawnee Students: Violence Impact In Our Schools, Community and Family.  This event will be moderated by Derrick Mitchell with the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.  A community family dinner will be served and an opportunity for family photos will be available.  Collaboratively sponsored by the Academy at Shawnee Youth Service Center, JCPS Student Support Services and the NorthWest Neighborhood Place.

Dec. 12, Foster Parent Recruitment Meeting at First Neighborhood Place, 6 – 8 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd., side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Call 595-5437 (KIDS) for more information. Detailed information will be provided on the requirements and process of how to become a foster or adoptive parent. Information such as an explanation of foster care, special needs adoption, and information on foster parent training classes will be provided. Sponsored by Kentucky Foster Care and the training classes will be provided. Sponsored by Kentucky Foster Care and the Special Needs Adoption Program.

Dec. 12, Blood Pressure Checks at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call 313-4635 for more information. Louisville Metro Health and Wellness health educators will provide free blood pressure checks.

Dec. 12, Healthy Living Club at South Jefferson Neighborhood Place, 1 – 2 p.m.
Located at 1000 Neighborhood Place, Call 3631483 for more information.  Classes are open to anyone interested in gaining more knowledge to live and better and more fulfilling life.  Monthly meetings are on the second Tuesday of every month to discuss healthy living and to get the support you need to eat better, get active, and lose weight.  This month, a representative from Family Health Center will discuss “Getting Through the Holidays in One Peace.”  Come and join the fun and fellowship.

Dec. 14, Grandparents Group: Kitchen Table Conversations at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located at 4018 W. Market St.  Call 313-4909 for more information.  This popular resource support group for relatives raising grandchildren meets the second Thursday of each month.  A monthly guest speaker helps this group focus on the unique issues that caregivers may have raising younger children.  Aunts, uncles or anyone raising their grandchildren are welcome to attend.  Lunch is provided free of charge.

Dec. 19, Sodexo Hiring Opportunities at South Central Neighborhood Place, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd., side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Call 313-4700 for more information. Sodexo, a food-service agency, will provide on-the-spot interviews for positions with Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace and University of Louisville Hospital. Bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. This is one of Sodexo’s busiest hiring seasons. Stop by if you are looking for employment that can lead to a full-time or part-time position.

Dec. 20, Community Dental Care Information Sessions
Call 502-366-4442 for more information.  Community Dental Care is a full-service dental organization designed to increase access to health care in communities with the goal of improving the overall health of the population. Representatives will be on site to provide information about services offered and to assist in scheduling appointments for dental needs or for pediatric health needs.

  • South Jefferson Neighborhood Place – Fairdale location, 1000 Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • South Jefferson Neighborhood Place – Valley Location, 10200 Dixie Hwy., 1:30 – 3 a.m.

Dec. 28, Celebrating Ujima – a Kwanzaa Reception at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. In honor of Ujima, the third principle of Kwanzaa meaning collective work and responsibility, community members are invited to gather for networking opportunities and to explore ideas for community collaborations.

Jan. 4, American Red Cross Blood Drive at Charmoli Center Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
Located at 200 Juneau Drive, Suite 200.  Please register online at Access your online scheduling account or contact Jessica Strader at  Walk-ins are also welcome the day of the drive.

Zoo LogoTo honor those who are serving and who have served our country in military service, the Louisville Zoo is offering active and retired military and their dependents FREE general admission on Veterans Day – Saturday, November 11, 2017.

Those wishing to participate must simply have proof of military service (including but not limited to: U.S Uniformed Services ID Card, U.S. Uniformed Services Retired ID Card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), veterans organization card (i.e., American Legion, VFW), DD214 and citation or commendation) and present it at the Zoo’s admission windows.

In addition to free zoo admission, on Nov. 11, 2017, active, retired military and their dependents (with a military identification card) will also receive receive 10% off gift shop purchases and 50% off all food and drink concessions

In recognition of their service and sacrifices, active military personnel receive free admission year-round at the Louisville Zoo. Dependents of active and retired military members receive 10% off admission year-round. Military personnel are encouraged to check with the Leisure Travel offices at their bases in advance of their visit for other available discounts.


Pumpkin Spice Habitat

The bears, orangutans, elephants and many other animals at the Louisville Zoo will be celebrating the end of Halloween with a special pumpkin enrichment!

Saturday, November 4, marks the zoo’s annual Pumpkin Smash event.

The World’s Largest Halloween Party!” presented by Meijer wrapped up last weekend after nearly a month of fun and special events.  Now it is time for the hundreds of pumpkins that decorated the zoo’s grounds for the festivities will be given to the animals for Halloween enrichment.

Animal enrichment is an important part of animal husbandry at the Louisville Zoo and promotes the expression of natural behavior.

This is the perfect opportunity to visit the zoo and see how the animals react to their special seasonal treats.  Zoo hours are from 10 AM to 4 PM, visitors arriving by 4 can stay until 5 PM.

(animals participating and times are subject to change)

10:15 a.m. Orangutans (Islands Dayroom)

10:30 a.m. Sumatran Tiger outdoor (Islands outdoor habitat)

11:15 a.m. Bears (Glacier Run)

11:45 a.m. Gorillas (Gorilla Forest)

12:15 p.m. Amur Tigers (after training)

1:15 p.m. Elephants

Starbucks Unveils 2017 Holiday Cups

Starbucks unveiled their 2017 holiday cups yesterday and fans of the annually-changing designs may have noticed something missing:  color!

Since 1997, the Seattle based coffee giant has welcomed the holiday season with a cheerfully themed red cup.  Now, after 20 years, this season’s cup has arrived nearly colorless.

The 2017 Starbucks holiday cup still features a seasonally themed illustration complete with a Christmas tree, a stack of gifts, clasped hands, hearts, stars, peace doves, ornaments, snowflakes, hot cocoa, and more.  The design has some basic colors, a few red parts and the company’s signature green on their logo, but a Starbucks representative said that the line-art cup was intended to allow people to add their own color to their cup.

Perhaps meant to capitalize on the recent adult coloring craze, or to spark creativity among their caffeinated customers, or  maybe just to save money on ink, the design captures the spirit of the holiday season while, hopefully, avoiding some of the controversy that the chain has endured on social media in previous years for swinging too far into the politically correct camp with their cups.

Two years ago, the company faced backlash after trying to avoid the “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas” type of holiday havoc by releasing plain red cups to mark the season.  Last year, they went the opposite direction by releasing more than a dozen holiday themed designs inspired by customer creations.

Along with the DIY artwork cup this season comes the “Give Good” sleeve to protect hands from the hot contents.  This slogan encompases the theme for this year’s holiday campaign, which Starbucks executive creative director, Leanne Fremar, says “as small as someone opening the door for you, or recognizing the people that enrich your life – your child’s teacher, a caregiver, a family friend.”  Fremar continued, “the holidays are a time to celebrate all the good we give to each other and our community.”

The Give Good campaign site reads

Hold the door for someone,
connect over coffee,
say “hi” to a stranger,
give perfect gifts
to the ones you love.
And once good starts,
it keeps going and growing
from one person to the next –
simple acts of kindness
that touch the lives of many.
Because good is contagious,
and giving is too.

claras-dream-2016-696x464The University of Louisville Dance Theatre continues its beloved, holiday tradition with the 21st annual performance of “Clara’s Dream” Dec. 2-4 at the School of Music’s Comstock Hall.

“Clara’s Dream” is the familiar story of “The Nutcracker” from the time that Clara starts dreaming of snow and the land of sweets. There are cotton candy angels and toy soldiers, as well as the variations from foreign lands and, of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy appears. Her dream takes the audience along for a joyful ride through fantasy.

Directed by Cynthia Bronner and Chuck Bronson, UofL Dance Theatre is the elite level of the UofL Dance Academy. The ULDA is a pre-professional, civic level ballet company that focuses on preparing middle and high school age dancers to pursue ballet after they graduate from high school. About 50 dancers from all levels of the academy will have roles in the show.

There are four chances to catch “Clara’s Dream” this season: 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 2 p.m. Dec. 4.

The production is appropriate for all ages. Reserved tickets are on sale and available by mail through the UofL Dance Academy website: $15 for adults and $10 for children under age 13 or adults over age 65. Group rates also are available for ten or more.

For more information and to order tickets, call 502-852-6878 or visit the UofL Dance Academy website at

City Christmas Tree Being Erected Today

louisvillechristmastreeThe Holiday in the City Christmas tree will be erected today in Holiday Square — the plaza at Fourth and Jefferson streets — near the ice skating rink.

Due to construction at the Kentucky International Convention Center, an artificial tree will be used for the next two years for Holiday in the City. The traditional 45- to 50-foot live tree that the city normally uses requires a crane to put in place, and the KICC construction does not allow room for that.

The tree will be lit during the annual Light Up Louisville ceremony, which traditionally kicks off Holiday in the City, on the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, 2016.

The tree, donated by Fourth Street Live!, will be especially visible with extra lights and ornaments.

Learn more about Holiday in the City here.

Motorists reminded to buckle up, enforcement heightened through Memorial Day

ClickItOrTicketThe Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) are reminding motorists to buckle up as law enforcement agencies throughout the state join the nationwide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization May 23 through June 5.

“Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes,” said KOHS Executive Director Bill Bell.  “As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want those traveling our roadways to do the one thing that could save them in a crash: buckle up.”

There were 761 total highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2015, with 588 killed in motor vehicles.  Of those 588 fatalities, 358 (61 percent) were unrestrained.  Six of those motor vehicle fatalities occurred over the Memorial Day holiday.  None were wearing a seat belt.

“Clearly this is an indication that people are not taking the law seriously, or they’re just not aware of the huge risk being taken by not buckling up,” said Bell.

Kentucky has a primary seat belt law, meaning everyone is required to buckle up while in a moving vehicle.

“We will be out in force – day and night – ticketing anyone not wearing a seat belt,” said KSP Sgt. Michael Webb. “Drivers must remember that under Kentucky’s law, you are responsible for making sure all of your passengers are properly restrained.”

This year’s campaign, funded by a federal grant through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has a special emphasis on pickup trucks.    Continue reading