Saturday November 16, 2019
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Photo: Louisville Metro Council

Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3) will officially welcome participants to this year’s University of Louisville Region X Conference on Saturday, November 2nd.

“Louisville is becoming well known for its growing medical fields in the areas of research and health care,” says the Councilwoman, who chairs the Metro Council’s Health and Education Committee. “I look forward to meeting the participants as the Conference looks to enhance minority participation in all medical fields.”

The Region Medical Education Conference (RMEC) brings together the Region X SNMA community to equip pre-medical and medical students with the skills to become “clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.”

Hosted by the University of Louisville School of Medicine, this year’s theme is “Pushing Forward, Reaching Back.”

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was founded in 1964 and is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing those numbers.

The conference will highlight the experience of minorities in medicine, both as professionals and patients. Additionally, this year’s conference will include a dedicated pre-medical symposium with hands-on clinical and admissions workshops, a research symposium, networking opportunities, and much more!

Councilwoman Dorsey will offer welcoming remarks as the Conference gets underway at 8:30am on Saturday at 500 S Preston Street.

“The future holds bright promise in all fields of medicine, and I hope those who attend this conference will find their path in careers that will help their community and those in need,” said Dorsey.

To learn more about the Student National Medical Association (SNMA)  https://snma.org/default.aspx.

An evaluation team will soon review 13 bids submitted during a Request For Proposals (RFP) process for the management, operation and maintenance of Louisville’s public golf courses, according to an update provided today to Louisville Metro Council President David James by Chief Financial Officer Daniel Frockt and Parks and Recreation Director Dana Kasler.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced earlier this year the city may be forced to make adjustments to the management, operation and maintenance of the 10 city golf courses as part of a series of cuts necessitated by the state of Kentucky’s pension crisis and a lack of new revenue sources.

On Sept. 13, 2019, the city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), for management, operation, and maintenance of the courses.

The RFP process closed Oct. 22. The next step is for an evaluation team to review the proposals with a tentative completion date of Nov. 18, 2019. Following subsequent negotiations, the goal is to award a new contract(s) for operations by Dec. 31, 2019.

“We are taking great care to ensure a smooth process during this transition period,” Kasler said. “I am confident the review team will diligently explore the options found within these 13 proposals to help retain municipal golf in the city.”

Louisville Parks and Recreation golf courses are Metro-owned and currently managed independently by PGA professionals whose contracts are up at the end of 2019 – except for Quail Chase, where the contract expires December 31, 2024.

“This RFP process is designed to assist us in making the smartest and most fiscally responsible decisions for the taxpayers of this community,” Frockt said. “We also believe it will lead to more streamlined and improved golf course operations, which in this strained budget climate is critical.”

In the update to the Council president, Frockt and Kasler clarified that records related to the process will be kept confidential until a contract is awarded, under a process established per Kentucky state law to eliminate the potential of undue influence and impropriety on the evaluation team.

Also, no council members will serve on the evaluation upon the recommendation from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Frockt and Kasler also noted that Metro Government will continue to follow the union contract regarding Louisville Parks and Recreation golf course staff during this transition period. “Therefore,” they wrote, “no Metro Council member or body may bind Metro government into any manner of collective bargaining agreement, side letter revision, or memorandum of understanding (MOU).”

The letter also provided an update on course operations through the end of the year, when most lease agreements expire.

Because the PGA professionals at Shawnee, Crescent Hill and Charlie Vettiner have submitted their resignations, the letter said, Louisville Parks and Recreation, per ordinance, will staff those courses.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, course operations will fall under the new contracts awarded through the RFP process. Those courses not awarded a contract will be operated by Louisville Parks and Recreation.

It is an idea that began in 1969, when Father Ben O’Connor challenged his parish at Saint William Church, a Roman Catholic congregation located at 13th and Oak Street, to find a new direction to help the neighborhood.

The idea grew into a successful nonprofit with the goal of helping people find an affordable place to live.

Today, New Directions Housing Corporation officially cut the ribbon on a new headquarters in the California neighborhood to continue serving those in need of housing in Metro Louisville.

“Finding affordable housing for everyone is a top priority for the Louisville Metro Council,” said Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3) who was on hand for the ceremony. “New Directions is a dedicated partner in finding that affordable first home or helping people stay in their current homes. It is a great day for everyone.”

New Directions supports neighborhoods, families and individuals. New Directions Housing Corporation serves Jefferson County, Kentucky, and Floyd and Clark counties in Southern Indiana.  Its nonprofit community development strategies provide much-needed housing development, and today over 1,000 families live in the nonprofit’s rental housing.

“The Louisville Metro Council has long advocated the need for affordable housing. In 2008, we created the Affordable Housing Trust Fund as a way to ensure that local government partners with nonprofits and the private sector to find affordable housing programs for those who need it,” said President David James (D-6) , who was also on hand for the ribbon cutting.

Over the month of October, New Directions will be moving its operations to 1617 Maple Street in the California Neighborhood. The Headquarters is generally in the same area as the new YMCA which will soon open at 18th and Broadway.

To learn more about the history of New Directions and the programs that it offers to the community go to the group’s website at https://www.ndhc.org/

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

On Thursday, President David James (D-6) will honor a man who for more than 40 years has taken care of those in need in his community by officially dedicating honorary street signs to Apostle Raymond J. Keith Jr. at a corner near his church in West Louisville.

“We are fortunate that Apostle Raymond J. Keith Jr. got the call to come to Louisville back in 1976,” says President James. “Once he arrived, he began his dedicated work of feeding and clothing those in need and helping others find a home or a job or a purpose in life to serve others.”

On Thursday, October 24th President James will join family, friends and members of his church to unveil an honorary street signs at 1:00pm at the corner of 18th and Prentice Streets near the Refuge in Kentucky Church.

Apostle Raymond J. Keith Jr. has been an ordained minister for Refuge in Kentucky since October 23, 1976. His vision and work include establishing transition homes for the homeless, bible college, trade schools, and services for children.

Many in the community know under his leadership, Refuge in Kentucky is known as “the church in the heart of the city, with the people of the city in its heart.”

President James is sponsoring a Resolution that calls for two honorary signs to be placed on the southwest corner of 17th and Prentice Streets, and on the southeast corner of 18th and Prentice Streets and be designated as “Apostle Raymond J. Keith Jr. Way.”

The Resolution is set to be approved by the Louisville Metro Council at its meeting on October 24th.

For more information about the Apostle Raymond J. Keith Jr Honorary Sign Unveiling, contact President James office at 574-1106.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

President David James (D-6) is encouraging anyone who would like to help to come out for a community wide cleanup which is set for the Old Louisville area on Tuesday October 22nd.

“I want to encourage anyone who would like to help us to come out and join us,” says President James. “Cleanups are a great way to show community pride in our neighborhoods.”

The 160 volunteers from the University of Louisville are volunteering as a part of their “Cards Come Together Week of Service 2019,” which Is part of this week’s upcoming homecoming activities.

The volunteers will meet at Fourth and Oak Street to begin a cleanup of the Old Louisville area starting at 1:00pm. From there, volunteers will fan out across Old Louisville to collect trash and spruce the area up for the fall season.

“I wish to thank U of L and Dr Neeli Bendapudi for her continued and dynamic support for our neighborhoods around the university. This is another example of her great leadership,” says President James.

For more information about the cleanups, contact President James Office at 502-574-1106.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3) will deliver the opening remarks at a very special event designed to help young women navigate the connections they need to be successful in the future.

The Mother Daughter Tea Event will help empower women from adolescent, young adult and young at heart by providing the opportunities for success in all facets of their lives.

“I look forward to speaking at this event because I know that women in the 21st Century are active in all areas of our community. Many of them are potential leaders and doers who just need to know how to begin that journey,” said the Councilwoman. “Many times, they may not be aware of all the resources available to help them succeed in business and community endeavors. Our goal is to help them find and use those resources.”

Participants in the event will learn more about networking, empowerment and etiquette. The event is also looking for those who would like to serve as mentors for young women.

Councilwoman Dorsey created this program as part of the upcoming 100Th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and she is hopeful it will serve as a primer to not only commemorate and celebrate but educate and equip the next generation of women to continue the fight of equity and equality for all women.

The Mother Daughter Tea Event is set for Sunday between 5:00pm and 7:00pm at 4019 Dixie Highway – Union Hall.

Photo: Project Green Heart

At 1000 Stanley Avenue this week, the first of thousands of trees was planted as part of a major health study to determine the impact of green foliage on the community’s health.

Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3) was on hand for the first tree planted as part of the Green Heart Project, a program being conducted by the University of Louisville Environment Institute and The Nature Conservancy.

“We know Louisville Metro has been losing trees at an alarming rate.  As the Green Heart Project moves forward in the coming years, we will be able to have a better understanding on how greenery impacts the health of the people of our community while replenishing our tree canopy,” said Dorsey.

The Green Heart Project will examine, for the first time, if increasing greenness in an urban community will reduce the levels of air pollution in the neighborhood, decrease the risk of heart disease, and increase outdoor activity and relationships between neighbors.

Green Heart will help discover:

  • How to plant trees in urban communities to maximize the removal of air pollution,
  • If increasing green space affects the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease,
  • If increasing urban green space reduces mental stress, enhances social cohesion, increases physical activity, and
  • If urban green space affects crime rates, property values, storm water runoff, energy use, and heat island effect.

Research teams with the project have already conducted health screenings with neighborhood residents and will recheck their biomarkers over time to determine whether the additional trees and shrubs improve their health, including cardiovascular health, diabetes, and other health indicators.

The Green Heart Project has a specific timeline:

  • Baseline measurements in 2018 and 2019
  • Monitor levels of air pollution around roadways and residential areas.
  • Recruit hundreds of people for the HEAL Health Study to see baseline health, stress levels, lifestyle and relationships, and disease risk.
  • Greening in 2019 and 2020
  • Plant thousands of trees, shrubs, and grasses to create a robust and sustainable ecosystem maximized to remove air pollution.
  • Monitoring in 2020 and 2021
  • Track changes in pollution, physical and mental health, and social change.
  • Comparison in 2022
  • Compare observed changes before planting and two years after planting

“Every neighborhood in our community is special and we all want a better quality of life,” said Dorsey. “Now, we will be able to see through the Green Heart Project if the beauty of trees and greenery not only improve our neighborhoods but our health as well.”

For more information about the Green Heart Project, go to: https://louisville.edu/greenheart/about

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