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20 minutes | Sep 15, 2019
The World Still Goes Around And Round
Earlier this year, we set out to take a deep look at why Louisville's West End is changing -- and how. In this last episode of Here Today, we address the uncertainty that lies ahead, and how that could affect the people who live west of Ninth Street. Here Today is a listener-supported project. You make it possible for us to hold the people in power accountable for the promises they make. Click here to chip in: wfpl.org/supportheretoday
22 minutes | Aug 23, 2019
A Rose Is Still A Rose
Just as we started working on Here Today, our colleagues on In Conversation, WFPL's weekly talk show, did an episode about the investments coming to west Louisville. After the show aired, the station got this email from a listener: Please stop calling the West End "West Louisville!" There is another town, way down river from here, called West Louisville. Here in the Metro, we have the South End and the East End and the West End. Calling the latter by another town's name further acts to make it "other" and not belonging to all of us in the South End, where I grew up, and the East End, where I now reside. After some lively conversation, we decided that on Here Today, we would use both terms, "west Louisville" and "the West End," interchangeably, but the conversation didn't end there. We started asking folks we interviewed for the show which term they use, and why. On this episode, you'll hear some of those answers. And we'll speak to a linguist who's from Louisville, about how the language we use shapes the way we think and feel. We couldn't do this work without your support. Click here to contribute: wfpl.org/supportheretoday
20 minutes | Aug 12, 2019
Let Me Understand Your Plan
After learning about all the ways revitalization could go wrong, we wanted to learn about the city's plan for avoiding the pitfalls that have happened elsewhere. Here's a section of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's third inaugural speech, given in January of this year: "[L]ook at what’s happening in west Louisville. Nearly a billion dollars of investment funding catalytic projects: The expansion of Waterfront Park, the Louisville Urban League Sports and Learning Complex at 30th and Ali, the YMCA and the new Passport Headquarters at 18th and Broadway, and the Beecher Terrace and Russell revitalization. For that work, we’re collaborating with the people of Russell, along with businesses, faith groups and other community partners to make sure we restore the great legacy of this neighborhood – once celebrated as the Harlem of the South – without displacing anyone who wants to remain there." That last bit of emphasis is ours. This week on the show, we sit down with the mayor to ask what plans are in place to prevent displacement in the West End, and we hear from some experts about whether the city is on the right track. Here Today is a listener-supported project. YOU make it possible for us to hold the people in power accountable for the promises they make. Click here to chip in: wfpl.org/supportheretoday +
11 minutes | Aug 2, 2019
The House I Live In (I Bought It)
Homeownership has been touted as “the American dream” for decades -- and some advocates say it’s also the way to prevent gentrification in west Louisville. On this episode of Here Today, we take a look at homeownership in the West End, and whether owning your own home really leads to inter-generational wealth. Support this work, by clicking here: wfpl.org/supportheretoday
11 minutes | Jul 25, 2019
It’s Hard Out Here For A Renter
When you rent a place to live, you’re subject to the whims of your landlord. Whether you’ve lived in your place for a year or 10 years, if your landlord decides to sell, you could be forced out. The changes happening in west Louisville are affecting the people who live there, and most of them are renters. As property values rise in the West End and property owners consider selling, what does that mean for the renters there? Did you learn something new from this episode? Click here to make a donation that helps us keep learning stuff together: wfpl.org/supportheretoday
10 minutes | Jul 16, 2019
Diggin' on Beecher Terrace
The site where Beecher Terrace was built has a story that's much older than the housing complex itself. Louisville's first black doctor had a home there with his family. The city's first cemetery occupied what's now Baxter Square Park. Before we move on from Beecher Terrace, we spend some time this week learning more of that story. Click here to support Here Today: wfpl.org/supportheretoday
15 minutes | Jul 10, 2019
Can't Find My Way Home
Construction of the new Beecher Terrace continues, and fewer than a hundred families are living in what’s left of the old complex. Several hundred others are settling into their new homes throughout the city. While some displaced residents await the new and improved Beecher, others are content to leave it behind and start anew. Those who do come back will find themselves living with lots of new neighbors -- not all of whom are low income folks, like before. Will it still feel like home? Last week we talked about the “big four” West End investments. Today on Here Today, we focus in on the biggest: the over $200 million dollar redevelopment of Beecher Terrace. *Click here today support the work we do on Here Today! *wfpl.org/supportheretoday Today's additional music: "Catching Feelings," Audiobinger "Manele," Blue Dot Sessions "Never Can Stop It," Lobo Loco
16 minutes | Jul 2, 2019
Promise Of A New Day (Again)
When someone makes a promise to you and then doesn’t follow through, would you believe them the next time? And if you trust them a second time and they don’t come through, what about a third time? In recent years, plans for new developments in the West End -- like the FoodPort and a Super Walmart -- have come and gone. Now, west Louisville residents are again being asked to put their faith in planned developments aimed at revitalizing the neighborhoods, particularly Russell. Will things be different this time? For some projects, the answer seems to be yes -- things are going along as planned. For others, the future seems less certain. _ Here Today is listener supported, and every little bit helps. Click here to support the work we do: wfpl.org/supportheretoday
20 minutes | Jun 25, 2019
How Did We Get Here? (Nobody's S’posed To Be Here)
What comes to mind when you hear “west Louisville?” Do you picture the families who live there? People coming together for barbecues and neighborhood block parties. Kids playing in the park. Neighborhood churches. Or when you think of the West End, are you reminded of the last thing you heard about it on the news? A recent shooting. People living in poverty. Neighborhoods filled with abandoned houses. The story of west Louisville is not a simple one. It’s not one that can be easily encapsulated in a sound bite. And it's a story that could be drastically changing soon. But to understand the future, we have to look to the past. On episode one of Here Today, we explore the people and policies that created today's West End. Here Today is produced and reported by Amina Elahi, Laura Ellis, Jonese Franklin, and Kyeland Jackson. Website and data reporting are by Alexandra Kanik. You can support Here Today by making a donation here.
1 minutes | Jun 4, 2019
Introducing... Here Today: Louisville's Changing West
This is a pivotal moment for west Louisville. There's a track & field complex planned, a new YMCA in the works, and the renovation of Beecher Terrace. But as property values rise, so do property taxes, and that can be a hardship for the people already living there. Is this revitalization? Or gentrification? If you're seeing this trailer because you were subscribed to our news podcast, Recut, you know these are issues we've been keeping an eye on all along. Now we're going to take a closer look. Here Today will track the changes in Louisville's West End, and tell the stories of the people who call it home. Coming this summer, from Louisville Public Media.
13 minutes | Jan 10, 2019
Where Do We Go From Here?
Over the past six months or so on Recut, we've talked about a little bit of everything, from bedbugs to Bird scooters. The newsroom was our oyster, and we were always on the lookout for those times it seemed like there might be more to the story than what made it into the newscast. We started seeing the same theme pop up again and again: Where you live in Louisville can dramatically affect what your life is like. Depending on which side of 9th Street you call home, you might be more or less likely to own a car, have internet access, or live next to an abandoned house. You might even be in more or less danger in the event of catastrophic flooding. In September, we did an episode that spelled it all out: The Thin Line Between Revitalization and Gentrification. West Louisville, long facing all the challenges we'd been learning about, was suddenly flush with investment dollars and new projects. A track & field complex. A YMCA. A headquarters for Passport Health. A brand new version of Beecher Terrace. Property values would go up, and prosperity would come to the neighborhood. But with higher property values comes higher property taxes. House flippers were hanging signs and knocking on doors, trying to scoop up property before the promised boom. We started to wonder what these changes would mean for the folks who already call West Louisville home. So we've decided to make that our new focus. We want to follow the changes in West Louisville in real time--not look back in five years and wonder what happened to the neighborhoods that used to be there. Starting this Spring, we'll bring you a brand new weekly podcast that will tell the story as it unfolds. Lots of people with money and power are making big promises in West Louisville. On this week's episode of Recut, we talk a little about what we hope to accomplish, and share some of the work we've done so far.
18 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
What Goes Into Rezoning In Louisville?
Last night, Louisville Metro Council approved a zoning change that will pave the way for Unity Place--an affordable housing complex in the Okolona neighborhood that would also include some housing for refugees. Since the project was introduced, nearby property owners have been very vocal about their concerns. The zoning change process is itself complicated for council members, who have to balance following the rules with what their constituents are asking for. WFPL's Amina Elahi joins us today on Recut to explain how the process works.
17 minutes | Dec 7, 2018
Why Is The Groundwater Polluted Around This Power Plant?
When you flip the switch, the light comes on. It's something we all take for granted, and it's possible because of coal energy. But burning coal for electricity leaves something behind: coal ash, containing things like barium. And arsenic. We burn a lot of coal in this country, producing huge amounts of coal ash that we have to figure out what to do with. At the D.B. Wilson power plant in Western Kentucky, that coal ash goes into unlined landfills. It’s been seen in ditches and ponds that flow into the Green River, and it's also been seeping into the groundwater--possibly for as long as 18 years. Coal ash is supposed to be regulated, and the regulations are supposed to keep people safe from it. So what went wrong at D.B. Wilson? WFPL's environment reporter Ryan Van Velzer joins us on this episode of Recut, to explain.
14 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
'Tis The Season For Cultural Insensitivity?
If you've ever seen "The Nutcracker," you know a good part of the second act takes place in the beautiful Land of Sweets. Clara and the Prince travel there and meet dancing delicacies from around the world--candy canes from Russia, chocolate from Spain, and the famous Sugar Plum Fairy. But one of the sequences, as historically performed, hits a more sour note: The Chinese tea dance. The segment often features stereotyped caricatures of Chinese people. Dancers wear rice paddy hats and deep black eyeliner overextended out to their temples. They perform movements that reflect white people's stereotypes of Asian dance, rather than any connection to real Chinese culture. These dancers (and most of their audiences) are usually white. But a man named Phil Chan is leading a movement to change this part of 'The Nutcracker." His campaign is called Final Bow for Yellowface. And lots of the country's biggest ballet companies are now rethinking the way they stage the Chinese Tea Dance--including Louisville's. WFPL's Ashlie Stevens wrote about the scene and the campaign to change it. She joins us today on Recut.
12 minutes | Nov 8, 2018
When you open a bottle of bourbon, do you ever stop to think about where it came from? We like to picture an old man, maybe two, filling my bottle by hand after having tasted the recipe over and over to make sure it was just right. Just for us. It may come as no surprise to you that that's pretty far off the mark. (It's also possible that we're confusing the bourbon-making process with how illegal moonshine is made.) Bourbon is an $8.5 billion industry in Kentucky. And if you're watching bourbon being made, you're likely to see more people in white coats than old dudes in overalls. Reporter Ashlie Stevens has been looking into the chemistry and technology behind the bourbon industry. She joins us on today's show.
14 minutes | Nov 2, 2018
Kentucky State Government's Sexual Harassment Problem
The Kentucky Legislature has no official policy against sexual harassment. Yep, you read that right. Despite some pretty big scandals over the years, including news last year that four Republican lawmakers — including former House Speaker Jeff Hoover — secretly paid a former staffer after she alleged the men sexually harassed her, state lawmakers still haven't passed any anti-harassment bills. For state employees, however, there are specific rules against sexual harassment. But, as we learned in a previous episode, even with rules in place, Kentucky employees have filed about 250 formal sexual harassment complaints over the last five years, and experts say that number probably represents only a portion of total incidents. And then last week, our newsroom broke two stories: Capitol Bureau Chief Ryland Barton reported that former House Speaker Hoover is fighting to seal a deposition of a former staffer who reportedly accused him of sexual harassment — and assault. And Eleanor Klibanoff with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting wrote about a court ruling that forced the state Labor Cabinet to release the names of its employees accused of harassment — even if the claims aren’t substantiated. After the ruling, Eleanor found out that the man whose name they’d been withholding has a long list of criminal charges, including domestic violence. Ryland and Eleanor join us today on Recut.
19 minutes | Oct 25, 2018
Is Louisville Prepared For The Next Great Flood?
You've probably heard of the Great Flood of 1937 — maybe you even have relatives who lived through it. It was late January, and parts of Louisville, including The Point and the West End, were under water. Residents and business owners in the Highlands and parts of the Central Business District were far luckier. So, what if it were to happen again? We've certainly learned valuable lessons from the 1937 flood, and we even have something now that we didn't have then: a flood protection system. And that would save us today from catastrophic flood, right? The honest answer: maybe. Louisville’s flood protection system is one of the largest in the country, in terms of the number of people it protects. But parts of it are very, very old and in dire need of repairs. WFPL Energy and Environment reporter Ryan Van Velzer joins us today to tell us the good and bad news about the city's flood protection plan, and we talk about how worried we should really be.
15 minutes | Oct 18, 2018
Life's Getting Better At Dosker, But Is It Good Enough?
A few months ago, we told you about a bedbug infestation in a public housing complex called Dosker Manor — a 700-unit high rise for older people and people with disabilities. Jake Ryan from the Kentucky Center of Investigative Reporting found city records showing that residents in nearly half of the units at Dosker have complained to the city about bedbugs since 2016. Despite those repeated complaints, the complex remained infested. Since then, the property has had another inspection by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It failed, for the third year in a row. Inspectors found exposed wires, leaky pipes, clogged drains, broken locks, missing sprinklers and more in the city's largest public housing facility. They did score higher this year than last year, though. They've also made some personnel changes in the maintenance department, pledged to spend the money to fix the building, and hired an expert consultant on pest control. Residents say they see crews working more often and things seem to be getting better. But they still have bedbugs. Jake Ryan joins us today with an update.
22 minutes | Oct 11, 2018
Our Neighbors Have Great Stories
One of the things we love most about working in radio is meeting new people and hearing their stories. There aren't too many other jobs where you can meet a stranger in one moment and in the next they're telling you some of the most intimate parts of their life. It's pretty weird when you think about it but the fact that people trust us with things so personal is pretty special. WFPL has partnered with IDEAS xLab to bring you Tough and Universal: Stories of Grit, first-person accounts from people in the community who’ve overcome significant challenges and thrived despite the odds. WFPL News Director Erica Peterson and Theo Edmonds from IDEAS xLab join us today to talk about the partnership, and we'll hear excerpts from each of the stories.
18 minutes | Oct 4, 2018
You're (Probably) Recycling Wrong
A couple years ago, WFPL launched Curious Louisville, a regular series where listeners ask us questions about the city and we investigate to find the answers. And let me tell you, you have not disappointed. We've gotten some really interesting questions, including what happens to zoo animals when they die, why we pronounce Louisville the way we do, whether the high-five was invented here, and many others. But in the past couple years, we've received nearly a dozen questions about one particular topic: Recycling. Y'all are really, really curious about recycling. And, after two years of asking, you're gonna get your answers. WFPL Energy and Environment reporter Ryan Van Velzer joins us today to tell us what you wanted to know and what he found out.
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