City asks for community input for Bowman Field neighborhood plan

Louisville Metro is creating a neighborhood plan for the Bowman Field area and is looking for input from the public.

The goal is to create a “roadmap” for growing and sustaining the area, which includes the Seneca Vista, Bowman, Hawthorne and Big Springs Garden neighborhoods, along with Kingsley, Seneca Gardens, Strathmoor Village and Wellington.

The plan will address the influence of Bowman Field on the area; Taylorsville Road, Cannons Lane, Dutchmans Lane and other significant corridors; challenges presented I-64 and the Watterson Expressway; zoning and form districts, and access to and relationship of the area to Seneca Park and Cherokee Park.

Rundell Ernstberger Associates, a local landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm, has been hired to facilitate the plan.

The city will hold a three-day community workshop May 14-16 at the Bowman Field Administration Building, 2817 Taylorsville Road, beginning with an open house and culminating with a public presentation. —Kevin Gibson

Passport’s payments to Evolent, customers steady

Screenshot

Local nonprofit Medicaid administrator Passport Health Plan paid the consulting company Evolent Health nearly $26 million in the first quarter, down about $2 million from a year ago, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Passport, which has been struggling financially, had taken drastic cost-cutting measures during the first quarter, including a restructuring of its arrangement with Evolent.

State officials have said that in the last couple of years they have changed the way they distribute Medicaid dollars because of a tight state budget and because Kentucky managed care organizations were more profitable than their counterparts in other states.

The state has blamed Passport’s fiscal troubles at least in part on its high administrative costs and unusually high reimbursement rates it is paying some medical providers.

Passport officials have said that their arrangement with Evolent has improved patient outcomes at a lower cost and that its fiscal problems are a result of the state cutting its Medicaid disbursements at a time that health care costs are rising.

Passport said last month that it was cautiously optimistic that the state’s new disbursements rates are enough to avoid insolvency.

Evolent Health said in its first-quarter filing last week that Passport accounted for 17.5 percent of its revenue in the quarter, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier. Passport could not immediately be reached to say when its payments to Evolent would decline, but the nonprofit did not make changes to its arrangement with Evolent until mid-March. Evolent’s first quarter ended March 31.

Meanwhile, Passport’s fiscal problems appear not to have had a significant impact on its customer base, according to new data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The nonprofit had 202,454 customers in Region 3, which includes Jefferson County, as of April 20. That was down about 5,600 from a year ago, but most other managed care organizations lost an even greater share of their customers in the last year. Passport’s market share in Region 3 actually improved fractionally and remains near 66 percent.

Aetna, Humana and Wellcare all lost customers in the last year, while Anthem gained 667. None of those companies’ market share exceeded 12 percent. —Boris Ladwig

Olmsted Parks to reopen Chickasaw clay courts ahead of schedule

Chickasaw Park | Courtesy Olmsted Parks Conservancy

As Insider Louisville reported, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy partnered with the United States Tennis Association’s Southern Kentucky chapter and West Louisville Tennis Club to raise the $5,000 needed to reopen the clay courts Chickasaw Park in time for the Arthur Lloyd Johnson Memorial Tournament on June 21.

On Friday, the conservancy announced that the effort had raised nearly $8,000 in 10 days and the historic clay tennis courts — the only free public courts in the city — would open ahead of schedule.

“The clay tennis courts have been a defining feature of Chickasaw Park for over 80 years and are usually opened to the public in early May,” the conservancy said. The courts require approximately 12 tons of clay each year to open and were not reopened for the 2019 spring season due to a lack of city funding.

The fundraising ends on Monday and any leftover funds will be used to repair large cracks in the hard courts, the group said. The clay is scheduled to be installed this week and the courts will be open before the tournament.—Mickey Meece

Inaugural Juneteenth Jubilee will commemorate 10th anniversary of Louisville’s Lincoln Memorial

Ed Hamilton with his Lincoln Memorial | Courtesy

On Friday, Mayor Greg Fischer, along with artists Ed Hamilton and Jecorey “1200” Arthur, announced Louisville will be hosting a new Juneteenth Jubilee festival on Wednesday, June 19, that includes a parade, live music and readings, and also a celebration of the Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park, which was built by Hamilton.

Juneteenth is a national holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery.

The event will begin in the plaza of the KFC Yum! Center, the exact location where thousands of enslaved Africans were sold in the 1800s.

Grand Marshal Hamilton and the River City Drum Corp then will lead attendees through downtown in a march for freedom to Waterfront Park.

Here, right near the statue of Lincoln, which was built 10 years ago, musicians and speakers will read excerpts of the Emancipation Proclamation. The event is free and open to all, and it runs from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m. —Sara Havens

Clarksville to celebrate expansion of the national Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

“Look, it’s Clarksville!”

The National Park Service’s endeavor to commemorate the journey Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took west way back in 1804 recently was expanded by 1,200 miles.

Now, adventurers and hikers can traverse 4,900 miles on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail through the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

Clarksville is a stop along the trail, and the Southern Indiana city is celebrating Monday morning at 10 a.m. with a ceremony to commemorate that expansion and its role in the expedition at the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center, 201 W. Riverside Drive.

The event is open to the public and will feature national, state and local leaders, as well as Lewis and Clark reenactments. —Sara Havens

In Brief

Louisville MSD said it had bought the City of Crestwood’s sewer system, which it had already operated. According to a news release, Crestwood residents would no longer have to pay the Crestwood debt surcharge — resulting in a lower bill.

Stegner Investment Associates has named Doug Peabody its president and chief operating officer. He will lead the firm’s non-investment management activities, SIA said.

Louisville Orchestra announced that its principal trombonist, Donna Parkes, is one of just five orchestra musicians from across the U.S. who will receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras.