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to take

A study shows
Louisville may be tougher
getting hotter at a
Ky. tests

faster rate than
other large U.S. System’s new approach
cities. One agency will begin this month
has its own plan to By Antoinette Konz

counter the
The Courier-Journal

The standards are higher, the tests will
be longer and more difficult, and the initial
results could be grim.
That’s how school officials are describ-
ing the new era of state testing that will be-
gin in schools across Kentucky over the
next few weeks, when roughly 500,000 stu-
dents in grades three to 12 will take tests in
reading, math, science, social studies and
But while the subjects are the same, the
kind of tests they will take and the way their
schools will be judged will be vastly differ-
Gone is the Commonwealth Accountabil-
ity Testing System, or CATS, whose objec-
tive was getting students to academic profi-
ciency. Replacing it is Unbridled Learning,
a testing system that focuses on students’
college and career readiness and ensuring

See TESTS, Page A10

Blake Mitchell, 7, works with speech-
language pathologist Dave Emerich at the
University of Louisville Autism Center.
Urban areas are hotter than rural areas because buildings, parking lots and streets all retain heat. ANGELA SHOEMAKER/SPECIAL TO THE C-J

That stored heat is released back into the community. MICHAEL CLEVENGER/THE COURIER-JOURNAL
The city’s
By James Bruggers
tree canopy

The Courier-Journal
covers less
area than ouisville native Kriston Glasnovic has HEAT ISLANDS
Average change in the difference
other large been a runner for nearly half of her 32 between urban and rural temperatures,

each decade, 1961-2010.
Southern years, but she still struggles with
cities, and training in summer heat. Phoenix 0.96°
Atlanta 0.63°
that could “It seems like it’s getting hotter and hotter,” Greensboro 0.56°

be a key said Glasnovic, who runs about 25 to 30 miles a
Despite research, rate in
reason. A week and competes in such events as last Las Vegas
children continues to rise
tree-plant- month’s Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarath- Oklahoma City 0.42° By Laura Ungar
Toledo 0.41°
ing plan is on. “ ... I don’t enjoy it.” Portland 0.36° The Courier-Journal
Richmond 0.36°
in the It turns out that Glasnovic’s impressions are Wash. D.C. 0.36° The occupational therapy session had
Baton Rouge 0.36° just begun when 7-year-old Blake Mitchell
works. But grounded in fact. Albuquerque 0.29° let go of the ropes on a swing and flapped
El Paso 0.28°
past efforts During the past 50 years, the annual average temper- Minneapolis 0.28°
his arms, then put his hands over his ears
ature at Louisville International Airport has been warming — overwhelmed by a sensory overload.
to cool up about eight-tenths of a degree every 10 years — a rate
St Louis
Blake has autism, a developmental dis-
order that has skyrocketed in the past dec-
things off that would add up to a sizable 8.3 degree increase over a New York 0.24°
ade. According to recently released fig-
century, according to Brian Stone Jr., a Georgia Institute of Boise 0.22°
haven’t Technology city and regional planning professor who is Charlotte 0.21° ures from the U.S. Centers for Disease
studying rising urban temperatures and their conse- Hartford 0.20° Control and Prevention,1in 88 children has
stopped the quences nationwide. Seattle 0.20° Autism Spectrum Disorder — up from 1 in
What’s more, Louisville’s rate of warming has outpaced 150 in 2000.
temper- rural areas and is more than double the rate planetwide.
New Orleans 0.18°
*Louisville's ranking was influenced by an “It’s frightening. We’re raising a whole
ature from And the numbers also show that Louisville might be getting excessively hot 2007. generation of kids with autism,” said
Blake’s mother, Melanie Mitchell, 40, of
hotter faster than other large cities across the United SOURCE: Associate Professor Brian
rising. States. Stone Jr., School of City and Regional Fern Creek. “It’s a public crisis right now.”
Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology A spate of new research attempts to un-
ravel the risk factors behind this complex
See URBAN, Page A8 neuro-developmental disorder that im-
pairs communication and social interac-

See AUTISM, Page A6

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everyone know.

URBAN: Group wants more trees to help cool down Louisville’s heat island
Continued from Page A1
“With extreme heat now ac- Percentage of urban tree canopy
Map key
counting for more deaths annual- 47% 42% 0%-7.7%
ly than … all other forms of ex- 41%
34% 7.8%-23.9%
treme weather combined, the
27% 24%-44.3%
threat of such a rapid rate of in-
crease in urban temperatures in
Louisville should be taken very
seriously,” said Stone, who is also
the author of the new book, “The



Ke lle




City and the Coming Climate: Cli-

An ery



mate Change in the Places We





Like most cities, Louisville

has what experts call an urban
heat island, where the temper-
ature in town can be several de-
grees hotter than the surround- James Armstrong drinks some fluids during a break from driving a tram
ing rural area. That’s on top of during the Kentucky State Fair in 2007, one of the city’s hottest
any temperature increases asso- summers. Wife Wanda Armstrong worked with him. FILE PHOTO
ciated with global warming.
Experts say cities are hotter IF YOU GO: the heat, the concrete, the brick,
because of their construction — and are re-radiating the heat
buildings, parking lots, freeways Professor Brian Stone has two public that’s stored up during the day.
and streets all absorb and retain appearances in Louisville on June 5. “We woke up many mornings
heat. The darker the buildings, » Noon to 1 p.m. with the Tree last summer in the low 80s. It nev-
their rooftops and pavement, the SOURCES: Metro Tree Canopy Assessment 2010, Metropolitan Advisory Board, Centennial Room, er got to the low 70s, as it should.” The trees and grass in Waterfront Park provide a bit of a break in downtown Louisville’s urban development. MICHAEL CLEVENGER/THE COURIER-JOURNAL
more heat they can store and then Government of Nashville and Davidson County; Urban Tree Canopy for Main Branch Louisville Free Public
release back into the community. South Central East Region 2000, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Urban Ecosystem Library, 301 York St. Killer heat ers,” he said. change in average annual tem- And a significant portion of colored roofs, said Connie Ewing, $274,000 to organizations that
Analyses, American Forests 2002; Report on Annapolis' present and potential Urban » 5:30 p.m. at University of Louisville Urban heat is also a growing Heat stress can sneak up on peratures every 10 years to Louisville’s trend could be ex- spokeswoman for the Louisville will soon plant as many as 2,695
Lack of trees Tree Canopy 2006, Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Urban Tree Canopy Urban Design Studio Sustainable public health concern. people, he added. “It starts af- changes across rural and urban plained by extreme heat during Metro Planning and Design Ser- trees and 500 shrubs, mostly
Too few trees also contributes Analysis, University of Louisville, 2011; Evan Conder, Urban Tree Canopy Plan Cities Series, Glassworks Building, The U.S. Centers for Disease fecting your ability to think,” he areas in the United States, and 2007, what Stone said was the hot- vices. within the Watterson Express-
to the problem, reducing shade 815 W. Market St. Watch for details Control and Prevention counted said. “It begins to be a real spi- the planet overall. test year in Louisville’s history, But in the approximately 10 way.
and pulling less heat from the air and online registration the second 8,015 heat-related deaths in the ral.” It shows that Louisville’s rate based on government data going months since they have been In the meantime, Louisville
to evaporate water they emit WARMING UP week of May at United States from 1979-2003. Urban heat also makes air pol- of increase is about 50 percent back to the 1880s, and possibly an available, no builders have used metro government has a contin-
through their leaves. Average temperature (Fahrenheit) change each decade*, 1961-2010: “During this period, more peo- lution worse. It can speed up the greater than the average of 49 aberration. them, she said. gency plan for whenever the heat
Stone’s research doesn’t iden- ple in this country died from ex- chemical process that forms other large cities studied by the Despite that, he said, the re- “We haven’t had enough devel- index tops105, said Jody Johnson,
tify causes of Louisville’s heat 1.0° with tree board members and treme heat than from hurricanes, lung-damaging ozone, which Georgia Tech team, and more search shows “there is something opment occurring to really push spokeswoman for the Louisville
growth. He said his information 0.8° speak publicly June 5. His wife, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and Louisville has struggled with for than double the changes for rural going on locally that is extreme.” it,” said Phil Bills, planning direc- Metro Emergency Management
on the city comes from a larger Elizabeth Chandler Stone, is from earthquakes combined,” accord- decades. and global areas. tor. Agency.
research project looking at urban
0.6° 0.83° Louisville. ing to the agency. And, said Thomas Nord, » The second approach exam- Cooling the city The government agency that Some government buildings
heat across the United States and 0.4° 0.56° “What’s indicated by his re- Dr. David Tollerud, chairman spokesman for the Louisville ined the growth over time in Louisville officials say they is spending the most on cooling are opened and staffed as cooling
represents only a snapshot of 0.2° search is very scary,” said Katy of U of L’s Department of Envi- Metro Air Pollution Control Dis- Louisville’s heat island by com- have been working on the prob- Louisville is the Metropolitan centers and water is made avail-
what might be occurring locally. 0.30° 0.28° Schneider, the co-chairwoman of ronmental and Occupational trict, “The hotter a city is, the paring temperatures in the city lem. Sewer District, whose $46 mil- able, she said. The health depart-
But he said one potential ex- Globally U.S. rural U.S. urban Louisville the tree board. “Heat is a public Health Sciences, said he was not more energy is needed to cool it. with nearby rural temperatures. Nord said the air district has lion “green infrastructure” pro- ment also provides tips for cop-
planation could be the city’s ap- SOURCE: Associate Professor Brian Stone Jr., School of City and Regional Planning, health issue. It’s a quality-of-life aware of any recent accounting That requires more coal-pow- Based on that measure, Louis- been advocating efforts to design gram could climb to $90 million if ing with heat, such as staying hy-
parent lack of robust tree cover, Georgia Institute of Technology issue. of Louisville deaths attributed to ered electricity, and that means ville’s heat island has grown and build a cooler urban area for it proves to be successful — even drated.
citing work done last year by a *Stone computed the average decadal change rate by analyzing temperature data for Margaret Carreiro, a U of L heat but said he expects some oc- more harmful emissions. more rapidly in the past five dec- a decade. though it was actually put in And people find their own
group of University of Louisville each ten-year period between 1961 and 2010. This allows for the analysis to account for biology professor who has been cur. “Those emissions contribute ades than any of the other 49 cit- And a climate action report place to help reduce sewage over- ways to cope.
students. Their team mapped Jef- cyclical fluctations that might have resulted from weather phenomenon such as El studying Louisville’s urban heat He said urban heat is a threat to ozone and elevated levels of ies measured by the Georgia published in 2009 as part of an en- flows . For example, Glosnovic said
ferson County’s tree cover by Nino, producing an average decadal rate that provides a good basis for projecting island and tree cover for about a to the very young and those older particulate matter.” Tech researchers, exceeding vironmental partnership be- The agency has offered subsi- she knows runners who seek in-
census block and found a thin forward, as well as an average snapshot of the recent past. decade, said the city needs to act than 65. Burning more coal also Phoenix and Atlanta. tween the city, Jefferson County dies to businesses and govern- door tracks during the worst
canopy for much of the area in- STEVE REED/THE COURIER-JOURNAL because excessive heat stresses It also is hard on the homeless, pumps more carbon dioxide into There are some caveats. Public Schools and the Univer- ment institutions to help pay for summer heat. Others run early in
side the Watterson Expressway, people and plants alike. With poor, those with mental or mobil- the air, which scientists say has Stone said that while Louis- sity of Louisville called for each roofs covered with plants, park- the morning, she said.
Louisville’s urban core. plants, it sickens them and short- ity impairments and the socially been contributing to global ville’s warming appears to be to take steps to reduce urban ing lots that drain into gardens “I look for places where there
They found that Louisville’s percent range. regulate that temperature gain.” ens growing seasons. isolated, he said. warming, making urban heat among the most rapid in the coun- heat. and other features that turn is a lot of greenery, like parks,
tree canopy covers about 27 per- “As temperatures increase in Louisville’s new Tree Adviso- “We need to have as much “I think it’s an issue, and par- even more pronounced. try, more temperature data from For the past year, Jefferson Louisville into more of a sponge. where there is a lot of tree cover,”
cent of Jefferson County, while in general, we would expect Louis- ry Commission has taken note green as we can, and not lay down ticularly in places like the Rub- a larger number of weather sta- County’s development code has MSD also plans to get 14,000 trees she said.
other Southern cities trees can ville to warm up more quickly and is sponsoring Stone’s visit to as much hardtop,” she said. bertown area and the West End, Measuring changes tions would be needed to confirm included green building and de- planted by 2024.
shade 40 percent to 50 percent of than Atlanta,” he said. “You just Louisville next month to discuss The heat-island effect, she where you have fairly dense Stone analyzed the weather that. For example, the study re- velopment design incentives to Within the next few weeks, Reporter James Bruggers can be
a community. Stone said Atlanta’s don’t have as much moisture in his research. said, “makes it so we never really housing and older housing where data two ways: lies on urban temperatures from encourage such things as tree- district staff expect to bring a reached at (502) 582-4645.
canopy is in the 50 percent to 60 the air that is going to help you Stone is scheduled to meet cool off at night. Buildings trap they may not have air condition- » The first compared the a single weather station. covered parking lots and lighter- proposal to their board to award

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