Friday, October 24, 2014

Habana Blues scores Horseshoe Foundation loan, and Business First tells all.


Interestingly, the article mentions the former bank building, known to old-timers as Mutual Trust, then more recently, National City. It's the one with the artless brick overlay, to the left (above) and in the Business First photo -- where the Habana Blues "coming soon" banner currently hangs.

However, the BF photo itself is centered on the adjacent Hieb Building, where restoration of the facade has been underway of late. I persist in assuming relocated restaurant will be behind the banner in the former bank, but am I assuming correctly?

Yesterday I ran into developer Matt Chalfant, owner and renovator of present and future Habana Blues locations, and we agreed that it's a power move for Leo Lopez and the business. I thanked Matt for what he's been doing downtown, and he replied that it's just one building at a time, and then the next one.

Exactly.

Where is Habana Blues going?, by Caitlin Bowling (Louisville Business First)

Habana Blues has received a $50,000 revolving loan from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, which will help the Latin tapas restaurant move to a new location in New Albany.
Habana Blues opened at 148 E. Market St. in New Albany in 2010 but is moving about two blocks away to 320 Pearl St. The building formerly housed a bank but has been empty for at least four years.
In order to make it a restaurant, Habana Blues owner Leo Lopez said workers will have to redo everything. "It's going to be a lot of work."

Compare and contrast with the Bridges Boondoggle: How the Twin Cities got transit right.


When we reserved space at an Airbnb lodging in Minneapolis for our July visit, we had no idea it was two hundred yards from a light rail station. In fact, the light rail line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul had commenced only a short time before.

Northern Road Trip, Day 3: Twin Cities, Twins game, twin transit.


As tourists, we loved it. Here's the flip side, and the argument from economic development. I try imagining Kerry Stemler riding mass transit, and all that comes back is a view of pigs flying above the ORBP boondoggle. Couldn't his cronies have profited from the right transit project instead?

How the Twin Cities got transit right: Big projects often divide cities. But Minneapolis' light rail line is creating jobs and driving development in underserved areas, by Steve Hargreaves and Dominic V Aratari (CNN)

 ... Touting the economic and social benefits of running the line through the neighborhoods' commercial districts helped win over the local communities. Alternate plans called for the line to be built along an interstate to the south or in a freight rail corridor to the north. Travel time along these routes may well have been faster, but likely would have produced fewer overall benefits for the cities.

The ReSurfaced season closes with a Fried Chicken Throwdown.

The ReSurfaced project is concluding for the year. It has proven to be a creative way to insert something temporary (or pop-up) amid permanence.

And there's nothing wrong at all about fried chicken, is there?

RESURFACED CLOSES WITH GALA FRIED CHICKEN THROWDOWN, by Ron Mikulak (Food & Dining Magazine)

Saturday, Oct. 25 from 3-6 p.m. the pop-up event space ReSurfaced, behind the facades at 615-621 W. Main St., will bring its popular mini-season to a close with a Fried Chicken Throwdown, a culinary competition for the best fried chicken and the best side dishes. Prizes of $500 in each category will be selected by votes of the attendees. Admission to the event is free, and tastes will be sold for $3 for chicken and $2 for sides. All proceeds will benefit Slow Food Bluegrass.

Restaurants vying for this new culinary title (the first of an annual event, the organizers hope) include Loop 22, Wiltshire on Market, Silver Dollar, The Monkey Wrench, Eiderdown, Roux, and possibly other late entries. Chefs who fry up a mean drumstick but are just hearing about this, can send a message of interest to Slowfood Bluegrass via Facebook
.

The aftermath of economic dishevelment, Harvest Homecoming-style.


Extractive, baby.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ON THE AVENUES: Ten years of NA Confidential: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

ON THE AVENUES: Ten years of NA Confidential: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

Yesterday (Wednesday, October 22) marked the 10th anniversary of NA Confidential.

In contrast with 2013, when the blog’s ninth orbital marker almost escaped my scrutiny, I anticipated this year’s birthday well in advance, going so far as to promise a party in celebration of making it a whole decade.

However, upon further reflection, there’s no pressing reason for a gathering. Rather, all we need do is gather at the pub of our choice for commemorative elixirs (Progressive Pints are my drink of record) and call it good.

Ten years is a long time. Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of fudging just a bit those times when I claimed the blog was conceived as a direct result of massive personal despair in the wake of George W, Bush’s re-election. Obviously, the actual birth date in October preceded Elector Day in 2004.

In retrospect, it is perfectly accurate to say that the grim promise of four more fascistic, wasted White House years merely exacerbated the development of an epiphany already budding.

During the years 2003 and 2004, several previously disparate threads gradually were being woven together. The most significant factor was my own renewal of life; my first marriage had ended, and a new relationship was under way. We felt sure enough about future personal prospects to begin shopping for a house, and in 2003 came the purchase of a home located on Spring Street, in what we now think of as Midtown. Come Halloween 2014, it will have been 11 years living there.

Trick or treat?

If we’d only grasped the civic foreshadowing.

---

Even before the ink was dry on our bouncing baby debt, there had been dozens of walks and bicycle rides through the deserted wastes of a criminally neglected downtown, with a huge question eventually looming over all of it: Why was New Albany’s devastated downtown different from those vibrant quarters I’d visited in other countries – in other states?

Was it somehow unavoidable? Could it be they knew something we didn’t? If so, why weren’t we emulating it? Was it money, politics, culture … or something in the water?

The questions mounted, easy answers seemed frustratingly elusive, and I began to detect ground shifting. Thoughts previously devoted to escapist obsessions (generally, variants of beer and travel) began turning toward an as yet undefined context of rootedness.

Surely, something could be done, right there in the core.

NABC already was brewing, but it was only a small facet of the “good beer bar” business model. It began to occur to me that the answers to these questions of everyday life in one’s place of residence impacted this model. As a brewery, perhaps NABC was transitioning toward a fuller embrace of local existence. Might brewing make sense as the ultimate, local, creative act – in fact, what we should be aspiring to achieve?

This emerging epiphany was about place, and one’s place in it. As the presidential election year of 2004 advanced toward the pathetic re-enthronement of the worst American chief executive ever, an absurdity began gnawing at me.

Most of us spend vast chunks of our lives living in a specific place, but spend much of our time debating issues far beyond it. Granted, being aware of the world outside remained absolutely vital, and I wasn’t about to renounce my planetary citizenship, but when it came to action, as opposed to verbiage, what chance did I have of influencing the tragedy of a second Bush administration?

To devote precious psychic energy debating these faraway issues left none to apply to matters nearest me, when these were precisely the sort of local conditions best addressed through direct participation. How to make things better right here, outside the doors of my home and business?

The comparative odds were 1 in 300 million, or 1 in 37,000. Which would you choose?

---

At this juncture, a deeply personal proclivity came into play, because what I decided to do at first was write about it. After all, everyone's entitled to my opinion, although some might say that writing and action aren’t the same things at all. I disagree. Ideas, words and how we use them do matter.

Quite early in my life, it was obvious that being able to arrange words on a page was essential to my being. I don't know why. It just is. Through most of my adult life, I have awakened to a jumble of thoughts centering on topics for the day, along with thoughts on how this jumble might be untangled and organized. They must be written, as soon as possible, in order to expel the current crop of thoughts and make room for others.

I suppose it’s a compulsion of sorts. Music always plays in my head, alongside sentences forming there. I'm convinced that when these idiosyncratic synapses cease to occur – or when math and numbers finally start to make sense to me – death will be imminent.

Concurrently, what better way to facilitate these needs in 2004 than electronic media? It required no start-up money. I could write locally, and disseminate globally. And so it has gone, from then until now. It builds character, and makes me a better gadfly.

On the occasion of this 8,027th post, thanks to Jeff, Randy and Lloyd for contributing over the past nine years, and to all the green mice, moles, agitators and malcontents who help our ideas to gestate. Thanks to my wife for tolerating my writing and cage-rattling compulsions. Thanks especially to you for reading.

Lastly, thanks to the late, great Howard Zinn for demonstrating the fundamental veracity of a people's history, and the critical need for it, because while this blog is as imperfect as its originator, the intent all along has been to provide New Albany's “other” side. Doing so has required a learning curve, but I'm damned proud of the results, and I think we've helped provide a body of work and an alternative record, while offering more ideas per square pixel than New Albany’s local political power structures and non-local media combined.

Not everyone agrees, but I think NAC is ridiculously underrated, but it doesn't matter all that much. It's their loss. That's life.

Somewhere, it's beer-thirty.

It must be an election, because there's that ridiculous backward S again.


In case you were wondering: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Sheesh, that's a relief. I thought we had a secular school system. Well, at any rate, it ain't her first rodeo.

Politics: Wiseheart is Republican, will ditch school board, challenge Sipes, emulate Sarah Palin (2009)


Meanwhile, it's time again for the garlic cloves, because Don Sakel's back on the ballot. Actually, the C-J spelled it Sackel.

Top Ten Things I’d Rather Do than Vote for Don Sakel for School Board.


Groan.

10th and Elm: Another failure-by-design for walkability.

E. 10th Street crosses Elm one block away from S. Ellen Jones Elementary School. The satellite view tells the inexplicable tale: There are no crosswalks drawn across Elm, a one-way arterial street with lanes drawn for 18-wheelers, slicing like an interstate through a residential neighborhood. .


However, there is a lone, wide and profoundly weird line drawn across Elm on the west side. One simply has to ask: What were they thinking?


Answer: They weren't. Anyone who has spent five minutes observing this intersection knows that this line tends NOT to bring automotive traffic to anything approximating a complete stop -- a truth that eluded the NAPD under Chief Knight when the department spent all of an hour or two disproving the notion advanced by residents that cars move very fast on Elm.


Let's go over this again: Wide street, a school nearby, unenforced traffic, a residential area ... and nothing whatsoever to assist walkers crossing the street.


In a nutshell, this is the biggest extant red flag in the run-up to the Jeff Speck report. The record of this city toward walkers and bikers is one of blithe neglect (at best) and institutionalized hostility (at its worst). The current administration continues to insist that once it receives its report, it finally will begin to remedy this situation.

But if you know something needs fixing, why do you wait for the report? Why don't you exercise pro-activity in advance?

After all, the information's out there, and it has been for years.

The problem? You have to read it first.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Seeking enthusiasm, Mitch McConnell pays for metaphorical fellatio.

My Google search for "mitch mcconnell slimeball" yielded 1,840,000 results ... or, roughly one for each senatorial election vote cast in Kentucky in 2008.

Thanks to B for the link.

McConnell will pay expenses in return for 'enthusiasm' at events, by Alexandra Jaffe (The Hill)

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events.

In an email sent earlier this month and obtained by The Hill, Taylor Bumgardner, a Kentucky Republican Party regional political director, offers volunteers the opportunity to join McConnell on his tour, which launched Monday. Meals, lodging and transportation are included in the trip.

"Senator McConnell is seeking volunteers to join him on a 3-day campaign bus tour around the state on October 20-22 to show our support for Kentucky coal. You would join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events," she wrote.

Bussing in supporters isn't a new tactic for McConnell ...

Which downtown New Albany intersections are the very worst for walkers?

By which I mean to imply downtown/midtown and uptown.

Arguably the worst place for walkers in the entire city is Grant Line Road from Beechwood to Wal-mart, where recently I saw a man, woman and baby carriage walking with traffic (not against it) in the stretch where 45 m.p.h. automotive speeds are not uncommon.

Back to the historic core, where I nominate two. Please tell us yours.

First, the intersection of East Spring and Vincennes. There are two streets with big automotive traffic volumes and very little speed enforcement (we simply don't do that in New Albany), three corner businesses generating traffic and walkers (Walgreen's, White Castle and Rally's), a high school just down the way ... and a place where the signals aren't usually trustworthy alone for a safe crossing.


Second, the enduringly thought-provoking spot where West 1st crosses E. Spring to become Hauss (there is no) Square (there). Traffic barrels unimpeded toward the interstate from the Spring-State intersection, usually increasing speeds to make the light at Scribner Drive, past a spot where a dozen legal offices and the public library lie across the street from both local and federal government buildings. There is not even the pretense of a crosswalk, and some of the most amusing (as well as harrowing) spectacles I've ever seen are government employees -- up to and including city council members -- balancing their Big Gulps as they dodge flying cars and trucks to try to cross to the City County Building.


You can't help thinking: They see the problem, they experience the problem, years go past ... and absolutely nothing is done. Then, as we talk about walkability, the topic is greeted with blank faces.

If not for dysfunction, we'd have no function at all.

Two rapidly developing trouble spots are nearby, on Main Street. I've already hectored the somnolent Rosenbargerite "planning" cadres about the intersection of W. 1st and Main, by The Exchange, Seeds and Greens and the YMCA.

The next accident waiting to happen is the intersection of Bank and Main, where quite soon the new commercial buildings on the southwest side will be filled with tenants, while facing them across Main are Primo's and Bread & Breakfast, among others.

Throughout 2014, the mantra has been consistent: We cannot address what we see with our own eyes each and every day until the Speck study is completed. To me, this ongoing failure of vision is the best reason to doubt whether the Speck study will cure the willful blindness.

Which hazardous crossings for walkers are we leaving out?





New Albany's new slogan: "Truck Through City" ... Part 45: K Redden and Fast Track are trucking through NA dozens of times daily, as fast as they can drive.


At some point it dawned on me how often I've seen trucks from these two companies roaring down Spring Street, always headed to the ramp to I-64 westbound, and then coming back up Market to Vincennes, then toward Clarksville. I started seeing the same numbers multiple times daily.

And fast. Quite fast. Did we pass an ordinance exempting dump trucks from the speed limit?






Those "phantoms of Facebook" have quite the pedigree -- right, Amy?

Amanda Beam proves to be quite the proficient ghostbuster, but first, let's refer to the style guide.

When a word or phrase is not used functionally but is referred to as the word or term itself, it should be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks. (What is meant by neurobotics? The term "critical mass" is more often used metaphorically than literally.)

Okay, great.

Beam makes reference to "Amy Adams," who first rose to prominence as a contributor to the newspaper's on-line comments section prior to it moving to Facebook in the run-up to the Hanson Paywall.

"Amy Adams" didn't think much of me back then, but as the columnist shows, "Amy Adams" was/is a phantom. It brings to mind the immortal words of Gomer Pyle: "Surprise, surprise, surprise."

Amusingly, the fictitious "Amy Adams" also was vociferously defended in the comments section attached to the immortal 2011 Kitchen Fable Tissues post recalled here.

Ah yes; I remember it well.

I know Amy Adams. The only reason she's ever gotten on the Tribune website (she doesn't get on the blogs) is that she noticed one day that all Baylor and a certain bunch of them ever do is get on every time Ed Clere does anything, and then go after him. She thought, sportingly enough, that something good should be on the comments. She said to me, "That guy's doing nothing but good. Yet, if you read the paper online, you'll think that the stuff he's doing is slimy. That's far from the truth."

Seems the gallant defender dude forgot the quotation marks.

Probably because he was she.

The phantoms of Facebook, by Amanda Beam (N and T)

Phantoms exist in our peaceful little town, yet not where you may think. Roaming old haunting grounds like abandoned mansions and creepy graveyards has become so passé for ghouls. Getting with the times, these hipster ghosts have embraced technology in order to communicate with the living ...

 ... All was fine and dandy with dear, sweet Nan until she decided to reply to a post I had written a few days back about an upcoming school board race. The lovely lady disagreed with my opinion, which wasn’t a big deal. But when I asked her about being a teacher and if she had children, her answers didn’t match up with her profile identity. A quick search online revealed that, for all intents and purposes, Ms. Brown didn’t exist ...

... A couple of these accounts posted in other mediums too. Amy Adams enjoyed commenting on the News and Tribune’s website frequently these past few years on all sorts of political topics. Another young gal even said no good columnists wrote for the paper anymore. (Insert evil laugh here).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kitchen Fable Tissues: Whatever happened to reefer madness, communism, little people, high kites and ego maniacs?


The Kitchen Table Issues blog was born on May 12, 2010 and went into suspended animation (above) in January of 2013. Usually I'd get a nice contact buzz just from clicking on it, and I miss that.

I only ask you to try and stick to the issues or topics at hand; keep an even tempered keel; try not to cuss; and don't worry about who set this blog up. This blog is the peoples' blog and enables them to have a voice without fear of retaliation. It should work better than the other blogs where people do know who is publishing, I feel.

How the "peoples' blog" functioned in practice was that anonymous commenters retaliated against me, a known entity, and this has been a continuing feature of Roger's Life on the Internet since NA Confidential first appeared in 2004.

Surely the following post represents the apogee of Kitchen Table Issues, at least as it sought to be the chronicle of the Anti-Baylor: 3,805 excruciating words in the form of a veritable Summa Troglogica taking issue in great detail with one of my pre-merger Tribune columns ("A New Albanist’s Dictionary, Volume 2").

The comments were awesome, too, but more on that later, in a subsequent post. First, let's relive the Ascendency of Chipped Formica ... the chopped liver ... and a meandering river of sadness, gone up in smoke.

---

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2011


THIS ARTICLE IS DEDICATED TO THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY.  WE WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUE GIST OF WHAT OUR LOCAL COMMUNIST, ROGER BAYLOR, IS SAYING ABOUT ALL OF US WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH HIM AND DON'T RISE TO THE HEIGHTS OF GRANDEUR WHERE HE PLACES HIMSELF.


FIRST OFF, WHAT IS AN OPEN AIR MUSEUM:  ACCORDING TO THE DICTIONARY AN OPEN AIR MUSEUM IS A DISTINCT TYPE OF MUSEUM EXHIBITING ITS COLLECTION OUT OF DOORS.  WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THESE WORDS GRAVITATE TO HIS BRAIN WHEN HE IS ABLE TO BICYCLE AND CRUISE PAST LARRY KOCHERT'S HOUSE, STEVE PRICE'S HOUSE AND VICKI DENHART'S HOUSE.  I'M NOT SURE WHY YOU WOULD BICYCLE THESE AREAS EXCEPT TO TRY AND GET ON THEIR NERVES OR AS AN INTIMIDATION FACTOR.  (These are his words:   Let’s begin the year with another revolving and evolving list of words, terms and concepts that provide a specialized vocabulary of life in the Open Air Museum. The first collection appeared Oct. 15, 2009.)


WHILE WE DO NOT BELIEVE MR. BAYLOR'S INTENTIONS ARE MEANT TO HONESTLY EDUCATE THE PEOPLE OF NEW ALBANY BUT RATHER TO CRITICIZE, MAKE FUN OF (AND I DO THINK HE THINKS HE IS HYSTERICALLY FUNNY), THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT  HELPS DEFINE THE STUNNING DEPTHS OF THE NEW ALBANIAN ZEITGEIST (ZEIGEIST SIMPLY MEANS THE GENERAL INTELLECTUAL, MORAL, AND CULTURAL CLIMATE OF A GENERATION).  I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT HE IN NO WAY DEFINES MY INTELLECTUAL CAPACITIES, NOR MY MORALS, NOR DOES HE HAVE RIGHT TO PASS JUDGEMENT ON ANY ONE'S CULTURAL APTITUDES.  THE BAD THING IS HE THINKS HE HAS EVERY RIGHT.  (These are Baylor's words:  It is my earnest goal to periodically refresh and expand this list, and your assistance is requested in doing so. Please send corrections, additions and comments to istanbul85@yahoo.com, and help define the forever stunning depths of the New Albanian zeitgeist.)


A MAJORITY OF CITIZENS TRULY FEEL NEW ALBANY DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR BUDGET MONIES AND THE ENGLAND ADMINISTRATION IS CONSTANTLY THREATENING THE CITIZENS BY THE FOLLOWING SOUND BITES:  "Turn your cable off so you can pay your new increased sewer bills."  "I'm going to cut back on cleaning snow and ice from the street rather than renegotiate the police and fire contracts who are taking 83% of our budget."  IF WE CAN NOT TAKE CARE OF WHAT WE HAVE NOW WHY IN THE HEY WOULD WE WANT TO ANNEX ANYMORE PROPERTIES OR LAND UNLESS THE PLAN IS TO TRY AND RAISE OUR TAX LEVY AS JEFFERSONVILLE TRIED.  UNFORTUNATELY, ANNEXATION DID PASS BUT NO ONE CRIED.  (Here are Baylor's words:   Annexation  A wonderful thing to do, so long as you neither complete nor use it until long after the current council’s sell-by date.)  ARE WE USING IT YET MR. BAYLOR?


THE NEXT WORD BAYLOR USES IS THE AXIS OF BANAL.  ANY DEFINITION I FOUND REFERS TO THE AXIS OF BANAL BEING THE SAME AS THE AXIS OF EVIL.  REGULARLY HE TORE THE FORMER COUNCIL MEMBERS UP, I.E., KOCHERT, SCHMIDT ETC., (EVEN BURNING EFFIGIES OF THEM BEFORE A MEETING ONE NIGHT), BUT THESE ARE HIS WORDS (THOUGH I CAN'T DECIDE IF HE MEANS CAESAR, ZURSCHMEIDE, MCGLAUGHLIN, MESSER, OR BENEDETTI, OR JUST WHO CONJOINS WITH PRICE AND COFFEE).  (Here are Baylor's words:  Axis of Banal  The Steve Price/Dan Coffey conjoined city council obstruction club, usually with anywhere from one to seven other members quite eager to make it into a threesome.)


OF COURSE, BAYLOR'S LIST WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A PAT ON HIS BACK ABOUT HE BEING ABLE TO BICYCLE AND I GUESS HE FEELS THIS MAY BE THE NAME ATTRIBUTED BY US NEW ALBANIANS BECAUSE OF HIS EXERCISE.  THE TROGLODYTES HE LABELS  ALL NEW ALBANIANS BY DEFINITION MEANS CAVEMAN, MEMBERS OF A PRIMITIVE RACE OR PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN CAVES.  I MOST CERTAINLY AM NOT ONE OF THOSE AND EVERYONE IN NEW ALBANY WOULD AGREE WITH ME ON THIS ISSUE, BUT...  (Here are Baylor's words:  Bike boy  Term of affection used by anonymous troglodytes to describe anyone who rides more miles on a bicycle in a given day than they’re capable of doing in a year). HE DOTH THINK SO HIGHLY OF HIMSELF AND SO LITTLE OF THE REST OF THE CITIZENS IN OUR FAIR TOWN.


BLUE LAWS WERE PUT INTO LEGISLATION BY THE STATE OF INDIANA.  I, FOR THE LIFE OF ME, CAN NOT FIGURE OUT (WHETHER I LIKE COFFEY OR NOT, HOW HE CAN LAY HIS WANTING TO SELL CARRY OUT BEER ON SUNDAY AT COFFEY'S FEET), BUT HERE ARE HIS WORDS:  (Here are Baylor's words:  Blue Laws  Sunday retail sales restrictions lovingly fetishized (no such word) by Councilman Cappuccino, implying the restoration of rotary dial telephones, one-piece bathing suits, asbestos insulation and mail delivered by Pony Express.)  I WOULD GUESS HE REALLY HATES BOSTON WHERE BLUE LAWS ARE STILL IN EFFECT AND YOU CAN NOT EVEN SHOP ON SUNDAY.  BUT THEN AGAIN, HE DOES HAVE A HANGUP WITH RELIGION.


RATHER THAN USING HIS WIDE BRUSH STROKE TO PAINT ALL CITIZENS NOT DOING RIGHT BY NOT BUYING LOCAL (WHICH A LOT OF US DO) HE HAS TO TAKE A SWIPE EVEN WHERE PEOPLE GAS UP THEIR CARS.  WHAT HE FAILS TO DO IN HIS ARTICLE IS TO  LIST THE GAS STATIONS WHO ARE LOCAL.  TO ME, THAT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED TOO MUCH WORK ON HIS PART.  (Here are Baylor's words:  Buy Local  Saving gas by shopping at the mega-chain retailer nearest one’s house.)  CAN WE GET SOME ONE TO TELL US WHERE HE GASES UP?


THE DEFINITION OF A CAUCUS MEANS A GROUP OF POLITICIANS WHO GET TOGETHER AND SELECT THEIR CANDIDATES.  THERE WAS ONE ILLEGAL MEETING WHERE A MAJORITY OF COUNCIL GOT TOGETHER IN A BAR BUT NOTHING EVER CAME FROM IT.  WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THIS SITUATION IS WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THEY WERE ALL HIS BUDDIES:  (Here are Baylor's words:  Caucus  A city council meeting that isn’t, as attended only by those council members who won’t admit aloud to being Republican, as opposed to the single one who will. Quorum due to expire in November, 2011.)  DO YOU KNOW, AS I DO, WHO IS A DEMOCRAT ON THE CURRENT COUNCIL, WHO IS A REPUBLICAN AND WHO WAFFLES BETWEEN?  I DO BUT I GUESS HE DOES NOT.


THERE HAS BEEN A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE FORMED IN NEW ALBANY, JOINED BY HUNDREDS, BOTH DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN.  LEGAL PAPERS AND MONIES AND REPORTING RECORDS ARE FILED IN THE FLOYD COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE.  THE PAC IS CALLED CITIZENS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY.  A VOTE WAS HELD BY MEMBERS (I WAS THERE) AND MS. VICKI DENHART WAS ELECTED THE PRESIDENT.  IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING WHICH SETS MR. BAYLOR'S BLOOD BOILING BECAUSE HE CANNOT FIND OUT WHO BELONGS TO THIS PAC, JUST MENTION CITIZENS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY.  I HAVE A FEELING; NO, I KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE; WHEN HE DOES FIND OUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR HIM AND HE AND THE POWERS TO BE WHO DON'T WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND THEY WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT HIT THEM COME ELECTION TIME!  (Here are Baylor's words:  Citizens Faux Accountability  Hillary Clinton fan club, run by a chain smoker from a post office box near a Gucci outlet somewhere in Italy.)  I BET HE WISHES THAT WAS/IS THE CASE.


THEN, HE TAKES A SWIPE AT TEACHERS TRYING TO BRING STUDENTS IN TO COUNCIL MEETINGS FOR A LESSON IN CIVICS.  AS A TEACHER WHO HAVE BROUGHT MY OWN STUDENTS IN FOR COUNCIL MEETINGS I NEVER EXPECTED THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE SUBJECTS AT HAND, SIMPLY TO GRASP A FEELING OF HOW, IN GENERAL, PEOPLE GATHER AND VOTE.  (Here are Baylor's words:  City Council  Place where the high school civics class kids are obliged to go ... for detention. (DS))  HE LEFT OUT THE BOY SCOUTS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WHO ATTEND.  MUST HAVE BEEN SHORT ON COLUMN SPACE THAT DAY.


AND, A LIFE IN THE DAY OF BAYLOR WOULD NO BE COMPLETE WITHOUT WHAT I CONSIDER HIS ASININE RAVINGS ABOUT ED CLERE.  BAYLOR DOES NOT HAVE THE NERVE, THE MONEY, NOR THE WHEREWITHAL TO EVEN CONSIDER RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.   BUT BY GOSH, IF YOU ARE AND DO AND WIN, YOU HAD BEST DROP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING FOR ALL THE PEOPLE AND ANSWER TO HIS WHIM, IMMEDIATELY!  OR, YOU TOO, WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE RIDICULE THE ENTIRE TOWN CAN NOT ESCAPE.  (Here are Baylor's words:  Clere Channel Network  Where communication is a one-way street, and the street has no name.)


BEING A CONSERVATIVE DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN IN MY EYES.  I KNOW LIBERAL PUBS AND LIBERAL DEMS AND CONSERVATIVE PUBS AND CONSERVATIVE DEMS.  THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS IN DIRE NEED OF THE CONSERVATION OF OUR MONIES AS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PUBLIC SERVANTS AND ENTIRE GOVERNMENTS ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS.  MR. BAYLOR DOES NOT BELIEVE IN BEING CONSERVATIVE WHEN IT COMES TO OUR MONEY.  NO ONE CAN FIGURE OUT HIS RHYME OR REASON FOR WANTING TO SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.  IN HIS WORDS WHICH FOLLOW, PLEASE ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN WHAT HE MEANS BY ATTILA THE HUN.  HE WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BARBARIAN INVADER AND ALSO CONSIDERED UNGODLY.  (NO SURPRISE THERE.)  THE WEIMAR PART IS WHERE GERMANY ESTABLISHED AN IMPERIAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO THE RISE OF ADOLPH HITLER (NO SURPRISE THERE, EITHER).  THE BIRDSEYE BLUES MEANS TO THINK FROM AN ELEVATED STATE HIGH ABOVE THE REST OF THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY.  (Here are Baylor's words:  Conservatism   Political trait that Floyd County Democrats typically claim to possess to a greater degree than their Republican rivals, who themselves are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, leaving the remainder of us stuck inside of Weimar with the Birdseye blues again.)


THE NEXT PARAGRAPH HE WRITES WRAPS A BLANKET AROUND ANY DISCUSSIONS, ANY DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW, AND OR OPPOSITION OCCURRING DURING CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS AND ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY (BELIEVE IT OR NOT).  (These are Baylor's words:  Controversy  The insertion of rationality, usually unintentional, into a given political discussion during city council meetings.)  OBVIOUSLY NONE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ACTIONS ARE ALLOWED UNDER HIS COMMUNISTIC OUTLOOK.


HIS NEXT STATEMENT IS ALSO HIS ATTEMPT TO BE CUTE AND TO CONTINUE HIS RIDICULE OF ANYTHING OR ANYONE WHO STRIKES HIS FANCY.  (These are Baylor's words:  Discussion  At city council, any stray verbiage randomly issued as a means to avoid contemplation of the actual issue(s) at hand.)  I FEEL BAYLOR WANTS AND NEEDS TOTALITARIAN RULE OR NO RULE AT ALL (PART OF THAT COMMUNIST THING/IDEALS).


THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF NEW BUSINESSES LOCATING DOWNTOWN AND A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY INVESTED.  THIS NEXT STATEMENT IS HOW HE FEELS THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY THINK ABOUT THESE EFFORTS.  (These are Baylor's words:  Cracker Barrel  Long-awaited Nirvana for downtown revitalization advocates who really don’t understand downtown revitalization at all.)  DOES IT INFURIATE YOU AS MUCH AS ME AND MINE HOW SHORT HE SELLS THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY WHO ARE TRYING THEIR DARNDEST TO SUCCEED?  


MR. BAYLOR TRIES TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC IN HIS NEXT STATEMENT ABOUT EDIT.  THE MAYOR DECIDES WHERE HE WANTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO OCCUR AND THEN COMES TO THE COUNCIL FOR THE MONIES.  UNFORTUNATELY FOR CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY, THE MAYOR AT ONE TIME WAS FOUND TO HAVE BOUGHT PERSONAL SUITS OUT OF EDIT.  THERE HAS RECENTLY BEEN LEGISLATION TRYING TO GET FUNDS, EVEN IF THEY ARE FROM EDIT, TO GET OUR CITY OUT OF THE HOLE.  NO, BAYLOR DOESN'T SEE IT THIS WAY (NOR THAT WAY) AND HAS MORE TO GRIPE ABOUT.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  EDIT  Crucial economic development monies designed to remain inert until needed by office holders as penny-wise, pound-foolish subsidies, rather than economic development monies.)  DIDN'T HIS PATIO COME OUT OF EDIT?  MAYBE I'M GENERALIZING LIKE HIM.  HEAVEN FORBID.


MR. BAYLOR ALSO TRIES TO RIDE HERD ON ALL BLOGS MAINTAINING YOU MAY BE THE WORST OF THE WORST IF YOU DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME TO OPINIONS YOU MAY HAVE.  TO A LOT OF PEOPLE IT IS SIMPLY HIS DESIRE TO CONTROL SPEECH AND TO LAMBASTE ANYONE WHO DOES NOT AGREE WITH HIS THOUGHTS.  AS LEGAL BEAGLE PUTS IT, HE IS A COWARD BEHIND A KEYBOARD AND A CYBER BULLY.  I AGREE.  THERE ARE FOUR BLOGS IN NEW ALBANY.  NEW VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (WHO REVIEW COMMENTS BEFORE BEING PUBLISHED); CITY OF NEW ALBANY (WHO DEMANDS YOUR NAME); FREEDOMOFSPEECH (WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW COMMENTS OF ANY KIND); AND KITCHENTABLEISSUES (WHERE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR NAME).  WELL, IF YOU GO ANONYMOUS ON TWO OF THE BLOGS WHO ALLOW SAME YOU ARE A NO GOOD ROTTEN SO AND SO.  JUST ASK MR. BAYLOR.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Freedom of Speech  1. Local blog that does not allow reader comments  2. Condition that applies to you but not the person with whom you disagree.)  NO ONE AGREES WITH EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, DUH.


THIS NEXT DEFINITION, AS BAYLOR CALLS IT, IS HANDICAPPING.  THIS SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER ATTEMPT ON HIS PART TO SIMPLY BE CUTE:  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Handicapping  A New Albany voter’s perpetual calculation: Is an incorruptible politician who is wrong 100 percent of the time better or worse than a corruptible politician who is right half the time?)  YEAH, I THINK I WANT INCORRUPTIBLE POLITICIANS THOUGH THE GOOD LORD KNOWS THEY ARE HARD TO FIND.


WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPY HOUR IS (WHOOPPEE).  BUT, THIS SENTENCE SHOULD SERVE TO REMIND ALL READERS HOW MR. BAYLOR DOES BRING HIS FLASK  IN AND IS USUALLY SLAP HAPPY WHILE OBSERVING COUNCIL MEETINGS (ALONG WITH HIS BUDDIES).  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Happy Hour  60 affectionate minutes with your hip flask before the council meeting starts.)


THE HISTORICAL PRESERVATION COMMISSION IS SOMETHING MOST OF US AGREE ON.  WHERE WE MAY DISAGREE IS THE FACT SOME HOUSES ARE PAST BEING PRESERVED AND A WASTE OF TIME AND GOOD MONEY.  RATHER THAN GOING AFTER THE ADMINISTRATION WHO ALLOWED THESE PROPERTIES TO FALL DOWN INTO DISREPAIR AND DID NOTHING UNTIL PRIVATE CITIZENS HELPED FORM THIS GROUP BAYLOR TENDS TO SIMPLY LAMBASTE CITIZENS WITH NO CREDIT GIVEN TO THE ONES WHO HAVE FOUGHT FOR CODE ENFORCEMENT FOR OVER 20 YEARS.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Historical Preservation Commission  Power-hungry zealots who refuse to admit that the rental property you’ve chronically neglected for decades merely is a dilapidated building suitable only for tenants.)


SOME PEOPLE FEEL THE HISTORICAL PRESERVATION COMMITTEE SHOULD CONSIST OF ELECTED OFFICIALS (NOT POLITICAL APPOINTEES ON POWER TRIPS) HAS BAYLOR FEELING AND WRITING THE FOLLOWING (WHAT I ASSUME AGAIN HE CONSIDERS CUTE) WORDS:  (This is Mr. Baylor's words:  Infinite Monkey Theorem  Expression of mathematical probability suggesting that if given enough time, an ape typing at random would eventually write Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” — or an ordinance outlawing the Historical Preservation Commission.)


I WOULD GUESS THE WHOLE TOWN KNOWS OF MR. BAYLOR'S AVERSION TO LARRY KOCHERT.  AND, I WOULD ASSUME THE WHOLE TOWN KNOWS OF MR. KOCHERT'S AVERSION TO MR. BAYLOR.  TO THIS DAY, AFTER FOUR YEARS, MR. BAYLOR STILL FEELS THE NEED TO RUN MR. KOCHERT DOWN ANY CHANCE HE GETS.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Leotards  Skin-tight leg wraps that threaten the fragile masculinity of a former Gang of Four council stalwart; also called “tights,” as in, “Let’s all get tights, and vote in my garage for a change.”)  WHAT MR. BAYLOR MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IS WHAT THE REST OF THE PEOPLE THINK ABOUT HIM, HA HA HA.


SINCE MR. BAYLOR CONSIDERS HIMSELF A FLOYD COUNTY SNOB AND THE CITY OF NEW ALBANY IS BENEATH HIM (WHILE FOR THE LIFE OF ME I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY HE WANTS OUR MONEY AND THINK WE CARE WHAT HE THINKS -- HERE ARE HIS WORDS SUMMING UP THE TRUE MEANING OF A FLOYD COUNTY SNOB:  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  New Albany Bicentennial  A time for remembering what it was like in 1813, and for accepting that we’re mostly still there.)  NEW ALBANY HAS COME A LONG WAY BABY, WITHOUT YOUR HELP, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.


THE NEXT SHOT IS AGAIN AIMED AT THE CITIZENS AND THEIR ELECTED COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES AND HOW WE CAN NEVER EVER POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND WHY THE OLD NEW ALBANY BREAD STORE GOT A BEER MONUMENT PLACED IN FRONT OF BAYLOR'S BUSINESS.  MOST OF US FEEL THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A LOAF OF BREAD PUT THERE.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project  Placements of art intended for the edification of the common man, consequently eluding the comprehension of the council members whose downtown districts house them.)


THESE NEXT WORDS, AGAIN, INSINUATE HOW ALL CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY ARE IGNORANT, SUPERSTITIOUS AND BACKWARDS.  HOW LONG DOES HE THINK HE CAN KEEP INSULTING THE GOOD PEOPLE OF NEW ALBANY?  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  
Open Air Museum of Ignorance, Superstition and Backwardness   1. Citywide folkways theme park devoted to the reality of life in New Albany: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”  2. “Give us more fish. Don’t you dare teach us how to fish.”  3. Place where tolls (in squandered modernity) already are being collected.)


THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKING PERMIT ISSUE WAS BROUGHT BY A CITIZEN IN NEW ALBANY (DOES MR. BULLEIT KNOW ABOUT THIS) AND THESE WORDS ARE SIMPLY A MOCKERY OF SAME, WHETHER ANY OF US AGREED OR DISAGREED WITH THE LEGISLATION (WHICH I DIDN'T).  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Neighborhood Parking Permit
A plan to surrender public street space for private use, to appease private property owners who are unwilling to give up their own privately held property for the exact same purpose (JG).)


ANOTHER BURR UNDER BAYLOR'S SADDLE IS ONE SOUTHERN INDIANA.  WE DON'T LIKE THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE NOR APPROVE OF THEIR METHODS AND THEIR INTENT ON GETTING TOLLS, BUT WE ARE SO TIRED OF HIM GOING ON AND ON ABOUT 1SI, CLERE, ETC.  DO YOU THINK HE WILL EVER UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH HE REPEATS AND HOW TIRESOME IT BECOMES?  I DON'T THINK SO.  ANYWAY.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  One Southern Indiana  1. Organization dedicated to preserving the wealth of its highest-standing members by erecting a wall running the length of the Ohio River.  2. Synonym for “blatant hypocrisy.”)


THE NEXT DESCRIPTION OF WORDS REFLECTS HOW MUCH HE DOES DRINK AND HOW MUCH HE HATES IT WHEN HE RUNS OUT OF LIQUOR AT COUNCIL MEETINGS:  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Post-Partum Depression  Your empty flask after the council meeting.)  SEEING IT IS STILL IMPOSSIBLE FOR A MAN TO HAVE A BABY, I GUESS HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT A SERIOUS ILLNESS POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION IS NOR HOW MANY PEOPLE HE MAY HAVE OFFENDED COMPARING THIS ILLNESS TO AN EMPTY FLASK OF LIQUOR.


THERE ARE NUMEROUS CITIZENS AND CHRISTIANS WHO DECRIED AN OPENING OF A PORN SHOP ACROSS FROM A CHURCH AND AT A SCHOOL BUS STOP.  BUT, WITH MR. BAYLOR'S SELF PROCLAIMED HEDONISTIC WAYS WE CAN UNDERSTAND HIS FEELINGS ON THE FOLLOWING.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK)  Group suffering from a chronic allergy to 2010 calendars, and seeking the curative measure of “reclaiming” things they cannot define, because those things never existed. See also: Torquemada Twist, Wickensianism (no such word).)


AGAIN, WE ALL KNOW HOW MR. BAYLOR FEELS ABOUT GOVERNOR DANIELS.  WE MAY OR MAY NOT LIKE HIM EITHER, OR MAY NOT LIKE SOME LEGISLATION, BUT BAYLOR DOES GO ON AND ON.  THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF ISSUES OR PEOPLE I HAVE VOTED FOR TO NO AVAIL BUT BY GOSH I AM ABLE TO MOVE ON.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Saint Daniels The reason why we have incense, prayer, One Southern Indiana, charter schools and bridge tolls.)


WHEN THE LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEM ROLLED OUT THE 60 MILLION DOLLAR BOND ISSUES A LOT OF GOOD CITIZENS FOUGHT THIS ISSUE ESPECIALLY WHEN IT WAS PUT ON OUR BACKS WITH PROPERTY TAXES.  SOME OF US STILL MAINTAIN THIS IS WHY LOCAL SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED AND WAS NOT DUE TO MR. CLERE BUT LIES ON THE BACK OF OUR THEN UNELECTED SCHOOL BOARD.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  School closings  1. Rituals of solemn necessity preceding a pay increase for an impoverished superintendent.
2. A heaven-sent occasion for conniving school board members, often Republicans, to plot their next political campaigns.  3. An atrocity that Superman (R-72) curiously missed.)


THE ONGOING SEWER FIASCO IN NEW ALBANY WHERE HOUSES AND BUSINESSES ARE STILL NOT BEING SERVED HAD TWO PEOPLE WHO ATTENDED EVERY SEWER BOARD MEETING AND SPENT UNTOLD HOURS TRYING TO BRING NEW ALBANY INTO A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT.  THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT SENDING SEWAGE DOWN PAST THE MAYOR'S HOUSE AS THE SEWERS LITERALLY WERE/ARE STILL GOING INTO THE OHIO RIVER.  BUT, MR. BAYLOR'S WORDS ARE SIMPLY SELF-SERVING AND SHOWS HIS LACK OF RESPECT FOR OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE POLLUTION THIS CITY ADDS TO THE OHIO RIVER.  SIMPLY ANOTHER WAY TO GET HIS ROCKS OFF AT OTHER PEOPLE'S EXPENSE.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Sewergeddon  The Potty Police’s plan to employ diggers and reclaim the city’s culture by flushing raw sewage through street-side ditches past the mayor’s house, at a fraction of the cost of conventional sewage treatment.)  HE MUST NOT HAVE BEEN AROUND WHEN THE SEWAGE WAS RUNNING PAST RESIDENTS HOMES AND  ALL OF THE HOUSES ON MAIN STREET WENT DIRECTLY INTO THE OHIO RIVER AFTER RESIDENTS RECEIVED SEWER BILLS FOR TWENTY YEARS.  ISN'T THAT MAIL FRAUD - RECEIVING A BILL FOR SERVICES NOT RENDERED?  DOES HE CARE?  DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH.  HE'S THE JOKE.


AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, STEVE PRICE.  MR. BAYLOR WILL BE GLAD TO HEAR THERE ARE NO REPUBLICANS WHO WANT TO RUN AGAINST MR. PRICE IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION BECAUSE THEY LIKE HIM.  IF I COULD THINK OF ONE THING MR. PRICE VOTED NO ON THAT IMPEDED MR. BAYLOR'S AGENDA MAYBE I COULD GO THERE.  BUT, THE ADMINISTRATION'S AGENDA (ENGLAND'S) HAS ALWAYS TRIUMPHED AND TO HELL WITH THE BUDGETS, OVER STAFFING, WASTE OF THE MONEY, ETC.  JUST KEEP SAYING NO, STEVE.  WE STAND BEHIND YOU.  (These are Mr. Baylor's words:  Steve Price  Synonym for “no,” spoken in Dewey Heights dialect. )  BY THE WAY, A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE WERE BORN AND RAISED IN THE DEWEY HEIGHTS DISTRICT AND YOU REALLY DO ALL A DISSERVICE.

NEXT????  SORRY FOR THE LONG POST, BUT YOU KNOW HOW IT IS WHEN YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH AN EGO MANIAC (MY DESCRIPTION).

I WOULD GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO NOT BELIEVE IN OUR GOOD LORD AND RELIGION, BUT TO HAVE YOU POST IN AN ARTICLE YOU WANTED US ALL TO PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO LIFT THOSE KEGS SO YOU CAN MAKE MONEY REALLY TICKED ME OFF.  BUT, THIS SIMPLY MADE ME PRAY HARDER FOR YOU, NOT THEM.

Y A W N

Taco Punk has "stuff to sell" ... and I know some of you are looking to buy.

The bad news surely is the loss of a dream, but the consoling good news is that the good concept and operational methodology remain in Gabe Sowder's head, and can be reconstituted in the future ... or not; the food business is such an unpredictable thing, and at least when the Bank Street Brewhouse kitchen was closed, we didn't have to go through the sell-off of equipment and fixtures.

I'm posting this because I know for a fact that several New Albany restaurateurs are looking for items like these. Gabe can be reached via Facebook.

Everything must go at the former Taco Punk on East Market, by David Serchuk (Insider Louisville)

It’s hard to see someone’s dream go under, but it must be even harder for that person when the process of ending the dream is prolonged. This is the situation in which the former owners of Taco Punk on East Market now find themselves. The business has closed, but they’re not quite ready to vacate the premises, because there is still so much stuff left to sell.

The former restaurant remains filled with empty tables, along with the trademark red vinyl chairs and stools that filled the space. Though they held an open-house sale earlier today, there are many items left to purchase , said Dana Andriot, wife of owner and chef Gabe Sowder.

Creeping gentrification, international brands, a "criminal loss of patrimony" ... and Barcelona.

If the business of business is of such significance, then why aren't these small businesses eligible for the Unesco World Heritage List?

Historic Loss May Follow Rise of Rents in Barcelona, by Raphael Minder (NYT)

In the center of Barcelona’s scenic old city, a once-historic bookshop is being turned into a store for Mango, the giant clothing retailer. A maker of combs, founded in 1922, is now a big-name bag store. And a toy store, owned by the same family since the Spanish Civil War, has been converted into an outlet for Geox, the Italian footwear company.

The changes are more than the result of the kind of creeping gentrification that has reshaped so many cities worldwide. Here, and across Spain, historic districts are being transformed as tens of thousands of small, often family-run shops face the end of decades of rent controls this year.

It is not that the establishments did not know the changes were coming — they had 20 years’ warning. But slowly, now suddenly, that time has arrived, provoking 11th-hour resistance as small shops are pushed from historic districts by an inundation of international brands, which are virtually the only ones that can afford the staggering spike in rents.

The rapid turnover has spurred soul-searching and debate about just how far the city should go to protect its distinctive character in the face of the homogenization that accompanies the arrival of multinational chain stores.

The removal of traditional stores from the old city center, known as the Gothic Quarter, is “a criminal loss of patrimony in a city that is getting drowned by big money and international brands and is losing all sense of history, order and proper urban planning,” said Josep Maria Roig, the owner of La Colmena, a pastry shop founded in 1872.

Quite possibly the only reference to Florida Georgia Line you'll ever see in this space.

I'm a lifelong fan of creatively rendered written bile, and so this album review is immensely pleasing to me. Granted, I'm not a "country" music listener (we must always be wary of broad categories), though contrary to my reputation, I can find much to enjoy in it, especially when the music's traditional roots and folk veins are on display.

I wouldn't have imagined Florida Georgia Line to be something I'd appreciate. In this hilarious dissection, I've learned why. Or, as my pal Paul wrote: "These guys REEK of Bud Light, Roger."

The source blog comes with a thought-provoking mission statement: "When a culture's music is lifeless, that culture is bound for more trouble than just having nothing decent to listen to."

Yes, indeed.

Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes” is the Worst Album Ever (Saving Country Music)

... And talk about going to the cliché well too many times, there’s a song on this album called “Angel” that I kid you not is built around the often sarcastically-used pick up line “Did it hurt when you fell from the sky?” Any woman who hears this line coming from any man has my personal blessing to immediately spray them in the face with mace and knee them in the nuts. The idea that these knuckleheads think that this line is “sweet” just speaks to the depravity of self-awareness they suffer from in an irrevocable degree.

New Albany's new slogan: "Truck Through City" ... Part 44: The weekly Board of Works edition.

Last week, the Board of Works ventured the first of what are sure to be dozens of after-the-fact attempts to correct the multitudinous design flaws of Rosenbarger Allee, a.k.a. the Main Street Disprovement, Deforestation and Semi Trailer Non-Diversion Project by slapping a 25 m.p.h. speed limit onto the muddle.

Let's reiterate a point from yesterday's post, which took the novel position (for Nawbony) that proven traffic calming solutions from all across the country might even work here -- that is, if allowed to see the light of day by gatekeepers with shriveled imaginations.

... Many experts think it’s not as simple as changing the speed limits. Charlie Zegeer, project manager at the University of North Carolina’s authoritative Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) says, “Research shows that lowering a speed limit doesn’t work to slow traffic– it’s the roadway design that affects the speed.”

Oops -- that's strike 18; looks like Rosenbarger's out.

Meanwhile, the parade of merrily speeding tonnage continues. Enjoy the view.





Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm not suggesting these trees weren't dead or dying.

But can't the work crews at least clean up the sawdust ... or are we supposed to do that?






Seeds and Greens grand opening coverage in the Courier-Journal.


With the Gnaws and Trombone absent, presumably having its belly scratched somewhere in Steamboat Days, the C-J receives kudos for covering an important downtown New Albany opening.

Seeds and Greens opens for business, although City Hall wouldn't know it.


Come to think of it, were any Harvest Homecoming officials there on Saturday?

Seeds and Greens embraces farm-to-table living, by Jenna Esarey (Special to The Courier-Journal)

Seeds and Greens Natural Market & Deli drew large crowds during its opening Saturday.

Owner Stacey Freibert welcomed shoppers, proudly showing off New Albany's newest downtown business and offering samples of products and items from the store's deli.

Seeds and Greens focuses on high-quality organic, natural, and minimally processed foods, dairy, eggs and meat, house care items and homeopathic products. It will support local farmers, carrying only non-genetically modified products free from pesticides, chemicals and artificial preservatives.

Gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free foods are available along with vegetarian and vegan items."If you're taking a step towards a healthier life we want to be here for you," said Freibert's husband, Jeff.

Dear Mayor Gahan: Would you agree that these steps to slow traffic, deter distraction and promote walkability are all about PUBLIC SAFETY?


If so, then why are we undertaking to implement so few of these steps, and so reluctantly?

“These pedestrian improvements also improve motorists’ and bicyclists’ safety. It’s a win-win-win. Everyone’s safer.”

That word again ... safety.

You invoked it repeatedly to justify demolishing a historic structure, even after you'd received a legitimate and workable rehab offer from a contractor (I'll have the information about that soon enough ... ans what happened to the "salvaged" contents, anyway?)

Why does City Hall continue to ignore safety as it pertains to the streets?

Why must public safety as promoted on the city's own streets and sidewalks wait until Jeff Speck tells us what's already published here, and what has been known for many years?

Or should I be asking Adam Dickey these questions?

How to Restore Walking as a Way of Life, by Jay Walljasper (Project for Public Spaces)

The gravest danger to walkers as well as bicyclists and motorists is other motorists who drive dangerously. According to data collected by the New York City Department of Transportation from 2008-2012, “dangerous driver choices” contributes to pedestrian deaths in 70 percent of cases. “Dangerous pedestrian choices” is responsible in 30 percent of cases and joint responsibility in 17 percent of cases.

As the old saying goes, speed kills ...

... Many experts think it’s not as simple as changing the speed limits. Charlie Zegeer, project manager at the University of North Carolina’s authoritative Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) says, “Research shows that lowering a speed limit doesn’t work to slow traffic– it’s the roadway design that affects the speed.”

(list follows)

Every Day Fresh Kitchen's open house is Wednesday, October 29.

Gina Brown's Every Day Fresh Kitchen and her classes got off the ground in May.

Foodie foreshadowing & denouement: Class With Chef.


She's having a special night on the 29th.

Here's what's happening in the Every Day Fresh Kitchen

Save the Date -- October 29th

YOU'RE INVITED

Come and take a free mini class with me! Join me at the Every Day Fresh kitchen at Destinations Booksellers, 604 E Spring, New Albany, Indiana from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Meet, mingle and learn about Every Day Fresh. I'll demo something sweet and savory ... maybe you'll be my Sous Chef, and get your hands dirty. Aprons and classes will be available for purchase.

Do me a solid and RSVP at classwithchef(at)gmail(dot)com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seeds and Greens opens for business, although City Hall wouldn't know it.


Seeds and Greens Natural Market & Deli opened yesterday with a 9:30 a.m. ribbon cutting. I'd estimate the crowd to be 75, perhaps more. State Representative Ed Clere gave a short and appropriate speech, contrasting today's downtown with the situation only a few years ago.

Read about the building housing Seeds and Greens.

First, congratulations and best wishes to the Freiberts, and everyone who helped them put this ball into the air. We'll be shifting a percentage of our shopping to this locally-owned store.

Next, a side note: I'm often criticized for suggesting (and repeating) that the city of New Albany has no discernible economic development plan for downtown. Yesterday, City Hall offered a typically vacuous reply of sorts, because not one of its elected or appointed officials attended the Seeds and Greens opening.

That'll show me, won't it?

The inattentiveness doesn't end there. Zero council persons were spotted, and no political party chairmen or functionaries, though the absence of the latter surely qualifies as a blessing. In fact, Rep. Clere was the only elected official of any sort, unless I missed seeing someone.

City Hall constantly pleads monetary poverty when the subject of downtown economic development arises; the proper time-honored, good-old-boy tools just don't exist outside the industrial park, officials always repeat, indicating they remain mired in the same old abatement and direct subsidy rat trap inhabited by generations of "experts".

Shouldn't it be obvious by now that a chronic absence of creative thought and improvisational skill constitutes not fiscal, but intellectual impoverishment?

We got nuthin', they mutter ... and all the while, our one-way, auto-centric, plainly unsafe street grid remains a neglected afterthought, one seemingly incapable of principled adjustment until a paid consultant assuages municipal timidity with dollops of political cover.

Yes, of course Seeds and Greens has a parking lot, and people driving cars will come there to shop. But the speed with which they travel, the way the street grid is designed -- the overall downtown milieu -- is subject to immediate adjustment to reinforce the downtown commercial climate, not urinate on it.

An example:

Must we wait for a traffic study to slow traffic and put crosswalks at the corner of Main and W. 1st?


Apart from when the city winks and hands its infrastructure to Harvest Homecoming's junta each year, the city does control its streets and sidewalks. The city can alter these so they're conducive to better business. Right-sizing, completing, calming, converting streets ... slowing traffic speeds, enforcing crosswalks, enhancing walking, biking and a human-scale district ... all these factors are favorable for the new generation of downtown independent business, major pieces of which might have been commenced years ago.

City government taking action to improve business prospects.

That's economic development, isn't it?

Why, then, isn't any of it happening?

"The End of an Error," 20 years later.


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana


Back on April 10, I was considering a special pub opening today to mark the occasion. Let's just say that it slipped my mind, but providentially, yesterday's iPhone photo deletion marathon provided a needed last-minute jolt.

Perhaps a special Sunday pub opening day on October 19?


Regular customer EN took this photo at the Public House yesterday. It's hard to believe that while so much has changed, this sheet still remains taped and tacked to the beam behind the bar after almost two decades. It's almost like a shrine, except that for the most part, generationally, Eddie LaDuke is forgotten. Not for me. It's a daily remind: Never promote otherwise capable sports writers to positions anywhere outside the sports department. Doing so simply cannot end well.

But there's always Bill Hanson. As Erich Honecker was to the Berlin Wall, Hanson is (and always will be) to the News and Tribune Paywall. When he's finally gone, perhaps another printout will be merited.

May it remain affixed proudly, another 20 years.

Serchuk on Louisville's "most disturbing team," the Zulu Cannibal Giants.

While it cannot be said that the details are surprising, it still comes as a jolt to realize this took place in the 1930s, not the late 1800s.

“Pandering to white America’s worst attitudes and most stereotypical views of blacks, the players entertained fans between games with various ‘comedy’ acts including staged fights with spears and shields along with a crap game featuring loaded dice and players brandishing razors.”

Serchuk does a fine job with offensive material. Who knew any of this?

One begins to think that Insider Louisville might actually be worth it -- and then someone has an orgasm over the Dunkin Donuts national chain, and you want to smack them upside the face with your localism stick.

Foul ball: The Zulu Cannibal Giants, Louisville’s most disturbing team, by David Serchuk (Insider Louisville)

As baseball’s playoff season begins, controversies about professional sports are all around. Specifically about the names and images of teams, both in baseball and professional football.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ten years ago today, a book was sold.


Earlier today, we stopped by Destinations Booksellers, and Randy Smith said that 10 years ago, on October 18, 2004, he sold his first book at the store.

Congratulations are due, but the happiness goes beyond New Albany having and supporting an independent bookstore for decade, during changing times not always favorable for the genre.

Randy and Ann are our friends, too. That's the most important thing.

I've known Ann for a long time, but we first met Randy and his wife as a couple at an open house at Moser Tannery around the time the bookstore opened. They've done more than sell books. They've been an incubator for progressivism, ideas and ideals -- for thinking. Nowadays there's a coffee shop, bars and a brewery for fostering subversion.

Ten years ago?

We had nuthin'.

Concurrent with the advent of Destinations Booksellers, I began dabbling in blogging. My first post was on October 22, 2004, but it wasn't until George W. Bush was tragically re-elected shortly thereafter that I realized how futile it is to debate national issues when local affairs are far more capable of being influenced by direct participation.

Roughly 8,000 posts later, it occurs to me that I may have been profoundly mistaken. Either way, without people like Randy and Ann, and of course non-bookselling others too numerous to mention here, it isn't clear how we ever could have survived New Albany's mind-numbing numbness of mind these past ten years.

Thanks, Destinations. You've helped make this unreconstructed, dirty river town bearable. Now, if we could just stuff it into the tub for a good scrubbing.

There'll be a downtown merchant meeting on Tuesday morning, October 21.


It's at 8:30 a.m. at the Culbertson Mansion, which I can attest is a great place to have a meeting. These gatherings are monthly, and rotate between downtown locations.

Minutes from the last meeting will be posted here as soon as I receive them.

I'm reading between the lines, but I don't think this is the "Harvest Homecoming follow-up" meeting mentioned by city officials. The city-organized meetings are every other month, and take place at The Exchange. The next one should be in November, and WILL be interesting.

At the same time, next Tuesday's merchant chat would be a good time to talk about Harvest Homecoming, wouldn't it?

(Stay tuned for September meeting minutes below)

"The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs".

But is Dave Matthews reading?

The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs, by Charles Marohn (The American Conservative)

In his recent column, “Why Suburbia Irks Some Conservatives,” the prominent urban geographer Joel Kotkin creates and then slays a number of straw men in defense of suburban development patterns and all that is right and good in this country. This, unfortunately, is a lament that too often goes unchallenged, ceding a large swath of the American experience in the process. It is time for conservatives to confront the true nature of the suburbs.

America’s suburban experiment is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. We can excuse modern Americans for not immediately grasping the revolutionary ways in which we restructured this continent over the past three generations–at this point, the auto-dominated pattern of development is all most Americans have ever experienced–but today we live in a country where our neighborhoods are shaped, and distorted, by centralized government policy.

Basically, sharrows suck, so naturally New Albany plans more of them, so we can be "bike friendly" on the cheap.


Back in May, we sneered at another of John Rosenbarger's signature megalomanical muddles.

Rosenbarger giveth and He taketh away; thus shall autos be glorified at the Beechwood intersection with Charlestown Road.


 ... Useless bicycle lanes originally marked just a few years ago, which start and end nowhere, and that never were calibrated to guide a cyclist through an auto-centric intersection, now will be rendered even less useful than garden-variety useless ... with the compounded uselessness occurring just a few blocks from Monon Street, where there'll be a brand new park not connected in any way, shape or form to any non-automotive form of transport.

The intersection reboot is complete, and last night I noticed that it includes a new, dramatic step to resolve the bicycle friendliness issue mentioned above. Previously nonsensical and disconnected bicycle lanes now are routed through the automotive cluster muck by means of a sharrows symbol painted on the street.

Like a nightmare, it all came back to me: The city official in August, whom I quite like as a human being, but have never even once seen riding a bicycle, assuring me that New Albany's way forward to status as a red hot, bike friendly town was to have sharrows everywhere instead of more costly measures to actually achieve something.

At their very best, sharrows are a component, as the excerpt below makes clear.

However, in the absence of other (better) street use reform measures, the sharrows notion is little more than propagandistic palaver. Main Street's freshly minted conceptual catastrophe is a fine example. On a street already sufficiently wide to incorporate bicycle paths amid narrowed traffic lanes, we've opted instead for a median and wider traffic lanes, which will speed traffic rather than calm it (speed limit reductions notwithstanding), thus rendering sharrows both useless and potentially dangerous to bicycling novices who don't yet share a general contempt for sharrows as a municipal cop-out.

So what do we intend to do with our opportunity? Talk crap, paint symbols on the asphalt, then move on to build a dog park.

That's the New Albany way, and it's dead wrong -- at some point, probably literally.

Want to Increase Cycling? Sharrows Won’t Cut It, by Angie Schmitt (Streetsblog)

Shared-lane stencils for bikes, a.k.a. “sharrows,” definitely have their place in a balanced and healthy street system. But these friendly reminders to drivers to share the road have their limits as a tool to boost safety and create more inviting streets for biking.

A study by the LA County Bicycle Coalition [PDF] showed that sharrows do little or nothing to encourage new people to take up cycling, the way bike lanes and cycle tracks do.

That’s why communities should not rely on sharrows when more effective interventions are called for. Unfortunately, Sam Ollinger at Bike San Diego says her city has fallen into this trap:

In the last year, San Diegans have seen the increasing number of shared-lane markings, also called “sharrows.” Sharrows are appearing everywhere: Adams Avenue, Park Boulevard, Broadway, El Cajon Boulevard, Grand Avenue, Voltaire Street, Chatsworth Boulevard, Hotel Circle South, Pacific Highway and more. However, these sharrows are being used as a cheap band-aid instead of implementing real change on our roadways that would increase the number of people riding their bicycle for transportation or recreation.

For starters, San Diego’s Bicycle Master Plan recommends sharrows on roadways that are too narrow for bike lanes. Sharrows are recommended on roads that have a minimum width of 14 feet. Bike lanes are recommended on roads that have a minimum of 15-17 feet. El Cajon Boulevard, for example, has three travel lanes in each direction – it has more than enough room for a bike lane.

So how can the City of San Diego increase the percentage of people who ride a bicycle? A recent report [pdf] from the Mineta Transportation Institute, an institute that was established by Congress to research “multimodal surface transportation policy and management issues,” concluded that in order to attract a wide segment of the population, a bicycle network’s “most fundamental attribute should be low-stress connectivity, that is, providing routes between people’s origins and destinations that do not require cyclists to use links that exceed their tolerance for traffic stress, and that do not involve an undue level of detour.”