Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shane Gibson will seek the Democratic nomination for Indiana House District 72.

After weeks of Internet chatter, the Tribune reports that we have a race in the 72nd:

New Albany city attorney seeking state seat in 2010; Shane Gibson looking to defeat Ed Clere in District 72 tilt, by Daniel Suddeath.

Floyd County native Shane Gibson announced his candidacy for the District 72 State Representative seat Thursday. Gibson, who is the city attorney for New Albany and a Democrat, is seeking the office held by Republican Ed Clere.

The District 72 seat will be up for election in November 2010.
Assuming Gibson wins the primary in May, we'll undoubtedly be offered novel general election strategy by the Democrats, who for years emphasized long-time seatholder Boll Cochran as indispensable owing to his experience. Clere wiped that slate clean in 2008, and has been energetically claiming Federal monies (Georgetown sewer plant) and mediating New Albany's budgetary chats with the state. Now, Clere is looking experienced, and Gibson's party must make a positive of his political inexperience.

Given Clere's razor-thin margin last time out, state Democrats likely view this one as winnable, and will fund Gibson accordingly. How actively did the state pparty apparatus encourage a younger, more bankable candidate in this race?

There will be numerous deeper issues of political ideology to be addressed when the campaign comes into full swing, and my guess is they'll not be discussed either by Gibson or Clere, leaving it to NAC. Can't say I mind that at all.

This one's going to be entertaining, don't you think?

Upcoming downtown New Albany events.

Courtesy of Develop New Albany.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Today, tomorrow and November at NABC's two locations.

Having just concluded the weekly staff meeting, I'm sitting at a table within the progressive confines of Bank Street Brewhouse's Taxpayer Memorial Patio. Seeing as I've become less of an owner than a full-time PR man, here's a brief update on NABC's activities and events as we approach November.

First, at NABC's Pizzeria & Public House today: A special wooden "Anstich" (gravity pour) keg of Schneider Wiesen Edel-Weisse is being tapped shortly. It is an unfiltered wheat ale from Kelheim, Germany's celebrated Schneider brewhouse, brewed formerly as a hybrid wheat-style Marzen (Oktoberfest) ale. Nowadays, the brewer includes some American Cascades hops as a bow toward the India Pale Ales he enjoyed when visiting craft breweries in America. Next Friday, November 6, we'll have another "Anstich" keg: Hochzeitsbier Märzen von 1810, from the Brauerei Hofstetten in Austria. It's a traditional Oktoberfest lager.

Tomorrow (Oct. 31) at the Public House, Rogue Dead Guy Halloween Party: The party will run from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the Prost special events wing, and features Rogue Dead Guy, a classic microbrew from our pals out at Rogue Ales in Oregon. To honor the spirit of the day, you're encouraged to come dressed as your favorite dead guy. There will be beer specials on Dead Guy and Double Dead Guy, giveaways of Rogue merchandise and a $50 NABC gift card. NABC's cellarman Mike Bauman also has lined up Schmaltz Freaktober Fest and a cask of Hambleton Nightmare Yorkshire Porter for the occasion.

Winter hours at Bank Street Brewhouse begin Nov. 3: On Tuesday, November 3, we'll be making a few adjustments to the schedule at Bank Street Brewhouse. Most noticeably, we'll be opening at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with new three-course fixed price meals available each of these evenings, along with an afternoon snack menu and daily beer specials. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays remain the same. I promise to have the complete new schedule finished and posted very soon. The idea here is very simple: Certain times of the week have worked well, and others not as much. Keeping lunch hours open on these days will enable us to offer group business lunch plans, and to concentrate efforts in the evenings for beer dinners and pairings. Weekends have worked well and won't change. In another six months, we'll take stock again and see what moves are merited then.

Bank Street Grand Opening Week begins November 17: As an extension of the preceding, we feel like after eight months in business, we're finally able to celebrate our grand opening. Beginning on Tuesday the 17th, look for a cigar promotion on the patio, food and beer specials, music, and a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, November 18. We've saved a handful of kegs from the Elector batch that Mayor Doug England helped brew, and they'll be pouring on Wednesday the 18th.

As always, thanks for your support. I'll have updates and details coming during the next few days.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It'd take more than $3.5 million to clean up that stinking mess.

Now that he's intervened with the Feds to provide monies unavailable from Indiana to spend on local projects that none of us can afford because of the state of Indiana's peculiar Norquistian fiscal starvation fetish, can St. Rep. Clere assist the city of New Albany by obtaining economic stimulus funding to help the city clean up its most dangerous and threatening toxic waste problem?

I'm speaking of Dan Coffey's career on the city council.

Just curious: How many Republicans out there would have voted (or actually did vote) against the economic stimulus package? Just tweaking, mind you.

Meanwhile, read all about Georgetown's day in the sun, sewer-wise: Stimul-yes! Georgetown gets $3.5 million for wastewater treatment facility (News and Tribune).

Today's Tribune column: "Someone's in the kitchen with Chloe."

Okay, okay. Maybe I’m going to the Cappuccino well a bit too often, but I’m a firm believer in simplicity: If the fastball’s working, then keeping right on throwing it. When the batters begin catching up to it, we’ll revert to Plan B (from outer space).

You may disagree, and if so, let me know about it. At NABC’s Fringe Fest, the feedback was universally positive. Then again, these thoughts and words came from people who are in on the joke.

I remain unrepentant. It always has been my desire to use this platform as a locally based homage to my essayist heroes and prime influences, including H.L. Mencken, with a sprinkling of Hunter S. Thompson here and there, and to a lesser albeit significant extent, early period Art Buchwald. As the photo here shows, inspiration for today's column came from way out in left field: From aural gag to information processing sausage grinders in ten easy minutes.

You be the judge. I know that satire and parody are destined to elude those who aren’t “insiders,” but at the same time, it is my opinion that if done well, they can be revealing of universalities in a manner capable of being understood by anyone, much in the same fashion as an editorial cartoon. I will persist.

BAYLOR: Someone’s in the kitchen with Chloe

Seated at the table, fresh from another raggedly rag picker’s auction, Councilman Cappuccino busily sifted through the contents of a weathered Bud Light case. Much to Li’l Stevie’s chagrin, ice-cold cans of flavorless, low-calorie swill did not appear to be among the lucre.
Photo credit: www.allaboutjazz.com. For more on Spike Jones, read the late Cub Koda's (yes, of Brownsville Station) wonderful biographical entry at allmusic.com, but really, you need to listen to the music. Always.

Long-Graf House and Crupper factory.

During the historic home tour back in September, we strolled past an old building facing Jay Street. Mrs. Confidential asked me about it. I confessed ignorance (a rare occurrence, she errantly maintains), and vowed to look it up.

Finally I did. Just today, in fact. It turns out that the structure once housed a business, and is part of a property that includes a home on East Elm that recently sold. Here's the skinny from the Historic New Albany web site, including photos borrowed from the site.

Long-Graf House and Crupper factory
The structure at the rear of the property is also significant: it housed the Jacob Graf Crupper Company, which operated from about 1905 until at least the early 1960s. The business manufactured cruppers, which are a component of a horse harness. Later the company produced leather luggage and trunk handles.


The house was sold, and the historic factory building comes as part of the deal. Let's hope that the buyer is imaginative.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

LOL.

Cold day or hot, it's so simple that even a little person can grasp it, Erika.

You're neither democratic (lower case), nor a Democrat (upper case).

Accept these truths, and all your dissonance will disappear.

NA Event Watch: New Albany Food Coop Possibilities, a discussion at the Carnegie Center on Tuesday, November 3.

Assembled from submitted information. Also on Tuesday, November 3, is Develop New Albany's monthly networking event; the First Tuesday for November will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Robert E. Lee Sternwheeler ballroom a short block from the Carnegie, with Bank Street Brewhouse conveniently located on the way, before and after. That's a blatant hint.

---

New Albany Food Coop Possibilities (On Facebook)

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Location:
Carnegie Center for Art and History

Develop New Albany, Inc. and the New Albany Urban Enterprise Association, Inc. are pleased to sponsor a presentation exploring possibilities for a food coop in downtown New Albany.

Andy Mahler, board president of
Lost River Market and Deli, will speak Tuesday, November 3 at 7:00 at the Carnegie Center for Art and History.

Food coops are member-owned, self-managed associations dedicated to serving the needs of local farmers and consumers by providing healthy food choices at a fair value. Food coops aim to promote community well-being, economic prosperity, and self-reliance. They provide a local option for affordable, nutritious, locally-grown food and goods year round and help guaranty that local food dollars stay within the community.

Lost River Market and Deli was founded two years ago in Paoli, Indiana. Mr. Mahler will share Paoli’s experience in starting the enterprise and how it has helped served the needs of Orange Co. residents.

Complimentary coffee, hot apple cider and assorted baked goods will be provided by
Dueling Grounds Cafe at Destinations Booksellers.

Open thread: Linden Meadows, CHDO and the deluge.

My take: Decent enough idea, poor execution by CHDO, good folks thwarted for transparent political purposes by obstructionist community members who loudly pretend to know better, and the current tawdry sinking beneath the choppy, moldy waves.

But that's just me. You? Here are three recent Tribune links.

CHDO seeking legal advice about dismantling organization

State says fixing Linden Meadows in New Albany could cost around $1.7 million

PNC Bank files for payment of Linden Meadows loan

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's that time of year again: NBA!

I do this every year to tweak parochial blog readers who still find a sliver of faux amateur goodness in the college roundball ranks.

10 and a half hours until tipoff

Although it's too bad the World Series hasn't even started yet ...

(Photo credit: CNN/Sports Illustrated)

Monday, October 26, 2009

More new exhibitions at the on-line Gamborg Gallery.

From time to time I reintroduce blog readers to my friend Allan Gamborg, who has enjoyed much success in his "second" (third? fifth?) career as a purveyor and advocate of Soviet-era art and artists.

Not only has he been able to make a living as a dealer, but his work has exposed to the world numerous underappreciated artists who may have been forgotten had not Allan taken an interest in them.

As in the past, permit me to thank Allan for his boundless hospitality and to share his latest posting. You need not be a Commie to enjoy the links to Allan's on-line galleries.

---

Dear Friends,

We have a series of new exhibitions on the Gamborg Gallery on the web:

THEMES

Soviet Car Industry
A series of watercolours, drawings and lithographs showing the assembly line during the 1970s at various Soviet car plants, e.g. Avtovaz (Lada), Moskvich, and Kamaz. Artists featured are are Lyudmila Bobrovnikova, Nikolai Schumkin and Mikhail Rojter.

ARTISTS

Svetlana Ryazanova (1927-2005)
Well known Moscow artist. The exhibition shows her original gouache postcard designs, and a series of her expressionistic and colourful Southern landscapes.

Pyotr Maiorov (1914-1994)
Oil painting with a wonderful light, by one of the major artist of the city of Voronezh of the 1950s-1960s

BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS

Harvest (Жатва) (Lipa Rojter)
Illustration to the book "Жатва" (Harvest) by Galina Nikolaeva of 1950. The book won the Stalin prize in 1951.

The Grimy Girl (Девочка чумазая) (Marina Uspenskaya)
Illustrations by Marina Uspenskaya to the book from 1961 by Agnia Barto.

Enjoy the shows !

Square talk.




We drove to Corydon on Saturday afternoon for lunch at Magdalena's. Upon arrival, we found preparations underway for the town's Halloween festival and parade.

It struck me that Corydon doesn't have all that much to work with in terms of a "downtown," but having a town square probably helps. I'm sure there are other reasons against it, as in those towns where the major thoroughfare wraps around the old courthouse in the middle, rather than passing it one one side, as in Corydon, making it easier to use the other three sides for events like this one.

New Albany has a Hauss Square that isn't. I suppose the closest we come to a square these days is the Farmers Market area. We should consider using it next year for a May Day gathering.

Is it fair to assume that ideas like the plaza between Main and the levee, formerly a component of the Overton vision for Scribner Place, is an attempt (like the Belvedere) to create a square-like public area where there was none before?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is "weird" bothersome?

On the off chance that you're not outside working or recreating on what is shaping up to be a great day, consider this posting at the Louisville Restaurants Forum:

Keep Louisville Weird campaign.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

That's the essence of it.

It's and Evening News "jeer" about Clark County, but merely change a few numbers and it's applicable to Floyd County, too. Our county council spent a few hot minutes contemplating LOIT before abdicating its responsibility to lead and fleeing to the hills. It will be interesting to see if Clark County's does the same.

JEERS

... to Clark County’s budget woes. According to the most recent County Council budget meeting, there is as much as a $5.8 million gap in the requested budget — $18.7 million — and expected 2010 revenues — $12.9 million.

The county is finally discussing implementing a Local Option Income Tax, or LOIT, which would help, although not much for 2010. The question is, what took so long?

The answer is simple. When the state hamstrung local taxing entities with property tax reform and caps, it offered LOIT to the counties as a way to offset lost revenues.

With that, state lawmakers could say during election season, “we handled your property tax problem and didn’t raise taxes.”

The result is the county council now must raise taxes and take the fall for the state, because cutting one third of staff or services isn’t feasible.

— Editor Shea Van Hoy

Friday, October 23, 2009

NASH: "Trying to avoid being the biggest loser."

Matt hits very close to home today, as I've personally been going through the same "up and down" cycle with respect to health and fitness. As a professional beer drinker who has chosen beer/food pairings as his core area of concentration, I can tell you that even greater diligence is required to maintain a healthy regimen -- and I'm not joking, not a bit.

NASH: Trying to avoid being the biggest loser

My aim is to continue biking and outdoor walking as much as the winter weather allows, and to utilize the YMCA. We'll see how it goes. Kudos to Matt for a timely and universally relevant column.

A word from our sponsor: On tap at the Public House, and more.

You already know that I'm committed to the success of our business at its new downtown location, but sometimes I don't give proper due to what we're still doing on Plaza Drive. Accordingly, here's an update of the Public House scene:

Hops and smoke and Randall and what's on tap at the Public House.

Considering that I didn't even preview the six Belgians currently on tap at the Public House (including Chimay, St. Bernardus and Rodenbach Grand Cru), tell me:

Where (anywhere near here) is the draft lineup any better than this?

The answer is obvious, and having spent the past few weeks challenging my waistline with tastings at other establishments, our pizza is pretty damned good, too. Nothing against the competition; there's a place for us all.

Apologies if pointing this out publicly makes me a cocky bastard, but it puts the lie to anyone who says that it can't be done in New Albany. That idiotic Coffey/Price argument is finished, and needs to be buried before the stench grows any stronger.

While I'm at it: Thanks for coming, and we at NABC appreciate your patronage. I believe times are good, and they're about to get better.

Yep, we sure don't want to use public monies for the wrong purpose, do we?

In Grace Schneider's C-J coverage of the city council gathering Wednesday, during which a budget was approved, there are these illuminating passages:

First, this one:

Councilman Jeff Gahan, who cast the only no vote, said Thursday he's skeptical that the mayor or his staff will follow through. Gahan said he fears the council will end up dipping into reserve funds to balance the 2010 budget, just as it has had to do to balance the current one.

The 2010 budget “leaves us in exactly the same place as we're in now” with the 2009 budget, he said.
Then, this one:

To fill gaps in past budgets, the council has had to draw on riverboat revenue-sharing, rainy-day funds and income tax reserves.

“We've grown accustomed to tapping those funds,” which shouldn't become a regular practice, Gahan said.
Gahan could have been referring to "tapping" EDIT funds to subsidize sewer rates, otherwise known as our Incumbent Assurance Program. Was he?

No?

Gee, what does that make him, then?

(Hint: The word begins with "h")

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anyone know what this variance request is about?



It's the corner of 10th and East Spring (919 E. Spring), in the building formerly housing the Garner medical practice. The "offices" part makes sense, but "furniture sales" doesn't, at least yet. I'm afraid that if it comes to pass, they'll cover up the windows like all the other furniture stores in town have done. Just joking. Not really.

Today's Tribune column: "Corner of Mulholland Drive and Pearl Street."

What else is there to say? I've chosen the task of keeping a penlight trained on the wannabeens, in the hope that their dysfunctional antics eventually will inspire local politics to grow up, if only a little, and reach the level currently being attained by other areas of endeavor in the life of a city.

You may be right; I may be crazy. Today marks five years of trying, and all we can do is see where the next five years take us. As always, thanks for reading.

BAYLOR: Corner of Mulholland Drive and Pearl Street

When last we looked with appropriately ironic detachment upon the fictional antics of Councilman Cappuccino and his faithful sidekick, Li’l Stevie, they had been joined on a nocturnal downtown street corner by CM Ceesaw, and were making barbecued bologna hash out of Robert’s Rules of Order as is their twice-monthly custom ...

... In a raucous, dysfunctional atmosphere mimicking the back alleys of Mogadishu, Yangon or Outer Birdseye, even the clouded Wizard of Westside periodically can appear to be shining, a state of affairs that embodies both optical illusion and clinical delusion, and leads us back to a final quote from our burgeoning local book of observations.

HANDICAPPING
A head-scratching voter’s calculation: Is an incorruptible politician who is wrong 100 percent of the time worse than a corruptible politician who is right half the time?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cappuccino and McWafflin roll over as budget measures approved over NayGain's objections.

It was a continuation play, carried over from the previous meeting, and with two councilmen AWOL and Jeff Gahan casting the dissenting vote. I didn't attend because the UEZ meeting lasted so long and there was beer to drink. Beyond council news, it certainly appears that the evening's "spririt & spirit" ghost walk was a huge success, with probably 125 people queuing at Destinations at 7:00 p.m. Had Gregg Seidl known there was a city council meeting, I'm sure he'd have included it just for the fright of it.

New Albany City Council approves 2010 budget; Budget hasn’t changed, but England says council can make cuts as it goes, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

New Albany has a budget in place for next year, as the City Council voted 6-1 Wednesday in favor of the 2010 financial plan for the general fund.

Of vending machines and ghost walks.

This isn't the most important local story by any stretch, although it slyly points in more than one direction as an all-purpose prompter of discussion.

Great moments in (non?) ordinance enforcement: The Elm Street Coke Machine.

A reliable source tells NAC that it's not a question of if, but when, the machine is confiscated or removed. Legalities are the sole reason for the delay, and the Board of Public Works remains on top of the situation with the assistance of the city attorney.

In other matters, yesterday's Public Works meeting must have been a good one, as that body brought a rare smile to the face of The Gary by annointing a council-free Wendy's on Charlestown Road, and also pre-empted a ghost walk component.


McCartin finds a home for Wendy’s a few blocks from current location, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

Gregg Seidl won’t be scaring anybody at Fairview Cemetery during his haunted tour this weekend. The board of works denied Seidl’s request to take tour-goers through the public cemetery due to concerns over the amount participants might have to drink during the event.

And so Gregg will have to spin his scary yarns while walking past the graveyard, not through it.

I must confess that having spent portions of three Parisian visits drinking wine and singing at Jim Morrison's grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery, leading a group through Fairview for an evening visit doesn't strike me as a derogatory gesture, although I readily concede that there's room for conflicting views on the subject, and that the Board of Public Works tends to be one of the most thoughtful and efficient local governmental entities.

Still, should one's blood alcohol content be the basis for official policy in this instance?

If Gregg decided to bring his ghost walkers into the cemetery during customary daylight visiting hours, would someone be on hand to administer breathalyzer tests?

I think the message here is less one of protecting the cemetery's sanctity than the fact that we can expect to see a reaction of sorts on the part of officialdom in response to the minority opinion that it's bad for adults to legally consume alcoholic beverages downtown. It's prudery of sorts, but that's America -- and a likely topic for Michael Moore's next documentary.

Master Plan on-line.

Courtesy of the Tribune, here's the New Albany Master Plan Proposal that annoyed Dan Coffey, who spooked the VFW, which now gets an Internet cafe as part of the deal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beam her up, Scotty.

Moments ago I was walking along Spring Street headed east. Naturally (?), I was walking on the sidewalk, where pedestrians generally should be.

Ahead of me, also on the sidewalk, was a bicycle coming slowly in my direction -- annoying, seeing as the pristine new bicycle path lay mere feet to the right.

It occurred to me to say something. As the bicyle came closer, I could see that the rider was an older, gray-haired woman. At first, she seemed to be talking on a cell phone, but upon closer inspection, this was shown not to be the case. I caught just a bit of the conversation she was having with herself:

... telling them that the diodes implanted in my body are preventing me from proving my innocence ...

I decided not to say anything.

October 17, 1989: "The day the World Series stood still."

I was in Ireland when the Loma Prieta earthquake brought the 1989 World Series to a halt, with my Oakland A's leading the San Francisco Giants two games to none. It took ten days for the series (won by the A's in a sweep) to resume, and by that time, I'd transitioned to Spain, eventually catching up on events with the help of the International Herald Tribune newspaper.

Here's an account from the Oakland Tribune: The day the World Series stood still.

The earthquake halted Game Three of the 1989 series on October 17. Today is the 20th of October, with the Yanks and Angels set to play Game 4 of the 2009 League Championship Series, and the World Series not even slated to begin until October 28, after the opening of the NBA season. Crazy.

It's been a week for anniversaries, but the biggest is yet to come: November 9 will mark twenty years since the Berlin Wall started tumbling.

Open Thread: It'll be five years on Thursday the 22nd.

Five years ago this coming Thursday (October 22) was my very first blog entry at NA Confidential. It went like this:

“You don’t need a gumshoe with rotten breath and one too many alimony payments to figure out the problem with this town. It’s something in the water that causes people here to lose their vision.
Q: What do New Albanians call Southside's mashed potatoes?
A: Freedom Foie Gras. Well, we’re here to change all that.”
I've never spent as much time on a non-paying "side" project. A bit in advance of our anniversary, here's the chance to make suggestions, comments and criticisms (subject to our usual anonymity guidelines). Change all that? really?

I'm sure there'll be a parallel discussion elsewhere. Gotta go work now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

15 years ago today: The best *&%$-canning in recorded history.

October 19 is an auspicious day in our city’s long history, for it was on this day 15 years ago that Eddie Laduke was finally sacked from his post as editor of the Tribune.

Sacked, axed, fired, given his pink slip, made redundant … supply your own glorious word.

In these parts, 1994 was the murky pre-dawning of electronic media, meaning that if I wanted to provide historical documents from the time, I’d have to dig deeply into the banker’s boxes for yellowed newsprint. The articles are there, but the story remains somewhat consistent in our collective memory, so for those of you who were not around then ...

Laduke was a former baseball star (Indiana University and the minor leagues) who returned home to become a sportswriter, a job to which he was well suited by scholastic aptitude, personal interest and temperament. The sports department was where he belonged. However, years passed by, the newspaper changed hands from local to regional to national chain ownership, and eventually someone decided to verify the veracity of the Peter Principle by promoting Laduke to a position of journalistic “leadership” and decision-making outside the narrow confines of wins, losses and ties.

The Peter Principle? It's this: "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."

And so we embarked on a period of perfect journalistic storm, with the newspaper steadily declining as it was bled dry by outside interests and dumbed down in search of the perfectly advertising gullible 2nd grade reading level, and all hope was abandoned internally, with Laduke gazing at the scene with dull, uncomprehending eyes and an antebellum socio-political viewpoint, and writing crazily laughable editorials that were utterly beyond parody because they already were parody.

It was an absolute reign of error, and it came to an end 15 years ago, but in an odd turn of events, the upper management of the newspaper’s corporate overlords idiotically botched what should have been the easiest of all terminations by suggesting that the lopping off of Laduke’s editorial head had to do with age, not rank incompetence, enabling him to file a discrimination suit and win a comfortable settlement.

At the time, I remarked that since the settlement came from a bank account far, far away, and happily, the interests of New Albany had been fulfilled with someone else’s money, it was the ultimate in win-win situations.

It may have been our very last win-win, though that’s grist for another outburst. The newspaper is far better now, and Laduke is no longer part of it.

Be thankful for small favors.

Great moments in (non?) ordinance enforcement: The Elm Street Coke Machine.

Let's kick off Monday morning with a look at just one example of New Albany's chief persistent failing, ordinance enforcement.

An NAC reader asks, "Didn't the Board of Works rule that the Coke machine at 610 E. Market had to be removed?

For photos and the original story, go here: Coke machines and condoms: Let's all vend.

Yes, the board did vote in favor of removal. The vote came at the June 30 meeting, as described below in the meeting minutes. If there has been any updates, they are not available, as no minutes have been posted on-line since July.

A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS & SAFETY OF THE CIVIL CITY OF NEW ALBANY, INDIANA, WILL BE HELD IN THE THIRD FLOOR ASSEMBLY ROOM AT THE CITY/COUNTY BUILDING ON TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009 AT 10:00 A.M.

PRESENT: Matt Denison, Suellen Wilkinson, Kay Garry, Corporal Mike Lawrence, Dennis Smith Traffic Department, Code Enforcement Officer Tim Teives, Deputy Clerk Marcey Wisman, David Hall, Animal Control, Tim Marinaro, City Engineer

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Denison called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

NEW BUSINESS:

Item #1 - Matt Denison re: Vending Machine in front of 610 E Elm Street

Mr. Denison stated that Shane McCain is the owner of this property and the complaints have come from several different sources throughout the community. He explained that they vending machine is in a City right-of-way and that Mr. McCain has never been before the board to request permission to put the machine on the property which is what policy requires. He stated they have tried to contact Mr. McCain and sent him a letter requesting his presence at the meeting today but did not get any response. He explained that Mr. Wood said that they have come across some issues but nothing to make them take action and he asked the boards opinion on what action they should take at this time.

Mr. Teives stated that this started with residents complaining about the aesthetics and the fact that this is in a residential area and he explained that the property owners are not residents of New Albany.

Mrs. Wilkinson moved to remove the machine from the City right-of-way, Mrs. Garry second, all voted in favor.

Mr. Denison stated that he would draft a letter and with the approval of Mr. Gibson would send a certified copy to Mr. McCain giving him notice that the city will be removing the machine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Develop New Albany's listing of upcoming downtown events.

Click to enlarge.
Submitted.

One fine autumn day at Capriole Farm.



The goats were fully available for viewing, Judy Schad and her crew prepared an incredible lunch, and Oliver Winery brought its A-list Creekbend wines. The weather was gorgeous. Anyone ready to wash some cheese with beer?

As an addendum, here is the lunch menu:

Birria di Chivo (Mexican marinated/stewed young goat) in a Cornmeal Crepe with Cilantro 'creme fraiche'

Succotash of Fresh Corn, pickled green beans, and Three Sister's Black Beans

Persimmon Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce & Chantilly

Orange-Passionfruit Iced Tea/Coffee (and wine)

Tanks, brownstones, video poker machines and stunted theatrics.

It doesn't exactly qualify as John Galt stopping the engine of the world, but considering the dumbed-down circumstances of politics in the Open Air Museum, conspiring with the Wizard of Westside to hold up approval of the masterplan for a month just might qualify as the heaviest legislative lifting that Stave Price has done this term.

Price: I won’t hold up masterplan; Scribner Place phase two likely to see Nov. 2 council vote, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

A few years hence, when the VFW proposes moving the tank, using its (by then) far-too-large-for-its-declining-membership parking lot, and building brownstones to capitalize on the downtown housing boom, should we say no, you cannot.

You wanted the tank to stay where it is, remember?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another packed weekend: Coffee, anniversaries, hops, goats and pizza.

I'm told that the new Dueling Grounds Cafe is open for patronage in advance of tomorrow's bigger event. Check it out, and report back.

Tomorrow: 5th Anniversary of Destinations Booksellers, Sunday, October 18.

The Confidentials will be there at the bookstore/cafe on Sunday, but first we're driving out to Greenville for quality time at Capriole Farm's Fall Open House.

In other weekend event news, Lupulin Land Harvest Hopcoming is under way at NABC's Public House & Pizzeria, and the BBC Taproom (Main & Clay in downtown Louisville) is staging its Volksfest today.

As a final note, the NABC staff made a lunchtime sales call to Wick's on State yesterday (Friday), and when we left at 12:25 p.m., I counted 95 customers dining in or carrying out. That's very impressive, and I view it as another fistful of garlic waved in the faces of the bloodsucking naysayers.

If he loses his job over this ...

... there are always antique store opportunities right here in NA.

Many (are) angry (that) man wouldn't marry interracial couple

Friday, October 16, 2009

State of Affairs on Southern Indiana, right about now.

It's Southern Indiana day on WFPL 89.3's State of Affairs, today at 1:00 p.m.

Flood troubles, revenue short falls, downtown development – Gotcha! It’s not Louisville but Indiana that will be our topic of discussion on Friday’s State of the News. We’ll also try and answer the question “Governor Daniels – will he or won’t he?” Call us with your questions or comments.

To join the conversation, call (502) 814-TALK, toll-free 1-877-814-TALK, or email soa@wfpl.org. Follow us on Twitter @soatalk.

City council bickers, I yawn.

Happy Hour
60 minutes with your flask before the council meeting starts.

Post-Partum Depression
Induced by the empty flask AFTER the meeting.


Last evening the council chamber Internet access once again disappeared, and when all was said and done, I was too tired and disgusted to post notes. I may or may not do so in the coming days.

The best news to report is that council chieftain Dan Coffey publicly uttered his intention not to serve as president in 2010. This was greeted with applause, which in turn led him to hiss loudly and state that moving back to the table would permit him to actually say what he thinks, although of course he's been doing so in the council chair all year, anyway, with the remainder of his compatriots content to sit on their hands as he besmirches rules of order, council and the entire city -- but hey, who cares, right?

I sure don't, at least today. Consequently, here is by-the-numbers coverage of another legislative debacle staged by political munchkins. Discuss if you wish.

It hits the fan: City Council rejects 2010 budget, argues over private meeting held last week, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

New Albany council scrambles to plug $1.6 million budget hole, by Grace Schneider (Courier-Journal).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's Tribune column: "A New Albanist’s Dictionary."

You must read the column for the complete listing, but here are two teasers:

Civil society
Severe allergy afflicting little people, but curable by frequent tea parties, town hall meetings and tax cuts.

Information
Object so highly desired by Councilman Cappuccino that he typically refuses to acknowledge its existence right up to the point of misstating it.

NA Event Watch: Spirits and Spirits Tour on Wednesday, October 21.

(submitted)

Spirits and Spirits, a ghost walk and eerie tales tour, will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21, as a benefit for Develop New Albany.

The walk begins at Destinations Booksellers, 604 E. Spring St. Tickets are $10 and available
online. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Develop New Albany, a non-profit organization composed of businesses and community volunteers committed to the economic revitalization and historic preservation of Downtown New Albany.

Thrill seekers, ghost enthusiasts, history geeks and the like will all be interested in this unique event. Walkers on the guided tour will be treated to stories of the city’s past inhabitants who still linger as well as tales of people settling their differences the only way they knew how: In the middle of the street. Stories may not be suitable for young children.

Along the tour, guests are invited to take a break at local establishments offering “distilled” spirits, some of which share space with the spirits of the past. Stops include the Windsor, Studio’s Grille and Pub, River City Winery, Bank Street Brew House and Hugh E. Birs.


The tour will be guided by Gregg Seidl, a New Albany native who also wrote “New Albany,” published in 2006, a collection of vintage images portraying the triumphs and tragedies of the residents of New Albany.

More information is available on the
Web.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Right, Nancy: None of us wish to be hurt by bad drivers, so shall we do away with laws regulating driving?

That's funny. As a commuting cyclist, I find that cars with drivers who flagrantly disobey traffic laws are a hazard to me. Digging deeper, this letter encapsulates the classic passive-aggressive New Albanian attitude toward ordinance enforcement, doesn't it?

LETTER: Bike lanes are for bikes

In regard to your article involving Spring Street lane markings, twice I have had a near collision there with cars using the bike lanes to get around cars driving in the car lanes. [The lanes] are a hazard to cars that drive there daily.

I don’t see many bike riders using the lanes. I don’t want to be killed in this situation. I hope this bike lane is done away with.

— Nancy Rein, New Albany

Louisville Area Skeptics return to the Public House on Saturday, October 24.

(Submitted. I really enjoy hosting this group, and urge you to come out)

Sneak Preview of the Skeptical Trivia coming to the next Louisville Area Skeptics in the Pub:

What important paleontological find turned out to be a hoax, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan that had been deliberately combined with the skull of a fully developed modern human?

a. Peking Man
b. Piltdown Man
c. The Cardiff Giant
d. Bodo Man

Do you know the answer? Come and play to see just how trivial your skepticism can be, and win skeptical prizes while you are at it.

What: October Skeptics in the Pub

When: October 24, 2009 7:00 PM

Where:
The New Albanian Brewing Company (formerly Rich O's Public House and Sportstime Pizza)
3312 Plaza Dr
New Albany, IN 47150
(812)949-2804

Join us for our October Skeptics in the Pub. This month we'll have an informal social night, to give us a chance to talk, get to know one another and share ideas. While we won't have a presentation this month, we will have Skeptical Trivia, and PRIZES!! Special, skeptical-themed prizes. Really cool prizes.

Skeptics in the Pub is designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and individuals interested in science. If you haven't made it to one of our meetups yet, this would be a great one to start with. Did I mention there will be prizes?

Once again we'll meet at our favorite, local public house, New Albanian Brewing Company, just over the river in Southern Indiana. Come for the craft beer and breadsticks, stay for the skepticism. (And prizes.)

Learn more here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This is not a Taco Bell advertisement.

Here's a quick one for the zoning wonks and downtown preservationists.

Earlier this evening, I was speaking with a businessman who is about to establish operations in a downtown building. He showed me a mock-up of the building's facade (it is a relatively modern structure) that had been "photo-shopped" into being painted black. He noted that while the other embellishments and decor were likely a go, the color black would have to be changed because it is not allowed.

It's refreshing to hear someone acknowledge a rule and not rush out to hire Crafty John Kraft in a bid to overturn it, but at the same time, I'm wondering if there is such a rule.

Is black really verboten?

If so, what do we do if Al Davis moves the Raiders to New Albany and occupies the Elsby Building?

Open thread: Harvest Homecoming and Fringe Fest recaps?

Whatever else Harvest Homecoming does or does not mean, the festival's autumnal timing usually suggests the end of outdoor season. I'm trying to resist this notion, and to continue cycling and walking outdoors for as long as possible. We'll see how that goes. Three weeks of eating- and drinking-related debauchery cost me a couple of pounds. Not a bad trade, actually.

Early numbers on Fringe Fest seem to be pointing toward a wash in terms of money. The longer it rained, the greater the inevitability that proceeds would be mediocre. However, I believe it went well in the intended, artistic sense, and you never feel bad about breaking even if doing so brings new customers and provides the service (something different from the norm in music, beer and food) intended.

One reality impacting all future outdoor Bank Street events is the status of the parking spaces where we've been erecting the tent. In an effort to over-simplify, I'll say merely that the state of Indiana's alcohol dispensing playbook does not lend itself to rationality when it comes to how we serve beers and where visitors are allowed to move. Fair enough, and it's something we all know going into it. Making seating, movement and serving more rational is the goal, so we'll be considering all options this winter.

As we do, I have a question: Does Bank Street Brewhouse really need the ten or so remaining parking places in the lot? Are we ready to be this urban? If these parking spaces were replaced by something approximating a beer garden, would it be hurting us?

Consider this an all-purpose thread on Harvest Homecoming, Fringe Fest, and related issues. I'll be back later today.

Monday, October 12, 2009

NA Event Watch: 5th Anniversary of Destinations Booksellers, Sunday, October 18.

HH and FF have concluded, but downtown New Albany events aren't dissipating. Speaking of dissipation, there'll be time for a Bloody Mary and/or craft beer at Bank Street Brewhouse before the Destinations affair begins at two.

Fifth Anniversary ... with Garth Stein, Enzo and Friends

NEW ALBANY, Ind. - Oct. 12 - This is just a quick reminder to all our friends and fans about next Sunday's very special event with New York Times bestselling author Garth Stein.

Previous e-mails provide details, but please join us under the Big Tent starting at noon. We'll have giveaways, special announcements, tours of the new Dueling Grounds Cafe, special guests, live music, pet massage, a parade of dogs in the Enzo lookalike contest, and then, at 2 p.m., our friend Garth, whom we met in January of 2008 before he became one of the hottest novelists in America.

We're so very happy to be celebrating our fifth anniversary with you and with Garth, and virtually with our favorite fictional character, Enzo. If you've already purchased The Art of Racing in the Rain, be sure to bring it to be signed.

Floyd County Animal Rescue League continues to partner with us on this event and everyone who brings a can or package of pet food for their programs can take a discount on the purchase of the paperback.
Previously at NAC: Has it been five years already? Destinations Booksellers soon to expand with on-site Dueling Grounds Cafe.

NA neighborhood reps to attend Community Leadership Institute in Milwaukee.

Following is a brief excerpt from good stuff at Ted Fulmore's Our History New Albany blog. Follow the link for the complete story.

Good News for New Albany Neighborhoods

Great news for residents of East Spring Street and S. Ellen Jones neighborhoods.

Members from each respective neighborhood have been invited to attend the Community Leadership Institute in Milwaukee, Oct 15-18. This is an invitation only training event that aims to strengthen the voices and skills of community, resident, and volunteer leaders.

The New Albany Team: Ted Fulmore, Susan Kaempfer, Andy Terrell, Pastor Allen Colwell, Mike Ladd, Jeff Gillenwater, Lisa Thompson, and Tom Johnson.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coffey: Garry now gets it.

Awakening to inviting touts and suggestive tweets that implied earthshaking revelations in the Sunday edition of the Tribune, I turned eagerly to "Council to appeal DLGF ruling," expecting to learn how the city's controller, Kay Garry, has turned the tables on the state's mandated budget cuts.

Whoa ... talk about false advertising.

Conceding that his "attempts to reach Garry were unsuccessful Friday," Tribune reporter Daniel Suddeath instead treats us to the usual palaver from council president Dan Coffey, who is allowed to jockey for taking credit for whatever it was that Garry did to change the dynamics of the budget situation, which we still don't know because she didn't comment and Coffey wouldn't tell.

Like this:

"I talked with [Garry] at length and she has a good handle on the situation now, and that's helpful when you get a handle on it and know what the numbers are," Coffey said.

Note that she has a good handle now, as though she didn't before, and so we're ladled more passive-aggressive nonsense from the Wizard of Westside, as enabled by the Tribune. Here's a question for the editor/publisher:

Is there any chance that this story might have waited for publication until the woman herself was available to be interviewed?

If so, why run it now?

If not, does it really qualify as news?

The remainder of the article recounts the eagerness with which City Hall has removed any reference to the VFW from its downtown master plan document, and its many reassurances that just because the master plan is a blueprint, it "may or may not come to fruition, depending on several factors including financing and public input," which Coffey knew already from having served on planning and redevelopment, but which didn't stop him from using as a scare tactic to mobilize opinion against a plan that he detests because it would enrich his council district.

The NFL as viewed by Mike Tanier of the New York Times.

I'm not a fan of (American-style) football by any stretch. In my sports-watching world, it's all about the baseball post-season and the NBA pre-season at this time.

However, I've been keeping up with the NFL solely by reading Mike Tanier's weekly N.F.L. Matchups blog in the New York Times, and to me, it's some of the funniest commentary going. Why waste time watching games when ten minutes of Sunday reading keeps me so well informed?

As an example, consider today's assessment of Raiders vs. Giants (scroll down).
JaMarcus Russell, football’s answer to Augustus Gloop, has completed only 39.8 percent of his passes this year. Of those completions, 10.2 percent were dropped by the rookie receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy, with 5 percent more sailing over their heads as they slip while running routes. The other 45 percent are so wobbly and random that they could have been launched by homemade trebuchets in a Pumpkin Chunkin’ contest. Eli Manning, with an injured foot, is questionable for Sunday, but a Giants victory isn’t.

By the way, condolences to supporters of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, who yesterday became the first team to be jettisoned from the playoffs. Red Sox fans needn't gloat; as much as it annoys me to see the Angels win a series, they will.

NABC's swill-free Fringe Fest at the Bank Street Brewhouse concludes with a casual Sunday in the bar and on the patio.

It took two days to achieve critical mass, but when it came, it was suitably intense. For this, I am thankful. Kudos to customers, employees and all those who made the past days possible.

The memorable part for me was yesterday afternoon at about three, standing within the friendly confines of the non-taxpayer-supported Bank Street patio with Larry Schad of Capriole Farms, goat cheese in one hand and craft beer in the other, with the lingering scent of duck fat (it makes life better) tempting the olfactories from the right and cigars doing the same from the left, and Splitbow contributing Irish folk music from the stage beneath the Fringe Fest tent.

Nothing special is planned for NABC today, and yet Fringe Fest really isn't over until Harvest Homecoming booth days conclude this afternoon. It's chilly, but the sun's out. We're going casual at Bank Street Brewhouse, with the create-your-own Bloody Mary bar from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 p.m., and a final day of $4 pints.

Music? Food? Football games? Bison wraps and rolled oysters?

Who knows?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

NABC's swill-free Fringe Fest at the Bank Street Brewhouse: Saturday.

The goal of NABC's Fringe Fest is create a cultural counterpoint to Harvest Homecoming and provide unique music, interesting exhibits, captivating films, and – most importantly – good beer. Fringe Fest embraces everything creative and original, and welcomes anything outside of the social ‘norm’.

All events will take place at the NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse, 415 Bank Street in downtown New Albany. For the complete overview, go here.

Saturday, October 10:

Chef Joshua Lehman's and Sous Chef Andrew Gunn's Fringe Fest food menu commences at lunchtime and will continue into the evening. We'll not be serving the usual Bank Street Brewhouse menu. Instead:

Pommes Frites deep-fried in duck fat, choice of aoeli or curry sauces

Confit Leg of Duck with Flageolet Beans

Green Chili using fresh pumpkin from the Farmers' Market

2:00 p.m. - Capriole Farmstead/NABC goat cheese and craft beer tasting (indoor dining area) with Sam & Larry Schad, Chef Josh & whichever NABC brew team members attend, and the Publican. This is a free, informal pairing.

MUSIC

12 Noon - Gates open ... afternoon musical acts TBA

2:00 p.m. - Splitbow! (Irish band)

5:00 p.m. - Kime Sisters

6:00 p.m. - Blind Shade

7:00 p.m. - The Outfit

8:00 p.m. - NABC’s own Jared Williamson

9:00 p.m. - J. Glenn

10:00 p.m. -
Lotus Blake

Please note that while the NABC Fringe Fest is running concurrently with New Albany’s annual Harvest Homecoming event, our festival is neither a “sponsored” nor a “hosted” Harvest Homecoming function, which are detailed at the Harvest Homecoming web site.

Friday, October 09, 2009

NABC's swill-free Fringe Fest at the Bank Street Brewhouse: Friday.

The goal of NABC's Fringe Fest is create a cultural counterpoint to Harvest Homecoming and provide unique music, interesting exhibits, captivating films, and – most importantly – good beer. Fringe Fest embraces everything creative and original, and welcomes anything outside of the social ‘norm’.

All events will take place at the NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse, 415 Bank Street in downtown New Albany. For the complete overview, go here.

Friday, October 9:

Chef Joshua Lehman's and Sous Chef Andrew Gunn's Fringe Fest food menu commences at lunchtime and will continue into the evening. We'll not be serving the usual Bank Street Brewhouse menu. Instead:

Pommes Frites deep-fried in duck fat, choice of aoeli or curry sauces

Confit Leg of Duck with Flageolet Beans

Green Chili using fresh Pumpkin from the Farmers' Market

MUSIC

3:00 p.m. - Clint Ackerman

6:00 p.m. - Avalanche

7:00 p.m. - Midnite Sons

8:00 p.m. - National Hotel

9:00 p.m. - Involuntary’s (from Indianapolis ... voted Indy's best new punk band by NUVO readers)

10:00 p.m. - Blood Turns Brown

and... DJs Adam Higdon and Caleb Wilson spinning intelligent, house music throughout the night.
Please note that while the NABC Fringe Fest is running concurrently with New Albany’s annual Harvest Homecoming event, our festival is neither a “sponsored” nor a “hosted” Harvest Homecoming function, which are detailed at the Harvest Homecoming web site.

Storms, plywood and Port-A-Cans.

Leading off, the Tribune's Daniel Suddeath looks at Harvest Homecoming's Thursday evening shutdown: Rain Delay: Weather dampens first day of festival, organizers hoping for big weekend.

The festival chairman says that today and tomorrow will be booth day business as usual. If you come downtown and see merchants installing plywood sheeting over windows, it isn't because of the weather. Rather, today is the annual downtown beer walk. If you desire a libation of higher overall quality than the mass-produced, carbonated alco-pop from international brewing cartels, I'm guessing you know where to go.

Elsewhere in the newspaper, Matt Nash asks: Is real life stranger than fiction?

Stay tuned for the NABC Fringe Fest schedule for today.

A Mencken quote to greet the weekend.

You just never know when a Mencken phrase will pop into your head.

It is common to assume that human progress affects everyone- that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous ... The great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fringe Fest: The show must go on, and it is going on.

Harvest Homecoming has shut down the booths, but Fringe Fest is under way. We'll be here until around 11:00 p.m., joining downtown's other bricks-and-mortar food and drink businesses in keeping the lamp lit until the bad weather moves out.

The weekend narrative for downtown NA during HH.

It is Day One of NABC's swill-free Fringe Fest at the Bank Street Brewhouse, and in case you missed it, there'll be a Capriole Farms and NABC cheese/beer tasting this Saturday at Bank Street Brewhouse, but if you're headed in the direction of NABC's original location on the north side, the last of the Anstich kegs are pouring this weekend, and two firkins are being readied for Lupulin Land next week.

Other current activities gleaned from the information rutted dirt path:

Kaiser Tobacco will be seeing a lot of me the next few days

Windsor Restaurant and Garden's reveals its Harvest Homecoming plan

River City Winery is right across the street from Kaiser

Various downtown HH listings and info *Studio's, Steinert's, et al) are at New Albany Entertainment's Facebook page

Fox-41 posted a transcript of a film report on Wick's Pizza, Toast on Market and Sweet Stuff

Not far removed from HH is the Downtown Diner & Coffee House

Don't forget Connor's Place, and ask for Elector when you go

NABC's swill-free Fringe Fest at the Bank Street Brewhouse: Thursday.

The goal of NABC's Fringe Fest is create a cultural counterpoint to Harvest Homecoming and provide unique music, interesting exhibits, captivating films, and – most importantly – good beer. Fringe Fest embraces everything creative and original, and welcomes anything outside of the social ‘norm’.

All events will take place at the NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse, 415 Bank Street in downtown New Albany. For the complete overview, go here.

Thursday October 8:

Chef Joshua Lehman's and Sous Chef Andrew Gunn's Fringe Fest food menu commences at lunchtime and will continue into the evening. We'll not be serving the usual Bank Street Brewhouse menu. Instead:

Pommes Frites deep-fried in duck fat, choice of aoeli or curry sauces

Confit Leg of Duck with Flageolet Beans

Green Chili using fresh Pumpkin from the Farmers' Market

Straw Bale Sculpture on the Carnegie Center lawn across the street from Bank Street Brewhouse begins at 1:00 p.m., with workshops at takes place across Bank Street on the lawn of the Carnegie Center. You can stop by any time on Thursday to watch (and help) artist Brad McCombs build the sculpture, and his workshops on the process begin at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. This p(art) of Fringe Fest is hosted by the Carnegie Center.



Music TBA in early afternoon.

7:00 p.m. - "Mystery band" (friends of Old Man)

Circa 7:30 p.m. - Old Man

8:30 p.m. - Fire Show with The Phoenix Collective: Fire Spinners, Fire Breathers, and all-around Pyro-Enthusiasts. They stole the show at last year's Fringe Fest.

After dark, circa 9:00 p.m. - The Louisville Film Society presents a potpourri of shorts and snippets on the silver (white?) screen


Please note that while the NABC Fringe Fest is running concurrently with New Albany’s annual Harvest Homecoming event, our festival is neither a “sponsored” nor a “hosted” Harvest Homecoming function, which are detailed at the Harvest Homecoming web site.

Today's Tribune column: "We love a parade, unless ... "

You had to be up early (or still drinking late) to catch Droolapalooza, the “alternative” Harvest Homecoming parade. Missed it? It’s your lucky day, because my Tribune column today provides a gritty, factual account of it.

BAYLOR: We love a parade, unless ...

“Li’l Stevie, I already told you. Them people wouldn’t let us in their high-falutin’ parade last Saturday. True, the application was late, but the Englandites, the parade committee, the Democrats, the Republicans, them pergessives — they’re all against us, every single one of ‘em.”

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tribune's "Cheers and Jeers" takes note of the council president's inadequacy, and so do we.

We were forewarned Tuesday afternoon on Twitter. Cheers go to National Newspaper Week, the Harvest Homecoming balloon race and Rep. Ed Clere, and jeers are directed toward Indiana governmental red tape, the absence of a plan for Grant Line Road, manhole covers on Green Valley road, and ... yes ...

TRIBUNE CHEERS & JEERS: Oct. 7, 2009

Jeers ... yet again to New Albany City Council president Dan Coffey and his continual efforts— be them intentional or accidental — to damage the city for future generations.

Follow the link for the complete text. Also in today's issue of the Tribune: Eastridge variance request denied, in which Daniel Suddeath describes the Board of Zoning Appeals smackdown of CCE.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Wick's Pizza on State is illuminated as opening day draws near.

Photos above courtesy of Mike Kopp, below from the senior editor.

Wick's should be open tomorrow (Wednesday), having received ATC alcohol license approval today. This is a guess, not an official announcement! The opening comes just in time for a Harvest Homecoming look-see, so get down to 225 State Street and welcome the business to New Albany.

For a look at what Wick's has been doing all these years in Louisville, visit the company's web site.

The following were snapped earlier today -- there's a huge crew in the building, and dough in the walk-in. The beer comes only after the state's permission slip. First is the new southerly bar (constructed from bricks and timbers found in the basement), then an original window now being used as overhead decor, and finally the new carry-out counter built along the northern wall.

Posted by Picasa

Klezmerfest tonight on the Bank Street Brewhouse patio.

Tonight is the long-awaited KLEZMERFEST, which I hope will become a permanent feature of Fringe Fest in the years to come. The musicians will be playing on the north patio, and the big tent goes up tomorrow. If you're not familiar with this music, it's vastly entertaining and goes well with beer (what doesn't?) Our old friend Misha Feigin opens at six, followed by Klezmer at eight.

6:00 p.m. - Misha Feigin

8:00 p.m. - Louisville Klezmer Orchestra

Here's an interesting and related link: Oktoberfest in Palestine (thanks J).

It's also First Tuesday, Develop New Albany's monthly mixer, which is being held this afternoon at Rodefer Moss & Co. at 301 East Elm. There'll be appetizers (from Sam's, I think?), beer from NABC and River City Winery vino, and it runs from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Council aids and abets Coffey in master plan debacle, then has a drink or two and says, "whatever."

(Dan) Coffey said the council hasn’t received enough information on the plan, though it passed through the city’s Redevelopment and Plan commissions.

From
New Albany City Council says no to Georgetown deal, by Daniel Suddeath.

During the year it took for the downtown master plan to travel from conception through the Redevelopment and Plan Commissions in route to the council chamber, the perpetually information-deprived Dan Coffey sat on both, having appointed himself to be the council's liaison with these bodies.

New Albany's own set of rules differ with Coffey appointing himself, but I digress. After all, we're accustomed to lawlessness.

One would imagine that any normally cognizant person attending meetings on a semi-regular basis would be aware of the master plan's progress.

But, says the Wizard of Westside, none of this should be taken to imply that he (or other council appointees in like positions) retained any of it, seeing as cognitive function is not a state of human afairs that exists in a void. Rather, in Coffeystan, it is inexorably tied to political caterwauling, as we saw last evening.
Of course, it was Coffey heroically playing the role of "the council member" who called the VFW to tip them off about the ATC coming to raid their video poker machines -- wait, sorry, that's Steve Price's line -- or, as in the Monday edition of "As the Credulity Turns" posited, letting them know at the very last moment that approving a resolution about the master plan would deprive them of a parking lot and a tank.

Apparently the VFW is populated with members who never, ever read the newspaper and also were scandalized that such a thing as a zoning master plan might ever exist in fair New Albany. Given that later in the meeting, Coffey cooed about providing funding to the same VFW for an Internet cafe to bring grandparents and grandchildren together, we can surmise that all of it was choreographed in advance without the necessity of a last-minute rotary dial cell phone call, but really, does this matter?

Thus, we were treated to the spectacle of the VFW's representative waving the bloody shirt in the faces of council persons who sat impassively through another of Coffey's elaborately staged Punch 'n' Judy shows, except that at the crucial juncture Price, who hasn't learned protocol after six years of trying, was given the handoff by QB Coffey and fumbled it, inelegantly allowing the resolution to be seconded and forcing Coffey to change Roberts Rules of Order once again and forcibly deferring the discussion until Price has convened a committee to try to brush it under the rug.

Jack Messer deserves plaudits for calling Coffey's bluff, and the remainder of the council might merit a rebuke for permitting Coffey's behavior to sully their already ebbing political reputations even further, except that in some way and at some level, all of them were in on the fix last night. You can't convince me that any of it was improvisational.

With the first-reading "no" votes on every piece of legislation having to do with funding, and with the slapdown of all the educated professionals who attended the meeting in the hope of dicussing New Albany's future, Coffey orchestrated a spitball in the face of City Hall -- and that's understandable, given that the room was filled with "them people," and Coffey hates "them people" in a visceral way that owes more to Richard Nixon's tortured pathology than anything pertaining to the relative facts of the cases being brought before the council last night.

Here's the rub: The rest of them (Price the clueless sycophant excluded) continue to sit there and pretend that all of this comes without cost. Some gathered afterwards at Studio's and talked about what might be done ... and, accordingly, they did (and continue to do) absolutely nothing, as though Coffey's antics are injurious only to himself, and not to the city, to its revitalization, and to their own council work records.

Because: Last night, by acquiescing in Coffey's "fuck you Doug, and while we're at it, fuck the city" junkyard mutt theater, each and every one of the council members present simply dogged it. Yes, we're paying them next to nothing, but last night, that was far too much. They took the paychecks and ran for the hills, barely breaking a sweat in the process -- half-heartedly waving at tepid fastballs, jogging downfield on their routes, playing matador defense against the opposing guard.

Afterward, they laughed and joked about it. To me, it's no laughing matter to underachieve.

Why is it for them?

And, what should they do?

Something. That'd be a start.

You're right, Bill. The street should be two-ways, and then -- voila, no problem!

How is it the city's fault that bicycles travel the wrong way on a one-way street? Doesn't this factoid reference personal responsibility?

Tribune reader Bill Smith (see below) is vexed, but in truth, the Interstate highway system itself is elaborately marked, and still, occasionally, it is the scene of a "horrible accident" when a fallible human drives the wrong way.

There's no doubt here that following the paving job on Spring Street, it took far too long to provide adequate stripings, altogether. As far as the bike lanes go, at least they're finally now marked with the bike symbol (above, photographed frome the saddle) that illustrates the correct way to go, and yes, absolutely, there are far too many people riding bicycles in this town who know nothing -- zilch, zero, nada -- about the rules of engagement.

However, by reader Smith's reasoning, we'd have to shut down automotive traffic as well, because as a daily commuting cyclist, I guarantee that just as few drivers of cars as riders of bikes understand the rules of engagement -- with other drivers, much less cyclists.

It'd be nice to think that some governmental entity, whether it be the city or state, might have the time and money to help educate drivers and cyclists alike, but this isn't likely to happen in my lifetime. I'm open to suggestions, Bill.

LETTERS: Oct. 6, 2009

New Albany bike lanes on Spring could cause accidents

The bicycle lanes on Spring Street between Vincennes and Bank have the potential for horrible accidents. I recently encountered a bicyclist going east, or the wrong way, in the bicycle lane on the south side of the street. Indiana law requires bicyclists on public streets to obey the same rules of the road that motor vehicles are required to obey. Is it legal for bicyclists to go the wrong way on one-way streets? Further, are drivers who are entering Spring Street from side streets on the south side of Spring looking for bicyclists coming from the wrong direction?

It does not look to me that this matter was thoroughly researched. It does not make sense that bicycles and cars should be going in the opposite directions on a one-way street. Further, the striping job on Spring Street was a sloppy job. I am surprised it passed the specifications. Who approved this work?

— Bill Smith, New Albany

Monday, October 05, 2009

Lawlessness again tolerated.

They wanted him to be president, so he makes a mockery of their rules. So be it. One wag was overheard to say: "Tonight, this council gave city hall the finger. aybe now city hall will give it back."

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Our Apotheoses Are Marching On: Return to live blogging, Volume 2 (October 5).

COMMUNICATIONS – PUBLIC (continued):

5. Larry Timperman - for the city of New Albany ... Coffey overrules him and says come back during discussion later. Scott Wood agrees to another Coffey rule change.

6. David Andrews - attorney for Georgetown, to reiterate a few points. Speaks about original intent; the climate for sewer plant construction and how hard it is to achieve it; how small $450,000 is as a figure, and how that small of a number could not possibly impact NA ratepayers.

7. Mose Putney - architect for developer Jack Bobo. Questions? Should I speak then or now?

Coffey: "Jumping up three steps, but that's all right." Agrees.

COMMUNICATIONS – CITY OFFICIALS:

Benedetti - Flooding issues. She has been going to stormwater meetings. Asks about stormwater borrowing against EDIT rather than borrowing outside as a means of getting some of these projects started.

Pat McLaughlin - wants the discussion of the master plan to be sure and mollify the misunderstandings of the public and their intentional misleading by the council.

Coffey - Notes that the VFW wants to put together an Internet cafe to help our hallowed veterans reach their kids. Appoints Pat to it.

COMMUNICATIONS – MAYOR

Not present.

APPOINTMENTS:

None.

APPROVAL OF CF-1 FORMS:

None.

INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: READING

R-09-23 Resolution Confirming the Establishment of an Economic Revitalization Area for Matt Chalfant d/b/a Chalfant Industries, Inc. by the Common Council of the City of New Albany (Messer)

Unanimous approval.

R-09-24 Resolution of the Common Council of the City of New Albany Amending the “New Albany-Fringe Area Comprehensive Plan 2020” (Price)

Steve Price wants to set up a committee to study this Master Plan because there are concerns about things, and the state's about to make all planning illegal because of budget restaints ... Messer notes that Price introduced the resolution, there was a second.

Coffey then dramatically says that in spite of Roberts Rules of Order, he'll be tabling the resolution because "they've been working on it for a year, and we've only had it for three days."

A-09-12 Ordinance For Appropriations and Tax Rates Benedetti 1

Kay Garry suggests approving on first reading and then going back for adjustments.

Against: Price, McLaughlin, Benedetti, Gahan, Gonder, maybe everyone else, too, except Messer.

A-09-13 An Ordinance to Fix the Non-Reverting Budgets For the Year 2010 (Zurschmiede1)

Against - enough; rejected it roughly 6-3.

We're witnessing a nadir even by their standards.

A-09-14 An Ordinance Setting Salaries for the Year 2010 for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees (Gahan 1 )

No: Beaten again, mostly the same votes.

Now we are rushing through the "no" votes as fast as Coffey can take us.

G-09-20 Ordinance To Replace A Tabled Ordinance Seeking A Moratorium on Building Permits (Gonder 1)

Price: Retention ponds?

Gonder: New rules that are more strict must be retroactively rectified by developers.

Gahan, Zurschmiede, Coffey against.

A-09-11 Ordinance Appropriating Funds for One Time Cost Of Living Recognition Payment and Setting Amount Of Payments

Caesar tables it. No objections this time, because caesar did it right.

G-09-19 An Ordinance to Reflect Technical Changes Necessary As a Result of An Agreement With the Town of Georgetown (McLaughlin 3)

Coffey carries it "no" 5-4.

MISCELLANOUS ITEMS:

None.