Saturday, August 31, 2013

Seamus Heaney and the story of language as a loaded weapon.

Seamus Heaney has died, and Fintan O'Toole places the poet in context.

... (Heaney) had something to convey – especially, it seemed, to his fellow citizens. It was what his whole life as a poet had articulated with such astounding eloquence. In a speech at the National Museum in March he put it directly: “We are not simply a credit rating or an economy but a history and a culture, a human population rather than a statistical phenomenon.”

Of course, YouTube has many clips of the poet. As I watched a handful of them this morning, rejoicing in the wonderfully musical sound of words spoken by an Irishman, vague old memories began resurfacing.

Much of what I know, I learned during the 1980s through reading, traveling, listening ... and watching series like the PBS documentary called The Story of English. The episode I watched over and over on videotape was "The Loaded Weapon," and sure enough, there was Seamus Heaney commenting on the enduring life of language as mythology. Those amazing Irish stays in pre-Celtic Tiger times now come back to me. It's an enveloping thing, indeed.

Perhaps I should have been watching the Dukes of Hazzard and reinforcing my Americanism.

Bricklaying on the corner of Market and Pearl.

The transformation of the building so many of us will always associate with Jim's Gun Room proceeds apace.

The following photos chart the change, beginning last winter when Resch Construction got to work in earnest.

Then in spring.

And at the end of July.

Impressive. The completely remodeled apartment upstairs is gorgeous, and as far as I know, Regalo remains the intended retail occupant at street level.

Learn about the forthcoming Mai oh Mai food truck.

Back on July 28, the absence of street food in New Albany on a Friday night prompted a rumination.

Needed is döner kebab, or perhaps falafel, maybe Cornish pasties.

 ... The gospel of the free market suggests that this situation eventually will solve itself. The solution might come more quickly if the city completes downtown streets, and the number of walkers and bikers escalates. At some point there will be a food truck, or existing establishments will do what we’re trying to do with the grilling program, at least in fair weather.

Unbeknownst to me, a partial solution may be in the offing.

Mai oh Mai Truck (at Facebook)

... Mai oh Mai will be a French- Vietnamese food truck that serves New Albany, IN and the surrounding area. While offering authentic cultural foods, it will also serve as the catalyst for educational programs that will benefit the community directly.

Jimmy Mai and Joe Phillips offer a partnership that has contributed 15 years in the restaurant industry, six years in the non- profit sector, and over 4,000 community service hours dedicated to regional and national non- profit organizations. Their combined knowledge of educational programs and the restaurant industry has enabled the opportunity to start a social establishment based on service learning and culinary artistry.

Hmm, looks like Joe has been holding out on me. As they get further along, I'll try to keep readers posted, but as for the intrigue factor, I'm already hooked.

Another factor to bear in mind is our Floyd County Health Department. Once I was chatting with a food truck operator in an adjoining county and asked if he ever came into Floyd. He grimaced.

"Floyd County? And deal with them?"

Let's hope that Mai oh Mai doesn't begin its career on Double Secret Probation.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mt. St. Francis picnic is tomorrow.

Chris Morris previews tomorrow's Mt. St. Francis picnic, which he notes has been held since 1921. Back then, beer wouldn't have been sold at the picnic owing to the oppressive reality of Prohibition, but since Repeal, it's been a constant.

One of these years, I'll remember to ask the organizers if they'd like to have real beer on hand. Until then, if anyone reading this goes out to the Mount tomorrow, let us know the extent of the selection.


The Mount St. Francis Picnic will be held from 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 31. Chicken dinners are $9. There will be a beer garden, gambling tent, various food and games of chance. The Mount is located off U.S. 150.

Monster trucks and the street grid.

I was walking westbound on Spring Street this morning, approaching Sweet Stuff, when I saw three Padgett Inc. trucks in a row turn onto Spring from 4th.

Each of the trucks was as long as Spring Street is wide, meaning that to navigate the turn, the cabs very nearly were onto the sidewalk on the south side of the street.

Rather obviously, a two-way street would complicate this maneuver. It wouldn't make it impossible, just more difficult.

Watching this prompts a few observations. They may or may not be related.

I've no beef with Padgett, even when all the GOP signs are merrily festooned on its expansive fence during election season. Funny, but one time there were Irv Stumler placards there, and he was a Democrat.

Yes, it's a free enterprise kind of country (except when it isn't, right Kerry Stemler?), and we've also had many discussions in the past about which sort of businesses are appropriate in a downtown setting -- more specifically, in a revitalizing downtown setting.

When and if the city gets serious about its street grid, which increasingly looks to be long AFTER it's already too late, what clout will a company like Padgett bring to the table?

Will we be compelled to adapt a pedestrian-friendly downtown to the needs of businesses like Padgett?

I don't know the answers. But questions are good.

Six hours?

Some sobering and fascinating numbers herein.

When Buying Local Doesn't Build Community Wealth, by Amy Cortese (Locavesting)

Buy local. Support local business. These are the rallying cries that community-boosters (including myself) use all the time. When you spend money at a local business, the theory goes, more of that money circulates in the community, supporting other local businesses as well as charities and boosting the local tax base.

Except when it doesn't.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

ON THE AVENUES: Riders in the Hummer.

ON THE AVENUES: Riders in the Hummer.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

Most of what I know about Australia has been sporadically gleaned from a handful of books, documentaries and films, although far less of the Crocodile Dundee variety than Children of the Revolution and Gallipoli. The latter brought Mel Gibson to American audiences; he was born in the United States but moved to New South Wales as a boy. On the other hand, the classic movie era actor Errol Flynn came from Hobart, Tasmania, which is part of the Australian commonwealth, and later became an American citizen.

The Manic Street Preachers, a band from old Wales, have a song about Australia. Appropriately, it’s called “Australia.” Australian bands you may have heard include INXS, AC-DC and Men at Work. Peter Garrett, the angular fellow in the Midnight Oil song about aboriginal lands, was an activist who eventually became a politician.

My friend Graham, born Canadian and now New Albanian, toured Down Under a decade ago, and he has provided first-hand testimony. So have various natives encountered while traveling. Back during my salad days in Europe, it seemed to me that the Australians were a blessed caste of backpackers. They had an untouchable quality, as such: If an American and an Australian were caught at 4 a.m. urinating on a sacred statue in the central square, only the Yank would be hauled away to jail. The gendarmes would merely laugh at the Aussie, who would be shooed away to sleep it off.

Such nice, harmless lads, and not imperialist at all!

It should be noted that not once during Graham’s trekking tales did we ever share an ice-cold Foster’s Lager, because Foster’s most assuredly cannot be termed “Australian for beer” when it is mass-produced in Canada, not Canberra. Americans tend to remain ignorant of such important distinctions, and perhaps accordingly, many of us bought into the whole Crocodile Dundee shtick.

This is why I remain dubious of so many of my countrymen, although I can think of at least one Australian who felt the same way toward his.


Earlier this summer, I finally read a novel about Australia: Riders in the Chariot, by Patrick White. The novel was published in 1961, and White was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973.

It probably is an understatement to suggest that White’s relationship with his homeland was psychological, visceral and adversarial. Reading the overview of his life and career, one readily sees the ambiguities: A well-traveled gay writer and intellectual returns to his native Australia after half a life spent elsewhere, and finds that his country is his polar opposite, embracing superstition, hypocritical piety and macho doltery in equal measures. In outspoken fashion, White spent the remainder of his days trying to square the circle, while ignoring calls to “go live somewhere else if you hate it so much here.”

How oddly familiar this sounds to generations of New Albany’s book readers.


Riders in the Chariot traces the comings and goings, and an eventual convergence, of four very different residents of a fictionalized Sydney suburb (Sarsaparilla) in the late 1950s. Their common thread is not in any sense that of shared backgrounds. Rather, it is an ecumenical, non-denominational grasp of spirituality, because each of them has experienced visions of the flaming chariot described in the Book of Ezekiel.

The central characters are:

Mary Hare: An elderly, eccentric and virtually feral heiress inhabiting a crumbling mansion appropriately called Xanadu. Her decision to hire a housekeeper has unexpected consequences.

Ruth Godbold: The local washerwoman and mother to a large brood, abandoned by her husband and relegated to inhabiting a converted garage. She is the inadvertent glue for the neighborhood, and is largely ignored when not actively maligned.

Alf Dubbo: A peripatetic aborigine from somewhere in the scrublands, possessing only borderline literacy, he is largely uninterested in white culture, but is a gifted natural artist able to express himself only when painting.

Mordecai Himmelfarb: A former Jewish holy man and academic, he narrowly escaped the gas chambers and lost everything in the Holocaust. Resolved to flee European old ways, he sets out as a penitent, randomly selects Australia as a new home, and rejects his educational background in favor of manual labor in a bicycle parts factory.


Riders in the Chariot is rife with symbolism, and while much of it is Biblical in origin – at a critical juncture, Dubbo denies knowing Himmelfarb – the novel cannot be said to be religious. Those who have experienced the vision of the chariot have been exposed to a universal truth, not a sectarian dogma. Surrounded by dullards, they glimpse a kinder future, but like the proliferating undergrowth choking Hare’s unkempt property, there is a strong suggestion that any striving for ultimate truth that exists outside one’s individual consciousness is likely to fall prey to nature’s limitations, and humanity’s destructive nurture.

In short, spirituality doesn’t have a prayer in the face of mankind’s territorial proclivities, religious or otherwise. Life remains death: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust … and no one ever gets saved.

Obviously, the novel needn’t have been confined to Australia to achieve this conclusion. With only slight alterations, the setting could well have been New Albany. It might yet be. There is no happy ending, and yet there is much to be learned. The events that transpire to produce tragedy do not occur owing to divine decree. They result from conniving, fallibility, stupidity and fear on the part of human beings, who couldn’t manage to see a fiery chariot if it landed atop their corn hole boards.

I haven’t ever been to Australia, but Patrick White never came here, either. For some reason, that fact seems important.

But will the Bar Belle continue?

We took a backwards glance at LEO tidings on August 17.

Coming around again: Matters of principle at LEO.

I think it is highly instructive that LEO's Sarah Kelley has chosen to "take a bullet" rather than acquiesce to a directive she cannot abide. Good for her. I recall a similar story back in 2010.

Sara Havens has been a pal for a long while, and I wish her the best as she swaps hats, s explained below.

Editor's Note: Wheel in the sky, by Sara Havens

One of my first jobs at LEO was copy editing John Yarmuth’s Editor’s Note, and now I sit here writing one of my own. That was 14 years ago, and, truth be told, I never really had to do much to his copy other than add a comma here or delete a comma there.

Throughout these past 14 years, I’ve swabbed the decks for Louisville’s first and only alternative newsweekly, learning from the best — Yarmuth, Cary Stemle, Stephen George and Sarah Kelley — and slowly progressing through the ranks. I have at least six boxes of business cards with assorted titles, from Associate Editor to Arts & Entertainment Editor to Managing Editor. And although it’s not under the best of circumstances, I’m taking on the role as Editor this week, at least for the interim.

"Free Abortions on Demand Without Apology," in The Nation.

The Nation is a wonderful corrective to right-wing claptrap.

Free Abortions on Demand Without Apology, by Jessica Valenti (The Nation)

When did so many feminists get polite on abortion? I cannot take hearing another pundit insist that only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s work is providing abortions or that some women need birth control for “medical” reasons. Tiptoeing around the issue is exhausting, and it’s certainly not doing women any favors.

It’s time resuscitate the old rallying cry for “free abortions on demand without apology.” It may not be a popular message but it’s absolutely necessary. After all, the opposition doesn’t have nearly as many caveats. They’re fighting for earlier and earlier bans on abortions, pushing for no exceptions for rape and incest, fighting against birth control coverage—even insisting that they have the right to threaten abortion providers. The all-out strategy is working; since 2010, more than fifty abortion clinics have stopped providing services.

The anti-choice movement isn’t pulling any punches—why should we?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Durgee Road causes Bush, Seabrook to get their knickers in a twist, and that's funny.

The News and Tribune had the story on Saturday.

“How can the city close a county road? I have a big problem with that,” Commissioner Mark Seabrook said. “They built it without telling us, now they’re closing it without telling us?”

Today it's in the C-J.

... (County planner Don) Lopp said Durgee Road questions boil down to communication. “The county commissioners obviously have an interest,” he said. “They just want more information on the plans.”

I obviously have an interest in knowing when the health department decides to change its permitting procedures on a whim, and from no discernible statutory precedent, but neither Seabrook nor Bush thinks it's important for me to be informed about THAT.

But if a funeral home regulator walked into HIS business and did what the health department did to NABC and others in June, Seabrook would begin chewing the scenery. Bush wants to be sheriff, and he can't be bothered with the law as it pertains to a lowly, atheistic beer slinger.

Read these words carefully: I hope you both choke on Durgee Road.

That is all.

(photo credit ...

From California, a "Declaration of Pedestrian Rights."

Mission Pedestrian works for a "walkable, livable" Santa Cruz, California.

Mission Pedestrian is an organization of residents, business people, and neighbors who live and work in Santa Cruz. We support safe, comprehensive, convenient, accessible and attractive pedestrian travel ways.

We believe vibrant business districts and livable neighborhoods facilitate foot traffic between businesses and between homes and businesses. Our mission is to improve the pedestrian environment in Santa Cruz.

A personal favorite feature is the access report form, which occurred to me this morning as I dodged the water from a Main Street homeowner watering "his" sidewalk.

New: Pedestrian Access Report Form

Just say "no" to cracked sidewalks, walkways blocked by vehicles or overgrown vegetation and other pedestrian hazards with the Community Traffic Safety Coalition's new Pedestrian Access Report form. Community members are encouraged to use the form to report any obstacles they encounter while walking to the appropriate public works department.

Unless there really is something in the drinking water hereabouts, New Albanians are no less capable of such thinking and acting.


Declaration of Pedestrian Rights

All people are pedestrians, and as pedestrians are endowed with certain inalienable rights. Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

All too often, people must risk their lives to walk. All too often, people are not at liberty to travel outside the confinement of a motor vehicle. All too often, barren streets allow one to walk, but produce no joy or happiness from the experience.

Whereas, walking is a healthful activity, while physical inactivity is a major cause of obesity, ill health, and early death;

Whereas, walking is friendly to the environment, while many other forms of transportation are major sources of pollution;

Whereas, walking is energy efficient, while motorized transportation uses scarce energy resources;

Whereas, walking teaches children independence, while many children are dependent upon adults for transportation;

Whereas, walking allows the elderly to maintain independence, while auto-oriented sprawl forces many seniors to prematurely leave their homes;

Whereas, walking is economical, while the cost of having several automobiles is a major financial burden on many households;

Whereas, walking promotes informal interactions between people and strengthens community, while many neighborhoods lack any social contact between neighbors;

Whereas, walking is good for the mind and the soul, while too many suffer under stress driving in traffic;

Now therefore be it RESOLVED that:

People shall have a way to walk along the public right of way. Streets and roads in populated areas will include sidewalks or other suitable pathways. People shall have a way to walk across the public right of way.

Streets and roads will include safe, comfortable, and convenient crossings wherever people would reasonably want to cross. People shall have places to walk to. Housing, commercial, and retail developments will be located so as to have a variety of destinations within walking distance. People shall have a welcoming environment. Sidewalks will be a generous width, with shade trees, benches, or other appropriate amenities to make walking pleasant.

People shall have a well-maintained environment. Sidewalks will be kept free of shrubbery, snow, parked cars, and other obstructions. People shall have support from other modes. Transit systems will work as an effective extension of walking.

People shall have full consideration for their range of needs when walking. Persons with disabilities will be accommodated both to the letter and in the spirit of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

People shall be protected from vehicle threats by adequate enforcement of traffic laws. Drivers will respect crosswalk laws.

Hereby adopted by acclamation on the 18th of August, 2001, in Oakland, California.

Another new beginning at the News and Tribune?

In order to read Jason Thomas's request for input, I had to hurriedly disable the sound on my laptop so as to avoid hearing the dentist recite for the umpteenth time her commitment to teeth since childhood.

So, since you ask: How about doing away with adman of the year Bill Hanson's arsenal of early 2000s-era spam-laden dog and pony shows?

As for the actual news, I'm sure we can come up with voluminous advice. Can't we?

Haven't we always? Yo, Bluegill ...

THOMAS: Staying relevant in an evolving media world, by Jason Thomas

... In Southern Indiana, the News and Tribune is your paper. In my new role as assistant editor, in less than two months I’ve already seen firsthand our readers’ passion on any number of issues. That jazzes us as journalists. As a native of Floyds Knobs and a graduate of Floyd Central High School, I consider the News and Tribune my paper, too.

So I’d like to use this space to say hello and ask a favor: May I pick your brain? What would you like to see covered in the pages of the News and Tribune? What do we do well? What needs work? Also of interest is how you read the paper. Are your fingers smudged with ink or are your thumbs sore from accessing our content via the web or your smartphone?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your PourGate update for Tuesday, August 27.

My friend Jim H. submits the following.

A quote from an interview with Professor Steve Bamforth; UC Davis in Scientific American dated May 2007:

"Until very recently, wasn't water dangerous to drink? Is that part of why wine and beer were the drinks of choice throughout the last 8,000 years or so?

Bamforth: Yeah! Beer is certainly not hospitable for the growth of microorganisms. You know, we don’t have coli scares in beer. Pathogens will not grow in beer and the beer—of course during production it's boiled—beer contains hops which has got antimicrobial components, and so, you know, ales and beers over the years have been safer to drink rather than the water because of these reasons."

Of course, from the very start, the Floyd County Health Department's very last consideration has been factual in this pathogenic context. Since June 14, the issue primarily has been one of hidebound bureaucratic control, and secondarily, enhanced future revenues once the precedent of control has been accepted.

Of course, NABC does not accept it.

As I've indicated on several occasions, we're content to fight the cold war for the foreseeable future, and wait for the relevant state agencies to reach what (to us) is the inevitable conclusion that only the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission has statutory control over beer pouring. When this decision is made, I promise to don my best Martin Luther duds and tape it to Mark Seabrook's exurban door frame.

But the other side of the coin -- the health department's juvenile on-line defamation -- still remains very much in play. That one isn't going away any time soon, and commissioner Seabrook might as well ring the insurance company with the good news ... after his latest "render unto Caesar" tantrum, and before the Camm trial bills start coming due.

Harvest Homecoming food vendors, take note: You'll soon have to pay $20 per day to sell food. The health department says beer is food, but that beer pourers don't have to pay the fee. If beer is food, isn't food also beer? So, exactly why are YOU paying for these temporary food permits when beer pourers are not?

And, for anyone contemplating a beer event: If the fine for not having a temporary food serving permit is half the cost of the permit, and it there is no charge for the permit, then what's the fine?

Think carefully, because after all, careful thinking puts you five steps ahead of the Floyd County Health Department.

Right, Mark?

Argo -- you know, like the Argonauts.

We finally got around to watching Argo, winner of Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards. It's pretty good, although not as pretty good as Lincoln, and Alan Arkin's Hollywood producer turn is epic even if it didn't earn an Oscar -- but if you pay attention to awards shows, yours is a fairly desperate life, eh?

That guy who plays the Canadian ambassador ... dead ringer for Erich Honecker. And now, back to The Last of the Summer Wine.

No, Erika; probably not.

I'm very disappointed that Prof. Erika hasn't commented on PourGate.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Uncertain Slate Run improvements merely a symptom of the street grid malaise.

I walked home from work today, east on Spring Street against traffic.

Three times I came to an intersection with a vehicle traveling southbound. Not one time out of the three did the driver so much look right (west) before rolling forward -- twice slowly, once without stopping at the stop sign.

How may times must this point be made?

One way streets are a tremendous impediment to walker safety.

And yet by almost all reputable indices, walking is what we need to encourage in order to make good on the downtown revitalization we've achieved to date. Everyone involved with city government claims to grasp this ... and we can do nothing save reach for the low-hanging fruit on Main Street (read: state money).

Meanwhile, just a bit further from downtown, but still inside the beltway, we're playing political games with the Slate Run corridor. Read the comments below, and ask yourself this question: Apart from our cars, how the hell are we going to get to $19 million worth of new parks?

One more: Wouldn't it be better if we could use or legs or our bicycles to get to these facilities?

And to conclude: But if the city's street grid was navigable by residents on foot or riding, and not in their cars, wouldn't it make the whole city a recreational facility?

The state of Slate Run Road; Residents vocal about project, but status of Slate Run improvements uncertain, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune)


Around this time each year, hundreds of children begin their classes at Slate Run Elementary School.

Kate Caufield and her husband hoped their children would be able to walk to Slate Run Elementary when they moved to a street near the school.

But after realizing sidewalks are scarce along Slate Run Road, they quickly changed their plans.

“I can hear the kids playing on the playground at recess from my house, but I have no way to get [my children] there except to drive them,” Caufield said.

Webb raised her children in her house off Slate Run Road, and they also attended Slate Run Elementary.

“Of course I could never let them walk to school,” she said.

An avid jogger, Caufield finds herself driving to adjoining neighborhoods in order to find sidewalks where she can safely run.

“You’re kind of at the mercy of people letting you run through their yards” on Slate Run Road, she said.

Amerson’s wife also regularly walks for exercise, and like Caufield, she drives to another neighborhood where there are sidewalks to use.

Caufield has run in the street a few times, and said some motorists on Slate Run Road expressed their displeasure with having a pedestrian in the street.

“It’s frustrating and it’s dangerous,” she said.

Pedestrians and cyclists have little safe haven along Slate Run without using private properties or diving into a ditch when a car speeds by, residents said.

However, the safety concerns aren’t just limited to pedestrian use. Webb said she regularly sees vehicles speeding up and down the road, as she estimated some of the cars, trucks and motorcycles were traveling 50 to 60 mph, well above the 30 mph speed limit.

Whether it’s more stop signs, speed bumps or even a roundabout, Benedetti said more traffic-calming measures need to be added on the road.

The administration has projects planned to improve Main Street, Mount Tabor Road and another segment of Grant Line Road.

Amerson conceded he doesn’t know the traffic count for Slate Run Road, and can’t insist that a project for the street would be more important than upgrading other thoroughfares in the city.

But he added that Slate Run is a busy road that needs attention, and he credited Benedetti for raising the issue before the redevelopment commission last month.

“I would just hope the Slate Run Road project would not go to the back of the agenda,” Amerson said.

"Tom Christian, Descendant of Bounty Mutineer, Dies at 77."

Everyone's heard about the mutiny on the Bounty. What happened afterward is less well known.

Tom Christian, Descendant of Bounty Mutineer, Dies at 77, by Margalit Fox (NYT)

Tom Christian, known as the Voice of Pitcairn for his half-century-long role in keeping his tiny South Pacific island, famed as the refuge of the Bounty mutineers, connected to the world, died at his home there on July 7. Mr. Christian, Pitcairn’s chief radio officer and a great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian, the mutiny’s leader, was 77.

Tom Christian was a great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian, who led the mutiny on the British ship Bounty in 1789.

With his death, Pitcairn’s permanent population stands at 51.

I've always been fascinated by history and geography, but this isn't a place I'd like to go.

Welcome to Pitcairn Island

The Pitcairn Islands group is a British Overseas Territory. It comprises the islands of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno. Pitcairn, the only inhabited island, is a small volcanic outcrop situated in the South Pacific at latitude 25.04 south and longitude 130.06 west. It is roughly 2170km (1350 miles) east south-east of Tahiti and just over 6600km (4100 miles) from Panama. The Islands' administrative headquarters are situated in Auckland New Zealand, 5310km (3300 miles) away.

With a population of only around fifty, the people of Pitcairn are descended from the mutineers of HMAV Bounty and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn Island is approximately 3.2km (2 miles) long and 1.6km (1 mile) wide with the capital Adamstown located above Bounty Bay and accessed by the aptly named road, "The Hill of Difficulty".

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In Lafayette for Beers Across the Wabash on Sunday, August 25.

To begin a Sunday morning in Lafayette, venture out into the cool air before the sun's had a chance to become heated. Walk across the mostly deserted bridge, where the previous day the beer festival had been. Proceed to 731 Main Street and have breakfast at Serendipity (An Eclectic Eatery).

We then drove to Indianapolis and placed the Crown Vic adjacent to Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple, where the plan was to meet Joe and Kris for a light lunch. An hour pacing the Monon Trail was just the right prelude to multiple servings of Harvey (delectable sour ale), alongside frites and mussels.

After relaxation and catch-up, we made a final stop in the Indianapolis neighborhood called Irvington (astride Washington Street, a few blocks from I-465) at Black Acre Brewing Company. The staff was gracious and accommodating, given our arrival only moments before closing time. The beers are very good, and the owners unfathomably youthful. It was a fitting conclusion to the road trip.

Travel Music 4: In the open air with Genesis and U2, 1987.

The trip in 1987 covered quite a lot of ground over a period of four months. It also offered the first opportunity to witness major musical concert events while traveling abroad: Genesis live in Budapest, Hungary in early June, and two months later, U2 in Cork, Ireland.

Genesis was at the pinnacle of its 1980s pop phase, and perhaps "fashionable" only in a locale behind the Iron Curtain, where Queen played a groundbreaking show the year before. The group's Invisible Touch album was ubiquitous on the radio, and it became the soundtrack of my extended stay in Hungary. The track chosen here is Abacab, off an earlier album, and a far better song when performed live. The dual drumming conclusion is classic.

On the other hand, U2 as yet was traveling an upward arc, somewhere in the middle of a year-long tour to support the band's Joshua Tree album. Like the Genesis gig, the concert was outdoors in a soccer stadium. My memory is decidedly pre-Zoo TV; the crowd was massive and reverent, and there was a spiritual vibe that later dissipated when U2 became iconic. "Where the Streets Have No Name" competes neck-in-neck with "Still Haven;t Found What I'm Looking For" in my personal lexicon of travel metaphor music.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

In Lafayette for Beers Across the Wabash on Saturday, August 24.

Saturday began with the Lafayette Farmer Market, downtown. The variety of produce on sale seemed to be a bit more diverse than New Albany's, but Lafayette arguably has fewer total booths.

Set-up for the beer festival began early on the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge between Lafayette and West Lafayette, the latter lying beyond the trees in the photo. As a beer festival organized by veteran brewers, Beers Across the Wabash simply is nonpareil; only Hoosier breweries are present, and the crowd well-behaved and knowledgeable. Next year, the event will take place again, but not on the bridge itself, owing to renovation work. It will return to the bridge in 2015. No matter. We'll be there.

My second favorite News and Tribune reader comment yet.

I'm not a bully.

I am the walrus.

Battle brewing in New Albany over website photo; Health department subject of tort claim notice from brewery owner

William wrote:

Elizabeth, you're gravely mistaken if you think Roger has done nothing more than whistle blow on things that are going wrong. He takes unflattering pictures of people and puts these on his blog. He takes pictures and adds features to insinuate some kind of wrongdoing or another. He twists actual facts into something resembling truth but is, in fact, untrue. And, quite frankly, he lies outright on his blog, passing off these fabrications as fact. He tries to create arguments or sides, and tries to move people to feel one way or another about people in public office just because he comes up with some stupid nickname and reuses it ad nauseum. Without question, Roger Baylor's a bully. Like the previous post says, he would post something like what the Health Dept posted on him and laugh his head off and get his gang of bullies to laugh with him. This person is a menace of the worst sort. He incites anger and hatred. Nothing more.

But I do agree with that guy that posted ahead of me. Unfortunately, a government office has no business engaging in Roger Baylor-style posts. They just lowered their office to being no better than he is. Also, it's different having a crank that everyone knows has his head in his ___ post something incendiary and an official office posting something like that. They shouldn't have done it no matter how tempting.

In which we examine the phenomenon of bangorrhea.

Thanks to B for the link.

Elmore Leonard: Do we use too many exclamation marks?, by Finlo Rohrer (BBC)

Elmore Leonard has died at the age of 87. The crime novelist really didn't like exclamation marks, notes Finlo Rohrer.

His 10 rules of writing from 2001 are arguably as famous as any of his novels. Point five reads: "Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose."

He wasn't the only enemy. "Cut out all these exclamation points," F Scott Fitzgerald urged. "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke."

There's even a word, bangorrhea, that describes their overuse.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In Lafayette for Beers Across the Wabash on Friday, August 23.

Last summer during our visit to the inaugural Beers Across the Wabash, I was hoping for enough time to visit Tippecanoe Battlefield in the nearby town of Battleground. Alas, it was not to be, but this year we hit the road early and made the park just after it opened at 10:00 a.m. 19th-century military thinking is clearly on display; the triangular area upon which the 1811 clash took place is elevated, with a creek on one side and a depression on the other -- an ideal defensive position.

The Indians commanded by The Prophet (Tecumseh's younger brother) attacked, and William Henry Harrison's troops defended. The outcome was no rout, and casualties were considerable given the small numbers engaged, but the attackers ran out of steam and melted away. The War of 1812 followed, Harrison eventually became president, and a mighty phallic obelisk was erected.

Therein lies the point, at least to me. I purposefully referred to "Indians" in the paragraph above, and for the first 170 years or so following the Battle of Tippecanoe, the objective was to celebrate the inevitable triumph of whiteness over red-skinned savagery. Only during the last generation or so have we come to view such events in a more nuanced perspective; the excellent museum on site commences with an overview of Native American culture before proceeding to the arrival of the Europeans.

It had been a foggy Friday morning, and we found the indistinct, hazy solitude beneath the trees to be quite thought-provoking. For those so inclined, as we may be in the future, a Wabash walking path begins at Tippecanoe Battlefield and leads to Lafayette and West Lafayette, roughly seven miles south. It mostly follows tributaries and the river itself, and the trail head provides ample proof of what can be made from such waterways when the will exists to act (see Falling Run, New Albany -- NOT).

Lunch was taken at the always reliable Lafayette Brewing Company, and later our second annual evening meal at La Scala proved even better than the first time in 2012. It didn't hurt to occupy the restaurant's patio on a temperate August night and have a backdrop of the ornate county courthouse, but the food and drink are the lures.

Music, beer & a worthless permit: Bombadil at the Bicentennial Park finale, tonight.

Tonight is the finale for the Bicentennial Park concerts in 2013.

Once again, NABC will be on hand with craft beer and two permits, one necessary (Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission) and the other entirely superfluous (Floyd County Health Department).

I'd like to thank Mayor Gahan and his staff for the good times this summer. A percentage of NABC's proceeds this summer will be going to Rauch Inc. and Open Door Youth Services.

After tonight's show, we'll be at Bank Street Brewhouse with our Aftershow Outdoor Disco, which also concludes its run.

Tonight at Bicentennial Park, Bombadil.


Bombadil – Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Bombadil is a four-piece group with guitar, bass, piano, and drums best known for their folk-pop music. The band is known for their creative and somewhat elusive lyrics, quirky sound, and upbeat, energetic live show.

All about "New Albany: City by the River," a documentary film.

I met Daniel and Philip last week when they came to interview me on video, thus becoming aware of their documentary project. Follow the link to view the trailer, and if you like what you see, consider helping them with a donation.

New Albany Documentary

Help support a beautiful, flourishing downtown. Please consider funding New Albany: City by the River, a historical documentary about the city of New Albany.

Who We Are and What We're Doing

New Albany: City by the River is a film that tells the story of New Albany's past and sheds some light on the people that are breathing new life into the downtown area. For over a year, my colleague and I have been researching and filming interviews on location, and our work is nearly complete. Now we need your help to share the film we have worked so hard to create.

My name is Philip Collins and I am a New Albanian graphic designer/photographer. My friend and fellow filmmaker Daniel Frank is a graphic designer/photographer/videographer, who also works and lives in Floyd County, Indiana. We both hold a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from IU Southeast completed in the Spring of 2012. Aside from the film, we have collaborated on many print based photography and design projects

Houston Jones, and planning for people and places.

First I saw this quote on Twitter.

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places” -- Fred Kent (Project for Public Spaces)

It made me think of something I'd just read. What was it?

It was Houston Jones's third point below: "Try to get close to a stop light or something that slows traffic down where you're not whizzing by at 45 miles an hour."

Yep. That whole traffic thing ... again. Even the real estate guy gets it.

10 Questions with Restaurant Realtor Houston Jones, by Zach Everson (Eater Louisville)

What would be three tips you would give to somebody looking to open up a restaurant to consider regarding the real estate aspect of it?

They always say location, location, location. But that's not always true. I think that one tip I would always is what's your point of difference? You know, what makes you different than anybody else in opening a restaurant, number one. Number two is the concept I feel like has to fit the space. I don't know quite how to explain that, but if it's a brick building and it's down in Butchertown and it's called the Blind Pig, then it kind of fits the space. If you put the Blind Pig in a strip center, in the middle of the strip center it probably wouldn't do very well. It's picking the right location and the demographics, making sure the demographics work for you. The other tip I would give would probably be don't put it on the street. Try to get close to a stop light or something that slows traffic down where you're not whizzing by at 45 miles an hour.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

ON THE AVENUES: My summer vacation.

ON THE AVENUES:  My summer vacation.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor. 

So, what did I do on my summer vacation?

Well, let’s see.

Quite a lot of local beer was consumed, and some local wine. Occasionally, non-local beers and wines were administered, mostly when I was elsewhere. In addition, gin came back into my life after a long estrangement, which began during the Reagan Administration. Back then, I couldn’t seem to restrict myself to one or two drinks of liquor in a day, with disturbing results. Now, a long, tall, cool gin and tonic at the end of a summer’s day strikes me as highly civilized, and I can enjoy it in moderation.

So far.

In the face of a summer-long onslaught of great (and caloric) food, I’ve managed to hold the weight/waist line at “still too heavy, although at least not gaining.” C’mon, there are many more harmful habits that living on bacon and tomato sandwiches, watermelon and fresh salad greens. Thankfully, it’s been a couple months since I last consumed the 800-lb gorilla – or as I call it, “fried chicken,” with all the Southern fixings. Evert day, it’s a struggle. Some days, I lose.

The grass at home has needed to be mowed – quite a lot. In years to come, when 95-degree-plus temperatures from April through November are back to being the norm, I’ll look back on the summer of 2013 as being somewhat normal, absent the predictable droughts and pestilence. There has been enough rain, and on most of the hotter days we’ve had, it still has remained cool in the shade. There was a mild spring. Will there be a pleasant, crisp autumn? If so, make room for those Oktoberfest beers. In the absence of Schweinehaxe, bratwurst will do.


For the first time in ages, there was an opportunity to briefly escape the looney American governmental experiment and decamp to foreign soil, in this instance England for a visit with my wife’s kinfolk. That’s the good news. The bad news is that our arrival triggered a heat wave on British soil, and it was cooler in landlocked Nawbony than ocean-side Plymouth, but it’s all good.

The real ales in Devon and Cornwall were cellar temperature, and the London eels were tender. One of the Queen’s male subjects won Wimbledon, and we didn’t experience a single delay at Heathrow. Chicago’s O’ Hare International is another story entirely. I couldn’t even have a beer during the wait, because our gate was adjacent to the Goose Island bar, and I don’t go for Trojan Horse Craft.

The usual company fieldtrip to Wisconsin in August afforded an opportunity to sample genuine craft beer, and to frolic about the countryside in a blue state, where the air is always fresher and the fascism – while as yet extant – is at least measured in smaller, less offensive increments. The Great Taste of the Midwest remains one of the best ever beer festivals, and Ha Long Bay’s three-way Asian cuisine (Vietnamese, Lao and Thai) continues to please.

Alas, there wasn’t the chance while in Madison to attend a Mallards baseball game, and as luck would have it, the vintage baseball game held in New Albany (the only New Albany Bicentennial event of remote interest to me) was on the same Saturday as the Great Taste festival. Furthermore, despite my best efforts, we never made it once to Huntingburg for the Dubois County Bombers, and I’ve been avoiding the Louisville Bats owing to the team’s viciously Luddite proclivities when it comes to the absence of craft beer consciousness.

But just before departing for Wisconsin, I had the pleasure to accompany my dear old friend Barry Sears and our high school radio teacher, the freshly retired Lee Kelly, on the drive to Cincinnati to watch my Oakland A’s lose to the Reds. It was like 1990 all over again, or in the case of our radio days, 1978. If an A’s loss turns out to be the only ball game I see in person all summer, then it was the best possible one to attend. After all, reconnecting is priceless, and a ballpark is the ideal venue for it.


Indeed, time has been an issue with me. There hasn’t been enough of it for reading, or listening to new music. There have been too few minutes in the day for bicycling in the consistent fashion I prefer, although walking’s been constant. The always hectic beer and brewing events season has been especially crazed, primarily owing to the twelve Friday evenings spent pouring beers for the city’s Bicentennial Park concerts. We had great fun working those, and the music was excellent throughout the schedule.

Of course, this brings me to the summertime activity that has taken up the most of my time in 2013, by far: Searching high and low for adults in Floyd County government, otherwise known as PourGate, and alternately referred to as the health department’s intrusion on my serenity.

The hot weather hasn’t passed, but the traditional notion of summertime is that it generally comes to a conclusion when schools are back in session, state fairs are done, and football begins. Between now and the beginning of October, festival season roars into its final throes of cacophonous overkill, culminating in New Albany with the civic albatross we all love to hate, Harvest Homecoming. When NABC’s concurrent Fringe Fest is finished and the booths are cleared, the calendar gets easier as the air chills.

After a bit of rest in winter quarters, we’ll do it all over again in 2014, and so it goes.

Now if Dr. Tom would just go ahead, apologize, and cut that check for 700K, it would make it far easier to plan for the summer of 2014. But seeing as he’s spent two months trying to pry permit precedent from my cold, unyielding hands, I suppose I’ll have to spend that much time or more wresting the defamation penalty from his. Maybe the health department should commence a Kickstart for when the bills come due.

It’s going to make my year when the nanny bureaucrats lose, although which year it will be, I’ve no way of knowing.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Carnegie Center's 17th annual "A Taste for Art & History" returns on Friday, September 6.

As always, NABC will be there, and for the first time, we'll be offering both samples and full pours of Progressive Pints (cash bar format). This is an excellent event, and readers are strongly encouraged to get aboard.


Tickets on sale now! Don't miss our 17th annual "A Taste for Art & History" to benefit the Carnegie Center, Inc., which supports Carnegie Center exhibits and programs.

Friday September 6, 2013, 6:30 pm
Tickets $65 per person ($55 museum members); RSVP by September 4 
(call 812-944-7336 or click HERE to purchase tickets online)

This year's “A Taste for Art & History” features tastings of world-class beverages including wine, beer and bourbon, and an assortment of delectable foods. In addition to a lively silent auction including artwork, jewelry, wines and many other unique items,  “A Taste for Art & History” also includes a live auction of exceptional items, including:

1) MURDER MYSTERY DINNER FOR 12: This dinner for 12 guests will be held at the Carnegie Center and catered by the inimitable Terri Lynn’s Catering by Design. Actors will lead attendees through a fun whodunit set in the museum.

2) PETE DYE GOLF ROUND & OVERNIGHT AT WEST BADEN: Pack your overnight and golf bag for a short drive to French Lick to enjoy an overnight stay for 2 at the beautiful West Baden Springs Hotel and golf for 2 at Indiana’s premiere Pete Dye golf course on the grounds of the French Lick Resort. A caddy is required and the package is valid on weekends.

3) DINNER FOR 20 AT THE CULBERTSON WEST: Inimitable hosts Carl Holiday and Steve Goodman will welcome 20 of your favorite people for dinner (including wine) at the prestigious and historic Culbertson West in New Albany. This home was built by William S. Culbertson as a wedding gift for his son Samuel and it is now a premiere venue for any special occasion celebration.

4) POWERWHEELS DODGE CHARGER POLICE CRUISER: Your kids or grandkids will love cruising around the neighborhood in this ride-on, kid-sized Dodge Charger Police Cruiser made just for them.

5) PGA WANAMAKER TICKETS AT VALHALLA:  This golf lover’s package includes two (2) week-long passes to the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, August 4-10, 2014. The winner of this package will enjoy access to an air conditioned tent and private restrooms.

Tickets are $65 per person ($55 for museum members); please call 812-944-7336 to make a reservation or visit to make your reservation online via PayPal. Reservations are confirmed only after payment in full and should be made by September 4, 2013. 

Please visit and "like" the Facebook page for "A Taste for Art & History" by clicking HERE. You'll be able to read more about raffle items and silent auction donations as well as the live auction items listed above.

The Carnegie Center, Inc. would like to thank these generous sponsors for their support of this event:


Title Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Diamond Sponsors Duke Energy, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Kraft Funeral Service, MainSource Bank, Martin Financial Group, Neace Lukens - Rick Zoeller, and Owings Patterns;Bronze Sponsors Aebersold Florist, Master of Mixes, Judge J. Terrence & Peggy Cody, First Harrison Bank, Friend of the Carnegie, General Mills, Inc. New Albany Plant, John G. Brinkworth, Inc., Hornblower Marine Services, Keg Liquors, Koetter Construction Inc., Mainstream Investment Advisors, LLC, News and Tribune, Nu Yale Cleaners, Palmer Thompson Law, LLC, River Valley Financial Bank, Samtec, and the Law Office of Nick Stein; and In Kind Sponsors Flanagan Landscaping and Design, Inc., Voluforms Printing, Zach Stewart, Harritt Group, Inc., and Terri Lynn's Catering by Design, Inc.

*To allow time for clean-up following the event, the Carnegie Center will open at 1:00 pm on Saturday September 7, 2013.

Thank you and we hope to see you on September 6!

Laura Wilkins, Director of Marketing & Outreach

JC Stites: "Lessons for Trying to 86 the 64."

It's really detestable to think that we're at the stage of looking back on what might have been. But there's this: "Lastly, 8664 proudly promoted a transformative vision, which may still be realized in the years to come. I hope I'm still alive to see it."


HIGHWAYS TO BOULEVARDS BLOG: Louisville & The Ohio River Bridges Project


This post is a part of CNU’s Highways to Boulevards Blog series, which features interview summaries and insights from some of the best minds at the frontline of our Highways to Boulevards Initiative.
Much of the following post was written by JC Stites, local Louisville business owner and co-founder with Tyler Allen of the advocacy group 8664, a grassroots advocacy group promoting a sensible alternative to Louisville’s Ohio River Bridges Project.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Any adults in county government surface yet?

This year Wick's can have a tent during Harvest Homecoming, but in 2012, the tail was wagging the dog.

What a difference a year makes. 

Today in the News and Tribune, Daniel Suddeath reveals that the Board of Works has approved a request by Wick's to use the adjacent parking lot for a tent during Harvest Homecoming, and that "since Wick’s won’t be using the official logo of the festival, permission from the Harvest Homecoming committee won’t be needed in order to set up the tent."

Thank heavens for that last part. It would kill the edgy Wick's vibe to be shrouded in such stodginess. 

Curiously, last year around this time, the polar opposite reaction was forthcoming. The Wick's request was shelved. I'm reprinting in its entirety the piece published here last September. There was no valid reason for denying the request last year, and so I'm quite happy it has been granted this year. The next logical step? Active, ongoing city participation in reforming Harvest Homecoming, with or without the fest's cooperation. because it fits the emerging, revitalizing downtown street grid just like my high school basketball uniform fits me 35 years later ... which is to say, not at all.


Harvest Homecoming: When the tail wags the dog, we pause.

Tuesday: Harvest Homecoming: Not what downtown is about.
Monday: Harvest Homecoming: Do the evolution, don't fear the competition.

Wick’s Pizza on State Street is a popular year-round cornerstone of the independent business scene downtown, as well as a textbook example of the business model currently proving successful in revitalizing New Albany’s previously moribund downtown. Several weeks ago, Wick’s approached the New Albanian Brewing Company with the idea of staging an outdoor beer garden during Harvest Homecoming.

Because the proposed venue is the municipal parking lot adjacent to Wick’s, requiring approval from the Board of Public Works, restaurant management was careful to vet the idea with city hall in advance, and an encouraging response was given. Consequently, planning for the event began in earnest.

The plan called for music, food and beer. NABC’s role would be that of designated local craft vendor amid the customary mass-market beer, and as such, the brewery would share a small measure of the event's identity with Wick’s, including the debut of our Hoosier Daddy seasonal beer release.

I participated in two lengthy discussions with Wick’s management about procedures and legalities expected by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, because from the standpoint of the excise police, any time is a bad one to ignore alcoholic beverage laws – and Harvest Homecoming is an even worse time to do so.

All necessary insurance and security for the event was being procured. We decided that a portion of the event’s proceeds would be donated to Open Door Youth Services, the recently renamed Floyd County Youth Service Bureau. In my estimation, the plan looked solid. Apart from the weather, all the angles were being locked down.


Jarringly, the Wick’s beer garden proposal was tabled by the Board of Public Works upon its first hearing after Police Chief Sherri Knight voiced concerns about security and scheduling (i.e., the number of nights the beer garden would be in operation, and how long it would run into the evening).

Wick’s Pizza immediately began addressing these concerns, and yet approval still was not forthcoming.

In the absence of coherent explanations from city hall and the board of works, it fell to Chief Knight to explain the denial in an e-mail to Wick’s management. In my opinion, this explanation is unconvincing, amounting to this (paraphrased, and not her exact words):

We cannot allow your proposal to disrupt normal Harvest Homecoming procedures downtown, given that normal Harvest Homecoming procedures already disrupt everything else downtown.


I remain baffled. From whence stems this reluctance on the part of the powers that be to grant Wick’s Pizza's reasonable request to lawfully expand its business during Harvest Homecoming?

Granted, the Wick’s request is muddied owing to the city’s ownership of the parking lot, one that our officials value so very highly that it’s a persistent, ill-maintained eyesore (see it here).

In this day and age, liability always is a concern, but it is hard for me to believe that city hall’s early positive signals came to Wick’s without legal consultations occurring beforehand.

To be sure, prohibitionist sentiment might be a factor in this muddled response, although I hasten to point out that despite my personally favoring the thoughtful daily application of adult beverages, plenty of folks on the planet actually manage to enjoy pizza, rock ‘n’ roll and even (shudder) elephant ears without drinking, or while drinking lightly.

If there are neo-prohibitionists in government, the Wick’s denial becomes even more curious, as the most common reaction among city officials toward drinking is that there should be a wide variety of options for doing so responsibly; if not, how do we explain the reality of the aforementioned city-sanctioned, three-way riverfront development permits, which constitute a prime tool in the arsenal of any downtown economic development agent, even if Carrie Nation disapproves from beyond the grave?

In short, the city’s elected officials boarded this by-the-drink train quite some time ago, and have supported what amounts to a providential mechanism to attract investment in downtown – moreover, one that has jump-started revitalization all by itself. In 2006, at almost no expense to the city, three-way permits were made easier and less expensive to obtain, and entirely as predicted then, the investment quickly followed. Now, inarguably, downtown New Albany is on the regional map solely because of businesses just like Wick’s Pizza.

Given this reality, isn’t it completely understandable that vanguard businesses just like Wick’s would seek to schedule special promotions and events during Harvest Homecoming?

After all, some are far better placed than others to straddle the otherwise unfavorable target demographic line; if Harvest Homecoming’s annual china shop bull is disastrous for a boutique on Pearl, at least there’s a chance that a pizza place on State can find a way to participate by promoting a crowd-pleasing shindig.

How is this unreasonable?

If it is not reasonable, why does the city first approve criteria for enabling a business like Wick’s to prosper, and then quibble over a perfectly legitimate (and legal) request to enhance its activities during Harvest Homecoming, at the same time as other businesses are doing precisely the same?

There can be only one logical answer. Harvest Homecoming’s organizers evidently do not care for these newfound, multiple and diverse points of market competition for the dollars of drinking festival attendees, because multiple points of consumer happiness threaten Harvest Homecoming’s traditionally mass-market riverfront music tent hegemony ... and the lifeblood profit it garners there. To be succinct, the more year-round options exist downtown, the less attractive Harvest Homecoming’s glacial resistance to reinvent seems.

As I’ve been writing this essay, the ironies have proliferated. The Exchange pub and eatery, soon to open on Main Street a mere stone’s throw from Wick’s Pizza, now will run its own outdoor beer garden during Harvest Homecoming. Because the event will be staged on private property, the Board of Public Works does not have jurisdiction over it, other than to warn about adherence to New Albany’s noise ordinance, which was last enforced at some point during the peak of grunge.

It’s good to know that. Maybe the police officers currently engaged in speed traps on Spring Street will start ticketing boom cars, too.


Yes, of course it is within the city’s powers to refuse the event request from Wick’s, and for reasons of liability alone, even if the city’s initial feedback was supportive of the beer garden idea. I must conclude that if the mayor’s own appointees in the police department and the works board rule against such a request, there wasn’t much support at the top in the first place.

Ah, but I’m far from unbiased, right?

After all, NABC is losing a chance to make a few bucks by selling locally brewed craft beer over on Main Street -- the “other” side of the Harvest Homecoming epicenter.

Except that we’ll still have our beer inside at Wick’s, just like always, and now there’ll probably be some on tap at Exchange’s temporary beer garden, too, seeing as these are business relationships we nurture year-round, and not only at Harvest Homecoming time. They see value in us, and we see value in them. That’s called reciprocity.

Indeed, I regret losing the chance to raise significant money for Open Door, although we’ll still do our best for them at Fringe Fest.

As for the “traditional” Harvest Homecoming tent set-up down by the riverside, it should suffice to observe that regional happenings ranging from Madison's RiverRoots to Lanesville’s Heritage Weekend now grasp the utility and plain good business sense of offering locally brewed craft beer to consumers in the present day and age.

Others? They have not.

It is my belief that this story illustrates an ever-widening disconnect between the understandable self-identity (not to mention preservation instinct) of the part-time Harvest Homecoming, and the re-emergence of a full-time downtown business district with objectives, needs and identities of its own.

Why is Harvest Homecoming still allowed to throw its weight around in this manner for a mere four days a year, when the best strategy of potential benefit for all the city’s residents is to nurture and build a downtown capable of throwing its weight around, and accruing dividends, every single day of the year?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"2013 Great Taste of the Midwest Review," by Peter Fingerson ... and some other recent additions to the NABC team.

One of NABC's newest employees, Peter Fingerson, has written an account of the Great Taste of the Midwest and posted it at Included are photographs from Peter's wife, Aubrey.

Peter was contributing columns to before we hired him at NABC. Initially he was an applicant for the sales position now occupied by Blake Montgomery, and David Pierce almost immediately pegged Peter as the brewer we needed as the next step expansion nears.

Of course, we still miss Richard Atnip in the NABC family (Richard was on duty for New Holland at the Great Taste, and we chatted about the old and the new), but in the end, the search for Richard yielded three new team members: Blake, Peter and Alliee Bliss, who has been bartending wonderfully at Bank Street Brewhouse. Add to those names Kimberly Durham and Julie Adwell, all-purpose coordinators coming aboard this summer at BSB and Grant Line, respectively, and you can see that we've been growing.

As a writer, I'm especially taken with Peter's composition skills ... and Aubrey can take a mean photo. We're up somewhere around 75 full- and part-time employees. It's a far cry from the days of manning the bar solo, six days a week -- thankfully.

2013 Great Taste of the Midwest Review

Dale Moss & Mosswords at Destinations Booksellers on Tuesday, August 27.

I might have to smuggle inside a Progressive Growler for this occasion.

Dale Moss Offers His Best With Mosswords, Aug. 27

If you’ve missed Dale Moss’s writing over the past year or so, never fear. The former C-J columnist, a Southern Indiana institution, will be reading from, discussing, and signing his new book, Mosswords: Stories of Indiana in The Courier-Journal, at Destinations Booksellers on Tuesday, August 27, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Your PourGate update for Tuesday, August 20.

This cockamamie business with the health department started more than two months ago, and we're now in the inevitable waiting phase. It can be frustrating to sit on one's hands, but I'm fairly serene about it.

As it pertains to the questionable notion that a solitary county health department -- only one of ninety-two -- can somehow ignore precedent and the Indiana Court of Appeals by imposing a heretofore unknown permit process from sheer whim ... well, let's just say that I like the odds of this gambit being shot down in flames, and I believe it will. If our roles were reversed, I'd be in a mood to sue for peace.

Since the onset of the over-reach, I've spoken much about Fort Wayne v Kotsopoulos, the relevant appeals court decision. We ceremoniously plopped it onto the plasticized tabletop back on July 25, and immediately heads began exploding. Perhaps it's time to offer the whole text for your perusal (it was linked here previously).

Legalese can be daunting, but have no fear. The message herein may have eluded the erudition of health department counsel, and evaded the well-meaning "compromise" effort offered by the health department's board, and yet most readers should be able to grasp the important points with little difficulty.

I've highlighted only one passage.


City of Fort Wayne vs. George Kotsopoulos and M. Robert Benson


City of Fort Wayne Law Department Benson, Pantello, Morris, James & Logan
Fort Wayne, Indiana Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana

CITY OF FORT WAYNE, ) ) Appellant-Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) No. 02A03-9705-CV-170 ) GEORGE KOTSOPOULOS and ) M. ROBERT BENSON, ) ) Appellees-Defendants. )
The Honorable Thomas L. Ryan, Judge
Cause No. 02C01-9504-MI-41

January 14, 1999

KIRSCH, Judge The City of Fort Wayne (the City) appeals from a summary judgment that dismissed citations the City had issued to George Kotsopoulos and M. Robert Benson (collectively, the Merchants) for violation of the City's Transient Merchant ordinance. The appeal presents one dispositive issue: Whether the Indiana statutes controlling the sale of alcoholic beverages preempt Fort Wayne's Transient Merchant ordinance.See footnote 1

We affirm.

The City issued citations to the Merchants for operating beer tents during local Germanfest and Three Rivers festivals without obtaining Transient Merchant permits. The City claimed that the failure to obtain permits violated the Transient Merchant ordinance, which requires merchants to obtain local Transient Merchant permits if they intend to sell alcoholic beverages in tents or other temporary structures during a festival. Fort Wayne, Ind., Ordinances § 117.02 (1993). To obtain permits, merchants must pay fees ranging from $500 to $1000 per day, with additional fees of $300 to $500 per hour for every hour of operation after certain designated times. Ordinances § 117.04.

The Merchants challenged the City's claims, arguing that the beer tents were exempt from the Transient Merchant ordinance and that the ordinance was invalid. The Merchants sought partial summary judgment, which the trial court granted on the ground that the ordinance was preempted by the Indiana alcoholic beverage statutes. The court entered final judgment on the City's claims, and the City appeals.See footnote 3


Summary judgment is appropriate when no material facts are in dispute in the litigation. Sizemore v. Arnold, 647 N.E.2d 697, 698 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995). When reviewing a summary judgment, this court applies the same standard as the trial court. Wickey v. Sparks, 642 N.E.2d 262, 265 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994), trans. denied (1995). A summary judgment must be affirmed on appeal if the evidentiary materials properly presented to the trial court demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Ind. Trial Rule 56(C); Barga v. Indiana Farmers Mut. Ins. Group, Inc., 687 N.E.2d 575, 576 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997), trans. denied (1998). In determining whether summary judgment is appropriate, all facts and reasonable inferences must be construed against the moving party. Wickey, 642 N.E.2d at 265.

Fort Wayne is entitled to a presumption that its ordinance is valid. City of Indianapolis v. Clint's Wrecker Service, Inc., 440 N.E.2d 737, 747 (Ind. Ct. App. 1982). This presumption will give way where the State has preempted local issuance of permits. Id. at 746-47. The Merchants contend that the State has indeed preempted local permitting. To this end, the Merchants cite various state statutes, and maintain that the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission has the sole power to issue alcoholic beverage permits. In response, the City contends that the state statutes leave room for local regulation of transient merchants as defined in the ordinance. See footnote 4

Both parties' contentions turn on the scope and breadth of the Indiana alcoholic beverage statutes. Accordingly, the analysis here must begin with a review of those statutes. Codified as Title 7.1 of the Indiana Code, the statutes regulate and limit the manufacture, sale, possession, and use of alcoholic beverages. The Title is broad in scope and purpose; its purpose includes "protect[ing] the economic welfare, health, peace and morals of the people of this state." IC 7.1-1-1-1; see Barco Beverage v. Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Comm'n, 595 N.E.2d 250, 254-55 (Ind. 1992).

The breadth of the statute is illustrated in Article 3, the article that describes various alcoholic beverage permits. IC 7.1-3-1-1 -- 7.1-3-24-12. The Article authorizes the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission to issue at least seventeen different types of permits. Three types are pertinent to the City of Fort Wayne's ordinance: Liquor Retailers' Permits, Supplemental Caterers' Permits, and Three-way Permits. These permits are linked to each other in the statute. For example, a Liquor Retailer's Permit entitles a merchant to sell liquor on the premises referenced in the permit. IC 7.1-3-9-1. If that merchant wishes to sell beer and wine on the premises, the merchant must obtain a Three-way Permit. IC 7.1-1-3-47; IC 7.1-1-3-20. If a Three-way Permit holder then wishes to sell alcoholic beverages in another location temporarily, the permit holder must obtain a Supplemental Caterers' Permit. IC 7.1- 3-9.5-1.
Neither the statute defining Three-way Permits nor the statute defining Supplemental Caterers' Permits address the issue of local regulation. In the chapter addressing Liquor Retailers' Permits, however, there is an express preemption provision: "a city or town legislative body . . . shall have no power or jurisdiction to regulate the sale of, traffic in, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, or to levy a tax, fee, license fee, or to issue or require a license."

IC 7.1-3-9-2.
Despite the broad language in the provision (referred to herein as Section Two), the City suggests that Section Two preempts liquor permits only, leaving room for local issuance of other permits. This suggestion overlooks the statutory structure that renders Supplemental Caterers' Permits a subset of Liquor Retailers' and Three-way Permits. Because Supplemental Caterers' Permits are a subset, the Section Two limitation on the power of municipalities to regulate holders of Liquor Retailers' Permits necessarily limits municipalities' power to regulate holders of Supplemental Caterers' Permits.
In addition, another section (referred to herein as Section Six) proscribes any local ordinance that
"directly or indirectly regulates, restricts, enlarges, or limits the operation or business of the holder of a liquor retailer's permit as provided in this title. A city or town shall not enact an ordinance covering any other business or place of business for the conduct of it in such a way as to . . . interfere with or prevent the exercise of the permittee's privileges under the permit."

IC 7.1-3-9-6. If, as the City suggests, Section Two pertains only to liquor retailers, then Section Six would be largely superfluous.See footnote 5 Further, if the legislature had intended the Section Two preemption provision to apply only to liquor permits, the preemption would have referenced only liquor. The legislature demonstrated its intent that the Section Two preemption apply to all alcoholic beverages by using the defined term "alcoholic beverages," which means "a liquid or solid that (1) is, or contains, one-half percent (0.5%) or more alcohol volume; (2) is fit for human consumption; and (3) is reasonably likely, or intended, to be used as a beverage." IC 7.1-1-3-5; compare IC 7.1-1-3-21 (definition of liquor). Given Section Two's broad language and its use of a statutorily defined term, Section Two must be deemed to apply to all alcoholic beverages, not just to liquor. The City attempts to avoid the Section Two preemption provision by claiming that its ordinance is in the nature of a zoning ordinance, i.e., that its ordinance regulates an event rather than a merchant. In support of this claim, the City cites O'Banion v. State ex rel. Shively, 146 Ind. App. 223, 253 N.E.2d 739 (1969). The O'Banion case, however, involved facts completely different than those presented here. In O'Banion, the appellants claimed the state alcoholic beverages statutes preempted a local zoning ordinance because the ordinance attempted to regulate the location of taverns. Id. at 232, 253 N.E.2d at 740. This court found the ordinance valid because it regulated the use of real property rather than the sale of alcohol. Id. at 234, 253 N.E.2d at 745. The court specifically noted that the ordinance did not levy a tax, fee or license requirement on alcohol sales. Id. Here, in contrast, the ordinance at issue expressly requires merchants to obtain a local permit before selling alcohol during festivals. This requirement conflicts with the Section Two preemption provision. As noted above, the various state-issued alcohol permits are linked to each other, and local regulation of one aspect of the permits would interfere with state regulation of other aspects of the permits. See IC 7.1-3-9.5-1 (supplemental caterers must hold Three-way Permit); IC 7.1-3-9-9 (Three-way applicant must have or apply for Liquor Retailers Permit). Given that the City's ordinance attempts to impose local permit requirements upon holders of state-issued alcohol permits, the ordinance is invalid.

When one section of a city ordinance is invalidated, the remaining sections remain valid if they can be separated from the improper section. Hobble v. Basham, 575 N.E.2d 693, 699 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991). Here, our holding invalidates Ordinances § 117.02 to the extent it requires holders of state-issued permits to obtain local Transient Merchant/Alcohol Permits. We make no decision as to the remainder of the ordinance.



Footnote: 1 Fort Wayne, Ind., Ordinances ch. 117 (1993).Footnote: 2 This case was fully briefed on July 17, 1997. Because of an administrative glitch in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the case was not transferred to this court until October 29, 1998. We apologize to the parties and their counsel for the delay and attendant inconvenience.Footnote: 3 The Merchants also filed a counterclaim against the City. The counterclaim is not at issue in this appeal. Footnote: 4 The ordinance states, "It shall be unlawful for any transient merchant to do or transact any business in the sale of goods, wares or merchandise of any and every kind, make and description, without first obtaining a permit therefor as herein provided." Ordinances § 117.02. The permit at issue here is required of "[a]ll persons, both as principals and agents, who engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages to the general public, as licensed to do so by the Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission through a Caterer's Permit or Temporary Beer or Temporary Wine Permit, who do so in a temporary structure, tent or mobile building during any of the same days that a festival is occurring in the city." Ordinances
§ 117.01. Footnote: 5 Section Six also clarifies small cities' powers regarding liquor retailers within city limits. See IC 7.1-3-9-3 (small city exception to liquor permit issuance).


As a refresher, in its own words, here is what the health department's board decided after misunderstanding the preceding.

1. Permits are still needed.
2. Void the citation.
3. Suspend fees until further notice. Collection of fees from alcohol-only vendors will be suspended.
4. Inspections are not suspended.
5. No refund of fees.

Surreal and Orwellian, eh? Once again, I urge readers to contact Harvest Homecoming food vendors and let them know that the health department has instituted a fee schedule that exempts some "food" (beer) while levying fees for all others. It's logical nonsense, and a bluff that needs to be called.

Someone once said, "Winning the war is easier than winning the peace." We can rest assured that state government players actually will grasp the court's message, and so the war's all but over when it comes to the original point of contention. The peace stands to be made far more difficult by the health department's Internet follies, although that's really not NABC's problem, is it?