Sunday, January 01, 2017

Top Ten posts at NA Confidential for December, 2016.

Only the top post of the year -- and on December 31.

Thanks for reading NA Confidential, where we enjoy burrowing beneath the headlines to offer unique local perspectives. December continued a recent trend in heightened readership, testifying to a keen interest in local stories, perhaps because they're being chronically under-served elsewhere.

The list begins with fifteen "honorable mention" posts, before concluding with the Top Ten, escalating to No. 1. Stats are derived from Google's internal numbers listings.



Amid the media's 2016 bridge envy and tolling glorification, we turn to this 2010 letter from a local independent business owner.

"Six years ago, I posted this letter that was sent to the Bridges Authority about the project and tolling. To me it is ironic that this should pop up in my Facebook memories one day after they announce the starting date of tolls on the new bridges. After 6 years, I still believe everything that I wrote back then."



THE BEER BEAT: Words like "local" and "unique," and beers for cold weather.

Maybe it's just because I'm aging ungracefully ... while I wouldn't quibble with the author's beer descriptions, I'm a bit confused by his organizing principle.


425 (tie)

Breathlessness begets toothlessness as rental property registration begins tomorrow.

Bring out yer slumlords! The self-congratulatory boilerplate begins in three ... two ... one ...


425 (tie)

The clock is ticking. Bridge completion and tolling is coming by the end of December, and Team Gahan is 100% unprepared.

"They've dragged their feet so much that the tolls are going to happen before they do anything," Mark Sanders, vice president of the (East Spring Street) neighborhood association, said.



At least this time Pinocchio felled his OWN tree.



THE BEER BEAT: Addressing diversity in "craft" beer, with Naughty Girl once again on the wrong side of the debate.

Let’s put an old saw to the test: Is it really true that any publicity is good publicity? Specifically, if a New Albanian Brewing Company beer and beer label, as conceived on my watch in 2011, appears alongside an article by a national recognized blogger in 2016 and then is linked on Facebook by a brewing superstar, that’s wonderful, right?



"Engineers design streets for speeds well above the posted limit, so that speeding drivers will be safe—a practice that, of course, causes the very speeding it hopes to protect against."

Of course, HWC's merry hammering at screws is occurring according to the wishes of a City Hall that brains long ago forgot. Speck's New Albany streets study might as well have been written in Gaelic, insofar as Mayor Jeff Gahan is concerned. Sections applicable to campaign finance beak-wetting were retained for modification beyond recognition, and the rest was flushed.



Yes, Virginia, it is a sewer rate INCREASE, in spite of what you may have read elsewhere.

Bizarrely, almost to the very last gasp, the Jeffersonville News and Tribune -- which entirely missed the sewer ordinance's first reading, and apparently still operates with a bare minimum of editorial supervision -- continued its preference for obfuscating the increase with a series of euphemisms (settle down, Shane: "The substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.")



(2 of 2): It's been 600 days, and Bob Caesar and the city of New Albany continue to stonewall a legitimate request for Bicentennial Commission records. Can't someone just tell us about the books?

Now, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Gibson would treat my information request in a spirit of spiteful nonchalance. It's what Team Gahan does. At the same time, strictly speaking, he's probably telling the truth by means of carefully chosen words, and this is something I can at least appreciate. He says the city does not possess the referenced items, not that the referenced items do not exist. Presumably, someone else possesses them, and this certain someone undoubtedly is Caesar himself.



Dude, I Just Want to Join the Neighborhood Association – and Other Remarkable Tales from the New Albany Re-NAY-ssance.

Hello, I’d like to rejoin the South Bling Street Neighborhood Association.

Praise Gahan; that’s wonderful. Do you live within the boundaries of the Neighborhood Association?



Bump? Hike? If sewer rates are higher, then that's an increase, by definition.

Tolling is about to begin. Interest rates are going up. Rental property registration and eventual inspection will provide a convenient pretext for property owners to raise prices. So will sewer rate increases, however justified, even if they're modest, and whether or not they're tied to annual consumer price indexing, or established by the city council, which now proposes to abdicate its rate-setting responsibility via CPI mechanism.

The result will be more out-of-pocket costs for those least able to pay, something so consistently ignored by this top-down "beautiful people's" mayor that it's more difficult than ever to explain how he can continue to pretend being a Democrat.



What we know about the forthcoming District 22 Pizzeria.

Matt "Big Four Burgers" McMahan has been buying commercial buildings left and right, and recently on Facebook he began playfully previewing a new pizza "concept," presumably destined for one of them.



"The only way this will work is if everyone commits, right now, to doing something, anything, in the coming year."

There's no way to sugarcoat the true breadth of the tsunami that's about to hit us. Although we don't control a single branch of our disappearing democracy, we ARE the majority (by nearly three million votes!) and we have MANY tools available to us (mass protest, civil disobedience, lawsuits, social media, old media, and just plain showing up) that we can use to grind the gears of this madness to a near-halt.

I and others will keep you informed and you and I and all of us will lead the charge. I will continue to post things you can do where you live. The only way this will work is if everyone commits, right now, to doing something, anything, in the coming year.



Jeff Gahan's predictably wasted opportunity to civilize Vincennes Street using Jeff Speck's sensible plan.

This text is pasted from Jeff Speck's landmark New Albany streets study, and now serves to remind us that from a glorious potential starting point of ribeye, we're left with a tiny puddle of fatty stew meat.



ON THE AVENUES: The 45 Most Popular NA Confidential Stories of 2016.

I hope you enjoy this look back at 2016. In New Albany, our peculiar local challenges for 2017 begin tomorrow morning with the advent of bridge tolls. If I'm not completely hungover, I may tote a lawn chair, light a cigar, and chronicle the merriment.



410 Bakery (you know, where Abe's Rental used to be) slated to open on Wednesday morning ... and Kopp's on fire.



White Castle is just White Castle, but THIS is a genuine improvement.

Relax. The White Castle at the dangerous intersection of Vincennes and Spring has reopened, although it's just another chain, and I don't give a tinker's damn whether it lives or dies.



Sudden stealth sewer rate hikes reveal the breathtaking extent of Jeff Gahan's intellectual dishonesty. Isn't it time to hold Team Gahan and its toadies accountable?

As holder of salaried positions as mayor and head of the sewer board, shouldn't Jeff Gahan be the one -- THE ONLY ONE -- to explain why sewer rate increases have been artfully hidden in a rote bonding document ... why economic development concerns (and the city's inevitable subsidy of them) are at the heart of G-16-03 ... and why tender concern for the environment is the very last thing on the mind of a City Hall team that has cut more trees so far in 2016 than Weyerhaeuser?



Top Ten posts at NA Confidential for November, 2016.

Thanks for reading NA Confidential, where we enjoy burrowing beneath the headlines to offer unique local perspectives. November continued a recent trend in heightened readership, testifying to a keen interest in local stories, perhaps because they're being chronically under-served elsewhere.



In the matter of hospital sale proceeds, Floyd County's auditor and treasurer are fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities. We should be thanking, not berating them.

The staff of NA Confidential took Bill Hanson's News and Tribune op-ed piece and ran it through our handy Kenmore fact-checker. When it came out the other side, it read quite differently than before. In fact, it's been rendered factual. We challenge Hanson to publish our version in his newspaper, and provide the other side to this story. Hanson's original text is in black, and our fact-checked update in red.



ON THE AVENUES: It’s never too late to beer all over again.

It isn’t that I’ve fallen out of love with beer. We’re not divorced or anything. A better word is estranged, which implies an alienation of affection, but doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility of reconciliation.



Cigar smokers rejoice: The second location of Riverside Cigar Shop/Match Cigar Bar is coming to downtown New Albany.

Cigars and spirits are coming to downtown New Albany in the form of an establishment tentatively to be known as Match Cigar Bar New Albany.



My State Street Parking Garage public art dream.



Has time run out for Good Times? If so, what's next at 114 East Market?

About a month ago, the Green Mouse heard a rumor that the building was being purchased by a local businessman, and judging from the scene today, I'm guessing there is finality to the sale. It will be interesting to see what happens next. The building desperately needs deep cleaning and rehabilitation, so let's hope that's coming.



ON THE AVENUES: For New Albany’s Person of the Year, the timeless words of Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

Chloe Allen’s death cannot be allowed to become another forgotten civic footnote. Her passing must not have been in vain. In years to come principled citizens of this city – the ones for whom conscience isn’t a high school vocabulary term to be discarded once they’re elected to office – must forcibly insist that her memory be honored, nay, overtly exploited for the sake of a worthwhile agenda.

Specifically, an agenda of public safety in this city.



Gospel Bird's Eric Morris nixes Concrete Jungle concept, opts for seafood, seafood and more seafood at his new restaurant at 324 E. Main in New Albany.

So, what’s coming to 324 E. Main Street in 2017 is (WORKING TITLE), a fresh seafood grill with a raw bar, including a rooftop bar overlooking the Ohio River. Think of it as a comfortable niche between fast food and the high end. It’ll be a family-style approach and a very casual place, with most dishes served in baskets and buckets, with a price point to match. The same goes for great beers and the sort of bar program you’d expect from us.

Did I mention how much fun it is to scoop the Hansonator?

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