Friday, March 31, 2017

"Single-payer health care has always been a goal of the Left. But Democrats have turned it into a punching bag."


You can't make these things up. On April Fool's Day, our local Democrats will gather to "define tomorrow."

Hmm. What exactly has the party done with regard to activism at the local level since Trump's election?

It has doubled down on failed leadership, and Gahan's shoes are being polished daily, but beyond those -- am I missing something? Or does activism in this context imply ignoring local conditions to shake fists at far-off Washington?

As ever, we await a pulse. Is there anybody out (in) there?

Democrats Against Single Payer, by Branko Marcetic (Jacobin)

Single-payer health care has always been a goal of the Left. But Democrats have turned it into a punching bag.

... The good news is that the same popular, grassroots pressure that ordinary people successfully put on Republican lawmakers who were preparing to strip Americans of even the meager protections afforded by Obamacare can also be used to push Democrats to support single payer. As much as numerous pundits and politicians mocked Sanders’s concept of getting things done through a “political revolution,” the past few months of widespread activism by ordinary Americans have shown this was far from the out-of-touch fantasy many dismissed it as.

After all, it was years of grassroots organizing and agitation from the labor movement that forced Harry Truman to cite these simple moral imperatives while proposing a single-payer system all those decades ago: “that the health of this Nation is a national concern; that financial barriers in the way of attaining health shall be removed; that the health of all its citizens deserves the help of all the Nation.” There’s no reason those forces can’t force today’s reluctant Democrats to do the same.

Time to learn something: "Friday is César Chávez Day, but who was César Chávez?"

Source.

The Wikipedia answer:

César Chávez Day

Cesar Chavez Day is a federal commemorative holiday in the U.S. by proclamation of President Obama in 2014. On March 31 of each year, it celebrates the birth and legacy of the civil rights and labor movement activist Cesar Chavez.

For much greater depth:

Friday is César Chávez Day, but who was César Chávez? by Marie Albiges (Community Impact Newspaper)

The Spanish phrase Sí, se puede — “Yes, it can be done” — was used as a rallying chant long before it was echoed in the streets of today’s protests on civil, worker and immigrant rights. It was coined by a man named César Chávez during a 1972 fast in which the Latino American farm worker rights advocate protested a signed Arizona bill that denied farm workers the right to strike and boycott during harvest seasons.

Chávez’ legacy as a leader among farm workers’ unions is honored Friday on what would have been his 90th birthday.

THE BEER BEAT: An assortment of headlines for beer and dissection.

Original headline: "Piss on Bud Light -- I work for Mel Famy. 

The photo at left shows me drinking a yummy smoked amber ale at Bloomington's Function Brewing. It was the culmination of an instructive day spent wandering the town and sampling a great many beers along the way:

About an excellent brewery crawl in Bloomington, Indiana (March 30, 2016).

Every year it's the same, and we feel it again.

Abdul: Fix the insanity of Indiana's alcohol laws, by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz (Indy Star)

 ... Lawmakers can do quite a few things to introduce sobriety to the state’s alcohol scheme. Repeal the liquor store commodity restriction and let them sell whatever they want, just as in grocery and big box stores. Let minors enter a liquor store as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Require anyone working in grocery or big box store who handles liquor to be trained and licensed to ring up alcohol. Allow all retailers to sell cold beer. And get rid of the prohibition on Sunday sales.

Every year is the same, and I repeat once again: SUNDAY SALES ALREADY EXIST. Each year without fail, someone writes a column like this one lamenting Indiana's undisputed legal weirdness, and it always ends with the broad claim that there is a prohibition on Sunday sales.

But beer, wine and spirits are available for carry-out on Sunday from small Indiana's brewers, vintners and distillers -- and there are virtually no restrictions pertaining to on-premise consumption.

Editors of the world, do you exist? Are you there? Can you take an interest in getting these things right?

The six-percent, the one-percent ...

Study: 94 percent of world’s breweries are craft, by Kevin Gibson (LEO)

A new study released last week by Lexington’s Alltech, which brews Kentucky Ale beers, and the Brewers Journal shows that of the 19,000-and-change breweries across the blue-green orb we call Earth, 94 percent of them are making “craft” beer.

Concurrently, I heard local food writer Steve Coomes remark that the nationwide percentage of chain restaurant versus independent restaurant preference holds at around 70-30. I'm sure "craft" beer hasn't yet reached 30%. Apparently lots of you like multinationals and chains.

I like saying: Death to multinationals and chains.

A current topic in "craft" beer is diversity, and whether having taps that constantly rotate IPAs of various hues can be characterized as diverse. I don't believe it is, and according to Stan, I need to visit St. Louis.

I'm for it, by the way -- diversity and road trips.

Diversity, St. Louis style, by Stan Hieronymus (Appellation Beer)

Yesterday Jeff Alworth filed a dispatch from Bend, Oregon, headlined “American Palates: 82% IPA.” He reported a definite lack of diversity at the brewery taprooms he visited, leading him to write, “The point of all this? Hoppy ales have taken over American brewing, and we’re never going back.” And, “When a country develops its own beer culture, diversity declines.”

Perhaps this means Oregon is more advanced than we are here in the Midwest, because we have not yet developed a similar beer monoculture.

Speaking of diversity, the Brewers of Indiana Guild board is changing.


Brewers Guild Adds to Board, by Andy Ober (Inside Indiana Business)

The Brewers of Indiana Guild has elected five new members to its board of directors. The guild announced the additions over the weekend at the 3rd Annual Indiana Craft Brewers Conference in Indianapolis.

The new members are:

Centerpoint Brewing Company Director of Field Quality and Marketing Meagen Anderson
18th Street Brewery Owner Drew Fox
TwoDEEP Brewing Co. Owner Andy Meyer
Scarlet Lane Brewing Company Chief Branding Officer Nick Servies
Sun King Brewing President Co. Bob Whitt

Those who have chosen to leave the board are:

Barley Island Brewing Co./Deer Creek Brewery Owner Jeff Eaton
Outliers Brewing/Brugge Brasserie Brewer Ted Miller
Sun King Brewing Co. Co-Founder Clay Robinson
Mad Anthony Brewing Co. President Blaine Stuckey

The conference took place over the weekend at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

These comings and goings may seem like small beer to the uninitiated, but if Indiana beer were a sport, you'd see the four departing board members as hall of famers. They've stepped aside to make way for new blood, and this is key to invigorating any board of directors, not just BIG's. I congratulate Jeff, Ted, Clay and Blaine for their service and their selflessness.

Finally, on the topic of epochal beer presences, there has been a long overdue tribute to Rita.

A Tribute To Rita-What Rita Kohn has meant to the Indiana beer community (Indy Beer Sleuth)

You’ve seen her around, I know you have. And if you didn’t know who she was, you probably wondered what someone who looks like your cute little grandmother is doing at a beer festival.

I love the lady and laud this write-up.

Remember:

THE BEER BEAT: I've decided to skip this year's Session Beer Day observance. See you in 2018.


SouthPointe, Summit Springs and auto-centrism amid the bursting retail bubble.

Photo credit: Barrister Commercial Group.

The usual auto-centric suburban design adorned with a hideous, generic name; a few more trees and a blizzard of developer-speak verbiage, and this nagging impression that with all this accumulated wealth looking for a landing spot, just imagine if it were invested in human beings rather than cornfields.

Work has begun on a new $80 million, 363,000-square-foot retail center in Louisville.

After years of planning and a prolonged court battle, local developer Barrister Commercial Group has finally broken ground on SouthPointe Commons that will sit on 48 acres off Bardstown Road near the Gene Snyder Freeway.

“SouthPointe Commons will achieve a unique ambiance through a complement of restaurants, entertainment, fashion tenants and specialty retailers connected with tree-lined streets. The lifestyle center is all about amenities and designs that enrich the consumer experience,” Barrister Commercial Group CEO Frank A. Csapo said in a news release.

Then there's this.

There is a retail bubble -- and it's bursting, by Paul R. La Monica (CNN)

 ... During a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Richard Hayne (Urban Outfitters) compared the state of retail to the housing glut last decade that helped bring about the Great Recession.

"Retail square feet per capita in the United States is more than six times that of Europe or Japan. And this doesn't count digital commerce," Hayne said. "Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage capacity added in the 1990s and early 2000s."

"Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst," he added. "We are seeing the results: doors shuttering and rents retreating. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future and may even accelerate."

Back here in New Gahania, we're doing precisely the same thing, except Summit Springs (such a horrible name) is being placed atop a hill along a poorly planned commercial corridor (State Street), and now its money-grubbing progenitors have an active partner in the city of New Albany, because it's a bright, shiny object ... and who cares when the storm water comes cascading down the slope?


ON THE AVENUES: Our great and noble leader is here to stay, so let's break out the țuică and make a joyful noise.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bob Caesar's intrinsically sad battle against drug addiction treatment clinics -- and this supposed Democrat's heroic ongoing advocacy of the beautiful people.

From the last council meeting.

Those people dying from overdoses ... they're not our kind of people, are they ... and they just don't look good, do they?

America’s opioid epidemic is worsening (The Economist)

States are losing the battle against deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl.

But we don't have this problem in New Albany, do we Bob?

Even Healthy-Looking Suburbs Are Dying From Drugs, by Laura Bliss (CityLab)

Some communities are much sicker than they look, according to our analysis of CDC data and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s new county health rankings.

 ... Drug mortality rates are notoriously shifty; according to the CDC, they’re likely undercounted in many counties, due to unresolved cases and misclassification. But the national trend is clear: Americans are dying too young from addiction—even in communities that otherwise appear healthy.

How long must we be saddled with the clueless (and corrupt) likes of Bob Caesar?

ON THE AVENUES: Our great and noble leader is here to stay, so let's break out the țuică and make a joyful noise.

ON THE AVENUES: Our great and noble leader is here to stay, so let's break out the țuică and make a joyful noise.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Țuică is plum brandy, and sweeping generalizations tend to be insupportable. Seeing as I’m in no mood to be dainty, let's have a drink of the firewater and stumble into the breach.

As human beings go, the late Romanian communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu (1918-1989) was a regrettable and unfortunate piece of work.

Yes, Ceaușescu was canny and possessing the survivor’s keen animal instincts, but offered few redeeming qualities otherwise. He was brutal, long-winded and poorly educated, though slightly brainier than his wife, Elena, a semi-literate bumpkin who built her own cult of personality around pretending to be a superstar scientist.

To read about the despot Ceaușescu nowadays is to constantly find yourself asking, “How could this nondescript dullard of a rural functionary be called the Genius of the Carpathians?”

Even apart from Ceaușescu being an installed and pliant cog in a closed international geopolitical system, itself constructed to institutionalize precisely such non-ironic chicanery, the very thought is breathtaking – and almost surely he believed every word of it.

While shaving each morning, the Conducător (leader) gazed into the mirror not unlike Wile E. Coyote, and paused to admire the length and breadth of his genius.

And why not? A quasi-feudal collection of stooges, sycophants and “yes men” surrounded Ceaușescu, assuring him constantly that he was every bit the ranking luminary ever to have emerged from the dark, forested Transylvanian mountains, overshadowing even the legendary Vlad Tepes – historical basis for the character of Dracula.

In turn, these assurances became the substance of propaganda, including press clippings about himself that Ceaușescu read eagerly over his daily breakfast of luxury foods generally unavailable to his subjects, as well as ubiquitously placed visual reminders of his presence.

Propaganda was the source for parroted and fluttering expressions of fealty on the part of those Romanian citizens who grasped the obvious, and cheerily rebroadcast the boilerplate from a desire to stay out of prison – and of course some of them ended up there, anyway.

What a vicious and dreary fraud, that Ceaușescu.

For 25 years, he was a veritable anchor of vapid tastelessness, mired in the mud flats of the Danube River delta, surrounded by clueless henchmen and corrupt vandals who enriched themselves at the expense of the common man.

Hmm. I’m not sure what made me think of all this, but did I tell you there was a ceremony at the amphitheater on Tuesday morning?

---

As we enter Year VI in the Chronicles of New Gahania, the only major surprise is that Mayor Jeff Gahan hasn’t yet designed a logoed scepter.

On Tuesday morning, Gahan – our Genius of the Floodplain – bounded to a podium hastily erected at the underused amphitheater, chosen for this occasion because the river looks so “cool” behind it, though it remains unfit for the dashing Team Gahan otherwise.

Giggling and gesticulating in a paroxysm of agoraphobic ecstasy, Gahan thanked the Horseshoe Foundation board members who he’d either had appointed or strong-armed, or both, and accepted a check for $5 million from the only Floyd County politician whose compliance really mattered, his neighbor and arch-rival Mark Seabrook, who from this moment forward will be utterly forgotten as Gahan claims full credit for the foundation’s largess.

Gahan proceeded to run down the list of previous multi-million dollar quality-of-life luxury improvements, praising the investments while never revealing their true cost in terms of municipal subsidies and post-ribbon-cutting maintenance.

Verily, Gahan’s done it all; laid the bricks, moved the dirt, smoothed the asphalt, sold hot dogs and swept the floor. It was repulsive and sickening, and within a few seconds it became evident to me as never before that short of getting caught in bed with a known book reader, Gahan has emerged as the odds-on favorite to serve indefinitely as New Albany’s de facto mayor-for-life.

The list of baubles, glitz and glitter – of bright, shiny objects that function as Potemkin facades, suggesting municipal progress while obscuring the ongoing rot proceeding apace underneath – has become as lengthy as Shane Gibson’s arm.

Concurrently, Gahan’s increasingly pedestrian press releases clearly indicate that he’s efficiently cured our city of the social ills that plague the remainder of the planet, apart from a handful of Scandinavian towns and the acreage of various Disney properties.

We have no crime, drug abuse, homelessness, poverty or red lights being run by speeding vehicles. Litter? It isn’t really there, you know. Perhaps you imagined it.

It is left to vicious scandal-mongering dissidents like Jeff Gillenwater to challenge the status quo.

With what's potentially the most significant political upheaval in several decades currently taking place, New Albanians can take solace in the fact that both city and school corporation leaders have ensured an equally significant lack of flexibility going forward with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt payments coming due over the next two or three decades. If you're planning on having any good civic ideas in 2027, tough cookies.

The problem for Bluegill, and for me, and for anyone else who pays close attention, is that in the main, New Albanians seem perfectly content with the Ceaușescuist tendencies of King Gahan.

After all, in 2015, roughly 14% of the city’s eligible voters opted for the anchor, and as with Donald Trump nationally, they’re getting exactly what they deserve – good and hard.

It’s increasingly difficult to imagine a scenario in which Gahan loses a third term in 2019. Try as he might, Seabrook won’t ever be able to shake the ignominy of smiling weakly while handing Gahan what amounts to five million free clams to campaign for re-election.

At the same time, the current crop of potential Republican challengers has largely chosen to play along with Gahan’s beautification-over-substance shell game.

Granted, the rules of this game have been written to exclude elected officials and empower political appointees, and there isn’t much the minority party can do, but when push comes to gag, the nominal opposition will be depicted as having been complicit.

Just remember: The Bicentennial Boondoggle was very bipartisan.

---

Consider one of Gahan’s chief acolytes, self-important councilman Bob Caesar, who formerly served as nominal Ceaușescu of the Bicentennial Commission.

Most readers are aware of my two-year-long struggle to wrest public Bicentennial Commission financial records, first from Caesar and then the city itself, only to be dismissed with supreme condescension by both.

To repeat: The celebration of New Albany’s two-hundred-year birthday cost several hundred thousand dollars, and was funded in part with taxpayer funds. I’m a citizen of New Albany. Caesar refused to show me the records, and the city attorney Gibson said the city doesn’t have the records to show.

In short: Go peddle your papers, insufferable peasant.

This is amazing, and it should be unacceptable; absolute power corrupts absolutely, and any mayor who takes seriously his obligation to enforce the law shouldn’t allow it.

However, I’m happy to announce that the Green Mouse has obtained these Bicentennial records. Fascinating revelations lie within, and copies currently are in my possession, illustrating plainly that while Caesar and Gibson may not have lied outright, they certainly have acquiesced in a cover-up, and are guilty of consciously subverting the intent of state laws governing freedom of information and public access to records.

This should disturb all of us, and both should be cashiered. If they’ll resort to evasions and subterfuge to obscure Caesar’s handling of relatively paltry Bicentennial funds, just think what they’ll do to obscure the leakage from the many yearly millions going toward feel-good, beautification projects.

And yet … you’re bothered, but only a bit, and not enough to rock the boat, right?

The newspaper doesn’t ask these questions, does it?

In more candid moments, it may seem like smoke and mirrors, but just enough of that magic pixie dust is being spread around to encourage acceptance.

Isn’t it?

And you’re fine with it, aren’t you?

The fact is, if I were to spend 40 more hours of my own time, gratis, to sifting through the records the Politburo has denied exist, in order to show that lots of Bicentennial bucks were hemorrhaged this way and that, often straight to community pillars and/or political party stalwarts who nuzzled up to wet their beaks – as I'm completely confident I could – nothing at all would happen, would it?

They wouldn’t concede error or apologize, would they?

You wouldn’t expect it, would you?

And this is a slight problem, isn’t it?

I’m not ruling anything out, or in. I might take the time to sort through those records, or maybe use those precious hours to drink beer and watch documentaries about tin horn dictatorships the world has known.

But there isn’t much one person alone can do to prevent Jeff Gahan from redesigning New Albany in his own beige image, and as the sainted Bob Knight once implied, if tacky Disney totalitarianism is inevitable, then we might as well escalate plans for a new barroom in order to have somewhere to seek refuge from the sheer indignity of it.

That's exactly what I'm working to achieve, and when it finally comes to pass, I promise to place portraits of Ceaușescu and Gahan right where they belong, at the entrance to the toilets.

Or better yet, inside them.

---

Recent columns:

March 23: ON THE AVENUES: Cataloguing my consciousness on a warm spring day.

March 16: ON THE AVENUES: It's all so simple, says Jeff Gahan.Remove the impoverished, and voila! No more poverty!

March 9: ON THE AVENUES: Never preach free speech to a yes man; it wastes your time and annoys Team Gahan.

March 2: ON THE AVENUES: Breaking up is hard to do. Just ask the Reichstag.

Sleaford Mods: "Our shows are a bit like resistance in motion."



Brexshit: Also, view parts 1/3 and 2/3.

Henceforth, the duo known as Sleaford Mods has been a very British phenomenon. Since last year's Brexit referendum, the analysis has reached the continent.

The angriest (and most political) band in Britain

We’re in a situation now where I think people really need to take on a responsibility to learn, and to educate themselves. People need to feel angry about it; they should feel angry about it. In the poorer areas, there’s no education about politics. There’s no education about the system and how it works and what we need to do to survive.

As I write, Jason and Andrew are stateside for their first-ever American dates.

Sleaford Mods: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, by Sasha Frere-Jones (Stereogum)

... The healing here is in the act of throwing yourself into a hopeless vision, a spin on the “getting on with it” intrinsic to Britishness. This impulse could be borrowed. Before Americans can sort out how many different cohorts sold out how many other cohorts, they — we — can find a way to say “we fucked up” without giving up.

I'll be kicking myself in the arse for not going to Chicago on Monday.

The add-ons are coming: Duggins reveals the QRS purchase, yet another "cool as Sellersburg" civic expenditure.


The notion of displacing QRS in favor of flood plain restoration makes sense.

But ... just remember that yesterday's orgasmic somersaults over the foundation's $5 million gift came without details as to numerous other costs attached to the expenditures, whether land acquisition (in this instance) or post-luxury-installation maintenance costs.

City Hall describes the four major projects to be funded (in part?) through the Horseshoe Foundation's $5 million gift.


Cosmetic surgery: Horseshoe Foundation gives Jeff Gahan $5 million to spend on whatever he damn well pleases.


Now, can we do something about Tiger Trucking?

QRS Recycling in New Albany agrees to close next April for Greenway park, by Elizabeth Beilman (Hanson Does Utica)

Property owner looking for relocation site

NEW ALBANY — QRS Recycling will be closing its operations at West Floyd Street near the Ohio River next April.

The New Albany business agreed to turn over its 25-to-30-acre property to the city for a Ohio River Greenway park, announced Tuesday along with other city projects.

In return, the city will pay property owner Tim Jansen $2.5 million over 20 years with no interest, according to New Albany Redevelopment Director David Duggins.

"It's an extremely exciting opportunity to bring approximately 40 acres from really a blighted area on probably one of the most beautiful bends on the Ohio River back to something families, individuals and the entire city can enjoy in the next couple years," Duggins said.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Goshen man finally gets his "ATHE1ST" license plate after the ACLU intervenes.


Right here in Indiana.

Goshen man receives "ATHE1ST" license plate after appealing BMV's denial, by Ben Quiggle (Elkhart Truth)

After garnering statewide attention to his plight, Chris Bontrager finally has what he wanted all along: a personalized license plate on his car that reads "ATHE1ST."

The Goshen resident had his initial personalized plate request denied by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles in February and even now he has no idea why it was initially denied. The BMV turned down the request in a letter that does not cite the specific reasoning for the denial.

After getting the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana involved, Bontrager said the appeal process moved rapidly, culminating in receiving his new license plate in the mail on Monday. Bontrager said he had filed an appeals request with the state, but that the ACLU was able to prod the state along faster than expected and that he never had to testify before an appeals panel.

"Not all development is fiscally productive. Urbanization, or more accurately, sub-urbanization, is not necessarily prosperity."



File under "Things that occur to me as I listen to the mayor brag about Breakwater and Summit Springs."

Or, "Things that I know local media won't ask when the mayor brags about Breakwater and Summit Springs."

Now, can we talk about the extreme degree to which "Summit Springs" sucks as a name for a development?

PLAYING “MONEYBALL” WITH YOUR CITY - AN APPEAL TO FELLOW CITY MANAGERS (AND OTHER STRONG CITIZENS), by Michael Kovacs (Strong Towns)

If you’re a sports fan, especially a baseball fan, you’ve probably seen the movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt. It's the true-to-life story of the Oakland A’s and how manager Billy Beane, with a small budget to pay salaries, uses the expertise of his assistant’s math and statistics to figure out that players who get on base can make a big determination of whether a team will win or lose. They go on to win their first playoff series in years and made the playoffs for four consecutive years on their low budget. It's a great movie. I highly recommend it.

Cities are a lot like a sports team, and what we do is similar to what Billy had to do. He had salary money and used it to get players for a value, who could get on base. As City Managers, we help set the direction of our cities with our planners and councils, and as we build out, we have a finite amount of land along with our finite ability to maintain and replace (ideally) the infrastructure we accept. We use up land in our respective city limits/extraterritorial jurisdictions, and accept infrastructure dedicated from developers in order to create tax base from the value of private investments made.

SNIP

It’s time to start deploying tactical planning, growing slow and steady, building on our existing grids, getting denser while creating place, and showing the real costs of developments to our policy makers. Let’s start going for walks and base hits. Get on base, and our cities will start winning.

Video: "What Is Real Chinese Food?"



I'm researching Chinese food for an article, and the topic is a maze.

There is the diversity of cuisine within various regions of the country itself, and then the way some of these traditions (not others) have come to define Chinese food as Americans tend to experience it -- as comfort food defined more by American tastes, rather than Chinese origins.

This brief, honest and charming video offers a glimpse of Chinese food as encountered by two Chinese-speaking foreigners wandering the hinterlands. They also have numerous other video glimpses of China.

I'm sadly reminded of my timidity in failing to see the world outside Europe, but there's also an element of happy familiarity -- perhaps Slovak bull's balls with gray sauce, or fish stew of indeterminate origin in Portugal.

Obviously there are many videos about Chinese food to watch, as well as books to read, and I have nowhere close to enough time for more than a few while preparing to write.

So far, the biggest mystery is this: What compelled me to buy this Szechuan cookbook in 1983, when I could barely boil water?

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: For H. L. Mencken, tippling iconoclasts safeguarded us against pecksniffian teetotalers.

The whole life of the inferior man, including especially his so-called thinking, is purely a biochemical process, and exactly comparable to what goes on in a barrel of cider.
-- H. L. Mencken

It is said that the fabled American journalist, writer and social commentator H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) celebrated the repeal of Prohibition by drinking a glass of cold water.

“My first in 13 years,” he explained.

Who was this wordsmith known as “The Sage of Baltimore”? The Encyclopedia Brittanica provides the necessary background.

H.L. Mencken, in full Henry Louis Mencken … controversialist, humorous journalist, and pungent critic of American life who powerfully influenced U.S. fiction through the 1920s … Mencken was probably the most influential American literary critic in the 1920s, and he often used his criticism as a point of departure to jab at various American social and cultural weaknesses.

Controversialist – now there’s a wonderful word, indeed.

A person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy.

Mencken’s written output of curmudgeonly feistiness verifies his mastery of the polemical arts, and as such, you can count him among my most prominent role models.

In addition, as a militant German-American enduring a “dry” era brought about by the same religious zealots, health fascists, cultural terrorists and bubble-headed activists now inhabiting local health departments nationwide, Mencken was not averse to the merits of the tall, cool one.

Mencken was one of the earliest advocates of unrestricted bile as a means of equal opportunity, and understood that common sense is remarkably uncommon.

Common sense really involves making full use of all the demonstrable evidence and of nothing but the demonstrable evidence.

In short, Mencken was an iconoclast of the highest order, and so the word itself is worth revisiting.

Iconoclast

1. A person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error or superstition.

2. A breaker or destroyer of images, especially those set up for religious veneration.

To hell with Walt Disney. My heroes have always been iconoclasts. From Socrates through Tom Paine, and Mencken through Hunter S. Thompson, there’s nothing as thrilling to me as an iconoclast taking a headlong swipe at cherished, unexamined assumptions. Better yet, given my own career as a tippler ...

tippler (noun)

A person who is habitually drunk: drunk, drunkard, inebriate, sot.
Slang: boozehound, boozer, lush, rummy, soak, souse, sponge, stiff.

 ... the most wonderful aspect of iconoclasm is that rampant personal dissipation does not pre-empt the message.

It actually may enhance it.

My current personal reading selection is The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, by Lisa McGirr. This sad history documents what can go wrong when abstinence from alcoholic beverages is legislated by government, and of course Mencken well understood the implications of this habit of mind.

Teetotalism does not make for human happiness; it makes for the dull, idiotic happiness of the barnyard. The men who do things in the world, the men worthy of admiration and imitation, are men constitutionally incapable of any such pecksniffian stupidity. Their ideal is not a safe life, but a full life; they do not try to follow the canary bird in a cage, but the eagle in the air. And in particular they do not flee from shadows and bugaboos. The alcohol myth is such a bugaboo. The sort of man it scares is the sort of man whose chief mark is that he is scared all the time.

The richness of Mencken’s writing reached well beyond newspapers, magazine essays and polemics to history and etymology.

In particular, he was a scholar of the American tongue, documenting the “old” English language’s transformation into something new, vital and distinctly ours. Here is a brief excerpt from Mencken’s seminal The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States (Fourth Edition, 1937):

"An English saloon-keeper is officially a licensed victualler. His saloon is a public house, or, colloquially, a pub. He does not sell beer by the bucket, can, growler, shell, seidel, stein or schooner, but by the pint, half-pint or glass. He and his brethren, taken together, are the licensed trade, or simply the trade. He may divide his establishment into a public-bar, a saloon-bar and a private-bar, the last being the toniest, or he may call his back room a parlour, snug or tap-room. If he has a few upholstered benches in his place he may call it a lounge. He employs no bartenders. Barmaids do the work, with maybe a barman, potman or cellarman to help.

"Beer, in most parts of Great Britain, means only the thinnest and cheapest form of malt liquor; better stuff is commonly called bitter. When an Englishman speaks of booze he means only ale or beer; for our hard liquor (a term he never uses) he prefers spirits. He uses boozer to indicate a drinking-place as well as a drinker. What we call hard cider is rough cider to him. He never uses rum in the generic sense that is has acquired in the United States, and knows nothing of rum-hounds, rum-dumbs, rum-dealers, the rum-trade, and the rum-evil, or of the Demon Rum.


"The American bung-starter is a beer-mallet in England, and, as in this country, it is frequently used for assault and homicide."

Closing note: Today's thoughts have been adapted from previous columns.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

City Hall describes the four major projects to be funded (in part?) through the Horseshoe Foundation's $5 million gift.

Earlier, we had video from today's ceremony.

Cosmetic surgery: Horseshoe Foundation gives Jeff Gahan $5 million to spend on whatever he damn well pleases.


There'll be time for further discussion.

Until then, following is the city's press release -- Team Gahan's own words and illustrations, offered without comment.

One clarification: The segment of Market Street pictured below is between W. 1st and Pearl. 

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Horseshoe Foundation Gives $5 Million Gift to City

This morning, at a media event at the scenic Riverfront Amphitheater, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County awarded a $5 million gift to the City of New Albany.

"On behalf of the City of New Albany, I'd like to express my sincere thanks for this extraordinary gift from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County," stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. "Their generous gift will benefit the City of New Albany for years to come."

The gift is to help fund projects in downtown New Albany and along the Ohio River Greenway. Four major projects will be funded through this generous gift from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

Additions Along the Ohio River Greenway

As the original Ohio River Greenway Project nears completion, a few areas surrounding it are in need of some revitalization.



One project aims at developing the Loop Island Wetlands into a nature preservation area, and encouraging residents to take part in and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The Ohio River Greenway Project aims to bring increased tourism to the area, encourage healthy lifestyles, and improve the overall quality of life of residents, and this project will assist the Greenway in those goals. The nature preserve, in addition with other beautification efforts on site, will create a beautiful space to relax and reconnect to our roots as a river community.



Along the western edge of the Ohio River Greenway, river recreation reigns supreme. Plans for this section include campgrounds, canoe and kayak launch off points, docks/slips, fuel pumps, a boat house and boat ramp, and more.



"For years, access to our natural waterways here in New Albany has been limited," stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. "These projects, and others like the Silver Creek Access project, will help us reconnect to our river heritage."

Market Street Promenade



This project aims at both beautifying and improving the safety and walkability of the Market Street corridor, while retaining the unique historic feel. It will include enhanced crosswalks and intersections with decorative pavers, improved pedestrian safety and walkability, all with a focus on the historic character of the area. Work will also be done to enhance the overall tree canopy with native and proper species, and improve the landscaping and foilage for both beautification and improved safety and sight-lines.

Downtown Facade Improvements



New Albany has a plethora of beautiful, historic buildings in its downtown. Unfortunately, over the years, some of these buildings have had windows shuttered and closed off, original brick walls painted over, and historic character lost. Some buildings have even been painted together to appear as one structure. This project will seek to revitalize, refurbish, and redevelop buildings and facades in the downtown area, reinvigorating these historic strcutures to their original historic look, including improved windows and uncovered original brickwork.

Riverfront Overlook





The current overlook for the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater has served its purpose for many years overlooking the beautiful Ohio River. However, after many years, it is time to look at updating this structure. This project will both study and redevelop the structure into a more usable and friendly location for residents and visitors to gather and view the majestic Ohio River, along with events and festivals along the riverfront property.

Cosmetic surgery: Horseshoe Foundation gives Jeff Gahan $5 million to spend on whatever he damn well pleases.

4:15 p.m. update: City Hall describes the four major projects to be funded (in part?) through the Horseshoe Foundation's$5 million gift.

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The down and dirty: Horseshoe is tithing $5 million for New Albany.

$2.5 million is to be devoted to a westward expansion of the Greenway from its current amphitheater terminus toward the vicinity of QRS (recycling; presumably to be reclaimed), and another $2.5 toward facade grants (details undisclosed) and "beautification" in downtown, including amphitheater touch-ups.

There are no further details at this time. I shot some sloppy video. If you have the stomach for self-congratulatory rhetoric (not a word of which recognizes the investments made by independent local businesses), then have at them.

The public has had no input into the planning, and we can only hope the Foundation has some measure of control over the disbursements.

Jerry Finn introduces Mark Seabrook, who contemplates whether he's ever going to run for mayor.



Horseshoe's Brad Seigel.



Pat McLaughlin recognizes the power of his board appointments.



The dignitaries sign, and Jeff Gahan launches into agoraphobic outer space.



Just remember: We're all here because we're not all there.

Matt Nash to purchase Karem's Meats, which will relocate to Plaza Drive (off Grant Line Road) on or about May 1.


The Green Mouse has learned that 5th district councilman Matt Nash will join the ranks of independent local business owners.

Nash has reached a deal to purchase the iconic Karem's Meats, New Albany's oldest meat market and deli.

Karem's will continue to operate at its current location off State Street until on or around May 1, when Nash will assume ownership, and the business will move to new digs at 3306 Plaza Drive, a space many readers will recall as the former home of NA Exchange (and before that, MyBar and Main Menu). It's a stone's throw from New Albanian Brewing Company, of Grant Line Road.



Once again, the target date for the move and ownership change is May 1. You can follow the art of this particular deal on social media:

Instagram: karemsmeats
Twitter: Karem's Meats
Facebook: Karem's Meats (the new page)

Karem's in the News and Tribune on the occasion of the shop's 50th anniversary in 2015.

Clark County newspaper's New Albany editor capably eulogizes the late Tommy Lancaster Restaurant.



Let's give credit where credit is due, because Chris Morris excels at eulogies, whether for people or buildings (below).

At the same time, it still strikes me as telling that throughout the process of the city purchasing properties in the vicinity of the former Tommy's, the fated verdict has been accepted without question.

The city will work non-transparently to purchase buildings; there will be no opinion proffered by the usual historic preservation watchdogs; the demolitions will follow in short order; and everyone at the newspaper from Morris on down will rinse and repeat: "Tommy’s, the building, needed to be torn down."

Probably. But of course, given this was the pre-determined outcome. How do we know for sure, when nothing about the process was above board, and everything about the process was intended to produce a pre-conceived result?

Enjoy your meals.

MORRIS: Tommy's was the perfect place, by Chris Morris (That Clark County Paper)

... If there was ever a New Albany institution, it was Tommy Lancaster Restaurant. The food was great, the beer was cheap, and it was a place where everyone in New Albany — from the rich and famous to the guy down the street who came in after work — gathered.

Our NA: Parks and Recreation Department does its job. Are the plaques ready yet?


City Hall sounded the trumpets. That's always an ominous sign.

Last year, with the help of community input, the New Albany Parks and Recreation Department finalized their 5 year master plan for 2017-2021. In a letter to the New Albany Parks and Recreation Board, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources stated that they have reviewed the plan, and have certified that it meets all of the department's requirements. Additionally, Indiana DNR has validated that New Albany is now eligible to apply for Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The letter stated that Indiana DNR supports New Albany Parks and Recreation planning efforts and encouraged participation in the grants programs administrated by the Division of Outdoor Recreation.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a web site. In the section titled Land & Water Conservation Fund, rules for eligibility are stated.

Who is eligible?

Only park and recreation boards established under Indiana law are eligible. The park and recreation board must also have a current 5-year master plan for parks and recreation on file, approved at the Division of Outdoor Recreation.

Note the city's self-laudatory press release, contrasted with eligibility requirements. Had the county and city park boards remained as one, and had it pursued the default strategy of writing a master plan (something public and private entities do much of the time), then the outcome could have been the same.

In short, propaganda is propaganda. Team Gahan did its job, shuffled the paper and met minimum eligibility requirements for matching grants. Doing its job is what Team Gahan (or an other governmental unit) is supposed to do. The question to ask is this: Given that these DNR grants are 50/50 matches, what projects does City Hall have in mind ... and from which account will the match be drawn?

Do we all get "just do your job" trophies yet?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Erich Fromm: "As long as we can think of other alternatives, we are not lost; as long as we can consult together and plan together, we can hope."


The source links sprinkled throughout the text are wonderful, and the final paragraph's links are like a course outline. There's a lot to chew on here.

The Sane Society: The Great Humanistic Philosopher and Psychologist Erich Fromm on How to Save Us From Ourselves, by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)

“The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born, when we die.”

“Every advance of intellect beyond the ordinary measure,” Schopenhauer wrote in examining the relationship between genius and insanity, “disposes to madness.” But could what is true of the individual also be true of society — could it be that the more so-called progress polishes our collective pride and the more intellectually advanced human civilization becomes, the more it risks madness? And, if so, what is the proper corrective to restore our collective sanity?

That’s what the great German humanistic philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980) explores in his timely 1956 treatise The Sane Society (public library).

Fifteen years after his inquiry into why totalitarian regimes rise in Escape from Freedom, Fromm examines the promise and foibles of modern democracy, focusing on its central pitfall of alienation and the means to attaining its full potential — the idea that “progress can only occur when changes are made simultaneously in the economic, socio-political and cultural spheres; that any progress restricted to one sphere is destructive to progress in all spheres” ...

On Tuesday morning, the Horseshoe Foundation's going to fork over roughly $5 million smackers to the Great Campaign Finance Monetizer -- but for what?


On Monday afternoon came a breathless e-mail teaser from Develop New Albany:

"Please join us tomorrow for a Major Announcement from The City of New Albany and The Horseshoe Foundation at 10:30 am at the Riverfront Amphitheater."

At first it seemed that Mayor Gahan intended to announce the dissolution of municipal government and the institution of a hereditary monarchy, but then the Green Mouse phoned in.

It's a $5,000,000 donation to the city from Horseshoe. No one will tell me what for, but it's a nice chunk of change, and I'm sure Team Gahan will waste it.

Hmm.

What might the city do with $4,750,000?

a. Remodel the amphitheater into a usable riverside performance venue?

Nah -- that makes too much sense.

a. Get a leg up on the pro soccer stadium.
b. Finish chopping down the remainder of our street trees.
c. Purchase and remodel the Reisz Furniture Building for use as Gahan's new City Hall.
d. Pay off Duggins' bar tabs.
e. Buy out the QRS recycling grounds for a new luxury floodplain development.
f. Now Develop New Albany can hire a full-time staff person.
g. (your choice here)

C'mon -- someone out there knows what's happening. Drop me a line so I can prepare the satire.

The proper word for the alt-right is puke, not punk.


“I think people ought to know that we’re anti-fascist, we’re anti-violence, we’re anti-racist and we’re pro-creative. We’re against ignorance.”
-- Joe Strummer

Of course the alt-right steals ideas. That's what you do when you have none of your own.

5 Punk Rockers Explain Why the Alt-Right’s ‘Punk Movement’ is Garbage, by Michael Tedder (Playboy)

First, the alt-right stole Pepe the frog from cartoonist Matt Furie. Then, they stole enjoying milk from the calcium-deficient. Now, they’re trying to steal punk. Members of the alt-right have of late made the argument that “conservatism is the new punk” and that gadflies like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos are the modern day truth-telling equivalents of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, pushing back against social justice warriors and political correctness culture. In their eyes, their old, retrograde ideas—which inevitably manifest as fear and outrage at attempts to curb white male privilege—have suddenly become avant-garde because of…safe spaces or something.

As if.

Since it’s impossible to physically punch this loathsome idea in the face, Playboy reached out to some of our favorite young punks and some members of the old guard to talk about what punk really means. Many of our contributors pointed out that even though as a cultural movement it has always had its flaws and problems with representations, punk is still a place where people threatened by the right’s crusade can find strength, safety and community.

One specific pull:

I think that this is exactly why it is nonsense when the alt-right strings together vapid words to try and incite a playground fight with those of us who put blood, sweat and tears into creating an expression that is the antithesis of everything that these alt-right meatheads represent. They are simply a distraction to the women, femmes, queers and people of color filling the columns of Spin, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the New York Times and numerous other publications that report on culture. I don’t see actual alt-right bands headlining Coachella, I see Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar—two of the most punk in terms of crystallizing dissent about the status quo —artists taking the stage. Real punk is and will always be a total threat to the alt-right and their culture, which is based on white supremacy. Otherwise it isn’t real punk. The alt-right’s tactics are FAKE PUNK. The alt-white (I mean right) want us to sip tea, but we are drinking fresh water from a firehose.

"Bernie Sanders to sponsor single-payer healthcare bill."

As Bluegill accurately notes:

"The last time the Democratic Party seriously advocated for universal, single-payer healthcare in the United States, Harry Truman was president. There's a reason Waiting for Godot, first published in English ten years after that, is considered both a farce and a tragedy."

A more direct hint: The case for Medicare for all.

Meanwhile, leave it to the odd-socialist-out to do what the Dilapidated Party cannot.

BERNIE SANDERS TO SPONSOR SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE BILL, by Nicholas Loffredo (Newsweek)

Bernie Sanders is returning to a key campaign promise and will introduce a single-payer healthcare bill in the wake of the Republicans' Obamacare replacement defeat.

The Vermont senator said Sunday that he was willing to work with both Democrats and Republicans to provide "insurance for all," two days after the GOP leadership's American Health Care Act was pulled from the House floor to avoid a legislative defeat. Sanders' support for a single-payer system was a centerpiece of his unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Where we should be going is to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Since 2013 (and before), the Mt. Tabor Road beak-wetting boondoggle is a large millstone hung around Jeff Gahan's neck. Mayor overboard?

It's important to remember that Jeff Gahan did not become mayor until January 1, 2012. Before this, he served two terms as councilman for the 6th district, which includes the Mt. Tabor Road neighborhood referenced here.

In short, given the time generally required to mint and plan such big ticket roadwork boondoggles as the absurdly tagged "Mt. Tabor Road Restoration and Pedestrian Safety Project" (and I'm the one who uses too many words?), it obviously dates back into Gahan's council tenure.

By extension, given the ill-tempered stubbornness for which the mayor is renowned as far away as Bob Hall, it's equally evident that having spent a half-dozen or more years conjuring this asphalt-laden, traffic-speed-enhancing "gift" to the peasants, he's absolutely determined to ram the daintily wrapped arterial down their ungrateful throats, come what may.

In this context, Gahan's perennial joy in campaign finance enrichment -- no unwetted beaks left behind in New Gahania -- actually runs a poor second to the unfettered expanse of his ego. At NA Confidential, the story began in 2013. The following links are chronological, from oldest to newest.

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October 19, 2013

The city is thinking about doing road shit. Really. It says so, over there behind that wall.


Duggins said that anything you've heard about the Slate Run Road, Mount Tabor Road and Captain Frank Road projects is true, unless it isn't. All are being contemplated, unless they aren't. The mayor will consider modifications, unless he won't. The usual suspects from Pool "A" will design these projects and build them, unless other usual suspects from Pool "B" are chosen instead. To reveal more would mean having to kill us all, and the street department can't manage such a clean-up.

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November 5, 2013

Council meeting: Mt. Tabor residents advocate for two-way streets ... sort of.


The city's proposed changes would make the road in front of them more likely to be driven by a greater number of cars, and at a rate faster than before, a situation of induced demand likely to be taken advantage of by outsiders with no better reason than passing through because they can, thus rendering the corridor less safe for neighborhood residents ... and yes, that's right, creating a scene designed to negatively impact their quality of life.

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December 26, 2013

ON THE AVENUES: Roundabouts make the politicians really ring.


Roundabouts are not intrinsically evil, but the Mt. Tabor Road residents looked past the surface dollar sheen and got to the heart of the matter: Roadway engineers would be altering conditions to suit the maxim of moving traffic through their neighborhood as “efficiently” as possible, and by doing so, would be reducing their quality of life in an almost mathematical, commensurate ratio.

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December 27, 2013

The Great Roundabout Turnabout of 2013 and pedestrian friendliness.


In the newspaperman Suddeath's piece, city hall floats the notion that the Mt. Tabor roundabout was pulled because it abruptly became evident that it would not be "pedestrian friendly." Speaking personally, I believe this to be a red herring the approximate stature of the Elsby Building ... BUT if the Gahan administration wishes to stick to the walkability argument, I'm fully in favor of accepting it.

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January 9, 2014

On the Rosenbarger planning conundrum, and FAN Fair, here I come.


Much like the sacrifice of Mount Tabor residential areas for poorly developed commercial strips on its fringes, the sacrifice of Spring and other nearby streets for Main has long been a part of the plan.

Rosenbarger's dismal performance at FAN Fair deserves another look, here.

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July 23, 2016

Council frivolity, slice of the second part: "Gahan Cares More About Concrete Than People."



John Rosenbarger sat at his desk. Outside his door, the clamor of the peasantry could be heard amid the clatter of pitchforks. He spat, then threw back his last shot of fiery sarsaparilla.

“The grandeur of my physique, the complexity of my worldview, the decency and taste implicit in my carriage, the grace with which I function in the mire of today’s world – all of these at once confuse and astound the buffoons at Mt. Tabor and Klerner Lane."

Rosenbarger gazed at his reflection in the framed portrait of Robert Moses.

"But Jeffie's got my back, bro."

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August 2, 2016

The city's spin doctors have outdone themselves on this one: Meet the "Mt. Tabor Road Restoration and Pedestrian Safety Project."


It's simply amazing what vocal citizen opposition to a New and Improved Round O' Rosenbarger Cream Tort will do to bring David Duggins bounding full Sellersburg up the stairs from the Down Low Bunker to inform city council that with construction work about to start, now's the time for operatives to fan out through the neighborhood to alter misconceptions -- but not only that, there'll be a post-decision public meeting on August 22 to further encourage conformity.

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August 4, 2016

Chronicles of New Gahania: Mt. Tabor Road residents form civil defense squad to guard against John Rosenbarger.


Decades of poor planning and development decisions on New Albany's outskirts have created automobile traffic and drainage problems where there were none. Now, the City says that by redesigning the road for more cars going even faster, they're improving pedestrian safety and by substantially increasing the amount of impermeable surface area they're improving drainage. If any of our city planners or engineers had an ounce of intellectual and professional integrity, they'd speak up in opposition. That's pretty much a guarantee they won't. A decent mayor, should we ever get one, will fire all of them.

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August 4, 2016

ON THE AVENUES: Federal funding mechanisms total eighty percent. The other half is unalloyed political malice.


Clark County resident David Duggins duly was dispatched to spray gasoline on the brush fire, which he accomplished with his usual aplomb by threatening to send the Rasputin of Redevelopment and other city officials into the afflicted neighborhoods to knock on doors and remedy "misperceptions", which immediately sent panicked refugees streaming toward Silver Creek, into the newspaper’s Clark County coverage area.

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August 6, 2016

Look at Gahan hide, hide. Not to worry, because John "Human Shield" Rosenbarger is standing by, eager to obfuscate.


In other news, it took a long while, but the intentionally understaffed Jeffersonville-based "community" newspaper has clanked ineffectually into gear, producing drab content, but inadvertently shining a tepid light on the Gahan regime's boilerplate, namely that the mayor himself won't personally be touching this one.

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August 20, 2016

Stop me if you've heard this one before, Mt. Taborites: "They’re looking at it as more of an arterial road to move traffic though than a quality of living project."



I can't agree with all the objections voiced by the Mt. Tabor Road residents, but from the very beginning, they've grasped an essential point, because the "project" has been one designed to make the road usable by an increased number of cars, and an increased number of cars means a decreased quality of life.

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August 22, 2016

Tonight at OLPH: Mt. Tabor Campaign Finance Restoration and Propaganda Safety Project spoonfeeding.



This evening, what's already been decided will be explained to you. You're feeling better already, right? Someone asked whether Mayor Gahan will be in attendance.

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August 29, 2016

An Orwellian wetting of beaks -- or, some thoughts about the Mt. Tabor arterial enfluffment and timbering project.



But you see, there's no way a euphemism like the Mt. Tabor Road Restoration and Pedestrian Safety Project cannot happen, once the federal funds have been committed. If someone else pays, the money must be used, whether to grease an arterial or construct a subway to Xanadu. Beaks must be kept wet. This is the cycle of political life, and it need not be connected to master plans or larger truths. It simply is.

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December 21, 2016

Phipps, McLaughlin pleasure mayor, oppose Blair's 6th district stormwater impact efforts, but the investigative measure passes council anyway.


Representatives of the usual engineering suspects and a handful of civic appointees were on hand at the council meeting to reiterate the municipal party line: As it pertains to stormwater, those Mt. Tabor area residents who insist on trusting their own two eyes instead of the mayor's should be ignored, and The Plan allowed to proceed.

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March 22, 2017

Shane Gibson is unaccountable yet again as "City of New Albany Withholding Public Records in Mount Tabor Road Land Grab."



Following is a press release, courtesy of local businessman Colin Receveur. Municipal corporate counsel Shane Gibson's cavalier disregard for public information requests is legendary. I'm delighted to his snared in arrogance of his own making.

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March 24, 2017

'Bune snoozes and IL gets the scoop: "City of New Albany, residents head to court over road improvement project."



“From all the discussion on this subject over the past 4 years, it has become apparent that the only person supporting dual sidewalks at this location is the Mayor of New Albany,”

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March 26, 2017

Mt. Tabor Road euphemism project: If City Hall looks bad, that's only because it's doing the damage to itself.



It isn't just that those federal 80/20 construction grants are like crack. It's that to Team Gahan, openness is like Ebola.