Wednesday, January 31, 2018

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Carceral, or a state that swallows the poorest first.


The article is Locking Up the Lower Class by Nathaniel Lewis (Jacobin), and before returning to an excerpt, my attention was drawn to the tweet by its use of the not-so-common word "carceral."

Carceral (CAR-sur-al) is an adjective, and means "pertaining to prisons or a prison."

1570s, from Latin carceralis, from carcer "prison, jail; starting place in a race course" (see incarceration).

Incarceration is a noun, with which we're more familiar: "The act of incarcerating, or putting in prison or another enclosure." If you draw a circle in the dirt and stand in the middle, you're enclosed by the circle, though not incarcerated until it becomes a structure to keep you inside.

Word Origin and History for incarceration

Early 15c., "retention of pus," from Medieval Latin incarcerationem (nominative incarceratio), noun of action from past participle stem of incarcerare "to imprison," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + carcer "prison, an enclosed space," from Proto-Italic *kar-kr(o)-, of uncertain origin.

It seems best to connect carcer with other IE words for 'circle, round object', such as Latin. curvus, Gr. κιρκος 'ring', OIc. hringr, although not all of these have a good IE etymology. The reduplication in Latin carcer could be iconic; thus, the original meaning would have been 'enclosure'. [de Vaan]

Back to the carceral state, of putting it another way, a state of incarceration.

The American state locks up its residents at jaw-dropping rates. Though home to less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States contains more than 20
 percent of the world’s prisoners.

Mass incarceration, as it’s come to be known, does not affect all groups equally. In 2010, white people were imprisoned at a rate of 450 per 100,000 while black people were locked up at a clip of 2,306 per 100,000. Simply put, black people are five times as likely as white people to be in jail or prison in the US.

Previously:

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: "Individual bullying is usually characterized by a person behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person."

The Louisville Orchestra's "War + Peace" program will be performed this Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Center.

There'll also be a "coffee concert" with the same program at the Kentucky Center on Friday morning (February 2) at 11:00 a.m. I'm not sure we'll be able to make either of these, but I encourage readers to get the LO back on your radar. The event calendar is here.

---

CLASSICS: WAR + PEACE

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018 @ 8:00 PM

SAT 3 FEB :: Themes of heroism, bravery, lost companions and even life and death come together in a dramatic and moving program. Composer Sebastian Chang collaborates with Iraqi artist Vian Sora to create a new work based on Ms. Sora’s personal experience.
CHARLES IVES: They Are There!RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS:  Dona Nobis Pacem, Mvt. 2 “Beat! Beat! Drums!”CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI: Madrigals of War and Love (selections)
SERGEI PROKOFIEV:  Waltz from War and Peace
SEBASTIAN CHANG: Between Heaven and Earth   A collaboration with Vian Sora  [WORLD PREMIERE]
ARNOLD SCHOENBERG:  A Survivor from WarsawGUSTAV MAHLER:  “Revelge” from Des Knaben WunderhornARVO PÄRT: Summa for Choir
SAMUEL BARBER:  Adagio for Strings
MAURICE RAVEL: La Valse
TEDDY ABRAMS, conductor
KENT HATTEBERG, chorusmaster
Louisville Chamber Choir
U of L Collegiate Chorale
Chad Sloan, narrator + vocalist
Vian Sora, visual artist
Deanna Hoying’s interview with Teddy Abrams, Sebastian Chang, and Vian Sora can be found here.
Program notes can be found here.
Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Kentucky Center501 W Main St., Louisville, 40202 United States

"Traffic and road capacity are not the inevitable result of growth. They are the product of very deliberate choices that have been made to shape our communities around the private automobile."


Think of it as a goal for 2020 and beyond.

STREETS AS PLACES: HOW TRANSPORTATION CAN CREATE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY, Project for Public Spaces

“The street is the river of life of the city, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center.”
–William H. Whyte

While streets were once a place where we stopped for conversation and children played, they are now the exclusive domain of cars. Even where sidewalks are present along highways and high-speed streets, they feel inhospitable and out of place.

Traffic and road capacity are not the inevitable result of growth. They are the product of very deliberate choices that have been made to shape our communities around the private automobile. We have the ability to make different choices--starting with the decision to design our streets as comfortable places for people.

Thankfully, in recent years a growing number of people around the world have stood up and demanded something better. PPS is helping to show the way forward, assisting communities realize a different vision of what transportation can be.

Downtown streets can become destinations worth visiting, not just thruways to and from the workplace ...

Bullet points for 2019.

10 Qualities of a Great Street

PPS has identified ten qualities that, in conjunction with the principles described above, contribute to the success of great streets.

  • Attractions & Destinations. 
  • Identity & Image. 
  • Active Edge Uses. 
  • Amenities. 
  • Management. 
  • Seasonal Strategies. 
  • Diverse User Groups. 
  • Traffic, Transit & the Pedestrian. 
  • Blending of Uses and Modes. 
  • Neighborhood Preservation. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ASK THE BORED: "The sidewalk mistake our cities need to stop making."


It took only six years for Dear Leader's anchor-weighted City Hall to publicize agenda items and ensuing decisions from the Board of Public Works and Safety — and only one week for the feed to be propagandized into meaninglessness.

But this is New Gahania, after all, and now that the sun is out, can we have a conversation about sidewalks -- or is it to be top-down communication only?

Like always?

Meanwhile, the newspaper's coverage of Tuesday's meeting reveals critical information: there'll be a Taco Bell atop the strip mine called Summit Springs.

THE SIDEWALK MISTAKE OUR CITIES NEED TO STOP MAKING, by Rachel Quednau (Strong Towns)

 ... Within a few months of the sidewalk being restored, it was closed off again and, months later, it's still impassable. The situation is not just inconvenient, but dangerous — especially for the children, seniors and wheelchair users in my neighborhood.

Unfortunately, this type of treatment of sidewalks and pedestrians is the norm in my city and countless others. Here are a couple more examples of disregard for needs of people walking that I bet you’ve encountered in your town:

  • NO WARNING
  • PLAYING HOPSCOTCH
  • CAR SPACE OVER PEDESTRIAN SPACE
  • A SIMPLE SOLUTION

The conclusion:

This should be the case in all of our cities, and it’s not hard to achieve, either. Some signage that directs people, temporary wooden ramps where needed and generic barriers that protect pedestrians walking in the street (which most construction companies likely already have at their disposal anyway) are all that you need.

In order to accomplish this, we need our local leaders to step up and make it a legal requirement for construction projects to preserve or provide an alternative for pedestrian space, and we need development companies to take a few simple steps to put this requirement into action. It won’t involve much effort on the part of any of these entities — like I said, we’re talking about a few feet of sidewalk width — but the positive impact for anyone walking (and that includes people walking from their car into a business or residence) will be significant.

Landan: "I have never sexually assaulted anyone, regardless of where they made their claims."


I'd seen that Haymarket Whiskey Bar owner Matthew Landan reactivated his Facebook account, and last night he issued a clear and unambiguous reply to his accusers.

"I have never sexually assaulted anyone, regardless of where they made their claims."

WDRB's Jason Riley barely beat me to the post.


By any objective standard, the terrain has shifted since the initial furor, and this is why I'll continue updating the story.

Previously:

A precipitous decline: "Haymarket owner says former employees exaggerated the number of his rape accusers."

Neighborhood litter: "A dirty and dangerous environment can heighten stress levels and shrink individual aspirations."

The Courier-Journal is a chronic litterer.

New Albany isn't particularly clean in the best of times, and a litter-strewn city always seems worse in the dead of winter, without any overgrown vegetation to hide the mess. As the following article suggests, a number of interrelated factors probably explain it -- none of them particularly encouraging.


The Next Louisville: What Trash Cans Tell Us About Poverty In Louisville
, by, Jacob Ryan (WFPL)

... City data show residents in Taylor Berry report instances of litter at one of the highest rates in the city. Though city officials have closed nearly all of the complaint cases, the trash remains.

A review of city trash bin locations shows that, in 91 percent of the 340 complaints in Taylor Berry, there’s no public trash can on the block.

This isn’t unique to Taylor Berry. Across the city, data show trash piles up in parts of town with the fewest public trash cans. In fact, 73 percent of all trash complaints reported to the city’s MetroCall 311 service are not within one block of a trash can, the data show. And 41 percent of those locations had no trash bin within two blocks.

(Neighborhood resident) Cissell said the absence of trash bins sends a message: her street just isn’t a priority like those in the growing downtown Central Business District, with 110 trash bins per mile — 101 more than her neighborhood.

The crappier things are, the crappier they'll become. That's encouraging. Has the SOTU started yet?

 ... (U of L professor) DeCaro also points out a 1990 study by psychologist Robert Cialdini in which paper handbills were placed on the windshield of vehicles in a parking garage. In one instance, the garage was cleaned of debris and trash. In another, the garage was heavily littered.

The results were just as Cialdini and his team anticipated. People were more likely to toss the handbills to the ground in the littered garage, as opposed to the clean garage.

DeCaro said people pay subtle attention to their social environment — “and then we infer assumptions about the people living there and our relationship with it.”

Haven Harrington, who lives in Russell, also points to the “broken window” theory when discussing the scourge of trash in the neighborhood.

“People tend to want to disrespect your neighborhood more when they see trash everywhere,” said Harrington, a past president of the Russell Neighborhood Association. “They think, well, if the people here don’t care, why should I?”

Not to be outdone by his idol Greg Fischer, Deaf Gahan forms his own secret committee of power brokers.


Deep within the bowels of the Down Low Bunker, the mayor even has his own personalized conference room for maximum confidentiality, solitude and clandestineness.

It looks like the first gathering is about to be convened.

It's called SMEG-NA, or Serious Monetization End Game for New Albany

And don't forget to check your TASERs at the entrance to a very long access corridor.

Encroaching nausea as Insider Louisville tracks down Louisville's secretive power brokers, an "elite group of influencers."


---

Deaf Gahan is on Twitter
.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Encroaching nausea as Insider Louisville tracks down Louisville's secretive power brokers, an "elite group of influencers."

SCALA, not La Scala.

Oh, look. How charming. The usual suspects, same old pillars and engorged oligarchs together again, in secret, to huff and puff and -- dear, could you fetch my pitchfork? Just in case One Southern Indiana's already played the copycat.

By invitation only: Meet Louisville’s power brokers, by Caitlin Bowling, Boris Ladwig and Joe Sonka (Insider Louisville)

Part 1: How an elite group of influencers aims to solve the city’s most vexing issues, including JCPS

At invitation-only meetings during the last seven months, prominent Louisville power brokers from businesses, nonprofits and religious organizations have discussed issues including public safety, air service and — with recent urgency — the state’s potential intervention in or takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools.

The group of about 70 members — modeled after a similar organization in Nashville — has been operating largely under the radar until recently when multiple sources alerted Insider Louisville to its existence. In interviews with dozens of people over several weeks, Insider has learned more about the members, agenda and structure of this influential group.

Its very existence sheds light on how a determined coalition of private citizens can hone in on key issues hoping to expedite outcomes beyond the sphere of government, elected boards or traditional business groups.

In interviews with Insider, founders and members of the group — called the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda (SCALA) — described it as an effective way for “thought leaders” to come together to tackle some of the city’s major problems.

However, SCALA critics who recently learned of the group have blasted it as a covert and “nefarious” attempt by wealthy elites to undermine public education and the democratically elected local school board. Even though public education is a top three priority for SCALA members, the group has not extended an invitation to any current JCPS or public higher education executives.

SCALA is a nonprofit entity that was registered with the state in July by Humana founder David Jones Sr., who is listed on its board of directors along with Chuck Denny, the regional president for PNC Bank in Kentucky and Tennessee, and Sandra Frazier, chief executive of Tandem Public Relations.

Before I go any further, forget the pitchfork: QUICK, GATHER YOUR BUCKETS, PAILS AND BASINS -- LEFTOVER AIR SICKNESS BAGS TOO -- BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT TO GET NASTY.

It seems that one of SCALA's stalwarts is found in Webster's word book under "unctuous son-of-a-bitch."

(Ed Glasscock, chairman emeritus of Frost Brown Todd) told Insider that other SCALA members include Alice Houston, CEO of Houston Johnson; Jim Lancaster, CEO of Lantech; and Koleman Karleski, chairman of Cork Communications and former managing partner of Chrysalis Ventures, which Jones Jr. co-founded. None of the three could be reached.

Glasscock said SCALA represented a carryover from groups of local influencers who had used their expertise to bring about positive change in the community, from the merger of local and county government to construction of the KFC Yum! Center and the Ohio River Bridges Project.

“This is a continuation of some of those coalitions,” he said. “It’s a very progressive group trying to do important things.”

Yep, I definitely remember Glasscock from the bridges project.

Ed Glasscock. Progressive? You know, progressive just like Idi Amin.

Come to think of it, an opera link might soothe the savage turn toward socialism and redistribution.


Opera’s awful role models and the #MeToo moment
(Prospero, at The Economist)

A typical work has as much sex and violence as “Game of Thrones”, but a less plausible plot. Should we expose our children to such filth?

 ... “How can I love an artform that is so consistently, insistently cruel to its female characters?” asks Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian, wondering if opera is “the most misogynistic art form”. She has a point. In the age of #MeToo, some directors have decided to adapt old plots to make them more female-friendly.

Hmm. Didn't work. Back to the pitchfork solution, but kudos to IL for the fine article.

David Duggins' TASER fetish: Hoosier Action has the lowdown, as Mayor Jeff Gahan remains hunkered in the down low bunker.


Hoosier Action has a way you can help, so give the NAHA a call and tell them what you think about TASER "jokes."

Don't forget that it isn't the rank and file at NAHA posing the problem. It's the imported colonial overlords.

While you're at it, here's another handy phone number: 812-948-5333, straight to City Hall -- because Mayor Jeff Gahan can't hide forever. Gahan owns the public housing debacle, and it's time he answered for it.

Tell NAHA Interim Director David Duggins: threats are no joke.

We Are New Albany Deputy Chairperson Brandon Brown has shown courageous leadership in defense of the public housing residents whose homes Duggins and Mayor Gahan are threatening with demolition. When Duggins "jokes" that Brandon should be tased, we see that for what it is: intimidation in retribution for Brandon's leadership.

If you want to let Duggins know you stand with Brandon and will not tolerate such threatening "jokes," the NAHA phone number is 812-948-2319. Tell us in the comments what you said, and how it was received.

Earlier: Team Gahan circles the wagons as David "Knucksie" Duggins' TASER fetish becomes the big story today at the News and Tribune.

Cyber skullduggery? Maybe they found a four-year-old child.

With apologies to Groucho Marx.

I'm guessing this morning's flurry of "spam complaint" notifications for NA Confidential at Facebook was just a fluke of the algorithm. Each was followed within seconds by a "oops, no problem" follow-up, but it's funny that a post about a downtown building rehab made the cut, too.

If it’s the result of a cyber attack by Team Gahan, I’m not all that concerned. After all, how much damage can they do with a fleet of rotary dial phones?

On second thought, are TASERS effective against social media posts?




Team Gahan circles the wagons as David "Knucksie" Duggins' TASER fetish becomes the big story today at the News and Tribune.


Thanks to the newspaper for picking up this story from NAC. Our arms were getting tired.

The reporter Grady does a very good job here.

Threat or joke? NAHA official's Taser comment questioned, by Danielle Grady (News and Tribune)

NEW ALBANY — One side is calling it a threat, the other, an inappropriate statement with no malice behind it: At a meeting last Monday, the interim director of the New Albany Housing Authority told a police officer to deploy a stun gun at a resident after the resident recorded a video of the gathering.

Even the newspaper itself understands that certain of its older, male, New Albany-based reporters wouldn't pursue the story with this degree of thoroughness. Now it's up to the somnolent and detached editorial board to begin grasping the depths of depravity on the ground amid Jeff Gahan's public housing putsch. Note also that this photo by Josh Hicks ...


... previously enraged Duggins so much that he threw a tantrum behind closed doors, which I believe his adjutant Tony Toran would be able to corroborate, if he cares to do so. Kudos to the newspaper for using it today.

It isn't so much that Duggins' apology is entirely insincere, although he'll be dismissing it, giggling and rolling his eyes the next time his posse convenes over Bud Light Limes and Fireball shots.

Rather, it's that Gahan's placement of Duggins at NAHA is a preposterous and cynical absurdity. Gahan owns this catastrophe, and the rehearsed backslapping of sycophants like Irving Joshua merely make the land-grab scenario more damning.

Staged apologies obviously aren't enough. It would be an act of mercy for Gahan to relieve Duggins of responsibilities which he is professionally and temperamentally unsuited to perform. Duggins always has insisted he could make far more money in the private sector.

It's time to let him monetize elsewhere, isn't it?

Click here for previous NAC coverage of Duggins' NAHA bullying.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Drinking songs and other music by Brahms at Saturday's Louisville Orchestra performance at the Ogle.


There's a reason I'm always riffing on the same refrain. Last evening, it was time for another Louisville Orchestra concert at the Paul W. Ogle Cultural & Community Center at IU Southeast.

Inspired by the mountains and countryside of Austria, Brahms wrote his Second Symphony — a work that evokes both victory and peace. The composer wrote his Academic Festival Overture as a “thank you” for an honorary degree. It’s a sparkling mix of student drinking songs that were popular in the era and offered a cheeky response to the “serious” occasion.

JOHANNES BRAHMS: Academic Festival Overture
JOHANNES BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major

I've always enjoyed the story behind the Academic Festival Overture, which Brahms wrote for the occasion of an honorary degree bestowed on him by the University of Braslau.

No doubt the premiere was intended to be a solemn occasion. As an unspoken reciprocation of their award, the University of Breslau had anticipated that Brahms, one of the greatest living composers (albeit one who had not attended college), would write a suitable new work to be played at the award ceremony. There is little doubt that what he provided confounded his hosts’ expectations. Rather than composing some ceremonial equivalent of Pomp and Circumstance—a more standard response—Brahms crafted what he described as a “rollicking potpourri of student songs,” in this case mostly drinking songs. It is easy to imagine the amusement of the assembled students, as well as the somewhat less-amused reaction of the school dignitaries, to Brahms’s lighthearted caprice.

It's very reminiscent of my academic career at IU Southeast.

But seriously, the concert on Saturday night (conducted by Teddy Abrams) was the third of four "neighborhood" appearances by the LO at Ogle this season, and reiterating, the Confidentials adore the convenience of the orchestra in our backyard.

Both the LO's series and the venue itself are chronically underrated assets for the city of New Albany.

THE BEER BEAT: "Dives and hives" in Nawbany, a new brewery coming to Floyds Knobs, and other tales of the drinking life.


It's late notice, but if you're out and about today between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., drop by Donum Dei Brewery (3211 Grant Line Road in New Albany) for Chili Cookoff to Benefit Apron, Inc.

Let's begin with a gratifying round of self-aggrandizement.

Thanks to Sara "Bar Belle" Havens for the name-drop in this survey of "New Albany’s smoky dives and trendy hives" at Insider Louisville.

In the early ’90s, Roger Baylor transformed (NABC Pizzeria Public House) into a craft-beer mecca, long before craft beer was a big thing around here. And since then, it’s been the spot to try all sorts of styles and brands.

Ironically, the release of Sara's article was concurrent with RateBeer's annual list of very best places in America to have a beer, in which the Pizzeria & Public House yet again was named as Indiana's best brewpub (with Keg Liquors Clarksville capturing another "best bottle shop" citation).

Sara's pub crawl also took her to Jack's, Brooklyn and The Butcher and Hugh E. Bir Cafe. Taken as a whole, her wanderings testify to a rich diversity of drinking options in New Albany, and in spite of my own personal trials and travails, I have to admit I'm proud to have played my role in it -- and look forward to doing so again.

THE BEER BEAT: Have a look at this Pints&Union pub buildout progress report.

Speaking of start-ups, I too was surprised to see a brewery coming soon to Floyds Knobs.

A craft beer boom is looming. Keep an eye out for these 7 new breweries opening this year, by Bailey Loosemore (Louisville Courier Journal)

Our Lady of Perpetual Hops

Location: 3815 Paoli Pike, Floyds Knobs

Anticipated opening: Late spring

Introduction: We first heard of this new Southern Indiana brewery earlier this month, and it's already well on its way to capturing our attention.

The brewery will be located on a 10-acre property near the Valley View Golf Club, where four co-owners plan to eventually build an entertainment campus complete with a taproom, restaurant, sand volleyball courts, outdoor deck and beer garden.

The entire campus isn't expected to be finished until spring 2019. But this year, the company plans to open a small taproom and brewery in an existing building at the site.

CEO Robert Pappas, a chemist who owns Essential Oil University, said Our Lady's beers will be unique for the area.

With help from an experienced brewer, the team has created beers that incorporate essential oils to act as a sort of aromatherapy, Pappas said.

Follow the brewery's process on Facebook.

Upon further reflection, I recall discussing a similar idea with Rob (a longtime pub customer) in 2012 or thereabouts; at the time, he was looking at a farm in Starlight near the Huber winery and distillery. The brewer at OLPH is Kyle Richmer, and I'm enthused that the Knobs will be getting in on the game.

For the record, here is the entire list.

  1. Falls City Brewing Co., 901 E. Liberty St., NuLu
  2. Bluegrass Brewing Co., South Fourth Street and Broadway
  3. Wild Hops Brewery, 1001 Logan St.
  4. Our Lady of Perpetual Hops, 3815 Paoli Pike, Floyds Knobs
  5. False Idol Independent Brewers, 1025 Barret Ave.
  6. Against the Grain, 719 Lynn St.
  7. Goodwood Brewing Company, Vine Street

As a closer, ignore the author's lapse (these days my beloved Pilsner Urquell is owned by Asahi of Japan, not the MillerCoors leviathan) and feel good about how far beer has come in the States.

Now, all we need to do is make sense of where we've been. I have a feeling this is something that will be occupying much of my time in the near future.

Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America, by Derek Thompson (City Lab)

Corporate goliaths are taking over the U.S. economy, yet small breweries are thriving. Why?

But what explains the nature of the craft-beer boom? From several interviews with economists and beer-industry experts, I’ve gathered that there appear to be two big reasons—a straightforward cause and a more complex and interesting history.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Duggins releases new New Albany Housing Authority logo, picks up a sixer of Bud Light Lime, heads out to the TASER range to shoot a few ... rounds.


The week began with David Duggins "joking" about bodily harm to public housing residents, then shifted into an all-points denial on the part of Team Gahan.

Duggins is Jeff Gahan's own personal Frankenstein. Gahan owns this debacle. When's he going to answer for it?

Here's a recap. If you're a Democrat, it's time for a mirror gaze. Is this really the sort of embarrassment you wish to continue sanctioning?

ON THE AVENUES: David Duggins’ violent “jokes” will continue until the New Albany Housing Authority’s morale improves – or Duggins is fired. We advocate the latter.


SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: "Individual bullying is usually characterized by a person behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person."

NAHA vs Pleasant Ridge: Deaf Gahan is appalled that he didn't think of mass taserings first.

We don't need a TASER Tsar at public housing.


Dan Canon's good ink underscores the ideological problem for Adam's local DemoDisneyDixiecrats.


The author wouldn't identify the brewery, so I have.

It's an excellent profile of Dan Canon, man and candidate -- and I promise not to mention the local DemoDisneyDixiecratic Party's right-wing assault on public housing ... not even once.

Oops.

Is This Indiana Civil Rights Lawyer the Great Progressive Hope of 2018?, by Michael Powell (Vice)

Dan Canon is suing Trump, calling out white supremacy, and running for Congress. But can he win?

Less than a day after announcing his campaign for Congress in the parking lot of a brewery near his New Albany, Indiana, home, Dan Canon stood on a bench on a well-trafficked pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River telling anyone who would listen why they deserved healthcare. Some kept walking, some stopped to join in the growing circle around him.

"Healthcare is your right, and you have to assert that right. You get a small group of people that believe that and it spreads. If we tell our elected representatives we [have that right], well, they're not doing their jobs,” he told them in his role as a political busker. “So what do you do? You fire them!”

That’s the sort of personalized campaign Canon is running to flip Indiana’s Ninth District from red to blue. The progressive civil rights attorney is one of the most fascinating midterm House candidates in the country, a longtime advocate for causes ranging from gay marriage to immigration to cannabis who spends his free time acting in community theater, playing in bands, and marching in protests. If he can get into Congress, it'll be proof for a lot of leftists that yes, their preferred candidates really can win.

He has his work cut out for him: In 2016 Donald Trump won the district by 27 points and Republican Congressman Trey Hollingsworth beat his Democratic opponent by 14 after moving from Tennessee in 2015 ...

This important point remains:

The incumbent Hollingsworth has one advantage over any eventual Democratic opponent—he’s one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with almost $60 million in assets. Canon says his advantage will come through optics and lived experience. “You have people like Trey Hollingsworth who come to a district as an outsider millionaire with multi-generation wealth and doesn’t understand living paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t understand making the choice between paying for health insurance and paying the rent, or scrounging for change in the couch to buy a Big Mac,” Canon told me. “These are things that I’ve actually experienced, and I think gives me a point of identification with lots of other people. Very few if any candidates at an office this size understand those very real problems because of the prevalence of money in politics… It’s difficult for working-class folks to run for office.”

Hollingsworth is a plutocratic carpetbagger, and I'd say the same thing if the situation occurred in reverse, and it was a Democrat from Massachusetts.

Just one more quote.

“[Dan’s] message focuses a lot on fighting for individuals. It manifests itself in different issues, but he’s articulating a vision that goes deeper than what previous candidates have had to offer.”

The speaker is none other than multi-chairman spider web spinner Adam "Boy Wonder" Dickey, and after one wades painfully past the robotic code language, there's a grain of unintended truth.

Not only is Canon running against Republicans outside the Democratic Party, but also the ones within it -- and not only Washington County's implanted Falangist.

Another of Adam Dickey's hilarious DemoDisneyDixiecratic shit shows provides timely comic relief.


Those progressive themes Canon repeats aloud?

Try imagining Jeff Gahan uttering any of them, privately or publicly. More bluntly, the only future hope for Dickey's local DemoDisneyDixiecrats is that Canon wins, and the party is reshaped by younger, more progressive activists -- and this phenomenon, should it occur, would transform Jeff Gahan into Doug Leatherbury.

Or is it the other way around?

ON THE AVENUES: David Duggins’ violent “jokes” will continue until the New Albany Housing Authority’s morale improves – or Duggins is fired. We advocate the latter.


SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: "Individual bullying is usually characterized by a person behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person."

Today's must-read: "Distracted pedestrian laws aren’t really about the evidence. They are about maintaining the privileges of car culture."

Far more likely, isn't it?

The Baffler nails it (link below).

All I can say is that I'll do my level best to make this topic an issue in the next round of municipal elections in 2019, irrespective of political parties and candidates.

New Albanians should be disgusted at the vast extent to which Jeff Gahan's clueless coterie squandered the rare opportunity to initiate genuine street grid cultural change in spite of spending millions on projects that while needed, like two-way streets, were cynically and timidly implemented to preserve the car-centric status quo rather than push the city forward.

It remains: speed kills. 

Our next mayor won't necessarily be compelled to tear it all down and start over, but recovering from Gahan's patented shortsightedness will take time and more money. I regret it, but there it is, and "next" will have to deal with it. Let's just make sure there is a "next."

#FireGahan2019

Who’s Afraid of the “Petextrian”? by Jordan Fraade (The Baffler)

The phantom of the “distracted pedestrian” haunts America

 ... “Distracted pedestrian” laws aren’t really about the evidence, though. They are about maintaining the privileges of car culture as that culture is about to confront an enormous shift in the balance of civic and technological power—one that threatens to permanently upend the relationship between drivers and pedestrians.

SNIP

Despite the best efforts of forward-thinking urban planners, we can fully expect the profitable regime of car-sponsored ped-shaming to continue, egged on by news reports that smear dead pedestrians, government agencies that treat walking as a suspect activity, and car-company executives who accidentally let the mask slip when they’re tasked with programming their driverless cars to respond in crisis situations. This doesn’t mean that crossing the street while distracted on a smartphone is some sort of commendable civic statement, akin to how many New Yorkers view jaywalking. (After one too many close calls, I’ve managed to get in the habit of putting away my own phone when I cross the street—and, yes, I feel much safer for it.) But it does mean that anyone who cares about making cities safer and more equitable should be ready to take the side of pedestrians, even when emotional, error-prone humans are no longer the ones behind the wheel.

People who choose to take in the city with all five senses, rather than observe it behind tinted glass, should have the right to do so without harassment or fear.

Friday, January 26, 2018

THE BEER BEAT: Have a look at this Pints&Union pub buildout progress report.


During the past decade, dozens of older buildings in downtown New Albany have been repaired and renovated. More than a few of them are hosting restaurants and bars, and since bars are my natural habitat, you can easily imagine that while the devil's always in the details, I'm overwhelmingly supportive of these upgrades.

Work currently is progressing at two adjacent buildings on Market Street. The first one is big and brick, and it will not be a food and drink establishment -- although in the beginning, it was.

This c.1859 building was constructed as one building but finished as two individual units. The first known occupant of 110 East Market Street was Nicholas Sauer, who had a coffee house and later a saloon here, and lived above. The Capital Saloon first occupied 112 East Market and was operated by Frederick Borgerding, who lived upstairs.

The Gamble heirs sold the building in July 1888 - 110 East Market went to druggist and tenant Charles Knoefel, and 112 went to tenant and grocer Frederick Knabke. In 1921, the two separate storefronts were combined when the entire first floor became Mayes Drug Company. It remained that until 1935. By 1937, the Jay C Food Store occupied the building, and was here through 1956. After a few years of vacancy, the Thrift Dollar Store moved into the site by 1959, followed by Ace Loan and Sporting Goods, which closed in 2015.


Interior views of 110 E. Market St., once Ace Loan, now being transformed by Resch Construction into The Root coworking center.

Urban layers: The ancient unknown courtyard behind The Root (where Ace Loan used to be) has been opened to access -- eventually.

The smaller structure by the alley has little in the way of noteworthy lineage, and doesn't even merit a name.

Commercial building
114 East Market Street
New Albany, IN 47150

This heavily-altered commercial building was once home to Lewis Hammond's 'Yankee Doodle' store, the interior of which is seen below in a photo from about 1917.


Later the building housed two bars, first Love's Cafe and then more recently, Good Times. It is in the process of being almost completely rebuilt from the ground up, with much of the original wood slated to be repurposed in the interior. When the work is finished, it will become Pints & Union, the forthcoming pub being sketched by Joe Phillips and yours truly.

Our shared vision takes the traditional Anglo-Irish pub as a starting point. It might be described as "progressively old school," although this phrase lamentably is being used by someone else. For a taste of what we're projecting for the "classic beer" program, here are two links.

THE BEER BEAT: Sunday sermonizing about the arduous path to pints, and union.

THE BEER BEAT meets "comfort beer." It's undervalued, but real -- for instance, like Fuller's London Pride. Did I mention undervalued?

It's still too early to go into details, so please stay tuned. Relevant mantras include stability, comfort and storytelling. Meanwhile, here are photos of the buildout, which should be finished in a couple of months. As oft times before downtown, Steve Resch and his construction company are doing the work -- and they're the best.









We've always guessed this concrete rectangle was poured to protect the corner of the building from being hit by vehicles turning into the alley.

But I see it as a plinth waiting to happen; imagine a public art contest and the eventual installation of a statue here, at the National Memorial to the Victims of Prohibition in America. Allow me to diagram the scene.


Pints & Union is real, and it's underway. A thousand hoops remain, and we'll jump them one at a time. Your support is appreciated.

Another of Adam Dickey's hilarious DemoDisneyDixiecratic shit shows provides timely comic relief.

With barely any time to spare after issuing his daily marching orders to groveling subalterns (Jeff Gahan, NAHA and New Albany's city council), multi-party-hydra-chairman Adam Dickey arrived back at HQ to find the toilet overflowing.

Unable to afford a plumber, he issued this statement instead.


Our ubiquitous Boy Wonder refers to a social media posting by Doug Leatherbury, a superannuated Washington County apparatchik, who without warning decided to publicly praise Donald Trump and condemn anti-Trump protesters. An excerpt provided by an outraged Democrat is below; naturally, Leatherbury's original post seems to have been scrubbed from Facebook. 


It merits only a chuckle to note that given the history of the Democratic Party hereabouts, Leatherbury's comments are by no means removed from the mainstream. He's right there with Ted Heavrin, Dan Coffey and hundreds of Floyd County Democrats still ambulatory and voting today.

The gut laughter begins with Adam's predictably mealy-mouthed conclusion: Leatherbury's viewpoint is completely at odds with everything the party stands for, and so "we have urged him to reconsider his position."

Leatherbury surely is quaking in fear, and LBJ just rotated his coffin, but the funniest part of all?

Leatherbury's not some Rambo-bedecked party-crasher. His name's right there on the masthead. He's Adam's treasurer, for heaven's sake.


Following is a screenshot for posterity, in which activist Julia Adams goes straight for Adam's (and the party's) jugular with a pointed question: If y'all really are about social justice, why the perpetual silence v.v. Jeff Gahan's public housing takeover? 


Crickets chirp, pins drop. Somewhere a lonesome cur barks.

Julia is to be commended for trying to jump-start a progressive dialogue with Adam, one this Human Delete Key typically spends so much time reflexively suppressing that his own party's Dixiecrat wing can sidle up unseen, kneecap him, and be given only a cursory "tsk tsk" as payback. 

Oh, you crazy guys ... now, behave, or you'll get only a half-stuffed envelope next time!

Here's some unsolicited advice for anyone tempted to praise Adam for his bold statement of principle: challenge him to (a) apply it equally across the board, and (b) to do more than just talk a good gesture politics game.

Consider Coffeys instructive experience.

He rejected the Democratic Party, touts his pro-Trump, anti-progressive views at every opportunity -- and continues to collect his traditional favors from Adam and the municipal hegemony preservers.

Coffey may be a reactionary quasi-fascist, but he's not an idiot.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: "Individual bullying is usually characterized by a person behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person."


We have a disturbing situation here in New Albany. Ranking Democrats within Team Gahan's ever-shrinking perimeter of comprehension seem to think it's funny to joke about shooting and tasering people.

Spoiler: Threats and intimidation aren't laughing matters. They're bullying.

ON THE AVENUES: David Duggins’ violent “jokes” will continue until the New Albany Housing Authority’s morale improves – or Duggins is fired. We advocate the latter.

 ... Only with power comes the “right” to say it was all a joke, and make no mistake: (David) Duggins’ threats to Brown were all about power. So was Gahan's hostile takeover of public housing. People? They're just in the way.

Perhaps you remember the entertainer's explanation last fall of why he masturbated in front of women:

“When you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them."

If, like (Brandon) Brown, you find yourself wondering whether a highly paid public official with a policeman standing by his side is joking – that’s a bit of predicament, isn’t it?

Jeff Gahan owns this predicament. For too long, Duggins has been empowered, and we see clearly what this means to him. Duggins needs to go, and he needs to go immediately, before someone gets hurt.

We're looking at a dick, Jeffrey. How can Duggins ever be trusted after this?

Most of us know bullying when we see it, and we've been here before, because money is the ultimate bully. Still, let's consider a brief refresher.

Bullying (Wikipedia)

There is no universal definition of bullying, however, it is widely agreed upon that bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time. Bullying may thus be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally or emotionally.

The Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus says bullying occurs when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons". He says negative actions occur "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways." Individual bullying is usually characterized by a person behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.

Let there be no mistake: the issue with Duggins' behavior didn't begin Monday evening. NAC received this revealing testimonial earlier today.

I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop. In every encounter I’ve had with this manipulative bully, David Duggins’ verbal and body language has swung between smug condescension, derision, and smoldering anger, with a dash of Trumpian sanctimony (“I care deeply about the poor”) thrown in. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s essentially what I've heard him say. I’ve watched Duggins at meetings grimace at others’ comments and have even seen him give hand signals to members of his/Gahan’s NAHA board prior to his appointment as interim director. He has a short fuse and is temperamentally unsuited to his current (overpaid) position. He should resign or be fired. I hope this issue does not go away.

Indeed. Duggins has to go. We're to the point now where someone might get hurt. My prediction: Since by his own estimation, Jeff Gahan has not been wrong once during the past six years, the mayor cannot fire Duggins on demerit, as this would soil Gahan's lapel. Rather, look for the situation to become one of health and well being; poor Tazie Davie has been working so hard to bring Dear Leader's plans to fruition that he's (a) had a breakdown, (b) will go to anger management counseling, and/or (c) enroll in drug or alcohol rehab.

My guess is he'll still be a bully, but there you have it.

Jason Applegate will seek the Democratic nomination for county commissioner.


Jason Applegate will seek the Democratic nomination for Floyd County commissioner. It's the seat being vacated by Mark Seabrook (R), who'll run for mayor in 2019. Applegate is a former business owner, and he has worked in advertising sales.

These days many folks know Applegate from his work with wife Angie Fenton at Extol Magazine. The candidate is pictured below with his campaign treasurer, Paul Kiger.


I met with Applegate yesterday, and we had an excellent chat about smart growth in the county. I suspect this will be his main platform plank; stay tuned for more. 

So far, LaMicra Martin has filed for the Democratic nomination (she'll oppose Applegate in the May 8 primary), and Shawn Carruthers remains the presumptive Republican nominee, as I'm not sure he'll have a primary opponent. 

(The Indy Star explains what Indiana county commissioners actually do.)

ON THE AVENUES: David Duggins’ violent “jokes” will continue until the New Albany Housing Authority’s morale improves – or Duggins is fired. We advocate the latter.

ON THE AVENUES: David Duggins’ violent “jokes” will continue until the New Albany Housing Authority’s morale improves – or Duggins is fired. We advocate the latter.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

(Randy Smith provided significant assistance in writing today’s column)

---

At last.

It took a few days, but finally a local journalist has gotten around to covering an important story about the inexcusable abuse of power by a public official.

Jtown Attorney To Thieneman: “I’ll Do My Damned Level Best To Break Your Neck”,by Rick Redding (Louisville KY)

Jeffersontown city attorney Schuyler Olt ignited a firestorm of controversy Jan. 23 when he started an online fight with Chris Thieneman over the treatment of police in the media.

The post that started the brouhaha by Thieneman was simply a screen shot of a story by Joe Gerth in the Courier-Journal headlined, “Police must root out racist officers.” It concerned Prospect police officer Todd Shaw’s racist remarks that led to his firing.

Olt, who claims on his Facebook page to be a minister at Carlisle Presbyterian Church, responded first with a comment claiming that Shaw’s behavior was “horrible” but adding that the job is stressful. The two traded comments until Olt ended that part of the discussion with “You, quite frankly, kinda suck” ...

… The most damaging comment from Olt came later. Thieneman took a screen shot of the damaging post, which Olt has since deleted. It amounts to “terroristic threatening” as defined by Kentucky law: KRS 508.080(1)(a) covers the most commonly encountered form of terroristic threatening and requires (1) a threat to commit any crime, which is (2) likely to result in death, serious physical injury, or substantial property damage to another person. “Crime” means any misdemeanor or felony.

Here is that comment: “I’ll do my damned level best to break your neck.”

Olt eventually apologized for his threats, saying his anger got the best of him. Thieneman called for Olt’s resignation; after all, can Olt be trusted any longer to tame his anger?

There’s a line in the sand, and when a public official pole-vaults over it, an apology simply isn’t enough. Rather, we see the misbehavior as clearly marking the transgressor as temperamentally unfit for the job; if he or she also is professionally and intellectually unsuited for the job, then it’s an even easier call.

At least Olt actually appears to be an attorney, although it remains to be seen if the business of preaching is best served by the use of brass knuckles as opposed to Bibles.

And this brings us to Monday’s eventful meeting of the Synod of Sanctimonious Sycophancy, otherwise known as the New Albany Housing Authority’s handpicked board of current and former Gahan for Mayor campaign donors.

This is very serious, indeed.

---

After the board’s Monday meeting, David Duggins threatened a client by suggesting that a New Albany police officer “shoot” the client, who is a resident of a New Albany Housing Authority (NAHA) property.

In the meeting, Duggins -- appointed on an interim and well-remunerated basis last year by New Albany mayor Jeff Gahan to direct the affairs of the annexed housing authority -- was challenged by a spokesman for We Are New Albany, the activist group seeking to prevent an announced program to demolish publicly owned properties and to reduce the number of clients served by as much as half.

Duggins offered a lengthy defense, which was videotaped and shared on social media by Brandon Brown, a resident, a client, and the Vice President of We Are New Albany.

(This writer, too, is a member of that organization.)

By late Monday, I had been made aware of the incident and by mid-day on Tuesday had verified the events to the best of my ability.

The question arises: Did Duggins threaten Brown? Did whatever Duggins say cause Brown to feel threatened?

Brown had just videotaped Duggins’ very public speech, which dripped with condescension. It was less a reply to a question than a self-aggrandizing polemic. There is no dispute that Duggins is annoyed with, if not dismissive of the We Are New Albany group.

Brown was holding a conversation with the city police officer assigned to NAHA, Officer Schneider, when Duggins interrupted from across the room: “Brandon, are you on my side?”

Duggins approached Brown and Schneider, then said that if Brown were to videotape a meeting again, Officer Schneider should shoot him (Brown).

Brown was startled at the casual, offhanded violence of the instruction, which Duggins promptly amended: “Well, just shoot him with your Taser,” the interim director told Schneider.

(In the vernacular, Schneider was told to use his law-enforcement-approved Taser™, or generic “tazer,” to inflict an electric shock designed to temporarily disable Brown.)

Subsequently and outside the building, Brown approached an acquaintance and told her what had happened. As she looked on, Duggins ran hurriedly from the building, yelling “You know it was just a joke, right?”

Officer Schneider is not strictly under the direction of Duggins, to be sure. He is a sworn officer under the direction of the New Albany Police Department. Yet, his current job is full-time service to NAHA properties, and it’s reasonable to believe that both Brown and Schneider felt that Duggins, as the mayor’s appointee, would be able to exert at least some compulsion toward Officer Schneider.

In any event, Schneider did not rebuke Duggins. The threat was retroactively diminished, almost certainly because both Duggins and Schneider knew it was, at a minimum, completely inappropriate – and this recognition came within a few minutes of the interaction.

Did Brown feel threatened? Did he believe Duggins could direct retaliation toward him? Brown says with certainty that he did, on both counts, and the tone of Duggins’ laughter suggested the interim director was intrigued with the idea of hurting him.

I believe him. Three days later, is Brown safe?

We can’t know for sure. It worries me. He has filed an incident report with the NAPD. He has filed a complaint with the mayor’s office. The Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been informed of the incident. Assistance and counsel from civil rights attorneys have been sought. And Duggins’ employers, the board of directors, have certainly been informed in anticipation of a formal complaint.

Context does matter. Brown is a vocal and visible opponent of the mayor’s plan to demolish public housing. He is not a “buddy” of Duggins. In fact, as a client, he and his family are vulnerable to myriad actions that could affect his well-being.

I’ve spoken to Brown and others this week. There is no question that Duggins’ instruction was inappropriate. None. Zilch. Nada.

But it raised a question in my mind – a question that has dominated public discussion for several months. What is inappropriate behavior and what is the proper consequence to mitigate it?

Imagine for just a moment that Duggins had made a crudely sexual suggestion to a client, then downgraded it just a bit from, let’s say, sex to groping, only then to come back at the client to say it was only a joke.

Would a man or woman be within their rights to complain?

The question now must be put to Mayor Gahan. Is this type of conduct to be tolerated in city government? Isn’t this something that requires a public response? Does the city have a zero-tolerance policy for threats of violence, sexual assault, abuse, and harassment?

And finally, will disciplinary action be taken by the mayor or the NAHA board of directors? By HUD? Via legal action?

Or, yet again, it is to be swept beneath the increasingly bulging bunker throw rug? Gahan never has been in a hurry to animate his Human Rights Commission, the enabling ordinance of which was written by none other than Stan Robison, currently one of Duggins’ sworn enablers on the housing board.

Now we know why the HRC is up on blocks in the street department’s garage.

---

For today’s column, I’m soft-pedaling the polemics, although it should be said that in recent weeks, Duggins has comically rushed between Egg McMuffins at various area McDonald’s, pathetically spluttering about “fake” news and “false” rumors.

But rest assured there’s nothing fake or false about Duggins’ blatant unsuitability for his current position. Had Brown “joked” about shooting or tazing Duggins, would he have gotten away with it? Would he even have made it from the meeting room uninjured?

Only with power comes the “right” to say it was all a joke, and make no mistake: Duggins’ threats to Brown were all about power. So was Gahan's hostile takeover of public housing. People? They're just in the way.

Perhaps you remember the entertainer's explanation last fall of why he masturbated in front of women:

“When you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them."

If, like Brown, you find yourself wondering whether a highly paid public official with a policeman standing by his side is joking – that’s a bit of predicament, isn’t it?

Jeff Gahan owns this predicament. For too long, Duggins has been empowered, and we see clearly what this means to him. Duggins needs to go, and he needs to go immediately, before someone gets hurt.

We're looking at a dick, Jeffrey. How can Duggins ever be trusted after this?

---

Recent columns:

January 18: ON THE AVENUES: During our State of the Gahanaissance Address for 2018, feel free to resort to hard liquor. I did, and will.

January 11: ON THE AVENUES: Return to sender; decency is such a lonely word ... the sounds of silence reign o'er me.

January 4: ON THE AVENUES: Opposition? It is defined as resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument, and in New Gahania, now's the time for it.

December 28: ON THE AVENUES: It's the beginning of the end of insipid Gahanism, so let's look back at the Top Ten columns of 2017.