Friday, April 30, 2010

I didn't use the word "haters," either.

I shan’t belabor the point that there is little in two annual weeks of Derby fever that personally appeals to me; of course, to each his or her own.

And, from my business perspective on the Indiana shore, not much of Derby consumerism leaves the Commonwealth apart from Thunder, which I view as an egregious atrocity.

With each passing year, it annoys me to see the Hoosier money flowing into Louisville during Derby festival, when traditionally it’s so hard to reverse the stream. That’s changing, though, and the greater willingness of Louisvillians to venture north is positive.

Worst of all to me, these two weeks increasingly imply a complete suspension of productive activity, business or otherwise, as we wait for affairs to return to a condition of quasi-normalcy. I suppose it’s great for the folks who like it, and it is as boring as it can possibly be for people like me. It's like waiting for it to stop raining so you can get something done ... similar to what the Derby's adherents will be feeling tomorrow if the weather report is accurate.

My friend Matt Nash thinks Derby season is great, and he explains why in today’s Tribune.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wickliffe: "I must give this town an A plus rating in the way it has treated my company and I."

Many times over the years, we've observed that non-native New Albanians often seem better tuned to the possibilities than those "from here." Arguably the best current example of this admittedly non-scientific observation is Mike Wickliffe. Reprinted below is the current issue of "The Wick Report," which illustrates that Wickliffe must not be on CFA's mailing list for pessimism and disinformation. Make no mistake: Not all New Albanians pull for the city to fail, and many are capable and see the bigger picture. Nonetheless, I especially appreciate what Mike has brought to downtown, and I appreciate his commitment. It's very impressive.


If everyone does not know my name is Michael Wickliffe and I am the owner of Wicks. I have been writing this goofy newsletter for a while now and I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to either read it or delete it from your e mail. With that being said I hope every one of you all cash a winning ticket this Derby, because with your help it seems like I have had a winning derby ticket every year. Thanks to all of you for supporting your local best of Louisville Wicks Pizza and Pub.

This Derby is not any different here at Wicks except that it will be the first Derby for our new store in Indiana. We are currently remodeling the second floor of this building. It is coming out better than I could have ever imagined. We will be adding another 5000 square feet of party space to this location. We are putting in a big new stage and we are adding a private party room for up to 100 people. You will be able to do power point presentations on a projection television and we will have a great stereo system in there. This is going to be a great new addition to the ever growing city of New Albany. I must give this town an A plus rating in the way it has treated my company and I. Big shout out to the mayor and his staff. If you have not been to this location the building is a treat in itself. Being built in 1866 and still with the original front doors, this building is fun to walk through.

Derby eve and Derby night the only place to be is in the highlands. That is where you will catch all of the locals having a good time. Let all the crazy people from out of town hang out downtown at the old Galleria. But if you cannot make it to Baxter, all of our family owned Wicks will have the best local musicians kicking it for you this Derby weekend. So get a sitter for the kids, or what the heck bring them out with you. They just cannot enjoy an ice cold beer, but they will love the pizza.

We have great specials at all 5 of our family owned and operated Wicks Pizzas. You can check out our newly redone website at They will have all the specials we have at our 5 locations. And you can check out our band calendars to see who is playing at your local Wicks Pizza and Pub.

We at wicks wish all of our great customers a very happy Kentucky Derby. Please make sure you wear your seat belts, and drink responsible!

Thanks for your business and Happy Derby,

Michael Wickliffe

Celts on the River Performance Schedule (June 12, 2010).

As we get closer to the event, I have a goal of getting the information pertaining to the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest and Celts on the River concert published here, and handy for searching.

Today, the musical schedule. For a glimpse at the posters for the festival and golf scramble, go here: Save the date: 2nd annual Celts on the River music fest, June 12, 2010 ... and here: Save the date: Charity Golf Scramble sponsored by Covered Bridge and Celts on the River music fest, June 11, 2010.

Celts on the River Performance Schedule

June 12th at the New Albany Amphitheater
2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Kick-off – 2:00 p.m.

Liam’s Fancy – 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Cloigheann – 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Keltricity – 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Guilderoy Byrne (with McClanahan Dancers) 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. (extra 15 minutes to allow time for plenty of dancing!)

Louisville Pipe Band 6:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

Introductions (Mayors England and Abramson, Stan Curtis (or another rep from Blessings in a Backpack), singing of national anthems: 7:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Headline Band – direct from Dublin , Ireland – The BeerMats – 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

“Celtic jam session” (ALL musicians are welcome to participate 9) p.m. - 10 p.m.

“After Party” at the New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse – please stop by for the fun – last year we had a packed house ... 10:00 p.m. until the sun comes up (kidding … sort of!)

Today's Tribune column: "Hassan in Pithion, 1985."

We approach the 25th anniversary of my first pilgrimage to Europe, which began in early May, 1985. Vignettes like the one recounted below, some of which first appeared in different form some years back in this blogspace, will appear periodically in Tribune column form throughout summer, 2010.
BAYLOR: Hassan in Pithion, 1985

There were valuable lessons to be learned from finding myself conversing with a Syrian traveling salesman during the hot morning hours of an aimless day in a tiny border town with more rail sidings and goats than humans.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New exhibitions at the on-line Gamborg Gallery.

Regular readers know that from time to time, I reintroduce my friend Allan Gamborg, Danish by birth, and a longtime resident of Moscow. Allan has enjoyed much success in his "second" (third? fifth?) career as a purveyor and advocate of Soviet-era art and artists. You can use the handy Blogger search feature with "Gamborg," and see previous postings.

The format's usually the same, and it's always worth a few minutes to peruse the art. You need not be a Commie to enjoy the links to Allan's on-line galleries.As in the past, permit me to thank Allan for his boundless hospitality and to share his latest posting.


Dear Friends,

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


Nudes in Soviet Art

Artists in the Soviet period spent most of their time working on commissions from the state or state enterprises. However, in their private artistic lives, nudes often was a favourite theme for the artists. This exhibition shows works by artists Roman Zhitkov, Boris Sholokhov, Konstantin Lekomtsev, Natalia gippiu, Konstantin Gneushev, Marina Uspenskaya, Galina Shubina, Irina Vitman, Boris Uspensky, Veniamin Briskin, Boris Rybchenkov.

Gouache Posters commissioned by the Communist Party, by Veniamin Briskin

A series of unique gouache posters by Veniamin Briskin. The posters were commissioned by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. They have all been signed and approved by responsible persons, on behalf of the Central Committee. Later they went into production, and were printed in 50.000 copies.


Adolf Demko (born 1940)

The exhibition shows 1980s lithographs of Moscow in the very early perestrojka days. Adolf Ivanovich Demko was born in Moscow, and in 1965 he the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. He is a member of the Artists' Union since 1975. Since graudation his favourite media has been lithography, and his favourite topic is the streets of Moscow - particulaly evening cityscapes. He is a Merited Artist of Russia (заслуженный художник), and in 2005 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of the Fine Arts.

Lidya Sukhova (1927-2001)

Well-known Moscow muralist (монументалист) and poster artist.

Sergei Datskevich (1917-1977)

Famous poster artist, mainly known for his classic posters of Soviet films of the 1950s and 1960s, for example "Служили два товарища" and Kalina Krasnaya (Калина Красная).


The Moscow Metro, 1954 illustrations by Roman Zhitkov

A series of original artwork for illustrations to the book “The Moscow Metro” (Московский метрополитен), by famous book illustrator and graphics artist Roman Zhitkov.

The Old Man and the Sea (Старик и море), illustrations by Vadim Volikov

Original artwork for illustrations to a 1960s Soviet edition of the famous tale by Ernest Hemingway, by artist Vadim Volikov.

The First Step (Первый шаг), illustrations by Marina Uspenskaya)

A series of original illustrations by Marina Uspenskaya for the book "Первый шаг" (The First Step) by Silva Kaputikyan, issued in 1972 by publishing house "Detskaya Literatura" in 1.800.000 copies.

The Wind (Ветерок), illustrations by Marina Uspenskaya

Illustrations to the 1964 book "Ветерок" (Wind") by Georgii Ball, Detskaya Literatura. Printed in 150.000 copies. Price was 17 copecks.

Enjoy the shows!

It's not enough. It's never enough. How much is enough? Can someone pass the salt?

Here's a wonderful headline followed by a masterful understatement.

New Albany masterplan must be funded to work, officials say; Drainage plan calls for $22.4 million in projects, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune)

... But officials realize the city can’t afford to fund $22.4 million in projects within a few years, (Stantec project manager Steve) Hall continued.
How did the expected CFA self-immolations proceed, anyway?

Another gem, this one of the legal bagel/copperhead variety, comes packaged within Suddeath's account of the city council's shiny new 5-4 progressive majority, which held long enough to pass two 3rd readings at yesterday's special conclave. It seems that even though the council president and city clerk scrupulously obeyed the law as it governs placement of agenda items for such a gathering, it did not please the resident reptilian polymath:

New Albany council passes sewer loan; Full-time attorney, grant writer also OK’d by council

“It is the law, yes. But to me, it’s not enough,” (Dan) Coffey said.
That's a world classic quote, perhaps sufficiently profound to be printed on the front of the tickets required to visit the Open Air Museum.

Know anything about where to stay in Boston?

Okay, readers: I am looking for accommodation recommendations in Boston, Massachusetts, a place where I've never been. We're not planning on renting a car, so public transportation access is a must. Relative proximity to Fenway Park also is a plus. Brewery lofts even better. Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"What we know about bike infrastructure: people want it."

Thanks to HBG for the link to this posting at Fastlane, the official blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation's chieftain, Ray LaHood. It includes a link to a National Public Radio piece on the same topic.

I'd like to add only this: Now more than ever, with more people of (shall we gently say) diverse socio-economic and educational backgrounds on bicycles, we need to remember that just like drivers of autos, cyclists need to be taught how to do it correctly. It can be chaotic out there, especially in enforcement-challenged New Albany, not to mention the fact that few bikes come equipped with ashtrays.

What we know about bike infrastructure: people want it

We know that 90 percent of the people are not going to be cycling to work or around town. But that opportunity and that kind of alternative is something people have said they want.

Skullduggery is always in fashion at the Councilcabana.

Local convenience stores report a sudden increase in sales of purportedly illegal novelty lighters. Is the barely existent Citizens for Accountability planning a mass self-immolation on Hauss Square tonight?

Can the flames thus engendered be doused with iced tea flavored Kool Aid? Will councilmen Jeff Gahan and Pat McLaughlin, the latter possessing the only known copy of the city's financial report, continue to excel in political spelunking?

Must the NAACP wait to protest a council meeting until after Jack Messer formally becomes a Republican? Is uncouncilman Price filling his rental properties with air mattresses and cans of pork and beans, and announcing a spring gala sale on room and board?

Is the Open Air Museum really this entertaining, or are we just that bored?

Business still to be decided for New Albany council; Council to take final vote on $7.4 million sewer loan Tuesday night, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune)

The final piece of a sewer-rate increase puzzle will be vetted by the New Albany City Council today.

At 5 p.m., the council will convene to take a final ballot on a loan ordinance that would allow the sewer utility to accept a $7.4 million state loan. The second reading of the measure passed 5-4.

The third reading was delayed so sewer attorney Greg Fifer could finalize the rate structure and other details of the loan.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Personally speaking.

Plane tickets from SDF to BOS: Check.

Ducats for Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games, Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers, at Fenway Park: Check.

U2 360 tour tickets for the show at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey: Check.

Still need Amtrak tickets BOS-NYC-BOS, someplace for us to sleep while in Boston, my cousin's plans for the family reunion in Concord MA later the same week, a New England brewery locations map, and a wheelbarrow of cash.

But: The 50th birthday trip planning exercise for July is coming along nicely. Maybe a year without Europe won't be so bad, after all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tribune editorial: Build the East End bridge, re-evaluate the Downtown bridge, and annoy the hell out of 1SI by disagreeing.

Can Southern Indiana take the lead in fighting the proposed madness?

TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: Bridges plan not worth any cost

While the East End Bridge is worked on let’s discuss how the remaining parts of the plan can be modified or pared to implement a 21st century-worthy plan that doesn’t heap more vehicles and concrete on our landscape. We support the concept of a greener economy as a nation and we hope our region can lead the way with innovation such as enhanced public transportation. (Instead of letting the current regional transit authority cut service.) Many ideas and options are more feasible now than they were when this project began.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April showers notwithstanding, the Bicentennial Art Project installation at Bank Street Brewhouse is almost finished.

Leticia Bajoyo and her hard working volunteers are battling the elements as they near the finish line for completion of her Bicentennial Art Project installation at Bank Street Brewhouse.

The bottles in front compose the "lightbright" effect, while those on the sides stand upright and document the history of brewing in New Albany.

Upright bottles have been affixed with "retro" labels bearing the names and photos of past breweries.

We think the installation will be complete on Saturday night, although incoming storms add an element of the elements. More later.

Save the date: 2nd annual Celts on the River music fest, June 12, 2010.

Save the date: Charity Golf Scramble sponsored by Covered Bridge and Celts on the River music fest, June 11, 2010.

Looks official to me, and we can't wait.

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Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black.

Imagine if they tore down homes in historically poor and black neighborhoods to build giant interstates to make it easier for privileged whites to avoid them.

Imagine if those historically disadvantaged people started making educational strides in the public schools and they shut those schools down to better facilitate more spending in the privileged white areas, cutting a big "U" shape in a hillside school district to keep the privileged children from having to mingle with poor.

Imagine if our chamber of commerce and the head of our local university applauded such measures and egged them on.

Imagine if our state leaders built campaign platforms on the basis of it being unfair that the privileged should have to pay for such institutionalized luxuries.

And then do what the title says.

Wise: Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Friday, April 23, 2010

But first, a word from our beer sponsor ...

Event Watch: Art on the Parish Green coming on June 5 & 6.

(Submitted ... NABC will be there again this year, and it's only yards from the Publican's house!)

Join us for Art on the Parish Green, June 5th and 6th 2010, at 1015 E. Main Street, New Albany, Indiana.

Over 40 artists will showcase the best in various fine art mediums from all around the Louisville area. Live music provided by Jimmy's Music Center in New Albany on Saturday and the Rudyard Kipling on Sunday, Children's Activities sponsored by the YMCA of Southern Indiana featuring Jungle John and his Silly Safari on Sunday.

Art on the Parish Green is proud to serve the finest in microbrewery beer from the New Albanian Brewing Company and treat you to great food from great vendors like: Real Bison from That's a Wrap, Greek Gyros from AJ's in Georgetown IN, Cinnamon Roasted Nuts from M & T, Coffee Treats from the Hobnob Roasting Company and more festival favorites from Eat Your Heart Out Catering.

The show begins Saturday June 5th, from 10 am to 9:30 pm and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday.

Visit our website or call 812-944-0413 for more details and see our commercial beginning May 20th on the Insight Cable Network.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today's Tribune column: "On certain hot local topics."

Elements of today's column have appeared here in the blog. I generally refrain from verbatim reuse, a preference greatly assisted by a tendency toward compulsive (and annoying) revisions and rewrites of my material. I'm not at all sure what that means, except that there are too many words and not enough time.

BAYLOR: On certain hot local topics

Let's hope that the sun shines into the obscured conceptual niches of the political dark side, and tiny shoots of rationality start poking their way toward the light. If not, perhaps we can continue to rely on the council's only officially declared Republican to cast swing votes that really matter.

The New Albanist: "Zero Tolerance, But What's Real and What's Not?"

(Late note: The Tribune's coverage can be found here)

Randy Smith offers a dispassionate and thoughtful analysis of the increasingly surreal case of Jack Messer and racist comments that were made, or not made.

The crux of the issue remains this, as phrased by Randy: "Without a formal complaint, how does this become a public issue? How does the Merit Commission even take up the matter?"

I like Jack Messer, and believe he's done a fine job on the council. I've no clue as to his job performance as police officer, and having heard nothing negative, I'm inclined to take it as a positive -- not unlike umpiring. If his words have violated the racial compact, there obviously must be discipline. But surely there is a procedure to determine this apart from the unfolding trial by press release and media circus?

Does such a procedure exist? Or, are we seeing it now? I'm neither rushing to defend not hurrying to distance, just inquiring ...
Zero Tolerance, But What's Real and What's Not?

... Wednesday evening, the New Albany chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) successfully summoned all 4 local TV stations, 2 local newspapers, and inadvertently 1 Internet journalist to a press conference on the steps of the New Albany Police Department.

The occasion was a hitherto unknown meeting of the Police Merit Commission, whose purpose was to conduct an inquiry into whether comments made by police officer Jack Messer in January constituted officially inappropriate conduct.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photos of the Bicentennial Art installation at Bank Street Brewhouse.

As noted earlier, Leticia Bajuyo and her cast and crew of volunteers have commenced the installation of her Bicentennial Art sculpture at the Bank Street Brewhouse. Here was the scene on Wednesday morning, following Sunday's and Monday's work pouring the concrete base.

This morning, the wooden forms were knocked out. Frames for holding the beer bottles will rest atop the base.

Regular customer and card-carrying progressive Hank Sutton (to the right, below) stopped by to help, and we'll be watering him (so to speak) in reward for his volunteerism. Obscured by the tail of the tape, Leticia can be seen giggling.

While all this was unfolding, the truck from Cavalier Distributing arrived to pick up a load of NABC kegs bound for Indianapolis. The driver had to wait in line, as River City Distributing (Louisville) already was at the back door taking on cargo. I wish it was this way each day.

I'm headed back that way, and later this evening, I'll post more photos of Leticia's evolving project.

We can do better.

Louisville mayoral candidate Tyler Allen reports on transportation and bridges from St. Louis, showing a level of courage and pragmatism conspicuously absent from the rhetoric of our local political leadership on the same topic:

Upcoming events in downtown New Albany, courtesy of Develop New Albany.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Considering Louisville's Future.

Here's another great vision from the folks at Don't let narrow special interests and the lobbyists and politicians pandering to them steal our region's future. The waterfront doesn't belong to Kerry Stemler's trucking company. It belongs to us. Take it back.

State 111 passes to the city. Bicycle lane, anyone?

The traffic along Grant Line Road hasn’t been as bad, apparently because the recession reduced the number of passing trains where the state of Indiana proposed an overpass, and in turn, eliminating it as a need.

Did it then become a “want”? We await clarification from Professor Erika’s Tea Kettle Serenade.

Of all the news stories to come down the information rutted dirt goat path of late, this is the one that requires a master’s degree in protocol before finally managing to tunnel through to the actual topic. The city of New Albany has wrested 4.5 miles of Indiana 111 from the state, and before I can express cautionary mixed feelings, there must be a discussion about whom to thank and in what order they must be congratulated.

Alphabetically, the contestants are State Representative Ed Clere, Mayor Doug England, and Deputy Mayor Carl Malysz. I imagine that John Rosenbarger and Scott Wood should be included, but they are not listed in the press release. Some might suggest that Governor Mitch Daniels receive credit, but I’d rather drink Bud Light than stoop to that.

Thanks, guys. Does Clere’s opponent, Shane Gibson, get equal time here? Just in case, go ahead and throw his name in the pot, too.

Now comes the part that we’re all waiting to hear: A detailed plan to allay fears that the settlement cash won't go toward future widening and upkeep of 111. I can already hear Dan Coffey demand that it be divided among flood victims or used to subsidize sewer rates.

As for widening, a bicycle lane connecting downtown with IUS now becomes a possibility, doesn’t it? One that passes the city's largest public park?

After all, it’s the city’s road to control. Daniel Suddeath's article mentions adding a fifth auto lane near the Interstate. Given current conditions, green makes more sense, doesn't it?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just my 'pinion: Smack talk and death threats.

Americans seem increasingly adept at talking vitriolic nonsense, a festering malignancy that reflects declining educational standards, and which has been exaggerated by the cloaking capabilities of the Internet.

Just the same, I’m not sure it was a good idea for Mayor England to take the recent “death threats” to the city council and make them public.

To begin, exaggerating a lesser threat runs the risk of imbuing it with unwarranted credence. We’re not talking Al Qaeda here, folks, although an element of the dynamic remains consistent. Drunk, sober, real or imagined, a person choosing to make a threat in any situation wishes to alter the dynamic by insinuating a possibility of physical violence.

Most of it is bluster and bluff from the terminally doltish, but if making such threats public manages to frighten anyone, then it’s a mission accomplished by the bully. My gut feeling is that this should have been handled by the police without public notification until after the fact, when it could be done coolly and dispassionately rather than interjected when it was.

My wife disagrees, correctly noting that the current anger fetish making its way among those fearing impending marginalization (read: angry whites, many male, some not) provides justification for some of the unwashed and unbalanced among them to shift their rage from an Internet portal or telephone call and transform it into the realm of the physical, and that these buds are nest nipped early.

Hard to argue with those lines of thought, either.

However, now that these “death threats” are public, it would be a fine time for all elected officials in New Albany to make a public pledge of opposition to violence of any form – written, verbal or physical. This could come as a written, signed statement from City Hall, and a resolution from the council.

Anyone offering odds on whether councilmen Dan Coffey and Steve Price would abstain?

Isn't this a pertinent juncture for the revival of a Human Rights Commission?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nutjobbery off the legislative agenda in Kentucky, at least for now.

Thanks to the Louisville Area Skeptics for this timely notice.

Antievolution bill in Kentucky dies, from the web site of the National Center for Science Education.

When the Kentucky legislature adjourned sine die on April 15, 2010, House Bill 397, the Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act, died in committee.

Leticia Bajuyo's installation of her Bicentennial Art project piece at Bank Street Brewhouse starts today.

The past two days have not been the best time to try accomplishing anything, and so this slipped through the cracks, and now I'm scrambling. If anyone locates a peaceful moment, I'm in the market for one.

In short: Leticia Bajuyo's installation of her Bicentennial Art project piece at Bank Street Brewhouse gets under way today. Julie Schweitzer offers this revised installation schedule. Note that Leticia actively seeks volunteers to help her with this project.

I just heard from Leticia and below is her revised installation schedule. She is looking for volunteers to help with the project.

Sunday afternoon (18th) ... bring concrete form, set, and mix. Work till done with pouring pad.

Monday (19th) 2 p.m. - dark ... bring steel, plexi, and glass bottle cutter. Goal is to bolt steel frame together. If there are volunteers, they can peel paper off plexi and learn to cut bottles.

Wednesday (21st) 10 a.m - dark ... bring shelves and shelf backing. Goals include attach steel frame to concrete pad. If there are volunteers, they can poly shelves, finish bottle cutting, and place shelves.

Friday (23rd) 10 a.m. - dark ... bring front panels and labels. Goals include inserting front panels. If there are volunteers, they can label bottles and fill shelves.

Saturday (24th) ALL DAY ... bring roof and lights. Goal: Finish, of course. Specifically, put bottles in the front panels, add roof, install lights.

Previously, all this was explained:

The New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project: Outdoor sculpture interpreting the city's history and heritage.

More on the New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project.

Bunches of bottles against the wall.

Yesterday's WHAS-11 news segment on the NA Bicentennial Art preview at Bank Street Brewhouse.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rewind: Close to this day in 2007.

As always, my goal is to stay as far away from Thunder Over Louisville as humanly possible. At the same time, my thoughts are on the record, and there's no need to elaborate, save for this interesting topical reference from 2007: Diversions on an ear-splitting, "Thunderous" Saturday.

And: The NBA playoffs start now!

Roll the AC/DC, cue the anthem.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bank Street Brewhouse today: Open for beers at 11 a.m., no food until 5:30 p.m.

I just received word from Chef Josh that the small walk-in at Bank Street Brewhouse shut down overnight, with all contents lost. We'll be replacing the foodstuffs stored therein, and repairing the malfunction, and so although we'll be open at 11:00 a.m. to serve beer, there will be no meals at BSB today until 5:30 p.m. dinner service. Hopefully we'll be unaffected after that.

As during other unexpected outage occurrences previously, it's a great opportunity to explore the other restaurants in downtown New Albany. Good tidings for the future: I spoke with Israel Landin last night, and it appears that the Rosita's move to Pearl Street is back on track. More later.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Open thread: City council, sewer rates and death threats?

Obviously, I did not attend, although I'm confident that The King would have appreciated these emerging tan lines. Following are local media tweets in reverse chronological order up to the time of posting. If those in attendance have anything to add, please do, and I'll follow on Friday morning with links to newspaper coverage.

CJ_Harold_Adams @newalbanian It was a blast and still going when I left at 9:30.

CJ_Harold_Adams Sewer rate increase will have no effect until bond ordinance passes.

CJ_Harold_Adams Companion bond ordinance to sewer rate increaae tabled til 27th to update language to reflect selected rate option.

CJ_Harold_Adams Sewer rate increase passes on final reading 5-4. 23 percent immediately and 20 percent in 2012.

CJ_Harold_Adams Mayor England opened council mtg w angry attack on alleged death threats to members over vote on sewer rates. Calls for prosecution.

CJ_Harold_Adams Full time council attorney passes first two readings. Decisive third reading at next meeting.

trib_daniel Said it's over sewer rate

trib_daniel mayor says members oh his administration threatened, has on tape and will press charges

Reserve now for Bank Street Brewhouse and Chef Josh Lehman's five-course, fixed price menu for Oaks and Derby.

Bank Street Brewhouse and Chef Josh Lehman's five-course, fixed price menu for Oaks and Derby.

Here's the ad that Tony designed for the Louisville Restaurants Forum:

Perhaps leading to the Taxpayer's Memorial Patio?

I hope the Telegraph doesn't mind my borrowing this photo.

Shouldn't the city of New Albany put one of these at the corner of Shelby and McDonald?

I'd take it at the 1117 E. Spring Street Neighborhood Association, except that (a) I've already paid for a personal bike lane, and (b) it might interfere with access to the condom machine.

Meanwhile, as my vicious personal attacks continue, here's the rest of the story (thanks, TH): Council condemned over 'Britain's shortest cycle lane'

Today's Tribune column: "C’mon, tell me: Who are you?"

Since I know how eager you are to view today's submission, and seeing as there are technical difficulties at the Tribune web site that finally have cast brevity onto my writing style, here's the full text. For the sake of attribution, the link: BAYLOR: C’mon, tell me: Who are you?


BEER MONEY: C’mon, tell me: Who are you?

By ROGER BAYLOR, Local Columnist

Butler’s unexpected trip to the national championship game isn’t the biggest shocker of 2010.

Ready? I agree with Dave Matthews.

In his Sunday guest column, the Floyd County GOP chairman wrote, “It would be great if citizens actually knew what the party they choose believes.”

Indeed. It would be even greater if the Democratic Party, the only viable local alternative to the errant Republican belief system extolled by Matthews, possessed a coherent platform and might, on widely scattered occasions, seek to advance it.

Aren’t elections the best time for that sort of recreational activity?

Alas, it seems too much to ask, and the famous words of Will Rogers ring as true today as in the 1920’s:

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

If the humorist had lived in New Albany, he’d have added: “Heck, I’m not really even a Democrat. I just pretend to be one, and vote Republican anyway.”


Admittedly, it’s easy for me to be skeptical. While generally preferring to vote against the GOP, with which I substantively differ ideologically, I remain unwilling to identify myself with any competing political party, save for the PDP (Pants-Down Progressives), which in a place as savagely reactionary as New Albany puts me into the position of advocating what amounts to a faith-based initiative.

All I know is this: There’ll be local elections this year and next, and there is a lengthy list of momentous city and county issues to consider. While I disagree with much of the GOP platform advanced by Matthews, at least he’s willing to cite beliefs, openly and on the record. This is in stark contrast to Floyd County Democrats, who seem as determined as ever to maintain a resolute vagueness bordering on invisibility when it comes to governing principles.

I’d be forced to conclude that long decades in office, performing as a patronage clique entirely devoid of intellectual aspiration, has rendered our local branch of the Democratic Party into an entity utterly allergic to ideas and devoid of irony, except that I can locate more than a few individual party members capable of mustering passion and authority when defending their core beliefs.

It’s maddening. Individual party members have their platforms, the party itself does not, and Democrats remain entrenched in elective office while refusing to concede belief in any specific governing principle that might identify them as Democrats. It is a feat of formlessness leading to incredible, indescribable spectacles of perceptual contortion, as when Barack Obama carried the perennially Republican state of Indiana by a slim margin but was beaten handily in Floyd County, where Democrats (supposedly) still outnumber Republicans.

Am I mistaken in imagining that racism is institutionally opposed by genuine Democrats?

In the end, our Democrats behave as Republicans, sometimes more so, as when the city council’s Gang of Four displays a consistent propensity toward stunted comprehension of modernity, flaunts its inability to visualize, and babbles violent adoration for the palpably untrue.


Here in the city, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, city attorney and city clerk all are Democrats, and so are eight out of nine council members. The result is chaotic gridlock.

City council watchers did not envision the continued existence of a congenitally obstructionist Gang of Four after Larry Kochert opted for a long overdue political retirement and Bill Schmidt was unceremoniously deposed at the polls, but there it is, same as ever, looming at the periphery of an otherwise hopeful future, still populated by alleged Democrats, with Jeff Gahan and Pat McLaughlin seamlessly picking up where their predecessors’ graceless caterwauling left off.

CM McLaughlin’s excuse might well be the glowering presence of Kochert, but as always the King is bluffing, and the best way to react to his threats is laughter, salted with the crocodile tears of a wannabeen. The more over-inflated the ego, the smaller the sharp edge required to deflate it.

CM Gahan’s descent into the recesses of the dark side is an odder story, one hardly any observer can fathom. “Enigmatic” is a mild way of putting it, and if you don’t know what “enigmatic” means, privately urge Dave Matthews to publicly ask me to tell you, since he likely doesn’t know, either.

As it pertains to CM Gahan’s straw-lined political abode amid the ward-heeling Dan Coffey’s and Steve Price’s flea circus, Matt Nash restated the prevailing argument in his column last week:

“Living in a district that has been controlled by Republicans in the past Mr. Gahan has tried to walk a tightrope lately trying to appease his constituents. His recent votes seem to confuse as he wanted to help out those that suffered damage due to the heavy rains last year but did not think it was necessary to take out a loan to correct some of the sewer issues that the sewer board thinks will help to alleviate the problems.”

If true, and in order to appease Republicans in his district, a presumed Democrat who surely knows better must consistently stoop to the subterranean levels of Coffey and Price, then we needn’t question the GOP’s chairman Matthews as to whether all of this reflects poorly on Republicans, because it does not.

Rather, we must ask John Wilcox, the Democratic chairman, an even more telling question:

How are any of them -- Gahan, Coffey or Price – actually Democratic in any coherent sense of party affiliation?

We await an answer, sans held breaths.

As he tries to avoid selling out, Roger knows who he is, prefers being out of his brain on the train, and won’t get fooled again. Read more at the NA Confidential blog:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The atrocious clutter of springtime signage.

Posted by Picasa

On the absence of choice.

Redevelopment: Say the secret word and win a $12 million parking garage.

All right, campers. The straw man's finally out of the closet, the number's on record, we've passed from scare-mongering innuendo to concrete proposal, and now the process of wresting downtown's future from the cold, deadened, bitter hands of the obstructionist cadre can begin in earnest.

Will Jeff and Pat, who know better, be on board for this next pivotal phase, or do they continue to pick tea-bagging nits in the Kochertian gloom? Let's hope that the sun begins to shine into the obscured conceptual niches of the political dark side, and tiny shoots of rationality start poking their way toward the light. If not, perhaps we can continue to rely on the council's only officially declared Republican to cast swing votes that matter.

I'll be joining the Trib's Daniel Suddeath this afternoon as part of a discussion on community media (I think) at Floyd Central High School. My job is to represent the blogging sphere, and his to chart the evolving dimensions of print media. Sounds like fun to me. Can I drive a pickup truck festooned with brewery logos onto school grounds?
Developer gets two years to purchase civic plaza property in New Albany, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune)

The New Albany Redevelopment Commission approved a step Tuesday in a process to bring an estimated $30 million development downtown by 2013.

Referred to as the New Albany Civic Plaza Waterfront Development and part of Scribner Place phase two, the proposal would see the city fund a $12 million parking garage adjacent to the Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana.

On top of the garage, developer and attorney Jack Bobo would fund a three-tiered building with residential, retail and office space for lease and sale.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Clarksville Levee bike route, Part Three.

The final three views depict the new Clarksville levee path as approached from the Jeffersonville side along Riverside Drive. Merely follow the sign that reads "Falls of the Ohio."

There already is a road over the top of the levee, but the new approach is inclined more gently.

Here is the Ohio River and the Falls of the Ohio center.

From here to the end point at the old rail bed, the entire path is less than two miles long, but it's a new and scenic way to experience the area. Progress is being made. Thanks to whomsoever toiled tirelessly to carve this bit of forward thinking from the river muck that passes for vision hereabouts.

New Clarksville Levee bike route, Part Two.

After passing the sewage treatment plant and Midway Park, for which there is an "exit" (one of many) from the new path, you take a sweeping turn, and the pathway shortly yields to a road called Bailey Ave., which joins Harrison Ave. by the Clark Cabin. The first view is looking back the way I came.

The second looks south to Louisville and the intersection with Harrison. You'll be following the van (below) to pick up the continuation of the new levee bicycle path.

A moment ago, I was standing by the more distant of the Stop signs. The Clark Cabin is to the left, as is the Ohio River.

The next photo again looks back, with Harrison Ave. running alongside the levee. The new levee path continues from this point all the way to the interpretive center at the Falls of the Ohio, where it ends, descends to street level, and provides access to the Clark Memorial Bridge and downtown Jeffersonville.

To be continued.

New Clarksville Levee bike route, Part One.

You're traveling by bicycle from New Albany to the area of the Clark Memorial (2nd Street) Bridge. How to get there? I've always taken the first part of the route described below, continued through Old Clarksville, and emerged either by Colgate or the Falls of the Ohio Park.

Thanks to the Greenway project, there's a new route in part, just recently opened. It is a paved, multi-use path atop the levee, and I'll document it in this and two additional posts.

Beginning the bike ride in downtown New Albany, you start by accessing the east side of the city. For me, that usually means riding Main to Silver, then left, then right on Main, or Elm all the way to Beharrell, then right, and then left onto what crosses Silver Creek and becomes Providence Way, which crosses Lewis & Clark and becomes North Clark Boulevard.

The railroad that formerly crossed N. Clark Boulevard at the Williams Bakery (above) was pulled up a few years ago. The stones are big and potentially painful for bicycle tires, so you may need to walk your bike under the Brown's Station Way overpass. It's only about a hundred yards until the start of the paved levee path. Here's the left hand view along the old rail bed. An elevated section of I-65 is barely visible on the horizon.

As noted, a right turn at Williams Bakery and one hundred yards of choppy, unpaved rail bed leads to the junction with the new paved path atop the levee. Clarksville's sewage treatment plant is to the left in the photo below, and just past it is Midway Park.

Ironically, to follow the old rail bed through the levee (below) is to return to New Albany, via the industrial devastation in the vicinity of Emery Crossing Road. You'd end up roughly where the Box and Basket factory used to stand, around 18th and East Street in NA. A mountain bike might make it, although I cannot vouch for the rail bridge over Silver Creek, just a stone's throw away from the trestle that eventually will carry the Greenway over the creek.

However, the view is better to head up the new pavement, gain the levee top, and proceed toward the Clark Cabin. After all, downtown Jeffersonville's the goal in this ride.

To be continued.

Was Dan Coffey looking in a mirror when he said it?

Anything's possible at Confusion Central, and yet this account of persistent council shell games contains an absolute gem of a Coffey Quote:

“The only thing I can say is you’ve got to be kidding me. I just don’t understand it. There some members on this council that absolutely have their heads in the sand — that absolutely don’t know what’s going on.”

Priceless (if only we were).

What's your favorite Coffey quote? Use the comments, please attribute sources, and help us compile a data base for election year, 2011.
Full-time attorney back on New Albany City Council docket, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune)

The New Albany City Council will be again asked to approve a full-time city attorney position after defeating a similar request in February.

But the job description has been tweaked, and one of the council members that voted against the February measure is sponsoring the new proposal.

Spoiler alert: The home team won at the new Target Field.

I attended a Minnesota Twins baseball game in 1976. The game was held in Minneapolis at the old Metropolitan Stadium, and the Baltimore Orioles were in town as we wound down a family vacation. It was the only season that Reggie Jackson, my favorite player, was with the Orioles, and it was the only time I ever saw him play live and in person. He went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, but no homers.

Attendance was sparse, and behind us sat a leather-lunged Twins fan who cleverly heckled Earl Weaver, Baltimore's manager, without a single profane utterance for the entire nine innings. Players could hear him, and were laughing. It was an amazing performance, and I remember it better than the game itself.

For the past quarter century, the Twins have played in the notoriously kitschy Metrodome, originally the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome, later referred to as the Homerdome. Until this season, that is. Target Field has opened, and yesterday was the first home game there. The reviews are in, and they're glowing. First, from a Bay Area blog I regularly follow, which charts the future stadium prospects for the A's:

Envy Abounds: Target Field Opens

Today, for the 16th time in the last 22 seasons, at least one Major League Baseball team had a home opener in a brand new yard. This time it was the Twins turn. In the few shots I saw on TV I saw enough to see that the place is an absolute palace. (Here are a few local reviews, Finance and Commerce, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press)

And, Yahoo's story by Jeff Passan, who makes great play of the "Walleye on a stick." In Louisville, do we even get river cats at the Bats games?

Twins’ new playground a Minnesota state fair

The baseball stadium, at its finest, represents its patrons. And so like they did in the Bronx with outsized spending and in San Francisco with a festival on the water, the Minnesota Twins reached out to their fan base in the most honest fashion possible: by dipping foodstuffs in bubbling grease and/or impaling them with wooden instruments.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Price reveals plan for new, improved City Hall.

NEW ALBANY -- Responding to criticism that he’s always against things and never for them, 3rd district councilman Steve Price took five minutes from his weekly State of the Front Porch address to introduce his plan for a new City Hall for New Albany.

“It’s just the right size for the government we need,” said Price between strums. “The best part is that it’s up on blocks, just like the whole town. But I’ll keep grammaw’s cookie jar at my place, up on the shelf where them people can’t reach it.”

“I think we need to put some new vinyl siding on it,” added Price, “even if those preservation people don’t like it. First, I gotta be sure they paid their sewer hookups.”

The press conference ended when Price began performing "Roll Another Number for the Road," a song from Neil Young's 1975 album, Tonight's the Night.

(Photo credit: Mr. M)

Guardian comentary: "The Republicans are like frat boys in Animal House."

I wouldn't have looked to "Animal House" for analogies, but if the shoe fits ...

The Republicans are like frat boys in Animal House; Reckless, anarchic and strident, the American right is living in a parallel world where fear and rage drive out the facts, by Gary Younge (Guardian).

... On the one hand there are the Blutos – characterised by their contempt for even the most basic facts. Their assertions are often not only verifiably false but patently ridiculous. The very people who claim that Obama is a Muslim were the ones who fumed about his relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his pastor in Chicago. Muslims don't have pastors. Last year the Investor's Business Daily claimed that if the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking were British he would be dead: Hawking is British and alive.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fathoming the Naygain Plan.

We're obliged by statute to offer at least one sewer-related discussion each day of the week. Failure to do so may result in house arrest, to be served on the couch of a Steve Price rental property.

No way, so here are two of the latest from the NewAlbanist blog:

So (angry) I can’t say much more

Four of New Albany’s city council members owe this city at least $6,000 a year for their dilatory tactics. These four (Gahan, Coffey, Price, McLaughlin) caused the city to incur 17 additional basis points on what should have been a “free” loan from Obama-instituted stimulus funds to bring New Albany (finally) into compliance with the Clean Water Act.
And: Living in a Reality-based (Under)World: "Show us this plan, Mr. Gahan. Call it your own, Mr. McLaughlin. Tell me where I’m just not getting it."

See also: Gahan opposed to NA rate increase due to added sewer debt, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune).

Friday, April 09, 2010

City council in TV Land?

Matt Nash's newspaper column today is a mostly good-natured view of council relations. He is to be admired for this even-tempered approach, even if we know that he probably wouldn't be repaid with the same courtesy by the Copperhead.

NASH: City Council is one big happy family

As I sat through Monday’s New Albany City Council meeting I began to look at each of the participants individually. It seems that as an assembled group they have the same dynamic as the modern day family, maybe a somewhat dysfunctional family but what family isn’t just a little bit dysfunctional these days.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Today's vital revelation: President Obama grew up as an Oakland A's fan.

Me, too ... still am, forty years later.

Today's featured Tribune letter: "Is money the only reason they practice medicine?"

Read retired physician Ed Ryan's thoughts, and envision Healthblogger sipping tea in a tricornered hat.

Today's Tribune column: "Mother, is the battle over?"

If you have it, play Bob Dylan's "Idiot Wind" and imagine a montage of Steve Price snarling "no" over, and over, and over again.

BAYLOR: Mother, is the battle over?

... Indeed, war is hell, and so are most of the first Mondays and third Thursdays of the month, not because the ideal textbook definition of city council suggests the aspect of primal entertainment, Three Stooges style, but owing to our dogged insistence as voters in electing unprepared, undereducated, caterwauling ward heelers to their positions. Recalling Mencken, we get exactly what we vote for — good and hard.

Note: My mistake in the original text -- they're Thursdays, not Fridays. Corrected in the excerpt above.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

House pets and the Rapture: "Peace of mind, for just 92 cents a month."

Thanks to RC for this thought-provoking link. 20 to 40 million ... gads.

Caring for Pets Left Behind by the Rapture: For a fee, this service will place your dog or cat in the home of a caring atheist on Judgment Day, by Mike Di Paola (BusinessWeek).

Many people in the U.S.—perhaps 20 million to 40 million—believe there will be a Second Coming in their lifetimes, followed by the Rapture. In this event, they say, the righteous will be spirited away to a better place while the godless remain on Earth. But what will become of all the pets?

The Studio's stuffed cheeseburger captures LEO's fancy today.

In LEO today, Kevin Gibson gives it up for the stuffed cheeseburger at Studio's Grill and Pub. For me, post-council wings and Sierra Nevada are the Studio's tradition of choice.

Studio’s Grill and Pub stuffs it right

It’s almost an obsession now. This stuffed cheeseburger is the stuff of cravings. It’s a one-third pound patty of lean ground beef infused with onions, hunks of bacon (yes, bacon) and seasonings, grilled to your specifications, topped with cheddar or blue cheese crumbles, and served with homemade chips and a pickle spear for a princely $7.75.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Just ask Mr. Resch.

It's what we've been saying. If local builders and developers don't believe it, they might ask Steve Resch to explain, because while their suburban business is down, his is up. How'd he do that?

Thanks to JP for the link.
'Smart Growth' Taking Hold in U.S. Cities, Study Says, by Gabriel Nelson (New York Times, via Greenwire)

Redevelopment of urban centers has continued to outpace construction in the outskirts of suburbia, according to a recent U.S. EPA study, suggesting a "fundamental shift" has begun in the real estate market as the Obama administration pushes denser development through its "livability" initiative.

Anyone have Harvest Homecoming information for 2010?

I'm trying to plan the month of October for NABC, and the entire Harvest Homecoming web site still has all the expired 2009 data on it. There's nary a mention of 2010 events and activities. If there is, I can't find it.

If you are reading this and can confirm dates for the 2010 -- my guess is October 2 for the parade, and October 7-10 for booths -- please comment, or e-mail me at the usual address. Thanks.

Coffey: Call someone who cares, and by the way, can you come to my meeting as soon as I find a place that will host it?

Dan "Copperhead" Coffey managed another untitled blog post over the weekend, and announced a second Town Gall Meeting, although the date was wrong the first time, and he hasn't yet gotten around to telling anyone where it is being held.

Here's the garble.

We will have another Town Hall Meeting 6 p.m. to discuss concerns from our residents and a presentation with Paul Haub and others to discuss the crime problems facing our city. Everyone with questions or concerns is invited to attend. For information, call Dan @ 502-797-8347 (cell) or home @ 949-1262. Thank you and God Bless!

Sorry, I put the wrong date. The correct date is Wednesday the 7th at 6p.m.

City council, 5 April 2010: Yeah, but are you gettin' it? (Sewergeddon it) ...

... ooh, really gettin' it (yes, Sewergeddon it).

Actually, Sewergeddon was averted, if only temporarily. Perhaps the chief omen was the clock on the wall. It stopped working after a mishap with the projection screen. Could a stopped clock be right one of two daily times during a meeting itself? Could it mean that the council itself might ... be ... right?

It had been suggested that there were five firm votes in favor of (a) seven million bucks for sewer projects, and (b) the mayor's "Plan B" for phased rate increases, and if any doubt remained, Dan Coffey's antennae spasmodically jerked with intermittent cattle prod jolts as the bile collected and end game approached.

Further evidence was provided when Steve Price abandoned pretense and began gatoring to the tune of Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You."

And, through it all, as the council sometimes debated, sometimes grandstanded, Pat McLaughlin sat, relieved, because knowing that there were five firm votes in favor, he was afforded the luxury of voting against it without once having to explain why. Even Jeff Gahan undertook an explanation, although barely adequate. Not Donnie ... I mean, not Pat. Perhaps having King Larry there, glowering at you, seems a bit too much like he's a vulture, and you're carrion. So much promise ... so little performance.

Here's the media rundown. I took notes, but the schedule is bruising today, and I may or may not get around to posting them right away. Discuss if you wish. I'll be back later.

New Albany City Council passes 23 percent rate hike on second reading, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune).

Vote advances New Albany sewer rate hike, by Harold J. Adams (C-J).

ALEX, I'LL TAKE PLAN B FOR $7.4 MILLION, by Shirley Baird (VOP blog)

Monday, April 05, 2010

No live blogging tonight.

Here in Scribnerstan, the Internet is once again inaccessible. I will take notes when it seems appropriate.

NCAA championship or Sewergeddon? Tough choice, but luckily, I'm a masochist.

They're lubing the turnstiles, sweeping the floors, cleaning the draft lines and preparing to roast hundreds of weenies ... and in Indianapolis, there's a basketball game tonight.

And all we got was this lousy Iditarod of pandering, ward heeling and doltishness.

We'll make the best of it ... no guts, no glory ... who put that grow room in grandmaw's cookie jar? ... and so on, and so forth. We're in. Anyone else? I'm arriving early to show off my legs. Flasks?

Previously at NAC:

Tribune sez: Just say "Steve Price" to using EDIT, TIF riverboat funds to subsidize sewers.

The return of Blevinsian neutrality.

Sewergeddon Monday: Delightfully and wonderfully us, and just as perpetually dysfunctional.

Sunnyside Natural Foods Market coming to State Street corridor?

The following message was sent by the folks at the New Albany Grocery Coop site at Facebook. In it, we learn of the possibility that a business called Sunnyside Natural Foods Market may be opening on State Street as early as fall, 2010. Take it away, Dan Chandler.


Subject: New Natural Foods Store in New Albany?

Dear Grocery Coop Friends,

When we organized our first coop meeting, we did so because we knew our community could better address certain health and food related issues. Areas of interest and concern included:

- Healthy eating
- Childhood obesity
- “Slow Food”
- Promotion of regional agriculture.
- Promotion of the local economy.

We saw a stellar example in Paoli with their Lost River Market & Deli grocery coop. At our meetings, we agreed on the general goals. We also agreed that there’s more ways than a coop to achieve these goals.

I’m pleased to share news that New Albany very well many have a new ally in promoting local, healthy and sustainable eating. Southern Indiana residents and health food industry pros Tom & Jenny Van Cader have exciting plans for Southern Indiana's first large-format, full-service natural foods supermarket. Sunnyside Natural Foods Market is set to open on State Street in late 2010. I just joined Sunnyside’s Facebook page to keep up with their progress. I hope you do too.

Sunnyside’s presence will fill an important niche. Its presence also will allow volunteers to focus their energies on other healthy initiatives, initiatives at work in other cities and with proven track records. Links to a few such programs are posted on the New Albany Grocery Coop Facebook page. We’ll meet again later this month to more clearly define our goals and strategy. Meanwhile, please check out these links of the other exciting programs and let us know which you’d most love to see in New Albany!

Many Thanks,

Dan Chandler

More visiting artists to come at the Purdue College of Technology.

Submitted by Julie Schweitzer, Director of the New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project.

The visiting artist lectures at Purdue College of Technology are a huge success. The commercial art and technology students are excited and receptive to seeing ways in which the tools at their disposal can be used in new and creative endeavors. I would like to thank Professors Richard Kopp, Tim Cooley, John Finnegan and Ananth Sriraman for working with me to create this program. There are three more lectures in the series and they are free and open to the public.

Leticia Bajuyo - April 15
Valerie Fuchs - April 29
John King - May 13

They're from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.

For more information go to our website.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

It wasn't funny then, either.

“West Spring Street School is now the Hampton Inn. That’s a nice little use of space next to the interstate,” Snyder said. “Why would you want a school there anyway? But when we did that, there was emotion. But that’s a higher and better use.”

Reading Bruce Hibbard's and Brad Snyder's comments in the Sunday Tribune is like being given access to the Saturday Night Live sketches that weren't provided airtime the night before and understanding why others were chosen.

How did people so socially inept ever get to be in charge of a public school corporation?

Tribune sez: Just say "Steve Price" to using EDIT, TIF riverboat funds to subsidize sewers.

Or, in the vernacular, "no."

TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: Don’t take from our future to pay down today’s sewer bills

It doesn’t take a genius or an elected official to look around New Albany to see all the needs this city has such as infrastructure.

The return of Blevinsian neutrality.

Council president John Gonder would like for you to know that in spite of what those pesky anonymous troglodytes say, he's not up the mayor's you know what.

Besides that, there's the perennial council problem with locating the information. It's never there when they need it, it's always being hidden from them, and when on occasion their stopped clocks strike the correct time, the information is ... is ... in code (gasp).

Today's Tribune asks: All the cards on the table for New Albany sewer rates?

If the will of the New Albany City Council coincides with its president, only one of the final two votes on a sewer rate increase will come Monday. Council President John Gonder still has some questions he’d like answered. “If there’s $1 million of excess fat in the operating budget of the sewer utility, why didn’t we know that in the very beginning,” he asked.
Maybe it was a conspiracy. Meanwhile, just as I predicted on Friday, Pat McLaughlin's transformation into Donnie Blevins is so utterly complete that he'll be offering a rote prayer to kick off Monday's council session.

A potential swing vote on a sewer rate increase, Councilman Pat McLaughlin maintained he’s undecided. “I’m just right now so neutral, there’s so many things to look at,” he said.
As you ponder the impact of neutrality sans information, let's turn to a council member who absolutely, positively knows how he'll be voting.

Councilman Steve Price is opposed to both options ... “This decision will have an unbelievable impact,” Price said. “It’s probably the biggest vote I’ve ever had to make.”
If it's the biggest vote the Babe Ruth of "no" votes has had to make, and if he already knows he'll vote "no", in reality, is it a big vote at all?

It's just another nay, isn't it? Price votes "no" the way that some folks say, "you know."

Except, he doesn't.

Bank Street Brewhouse closed today for Easter, but we'll be at Louisville Beer Store for Chef Josh's food and beer pairings.

Note that Bank Street Brewhouse is taking today off for Easter. We'll reopen on Tuesday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m.

My recommendation today is the Louisville Beer Store (746 East Market in Louisville) and Day Three of NABCieged Harder (II). NABC has taken control of LBS's draft lines for the weekend, and the first two days were suitably revolutionary, with a Trolley Hop on Friday and flights narrated by the Publican (that's me) on Saturday.

Chef Josh Lehman will be at LBS today for The Pairing, with a special 4-course food and matched beer flight beginning at 3:00 p.m. Here's the menu:

Belgian Dubbel
rabbit & accompaniments

Hoosier Daddy
shrimp & grapefruit ceviche

celery root soup, duck confit salad & blood orange

Smoked Abzug
Kentucky spoonfish caviar & eggs with crepes

For more information, visit the Louisville Beer Store web site, and don't forget that our own Nate "Nasty" Little's PA Project headlines the Bank Street patio kickoff party this Wednesday, April 7.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Let’s take a poll.

Given the absence of action on the Democratic side in the May primary, how many of you plan to vote on the other side of the aisle, just for the sheer fun of it?

Imagine: I can vote against Mike Sodrel by voting for Travis Hankins, knowing that if by some miracle Sodrel’s money doesn’t triumph in the primary, the extremist nutcase Hankins will be far easier for Baron Hill to topple in the fall.

And: I can vote for Ron Grooms and help dispense with the latest local Palin wannabeen.

Trouble is, I won’t be able to drink Progressive Pints while doing it, but in the fall, SB 75 kicks in, and then … Elector!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Sewergeddon Monday: Delightfully and wonderfully us, and just as perpetually dysfunctional.

The Tribune's Daniel Suddeath resumes his slog through the muck and slime of local sewer politics as mostly usual, and informs us that the New Albany sewer solution could come Monday.

During a Wednesday meeting, Councilmen Kevin Zurschmiede and Bob Caesar declared their intentions to support Mayor Doug England’s proposal that would see sewer customers pay an immediate 23 percent rate increase.
Meanwhile, somewhere on the periphery, as CM Pat McLaughlin rehearses lines from either Hamlet or the memoirs of Donnie Blevins, while The King of Wannabeenville giddily prepares for the prospect of seeing the Publican in bike shorts Monday night, and pausing only to allow Jeff "What Flooding?" Gahan to take his pleasure craft for another outing down the River Styx, the oddsmakers are calculating factions.

Mayor England's "Plan B" has one tremendous positive factor going for it: Wizard of Westside Dan Coffey's against it, and was thoroughly kneecapped by it, although we know that he'll take a pound of the city's future from someone's flesh as retribution, and it doesn't ever matter about Steve Price, since he's been singing Dean Martin (to the tune of "That's Amore") for so long that it no longer matters:

When Maalox comes and tries to get funds -- why ask why?
That's a No vote

When a plan is designed, to make us realign
That's a No vote

Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And I’ll say “Not with my dime"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like the POH-lice overtime

When the facts make you drool, then go and play the fool
That's a No vote

If they’re paving the street, just move fast and delete
That's a No vote

As you snore through their dreams, turn your ire into screams
That's a No vote

Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And I’ll shout, “no eggs in this basket!"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
But the pergessives can fit in one casket

They’re all nooooooh voooohhhhhtttts!!!

So, for the sake of argument and cheap laughs, let's say that there's a 5-4 count in favor of "Plan B from Lower Sewer Space". Given that Gahan and McLaughlin can now be counted on to shine Coffey's shoes on command, one of those "ayes" must be Jack Messer's, right?

And, the vote will be on Monday night, which brings Harold Adams' delightful C-J headline into view: England to review Messer comments on race.

New Albany Mayor Doug England said he will decide Monday whether to act on racial comments made in January by Jack Messer, a city police officer and at-large city councilman.
What the hell is this, a city or "One Life to Live"?

Just imagine if we all set about to accomplish something rather than appease the dullards and pander to the non-achievers. What a wonderful world it would be. I'm not holding my breath. Beer anyone?

Portland, Oregon: Steering tourists "to the most exciting storm sewer sites."

Thanks to JP for the link.

Portland's sewers right as rain, by Dennis Cauchon (USA Today)

The most surprising tourist attraction in Portland, Ore., is its storm sewer system.

Eco-friendly tourists flock to the city to understand how Portland's innovative system of curbs, gutters, roofs and rain gardens sharply cuts water pollution.