Monday, May 31, 2010

This is the cost of your oil addiction, Michael Dalby ...

... and you still want to build how many new traffic lanes across the Ohio River while avoiding any substantive discussion of public transportation? Can you tell me how any of this approximates leadership, beyond leading money into the pockets of 1SI's board?

Fury and despair as BP says leak could last months

An uncontrollable fountain of oil could gush into the Gulf of Mexico until August, the Obama administration warned today, as BP conceded it was moving to a containment strategy after failing to plug the well at the centre of the most environmentally disastrous spill in US history.

A baseball card, so to speak.

Beak's Best remained on tap at Louisville Slugger Field on Sunday evening. In dealing with a stadium concessionaire, there are no sure things, and so I can't predict whether NABC will continue as a progressive beer option as the baseball season proceeds. With palpable optimism, our artist in residence, Tony Beard, has produced this baseball-themed homage to Beak's and its namesake, Dr. Donald Barry. Don is returning to New Albany later this week for his annual visit prior to decamping for Europe, where he'll enjoy more favorable exchange rates.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rewind: Two Memorial Day posts from 2008.

Two ruminations from two years ago. First, there's war as obscenity irrespective of "sides" occupied by the dead.

Memorial Day as a universal concept.

... For me, it's a far more worthy holiday is it prompts introspection into the sacrifice made by all soldiers in all places and times, the vast majority of whom have been little more than cannon fodder and largely without any identifiably personal stake in the outcome of battles fought for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with those doing the actual dying.
Second, there are local symbols, and then there are local entitites congenitally allergic to symbolism.

Thinking about Muhammad Ali and the Democrats on Memorial Day.

A year ago this weekend, Mrs. Confidential and I visited the foremost destination for foreign tourists who come to Louisville, and I urged readers to do the same: C'mon, who could turn down an afternoon at Louisville's Muhammad Ali Center?

We've been back for a repeat look, and enjoyed the experience just as much the second time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

McDonald Lane improvements could be another first step for bicycling in New Albany.

Glancing at the calendar, I see that it's 2010 (Year 3 A.K. -- After Kochert).

Accordingly, no road improvement project such as the one outlined below should be considered for implementation without a commensurate and safe bicyling advocacy component. After all, McDonald Lane is ideally situated to link Community Park with access to the Greenway via a future bike lane on Slate Run Road. Speaking of transportation on two wheels, Matt Nash's column today provides encouragement to bike to work.

Improvements planned for McDonald Lane; Public hearing to be held June 8 at Our Lady, by Chris Morris (Tribune)

New Albany city officials are looking for public input for the proposed improvements to McDonald Lane from Grant Line Road to Charlestown Road.

New Albany Mayor Doug England said public input is vital to making sure the improvements “are the best fit for our community.”

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Open thread: Downtown parking.

The Tribune's Chris Morris provides coverage of yesterday's merchant mixer.

Downtown New Albany merchants discuss parking; Two-hour parking restrictions relaxed.

Many customers are having problems finding open parking spaces, and England said it’s an issue he is ready to address. He said two-hour parking regulations downtown along Market and Pearl streets have been lifted until further notice. He also said business owners and their employees need to park in paid city lots and not in front of store fronts.

“You’ve created a vibrant business area. People from Floyds Knobs and Louisville are coming downtown,” England told the business owners. “I have ordered the police department not to do anything in a four-block radius when it comes to parking. We want you all to police your own parking.”
Non-enforcement is a persistent New Albanian way of life, but in this instance, it's being openly announced.

My personal view is that it would be easier to train your cat not to chase mice than it is to succeed in convincing employees not to take the best customer parking spaces; it's generational, and hard-wired in their DNA. It's also never been an issue for me to walk a few blocks to get where I'm going. Then again, as often reminded, I'm "lucky" to be able to do that.

And, I live in Midtown.

Do we have any agreement on the best way forward for downtown parking, including business, pleasure and residential? What is being suggested by merchant self-enforcement?

If you have thoughts, please air them. There's something about this topic that confuses me, but I can't quite decide why that is.

Today's Tribune column: "A veritable cabal of babble."

I do fairly precise work. I try to place quotation marks in the "right" place, spell words correctly, and use bold print and italics for emphasis when merited. When the makers of FORMICA command the use of caps and ®, it's what I try to do. Then I hand it over to someone else, and try not to look at it again, so that I don't want to scream the way I do today, when I couldn't resist looking.

No matter. Never mind. Thou shalt not be a control freak. Here is today's Tribune column, and a glimpse into the Gang of Four's gravy-bedecked, broken-stringed, decision-making process. We can only hope that some day, Naygain and McWafflin clue us into the broader specifics of their action plan to thwart progress in New Albany.

BAYLOR: A veritable cabal of babble

... “I don’t have a problem with that,” spluttered Cappuccino as delicately ground, meaty shrapnel trickled daintily onto the yellowed Sui-Generis® brand of paper plate, “but I’m sick and tired that it’s just now coming to my heartfelt attention, not that I don’t already know more about whatever you just said than you do."

New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater performances for Friday and Saturday.

Not every performance at New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater this summer will be accompanied by adult libations. When they are, please accept no substitutes, and be sure to ask for fresh, locally brewed craft beer. Irrespective of the evening's choice to provide a catering permit for the amphitheater, shouldn't buying local be the goal ... and buying local doesn't mean offering Bud Light, does it?

Louisville area breweries include: Bluegrass Brewing Company, Browning's Cumberland Brews, and NABC.

The press release below was submitted.


Friday, May 28

Summer Concert Series: Eight Inch Elvis

Eight Inch Elvis, a six-piece, rock variety band will perform Friday at New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater as a part of the city’s Summer Concert Series. The group plays something for everyone, from classic rock to new country, modern pop and your favorite dance and party songs.

Saturday, May 29

Performing Arts Series: Floyd Central Theater to perform Rivertown Cabaret

The award winning Floyd Central Theatre Arts Department under the direction of Chris Bundy will present an ecclectic evening of music and comedy on the New Albany Riverfront Stage on the evening of May 29th at 7:30 p.m., part of the city’s Performing Arts Series.

Part one of the evening is entitled, "The Rivertown Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and features songs and comedy with a pioneer flair takin on the fun of an old time traveling medicine show. Some of the featured songs include, Raise-A-Ruckus; Oh Susannah; Down ToThe River To Pray; My Sweatheart's The Man-In-The-Moon; and a large selection of songs from the Broadway musical, Big River.

Following a short intermission, the troupe of talented performers will continue the evening with a Broadway Cabaret featuring hits from more contemporary musicals.

The performance is made possible through a grant from the Horseshoe Foundation.

Both events will begin at 7:30 p.m., and are free to the public.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Speaking of statements of moral authority....

Check out James Kelso in late 1800s New Albany, via Lawrence Lipin's Burying the "Destroyer of One Happy Home" again:

Not bridges, but a railway project in the UK.

There's a great line in The Guardian's look at a resumption of local rail service in County Durham, UK -- and from a man of the cloth, no less:

The Northerner: Weardale Railway is back but gravy train has left the station.

... The train that left Bishop Auckland at 11.40am on Saturday was blessed by the Dean of Durham, the Rt Rev Michael Sadgrove, a railway enthusiast.

He said: "I believe God cares about the whole of life, and this includes the welfare of local communities for whom the railways mean a great deal, and the many visitors who come to north-east England, who we hope will enjoy the best possible experience of our region.

"This railway will enhance the lives of both visitors and the people who live and work in Weardale. Railways also make an important contribution to creating sustainable environments, and this too is a real benefit."
I suspect that in our neck of the woods, more than a few preachers caught talking about "sustainable environments" would be regarded with suspicion. Shouldn't he be prattling on about gays, abortion and curbing personal freedoms?

The second half of the story details the budget cuts to come as Britain's new coalition government sharpens its axe for wielding against those regions of the country more likely to have supported the losing party, Labour. Perhaps all they need is a Major Move or two, eh, Mitch Daniels?

$20 a gallon? Main Street and Christopher Steiner think so, and it's a good thing.

Since the chances of our local Main Street organization sharing it with you are somewhere between none and less than that, you may as well read the national Main Street organization's Story of the Week here:

$20 Per Gallon: All Roads Lead to Main Street, by Erica Stewart (Main Street)

Let’s start with the automobile, and in particular, its gas tank, which is where half of our imported oil ends up. We Americans have a love affair with our cars. This is no secret, and the ways in which the automobile has commanded the development of our suburbs and exurbs is well-documented. Nor is it a mystery how Main Streets have suffered from our reliance on the automobile. As more and more of us abandoned historic, close-in neighborhoods in favor of sprawling new homes and garages, commercial developers followed suit, delivering a suburban Car-topia landscape of strip malls and indoor shopping malls, dotted with big-box retailers, mammoth surface parking lots and a maze of divided highways and traffic lights. As we’ve distanced our homes from where we work, go to school, shop, and worship, the car has been there to bridge the gap. And what has made that work? Cheap oil.

The other half of our imported crude goes into “stuff” we consume. Steiner effectively describes how cheap oil has also enabled our consumption of foreign-made goods, things like couches, DVD players, mops, bed sheets—-products made of synthetic materials derived from, again, oil. These things can be made cheaply in China, for example, where labor and material inputs are vastly less expensive than in the U.S. , and then shipped here via massive container ships. Wal-Mart, for example, has 6,000 suppliers, 80 percent of which are located in China. There’s no way its business model--one based on a global supply chain and distribution of its goods--works without cheap oil. There’s no way it offers such low prices without a supply of cheap oil.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A few words about a few trees.

As one local politico put it last week, “This is the breaking point? A few trees?”

In a word, no. But, as always, it’s important to consider the context in which both the problem and solution, such as they were, occurred.

On one end we have democracy. It is, as we have been taught seemingly since we have been taught anything, the best form of government possible, now and forever. It’s worth dying for.

On the other end we have church, symbolic of a direct line to God and all the moral authority that goes along with such a connection. It’s worth living for if for no other reason than because we’ll all eventually die.

In between, we have a major corporation and an independent contractor. The former is a well-recognized and heavily subsidized instrument in our society, to which we devote a mammoth amount of our various currencies. The latter is fodder for much of our mythology and legend -- the individual who, purely through entrepreneurial chutzpah and street smarts, ends up liberally rewarded with money and stature, which through the lens of our current condition equates to the right to be taken seriously.

We can and have unceasingly argued amongst ourselves about which of those four foundational entities bears the most promise or responsibility for defining who we are, not just in this case but in nearly every case. It doesn’t really much matter that the democracy here was New Albany city government. Nor does it matter that the church was St. Mary’s or that the corporation was Duke Energy or the independent business Abel Construction.

What matters is that when those four ever-present societal monoliths, representative of so much that we invest of ourselves and our willingness to believe, were called together under common auspice to work in conjunction with the full sovereignty we bestow upon them, they were collectively unable to do something as unexceptional as putting an ornament on top of a building without destroying something beautiful and natural that had managed to eke out an existence more precarious than we often care to acknowledge in the midst of all our rancor.

It doesn’t just raise questions about commonly held beliefs but rather about believing, in a much broader sense, at all. If the pursuit of monuments is that important to us, we’d do well to reconsider what’s worth monumentalizing, whether building them is actually better than nourishing them, and which is which.

Monday, May 24, 2010

NAC thanks the Street Department!

Those pavement patches in the alley beinhd BSB are where there used to be passageways that swallowed forklifts. Unfortunately, the neighborhood kids are going to miss their wading pools.

Prohibition: "Millions of otherwise honest citizens routinely flouted the law."

Looking for a sobering account of the carnage inflicted by "small-town white Protestants" running amok? You know: The type tending to populate mega-churches where the regional economic development mob likes to congregate, ignoring the separation of church and state? This book, "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition," written by Daniel Okrent, sounds like a wonderful exposition of the excesses of doltery, fear and godliness, not necessarily in that order.

Temperance to Excess, by David Oshinsky (New York Times Sunday Book Review)

... Okrent resists the chance to link Prohibition to the current political scene. But the comparisons are tempting, to say the least. About a century ago, a group of determined activists mobilized to confront the moral decay they claimed was destroying their country. Their public demon was alcohol, but their real enemy was an alien culture reflected by city dwellers, recent immigrants and educated elites. Always a minority, the forces of Prohibition drove the political agenda by concentrating relentlessly on their goal, voting in lockstep on a single issue and threatening politicians who did not sufficiently back their demands. They triumphed because they faced no organized opposition. Americans were too distracted — perhaps too busy drinking — to notice what they had lost ...

If it's a Gannett newspaper, that's gah-NET ...

... as in net irrelevance pursuant to the hurried abandonment of journalism in favor of pandering to a vanishing readership as a glorified advertising circular. If anything about this smells like the C-J's bridge envy, and its shameless advocacy of this region's all-time great transportation boondoggle, you're free to draw perfectly appropriate conclusions.

Cincinnati Enquirer abandoning city interests, by Randy A. Simes (UrbanCincy blog).

The answer to that may lie in the conversation I had with a content editor at the Enquirer three years ago where he said, “We tell the stories our readership wants to hear.” Encouraging right? The Enquirer does not care about providing fair/balanced news coverage, they care only about their bottom line and telling the story they feel their readers want to hear.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beyond repair?

In today's Tribune, the paper's editorial board offers an opinion on the progress (or lack thereof) of a new Floyd County Youth Shelter. Fair enough. Included in that piece, however, is the conclusion that the county's North Annex, currently utilized as the shelter, "has deteriorated beyond repair."

While I can understand suggesting that the Annex may not be the most suitable structure for a youth shelter, the above pronouncement suggests that the building retains no utility at all and should be torn down. Given that I don't remember (and can't seem to find) any Tribune report that documents any serious, "unrepairable" structural deficiencies putting the building at risk of collapse or presenting the building as an irremediable danger to the public, I find it puzzling that the board would find it necessary to make such a pronouncement as part of an argument for an alternative youth shelter location.

If anyone can point to Tribune reporting that provides evidence in support of a "beyond repair" claim, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, what gives?

Marijuana, sodomy and the sting of the lash.

At widely scattered intervals, I hear it said that there is a variable concept known as the people's "will" that presumably matters when it comes to public policy. If the state police find it disconcerting that people generally don't regard marijuana as a threat, then, umm, why ...

ISP faces new challenges as it beings marijuana eradication, by Maureen Hayden (News and Tribune)

INDIANAPOLIS — After 20 years in law enforcement, Indiana State Police Sgt. Lou Perras knows this: Marijuana is like the Rodney Dangerfield of illegal drugs — it gets no respect.

Earlier this month, Perras and a team of state troopers launched their annual outdoor campaign to eradicate cultivated cannabis. But as in years past, their war on drugs includes combating the public's cavalier attitude toward pot.

“People have this attitude, ‘it's just marijuana,’” said Perras. “That's a sad misrepresentation of this drug.”

Just the same way I'm impartial when it comes to light beer.

I haven't laughed so hard since King Larry voted yes, and then no, and then abstained ... on three readings of precisely the same ordinance.

In LET'S STILL DEBATE OR AT LEAST HAVE A DISCUSSION, by Shirley Baird, in her Voice of the People blog, she inadvertently achieves a stunning paradigm shift -- from farce to contempt -- with a single, ill-considered word.

If any of you thinks that Jeff "What Constitutional principle was that? I'd tell you, but I'm too busy battling progress" Gahan is impartial, I have a completed downtown bridge to sell you. Easy terms; pay in Euros, but only if they're stuffed into granmaw's cookie jar.

Speaking personally, a discussion/debate sounds fine with me. It isn't worth doing unless it's done tight, and since Steve Price possesses neither the knowledge nor the willingness to do it right, here's my counter-proposal for a truly impartial moderator: Dan Coffey.

Take it away, John Lee Hooker:

Well, I'm the Crawlin' King Snake
And I rule my den
I'm the Crawlin' King Snake
And I rule my den
Yeah, don't mess 'round with my mate
Gonna use her for myself

Is it time for a beer, yet?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The sun's finally out again. Time for beer.

I'll be in Madison today and tomorrow at the Ohio River Valley Folk festival, all the while contemplating a grassroots "cut me down, too" symbolic public art campaign in New Albany.

In Milltown, there'll be a benefit for the Blue River Cafe later today. It burned down a couple of weeks ago. It's a nice drive down, and a worthy cause. The Louisville Bats are back in town, and play this evening. Support local business by enjoying a craft beer (Section 115).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Amid yawns, CM Bodine levitates.

There was a city council meeting last night. People said some things, and then they voted some. The council members were well behaved, except for this one short tempered guy, Dan Coffey, not finding any information and getting all huffy about it when people laughed at him. I think he may need a filing cabinet or something. Another one, long haired dude named Price, just voted “no” most of the time, even when it was about letting handicapped people use the sidewalk and shit.

This fellow from the newspaper was there, and here’s what he thought about it.

Yeah, and a bunch of contractors also turned out after the fact to give a detailed explanation of why a city with a Tree Board doesn’t use it at all, but this isn’t the same neglecting kind of thang as having codes the city won’t enforce, and those scraggly trees at the church had to come down, and if we really wanted to know what was happening before it happens, we’d all go to the Board of Works meeting on Tuesday morning – the BOW can’t help it if no one comes and the newspaper guy doesn’t report it, and this is all transparent enough for rock and roll in an 1860’s era river town – and I came away feeling really good about detailed explanations that occur when it's over and done.

Then I got lumped in with a bald headed guy. Turns out we're hypocrites, so I'm thinking, hmm, maybe it's time I go back to being a beer expert. If tree removal is the only expenditure of political capital in 2 & 1/2 years, then maybe that wallet's skint, anyway.

Change I can believe in -- cool beans. Where did I hear that one before? It sure wasn't New Albany. Here, it's only, "thank you ... may I have another?"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Senselessness, compounded: And two more trees for good measure.

Also, you have the option to file under senseless atrocities. I'm finally beginning to understand where I went wrong. Last year I asked the city to remove the dead tree in front of my house, and nothing happened. This year, it's clear that if the dead tree were a living tree, and if I planned on adding a steeple to the 1117 ESSNA, then I'd be golden, and all the living trees in front of my house would magically disappear.

In today's fathomless demonstration of City Hall as Paul Bunyon, the point goes well beyond the horrid symbolism of a city with chronic stormwater drainage problems and a leafy canopy crazily depleted by recent weather events, electing to remove healthy trees -- although it's a symbolic catastrophe of epic dimensions.

All the wrong messages are being sent today, messages about the persistent non-transparency of decision-making processes, about focusing attention on isolated objects and mere symptoms rather than egregious in the wider community fabric; a steeple may well be more important than a tree or even seven, but if there is not a mechanism for agreeing on this value, what do we really have at work here, in this place?

Talk about poisoned chalices.

Can't blame this one on the Pope.

If you haven't already seen this, go look: File under: Senseless atrocities.

My advice to preservationists or anyone else who wishes to see the old Coyle building remain standing as part of an adaptive reuse project, rather than bulldozed to suit the construction of a government center more worthy of Hugo Chavez:

See lawyers now, rather than later. Raise money to pay them now, rather than later. Seek legal redress now, rather than later.


Those bulldozers might be idling tomorrow morning. That's the way this hopeless, dysfunctional, Philistine-ridden, slumlord-infested burg works. Take it to them now, as they deserve it.

Good and hard.

I'm going for a bike ride now. At least I don't have to ride past the crime scene.

File under: Senseless atrocities.

I counted five stumps. Can anyone remember the last time this city planted a tree?

There's a city council meeting tonight. Time to spin the county's Wi-Fi wheel yet again.

City Hall is expected to come before the council tonight to discuss the approaching summer's paving plans, to ask for an appropriation to fund handicap ramps, and to prepare for the likelihood that Steve Price will vote "no" on all of the above while drinking tea at the same time. Puppetmasters of the world, unite.

Meanwhile, at his blog, the council president John Gonder offers extra info for Thursday in the form of a 6:00 p.m. skull session on insurance options.

The Tribune reports that Floyd County and New Albany city officials have discussed a new combined building, with the Coyle property again emerging as a likely candidate for it. Whether there'll be a historic building still standing as prime component for adaptive reuse, as most of the remainder of the civilized world would insist on doing, or whether the demolitionist Poli-Philistines will win again, has yet to be determined.

And, Floyd County Youth Shelter relocation has gotten another nudge. With multiple school buildings standing vacant and begging for (yes) adaptive reuse, rather like the defeated D. Sakel, naturally the most popular plan is to build a brand new building at the former country club, which should be purchased and converted into a new/old bayou to assist with eco-tourism and storm drainage, but of course hereabouts, in this municipality where a ban on logic is the only ordinance regularly enforced, such an idea might be confused with Communism or Obamaism by folks like Dr. Oakengruber ... speaking of which, the President of the United States recently called out Steve Price:

"If the just-say-no crowd had won out — if we had done things the way they wanted to go — we'd be in a deeper world of hurt."

Wait -- seems that Obama was talking about Republicans.

Same thing, right?

New exhibit at the Open Air Museum: NA welcomes the Double Naught Debating Society to a rental property near you.

If you’re just tuning in, last week the Tribune’s guest columnist Matt Nash brilliantly exposed a councilman with no political clothing to wear, and with a traumatized community shielding its eyes, today the councilman responded with his own bail-out plan for local pseudonymous ghost writers.

This being New Albany, Steve Price’s persistent dysfunction couldn’t possible stop with today’s collection of homilies and redneck kitchen aphorisms from Aunt Bea’s cook-book-ie jar.

That’s because the councilman has found his own, personal Herbert Matthews, and yesterday began issuing communiqués in her blog, rather than go to the trouble (and the basic literacy required) to maintain his own public relations presence, to boldly nail his feces to the bookstore or brewhouse door, or even to use fellow councilman Dan Coffey’s weed-choked blogspot to mug for the crowd and incite civic vandalism.

It’s like my daddy always said: “Son, you leave those crayons out in the sun, and the goddamned things melt.”

If I’m reading the councilman’s proposal correctly, he’d like to select two seconds, making a total of three, and debate another team of three, this one to be chosen either by myself or the Bookseller (the use of “or” seems to imply that Publican and Bookseller cannot play on the same team).

So far, that’s it, and with a bit of work, it sounds reasonable to me. Now that Mrs. Baird has agreed to be used by … silly me, I mean “to represent” CM Price, Randy and I need someone to represent us. We need to know the location of the debate, the rules, the specific topics, how high in the air the flagpoles will extend, the brand of mineral water served, whether we can even find three Barney suits for my side to wear, and other pertinent details.

Readers, here is your big chance to become involved with local government. Your councilman needs relief from political bloating, and the rest of us need a rollicking good time in the ol’ town tonight. I need more excuses to use the epithet “Goddamn” as often as possible. So, who among you wants to represent us in this delicate negotiation?

Hint: Where’s your goddamned shyster when you need him most?

Today's Tribune column: "An eventful detour to Pecetto."

It's the second in my summer series of travel recollections from 1985, although not without a moment's pause for venting exasperation.

BAYLOR: An eventful detour to Pecetto

“Why me? Why must I be the one to correct the ignorant American? And on this perfectly gorgeous summer's day, when I might be tending my garden plot or enjoying a lovely wine on the terrace?”
Some of you quickly will recognize the skeleton of this story, it having appeared here at the blog long before my current Tribune column ever originated. Much has been altered, although not at the expense of the gist of the tale. As a writer, I'm prone to compulsion in rewriting my own work. More importantly, faced with a 900 word limit for these columns, essences must be distilled.

Therefore, these stories from '85 appear in different form in the newspaper. However, their key elements remain pecisely the same, unless -- as I've now learned -- they're overruled by prevailing standards of moronic morality here in the Open Air Museum, to wit: Those of you who know Dr. Donald Barry will recall that one of his most famous and recurring observations is quite simple: "Goddamn." Not "Damn," by "Goddamn."

Please read the story to see what I mean by pointing to this distinction. Apparently, when school children who hear the F-word dozens of times daily on the tube read the epithet "Goddamn," they (more likely their parents) are scandalized ... assuming, of course, that the kids were even able to wade through 875 previous words, the likes of which consistently stump adults, themselves supposedly educated, and presumably taught right here in river city.

Kindly note that this vitriol isn't necessarily directed at the Tribune itself. The newspaper generously was consultative before bowing toward the dictates of local pulpits. Rather, my agreeing to censor "Goddamn" into the historically inaccurate "Damn" was something freely offered, so that I might do my little bit to appease our community's simpletons, and as such, I'm given the chance to scoff at "prudishness" all over again, which makes me quite happy.

Too bad. Too bad about something in all this, although it's hard for me to tell exactly what. I hope you enjoy the story.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

8664: Rollover Louisville!

I think it's probably well established by now that my own thoughts pretty much align with a recent online commenter who said, "Un_ _ _ _ ing believable. When will this community wake up? When will they take back their power and be afforded a say in their waterfront's future?" But hey, I have a "unique ability to piss people off and be unproductive" so don't take my word for it.

Cruise on over to 8664 and get a gander of this and several other before and after rollover images of a post-ORBP waterfront for your self.

RemCha: "The Mayoral Forum will be June 16 at 6:30-8:00 in the Library."

I "ran into" Jameson Bledsoe (RememberCharlemagne, i.e., RemCha) yesterday -- he was in his pickup truck and I was on my bicycle, and we were approaching each other on Elm at Vincennes, from opposite directions, though not playing chicken (just yet), and he confirmed the mayoral forum date, as elaborated below in a comment that I place on the marquee for maximum exposure:

The Mayoral Forum will be June 16 at 6:30-8:00 in the Library. It is the Wednesday before the council meeting.

I think this is a great opportunity for citizens of New Albany to better understand what the Mayor's plans are outside of the city council's chambers.

When I have time I will write more details of what was said at the meeting.I will quickly add one point and that was a comment about citizen participation. For the forums to continue, people need to show up. I don't think this will be a problem because when Mr. Coffey held his town hall meeting there was a good turnout. I hope even more people will come to the Mayoral Forum.

59 feet of dumbass, at least when it comes to the Indiana side of the Big Four bridge.

The reporter begins his account with massive understatement (italicized below).

Big Four Bridge backers pin hopes on stimulus grants for Indiana ramp, by Ben Zion Hershberg (Courier-Journal).

Tucked along Kentucky’s Ohio River shoreline, the 1,700-foot concrete ramp spirals up to meet the Big Four railroad bridge — a four-year, $8 million project to transform the aging trestle into a cross-river recreation trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.

But across the river in Jeffersonville, the Big Four remains untouched, ending abruptly in a sheer 59-foot drop to the shore below — a product of stalled plans and a lack of funding that officials concede has put it years behind Kentucky’s progress.
Think about that. Years behind Kentucky, although looking on the brighter side, the Commonwealth's Republicans just elected extremist nutjob Rand Paul to run for Senate, making it far easier for Jack Conway (D) to win the seat in the fall. Might Mitch Daniels devote a buck or two from Major Moves to a project that caters to wheels not powered by internal combustion engines?

Meanwhile, unintended irony abounds in the C-J piece, as with this passage:

They’re also seeking to pull $25 million from the Ohio River Bridges Project, arguing it would be less expensive and more pleasant for pedestrians and cyclists to use the Big Four than a proposed pedestrian and bicycle lane on the new downtown bridge.
Of course, absolutely the least expensive and most pleasant solution for a number of problems would be to scotch the planned downtown automotive bridge and use a fraction of the expense to improve bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure everywhere in Metro Louisville. Because it makes the most sense in the current age, it's naturally the least discussed option. Turns out that former Jeff mayor Rob Waiz never grasped it, either:

Waiz conceded (the Big Four) wasn’t a high priority. “Trying to bring in new businesses and jobs was my priority,” he said.
As Brendan Behan once loudly proclaimed, "JAY-sus."

Reams of evidence from across America and the planet point to just such projects as the Big Four as impetus for business and job creation, assuming your're trying to send the right message to the right people running and creating the right jobs. In the face of this, inert politicians like Waiz can do no better than mimic the provincial dullards who populate this area, scratching their heads, peeling another banana and decrying the theory of evolution as their prospects steadily dwindle.

Come to think of it, they might be on to something about evolution. It doesn't seem to evolve all the time ... by maybe it's just something in our (storm) water.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Floyd County's got eGIS. That's online mapping. Want to learn more?

(submitted ... thanks ML and JP)

Floyd County is entering the world of online mapping. On Wednesday, May 19, 2010 in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room Second Floor of the City-County Building we will be holding free eGIS training sessions for both county employees and the public. See the attached flyer for more information.

eGIS is designed to help individuals locate information on a map which is the most common use. Other uses that eGIS could be used for is: finding a street or road, locating a neighborhood park, finding the nearest church, etc….

For more information please call or write Chris Moore at 812-949-5446

Chris Moore
Floyd County Stormwater Department
Coordinator / GIS Technician

Elected officials, please note: "It Takes A Lot Before A Building Can’t Be Saved."

Broken Sidewalk devotes a brief but powerful post to a notion that seemingly flies over the heads of Floyd County's "leadership" class: It Takes A Lot Before A Building Can’t Be Saved.

You really need to follow the link and see the photos. Here are the first three paragraphs as enticement.

When in architecture school in St. Louis, I remember professors often saying that a building is salvageable until it’s town down. It just depends on the priorities of the community and the willingness to take on a challenge.

Take the above partially collapsed rowhouse in St. Louis as an example. If this building were in Louisville, it would likely have been torn down soon after it suffered the collapse, but in St. Louis, demolition requests were denied and the structure was renovated as seen in the photo below.

While this example is in the up-and-coming Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, there are also examples of similar renovations in in less well off neighborhoods with similar result. Based on these examples, it seems like demolitions like these shouldn’t have ever happened.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Film Preview: Riding Bikes with the Dutch.

The first time I stepped off the train in Amsterdam I was literally speechless. As soon as I set foot on the ground I was almost run over by a mob of bikes. I turned to look up and to my amazement there was a 3 level structure dedicated to just parking bicycles. Everyone from three years old to 93 seemed to be tooling around the city on two wheels. This was too much to take in with just my own eyes. I needed to share this with everyone I could and this is why I made my film: Riding Bikes with the Dutch.

- Michael Wolfgang Bauch,

Link-o-Rama: Flip a coin, choose an event, and get out of the house on Friday, May 21.

Just preparing for the weekend already has me frazzled, and none of the events have even started. On Friday in particular, the possibilities are staggering. Knees, feet and liver are registering pre-emptive complaints.

Uptown New Albany, at Vincennes Street:
Cuts for a Cure 2010 at Strandz and Threadz (Friday, May 21)

At the Horseshoe Casino:
IUS Ogle Center Bier Prost 2010 at Horseshoe on Friday, May 21.

Off Bardstown Road at Longest:
Louisville Loves Mountains Festival 2010 is Friday, May 21. NABC and BBC will be there.

Throughout downtown New Albany:
Photos, too: The New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project kickoff and art walk is Friday, May 21.

All weekend in Madison, Indiana:
Time again for Madison's Ohio River Valley Folk Festival, with beer from NABC and Upland.

All week long, throughout America:
It's American Craft Beer Week. Need an excuse to have a beer?

RemCha: "A time to talk about starting a Mayoral forum in New Albany."

RememberCharlemagne has come forward during comments at last Friday's NAC post ... Matt Nash is Right: "The Price is Wrong" ... to reveal solid information that otherwise might pass unnoticed. That's why I'm elevating RemCha's comment to the marquee.

If you what to make a positive difference Carl confirmed a time to talk about starting a Mayoral forum in New Albany. The meeting will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at the city county building. I would hope other people see the importance of such a forum and will support this issue. If you can't make it post a comment on here and I'll rely the message to the Mayor.
I assume he means tomorrow afternoon. Interested in passing your thoughts along via RemCha? Use the comments section at "The Price is Wrong," or start a new thread here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photos, too: The New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project kickoff and art walk is Friday, May 21.

The Bicentennial Art Project pieces are in place, and on Friday evening there'll be artists and historians (along with at least one brewer, pinch-hitting for me) at each of the five sites.

The Tribune produced a fine pullout section that went out in today's newspaper, and ran this news story on Friday:

Walk this way New Albany: Art walk to kickoff New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune)

Floyd County residents and tourists may have a year to enjoy the five premier installations of the New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project, but Friday could be their only chance to hear the artists describe their work.
The project — which will bring five art pieces to New Albany’s downtown each year until the city’s bicentennial in 2013 — will begin with an art walk from 6 to 9 p.m.

We're told that councilman Steve Price remains opposed to the art project, voting "no" because the monies should have been used as subsidies for rate payers. Meanwhile, today the Tribune editorializes "yes," in favor of art as run-up to the city's birthday in 2013.

TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: Walk provides look into our history

The walk will feature five pieces of art placed around the downtown area, pieces that you may have already noticed. The locations include the New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse, St. Marks United Church of Christ Garden, River City Winery, Floyd County YMCA and 129 W. Main St. Each work will interpret a different theme from New Albany’s history.
Photos and descriptions below come to us courtesy of the Carnegie Center's press release.

At the New Albany YMCA located at 33 State Street, artist Valerie Sullivan Fuchs will speak about her piece Flood, a large-scale video projection of the Ohio River water that slowly floods the wall of the YMCA building, and she will be joined by Louisville historian Rick Bell, author of the book The Great Flood of 1937: Rising Waters, Soaring Spirits.

Artist J. Daniel Graham will discuss his piece Like String and Cans Through Walls, a blend of cement, metal, and historic images that will age over time, at the St. Marks United Church of Christ Garden at 202 East Spring Street, where he will be joined by Olivia Heinz as she informs participants about early settlement in New Albany.

At 129 West Main Street, across from the site of the former Israel Boarding House building (the Israels were ardent supporters of the Underground Railroad in New Albany), artist Brad White will discuss his work Scars into Stars, a large, steel sculpture that represents White’s interpretation of the theme through literal railroad imagery and abstract forms. New Albany historian Pam Peters, author of the book The Underground Railroad in Floyd County, Indiana, will speak alongside White on the topic of the Underground Railroad in the Indiana and Kentucky borderland.

At the River City Winery located at 319-321 Pearl Street, artist John King will discuss his piece combining auto glass and images of historic individuals and events, Roots Grow Deep, as New Albany historian David Barksdale speaks to participants about the notable history of the glass industry in New Albany.

At the New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse located at 415 West Bank Street, artist Leticia Bajuyo will discuss her piece Brew History: All Bottled Up, influenced by the classic Lite-Brite toy and made primarily of locally-collected, used beer bottles, and David Pierce, Director of Brewing Operations for the New Albanian Brewing Company, and New Albany historian Ted Fulmore will discuss the history of breweries and taverns in New Albany.

Photos provided by the project organizers; all except the first (artist Valerie Sullivan Fuchs’ rendering) were taken by the Tribune's Kevin McGloshen.

Sometimes we settle for the "mental" variety, as when Erika snarls and the Copperhead shakes.

I monitor Eric Schansberg's Schansblog very regularly, and regularly find it thought provoking even when I disagree (which is fairly often). Seldom have I been startled by a headline, but here's one to catch the reader's attention:

pornography, masturbation, and the brain

You'll just have to go read the post. Speaking of masturbation, here’s the latest Freedom to Screech posting:


I've wondered that almost every time I've read FOS for the past three or four years. Lots of jerking, no brains to speak of. Finally, I was eager to see what our favorite ward heeler has to say about current city affairs, but Dan Coffey hasn't had time to update his blog since Easter.

I empathize. Blogging's hard, even when you can write.

Is it time for a countdown clock to La Rosita's downtown?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A few links to prime stuff at Broken Sidewalk.

What happened to Saturday?

I awoke at 4:30 a.m., decided to read The Economist to kill some time, drank too much coffee and listend to the birds chirp outside. Then there was a morning of work, an afternoon of finishing "The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War" (by Caroline Alexander), early evening biking along the new Clarksville Levee path, then finally a pleasant growler of beer and cigars, porchside, with friends.

Time has been fleeting and will continue to be so. I'll be doing more signposting here than I like, because any time when there's time to tie together more than a few paragraphs, these go toward my various column obligations. In this vein, following are three links to a blog that is a must-read for New Albanians interested in the urban experience in metro Louisville. Have you ever wondered how many of our city councilmen read (blogs like Broken Sidewalk), and if they did, how much the experience might change their views on such matters?
Welcome to Broken Sidewalk! Here, we report on and discuss neighborhood news in Louisville, Kentucky. Any given day, we might be talking about real estate development, transportation, architecture, urbanism, or the nitty gritty of urban life. Please join in the conversation, or learn more about Broken Sidewalk and the stories we cover here. If you like what you see, consider subscribing to our RSS Feed (it's easy). Thanks for stopping by.
Jeffersonville Canal District Logo Unveiled And Related News

Bridges Project Turns Second Street Bridge Into An Off-Ramp

Could A Second Street Bridge Bike Lane Increase Bike Ridership?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Matt Nash is Right: "The Price is Wrong."

I've been waiting to use that title.

Matt Nash, now forever linked to the pergessive conspiracy to tarnish ... to do the mayor's ... hands off our monies ... whatever. Coach K's bound to be ecstatic. Assuming the three enraged Pricelidytes posting on the website are different people -- never a safe bet when it comes to the hooded wannabeens -- two of them want to cancel their subscriptions, and one thinks I'm feeding Matt "swill" to corrupt him. It's a wonder the newspaper still has subscribers.

What a wonderful Friday morning floor show here in the Open Air Museum!
NASH: The Price is wrong

As far back as I can remember Steve Price has always voted “no.” Even when the rest of his colleagues agree on the subject at hand, Mr. Price always finds a reason to object. Usually it involves the spending of the taxpayers money and he believes that he is being a good steward of the peoples’ money by just voting “no” all of the time.

From Develop New Albany: "Put your best curb forward," tomorrow morning (May 15).

Passed along from Jessica Bergman and Develop New Albany.

Downtown New Albany Needs You -- Saturday May 15

Downtown needs you Saturday morning to "Pretty Up" our town. We need a crowd to bring their work gloves to help prepare for the upcoming summer events to put our best curb forward. Meet at the Farmers Market (on the Corner of Market and Bank Streets) at 9am. Food and coffee will be available for purchase at the market and at nearby establishments such as Toast, Patticakes and the Little Chef. For information about other upcoming events and what's happening in downtown New Albany visit Develop New Albany at Facebook.

Latecomers welcome, Susan Kaempfer will be at the Farmers Market from 9-1 to assist you. - If you have garden tools, please bring them as well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today's Tribune column: "Courtesy bicycle to the Hotel Silly."

Busy day today.

BAYLOR: Courtesy bicycle to the Hotel Silly

As the bicycle came closer, I could see the rider was a gray-haired woman. At first, she appeared to be talking on a cell phone, but this proved incorrect. Stepping aside at the last moment, I caught just a snippet of the intense conversation she was having -- with herself.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leticia makes house calls.

She was in town today to replace a few bulbs and tend to her art.
Posted by Picasa

Bank Street Brewhouse in today's LEO: "'Cuisine a la bière' defines Chef Josh Lehman’s bill of fare."

I'm pleased and humbled. I appreciate Robin's review, but even more so, I thank him for consistently giving New Albany's emerging downtown restaurant scene a fair shake in his writings. We must not forget that before us came the Bistro New Albany, when Louisvillians first began taking note of what we're capable of achieving here.

Most important are big kudos to the entire BSB staff: You guys indeed rock.
Lots to like about Bank Street Brewhouse, by Robin Garr.

I’ve held off reviewing since Kevin Gibson’s first-rate preview (LEO Weekly, March 25, 2009). Now that brewing is in full operation and Lehman’s evening menu is well established, it’s time to turn my own two thumbs up and say, “Kevin was right.” Bank Street Brewery hits a culinary home run for food and beer and other good things.

"Observations about biking from New Albany to Louisville."

The title says it all. I commute, too, but both workplaces are close by. I've published Joshua's spot-on thoughts at our bike blog, as I'd like to see it used a bit more.

From contributor and New Albany resident Joshua Poe: "Observations about biking from New Albany to Louisville."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tribune shout out in The Ville Voice.

With its April 25 editorial, our own Tribune placed itself in front of the bridges issue, lapping the moribund and fatally compromised Courier-Journal. That's right. We're leading Louisville in something. Cool.

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

The 'Ville Voice blog noticed, and congratulates Coach K and the gang for evading the foremost Louisville pressure group. I wonder if One Southern Indiana even privately rebuked the newspaper for having the temerity to enunciate the anti-Stemler, non-party line?

Since our big city newspaper doesn’t have a clue what journalism is these days – and ignorantly thinks people will buy the paper to read sports stories – you should probably just start reading the News and Tribune, the paper actually covering yesterday’s bridges and tolling meeting without fearing the wrath of River Fields. [Click the Clicky]

Mexitalian: More on La Rosita and La Bocca.

Thanks to Mike Kopp for the photo. The color scheme being used on the exterior of the future La Rosita's makes more sense given the reds and greens in the familiar logo. But, as we know, Israel's food and a three-way alcohol permit (NABC, anyone?) that stand to transform downtown dining, and quite soon.

I've updated this post from earlier today: Connor's Place ceases and will make way for an Italian-themed eatery -- or so we're told. We stopped in at Wick's earlier tonight for Elector and pizza pie (excellent, as always), and Steve Resch came in as we were leaving. He gave us the lowdown on Connor's departure and the advent of this new Italian-style eatery. Mike says the owners are from Staten Island.

Steve, if you're reading: La Boca is Spanish, and La Bocca is Italian. They both mean "the mouth." The reason my searches yielded Buenos Aires and not Rome is because I was searching Spanish, not Italian.

I am pumped. Downtown's about to take another step forward.

Now on the Jouett Meekin Memorial Keg Box ...

... at the 1117 East Spring Street Neighborhood Association, it's:

Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier. Stay tuned for our handy new on-line reservation form so you can book your visits to the friendly confines of 1117 and help plot the 2011 3rd district council de-selection campaign over a long, cool smoked lager.

Connor's Place ceases and will make way for an Italian-themed eatery -- or so we're told.

8:20 p.m. photo update, courtesy of Mike Kopp:

I've received confirmation of the rumors that Connor's Place is no more. As of the past weekend, Dave Himmel's bar on Market Street has closed, with its place to be taken by an Italian eatery. The name I've heard bandied about is La Bocca -- can anyone confirm that?

As it has been explained to me, the new operator approached Steve Resch about buying the building, and in the process also bought Himmel's equipment and furnishings.

Naturally, we're sad to see Dave Himmel and his establishment depart the downtown scene. It was difficult for him to establish a niche amid the many incoming food and drink businesses, and at least this way, he gets something back for his investment. I'll have more information on the new restaurant when it comes to me.

Meanwhile, the new location for La Rosita's on Pearl Street has been the scene of painting and interior work during the past two weeks, and further afield, Milltown's Blue River Cafe burned yesterday morning.

That's what I'm talking about: Klezmer Fest 2010.

Alas, NABC will be at the Great Flanagan's Beer Festival this Sunday, and the Confidentials will be toting beer to the Spring Open House 2010 at Capriole's goat cheese farm. Thanks to N for the poster; as she suggests, it's a template for klezmer on the Taxpayer Memorial Patio later this year!

Monday, May 10, 2010

"What used to be white flight to the suburbs is turning into 'bright flight' to cities ... "

Another link swiped from Bluegill, in the absence of time to come up with anything original.

Suburbs Losing Young Whites To Cities, Brookings Institution Finds, at the Huffington Post.

WASHINGTON - White flight? In a reversal, America's suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as many younger, educated whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.

Sounds awfully close to home to me -- tea, anyone?

Stolen from Bluegill.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

UK election: Lib Dem coalition with Labour?

As previewed here in early March, the British have had their election, and "nobody won." Now what?

The scenario outlined in the Guardian's editorial below is less implausible than it might seem at first glance. A coalition of all non-Tory parties, including Scots and Welsh nationalists and a stray Green, would total roughly the 326 seats needed to keep the still reviled Conservatives safely away from #10 Downing St. However, there is some question whether the non-right should even bother, given the approaching painful phenomenon that Thomas Friedman refers to as "root canal politics" in today's New York Times.
To seize this historic moment, the Lib Dems must turn to Labour ... To ensure the country's support, Gordon Brown must announce his plans to step down, a Guardian editorial.

Nobody won. That is the basic definition of a hung parliament. The newly elected members might not see it that way. The leaders of the three main parties might couch the results of last week's election in historical and statistical terms that make them feel better. But the fact remains: nobody won.

The Conservatives have the most plausible claim to some kind of victory. They took the highest national share of the vote and gained 97 seats. But Mr Cameron was battling to restore majority Conservative rule. He campaigned vigorously against a hung parliament, all but demanding unchecked power. He was rebuffed: 10.7 million people voted for Tory government; more than 15 million people did not.

But the non-Tory vote was divided, largely between Labour and Liberal Democrats. Despite many local skirmishes, there is a strain of cousinly feeling in both parties that sees the Tories as a common enemy. From that impulse now springs the idea that Labour and the Lib Dems could join forces to prevent Mr Cameron from taking power.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Even in 1907, locals understood bakeries.

From a facsimile edition of the Louisville Anzeiger in 1907.

Even in 1907, locals understood regional mass transit.

Apologies for the sloppy scan. It's from a facsimile edition of the Louisville Anzeiger in 1907.

Even in 1945, locals understood local.

Courtesy of PL, who provided a facsimile of the inaugural 1945 edition of New Albany Future. Isn't the gist of what Reisz was saying in 1945 the same as what groups like Develop New Albany should be saying now? I think so. It may be time to mount a bully pulpit again ... if I have time.

Beer from New Albany at Louisville Slugger Field.

Previously we asked: Is tonight the night for NABC at Louisville Slugger Field?

Two days later, there is a qualified answer: Louisville Slugger Field craft beer update ... so far, so good (we think).

On Thursday night, I was proud to see New Albany-brewed beer pouring from a tap in Louisville Slugger Field. It isn't just about money, and never has been. It's also about intangibles, moral victories and simple satisfaction.

I'm eager to hear reader reports if and when you make it to a Bats game during this homestand, which ends with next Thursday's game. All of it will become clearer as the season progresses, and a routine is established. Perhaps NA Confidential Night at the ballpark, later in the year?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Jim is more conservative than Dana. Is there a Democrat in the house?

I would have linked to this article sooner, except that there is no on-line version available for linking. Can someone apologize to the Tribune's ad department? Here I am, trying desperately to drive traffic, but there’s only so much I can do without good material. Without material, period. Here's the title:

Fendley, Voyles win council primaries; three district seats will be contested in the fall, by Chris Morris (Tribune).

I'll provide an overview at no extra charge. The Democrat (umm, maybe; see below) Jim Freiberger was unopposed, and the Republican (we’re reasonably sure of it) Dana Fendley defeated newcomer Daniel Short, who quit coming here to the blog quite as often once he aspired to office (just joking, big guy). Dave Matthews must have been enforcing a curfew, or something equally Big Brother-like from the party of freedom and such.

Anyway, here are the two undisputed, classic quotes to emerge from Morris’s article. It's really difficult to determine which is more depressing. I had to type the damn things out, the old-fashioned way:

Dana Fendley: “There are three Freibergers on the ballot, maybe by the time they get down to me they will say ‘how many Freibergers do we need in Floyd County … maybe they will vote for Fendley instead.’”

That’s a cringe-worthy utterance. Don’t Republicans always claim to be the party of ideas, and if so, wouldn’t she want people to vote for her ideas? Surely Freiberger, her fall opponent, has ideas, too?

Ah, not so fast, Publican. He doesn't even have a web site I could find.

Freiberger: “I plan on going door to door in the fall. Even though I am a Democrat, I am more conservative than her so it will be hard for her to try and differentiate that.”

I've known Jim for more than 30 years, and I hope he doesn't take this the wrong way, but Jim: It also makes it awfully hard for us to fathom how and why you’re a Democrat, as opposed to a Republican. If you're more Republican than she is, then why not cut out the middle entity and run GOP? Conversely, if there's something about being a Democrat that matters, could you tell us what it is?

Maybe John Wilcox can tell us. He’s the party chairman, right? That actually means something, right?

Even here, in Floyd County ... right?

BUMP BUMP. Is this thing on?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Is tonight the night for NABC at Louisville Slugger Field?

We think so ...

... and to make sure, I'll be attending this evening's opening game of an 8-day, 8-game homestand.

Portable section 115 concessions placement information comes to me from Centerplate itself, via River City Distributing, which puts the location in the same spot as the Browning's tap this year and last. See the Centerplate pricing .pdf for further details.

I don't know what this implies for Browning's. I do know that Centerplate ordered four kegs of Beak's Best, and also expressed interest in purchasing, or already has, kegs from Kentucky Ale. Speaking for myself alone, it still strikes me as best to have more than one craft brew in a stand. In any event, I'm happy not to travel all the way to the berm for a craft draft, as we used to do for Redhook whilst grimacing all the way and back ... and not at the price.

Honestly, I don't know what to expect in all this. The struggle for better beer in the ballpark has lasted for 15 years or longer -- long before NABC had beer of its own to vend -- with periodic (usually short-lived) victories, and plenty of disappointments along the way. Make that: A whole slew of disappointments, and a host of very lean years. Getting better beer into the ballpark has been a professional crusade for so long, I'm not sure what winning the fight would feel like. Is this truly a new era?

I'll abandon my customary jaudiced expression and be there tonight. I might be first in line.

Dispense with superstition, and hoist a stein to National Day of Reason.

Thanks to AT for reminding me that today's a big day. In fact, it occurred to me earlier that of all the -isms in the world, the only one I really can embrace is humanism. After all, we're all human, aren't we? In celebration of National Day of Reason, I'm going to finish my work, go for a bicycle ride, and attend a Louisville Bats game.

Humanists Invite President Obama to Celebrate the National Day of Reason

In advance of the National Day of Prayer--an annual event in which the president urges citizens to pray--the American Humanist Association today encouraged people to instead celebrate an event that is inclusive and recognizes a universal American value: the National Day of Reason. The National Day of Reason, which is held to coincide with and as a counter to the National Day of Prayer, will be held on May 6 this year.

Today's Tribune column: "Who was that masked man?"

The troglodytes wouldn't keep their traps shut. I had to come clean. Either that, or start thinking about the best place to take all those unmarked Franklins into voluntary exile.

BAYLOR: Who was that masked man?

I shrugged and handed him the bill, and he stuffed it down his shirt. Suddenly there was a loud crash, and I jumped back, expecting the worst. Looking at the pockmarked pavement, I saw that it was just another in a series of bricks falling from the rear of the furniture store. When I turned back to face my bookie, he was long gone.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Yawns from the Publican and Ernesto.

LEO reader Steve will be happy to know that I paid an inflated price for my Che wallet ... in Europe.


As a beer lover, I’ve been meaning to visit New Albanian Brewing Co. in New Albany. Then I read in LEO that owner Roger Baylor has a Che Guevara wallet (April 21 Mug Shots). Thanks for saving me a trip, Roger. I wouldn’t want my dollars to end up in a leather homage to a sadistic, enslaving murderer.

I’m also confident Che would not approve of the high prices Roger charges for his simple water and grains product, but he’d probably dig the wallet. Then he’d take it … at gunpoint.

Steve Newberry, Highlands
And from the People's Republic of the Highlands, no less. The tedium is growing.

Hit by falling brick lately? Don't get "injurd," okay?

Thanks to GH for the tip via Facebook.

Note that I normally refrain from linking to WHAS-11 owing to the web site's obnoxious proclivities for pop-up ads, but this story (if true -- can anyone verify this?) strikes a chord. In my Tribune column tomorrow, there is a fleeting reference to bricks falling into the same alley from the same persistently and willfully neglected furniture storage building.

I wrote the column before any of this came to my attention, and stand to look downright copycat. More importantly, it's too bad about the building, one of my longtime favorites downtown. Try to ignore the ee cummings effects and read:

man permantly injurd by falling wall, by jasonthalmann

new albany should be a safe place ,but with buildings like this one,,someone else is going to get seriously injured "again,,

(Photo credit: Here)

Closer and closer to La Rosita -- downtown.

It's Cinco de Mayo, and the perfect chance to pause and reflect on the transformative power of immigration. But, I'm neither thinking in general terms of the nation's experience with successive waves of newcomers, nor referencing recent events in Arizona.

Rather, I'm thinking about all the wonderful cultural benefits about to accrue in downtown New Albany as we approach the opening of the new La Rosita's location on Pearl Street, because this phenomenon is going to be about far more than great food and drink. When the owners make good on their dreams for the location, we'll be seeing an expanded Latin-American presence downtown. That's going to be positive, and it's going to shake some foundations.

I can hardly wait.

The back doors of La Rosita's and Bank Street Brewhouse will be less than a football field apart. It's going to be festive. Better yet, it's going to be educational.

Here's to Israel and the gang on Cinco de Mayo. Good luck, and many happy returns. We're damned fortunate to have you here in New Albany.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Whatever it is, Price is against it. No matter what it is or who commenced it, he's against it. Maybe he'd vote in favor of my new hat.

More about the ball cap to come.

First, Babe Ruth has nuthin' on me. It's just too easy calling shots when you have such a wealth of perennial degradation from which to pick and choose. As a case in point:

New Albany City Council could soon get monthly breakdown on sewer finances, by Daniel Suddeath.

The New Albany City Council mixed requirements from an old ordinance with new stipulations for financial oversight of the sewer utility before passing the measure 8-1 on two readings Monday.
That's right. As predicted yesterday, 3rd district councilman Steve Price voted last night against precisely the sort of safeguards he formerly serially demanded, because ...

... as (Price) explained he has no confidence that any council-ordered guidance of wastewater funds will be adhered to by the administration.
It would appear that Price and rationality have permanently parted company. Meanwhile, Dan "Copperhead" Coffey grimaced while pulling his yes lever, but provided the contents of yet another council bingo card slot:

“Our sewer board wasn’t given the information [about sewer revenue], the council wasn’t given the information,” he said.
How could we forget the critical information, which has been denied Coffey (and now the sewer board) continually since his very first day in office? But, the Wizard of Westside's oft-repeated utterance joins other enduring chestnuts like his own "I don't have a problem with that" (followed by an explanation of why he has a problem with that), and Price's "we shouldn't put all the eggs in one basket" as prime bingo card fodder. How's that project coming, anyway?

So, in the end, Mark "I Am Hoosier" ignored the begging of his cousin Daniel and gifted me with the finerprint smeared evidence that he drank Budweiser last week in St. Looey. When asked the one word to describe my feelings at owning such a prestigious item, all I could think of was: