Friday, October 29, 2010

Our children is learning alright. It's what Bennett is teaching that's the problem.

As NAC and Morton Marcus pointed out earlier in the week, much of the state level "reform" being foisted on Hoosiers by officials in Indianapolis is nothing more than a centralized power grab by those who implausibly claim to support reduced government intrusion.

That's certainly true in the realm of education. As the Tribune reports, Indiana Public School Superintendent Tony Bennett is traveling the state stumping for Republican candidates in order to gain control of the Indiana House hoping that same-party representatives will just roll when he and Saint Daniels make their pitch, the details of which they refuse to reveal until after the elections.

When Bennett was superintendent of Greater Clark Schools and not busy campaigning for higher office, he negotiated a contract for himself at over $130K per year, championed a $99 million building project, and assured parents that each part of the project would go on even in the face of cost overruns. All the while, the school system for which he was responsible failed to make adequate yearly progress according to standardized tests.

Since the source of his paycheck has changed, Bennett now says that public school employees have too much negotiating power, we spend too much on school buildings, and that administrative salaries should be tied to yearly progress benchmarks.

If Bennett is the type of hypocritical nitwit you want making decisions for schools in New Albany and statewide, then send Ed Clere back to the state house so he can help them get it done.

New precedent: "Ron Grooms - Dick Cheney. What do they have in common?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today's Tribune column: "Mourning in America, circa 1984."

Just think of the progress we've made. This year, I can drink Elector.

BAYLOR: Mourning in America, circa 1984

... It was one of those years — strike that; it was one of those decades. Whenever I was in my cups, that comfortably numb region conducive for enduring brain-dead patriotic platitudes and acute disgust with condescending Falwellian theocrats, and while toiling multiple jobs to accumulate enough money to travel somewhere in the world more civilized, I’d grimace, stare balefully at the date, and rationalize: Just four more years.

Shane Gibson on "negative mailers."

The following has been posted at the Shane Gibson for State Representative page at Facebook.

I just saw negative mailers relating to a sex offender vote by Ed Clere. I don’t know the legislative history behind it but these are the type of material I do not like. I don’t like the tone, language or appearance of them. They offer no constructive information to the voter. After seeing these mailers, I requested that those individuals interested in sending this type message refrain from such activity.

I'd characterize these IDSCC slimings as offensive. What about you?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Rep. Ed Clere, gay marriage and various rights to life.

More than once during the past two years, it has been suggested by State Representative Ed Clere's (R-72) supporters that I might gauge the veracity of his political self-description (as a non-ideological public servant for all his constituents, not merely the ruling party) at least in part by his ongoing, principled refusal to sign a pledge of support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

I am perfectly willing to do so, with a necessary caveat.

As next week’s election draws near, much has been written and gossiped about Rep. Clere’s and the author’s seeming inability to “agree to disagree” on political matters. Much of what has been said is incorrect or conveniently omits facts, but that’s the way it sometimes goes in a small town. It also is both sad and fully emblematic of the willfully spiteful times in which we’re living.

Recognizing this, I have edited and re-edited this essay so as to phrase it in as non-confrontational a way as possible, given my predilection for polemics, and while at the same time not ducking issues that are very important to me – whether I’m a constituent, taxpayer, citizen, voter or any other label one cares to affix.

I’ve asked myself this question: If I had no prior personal experience with Rep. Clere, no back story, and no history … if I did not know him at all, except as a name in the newspaper … would I still write this essay the same way? The answer being “yes,” it is then safe to proceed.

Accordingly, whither Rep. Clere’s refusal to sign a pledge of support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?

Given the famously virulent theocratic fascism practiced by numerous of his House GOP contemporaries, Rep. Clere’s stance surely has made political life slightly difficult (in his relations with them), and his refusal is commendable (for his constituents) insofar as the considerable surface demerits of a demeaning and divisive pledge are concerned.

Good for him, but only as far as it goes, and there’s the rub, because it needs to go further.

Pending clarification and elaboration, mere refusal to sign the pledge doesn’t necessarily indicate support for the notion of marriage irrespective of sexual orientation as a human right, which I, and many others, support. After reading Rep. Clere’s explanation of his pledge position, as recently proffered in the Courier-Journal’s campaign capsule, it seems legitimate to examine this under-reported aspect of the campaign a bit more closely.

If one is to judge solely by Rep. Clere’s comments about the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment as presented in this article, his position appears to consciously sidestep the concise issue of record: Gay marriage as a pillar of fundamental civil rights in a modern, enlightened civil society.

Instead, Rep. Clere seems unwilling to address the larger issues of fundamental civil rights that preface the very subject of gay marriage. He offers a stolid, utilitarian explanation for his refusal to sign the pledge: There must be legislative prioritization, and the truly important matters up for discussion rightly usurp those secondary topics that might “distract” legislators.

Speaking only for myself, I must emphatically disagree. Human rights never should be considered secondary. Not now, not ever.

I find it difficult to abide such triage when it comes to basic rights and freedoms. I find it hard to accept that the civil rights and human dignity of real, living, breathing people must be postponed indefinitely while we confuse property tax rates with freedom. I’m willing to concede that there are arguments to be made for and against gay marriage rights, but I cannot endorse deferring the discussion. Not now, not ever.

What’s more, amid the prevailing claim that legislative imperatives about the economy trump social concerns, the rights of which I speak surely are something that money cannot buy – not now, not ever.

I believe that without constant vigilance in regard to civil rights and personal freedoms, the whole historic American experiment is reduced to a form of base capitalist greed supposedly blessed by one or the other unverifiable God.

And so, shall we patiently wait just a bit longer for human rights to be magnanimously bestowed by one’s undistracted betters?

I’m sorry, but no. A cursory review of American history reveals just how scandalously long these cynical waiting periods can last, and the lengths to which injustice can endure, when the struggle is deemed insufficiently “focused” by the leadership class, and when it doesn’t suit the fashion tastes and comfort levels of a privileged society, precisely the one not afflicted on a constant, grinding, daily basis by dehumanizing discrimination.

Mythology aside, this is America’s most shameful legacy, and indeed, when it comes to distraction, institutionalized discrimination often has been, and remains, buttressed by the sort of intolerant Christian religion widely practiced in the Hoosier state, which is why the rigorous separation of church doctrine from the secular state is the single best solution to the problem.

And yet, unfortunately, I digress. All apologies.

In fairness, Indiana Republicans keen to avoid considerations of civil rights and personal freedoms in this context have a sizeable legion of allies across the aisle in the form of Indiana Democrats, who generally aren't Democrats, and who are fond of introducing themselves with the self-emasculating disclaimer, “But I’m conservative, too.” Indiana Democrats have not distinguished themselves to any appreciable extent on this issue.

To be honest, the Dems have been cowering knaves, too, and such is the faux, damning “bounty” of alikeness that we reap by having a grand total of two major parties to comprise a dysfunctional political system – and no real choice at all offered by either.

Straight up: It is not my aim to unduly attack or smear Rep. Clere, because as I’m endeavoring to make clear, the looming specter of a discriminatory gay marriage amendment clearly discredits both parties, and exposes persistent educational inadequacies and pitiful superstition among the general populace.

I will observe, however, that Rep. Clere, who seeks always to present himself as a technocrat and non-partisan policy wonk, is openly willing to take a clearer stand on another controversial social issue, one frequently and lamentably purloined by the type of wild-eyed ideologues that he surely is not: Witness his recent “Right to Life” snail mailing.

In the mailer, perhaps the first such political missive financed by Rep. Clere’s campaign itself, as opposed to the steady stream of mercenary slimings from monied interests elsewhere (and, regrettably, coming from both “sides), we learn that he intends to speak for the unborn, and accordingly, has been endorsed by Indiana Right to Life.

It would seem, then, that gay marriage rights are subservient to the economy, but a public commitment to what plainly is an anti-abortion stance is not subservient to the economy.

As such, it is my sincere hope that somewhere down the line, after various legislative prioritizing is finished (if ever), Rep. Clere forthrightly and succinctly states his position on the legal right of women to have an abortion. Rep. Clere is sworn to uphold the law, and I have absolutely no qualms that he will, except that upholding an existing law is hardly the same thing as refraining from support for efforts to change it.

When, as in the case of Rep. Clere’s rationale for not signing the gay marriage pledge, he displays a preference for touting seeming compromise, but to the convenient exclusion of the crux of the issue at hand, then I’m compelled to ask aloud those questions that might have otherwise remained silent.

I’ll reiterate: Civil rights and personal freedoms do not have the slightest thing to do with money, taxes, the state of the economy, what’s showing at the multiplex, or one’s personal religious beliefs.

Human rights and individual dignities are not negotiable conditions to be expediently deferred until we’re all wealthier, happier, saved, or recovered from our raging prejudicial demons thanks to pyschotherapy.

Rather, civil rights and personal freedoms must be established and maintained before all the rest, simply because they preface all the rest.

It's possible that Rep. Clere might actually agree with me on this point. If so, it is my earnest hope that he supports a woman’s right to choose, and permits his view on gay marriage to evolve from the safety of the breach he currently occupies to a place more pro-active in nature. I fully support trashing the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, and I am for enacting the right of gays to marry, secularly, without the interference of organized religion ... and politics.

Here’s the link to Weidenbener’s C-J piece, and the relevant passage.

... If Republicans win the House, lawmakers likely will face another vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. When the GOP controlled the House and Senate in 2005, the proposal passed.

But a constitutional amendment must pass two separately elected legislatures to be put on the ballot for ratification. When Democrats took control of the House, Speaker Pat Bauer of South Bend said it was unnecessary because Indiana already had a law banning same-sex marriage and the issue never came to a vote of the full chamber.

The issue is not part of the House Republican agenda, but caucus leader Brian Bosma of Indianapolis said he wouldn't block a marriage amendment proposal if it was introduced.

Unlike many Republicans, Clere has not signed a pledge promising to vote for the constitutional amendment.

“I believe in marriage. I support marriage. I am married,” Clere said. “But we have a lot on our agenda and I think we have to make sure we keep the focus on protecting Hoosier families first and foremost by passing a responsible balanced budget and a lot of the other items on the caucus agenda.”

The marriage amendment could distract from that work, he said.


Earlier this morning, NA Confidential nudged past the half-million mark on the site meter. That's unique daily hits since 2004. We’ve recently witnessed all-time records in terms of daily hit and page view numbers.

It ain't Huffington, but it ain't chopped liver, either.

Thanks to NA Confidential readers for regularly visiting our humble establishment.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More bad news for the Tolling UnAuthority as Sellersburg council passes no-tolls resolution.

I'm told that Sellersburg's town council passed a no-tolls (on existing bridges) resolution during last night's meeting. One member, who was in favor, was absent owing to vacation, so the tally was 4-0.

This represents laudable bi-partisan agreement, with two Democrats and two Republicans seeing eye to eye, for once.

Given that Sellersburg is the residence of bridges project éminence grise Kerry Stemler, it may be a good time for the town to dynamite its polders, circle all available wagons and batten down the hatches, because you'll recall how pissed he was when Utica yawned in defiance of his unelected rule over local norms of subservience: Kerry Stemler to Utica town council: “You’re fired.”

Dalby's seemingly unbreakable credulity record shattered by former school board member.

That politically ambitious woman (c’mon, already, a Sarah Palin costume for Halloween?) who wanted to close neighborhood schools to suit the mandates of Resources for Results and St. Daniels, but at the last minute voted against it after the outcome was a foregone conclusion, so that now she can pretend otherwise, wants you to know that although she was in favor of closings, and heroically voted against closings, none of this limp Machiavellian posturing has anything to do with the state legislator who was entirely invisible at the time.

Wow, thanks. I feel, err, all better now. I’m sure the nausea will abate in time.

(Scroll to the bottom, past the love letter to St. Daniels, and beyond the raging about the Indiana state seal raging from the mad as hell guy who, I believe, has an illegal tea party sign on the verge, to the bottom for the exact letter in question. Shouldn't we be warned when it's nutzoid letter day in the Tribune?)

Indiana SMCC savages Chuck.

The IDSCC ravages Ron.

Clere flier equates "jobs plan for Southern Indiana" with 1Si endorsement.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nobody said implosion would be pretty.

After spending years fighting nearly everything residents of our older downtown neighborhoods have tried to do to improve their surroundings (read as: slumlord eradication), Pat "Gestapo" Harrison is now majorly peeved that she wasn't selected as as a designated Realtor specialist for the Midtown Neighborhood Stabilization Project.

That's not only poetic, it's just plain funny.

Sadly, the Onion says it all.

Thanks to the Twitter crew for the link ... while it may be true that any district in any other state of the union would be as apt, this article captures the very essence of what passes for campaigning, hereabouts. Breathtaking. Really.

Yard Sign With Candidate's Name On It Electrifies Congressional Race

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marcus: "If you believe in making local decisions locally, then vote against the tax caps."

As he's done elsewhere, former director of IU’s Business Research Center and current columnist Morton Marcus uses a letter to the editor of the Evening News to explain that the property tax caps are just a shift of the tax burden from business to individual households and, perhaps more importantly, represent a massive shift of authority from the local to state level.

That so much of the centralized power grab is being led by a Republican governor under the continuing ruse of lessened government is the cruelest of jokes, but one that will only increase in scope if Saint Daniels gets the legislative majority his corporate cronies are desperately trying to finance.

MARCUS: Vote no on property tax caps

On Nov. 2, Hoosiers will vote on making property tax caps a part of our state constitution. The governor and most state-level politicians support the caps.

I will vote “no.”

First, the state legislature understood that property tax caps would reduce local government revenues. Some think this will force localities to become more efficient. Instead we are more likely to face deteriorating public services.

To meet the potential catastrophe, localities have been given toxic remedies. The local option income tax has been forced upon our communities by the General Assembly. This tax is levied on households only. The state did not give localities the power to tax local corporations. Therefore, a reduction in property taxes is enjoyed by all property owners, but paid for exclusively by households.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Courtesy of the leadership cadre of the 1117 E. Spring St. Neighborhood Association.

Peeking in at this morning's Lewis & Clark film shoot in Clarksville.

Thanks to the kindness of Jennifer Wilcox, Mr. and Mrs. Confidential were invited to join Falls of the Ohio interpretive center staff this morning for a "behind the scenes" look at a Lewis & Clark themed film shoot at the Clark Cabin in Clarksville. According to Jennifer, "footage will become the basis for the Corps of Discovery component of the new exhibit project."

It was a fine morning, indeed, and we biked both directions via the levee trail. The last of the photos shows a participant snacking on an Egg McMuffin and Ale-8-One. I'm not trying to embarrass him; it just looked humorously incongruous. We're much obliged to Jennifer for the invitation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

TONIGHT: Benefit at the Grand tonight; help keep local autism clinic open.

This is far too complex a topic for me to glibly summarize here, so I will not try. Please follow the link and consider attending the function, and/or donating.

Benefit to help keep local autism clinic open; Dance, silent auction to be Oct. 22 at The Grand, by Leah Tate (Tribune)

There will be a “Scare Away Autism” benefit dance and silent auction at The Grand on Market Street in New Albany from 8 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 22. Tickets are $20 per person. There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Music will be provided by Lindsey Lane & Axis. The fundraiser is to raise money to help establish a local permanent office for Dr. Schneider.

Come and get 'em: Nash announces his first endorsements.

Matt's been reading the Green/Fischer news out of Louisville: "No jobs or influence were offered to me for the endorsements that I have made."

Read them here: NASH: Announcing my first endorsements

Steve Price nowhere in sight as work begins to improve the neighborhoood he willfully neglects.

But Price was seen later in the day, hard at work leasing furniture to his grateful rental property tenants. Meanwhile, the sort of genuine accomplishment that has eluded Price's "negatory" legislative tenure was being celebrated at Ritter Park.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: Rehabilitation work begins in New Albany's Midtown neighborhood, by the Tribune's Daniel Suddeath.

Mayor Doug England said the Midtown neighborhood and especially the SEJ area have been hit hard by foreclosures propelled by the recession.

Revitalizing the neighborhood and getting more homeowners there is critical to the success of New Albany, he said.

“This is the closest neighborhood to our downtown — the heart of our city,” England said.

He added that no matter how people felt about federal stimulus spending, the SEJ grant is a “fine example” of how the money can be used to boost New Albany’s economy by improving housing and creating jobs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ships come in as C-note bonanza continues unabated.

Hey you -- that's right, asphalt dude! Watch that sidewalk curb, will ya? Those things cost money, you know.

More than 30 New Albany streets to be repaved in $1.3 million project, by Harold J. Adams (C-J)

Motorists will get a smoother ride on a 6-block stretch of Bank Street between the floodwall and Culbertson Avenue in New Albany that was repaved Wednesday.

Today's Tribune column: "His nose knows tolls and polls.”

Meanwhile, there'll by no Tiger tanks for the Ohio River Bridges Project. Evidently Commandante Stemler had intended to use them to cower us, setting up a possibly wonderful photo op: As in Prague, circa '68, I'd already plucked flowers to stuff in their barrels ... or up their ... well, you know what I mean.

BAYLOR: His nose knows tolls and polls

... I say this because Dalby’s miraculous election eve conversion to tender, merciful concern for the pocketbooks of Southern Indiana plebeians doesn’t just strain one’s credulity.

It splits, breaks, smashes, mangles, incinerates, lacerates and spits in the very eye of credulity. Let’s avoid that other nasty “L” word, and say merely that liberties with the truth are being taken. As such, kindly permit me to provide the sort of forensic evidence generally lacking when 1si’s dampened palm comes at you, outstretched.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chairman Matthews muchly mum: GOP prevent defense?

Perhaps the surest measure of confidence on the part of local Republicans as they go into the November 2 election is that they’ve somehow managed to keep their party chairman, Dave Matthews, and his predictably embarrassing tirades out of the letters column of the newspaper.

But there is still time on the clock ...

Kerry Stemler to Utica town council: “You’re fired.”

The Utica Town Council’s recent anti-tolling resolution has proven to be the last straw for Kerry Stemler, the dyspeptic business mogul anointed by First Secretary Mitch Daniels as Permanent Political Commissar to the Selfless Plenum of the Bi-State Bridges Authority.

“Enough’s enough,” said Stemler during an impromptu press conference held at the hospitality suite of his River Ridge bunker.

“It sends absolutely the wrong message to the Selfless Plenum, which already must work tirelessly to implement a grandiose boondoggle against the wishes of the general populace. And what about me? Stonewalling alone takes hours away each day, with barely enough tme for an expense account meal!

“I’m firing the Utica town council. Not a one of them will ever work in this town again.”

Fondling a rare Prussian cavalry saber, the leather-clad Stemler continued, “Granted, I can easily maintain ideological purity with this putrid rubber stamp of an unelected Authority, but I simply cannot tolerate any hints of anti-Danielsist counter-revolution amongst merely elected officials.”

“Don’t they know who I am?”

Stemler then revealed his detailed plan to privatize the town of Utica, plow its fields with salt, and auction all remaining inhabitants to One Southern Indiana member realtors for use in filling unoccupied rental units elsewhere in the region.

“Spain’s going to want a piece of this,” said Stemler, “and if they don’t jump on it, I have connections in Macao.”

Stemler's Utica-B-Gone plan specifies that inmates of Indiana’s penal system be used to hand erase the name “Utica” from all Indiana state highway maps, one at a time, as well as all references to Utica in books from prison libraries.

“We’ll outsource the erasures for the public libraries,” said Stemler. “It’ll put lazy people to work, and after all, low-paying jobs are Job One for those of us doctoring the timesheets.

“For now, we’ll call the liberated area East End Bridge Ramp #1, but after the bridges project is complete, roughly from 2057 on, the town formerly known as Utica will be renamed for whichever dead Republican donor who we also name the bridge after.”

He smiled.

“Stemler City … it’s just easier that way, don't you think?”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fat Lip: "And the Texan just wasn’t going to have any of this journalism nonsense."

At LEO's Fat Lip blog, Jonathan Meador considers the Jeffersonville city council's no-tolls resolution, and recounts a surreal interview with 1Si's master of ceremonies, Michael Dalby. Is it just me, or are cracks in the pro-bridges contingent's demeanor becoming ever more obvious?

One Southern Indiana?, by jmeador on utter bullshit.

At any rate, here’s part of a transcript of a phone conversation I had with Dalby, which was painful but interesting in the sense that it shows
the kind of temperament these pro-bridges folks bring to the table.

He dribbles, pumps, fakes ... and ... and ...

I've received a campaign message from Ron Grooms, via Facebook.

Ron Grooms (October 19, 2010 at 12:05pm) ... Subject: Final Days to Victory

My high school basketball coach used to say, stay focused, stay ready and follow through on each shot.
I snipped the remainder, which was about phone banks, yard signs and such. What I'm wondering is this: What kind of roundball offense is denoted by serial abstentions on key issues?

Is it Dean Smith's keep-away Four Corner?

It may have been a while since the candidate played, so might someone tell him that in basketball, logically speaking, the "follow through" must be preceded by actually launching a shot.

Ron Grooms: Profiles in abstentia.

Jeffersonville city councilman Ron Grooms, candidate for the Indiana Senate, was given a chance to shine last night, so let's take a look at candidate/council member Grooms, presumably in mid-season legislative form.

On a no-tolls resolution revised to specify "no tolls on existing bridges," as opposed to tolls on freshly built bridges:

Grooms ABSTAINS, and the resolution passes 5-1.

On a motion requesting that the council attorney convey to One Southern Indiana the body's concern with 1Si's political endorsements, and request clarification in light of the council's annual 30K level of support for 1Si:

Grooms ... ABSTAINS, and the motion passes 6-0.

Perhaps Grooms believes it to be a conflict of interest to annoy the political action committee that endorsed him.

Read all about it here: No action taken on Jeffersonville recycling resolution, by David Mann (News & Tribune).

By the way, in my unofficial capacity as part-time human, and on behalf of no known entities other than li'l ol' me, I'm voting for Chuck Freiberger. Someone bring me ale, and let the games continue!

Happy 6th Birthday, Destinations Booksellers.

From Andy at Destinations Booksellers.

Destinations Booksellers is celebrating its 6th birthday this week. While Randy may write on this at some point, I wanted to offer a couple of thoughts here on the newsletter. The importance of independent bookstores in a community cannot be overstated, a place where you're known by name when you walk in, staff who start to know your reading habits and know what books you'll like and which ones you'll dislike. A store that, through books, pushes ideas and thinking to different levels.

Before I started working at Destinations, I was a regular customer. It meant something to me that I could walk in and Randy would have a book that he knew I would like. Iam so pleased to be able to do the same things with our customers today. I also enjoyed that anytime I came in to the store, there was a good chance that a few other people were here, talking about community events. We NEED places like that and I hope that you agree with me.

Let's keep supporting all local, independent businesses. Let's realize the role they play in our community and let's fight to make sure they stay around a long time!

Happy Reading!


50% off sale this week! As a thank you for your support over the years, we're celebrating our birthday in style with a 50% off sale on all in-stock merchandise, not including consignments, orders or books on hold, and our selection of family games (which will be priced at 25% off!) Thank you for being such loyal patrons and for supporting your independent bookstore.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Candidates Kraft, Schellenberger against tolls; Sellersburg Town Council may follow suit.

Add two candidates to the no-tolls contingent, and the strong possibility of another local governing body.

Sellersburg: A source tells NAC that barring unforeseen circumstances, the Sellersburg town council soon will vote on a resolution expressing opposition to tolls on current bridges to pay for building the overall Ohio River Bridges Project, and advocacy of a more gradual approach, i.e., building the east end bridge first. The council’s regularly scheduled October 25 meeting appears to be the target date, and bi-partisan agreement will be sought.

Schellenberger: In a comment yesterday, reader Karen wrote: "For the record, I received a visit from John Schellenberger, current 4th district County Council running for re-election. Had a conversation about tolls with him, and he stated he's against them as well and thinks we only need 1 bridge. He did say he won't have say over that, but I told him we need people in government who will work to influence the unelected Bi-State Bridges Authority. He also was under the impression that 1Si is against tolls, and I corrected him on that front. I did mention that in the Freiberger vs Grooms race, Freiberger is unequivocally against tolls while Grooms 1) wants to 'wait and see' and 2) thinks tourists and truckers will pay them without regard to how much we will be hit with them. It was a good conversation."

Kraft: Paul Kraft (D), candidate for Floyd County Commissioner, had this to say in a message to NAC: "My personal position is no tolls. I do believe the people’s voice matters. I would also like to see ‘outside the box’ thinking with more options in this bridge project such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and a light rail system. There needs to be a combination of alternative options and service for public transportation in conjunction with this project."

Tonight, Ron Grooms has yet another chance to cease his tolls fence sitting.

You can bet your sweet bippy that later this afternoon, Grooms's in-box will be filled with fevered texts from his One Southern Indiana public policy admirers, reminding him of those wonderful endor$ements as the gifts that keep giving. Why, Ed Glasscock himself might make the (currently) toll-free river crossing just to give our G.O.P. State Senate candidate a good firming up. Here's the scoop, via Say NO to Bridge Tolls.
Subject: Jeffersonville voting again tonight on No Tolls resolution

Council Member Keith Fetz will again be again introducing tonight a NO TOLLS resolution before the Jeffersonville City Council. Tonight's public meeting will be held at 6:30 PM in Room 101 of City Hall, at 500 Quartermaster Court, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Thanks to the lobbying efforts of several members of Say NO to Bridge Tolls and the Indiana Tea Party Patriots, this resolution is expected to pass.

Paul Fetter, the sales manager of Clark County Auto Auction, has led the lobbying efforts in Jeffersonville, as well as being responsible for a great deal of the over 5,000 signatures already on the Say NO to Bridge Tolls petition.

Similar resolutions have already been passed by New Albany's City Council, the Louisville Metro Council, the Clark County Council, and just last week, the Utica Town Council.

Say NO to Bridge Tolls is a broad based community group representing tens of thousands of people across Indiana and Kentucky that are opposed to any tolls being placed on existing or new bridges, and or the Spaghetti Junction, to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Link to Jeffersonville City Council Calendar

Link to our YouTube Channel

Follow us on Twitter

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Found it: Rep. Clere's "Right to Life" mailing.

Note: After thinking about it, I remembered that the shredded mailing was the card given me by a pub customer. The one we received at the house remained intact in the recycle pile.

Gibson's tolling needle bores into Rep. Clere's side like the picador's lance at a bullfight.

The Tribune's Daniel Suddeath correctly notes that mud is flying from all quarters as the campaign nears its end. The Clere camp will note with pleasure that I concede the flying mud, and I don't much like it, from whatever the source.

Having said that, and with two Thursday columns of my own remaining for further entertainment and embellishment, Rep. Clere's haughty and imperious dismissal of public concerns over tolling, coming almost two months after first being asked, and dribbling into the record only after his candidacy was endorsed by the economic interest group aligned with the local power elites that stand to gain most from the largesse of a $4 billion, anti-futurist boondoggle, is plenty enough for me to be sickened without further prompting.

Tolls are my hot button issue, and the Clere camp -- as always, reading from the holy scriptures of St. Daniels -- hit it with a sledgehammer.

Speaking of lies, try this quote (below) on for size: “The fact is, no one has proposed tolls.”

If Rep. Clere is curious about the origins of local tolling apprehension, he might try attending meetings of the unelected Bridges Unauthority, where the taxpaying rabble whom he freely targets with populist property tax propaganda no longer has a voice. Could tolling as a topic have arisen, er, because the Unauthority has proposed tolls? Aloud? On the record? And discussed collection methods for tolls? Aloud? On the record? And suppressed dissent? Aloud? On the record?

(As the haze of disingenuous diversionary tactics fills the room, permit me to note my pride that this blog helped raise the issue of bridge tolls, and kept it on the front burner while elected officials like Rep. Clere ducked and covered. In such cases, onlookers are advised to pay less attention to what is said in response, and more to the twitching of veins that accompanies it.)

One more thing.

Although I cannot scan and republish it here because I was sufficiently annoyed to rip it to shreds, the sign of future ideological directives from Rep. Clere, who insists against all prevailing evidence that he is not an ideologue, arrived in the snail mail the other day. It was a "Clere = Right to Life" missive, making a purely ideological connection that I guarantee -- guarantee -- will come back to haunt us in future terms. Mark your calendars; you heard it here first.

In all this disingenuousness, it's as the fair and balanced Clere Channel pleases, and so I say: Shane Gibson for State Representative.

This isn't NAC's endorsement. It's my public avowal. Have a wonderful Sunday, and if you're a Republican, kindly stay the hell off my porch, and away from my body. At times like this, I must remind myself that principled opposition to the GOP ethos is both an honor and a duty; bring it on, falangists. I'm not going away.
No matter who started it, Nov. 2 will finish it

... One that particularly caught Clere’s attention shows Gibson in a serene picture with his family next to a dark photograph of a highway smothered with traffic gridlock.

“Shane Gibson wants more family time” reads the caption beneath the Democrat’s photo.

“Ed Clere wants traffic jams and toll roads” are the words below the picture of vehicles backed-up on an interstate as far as the eye can see. The mailer is attempting to paint Clere — who is seeking his second term at the Statehouse — as a supporter of a $3 toll to foot the Ohio River Bridges Project.

“It’s a lie,” Clere said Friday. “I don’t support $3 tolls, I’ve never said anything that could be construed that way.”

The Indiana and Kentucky Bridges Authority has yet to submit an official funding recommendation for the project, so making statements about tolls is premature at this point, he added.

Clere said he refuses to use the issue as a means to score political points.

“There are a lot of local politicians who have come out against tolls who have no role in that process,” Clere said. “The fact is, no one has proposed tolls.”

But Gibson — who has touted himself as an anti-tolling candidate — said the criticism of Clere is based on his lack of comment on the issue. The state should be looking at whether a non-elected board such as the Bi-state bridges authority should even be making a recommendation, not simply waiting on it to reach a conclusion, Gibson said.

“He’s been asked for months his position on tolls,” Gibson said. “It’s an issue that’s obviously become one of the top discussed issues if nothing else in our community.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

NABC in bottles: Coming fairly soon.

In the beginning of Bank Street ops, it was our aim to package NABC beers in cans, but to be perfectly honest, we could not afford the required investment. Some day, I trust that canning will occur; until then, we've acquired a small bottling machine and soon will begin packaging in 22-oz bottles ("bombers" in the argot).

The Elector label has been submitted for Federal approval, and graphics wizard Tony Beard is starting on the next label designs for the higher gravity beers in our line: Hoptimus, Thunderfoot, Elsa, Tunnel Vision and more.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lunch & Learn at the Carnegie Center, 10/19/10: "Why Stormwater Matters & What Can We Do."

From the Carnegie Center for Art & History.


Join us Tues. October 19, from 12-1 pm for our next Lunch & Learn program, "Why Stormwater Matters & What Can We Do" with Joshua Poe, The Center for Environmental Policy and Management.

Joshua Poe, from the Center for Environmental Policy and Management, will discuss the effects of stormwater and what we each can do to help calm the floods. He will also share alternative strategies for stormwater management and discuss how sustainable stormwater management could be used as a redevelopment effort through beautification, traffic calming, creating greenspace, encouraging walkability and cycling, and fostering economic development.

This event is free but registration is required. You may call 812-944-7336 to register or click HERE to email your registration to Public Relations Associate Delesha Thomas (please include your name, telephone number, and the names of any additional people you are registering). You are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch; drinks are provided. Sponsored by the Carnegie Center, Inc.

Thank you and we hope to see you Tuesday!

Fetz to poll on tolls at Jeff council this Monday.

Submitted by Say NO to Bridge Tolls, via Facebook.


Next Monday (October 18), Jeffersonville City Council Meeting: 6:30 pm!

Councilman Keith Fetz is going to introduce another NO TOLLS resolution and needs your support in the audience to get this one through! RSVP on Facebook, post the event on your wall, and share with your friends!

Also, if you live in Jeff, please get with your council person before Monday and let them know where you stand on tolling existing bridges!

Midtown Neighborhood Association's clean-up day is Sat., Oct. 16.

Nash exercises his freedom of the press.

C'mon, Matt. Give NAC some love and name-drop! My own thought at the "get the hell out of the way" admonition is that it implies the existence of only one way. One Southern Indiana has its, er, way; shall we describe it benignly as the way that amply rewards traditional economic elites?

But it is not the way calculated to work best in (for instance) a revitalizing downtown business district. Matt's critic doesn't seem to grasp that part.

NASH: Everybody should have an opinion

... Someone on a local blog stated that all of the criticism of 1si was coming from Democrats after the local “Chamber of Commerce” endorsed Republicans in the upcoming election. While shooting down and never answering my specific question he stated “if your not helping, get the hell out of the way.”

Downtown merchant seeks coalition of the willing. Apply within.

As I write, there is a merchant mixer meeting at Preston’s, intended to discuss Harvest Homecoming. All week, I kept saying I’d go, but as the time drew near to pedal downtown, I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it.

The chat will be polite, bullet points will be constructive – and nothing lasting will come of it.

I simply don’t have time for that any more. It seems that in this age, Americans will scream with furious passion about issues far away from them, but when it comes to taking action and organizing at the grassroots, right here in New Albany, they’ll eternally refrain from principle out of the mistaken notion that standing for something genuinely meaningful might offend someone.

This isn’t about personalities. It’s about ideas and principles. We need to quit fretting over the individual's meek acceptance of traditional strategies that do not work, and begin examining classes of ideas that help us all.

As one doing business downtown, I continue to believe that merchants must be unified and seek to sell the notion of downtown as well as their own operations. I believe they must parlay unity into strength, and strength into lobbying for what can help downtown grow and prosper. A vigorous buy local movement might well offend Wal-Mart; nothing whatever is wrong with that. It might keep a few consumer dollars away from Amazon. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. More of money spent locally stays here, locally. It's a fact.

So: Why the hell does nothing seem to happen?

I can wait no longer for Develop New Albany, the Main Street organization, to take the lead. Action isn’t going to come from that direction, and that’s regrettable, as I was a part of it for so long, but so be it. What good are 3,000 e-mail addresses if they’re so seldom used? That weight needs to be brought to bear on things that matter, not just notifications of networking functions.

Polite chat over tea and crumpets likewise is unlikely to lead to concrete results. I actually respect the motives behind such gatherings, but when action is merited, more elbow grease is needed. Worst yet is the Caesar Syndrome, whereby we are urged to look to One Southern Indiana as the savior. It took 1Si itself to put paid to this errant thought through its candidate endorsements. Can anyone still objectively read 1Si’s policy goals, and observe within them anything that pertains to improving the lot of downtown New Albany businesses?

There’s no reason why a movement cannot coalesce around a coalition of the willing, however small in the beginning. We need just a few businesses, perhaps a dozen, to get this started. Work is being done already. We must market what each of us as businesses does best, how a grouping of quality in a compact downtown offers quality and variety to consumers, and that we are proud and capable not just as stand-alone businesses, but as consortium of downtown New Albany entities.

Downtown business old-think is poison. It is obsolete, so let’s begin new-think. Let me know if you’re interested in the preliminaries. Remember, this is guerrilla marketing undertaken by a coalition of the willing, those of us who seek to rupture a few discredited paradigms and make a wee bit of revolution in the process. It is not about political labels, but workable strategies to succeed.

Can we please get started? Pretty please?

Oyster interlude.

Ah, to be in Cornwall with bottomless pints of local bitter and platefuls of freshly harvested oysters. A tip of the hat to the Guardian for a moment's reverie.

Sailing into Cornwall's oyster season ... This week's Falmouth Oyster Festival celebrates the start of the season and one of the last remaining fisheries to dredge for the shellfish by sailing boat.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harbeson: "Endorsing candidates does not make sense for an organization that supposedly exists to help local business owners."

But Debbie, those being endorsed think it makes sense, and what about their needs?

HARBESON: Is there power in the PAC?, by Debbie Harbeson (News & Tribune)

... For example, did you know that according to 1si’s website one of the “top investors” in One Southern Indiana is the city of Jeffersonville? How does having a government entity as one of the top investors affect what is being done in a so-called business organization?

In addition, one of the candidates endorsed is Ron Grooms, a current Jeffersonville city councilman who is hoping to get a job as a state senator. This means an endorsed candidate is working for a government that is one of the top investors in the, umm, business organization.

I also noticed that one of the PAC members, Marty Bell, represents Greater Clark County Schools, according to the website. Why would the largest government school system in Clark County be a voting member of a PAC for a private business organization?

Today's Tribune column: "I’m having local, please."

A reworked "Wednesday Weekly" (PC blog only) considers local brewing and what is, and is not, truly local.

BAYLOR: I’m having local, please

It all goes back to seeing that bottle of Holsten Pils on the shelf in Budapest in 1989, and wondering how a capitalist German beer from Hamburg was available in communist Hungary at a price only slightly higher than locally brewed Magyar beers, which were dirt cheap at the time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Clark County Council unanimously passes no tolls resolution.

Another collection of voices reminds us that regardless of what Kerry Stemler's ego whispers to him, we do, in fact, have a choice.

Clark County Council seeking $7.2M in excess levy money, by Braden Lammers (News & Tribune)

The council unanimously approved resolution 2-2010 opposing the use of tolls as a source of funding for the Ohio River Bridges Project. The resolution passed, but is not a binding agreement on whether or not the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority can impose tolls to help fund the project.

“It’s just basically an opinion or a recommendation by this board,” said Scott Lewis, attorney for the county council.

Paul Fetter — a Jeffersonville businessman who spoke on behalf of approving the anti-tolling resolution — said he plans to present the anti-toll resolution to other governmental municipalities in Indiana that are along the Ohio River. He said similar agreements would be brought to Utica, Clarksville and Jeffersonville — the latter previously denied the resolution — that would be affected by the proposed project.

Monday, October 11, 2010

After 52 days of stonewalling, candidate Clere finally answers the question: "I won’t use the issue of tolls to score cheap political points."

That's because "tens of thousands of jobs" are at stake, at least as defined by the guys at 1Si who endorsed him, and we all must make do with less, and without raising taxes, unless of course we have to pay more for a $4 billion boondoggle than we have the resources to finance, and in that case we'd best wait until after the election to find out how taxes/tolls will be increased for the bridge ... how unspeakably, predictably dreary it is.

Note that opponent Shane Gibson's answers to the questions posed by the Tribune are at the same link. Looks like it is Gibson yard sign time.

Grooms opens Doublespeak Pharmacy (DP): “I support the Ohio River Bridges Project as it stands today ... "

... (but) will not encourage a project that puts a hardship on our local citizens.”

Me, too. I'm for capital punishment so long as we don't have to kill anyone.

Chuck Freiberger answers the Tribune's questions while Grooms gazes at the cheat sheets provided by St. Daniels.

Chuck, do you have any yard signs for papa?

Open thread: Whither Harvest Homecoming?

The final tallies are being made, and it was ideal weather for Harvest Homecoming in 2010. We did very well with Fringe Fest, and I thank you all.

But the question that we consider every year after it's over is something like this: "Is Harvest Homecoming good, bad or indifferent?"

How can it change? Should it change? What do you think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"I feel like our bridges have been long paid for and our gas and road taxes are enough."

A future deletion popped up yesterday afternoon at the State Representative Ed Clere site. Fearing the machete, I am reprinting it for you. I wonder if our area's St. Daniels understudy in Indianapolis will mimic Kerry Stemler and savage Ms. Rudy for being uninformed and possessed with a nasty case of non-GOP-transmitted populism?

Or: "Yes, Donna, there really is a Dalby Claus."
Donna Rudy

I am a registered democrat but voted for you because Bill Cocoran was one of the good old boys. We needed a fresh young person. Today I received a card from Shane Gibson saying that you was for the toll on our bridges. I hope you are not. We pay enough and as a disabled person would not be happy with your choice. I feel like our bridges have been long paid for and our gas and road taxes are enough. Please keep in mind all the people in southern Indiana who works in Louisville. Gas is high enough without another expense. Please let us know how you feel about this issue.

Fringe Fest Saturday: Madhouse.

Saturday recaps of Fringe Fest are at the Potable Curmudgeon blog.

Big thanks to all Fringe Fest devotees. Your commitment to a genuinely local phenomenon of music, art, food and especially beer is the rock upon which the craft movement rests. You accept no substitutes. Rock on, and if you have photos of the Fervor and Sativa Gumbo, please pass along copies and I'll post them.

Saturday at Fringe Fest, 2010.

The 23 String Band at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Jed & the Noisemakers at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Third Kind at Fringe Fest, 2010.

The Kime Sisters at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Dave Matthews mauled. Again. Dude's a veritable Wile E. Coyote.

In today's newspaper, which I'm reading on-line because we have not received it for two weeks running, Democratic chairman John Wilcox again deconstructs his GOP counterpart, Dave Matthews, in the letters section.

Local Republicans continue to ignore tolling as an issue. It's good for their endorsement pay packets, but if Saint Mitch doesn't loosen the gags soon, some of them might suffocate.
TRIBUNE LETTERS: Oct. 10, 2010 ... Democratic leader responds to letter

... In another matter of importance to Floyd and Clark counties, Chuck Freiberger has taken a strong public stand against the proposed tolls on our bridges. The tolls — in effect an additional tax — would be an added financial burden on our citizens, hurt Southern Indiana businesses and penalize those who must use the bridges to get to work, to health care appointments or any other reason they may need to cross the river.

Wrong, because the real enemy is Kerry Stemler's totalitarian "mentality."

If you think my use of the world "totalitarian" is too strong, please convince me otherwise, but only after reading the passage below.

Yes, Kerry Stemler has had it with you, plebian.

He'd like for you to remain in your proper place, and while he might have truncated the response and emulated Richard Nixon at the campaign trail urinal in "Where the Buffalo Roam" by saying, "Fuck the public," it would come off any more overbearing than here.

Good work, reporter Lammers. Anyone seen Ed Clere lately?

Heck no, we won’t toll?; Group says separate public meeting is not good enough, by Braden Lammers (News & Tribune)

... To aid in clearing up confusion associated with the project, according to the authority, there will certainly be a chance to ask questions about the project to the board members, but there may be some caveats.

“Obviously, we’ll listen to it ... but we’re not looking how to change this project,” (Kerry) Stemler said. “If somebody gives me a great idea on how to build the project at hand, I’m great with it.”

He said he is most interested in hearing about how the project would affect people individually, but does not necessarily want to hear someone dismiss the idea of tolls without consideration.

“I’ve studied this long enough. Tolling, for this to get built, will be a part of the project,” he said. “My concern is if we don’t build anything where will we be? Tolls aren’t the enemy ... no bridges is the enemy.”

Opposed to tolls to finance the massive bridges boondoggle? Our list has been updated.

The list has again been updated.

Opposed to tolls to finance the massive bridges boondoggle? Let's make a list.

Mayor Doug England, county council candidate Jim Freiberger and State Representative Paul Robertson have been added.

Readers: Please ask candidates and office holders for their position on tolls, and send us the answers for inclusion. Isn't it important for us to know where local politicians stand ... before the election?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Two down, one remaining: Fringe Fest Saturday, today.

Thanks to one and all for your patronage the first two nights of Fringe Fest 2010. It's been a Fringe Fest to remember, and one whole day of it remains to be played out in near perfect weather.

Bank Street Brewhouse & the patio will be open today from 11:00 a.m. for NABC's authentic, locally brewed craft beers and Chef Josh Lehman's special Fringe Fest menu. The draft truck in our Fringe Garden pours from 4:00 p.m., and perhaps earlier depending on demand. Music starts at 5:00 p.m. (see below), and the gals from the Dandy Lion will join other arts and crafts vendors on the front patio this afternoon.

The (rescheduled) Capriole artisanal cheese sampling with NABC pairings will take place some time in early afternoon; stay tuned to my Twitter account for updates. I also know that Moonkist Gardens will join Fringe Fest with flowers and produce at 2:00 p.m., and that some of the 3-D Valley Beef gang will drop by and kick back as the kitchen prepares beef short ribs.

Here is today's musical lineup:

5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
The Kime Sisters

6:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m.
Third Kind

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Jed and The Noisemakers ... New Albany's own roots rock and blues band

8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The 23 String Band

9:50 p.m. - 10:45 p.m.
The Fervor

11:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Sativa Gumbo

Fringe Fest Friday: Good times under the October sun and stars.

Daytime Friday at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Bunny Day & the Mercy Buckets at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Gumbo Family Quartet at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Ben Traughber at Fringe Fest, 2010.

I left before Bloom Street and Zanclopera Trio played, so if you have photos, please send to me and I'll post them.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Nash touches all four: "What a bizarre city council meeting."

Bases loaded with contradictions, and here's the delivery from Dalby.

Nash swings ... CRACK ... it's a looooong fly to left, going, going -- gone! That one landed in the upper deck. My, oh my, did Nash get all of that one ...
NASH: What a bizarre city council meeting

One Southern Indiana left the meeting with $30,000 of New Albany taxpayers money that they can use to support the unpopular Ohio River Bridge Project or any politician that they see fit. Next year these city council members will have to answer for this vote, and I am sure that the result will be anything but bizarre.

Anti-toll group muzzled as 1Si's chosen candidate politics at NA's HH.

I've seldom seen two back-to-back Facebook news feeds that better summarize the situation as the elction approaches.

In the first, a grassroots anti-toll group is silenced by the remorseless machinations of regional economic power elites.

In the second, the recipient of the very same regional economic power elite's political endorsement roasts corn, presumably regarding it as "nice" that people cannot be heard when their complaints are directed against his unelected superiors.



Anti-toll group silenced, bridge tolls likely - Louisville News Kentucky Indiana News Weat


State Representative Ed Clere Kicked off Harvest Homecoming by meeting a lot of people and working in the booth of Boy Scout Troop 36 roasting corn! After enjoying "A Nice" dinner with people at the Save Our Knobs meeting, I had some great chats at the Proudly Pro-Life Banquet. It's wonderful to see so many people out and about and I enjoy hearing what's on people's minds. Thanks for all the supportive comments.

She Might Bite at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Posted by Picasa

Louisville Klezmer Orchestra at Fringe Fest, 2010.

Posted by Picasa

"Metro Council Members vote No on Bridge Authority Appointments."

(Submitted by Say NO to Bridge Tolls; Curtis Morrison, Communications Director)

Say NO to Bridges Tolls is applauding the 6 member of the Louisville Metro Council who voted against the re-appointment of two members to the Bridges Authority and calls on Mayor Abramson and Governor Beshear to recall other members of the Bridge Authority who are not listening to the will of the people.

While the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority had their 9th business meeting of the year Thursday evening, the Louisville Metro Council took up a vote to re-appoint Joseph Reagan and Dr. R. Charles Moyer to the Bridges Authority.

Reagan and Moyer failed to be confirmed unanimously with 6 of the most respected members of the Metro Council voting not to confirm the two. The opposition against Moyer and Reagan was led by Rick Blackwell, D-12th who said ‘he was dismayed that the board is made up of non-elected citizens and does not include metro council members nor representatives of southwest or southern Jefferson County.”

Others who voted against the appointments were: Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9th; Jim King, D-10th; Vicki Welch, D-13th; Hal Heiner, R-19th; and Doug Hawkins, R-25th.

Heiner, the Republican candidate for mayor, said “he voted against the nominations because he wished the appointments could have been made by the new mayor when he takes office in early January.”

Shawn Reilly co-founder of Say NO to Bridge Tolls said “I want to thank these 6 members of the Metro Council for standing up to this un-elected authority and saying that they will not be a rubber stamp for tolls.”

Reilly also said “As a result of the Bridges Authority failing to allow public comments at their meeting, I am call on Mayor Jerry Abramson and Governor Steve Beshear to recall members of the Bridges authority, and appoint member that will listen to the will of the people, and who will not impose tolls on our community.”

Say NO to Bridge Tolls is a broad based community group representing tens of thousands of people across Indiana and Kentucky that are opposed to any tolls being placed on existing or new bridges, and or the Spaghetti Junction, to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Link to Facebook Group Say NO to Bridge Tolls

Link to Louisville Southern Indiana Bridges Authority

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Louisville Klezmer Orchestra opens Fringe Fest tonight.

It's klezmer tonight at Fringe Fest at Bank Street Brewhouse!

**Thursday October 7th**

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Louisville Klezmer Orchestra ... The Louisville Klezmer Orchestra's appearance at Fringe Fest 2010 is sponsored by Potable Curmudgeon, Inc. and the NA Confidential blog

9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
She Might Bite

Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for Fringe Fest updates.

Official 2010 Fringe Fest Schedule here.

Today's Tribune column: "Open Air conditioning mechanisms."

Alongside the remainder of the annual Harvest Homecoming, Fringe Fest at Bank Street Brewhouse opens today at 2:00 p.m. I decided to leave HH and FF out of the weekly column, instead focusing on aftermath of Monday's council meeting, as modified by the experiences of a life spent drinking, and reading about drinking.

BAYLOR: Open Air conditioning mechanisms.

Modern literature in the West has produced numerous examples of the seasoned drinker as heroic protagonist, both compelling and doomed. These fictional creations reflect an existential aspect of the human condition. To be succinct, what is to be said or done when life’s fundamentally surreal futility seems better assayed through the bottom of a lifted glass, one quickly draining?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Official 2010 Fringe Fest Schedule.

NABC and Bank Street Brewhouse are delighted to offer the third annual edition of Fringe Fest, which will run concurrent with Harvest Homecoming's booth days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (October 7th, 8th & 9th). We'll start at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, October 10, Louisville's original Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar will help you come down.

Fringe Fest is art, music, beer and food, in any order you care to place them. Look for local arts and crafts on the front patio, music in the temporary fest grounds (i.e., our parking lot; please bring your camp chairs for musical performances) and beer everywhere, along with Chef Josh Lehman's legendary Fringe Fest menu:

Duck Leg & Beans
Duck Fat Fringe Fries
Vegetarian Green Chile
And a few nightly specials to mix it up a bit.

Note that the ordinary kitchen menu is suspended during Fringe Fest.

Your favorite locally brewed NABC beers will be pouring, and there'll be a few surprises that we'll announce on Facebook and Twitter, so stay tuned throughout Fringe Fest. The weather outlook is promising this year, and we're looking to have a great time amid the throngs that descend on downtown during Harvest Homecoming.

Following are the official 2010 Fringe Fest music listings.

**Thursday October 7th**

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Louisville Klezmer Orchestra ... The Louisville Klezmer Orchestra's appearance at Fringe Fest 2010 is sponsored by Potable Curmudgeon, Inc. and the NA Confidential blog

9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
She Might Bite

**Friday October 8th**

6:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m.
Bunny Day and the Mercy Buckets

7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
The Gumbo Family Quartet

8:25 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
Ben Traughber

9:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Bloom Street

11:15 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Zanclopera Trio ... formerly known as The Outfit

**Saturday October 9th**

5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
The Kime Sisters

6:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m.
Third Kind

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Jed and The Noisemakers ... New Albany's own roots rock and blues band

8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The 23 String Band

9:50 p.m. - 10:45 p.m.
The Fervor

11:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Sativa Gumbo

Mayor England: "I am firmly against using tolls as a method to finance the Bridges Project."

I asked Mayor England the same question as before: ""Can you explain your position on tolls for the Ohio River Bridges Project?" Here is his response.

I am firmly against using tolls as a method to finance the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The use of tolls has become so necessary because all three elements are in the project. This was a ploy by the opponents of East End Bridge to derail it by making it into a financial monster.

I am for building the East End Bridge first, using all available public funding without tolls. We should see this work, and build the 2nd and 3rd phases as necessary thereafter.

Even if we had all the money, the East End Bridge has to be built first -- a bridge to be used while others are being fixed. It is simple, as Indiana is in the process now of working on the east end approach.

My favorite Courier-Journal moment of the month, so far.

The text of the e-mail notice read:

Brad Elsworth, candidate interview for Ind. 8th Congressional District @ 4 p.m.

Brad Elsworth will be talking with The Courier-Journal Editorial Board at 4 p.m.
That's two misspellings of Ellsworth's family name, but it was even better in the e-mail subject heading:

Bard Elsworth - Indiana Candidate 8th Congressional District interview
That's right: Elsworth as Shakkspere.

Is it any wonder that we laugh at Gannett, and not with it?

The morning's reading: ORBP, 1Si Q & A, Grant Line Road, Yum! Arena.

Shaw's LEO piece is a colossus. The rest are relevant, too. Teasers are drawn from the articles.

The Great Barrier, by Steve Shaw (LEO Weekly)
As the bi-state Bridges Authority has denied requests to divide or reduce the project, percolating public frustrations have given rise to incivilities, including claims of business leaders intimidating opponents. The bi-state authority appears committed to its all-or-nothing gambit even after a poll revealed a stunning erosion of support for the total package.

Dec. 8 Will Be, Ah, Yummy! in Louisville, by Billy Reed (Billy Reed Says)
Once you get past the name, the new home for Coach Rick Pitino’s program may well be the finest arena in the nation that has a college team for its principal tenant. It was built to NBA specifications, but there’s no NBA team to share it with the Cardinals, which is just fine with U of L’s rabid fan base.

Qs & As, by John Gonder (Gonder for New Albany At-Large)
Among some of the questions not asked at last night's City Council meeting is, "what is the relationship of local Chambers of Commerce to the national organization?"

New Albany, CSX reach agreement over major Grant Line project, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune)
It won’t include an overpass, but New Albany is aspiring to begin improving a portion of Grant Line Road next year.