Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Re-Occupy Main Street: Something about priorities.

A steamboatload of public money for one development group in order to help it build new buildings, or a few hundred thousand to use as seed money of sorts, so multiple entrepreneurs can re-use the buildings we have already?

Re-Occupy Main Street: Entrepreneurs revive down-and-out business districts, by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson (Grist)

A new grant program called Operation:Storefront aims to change that. The nonprofit Downtown Partnership of Baltimore launched the initiative last year with the goals of helping entrepreneurs and artists find affordable storefront space and generating more foot traffic downtown.

3rd Annual Raq'n Around the Christmas Tree is Thursday, December 1 at The Grand.


Raqia Belly Dance/The Studio will be hosting their 3rd Annual Raq'n Around the Christmas Tree/ Children's Holiday Toy Drive/Taste of New Albany and Belly Dance Show Thursday, Dec 1, 2011, from 6:30-9:00pm @ The Grand Theater, located on 138 E. Market Street, New Albany, IN 47150.

Entrance Cost: 1 New Toy or a $10 donation. This year the toy drive will benefit the boys and girls of (AIM) AIDS Interfaith Ministries of Kentuckiana, Holiday Program.

AIM of Kentuckiana provides services to the HIV/AIDS population in the greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana region. AIM is committed to helping people living with HIV/AIDS by providing nutritional, emotional and spiritual support, their Holiday Assistance Program assists aproxamimately 300 children and familes infected and affected by this disease during the holidays.

The evening will start with a Taste of New Albany/ local Southern Indiana food & spirits. In attendance; La Bocca, Habana Blues, New Albanian Brewing Co. to name a few.

Followed by fabulous local entertainment/ belly dancing show by Al Hamsa, Gypsies of the Nile, Raqia's Stars. Recent performances by Al Hamsa, Gypsies of the Nile & Raqia's Stars include Harvest Homecoming, New Albany, IN, Worldfest, Louisville, KY and Louisville Music News Terrabeat Cultural Showcase, Louisville, KY

A guaranteed unique evening of giving and celebration!

Last year's event was held at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown New Albany, a fabulous turn out with 78 guests in attendance and 220 toys collected, all to benefit AIDS/HIV infected and affected children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Raqia Belly Dance/The Studio; dancing for a great cause/toys for children in need, is led by Rachel Reich, "Raqia" winner of Louisville Magazine's "Best Belly Dance Instructor" Award. She is extrememely humbled and proud to have the opportunity to assist in bringing a sense of joy and normalcy to HIV/AIDS infected and affected children and families during the holidays and looks forward to the generosity and support of all involved in this great cause.

HIV/AIDS affects an estimate of 33.3 million people, including 2.5 milliion being children and new infections continue every year.

Dec 1, World Aids Day, marks a day of hope and increasing awareness, the perfect backdrop and opportunity to support, share and make this year magical for the children.

Happy Holidays!

For more information you may contact The Studio/Belly Dance & More at 812-989-0821.

Son of Three-Phase Marketing Plan.

Tuesday's Merchant Mixer attendees were informed about reforms and revisions in the formerly non-collaborative marketing/branding plan designed by representatives of the city, Develop New Albany and the Urban Enterprise Association.

The billboards mentioned above are the three placements already made in the aftermath of the bridge closure, as modified by popular demand at the memorable Merchant Mixer meeting on September 20.

At the Merchant Mixer meeting yesterday, DNA representative Paul Kiger noted that the admittedly chastened committee is soliciting fresh public input for potential tag lines and a logo design other than those shown above. It's fairly easy to see why. It is DNA's proprietary logo, and the tags read like advertising copy for a retirement community.

The centerpiece of the proposed campaign remains a newspaper ad blitz financed by the marketing committee's funds, which (as before) is to feature the local food, dining and drinking community, which previously has indicated rather succinctly that because individual establishments already pursue various strategies to attract trade, the notion of "hometown discounts" and coupons might be the sort of tactic best discussed with operators prior to plans being made.

I got them top-down blues again, mama.

There is still a plan for a compendium booklet, and another opportunity for those who are not in the food, dining and drinking business to design opt-ins for those who are.

Paul told this morning's attendees that the process of contacting soon-to-be participating businesses has started. I believe him, and I wish him well, and it still bears noting this collaborative process comes nine months after the marketing/branding plan was introduced to the public back in February.

Which is to say: I'm still skeptical. I'm genuinely sorry about that, but these changes are cosmetic, and in the main, this remains something conceived and designed in a vacuum, with next to no input from those it purports to benefit. Rather than act hastily, it is my proposal that we wait another 32 days to make any decisions, until ... hear that sound ...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

501 Pearl Street.

501 Pearl Street is the former home of John Vernia & Son Monuments, and will be the venue for the CLEAN FOSSILS collaborative exhibition this Saturday night.

CLEAN FOSSILS collaborative exhibition this Saturday night, December 3.


CLEAN FOSSILS is a collaborative exhibition featuring the artwork of the 2011-2012 senior IU Southeast BFA artists to be held in one of the oldest historic structures in New Albany. The artworks on display are as exceptional in their vision as in their diversity, involving an array of media, including video, sculpture, ceramics, painting, and works of contemporary design.

Exhibit Location: 501 Pearl Street, New Albany, IN 47150 6-10pm

Light refreshments will be served. Also, the New Albanian will be serving NABC beer and local wine.

Exhibiting Artists:

Abbey Houghlin // Clean
Daniel Frank // Fossils
Jessica Elam // Organic
Kristy Leverock // Conversations
Ashley Stewart // Fragility
Sue Bartle // Undecided
Kirstin Shields // Cathartic
Miranda Becht // Sentiment
Beth Dougherty // Awareness
Aberlyn Sweetland-May // Hierarchal
Philip Collins // Spatial
Chris Little // Interconnectivity

More forks in the road.

At this morning's Merchant Mixer meeting, Dave Thrasher explains what may lie beyond the stenciled fork in the road as Curt Peters holds a drawing of the 16-ft tall sculpture soon to occupy space on the west side of the traffic island at State and Market Streets. Bravo!

Yesterday's ribbon cutting at the new Keg Liquors on Pearl Street.

Paths of Entrepreneurs series returns to IUS.

The IUS School of Business is staging another Paths of Entrepreneurs panel discussion similar to one in which I participated back in June. It is in conjunction with the New Albany Urban Enterprise Association and New Albany First. Here's what we know thus far:

Paths of Entrepreneurs--December 12, 2011

Monday, December 12, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., in the IU Southeast University Center (Room #122)

Panel: Lisa Brookings (True Colors Tanning), and Dave Dafoe (Flavorman: The Beverage Architects)

Contact: Brenda Swartz ... bswartz(at)ius(dot)edu

"Submission Postmark Deadline January 3, 2012 for New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series Entries."

This image from 1908 shows the roller skating rink at Glenwood Park. It was one of many such amusements at the park.

Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Mikado was performed at Glenwood Park in 1909.

Archival photos above and text below are submitted by the Carnegie Center. Let your artists know!
Submission Postmark Deadline January 3, 2012 for New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series Entries

The New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series is a multi-year outdoor exhibition of temporary art installations that interpret New Albany’s rich history and heritage through the eyes of artists. In the spring of 2010, five temporary works of art were installed in the downtown historic district. Because of its importance to the founding and development of New Albany, the Ohio River was the basis for the historic themes that served as inspiration for the first five works of art. Each spring, new art installations concerning new historic themes will be unveiled, culminating in 2013 with New Albany’s Bicentennial Commemoration. In 2011, three works of art interpreting the theme of Industry & Agriculture were installed and will remain in place through 2013.

The inspiration for the 2012 artworks is Home & Community Life in New Albany. Three artists will be selected from the proposals and given a $4000 honorarium each to create outdoor artworks that will be installed in the spring of 2012 to remain on view for two years. Each selected artwork will interpret one of the following historic themes: Education; Neighborhoods & Architecture; Parks & Recreation; and Transportation. Attention must be paid to this aspect of the project, as interpretation of the chosen theme and historical appropriateness will be a factor in the selection process. While artists must interpret the theme in a way that is accurate to the facts of that history, we are not looking for literal displays of the theme, but rather unique and innovative interpretations of one or more aspects of the theme.

Three installation sites have been selected for 2012: a grass area in front of the City-County Building at 311 Hauss Square; a section of brick sidewalk on the North side of East Market Street between State and Pearl Streets; and St. Marks Church Garden at the Southeast corner of East Spring and Bank Streets.

Full details and images relating to the 2012 historic themes can be found on the project website: and additional images are on the project Facebook page: The community will be able to enjoy the artworks and meet the artists at the New Albany Public Art Walk on June 23, 2012, from 6 to 9 pm (rain date June 30).

Please click HERE to download the complete submission guidelines and application. We look forward to seeing your entries!

Thank you,

Karen Gillenwater, Curator
Laura Wilkins, Director of Marketing & Outreach

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merchant Mixer is tomorrow morning.

(From Curt Peters)
This is a reminder that our next Merchant Mixer is this Tuesday (November 29) at Strandz & Threadz at 8:30 AM. It will be a wonderful opportunity to chat about the Holiday Festival and the many things that were a part of it.

Nice press for Earth Friends in the C-J.

On the same day that Professor Erika encourages the wee ones to expedite their monies out of town (the shareholders of Mega-chain-land thank you, dear), the C-J's Dale Moss profiles Stacie and her grassroots, local Earth Friends Cafe. Irony -- what a concept. Here's an excerpt.
Cafe serves food with thought; Restaurateur caters to vegans, vegetarians

Is a steady paycheck really worth it?

Stacie Henehan Bale’s answer is in a partly filled strip center alongside a funeral home off Grant Line Road in New Albany, Ind.

There, Bale owns and runs Earth Friends Cafe. Almost 41, Bale is finally her own boss, ready as she can be to cope when it seems no one else ever is going to come in that door.

Bale caters a good bit to vegetarians and to vegans in a Southern Indiana in which people line up for Paula Deen’s buffet. Bale likes her chances, nonetheless. Once in a while, business fairly thrives.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scenes at the opening of Sunday Brunch at Bank Street Brewhouse.

Two of our Sunday regulars, Graham and Tom, digging in. These photos have been reposted at my PC blog primarily so I might plaster their mugs all over the Internet.

I'm amazed at what these guys can do. Today's brunch was a hard opening; there were no rehearsals. Amazing.

Ben was on the build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar today, and is seen here explaining technique to our co-manager, Julie.

Thanks to everyone who patronized BSB today, and to our staff for hoofing it. Brunch got off to a wonderful start, and we're hoping to make another institution out of it.

Kicking ass downtown.

Verily, there were hordes afoot in downtown New Albany yesterday for the various holiday kickoff activities, which generally were being referred to as the Jingle Walk.

Frankly, it was amazing.

I took no photos, because they all would turn out the same: Lots and lots of people milling around eateries and shops, few of which existed five years ago. One man lunching at Bank Street prior to setting off for the wine tastings with his wife asked me, “How has this happened? I grew up here and there wasn’t anything downtown, but now … ”

There are lengthy explanations, of course, but perhaps the most interesting single aspect of New Albany’s downtown regeneration is that it has occurred in spite of recession and international economic chaos, and it is proceeding apace during the transportation dislocations of the Sherman Minton Bridge closing.

A few days ago, The Keg Liquors officially opened its second location on Pearl Street. Early glimpses at the selection confirm that it will be a high-end kind of place, specializing in niche beverages.

That's the whole point of The Keg being there.

I’ve known the store’s owner, Todd Antz, for a while, and he is a promotional whirlwind whose presence in downtown’s epicenter stands to draw many people who wouldn’t ordinarily patronize the historic business district.

Just around the corner, the ongoing renovations at the former Fair Store have yielded spectacular results. Quill’s is about to open its coffee shop, with beans roasted on-site. A few feet away, an upscale cigar emporium called Billow also will be debuting within days. It includes a walk-in humidor and a fully ventilated smoking lounge. The sleek interior redesign accommodating both these new entities is jaw-dropping; Jenna and Thomas deserve plaudits for seeing the changes through.

All these collective investments and improvements, all these newcomers, and all this progress – and all of it mysteriously achieved without the presence of a single big box chain store and without the massive governmental subsidies that make the big-box exurb possible.

It has happened downtown, and it is working, precisely because the preferred ethos is different -- by design.

We must continue to find the ones who get it, reinforce their experience, and gradually wean them off the standard contemporary cookie-cutter fare. The process is difficult, and it takes time. It’s also rewarding as hell, and reminds me of why I love what I do. Yesterday was just such an affirming experience, and I’m feeling renewed enthusiasm. I hope you are, too.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Still too a high a cost of low price.

Shift happens, but it's about more than rerouting monetary allocations. It's about shifting attitudes, perspectives and priorities. To grasp that the Wal-Mart model of capitalism applied to oneself would utterly preclude a living wage is to enable a whole panoply of insights. Those who demand that government define wants and needs may have a point, but it's one they generally are unable to apply to their own roles as consumers. Until they can look in the mirror and scream the same mantra, I'll not be compelled to take them seriously.

Which is which?

The people in the top photo are demanding lower sale prices at Macy's in New York, while the ones in the bottom photo are only protesting in Cairo for justice and basic rights.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A bittersweet week, and a jam-packed weekend: Welcome to the beginning of the 2011 holidaze.

The title of my long-awaited autobiography finally came to me yesterday: Beer, Bile & Bolsheviks: "A Fermentable Life." Now I need only begin writing it, but there'll be little time for doing so this weekend.

Today is Plaid Friday. It isn't Black Friday to me. It's Plaid Friday, or as Bluegill suggests, just plain Friday. For so long as we refer to it as Black Friday, and mindlessly play our parts as frantic consuming automatons, the multinationals, chains and big boxes win - and civil society declines.

Beer helps, so here is a broad survey of what NABC is doing this weekend. We'll be at Kaiser's Tobacco on Saturday for the Jingle Walk, as well as vending beer for the Deck the Walls art show the same night. On Sunday, a new brunch (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.) begins at Bank Street Brewhouse, which also has expanded weekday hours to include lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The city of New Albany's gracious decision to finally commence major Grant Line Road reconstruction during the rush time of holiday season, while an Ohio River bridge remains closed 'til March, means that there is more reason than ever before to enjoy a seasonal beverage, and accordingly, Saturnalia MMXI kicks off at 11:00 a.m. at the Pizzeria & Public House. Among the libations is our annual spiced tradition, Naughty Claus.

Over at OSIN, our pal Matt Nash contemplates the blackness of Friday, including this timely reminder:
Studies have shown that when you shop at locally owned, independent businesses, significantly more money is returned to the community in which they are based than money spent at chain retailers. Local independent business owners are people with ties to the community and a vested interested on what goes on here. Local business owners generally hire employees with better knowledge of the products they are peddling and usually have more time to get to know their customers.
As Matt proffers, the general idea is to Shift Your Shopping. Happily, there is a new local option in downtown New Albany: The Keg.

There you have it, or at least some portion of it.

Symbolism is a terrible thing to waste.

Just about the only noteworthy aspect of the day today in terms of world history is that until recently, "Black Friday" universally has denoted a tragic or catastrophic occurrence. Only in America could such a term be subverted to boost, boast and symbolize shopping excess.

On second thought, the usage actually does hold, doesn't it?

The YouTube video here was uploaded hundreds of years ago -- in 2007, which accounts for the now forgotten visages of a previous "generation" of corporate and cultural thieves, this being the one just before the current one.

Times change and stay exactly the same: "Lotsa Luck."

Many thanks to TR for digging this out from the YouTube scrum. The series Lotsa Luck ran briefly in 1973-74.

Fischer, Tolling Authority Goes Gonzo.

(Submitted to NA Confidential)

"Find the New Albanian logo in this picture. Okay, now find the elected public official who doesn't give a flying rat's ass how much tolls you'll have to pay."

Straight Outta Mobile: "Grant Line work to stretch through July 31."

Observing the oddities of local newspapering is a longtime sport for jaded New Albanians, as when on-line stories about GOP election recounts, the Jingle Walk and and Grant Line road construction are lumped together beneath a photo of Republican kingpin Dave Matthews.

When I tried to find the story a second time using the News and Tribune's wretched and entirely variable search engine, it remained hidden, but at least there was the entertainment value of batting away a handful of pop-up ads amid the overall futility. A Google search did the trick, and because I'd hate to have anyone else endure the same agony, here's a reprint of OSIN's piece on the composition and duration of the Grant Line work.

Grant Line work to stretch through July 31

The more than $2.7 million Grant Line Road construction project is under way, as traffic has been backed up along the route at certain times due to the closure of turning lanes at intersections including University Woods Drive and McDonald Lane.

The project — which is being footed through relinquishment funds the state provided last year after the city agreed to maintain a portion of Ind. 111 — is slated to last until at least July 31.

The initial phase of the project stretches from Mount Tabor Road to McDonald Lane. While turning lanes will likely remain closed for most of the construction, officials expect two-way traffic to continue without the need for flaggers.

“The huge majority of the time, there will be two lanes open at all times,” said John Rosenbarger, director of public facilities projects for the city.

In order to ensure two-way traffic is available, Rosenbarger said flaggers may be needed for a short period while a temporary lane is built.

Among the upgrades, Grant Line Road will have five lanes of traffic including a turn lane from the Interstate 265 exchange to University Woods Drive.

“It will make some traffic improvements and importantly provide pedestrian access and a pedway,” Rosenbarger said of the project.

The second phase of construction, from McDonald Lane to Beechwood Avenue, is the “real priority,” he added.

As the city is finalizing engineering plans for the second tier of construction, Rosenbarger said officials elected to proceed with the I-265 to McDonald Lane section first because the state already had design strategies for the span from when it was considering building an overpass over the train tracks near the Pillsbury plant entrance.

The Indiana Department of Transportation scrapped those plans when it elected to pay New Albany $6.125 million for the city to oversee repairs and upgrades to 4.5 miles of Ind. 111.

“So we had a pretty short process to complete plans for a surface road instead [of the overpass] and the right-of-way was mostly in hand through the previous INDOT effort,” Rosenbarger said.

As for starting a project on a major thoroughfare while the Sherman Minton Bridge closure continues to stifle traffic in the area, Rosenbarger said officials are hoping one situation won’t have a major impact on the other. In fact, Rosenbarger said traffic actually appeared to be less dense due to the bridge closure during a paving and sidewalk project along State Street that occurred in September and October.

“We observed a pretty major reduction in traffic for that particular thoroughfare as a result of the Sherman Minton closing,” he said.

Southeast ISBDC's "Launching Your Own Business and Business Planning Seminar," on November 30.


The Southeast ISBDC is hosting a Launching Your Own Business and Business Planning Seminar on November 30, 2011 from 6pm-9pm at the Purdue Technology Center (3000 Technology Ave.). This 3 hour workshop will step you through the process of starting a business and provide you a guide through the Business Plan. The Business Plan is a necessary tool for all Business Start-ups and Existing Businesses - especially if the company is looking for a loan of any type. This workshop will include all materials, live instruction and a subscription to our $30 online business plan guide, SmallBizNavigator. That is a savings of $30 over a traditional workshop ($25) and guide ($30). Register here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ON THE AVENUES: Rest in peace, Kevin.

ON THE AVENUES: Rest in peace, Kevin.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

(My weekly column appears a day early this week. NAC will be taking off for Thanksgiving. We'll be back on Friday)

Since early last Sunday morning, there has been one less set of very large footsteps in New Albany, because that’s when Kevin Hammersmith left us, far, far too soon.

It was dreary and damp outside in the following days, and while the rationalist in me knows there is no direct connection between meteorology and the death of one human among so many others on Earth, still the coincidence is one worth noting.

The songwriters and poets can conjure their imagery of tears falling like rain, but we essayists can only feel their sting.

Whenever a loved one’s life comes to an end, we invariably gather to find some way of quantifying the unquantifiable, and to make sense of the insensible. Every single time, we fail. The world is too huge, and we are too small. The eternity of deepest time inevitably mocks the diminutive human life span, and all one can do is to remember the fallen, and to keep on living, working, growing and pressing forward.

It's just the way it is.


In early childhood, when our fathers (both now gone) worked together, Kevin and I were best friends. As so often happens, the dimensions of our friendship changed as we grew older, but no matter what else occurred, when we’d go months and sometimes years without seeing each other, we retained a bond of the sort that’s impossible to fathom unless so much formative time was spent together.

Those days of childhood were a cornucopia, so filled with the simple glories of post-war, small town Americana that it isn’t entirely clear to me whether we actually lived them ourselves, or watched them unfold weekly on the Andy Griffith Show. Probably the answer is elements of both, in equal measure.

On most Saturdays, we’d go to the Hammersmith home, or they’d come to ours, and apart from the joys of rampant playtime, the highlight of these relaxed evenings would occur after dessert, when our fathers (sometimes joined by Kevin’s doting Uncle Ed) would turn down the volume on the television and begin discussing the life and times of the little people – the working, blue-collar, middle class of which they counted themselves as long-suffering, dues-paying members.

Kevin surely would agree that these skull sessions of youth, sweet teas in hand, listening intently as our fathers surveyed Georgetown, America and the planet, were absolutely huge in shaping the dimensions of our subsequent lives. The Hammersmith side of the ongoing daddy debate tended toward a fiscally conservative, cautious, Republican approach, blessedly absent the social agenda of the contemporary era – although there was no love for long-haired hippies from either corner.

My father, while no liberal, harbored a subversive, populist streak that left him eternally suspicious of oligarchies and elites. If this bumper sticker would have existed in 1967, Roger G. Baylor may have considered sneaking in the dead of night to the Hammersmith residence and affixing it to Ken’s truck: “A working man voting for a Republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.”

In turn, Ken would have mustered a vigorous riposte, probably like this: “So tell me, Baylor, who pays for it?”

Of course, sons are never precise clones of their fathers, and it’s safe to say that in terms of our respective personalities, Kevin and I carried forward modified aspects of these identities as we progressed through school, work and life. I always teased him for being clean-cut, corporate and all buttoned-down. He laughed and mused that if he waited long enough, I might yet grow up – and then what?

But even when we disagreed on matters like local politics and bridge tolls, the discussion remained sane and civil. There was mutual respect and considerable affection. As a close friend has accurately observed, it was difficult to dislike Kevin, even when you wanted to.

Assuredly we were different in many ways, but it strikes me that we were alike in harboring a desire to escape some conscious aspects of our upbringings, while at the same time remaining physically exactly where we were. Except for his years at Purdue, Kevin was a Floyd County lifer, just like me. I bummed my way through college, traveled, and always washed up here. He was a predictably fine student, had a wide choice of career options upon graduating, and chose the one that brought him back home, building his career right here, and effectively plugging one of the local brain drain’s rivulets. Apart from a gap or two, there we stayed, only a few miles apart, for more than fifty years.

Kevin’s philanthropic endeavors are the stuff of local legend, and they will be for years to come. It is my firm belief that in his eagerness to be of assistance to the community, he far transcended expectations in terms of his job, something which testifies eloquently to his bedrock sense of self, of purpose, and of social obligation in the noblest of old-fashioned applications. He did it because he meant it.

If any one person in this city deserves a statue, it’s Kevin, although he’d roll his eyes and squirm at the suggestion.


Any stranger can write an obituary, but eulogies are best reserved for those who actually knew the departed. In all such cases, remembrances are the exclusive domain of the living, as are funereal rites, observances of mourning, and the means we each employ to recover from our devastating loss.

We humans cannot ever truly fathom the inner workings of our own consciousness, much less begin to understand those of others. When the final bell tolls, each of us remains enigmatic in a unique, irreplaceable way, and Kevin’s no exception to the rule. I knew him, but I didn’t know him at all. No man is an island, and yet in some ways, we all are.

Had I ever thought to ask Kevin if he truly felt happiness in the life he chose to live, he undoubtedly would have grinned and answered yes, and there would have been no reason for me to think otherwise.

Now that he’s gone, what I wish I could have said to him is this: Kevin, I really, really hope that you were genuinely happy and felt personal fulfillment in your life. You spent so damned much of your time giving of yourself to others, and I hope you saved some of it for you.

Goodbye, friend. You’re unforgettable.

Are chain shareholders in Switzerland really necessary?

It's what we're saying. Here's a lengthier explanation from Reno:

Plaid -- indeed.

New Albany Entertainment! is doing its bit for localism, and cheers to Caroline for doing so. I'm not sufficiently trained to format the mailing I received, but if you visit the main page and scroll down, there are local listings. To learn more about the "specials" that Caroline has collected, I'm guessing you can write to her and she'll forward the mailing: caroline(at)newalbanyentertainment(dot)com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Timely theology from the Man in Black.

The song is by Loudon Wainwright III ... that's right, Rufus's dad.

Reminder: Please help us edit "the chart outside the door."

For a third time, I've incorporated suggestions, and updated yesterday's list for outside the Bank Street Brewhouse door.

It encompasses eating, drinking, food, adult beverages, sweets, coffee, etc -- the New Albany indies "inside the beltway." Readers, please give it another look if you have time.

Morris on Hammersmith.

Veteran local newsman Chris Morris remembers Kevin Hammersmith. Kevin's visitation is today, and the funeral is tomorrow. Both are at Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville's Market Street Chapel in New Albany. For the next two days, dry hankies will be at a premium hereabouts.

MORRIS: Losing Hammersmith is a tragedy for community (News and Tribune; beware of the OSIN pop-up)

But if Kevin Hammersmith taught us anything it was to not be afraid to serve, or to give back, like he did during his 51 years on earth.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Visitation and funeral arrangements for Kevin Hammersmith.

Kevin Hammersmith's visitation and funeral are being handled by Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville Funeral home in New Albany (Market Street). The viewing will be from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, November 22), with the funeral on Wednesday the 23rd at 2:00 p.m. Below is a composite of information provided by the funeral home. Thanks to EP for the details.

For those who wish to send a message to the family through the funeral home, here is their address for your use, as well as the funeral home's general web-site address.

Kevin Nelson Hammersmith

(November 30, 1959 - November 19, 2011)

Kevin Nelson Hammersmith died in New Albany on Saturday at the age of 51 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was born in Harrison County, Indiana and was employed by Duke Energy as a Regional Manager. He was a 1982 graduate of Purdue University. He was a member of the New Albany/Floyd County Parks Board, former President of the Harvest Homecoming, a member of One Southern Indiana, and a board member of; IUS Board of Advisors and the Carnegie Center for Art and History.

Family members include:

Mother: M. Dean Hammersmith
Sister: Tamyra Persinger (Lloyd)
Nephew: Jacob Cunningham
Nieces: Gretchen Cunningham and Jessica Persinger

He was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Nelson Hammersmith.

Visitation will be from 12 – 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Market Street Chapel of Seabrook, Dieckmann & Naville Funeral Homes (1119 E. Market St., New Albany, IN).

The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Market Street Chapel. Interment will be in Wolfe Cemetery, Georgetown, IN.

Expressions of Sympathy: Community Foundation of Southern Indiana/ NAFC Park Foundation Fund.

A welcomed musical interlude, sad yet inspirational.

For the chart outside the door.

(Corrections as of 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday ... added Mom & Pops and NACC Grille, moved Mac's to the bar column)

NABC's graphics department, otherwise known as staff artist Tony Beard, has been updating the map normally situated to the left of the Bank Street Brewhouse door. I've helped him assemble this list, the purpose of which is to provide quasi-accurate food and drink information to passers-by. In the eventuality that we are not open on a particular day or at a certain time, it is that visitors will patronize another establishment and keep their expenditures local.

The main map's target is downtown because that's within short driving and walking (or biking) distance, but listings have been expanded to include independent local food and drink businesses inside the beltway. Take a look at the updated list. What are we missing?


“Earth Friends Café & Coffee Bar” 3211 Grant Line Road (at Summit Square) 812-725-9393

“Quills Coffee” (coming in November 2011) 137 East Market Street

“Hobknobb Roasting Company” 419 State Street New Albany, IN 47150 (812) 944-4555 (also maintains a kiosk in the NA-FC Public Library)


Sweets & Ice Cream

“Honey Creme Donut Shop” 514 Vincennes Street 812-945-2150

"Mom and Pop's Cone Corner" 1817 Graybrook Lane 812-945-6711

“Rookies Cookies” 310 Pearl Street (812) 948-8858

“Sweet Stuff Bakery” 323 East Spring Street 812-948-2507

“Zesto Ice Cream” (seasonal) 2740 Charlestown Road 812-944-6845


Classic Taverns

“B & B Pub & Grill” 1423 Culbertson Avenue 812-725-9955

“Hitching Post Tavern” 115 West Market Street 812-945-8854

“Hugh E. Bir’s Cafe” 324 East Market Street 812-945-8884

“Mac’s Hideaway” 1636 Slate Run Road 812-945-4256

“Pastime Grill & Pub” 424 East Market Street 812-945-9055

“Uptown Bar” 330 Vincennes Street 812-945-1850

“Vic’s Cafe” 1839 East Market Street 812-944-4338

“Vickie's Good Times Bar” 114 East Market Street 812-941-8000


Package Beer, Wine and Liquor (no food)

“Bottles Unlimited” 427 State Street 812-945-6765 (also owns Uptown Liquors at 609 Vincennes Street)

“Bridge Liquors” 110 Knable Lane 812-949-6396

“Keg (New Albany)” 302 Pearl Street Suite B 812-948-0444

“Sunset Spirits” 2706 Paoli Pike 812-944-4031


Pool Halls

“Jack’s” 3308 Plaza Drive 812-948-1600 FULL BAR/BAR FOOD


Restaurants (with alcoholic beverages)

“(The) Bank Fusion Cuisine and Lounge” 203 East Main 812-944-1929 FUSION/LOUNGE/NIGHTCLUB

“Feast BBQ” (coming in Spring 2012) 116 West Main Street BARBECUE

"Habana Blues" 148 East Market St 812-944-9760 CUBAN

"Irish Exit" 207 East Main Street 812-944-1929 IRISH PUB

“La Bocca Restaurant” 134 East Market Street 812-725-9495 ITALIAN

"La Rosita Mexican Grill" 336 Pearl Street 812-944-3620 MEXICAN

"Louis Le Français" 133 East Market Street 812-944-1222 FRENCH

“Mac’s Hideaway” 1636 Slate Run Road 812-945-4256 PUB GRUB

“NA Exchange pub + kitchen” 3306 Plaza Drive 812-948-6501 GASTROPUB

“NABC Bank Street Brewhouse” 415 Bank Street 812-725-9585 BREWERY/CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN … carry-out beer sales on Sunday

"NACC Grille & Pub" 1706 Graybrook Lane 812-981-7777 AMERICAN PUB GRUB

“River City Winery” 321 Pearl Street 812-945-9463 WINERY/ CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN … carry-out wine sales on Sunday

“Sam’s Food & Spirits” 3800 Payne Koehler Road 812-945-9757 AMERICAN

“Toast on Market” 141 East Market Street 812-941-8582 CONTEMPORARY BREAKFAST/LUNCH

“Tucker’s American Favorites” 2441 State Street 812-944-9999 SPORTS BAR

“Wick’s Pizza” 225 State Street 812-945-9425 PIZZA


Restaurants (without alcoholic beverages)

“Dock Seafood” 1125 State Street 812-944-2951 FISH & SEAFOOD

“Jackson's Seafood” 400 West Main Street 812-945-3474 FISH & SEAFOOD

“Hing Wang Chinese Restaurant” 2123 Spring Street 812-542-2728 CHINESE

“Lancaster Cafeteria” 223 West 5th Street 812-949-2400 HOME COOKING

“Little Chef” 147 East Market Street 812-949-7567 CLASSIC DINER

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kevin Hammersmith has died in a car crash.

(8:00 p.m.: News and Tribune update earlier this afternoon)

What I know is this.

Kevin Hammersmith of Duke Energy was killed in a car crash last night on Highway 111. On Facebook, his sister Tammy writes that Kevin was returning from an IUS function at Horseshoe Casino, and was hit head-on by a car that crossed the center line. It appears a guest was accompanying him. It's all on local television news this morning, but I don't watch local television news.

My parents and Kevin's were best friends, and from the earliest time I can remember growing up in Georgetown, our two families socialized pretty much every weekend. Kevin and I were close in those days, although by the time we got out of high school, not so much so. But we never lost touch entirely, and happily, in recent years I saw quite a bit of him, usually during events and fundraisers, and also at Bank Street Brewhouse when it was opened.

I richly enjoyed giving Kevin a hard time about being a stuffed-shirt corporate Republican functionary, and I'm sure he rolled his eyes at the beads in my beard, as well as my ongoing failure to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. None of that seems to matter much today, but damn, I'm going to miss him.

It may be winter, but the Dubois County Bombers are planning for baseball.

NABC was happy to partner with the Dubois County Bombers in 2011 to offer craft beer at League Stadium, and we hope to renew the arrangement in 2012. The hot stove league can be about wintertime baseball gossip, but also about craft beers. Here's a 2012 update, as submitted by the team.

Bombers will have local flavor in 2012 ... Season Tickets now on Sale

The Dubois County Bombers are preparing for the 2012 season and are close to signing 5 or 6 local players from the southern Indiana area. Player contracts have been sent out and signings will be announced in the next few weeks. The Bombers will get started in late May with an exhibition game or two before the 60 game Prospect League regular season begins. The season runs until early August and concludes with two rounds of playoffs.

Season Tickets are now on sale and renewal letters to existing subscribers are in the mail. Individual Adult Ticket Prices will be $5 for General Admission, $7 for Reserved Seating (Orange seats) along the first and third base lines and $8 for Reserved Seating (Red seats) behind home plate.

Season Ticket Prices are $116 for General Admission, $148 for Orange Seats and $162 for Red Seats. Fans should take advantage of sale prices and order now. Orders taken by January 31st are $109 for General Admission, $128 for Orange Seats and $144 for Red Seats.

Bomber Owner John Bigness looks forward to the coming season. “League Stadium is such a great venue for baseball. I can’t think of a better place to watch a game. We’ll have top-notch baseball and great fun, food and drink and with a few exceptions, a whole new roster with more local players than we’ve had in the past. We’re going to generate some excitement early on to bring in bigger crowds and create a buzz throughout the southern Indian region. We’ll make it easy for families and friends to enjoy as many nights at the ballpark as they want.”

Entering its 50th year in 2012, the Prospect League (formerly the CICL) has seen over 1000 alumni play professional baseball with 175 including two former Bombers – Steve Cishek (Florida Marlins) and Cory Wade (New York Yankees) make the big leagues. Other notable alumni include new new Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, Yankee manager Joe Girardi and Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame outfielder Kirby Puckett. For further information please visit the Bombers web site at

Requests for season ticket order forms can be made by calling the Bomber offices at (812) 683-3700 or via email at DCBombers(at)psci(dot)net. Requests and checks can be sent to:

Dubois County Bombers
P.O. Box 332
Huntingburg, IN 47542.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Douglas England will be remembered primarily for fixes like this one. It's why he had to go.

Nothing much needs to be said about this revelation apart from what we already knew, because you can only vomit so much before the dry heaves begin in earnest. Thanks to the newspaper for publishing the information, albeit belatedly; the margin of defeat might have been even worse, but we'll take what we can get -- just like she did.

THE HOUSE IS IN ORDER: Administration defends DNA president’s NSP contract; State says New Albany meeting requirements for $6.7 million project, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune; beware of pop-ups)

Mayor Doug England’s administration was within its right to hire Develop New Albany President Susan Kaempfer at a rate of $50 per hour to serve as program manager of the Midtown neighborhood housing project, state officials have confirmed.

Kaempfer — who was vice president of the nonprofit Develop New Albany when she was awarded the contract — was paid $108,401 from June 28, 2010, to Aug. 18, 2011, according to records provided by the administration.

And the name is: The Bank Fusion Cuisine & Lounge.

Here's the answer to my question earlier this morning: It's The Bank Fusion Cuisine & Lounge.

The new name of the hottest new bar/restaurant/lounge/nightclub is ... The Bank Fusion Cuisine & Lounge! Soft opening Wednesday Thanksgiving Eve with DJ Stingy!! Our upstairs will be called "Dellinger Room," where we will have another stage and full bands perform.

(photo borrowed from The Bank's FB page)

The ear X-tacy gone-out-of-business sale is Thanksgiving weekend.

As addressed on ear X-tacy's Facebook page.

Hello Friends and Family,

We’re sending this out to you today with some information about the last sale at the store! (Finally!)

ear X-tacy will be open for 2 final days on Saturday November 26th and Sunday November 27th. Hours for both days will be 12 Noon – 5pm. We’d love to see all of you one last time at the store. Everything will be sold. Information regarding any discounts will be sent closer to time. We will be accepting cash, credit cards, and gift cards. PLEASE BE AWARE THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME TO REDEEM ANY GIFT CARDS AND GIFT CERTIFICATES.

Also, we will be reaching out to any/all local artists today about a designated pick up time for items in the store. Please be looking for that email, as we only have so much time to get this taken care of. (If you know of a local artist we carry, please feel free to pass along this email).

As always, we appreciate all of you more than you know. We’re very happy to be doing this sale over Thanksgiving Weekend because we feel like the biggest thing we can give thanks for … is you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email and we will do our best to answer each and every one of you.

We wish you the very best over this Holiday Season and truly look forward to serving you one last time.


ear X-tacy

News from the Irish Exit.

From Facebook. I'm not sure what the winning entry is ...
Ok we need some help here from our customers....we have been building a new bar, stage and bathroom in "the billiards room/ aka the Palladio". We will be launching a grand opening and new bar name for just that side Wednesday November 23rd!! That bar and the irish exit will be ran as two separate places....We have a few names picked out but we want some imput from the customers. Let's hear em??

Friday, November 18, 2011

Doomed to dependence on automobiles and foreign oil. That's some way to live.

If all the pain and agony surrounding the ORBP genuinely purports to address any semblance of what the Louisville area's transportation needs will be in 50 years, then why is mass transit not a part of the ongoing conversation? At the end of the day, the reason why I oppose the ORBP paradigm so strenuously is less about tolls or Kerry Stemler's breathtaking arrogance than the fact of its sheer expense and auto-centric scale effectively precluding civilized public transportation construction for THE REST OF MY LIFE.

"Initial cost ... but the money stays in the community instead of 'leaking out' ... We need to look at the bigger picture."

From California, ruminations quite similar to those recently aired by New Albany at-large councilman John Gonder: "Local government has an obligation to take the extra steps to ensure that local businesses are favored over national chains ... "

IVIBA and Joint Chambers ask Supervisors to buy local, by Alejandro Davila (Imperial Valley Press)

A bid preference ordinance that would benefit locally headquartered businesses was proposed by the Imperial Valley Independent Business Alliance to the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The bid preference would give a 5 to 10 percent preference in government contracts when a business is headquartered in the county, regardless of its size, and bids, said Paul McManus, president of IVIBA.

“We propose that you pass a resolution that would direct your purchasing department to always look for a local source first before dealing with outside vendors,” McManus said to the board.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ON THE AVENUES: Faux thanks and reveries.

ON THE AVENUES: Faux thanks and reveries.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

A self-appointed citizen’s activist lurches toward a bedecked podium. There, the winning candidate stands in readiness, basking in the glow of victory as he prepares to deliver his speech before family and friends.

The woman fondles an official, licensed Hillary Clinton charm bracelet, and it jangles all plastic-like as an indulgent crowd, one dreamy with a sense of possibility and a few too many Early Times and Cokes, graciously parts to allow her a clear path to the stage.

Her nicotine-stained fingers are wrapped tenuously around an aluminum can of the very best imported beer Italian lira can buy, at least in those old-school service clubs with ballrooms: Budweiser, a factory-brewed product of the multi-national wunderkind AB-Inbev -- once solidly American, now lost to foreign money amid the recovering stock portfolios of the 1%.

The woman shakily places the can of Budweiser on the floor off to the side, and gestures to the candidate. Confused, and not a little bit horrified, he considers the likelihood of far better beers being poured just down the street. Amid the gathered throngs, there is an odd, brief pause. Who is that woman, anyway? She seems lost, someone whispers. Is she really a professor, or does she just play one on the Internet? And why is she putting the beer can there?

Very soon, the moment passes. The woman cackles back into the rear of the hall, and her votive offering is ignored, to be consumed and recycled later by the facility’s janitor. The speech is made, and eventually, the celebration ends.

Somewhere in the city, a dog barks.


But enough about these purely imagined weird scenes in the post-election night of a New Albanian’s perpetually inebriated lifespan – it’s almost Thanksgiving!

A couple of years ago, before those humorless Alabama retirees demanded my newspaper platform be dismantled as punishment for my audacity in seeking local office, I stated that there’s never any better time than Thanksgiving for an iconoclast’s thoughts to be made public.

However, I soon learned the futility of expecting anyone to read such an outpouring of words on the holiday itself. Given the inability of most readers to proceed down any of my pages without scratching their heads in vocabularic confusion, it seemed almost impolite to expect them to waste valuable football viewing time in what surely would become a frustrating, household-wide search for seldom-used dictionaries and thesauruses.

And so, we’ll do it today. First, let’s revisit the notion of “iconoclast”:

1. A breaker or destroyer of images, esp. those set up for religious veneration (like the untended can of warm Budweiser stained by venom and tobacco).

2. A person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error or superstition … rather like your humble correspondent.

While others grew up idolizing athletes and rock stars, my own heroes (Reggie Jackson, Keith Moon and George Clooney aside) have always been iconoclasts. From Socrates through Tom Paine, and not exempting 20th-century polemicists like H. L. Mencken, there’s nothing quite like an iconoclast taking a headlong swipe at unexamined assumptions.

Consequently, around this time each year, it is my duty to remind you that Thanksgiving, while perfectly enjoyable from a hedonist’s standpoint, and wholly conducive to this bibulous trencherman’s standards, actually stands for something more than gluttony and sports.

But that certain “something” isn’t the prevailing viewpoint that the Puritans and Natives once merrily gathered for a quaint New England picnic, pausing only occasionally from the consumption of corn chowder and non-alcoholic cranberry wine to pray to their respective deities for continued prosperity and happiness.

Rather, it is this:

The need for Christian apologetics aside, and whether or not Squanto miraculously facilitated a peaceful first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, the subsequent history of the white man on the North American continent boasted the unabated slaughter of Native Americans, incessant pillaging of the environment, and an exculpatory doctrine of “manifest destiny” interwoven with prevailing Christianity, as intended to ease the consciences (if any) of those pulling the triggers.

We’ll leave the approval of African-American slavery emanating for many generations from Southern pulpits for another day of “thanks”.

In the context of genuine American history, and to the exclusion of mythology and wishful thinking, the holiday we term “Thanksgiving” is ironic, to say the least. I prefer reflections on all human history to be in accordance with the record, and as events actually occurred, without the tidying impulse to obscure and sanitize them.

I accept that people in all places and times do what they can with what they have, and believe that the best we can hope for is to learn from the past in the hope of learning worthwhile lessons and avoiding mistakes. In my opinion, the worst error of all is to misrepresent the historical record to justify theological needs.

Yes, I observe Thanksgiving, too. It’s just that I do it realistically.


America’s Christmas shopping season appropriately commences on Labor Day, and it will reach a crescendo on November 25, which frenzied pop culture vultures have dubbed Black Friday. Pavlov’s overworked mutt can be expected to salivate continuously as fevered analysts seek to determine if holiday season retail sales will be sufficient to keep Wal-Mart, Best Buy and their suppliers in China solvent for another year.

At least there’s food on Thanksgiving. This year, it means a longer than usual ride across one of the remaining bridges to Louisville’s South End, and transformative dining at the venerable Vietnam Kitchen. Iconoclasm aside, I enjoy the traditional Norman Rockwell spread as much as anyone, but cooking it at home simply isn’t an option for us. Instead, we indulge in crisp spring rolls, exotic peppery noodle dishes and the occasional clay pot catfish, accompanied by India Pale Ale and French coffee for dessert.

After all, to each his own “tradition” – and may yours not be harmful to others.

(Elements within today’s column were “sampled” from my OSIN column of November 25, 2009)

FLASH: Keg Liquors New Albany will be open this Friday (November 18).

Straight from the store's Facebook site:

Todd Antz
8:44am Nov 17
I think we can safely say that the New Albany location of Keg Liquors will be opening on Friday, November 18th at 10:00 AM. No huge grand opening ceremonies, we'll save that for the next week! Stop in and say hello! And spread the word!

Penn State child rape deception: "One more lie to maintain the preposterously lucrative unreality of college athletics."

There are times when the only thought occurring to you after reading an essay is this: Why couldn't I have written that?

The Brutal Truth About Penn State: The problem can't be solved by prayer or piety — and it's far more widespread than we think, by Charles P. Pierce (Grantland).

... It no longer matters if there continues to be a football program at Penn State. It no longer even matters if there continues to be a university there at all. All of these considerations are trivial by comparison to what went on in and around the Penn State football program ...

... It is not a failure of our institutions so much as it is a window into what they have become — soulless, profit-driven monsters, Darwinian predators with precious little humanity left in them. Penn State is only the most recent example. Too much of this country is too big to fail.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In case you were wondering, Mayor-Elect Gahan "announces transition team."



Mayor-Elect Jeff Gahan

November 16, 2011 Contact: Michael Hall
For Immediate Release (812) 946-2962


New Albany Mayor-Elect Jeff Gahan announced the members of his Mayoral Transition Team today. Members of the team include leaders in business, labor, education and non-profit organizations, as well as Democrats and Republicans.

“Each of these individuals brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the City of New Albany. Their guidance and counsel will be invaluable as we move forward with implementing the initiatives of the campaign,” said Gahan.

Gahan says the Mayoral Transition Team will focus on making a seamless transition between city administrations. In the first phase of the transition, the team will focus on hiring of department heads, appointments to boards and commissions, and the selection of a mayoral staff.

The members of the Transition Team are:

Ms. Yvonne Grundy
Retired Public School Teacher, NAACP Award Recipient

Mr. Warren Nash
Former Mayor and Real Estate Professional

Mr. Joseph Champion
Bingham McHale LLP, Governmental Affairs Attorney

Ms. Tonya Fischer
V.P. Investor and Governmental Affairs, 1SI

Mr. Ron Toran
Retired New Albany Fire Fighter and former Fire Chief

Mr. Steve Bonifer
U. S. Government Teacher New Albany Floyd County Public Schools

Mrs. Connie Sipes
Former Indiana State Senator

Mr. John Wilcox Chairman of the Floyd County Democratic Party and private citizen

Mr. Vernon Niemeier
Retired New Albany Police Officer and private citizen

Mr. Uric Defrene
Professor of Business Administration IUS, Sanders Chair in Business

Mr. Kevin Zurschmiede
New Albany City Council Member

Mr. Pat McGlaughlin
New Albany City Council Member

Mr. Robert Norrington
Business Manager Laborers International Union Local 795

Too much Dixie on their minds.

Rationality from elsewhere: Bicycling, public transport and form-based codes.

After reading Louisville's toll-happy new mayor officiously gurgle (to a dietitian, no less) yet again about the grandeur of oligarchy enfluffment via the ORBP, it's instructive to survey the scene in nearby cities. Following are three such bits of inspiration.

Cincinnati submits $56.8M TIGER III application to fund modern streetcar extension, by Randy A. Simes (UrbanCincy)

Local governments across the United States are in the process of competing for $527 million worth of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) III funds. The deadline for applications was October 31, and the City of Cincinnati once again has applied for funds.

Cincinnati’s TIGER III application requests $56.8 million for phase one of the Cincinnati Streetcar. City officials say that the money will go to immediately restore the project’s segments that were eliminated following Governor Kasish’s (R) controversial reallocation of $52 million in early 2011.
Apart from streetcars in Cincinnati, there are bicycles in Indianapolis -- and even in New Albany, as the increasingly irrelevant King Larry can attest. It is sadly ironic that even as other burgs speak of expanding bike lanes and biking in general, dullards from the outer reaches of Floyd County would prefer their disappearance, if reattaching another lane of traffic to Spring Street somehow might reduce their commute times during the bridge outage -- as though New Albany exists only for their pass-through pleasure. Pfui to all that.

Measured Progress: Bike Lanes on Broad Ripple Ave, by Curt Ailes (Urban Indy)

Last week, guide lines went down on Broad Ripple Ave between the village and Keystone Avenue. I knew that the thermostriped permanent ones would not be far behind. Well, the new lines are down and my initial expectations for what the corridor would look like have been exceeded.
We've previously referenced form-based codes here.

Meridian Kessler Moving Forward with Form-Based Codes, by Kevin Kastner (Urban Indy)

My neighborhood, Meridian Kessler, has been doing some behind-the-scenes maneuvering to promote the implementation of Form-Based zoning codes in the neighborhood. Form-based codes are the logical antidote to the current use-based zoning that is in place in much of the United States. Urban Indy will be highly supportive of the Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association’s push for this important and much-needed change.

"Finding Main Street" trailer.

Thanks to JW for the link.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quill's Coffee follow-up: "New Albany will be opening in a matter of days."

Good news from Quill's, coming soon to space in the former Fair Store on Market Street in downtown New Albany.


We so appreciate your patience as we deal with the red tape and other colors of tape and unexpected delays and all sorts of irritating hurdles we are glad to jump over for the sake of coming closer to you.

And the finish line is well in sight! New Albany will be opening in a matter of days and U of L's Cardinal Towne will not be too far behind.

Watching Wal-Mart amid the cacophony.

Erika's sounding worried.


... As they say: "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink!"

Seems the dementia is in an expansive phase, so rather than dwell on mysterious utterances connecting localism to the act of choking one's horse (or for that matter, chicken) while in the act of watering outside Hillary's big tent, let's focus on this important link to something that actually matters.

Walmart Watch seeks to hold Walmart fully accountable for its impact on communities, the American workforce, the retail sector, the environment and the nation's economy. Walmart Watch exists to challenge Walmart to more fully embrace its corporate responsibilities and live up to its position as the largest corporation in the United States.

Any ideas for the "Commercial Building" (Sprigler Construction)?

I've never been a developer. I eschew construction-think. I'm not a real estate type of guy. What I know is that the Spriglers own this building across the street from Bank Street Brewhouse, and they need to lease it or sell it. Yes, these obviously are not ideal times for such an occurrence, but perhaps some brainstorming would help. There's bound to be some variety of conjecturing outside the box that might help this process along.

Windows? On Main Street? Is it a dream?


No plywood or metal coverings?

Could it be a trend?

Might it extend to furniture corner on the west and the Reisz building on the south?

Kinda giddy, you know. Suddenly anything seems possible.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wal-Mart repelled in Saranac Lake, NY: “This is more authentic capitalism.”

Capitalism as a model for empowering community rather than promoting exploitation via the Wal-Mart way? Sounds suspicious to me.

A Town Creates Its Own Department Store, by Amy Cortese (New York Times)

... So when Wal-Mart Stores came knocking, some here welcomed it. Others felt that the company’s plan to build a 120,000-square-foot supercenter would overwhelm their village, with its year-round population of 5,000, and put local merchants out of business.

It’s a situation familiar to many communities these days. But rather than accept their fate, residents of Saranac Lake did something unusual: they decided to raise capital to open their own department store. Shares in the store, priced at $100 each, were marketed to local residents as a way to “take control of our future and help our community,” said Melinda Little, a Saranac Lake resident who has been involved in the effort from the start. “The idea was, this is an investment in the community as well as the store” ...

... Think of it as the retail equivalent of the Green Bay Packers — a department store owned by its customers that will not pick up and leave when a better opportunity comes along or a corporate parent takes on too much debt.

NA First's "Be Local" seminar series continues on Tuesday night, Nov. 15, at Destinations Booksellers.

Previously, we passed along this information about New Albany First's next event on Tuesday night:

Join us starting at 7 pm on Tuesday, November 15th at Destinations Booksellers for the second of our "be local." seminars. Our panel includes Cisa Barry of Sew Fitting, Todd Antz of Keg Liquors, and Blayr Bernard of the Small Business Development Center.

Today, we note this change in the program:

Blayr Bernard of the SBDC had to postpone because she's in the hospital this morning giving birth. We knew this was a possibility, so Mike Ladd of the Urban Enterprise Association will be filling in for her. Mike will speak on the programs available for businesses through the UEA. We thank Mike for filling in on short notice and wish Blayr all the luck in the world.

Patticakes & Pies Cafe is winding down.

There is little choice except taking the bad with the good. The food and drink business is volatile in the best of economies, and sometimes life gets in the way of well laid plans. Pat Cianci has made many friends and fans with her establishment, and it's sad to see it go away. Best of luck to her and her family.

Closing of Patticakes & Pies Cafe
Time: Today at 8:00am - November 19 at 6:00pm
Location: Patticakes & Pies Cafe, 155 E. Main, New Albany, IN
Created By: Patticakes & Pies Cafe

I'm very sad to announce that I will be closing Patticakes & Pies. Many of you know that I recently lost my father. His hopitalization for 2 months prior in Owensboro took a tow on me emotionally and physically. Due to now having to settle my dad's estate it is in my, my family and Patticakes best interest that I make this decision.

I will continue to take as well as fulfill any orders I have Thanksgiving week. For those who have enjoyed my cooking & baking I will continue to bake desserts and do catering in the future. I can be reached by emailing me @ or 502-314-1813.

I want to thank everyone in New Albany & the surrounding areas that patronized Patticakes making my life long dream come true. I hope you will miss me as much as I will miss you!! Please stop in, say goodbye and enjoy one last lunch at Patticakes this week.

We will be open till 6 pm on Saturday November 19th and offering 1/2 price desserts with any entree and free coffee drinks, while supplies last. I will be having an equipment, smallware sale on Nov. 29th, 30th & Dec. 1st.

Papa may be in the house, but "Shift Your Shopping" anyway.

It has been written that "anything less than consistency comes across as a profit-driven way of dividing people," which is why we refer to this point at selected intervals:

The Multiplier Effect of Local Independent Business Ownership (from AMIBA)

There's nothing divisive about the multiplier effect, and the forthcoming holiday shopping season strikes me as the perfect opportunity to put theory into practice. With striking consistency, advocates of the local, independent business sector have suggested shifting a percentage of one's expenditures. Neither Rome nor Veteran's Parkway was built in a day, and as consciousness is raised, incremental shifts will continue to reaffirm the central argument.

Shift Your Shopping: Choose Local and Independent This Holiday Season

Let’s build an annual tradition that strengthens local economies, expands employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding gift-buying experience.

As customers, we are about to collectively spend a large portion of our annual shopping budget between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. If you join us in shifting those dollars to locally owned, independent businesses, we’ll all generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in our community than if we had spent our money at a national chain. Across North America, that could mean billions of dollars of economic impact.

Camel-Backing Nouveau: Is it art, revitalization or plywood?

A cursory Google search of 527 East 9th Street reveals a listing as headquarters of Sydney Ballard, d.b.a. ABL Disposal. There is no other information, and all I know is if he'd paint the wood pink and leave it alone, it would brighten up the neighborhood and be a powerful artistic statement. As it stands ...