Saturday, June 30, 2012

This is NOT an "R.I.P. Abe Vigoda" post.

That's because ...

Telling New Albany's story, not another city's story.

The Urbanophile's musings on the general theme of municipal self-knowledge echo DT's suggestion so long ago that New Albany's marketing campaign should adopt a mantra embracing our traditional shortcomings as well as our newfound strengths: "Wonderfully and delightfully us." As Aaron Renn explains:

Who’s Your City?
A couple months back when visiting the home front, my dad and I popped into the excellent New Albanian brewhouse for dinner and microbrews.

Sorry -- I couldn't resist beginning with this line, as it will enrage the one-dimensional journalists among us. To the point:

... I’ve long noted that while companies go to great lengths to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, most cities seem to do just the opposite. They want to convince you that in various ways they are exactly like this, that, or the other really cool city. It’s totally inauthentic and completely ineffective.

To really brand your city you need to go back to that ancient wise inscription – Know Thyself. It’s not easy. It requires a lot of introspection, and digging deep into things that aren’t always easy to uncover. But I’m convinced every city, like every person, has a powerful story to tell.

It's really too bad. The introspection and digging in New Albany just might flow naturally from a thoughtful, past-and-future approach to New Albany's forthcoming Bicentennial celebration, but because of the predictably white bread way we're seemingly intent on observing the birthday, there'll be plenty of the usual obfuscatory CeeSaw fluff with very little useful content.

If only ...

"Starving piranhas, no bonjour, no pleasantries, it was direct and crude."

Crude starving piranhas? Is it French cybersex, or the comments section at Chipped Kitchen Table Formica?

At any rate, the Minitel is obsolete.

Long live the Minitel.

France says farewell to the Minitel – the little box that connected a country, by Angelique Chrisafis (Guardian)

• Precursor to internet now redundant after 30 years
• Chunky terminals popular for cybersex and accounts

It is known as the "Little French Box", a 1980s design classic now seen as the ultimate in beige plastic kitsch. But once it was an audacious precursor to the world wide web, introduced the first cybersex into people's living rooms and had a user-friendly design that may have inspired Steve Jobs's first Macintosh computer.

Yet, on Saturday, the plug will finally be pulled on the Minitel machine, France's one-time pride and joy, 30 years after its launch ...

... The longer users stayed online messaging, the more the service providers made.

The musician Gerome Nox recently told the newspaper Libération how he had worked on one of the services posing as a hostess called Julie to attract men and keep them online as long as possible. He compared the men replying to his messages to "starving piranhas, no bonjour, no pleasantries, it was direct and crude". He said he decided to stop as "my Julie had become more and more disagreeable and hateful".

He unmasked himself, typing: "I'm not called Julie. I'm a man, just here to rack up your phone bill. You've been screwed, which was just what you wanted all along." He was fired.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"This dichotomy (inequality) is bound to have social and political consequences."

A book review from The Economist, reprinted in its entirety.


Economics: An ordinary Joe (from the print edition of The Economist)

The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future. By Joseph Stiglitz. 

THE American dream is that any child can make it from the bottom to the top. That may still be true in politics; the son of a Kenyan immigrant, raised partly by his grandparents, is now president of the United States. But it is much less true, in economic terms, than most Americans think. Social mobility is less easy in America than in other countries. For example, three-quarters of Danes born in the lowest-earning 20% of the population escape their plight in adulthood. Seven out of ten poor children in supposedly class-ridden Britain achieve the same feat. But fewer than six in ten Americans do so.

Similarly, with rags-to-riches stories. It is far less common for Americans from the bottom 20% in childhood to move into the top 20% in adulthood than it is in Denmark or in Britain. On the whole, America’s wealthy prosper while the average citizen struggles; the richest 1% of Americans gained 93% of the additional income created in 2010. The pay workers get has failed to move in line with productivity in the past 30 years. But Americans have yet to realise the extent of this tectonic shift. In a survey conducted in 2011 the average respondent thought that the richest fifth of the population had 60% of the wealth, not 85% as is the case. The respondents’ ideal income distribution would be for the top quintile to have just 30% of the wealth.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize-winner in economics and a regular critic of liberal capitalism, addresses this issue in his new book, which he wrote in response to the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Indeed, he argues that their slogan, “We are the 99%”, echoes an article entitled, “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%”, that he wrote in Vanity Fair in May 2011.

To Mr Stiglitz, this inequality is the result of public policy being captured by an elite who have feathered their own nests at the expense of the rest. They have used their power to distort political debate, pushing through tax cuts to favour the rich and adjusting monetary policy to favour the banks. Many of the new rich are not entrepreneurs but “rent-seekers”, he says, who use monopoly power to boost profits.

Mr Stiglitz’s views are representative of clever, leftish America and Mr Stiglitz is (mostly) skilled at making his argument. Imagine, he says, what it would be like if the world had free movement of labour, but not of capital. “Countries would compete to attract workers. They would promise good schools and a good environment, as well as low taxes on workers. This could be financed by high taxes on capital.” The result would be a much more equal society.

Mr Stiglitz’s argument would benefit, however, from a better sense of history and geography. He points to the period between 1950 and 1980 as one where inequality was much reduced. But that was a highly unusual time. For much of recorded history there has been a huge gap between a wealthy landowning class and the rest; the Rockefellers and Carnegies were much richer (in real terms) than any modern plutocrat. Mr Stiglitz also views the housing boom and bust as another result of misguided American policy, but Spain and Ireland had property bubbles too—and they are much more equal societies.

When it comes to solutions to the inequality problem, Mr Stiglitz wants a top income tax rate of “well in excess of” 50%, targeted fiscal stimulus and greater bank regulation. Here, perhaps, he might have been more open about the trade-offs. Controls on bank leverage, caps on interest rates and greater protection for bankrupts are all likely to reduce bank lending at a time when there already is a credit squeeze. He admits that the 2009 fiscal stimulus was “not as well designed as it could have been”, but blithely hopes that the convoluted American budget-setting process will result in much better stimulus packages in future.

Whether or not he has the right answers, Mr Stiglitz is surely right to focus on the issue. Across the developed world, the average worker is suffering a squeeze in living standards while bankers and chief executives are still doing very nicely. This dichotomy is bound to have social and political consequences.

"Let's not build a stadium."

Where does the proposed River View development fit into a vision like this one?
In a way, thinking small is the next logical step in America’s urban renaissance. 
As we seek to situate the comparative "bigness" of River View within the burgeoning small + indie New Albanian context, it's worth recalling a post earlier this week, in which I opened with this thought: Mike Kopp's updates on Twitter are much appreciated."

Indeed, they are, and I was not being snarky or ironic in stating such. But with respect to River View, consider that Mike's three most recent announcements about prospective business openings all describe the adaptive reuse of pre-existing, older buildings not at all associated with River View, for whom he's been doing a fair amount of retail chain fishing in places like Las Vegas.

Remember that condominiums, once River View's sole conceptual selling point (downtown residency being the object, right?), have long since been taken off the project's front burner and placed somewhere out in the yard, near the compost heap, and about as far away from the stove as humanly possible. Now there must be retail and professional occupancy in order to reach the transitional stage of rental apartments -- all of it occurring well before condos are even contemplated.

None of it seems to have mattered to the city's bedazzled politicos, who stare entranced at the glimmering artist's renditions of River View like a 12-year-old in 1972 unearthing his Penthouse from under the mattress.

The point here is this: Given the paucity of PR emanating from the realtor (not a common phenomenon), either the River View retail fishing's been pretty bad, or the catch too embarrassingly undersized to display publicly. Isn't it about time for someone to be standing on the dock, photographed with the big one?

Just curious, that's all.

Stop thinking big

Forget stadiums: Let's build a pop-up park. Smart cities know the future is cooler, cheaper -- and smaller

Last week, a press release from Chicago’s Office of the Mayor proclaimed something that would have sounded like a Yes Men prank just a few years ago: Rahm Emanuel, it said, has a plan to get rid of the city’s “excess asphalt.”
It wasn’t a proposal for a big new park or recreational facility, but a plan to take little bits of public space here and there — streets, parking spots, alleyways — and turn them into places for people. It was the latest example of a municipal government taking an active role in tactical urbanism, that low-cost, low-commitment, incremental approach to city building — the “let’s not build a stadium” strategy.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SCOTUS and Obamacare: Erika swings and misses. Again.

Amid the usual misspellings and chronological confusion (is it today or tomorrow, Erika?), his/her/its posting this morning is a helpful reminder that apart from dullards, the term "Obamacare" never was a pejorative, anyway.

The presidential election likely will be unchanged by the Supreme Court's ruling. As before, it will be a contest between white folks like King Larry who fear their packages aren't big enough, and a demographic coalition literally interpreting "all men are created equal."

To paraphrase the Mittster, RomneyFare was vapid yesterday; it's vapid today. But it is very, very buttoned-down. Now, let's return to the latest episode of Chasing Hillary:



Today, at around 10:15am, the Democrat-left-media complex will launch the most aggressive and substained attack on the institution of the Supreme Court in the history of our Republic.

When the Court throws out all or at least some portion of Obamacare. Obama and his partisans on the left and in the media will declare war on the third co-equal branch of government and seek, in every possible way, to undermine the Supreme Court.

Glimpses of these attacks have been around since oral arguments back in March, but when the reality of the Courts rejections of Obama's signature "achievement" becomes clear, the ferociousness of the attacks will be like nothing we've ever seen.

If we've learned anything about Obama in the past three and half years, it's that he doesn't take defeat well!

Remember that when the left yells that tomorrow's action by the court is merely some partisan act. When they shout that the Court is acting on behalf of "corporate interests",remember the sweerheart deals the Democrats cut with the unions, AARP, the drug companys and health insurance industries to win passage of the bill. They bought off and had the support of virtually every corporation involved in healthcare.

But they couldn't buy off us the American public, and tomorrow the Supreme Court will speak for us.

We personally want to thank our fellow Tea Party Patriots (about 1.6 million of you) that help spark a nation wide grass roots movement that led to sweeping losses of Democrats in 2010 and now Obamacare!

Americans deserve better than Obamacare.

Ryan and Ian and Roger on the radio, tonight.

Those infernal Louisville-area television stations with such short attention spans forgot all about me after the Sherman Minton Bridge reopened earlier this year, so it’s time to take my talents to Clear Channel radio, at least for one Thursday night in June.

I’ll be joining Ryan Rogers and Ian Hall tonight on Chefboyardean. The show runs from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at 1080 AM Talk Radio, WKJK. Ryan's new Feast BBQ is days away from opening in New Albany, and later this fall, Ian is moving his Exchange pub + kitchen to space adjacent to Ryan's in the former Shrader Stables building on Main Street in New Albany.

Chefboyardean is hosted by the legendary Louisville chef Dean Corbett, but Dean’s out of town, so stepping in as the radio program’s guest host is my former beer student, the freelance food writer and all-around great guy Steve Coomes. Just like Steve, I have the perfect face for radio, although Ryan and Ian are fairly photogenic.

We’ll be talking about Feast, Exchange, NABC and downtown New Albany’s dining and drinking scene. Tune in, and read Steve Coomes's explanatory column here.

ON THE AVENUES: Red scarf, white shirt and San Miguel beer.

Red scarf, white shirt and San Miguel beer.

A version of this column originally
was published in 2009

In my travels, I've been lucky to witness a May Day parade in Vienna, frenetic all-night Greek political rallies, Munich's fabled Oktoberfest, U2 live on stage in Ireland, selected soccer matches and small snippets of the Tour de France. The fall of the Berlin Wall in ’89 was a epochal one-time celebration, requiring three decades of preparation and packing a visceral punch, but I missed that one, just barely.

To me, the top Euro-fest is the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain, which runs from July 6 through July 14 each year. My last visit was in 2000, and I miss it very much.

Pamplona’s festival is a multi-hued hybrid. Spectacular public displays of orgiastic, besotted and scatological indecency occur alongside proud and dignified demonstrations of traditional values extending too far back in time to be consciously felt.

San Fermin is a primitive, almost mythological outburst balancing seemingly disparate elements. Confrontations between man and bull, gatherings of grandparents and grandchildren sharing hot chocolate, feasting and contrition, outpourings of religious and political conviction, incessant musical cacophony and extraordinary alcoholic lubrication all suffice as snapshots of the grandeur and debauchery.

I’m so glad that Papa “discovered” Pamplona.


During the Roaring Twenties, an adventurous native of Oak Park, Illinois chose a dusty Spanish market town and its unknown local religious festival as the setting for a novel that made him famous. He was Ernest Hemingway, and his book was “The Sun Also Rises.”

In it, Hemingway offered an enduring behavioral framework for self-aware but intelligent Anglo expatriates. At his San Fermin, foreigners respectful of local color and tradition are contrasted with others who’ve cross the sea for all the wrong reasons, unable to grasp why Pamplona is not Peoria.

Hemingway also established drinking norms for several generations of travelers. Imagine the effect on contemporary readers encumbered by the orthodoxies of Prohibition-era America to read about incessant aperitifs, teeming sidewalk cafes and sweaty pitchers of cool lager beer in the hot Iberian sun.

Eight decades after the novel’s publication and a half-century following Hemingway’s death, San Fermin remains intact, affording the opportunity to walk, talk and drink like Papa.

And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.


As Hemingway undoubtedly would agree, the greatest two minutes in sports do not take place at Churchill Downs each May.

Each morning during San Fermin, muscular beasts and eager humans take to the streets of Pamplona to memorialize the death of the festival's namesake patron saint. The ritual is known as the "Running of the Bulls," as the six bulls scheduled to appear in the coming evening's bullfight (along with six heifers) are released into narrow, barricaded streets and driven 900 meters -- a little more than half a mile -- to the bull ring.

In the path of these bulls are thousands of thrill-seeking festival-goers, roughly divided into two groups.

A tiny minority of sober true believers makes the run each morning in quasi-mystical ecstasy, metaphorically reliving the primitive fears and urges buried in mankind’s collective subconscious, and now brought jarringly to the surface. These native purists and foreign aficionados genuinely want to run WITH the bulls -- to run near them, just ahead of the powerful animals, or alongside them.

Most other “runners” quite frankly are unconscious, having been consumed, digested and expelled by the singular intensity and alcoholic promiscuity of a festival that never sleeps. They desire nothing more than to tell their friends that they "ran with the bulls," and as accommodation, masses of humanity are advanced to starting positions near the end of the course, permitting most to jog a few drunken yards into the bull ring, declare victory, and begin drinking all over again.

At 8:00 a.m. a rocket explodes, signaling the release of the bulls from their pens. A second rocket indicates that all of them are out and running, driven by expert native runners who wield canes and use them -- not on the bulls, but to lash humans who attempt to create problems that might lead to the animals becoming separated.

That’s important, because as long as the bulls stay together, chances are the only injuries will come as a result of humans falling over each other. If a bull becomes separated from the others, he becomes annoyed and may begin flicking his massive head, ramming, goring and tossing people across the street with ease.

Indeed, someone is killed every now and then, and yet running with the bulls is surely less dangerous than bicycling in New Albany, where know-nothings texting, eating Rallyburgers and applying lipstick while simultaneously failing to properly navigate a vehicle prove far more deadly than a half-ton of rampaging meat on the hoof .

The run ends inside the bull ring, where the bulls are driven into their pens. A crowd of triumphant “runners” awaits charging heifers, their horns padded, which are sent into the ring to wreak havoc among the drunkards. Meanwhile, the true aficionados are absent, having already adjourned to bars like the Txoko on the Plaza de Castillo for post-run champagne and lengthy analysis.

Me? I’ve never run with the bulls, and neither did Hemingway, or so I’m told. There are three very good reasons why I haven’t done it.

First, I’d surely spill my drink, and that’s blasphemy.

Second, I couldn’t run 900 meters drunk, sober or anywhere in between.

Third, I’m a coward.

I’ve no idea what Papa’s excuses were, but in his stead again this year, I’ll spend a week in July remembering the good times and wonderful people in Pamplona, all the while craving a bowl of fresh toro stew, a glass of addictive Pacheran liqueur, and a sizeable Cuban cigar – street legal in Spain, and recommended for smoking during that special bull run voyeur's afterglow.

On the Board of Public Works tablings.

Let's be honest about this.

A couple of weeks ago, the Board of Works approved NABC's request to use the Amphitheater for our July 22nd shindig. It's hardly controversial to acknowledge that a different standard is being used to judge Matt "Irish Exit" McMahan's interest in using the facility, primarily because Matt himself is controversial.

Then again, so am I, and I've yet to be asked whether NABC has insurance for our forthcoming event (note: we do). In all such matters, a policy approximating constructive engagement seems sensible to me.

A big part of the city's problems with Amphitheater management during past administrations stemmed from the tendency of a small controlling elite to judge the facility's use by exceedingly narrow standards of appropriateness. By all means, there should be a usage policy, one that includes a fee structure (as previously suggested), but it should be a flexible formula that enables the greatest amount of diversity when it comes to the use of the Amphitheater by entrepreneurs, while ensuring the basic are covered.

Just because wrestling isn't my preference doesn't mean there isn't an audience for it.

Wrestling event proposed for New Albany amphitheater; Live@5 to remain on Bank Street this week, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)

NEW ALBANY — Two requests for use of the Riverfront Amphitheater in July were tabled by the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday.

The Grateful Greens New Albany pick-up has been discontinued.

Just an FYI ...


With a heavy heart, we are sorry to announce that we have decided to pull the plug on the biweekly pick up due to lack of community support.

Our business is quite healthy and very much alive. You can still find our products every Saturday at The Douglass Loop Farmers Market from 10-2 pm, as well as at many local groceries and restaurants.

We would also like to invite you to attend the Upland Wine Trail event at Huber Winery on July 21. We will be there sampling a basil pesto appetizer along with other local farms and wineries. This is a fun evening and a great way to experience and support local agriculture. We will post more info on our Facebook page.

Speaking of Facebook, we invite everyone to join us on our regular page as I will no longer be posting on the Biweekly Pick Up page. Look for us on Grateful Greens Hydroponic Farm on Facebook.

Thank you so much to all of you who have enjoyed our greens and supported this little experiment over the past few months. We have made some wonderful friends and we hope to continue these relationships into the future. We hope to see you at our market or one of our events, stay in touch!

Support your local farmer!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 29: The heat is on, and so Live @ Five is off.

This means Live @ Five takes two weeks off, returning on July 13.


June 27th, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Hall

Due to the extreme heat expected to hit the area this coming weekend, the City of New Albany has decided to postpone the Live@5 concert scheduled for this Friday, June 29th.

With temperatures expected to reach between 100-105 degrees on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Mayor Jeff M. Gahan is urging residents to stay cool, hydrated, and indoors during this heat wave. Given this fact, city officials thought it may be best try to reschedule at a later date for the safety of the attendees, event staff, and musical acts.

“With temperatures over the 100 degree mark, serious precautions need to be taken,” stated Mayor Gahan. “Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated, and do not forget to use your sunscreen if you have to go outside. In addition, please check on your neighbors throughout the weekend – especially the elderly.”

Mayor Gahan also stressed the importance of taking extra precautions while transporting infants and young children in vehicles during the summer heat.

Coming up on the City of New Albany’s Summer Entertainment Schedule is the annual Independence Celebration hosted at the scenic Riverfront Amphitheater. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 3rd, and will feature five musical acts and a large fireworks display. The event starts at 5pm, and is kicked off by Uncommon Sense, a Rock School band from Jimmy’s Music Center in New Albany. Fenderilla, another Rock School band from Jimmy’s will follow, with local band Violet Knives taking the stage after that. Olivia Henken will take the stage for an hour and twenty minute set, followed by The Louisville Crashers.

Live@5 will return regularly on Friday, July 13th. For more information, be sure to keep up-to-date with the City’s website and Facebook page.

Open windows, sidewalks, and downtown reinforcements.

Mike Kopp's updates on Twitter are much appreciated. I have advice after reading his two most recent tweets.

As for Dragon King's Daughter, I'd recommend they inform the health department from the start that there'll be windows there intended for opening (as windows historically have been). After all, I wouldn't want DKD to be as confused as we at Bank Street Brewhouse were, when three and a half years later, it finally occurred to the healthocrats that garage doors tend to be installed for the express purpose of lifting them.

And then there's the sidewalk in front of Ryan's and Ian's new establishments on Main Street. I'm guessing it's been decades since any work was done there, as was the case at BSB, where the sidewalk hadn't been touched for more than fifty years, and yet the hooded troglodytes continue to criticize the city for "giving" businesses new sidewalks -- when in reality, the sidewalks are for everyone in the city, including the troglodytes, who evidently never leave their cars to walk.

Welcome to downtown, guys. Little by little, we win, and your presence will help quite a lot.


 similar look and feel to the open atmosphere at Dragon Kings Daughter for Downtown New Albany location.
  get new sidewalks in front of their establishments for future patrons and a safer walkway.

A nod to the criminally underrated Edgar Winter.

A longtime favorite, and a musician who can do it all. The song is from his "Edgar Winter's White Trash" album way back in 1971, and as such, long predates the artist's conversion to Scientology.

The Tour de France begins this weekend.

I have 1,126 biking kilometers since January 1, powered by craft beer, bile and spittle.

Tour de France 2012: an interactive guide, by Paddy Allen, Jenny Ridley, Giulio Frigieri and William Fotheringham (

Running from 30 June to 22 July the 99th Tour de France comprises a prologue and 20 stages covering 3,497km. Check out our brilliant route maps, stage-by-stage analysis from William Fotheringham and guide to team tactics.

Last year, I wrote a bit about the Tour.


ON THE AVENUES: Vive le beercyclist!

ON THE AVENUES: Vive le beercyclist!

Local Columnist
In a perfect and thus unattainable world, Bank Street Brewhouse’s opening hours would be precisely synchronized with European clocks and Tour de France starts, allowing me to begin most of my July mornings with espresso, baguettes, gnarly goat cheese and beer.

The "Cardinal Connection" to Wall Street's municipal bond scam.

I'm not sure they should be going to prison, although spending time with an independent small business in Southern Indiana (something few, if any, of the bridges project's stalwarts have ever bothered doing), and subsequently seeing up close and personal how damaging tolls are going to be to Hoosiers might seem like prison.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Destruct to construct: Big Four.

Above is the view of where the descent from the Big Four will hit ground in Jeffersonville, looking south. Or is it a canal? Below is the photo I took a couple weeks ago, looking east.

Sweat Equity for slumlordis Newalbansis.

Downtown Louisville condo dividends.

It's a brief piece offering the case for downtown Louisville residency in general, and condo living in particular, but the number that strikes me is 86 (see below).

How many condo units were in that original River View plan?

Downtown Dividends, by Tara Anderson (Insider Louisville)

Bob Holt, a 47-year-old lifelong South End resident, has picked out his new 700-square-foot studio condo at the Mercantile Gallery Lofts on Market Street, and it’s just a matter of paperwork before he can move in ...

... According to the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, 86 units sold in downtown last year for an average price of $135,035. A decade ago, so few condos were sold or for sale in downtown Louisville that they were grouped with Old Louisville, Shively, Butchertown and the West End. “I work in the early stages of the construction industry, so we see more product going out, and that tells us things are starting to pick up some,” Holt says. “I’m getting in incredibly cheap. Five years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a 15 to 20 percent increase in value.”
And, of course, he can spend his weekends doing something besides mowing the lawn.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"City for people," or not?

I posted this at Facebook.

The more dense the urban setting, the greater numbers of walkers and bikers. The greater number of walkers and bikers, the less sense it makes to maintain arterial streets for the benefit of those passing through, to the exclusion of the greater good of the neighborhood hosting the streets. Of course, there must be a balance. But I’m weary of the argument that an extra five minutes transit time for suburbanites is sufficient reason to maintain unsafe conditions for walkers and bikers in urban neighborhoods.

A discussion broke out, and you can read it here.

Bridge toll fluffery: It ain't over 'til it's over.

For your consideration, two items pertaining to the bridges boondoggle, the oligarchic orgasm, and Ed Clere's preferred regimen of "Tolls-R-Us." First, Jim Keith in the newspaper:

Tourism director expresses concerns on tolling

... The Clark-Floyd Counties Convention-Tourism Bureau has been outspoken on the proposed building of an additional I-65 bridge and placing tolls on the bridges. Recently we learned through articles in the News and Tribune that, according to the Bridges Authority, our thoughts and concerns were not “appropriate.”

The Board of Managers is concerned that a new I-65 bridge and tolling will be a deterrent to doing business in Jeffersonville and Clarksville. Our concerns were confirmed with the recently released Economic Impact Study of the Ohio River Bridges Project prepared for the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Department of Transportation prepared by the Economic Development Research Group Inc. Businesses will lose customers and sales and thus some of them may be forced to close ...

— Jim Keith, executive director, Clark-Floyd Counties Convention-Tourism Bureau

Then, Curt Morrison at Insider Louisville:

Curtis Morrison: Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites were right about the bridges, Abramson, Reagan and PR hacks were wrong

Tyler Allen, left, and J.C. Stites sit at rear of April 2010 Bridges Authority meeting.
By Curtis Morrison
Remember in 2005 when 8664 co-founders Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites were right about the bridges, especially the proposed changes downtown?
According to the website, the two local businessmen founded the grassroots organization “after seeing pictures of the proposed 23-lane Spaghetti Junction planned for Louisville’s waterfront.”

John Griffin Miller: "As Paul Simon said in Mrs. Robinson, 'any way you look at it you lose.'”

Let's let John Miller tell his story. Whatever your opinion of John, there are numerous topics for fruitful discussion included therein.

How To Lose in Politics By Telling the Truthby John Griffin Miller

Or how I tried to get either side (or any side) to accept reality
and work for their own (and everyone else’s) best interests.

 ... Actually, the media and the electorate couldn’t have cared less about the election, preferring to wait until minutes before the election and allow a tiny fraction of the voters to make the decisions for them. As Paul Simon said in Mrs. Robinson, “any way you look at it you lose.”

I like to blame the media, since they are the gatekeepers of information, those with the time and wherewithal to present the important facts, although with less and less time and less and less freedom to do their jobs effectively. But voters who don’t demand more from the fourth estate share some of the blame, too. However, the deeper, underlying rationale for the problem is that all parties, and the corporate media, and the voters, and the elected officials themselves, like the system just the way it is. In my sermons to voters, the party functionaries, the media, I always got the same blank stare, which had a couple possible explanations ...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"The City of New Albany and The Horseshoe Foundation proudly present the 2012 Independence Festival" on Tues., July 3, at the Riverfront Amphitheater.

The conspicuous absence of Confederate Railroad is happily noted.

For those so inclined, adult refreshments will begin at 4:00 p.m., and last call will be at 10:45 p.m. The "beer garden" area is restricted to those 21 years of age or older, although drinks can be carried into the all-ages area but not outside the perimeter of the venue's fencing. As of this moment, I am not aware of the city's plans for the vending of food, so stay tuned for further details. NABC hopes to see you there on Tuesday, July 3. Cheers.

We will have 2 "Rock School" bands from Jimmy's Music Center (Uncommon Sense and Fenderilla).  "Violet Knives" will perform a half hour set afterwards, then Olivia Henken will take the stage.  The Louisville Crashers’ first set will follow, with a fireworks display serving as intermission, after which they'll return for their final set.  Wick's will be serving domestic beers, the NABC will be serving their craft beers and the River City Winery will be serving their craft wines.
Schedule of Events                      
5:00-5:30         Uncommon Sense    
5:40-6:10         Fenderilla              
6:20-6:50         Violet Knives          
7:00-8:20         Olivia Henken         
8:30-9:45         Louisville Crashers           
9:45-10:00       Fireworks             
10:00-11:15     Louisville Crashers            
Violet Knives:  Derek Carrell (drums), Eric Condon (bass), Ty Goodwin (guitar), Shawn
Steele (vocals/guitar). Violet Knives are a local indie/alternative band. Influences include Radiohead, R.E.M., Joy Division, and Velvet Underground. 
Olivia Henken: "Big Star Bound!" ...With some artists, this is a true statement, and no more so than for Olivia Henken.  With numerous credits, from Musicals to National appearances, Olivia definitely has the talent to succeed.  Through belting out ballads and rocking out to "Gunpowder & Lead," Olivia has what it takes to entertain all ages.  Olivia is an entertainer for all, delivering an incredible show that must be experienced before her next appearance at an arena near you.
The Louisville Crashers: Widely recognized as one of the nation’s best party bands, the Louisville Crashers are the perfect band for any occasion. With their unparalleled energy, musicianship, and professionalism, they’ll keep your event rockin’ all night long!

Members of the Louisville Crashers have been certified as gold and platinum selling artists by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Canadian Recording Industry Association. They’ve also made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Grand Ole Opry, MTV, and many more. These outstanding musicians have toured all over the world, sharing the stage with world-famous artists such as Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Aerosmith and Michael McDonald.

The art walk was a great success.

Who needs the Louisville Crashers when you have Ten Penny Nail?

Art Walk organizers report a more than five hundred registered art walkers as well as numerous others who didn't sign in.

The crowd at the beer garden on Bank Street was steady all night long. It cooled off considerably for the last two hours, and the music was stellar.

Hats off to Mickey Thompson for the set-up and tear-down, and big thanks to the Dandy Lion crew, the musicians and DJs, Bank Street Brewhouse staff, and of course, the heavy hitters at the Carnegie: Karen Gillenwater and Laura Wilkins. The artists deserve props, too.

Events like the Art Walk require literally hundreds of hours of cumulative background work to produce an atmosphere lasting only one night. But memories of the overall effect are priceless. It hasn't been long since the only time folks came downtown was during Harvest Homecoming. Now, smaller crowds congregate during orchestrated evenings (rest assured, the St. Mary's picnic attendees had a wonderful show with the Crashers even as we "occupied" Bank Street), and also most weekends, even when nothing special is happening.

It's getting there. If you took part in the Art Walk, consider filling out the survey linked below.

Did you attend the Art Walk yesterday, Saturday June 23? Please help us make the Art Walk even better next year by taking this brief online survey!

Spend 5 minutes telling us what you think and you might win a Public Art Project t-shirt. The deadline to complete the survey is July 14, 2012.

Click HERE to take the survey.

THANK YOU, from all of us, to everyone who attended the Art Walk yesterday, and for your continued support of and interest in the Carnegie Center and the New Albany Public Art Project.

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

Nash: "Some of these calls even came hours after the program was over and the traffic was back to normal."

Surely one of Matt's best ever columns. While staying informed may strike most people as the most responsible option, longstanding New Albany political traditions of default reactivity result in the "I'm not getting the information even if you strike me in the face with it" option -- far better for grandstanding than admitting to be knowledgeable about a topic.

NASH: Have you heard about Live@5?
Earlier this month at a meeting of the common council of the city of New Albany, a couple of the council people announced their dismay at the city’s Live@5 concert series.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

DP Updogs is open in the former Little Chef space.

It's great to see this space cleaned, refitted and serving hot dogs and ice cream on the corner of Market and Bank. Congratulations and best wishes to the owners and their staff.

Twitter: @dpupdogs

The NAC ombudsman cometh: Two corrections.

1. This post has been corrected, substituting an updated event poster (The Fervor not performing, replaced by Dust Radio):

The event poster for 25 Years of Beer and Loathing.

2. This post also has been corrected; Ian Hall will join Ryan Rogers and the Publican on the radio this Thursday, June 28:

Ryan and Roger and Ian on the radio. Read below to find out when.

Train track work finished yesterday, Grant Line Road now open.

From Daniel Suddeath at News and Tribune.

Grant Line Road in New Albany reopens at train tracks

NEW ALBANY — After closing Monday for construction, the railroad crossing on Grant Line Road has reopened.

City officials said Grant Line Road reopened at the crossing at about 2:25 p.m. Friday. CSX Railroad Corp. had requested the closing so that it could install new tracks in conjunction with the improvement project being footed by the city for Grant Line Road.

The crossing is near Pillsbury Lane and the closure meant motorists had to use detour routes to access many of the businesses along Grant Line Road.

Construction is expected to continue into the fall between Mount Tabor Road and McDonald Lane along Grant Line Road, with improvements to include the addition of a turning lane.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The event poster for 25 Years of Beer and Loathing.

A compendium of NABC news.

From my "other" blog.

Ryan Rogers and Roger Baylor on the radio. Read below to find out when.

Haggis Laddie is back -- even if its primary reason for being (Celts on the River) is not.

"LIBA kicks off 'Independents Week' a little early with the Louisville Brewfest," coming June 22.

NABC Black & Blue Grass at Iroquois Amphitheater for Counting Crows concert, June 25.

Turbo Hog Malt Liquor: It's a long story, indeed.

Bullseye remains affixed to county government in NAFC parks funding fiasco. Anyone got a hankie?

“The county can stand up there and say ‘we’re the friends of the parks, we’re the supporters of the parks,’ but had the county honored the agreement they had originally, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” (Steve Laduke) said.
From: Parks still a sore spot for New Albany, Floyd County; Closing Community Park has been discussed, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)

“We’ve taken the automobile, which can be a wonderful tool, and totally exaggerated its importance.”

Here's another batting practice toss for CM CeeSaw to watch, uncomprehending, for a called strike three.

From two feet to four wheels and back again (

James Street North and Upper James Street share more than a name — they capture in a few kilometres the fundamental changes the automobile has brought to Canadian cities.

Ken Greenberg, author and planning consultant, told the downtown revival conference in Hamilton Thursday it’s time to start reversing some of those changes if cities are to become livable again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ON THE AVENUES: 25 Years of Beer & Loathing.

ON THE AVENUES:  25 Years of Beer & Loathing.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

My pal TR called for a catch-up chat. It had been a week since my return from four months in Europe, and I was woefully depleted of gossip, so TR suggested lunch at a joint called Sportstime Pizza, apparently recently established somewhere near Grant Line Road. I couldn’t really form a mental picture of the place until he resorted to a past-tense directional comparison: “It’s where the Noble Roman’s used to be.”

It was 1987, and now, as thousands of years of human history pass by, I join the chorus of individuals always asking, “Where did the time go?”

I couldn’t tell you the answer, except to mischievously recall another friend’s longtime assertion that his eventual autobiography would bear the title, “What I Remember.” Not mine, which is slated to be called “Beer, Bile and Bolsheviks: A Fermentable Life," but there’s little time to write the book because the business I inadvertently stumbled into two decades ago still keeps me ridiculously busy amid a career of selling the idea of beer, a course that somehow took shape during gaps between bouts of drinking lots and lots of it.

Naturally, none of this could have taken place without the work, contributions and input of so many people, from co-owners Amy and Kate through all our employees, customers and folks far too numerous to count – past, present and future. At the risk of sounding trite, I’ll consciously echo Queen, who said it best.

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain't gonna lose

Unfortunately, as I’m channeling the late and lamented Freddie Mercury, the missus is assuming the voice of barrister’s mate Hilda Rumpole to remind me that any mention of “fortune” is utterly misplaced in my professional context. It’s true, although the value of enjoying one’s work and being paid to drink beer whilst performing it … that’s truly priceless.


The New Albanian Brewing Company will mark its first quarter-century of existence with a day-long picnic and concert at New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater on Sunday, July 22, 2012.

As most readers probably know, nowadays the original location near Grant Line Road is known as the NABC Pizzeria & Public House, incorporating Sportstime, Rich O’s Public House (1992) and the 2002 addition of craft brewing on site. NABC’s most recent progeny (2009) is NABC Bank Street Brewhouse, located in New Albany’s historic business district downtown.

“25 Years of Beer & Loathing” is what we’re calling the fete, and NABC’s 25th anniversary celebration will be a day-long musical, family-friendly event with food, activities and refreshments suitable for all ages. The venue is New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater, from 10:00 a.m. to sundown on Sunday, July 22. The Amphitheater is located by the Ohio River in downtown New Albany, with ample parking available by the levee at the foot of Pearl Street.

There is no cover charge for this event, and it’ll be cash 'n' carry for food, drinks and vending. Proceeds after expenses will be disbursed in the form of grants to Rauch Inc., the Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund and New Albany First.

So that all of our current employees can participate in recalling 25 Years of Beer & Loathing, NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse will be closed on Sunday, July 22, although the Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar will be operating at the Riverfront Amphitheater from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (see below). Following in alphabetical order are details about what to expect.

NABC’s draft truck (Rosa L. Stumblebus) will be on hand with old favorites and special releases. We’ll be pouring all four of NABC’s 10th brewery anniversary beers: Bourbondaddy, Stumblebus, Turbo Hog and Scotch de Ainslie. There’ll also be a special 10th anniversary session ale called Get Off My Lawn. In addition, limited quantities of cask-conditioned Naughty Girl (double dry-hopped) and Oaked Choufftimus will be served while they last.

Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar
A Bank Street Brewhouse staple at Sunday brunch, the bar will move to the waterfront, with Miss Sarah on hand to guide visitors through garnishes, sauces and fresh embellishments.

Charitable donations
Net monies after expenses will be used for grants to be given to Rauch Inc, the Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund and NA1st. Our longtime friends at Rauch support people with disabilities through services designed to promote individual choices, growth and well being, while encouraging a community environment that acknowledges the value and contribution of all people. They’ll be helping NABC with the children’s area and site clean-up. The Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund was set up to assist the daughter of the late Ryan Pickhardt, a local musician and keyboard player for the band Sativo Gumbo, with whom NABC has longstanding ties. NA1st is New Albany’s only grassroots independent business alliance, seeking to support and promote independent business owners and to educate community members about the importance of buying locally. On the 22nd, volunteers from NA1st will assist NABC in monitoring entrances and exits, and policing the grounds.

Children’s Area Activities
A duck pond, face painting, temporary tattoos, an art area and perhaps other activities will be available for the kids.

Feast BBQ (116 W Main St) is roasting a pig, and will be offering these items: Pork sliders with pickles and onions; pork tacos with cilantro, lime, cotija, and crema; and smoked corn on the cob ... Shawn, TJ and Charlestown Pizza Company will be preparing chicken salad croissants, Asian slaw, pasta salad, fruit cups and other fare ... NABC is brewing root beer for the event, and of course there’ll be water and soft drinks.

Music schedule

10:00 a.m.: (house music)
12 Noon: Roz Tate
1:00 p.m.: Ben Traughber
2:00 p.m.: Five Foot Fish
3:00 p.m.: Beeler Attic
4:00 p.m.: Jed and the NoiseMakers
5:00 p.m.: Porch Possums
6:00 p.m.: Dust Radio
7:00 p.m.: Whiskey Riders
8:00 p.m.: Toledo Bend

River City Winery will be on hand to sell wines and Sangria.

We hope you'll be able to stop by and help us remember what we remember.