Sunday, January 31, 2016

RQAW's letter to property owners: The "street improvements" project that dare not speak its name.

Usable text below.


Read Speck now: Are these Spring Street improvements really improvements for people, as opposed to their cars?

Following is the text of the letter received by property owners on Market, Spring and Elm Streets. It isn't clear whether property owners on any other downtown streets (Bank, Pearl, W. 7th, Scribner Drive) received these letters.

In the absence of clarity, we can only guess. For those who find my use of the term "Orwellian" to be exaggerated in regard to such matters, simply ask yourself this question:

Do you know what is meant by the phrase "New Albany Downtown Street Improvements," or by the word "project"?

If not, are you aware of a web site or previous information release where these terms are defined?

If your answer to these questions is "no," then what actually can be known?

It's true that many of us surmise that the "street improvements" in question have something to do with two-way streets, traffic calming or complete streets. They may even address Jeff Speck's Downtown Street Network Proposals. It might even be the case that Speck's proposals are being implemented in their entirety.

However, judging solely from the information released to date to the public by City Hall, do we really know for sure?

It is no exaggeration to suggest that if you were to approach Board of Works chairman Warren Nash today and ask him what all this means, he would pat you patronizingly on the back and tell you that it's being taken care of, and any questions can be asked by attending a Board of Works meeting, each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. -- no e-mail, no web site, just a once weekly meeting.

Were you to request the location of an information source available to the public, either at the City-County Building or on-line, neither Nash nor anyone else affiliated with City Hall would be able to direct you to it, because it does not exist.

If you're a reliable political ally, one of them might whisper into your ear and swear you to secrecy, but that's probably as far as it would go, and you might be asked for a campaign donation as tangible evidence of your loyalty.

In short, what they say is this: "Just trust us."

Unfortunately, the last time Team Gahan undertook a bold act of "street improvement" downtown, the result was the catastrophic and wastefully expensive Main Street Median Project, the existence of which subsequently has discredited the local leadership caste so completely that it cannot be trusted to change the toilet paper roll, much less institute changes that actually change something.

I'm not bereft of hope. I genuinely want to believe the down-low murmurings, tea leaf readings and code-language reassurances. I'd like to think that the stopped clock really is right twice a day, and that Team Gahan will defy the suburban-centric odds and produce a fundamentally revolutionized street grid capable of transforming downtown, not merely functioning as a cosmetic Band-Aid worthy of Uncle Walt Disney.

But there must be a plausible reason to believe, and until one arises, I'll continue to sweat the details, because they're where the devil resides.

Note: There is a city council meeting on 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 1, in addition to the weekly BOW gathering on Tuesday morning at ten. Both meetings come complete with public speaking time. Do you have questions? If so, come and quiz your elected and appointed officials. It may be your only chance, yea or nay.

Until then, here is some down home "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?" for your Sunday afternoon.


January 26, 2016

Notice of Entry for Survey or Investigation

RE: New Albany Downtown Street Improvements
Floyd County, Indiana
DES 0901275

RQAW has been hired as a sub-consultant to HWC Engineering who is hired by the City of New Albany for designing the above referenced project. Our information indicates that you own property near the above proposed transportation project. RQAW will be performing a survey of environmental resources within the project area in the near future. It may be necessary for representatives from RQAW to enter your property to complete this work. This is permitted by law per Indiana Code (IC) 8-23-7-26. Anyone performing this type of work has been instructed to identify him or herself, if you are available, before they enter your property. If you no longer own this property or it is currently occupied by someone else, please let us know the name of the new owner or occupant so that we can contact them about the survey. 

At this stage, we generally do not know what effect, if any, the project may eventually have on your property. If we later determine that your property is involved, you will be contacted with additional information. 

The survey work may include the identification and mapping of wetlands and historic resources, archaeological investigations (which may involve the survey, testing, or excavation of identified archaeological sites) and various other environmental studies. The information we obtain from such studies is necessary for the proper planning and design of the transportation project. It is our sincere desire to cause as little inconvenience as possible during the survey. 

If problems do occur, please contact Joe Dabkowski from RQAW at (317) 815-7232 or at 10401 N. Meridian St., Suite 401, Indianapolis, Indiana 46290. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. 


RQAW Corporation
Joseph Dabkowski, PWS
Environmental Department

"Here’s a US import Britain should ban – and it’s not Donald Trump."

I don't have any kids, but I understand why those of you who do rightly seek to protect them from things like drug use at an early age, as we know how this can damage the brain. But knowing what we do now about brain injuries and football, it's unclear to me why we're still encouraging it.

Here’s a US import Britain should ban – and it’s not Donald Trump, by Martin Kettle (The Guardian)

We can embrace presidential elections and the Oscars, but the NFL is too dangerous to adopt ... the problem about American football is that it’s way too dangerous for the players. As the Packers coach Vince Lombardi (the Super Bowl is played for a trophy in his name) once put it: “Football is not a contact sport; it is a collision sport.” In a long career, a successful player can expect to endure more than 70,000 blows. Most of all, this means blows to the head, and repeated concussions. Current estimates, according to the writer and Packers fan David Maraniss, are that nearly 30% of all NFL players will suffer some form of dementia after playing the game. NFL players are up to 19 times more likely than the rest of the population to suffer this condition.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Read Speck now: Are these Spring Street improvements really improvements for people, as opposed to their cars?

Is this the twist when City Hall, unwilling as ever to publicly enunciate the name S-P-E-C-K for fear that it will be associated with ideas advanced for a decade or more not by the figurehead-in-chief himself, who has always and will always cower, but by others, with Team Gahan still so very hesitant to get out in front and lead ... well, then, is this the unexpected first instance of the mayor artfully sneaking Speck's complete street principles into the street grid in a section of Spring Street where it's easier to implement, since the street already runs two ways, and the whole thing can be disguised by evasive code words (a bureaucratic-sounding safety initiative for cars, not people) without educating anyone, or explaining anything, just letting the doddering public works' political appointee of a gatekeeper pass it along, because otherwise he'd just be selling real estate, anyway, and how much would THAT suck?

Or, will Speck's potentially transformative work be discarded like a used condom on one of those stretches of Spring Street where you can walk for ten blocks without seeing a garbage can, and once forgotten, the political bullshit comes down hard, yet again, crass and unrelenting, like it always does here in New Albany -- like it did on Main Street?

Help us hold their feet to the fire. These are the Speck proposals:


From the introduction though page 59, you'll find the evidence- and experience-based rationale for reforming the street grid. Beginning on page 60, a section-by-section analysis begins with the same length of Spring Street described by the following press release, as published in the Jeffersonville newspaper. We have precious little to work with, but please compare and contrast with what has been revealed. Speck's plan is integrated as a downtown grid in its entirety. Significant deviance in these instances should clue us in as to Team Gahan plans on botching implementing the harder parts.

Hint: WDRB coverage shows a diagram with 11-ft lane widths and no street parking. Is this accurate? Does it mirror Speck?

Improvements coming to Spring Street in New Albany

NEW ALBANY — Two of New Albany's busiest and most dangerous stretches of road will soon see an upgrade.

According to crash analysis from the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, two street segments in the city have been ranked among the highest prone to accidents in Southern Indiana. Specifically, Spring Street, from Beharrell Avenue to Silver Street, was ranked the second-highest accident-prone street segment, while Spring Street, from Silver Street to Vincennes Street, was ranked as the 17th highest accident-prone street segment, according to a release from the mayor's office.

New Albany applied for and recently received special federal Highway Safety Improvement Program grant money through the Indiana Department of Transportation to correct these segments.

The improvements, which are being funded by 90 percent federal money, include:

  • A new signal with exclusive opposing left turn lanes at the Spring and Silver intersection;
  • A modified three-lane section with two westbound travel lanes on the east leg of Spring Street — from Beharrell Avenue to Silver Street; and
  • A two-lane section with buffered bike lanes, parking lanes and exclusive left turn lanes at key intersections on the west leg of Spring Street (from Silver Street to Vincennes Street).

Let us know what you see.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bill Allen's shit hole properties on Main Street -- now with a street couch amid the merry rubble.

As I was walking down the street one day -- Main Street, Wednesday morning, to be exact -- it seemed that Bill Allen finally had taken steps to improve his dilapidated shit hole of a building.

With vibrant used sidewalk furniture.  

It must have been a "pay the slumlord rent" sale. Concurrently, the views are as inspiring as always, and the shyster probably still want a few million for his pile of neglected bricks.

A couple of months back, at least someone tired of viewing the breathtaking propaganda ...

... and made a citizen's cleanup.

For all these reasons and so many others, there can be only one reasonable response to Bill Allen.

Bill Allen's shit hole properties on Main Street are decades-long festering eyesores.

The platypus is our new official city mammal, and will begin donating eggs to the mayor's State Senate campaign immediately.

No, it's NOT a seal. It's a platypus.

"The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate hoax."
-- Wikipedia

The Green Mouse has learned that the Great Snow Schlong of 2016 wasn't a member at all.

I was trying to make Perry the Platypus. What pervert thought it was something else and ruined my art????

These guys, that's who. We've identified them as the mayor's crack Public Art Deportment Department.

Bicentennial Park Snow Schlong: Or, when City Hall stamped out public art (literally).

Our new American fascism: "Ordinariness is no protection against doing great evil."

Just the other night over beers, I ventured the opinion that another global conflict on the order of the World Wars is inevitable -- not the disruptive but ultimately low intensity of the "war on terrorist Muslims," and not nuclear conflict (losing too many markets is bad for the 1%), but the big conventional kahuna, perhaps with a handy plague or famine to follow.

Cynicism aside, realism informs us that this cycle of pain has been repeated throughout human history, again and again. War becomes attractive, and is viewed as an acceptable alternative to negotiation, once enough people have forgotten what it really means, and with attention spans ever shorter amid the most readily available surplus of useful information in mankind's history, it's hard to come up with a plausible argument for the maintenance of peace.

I might suggest there are effective uses to thoughtful knowledge of the past, but that's thinking, and I'm not sure this notion is of interest at the precise moment when American wheels threaten to skip rails.

I'd suggest that recalling the lessons of the Holocaust, and remembering why we return so often to Eichmann, Arendt and the "banality" of evil, except that so many of our homegrown fascists are yelling so loudly, and the sound of those boots landing on human faces tends to drown out the teaching moment.

Why Adolf Eichmann’s final message remains so profoundly unsettling, by Giles Fraser (The Guardian)

 ... All of which doesn’t make Eichmann any less disturbing. It makes him more so. For what Arendt’s Eichmann did was to demonstrate that ordinariness is no protection against doing great evil. Cesarani too, sees Eichmann as a sort of “everyman”. No, he wasn’t just a travel agent, indifferent to the destination of his passengers. He was personally responsible, a responsibility he blindly denied right to the end. Which is precisely why the moral message of his story remains profoundly unsettling: if ordinary people were capable of such great evil, then, given the right circumstances, so are the rest of us.

But I'm not opposed to the GOP presidential field ripping itself apart.

Elsewhere this morning, guest columnist Nick Vaughn makes the conservative argument against Donald Trump's candidacy.

WITHIN CITY LIMITS: Episode IV, The Saga Continues: My Trump Soap Box.

With the recent news of Donald Trump missing the next debate (which will have happened by the time you read this) I felt that now was the time to dust off my anti­-Trump rhetoric and bless you all with an article filled with my anger, because this is a blog after all.

Meanwhile, a publication that has endorsed Bernie Sanders (a move not endorsed by everyone on its editorial board) undertakes to explain The Donald's thinking.

Trump Plays It Smart, While the Rest of the GOP Field Rips Itself Apart, by John Nichols (The Nation)

... Trump skipped Thursday night’s Fox News debate in Des Moines, a move that at the start of the 2016 Republican race would, indeed, have been considered unacceptable, unimaginable, and unexplainable.

But anyone who watched the debate without Trump quickly understood why he decided that he was better off across town.

WITHIN CITY LIMITS: Episode IV, The Saga Continues: My Trump Soap Box.

WITHIN CITY LIMITS: Episode IV, The Saga Continues: My Trump Soap Box.

By Nick Vaughn, Guest Columnist

With the recent news of Donald Trump missing the next debate (which will have happened by the time you read this) I felt that now was the time to dust off my anti­-Trump rhetoric and bless you all with an article filled with my anger, because this is a blog after all.

Initially when I had first become aware of the Trump phenom, I had thought that his support would fizzle out, that it was just name ID helping him in the polling. Then he started saying things, very rude things, things that are not feasible, things that pander to the very same base that started the Obama birther rumors and the idea that he was a Muslim (why would that even matter?) As his support grew and poll numbers increased, I began to think that his supporters are just straight up delusional, but that’s when I came to the realization that these people actually believe what he is saying.

Now, I tend to agree that these people are well intentioned and absolutely love America, but their anger is misplaced and over the top, which blinds them from the real issues at hand. Spewing pure hatred for Muslims and Hispanics because of the actions of a few is so wrong on so many levels. Do we have an illegal immigration problem? Yes. Does that mean we shut out those who are in dire need of the opportunities America can provide them? Absolutely not.

The dehumanization of Hispanics and Muslims must come to an end. That’s now how we “Make America Great Again.” We don’t shut people out. Since our inception we have been the beacon of hope and freedom in the world. A place where immigrants could come and get a good paying job and raise a family. The large majority of immigrants have good intentions when coming to America. We know this from the high number of them who are employed and raising a family.

So how can Donald Trump and his supporters so rabidly preach and promote hatred and bigotry towards these groups of people? This is a classic example of misplaced conservatism. When I think of conservatism, I think of an ideology that is wary of government intervention, advocates for fair taxes, promotes free market ideals, and limits government spending.

What we currently have is a conservative movement of hatred, and I would like to mention the following, for all you conservatives out there who are head over heels for Trump because of his conservatism:

  1. He supported a single ­payer healthcare system.
  2. His immigration plans will expand government spending by over 600 billion.
  3. His idea to create a database of all Muslims to track them goes against the 1st and 4th amendments to the Constitution.
  4. (And this one is important for you conservatives) he has donated to both Hillary and Bill Clinton and has supported them in the past.

I know some of you out there say that as a businessman Trump had to donate to the Clintons and other politicians because he is so smart and is just playing the game. Well, what if I told you he was a liar? What if I told you about how many times his businesses have gone bankrupt? What if I told you that Mr. Self Made Trump used his daddy’s money to begin his terrible run in private sector business? What if I told you Donald Trump is such a good politician, that you think he is the anti politician who will end the corruption in Washington but will instead run America into the ground because that’s what his track record would suggest?

Would you care? Or will you just keep going along?

Donald Trump may be the Republican nominee, but he will not be President of the United States. Donald Trump’s nomination only ensures a Democrat in the White House, something you conservatives really don’t want, remember?

So, when you all decide to wake up, let me know. I’ll be here holding onto what we have left of our country.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

As George Carlin said, “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

For example.

At this precise moment, my mother's long-term care insurance provider suggests that she's benefited so greatly from the care available for her in assisted living, for which the insurer reimburses us, that it is considering erasing the benefit. It isn't yet a "done" deal, and there may be a satisfactory resolution, though not until after significant stress for all of us.

This wouldn't occur in Norway, Denmark or Sweden, would it? I'm starting to get resentful about that drunken, errant stork.

After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward. Here’s Why.

A crash course in social democracy, by Ann Jones (The Nation)

... Norway, Denmark, and Sweden practice variations of a system that works much better than ours. Yet even the Democratic presidential candidates, who say they love or want to learn from those countries, don’t seem know how they actually work.

ON THE AVENUES: They're surely not ROLL models.

ON THE AVENUES: They're surely not ROLL models. 

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Often I write about walking, so it may come as a surprise to some that while my aim remains to find ways of alternative transportation when it comes to shifting this bulk from place to place, ultimately I’m bound by auto-centrism just as much as the next surly curmudgeon.

It is a fact, and I thoroughly detest it. Cars don’t define my humanity; they constrain and warp it. I firmly believe that future generations will look back and ask: “What were they thinking?”

The answer is easy. We weren’t.

Earlier this week I was driving my mother back to her apartment at Silvercrest from an appointment. Nearing the eastbound I-64 ramp from I-265 W, the rear view mirror displayed a very fast-moving red pickup truck, closing rapidly at the very moment I was deaccelerating for the on-ramp.

Interstate on-ramps generally compel a driver to merge to the left, into the lane with ostensibly slower traffic. This isn’t the case at the I-64 E ramp from I-265 W. One must merge to the right, joining faster traffic as it thunders from the highlands down the “cut” toward the bridge.

For those planning to exit at New Albany, as was my intent, it requires first merging into the fastest lane, then cutting across traffic through the center lane, all the way to the right.

The red pickup already was tailgating me as we came down the sloping grade. There was daylight to the west in both left and center lanes, and as soon as I could, I merged and began easing toward the center lane, one eye on the rear view mirror, where the way would have been clear – except the red pickup jerked hard to the right, trying to make it past me in the center lane.

But I was already there, and the far right lane had a semi rig in it. The pickup’s driver slammed the breaks, veered left, and rushed around me in a flash. I had barely enough time to see two noteworthy objects: A blue municipal license plate, and a Floyd County Highway Department insignia on the passenger door.

Within seconds, the pickup easily topped 80 mph, racing toward the New Albany exit. I gave my horse the whip, but a Ford Fusion has only so much energy to give; besides, my mother was in the car with me. No rage at all, ma'am, and there simply wasn’t any chance to get close enough to record the license plate number.

County government’s red pickup truck kept going gangbusters down the ramp, rolled quickly through the stop sign on Spring Street, and instead of turning left on Market – surely the driver's speed and recklessness indicated an urgent need to get to the emergency room – it proceeded straight, toward Main.

Perhaps it was a Chick fil-A delivery to the Pine View Government Center?


At last Thursday’s city council meeting, according to these minutes, at-large councilman Al Knable briefly quizzed street department chief Mickey Thompson.

Dr. Knable stated that he met with a constituent at his request and walked the Coyle site and they had some concerns about ADA and some of the sidewalks not being wheelchair accessible. He said that with the construction going on the south side of Spring Street, he didn’t know if the corner project at 5th Street could be accelerated so that some ramps could be put in. He added that right now there is no continuous way for someone on a rascal or wheelchair to go east to west or vice versa. He thought maybe our attorney and the builder’s attorney could look at it to make sure we are in compliance.

Mr. Thompson stated that he could look into it.

Note that Mr. Thompson sits on New Albany's somnolent Board of Works, which has met roughly eight times since the access issue first was reported on November 29 at NA Confidential. We've been waiting on the newspaper to notice the Coyle site sidewalk failure. Unfortunately, it's been down a reporter for the NA beat,

Since September. But I digress.

(Mr. Thompson) also stated he told them that they could put up their fence but they had to keep one side open so if they closed the sidewalk on one side, the other side had to be accessible. He added that we also have the sidewalk project going on at 5th Street so that may have caused the problem.

Dr. Knable stated that there are a couple of areas where the ramps are accessible but there’s clearly one gap about midway through the site that you can’t get through.

Mr. Thompson stated that he is in contact with the manager of the project so he can get with him and look at it.

Dr. Knable recommended that it be treated like if it were downtown Indianapolis and everything done with wayfaring signs and access.

Kudos to the councilman for mentioning Indianapolis, where efforts are made in the vast majority of cases to clearly delineate interruptions to sidewalk access, under the presumption that even if city officials don't see a problem during their trips back and forth by car, sidewalk users nonetheless exist -- and some of them are handicapped.

Let's be clear. It is the city of New Albany’s responsibility to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but in this instance, those city officials who might reasonably be expected to ensure compliance meekly stepped aside, fingers crossed, and turned matters over to a contractor – and we're to believe that not a soul noticed when the handicapped ramps were blocked by temporary fencing.

If none of them noticed, and I suspect they did, it wouldn't be surprising. If institutional walkability consciousness can be measured in negative numbers, that's where you'll find Team Gahan's marks: Less than zero.

Two blocks away from the Break Wind construction site, on the east side of 3rd Street between Main and Market, the sidewalk has been blocked for years by cars allowed to park atop it.

Nothing is said, nothing is done.

The same has been true for months on the southeastern corner of 15th and Spring, where automobiles parked at the business there routinely block the public's right of way, forcing rascals and wheelchairs to detour on the street itself.

Nothing is said, nothing is done.

When it snows, municipal and private contractors alike push mounds of snow away from precious parking places, squarely into the path of pedestrians.

Nothing is said ... that's right: And nothing is done.


Did I mention the city’s obligation to comply with the ADA?

Perhaps the able-bodied are the only ones who matter in our brave new Gahanian pretend-world, where voters drive cars, and wheelchair users have only themselves to blame when their ramps disappear. It's as much of a human rights issue as any other, but I'll be surprised if there is any mention of it at the quarterly meeting of Southern Indiana Equality later tonight.

There are points to be made here, both great and small, though I’ll confine myself to just one.

Is it really asking too much to expect local government employees, and by extension local government itself, to serve as examples of the importance of enforcing law, rather than ease in evading it?


Recent columns:

January 21: ON THE AVENUES: When I grow up, I'd like to be alive.

January 14: ON THE AVENUES: Should the Queen fail to rescue us, there's always H. L. Mencken.

January 7: ON THE AVENUES: You know, that time when Roger interviewed himself.

December 31: ON THE AVENUES: My 2015 in books and reading.

December 24: ON THE AVENUES: Fairytale of New Albania (2015 mashup).

Dietbusters Unite: "All you can eat" fried chicken slated for Sundays at Gospel Bird.

Not quite yet, because Gospel Bird hasn't opened (February is the target) ...

"There's a restaurant in that truck. Delivery day!"

 ... but when it does, this is ominous news from the standpoint of my waistline. I may have to ration myself to once monthly.

Who's kidding who?

Aside from our regular Sunday brunch menu, every Sunday is ALL YOU CAN EAT FRIED CHICKEN ALL DAY LONG. We'll have all of the games on in our bar area and when the weather breaks we will have a gorgeous patio. Look for our grand opening late February and follow us here and Instagram for all of the exciting updates!

Previously at NAC:

Gospel Bird update: Mid to late February opening date as pieces fall into place.

A Tale of Two Cultural Guides: Ankara, meet New Albany.

Perhaps it isn't a fair comparison, given that Ankara is a huge national capital city, and we're a Louisville metro neighborhood.

New Albany's assessment surely reinforces the notion of New Albany as a place where indie businesses can survive, even if the traditional power elites don't grasp what this means.

You Really Need to (Re)Visit New Albany. Here’s Why!, by Heidi Potter (Style Blueprint)

All of this love is contained in just a few square blocks. Simply park and walk; you can even meander around like we did. Here are some of the highlights you must check out.

Perhaps the Ankara profile better illustrates a process of grassroots empowerment -- a bubbling up of culture -- that seems to be missing in New Albany. Or, is it there, and we're just not paying attention?

An insider's cultural guide to Ankara: 'Modern without being snobby' (Guardian)

From psychedelic folk music to guerrilla artists, Didem Tali takes us behind the new urban developments in Turkey’s capital.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Baby Doe ... or the antidote to Pollyanna.

(Thanks to LP for the Twitter prompt)

I'm not going to kid you.

This story is not easy reading, but there are times when Americans need to leave behind our founding Pollyanna Principle, divert our gaze from mindless entertainment and cheap plastic baubles, and think.

Does it make your brain hurt?

So very sorry about that.

For as long as I can remember, the mantra has been repeated again and again: It's their own fault. Those among us who are impoverished or ill equipped for whatever reason to make their way in life, well, its their problem. They must get better, so as not to disturb the self-congratulatory reverie inhabited by the rest of us. Can't they just clean up after themselves and look improved?

It's a variation of the Richard Nixon's words in the movie, Where the Buffalo Roam: "Fuck the doomed."

That's one thing if you're an adult. We can coerce compliance with an endless cycle of consumer debt, further your addiction to substances ranging from meth to Rally burgers, and if that doesn't work, incarcerate you. Fuck the doomed, right?

But what about the children?

Baby Doe: A political history of tragedy, by Jill Lepore (New Yorker)

 ... More than a hundred inches of snow fell in Boston last winter, storm after storm. So the Blizzard of 1978 was on my mind when, not long after daffodils poked up through the last of the long-lingering snow, the lifeless body of a little girl was discovered in a trash bag on Deer Island, cast away.

Further background is here.

SHANE'S Excellent New Words: après moi le déluge.

Warm human beings everywhere. In Flanders Field, they’re piled 10 high. 
The Mekong, it’s just a long, soft river.
I’ll do this, I’ll do that –
You can’t fight City Hall, it keeps changing its name –

Ah pooey on 'em – you pays your taxes and you passes to your grave, why study their "matters"? Let them present their problematical matters before the zoning board, or present complaint SIX on matters before the kidnaped Dean (problem planning committees for planning problem solutions] 'cause "I've got," as Neal Cassady said, "my own lil' old bangtail mind."

-- Jack Kerouac, "After Me the Deluge," Chicago Tribune, 1969

Welcome to another installment of "SHANE's Excellent New Words," a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

Why new words?

Because a healthy vocabulary isn't about trying to show you're smarter than the rest. To the contrary, it's about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one's pay grade or station in life.

Even municipal corporate attorneys are eligible for this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, all we have is time during the period of the occupation. This week we'll up the ante and consider an idiom, and a French idiom at that.

après moi le déluge
[a-pre mwa luh dey-lyzh]

1. after me, the deluge (attributed to Louis XV, adapted from après nous le déluge “after us the deluge,” credited to Madame de Pompadour: said in reference to signs of the approaching Revolution).

Exactly what is meant by "after me, the deluge"?

It's more nuanced than you might think. For a tolerably brief yet incredibly detailed exploration of the idiom’s origins, it’s hard to beat this 2006 blog post, which has generated almost 450 comments. I’ll skip straight to the conclusion.

The Expression “Après moi le déluge”, and Its Classical Antecedents, by Gabriel Laguna (Tradición Clásica)

... In sum, from this journey through the classical (as well as modern) antecedents of the royal phrase issue two main facts: 1) practically all of the examples cited suggest that the French king’s phrase means: “It matter not at all to me whether, after my death, the flood or any other catastrophe comes”; 2) the idea that we must not worry about what happens after our death is quite widespread in classical antiquity, and belongs to the ideologies of several philosophical schools (Epicureanism, Cynicism) but, more specifically, the mention of the deluge in this context is documented in both Lucretius and Strato of Sardis. It is difficult to ascertain whether Louis XV (or Pompadour) was directly inspired by one of these two poets, or whether he coined the phrase independently.

The Free Dictionary takes it a step further, into how the idiom has been reinterpreted in more recent times. In short, there is an element of prophecy involved.

après moi le deluge

A disaster will follow. The French phrase, translated as “After me the deluge,” has been attributed to King Louis XVI or to his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. He or she was referring to the centuries of excessive living enjoyed by the aristocracy and paid for by the rest of France and what would happen as a result when His Majesty (or Madame) went to their heavenly rest. Whether the king or his main squeeze was predicting a cataclysm or simply indicating that he or she didn't care what came after them isn't clear. Nevertheless, whoever spoke the words was a prophet in his or her time: fourteen years after Louis's death came the revolution that swept away the old order, including Louis's son. No one could have been ideologically further from the Bourbon monarchy than Karl Marx, who repeated the phrase in his Das Kapital: “Après moi le déluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society.”

“Après moi le déluge,” Marxist-style. I'm enamored.

Personally, the prophetic element of this idiom has always suggested self-justification, in the sense of a powerful leader or dictator rationalizing excesses as necessary (paraphrasing): “Only my own skills and ability stand as a bulwark against catastrophe, so while I may need to be harsh at times, it’s better than what might follow in my absence – and surely will once I’m gone.”

Thanks for reading. I've reached my syllable limit for fancy-schmancy words, as mandated and enforced by the Bored of Works.

See you next time.

BOW -- wow. Board of Works' refusal to communicate reaches bold new lows.

At the Tuesday, January 19 meeting of the Board of Public Works and Safety, Jim Ziegler of the Blackberry Ridge Homeowners Association returned (again) to speak with the board about the dangerous entrance to his subdivision, and the lack of action in addressing it.

(The BOW minutes are reprinted below as images. The weekly minutes are disseminated in the .pdf format, although certain other city boards use the far handier Word)

Ziegler first brought this to the board's attention on August 18, 2015, at a time when board's de facto dominatrix, Warren Nash, was busy seeking ways to thwart the street piano. On January 19, Ziegler noted his difficulty in keeping up with the board's apparent non-progress on his issue. In short, he's reading those .pdf files just like the rest of us.

Can there be a better way?

Following a lengthy digression, during which Ziegler tried his best to hold a recalcitrant city's feet to the fire, making the point that while the city didn't botch these safety issues in the beginning, it's the city's responsibility to correct them now, he asked who his point of BOW contact should be.

Nash replies: Why, these meetings, of course, and only these meetings, the Internet being a figment of the imagination of some geek who probably never attended a basketball game in his life.

As my colleague MC eloquently summarizes:

Yes, the meetings that always occur at 10 a.m. on weekdays. Yes, the board that has no e-mail address, no contact information for members of the board, no phone number, etc. Yep, lets make it easy for the public to communicate with the administration. Sickening.

That's right. Sickening.

The Board of Works currently exists for the convenience of city employees, not the general public. City Hall insists there is nothing wrong with BOW's non-communicative tradition.

City Hall is mistaken. Again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bicentennial Park Snow Schlong: Or, when City Hall stamped out public art (literally).

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist.
-- Robert Schumann

Bamiyan, Palmyra ... Bicentennial Park.

Even before the snow melted, minions had been dispatched to obliterate a spontaneous outburst of public art.

R.I.P. Bicentennial Park Snow Schlong.

You were not with us for long, but you brought joy to countless observers, both up close and personal, as well as on electronic media, including 1,317 viewers of this post ...

Bicentennial Park Snow Schlong proves conclusively that public art can be turgid, indeed.

 ... and 245 for this one.

Mayor Jeff Gahan Presents: The Bicentennial Snow Schlong Remix.

We can only hope that next time winter intervenes, the entire city of New Albany will blossom with creative public art.

That'll keep Team Gahan running ...

Social media crickets chirp, pins drop as Planned Parenthood scores some justice.

Now, about that Hillary Clinton endorsement ...

A Little Justice for Planned Parenthood, by Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

A remarkable thing happened late Monday afternoon in a courthouse in Houston. It was a victory of sorts for ACORN, and for Shirley Sherrod, and for Mary Landrieu, and for the Kerry for President campaign, for that matter. Criminal ratfcking was treated as, well, a crime.

Prosecutors in Harris County said one of the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress—an anti-abortion group that made secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of fetal tissue—had been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs. That leader, David R. Daleiden, 27, the director of the center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research. Another center employee, Sandra S. Merritt, 62, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record. The record-tampering charges accused Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt of making and presenting fake California driver's licenses, with the intent to defraud, for their April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston.

This is an altogether remarkable event, even more so because of where it occurred. A Texas grand jury did this.

In fact, Mayor Gahan has nothing whatever to do with "Free Help for College Financial Aid Applications" ...

 ... apart from announcing it, which in turn allows city government (i.e., taxpayers) to foot the bill for this flyer bearing the mayor's photo, so as to stuff into envelopes along with inflated sewer bills, thus suggesting that somehow Gahan has made the event possible.

Of course, when a cult of personality is the goal, fudging facts is what you do. It's as though the campaign hasn't ever stopped, so let's go to the College Goal Sunday website to clarify matters.

There we find no mention of Jeff Gahan, but several useful factoids.

  • College Goal Sunday takes place on the same day at 42 sites in Indiana.
  • College Goal Sunday is a program "that helps college-bound Indiana students, who qualify for undergraduate admission to a college or technical school in 2016 and their families to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). College Goal Sunday provides on-site help from financial aid experts, primarily from Indiana colleges and universities."
  • College Goal Sunday is free to users because of its funders and supporters, including the Lilly Endowment, NCAN and several state agencies. Neither Jeff Gahan's nor the City of New Albany's name appears. Cue Gomer Pyle: "Surprise, surprise, surprise."
  • College Goal Sunday makes use of volunteers, including "semi-experts to help the experts." This sounds like a job for the Board of Works, so long as members are obliged to spend the previous evening in a Holiday Inn Express.

This insistence on the part of Gahan's to be viewed as the leading force, the source of guidance, the originator of wisdom -- the genius of the flood plain -- it can be explained by insecurity, right?

I mean, does anyone really believe it?

'Cept for Elena, of course.

Amid the local intellectual carnage, it's worth thinking about George Orwell's fundamental truthfulness.

The embedded video, complete with photo of George Orwell wearing a bizarre Hitler mustache, features Christopher Hitchens and George Packer, circa 2009.

George Packer and Christopher Hitchens talked about George Orwell and his work. Mr. Packer selected the pieces that appear in two recently published volumes of George Orwell’s work: Facing Unpleasant Facts and All Art Is Propaganda. Mr. Hitchens, essayist for The Atlantic Monthly, is the author of Why Orwell Matters.

Hitchens and Packer manage to stay on task for most of the program, though things start coming off the rails near the end, when Hitchens indulges in Iraq War apologetics. Overall, it's a thought-provoking hour with two erudite men.

At YouTube, there is a five-part BBC Arena series on Orwell's life. The segments are just shy of an hour, each. It's a bit dated, but invaluable for the testimony of interviewees now long dead.

Finally, here's something I wrote back in February, 2010: New York Times: "Why Orwell Endures." 

It strikes me as the stuff of wretched cosmic injustice that while Orwell and Hitchens died far too young, Sarah Palin remains a recurring part of our lives.

Thanks, Donald.


A collection of George Orwell’s essays proved to be the surprise reading hit of my Christmas vacation. I picked it up at the library book sale, and tossed in the carry-on bag as an afterthought. It's a good thing I did, seeing as the remainder of my magazines and books were stowed in delayed luggage.

Essay topics in the ancient paperback, which became shredded into unbound pages soon after opening, ranged from memories of shooting a rampaging elephant while posted as a policeman in Burma to researching the origins of bawdy English postcards. Orwell wrote not only of lofty topics such as his service for the Republic during the Spanish Civil War, but also described in excruciating detail his recollections of boyhood boarding school days, experiences so quintessentially English that they might be lampooned by the likes of Monty Python without we Americans never really imagining the real-life sources.

As a piece in today’s New York Times makes clear, Orwell may not have been right 100% of the time, but his pursuit of truth and unwavering intellectual honesty remains noteworthy by comparison to many of his ideologically compromised peers. As fairy tale life in Sarah Palin’s Amerika reminds us, they are qualities worth cherishing.

Secret City Hall memo revelation: Jeffersonville's "auto moratorium" is New Albany's golden ... shower.

January 26, 2016

Dear Mayor Gahan

Yo -- now HERE's what I've been talking about. 

Those eggheads over in Jeff must be reading Gillenwater's blog posts (not that I ever read, those things, I hope you know that) and they want to chase the auto businesses off 10th Street. 

Well, here it is, on a silver platter for us -- we're talking JOBS at auto parts stores and parking lots, all up and down Spring Street because heck, that's the first place they see crossing that creek from another county like I do every day, and I bet ol' smarty-pants Speck never even THOUGHT about us swooping in and stealing those JOBS from Mike Moore. 

Pillsbury, Schmillsbury -- and heck, they don't need fiber optic to warehouse school buses or sell you some car wax, do they? 

We need to get Redevelopment right on this, TIF out some big league incentives, and start leveling some of those so-called historic houses along Spring Street  -- that councilman's on payroll, right? Shit, we don't even need Coffey for this one.

I'll show 'em complete streets. I mean, WE will. 


D Duggins, Dog Park Coordinator 


They just write themselves, folks.

Jeffersonville City Council considers auto moratorium, by Elizabeth Beilman (Dutch Lane Plain Dealer)

JEFFERSONVILLE — With 10th Street revitalization in mind, the Jeffersonville City Council initiated the first steps in passing a six-month moratorium on all new and expanding automotive businesses throughout the city ...

 ... The ordinance states that "auto related uses are being expanded and new auto related uses are locating throughout the 10th Street corridor which are not consistent with the city's comprehensive plan ..."

The new planning and zoning director has said he would like 10th Street to attract more sit-down restaurants, entertainment businesses and other uses that would make the street a destination.

Grooms musters meaningless rearguard legislative feint, says he tried really hard to undo the bridge tolling damage he supported all along.

It's all about appearances, now and always.

Senator Grooms was a ceaseless, persistent and utterly tireless supporter of the Ohio River Bridges Project, ignoring all questions and testimony about the deleterious effects of tolling on Southern Indiana residents and businesses, right up until the detestable boondoggle was signed, sealed and artfully applied to his constituents via Kerry Stemler's preferred political method (which occurred to him when he underwent a colonoscopy with failed anesthetic), and then -- only then -- did Silent Ron, who in 2015 just as enthusiastically vamped as one of the GOP's homespun Heroes of RFRA, finally conclude that some toll "relief" posturing was necessary.

In 2012:

Groggily, belatedly ... but finally, Senator Grooms begins to fathom the toll of bridge tolling.

... “After careful review of the recently released economic impact study on the Ohio River Bridges Project, I am still primarily concerned with the burden to Indiana taxpayers and worry that the proposed tolls will put undue financial strain on the people the project is designed to help,” said Indiana Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, in a statement released last week. “It is important to look at every option available to lessen the financial burden southeast Indiana residents will face, either with some type of individual tax credit or one for employers who are willing to pay employee tolls.”

And then in 2014:

Today's truthful moment: "Bridge tolls will devastate Indiana businesses, owner says."

... And then there's Ron Grooms, who said and did nothing until nothing could be done or said, and only at a dog-won't-hunt point far beyond tactical usefulness finally opened his eyes to the issues and heroically spoke out to mostly empty rooms. Posterity won't be kind. Meanwhile, the rest of us search for survival strategies.

Now, in 2016, Grooms does his homework by cribbing a Wikipedia article.

How stupid does he think we are?

Oops. Let's be more accurate.

How stupid are we?

Lawmaker: Bills seeking tax relief for Hoosiers using Ohio River toll bridges dead for 2016, by Marcus Green (WDRB)

... Federal data indicates that Southern Indiana residents who travel to jobs and school in Louisville will bear most of the toll burden. About three times as many Clark County residents commute to Louisville for work than do people who head in the opposite direction, according to Census estimates released last year.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Community wealth: Seven strikes and Break Wind's out.

That embarrassing moment when you realize ...

7 Paths to Development That Bring Neighborhoods Wealth, Not Gentrification, by Marjorie Kelly and Sarah McKinley (Yes! Magazine)

In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by.

An August 2015 study by The Century Foundation reported that—after a dramatic decline in concentrated poverty between 1990 and 2000—poverty has since reconcentrated. Nationwide, the number of people living in high-poverty ghettos and slums has nearly doubled since 2000. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development, which prioritize corporate subsidy after corporate subsidy over the needs of the local economy. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us.

Can we create an economic system—beginning at the local level—that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone?

 ... that in New Albany, we're nowhere close to any of these seven paths, because ...

1. Place
2. Ownership
3. Multipliers
4. Collaboration
5. Inclusion
6. Workforce
7. System

 ... taking them -- even considering such directional heresies -- would devolve control away from the big fish in their little ponds. Still, the article is recommended. They have their Disney fetish, and I have hopeful things like this.

Further notice: Southern Indiana Equality's next meeting is January 28 at the Roadhouse.

Here's a reminder that Southern Indiana Equality's next meeting is January 28 at the Roadhouse. That's Thursday.

Southern Indiana Equality will be holding their 1st quarter meeting at 7:00 pm on January 28th. It will be held in the upstairs room at The New Albany Roadhouse.

New Albany Roadhouse
1706 Graybrook Lane
New Albany, Indiana 47150

We are proud to welcome representatives from Freedom Indiana as well as Indiana Competes to discuss the new legislative session. This will be a full community meeting where questions can be answered and the future of Indiana equality will be discussed.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Southern Indiana Equality is a good place to monitor Indiana's legislative foibles -- and there are many. Relevant links:

Southern Indiana Equality
Freedom Indiana
Indiana Competes

Streets for People, a Louisville initiative, to focus on complete streets.

It really isn't a city seal. Those cars really aren't moving fast. But really, we're going to do something really soon.

Bicycling for Louisville to launch Streets for People, a new advocacy project aimed at improving roads, by Sara Havens (Insider Louisville)

... Chris Glasser, executive director of B4L, said in a press release that Streets for People will focus on “complete streets,” which includes designing roadways to be comfortable and convenient for all users in all modes of transportation. A few ways to achieve this is to convert one-way streets to two-way, improve the transit experience for TARC riders, increase pedestrian access and safety, and add bike lanes when safe and appropriate.

“We’d like to see traffic calmed while increasing access for everyone,” said Glasser. “That’s what Streets for People is all about. Traffic engineers tend to design roadways to move cars as quickly as possible from point A to point B, at the expense of making the roadway a pleasant environment for people.”

Will the institution of Happy Hour return to Hoosier shores?

I was in my early twenties when Indiana banned the promotional practice of happy hours (alcoholic beverage discounts predicated on time of day) and also favoritism in pricing (i.e., ladies night).

Since then, it's been "Happy Day or Bust." If an establishment is advertising dollar longnecks during the UFC bout, the same price must be charged for as long as the bar is open on that particular business day.

Might this be about to change?

Indiana bill would bring back happy hour, at the Indianapolis Star

Justin Mack and IndyStar beverage reporter Amy Haneline talk about pending legislation that would remove the state's ban on happy hour.

As I've pointed out on numerous occasions, the Republican Party in Indiana, while monolithic, has its bizarre familial quirks. Among them are differences in outlook, albeit generally muted for public consumption, between the party's Rand Paul wing of wide open libertarian deregulation, and purely theocratic elements which would happily remove all vestiges of secular government at the drop of a holy book.

These camps seem to take turns calling the tune, and yet it's hard for me to imagine the happy hour ban being reversed. Apart from the religious-based prohibitionists, there will be significant opposition on the opposite side of the aisle from the same tired health fascists -- plus, some semblance of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers still exists, and I remember all too well its clout when lobbying for the ban the first time around. MADD has descended into parody in recent years, though it remains feisty.

A base, happy hour doesn't strike me as sufficiently important to get tourism and economic development lobbies involved; besides, they're still busy trying to soften the impact of the RFRA fatwa.

Back when the happy hour ban first took effect, I immediately lost interest in Indiana University basketball. The Tumbleweed in New Albany had a game night promotion involving "dee-fense, dee-fense": If IU held the opposition to less than 60 points, there followed an hour of 2-for-1 well drinks after the final whistle. So much for that.

In hindsight, it's regrettable that food-based happy hours never really caught on. We used to go to the long defunct Chi Chi's in Clarksville for happy hour margaritas, and when the law changed, the restaurant had a cheap food buffet instead. The cost to the consumer worked out about the same, and as a trencherman, I like it, but evidently there was no traction.

Mapping the United States of Happy Hours, by Aarian Marshall (City Lab)

Some cities are straight-up bacchanalian. Others, not so much ... why are the laws so different in different cities? Many bans were implemented in the 1980s when citizen groups led by Mothers Against Drunk Driving presented state legislatures with some scary statistics.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Crawford: "Why the water situation in Flint should matter to us all."

As a friend remarked: "Has anyone thought to have the water tested in a few different places in New Albany? Our plumbing is older than Flint's."

That's so cynical. After all, we have something Flint doesn't, an veritable ace in the hole sure to reassure you: Indiana American Water.


Kudos to Eric Crawford for this essay. On Facebook, I made a remark that might be construed as patronizing, to the effect that whenever sportswriters actually address important issues, we must congratulate them. This sentiment might have been phrased more elegantly, but I stick by it. Perhaps I'm jaundiced, having seen so many local sportswriters unable to grasp reality outside the games. By any standard, Crawford succeeds here.

CRAWFORD COMMENTARY | Why the water situation in Flint should matter to us all, by Eric Crawford (WDRB)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The water turned to poison in Flint, Michigan, and why should the rest of us care?

It’s not our water. It’s just another tale of government incompetence at best, apathy or dishonesty at worst. And we’ve grown all too accustomed to that. We all have our own tales, no matter what corner of the country we come from.

But here’s why I think it should matter to us. It’s yet another example of a widespread trend in this country.

Video Jeff: We hired a study, not an engineer named Speck, 'cuz we want to be, uh, "a great place to be safe" -- and there'll be announcements soon, so WATER PARK.

On Friday, we endured the pure verbal pain of the Genius of the Flood Plain, especially this amazing head-scratcher.

#Gahansafe: In which it is revealed that quality of life is experience of living.

"We started down the road of talking about quality of life, but what we're really talking about, uh, is the quality of ... of ... of the experience of living in New Albany."

Winston Churchill he ain't, but let's look a bit more closely at Jeff Gahan's street grid remarks, beginning at the 2:05 mark of his monthly propaganda video: New Albany Now January 2016.

“The residential experience is really important. Those folks that want to live downtown and walk downtown and feel safe, you’ll see us begin to make those changes to make New Albany, again, a great place to be safe and to walk and more pedestrian friendly. You’ll also see, uh, some opportunities for bike, bicycling downtown that you haven’t seen before, so it’ll be more bike lanes. We’ve been talking about a conversion from one way to two-way streets – hired a, a study to kind of give us some recommendations on what we should do with the one way and two way streets. I expect we’ll that have some announcements soon on some changes that we’ll be making on the grid system.”

Is your two-way confidence inspired yet?

Those among us who walk understand that Team Gahan does nothing on a daily basis to indicate any comprehension of urban walkability, although at some point, he'll snap his fingers, pull a few design component s out of context, spend too much on builders so as to guarantee a fresh round of campaign donations, erect a flaccid plaque, slap an anchor seal on it, and declare heroic victory -- whether any of the fundamental conditions necessary for genuine success change, or not.

It's what happens when the imaginary world of Walt Disney collides with our nation's C-minus (or worse) student "leaders."

Speck's plan is entirely doomed, isn't it? Recall that far from providing a few stray recommendations, it offered a comprehensive, inter-connected playbook. What are the odds that Warren Nash hasn't read it all the way through, a full year after publication?

As the late Glenn Frey once noted, you can't hide those lying eyes -- even behind mangled syntax.

Top-shelf everything: The Exchange pub + kitchen's Old Forester Single Barrel Selection dinner.

Let me be the first to thank Steve Coomes for taking a photograph that makes me look so young. It's the auto-airbrush feature, right?

The occasion was The Exchange pub + kitchen's Old Forester Single Barrel Selection dinner on Thursday night, and a better excuse for skipping a city council meeting hasn't come along in quite a while.

Seeing as Steve somehow endures this sort of frivolity while making a living as a food and drink writer, we'll cite his coverage at Insider Louisville.

Thursday: To celebrate being the first Indiana restaurant to receive a private barrel bottling from Old Forester, The Exchange Pub + Kitchen hosted a special dinner for about 50 guests who — again — included some press, fans of the restaurant and fortunate hangers-on. Co-owner Ian Hall said the scramble to reserve those seats was so instant that another Old Forester dinner has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. (Call 812-948-6501 if you want to go) ...

... As you’d expect, the four-course menu featured tastes of the Exchange’s private barrel selection, in addition to cocktails and foods flavored with the historic bourbon. Featured guest and Old Forester master distiller Chris Morris talked about the selection process and the flavor individuality of each barrel selection.

Speaking for myself, it was a first-rate experience. The world of spirits remains lesser known territory for me, and although we inhabit a golden age of bourbon, almost all of it slips blissfully past me. Having acknowledged this, if bourbon always tasted as satisfying as Exchange's single barrel cull, I'd sip it more often. Thanks to Ian, Nikki and The Exchange's efficient, professional staff for a great evening.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How to say "My hovercraft is full of eels" in many languages.

This may be the most important link you've ever seen at NA Confidential, so use it sparingly.

My hovercraft is full of eels in many languages

You're welcome. A few examples ...

Mon aéroglisseur est plein d'anguilles

(Watashi no hobākurafuto wa unagi de ippai desu.)

Lakota Sioux:
Iyéčhiŋkiŋyaŋka čha kiŋyáŋ mitȟáwa kiŋ hoká ožúla!

Municipal non-communications, Part 1,483: "NAHS principal unhappy on officer decision timing."

Yogi Berra was right.

Page said she had left messages at the mayor’s office expressing her concerns, and said Mayor Jeff Gahan returned her call Thursday afternoon. She said she has been asking for an explanation for two weeks.

Let's go to a locally based educator to explain why this matters.

Wow. There we go again underestimating the power of positive relationships. It doesn't matter how good you are at your job - relationships take time to develop. Educators know that this stretch until spring break is the most difficult.

Of course, as another diligent observer of the locally scene commented this morning, "Her biggest frustration was the 'lack of communication.' How many times have we heard this about the Gahan administration?"

That's easy. How many days has there been a Gahan administration? Again, again ... and again. Same issue, expressed by different people from multiple vantage points.

NAHS principal unhappy on officer decision timing, by Chris Morris (Utica Press)

NEW ALBANY — A popular New Albany High School resource officer is being replaced, which has generated an unpopular response from administrators, teachers and students at the school.

Veteran New Albany Police Department Sgt. Perry Parsons has been assigned at the school as its resource officer for the past 2 1/2 years. However, he is being replaced by Officer Travis Nelson on Feb. 1. Parsons will become the department’s second-shift sergeant.

New Albany Principal Janet Page said the timing of replacing Parsons midway through the school year is “confusing.”

“I can’t understand, why pull a great officer who has built relationships with 2,000 kids and 200 adults over two years, without an explanation. I just don’t understand,” she said.

New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey said he had no choice ...

Mayor Jeff Gahan Presents: The Bicentennial Snow Schlong Remix.