Saturday, December 31, 2016

Gospel Bird's Eric Morris nixes Concrete Jungle concept, opts for seafood, seafood and more seafood at his new restaurant at 324 E. Main in New Albany.

Right here. 

Speaking from personal experience, it's preferable to be comfortable with your concept before the money's all spent.

With this in mind, I saw a Facebook post ...

 ... and after chatting with Gospel Bird's Eric Morris, he offered this generously detailed and updated summary of what's to come at 324 E. Main. It was to have been an eatery and craft distillery, but as Eric explains, there has been a change in direction.

However, I couldn't coerce Eric into telling me the name of his (and Garrett Petters') forthcoming seafood restaurant, so we're going with Working Title until further notice.

Take it away, Eric.


For the past few months, I’ve been working on a new restaurant in New Albany, to be housed at 324 E. Main Street in a post-WWII commercial building just a block down the street from Gospel Bird.

I love the space, and the restaurant’s still going to happen, just not exactly the way we’d imagined. Here’s an update for 2017.

Most importantly, I’ve decided not to go with the original idea, which was going to be called Concrete Jungle. Mixing genres with global street food tasted great in theory, but it’s an ambitious concept, and in all honesty it defied every effort to build a menu capable of doing it justice.

At the same time, it’s been a wonderful experience getting to know the city of New Albany, and being a part of its continued growth at Gospel Bird. Taking all these lessons into account, I’ve decided to shift gears

So, what’s coming to 324 E. Main Street in 2017 is (WORKING TITLE), a fresh seafood grill with a raw bar, including a rooftop bar overlooking the Ohio River.

Think of it as a comfortable niche between fast food and the high end. It’ll be a family-style approach and a very casual place, with most dishes served in baskets and buckets, with a price point to match. The same goes for great beers and the sort of bar program you’d expect from us.

There’ll be crab legs, ceviche, and peel and eat shrimp from the open-kitchen raw bar. From the back kitchen, expect fried, blackened and broiled fish platters, ahi tuna dishes and mussels, as well as staples like lobster bisque, clam chowder, crab cakes, lobster croquettes and smoked fish spreads.

We’re planning on three types of grilled oysters: Fernet Branca Rockefeller, roasted garlic and habanero, and Thai chili with sesame.

A signature line of fresh seafood from either Honolulu Fish Company or Bluefin Seafoods will enable unique chef-driven items like a blackened grouper Reuben sandwich, lobster pot pie, halibut cheeks, frog legs and gator.

We’ll also offer non-seafood options: Smash burgers, chicken, nachos and dips.

I’d also like to introduce my new business/managing partner Garrett Petters, a New Albany native and Providence High School graduate whose extensive work history with seafood includes Whole Foods and Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar. Most recently, Garrett helped open Brooklyn and The Butcher, our neighbors in downtown New Albany, and he was General Manager both at Doc Crow's and Brooklyn.

Our licenses and permits are waiting for the build-out, and Resch Construction will be starting soon. Stay tuned for further details, and we hope to see you in downtown New Albany soon.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cigar smokers rejoice: The second location of Riverside Cigar Shop/Match Cigar Bar is coming to downtown New Albany.

Jeff Mouttet's teaser photo. 

Left to right: 145, 147 and 151 E. Main Street.

The Green Mouse says:

Cigars and spirits are coming to downtown New Albany in the form of an establishment tentatively to be known as Match Cigar Bar New Albany.

It is to be a second location for Jeffersonville's Riverside Cigar Shop and Match Cigar Bar, and will fill the ground floor (and basement) space at 145, 147 and 151 E. Main Street, currently the home of Main Street Pub, which began operations a few months ago following the disappearance of the short-lived Red Dragon.

In addition to the store fronts, Match Cigar Bar New Albany also will be leasing at upstairs spaces at 151 East Main. The tentative opening date is late January, 2017, pending the usual carousel of permits.

Roger says:

Riverside Cigar Shop was founded five years ago on Spring Street in Jeffersonville, and expanded into adjacent floor space with Match Cigar Bar shortly thereafter.

Owner Jeff Mouttet has been looking at downtown New Albany properties for while. To be succinct, Jeff is to cigars what I used to be to beer. His cigars are perfectly kept, and his recommendations spot on. The thought of having a place of this caliber within walking distance of the house is exciting, to say the least.

Match Cigar Bar will be an anchor downtown ... now, if we could only do something about the moribund Reisz Furniture building across the street.

City Hall, anyone?

D.J. Hines resigns from school board seat, lottery to commence.

Last evening at Twitter, this was posted.

Councilman Al Knable later confirmed that yes, D.J. Hines has resigned from the school board. There has been speculation on social media as to the process for replacement, but I think we should let Superintendent Hibbard pick.

That's a joke, by the way.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Chronicles of toll dodging in New Gahania: "Once the traffic passes Vincennes, however, there’s little there to calm it."

Am I the only one finding it bizarre that Scott Wood now is the city's de facto spokesman for street grid decisions he has played little part in making?

Isn't Wood supposed to be serving as site manager and press agent for the Summit Springs hilltop high-rise middle-finger-to-environmental-consciousness city collaboration with the Carefree Kelleys?

Then again, Gahan/Rosenbarger/Duggins are the Toxic Troika when it comes to coherence in such matters.

The bottom line remains unaltered.

Our Ever-Victorious Iron-Willed Leader deserves no credit whatever for "his" two-way street grid reform, which will be implemented both incompletely and too late to help with the opening phases of bridge tolling. Rather, Jeff Gahan prefers that we all be guinea pigs in an experiment to determine whether INDOT's rosy predictions about toll dodging's brevity are correct.

Since many commuters are taking a long weekend, we may not see the true nature of things until Monday morning.

Bridge tolls: For K-Stem, it hasn't been this good since that last lunch date with Mitch Daniels.

THE UNTOLLED STORY: Is New Albany ready for extra traffic on the Sherman Minton?, by Danielle Grady (Hiring Freeze Gazette)

NEW ALBANY — Scott Wood is expecting extra traffic in New Albany soon.

The director of the city plan commission said that he and other officials believe that when tolling begins on the Lewis and Clark, Abraham Lincoln and Kennedy bridges on Dec. 30, more cars will be using the untolled Sherman Minton Bridge to travel from Indiana to Kentucky — and some of those cars will be crossing through downtown New Albany to get there.

Wood isn’t alone in his assessment.

Traffic models created by Hannum, Wagle & Cline Engineering Inc. for the city also show that more people will be driving in New Albany in the future, Wood said.

But those models are conservative in the eyes of the city. They don’t predict there will be a significant increase in traffic during rush hour, Wood said.

Officials who are locals, such as Wood, have ideas different from HWC on how they would get from Indiana to Kentucky if they were avoiding tolls. They envision routes that might take drivers through downtown New Albany.

Still, HWC’s traffic models and the city’s predictions aren’t too different, Wood said. The expectation remains: New Albany will be busier starting in three days.

So what has been done to prepare for more drivers?

Bridge tolls: For K-Stem, it hasn't been this good since that last lunch date with Mitch Daniels.

It's a load, all right -- of oligarchic bullshit. That's why it's a good thing we have River Lube ...

ON THE AVENUES: The 45 Most Popular NA Confidential Stories of 2016.

ON THE AVENUES: The 45 46 Most Popular NA Confidential Stories of 2016.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Update of January 1, 2017: On the final day of 2016, in less than 15 hours, something unprecedented happened. This post breezed straight to the top of the year's rankings with room to spare: Gospel Bird's Eric Morris nixes Concrete Jungle concept, opts for seafood, seafood and more seafood at his new restaurant at 324 E. Main in New Albany.

See below for the numbers and synopsis. Accordingly, I've made a few adjustments. It's now a Top 46 List, though the banner will remain as it was. 


Blame it on bottle fatigue because yes, I know.

My weekly column is supposed to be a column -- an essay, a polemic, or something remotely expository. It is not supposed to be a collection of 45 top blog hits of 2016, but that's what you're going to get, albeit without Dick Clark or Casey Kasem to count them down.

Among the year's high points was NAC's 10,000th post on May 7. We're on pace to end the year with 1,370 posts, 121 more than last year's previous record total. To contextualize the numbers below, an average post has between 400 and 500 views; some less, and some more.

The mix of topics reflected in this list is a measure of vindication, given the blog's founding conceit of ultra-localism. We've come full circle since 2004, and in the dawning age of Trumpianity, it will be of renewed importance to keep our gaze fixed on our community, the place where we spend most of our time.

That's because the resistance begins here, and so will change ... if there is to be change at all.

I hope you enjoy this look back at 2016. In New Albany, our peculiar local challenges for 2017 begin tomorrow morning with the advent of bridge tolls. If I'm not completely hungover, I may tote a lawn chair, light a cigar, and chronicle the merriment.

And maybe a cocktail for support.


In ascending order, here are the 45 Most Popular NA Confidential Stories of 2016, according to Blogger's page view metric.


46 - 36


R.I.P. Mick Neely.

There is no calculus for determining the influence this man had with generations of students, not just in music, but in life. Along with the late Bob Youngblood, Mick was a tremendous formative influence on me.



Green Mouse Q and A: How the Summit Springs hilltop clustermuck got to this point.

On Tuesday, Jeff Gahan's handpicked Redevelopment Rubber Stamp Commission will consider the future of Summit Springs, a hilltop commercial development off State Street. The city's TIF Gift to this latest monstrosity is to be road tacked to the hillside.



Aladdin's Cafe is up and running at its new Underground Station location.

"Good News Aladdin's friends and fans. The move is complete, and we will be open Wed. at 12:00 in the Underground Station. Come enjoy our brand new location and beautiful courtyard seating."



The city of New Albany may soon try to destroy a 3,000 to 6,000 year old Native American site to build a dog park.

The Mississippian site of which Anthony Nava speaks in his Fb post is the Cannon Acres Soccer Fields at 1933 Budd Road; specifically, he refers to the soon-to-be-built adjacent dog park, for which finding a visible proponent outside the dreary confines of Jeff Gahan's down-low bunker has been next to impossible.



Wormholes, rabbit holes, ratholes and now this big-ass Caesar Hole on Spring Street Hill.

It's déjà vu all over again. At around 4:00 p.m.on Sunday, at-large councilman Al Knable and family began posting photos on social media.



Why hasn't Gary Humphrey thought of this for the River City Winery?

Good News of the Day: Army of 1,000 Ducks Used as Brilliant Pesticide Alternative (booooooom)



Al Knable's thoughtful and compassionate statement about Chloe Allen's death.

As a city I hope we can muster the discipline and trust to work with one another. Study the problem. Design, fund and implement changes that will make our roads as safe as they can be for all citizens- pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. We must. It's our duty.



Otherwise known as the Ernst Röhm wing of the Clark County Republican Party.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."



Spin the enforcement wheel: Three signs, but how many citations?



I'm overwhelmed and grateful for the collision of Indie Fest, Sativa Gumbo and NABC on Saturday night.

New Albany Indie Fest took place on Saturday. On game day, the event went off with very few hitches, although several seemingly impassable mountains were climbed just to get to the 24th.



Listen, Liberal: "The 1 Book Every Entrepreneur Should Read in 2016."

I'd rather expose the Democratic rot right here at home. When one of them spots me a half-block away and abruptly turns into the alley, I feel like I've accomplished something real.

35 - 26


Join Gregg Seidl for a farewell Drinking with the Dead haunted history tour on Saturday, August 20.

"I'll be hosting my last Drinking With the Dead haunted history tour of New Albany on Saturday, August 20, 2016, and like all of my tours this one will begin at Hugh E. Bir's on the corner of East 4th and Market streets."



My State Street Parking Garage public art dream.

Even better: Hang a Trabi right in the center.



Has time run out for Good Times? If so, what's next at 114 East Market?

About a month ago, the Green Mouse heard a rumor that the building was being purchased by a local businessman, and judging from the scene today, I'm guessing there is finality to the sale. It will be interesting to see what happens next. The building desperately needs deep cleaning and rehabilitation, so let's hope that's coming.



ON THE AVENUES: An imaginary exercise tentatively called The Curmudgeon Free House.

While it is true that I’ve often railed against cults of personality in the local political realm, and pined for the seemingly unreachable ideal of teamwork and multiple minds coming together, what I'm imagining here is a small, sustainable specialty beer café, not a multi-million-dollar City Hall filled with obscure departments and shuffling time servers.



R.I.P. Chloe Allen.

Try to find a Gahan lackey who'll talk for attribution about walkers and bicyclists in this context. They won't do it, presumably because they can't. In the aftermath of Chloe Allen's tragic unnecessary death, our municipal government's knee-jerk cowardice is more than a mere insult. It goes beyond tasteless. It's a threat to public safety.



Tiger Trucking's affectionate "fuck you" to the residents of New Albany.

Of course, Tiger's area near the Greenway/Loop Island portal has been an unsightly, trash-ridden disgrace for a long time. But the company doesn't stop there. Ever since the Main Street beautification project, Tiger has used tiny 13th Street as a de facto company connecting road although urban residential areas.



Nothing to see here. Just a city work crew filling potholes in a private parking lot.

Look closely. Now with two different city logos.



ON THE AVENUES: For New Albany’s Person of the Year, the timeless words of Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

Chloe Allen’s death cannot be allowed to become another forgotten civic footnote. Her passing must not have been in vain. In years to come principled citizens of this city – the ones for whom conscience isn’t a high school vocabulary term to be discarded once they’re elected to office – must forcibly insist that her memory be honored, nay, overtly exploited for the sake of a worthwhile agenda. Specifically, an agenda of public safety in this city.



Summit Springs and the torrential stormwater view from the Burger King parking lot.

A few pics from the Burger King parking lot and downstream on State Street. How much thought was put into that illegally issued Storm Water Permit?



BREAKING: Two more pedestrians have been struck by a driver at the intersection of Spring and Vincennes.

At around 4:45 p.m., it appears that two pedestrians were struck at the intersection of Spring and Vincennes in New Albany. The driver who hit them was northbound on Vincennes. The passenger side of the front window was shattered, and there was debris in the street. The first ambulance was leaving as I arrived on the scene, with the second following a few minutes behind it.

25 - 16


Eat, drink and repeat: Six updates about downtown New Albany food and dining.

When there is time, it's always good to gather various news items and social media postings into one place -- and today there is time.



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

This Big Bicentennial Park Johnson's pointed right at you.



You know, that building where Abe's Rental used to be (140 E Main St).

Designed by Louisville firm Sullivan and Cozart, this Art Deco gem was built in 1929 for Harry Goulding, for use as a service station. It remained in the Goulding family until 2003. Later it was a Sears auto service center, then Abe's Rental.



Sam's at the Montrose goes, and Rails Craft Brew & Eatery arrives.

The second location of Rails Craft Brew & Eatery will take over the Sam's at the Montrose space. Rails is from Seymour, and as with Flat12 Bierwerks before it, I think you'll see more "northern" independent food and drink businesses opening branches hereabouts.



Sativa Gumbo’s 20th Anniversary Reunion Tops New Albany Indie Fest 2016.

New Albany Indie Fest marks its fifth year in 2016 with a headlining 20th anniversary performance by the reunited Sativa Gumbo.



Top Ten posts at NA Confidential for May, 2016.

Thanks for reading NA Confidential, where we annoyingly burrow beneath the headlines to offer unique local perspectives. May was yet another gratifying month in terms of blog traffic, and the posts highlighted here attest to a keen interest for local stories, perhaps because they're not being served elsewhere.



Have some cake at Cafe 157's grand opening on Tuesday, May 17.

It's the new cafe/gallery/gift shop business located in the former Bread & Breakfast space at 157 E. Main.



Now it's official: Aladdin's Cafe is moving to Underground Station in July.

You already know that Aladdin's Cafe offers the finest Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine in town, and now the other secret's out.



More about the renovation of that building where Abe's Rental used to be.

As noted yesterday, the art deco building at 140 E. Main Street finally has been sold after years of vacancy, and is being renovated.



Wrong-way deer on wrong-way Spring Street in wrong-way city. At least there'll be venison tarts for high tea.

Bob Caesar quickly faxed a statement to the press: "This obviously was an anti-establishment deer to have been running the wrong way on a right-way street that quickly and efficiently brings customers to read the "closed" sign on my former business."

15 - #1


Trumple-down carny economics: The needs of Fiesta Rides outweighs the needs of bricks and mortar indie businesses at Underground Station.

When all is said and done, locally owned businesses at Underground Station will be inconvenienced for almost two weeks by the closures required to stage Harvest Homecoming's carpetbagging carny rides.



Here's what I did to beat the "blocking street sweeper" citation scam. Why should anyone pay?

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the clerk's office informing me that my citation for blocking the street sweeper, issued eight months ago, has been voided. Below, you'll see the parking dispute form I filed, and the argument I used, which in essence is this: When enforcement of ordinances is purposefully random, how can there be penalties against those cited randomly?



FLASH: Adrienne & Company is open at 133 E. Market.

It's a cyptic pop-up notice on Fb, but know it: Adrienne & Company's location in New Albany is open. It's on Market where the Frenchman used to be.



Take a look at these Gospel Bird soft opening photos. Opening night is Tuesday, February 23.

Gospel Bird stands to be a vibe unlike any New Albany has witnessed during the first decade (Bistro New Albany opened in 2006) of its downtown food and drink renaissance. Brooklyn and The Butcher, and now Gospel Bird.



For better or worse, there'll be a brand new auto-centric White Castle at an already dangerous and muddled intersection.

Panicked rumors began surfacing on social media yesterday afternoon, and thanks to my neighbor Matt, we now see the apocalypse indeed is nigh, for the White Castle at the corner of Spring and Vincennes has closed ... but only temporarily.



See the sweet new public doughnut art at NA's classic Honey Creme Donuts.



Keg Liquors Fest of Ale will move to New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater in 2016; the 11th annual edition slated for June 4.

Saturday, June 4th remains the date for the 11th Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale, but the 2016 edition of the festival will be held at the Riverfront Amphitheater in New Albany.



You know, the building where J.O. Endris used to be, and now the scene of another Bergman refit.

In late 2014, Caesar announced he'd be shuttering his jewelry business, as opposed to selling it. Obviously, 135 years in retail is a fine run.



We come not to praise Jeb Bush (!) but to bury him, and as quickly as possible.

"Confused and stunned, like a duck hit on the head."



You know, that building where Ace Loan & Sporting Goods used to be (110 E Market St).

Atypically, the New Albany Historic Preservation Commission has little to say about 110 E. Market Street, identifying the former Ace Loan & Sporting Goods as an Italianate commercial building of 1880s-era construction. During the past year, Steve Resch's crew has been busy rehabilitating this structure.

(Top Five)


Him Gentleman's Boutique grand opening is Monday, November 14.

Him Gentleman's Boutique opens Monday, November 14 in the space formerly occupied by J.O. Endris Jewelers (314 Pearl Street).



The old Little Chef/Coqui's is the new Lady Tron's, coming soon, with a whole new color scheme.

The photo below is mine, and the one above is by Michael Wimmer, who says "The former Little Chef in New Albany gets a new face lift by Art Cartel." Most recently Coqui's Cafe, the space is being transformed into Lady Tron's.



Here's the Gospel Bird menu. Regular hours begin Tuesday, February 23.

"We trust that by now, you're probably hungry and thirsty. Gospel Bird will open to the public at 5 pm, February 23rd."



R.I.P. Bob Youngblood, 1943 - 2016.

For those who didn't know Bob, he was a teacher at Floyd Central for more than 30 years. Speaking personally, he had a tremendous impact on my life. Bob died yesterday after suffering a brain aneurysm earlier in the week, and to be perfectly honest, it's a bit much for me at the moment.

Gospel Bird's Eric Morris nixes Concrete Jungle concept, opts for seafood, seafood and more seafood at his new restaurant at 324 E. Main in New Albany.



Gospel Bird's Eric Morris nixes Concrete Jungle concept, opts for seafood, seafood and more seafood at his new restaurant at 324 E. Main in New Albany.

So, what’s coming to 324 E. Main Street in 2017 is (WORKING TITLE), a fresh seafood grill with a raw bar, including a rooftop bar overlooking the Ohio River. Think of it as a comfortable niche between fast food and the high end. It’ll be a family-style approach and a very casual place, with most dishes served in baskets and buckets, with a price point to match. The same goes for great beers and the sort of bar program you’d expect from us.


Recent columns:

December 22: ON THE AVENUES: For New Albany’s Person of the Year, the timeless words of Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

December 15: ON THE AVENUES: Truth, lies, music, and a trick of the Christmas tale (2016).

December 8: ON THE AVENUES: It’s never too late to beer all over again.

December 1: ON THE AVENUES: Once more with feeling, because as the notable American philosopher Moe Bandy once sang, “Here I am, drunk again.”

Resisting? "What is there to learn, for our next four years, from a struggle rooted in native leadership and native rights, which also fought to protect the environment on behalf of all Americans?"

I'd seriously advise you to forget about 2016. The year 2017 is going to be very demanding. You might wish to prepare for it. Keeping this sentence in mind might be more useful than an encyclopedic knowledge of Disney fetishism: "Progress isn’t an entitlement, like a train we simply choose to board, but something to be fought for."

Want to Know How to Build a Progressive Movement Under Trump? Look to Standing Rock, by Audrea Lim (The Nation)

Fighting against white supremacy and neoliberalism takes organizing—and lots of it.

... Justice and victory aren’t mutually exclusive. The problem with much of the “race vs. class” debate is that it either fixates on “winning back” the roughly 25.5 percent of Americans who voted for Trump, or supposes that a single line of rhetoric can mobilize every subset of the working class. But ignoring racial disparities won’t make them disappear. That will only happen when they are eliminated through social and political change.

Whatever the limitations of grassroots struggles like Standing Rock—it is focused around a single task, for one—these are the movements that have been mobilizing masses, building a base and holding the line against white supremacy and neoliberalism. We should build on their work, and support others waging similar, invisible fights (like the White Earth Reservation’s battle against the Line 3 pipeline). We should also create space for those communities to thrive by organizing against white supremacy—and the neoliberal policies undergirding it—in the heartland of America.

“We’ll continue to stand up,” said Allard on the phone, somewhat resigned. This was a reminder that progress isn’t an entitlement, like a train we simply choose to board, but something to be fought for.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Placemaking and the gentle art of nixing community stakeholders when applying lipstick to an alley.

Welcome to another installment of SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

But why all these newfangled words?

Why not the old, familiar, comforting words, the ones that worked so well during the glory days, before inexplicably naked greed kicked in like a bond-issue-percentage speedball, knocking you back into the turnbuckles but feeling oh so good, and now as the Great Elongated and Exasperated Obfuscator in the comic book series, you teach detailed principles of banking to bankers, at least when not otherwise occupied making healthy deposits into your own account?

Thankfully, even if one toils for the Sun of the Democratic Future, a healthy vocabulary isn't about intimidation through erudition. Not at all. Rather, it's about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one's pay grade or station in life.

Municipal corporate attorneys reaping handsome remuneration to suppress information and to squelch community dialogue also can benefit from this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, as we contemplate CPIs, IUDs and IOUs, all we really have is time -- and the opportunity to learn something, if we're so inclined.

Earlier this week, the city's economic dishevelment director took time away from failing to populate the industrial park, and stewarded an alleyway beautification project through the forever somnolent Bored of Works, producing terrifying visions straight outta Hieronymus Bosch ...

... but garnering free column inches at the Hansonator.

New Albany approves bid to transform alley into "more of a place" ... “it's going to be a really cool project.”

Of course, dozens of city streets remain inadequately illuminated on a daily basis, which does nothing to enhance public safety, but I digress.

It would be useful if either David Duggins or the newspaper explained what is meant by "more of a place" in the context of gentrifying an alley, and because neither has done so, this week's word is placemaking.

We turn to the Project for Public Spaces for a basic, working definition.


As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

With community-based participation at its center, an effective Placemaking process capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people’s health, happiness, and well being.

Wait, what was that?

With community-based participation at its center ...

And this ...

Unfortunately, the rigid planning processes of the 20th century have become so institutionalized that community stakeholders rarely have the chance to voice their own ideas and aspirations about the places they inhabit. Placemaking can break down these silos by showing planners, designers, and engineers the broad value of moving beyond the narrow focus of their own professions, disciplines, agendas. Experience has shown us that when developers and planners welcome this kind of grassroots involvement, they spare themselves a lot of headaches. Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated or underperforming development projects can be addressed – or altogether avoided – by embracing a model of Placemaking that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated components.

Using the newly monetized alley project as the most recent example of a long-term trend, we find that community-based participation is almost entirely lacking, and community stakeholders largely excluded from voicing "their own ideas and aspirations."

Consequently, the alley running between Spring and Main will be transformed into a "place" that reflects the "ideas and aspirations" of a relatively small number of elected and appointed officials.

This may constitute kingmaking or sausage making, David, but it isn't placemaking.

"Southern Indiana residents brace for impact of upcoming tolls," unless they're at Oligarch Shillworthy Pay Grade.

Source: IndyStar (2013).
“I think over the next couple years or so after we get through the opening and initial shock of the tolls, that tolls are going to receive very little discussion in that the economic benefits that we will be seeing will become the focus of the discussion.”
 -- Uric Dufrene, IU Southeast Vice Chancellor and Oligarch Fellatrix

Good work by Beilman, who opts for the deft touch in depicting tolling's impact on different income groups, and allows Dufrene's salaried (above) detachment to reveal itself.

Southern Indiana residents brace for impact of upcoming tolls, by Elizabeth Beilman (Hanson's Harley Folly) ... Staff Reporter Danielle Grady contributed to this story

 ... Uric Dufrene, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and finance professor for Indiana University Southeast, said residents will need to make decisions about how to handle the cost of tolls based on their individual circumstances.

(The Clark Memorial Bridge ... along with the Sherman Minton, will remain untolled. The Kennedy, Lincoln, and Lewis and Clark bridges will have tolls)

“There, I think consumers or individual households can balance the cost of the tolls versus the benefits of time and distance,” Dufrene said.

Here's the inconvenient flip side, one you'll seldom hear Dufrene (or Kerry Stemler) address.

 ... people living in low-income areas, defined by one-person households with less than $10,830 in annual income in 2010, will bear a disproportionately high effect of tolls.

Phil Ellis, executive director of Community Action of Southern Indiana, hears from the low-income residents served by the nonprofit organization that tolls will hit them hard. CASI provides assistance to people for costs like utilities, but they won’t be able to help with tolls since no federal program provides funding for this cost.

“They’re going to have to sacrifice something in order to pay that toll,” Ellis said. “That might be a decrease in groceries, that could be not being able to pay their full utility bills ... Something’s going to be left unpaid, to be honest with you.”

Somewhere between $40 and $80 a month may not seem significant when weighed against the overall economic impact on the region in the years to come.

“But for the immediate need of individuals with low income, they’ll be the last to benefit from any type of economic boom or anything of that nature, because most of them don’t have the education or skills to be eligible or qualified to have one of those [new] jobs ...

“You’re talking a person where $80 could feed them for a week, could feed their family for a week,” Ellis said. “That’s major.”

"How do liberals halt the march of the right? Stand our ground and toughen up."

The author writes primarily from the British perspective, but the gist of it remains intact, and echoes Michael Moore's points about available tools and a willingness to act.

Opposed to what's coming down? Great, but you may find it necessary to stop whining and actually do something.

I've shortened the ten points to a bullet list. Be sure to click through and read the gritty details -- and please stop bitching about 2016. We need to be ready for 2017, campers.

How do liberals halt the march of the right? Stand our ground and toughen up, by Matthew d'Ancona (The Guardian)

To all you despondent liberals, Labour centrists, Tory modernisers, remainers, social justice warriors, social justice worriers, and everyone out there fretful about Brexit, depressed by Donald Trump, and scared of the alt-right, here is my festive message: get off the ground, you wusses. Put down your gingerbread lattes, and put up your dukes ...

 ... here are my 10 tips for liberals of all kinds hoping to stop the march of the right in 2017:
  1. Defend your ground, aggressively
  2. Colonise your opponents’ language
  3. Lead, don’t follow
  4. Heed grievances – but don’t appease
  5. Stand up for immigration
  6. Stand up for integration
  7. Fight the next battle, not the last
  8. Don’t make a fetish of “unity”
  9. Challenge the public
  10. Be patient

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Is it the Onion? News and Tribune? NA Confidential? Nah, it's just a Duggins-ism, 'cuz "New Albany approves bid to transform alley into 'more of a place.'"

It's getting creepy surreal, for real. 

Make no mistake: We're honored to have been the source of this idea (June of 2915, below), along with the inimitable David Thrasher, and even if neither of us will be getting a plaque.

Thrasher deserves all the credit, eh?

There's just one lingering question. Given the impact of a typical Ohio Valley summer's night, is covering those dumpsters going to be enough?

Wait -- we already asked this question, a year and a half ago. We like being prescient, especially when they don't know what the word means.


June 12, 2015
Seattle alleys, New Albany street pianos and the overdue purging of bureaucrats.

Photo credit: Hannegan Roseberry at Fb

I generally advocate thinking outside our self-imposed civic boxes, because New Albany has far too many of them, stacked somewhere out in the garage, creased and dusty, and filled with hoary rationales for non-activity that we've forgotten even exist.

We also have many suitable alleys, as outlined in is adaptive reuse saga from Seattle.

Seattle's Future Alleys Look Like Paradise, by John Metcalfe (City Lab)

When you peer into a downtown Seattle alley, you might see rats and people sleeping in dumpsters. That could change, however, as the city plans to turn some of these airless holes into charming, plant-filled utopias.

Against all odds, New Albany has a thriving restaurant and bar culture to consider, and consequently, while excitedly reading about alley renovations in Seattle -- and recalling the many "hidden" infrastructure places we possess in addition to these -- one sensation kept coming back to me.

Namely, the smell of dumpsters behind restaurants in a red-hot, humid Indiana summer. However, using spaces, making places ... I support the idea, and the possibilities are endless. In fact, apart from alleyways, we could do so much better here, and the first step simply must be liberating ourselves from thinking that the usual suspects and their same "officially" accredited agencies, commissions and political entities possess a monopoly on creativity.

They don't, and all too often they stifle grassroots artistic expression, placemaking and neighborhood revitalization.

As Hannegan Roseberry's experience with our gatekeepers at the Board of Works earlier this week illustrates, the cultural asphyxiation starts at the very top. Hannegan had an idea, and the bored's political appointees could barely stifle their yawns while flashing the usual reply: "It's not an option."

 ... Now, you may be wondering what this surely controversial project must be, considering the absolute breakdown of communication and complete avoidance it inspired: A street piano, painted brightly by teenage artists, sitting out on the street for all passersby to enjoy and experience. I know, contain your gasps of horror; the audacity of this citizen, to think she could so arrogantly prep a whimsical and creative project such as this and terrorize the streets of New Albany.

In all seriousness, my goal is to shed light on a far more concerning challenge than the fun and frivolity of a street piano: The piano is really beside the point.

New Albany must make government more accessible. It is absolutely inexcusable that a citizen with an idea and a passion for her community could be so absolutely and completely led in circles, shut out and shut down.

Tuesday mornings, 10 a.m. It's in need of a dose of glasnost.

Look it up, Warren.

ASK THE BORED: They like that old time rock and roll.

Photo credit: That Jeffersonville Newspaper.

At the time of writing on Tuesday morning, the usual packet of BOW materials had not landed in our inbox.

Looking ahead to the Bored's plate for 2017, the safest prediction we can make is that the rubber-stamp appointed body will continue to grandly choreograph a Gahanesque wetting of beaks, wherein the tightly knit band of contractors, engineers, pavers, utility monopoly commissars, architects and consultants, which customarily is awarded the majority of contracts, does not forget to divert the Dear Leader's pre-determined share via the handy sluice behind Door Number One.

Since citywide auto-centrism provides the most efficient means of enforcing this remunerative status quo, you can expect it to remain at the top of the chairman's weekly agenda, with Bilbo Bagman Duggins available as eager mule when shekels must be transferred the old-fashioned way, in bulging manila envelopes.

Speaking of campaign finance lifeblood, here's an excerpt from the December 13 BOW meeting, and another brightly festooned package for HWC Engineering, v.v. the not-real-until-shit-actually-changes Downtown Grid Modernization Project.

Short-term, the Bored surely will continue to avoid conditions brought about by the advent of bridge tolls, which begin on December 30. BOW's meeting of Tuesday, January 3 will be especially instructive in this regard.

ASK THE BORED: Light-struck animals, rebooted holograms and the tolling land rush coming soon.

 ... It is reported that city software engineers are hard at work reprogramming the mayoral hologram to direct snarled traffic and hand out Bicentennial coffee table books to frustrated pass-through motorists who live outside the city limits.

Finally, as an amalgam of the preceding, and in the context of what BOW should be doing as an entity hypothetically charged with "safety" (and ideally, in conjunction with mayor, city council and the governing apparatus), there's the need for a pedestrian (and cycling) bill of rights.

ON THE AVENUES: For New Albany’s Person of the Year, the timeless words of Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

Six Principles of Toronto Pedestrian Charter

Walking is a free and direct means of accessing local goods, services, community amenities and public transit.

Walking is the only mode of travel that is universally affordable, and allows children and youth, and people with specific medical conditions to travel independently.

Health and Well-being
Walking is a proven method of promoting personal health and well-being.

Environmental Sustainability
Walking relies on human power and has negligible environmental impact.

Personal and Community Safety
An environment in which people feel safe and comfortable walking increases community safety for all.

Community Cohesion and Vitality
A pedestrian-friendly environment encourages and facilitates social interaction and local economic vitality.

The Toronto Pedestrian Charter is an initiative that came from residents who serve their city on the Toronto Pedestrian Committee. The Charter reflects the principle that a city's walkability is one of the most important measures of the quality of its public realm, and of its health and vitality.

As citizens interested in the health and well being of our city, who want to see the city succeed and improve, there's one central task ahead of us in connection with the ideas encapsulated by the Toronto Pedestrian Charter.

We must determine a way to monetize these ideas, so the Bored and Chief Hologram can see the juice in the sluice. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of facts.

THE BEER BEAT: The Pearl Street Taphouse in downtown Jeffersonville.

I'm delighted for Kelly and Teri that Pearl Street Taphouse (that's downtown Jeffersonville, folks, not downtown New Albany) has come out of the gate so strong. Now comes the long haul ... and best wishes for it.

If all goes as planned, my inaugural visit to Pearl Street Taphouse will be on Wednesday during a projected pub crawl of Jeffersonville.

Pearl Street Taphouse slings good beer, and the food follows suit, by Kevin Gibson (Insider Louisville)

 ... Along with the focus on craft beer, with 24 taps, there’s also a concise menu I found to be surprisingly tasty based on a couple of visits. It’s more than just beer at Pearl Street, even if the menu is a fairly simple thing with bar snacks, sandwiches and a couple of salads.

In a previous article at IL, Gibson shared the back story.

In a former home in downtown Jeffersonville — a structure that has survived fires and the 1937 flood — a new craft beer-themed bar, Pearl Street Taphouse, will open Saturday, Dec. 3.

The building, owned by Jeffersonville Main Street Inc., originally was two blocks away, but it is one of four homes moved and zoned for commercial use by the nonprofit revitalization organization. After Pearl Street Taphouse owners Kelly Conn and Teri Taylor looked for locations for their venture in the Highlands and in downtown New Albany, Conn one day decided to check out the building at 407 Pearl St.

"The only way this will work is if everyone commits, right now, to doing something, anything, in the coming year."

Moore's words appeared at Facebook. There are two key points (in bold below) amid the verbiage.

1. Tools to resist are available.
2. You must do something with them.

It's fairly simple to me, and I'll be returning to the point very often. In the words of Matthew d'Ancona at The Guardian: Get off the ground, you wusses. Put down your gingerbread lattes, and put up your dukes.


A Wish for December 25th by Michael Moore

Tonight it's Christmas Eve, it's Hanukkah, it's a month before the words "Muslim registry" will find their way into an actual law, and it's just another night for the "nonbelievers" (the only group who's probably going to save us because they believe in science, facts and humanity - the last one in spite of itself).
Many of us are with friends and family tonight. Many are alone. We seek peace and kindness and compassion for all - but we are not blind (at least, for some, not any longer).

We know the wall of hate in front of us is going to seem insurmountable. It is not. It is built on falsehoods and ignorance and the instilling of fear -- and these tricks, history has shown us, while they cause much damage in the short term, are in the long run met with defeat. Just ask The South, the Germans or Roger Ailes.

There's no way to sugarcoat the true breadth of the tsunami that's about to hit us. Although we don't control a single branch of our disappearing democracy, we ARE the majority (by nearly three million votes!) and we have MANY tools available to us (mass protest, civil disobedience, lawsuits, social media, old media, and just plain showing up) that we can use to grind the gears of this madness to a near-halt.

I and others will keep you informed and you and I and all of us will lead the charge. I will continue to post things you can do where you live. The only way this will work is if everyone commits, right now, to doing something, anything, in the coming year. 

That can be our Christmas/Hanukkah/Muslim registry gift to each other - I'm in, you're in, we're all in. Everybody in the pool! Share your real presents with each other tonight, tomorrow and in the coming year - the gifts of decency, love, caring, listening, living with less, doing for others, raising your voice and using the car pool lane because you and your four friends are on your way to disrupt the building of that wall.

Enjoy this weekend, be good to yourself and remember that "Celebrity Apprentice" returns to NBC on January 2nd, 9pm Eastern and Pacific, 8pm Central (so you can maybe figure out how we all ended up in this shitshow in the first place).

And thank you baby Jesus -- sorry for how it's all turned out.

Michael Moore