Saturday, March 31, 2018

Three more candidates (Martin, Estill, FitzGerald) have provided statements to We Are New Albany about their positions on Jeff Gahan's public housing demolition fetish.

We're passing these statements along as Aaron Fairbanks of We Are New Albany harvests them; all along, our stance at NA Confidential has been that any candidate who'll make a public statement addressing the Democratic mayor Jeff Gahan's hostile takeover of public housing, and his subsequent assaults on our city's most vulnerable populations, at least merits consideration for voting -- as opposed to the ones who have refused to comment at all.

As to the quality and content of these statements ... well, we'll get to that when there's time, but your thoughts are welcome in the interim.

In this update: LaMicra Martin, Christina Estill, and Chris FitzGerald.


LaMicra Martin prepared a preliminary statement today. We owe her our gratitude for speaking on this issue.

LaMicra Martin for Floyd County Commissioner

I understand the emotions and worry when you are about to loose your home especially when you have not planned on moving. I am hopeful when the plan comes in that there are accommodations for families.

I am asking for those who own houses that you consider in taking housing vochures. I was once on NAHA section 8 program so I understand how hard it is to find a home and the emotions that come along. I am thankful that we were blessed to have a person to accept the vochure to accommodate my family. Be a blessing to someone. Families have enough stress and worry of trying to make ends meet because of low wage jobs, the worry of the safety for children in school, now adding the worrying about a place to live.

This is the time and I am hopeful that we as a community can help each other.


Christina Estill released a statement. I cannot express how pleased I am that we have candidates speaking up for this group. We have not even seen the tip of the iceberg of what we're capable of achieving.

Christina For New Albany's Trustee

After my experience today visiting with residents of NAHA, I was faced with many questions to the Housing Demolition proposal. As a former resident this hot topic is definitely of necessary concern. I will be advocating for people to ask more questions. Get educated on the past and current proposals. Please don't go in with blind eyes and trust just anybody. Please don't let yourself or others be persuaded.

My beliefs and values on this subject are that each resident should not have to fear being displaced or uprooted from a strong community full of thriving support. We have great unity with a variety of resources that are conveniently located and easily accessible. Why should any resident have to fear having to take a voucher outside of New Albany to find adequate housing because we don't have enough private landlords willing to take them? We need to be cognitive of what it looks like to have to move to a new town and get reacquainted with the whereabouts of the resources and transportation issues.

So what I will do is ask these tough questions! What I will do is unite with the residents of NAHA and be a voice for their concerns! What I will do is make sure we are educated on the funding available from the Federal funds and make sure they have a plan to be accommodating for ALL residents!


Just in ... Chris FitzGerald (D) state representative candidate of Indiana's 72nd District, comments on the New Albany Housing Authority situation.


tl;dr I am looking forward to the completed NAHA assessment, and we need to invest more in affordable housing

After speaking at the New Albany Housing Authority (NAHA) ‘Meet the Candidate’ event this week, residents asked my stance on housing in general and the current situation facing current NAHA residents. I would like to share my thoughts:

As a child I grew up experiencing housing insecurity; I understand the stress an untimely move can cause. I know what it is like to move from one sub-standard apartment to another, and finally settling at Cross Creek Apartments for nearly a decade. I benefitted from the Section 8 program. I’m sure that 10-year-old me would be nervous at the thought or rumor of being evicted for any reason. As our region gains more population, the need for affordable housing grows. With a 12% poverty rate in Floyd County, that need only increases. Our residents work hard (Floyd County has a 3.1% unemployment rate), but still cannot afford to live in quality housing. This, in turn, places greater strain on our public programs and social safety net. All of this is a backdrop to the current situation at NAHA.

For those not aware, NAHA currently operates 1,200 housing units. With underinvestment from the Federal government going back decades, we have a price tag of nearly $140,000,000 in deferred maintenance costs. This is a situation that cannot continue as is. Continued deterioration will only harm NAHA residents. NAHA is currently doing an assessment of the its housing stock to figure out the full extent of the issue. When that assessment is complete, a 10-year plan will be drafted that will determine which units will be renovated, which can be maintained, and which may need to be demolished. This plan, according to media reports, will include resident input and would be conducted in phases. This is important so that there will be as minimal disruption to the residents as possible. I look forward to the completion of the assessment and will work with all parties to ensure a plan that will bring about the most good.

If there is an overall reduction of units throughout the 10-year plan, there may be an increase in both tenant-based and project-based Section 8 programs. As your State Representative I will work to find ways to better incentivize property owners and developers to accept the Housing Choice Vouchers. Potential renters should not be viewed as a housing risk due to their voucher. I will also work with TARC to see how bus routes could be expanded to connect our communities.

Again, this is all with a backdrop of an increased demand for affordable housing. As your State Representative, I want to increase the money Floyd County gets in affordable housing funds. Currently, Floyd County is categorized as a more rural county and has to share affordable housing funds with eight other counties. Ed Clere has done nothing to change that. I want to increase the ability to redevelop vacant properties and turn them into affordable housing, whether to be used as rental property or to be owned. Mayor Gahan and the City Council rightfully included a mandatory minimum of 8% affordable units in any development that includes city money within the comprehensive plan. This is a great way to help increase the stock for our young families and our increasing senior population. It is important to pursue a reclassification of Floyd County as a more urban county, as we are in the Louisville metropolitan area, which could incentivize more developers to create affordable housing.

We need to continue to alleviate poverty and strengthen opportunity for all Hoosiers in Floyd County. I look forward to helping strengthen our affordable housing stock and stabilize our public housing for future generations.

Ethically challenged local Democrats can't find a single friend as public opinion weighs in on the party's toxic Knable censure resolution.

Cricket's chirping? That's their swamp music.

For those just tuning in for today's sad installment of Local DemoDisneyDixiecrats of the Formerly Black But Now Very Greenback Lagoon, two pivotal local election cycles are approaching, the soulless pretend-left political machine is on the ropes, and that bleakest of functionaries, Pat "How High, Sir?" McLaughlin has channeled his inner Adam Dickey into a resolution to censure city council colleague Al Knable for an entirely imagined offense -- or to be brutally frank, for performing the task of council president far better than Paddy Mac ever did.

These are the depraved depths to which Team Gahan has plunged, whether the News and Tribune's deficient management team can bring itself to admit the obvious, or not.

McLaughlin's resolution serves as convenient and compelling proof that our local Democrats have left the rails. The only viable alternative to more of the same is to vote against them at every opportunity.

But first, let's take a brief glance at some of the reactions to our coverage of the ongoing travesty.


Did you miss the headline? The crux of it - DemoDisneyDixiecratic chairman Dickey is up to his eyeballs in fake facts, not to mention male moo cow feces.

Jeff Gillenwater (junior editor): "This (Democratic Party Fb post) is a lie to advance a political agenda. Members of both parties have been discussing the possibility of a call center merger for nearly a decade. Bailey and the rest of you affiliated with this ridiculous smear attempt ought to be ashamed but, as so many have learned and are learning the hard way, you all don’t really recognize shame amongst the cheap shots, half-truths, and innuendo. The number of people swearing off the local party and its candidates because of abominable behavior like this is growing. They do not see the party as a vehicle for progressive ideas and humanitarian concerns precisely because it’s not. Those still clinging to “local leadership” are likewise losing the respect of many. Keep it up.

D: "The conflicts we Democrats face at the national level require we take the high road at the local level. This (Democratic Party) article and what lies behind it do the opposite, and threaten everything the Dems should be standing for."

B: "Wow. That’s incredibly dishonest, even by local standards ... This has been thoroughly discredited in other threads and forums. The censure is complete partisan nonsense of the worst kind."

K: People know better than to believe that crap, don’t they? I believe Al at his word - a mistake ... This is going to backfire on them.

Billy Stewart (county commissioner): "We can have disagreements about policy and what we believe in how things should be but there is never a reason to try to destroy someone over partisan politics. I don't always agree with other elected officials but I respect their views. I'm truly saddened by the actions of a few City officials trying to smear the reputation of a good person. The only way we can change things is through the ballet box. Remember who did what and vote accordingly."

A: "So, does Pat's Resolution invite us all to write our own Resolutions? Whereas, we can encourage truthful dialogue from he, Jeffrey, and other city officials? That sounds like a fun game! Pat's Resolution could be used as the template and we just change the words and subject to expose real liars. It could be a competition. All participating have their first reading on Monday under Pat's agenda item, and all who participate win because standing up to bullies makes you a winner! ... I hope Pat doesn't become chicken at the last minute and pull his resolution from the agenda. That would spoil all the fun."

BC: If this is the best the Dems can do, then they are in major trouble in Floyd County. They are dying on the vine already and this is simply an extreme stretch to TRY to be noteworthy. Knowing Al as I do, he is an upstanding member of the community and is a straightforward guy who wants the best for New Albany.


Gahanism is gangsterism, and Pat McLaughlin's nonsensical resolution censuring Al Knable is the best example yet of the local Democratic Party's utter depravity.

R: "Mclaughlin is my council rep. I haven’t seen him in my neighborhood since Baron Hill was running for re-election more than a decade ago. I’m vacillating between whether anger or appalled embarrassment better describes my reaction to this idiocy. Al Knable may have some views with which I differ, but he’s not averse to listening and actually hearing what citizens say."

D: "What a waste of time and money... to attempt to discredit someone you are working with for the greater good of your city. It’s an embarrassment. I’m sorry Al Knable ... keep doing what you’re doing. Posing questions and getting the answers for your constituents. Representing their best interests with integrity. It’s in your job description. What I’m SURE is not there is when something you don’t like comes to light, you strike out at the credible people. Stay the course and do the right thing, always."


More profiles in cravenness: "McLaughlin did not want to make a public comment until Monday's meeting."

S: "Not sure what to make of this world when Dan Coffey is the voice of reason."

M: "Think I have figured it out. It’s just his way of announcing that the price will be high for him to flip. And he will, if the price is right. Have seen him make 180 turns before."

P: "I’ve known Al for around 40 years, both personally and professionally. I will continue to trust and support him. This is what happens when a good person tries to get into to politics to make a difference, and it greatly saddens me."

W: "This is a total waste of the city council's time. I want to know how the $5 million is going to be spent on the city. I want to know what’s going to happen to the NAHA residences. I want to know about cleanup in the city parks department. I want my city to have a combined efficient 9-1-1 center."


ON THE AVENUES: Al Knable doesn’t lie, but the local Democratic Party is a flood-plain Pinocchio. Let’s censure it at the ballot box.

Reverend Mike Becht: "I am certain that if Mr. Baylor and I sat down to discuss issues and politics, we would find ourselves holding opposite points of view on many areas of public concern. However, it is telling that we appear to be 100% in sync with respect to one pressing matter - the current tempest enveloping Dr. Al Knable.

Having known Al for more than 35 years, I can personally vouch for his honesty and integrity. That is not to say we always agree on every topic. I'm sure we do not; but I have NEVER once found him to be less than candid, respectful and fair, even when we find ourselves landing at opposite positions on a matter. To suggest that he would lie for political gain is patently absurd, and reveals more about the character of the ones who are making that claim than about the good doctor, himself.

"I am never surprised by the ugliness and mudslinging that goes on in politics. But I am surprised that some in power have calculated that their best course of action is to engineer a public attempt at character assassination.

"Some question the provenance of the quote attributed to Edmund Burke, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Regardless of who originated the thought, there is no escaping the truism it propounds. I, for one, am not willing to stand by and watch a good man pilloried. And if you have any sense of decency, neither should you."


Following are comments posted here and there in support of the censure resolution.

Even as we foresee the Champs-Ély-Jéffrey, Berlin "contends with street names of a brutal, overlooked past."

As we know, it isn't about street names alone. The recent trials and tribulations of Confederate statuary in Louisville are well documented.

Statue removal? Yes, the Civil War was about slavery -- and I'm just fine with tracing it all the way back to the Founders. Now, let's all go read a book.

LEO Weekly's current annual "fake" issue eloquently addresses the point.

Castleman Statue Replaced With Muhammad Ali Punching A Klansman Statue

Now defaced twice, the John B. Castleman statue, which for many represents the worst of Jim Crow America’s whitewashing, has been removed and replaced by a statute of the Double Greatest punching a member of the KKK in the dick.

As for Berlin, you're sentenced to the personal chronology.

Lenin's head finally is located, and will be displayed in Berlin.

The story of the toppled 60-foot tall statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin that formerly stood in East Berlin where the Volkspark Friedrichshain (extant) faced Leninplatz (defunct) is such a central part of my personal travel mythology that I've long since abandoned any effort to be rational about it.

Lenin's statue came down, but Karl-Mark-Allee remains. As CityLab's reporter notes (below), Berlin has purged itself of reminders as they pertain to Communism and Fascism, but not pre-WWI Marxism.

In New Albany, we have a few heroic amphitheater plaques, but no sculptural paeans to ward-heelers past -- at least not yet. Ill-advised anchors proliferate like toxic weeds, and they serve the same purpose as a red star; someday we'll be compelled to scrub them clean, while remaining vigilant to the DemoDisneyDixiecratic Party's future plan to name a roundabout after Herr Duggins.

Back in Berlin, there's this little matter of a colonial legacy most have forgotten.

Berlin Contends With Street Names of a Brutal, Overlooked Past, by Feargus O'Sullivan (CityLab)

 ... Germany’s grim colonial record was characterized by incredible levels of cruelty, exploitation, and violence. Under German rule in what is now Namibia, for example, the country’s forces pursued a campaign of wholesale land grabs, enslavement, forced labor, and rape. Facing organized resistance from indigenous people, the Germans quashed opposition by pursuing genocide against the region’s Herero and Namaqua people. Between 1904 and 1907, the Germans intentionally confined their opponents within a waterless desert, launching attacks on them during which, according to official orders, women and children were not spared.

Many thousands more died of disease, starvation, and violence in concentration camps, where mortality rates reached as high as 74 percent. This created an overall death toll of between 34,000 and 110,000 deaths, and a system of murder that—with its concentration camps and medical experiments on prisoners—clearly foreshadowed the Holocaust.

Three people involved in this process are still commemorated in Berlin’s African Quarter. Adolf Lüderitz and Gustav Nachtigal, who first acquired the land for Germany’s southwest African colony on a fraudulent contract, still have a street and a square apiece. Around the corner is an avenue commemorating Carl Peters, a notoriously brutal colonist in East Africa who committed psychopathic acts of violence and was known by locals as “Mkono Wa Damu”—bloody hands.


This debate is familiar to cities and countries everywhere, with the result being called in both directions. In the U.S., it’s about monuments and street names associated with the Confederacy. In the U.K., a campaign to remove an Oxford statue of African colonist and diamond trader Cecil Rhodes sparked a similar debate two winters ago, with the statue nonetheless remaining in place. On the European mainland, Poland’s removal of communist-associated place names continued into this decade, while Spain’s attempts to remove names associated with Francisco Franco are ongoing—and by no means unanimously accepted.

In Berlin, recent history makes it difficult to sustain the argument that such names can remain to reflect history, rather than endorse it. The city has already changed so many names associated with Nazis and Soviets (albeit retaining names associated with Marxism). To draw the line at colonialism, whose effects were similarly catastrophic for its victims, would suggest a double standard that would be hard to justify, and harder to stomach. While the replacement names have not yet been confirmed, Berliners living in the area could soon find themselves waking up on Rudolf-Manga-Bell-Strasse or Maji-Maji-platz very soon.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Unfortunately, yes: "Driverless cars will be allowed to kill us, because capitalism is a death cult."

It's probably bad etiquette to reprint the whole post, and I do this very seldom, but just this once.

Speed kills, and the author leads off with an important point: while mainstream news coverage emphasized that the "driverless" Uber was traveling more slowly than the posted speed limit, it was moving plenty fast enough -- around 40 mph -- to kill a pedestrian 60% of the time.

Keep this number in mind.

Later this spring when the weather is warmer, I'll be taking the radar gun to NA's "improved" street grid, where two-way friction is being credited for slower speeds. My prediction: we'll see that average speeds still fall between 35 and 40 mph ... or, that very same hazardous 60-percentile.

Then we'll have further proof (as if it were needed) that it isn't Al Knable spinning the deceptive yarns.


Driverless Cars Will Be Allowed to Kill Us, Because Capitalism Is A Death Cult (Rebel Metropolis)

As you likely already know, last week a ‘driverless’ Uber test vehicle made by Volvo struck and killed 49 year old Elaine Herzberg while she was walking her bike across a road in Tempe, Arizona.

The vehicle was traveling at a rate of speed that guarantees a 60+% fatality rate when striking pedestrians. The Uber’s autonomous vehicle (AV) didn’t swerve, it didn’t brake. The so-called “safety” driver on board wasn’t even watching the road.

The myth that driverless cars will solve the bad driving habits of humans also died last week. What we’ve learned since then has confirmed some of our worst fears about AV’s.

Some of the blame rests solely on Uber. The anti-union, anti-worker company wasn’t using trained test drivers who should be working in pairs, they were using a solo ‘safety’ driver with a proven record of driving unsafely. Some have also speculated the Volvo’s built-in sensor-based autonomous braking system might have spared the woman’s life…had Uber not disabled it.

More alarming is the frequency that ‘safety’ drivers have had to override when an AV glitches, gets confused, and almost has a collision while moving at speed: on average about every 15 minutes.

But maybe most terrifying is that driverless cars will almost never swerve to avoid an impact, instead relying on braking alone.

@EricPaulDennis: "A super-weird aspect of this crash site is that it occurred at a place where a beautiful brick-paved diagonal walking path was provided across the median, along with a sign instructing people not to use it. This is beyond pedestrian-hostile design; it's damn-near entrapment."

Now I don’t know about you, but back in my driving days I almost never avoided a collision solely by braking, especially with the number of nocturnal whitetail deer over-populating the Mid West.

Armed with expensive sensory arrays alleged to see better than humans can, the Uber AV failed to see a woman crossing the street with a bike directly in front of it. A professional programmer I know familiar with Uber’s design said the current radar & lidar systems cannot see anything better at night than the human eye, and still rely on reflectivity of an object similar to our visual spectrum.

Even with an infrared FLIR system like what police and military use at night, a computer must process all its visual data in real time while moving at speed, calculate all the variables, then react accordingly – a feat now apparently nowhere close to being logistical reality.

And it’s not as though there was any demand from consumers for such a costly, dangerous street experiment in the first place.

So the question must be asked, why is the auto industry doing this?

Simple: pure lust for capital.

From the NYTimes: “Tech companies like Uber, Waymo and Lyft, as well as automakers like General Motors and Toyota, have spent billions developing self-driving cars in the belief that the market for them could one day be worth trillions of dollars.”

As many know who read this blog, the car industry has been bleeding young customers for over a decade. The kids want bikes, they want transit, they want social connection. They do not want to sit in congested freeways like their boomer parents before them.

So the auto industry has been desperately grasping at straws to reinvent the wheel to appeal to a market that simply doesn’t exist, and likely never will.

@RebelMetropolis: "This is the most horrifying vision of dystopian driverless cars I've read to date."

"Driverless cars are going to be one of the main pillars of the economy, it's very important that we do not allow one tragic accident to sway public opinion."

But capitalism has never been about responding to actual market demand. It has always been about extracting wealth from labor, creating monopolies, and lying to consumers about the things they supposedly cannot live without.

The irony, of course, is that the initial roll-out of the automobile a century ago was horrifically deadly. It’s been noted that so little attention is given to regular cases of homicide-by-automobile. To be sure, prior to Elaine Herzberg’s tragic death, 10 other pedestrians were killed by cars on the streets of Phoenix in just one week.

It’s good that we’re shocked by this now, we need to be. Because the scumbag industry lobbyists and the techie bros trying to convince us this new Titanic is unsinkable, they’re going to keep forcing driverless cars down our throats for the sake of profit.

Alex Roy wrote a lengthy class-concious indictment of Uber and driverless cars for where he asked the most important question of all, “How many more people do self-driving cars have to kill before we have common sense regulation? A society that tolerates 40,000 deaths a year due to human driving will probably put up with a lot more collateral damage, as long as the dead are car-less, or better yet homeless. In this country, that’s practically the same thing.”

The capitalists are dumping billions into technology to do something totally unnecessary, that most can do with a vehicle that uses tech 200 years old. We need to stop these arrogant technocrats who’ve made clear their willingness to put profit over people.

See you in the streets.

Grooms, Murray join Clere in addressing public housing concerns during NAHA candidate forum.

We Are New Albany was well represented at last evening's candidate forum at the New Albany Housing Authority's gym. The advocacy organization's Aaron Fairbanks has given permission for us to reprint his report.


This is why our political voice matters:

"I oppose any plan that vacates anyone from public housing that they are now living in. We will at the state level make that not happen. You will not be evacuated unless we have another plan that puts you in a position where you want to be."
-- 46th District State Senator Ron Grooms (R)

(This comes after Candi and myself blasted Grooms at a town hall in New Albany).

"I'd like to start tonight by addressing an issue that is critically important, which is affordable housing... I don't want to see any families put on the street making it even harder for them to get back on their feet. So it's important that we make sure we have an adequate supply of affordable housing that meets at least minimal standards."
-- 46th District State Senate candidate Anna Murray (D)

Anna had been in contact to notify me of her preliminary comments before she releases a pending statement on the local housing issue. She's also agreed to follow up by getting some questions answered regarding the city's plan:

  • to ensure that demolition doesn't forcibly displace NAHA residents from New Albany or leave them at risk of homelessness.
  • to ensure that demolition does not reduce NAHA's ability to meet future housing needs for those on waiting lists and housing assistance applicants.
  • to ensure that the City and NAHA work to meet the dire need for rental housing and affordable housing options, while knowingly facing an affordable housing shortage.

"We are at the New Albany Housing Authority, so I'm going to briefly mention housing issues. First of all, I'm grateful to be endorsed by We Are New Albany. I'm honored to have their endorsement ... It's been a privilege ... learning more about the situation here at the [New Albany] Housing Authority, which unfortunately hangs as a dark cloud over many of the folks in this room. And I will continue to oppose any plan for the [New Albany] Housing Authority that could displace current residents without stable, long-term alternatives."
-- 72nd District State Representative candidate Ed Clere (R)

Thank you, Ed Clere, for standing with this group since day one. The use of your platform to stand by NAHA residents and We Are New Albany has absolutely helped to give public housing residents a voice when no one would listen and no one would speak on such an important discussion as affordable housing.

Unfortunately, our work is not done yet. I will not rest until the "dark cloud" is gone, and no one is in fear of being forced from their homes and their community. It's most unfortunate that candidates that I have met and have respected avoided talking about housing at the New Albany Housing Authority (You have got to be kidding me?).

I'm appalled by the silence of people who should be representing you and me.

I can tell you now that many of them are calling our "bluff." They have calculated that the NAHA residents affected by this plan won't vote, and they have decided that even so much as entertaining a conversation with us is unnecessary because of this lack of participation. So many other candidates attended the forum tonight (with requests for public statements I might add), yet they avoided our concerns that we have been making public for several months.

We absolutely need help to leverage these conversations, and there's no better way to do that than to get involved and vote!

More profiles in cravenness: "McLaughlin did not want to make a public comment until Monday's meeting."

A teensy-weensy microdot of back story and context would be nice, but you'll never get it from the News and Tribune, which seeks only to transport you to the end of the article in two minutes or less, and get back to cooking school.

But now for the good news: That's why you have NA Confidential to take you down into the bunker with the flies on the wall, to where the 'Bamatized chain newspaper can't -- nay, won't -- go.

If you're just tuning in, the Floyd County Democratic Party has fired up a mess of monkey brains, chased their souffle with ice-cold Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, and contracted prion disease (eternal thanks to Charles P. Pierce).

Kuru belongs to a class of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also called prion diseases. It primarily affects the cerebellum — the part of your brain responsible for coordination and balance.

NAC started covering this story on Tuesday.

ON THE AVENUES: Al Knable doesn’t lie, but the local Democratic Party is a flood-plain Pinocchio. Let’s censure it at the ballot box.

Gahanism is gangsterism, and Pat McLaughlin's nonsensical resolution censuring Al Knable is the best example yet of the local Democratic Party's utter depravity.

Did you miss the headline? The crux of it - DemoDisneyDixiecratic chairman Dickey is up to his eyeballs in fake facts, not to mention male moo cow feces.

The politics of diversion: "Chief Bailey is playing a losing hand, but then, they're not really his cards."

Today the newspaper picks up the story, and quite badly.

Folks, let's get real: the lame censure resolution directed against Al Knable could not have sprung fully formed from the brain of Pat McLaughlin. The party's ranking Democrats are behind the chicanery. The puppet's strings are connected to city corporate counsel, party chairman and mayor. This is the way it always works, and will continue to work until voters fire them in 2019.

Chances are that Dan Coffey's not the only observer who understands this, even if Chris Morris doesn't.

New Albany City Council to consider Knable censure over 911 dispatch statements

 ... Councilman Dan Coffey did not withhold comment about the censure, or how he will likely vote on the resolution.

"It's 100 percent political," Coffey said. "Al is one of the most honest people I've ever met. I know his votes on the council are not political. I am really disappointed in that one [resolution]."

Coffey said the vote will likely go along party lines. That means the two independents, Coffey and Scott Blair, will likely decide the matter on whether Knable will be officially censured. The council also includes four Democrats and three Republicans.

McLaughlin did not want to make a public comment until Monday's meeting.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Bughouse: "Coming to terms with Ezra Pound’s politics."

Every now and then, Ezra Pound (1885-1972) bobs to the blog's surface, as in these three posts from 2016 and 2017.

"Ezra Pound: The Solitary Volcano," a biography by John Tytell.

Shane's Excellent New Words: Autodidacticism ... and a biography of the poet Ezra Pound.

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Effluvium or effluent? Ezra's tree needs to know.

In one of them I wrote: "It is fascinating to contemplate a time when an artist could proclaim that poetry would change the world, and be taken seriously."

According to Evan Kindley at The Nation, such a time hasn't yet passed, and Pound continues to have an influence on the nation's discourse, although this fact owes to Pound's fascist politics more than his poetry -- and at any rate, these factors were intertwined from the very start.

The Insanity Defense

Coming to terms with Ezra Pound’s politics.

In December 1945, Ezra Pound was committed to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC. He was then 60 years old, internationally famous, and under indictment for treason against the United States. In an infamous series of broadcasts made on Italian radio between 1941 and 1943, Pound had declared his support for Mussolini’s regime and his contempt for the Allied forces. He parroted fascist talking points but also added a layer of byzantine anti-Semitic conspiracy theory all his own. “You let in the Jew and the Jew rotted your empire, and you yourselves out-Jewed the Jew,” he admonished the British on March 15, 1942. In other broadcasts, Pound spoke of “Jew slime,” warned of the white race “going toward total extinction,” suggested hanging President Roosevelt (“if you can do it by due legal process”), praised Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and urged his listeners to familiarize themselves with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Pound had arrived at this vicious ideological position gradually. His early work, while always concerned with the relations between art and society, had rarely been political per se. Over the years, though, his long poem The Cantos, started in 1915, had drifted from a preoccupation with mythological subjects to an investigation of economics and governance, influenced by heterodox economists like C.H. Douglas and Silvio Gesell. By the time the Second World War began, Pound had come to blame the practice of usury, propagated by a secret network of nefarious Jewish bankers, for all the evils afflicting the world ...

Mike Moore has a Jeff Boat dream ... we have a JeffBot luxury dog park.

River Ridge, the Clark Maritime Center, potential redevelopment at the soon to be vacated Jeff Boat property, and the South Clarksville/Colgate project.

All of it stops at Silver Creek. And what are our Floyd County Democratic Party leaders doing?

That's right. They're attempting to slime a Republican councilman with bogus charges of lying.

Is this really all they have to do with their time on the clock? Isn't it true that if YOU wasted time in this fashion at work, you'd get fired?

Mayor envisions retail, residences for Jeffboat property in lieu of shipyard
, by Danielle Grady (Tom May Gazette)

JEFFERSONVILLE — Jeffboat’s location along the Ohio River is ideal for a barge manufacturer, but good for more than that.

Now that the shipyard is closing after 80 years in business, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore has ambitious dreams for the 65-acre riverfront property.

In a statement Monday, Jeffboat’s parent company, American Commercial Lines, said only that it is reviewing the best alternative for the shipyard, which is expected to close in May. But Moore says that Jeffboat Vice President Mike Poindexter called him to say that the company has already ruled out opening or selling to another shipyard.

Moore had originally hoped that another shipyard could take Jeffboat’s place. Now, he’s thinking of the next best thing: retailers and residences — boosted by the property’s proximity to the river and to Louisville. Moore said he’s already been contacted by business people interested in the idea ...

ON THE AVENUES: Al Knable doesn’t lie, but the local Democratic Party is a flood-plain Pinocchio. Let’s censure it at the ballot box.

ON THE AVENUES: Al Knable doesn’t lie, but the local Democratic Party is a flood-plain Pinocchio. Let’s censure it at the ballot box.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Last night I wrote to Greg Phipps, my 3rd district councilman, urging him to vote against Pat McLaughlin's absurd, politically-motivated city council resolution to censure Al Knable, the body's current president.

Phipps' characteristic reply was cut and pasted to at least one other like-minded questioner.

"Just received the council packet this evening. Will carefully examine the arguments then vote accordingly."

What were you expecting, profiles in courage?

Welcome to Adam’s Enable Asylum, and remember to check your humanity at the door, because New Albanians presently are witnessing the most blatant example yet of the pervasive gangsterism of Gahanism, and perhaps (at long last), we've arrived at the auto-destruct nadir of the Floyd County Democratic Party, although at this point they’ve placed the bar so low in the primordial mud that just about any of the regime's ward heelers smashed out of their minds on Bud Light Lime could faint over it.

Monday’s upcoming censure resolution, team-authored by Adam Dickey, Jeff Gahan, Shane Gibson, Warren Nash, a late-model robot Adam borrowed from the Democratic National Committee and maybe even McLaughlin himself, who otherwise is destined to serve only as sycophantic delivery device, has two chief aims.

First, it is to cripple the council for the remainder of Knable's term as president. He became council president only because the two independents fled from designated Democratic grandee Bob Caesar. Once Knable was seated and got down to work, Dear Leader's conspiracy against him began taking shape.

Of course, the Republican Knable has been far better organized and much more ambitious than former president McLaughlin, whose "leadership" during endless years amounted to dysfunctional acquiescence to whatever was asked of him by Dickey’s and Gahan's greasy cabal of human slush siphons.

With only four mostly reliable Democrats remaining on the council, and in spite of the mayor’s ability to periodically “convince” non-Democratic members (including one lamentable Republican) with attractive special interest barters, the fact is that Team Gahan can’t rely on council obedience as currently constituted, so it might as well throw a grenade in the room, and blame Knable at year’s end for the lack of results.

Second, and far more importantly, it is to serve as a clear and unmistakable warning to all and sundry that no childish act of malice, pettiness or chicanery is too small to be considered for deployment by the Floyd County Democratic Party if it is deemed sufficient to maintain power in the city (the county bolted years ago).

Dickey, Gahan, Gibson, Duggins and their crews will go to any length, however nasty, fetishistic and depraved, to remain the biggest fish peddling influence in this pitifully small pond.

Indeed, in the absence of coherent principle, mobster tactics are all they have left, but fortunately these have useful and instructive purposes for those among us who still value basic human decency. As such, the ludicrous Knable smear campaign actually serves as a convenient referendum on the fitness of our council representatives to govern.

Every last one of them comes up for re-election in 2019, and speaking only for myself and my home 3rd district, Phipps’ vote on Monday evening absolutely will determine my level of political involvement next year. If Phipps casts a ballot to abet character assassination, we can pretend no longer. The journey from thoughtful idealist to abject Dickey lackey will have ballot implications of its own.

I promise.

More importantly, for those readers considering themselves as progressives, and aligned with “the resistance” as defined nationally (and on Facebook), the advent of this local Democratic Party resolution to slime an honest man means you no longer have the luxury of indulging your purely selective cognitive dissonance.

It’s wonderful to resist tyranny, but if you are decrying it there and coddling it here, we have a problem.

If you’re on the left side of the aisle, and if you persist in believing that the local Democratic Party shares your views in terms of genuine action, as opposed to Dickey’s “forever for show only” gestures and signaling, then you’re quite simply swallowing a colossal bait ‘n’ switch.

It may be helpful to grasp that Dan Canon and Jeff Gahan are as diametrically opposed as the North and South Poles. They are parallel lines that cannot meet. The criteria you’re correctly using to celebrate Canon just as surely disallows Gahan and his shameless flunkies from consideration.

That’s because the local Democratic Party is not about ideas, and hasn't ever been.

Rather, it is a crass patronage machine designed to create those juicy rivulets of sustenance that wet the beaks of appointees, secure loyalty, and maintain a level of largess capable of exploitation.

Our faux Democrats feed on sycophantism, nepotism, favoritism, glad-handing, threats and intimidation. It’s a swamp of fear, loathing and third-raters, and it’s not in Washington DC – it’s right here, rising like an oily mist from Falling Run, oozing between the third floor cracks, and inundating all of us in a morass of embarrassing complicity.

Gahan’s and Dickey’s vision of a local Democratic Party is about ideals only in the jaundiced and opportunistic sense that these can be voiced without any compulsion to follow through, and used as convenient camouflage for the down-and-grubby utility of reanimating what the local party historically existed to achieve, which isn’t civil rights or justice, but preferential pork-barreling and the maintenance of favoritism alone -- enforced with "gentle" brass knuckle reminders (or TASERs) when necessary.

Folks, if you’re shaking your fist at the "enemy," and your “friends” are behaving no differently, then it’s time to look in the mirror. Lest we forget, the only local elected official to publicly oppose Gahan’s public housing putsch to date is Ed Clere, a Republican.

Meanwhile, esteemed and credentialed Democrats like Phipps have stated for attribution that the demolition of 500 affordable housing units has nothing to do with them. Tell me, progressives: Which one’s your enemy, and which one’s your friend?

McLaughlin’s bullshit resolution means it’s time at long last to be truthful. You cannot “resist” the excesses of the Right by doubling down on behalf of the Democratic Party as it currently exists and operates on a daily basis right here in the real world, as opposed to Adam's orgasmic Disney World.

In my view, both major parties can go to hell, and the Democrats might as well board the first train to Hades. The sooner the local DemoDisneyDixecratic Party disappears, the sooner something better can be built in its place. How can it get any worse?

But it can’t get better until we realize and openly affirm that McLaughlin’s censure resolution bares this gutless local version of pretend-Democrats for all to see. They're soulless monetizers without a moral compass, and the only humane thing to do is euthanize the party, and start all over again.


It isn’t enough for the left-of-center resistance to be solely predicated on identity politics and social justice issues of the sort that Mayor Gahan routinely and insincerely hoists to bedazzle progressives, who are sufficiently desperate to accept toothless Potemkin human rights lean-tos in exchange for looking the other way as Gahan’s increasingly self-serving and megalomaniacal “luxury” expenditures and attacks on the working poor jump the rails of sustainability and common sense -- and contradict everything a progressive purports to stand for.

I’ll close with my own testimony.

At this point in time, after 14 years of observing this endlessly self-renewing political debacle, I’d like nothing better than to make a clean break. It would be wonderful, indeed, to enjoy a quiet existence, with my lovely wife, our cats, books, music and oceans of booze; and be back in the good beer business, helping and mentoring my friend Joe with Pints&union and reconnecting the threads of brewing, history, geography, food and folkways, just like oft times before.

It’s what I’m very best at doing, and I should be doing it. I’d prefer doing it here, in New Albany. We've so very much unrealized potential.

Alas, I understand all too well that these many years of blogging advocacy, and my perpetual willingness to say what others can't (or won’t), certainly damages my chances of getting back to work.

If so, then so be it. Here's the thing.

Among other disgraces, Gahan’s public housing putsch, his endless budget-busting luxury expenditures, their contempt for the disadvantaged among us, those botched pro-automotive two-way street grid “reforms,” the mayor’s thuggish threats against city employees – and now this fresh new character assassination directed at Al Knable – you see, these are rancid, reeking failures and abominable power plays.

They’re disgusting, and they’re wrong, and while I sometimes wish my father hadn’t raised me to speak my mind and stand up to tyrannical bullies, cliques and personality cults, that’s surely what he did.

At this juncture, I can’t seem to unlearn his lesson. I don't want to unlearn it, and I'll continue to dissent from this crisis of pure avarice. I can’t ignore Gahan’s and the Democratic Party’s divisive megalomania, and I won’t.

You shouldn’t, either.

The first step in fixing what ails us is to open our eyes and see the local Democratic Party hypocrisy in the clear light of day for what it really is, not what you’d like for it to be – and with McLaughlin’s horrendous and indefensible censure resolution, there no longer can be any doubt about who is lying.

And who isn’t.


Recent columns:

March 22: ON THE AVENUES: Remembering Max Allen, bartender extraordinaire.

March 15: ON THE AVENUES: The books I've been reading during the winter months.

March 8: ON THE AVENUES: Necessity was the mother of NARBA, a food and drink invention in need of re-animation.

March 1: ON THE AVENUES: Scoreboard daze of old.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DNA's next merchant meeting is at Roadrunner Kitchen (145 E. Main Street) at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 17. See, that wasn't so difficult, was it?

Then there's this.

It's like pulling teeth, but we all must practice dentistry on occasion.

Regular readers will recall NA Confidential's frequent and fruitless attempts to engage Develop New Albany in dialogue, something our taxpayer-supported, captive arm of City Hall event planning apparently has been told to refrain from so much as even attempting.

Heck, they won't even acknowledge my e-mails.

Apart from DNA's ongoing Taco Walk mirror problem, the remedy for which surely involves a commitment to Cultural Appropriators Anonymous, I've asked one innocent question at least a half-dozen times, maybe more (paraphrased):

"We used to receive notifications about the monthly merchant meetings on third Tuesdays of the month at 8:30 a.m., as well as follow-up e-mails with the previous meeting's minutes, but somehow (inexplicably) these have stopped arriving, so could we please be placed back on the mailing list and kept informed about future meetings?"

After all, if you look back into the blog archives, I've always done my little bit to encourage attendance at these meetings, and to participate constructively.

And, before anyone asks, be aware that as recently as February 27, 2018, I remained the part-owner of a downtown business (NABC) and at this precise moment, I still am a business owner: Potable Curmudgeon Inc., parent company of pro bono and profit-free NAC, at 1117 E Spring Street.

DNA receives a level of annual support from the city; I don't know how much, but when I served on the DNA board, it was $5,000. The money comes from tax revenues by one route or another, and as a taxpayer and citizen, I'm just as entitled as anyone else to (a) acknowledgement, and (b) inclusion on mailing lists.

I strongly suspect the directive to muzzle me emanates from DNA's governing board, not a lowly staff person, and as such, every time I'm treated as non-person, the raging pettiness merely confirms my point about improper non-transparency, which DNA's board seeks to deny.

The Green Mouse has done some brief digging, and informants are plentiful. Thanks, guys. The next merchant meeting is on April 17, at 8:30 a.m., at the new Roadrunner Kitchen (145 E. Main).

And now, Morrissey with the coda.

Gahanism is gangsterism, and Pat McLaughlin's nonsensical resolution censuring Al Knable is the best example yet of the local Democratic Party's utter depravity.

I've witnessed a lot of ridiculous things the past 12 years concerning New Albany city government. This is in the running for the top spot.
-- Mark Cassidy (it's 14 years for me, brother)

Pat McLaughlin couldn’t be bothered to contest Dan Coffey’s myriad bullying behaviors meriting censure, so long as Coffey was voting on the mayor’s side.

It meant nothing to McLaughlin when Bob Caesar, and later the city's corporate counsel Shane Gibson, bluntly refused to disclose the finances of the Bicentennial Commission.

Neither was McLaughlin troubled by his Roadhouse drinking buddy David Duggins’ TASER threats against a public housing resident, nor by the proposed demolition of 500 units of affordable housing, a mayoral putsch undertaken in the tawdriest of fashions, as well as being a move completely opposed to McLaughlin's own political party's purported commitment to working class citizens.

Just details to be ignored, right?

Ah, but now, with two local election cycles approaching, and with his DemoDisneyDixiecratic fraternity on the ropes, Paddy Mac seeks to censure Al Knable for an entirely imagined offense, which is to say, for no other discernible reason than petty politics.

However, McLaughlin's resolution conveniently serves as the most compelling proof yet that Jeff Gahan’s and Adam Dickey’s thuggish monetization organization has completely flipped its lid. Our local Democrats have left the rails, and the only alternative to more of the same is to vote against them at every opportunity.

Did you miss the headline? The crux of it - DemoDisneyDixiecratic chairman Dickey is up to his eyeballs in fake facts, not to mention male moo cow feces.

That swamp we keep hearing about? It begins at party chairman Dickey's keyboard, and extends in a steadily escalating stench through the proximity of the party's elected and appointed officials.

The politics of diversion: "Chief Bailey is playing a losing hand, but then, they're not really his cards."

But it doesn't have to be this way, and there are ways to make your voice heard now, before voting begins.

The city council meeting is on Monday night, April 2, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Public comments about agenda items occurs at the beginning of the meeting, and you, too, can have your three minutes to comment on the ludicrousness of McLaughlin's resolution, which at its very root is a vicious personal attack on the council president Knable -- and while you may disagree with Knable on certain matters (as I have), I'm guessing you can see the plain intent in this case.

It's knee-capping, it's character assassination, and it's intimidation. 

It's Gahanism as gangsterism -- but when it's all they have to offer, they'll use it.

Come out, and be heard -- and please, engage your councilman ... nope, no women, and that's another problem to be resolved at the ballot box, isn't it?

At-Large – David Aebersold
1202 Aebersold Drive
(812) 944-9823,

At-Large – Dave Barksdale
614 Terrace Court
(812) 945-1839,

At-Large – Al Knable, MD
2241 Green Valley Road
(502) 386-5051,

1st District – Dan Coffey
213 Eagle Lane
(502) 797-8347,

2nd District – Robert Caesar
614 Camp Ave.
(812) 945-8744,

3rd District – Greg Phipps (Vice President)
1105 E Spring Street
(812) 949-8317,

4th District – Patrick McLaughlin (President)
1739 Florence Ave.
(812) 949-9140,

5th District – Matthew Nash
2510 Larkwood Drive
(502) 718-4986,

6th District – Scott Blair
3925 Rainbow Drive
(812) 697-0128,

A heifer is down: Comfy Cow joins Feast BBQ on list of "former" downtown New Albany businesses.

Comfy Cow's last day of business is today. It's hard to determine which "closing soon" rumor began making the rounds first, Comfy Cow or Feast, and it no longer matters. Business decisions are business decisions, and the globe keeps spinning.

But: Are we to discern a worrisome trend?

No; at least not yet.

However, and you can call it what you will, a food and drink shift (or adjustment, or rationalization) obviously is underway downtown as April approaches. As with "craft" beer, the bubble isn't bursting, but the landscape is being reformatted.

Yesterday over at Everything Tom May, Danielle Grady conducted post-mortems for Feast and the Glass Gypsy, a shop at Underground Station. Steve Resch's viewpoint hits the center of the target, at least to me.

BIZ CLOSINGS: Three businesses, including Feast BBQ New Albany, call it quits in SoIn

... (Feast BBQ owner Ryan) Rogers declined to comment further when the News and Tribune reached out, but developer Steve Resch, who renovated Feast’s building and sold it to Rogers, said that the restaurant was doing well.

"They closed that because they want to concentrate on the Louisville market,” he said. “Feast was still profitable" ...

... Resch sold Rogers the Feast building two years ago, the developer said. When Resch bought the structure in 2010, it had been vacant since the mid-1980s. He renovated it, just like he’s done with the current Wick’s Pizza, Bella Roma, Bank Street Brewhouse, Gospel Bird, Theatreworks of SoIn and Hull & High Water buildings.

While some Southern Indiana businesses are closing, Resch believes that the area and its restaurant scene are still thriving. Another developer, Matt Chalfant is working on a building that will soon be home to a restaurant from the owner of The Exchange, Longboard’s Taco & Tiki. Resch is also renovating an old bar along Market Street that will become Pints & Union, a United Kingdom-inspired pub.

This Keith Henderson hagiography omits a few relevant points of contention.

Earlier this week, the Collected Works of Tom May's senior hagiographer considered the tenure of Keith Henderson as Floyd County Prosecutor. But first, noting that a "hard" g is preferred, but a "soft" g is allowable, Shane's Excellent New Words explains the meaning of hagiography (from March 9, 2016).

1. the writing of the lives of the saints
2. biography of the saints
3. any biography that idealizes or idolizes its subject

Read it for yourself.

MOSSWORDS: Henderson 'still passionate about justice', by Dale Moss

NEW ALBANY — Keith Henderson scanned headlines a few weeks ago. One stuck out.

David Camm's lawsuit against the state had been dismissed.

Swell news for Henderson, of course. As Floyd County's prosecutor, he represented Indiana in pursuing justice for the murders of Camm's wife and two children in 2000. After two murder convictions — one won by Henderson — and 13 years in prison, Camm was found not guilty in a third trial ...

Moss proceeds with the hagiography, and all that can be said about this mellifluous act of selective memory is that he's paid to produce hagiography because hagiography is what Bill Hanson's regime wants to spoon-feed its readers. No offense to Moss, so merely allow me to suggest there's a subtle but noticeable bias in the opening extract.

Granted, it's a fool's errand to speak dispassionately and rationally about the Camm murders. Extreme passions on all sides will remain inflamed for the rest of our lives, and probably the lives of generations to follow. Yet, as this pertains to Henderson as prosecutor, my personal view is unaltered.

If we "the people," operating with Henderson riding point (and before him, Faith), couldn't prosecute David Camm legally according to the accepted rules of engagement, then we screwed up. The task was to prosecute him legally, or let him go. Our prosecutors erred not once, but twice.

That's damning, when you stop to think about it, and Moss blithely waves away these concerns in his eagerness to pay tribute. I'm not entirely convinced, and back in August of 2016, one of the prosecutor's fellow Republicans wasn't, either.

It's worth revisiting his words, because even in the unlikely instance that the Camm affair was Henderson's only linked series of mistakes (tactics, book deals, expenses slush) in 16 years, they're mighty big ones -- and hagiography shouldn't blind us to this fact.

OAKLEY: Prosecutor ethics violation finding should serve as a wake-up call, by Matt Oakley (guest columnist at CNHI Court Avenue)

The Indiana Supreme Court hearing officer recently issued his report in the pending disciplinary action against Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson. After a lengthy trial on the matter, the hearing officer found that Mr. Henderson had a personal interest (the book deal) while he was still representing the State, a conflict of interest and an ethical violation. A separate complaint also alleged Mr. Henderson made “material statements that were false, dishonest, and Fraudulent” when he submitted invoices for his personal attorney to defend him from ethics charges from this private book deal.

The findings of the report are not just an indictment against our prosecutor but also an indictment of the process of spending taxpayer money in Floyd County. It is often easier to ignore embarrassing problems like this rather than to address the situation, but burying our heads in the sand won’t fix the problem ...

... Next, when inappropriate claims get paid even under the rights process, we should try and rectify the situation immediately. Although it should have happened in 2012, I will ask for a vote to request Mr. Henderson to pay back the $27,539 Floyd County paid to his private attorney for his ethics investigation. The Ethics Commission also alleged that Mr. Henderson’s ethical violations resulted in a delay in three years of the prosecution of David Camm and more than $225,000 in excess costs and expenses to Floyd County. Inaction is not an option unless we want to repeat this unfortunate scenario.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

THE BEER BEAT: A Pints & Union preview video at New Albany Social ... plus the new Falls City taproom and a Michael "Beer Hunter" Jackson birthday greeting.

Kelly and Joe. This is not a link.

Joe Phillips did a live Facebook video earlier today at Pints & Union, courtesy of Kelly Winslow and her New Albany Social juggernaut. Embedding seems a challenge, so here's New Albany Social video link -- as well as a couple of interior shots (below) from when I ambled past this morning and chatted for a bit with Resch's crew.

Joe says it all, which means I can turn to beer news from Louisville, courtesy of Kevin Gibson at Insider Louisville.

Falls City Brewing set to open new brewery, taproom on Friday

Falls City Brewing Co. announced today it will open its new brewery and taproom on Friday, March 30. The newly renovated facility will be dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Greg Fischer at 11 a.m. that day.

The new complex, which was built nearly a century ago, is located at 901 E. Liberty St. — in the NuLu/Phoenix Hill neighborhood — and features a seven-barrel brewhouse set in a roughly 5,100-square-foot space, as well as a taproom area that is nearly 4,000 square feet, and an outdoor beer garden that tops 3,000 square feet. For the last several years, Falls City had been part of the Over the 9/Old 502 Winery complex on 10th Street near Portland ...

In closing, today would have been the legendary beer writer Michael Jackson's 76th birthday (he died in 2007). I can say without a shade of exaggeration that if not for Jackson, I probably wouldn't be in the position of shepherding Joe's beer program at Pints & Union.

For more, this story from last year. My misplaced copy of the Beer Hunter's first great book recently turned up, and I'm absorbing some timeless wisdom.

THE BEER BEAT: Michael "Beer Hunter" Jackson's epochal book at 40, his 1994 visit to Louisville, and the color red.

Ironically, given the book's influence on me, I seem to have lost my copy of it. But no matter. As the years pass, it's ever clearer to me that Michael Jackson's World Guide to Beer perfectly captured the beer world at a crossroads between old and new.

Furthermore, having been inspired by the text, I had the first-hand opportunity to experience the historic European side of this tableau before modernity began to alter it irrevocably, then to apply all these lessons at my own pub to what became the American beer renaissance.

I've been very fortunate in these instances, and I was even more fortunate to meet the man himself ...

The Road to Gdansk, a primer on Polish history and the first flowering of Solidarity.

This hard-nosed, old-school, just-the facts documentary was released in 1983, only a short time after the events being recorded. I can't find much about it, except here.

This is my kind of history lesson, and what makes the film unique is testimony from both "sides," the workers/reformers and the Communist apparatchiks. It's as if everyone involved knows that martial law isn't the last word, and the cards are being dealt. As it turned out, Gorbachev was wild.

To take you forward through the final act in 1989, when Communism crumbled in Poland, this brief report from BBC Two's Curriculum Bites suffices fairly well.

Previously: Damn it, I want to go to Gdansk and visit the European Solidarity Centre.

Did you miss the headline? The crux of it - DemoDisneyDixiecratic chairman Dickey is up to his eyeballs in fake facts, not to mention male moo cow feces.

Here's the post in question.

From the first moment the recent discussion of a unified 9-1-1 call center commenced, the city's intellectually vacant and yet still theoretically "ruling" Democrats have been lashing back, first against Knable in city council (where the politically emasculated "democratic" rump enjoys an entirely new fixation with rules of order), then via Chief Bailey's whistle stop tour to express theatrical rage at slights against the police department's integrity (which has not been questioned, not even once).

Now comes Adam the DNC Bot's social media charade.

It's a genuine Alamo scenario on the horizon for the local elites in 2019. Adam and crew have bet the entire stack on personal loyalty to El Jeffie, as opposed to a coherent platform (witness the NAHA putsch against the poor), and they're facing the end of the generational gravy train.

Bereft of consistency, principles or any semblance of shame, all that our local DemoDisneyDixiecrats have left is an unctuous array of robotic templates in which to insert fake facts and fabrications. I can hear them now: "Hey, it's okay as long as it's OUR side doing it."

That's an excellent reason to avoid taking THEIR side. Bluegill is awarded the coda.

Whether they’re running for local, national, or intergalactic office, local candidates who don’t make a concerted, public effort to disassociate themselves from the Floyd County Democratic Party will not be receiving a vote from me.

Nothing fake about THESE sentiments. IN fact, they're just about the only hope.

GREEN MOUSE SAYS: All these unresolved issues, and there goes the mayor -- pouring cash into the Valley View golf course "partnership."

The Green Mouse no longer is surprised by anything. As it turns out, Donald Trump isn't the only one wasting time (and your money) at the golf course.

Hearing that City Hall has taken over operations of Valley View Golf Course. Zach Johnson has been hired as head pro. From what I understand, he is a city employee and not an employee of the golf course. Also, Valley View Golf Club LLC still owns the land where the clubhouse, restaurant and bar is located, so I assume it is operating independently of the golf course.

Ah, but it's all about "quality of life," eh?

It's a bit strange that Mayor Gahan wouldn't annex the hospitality portion, too, given his team's constant claims to have revitalized New Albany's food and dining scene all by themselves.

On second thought, Develop New Albany did that.

Back on September 29, 2015, the Green Mouse brought to light the extent of the city's ongoing "partnership" with Valley View. For those just tuning in, quirks of local history have resulted in county government owning the Sam Peden Community Park enclave within the city, and the city owning Valley View in the county.


Green Mouse asks: Who knew the city "abated" almost $1 million in lease payments for Valley View Golf Course? (2015)

The Green Mouse isn't much of a golfer, but recently he came across documents that suggest a disturbing absence of transparency on the part of city officials during last year's Valley View Golf Course reconstruction.

In a "Status of Reconstruction Project" memorandum dated May 25, 2014, written by club president John Kraft and addressed to the golf club membership, two conditions for the reconstruction project are identified (underlined passage is ours).

Your Board of Directors met on May 22, 2014. As stated during the opening day activities, this memo is written to provide an update on the reconstruction project and additional information you may find interesting.

The Board unanimously approved a loan proposal from Your Community Bank to finance the construction of 19 new greens and 18 new bunkers. This loan remains contingent on two items: 1) that the city of New Albany signing a revised Agreement, now an Operating Agreement, that essentially abates our payment obligations during the life of the loan (16 years), and 2) the commercial appraisal of our facility and assets that will be used as collateral for the loan. The city currently has a final draft of the Operating Agreement and we remain confident this will be executed soon.

The lease payments in question are $60,000 per year, totaling a $960,000 abatement over the 16-year term.

The minutes of the June 24, 2014 Board of Public Works and Safety meeting document the city's official explanation of the new operating Agreement.

Mr. Gibson presented an operating agreement between the city of New Albany and Valley View Golf Club, Inc. He explained that this deals with the quality of life projects that they have been doing over the last couple of years which include the aquatic center, the sports complex, and improvements to the parks. He stated that this goes along with those other improvements and explained that the paving of cart paths have been approved for Cherry Valley Golf Course and this is another intiative dealing with Valley View and the land out in that area. He explained that the golf course is owned by the City of New Albany and there has been a lease agreement with Valley View since that time and this will modify and replace the old long term lease with an operating agreement which basically says that the land will continue to be used as a golf course and Valley View will continue to maintain and operate it on behalf of the city.

A question from Warren Nash followed: Is the club making the improvements?

Mr. Gibson stated that they are and they are assuming all of the debt that goes along with the improvements.

The $960,000 abatement is not mentioned in the minutes. BOW unanimously approved the agreement, and on July 28, another memorandum to club membership from Kraft confirms it.

... making a true partnership in the spirit of the cooperation between the Club and the City when I-64 forced the Club to move from New Albany to Floyds Knobs.

That, and now $960,000 more.

On June 24, 2014, following the choreographed Board of Works rubber stamp, the News and Tribune reported details of the city of New Albany's new operating agreement with Valley View.

The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety agreed to a 16-year operating agreement Tuesday that will see more than $700,000 in improvements made to the course.

The best part, from the city’s standpoint, is that Valley View will be paying for the upgrades, which will feature 19 new greens at the golf course.

City residents will also receive a 10 percent reduction in green fees when they play a round at Valley View ...

... Shane Gibson, an attorney with the city’s legal department, said the city will also receive 5 percent of gross sales

“This will be a good, positive step for land the city of New Albany owns,” Gibson said.

The mayor was ready with a press release.

“These long-overdue investments will benefit the people of New Albany now and for many years to come,” Mayor Jeff Gahan stated in a news release issued following the board of works meeting.

From start to finish, either in BOW minutes or the newspaper's coverage, is there any mention of the $960,000 abatement.

And by the way, city council knew nothing until the deal was done.

For those of you keeping score, it looks as though another cool million should be added to the bill ... and deducted from a neglected list of opportunities.