Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Cognitive dissonance: An abundance of gratitude for violent city "leadership" -- and other ways we lie to ourselves.

Who among our community's most vulnerable will Jeff Gahan attack next -- and to what phantasmagorical lengths will local Democrats go to rationalize it?

So very, very sad.

Depave Paradise: "Replacing the neglected concrete with a more productive use, including parklets, gardens, or whatever your neighborhood may need."

Last month we had a glance at Depave Portland.

Depaving makes grassroots sense: "A little less asphalt. A little more greenery."

Now another example, courtesy of "It’s the Little Things," a weekly Strong Towns podcast.

It seems that stormwater tax credits might be a handy carrot for depaving, although as always, first the higher-ups need to pay attention.

Neglected Concrete in Your Neighborhood? Why Not Depave It? by Jacob Moses (Strong Towns)

When you walk around your neighborhood, you’ll likely get glimpses of busted-up concrete that could use a little love. It could be a small, abandoned parking lot or modest patch at the end of the block.

You may overlook these spaces, or consider them a minor blemish. However, as Strong Towns president and founder Chuck Marohn illustrated in his Neighborhoods First Report, you could translate these observations into neighborhood-boosting action.

The question, however: What opportunity can strong citizens find in neglected concrete? The answer is logical and—once you discover its benefits—will transform how you react to neglected concrete.


Yes, you read that right: grabbing household tools such as shovels and crowbars and—with permission from the owner—depaving the concrete. And the best part: replace the neglected concrete with a more productive use, including parklets, gardens, or whatever your neighborhood may need.

Enter Depave Paradise, a program created by the Green Communities Canada—inspired by the original Depave organization in Portland, Oregon—that helps communities across Canada turn neglected concrete into uses that boost both the environment and the local economy.

When you depave, as Depave Paradise explains on its website, you can replace the concrete with native plants, trees and shrubs—replenishing groundwater while beautifying your neighborhood.

Depaving on the neighborhood level excites us, of course. But zoom out a bit and consider all the opportunities to depave the city. Think about all of the useless, empty parking lots that could have a more productive use; think about all the unused, crumbling roads.

In this episode, we have Alix Taylor on the podcast: Manager of Water Programs at Green Communities Canada. You’ll learn how to depave neglected concrete in your own neighborhood, including how to get your neighbors involved in the process, how to pitch the idea to city leaders, and how to find sites in your neighborhood optimal for depaving.

Local pretend Democrats joyful as Jeff Gahan offers to demolish homeless camps in exchange for more pretty downtown landscaping.

If local Democrats have no intention of protesting their mayor's eight-year record of abuses committed against the community's less fortunate -- has a single ranking Democrat spoken publicly about Team Gahan's breathtaking lies in the lead-up to demolishing the Silver Creek homeless encampment? -- then perhaps the rest of us should protest against the Democrats. One effective way of doing this arrives in November.

The Floyd County Democratic Party has abandoned any semblance of principle save the ironclad imperative of preserving pay-to-play political patronage in New Albany. A friend said it best yesterday at Facebook:

The destruction of this homeless camp was ordered by New Albany mayor Jeff Gahan (D) who is up for re-election this November. I urge my New Albany friends who vote Democrat to make an exception this fall, and vote for his opponent, Republican Mark Seabrook. Jeff Gahan is a thoroughly corrupt politician.

For the record, my friend Roger ("NA Confidential") Baylor is an independent with a strong leaning towards European-style social democracy, but like me, has found common cause with local Republicans on many local issues.

The News and Tribune's Boyle does fine work with this story.

WATCH: New Albany homeless camp demolished, by John Boyle

NEW ALBANY — A homeless camp along Silver Creek in New Albany was demolished by city crews Monday ...

 ... Marcy Garcia, a volunteer with Hip Hop Cares, has been helping those living in the camp since last winter. The reason the site came to the attention of city officials, she believes, was a fire that took place in one of the structures roughly five weeks ago.

"I think the fire brought it to light," Garcia said. "I think that's really what gave attention to this camp. It was a pretty major fire that happened, and it brought attention, not only to them, but it makes people question the city of New Albany about the homeless population" ...

Previous link(s):

Gahan's boom that crashed: "Quite the tab (for taxpayers) for making vulnerable people's lives harder."

Exit 0's Paul Stensrud pulls zero punches v.v. Gahan's violence against the homeless: "In order for things to change there needs to be a change of hands within local government."

Free concert at the Ogle Center on Sunday, August 4 by the New Albany Community Orchestra and Choir.

Read about the New Albany Community Orchestra here. Thanks to Myra for making me aware; alas, the Pints&union staff birthday party is Sunday afternoon, but I'll be keeping my eyes open from here.

Free concert by the community, for the community

Hosted by Kentuckiana Association of Musicians and Singers

Sunday, August 4 (3:00 p.m. - 4:0 p.m.)
Ogle Center, 4201 Grant Line Rd, New Albany, Indiana 47150

In this free concert, the New Albany Community Orchestra and Choir are joined by New Albany tenor Kenji Tashiro and Louisville vocalist Joann De Jesus in a varied concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Puccini, Elgar and more.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

New Albany's Braydon Hobbs has a new German Bundesliga basketball team, EWE Baskets Oldenburg.

This is old news, but since I've yet to see it reported anywhere else locally let's dig in. Regular readers will recall our trip to Munich last winter and a chance to see Braydon Hobbs' team play without him.

Bavarian Christmas Interlude 2018, Friday: Returning to Munich for the EuroLeague basketball game between Bayern München and Real Madrid.

Once the legendary Steve LaDuke caught wind of our plan to attend the game on the 21st, he contacted Braydon, who arranged the VIP experience for us. I can't thank both of them enough. Unfortunately, Braydon wasn't on the active roster for the game, which was in the EuroLeague, not the Bundesliga (German national league).

Unfortunate but great fun nonetheless. Steve had let us know that (a) Braydon wasn't enamored of Bayern's coach, and (b) his contract was set to expire anyway.

Consequently he's signed with a new team in the Bundesliga, moving about as far away from Bavaria as possible while remaining in Germany, all the way north to Oldenburg.

I've never been there but it looks like an interesting place.

Braydon's new team is the EWE Baskets Oldenburg.

Oldenburg adds three-point ace Hobbs

EWE Baskets Oldenburg signed veteran guard Braydon Hobbs on a two-year deal, the club announced Monday. Hobbs (1.96 meters, 30 years old) has spent the past two seasons with FC Bayern Munich, which he helped win back-to-back German championships and the 2018 German Cup.

Here's a good career recap: Braydon Hobbs To Continue Career With The EWE Baskets Oldenburg.

Best of luck to Braydon Hobbs and his family. I'll need to be scouting occasions to catch another game, whether in Oldenburg or ... dare I even hope? ... Bamberg.

Gahan's boom that crashed: "Quite the tab (for taxpayers) for making vulnerable people's lives harder."

Looks flaccid to us. Time for an Rx?

Damn. I missed the self-congratulatory post-homeless camp demolition pep rally. Wish I could have been there for the popping of corks.

NAC reader DS posted the photograph above in response to social media speculation about the street department's casualties in yesterday's assault on the homeless encampment by Silver Creek.

"The boom didn’t malfunction, it crashed. It will need serious repairs. Another financial hit."

Frequent reader KC replied:

"Wow. That's going to be quite the tab for making vulnerable people's lives harder."

UPDATE: It turns out that Wednesday is a national holiday with deep significance as it pertains to the mayor's customary attitude toward the less fortunate. Perhaps this explains yesterday's hurried conclusion.

Previous link(s):

Exit 0's Paul Stensrud pulls zero punches v.v. Gahan's violence against the homeless: "In order for things to change there needs to be a change of hands within local government."

Exit 0's Paul Stensrud pulls zero punches v.v. Gahan's violence against the homeless: "In order for things to change there needs to be a change of hands within local government."

It appears that Jeff Gahan is as adept at co-opting the Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana as he has been in snookering Purported Progressives into hand-feeding him grapes. Gahan has picked a side he can control; if Dear Leader could bulldoze Exit Zero as a concept, then he'd do that, too.

Gahan is pathology, not policy.

Watch the video, and ponder the true nature of Gahan's "compassion." Has a single ranking Democrat spoken publicly about the housing camp demolition?

DemoDisneyDixiecratic Party chairman releases stunning statement about Gahan's violent homeless encampment takedown today -- and more on our Dear Leader's drumpf envy.

Industry and compassion? Hardly. Jeff Gahan refers to public housing as a "compound." He has prisons on the brain, not affordable housing.

Does a New Albany homeless encampment by Silver Creek exist if a blind mayor can't see it?

Monday, July 29, 2019

This just in: "Insider Louisville to cease publishing on August 7."

Here's the e-mail.


A message to our readers: Insider Louisville to cease publishing on Aug. 7, by Insider Louisville

Every story has a beginning, middle and end. Although Insider Louisville has had a great run with the help of key investors as a startup media outlet and then as a nonprofit news organization with foundation and individual donors, plus hundreds of sustaining members, the cost of operating has been too great to overcome.

It is a sad day for the Insider Louisville team as well as its dedicated board to report that the nonprofit’s last day of publication is Aug. 7, 2019.

Since 2010, Insider Louisville has become an integral daily must-read for thousands of newsletter subscribers and social media followers. Today, Insider has some 25,000 newsletter subscribers, nearly 40,000 Twitter followers, plus more than 55,000 on Facebook and Instagram, and 200,000-plus monthly readers.

Insider couldn’t have done any of it without loyal readers who pushed, prodded, provided tips and kept the organization honest.

Insider responded to a need in the community for informative, long-form investigative news – without a paywall. Hopefully, #loumedia will keep local and state officials honest and continue to push for much-needed transparency. It is no longer hyperbole to say that Democracy hangs in the balance. Louisville will have a much better future because of such dogged reporting.

Insider moved to a nonprofit model in a bold effort to become more sustainable to create even greater transparency in reporting and practices. The mission had always been to provide the essential service of reputable local journalism to the community, and leaders felt this transition would help relate that message in a more tangible way.

In doing so, Insider was part of a national movement in which hundreds of local nonprofit media organizations cropped up across the country as for-profit media companies closed or downsized dramatically. Insider leadership visited many of those organizations to benchmark the transition with the hope that ultimately readers would sustain a robust newsroom with the help of corporate sponsors and foundation support.

Out of the gate, advertising exceeded many of our peers, and foundations and corporate supporters came to our side. We were able to expand our newsroom.

Even more, Insider gained traction with individual and corporate donors that kept the nonprofit running even after a downsizing of top leaders in February. A streamlined team of six reporters and an editor, plus two dedicated community engagement specialists kept the news flowing and events running for as long as possible until this latest development. Regardless of what was happening within the organization, Insider doubled down on the backbone issues of our community: business, culture, education, government and health.

The editorial team of stalwart journalists — Boris Ladwig, Darla Carter, Joe Sonka, Kevin Gibson, Sara Havens, Olivia Krauth and Mickey Meece (and others before them) — was buttressed by an amazing group of contributors who made their mark with every profile, preview, review and feature.

Here is just some of the great reporting Insider provided to the community.

  • Insider punched above its weight to report on the University of Louisville scandal in the early days.
  • Insider pushed hard on the troubled operations of JCPS leading up to its settlement with the Kentucky Board of Education.
  • Insider explored the existence of a secretive group of power brokers who were part of an organization called SCALA.
  • Insider dove into the state’s effort to add work requirements to Medicaid.
  • Insider explained the complicated relationship Passport had with a for-profit entity called Evolent well before the two agreed to a merger.
  • Insider unraveled the complicated financial underpinnings of Jewish Hospital as its current owner looks to sell it.
  • Insider covered bourbon as its own beat and reported beyond brand labels to feature the people and places that have helped build the industry in both tradition and innovation.

And so much more.

The Insider team is grateful to every single reader, member, sponsor and contributor for believing that quality local journalism matters. Insider stories were delivered to empower readers to be better citizens, inspired patrons and curiously engaged in our community. will continue publishing until Aug. 7.

DemoDisneyDixiecratic Party chairman releases stunning statement about Gahan's violent homeless encampment takedown today -- and more on our Dear Leader's drumpf envy.

What, you expected actual words?

For the real poop, read the Courier-Journal: After 3-day delay, New Albany tears down secluded homeless camp.

For the self-serving bullshit, read Jeff Gahan's re-election page: But the beautiful people all love me dearly.

The Aggregate is working on a story. As of mid-afternoon today, the News and Tribune didn't even know there was a story.

And this is my take:


“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”

I've been trying my best to begin the process of disengagement from local politics. 15 years is enough, and I need a break; besides, it's become very tedious constantly doing the GOP's job of articulating the resistance to idiocy when I'm a damnable socialist, not a Republican.

That said, my conscience precludes silence in the instance of Jeff Gahan's horrid "information" about "industry and compassion" with regard to the community's less fortunate. The statement, albeit composed by a bootlicking minion, was anything but helpful.

Petulant, flatulent and disingenuous comprise the tip of the iceberg; Gahan's reference to the public housing "compound" might be recent history's most revealing Freudian slip. When Donald Trump emits like-minded tweets, our city's Democrats are gravely offended, screaming and howling, but when their (Democratic?) mayor follows suit the only sounds we hear are pins dropping, crickets chirping and the mournful wail of an underfed mutt off in the distance.

As a friend astutely observed, Team Gahan's absence of "protocol" simply means they can do as they please about a homeless encampment, either look the other way or dial up the dozers, all without a trace of a political, philosophical or humanitarian rationale. Just the sheer whimsy of C-minus students on a power trip with plenty of Jorge Lanz's money.

Don't look at me. He's YOUR mayor, not mine, Democrats.

It's far past time for a reality check amongst those of you fancying yourselves progressive or liberal or whatever, because Gahan's stance with respect to your fellow citizens most in need of a boost -- exemplified by but not restricted to his cynical public housing takeover and of course today's demolition fetish -- has been absolutely abysmal, savagely contradicting any semblance of the "social justice" you claim to be pursuing.

Democrats, I suppose it's your business supporting a morally bankrupt fraud, even if it's based on sheer delusion -- but maybe you can be less blatantly hypocritical about it?

Industry and compassion? Hardly. Jeff Gahan refers to public housing as a "compound." He has prisons on the brain, not affordable housing.

The Courier-Journal has provided an object lesson about the utility of journalism.

By covering a story Team Gahan dearly wished to be kept hidden ...

Does a New Albany homeless encampment by Silver Creek exist if a blind mayor can't see it?

 ... Louisville's newspaper (not the N & T, which is predictably MIA) has New Albany city officials scrambling to put lipstick on their "quality of life" pigs by contriving a "policy" on homelessness (and by direct extension, non-affordable housing) that didn't even exist prior to the past weekend apart from frequent denials over Bud Light Mang-O-Rita at the Roadhouse.

If you've followed New Albany for any length of time, you'll find this headline at the city's propaganda organ absolutely hilarious. 

Mayor Gahan Provides Information About Homeless Assistance in New Albany

Really? Irony-free Nawbany.

Dear Leader wrote the article himself after eight years of refusing to comment publicly on the very same topic?

Constipation, indeed.

Is it an election year?

But okay; fine. We'll take them at their dubious word, and as such, here's a Freudian slip of epic dimension.

"The city of New Albany is the host of the largest public housing compound in the state of Indiana, outside of Gary, Indiana."

The Genius of the Flood Plain should know that the noun "compound" in this instance is defined as such:

Compound: a fenced or walled-in area containing a group of buildings and especially residences
  • a prison compound
  • an embassy compound

As Major Winchester once noted on television's M*A*S*H, "out of the mouths of babes comes drollery."

For Gahan and his generational cohort, surely vivid images of walls have always crowded their minds as it pertains to their absolute certainty that if public housing (read: nasty poor people) could be removed from this fair city, we'd be enriched to the point of Persian Gulf sheikdom.

It then follows that Gahan wouldn't miss another opportunity to repeat his mantra about the city's commitment to its less fortunate citizens.

New Albany is doing more than its share to provide for the homeless.


Gahan has sought for eight long years to avoid publicly mentioning those aspects of human society he finds unclean and distasteful, including homelessness, opioid addiction, non-living wages, petty crime and the like.

Now, even in this PR release masterpiece of sidestepping, avoidance and subterfuge, Gahan can't avoid repeating the unexamined bromides of his generation's upbringing, devoid as they are of substantive intellectual content.

Now, called out by the C-J, he becomes a towering figure of "industry and compassion" (a phrase probably cribbed from this hotel awards release). But actions speak more loudly than mere words, and it's simple.

With enthusiastic support from local Democrats riding the political patronage gravy train, and ignoring their own party platform, Gahan has done nothing in eight years to assist those in this community who are in greatest need. 

Period; full stop. 

The Gahan Bait and Switch has been elevated to an art form -- that's why the pig is wearing lipstick and those levers remain unseen. No civic problem is too great to be hidden behind the Wizard of Disney's network of fake computer-generated facades, and when necessary, out-and-out lying.

This fib-fest about "compassion" for the downtrodden is just the latest example, although it's a unique insight into the brain of New Albany's worst ever mayor and the resulting C-minus student's paradise.

Here's the insipid PR release in its entirety.


Mayor Gahan Provides Information About Homeless Assistance in New Albany

July 28, 2019

New Albany has a long history of being a city of industry and compassion, and we are well positioned to carry these traditions forward. Today’s Courier—Journal brings to light the situation of two people who are in need of support and a safe and secure roof over their heads. As always, the city will work with Homeless Coalition members, the New Albany Housing Authority, and other affiliated organizations to meet their needs.

Link to Courier Journal article:

We appreciate and hear the concerns of organizations mentioned in the Courier-Journal article, including Exit 0 and Hip Hop Cares. However, building codes, zoning ordinances, and other laws do not permit the construction of unsafe structures to be used for shelter in the woods, in parks, or in the public right-of-way.

The city of New Albany is the host of the largest public housing compound in the state of Indiana, outside of Gary, Indiana. For a city our size, it is one of the largest in the United States. With over 1100 units, the New Albany Housing Authority dwarfs all others in southern Indiana, having more than Jeffersonville, Clarksville, Charlestown, Sellersburg, and Corydon combined. New Albany is doing more than its share to provide for the homeless, even while facing budget cuts from the federal government. Due to those federal cuts, the New Albany Housing Authority has been shorted over $130 million in maintenance costs alone.

If you, or someone you know, lives in New Albany and needs help finding shelter, please contact one of the following partner agencies to receive assistance:

Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana: (812) 913-5179

New Albany Housing Authority: (812) 948-2319

New Albany Township Trustee’s Office: (812) 948-5498

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Mayor still AWOL, so let's turn to others to evaluate options for the Sherman Minton repairs.

A shout-out to Brigid and Andrew for excellent commentary.

It's the morning after the Sherman Minton Bridge meeting, and Alka-Seltzer isn't helping Dear Leader's mood.

Sherman Minton Bridge leadership litmus test as Mark Seabrook stays for the entire meeting, while Jeff Gahan lasts seven whole minutes.

Once again a News and Tribune reporter (John Boyle) demonstrates that with a bit of space to actually explain things, journalism is at least possible. It's even more reason to dispense with the Sunday evangelism brigade and allow capable staffers to address issues of genuine local importance.

New Albany evaluates options for closure of Sherman Minton Bridge, by John Boyle (Hanson's Evangelism Page)

 ... Regardless of which option is chosen, it will undoubtedly have an effect on New Albany.

Business owners attending the meeting expressed worries over the future, given the duration of the project.

"It's going to affect business greatly and the amount of foot traffic," said Brigid Morrissey, who owns the co-working space the Root. "People will start avoiding the city all together. People won't even be coming by downtown New Albany. Of course I'm concerned as a business owner."

To Morrissey, the best option is a partial closure, where lanes are open toward Louisville in the morning and reversed toward New Albany in the afternoon.

"That's where the majority of the traffic is going to go," Morrissey said. "That's the path of least resistance where you can get the best of both worlds. It's obviously the lesser of two evils. That seems to be the way to accommodate the most people."

Andrew Nicholson, whose independent business aims to strengthen New Albany's downtown business core, said he would consider a full closure if it meant a shorter project duration. The downside of that, he said, would be worsening conditions for pedestrian traffic.

"I skateboard everywhere downtown to my 11 clients," Nicholson said. "The pedestrian traffic is already a nightmare. It’s just going to add to that if they do a full closure.”

If no benefits are gained from a full closure, though, Nicholson said the best option would be to keep at least some traffic open during the project.

“New Albany is growing, and it has this momentum," Nicholson said. "It’s attracting the attention of small, local business owners, like myself. Even people from Louisville who already have restaurants are coming now. No matter what, it’s going to slow that momentum, but we can’t just stop that momentum entirely."

Does a New Albany homeless encampment by Silver Creek exist if a blind mayor can't see it?

The chief of police shoulders the burden of municipal denial ideology in this fascinating Courier-Journal piece by Billy Kolbin.

We're left with the same question: If the mayor continues to deny the existence of homelessness, addiction, poverty and neighborhood crime in the city -- these ugly blots on the idyllic paradise he's brought us -- is it because he's fibbing, or simply isn't bright enough to grasp it?

Stensrud can keep hoping, but my guess is that New Albany officials will keep denying.

The conversations surrounding the New Albany camp come as Louisville has shuttered multiple camps in the past several months.

(Paul) Stensrud said Louisville at least has a low-barrier shelter and storage lockers for those hoping to get off the streets, though the low-barrier shelter at Wayside Christian Mission is not without its own issues.

He's hopeful that people struggling on the Indiana side of the Ohio River will soon have more places to turn besides makeshift camps.

"We're hoping this will lead to a better partnership with New Albany officials," Stensrud said. "... It takes time."

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Searching for the perfect pub, among other links to educational beer fare.

"In the end, that’s what all of us long for in a pub: somewhere to go in which we can have a relaxing drink in a convivial atmosphere and perhaps meet others with a similar aim. When it’s done well then it can feel like you’re in the only place you want to be in the world at that moment. And the very best pubs are timeless places in which that moment seems like it could last forever."

Brexit and the British Public House?

Not exactly, though someone's probably already written it. Today I'm offering two items for a "thinking person's" consideration of beer. First there's an extended analysis of the state of the British pub, followed by a collection of recent links to stories far and wide.

In search of the perfect pub: what makes a great British boozer?, by Andrew Anthony (The Observer)

They’re under threat – but they’re fighting back. How famous London pubs are adapting to a changing world

Milky tea, fish and chips, the local pub: these were once the enticing mainstays of British life. They’re all still there, of course, but outside the home we drink far more coffee than tea, and on the high street the curry house and chicken takeaway long ago supplanted the deep-fried attractions of the fish and chip shop. Of the traditional triumvirate only the public house remains in a primary position, but that too is under threat.

It is estimated that Britain has lost 25% of its pubs in the last 20 years. There were around 60,000 in 2000 and now the figure is about 45,000. Closing time has taken on a new meaning, with on average one pub closing down every 12 hours. Of those that remain, many are unrecognisable from the locals of the past, having been re-themed as chain bars or gastropubs.

Is this a loss to the British way of life? Has some vital part of the social fabric been neglected and left to slowly fall apart?

Now for the links.

HISTORY BY THE PINT: Dayton's Carillon Brewing Company really does do it the old-fashioned way. It's the nation's only working brewery in a museum.

A stunning revelation from my friend the beer and spirits writer Lew Bryson: "I Really Want to Hate Naturdays but I Can’t Stop Drinking It."

Michael Moeller explains Against the Grain's partnership with Pabst.

Think Indiana's beer regulations rulebook is bad? "New Jersey’s lousy craft beer rules are an affront to free speech and consumer choice."

In Scotland, "The Bridge Over the Atlantic" is quite near a pub called "The House of Trousers."

I'm hoping to catch up with Will "The Cheese Dude" Eaves, erstwhile partner in pairings.

2010 at The Cottage.

I'll spare you the lengthier prelude, but last week Calvin began plotting an excellent cheese and beer evening at Pints&union; one of his friends will be a cheesemonger at the cheese shop in the forthcoming Logan Street Market, and while tasting details are yet to come, the point to this digression is a fellow named Will Eaves.

I began scratching my head and thinking about the many years passed since I last crossed paths with Will, with whom I helped stage two, maybe three cheese and beer evenings during the halcyon period before NABC's Bank Street brewing project swallowed my life.

At the time Will was the cheesemonger at Lotsa Pasta, later taking a job at Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese -- and that's when the trail gets cold. It left me curious about what he's doing these days.

Sara Havens was not there and did not hear me explain all this to Calvin, but she promptly answered my question at Insider Louisville.

7 Questions With … Will Eaves, aka ‘The Cheese Dude’

Eaves works at Lotsa Pasta as a pasta maker and sales rep, and before that, he served as the store’s cheesemonger. In between those two positions, he left the company for three years to work for Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese as an affineur (a person who ages/ripens the cheese).

That's a "duh" moment for me. It's probably been a year since we shopped at Lotsa Pasta, solely because the shop's location lies outside our normal migratory patterns.

But the hell of it is that Will has been bringing Lotsa Pasta straight to us, and I haven't been paying attention.

If you’ve been to the New Albany Farmers Market, you’ve most likely met Eaves behind the Lotsa Pasta booth, schlepping everything from lasagna to gouda.

Double "duh".

Okay, so it's also been a while since we browsed the farmers market; perhaps once this year. Echoing Yogi Berra, no one (read: we) goes there any longer because it's too damn crowded.

Resolution: This coming Saturday we'll visit the farmers market and see if Will is there. Lotsa Pasta's muffaletta sandwich is a great favorite of mine, and evidently available at the farmers market according to the photo at IL.

Following are ancient links to previous exploits.


Will's and Roger's excellent beer and cheese pairing adventure at Campbell's Gourmet Cottage, Monday, January 11.

Recap: Will's and Roger's excellent beer and cheese pairing adventure.


Program for tonight's Merchant du Vin beer & cheese pairing in Prost.


How much lactose really is in cheese?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A tale of two binders: Bourbons Bistro and Rich O's Public House.

During the course of chatting with owners and crew at Bourbons Bistro for a forthcoming profile at Food & Dining Magazine, I asked to see the legendary bourbon binder. It dates back to the establishment's founding in 2005 and is filled with tasting notes compiled at the time (and perhaps since) by Michael Veach.

Of course this reminded me of the then-Rich O's Public House binders from the long-lost period of 1997-1998. 

Jason Brauner mentioned that few customers ask to view the binder these days, and speaking for myself, twenty years ago at the Public House publications like this proved impossible to keep updated, so I quit trying.

Perhaps the modern world has made these relics obsolete. If so, something has been lost.

The Guča Trumpet Festival in Serbia looks like one hell of a party.

As a Europhile of long standing, I'd like to think my internal data base is fairly comprehensive, and yet there's so much left to learn. To be truthful, I had no idea there even existed an annual trumpet festival in Guča, Serbia before watching this video.

The video comes to us from Deutsche Welle. Watch it, then be sure to read this essay:

Chasing Boban: Guča's Trumpet Festival, by Alex Crevar (Lonely Planet)

The annual Trumpet Festival in Guča, Serbia, combines old European heritage with world-class competition – contagious music with participant endurance. The result is a four-day blur where plates overflow with traditional food, an outdoor party brims with barely controlled energy, and legends are born.

DW's video description:

The trumpet festival in the western Serbian town of Guča is one of Europe’s most captivating musical events. Each year, a bold mix of national pride, fairground fun and a Woodstock-like air attracts visitors from all over the world.

They all come to this sleepy little town to dance away three days and nights to Balkan brass music, plunging Guča into happy chaos. Tons of meat and tens of thousands of hectolitres of beer are shipped in. The streets, restaurants and beer tents are teeming with musicians. Brass bands come from all over Serbia to compete for the "Golden Trumpet”, a prize that fetches money and acclaim at home and abroad. Our film accompanies the Danijel Kostic Orchestra, a young up-and-coming brass band performing for their first time in Guča. They have the only female trumpet player on the entire program - an absolute novelty - and hope the festival will launch their international career.

Friday, July 26, 2019

BREAKING: Mayor Jeff Gahan finally relents to a debate utilizing this perfectly understandable format.

See what happens when I let it build up for two months?

Just when I thought I was out ... well, I am out, but for the sake of satire and the sheer rarity of local truth-telling, it's okay to be pulled back in again, every now and then.

Like I said the other say: Socialists for Seabrook.

The Jeff Gahan Money Machine, Part 20: Buying and selling a city? Our master list of 59 Gahan wheel-greasers is a pornographic potpourri of pay-to-play.

Gahan's first quarter CFA-4 has been filed, and it's another massive, quivering edifice of pay-to-play cash.

Automobile supremacy: "The machine that is the established “American Way” can commit countless legal and moral errors and be excused as an individual mistake."

"We’ve gotta be perfect. If a negligent driver kills someone, people see it as a necessary evil. But if a cyclist runs a red light, or a scooter hops onto a sidewalk alongside a busy street, we are just jerks driving crazy little vehicles with no regard for the law."

But seriously, I won't bug you; go back to complaining about the traffic on State Street, all the while accepting the underlying premise that "mobility" requires each of us to drive a vehicle, generally all alone, for just about any trip.

We've Gotta Be Perfect, by Arian Horbovetz (Strong Towns)

... The truth is, there is almost no situation in American culture where 40,000 lives are lost each year without a serious debate about whether or not the context of these deaths should lead to drastic changes. Except when it comes to cars.

If electric scooter crashes caused by negligent piloting led to the death of the elderly pedestrian and the hospitalization of two young children in my community, the public would likely call for the end of these machines. But since negligent driving was the cause of both, we see these incidents as “tragic” but ultimately accept them as normalcy. In reality, if these pedestrians and children were hit by electric scooters, bikes, or skateboarders instead of cars and trucks, they would likely still all be alive and relatively healthy. The hypocrisy in the face of potential loss of life is staggering, and shows just how addicted to our cars, trucks and SUVs we truly are.

Some may believe that addiction is too harsh a term. But when we look at the terrors of addiction, we see the unquenchable need to repeatedly engage in an activity, even if the end result can easily be dangerous or deadly. We accept the risk based on an addiction to the high. We defend its potential to ruin our lives and the lives of others around us, especially our loved ones.

A friend and fellow bike commuter recently said something that stuck with me:

“We’ve gotta be perfect. If a negligent driver kills someone, people see it as a necessary evil. But if a cyclist runs a red light, or a scooter hops onto a sidewalk alongside a busy street, we are just jerks driving crazy little vehicles with no regard for the law.”

Indeed, it’s a double standard with maddening predictability. In general, If it’s a car crash, we blame the negligent driver. If it’s a bike, scooter or skateboard, we often blame the machine itself, or the “culture” associated with said machine. For example, if there is a rash of car accidents on the news, one might say “people drive like idiots here!” But if there are a rash of electric scooter crashes, the reaction is typically an urgent call for these machines to be banned or limited ...

It's the morning after the Sherman Minton Bridge meeting, and Alka-Seltzer isn't helping Dear Leader's mood.

Sherman Minton Bridge leadership litmus test as Mark Seabrook stays for the entire meeting, while Jeff Gahan lasts seven whole minutes.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Sherman Minton Bridge leadership litmus test as Mark Seabrook stays for the entire meeting, while Jeff Gahan lasts seven whole minutes.

Ever since it was announced that repairs to the Sherman Minton Bridge might require its complete closure, or barring this drastic remedy at least a prolonged period of reduced access and heightened economic pain for New Albany, we've been waiting for Team Gahan to step up to the plate and lead.

Silly us.

At Thursday evening's "Six Great Ways to Suffer" community meeting at the Calumet Club, which began at 5:30 p.m., I arrived at 5:37 p.m. to find Dear Leader standing outside the venue's exterior door. Like most reasonable people, I assumed he was on his way inside.

But no; actually he was leaving

As more than one onlooker confirmed, evidently one glance of 125 persons milling around the third floor ballroom caused Gahan's agoraphobia to kick in with a vengeance, and he turned tail and skedaddled, terrified of an unscripted setting in an enclosed space amid uncontrollable people.

Probably there exists medication for this condition, maybe even marijuana-laced Rice Krispies Treats with a Kool-Aid chaser, although first the patient must concede to being ill. If it's too much for his insurance policy deductible, maybe the Genius of the Floodplain could donate some of Mr. Lanz's money to the Democrats, who in turn would give it back to Gahan for a scholarship prescription.

Meanwhile Mark Seabrook, Republican candidate for mayor who is about to be pilloried by the Fanged Adamites for poor health, arrived early and stood through the entire presentation.

Like I always say: Socialists for Seabrook in 2019.

As for the content of the proceedings, I'll leave that to another post. It should suffice to say that there'll be epochal pain accompanied by scant recognition of the very real possibility of epic small business tribulations.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: there are no good choices, because this manner of clusterfucking is what happens in a society that has concluded the very best way to have "mobility options" is to compel people to drive everywhere for everything, generally with cars occupied by the driver alone.

But what, Gahan worry?

After all, it's not like HE'S going to be the mayor when the hammer falls in 2021.

The forlorn symbolism of this orphaned "Vote Democrat" sign lying where it fell by Spring Street.

These photos are worth a thousand words, but in the end, does anyone care? It's only been two and a half months.

(Yes, I could do it; have before and will again, but not unlike Adam's Tattered Legion, I'm willing to score propaganda points now and again.)

A reminder: Sherman Minton "Renewal" open house and spoon feeding by the elites occurs tonight at the Calumet Club, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Historically such "listening" meetings have been anything but. They're glitzy exercises in applying ephemeral lipstick to pre-determined outcomes.

The very appellation "Sherman Minton Renewal" summarizes the ticky-tacky ad man's propaganda-first approach typical of the governmental elites in this genre.

Let's face facts, please, because public input is a only a grudging necessity for them, not something they'd tolerate in their ideal world of top-down strangleholds.

BUT perhaps there might someday be an exception

Could this be the one? I'll be there, and it might be useful to gauge the attendance and functionality of our own New Albany elite cadres.

Sherman Minton Bridge refurbishment: "Construction is scheduled to start in early 2021 and take two to three years."

ON THE AVENUES: Until philosophers become kings, beer and food work just fine.

Forever grateful to those readers who examine this column on a weekly basis, allow me to offer an update about the columnist's life.

Since 2005 I've been writing beer columns (and lately the occasional restaurant feature) for Food & Dining Magazine. A few weeks back came the opportunity to provide several short web site posts each week in addition to the quarterly contributions. To be succinct, this suits me. Naturally there is a learning curve, and each day I'm exposed to something new and useful.

Pints&union will be one year old on August 1, and as the beer programmer I've settled into a routine. My expanded responsibilities at Food & Dining constitute a second layering of duties, suggesting closer attention to time management than I've generally been able to muster during my life as an adult. These days I'm wagering that old dogs can learn new tricks.

Departing the New Albanian Brewing Company in 2015 wasn't merely stepping away from a job. It brought to a close almost three decades of this business defining my life. I had no way of knowing that the legal settlement would take two and a half years to facilitate, and little notion of the length of time required to cobble together a post-brewery career.

At this precise moment four years later, it's coming into view. Retrospection is the process of thinking about past events. There is a necessary condition to wax retrospectively, namely sufficient time to gain perspective, and consequently it seems as if I now possess a four-year degree in adaptive reuse -- of myself.

But the reason why today's column is from April 30, 2015 and not July 25, 2019 is because I'm on deadline to complete two pieces for Food & Dining's forthcoming issue, a beer column about Saisons and a feature on Bourbons Bistro. 

As always, thanks for reading and your thoughts are appreciated.


ON THE AVENUES: Until philosophers become kings.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

Last Thursday I had the great pleasure to take a break from New Albany’s trials and tribulations and spend the day and night in Lexington, Kentucky, as the guest of Transylvania University’s philosophy department.

To be sure, there have been times in the past when Lexington wouldn’t have seemed such a savory destination for an overnight pleasure trip.

After all, I was raised in Southern Indiana, and college basketball naturally prefigured the rural moral (and genetic) code: Indiana University in Bloomington was the beneficent locale of the grail, while the University of Kentucky represented a snarling, lowdown devil. I imagine it wasn’t easy for my mother, who was a UK graduate living in a small Hoosier burg, and subject to commensurate suspicion.

Of course, it’s all bunk, and the whole point of the exercise is to show the many possibilities for mankind’s advancement, from primitive sporting totems and rituals all the way through reading actual books.

I’d been warming to Lexington for a long time, even before February of 2014, when the University of Kentucky hosted a symposium on craft beer writing. I was fortunate to be numbered among the speakers, and the experience was very rewarding.

One of the symposium’s perquisites was a pub crawl with a van and designated driver, and that’s when it became clear to me that Lexington is a fine beer and food city, with cultural enclaves, shops and historic neighborhoods for wandering, even if the prevailing one-way street grid is maddeningly archaic and begs for immediate jettisoning.

Anyway, when Professor of Philosophy Peter Fosl suggested I come visit, it was just a matter of coordinating calendars.


Transylvania University is among the nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning. For those like me who persist in associating the name with Count Dracula’s purported home base in Romania, the Latin roots are precisely the same: “Across the woods,” which in this specifically American sense means west of the Alleghenies. Prior to Kentucky’s statehood, it was called the Transylvania Colony, and belonged to Virginia.

My wife Diana accompanied me, and we arrived before noon, parking the car at the Gratz Park Inn. It was a short, pleasant walk to Peter’s office. His typically small and book-filled work space reminded me that there had been a time in my life when I assumed teaching would be my ultimate career choice, once I got around to making one.

It never happened. So it goes. There’s always professional drinking.

My eyes immediately were drawn to a framed event poster of Christopher Hitchens’s speaking appearance at Transylvania University in 2004. It was Peter’s doing, and he said that Hitchens, who remains one of my personal heroes of writing, was a model among high-profile visitors to the campus, accepting a lower than usual fee and volunteering his whole day to various activities rather than merely speaking and running.

Hitchens also stayed in the Gratz Park Inn. Granted, I’m a bush leaguer compared with Hitchens, and yet the symmetry was appreciated, and a degree of separation now has been shaved.

Peter had arranged for me to meet with philosophy majors over lunch at Transylvania’s cafeteria, the overall excellence of which conjured unsettling thoughts of the available “food service” during my own college days at IU Southeast. I certainly hope it’s better there now.

Later in the day, there was a faculty reception at the home of the humanities division chair. I concocted an impromptu beer tasting from selections they’d thoughtfully provided, including NABC and local Lexington breweries (West Sixth, Country Boy and Alltech). There was ample time to explore on foot the Lexington neighborhood around Transylvania, including the West Sixth and Blue Stallion breweries.


Getting back to my real reason for being there, Peter wanted me to share my experiences as a philosophy major in the real world, and honestly, it probably helped me as much as it did the students I met at lunch.

As the years roll past, it’s easy to forget the epiphanies and milestones that helped make us what we are today. For me, one of these was IU Southeast and my path to a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in philosophy.

My father’s goal for my post-high school career was for me to be awarded an athletic scholarship. This idea was a laughable non-starter, as I possessed considerably more skill as a clubhouse lawyer than an athlete. Eventually, out of sheer inertia, it was concluded that a semester or two at IU Southeast might lead me in a direction -- and boy, did it, though my parents probably regarded it as the proverbial wrong turn at Albuquerque.

My life in academia began with miserable failure, and I’d have flunked out entirely after a semester if not for my advisor’s suggestion of Introduction to Philosophy, a discipline he was unable to describe or explain, but recommended because after all, I’d be compelled to gather a few humanities credits for the core no matter what major eventually was to be declared – or branch of the military joined.

The instructor was an adjunct faculty member by the name of McCarthy, who by the standards of New Albany, circa 1978, was a veritable space alien who excelled in computer programming, of all things. In fact, before the semester was over, he’d gotten a job working with computers in New York State, and was given special dispensation to commute to New Albany for improvised weekend class sessions. One of them took place at the long defunct Leno’s restaurant.

But before all of that, we gathered at a classroom in Hillside Hall, and Prof. McCarthy greeted us with a warning, which I now paraphrase:

“Welcome to Philosophy 101. If you’ve chosen the university experience as a means of compiling a perfect 4.0 GPA, then I recommend you drop this class and choose another, because I do not award perfect scores. There is no such thing as perfection, and if you disagree with me, be prepared to argue your case logically. It won’t matter, because you’ll still not receive an A for this class. Would anyone like to discuss the nature of perfection?”

I was hooked. After all, it might prove to be my only class where a B was possible, much less perfection, and I was all too acutely aware of my own imperfections.

Coincidentally, a push was underway to begin a full-fledged philosophy program at IU Southeast, and soon I met Dr. Curtis Peters, a Minnesotan-turned-New Albanian who sold me on the idea of majoring in philosophy.

In 1982, I became the first IU Southeast philosophy graduate to amass all the necessary course credits while attending the New Albany campus, compiling a cumulative GPA in the vicinity of 3.0, thus handily proving the McCarthy axiom’s innate wisdom. I promptly set about answering the question, “What does a philosophy degree get you?”

For me, it was the opportunity to be a bartender, work in a package store, substitute teach and work numerous other less enriching part-time jobs in route to my eventual way station in the restaurant and brewing business.

However, as should be obvious by now, a philosophy degree has not ever been about specific vocational training. Rather, it is about learning how to think, and yet even this standard falls short in explaining the impact on me.

Philosophy reveals the primacy of knowledge itself, something not unexpectedly absent from high school, where I skated through, almost entirely unchallenged save by a handful of teachers who saw something in me that I didn’t, or couldn’t, grasp. Bookish and introspective by nature, there wasn’t much added reinforcement to high school for me.

Beginning with McCarthy’s introductory philosophy class at IU Southeast, it was like the clichéd light bulb’s illumination: Ideas really existed, and they actually mattered. Ideas had systems, and mankind would be living in metaphorical mud without them. Philosophy taught me how to think, and moreover – perhaps most importantly of all – that it was okay to think. Only then did I realize that high school choir and a brief foray into theater taught me more about life than playing competitive team sports. Muscle tone pertains to the brain, too.

These many years later, have I always live up to the promise of these youthful intellectual ideals?

Of course not. I’m human, and sometimes metaphorical mud wrestling in the marketplace of venom, if not ideas, is a great deal more fun. It remains that the study of philosophy opened my mind and changed me for the better. It cannot and probably should not be the primary course of study for all university students, but it wouldn’t hurt to be an elective for most.

Thanks to Peter, Jack and everyone at Transylvania University for a timely opportunity to re-examine my premises.


Recent columns:

July 18: ON THE AVENUES: I'm a citizen of the universe, but I can't take a photo to save my life.

July 11: ON THE AVENUES: Trieste, New Albany and the meaning of nowhere.

July 4: ON THE AVENUES: The 2019 remix, "You want some fries with your redevelopment?"

June 27: ON THE AVENUES: Mourning (and alcohol) in America, circa 1984.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Just my luck I forgot the sunscreen.

I may be alone in this, but my favorite outdoor seating at a picnic table -- especially in warm weather -- is one directly in the sun just feet away from shade but within spitting distance of a dumpster.

No shade for the tables on the other side, either, sans dumpster access. Last week you could have fried a fresh organic egg on them. Today it wasn't as bad.

Does anyone have information about the food truck that's been parking at the Farmers Market on Wednesdays? Just curious.

ASK MAYOR GAHAN: "My Boyfriend Sounds Like An Injured Hyena During Sex. Think I Can Turn a Quick Buck Off This?"

In an effort to show fairness and give equal time to the incumbent, NA Confidential is proud to present "ASK MAYOR GAHAN," an advice column in which our own Slick Jeffrey tries his level best to help ordinary people lead lives as flawlessly suburban as his own.

Dear Mayor Gahan,

Hi, I’m an avid reader who is wondering what you’re reading this summer. My current choice of books is A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. What’s yours?

Thanks for the compliment. I’m a very stable staggering genius, you know. They love me in England. As for a book, I started reading “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant” but I couldn’t see the point. Now each night I have one of the city employees come over to the house and read to me from “Boss Tweed: The Story of a Grim Generation.”

Great bedtime stories are the best, and also being hand-fed grapes and fanned with palm fronds.


Dear Mayor Gahan,

What can you tell us about that horrible intersection at Bank and Main Streets? Your city engineer keeps saying there’s nothing he can do, but then he told the Board of Works there’d be an expensive study into the possibility of stop lights. Can’t you just make it a four-way stop for a couple hundred bucks, slow the cars and call it good?

Look, do I come to YOUR house and tell you how to run your own family? Okay, maybe I do, but I’ve had it up to here with citizens complaining about traffic.

First, whenever one of my employees lies, be aware he or she is doing it for me out of love and affection because my minions adore me, especially when I bring them Kool-Aid and Rice Krispies Treats. This is another way of saying that lying is what I make them do to keep their jobs.

Secondly, Mister Smarty Pants Strong Towns Member, do you have any idea how much of a campaign donation I get from assigning stop signs to the Street Department to erect (excuse my French, Soos)?

None, that’s how much. But that stop light study should bring in a thousand tasty smackers.


Dear Mayor Gahan,

About two weeks ago, our 5-month-old puppy began stepping into her water bowl, splashing the water around, and flipping the bowl over. She then likes to play in the water that is on the floor. (It’s not an issue with her food bowl.) We’ve taken to holding a small Tupperware container that she can drink out of until she splashes, and then we take it away. This is not sustainable. What can we do to keep our house dry?

Don’t you love Walt Disney? I mean the superhuman man himself, not just his fantastic empire of life-altering imaginary escapist theme parks.

Did I tell you that MY favorite hit song from Great Uncle Walt’s archive of movies is the very same one as his, called “Feed the Birds,” about the pigeon lady in Mary Poppins?

This great man liked the song so much that he’d drop by the music department office just when they were busiest and request a personal performance of “Feed the Birds,” and if anyone griped, he’d fire them.

Try this with your dog. If it doesn't work, there's always a TIF area. Now if you'll excuse me, plenty of beaks need wetting.


Mayor Gahan returns next week to answer, accept donations and fill out your absentee ballot. Previously:

Here's our new weekly advice column: ASK MAYOR GAHAN.