Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mr. Padgett's Blues: "10-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Safer—and Still Move Plenty of Cars."


Narrow lanes are safer

Cars in wider lanes tend to go faster

Narrow lanes still carry lots of traffic

Evidence and factual research keep piling up. Jeff Gahan remains aloof, refusing to publicly embrace evidence and factual research.

Remember: You are invited to listen as Dr. John Gilderbloom preaches his "gospel of things urban" on Tuesday, August 4, at the library.

The smart money says that City Hall will boycott this meeting. It's what you do when you're completely out of touch, but hey -- let's all go swimming.

10-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Safer—and Still Move Plenty of Cars: The case against 12-foot lanes in cities, in 3 charts, by Eric Jaffe (City Lab)

... a new study by civil engineer Dewan Masud Karim (spotted by Chris McCahill at the State Smart Transportation Initiative) ... evaluating dozens of intersections in Toronto and Tokyo, Karim linked lower crash rates to narrower lanes—those closer to 10- or 10.5-feet wide than to 12-feet. Sure enough, wider lanes meant speedier cars, and yet narrower lanes were perfectly capable of moving high volumes of traffic.

He concludes:

Given the empirical evidence that favours ‘narrower is safer’, the ‘wider is safer’ approach based on intuition should be discarded once and for all. Narrower lane width, combined with other livable streets elements in urban areas, result in less aggressive driving and the ability to slow or stop a vehicle over shorter distances to avoid a collision.

Pavement penis drawings: Where public art, pothole repairs and bureaucrats meet.


According to Main Street resident J in a mid-July Fb posting:

"These pictures are pot holes located on the 6th street alley and the parking lot in between Main and Market next to Lifespring. Lifespring insists these pot holes are the cities responsibility to fix, especially the ones in the alley itself."


Yesterday, J offered an update:

"I was told 2 weeks ago by Warren V Nash that he would pass along the (pothole) info. Considering he's the chairman of the Board of Works, I'm not sure who he is going to 'pass it along' to. Either way, 2 weeks later and still no resolution."


The answer is obvious. The Board of Public Works and Safety currently is on All Stations Red Alert status against the impending street piano invasion. Consequently, it may take a while to address J's potholes -- unless he threatens to put a street piano inside one of them.

Better yet, we should all emulate the protagonist in this story from the UK.

Mystery artist highlights Bury potholes with penis drawings, by Amelia Butterly (
Newsbeat reporter

A mystery "road artist" has been drawing pictures of penises around potholes in Bury as a way to get the council to fix them.

"They [potholes] don't get filled. They'll be there for months," says the artist, speaking to Newsbeat anonymously.

"People will drive over the same pothole and forget about it.

"Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed."

You mean like this?

Photo credit: BBC

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

12-foot high street spam? Not a problem, so piss off, spammer.


I enjoy parading the booty through the streets.

Make no mistake: Jeff Gahan is the "driving force" behind the Bored of Works' inability to fathom street pianos, public art and modernity itself.


There always are self-assigned community pillars who believe it is their solemn duty to safeguard the community from terroristic threats, such as that posed by a painted piano on a downtown street corner.

In their interior worlds, where Velvet Elvii and Happy Meals define the very extent of artistic aspiration, there is a mortal fear that "respectable" folks will laugh at them for allowing modes of expression that cannot by categorized by dull conformity, and worse yet, expression that resists being linked to the address on the campaign committee flier for the express purpose of gathering the monies necessary for the next campaign, from whence their need to control ultimately derives.

When in reality, these officious guardians of neutered conformity are the ones being laughed at. In fact, they're plain silly, and getting even sillier. That they're Democrats makes me laugh even harder.

Daniel Suddeath explains that in New Albany, surreal small-pond bureaucratic Philistinism is an inexorably expanding universe: New Albany again delays street piano request.

It's been highly instructive to observe the Bored of Works contriving one bumbling excuse after another to cover for its down-low orders to maintain proper channels for expression.

We don't understand this art ... OMG, who'll tune the piano? ... wait, ask the preservation people for their permission, 'cuz, you know, the piano is old ... no, how about Develop New Albany -- yeah, that's right (chortles in corridor afterward), DNA does all that goofy merchant support stuff we see going on even as we're driving out to the Cracker Barrel in Sellersburg.

Earth to the Bored: DNA has, er, WHAT to do with any of this?

What's next, Warren V Nash?

Ask Animal Control?

Jeeves?

The Oracle at Delphi?

Tell you what: I'll personally make Hannegan's mandated "Gahan for Mayor" campaign donation FOR HER, even though I'm running against him, if that would somehow help you arrive at a position somewhere proximate to a CLUE.

Jeeebus. It's an art project and a street piano. Exactly what does nuclear physics have to do with it?

Of course, if Hannegan had only let the mayor think it was his idea, then we'd have a street piano on every corner in town -- player pianos, that is, just to make sure no one departed from the chosen street music and the top-down sacred political writ.

Here are previous NAC links to the street piano saga.

Life is like a street piano. What the Bored of Works gets out of it depends on how they "nay" it.

New Albany's new slogan: "Truck Through City" ... Part 95: It's the return of 18-wheeler pinup porn and utter Bored of Works indifference.

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Who do I invoice for weed whacking, the railroad or the city?


Damned if there isn't something in there. Wonder what it is?


It's the intersection of the alley and 15th Street, between Elm and Spring.

Still smarting from my rebuke at the hands of the pokeweed lumberjacks, I'm not letting this one go. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll tote my tools and start slashing. It'll be great exercise. There's also a "We Buy Houses" sign halfway up a utility pole on Spring.

I'll get that one, too, because I really detest street spam.

But listen, guys: If someone decides to pay me back for my citizen's initiative, can you just make out the check to the campaign?

Why is Marvin Miller not a member of the baseball Hall of Fame?

In Jim Bouton's seminal Ball Four, he observes that the famously eccentric (and highly talented) genius/pitcher Mike Marshall once authored a university term paper titled "Baseball Is An Ass."

Marshall's paper would have been written during the mid-1960s, just before Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause -- and as the late Marvin Miller took the reins of the players union.

Quite simply, Miller belongs in the upper tier of most transformative figures in the history of baseball. Naturally, he isn't in the Hall of Fame, primarily because of the owners' resentment of a man who enabled them to garner unprecedented wealth by first forcing them to share some of it with the men on the field who made it all possible.

I've written about this several times, and it still gripes my cookies.

Baseball Hall of Fame as corrupted banana republic: Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and (not) Marvin Miller.

Baseball. I love it, bit it's still an ass.

Baseball Union Chief Marvin Miller Awaits His Due, by Richard Sandomir (New York Times)

 ... But if (Curt) Flood, a center fielder, merited being honored for sacrificing his career for the labor rights that he believed all players deserved, the next logical question is: Why is Marvin Miller, the union chief who transformed the baseball players’ union into a fierce labor force, not a member of the Hall? Miller, who died in 2012, has been rejected by various veterans committees an absurd six times — five during his lifetime and the sixth in 2013 when his candidacy was spurned by at least 10 of the 16 voters who elected Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre.

Baylor for Mayor: On parking "opportunities" in downtown New Albany.

Thanks to JS for the Google Map view.

There is a popular perception that downtown New Albany has a parking problem. This perception is mistaken, and results from two factors, both of which involve an abdication of responsibility.

First, downtown merchants and business owners have been unwilling or unable to become better informed about parking, and to speak as one voice about parking. Worse, not all of them have policed parking on behalf of downtown's better interests, as when employees (and owners) are allowed to use customer parking spaces.

Why would you do this?

Second, beginning with Doug England's third term, the city of New Albany has chosen not to enforce any semblance of a level playing field as it pertains to downtown parking. When an employee uses a parking space for eight hours during prime time, there are no consequences.

Why would you do that?

Too many employers do nothing. The city does nothing. Both point at the other, expecting solutions, when neither will expend capital to find them. Free parking comes at a price, and the sooner we recognize this fact, the easier it will be to do something.

It seems almost as though neither the merchants nor City Hall wishes to actually lead by deciding what works best for the most users in the broadest physical space, implementing a policy, using the bully pulpit to educate and inform, and connecting parking solutions to an overall plan for multi-modal use of streets and sidewalks.

We have no overall multi-modal street and sidewalk plan, no goals, and no notion of what vitally necessary steps like Jeff Speck's downtown street network proposal entail in terms of preparing ourselves for implementation and making walkability an aspect of design, rather than an accidental outgrowth of serendipity.

Parking's a part of this. Public safety for all users is a part of this. All of this currently is being neglected, and this neglect will cease during my administration.

ADA, anyone? Parking is not permitted on sidewalks. This IS a sidewalk, right?

I have no beef with the business at the corner of 15th and Spring, and I suspect it hasn't dawned on anyone working there to consider a potential access issue on the sidewalk out front owing to employee parking habits.

Primarily, this is because the city of New Albany has neglected maintaining the sidewalk. We can afford a $9 million water park, but not a gallon of paint.


As with the (until recently) ignored crosswalks on nearby Elm Street, it's another instance of simple striping. At least once since we moved into our current residence in 2003, the city painted yellow stripes on the tarmac to show the sidewalk's configuration in the absence of a road verge.

Emulating local Democratic Party grandees, it has been allowed to fade into nothingness.

Here are three recent views looking west, with the photos taken on different days.




I fully understand that New Albany's Board of Public Works has a full slate of ongoing befuddlement as to who's going to tune the street piano, which just isn't an option, because art shouldn't stray past the boundaries of velvet Elvis and dogs playing poker.

But I believe the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to make the boundaries of the sidewalk clear and accessible. Perhaps the chairman can add this one to his burgeoning agenda.

New Albany's new slogan: "Truck Through City" ... Part 96: Let's make them safe, legal and rare.

Conversely, Jeff Gahan can continue sitting on his hands, doing nothing.

Sounds like a plan.






Larry Bird has an elephant's memory.

Interestingly, Springs Valley went to the Final Four in its first year of consolidation, although this doesn't detract from the sheer entertainment value of Larry Bird recalling a teammate's missed free throws 40 years later.

Didn't Bob Lane play at Springs Valley, too?

Larry Bird on 1-on-1 vs. Michael Jordan: 'He'd kill me', by Matthew Glenesk (Indy Star)

Dan Patrick: Explain that whole “Hoosiers” phenomenon in Indiana. How small was your high school?

Larry Bird: Oh, I don’t know. We were one of the smallest in the state. What it is, back in the day, back when I played, they didn’t have class basketball, now they do. So the dream was to always be good enough to play against the big schools. That’s what we tried to do. Try to be good enough to have the opportunity to play a Crispus Attucks or a Jeffersonville or New Albany, but unfortunately I played with a kid that kept missing free throws at the end of the game, and we didn’t get there.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Metalkova -- you know, near where those soldiers were drinking that time.

Photo credit: The article.

The landscape of my blogging milieu is littered with half-finished series of essays documenting past travels. Among these sketches are bits documenting my only visit to Ljubljana in 1987.

Red Star, Black Mountain: Welcome to Slovenia (Part 2)

Red Stars, Black Mountains: Mellow Ljubljana (Part 3).

It was Yugoslavia then, and now independent Slovenia, and as I was reading Niranan's article about Metalkova, it occurred to me to find the location at Google Maps.

Metalkova, the former army installation, lies right across the street from Ljubljana's train station, and this provides a direct connection with my late night arrival, way back when.

How an abandoned barracks in Ljubljana became Europe’s most successful urban squat, by Ajit Niranjan (The Guardian)

Just across the river from the sleepy old-town of central Ljubljana – a delicate maze of cobbled streets, medieval fortifications and colourful churches that characterise the many cities once occupied by the former Austro-Hungarian Empire – lie the dozen or so dilapidated buildings that make up what has become known as Slovenia’s second capital. On first glance, it is hard to believe it’s actually occupied. There are no signs directing visitors to its gates: the rubbish-strewn streets are eerily empty in the daylight, the graffiti covering the walls unread. But after dark, it becomes the focal point of the country’s alternative culture scene.

This is Metelkova Mesto – one the largest, and arguably most successful, urban squats in Europe. Sprawled across 12,500 sq m of an abandoned army base, the self-proclaimed city has become the leading centre of underground music and art in the region. Vivid, cracked-tile mosaics adorn the walls of the complex’s galleries and studios; rusty sculptures, fashioned from broken bike frames and upturned oil drums, cover its concrete gardens. And at night thousands of students and artists congregate to revel in its streets and bars.

Every year Metelkova Mesto hosts more than 1,500 alternative events in its illegally occupied buildings, catering to a wide spectrum of subcultures, from theatre performances and punk concerts to disability workshops and LGBT club nights. Together with the adjacent museum district, owned by the Slovenian Ministry of Culture – its vast courtyard showcasing the more traditional side of local nightlife, with young couples swing-dancing in the evening sun – the former barracks occupies a special place in the nation’s hearts.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Newspaper editorial board: "Floyd County should consider tax increase."

Back in the day, she'd/he'd been all over it. We've been abandoned.

Oddly, this editorial seems to have flown entirely under the radar. It doesn't appear to have been posted at Facebook, and so there are no outraged comments or self-immolation threats.

We're guessing that this one is Chris Morris's baby, as he customarily covers the county beat.

— The News and Tribune editorial board is comprised of Publisher Bill Hanson, Editor Shea Van Hoy, page designer Claire Munn, Assistant Editor Chris Morris and Assistant Editor Jason Thomas. Responses can be sent to shea.vanhoy@newsandtribune.com

Floyd County government recently has become the exclusive domain of Republicans, who possess an austerity fetish that makes German finance ministers look like hereditary Saudi playboy princes -- though it must be acknowledged that in the not so distant past, the Heavrinite strain of "Democrat" contributed much conceptually to the notion that revenue purely is an option.

Meanwhile, city government is controlled by Adam's merry band of DemoDisneyDixiecrats, who have contrived a borrowing-fueled capital projects bonanza designed to produce social media-ready photos of building porn with commensurate campaign finance-tie-ins. It may not be a tax increase strictly as such, but it's surely a huge credit card/TIF bond debt for future generations to service.

This is why a third way is so desperately needed hereabouts.

Not starvation, and not unsustainable extravagance, but spending sensibly on fundamental infrastructure needs that benefit the greatest number of users, and stand to support quality of life and economic development aims rather than work actively against them.

OUR OPINION: Floyd County should consider tax increase

 ... As the council moves forward on the 2016 budget, there needs to be a long-term vision to keep from having to put a Band-Aid on the problem each year. As one county official at a recent meeting said, “We just can’t keep kicking the can down the road.”

The council should consider a tax increase — which could come in the form of a Local Option Income Tax or a wheel tax.

"As safety and livability become more important ... the case for converting one-way streets into two-way streets (is) a compelling one."


The first paragraph tells the story, even if we've previously referenced what follows.

I'll continue referencing it, because one-way arterial streets foolishly tether New Albany to a street grid that actively works against our best interests in terms of revitalization.

Period.

Is this an opinion?

No, it isn't. Research by John Gilderbloom and William Riggs, coupled with verifiable experience all across the map, combines to indicate otherwise. For those unclear about the nature of opinions, this link is a good one: No, it's not your opinion. You're just wrong. Irv, if you're reading ...

And, as you may already know, councilman John Gonder has invited Dr. Gilderbloom to come to New Albany and speak.

You are invited to listen as Dr. John Gilderbloom preaches his "gospel of things urban" on Tuesday, August 4, at the library.

Jeff Gahan's abject failure to act on this fundamental infrastructure truth isn't the only reason why he needs to be forcibly returned to selling veneer for a living, but it's significant among them. Still, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, his fawning sycophants insist that he really does "get it" even if he cannot bring himself to say so publicly.

That's not good enough for leadership, is it?

The Many Benefits of Making One-Way Streets Two-Way ... Safer traffic, for one thing, by Eric Jaffe (City Lab)

From a traffic engineering perspective, one-way streets are all about speed. Without the danger of oncoming traffic, one-way streets can feel like an invitation to hit the gas. But swift traffic flow isn’t the only factor by which progressive cities judge their streets, and as safety and livability become more important, a number of metros have found the case for converting one-way streets into two-way streets a compelling one.

Count Louisville among the believers. In 2011, the city converted two one-way streets (Brook and 1st) in the Old Louisville part of town. Though originally designed as two-way streets, Brook and 1st became one-way after World War II, in keeping with the car-first engineering of the time. In championing the change, local official David James cited the need for calmer streets and economic development.

A pair of planning scholars has evaluated just how well the safety and economic claims held up following the street conversions. In a word: very. William Riggs of California Polytechnic State University and John Gilderbloom of the University of Louisville report that compared with nearby, parallel streets that remained one-way (2nd and 3rd), Brook and 1st experienced fewer collisions, less crime, and higher property valuations.

Another city-county financial impasse: Animal shelter and control services.

The News and Tribune's most recent mention of the most recent instance of seemingly recurring city-county funding disparity (is this LP scratched, or is the ganja too strong?) came on June 15.

Fleshing out a funding dispute: New Albany, Floyd County still at odds over animal shelter money, by Chris Morris (N and T)

NEW ALBANY — In 1999, New Albany and Floyd County governments signed an interlocal agreement, forming the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter. As part of the agreement, funding the shelter would be based on population. With that in place, and following the 2010 census, Floyd County is responsible for 51 percent of the shelter’s budget while the city is to pay 49 percent.

But Floyd County Auditor Scott Clark said it’s not that simple, and he points to 2014 to make his point ...

Uni-gov? Really? At any rate, a New Albany resident has asked about funding for the animal shelter and animal control.

I'm interested in knowing how you would attempt to resolve the financial situation/impasse between the City and the County in regard to the Animal Shelter and Animal Control Services. The County is in serious arrears, but they and the City are equally vested in the physical building, and County residents use the services, although not to the degree of City residents.

The Floyd County Animal Rescue League is also a signatory to the binding Interlocal Agreement. NAFC Animal Control and Shelter is governed by the 5-member volunteer Animal Control Authority, 2 appointed by the Mayor, 2 by the County Commissioners, and 1 by the Rescue League.

The situation is complicated and both sides appear to be dug in. Your thoughts?

It certainly does seem complicated, and I'm researching it. In the interim, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the matter. As an independent candidate for mayor, I don't feel bound by political tradition, only compelled to consider what works. Help me learn more, please: baylorformayor@gmail.com

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Does Coffey covet Shanghai's "European-style ghost towns"?

Photo credit: The article.

Jumping Jehosaphat -- don't let Adam and the Redevelopmentals see this, or we'll be mowing downtown shotgun houses to build replicas of the Magic Kingdom.

You think I'm kidding, but is the decision-making process in New Albany much different from the top-down diktats in China?

Shanghai's European-style ghost towns – in pictures (The Guardian)

Just a decade after six European-style towns were built to absorb Shanghai’s increasing population, China’s slowing economy has left them mostly deserted. James Bollen’s images record the failure of these empty copycat boroughs.

Shout it out loud: "Peeing Is Not a Crime."


If urban density is the goal, and walkability a means to an end ... if folks are going to be roaming around outside ...

Not only that, but we continue felling mature trees. You just can't stand behind those saplings.

Peeing Is Not a Crime: Don't waste money policing public urinators—invest in public restrooms instead. , by Daniel Denvir (City Lab)

New York City officials are considering downgrading public urination to a mere violation instead of a misdemeanor offense, in an effort to roll back excessive broken-windows policing. Reducing criminal penalties, however, fails to address the root of the peeing in public problem.

That would be the lack of public places to pee.

Citing people for public urination criminalizes someone for doing something that society, the state and the market effectively encourages by making public restrooms scarce. That's a hallmark of broken windows policing: punish low-level crimes that are born of necessity or, sometimes, just understandable convenience—including people hustling to sell loosies, drinking on stoops instead of at a pricy cafe's outdoor seating and, yes, those who pee where they must because there is a woeful dearth of places to urinate lawfully.

People who pee outside often would prefer to pee inside. Anecdotally speaking. The number of public restrooms, however, is insufficient in many places.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Photos of the Running of the Bulls, 2015.

The Fiesta de San Fermin came to a close on July 14. I've written about it many times, most recently here:

ON THE AVENUES REWOUND: Red scarf, white shirt and San Miguel beer (2012).

 ... As Hemingway undoubtedly would agree, the greatest two minutes in sports do not take place at Churchill Downs each May. Each morning during San Fermin, muscular beasts and eager humans take to the streets of Pamplona to memorialize the death of the festival's namesake patron saint. The ritual is known as the "Running of the Bulls," as the six bulls scheduled to appear in the coming evening's bullfight (along with six heifers) are released into narrow, barricaded streets and driven 900 meters -- a little more than half a mile -- to the bull ring.

My cousin Don, who attends each year, e-mailed me with the following link. The breathtaking photos there vividly capture the spirit of the running. It's a crazy spectacle, and hard to describe. I've no desire to run, but wouldn't mind going back some day to watch from a balcony with a soothing adult libation in hand.

Running of the Bulls 2015: The Fiesta de San Fermin, by Alan Taylor (The Atlantic)

The annual Fiesta de San Fermin began in Spain this week. The festival, including the famous “Running of the Bulls,” attracts thousands of visitors to Pamplona every year. Lasting nine days, the festival kicks off with massive crowds at the Chupinazo in Pamplona town square, followed by a carnival, fireworks, the running of the bulls, and many bullfights. Held since 1591, San Fermin remains a popular, though dangerous and controversial, event—two Americans and a Briton were gored on Tuesday.

Water Parking: Wait no more, for the Great Oz has spoken.

Fundamentally cleaner.

Mayor Jeff Gahan has faxed a statement from the surreal depths of his down-low bunker.

Holy Family has been a great neighbor to our facility, and we appreciate the church leaders working with us as we move forward to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.

He refers to this:

ON THE AVENUES: A citizen's eloquent complaint about the parking debacle at River Run reminds us that planners and brooms go hand in hand.

 ... The city and mayor has brought a great hardship on my parish community of Holy Family. We have had to barricade our parking lot off to the general public so we can have parking for our parishioners, especially our senior citizens. Unfortunately the busiest times of the new water park coincide with the busiest times of our parish community.

Jeff Gahan's team of campaign finance monetizers couldn't have come up with a more auto-centric water park, but they've somehow managed to make it even worse -- and where have you heard this before? -- through a complete and comprehensive failure to communicate with the neighborhood around River Run.

Now it's on television.

 ... The temporary solution to the problem comes in the form of a five minute walk down the road to a makeshift lot with about 50 parking spaces.

“I don't want the neighbors to be inconvenienced, but at the same time I don't want to drive anybody away from our park,” said Mayor Gahan.

Or. as a friend states it:

The city's asking patrons of the new pool to park on the corner of Green Valley Rd & W Daisy Ln - the lot where McCartin tore down the arts and crafts house. The grass roped off with perky little signs reading "Pool Parking."

So folks are supposed to park on someone's private property, walk alongside a busy street with no sidewalks, trespassing as they come and go - what a planned project!

Gahan insists he has read Jeff Speck's book, and secretly advocates principles of walkability so long as no one sees or hears him do so, but still, this isn't at all what Speck had in mind.

Of course, amid the parking fiasco, previous truths remain just as glaringly evident: The water park cost $9 million payable by your grandchildren; it's in the wrong place; it can be used only a few months out of the year; we might have had neighborhood splash pads and a regulation pool for swimming (imagine that) for equal or probably less expense; there's been no accounting for future upkeep; it does nothing to keep our young people from fleeing town ... and on, and on.

See also: ON THE AVENUES: "Water on the brains: Much less for far more will keep us swimming in it."

Well, well: "Matthew Nash for 5th District City Council."

When Matt swapped photos here yesterday, I suspected the Green Mouse was right.

Can we speak candidly?

It's widely known that Gahan administration operatives targeted incumbent 5th district rep Diane Benedetti for defeat in the primary. I know this because one of them told me so. Of course, it cannot be quantified as to how much the down-low Gahan chicanery contributed to Dustin Collins' eventual victory, but now it's moot, as Collins was forced to withdraw from the race owing to health concerns.

If I haven't said it already in blog space, all the best to Dustin. He's a personable and bright young man, and there is no doubt about his sincere commitment to public service. Get well, quickly.

But there's an election to be held, and the News and Tribune's Daniel Suddeath explains what happens next as Democratic Party chairman Adam Dickey follows arcane procedures lifted straight from the pages of "Foucault's Pendulum" (alas, not a Disney flick) to ensure his chosen and pre-ordained outcome. Remember the famous song Bob Dylan wrote about Dickey, "Tangled Up in Puppet Strings"?

Qualified Democrats residing in District 5 can submit for nomination by caucus members. The caucus will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 at the New Albany Roadhouse, which is located at 1706 Graybrook Lane.

That's right: The Democrats will caucus by drawing straws and drinking ice cold Bud Light long necks. Fiction simply cannot improve on reality when it comes to satirizing these people.

Know this: None of my obvious and ever expanding derision for our local Fix Is In Democrats should be implied as outweighing my personal esteem for Matt Nash, whose hat has been tossed into the ring in the 5th. I won't get a vote in this one, and we'll see what happens. Even if we still disagree on certain topics, Benedetti has done a good job. Matt's a great fellow, and politics is a nasty business. Anyone got a tea leaf?

A word of advice to Matt: If you don't win the race, be careful the newspaper doesn't screw you on your weekly column resumption * ... and seriously, you might wish to distance yourself from the recently abominable record of your old man on the Bored of Works.

By the way, anyone got a broom?

Here's Matt's Fb campaign page. I wish him well.

Matthew Nash for 5th District City Council

I would like to announce my intention to seek the position of New Albany City Council in the 5th District. For the past six years I have expressed my opinion on how to make our city a better place in a weekly column in the News and Tribune. Now I am actually doing something about it.

I believe that New Albany is a great city but we could be doing better. Between now and November 3rd I will discuss with all of the citizens of New Albany how we can work together to make our city the best that it can be.

* Matt's already dealt with it here.