Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Goodbye, farewell and amen.

Last night's wake in honor of our friend Lloyd Wimp proved to be a rousing sendoff. Close to three kegs of Guinness were consumed, memories and tales and stories were shared, and there was music, food and laughter. Lloyd wanted us to have a good time and remember him, and I believe the evening did him proud. Thanks to everyone who helped organize and pay for the evening; you know who you are. Special thanks to Martin, Jon and Leslie (Lloyd's wife, who drew the marvelous portrait above; it will hang in the barroom of the Public House).

Here are a few of the photos collected by Jon, as well as the .jpg of Lloyd's eulogy, written by Lloyd himself, and read by Martin. It's time to say goodbye, and to get back to work. To echo Jared: "Long Live The Highwayman!"








Lloyd's wake random photos, Part 3.

 

 

 

 
Posted by Picasa

Lloyd's wake random photos, Part 2.

 

 

 

 
Posted by Picasa

Lloyd's wake random photos, Part 1.




Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tonight is Lloyd's wake.

The wake for Lloyd Wimp will be held tonight in Prost (at the Public House) from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. There will be Guinness, photos and tall tales, and of course you're welcome to dine and drink as usual. Lloyd wanted a room filled with people having a good time. Thanks to everyone who has helped put together this celebration of our friend's life.

A columnist plumb snookered.

It's Wizard of Oz Day in the Open Air Museum. To all our friends on the outside ... please, don't judge the whole city by our troglodytes.

Newsmaker Vicki Denhart A woman working for the people, by Dale Moss in the Courier-Journal.

“I tell my friends, ‘I've got tire tracks on my back,' ” she said. “I guess it's like a badge of honor. But hey, I'm still standing.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yesterday: More tales from the grow room as New Albany celebrates with Holiday Fest, Jingle Walk.

There's much good Sunday press for the Holiday Fest and Jingle Walk, which took place in downtown New Albany yesterday.
Tribune: New Albany's Holiday Fest included scavenger hunt, jingle walk

C-J:
Holiday Fest serves to showcase downtown New Albany
On a brisk November day, there were plenty of people out and about, some shopping, others tippling, and still more riding the shuttles back and forth between downtown and uptown

Of course, there's always at least one Grinch-like dissenter. Check the comments on the piece in the Courier:
NADemocrat wrote ...

Look what happens when you give out free beer. You get your name and picture in the C/J. Boycott downtown New Albany.
Tsk, tsk. Free beer to get photographed? How incredibly gauche.

As for her rallying cry to boycott downtown, here's a question: What if the troglodytes boycott downtown New Albany and no one notices?

Ah, the joys of disgruntled wannabeens.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sewage Flash: Our great-grandparents took occasional shortcuts.

One of America's most enduring, best kept secrets finally has been revealed.

Not since Oliver Stone, Kevin Costner and Donald Sutherland revealed the true extent of the conspiracy to assassinate JFK has such a revelation shaken us to our very core.

Get ready. Here is it. Cover your eyes. Women and chidren first, please.
Outdated infrastructure issue for SEJ project; Sewer board to meet with New Directions over duel connections, by Daniel Suddeath.

The New Albany Sewer Board will meet with officials managing the S. Ellen Jones neighborhood rehabilitation project to determine how to deal with a problem that likely originated from a common construction pattern of the 1920s ...

... Workers for JonPaul Inc. have uncovered what is known as a Y connection — two houses tapped-on to the same sewer line — on two homes so far.

Duel connections were prevalent in houses constructed in the 1920s and 1930s, sewer board vice president Gary Brinkworth said. But the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has banned joint connections, as Brinkworth said they create problems when it comes to maintenance.
That's right. It has been revealed at long last that elements of New Albany's sewer system are antiquated, but for once, can't we look at a sewer pipe half full?

After all, at least the dual connections were not found to be made from tar paper. Surely that's progress.

Okay, okay. We know that a half-century or more of scantily regulated development has left us with inadequacies. The question, as always, is: "What's to be done about it?"

That one should keep us busy until the next profound revelation. If Mrs. Baird's blog comments are any indication, pre-emptive troglodyte hand-warming self-immolations soon will be occurring in the neighborhood that Steve Price continues to forget.

I'll bring free beer and a camera, because that's entertainment.

Which one's Grinch?

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just a weekend calendar before I drink/to whom it may concern.

Here's the post-Thanksgiving schedule at the New Albanian Brewing Company, and a few other notices for the coming weekend.

NABC Bank Street Brewhouse will be closed today on Black Friday (Nov. 26), reopening Saturday the 27th (11:00 a.m.) and Sunday the 28th (Noon) for normal business days.

The Pizzeria & Public House will observe customary Friday and Saturday hours this weekend, with an 11:00 a.m. start both days. It is closed on Sunday. There's a new Black Friday starting time for Saturnalia MMX, our annual draft celebration of ancient pagan wintertime rituals. The overview is at my other blog, and this year's program is download only.

Downtown New Albany's Holiday Fest and Jingle Walk both take place on Saturday (Nov. 27), which also is Small Business Saturday in America -- a marvelous local counterpoint to the consumerist idiocy of Black Friday's wasteful chainthink.

Yes, it is sponsored by American Express.

Yes, there is a measure of irony in this fact.

Still, like the old Johnny Cash song, every now and then you build a revolution one piece at a time. You are encouraged to shop local, or, if not, perhaps it would be more efficient to just start allowing China Inc. to debit your plastic and cut out the big box middle men.

Meanwhile, NABC will be selling Plastic-Clad Progressive Pints in the foyer of the White House Center on Saturday afternoon. Local businesses throughout downtown will be offering specials and festivity. As an example, read this blog posting from our friends at the Dandy Lion detailing what they'll be up to.

If there is anything you'd like to tout, please append a comment. As for me, surely the drinking lamp is about to be lit?

Another year, another yawn.

Strictly for the record (from 2008 ... and before): The contrarian's Thanksgiving and Black Friday observances.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Good news on the anti-tolls front: Southern Indiana business owners create a 501 c-6, build a website and purchase billboard space.

Less than a week after its first organizational meeting, a new anti-tolls coalition powered by Southern Indiana businesses already is in position to take the tolling facts to the people.

Businesses come together to oppose tolls as Rep. Clere remains AWOL.

With a series of critical Bridges Authority meetings on the immediate horizon in early December, Wes Johnson and Mike Kapfhammer (owners of Buckhead’s and Rocky’s), Chris McCarty (S & S Powersports) and Paul Fetter (Clark County Auto Auction) have committed monies to found a 501 c-6 organization called the Organization for a Better Southern Indiana.

Already a website has been built, and the group has purchased two billboards: On northbound and southbound I-65, both of them just north of the Eastern Blvd exit. Installation could come as early as December 1. The billboard designs are pictured above.

In an e-mail, Paul stresses the importance of the group’s next meeting on Monday, November 29th at 5:30 p.m. at the Buckhead Mountain Grill (707 West Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville, Indiana).

Please remember to invite other businesses to our next meeting. Work on new connections, and try to bring two or three new businesses with you. Remember, this is our fight. We must stay focused and engaged.

Today's Tribune column: "The bell tolls for thee, Bluto."

... in which I conceptually travel from "Animal House" to Murray Sperber, from Bob Knight to Bridges Authority nabobs, and end on Black Sunday, 1905.

BAYLOR: The bell tolls for thee, Bluto.

... I think about this inspirational passage each time a bridge toll apologist explains the rosy inevitability of a tax/toll increase to float the massive loans necessary for animating an exorbitant three-legged Bridges Project that virtually no one in metro Louisville wants. We're full circle, back to Coach Knight's controversial advice: “If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

Sorry, but I can't.

It has been far too instructive documenting the gyrations of local elected Republicans, who either speak in code, asking us to believe that in the absence of a referendum, an involuntary toll imposed by an unelected body is a “user fee,” not a tax, or clerely have nothing coherent to say at all about their support of taxing-and-spending to finance an outdated bridges boondoggle, after they just completed campaigns stressing platforms of opposing taxing and spending to finance anything else ...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Local stuff on a Wednesday that's a Friday.

But not Black Friday ... yet. Rather, it's the Keep Louisville Local edition of LEO Weekly.

Too bad I can't get that TGI Friday's ad at the LEO web site to go away.

Speaking of local, NA-style, there now is a page for New Albany First.

That's all you get from me. Busy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not content with being wrong, Price strives for double wrongness ... and, of course, succeeds.

The Tribune's Daniel Suddeath somehow keeps a straight face while contributing the latest in a series of city council biographies titled "Profiles of Befuddlement":

Not backing down: Price will bring preservation commission ordinance for final vote

... Peter Feimer, president of the Main Street Preservation Association and HPC member, criticized Price for never attending a commission meeting despite being the council’s liaison for the board ...

... Conceding his ordinance will likely be defeated at the Dec. 6 council meeting, Price said he will likely support Councilwoman Diane McCartin-Benedetti’s attempt to get a council representative placed on the commission.
That's right.

When Price was the assigned liaison to the HPC, he saw no reason to attend -- not even once. Imagine what he missed owing to this all-too-typical sloth. Now, emboldened by regular paying karaoke gigs, he's ready to wave bloody shirts, ignite himself with a "banned" novelty lighter, and support placing a council person on the commission.

Naturally, this person should be Price himself. He'd never go to meetings, and in two years, he'll want another council person on the commission so at least one of them actually goes.

Join the discussion at the Tribune’s web site (link above). The first comment already has been posted, and soon the troglodytes at other blogs will angrily (and anonymously) begin denouncing any person in the city who seeks progress over regress: "How dare you attack my councilman," etc., yawnnnnn.

“I never felt like they needed baby-sitting,” he said'And that my friends, in a nutshell, describes the tenure of Steve Price as a city councilman. He's not involved in the community, unless it affects him or his friends. He cares little about his district, unless it affects him or his friends. He can't be bothered to participate in neighborhood association meetings, HPC meetings, the NSP groundbreaking ceremony (one of the best things to happen to his district in a long, long time), the farmers market (unless he's singing) or any other events in his district. He's a bad councilman and a poor representative of what's going on in his district. Fortunately, elections are just around the corner. The Price is Wrong for 3rd District.
Hey -- I coined that phrase ... but that's okay. Use it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Calendar check: Lloyd's wake is next Monday, November 29. We still need photos.

A reminder that Lloyd Wimp's wake will be held on Monday, November 29 in Prost at the Public House (5 p.m. - 10 p.m.)

The evening seems to be coming together, but I still need for all of you who may have crossed paths with Lloyd to gather photos of him and the good times for a display.

Please send digital photo files to me at roger@newalbanian.com. These will be displayed as a slide show. We also can put traditional photographic prints on boards atop easels.

Thanks for remembering Lloyd.

Say NO to Bridge TOLLS petitioning Federal Government; Rep. Clere remains silent.

Submitted and endorsed.

---

Say NO to Bridge TOLLS is petitioning Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood to acknowledge that the citizens within the Louisville region do not want tolls on Ohio River bridges, or on the Spaghetti Junction intersection of I-65, I-64, and I-71, in spite of what he may be hearing from the Tolling Authority's upcoming financing plan.

Say NO to Bridge TOLLS has reached its goal of collecting over 10,000 signatures on their "No Tolls Petition" before the end of the year. The group has also obtained signatures of 210 businesses owners that have signed the Businesses Against Tolls Petition.

On Monday, November 22, 2010, Say NO to Bridge TOLLS is mailing to Secretary Lahood the "No Tolls" Petitions, totaling 10,328 signatures, along with the signatures of 210 business owners, and copies of the eight "No Tolls Resolutions" that have passed in the following municipalities and governments: Louisville Metro Council, New Albany City Council, Jeffersonville City Council, Clark County Commissioners , Clarksville Town Council, Sellersburg Town Council, Clark County Council and the Utica Town Board.


These eight governmental entities represent roughly 1 million people that will be most affected by the Ohio River Bridges Project, and the working people that stand to suffer the most by the burden of the threatened tolls.

Shawn Reilly co-founder of
Say NO to Bridge TOLLS, said "We are are sending a clear message to the Federal Government, by providing all of these No Tolls resolutions and over 10,000 petition signatures, that our community will not stand for tolls on our bridges."

Reilly also said "Few of our political leaders are standing up for the citizens of this community so we hope that Secretary LaHood will do the right thing and stop the Tolling Authority from making an epic mistake that threatens to cause our community years of hardship."

Say NO to Bridge TOLLS is a broad based community group representing tens of thousands of people across Indiana and Kentucky that are opposed to any tolls being placed on existing or new bridges, or the Spaghetti Junction, to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project.


Link to Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=292754091961&ref=search

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Businesses come together to oppose tolls as Rep. Clere remains AWOL.

Braden Lammers of the Evening News provides coverage of Friday afternoon's encouraging "no tolls" meeting at Buckhead's. My comments follow.

Group organizes to fight against tolling on the Ohio River Bridges Project

“I don’t care if the toll is 50 cents, it’s a reason for them to stay on the Louisville side of the river,” said Mike Kapfhammer, owner of Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Sub Pub.

Kapfhammer’s co-owner of Buckhead Mountain Grill, Wes Johnson, agreed.

“The bottom line is tolls are bad for Indiana business,” he said.

The group cited support for anti-toll sentiment through 10,000 signatures on a petition and eight elected bodies in the region that have passed some sort of resolution opposing tolls.

“Eighty percent, in my opinion are with us,” Kapfhammer said. “We’ve just got to figure a way to carry that flag.”
Talk about weird: Roger the Atheist Commie was there, and so was a representative of the Clark County Tea Party. My guess is that most attendees were Republican, as many spoke of newly elected congressman Todd Young on a first-name basis.

And yet, in Southern Indiana, it is the Republican Party that is promoting tolls, and semantics aside, tolls plainly are a tax increase for Hoosier working commuters and Hoosier small businesses.

Obviously, there is raging cognitive dissonance afoot. Our State Representative Ed Clere clearly is the poster child for this strange malady, even as other local ranking Republicans confide privately that they're against tolls.

Why is that?

The GOP won mid-terms on a platform of fiscal rectitude and "no tax hikes," and both the bridges project and tolls necessary to animate it absolutely contradict both platform points, and yet Clere's only recorded thoughts on the matter were lashings of any taxpayer, ranging from the suthor to little old ladies, with the temerity to ask questions.

Who'd have imagined that One Southern Indiana's endorsements were worth that much hypocrisy ... although we can't rule out the psychotropic qualities of St. Daniels' patented Kool-Aid elixir.

Fallicians, heal thyselves. How do you square this circle?

What does it mean to “Shop Local?”

Following is one of two information sheets distributed to those in attendance at the New Albany First meeting last Wednesday at Wick's. The other is here. I'm attributing authorship to Randy, Ann and Andy, unless otherwise advised.

---

Shopping Local is not the same as Shopping Locally

Shopping local is not the same thing as shopping locally. Corporate chains would like us to think they are are the same as we are (only better). We’ve all seen it. They have launched marketing campaigns to blur the distinction between them and locally owned independent businesses. If that is all “Shop Local” means, we might as well call it “Shop Locale.”

This tactic by the chains and megastores is properly called “local-washing.” It’s an attempt to blunt the impact of campaigns by locally owned independent businesses by laundering the corporate tarnish and pretending that there’s no difference between mom-and-pops and the corporate giants. A corporate-oriented buy-local campaign that defines “local” as the nearest Home Depot or Gap store is a skeezy move but the tactic can be effective unless and until we ask
“What do you mean by ‘local’?”

A local independent is an establishment that is:

• Owned privately or by its employees or a community cooperative

• At least 50% owned by area resident(s)

• Retains full decision-making authority with its local owners/members

• Limited to a small number of locations, all within a single region

There are other ways to define the membership and objectives of our organization, should we form one, but these provide a solid starting point.

Why should anyone bother to “shop local?”

Alliances like the one we’re discussing are, all over the country, “making the case that [shopping local] is critical to rebuilding middle-class prosperity, averting environmental collapse, and ensuring that our daily lives are not smothered by corporate uniformity.”

Making that case in New Albany means we all have to know why shopping local is important – not just to us, but to every member of our community.

Reasons to shop local:

Local economic stimulus – When we purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers, and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base.

Non-profits receive greater support – Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners, who naturally donate where they live or to non-local charities.

Unique businesses create character and prosperity – The unique character of our community is defined in large part by the businesses that choose to locate here, and that plays a big part in our overall satisfaction with the place we live and the value of our homes and property.

Environmental impact is reduced – Small local businesses usually set up shop in the existing urban core, the town’s center, providing a centralized variety of shopping alternatives that is more organic than it is manufactured. That contributes to such quality-of-life measures as our city’s “walk score” and other metrics, especially when compared to shopping malls in other cities. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution. And it also takes advantage of the already-built environment.

Most new jobs are provided by local businesses – Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally. The more jobs we have in our local community, the fewer of our residents who are going to have to commute. That means more time and less traffic and pollution.

Customer service is better – Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise, yielding better customer service. These individuals who live in your community are far less likely to take you for granted or fail to deliver for you.

Local business owners invest in community – Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave or be transferred, and are more invested in the welfare and future of this community. For many, the bulk of their life’s savings are invested right here.

Public benefits far outweigh public costs – Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure and they more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores.

Competition and diversity leads to more consumer choices – A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long term.

You matter more – We talk often about exerting influence with our purchasing choices – voting with our wallets. It’s a fact that businesses respond to their customers, but our values and desires are much more likely to be catered to by our local community businesses when compared to a nationalized common denominator of values and desires.

"Is it too late?"



You’re reading this right now because you know it’s not too late. The coming decades are going to be as revolutionary as the past five and no one is more suited to adapt than the locally owned independent business. What we’ve lost we can regain. Think about it this way: Did you grow up at a time when wearing a seat-belt was optional? Can you imagine putting your child or grandchild into the car without first buckling them in and then buckling up yourself?

We’ve learned from the past that seat-belts save lives. We’ve also learned that life is not so sweet when our culture tends to a bland, uniform “monoculture.” The locally owned independent business is leading the way to a better future and you’ve made yourself a part of the vanguard.

All that remains is to recognize that and join together to make that future possible.

For More Information on Independent Business Groups.

Following is one of two information sheets distributed to those in attendance at the New Albany First meeting last Wednesday at Wick's. The other is here. I'm attributing authorship to Randy, Ann and Andy, unless otherwise advised.

---

National Organizations for Independent Business Groups

American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) http://www.amiba.net/

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) http://www.livingeconomies.org/

Independent Business Groups

Local First Indiana, Bloomington IN http://www.localfirstindiana.org/

Louisville Independent Business Alliance, Louisville KY http://www.keeplouisvilleweird.com/

Austin Independent Alliance, Austin, TX http://www.ibuyaustin.com/

Local First Utah, http://www.localfirst.org/

Tampa Independent Business Alliance, Tampa, FL http://www.tibatampa.org/

Local First, Grand Rapids, MI http://www.localfirst.com/

More Resources

Civic Economics http://www.civiceconoomics.com/

Institute for Local Self-Reliance http://www.newrules.org/

Small-mart http://www.small-mart.org/ (based on Michael Shuman’s Small-mart Revolution)

Big Box Tool Kit http://www.bigboxtoolkit.com/

Independent We Stand http://www.independentwestand.org/

University of Wisconsin Center for Community and Economic Development http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/index.cfm

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Albany's 2010 Holiday Fest is Noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 27.

Submitted. The 27th also is Small Business Saturday, a marvelous counterpoint to the megachainbox driven Black Friday.

New Albany's 2010 Holiday Fest will be held on November 27th from Noon - 6:00pm. The event will take place on the Main Source Bank Stage on the corner of State and Market Street in Historic Downtown New Albany. This event is brought to you by Develop New Albany, The City of New Albany and Mayor Doug England.

Downtown Events Include:

At Parking Lot (Spring/State St) 11:30 - 6:30pm

*Registration for the Jingle Walk and Scavenger Hunt


*Entertainment Coordinated by Jimmy's Music starting at 4pm

*Turn In location for Jingle Walk Golden Tickets and Scavenger Hunt Tickets (Drawing at 6:30pm)

*Pick Up location for items purchased on walks

*"Light Up New Albany" after winners are announced

*Trolleys available for free transportation


At Floyd County YMCA (State/Main Street) 3pm - 6pm

*First 50 kids receive a free toy from Endris Jewelers

*Pictures with Santa (small fee)

*Secret Santa's Workshop (Let your children buy your Christmas presents and wrap them all by themselves) (Great gifts available for a $1 wrapping charge)

*Craftmaking & Facepainting

*Bouncers

*Free carriage rides at the YMCA parking lot

Prizes for Scavenger Hunt Winners:

*Ipod - Donated by Matt Ricke with Ricke & Associates

*$150.00 Gift Certificate to Book & Music Exchange

*$100.00 Gift Certificate to Book & Music Exchange Compliments of Endris Jewelry and Schmitt Furniture

Prizes for Jinglewalk Participants:

*One Nights stay at the Mansion Row Inn

*2-30 Minute Massages from Standz Salon & Threadz Boutique

*$50.00 Gift Certificate to Endris Jewelry

*Gift Card to River City Winery

*$50.00 Gift Certificate to Thorpe Woodworks

If you would like to volunteer/assist with this event please contact Stefanie at 502-645-6256.

A Dandy Trunk Show - Saturday night at the Thrasher Sanctum.

Linked to the Dandy Lion's Facebook page.

---

A Dandy Trunk Show (+Live Music+NABC Beer+ River City Winery!)

8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Dave Thrasher's Art Studio
205 E. Market St.
New Albany, IN


The Dandy Lion is excited to invite you to our FREE EVENT!!

Live music by The Parade Schedule, Toledo Bend, & Ben Traughber.

Doors @ 7
Music @ 8

We will be setting up a trunk show, showcasing one of a kind handmade,vintage, and art! The New Albanian is catering, and we will also have tasty beverages from New Albany's River City Winery.

There will also be a raffle with the winner(s) to be announced after the show!

You know you've always wondered what Dave's mysterious art studio was all about...now is your time to find out!

COME SUPPORT LOCAL ART, MUSIC, AND BUSINESS!

Hope to see all of you out!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Briscoe Declares for Aunt Bee.



Some nights, the Gummy Worms just aren't enough. Had to ride all the way to Mt. Pilot to get 'em, and they didn't last half the meeting.


You know, it's just been building, ever since back when I was all green, and here's the thing about fairness: It just makes you plain angry that for six whole years, the city wasted all those taxpayer nickles and dimes on stamps to let me know about HPC meetings when I never had any notion of attending them in the first place.


You need your buddy Goober to help you out, and lucky me, he's willing to second my ordinance, and then try to withdraw his second, and get all red in the face, then stand up for the rights of all the oprah-essed little people by abstaining twice on the votes. Takes guts to do that, and heck, it made me proud to be his pal, seeing as I know he had to do it because of Perfesser Erika running agin' him, and all.


That's right Goober, twice. Didn't matter anyway, seeing as them pointy-headed rich folks like Howard Sprague wouldn't pay attention to the stories of all the folks who kept calling us, even though we didn't get a single one of them to come down and testify 'cuz of them damned ree-pry-zals from the pergessives.


And then ol' Jack Messer had to go and say that I was trying to fire Sheriff Andy, but heck, it's just that we need Otis running things, not all them people who accomplish stuff. What's so fair about not being able to keep up with the college grad-ee-ates, anyway? What about Bank Street, huh?


Damn right I'm out of order. I was doing karaoke before that police cadet was born. Screw it, they're all Nazis. I'm outta here.










(We can only hope.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The big picture is no small problem.

Bi-state Bridges Authority member and One Southern Indiana acolyte Jerry Finn, via a Tribune guest column, asks that we consider the larger picture.

OK.

In Fixing the Future, a one-hour PBS special airing November 18th (check local listings), David Brancaccio visits communities across America using innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity in our new economy.

He interviewed YES! Magazine board chair David Korten for a big picture perspective about what it will take to build an economy that works for all.

A transcript is available here.

Watch the full episode. See more NOW on PBS.


Your turn, Jerry.

Everyone is invited to a "No Tolls" meeting on Friday at Buckhead's in Jeffersonville.

Check out this Kentuckian's perspective: Don’t Toll Me, Bro.

There'll be a meeting in opposition to bridge tolls tomorrow (Friday, November 19) at 2:00 p.m. at the Buckhead Mountain Grill in Jeffersonville.

Clark County business owners have spearheaded this meeting, but everyone is invited. I'm planning on being there, hope to bring a friend of mine who owns a business in Corydon, and hope to see some Floyd Countians, too.

Earlier today: Today's Tribune column: "Bridges Authority has no clothes” -- with bonus commentary by Kerry Stemler's sin-eater.

Inaugural "NA First" indie business/buy local meeting very positive; stay tuned for the full report.

Thanks and kudos to the 40-plus persons in attendance last night at the "NA First" independent business/buy local meeting, and to Andy and Ann for their legwork. Special thanks to Wick's for their generosity.

There were many good ideas offered and connections made.

The overarching theme: Prepare the organizational foundation first, with clarity about intents and objectives, and only then proceed toward implementation. This is a long-term process, and as we know, New Albany wasn't built in a day.

The gathered information is being sorted, and there'll be a more detailed report once the mailing list is updated. Patience, please ... we all have indie small business day jobs, don't we?

Today's Tribune column: "Bridges Authority has no clothes” -- with bonus commentary by Kerry Stemler's sin-eater.

Right here, within the friendly, climate-controlled confines of the frolicsome Faux Leather Den, our VIP members-only lounge at New Albany's famous and incredibly regal Hotel Sadomasochism, today's Happy/Morose Hour special is a two-for-one Tribune punch of Roger thinking micro ...

BAYLOR: Bridges Authority has no clothes

... and Jerry espousing macro ...

FINN: Consider big picture when talking bridges

Straight up: I seek nothing more than to articulate legitimate and currently ignored questions being asked by every independent Hoosier small business in the area.

Considering all aspects of this "big picture," to the tune of $4 billion worth of tolling walls erected in the middle of the Ohio River, and an involuntary tax imposed by unelected bureaucrats on both working Hoosier commuters and Hoosier small businesses that market to Kentucky, another usage strikes far closer to the truth.

Consider "the totalitarian picture."

We are.

And Jerry, let me tell you ... it ain't pretty.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Music soothes the savage vinyl siding mogul.


Video: Save ear X-tacy.

Buy Local/NA Independent business meeting is tonight at Wick's.

Tonight's Buy Local/NA Independent business meeting will be held upstairs at Wick's on State Street, downtown. Follow this link for the agenda.

Come as early as 6:00 p.m. to chat and brainstorm, with the official meeting at 7:00 p.m., and please share this information with other business owners.

As a tip-off, and to get this ball rolling, it is my opinion that geographically, New Albany's city limits define participation, and that "independent" means that decisions are taken locally (read the Louisville Independent Business Alliance's requirements, here). Obviously, these and many other matters stand to be considered and discussed in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Andy Terrell on buying locally and various independent small business joys -- in the Tribune.

The Tribune's Chris Morris chats with Andy Terrell about the importance of buying local, and previews the buy local/independent small business meeting scheduled for tomorrow evening (6:00 p.m. brainstorming, 7:00 p.m. meeting; upstairs at Wick's; agenda here). Note that attendees will be able to eat and drink (a server will be on duty), and that The Big Wick will be providing a few appetizers.

Grassroots effort growing to support locally owned businesses in New Albany

... fliers tout some of the advantages of buying local — including the amount of money that stays within the community when purchases are made from independent establishments. Locally owned businesses are more likely to employ area residents and support other independent establishments, Terrell said.

“The impact is three times more when you spend your dollars at a locally owned business as opposed to a chain store,” he said.

Terrell added the movement is intended for all independent businesses, not just the ones located downtown.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Open thread: Li'l Stevie's anti-preservation, pro-community vandalism homework assignment about to reach council?

The Facebook page of the Heritage Preservation League of New Albany- Floyd County reports that at Thursday evening's council conclave, 3rd District uncouncilperson Steve Price will introduce an ordinance to dissolve the Historic Preservation Commission and to repeal Title XV, Chapter 151 (Historic Preservation).

While the meeting's agenda has yet to be released, and the scope of the purported ordinance strikes me as so bizarrely surreal as to be purpose-built for "noble" failure, it naturally would be in keeping with CM Price's decades-long, sustained assault on the virtues of his own neighborhood to conceive such a plainly destructive plan.

But ...

TWANG! It would make Ron Craig and the hovering, bloodsucking slumlord contingent quite happy (see: Craig's gallant last stand against Communism, Atheism and Historical Preservation.)

TWANG! It would increase the percentage of tips Price receives while performing senseless Karaoke at Pastimes, another recent and eager violator of the preservation codes.

TWANG! It would help fill buckets of vindictive spite and warm spit, fueling Price's ceaseless and formless anger against a scary planet.

Beyond all those, there appears to be little in this attempted kindergarten-level community vandalism homework project that actually would benefit the city of New Albany, and perhaps for that very reason, and sadly, yet again, those citizens who avoided the terrible fate of getting permanently wasted on the way must mobilize and reject the efforts of the extractive element.

This recurring brainless shit of Price's gets tiresome, doesn't it?

Feel free to discuss.

New Albany Buy Local/Independent Business Group exploratory meeting on Wednesday evening.

I've sent the following to a core group of about 25 persons who responded affirmatively to mailings early last week. In posting it here, it is my aim to broaden the reach beyond those on the original list, which admittedly is incomplete. If you're feeling excluded as an independent business owner, please don't be. We must begin somewhere, and there'll be time for precision as we go along. Thanks.

The Buy Local/NA Independent meeting will be held upstairs at Wick's on Wed., November 17. Come as early as 6:00 p.m. to chat and brainstorm, with official business at 7:00 p.m.

Please share this information with other business owners. As a rule of thumb to get this ball rolling, it is my opinion that New Albany's city limits define participation.

Here is a simple agenda:

---

Independent Business Group Informational Meeting

November 12, 2010

Objective: A brief informational meeting to discuss “shop local” campaigns and independent business groups and to assess the interest in starting an independent business group in our community.

Welcome and introductions—Roger Baylor

Impact of shop local campaigns—Andy Terrell

Information about UEZ-sponsored shop local fliers—Andy Terrell

Basics of independent business groups—Ann Baumgartle

Please make sure to fill out an interest assessment before you leave.

Lloyd's wake will be held on Monday, November 29 in Prost at the Public House.

As most of you already know, NAC's longtime friend, blogging co-conspirator and community activist Lloyd Wimp died on Friday after a long struggle with cancer. All our thoughts continue to be with Lloyd's family.

Lloyd was very clear about his wishes, and there'll be no conventional funeral. Rather, he wanted a wake to be held at the Public House, and we’re trying as best we can to stage it the way he outlined. Lloyd was a remarkable man, and his wake should be a celebration of his life.

Following is the preliminary plan for the wake, Version 1.0, but first there's a wee bit of background.
“The Irish Wake (in Gaelic: Faire) is a traditional mourning custom practiced in Ireland. An integral part of the grieving process for family, friends, and neighbors of the deceased, Irish wakes are occasions that mix gaiety and sadness. The custom is a celebration of the life that had passed … " -- Wikipedia
Absolutely.

Lloyd’s wake will be on Monday, November 29 from 5 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at the NABC Public House (Rich O's), in the Prost special events wing.

Prost being a family seating area, the evening is intended for all ages. There'll be draft Guinness (per Lloyd's request), soft drinks and light snacks provided. For these and minimal other fixed expenses, there’ll be a donation jar. Of course, attendees can order food and drink, "Dutch Treat." Servers will be on duty.

Leftover monies from the donation jar will be given to Lloyd’s family.

There’ll be music, too. I suppose what we need most at present is for all of you who may have crossed paths with Lloyd to gather photos for a display. Please send digital photo files to me at roger@newalbanian.com. These will be displayed as a slide show. We also can put traditional photographic prints on boards atop easels.

All this can be worked out in the coming weeks, so for now, assemble your memorabilia and let me know what you have. Graham is in constant contact with Lloyd's family, and of course we appreciate any further suggestions. Thanks.

Paul Etheridge announces mayoral bid, provides clues as to his target voter audience.

Competition undoubtedly is good. It would be interesting to me to hear Paul provide details to support the "ignored" assertion below, because I'm not sure it is accurate. Half of NABC is in Jaff Gahan's council district, just inside the beltway, and we don't feel ignored on the north side. If the Etheridge camp is reading -- can you elaborate, please?

By the way, what's your view on two-way street conversions downtown? Danke.
Etheridge says he plans to run for mayor of New Albany; Democrat says city needs new leadership, by Chris Morris (News and Tribune)

... He said he would also cut administrative costs, including the deputy mayor position, and maintain a balanced budget. While he supports the downtown area, he said other areas of New Albany have been ignored.

“All of their focus has been on the downtown. I’ve talked to a lot of business owners and they feel left out,” he said. “The downtown is important, but so are other businesses.”

"Out at Home."





"Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story" Is A Tragic Tale Worth Seeing, by Nico (Athletics Nation blog).

... since Glenn Burke came out to teammates and ownership in the late 1970s, no gay major league baseball player has come out -- not to teammates, not to owners, not to fans -- while he was still playing. And if you watched "Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story," aired this past Wednesday on CSN Bay Area and airing again next Tuesday night at 8:00pm on the same channel, you understand why gay athletes tend to keep their sexual orientation to themselves.

Good press for Artesia Fusion Bistro & Catering - but go and taste for yourself.

There's much good press for Artesia Fusion Bistro & Catering, which is located at 133 E. Market (across from the Grand and La Bocca). Mrs. Confidential joined me there for lunch last week, the place was packed, and the food was wonderful. Check it out.

Local tastes: Artesia touts local ingredients, innovative menu choices, by Daniel Suddeath, (News and Tribune).

The menu items can change almost daily, but the motivation from which Artesia Fusion Bistro & Catering derives its selections remains constant.

It’s all about staying local for the new restaurant, which features fresh produce and grass fed beef purchased from area farmers.
Also: New Albany restaurant owners have healthful vision; Open restaurant on Market Street, by Jenna Esarey (Courier-Journal).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lloyd has left us.

Lloyd Wimp died earlier this evening at his home after a long and brutal bout with the bastard known as cancer. No matter the situation, or the odds ... living, dying, and everywhere in between ... he never, ever stopped trying. Lloyd was one of my best friends, and I miss him already, painfully and intensely.

It is my understanding that there will be no funeral in the conventional sense. Rather, Lloyd asked that after he was gone, as many as possible of his friends come together to celebrate his life with an old-fashioned wake at the Public House. This we'll do, with bells on, and kegs of Guinness, food and plenty of bawdy stories, although probably not until just after Thanksgiving.

The blog will remain silent this weekend in the Highwayman's honor.

Lloyd, my brother, there just wasn't enough time. We'll do you proud. Goodbye.

Nash talks sense about bike lanes in New Albany.

Kudos, Matt.

NASH: Moving forward with bike lanes

... Bike lanes will add to the ability for everyone to remain safe but they only work if everyone is on the same page. Every one on the road must follow simple rules and proper etiquette no matter whether they are driving a Chevy or a Schwinn. Motor vehicles and bicycles each have certain rights and responsibilities. It is important that both groups follow the rules so that everyone gets to their destinations safely.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's deja vu all over again: "While Finn did not directly answer the question ... "

I am touched by the spirit of compromise, coming only a day after I publicly asked Jerry Finn to consider the possibility that Southern Indiana small business owners might have justifiable concerns, based on their own everyday experience, with various publicly minted proposals to toll Ohio River bridges long before ORBP construction ever commences.

Someone get the muzzle: Roger's spreading myths about bridge tolls again. Get him some of that Kool-Aid, fast.

Last night, playing his strange but by now sadly customary role as eager toter of Kerry Stemler's lunch pail, our myth-busting local Bridges Authority member confided the real numbers to Clark County's commissioners ... well, "real" insofar as wishful thinking is concerned.

"With tolls, I for one believe if it’s any more than a dollar a toll then we are in serious trouble ... Our hope is that it will be significantly less than that. I know $3 tolls would be devastating to this community.” Finn added that he would never vote for imposing a $3 toll for each trip.
You can't imagine how much better I feel today. It's Finn's hope that only $2 will be added to the price paid by Kentuckians for each pint of NABC beer. Certainly that's better than $6, in roughly the same way that suicide by kitchen oven takes slightly longer than a shot fired through the temple.
Clark County Commissioners say no tolls more than $1, by Braden Lammers (News and Tribune)

After previously delaying a decision on whether or not to approve a no toll resolution relating to the Ohio River Bridges Project, the Clark County Commissioners picked up the issue again at their meeting Wednesday night and ultimately passed a resolution supporting tolls as long as they don’t exceed $1 ...

... “I ask you not to pay attention to those who would want you to believe that this project would have a negative impact,” (Finn) said. “I also ask that you not let the negativity of a few guide your decision on the resolution that you’re talking about tonight ...

“ ... My concern is if they see all of these elected groups voting [for no toll] resolutions they’re going to say, ‘why should we invest the political capital as well as the financial capital in this project?’” (Finn) said of state officials from Kentucky and Indiana."
At least Paul Fetter wasn't bowing to the ricocheting bullshit of unelected officialdom. Yet again, Paul clearly stated the no-tolls case in a manner that Finn did not even try to refute, and won't, and essentially refuses to, and as time passes without so much as an attempted refutation, one must conclude irrevocably that the Bridges Authority truly has nothing to say other than to demand that we trust them as our betters.

Paul Fetter, local anti-toll representative and president of the Clark County Auto Auction, said any toll would hurt business on the Indiana side of the river.

“In the last 25 years we have made leaps and bounds to have our whole community to travel on both sides of the river freely,” he said. “If you start putting a toll up there you take freely right out of it. We cannot charge admission to come to Indiana.”

Fetter also said that imposing a toll of $1 or less would not be enough to pay back the loan needed to construct the project.

“You can’t pay the loan back charging $1 on all the bridges — it doesn’t figure,” he said. “Southern Indiana is going to be the victim of this multi-billion dollar hijacking.”
Hijacking. That's a wonderfully descriptive phrase, isn't it? Thanks, Paul.

Today's Tribune column: "Talking seventh inning blues.”

Beats me, but maybe Elton John's "Texan Love Song" should have been the seventh inning choice for World Series games played in the Lone Star State.

I heard from a friend you'd been messing around
With a cute little thing I'd been dating uptown
Well I don't know if I like that idea much
Well you'd better stay clear I might start acting rough


You out of town guys sure think you're real keen
Think all of us boys here are homespun and green
But that's wrong my friend so get this through your head
We're tough and we're Texan with necks good and red


So it's Ki yi yippie yi yi
You long hairs are sure gonna die
Our American home was clean till you came
And kids still respected the president's name


And the eagle still flew in the sky
Hearts filled with national pride
Then you came along with your drug-crazy songs
Goddamit you're all gonna die


How dare you sit there and drink all our beer
Oh it's made for us workers who sweat spit and swear
The minds of our daughters are poisoned by you
With your communistic politics and them negro blues


Well I'm gonna quit talking and take action now
Run all of you fairies clean out of this town
Oh I'm dog tired of watching you mess up our lives
Spending the summertime naturally high


It ain't Irving Berlin, and it ain't even Woody Guthrie, and yet for a couple of Englishmen, it aptly summarizes the problem. Here's today's column.

BAYLOR: Talking seventh inning blues

... It is instructive to remember that during World War II, the United States (a democracy — of sorts) aligned with a hereditary monarchy (Great Britain) and the USSR’s Communist gulag against the military aggression of Germany, Italy and Japan. Such was the greater threat perceived in fascism.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Someone get the muzzle: Roger's spreading myths about bridge tolls again. Get him some of that Kool-Aid, fast.

(I write today as a private citizen, blogger and business owner, perhaps not in that order, but decidedly not as a community organizer or a member of the Brewers of Indiana Guild. I wouldn’t want to get in trouble or anything, like back in elementary school when you just knew one of them was going to snitch on you, but you didn’t know which one would do it. Note that a version of this essay likely will be submitted as next week’s Tribune column, although I can’t decide whether to edit the facts or the vitriol for readers who won’t be able to tell the difference between them.)

I’ll begin with an earnest confession.

In all seriousness, I’m neither the best nor the worst small business owner on the planet.

I have my moments, but overall, my ranking probably falls somewhere in the middle, and justifiably so. Teaching, selling and living good beer are the aspects of my work that I love the most, and other “minor” details sometimes elude me. So be it. The NABC ownership troika tends to work because in most cases, each of us has a particular strength that balances weaknesses in the others.

After just shy of two decades spent in my current line of work, it is my observation that few matters are black and white. However, one periodically experiences pristine clarity, and I can state with certainty that the following propositions surely are applicable.

1. While never foregoing an opportunity to market and to educate consumers in our own Southern Indiana backyards, NABC’s intended mandate as a small, niche-oriented destination business always has implied a sharp focus on marketing to the huge numbers of potential customers living in Kentucky.

2. Basic demographics justify this approach. For reasons that extend beyond price, better beer is a “higher end” product. Based on population alone, more members of the target demographic – higher income, better education, more extensive travel and life experience – live in Kentucky than Indiana. These people live in Indiana, too. It’s just that greater numbers of them live in Kentucky. In larger or smaller measure, it is reasonable to posit that the same is true for other small businesses in Southern Indiana.

3. Marketing to the Kentucky demographic has never been very easy, not because these nearby consumers misunderstand the message, but primarily owing to ancestral assumptions and clannish prejudices of the sort that people who don’t live along liquid borders cannot ever truly understand. Those who are not engaged on a daily basis in bricks and mortar retailing might dismiss these intangibles as merely apocryphal, but they’re far from imaginary to those who actually occupy the retailing trenches on a day to day basis.

4. Consequently, and precisely because I’ve been doing my job for as long as I have, I believe I’ve compiled sufficient accumulated knowledge about NABC’s consumer base to know that much of it comes from Kentucky. I am vindicated by this knowledge. It is gratifying to know that a plan of action patiently pursued over a long period of years has been proven worthy, and has come to fruition in such a fashion.

5. Whether proposed tolls on existing Ohio River bridges amount to a quarter or $3 each way, the amount absolutely will constitute an increase in the price of Hoosier goods and services for Kentuckians who must drive across toll bridges to the Indiana side. Unlike Hoosiers crossing the river to Kentucky to work, who’ll have no choice except to pay, this increase on the price of goods and services will be entirely discretionary, in the sense that Kentuckians can choose to forego the trip, refrain from crossing the bridge, stay at home, and spend their discretionary income in Kentucky.

6. Because of my experience as a small business owner and operator, as carefully explained in the preceding, I can see quite clearly that tolling existing bridges is going hurt my business, and dearly. Furthermore, it is reasonable to posit that the mere mention of tolling as an option will have a measurable influence on consumer behavior, one also detrimental to my business. Moreover, it is reasonable to posit that if it hurts my business, it will hurt others in my approximate market position just as badly.

7. If all this weren’t serious, it would be hilarious.

I’ve done exactly what the experts at organizations like 1Si demand a businessman do, gathering information, planning strategies, and over time, seeing these strategies succeed.

Now, with a stock of relevant information, knowledge and experience that is pertinent to an important matter in the public interest, there has arisen a segment of the community intent either to ignore me outright, or to insist loud and long that what I’ve learned isn’t true – that the public always should trust business persons to know what’s good for them, but only until Roger opens his big mouth, at which point we can scoff at him for hidden agendas and Communist leanings, and delete him if necessary.

To put it mildly, it strikes me as ironic that ever since I began raising these objections about how tolls will impact small retail businesses in Southern Indiana, people who are not in bricks and mortar retail sales … people who have not spent two decades marketing their businesses as destinations for a customer base living in Kentucky … people who are not in small retail business at all, and never have been … roll their eyes and look at the clouds whenever I suggest that maybe, just maybe, small business owners in Southern Indiana might actually know what’s good and bad for them in terms of bridge tolls, and because these owners and operators know the score, they can see that there can be no good for small businesses to come from tolling existing bridges.

People just like Jerry Finn, Horseshoe Foundation head and Bridges Authority member, an otherwise nice and jovial fellow, who two days ago implied that my viewpoint about tolling is a myth and needs to be debunked.

That brand of Bridges Authority Kool-Aid is powerful stuff, indeed.

In other words, a man who has no idea what it’s like to run my business, and who is in no way responsible for attracting a pre-chosen demographic to come and spend money at his retail establishment, since he does not have one, is bizarrely compelled to shrug, to posture, and to dismiss my concerns about the impact of tolling on the discretionary spending habits of Kentuckians, observations gathered over a period of twenty years, these twenty years spent accumulating evidence of consumer behavior gleaned every single day when the “open” sign went on.

That’s doubly laughable because in 2009, when NABC became the first local company to avail itself of the $50,000 Horseshoe Foundation revolving loan, we were approved by the Foundation’s dubious partner in outsourcing applications, no doubt in part because of our inspiring history as a company, this successful application seeming to indicate approval and tacit endorsement of our business savvy. But nowadays, Roger suddenly has no idea what he’s saying, and worse, he’s spreading incantations and myth throughout the community.

Woe is us. Best muzzle the dude, and fast.

And yet: Throughout Finn’s theatrics, and amid the ham-fisted diversionary tactics of his colleagues, has the Bridges Authority or anyone else connected with them (hint: One Southern Indiana) even once produced an economic impact statement purporting to study in detail an unsavory phenomenon that my small business and others might well be forced to endure sooner rather than later, namely, the imposition by an unelected governmental appendage of a toll which indisputably acts in pure daily reality as a tax, one that absolutely and undeniably will have the practical effect of raising the cost of goods and services to my clientele across the river?

Surely this well-dressed, well-financed, well-bred committee, a veritable cross-section of purely unelected community respectability (does it contain a single small business owner?), has commissioned such a study.

Surely this study proves me wrong, because why else would the Authority be so quick and smug in brushing aside concerns of those like me who actually are working, running a business, right here on the ground and in the trenches?

Because, gee whiz, there’s just no way the Authority would proceed with its blithe, facile reassurances that a post-tolling metro area will be peaches and cream for me and mine without some sort of hard evidence to fall back on, right?

That’s crazily unimaginable, isn’t it?

Unless, of course, the Bridges Authority, 1Si and all the various ambitious politicians hitching their Conestogas to St. Daniels’ future electoral champagne supernova have known from the start that tolls actually are going to hurt their fellow Hoosiers, both working commuters and small business owners.

Unless they’ve always known and don’t care, having convinced themselves that the evangelical zeal of the bridges project trumps every other human concern, and expect that Hoosiers will be good little pliable creatures to be patted on the head, happily willing to appease their betters, and taking the economic hit for the greater good of Kerry Stemler’s financial empire.

If so, and if Southern Indiana small businesses will be asked to serve as sacrificial pawns in what amounts to a form of eminent domain removal, that’s just fine with me as long as St. Daniels buys me the (expletive deleted) out.

Isn’t that what government does during eminent domain proceedings?

They buy you the (expletive deleted) out, and get you out of the way, right?

Cool beans. I am soooooo there.

Once I’ve been bought out, I finally will have ample free time to advise Jerry Finn on how to run his foundation – not that I’ve ever done it, or know anything about it, but hey, it’s a free country, right? I can know just by looking … after a healthy draught of Kool-Aid.

(It’s a free country, except when you’re crossing a bridge that was paid off thirty years ago.)

Me? I’m more than eager to play my role, and I know when to fold up and cash out. I’m willing to shut the (expletive deleted) up, and to gratefully attend the show trial press conference, admitting tearfully that I know nothing at all about my business, never did, not once cared about the greater good, and in my stubborn refusal to release my soul from its shackles, was unwilling to accept Rep. Clere’s kind, selfless offer of conversion to the gospel of St. Daniels, thus assisting in his angling for a better job further up the ladder once a Hoosier is installed in the White House.

What was I thinking? The shame! Yes, I deserve the public humiliation. Twenty years of work, and I learned nothing about business, nothing at all, not even whose butt to kiss and when to kiss it.

Just add a couple million to the bridges price tag, guys, and I’m the (expletive deleted) outta here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Without a doubt, the best thing I've seen in a year.

From Riverbank Neighbors, Pete Leki, and Bobby Sutton:

How To Disappear

"The 3/50 Project: Saving the Brick and Mortars Our Nation Is Built On."

We've posted it here before, but reminders never hurt (thanks Gary):

The 3/50 Project: Saving the Brick and Mortars Our Nation Is Built On

With the election mercifully concluded, I'm returning to the notion of Buy Local and Independent Local Business movements. Many others already have been working on these ideas, and we're all hoping to bring people and ideas together, and get a ball rolling. Response has been good over the past couple days. I'll try to keep the blogosphere informed here, although I suspect shortly we'll have the requisite Facebook site with more information.

Congratulations, VetteMan, this is your li(f)e.

Readers who bothered to scan through the many comments attached to a recent post-election thread will recognize VetteMan, a screen name used by a local coward to take Roger and I to task over our supposed hypocrisy concerning One Southern Indiana. Lacking the decency to be accountable for his jabs, he reminded us (again) that he doesn't work for 1Si and is just a business person who has happily used their services, relating that the additional 1SI information he presented came from a Vice President of the organization whose name he couldn't share either, because he didn't get permission.

What he conveniently and predictably failed to mention, of course, is that getting a Vice President's permission would've been relatively simple- as simple as rolling over in bed and asking her, since he's married to a 1Si VP.

The member service jokes are just too easy, but at least now we know of whom he's personally afraid.

Stand-up comic Denschak relief.

I suspect it's a problem in other municipalities, too. The purity of genuine civic accomplishment must be eternally subsidiary to making sure proper "credit" is dispensed, presumably for future political gain -- although Monday morning giggles are important, too.

So, hop aboard the crazy train for a quiet spin down Main Street, as we begin another week curating the Open Air Museum of Ignorance, Superstition and Backwardness, and prepping for next year's electoral shenanigans.

VALLA ANN 6 - ENGLAND 2.....

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Books, Criminals and Bicycles: A personal update for LafayetteWeAreHere, or whatever.

Sometimes I use the blog to write notes to myself, and this is one of them.

In deference to my fans, I'll endeavor to keep these personal thoughts out of the weekly Tribune column, although I have yet to formulate a plan for this week's effort. Fortunately, the quarterly "Food & Dining" piece almost is finished. I await an e-mail with answers to a question or two, and I can put that one to bed.

Meanwhile, I'm reading Jonathan Franzen's novel, "Freedom," and enjoying it immensely. This may be why I've gotten no work done this weekend -- although last night's interlude at Bank Street Brewhouse absorbed a few hours, too. The firm, meaty John Dory fish with fingerling potatoes and mushrooms, washed down with Tunnel Vision, was sublime, as was the company.

Another reason: Yesterday's screening at Baxter Avenue Theatres of 4192: The Crowning of The Hit King, a hagiographic, revisionist, fluff piece of a "documentary" about baseball player Pete Rose that compelled me to being making bullet lists of the many pertinent facts omitted, including serial gambling, indefinite expulsion from baseball, exclsuion from the Hall of Fame owing to tne preceding, imprisonment for tax evasion, use of a corked bat, and a central tackiness of character second only to Elvis in the annals of misplaced America hero worship.

Two tickets cost $13.50, a sum better spent for alcohol of any grade. In related news, I learned that after forty years, I still heartily detest Pete Rose.

Three days after crashing my bicycle on dry keaves (the indignity), my left wrist and right knee remained sore, so I went out and stuck 45 km on the year's tote board, which put me past 5,500 km bicycling for 2010. The goal is 6,000, and an average of 500 km a month for my 50th birthday year. There's time, and then, in January, it starts again. But Edison Pena ... whoa.

Books, criminals, bicycles ... their cerebral stimulation is dedicated to fascist fighters everywhere. Concurrently, a new theme is emerging since Tuesday's debacle, one with multitudinous impact on next year's city elections.

The enemy of my enemy truly is my friend.

Our friend. I'm going to see if I can finish that book. Later.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Here's one we missed: "G'town says 'no' to tolls."

It's where I grew up. Can Rep. Clere and St. Daniels take away Georgetown's sewers for such childish impertinence?

G'town says 'no' to tolls, by Lee Cable (Clarion)

... "The town board determined that it is not good policy to exact tools on a daily basis for Southern Indiana residents whose livelihood depends on a job in Kentucky," said Jim Reynolds, public works director for the town, who attended the meeting. "The Interstate bridges serve regional and national interests, so funding should not be from local commuters."

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ancient Rage, garlic and some kippers ...

Just for those who've been enduring our Twitter conversations ...

Friday potpourri.

Today has been a good day for cyber-housekeeping, as I'm only partially ambulatory after wrecking my bicycle yesterday and taking a solid pavement hit to the knee. Damned leaves.

Being a leg man, King Larry will be happy to know that I still look mighty good in tights. He'd surely notice a bit of swelling ... and also some in my knee.

I've shifted my personal @newalbanian Twitter feed from Potable Curmudgeon to NA Confidential, and replaced it at the beer blog with @nabcnews. This makes more sense, because I tend to tweet about local affairs and politics.

I've also posted a ton of past trip photos at Potable Curmudgeon Inc., my travel/consultancy Facebook page. My proposed 2011 trips: In late June or early July, Bamberg Beercycling (Northern Bavaria), and then in September, Belgian Beer Hunting via motorcoach, including the hop fest in Poperinge. Each will be 7-8 day durations, minimum, and details are forthcoming as I get to them.

I'm rethinking NAC's modified anonymity clause. It strikes me as ridiculous that while Jeff and I possess the cojones to risk "reprisals" (really?) and "damage" to our interests merely by signing our names to what we write, others can take advantage of their fundamental cowardice to lob inanities. Contrary to what these intellectual vandals believe, I highly value discussion held on a level playing field. However, let there be one pseudonymous participant, and it becomes unfair to the ones with genuine integrity. Cowardice cheapens the dialogue. There'll be no "outing," but there may be a change come December 31.

There might be more, but I'm breaking for a beer.

Develop New Albany silent as tolling Machiavellians giggle.

A couple months back, I asked Develop New Albany's president if the organization, which I once happily served as board member, would be taking a stand on tolling existing bridges to finance the ORBP boondoggle. He said it would.

I'm waiting, Mike.

It is my belief that given the Ohio River's historic role as wall between communities on each side, tolls will devastate small businesses on the Indiana shore. There will be an immediate decline in discretionary traffic from Kentucky to Indiana (how many Hoosier have little choice but to work in Kentucky?), and even if the decline reverses itself over time, the damage already will be done.

As noted many times previously, I have dedicated my life in small business to the establishment of some movement that will unite the metro area and bring Kentucky money to Indiana, not just to my own business, but to Indiana, period.

The single most insulting phenomenon about the high-powered wagons circling around the boondoggle's outmoded, solution-for-yesterday imperative is that not a soul in favor of tolls will considered my objection, that tolling will cripple small businesses in Indiana, publicly.

Not Clere, not Grooms, not Dalby, not Stemler, not Saint Daniels, not the Bridges Authority. Not a single one of the suits are willing to discuss this aloud with someone like me ... but in their eagerness to prattle about business, and to glorify people in business ... well, I fit that description. Don't I have sufficient sweat equity as a businessman to ask as much? Isn't two decades in business enough to get a seat at their table, to not to be deleted, ignored and spat upon? To not be patronizingly treated like a child?

Isn't it, Ed Clere?

Mike Kopp, are you there somewhere?

I assumed DNA would find the topic interesting. Wouldn't you? DNA damned well should be considering the prospective blow to downtown revitalization from tolling, don't you think? Isn't it why DNA is a Main Street organization in the first place? To protect, to defend, to be a collective voice?

Am I asking too many difficult questions of an organization whose silence now appears little more than meek, tacit support of the shifty dissembling and the blatant lies about tolling (it isn't in the plan; it won't be that bad; shut up and respect your betters) that we can clearly see, three days after the election, to be as obvious as the noses on our faces?

Maybe noses are not evident when blinders are required wearing. I find it shameful, and once again, glaring evidence of NAC's observation that in the absence of principled action, "behind the scenes" diplomacy and polite posturing are little more than the muffled death rattles of the doomed.

You are in the process of being sold down a tolled river. Can we at least detect a pulse before the lemmings are herded over the edge?

Anyone?