Monday, February 28, 2011

A Candidate's Progress (1): Wet feet and strategy.

Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
-- Elbert Hubbard

It’s always a good idea to test new material before a live barroom audience, and so in the ten days since I filed to run for city council at-large, there have been numerous rehearsals undertaken with cool, challenging Progressive Pints firmly in hand.

And why not? Habitats and goals occasionally intertwine. There was a period in American history when the pub was the most ideal place for a stirring stump speech, and you must admit there is a certain economy to scheduling campaign stops not only where voters congregate, but where I spend much of my free time, anyway. If I began materializing at church functions, you can easily imagine the incredulous reaction, which would be justified.

Or, to be more succinct: I’m 50 years old, lived and written a largely public life, and there’s no use trying to kid anyone. As for all the wonderful things that political aspirants cite by rote as justification for electing them to office, some of them probably apply to me, too, and overall, I’ve had my moments, but somewhere hidden within several hundred thousands words belched into the record over a quarter century awaits the perfect phrase for hoisting me on my own petard.

I’ve been remarkably distant from the concept of kissing babies, and dating back to my younger, hormonal years, numerous locals have witnessed episodes of boorishness and misbehavior, often fueled by alcohol. More recently, I publicly referred to another current candidate as a lying bitch and was quoted (though not refuted, natch) in the newspaper. Nope, can’t say I didn’t know what I was doing, refrained from inhaling, or was victimized by Satanic possession.

Consequently, there’s little use either denying or worrying about any of it. The best way to proceed is to be myself, because it’s both the easiest and least stressful way, although strangely, what is proving to be fractionally harder is briefly summarizing a platform, one built to withstand the sort of criticism the likes of which I’d be the very first to level against it were the shoes on other feet.

As this series of ruminations unfolds in the coming weeks, I’ll make it to the goal of defining specific platform planks. However, first there is the task of answering the basic,, beginning question of why on earth I want to occupy a seat at the council table.

To answer it, let’s begin with negations. I’m not doing it because of political ambition, or out of boredom. I’m not doing it for the money, or because “government should be run like a business” and the accompanying truism that all businessmen automatically qualify to prove the axiom; the cult of adoration for business people is what One Southern Indiana worships, not me, even though I am one.

Finally, I’m not doing it because attending those many council meetings for almost eight years as a blogging spectator has convinced me of how easy it is, and how much better I am than previous (and current) contestants.

Rather, I’m running for council out of the simple conviction, one shaped from all these experiences, both good and bad, that New Albany has considerable potential and can do far better as a city if it possesses a legislative body itself capable of performing at a higher level.

Precisely because life in the 21st century is complex, it isn’t enough to abuse and hector the skilled and knowledgeable, as has so often been the reaction of past councils to unfamiliar ideas and new ways of thinking. These must be embraced, sorted through, and applied to solving problems.

All of it applies to me as much as it does the city and the actions (or non-actions) of others. I’ve denounced the dysfunction, but too often participated in it. That’ll have to change, too, and I know it. It is my belief that when humans stop thinking, they might as well die. There’ll be much inner renovation to accompany the rest, and I look forward to the challenge.

There’ll be much more to say about this. For now, know that while I wouldn’t undertake to run a less than “serious” campaign, at the same time, I’m the judge of what is and is not serious as these considerations apply to my chosen mode of campaigning. To know me is to know that I thoroughly enjoy teaching, laughing, experiencing and learning. This is going to be fun, or it isn’t going to “be” at all.

Time is scarce, and tactics will have to be improvisational and “guerrilla”, which works for me, since word of mouth has been just about the only form of advertising that my company’s ever been able to afford since 1992, when we began doing the supposedly “impossible” and luring spending Kentuckians to Indiana via as-yet non-tolled Ohio River bridges.

Wait … there might be a platform plank there … what’s good for small business, what’s bad, buying local and attracting visitors … let me get to work on these, okay?

What is the brand, who does the branding, and other necessary questions.

I attended the branding meeting last week at the YMCA, and there'll be more to say on this proposal, although for now, let's concede that while branding downtown is a good and desirable idea, the way this most recent best branding plan has come to fruition raises numerous red flags, as so often been the case in such matters.

What's the brand? Is it referencing price point, lifestyle, multi-cultural? What's the definition of downtown? Who gets to play? Why this marketing firm and not that other one? Is it for independent businesses, chains or both? Are ads on bus stops in Louisville really reaching the chosen target audience? What is the chosen target audience? Why not Columbus or Indianapolis? Why not all the people in Floyd County who still don't know downtown exists?

And: Why not ask the intended beneficiaries first, rather than permit the proposal to trickle down to them?

It's the same argument I recently conveyed to planners at One Southern Indiana, which after remaining uninvolved for so long when it comes to local independent small business, has elected to randomly choose one marketing program out of many to tout (3/50), then feed it to the intended recipients from the top down: Here's your medicine, and leave bridge tolls out of it. All well intended and good, but not a strategy calculated to involved businesses.

The simple fact is that for the entire time I served on Develop New Albany's volunteer board (2006-2010), our officially chartered Main Street organization consistently took a hands-off approach to economic development in the context downtown businesses, preferring to interface via an intermediary in the form of a loosely organized merchants circle.

Now it is 2011, the going's marginally better, and more than a few small businesses on the ground have done some (probably much) of the heavy lifting in terms of financial necks on chopping blocks, which is as it should be.

Now, in 2011, in swoops a specific marketing firm (nothing against Dudgeon, but couldn't this have been a "bidding" arrangement?) with a specific marketing proposal.

Now in an election year the funding magically appears, almost certainly emanating primarily from the city and the UEZ, and voila! At long last, downtown marketing ... but, alas, from the top down, not from the bottom up.

(For Paul and the other Young Turks at DNA, heaven knows I understand you're working very hard to accomplish something, and please don't take any of this as a rebuff to your efforts. You are the future. I'm not expressing knee-jerk opposition here, just asking questions that need to be asked so that the general reading public can consider them. These things always seem to occur to a predetermined cadence, and we need to ask why.)

Conspicuously absent from these proceedings is New Albany First, perhaps the only example in recent memory of an organization embracing all applicable businesses within the city limits, one choosing to gradually evolve from something approximating genuine grassroots consensus, with the stated object of creating an independent business association and implementing "buy local" marketing efforts.

Yes, there is an admirable degree of togetherness to be praised whenever DNA, UEZ and the city combine forces. At the same time, wouldn't it be better to have had -- to still have -- everyone at a table so that we can sort through these many organizations and proposals, and come up with a policy that reflects a higher standard of unity?

To be fair, this applies to 1Si, too. Although I opposed it, the council gave a monetary stipend to 1Si, and 1Si is indicating that it wants to give some of it back by backing the 3/50 scheme. The point it, there are five or six organizations interested in aspects of the same objective. Can't they all come together, divide the labor, and let the actual businesses being branded receive collective "credit" rather than the identity of the umbrella itself?

Sorry. I just had to ask.
Advertising blitz would tout downtown New Albany businesses; Develop New Albany, UEZ and city partnering on promotion, by Daniel Suddeath (One Southern Indiana Newspaper)

Two New Albany organizations are collaborating with the city to fund an advertising campaign focused on branding the downtown entertainment district.

Develop New Albany announced Wednesday it will partner with the city and the New Albany Urban Enterprise Zone to cross promote local restaurants and retailers possibly as early as March.

The entities have pledged a total of $30,000 toward the $40,000 project, which will be administered through the New Albany marketing firm Dudgeon & Company.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Making S**t Happen at GoDaddy.com," and other famous campaign slogans.

It's what you get when you cross mayoral candidate Irv Stumler's tag phrase with the material currently on his web site, which actually leads nowhere.


Can't that GoDaddy dude just run for mayor and cut out the superannuated middle man?

Why political yard signs?

It didn't take long for Professor Erika to be victimized ... again.

As Chris Morris reported last Thursday, 1st district council candidate Vicki Denhart says that someone is stealing her signs; specifically, gone missing from Padgett-owned property (an entirely legal sign placement scenario, as opposed to the signs soon to be sprouting from the verges, which are city-owned rights-of-way) is a sign the size of this one:

As I try to imagine how a conniving Cappuccino-laden Copperhead snake might shake and slither such a sign to the ground -- perhaps it was merely ingested whole and swallowed -- permit this observation: We seem to be witnessing a veritable "arms race" when it comes to political signage sizes. Moreover, a Tribune website comment on the Denhart story hones in on the real point with admirable force:

jimgray wrote:

How bout NO SIGNS. I'm personally sick of seeing the proliferation of yard size signs on every available corner, right-of-way and telephone pole. Just about every possible profession, lawn services, cement purveyors, Nanny providers, groomers and yes, politicians place these signs any and everywhere. Nothing but visual pollution as far as i'm concerned.

Can't really steal a sign that's not there.
Bravo to that. I've always believed that the majority of illegally placed signs, as described by jimgray, constitutes street spam -- ripe for citizen's arrest and removal. Private property is another matter; in the absence of codes governing such placement, the ugliness must be tolerated. So it goes.

But we're missing the real issue: Why is visual pollution so enduring a component of political campaigns hereabouts? Has a yard sign every voted? Is there any reason to believe that hundreds of signs stacked atop each other at major intersections do anything except obstruct the view and cuase accidents?

The whole thing is idiotic. Consider the effusive irony of my receiving a postcard last week from Sampan, the Utica printing firm owned by folks who wouldn't consider voting for an unreconstructed leftist like me in one or more thousand years. In its first-ever known mailing to my address, Sampan asks me to consider buying Jumbo Yard Signs. I'm guessing this is because I'm now in a political race, and having filed, the very first thing I must do is blanket the landscape with trash.

Perhaps I must. Must I? Candidate Denhart claims to have already spent $1,200 on yard signs. I'd be tempted to ask how a low-paying city council seat could possibly be worth that much money, except that it's a question she herself generally places in the mouth of her alter ego, Erika, and uses to pillory her opponents.

The ironies are proliferating, too. Unfortunately, they may be the only things that grow here on the flood plain.

I can just use the back side of Erika's signs.


Gravity Head rest (?) day, and kudos for Chef Josh and his crew at BSB.

There's been this little celebration going on called Gravity Head, and it tends to be intense. I don't want to miss a chance to thank NABC's staff for their labors, because without them, it cannot be done.

Also, with the inevitable emphasis on the Pizzeria & Public House during Gravity Head, it's a good time to remember the crew at Bank Street Brewhouse, where critical mass is being achieved in record time: A day of rest, or perhaps not. Either way, BSB is open for Sunday business.

On a fully related note, here is a blog link to good press by freelancer Steve Coomes:

Thanks, Chef Josh: Praise for Bank Street Brewhouse in Louisville Magazine and Insider Louisville.

The rebirth of downtown New Albany is well underway, specifically its restaurant population. There have always been a handful of small cafes and seedy dives in the area, but with the addition of Bank Street came Toast on Market, Wick’s Pizza and several other truly respectable spots that make the drive from Louisville worthwhile. Much like my wife and I do on Bardstown Road, you could plan to stay several hours, park your car and hop between bars and restaurants, nibbling and noshing as you go.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nash: "Bridges project — more than a numbers game."

Kudos to Matt for deconstructing the propaganda -- again. We keep pitching 'em, and the Bridges Authority keeps missing 'em. And yet clueless newly enshrined luminaries like Ron Grooms continue to tie themselves in knots to appease the Stemlerite oligarchs, going so far as to insisting that removing his own legislative input actually enhances it (Indiana may allow tolls without approval). Say what, Ron? George Orwell would have gotten a kick out of you. At least Ed Clere obeys his orders with some degree of panache.

Neither the Bridges Authority nor Ron Grooms has any clothes ... and that's scary. Let Matt explain ...
NASH: Bridges project — more than a numbers game, by Matt Nash

... Last week Floyd County’s
GOP Chairman Dave Matthews finally broke his silence and gave an in-depth report based on one side of the argument. It seems that he was invited to a Rotary Club of New Albany lunch which featured members of the Bridges Authority extolling the virtues of their project and how great it will be for our region. He gave a “by the numbers” report of what he heard, which is fine, but here are a few numbers of mine.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm confused, but not as confused as Ron Grooms.

We relayed a report from Lesley Stedman Weidenbener earlier this week that State Senator Ron Grooms voted on Tuesday in favor of Senate Bill 473, which suspends the state legislature's approval authority over toll roads, allowing the State Department of Transportation to enter into governor-approved financial and building plans with only the State Budget Committee having oversight.

If the bill passes the House, Grooms and the legislature will be restricted to the sidelines of any tolling deal made on the Ohio River Bridges Project before July 1, 2015, when approval authority for a few select projects, including the bridges, would transfer back to the legislature. No legislative vote will occur, regardless of the toll amount or the bridges included.

However, when a constituent asked Grooms about voting for tolls on his Facebook page Wednesday, Grooms replied that he has not voted for tolls and "will not vote for any amount that creates an undue hardship on areas residents."



Does Grooms honestly not understand that he gave up any say in the matter for the next few years? Is he just using Facebook to say what he thinks people want to hear? Is he just hoping to skate on a semantic technicality since he will indeed not be voting on tolls any time soon, one way or the other?

The bill synopsis states:

Various transportation issues. Permits, without legislative recognition, the location of certain tollways, converting part of I-69 to a tollway, issuing requests for proposals, and entering into a public-private agreement for certain highway projects until July 1, 2015.


The actual bill states:

(a) Subject to subsection (e), the governor must approve the location of any tollway.
(b) The department may, in any combination, plan, design, develop, construct, reconstruct, maintain, repair, police, finance, and operate tollways, public improvements, and arterial streets and roads at those locations that the governor approves.



The referenced subsection (e) states:

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, the governor, the department, or an operator may not carry out any of the following activities under this chapter unless the general assembly enacts a statute authorizing that activity:
(1) This subdivision does not apply before July 1, 2015. Approve the location of a tollway, other than:
____(A) Interstate Highway 69 between Interstate Highway 64 and a city having a population of more than eleven thousand five hundred (11,500) but less than eleven thousand seven hundred forty (11,740);
____(B) the Illiana Expressway, a limited access facility connecting Interstate Highway 65 in northwestern Indiana with an interstate highway in Illinois; or
____(C) a project that is located within a metropolitan planning area (as defined by 23 U.S.C. 134) and that connects the state of Indiana with the commonwealth of Kentucky.
(2) Carry out construction for Interstate Highway 69 in a township having a population of more than seventy-five thousand (75,000) and less than ninety-three thousand five hundred (93,500).
(3) Impose tolls on motor vehicles for use of the part of an interstate highway that connects a consolidated city and a city having a population of more than eleven thousand five hundred (11,500) but less than eleven thousand seven hundred forty (11,740).


The bolding of "does not apply before July 1, 2015" is the state's, not mine. It was apparently added by the Senate Committee on Appropriations before being approved by the full Senate. A screen shot of the quoted text is below. Click to enlarge.



The entire bill is here.

Two other items worth noting:

1. As mentioned in the synopsis, this bill also authorizes public-private partnerships for certain highway projects with no legislative approval required.

2. Senator Jim Smith (R-Charlestown) tried unsuccessfully to to amend the bill to refocus on the East End bridge and protect Indiana revenue in the event that an additional downtown bridge is constructed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

All the information for Gravity Head 2011, starting on Friday at the NABC Pizzeria & Public House.

The Gravity Head 2011 fan voting has concluded, and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA edged out Brugge Brasserie Quadripple to occupy the 17th starting slot.

As an added bonus, we'll be tapping a 1/6 barrel of Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout for tomorrow morning's 7:00 a.m. Public House opening and the annual "tailgate" breakfast. Here's a reprise of the links compendium:

Try to understand:
Wednesday Weekly: "What Tyrone Slothrop has to do with Gravity's Head."

Download the program:
Here's the .pdf link to the Daily Gravity Form!

Vote for the final starter:
16 Gravity Head starters named -- vote now for the 17th and final opening day selection.

Know the starting lineup:
Starting lineup for Gravity Head 2011: "A Stacked Deck is Gravity’s Rainbow."

Read the fixed schedule:
Gravity Head 2011: Schedule of Events.

Get a ride home on the 25th:
Enjoy Gravity Head 2011 and help Matt and Amy jump into the river to benefit the Special Olympics.

View the whole 2011 listed roster:
Will the 55 chosen Gravity Head participants please roll forward?

See the 2011 artwork:
Tony's logo for Gravity Head Thirteen: A Stacked Deck is Gravity's Rainbow.

Three Floyds rocks:
Gravity Head 2011 takes on a decidedly 3 Floydsian feel.

Who'll darn Kerry Stemler's socks, dust his shelves and make decaf coffee?

It feels very strange, and also giddily liberating, to awaken on a Thursday morning and not immediately post a blog link to my Tribune column. As you know, it has been placed on a shelf in Limboland (a gated community somewhere within the Open Air Museum) while I “campaign” for a city council seat, which reminds me:

Has anyone seen my clown suit?

Speaking of One Southern Indiana, an as usual, my colleague (and campaign manager) Jeff hits the sweet spot over at Facebook:

"Irony Alert ... Columbus Chamber of Commerce study says downtown development and increased public transit are primary strategies to attract and retain talent. I wonder if Michael Dalby will call them delusional on his first day?”

One Southern Indiana chief to resign; Michael Dalby takes similar position in Columbus, Ohio, by David A. Mann (News and Tribune)

Michael Dalby, president and CEO of economic development agency One Southern Indiana, announced he is leaving for a similar position in Columbus, Ohio.
The fact is, he might not. When the symphony cuts your check, you play waltzes by Strauss; at Ryman, it’s the pedal steel.

Over the course of the past five years, as we've jousted early and often with 1Si's imported Texan, it has occasionally forgotten that professional front men are precisely that.

The problem here in Southern Indiana never was Dalby. It isn’t 1Si’s staff, either, many of whom know better. Rather, it was (and remains) the shadowy backroom oligarchs like Kerry Stemler, whose only known stock in trade is familiar, extractive strategies for wealth accumulation, which lead us to $4 billion bridges projects, municipalities footing air conditioning bills for billion dollar multi-nationals, and economic "development" interests playing footsie with the fundamentalist Ayatollahs at ROCK.

If ever there were a case to be made for people power, it is here and now in Southern Indiana. Unfortunately, Dalby used exactly the right word in the wrong context when he uttered his never-to-be-forgotten reference to "delusional." It's going to take a while for us to reason with the chickens who insist that voting for Colonel Sanders, Ron Grooms and Mitch Daniels is a good idea, but if I didn't believe it could be done, we'd be off for exile in Madison, Wisconsin. As the Edge once noted:

Now kings will rule and the poor will toil
And tear their hands as they tear the soil
But a day will come in this dawning age
When an honest man sees an honest wage

Or, as I wrote last night after four pints of progressive justice, bear in mind that the sad white men voting the fundamentalist oligarch's party line in Indianapolis will not succeed in reversing history. Demographics will out. Sorry Ed, sorry Ron. It's all over.

I'll say this for Dalby: Even when the rhetoric was at its most florid, I could always have a conversation with him. I wish him well in Ohio. Next time I’m in Columbus, I honestly hope it’s possible to meet with him and chat. He can even watch me drink for a while.

It’ll be fun, and maybe I won’t have to drive.

Better to ask: Does he ever vote Democratic, anyway?

Not when it comes to the family obsession with tolling, or his vote against human rights (i.e., same sex marriage). I've asked here before, and I'll ask again: Exactly how is Rep. Steve Stemler a Democrat in the first place, apart from stated affiliation? All this self-serving prattle about doing a job; dude, just switch parties and get it over with.

House Democrat out of step with party walkout; Rep. Steve Stemler says ‘if you take a job you better show up, by Maureen Hayden, CNHI

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No wonder he wouldn't answer: Grooms votes for tolls, against legislative approval.

After joining cowardly compatriot State Representative Ed Clere in refusing to address tolling on Ohio River Bridges during the election cycle, State Senator Ron Grooms voted yesterday to give tolling authority to a five-member state panel, requiring no further legislative review or approval.

While campaigning, Grooms promised, "When the financial plan is complete and the tolls issue is presented with facts and information, I will offer my opinion. I will act in the best interest of the citizens of my district. I will not encourage a project that puts a hardship on our local citizens."

So much for that. The financial plan isn't complete, Grooms has no idea what hardships are headed his constituents' way, and it's apparently his opinion that they don't deserve direct representation in the matter regardless of what they might be.

And as if that wasn't enough damage for one day, Grooms also voted to limit collective bargaining for teachers and to base their pay on state mandated evaluations even though, again, the rubrics upon which those evaluations will be based are still in the developmental stage so that Grooms doesn't actually know what he supported.

Indiana Senate approves Ohio River bridge tolling bill (Weidenbener in the C-J)

INDIANAPOLIS — The state could proceed with tolling for the Ohio River bridges and other projects without approval from the General Assembly under legislation passed Tuesday by the Indiana Senate.

Instead, the five-member State Budget Committee — which is currently controlled by Republicans — would have to review and approve any tolling deal.

Tolling “is the only way a project like the Ohio River bridges could be done,” said the bill's author, Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne.

The bill passed 37-12, with Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, voting yes and Sens. Jim Smith, R-Charlestown, and Richard Young, D-Milltown, voting no.

Senate Bill 473 temporarily waives a state law that requires legislative approval for the Indiana Department of Transportation to enter into public-private agreements for transportation projects and create toll-based projects. The waiver would last through 2015.

Clere will get his chance next, as the tolls bill and others move to the House.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Deafening silence as No 2 Bridge Tolls refocuses.

I'm just looking for an excuse to publish the ad for a second time in three days. The muffled sounds of paranoid anguish will be emanating from a familiar source.

No tolls groups refocus effort; They’re now pushing to keep tolls off of Interstate 65, by Braden Lammers (Combined Omni Newspaper)

... (Paul) Fetter also has no plans on diminishing his effort.

“Some people still aren’t aware 65 is going to be tolled,” he said.

He added that from the initial proposals of the project where Indiana was slated to cover a little more than $1.1 billion — or 28 percent of the total $4.1 billion total — implementing any tolling mechanism disproportionately puts a burden on Hoosiers.

“There’s a lot of inequity on how the thing’s going to be funded if it’s funded by tolls,” Fetter said.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Phipps web site is up.

Gregg Phipps, candidate for city council in the 3rd district, has a web site up and running.

http://gregphipps.webs.com/

A columnist no longer, for now.

It was a strange morning. After 111 straight deadlines successfully met, my Tribune column is on hiatus. While the ostensible and stated reason for the stoppage is my candidacy for a city council seat, we also all know there are times in everyone's life when multiple considerations cross. So it is in this case, too.

There's the campaign rationale, and there's the impending merger of the editions, which might turn out to alter the rotation of local columnists whether I'd like it to or not. Changes are always possible when management shifts.

There's also a good bit of fatigue, personally. It isn't as easy as it sounds to tap the creative process on demand, and for it to be that draining takes away some of the fun. Finally, there's a desire to return to beer writing, which I might be able to do with the News & Tribune in the future. Where this future takes my attempted local newspaper wordsmithing is anyone's guess. I suppose it will be clear as soon as I lose or win.

I suspect it will provide more time to practice longer-form blogging, like I used to do, at least until new challenges come along. As an example, there's the parks piece published earlier this afternoon. Some housekeeping and touch-up decorating is overdue; a plan is afoot to update the blog's appearance and perhaps add more content, and this will rollout (if at all) concurrent with a candidate's web site. Look for it soon.

As always, your patronage is appreciated.

Do we really need a legislative act to know that our parks belong to us?

The more one looks at the parks district situation, the more it becomes painfully clear that the sudden and immediate impetus for enabling legislation is a muddy scrum of shadowy local political interests, combining to produce even less transparency than I’d assumed from the start.

Almost without exception, the central participants in the melodrama have behaved not so much as Machiavellians, which would imply a degree of intentional malice that few of them actually possess (there are exceptions, of course), but rather as post-Pavlovian trauma survivors, reacting instinctively to layer upon layer of distrust and dysfunction, suspicions so deeply ingrained in the local political subconscious that the players remain wholly unaware of their conditioned responses even as eyebrows twitch, knees jerk and hammers fall.

The fact that this blog must function as a final avenue to ask questions and try to publicly untangle the morass is a source of lamentable necessity and personal annoyance, certainly having much to do with the local newspaper’s bizarrely benign view of journalism as mere stenography. There are matters far more pressing in my working life than this, and yet here we are. So be it. We may be right, and we may be crazy, and perhaps some good eventually will come of this belated effort required to let the sun in when everyone else behaves like vampires with the curtains drawn.

---

Imagine for a moment that you are a resident of Floyd County, one who occasionally reads the local newspaper and tries to stay somewhat well-informed.

As of roughly a month ago, if asked, you’d probably have agreed that parks are a good thing in the general quality-of-life sense, that Floyd County has some good ones, that there’s always room for improvement, and that the NA-FC Parks Department and its Board – units charged with maintaining parks in the county as a whole – have been doing a fine job of managing scant resources in trying economic times.

All broadly true, in our assessment. After that, things get murky.

One month ago, you’d have been blissfully unaware of numerous, long-gestating, behind-the-scenes maneuverings leading up to a surprising strategy, whereby the Parks Department, seemingly out of nowhere, moved for special parks district taxing legislation during the current session.

As we know, under such a regime funding would be fed directly into the newly styled district rather than be subject to the discretion of local elected officials.

In the main, as I understand the public case made by parks district proponents, the legislation sought by the Parks Board as urged on it by board attorney Rick Fox (has anyone thought to ask why Fox, an inveterately political, umm, participant, advised such a drastic remedy, one seemingly designed to incite violent political eruptions?), and eagerly authored by Rep. Ed Clere – none of whom seem to have any taste for public consensus as driving the legislation, addresses these two prime concerns:

1. Funding continuity, given that there is clear and indisputable evidence that county government has not maintained its fair share of financing relative to the city’s annual tithe.

2. Politics, i.e., the urgent need to “remove” parks from politics so that potential (and as yet undocumented) major donations can be accepted and devoted to specific improvement projects, given that these as yet unidentified donors (see below) are wary about seeing their donations used by conniving politicians for other, unintended purposes.

The obvious questions are many, varied, and have gone largely unasked by the mainstream media.

To me, first and foremost is this: Can someone explain the reason why the malady is so severe that major invasive surgery is required?

If the prognosis is so bleak as to necessitate a parks district, why did the Parks Board and Rep. Clere, its legislative sponsor, proceed in the darkness, and not present the case to the public?

Why is the local funding situation so out of kilter? It’s deeper than just the parks, is it not? Why does county government pay less than its share, and the city more? Why can’t we know who the mystery donors are, and precisely what their money would go toward funding? Moreover, how has the situation digressed to such a point that the legislative end-around is required?

Why must men and women from Angola, Warsaw and Brazil intervene in Floyd County’s local problem? Is it a crisis? If there is a crisis, why can’t we resolve it ourselves? Why didn’t anyone know about the crisis, and why is the dysfunction so profound that such a heavy handed legislative expedience is necessary?

At least one reason for the gambit of legislative action, as cited by sources connected with the Park Board, is the insistent threat of the board’s disbandment and the parks system’s dismantling, a cudgel wielded primarily by Ted Heavrin, perennial County Council power broker and an extractor by political nature, who in fairness has made little secret of his desire to sell any and all land of value if a fire sale means that taxes don’t rise.

---

Surely John Q. Public is mildly surprised to learn that the notion of a Heavrin Memorial Non-Park System even falls into the realm of possibility, albeit remote, considering the widespread assumption that Floyd County’s parklands are the property of the citizens of Floyd County, and designed to be preserved for future enjoyment rather than sold into the eyesore of strip mall bondage.

Indeed, it’s a shock to realize that in the eyes of selected politicians, parks are not parks at all, but assets and chattel to be scrapped in the interest of fiscal expedience, especially in the absence of creativity and courage in devising revenue streams. Floyd County government takes the position that it “owns” Sam Peden Community Park, located within the city limits of New Albany. Conversely, the city of New Albany trumpets that it “owns” the property comprising Valley View Golf Course, located outside the city limits in Floyds Knobs.

While John Q. Public persists in viewing our parks as a long-term investment in quality-of-life park amenities, traditional oligarchic elites look to the likes of Heavrin for guidance, eager to purchase the best of the family jewels if the price is right, and that’s why Floyd County’s last, greatest bastion of cultural philistinism – Floyd County government – constantly flirts with razing a historic structure and paving the last parcel of open frontage inside the Beltway (on Grant Line Road opposite Wal-Mart) into a Lowe’s, or perhaps another big box chain meant to suck money out of the community and contradict every principle of sustainable, “buy local” principle that so few of them have taken the time to comprehend.

But I digress.

---

What of the mystery donors, who must be protected from scrutiny? There are two, both foundations, and while an ever so slight argument can be made for shyness in the case of the privately administered Blue Sky Foundation, it’s far less in keeping for the second, The Horseshoe Foundation, owing to its hybrid public-private organization.

At the start, given that Fox, the Parks Board and Rep. Clere absolutely were mistaken to have opted for secrecy by shielding the parks district legislation from the scrutiny of daylight, I found it understandable that local elected officials in both the city and county were squawking loudly to the effect that they had not been consulted prior to the park district legislation being introduced. Absolutely, such consultation should have been undertaken.

And yet, once the Horseshoe Foundation is identified as a potential donor, the next question is obvious: “Hmm, I wonder which of these ‘in the dark’ politicians sit on the Foundation’s board?” Here are the answers, asterisked.

*Mr. Mark Seabrook, President
*Mayor Doug England, Vice President
Ms. Eileen Moore, Treasurer
Ms. Judy Hess, Secretary
Mr. Jonathan Jones
*Mr. Kevin Zurschmiede
*Ms. Diane Benedetti

A majority of the Horseshoe Board is made up of four elected officials, each of whom would be surrendering direct local control of the parks (which they were elected to provide) if the legislation passes. But if the Horseshoe Foundation is tying the legislation’s passage to its projected annual donation (in a scenario not unlike the YMCA), how could the four elected officials sitting on the Horseshoe Board not know the legislation was coming?

Either they knew and squawked anyway, or the Horseshoe Foundation Board itself hadn’t been informed of the Foundation’s plans, which seems unlikely.

Well, which is it?

Transparency, anyone?

---

At the end of the day, there are good and bad intentions but few genuine heroes in this morality play.

Plainly, the decision by parks to pursue a legislative remedy was unnecessarily surreptitious, insofar as public information is concerned. Legitimate concerns about constitutionality have been raised and should have been vetted. There has been too much theater, and too little content. The whole situation has devolved into a protracted (and surreally bi-partisan) hissy fit. It has been absolutely repellant, and this brings us back to the real reason why it matters.

What this should have been about, and has not, is the future disposition of Sam Peden Community Park, Valley View Golf Course and the very entirety and philosophy of Floyd County’s parks system – and why the decision-making apparatus continues to be the domain of political elements keeping the discussion private, as opposed to bathing the public’s interest in sunshine.

The people of Floyd County should be having this discussion because these park lands belong to them – not just to Ted Heavrin or Doug England, and not just the isolated unusable parts not capable of generating development revenue for a big box, subdivision or related extractive project that will impact the grounds for decades to come. It’s simply not something to be decided by used car salesmen in closed session.

I won’t impugn the motives of every public official involved, although enough of them are playing non-transparent games that I must suggest the obvious: If parklands are sufficiently valuable to prompt these behind-the-scenes games, shouldn’t there be an open dialogue, an accessible plan in place, perhaps a form of arbitration between city and county, and a consensus based on the will of the people, and not the number of digits in an offer from a developer?

Verily, of three commissioners, two councils and a mayor, not a single entity among them “owns” these properties. They are owned by the people of Floyd County – aren’t they? The people of Floyd County deserve to know what their elected officials have in mind for these properties, and to consider the available options not after but before a state legislative response rather tragically becomes the “only” recourse that a chronically underfunded and mostly under-appreciated Parks Department feels it possesses in order to protect and administer the parks.

Why haven’t we been talking openly and honestly about our parks?

Why does it always come to games like these?

And: Can we ever progress, or has the instinct been eliminated from our genetic pool?

You tell me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Parks district questions, most so far unanswered.

If Floyd County parks district proponents have evidence of an insidious plot to sell off park lands to line the pockets of area politicians, is it too much to ask that they present the facts?

Same goes for the mysterious secret donors who cannot give until special legislation is passed. Who are they, and why the cloak and dagger, spy movie routine?

Why can't proponents put all the facts on the table, and let the community decide what's best?

Why must this be decided not by the community, but by legislators in Angola, Warsaw and Brazil? Where was the grassroots interest in a parks district, apart from the fear-mongering now being used as justification? And, why are parks more important than police and fire protection? Does public safety get a special district, too?

I support parks. I also support transparency, which is sadly lacking in this instance.

Bravo: No2BridgeTolls locates the jugular with half-page Tribune ad.


No2BridgeTolls.org: "Alternatives to tolling the I-65 Corridor/Kennedy Bridges System."


(From the web site; as soon as I get the new ad scanned, it will go up here - you're going to love it)

No2BridgeTolls is opposed to financing the downtown infrastructure through the use of tolls or user fees on the I-65 Corridor/Kennedy Bridges System.

Organization is Launching New Advertising Campaign

Clarksville, Indiana February 18, 2011 No2BridgeTolls founders have announced a strategic shift in focus and communications that will more clearly communicate the organization’s position in light of recent financing announcements.

This strategic shift to a more targeted approach has been driven by recent announcements by the governors of both Kentucky and Indiana to downsize the Bridges project. No2BridgeTolls founders and supporters believe this new plan has the effect of shifting the burden of financing the downtown portion of the project to the I-65 Corridor/Kennedy Bridges System.

“We are not opposed to a reasonable and financially responsible means to improve our downtown Interstate infrastructure or build a new East End Bridge,” said co-founder Paul Fetter. “We are opposed to building to a plan that will have adverse socio- and economic impact to the community, specifically Southern Indiana and Downtown Louisville, which we firmly believe tolls or user fees on I-65 Corridor will have,” said Fetter.

“While the governors’ announcement was a welcome one in that it took the Sherman Minton and Clark Memorial bridges out of the tolling plan, we do not believe tolls on the I-65 Corridor is in keeping with our vision for what makes sense for the community.

“Our group and supporters believes alternatives to tolling the I-65 Corridor/Kennedy Bridges System can and should be found and are imploring all the decision makers of this vital and necessary project to find the solution without compromising the project. We will continue our efforts to educate the community and engage our elected representatives to act in the best interest of families and businesses in our community,” said Fetter.

The organization will launch a new advertising campaign that will begin on Sunday and future communications will include this redefined, targeted message.

About No2BridgeTolls.org

We are a broad-based coalition of businesses, organizations and private individuals who are opposed to tolls on the I-65 Corridor/Kennedy Bridges System. Our targeted focus has been driven by recent announcements by the governors of both states to shift the financing burden for all of the downtown infrastructure needs to the Kennedy Bridge and its I-65 supporting new Downtown Bridge. We have formed under the entity of “Organization for a Better Southern Indiana, Inc.” (OBSI.) Our purpose is to educate the public of the true impact of the current proposed bridge toll on both sides of the river. We are a 501-C6 non-profit organization that has been formed for the purpose of disseminating information. We are not against the bridges—just tolls or user fees on the I-65 Corridor/Kennedy Bridges System, which will divide our community, be a regressive tax that our citizens and businesses cannot afford, and will adversely affect the local economy, disproportionately affecting Southern Indiana.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flounder said, "Oh boy, is this great!"

Last evening's council meeting was short and uncommonly well-mannered. Yesterday morning's Indy legislative session was a wee bit hotter. The bridges oligarchs have started getting into Dave Matthews' pockets, St. Daniels seeks to outsource the bridges project to France, you can bet Kerry Stemler approves, Egypt deposed a dictator, and it's warm enough to smoke a fine cigar on the Taxpayers Memorial Patio.

But none of that is important. The final primary filings are in, and in the 3rd district, it will be a two-way race between Greg Phipps and Steve Price, the latter's first ever two-way primary. The winner will face unopposed Republican candidate RemCha (oops, make that Jameson Bledsoe), and perhaps a Libertarian or Independent, in the fall.

In other amusing news, former council person Donnie "To Vote or not to Vote?" Blevins challenges Bob "CeeSaw" Caesar in the 2nd, and Professor Erika, a.k.a. Vicki "Citizens Faux Accountability" Denhart, goes against Dan "Wizard of Westside, Viceroy of Copperhead Flats" Coffey and another challenger, Theresa Timberlake, in the 1st. Timberlake came very close to beating Coffey in 2007, and now she has Denhart to bleed the snakeskin.

A 34% tally might win the 1st, but Price now needs more than 40% to escape a primary challenge.

File under: You can't make this stuff up.

So, the Tribune tried to make an issue of City Attorney Shane Gibson saying he doesn't subscribe to or read the Tribune...

with Tribune
Publisher Steve Kozarovich even taking a shot at Gibson on Twitter...



but had Gibson relied on the Tribune to inform him of yesterday's parks bill hearing...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Old Lightning Rod Day is Saturday, February 19, at Bank Street Brewhouse.


In 2011, the New Albanian Brewing Company has delayed the release of its much-anticipated annual batch of Old Lightning Rod in order that a more appropriate, "Colonial-Themed" party could be thrown.

Accordingly, OLD LIGHTNING ROD DAY will take place at the Bank Street Brewhouse on Saturday, February 19 from Noon to 6:00 p.m.

OLD LIGHTNING ROD DAY
BANK STREET BREWHOUSE
415 BANK STREET
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19

The Colonial Ale:

NABC Old Lightning Rod (see specs below)

OLR is a chance to taste the 18th-century flavor of Colonial-style American Ale. NABC unveiled its first version of Poor Richard's "Old Lightning Rod" on January 17, 2006, for the occasion of Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday, when more than 100 breweries nationwide joined to brew a period recipe based on an award-winning formulation.

Old Lightning Rod has become one of NABC’s most popular seasonals, as brewed by Jared Williamson at the original NABC “garage” brewery on Grant Line Road.

On Old Lightning Rod Day, February 19, NABC’s daily beers also will be available at Bank Street Brewhouse, as will hard ciders and wines from the Thomas Family Winery, with selected spirits also on hand. Bring your empty growlers, and take Ben’s ale home with you.

The Colonial Food:
"His Lordship’s Beef" (Caterers of Fine Victuals)

Otherwise known as our great friend Steve Thomas of the Thomas Family Winery, will be cooking Colonial-style with the assistance of Chef Josh Lehman’s Bank Street kitchen. They’ll be cooking an entrĂ©e of Steak and Ale, with Ben Franklin’s favorite side items: Clapshot (turnips and potatoes in butter) and Pease (peas in chicken stock and butter, topped with fresh mint). The price is $12 per person, with the usual Bank Street menu resuming at 6:00 p.m.

The Colonial Music:

(TBA; I'll fill in this blank as soon as the ink on the contract dries.)

The Colonial Attire:

Come to the party dressed Colonially, and receive a free copy of Tony’s Beard’s revised and updated Old Lightning Rod poster, pictured above.

It's inside and out (on the covered and heated BSB patio), and we’re sorry, but horse-drawn parking is not available in downtown New Albany.

---

The Essay: NABC and Old Lightning Rod, by Roger A. Baylor

It wasn’t enough that Benjamin Franklin was a writer, inventor, businessman, statesman, patriot and all-purpose wit.

The creative Colonial-era legend somehow found time to drink beer, too.

In his writings, Franklin refers to the consumption of ale and describes various types of the fermented beverage, concluding that it was a healthy drink if consumed in moderation – an observation with which modern medical science concurs.

Even a teetotaler might be curious as to what these ales of old were like and how they were brewed, but unfortunately, substantive information is scant.

When the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, a non-profit group formed to organize the celebration for Franklin’s 300th birthday on January 17, 2006, began looking for an answer to this question, they found it by teaming with the Brewers Association, which commissioned a competition among professional brewers to formulate a Poor Richard’s Ale named for the famous Almanac.

Tony Simmons of Brick Oven Brewing produced the winning recipe, chosen by a panel of experts at the 2005 Great American Beer Festival. According to Simmons, his act of historical recreation was determined by the following factors:

Style ... Based on Franklin’s own writings, other period references and records of available raw materials, it is likely that he often drank tankards of a libation similar to Old Ale (England) or Strong Scotch Ale (Scotland).

Malt … “Low” (pale malt, similar to today’s Maris Otter or English floor malt) and “High” (darker malt, perhaps approximating a combination of what we now call Biscuit, Special Roast and Black) malts probably were used.

Adjuncts … During the Colonial era, imported malt was expensive and local barley crops were unpredictable, so the use of cracked maize and molasses in brewing was common.

Hops … Hop production in America did not begin in earnest until after Franklin’s passing, making it likely that traditional East Kent Goldings imported from England were the hops of choice.

Yeast … Not until the mid-19th century did modern scientific techniques unravel the mysteries of yeast, so it’s impossible to know very much about 18th-century yeast management. Simmons suggests that contemporary English or Scottish strains of yeast (low to moderate attenuation) will suffice to replicate Colonial fermentations.

The Brewers Association asked member breweries nationwide to join in the celebration of Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birthday by brewing a special batch of Poor Richard’s Ale and having it ready for serving on January 17, 2006.

The New Albanian Brewing Company's brewers at that time, Jesse Williams and Jared Williamson, followed the broad contours of Simmons's recipe, adding a few touches of their own like extra finishing hops and oak chips to add wooden barrel-conditioned character. They also suggested an alternative name, "Old Lightning Rod," which we've duly incorporated to identify the finished product.

The finished product is malty and on the sweet side, both expected owing to low hopping and the use of molasses and corn.

Today's last Tribune column for a while: "Let’s all say ‘yes’ for change."

Now the truth can be told.

After being forced to watch, naked and powerless, as I was publicly dashed to rumpled smithereens by the razor-sharp, turgid wit of the masked Chipped Formica Brigade at Kitchen Fable, I fell into a deep, dark, enduring depression, and I am unable to write cogently any longer.

Kindly note that I'm laughing my ass off, aloud.

And so, here's the finale ... for now. I expect to be back (a) after a primary loss, or (b) after a general election loss, or (c) after after a general election victory. After all, there is a Clere Channel precedent for public officials writing a weekly column, is there not?
BAYLOR: Let’s all say ‘yes’ for change

This will be my last column in The Tribune for a while, and there’s a reason for the hiatus.

I've decided to take a dram of my own medicine and file to run for city council in the coming primary — yes, as a Democrat, and for an at-large seat.

Because this very newspaper has a policy against permitting its columnists to conduct campaigns in print, and actually enforces it more often than the city’s own long neglected codes, I must return temporarily to the realm of the blogosphere.

ROCK huffs and puffs as Dalby, 1Si hurriedly wash their hands of the Sellersburg Town Council's AEC.

That didn't take long. The story begins here: Juvenile or adult? Sellersburg Town Council sleeps with ROCK, awakes to fleas and incredulity. Thanks T.

As an added bonus, Evening News columnist Debbie Harbeson gets in on the ROCKin’ good time. Anyone seen Steve Burks?
From: Michael Dalby
Date: February 16, 2011 5:03:42 PM EST
To: Recipient
Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

One Southern Indiana releases statement regarding Sellersburg, Indiana’s proposed Adult Entertainment Commission

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – (February 16, 2011) – One Southern Indiana is responding to reports the organization is slated to provide a representative for a proposed Adult Entertainment Commission in Sellersburg, Indiana. Prior to various news reports published on February 15, 2011, neither One Southern Indiana nor its representatives was aware of any plans for such a commission or any requirement that it provide representation.

One Southern Indiana was and continues to be uninvolved in the formation of this commission and cannot comment on how the Sellersburg Town Council determined the validity of this information.

About One Southern Indiana: (snipped)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Resistance: How the NA/FC School Board should respond to state legislators.

Civil disobedience against irresponsible rule is a founding principle of this country. The school board has already passed one resolution against the state takeover of our local schools. That spirit should continue and they should be willing to put it into practice rather than just on paper.

Should those already outlined and further rules hostile to public education and local control be put in place, the NA/FC school board should simply refuse to follow them.

Stand up for teachers.

If the legislature guts collective bargaining as the governor intends, the board should give teachers even more negotiating rights.

If the legislature implores teacher evaluation rubrics, the board should ignore them and develop their own in consultation with teachers, students, and other members of the community.

If the state increases curricular mandates, the board should give teachers more leeway to decide what to teach and how to teach it.

And when the state declares that our local schools aren't performing the way some brute from Terre Haute or Anderson says they should according to resource-wasting tests that do little to nothing to measure actual student aptitudes and abilities, simply shrug it off and go on educating.

Citizens, on the other hand, should have their backs.

It's ridiculous to think that the state will somehow make teachers better by weakening their ability to determine what's best for their students, classrooms, and schools, hypocritical to say that charter schools perform better because they don't face such rigid state oversight while simultaneously prescribing more rigid state oversight for other public schools, and ridiculous to run for state office on a platform of lessened government intrusion and then declare local citizens unable to render community-wide decisions for themselves.

Whether in the media, in the court room, or at the ballot box, we can force the governor and legislators to explain how and why they think they are more qualified than local teachers and citizens working together to make decisions for our community's children, how and why they think standardized curricula and rote testing leads to innovation, and how and why competition, the very nature of which stands to pit schools against each other rather than proactively sharing best practices, is both necessary and just.

We owe ourselves that. Don't give in.

Kicking around ideas.

I'm obviously no graphic designer, but the notion of melding leftist politics with Progressive Pints always has appealed to me. The company logo may have to go away, but maybe not the keg lifter.

Would King Larry prefer a kilt lifter?

Too many cooks: Captain Frank Road, INDOT, theocratic fascism and the city council at large.

Flash!

Kerry Stemler, 1Si and ROCK have announced a bold new initiative stipulating a "mobility solution" for the New Albany city council at-large primary race. It's a revolving forgivable campaign contribution loan fund eligible to be used by each and every primary candidate who does not own a brewery, and it's called the Ride Big Mouth Brewery Owners Out of Town on a Light Rail Fund.

I'm told that Steve Stemler will keep it in the extended family and co-author the ban on independent throught. Ayatollah Wickens was at Wal-Mart shopping for lighter fluid and marshmallows for the loan's fundraiser, a festive weekend book burning in Sellersburg, and therefore could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Baylor Planning To Run For New Albany Council, Will Face Mayor England, Incumbent Gonder, Others (Gabe Bullard at WFPL-89.3)

Same-sex marriage: One in the win column for Rep. Clere, who refrains from supporting the "language of hate."

The most poignant passage in Lesley Stedman Weidenbener's Courier-Journal coverage of the Indiana House as proud inheritors of the Torquemada tradition in Indiana politics comes with this Valentine Day's poem written by Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D-Indianapolis):

“Just press the red button; the color of no. It will stop all the nonsense and not strike a blow, a blow that hurts thousands across this great state and taints our constitution with the language of hate.”
Not unexpectedly, our own Rep. Clere's comments leave ample wiggle room for placating the many theocratic fascists among his constituents, but at least he got the pesky Constitutional part right by voting no on HJR-6.

Indiana House approves constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (Weidenbener in the C-J)

INDIANAPOLIS — The House approved a proposal 70-26 Tuesday that would make Indiana the 31st state to ban same-sex marriage in its constitution. Indiana law already defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but advocates of a constitutional amendment say it’s needed to protect traditional marriage from activist judges ... ... If approved by the Senate this year, the proposal can be considered again either in 2013 or 2014. If approved by the General Assembly a second time, the proposal will be placed on the November ballot in 2014 for ratification.
We must look elsewhere for our daily dose of opprobrium, and accordingly, given the special place he occupies in the exurban hearts of both Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) and One Southern Indiana (1Si), the supposedly Democratic Rep. Steve Stemler plays a wonderful, down-home role in this same-sex rejection production, one reminiscent of Larry Linville's archetypal Frank Burns on M*A*S*H, or perhaps Dan Coffey.

Hurriedly speed-dialing ROCK's Ayatollah Wickens for direction, Stemler first beat the pander bear rush to become co-author of HJR-6, but did not cast a vote either way yesterday. Weidenbener explains:

Rep. Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, was excused from House action on Tuesday and did not vote. However, he was listed as a co-author of the bill.
Professional grade fluffing like that belongs in California, not Indiana, but I digress. Kindly permit me to publicly ask a question that surely must have occurred to many readers: Is there any known way to distinguish Steve Stemler from a garden variety GOP stooge, save for his own declaration of affiliation, one regularly contradicted by his political actions?

Crickets chirp, pins drop.

HJR-6's prime mover, Rep. Turner, is quoted by Weidenbener in the act of pandering to John Q. Public:

“Ultimately, it’s the public that decides whether we want to put this in our state constitution.”
Turner had no comment as to whether he belongs to the Flat Earth Society, and so we're free to surmise to our creationist hearts' content. Spanish Inquisition, here we come ... make that, "return."

$22 million to complete the Big Four Bridge bike and pedestrian pathway.

Recalling that recent "cuts" in the bloated monstrosity otherwise known as the Ohio River Bridges Project included moving money from a new downtown bridge to another way of providing access for walkers and bikers, I am assuming that this announcement about the Big Four's completion is contingent on the ORBP's implementation.

Our good friend Iamhoosier owns a calculator (so do I) and he knows how to use it (I don't); he reports that it comes out to $1,150.00 per foot of path. Granting that the Indiana ramp is an expensive proposition, I wonder how much this math applies to what it would cost to work similar wonders on the K & I -- that is, after we nationalize the railroad.
Big Four Bridge set for completion, by Philip Bailey (LEO)

In a project that officials say will further unite the region, the governors of Kentucky and Indiana announced that along with the city of Jeffersonville, the two states will allocate $22 million to complete the Big Four Bridge pedestrian and bicycle pathway to link Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The agreement will turn the unused and rusting span into a new bridge that will connect Louisville’s Waterfront Park to downtown Jeffersonville. The historic bridge was built for railroad traffic in 1895, but has been closed with its approaches removed since 1969.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Juvenile or adult? Sellersburg Town Council sleeps with ROCK, awakes to fleas and incredulity.

David Mann of the Evening News drew the short straw and witnessed one of the most inadvertently hilarious legislative decisions in recent memory, this one occurring in Sellersburg.

Following is the entire first part of Mann's article, detailing the Town Council's request to invite unelected bodies like Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) and One Southern Indiana (1Si) to participate in opening a Pandora's Box larger than any ever imagined by the likes of Steve Price.
Sellersburg regulates live adult entertainment; New ordinance requires licenses for businesses, entertainers

The Sellersburg Town Council is now regulating live adult entertainment businesses.

Under the ordinance, which was approved unanimously during a Monday night meeting, adult businesses and the entertainers working therein have to pay a $5,000 licensing application fee, with a yearly renewal cost of $4,000. In order to be approved for the license, they have to provide basic information such as name, Social Security number, date of birth and written statements from three “bona fide residents of Clark County setting forth that the applicant is of good moral character.”

The ordinance says the business must have the license posted at all times and entertainers themselves have to keep their license affixed to their person at all times. Further, it establishes a seven-member Adult Entertainment Commission empowered to issue the licenses. Also, if a license is rejected, the town keeps $1,000 of the application fee to cover regulatory costs.

The commission has to include one clergyman or minister, two Democrats, two Republicans, one representative from One Southern Indiana and at least two members have to be female.

Town Council President Brian Meyer, said the ordinance has been more than a year in the making.

“It came from seeing what other communities have gone through without an ordinance,” he said.

Recent enforcement of adult business regulations in Louisville could send businesses looking for a new place to set up shop, he said, noting that the town doesn’t have any establishments to which the ordinance would apply.

Town Attorney Perry McCall said the town modeled its ordinance after similar regulations in Spencer County. The town also sought input from Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana, also known as ROCK, a group that opposes the businesses around the region.

The ordinance applies only to live entertainment. Councilman Paul Rhodes said he would like to eventually amend it to regulate retailers of adult books, videos and accessories.

The measure was approved unanimously in two readings.
As for the suggested composition of the regulatory commission, why must there be a clergyman or minister?

If the council intends to violate every known church-state separation, can't it be inclusive and have a Druids or an Imam, too?

Why on earth is One Southern Indiana involved with this?

Why? Isn't a doomed model of oligarchic economic development enough for one organization's everyday activities?

Does it go all the way back to Kerry Stemler's infamous public tango with ROCK, the closest equivalent we have to the style and intent of the Inquisition?

Wasn't Stemlers pole (poll?) dance with ROCK so appallingly ridiculous that even Michael Dalby disavowed it?

R.O.C.K. on, One Southern Indiana ... but first, please answer these inconvenient questions. (2007)

Speaking of dancers with 1Si-approved licenses dangling from their shielded boobies, will these same entertainers now become a staple of iSi's 5 o'Clock Network functions?

It might improve attendance, guys, but I suppose that the Ayatollah Wickens would prefer seeing them swaddled in parkas and furry caps, Russian-style, which is where Dostoevsky wrote ... well, you know.

You might not, actually; will The Brothers Karamazov survive the Town Council's future scrutiny?

I point to this passage: "Amend it to regulate retailers of adult books, videos and accessories."

If you think that such a clause would only benignly apply to the likes of Cleopatra's sticky offerings, you really haven't been paying attention to the history of censorship under the aegis of various Moral Minorities in American history.

Try reading about them ... if you can still find the book at Sellersburg's soon-to-be ROCK and 1Si-approved library.

One more thing which is relevant to New Albany.

I missed the last council meeting, but an attendee reports that Rev. Steve Burks, recently elected to the township board and a Republican primary candidate for council in the sixth district -- where NABC's original location does business -- asked if, given new regulations in Louisville, the council was ready to let the experienced folks from ROCK come in and help them craft an ordinance.

That'd be an unconstitutional ordinance, sports fans, just like the one Sellersburg has now passed. Someone call a team of high priced lawyers, please, as overpaying to rectify constitutional frivolity seems to be the game ROCK wishes us all to play these days.

Welcome to my Hauss Square Nightmare (was: "Where can I get a monkey like that?")

Monday, February 14, 2011

Greg Phipps files for city council, 3rd district.

Earlier today, Greg Phipps officially filed as a Democratic candidate for city council in the 3rd district. This means that the incumbent Steve Price has an opponent, and a very good one.

No other updates have been made at the clerk's site, but I know that John Gonder filed for an at-large seat last Friday. He's a Democrat, of course.

Now's as good a time as any to state that I also intend to file as an at-large candidate in the Democratic primary, probably by Thursday morning, maybe earlier than Thursday if there's time.

Helpfully, my first campaign speech has already been posted at Kitchen Fable. It's almost as if she knew. How spooky and weird; maybe it was hacked.

Absolutely the best meal ever served on Formica.

There's more to say, and plenty of time to say it, so until then, let's have a Progressive Pint and get ready to have fun.

And what a wonderful review it could be.

Better than chocolate, no doubt. Maybe now they'll be forced to talk about how the many projections still being used to justify ORBP were wrong. Maybe now we can at least start talking about increasing public mobility instead of how best to appease narrow, chamber of commerce interests. I fully expect the usual suspects to try to rush and limit the scope but a full, transparent review is warranted, if for no other reason than to combat the ruthless propaganda foisted on the region by 1Si and GLI. Watch for River Fields to take its usual to-hell-with-downtown position as well.

Still, it's an opening, and one that should be used to the public's advantage. It's also one heck of an issue to be addressed very specifically in the upcoming New Albany mayoral election.

Feds, states order bridges review, hope to finish in one year, by Marcus Green (Courier-Journal)

In a move that could further delay the Ohio River Bridges Project by years, the federal government is ordering a sweeping review of proposed changes to the project.

The Federal Highway Administration announced Monday in a preview of Tuesday’s Federal Register that a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement will be needed.


Thanks to the 'Ville Voice and Say No To Bridge Tolls for the tip.

Absolutely the best meal ever served on Formica.

It's working, guys. Here is a reply to my Tribune column of January 6, "A New Albanist’s Dictionary, Vol. 2." At 3,815 words, it is four times longer than the original essay. There is no title. Here's the link. Just one small complaint: You spelled "Weimar" incorrectly, even with cut and paste. Cheers.

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THIS ARTICLE IS DEDICATED TO THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY. WE WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUE GIST OF WHAT OUR LOCAL COMMUNIST, ROGER BAYLOR, IS SAYING ABOUT ALL OF US WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH HIM AND DON'T RISE TO THE HEIGHTS OF GRANDEUR WHERE HE PLACES HIMSELF.

FIRST OFF, WHAT IS AN OPEN AIR MUSEUM: ACCORDING TO THE DICTIONARY AN OPEN AIR MUSEUM IS A DISTINCT TYPE OF MUSEUM EXHIBITING ITS COLLECTION OUT OF DOORS. WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THESE WORDS GRAVITATE TO HIS BRAIN WHEN HE IS ABLE TO BICYCLE AND CRUISE PAST LARRY KOCHERT'S HOUSE, STEVE PRICE'S HOUSE AND VICKI DENHART'S HOUSE. I'M NOT SURE WHY YOU WOULD BICYCLE THESE AREAS EXCEPT TO TRY AND GET ON THEIR NERVES OR AS AN INTIMIDATION FACTOR. (These are his words: Let’s begin the year with another revolving and evolving list of words, terms and concepts that provide a specialized vocabulary of life in the Open Air Museum. The first collection appeared Oct. 15, 2009.)

WHILE WE DO NOT BELIEVE MR. BAYLOR'S INTENTIONS ARE MEANT TO HONESTLY EDUCATE THE PEOPLE OF NEW ALBANY BUT RATHER TO CRITICIZE, MAKE FUN OF (AND I DO THINK HE THINKS HE IS HYSTERICALLY FUNNY), THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT HELPS DEFINE THE STUNNING DEPTHS OF THE NEW ALBANIAN ZEITGEIST (ZEIGEIST SIMPLY MEANS THE GENERAL INTELLECTUAL, MORAL, AND CULTURAL CLIMATE OF A GENERATION). I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT HE IN NO WAY DEFINES MY INTELLECTUAL CAPACITIES, NOR MY MORALS, NOR DOES HE HAVE RIGHT TO PASS JUDGEMENT ON ANY ONE'S CULTURAL APTITUDES. THE BAD THING IS HE THINKS HE HAS EVERY RIGHT. (These are Baylor's words: It is my earnest goal to periodically refresh and expand this list, and your assistance is requested in doing so. Please send corrections, additions and comments to istanbul85@yahoo.com, and help define the forever stunning depths of the New Albanian zeitgeist.)

A MAJORITY OF CITIZENS TRULY FEEL NEW ALBANY DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR BUDGET MONIES AND THE ENGLAND ADMINISTRATION IS CONSTANTLY THREATENING THE CITIZENS BY THE FOLLOWING SOUND BITES: "Turn your cable off so you can pay your new increased sewer bills." "I'm going to cut back on cleaning snow and ice from the street rather than renegotiate the police and fire contracts who are taking 83% of our budget." IF WE CAN NOT TAKE CARE OF WHAT WE HAVE NOW WHY IN THE HEY WOULD WE WANT TO ANNEX ANYMORE PROPERTIES OR LAND UNLESS THE PLAN IS TO TRY AND RAISE OUR TAX LEVY AS JEFFERSONVILLE TRIED. UNFORTUNATELY, ANNEXATION DID PASS BUT NO ONE CRIED. (Here are Baylor's words: Annexation A wonderful thing to do, so long as you neither complete nor use it until long after the current council’s sell-by date.) ARE WE USING IT YET MR. BAYLOR?

THE NEXT WORD BAYLOR USES IS THE AXIS OF BANAL. ANY DEFINITION I FOUND REFERS TO THE AXIS OF BANAL BEING THE SAME AS THE AXIS OF EVIL. REGULARLY HE TORE THE FORMER COUNCIL MEMBERS UP, I.E., KOCHERT, SCHMIDT ETC., (EVEN BURNING EFFIGIES OF THEM BEFORE A MEETING ONE NIGHT), BUT THESE ARE HIS WORDS (THOUGH I CAN'T DECIDE IF HE MEANS CAESAR, ZURSCHMEIDE, MCGLAUGHLIN, MESSER, OR BENEDETTI, OR JUST WHO CONJOINS WITH PRICE AND COFFEE). (Here are Baylor's words: Axis of Banal The Steve Price/Dan Coffey conjoined city council obstruction club, usually with anywhere from one to seven other members quite eager to make it into a threesome.)


OF COURSE, BAYLOR'S LIST WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A PAT ON HIS BACK ABOUT HE BEING ABLE TO BICYCLE AND I GUESS HE FEELS THIS MAY BE THE NAME ATTRIBUTED BY US NEW ALBANIANS BECAUSE OF HIS EXERCISE. THE TROGLODYTES HE LABELS ALL NEW ALBANIANS BY DEFINITION MEANS CAVEMAN, MEMBERS OF A PRIMITIVE RACE OR PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN CAVES. I MOST CERTAINLY AM NOT ONE OF THOSE AND EVERYONE IN NEW ALBANY WOULD AGREE WITH ME ON THIS ISSUE, BUT... (Here are Baylor's words: Bike boy Term of affection used by anonymous troglodytes to describe anyone who rides more miles on a bicycle in a given day than they’re capable of doing in a year). HE DOTH THINK SO HIGHLY OF HIMSELF AND SO LITTLE OF THE REST OF THE CITIZENS IN OUR FAIR TOWN.


BLUE LAWS WERE PUT INTO LEGISLATION BY THE STATE OF INDIANA. I, FOR THE LIFE OF ME, CAN NOT FIGURE OUT (WHETHER I LIKE COFFEY OR NOT, HOW HE CAN LAY HIS WANTING TO SELL CARRY OUT BEER ON SUNDAY AT COFFEY'S FEET), BUT HERE ARE HIS WORDS: (Here are Baylor's words: Blue Laws Sunday retail sales restrictions lovingly fetishized (no such word) by Councilman Cappuccino, implying the restoration of rotary dial telephones, one-piece bathing suits, asbestos insulation and mail delivered by Pony Express.) I WOULD GUESS HE REALLY HATES BOSTON WHERE BLUE LAWS ARE STILL IN EFFECT AND YOU CAN NOT EVEN SHOP ON SUNDAY. BUT THEN AGAIN, HE DOES HAVE A HANGUP WITH RELIGION.


RATHER THAN USING HIS WIDE BRUSH STROKE TO PAINT ALL CITIZENS NOT DOING RIGHT BY NOT BUYING LOCAL (WHICH A LOT OF US DO) HE HAS TO TAKE A SWIPE EVEN WHERE PEOPLE GAS UP THEIR CARS. WHAT HE FAILS TO DO IN HIS ARTICLE IS TO LIST THE GAS STATIONS WHO ARE LOCAL. TO ME, THAT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED TOO MUCH WORK ON HIS PART. (Here are Baylor's words: Buy Local Saving gas by shopping at the mega-chain retailer nearest one’s house.) CAN WE GET SOME ONE TO TELL US WHERE HE GASES UP?

THE DEFINITION OF A CAUCUS MEANS A GROUP OF POLITICIANS WHO GET TOGETHER AND SELECT THEIR CANDIDATES. THERE WAS ONE ILLEGAL MEETING WHERE A MAJORITY OF COUNCIL GOT TOGETHER IN A BAR BUT NOTHING EVER CAME FROM IT. WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THIS SITUATION IS WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THEY WERE ALL HIS BUDDIES: (Here are Baylor's words: Caucus A city council meeting that isn’t, as attended only by those council members who won’t admit aloud to being Republican, as opposed to the single one who will. Quorum due to expire in November, 2011.) DO YOU KNOW, AS I DO, WHO IS A DEMOCRAT ON THE CURRENT COUNCIL, WHO IS A REPUBLICAN AND WHO WAFFLES BETWEEN? I DO BUT I GUESS HE DOES NOT.

THERE HAS BEEN A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE FORMED IN NEW ALBANY, JOINED BY HUNDREDS, BOTH DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN. LEGAL PAPERS AND MONIES AND REPORTING RECORDS ARE FILED IN THE FLOYD COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE. THE PAC IS CALLED CITIZENS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY. A VOTE WAS HELD BY MEMBERS (I WAS THERE) AND MS. VICKI DENHART WAS ELECTED THE PRESIDENT. IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING WHICH SETS MR. BAYLOR'S BLOOD BOILING BECAUSE HE CANNOT FIND OUT WHO BELONGS TO THIS PAC, JUST MENTION CITIZENS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY. I HAVE A FEELING; NO, I KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE; WHEN HE DOES FIND OUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR HIM AND HE AND THE POWERS TO BE WHO DON'T WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND THEY WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT HIT THEM COME ELECTION TIME! (Here are Baylor's words: Citizens Faux Accountability Hillary Clinton fan club, run by a chain smoker from a post office box near a Gucci outlet somewhere in Italy.) I BET HE WISHES THAT WAS/IS THE CASE.

THEN, HE TAKES A SWIPE AT TEACHERS TRYING TO BRING STUDENTS IN TO COUNCIL MEETINGS FOR A LESSON IN CIVICS. AS A TEACHER WHO HAVE BROUGHT MY OWN STUDENTS IN FOR COUNCIL MEETINGS I NEVER EXPECTED THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE SUBJECTS AT HAND, SIMPLY TO GRASP A FEELING OF HOW, IN GENERAL, PEOPLE GATHER AND VOTE. (Here are Baylor's words: City Council Place where the high school civics class kids are obliged to go ... for detention. (DS)) HE LEFT OUT THE BOY SCOUTS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WHO ATTEND. MUST HAVE BEEN SHORT ON COLUMN SPACE THAT DAY.

AND, A LIFE IN THE DAY OF BAYLOR WOULD NO BE COMPLETE WITHOUT WHAT I CONSIDER HIS ASININE RAVINGS ABOUT ED CLERE. BAYLOR DOES NOT HAVE THE NERVE, THE MONEY, NOR THE WHEREWITHAL TO EVEN CONSIDER RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. BUT BY GOSH, IF YOU ARE AND DO AND WIN, YOU HAD BEST DROP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING FOR ALL THE PEOPLE AND ANSWER TO HIS WHIM, IMMEDIATELY! OR, YOU TOO, WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE RIDICULE THE ENTIRE TOWN CAN NOT ESCAPE. (Here are Baylor's words: Clere Channel Network Where communication is a one-way street, and the street has no name.)

BEING A CONSERVATIVE DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN IN MY EYES. I KNOW LIBERAL PUBS AND LIBERAL DEMS AND CONSERVATIVE PUBS AND CONSERVATIVE DEMS. THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS IN DIRE NEED OF THE CONSERVATION OF OUR MONIES AS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PUBLIC SERVANTS AND ENTIRE GOVERNMENTS ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS. MR. BAYLOR DOES NOT BELIEVE IN BEING CONSERVATIVE WHEN IT COMES TO OUR MONEY. NO ONE CAN FIGURE OUT HIS RHYME OR REASON FOR WANTING TO SPEND, SPEND, SPEND. IN HIS WORDS WHICH FOLLOW, PLEASE ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN WHAT HE MEANS BY ATTILA THE HUN. HE WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BARBARIAN INVADER AND ALSO CONSIDERED UNGODLY. (NO SURPRISE THERE.) THE WIEMAR PART IS WHERE GERMANY ESTABLISHED AN IMPERIAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO THE RISE OF ADOLPH HITLER (NO SURPRISE THERE, EITHER). THE BIRDSEYE BLUES MEANS TO THINK FROM AN ELEVATED STATE HIGH ABOVE THE REST OF THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY. (Here are Baylor's words: Conservatism Political trait that Floyd County Democrats typically claim to possess to a greater degree than their Republican rivals, who themselves are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, leaving the remainder of us stuck inside of Wiemar with the Birdseye blues again.)

THE NEXT PARAGRAPH HE WRITES WRAPS A BLANKET AROUND ANY DISCUSSIONS, ANY DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW, AND OR OPPOSITION OCCURRING DURING CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS AND ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY (BELIEVE IT OR NOT). (These are Baylor's words: Controversy The insertion of rationality, usually unintentional, into a given political discussion during city council meetings.) OBVIOUSLY NONE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ACTIONS ARE ALLOWED UNDER HIS COMMUNISTIC OUTLOOK.

HIS NEXT STATEMENT IS ALSO HIS ATTEMPT TO BE CUTE AND TO CONTINUE HIS RIDICULE OF ANYTHING OR ANYONE WHO STRIKES HIS FANCY. (These are Baylor's words: Discussion At city council, any stray verbiage randomly issued as a means to avoid contemplation of the actual issue(s) at hand.) I FEEL BAYLOR WANTS AND NEEDS TOTALITARIAN RULE OR NO RULE AT ALL (PART OF THAT COMMUNIST THING/IDEALS).

THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF NEW BUSINESSES LOCATING DOWNTOWN AND A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY INVESTED. THIS NEXT STATEMENT IS HOW HE FEELS THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY THINK ABOUT THESE EFFORTS. (These are Baylor's words: Cracker Barrel Long-awaited Nirvana for downtown revitalization advocates who really don’t understand downtown revitalization at all.) DOES IT INFURIATE YOU AS MUCH AS ME AND MINE HOW SHORT HE SELLS THE CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY WHO ARE TRYING THEIR DARNDEST TO SUCCEED?

MR. BAYLOR TRIES TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC IN HIS NEXT STATEMENT ABOUT EDIT. THE MAYOR DECIDES WHERE HE WANTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO OCCUR AND THEN COMES TO THE COUNCIL FOR THE MONIES. UNFORTUNATELY FOR CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY, THE MAYOR AT ONE TIME WAS FOUND TO HAVE BOUGHT PERSONAL SUITS OUT OF EDIT. THERE HAS RECENTLY BEEN LEGISLATION TRYING TO GET FUNDS, EVEN IF THEY ARE FROM EDIT, TO GET OUR CITY OUT OF THE HOLE. NO, BAYLOR DOESN'T SEE IT THIS WAY (NOR THAT WAY) AND HAS MORE TO GRIPE ABOUT. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: EDIT Crucial economic development monies designed to remain inert until needed by office holders as penny-wise, pound-foolish subsidies, rather than economic development monies.) DIDN'T HIS PATIO COME OUT OF EDIT? MAYBE I'M GENERALIZING LIKE HIM. HEAVEN FORBID.

MR. BAYLOR ALSO TRIES TO RIDE HERD ON ALL BLOGS MAINTAINING YOU MAY BE THE WORST OF THE WORST IF YOU DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME TO OPINIONS YOU MAY HAVE. TO A LOT OF PEOPLE IT IS SIMPLY HIS DESIRE TO CONTROL SPEECH AND TO LAMBASTE ANYONE WHO DOES NOT AGREE WITH HIS THOUGHTS. AS LEGAL BEAGLE PUTS IT, HE IS A COWARD BEHIND A KEYBOARD AND A CYBER BULLY. I AGREE. THERE ARE FOUR BLOGS IN NEW ALBANY. NEW VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (WHO REVIEW COMMENTS BEFORE BEING PUBLISHED); CITY OF NEW ALBANY (WHO DEMANDS YOUR NAME); FREEDOMOFSPEECH (WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW COMMENTS OF ANY KIND); AND KITCHENTABLEISSUES (WHERE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR NAME). WELL, IF YOU GO ANONYMOUS ON TWO OF THE BLOGS WHO ALLOW SAME YOU ARE A NO GOOD ROTTEN SO AND SO. JUST ASK MR. BAYLOR. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Freedom of Speech 1. Local blog that does not allow reader comments 2. Condition that applies to you but not the person with whom you disagree.) NO ONE AGREES WITH EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, DUH.

THIS NEXT DEFINITION, AS BAYLOR CALLS IT, IS HANDICAPPING. THIS SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER ATTEMPT ON HIS PART TO SIMPLY BE CUTE: (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Handicapping A New Albany voter’s perpetual calculation: Is an incorruptible politician who is wrong 100 percent of the time better or worse than a corruptible politician who is right half the time?) YEAH, I THINK I WANT INCORRUPTIBLE POLITICIANS THOUGH THE GOOD LORD KNOWS THEY ARE HARD TO FIND.

WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPY HOUR IS (WHOOPPEE). BUT, THIS SENTENCE SHOULD SERVE TO REMIND ALL READERS HOW MR. BAYLOR DOES BRING HIS FLASK IN AND IS USUALLY SLAP HAPPY WHILE OBSERVING COUNCIL MEETINGS (ALONG WITH HIS BUDDIES). (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Happy Hour 60 affectionate minutes with your hip flask before the council meeting starts.)

THE HISTORICAL PRESERVATION COMMISSION IS SOMETHING MOST OF US AGREE ON. WHERE WE MAY DISAGREE IS THE FACT SOME HOUSES ARE PAST BEING PRESERVED AND A WASTE OF TIME AND GOOD MONEY. RATHER THAN GOING AFTER THE ADMINISTRATION WHO ALLOWED THESE PROPERTIES TO FALL DOWN INTO DISREPAIR AND DID NOTHING UNTIL PRIVATE CITIZENS HELPED FORM THIS GROUP BAYLOR TENDS TO SIMPLY LAMBASTE CITIZENS WITH NO CREDIT GIVEN TO THE ONES WHO HAVE FOUGHT FOR CODE ENFORCEMENT FOR OVER 20 YEARS. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Historical Preservation Commission Power-hungry zealots who refuse to admit that the rental property you’ve chronically neglected for decades merely is a dilapidated building suitable only for tenants.)

SOME PEOPLE FEEL THE HISTORICAL PRESERVATION COMMITTEE SHOULD CONSIST OF ELECTED OFFICIALS (NOT POLITICAL APPOINTEES ON POWER TRIPS) HAS BAYLOR FEELING AND WRITING THE FOLLOWING (WHAT I ASSUME AGAIN HE CONSIDERS CUTE) WORDS: (This is Mr. Baylor's words: Infinite Monkey Theorem Expression of mathematical probability suggesting that if given enough time, an ape typing at random would eventually write Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” — or an ordinance outlawing the Historical Preservation Commission.)

I WOULD GUESS THE WHOLE TOWN KNOWS OF MR. BAYLOR'S AVERSION TO LARRY KOCHERT. AND, I WOULD ASSUME THE WHOLE TOWN KNOWS OF MR. KOCHERT'S AVERSION TO MR. BAYLOR. TO THIS DAY, AFTER FOUR YEARS, MR. BAYLOR STILL FEELS THE NEED TO RUN MR. KOCHERT DOWN ANY CHANCE HE GETS. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Leotards Skin-tight leg wraps that threaten the fragile masculinity of a former Gang of Four council stalwart; also called “tights,” as in, “Let’s all get tights, and vote in my garage for a change.”) WHAT MR. BAYLOR MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IS WHAT THE REST OF THE PEOPLE THINK ABOUT HIM, HA HA HA.

SINCE MR. BAYLOR CONSIDERS HIMSELF A FLOYD COUNTY SNOB AND THE CITY OF NEW ALBANY IS BENEATH HIM (WHILE FOR THE LIFE OF ME I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY HE WANTS OUR MONEY AND THINK WE CARE WHAT HE THINKS -- HERE ARE HIS WORDS SUMMING UP THE TRUE MEANING OF A FLOYD COUNTY SNOB: (These are Mr. Baylor's words: New Albany Bicentennial A time for remembering what it was like in 1813, and for accepting that we’re mostly still there.) NEW ALBANY HAS COME A LONG WAY BABY, WITHOUT YOUR HELP, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.

THE NEXT SHOT IS AGAIN AIMED AT THE CITIZENS AND THEIR ELECTED COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES AND HOW WE CAN NEVER EVER POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND WHY THE OLD NEW ALBANY BREAD STORE GOT A BEER MONUMENT PLACED IN FRONT OF BAYLOR'S BUSINESS. MOST OF US FEEL THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A LOAF OF BREAD PUT THERE. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project Placements of art intended for the edification of the common man, consequently eluding the comprehension of the council members whose downtown districts house them.)

THESE NEXT WORDS, AGAIN, INSINUATE HOW ALL CITIZENS OF NEW ALBANY ARE IGNORANT, SUPERSTITIOUS AND BACKWARDS. HOW LONG DOES HE THINK HE CAN KEEP INSULTING THE GOOD PEOPLE OF NEW ALBANY? (These are Mr. Baylor's words:
Open Air Museum of Ignorance, Superstition and Backwardness 1. Citywide folkways theme park devoted to the reality of life in New Albany: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” 2. “Give us more fish. Don’t you dare teach us how to fish.” 3. Place where tolls (in squandered modernity) already are being collected.)

THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKING PERMIT ISSUE WAS BROUGHT BY A CITIZEN IN NEW ALBANY (DOES MR. BULLEIT KNOW ABOUT THIS) AND THESE WORDS ARE SIMPLY A MOCKERY OF SAME, WHETHER ANY OF US AGREED OR DISAGREED WITH THE LEGISLATION (WHICH I DIDN'T). (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Neighborhood Parking Permit
A plan to surrender public street space for private use, to appease private property owners who are unwilling to give up their own privately held property for the exact same purpose (JG).)

ANOTHER BURR UNDER BAYLOR'S SADDLE IS ONE SOUTHERN INDIANA. WE DON'T LIKE THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE NOR APPROVE OF THEIR METHODS AND THEIR INTENT ON GETTING TOLLS, BUT WE ARE SO TIRED OF HIM GOING ON AND ON ABOUT 1SI, CLERE, ETC. DO YOU THINK HE WILL EVER UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH HE REPEATS AND HOW TIRESOME IT BECOMES? I DON'T THINK SO. ANYWAY. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: One Southern Indiana 1. Organization dedicated to preserving the wealth of its highest-standing members by erecting a wall running the length of the Ohio River. 2. Synonym for “blatant hypocrisy.”)

THE NEXT DESCRIPTION OF WORDS REFLECTS HOW MUCH HE DOES DRINK AND HOW MUCH HE HATES IT WHEN HE RUNS OUT OF LIQUOR AT COUNCIL MEETINGS: (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Post-Partum Depression Your empty flask after the council meeting.) SEEING IT IS STILL IMPOSSIBLE FOR A MAN TO HAVE A BABY, I GUESS HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT A SERIOUS ILLNESS POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION IS NOR HOW MANY PEOPLE HE MAY HAVE OFFENDED COMPARING THIS ILLNESS TO AN EMPTY FLASK OF LIQUOR.

THERE ARE NUMEROUS CITIZENS AND CHRISTIANS WHO DECRIED AN OPENING OF A PORN SHOP ACROSS FROM A CHURCH AND AT A SCHOOL BUS STOP. BUT, WITH MR. BAYLOR'S SELF PROCLAIMED HEDONISTIC WAYS WE CAN UNDERSTAND HIS FEELINGS ON THE FOLLOWING. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) Group suffering from a chronic allergy to 2010 calendars, and seeking the curative measure of “reclaiming” things they cannot define, because those things never existed. See also: Torquemada Twist, Wickensianism (no such word).)

AGAIN, WE ALL KNOW HOW MR. BAYLOR FEELS ABOUT GOVERNOR DANIELS. WE MAY OR MAY NOT LIKE HIM EITHER, OR MAY NOT LIKE SOME LEGISLATION, BUT BAYLOR DOES GO ON AND ON. THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF ISSUES OR PEOPLE I HAVE VOTED FOR TO NO AVAIL BUT BY GOSH I AM ABLE TO MOVE ON. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Saint Daniels The reason why we have incense, prayer, One Southern Indiana, charter schools and bridge tolls.)

WHEN THE LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEM ROLLED OUT THE 60 MILLION DOLLAR BOND ISSUES A LOT OF GOOD CITIZENS FOUGHT THIS ISSUE ESPECIALLY WHEN IT WAS PUT ON OUR BACKS WITH PROPERTY TAXES. SOME OF US STILL MAINTAIN THIS IS WHY LOCAL SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED AND WAS NOT DUE TO MR. CLERE BUT LIES ON THE BACK OF OUR THEN UNELECTED SCHOOL BOARD. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: School closings 1. Rituals of solemn necessity preceding a pay increase for an impoverished superintendent.
2. A heaven-sent occasion for conniving school board members, often Republicans, to plot their next political campaigns. 3. An atrocity that Superman (R-72) curiously missed.)

THE ONGOING SEWER FIASCO IN NEW ALBANY WHERE HOUSES AND BUSINESSES ARE STILL NOT BEING SERVED HAD TWO PEOPLE WHO ATTENDED EVERY SEWER BOARD MEETING AND SPENT UNTOLD HOURS TRYING TO BRING NEW ALBANY INTO A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT. THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT SENDING SEWAGE DOWN PAST THE MAYOR'S HOUSE AS THE SEWERS LITERALLY WERE/ARE STILL GOING INTO THE OHIO RIVER. BUT, MR. BAYLOR'S WORDS ARE SIMPLY SELF-SERVING AND SHOWS HIS LACK OF RESPECT FOR OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE POLLUTION THIS CITY ADDS TO THE OHIO RIVER. SIMPLY ANOTHER WAY TO GET HIS ROCKS OFF AT OTHER PEOPLE'S EXPENSE. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Sewergeddon The Potty Police’s plan to employ diggers and reclaim the city’s culture by flushing raw sewage through street-side ditches past the mayor’s house, at a fraction of the cost of conventional sewage treatment.) HE MUST NOT HAVE BEEN AROUND WHEN THE SEWAGE WAS RUNNING PAST RESIDENTS HOMES AND ALL OF THE HOUSES ON MAIN STREET WENT DIRECTLY INTO THE OHIO RIVER AFTER RESIDENTS RECEIVED SEWER BILLS FOR TWENTY YEARS. ISN'T THAT MAIL FRAUD - RECEIVING A BILL FOR SERVICES NOT RENDERED? DOES HE CARE? DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH. HE'S THE JOKE.

AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, STEVE PRICE. MR. BAYLOR WILL BE GLAD TO HEAR THERE ARE NO REPUBLICANS WHO WANT TO RUN AGAINST MR. PRICE IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION BECAUSE THEY LIKE HIM. IF I COULD THINK OF ONE THING MR. PRICE VOTED NO ON THAT IMPEDED MR. BAYLOR'S AGENDA MAYBE I COULD GO THERE. BUT, THE ADMINISTRATION'S AGENDA (ENGLAND'S) HAS ALWAYS TRIUMPHED AND TO HELL WITH THE BUDGETS, OVER STAFFING, WASTE OF THE MONEY, ETC. JUST KEEP SAYING NO, STEVE. WE STAND BEHIND YOU. (These are Mr. Baylor's words: Steve Price Synonym for “no,” spoken in Dewey Heights dialect. ) BY THE WAY, A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE WERE BORN AND RAISED IN THE DEWEY HEIGHTS DISTRICT AND YOU REALLY DO ALL A DISSERVICE.

NEXT???? SORRY FOR THE LONG POST, BUT YOU KNOW HOW IT IS WHEN YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH AN EGO MANIAC (MY DESCRIPTION).

I WOULD GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO NOT BELIEVE IN OUR GOOD LORD AND RELIGION, BUT TO HAVE YOU POST IN AN ARTICLE YOU WANTED US ALL TO PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO LIFT THOSE KEGS SO YOU CAN MAKE MONEY REALLY TICKED ME OFF. BUT, THIS SIMPLY MADE ME PRAY HARDER FOR YOU, NOT THEM.

Y A W N

Posted by What'sThat? at 2:32 AM
Labels: COMMUNISM, EGO MANIACS