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Legislature 2011:Sit-Ins–Drugs–Immigration–TV–Halfway!

 Well we’re nearly halfway home in the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly, so let’s see if anything’s been accomplished–yet.  As I write this there are several dozen protesters occupying Governor Steve Beshear’s outer office, and they plan to remain throughout the weekend.  The protesters are trying to stop mountaintop removal by mining companies, and spoke with Beshear for quite a while Friday afternoon. The effort is led by members of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, and includes noted Kentucky author Wendell Berry. At least a dozen of them say they’re willing to be arrested in order to be heard. A rally is scheduled for Monday…


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Louisville, Let’s Do The Math

Kentucky earned a “C”, but our bridges and roads rated “poor.” Repair and replacement costs are estimated at $1.2 billion. Here’s where the math eludes me. We’ve got structurally deficient bridges with a $1.2 billion price tag. Meanwhile, today our state faces serious financial problems just keeping up with pothole repair. And Uncle Sam is in worse shape


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13th Annual Jewish Film Festival

Tomorrow (Feb. 12) kicks-off the 13th Annual Jewish Film Festival. The festival features 10 award-winning international films aimed at providing audiences a means to understand Jewish culture and its intricacies. The first of the films shown is “Tough Crowd”, an eight minute short created by Louisville native Jeffrey Roth and feature film “Eli and Ben.” Following that Congregation Adath Jeshurun will host the opening night event Saturday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.   Tickets cost $15 and include a dessert reception. “A Film Unfinished” will be shown on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 at Chao Auditorium for free. On Sunday, Feb. 20…


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Amazing Ending in the Highlands

When the Amazing Grace Whole Foods store opened in the Highlands in 1995, it was about the only place in town to find many of its products.  There was not much of a healthy foods movement. But as Paul Koenig told me yesterday in his cluttered upstairs office, today you can get Kashi cereal at every Wal-mart, Target and Kroger in town. And that competition, as much as anything, is why he and his wife Andrea say they’re closing the store at the end of February. They say there’s little possibility that a new buyer will emerge, even though they…


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Joe Biden Drops In On a Wacky News Cycle

Remember, Joe Biden’s in town, which means you might have to alter your path around the airport and U of L.  His talk, which you can watch streamed live, is at the Brown & Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, at 11:30.  Later, the VEEP is doing a private chat with some U of L students with no cameras or recording devices allowed. If Biden takes a look at the news, he’ll be amused by some of the kooky ideas going around, like. . . Our Antiquated Alcohol Laws: In Hardin County, you can get a drink at certain…


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We’re #2 in fast food – followup!

That noise you hear is your waistline expanding! The reason most likely… Fast Food! Have you noticed there’s a fast food restaurant on almost every Louisville corner? It’s not just by accident, remember there is a reason YUM Brands is headquartered here. Now according to a new survey commissioned by the website “The Daily Beast “ Louisville ranks second for the number of fast food restaurants based on a cities size. Independent data collector AggData totaled the number of fast-food locations of the nation’s 30 largest chains in nearly 500 cities. The “Beasts” final list was limited to cities with…


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Budget Solution: Kentucky and West Virginia Merger

We all know the Commonwealth Of Kentucky has faced huge budget shortfalls over the past several years, and so have many other states. But look just to the east, and you’ll find a state considered, without a doubt, to be one of the epicenters of poverty in the United States. I speak of the beautiful state of West Virginia. I admit a love and bias toward the Mountain State since I was born there and lived there prior to my move to Kentucky almost 15 years ago. But I also know how much poverty lies within its borders. So, imagine my surprise and…


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Roundup: Why We’re Fat, Louisville

You feeling it? Warmth, sunshine. Coming this weekend. Meanwhile, you should, but won’t, attend the Car-Free Happy Hour tonight at Browning’s. Here’s some top hits from the news. . . Big Daddy on Whiskey Row: Greg Fischer is not going to take my suggestion and make Todd Blue offer Frank Faris a spot for a new Ginny’s Diner on Whiskey Row. But couldn’t he at least not write in the deal that Blue can operate a parking lot there for 5 years? Or say that if does, that Blue himself has to stand out there in the street waving cars…



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New Crack in Cracker Barrel Plan

Something else has come up in developer Chris Thieneman’s quest to bring Valley Station residents a new Cracker Barrel, and what eventually happens could escalate or cool off a long-simmering feud with city government. After years of having his Dixie Highway development plan blocked by neighbors, Thieneman last month finally brought his plan for Cracker Barrel to a successful approval at the Metro Planning Commission. At that point, the only obstacle would be an objection from neighbors, and two promptly filed their intent to protest the approval, setting back the plan for months, or years. But Thieneman persuaded the neighbors,…