Of New Homes, Newspapers and Music

Updates and a look ahead . .. .

Otis and Raider: We’re happy to report that Otis my dog and Raider the cat found a great new home, thanks to a loyal reader.  To all who expressed concern and volunteered to help, thank you.

Rachel: After a record-setting long shot won the Derby, no one was surprised when Rachel Alexandra took the Preakness on Saturday. In the Chuck Olmstead race at Churchill on Saturday, I’m the Truth ran third. Rachel seems to be a TV star, as Preakness ratings were the 2nd highest in two decades. [Bloodhorse]

Reggae, Mon: This weekend is the Kentucky Reggae Festival at the Water Tower. We’ve got tickets to give away, so stay tuned.

Rooftop Lunch: On Thursday, three Beatles copy bands will re-create the last Beatles concert, which took place on a rooftop in London in 1969. The lunch hour show will take place atop the Visitors Center at 4th and Jefferson. Seems there’s some Beatles event in town this weekend, too. [Abbey Road on the River]

Somebody Alert the Makers Mark Ad Dept: Here’s a good idea for a new ad for the bourbon, and some more serious analysis of the ill-conceived tax on alcohol. [Herald-Leader]

Playing in Traffic: Don’t do this.  A woman got in an argument driving on the Snyder. Pulled over. Her friend threw her cell phone on the highway. She walked into traffic to get it, and got hit. She died at 2:55 a.m. [Courier]

No, Mitch is Not Endorsing Bunning: Mitch McConnell repeated on Sunday for Fox News Sunday viewers that he’s not endorsing Jim Bunning for re-election. And Bunning again made himself unavailable for comment. [AP]

Newspaper Talk: On Sunday, the C-J splashed a speech from Arnold Garson on the front page of its Forum section. It’s the same content he’s been telling anyone who will listen for months — the paper’s in good shape, yada yada. It also served as a launching point for listeners to bitch about the paper all Sunday morning on Joe Elliott’s radio show. [C-J]

We’re Off for Derby Week

Coming to you today from the ultra-comfy media room at Churchill Downs.

That new Barbaro statue at the main entrance is pretty impressive, much bigger than you’d expect. It looks as if it were designed for the spot. Check out how sculptor Alexa King created it.

A really odd incident occurred on the track today when a horse dumped its rider and took off while 10 Derby horses were on the track. Doctor Rap was going full speed when it collided with a 2-year-old, Raspberry Miss, who was later euthanized.  Doctor Rap was sent to an equine hospital and will survive. Neither of the exercise riders was seriously injured, though one was taken to the hospital.

Speaking of Accidents: They can take down that sign at the arena construction site listing how many days they’ve gone with a lost-time accident. A support gave way this morning and three workers had to be rushed to the hospital. They’re OK, and we’re sure the construction managers will say everything’s on schedule. [WHAS-TV]

Worth Watching: CNBC has produced an in-depth special on the Kentucky Derby’s business side. The show premiers Thursday at 9. [CNBC]

Grand Guests: Today’s the day for announcing what celebs are coming to your Derby Party, and the edge goes to the Grand Gala, with at least eight NFL players on the guest list, plus Michael Jordan.

Page’s Last Punch: The sad story of former heavyweight boxer Greg Page ended when the 50-year-old passed away, eight years after he suffered a brain injury during a fight in northern Kentucky. [AP]

Obama Loves Mountains: Pres. Obama is pushing to reverse a Bush-era regulation that allow mountaintop removal waste to be dumped into streams. [Page One]

Cafe 360 Going?: We drove down Bardstown Road and noticed moving vans in front of Cafe 360 in the Highlands.

Stay with us as we believe the new owner of the CW Louisville will be announced soon.

Better, Warmer, Midweek Ideas

Darkness on the Edge of the Track: If you’ve wondered what night racing would be like at Churchill Downs, you’re about to find out. The track announced it will bring in temporary lights and run a night-time card on June 19 and 26 and July 2. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission also approved a couple of new wagers. [Churchill Downs]

Never Trust a Guy Named Wavy: Joe Arnold’s lead story on the WHAS-TV newscast last night focused on a 26-year-old guy named Wavy Curtis Shain, who was admitting in federal court that he was operating a mortgage scam/scheme that ripped off a bunch of homeowners. He won’t quite say he’s sorry. And check out the full interview to see some real squirming. [WHAS-TV, Interview]

Bunning Whiffs: Sen. Jim Bunning would lose to any of the Democrats considering running against him in 2010, according to a new poll. So Page One is asking when he’ll give up. [Page One]

Now That’s a Tease: A banner on today’s C-J alerts readers that the paper’s front page will be different tomorrow.  “…an artist’s world of inspiration and creative expression.” We can’t wait.

Witnesses Need Protection: When a woman was gunned down in broad daylight in Shelby Park last month, and it turned out she was a witness in a double homicide case, it didn’t take a detective to figure out what happened. But there is little protection available for witnesses in Kentucky. [LEO]

Nothing Wrong with Second: The worst thing to come out of the Lady Cards’ second-place finish in all of college basketball is that Rep. John Yarmuth and Gov. Steve Beshear are putting packages of gifts together for their counterparts in Connecticut this morning. The Lady Cards gave fans hope early on, actually leading briefly, but lost last night to the best team on the planet.  [Crawford]

Finally, Some Spring-like News

There is news outside of basketball, like this…

“Gloomy Jerry Abramson”: In his story about the soaring jobless rate, the C-J’s Joe Gerth used an adjective rarely used in connection with our upbeat chief. The news is gloomy — about 1 in 10 people can’t find a job. Don’t forget that Francene’s doing her radio want ads at 10 today. [Courier]

A Pro-Wine Sales Argument from a New York Wine Store Owner: In New York, politicians are dealing with the issue of whether or not to allow wine sales in grocery stores, just like our legislators up in Frankfort. Just 15 states don’t allow it, and nothing is changing here for the foreseeable future. This Op-Ed from the New York Times is from a wine store owner who sees opportunity where others find fear. [NY Times]

The Foreclosure Fight: The Mayor, John Yarmuth and HUD officials are announcing a plan to help people avoid foreclosure today. The press conference is in Shelby Park.  [news release]

Sustain Saturday: It will be good for you, and the environment, to stop in at the new Sustain store in St. Matthews on Saturday. We’re thinking of making the screening of the documentary “Flow” during Happy Hour at 4, followed by some great jazz. [Page One]

Speakeasy Supper Surprise: The promise is great food, great wine and a surprise location. That’s intriguing enough for us to get interested in the Supper Speakeasy on Monday, produced by Bon Vivant Savant. The location isn’t disclosed until Saturday. The chefs are the husband/wife team of the Seelbach’s Ethan Ray and Sarah McGregor Ray. See the website for details. [Courier]

Dog Watching: Looks like the Metro Council is going to be talking about dogs again. Kelly Downard told WAVE-TV that he’s been getting complaints about the way the long-debated dog ordinance is being enforced, and the station found a woman whose home was raided by animal control officers while she was out.  [WAVE-TV]

Static/Major Update: LEO’s Phillip Bailey got some quotes from the doctor targeted by the rap star’s family in a malpractice suit, who says of course he did nothing wrong. Baptist Hospital East still isn’t giving up Stephen Garrett’s roommate in the hospital, either. [LEO]

Brain Surgeons Fired?: U of L now says it’s worried about losing its accreditation as a Level One trauma center. The top brain surgeon in town says U of L fired him. Kind of unusual to see these really smart docs (U of L’ s Edward Halperin and Dr. Chris Shields) bickering in the media, but no one’s come up with a solution. Shields and his group of surgeons want to stay on as U of L faculty while opening a new center at Norton HealthCare. Let’s just say there are egos involved. [Fox41]

It’s the first day of spring, and here’s your excuse to get outside at lunch — The WFPK Spring Membership Drive Kick-off at Ear x-tacy, featuring Rachel Yamagata and yes, Steve Forbert. See you there.

Chuck Olmstead Arrangements Set

There will be a visitation and service for Chuck Olmstead on Saturday, March 14 from 1-3 p.m. at the Canaan Christian Church, 2840 Hikes Lane. Afterward, there will be a celebration of Olmstead’s life.

Arrangements are being handled by W.P. Porter Mortuary.

There are plenty of fond memories of Chuck at the WHAS-TV website, including this little clip of the lighter side of Olmstead’s career.

The family requests that donations in Chuck’s memory be made to the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky.

We’re Thinking Spring

Looks like the ‘Ville Voice needs a new, cheap, mode of transportation. Let me know what you’ve got. No, we’re not interested in Jon Draud’s old car.

We’re Now a Coke Town: Now that Coca-Cola has opened an IT center in the East End, expect Mayor Jer to start working on all those Pepsi contracts around town, like the one at U of L. About three dozen $70K jobs is the kind of good economic news he needs. [Metro]

Slowing Down Would Be Safer too: Churchill Downs released a list of two dozen new safety measures designed to avoid another tragedy like the Eight Belles event last year. No steroids, of course, and a $1 million catastrophic injury insurance policy for jockeys. Amazing that in 134 runnings involving 1,710 horses, Eight Belles was the first to die in the Derby. [Churchill]

Jocks on TV: Racing fans should watch the Animal Planet reality series “Jockeys.” It’s great TV looking inside the world of jocks, and features Mike Smith, familiar to those around here for his ride on Giacomo in the Derby. It airs on Friday nights and is On Demand. [Animal Planet]

Think Spring – Baseball: Tomorrow is your first chance to buy single-game tickets for the Louisville Bats. Box office opens at 10. Opening day is April 9. Hurry, spring! [Bats]

Think spring – Golf: Metro Parks is giving you $3 off a round at public golf courses in March if you tee off between Noon and 4. That is, if you don’t have any work to do. [Metro Parks]

Otts Oops: We told you last week about that e-mail that Metro Council member Hal Heiner’s assistant sent out through the city’s e-mail system inviting folks to a religious event. Heiner’s distancing himself, telling Hebert it was Stephen Ott, his aide, and that the event has been moved from City Hall, as it should be. [Hebert]

Harvey Tribute: WHAS Radio will air a one-hour tribute to Paul Harvey Saturday morning at 11.

Roaring In On Economics, Politics and Hate

The economic woes of the world aren’t for everybody, when a local hospital organization antes up big-time for a sports arena. Here’s what’s going on as we move, finally, into March.

Norton Hearts Arena: The first of the downtown arena’s sponsors is Norton Healthcare, which gets to open an Immediate Care Center in the building and put up all kinds of signage for $1 million per year. They’re in for 10 years.  Could this be payback for Norton stealing all those brain surgeons? More on that later. [C-J]

Harvey’s Good Night: If you’ve been alive in the last 50 years, you know Paul Harvey, who died Saturday. He was 90. WHAS was one of many radio stations that had recently dropped Harvey’s daily commentaries, citing the icon’s infrequent appearances on his own show.  Check the link here for some tributes. [V.V., Harvey site]

Political Divorce: The little spat between Kentucky’s Republican Senators has become what Pat Crowley calls a “Kentucky-style divorce.”  Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell have irreconcilable differences about the 2010 race for Bunning’s seat, and Bunning threatened to retire and let Gov. Beshear appoint his successor last week. [Enquirer]

On the Funny Farm: Mitch McConnell making jokes for conservatives at the CPAC event, where he says conservatives are more fun than liberals. Yea, that’s funny, Mitch. [FatLip]

Kaelin’s Coming Back? The famed birthplace of the cheeseburger closed Saturday night. A thread on the Louisville HotBytes Forum speculates that it’s for good, but signs on the door indicate owners plan to re-open after a remodel. Still, that can’t be good. [Consuming Louisville]

Party Over at KDP: You can read Jennifer Moore’s farewell address to the Kentucky Democratic Party, in which she takes credit for a bunch of accomplishments that I’m confident Jake will soon dispute. And Page One proclaims, “An era of bullshit, hatred, wasted money and all-around laziness is OVER!” [WHAS, Page One]

Rumor Mill Spins at 32: We’re getting rumors that WLKY’s newly hired traffic reporter, Alexandra Koetter, is leaving the station. Meanwhile, we were impressed with the weekend debut of part-time meteorologist Lauren Jones. And we were wrong about one thing. New reporter Erin Haynes is a part-time, not full-time, hire.

Sweeping News: Did anyone miss the fact that there weren’t any big sweeps stories on local news in February? It was part of an industry-wide decision to postpone the ratings measurements for a month due to the digital TV transition. So get ready for local newscasts to work a little harder for a few weeks, starting today.

Monday’s Dept. of Hating: The Family Foundation’s David Edmunds makes another illogical anti-gay argument that only homes headed by married couples should be allowed to care for childen.  [C-J OpEd]

And A Little Racism: And the C-J editors allow a racist comment about Obama written by one of their own bloggers to go unchallenged. From Point Taken blogger Terry Sullivan: The captain has his head so far up his ass he can taste Afro Sheen. That’s no anonymous blogger, C-J, it’s one of your own. [C-J]

We Need More Scandals Edition

Still Pissed: Fox41’s Bill Lamb is still pissed at the federal government about having to keep his analog signal on through June. But Bill, you could have shown some guts and gone forward without the other stations. [Fox41]

Look, More People to Blame: Are you starting to get the feeling that the courts are going to eventually make Max Gilpin’s parents rich? After reviewing more evidence, they’re adding the principal, athletic director and an assistant coach at PRP to their civil lawsuit. And Sheldon Berman is standing by principal David Johnson and criticizing the newspaper. [C-J]

Give Me a Home: The homeless problem is getting worse, and a lot of people are moving in with relatives. And it doesn’t help that the Metro government can’t administer federal grants. [C-J]

Speaking of Homeless, Jerry Takes a Meeting: After representative of several homeless groups held a press conference yesterday saying, no, they weren’t surprised at all the mismanagement allegations in the state auditor’s report, Jerry Abramson set up a meeting with them for next week. The groups indicated that they’ve been silent about the problems for years out of fear that speaking out would endanger their grant money. [WAVE]

Casinos Still in Power in Indiana: Give them credit for trying, but Indiana lawmakers lacked the courage to pass a strong statewide smoking ban, instead providing an exemption for casinos and bars.  The bill that passed the Hoosier House requires places like Horseshoe to make 20 percent of its space non-smoking.  That place, by the way, really stinks. Smokers can have it. Now the bill’s up to the Senate. [IndyStar]

Let the Spending Begin: But none of that stimulus money will go toward building bridges. $52 million is going to Jefferson County Public Schools, and Sheldon Berman says that means he won’t have to layoff so many workers. [WHAS, C-J]

Return to Appalachia: That Diane Sawyer special on eastern Kentucky pulled some huge ratings, and the producers are back in the hills to produce a follow-up that will air Friday night at 10. It got the biggest audience for a 20/20 episode since 2004. [Herald-Leader]

Ashley on Tape: Watch Ashley Judd’s speech in Frankfort yesterday, thanks to the H-L, and read Billy Reed’s love letter to her. [Herald-Leader, BillyReedSays]

Heard on the Homo Mafia Gayvine: There’s some hanky panky going on at the Kentucky Equality Federation, and Jack Conway’s crew has sniffed it out. [Page One]

Stinson’s Zipped Lip

Former PRP football coach Jason Stinson showed up for his deposition in the civil case against him this morning, and promptly refused to say anything. His attorney cited his ongoing criminal case, in which Stinson is charged with reckless homicide, as reason for his silence in the civil matter, brought by the late Max Gilpin’s parents.

On the stand, Stinson exercised his rights and refused to answer questions, including the one the prosecution most wanted to ask — Did he deny players water and make players run until someone quit?

We may never know, but it’s going to take a criminal trial before Stinson speaks and the facts come out.

Meanwhile, Stinson is going to work every day for JCPS in a non-teaching role. And this week Rep. Joni Jenkins introduced a bill in Frankfort calling for defibrillators to be present at high school practices along with a pool of ice in hot weather.

Publicity about Stinson’s case SHOULD be enough, however, to keep such an incident like this from happening again. Running sprints until players drop just isn’t OK. No one disputes that Stinson (as evidenced by the rallies of support in PRP) is a decent human being or that he was not intentionally causing Gilpin’s death. But we’re also pretty sure that his coaching techniques helped cause this young man’s death.

The other piece of news in the case is that a judge wants to see the results of the Jefferson County Schools’ investigation, and demanded that JCPS attorney explain why they won’t turn the good over next week.

Here’s links to coverage by WLKY-TV and the Courier.

Paul Bather Remembered

I remember Paul Bather as a rather controversial local politician who was a leader on African American issues. But I don’t remember him very well. He passed away in Houston after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He retired rather than run for re-election to the State House in 2004. Here’s some remembrances from the Metro Council members:

“He was a long serving public official who cared about his constituents in the 12th Ward and loved and respected them. He was an innovative thinker and doer and always thinking about how to make his community better.  He was a mentor and a friend and when I followed him in office he did not leave me hanging out there. He showed me how to be good elected official, how to work in the community and serve the people. I will always be grateful. He had a ready smile and an open hand for anyone who needed assistance. His heart was always in the right place.”

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, District 5

“Paul Bather taught me that you didn’t need to be in legislative leadership to be an effective advocate for causes that you believe in.”

Councilman Tom Owen, District 8

“Paul Bather was a dear friend. He would stand up for you when nobody else would. He served thinking of people only…”

Councilman Dan Johnson, District 21

Read More Bather Tributes After the Jump…

Read morePaul Bather Remembered