One More DTV Item and Guns

D-T-V: If you’ve been watching TV news, you probably expected the slew of stories about the 2% of Louisville households not ready for DTV. But WHAS has been having its managers staff a phone line since Friday that won’t stop ringing. Even Mark Pimentel is putting hours in telling people how to set their boxes.

Slots Rally: Big news in Frankfort today is a rally for slots to save the horse, or horsie, as Jake puts it, industry.  We’re no more optimistic that the slots legislation will pass today than we were, uh, ever. [Page One]

UK in Host’s Arena?: Nobody at today’s media tour for news reporters asked Jim Host about UK playing there, but the questions were different in the tour for sports reporters afterward. It would have been more fun with the second group. Of course, Kyle Draper probably didn’t ask about construction accidents, either. Anyway, your local news leads tonight with Arena stories.

Gun Shy: A local church is providing an alternative (is one needed?) to the idea of bringing guns to church. Thomas Jefferson Unitarian is promoting this: “Bring your Peaceful Heart…Leave your Gun at Home” in response to New Bethel’s widely publicized “Open Carry Celebration” (first reported here). [Peter Smith]

Ironic Gun Location: Speaking of guns, the death of a 15-year-old Valley Station boy from a gunshot wound to the face got the attention of the C-J edit board, which found it interesting that the accident took place one mile down the road from New Bethel Church. [Courier]

TGIF and Graduation Day

Good Morning! We have a busy day ahead. Josh is graduating with 478 classmates from Manual High School at a ceremony at Broadbent Arena at Noon. The C-J has a great section for looking him up, or anyone else graduating from a local high school. So pardon us if things are a little slow here today. But we do have some juicy-ness.

Stepping Up: It is sounding more and more like Jerry Abramson won’t run for another term, so take a look at the list Jake’s compiled of potential candidates for his job. Was the Mayor bummed he wasn’t asked to speak at last nigh’s Lincoln Memorial ceremony? Anyway, the buzz is now directed toward Craig Greenberg, the Museum Plaza attorney. [Page One]

Lincoln Seen in Hard Rock: The setting sun was a perfect backdrop for a moving ceremony dedicating the Lincoln statue last night. Kids played on the statue while Ed Hamilton spoke, the Louisville Orchestra played, William Mapother narrated, the Belle of Louisville floated and a crowd of 500 ooohed. We’ll have more on this later.

Big Four Bridge: And we couldn’t help but notice that the project to build a ramp to the Big Four bridge is coming along nicely.

Beshear’s Gamble, Williams’ Response: Can’t figure out why Steve Beshear waited a day to state the obvious reason for the special session — another attempt to get gambling passed, which was, you know, a campaign promise two years ago. Even more absurd — David Williams calling for squeezing more money out of the lottery to fund purses at tracks. [Herald-Leader]

Dancing Media: Our favorites in the Dancing with the Stars benefit for Families for Effective Treatment of Autistm (FEAT) are former WHAS-TV reporter Kirby Adams, radio hostess Lynda Lambert and WLKY-TV anchor Vicki Dortch, who you can see practicing here.

New Gig for Ramsey: Local media personality John Ramsey’s got a new gig. A long-time friend of Muhammad Ali, Ramsey is the new marketing director of the Ali Center. Sure beats the radio biz. Ramsey had been selling spots for U of L’s sports marketing arm. [Courier]

U of L Staffing Changes?: Anybody know why U of L’s Advancement Department keeps losing VPs?  We hear that the two VPs recently departed are just the latest in a three-year purge of high-paying ($165K, $90K) execs.

Buthod Squirms: Interesting watching library director Craig Buthod squirm while the Metro Council debated with him why he can’t get a few libraries open on Sundays. It all has to do with union negotiations with libary workers. And of course, there not being any money. [Courier]

Guns Story Gets Bigger: The New Bethel Church gun story, first reported here on Tuesday, has now made ABC News and USA Today. A Google search for Pastor Ken Pagano turns up 339 articles.  Best headline pun: Piece Be with You.

We Have to Quit Watching This Train Wreck: Got back from the Waterfront in time to see the Southern Belles go “camping” at a luxurious cabin outside town, to hear Kellie (our new favorite for least likable) complain to her Mom about all the cocaine she used to do, and Emily fret over an image consultant saying she dressed like a trampy showgirl.

Thursday’s Menu of Possibly Cool Items

A Day in the White House: Pres. Obama’s status as the coolest president of our generation is safe after NBC’s Brian Williams hung out with him for a day for an NBC special. Bo the dog is pretty cool, too. A rare thing — interesting, compelling network TV. [NBC]

Jumping on the Church/Guns Bandwagon: Since we published our story on New Bethel Church’s plan to encourage bringing guns to church on Tuesday, local TV stations, radio, the C-J and even a national blog have jumped on it. At least Francene gave us some credit when she interviewed Pastor Ken Pagano Wednesday.

At Least We Are Among the Faves at Possibility City: Check out the newly-redesigned website brought to you by the folks who bring you all those goofy videos. [Possibility City]

Something Else They Could Waste Money on: Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the idea of this NASCAR-related bargain is tempting to ‘Ville boosters. Don’t do it. [A Bargain?]

Sypher Seeks Delay: So much for those comments about wanting to get to a jury as soon as possible. Karen Sypher wants to delay her June 29 trial date in the extortion case involving Rick Pitino. Her attorney, Thomas Clay, says he’s discovered additional phone records and witnesses and needs more time.  [WLKY]

Speaking of The Rick: To stop the rumor mill, U of L put out a statement from the coach yesterday saying he’d offer an assistant coaching position to Ralph Willard, for the fifth time, but that Pitino didn’t expect his old pal to accept it.

Yes, We’re For the Magic: WKU’s Courtney Lee will be guarding Kobe Bryant when the NBA Finals start tonight, so we’re pulling hard for Orlando.  He’s the first ‘Topper to play in the Finals since Clem Haskins. [Bozich]

Why Did They Really Fire the Swim Coach at St. X?: Mike O’Toole, the swim coach and a teacher who’s been at St. X High since 1989, has been fired, and there’s a Facebook firestorm brewing over it. O’Toole was told he’d done a poor job, but WAVE couldn’t find anyone who would criticize him. 1,500 people have joined a group supporting him. Oh, he was going through a divorce with another teacher at the Catholic high school. Parents want an explanation. [WAVE]

Jerry the Teacher: Next week in Charleston, W. Va., the special guest speaker on the topic of merged metro government is. . . Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.  [Charleston Gazette]

Today in the Chamber: Groups appearing before the Metro Council’s Budget Committee today are the Library, Parks and Recreation, External Agency Workgroups and the Water Co. The fun starts at 1.

Stop This Train Wreck of News

If They’d Been This Careful with the Train: Notice how careful the Zoo is being with the media on this train wreck? No, we can’t tell you when the train was inspected, who the driver was or how he was trained. The media was invited to take pictures of the site, but no one’s doing an interview. Our advice: Just tell the public what happened and the story will go away much quicker. [Courier]

Strikes Against Felner: Former U of L dean Robert Felner is getting no favors from the courts. [Page One]

No Wonder They’re Charging $10 To Get In for Night Racing: Churchill Downs CEO Bob Evans took a big pay cut last year, from $6.28 million to $4.19 million. Makes it kind of hard to muster up any sympathy for the big corporation. [Courier]

Will This Be Exciting For Us?: Tomorrow the Metro Council’s Budget Committee will hear from the Zoo at 3, Codes and Inspections at 4 and the Science Center at 5.  And it’s all on MetroTV. Can we send in some questions about cozy relationships between the Codes department and attorneys for developers?

Berman Tripped Up: We understand why Sheldon Berman would lie to us about his relationship with Natalie Stiglitz/Bolton, whom he claimed was just his running buddy when we asked last fall. Guess he didn’t expect we’d be reading about the presenters at the World Congress on Civic Education in South Africa. [Page One]

Guns for God: We hope we’ve ignited some controversy around here. Tomorrow on Francene’s radio show, she’ll have pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church on to talk about the planned Open Carry Celebration in the Valley Station church. Listen in.

Honey, Let’s Make a Death Pact: A Henryville, Ind. couple was found dead in their home, leaving behind a note indicating they couldn’t handle their economic situation any longer. [WHAS-TV]

Guns and Nuts at Knob Creek

We didn’t cover the Knob Creek Gun Show over the weekend.  Couldn’t have paid us to be there, and not just because we value our hearing. It wouldn’t have been a glamorous assignment for any media member, though let’s give some credit to WHAS-TV’s Melanie Kahn for going to Bullitt County Friday and filing a report.

So we’ll thank the Washington Independent for sending reporter David Wiegel to the shoot, where he joined more than 15,000 gun-toting folks spending a few days shooting, buying and talking about the horrors of the Obama administration. Check out his piece and the accompanying photos, under the headline “Scenes from the Real America.”

Gun show attendees are paranoid. Wiegel discovered a group so fearful that Obama will ban their guns that they’ve fueled a national trend to stockpile ammo.  Guns and ammo are sold here with no concern for paperwork.  You can pick up Nazi merchandise, as well as any sort of gun paraphernalia and a selection of clever, racist t-shirts.

Wiegel interviewed a man, asking about his problems with the President, whose logic was this: “There’s a black man in the White House. What else do you need to know?” The man, knowing Wiegel was a journalist, later tracked him down and destroyed pages in his notebook in fear that he’d put his name in a story. Another man told of stockpiling food in a spare bedroom, just in case. He thinks people are going to start stealing food.

Another group, called “Birthers,” hangs on to the failed campaign strategy that said Obama is not an American citizen. They say there’s an illegal alien in the White House.

Some smart entrepreneurs know how to make a buck off the Obama paranoia, whether they’re convincing citizens to buy arms or ideas. You can buy videos of the whole shooting match, starting at $15.95. Or fire an AK-47 for $125. The most popular t-shirt seems to be one comparing Obama to Hitler.

Sales haven’t been this good since since Bill Clinton, who inspired similar fears without the racism.