Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2012 by othersideoflife

The Other Side of Life

The Louisville musician, artist, collaborator, and all-around fantastic human being Jason Noble died today. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

UPDATE, 8/5/2012: A number of tributes and obituaries for Jason have been appearing across Facebook and in other parts of the internet. One of the most moving ones we’ve read is by Louisvillian Syd Bishop, over at the Never Nervous blog. Thanks, Syd.

Official obituaries have been published by Billboard and Pitchfork. A number of YouTube clips from Jason’s various musical projects over the years are available at each.

Also, the web site compiles a number of Jason’s works. And a few of Jason’s columns for LEO Weekly are available at

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Update on Bardstown Road Bike Crash

Posted in Crime, Environment, Louisville News, Transportation, Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

As we reported Tuesday evening, a female bicyclist was struck by a van on Bardstown Road near Grinstead Drive that afternoon. Unfortunately, we have some sad news to report, as posted on the Louisville Hardcore forums:

As some of you may have heard, some of you may have not, my roommate Jen Futrel passed away last night due to damage she recieved from getting hit from behind on her bike Tuesday afternoon on Bardstown Road.

Please send love, good energy, pray, or whatever you do to her family and Stewart. She was an amazing person who was full of love and warmth. She provided meals for many and some of my best memories have been shared with her.

We will be meeting at Fort Future (924 Shelby Parkway for those of you not in the know) at around 5:30pm and then going to chain the ghost bike up on Bardstown Road (in between Grinstead and Highland) around 7:00pm. Please come to show your support for safer streets, Jen and her loved ones, and all cyclists who’ve been hurt or killed.

Generally we wouldn’t post something like this, from a message board, but the Courier-Journal hasn’t updated their initial story, and we felt it should be out there. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of another bicyclist killed on Louisville’s supposedly safer streets this year. Adding to the sadness, Ms. Futrel was a signatory to Safe Streets Louisville, a worthy organization dedicated to holding reckless drivers accountable.

What’s In the Weeklies? Week of May 21

Posted in Drink, Food, Happenings, Louisville News, Media, Uncategorized, What's In the Weeklies? on May 21, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Welcome, once again, to another installment of What’s In the Weeklies?, where we take a look at Louisville’s two major weekly newspapers, so you don’t have to. 

LEO May 21

LEO Weekly, May 21, 2008 issue:

Overall Score: 38 points

Velocity May 21

Velocity Weekly, May 21, 2008 issue:

  • Cover Story: Feeling like a cosmopolitan 0 points (OMG, LOL, a cover story on how some women like “Sex and the City” — seriously, how is this a story? “[Viewers] liked getting a peek into life in New York” WRONG — there is not a writer — much less a columnist! — in New York who can afford that many Manolo Blahniks, people)
  • Cover Art: 0 points (given that there wasn’t much to work with concept-wise, this still sure is boring)
  • Additional News: N/A 0 points
  • Additional Features: Q&A: Lauren Weisberger 2 points (“Sex and the City” and The Devil Wears Prada in the same issue? snoooooooze. Ps. again, nobody in New York lives like people do in either show/book/whatever)
  • Opinion: This Week’s Winners and Losers, Instead of judging Miley… 5 points (wow, the second piece on the unrealistic way we as society approach adolescent sexuality is actually pretty good!)
  • Music Coverage: Ike Reilly profile, Backstage at SNL with My Morning Jacket, Pokey LaFarge profile 10 points (decent music coverage this week)
  • Food/Drink Coverage: Felice Vineyards in the Bar Hopper 5 points 
  • Number of times the phrase “Metro Council” appears: 0

Overall Score: 22 points

Even with LEO publishing their Summer Fun Guide, which by definition is going to be pretty ephemeral, Velocity was stomped this week. We suppose that this may not come as a shock to some (since we have a pretty dude-centric perspective, being dudes and all), but somehow we still have a hard time understanding the “Sex and the City” phenomenon. It wasn’t that good of a TV show even as fantasy, but we’re constantly flummoxed by fans who claim it has something — anything — to do with “real life” in New York City. Much like the apartment in “Friends” or the apparent joblessness of the characters in “Seinfeld,” “Sex and the City” doesn’t have much in common with the life we — or any of our numerous friends — lived in the Big Apple. It’s fine to enjoy it as a sort of “zany” look at dating or whatever, but people, please stop pretending this show — or really any sitcom on television — has anything to do with reality. You want reality? Watch “Frontline.”

Okay, rant over! As always, please feel free to comment! Especially as regards stuff we don’t cover in the weeklies, such as theater and film coverage.

What’s In the Weeklies? Week of May 14

Posted in Drink, Elections, Food, Happenings, Louisville News, Media, Music, Politics, Uncategorized, What's In the Weeklies? on May 14, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Welcome, once again, to another installment of What’s In the Weeklies?, where we take a look at Louisville’s two major weekly newspapers, so you don’t have to. Last week Velocity pulled off a surprising upset, but can they repeat? Read on, dear reader!

Velocity May 14

Velocity Weekly, May 14, 2008 issue:

  • Cover Story: Left of the Dial 8 points (for reasons way too complicated to go into here, we’ll say that while we agree with major points of Peter Berkowitz‘s take on WFPK‘s bland playlist, we’re still sort of ambivalent about it — that said, this is the type of cultural criticism that should be in any decent weekly paper)
  • Cover Art: -1 (bearded “hipster” — check. metrosexual — check. black dude — check. “cool mom” — check. this cover couldn’t be any worse if it tried)
  • Additional News: N/A 0 points
  • Additional Features: Rich, thin women have it all; Howard Fineman Q&A 2 points (if the Fineman Q&A isn’t particularly insightful, Lauren Titus’s column is downright insipid)
  • Opinion: This Week’s Winners and Losers 2 points (more My Morning Jacket boosterism — as if they need it)
  • Additional Music Coverage: Tantric profile 5 points (we couldn’t care less about this band, but that said, this is a well-written, if unrevealing, profile)
  • Food/Drink Coverage: The Grape Leaf review, Shenanigan’s in the Bar Hopper 5 points (it doesn’t make a lot of sense to tout a restaurant as providing “two [dinners] for $30” on your cover, then bury the caveat that “If you want to stay under $30, you need to work as a team or choose from a few menu items, mostly vegetarian” in your review)

Overall Score: 21 points

LEO May 14

LEO Weekly, May 14, 2008 issue:

Overall Score: 36 points

There you have it, LEO triumphs yet again, though Velocity‘s cover story was at least a good effort. However, considering Kentucky’s primary is next Tuesday and — more importantly — it actually matters this year, the lack of any political coverage in Velocity besides a rather weak Q&A with Newsweek writer Howard Fineman was disappointing (though not surprising given Velocity‘s primary role as an ad revenue generator).

As always, please feel free to comment! Especially as regards stuff we don’t cover in the weeklies, such as theater and film coverage.

Final Cardinals Baseball Homestand Begins Tonight

Posted in Baseball, Happenings, Louisville News, Sports, Uncategorized on May 13, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Cardinal Baseball

The final homestand for the University of Louisville Cardinals baseball team begins tonight at Jim Patterson Stadium at 6 PM. Our Cardinals (34-18, with a 14-10 record in the Big East) take on the Ball State Cardinals tonight, then finish out the season against conference rivals the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all games except Saturday start at 6 PM; Saturday’s game begins at 1 PM). All games are of course free to the public, so this will be the last chance for the fans to catch the baseball team before the Big East tournament, which begins on the 20th in Clearwater, Florida.

Cardinal Softball

In additional not-quite-baseball-but-still-really-cool news, the Louisville Cardinals softball team is once again heading to the NCAA tournament (from the Courier-Journal):

The University of Louisville softball team earned its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid yesterday.

The Cardinals (30-21) will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., and play Virginia Tech (44-15) on Friday. Tennessee (47-14) will face Winthrop (36-17) in the regional’s other first-round game. Times have not been determined.

Congratulations, Cardinals!

Moody’s & Fitch: Kentucky Outlook “Negative”

Posted in Economics, Louisville News, Politics, Sports, Uncategorized on May 13, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Steve Beshear

Generally, bond ratings don’t make much of a splash news-wise, mainly because most people — even financially-savvy ones — don’t quite understand them. What does it mean, exactly, that a bond has gone from AAA to AA? And what’s with those weird grades anyway?

Well, don’t expect us to explain bond ratings to you, dear reader (we understand them, but understanding and being able to explain something are two different things). Just take (no) solace in the fact that two of the three major bond-rating agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, downgraded their outlook of Kentucky bonds (but not the bond ratings themselves) last month (from the Courier-Journal) (warning: our sarcasm is at an all-time high with this post):

Two credit-rating services have lowered their outlook on Kentucky bonds, steps that could delay some state-funded construction projects and lead to higher borrowing costs.

Late last month, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor’s Service revised the outlook for Kentucky’s state-supported bonds from “stable” to “negative.”

Gov. Steve Beshear yesterday attributed the moves to the 2008 General Assembly’s failure to raise new revenue or pass legislation to address the $26 billion shortfall in the state pension systems. [our emphasis]

“Moody’s and Fitch expressed concern because of the current economic situation, the structural imbalance in the final budget, the draining of the state’s Rainy Day fund, the failure to pass meaningful pension reform and the continued use of one-time measures …to ‘balance’ the budget for the next two years,” Beshear said.

So as you can read above, the reason for the downgrade is Beshear’s first-term ineptitude. Great. Well, at least he’s contrite about it:

“Continued inaction in addressing pension reform and new revenue sources will bring only more bad financial news for the people of Kentucky,” Beshear said.

Thanks, Steve! So what does this all mean? Well here’s some crap to read that might explain it:

Finance Secretary Jonathan Miller said it’s impossible to say how a cautious approach might affect some of the $1.6 billion in bonds authorized by the legislature this year.

“We’re simply going to have to look at each project carefully,” Miller said. “We’re going to try to work within our means to do as much as we’re capable of doing, but we have to have this long-term outlook in mind to make sure we don’t endanger our finances and get a full downgrade.”

Moody’s and Fitch did not change their ratings of Kentucky bonds. Moody’s continues to rate Kentucky at Aa3, and Fitch rates it AA-.

These ratings are “very good,” according to Tom Howard, executive director of Kentucky’s Office of Financial Management.

But he noted that the third major rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, already rates Kentucky bonds lower, in the single-A category.

And the revisions could be a precursor to downgrades by Moody’s and Fitch if Kentucky’s financial condition does not improve, officials said.

“A one-notch rating downgrade would have significant impact on the state’s cost of borrowing money to fund state projects,” Beshear said.

If Moody’s and Fitch lowered Kentucky’s rating, it could increase the interest the state must pay on its bonds by as much as 33 one-hundredths of a percentage point in the current market, the governor’s statement said. That would result in an increase of about $58 million in debt-service payments for the state over the 20-year life of the bonds authorized during the 2008 session.

In somewhat-related local bond news, some Bermuda outfit called Assured Guaranty (boy, that’s a reassuring name) reached a deal with the Louisville Arena Authority to insure construction bonds for the downtown arena (also from the C-J):

Bermuda-based Assured Guaranty will insure construction bonds for the planned downtown arena under a preliminary deal reached yesterday with the Louisville Arena Authority.

The authority now plans to sell $360 million in bonds, through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, next month. The sale would include $280 million in variable-rate bonds, with the remainder carrying a fixed interest rate.

Officials said total interest costs on the debt, paid off over more than three decades, would be roughly $602 million — about $60 million less than estimates from earlier this year but more than the $573 million projected by bond underwriter Goldman Sachs when it was hired in January 2007.

“I’m fairly confident that we’re going to end up with a transaction that makes sense,” said Metro Council President Jim King, a banker and nonvoting arena authority member.

The bonds will be backed by a mix of arena revenues, future tax growth in Louisville and a Metro Council pledge. But the bonds aren’t considered state debt and therefore aren’t affected by yesterday’s move by two financial ratings services to lower the outlook for Kentucky bonds from “stable” to “negative.”

Whew! Thank goodness Gov. Beshear’s mistakes didn’t get in the way of Louisville building an arena it doesn’t need! But wait, here’s more details behind the deal:

Goldman Sachs would guarantee an interest-rate swap, which would insulate the authority from dramatic rate swings, according to arena officials. The authority would be at risk mainly if credit raters reduce Assured Guaranty’s rating or Goldman Sachs files for bankruptcy, they say.

“Certainly I would prefer to have fixed-rate debt just like everyone likes to have fixed-rate mortgages … but in this case I believe we’re getting the city the best deal we can get,” King said.

At yesterday’s meeting, King raised concerns about market conditions driving up interest rates before the bonds are sold. In that case, Host said, the deal would be sent back to arena authority members for review.

The arena authority would pay Assured as much as $18 million to insure the bonds. That’s higher than the $11.4 million the authority was prepared to pay Ambac Financial Group, Goldman Sachs’ original choice as insurer.

Host said the Assured Guaranty cost includes insuring the arena’s debt-service reserve fund.

The bonds were supposed to have been sold last fall but were delayed because of difficulties in the credit markets and increased pressure on bond insurers. In January, for example, Fitch Ratings downgraded Ambac’s top-tier ratings.

Tom Rousakis, a Goldman Sachs vice president, said Assured is one of two bond insurers that still has a top-flight AAA credit rating. Others have been downgraded after being hurt by the subprime-mortgage crisis.

Awesome! Way to go, Goldman Sachs! I have every confidence in your confidence in Assured Guaranty now!


It’s Bike to Work Week in Louisville!

Posted in Happenings, Louisville News, Transportation, Uncategorized on May 12, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Biking in Louisville!

You probably didn’t know this — we didn’t until just a few minutes ago — but this week marks Bike to Work Week in Louisville (above photo by James Calvert, Active Living by Design). Weirdly enough, last week Bicycling Magazine named Louisville one of three “most improved” cities (the others are Washington, D.C. and New York City).

We don’t want to rain on anyone’s bike parade (and we’ll be biking to work most every day this week — except probably Wednesday when it is forecasted to rain), but it seems a little strange that the Mayor’s Office didn’t seem to mention Bike to Work Week 2008 when touting the “most improved” distinction from Bicycling Magazine. As we’ve noted elsewhere, that recognition came on the heels of the news about a bike-riding Louisville citizen being killed by an off-duty police officer, which shows that as a city we’ve got a long ride ahead of us.