Feb 282010

Questionable School Spirit

This past Saturday I attended the UK vs. Tennessee game with as much school spirit as any other UK fan found in Rupp arena—except I was clad in yellow rather than in blue. My shirt read “Beyond Coal” against a neon yellow background. To say that I, and the few friends who wore the same shirt, stood out in the student eruption zone is an understatement.

As an intern with the UK Beyond Coal campaign, a campaign to push college campuses around the nation to move beyond coal to using 100% renewable energy, I was just as proud to wear my yellow than as if I were wearing Kentucky blue. Having school spirit isn’t just about supporting our basketball team; it’s about supporting any initiative towards bettering our university as a whole.

But the signs my friends and I brought to the game that read, “Let’s Move UK Beyond Coal!” were not allowed in because they were seen as a “political statement” and “would offend people on national TV.” Hold on a second, you’re telling me I can’t show my spirit for alternative energy because it’s a political statement? Like the “Kentucky Coal Cats” isn’t? Or what about the “Wildcat Coal Lodge”? Is that omitted from being a political statement as well?

I’m just wondering why my passion and interest for bettering the health and well being of my school’s community could offend people. I find it offensive that a school wanting to be a top 20 university by 2020 is hindering its potential by oppressing those of us who support alternative energy solutions, a move that would only benefit and progress the school toward such a high status.

It leaves me questioning how truly school spirited UK is acting these days.

Becca Barhorst


UK Political science freshmen

Louden and Limestone

A few issues ago, you ran an article about the LexTran renovation at N. Limestone and Loudon. You asked for suggestions about the intersection. My letter is part demand and part dream.

First, the demand part: when I cross at that light, drivers making left-hand turns pretty regularly try to run me over. They seem to think that their left-hand turn suspends the law of the road that states DO NOT HIT PEDESTRIANS. Nothing at the corner is pedestrian friendly. There are no “walk/do not walk” lights; there’s no sign, which I’ve seen around the UK campus and in Chevy Chase, that says turning cars must yield to pedestrians. Northsiders deserve the same pedestrian protection as southsiders and crazy college students who walk whenever they want.

Also, one of the corners is cordoned off due to building construction, forcing me and other peds to walk out into a right-hand turn lane. It’s muddy, and there’s often trash at the intersection. People need to learn how to throw their junk away in a trashcan! Come on, people. We may be on the northside, but we don’t have to live in each other’s garbage (it only gets worse when you walk south on Lime to 5th).

To recap, here are my demands: a safer intersection for walkers and a cleaner one for everyone.

Now for the dream part: The great thing about the stretches that lead up to the intersection—along N. Lime as well as along Loudon—is that there are lots of buildings for small businesses (especially on Lime north of the intersection). I’d love to see all the current business thrive and more to come in, drawing walkers from the neighborhood. We need more local restaurants there. We did have one café, but that has been closed recently.

Also, as a side note, what has happened to the work on the medians on Loudon east of the intersection? They look good until about Idlewild and then go into the crapper. Anyone know?

A Castlewood resident

Feb 282010

By Cheyenne Hohman

Bicycle collectives are community resource centers.  They usually offer free workshops or trainings, or simply have a workshop open to the public furnished with necessary tools and other supplies for bike maintenance.  Many also offer services as a space to refurbish bikes that have been donated or scavenged, and given to those that invest the work on the bicycles—or they are sometimes sold as fundraisers. Bicycle collectives are not-for-profit by principle. They are run in a de-centralized, collective fashion.

Bicycle collectives from all over the southeastern region of the US and beyond are headed to Louisville, KY this spring.  For three days, the FreeWheel Bike Collective in Louisville is hosting the second annual bicycle collective conference, or Bike!Bike! Southeast. Continue reading »

Feb 282010

By Katie Dixon

Coal and Kentucky. For some the two are tightly bound in deeply rooted tradition and pride. Others see the relationship as a shameful reminder of decades of environmental degradation for the selfish purposes of cheap electricity and swift, easy profits. The “coal issue” is no longer a feud being played out in our distant counties; Lexington’s neighbors to the east may soon share their bluegrass with the Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative’s (EKPC) newest coal-fired power plant.

New train tracks lead to open land near sight of as-yet unapproved coal plant. Photo by Katie Dixon.

The EKPC’s proposition is to construct a 278-megawatt coal-fueled unit at the J.K. Smith Station in southern Clark County. The Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) has been working with the EKPC to obtain a Title V air pollution permit that states the emissions from the Smith power plant meet Environmental Protection Agency standards. Continue reading »

Feb 282010

A report on the gathering in Frankfort

By Austyn Gaffney

The social justice organization Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has a quote inspired by the cultural, economic and ecological impacts of mountain-top removal coal mining: “What we do to the land, we do to the people.”

Marching on the capitol on I Love Mountains Day. Photo by Austyn Gaffney.

In the past few years, the process of extracting coal through mountain-top removal has gained national attention, due to both the overwhelming scientific support of its devastating effects on the land and the grassroots voices arising in protest against it. Campaigners against MTR range from NASA climate scientist James Hansen and country singer Kathy Mattea, to farmer and writer Wendell Barry and the many individuals live within the mountains and along the rivers downstream. Continue reading »

Feb 242010

Mission Express to Cosmic Charlie’s

By John Fogle

Saturday, February 27

Early Show: Chuck Prophet w/ Six $ Whiskeys

Cosmic Charlie’s, 7 PM, $12. 21+

Chuck Prophet brings his Mission Express to Cosmic Charlie’s on Saturday night for what is being billed as an “early” show. Longtime listeners will know that this qualifies as something of a return gig, since—in its former incarnation as Lynagh’s Music Club—the same site hosted the Chuckster for more than a few sessions in the mid to late 90s. The memory this conjures up for your correspondent is one of Prophet writhing on the floor, propelled by Winston Watson’s massive backbeat, screaming into one of those bullet mics routed through a distorted tube amplifier: “I AM the shore patrol!”

While much of the funky Lynagh’s vibe remains unchanged, the current venue has slapped the stage in a corner, added a good selection of yuppie beers so as to provide a means to take the edge off the mondo-psychedelico décor, and somehow managed to jerk up the storied “plant your feet and they stay planted” Lynagh’s rug. Continue reading »

Feb 242010

Free gathering at Natasha’s on Friday, February 26

By Kiley Lane of the Lexington Film League

On Friday, February 26, from 6-8 PM, the Lexington Film League will host the “Do-ers Video Screening and Event Ceremony” at Natasha’s Bistro and Bar in Lexington. The event is free and open to the public.

When asked what to expect from the event, LFL co-producer Sarah Wylie VanMeter stated, “We expect a big crowd at Natasha’s. The contest didn’t just reach a film public, it extended to organizations and their supporters, too. And, if the stream of People’s Choice award votes we’ve been getting since Feb 1 is any indication, those networks are huge.”

Do-ers and the community

The definition of what makes someone or something a “Do-er” is somewhat obscure.

When the Lexington Film League announced their “Do-ers Video Contest” in the fall of 2009, they coined a “do-er” as any person, organization or business doing something to make their community better or more interesting. This interpretation left a lot open to the imagination, but the end result is that the Lexington Film League now has 22 videos that exemplify just what a “do-er” is and can be.

Lucy Jones, the newest co-producer of the Lexington Film League, cited the contest as one of the reasons she joined LFL. “I didn’t join the group until the planning stage of the event was already underway,” Jones notes. “I must admit—learning about the contest was a strong incentive to join! I’m proud to be part of an organization that is not only interested in promoting filmmaking, but is motivated in exploring the power of film to uplift the community.”

One of the hardest aspects of filmmaking is learning how to tell a story that is not your own. Creating something that makes sense, believe it or not, is not as easy as it sounds. The leaders of the Lexington Film League feel that each filmmaker of the Do-ers Video Contest achieved emotion and understanding of his or her subject that went above and beyond any expectation.

For the last five months the Lexington Film League has put up posters in both Lexington and Louisville, sent emails and made phone calls to surrounding schools and non-profit organizations and even reached out to other organizations across the state. “The community response has been very large, and very positive. Large, because the videos feature (mostly) organizations, and for the most part those organizations that have a large networks of supporters. And positive, because these ‘do-ers’ often are completely under most people’s radars,” says co-producer VanMeter.

If you visit the Lexington Film League’s YouTube account where all of the videos are posted (youtube/user/lexingtonfilmleague), you will see everything from Lexington citizens expressing their love of art to an individual being art in Louisville’s 21c Museum/Hotel. You will learn about a high school boy who clears walkways and driveways for free and a man who reads in Cheapside Park aloud.

You will learn about the Americana Community Center in Louisville, Hospice of the Bluegrass and Lexington’s Living Arts and Science Center. Perhaps you will become enthralled with an organization that empowers young girls, one that provides counseling services, those students feeding the homeless and a brick squad dedicated to helping the handicap.

Due to this diversity it was very difficult for LFL to choose the top 10 videos to be shown at Natasha’s. When asked if there were any surprises when watching the submissions, Jones responded by saying, “While I grew up in Kentucky, I have only recently returned here. So every aspect of the event has been a surprise. I am thrilled to know that there are so many incredible service organizations in the community, as well as individuals intent on making a difference. I am also thrilled to see the level of talent that exists in the filmmaking community.”

LFL and film communities

If LFL could have given a prize to each filmmaker and his or her prospective organization, we would have, but aside from the People’s Choice award, a $400 cash prize will go to the Best Overall, to be split between the nonprofit organization of the filmmaker’s choice. A Student Award has also recently been added. The Lexington Film League wants to thank Henry Clay High School’s Matthew Logsdon for motivating a number of his students to enter the contest; in part as a result of his efforts and interest, we created an award to recognize their efforts.

The Lexington Film League is dedicated to creating events to fit every genre and interest in film and filmmaking. We hope to bring both new and old interpretations to an amazing and attainable form of expression. We believe that by connecting Lexington audiences to filmmakers—and to a whole world of artists that make Lexington and Kentucky so artistically spontaneous—that we will help build on a community dedicated to the arts.

“LFL is important to Lexington because there are already lots of filmmakers here, and they need to be given opportunities to show what they’re doing. And because there are a lot of people who would like to try filmmaking, and they need to know they have community and support. There are also a lot of people who are just crazy about film, and they need ways to get their fix. We’re one more block that’s building the film community in Lexington and in Kentucky,” reflects VanMeter.

Please join the Lexington Film League at Natasha’s Bistro and Bar on Esplanade St. on Friday February 26th from 6 – 8 PM. Aside from a wonderful evening of “Do-ers” videos, we will also be announcing our next contest and big event, which will take place at the end of May.

We hope to see you there in support of not only LFL, but also the filmmakers and organizations who have shown that anyone can be a do-er—you just have to go out and DO something rather than choose to do nothing at all.

Feb 132010

Remembering Howard Zinn

By Michael Benton and Michael Marchman

The news that historian, author, playwright, and activist Howard Zinn died on January 27 of this year hit us hard. Zinn, as much as anyone in our lives, revolutionized how we understand our history, ourselves, and, our roles as educators. “In a world where justice is maldistributed,” he wrote, “there is no such thing as a neutral or representative recapitulation of the facts.” We agree. There is tremendous injustice in the world and as educators we feel a deep responsibility to our students, our community, and ultimately to ourselves, to acknowledge these injustices, to seek explanations for them, and to challenge them.

Zinn provided a model for us, urging us to encourage our students to be active participants in democracy rather than passive spectators. And he showed us how to do it. Continue reading »

Feb 132010

By Danny Mayer

Illustration by J.T. Dockery

Editor’s Note: Upon the death of Hunter S. Thompson, this article was submitted to, but never published by, Nougat Magazine. One of the perks of owning your own paper is self-indulgence. Here’s one such self-indulgent moment on the fifth anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson’s suicide.

February 21, 2005

7:00 A.M.

Life just seems too huge and too fascinating for me to begin thinking about curing my restlessness at this stage of the game. Maybe later.

Hunter S. Thompson, June 4, 1958

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

Joseph Conrad

I haven’t had a drink this early in quite some time, unless you count an 8 A.M. nightcap as an early drink. It’s been even longer since I’ve had rum on ice. Continue reading »

Feb 132010

By Troy Lyle

Slick roads, bitter cold and nearly five inches of snow were not enough to thwart 37 disc golfers from braving the elements to participate in the inaugural WCCPR Frozen Iron Ice Bowl. The 36 hole tournament, held at Ironhills Park in Winchester on January 30, was the first Bluegrass Disc Golf Association (BDGA) event of 2010 to be sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) of America.

Sanctioned events must be approved by the PDGA, have divisions based on skill levels and require meeting certain PDGA standards, said Lewis Willian, longtime BDGA member and WCCPR event organizer. In addition, a sanctioning fee is required, as well as specific payouts in terms of prizes. Continue reading »