Dec 082010

Does Lee Todd blame stupid Kentuckians for Top 20’s failure?

By Danny Mayer

This is part of a regular series that analyzes components of the University of Kentucky’s pro-business Top 20 compact with the state. This segment will look at Top 20’s relationship to Undergraduate Education, particularly its relationship to ACT scores.

Does Lee Todd blame stupid Kentuckians for Top 20’s failure?

I wrote these words in my moleskin about halfway through UK CEO Lee Todd’s press conference announcing his retirement from the University of Kentucky. At the presser, Todd had (among other things) boiled down to two the greatest impediments to UK’s attainment of the Top 20 Dream: the lack of state funding caused by the unforeseeable collapse of an over-leveraged market and the high population of educationally-challenged college-age Kentuckians. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

By Beth Connors-Manke

NoC Features Editor

In our last issue, Betsy Taylor wrote a poignant and critical article entitled “Islam, Violence and Mourning in America.” In that article, she wrote about the murder of her friend Dan Terry in Afghanistan; after 30 years of work in community development abroad, Terry was gunned down in August. Terry represented a “dynamic sense of human solidarity, open and creative” – he was an exemplar of civic action, civic being.

Taylor’s article was about the loss of a friend, but it was also more broadly about how American culture has come to work, politically and otherwise. Advocating for an American civic sphere in which citizens come together in order to act together, to create a reality together, Taylor drew on the work of political philosopher Hannah Arendt who describes a citizenry “who pledge to act together for the common good. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

Eastern State Hospital and Kentucky State Archives blocking access to death and burial records for ESH cemetery

By Bruce Burris

Founder, Eastern State Hospital Cemetery Preservation Project

Eight summers ago, directly behind the Hope Center, on Eastern State Hospital (ESH) property, I blundered onto a small wildly overgrown space surrounded by a broken chain link fence. I knew it to be a cemetery only because a man mowing grass on a property nearby allowed that it was when I asked. He also mentioned that he thought there were over 2,000 people buried there, a number that was beyond my ability to really grasp. Somewhat ironically, I was only there in the first place because I was searching for an appropriate space to start a community garden.

Since that day, it has been established that this tiny spot, not much larger than a typical middle class backyard, contains the remains of between 4,000 and 7,000 people — mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, politicians, shopkeepers, farmers … humans. Further, these numbers do not include the remains of the many thousands more we believe to be scattered throughout the original ESH property. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

Nativity Singers, Beth Burden, and self-promotion

Friday, December 10

The Nativity Singers with Real Numbers and Second Story Man

Al’s Bar, 10:00 P.M.

Lexington trio The Nativity Singers play a deceptive brand of rock: the noisy guitars and offhand vocals give you the impression of a band that isn’t working very hard, but that’s only an illusion. Underneath all clanging and shaking are tightly structured pop songs, with an internal logic that isn’t immediately apparent. As such, the music rewards repeated listening.
Luck have it, you can begin your listening, if you haven’t already, with this show, a fundraiser for community bike shop The Broke Spoke. —Keith Halladay Continue reading »

Dec 082010

Shootin’ n snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

One more year has come and gone. A fact I’m keenly aware of now that the days have become shorter. For many this change in seasons, this early arrival of night (or dawn, depending on one’s schedule) awakens ancient biorhythms, signaling the soul to rest, take it easy, and enjoy the silence. And though I do tend to slow down this time of year, daylight savings is anything but welcomed in my home.

For one, the shorter days seem to leave me in a funk. I’m lifeless. I sleep sporadically. I eat sporadically. I can never tell what time of day it is. I’m seemingly lost in the lost and found. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

“This is my tribe. I feel like my family has found me–this is so much more than just strapping on skates. It’s knowing that you have the support of this incredible group of people for just about anything you can imagine.”

—Rainbow Smite

“Derby has been the hardest thing, both physically and emotionally, that I have ever done. It has made me a completely different person than I was before. I have so much more self confidence than I have ever had in my life. I have learned to push through adversity and I’ve learned how to deal with people from all walks of life. Derby has literally made me fearless. I’m now willing to try to do things that I would have been afraid of before because I know that if I can be Kitty on the track, I can tackle anything that life throws at me off the track.”

—Kitty O’Doom Continue reading »

Dec 082010

By Keith Halladay

About halfway through Friday night’s Open Mic Grand Championship, when Sam Wooden & the Urbane Gentleman had finished their set and gotten off stage, I accosted Brian Powers, their bassist, and told him this:

“Sam is the best songwriter working in Lexington—nay, anywhere—today, full stop.”

“Yeah—I know,” he replied. “Too bad he’s no longer working in Lexington. He’s in Nashville permanently now.”

“Tryna make it on the big stage?”

“Yep.” Continue reading »

Dec 082010

Out on the streets, that’s where we’ll meet

By Captain Comannokers

NoC Transportation Czar

One reason I love riding a bike so much is that it is such a multi-sensory experience.

You can feel the wind on your face. (This time of year you can do so until you can no longer feel your face.) I’ve definitely tasted a few bugs – none of which I can recommend.

Without the enclosure most vehicles have, you can smell your surroundings pretty swiftly, too. Each neighborhood has its own distinct aroma depending on types of trees, nearby factories or other odorous factors. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

CD release party 12/11 at Green Lantern

By Keith Halladay

The accessibility of advanced digital recording technology to the unsigned musician is a wonderful thing; those four-track cassette demos we made in decades past sounded absolutely terrible, no matter how much those who remember that era like to romanticize it. Nowadays anyone with a couple hundred bucks and a serviceable laptop can create recordings of pristine aural quality, and loop, overdub, and add effects galore.

But just because you own the software doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing with it, as any number of independently produced albums demonstrate. Even in the digital age, there’s really no substitute for a well-equipped studio, skilled engineering, and a producer who knows how to make bands sound the best they possibly can. Continue reading »