May 312012

By Don Pratt

Sit-in for the Mountains participants. Author in background holding Kentucky Proud sign. Photo courtesy Don Pratt collection.

Editor’s note: Following the February 2011 weekend occupation of the governor’s office by Kentucky Rising activists, several Frankfort women organized a Sit-in for the Mountains (  Nearly every Thursday, a small dedicated group of volunteers gathered outside of the governor’s office to bear witness on behalf of the people, flora, fauna and/or land of Appalachian Kentucky. Local rabble-rouser, former grocer, amateur sign-maker and perennial candidate for local office Don Pratt began regularly attending these sit-ins. Below are sketch observations from time spent sitting outside the Governor’s office.


Many of the capitol staff were supportive, quietly or openly, from the very beginning.  Caroline Taylor Webb, who deserves most of the credit for maintaining recruitment and sharing the ongoing sit-ins for the mountains, had worked there a few years ago, so the staff mostly welcomed us. Spaulding Bakery donuts won over a few others who became first name acquaintances. I was usually able to generate some smiles when I began suggesting my state capital appearances were undertaken while on work release or lunch break from Little Caesars Pizza. Continue reading »

May 162012

By Patrick O’Dowd

As a product of Lexington Catholic High School, I was chagrined to see the headlines Sunday morning, May 13. I write ‘chagrined’ because it is entirely unsurprising. The “same-sex couple unallowed to attend prom” headline surfaces with regularity this time of the year—that my Catholic alma mater was now the latest institution to partake in this injustice seemed altogether predictable.

What was not predictable was the deft handling of the matter from students Hope Decker and Tiffany Wright. After being told the day prior by the school’s administration that she and her date, Wright, would not be allowed to attend prom, Decker said, “This is ridiculous. There’s gotta be something we could do about this.” So the students did, and as they were turned away from the dance by the school, cameras from two local news stations were there waiting to tell their story. Decker’s and Wright’s public response in front of the cameras was undramatic, level-headed, and deliberate; their actions taken to rebuke the school, savvy and smart. Continue reading »

May 022012

Saturday May 19 at BCTC’s Cooper campus

By Rebecca Claire Glasscock

“It is a remarkable paradox that, at the pinnacle of human material and technical achievement, we find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, worried about how others see us, unsure of our friendships, driven to consume and with little or no community life.” So opens The Spirit Level by Kate Picket and Richard Wilkinson. The book’s authors, two public health experts, make the case that equitable societies are better societies. The benefits extend from physical and mental health to reduced violence, stronger communities and better outcomes for our youth. Continue reading »

May 022012

Boonesborough to Valley View

By Wesley Houp

“Curiosity is natural to the soul of man, and interesting objects have a powerful influence on our affections.”

—Daniel Boone

On a sunny, 35-degree afternoon in March, we haul our boats down I-75, cross the river at Clay’s Ferry, hang a left on U.S. 627, and make our winding descent to Boonesborough and lock 10.  Our objective: reconnoiter the watershed below Boone’s famous fort, make note of all curiosities, and emerge from the river valley approximately 20 miles downstream at Valley View in two days’ time.  It’s my inaugural voyage with this particular coterie of slackwater venturists, and I find myself in the odd rank of newbie and Kentucky River native (river expert by association) simultaneously. 

The Brooklyn. Photo by Troy Lyle.

Continue reading »

May 022012

By Richard Becker

In November 2011, shortly after beginning a new career as a labor organizer with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), I received a call from an employee of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.  He wanted me to meet with some employees in the Division of Waste Management.  He said there would be about a half a dozen individuals who wanted to ask me some questions about organizing and what it would mean for them.  So I packed up my things, brought a few union cards and one sign-in sheet and made for the meeting place.

When I arrived I realized I had come gravely unprepared.  There weren’t just a handful of workers—there were close to one hundred of them packing our small meeting room.  They kept me busy for the next two hours with a whirlwind of questions, comments, concerns, and calls to action.  Workers poked and prodded each other to speak up, speak out, and get involved.  They shouted out ideas and suggestions, and signed up to help organize.  Leaving the meeting that day I felt flushed, exhilarated and, for the first time in months, like there was a real and tangible purpose to the work I was doing.

Baxter Leach and Cynthia Hart, past and present AFSCME Local 1733. Photo courtesy Richard Becker.

Continue reading »

May 022012

Charade opens series on May 30

By Barbara Goldman

Entering the 10th season of its Summer Classics Movie Series, the Kentucky  Theater is eager to get started on Wednesday, May 30, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn gracing the screen together in Charade.

“Our audience is very diverse. The movies bring people back to the theater that used to come here when they were children, teenagers, or university students,” says Kentucky Theater General Manager Fred Mills. “We are very very lucky to have it here.

Mills, who has been with the theater since 1963, credits film series booker Larry Thomas with helping to once again make this film series a huge success.

“The booker has a lot of tough issues to overcome when finding us films. We seek out 35mm prints that are available and still in release,” says Mills. “Once we find those prints available the question is then raised as to what kind of condition the film is in.”

In addition, the theater receives film request from patrons throughout the year.

“People ask and offer suggestions, give us hand written notes at the ticket stand, email us. They send us hundreds of suggestions, all of which we suggest to the booker.”

The 2012 season

This season is getting kicked off in usual fashion with a rarely seen and rare studio print.

Charade is one of the best ‘Hitchcock non Hitchcock’ films there is,” says Mills about the film.  After finishing this film, Cary Grant was quoted as saying, “All I want for Christmas is to make another movie with Audrey Hepburn.”

Mills is excited to bring several films back to the series after they received such a response from the public.

“We showed The Wizard of Oz several years ago. It’s always a huge favorite. We are also very excited to be bringing back Casablanca for its 70th anniversary. A lot of folks have a very strong affection for the movie. It’s one of my favorites. It’s a feel-good movie and it’s always entertaining.”

This year’s movie variety will certainly offer something for everyone. Movies range from Woody Allen’s Oscar winning Annie Hall, to Mary Poppins, The White Heat, Pillow Talk, and It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Classic film fans who don’t see their favorite flick listed need not be disappointed. For the second year in a row, the folks at Sqecial Media (located at 371 South Limestone) will help sponsor additional Wednesday movie nights, the selections for which are still to be decided.

“Last year the Sqecial Media stepped up and helped the series continue longer. It was a huge success. It exceeded expectations,” says Mills. “It really tapped into the University community and people who enjoy foreign films. This year instead of just sponsoring three, they wanted to do four!”

$5 per seat for all shows. Most films show twice on Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m, with the exception of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which will also play at 4 p.m. due to the Fourth of July Holiday. For more information on the series, including the schedule, go to

May 022012

Karen’s family collected this couch two years earlier from outside another apartment on North Martin Luther King Boulevard. They prayed that it would have no bugs in it. It didn’t, but it quickly got infested by fleas from their dogs. They put it on the curb when they got a newer and smaller couch, after this one got shredded by the dogs.

Image and text by Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde, Discarded project. Continue reading »

May 022012

By Cannon-Marie Green Milby and Jonathan S. Milby 

In early April, struggling to connect with women voters and trailing President Obama by 19 percent in approval ratings among women, presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced his wife Ann as his advisor on “women’s economic issues.”

On April 11, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen landed herself at the top of the list of “most hated” women in America by stating on Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees that, “What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.”

When Rosen questioned Ann Romney’s qualifications to be an advisor on women’s economic issues, Rosen shattered the safekeeping of women in presidential politics.  In the words of Linda DiVall, a Republican pollster, it was “unbelievably shocking to hear another woman talk about Ann Romney in such a way.” Evidently, it has been hard for the public and pundits alike to come to terms with women disagreeing with each other.

The message taken away from Rosen’s answer to Cooper’s question was that stay-at-home mothers do not work. However, Rosen was actually arguing that Mitt Romney does not take women seriously, and she was right. Continue reading »