Jun 282012

A Kentucky waterways story

By Ed McClanahan

A few months ago, Danny Mayer, the editor of the highly respectable rag you hold in your hand at this moment, told me he’d heard that back in the late 1950s, my friend Wendell Berry and I took a little three-day canoe trip down the Kentucky River, and asked if I’d be interested in writing a piece recollecting the experience for North of Center’s ongoing series about Kentucky waterways.

Wendell and Ed. Photo courtesy of Ed McClanahan.

Yeah, sure, sez I, and blithely promised him I’d produce 1500 words for the July issue.

So the deadline is coming down, and I’ve got the 1500 words, all right, but somehow I haven’t even got around to mentioning my trip with Wendell yet. (Our canoe itself does make a cameo appearance, although Wendell is nowhere in sight.) What I’ve found myself writing instead is a far more ambitious undertaking, a meditation about my father and me, the surface of which is barely scratched by my measly 1500-word opening salvo. Clearly, this story wants to become a much more expansive piece of writing, and therefore I’m obliged to do my best to make that happen.

My and Wendell’s canoe trip will still be in it, though, and because my dad eventually became a sort of mini-mogul in the river transportation business, it’s still a Kentucky waterways story too—just not exactly the one I intended to tell.

Anyhow, here’s what I’ve got so far: Continue reading »

Jun 282012

Storm drain art revived

NoC News

“This is exactly what this whole project is about: getting a dialogue started about the storm drain system, what it does, where it is. Once you get people talking, they’ll remember—and they’ll talk about it.” –Claudia Michler

Talking, and looking at them, the painted drains that is. So much so that when some of the paint capitulated to the weather (as the artists knew it would) art watchers started to request touch-ups.

Blake Eames and Claudia Michler are the artists responsible for the painted storm sewer drains around downtown, neighborhoods near UK, and the near north side. Made You Look!, their project, won an EcoART grant from the city to help with the storm sewer public education campaign. Eames and Michler have now been granted limited funds to revive some of the painted drains. Continue reading »

Jun 282012

We approached Dylan and Tesla as they were coming out to smoke a cigarette on the porch of their friend’s house. It didn’t take long to convince them to sit on the orange sectional across the street. They were headed to a concert in Berea where Dylan’s band was going to play as well.

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


Jun 282012

Sodomy laws and marriage amendments

By Marcus Flores

North Carolina put to vote a heterosexual marriage referendum in early May of this year.  Given the state’s rural demographics, perhaps the result was an unsurprising one. Yet it was not the first (and probably will not be the last) state to do so; in 2004 Kentucky adopted a similar such amendment from a resolution that cited the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case, which, the resolution said, “may undermine the foundation of marriage as the fundamental union between a man and a woman.” Strange. Continue reading »

Jun 272012

The leek: a satirical take

By Horace Heller Hedley, IV

Following its recent hiring of Fox News correspondent Greg Burke as official media consultant, the Vatican has continued its public outreach by establishing a new Office of Excommunications. The incoming director, Fr. Bartomeo Taccahaicca, has pledged to streamline the process of excommunication, currently bogged down by confused regulations, antiquated administrative procedures, and skyrocketing demand.

The Vatican has been scrambling to update its excommunication methods—little has changed since the Middle Ages—in the face of a steep increase in requests for excommunication in recent years. “In past centuries most excommunications were involuntary,” explained Roberto Delvecchio of the Pontifical Institute. “The demand for voluntary excommunication in the past few years has caught the Church off guard. The administrative structure is completely log-jammed.”   Continue reading »

Jun 262012

Will pay for public education

By Beth Connors-Manke

On April 5, 2012, The Herald-Leader ran an opinion piece by Whitney Tilson, a hedge fund manager and a member of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. Following Warren Buffet’s lead, Tilson came out of the closet as a person who cares about more things than just his own bank account.

Tilson began his article, which originally ran in the Washington Post, with a statement that surely caused angina, if not outright cardiac arrest, in the R. Paul family:

“I am part of the 1 percent of the 1 percent. By that I mean that I am fortunate to be a wealthy American and I say, ‘It’s okay to raise my taxes.’”

Gasp, sputter.

Inspired by rich people who display that philanthropic spirit also known as paying equitable taxes, I’ll offer my own public plea:

“I am part of the 99 percent. I am fortunate to have had access to a good American education and I say, ‘It’s okay to raise my taxes to support public education.’” Continue reading »

Jun 252012

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

By Captain Comannokers
NoC Transportation Czar

There are a shit ton of people out there who are not very good drivers. I am SO in favor of making it tougher to get a license. You should need a 90 percent or higher on your written test. If you don’t know the laws and how they apply to the road, should you be out on it?

Add our modern-world distractions that folks love to tinker with while behind the wheel, and the recipe is like adding sour milk to a rotten egg omelet. Continue reading »