Jun 242012

Homegrown Hideways in Berea, KY

By Dave Cooper

Are you worried about how peak oil and climate change will affect your life?  Do you want to live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle?  Do you want to spend less time stuck in traffic and more time stuck in the garden?

“Raising Backyard Chickens” is one of 65 workshops offered at the Whippoorwill Festival – Skills for Earth-Friendly Living. Photo by Jessa Turner.

The Whippoorwill Festival is a four day festival in mid-July near Berea, Kentucky (just south of Lexington off Interstate 75) that seeks to promote sustainable living by sharing earth-friendly living skills with one another in a positive, healthy, family-friendly atmosphere.

Running Thursday July 12 through Sunday July 15, Whippoorwill celebrates Kentucky’s Appalachian heritage while helping prepare our minds and bodies for a future world of climate change and a diminished supply of fossil fuels.  The festival is a low-cost event ($20 per person per day) with simultaneous workshops, tent camping, healthy and home-cooked meals, guest speakers, plus old-time and mountain music, dancing, and story-telling in the evenings. Continue reading »

Jun 242012

Pebbles propel ROCK to 177-51 victory

By Sunny Montgomery

Doing it for the kids. Photo by Lewis Gardner.

I arrived to Heritage Hall last Saturday a little after six o’clock.  The Lexington Rollergirls (ROCK) were warming up, skating graceful laps around the track in preparation for their second home bout of the season against the Jewel City Rollergirls (JCRG) of West Virginia. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake serenaded overhead.  As I took a front-row seat and opened my notebook, announcer Bill Widener welcomed the audience, introduced himself, and then his co-announcer Mike Trusty, husband to league president and five year ROCK veteran Kitty O’Doom.

Mike gestured to the west-facing wall where a group of little girls leaned, wearing white t-shirts, kneepads and roller skates.  These, he announced, were special guests:  members of the junior roller derby also known as the Pebbles.  The miniature rollergirls made their way onto the track for individual introductions while the crowd cheered in raucous agreement:  this was unequivocally adorable. Continue reading »

Jun 242012

By Clay Shields

On May 4 this year, after almost three years battling cancer, Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away—a sad day not only for B-Boys, but for all of music.

MCA was a founding member of the musical powerhouse the Beastie Boys, as well as the Milarepa Foundation, a non-profit responsible for the international, decade-long Tibetan Freedom Concert series, the biggest, US-based musical benefit since 1985’s Live Aid.

In 1986, MCA, Michael “Mike D” Diamond, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz—the three emcee’s behind such genre-bending classics as “Fight for Your Right (To Party)” and “Sabotage”—cut their debut full-length album, Licensed to Ill, the first hip hop album to top the Billboard charts.  Over twenty-five years later, the Beastie Boys were still touring and had produced seven platinum or better albums by April 2012, when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (just a month before MCA’s passing).

Sheisty-Krhist. Image by Stacey Earley.

But the honors and homage aren’t stopping there (“You can’t, you won’t, and you don’t stop”).  On Friday July 27, Al’s Bar (Sixth and Limestone) will play host to “Sheisty Khrist & Sundog Revival present The Beastie Boys: A Tribute”—an event which will be equal parts hip hop extravaganza, ‘80s (dress-up) dance party, and charitable benefit concert.  Continue reading »

Jun 202012

Misadventures in gardening

By Beth Connors-Manke

Three years ago, this Misadventures column began with my hapless gardening at the London Ferrell Community Garden on Third Street. Since I’m better at walking than growing vegetables, it slowly mutated into a column about city pedestrianism. However, because my neighborhood seems to be the community gardening version of Silicon Valley (it’s a veritable who’s who of dirt-dusted urban farmers), it was only matter of time before I’d have to return to my misadventures in gardening.  Continue reading »

Jun 062012

By Jack Stevenson

In 1920 the United States adopted an amendment to the United States Constitution that prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages.  That act generated a crime wave.  During the next 13 years, gangsters took over cities—the infamous Al Capone ran Chicago—800 gangsters were murdered in Chicago, 500,000 U.S. citizens went to prison, thousands of people died from drinking poisoned “moonshine” whiskey, and many were blinded.  In 1933 the constitutional amendment was repealed, and, thereafter, alcoholic beverages were sold as controlled, licensed, and taxed products—a much better solution.  When a previous generation of Americans realized that Prohibition, “the noble experiment,” was a failure, they changed course.  Perhaps we should change course again.  Continue reading »

Jun 062012

Murder, hatred and George Zimmerman

By Marcus Flores

State prosecutors in Florida, evidently dissatisfied with convicting George Zimmerman of atonable recklessness, have recently announced that they may try Zimmerman for a hate crime because he “profiled and stalked” Trayvon Martin before killing him.  Is this account genuine?

Imagining the scene of any crime is a formidable task for even the most distinguished detective.  Re-creation relies on evidence and witness testimony.  Physical evidence gathered following the February 26 encounter consisted of two components: Trayvon’s scraped knuckles and Zimmerman’s head wounds—which, in tandem, are consistent with a fist fight.  Zimmerman cannot be vindicated on basis of this evidence alone; the wounds speak not to who started the fight but only who came up short during it. Continue reading »

Jun 062012

Though Melissa quickly agreed to sit in the brown velvet chair, it did not belong to her. It sat in the front yard of John, her neighbor across the street, in the midst of the flowers he grows each year, all of them native to Kentucky.

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

Jun 062012

By Michael Dean Benton

Joseph Anthony is in the midst of a creative surge. In 2009, the Bluegrass Community and Technical College humanities professor authored Camden Blues, a short story collection put out by Wind Publishing. Earlier this year, Old Seventy Creek Press released his novel Pickering’s Mountain. Later this year, Wind will release Bluegrass Funeral, a collection of short stories/novellas about Central Kentucky. Not bad for a college professor with a 5-5 course load.

I had heard that Anthony’s most recent offering, Pickering’s Mountain, dealt with the issue of mountaintop removal in Eastern Kentucky, and so, with the Kentucky Rising protests of June 1-3 in Frankfort coming up, it seemed this was a good time to read it.  I was rewarded in multiple ways: a rich, sensitive text, superb characters, and a keen eye for both the Eastern Kentucky landscape and the ethical complexities of the political issues that affect the communities that reside there. Continue reading »

Jun 062012

By Andrew Battista

The 2011-12 academic cycle is over, and many at the University of Kentucky will remember the year primarily as the “season of the unibrow,” a long odyssey that culminated when the Wildcats won their eighth NCAA men’s basketball championship.

Of course, the bygone academic calendar also doubles as the “year of the protestor,” a period in which activists gathered en masse to beat drums, camp out in tents, and occupy the chasm between the fantasy of justice and the reality of global economic imperialism.  Time Magazine did actually name “the protestor” as the Person of the Year in 2011, an honor, Kurt Anderson explains, meant to recognize citizens who “share a belief that their countries’ political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt—sham democracies rigged to favor the rich and powerful and prevent significant change.”  Continue reading »