Saturday, September 01, 2007

Derby City Clock

Our occasional guest writer, “Moderate Man”, has an interesting suggestion. See what you think:

The Derby Clock built by Barney Bright in 1976, is located outside at Bowman field near the Drivers License office. You ought to see it. Although it hasn’t worked in 18 years, it is almost restored and ready for placement. Barney's son, Jep Bright, and Adam Burkle, the owner of Adam Matthews, Inc. are working to get the clock working again. As designed, the clock is 40 feet high and has figures representing George Rogers Clark, the Belle of Louisville, King Louis XVI, Thomas Jefferson and Daniel Boone racing around an oval track. No location has been selected yet. But by placing it at the Louisville International Airport, it would give visitors a classy look at our town, even if they were passing thru. They would return home talking about the Derby Clock and might spark an interest with their friends to come visit our town, even if it wasn’t Derby time. Who knows, maybe a company president might even remember the clock, when deciding to relocate his company here in Louisville, Ky.

Speaking of the Airport

Ok, this brings up a question I’ve wanted to ask for a long time. So, just why our local airport, known simply for decades as “Stanford Field”, now called “Louisville International Airport”? For that matter, how did we end up with a “Louisville International Convention Center”? We have one or two honorary consulates, but I don’t think constitutes a mini UN. Does any one know? My understanding of the word “international” is that it means transnational or more encompassing more than more country To be sure I was correct, I decided to consult my handy dandy Webster Dictionary.

According to Webster, the word “international” means “1. between or among nations (an international treaty) 2. concerned with relations between nations (an international court) 3. for the use of all nations 4. of, for, or by people of various nations”. Now, let’s apply some critical thinking skills. Does “Louisville International Airport” have any direct flights to any foreign country (Indiana doesn’t count)? Well, no. The best you can do is catch a flight in order to catch a connecting flight which may leave US airspace. Odds are you’ll have to make at least two connecting flights to get to Europe and three connectors to fly to the Pacific. Does “Louisville International” service any foreign aircraft? Again, the answer is no. How about act actual international hub? Nope. The best the airport can claim is the “White Ghost”, which is the all white 747 UPS cargo transport which flies into areas where a US presence is frown upon. So, there you have it. One lone airplane that neither you nor I can ride unless we’re in a box—perish the thought!

Let’s try the “Louisville International Convention Center”. How many international associations, conventions, or gathering of an international nature has taken place at the convention center (not including the occasional Star Trek Convention)? I believe that answer is zero. How many major international events or shows are held there? Nada. What about international visitors? Now that’s a different story! Louisville does have a world presence, but mainly around Derby time. But if we use that criterion, then the St. James Art Festival should rank up there with the Louve.

Of course, if we want to apply the same apparent logic used in naming these two local establishments, then I guess we can say we have an international riverfront since the Ohio connects us to the international sea traffic which flows from New Orleans at the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River and back down the Ohio. Then of course, we have the great international highway, I-65. Heck, just jump on to I-65 North to I-465 East then to I-69 North over to US 72 North and then straight on to I-75 North to Ontario, Canada. Heck, we’re practically there eh?

Just because they call it “international” doesn’t make it so. Care for the definition of “wishful thinking”?

Kentucky State Auditor

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Linda Greenwell. We had a pretty far encompassing conversation, from personal and political histories to thoughts about strategies. Linda, a Republican, is making another run against the Democrat, Crit Luallen for Auditor. This is the second time the two women will face off against each other. The last time was in 2003 when Luallen won by only 15,370 votes out of approximately 1,011,538 cast. That’s a close race, especially considering that Luallen raised almost $402,000.00 to Greenwell’s $44,000.00 (as an aside, the Democrats usually do better than the Republicans when it comes to fundraising, so that’s quite a statement about Linda’s efforts).

Linda knows this race will be more difficult than before. This time she’s facing not only the commanding monetary lead Luallan currently enjoys, but all the advantages that come with being the incumbent. And to be frank, Crit hasn’t ruffled too many feathers during her tenure thus far though she does have the reputation of being a “Frankfort insider”. Of course too, there is Bush and Fletcher factor to consider. Bush has turned into a lame albatross that everyone is trying to distance themselves from and local Republican efforts have focused on putting out the fires that spontaneously flare up everywhere Ernie goes. That pretty much leaves the down ticket to fend for themselves. I can’t imagine the second tier candidates, the current Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) or Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer (R) having any trouble winning re-election.

With all that said, I was impressed with Linda (and few politicians impress me). She has a strong conviction about what she wants to accomplish, namely bringing more accountability to the office of Auditor. Linda is a very dedicated and hardworking individual (her itinerary was mind-boggling). She sincerely cares about people, which is a rare commodity when it comes to politicians of any party. And notwithstanding the fact she’s a Republican, Linda is also a member of Teamster Local 89 (she even showed me her union card to prove it). That’s a big plus in my book. She has the commitment and drive to do a great job as Auditor, but it’s going to take more than that to win in November. It’s going to take volunteers and money…and lots of both. If you’d like to know more about Linda, you can reach her at:

The Fire Department Discriminates!

I couldn’t believe my ears while listening to local news Monday evening. It seems our local “bullhorn activist”, the Rev. Louis Coleman is now accusing the Louisville Metro Fire Department of discrimination. According to Rev. Coleman, the Metro Fire Department discriminates against minorities by only hiring those who score the highest on the entrance tests (yes, you read that right). He seems to want the test scores waived for what he terms as “minorities” which he said (almost as an afterthought) would include women. Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually want our firefighters to be smart enough to pass the entrance test, especially if they’re coming to my house! When I went to follow this up, I found no mention of it in the Courier Journal. Guess it too bizarre even for them.

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