Issue February 26, 2008

WHAT A WEEK

-10
Kentucky House lawmakers recommended building nine casinos, a compromise between Gov. Beshear’s 12-casino proposal and the Senate’s recommendation that we fear gays. Senate Republicans meanwhile declared war on education with Senate Bill 1, which would eliminate Kentucky’s nationally renowned CATS testing system. Hillbillies David Williams and Dan Kelly want to retain reading and ’rithmatic, but remove ’riting, science, arts and humanities from school accountability. Beshear’s deafening silence had some wondering if there’s a “We’ll-support-casinos-if-we-can-kill-CATS” deal afoot.

+5
Über-capitalists David and Dan Jones backed off a controversial plan for 21st Century Parks to take control of 700 acres of public parkland. The plan would have protected the parkland “forever” with no requirement for open meetings. The compromise allows the city to control the parks while preserving the parkland, thanks to a political procedure known as “making this stuff up as we go.”

-7
Home of the Innocents and similar children’s agencies are facing more financial cuts, this time from the feds. Unless Congress acts, state agencies that care for abused, neglected and delinquent children face Medicaid cuts of $94 million, or roughly 1.5 times what America spent last week to shoot down one of its own spy satellites.

+8
But it’s not all vinegar and redneckery in The 502. Thanks to grassroots kick-asstivism, Rubbertown clocked 84 percent lower emissions of cancer-causing 1,3-butadiene than in 2003. And the governor proposed a partial solution to the state’s $26.6 billion pension crisis, which would no longer let state workers retire at age 45 and “double dip” — throwbacks to the glory days when we could afford to educate our kids and build bridges.

World-Classness
-4