City Strobe

Finally … FINALLY … a politician brings up light rail againThe Metro Council’s Democratic caucus, the majority-wielding 15-member body that has brought us the dog ordinance, smoking ban and a pending throw-down over banning trans fats in local restaurants, outlined its legislative goals for 2007 last week. Guess what? They said the magic words that progressives (and people tired of writing checks to Exxon) long to hear: Light Rail.

Rumor & Innuendo

Bluegrass = Cali? Here’s the deal, all you Dynasty Defending Big Blue Orlando-Bashers: Tubby Smith ain’t goin’ nowhere. Period. Get used to it. That said, an Alabama newspaper reports that a UK intermediary contacted Memphis coach John Calipari to gauge his interest, should the UK job be open after the season. What a match that would be. The NCAA’s most-penalized program. And the coach of whom Clark Francis, asked how he gets all those good prepsters to Memphis, replied: “No salary cap!”

The case for art in a time of war

“The task of art is enormous,” Leo Tolstoy wrote in his 1896 tome “What is Art?” He cited the civil measures of the day, from the court system to factory inspections, as profound factors in fostering freedom, then made an extraordinary assertion: “Art should cause violence to be set aside. And it is only art that can accomplish this.”Less than 50 years later, fascism erupted in Europe, fueled by mechanized weaponry that could kill scores of people systematically and violently. Artists responded with highly emotional and shocking visions. In 1937 alone, we saw the creation of “Eternal City” by American Peter Blume and Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica.” Two years later, Bertolt Brecht premiered the play “Mother Courage and Her Children.”

Portrait of a lady: Stationed in Afghanistan in 2005, Jessica Riordan used her camera to learn about its people

German camp: Photo by Jessica Riordan This photograph, taken at a German camp near Kabul, shows a silhouette of a German mini-tank weasel, which is about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. The small flags in the background are a cemetery.On a hot, dusty and windy day in September 2005, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Riordan rode in an SUV with her friend, a French officer named Brice (rhymes with Greece), as he led a convoy up a mountain known as Antenna Hill in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Covered in clay: International ceramics conference comes to Louisville — a year ahead of schedule

When I think of “ceramics,” I think of the crafty things my grandmother used to make. I think of a literal representation of her poodle. That’s wrong, I know, and soon enough other misinformed souls may get the idea. As Jo Anne Triplett’s cover story notes, Louisville will play host to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts’ annual convention. Hundreds of ceramic artists will be here, and there are countless free public exhibits. It’s a great chance to see a lot of accomplished work. —Cary Stemle

Burning bridges: A state official has locked out local and federal leaders from a part of the Bridges Project planning.

Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it boys?The irony is bitter and the karmic ramifications almost too rich to be true. But they are, of course, and a bold lesson about transparency and honesty seems to be unfurling itself.

A little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll, inside a war zone

First Lt. Kevin McDaniel: Photo Courtesy of Kathy McDaniel First Lt. Kevin McDaniel, 27, and a fellow soldier stand inside a crater made by an improvised explosive device, or IED.Music offers a means of escape, a chance to climb inside your own head for a little while and forget about the world around you.

A TIMELINE OF THE IRAQ WAR

2003March 19 — President G.W. Bush’s Invasion beginsMarch 30 — Defense Secretary D. Rumsfeld: We know location of WMDApril 1 — Pfc. J. Lynch “rescued”

A mother’s love

This week it gives us no pleasure at all to note the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Not to go all Dr. Phil on you, but how’s that working out for us? For this somber occasion, we collected a few stories about war, and we also pass along information about upcoming protests in Louisville and Washington, D.C. Cary Stemle

Chewing the future: Arts organizations want to invite college students to the party

Louisville arts organizations have been wearing mismatched socks to the campus keg party. Like the friendly-but-odd foreign exchange student who lounges against the wall, longing for disco and warm zelnacka soup, some regional arts programmers appear similarly aching to fit in with the more than 21,000 students at the University of Louisville.