City Strobe: Abramson to star in ‘Bridges of Jefferson County’

Mayor Jerry Abramson gave his yearly State of the City address to a sardine-packed Rotary Club meeting at the Galt House last Wednesday afternoon. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t heard this before and don’t want to, stop reading now. It should play out in a decade or so. After a brief pat on the back for making Louisville a financially sound and stable city that is rated one of the safest in America, Abramson honed in on four key issues we must tackle now, so that five to 10 years in the future, we can again pat ourselves on the back. “These four issues need to be transformational for the city,” he said, stressing the word “transformational” 11 more times throughout the speech.

Art that engages globalization, the colonial past

Okwui Enwezor,: Photo by Jeff Weiner Okwui Enwezor, dean of academic affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute, visits The Speed on Thursday.Over the past year, the work of the British-born artist Yinka Shonibare has pervaded some of Louisville’s notable art spaces: the walls and television screens at 21C Museum Hotel and an exhibition hall of The Speed Art Museum. His work is embodied in a variety of media — sculpture, painting, film and photography. In one work, which has appeared at both locales, the artist is pictured in a series of large photographs depicting the story of Dorian Gray. But the central character, a dandy, is a black man in Victorian England. (Shonibare’s work is on exhibit at The Speed until Feb. 4.)

Dirty deeds?

In December 2004, several MSD employees were laid off after raising concerns about alleged political patronage.

City Strobe: Wage wars

Everybody knows that raising the minimum wage would help relatively few American workers, most of them teenagers and part-time employees. It would result in job losses and discourage companies from creating new jobs, ultimately leading to higher unemployment. And it would hurt small businesses. Wrong, wrong and wrong, according to Media Matters ( The media watchdog examined those frequently reported “facts” and found that none are true. In fact, citing numerous state and federal studies, Media Matters showed that payrolls and job growth went up and unemployment went down in states that increased the minimum wage in recent years compared to states that didn’t. Similarly, a study by the Economic Policy Institute ( showed that a majority of minimum-wage workers work full time. And a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute ( showed that the number of small businesses grew twice as quickly in states with higher minimum wages than in other states. A March 2006 Gallup poll showed that a majority of small business owners agree a hike in the minimum wage wouldn’t hurt them.

20 Questions with ‘Jeopardy’ champion Julie Dunlevy: Three-time game-show winner is challenged on her knowledge of

Julie Dunlevy: photo courtesy of Jeopardy! Productions Inc. Louisvillian Julie Dunlevy with “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek. Her four appearances, which aired last week, were filmed Nov. 7-8.By day Julie Dunlevy is a computer tech specialist at the University of Louisville’s health-sciences campus. By night she is a three-time winner on “Jeopardy,” taking home $75,800 after competing last week on the nationally televised game show. Cheered on by husband Pat and daughters Megan and Tricia, Julie, 47, said the strangest thing about being on “Jeopardy” was all the attention she’s gotten around town.

Media at the tipping point? Time to demand programming that isn’t ‘so damned bad so damned often’

The Louisville Media Reform group: sent a contingent to Memphis. From left: Victoria Strange, Mark McKinley, John Wilborn, Carol Smith, Anita Solomon, Ira Grupper and Cherise Williams.This huge Memphis ballroom is full, more than 3,000 people, representing every state and nearly every cause you might imagine. Many are activists who wear their passions on their sleeves, or on dozens of buttons (my favorite: What the FCC?). All of this excitement seems to surprise organizers from Free Press, a nonpartisan national organization, who say the size of the audience alone is sufficient to proclaim media reform a “movement” at its “tipping point.”

Rumor & Innuendo

Out of Caracter. That’s what the U of L hoops squad will be no later than Valentine’s Day, according to my sources. Sayonara Derrick, you coulda been a contenda. This is both a sad and telling situation. Frankly, I’m not sure who the real culprit is here. The kid? Or the coach? If the kid’s got so many issues, why recruit him even with his talent? But if you do recruit him, why expect him to change overnight? He lost all that weight. Which shows me he is capable of some discipline. Nobody I know has a real clue what’s going on between him and The Rick. It looks like a classic come-here-go-away scenario. What a shame. The kid’s got talent. And the team needs all that it can get. Next!!!!!

Rumor & Innuendo: What you didn’t see.

A throng of hangers-on and media folk — cameramen, scribes, talking heads — jostled for position last week outside the elevator from which new coach Steve Kragthorpe (nickname pending) would arrive for his coronation in the press room of the Pizza Bowl. The doors opened, an entourage disembarked, lights flashed, cameras clicked ... and the new Cardinal pigskin pontiff immediately hung a lefty into the men’s room. “There’s the money shot,” commented one wag.

Art Splatters

The Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center has initiated an artist-in-residency program for emerging artists, which includes free studio space for a year. The application deadline is Feb. 15. Scott Scarboro at 895-3650 has more info. Ceramicist Tonya Johnson has moved her Payne Street Pottery to 531 N. Hite St. Call 896-0230 for info.

Documenting Iraq

On the cover ... BAGHDAD, May 7, 2003 — This photo by Molly Bingham, which will be on exhibit at Actors Theatre of Louisville, depicts United States soldiers searching a home, as they were going house to house along Baghdad’s Abu Nuas Street to find a room rumored to be full of Iraqi intelligence documents and computers. In the house next door to this one, U.S. soldiers did indeed find a room full of documents that they removed from the house premises.