An ally, an ally, my kingdom for an ally

This view, a slip of a young woman demurely nibbling at a portabella sandwich, does not scream “Theater!” And yet, as Amy Attaway begins to tell me about the Theatre Alliance of Louisville, her rapid-fire speech lets me know she is enthusiastic about the theater. Make that really enthusiastic. I can nearly feel waves of boundless energy radiating from her.

The Tear Sheet: Boxed in

Vernon Jackson, the Louisville entrepreneur at the center of the congressional bribery scandal that is currently rocking Capitol Hill, has been up, down and up again so many times that it’s hard to know whether to feel sorry for him or to be excited, eagerly waiting to see how he’ll bounce back this time.

Staff Picks

Staffpicks<HOGS>July 6-8Big Rock Bike Fest    Start yer engines, gearheads, the first annual Big Rock Bike Fest roars into town this weekend. This festival combines two different sorts of raucous noise: hundreds of bikes and choppers convening, coupled with rock music. The rock is being supplied by a stellar list of bands, including Ted Nugent and the Pat Travers Band, plus Louisville bands El Roostars and Big Rock Show. On Thursday, there is “The Big Rock Tour de Ville Poker Run,” a five-stop tour with a $15 registration fee that benefits the WHAS Crusade for Children. All of the finest bikes are welcome to enter their hogs in a professionally judged competition in any of five different custom bike categories: chopper, American, Harley, Metric and Sport. Visitors can peruse booths offering anything related to music or motorcycling, and food vendors will be there as well. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. Saturday. Registration for the Poker Run or advance tickets can be found at www.bigrockbikefest.com. —Nathan Thacher

Fait accompli: Is it time to raise the white flag on the arena issue?

In retrospect, the temptation is strong to compare the breathtaking campaign to build a new multi-purpose arena at the E.ON U.S. site, more commonly known as the LG&E site, with Germany’s conquest of Poland in 1939, and not only because E.ON, the world’s largest energy provider, is based in Stuttgart.

News Roundup

Council passes budget, has group hugIn an act of inspired bipartisan love, the Louisville Metro Council passed a budget last Thursday that’s reasonably close to the one Mayor Jerry Abramson proposed roughly a month ago, adding $3.5 million in spending to make a $735 million budget. The vote was 25-1, with Republican Doug Hawkins, who regularly traffics in not-entirely-unfounded-but-sometimes-a-bit-excessive gloom and doubt, casting the lone “nay.”

News Roundup

LEO founder John Yarmuth’s congressional campaign for the 3rd District U.S. House seat currently held by Anne Northup has a new captain — almost. Yarmuth said Monday that a replacement for Dan Borsch, who managed the congressional hopeful’s successful primary bid, has been selected, but his name won’t be revealed until later this week, after he ensures a smooth transition from another campaign he is currently running.

Rumor & Innuendo: Rumblings From the World of Sports

More moves to come. A couple of sources advise that U of L hoops roster flux isn’t over. That there will be at least one other transfer before this year’s edition settles in for its preseason sojourn to Canada.

Journalism 101

One of  the more interesting, and troubling, things about this whole arena debate has been watching The Courier-Journal become part of the story rather than reporting it.Back when Gannett bought The Courier-Journal and Times in 1986, the company tried to spin the dissolution of the Times by pimping the slogan “One Great Newspaper.” That, of course, lent itself to a bit of wordplay by contrarian wags who spun it into “Once Great Newspaper.”

Rumor & Innuendo: 100-percent toro.

Forgetting for a second the All-World-Cup-All-The-Time TV coverage observed during a recent trip to Spain, here’s the definitive evidence that I wasn’t in Hoopsylvania anymore. On Spain’s version of SportsCenter, the Top 10 Plays of the Day features, yes, the best matador moves. I tell ya, those red capes were a-flappin’.

Letter from Little Rock: Drivin’ (a familiar road) and cryin’ (for lost youth)

Dear Mark:I took a road trip to Little Rock a couple weeks ago, and I thought of you. How many times did we burn that road from Louisville to Dallas?