Tubing on the Alaskan’s pipeline: Or, how a feckless U.S. senator is running interference for Big Media

Anyone with access to a modem probably realizes by now that Ted Stevens’s understanding of technology runs about as deep as a table ashtray. The U.S. Senator from Alaska, a brutish and tone-deaf Republican (not all Republicans, thankfully, are this way — see, in this matter, Olympia Snowe of Maine), chairs the Senate committee that oversees telecommunications. He’s also the sponsor of a bill that sits now on Congress’ table — the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006, aka COPE — which would considerably rewrite the 1996 Telecommunications Act, most drastically in the sense that it would allow major media companies to control how Americans access Internet content.

Think locally, grow locally

Environmental issues seem to be gaining more public traction these days, what with Al Gore’s movie and all. Here’s hoping it’s more than just a media-generated illusion. Which brings us to this week’s cover story, about a modest farm in Campbellsburg that could be modeling a better, more sustainable vision for our community. As Fairleigh Brooks notes in his story, terminology can be vague and confusing, so keep your eyes on the term “local.” We have the power to change life right here in Louisville, Kentucky.—Cary Stemle, editor

City Strobe

Photos by Stephen George: Address: 1343 S. Brook St. Size: 2,798 sq. ft. Value: ,050. Built: 1900. Owner: C. Bold LLC. Status: Currently being rehabilitated; owner declined comment.2010: A city odyssey?According to the nonprofit Greater Louisville Project, making this city a better place to live for all of its citizens doesn’t rest on mounting huge pictures of prominent Louisvillians who don’t live here anymore or building an arena.Last Wednesday, in the project’s “community conversation” with business, nonprofit and political leaders (including Mayor Jer), presenters explained there is no panacea for the city’s ills, which include: a shrinking middle class; a lack of high-skill, high-wage jobs, and urban sprawl that disperses jobs and homes outside the city core.To counter these, GLP set out three goals for the city to reach by 2010: 1) bolster education and, specifically, add 10,000 people ages 25 to 34, with bachelor’s degrees; 2) add 15,000 professional and technical jobs, thereby increasing median family income; and 3) make Jefferson County a regional hub by being home to the majority of the region’s residents and jobs.Inspiration sprung from a 2002 report, “Beyond Merger: A Competitive Vision for the Regional City of Louisville,” which GLP completed with the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit policy research group based in Washington, D.C. Last week’s conversation was the first of many GLP plans with community groups and businesses. Mary Griffith, vice chairman of National City Bank of Kentucky and chairman of the Downtown Development Corp., offered a caveat: “The great enemy is complacency and self-congratulatory tendencies.”For more information, visit www.greaterlouisvilleproject.com or www.brookings.edu. —Elizabeth KramerRubbertown on need-to-know basis with Stink, DangerThe sum total of hours I’ve spent in Rubbertown, Louisville’s most toxic neighborhood, is about minuscule — in total, about two, one of which was last Thursday, when REACT — Rubbertown Emergency ACTion — held a press conference to demand a better notification system for when incidents occur at chemical and industrial plants in the neighborhood.

$UCCE$$ Stories - Titans of Industry

High on musicAndy High,WFPK-FM audio engineer (Photo by Kelly Mackey) In the mid-1980s, while working at Taxi’s Pizza in the Highlands, Andy High visited a recording studio. He was smitten. The sight of the boards and other gizmos fed his dream of working in music — he’d taken guitar lessons since age 9. He got to work, earning an associate’s degree in electronic engineering and getting hired at Falk Recording Studio.

$UCCE$$: Music Licensing - License to sell

Independent artists are finding themselves more in the mainstream, but with a route that’s anything but conventional, and a price that’s sometimes anything but fair

City Strobe

To wear or not to wear (the air, that is)There’s nothing funny about smelly air. To the contrary, bearing the brand of such air is much like Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter”: Enter at your own peril, and don’t be surprised if you can’t cope.

Staff Picks

<VOLUNTEER>Thursday, July 27What is the Peace Corps?    Stereotypes abound when one utters the two words “Peace Corps.” There is the idea of a multitude of baby boomers circa the late 1960s going to exotic and isolated locations to live in grass huts. Then there is the subversive idea of volunteers who act as American agents in other countries to propagate U.S. interests. Neither of these readings is correct. Anyone who has been a Peace Corps volunteer will attest that it’s a difficult job to peg, given that over the past 46 years, 178,000 volunteers from 18 to 80 years old and with varied backgrounds have served in 138 countries worldwide. But Peace Corps recruiter Ken Surdin, during an information session tomorrow, will try to give a modern view of the agency and what it means to serve as a volunteer. (Disclosure: The writer was a Peace Corps volunteer from 1991-1994 in the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros and later worked for the organization’s New York City office.) —Elizabeth Kramer

Therapy of note: A spoonful of music helps the medicine go down, so to speak

The woman has cancer, and, just four days after being discharged from Norton Audubon Hospital, she’s back again because she can’t keep food down. Sitting forlornly on the edge of her bed, she tries to be philosophical. “When you look around,” she says, “you see other people worse than you.” Still, she’s worried and scared. The last thing on her mind is music.

$UCCE$$: Media and Approach - Forced restart (How and why Big Technology decided to get personal)

Moving into a new century has proven awkward and sometimes surreal for the music world (or, if you prefer the more pejorative term, the “music industry”).

$UCCE$$: Louisville Shows - Do us all a favor and go see a show (Does Louisville get good shows? Does it have a right to? )

At some point or another, many of us Louisvillians have found ourselves driving home from Cincinnati or St. Louis or Nashville or Indianapolis at 2 o’clock in the morning, adrenaline-rushed and sleepy, all for the sake of seeing a good show.