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What a Week

You’ve got blackmailUpset with the General Assembly for failing to legalize casino gambling, Churchill Downs CEO Tom Meeker threatened to move the company to a larger city. During a wide-ranging hissy fit, Meeker stressed that the track itself would always remain in Louisville, but that the corporate HQ and its employees might relocate. In a scene reminiscent of the Reagan era, company officials later pointed at their ears with a circular motion, downplayed the CEO’s comments and said there are no plans to move.

Parting is such sweet sorrow for Tobin-Hewett

I like goodbyes that give me closure. Goodbyes that let me look around one last time, express my appreciation and walk away with a smile. “Clear Impact: Kentucky’s Current Place in Studio Glass” is the Tobin-Hewett Gallery’s way of giving us such closure before the owners shut their doors on May 31.

A personal and professional commitment to social justice

BY KENTUCKIANS FOR THE COMMONWEALTHMembers of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth mourn the passing of one of Kentucky’s most prominent citizens, Barry Bingham Jr. When KFTC was organized 25 years ago, Kentucky’s coal industry was even more politically and economically dominant than it is today. Across the coalfields, landowners were mistreated, the local environment was often devastated, and residents fought against the systematic non-enforcement of the law.

A joyful man of the arts

BY ALEXANDER SPEEREXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLEI first met Barry Bingham Jr. when I joined Actors Theatre in 1965. Two years before, at the age of 30, he and a handful of other Louisvillians had joined with Richard Block in founding the city’s first professional theater company, Theatre Louisville, and served as its inaugural president. In 1964, Theatre Louisville merged with another newly established theater company, Actors Inc., to form Actors Theatre of Louisville. Barry then served as vice president of the merged Board of Directors and continued to serve on the Board in various capacities for the next 40 years.

A visionary who led by example

Thirty years ago, I was planning the first issue of Louisville Today magazine, my first venture in the publishing business, and I had only one idea for launching it with great fanfare: get Barry Bingham Jr. to sit for an interview. Fat chance, I thought. But I did not know Barry then the way I did later.

Splatters: News & Notes From the Louisville Art Scene

Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson have commissioned Shayne Hull to paint 100 portraits for their restaurant Proof on Main, part of the newly opened 21C Museum Hotel at 700 W. Main St. He’s got a few finished, including Mayor Jer, Ed Hamilton and LEO’s own John Yarmuth.

A legacy of progressive good works and ethics

BY BOB SCHULMAN The name Bingham was linked for 90-plus years with progressive advances in Louisville and Kentucky government, politics, health, culture and the arts.The death of Barry Bingham Jr. brought a wrenching end to that legacy, achieved through print and broadcast journalism and the community good works that the journalism financed.

A standup guy

BY MILTON METZI once asked Barry Bingham Jr. whether he remembered any shouting in his house during his growing-up years. (My house was no stranger to shouting, and I was curious.) He looked at me quizzically and said, “No-o-o, we didn’t do any of that.”

A keeper: Working for Barry Bingham Jr. was a true honor

Whenever Barry Bingham Jr. read something in The Courier-Journal or Louisville Times that he particularly liked or disliked, he would cut the story out of his paper and send it to the reporter or editor with a note that he typed personally and signed with a flourish in orange ink.

Which lessons will be left behind? What has No Child Left Behind wrought in Kentucky, and beyond?

The universal joke of No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s major education initiative that’s been law for four years now, is in its rhetoric: the very title carries such an impossible, absurd implication, particularly when you consider how the act has come to manifest itself in American public schools.