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And the noodling continues

 So far this legislative session, only a few remarkably unremarkable acts have trickled through House and Senate committees, most of which haven’t held their first meeting. Meanwhile, questions remain about the governor’s office. Will or won’t the grand jury investigating alleged abuses of the merit system indict Gov. Fletcher, now that he’s pardoned everyone who’s been — or might be — charged in connection with the scandal except him?

Save it for the morning after: Plan B survey illuminates statewide problems of access, understanding

Beyond the uneasy questions the results raise about why more pharmacists aren’t aware of Plan B, the matter of whether a pharmacist has the right to refuse to dispense certain medications because of personal beliefs is paramount. Laws vary from state to state on the so-called “conscience clauses”; Kentucky has no law pertaining specifically to pharmacists in this regard, although there is one for physicians and nurses.

Don’t be S.A.D. - Shedding a little light on a dark disorder

Sadness will never be trendy and is usually not an acceptable topic for polite conversation. But at one time or another it colors all of our lives in varying shades — sometimes more intense than others. For many people, sadness seems particularly pronounced during the winter. The anecdotal signs are everywhere. In the chill and gloom of January and February, you might observe that your mood and the moods of the people you encounter in a normal day are inversely proportional to the sun.

This week LEO explores the phenomenon of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D. We’re not out to write chapter and verse on the issue, nor are we trying to make fun of a serious situation. Here we simply investigate how some Louisvillians see S.A.D. — and try to put a smile on your face in the process.by Cindy Lamb

Brother Fletcher lays it out

Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s State of the Commonwealth address Monday night left no question that he’s seeking to serve the Christian conservative and big business bases that are crucial to his 2007 re-election campaign. While advocating that public schools teach intelligent design (that life is too complex not to have been created by a higher power), the former lay Baptist minister said, “This is not a question about faith or religion; it’s about self-evident truth.”

In Kentucky politics, siding with creationists against evolutionists may be more of a benefit than a cost, while antagonizing organized labor amid a legislative election year is risky business. Fletcher’s plans to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law and to free workers from paying union dues as a condition of employment will create uncomfortable votes for some GOP lawmakers. Mentioning his initiative to make Kentucky a so-called right-to-work state elicited boos from the balcony of the House chamber. Labor issues threaten to be among the most divisive of the session.

Kramer for President - New Metro Council head wants to bridge partisan divides

BY STEPHEN GEORGE

That sharp collective inhale you could hear in City Hall last Wednesday night, just seconds after Metro Council member Tom Owen cast his vote for Republican presidential candidate Kevin Kramer, was as loud as the six minutes it took to decide a new president was brief.

Some Democrats expressed a mixture of surprise and outrage at the outcome, for which Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, and Democrat Bob Henderson, D-14, provided the other votes to give Kramer the majority needed (Republicans are a 15-11 minority). There was talk in the days following of possible Democratic Party sanctions for voting out of step; such a threat was issued two years ago, after Council Democrats George Melton, Dan Johnson and Denise Bentley helped vote Kelly Downard into the presidency. The party never formally followed through.

Rumblings From the World of Sports

Rumor & Innuendo

Question of the week.
So, how many tickets do you think they’ll sell if UK plays U of L in, say, the second round of the NIT? Or the semis at Madison Square Garden? As if either squad at this juncture is tough enough to make it that far.

What a Week

And it’ll be kinda flat and watery
Just as Papa J predicted, Foregone Conclusion Arena in downtown Louisville will cost $50 million more than previously estimated. The $349 million project is still projected to pay for itself, but officials warned fans that once it opens, a large beer at a Cards game would cost about $1,283.

The winners of — and answers to — LEO’s 2005 Not-Good-For-Nothing Quiz

“Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past.”
—Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis

And the winners are …
Several readers entered LEO’s annual year-end quiz contest, and those with the most correct answers were put into a drawing for some cool prizes. The lucky (and smart) ones are:

First place: Larry West (wins: $50 gift certificate to Lilly’s and two tickets to see Art Garfunkel at The Palace)

Second place: Brian Sabo ($25 gift certificate to Mitchell’s Fish Market and two tickets to Louisville Orchestra’s production of “Winter Dreams”)

Third place: Tamar Byczek (two tickets to Actors Theatre’s production of “I Am My Own Wife”)

Mark Daniel Haines: a tribute

STORY AND PHOTO BY MARTY PEARL

I was shocked to read the news that Mark Daniel “Danimal” Haines was dead. Given that he had lived on the streets of Louisville and had battled — or embraced — his alcoholism for as long as I knew him, I guess it should come as no surprise that he was found curled up near Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park. With a body temperature of 75 degrees, he was transported to University Hospital, where he died of hypothermia on Friday.

I met Danny in 1993 while I was employed at MRK Inc. in the Mid City Mall. He slept on the benches, bummed change and exchanged philosophies with me throughout the day. Most people wouldn’t look him in the eye. Even those who contributed to enabling his lifestyle with the occasional quarter or dime usually did so with no more than a glance. He didn’t care if they helped or not. He remained upbeat and always thanked them with a smile.

PRP president expected to resign

Public Radio Partnership President Gerry Weston is expected to resign later this week pending his agreement to terms created by the PRP Board of Directors for his departure.

Since PRP was created in 1994, Weston has led the organization, which operates three FM public radio stations — WFPL, WFPK and WUOL. He also has been an employee of public radio in Louisville for more than 25 years and has been an on-air personality, hosting WFPK’s “Gerry’s Jazz” program that airs on Sunday.

Weston has been on leave since before Christmas, according to David Handmaker, chairman of the PRP board. Weston did not respond to an e-mail message and several phone calls seeking comment.