February 13, 2013

What A Week

Louisville’s Weekly Zeitgeist Radar

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Maker’s Mark sparked a public relations firestorm by announcing plans to decrease its percentage of alcohol by volume from 45 to 42 percent. Company officials claim watering down their bourbon will not affect its taste, calling it a necessary move to meet rising consumer demand. In an odd twist of fate, the public backlash may bring about the end of their “rising demand” dilemma.

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Louisville state Reps. Mary Lou Marzian and Jim Wayne filed House Bill 265, a comprehensive gun control package that closes the gun show loophole and allows local governments like Louisville to make its own gun regulations. Unfortunately, this was accompanied by a plethora of paranoid bills filed to block enforcement of any federal gun measures, which have a better chance of passing in a General Assembly under the headlock of the NRA lobby.

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Kentucky’s ultrasound bill once again passed easily through the state Senate, where opponent Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, pointed out that performing the procedure in early-term pregnancies would require inserting a 10-inch wand — whether the woman wants it or not — and there is no exemption for rape victims. While the bill requiring mandatory rectal exams before vasectomies remains absent, the good news is it appears the state House will “shut that whole bill down” once again.

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The long-abandoned Big Four Bridge — connecting downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind. — finally opened last week after a $22 million renovation, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to go halfway across the river and take in the view. We’ll have to wait until later this year when Indiana finishes their side of the bridge to make the full trek across, but we’ve all learned to be patient around here when it comes to bridges.

World-classness: -7