What a Week
Louisville’s Weekly Zeitgeist Radar
Gov. Steve Beshear gave his State of the Commonwealth address to the General Assembly last week, briefly giving Republicans the finger by bragging about signing up more than 130,000 for Obamacare through Kynect, before detailing our dark, dystopian future: The state budget doesn’t have nearly enough revenue to improve education unless we cut our already starved social services to the bone. Unless we do tax reform! No, we won’t do that, of course.
You’d think S&P downgrading the Yum! Center’s bonds to junk would be sobering news for the Louisville Arena Authority, but you’d be wrong. Metro Council president Jim King turned Monday’s LAA board meeting into a stand-up routine, mocking those crazy folks in the media suggesting the arena’s pathetic TIF revenue and maximum payments from the city are something to worry about. We’d laugh, too, if they hadn’t been wrong about everything so far.
Cue all the cheesy baseball metaphors about homeruns and all-star seasons. For the fourth year, the Louisville Slugger Museum broke attendance records. In 2013, 303,037 people visited the tourist attraction, up significantly from 244,049 in 2012. How many of them attempted to pick up the bronze bats on the sidewalk outside is unknown. Either way, root-root-root for the home team and healthy business.
If the Ohio River smells odd this week, blame West Virginia. A chemical spill on Jan. 9 contaminated the water supply for more than 300,000 people there, prompting water restrictions that are still in place. Officials here say Louisville residents have nothing to fear, though they’ve stopped short of saying the diluted chemicals pose zero health threats. As one official told The C-J, “Personally, if I could smell it, I am not going to drink it, and I would not expect anybody else to either.”