Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best and Most Absurd (1/16)

Finally, Kentucky can be No. 1
 in something  |  Thorn 

Emboldened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing shift, Kentucky’s Republican majority christened the 2019 session with bills designed to erode the state’s legal abortion access. One would criminalize abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks after gestation. Courts have struck down this law in other states, but our GOP hopes theirs becomes a test case, the Courier Journal reported. Another bill would bar all abortions if the Supreme Court allows states to do so.

‘A hamburger, for which I will gladly pay you Tuesday’  |  Rose

A rose goes to Louisville’s celebrity chef Edward Lee and his crew at Whiskey Dry for cooking lunch for Transportation Security Administration workers at Louisville’s airport because they are working without pay during tRump’s record-long government shutdown. Lee, in his note on social media, does not take sides (as we have), but he said: “Making lunch for these unsung heroes was a small gesture of thanks to say that we appreciate your service.” (It’s also genius marketing.)

Holey food series  |  Absurd 

The CJ got a six-month fellowship and $3,000 grant to write about local food insecurity. The resulting 6,000 or so words over two days deftly and poetically described the problem and consequences. It is an important story we wish we had done. But we also wish the CJ piece had better engaged the companies that decide where and when to open and close supermarkets. As the chief of Louisville Forward told the CJ: “Ultimately this is a private market system serving what is a very basic human need.” One story came close with a brief explanation of grocery economics by an “expert,” but it said a “local Kroger spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment about store closures.” A Kroger official is quoted about its donations, though. That’s all you could get? And we know editorial and advertising are separate, but a full-page Kroger ad on A5 with the series on A6? Then, on the third day, a happy story about a mobile grocery sponsored by Kroger and a food bank? No evidence that ValuMarket, Walmart, Meijer, Save-A-Lot or Costco were contacted. Also no mention of the city’s failure to hold the Omni Hotel to opening a real grocery and the lost Walmart deal downtown. We look forward to follow-up stories.