Friday, February 20, 2009

Council meeting Feb 19th

It was actually a fairly quiet and quick council meeting. I was on my way home around 8:30.

The meeting started with comments from Mary Ann Gramig who I believe was representing R.O.C.K. Who by the way is supposed to be representing the community.
The thing that stood out most in her short presentation was that she seems to have “WAY” to much confidence in New Albany’s code enforcement. The short sightedness of this confidence in code enforcement is something “actual residents” of this city would have learned or experienced.

The other thing I noticed is the absence of the community. Even though R.O.C.K. is representing them it sure would be nice to see community leaders, pastoral associations, or local church leaders. If you do really represent a group it would be nice to see some of them present and standing behind you in support.

Communication from City officials informed council there is no need for new Zoning ordinances for the live adult cabaret ordinance. Once the new ordinance is in effect they need only make changes to existing zoning.

Additional appropriations were approved to repair storm damage in the city parks. The monies will come from insurance money the city has already received.

The entertaining portion of the meeting was voting and discussion non-bargaining salaries. The second reading was made with CM Caesar the only yeah. It seems the motion was defeated at first reading also, yet the mayor and city controller went ahead and increased those salaries retroactive. $18,000 was added to Dickey, Walsh and Thompson with the added expense coming from storm water funds. After an informative discussion between 2nd and third votes all Cm votes were no!

All but Cm Caesar seemed to be beside them selves in reaction to the mayor’s defiance. The mayor and city controller were both conveniently absent. Council legal advisor Robison seemed to be the most offended. Being told by the mayor and his council that they wanted to sit down with him and discuss this issue, to only find out they went a head and made increases just two days after stating an interest to discuss the issue. It was a long and direct stare down of Caesar from Robison as the 3rd reading voting began that the only hold out changed his vote to no. I wish my camera were ready to shoot at a moments notice because that was a classic moment and “great” stare down. Robison in his irritated mood also cited the Tribune for irresponsible journalism. That comment relating to them printing statements he made (maybe) without any contact from the paper for him to confirm or deny what they were about to put into print.

All votes were in favor of the ordinance change to repeal existing Chapter 120 of G-09-01 and enacting a new chapter 120. That brings up John Mattingly of the Cabaret in question. He stated they have the best location in New Albany for this type of business. Now how can you argue that fact? He also stated they have been meeting all state requirements and regulations. Mr. Mattingly’s speech was very professional and seemed to give much respect to the council. I was both a little surprised and impressed after reading the types of comments and language used on other blogs.
Donnie Scott’s comments were that R.O.C.K. is not representing the community. I think I would have to agree with that until I see something different. He made another comment stating he doesn’t believe the city has any jurisdiction over his business. I am not up on these legal matters but that one is hard to swallow. Another interesting comment was that the police have been called to the business once in 4 mos. He asked council to compare that to other bars in the city. Now that’s a great idea. I am sure someone reading this can find that info somewhere. If police were called to a business 3 times a year for more than false alarms I would have a hard time using the word “only”.
So what is the average number of times police respond to bars in New Albany? Do we have residences that are even worse than that?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

81st Oscar Picks by Coop

Here are my picks for this years awards. A few comments and then my guess as to what the academy will then my pick follows.

Original Screenplay

This is a complete toss-up as far as I am concerned.
Academy Pick: MILK
Coop’s Pick : MILK

Adapted Screenplay

The Academy may fool me here and go with Slumdog but I must pick only one so...
Academy Pick: Benjamin Button
Coop’s Pick : The Reader

Achievement in visual effects

A couple of good ones here. I am not going with oohs and aahs. I am going where I think the effects really made the movie entertaining.
Academy Pick: Dark Knight
Coop’s Pick : Iron Man

Achievement in sound mixing

I loved the emotional sounds from the machines, the air chairs and chase scenes
Another tough category with three stumpers to pick from.
Academy Pick: Dark Knight
Coop’s Pick : Wall-E

Achievement in sound editing

I think Wanted may be the sleeper here. I didn’t think much of the movie so I can’t bring myself to vote for it. I am going back to my entertainment value here.
Academy Pick: Dark Knight
Coop’s Pick : Iron Man

Best live action short film

I think this is the poorest category. Not exciting at all. So I don't care just pick one.
Academy Pick: On The Line
Coop’s Pick :Manon on the Asphalt

Best Animated Short Film

The best and most fun category of the year. To bad there has to be four losers here. “Presto” is the front runner for the Academy. But, I look for an upset. “Presto” was my least favorite. “La Maison” was hand drawn, dramatic and almost riveting in some moments. “Lavatory”, also hand drawn and not much more than stick people was the one that drew the most belly laughs for me and a cute ending. “Oktapodi” has the cute factor working for it. “This Way Up” I thought was the best done and makes you compare it to so many other things you’ve seen before. At one point I was thinking Laurel & Hardy meets Tim Burton. Lots of fun here.
Academy Pick: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Coop’s Pick : La Maison en Petits Cubes (but my heart is with Lavatory Lovestory)

Motion Picture of the Year

Benjamin Button was my least favorite. A tough decision between the remaining four. Kate Winslet had her cloths off more than she had them on in the first half of the movie. I still think the movie was well done and a complete film.
Academy Pick: Slumdog Millionaire
Coop’s Pick : The Reader (secretly rooting for Slumdog)

Original Song

See ya later Disney. Not a chance!! It is Slumdog all the way!! If parts of you body don't move while listening to this song you may be dead.
Academy Pick: O Saya
Coop’s Pick : O Saya

Original Score

Another no brainer for the "Dog". This sound track really moves!
Academy Pick: Slumdog
Coop’s Pick : Slumdog (secretly hoping for James Newton Howard-Defiance)

Achievement in Makeup

I think another hands down pick but, one actor in Black Knight may be enough to tilt it.
Academy Pick: Benjamin Button
Coop’s Pick : Benjamin Button

Best Foreign Film

Another no brainer for the academy this year. I don't think they can help themselves. I am voting for drama, twist and great story.
Academy Picks: Waltz with Bashir
Coop’s Pick : Revanche

Film Editing

If the Academy continues to just pick the longest movie they will go to Benjamin Button.
Academy Pick: Milk
Coop’s Pick : Slumdog

Documentary Short

Another poor category. I don't really care. They didn't make me care.

Academy Pick: The witness
Coop’s Pick Smile Pinki

Documentary Feature

Encounters has everything the academy like in this category except politics. The cinematography was great. I was board through it till the prostitute penguin discussion came up. With Man on Wire, how this guy pulled that off is amazing and kept you interested in the film.

Academy Pick: Encounters at the end of the world
Coop’s pick : Man on Wire

Achievement in Directing

Let's see if the academy grows some rocks and votes where the award is really deserved or just go with their favorite.
Academy Pick: Frost/Nixon
Coop’s Pick : Slumdog

Costume design

Not really a lot to pick from here either. What there was was pretty good though.
Academy pick: Benjamin Button
Coop’s Pick : The Duchess

Art Direction

Academy Pick: Benjamin Button
Coop’s Pick : Benjamin Button

Animated Feature film

Only three to pick from. "Panda" had a good message but not much more. "Wall-E" was different but, not what people were expecting to see. "Bolt" was Buzz Lightyear repackaged into his own film. Toy Story was huge.
Academy Pick: Wall-E
Coop’s Pick : Bolt

Supporting Actress

Davis was really good but, I can't bring myself to vote for a five minute performance. The same goes for Cruise. Amy Adams is my hands down favorite.
Academy Pick: Viola Davis
Coop’s Pick : Amy Adams

Leading Actress

I don't thin the academy can stay away from Streep here. Although Kate Winslet's role reminds a lot of Halle Berrie's award winning role. She would be the sleeper. Personally I thought Angelina did the best job.
Academy Pick: Meryl Streep
Coop’s Pick : Angelina Jolie

Supporting Actor

Not just a sentimental pick. He was very good in a good role. Any other year the others may be deserving.
Academy Pick: Heath Ledger
Coop’s Pick : Heath Ledger

Leading Actor

Again I don't think the academy can stay away from one of their favorites.
Academy Pick: Sean Penn
Coop’s Pick : Mickey Rourke (secretly rooting for Frank Langella)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Common Vision with Voices Part 1

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'

I am tired of the leaders of this town walking us along this bumpy road they are taking us down that leads to nowhere. Actually where it is leading is to an eventual dead end. It is time for the people of New Albany and Floyd County to get off their collective “dead ends” and make a difference.

Yes I said Floyd County as well. If you think we can attain great things here in this county seat without those that live outside of the city limits, I think you are mistaken.

A recent post by a blogger described New Albany as a dying city based on her population decline from the 2000 census to July of ’07. What a “dweeb”. How many homes have been built just outside the city limits in the last nine years? And for that matter if you use Charlestown Rd as an example, how many are just on the north side of County Line Rd. with a Sellersburg address? Multiply that number by what a minimum of 2.5 per home. Ask these people where they live and see if they say Floyd County, Sellersburg or New Albany. I think I know where the missing 570 people have gone and where their hearts remain. We must not forget them and we must find a way to keep them involved in New Albany.

In response to Highwayman’s post of 2/16, Looking Back to Move Forward (we need to identify where we’re going in order to get there) is very true. That reminds me of one of the first books I ever read from cover to cover titled "If you dont know where you are going you will probably end up somewhere else" by David Campbell.

However I think the first need is to define who “we” are. Will every voice wanting to be heard actually have a “listener”. Will someone be willing to “listen” to anyone? The problem right now is that the surface has not yet even been scratched as far as voices being “heard” not to mention actually having someone “listen”.

Attend a council meeting and you may average seeing five people speak to council. To council these people represent five people with five different opinions and concerns. Think these people are being listened to or just heard?Now take the scenario of 10 representatives from ten different neighborhood associations before city council. Each rep can prove that he represents 10 of the cities movers and shakers and the voices of 100 concerned and active citizens. Each of the 10 voices has the same opinion, the same concern and the same solution. Do you think these ten would just be heard or do you think council would actually listen?

Those numbers represent 100 of the cities movers and shakers and 1000 actively concerned citizens. I am quite sure the “at large” members are paying attention and sure the council person whose precinct is targeted with the concern and solution is wide awake. So how many votes does it take to get something passed? The concern has just been brought before council and we are almost home already.

I know what you’re thinking. How did you get to those numbers and how is it possible to have that kind of organization? Well, you will have to stay tuned because it is nearly midnight. I suddenly and quite unexpectedly lost my father Sunday morning. I am a little down and very tired so I must stop now. Since I have part ll down and in notes I promise I will finish and post before I head to Ohio for services.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nature Trip to Alaska

Quite probably the best vacation I have ever taken. The purpose of the trip was to rest relax and spend time seeing nature. If that is your desire, on this cruise you can’t go wrong. If you are planning a trip to Alaska’s Inside Passage I have some books and guides that are very helpful you can have. Here are just a few pics for you to enjoy.

Sunset looking over Puget Sound from the Space Needle in Seattle.

Heading out to whale watch you geta great view of The Mendenhall Glacier

Blowing from their spouts,

Rolling over the suface and diving,

So graceful and beautiful both near or far.

Seals playing "king on the mountain" with a bouy.

Cruising into Prince Rupert Canada. Magnificent lighthouse. Beautiful landscape and eagles flying all about over head. WOW!!

Looking down on Juneau from the Roberts Tramway

The Dawas Glacier. Breathtaking!! It was so big. Note the ship in the 2nd pic at 40x zoom up at the edge of the glacier.

Coop and a Trophy Catch


Yep, It is a 9# Largemouth Bass. I had stated that anything I caught over 8# was going to go on my wall. The mistake was visiting my guides home and seeing several 12# to 16# bass on his wall. Somehow this 9# catch just didn't seem big enough.

We fished inland north central Florida between Ocala and Jacksonville.

Anyone wanting to catch your largemouth of a life time let me know and I'll put you in touch with the guy for the job.

I plan on going back before the end of the year.

Three ring circus in big D to continue

The three ring circus will continue in Dallas for the ’09 season. All indications are that Owens will be back. Jerry Jones will be back. Look who else is coming back.....How about Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Dion Sanders and Michael Irvin. Yes, they are coming back to help the Cowboys. Not to play on the team but, to help select from a reality T.V. show, a person to fill (what used to be viewed as prestigious) roster spot on the team.

I guess the Boys have been so good the last few seasons they feel they can give a roster spot to a reality t.v. contestant. Maybe they feel things can’t get any worse. Maybe Jerry Jones has always dreamed of being a ringmaster. Now, that would explain a lot!!

The show doesn’t have a title yet but, will air this spring on Spike. The winner just doesn’t win a spot on the team he also gets the pay. The rookie minimum is $300,000.00 per season.
If training camp gets the best of him, he will have to make do with just training camp salary of a measly $4,000.00 per month.

Michael Irvin said this is about far more than money. It’s the chance to line up across from Terrell Owens or catch a pass from Tony Romo.

Jerry Jones said, “I don’t see how you can make this a negative for the Cowboys. We all talk of doing good things for the community, for people, giving people opportunities.”

And I thought the Cowboys were about winning games, making the playoffs and maybe a Super Bowl. Shame on me!

Good luck with this Dallas. Hopefully the NFL will come to their senses and put a stop to Jones making a mockery of the sport. They have refused to comment on this so far.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Coming this week

Humpbacks lighthouses and etc. from Alaska.

A Trophy catch in florida.

Why the Dallas Cowboys are not a "real" football team.

My annual Oscar picks.