Saturday, November 12, 2011

708. Theater Review - H2GT2G

Tonight's activity was a visit to the theater, in this case The Alley Theater, which isn't a theater at all but a performing troupe which uses space in the nearby group of buildings known as "The Pointe." The Pointe is located not far from my house in Butchertown in a collection of old industrial warehouses which have been converted for a variety of uses, including at least one large hall which serves as a makeshift theater. The buildings are located on East Washington Street, just east of the R. J. Corman RR line and west of Cabel Street. "The Ponte" name probably refers to the name of an old neighborhood just north of Butchertowm, no longer extant, which was washed away by the Great Flood of 1937.

Lynn Fischer and I attended a performance of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" which originally aired on BBC Radio 4 in Great Britain the year I graduated from Durrett. The series of radios and books has something of a cult following and there was a time I was an unofficial member of that cult. There really isn't a guide, per se, but there are radio shows, books, and movies, and this play tonight, which internally refers to a book entitled The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, sometimes shortened, as I have in my title, to H2GT2G. My seven faithful readers will know that I am fond of the play-within-a-play genre and this is a perverted twist on that, being that the title is that of a fictional book within the play.

The play as performed covers the work as performed on the BBC network back in '78, telling the story of one Arthur Dent, portrayed tonight by Kent Carney, a veteran of several local productions. The narrator of the play is acted by Alan Canon, a Louisville native. He also plays several other roles, all speaking roles, as this is a play about a radio show.

Another actor playing several speaking roles is Tom Dunbar. His various voices add to the fun of the play, from that of one of the other-galactic leaders to the seemingly simple scientist/engineer who had the job of "creating the fjords of Norway" as one of his projects in the experiment known as Earth.

The "love interest" in the play is Trillian, acted by Kimberly Taylor-Peterson, a WKU grad in Theater and Music, who has been involved in various performing companies here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606. Like the other actors, she covers several other roles in the play and other than Arthur Dent, Trillian, formerly Tricia McMillan, is the only other "earthling."

Another Louisvillian in the play is Scott Goodman, the love interest in the role of Zaphod Beeblebrox, to the abovementioned Trillian. His portrayal of a money-grubbing but somewhat shortsighted businessman is set-off by some extraordinary pants which no person should be caught dead in, onstage or off, something straight out of the late 1960s/early 1970s.

The title of the show refers to a book introduced to Mr. Dent by a alien who has inhabited the Earth for fifteen years in the person of Ford Prefect, named for a small car popular in Europe in the 1970s. Prefect is understatedly played, in the tradition of a good Britisher, by John Aurelius, who bears a striking resemblance to two friends of mine, Aaron Jent and Chris Payton. Aurelius (what a name!) is a recent U of L grad in music, and plays a recorder in different scenes of the play.

The play is directed by Dana Hope and the stage manager is Amelia C. Pantalos.

In the rear of the room, refreshments were available which included a nice Cabernet for me and a Chardonnay for Lynn. And popcorn.

This was a fun, lighthearted trip into the future and the past hitchhiking our way through the galaxy. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was written by Douglas Noel Adams. He died in 2001 at the age of 49.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

707. Beshear Wins! Ok, I got that one right; let's look at the rest

In the previous entry I made several predictions as they pertain to yesterday's near-sweep by the Democratic Party of Kentucky's statewide offices. Let's see how I did. I will list the predictions followed by what actually happened. A quick look-see shows that I did not do well. Here we go.

I predicted the Democrats will win all races.
The Democrats won four out of five, losing the race for Agriculture Commissioner.

I predicted statewide turnout prediction of 28.2%.
The actual turnout was 28.63% statewide.

I predicted eighteen counties would have a greater turnout percentage than the state average which was 28.63. Below is my list, followed by their turnout. My winners are in bold; my losers in italics. I didn't do so good.
Anderson, 38.32; Bath, 22.54; Boone, 21.79; Butler, 25.11; Campbell, 25.76; Daviess, 30.09; Fayette, 32.74; Floyd, 22.84; Franklin, 51.17; Henderson, 26.28; Jefferson, 32.13; Kenton, 24.01; Meade, 29.89; Nicholas, 27.34; Ohio, 26.13; Oldham, 33.94; Scott, 32.21; Woodford, 40.33.

One of the several factors I use in determing "numbers" is a precinct, or in this case a county, which outperform the overall area in turnout. There are always the usual suspects - Anderson, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Scott, Woodford, and a few others.

Here is the actual list of those counties which outperformed the statewide average of 28.63%, listed from a high in Franklin of 51.17%. I had said there would be 18; there were actually 53.

Franklin, 51.17; Elliott, 43.62; Woodford, 40.33; Cumberland, 40.09; Lyon, 39.33; Shelby, 38.57; Anderson, 38.32; Henry, 36.85; Caldwell, 36.13; Carlisle, 36.11; Monroe, 36.11; Ballard, 36.02; Marshall, 35.71; Taylor, 34.29; Powell, 34.13; Russell, 34.03; Oldham, 33.95; Hickman, 33.71; Spencer, 33.52; Graves, 33.51; Owen, 330.05; Crittenden, 32.94; Boyle, 32.74; Fayette, 32.74; Livingston, 32.55; Marion, 32.49; Scott, 32.21; Jefferson, 32.13; Harrison, 31.72; Bourbon, 31.43; McLean, 31.28; Jessamine, 31.02; Larue, 30.88; Clark, 30.71; Fleming, 30.71; Hancock, 30.41; Adair, 30.31; Nelson, 30.29; Clinton, 30.22; Daviess, 30.09; Metcalfe, 30.05; Green, 30.00; Webster, 29.94; Meade, 29.89; Washington, 29.70; Trigg, 29.62; Rowan, 29.54; McCracken, 29.52; Breckinridge, 29.45; Madison, 29.14; Hopkins, 29.09. If you ever want to know why candidates go some places and not others, the above numbers demonstate the reasons - turnout.

The bottom five in percentage of turnout were Lewis, 18.67; Bell, 18.64; McCreary, 18.45; Gallatin, 18.42, and the worst was in Christian with 17.80. In trying to find an excuse for Christian, one may argue that because it is home to one of Kentucky's two military bases, Ft. Campbell, that there may be a lot of disinterested voters on the rolls. But the other base, Ft. Knox, has residents in Hardin, Meade, and Bullitt, all of which posted turnout percentages in the high 20s.

While we are on the subject of turnout, I want to briefly relate a discussion I had very early Tuesday morning with my very dear friend Preston Bates. Preston and I are in philosophical agreement very little these days as far as partisan politics go. One of the points he made was the system is obviously broke if only 30% of the eligible voters are voting. He was calling on people to skip voting altogther to demonstrate the frailty, or failure, of the system. He made quite a few other points in the discussion but this one matters. Late in the night last night, I rehashed this idea of the 30% and the failed system with another friend, Charlotte Lundergan, and her mother, Mrs. Case. Mrs. Case, famous of late due to a political ad, is one of the two grandmothers of newly elected Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. We had some interesting comments with respect to Preston's idea. He doesn't know it yet, but I am going to ask him to pen an op-ed piece for entry here on the blog. I hope he will take me up on the offer.

But, back to my predictions, bad as they were.

I predicted the governor and his running mate, His Honor the Former Mayor of Louisville-Jefferson County Metro, would prevail by a margin of 56.5 to 30 for Williams to 12.5 for Galbraith to 1 for all others.
The actual poll was Beshear, 55.72; Williams, 35.29; Galbraith, 8.99. Since no one filed to have Write-Ins counted, there is no number listed for them on the Secretary of State's website.

I predicted my friend Todd Hollenbach would win the Treasurer's race 55-42-3. Todd struggled to get out of the high-40s. His final tally was 48.77-46.61-4.62. The 4.62 went to Libertarian candidate Ken Moellman. his 4.62 probably caused the defeat of Todd's Republican opponent K. C. Crosbie, a Lexington council member. Mr. Moellman gets the "Bobbie Holsclaw" award as her candidacy in the Republican Primary for governor is the probable reason Steve Beshear's opponent was David Williams and not Tea Party Republican Phil Moffett.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, about whom I wrote at the beginning of her candidacy, was the leading votegetter for all the Democrats receiving 494368 votes, 30000+ better than the governor. Just as I did in the Primary, I ended my Election Night at her party in Lexington, and at an after-party at her parents' home. My prediction for her race was 54-46. She won 60.63-39.37. I was wrong again.

Jack Conway said in his victory speech that "reports of my demise were awfully premature." I've supported Jack in every race he has ran and will very, very likely continue to do so. But I was, admittedly, one of those people not necessarily predicting but deeply concerned about his poltical demise yesterday. One of my last texts as I was en route to Frankfort yesterday afternoon was to fellow political consultant Jonathan Hurst, wherein I expressed my concern for both Jack's race as well as Bob Farmer's, or as the text said "Ag or AG." I was, thankfully, wrong. I predicted Jack would win 53-47. He won 55.02-44.98.

I spent most of the afternoon and evening in the "war room" of the Democratic candidate for State Auditor Adam Edelen, whom I've known for almost two decades. Adam's campaign manager, Will Carle, made the request and I was happy to volunteer my time counting Adam's votes. My prediction for Adam was 55-45. I was off 3/4 of a point either way, to Adam's favor. He won 55.76-44.24. I'll claim a win here, the only one of the night.

My final prediction was in the Agriculture Commissioner's race where I had Bob Farmer winning a tight race 52-48. The race wasn't tight at all. There wont be a second non-farming Farmer in the Farmer's office. That race was won, handily, by James "Jamie" Comer, a 39 year old Republican legislator from Tompkinsville. We will be hearing Comer's name for many years to come in all likelihood. He beat Farmer 63.70-36.21, garnering 519183 votes, more than anyone on the ballot, something I specifically said would not happen - double loss. Farmer carried eight counties in the "old 7th" and Muhlenberg in the west, losing the other 111 counties.

All in all, other than the governor's race, the only one I really got close on was Adam Edelen's. I'll take that. In Kentucky, with the every-fourth year exception, there is always another election six months down the road.

Friday, November 4, 2011

706. Beshear Wins! - and other predictions. And polling location changes in Jefferson

I am confident I am not alone in making the title prediction - Beshear Wins! There seems to be little doubt that the Bully of Burkesville will go down to defeat in next Tuesday's statewide elections to the incumbent governor, Steve Beshear - voted down by an electorate which every pollster and pundit predicts will be thin at best. There shouldn't be any long lines, or even short lines, at the polling stations, which are open Tuesday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, local time. A note on that - voters in eastern Breckinridge County, near Irvington, who unofficially follow "Louisville" time are voting on "Owensboro" time.

The Secretary of State is predicting a statewide turnout of 27%, a number which may be a little on the shy side if the weather is as nice as some are predicting - highs in the low 70s with sunshine and a slight breeze. Of course, here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606, the weather is subject to change between the time you vote for Governor and the time you vote for Agriculture Commissioner.

While I am not going to give any hard numbers in this entry, I am going to give percentages and we can come back later next week to see if my crystal ball is clear or cracked. So, to the numbers - or rather the percentages. I will state up front, I am predicting a slate sweep for the Democrats, something that hasn't happened since 1999.

First, I am predicting a statewide turnout of 28.2%. The following counties will have a percentage turnout greater than the statewide pecentage: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Butler, Campbell, Daviess, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Henderson, Jefferson, Kenton, Meade, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Scott, and Woodford - a total of 18, meaning 102 counties will be at 28.2% or less, some far less.

The most recent polls have shown the governor with a high 20-something point lead. That number will narrow but remain in the 20s. My final vote percentagews for the governor's race are as follows: Steve Beshear 56.5%, David Williams 30%, Gatewood Galbraith 12.5%, others 1%.

Gatewood Galbraith will run second in at least four counties, maybe two more. Those four are Bath, Nicholas, Clark, and Robertson. Maybe Mason and Franklin, too.

Todd Hollenbach, the incumbent State Treasurer and someone I've known for about 35 years, will lead the Democrats in votes received, defeating his opponent 55%-42%, with a third party (Libertarian Ken Moellman) getting less than 3%.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State, essentially an open seat and running against a Tea Partier Republican, will win her race by a 54%-46% margin. She is, obviously, the only woman on the Democratic ticket and is also the youngest, being in her mid-30s. She is an attorney in Lexington and is married to Andrew Grimes, who might one day be Kentucky's Second First Gentleman. Dr. Bill Collins was the first.

The other three offices are harder to predict. But, I'll try.

I've been a friend of Jack Conway's for about sixteen years, having been introduced by a former co-worker, attorney Denis Fleming, shortly after Denis went to work for Governor Patton. I've supported Jack in each of his races and this one is important. The Republicans want the Attorney General's office more than any other so as to use it as a launching pad for investigations into every possible event taking place in Frankfort, at great expense to Kentucky's taxpayers. Their candidate today famously received the endorsement of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Yes, her. She is so much a supporter of Jack's opponent that in her endorsement, a voice-mail recording, she mispronouces the Republican's name. Jack, of course, lost last year's United States Senate race to one of the strangest folks ever to hold office in Kentucky. I've heard far too many voters speak of buyer's remorse when it comes to the Junior Senator from Kentucky. I think this will help Jack in the long run. I beleive this will be the second most voted race, behind the governor's with Conway winning 53-47%, thus electing Jack to his second and final term as Attorney General. At just over 40 years of age, he still has a potentially long future in Kentucky's electoral processes.

The race for Auditor of Public Accounts, presently held by longtime Kentucky government insider Crit Luallen, puts Adam Edelen in his first race, although he has been around Kentucky politics since he was in high school, which was about the time I met him. He was then working as an intern with the Kentucky Democratic Party when our local Jefferson County Democratic Party had its offices in the Mid-City Mall, in the space now occupied by the Shelby-Highlands Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. His co-intern was a young man named Aaron Horner. Both, with me, have remained good friends over the nearly two decades which has passed from then to now. But Adam has been largely in the background, a loyal stormtrooper for the Democrats and rising to the highest level a background person possibly can, as Chief-of-Staff to the Governor, a position he held until resigning to run for this current seat. Adam is originally from nearby Meade County and is a graduate of Saint Xavier here in Jefferson County. This race is tighter than it should be given the respective resumes of the candidates. Adam wins 55%-45%, or maybe 54%-46%.

Finally we have a race for Agriculture Commissioner. For the last eight years Kentucky's Ag-Commissioner, as it is commonly called, has been held by a Kentucky sports hero, Richie Farmer, Republican of Clay County, formerly wearing the #32 basketball jersey at the University of Kentucky. Richie wasn't a farmer when he got elected and being in statewide office hasn't seemed to help him this year in his bid for lieutenant governor with the Bully from Burkesville. And, the truth is, neither the Commonwealth nor the office of Agriculture Commissioner has suffered greatly under Mr. Farmer, if you don't count a missing refrigerator, from its representation by a non-farmer, even a sports hero named Farmer. In truth, the office is a marketing vehicle for Kentucky products of all kinds, with some other odd and scattered duties here and there.

Almost comically, the Democrat running to replace the Republican Farmer in the Ag Comm spot is a man named Farmer, who like Richie, is not a farmer but a marketer. Bob Farmer has long been involed in marketing various aspects of Kentucky from his professional offices in downtown Louisville. Now he is seeking to bring that expertise to a statewide level. His opponent is a little known legislator from southern Kentucky. Four years ago, the winner of this race received more votes than any other candidate on the ballot. That will not be the case in 2011. I expect Bob Farmer to be elected by a 52%-48% margin.

*****

So, those are my numbers. I'll be in Frankfort, and later Lexington, on Election Night counting votes and celebrating an across-the-board win.

*****

Finally, ten precincts, all generally supportive of Democrats, have had their polling location changed for Tuesday's election. They are in South Louisville, the Highlands, and Clifton. Here is the list:

G111 and G112, in the Deer Park area of the Highlands, moves from Bellarmine (Knights Hall) to Highland Middle School, less than a two blocks away at 1700 Norris Place. Each of these are heavy voting precincts.

I105 and J101, south of Churchill Downs, move from Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church at 3509 Taylor Boulevard to Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church, 3526 Taylor Boulevard, which is cater-corner from the former location. There is a stoplight to safely cross the street.

I110, in the Beechmont neighborhood, moves from the Louisville Fire House at S. 5th Street and W. Ashland Avenue, two blocks southeast to the Beechmont Baptist Church, 4574 S. 3rd Street.

I114, just south of the above precinct, is moved from the Gateway Community Church at 4623 Southern Parkway one block east to the Beechmont Baptist Church, 4574 S. 3rd Street.

L117, L118, and L119, all in the Clifton/Veterans Hospital area, move from Saint Leonard School, at the top of Zorn Avenue, to the Louisville Visual Art Building, more commonly known as the Louisville Water Tower, on River Road. This is a huge move down the hill about a mile away and will probably hurt turnout in these precincts. They should say the poll is at the Water Tower as very few people know the building by the other name. Also, while the address is 3005 River Road, the building itself sits about 1/3 mile north of River Road. This move should be rescinded if at all possible.

N130, also in the Zorn Avenue area, has its poll moved from the Lebanese American Club at 3020 River Road to the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club, a huge non-descript building at Mellwood and Zorn avenues, south of I-71.

For any information on voting, the phone number for the Jefferson County Board of Elections is 502-574-6100. Their website is www.jeffersoncountyclerk.org.

Vote Early, Vote Often.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

705. Puzzle Solved!

When I posted entry #704 back on October 10th, I never dreamed that it would go unanswered for such a long period of time. I've been quite busy with other things and have basically ignored the blog with the puzzle unsolved. October 2011 was one of my worst months as far as visits are concerned, scoring only 651, a number which has been surpassed in all but the earliest months of the blog nearly five years ago.

But I know that several of my 651 viewers in October were some of my seven faithful readers, several of whom regularly make attempts at solving the puzzles. A number of them, including one whose surname provided us with one of the answers, let me know they had given it the old college try but eventually gave in.

A sweet irony is that five of the people with whom I have spoken to about the puzzle are directly related to the theme of the puzzle, and a sixth wants to be as he is a candidate in next year's elections.

Today all the puzzling came to an end as one of my dearest friends, identified only as Garton in his response, came in with the answer. He later expanded on the answer in a phone-text, finally identifying the theme.

Garton, whom I call Michael, and who, at least on Facebook calls himself Eli, offered most of the street-names as well as identifying the groups.

To wit, Democratic Metro Council members, Republican Metro Council members, and the mayor. Remember, the title was street names in the news. Most of you might know that I have been preoccupied for just over a year with the redistricting of the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Council based on the returns from the April 1, 2010 United States Census. The answers to the questions are streets in Louisville-Jefferson County Metro which happen to coincide with names of Metro's elected officials.

Here are the answers:

GROUP ONE - Democratic Council members.
#1 - Johnson Road in Eastwood; Johnson Street in Butchertown; Councilman Dan Johnson (D-21).

#2 - Hamilton Avenue; Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5). The mills are located on Barret Avenue in the 500 block, just north of East Broadway.

#3 - Butler Court off Klondike Lane; Butler Road in Shively; Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15).

#4 - James Road off Phillips Lane in the old Ashton-Adair area, once famously declared "blighted" by the Regional Airport Authority; another James Road near Lindsay Avenue in Clifton; Councilman David James (D-6).

#5 - Henderson Avenue and Lane in SW Jefferson County turns out to be something of a mistake. It is a private road off Dixie Highway which appears on very few maps; Henderson Avenue in the Prestonia neighborhood off Belmar Drive; Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14).

#6 - I made an error here as it is a street and not an avenue. Owen Street; Councilman Tom Owen (D-8).

#7 - Welch Drive, off Penile Road; Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13).

#8 - Ward Avenue in Middletown; Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9), hence only half-credit. To my knowledge, there is no right-of-way in the Metro area named Pugh.

GROUP TWO - Republican Council members
#1 - Fleming Road near Atherton High School; Fleming Avenue in Clifton, not far from James Road; Councilman Ken Fleming (R-7).

#2 - Benson Court and Benson Lane, both off Deering Road as mentioned; Councilman Stuart Benson (R-20).

GROUP THREE - Mayor of Louisville-Jefferson Coumty Metro
#1 - Fischer Avenue in Germantown; Mayor Greg Fischer (D-Louisville). Struck Avenue is now called Rufer Avenue.

*****

Thanks for playing and thank you to Michael for getting the answers.

The Archives at Milepost 606

Personal

Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Single, male, bald, overweight, early 50s, seeking . . . Oh wait, that's goes on the other website. How about this - never married, liberal Democrat, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.