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December 28, 2007

What A Week: The City's Zeitgeist Radar

+5A group of Kentucky legislators proposed an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that would restore voting rights to approximately 129,000 convicted felons who’ve paid their debts to society. Kentucky is one of only two states that require people convicted of felonies to formally ask the governor to restore their voting rights after serving their time. The restriction disproportionately impacts blacks and those convicted of drug offenses, two groups whose voting could influence policies unfavorable to blacks and those convicted of drug offenses. +1The Trust for America’s Health gave Kentucky and Indiana high marks on its disaster-preparedness report card. Kentucky scored a perfect 10 and Indiana scored 9 out of 10 on such statewide benchmarks as emergency medical distribution, laboratory capabilities, surveillance systems and the likelihood that a terrorist has ever heard of your state. +1Discount retailer Dollar General donated $515,000 to Louisville-based National Center for Family Literacy to fund various “reading and writing programs” that used to take place in what were once known as “libraries.” The company said the programs would increase educational attainment, resulting in a better economy where, with a little luck, people wouldn’t have to shop exclusively at Dollar General. -5Early estimates projected that holiday retail sales sucked even more than pre-season predictions. The housing crisis, high energy prices and those really annoying Old Navy ads conspired to keep shoppers out of stores in December. Pessimists considered it another sign of economic malaise; optimists found hope that Americans are curbing their appetite for cheap plastic crap; and retailers are just hoping a lot of people lose their gift cards. World-classness:+ 2