June 25, 2008

What A Week

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Like water and cognitive dissonance, liquor always seeks its own level. So when Shawnee residents voted to ban liquor from four precincts, demon rum had to think of a new way to keep flowing. Last week, liquor store owner Bakhos El-Khoury applied for a license to move his store at 3401 W. Market to 3400 W. Market, which is across the street but in a different, wetter precinct. Abetting the move was serial fine-print stickler Teddy Gordon, the lawyer famous for fighting JCPS’s school-desegregation efforts. The application goes to the state for approval.


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Fresh on the hooves of Eight Belles’ death in the Kentucky Derby (and one horse owner’s description to Congress of jacked-up horses as “Schwarzenegger’s upper body on Don Knotts’ legs”), PETA bought its way into Churchill Downs’ shareholders’ meeting by buying 80 shares of company stock. Unlike PETA’s other favorite local target KFC, Churchill CEO Bob Evans had the wisdom to disarm the activists by agreeing to meet with them to discuss drugs and inbreeding in the horse industry. 


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The bad news: The Bush economy’s housing slump claimed another victim last week. Rohm & Haas announced plans to lay off 220 highly paid workers at its Rubbertown plant. The company makes inks, coatings, paints and molded-plastic crap. The good news: The cutbacks mean fewer toxins going into the Louisville air.


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Speaking of Rubbertown poison, a screening of 2,400 people in western and southwestern Louisville showed higher rates of asthma, diabetes, blood pressure and some cancers than the population at large. Besides the ChemCos at Rubbertown, the participants contend with greater poverty and less access to healthcare and insurance. Thirty-eight percent were treated for health problems they didn’t know they had.


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