More layoffs hit The C-J: Twelve axed as part of ad department realignment; staff dissent grows

By now, it is understood that daily newspapers face tough times. Today’s readers have myriad options for getting information, and their long-held allegiances to dailies have all but vanished. To that, add high overhead for print publications. And to that, add that most major dailies are owned by publicly traded corporations, which tend to cut jobs as a way of maintaining or increasing profits.All told, there have been better days.

City Strobe

It’s lonely at the topWith the overwhelming majority of Americans opposed to the Iraq war, even Republican senators are waking up and smelling the IEDs. In recent days, staunch Bush supporters Richard Lugar of Indiana, Pete Domenici of New Mexico, John Warner of Virginia and the somewhat-less-staunch Olympia Snowe of Maine have pressured the president to begin supporting the troops by bringing them home. Many other Republicans who face re-election are also cutting and running from “we can’t cut-and-run.”

Forecasting Louisville’s film future

Life is full of examples of changes that just sorta upend how we are used to doing things. Think automated answering systems, job outsourcing, video killing the radio star and on and on. Film is no exception, and if you’re a buff, you’ve already noticed how changing distribution patterns and Hollywood’s never-ending love affair with blockbusters have limited the choices we have on our big screens. So what does the future hold?—Cary Stemle

A narrow crack in the schoolhouse door

We have come a long way since 1975, when a federal court mandated a school desegregation plan to dismantle the dual school system that was a product of de jure segregation. Louisville was a racially divided, tumultuous city in the midst of societal change.

LG&E customers will soon know household carbon output: What’s the frequency?

Electricity users in the Bluegrass will soon learn the awful truth about how much carbon output their electricity consumption creates, one balmy summer month at a time.In a unique initiative to better inform customers of their contributions to global warming, LG&E and Kentucky Utilities (which covers Lexington and surrounding counties) will begin including the amount of pounds of carbon output each household emits based on the amount of electricity used that month on every bill. The figure, whose size may come as a shock to you, will appear on the back of those providers’ next and subsequent bills.“It’s just an awareness, ensuring that our customers understand they have an impact on the environment as well,” said Chris Whelan, communications manager for E.ON U.S., the parent company to both utilities.

Rumor & Innuendo

“The Mustard Belt is back in a America.” In a call rivaled only by Al Michaels in 1980 — “Do you believe in miracles? Yes.” — Paul Page thus capped one of the great contests in sports history. Joey Chestnut bested Kobayashi in the Nathan’s Famous July 4 International Hot Dog Eating Contest — “The Greatest 12 Minutes In Sports,” as coined by Page — by a count of 66-63. Kudos to event officials for not giving Kobayashi the automatic DQ when “suffering a reversal” in the last minute. And that is one of sport’s most sublime euphemisms.

Flexing their muscle

Last week in Frankfort, Democrats unveiled a new strategy for negotiating Republican-dominated state government: Guts“The special session simply provides welfare for politicians, and it is very unfair to Kentucky taxpayers. Included are talking points and a set of quotes from a diverse group of political and policy experts to help you communicate this important bi-partisan message. As always, we encourage you to distribute this document to your e-mail lists as well as to other outlets in your community.”—Rapid Response Alert issued by the Kentucky Democratic Party on Tuesday, July 3He spoke in sharp jabs of obloquy, quick like an auctioneer, before the podium microphone last Thursday, boasting a clarion call for defiance that is grossly out of character for this political body. I kept waiting for the caveat to come from House Speaker Jody Richards, a decent man’s decent man with questionable energy these days, after he stumbled through a bid for governor a few months ago.

City Strobe

Nurses, doctors simpatico with ‘Sicko’The red that progressive doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are seeing over the roughly 47 million uninsured Americans probably looks a lot like the blood-colored, “Sicko”-branded scrubs they wore Friday morning as they shouted, “I get sick!” in unison outside Baxter Avenue Theatres. The boisterous demonstration actually inspired a neighborhood dog to bark its own outrage at the insurance-driven woes of the American healthcare system — or maybe it just had a cough.

Representin’ : Can we get a Kumbaya?

The Metro Council passed the budget, Lord, kumbaya The Metro Council passed the budget, Lord, kumbaya The Metro Council passed the budget, Lord, kumbaya O Lord, kumbaya                    —Unknown, 2007 The Metro Council commenced its annual rite of passage last week, passing a budget that closely resembled the one proposed by Mayor Jerry Abramson about a month ago. Apparently everything was hunky-dory at chambers Thursday — that often happens at the end of the month-long slog that is budget negotiations. We’re talking $810 million this year, a lot of coins tossed, and our representatives like to make sure it is all going to the right places, stress be damned. Good for them.

Time for a special session, Fletcher says

Ignoring the staggering taxpayer cost of $60,000 per day, Gov. Ernie Fletcher on Monday called a special session of the General Assembly to address the “urgent need” to pass an energy bill, among a few other “important” things, he said in a statement. That bill, which would provide incentives for developing alternative energy in the state and focuses heavily on the oxymoronic “clean coal” concept, is one of several left on the table from the session that recently ended.