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City Strobe

Promoting intolerance while hamstringing education — what could be more Frankfort than that? Kentucky Senate Bill 152 is a poetic piece of legislation that props up discrimination, ignorance, second-class education and second-class healthcare, all in an economical 182 words. It aims to prohibit universities and agencies from offering health insurance coverage to anyone other than a legally married spouse or family member. In other words, no homos allowed.

Why not get to know your government?

Several years ago, when I was just on the leading edge of puberty, as a matter of fact, our family took a famous vacation to Washington, D.C. I had a fine new pair of suede Chuck Taylors — navy blue with two stripes and a star. Washington, you may recall, is a walking city. Bad situation.

Mr. Yarmuth goes to Washington: A primer on putting your money where your mouth is

A couple weeks ago, about the time Washington, D.C. got slammed with a nice round of snow and ice, LEO sent me and staff writer Stephen George to the nation’s capital. Our assignment: Take the measure of John Yarmuth, a freshman member of the 110th Congress. Frankly, it was a hell of a week. We learned a lot and found plenty of inspiration. In this week’s cover story (plus my commentary on page 5), you can read all about it. Cary Stemle

Rumor & Innuendo

Call him Tubby $$$$mith. I’m advised UK’s beleaguered mentor was approached by a friend, an assistant coach of a recent opponent. The fellow asked Tubby if he might actually consider leaving after the season in light of the fusillade of criticism from disgruntled Wildcat Nation citizens. Purportedly he responded, “If they come up with $9 million, they can get rid of me.” Ah yes, that darn buyout!

McKibben’s America

“The modern radio industry is utterly focused on you. It’s entirely set up around the idea that you are a part of a predictable demographic whose tastes can be reliably commodified as alternative country or classic rock; the whole premise of talk radio is that you can go all day without hearing an opinion you disagree with — Rush Limbaugh’s fans, after all, call themselves dittoheads. What could be more efficient than that?” —Bill McKibben, from “Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.”

Rumor & Innuendo

Big Blue smirk. Who knows whether UK fatcats will buy Tubby out of his contract or not? It’s obvious from Mitch Barnhart’s recent statement that it’s more of a possibility than ever. There is loads of conjecture as to who the next coach might be. Texas A&M Aggies’ Billy Gillespie is a name often heard. He may be the next great coach. Here’s a name I heard from a couple of sources last week: Tom Crean. One guy says Crean really is intent on staying at Marquette, but that UK might make him an offer he can’t refuse. The other said Crean is “openly politicking” for the position in Lexington. Doubtful, but I’m just here to throw fuel on the fire.

City Strobe

Hey Louisville, are you ready for some savior-faire?Hope arrived in Louisville Sunday evening, albeit a bit later than expected. Even a miracle-worker has to take time to de-ice his airplane when he’s flying out of Chicago in a snowstorm.

When the color wheel is a health hazard

Artificial food coloration can make us sick. Why do we still use it? (Hint: the answer could apply to hormones, antibiotics, and other modern American delicacies)What do fish, fruit and pretzels have in common with chocolate, soft drinks and movie-theater popcorn? Very likely, they are tinted with artificial colors.

How green is the city’s fleet?

This week we’re feeling green, and it’s not that stomach virus that’s going around (thanks for asking). By coincidence, Stephen George’s cover story on page 12 takes the measure of just how green the city’s vehicle fleet is (not as green as Lexington, it turns out). George also checks in with author Bill McKibben, who’s been talking about global warming for almost two decades. McKibben, who appears at the Kentucky Author Forum next week, says it all comes down to thinking locally. That’s actually an encouraging message.
—Cary Stemle

City Strobe

Henry, Trouble still close personal friendsDemocratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Henry is no stranger to controversy. The former lieutenant governor to sex-scandal-plagued Paul Patton had to pay the federal government $162,000 in 2003 to settle a lawsuit claiming he’d fraudulently billed the government for Medicare and Medicaid payments while working at the University of Louisville.