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Counting of a sort: The feds say we must tally the homeless. Easier said than done

By JENNIFER OLADIPOOne way to get better participation: Photo by Marty Pearl One way to get better participation in the biennial homeless count is to distribute socks and underwear.It’s the last Thursday in January, a clear winter day, slightly warmer than the one before. But by sunset, about the time Louisville and cities nationwide begin counting their homeless citizens, the air has taken on a harshness that will last until morning.

Vetting the messenger: In MSD trial, the focus is squarely on Sarah Lynn Cunningham

Offering his opening statement last Tuesday morning in an ornate, maroon-carpeted federal courtroom, plaintiffs’ attorney David Friedman told the jury that the case, which involves former Metropolitan Sewer District employees who were laid off six months after alleging ethical violations within the public agency, hedges on a simple cliché: Don’t shoot the messenger.

Media at the tipping point? Time to demand programming that isn’t ‘so damned bad so damned often’

The Louisville Media Reform group: sent a contingent to Memphis. From left: Victoria Strange, Mark McKinley, John Wilborn, Carol Smith, Anita Solomon, Ira Grupper and Cherise Williams.This huge Memphis ballroom is full, more than 3,000 people, representing every state and nearly every cause you might imagine. Many are activists who wear their passions on their sleeves, or on dozens of buttons (my favorite: What the FCC?). All of this excitement seems to surprise organizers from Free Press, a nonpartisan national organization, who say the size of the audience alone is sufficient to proclaim media reform a “movement” at its “tipping point.”

Rumor & Innuendo

Out of Caracter. That’s what the U of L hoops squad will be no later than Valentine’s Day, according to my sources. Sayonara Derrick, you coulda been a contenda. This is both a sad and telling situation. Frankly, I’m not sure who the real culprit is here. The kid? Or the coach? If the kid’s got so many issues, why recruit him even with his talent? But if you do recruit him, why expect him to change overnight? He lost all that weight. Which shows me he is capable of some discipline. Nobody I know has a real clue what’s going on between him and The Rick. It looks like a classic come-here-go-away scenario. What a shame. The kid’s got talent. And the team needs all that it can get. Next!!!!!

Rumor & Innuendo: What you didn’t see.

A throng of hangers-on and media folk — cameramen, scribes, talking heads — jostled for position last week outside the elevator from which new coach Steve Kragthorpe (nickname pending) would arrive for his coronation in the press room of the Pizza Bowl. The doors opened, an entourage disembarked, lights flashed, cameras clicked ... and the new Cardinal pigskin pontiff immediately hung a lefty into the men’s room. “There’s the money shot,” commented one wag.

City Strobe

More evolution proof?State Republican senators (of all people) are proposing (of all things) more money for education in (of all subjects) science and math. Conservative Christian Republicans in Kentucky are not known for either funding education or holding much truck with science, but there they were last week, touting bills that would boost science education in Kentucky public high schools.

City Strobe: Abramson to star in ‘Bridges of Jefferson County’

Mayor Jerry Abramson gave his yearly State of the City address to a sardine-packed Rotary Club meeting at the Galt House last Wednesday afternoon. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t heard this before and don’t want to, stop reading now. It should play out in a decade or so. After a brief pat on the back for making Louisville a financially sound and stable city that is rated one of the safest in America, Abramson honed in on four key issues we must tackle now, so that five to 10 years in the future, we can again pat ourselves on the back. “These four issues need to be transformational for the city,” he said, stressing the word “transformational” 11 more times throughout the speech.

Art that engages globalization, the colonial past

Okwui Enwezor,: Photo by Jeff Weiner Okwui Enwezor, dean of academic affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute, visits The Speed on Thursday.Over the past year, the work of the British-born artist Yinka Shonibare has pervaded some of Louisville’s notable art spaces: the walls and television screens at 21C Museum Hotel and an exhibition hall of The Speed Art Museum. His work is embodied in a variety of media — sculpture, painting, film and photography. In one work, which has appeared at both locales, the artist is pictured in a series of large photographs depicting the story of Dorian Gray. But the central character, a dandy, is a black man in Victorian England. (Shonibare’s work is on exhibit at The Speed until Feb. 4.)

Dirty deeds?

In December 2004, several MSD employees were laid off after raising concerns about alleged political patronage.

City Strobe: Wage wars

Everybody knows that raising the minimum wage would help relatively few American workers, most of them teenagers and part-time employees. It would result in job losses and discourage companies from creating new jobs, ultimately leading to higher unemployment. And it would hurt small businesses. Wrong, wrong and wrong, according to Media Matters (www.mediamatters.org). The media watchdog examined those frequently reported “facts” and found that none are true. In fact, citing numerous state and federal studies, Media Matters showed that payrolls and job growth went up and unemployment went down in states that increased the minimum wage in recent years compared to states that didn’t. Similarly, a study by the Economic Policy Institute (www.epinet.org) showed that a majority of minimum-wage workers work full time. And a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute (www.fiscalpolicy.org) showed that the number of small businesses grew twice as quickly in states with higher minimum wages than in other states. A March 2006 Gallup poll showed that a majority of small business owners agree a hike in the minimum wage wouldn’t hurt them.