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[img_assist|nid=3790|title=A jury said MSD violated the law|desc=illustration by Ashley Cecil / A jury said MSD violated the law by laying off Sarah Lynn Cunningham, above, but did not impose financial penalties.|link=|align=left|width=186|height=200]There was no smoking gun in the trial of two former employees who sued the Metropolitan Sewer District for wrongful termination, so the whole thing was that much harder to understand, particularly for our “CSI” culture of neatly wrapped hour-long whodunits.

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

Denny Crum Court. About damn time. I’m told The Rick, who has always been publicly deferential to the former coach, was the main mover. Anybody familiar with the bad blood that has existed between Hall-of-Famer Crum and the current AD will tell you this was far from a sure thing ever happening under the current administration. Kudos and thanks to all who had the good sense and sanity to make it reality.

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.