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June 4, 2014

What a Week

Louisville’s Weekly Zeitgeist Radar

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Mayor Fischer may be able to modify the franchise fee agreement with LG&E, which could result in natural gas bill increasing by up to 3 percent. This is thanks to Metro Council’s budget committee, which last week approved the option. Not surprisingly, several council members, as well as Greater Louisville Inc., have already expressed their ire. The proposal heads to the full Council on Thursday, so pop some kettle corn on your gas stove and get ready for a heated debate.

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Churchill Downs has seen a string of bad publicity. Co-owner of Derby winner California Chrome complained of bad treatment. Wes Welker was asked to return money paid out because of a mechanical error. A horse died after being startled by the venue’s new speaker system. What’s the cost of bad publicity? We’re not sure, but we know this year’s Derby saw its second highest attendance and tied a record for wagering at $186.6 million. So, whatever it is, they can probably afford it.

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Sen. Mitch McConnell’s gibberish from last week about how Kentucky can keep its Obamacare exchange and Medicaid expansion, even if Obamacare is repealed, is apparently contagious. Asked if he’s for dismantling Kynect on Friday, Sen. Rand Paul answered that he’s “not sure.” Faced with the political risk of taking away coverage from more than 400,000 Kentuckians, Republicans’ new spin appears to be: “If you like your Obamacare, you can keep it, even if we kill Obamacare itself.”

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Upset that $43 million of your taxes might go toward the fundies building Ark Encounter, the park that attempts to explain how a 600-year-old man wrangled dinosaurs onto a boat a few thousand years ago? Don’t worry, that’s not happening. The state Tourism Cabinet told LEO that Ark Encounter withdrew their tax incentive application in March just before it was to expire, filing a new scaled-back request for up to $18 million. Redemption comes with its rejection, Gov. Beshear.

World-classness: -4