Louisville: Let Knowledge Serve the City—the poor need a win-win! Friday, Dec 19 2014 

 

This testimony is made by Dr. John GilderbloomCell: (502) 608-7567 jgilde02@sprynet.com and Wes Grooms, MUP (and Ph.D. Student) Cell: (202) 549-1779 charlesgrooms@gmail.com as individuals representing themselves and themselves only.

 

This testimony does not represent the opinion of the University of Louisville or any associated institutions.

 

We agree with the Council member(s) who have indicated that there will be a boom in local community spending with an additional $86 million in new spending by roughly 65,000 poor residents in Metro Louisville.

 

We urge you to make use of the highly regarded and award winning local university resources whose first mission is to serve the city and its residents instead of spending money on out-of-town consultants whose first mission is to earn a profit.  An example of this local resource, the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) http://sun.louisville.edu/, has shown that there is a direct correlation between wage increases for the poor and increased spending on housing.  Increased spending on housing means both rental and owner-occupied homes are better maintained.  Better maintained homes mean fewer foreclosures, higher property tax revenues, more investment interest from business entrepreneurs, and better living conditions.

 

John Gilderbloom

John Gilderbloom

Moreover, local community spending would also increase – benefitting small business owners. SUN’s analysis is based on objective, rigorous and reliable research using state of the art statistical methods.  The research results have never been challenged in the political and economic arena – rather, they’ve won awards.   Bad data means bad decision making; fair and objective research could inform city councilmembers, helping them to make good decisions that will benefit the citizens of Louisville.

 

The U.S. has an expectation that its citizens, if they are able, should work to support themselves and their families.  As citizens, we are told regularly that we need to have a cushion in case we lose a job, to save for retirement, put our kids through college, etc.  Humans have physiological need of safe food, shelter, education, etc.  Our market-based economy is designed to require funds be earned to purchase goods and services to satisfy our needs – this is a societal expectation.

 

The current minimum wage of $7.25 = $15,080 for 40/hours/52 weeks. BELOW POVERTY LINE.

The current poverty threshold for a family of three is $15,656 

The Michigan League for Public Policy Estimated a family of three in Michigan needed to earn $19.12/hour

MIT estimated for a family of three living in Shorewood, WI, a Living Wage Poverty Level of $22.90/hour.

 

As part of my thesis, I calculated an hourly wage of $38.38/hour as being necessary for a family of three living in Shorewood, WI, to pay for everything society expects our self-sufficient citizens to pay for.

 

In 2011, with Mayor Fisher at the helm, Louisville became a “Compassionate City.”  Compassion requires both empathy for suffering and action to end that suffering.  It is Government’s job to create and regulate the rules that form the market.  The free market is not a separate beast that lives and breathes on its own.  It is created by society – Government is an institution of society.  When the market fails, Government MUST act.  When citizens are unable to provide their families a morally decent living because wages earned CANNOT match minimum costs of their needs, Government MUST act.

 

Saying the proposed wage is $10.10/hour is incorrect – in the sense that it will be phased in over several years.  This is a false and distracting choice.  Raising the minimum wage is a win-win for everyone.

 

The following information is from my (Wes’) Master’s Thesis, completed at Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee entitled “An Exploration of Poverty: The Roles of Human Needs, Moral Obligations, Civic Rights, and Social Expectations in Defining and Measuring Poverty.”  Please use it to enhance your understanding of the needs of ALL Louisvillians.

 

Additional Information.

 

Also in 1990, Patricia Ruggles of The Urban Institute published “Drawing the Line: Alternative Poverty Measures and Their Implications for Public Policy.”  In it she writes “Even if we accept, as this book does, the view that our current standards represented a reasonable social minimum in 1963, normative standards change over time, and norms such as the poverty line (threshold) must consequently be reassessed periodically.”  She continues: “…to be comparative in normative termsto its 1963 level our current poverty standard would have to be substantially higher.”  In fact, she found that “Even the much less detailed examination of consumption patterns and needs offered here [her book] implies that the poverty line should probably be substantially higher than it is currently – close to $15,000 for a family of three in 1988, for example, rather than at its official level [in 1988] of about $9,500.”  Using such a “corrected” poverty threshold would have also resulted in poverty rates of more than 20%, rather than the official rate of approximately 13% at the time.  Ruggles points out that a poverty threshold that inaccurately measures the poverty rate as low and declining is likely to keep anti-poverty program funding from being seen as a “national vital priority.”   Further, “if we [the U.S.] believe that circumstances are improving more (or more rapidly) for some population subgroups than for others, we may choose to reallocate spending to provide more to those whose need appears to be greater.  For these reasons, basic flaws in our current measures that result in misleading conclusions about the incidence of real economic need should be of concern to policy analysts and policymakers.”

Poverty threshold figures for 2013 based on data from US Census Bureau.

Notes on Estimated Monthly Expenses

 

  • Weekly costs were multiplied by 52 and divided by 12 to obtain monthly costs.
  • Quarterly costs were multiplied by 4 then divided by 12 to obtain monthly costs.

 

a: Food costs for 3-person households in the MIT threshold are 2.215 times higher than for 1-person households, and food costs for 4-person households are 1.33 times higher than for 3-person households.  These same factors have been used to calculate food costs for the proposed equality-poverty threshold.  The base food costs for a 1-person household were determined by using the average $100/week food bill of the author at a local organic food cooperative grocery store.

 

b: Childcare costs for the equality-poverty threshold were obtained by from Shorewood Early Learning Daycare Center for two children, one infant, and one three-year-old.  Infant weekly cost $230.  3YO weekly cost: $195.  Total Monthly Daycare Cost: $1,842.

 

c: Medical costs for the equality-poverty threshold use the cost from the MIT living wage threshold and a multiple of 1.44 per person (the ratio which exists between the MIT 1-person and 3-person household figures) above the 1-person household monthly rate.

 

d: Housing costs for the equality-poverty threshold are averages based on rental rates offered by Eastmore Property Management, a prominent Shorewood property management company (the 3-bedroom cost was based on the one example offered by Eastmore).  The equality-poverty threshold housing cost for a 4-person household is for a duplex or single-family home (from Craigslist for Shorewood) with the presumption that a household with two adults would choose to take-on exterior maintenance responsibilities in exchange for access and use of the adjoining yard.

 

e: Transportation cost breakdown for the MIT threshold is unknown.  The costs of taking the bus in the equality-poverty threshold are based on $2.25/trip @ 2 trips/day for 5 days/week for 52 weeks/year.  Car expense is based on a monthly payment on a $15,000 loan for 60 months at 0% interest (These offers are prevalent at the time of writing of this thesis, and allows for the presumption that the lendee’s credit is as good as a non-poor citizen’s credit).  $50/month in gas expense is included in the monthly car expense figure.  It is assumed a car is necessary so the household may reach destinations that are not served by public transportation.  It is assumed that the MIT ‘living wage’ threshold includes insurance in their transportation category, while it is separated out for the ‘equality-poverty’ threshold.

 

f: Other cost breakdown for the MIT threshold is unknown.  Other cost breakdown for the ‘equality-poverty’ threshold uses these costs plus telephone costs calculated by the Michigan League for Public Policy, however, because they are anywhere from 18% to 100% higher than costs determined by the Michigan League for Public Policy for housekeeping supplies (laundry and cleaning supplies, cleaning and toilet tissues, stationary supplies, postage, miscellaneous household products, and lawn and garden products – if applicable).  They also include personal care products and services (including oral and hair hygiene products, shaving needs, cosmetics and bath products, electric personal care products and other personal care and services for males and females as applicable).  It would not be unreasonable to expect middle- and higher-income families to spend even more than used for this comparison.

 

g: Savings Rate (Bankrate.com) based on recommended percentage for a 40-year old person at the required income level.

 

h: Retirement Savings Rate (IRS.gov, ehow.com, usatoday.com) based on often cited recommendation of 10% of income.

 

i: Entertainment costs are based on a once-monthly movie and once-weekly dining out.  The cost of movie tickets was obtained from Marcus Theaters.  Adult tickets are $13 each, children’s tickets are $10 each.  No refreshment costs are included.  Dining out costs were obtained from Northstar American Bistro by averaging prices from their menu.  Each meal out was assumed to include 1 appetizer per household, 1 entrée per adult, 1 sandwich per child, and 1 dessert per 1-2 people.  Taxes of 5% and tip of 20% were added. Appetizer cost: $10.31.  Entrée cost: $20.80. Sandwich cost: $12.20.  Dessert cost: $6.45. Monthly dining out cost for 1-person household: $162.76  Monthly dining out cost for 3-person household: $268.49  Monthly dining out cost for 4-person household: $386.58

 

j: Based on package (Internet/TV/phone) deals from AT&T U-verse in Shorewood, WI, with mid-level service speed/quality/options.  Sourced from www.att.com

 

k: Utility costs include electricity only and are based on actual 12-month expenses for a 1-bedroom apartment of 700 square feet.  Utility costs for 3-bedroom single family home for the 3- and 4-person households were based on actual monthly average utility costs of $225.

 

l: For purposes of this comparison, all households rent their homes in Shorewood, WI.  The one-person household rents a one-bedroom apartment, and the three- and four-person households rent a three-bedroom apartment.  Coverage is for $20,000 in personal property, $500 deductible, and $300,000 in personal liability coverage for the one-person household.  Coverage is for $30,000 in personal property, $500 deductible, and $300,000 personal liability coverage for the three- and four-person households.  The auto insurance policy is for a 2013 Honda Fit, also in Shorewood, WI.  The one-person household is assumed to be a male with 2 points on his driving record, with $100K/$300K/$100K coverage and $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.  The three-person household is assumed to be a female with 2 points on her driving record with two children with $100K/$300K/$100K coverage and $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.  The four-person household is assumed to be a married couple (M & F) with two children, the husband having 2 points on his driving record with $100K/$300K/$100K coverage and $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.  The insurance costs are estimates provided by an insurance broker serving Shorewood, WI, and other communities in Wisconsin.  Auto rates are Wisconsin minimums, thus reflecting coverage and rates lower than might be reasonable to possess. There are no rate differences if one of the two-adult households stays home rather than works. 

 

m: Based on a monthly payment determined using an income of $50,000 with $9,500 in student debt. It is quite possible that outstanding loan balances would be substantially higher, resulting in higher monthly payments.

 

n: Kid College Fund Savings rate of 1% is an arbitrarily chosen figure.

 

o: Clothing costs are those as calculated by the Michigan League of Public Policy for identical family types as those compared in this thesis.

 

p: Emergency fund (rainy day fund) recommended to be enough cash to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.  The use of 1% of required after tax income to build that fund is an arbitrary figure determined by me to minimize reductions to funds available for day-to-day life while building this safety net

 

Research demonstrating no or positive effects to increased minimum wage.

 

Card, D.; Katz, L.F.; Krueger, A.B.  (April 1994). “Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages.  Panel: Data on State Minimum-Wage Laws – Comment.”   Industrial & Labor Relations Review.  Vol. 42, Issue 3: 487-497.  Princeton, NJ.  Industrial Labor Relations Review.

 

Card, David; Krueger, Alan B.  (September 1994). “Minimum-Wages and Employment – A Case-Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”  The American Economic Review. Vol. 84, Issue 4: 772-793.  American Economic Association.  Accessed 10-13-2014 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee online libraries.

 

Card, David; Krueger, Alan B.  (May 1995).  “Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies – A Meta-analysis.”  The American Economic Review.  Vol. 85, Issue 2: 238-243.  American Economic Association.  Accessed 10-13-2014 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee online libraries.

 

Card, David; Krueger, Alan B.  (1995).  “Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage.”  Princeton, NJ.  Pp. 276-313. Princeton University Press.

 

Card, David; Krueger, Alan B.  (December 2000). “Minimum wages and employment: A case study of the fast-food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply.”  American Economic Review.  Vol. 90, Issue 5: 1397-1420.   American Economic Association.  Accessed 10-13-2014 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee online libraries.

 

Research regarding what poverty threshold should be currently.Ruggles, Patricia.  (1990). “Drawing the Line: Alternative Poverty Measures and their Implications for Public Policy.”  The Urban Institute Press.  Washington, DC.

 

Gilderbloom, John (2008) Invisible City: Poverty, Planning and New Urbanism.  Austin, TX:  University of Texas Press.

 

Our Journal: On Voting in Kentucky Thursday, Nov 6 2014 

We apologize for the short break – Luke and I are back to journaling:

LUKE:

11/5/2014 Wednesday. This is the day after elections so that’s all everyone wants to talk about. After an election of some kind people really like talking about politics in general. I am a fairly liberal person and people in my class are fairly well divided, with extremes on both sides. One guy is all the way to where he doesn’t think global warming is a thing, abortions are wrong, religion very important etc. and then you have some who are the exact opposite, which is one of the interesting things about public school is that you meet every type of person you can think of. On the actual elections I was pretty surprised about quite a lot of the results like Colorado, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to name a few. Woo boring politics!

RICK:

vote

my ballot

I voted first thing on Tuesday. I’m amazed at the way the Senate race turned out – not that McConnell won, but by the size of the margin. Though I voted for her, I think she blew any chance she had when she refused to answer the question about who she voted for in the 2012 presidential election. Her handlers were so fearful of backlash from Obama detractors that they wouldn’t let her speak the truth.

And that’s the most disappointing part of living in Kentucky — the hatred of Obama is palpable. Whenever someone derides about Obama around me, I ask them what exactly has he done as president that is so horrible, or what policies have hurt them personally. I keep reading about how well the economy is doing while I’m buying #$3/gallon gas. I know we’ve pulled out of Iraq and generally the world is safe, the stock market is doing well. A lot of people have health insurance that didn’t have it before, and I’m confident the President is taking steps to protect our planet and encourage people to live healthier lives.

But in a lot of groups it’s almost the “in” thing to do to criticize the President.  I’m not one of them.

I had a great time on Wednesday, interviewing Mario Muller and Matthew Landan for the Rusty Satellite Show.  The interviews took me away from politics, which was a good thing.

 

Day 15: Luke’s Moving Day and a Trip to Lexington Wednesday, Oct 29 2014 

Journal Day 15.

LUKE:

Today my mom left on a work trip til Sunday. What that means is since my parents are divorced means I stay at my Dad’s til Sunday instead of just this weekend. Another thing is Dad is renting his house to someone from airbnb so we get to stay at my Dad’s girlfriend’s house, which is new and interesting. Her house, by the way, is super cool and has some really comfy blankets and towels.

RICK:

In Lexington, from the 28th floor

In Lexington, from the 28th floor

I went to Lexington today for work, and squeezed in a Rusty Satellite interview with Jonathan Miller, an attorney and former State Treasurer who has an office on the 28th floor of the city’s tallest building. I once lived here, and loved it, but visiting reminded me that I’m glad to live in Louisville. Miller was a great interview, and we talked about politics and his poker victories. In 2007, he was running for Lt. Governor while I was working on the campaign of Bruce Lunsford for Governor.

He had a photo of the Big Red Machine in his office. We talked about how nobody cares about the World Series, and he pointed to his favorite player of that time, Joe Morgan. Mine was Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle.

I ended up watching Game 7, and was glad to see the Giants win behind a great pitching performance from Madison Bumgarner, which I actually predicted on my podcast, which you can hear at RustySatelliteShow.com.

At the trade show I was working, I got to have a conversation with the Big O, Oscar Robertson, who has plenty of opinions about college sports.

Day 11: Political Chicken and Friday Night Fire Saturday, Oct 25 2014 

LUKE:

So I’m gonna use today to mainly talk about a discussion we had throughout the school day with my friends. So one of my friends got a job at Chick-Fil-a which sparked a discussion of whether or not it’s wrong to eat somewhere where you don’t agree with the beliefs of the owner/company. My friend Nico (who never goes to Chick-Fil-a because of the owner’s beliefs) argues that he doesn’t want to support the owner’s beliefs. However most of us, including me, said that their product is very good and what the owner thinks doesn’t matter to us. I specifically felt that when I spend my money there I’m helping the workers way more than the owner.

Rick:

The fire pit at Paula's

The fire pit at Paula’s

With a full weekend of activities scheduled, Paula and I stayed in and sat around a fire pit. The predecessors at her place built a circular stone wall around a locust tree in her backyard. Against my recommendation, among Paula’s first acts as a homeowner here was to have the tree cut down.  It had grown to surpass the height of the two-story structure and provided needed shade at her bedroom window.  It left a 2-foot wide and 2-foot diameter stump inside the pit wall.

It was a good call. The pit that remained is perfect for fires. It goes down about 5 feet below ground level, and we figured out you could throw all kinds of debris in there and it would burn. The first time we did it, the fire we built didn’t go out for two days. Last night’s was a more modest version, yet ideal for the conditions on a cool clear evening. It was still smoldering in the morning.

Day 10: Terror in Canada; Jammin’ at Loui Loui’s Friday, Oct 24 2014 

Day 10

LUKE:

Today in U.S. History we talked about the incident in Canada where a soldier died from a gunman. The gunman then ran through the parliament! Crazy stuff, the article I read on it I remember a quote that was “Canada will not be intimidated” I thought this pretty cool since nothing ever happens to Canada and when it does they react much better than the US does. In class we talked about how Obama didn’t jump to how it was a terrorist attack which was weird since it was obvious an act to invoke terror. This lead to us talking on how people view terrorism as a Muslim thing which is incorrect any act to invoke terror is terrorism.Only important thing today unfortunately.

RICK:

On stage at Loui Loui's

On stage at Loui Loui’s

Paula and I have stumbled onto something really cool, and it’s happening right down the street every Thursday night.

Loui Loui’s serves up “authentic Detroit-style pizza” in the former Ferd Grisanti’s structure on Taylorsville Road. That makes it a great attraction in itself. But owner Mike Spurlock, a Detroit-area native like Paula, is a musician. And somehow he’s filled his restaurant every Thursday night with fans of jammin’ rock and roll.

I might be wrong, but it feels like a weekly reunion of older folks who still know how to sing rock and roll tunes, play guitar, the sax, drums. The white hair on the stage belies the powerful sound of the voice doing “Whiter Shade of Pale.” There’s a new group of musicians up there for every song. We were sitting there enjoying our 4-square pizza when the guy on stage called David up to the stage. David happened to be sitting next to us, and moments later he was powering up his sax. The tall African-American to my right was eventually called up to do some Marvin Gaye.

At one point, the band, featuring someone who still plays with Nervous Melvin, did a Delbert McClinton song, “Every Time I Roll the Dice.” I may have been the only one in the room who knew the words to that one. And though it all seems to be impromptu, the performance is awesome, as if these guys had been rehearsing together for years.

Paula and I danced to the slow ones. And while several of us just appreciate the music, many in the crowd seem to be waiting their turn to get on stage, play some old tunes and re-live their youth. It’s a happy place.

Highs and Lows on Tuesday: Herbstreit, a Festival of Ideas and Meeting a Reptile Wednesday, Oct 1 2014 

Quite a week in my hometown. On Tuesday, ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit answered questions friend of Rusty John Asher at a charity luncheon for Catholic schools held in conjunction with the Trinity-St. X football game on Friday. Herbstreit said he’s a regular at the Derby, which Asher reminded us is only 214 days away.

It was the start of the Idea Festival, where Angie Fenton hosted a session called Thrivals targeting young adults. I stopped in and heard several high school students ask intelligent questions about what will be different in 2035. One young man named Thomas was from Fern Creek High School, and his concern was about light pollution and how we can’t see the stars at night in cities. As he was speaking, I got a text alert from a news station that his school was on lockdown after a shooting.

Later, at Louisville Collegiate School, the writer Carl Hiaasen spoke about his book, “Skink-No Surrender”. In conjunction with the appearance, Carmichaels Bookstore invited the Louisville Zoo to bring along some actual skinks. Now I don’t know much about lizards and skinks and reptiles of any sort, but I did get to see the slimy creature below up close. Hiaasen talked about his approach to writing, saying that he doesn’t do outlines and just lets the characters and stories go where his mind takes them. He credited the real life weirdness of Floridians for inspiring the strange actions his characters sometimes take, and took questions from a mix of the old and young among the several hundred book-lovers who showed up.

As Carl spun tales about the real-life criminal mind that inhabits the Sunshine State and inspires his novels, I couldn’t help but think about how, well, we’ve got enough goofballs around here who break the law in strange ways, plus corrupt politicians and even some people who manage to do the right thing,  that I ought to write a similar book featuring Kentuckians. I’ll put that on the list.

zooguybeRelevant Herbstreit

Murder the Devil, Larry Muhammad’s New Play, On Stage at Vault 1031 Tuesday, Sep 2 2014 

Former Rusty Satellite Show guest Larry Muhammad has a new play being performed this week. I’m going to try to go, you should to. Here are the details:

Add to upcoming 9/11 observances this year a new Larry Muhammad play at Vault 1031 examining the prospect of homegrown terrorism and how it links to ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

murderthedevilposterfinalTitled MURDER THE DEVIL, it was a finalist for the Kentucky Theatre Association New Play Award in 2010 and Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative did a stage reading in 2011 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati.

“What inspired me to write the play was the arrest of some black guys in an FBI sting operation in 2006 for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago,” said Muhammad, whose plays have been performed at Kentucky Center and Actors Theatre. “There was this FBI agent pretending to be an Arab terrorist and offering these guys money. And I thought: What if a real terrorist tried recruiting a real Chicago streetgang into the jihad? Now that would make an interesting piece of theatre.”

The script was further developed this year at New Play Slam, a workshop of Louisville theatre artists held monthly at Vault 1031, where it premieres Sept.  4, 5, 6, 7 and 11.

Set in Chicago, MURDER THE DEVIL involves an Al Qaeda reject who slips through Homeland Security on a bloodthirsty mission, recruits a treacherous  street gang but learns too late who is hustling who. Racial animosities surface and heated disputes over killing in the name of God as the fate of a hostage hangs in the balance.

“It’s raw and edgy,” Muhammad said, “with complex characters from the wannabe terrorist and his parents trying to keep him out of trouble, to the ballsy hostage and unexpectedly patriotic black gangsters. I think audiences are going to like it.”

MURDER THE DEVIL

Sept. 4, 5, 6, 7 & 11

7:30 pm each night

Vault 1031

1031 S. Sixth Street, Louisville

$10 cash at the door

Reservations: barbara.cullen117@gmail.com

Culture Rant: Assault on Personal Expression Tuesday, Jun 17 2014 

historyWhen considering whether to click on the link below or not, you are surely asking yourself, “What topic of major global import did c d kaplan discuss Saturday morning during his weekly radio gig?

“1) The Iran situation;

“2) The Syrian situation;

“3) The increasingly deleterious effects of global warming;

“4) The Tea Party’s war on American politcs; or

“5) None of the above.”

Of course, the answer is “None of the above.”

But what I did rant about last Saturday morning on FPK 91.9 with James just may change your life.

Audio MP3

The First 99 Most Interesting People in the ‘Ville Sunday, Jun 15 2014 

Well, the Rusty Satellite Show has almost made it to a major milestone. This week will mark the 52nd episode of the Rusty podcast.  The list below includes politicians, media professionals, lawyers, entrepreneurs, athletes, professors, public officials and a lot of good friends who agreed to help me build this little show.

On Father’s Day, it’s also worth mentioning my son, Nick Redding, now living in New Orleans, who came up with the Rusty Satellite moniker many years ago as a middle school student. It’s a great name.

I’m trying to make this little show a bit bigger, and one way to do so is to publish a book showcasing the special talents and people who have appeared on the show. Stay tuned for an update on that project in the near future.  For now, here’s the list, and stay tuned for Rusty’s 100th guest coming up this Thursday.

Allen, Tyler

Arnold, Joe

Asher, John

Ashton, John

Bell, Jill

Berry, Mike

Bisig, Larry

Boel, John

Boyd, Terry

Brown, John Y III

Budde, Neil

Buthod, Craig

Carter, Mark

Clark, Perry

Coffey, Claudia

Cogan, Shannon

Coomes, Mark

Coomes, Steve

Cosby, John

Crawford, Eric

Davenport, Scotty

Davis, J.P.

Domine, David

Esrock, Margue

Estopinal, Wayne

Faulkner, Karen

Fehder, Steve

Fenton, Angie

Fischer, Greg

Galliette, Greg

Gates, Belinda

Gaukel, Kirsty

Gentner, Kat

Gilderbloom, John

Gimmel, Emily

Green, Jackie

Griggs, Stacy

Haire, Darrell

Hart, Ed

Havens, Sara

Haygood, Glenn

Haynie, Hugh

Hebert, Mark

Hettinger, Wayne

Heuser, Chip

Holland, Gil

Holliday, Darrell

Inman, David

James, David

Jones, David Jr.

Kaelin, Brigid

Kandle, Kirk

Kaplan, C.D.

Kimel, Kris

Koons-MdGee, Tim

Laird, Tim

Lamas, Anthony

Lefkoe, Adam

Lubbers, Bernie

McCarthy, Brendan

McDonnell, Dan

McKnight, J.K.

Miller, Ashley

Miller, Corky

Miller, Jerry

Minnick, Fred

Muhammad, Larry

Nation, John

Paradis, Steve

Putney, Mose

Redman, Rick

Rhodes, Ben

Rogers, Darren

Schimmel, Shoni

Schmitt, Karl

Servo, Stacey

Sirchio, Kris

Smith, Ted

Sokoler, Bob

Tandy, Cyndy

Trusty, Taylor

Walczak, John

Walls, Kristen

Waters, Les

Weis, Nick

Wesslund, Debbie

White, Stephanie

Williams, Tom

Williamson, Diane

Wilson, Dick

Wiser, Steve

Witten, John

Yankeelov, Dawn

Yarmuth, Aaron

Yarmuth, John

Ye, Dr. Hong

Yunker, Mollie

Zickuhr, Marianne

Zirnheld, Craig

RustyBookProp

Highlighting a Pre-Pre Derby Week at Churchill, Library, Freedom Hall and a Racquetball Lesson Sunday, Apr 20 2014 

With a couple of days left still until the frenzy of Derby Week, I warmed up with an active schedule of interesting activities available only in Louisville, Kentucky.

First, you can listen to my conversation with Darren Rogers, the big man on campus (at least as far as 2,000 media members are concerned) at the new and improved Churchill Downs. Here’s a link to our show, which also includes Kentucky Derby Festival board member Jill Bell.

Listen to the Rusty Satellite Show here.

The biggest improvement is the massive new scoreboard you’ve probably heard about on the backside. Of course, the infield has changed a lot since I ended my eight-year stretch of consecutive Infield experiences in 1989. And I’m not a fan of most of the changes (all that concrete), but the new scoreboard is a big improvement no matter what your vantage point. Pull out all your synonyms for “big” to describe it. I can’t wait to see it in action.

And a new area of the track that Darren showed me, with an elevated view of the Derby starting gate, will be an awesome place to watch. It reminds me of the area above the South End Zone at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The new facade facing Central transforms the look of the place. It’s in a spot where Rogers told me Downs president and South End resident Kevin Flanery used to cut the fence and charge a reduced entry fee to his friends.

I think all my liberal progressive friends and Bill Maher fans showed up at the Library Wednesday to hear from journalist Matt Taibbi. He spoke for 90 minutes about injustices in the American justice system, specifically contrasting how white collar financial criminals manage to avoid jail time while committing crimes that affect millions versus the minor offenses that put the less-privileged behind bars. His book, The Divide, is high on my reading list.

On Firday, I took my son Luke out to a basketball game at Freedom Hall, where we marveled at how old and out-of-date the place seemed, having experienced the Yum! Center on a regular basis. The game was the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, and featured three U of L recruits. It’s the oldest of these all-star games in the country. The highlight may have been U of L recruit Jaylen Johnson taking a feed from his Mom in the Dunk Contest, but we were also impressed by Ballard recruit Quentin Snyder’s court presence.

For those of you who follow local media, I had two interesting stories at Insider Louisville. Check out my piece on the new political show on WHAS-TV, hosted by Joe Arnold.  And I had the only local story on the sudden departure of Claudia Coffey from the WHAS-TV anchor desk. Both have been guests on the Rusty Satellite Show.

So all in all it was a great week, not including playing golf with my girlfriend Paula on Saturday. And one more thing I never expected. I walked into the Westport LAC for my regular racquetball game Friday afternoon. I noticed the guy on the court, by himself, looked like he was pretty good, but I couldn’t see him clearly. So I got dressed in the locker room, thinking maybe I’d challenge this stranger.

But when I got over to the court I recognized that it was none other than Kane Waselenchuk. Now that may not mean much to you, but Kane is the best player in the world. See for yourself in this New York Times profile.

Kane Waselenchuk is the best in the world Journalist Matt Taibbi spoke at the downtown Library Jill Bell of the Kentucky Derby Festival Darren Rogers with the new scoreboard at Churchill Downs Joe Arnold has a new show on WHAS-TV Claudia Coffey has moved on from WHAS-TV

He hasn’t lost a professional match in four years, and has been #1 since 2009. He’s married to a Louisville girl, Kim Russell, a champion on the court herself. I used to play her Dad, Rick, in the 1980s at the YMCA. I compared it to Tiger Woods hitting balls at Seneca, or maybe LeBron James showing up unannounced at a U of L basketball practice to get some work in. But neither superstar dominates his sport the way Kane does.

There were only three of us by the courts, and Kane, who’s a really cool guy, agreed to play my friend Travis in a game that was as lopsided as you might expect. I asked Kim why they were here, and her answer tells you a lot about how someone can become a dominant force in any sport. They were in town to visit her family, and when she asked Kane what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to practice. And that’s how the #1 player in the world ended up hitting balls at my club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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