Saturday, April 22, 2006

Thunbore over Louisville -- Can we mix it up a bit?

For the 800th year in a row, we have the same Thunder Over Louisville show. Only the music has changed. The same boring flyby of a big flag. The same boring planes with fireworks attached. The same boring speech. The same fake pause with the Bridge On The River Kwai song. And now, the added bonus of the fake enthusiasm of channel 32's newsteam.

Can we PLEASE do something different next year?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Goodfellas Communications -- Supplier to Kentucky Politics since 2006

In my favorite movie, Goodfellas, there is a scene detailing the method of communication with Paulie (Paul Sorvino), the boss of the family. Paulie hated telephones, so you had to call a guy who would go to Paulie and then get back to you.

Perhaps this is where Governor Fletcher figured out it was best to stop communicating by e-mail. If you keep a buffer between you and the communication, you can always claim you had nothing to do with it. See below:

Fletcher says he's given up e-mail
Doesn't want things 'taken out of context'
By Elisabeth J. Beardsley
The Courier-Journal

While the world plunges headlong into the digital age, Gov. Ernie Fletcher says he's reverted to ye olde pen and paper.

Fletcher said yesterday that four or five months ago he quit using e-mail for work and in his private life.

Instead, he's relying on letters and messages from his staff to communicate with constituents and conduct the state's business.

Fletcher said he abandoned his electronic mailbox out of concern over what people might say in their messages to him.

"You can't control, you know, what's done on those things," Fletcher said. "Things can be taken out of context."

The matter of Fletcher's e-mail account arose yesterday amid questions about whether he intends to comply with a court order to turn over e-mails from his state e-mail account, "" Sadie was a dog he had owned.

Fletcher's administration had denied an open-records request by The Courier-Journal seeking the e-mails. He said he would give them to the court, which has ordered a case-by-case review of which ones should be released publicly.

For Lyndee Mourn, a 23-year-old Lexington social worker, the inability to e-mail Fletcher directly is troubling. Mourn, a registered Republican, said Fletcher has taken away "the most convenient method" for people to get in touch.

"Personally, if I was worked up enough, I would take the time to sit down and write a letter," Mourn said. "It would deter a lot of people, though, because they would have to put forth an extra effort to do it."

But Adron Whitehead, a retired UPS worker who lives in Brooksville, said he doesn't care.

Whitehead, 81, a registered Republican, said he doesn't know how to use e-mail, anyway -- and that hasn't stopped him from speaking his mind in periodic letters to political entities.

"If I need anything from him, I'll respond to him by letter," Whitehead said of the governor. "I'll spend the 39 cents for that."

Fletcher acknowledged there are drawbacks to reverting to old communication options. "It does impair our ability to use technology to operate efficiently," he said.

A special Frankfort County grand jury has been investigating allegations that the Fletcher administration made personnel decisions on the basis of politics, a violation of state hiring laws. Investigators subpoenaed e-mails from the administration.

Attorney General Greg Stumbo, whose office has led the state hiring investigation, declined to comment yesterday on Fletcher's decision to shutter his e-mail account.

The governor still will be able to receive messages through his constituent services offices, but he no longer has his own e-mail address, Fletcher spokesman Brett Hall said.

Fletcher still uses his BlackBerry personal assistant device, paid for with campaign funds, to maintain instant communication with his staff through digital messages, Hall said.

Hall said e-mail and BlackBerry messages use different technologies, but he could not explain it further except to insist that Fletcher's BlackBerry communications are not e-mails. Hall could not say whether the BlackBerry communications are subject to the public-records law.

Analysts agreed that Fletcher's decision to give up e-mail probably is not a major work impediment.

Joe Gershtenson, director of the Center for Kentucky History and Politics at Eastern Kentucky University, said e-mail didn't exist until recently and its absence didn't stop the business of governing before.

"It does strike me as somewhat bizarre," he said. "On the other hand, I don't think this means, 'Oh gosh, he can't do his job.' "

The governor's leap back to pre-Internet technology is at odds with private business, which is embracing the digital age, said Al Lederer, a professor of management information systems at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics.

But as the state's top politician, Fletcher can dictate his own terms for communication, Lederer said.

"He's the governor. They'll come to him," Lederer said. "They'll communicate with him on the channel he wants."

Reporter Elisabeth Beardsley can be reached at (502) 875-5136.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Weather Annoyances

Bob Hill apparently hit a nerve with his article about local coverage of storms. Most people seem to be annoyed at the fact that programming they want to watch is preempted by the coverage.

Having been in a tornado once, I am kind of glad that they break in and stay on. But I do have several pet peeves about local coverage myself:

1) The breathless excitement that certain meteorologists seem to have at the storms (John Belski and Jay Cardosi, that refers to you). When you watch these guys, it seems as though they take delight in the fact there's terrible weather bearing down on the area. At least Belski allows other meteorologists in the studio to say more than two words before interrupting, unlike what he used to do.

2) Any technology labeled "HD". Why not call it "Digital Dopler HD Blog MySpace Hybrid Technology" just to cover it all?

3) The interruption of audio for the national weather service warnings. The NWS is always a day late in their updates and you gain nothing by the interruption because the channel you're watching gets the same alert at the same time.

4) The fact that WHAS radio now uses WAVE TV coverage rather than a dedicated radio meteorologist. Hearing Belski say, "As you can see here" does me no good when my power is out and I'm listening to the radio.

5) The zooming, swooping, rotating and disorienting radar. I compare it to trying to read a document while someone else is working the mouse. Just when you see what you want to focus on, they move it on you. And some of the "3D" angles make it impossible to tell where the storm is in relation to the ground.

6) Coverage that extends well after it leaves the Louisville area. I cannot believe that people in East Podunk are watching coverage from Louisville to get their weather information. Also, tell me if we're in for more or we're in the all clear so that I can change to another station.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Terry Meiners -- Jealous Much????

Those of us who remember the 80s remember the great radio shows of Ron Clay and Terry Meiners. Their "Morning Sickness" made us laugh. When Terry split to "go legit", Ron managed to carry on, and Terry reached much higher heights in his own career. 20 years ago, Terry was amusing on WHAS, poking holes in local politicians, serving up silly bits, and having generally amusing conversations with local people. Apparently, as his public recognition increased around town, so did his own ego and pompousness. Terry on his soapbox is a sight to behold, as he bashes "liberals", "shock" jocks, and anyone else that annoys him without a hint of wit. The hypocritical Meiners loves to attack Howard Stern and others for crude radio, apparently ignoring his own racist, homophobic and generally sophomoric radio show, and apparently not reading his own website.

Here's his latest rant about Stern, posted on his redesigned website, which appears to have had any reference to his wife annulled from it.

wednesday, april 5, 2006 howard stern is complaining to media outlets because only four million subscribers followed him to sirius satellite radio, which will affect his compensation. stern scolded all of the "cheap bastard" former free radio listeners who've resisted paying $13 per month to hear him say the f-word. five years from now, the f-word most commonly applied to howard will be "forgotten." apparently one new york homeless man spoke on behalf of the millions of former stern loyalists by spitting on stern and his girlfriend in manhattan last saturday night. the man was arrested for commiting the ultimate crime; trying to spitshine new york city. once he's released from jail, the homeless man says he plans to leave a trail of loogeys to lead katie couric from rockefeller plaza to the cbs building 8 blocks away. oh, and that homeless man? dan rather.

First, the quote is out of context. In the EW story, it's presented as Stern's own nutty obsession with domination and how he can't be happy with what he has. Secondly, I find it hard to believe that Meiners would find it funny if someone spit on his sons, wife (assuming their still married), or anyone of his friends.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Thoughts and Observations Around Louisville

Recently observed:

Carrie Weil and ex-husband Kevin Harned being snippy to each other on WAVE 3 sunrise. After his daily trivia question:

Carrie: (snarky) "I'm sure there's another trivia question on Isn't that where you get these?"

Kevin: (blunt) No

Carrie: "Oh, I thought that's where you got these."

Kevin: No. Things change.

Older redneck woman walking out of Wal-Mart, to no one in particular, "I'm 'onna git me a Big Red and some White Castles.

Speaking of Carrie Weil, she appears to have ptosis. Check her left eye when she opens them wide.

What's up with people putting "Fred Smith RIP" in big white letters across their car windows or on cheap white T-shirts? If I die, put me in the ground or cremate me, then do a nice memorial somewhere, don't turn me into a Calvin peeing on a Chevy symbol or and "I'm With Stupid" T-Shirt.