Patrick DeSpain


UofL, Farm to Table Team For More Local Foods

December 31, 2012

Louisville’s Farm to Table organization is working with the University of Louisville help the university source more of its food locally.

Sarah Fritschner, who leads Farm to Table, has been instrumental in streamlining communication between food service providers, major distributors, and local vendors. Recently, the university hosted a catering fair to introduce local producers and larger distributors.

Fritschner found that food service provider Sodexo, which holds a contract with U of L, was also under contract with Sysco. So she worked with Sysco, the world’s largest broad line food distributor, to start carrying locally-sourced products at U of L.

“There’s more available than you think there is,” she said. “It’s not about the farmer in the pickup truck. You don’t have to find a friend of a friend who knows somebody with chickens to get fresh eggs. The systems are growing.”

The university officials responsible for catering orders were present at the fair, as were eight local caterers. Attendees had an opportunity to sample locally sourced food and preview menus from caterers like Sodexo, Center Plate, and the City Café.

“What we were trying to do is introduce caterers who have catered for U of L in the past to come in and see that it’s not about necessarily dealing just with farmers, that they have access to local food — that they don’t have to know somebody who knows somebody,” said Fritschner, a former Courier-Journal food editor. “They can just call up their Sysco rep and go ‘okay, what do you have that’s local?’”

Metro Government created Fritschner’s position with a portion of the funds awarded to Kentucky from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

Under the agreement, Kentucky sets aside part of the funds it receives from cigarette manufacturers each year for assisting farmers who wish to transition from tobacco to other crops.

Read Story


Ice Skating Under the Big Four Bridge Approach? Maybe.

December 24, 2012

Louisville’s Waterfront Development Corporation has revised its plans for an ice skating rink at Waterfront Park.

The seasonal rink was originally planned to go up last year at a location on the festival plaza, near the Christmas tree vendors. But funding fell through and complications with utilities in the original location nixed the plans.

Funding again didn’t come through this year.Now, the Waterfront Development Corporation is looking at putting a rink under the Big Four Bridge approach next year. Director of Facilities Gary Pepper believes the new location could be a pavilion for other events during warmer parts of the year.

“The Big Four Bridge is due to be completed here the next couple weeks which will free up all that construction space underneath it, and in the spring time we’ll reclaim all that area and then look heavily at maybe next fall but we still don’t have any funding in place to do it yet,” Pepper said.

Pepper says funds will have to be raised privately and the WDC is seeking donations for the project.

This holiday season, rinks opened in Jeffersonville and in Fourth Street Live. Pepper says the Waterfront Park rink could be more grand than those to draw skaters.

Pepper said plans may include “some kind of pavilion, ice rink in the winter time, more of a permanent type slab that would accommodate multiple uses.”

Read Story

Louisville Man Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to Aircraft Exported to Iran

December 5, 2012

Louisville resident Behzad Karimian (a.k.a. Tony Karimian) pleaded guilty on Monday to charges related to the unlawful export of aircraft parts from the U.S. to Iran. 

Karimain and another person exported “and causing the export of services” with the sale of a GE Aircraft Engine Model CF6-50C2, and the procurement of helicopters made by Bell Helicopters, alleged the FBI, citing two indictments. They allegedly didn’t have the required authorization from the U.S. treasury department, the FBI said.

“All of the aircraft and aircraft parts involved in this case were intended for civilian use,” the FBI press release said.

Karimian and Asefi could face a $500,000 fine and up to 40 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled before Chief District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on March 4, 2013 in Louisville.

Read Story


UofL’s ‘Photo Wrangler’ Curates Final Exhibit

November 3, 2012

For Bill Carner, it’s been a decades-long career surrounded in nostalgia — black and white photos, often, of a Louisville that may be forgotten without the visual evidence he’s spent a career collecting.

Carner is ending a 35-year run as the curator — or, as he’s called, “photo wrangler” — for the University of Louisville Photographic Archives. To celebrate, the exhibit “Bill Carner’s Swan Song: A Final Curatorial Exercise” will open Thursday and run through Jan. 25 at U of L’s Ekstrom Library.

In producing the exhibit, Carner gathered favorite photographs from friends and colleagues that have inspired him and contributed to his own development as a photographer. Carner speaks of each image in the collection with warmth and recollection.

“It’s an homage to some of my friends and some of my favorite photographers,” Carner said. “I put together an exhibit of around 40 really great photographs to look at. I think people will enjoy it. I know I’m enjoying putting it together.”

Carner applied for his position at the University of Louisville while completing his Masters degree. He moved to Louisville from Reddington, Pa., to enroll in the Center for Photographic Studies ,where C.J. Pressma became his mentor.

Carner went on to develop relationships with other prominent Louisville photographers. 

For example,  Carner met Stern Bramson in the 1980s after Courier-Journal Publisher Barry Bingham made a donation of photos from the Royal Photo Company — a Louisville commercial photo company founded in 1904 — to the University of Louisville Archives. Carner said of his relationship with Bramson, “We had a splendid time, a real nice ride.” A photo taken by Bramson appears in the exhibit. The picture shows a nun in a walk in cooler stocked with locally brewed beer.

“I had to put something in there for Stern,” Carner said.

Carner described how he came by some of the photos in the archive: 

“Steve Cohen had a gallery in Los Angeles. Back in the mid eighties he started coming around. He was like a peddler going up in the mountains. He had a trunk full of photographs . . . and we would buy some photos. It was like having the salesman come to your farm up in the holler. He would tell you what was going on in the world out there beyond where you were. He would inform us what was happening in the photographic art world. It was always fun to see him and fun to see some photographs. We had a little money and we could buy one or two and that kept him coming back and the stories kept coming and we got some beautiful work from him.” 

The personal narratives behind each photograph bring the exhibit seemingly to life. Carner elevates his exhibit beyond simply cataloging a career in photos — he reminds the viewer how photographs capture memories, friendships and inspiration. 

A reception begins at 5 p.m. Thursday in the lower level of Ekstrom Library. Photographers featured in the exhibit include August Sander, Guy Mendes, David Plowden, Danny Lyon, among many others.

Read Story

New Menu Labeling Law Takes Effect

October 15, 2012

A new menu labeling ordinance goes into effect Monday for many Louisville restaurants.

The ordinance was first proposed in July and only applies to restaurants that already have calorie counts for their menus available.

“Any food service establishment that posts caloric or other nutritional information on its website—or through other communications methods—that they need to make that same information available to customers on site at the restaurant,” says Department of Public Health and Wellness spokesman Dave Langdon.

The rule does not apply to chains with more than 20 locations, as the Affordable Care Act already requires such establishments to disclose nutrition information.

Public Health and Wellness officials will review an establishment’s website for nutritional information prior to its regular food inspection. Restaurants found in violation of the ordinance will have 14 days to come into compliance. After the 14 day period, they will be subject to a fine of $25 per day.

Read Story

State Warns of Prime Wildfire Conditions Going Into Fall Season

October 8, 2012

The Kentucky Division of Forestry is preparing for a busy wildfire season in the wake of summer droughts.  There’s also a danger that debris from spring tornadoes has created more “ground fuel,” posing a greater threat to firefighters.

Despite recent rainfall, moderate drought conditions still exist in 50 counties in north central Kentucky.  In the far western part of the state, 25 counties remain under severe to extreme drought conditions.

But Division of Forestry spokeswoman Lynn True says the leading cause of wildfires in the state is an avoidable one.

“Here in Kentucky, the reality is most of our wildfire is completely preventable the main cause of our wildfire in the state is arson,” she said. “That’s a felony and it carries a very stiff fine of $10,000 as a penalty and maybe up to five years of imprisonment.”

The Division of Forestry suggests the following guidelines to increase awareness and aid prevention of wildfires:

  • Be aware of all outdoor burning restrictions, including forest fire hazard seasons, air quality and waste management regulations, restrictions imposed by local ordinances and county burn bans. 
  • Avoid burning anything during fire hazard seasons and during times of dry, windy conditions.  Outdoor burning is illegal between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland during forest fire seasons.
  • Extinguish all fires completely.  Never leave a fire unattended and always extinguish fires if conditions become too windy. 
  • Allow hot ashes from woodstoves and fireplaces to cool before disposing outdoors. 
  • Extinguish smoking materials properly.  Put out cigarettes, cigars, or pipes only in cleared areas free of vegetation or flammable material. 
  • Avoid parking cars, trucks, or recreational vehicles on dry vegetation.  The exhaust system on a vehicle can reach a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees, which is hot enough to start a wildfire.
  • Incorporate “Firewise” practices around homes and communities in forested areas.  Firewise practices range from creating defensible space by removing leaves, vegetation and firewood to ensuring access for safety personnel and equipment in rural or isolated areas. 
  • And as always – Report suspicious acts of arson to the nearest Kentucky State Police post or call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON. 

Fall fire season officially began Oct.1 and runs through Dec. 15.  For more information about forest fire seasons, outdoor burning restrictions or fire prevention tips, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s website.

Read Story

Legislation to Regulate Pain Clinics Pending in Two Indiana Communities

October 5, 2012

Two southern Indiana communities are taking preliminary steps to more tightly regulate prescription pills by cracking down on pain clinics. Prescription painkiller abuse is becoming more common, and some say the pills are easier to get legally due to unscrupulous pain clinic operators.

The Courier-Journal reports that New Albany city councilman Scott Blair has introduced an ordinance to prohibit clinics from operating within 500 feet of a residential district and 1,000 feet of another pain clinic.  Hospital clinics would be exempt under the proposed ordinance.

The Jeffersonville city council is in the process of enacting similar regulations after controversy surrounding a pain management clinic that opened in July.  Residents near the clinic have voiced concerns over its potential to attract crime to the neighborhood.

And action on a statewide level could be coming, too. Indiana State Senator Ron Grooms announced plans in August to sponsor a bill that would require that owners of pain clinics be licensed physicians.

Read Story

U of L Wings HIV Clinic to Close Jeffersonville Location

October 2, 2012

The University of Louisville Wings Clinic is consolidating patient care to its downtown Louisville branch. 

Wings is a research and treatment facility for patients with HIV and AIDS, and used to offer patient care one day a week in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Now, University of Louisville spokeswoman Julie Heflin says it makes sense to merge the operations in downtown Louisville.

“There is expanded opportunity to be seen here five days a week instead of just a half day on Thursday morning,” she said. “So those patients will still be seen, they’ll just have to come to the downtown Louisville location and walk-ins are welcome at this clinic.”

Heflin said that the Jeffersonville clinic will be notifying its current patients of the change, and that the clinic will help patients who wish to find a healthcare provider in southern Indiana.

Read Story


Mayor’s Office To Relocate for Idea Festival

September 17, 2012

The Louisville mayor’s office will relocate to the Kentucky Center for the Arts this week in conjunction with the Idea Festival. Mayor Fischer’s staff will operate from an IdeaHub set up in the lobby of the Kentucky Center starting Wednesday. They’ll remain there throughout the festival, which continues through Saturday.

The hub is where people can share ideas about the future of Louisville. A talk on Wednesday afternoon and hosted by civic thinker Jennifer Pahlka focuses on government engagement with citizens. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

All access passes to the IdeaFestival as well as day passes for Thursday, Friday and Saturday have sold out. However, many festival and affiliate events are free and available to the public through registration.

Read Story


Final Preparations Underway For Frazier’s Princess Diana Exhibit

September 12, 2012

The Frazier History Museum opens its new exhibit, Diana: A Celebration, this Saturday.

It features nine galleries with more than 150 items recalling the personal life of Princess Diana. They include clothing, family heirlooms and rarely-seen home movies and photos.

Today, Diana’s royal wedding gown was uncrated in preparation for display. The gown, veil and 25 foot train are featured in the Royal Wedding gallery as well as photos, letters, and video presentations surrounding her engagement to Prince Charles.

“It never ceases to be a very exciting job to have. We consider ourselves very lucky and privileged to be able to do this. It’s only with the permission of Diana’s sons that we’re allowed to do this,” said Nick Grossmark with the Spencer family’s Althorp Estate ,who travels with the exhibit.

Grossmark says his favorite item in the exhibit is one of the smallest.

“There’s a book that she got as a gift from Mother Teresa. I just think it was a very heartfelt piece that’s in the collection. Two very powerful women, I think, that understood each other.”

The public exhibition kicks of with “KNight for a Princess,” a 21 and over event Saturday evening. The collection will be on display from September 15 through January 13.

Read Story

DerbyCon Returns to Louisville Later This Month

September 11, 2012

A conference for information security professionals and enthusiasts returns to Louisville at the end of the month.  DerbyCon is a four day event that will feature lectures by information and security experts as well as training courses for those who wish to hone their skills.

Organizer Adrian Crenshaw says the conference grew out of a series of classes he helped put together with co-founders Martin Bos and David Kennedy.  The classes were very popular and the group decided to try to put together a conference.

“We started thinking, if we can get this many people to come to Louisville, Kentucky for this one short class, I wonder if we can put on a conference,” Crenshaw said.

He says the first step was contacting friends in the security industry.

“Dave Kennedy, luckily, knows a lot of people in the security industry, and was able to pull in some favors and get some big names like Kevin Mitnick, HD Moore, and Paul Asadoorian to show up,” he said.

The conference features a four track structure, with hour-long presentations on various aspects of the security industry running concurrently.  A broad range of topics include penetration testing, social engineering, and current trends in computer law.

Louisville’s LVL1 will provide a hardware hacking village where novice participants can get hands on experience with soldering kit projects.  Other attractions include a wireless village, hacker movie marathon, lockpick village, and a game of capture the flag that will run throughout the weekend of the conference.

Tickets are currently sold out, though there are rumors on Twitter that 70 more tickets will be released on Friday.  The conference will be held downtown at the Hyatt Regency Hotel September 27th – 30th.  More information is available at

Read Story


21C Exhibits Yale Architecture Student Distillery Designs

September 10, 2012

A new exhibit at 21C Museum Hotel features the work of ten graduate students from the Yale School of Architecture.  The students were challenged to design a distillery for a proposed site on Main Street.  Their projects take into consideration concerns over Louisville’s agricultural and manufacturing climate as well as the mechanics of the distillery process.

Scale models line the north and south walls of the gallery.  A garage door that takes up the east wall was open to the street on the evening of the exhibit’s reception.  Posters with schematics, artistic renderings and infographics hang behind each structure.

The projects are not intended for development, but serve as inspiring proposals for the kinds of manufacturing facilities that could provide viable job alternatives to the city.  Production facilities offer economic diversity in Louisville’s predominantly service driven market.  The end results are both innovative and striking.

Seema Kairam’s River Bend Bourbon facilitates a three-tiered system of production in which craft distillers and amateur enthusiasts are accommodated alongside an industrial process.  Shared expenses and equipment remove hurdles for fledgling entrepreneurs while cultivating an atmosphere of engagement between the industry leaders and the public.

Alley Industries by Diana Nee is designed to span the alley between Main and Market.  The building’s design allows for the continued use of the alley for “service functions” and also includes the use of waste materials from the distillation process for energy production.

Margaret Hu designed her facility as a branding device where the “direct circulation for the flow of materials contrasts against a highly choreographed path for the flow of visitors.”  A massive wheel in one corner of the structure delivers bourbon barrels between floors.

The exhibit runs through September 24 in Gallery 4. 

Read Story


Yale Students’ Distillery Designs on Display in Louisville

September 7, 2012

The Yale School of Architecture’s Advanced Design Studio will visit Louisville tomorrow to show off student designs for a distillery at the corner of 1st and Main streets, across from Whiskey Row.

New Fruits: Urban Distillery will feature models and renderings of designs students began putting together during a visit to Louisville earlier this year.

The Advanced Design Studio takes graduate architecture students to various cities around the world and challenges them to design a building with a location-specific industry in mind. For the Louisville project, students visited distilleries and warehouses in and around the city, as well as locations in Indiana and Cincinnati. The class was led by 21C designer and New York architect Deborah Berke.

Students were tasked with bringing the distillery process downtown, taking into account building codes and pollution as well as other challenges inherent in an urban manufacturing setting. A growing demand for locally grown, sustainable agriculture was another important concern in the design process. The finished designs were presented as proposed structures and are not slated for real world construction at this time.

The reception will start at 7pm at 21C Museum Hotel, Gallery 4. Berke will be on hand at tomorrow night’s reception along with Noah Biklen, who also led students in the design process. Models, drawings, and other project renderings will remain on display through September 24th.

Read Story


Western Library Branch Re-Opens This Week

September 5, 2012

The Louisville Free Public Library will reopen its western branch this weekend following a $500,000 remodeling project.

The historic location was built in 1908 and was the first free public library in the nation to be fully staffed by African Americans. Included among the renovation projects is the creation of a new reading room for the African American archives, which the library houses.

“We’re trying to accomplish several things and one is to make sure that this historic, landmark library lasts another hundred years,” says Library Director Craig Buthod. “So we’re making lots of physical repairs and improvements to the building to make sure that it’s water tight, to make sure that it looks right. The physical improvements are significant, but they’re not the only thing.”

Other improvements include additional study spaces and new computers. Mayor Greg Fischer Buthod  will unveil the updates during a special ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 pm. 

Read Story

“What’s Next” Library Lecture Series to Address Climate Change

September 3, 2012

A new lecture series begins this week at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. The “What’s Next” series offers a forum for local researchers to discuss emerging developments in their areas of expertise.

“We’re talking with a lot of folks here in Louisville that are really doing some amazing things,” Library Head of Community Relations Paul Burns said. “That’s one of the things we wanted to tap into, is some of these great resources we have in the community and some exciting stuff that’s happening that people don’t even know about.”

The inaugural lecture in the series will be delivered by University of Louisville Geography and Geosciences professor Keith Mountain, who has studied the effects of climate change around the world, including in Antarctica, Africa, and South America. His lecture is this Thursday at 7 p.m. The event is free, but tickets are required. More information is at the library’s website.

Read Story