89.3 WFPL http://wfpl.org Louisville's NPR® News Station Tue, 28 Apr 2015 11:11:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.5 Legal Battle Over Gay Marriage Hits The Supreme Court Tuesday http://wfpl.org/legal-battle-over-gay-marriage-hits-the-supreme-court-tuesday/ http://wfpl.org/legal-battle-over-gay-marriage-hits-the-supreme-court-tuesday/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 11:08:11 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=35883&preview_id=35883 People have been lining up for days hoping they will be among the lucky ones to get a seat for Tuesday's historic arguments. At issue: whether states can ban, and refuse to recognize, gay marriage. Read Story

]]> People have been lining up outside the U.S. Supreme Court for days hoping that they will be among the lucky ones to get a seat for Tuesday’s historic arguments on gay marriage.

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450219508_3ae4168ebe_oHow Lawsuits Against Kentucky's Gay Marriage Ban Reached The U.S. Supreme Court

As of now, gay marriage is legal in 36 states. By the end of this Supreme Court term, either same-sex couples will be able to wed in all 50 states, or gay marriage bans may be reinstituted in many of the states where they’ve previously been struck down.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court arguments focus on two questions: First, whether bans on gay marriage are constitutional; and second, if they are, whether those states with bans may refuse to recognize out-of-state gay marriages performed where they are legal.

The court has scheduled an extraordinary 2 1/2 hours of argument and will make the audio available online later Tuesday.

Four states — Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky — are defending their bans. They won their case in the lower court, and because other appeals courts threw out bans enacted in other states, the Supreme Court now must resolve the conflict.

The high-stakes legal battle is the culmination of a decades-long struggle in the courts, state legislatures and at the ballot box. During that time, public opinion has changed, and done so more rapidly — and dramatically — than on any major social issue in memory.

In 1996, public opinion polls showed, on average, only 27 percent of the public favored legalization; this year, although many states still adamantly resist gay marriage, public opinion polls put the approval number nationally at well over 50 percent.

Tuesday’s courtroom battle pits states’ rights against the fundamental right to marry; it pits the traditional definition of marriage against a more modern definition; and it pits majority rights against minority rights.

Before the court are the consolidated cases of 12 couples and two widowers. Among them are nurses, teachers, veterinarians, an Army sergeant and businessmen and women.

Many call themselves “accidental activists,” because they filed lawsuits not to further a cause but because of the way the bans affected their lives.

In Michigan, for instance, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer have four adopted children, two with disabilities. Because the state does not allow same-sex couples to adopt, but does allow single people to adopt, each of the women has adopted two of the children.

“We have a marriage,” says DeBoer. “We just don’t have a piece of paper that legally binds us to each other.”

The wake-up call about their legal status came on a two-lane highway one snowy night when a truck traveling in the wrong lane veered into a field to avoid hitting them head-on. After that harrowing near-miss, they started putting wills and trusts into place to protect the children.

But there was one thing they couldn’t do: make sure that if one of them died, the other would get custody of the two children who had been formally adopted by the deceased parent.

“A judge could award that child to someone else,” says Rowse, “effectively making them a legal stranger to the child they’ve helped raise since birth.”

So to challenge the state adoption laws, they challenged the ban on gay marriage.

Many of the other plaintiffs in Tuesday’s case are, like Rowse and DeBoer, people who adopted or had children by artificial insemination; some couples were legally married in another state but now live in a state that that bans gay marriage.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette defends his state’s ban as an example of democratic rule.

“Who decides: the courts or the voters?” Schuette asks, rhetorically. “There are 2.7 million people — voters — who made this decision.”

But gay-marriage advocate Mary Bonauto counters that this country does not put the fundamental constitutional rights of minorities to a vote.

This is not about self-government or persuading voters,” argues Bonauto. “It’s about the Constitution and whether, constitutionally, same-sex couples can be denied the right to marry that all other Americans enjoy.”

Arguing against her Tuesday will be lawyer John Bursch, representing Michigan and the other states. His task is to convince the justices that Michigan has a rational justification for banning gay marriage.

“It’s really not possible to say that the marriage definition Michigan has had since 1805, when it was still a territory before statehood, has all this time been irrational,” Bursch says.

Bonauto replies that it doesn’t really matter what people thought at the time the Constitution was written because the Fourteenth Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, guarantees “equal protection of the laws.”

“And this is a court that has recognized time and again that we have to look at current conditions in deciding what equality means,” Bonauto adds.

Indeed, the Supreme Court has repeatedly said that marriage is a fundamental right that the state cannot abridge without some real justification. It has said that prisoners have the right to marry, and so do people too poor to make child support payments.

And most famously, in 1967, the court struck down state bans on interracial marriage.

So what are the justifications offered by the states? They cite procreation.

“Michigan has a legitimate interest in encouraging opposite-sex couples to enter into permanent, exclusive unions within which to have and raise children,” argues Bursch.

Bonauto counters that Michigan allows heterosexual couples to marry even if they are infertile, too old to have children or don’t want to.

Bursch cites other justifications, arguing that men and women bring different attributes to child-rearing in a marriage.

“Having that diversity of both the mother and a father can be a good thing for children,” Bursch says.

Bonauto will tell the justices that by denying same-sex couples the right to marry, states are imposing concrete hardships. Because they are not considered one family, unmarried same-sex couples have to buy two health insurance plans to cover themselves and their children; if one of them should die, the other partner and his or her adopted children are not entitled to Social Security benefits. And indeed, the parent whose name is not on the adoption papers could lose custody.

“Denying same-sex couples marriage means that you are increasing the number of children who are raised outside of marriage,” Bonauto says. The bans in turn deny “a whole class of children that security, that protection” of marriage, “and tell these children and their parents that they “are not worthy of this most important relationship in life,” Bonauto says.

Bursch replies that the states are not trying to disparage anyone.

“It comes down to who gets to decide between competing marriage models, which many people feel very strongly about,” Bursch argues. He reiterates that the choice is up to the electorate, “and if the courts start imposing their own view of what marriage should be, that’s going to do huge damage to the democratic liberty principle that has always animated our Constitution.”

The second question being debated in the Supreme Court Tuesday is whether states that ban same-sex marriage may refuse to recognize legal marriages performed out of state.

The standard-bearer for the recognition cases, and indeed, all the cases, is widower Jim Obergefell. Because his lawsuit was filed first, all of the consolidated cases are known as Obergefell v. Hodges (Richard Hodges is the Ohio official in charge of death certificates).

It is the death certificate of Obergefell’s longtime partner that is at the center of the recognition question.

Obergefell and John Arthur were together for 20 years. But by 2013, Arthur was bedridden and dying of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). On June 26, the two men were watching TV as news flashed across the screen that the Supreme Court had struck down the federal law barring the national government from recognizing gay marriages performed in states where they are legal.

“I just immediately leaned over, hugged him, gave him a kiss and said, let’s get married,” Obergefell recalls. “It just seemed like the most perfect thing possible to do at the moment.”

Friends and family quickly raised the money for a medical charter to Maryland, where gay marriage is legal. The couple exchanged vows as the plane sat on the tarmac and then headed back to Cincinnati.

Just a few days later, though, the two would learn that Ohio would not recognize Jim as a surviving spouse on John’s death certificate.

“It was heartbreaking,” Obergefell says.

A federal judge, acting on an expedited basis because of John’s health, ordered the state of Ohio to record Jim as the surviving spouse when the time came.

Three months and 11 days later, John Arthur died, and Obergefell’s name was listed as the surviving spouse on the death certificate.

The state appealed, and if it wins in the Supreme Court, it can reissue the death certificate without Obergefell’s name.

At the Supreme Court Tuesday gay-marriage advocate Douglas Hallward-Driemeier will tell the justices that states have long recognized each other’s marriages.

“The history of state recognition of marriage is that a marriage that was valid where it was celebrated is going to be recognized in the new state, even if that couple could not have gotten married in that state,” he says.

The reason for that is that people travel across state lines all the time, and their marriage travels with them. It doesn’t matter, notes Hallward-Driemeier, that the wife, for instance, is too young to get married in some of the states a couple may subsequently live in or travel through.

The four states defending their gay-marriage bans also defend their anti-recognition laws, but lawyers for the four declined to be interviewed.

Kyle Duncan, who represents 15 other states with nonrecognition laws, argues that the issue of gay marriage is unique, especially in the context of the state’s prerogative to define and regulate marriage.

“Before 2003, no state in the United States had recognized same-sex marriage,” Duncan says. Indeed, before 2000 no country in the world had recognized same-sex marriage, he observes.

“If it’s that new and it involves this bedrock exercise of sovereignty by states,” Duncan argues, “it seems to us the right position is to say, then let the states figure it out.”

A decision in the case is expected by the end of June.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

]]> http://wfpl.org/legal-battle-over-gay-marriage-hits-the-supreme-court-tuesday/feed/ 0 Louisville Closing Half of Women, Infants and Children Program Clinics http://wfpl.org/louisville-closing-half-of-women-infants-and-children-program-clinics/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-closing-half-of-women-infants-and-children-program-clinics/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:26:47 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35880 Louisville health officials are closing three of the city’s six clinics from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants And Children, or WIC. WIC is a federal program that helps provide healthy food, formula and nutrition education to families that … Read Story

]]> Louisville health officials are closing three of the city’s six clinics from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants And Children, or WIC.

WIC is a federal program that helps provide healthy food, formula and nutrition education to families that are up to 185 percent of the poverty level.

But fewer Jefferson County residents are using the program, which means the area is going to get considerably less federal money for it, city health officials said.

As a result, Louisville Metro Health and Wellness officials said the program is facing a $300,000 shortfall this fiscal year ending in June and a shortfall of at least $800,000 next year.

Leanne Pearson, the WIC Nutrition Manager with Metro Health and Wellness, said that’s why the department is closing three of its smallest clinics in the South Jefferson, Middletown and the Hazelwood areas.

Pearson said participation has dropped to about 13,000 in Louisville.

“At one point we had a high of 16,000—so there is a decline,” she said.

Officials said that this doesn’t mean there is less need in the area. While WIC participation went down in the area, participation in a federal food stamp program known as SNAP went up. Pearson said she believes this is because WIC participants have to attend four appointments at their nearest clinic, among other things.

“Whereas with SNAP, it’s a much easier way to enroll, you don’t have to come four times a year,” she said. “So, for some individuals that’s a choice that they make.”

The food stamp program also allows families to buy any food products they want, whereas WIC is used for purchasing healthful foods such as fresh produce, milk and eggs.

State and local health officials are working on finding out a way to get higher WIC participation numbers. Pearson said one program would make the educational component of the program accessible online, so people don’t have to drive over to a local clinic four times a year.

City health officials are also reaching out to new mothers through Medicaid and partnerships with local hospitals.

The three WIC clinics that officials are shuttering will be closed by June 30.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-closing-half-of-women-infants-and-children-program-clinics/feed/ 0 Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Comer Flies Across Kentucky To Unveil Platform, Fight Attack Ads http://wfpl.org/republican-gubernatorial-candidate-comer-flies-across-kentucky-unveil-platform-fight-attack-ads/ http://wfpl.org/republican-gubernatorial-candidate-comer-flies-across-kentucky-unveil-platform-fight-attack-ads/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:19:22 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35867 Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and his running mate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, went on a flying tour across the state Monday to meet with supporters of their bid for office. In the campaign stops in Paducah, London, Louisville and Bowling Green, … Read Story

]]> Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and his running mate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, went on a flying tour across the state Monday to meet with supporters of their bid for office.

In the campaign stops in Paducah, London, Louisville and Bowling Green, Comer unveiled the remaining three planks of his five-point platform, focusing on reducing the size of government, growing the middle class and investing in the state’s future.

He said he’ll achieve those goals by reducing government spending by 10 percent, providing an earned 10 percent income tax credit for families that make $100,000 or less and decreasing Kentucky’s debt ratio to less than 6 percent in four years.

In order to pay for the income tax credit, Comer said, he’ll scrape together $86 million by eliminating other tax breaks like one for the film industry, which passed in this year’s legislative session.

“That’s a waste to the taxpayers, I think that money would be better invested in the middle class than in some Hollywood film companies,” Comer said.

In his previously announced planks, Comer announced his intention to reduce the number of Kentuckians on Medicaid and provide in-state tuition tax credits for college graduates.

Comer is fighting attack ads that accuse him of voting to increase legislator pensions and advocating against government-funded farm subsidies, but receiving $87,000 in subsidies for his own farms.

Comer said he suspects that one of his opponent in the Republican primary, former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner has been colluding with the super PAC that sponsors the ads, Citizens For a Sound Government.

“I have a theory that the money is coming from Hal Heiner but I’ll never be able to prove that,” Comer said after an event in Paducah.

Super PACs aren’t required to disclose their donors.

The voter turnout for the primary election on May 19 is expected to be low; Comer said that will work in his favor, though he trailed Heiner in a poll of likely voters in March.

“The turnout’s going to be to the point where only the most educated voters are going to vote, and I think they’re turned off by Hal Heiner,” Comer said.

Heiner has repeatedly denied coordinating or having any connection with the PAC, but his campaign accuses Comer of running away from his vote to increase legislator pensions when he was a state representative.

“His continued accusations about Mr. Heiner are a desperate attempt to draw attention away from that vote,” Heiner communications director Doug Alexander said in a phone interview.

With three weeks left in the run-up to the gubernatorial primary election, Comer is riding last week’s news that he out-fundraised his fellow Republican primary candidates.

Comer pointed out that his opponents have campaigns that are largely self-funded, and he relied on donor contributions of $1,000 or less.

“And we did it because we have real support across the state,” Comer said

]]> http://wfpl.org/republican-gubernatorial-candidate-comer-flies-across-kentucky-unveil-platform-fight-attack-ads/feed/ 0 Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District Director Heitzman to Retire http://wfpl.org/msd-director-heitzman-to-retire-this-year/ http://wfpl.org/msd-director-heitzman-to-retire-this-year/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:59:45 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35844 The executive director of Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District will retire later this year, the agency announced Monday. Greg Heitzman has been at MSD since December 2011, when he began serving as interim executive director after a state audit found numerous … Read Story

]]> 12839572033_c383e874e4_b-1024x400Creative Commons

The executive director of Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District will retire later this year, the agency announced Monday.

Greg Heitzman has been at MSD since December 2011, when he began serving as interim executive director after a state audit found numerous problems with the agency. For a year, Heitzman was simultaneously the head of both MSD and the Louisville Water Company, until he resigned from the water company to focus on MSD full-time.

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msdpix2-e1423860742361-1170x400MSD Board OKs Changes to Agency's Surplus Land Sales Policy

In recent months, MSD was at the center of other controversies, including a labor dispute and questions about its process for selling surplus real estate.

Heitzman also spearheaded the Louisville One Water Partnership, exploring areas of redundancy and potential collaboration between MSD and the water company.

Mayor Greg Fischer said he has begun a nationwide search for Heitzman’s replacement.

Fischer on Monday also announced that Angela Akridge will be MSD’s chief engineer. She replaces current Chief Engineer Steve Emly, who will retire later this week.

Heitzman’s  base salary for 2015 is $256,859, according to data provided by MSD. Emly’s base salary is $137,588.

]]> http://wfpl.org/msd-director-heitzman-to-retire-this-year/feed/ 0 Same-Sex Marriage, In The Justices’ Words http://wfpl.org/same-sex-marriage-in-the-justices-words/ http://wfpl.org/same-sex-marriage-in-the-justices-words/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:21:54 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=35838&preview_id=35838 On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the question of same-sex marriage. In the meantime, we know a good deal about the justices' views already. Read Story

]]> The U.S. Supreme Court directly confronts the question of gay marriage this week with a whopping 2 1/2 hours of oral argument, accompanied by plenty of prognostication afterward about the expected results. It won’t be until June that we learn how the issue is settled nationally. In the meantime, though, we do know a good deal about the views of the justices already.

To say that there has been a revolution in the law when it comes to gay rights is an understatement.

In 1986, the Supreme Court uphelda Georgia state law that made private, consenting homosexual conduct a crime. Chief Justice Warren Burger, in a concurring opinion, quoted a description of homosexual sex as an “infamous crime against nature,” worse than rape, and “a crime not fit to be named.”

Just 17 years later, however, the courtreversed itself and struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law nearly identical to the Georgia one it had previously upheld.

The author of that opinion was Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“It is the promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter,” Kennedy said, in summarizing his opinion from the bench.

Had the writers of the Constitution known all the possible components of liberty, Kennedy acknowledged, “they might have been more specific.” But, “they did not presume to have this insight.”

“They knew times can blind us to certain truths, and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress,” he said.

Justice Antonin Scalia dissented vociferously.

“It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war, and in particular, in that battle of the culture war that concerns whether there should be any moral opprobrium attached to homosexual conduct,” Scalia said.

Fast forward 10 years to 2013. The leading players were the same. Kennedy again would write the decision for a five-justice majority, this time invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that had barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages in states where such unions were legal.

The law, said Kennedy, had “the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure” the personhood and dignity of legally married same-sex couples, converting their unions into second-class status.

Dissenting again, Scalia predicted that legalization of same-sex marriage, through the courts, would become inevitable.

“By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage as an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,” he said.

Less than two years later, Scalia’s view hadn’t changed, but his tone had.

“Don’t paint me as anti-gay … or anti anything else,” he said in February of this year. The occasion was a Smithsonian Associates event where this reporter interviewed the conservative Scalia and his longtime liberal dueling partner, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia explained his view this time not in the language of a culture war, but as the court respecting a structural principle of democracy.

“The point is: Who decides?” he asked rhetorically. “Should these decisions be made by the Supreme Court, without any text in the Constitution, or any history in the Constitution to support imposing that on the whole country. Or is it a matter left to the people?”

Justice Ginsburg quickly jumped in.

“But as I see it, it isn’t the Supreme Court that is deciding for the whole society, like an imperial ruler,” she said. “There hasn’t been any major change in which there wasn’t a groundswell among the people before the Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on the inclusion in the equality concept of people who were once left out.”

Ginsburg went on to note that it wasn’t until after World War II and the fight against the Nazis that the court faced separation of the races in the U.S. and declared public school segregation unconstitutional.

“It was a huge embarrassment that racism persisted in our country, that our troops in World War II until the very end were separated,” said Ginsburg. “I think that World War II made inevitable the change with respect to the status of racial minorities. And it was the same way with women’s increasing demand to count as full citizens.”

So where are the nine current Supreme Court justices on the issue of gay marriage? In 2013, the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act by a 5-4 vote, with the conservative Justice Kennedy joining the court’s four generally liberal justices.

It’s likely that Kennedy will once again join the liberals in this term’s challenge to state bans on same-sex marriage. But nothing is assured, especially since Kennedy’s 2013 opinion also stressed the traditional right of the states to define marriage.

“The significance of state responsibilities for the definition and regulation of marriage dates to the nation’s beginning,” he wrote. “When the Constitution was adopted, the common understanding was that the domestic relations of husband and wife and parent and child were matters reserved to the states.”

Confronted by that states’ rights question, gay rights supporters this week will point to the court’s 1967 decision striking down state laws that banned interracial marriage. That case was called, fittingly, Loving v. Virginia — the plaintiffs being named, really, Mildred and Richard Loving.

Chief Justice John Roberts raised the Loving case at his 2005 confirmation hearing when he was asked how he would evaluate newly asserted rights.

“The example I think that I’ve always found is easiest to grasp was Loving against Virginia,” said Roberts. “Do you look at the history of miscegenation statutes, or do you look at the history of marriage?”

Roberts concluded that under the court’s precedents, it should look at the broader question, the history of the right to marry.

Just what, if anything, that forecasts is unclear. The court has repeatedly said marriage is a fundamental right. But Roberts was a dissenter in the Defense of Marriage Act case. He would have upheld the law on the grounds that federal recognition justifies uniformity.

This week’s case, though, is different. It is the direct challenge to bans on gay marriage that gay rights advocates have been seeking for 20 years. For the court, and the justices, it has all the earmarks of legacy.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

]]> http://wfpl.org/same-sex-marriage-in-the-justices-words/feed/ 0 Louisville’s Teen Playwrights Express Themselves Through Actors Theatre’s New Voices Festival http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-teen-playwrights-express-themselves-through-actors-theatres-new-voices-festival/ http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-teen-playwrights-express-themselves-through-actors-theatres-new-voices-festival/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:00:51 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35694 Though this year’s Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre is over, the company has two more evenings of original drama planned for this week. Eight new short plays will premiere as part of the New Voices Young … Read Story

]]> Though this year’s Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre is over, the company has two more evenings of original drama planned for this week.

Eight new short plays will premiere as part of the New Voices Young Playwrights festival.

In a rehearsal room at Actors Theatre of Louisville, stage director Betsy Anne Huggins recently led a group of actors in a run-through of a new play, called “Sick.” The 10-minute play focuses on the so-called “lavender scare” of the 1950s, when gay people were persecuted under McCarthyism. The two main characters undergo involuntary psychiatric treatment, and in one case, a lobotomy. 

The stage manager and the playwright sat at long tables along one end of the room, watching carefully. As with any new play at Actors Theatre, the playwright is involved with the process of the first production, but this playwright is only 17.

Huy Vo, a senior at duPont Manual High School, is one of nearly 600 area high school students who submitted a play for the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival, and one of only eight writers whose script is being produced with full sets, costumes, and lighting. It was a big moment when he first heard the actors reading his play.

“It was extremely exciting, and nerve-wracking. I could just imagine it being produced,” Vo said.

The New Voices festival is also the capstone project for Actors Theatre’s Apprentice/Intern company, a group of trainees who work in all areas from acting to lighting design to publicity. Each playwright is assigned a director and a dramaturg, who helps with research related to the play’s subject and themes. Jane Jones, the education director at Actors Theatre, said the collaborative process is part of what playwrights are there to learn.

“This festival is very much modeled after the Humana Festival, in the sense that we’re really focusing on the playwright’s voice and the playwright’s vision, so we really want them to have that full experience,” Jones said.

Huy Vo said he’s been encouraged by the process.

“The staff here, and my directors and my dramaturg and my actors are just so invested. Their enthusiasm is extremely surprising, and how thorough they are,” Vo said.

The subject matter of the eight plays ranges from sexual assault on college campuses to freestyle rap battles to a competition between a Frisbee team and a ping-pong team. There’s even a play about two starfish, just hanging out, talking about life.

Jones said these young playwrights have a lot on their minds.

“I think teenagers get a bad rap, as being kind of apathetic or too cool for anything, and this proves again and again that, if anything, teenagers care so much, and they are so invested in what’s going on in the world. And it may not look like that to all of the adults, but they have very important things to say and they’re just trying to figure out the best way to do it,” Jones said.

In the rehearsal room, the actors took a break after doing a run-through. Director Betsy Anne Huggins and dramaturg Ariel Sibert conferred with Vo about a tricky moment near the end of his play. This is the collaborative process in action: the playwright has a vision for what he wants to say, and the director helps him find the clearest way to say it, so they kicked around a new idea.

Betsy: …But we enter back into the room, at the very end of the procedure, and so our last moment is Dr. Mullins and Nurse Collins at the bedside with Louis.

Huy: Oh, that would be really, really cool.

Betsy: Oh, you’re interested in playing with that?

Huy: Oh, yeah, that’s cool.

Betsy: OK, awesome, let’s try it, yeah!

The stage manager called the actors back to work, and they started to try that new idea to see how it worked.

The Young Voices New Playwrights Festival runs Monday and Tuesday night at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Here’s more information.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-teen-playwrights-express-themselves-through-actors-theatres-new-voices-festival/feed/ 0 Louisville Preservationists Launch Petition to Support Water Co. Block Buildings http://wfpl.org/louisville-preservationists-launch-petition-support-water-co-block-buildings/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-preservationists-launch-petition-support-water-co-block-buildings/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 11:01:29 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35766 Hundreds of residents have expressed support for the preservation of two historic buildings on a block in downtown Louisville slated for a major development. The buildings, the Odd Fellows Hall and the Water Company building, are two of four historic structures … Read Story

]]> Hundreds of residents have expressed support for the preservation of two historic buildings on a block in downtown Louisville slated for a major development.

The buildings, the Odd Fellows Hall and the Water Company building, are two of four historic structures that once stood on what is known as the Old Water Company block near Third Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

Earlier this month, Louisville Metro government began razing the Morrissey Garage and the Falls City Theater Company buildings because they deemed the them to be a public safety hazard. But a recent report from Insider Louisville raised questions about the validity of the engineering reports on the buildings.

Weeks after the razing began, the buildings still remain in a heap of rubble.

Later this year, the $300-million Omni Hotel development will begin construction onthe block. But before the heavy machinery begins digging the foundation for the new tower, local preservationists want to ensure their voice is heard.

To that end, Marianne Zickuhr, executive director of Preservation Louisville, started circulating a petition online.

“I’ve been really impressed that people have responded well, a lot of people have been sharing the petition,” she said. “We really want Omni to know what we feel–I think we get a say in what happens on that block.”

The petition can be found here and has already been signed by more than 350 people. Zickuhr said she wants thousands of people to sign it.

Chris Poynter, a spokesman for the Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, said city officials are always interested in resident input and “we are continuing to work closely with Omni on the design of the project.”

The development calls for only one of the two buildings to remain on the historic block, according to a report from The Courier-Journal.

Zickuhr said both buildings are suited for incorporation into the new development.

“In this particular situation there is a lot of taxypayers dollars going in this project,” she said. “I think it bodes well that we make our voice heard.”

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-preservationists-launch-petition-support-water-co-block-buildings/feed/ 0 How Lawsuits Against Kentucky’s Gay Marriage Ban Reached The U.S. Supreme Court http://wfpl.org/how-lawsuits-against-kentuckys-gay-marriage-ban-reached-the-u-s-supreme-court/ http://wfpl.org/how-lawsuits-against-kentuckys-gay-marriage-ban-reached-the-u-s-supreme-court/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 22:48:19 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35798 Kentucky’s case before the Supreme Court started with a conversation between attorneys Shannon Fauver and Dawn Elliott. As they chatted in Fauver’s Louisville office, the U.S. Supreme Court was considering a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a … Read Story

]]> Kentucky’s case before the Supreme Court started with a conversation between attorneys Shannon Fauver and Dawn Elliott.

As they chatted in Fauver’s Louisville office, the U.S. Supreme Court was considering a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a piece of legislation that was an obstacle to same-sex marriage being made legal in the U.S.

“We were waiting actually for the Supreme Court on the Windsor case and at that point we didn’t know what the ruling was going to be—and they kept postponing,” Fauver said.

“And we were talking about what would happen next, like would be the next steps for anybody to take,” she said. “And we were talking about the fact that someone should file a lawsuit here, and we checked around and no one was talking about it.”

That conversation would lead to lawsuits that have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the justices will hear oral arguments for same-sex marriage lawsuits, and the plaintiffs include 12 couples from Kentucky. Once a Supreme Court decision is made, expected this summer, the question of whether states must allow same-sex marriage will be answered.

This is how the Kentucky part of the case originated.

Listen:

After her conversation with Elliott and the Windsor ruling, Fauver talked to a lesbian couple she knew.

They were more than interested—Kim Franklin and her wife, Tammy Boyd, were eager to seek recognition of their marriage.

“We wanted to be that couple or part of that group that said, ‘We are going to stop and we are not going to let those people that come behind us go through the things we’ve had to go through,” said Kim Franklin.

“But we never really thought it would come to be. So when the opportunity presented itself to us we immediately talked about it that night, I called Shannon right back and said, ‘We’re in.”

Plaintiffs left to right: Larry Ysunza, Tim Love, Tammy Boyd and Kim Franklin.Ashley Lopez | wfpl.org

Plaintiffs left to right: Larry Ysunza, Tim Love, Tammy Boyd and Kim Franklin.

Michael De Leon said he found out about the potential for such a lawsuit from the HR manager at his work. The HR manager knew of the lawyers’ efforts to find couples to challenge Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban.

He and his husband, Greg Bourke, signed on too.

Soon after, the Fauver law firm filed for the couples.

“Our attorneys were working feverishly to get a case ready so it could be filed ASAP because we didn’t know if there would be other cases or not,” Bourke said.

“There could have been. Turns out there weren’t. There were like us and this other plaintiff couple and these two attorneys, and we seemed to be the only six people that cared about gay marriage.”

And the challenge to Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban, which was enacted through a 2003 state constitutional amendment that was approved in a voter referendum, was underway.

Fauver said: “Dawn and I were working on the cases. And then because we practice other kinds of laws it became overwhelming for the practice, because it is a very small firm.”

Later, other attorneys—Dan Cannon, Laura Landenwich and Joe Dunman—were added to the case.

The initial lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban was filed in July 2013 and sought recognition of out-of-state unions.

Plaintiffs Discuss How They Met, and Why They Sued

In February of the following year, a federal judge in Louisville struck down the state’s ban, writing that it violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Soon after, couples seeking to get married in the state joined the lawsuit, and the same judge struck down the entirety of the 2003 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“That was, when we won that we were just elated and the words that were chosen by Judge (John) Heyburn that you know that is was an equal right, it was an equality and not some other reason,” De Leon said.

But the ruling was almost immediately stayed, and Kentuckians waited to see whether the state would appeal the judge’s ruling.

And then they got another victory—but only for a moment.

In March 2014, Attorney General Jack Conway chose to not challenge the judge’s order—but almost immediately after Conway’s announcement, Gov. Steve Beshear said he’d hire outside counsel to file an appeal.

This took many by surprise—particularly the lead plaintiffs in the case.

“You know, we were on top of the world and Greg and I were headed downtown to a luncheon that day. So we got a snippet of Beshear doing something. So you know, we had this huge balloon and Beshear just pops it,” De Leon said.

Some of the plaintiffs and their attorneys at a panel discussion in Lexington.freedomtomarry.org

Some of the plaintiffs and their attorneys at a panel discussion in Lexington.

Beshear would later say he wanted the same-sex marriage question settled once and for all by the Supreme Court.

The governor’s office would give the job of filing an appeal to the firm VanAntwerp, Monge, Jones, Edwards & McCann of Ashland, Ky. The case, argued before an appeals court in Cincinnati, was joined by similar cases from Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

In November, the appeals court sided with the states and upheld the same-sex marriage bans. To that point, appeals courts had only sided with plaintiffs.

That set up the Supreme Court in January to announced that it would consider the same-sex marriage question through the Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee cases.

“Immediately it was ‘Oh my God,’” Franklin said. “It was an immediate reaction of you know heart drop, calling her and saying “baby, baby, we are going to the Supreme Court.”

The plaintiffs’ have hired two prolific attorneys to argue before the court, and the U.S. solicitor general will also argue on behalf of the couples.

Plaintiffs Michael De Leon and Greg Bourke

Plaintiffs Michael De Leon and Greg Bourke around the time they first met over three decades ago.

Almost two hundred briefs from groups all over the country have been filed with court in this case.

The lawyers and plaintiffs are confident the justices will rule in favor of gay marriage—but no one is certain.

Regardless, Kentucky’s lawsuits are a piece of history—one of the largest civil rights cases in recent years.

Once the nation’s highest court rules, the legal issues behind marriage equality in the United States should be settled once and for all.

]]> http://wfpl.org/how-lawsuits-against-kentuckys-gay-marriage-ban-reached-the-u-s-supreme-court/feed/ 0 Kentucky Gets Federal Money to Study Background Levels of Urban Soil Contamination http://wfpl.org/kentucky-gets-federal-money-to-study-background-levels-of-urban-soil-contamination/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-gets-federal-money-to-study-background-levels-of-urban-soil-contamination/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 13:05:43 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35756 A Kentucky proposal to study the background levels of certain chemicals in urban soil has gotten funding from the federal government. The study will look at the background levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in urban areas. PAHs are … Read Story

]]> A Kentucky proposal to study the background levels of certain chemicals in urban soil has gotten funding from the federal government.

The study will look at the background levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in urban areas. PAHs are a combination of chemicals that occur naturally, and are also man made.

“If you’re in an urban area that has quite a bit of industry around, your typical levels out in the environment will be higher for PAHs and lead, that’s just something you know going into it,” said Kentucky Division of Waste Management Assistant Director Tim Hubbard.

PAHs are products of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. They can come from cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust or grilling meat. But they are also commonly found at contaminated industrial sites.

At sites such as the former Black Leaf Chemical plant and the Lees Lane Landfill in Louisville, it’s been a challenge to figure out whether the PAHs are from past industrial activity or just by virtue of being located in a city, Hubbard said.

“If you find these same chemicals that are out there in the environment, then it’s very difficult to determine first of all, who’s responsible for this material, who should clean it up, [the] overall extent of the occurrence of the chemical,” Hubbard said.

“It causes some difficulties in trying to sort through all that.”

The new study will attempt to figure out the background levels of PAHs, lead and arsenic in soil in cities throughout the Southeast. The Environmental Protection Agency will give $174,000 over two years to the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-gets-federal-money-to-study-background-levels-of-urban-soil-contamination/feed/ 0 Louisville Orchestra Strikes the Right Balance With Beethoven http://wfpl.org/louisville-orchestra-strikes-right-balance-close-2014-2015-season/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-orchestra-strikes-right-balance-close-2014-2015-season/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:02:31 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35789 The Louisville Orchestra concludes its 2014-2015 season this week featuring Time for Three, John Williams’ The Cowboys overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 67. The Cowboys overture is everything you want from a western film score and John Williams: … Read Story

]]> The Louisville Orchestra concludes its 2014-2015 season this week featuring Time for Three, John Williams’ The Cowboys overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 67.

The Cowboys overture is everything you want from a western film score and John Williams: driving string melodies, brass fanfares, evocative percussion and folksy woodwind tunes. The Louisville Orchestra played it as cleanly and effortlessly as any Hollywood studio orchestra.

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Violinists Zachary DePue and Nicholas Kendall, and bassist Ranaan Meyer, collectively known as Time for Three, gave an electric performance of their signature arrangements that are filled with improvisation and jams. With no shortage of charisma and stage presence, the virtuosic trio was a crowd pleaser and didn’t shy away from engaging, even verbally, with the Thursday morning audience.

The set arranged and re-imagined several popular songs, from Leonard Cohen’s oft-covered “Hallelujah” and the bluegrass tune “Orange Blossom Special,” to Mumford & Sons’ “Little Lion Man” and an amalgam of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) The most successful arrangements involved the orchestra more than just as a backup band, as in Vittorio Monti’s Czardas, a Hungarian folk-inspired showpiece. The orchestra arrangement was colorful and supportive, but also fun for the ensemble. Concertmaster Michael Davis was even allowed to cut loose for a solo. The creative Barber/Timberlake mashup made eloquent use of the strings’ lyrical and percussive qualities. Other arrangements were less fulfilling, pushing the orchestra to an almost inaudible level in the background. This is something you can expect on a pops concert, but not during a mainstay subscription performance.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 isn’t a quiet one. It can be easily generalized as loud and vigorous, but hidden in the details are delicate, quiet moments. Playing loud is easy; playing soft is difficult, because the latter requires more refinement if the music is to come across cleanly, similar to edging the window sill instead of painting the wall with a roller. Playing loud takes care, too, and the orchestra or Abrams never lost control.

The orchestra created a seamless connection between the brash and subtle music, assured that even the details would stand out. Abrams’ tempo decisions were appropriately on the edge of too fast—the right place for Beethoven’s fifth. The final movement was triumphant and exhilarating, and speaking of details: the slight lingering on the third chord in the final movement’s opening fanfare (and its subsequent returns) was hair-raising.

The Louisville Orchestra, Time for Three and Teddy Abrams perform this program again on the final concert of the 2014-2015 season at 8 p.m. Saturday  in Whitney Hall.

Daniel Gilliam is the program director for WFPL’s sister station, Classical 90.5 WUOL.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-orchestra-strikes-right-balance-close-2014-2015-season/feed/ 0 Strange Fruit: Juicy Fruit News Round-Up http://wfpl.org/strange-fruit-juicy-fruit-news-round/ http://wfpl.org/strange-fruit-juicy-fruit-news-round/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:00:18 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35784 There’s a lot going on out there, Fruitcakes, so this week, we give you a whole episode of Juicy Fruit, with special guest co-host, actress, Alexandria Sweatt. The death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore, and the shooting … Read Story

]]> 2015-04-22 15.44.10

There’s a lot going on out there, Fruitcakes, so this week, we give you a whole episode of Juicy Fruit, with special guest co-host, actress, Alexandria Sweatt.

The death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore, and the shooting of Eric Harris by a volunteer sheriff’s deputy in Tulsa, are the latest in a string of black men killed by police. We look at the specifics of those cases, and how they’re being handled by investigators and city leaders.

We also take on lighter topics this week, such as a new restaurant, Tallywackers, trying to bring the Hooters experience to a Dallas gayborhood. We couldn’t let the week go by without addressing Gwyneth Paltrow’s food stamp challenge, in which she purchased foods that would be neither accessible nor practical for actual people on government assistance.

And the so-called Kylie Jenner challenge, which had Instagram users artificially plumping their lips in pictures, leads to a discussion about how black fashions, when adopted by white celebrities, are treated as new and groundbreaking. Remember when Marie Claire magazine breathlessly praised Kylie’s “new epic” hairstyle—and it was cornrows?

]]> http://wfpl.org/strange-fruit-juicy-fruit-news-round/feed/ 0 Eastbound I-64 Closed Near Story Avenue For Friday Rush Hour http://wfpl.org/eastbound-64-closed-near-story-avenue-friday-rush-hour/ http://wfpl.org/eastbound-64-closed-near-story-avenue-friday-rush-hour/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:24:05 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35771 Eastbound Interstate 64 just before Story Avenue will be closed during the Friday afternoon rush hour, according to a spokeswoman for the downtown crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project. The stretch of interstate closed so construction crews could work … Read Story

]]> Eastbound Interstate 64 just before Story Avenue will be closed during the Friday afternoon rush hour, according to a spokeswoman for the downtown crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The stretch of interstate closed so construction crews could work in the area. The closure also affects the ramp from north- and southbound I-65 to eastbound I-64.

Crews are hopeful they’ll finish the work Friday night and reopen the interstate.

The bridges project suggests motorists use the Watterson Expressway and northbound I-71 as alternate routes, or I-65 south to the Watterson.

 

At 4:18 p.m., I-71 was already getting congested, according to Trimarc:

CCTV005Trimarc

In a news release, the bridges project said:

The closures were put into place late this morning to complete necessary construction work. Demolition work in the area had been halted during the overnight hours and engineers were on site this morning to take a closer look at a beam on the overpass.

Safety is always the top priority for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Walsh Construction and it was determined the work should receive immediate attention.

On-site analysis has been completed, the beam is secure and additional demolition work is underway.

When the demolition is complete and inspectors have completed their examination of the work, the interstate and ramp will reopen to traffic.

]]> http://wfpl.org/eastbound-64-closed-near-story-avenue-friday-rush-hour/feed/ 0 A Day in the Southern Indiana Town Battling an HIV Outbreak http://wfpl.org/day-southern-indiana-town-battling-hiv-outbreak/ http://wfpl.org/day-southern-indiana-town-battling-hiv-outbreak/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:09:40 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35656 Milton Engebretson starts his church’s van. He’s in his third week of what has become a daily ritual: driving around Austin, Indiana, transporting people to the town’s Community Outreach Center. The outreach center is the hub of the community’s fight … Read Story

]]> Milton Engebretson starts his church’s van.

He’s in his third week of what has become a daily ritual: driving around Austin, Indiana, transporting people to the town’s Community Outreach Center.

The outreach center is the hub of the community’s fight against a growing HIV epidemic, the severity of which has drawn national attention to the tiny town about 30 miles north of Louisville.

In the plain single-story center, residents in need find a fledgling needle exchange program, free HIV testing and counseling.

Engebretson has taken about 55 people to the center so far, including battered women, a homeless man and even a teenage boy.

He dispatches himself to pick up people with a phone call.

Some people call and hang up several times before asking for a ride, he says.

“The number will repeat a couple of times and finally they will say, ‘Is this the ride for the one stop?’ And I’ll say, ‘Of course it is,’” he says.

In Scott County’s battle against the HIV outbreak, some residents such as Engebretson take steps to help. Others watch in fear, or remind all who ask that the HIV outbreak is but one of the community’s struggles.

One of those struggles in intravenous drug use—especially Opana.

‘Typical Town’

In the most drug-ravaged neighborhood of Austin (population of about 4,300), people walk the streets aimlessly. But, at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, it’s still early for those walkers, he says.

Still, he shows me around the nucleus of where Austin’s drug and prostitution problem resides.

“This is Mann Avenue. This is Rural and Mann. They’ll take this route all the way down to Factory, is where they would walk,” he says.

20150402_151258Ja’Nel Johnson | wfpl.org

The few blocks look like any other quiet neighborhood.

A church. A small grocery store. Dogs on lawns, people sitting on front porches.

“This is the typical town of Austin. Hard-working people,” Engebretson says.

The smell of sauerkraut is in the air from Morgan Foods, a nearby canning company, as we continue our drive around town. Across the way people are lined up at the Dairy Queen on Highway 31. The Austin Police Department is a short drive down the highway.

And all of this is in walking distance to where drug dealers, addicts and prostitutes freely roam the streets looking for their next client or fix.

Jennifer Marquez, 26, moved to town six months ago from Southern California.

She’d never heard of Opana before arriving in Austin—and she had no idea the community was struggling with crime.

Now, the pregnant mother of two says she worries about the safety of her children.

“Having to check your yard just for needles or anything like that. It’s horrible,” she says.

Marquez says she lives in the midst of the illegal activity. She describes the neighborhood as a nice community overrun with “the drug population.”

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But, as Engebretson drives back to his church, he says that many have forgotten that those issues are nothing new in the small city.

“It’s been like this for a while,” he says.

Austin Police Chief Donald Spicer agrees. He says many ingredients led to the city’s current state and the recent HIV outbreak.

“The Hep C, the drug use already, the types of drugs available—all that kind of made a recipe for what happened,” Spicer says.

Long-Standing Problems

Scott County, which includes Austin, and surrounding areas now have 136 confirmed HIV cases. Six other cases are preliminary.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence recently extended his executive order temporarily legalizing a needle exchange program in Scott County.

So far, more than 4,300 needles have been provided to 95 people.

The extended executive order expires May 24.

But Austin native Leona says it’s taken the government too long to address the area’s long-standing problems.

Leona, who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy, uses a painkiller called Opana intravenously. She is HIV-negative.

“Now they’re wanting to give out free syringes … if they’d done that a long time ago we probably wouldn’t have had an outbreak, because people are gonna use regardless,” Leona says.

]]> http://wfpl.org/day-southern-indiana-town-battling-hiv-outbreak/feed/ 0 Comcast Cuts The Cord On Deal With Time Warner Cable http://wfpl.org/comcast-cuts-the-cord-on-deal-with-time-warner-cable/ http://wfpl.org/comcast-cuts-the-cord-on-deal-with-time-warner-cable/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:43:04 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=35753&preview_id=35753 The Justice Department had raised concerns over the proposed $45.2 billion merger, which would have brought nearly 30 percent of TV and about 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one roof. Read Story

]]> Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET

Comcast Corp. announced today that it’s ending its merger agreement with Time Warner Cable – after the Justice Department raised concerns over a deal.

“Today, we move on,” Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.”

The Justice Department in a statement said it had raised “significant concerns” with the two companies over the approximately $45.2 billion deal, noting that a “merger would make Comcast an unavoidable gatekeeper for Internet-based services that rely on a broadband connection to reach consumers.”

Attorney General Eric Holder called today’s news “the best outcome for American consumers.” He said it was a victory for “providers of content and streaming services.”

As recently as this week, company officials hoped a merger would go through despite opposition from Justice Department staff members. But as NPR’s Yuki Noguchi reported on Morning Edition, “The Federal Communications Commission told the companies this week that it had problems with the deal.”

“What it was planning to do, was refer the case to a hearing, which would’ve resulted in a protracted legal process,” she said. “In the industry, such referrals of cases to a judge are treated as a death knell…and it’s not unusual for the parties to withdraw their merger.”

As The Associated Press reports, “Combining the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. cable companies would have put nearly 30 percent of TV and about 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one roof, along with NBCUniversal. That appeared to be too much concentration for regulators.”

The New York Times adds that “the air of inevitability that once hung over the deal had been dissipating for months, as the debate over net neutrality — in short, the question of whether Internet providers should be allowed to charge content providers for speedier service — played out in Washington.”

“The government’s verdict on the merger and its stance on net neutrality were separate issues, but they were very much intertwined,” the newspaper wrote. “At the end of the day, the government’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Internet did not square with the prospect of a single company controlling as much as 40 percent of the public’s access to it.”

NPR’s Noguchi, in her Morning Edition story, noted that today’s decision comes amid a backdrop of changes in the cable industry, including the announcement by Verizon that it will offer consumers slimmed-down packages of channels. And she reported that more networks — including companies such as HBO and Showtime — are offering streaming of online video that does not require you to buy a cable package.

“Consumers and consumer advocates have long been asking for this kind of a la carte service,” she said. “A lot of people don’t want to pay for hundreds of channels they never watch. And now that that’s starting to happen in the industry, and that’s why you saw Verizon make that move.

“Consumer advocates lobbying against this deal said they were concerned creating a big cable behemoth would slow that trend.”

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

]]> http://wfpl.org/comcast-cuts-the-cord-on-deal-with-time-warner-cable/feed/ 0 Louisville Orchestra Ends Season with Block Party (That’s Been Moved Indoors) http://wfpl.org/louisville-orchestra-ends-season-block-party/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-orchestra-ends-season-block-party/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:00:07 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=35670 Update 11:12 a.m.: Moved Indoors The Louisville Orchestra announced Friday that the block party will be moved indoors to the Kentucky Center’s lobby. In a news release, orchestra executive director Andrew Kipe said: “Almost all of the elements will still … Read Story

]]> Update 11:12 a.m.: Moved Indoors

The Louisville Orchestra announced Friday that the block party will be moved indoors to the Kentucky Center’s lobby.

In a news release, orchestra executive director Andrew Kipe said: “Almost all of the elements will still take place. We can’t do the sidewalk chalk obviously and we won’t have a place to do corn hole, but we will still have all the bands and the LO Beethoven Concert will be simulcast in the lobby of the Kentucky Center.”

As of late Friday morning, the National Weather Service forecast showers and thunderstorms—some potentially severe—for Saturday afternoon.

Earlier: The Louisville Orchestra is taking it to the streets for the final performance of their 2014-15 season, with a block party on Saturday evening.

Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, in front of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, will closed to traffic for this “bring your own chair” event. The festivities are free and open to the public, and will also include food trucks and games.

At 8 p.m., the orchestra’s concert in Whitney Hall will be broadcast live on a giant screen to the crowd outside.

The party kicks off at 5 p.m. with local entertainment including the River City Drum Corps and the Louisville Leopard Percussionists. There will also be a performance from a group of students from Hartstern Elementary who have made their own musical instruments out of recycled materials like plastic bottles and paper towel rolls.

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They’ve worked with music director Teddy Abrams to build their own “landfill orchestra.”

Louisville Orchestra Executive Director Andrew Kipe said the students gained experience from the project in several ways.

“Once they’ve created the instruments, they get a physics component as they learn about the difference of how different instruments make different sounds,” Kipe said.

The program for the orchestra’s Whitney Hall concert includes John Williams’ Cowboy Overture and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, plus a selection of classical and pop tunes by string trio Time for Three.

Following the orchestra concert, the music will continue outside with local rockers the Tunesmiths and hip-hop artist 1200.

In the case of rain, all activities will be moved inside the Kentucky Center lobby.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-orchestra-ends-season-block-party/feed/ 0