Noise & Notes

Politics
10:30 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Noise and Notes: Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley and Louisville's Hoop Dreams

International Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley
The Chess Drum

International chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley visited Louisville this week for the annual IdeaFestival where he discussed how the game impacts decision-making in business and life.

In 1999, Ashley received worldwide acclaim for being the first African-American to win the coveted grandmaster title, and he doesn't mind the role model status he's attained either.

The Brooklyn-native is an ESPN commentator and Harvard fellow, who has been touring the country for years advocating that the game is a useful tool for character-building, especially for children and teenagers. Ashley sees chess as an intellectual combat that can raise a person's thinking and provide insights into how they do or do not make critical decisions

I talked to Ashley about being a pioneer, what chess can tell us about U.S. politics and the obsession people have with the game.

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Politics
10:44 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Noise and Notes: Brooks Wicker Makes His Case for Congress

Republican Brooks Wicker is running for Kentucky's Third Congressional District seat against three-term Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth.

You may not have heard of Wicker's candidacy, which is mainly because he was struggled to raise enough funds to get his message out to voters. Thus far he has raised just $5,000, but the Louisville accountant promises he will have enough to hold Yarmuth accountable.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Noise and Notes: Tavis Smiley on Poverty, Newsroom Diversity and President Obama

Public radio and television talk-show host Tavis Smiley will be in Kentucky this month as the keynote speaker at a forum on poverty and the shrinking middle-class.

Smiley is known to most as a journalist and political commentator, but most recently he’s taken on the title of advocate for the poor.

In “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto”, a new book co-authored with Cornel West, he argues that poverty is the new American norm and that neither political party is paying much attention. The statistics are daunting, as a radio documentary conducted by NPR earlier this year showed just that.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Noise and Notes: Braden's Southern Patriotism and The Values of Hip-Hop Politcs

Louisville Public Media

A new documentary on the late civil rights icon Anne Braden is coming out.

The Louisville social justice advocate died in 2006 at the age of 81 and dedicated her life to civil rights. Braden gained notoriety as an affluent southern white woman who led many campaigns against Jim Crow laws at the height of segregation.

Check out the trailer:

I talked with Braden biographer and historian Cate Fosl, who is the director of the Anne Braden Institute at the University of Louisville. We talked about Braden’s legacy, the new film and if her brand of social justice still matters in a so-called post-racial America.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

Noise and Notes: Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is one of the more popular state leaders, and is frequently mentioned as a future candidate for governor or U.S. Senate.

National news outlets put the Lexington Democrat on the short-list of potential challengers to the powerful Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Noise and Notes: Sarah Durand's Tea Party and The Louisville Paper

Durand and Bailey
Gabe Bullard WFPL News

The Tea Party appears stronger than ever with Republican primary victories for Senate in Missouri, Texas and Indiana most recently.

It is a movement that has been successful in defeating establishment incumbents, pulling GOP leaders further to the right and gaining a seat at the table. This week it was announced that Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has a keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.

But Tea Party groups and activists have been criticized for their views and blamed for the current gridlock in Congress.

I spoke with Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand about compromise, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and what it’s like leading such a forceful—and controversial—group.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Noise and Notes: Carrying CLOUT and Medicaid's Role in State Legislative Races

CLOUT

In the world of grassroots community organizing, few are as confrontational or effective as Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) at bringing issues to the forefront.

The coalition of churches and neighborhood groups holds an annual call-to-action assembly that gathers over 1,500 residents to discuss and extract policy actions. It is a somewhat controversial event in part because of the assembly's format of calling public officials before the group and demanding a definitive answer on their ideas.

In Louisville, that model has worked with certain leaders such as Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens, who pledged to review the school systems disciplinary policy. But others—namely Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer—feel the style is too rough and they have decided to avoid the group altogether.

I talked with CLOUT Co-President Chris Kolb, about organizing versus protest movements, the growing frustration among residents with elected leaders and whether the organization's style is effective or not.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Noise and Notes: Shawnell Harrison's Concrete Dust and The Immovable Gun Debate

When asked about his documentary debut, Louisville filmmaker Shawnell Harrison is direct about why he chose to tackle the razing of the historic Sheppard Square housing complex as his first project.

The 35-year-old director wanted residents to purge their feelings about the demolition and life in the projects, and Harrison's style dived into the Smoketown neighborhood where he received a raw and emotional reaction. Several residents offered him their explicit love and disdain for the 70-year-old housing project, including criticism of how the housing authority, Metro Police and media view them.

The last resident was relocated in March and demolition began in June, which leaves Sheppard Square as mostly rubble now. Construction of new homes has recently started near the former housing development that will pave the way for a mixed-income neighborhood.

Below is an excerpt of Harrison's film.

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Politics
9:36 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Noise and Notes: The Racial Achievement Gap in JCPS and The Contentious Landmarks Ordinance

Louisville Public Media

A report by the Bluegrass Institute showed the achievement gaps in Jefferson County Public Schools along lines of race are actually wider in the East End of Louisville.

The conservative think tank unveiled some troubling numbers last month and organizations supportive of charter schools, such as the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), argue the report underscores the student-assignment plan has failed African-American students.

JCPS officials have said they are aware of the problem and are committed to changing the numbers, but impatience is growing as three seats open on the school board this year.

I spoke with WFPL’s education reporter Devin Katayama and former Louisville Metro Councilman Dr. Deonte Hollowell, who is a BAEO member, about the report’s ramifications on the education debate.

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Politics
9:34 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

Noise and Notes: WLKY Blackout and Living The DREAM Act

The latest blackout by Time Warner has struck CBS affiliate WLKY, but unlike the battle with FOX affiliate WDRB the cable giant has been much more shrewd in this instance.

Local television viewers can still watch CBS programming but Time Warner has taken the local newscasts off the air by switching to an affiliate in Rochester, New York. WFPL News Director Gabe Bullard and University of Louisville communications professor Ralph Merkel ignited an insightful conservation about that and other media happenings.

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