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This month’s Louisville Magazine has a short piece on the campaign to bring back the old city flag, seen here:

The design was introduced in 1949, but after merger, the flag was changed to this:

Which do you like better?

From the story:

The effort began in 2007. Charlie Farnsley, a financial planner and grandson of former Louisville Mayor Charles Farnsley, saw South Carolina flag stickers (crescent moon above a palmetto tree) on cars and wanted to create a similar, simple symbol of pride for Louisville. “I figured I’d do what South Carolina did, and I went and found the original Louisville flag,” he says. “We thought, if enough people started putting our stickers on their cars the city might bring back the old flag.”

Plans to build a CVS pharmacy in Louisville’s Douglass Loop have reportedly been scrapped. The drug store would have replaced a number of businesses and buildings, including the Twig and Leaf diner. Louisville.com reports that the developers behind the CVS have scrapped their plans, and the whole ordeal has inspired a campaign to have the Twig and Leaf declared a landmark.

“The Landmarks Commission did receive a petition to designate the Twig and Leaf a historic landmark,” says Dave Marchal, urban design administrator for the City of Louisville. “Now we have to write a report, take it to the Public Works Commission and have a hearing, and they may designate it.” Approval may come as early as this October.

Despite the area outcry (including a 6,000-member Facebook group that called upon its members to call the developers to voice their opposition),public meeting held on the subject—complete with artist’s renderings of the proposed CVS—the development is not moving forward.

“Probably not on that particular location,” says Greg Potts of The Zaremba Group. We’ve pretty much dropped all our interest in it.”

Marchal says, “[Developers] may shop the idea around the neighborhood and try to build support, but that’s not happening.”

Did you hear the piece on Henry Clay this morning?

On Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep talked to David and Jeanne Heidler, about their book Henry Clay: The Essential American. Specifically, they discussed the Kentucky statesman’s position on slavery.

Clay believed that the slow abolition of slavery in Kentucky could serve as an example to other states, but he failed and eventually became a slave owner himself — first through inheritance, then through marriage.

Jeanne Heidler says he kept his slaves because of the status it gave him but continued to oppose the practice on principle.

Not surprisingly, the situation made for some uncomfortable moments in Clay’s public career. In one 1840s episode, Clay was confronted at a political meeting in Indiana by the Quaker Hiram Mendenall, who handed Clay a petition calling for him to free his slaves.

According to David Heidler, Clay’s reaction was jarring:

“Clay delivers a scathing address, attacks [Mendenall] not for being an abolitionist but for being boorish — for being rude to greet a guest in Indiana with a petition that was clearly meant to embarrass him. And in this address, Clay tells Mendenhall that it would be no more appropriate for him, Henry Clay, to greet him, Hiram Mendenhall, with a petition that he give up his farm.”

With that speech, Clay essentially reduced slaves to their then-legal standing as property — hardly abolitionist behavior. What’s more is that one of Clay’s own slaves was in the crowd that day, hearing Clay compare him to a piece of real estate.

Click over to NPR to read an excerpt of the Heidlers’ book.

While last week’s heat seems to have broken, it’s still hot. As we reported last week, this July could be one of the five hottest on record.

What does this mean for city residents? Broken Sidewalk asks just that, after noting that New York City ice cream vendors have found the streets nearly empty during times of extreme heat.

Broken Sidewalk also links to this Filson blog post of pictures of Kentuckians in past summers.

Members of the Glenn Beck-inspired 9/12 Project have set up a Vacation Liberty School in Georgetown, Kentucky.

The C-J visited the class:

On Monday, the first night of Vacation Liberty School, the basement of the church was converted into a tyrannical kingdom meant to resemble colonial England where students were told they must suppress their laughter, sit apart from their friends and flawlessly recite “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

Against the urgings of a mock king’s representative, the brave ones ventured through the rugged terrain of a maze of upside-down tables discovered an adjoining room with all the luxuries of the New World. There they could play basketball, toss beanbags and ride a teeter-totter while being showered with confetti as Neil Diamond’s “Coming To America” blared over the speakers.

The school’s founders say it’s an answer to the liberal influence they see in public schools. But if this is a political school in a church, there could be trouble.

Joe Conn, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, isn’t so sure [the school isn’t indoctrinating politics]. A news release announcing the school referenced the tea party, leading him to believe that if the Vacation Liberty School isn’t crossing the line into politics, it’s coming close.

“All Americans want kids to learn about the government and political system,” he said. “It’s something quite different when kids are being indoctrinated in church in one political tradition. That’s quite different from learning objectively and academically about civics.”

He cautions Gano Baptist could risk losing its tax-exempt status if explicit political lessons are being taught in a church setting.

But the Rev. Wayne Lipscomb, the pastor there, says he had no political motivations for allowing the classes to be held without a rental fee. Tickets were distributed online for free.

“I think our kids need to know about the Founding Fathers and they need to understand the connection between God and the Founding Fathers,” he said. “They don’t need to hear the revisionists’ stories of history.”

Religion as it relates to the founding fathers is a touch subject, to say the least. It’s one of those all-too-common times when historical interpretation splits on party lines, and colonial history especially divisive right now. Maybe we’ll see new interpretations of Thomas Paine‘s Age of Reason.

While officials were announcing the impending Eagles concert at the KFC Yum Center, they may have cranked up Hotel California a little too loud. Hundreds of teachers and professors were inside the rooms behind the press conference at the Convention Center grading AP exams. Advanced Placement exams taken by students all over the country are graded in Louisville. Educators from various schools and colleges are brought in to spend their days reading essays in the Convention Center and their nights spending money in the city.

A Dartmouth professor blogged about an AP reading trip to Louisville two years ago, and it seems like drudgery mixed with fun. If you’re looking to discuss the Kansas-Nebraska act with strangers, this is the week to give it a try. Bring it up at the Seelbach Bar and report back to us.

Here is the story from WFPL:

Preservation Louisville has released its annual lists of the ten most endangered historic places and top ten preservation successes.

Topping the list of successes was Patrick O’Shea’s at 2nd and Main Streets. Topping the endangered list was the as-yet undeveloped Iron Quarter, directly to the east.

Many of the most endangered buildings have histories similar to the Iron Quarter—they were purchased, but not developed and have fallen into a state of disrepair.

Preservation Louisville executive director Marianne Zickuhr says she hopes the lists will spur the owners of endangered properties to seek funding to preserve their buildings.

“There are several programs like Metro Louisville’s façade loan program, like the Kentucky historic preservation tax credit, there are also a federal historic preservation tax credits for commercial projects, many of which are being used,” she says.

Preservation groups have released lists of endangered sites Louisville for years.  This is the third year for the list of successes.

And here are the top ten lists:

Top Ten Most Endangered Historic Places

  1. Whiskey Row 105-119 W. Main (Iron Quarter)
  2. Historic properties in the proposed bridge route
  3. Victorian house on Frankfort
  4. Shotgun houses
  5. Park Hill District
  6. Colonial Gardens
  7. Water Co. Block buildings
  8. Corner store fronts
  9. Ouerbacker House
  10. Art Deco Buildings

Top Ten Preservation Successes

  1. Patrick O’Sheas (Whiskey Row)
  2. Riverside – The Farnsley Moormen Landing – Chapel
  3. Thomas Edison House
  4. SAR – Fulton Conway
  5. Locust Grove
  6. The Blind Pig
  7. Firehouse – Shelby and Main streets
  8. Howard Steamboat Museum
  9. GQ Unlimited
  10. Trolley barns

What are your thoughts? It’s interesting that the #1 developments from each list are on the same block.

If you would like to hear the reasoning behind each decision, here is the mp3 of Preservation Louisville executive director Marianne Zickuhr explaining how the group compiled the lists.

With the Iron Quarter block in danger of being demolished, preservationists from all corners of Louisville are speaking out.

Two organizations leading the effort to save the Iron Quarter are sponsoring a walking tour of the block this Sunday.

From Broken Sidewalk:

Preservation Louisville and the Louisville Historical League will be hosting a walking tour of the Iron Quarter block threatened with demolition in Downtown.  The groups will meet Sunday, May 16 at 2:00 PM at the parking garage at First and Main Streets.

Admission is free for members of either organization, but anyone can go and sign up at the event.  Individual membership is $35 for Preservation Louisville and $20 for the Louisville Historical League.  Membership for students and seniors is $15 for both.

Republican candidate for mayor Chris Thieneman has a new video that quotes 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I recently interviewed Thieneman for an upcoming story on the GOP primary. He said many of his supporters are in the Tea Party. FDR is no hero to many Tea Partiers (small government supporters and fiscal conservatives), so what do you think of this video? Will it win Thieneman more supporters outside of his base or upset some of his core constituents? Both? Neither?

Former Louisville Mayor David Armstrong is touting his support for Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer in Fischer’s latest ad. For the record, Armstrong’s former counterpart Rebecca Jackson supports, and is working on, Republican Hal Heiner‘s campaign. Jackson was the last Judge Executive before merger, and she told WFPL recently that she didn’t seek the mayor’s office because she felt new leaders should step up to run the new merged government. (She doesn’t fault Jerry Abramson for seeking the mayor’s office, though–she attributes his decision to different philosophies on governance.)

With Derby over and the primary about two weeks away, it’s likely that we’ll see the mayoral campaigns step up their efforts. LEO speculates that things may get negative, and that’s possible. Negative ads are often (but not always) used not to win voters for a candidate, but to discourage voters from supporting another candidate. Yes, some voters may switch altogether, but given the number of likely Democratic voters who are undecided or not firmly committed, negative ads could do significant damage in the polls in the mayor’s race. However, too much negativity can backfire, so an all-out attack may be ill-advised in such a crowded primary. But if a candidate has a strong enough core of supporters, some campaign risks may pay off.

We’ve already seen some attacks in the primaries, though. Chris Thieneman went negative on Hal Heiner and Shannon White blasted King, Heiner and Tandy in an e-mail to supporters.

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