Thanks to Transform Lexington for hosting two meetings today with a New Lex in mind.
The first was a "branding" meeting on the 5th floor of LFUCG. Council At-Large Member Linda Gorton and Vice Mayor Jim Gray attended.
The room was an eclectic collection of Lexington's intellectual capital. Jim Embry talked about his experiences in Turin and their focus as the Design Capital of the World. UK's Ernie Yanarella talked about Vancouver and Lexington's sustainability conference at the end of May. Lexmark talked about their interest in the creative class, particularly as it relates to their ability to recruit talent.
There was MUCH, much, much discussion of Big Lex the Big Blue Horse (and why the hell ain't it MOVING? It's a RACEHORSE.)
At 5:30, Transform Lex gathered a group of speakers downtown to tell us more about What's Next in Lex. Barry McNees gave a Distillery District update -- Buster's hopes to open in August; the District's success is heavily predicated on the completion of the Newtown Pike extension; transit issues are a work in progress; and while blight may be good for TIF, it's a burden most retailers can't afford to swallow.Infrastructure can be a bitch.
LFUCG CIO, Rama Dhuwaraha, talked about imagination, inspiration and entrepreneurship - and speaking between the lines, subtly reminded the crowd that it wouldn't be wise to rely on the government to provide any of the above -- they're a risk-averse entity. It's kinda their job to be that way.Kakie Urch requested (via Twitter) a wi-fi status update: it's a little behind, but in progress.Slow-downs: the old Skytel infrastructure; and the city's forced "sensitivity" to biz interests who don't want citywide free wi-fi (not when they can bilk us for it). May is a target date for some areas -- with downtown piggybacking onto UK opening up its signal in select areas -- but don't expect it to be free for residential/biz use citywide.
David Mohney concluded the presentation with an inspiring slideshow of Rotterdam -- particularly interesting was a slide of a beloved structure that was torn down, with new Art at the new structure that loosely translated to "one tear shed" i.e, cry it out and move on.
He wrapped up the evening by thanking Eric Patrick Marr and Transform Lexington, and telling the crowd this is the most optimistic he's been about Lexington in a long time -- reminding everyone "your best virtue is your impatience."
Everything discussed today included topics that have been on Ace's agenda for 20 years -- arts, culture, entertainment, environment, localism, sustainability etc -- but the connectivity era allows the Readers to discuss it together in ways never possible before (and never even conceived of when we opened the doors in 89).
As Kakie Urch's article is headlined on page 14 of this week's issue: Fast is the New Big.
And for God's sake, can we PLEASE get all government and university officials on Twitter already?! (email Councilmembers@LFUCG.com and ask for "transparency via twitter").
More to follow in upcoming issues.