Press release Submitted by
Bluegrass FLOW

"A survey of 1,987 Central Kentuckians in
Fayette, Jessamine, Woodford, Scott, Bourbon, Clark and Franklin Counties shows overwhelming support for local control of water.

Sixty-percent (60%) of respondents in the survey taken April 9-17 preferred local control over corporate control when asked "Which do you trust to better run the water utility in the best interest of the local community?" Twice as many people prefer decision-making power in the hands of local officials over corporate ownership.

The poll clearly reflects the wishes of conscientious voters who decide elections. Only good voters in 8 out of the last twelve elections were called. The poll has a margin of error of 2.2%.

Central Kentuckians also clearly support the Urban County Council's efforts to purchase the water company even if it means going to court. Respondents answered Yes by a margin of 52% to 35% when asked "Should the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government buy Kentucky American Water even if it has to go to court?"

"A clear majority continues to support a takeover of the water company despite the publicity campaign against it waged by the Kentucky American Water Company stockholders," said Tim Cantrell, Lexington Community College political science professor whose students conducted the poll.

Very few Central Kentuckians are undecided on the issue of local control of water. Only 9% did not respond on the question of trust and only 13% on the city's efforts to buy the water company."

RWE 'Greedy & Grabby' ?

I read with interest Jim Rebmann's comments
opposing Lexington city ownership of the water company, and in particular his claim that the City of Louisville's municipally-owned water utility is overcharging Louisville residents by $13 million per year.

Here are the facts: Louisville's city-owned water company charges customers $16.84 for 1,000 cubic feet of water, while corporate-owned Kentucky-American charges customers $24.07 for the same amount (source: Raftelis Consulting). In other words, Lexington residents pay 50 percent higher prices than Louisville residents. So who is really overcharging?

Here in West Virginia, we have Kentucky-American's sister company, West Virginia-American. Huntington and Charleston residents pay an astonishing $64.08 per 1,000 cubic feet-four times higher than Louisville, and more than double Lexington's rate (source: Charleston Gazette 3/23/03) And as soon as RWE's takeover of West Virginia-American was complete, West Virginia-American/RWE filed with the Public Service Commission for another 16 percent rate hike. Charleston's Kanawha County Commissioner called that filing "greedy, grabby, and obscene."

If Lexington's city government doesn't buy the water company, they will end up with sky-high water rates like West Virginia's.

Dave Cooper

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Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


'Why you been gone so long?'

The overstuffed booths are filled with hard-handed men, nestled against the women who have loved them long enough to find gentleness in their touch. A high school prom occupies the ballroom down the hall. Feed hats and strapless gowns mingle among the inevitable bluegrass jam clusters in the lobby. This is where working musicians work.

- Grant Alden, at the Executive Inn Rivermont Hotel in Owensboro, on the Del McCoury band

It's that time of year again, time for the release of the Oxford American's annual music issue, and the accompanying CD.

This is number 6, and for those of you keeping score, there wasn't a 2002 edition. (That's because the magazine temporarily exited the scene last Spring, before finding a new publisher and making a comeback.)

As usual, the music and the writing is a must have for anyone who considers themselves serious about either.

The self-indulgence of William Bowers' essay on Kentucky's My Morning Jacket (far more about him than the band), is also what provides the piece's moments of true inspiration. Like when he writes about his grandfather's music obsession, "On some of my visits to his house, he doesn't speak to me or anyone accompanying me, he just blasts his stereos, playing one song per album, for an hour or so. After each song with that certain it, he barks, 'That's got it!' He'll move from Junior Wells into some Van Halen into some Johnny Cash into some Herbie Hancock et al. He drives a vintage Mustang with fifteen inch 'booming' speakers; he has subdued and pistol-whipped would-be burglars; one Christmas he gave me a mix tape consisting of selections by Paul Simon, Ween, and Bass Master Funk."

The title for Geoffrey Himes piece on Marshall Chapman reads, "A Southern Belle raisin' Hell: Before Lucinda, before Shelby, there was Marshall." Big talk, but Himes makes his case. (Track 12 is "Leaving Loachapoka" from her 1996 album Love Slave.)

And in honor of Willie Nelson's birthday, everyone from Steve Earle to B.B. King to Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jon Bon Jovi, and Robert Earl Keen hold forth on "the crown prince of Outlaw country."

And if you really want to feel good about buying the magazine, ten percent of newsstand proceeds go to the Music Maker Relief Foundation of Hillsborough North Carolina, which exists to provide "food, shelter, medical care and other assistance to the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern musical traditions." (info www.musicmaker.org)

Will Kimbrough wraps up the collection with "Goodnight Moon," including the immortal line, "Goodnight old broke-down cars."

In times like these, music is a transcendent thing.

As Bowers comments at the end of his My Morning Jacket essay, he works with a "tormented and traumatized" teen whose parents lock him up "to keep him from becoming worldly." He takes the guy for takeout one day, playing "At Dawn" on the stereo, while they eat in the car. The kid's nervous response is, "I'm not allowed to listen to music," pointing at the CD player, "But if I could listen to music, I would listen to this."

Their last music issue sold out in three weeks.

Better hurry.


Technically Speaking

The next meeting of the Lexington Information Technology Forum will be on Thursday, May 1, from 5:30-7:30pm at UK's Hardymon Building, located at the corner of Rose and Maxwell. Alan Hawse of Cypress Semiconductor will be the featured speaker. Call Lexington United at 225-5005 to confirm attendance.

Hauled Off

The week of May 5th, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government will return to its normal schedule of twice weekly garbage collection.

Lenny yard waste collection will also resume, as well as tree, shrub, and bush trimmings. Residents can also drop off tree debris at the haley Pike Landfill, and the government site at1400 Cahill Drive, from 7 to 7.

C'mon people, take the initiative and get rid of that stack of tree branches from in front of your house

Mayor May I?

Mayor Teresa Isaac's budget proposal is in. And this proposal, which has really trimmed the fat, the general fund will be approximately 205 million dollars, about five million dollars less than last year. The new budget does not include the 4.3 million dollars that is necessary to run the Fayette County Health Department. (How will that affect the smoking ban?)

Should the Urban County Council decline to vote in favor of the health tax and pass her budget, Isaac is considering laying off government employees.

In the wake of the proposed cuts, lies the fate of the Carnegie Center. The Center relies on the UCG for operational funding.

It's been suggested that the Carnegie Center's functions could be absorbed by the Public Library, but Carnegie Center advocates fiercely dispute this assertion. (Hundreds showed up to show their support of the Center at a rally this past weekend.)

The Humane Society and Hope Center are also in line for big cuts if the proposed budget makes it through.

Mayor Isaac has also told the Urban County Council that she is set to meet with Kentucky-American Water Company about the possibility of the city's purchase of the company.

According to LFUCG, negotiations are scheduled to conclude by June 5.

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.