* Here in Louisville, a project aided by Cisco and backed by a grant from a Metro Council member is aiming to offer free Wi-Fi to the West Louisville neighborhood, starting with the area around the Shawnee Arts and Cultural Center. This predominately Black section of Louisville has, until recently, lagged far behind areas like Downtown and the trendy area east of Downtown (“NuLu”) when it comes to revitalization and the money aid needed for it coming from local and state governments. But, with a new Wal-Mart Superstore in the works, the Nia Jobs and Travel Center becoming a major focus of the Broadway corridor, and now the beginnings of a Wi-Fi network in place, maybe that area can experience the growth and revitalization that other parts of town have over the last decade.
* The northern neighbors of West Louisville, the Portland neighborhood, are also in the process of regrowth and revitalization. The Portland Community Center recently finished a renovation/expansion and a handful of small businesses have opened or relocated to the neighborhood. But a true renaissance of Portland, as Joe Dunman wrote for Insider Louisville, must begin with the people.
* On the very small chance that you didn’t see it, hear about it, or read about it: for the first time since 1978, horse racing has had a Triple Crown winner. American Pharoah held off the charge of Frosted at the top of the final stretch then pulled away , to the deafening roar of the crowd, to win the Belmont Stakes (after having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes), thus becoming the 12 Triple Crown winner. In a class act afterwards, both winning jockey Victor Espinoza and trainer Bob Baffert made sizable donations to various charities. Hopefully, the whiny owners of 2014 Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome watched the Belmont and saw that a horse, who ran all 3 Triple Crown races, can win Belmont over horses that may have only ran 1 or none of the previous 2.
* LeBron James is nearly averaging a Triple-Double through 3 games in the NBA Finals. He is averaging 41.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game… plus over 47 minutes a game (counting 2 games that went into overtime). Against the best defensive team of the 2015 season. Missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. If the Cleveland Cavaliers somehow pull out a series win, will this go down as one the greatest Finals performances in NBA history? And will it shut down some of the idiotic “well, JORDAN will have averaged 50 points! JORDAN also has 6 titles!” comments?
(by the way, one of the ways to counter the titles comparison, if you ever catch yourself in a debate about it: Robert Horry has 7 NBA titles – does that mean he is “better” than Michael Jordan?)
* The Topic of Month, arguably, is Caitlyn Jenner. Her transition from Bruce to Caitlyn has been well documented. Her appearance on the cover of Vogue has been praised, commended, derided, and relentlessly dissected over the past few weeks. ESPN’s decision to name her the 2015 ESPY winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award has also been met with the same divisiveness. I am not one to agree or disagree with what she does in her life – if she wants to be a woman, it makes her happy, and it isn’t causing harm to others, then that’s what matters. If there’s any issue I have with anything Caitlyn Jenner recently, it’s the ESPY award. My opinion is that Caitlyn got the award because ESPN wanted to tag onto the Hot Take of the Day/Week/Month, completely forgetting about former basketball player Lauren Hill. Hill raised both awareness and hundreds of thousands of dollars – $1.5 million, to be more precise – for cancer research. She feels like a more deserving recipient. Nevertheless, Caitlyn Jenner seems more at peace after the gender transition, so that’s what should matter in the long run.
* There is about a week and a half until the 2 main Drum and Bugle Corps circuits start their competitive seasons: the 21-and-under, much-larger-budgeted Drum Corps International (DCI) and the all-aged, mainly-weekends-only Drum Corps Associates (DCA). Much more to come on them in future posts; in the meantime, check out their websites (complete with schedules) and maybe check out a show or 2 in your area – you might enjoy the shows!
Drum Corps International
Drum Corps Associates
* Pizza Hut is now selling pizza with hot dog bites in its crust. Hardee’s is selling a hamburger with sliced hot dogs and potato chips on them. Just stop. Neither of these look or sound appetizing. Having a model fake taking a bite of that burger in a commercial isn’t changing my opinion of it, either. Next time, take the tongue from a shoe, put chips on that (or cut it open and stuff hot dog bites into it), and market it as “The Ultimate Workout Burger” or “The Running Man Pizza”.