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    • Statehouse Flushes Teachers’ Pensions

    Last night, Republicans snuck a pension overhaul into a bill that had previously addressed sewage services and rushed it through a party-line vote without actuarial analysis or public input. Ever read 291 pages in a few hours? That’s what lawmakers had to do. New teachers will now enter a hybrid cash balance plan, which is about as exciting as it sounds. Suffice it to say: It ain’t your granddaddy’s pension. The practice of collecting unused sick days, as well as life insurance benefits for teachers retiring after 2019, will go down the drain. In response, teachers took the sick days they’ll no longer be able to save and shut down JCPS, as well as a few other county school systems, including Oldham. Frankfort is about to go to detention.

     

    • Tenure Might Meet a Similar Fate

    Republican somebody Chris McDaniel added to the state something-or-other a provision that says, after you get past the yadda-yadda: If a university eliminates an academic program, it can fire tenured professors in that program. McDaniel claims he has the support of university presidents and board members, but spokespeople from UofL and UK say their presidents and board chairs haven’t discussed this with him. That leaves three possibilities: 1) They’re lying. 2) McDaniel is lying. Or 3) One of the smaller state schools isn’t too keen on some of their faculty.

     

    • But Let’s Turn to Something Cheerier: The Sandlot

    March 31 to Sept. 9, the Slugger Museum will celebrate 25 years of everybody’s favorite baseball movie, The Sandlot. Highlights of the exhibit include the Babe Ruth-signed ball the kids had to retrieve from “The Beast” and Squints’ eyeglasses, as well as replica ’60s-era bats the Slugger Museum made for the movie. 

     

    • Speaking of Sports Ball, How ’Bout Dem Cards? 

    UofL snatched new men’s coach Chris Mack from Xavier and had him sign a seven-year contract that presumably included a please-God-no-scandals-for-at-least-one-year clause. The university also dropped the word “interim” from Vince Tyra’s title, making him the new AD. But, as my colleagues recently reminded me, the biggest news in UofL basketball is the women’s team making it to the Final Four. They face off against the Mississippi State Bulldogs tonight at 7.

     

    • Hey, So, Maybe Don’t Reach for a Hitler Comparison

    Kosair Charities chairman Jerry Ward took off his weird hat and resigned after sharing a meme comparing young activists campaigning against gun violence to Hitler Youth. He didn’t really apologize for the post, though, which I take to mean he stands by the comparison — a really odd one, considering the Hitler Youth received arms training. Idea: Can we install a program on phones that sends you a pop-up before you make these kinds of posts? I’m thinking of that annoying paper clip from the old Microsoft Word, only more politically aware: Hey there! Looks like you’re comparing American children to literal Nazis. Do you need some help finding the delete key?

     

    • Wheel on the Waterfront

    The traveling SkyStar Observation Wheel was supposed to open at Waterfront Park yesterday rain or shine, but the rain had a different idea, and the opening was delayed until today. $14.15 plus tax will get you a ride in one of the 160-foot tall wheel’s six-person “gondolas.” From that high, you could almost see the protesting crowds in Frankfort!

     

    • Mitch Gets Hip — Sorta

    Groovy dude Mitch McConnell says he’s introducing a bill to legalize agricultural hemp. He made the announcement in Frankfort alongside the Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner, and emphasized several times that hemp is not weed. After all, any time a Republican lights a joint, a disembodied bugle plays Dixie and Jeff Sessions appears in a cloud of pipe tobacco smoke to squirt out the cherry with a water musket. “What’s next?” he scolds. “The devil’s jass music?”

     

    • But Don’t Count on Legal Medical...

    ...even though the medical field is getting involved in the legal arena. The trade group representing every single Kentucky hospital has joined Gov. Bevin in a lawsuit to push ahead with his changes to Medicaid, which have been challenged in court. Bevin has threatened to firebomb the entire Medicaid expansion if he doesn’t get his way. Let me put that another way: If courts rule that Bevin’s changes are illegal, he says he will make Medicaid recipients pay for his failures, and the hospitals are backing him up. No wonder those teachers are using their sick days for something other than a doctor’s visit. 

     

    Cover photo: Mitch McConnell // by Chris Witzke

    Dylon Jones's picture

    About Dylon Jones

    Dylon Jones is an award-winning poet and essayist based in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as web editor of Louisville Magazine.

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