Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photo Essay correction

In part 1, I had the image upside down. For those with sharp eyes it may be possible to read some of the names entered in the Registration Book.

Hotel Royal Photo Essay pt. 4

Hotel Royal Photo Essay pt. 3

Hotel Royal Photo Essay pt. 2

Hotel Royal Photo Essay pt. 1

These pictures were taken as an assignment in a photo-journalism class in 1975. They were probably taken over the Thanksgiving break. The subject is New Albany's Hotel Royal, which was on W. First Street, behind Aunt Artie's Antique Mall. The hotel faced east. In the unlikely event that anyone who sees this recognizes people in the photographs, I apologize for not giving their names. I probably had the names at the time the photos were taken but, no longer.

I had the privilege of learning photography under two highly gifted photographers, Wil Counts and John Ahlhauser. What appears here may not do these two gentlemen's reputations justice, but these are digital representations of unworked negatives. Burning and dodging and cropping of various aspects of the negatives would probably produce better images.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

R.I.P. Hope, Change

This linked piece is written not by me, but by a favorite of mine, William Rivers Pitt at Truthout.

Who's at fault? Obama? Reid? Lieberman? The political system? Corporate double dealers? Us?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Clouds' Silver Linings

Against the backdrop of the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen local communities from New Albany to Bangor, Maine are dealing with the effects of the on-going recession. The pending difficulties we will face as global warming accelerates may be tempered to some degree if we will begin to address them now. To a certain extent, the coming problems may offer the proverbial silver lining.

Christopher Steiner, a staff writer for Forbes Magazine (a renowned peddler of left wing thought), has written a book which suggests a silver lining which might be waiting for New Albany. In his book, "$20 Per Gallon", Steiner says, "Small towns likely to thrive in a future of high gasoline prices are ones that have venerable downtown infrastructures sitting in place, with existing railroad connections and river frontage." Can anyone think of such a place?

Steiner does not necessarily write from the standard vantage point of a card carrying tree-hugger. At least his credentials as a tree-hugger are questionable in my eyes owing to his overly enthusiastic support of nuclear power. And his basic premise of gasoline reaching the unthinkable heights of $20 per gallon is more a reflection of the tussle between supply and demand than it is a response to enlightened temperance in matters of petroleum consumption.

Petroleum temperance may not be a choice for long, based on the consensus behind the Copenhagen conference. New Albany has seen more than its rightful share of Hundred Year rain events. By my calculation we're paid up until about the year 2525. Just last night the City Council was given a preview of major outlays ahead in our obligation to keep the citizens dry during the frequent hundred year events. Bangladesh, and Florida for that matter, sit barely above sea level and face the threat of large scale inundation caused by rising seas expanding due to artic melt.

The Copenhagen conference offers hope of greater recognition of the problems we face, but every inch of recognition will be fought by some corporate interests that would rather see glaciers recede than to see their profits recede. And yet we are the ones who can individually and collectively stand against degradation of the environment. Some of the ill-effects of global warming will require concerted effort among nations to be sure, however, a host of individual choices we make on a daily basis can add up to significant change.

Steiner's positive outlook for the future of small towns mentioned above will be on display tonight as the second meeting on founding a food co-op in New Albany is held in the Carnegie Center for Art and History. Those working toward this goal are on a path that will allow this small town to adapt to a high-cost energy future which seems unimaginable today. If we can respond now to the coming high economic costs of energy, perhaps that will help us avoid some of the even higher human costs of failing to adapt.

The food co-op can be a positive feature for a reviving city as well as evidence of a community acting today in a way that will not only be appreciated by those who use it, but will look positively forward-thinking to people some years down the road.