A six-pack of the most-read ON THE AVENUES columns from 2019.


Funny, but the columns of mine I like the most usually aren’t the same ones that score high in terms of readership. This year is an exception. I’m very happy with the columns I wrote detailing the ill treatment endured by Donnie Blevins and Greg Pennell — and they also were the most-read of 2019.

Yes, I know; the outcome of the year’s election cycle was not affected by the these revelations. But these accounts needed to be told, and I’m glad they were, if for no other readership than posterity.

Some sweet day, it will matter.

682 (December 19)
ON THE AVENUES: These parents oppose their children’s exposure to the PURE Initiative as part of the NA-FC Schools curriculum. Here’s why.

Let’s have a look at faith-based abstinence as a component of health education in New Albany-Floyd County Schools. But first, just a bit of background to explain how the topic came to my attention.

803 (August 1)
ON THE AVENUES: The whys and wherefores can drive a man to drink; our lives just ARE, and that’s that.

Birthdays get piled into desk drawers alongside rusty paper clips, obsolete business cards and bits of senseless plastic that somehow have evaded landing in the ocean. It would be pleasant bonus if the annual birthday observance yielded something genuinely revelatory; to paraphrase Michael McDonald, we’d trade it all right now for just one minute of real insight.

866 (September 26)
ON THE AVENUES: Socialists for Seabrook, because we desperately need a new beginning in New Albany.

In 2019, this European-style Social Democrat will be voting for Mark Seabrook for mayor of New Albany.

Before telling you why, just a wee bit of personal background. I’ve come to understand that my political frame of reference is utterly negated by America’s two-party system and the “traditional” call-and-response psychoses stemming from it.

991 (October 31)
ON THE AVENUES: In which Team Gahan’s looming appointment with unemployment is examined.

New Albany political history in my own lifetime reveals that it is entirely possible for a New Albany mayor to be viciously humiliated in a re-election bid. Witness one Warren Nash, Gahan’s cadaverous and enduringly vacuous mentor, who won 60% of the vote in a winning bid in 1971 but then just 34% in 1975 while suffering a cataclysmic landslide loss.

1,012 (April 2)
ON THE AVENUES: Donnie Blevins tells his story.

When Blevins returned, his supervisor called him inside to deliver the ultimatum he’d just been given. According to the supervisor, who said he had no idea why any of it was happening, Gahan had gone “berserk” about Blevins, referring to him as “that son-of-a-bitch” and promising to “fire his (Blevins’) ass the first chance I get.”

2,177 (April 30)
ON THE AVENUES: Greg Pennell tells his story.

Stammering and visibly uncomfortable, Bailey replied that he had only a quick minute, so Pennell got straight to the point and asked about the signed agreement for his return to chief of detectives. Bailey told Pennell he could go back to the detective division, but not as a captain, meaning Pennell would have to give up his merit rank of captain, which he had earned through the testing procedures put forth by the New Albany Police Merit Commission.