Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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38 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 THE BIT JUST SAYIN' Painted Black Praising Jesus with ill will and a loaded spray can. By Jack Welch FLASHBACK When I saw the Courier- Journal headline — "Hindu temple target of hate crime" — back in late January, a shiver of dread ran through my bones. Some vengeful person or persons had vandalized the Swaminarayan Temple on Bardstown Road in Buechel, spray-painting in black a combination of boilerplate religious phrases ("Jesus Is The Only Lord," "Jesus Is All Mighty") and randomly chosen xenophobic insults with a female slant ("Foreign Bitch's," "Whore"), while also dramatically leaving a kitchen knife stuck in the seat of a temple chair. Considering all the malicious acts toward innocent people committed nationally these last few years, my first thought was one of alarm: A detachment of narrow- minded bigots was at work. What might be their next step? Thank God it wasn't a clandestine gang of goons — just a single sick 17-year-old. When the police took him into custody, charging him with third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief, the sigh of relief within and outside the temple community was palpable. Just a dumb kid. Everybody can breathe easy. But there's this: Because of the boy's age, we're not likely to gain much knowl- edge of his background or social standing or motivation. Also because of his age, the prosecution and courts won't go after him with the same zeal they would if the crime had been committed by an adult or adults. Already it's been made clear by Common- wealth's Attorney Tom Wine that Ken- tucky's hate-crime statute is rather tooth- less; it doesn't allow a judge to increase the penalty for an offense committed "because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national origin" of a victim. The statute does allow a judge to deny an offender probation or shock probation, but only if the property loss surpasses $1,000. I'm not saying that I would have the court throw the book at this kid. What worries me are his expressions of extreme Christian righteousness coupled with extreme anger toward people and faiths he doesn't understand. Righteousness is jet fuel to the fire of someone who blindly hates. And individuals who hate now as youths might grow their hate as they age. I wouldn't want this guy to get slapped on the wrist and then follow in the footsteps of Dylann Roof. March 1979 On the Cover: "$263 Million Up, $500 Million To Go: Clocking Downtown Development" Inside: The city's downtown core was prepping to roll into the '80s in style and with might, with the development of many of the taller buildings we see today. Plus, the proposed $90-million Galleria (now Fourth Street Live!), the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, the Hyatt Hotel (hyped as something akin to last year's Omni addition), a twin Galt House East — and parking garage after parking garage. Which makes sense when you consider that the Brown Bros. Cadillac dealership and service cen- ter on South Fourth Street boasted $24 million in sales in 1978. Owner Morris Brown said, "I employ a lim- ousine with a full-time chauffeur, so a doctor or attorney or housewife can come and leave his or her car and go wherever he or she wants while the work is being done." Ur- ban renewal was coming to an end, as the city had recently negotiated one of its last land sales, at 15th and Magazine streets, where auto-parts warehouse Moog Louisville is now. "The hand of urban renewal will be felt on Louisville well into the 21st century," we wrote. (Several stories touching on that legacy in west Louisville — and new develop- ments underway there — appear in the package beginning on page 76.) Outside: March 1979 C-J headlines: "Problems downtown have wors- ened, urban planner says"; "Health board approves abortions at Gen- eral Hospital"; "Ali may fight again after all"; "'Good-ole-boy' politics goes out with the new tide"; "Bour- bon boom? Bardstown distillers say business is on the rise again." Illustration by Shae Goodlett

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