Monthly Archive for February, 2006

Thomas Kinkade: Painter of Crap

Man, I’ve wanted to use that headline for years.

The couple who ran that ill-fated Thomas Kinkade gallery on the Downtown Mall have won $860,000 in their lawsuit against Kinkade, with the court having agreed that they, along with many other gallery owners, were defrauded, Kate Andrews reports in today’s Progress. That sum may well rise to $3.5M. There are 21 other dealers that have filed similar suits across the nation, all charging that Kinkade forced dealers to buy prints (“paintings”) at vastly inflated rates, undercut them at area discount stores, and then refused to let the dealers lower their prices.

These things run nearly a grand apiece, but Tuesday Morning might sell them for under a hundred bucks, leaving nobody to buy the stuff at the downtown gallery. The couple have now realized that the “I’m just a humble Christian businessman” schtick of Kinkade’s is B.S. Here’s hoping they’ve realized that his work is garbage, too.

03/05 Update: The L.A. Times has a big-big story about this. Turns out Kinkade is a drunk, fondles women, and engages in public urination as “ritual territory marking,” as he calls it.

29N Traffic Flows Well

A new study shows that 29 North has become a lot more efficient, Jessica Kitchin reports in today’s Progress. Since the traffic lights were synched up a few years ago, and since they’ve been tweaked since, it’s become steadily easier to cruise down the Albemarle portion of 29 without hitting a red light. All of that has been at the expense of those who need to cross over 29 or turn onto the road, but it’s hard to argue with an average speed of around 38mph from Hydraulic to Burley Station.

Kidde Moves Manufacturing to Mexico

Kidde is moving their manufacturing operations from Albemarle to Mexico, WINA reports. That’s 94 people with specialized skills, skills that don’t particularly translate to any of the few manufacturing jobs left in the area, whose jobs will be in Mexico. News about manufacturing job losses used to be commonplace, with ConAgra, Technicolor, and Frank Ix & Sons being particularly major examples, but there are so few left that this is the first such manufacturing jobs loss in a while. Kidde will also be moving a still-larger number of jobs from their North Carolina plant down to Mexico.

Millmont/Brown/Whisper Sexual Assault Allegations

The sun will rise in the east. Winter will turn into spring. Whisper Ridge (nee The Brown Schools, nee The Millmont Center) will abuse their patients. Time after time the facility, which has frequently renamed itself to stay one step ahead of its reputation, has been charged with human rights abuses against its teenaged mental patients. Its employees have raped patients, beaten kids, threatened to kill kids, allowed patients to wander freely through the facility, and had half of their staff consist of utterly untrained temps.

In today’s Daily Progress, Megan Rowe reports that police locked down the place at 5pm on Thursday and searched it for evidence of sexual assault until after midnight. (Bad news, Megan: You’re stuck following this story now, like Claudia Pinto was before you.) It’s thought that a dozen people may be involved in the matter, including both perps and victims.

Second Mall Crossing Likely

A second vehicular crossing on the Downtown Mall is likely to be approved by City Council on March 6, John Yellig writes in today’s Daily Progress. Business owners say that downtown businesses aren’t getting enough exposure to vehicular traffic; opponents point out that the Downtown Mall appears to be doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.

How many cross streets are necessary for a pedestrian mall to just become a “street”?



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