Day: August 5, 2016

Louisville to Provincetown, Mass., for a postcard-perfect $12,000 vacation of sun, sand — and surreal

An occasional look at premium travel from Louisville.

With the world’s attention focused on the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, what better time to jet off to Carnival — in Provincetown, Mass. Known to fans worldwide as P-town, the small, arty and very eclectic beach resort is perched on the tippy-tip of Cape Cod.

Provincetown aerial
At the tip of Cape Cod.

Held this year from Aug. 13 to 19, Carnival is one of the biggest annual outdoor celebrations in Massachusetts, attracting 90,000 revelers to an ultra-festive parade and parties from the east to west ends of lively Commercial Street along the waterfront. This year’s retro theme: “Back to the ’80s.” The Census Bureau says P-town is the gayest city in the world, which also means it’s all-inclusive.

The town’s year-round population is just 3,000, but swells to 60,000 during the summer, when seasonal residents and tourists from all around the world flock to its amazing seafood restaurants, art galleries, theaters, beaches and bike paths rolling through the dunes of the magnificent Cape Cod National Seashore Parks.

The itinerary

When: August 12-21. Airline: American and Cape Air. Route: Louisville to Chicago to Boston to Provincetown; total travel time is five hours and 30 minutes, excluding layovers. How much: $870; coach to Chicago, then first class to Boston. The Cape Air connecting flight is $318 aboard a nine-passenger prop. American reservations and Cape Air reservations.

If you don’t like the idea of small planes, two ferry companies offer frequent service from Boston to P-town: Boston Harbor Cruises and Bay State Cruise Co. Their fast-ferry service will get you there in about 90 minutes. By car from Boston’s Logan Airport, it’s about a 2½ drive.

Where to stay?

The Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa hotel’s penthouse suite promises spectacular panoramic town views with two bedrooms; a chef’s kitchen with six-burner gas stove and double ovens, and two private decks. The rate: $749 a night, or $6,741 for our nine-day stay, excluding taxes.

Dina Martina

P-town’s theater scene is like nowhere else. Boulevard especially recommends the incomparable comedian Dina Martina: “tragic singer, horrible dancer, and surreal raconteur.” (Emphasis on the surreal.) When: through Sept. 17 at the Crown & Anchor Resort.

Don’t forget The New York Times’ 36 Hours in Provincetown; TripAdvisor’s Provincetown page, and Airbnb’s Provincetown rentals.

The bottom line

For two: airfare and hotel, plus $300 a day for meals and incidentals comes to just under $12,000.

Here’s a drone’s-eye view of what you’ll experience:

Opinion: Paul no friend of coal industry, or its beleaguered miners; ‘he hasn’t done a single thing’

That’s according to John Winn Miller, a retired journalist, screenwriter and movie producer who took on Sen. Rand Paul in an op-ed piece in this morning’s Courier-Journal.

“Paul pretends to be a friend by railing against big government and the mythical ‘war on coal,'” Miller writes. “But actions speak louder than words. The reality: he hasn’t done a single thing or passed a single bill to help the coal industry, distressed coal counties or out-of-work miners.”

And he cites several examples where the senator’s actions went against the industry’s interests. Miller says Paul:

  • offered an amendment to waive some environmental regulations and wage requirements in high unemployment areas. In other words, screw the coal miners and the health of people living in Eastern Kentucky. It was overwhelmingly rejected (33-64) in the Republican-dominated Senate.
  • supports the Keystone Pipeline and competing industries like cheap natural gas from fracking that — along with the growth of green energy — have far more to do with the demise of coal production than environmental regulations.

Miller’s contention the Republican senator hasn’t helped the industry comes despite the fact it’s been one of his biggest financial backers, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks Federal Election Commission data. In 2015-16, mining companies donated $129,250 of the total $9.5 million he took in, according to the center. The top 10 sources where industries were identified:

Rand Paul industry contributions 2015-16

Paul, an ophthalmologist, got the most support from health professionals: $471,241, or nearly 5% of all.

Coal on the way out

Miller writes: “The reality that Paul won’t admit is that coal production in Kentucky has been declining for decades –- long before President Barack Obama. It is the marketplace and the global shift to clean energy that is killing coal. Even China is starting to reduce coal mining and use.”

Indeed, statewide last year, Kentucky had only 9,493 coal mining jobs, a 46% decline from 17,670 as recently as 2008, according to the latest data from the Energy and Environment Cabinet. Mine operators produced 61.4 million tons, nearly half as much as the 121.2 million in 2008.

Jim Gray

Paul, who’s in his first Senate term, is up for re-election in November; he’s facing Democratic challenger Jim Gray of Lexington, the candidate Miller says is the only one “with a real, four-point plan to help the coal industry and revitalize coal-dependent counties as well as the ability to work with both parties.”

The Center for Responsive Politics hasn’t Continue reading “Opinion: Paul no friend of coal industry, or its beleaguered miners; ‘he hasn’t done a single thing’”

Parker on her fabulous photobomber: ‘Jennifer Lawrence deserves every bit as much as her male counterpart. It’s indisputable’

That’s actress Sarah Jessica Parker, speaking to Marie Claire magazine for a provocative new interview where the “Sex and the City” star declared she isn’t a feminist.

Marie Claire September 2016
September cover.

“I don’t think I qualify,” she told the magazine. “I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don’t even want to separate it anymore. I’m so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.”

In the photo, belowLawrence photobombs Parker on the red carpet at the 2013 Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala in New York. More photos from this year’s event.

Jennifer Lawrence "photobombs" Sarah Jessica Parker as Marion Co

Amazon’s Prime Air edges closer to takeoff (watch out, UPS); Ford China sales hit July record; and U.S. added 255K jobs in July, beating forecasts

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 9:06 p.m.

Prime Air plane
Amazon’s new Prime Air 767 is operated by Atlas Air.

AMAZON today is showcasing its first branded air cargo plane during Seafair’s Air Show, an annual community celebration in the retail giant’s Seattle hometown. The Boeing 767-300, operated by Amazon’s air cargo provider Atlas Air, is flying in the show for thousands of Seattle residents and employees. In May, Amazon said it would lease 20 of the planes from Atlas for its nascent air delivery service. The 767’s appearance, complete with the company’s Prime Air livery, is the latest step in Amazon’s drive to take control of every phase of its logistics as it becomes both a customer and competitor of UPS, FedEx and other shippers (press release). Amazon and UPS are both big employers in the Louisville area; UPS has 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub, and Amazon employs 6,000 at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shephardsville.

Walmart’s reported negotiations to buy Amazon competitor for around $3 billion would only put a small dent in the Seattle retailer (The Street). More news about the rumored Walmart-Jet talks.

UPS filed its detailed quarterly 10-Q financial report with the Securities and Exchange Commission today (SEC document).

FORD: Despite China’s slowing economy, Ford and its joint venture partners sold 88,189 vehicles there last month — a record — up 15% compared to a year ago (press release). Also, the automaker yesterday recalled approximately 830,000 vehicles to replace side door latches that may not be operating properly; the recall includes vehicles made in Louisville. They are 2013-15 Ford C-MAX, 2013-15 Ford Escape, 2012-15 Ford Focus, 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC, and 2014-16 Ford Transit Connect vehicles sold or ever registered in certain U.S. states (press release). In Louisville, Ford employs nearly 10,000 workers at the Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Factory.

Naked Chicken Chalupa
Headed for menus nationwide.

TACO BELL will roll out its new Naked Chicken Chalupa — a taco with a shell made of fried chicken — across the country next year after testing it on the West and East Coasts (Brand Eating).

Trump and KFC
Not finger-lickin’.

KFC: Late Night host Seth Meyers joined other comedians ribbing GOP White House nominee Donald Trump this week, zeroing in on Continue reading “Amazon’s Prime Air edges closer to takeoff (watch out, UPS); Ford China sales hit July record; and U.S. added 255K jobs in July, beating forecasts”