Lee B. Thomas Jr. helped found the ACLU of Kentucky and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Louisville; he died yesterday, according to The Courier-Journal. Thomas and his wife established the Joan and Lee Thomas Foundation; with $19 million in assets, it ranks among the biggest in the city.
Kentucky generates about $50 million in revenue annually by taxing money or property bequeathed to a deceased person’s relatives, though not close relatives like children or a spouse — a levy that a state legislative committee is considering eliminating altogether.
Like many opponents of the tax, the head of the libertarian-leaning Bluegrass Institute says government shouldn’t be producing revenue off the efforts of people who generated the wealth in the first place because “they’ve already . . . paid the taxes on it during their lifetime,” Jim Waters told WFPL.
Except, that’s often not true. Consider one of the biggest sources of family wealth: unrealized gains on stocks, and the following example: Continue reading “Reality check: Debunking a canard about Kentucky’s endangered inheritance tax”
Joan Wood Kay’s “Speaking of People” column helped turn the traditional society and women’s pages into an “issue-oriented features section that was nationally admired,” said retired Courier-Journal editorial page editor Keith Runyon. Kay worked for the paper for 34 years, ending in 1987. She died Sunday at 87, the CJ said this morning.
In a 1969 advertisement, the paper told readers Kay’s column was the “up-to-the-minute and very much ‘with it’ successor” to the paper’s old social notes stories — like this one from Aug. 5, 1917:
“Little Miss Virginia Gray Montgomery was honored with a party Wednesday afternoon when her grandmother, Mrs. James W. Montgomery, asked the future belles and beaux to an al fresco affair which she gave at her home on Shelby Street. The children presented a lovely sight in their dainty white dresses with varicolored ribbons on bobbed heads. . . . The large galleries were festooned with ropings of red, white and blue, and flags were hung in the pergola. Toy balloons and baskets of candies were the favors given.”
Writing this morning about Kay, another long-time CJ correspondent, Sheldon S. Shafer, said: “Kay had a keen appreciation of art, especially impressionist and modern, and she was an avid reader of mysteries and newspapers. She was skilled at needlepoint and knitting, and was a world traveler who wrote humorous poems and limericks for friends. She also acquired a vast collection of teddy bears. She spoke Italian and French and was always fashionably dressed — often in her favorite color, lavender.”
Herman Meyer & Son Funeral Home is handling final arrangements.
The Courier-Journal’s Muhammad Ali news coverage immediately after the prize fighter died near midnight on June 3 was more than a decade in the making, the paper’s editor said today, in an inside account of how it came together. The New York Times literally stopped the presses to get the news in print. The Louisville native was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery amid a celebrity-studded memorial service after he died in Phoenix following a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease; he was 74.
As the headline above makes clear, another foreign-language news story has popped up in our search results. And it’s Tribu magazine again. Our foreign news desk has once more turned to Google to translate; for Spanish speakers, an excerpt:
La procesión contó además varias limusinas que transportaban a los hijos y los nietos del ex boxeador, así como a las personalidades que llevarán su féretro: el actor Will Smith y los excampeones del mundo de los pesos pesados Lennox Lewis y Mike Tyson. Los aficionados arrojaron flores en el coche fúnebre, mientras que pétalos de rosa estaban dispersos a lo largo de la ruta. Los camioneros sonaban sus bocinas en señal de saludo.
Our last Tribu challenge, about l’attrice con l’Oscar Jennifer Lawrence, was in Italian. Smith was a pallbearer at Muhammad Ali’s burial Friday at Cave Hill Cemetery. The Louisville native died June 3 in Phoenix, his primary home; he was 74.
The glittering roster of celebrities at yesterday’s Muhammad Ali memorial service is still growing, according to news reports — attesting to the enduring star power of the late prize fighter, who rocketed to global fame from a racially segregated childhood in 1940s Louisville.
Among the latest bold-face names to emerge: actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (who Instagrammed a grinning selfie with eulogist and former President Bill Clinton), and David Beckham, the retired British superstar soccer player.
Beck’s wife, Victoria, the former Spice Girl singer, wasn’t spotted with him at the KFC Yum Center, where the number of mourners at the afternoon event ran as high as 20,000, according to Britain’s Mirror.
Other celebrities whose attendance wasn’t previously reported included View talk show host Whoopi Goldberg; filmmaker Spike Lee; actor and former pro-football player Carl Weathers, and triple-platinum former singer Yusuf (Cat Stevens) Islam, says Britain’s Daily Mail and one of Boulevard’s Facebook friends.
They joined already known attendees, including comedian Billy Crystal, who gave one of the eulogies; actor and pallbearer Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith; Today show host Matt Lauer and former host Bryant Gumbel; retired pro boxer Mike Tyson — and the realest of royalty: King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Trump sends regrets
Rumors GOP White House hopeful Donald Trump would attend were quashed during the morning when Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell said the reality TV star called Ali’s wife, Lonnie, to say he was unable to come, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Ali was one of the world’s most high-profile Muslims, so it’s hard to imagine Trump would have been welcome, given his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
The KFC Center service capped a week that drew tens of thousands of spectators earlier yesterday to a 23-mile funeral procession that snaked through the city — all broadcast live to millions online and on television the day he was buried. Chanting “Ali, Ali!” fans waved to celebrities riding with other Ali family guests in the 17-car motorcade. Security, which included the U.S. Secret Service, was tight; an estimated 500 Louisville police officers were there.
Ali and close family and advisors planned the funeral in secret during the final years of his decades-long battle against Parkinson’s disease. Born in Louisville’s West End in 1942, he died at 74 on June 3 in Phoenix, his primary home. He was buried yesterday at a so-far undisclosed gravesite at Cave Hill Cemetery, joining a Kentucky who’s-who of governors, business titans and other luminaries — the most famous being KFC founder Harland Sanders.
The motorcade entered Cave Hill’s iconic main entrance on a carpet of flower petals fans laid earlier in the day: