Staffer offers a poetic review of 2012 Kentucky business news

Herald-Leader business writerDecember 31, 2012 

As twenty-twelve ends, for better or worse,

I take a look back, not in photos but verse.

Keep this in mind: A reporter's not a poet.

If the poem's bad, don't let me know it.

My rhyming is good, the meter needs work.

Poetry's hard! But a job I won't shirk.

So have a good time reading this song,

It might hurt your ears but it won't take that long.

Here in twenty-twelve the theme is the same

As in year's past: Economy's on the brain.

Downsizing has shown that things are still tough.

Cuts at St. Joe — even health care is rough!

Coal's many struggles were the chatter of late.

Its total job count? 1 percent of the state.

Layoffs came at Sapphire and Arch,

Customers cut spending in a relentless march.

Lexmark's sales, on a falling trend.

The company declared: Inkjet will end!

Here, the jobs lost was 550,

The news was bad, certainly not pretty.

Lexmark is committed to the city, however.

Work has begun on a childcare endeavor.

Its software biz unit began to rise.

It bought three companies to jump in size.

For a few local firms, the future seems bright:

Big Ass Fans is building a new site.

Tempur-Pedic found a whole new place,

A new HQ offers plenty of space.

Their motto has a promise: perfect sleep!

But sales had some counting sheep.

Profits were down as the year progressed,

Competition! It must be addressed!

Competitor Sealy will be bought,

To give Tempur-Pedic a bigger spot.

It wasn't alone charting new courses,

3M buys Ceradyne, its armor for forces.

Urban Active was declared a name of the past.

Buyer LA Fitness, it's growing fast.

Insight got married to Time Warner Cable,

But little has changed. TV is stable.

Toyota retirements are drawing near,

The G-town plant marks its 25th year.

To manage it best, it had a kickstart,

Retirement incentives will time how they depart.

They'll replace those who go their different ways,

Hiring from temps in the coming days.

The fact'ry has plans to add new faces,

More engines made here, not other places.

Workers got a spot on a national show.

A Super Bowl ad, you likely know.

Its Cars for Good deal added to pride.

Seven non-profits get a new ride.

Sales at Fazoli's grew with haste.

Credit a new look and better taste.

The chain started selling beer and wine.

Pilot tests go on, but it's looking fine.

Alltech's spirit was high on booze,

as Town Branch Bourbon made the news.

Its distillery joined the Bourbon Trail,

It added a new kind of Kentucky Ale.

Bourbon Barrel Stout makes number four

Of its line of beers ready to pour.

The recipe adds a coffee blend.

But 13 bucks? That's a lot to spend.

Bourbon's fame rose in leaps and in shots.

Distilleries found ways to make more by the lots.

As Wild Turkey tries for new packaging highs,

The Beam visitor center is thrice the size.

In the past year, fro-yo was the trend.

Now, craft brewers want you to spend.

West Sixth opened where once was made bread,

And doubled capacity as the word was spread.

Glenn's Creek Brewery made Buddy's its spot.

Country Boy Brewing opened. That's a lot!

They don't make their own, but Beerworks came, too,

Selling beers plus kits for those who home brew.

21c is coming with art,

A hip hotel in downtown's own heart.

One inn is still missing: CentrePointe.

That has some noses far out of joint.

The developer's plan: a Marriott big.

But folks want to know when they'll dig.

The brothers Webb were making news still.

They purchased Vic Square for $1.7 mill.

Tension rose when Hands On turned down

A shirt order for gay pride downtown.

The company's leader cited his beliefs,

But the rejection led to some serious beefs.

A claim was filed: It's discrimination.

Hands On is public accommodation:

That's a key point of fairness regulation,

A city commission probed the accusation.

Channels 27, 18 added news shows.

The number of newscasts grows and grows!

Bowing out of the job: meteorologist Shuck.

Chris Bailey now says when storms run amok.

Other stations were too changing crews.

18's Nicole Pence is on Indy's news.

Greg Stotelmyer called his deal unfair.

36's veteran reporter is now off the air.

Home sales in Lexington were a spot so bright,

Declines turned to growth in quite a sight.

Speaking of sales, Calumet was sold,

Staying a horse farm like in those days of old.

The horse industry got a shot in the arm:

Instant racing brought cheers, track to farm.

But it still faces an issue in court:

Opponents call the games slots, in short.

Keeneland got good news as '12 progressed:

Totals from sales were more than blessed.

After 13 years, Nick Nicholson retired.

Adviser Bill Thomason was the next prez hired.

The Wildcats were champs but left for the pros.

Retailers made money by selling clothes.

It wasn't the sole title for UK this year,

The biz school's quizzers were tops. Hear, hear!

Kroger started changes to its store on Tates Creek,

The plan's to sell furniture, not just veggies and meat.

The big Marketplace, not the only one:

Richmond Road's and Beaumont's, already done.

Lexington dwellers got a new bill.

LEXserv handles sewer, water quality, landfill.

Kentucky American once handled all three,

But wants to focus on water, you see.

Change is afoot at the Mall at Lex Green.

Anthropologie has said it will join the scene.

Ann Taylor Loft, Hot Mama will enter.

Fashion is the plan for the revamped center.

Blue Grass Airport had changes on site.

Delta closed Comair, which had its last flight.

Southwest also decided AirTran would leave.

The decision has caused many flyers to grieve.

Construction was non-stop on the tattered Lex Mall.

Southland Christian is building a worship hall.

Other changes, too, along Richmond Road:

A fancy new restaurant, apartments were showed.

Over the year, local websites made news.

Kentucky.com started charging for views,

The PVA's site was completely redone,

With so many features, it's a total home run.

We have lost friends when the year's end was nigh.

The economy's so rough, they said goodbye.

Cokesbury has plans to close all bookstores,

The Christian retailer will lock its doors.

Eateries were done, like many a dish.

Ending was Regatta and its menu of fish.

Calistoga has sold its last meal in the state.

Tony Roma's has left. Their ribs were great!

The Penguin's pianos played their last bars.

Don Jacobs closed a lot for used cars.

American Founders shut some branch banks.

Decoratifs left but was sure to say thanks.

All was not lost when some said adieu,

Soon more businesses made a debut.

The Penguin's pianos weren't silent for long,

A place called Paulie's is drawing a throng.

Foodies got the news they had waited to hear:

Trader Joe's finally opened in the city this year!

Downtown got new places to drink and to eat,

Henry Clay's and Village Idiot can't be beat.

Opening, too, was Shakespeare and Co.

But don't say "company," that's a no-no.

Arcadium bar was new with old games,

Get a high score, join the top names.

Alan Stein didn't stay retired for long,

SteinGroup is there to make companies strong.

And a return finally happened for fans of ice cream:

Graeter's is on Euclid! You and I scream!

They're not open yet but others come soon.

The Chinese firm Birtley might be a boon.

Bingham McCutchen brings jobs to the city.

The law firm is huge. Officials were giddy.

Shoppers will soon have new ways to spend:

Hobby Lobby in Hamburg. Bring a friend!

Costco's locating by the interstate road,

The chain of warehouses is for buying a load.

Some others spent time moving to new lots,

CoachCraft's at Floyd Drive with more parking spots.

The city's CVB has changed places,

Vic Square's now their home for visiting faces.

Fitzpatrick's moved to the Paris Pike scene,

Its new store is decked in bright yellow and green.

Other stores moved, but not a long way,

A+ Comics stayed close for fans to go play.

Birthdays were marked, so break out the cake,

Good Foods is 40. Stop by for a break.

The Kentucky's shown movies for many a year.

It turned 90 this fall. A reno is near.

There's two thousand twelve summed up in a rhyme.

Sure, much was left out, but who has the time?

Will '13 see growth or will it just taper?

This poet knows not. Keep buying your paper!

The parents of business writer Scott Sloan read a lot of Dr. Seuss to him as a child, but that doesn't mean it rubbed off. Reach him with factual errors, not scansion issues, at ssloan@herald-leader.com, (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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