News

A year of Lexington business in rhyme

As twenty-ten ends, for better or worse,

I offer a remembrance not in photos but verse.

It was the year of the Games, not basketball but horse,

And with them, the rise of Alltech to unprecedented force.

More than $30 million was spent by the biotech firm,

With $100 million in new sales expected long-term.

And the Games saw people but not as many as expected,

To this day, the organizers keep the finances protected.

Toyota's image worldwide suffered a dent,

As news of massive auto recalls came and went.

A line even idled at its Georgetown site,

As Camrys were among those with the blight.

Steve St. Angelo left his job leading the city's team,

To focus on quality, to restore Toyota's gleam.

Replacing him was one of Georgetown's first hired,

The return of executive Wil James inspired.

Hundreds of new jobs came to our city,

As ACS opened call centers to recite a ditty.

But those came as others like Verizon cut out,

Its phone operator center had a big call drought.

KU's sale was given the state's go-ahead,

Auf wiedersehen, its ex-German owners said.

And our bills went up despite some debates,

KU, Kentucky American and Delta all raised rates.

Elsewhere, a lawyerin' mayor lost despite his new-jobs boast,

Beaten by the first businessman to hold the city's top post.

New life came to our town's most despised ex-mall,

As Southland bought it to build a worship hall.

Tax credits helped but then homeowners ran out of luck,

As buyers fled for job worries, leaving sellers stuck.

The jobless rate was under 10 percent just one time,

And after July, the measure once again made a climb.

The number of TV newscasts rose and rose,

As Channel 18 added weeknight 4 and 7 shows.

Meanwhile, the picture for public TV was less sunny,

As KET laid off many a worker to save money.

Insight gave away plenty of mini-boxes in a spree,

As cable went digital to add more channels in HD,

Insight also added a new channel called CN|2,

with politics, sports and weather to name a few.

Louisville's Churchill tried music but then retreated,

As the track's second HullabaLou was deleted.

To help horses and the problems they're facing,

State officials moved to allow Instant Racing.

Fifth-Third and horse owner Zayat agreed to settle,

After a big ol' lawsuit and its bills tested their mettle.

And while frothy bloat may sound like funny words,

It's a disease that saw cattle die by the herds.

Lexmark's history grew and saw it print a new page,

As retirement was the choice for its CEO sage.

Leader Paul Curlander offered up the reins,

Naming Paul Rooke as the company's new brains.

And the company made a deal proving it was bold,

Welcoming Perceptive Software into the fold.

Best Buy stopped selling just Lexmark's ink,

Once again hawking printers, putting the two in sync.

Activists fought to bring down a new coal plant,

East Kentucky Power agreed, stopping their chant.

And stop bullets they might, but armor was weak,

Ceradyne's sales fell so far, it's like it sprung a leak.

More oil changes meant a year that was grand,

For Ashland's Lexington Valvoline brand.

Haiti farmers gave Alltech a new product to show,

I recommend it in a mug, as it's a cup of joe.

Robert Kirkman, a comic writer yet average Kentucky Joe,

Moved to L.A. for his The Walking Dead zombie show.

Fazoli's opened stores for the first time in a while,

Banking on a fresh look to make more customers smile.

The Web's strength was shown in shopping wars,

Sending Jo-Beth reeling and closing stores.

With the loss of money becoming a common ail,

Natural gas company NGAS looked at a sale.

Veteran Fifth-Third man Sam Barnes passed away,

Leaving a rich legacy filled with much cachet.

Tiffany's became one of our town's next kings,

As it started a factory for necklaces and rings.

We lost some friends by the time the year's end was nigh,

As stinged by the economy, some companies said bye.

The Paperweight on Clay made its last stamp,

And Eastland Hardware sold its final clamp.

Thoroughbred Chevrolet's lot went blank,

And there were no Chevrons to fill your tank.

At Southland, Bob Slone's grocery said good night,

As Save-a-Lot bought his last Lexington site.

Netflix dealt a fatal blow with movies by mail,

Leading to Hollywood Video's closing sale.

Restaurants came and went just like their courses,

Among them was Murrays' due to economic forces.

But all was not lost by those who said adieu,

Some places saw others make their debut.

Rural farmers got a new place to eat lunch,

As Windy Corner blew in so they could munch.

Growth brought the funeral biz to south Lex,

When Milwards opened a third place to pay your respects.

Apple's fanboys could have filled hall after hall,

When their favorite company opened at Fayette Mall.

Across town, a lower-tech company took hold,

As Big Lots managed to join the Hamburg fold.

Some stores even managed quite the magic trick,

They both closed and opened again real quick.

Sportsman's Warehouse had left campers in dismay,

But reopened at Hamburg to a big ol' hooray.

And the Meadowthorpe Cafe sat alone and still,

Until a new manager took helm at the grill.

There it is, your year summed up in a rhyme,

Sure, I left stuff out, but who has the time?

So will the new year see growth or will it just taper?

This amateur poet knows not, so keep buying your paper.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments