Outside The Cube: Daffodils Is Bright With Promise All Year


In gardens across Central Kentucky, daffodils are reaching for the sun, and buds are opening. But there’s a place in Lexington where they’re in bloom all year: Daffodils Fine Stationery and Gifts in Meadowthorpe.

No invitation necessary: Daffodils is easy to spot with its striped yellow awning and its hint of Chevy Chase on Leestown Road. Step inside, and there’s the immediate feel of springtime and possibilities, appropriate for a store that specializes in engraved promises of good times to come.

Please comma to our party: An employee is behind the counter, going over the details of an invitation on the phone: “Would you like a comma after that?” She’s surrounded by cheery paper goods tied up with polka-dot ribbons and picnic-perfect hats, purses and bow ties. Owner Alice Underwood motions to come to the back room and have a seat at a yellow formica table of the same vintage as the shopping center. We’re surrounded by shelves filled with card stock and walls the color of jonquil petals. “Our wholesale business was here before,” she says. “We took a wall out and tried to make it more cheerful.”

A store by any other name wouldn’t be so cute: Naming a company or store is serious business. It can require brainstorming sessions. Focus groups. Trademark searches. So Underwood must have spent weeks deliberating before deciding on Daffodils, right? “My daughter told me, ‘You need to name the shop something really cute so people will want to come in.’ ” “Well, what?” Underwood asked. “Ummm … ” her daughter said, then looked out the window at the spring garden full of flowers. “Daffodils!”

Sunrise, sunset: Daffodils the flowers might grow from bulbs, but Daffodils the store sprouts from a business with widely spread roots called Rose Street Design. Daffodils’ back room is full of boxes upon boxes of invitations, announcements and declarations related to every stage of life: birth, christening, bar mitzvah, final college tuition payment, first Derby entry, and so on, until … retirement? Is anyone lucky enough to experience that anymore?


USEF Approved For Tax Incentives For Drug Testing Lab

Drug Lab

State officials on Thursday approved $300,000 in tax incentives for the United States Equestrian Federation’s plan to relocate its equine drug testing research laboratory to Kentucky from Ithaca, N.Y.

The move will bring with it 12 jobs paying an average hourly wage of $26 including benefits, according to state records. The relocation is expected to cost $1.47 million, state officials said.

The lab had been one of two competing for a two-year state drug testing contract. That contract was given earlier this month to HFL Sport Sciences, but USEF’s move wasn’t contingent on receiving the contract, said USEF CEO John Long. Long said his group expects to have a 7,500-square-foot lab at the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus. While the goal is to have it operational later this year, it won’t be completed in time for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The USEF’s testing for the World Equestrian Games will be done at the lab in Ithaca, and the intention is to move its operations during the winter, which is a slower time for drug testing for equine events. From Lexington, the lab will conduct testing for equine events just as it did in Ithaca.

“We are headquartered here, but it has a lot to do with the legacy of the World Equestrian Games,” Long said, noting that Lexington also offers a better labor market and close proximity to the major U.S. operations of UPS in Louisville.


Accountability Measure For KACo, KLC Clears Key Hurdle

Accountability Measuring

FRANKFORT After days of political wrangling, a measure that would require more accountability and transparency for two groups that represent Kentucky cities and counties was unanimously passed by the House Friday and will likely become law, according to a key supporter.

Senate Bill 88 a bill related to contracting for health departments was amended on the House floor Friday to include language from other House and Senate bills that would make the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties subject to open records and open meetings laws, give their boards a code of ethics and allow the state auditor to review their books.

The bill also would require the two embattled organizations, which were the subject of scathing state audits last year after articles in the Herald-Leader exposed hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable spending, to post their expenditures online.

House Local Government Chairman Steve Riggs, D-Louisville, proposed the amendment that included provisions of Senate Bill 87, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, D-Georgetown, and House Bill 325, sponsored by Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington. Thayer’s bill required the groups to report their expenditures online, but Simpson’s did not.

Although disappointed that the House didn’t approve his bill, Thayer said Friday that he would not block passage of SB 88 when the Senate considers changes made by the House.