Monday, February 28, 2005

BarrelHouse Closing

OTR's best brewhouse is closing its doors after selling the business. The new owner is reportedly planning on continuing to brew the beer locally, which is served at many other local bars, but the brewhouse will be at a different location.

Lemmie Leaving?

Mayor Luken is hinting that the city manager may resign near or even when he leaves office.

Who would take her place? Will we open up another nationwide search to find someone in Middletown this time?

Water is Wet, Episode #452

Congress reps here have few black aides

Police Searches

I don't get this. People are concerned that Police searches go to far? Now, if that were a complaint about just being searched in the first place, ok, I get that, and I agree. The police should not just search people at random.

When police search someone, they should search the person's clothes, all levels. They should not do a body cavity search, but that is not what people are complaining about. People are right to complain about police searching people for no reason. If they complained more when little Johnny was caught with crack in his underwear, instead of complaining that police found it, maybe Johnny won't do it again and respect the law. Let's worry about police doing illegal searches, not how thorough they get.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

WaPo: Federated to Buy Rival May

Federated Department Stores to Acquire Rival May. The article states that the official announcement will be tomorrow. The sale price is reported to be $35.50 for each share of May, to be paid in a combination of cash and stock. Other news reports are calling the price around $36, but are not as specific.

This is big news for Federated. Let us all hope this will be good news for the City in that the National HQ stays here and maybe even expands.


I have little interest in the Oscars this year. I have seen so few movies this past year, that I can honestly have a favorite. I traditionally make it a point to see every movie nominated for most of the top honors. This year it has been nearly none.

Who should win? Does the "should" even matter any more?

Reece is Running for Mayor

The official word will not come for another week but a brief mention was given about a comment Vice Mayor Alicia Reece made yesterday:
Cincinnati Vice Mayor Alicia Reece - who has hinted in recent months that she wants to run for mayor - will make it official March 6. Reece, a Bond Hill Democrat, said Saturday she will kick off her campaign for mayor after she returns from a fund-raising trip. Democrats David Pepper, a Mount Adams councilman, and Mark L. Mallory, a West End state senator, have announced their candidacies for the Sept. 13 primary. Charlie Luken is not seeking re-election.
This was not unexpected, she has been toying with the run for months now, but it is the awaited signal to start a chain of events that will define the make-up of the next City Council.

The next link is who Charter will run. Charter wants to field a candidate, but they only have two people with any legitimate shot at making any difference, Smitherman & Tarbell. Rumors about both have been circulating for months. Smitherman reportedly has already been gaining the required signatures to get on the ballot. Both possible candidates only chance to affect the election

Hiding in the background is the GOP. They have two still waiting in the wings for an endorsement, Painter and Winburn. Painter's candidacy seems to have faded. He made rumblings back last year that he would not run against Mallory. Winburn then get be in the driver's seat. Brinkman's name is being floated around as well. He would do nothing but pull down Pepper and or Winburn, so he would stand to only win a council seat, not the Mayor's office. I don't think he will run for Mayor, but I think he wants to be Mayor of a county wide city government.

If we have a 5 way race with 3 Dems, 1 Charterite, and 1 Republican the battle for the top two spots have a dynamic that turns on three demographics: the black vote, the Westside conservative votes, and the east side moderate/liberals.

The black vote is the most complicated and most likely to be spit over three or even four candidates. Mallory, Reece, Smitherman, and Winburn would all seek to base their support in the black community. Winburn would have the least claim to that, but could still have significant support, drawing it from the other three. Without Smitherman, both Reece and Mallory gain votes. Tarbell is who they both would be hoping gets in the race instead of Smitherman, because he takes virtually no black votes form them, and instead takes huge chunks of Pepper votes and many possible Winburn votes.

The Westside conservatives would go for the GOP label no matter who is there, but some will not go for Winburn because he is black. They will go for Pepper, or if Tarbell is the race they might float to him. Brinkman complicates this even further.

The Eastside moderates are in Pepper's pocket. They might be turned on by Mallory, Tarbell, or maybe even Reece. Brinkman would pick up the few rightwing extremists, but they are mostly on the Westside (or already have fled to the burbs.)

The liberals will also be tested. They would logically lean towards Mallory. They don't hate Pepper or Reece totally, but neither would be their first choice. Mallory will likely keep them, but needs the money of the moderates.

Pepper is the front runner at this point, way ahead of the rest of the field in the primary race. So far he has the top spot locked up. The race is for number two, and it is far early to say who will get it.

Jene Galvin gave an opinion on the race in CityBeat this week and his take on Reece is, shall we say, a bit optimistic. Nate is not even convinced with today's announcement that she is actually going to end up running.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

AP Homeless Stories

In an AP feature story on the homeless a collection of stories from across the country are shared, including a story from Cincinnati:

Brent Chasteen slings a backpack over his shoulder and heads out on the streets.

An outreach worker, the 42-year-old Chasteen was hired by a business group called Downtown Cincinnati Inc. after the city enacted panhandling laws that require licenses for anyone who verbally begs.

Chasteen, dressed in cargo pants and hooded sweatshirt, works his way through downtown, handing out discount food cards to the needy, offering help to a woman bundled up and sitting in Fountain Square amid tote bags stuffed with clothes.

He later heads west to a desolate place near the railroad tracks where a shopping cart is filled with cans and bottles and covered with ragged green carpet.

"Hey, Wolf!" Chasteen calls into the winter air.

A purple sleeping bag tucked in a cardboard box moves. A man with a dark beard emerges.

Wolf has been homeless for 10 years.

"Trying to do what other people do - it's a losing battle," he says, sipping a can of beer. "I sit and look at everybody out there and I go, 'Nah, I'm OK where I'm at.' "

Chasteen makes no judgments.

"I know that we may seem to be in separate worlds on the surface," he says, "but many of them share the same kinds of problems that affect me and everybody else."
Chasteen has been featured locally for his efforts with homeless and issues directly affecting the homeless, the panhandling ID Card: In CityBeat, the Enquirer, the Post, and the Newsrecord.

Queen City Forum Site Redesign

Great site renovation from the gang over at Queen City Forum Magazine.

Also note that Walk in Brain, Wes Flinn's blog, is the official blog of QCF, a good match.

Excuse for a Slowdown?

Harry Roberts, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, is advising his members to oppose the City's current contract proposal. A police slowdown (could we call it a brownout?) has been an on again off again element that the Cincinnati Police have been unofficially engaged in since not long after the April 2001 riots. Denials were always made, but their actions, or rather inactions, provided all of the evidence needed to illustrate a concerted effort to influence public opinion.

With this contract dispute, which seems to be an endless act of brinkmanship every year, will Roberts organize (by a wink and nod of course) yet another police slowdown to help twist the arm of city council? We are heading into campaign season, and crime will be a central issue for council, and especially the mayor's race. The PR minefield for the perceived anti-crime Democrats (Cranley and Pepper) who tend to get good conservative support might get tarnished if they are forced to battle the FOP and be seen as anti-police. That logically might make them more attractive to the liberals, but both crossed over the bridge of centrists and will have to pay a big toll to come back into the liberal camp.

The Cincinnati Post editorial page had similar concerns last month:
City officials, who have been trying to come up with a labor contract that avoids a confrontation with the police, filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the state over a published report that some officers are talking openly about launching a work slowdown if they don't like the deal. A slowdown would not be unprecedented, of course. After the 2001 riots some officers pretty much sat on their hands, particularly in Over-the-Rhine, which to this day remains the preferred shooting range for drug dealers.
Are we not talking about a form of extortion?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pancake Vegas

What ever happens in OTR, stays in OTR. In his post on Leslie Ghiz Nate Livingston brought up his flirtation with the Hamilton County GOP and his possible candidacy for Cincinnati City Council.
Leslie's entry into the race makes me want to run. Last Saturday I attended the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club's annual pancake breakfast out at the Sharonville Convention Center. What goes on at the pancake breakfast, stays at the pancake breakfast. But I can say it was quite interesting and I learned a lot through my conversations with some of Hamilton County's top Republicans, including Congressman Rob Portman, Sheriff Simon Leis, numerous judges, and other elected officials and Party workers.
I really wanted to avoid laughing out loud at this or even commenting on it, but I just could not let it go by. Does Nate really think that his former jailer would stand by and let him get endorsed as a Republican? No, Nate is not that foolish. I hope these conversations were at least civil, but I would bet money that any and all of the GOP officer holders who actually knew who Nate is, gritted their teeth and poured him a cup of coffee. They would have likely preferred to hurl a few four letter words at him, but they are also smart enough to not make a scene.

I wonder what really happened at the breakfast to make Nate tight lipped? Did he drip maple syrup on his tie or something?

Save Our City has comments as well.

Ghiz is Running

Much to my surprise, Leslie Ghiz has announced she is again running for City Council. She is still running as a Republican, even though she was slighted by Councilman and anti-homosexual bigot Sam Malone.

She is positioned fairly well to contend. She has gain significant support on the Eastside and will likely gain some liberal/moderate support. She had a significant amount of that last time, but this time she might get some of their money too. She should have either run as an independent or as a Charterite.

I really hope that she just gets thousands of more votes than Monzel and Malone. Monzel will be lucky to return in the 9th spot. He will need big money and big TV airtime.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bad Editors

Where in this article Pension-reform idea a tough sell does it say anything about pensions? It doesn't say a damn thing about pensions, it is talking about reforming Social Security. An ignorant or politically biased editor wrote that headline and totally messed up its meaning. I read the headline, and then saw Rep. Portman's picture and believed I was going to read an article about how Portman was going to introduce new legislation about reforming Pension and 401(k) Plans. He has done that in the past and I actually like several elements of the law, especially the improvement to the vesting schedule requirements the legislation placed on corporations.

No, this is about Portman shilling for Bush's phase out plan for Social Security. SS is not a pension plan. Now, if were in England, the term "pension" has different meanings and here in America professionals like myself use the term pension plan to refer to traditional defined benefit plans, not 401(K) or profit sharing defined contribution plans. We most certainly do not consider Social Security to be a pension plan.

I fear the editor at fault here is most likely ignorant about the interworkings of Social Security and Pensions and how the terminologies differ. Where a bias claim can have an appearance is that use of the term "pension" is one of Bush's phase out Plan points. He is trying to make people think Social Security is just like their 401(k) Plans, when it is not. No matter what you may think about Bush's plan, you must understand that he wants to transform Social Security into something vastly different than it is today. SSA is closer to a defined benefit plan in its structure; it is more of an annuity plan, than a pension plan. Those plans put little risk on the participant/beneficiary. Bush wants a defined contribution plan, where the participant/beneficiary bears all of the risk. When he does not say this up front, he is being dishonest, something akin to a snake oil salesman.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Sick and Tired

I am sick and tired. No, really, I am sick and tired. I have a cold and I am ready to sleep.

I failed to mention the death of Hunter S. Thompson, what I can point you to is the movie Where the Buffalo Roam a semi-biographical movie about Thompson. It stars Bill Murray who was born to play Hunter S. Thompson. Murray should reprise the role in any future bio-pic.

Make that Two From UC

Andrew Warner, a 3rd Year UC student, has announced his candidacy for Cincinnati City Council. Warner is a Green Pary member and has a website. He has little chance, but at least can pay his political dues.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

No More E-Check in Hamilton Co. ?

What are the odds of E-Check going bye-bye?

SCOTUS Hearing Eminent Domain Case

How will the Supreme Court rule on Eminent Domain, where it enacted for private development, not public projects? This likely has lawyers for those pending displacement in Norwood and in Clifton Heights. It may also impact the new Stewart Landing Plan.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Iraqi Voter Turnout

Well, I wonder how many people still believe the vote turnout in the Iraqi election was "overwhelming" or huge would be shocked to know that only 58% of registered voters came out to vote:
The election commission said 8.55 million votes were cast; about 14.66 million people were registered to take part in the election. The 58 percent turnout fell short of the 60 percent that officials had predicted soon after the vote.
I would guess those who think it was at 72% will just say that holding an election was the panacea to fix everything in Iraq, even though at the same time they said it was going to be a tough road ahead. You know, hedging your media spin is the only way one can survive in the world of Wurlitzer.

Best Seller Coming

I don't think Mike or Pat DeWine will enjoy the upcoming book release:
Due out in June: the book by Washingtonienne, the blogger who got fired from DeWine's staff for writing about her sexual exploits in Washington.

The book by Jessica Cutler - Washingtonienne's real name - is billed as a novel now, titled 'The Washingtonienne.' Amazon raves: 'Deliciously gossipy and impossible to put down, 'The Washingtonienne' is destined to be the book in everyone's summer beach bag.'
I have not checked, but the Wonkette was the place for the full scoop on Jessica Cutler, so she likely had this story awhile ago.

Enquirer Women of the Year

The Cincinnati Enquirer has named 10 Women of Year. A hat tip to this year's honorees, who will be fully profiled in the March 13th issue of the newspaper.

More Springer Bashing

A short quip bashing Jerry Springer and fueling speculation that he is running for Governor, which is sometimes a off again, on again venture in the press.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Pepper vs. Raussen

This morning on 'Newsmakers,' Dan Hurley hosted a hot and tense debate between Councilman, and Mayoral Candidate, David Pepper and State House Member James Raussen on the use of cameras at stoplights to issue traffic tickets by mail. The debate centered on whether or not House Bill 56 is valid and why it is being enacted. Both guys were going at it tooth and nail, more like a Crossfire episode, rather than a community affairs program.

The Bill bans the use of cameras as a means to enforce traffic laws. I am not one keen on traffic light cameras. Traffic laws are the "crimes" we should be putting resources into; instead we should be attacking violent crime. I don't know if I like big state government taking over cities either though. What happened to local control, Tom Brinkman?

East End Development Plan

This plan is huge. The question is will the plan become reality? The best part of the whole thing:
"We're not asking for any public financing," Stewart said.
The bad news is that some families will likely either have their leases terminated, or if they are owners, they might face the eminent domain issue. The only thing different about this area, compared to the Norwood ED mess, is that makes in the East End ED more likely and more palatable because the area is in a flood zone, and those who lived in the area back in 1997 were displaced because of flooding, and likely suffered significant damage. This might be a good chance from them to make a good profit on their property.

I am skeptical that this plan will go beyond the proposal stage. I also worry about traffic. That part of the city is jam packed with two roads, Eastern/Kellogg Ave and Columbia Parkway. The Delta Interchange would become a parking lot if more money, or better yet a rail station, is not put into improving the roads in the area. That would require public funds that are not anywhere to found right now.

SOC and the Nati have more.

Friday, February 18, 2005

One for All, and All for Themself

The GOP trio who are running for Ohio Governor, are beginning to quarrel just a bit. Things should get nasty as the campaign rolls on. Let he who draws first blood be granted a seat at the high alter of electioneering.

Fake Blogger Profiled in Enquirer

Shocking as it may be, but fake blogger, Cincinnati Harold, not be confused with the Cincinnati Phil, was profiled in today's Enquirer. In other news, Mars has been selected as the sight of the 2020 Olympic Games, Nick Vehr said to be upset Cincinnati lost out, again.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thanks For Nothin, Danny

Customs has seen the light and will release art items seized from an Austrian bound for Cincinnati's CAC. The items were meant for a performance piece to coincide with the opening of the exhibit. It opened last week. A little late there Customs flunkies.


I shouldn't have even guessed these guys would not have jumped on the blog banned wagon.

Nick Clooney Back at The Post

Former NKY Congressional candidate is back at his old post as columnist for The Cincinnati Post. I must admit I did not read his work before. I enjoyed his work on AMC, before AMC became a TBS clone, back when they showed classics, not just movies with low airing fee. I will try and catch his column more often. The revolving media-political door is common in Washington; it is less common here, unless you ignore Charlie Luken, Jerry Springer, and Curtis Fuller.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I-71 Shooter(s)?

A pickup truck was shot at while on I-71 early this morning, no one was injured. This freaks me out. I drive by this every day, and drove by this area 3 hours or so after it happened. I saw nothing out there, but I enter I-71 only a few hundred yards before the Stewart Exit, where the the SUV carrying the shooting suspects fled.

The critical element of this that the article mentions in passing is that the drivers may know each other or that the two cars had some kind of previous confrontation. In other words this may have been either a grudge or "Road Rage." I like to think it was the former, not the latter, but if the local TV news gets a hold it, nothing would matter.

UPDATE: WCPO reports a more detailed story saying this may have been a drug deal gone wrong. With all of the shootings and murders yesterday, this might just drop under the radar. I would have thought the folks in Madeira and Kenwood would be screaming their lungs off over this. They may still; the life of this story is still very young.

Welcome to a Police State

It is beyond the words the contempt I feel toward some idiots in the Customs Department for seizing art. How long have customs agents been seizing personal property and just add a note to the bag they pilfered? If these items were a threat, why did they not seize the person along with the information, or maybe at least interview him after they took it and tell him they took it?

I hope that happened, but based on the article, the artist did not know the items were gone until the day after they were taken.

Now, this situation is on top of the ludicrousness of finding these items, as the article quoted it, "in some way be harmful if imported into the U.S." Hell, anything could be harmful if imported. A pants suit from Italy could hang a man for goodness sake! Block all flights from Milan, or we area all going to die.

Nail clippers, anyone?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

MyDD :: Beijing or Cincy?

MyDD has a post up on the City Hall blogspot ban, and this blogger actually got a response to an email from Council member David Crowley:
Yes this is true. This was not something being done at the request of Council. These are decisions being made by our IT folks. I do my best to request access to the sites that I know of and usually access is granted.

David Crowley
Have any council members requested to be able to view my blog? If any of them are reading, chime in.

[Via Dave at RFN]

Question for Bronson

In research for his column today did he file a FOIA request?

Something Missing

There is something missing in this article about Private clubs, like the Banker's Club, trying to attract younger members. The thing missing when it refers to the "young crowd" is that they mean the "young rich crowd." It costs $200 to join the club and $52 per month for one of the clubs. That is hardly a wide market. It is good that these groups are seeking out diversity, based on race, but they are still based on exclusivity. It they fear they are losing money because of a dying upper class, then I have no sympathy for their plight.

I say this as a person who grew up going to a place called the "Town Club" in my small city back in New York. It was a nice place to eat, but it really was snooty for snooty's sake.

Taking Sides

With the Mayor's race heating up, things are likely to get prickly soon. With Mallory and Pepper officially declared, and Reece and maybe even Smitherman on the way soon, Democrats campaigners will have to choose sides.

What happens if things get ugly? Can the local Democrats survive the family feud if things go negative? Last election things got dirty with fake posters and dancing councilmen. This time around with more money then ever before and people with lots of loathing, things are bound to boil over into the nasty.

What happens after either the September Primary or after the election? Will Democrats unite? Will they work forward in 2006 to fill statewide offices? The Coalition that is the Democratic Party has traditionally be a glass jawed affiliation that shatters after the first spilled drink. Local races can get personal, but does everyone understand that you really have to live with your competitors tomorrow?

Here is where the GOP can play games. Like the Lynch-Linder Poster caper, someone could use that type of stunt as a means to play two or more sides off each other and appear clear of linkage. Many rumors flew around as to who made those posters. Most pointed toward a foe of Lynch inside the black community. That may have been true, but likely it was from inside the Democratic Party. The post had enough of an effect to keep Damon Lynch off council. In a strong field of candidates for mayor with either money or a platform, things might get ugly and people will get their feelings hurt. These stunts likely can’t swing a wide race, but with 3 to 5 viable candidates, the polls could be all over the place right up to primary day.

With a plugged in blog scene here in town and everyone, including me, looking to drop a bomb on the race, dropping a dime to a favorable blogger could push this campaign like no other in Cincinnati history.

UC Student Looking to run for Council

Robert Wilson, a third year UC student is running for Cincinnati City Council. He has the website up, and has already raised $1,000 towards the effort and is looking to raise $10,000. He will need every penny he can get. He faces a mammoth mountain to win. He is a suburban transplant and lives downtown, so that shows a level of commitment to the city. His youth is a killer for him. Nick Spencer was hurt by that last time, and this kid, and at 21 I hope he does not take offence at that label, will face more negatives because of his age. On the other hand he is young enough for that fact to actually gain a little press attention for just that reason. If I were in his shoes I would play up being young, and look to exploit it. It can't hurt pointing out the obvious, especially when everyone else does. Pull a Regan and beat the press to the punch on the age issue, just do it with a joke and honesty that he lacks experience. He can point out that the most people on council are not older than he is, just don’t piss off Crowley or Tarbell.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Romantic Music

Lists and lists are what everyone loves, so on Valentine's Day why not the 28 most romantic musical compositions. Well, that are at least my favorites, maybe not the most romantic. If nothing else, this gives us single folks something to do today.

1: Moonlight Serenade - Glenn Miller
2: Stardust - Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey
3: All I Want Is You - U2
4: Begin the Beguine - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
5: And I Love Her - The Beatles
6: At Last - Glenn Miller
7: In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
8: And the Angels Sing - Glenn Miller
9: Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
10: I Want You (She's So Heavy) - The Beatles
11: Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
12: Something - The Beatles
13: Just Like Heaven - The Cure
14: With or Without You - U2
15: An American in Paris - George Gershwin
16: Rhapsody in Blue - George Gershwin
17: I've Got the World on a String - Frank Sinatra
18: One - U2
19: Wink and a Smile - Harry Connick Jr.
20: The Lady Is a Tramp - Frank Sinatra
21: Alison - Elvis Costello
22: Blackbird - Beatles
23: Lovesong - The Cure
24: Cry Baby Cry - Beatles
25: Bad - U2
26: Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
27: Lullaby - The Cure
28: Where the Streets Have No Name - U2

What would you add or subtract? I don't include much current music, because well, I do listen to all that much new music. If there is something new that can top anything on this list, I have yet to hear it.

NPR offers something different from last year.

KY and a KY Teacher Violate 1st Amendment

Here is an open violation of the 1st Amendment and and of SCOTUS rulings. The article is written in a very clever way with what I believe is a pro-creationist leaning. That may not be the views of the reporter, but it is written in a way to give more than a positive light on those trying to put religion into schools. The article even goes to the kids to present a "see, no one was harmed" tone to the story. This teacher is teaching religion in public schools. This also sounds like it is staged for the benefit of the reporter. The most objectionable portion of the article is where it puts the nut case Ken Ham on par with a local college professor. Ken Ham is to science, as Snake handlers are to Mainstream Christianity. Giving him a platform is giving him standing he does not deserve. He is a nut case, and is bank rolled by many fools, including a would be local politician.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

More on the City Hall Ban

An outlet called The Blog Herald has picked up the story from the Enquirer on the blogspot ban at City Hall.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Small World - Big City

I have heard over and over again how this town is small and everyone knows everyone, and you go the same places and see the same people. Now, I have experienced this myself and most it can be explained because I go to the same places over and over again. For me its the Comet, Northside Tavern, Crowley's, Milton's, and Panera.

Today though I got the chance to say hello and very briefly meet a blog reader and journalist Kelly Hudson ofCiN Weekly. I happened to be at, you guessed it, Panera Bread for the second time in two days. At least I do go to different locations of the restaurant and I should buy stock in the place for the all of the money I spend there, as the cliché goes. They have the free wifi and good food, so I have no guilt at my obsession with it.

What do people do when you see people you “know of” around town? Those are often people of note around town, sometimes called “local celebrities” sometimes chided as the elite, or the influential. I have been around town and seen other journalists, TV news anchors, sports stars, business leaders, politicians, and the occasional actually famous person and most of the time just think, hmm, cool, and then go on about drinking my coffee or beer.

Do we live in town where everyone does know everyone and ”local celebrities" who may not be the talk at the water cooler, but at least whose names are known, do not get noticed by people?

I grew up in a small city of about 35,000 people or so. There I knew or knew of every kid in town within about 3 years of my age. I still would go around town and not know people. It was almost assured that anyone I met would know someone who knew someone, etc.

Hear in Cincinnati those who have grown up here I believe think or say the same thing. As someone who has only been here just over 10 years, I can't say that. That in part may be my own fault because of my lack of the sociability gene. On the other hand most of it has to do with the simple fact, the Cincinnati Metro Area has nearly 2 million people. That is a big city. What may be our problem, partly caused by geography party by cultural choices, is that we live in a city with big divides. Suburban vs. urban, Eastside vs. Westside, Black vs. White, Liberal vs. Conservative. Bridging those divides are our challenge and the climate in the city and the country is one that favors or even promotes building moats, fences, and cultural barriers.

Banned in BostonCity Hall

This blog has been banned at City Hall. Well, not exactly banned because it is me, although I am sure the anti-homosexual councilman Sam Malone might think otherwise, but all blogspot blogs are being filtered out of the City's computer system.

The computers used by elected officials should not be filtered on any level, unless the city adopts a law filtering all forms of communication into City Hall, including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, mail, and the telephone. For that matter they should create a sound dampening system to keep out people yelling from the street.

Why wouldn't city officials want to know what citizens are saying about local issues and local politicians? On this site and others we do just that. Now, do we also discuss national issues, sure, so does WLW and WDBZ. Are those radio stations being jammed inside the building?

Greg brought up one issue in the article that smells of censorship:
The city manager's office determines which categories of Web sites are "off limits" to city employees. Those categories include pornography, bandwidth-hogging streaming video or audio, gambling sites, alternative media, hobby sites and any site dubbed "tasteless" by the software.
Two points, who determines what is tasteless, the City Manager or the software company running the filter? Second, who the hell is deciding what is "Alternative media," and way would you ever ban it? Does that include sites like the Village Voice or IndyMedia? Locally could it mean my blog and the Independent Eye?

I also don't like it when Nate and I are on the same side of this issue. That alone gives me the creeps, not just censorship.

Nick Spencer comments, and believes his site is not banned.

UPDATE #2 (2:20PM):
The AP has the story, but so far all I have found is a Toledo TV station's short take story. It does mention "two blogs specific to Cincinnati news and issues." I would not mind a more specific mention of the blogs so the readers can judge for themselves if blogs like mine should be considered something beyond just a "message board" as we are considered now by the city's filtering software.

Friday, February 11, 2005

CityBeat: Best of Cincinnati

It is the time of year again for CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati. Make sure you vote and vote often. There is a best blog category, so, don't make me beg. Be it know that I will beg for votes. Shame is something you forego when you start blogging, at least when you start blogging in Cincinnati.

Vagina Monologues – Cincinnati

This Sunday is V-Day at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Enjoy a wonderful show featuring Former Mayor Roxanne Qualls, Stephanie Dunlap, and Regina Carswell.

Hartmann In Race for Secretary of State

Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, Greg Hartmann (R), has tossed his hat into the fire pit and has chosen to run for Ohio Secretary of State. He will not leave office while running for the primary, which is a shame ethically, but not strategically. That of course means he can bail out if someone else gets in the race. It also means that the People of Hamilton County do not have to have yet another person appointed to an elected office, at least for now. I have heard no other names being tossed around in public for either the GOP or Dems to run for Secretary of State. Locally people might throw out the names of Reece and Luken. I think Reece will run statewide for something, but Charlie is the wildcard. He is often perceived as damaged goods. He has the conservative Democrat rep to actually be a contender, if he had the desire and the willingness to build a strong team to run things on the ground. The Democrats in Ohio seem to me to not have the party loyalty, which I can fully understand as a registered Independent, need to when it comes to the organization working on the ground, which hurts come election time.

If the Ohio group that worked for Kerry last year, worked for a Coleman or even a Springer for Governor, then against Blackwell, Petro, or Montgomery, they would have at worst an even money chance of winning.

Sara Lee Out, This Hurts

Any loss of jobs hurts, but this type of consolidation is often unavoidable.

Hamilton County Decentralization?

What does a $70/hr consultant know about Hamilton County? The Republican county commissioners appear to believe he knows something. I don't know how. You know all governments and communities are alike, so we can just take a cookie cutter, apply the shape this man is selling and shut up and like it.

Si Leis is pissed about hiring this guy, a source indicates. Si appears to be pissed generally because his budget faces cuts, which is a common reaction, but when he talked with the commissioners recently it illustrated friction, not unity with his fellow Republicans. Now, who would not have friction with Si Leis? Other than ignorant voters of course.

What makes me nervous are the goals of Phil and Pat, illustrated by this from the article:
The contract with Roberts is written broadly enough to give him a consulting voice in reforming virtually all aspects of county government under the control of the county commissioners, including "a redistribution of responsibilities" with the city of Cincinnati.
Is this a plan to just dump down the government functions, or all those it can, from the county to the municipalities? Or in the case of Hamilton County, a way for the burbs to dump on the City?

The toxic twins of the Cincinnati GOP are already threatening to cut the funding of SORTA, will they just pull out and force the city to cover it all? There have been plans floated recently for the city and county to swap service responsibilities, but what services and who stands to gain? I can only see the Blue Ashs, Maderias, and even Norwoods looking to keep county services on things they can benefit from, not others outside their areas.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Open Thread

Running Late, Go Nuts, with a little class if you please.

Typical Bronson Yet Again

Question to Peter Bronson: What are your thoughts on how Bob Huggins was treated by the cops and how managed to keep his job coaching young adults?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Dildo Cover Takes Balls

A big hat's off to CityBeat for their cover this week. The cover story is a Valentine's Day themed montage of articles on various love related topics.

What takes balls is CityBeat going to the edge with cover art that slides in a Dildo on the end of the machine gun. It is subtle enough for the non-reader to catch while shopping at Biggs or other locations that fear the right-wing prudes (CCV) who have worked to ban CityBeat from as many places as possible.

Sam I Am

In what appears to be a text rendering of acceptance speech from Chris Monzel we lean that the newly appointed councilmember plans on working with Sam. That Sam is Councilmember Sam Malone. We are told that Monzel will work with Sam, work with Sam, and work with Sam some more. We don't read how he will work with anyone else, you know, like the other 7 members of council and the mayor. Without working with at least a few others they will not get anything done.

Why didn't this gain attention:
And during this past year, I have been asked many times by people: "When are you moving?" and "now you don' have to live in the city any more." And honestly my wife and I did think about moving out to the suburbs.
So who is asking Chris when he is moving and why? Also, WHY WOULD YOU APPOINT A PERSON TO COUNCIL WHO CONSIDERED MOVING TO THE SUBURBS? If he can't commit to living the in city no matter if he is on council or not, then he does not belong on city council.

This reads like something Steve at BlueChip Review wrote as satire. The problem is that it appears real. Steve should have made a better reference that it was a speech, not a column written specially for his publication.

Blackwell vs. Petro

Are we seeing the first blow in what I hope becomes a bloody Republican primary for Ohio's Governor?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Conforming Bronson

I see Peter lacks in originality. That might be a shocker somewhere in in China, but not to those who subject ourselves to his columns. Today he attacks both Miami University and a radical professor from Colorado which is the hottest talk-radio/O'Reilly crusade of the week. I also wonder if Steve Szaronos, the student quoted, is affiliated with the Miami Young Republicans club. It seems that Peter has a special email address just for Conservative activists at Miami. Will Peter write a column against any university who pays Ann Coulter? Coulter once joked about blowing up the NY Times building, wanted to use the US Army to convert Muslims to Christianity by force, and calls all liberals traitors. I guess dissent only counts if you are skinny conservative blonde walking pile of dung.

KKK Alive in Kentucky

In Shepherdsville, Kentucky an over zealous mother went on a crusade to protest a couple of Muslim students wearing a hijab, in technical violation of the dress code. Her child then had to wear a T-Shirt that said "FBI - Firm Believer In Christ" on it. She went to the extreme of protesting outside the school, and her protest attracted other adults dressed in White Robes wielding Confederate Flags. She denied this has racial overtones. The article made no mention of whether she denied that this had to do with her being anti-Muslim or not.

Dragging Feet?

Are Lloyd Memorial High School dragging their feet in allowing a Gay-straight club on campus? Based on the article they obviously are trying to not have to establish one. If they have any other activist groups, or more importantly, if they have any religious based groups, then they have no choice but to allow the club. If not, you can guess that bigotry is preventing it from happening. Now, honestly, I would not want to be an openly homosexual teenager living in Erlanger, Kentucky. The anti-homosexual blind hate that seethes from far too many brain washed kids is one of the worst forms of torment know to American Schools. Things may have changed some other the last few years, but has it changed in Erlanger? At least we did not have to hear the local preacher threatening the protest the school meeting. Imagine if this was in Adams County, Ohio.

More Opinion on Springer

Tom Feran, Plain Dealer Columnist, dishes up a topic filled with Jerry Springer. Has Jerry reinvented himself? I don't know. Tom couldn't help but dig up a slam on Cincinnati in the midst of his comments:
In a field dominated by conservative talkers, in a city that's been called the place where the Old South meets Germany, he's the local headliner on a station billed as a "revolution in talk radio" because it leans left.
Ouch, that smarts. Tom is right about one thing: he points out that so far Springer has not flopped. Is he setting records? I doubt it. Is he making money for Clear Channel? I think he is surely making more than oldies music.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Academic 'Freedom'

Four GOP Ohio Legislators having been reading right wing blogs and talk radio a lot and want to keep teachers in university from introducing "controversial matter and coursework that has no relation to the class’s subject of study."

Several obvious problems, this goes against local control of education, a GOP issue. This also brings up a culture police by requiring someone to define what "controversial matter" entails. It also brings up the horrid concept of watching professors in an FBI informant frame of mind. This is asking people to become McCarthyites, dropping a dime on a commie being rewarded with a gold star.

What I wonder most is that are these four legislators going to apply this to all public schools? If so, they might start with anyone trying to push creationism or its watered down version Intelligent Design on public school science classes. These two topics are without question controversial matters and neither have any relation to any science class's subject of study. I therefore suggest they start cleaning out their house, before worrying about a professor talking about ideas.

Trickle Down, Part II

Taking a page from the Bush Administration, Governor Bob Taft is set to propose a massive cut in the personal income tax and corporate taxes as well as an increase on sin taxes and a revenue tax on all areas of businesses in the state. Details are limited, but the Enquirer article does outline the basics: Cut personal income taxes:
Cut individual income tax rates across the board. The primary goal would be to reduce the top rate from 7.5 percent to 6 percent or less.
This is from Saturday’s business section, so I don't know if that is glee or not with the mention of the primary goal being the cutting taxes for the richest Ohioans.

Lawmakers are now scrambling over Taft's latest folly. How will they balance the budget? Where is the money going to come from? Once again a lawmaker, most of often a Republican, is deciding the price before he is sure what he is selling. Figure out what you want to spend it on and how much that will cost, then figure out how you will raise that revenue to get that level of funds. Instead, Taft will toil about cutting this, streamlining that, but will not tell anyone how this will help fund education or provide medical services to the poor. He will not show us how he will generate jobs, other than allow corporations to make more money and then take their service centers to India, Manufacturing centers to China, and pass every cost increase on to the customer and employee, giving the shareholder every once of immediate profit, caring not for the long term gain of all.

Yep, same old trickle down. Give to the rich and pray they will pass it along. Faith based economic was the type of drivel I expect from Bushco, not a reasonable Republican like Bob Taft.

Controversy Lingers

If those honoring troops up in Warren County want to avoid controversy:
'We didn't want this to be anything controversial,' said Regina Herbolt, Robby's mother.

'Whether we should be there or not, human lives were lost.'

After the crosses were cleared, Hesler addressed the scouts in front of what used to be the memorial - now a bare field, muddy and sunken with holes.

'I hope you guys remember the people who helped keep you free, OK?' he said. 'Don't forget them, all right?'
Why did they decided to remove them once the Iraqi "election" past? Why not at leave them up to next Memorial Day? I guess the Cub Scouts unit, Pack 452, are learning to be good little Republicans by adhering to GOP propaganda.

I know what you are thinking, the parents are too subtle to know the symbolism of what they are doing, and I say, no, they knowing chose to remove them after the Iraqi "elections" thinking that someone ended everything. They can now wash their hands and move on, just don't forget them, all right?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

More Springer Speculation

William Hershey of the DDN is still pushing the Jerry for Governor meme. Unless Springer quits his TV show, he just can't be elected and with other candidates getting in the race, he will loose his name recognition advantage. He is best suited as Ohio Dem party Chair, and radio talk show host.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Good Old Nate

Here is the Nate that people know. His screed against Greg Korte, the Enquirer CITY HALL beat reporter, is classic racism from Nate:
And look how the press, especially the Enquirer's Greg Korte, treats proposals introduced by African Americans. Yesterday State Senator Mark Mallory introduced a proposal to abolish the elected Cincinnati Public School Board and replace it with one appointed by the Mayor. (I'll share my views on this in a separate blog entry.) Now, Luken and Council Member David Pepper hadn't seen the proposal but Korte called them for a comment. Of course, they both dismissed Mallory's initiative.

Why did Korte quote these two white guys? Two reasons. First, because they were white. Christopher Smitherman, Charles Winburn and Alicia Reece have all expressed interest in running for mayor. Why isn't their opinion on Mallory's education proposal important? Second, Korte always runs to a white politican[sic] who has something negative to say about a Black politician. You don't think so? Why didn't he ask State Representative Tom Brinkman for his view? Could it be that Brinkman (whose opinion counts because he has a vote on the issue) might actually agree with Mallory and you wouldn't want to see that now would you? If the issue is race or police they can find the Black candidates but they aren't interested in their views on education or finance. That's just wrong. (Before anyone gives me that crap about Pepper and Mallory being the only "official" candidates, keep this in mind -- Mallory has been an "official" candidate for months but Korte constantly seeks out Pepper and quotes him in the paper (always reminding readers that he is running).)
If Nate wants to call Korte a racist, he should just come and say it. It would be an outright lie, but hemming and hawing about something like that makes one look like they are forcing it. If you are going to play the race card, don't you at least try and look like you are not playing the race card? Also, did Nate not consider the possibility that Korte called all three people mentioned, but they didn't return his calls? Also, why doesn't Korte ask Brinkman for a comment? Simple, Korte is not on the STATEHOUSE beat. Also, shouldn't Korte have quoted Brinkman? I mean Tom is as "white" as they come around here. He is the "white man's" "White Man."

Nate might, just might want to consider that Korte gets quotes from Pepper because either Pepper has the money to pay a good PR guy or David just really has a lot of time to spend responding to reporters. The other three also have had dirty laundry raised about them by the press and likely are a bit more hesitant to talk to the press with anything not scripted grandstanding.

I think Nate was really pissed because, well, Greg didn't call him for a comment. Last I knew Greg didn't work for the AP, and therefore doesn't have Nate's number on speed-dial.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Phil Burress's Work

So Phil's folly not only oppresses homosexuals, it helps endanger women. Thanks to Phil and all of the folks at the CCV for giving degenerate men another legal defense after beating their girlfriends.

Reece Rumors

The word on the street is that she is running for Mayor and will announce it soon. For the life of me I don't know why she is running for Mayor. Is it the likelihood that she would not be picked as Vice Mayor no matter who wins the race and does not want to suffer that humiliation?

She (and her father) has her eye on something for 2006, but what good would a loss do for her this year, other than character building?

Some say say she could win? Mallory has more money, more experience, and far fewer enemies and will carry the bulk of the black vote. If anything, she makes it likelier Pepper wins.

Mallory's Education Plan

It is not just a Plan, but a rather a hostile takeover. I don't have the detail yet, but I can tell it will be a hot issue. Pepper will likely attack it, once he figures out what Mallory is actually proposing, in detail.

I wonder how the GOP will react. They gave on the CPS long ago, so I would guess they might not really care. They have the suburban and private schools, so the CPS can wither on the vine in their minds.

UPDATE: More from the Post.

For Those Who Love Dear Leader

I guess you can't stand anyone dare speak against him so I shall just give you want you want in a lyrical chant:

Praise to the Lord, Our Savior
Lead on to the promised land, see us through
Praise to the Lord, Our Savior, Our Deal Leader
Jebus ain't that bad too

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Owensby Melee

It is no surprise to me that Deters will not retry Jorg in the Roger Owensby case. The same day the father and brother of Owensby got in to a shouting match in the courtroom of Patrick Caton, who was involved in a hearing about being reinstated to the CPD after being fired for his involvement in the Owensby case.

The ‘shouting match’ sounds like it was a stunt to gain media attention when you read this portion of the article from the Post:
"We were the ones calling (Caton) a punk -- murderer because that is what he is," said Victoria Straughn, one of those with Owensby.
Straughn heads "The Coalition of Concerned Citizens For Justice" which is one of the various Boycott A groups.

State of the Union

I did not watch it and I have not read it either. I have only heard the highlights on the news and some of the after speech spin. I normally watch it no matter what, but last night I turn off the TV and listened to music for an hour. I did not feel like shouting at the TV screen. Based on what I have heard so far Bush was Bush. What I have heard leads me to believe that on Social Security he has promised to pull a rabbit out of his ass. He has not said how, and has not promised the rabbit will be living when he does. That sums things up about his plan to phase out Social Security. I will post more on SSA, the lies Bush told about it, and the impending propaganda blitz in the coming weeks.

The politicizing of Iraq was complete. Last night is all about politics and spinning the Presidential Legacy. He claimed credit in both image and most clearly in tone. That was not a shock. It is his MO. Say you did something with symbolism, and trust that a lazy media and ignorant public will not bother checking or caring if you live up to what you said.

State of the City

Mayor Luken gave his annual speech to council yesterday. The text of his speech is here. The interesting point is that this is Luken's tenth such speech and he started the tradition back in 1987.

How is the city? The critics will say we are dying. I say we have potential. What we do have are a large number of apathetic citizens and two rings of suburbs who hate the city, except for the sports stadiums and the big city image they feed off of.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Feed Issues

I got an email saying I have problem with my Atom Feed. I think I have updated it, please let me know if it is working. Once it does I will be deleting this post.

More Money and Is Ghiz Not Out?

More on the Mayor/Council money from Korte. He has more on Mallory's PSA effort.

Also Ghiz has a few bucks left over, so Korte suggests we not count her out as a candidate. I don't know. I think she might be sick of it.

A new name has been mentioned as a candidate: Chris Bortz, who be a Charterite if he choose to run. Bortz is the nephew of former Mayor/Councilman Arn Bortz, a long time Charter Committee member.

Nick Spencer is also mentioned and I must admit I don't understand what he is saying about Nick's campaign finance issue. I guess it might be good news, but he makes it sound like he's avoiding trial by getting treatment for a bad memory or something.

Hartmann For Secretary of State?

The Enquirer is reporting the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann (R) plans a run for Ohio Secretary of State. He was sure nice to get elected last year to a four year term and turn around a few months later and possibly start running for another office. I hope he resigns if he gets the nomination. Who will fill his seat if he gets in?

Also, interesting fact, he has only lived in Ohio for 7 years. I did not know Republicans actually vote for outsiders. Is he from maybe Northern Kentucky or some place that is almost Cincinnati?

State SC Justice Arrested for DUI

Democratic Justice Alice Robie Resnick has been arrested on charges of DUI. If you do the crime, face the time. This is stupid, stupid, stupid. Why would a 65 year old Judge try and drive home drunk? Why would anyone let her? Call a freakin cab!

I understand that she is one of the few left of the court with an ounce of fairness for the consumer, but doing this does nothing but tarnish her career. It sounds like her career will not be affected much. That is good for her, but is it good when a Justice make such a stupid mistake? What will be sad is how she will be pounced on by her foes. Yesterday as a fluke I had on 700 WLW during part of my drive to lunch and heard Bill Cunningham mentioned it. He managed to sound almost fair in the minute I listened to it, and then it went into news, so I don't know how he hammered her after the break. She has been a big target of Business leaders in the past. She will have a big problem if she seeks re-election.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Big Money

Raising money in the race for Mayor is not going to be a problem for Pepper or Mallory, who have raised $251,870 and $111,138 respectively. Once the GOP fields their candidate and start pushing in money, this should be the most expensive Mayoral race in Cincinnati history.

Expo Store In Oakley On Hold

The Expo Store, a Home Depot division, slated to be built in Oakley looks like it will not be built at all. Home Depot is stating they are evaluating the Expo store line and will not go forward with any new locations during that evaluation period. I think that means in real terms, they can't afford to build any stores right now or it means that the Expo locations are failing a business model and either will be scrapped or retooled. The land for the store is cleared. I hope Home Depot does not hold it hostage. The new retail center going up the Oakley area needs a full allotment of big box retail as a support ring to make the shopping experience work. That is what I think makes the Easton Town Center in Columbus work well, better than Newport on the Levee.

Mark Mallory PSA?

What is with the Mark Mallory Public Service Announcements on TV? These are not something sponsored by any government agency, they appear to be paid for by Senator Mallory himself. These are not labeled as campaign commercials, but in all practical purposes they are. They talk about snow storm damages and people who may qualify for state assistance. This is a shrewd move. He might even have been able to use official state funds for this, since the purpose was basically communications with constituents. He gets his face on the air and in the minds of possible voters.

It might be wise for him to report how these commercials were paid for. They are called a PSA, so could they be virtually free from Time Warner? Only production costs? They are running quite often to be an actual PSA. I think I have seen it about 10 times over the last few days, on various cable channels.

DDN: Coleman to Run for Governor

The Dayton Daily News is reporting that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman will will seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio. He is reportedly set to announce later on today.

UPDATE: More from the Enquirer.