Sunday, December 31, 2006

Most Important News Stories of the Year

Here we go, my pick of the most important news stories in the Cincinnati Region for 2006. In reverse order:

10. Smoking Ban Passes - No major reports yet on loss of business by bar owners.
9. Entertainment zone moves south to Downtown - Main Street Entertainment District shrivels
8. City of Cincinnati Budget Fiasco - details on cuts still not clear - arts funding impact unknown
7. CCV fails to get Anti-gay issue on ballot - signature effort faced charges of fraud
6. Music Scene in City continues vibrancy with return of WOXY, rise of local music acts on the national stage (Heartless Bastards and half of Racuntours), and the great lineups at the music festivals (however the attendance levels were not stellar).
5. Schmidt and Chabot hold off Wulsin and Cranley
4. Newport Riverfront Development
3. Rebirth of Fountain Square - Ice Rink and Holiday events draw great crowds
2. Dems Gain Statewide Ohio Offices
1. Pepper defeats Heimlich and Dems take control of County Commission

Here are the Enquirer's Top Stories for Ohio and NKY. The bias of Enquirer is most evident in their play up of Butler County and their backhanded praise of Fountain Square.

Most Over reported Stories of the Year:
  • Murder rate in Cincinnati
  • Bengals Arrests
  • Marcus Fiesel tragedy - Yes, it was horrible, but making the case a spectacle is also horrible.
  • Every closing of a restaurant in the City.
  • Enquirer's obsession with reality TV - Jerry Springer is just not that interesting.
Most Under Reported Stories of the Year
  • The opening of New restaurants in the City.
  • Local politics, especially on local television news.
  • Power struggle for WAIF
  • Commercial Radio changes - Station swapping - Clear channel layoffs just before announcing huge station sell-off.
  • Level of bigotry/racism behind illegal immigration crackdown
  • Level of irrational fear of the City of Cincinnati (not just Downtown) by outside the I-275 loop suburban residents.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Joe's Booster Club

If Joe Wessels has a booster club, then Nate Livingston is likely a member. Nate raises a good point about the Enquirer's website. With the Post on a collision course with oblivion next year, I wonder how much the Enquirer would expend for equitable treatment of all reporters.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bronson is Not So Bad Today

I can't find much fault with Peter Bronson's column today. The City Council's recent budget process was more like a Budget Showdown between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.

On a side note: It's ironic how I bring in a reference to Bill Clinton when comment on a Bronson column where he Did NOT reference Bill Clinton.

Another side note: Why isn't Peter Bronson writing about Butler County's inability to balance their budget? He lives there, doesn't he?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Ok, it's now past X-Mas, but I can't help but point out this CityBeat column laced with a crypto-racist title.

The column rips into the concept of Santa and gifts and the obsession with them as being a problem with America. Ok. I can see some merit to that. Celebrating greed is bad. Having fun is not, so the fat guy in the suit, the stockings, the cool presents are not wrong. As one who doesn't celebrate the religious accepts of Christmas, I don't care about Virgin birth or Gold, Frankincense, and Mir, but I see no problem with revelry, and part of that is a little extravagance.

Question: what does race have to do with this?

About Freakin' Time

The Enquirer Editorial Page in its subtle manner actually is trying to dispel some of the myth the newspaper as a whole has helped to create.
They act like we all have to walk around with bazookas," he said. "It's all perception. I just wish the community would grow up and move forward."
With this being the holiday, Editorial Board member Byron McCauley is giving his personal take. I thank him for it, but that means that I don't expect this type of tone to be part of a New Year's Resolution for the rest of the Enquirer to stop creating a false perception of the City and Downtown.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Banned at the Airport

Today is a travel day and I am waiting in the Sarasota Airport for my Noon flight back to Cincinnati. It is great that the airport offers free Wifi, which is allowing me to post. What I don't get is that I can't read my own blog, because it and it appears all Blogspot blogs are blocked. I can get to blogger, but not Blogspot, very strange. I can get to most other news sites, including Wordpress blogs, like CityBeat's Blog, but I guess Blogspot has too many spammers? That seems a bit draconian. Since it is free, I won't complain outside of this post.

Keep the snow away, at least for today!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Fighting 'Food Insecurity' in Cincinnati

NPR had a story yesterday on food banks and used Cincinnati as an example.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cranley to Columbus?

This tid bit from the Enquirer's Blog is a few days old, but it opens a question, could Cranley be appointed to office in Columbus? Mum is the word for now, will we hear something after the Holiday?

Pepper People, Parks, and some Bonuses

Joe Wessels' first column is in print and he holds nothing back with the back story on the details of who County Commissioner-Elect David Pepper has hired for his staff. Bridget Doherty and Travis Hines will hopefully not be attacked by the anti-Pepper trolls out there. I say that with full knowledge that all the hope in the world will not keep the trolls from making fun of others. Deep down, most of the trolls who attack are doing so because they are jealous and very petty people. When you lose elections, the pettiness tends to come to the surface.

Monzel appears to be continuing his crusade against the 'homeless' by targeting Washington Park cosmetics. The way to clean up Washington Park is by moving the Drop In Center to a location like Queensgate. The bums need help, but the are not helped by being an unwitting roadblock to progress in OTR. What you do with the sidewalks may improve the look of the park, but it will not keep the bums away.

Finally, this is interesting:
Mayor Mark Mallory said a recent Post story outlining bonuses for City Council aides upset him - because he was left out. Mallory had not given bonuses, but thought his staff deserves extra cash, too. So he gave it to them. Carla Walker, Jason Barron, Shawn Butler, Tiffany McCarter and Ryan Adcock: Happy Holidays! You get an extra $1,691.08. You can thank me later.
What I find interesting is that the Mayor can be influenced that much by the media. I am sure his staff wish they had that kind of influence on their income more often.

As a side note: Ryan Adcock, a Mallory Staffer, is also a great singer/songwriter. Check out some of his stuff.

More Positive Downtown Discussion

Again, I wasn't the only one to dislike the Enquirer's negative comparisons of Cincy to Indy, Kelly Leon spoke her views in a guest column.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The 'Fiscal Five' ?

From the Enquirer's Politics Blog we get what is stated to be a press release(doc) from Council member Leslie Ghiz. As part of the letterhead it has a heading called "The Fiscal Five" which lists council members Berding-Bortz-Cole-Ghiz-Monzel. When did they start using this clique moniker? Is someone trying to muscle in on the Gang of 14?

Bride Blog - TMI?

I talk about myself on my blog once in a while, but I never would go to the extreme of CiN Weekly's Katie Kelley.

Friday, December 22, 2006

SupertalkFM Coughs Up Furball

Andy Furman has found a new home to rant and rave, it's 96.5. I am sure that management will encourage him to be even more outlandish than he was on WLW.

We Have a Budget

There wasn't much white smoke emanating from the top of city hall, but we have a budget.

The Question is, how was arts funding affected? Nothing is mentioned in the motion (pdf). I don't know what the Berding-Bortz-Cole-Ghiz-Monzel budget did to arts funding. Anyone know?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jets and Sharks

When you're a Jet.....

It appears that City Council has become just a wee bit divided. At this point this is beyond party, this is something else. When Cole and Ghiz are on the same side, it has to be unique.

If you are going to tonight's meeting, chime in with your perspective. We are almost upon an election year for council, so the pontification should be high.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Has Si Leis Gone Insane?

At least one county commissioner called Si Leis's request Crazy. I would suggest that Si Leis has gone insane and is seeking to overturn the vote of the people. That sounds like something a tyrant would try and do. Why is this nutcase reelected without opposition?

Cold Clear Channel Strikes Again

What a wonderful Christmas President for Craig Kopp: 'You're Fired'! Radio is a messed up industry beyond hope for equality, integrity, and quality. NPR/Public stations are the only things worth respecting as members of an honorable media community.

Anti-City GOP at Work

If you ask Russ Jackson, Republican Trustee of Anderson Township, the Freedom Center should not get any addtional state funding:
Anderson and Sycamore, two of the 37 townships in the region, recently passed resolutions calling on state legislators not to continue funding the center. Anderson Township Trustee Russ Jackson was among those challenging state funding for the Freedom Center.

"I did not feel it was appropriate that any additional taxpayer dollars go into the project," he said.

Jackson said he cares as a state taxpayer, noting that it should be up to city taxpayers to subsidize any remaining Freedom Center debt. And future state legislatures shouldn't be held responsible for past promises, Jackson said.
Why does Jackson and other Republicans hate the Freedom Center? Is it a race issue? Is it a hatred for the City? Is it both? Why is the Freedom Center being singled out? This is yet another shining example of suburban bias towards the city. For some it also shows a sense of racial bigotry. What drives these politians to be this obtrusive towards community development outside the 3 block radius around their house?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Council In Chaos or the Enquirer Trying to Make-Up News?

Ok, What went on today in council? The story leaves much out and ends without an update. Did the meeting resume? Is this a case of peacock council members getting puffy or is the Enquirer just trying to trump up conflict in a slow news week?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fear is Out as Gift

Now that we don't have a big election facing us, I am bewildered that we haven't been warned about traveling by air this holiday season or been warned about being a mall this year. We had an arrest in an alleged plot against a mall just a week ago.

I'll be getting on a plane this week and I want to have the full panic effect now, instead of an hour before I leave for CVG.

Hold on a second, I mentioned something about there not being an election before. You don't suppose that we are not hearing about these threats because the GOP has given up on it as a vote getting tactic? Is Fear out this Christmas season as a gift to voters?

Friday, December 15, 2006

More Ink for the Heartless Bastards

Another postive story about local Favorites, the Heartless Bastards.

Jolting Joe

A 'reliable' source reports that Joe Wessels of the Cincinnati Post will be starting a city politics column in the Post next week. Look for insider views on local politics and government.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Smoke Free Bars

For Bars, the Smoking Ban right now is a bit of a mess, but there are some establishments that are taking the step of going no smoking. Here is a list of bars that my information indicates have gone smokeless:

The Comet
Northside Tavern
The Stand

I am sure there are more out there, chime in. If anyone is still smoking at the bars above, chime in as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boobies, Boobies, Boobies!

Where was 'champion of freedom' Peter Bronson when Big Brother Si Leis raided local Porn shops? What makes freedom to smoke more important than the freedom to read and watch what you want?

Peter's Hypocrisy Juice is boiling over.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More Bias From the Enquirer

Hey, folks, don't feel good about the progress for Downtown, lets instead dwell on the negative. The shopping plaza at Skytop on Beechmont near Route 32 has never been full of retail since the structure opened over 6 years ago. Where is the news story on that? Where's the stories about Anderson township failing to attract retail?

The Enquirer is creating much of the negative perception of the City, and it's bias and failure to be honest is horrible.

Be a Man..Smither-man

Former councilman Chris Smitherman will not accept defeat in his bid to become President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP. If he is going to grandstand before he wins, what else can you expect if he were to win?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stating the Obvious

It should almost go without saying but Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt won re-election because of how the Congressional district lines were redrawn by the GOP to favor GOP candidates. This is how politics works. It shouldn't be how it works, but it does, and people are still too apathetic to care.

WAIF News?

Last we heard things were really ugly at the local community radio station. Can anyone chime in on where things stand now? Are the idiots still running the station into the ground? Is the FCC breaking down their neck's? Will we get the nuts out of the station leadership?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nominate Cincinnati News Stories of 2006

I will open up the floor for nominations for the biggest news stories in the Cincinnati area. These can include statewide stories, NKY, or Southeast Indiana stories. At the end of the year, I'll be posting my top ten stories. For me the stories will be a combination of the most popular stories and the most important stories. If I get the notion too, I may create a list of the most unimportant, yet much covered stories in Cincinnati.

If others want to include the most under covered story, chime in with that as well.

My Truth, Not Yours

I have to wonder how many people will take this seriously: `Truthiness' is named Word of the Year. I also wonder how many people still think Stephen Colbert is a conservative. There have to be a few hundred thousand gullible fools still out there.

Chamber Hops on Creative Class Band Wagon?

It has been said many times in the town that the Creative Class is one of the keys to reinvigorating the Urban Core of Cincinnati, but it appears now that the 'fast moving' Chamber of Commerce has finally caught on to the idea.

Chaz Has It Right

A great guest column from former Mayor Charlie Luken. Furthermore to quell the rumors, I did not ghost write this for Charlie.

A letter to the Enquirer today agrees:

Charlie Luken is right about Cincinnati and about Peter Bronson; the city has the opportunity to rebound and is taking it ("Don't bash city that has so much going for it," Dec. 7). Why do suburbanites like Bronson feel they can bash a city that is doing so much to improve itself and dealing with the problems left by those irresponsible enough to abandon the city for places like West Chester and Blue Ash? You may favor the blander life of the suburbs over continuing the legacy of a great city, but don't stand back and criticize. I'll take downtown over mundane strip malls and chain restaurants any day.

Ben Bedel Covedale

Friday, December 08, 2006

Smoking Still Has Baby Teeth

The State Agreed at the last minute not to enforce the smoking ban until rules are established. That will hopefully happen quickly. This does not give smoker's the freedom to smoke as they please. This does give business owners to do as they please without the state sanctioning them. Businesses would do more in the long run to comply with the law now. Let the diehards at neighborhood dives keep smoking, but large bars should just get used to it.

Smitherman Loses, Again

Former Councilman Chris Smitherman lost his bid for President of the Cincy Chapter of the NAACP.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Freddies Christmas

Murder Rate - 90% Drug Related

Too many People have an insane fear of the city. Some fear Downtown or the "ghetto" which they can't differentiate. What people need to understand is what the County coroner is saying:
However, in the majority of the city's homicides, authorities say the suspect and victim knew each other.

The Hamilton County coroner says 90% of the cases were drug-related.

"It's just not one factor," said Dr. O'dell Owens. "Its the guns, the [lack of] education and the drugs and the family unit. A lot of things we have to work on."
Yes, it is bad that the murder rate is up. We as a city, county, state, and country need to work broadly to decrease it. This does not make the city unsafe. I know childish commenters are going to now chime in. They'll make trite cracks about gun shots and Washington Park and some will make poorly veiled bigoted/racist statements. What they fail to grasp is that they are pussies. I say that with full offensive intended. They are scared little girls who see something on TV and think it is real. I think these idiots might even think that the 2001 riots happened along the river or in Mt. Adams.

The problems of crime are not unique to cities, they just are the easy scapegoats for those look for a rhetorical or socio-economic advantage. How many people are going to run away from Trenton because a guy was stabbed in bar fight with a screw driver? Someone breaks a car window at a downtown garage and panic and fear rips through the countryside.

If you don't mess with drugs, you are not going to be murdered..anywhere. Is that 100%, of course not. Does that mean you walk around with $100 bills sticking out of your pants? Of Course Not! That means you might grow a pair of balls and stop making crime your excuse for not exploring the city. If you are a lazy SOB, fine, don't blame crime for not going to Northside to see the band you like. If you are a cheap bastard, don't blame crime for not wanting to dare set a foot inside of the city limits after dark to hit a vibrant restaurant in Oakley or Downtown. If you are a bigot who hates blacks and uses crime as your excuse for being a bigot, well, you can just shut up and rot in Hell.

UPDATE: Errors corrected to silence the grammatical prudes. No Doubt there are errors I missed, but honestly, I don't give a shit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Clear Channel Blood Letting

It is very interesting to read the comments on John Kiesewetter's blog from what sounds like either some posers, or many inside Clear Channel current and former staffers.

Local Radio blows. It has sucked for years. When I say local, I don't means just here in Cincinnati, I mean everywhere. I say that because the same 3-5 companies own most of the stations.

Of all modern media, Radio is the one that people really demand be local. If you are going to just be a jukebox with commercials, you will lose out to IPods or to Satellite.

More from CC Alumnus Rick Bird in the Post.

Korte's Blog

Greg Korte now has his own niche blog on the Enquirer's site. It has an interesting description:
Gregory Korte is the Enquirer's investigative and enterprise reporter, database reporting specialist and resident wonk. A West Side native, he worked at newspapers in Cleveland, Lorain and Akron before returning to Cincinnati in 2001, covering city government and politics for five years. "Footnotes" is his ongoing attempt to understand and explain the changing Cincinnati region.
E-mail: Phone: 513-768-8391
It is called Footnotes and believe it or not, it actually uses footnotes. Is that a first in the blogging world? Could be.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Smitherman to Lead Local NAACP?

The votes are in, but its not settled. I am not a fan of Chris Smitherman. I look for Smitherman to use the NAACP as a weapon for his own personal crusades.

Enquirer Publishes Lie - Shows Bias

From today's Letters to the Editor we are treated to this falsehood published by the Enquirer:

Regarding the article "Wulsin gives up quest for congressional seat" (Nov. 29): Her strategy was to hold out acknowledging losing and receive free publicity and exercising her "right" to force an inconsequential vote count on the pretext of honoring each voter's vote. So, how much did this exercise in futility cost in dollars? Well, she shares the cost with those "voters" who couldn't take the time to confirm where they were to vote. Don't voters have some responsibility to be informed? Wishy-washy politicians and judges condone the procedure.

James Krueger
Green Township
First thing, there was no recount! The processing being undertaken was the normal process of counting the provisional ballots and some absentee ballots. There was no recount. The headline to the letter I am betting was not written by the writer, but was instead written by the Enquirer. Who at the Enquirer agrees with printing a lie like that? The Letter as printed NEVER USED THE WORD RECOUNT!!!!!

Second Thing is that James Krueger is an idiot. People who cast provisional ballots often at no fault of their own, but of the failure of the BOE or the poll working. Also, is he that fucking stupid to think that on the first general election since passing a new law requiring ID that people should be punished using the legally allowed procedures that law provides? Freddie Krueger seems to want to keep people from voting. There should not be additional costs of counting the votes in an election the first time, so Freddie's has been sniffing too much of the glue he uses for the novelty fingernails.