Monday, April 30, 2007

Battle of Corporate Coffee

This story seems to be about corporate coffee sellers, not about the best coffee. I would agree that Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and McDonald's sell a lot of coffee, but when it comes to quality, value, personal service, and atmosphere they are stale and cold. That is what happens when you have mega-chains.

If you are going to compare coffee, why not skip these mass marketers and cover local coffeehouses? Oh, you say I answered my own question when I called them mass marketers? So you are saying they are also mass advertisers? Ah, ok. The circle of press coverage makes sense. Those who can buy more ads are more worthy of flashy graphics and big news coverage.

Bands at Taste of Cincinnati?

I'll open up to rumor, speculation or facts that anyone has on who will be playing at Taste of Cincinnati this year. Based on their schedule, the Heartless Bastards will not be playing. On the other hand Wussy does list taste on their schedule, but with a TBA date and time. I believe there will be a bigger line-up this year of music with the move of the festival to 5th Street.

I really hope they keep at least one stage a local showcase. With the HBs on tour, it would be amazing to get the Greenhornes to play a set. They have no 2007 tour dates listed on their website, nor do the Raconteurs, which has 2/3rds of the Greenhornes in it. It is a long shot, but that is the kind of headliner the festival needs.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NSC Review: Go see 'Goat'

The Enquirer has a very positive review of the New Stage Collective's production of Albee's The Goat. I've personally yet to see the play, but I did crash the after party last night and the players and theatre backers are very excited. They are of course very pleased and relieved to have the space opened. A lot of hard work went into transforming the space and it really looks great. The set for the Goat takes over the whole room and the seating feels like you are sitting in the dining room watching the story unfold. I sat in it at their open house, so I'm projecting reality here, but that vibe is just obviously there, especially with the odds and ends chairs lined up for the audience. I for one will be taking Jackie Demaline's advice and seeing the play soon. Get you tickets now, with a review like this they should start to sell some shows out. Check out Thursdays or Sunday's matinées for a better lock on a seat.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cincy CW Must Change

In reading Joe Wessels' column today those quoted seem to me to be resting upon the Conventional Wisdom of Cincinnati politics from 20 years ago. Politically, Cincinnati is not what it was in 1987. A Republican majority on council is nearly an impossibility, unless the Dems run 9 Chris Smitherman clones for office. The Westside Conservatives are not around much anymore, at least not in force. Eastside Conservatives are a different breed and will not fit into the same mold.

The Republicans long ago abandoned the city. This cycle some appear to be putting more effort, but when you put up reactionary candidates like Charlie Winburn and Sam Malone, you are not going to win majorities. What is happening is they are picking one or two candidates to fit their splintered constituency. That is not going to win a majority, especially when you don't have a full slate of 9 to begin with.

What I found most entertaining is reading Bill Cunningham try and handicap city politics. The man is living life like it was 1983 and all in Cincinnati was calm, cool, and Republican. I think Bill even thinks Hamilton County is still a Republican stronghold. It is not yet a Democratic stronghold, but is clearly not an automatic GOP winner.

CityBeat Updates Blogs

CityBeat has a new look for all of their blogs and new locations. The looks are very nice and the location being on the CityBeat site is a very good move. I also like breaking them out on their own more. This allows each to have their own voice. You don't need the politics mixing with the music blog, so this change helps keep the Porkopolis's leftist rantings from ruining a good Heartless Bastards post.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bronson's Living in a River in Egypt

At some point Peter Bronson will have to move, because the River D'Nile will be all dried up by Global Warming. Bronson's hot air is something the EPA should look into regulating, sooner rather than later.


Great photos of Northside over a great song.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sporting Trouble

An interesting column from ESPN's Pat Forde on Cincinnati and our Troubled Bengals. I liked much about this column. I like how it didn't come out and just slam Cincinnati. That is breath of fresh air. I think this column went beyond sports, which is a good thing, but because it went beyond sports it also was is flawed. I guess I don't know what the articled was about. Was it about who the Bengals should draft and if Character should be an issue or was it about conflicted Cincinnati and the problem sports players we somehow attract? I guess I like my sports and sociology/civics separate.

Take Over CPS?

What is gained from the City take over of Cincinnati Public Schools? This idea feel flat back in 2005 when then State Senator Mallory broached the idea. What is worse about the schools? I don't see the City being able to do any better, and more likely would make CPS into more of political mess.

If Bortz thinks the CPS is being run poorly, why not call for the replacement of CPS Superintendent Rosa Blackwell? More importantly, why doesn't Bortz issue a listing of what specifically CPS is doing wrong and what needs to be changed? Reacting to news of layoffs and budget shortfalls with treats of a takeover isn't constructive, it is a political ploy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Stupid People and Bad Editing

I have two questions about the next to last Letter to the Editor. 1)Where are idiots getting the notion that by speaking out against the war, you are committing treason? Have they read the 1st Amendment? Has the author thought about the many ways an argument could be made claiming everything Bush says about Iraq is causing people to die?

2) Why is the Enquirer perpetuating this notion by printing this type of letter? This is not the first type letter calling Sen. Reid a traitor and calling for him to be tried for treason for speaking against the War in Iraq. Why doesn't the Enquirer investigate where this type of mentality comes from? It was common among idiots during Vietnam and other wars previously, but it is over 40 years since the antiwar movement came alive during Vietnam. Why not interview someone, hell try Fred Kirkhart of Lebanon, and find out why he thinks this way and where he got it from. Yes, I say where it got it from because people don't repeat a meme without having it served up to them. Was it a right wing website or talk radio? FOX News? That's a good local angle to a national story. What Enquirer assignment editor is not on the ball here?

Will the Banks Break Ground in 2007?

The Business Courier Reports on the published plan for the Banks. It is a big plan. It is bigger than previously envisioned. Will it add what downtown needs? Will it end up being a neighborhood unto itself? There are many questions pending, including Chris Smitherman playing foolish games.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Clear Channel Out of TV Business?

It is good news that Media Mammoth Clear Channel is selling its 56 TV stations, which includes WKRC here in Cincinnati. The company buying them is called Providence Equity Partners, Inc. I know nothing about them.

New Club in Corryville

A new club is opening up: Sub Rosa
A new indie nightclub and dancefloor, located at W Charlton and Glendora, one block from UC, next to the Holy Grail. 18 and Up.

Free Preview Weekend - April 27th & 28th.

Premiere Night - May 5th. Bright Lights with special guest Peter Adams & The Nocturnal Collective. $3.
If you head out, give a full report.

Moerlein OTR Ale Haus Festival

Christian Moerlein is sponsoring an OTR Ale Festival starting tomorrow April 25th through Sunday the 29th at the former Elder Café location at Findlay Market near Elder and Elm Streets. Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell will be there to tap the first keg at 3PM on Wednesday.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Annie's is in the East End

This article lists COLUMBIA TUSCULUM as the dateline location of the incident. Someone at the Enquirer needs to get out a map, Annie's is in the East End. You could argue it is Linwood or California maybe, but it clearly is not Columbia-Tusculum. Are there any editors working there who don't know this?

Cheesy, Yet......

I find the concept of having a sing along to TV Theme song to be very cheesy, but I still worked downtown, I would be there taking part.

Once in a while a cheesy is needed. Bootsy and the Cincy Pops Composer leading it? That makes pushes it into the cheeky camp, and leaves cheesy in its dust.

Where's the List?

My initial reaction to the creation of a "likely killers" list is a good one. I would like to know where the list is. Part of the deal with a validity of such list is for police to have a group to target. The public needs to know who these people are and react. Either it will allow them to know who to avoid or it will hopefully make some people who are interacting with criminals to stop and help catch them when they break the law.

I am slightly conflict on the civil liberties concern, but I've not yet seen this as a problem, as long as the list is based on criteria determined from public information.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

PR Payola?

I have to wonder if some PR firm paid the Enquirer money to make sure anytime they can they use "wedding district" in a news story about the area in Reading.

Friday, April 20, 2007

City Nightlife Changing - Growing

Two new nightclubs will open within the next two weeks. The nightclub at 3929 Spring Grove Ave. (formerly Alchemize) will now become Decibel Lounge. The renamed club likely will continue much of the same or similar programming held at Alchemize.

As God As My Witness, Hop Around Will Be Fun

How can you not have fun with a chance to meet Gary Sandy from WKRP? Be sure to check out everything at

I plan on making appearances with the folks from Enjoy the Arts (at Pitiful's I think), New Stage Collective, and the Know Theatre.

I'll be dressed for the CAC's Gala Afterparty too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bush in Ohio

He rambled into a Vietnam Question. The audience was filled with hardcore Republicans, but I think the fact the question about Vietnam was asked is a small sign of how low Bush is, even with his base.

Dressing Up?

This article claims there's a trend towards dressing more formally in the workplace. Is this true? Where I work has a nearly open dresscode, so Jeans and t-shirts are common. What about other places around town, is this true? I thought Business Casual was the norm now, not just a growing trend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Step Back: A Wake Up Call to Women

This should be a wake up call to women who don't want to have to die on the orders of the government.

For those of you who support a right of a women to not have the government order her to give birth and who voted for George Bush in 2004 or 2000, you should look back on the damage you have helped cause on the people in this country.

As Kevin Drum points out, the actual ruling doesn't really affect something that happens very often. The ban on IDX always was a political football that was more about symbolism, than change. The problem here is the ruling. How it was decided is bad. How this 5 person majority views personal rights is bad. How they view freedom is bad. If you do nothing else in your lifetime, make sure the next series of Presidents will appoint people to the court who believe in personal freedom.

Endorsement Battle: The Next Day

The Enquirer has a recap of the Dem meeting which confirms my take from last night, but spins it. The news is the fact that there was a significant effort to oust Berding, something the Enquirer played as something that "fizzled." What the Enquirer misses is that the anti-Berding effort indicates that a large portion of the Democratic base is not going to be easily convinced to support Berding. He may not want or need that support, but he is not a lock to win re-election. In the end, Berding will have to abandon Democratic issues and move to the right, which likely will mean he will lose the endorsement fight next cycle.

UPDATE: For a better take on the meeting, check out CityBeat's blog. The best part is the exchange between Kevin Osborne and Berding:
Asked by CityBeat to comment after the meeting, Berding said, “Why? You’re just going to write whatever you want to write.” Pressed to clarify if that was a “no comment,” Berding replied, “That’s a ‘no comment’ to you, yes.”
He sounds like a cocky prick in that exchange. I guess he doesn't want Kevin's vote. A lesson to all politicians: Be nice to the press, no matter what.

Something New For Bella's

Hidden in this article is the news that a new lease is close to being signed for a new business at the Bella's location at 6th and Walnut. That location is just to good not to have some type of restaurant or bar.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

City Dems Pick Choices

As I type, the candidates are making their cases for getting the endorsement from the City Dems. Berding as already spoke as of about 7:15PM. He was reported to be humble. All of the candidates are getting 3 minutes to speak.

UPDATE: My source at the meeting gave me an interesting tidbit on Cecil Thomas's speech. In it Thomas stated that the Dems should run the City. The implication Thomas made is that they currently are not running the City. This to me could be viewed as a reference to the "Fiscal Five" on council, which is not a block of Democrats.

UDPATE#2: It appears an effort was made to vote for each candidate separately, but that effort was quashed. This was likely an effort to pull Jeff Berding out from the pack, where he would face much more opposition.

UPDATE #3: The slate passed 75 - 43. It appears that a large group of people were not happy with the slate. Berding clearly must be the cause of most of the opposition. My understanding is that most votes have been rubber stamps in the past.

Indian Hill Crime

Will the people of Indian Hill now be scared to death of Rheinstrom Park because they've read this story in the media? If not, why? Per capita hate crimes must have "jumped" through the roof in Indian Hill.

Easter Again?

Joe Hansbauer writes again about the resurrection of Main Street's bar district. I am looking optimistically at this situation in that not only will it happen, I think it will, but that the focus of these locations will not be to gain the dance club college kids. Instead, it would be something else. What is that something else? I don't exactly know what the target market would be. Who is going to want to go to the Old Jefferson Hall or RBC if they are not remodeled? Also, is there a market for this number of bars, at least the number we talking about this quickly? Over the year, if they stagger the openings, build up buzz through a big media blitz, then you could build a new scene. Can all of this, plus 7th Street/Fountain Square, plus Mainstrasse, plus Newport, plus Northside, plus Mt. Adams, plus Mt. Lookout all be the home of nightlife? Is the market niches wide enough at each to make all of them viable?


Robo-Calls? Who uses the dreaded robo-call in hopes of getting an endorsement? As an incumbent no less!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Challenging Liquor Permits

From a couple weeks back: WCPO reported on the establishments being challenged in an effort to rid the city of crime based on booze. Most of these places are corner "markets" that cater to the dirt poor or the wino. The rest are bars that have a problem with serving criminals. Then there is R.P. McMurphy's which is just a place with too much rowdiness/idiocy for a nice neighborhood.

The list:
* Wilson's Market - 3800 Zinsle Avenue - Kennedy Heights
* Walt's Grocery - 118 West 15th Street - Over-The-Rhine
* Sam's Market - 1900-1902 Linn Street - West End
* McMurphy's Irish Pub & Coffeehouse - 2910 Wasson Road - Oakley
* Queen Ann Bar & Grill - 2141 Central Avenue - West End
* Phoenix Cafe - 641 Walnut Street - Downtown
* Parktown Cafe - 1624-26 Linn Street - West End
* Jet In Market - 1205-07 Linn Street - West End
* Ike's Blues & Jazz Club - 2924 Gilbert Avenue - Walnut Hills
* Golden Nuggett - 2194-96 Queen City Avenue - Fairmount
* Glenway Market - 4420 Glenway Avenue - Price Hill
* Don's Deli - 1500 Beech Avenue - Price Hill
* Cole N Quick Drive Thru - 2029 Dana Avenue - Evanston
* Best For Less Market - 1820 Vine Street - Over-The-Rhine
* Club Embassy - 3602 Warsaw Avenue - Price Hill
* Amir Mini-Market - 549-553 Findlay Street - West End

More on Mass Transit

The Downtowner delves into transportation. The question comes up again, are Streetcars the answer? It depends in part on what is defined as a streetcar, but to me the answer is clearly yes, but....that doesn't fix the broader metro area transportation problem that is being ignored by the rest of metro area. We have too many cars out there and we need to get rid of the congestion.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fountain Square Grows Again

The latest restaurant, Cadillac Ranch Rock-N-Country Bar & Grill does not sound like my kind of place, but variety is good. The Square needs to attract a wide range of themes, but stick to entertainment for adults.

Nazi Group 'Suspends' March

The Enquirer is reporting that the Nazi group planning a march through OTR have postponed it because of an outstanding warrant for the Ohio leader of the Nazi group.

Ok, let's hope this is the end of it. There shouldn't be any march going on this Friday, spread the word on that. Even though the article indicates the Nazi's are claiming to still want to do it, they are in reality blowing smoke. Which in the end is all this whole thing is, one big exercise in blowing smoke out of the asses of very stupid people.

Friday, April 13, 2007

OTR Foundation Has New Leader

The Over-the-Rhine Foundation has named a new director: Michael Morgan takes over the post from retiring director Marge Hammelrath.

CAC Silk and Spice Gala After Party

Hit the CAC Gala After Party April 21st at 10PM at the CAC (6th and Walnut Streets, Downtown, Cincinnati).

The CAC’s Kaplan Hall lobby becomes a shock-rock club space with DJ Bill Redman and a cash bar.

After Party reservations are $20 in advance at; $25 at the door.


If you make 29 phone calls to a person in one week and those calls allegedly are heavy breathing over a porn soundtrack doesn't that make you a stalker? Don't stalkers get charged with crimes and go to jail? Well, a police investigation concludes 29 calls were made from former FOP president Keith Fangman's cell phone to current FOP president Kathy Harrell as reported by The Enquirer. The only punishment Fangman got was a letter in his file. That is intolerable.

There is either more to the story on the end of Harrell, or Fangman should be fired, at a minimum.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Last Day in St. Louis

Yes, posting has been non-existent for the last few days. Sorry about that. I won't be looking for the massive crowd of well-wishers at the airport upon my arrival back in town tonight.

Until then, keep it open, but clean!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In St. Louis

Ok, I'm running late for now, so I'll open it up again.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Smitherman Is a Loon

First off, I hate Nazis. I also hate the KKK. I don't however believe that we, as a society, should think like they think and willfully allow a situation to occur where human beings are attacked, no matter how horrible individuals may be. Chris Smitherman, recently elected president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, issued one of the stupidest letters (pdf) from a supposed community leader that I have ever read.

Chris Smitherman has demanded the Cincinnati Police Department offer no protection for the Nazi's march. Smitherman is clearly opening the door for a situation where human beings could be beaten or even killed on the streets of Cincinnati.

If Smitherman is going to run a chapter of an organization that has long been associated with non-violence, then I fear that here in Cincinnati we have the beginning of a sectarian struggle much like the one people in Baghdad are facing today.

If you can't rise above the level of your oppressors, then you are an oppressor.

The letter is signed by him alone, so I presume this was a solo effort on his part. Smitherman is off his rocker. How did anyone ever endorse this man for office?

Additinally, I find it odd that he managed to write a letter that mentioned Christians and Muslims, but when the topic of the letter is about a Nazi group Jewish people were not mentioned at all.

Finally, Damn Chris Smitherman for making me write this post. Why does he have to create a firestorm out of this. He could have issued a simple press release condemning the idiots and requested a few things. Instead he makes demands. He makes demands in a tone that sounds like as a terrorist, nearly as much as these Nazis.

New Downtowner

The Downtowner has be reborn as "The Downtowner, Pulse of the City." Biggest addition to this effort are in 2 places. First, they have a website: Secondly they have expanded their circulation to include Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Oakley, Hyde Park, O'Bryonville, East Walnut Hills, Clifton, Mt. Lookout and Northside. So far the new paper is expanding their presence in a positive way. They need to clear up the website first off, it is very clunky, and doesn't always format well or at all. They are akin to the Community Press, so if that is their target, go for it.

I Don't Like Mondays

Today is a travel day for me, off to toil away along the Mississippi for 3 days (on business). My blogging will either be normal or light. I'll likely be able to blog more, but when ever I am out of the city I tend to feel out of touch, but more interested in keeping up with what is going on.

Call it open for now. Keep the gloves on.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bronson: Sinners Must Die!

No, Peter Bronson didn't actually write that in his recent column, but he might as well have. What he and all other "abstinence-only" advocates do when they refuse to talk about how contraceptives can prevent STDs because they hold the belief that those who have sex outside of marriage deserve to get STDs and suffer the results, which could include death.

Using fear in this manner is helping cause more needless deaths. Peter and his anti-sex pack may be out to thin the herd for their "cause," but they shouldn't be doing it with tax dollars.

As a society we have organized government to do what it can to prevent physical harm from affecting the citizens it governs. Educating kids about condoms helps save lives.

Guess what else educating kids about condoms does! Educating kids about condoms reduces the number of abortions. It does so by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancy's. I somehow thought Peter and his ilk wanted to stop abortions. I guess they only want to prevent all of them by controlling women's bodies. Reducing the number of abortions must not be something they are interested in doing.

Snarky Preemption: To the Trolls who are going to comment about John Cranley or some other Democrat's anti-abortion stance, stop. This post is about the fools like Peter Bronson who are anti-abortion and anti-condom. Save your foolishness for another post.

City Hall Isolated?

Joe Wessels has a good column today about a new website started locally that gives citizens an outlet to voice their views on pothole like issues:

The effectiveness of the website here in Cincinnati has to be evaluated with a strange situation:
Council Member David Crowley responded and got city transportation officials to contact Blackshaw. The only problem was city officials could not access the site because of restrictions placed on their computers. So the workers apparently looked at the site on their home computers and realized how concerned residents were.
Over a year ago there was a news story about my blog being blocked from City Hall and several officials had to request special permission to view it from City Hall computers. I understand the city not wanted a clerk to spend their time reading blogs on the job, but when a website is doing the City's job of identifying problems, wouldn't it be nice if City Officials could view the website and get cracking on fixing those problems? If they can't this done, then the City is making itself isolated. Kudos to the transportation department officials who viewed the site on their home PCs on their own time. Communication is a key element of government. When the citizens organize themselves and provide the simplest of ways to grasp a problem, the least the city could do is review what they are saying.

Law Dog's Drug Problem

Ken Lawnson has stated he has a drug problem that threatens he career. This is not a new story, this is not a unique story. This will make some people mock Ken, this will make some people feel sorry for him. Other will see the fact that Ken Lawson gave this interview to the Enquirer at the same time the Cincinnati Bar Association files a complaint against him and view the interview as PR tactic.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is it Good Friday or Christmas?

It is snowing quite strongly on Good Friday afternoon. I'm stuck out here in the burbs working, so anyone else getting the snow?

Cincinnati Metro Population Compares Well

The Post listed out 2000 to 2006 population changes and Cincinnati is less than 10,00 people smaller than Cleveland. Further more, we grew more than San Fransisco and Boston in both percentage and actual number increase.

By the way, 2.1 million people is a big metropolitan area. That's the "big city." For those of you who grew up here, you don't have that perspective, but it is very true.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nazis to March in OTR?

The Enquirer is reporting that a "white supremacist group of self-proclaimed Nazis" are allegedly planning to march in OTR.

It is beyond sad that scum like these idiots still exist. There are maybe 5 people who would show up and they would be faced with likely hundreds if not thousands people protesting.

The real fear to me is that there will be violence. A crowd of hundreds of peaceful but angry people, could turn into a mob who might turn protest into rage with damage to innocent people/property with no direction connection to the situation.

I was torn about posting this story. By posting it, I am giving these loner idiots more attention. If I ignore it, then I would criticized for ignoring racism. It's a lose-lose situation. I chose to post this story, with the hopes that I have sane non-Nazi readers. I know I am hoping for a lot.

The Mayor Tries Again

On national TV Mayor Mallory got it on the second try.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Berding Gets Recommendation

Jeff Berding is a simple formality away from gettingDemocratic endorsement for City Council. The Nine are as expected: Berding, Cole, Cooper, Cranley, Crowley, Garry, Harris, Thomas, and Young.

Mitch Painter Running for Council

You have get your sea legs somehow, so rookie politician Mitch Painter, nephew of Judge Mark Painter, has announced he is running as an independent candidate for Cincinnati City Council. He has a website:

Mallory's Excuses

The Enquirer fields Mallory's 10 excuses for his opening day wild pitch.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mayor's Got a Rubber Arm

No Oakley Jungle

Bad news for the Cincinnati Millworks with word that Jungle Jim's expansion plans are dead. It does appear that the project is going nowhere. The key for Jungle Jim's was the new highway connector, which seems to have no progress what so every.

On the other hand the area on Madison Road is doing well with new store fronts being built and a new restaurant on the way called Hugo, which fills the Pho Paris space.

Dems Delay Council Nominations

Today is the day the HCDP nominations committee meets to make their recommendations.

Kevin Osborne reports that the likely 9 to get nominations (assuming Berding doesn't get booted) are:

Jeff Berding
Laketa Cole
John Cranley
David Crowley
Cecil Thomas

Minette Cooper
Brian Garry
Greg Harris
Wendell Young

There may still be a fight over Jeff Berding, especially his alleged backing of Republican John Eby. That is not something a loyal party member does, at least not publicly.

Best news: Alicia Reese is not running!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Play Ball! Let's Go Reds!

Opening Day is here. Get out your gloves, get out your bats, comb your hair and don your hats.

Good luck to the Reds. Get out to a game this year.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Crime Is Down - Where's the Enquirer?

Joe Wessels has a very good story in the Post announcing a dramatic decrease in crime in OTR, Downtown, West End, and Mt. Adams. This is of course great news and had to do with the refocus of the CPD and patrolling by the Sheriff's department.

I've not yet read anything about this in the Enquirer. If I missed it, then please pass on the link. This should have been front page news.

I've Seen the Light

Peter Bronson is right about everything!

Oh, and April Fools!