Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why Did the Enquirer Publish This?

In a new low, the Enquirer chose this story to pick up from the AP Wire. I guess they have a large equine readership down in the Bluegrass state that would be interested.

Brad "Down to the Wire" Wenstrup Has Nothing

Would someone break the news to the GOP Mayoral Candidate that Cincinnati is a City, not a Suburb? After waiting to nearly the last minute of July before he finally releasing his "platform" as promised, we got a whole bunch of nothing. As expected Brad Wenstrup has no plan to balance the budget. He does have a plan to abandon the urban core. I guess he thinks it doesn't need any more help and is perfect as it is. The "neighborhoods" need everything now. Way to appease Westwood! I mean this guy is as forward thinking as a 17 year old boy in the backseat of his Uncle's car with his 15 year old girlfriend wondering if she'll make him wear a condom. Well, the Reactionary Leaders in Westwood are ready to ride Brad bareback right now. Hell, Jim McNulty, vice president of the Westwood Civic Association would forgo an election for this guy. Forget that in the long run it spells doom. Forget that there is no plan, no vision for a city. Wenstrup is embracing concepts for the city that returns it to a 1958 mythical ideal that never existed! Next well hear he wants to build a Westood Lateral.

Wenstrup got someone at the HCGOP to come up with a few Conservative planks that don't address the 28 million or the possible 40 budget shortfall next year. No one in the local GOP is whiling to stick out their necks with detailed budget cuts that add up to anything near 28 million dollars.

Wenstrup is the quintessential empty suit Republican who appears to have no ideas not put into his head by others. This platform has no original ideas in it at all. It reads like a Congressional Republican bent on doing a whole lot of nothing, while still giving something to those who want to turn the City into an extension of Suburbia.

The only surprise: he doesn't call for tax cuts. He sounds like someone who thinks Tax cuts can cure Cancer, but that plank would have just made people laugh. He's got enough laughter for this as it is.

July Has Been Rather Cool

I was wondering why July has been so cold, it appears Hell has frozen over, because Gregory Flannery has written an article for Metromix Cincinnati.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Psychic Reporting From CityBeat?

I'm a fan of CityBeat generally and Kevin Osborne in particular, so I was surprised to see a bit of sloppiness in the new edition (on newsstands today, July 29). Osborne's latest Porkopolis column is about the mayoral race. To open, Osborne writes that "Dr. Brad Wenstrup . . . announced his platform July 29 in the city's Westwood neighborhood." Osborne goes on to describe (and critique) Wenstrup's platform, sprinkling quotes from the candidate throughout the piece. Osborne leaves the impression (hopefully unintentionally) that the quotes were spoken by Wenstrup as he rolled out his platform.

But wait....that can't be right, can it? Did CityBeat really hold its print edition until Wenstrup's press conference was concluded, give Osborne time to write it up, and then print and distrbute the new edition all on the same day?

Of course not. CityBeat is a weekly, published Wednesdays, so most people will read the column after the press conference has happened. Maybe it's understandable, then, that Osborne wrote about the press conference in the past tense. But Osborne should have made clear that the quotes he prints are not from the presser, but are instead from either an interview previously conducted with Wenstrup or (more likely) Wenstrup's press release announcing the platform.

CityBeat is an increasingly important voice in Cincinnati. Following the demise of the Post and the Enquirer's adoption of its new motto ("The Constantly Shrinking Newspaper"), Cincinnatians have few options for news coverage. If CityBeat wishes to remain one of those options, it should be more careful.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"You're God Damn Right I Did!"

COAST Tweets Truth, And Can't Handle It: This evening a lively debate on Twitter between Building Cincinnati's Kevin LeMasters and the Resident COAST un-named flunky brought forth a simple truth that COAST and the NAACP have been too chicken to be honest about: Their ballot issue is only about killing the streetcar and killing off the city. They have claimed it to be about the "right of the people" to vote, but that is, as crass as it will sound, "Bullshit." This exchange proves it, without a doubt:

@GOCOAST: Mallory: ""Yes' vote would kill streetcar" Of course. That's precisely plan. Someone, kill this stupid idea, please!

@buildingcincy: @GOCOAST So it's not about empowering citizens, huh. It's about killing plan u don't like. Man, you've been a broken record last two days.

@GOCOAST: @buildingcincy Yes, kill that stupid idea. Limp. Dead. Cold. Move on to something else!

There you have it. COAST and the NAACP could not care less about giving people the power to vote, they are out to kill progress in the City and their main target right now is the Streetcar Plan. Their second target is High Speed Rail. Their goal, in my opinion, is the downfall of the City. Both the NAACP and COAST I believe would be delighted in a bankrupt city, where both groups then vie for control. Saner heads will prevail and the ballot issue will go down to defeat in November.

Mary's Back In Business; Flo Decides She Needs To Be Closer To Her

Hot off of Facebook: Hamburger Mary's is open, as of 5:00 this evening! If I knew how to post a screen shot of a website I would, but here's a cut-and-paste of what Hamburger Mary's just posted:

HEYYY HONNEYYY, come see me for dinner and COCKtails @ 5pm!! ITS OFFICIAL MARY'S is OPEN THIS EVENING!! XoXo, Mary

They've been teasing us for a week with hints that the reopening was imminent. It's fantastic that it's finally happening. Based on the FB response, I suspect the restaurant may be jam-packed tonight.

And Flo's Plate Full of Soul (which we reviewed last year) has moved: they are now on Vine Street in the storefront previously occupied by Tom's Pot Pies.

Both are awesome additions to Vine Street!

UPDATE: Good grief. Apparently, some of you think it's too much trouble to find Hamburger Mary's Facebook page on your own. So here's a link to it. And here's a link to Hamburger Mary's website. And here's one to her twitter feed. And one to the Business Courier article reporting the reopening. And here a link to Julie's post noting the auspicious occasion (Wine Me Dine Me doesn't display post times, so I'm going to claim to have scooped Julie on this one, regardless of whether that's true.) Here's a link to this post (how existential is that?). And here's a link to Hamburger Helper, which has nothing to do with Hamburger Mary's, but I was running out of stuff to which to link.

Can I get you guys anything else? Would you like some fries with that?

Layoffs Coming to the City Government

Critics are not stepping up, so City Manager will choose what gets cut from the City Budget to make up the 28 million dollar deficit. I watched Leslie Ghiz's Twitter posts during the budget meeting yesterday and they were negative, as you might have guessed. She has been constantly stating something must be done, but Ghiz refuses to be a leader and make any choices. That goes double for the GOP Mayoral Candidate, Wenstrup, who, along with the HC GOP leadership, is only worried about the Mayor's travel. As if a few thousand dollars is going save even one part time job. What GOP refuses to understand or more like as an election ploy is ignoring is that Mallory's travel will help create private sector jobs, which is something GOP should love. I also missed the GOP attacks on Bob Taft when he went to Japan as governor. Twitter didn't exist then, but so I guess I didn't get a chance to hear their anger.

We don't know details now, but will have them next week. It is going to hurt, and the election year rhetoric will do nothing to help.

Money Will Talk

Annie's Nightclub has reportedly ended their Sunday night Hip-Hop shows after two men were murdered in the parking lot Sunday. Annie's was reportedly facing pressure from police to increase security after a shooting occurring on the dance floor last year. I really have no good answers on this one. It has been a problem that has plagued Hip-Hop based promoted shows in many places, not just around Cincinnati. Part of me wants to see this as a chicken and the egg type of situation, but part of me wants the Hip-Hop "culture" examined more and its flaws exposed. I have solution.

Money will drive Annie's and the promoters of the Hip-Hop shows, not safety for the participants or the public. I would expect that Annie's will bring the shows back, after a few months of quiet Sundays and as soon as they get a new promoter promising to do things better.

Kentuckians' Outlook Improves

I have no idea at this point who will win the 2010 Kentucky Senate race, but who ever wins it will not be Jim Bunning, which is a positive for the state and improves their outlook ten fold in perception, alone. If McConnell resigns, the world would be better off.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Toreador, en garde!

So I finally got to the opera this season, even though it took me until the final show of the summer. I was not disappointed by Cincinnati Opera's offering of Carmen.

Janelle Gelfand was unusually negative about the acting and staging. That's okay; she's entitled to be wrong her opinion. (In all seriousness, Ms. Gelfand no doubt has a much more sophisticated opera palate than I do. Since I go to the opera just once or twice each year, I'm generally destined to be blown away by just about anything on the Music Hall stage, particularly an opera that's as much fun to listen to as Carmen.) Unlike the Enquirer's critic, I enjoyed Ruxanda Donose's performance as Carmen. (I don't speak French, though; if Ms. Gelfand does, she's no doubt a better judge of Donose's acting ability.) Without any doubt, tenor William Burden (as Don Jose) stole the show.

I agreed with Ms. Gelfand that the Cincinnati Symphony's performance of the prelude was a bit rushed. In fact, it seemed at times almost as if the instrumentalists were tripping over themselves through the toreador theme. (Think about hitting the fast-forward button on your old "Bad News Bears" videotape while leaving the audio up.) The CSO also almost overpowered the vocals a couple times. But all in all, it was a terrifically-spent three-plus hours.

A friend who was kind of enough to bend her schedule to my last minute whim to buy a couple tickets and accompanied me to the opera commented that watching the opera brings into clear relief the type of entertainment those of us born in the 1970's and later are accustomed to. Can you imagine watching a movie set in only 3 or 4 different places, or with a single camera shot that doesn't cut away from over an hour? But I think that's part of why I love attending the opera or the CSO. An afternoon or evening at the CSO is all about that moment. It's not about what happens next; there's no hurry to move along to the next thing. The cell phone is stowed away and turned off, so there's no chance of the outside world pressuring me to hurry up and do something else. Instead, an opera or symphony performance provides two or three hours of pure escapism: the opportunity to totally immerse one's self in the music and story of that performance, leaving everything else behind.

Speaking of CSO, its new season looks pretty impressive, too (although perhaps a bit laden with guest conductors). Guess I ought to think about picking up some tickets.

Oxford Film Festival

I was very pleased when I heard about that the Oxford Film Festival was moving the core of the event to Cincinnati, but doing that at the last minute appears to have contributed to poor attendance as seen through the eyes of CityBeat's Steve Rosen. I hope this doesn't dampen efforts to keep the festival in Cincinnati. Many have long tried to stage film festivals in Cincinnati with limited success. What might help is one of two things: partner with another festival (say Midpoint or CincyFringe) or find a way to bring together the often splintered Cincinnati film community. You need a team to run any festival and need to divide up responsibility. One important task is marketing and outside of CityBeat, I've not heard much about this festival, with no sightings on the core social networking websites.

There is still time to hit some screenings which are running through Thursday at the Esquire. For all of the rest of festival information, check out their website:

Friday, July 24, 2009

You Could Have Told Us Beforehand....

In downtown Cincinnati, we rarely have power outages, as the lines are buried. In the aftermath of last year's windstorm, we were one of the few Cincinnati neighborhoods were power continued uninterrupted. So I shouldn't complain about a one-minute power outage.

I'm going to complain anyhow, though. It turns out the battery back-up in my alarm clock is dead. And having the power outage occur at 1:00 am was somewhat disconcerting. I woke up without the alarm clock at about 6:30 (though the alarm clock said 5:30). I thought there was way too much light for 5:30 in the morning, so got up and checked the time on my watch. Whoops. Running late.

Not a good way to start your morning.

CAAST Out The Demons

In a new blog CAAST which stands for "Citizens Against Antiquated, Stupid Thinking," we get a little dose of sense to counter the reactionary Neo-Feudalism being preached by the COASTers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Election Year Stunts

Normally this type of stunt is carried out by a candidate during the election year. In this instance we have a few activists, a term I use loosely here, trying to gain attention. What I find sad about their micro-jingoistic plan is that it will do nothing but hurt their neighborhood. If I am the Mayor, I slam these guys down hard. Show them who is in-charge and don't let them forget it. They are not going to vote for him anyway, so no need to use kid gloves. I would seek out some sane people in that neighborhood and snub every person who votes yes on this crazy notion.

The unfortunate and real fallout from this foolish notion will be some residents increasing their hate for minorities and the poor, and they will continue to alienate themselves from the rest of the city. When you let the fringe view points, and in this case they are based on racism and/or classism, you are going to rightfully get blowback. These 'activists' need to learn they live in Cincinnati, not Mayberry. If they want to live in a little rural town where everyone looks the same and nothing ever happens, they can move there. Happily, that place is a myth.

Provost Schools Dean

In one of the more affective uses of disdain, The Provost of The Phony Coney Blog gets all Catholic-School-Nunish on Jason Haap, with a ruler to the knuckles and more.

UPDATE: It appears this post was taken down, so the link above doesn't work. Here is the Cache version. Would the party's involved care to comment?

In Memoriam: Les Lye

No discernible Cincinnati connection here; just felt like posting.

If you're around my age, chances are you grew up watching You Can't Do That On Television. Today comes news that one of that series' few adult actors, Les Lye, has passed away at the age of 84. Lye played, among others, Barth of Barth's Burgery and the general who was always about to execute someone by firing squad (and usually ended up getting shot himself). Lye was the only actor to appear in every episode of YCDTOT.

Reading the obituary made me remember how many hours I must have spent (alright, wasted) laughing at that show, which was really built around only a few jokes and sketches. Remember how the actors were doused with water if they said "water"? Or with green slime for saying "I don't know"? I sometimes wonder how many of today's young Nickelodeon viewers realize that the network's trademark green slime had its genesis on a show in the 80's. Or that Alanis Morissette was briefly on the show (before she was a giant music star)?

We now return you to your regular Cincinnati blogging.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hofbrauhaus Happy Hour

Many thanks to Liz and the gang at Cincinnati Imports for putting together another great event. Last night featured a gathering at Hofbrauhaus over in Newport.

The paparazzi were present, so you can see who was there. (See pictures 14 and 19 for shots of the two dorkiest drunkest studliest bloggers in attendance.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Reading

For those of you interested in the death penalty in Ohio, you should check out No Winners Here Tonight by Andrew Welsh-Huggins. It's a thorough examination of the history and present application of the death penalty in Ohio. The author also discusses the philosophy of various Ohio prosecutors--including Joe Deters--in handling death penalty cases.

Hat tip: Streevibes, where I first learned about the book.

Yummy Food East and West

By "east" and "west" I'm not actually referring to cuisines, but instead to two restaurants' locations relative to downtown Cincinnati. My parents visited this weekend, and it was the perfect excuse to try a couple of restaurants I'd been meaning to check out. So armed with map and compass, we headed outside the friendly confines of downtown a couple times this weekend.

The East: Saturday night, we had dinner at Cafe Mediterranean in Anderson Township. I'd heard good things about it for some time (and had read Julie's review a few months ago). And the restaurant lived up to the praised it had been paid. We started with appetizers: hummus and stuffed grape leaves (my favorite dish of the Mediterranean), both of which were terrific. I had iskender kabab for dinner. I'd not had (or even heard of) it before; it's lamb and beef, piled high over chunks of pita bread and yogurt, all covered in a simple tomato sauce. It was delectable. For dessert, I had to try the baklava, which might have been the best I've had. It certainly gets my vote for best in Cincinnati. The phyllo incredibly flaky. And I learned something: while the traditional Greek baklava uses honey (I knew that), the Turkish version (which is what's served at Cafe Mediterranean) uses simple syrup, making it just a bit lighter. On top of that, the service was terrific. I'll definitely be back to the AT.

The West: Ever since Taste of Cincinnati, I'd been wanting to get out to Vitor's Bistro. For Sunday brunch this weekend, I finally got my chance. My mom had the corned beef hash, which looked great. My dad had an omelet, equally scrumptious. I chose to be adventurous, opting for the three-course tasting menu Vitor's now offers for breakfast. You tell the server about any allergies or dealbreaking ingredients and what spiciness level you'd like, and the chef serves you based on his whim--although they promise that one of their dishes will be their now-famous french toast. The first course was, for me, the show-stopper (since I knew what to expect with the french toast from Taste). It was a clever variation on Eggs Benedict, served with croquettes instead of an English muffin, capicola ham, and a spicy hollandaise sauce. The second dish was a Mexican omelet: good, but not as awesome as the first dish. When you go, don't be afraid to go high on the spicy-meter. I ordered 8 on a scale of 10, but wasn't at all blown away by the heat level.

Back Home: For those of you worried that I ignored downtown this weekend, don't worry. We ended my parents' stay with a meal at Arnold's. I've been there lots, of course, but they hadn't, so it seemed time to introduce them to Cincinnati's oldest bar. I've always stuck with burgers, though, so following through on the adventure theme, ordered the Hot Brown. Yummy.

No, this was not a heart-healthy week. At least not in the physical sense. But it was in the metaphysical sense!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nate Livingston Sued By State of Ohio

The Enquirer is reporting that Nate Livingston Jr. is being sued by the Ohio Elections Commission for not filing campaign finance reports for his 2001 campaign for Cincinnati City Council. The article reports that the state is seeking $43,042.08. It is kind of odd to be filing suit almost 8 years after the election.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hometown Glue

Cincinnati's Gorilla Glue treated the President with kindness after the comments from former Georgia Senator Zell Miller. What I'm not sure about is whether Gorilla Glue is well known enough for Miller to reference or did Miller make a racist joke? I have driven past the company location out on Red Bank Road, but have never used or seen their products. I'm guessing Miller called the President a Gorilla, so I'm glad we have one less racist in the Democratic Party.

Walter Cronkite: Icon

When I think about history in the second half if the 20th Century I put it in terms that relate to the broadcasts of Walter Cronkite. Next to Edward R. Murrow, no one has witnessed history as Walter Cronkite did thoughout his career. I am just old enough to have experienced him in his prime and he was a man with a presence like few have had. He could relate to the common man, but commanded the attention of kings. He will be an icon in American history for tearing up on air in November of 1963, telling a hard truth about Vietnam to the country, and as we commerate 40 years later his boyish glee and wonder for space and the moon landing. For those younger than I, take the time to listen to his reports or read up on the events he was charge with being the face the public turned for comfort, truth, and pride.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Great NY Times Article About Cincinnati

I don't know if the writer for the NY Times read my mind or read the minds of all of my friends or was stalking everyone I hang out with, but this travel article highlights what I believe are many of the of the coolest places in Cincinnati. If you want to explain to people living anywhere, including people in the Cincinnati area, why this a vibrant place to live, point them to this article and tell them this is just the tip of the iceberg. If City and Business leaders want to attract people to live or visit Cincinnati, they must promote these facets on par with any other attribute.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 Moving to Texas: Not a Big Deal

News of the move of's studio from Cincinnati to Austin, Texas will likely cause some to freafk out. Bottom line, don't, in real terms was not doing much for local music. I am not saying they didn't support it, but did local music get much air time? This will be a PR negative that some anti-city twits will be happy about, but otherwise the local music scene will go on. Woxy was off the air and our music scene went on. I am disappointed woxy is leaving, but once they came back from they dead with outside backing, it was only a matter of time before they were pushed to leave.

I will admit that I am far less likely to to listen, and I think it is in WVXU's best interest to program local content for their digital frequencies.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Happened to County Government Reform?

Last year, David Pepper floated the idea of a significant reformation of county government. (Links: Pepper's post; my post.) The notion raised, I thought, interesting questions. Do we really need to have an elected Recorder, Treasurer, Auditor, Engineer, Clerk of Courts, and Coroner?* Does Wayne Coates do a better job recording deeds because he's a Democrat? Does William Brayshaw build better roads because he's a Republican?

A better county government might have a commission with three or five members with a strong president (called, in some states, a county executive). The commissioners would appoint most of the current elected row office holders. Presumably, there'd be not be an unelected county administrator, and the budget would be initially proposed by the commission president instead.

At the time Pepper floated the idea, I praised him for thinking about the big picture of governance. Unfortunately, we haven't heard any more about structural reform of county government. Granted, Pepper and his two colleagues have been busy putting out budgetary fires. (Okay....Pepper has also recently found time to start thinking up ways to harass homeless people sleeping outside the courthouse but I'm sure that's just a hobby, since the homeless have occupied that space for years without incident.) But I hope that the commissioners aren't so busy examining the trees that they're not able to see the forest.

Pepper is in an interesting position. He's essentially a lame duck (since he's announced he's running for State Auditor in 2010, he obviously can't run for re-election to his commission seat that year, when his term expires). Certainly over the next year we'll see less and less of him in the county as he ramps up his state-wide campaign. But a lame duck--someone whose efforts cannot be viewed as a power grab--could be just the right kind of person to lead a massive overhaul of county government, as he might have some immunity against the entrenched interests (i.e., the elected office holders who'd lose their jobs) who would oppose any sort of progress.

Of course, Pepper might take the tack of another politician whose name begins with "P," decide that being a lame duck is just no fun, and ignore the tougher aspects of his office for the next year and a half. But that doesn't seem like Pepper's style. And I think he'd actually enjoy the challenging of redesigning our local government.

*For native Cincinnatians who learned about all these offices in grade school or high school civics: be glad you didn't grow up in Pennsylvania, where you had to figure out what a prothonotary is! (It's basically the clerk of courts.)

The President's Pitch

I'm watching the All-Star Game (which will no doubt be ruined by Fox's terrible sports coverage), and have a lingering thought about President Obama's ceremonial first pitch.

What's up with the weird camera angles used to show us the pitch? The live shot was taken from third base, isolated Obama, and didn't pan over to home plate to follow the pitch. The replay was simply an isolation shot from another angle.

Why didn't we see one of the more traditional views of a pitch, either from center field or from behind home plate? Please tell me that Fox Sports wasn't complicit in some effort to spare Obama from the possibility of a national Mallory moment. Were there some sort of security concern? Is the President simply so important that he can't be shot with Albert Pujols? Were there some fans behind home plate that Fox didn't want to show because they were being disrespectful to Obama in some way?

I've no doubt the right-wingers will pick up on this and hatch some wild conspiracy theory. I'd just like a simple explanation.

UPDATE: Just as I was about to publish this post, I rewound the DVR to look again (thanks, Time Warner!). I think the two traditional views were unavailable. The giant American flag was still in center field, so the mounted camera out there wouldn't have worked. And the old guys Cardinals Hall of Famers were standing behind home plate, blocking that view. Still, it's weird that the live shot, taken by a camera operator who was on the field and probably just a few steps behind the pitcher's mound, didn't follow the flight of the pitch to Pujol's glove.

Others Questioning Goals of COAST and the Local NAACP

Quim at Blogging Isn't Cool questions what COAST and Chris Smitherman really want from their Referendum-crazed efforts and the question that comes up is do they want to turn Cincinnati into a third world nation?  I can see COAST as the colonialist corporation looking to exploit the people, so does that make Smitherman into a wanna-be Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier?

Cincinnati Ranked 15th in Most Job Postings

I am sure everyone in the media and those who seek to knock everything about Cincinnati will shout this from their rooftops, but there are jobs in the area. The type of jobs are the question and this ranking doesn't go into that type of detail. Cincinnati ranks 15th out of the top 50 metro areas in the nation. The only negative is that we were 13th last quarter, so the trend is not good leading into the Summer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Repent Ye Heathens, Cin No More!

Last week marked the end of CinWeekly. Cin had been around for about six years. I was a faithful reader from even before the start when I got leaked peak of their website and paper. Early on, one of the names being considered for CinWeekly was "Barge." That didn't last. Cin was born and flourished.

From the beginning I wanted Cin to be something more than it was. Cin never was CityBeat. They competed for business, but rarely on content. From Cin I wanted more hard news about issues that "YPs" would be concerned about. Part of the original concept was to appeal to people, generally youngerish, who were not reading the Enquirer. What that meant to me, was that you served the reader with some "real" news and helped that wash down with a whole shitload of lifestyle. Cin never really was about "real" news and was all lifestyle. It had it's own voice and it knew what it was. Over the years I felt its appeal leaned far too much to mainstream culture, kind of the traditionalism that brings to mind numbness of taste. Lately, I was actually pleased with an increase in the coverage of the City. It wasn't to last with the layoffs of CinWeekly's entire staff last Wednesday. Was that the wisest choice? I am sure no one laid off would say so. It wouldn't have been any better to keep them and lay off others. What ever the situation it sucks. Cincinnati loses coverage. Yes, Metromix will replace CinWeekly, and that actually wasn't new news either, according to one former Cin staffer, but on Thursday as I checked out Metromix's website I didn't see places for much of the lifestyle that Cin provided. Where is the stream of Arts and Theatre articles? Where is the stream for volunteer effort articles? Where is the stream for health and fitness articles? These may all be coming in next week's issue, but who is going to write those articles? National stories about the latest pop band or newest Hollywood block buster is just not going to do much that readers can't already get from the web. I really hope the Enquirer/Gannett management have provided the local Metromix editors/producers with the resources to create something other than an events calendar. I will be reading this week to find out. I hope the readers don't get less.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

MidPoint Indie Summer on the Square is Hot

Last night Fountain Square was packed for Midpoint's Indie Summer with the Pomegranates. Next Friday (July 17th) it should be just as packed for Wussy and on July 24th it will be insane when Bad Veins hold their CD release party at Indie Summer.

A Barney Fife Layoff May Be In Order

Someone in the Hamilton County Sheriff's office needs to quickly become the victim of budget cuts for allowing a laptop to be stolen with personal information from an undisclosed number of people. For an organization charged with providing security to the citizens of Hamilton County, someone should lose their job over this. How much other equipment or evidence is stolen throughout the year? This incident only became public because people could have their identity stolen, therefore letters are being sent out to those affected.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Is Brad Wenstrup or the HCRP Running For Mayor?

I know there's not much of a Republican Presence in the City of Cincinnati, but one would think that the Republican mayoral candidate would have his own events calendar on his website instead of the Hamilton County GOP's calendar. I really hope this is not Wenstrup's appearances, because if it is, then he's spending more time outside of the City, then in it. That's where likely more of where his contributions are coming from. When his campaign finance report is available on-line, check the addresses.

Good Luck Peter Bronson

I think Peter Bronson's political and many of his social views especially are terrible. I've spent many of the last 7 years writing on this blog in rebuttal to the unchallenged conservative view point Bronson was able to spouse in the Enquirer. I am not going to jump for joy now that Bronson has been laid off. I instead wish him well and hope he lands a new job soon. I only met Peter one time at the BOE when Joe Wessels made a point of introducing me. He was nice. Everything I heard from people who met him in person would say without question that he was a very nice guy. They would just agree that they couldn't stand his political views.

One element of politics and media that many people fail to do is see the opposition as human beings. There should not be glee when a hard working person loses their job. Bronson is a good reporter, when he takes his opinion and bias out of a story. In life it never bodes you well to kick a dog when he's down. I hope to hear that Peter has transitioned to a new job or maybe new career soon. Good Luck Peter!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Enquirer Layoffs

A source indicates that Peter Bronson, David Wells, and the entire CinWeekly staff were laid off today.

UPDATE: Via Twitter Tom Callinan, #2 at the Enquirer, stated "Need to clarify: CiN in print and online will continue with Metromix as dominant brand. That does not lessen the sadness of layoffs."

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mob Rules

Randy at UrbanCincy strongly points out where the COAST cabal is trying to steer Cincinnati City Government. Their destination is a mob rules state where the gang that can round up biggest number of people with clubs to beat up the opposition with, wins. It's not about Representative Democracy, the form of government this Republic was founded on it, is about forcing your views on others with fear, tricks, and an abuse of the system.

COAST will scream about voting. They don't want people actually voting, they want to destroy government and create a society where only the strong rule and rule by force. They are conservatives with a far right-wing agenda and seek to make everyone succumb. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling them self. If you support what they do, what you are supporting is the destruction of City Government and along with it the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County with it.

Think I stating things too strongly, then I have to ask why? Where else could they possibility be headed? Their rhetoric is clear. At worst they are conservative anarchists, at best they are just old fashioned Reactionaries. If they wanted good government, they would be talking about reforming the charter, not trying to put some insane exemption in it. If you are against capital spending, then try to add an amendment that requires a plebiscite if it is over a certain dollar amount. Instead, the anti-rail and general conservative views are what are trying to push. If 100 million was going to fund a new religious university, COAST wouldn't be doing a damn thing about this. At that point, the Constitution they claim to support would be ignored. Can you imagine the the changes they would try pass if we had a straight up vote on amending the Constitution? That is where and why Representative Democracy works best. Mob rules is thuggery. Don't let the thugs go unchallenged and don't support them, in any form.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Council Candidates

The Fourth of July is a big day for Cincinnati Council campaigns and the parades on Saturday were filled with candidates and their supporterss. I saw two parades myself (Northside and Madisonville). I didn't see all of the candidates, but a majority. At this point, the only analysis of the race that can be made is by their foot print on web and each has a website of various types. As time goes on, the key to the race is who has troops on the ground, signs around town, and commercials on the air. If you don't see a candidate's face or name on t-shirts out at events this summer, the first of two reasons is: the candidate is so well known they don't need to do much until October, which is a foolish thing to believe about one's self. The second reason is that the candidate doesn't have much of a campaign, either money or volunteers. On election day the real measure will be who has both reached the most voters and gotten the most of them to come out and actually vote.

It is still early enough for other candidates to get into the race, but at this point here is who I believe is running. If I am missing anyone, please chime in with the name and/or website.

Jeff Berding (D)
Chris Bortz (C)
Laketa Cole (D)
Greg Harris (D)
Leslie Ghiz (R)
Chris Monzel (R)
Roxanne Qualls (C)
Cecil Thomas (D)

Endorsed Challengers
Tony Fisher (D)
Kevin Flynn (C)
Nicholas Hollan (D)
Amy Murray (R)
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Bernadette Watson (D)
Charlie Winburn (R)
Wendell Young (D)
George Zamary (R)

Independent Challengers
Anitra Brockman (I)
Darryl Cordrey (I)
Scott Pavelish (I)
LaMarque Ward (I)

Please note that some of the above may not actually get the valid number of signatures to appear on the ballot, and others might jump into race before the August deadline, meaning this is not a final list by any means.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Pools ARE a Basic Service

I thought City Council--led by Laketa Cole--was off the mark with its mid-year budget correction. Some ideas (like having police park their cars an hour per shift) don't seem likely to save the city money, and others (like the new environmental bureaucracy, a first-of-its-kind proposal that adds to the city payroll when the city is furloughing its existing staff) simply prioritize the city's agenda incorrectly.

But Cole has taken far too much flak for her recent argument that city pools are a "basic service" of municipal government. Leading the derision is HamCo GOP Chair Alex Triantafilou, who twittered that he was "laughing" at the statement, which Cole made to the Enquirer's editorial board. GOP council members piled on, and Triantafilou has since added a blog post on the topic (featuring a picture of what must be Green Township's public pool).

The truth, however, is that Cole is absolutely correct. Public pools have long been a staple of municipal government services. In Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America (2007), Jeff Wiltse writes that one of the first municipal pools was opened in Philadelphia in the summer of 1884. Municipal pools were a central battleground in the fight for desegregation in the United States during the middle part of the twentieth century.

If someone were to argue that public pools should be provided by the federal government, then that, of course, would be worthy of laughter. That's simply not a federal function. But municipalities provide services--police, fire, trash collection, and parks and pools--that don't come from national or state government. And cities have been providing pools since the nineteenth century. Public pools are not part of the FDR-era expansion of government. They're not even a service added by the City during the 1990's when the economy was strong and tax money was easy to find. Instead, from an historical standpoint, they are a core service of municipal government and woven into the fabric of our communities.

Laketa Cole is trying to protect a municipal service utilized primarily by the working poor and lower-middle class. While some of the more affluent Republicans in town may view that as worthy of laughter, their jocularity is not supported by reality or history. And their chronic disregard for the underserved and underrepresented may help explain why Republicans typically do pretty badly in City-wide elections.

The Day Cincinnati News Coverage Died?

How will the Cincinnati Enquirer survive as a news outlet after laying off an additional 100 people?

It is possible this could be a huge restructuring effort, where base functions of the company are centralized. That would involve the business side (advertising, accounting, systems) and not reporters, but I would be surprised it would not affect the content side as well.

If the content side (reporters, editors, layout, web tech) is greatly affected, this would mean a thin news outlet becoming affectively nothing. There would be no one left to gather any news, let alone maintain the limited news gathering level they have presently. Add this to the cuts at CityBeat, the lack of news coverage on TV, and radio being limited, and we are left with little else. It is dangerous when the public have no base level of journalism they can count on. Cincinnati has been losing and may totally lose that base in a couple of weeks.

On a human level, this is a huge deal and my best wishes go out to everyone at the Enquirer. I've gone through this recently myself, so I know the feeling. Keep your heads up and roll with the punches.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Racist Scum Still Are Out There

I would like to know if these scumbags are from say the East End or Linwood area or are they the usual crowd of asswipes from out towards Amelia? I am not going to find out because the couple of idiots leaving these fliers around are too chicken to make themselves known.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New Website: The Cincinnati Man

If you are a man or want to know what these men are writing about, then The Cincinnati Man may be a website worth checking out. It comes from a group of mostly Northern Kentuckians, so we are very glad they think in the broader "Cincinnati" area vision. It also gives a counter weight to the mostly female bloggers around town, who lend the most cultural critique of the City and its happenings.

Ignorance of Smitherman and Real Agenda of COAST

It's being said by Republicans, Democrats, Charterites, and every other logical thinking person, but Don Mooney Jr. lays out the reasons why the anti-rail ballot issue is shortsighted and something that will hurt the city now and later.

This once again exposes the ignorance of Chris Smitherman for not understanding what COAST is trying to do, stop any and all rail project. COAST pretends to only be about destroying government, but it is just a bunch of conservatives with an extremist and outdated political agenda.

CAC Cancels Fall Show

Yeah, um...could there be a slight problem with the leadership at the Contemporary Arts Center? When I say leadership, I'm talking the top of the ticket, accent and all.