Sunday, January 31, 2010

COAST Caught Lying Again

Truth and honesty are two elements that the person posting on COAST's Twitter account just doesn't understand. How do I know this to be a fact? Well, by first reading this COAST Twitter Post:
DITTO. RT@amybsells:Challenging to come up with new ways to tell [CITY] to stop spending and start saving if they want to buy a [TROLLEY].

Then if you simply link on the profile of the person they are re-tweeting, you can read this:
Finding it challenging to come up with new ways to tell people to stop spending and start saving money if they want to buy a house.

So a house equates to a "Trolley" and people equates to the "City?"

COAST has being cherry picking Twitter post looking from anyone and everyone complaining about any rail service problems. You can find people complaining more often about highway traffic and road conditions, but COAST will ignore anything that does not fit their agenda. I guess today they couldn't find any posts about some kid pissed they missed their train and instead COAST just TOTALLY changed what a person was talking about and tried to pass it off as a call to the City, thinking that using [] will be enough to fool people into thinking this person was agrees with COAST's desire to kill any and all public transportation.

This is what we in the sane world call Lying. It is nothing new for COAST, so for those who know what the group has done before, this will just be more of the usual.

If any politician associates with this group, they are working with liars, out to mislead the public. Their credibility was dead long ago, this is just being pathetic.

"So You Want To Be A Rock 'N Roll Star"

'Taking the Stage' the MTV reality show about students at Cincinnati's SCPA is totally manufactured, if you hadn't already guessed. Producers for the show brought in 5 kids to the school from different areas around town and 1 kid from out of state.

I hope people understand that this is nothing but exploitation of a school for benefit of no one but MTV. It will not make the careers of the students. This is really looking like a mistake for CPS.

The School gets attention, nationally. That is a win, but is it enough? Is it worth it? Does the SCPA really want to attract new students here with the false hope that they can have their break and be rich quick? This is not the way I would want to begin the next school year in a new building. We need our schools to be about all of the students and not about outside production schedules.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jim Tarbell Running For Commissioner

Howard Wilkinson of the Enquirer posted on Twitter this morning that former Vice-Mayor Jim Tarbell will run for the Democratic nomination in the Hamilton Count Commissioner's race.

This is very interesting news. If he wins the primary, would he get a Charter Committee endorsement? I'm not sure how Jim will play outside the city, but he should far well within the city, and would counter both Ghiz and Monzel strongly.

UPDATE: I guess we now may know why Cecil Thomas is not running, after he said he was considering it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Was this CityBeat Article Actually Meant for the Enquirer?

In this week's CityBeat I was very surprised to read the article entitled: Pregnancy Center More Than Just 'Anti-Abortion'. The surprise comes with the balance of the article. The article gives many instances of contrary viewpoints from critics of the "Pregnancy Center," namely from Planned Parenthood. That's not the problem. The problem is that the article in total gives deference to the subject. The Pregnancy Center make statements about what they do or don't do, but they are taken at their word that they actually are being honest about their counseling practices and don't have an alternative agenda. This deference is like the natural bias the Prosecution gets in the eyes of the jury, when it often thinks: why would they bring a case at all if they guy wasn't guilty?

CityBeat is a liberal/progressive paper and more often than not it chooses subjects that would not present a positive viewpoint of an 'anti-abortion' organization. For example, a question that I would have asked the group, and I think most of the CityBeat staff would as well: Does the Pregnancy Center provide contraception? A follow-up question if they said 'no': If part of your mission is to prevent abortions, why would you not take the simple action of giving people the means to prevent unwanted pregnancy? That question may have been asked, but it wasn't in the article. If the group had said they do give out condoms or birth control pills, then that would earn the headline it got.

This story is something I would have expected to read in the Enquirer. This is how the Conservative bias of the paper comes through, especially with the headline used. The article has balance, but gives the subject, one the print readers of the Enquirer favor, a positive spin it likely does not deserve.

Add this to a pro-marriage insert this week and you would think there's a spy over at CityBeat's offices!

Layoff the Magic Mushrooms, Brinkman

Tom Brinkman would appear to like charging at windmills. Of all Republicans in Democratic clothing to challenge, he is thinking about taking on Dusty Rhodes for County Auditor. Why not just get certified as a police officer and take on Si Leis for sheriff while you are at it, Tom? There's about as much chance of that happening as him beating Rhodes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear Freeman McNeil: Where Was the Black Vote?

During the recent controversy inside the Hamilton County Democratic Party Freeman McNeil is quoted on as saying:
“Black folks in Cincinnati make this a Democratic city,” McNeil said. “We have not received anything in return.”
Two points Mr. McNeil may want to consider: 1)The Hamilton County Democratic Party is more than just the City. 2)Where were the black votes in the 2009 council election?

In 2008 there was a huge turnout in predominately African-American Wards in the city proper, yet in 2009, those same wards saw a decline below the 2005 voter turnout, even with a Mayor, who happens to be black, up for re-election against a white Republican. The Democrats lost a seat on council, so the failure to get the out the vote falls on whom? If most of the black members of the HCDC's executive committee claim that blacks are responsible for the City being Democratic, then why did the ballots cast drop in most of the predominate black city wards in the 2009 city elections?

Change in Registered Voters 09-05 Change in Ballots Cast 09-05
City Wide
13,478 -91
Mt. Washington/California
384 730
563 231
307 -373
Hyde Park
-22 253
Mt. Lookout/Linwood
379 400
1,248 226
Roselawn/Bond Hill
532 -351
Mt. Aburn/Mt. Adams
270 -77
Walnut Hills/E Walnut Hills
221 -154
588 -43
Clifton Heights
366 -115
958 -105
Avondale/North Avondale
341 -650
Pleasant Ridge/Kennedy Heights
452 46
808 -68
225 0
West End/OTR
816 -117
West End
87 -194
Sedamville/Sayler Park
167 202
Price Hill
562 -20
South Fairmount
180 -86
Northside/Camp W/S. Cummingsville
527 16
College Hill/Mt. Airy
1,045 -29
532 74
Price Hill(Covedale)
833 -18
1,109 131

I'll get called names for pointing this out.  I know certain people (like guys who wear capes around town) will surly call me all sorts of things for daring to put numbers back into the face of black Democrats using the race card to get someone a job. I'm doing it anyway, and it's not the first or last time.  I'll survive.

It could have been so much easier. Instead of handling this with wisdom and discretion, it was put out in the press. Division and discourse plays right into the hands of Republicans. Instead of playing games race, why not look at the qualifications of executive director, Caleb Faux?  Here is the ED of the party who just over a year ago help steer the county Blue for the first time in decades and for a black candidate as well. Having over 117,000 non-city residents vote for Obama is a big deal.  He didn't do it on his own, but as the ED, he gets some of the credit.

Now, its time to get past this and sing a happy tune.  There are elections to be won this year.

Attention City Council - You Have a Job, Currently

This is ridiculous. With Cecil Thomas talking about running for County Commissioner that makes Five of the Nine sitting Council members either declared candidates for different offices or openly talking about running. A majority of council members are already thinking about moving on and they were just elected. All of the Republicans are ready to leave and half of the Democrats are ready to move on. Does that mean Bortz, Berding and Qualls all want to be Mayor? I'm hoping Quinlivan will actually try and serve on council for more than one term and get some experience before thinking about moving on.

I think we have a new FIVE to mock, but I don't have a catchy name. Once they leave office maybe they be the Forgettable Five.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cole vs. Reece

Alicia Reece and Laketa Cole both appear to want State Rep. Yates soon to be vacant House seat, but only one will get it. Reports indicate Reece will be appointed to fill Yates' seat when he moves to an open Municipal Judgeship. Cole is signaling she may run against Reece in November. At this point I'm not sure why they are talking about November, what about the primary?

I think there would not be a big cry from anyone if Cole left City Council.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fine Arts Fund's ArtAlive Party Feb 20th at the CAC

The Fine Arts Fund kicks off their annual campaign with a great event: the ArtAlive Party, Saturday February 20th, 2010, 7 PM at the CAC. Cincinnati is privileged to have a world class arts scene and a core reason for that is the FAF. If you don't know what the FAF does for Cincinnati, then you really need to read their website  This event brings the art community together to celebrate the Cincinnati tradition of supporting the arts and this gives the art supporter the chance to experience the amazing cutting edge art going on right here in Cincinnati.  This is about Cincinnati, this is not about what is going on in other places, this is happening here and now.

$25 in advance ($30 at the door) gets you a great night of excitement including special live performances and the opening of the Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand exhibit at the CAC. Add in great food, a drink, and mixing with the people who make Cincinnati vibrant and you have an evening not to miss.

If this isn't enough, that whole weekend, Feb 20th - 21st, is the FAF's Sampler Weekend filled with FREE arts events all across the metro area.

Friday, January 22, 2010

So When Does Monzel Move to the Suburbs?

Chris Monzel gave his "I Hate the City" announcement speech on Wednesday making it official that he is running for Hamilton County Commissioner.

The highlights of the speech were:
  • Monzel calling himself a 'Son of the Suburbs.'  I guess 'Son of the South' was taken?
  • Monzel promised to not raise taxes, but has no plan to deal with the budget shortfall.  I wonder if he was facing a foreclosure at home, would he refuse to get a second job to pay off his mortgage payments because he made a pledge not to increase revenue? Not paying your bills must be worse than taking the hit and telling the kids what they can't have.  No health-care?  No food?  I'm sure he'd call for giving up milkshakes, which 'would' prevent a foreclosure in most families.
  • He held his press conference at an electric car company showroom.  I am guessing the Tea Baggers are going to put a hit out on him for doing that.
Expectations for the primary fight between Ghiz and Monzel are high.  The highest hope we could all have is that both Ghiz and Monzel quit council and appoint Amy Murray and George Zamary to council in their place.  If I'm going to have a Republican on council, I'd like them to want to be on council and care about the city.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

PNC Music Series to Return in Force to Fountain Square

The wildly successful PNC Summer Music Series returns to Fountain Square in 2010 and with an expansion to include Monday Jazz and an improved booking process through Sonic Bids.

Last year's Indie Summer events every Friday were great showcases to the best of local Cincinnati music as well as some special shows like the Fiery Furnaces.

The weekly line will be:

Monday: Jazz
Tuesday: Country, Blues
Wednesday: Reggae
Thursday: Salsa on the Square
Friday: MidPoint's Indie Summer
Sunday: Gospel, Soul and R&B

Building Cincinnati Likely to Cease Publication

Yesterday Kevin LeMaster, Editor and Publisher of the Building Cincinnati Blog, announced that his blog likely will cease publication. His hope had been to turn the website into a full time endeavor, but at this point it has not met his expectations. The website has been one of the best blogs in town and provided the best coverage of development in the city and surrounding area.

I personally hope Kevin can continue his blog in any form possible. His voice is important to the Cincinnati area blogging community and he has and hopefully will continue to contribute to the development of Cincinnati and its urban core.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beer, Cheese, and Movieoke

All right, not all in one place. But all in one night. There's some fun things going on next week downtown. Usually, I'm not cool enough to know about stuff like this until after it happens, but thanks to the magic of Facebook, I'm (sort of) in the know for a change.

On Wednesday, January 27 from 7 to 9 in the evening, Chef Josh Campbell of Mayberry (on Vine Street next to Hamburger Mary's--it's a creation of the World Food Bar Restaurant Group) will host a beer- and cheese-tasting event. Seating is limited to just 20 people (well, 18, since I've already made my own reservations!), so call now to reserve your spot. It sounds like a fun evening. (I can't imagine anything other than a great time when you combine beer, cheese, and Josh's culinary talents!)

On the same night, beginning at 8:00, the Below Zero Lounge will host a "movieoke" night. The concept, as I understand it, is similar to karaoke. You get together with a friend or two, and the video to a movie is played while your group lip-syncs the lines (which are provided). When experienced with copious amounts of alcohol, I suspect this is a fun time, too!

MusicNow 2010 Announces Dates and Line Up

MusicNow returns to Memorial Hall March 30th with a great 2010 festival lineup. Headliners include Joanna Newsome, St. Vincent, yMusic, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Tickets are on sale now. $20 per night and $50 for 3 day pass.

Monday, January 18, 2010

WNKU Goes "All Music"

Starting February 1st, Public Radio station WNKU will go all music with the dropping of two NPR news programs(pdf). Gone will be Morning Edition and Fresh Air, programs that can both be heard locally on WVXU. WNKU News Director Craig Kopp will anchor a new program called "Morning Drive" which will feature music but will continue with "NPR and BBC newscasts, local news and local features and interviews that get behind the headlines," filling in the morning drive time.

WNKU is making a smart move. It long ago ceded news programming to the more powerful WVXU station. By focusing on a unique mix of music, they stand to gain listeners and better serve those they have. It also hopefully will increase the rotation of local recording artists and I hope the morning program can be a showcase for local bands and artists.

What Exactly Is Smitherman Protesting? Seriously!

If Chris Smitherman and his followers from the local NAACP are protesting the issue of minority contracts on CPS construction projects, then I can understand the point. I don't like the fact that Smitherman has debased the local NAACP chapter into being little more than a lobbyist for black owned companies, but putting that aside, inclusion in public contracts is a fair issue to be concerned about.

The article from the Enquirer states that the protests are about working on MLK day. Seriously? This is what the protest is about? Working on a holiday? That is not a civil right and Smitherman knows that. Private companies, which are doing the construction, can be open for work any day they wish. I did know it was a priority of the NAACP, to require private companies or even vital public services to refrain from working on this particular holiday. Why would Chris Smitherman make MLK into a political football? Today is a day we should remember the man and his message and honor him. Today is a day that many people fought for and wanted, not as a political day, but a day where everyone (all races!) can honor what Dr. King did and the dream he died for.

I'm surely going to get flack from some for daring to criticize the leader of the local NAACP on today of all days, but I believe that is, in part, what Dr. King wanted: everyone to be judged by their actions, not given leave to exlpoit ideas and a movement for their own embellishment. I'm judging Smitherman by his actions and his actions are not of a man looking to help people, they are the actions of a man looking to help himself and a few of his allies. That does not do justice to anyone's memory, no matter how superficially similar it may appear. MLK was about than just knee-jerk protests. He had principles. Smitherman could use a refresher on those principles.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Time Is Now: Read Tom Callinan's Essay on OTR

Please read Tom Callinan's Essay about preservation of OTR. It is a straight forward piece that points fingers everywhere. We all must act. The attitude is the first thing and the phone call that Tom should make is to WLW-AM and try to convince them that their hate filled anti-city attitude are not only wrong, but they will hurt when the city loses as well.

The Urban core is the heart of the metro area. It must thrive and it will bring all of the Tri-State area along with it..

Best Unauthorized Use of a Registered Trademark Goes Too...

Cincinnati MetroMix had egg on its face this week with what they had originally billed as the "Best of Cincinnati" contest. CityBeat made MetroMix aware of the problem with using "Best of Cincinnati" which is a federally trademarked item. MetroMix updated the information surrounding the contest, including the website.

The moral of the story, check with the lawyers before using a title that sounds like a very similar title for a very similar contest that's been around for 14 years. Better yet, be original, and don't rely on corporate programs! A long winded moral, but one that everyone should learn. The non-relying-on-corporate part is the hardest part to do, since most of reliance is mandatory. Another reason to read local.

The actual Best of Cincinnati voting opens soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Because We Have To Do Something

Approximately 2 million people live in the capital of Haiti and the surrounding areas where the earthquake struck. The American Red Cross is now estimating that 3 million people are affected by the disaster. Current reports from Haiti tell of terrible destruction, widespread chaos, and overcrowded hospitals. Preliminary reports are estimating the death toll could be as high as 50,000.

Former Republican Presidential candidate, Rev Pat Robertson says the earthquake is God's punishment on Haiti because of some "pact with the devil" Haitians made at the time of Napoleon III. America's moral compass (and occasional drug addict), Rush Limbaugh, saw the devastation and death in Haiti this way:

This will play right into Obama's hands. He's humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, "credibility" with the black community--in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made-to-order for them. That's why he couldn't wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there.

Thankfully neither of these cartoonish boobs represent actual people in America.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Council Staff Bonuses Not a Big Deal

Berding and Bortz gave year end bonuses to their staffers.

This is not a big deal, especially since the amount of money is not hugely significant. They both did not use of their payroll budget, so how they structure the salaries of their staff is their prerogative. I was pleased to see everyone come in under budget overall. I wonder, what is Monzel not spending money on that other council members are? How is he able to have 25,000+ left over? Cole was close behind at 17,000+. So the question could go to her as well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And Many More....

Happy birthday to Brian Griffin, who has just completed his thirty-eighth revolution around the sun!

CSO 2010-11: Wow, Wow, Wow!

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2010-2011 schedule. It is, easily, the most impressive lineup of CSO concerts in one season in the ten years I've lived here.

Both Janelle Gelfand and Mary Ellyn Hutton have the scoop. (A note here: until this weekend, I was unaware that Ms. Hutton, the outstanding reporter/critic formerly of the Cincinnati Post, had a site where she continues to write and blog. Griff: get a link up!) The highlights of the season include:
  • a cycle of all five Beethoven concertos;
  • five commissioned fanfares;
  • an opening weekend featuring Kathleen Battle;
  • a "farewell gala" featuring Yo-Yo Ma; and
  • Vadim Repin performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Because Paavo will be a busy man (CSO is just one of four gigs worldwide for him in the upcoming season), Music Hall will also host a great variety of guest conductors. Since all of the guest conductors are rising stars, that may play a pivotal role in the CSO's search for post-Paavo leadership.

Paavo will conduct nine of the season's concerts. (At least, I count nine. Gelfand and Hutton both say eight, but I think they're referring to subscription series concerts, which doesn't include the Yo-Yo Ma farewell gala.)

It's a season to look forward to, and will no doubt be one to remember.

City Council Passes Rules by 6-3 Vote

WVXU is reporting Cincinnati City Council adopted rules rules to govern council today, almost a month and half after they normally are adopted.

I'm wondering who voted in the majority, anyone there for the vote care to update us with names?

Does Smitherman Only Know How to Threaten People?

Is Chris Smitherman, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, only able to communicate via threat?

It sounds like the school board to a degree agreed with his position that not enough African-Americans were employed on the current school construction projects. So, Smitherman went into his bag of tricks and pulled out the only thing he has: shouting threats. Political retribution to a school board is akin to telling a volunteer staffer you are going to dock their pay for being late. That aside, Smitherman has no political power to use. In the last election he had little influence on City races, so what makes him think he can do anything for the school board?

The more telling questions not answered were alluded to in the article: How many non-whites are employed on the constructional projects? Did the projects reach the goal of 40% of workers from city residents?

Maybe if Smitherman asked more questions, instead of demanding answers to the wrong ones, he might be taken seriously and maybe even has his opinion considered.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's Worse: Cheating or Betting?

Pete Rose was accused of betting on baseball and banned from the game--including its Hall of Fame--as a result.

Mark McGwire has been accused--and has now admitted--to using steroids. His penalty? None. In fact, it appears that he will continue to be the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

As regular readers know, I wasn't born and raised in Cincinnati, though it is my adopted home-town. I now consider myself a Reds fan. But I'm no Pete Rose groupie. As far as I'm concerned, Rose got the penalty he deserved, first for betting on baseball and then for lying about it for years. I don't buy the argument that it's OK since he never bet "against the Reds." Once he started betting for the Reds, he bet against his team every time he didn't bet for it. Everyone--including Rose--knew that getting caught gambling on baseball would get you baseball's version of the death penalty.

I don't know, though, how McGwire's transgression is less onerous than Rose's. Rose didn't cheat. Even under my theory of betting "against" his team, Rose has never been accused of intentionally altering game outcomes. But that's not so for McGwire. McGwire cheated. He gained an advantage through his conduct. And in doing so, he sullied one of baseball's most hallowed records.

Let's be clear about what McGwire did. This isn't a pitcher doctoring a ball on the mound, an act that can be detected by a smart umpire. This isn't even about HGH, which wasn't banned by the MLB until 2005. This was steroids--the rage-inducing, testicle-shrinking grandaddy of performance enhancers--which were banned in 1991. He knew he was breaking the rules. He knew he was gaining an edge. And he did it anyhow. He admits that he used during 1998, when he broke Roger Maris's single season home-run mark.

Mark McGwire should have the courtesy and grace to remain in the obscurity to which he had retired after his infamous testimony before Congress five years ago. The Cardinals' decision to retain his services as a hitting coach--to prop him up as a role model for how young players should approach the game--is vile. McGwire's presence on a major league coaching staff is an insult to every player who played or plays the game within the bounds of the rules, and an affront to every fan, unaware that McGwire's success was the result of illegal intravenous drugs, who cheered his hitting prowess in 1998.

If McGwire doesn't have the decency to stay away from the game and the Cardinals lack the wisdom to keep him away, then baseball and Bud Selig must step in to impose a penalty on McGwire. Given that McGwire's actions changed game outcomes and stole a coveted record, how can his sanction be any less severe than Rose's? Bud Selig must make the tough decision faced by Bart Giamatti in 1989 and force McGwire to accept banishment from the game.

The Reds open the 2010 season this April against the Cardinals. I don't normally boo much at ballgames or encourage others to do so, but if McGwire is present, he should be booed. And he should be ashamed.

Will Ghiz End Toys For Leis Program?

BossSexy makes a good point about Leslie Ghiz: if elected to the Hamilton County Commission will she put an end to the useless toy purchases made by th Sheriff's department? Could they maybe sell off some of the toys and maybe put the money to actually investigating more crimes throughout the county? I mean with Si Leis, the local Sheriff, as her campaign chair, she stands a good chance of talking with him about his problem of having too many toys he doesn't need. He will surely listen to her....

Using his toys in parades doesn't actually save money, like a Kindle will. Ghiz hasn't done much saving money as a council member. She's saved lots of raises for the FOP, but that would be about it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Phony Coney Probes Who is Funding COAST

I would have thought there would be more in lines of local right wing nuts funding COAST, but it turns out there's more of a special interest motive at play. I wouldn't be surprised to see COAST start a petition drive to try and force the State of Ohio to issue gold coin currency, right after the check from the Gold Miner's Association cleared.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Extra-Territorial Warrants and the Fourth Amendment

For those to whom the title of this post is gobblety-gook, I apologize. But I wanted to take a moment to mention that during the last week of 2009, the Second District Court of Appeals (which includes Montgomery, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, and Miami counties) issued an extremely interesting decision on a legal question that is quite murky. So please bear with me while I go all law-geeky.

The facts are quite simple: Miami Township police came to believe that Kevin Jacob had committed a theft offense. (Believe it or not, he allegedly stole several Hummel figurines. Note to would-be thieves: people get very, very possessive about their Hummels.) Eventually, the police decided that Jacob had taken the figurines with him to California, and convinced a Miamisburg judge to issue a warrant to search Jacob (then in California), as well as a residence and two cars also in California. The warrant was sent to and executed by the San Francisco police.

The question before the Second District was this: can an Ohio judge authorize a search in California? In an opinion written by Judge Froelich, the court concludes that it does not. The court's decision relies heavily on the statutes and rules enabling Ohio judges and magistrates to issue warrants, all of which limit the judge's power to his territorial jurisdiction. "Crossing state lines," writes Judge Froelich, "by allowing an Ohio court to determine when California citizens and property are subject to search and seizure crosses [a] constitutional line."

As is my policy, I'll not comment on the merits of the court's decision. I did want to note, though, that one of our local courts of appeals recently wrestled with a particularly thorny constitutional question. For more analysis--including some discussion of how this applies to internet crime issues--read this blog post by Professor Orin Kerr of George Washington Law School.

By the way, because the appellate court determined that the issuance of the warrant was outside of the trial court's authority, Mr. Jacob's conviction was set aside; should the State seek to retry him, it will not be permitted to use the evidence obtained from the California search during a new trial. Given the novelty and importance of the issues raised, I'd be surprised if the Montgomery County prosecutor doesn't seek review before the Ohio Supreme Court (and perhaps ultimately the US Supreme Court).

Mr. Jacob was represented on appeal by Jennifer Getty of the Getty Law Office in Dayton.

UrbanUp Ponders Exclusivity

Sherman Cahal at UrbanUp ponders the viability of exclusivity in the booming downtown club scene. At last count there are at least five high-end clubs (with one more on the way) in the Downtown area. This doesn't include the high end restaurants. Can the market take this level of supply? I could use another Arnold's in Downtown. Can we clone it?

Let's Go Bengals!

In all likelihood, today is the Bengals' final home game of the 2009-2010 season (theoretically, the AFC Championship could be played here, but only if the Bengals beat the Jets and the Chargers and the Ravens beat the Patriots and the Colts).

Those of us who live in the southwestern corner of downtown have a unique experience when we watch Bengals' home games on television. (And since I don't have tickets, that's how I'll be watching.) To make sure we don't hear any bad words, games are, of course, broadcast with a delay of several seconds. For some reason, digital cable (to which I subscribe) is often a second or two behind its broadcast or analog cable counterparts. So people see plays on their TV about 7 to 12 seconds after they happen in real time.

Why does that matter? I live close enough to Paul Brown Stadium that I can hear the crowd. I can hear the crowd's intensity rise during and after a particularly positive play for the Bengals. And I can hear it, usually, a couple seconds before the ball is snapped on my TV. So as the team is at the line, if I hear the volume of the crowd suddenly pick up, I know the Bengals are about to have a big gain or a score.

I don't really have any game analysis for you (for that, check out one of the sports bloggers, like Lance McAlister). But I wanted to offer some sort of game-day post wishing the Bengals well.

And wouldn't it be cool if the AFC Championship game were here?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Velvet Opens on Fourth Street

I'm not really cool enough to be in the know about things like this (I was hoping perhaps 5chw4r7z had the scoop, but there's nothing on his blog), but by virtue of proximity, I can report that a new nightclub has opened on West 4th between Plum and Central, in the space previously occupied by Bang. The new club is called "Velvet," and was open this past weekend.

I can't seem to figure out the new club's hours or who, exactly, is running the show (though I think it's the guys behind Bang/FB's/Club Clau/etc.). Some of the club's residential neighbors have complained about noise during the club's opening, so one hopes that the club will work to be a good neighbor. Velvet's owners should remember that a busy nightclub in that block is a relatively new phenomenon, and many of the street's residents pre-date Bang and thus weren't looking for the residential experience of an entertainment district.

If anyone has some info on the new club, feel free to post in the comments.

CSO Faces Transition

The CSO announced today that Paavo Jarvi will conclude his tenure as condutor at the end of the 2010-11 season, when his contract expires. The CSO sent an email to its subscribers informing them of the maestro's decision.

That comes on the heels of the death of Erich Kunzel, long-time conductor of the Pops. It also follows--by just a few weeks--Louise Nippert's extraordinary $85 million gift to the CSO.

I moved to Cincinnati in the fall of 2000. The first nine months of that time, I was too busy trying not to flunk out of my first year of law school to do anything outside Clifton. So for me, Paavo--who came here in September 2001--has always been been the face of CSO.

The search for a new conductor will no doubt be made easier by Ms. Nippert's gift, which ensures the long-time financial stability of the CSO. Most orchestras in similarly-sized cities don't have the financial breathing room now enjoyed by the CSO. This all means that CSO will likely have its pick of conductors from around the world.

So, Who's BossSexy?

Regular Cincinnati Blog commentor BossSexy has taken the next step and started his/her own blog.

The tag line is "A collection of thoughts and commentary on Cincinnati life that is too short to be taken seriously and too long to end up on Twitter."

Have a read and send your nutty comments to him/her!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Really, Milford?

Before a single flake of snow has fallen, and with only a few inches of snow predicted (snow that isn't scheduled to start falling for at least twelve more hours), Milford has declared a snow emergency.

Runners-up in the Race to Over-React to the Coming of the White Death: Little Miami and Mason schools, which have already decided on a two-hour delay for schools tomorrow. (If the forecasts are right--and they never seem to be--getting to school will be trickier, not easier, two hours later than usual.)

Stay tuned to the Cincinnati Blog, your best source for the ridiculing of people who can't deal with southwest Ohio's relatively tame winters.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Do Any City Republicans Want to Be on Council?

So all three Republican Council Members are running for Hamilton County Commission. All three would be running against each other in the GOP Primary.

So, I'm sure all three will have time to find ways to improve the city's budget problems. They've been so full of ideas recently that they have solved all of the problems facing us in the City.

Leslie Ghiz Announces Run for Commission

Showing her dedication to the City, Council Member Leslie Ghiz today announced her run for Hamilton County Commissioner. This has long been rumored and gives support to her right wing tilt during last year's council race.

According to the Enquirer she will not step down from council during the campaign, but claims she will reduce her law practice to compensate for the time.

How much time has she actually been putting into her duties as a council member before now?

No word on who will be challenging her.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Plummer Fired From Police Department, Again

Cincinnati Police Officer Anthony Plummer has been fired from the force, again. Plummer was the officer who shocked the daughter of Councilman Cecil Thomas with a taser last summer. All reports of the incident reported that Plummer used excessive force in dealing with Celeste Thomas, who was on her knees when hit with the taser. There is no one out defending this officer's bad actions, but there will be at least one group who defend him.

Plummer is appealing his termination, as he did back in 2006 when he was fired the first time. This is the point where the Police Union must act. It is obvious Plummer does not belong on the police force. The FOP should convince Plummer not to return to the force. If the FOP lift a finger to help Plummer get back on the force, then they are complicit in his actions. The language from the internal police investigation was beyond damaging, it was a condemnation. The FOP must act to not only keep the citizens safer by getting this cop of the streets, they do themselves harm by defending him. How can any professional defend the improper actions of this terrible police officer? I know the argument they will make, they have to follow the rules of the union and defend him to the end, but when is enough, enough? All they are doing now is fighting for him to get money. He doesn't deserve a dime from anyone and it is theft if the city is forced to pay him anything and it is an injustice to the public if he gets his job back.

Plummer must go. If arbitration goes the wrong way, the only likely option would be some kind of buyout, which still sucks, but to keep a gun out of this guy's hands it may be worth the price.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year, and a New Disclaimer

Since joining Brian here at the Cincinnati Blog a little more than two years ago, I've been a solo practitioner. That's meant that I've never had to worry about anyone attributing my words to anyone else.

As of today, though, I'm a proud partner in Caster, Dutta & Seibel, LLC. My point is not to advertise (though you should certainly contact us with any of your criminal defense, civil rights, employment, or appellate needs!). Instead, I just want to make it clear--as it should be to anyone who isn't an utter moron--that when I write, I do so only for myself. My musings here are my own thoughts, and should not be attributed to any entity in which I am a member or any of the other members of those entities.

And as you all know, Brian and I don't always agree, so I don't write for him, either.

Happy New Year!