Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Solution to Ending the Violence Starts From Within

In the Enquirer article about the reaction of City Officials to the recent up-tick in violence the key to ending wide spread violences starts from within the communities suffering from them. Two paragraphs sum this up. First from Robin Moore, who lost her son in September of 2007:
Moore spoke about the code of silence that keeps people quiet while killers roam the streets freely. She spoke of the agony of losing a son. She spoke of the company she has with other mothers dealing with homicides, both the solved and the unsolved.
That's followed up from City Manager Milton Dohoney:
“The bottom line is this: Our community police will react when the call is made,” said Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, adding that it takes more than that just police reacting to street violence. “This problem will only get better when the community decides to make it so.”
Religious leaders can preach peace, which is at best a long term attitude changer. The police can and will do their jobs and investigate the crimes. The solution is within the community: 1)turn in the criminals. 2) Listen to the pastors and teach the youth that violence is not a normal way of social interaction.

No one has said that the recent increase in murders and shootings are connected to the drug trade. It usually is. This type of spike seems like a gang war over turf or juvenile slights. Breaking the criminal gangs should be and I think is a focus of law enforcement. Another solution to help end type of violence would be to legalize drugs. That's a long way off and likely just as big of a hurdle to get over as finding a solution within the affected community, but both need to be sought.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati is Out

I really wonder who reads CityBeat sometimes, but I am totally amazed at who votes for the Reader's Picks in the Best of Cincinnati Issue now on-line. Who is voting for the Rusty Griswolds as the best local band? Seriously, who are they? I would like to invite them to Fountain Square this Summer on a Friday night to hear good local bands.

I will ask CityBeat to please create a best Cover Band category for next year's issue so we can try and avoid a repeat of this year's travesty.

I do have to wonder, how many email address does 700WLW's Scott Sloan have? Does he buy them in bulk or did he just hire a hacker?

Another question: can we have another new category? Something like Bar owned and run by the largest collection of Douche Bags would work. Cadillac Ranch would win hands down.

I'm surprised Cadillac Ranch got high rankings in so many categories, with it's lack of respect for events CityBeat sponsors, but then I remember the large collection of Douche Bags running that place, and the vote totals make sense. Douche bags lack good judgment and musical taste, but still know how to surf the web.

Read it in print tomorrow for all the rest.

Michael Flannery Resigns From CPS Board

The Enquirer is reporting that Cincinnati Public School Board member Michael Flannery is resigning from the school board effective April 13th. At Monday night's meeting Flannery stated he is resigning from the board do to health reasons. Flannery indicate he was undergoing tests, including an MRI of his brain. We all hope for a speedy recovery to Mr. Flannery.

The article also describes the process to fill the vacant seat, where the remaining six members vote to appoint a member to fill the rest of Flannery's term. If no candidate can get a majority, then a county judge will select a replacement.

Monday, March 29, 2010

COAST Endorses Chris Monzel

Local extremist group COAST has announced its endorsement of Chris Monzel for Hamilton County Commissioner in the GOP Primary.

Monzel's GOP primary opponent Leslie Ghiz should not be surprised and if she has any sense would be pleased to not get the support of the anti-city extremists.

Since Monzel is a "son of the suburbs," he has no problem doing everything he can to stop development in the city. Only effective City Council Members do that.

Cecil Thomas Thumbs His Nose at Democrats

There are many basic rules you need to follow when running in a contested Democratic primary. One of those rules is don't make appearances at extreme right-wing groups' candidate forums.

Why is this bad? Well, lets start with the obvious: look at the groups sponsoring this event!
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, COAST, the Cincinnati Tea Party, Family First, Citizens for Community Values Action, Warren County Right to Life, Ohio Liberty Council and Americans for Prosperity.
These aren't even remotely moderate groups, this is the FAR RIGHT-WING of Cincinnati and the Country's politics. The only groups to the right are going to be the Militias and the white supremacist groups (yes often one in the same).

99% of the people who attended the COAST Candidates Form were not Democrats. Therefore they will not be voting in the Democratic Primary in May. In November these same people are not going to vote for a Democratic candidate, at all. It is just a waste of resources and time to attend this event. Instead, go after your base! Is Thomas presuming he will get the black vote? That may be a reasonable presumption, but will he get the turnout from the black community he will need? Why not spend some time, maybe a Wednesday evening, working on getting voter turnout in traditionally black neighborhoods.

Instead Thomas is courting the Conservative vote. He's quoted as making a bad joke about him being Christian will be enough for the attendees to vote for him. I don't suppose a Democrat might not like seeing him making jokes at an event that includes speakers attacking Rep. Steve Driehaus, at the same time he's getting threats.  It is insulting.  It shows his lack of dedication to the primary.  It is a clear sign that he does not understand the basics of running a political campaign.  Thomas thinks he's running for City Council, but needs to find out that his not going to get the Westside Conservative votes in the Democratic Primary.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Google Fiber Cincinnati

Email, Tweet, Facebook, yell, scream, call your Mom and tell her and everyone else that Cincinnati needs to be the Test Site for Google's high speed Internet Project.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tea Party Distances Itself From Driehaus Protest

Since we're quick to criticize the Tea Party, I thought we also need to point out when they do the right thing. The Cincinnati Tea Party today issued a statement in opposition to the protest planned at Steve Driehaus's home. A Tea Party spokesman asks its members not to even go past the protest out of curiosity. (Hat tip: Politics Extra Blog.)

I think we'll see the Tea Party act more and more responsibly as its members move from the role of protester to that of politician. Several Cincinnati Tea Party members are on the ballot to join the HamCo GOP Central Committee, and Mike Wilson is seeking the GOP nomination for the Ohio House seat currently occupied by Connie Pillich.

While there are few issues about which I agree with the Tea Party, I respect that they've brought people into the political process who have not previously been there. (Didn't many of us praise Barack Obama for the same thing two years ago?) As the movement matures, it'll be interesting to see it progress from a loose coalition of people raising their voices during town hall meetings to an organized group accomplishing political objectives. Condemning a Sunday protest outside a legislator's personal residence is a step in the right direction.

Jim Schifrin Is Still An Ass

If you read Jim Schifrin's Wistleblower newsletter then you were already aware that he is an ass. I say that without trepidation, seriously, the guy is an old fart who insults people every day and writes offensive stuff that is meant for 80 year old men at 150-year-old run down barbershops. He of course goes above an beyond his usual horrible actions with the publication of the home address of Rep. Steve Driehaus.

Schifrin's newsletter (does the guy not know what a blog is?) is the epitome of the junior high mindset that seems to be pervasive with a large portion of conservative men. If they knew who Bevis and Butthead were, they might get the simple fact that what they think is funny now stopped being funny when you reach age 17. It would behoove them to grow up.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back the Food Truck Up.... (Bumped and Updated)

Over at Wine Me, Dine Me, Julie posts a press release issued by the operators of the food trucks that have recently sprouted up in Cincinnati. Apparently, the trucker-chefs are concerned that City Council is going to act to regulate the trucks. In their defense, Tom Acito, who owns Cafe de Wheels, says, "Our goal of being a mobile restaurant isn’t to steal business from local restaurants in the Over-the-Rhine and downtown areas. Rather, we hope to situate ourselves in areas where we will not directly compete with independent restaurant owners."

As far as I can tell, the trucker-chefs' concerns are fueled by John Curp's comment to Polly Campbell that "it's safe to say that the city is looking into the issue to see if there's need for additional regulations."

I'm not certain that Acito is really serious about not competing with local restaurants. Cafe de Wheels' typical lunchtime spot is on Walnut just off of Court Street. Assuming the truck stays there, it will definitely compete with Avril-Bleh's sidewalk grill, which is set to re-open April 5.

But more importantly, the trucks' primary competitors are not restaurants. After all, if you own a restaurant and find yourself at a competitive disadvantage to a guy who cooks his food in a UPS truck, it may be time to find a new profession. Instead, the trucks are really competing with sidewalk vendors.

The vendors are, of course, regulated by the city. And the trucker-chefs don't want to be. My question: is that fair? Sidewalk vendors run a pretty low-margin business. They are licensed by the City, and their location is subject to City approval. (In fact, the City has recently adopted a lottery through which street vendors' locations will be determined. This was first mentioned last year in a Jane Prendergast blog post. The HamCo Common Pleas Court recently issued a temporary restraining order delaying implementation of the new system. If I can find the complaint, I'll write a post on this issue.)

I know that the food trucks are the current darlings of the "cool kids" in the blogosphere. I like them (the trucks), too. (You haven't really lived until you've had Cafe de Wheels' grilled cheese and pulled pork sandwich.) But I wonder: why is it fair that the food trucks operate outside the rules that everyone else has to play by? Will a licensing fee and some rules about their location really put them out of business? Or would those things just put them on a level playing field with their competitors?

Finally, can anyone speak with certainty as to what Council committee would tackle this issue? I assume it's the Livable Communities Committee, chaired by Roxanne Qualls, but I'm not sure under the 2010 committee structure.

UPDATE (3/25/2010): Polly Campbell has this blog post on the topic, in which she quotes Tom Acito as saying that he and fellow trucker-chefs aren't presently petitioning the city. I'm not sure why he sent Julie a press release heralding the formation of his not-yet-formed group, then.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CPS and Minority Contractors: Is This Really Such A Mystery?

The Enquirer now reports that Cincinnati Public Schools has "reached out" to minority contractors in an effort to increase minority involvement in CPS's ongoing construction projects. The Enquirer describes the new plan as "experimental." My question: this isn't really as difficult as CPS is making it out to be, is it?

CPS has insisted (sincerely, I believe) that it is committed to minority involvement in its construction contracts. It seems befuddled as to how to get there. But there exists, within Cincinnati, a working model as to how to use race-neutral means to achieve significant minority participation in construction: the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Some time ago, the inestimable Dan Hurley did an excellent segment on Newsmakers on how the Freedom Center was able to achieve contracting out 40% of the work to minority-owned firms. I'll not recount the process here in great detail, but perhaps CPS Board members should follow the link and watch the video.

It should be noted that involving minority-owned firms doesn't necessarily ensure the employment of minority workers. That's a whole other blog post, I think. But I can't figure out why CPS is having such a hard time doing something that was accomplished just a few years ago in Cincinnati.

Finally, this is probably the right time to note my disagreement with Griff's post on Christopher Smitherman's arrest last week. Mr. Smitherman and Rev. Foster were acting in the best tradition of the civil rights movement: engaging in civil disobedience to bring attention to an important social problem. They demonstrated peaceably and offered no resistance to the police when arrested. And prior to their protest, they had exhausted other means to bring about change, having petitioned CPS several times to redress their concerns. Their actions are akin to the Flannery Five's sit-in in Steve Chabot's office to protest the Iraq war back in 2006. You may disagree with their viewpoint, but their actions are consistent with a rich tradition of American activism.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Halting Broadcasts announced via its website that effective today, March 23rd, it is shutting down broadcasting due to a lack of funds. I hope they can continue operating, but this type of step indicates thier financial backers are unable to carry on support of the station. They may need another white knight. Good luck to the whole WOXY staff. I hope they are back on the air soon.

UPDATE: CityBeat's Mike Breen has a blog post including reference to a Facebook post from a long time WOXY staff member. The future does not look promising.

UPDATE #2: WOXY staffer Joe Long shared his thoughts on WOXY going silent via his music blog:

UPDATE #3: Jason at the Cincinnati Man has more, including a response from WOXY owner Future Sounds.

Chase Dean Misunderstands Professionalism

Chase Law School (part of NKU) has made some national news this week, and not in a way that will make its administration happy.

Last week, Chase scheduled a mandatory lecture on "professionalism" for its first-year students. Such events are relatively commonplace. They're boring. They have little to do with what first year students are studying at the time, and first-year students aren't really able to put a lecture on professionalism into context, as most haven't so much as set foot in a law firm yet. But nonetheless, law schools love to schedule these kinds of events.

For some reason, Chase's administration thought the perfect time for the relatively useless exercise was Thursday night--right in the middle of the first round of the NCAA tournament. And during Kentucky's first round game. The results were predictable. Students showed up, and (as is common at law schools these days) had their laptops open to "take notes." Of course, CBS was live-streaming the tournament, so students with laptops turned the game on (without sound). Others used their phones to check scores or text friends.

So who cares? The panel of speakers, seated at the front of the room, couldn't have seen what was on the laptops. Apparently, one of Chase's deans was in the back of the room. He saw the laptops, and was not pleased. So he sent a nastygram strongly-worded email to the entire 1L class, telling them how "rude" and "unprofessional" they were. And now, the email has made its way to Above the Law, a blog with a national following devoted largely to law school news.

As a UC Law alum, I'm always happy to make fun of Chase. My glee at pointing out that the law school began at the Cincinnati YMCA knows no bounds. ("Where'd you get your law license--the Y? Oh, yeah, never mind....) Here, any ridicule needs to be reserved for Chase's administration, not its students. They scheduled a lecture to be attended primarily by twenty-somethings fresh out of college in the middle of the first round of March Madness and expected that attendees' attention wouldn't be diverted? Seriously?

Law school administrators often fall into the pattern we see here: treat law students as if they were still in high school, with little control over their own schedules or (frankly) lives, and then chide them for not being "professional." They forget that professionals have at least some control over their own calendars. Walk into the courthouse on Opening Day. You won't see anyone. Why? Because no one wants to schedule anything then. If a lawyer is a basketball fan, do you think he scheduled client meetings or court appearances last Thursday or Friday? Do you really expect a bunch of kids from Kentucky to abstain from March Madness?

Lawyers have lives outside of their practices. Law students are usually told during law school orientation to try to maintain some sort of life outside of their studies. Then, for the next three years, administrators and professors pretend as if law school is life. Such mixed signals will inevitably yield unhappy results.

A Pledge For Local TPers, If They Are Serious

Loki at Cincyvoices has formalized a pledge that local TP members should consider if they are really serious when they spout off about being against all forms of socialism.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Conservative Politics: The Junior High Edition

We have rock throwing at the local Democratic Party HQ and people wonder who could have been egging on the stormtroopers?

Someone needs to remind the right wing crazies that the world isn't going to end because of health-care coverage. Seriously, it's not.

Also, I really wonder if Ohio TPer's know anything about Federal Preemption. I mean, sure, they could try to coin their own currency or try to ignore the 14th Amendment, but we had a war about a 150 years ago that decided all of that rather definitively.

Where did the Republican grown-ups go?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Will Local GOP and TP's Denounce This?

As of this morning the National GOP has been silent on the use of racial slurs towards members of the US Congress by TP protesters, as well as anti-gay comments towards Rep. Barney Frank and someone spitting on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

These are hopefully not the views of the local TP or GOP, but those movements/groups have been surrounding themselves with people who do use hate as a weapon, so they need to be responsible and speak out against this. It would be an honorable gesture and clear sign that these groups are not sympathetic towards racism or homophobia. The level of hate that as brewed inside the TP movement has been more caustic and intense then anything short of the radical anti-abortion movement from the late 80's early 90's. Many theories have been raised that point to the irrational fear people have now that a black man is President as being a cause of vehemence been shown leading up to this vote.

The sad truth is that there is a lot of racism and bigotry on the right-wing of American politics against blacks, Latinos, and Gays. It does not take much to stand up and denounce hate. Just a press release would be a start. A better place to have started would have been the "Tea Party Pledge" to have included an idea including equality for all. The problem is, I don't think they could get consensus on that type of idea. That is the clearest sign that there are problems and the TP/GOP leadership can't ignore them and expect their members to be civil when they foster and fuel hate.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gumption Awards Taking Nominations

Cincinnati's Charter Committee has announced it is taking nominations for the Charles P. Taft Civic Gumption Award through Sunday March 21st, so there is still time to honor local leaders who "exhibit courage and common sense in leadership."

To make a nomination, please fill out the form found on the Charter Website.

Send in your completed form to by the end of the day tomorrow.

For more information on the award, please check out the Charter Committee website.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Enquirer Loves It Some GOP Talking Points

The Enquirer's Editorial on health care reform from Tuesday is nothing more than a restatement of every GOP Talking Point on the current bill. I mean using "arrogant" in the title was the dead give away, but including "negotiated behind closed doors" and "sham" are just to obvious. It goes on to get worse.

They cherry pick poll questions about how people feel about health care, not new. Everyone can find a poll question or combination of answers to a poll question to fit their opinion.

This editorial is bad, I would be embarrassed if I worked there. This is political spin about as bad as I've seen. It was as if a journalist didn't even write this at all. It comes off as PR, not an editorial.

I find it arrogant of the Enquirer or Gannett, or who ever wrote this attack editorial to think that we don't see the political bias at work. We understand that newspapers have opinions, but why can't they do more than just spout one side? We have enough of that on FOX News. We have a conservative newspaper here in Cincinnati, but why does he have to so often be a lap-dog of the GOP on national issues?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chris Smitherman Arrested

The Enquirer is reporting that Cincinnati NAACP Chapter President Chris Smitherman was arrested this morning outside a school construction site. I am sure we shall be besieged with how it matters to justice that Mr. Smitherman can't seem to get the CPS to hire the people Smitherman wants them to hire, but I am really am starting not to care.

If you are going to protest something, then you need to define what your goals are, something the local NAACP President has failed to do. Just saying you want more African-Americans hired is about as focused as Pastor Phil telling us we should all be nicer to your fellow man. Pastor isn't standing in front of schools yelling at people that we must be nicer. Tell us the goal. Make that goal reasonable. Work with African-American Chamber of Commerce to find viable businesses to provide good service to our Schools.

Published reports indicate that Smitherman has provided the CPS with little more than names and phone numbers of people he thinks should be hired. Smitherman needs to provide the detail and at least basic support documenting that the people have relevant companies that can provide valuable services. Our school system does not exist to provide employment to Smitherman's friends.

If there are problems in how contracts are handed out at CPS, Smitherman and his minions need to stop playing games. The attention is not going to gain you anything. He is turning off his possible allies. He is a mockery and is sullying the work the NAACP has down locally and across the country. He needs to find a strategy based on sanity, not on Smitherman's desire for fame and fortune. This I fear is just another in what will be a long line of stunts that Smitherman will waste time and effort on, instead of actually finding solutions for problems.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Final Four

With local teams in two different tournaments this year, I thought I'd offer my picks for the Final Four (of each). Feel free to make fun of my picks and/or offer your own in the comments.

NCAA: Kansas, Pitt, Kentucky, Duke, with Duke winning the championship.
I have Xavier making it through the first round, in a very close game with Minnesota. And I have 5 Big East teams (Georgetown, Syracuse, Pitt, WVU, and Villanova) in the Elite Eight.

NIT: Cincinnati, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina, with Virginia Tech winning the tournament (over Cincinnati).
I have Dayton winning the first round, but losing to UC in the second round. far do you think the Redhawks will.....oh, never mind.

Monday, March 15, 2010

MidPoint 2010 Release Show Changed to April 23rd

The Midpoint Music Festival has announced a change to the date and performers for its release show. The CAC will host Midpoint on April 23rd for show from Aloha(, Pomegranates (, and The Buried Wire (

Midpoint is slated to announce other new features of this year's festival including performers, new stages, and partners.

The show was previous announced for March 25th at the Blue Wisp.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cincinnati Fringe Festival: New Website and Line-Up

Last night the Cincinnati Fringe Festival held an event to celibate the relaunching of their website and at the same time announced the line-up for the 2010 festival.

32 shows mostly from out of town will descend on Know Theatre starting June 1st for the 7th annual event. For a listing of the productions, check here. As is normal, the line-up is subject to change.

This year will once again be reviewing shows and giving insights and out of sights on the festival.

If you have never been to Fringe, then clear your calendar for the first 12 days of June. It is theatre and community at its best.

Twitter folks, please spread the word. We used #cincyfringe last year, so I hope that is repeated!

OTR Gateway Quarter Website Updated

The team at Vine Street Interactive did a great job redsigning the OTR/Gateway Quarter Merchants Group website.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is Content Stealing?

As I mentioned in the previous post, the Enquirer has rolled out a "First in Print" strategy, through which on Sundays certain articles will appear only in the print edition until Monday morning, when they will then become available online. One justification cited by editor Tom Callinan is the blogosphere's theft of his paper's content:
Watching broadcast outlets, Web sites and blogs essentially rob newspapers of their hard - and expensive - reporting has long been a vexation, but not a mortal threat.*

When does a blog or website (why does the Enquirer's style book still require the capitalization of "web"?) "rob" a newspaper's content? Are Griff and I among the robbers responsible for the demise of the print media?

Neither Griff nor I has ever claimed to be a reporter. (To the contrary, I have repeatedly disclaimed any such notion.**) Instead, our typical post is a comment on a news story published elsewhere. We always reference--and link to--the source of the story. (In fact, when Griff initially invited me to blog, the only rule he gave me was to link to any story about which I post.) That's the same practice followed by other blogs I read. Is that robbery?

As I noted below, even the Enquirer follows the lead of other sources. The "Vanity Fair controversy" originated at Kate's Random Musings. Callinan himself wrote about it, attributing the story to Katy. The Enquirer reported on CityBeat's story about the unfortunate email from Monzel's aid, once again properly attributing its source. Was that robbery? And even in the Cole piece I talk about below, Jon Craig remarks that Cole's appointment "drew scorn from some bloggers." Really? Which bloggers? How about a link to one or more of the bloggers? Does Craig mean Griff? I hope not, because Griff's post doesn't criticize the appointment itself, only Cole's decision to leave her current post early.

So here's my question: what does the Enquirer consider fair use, and what, according to Callinan, is robbery? And how do the paper's own practices differ from those they condemn?

In this environment, the Enquirer isn't likely to create new positions anytime soon. But it should seriously consider the addition of a public editor or ombudsman who would write a weekly column. If the Enquirer is serious about consistently generating a quality product, it ought not be afraid of an independent person to perform a quality-assurance function.

*This sentence is a clear illustration of the utility of the serial comma. Until I got to "has long been a vexation," I thought that "watching broadcast outlets" was something websites and blogs did while robbing newspapers of their reporting. Once again, Judge Painter is correct; check out Rule 24 in the linked book. Of course, this is a "talking footnote," a Judge Painter no-no; see Rule 12.

**Obviously, there are exceptions. Griff typically "reports" on MPMF. If I happen to notice a restaurant opening or closing, I'll "report" on this--but even then, I'm usually scooped by Polly Campbell or Julie Niesen, to whom I link, if I know they've posted.

Back to Basics, Enquirer-Style

The Enquirer's revenues are down. It's doing everything it can to remedy the situation: laying off veteran reporters and columnists; furloughing the folks left behind; making the paper smaller; plastering ads right on the front page of sections of the paper; and withholding stories from its online edition to keep us nefarious bloggers from "stealing" the paper's content (interesting how the paper doesn't mind taking stories from the pages of, for instance, CityBeat or KRM (here and here, respectively)). In tough economic times, however, the Enquirer has decided to return to a time-tested method of increasing readership in conservative southwest Ohio: Democrat-bashing.

Today's Enquirer carries a lengthy story on how documents "shed light" on Laketa Cole's hiring as chief of reliability and service analysis for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The story contains all sorts of innuendo, obviously meant to suggest that Cole was offered the job only as an enticement to stay out of the race for the Ohio House seat left vacant by Tyrone Yates's appointment to the bench. A reader has to make it to the article's twentieth paragraph to learn:

According to state personnel records, Cole will replace John D. Williams, who was promoted to director of PUCO's Service Monitoring and Enforcement Department on Feb. 28. The department employs 83 people. Williams was named acting director Jan. 3.
Cole's annual salary will total about $15,700 less than Williams got before his promotion and $5,000-a-year pay raise.
In other words, Cole isn't being offered a position that's been created for her. This is a real job, filled by a real human being until quite recently. And while I have not always agreed with Cole's positions or tactics on Council, any reasonable person has to agree that she is appropriately credentialed for the job. If I really wanted to make trouble, I'd ask why Cole, an African-American female, will be making less than 85% of the salary of the white male who previously had the job. (This, of course, is a question the Enquirer does not address.)

In an editorial yesterday, the Enquirer suggests the "Cole deal" is "arrogant." (Notice a very strange thing about the piece: apparently, after it was initially posted, a letter-writer commented on it. The Enquirer then updated the editorial to reference the letter. So now the editorial references the letter and the letter references the editorial.) The Enquirer goes so far as to suggest "a Mark Painter to William Mallory to Nadine Allen to Tyrone Yates to Alicia Reece quintuple play." Really? Does the Enquirer really believe that the Democrats arranged for Mark Painter (formerly a Republican-endorsed judge) to get a position with a UN appellate court so that Alicia Reece could have a job?

Maybe, though, the editorial staff just thinks that once Judge Painter's seat on the First District Court of Appeals became vacant, a grand scheme emerged, like so many dominoes in a line. Not likely. Probably not even possibly. Each appointment had its own process. And those of us who toil in the courthouse know that for a while, a new rumor swirled each day about who would take Judge Painter's seat. Then a new rumor swirled each day about who would fill Judge Mallory's seat. And then a new rumor was floated every day about who would fill Judge Allen's seat. If there was a conspiracy to create a line of succession all the way down to Alicia Reece, it's the best-kept secret in courthouse history. And let's not forget, no one gets a free pass: Mallory, Allen, and Reece must all stand for election this November. Yates, I believe, will appear on the 2011 ballot.

It's good to know, though, that some things (like political editorials masquerading as news stories) never change.

An extra note: I'm glad I'm not in the newspaper business. These are tough times. And in all fairness, there is, actually, lots of good reporting going on at the Enquirer, and some really talented young reporters getting a chance to write stories that, just five years ago, might have gone to more senior (but less enthusiastic) staff. Tom Callinan is doing some good things; the "Vanishing Cincinnati" series is but one example. But these lots-of-smoke-without-discernible-fire stories aren't worthy of a paper struggling to retain its readers and remain relevant in the new decade.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cole to Leave Council in June

Well, the Cole-Train is on its way to Columbus and the crowd is going wild. We are cheering her on. Cheering that she is leaving, of course. She will not be missed.

Cole is leaving in a selfish manner, which is not a surprise. She's not resigning until June, a logical date because that is when the position in the state becomes available, and she needs a job until then, so will stay on as a lame-duck Council member. Yes, this means we have to put up with her on Council for 2 and a half more months. I really hope she stays quiet, votes with her Democratic colleagues and exists the stage somewhat gracefully.

Short of doing that, it would be really fun if Cole started a Twitter account and just blasted Leslie Ghiz during Council sessions. It would be classless, but it would be fun.

Watson is still the CW choice to fill the seat, but according to the article, Cecil Thomas said he will sit down with three to five possible appointees. Thomas is known for changing his mind, so it would not surprise me if he had his pick already and just wants sign off, and political assurances, from Mayor Mallory and Tim Burke. Thomas may want to have influence over who gets the Finance Committee Chairmanship after Cole steps down. I would think Thomas would like to have that as a possible position for himself, if he loses the May County Commissioner Primary. It never hurts to plan ahead, even if you don't need it. I hope he needs it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inside the Minds of Local Right Wing Extremists

It no longer phases me when I read CityBeat's reports about the classless behavior of some local Republicans or of Republicans in general. I am looking for a local Republican to stand up and speak for civility to the Brad Becketts of Hamilton County. I know it will NOT be Chris Monzel. He should fire Beckett for having this type of attitude and boorish attitude about government officials who are doing their jobs. If this is all the GOP has to offer, they will fade into Green Party irrelevance very quickly.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Main Street Making A Comeback?

As has been announced elsewhere, the space formerly occupied by Jefferson Hall has found a new tenant: Jack Potts Tavern. While Jack Potts' official grand opening isn't until April 2nd, the bar had its "soft opening" last night, just in time for Bockfest. Jack Potts will, I think, remind most people of the old J-Hall. Its grand opening will feature a performance by the Polecats (who, I suspect, will be regulars on stage there). I celebrated Bockfest at Jack Potts last night, and am pleased to report that the place was packed most of the night.

We also know that Neon's is coming back. And I now hear rumors that a new pizza place will open in the old Harry's Pizza space.

I don't know that we'll ever see Main Street return to its former peak. I'm not sure how many people want that, anyhow. (How many times can anyone over 23 actually go to a place like Bar Cincinnati, after all?) But it seems to be returning as a legitimate entertainment district again.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Another Take on Cincinnati

Bill Weaver of Life as a Human recently posted this outsider's take on Cincinnati. While both the video and the text are over-filled with focus-group mumbo-jumbo (I'm convinced that "narrative" is now the most over-used word in the English language), it's nonetheless a positive piece and an interesting perspective.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Interesting Review of CAC's Shepard Fairey Exhibit

AEQAI has a very interesting and in-depth review of Shepard Fairey's 'Supply and Demand.'

Is Cole Leaving For a State Job?

No one seems to know if Laketa Cole is leaving council for a State job or not. What's the latest?

Is Bernadette Watson the likely pick to replace Cole? She finished behind fellow Democrat Greg Harris, but the does the gender and racial balance make more sense to Democratic party leaders and more importantly to Cecil Thomas who actually makes the appointment?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

HUD Rejects Metropole Tenants' Complaint

HUD has dismissed the complaint against the Metropole renovation made by the recently formed tenants association on behalf of various activist groups. It was clear from the start that the complaint had no merit. It is time now for City Council to vote for the grant and loan to get the project off the ground.