Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bad Move, NKY Chamber of Commerce

Local Businesses really don't need to get political. We don't need business interests funneling money into local candidates. Individuals who want to give, should do so, without hesitation. Business interests hiding behind a PAC sends a bad sign and adds more barriers to voters ability to know who is really funding local candidates.

The benefit of being local means you actually know the people who are candidates for political offices, or at least are very easily able to meet the candidates at various events. National candidates are faceless drones we really don't get to know, even the congressional candidates. We equally have the opportunity to know who is funding the local candidates. If a local business is going to fund a candidate, they should go on record and make it known who they are supporting. That is fair. That is democratic.  That is however possibly bad for business.

Additionally we don't need candidates running for Covington mayor trying to claim that since they got funded by the NKY Chamber, they are more pro-business than someone else. We can't let the broken national & statewide political systems corrupt the less broken local systems. Yes, I say they are less broken because for the most part, political party doesn't matter the same way it does on a national level. Party identification does not bind a city council member to vote for or against an issue. We have elected public officials that actually can evaluate an issue with a little bit of political leeway. Sure, they will vote to get reelected, but in local races that does not always mean voting with what the Party wants. A Chamber PAC just will increase the power of the Parties, making them more necessary if a candidate wants a chance to raise enough money to win.

I'm not saying if this is legal or not. It likely is very legal, especially under recent Supreme Court rulings. I'm talking about what good business people should be doing. Businesses should serve their customers and should, if they are thinking in the long run, believe that everyone is a possible customer. You can't please everyone, but why associate your business, even indirectly, with funding political candidates?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Food Equals Love

Just a quick post to note the return of Food=Love, a local food blog run by my friend, Kate. It had been dormant for a bit, but Kate is back now, promising a series of posts on finding good, meatless lunches for ten bucks or less.

Check it out.

Eat Sugar Plays Midpoint Indie Summer at Fountain Square This Friday

For the kids out there, this is what music videos were like in the early and middle 1980's. No frills, no real point, just imagery that may or may not makes sense with the song. In this case it makes pretty good sense.

For more check out or

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mike Brown is Still a Dick

So the Citizens of Hamilton County buy him a new Stadium. The same Citizens buy high priced tickets for his sports team. They buy jerseys and beer from his vendors. They don't rebel when he signs a too high number of players that can't stay off the police blotter. All of that and Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown still manages to say a big Fuck You to the Citizens of Hamilton County. Well, right back at you, Mike, right back at you.

More here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Si Leis Supports the Streetcars in Cincinnati

If we were talking about religion, I would say Si Leis has seen the light! Since we aren't, I will just be a little awe struck with his guest column in the Enquirer where he comes out in full support of streetcars in Cincinnati. It's a little bit late, but we're happy to have him along for the ride!

Big Week for the Reds

This is a pretty important week for the Cincinnati Reds. Not so much on the field (at least, this week's games are no more critical than any others). But the decisions General Manager Walt Jocketty makes over the next few days are critical, not just for this season, but for the future of the club.

The trade deadline is at the end of this week. I'm a Reds fan and a baseball fan, but I don't pretend to follow either closely enough to have a strong opinion as to which moves the Reds should or shouldn't make. I do realize, though, that a few teams have attractive players available, and right now, the Reds' farm club is chock full of talent. So Jocketty faces a daunting question: does he sacrifice a bit of the team's long-term potential for a chance to win the pennant this year? And that question, of course, raises a host of others. With or without an added player, is the World Series a realistic possibility this year? Will another player help the team, or upset the chemistry? How good are our prospects?

I'm not smart enough to have sabremetric statistics memorized or explain Moneyball principles, though Jocketty certainly is. And this year, the moves he doesn't make may be every bit as important as the ones he does.

Two Weeks Left to Vote for the CEAs in Theater

You have until Monday August 9th to vote in CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in Theater.

Keep August 29th open for the CEA Theater presentation show at the Know Theatre.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mt. Rumpke to Stink Less?

The Community Press is reporting the Ohio EPA has issued a permit for Rumpke to install odor control equipment at their landfill off of Route 27 in Northern Hamilton County.

This is replacement equipment, not something brand new. I wouldn't hold my breath for the smell of Mt. Rumpke to go away. I might consider holding my breath as you drive by Mt. Rumpke, at least if you have any fresh air circulating in your car.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Local GOP Wants TP Votes, But Not an Association

All of the local House GOP members ran the hell away from joining the new "Tea Party Caucus" in the U.S. House of Representatives. Boehner, Schmidt, and Davis all want the TPers votes, they just don't want to be associated with the crackpots who really believe all of the nutty crap they spew, like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. This indicates a little bit of sanity on their part, but more importantly shows how two faced a politician can be.

Police Chief Tom Streicher Again Announces He Will Retire

This time the announcement comes from the horse's mouth. Cincinnati Police Chief tom Streicher has told WLWT-TV that he plans to retire next year. The City Manager's office stated that they have not received official word on the retirement. WLWT reports that it is expected Streicher will retire in about 8 months.

I just really hope Streicher does not pull a Bret Favre on the City. Make it official already!

If he wants to jump ship and become the Police Chief of Pittsburgh, no one here would mind.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Legal Advice: Don't Waive Counsel

I went to the Reds game Saturday night, so I saw this guy run onto the field late in the game. He acted differently than other fans I've seen run onto fields. He was fully clothed (always a plus). And once he was on the field (I didn't see exactly where he came from, but someone sitting near me thought perhaps he had fallen over the wall in shallow right field trying to get a baseball hit in that vicinity), he ran directly to the nearest police officer (near first base), stopped, and put his hands behind his back. Usually, these guys make the police chase them around for a bit. So kudos to him for not making the police work too hard on a hot day.

So he's arrested and charged with a first-degree misdemeanor (which means the possibility of six months in jail and $1,000 fine). I was curious as to what would happen when he appeared in court today, so I looked up his case. (It appears, by the way, that he has no criminal record in Hamilton County. He may have one elsewhere. I'm not convinced that the name he gave--Talon Power--isn't an alias.) At arraignment, he waived (or gave up) his right to an attorney. He pleaded guilty. And he got a seven-day jail sentence.

Again, I don't have the guy's entire criminal record available to me, but seven days seems awfully tough. People convicted of domestic violence or assault for the first time generally get probation. DUI will get you three days (or six, if you test at twice the legal limit.) Causing a 30-second delay in a Reds game is worth a week in the slammer?

The point, though, is this: if you're charged with an offense that carries the possibility of jail time, don't waive your right to an attorney. There's a reason that the Sixth Amendment protects your right to counsel. It's because you don't know what you're doing in a courtroom. And that's not shameful or embarrassing. There's a whole host of things I can't do: repair a car, fix a pipe, cut my own hair, cure an illness, or perform practically any other useful task. Instead, I call a professional. And that's what you should do.

Would this guy's outcome have been different if he'd had an attorney? Who knows? But he should have found out.

Is a NKY Smoking Ban Just Around the Corner?

The Kentucky Enquirer is reporting that a draft of an ordinance is being circulated among elected officials of the three Northern Kentucky Counties.  That ordinance would ban indoor smoking in public places, including businesses. The details on the ban are not known, as the drafts of the ordinances are being kept under wraps.

The article indicates that officials believe that the votes are there for passage of such an ordinance in Campbell and Kenton counties, but not currently in Boone.

The leakage of the existence of such a draft ordinance is pretty clearly a trial balloon to see how much outrage is out there on a possible smoking ban. Many in Ohio screamed how bars and restaurants would fail in droves after a smoking ban. That proved false. Yes, some bars have closed, but most adapted and flourished. If anything happens after a NKY ban, I would say Cincinnati bars may temporarily suffer, with a slight drop in Kentucky business crossing the river. I think in the end both sides will remain strong, with people staying local more often when they can walk to a bar without smoke.

Outside the DIC Is Not the Place to Be

A woman died reportedly from a drug overdose just outside of the Drop Inn Center last Thursday.  Little about the story was made public, but this does provide a prime example of one of the problems of the DIC.  If it happens or affects something outside of their doors, they are not doing much about it, even though they attract people prone to problems that affect others and denigrate the area around Washington Park.

I for one don't want overdoses being common place in direct sight of a K-12 school.  This is yet another reason the DIC should move and take the 3CDC offer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pones, Inc. Presents: Rub, Dredge, Fry (repeat)

Join Pones, Inc. for provocative movement/dance/theatre as they Present: Rub, Dredge, Fry (repeat). It premieres Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 8 PM at the Museum Gallery / Gallery Museum located at 218 Sycamore Street.

Not sure what this is all about? Here's the description:
Rub, Dredge, Fry (repeat) examines our deep fried opinions, traditions, and relationships with comfort food. Layering dance, theatre, music, and cooking Pones Inc. creates a plethora of dishes (some more delectable than others) while asking: Why fried? Come hungry and leave happy but don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty in the process. “Rub, Dredge, Fry (Repeat)” wants to know ...are you better than fried food?

Throughout creating the show, the cast explored what happens when cost, accessibility, convenience, and tradition all factor into our choices.
Pones, Inc. has produced stunning productions at the last three Cincinnati Fringe Festivals. This show sounds like something cooked up with the food tastes of Cincinnati in mind. Get out of your comfort zone and try out a new show. You can't say there aren't cool things to do, so head to Over-the-Rhine and experience it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Result of Anti-Tax Extremism

Little Miami Schools is being taken over by the State of Ohio because the citizens of that school district have repeatedly failed to pass a tax levy to fund the schools. The anti-tax/anti-government extremists got their way and the schools will now suffer massive cuts. Students will likely not have any extracurricular activities. They will miss out on advance education opportunities. Little Miami Students will not have good educations.

Anti-tax zealots are dancing for Joy over this. Their goals include destroying public institutions. They have no plans for replacing these institutions. At best you are going to get a shrug and some vague reference to "let the market decide."  This is insanity.  There is no logic, no plan, just irrational selfishness, that if allowed to continue will create township that has nothing but a handful of residents, struggling to maintain a sense of a society.

There are reasonable people who can disagree on the size and focus of government. Reasonable people understand that public education is a bedrock of an functional society. If you have a public institution, you have to fund it. Starving it to death is not going to reform it, it is going to end it.

On a side note, I am less surprised knowing that Chris Finey, COAST/TP anti-tax/anti-government anti-gay activst works worth with Chris Smitherman, president of the the local chapter of the NAACP. Both men take actions that indicate a base underlying philosophy: tear everything down and start over. The politics of destruction will not gain advances for society, as these men think, each from their own perspective. Starting over isn't going to put anyone ahead, it puts us all permanently behind.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

West Chester Tea Party, What Say Ye?

The Enquirer is reporting that Lakota Schools is asking for a new 10 year tax levy. With West Chester, the home of Lakota Schools, being voting one of the "best" places to live in America and being a hot bed for the local Tea Party, I am wonder something. Will this levy get voted down? Will local officials instead campaign on increasing the budget of the county sheriff to help him remove the mythical illegal immigrant problem in Butler County? The Tea Party wants to decimate every element government run services, except law enforcement, border security and the military, so I would predict this levy will lose.

What is more logical than allowing public schools to decay in order to fund racism as a way to get votes? Isn't that the American Dream?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Interesting Article About Venue 222 Owner

Debbie Dent and her husband own Venue 222, but she also runs a marketing/design company which recently changed names.

The company has gone through a big transition, where the staff was let go as a result of the 2008-2009 recession.  The new name is, based on the article from the Business Courier, more of a rebirth of the company, which will be smaller than before.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Second Sunday in OTR - Global Groove

This Sunday, July 11th, head to OTR and check out Food, Fun, Beer, and shopping along Vine St, 12th St, and Main St. !  Here's the schedule:
12pm-5pm Street Fair on Main, craft and food vendors, and live DJ's (Main St. closed from 13th to Liberty)

12pm-5pm Neon's Unplugged- Beer Garden with live music
(208 E. 12th Street)
Bands at Neon's:
Toca Madera (Nuevo Flamenco trio) 12-1:15
Bachannal Steel Band (Carribean)  1:45-3:00
Laignappe (gypsy new orleans jazz)  3:30-5:00pm

12:30pm Free yoga session, hosted by You Do Yoga, (Main at Woodward)

1:00 Bellydancing demo by Anaya Gypsy Tribal Bellydance (Main at Woodward)

1:30 Bellydancing demo & class by Habeeba's Dance of the Arts (Main at Woodward)

2:30pm Celebrity Chef Demo featuring Daniel Wright from Senate
(1419 Main St., Falling Wall Condo)
For more information check out

Take the Hamilton County Citizen Survey

Hamilton County wants to know your opinions and has created the 2011 Hamilton County Citizen Survey. The questions cover many issues, but keep to mostly hot topics in the County's purview.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Streetcar Project Gets Federal Backing

The Enquirer is reporting that the City of Cincinnati will receive a $25 Million grant to help build the Streetcar to connect the Riverfront/Downtown to Over-the-Rhine and Uptown.
This is great news for the project, and was a critical need.  If they City had lost out on this round of funding, the project would have had a tough time maintaining support.  I believe now the corner may have finally turned to disway the anti-city/anti-downtown forces for good.

CityBeat's 2010 CEA Theater Nominations Announced

Rick Pending has announced the nominees for the 2010 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater.

The full list of categories and nominees is here. You can vote for the public categories here.

Set aside August 29th for the Awards show which will take place at the Know Theatre. We'll pass along more details on that as they become available.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bias Against Portly Men?

I have no particular problem with Thomas Edison, or his potential selection as our Statuary Hall representative in the Capitol.

But how can you compile a list of 10 Ohioans for this honor that doesn't include William Howard Taft? As everyone knows, he's the only American ever to be both President and Chief Justice. More importantly, perhaps, he is responsible for the construction of the building that houses the Supreme Court.

This is an outrage, I say, an outrage!

Confusing or Just Bad Journalism?

Now that Pride week is past, I want to point out a really confusing article in CityBeat last week. In fact, it was part of the Cover Story- The Great Gay Migration: Why are young gay professionals leaving Cincinnati? The confusing part of the article comes from the simple fact that it fails to cite any source, other than a random survey of some of the writer's friends, that there is in fact any type of change in the number of GBLT people leaving Cincinnati to warrant the use of "Migration." In fact, the article doesn't cite how many GBLT people left last year or the last decade. For all the writer knows, there could be a net gain in Cincinnati of GLBT people since Article XII was repealed.

The article consists of several anecdotal cases of people, obviously friends to the writer, who left or are leaving town. One wants to be a NATIONAL political activist. Gee, I am shocked there are not a 1,000 jobs for that here. Another wanted to be a rock star. Also, I am shocked this is not the place you can sell your demo for a million dollars. The third example moved for a job, also a shocking revelation!

The buried lead that should have been replaced the poorly written headline was this:
"Available data on LGBTQ individuals suggest they’re just as likely to move as heterosexual individuals but are more likely to move further away."
So gays are "just as likely to move" as straight people? How is this twisted into making people think there is a mass exodus of gays from Cincinnati?

The article just doesn't know what it wants to be, and fails at all attempts. Is Cincinnati anti-gay? Are Cincinnati gays not friendly enough to punk rockers? Do Cincinnati gays not support other gays enough?

GLBT people have a ruff time everywhere, but if you are going to write about gay flight from this Midwestern city, why not state some facts that it is actually happening, more than other groups. Using examples of GBLT people who left for reasons that are the same as any straight person only demonstrates that GBLT people are starting live normal lives like everyone else and are doing it right here in Cincinnati. Pride was just on Fountain Square and almost no one protested. Life for GBLT people in Cincinnati, at least in the City, is getting better. There are hurdles still ahead, but progress has been made.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Maltese Falcon and Fork Heart Knife

This Sunday July 11th get two tantalizing experiences in one place at one time. Venue 222 hosts dinner and a movie starting at 6PM. The movie is the Noir of all Noir films: The Maltese Falcon. The food is from Fork Heart Knife.

The Menu:
Bacon wrapped, manchego stuffed date
(the perfect bite)

Chimichurri chicken Skewer!
(skewers of finger food friendly on the stick chicken)

Peppadew devilled eggs
(who doesn’t love peppadew?)

Bloody mary gazpacho!
(served in cute cups, with classic bloody mary accessories- our pickled asparagus and olives)

Blueberry lavender jello mold
(yes we said ‘jello mold’ don’t judge…)

Mini brown butter sugar cookies
(like your kindergarten teacher used to make)

Cost is $6 for both dinner and the flick combined. What a deal! Get your reserved spot by paying via paypal on

The location is 222 E 14th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. What a great way to end a Sunday that starts at Second Sunday in OTR!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Touchdown Jesus 'Reborn' in Northside

If you happened to be at the Northside Fourth of July parade (which was on the Third of July this year), you may have witnessed a religious experience. No, I'm not talk about the really cute hipster girls in their short dresses and tall boots. Instead I'm referring to the return (of sorts) of Touchdown Jesus, aka Big Butter Jesus.

Don't believe me? You think that the hippies that live in Northside can't conjure up a resurrection? Come on, this is NORTHSIDE we are talking about!

Yes, those are scorch marks. I can't effective interpret how those work narratively, but there is likely a religious opinion on it, and I'm not qualified to render one, so I won't.

UPDATE: More on the return:

Friday, July 02, 2010

WLWT Is Living In A Blue Oyster World

In a post yesterday, I remarked that the comically-intended yet nonetheless stereotypical portray of a gay bar in a 1980's movie just wouldn't fly today.

It turns out, such stereotypes are just fine for WLWT, so long as they're meant seriously.

I'm not sure why I watch that station for news anymore. (OK, I do know: a friend of mine is a reporter and I wanted to see her story.) But last night I turned on the 11:00 news. The "Number One" story was about "opposition" to the decision to move the Gay Pride parade and festival downtown this year.

WLWT decided to feature everyone's favorite "community values" activist, Phil Burress. He should be a punchline by now. But instead, there's WLWT, treating him as if he's a serious person. And on camera--unchallenged and uncontradicted by WLWT--he warned that people would be "naked" and "having sex on the street" this weekend.

Part of me wishes he were right; it'd be interesting to watch. But he's wrong. It's bad enough that Burress says such things. It's worse--it's appalling, it's indefensible, it's pick-your-adjective-and-superlative-bad--that WLWT published his views to anyone who left Channel Five on for a few minutes after prime time ended.

WLWT owes an apology to the gay community, as well as to downtown residents and businesses.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A Good Time To Remember The Roots Of The Gay Rights Movement

Today's Enquirer carried an excellent article by Lauren Bishop on the decision to move Cincinnati's annual Gay Pride festival from Northside to Downtown this year. The article mentions in passing the Stonewall riots. It made me realize that while I've always been supportive of--and at times, an active advocate of--GLBT equality, I know very little about the history of the movement. In fact, until yesterday, I didn't even know why some gay rights groups organized under the name "Stonewall."

A brief summary, for those of you who don't know. (And a link to more information, for those who are interested.) In 1969, New York police raided a a gay bar. The reason for the raid? Well, it was a gay bar. That night, the bar's patrons, tired of being hassled by the police, responded with violent protest. The name of the bar: the Stonewall Inn. The event is largely credited as being the birth of the modern gay rights movement.

It can be easy to forget that not so long ago, police could harass with impunity an establishment simply because it catered to the GLBT community. I was born in 1974, and even in my lifetime, gay rights have come a long ways. Think about the stereotypical portrayal of a gay bar in Police Academy, made in 1984. I don't think a mainstream movie would get away with such a scene today. In fact, fast forward about twelve years to The Birdcage (a movie with some pretty bad ethnic stereotyping), where gay culture is presented as normal and Gene Hackman plays a Republican who is presented as out-of-touch because he is disapproving of his son-in-law-to-be's gay fathers. And this year, there are gay pride banners hanging from lamp posts on Fifth Street.

A schedule of events for this year's gay pride events--called the Equinox Festival--is available here.

Passage "Sneak Preview" This Weekend

Passage Lounge, at 6th at Main, will have a "sneak preview" this Friday and Saturday night. I'm not sure what else to say about this. Griff was excited about this back in October.

"Upscale lounges" generally aren't my scene; I'm neither hip enough nor pretty enough for such escapades. But I usually like to wander in once, just to know what all the fuss will be about.

So I think maybe my plan for Friday is to go watch the Pomegranates at Fountain Square, then head over to Passage to check things out.

Good Eats: Main Event

With a couple of friends, I stopped by Main Event for lunch today. (That link will eventually redirect you to the restaurant/bar's Facebook page, as its website is still under construction.) Griff posted about it back in April, before it opened; there's some help additional information in the comments. Main Event is at 835 Main Street--the old Lava Lounge, next to what used to be Bouchard's (and before that, Burrito Joe's).

The lunch menu was simple, but has some good food. The place offers sandwiches, salads, and freshly made pizza. All three of us opted for a sandwich, and all of us agreed that they were made of fresh ingredients and tasty. Their pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwiches both come on pretzel bread buns. I had a "Wellington"--roast beef, a potato cake, Colby cheese, and some sweet-and-sour sauce served on a Kaiser roll. It was probably the only truly original sandwich (most were clubs or straightforward, single ingredient creations) on the menu, and I'm glad I tried it.

Service was fast and friendly. It's definitely a good spot to hit on the way out of the courthouse (or on a lunch break if you're stuck in/work at the courthouse all day). And the prices are right: my sandwich, chips, and a pop cost $7.50.

Main Event is also open late at night. The bar was clearly well-stocked. The venue features a fairly large dance floor with a DJ booth. Our server ran down each night's theme for us, all of which I promptly forgot (one night is 80's music). But it sounded like it might be worth checking out.

Park + Vine Moving to Main Street

Cincinnati's very popular green store Park + Vine announced yesterday they are moving to new location in Over-the-Rhine.

The store will move to 1202 Main Street and will expand operations to include a vegan grocery store, a food bar, indoor/outdoor seating, as well as a room for meetings.

The new location plans to open in September during the MidPoint Music Festival, (Sept. 23-25). The Vine Street location will remain open until then.

This is really great news for Main Street and OTR. It shows the commitment of Dan Korman to OTR, Cincinnati, and community his store serves.

Read the full press release here.

The Cincinnati Herald in Tax Trouble

The Cincinnati Herald, a weekly newspaper targeted towards African-Americans, owes $73,000 in back taxes to the IRS. The newspaper is owned by Ohio State Senator Eric Kearney. Niche print media is difficult on a national level, but it is a nightmare on a local level. The Herald should consider ways to expand readership by including other target groups. Latinos would be the obvious choice to consider, but being the Urban newspaper, serving the City, would be the only long term model that could avoid these type of financial issues. The only other option would be finding a benefactor to plug the funding gaps. That is something a viable business should not rely on.