Monday, January 31, 2011

The Entire County Should Unify In Telling Mike Brown to Shove It.

There are few things that Hamilton County voters can agree on, uniformly, but I am hoping we can all unite in telling Mike Brown "No new scoreboard for you!" Yes, the County must help maintain Paul Brown Stadium, but only what needs to be replaced. The scoreboard works just fine.  If Mike Brown wants luxury, he can pay for it himself. If he doesn't like that deal, then he can pack his bags and move the team.

I am serious. If any Tea Party person is serious about what they say, they should be the FIRST group to support the County playing hard and fast with Mike Brown. We don't need professional football. We do need public services. Brown has become a parasite.  He must pay his own way, and he has the ability to do so and still make himself plenty of money.

A unified front is the only way the public can succeed.  We need every County official on the same page.  We don't need Joe Deters out there shooting his mouth off about contracts, in hopes of currying favor with Brown.  One voice must speak and tell Mike Brown what he is going to get.  That voice must not waver, must not cave into the fear of losing the team.  Instead, that voice should publicly announce what it will pay for and then pay nothing more and "if Brown doesn't like the deal, he can move the team."

A way many people can show their personal displeasure is for current season ticket holders to give them up and buy Reds season tickets instead.  Show Mike Brown how sports teams can work well with the County and get support from the public.  Let us use the power of the purse to force Brown to either comply or just move.  I think local bars would do better sales with 65,000 more fans going to their neighborhood bar on Sundays to watch better football on TV, anyway.

Stop buying Bengals jerseys and hats and anything that will make Brown any profit.  Show him that the Customer is what matters.  Tell him to shove it.  If he wants your business, he can beg.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Enquirer Gushes Over Berding

I didn't know it was possible for newspaper editorial page to have a crush on an elected official, but I think the Enquirer would have his baby after reading this gushing selective editorial rendition of the soon to be former council member.

6th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules to Count Votes

The legal struggle over the Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge election took another turn yesterday with a unanimous ruling from a three member panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, based here in Cincinnati. The ruling orders County officials to count all ballots cast at the wrong table, but at the right location. This ruling is good news for Democrat Tracie Hunter, who was trailing in the race by 23 votes. The Board of Elections will face pressure to appeal the issue to the Supreme Court, but someone needs to get with the program and do what is right, count the votes that were cast in good faith, but with faulty advice. The Republican members of the Hamilton county Board of Elections need to take direction from Judge Dlott, and get these votes counted. It's time to finish the election.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jeff Berding to Resign From Cincinnati City Council

In a surprise move, Jeff Berding, independent Cincinnati City Council Member, will resign his seat within the "next few weeks" according to an Enquirer article. Council Member Chris Bortz is slated to choose Berding's replacement, who would serve out the rest of the current term.  The Enquirer reports that Bortz, a Charterite, will not consult the Charter Committee on the council appointment.
The other news in the article is that Bortz himself has not committed to running again for council this year, just that he will not resign.  This would be his last election before the term limit would set in.  His a relatively new father, who may be, like Berding, wanting to focus part of his life elsewhere.
This appointment will make it three unelected members on City Council, and unless Jim Tarbell is the pick to replace Berding, there will be three very shakey seats up for relection, if not more.  This opens up the race for Council this year quite a bit.  Bortz likley will pick someone more centrist, along the lines of Berding.  If Bortz does not run again, that would really be the sign for a shake-up of the power structure come November.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Does Chabot Have Any Friends in Congress?

The Enquirer's political blog reported on the SOTU last night and gave a summary of what the Ohio delegation was doing during and after the speech. All of the Ohio Senators and Representatives sat together, regardless of party, except for three, all from Southwest Ohio. John Boehner of course had to sit in the Speaker's chair behind the president, so that is understood. Jean Schmidt was getting handshakes and autographs by sitting along the center aisle, something self serving, but not partisan or anti-social. Chabot stood in the aisle along on the right side of the chamber. The article indicates that when he got there all the seats were taken, so no one in the Ohio delegation saved him a seat. Man, that must suck. I would have thought he would still have some friends in the delegation to meet up with, but he doesn't seem to like any Democrats, personally, so I guess he couldn't find anyone to partner up with. I am seeing a friendless man, a congressman who lacks the personal relationships to get things done for the Ohio 1st district. Chabot will continue his historical practice of doing nothing to help his district prosper, but instead do what his party wants, which will help him get re-elected. What a waste. That's what an ignorant and apathetic electorate gets you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Norwood Republican Candidates Announced

Citizens For a Better Norwood, a pro Norwood PAC, list Norwood's Republican candidates for City offices for the 2011 elections. They report that as soon as the Democratic endorsements are announced, they will be published.

I don't know anything about Norwood politics or even it's form of government, but I can glean from this listing that they have a combination of at-large and district representation. It is more interesting that they have other city wide offices other than Mayor. Those talking about changing Cincinnati City government structure should look how there's works. Norwood is not known as having a history of good government, so I hope those looks at Norwood are skeptical. Why Norwood still exists is another mystery. They should have been annexed by the City long ago.

When, Where, and How Did Monzel and Hartmann Discuss Dismissal?

So, let me get this straight. Republicans Greg Hartmann and Chris Monzel held a vote without notice to fire Hamilton County Administrator Patrick Thompson.

Did they use smoke signals to plan this out? Did they send carrier pigeon messages back and forth scheming such a plot?

I'd like to know what kind of meetings they had on this topic. When did they have them? Where did they have them? Did they give fellow commissioner Todd Portune ample or at least any notice they were planning on meeting to discuss staffing choices? It is my understanding that staffing decisions can avoid sunshine laws by holding such discussions in executive session. The question is, can you have an executive session without informing all of the members of the commission about such a meeting?

Few will question the Republicans, they get to do what they want and ignore the laws they don't like.

CityBeat's Kevin Osborne has more, especially the categorical comment from Monzel that Brad Beckett will NOT get Thompson's job. The county is safer and less scum like without even the potential of someone like Beckett having such a job hanging over our heads. I really hope Kevin got that quote on tape. I don't trust Monzel to do the right thing, especially in light of the secret planning and/or meeting with Hartmann. Expect more shady dealing from the Terrible Two on Commission.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The West End Church of Rock and Roll

The West End has long been a neighborhood slow with development, but a new revitalization of a church is underway. A team of three has plans to turn the former First German Reformed Church, built in 1850, into a combination of live music venue, art gallery, music school, and possibly a restaurant. One of the three is a member of the well known local band Foxy Shazam, and look to capitalize on their experience nationally in the music business to make this new venue a destination for bands. That would put it on par locally with the Southgate House, Northside Tavern, MOTR, and the Mad Hatter as the main local music venues, where each have nearly daily shows. The other direction this new venue could take would be to model after the Madison Theater, 20th Century, or Bogarts. Each of those venues hold a few events a week, at most. They are a long way off from opening the venture, but their passion I believe bodes well for the renovation to be completed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mayor Reacts To Weekend Murders

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory issued the following statement in reaction to the two seperate murders that occurred Saturday night:
“Two young men losing their lives to gun violence in one night is absurd,” Mayor Mark Mallory said. “Uriah Ware was hit by a stray bullet at a birthday party. Parents should not have to worry about their child’s safety at a birthday party. James Christopher was shot on the street in West Price Hill. My heart is with the family and friends of Uriah Ware and James Christopher. We need peace in this community. This senseless violence must end.”
I appreciate the Mayor making a statement and he is right in what he is saying, but how can anyone stop the violence? How do ignorant people shoot guns off at birthday parties? How do we as a society try and rid this type of ignorance? I don't know that we can. As long as we persist in allowing having a gun to be viewed as a sign of power, we will have this type of violence.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Washington Park Renovation Progress

CIMG0076, originally uploaded by washingtonparkotr.
3CDC is providing a weekly update, including photos, on the progress of the renovation of Washington Park. The photos show quite a bit of progress on the underground parking lot. Almost all of the park is closed off to the public, as most section are now under construction. Check out all of the photos here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chris Smitherman's Ego Swollen Like Large Zit

I don't know how Chris Smitherman could make more of a pathetically non-committal attention ploy, than he did when making public his plans to maybe run for council this year and/or definitely maybe running for Mayor in 2013.

If Smitherman was really concerned with the welfare of the city, then he would have the courage and commitment to actually announce his candidacy. Instead we get a hint of the circus he'll likley put forth if he actually spends the time and formally gets in the race for city council or maybe the mayorship or maybe both (or not).

We don't need a circus. We don't need an ego maniac looking to push their personal agenda ahead of the city, taking up the media's attention this election cycle. We need serious people with serious resolve. Chris Smitherman should do us all a favor and stay out of the government. We don't need his antics.

If there's a doctor in the house, I would hope they could lance Smitherman's ego, and let the swelling quell.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Search For Cincinnati Police Chief Has Begun

The Cincinnati City Manager, Milton Dohoney, has begun the search for a new police chief. There are many requirements listed in the article from the job posting, but there are a few other key requirements I would like to add:

  • Don't currently or have ever worked for the Cincinnati Police Department, or for that matter any police force in the metro area.  We need some new blood with an outside perspective.
  • Be open minded. Be willing to protect the citizens from bad police officers or poor actions.
  • Don't be a big bigot.
  • Don't be a white guy. (Yep, I went there.  We need a woman or a minority to help break the culture clash we have where much of the police force clashes with much of the public.)
None of these requirements are likely legal, so it is a good thing I am not the person doing the hiring. We need change in the long term mindset of our police department and that begins with the police chief. We need someone from outside the department at a minimum. If we hire from within, we will be doomed to more of the same.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Disappointing News About John Kasich You Likely Won't See in the Enquirer

Cleveland's Newspapers were sources for this Washington Monthly blog post, but not the Enquirer. Is the lack of diversity in the Ohio Governor's administration not a news issue in Cincinnati? I'll ask that again the next time I see NAACP local president Chris Smitherman quoted in the paper denouncing a Democratic majority run government entity for something it did or did not do.

Former Vice-Mayor David Crowley Loses His Fight With Cancer

Former Vice-Mayor and progressive champion David Crowley passed away earlier today after a long struggle with cancer. He was 73. He was a well liked councilman and Vice-Mayor. He served the public throughout his life and shall be remembered for his efforts to make Cincinnati and Ohio a better place.

Mayor Mallory issued the following statement on Mr. Crowley's passing:
"The City has lost a gentle giant with the passing of former Vice Mayor David Crowley. I am saddened by this loss. He served our community with a grace and compassion that shall be greatly missed. His advice helped me be a better Mayor and his friendship helped me be a better man. My heart goes out to his wife Sherri, his children, and family. I will truly miss him."
More from the Enquirer here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mayor Mark Mallory To Be on TV; Ghiz is Pissed

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory reportedly will be featured in the reality TV show 'Undercover Boss', where he goes to work along side city workers, but does so in disguise. The rumor mill indicates that his disguise includes dreadlocks.

This is great. We need all the positive promotion of the City we can get. Hopefully we'll see city workers doing a good job, not asleep on the job. Getting good attention for the city is the job of the Mayor. If he can get a spot on a nation TV show, all the better.

In what sounds like a plot line from an episode of the television show Parks & Recreation, council member Leslie Ghiz is the party pooper. Here's some of what WVXU reported:
"I shouldn't say shocked, because nothing he does shocks me," Ghiz said. "The bottom line is he's nobodies boss, that's the funny part about all this. The only people who answer to him directly are the people who work in his office."

Ghiz says she is working on a motion with at least one other Council Member to find out if any city money was involved and how much employee time was devoted to the project.

She may also ask the show's producers in her words, "to cease and desist" from airing the mayor's episode.
I'm at a loss on why Ghiz is not talking about another TV show airing where Four Cincinnati Police officers are on the job during the filming. Were police department funds used to film that television program? If that question is not included in the motion to investigate the Mayor mentioned in the article, then there would be few in Cincinnati that had earned the title of hypocrite better than Leslie Ghiz and the other mystery council member(s). If you don't want to investigate a pro-police show, but do want to investigate a show showing non-FOP worker, then I think a clear bias and contradiction can be exhibited.

I'd also like to know the legal basis Ghiz would use when she is asking anyone outside her limited purview as a council member to do anything. She's only the boss of her small staff, after all.  I'm no lawyer, but I would say other than asking as private citizen, Ghiz has no authority to send a 'cease and desist' letter on behalf of the City of Cincinnati.  If I was a producer of the show, I'd laugh if I got such a letter from her or any other council member.

I'll speculate on the "real" reason Leslie Ghiz is pissed about the 'Undercover Boss' episode featuring the Mayor. I would guess jealously. Could it be that someone still hasn't gotten over the rejection from the reality TV show 'Bridezillas'? You can't already be married and appear on that show. I thought that was obvious...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Soapbox Has a Job Openings Page

Something I missed but wanted to share was a Jobs listing page on local media outlet Soapbox. The weekly online magazine recently updated its website and added this feature. If you are looking for work, check it out and take advantage of this additional resource.

Husted's First Act of Partisanship as Secretary of State

In lightning speed Republican Secretary of State John Husted overturned his predecessor's ruling without much time to review the issues. It is sad to see that he is more concerned about getting a Republican in office than seeing the votes of people counted. It has been a sad history for Republican officials who tend to care more about the candidate's situation, than the voter's rights, unless they are Republican voters or Democratic candidates.

This action puts the Hamilton County Board of Election in a bind and does nothing to solve the situation.  It shows inexperience and partisanship played a bigger role in Husted's act than the desire to find a resolution that complies with both justice for the voters and with the order of a Federal Judge.  We can expect Four years of Republican favor in our election.  Too many blows to fair elections will crumble our Democracy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Building Cincinnati Blog is Back!

Great news for Cincinnati's blogging community comes with Building Cincinnati resuming publication today. Congratulations to Kevin!

Why is Deputy John Haynes Still Working for the Sheriff's Department?

The Cincinnati Enquirer laid out the background on a lawsuit against the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department and Four Deputies. One of them is John Haynes. His problems while a Deputy reportedly include more than one excessive use of force charges as well as a DUI. Why is he still employed with the Sheriff's Department?

Before anyone in the City thinks about getting involved with the Sheriff's Department, how certain are they that this type of protection of bad apples is not the norm? Is it worse than the CPD? Can we afford to take a step back on police communities relations in order to save money?

Friday, January 07, 2011

A Problem With Mommy Bloggers

When you are holding your "conference" at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, then your social and cultural value measures up to a flock of SUVs chasing the ultimate Applebee's.

The West Chester Kroger Was Robbed at Gun Point, But Shhhh!

I'm not sure how much panic ran through the streets when the West Chester Kroger on Tylersville Road was robbed at gun point earlier this week. The Enquirer sure isn't helping fuel the panic. The Enquirer didn't allow comments to it's very, very short story on this incident. So we instead got next to nothing, a footnote.

The Website (owned by the Enquirer) had a story about it. That link, however, comes up with a not found error, but it is still on Google's cache and can be read here. The blog postreferences  a Pulse-Journal story I couldn't find there, but instead found on the Hamilton-Journal site, which lists more details and this gem of a fact:
Tombragel (Police Officer) said the suspect took off on foot following the incident, but it remains unknown if there was a getaway vehicle. This is the first time in Tombragel’s 14-year career that the West Chester Kroger has been robbed.
So, in other words this would be NEWS WORTHY, something out of the ordinary. Something people living in that community should know and read about.

If an inner-city or even an older inner-suburb Kroger was robbed, wouldn't the Enquirer have a banner headline with a long story outlining the crime problem in that city or community? At least they would have more than a tiny bare boned story.  Does anyone at the Enquirer follow crime news in West Chester or do they only report in detail the good or sentimental news from West Chester?

I guess a story about a Kroger being robbed in West Chester the same day hometown boy John Boehner took office as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, wouldn't look good. A Kroger getting robbed for the first time in at least 14 years in the exurban Congressional District of the Speaker of the House on the same day he took office, isn't something worth at least a full story in the same newspaper providing live Twitter updates of the Speaker's swearing in ceremony.

The Eqnuirer certainly appears to be spinning crime news to make exurbanites feel safer.  That's quality Journalism, for ya.

UPDATE: As a commenter pointed out, the story appeared to have been posted on the  The only story that came up on Google is the "old" one I posted originally.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Bit More Negative Snark Metromixed In?

The Enquirer's Metromix articles generally are not reviews, as I (or any Food or Entertainment Critic) would define them, but this story about the new trendy club Lunar by Rich Shivener has more snark than we usually get. I like the snark. I like progress Downtown, but let's get serious, I really don't like that kind of club. (Not that there's anything "wrong" with it.)

Molly Wellmann To Open Bar on Main Street in OTR

Kate the Great has the big news concerning local mixologist phenom Molly Wellmann's new bar on Main Street set to open in early summer. Wellmann plans to open up Japps at 1134 Main Street along with part of the ownership team of Neons.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Over-the-Rhine Pretzel Fest January 21st

The Over-the-Rhine Pretzel Fest, a benefit for the 2011 Bockfest, rises up on Friday January 21st, 2011 from 5 to 10 PM at Venue 222 (222 E 14th St). A $35 ticket price will get you exclusive tastings of a variety of freshly baked pretzels from local restaurants and bakeries. Add in a brat and a couple of drinks and the evening is full for this year's first benefit for annual Bock Beef Festival.

Special events include the Arnold’s Bathtub Raffle and the Ultimate Bockfest Weekend Raffle. Entertainment will be provided by the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs, a groups of musicians no strangers to beer. Get out and support a rowdy event , Bockfest, which takes place this year from March 4th through the 6th.

The Young Urban Four

Soapbox included a section this week in its article listing the Ten Things To Watch in 2011 on four young candidates for Cincinnati City Council: Jason Riveiro, Chris Seelbach, PG Sittenfeld, and Yvette Simpson.

All four have a connection to the Downtown/OTR area. I've been listening to those who want to through out everyone on council, impractical and improbable as is may sound. I wouldn't mind seeing all Four of these candidates on council. That isn't a political reality, unless all manage some campaign miracles, but it is a good sign to see people stepping up and joining the process. Conventional Wisdom states none of these Four will be in the top Nine in November's election, but all, if they run a solid campaign and place well, move closer to a 2013 win if they keep their organizations together.

I give out this advice every council election to new candidates, which doesn't mean it is impossible to win your first time running (See Chris Bortz), but it takes lots of money and lots of political dichotomies to win. Neither is easy to gain or manage. I hope all Four stick it out.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Online News Magazine to Serve the Cincinnati Area GBLT Community

The Cincinnati Business Courier is reporting on a new non-profit website,, recently started to serve the Gay and Lesbian community. Editor Troy May wrote on the purpose for creating the online magazine. is our first of many minority publications. Since the Tri-State area has never had a professional magazine covering the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and progressive community, I thought it was an ideal area to launch our first publication.

My hope is that this online magazine will inform, inspire and unit the local gay and progressive community to rally together like never before in history. What would help is for the gay, bisexual and transgender people in this area is to read about the successes of others in our community. After people read these stories, I hope they get a powerful injection of pride, self confidence and comfort with who they are today.

You can depend on to always be honest, fair and ethical as we report on the community. At the same time, our goal is to highlight people who are successfully ‘living out loud’ in the Tri-State.
The site covers a wide range or topic, including politics, arts & Culture, Business, Relationships, and family stories. A recent article had local reactions on the repeal of DADT.

Amy Murray Picked to Fill Empty Seat

The Hamilton County GOP didn't do anything stupid last night and instead unanimously picked Amy Murray to fill Chris Monzel's open City Council Seat.

It will be interesting to watch how the Hyde Park Republican starts out. She was able to miss the conflict ridden days of last week. I'm hoping in the coming months she doesn't add to the conflict and instead looks for compromises that can help fix the impending budget crisis that exists at the end of the 2011. Yes, it exists now, so why not start mentioning it?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Carolyn Washburn is the New Editor at the Enquirer

The Cincinnati Enquirer has named Carolyn Washburn as the new editor of the Gannett daily.

I've not heard much about her, other than what the Gannett Blog has posted recently, which is that she previously worked for Enquirer Publisher Margaret Buchanan while at the Idaho Statesman.

I don't know what any editor can do to face down the business side of the business that has been draining reporters from the newsroom for years, but we shall see.

So, Anyone Think Amy Murray Will NOT Fill Monzel's Seat?

WVXU has a story today reporting that the Hamilton County Republican Committee will be meeting tonight to select someone to fill Chris Monzel's Cincinnati City Council Seat. Leslie Ghiz and Charlie Winburn 'offically' get the appointment, but they are expected to do what the county party wants.

Great, the anti-City Republicans (which in my opinion make up about 90% of local Republican Party officials) get to pick who will serve on City Council. I would love to know how many voting tonight actually live in the city. That would be a great news item for a professional reporter to dig up.

Amy Murray was the next highest Republican vote getter in the 2009 election and would be the fair and logical choice. The tone in the media and the actions of Mrs. Murray indicate she is the front runner. I have heard that many or at least a powerful few in the local GOP want Brad Wenstrup, the failed 2009 Republican Mayoral candidate. I've not heard his name mentioned for a while, and he may no longer want the job, but as Ghiz referenced in the article, it wouldn't be the first time the local GOP screwed over a woman Republican. If Murray is not the pick, Ghiz should stand up to the outsiders in her party and nominate Murray. I don't know how it would work if she and Charlie Winburn don't agree, but I would hope Charlie wouldn't stand to see someone who worked for it, not get what is fairly their's. Yet, no one can actually trust Winburn, and Winburn's buddy, Sam Malone, was the person who denied Ghiz's appointment back in 2005, in favor of Chris Monzel. If I were Amy Murray, I wouldn't trust anyone.

UPDATE: The Enquirer Politics Extra blog is reporting there are Five candidates being interviewed tonight by the 40 member GOP committee. They are: Amy Murray, Lamont Taylor, Wayne Lippert, Jr., Sam Malone, and Mike Robison. Reportedly, Brad Wenstrup isn't being interviewed. That makes Four ways the GOP could screw over Murray. If anyone on the committee votes for Sam Malone, please name them publicly, so they may be ridiculed appropriately.

UPDATE #2: The Enquirer's Politics Extra blog has an update on Brad Wenstrup. He's out of the mix for the council seat and says he was his choice.

So...'We Demand a Vote,' Where's the Outrage about $809M?

The I-74 expansion is thoroughly described by UrbanCincy's Jake Mecklenborg. It is a plan that does nothing but continue our transportation system down the high cost wasteful path we have been on for 60 years.

I've yet to year the coalition of groups, called "We Demand a Vote," come out with a press release denouncing this boondoggle and demanding that the Citizens of Hamilton County vote to approve any spending for building new or upgrading existing roads. This new road will not pay for itself and there is no budget for its maintenance and operation in either the City, County, or State budgets.

After all, its not like anyone on the West Side is going to ever travel to the East Side (or visa versa).

So I expect to see a new ballot issue to require the citizens vote on this plan prior to spending a dime on it. I don't just expect to see, I demand to see it. (Cough, cough)