Friday, September 23, 2011

MidPoint Music Festival Day TWO!!!

Day One of MidPoint was a huge success! Yes, those who missed out still have two full days to hit great shows and really amazing events. If you have not been to the MidPoint Midway, then you are missing out on heart of the festival. The Box Truck events are a fun augmentation to the music, but there is still plenty of music there too.  Tonight my shows of choice include:

Toror y Moi at 9:30 at the SCPA Corbett Theater
Deerhoof at 11:45 PM at the Know Theatre
STRFKR at 12:30 at MOTR

According to Twitter the should be fixed, so Tweet on.

CincyPAC Endorsements Announced

CincYPAC has annoucned their 2011 Cincinnati City Council election endorsements. The list is:
Chris Bortz
Kevin Flynn
Nicholas Hollan
Catherine Mills
Roxanne Qualls
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson
P.G. Sittenfeld
The Republicans have only 1 candidate on that list, Catherine Mills, and her YP connections, I believe, were more the cause of her getting the support of enough people at CincYPAC than her positions on the group's issues.

It says much when no other Republican running has anything in common with the mainstream issues put forth by CincYPAC.  The Republicans in this Council race are nearly uniformly running an anti-city platform, which entails enacting policies that benefit people living outside the city more than inside.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

MidPoint Music Festival Day One!!!

One of the best times of the year has arrived and I am more than excited, I am ecstatic with the prospects of what awaits over the next three days.  Tonight my shows of choice include:

The Seedy Seeds at 7:30 at the SCPA Corbett Theater
The Watson Twins at 9:30 PM at the Know Theatre
Jessica Lea Mayfield at 11:45 at the Know Theatre

Be sure to keep tabs on for Tweets and texts from all over the festival.

Chamber Of Commerce 'Endorsements'

The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce released a scorecard of candidates for Cincinnati City Council.  As would be expected, the endorsed Republicans got a uniform high score, along with Charterite Chris Bortz.  Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls also got a mostly high score.

The Cincy FOP Likes Sexual Harassers

I always wondered why the Cincinnati FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) would stand behind police officers who abuse their power, fighting to keep bad cops on the force.  Well, it just may be a fetish they have.  The FOP have reportedly endorsed disgraced former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen for Cincinnati City Council.  Allen settled a lawsuit with a former staffer for sexually harassing her.  Abuse of power by the top legal man in the county is alluring to some people.  The police union leadership likes to play it kinky, at least in politics.

I've not found a full listing of endorsements from the FOP, but I would feel really embarrassed to be listed along side Mike Allen if I were any candidate.

NOTE: The Fire fighters reported endorsed him too.  That's just sad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on COAST's Casino Sidewalks Causing Deaths Tweet

I am waiting, totally on pins and needles, for the latest Tweet from COAST.  I'm expecting it to read something like "$16.8M Casino sidewalks cause brownouts to all fire houses for a week, thousands to die."

Hold on, you say?  That's not fair?  Sidewalks are funded by the capital budget and the Fire Department is funded via the Operating budget?  Hmm, that's crazy Streetcar talk!  Everyone knows that via magical (and illegal) means, the City could violate the law and use that Sidewalk money to save cops jobs!  We all know that, right?  Right???

The four Republicans on council wouldn't vote to spend money $16.8M to fund sidewalks to promote a private endeavor when that money could be spent on saving police and fire jobs, would they?  Especially when that endeavor is gambling.  Isn't that a sin in Charlie Winburn's eyes?

Is my snark getting through to everyone?  Yes, today the city is set to approve spend $16.8M in funds to build street and sidewalk construction around the new casino and if the committee vote there is no one against it.  Only Chris Bortz is questioning where the funding is coming from, which is a fair question.  The Republicans on council are not questioning it, yet they play into the lies that anti-Streetcar forces put forth, claiming that capital funds in the budget could be used to prevent police or fire layoffs (or "brownouts".) For the record, I am for the new streetscape, but I would like the source of funding of it to have some help, like from the State. The people of the State of Ohio voted to put the Casinos in, so if there is public funding needed for any part of it, the State should pony up for it, not just the localities.

None of the those anti-streetcar forces are screaming about $16.8M in street work that will actually redirect traffic.  They I guess like to gamble and are not doing anything to prevent the city to spend money on the Casino.  Again, COAST (the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) seems to be rather subjective on the "Spending" part of their name.  I've seen others call them "COA T" in comments on other blogs and on the Enquirer's website.  Well, here's another example to fit the hypocrisy of that group.  It fits well with all of the lies they spew.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More COAST Bigotry

Are we just numb from the bigotry and veiled racism that flows from the people behind COAST?  I starting to think we are heading that way, but Kevin Osborne of CityBeat has a strong blog post outlining what the latest incident entailed.  The surprising source of the bigoted graphic came from a black UC student who, according to Osborne, has volunteered on local GOP political campaigns, including Council member Amy Murray.

Si Leis To Retire At End of Current Term

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis announced last week that he will not seek reelection after the end of his current term.

The Enqurier reports that Leis stated his Chief Deputy, Sean Donovan, plans to run for Sheriff next year. I know nothing about Donovan, but I would think there would be many possible candidates considering running. I am not sure a Leis supporter would get a lot of Republican primary support, since Leis broke with the party on many issues recently, namely with his belief that the county needs funding and can't be starved to death by Monzel and Hartmann.

Don't Tell Leslie Ghiz, But She's Ignorant on Issue 48

I am just not sure if Leslie Ghiz has read the text of of Issue 48, the anti-rail charter amendment, but she's in favor of banning all rail projects in Cincinnati for a generation. Well, she likely will claim otherwise, but she seems to think Issue 48 only covers the Streetcar, but as the Enquirer reported, all six experts consulted for the story agreed that the Issue could ban the City from enacting any type of rail project. I guess her prior "not right now" position on the streetcar really means never, which I believe is what it was all along.

At this point, Ghiz seems more about defeating the Mayor and anyone who criticizes her, than she is about improving the City.  She's starting to sound more like a COAST member every time she makes a public statement.  I can't find a Republican running for office in Cincinnati who doesn't sound like a COAST flunky.

It is so disappointing that the local Republican party has chosen to run all of its candidates on the same tone and strategy as National Republicans.  It does nothing more than divide us, but alas, that's the point.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Get you beer steins cleaned and work on your beer fighting weight. This weekend is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. The world of beer and brats will be centered on Cincinnati's 5th Street for 2 full days., plus a preview night on Fountain Square on Friday.  Don't miss a second, unless you need to relieve yourself, which after a day's worth of beer drinking, you will need to do. Bring your grandma and your dancing shoes.

If anyone can find me at the event and you dressed in German-esque garb, then I might buy you a beer.  Note the word "might" in the last sentence.

Oh, and Prosit!

If Chiquita Moves, Blame COAST, Winburn, and Smitherman

An Enquirer article reports that Chiquita Brands International, headquartered in Downtown Cincinnati, is being courted by other cities, mainly Charlotte, to move the company.  In the article, Council member Charlie Winburn is quoted in the article:
Added Winburn: “Anytime 400 jobs are at stake, I take that serious. If the city loses this company, then we need to call for an evaluation of city administration.”
No, Council Member Winburn, don't shirk your duty and point to the Administration. Point to yourself. If you want to keep Chiquita then you need to do several things to keep them here.  It starts with voting on a budget that would free up money to add to an incentive.  Then go to the Governor and get him of his ass and do something for Cincinnati.  Finally, start acting like you want to make this city into a progressive community that will attract news people and new businesses here.  Work to build the Urban Core of the city and agree it must be a vibrant success if the rest of the City and metro area are going to have sustained growth and prosperity. The article goes on about the air service.  Well, that's quiet frankly a tough thing for a city or even the metro area to transform.  It will take years to attract more direct flights. A more simple and immediate way to improve the city is to support rail projects, like the streetcar or light-right or the East Side commuter-rail.  None of these will happen if COAST and Smitherman's anti-rail charter amendment passes. So, if nothing else, don't support the anti-rail forces.

Why does rail matter? Well, ask Charlotte, they have rail transportation and they stand poised to take a major headquarters from our city.  Destroying the city may be COAST's and Smitherman's goal, but surely Winburn doesn't want this to happen.  If he wants to get "serious," then  he should rethink his stance on the streetcar and stop pointing fingers at others and get on board with those try to make this city a better place.

The solution is rather simple: don't shill for the FOP and don't think making the city into another suburb will solve any problems.  All of the endorsed Republicans running might gain some respect and maybe even some votes if they took that to heart and lived it.  That action would lose many Conservative votes and Suburban contributions, however, which leads me back to my cynical default stance, where Winburn's opportunism lives and keeps progress back, as long as he and other Republicans are in power.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Frey Pleading Guilty?

The Enquirer has an in-depth article about the property sales and purchases Diana Frey and family have made over the last few years.  Frey is the former president of the CODE union who has been indited on charges that she embezzled over $700,000 worth of union funds.

What is news to me is that the article reports that a guilty plea is allegedly in the works.  The deal is not known, but Frey faces 20 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.  A deal would likely bring down both the jail time and fine, assuming restitution of the stolen money is made in some capacity.

What ever the deal, significant jail time must be part of it.  Frey, if convicted, deserves at least a decade behind bars.  The other question the Enquirer article brings to mind: who else in her family could be charged with a crime?  Will a plea from Frey keep the rest of the family from jail time?

Monday, September 12, 2011

COAST Goes To The Extreme, Even For Them

5chw4rtz has the best response to COAST comparing 9/11 terrorism to the Streetcar in a Twitter post. Here is a pictorial version of the tweet:

Yes, the anti-city group went there and did it on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and they tweeted more about terrorism and the streetcar beyond this single tweet.  They lied and are totally full of shit, but they went there. That says miles about their lack of character and willingness to lie and slander others. Sure, they'll call it a joke and maybe they'll take the offending Tweet down.  They will not admit they were wrong.  They really need some counseling.  Beyond a public apology from the group's leaders, the person or persons running the twitter feed should be replaced, if any attempt to show dignity exists within that group.

If there are elected officials who support COAST, even in the slightest, and they don't PUBLICLY condemn this and the other similar tweets from COAST, then they are going to be called out as tacidly supporting it.  As the maxim goes "Qui tacet consentire videtur" (he who is silent is understood to consent), which holds true doubly here for the political climate of the times.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

CityBeat Website Gets Big Makeover

I can't tell you when, exactly, but has undergone a much needed make-over.  It is a great improvement, but is moving slow this morning, at least for me.  The mobile version is a bit different, but mostly structured the same.  I am not pleased that on my iPad I wasn't able to open the regular site, just the mobile version.  I am hoping that's a kink that can be worked out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

MidPoint: A Decade of Audio Addiction!

Mid Point Music Festival from The Big Media Company on Vimeo.

Downtown Cincinnati As Safe or Even Safer than Exurbs

The Cincinnati Enquirer had an excellent article about crime in the CBD/Downtown area as compared to several of the Cincinnati area's most populated exurbs, like West Chester, Florence, and Mason.  I really hope people read this and understand what it means. Far too many people I've talked with can't tell the differences amongst Downtown, Gaslight, Northside, OTR, or even in a few instances Hyde Park.  Therefore, I am not going to hold my breath that an understanding that crime happens everyone mixes with how safe the CBD area has become.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Desperate Candidates Lead to Misleading Press Conferences

If you are going to claim something to be true, like Republcian Council Members Wayne Lippert and Amy Murray, both appointees to council, then you better have facts, not misleading allegations that come close to out right slanderous lies, if they had named an individual.

I understand both council members are up for election and neither have actually won a council election. That tends to lead to desperation. They may have all the Suburban GOP money that is possible, but they don't have the loyal Suburanite GOP voters to go with those dollars, since they aren't city residents. Instead they have to resort to stunts like this and as far as stunts go, this is one of the most dishonest ones I have ever seen. They make a claim and can't prove it.

Yes, that is like calling some a cheat, but not being able to back it up.

That's something people can be sued over and made to pay damages, under the right circumstances.

Here, Lippert and Murray chose to assume that the people of Westwood are ignorant fools. Westwood is the place they chose to hold their press conference and that is the city neighborhood they both need to place in 4th or 5th place in if they hope to get elected.  So, lying to their prospective voters is worth the dishonor, as long as they can fool enough people into believing their unsubstantiated and unprovable claims.

Candidates who do more than appeal to the far extreme of their base are those who have a much easier time getting elected. Neither Lippert or Murray are looking like leaders for the majority of the City, just the small extreme GOP Base, looking to leave for the suburbs as soon as they can sell their house.

Political Nonsense From Sittenfeld

P.G. Sittenfeld has a well organized and well financed campaign for Cincinnati City Council.  He also has quickly learned how to make nonsensical statements on important political issues.  Here's his answer to the Enquirer's question on where he stands on the Streetcar:
P.G. Sittenfeld: The city's focus right now needs to be on basic services ahead of streetcars, but the reality is, this project is now in the hands of the voters, and I will respect the direction they give us in November.
Yes, experts of all political views would agree that this answer is a prime example of "bull shitting." That's the act of pretending to take a stand on something, but actually saying things in such a confusing way that you can deny to supporters of both sides of the issue that you are not against their side. Does my definition come across like double-talk? Well, that's the point.

I personally call Sittenfeld's statement political cowardice. I don't know who is advising him, but it sounds like a professional who is well schooled in how to be for and against everything, simultaneously. That is the most shallow and worthless manner a politician can exhibit and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of anyone with a brain.

Since far too many people lack functioning brains, P.G. stands a good chance of becoming yet another bad member of city council, one more focused on getting elected than actually doing anything for the City.

What's even worse, P.G. appears to not want to get involved with the anti-Rail ballot initiative, based on his "in the hands of voters" line. What P.G. now needs to first realize is this isn't just an anti-streetcar issue, this is an anti-rail issue. Then he must take a stand on it. Is he part of the anti-rail delusional fringe of Cincinnati politics or is he with the majority of sane people who are NOT looking to ban all rail from Cincinnati for another generation?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Half a Budget Plan is No Budget Plan at All

The Enquirer's Jane Prendergast has a blog post that discusses Cincinnati Council Member Chris Bortz stating he is tired of 'Democrats' saying he and the 'other side' don't have a plan to balance the budget.  Jane then outlines a list of steps from Bortz that would cut half of the $33 million city budget deficit.

I hate to point out the obvious and I don't have any other way to say this but: half a plan is no budget plan at all.   If Joey Votto hit the ball half way to the fence at GABP and wanted to call it a home run, I think everyone, including Bortz, would call that a joke.

Leslie Ghiz said Republicans have a plan, or at least are working on one.  Bortz is not endorsed by the Republicans, but has been voting with that 'side' on budget issues, so whether these are the same issues Ghiz is taking about, then Ghiz has no more of a plan than Bortz. She should keep working on it.  I thought Amy Murray, Charlie Winburn, and Wayne Lippert were spending the August recess working on issues like the budget, no?

The bottom line is a simple number: zero.  The budget deficit has to be zero after cuts are made.  I can't find anyone who thinks that both unfilled budget jobs and current staff working must be eliminated from the 2012 budget to reach the legally mandated zero number. If Chris Bortz or Leslie Ghiz can make those staff cuts without cutting police or the fire department, then that means they are cutting some other departments, heavily, reducing city services. The details on that should be made public an put forth now.  In case anyone forgot, Cincinnati is having an election and voters should know where the candidates stand and what services they would cut to balance the budget if elected (or re-elected).  That kind of knowledge is something that means candidates have to make political choices.  They have to either take on the FOP or be their shill.  It is a crappy choice, but that is the box the FOP and it's supporters have forced the Republicans and Bortz into and I for one am not going to give them a pass on making that choice.