Sunday, May 27, 2007

Blogging Fringe

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival starts Wednesday May 30th. This blog, along with a new website, called The Conveyor, will devote bytes upon bytes of attention to the 4th annual festival. I've spent the last 3 years as a volunteer, but this year I'm looking for a different perspective. I want to see what the audience sees. Who goes to shows? What do they like about the shows? How are the shows? Fringe fests of the past have had good stuff and some really bad stuff. My goal is to provide a take on the festival, the after-parties, and a little bit of the behind the scenes of what it takes to put on the festival. Keep in mind, I'm not pretending to be a theatre critic. I'll be giving my take on the shows, but from my personal perspective, not one from someone who is schooled in Theatre.

If its deemed to be appropriate, I might even let out some of the the stories from prior years, now that time has past. I promise to change the names to protect the innocent. Well, most of the names.

So, chime in with your own takes on the Fringe Festival as it progresses. Be sure to hit with your experiences, good and bad.

Enquirer Coverage of Fringe

The Enquirer binged on Fringe today with a big preview story. Enquirer Theatre critic Jackie Demaline also listed her three "not to miss" shows at this year's Fringe. She picked "iLove", "The Kid in the Dark", and "True + False."

The Enquirer has also updated their calendar to list out every show's time and location throughout the Festival. Please note that for any updates to the schedule, please check out the Cincinnati Fringe home page at

Originally Posted at

Miami Sports Finds New Home

With a new home for Miami University Sports, I hope 96.5FM does not give the school second, third, or even fourth fiddle coverage. At Clear Channel, Miami was the ugly step child that had many games and 1 sport (Hockey) forced off Cincinnati air waves. Late this summer, I plan on tuning in to the station for the games. I'll will do that with the hope that Reds/UC/Bengals games do not preempt Miami football.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Marvin Lewis

When ever I hear Chris Henry's name mentioned in the news or I see articles about the Bengals outside of the season, I tend to tune out. This is why I've not commented on the Marvin Lewis profiling comment, before now. I finally got around to reading Kevin Osborne's take on the Lewis comment and the recent idiotic statement from Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson, who I believe should be sued for slander by Henry for the outright lie he publicized.

In the Marvin Lewis incident, as I'll now call it, I am most curious about who got to him. Did CPD Chief Tom Streicher make a call to Mike Brown to complain, and did that get the apology issued? Where does Jeff Berding fit into all of this? Did anyone call to complain to him, like Streicher, and did that flow up to Brown? How would it affect Berding's Election chances if were true he help arrange or even pushed for the Lewis apology? Speculation is fun!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bronson's Choice: Jump Off a Cliff or Get Pushed Off

When ignorant people like Peter Bronson write about public eduction I get a very large twinge in my right temple from the wasted time I spent reading his columns. Yes, I get that every time I read one of his columns, but lets skip the red herring for today.

Bronson goes on and on about CPS. He does seem to understand how they can't turn a profit. Well, lets state the obvious first, the government is not in the profit business. I won't go worry about the anti-government insanity right now, and instead talk about the false choice Bronson is putting forth.

As many Conservatives do, Bronson likes to look at market competition and claim that it works. Well, it works when everyone has more than a choice of execution. The problem with Bronson's desire to create a market based education system is that he forgets about the law. He forgets that it is the law that every student age 5 to 16 is guaranteed the ability to go to school. In Bronson's world of privately run schools or charter schools he hides a small fact, those schools can turn kids away. How many privately run schools, religious schools, and charter schools are taking in special education children? Where do the behavioral problem students end up?

In Bronson's world the schools he champions can avoid all of the special needs students and stick with the rich or cheap kids and look like they are brilliant, when really they are just manipulators.

Education is a right. Public education is the way to make that right a reality and funding public schools is how this is done. Gimmicks don't work. Walling in the poor within the inner city schools doesn't do anything but make the poor-phobic feel "safer" in the suburban white schools. Cherry picking the smart inner city kids might make Bronson sleep better at night, but it doesn't provide speech therapy or wheel chair ramps to the inner city kid who doesn't get good grades.

Public Education has worked dating back before the Revolutionary War. Why not work on public education policies, instead of working to dismantle it?

Monzel Under Attack

Who is spending their time forging letters in an attempt to discredit Chris Monzel's campaign for Council? I can understand why someone would want to disparage Monzel's voting record, but who would be stupid enough to think that the addressees wouldn't find out that 3 well known local Republicans didn't send the letters in question? If you are going to try an amateur dirty trick, you might want to try something that isn't possible fraud and isn't that transparent.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fiscal Five Fizzled

For all the belly aching they did, the Fiscal Five's efforts were less than stellar in the end when they couldn't defeat the Tarbell arts funding plan. Cole wasn't even there for the vote. When grandstanding take the place of real political effort and consideration, nothing comes out of their efforts. We are all better off because the Fiscal Five monolith is hollow.

Angry At Commerical Radio

With the firing of Richard Skinner and the dismantling of quality local sports talk radio, we have yet another sign in a litany of signs that local commercial radio is a nearly dead entity. Radio appears to be headed in a bizarre direction. I think locally, the public radio stations are doing well, at least on the outside looking in. So much of radio is soulless drivel. In the long run, I don't know how it will survive as a local media.

UPDATE: I changed the post for a serious case of sports-talk dyslexia.

Bridge Climb Falls

The Purple People Bridge Climb has ceased operations. It was an interesting idea. I think it had too many legal hold-ups that resulted in this downfall.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Walnut Hills High School 34th Best in the Nation

The Jewel of CPS has been ranked 34th best public school in the USA. That was up 31 spots from the prior year.

CAC Relaunches Their Website

The Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center has redesigned their website:

VIA the Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Fringetastic!

Changes at CityBeat?

Via CityBeat's Spill It Blog, Mike Breen stateschanges are afoot:
"Some changes have been a-brewin' here at CityBeat (I would have my hands chopped off if I even hinted at what they are, but it will be known soon enough) and it's keeping us all extra busy. It's worth it, though — change is good, no?"
So, curiosity is looking to smite some cats right about now. Staff changes? An Update to the website? (Please be yes!) what does the rumor mill have to say?

Parking Meter Increase

Ok, I find it confusing that local downtown businesses welcome the increase. I would think that would be a negative. I also find this change confusing because right now there are short term meters and long term meters. The 2 hour meters give you an hour for a quarter. I hope that is not going to change. If so, that really sucks.

I'm going to be parking during the day in early June in Downtown/OTR, so I am looking for the best prices/places to park.

Big Dog To Visit Cincinnati

Bill Clinton will be in town to accept an award at the Freedom Center on June 2nd.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What The Fuck Is This?

How much pandering can one newspaper do with a special section like this? I have to wonder what kind of idiots, and I don't say that lightly, are editing the paper. Are there creationists who are pushing this crap? Or did someone think it would be a great idea to try and attract the extreme fringe of the fundamentalist movement who are delusional enough to believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

What is next? Are we going to read a special section for those who still think smoking doesn't cause cancer? Will Holocaust deniers get attention? The Flat Earth Society is also looking for their front page story too.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Radio Joe

Joe Wessels will be hosting City Talk Radio at 7 p.m. tonight on 96.5 FM. Turn on your radio or listen live here.

Mike Breen With the Shaky Hands

Mike Breen at Citybeat's Spill it Blog has a long post on local musicians doing commericals. He pulls together both local and the national acts doing this, in particular local bands Buckra, the Newbees and Whitney Barricklow. The meat of the post comes from analyzing the message boards at local music websites. If you have not bee to such sites at or, then you don't know how volatile and often just insane some of the posters can be.

Throw Buckra into the mix and you are going to get a flame war.

For those who don't know Buckra,, they are a popular local band that plays original pop music with a blues/jazz feel to it. They are not a stare at your shoes type band, they are professionals. They play often, show up on time, know how to tune their instruments, and begin their shows on time. They are popular and get grief from those who are a lazy ass musicians because they don't write "serious" indie music. That is no reason to bash them for making a living and getting break with the Gold Star commercial.

Side Note: My title is not a slight on Mike. I am a big Who fan, so I thought I'd pick a song title to mimic. "Mary-Anne with the shaky hands" won out. Yes, it is from the Who Sell Out album.

Yes, We Need Streetcars

The Enquirer asks "Does Cincy need streetcars?" The answer is obviously yes. We need need it for two reasons. First we need more public transportation. We as a society need to stop using our cars as often.

Secondly, we needs this to make Downtown and OTR into a residential community. Transportation is one of keys that will make it easier for more people to move downtown and to OTR. This will help push crime out, help pull in businesses that would serve residents. This also will feed the tourists (both locals and actual out of towners. Streetcars should be installed now. What sucks is that it will take years for it to happen. The mayor and council need to show leadership and make it happen.

This is an election year, so I look for council to be all talk and no action. With the recent arts funding troubles, this will be a battle. This is a top level issue we should hear where every candidate stands during the campaign. If they don't have an opinion on this issue, you shouldn't be voting for them.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fringe Fest 2007 Kicks Off

The old faces from Cincy Fringe festivals of the past came out for a what ended up being one of the biggest Cincinnati Fringe related events ever. Over the course of the whole day, 500 people came through the doors. What felt odd yet good at the same time were the many new faces. The art and theatre crowds were out in good numbers, but the bigger influx of people came for music and the OTR Pale from Christian Moerlein.

The only comparison I could make to Fringe experiences of the past was the audiences who filled the seats to last years big hit The Catholic School Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity. That play brought Fringe new blood in 2006 that hopefully will be back in 2007.

This is second year the Fringe Festival is based at the Know Theatre space at 1120 Jackson street, but the first year with a bar at the Fringe HQ. The Fringe fest bar series is at the Know each night of the Fringe, so the Moerlein empty bottles will fill up a few trash bins. Most important to any festival are those looking to find a Fringe boyfriend/girlfriend. The prime time hook up zone will be about 12:30 AM most nights during the fest. How else do you think people come up with ideas from scripts for Fringe 2008?

The two biggest musical draws were Ellery and Jake Speed & the Freddies. Jake's set got off to a slow start with a little technical gaff, but they managed. My memory and the ears of my friends sitting near me were testing as I belted out the chorus to every song.

The festival officially start off on May 30th. Keep tuned to the Cincinnati Blog and for interesting perspectives on the Festival.