Saturday, June 30, 2007

Smitherman Running For Council

Well, I guess Chris Smitherman has money to waste because he's running for city council again. I will be the first to say that he will not win. Smitherman is out for Smitherman. He just recently fought a harsh and nasty fight for President of the local NAACP, which I guess he feels so strong about that he would quit it in less than a year, if elected. What an ego.

George Zamary Running For Council

Local theatre supporter George Zamary is running for council. George is a lawyer and President of the Know Theatre Board. Starting out in June for a first time candidate is a tough position to be in.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The YP Place to Be in Ohio?

Cincinnati made the top half of 40 of the Forbes Magazine's Best Cities for Young Professionals. I've not read the Forbes article to judge how this ranking was conducted or how we compared in the past on similar type rankings, but the fact we are tops in Ohio and pretty high in the Midwest is good news.

Waiting for the Bus

Council voted to turn down the bus fare increase.

It lost 5-4, but it wasn't a usual suspects split. Anyone know the vote breakdown?

UrbanCincy has more.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Population Debate

The numbers are in and the City of Cincinnati is growing slowly. Slow growth is better than any loss, so we'll take this as a positive. Hamilton County lost 22,677 people last year, so what gives? What is driving people out of places like Reading, Silverton, and Cheviot? Are those communities starting to be too small and have aged facilities unable to keep up with their residents? Is it time for some of them to be annexed by the city? That is an option, but I don't know if it would be a good one for the City or not.

Any info on what is going on with Norwood?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Saving Newspapers?

Gannet and Enquirer seem to believe that the answer to saving newspapers is by getting readers to contribute the content. Well, sure, if you don't have to pay to gather content, you can surely make money. The problem is that you cease being a news outlet and become more of a vanity publication, where readers go to read their own work.

The problem I see with all local mainstream news outlets is that they are no longer in the business of gathering news. They thrive on channeling press releases, but don't put enough resources into shoe leather. If you are going to be a news outlet, you must get original and independent news.

What I hear the Enquirer saying is that they are out to create a flashy message board. I don't mind message boards. This blog is a form of a message board. Message Boards are not credible news outlets.

Tavern Wench Concert Review

JenJen at Tavern Wench reviews the Ben Folds/John Mayer concert.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I am sorry I missed this ENJOY THE ARTS event at the CAC. What is funny is that if you read the article you would think the YP Kitchen Cabinet had something to do with the event. I wonder how many volunteers that organization provided. I know ENJOY THE ARTS had a full team there working very hard.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bad City Beat, Bad

I am guessing the editor-in-chief of CityBeat was on vacation last week. I say that because I would think he might have wanted this puff piece written by someone else, or maybe not even written at all. The News Editor at the weekly, Greg Flannery, was the author and the article was a straight-laced form of Journalistic fellatio that Peter Bronson would be proud of. Sure, Greg pointed out the facts about the subject of the article (over 98% of primary voters voted against him for mayor, for example), but he didn't hide his school girl affection and sounded like he was maneuvering to get his 98 Degrees lunchbox autographed.

When you thought it couldn't be worse, Greg writes on his blog about his admiration for Justin Jeffre, the subject of last week's cover story, specially about what Jeffre did during a protest Greg personally took part in. It was bad enough when Greg got into the business of creating news with his protests, instead of covering it, but here he his doing favors for his friends, throwing journalistic integrity out with the trash.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The State of YP Groups

After thinking about recent articles and talk about YP organizations and the general movement to attract more YP's to Cincinnati, I'm going to issue my take on the state of the Cincinnati YP World. In general, the state is good. We are making progress to attract new people by establishing the life and culture that will attract new people to Cincinnati. That positive has little to do with the efforts of YP organizations, however. I find the YP world has many problems. Here is a list:
  1. There are just too many YP organizations. You can't walk 5 feet downtown without stumbling on someone trying to start a YP outreach group for their organization.
  2. YP outreach groups, those tied to a parent organization, are not really about attracting new YPs to the city, they are about selling tickets, memberships, or gaining donations to the parent organization. There is nothing wrong with this, but these groups shouldn't be confused with efforts to promote the city.
  3. The umbrella type YP groups tend to try do too much, they try to be everything to everyone, instead of focusing on achievable goals.
  4. When you look at who runs the YP groups and who goes to the events they sponsor, you see the same people and same names. The groups tend to get cliquish when the same people all know each other and fail to be open to new people, especially those new to town.
  5. Much of the YP effort centers around talking. Sounding Sessions sound like they have a purpose, but they are about appearance, not about actions. The Mayor's YP Kitchen Cabinet and the Chamber's Bold Fusion I believe have been about talking, not about taking action. If you are all talk, then you are going to end up talking about acting, not acting.
  6. For a significant number of participants, the YP group is self serving. It is a resume filler, a means to help gain a promotion at work, a way to impress others, or just a way to meet people and get laid.
  7. There is a clear disconnect between Native Cincinnatians and the rest of us. The YP movement has failed to address the large number of YPs who grew up here and live in the suburbs. They complain about it sucking here because they don't know what their city has too offer and only live in the stale burbs. This is an underlying problem that if addressed would improve not only the city, but the lives of those YPs living in the burbs. They might wake up and understand that that the burbs are about being boring. If you don't want a boring life, then you have to move to the urban core.
  8. Finally, the YP efforts have been focusing on and programming to the affluent. Much like the efforts to bring residents Downtown, all of the push has been to get the 30 year old lawyer making six figures. We don't have a ton of people like that. We instead have many middle class people who are college educated and are starving for culture. When you can't afford to live in the city, then you are pricing out the masses you need to make the city more vibrant. Similarly, if you really think an average Jane or Joe can shell-out $35 every week for a YP event, then you really have no concept of wealth.
I'm harsh on the efforts of YP mostly because I have been vastly disappointed with what has been going on and what has failed to occur. The YP effort has not lived up to the great potential is possesses. With development coming together in Downtown and OTR, the opportunities are there but are being missed. The only solution I see is for groups to focus on small goals and for those with the ear of the media to stop hogging the spotlight for themselves without really doing anything worthwhile. Breakdown the Native Cincinnatian social walls and help them understand they live in a cool city, but don't know it.

YP Political Power

Joe Wessels has an interesting column this weekend about a new Political Action Committee seeking to represent the "Young Professionals" of Cincinnati in the political process.

The part of the whole YP movement that has troubled me is the definition of Young Professional. There is the Young part, which I think can easily be be overlooked. I think "young at heart" every time. The term professional has always been the problem. "Creative Class" was a much better term, but it too ran into problems. In the article, the head of Cincy PAC Sean Parker is taking a great step by trying to broaden the the reach of YP:
Parker is a Democrat, but said he votes independently and wants Cincy PAC to be non-partisan - and more broadly define who is a young professional. Often YPs are seen as the white-collar sect. Parker wants the PAC to be more inclusive, expanding the definition to blue collar workers and artists who may have felt left out.
I think this step is the key to really making both the political effort as well as the social movement affective.

The problem is that Sean Parker is starting off on the wrong track by holding the kickoff fund raiser at Bang, a local nighclub that caters to the more affluent, to the trend obsessed crowd, and to those who seek exclusivity. If you want to branch out, I hope the next fund raiser takes place in a venue where you don't have to worry about how you are dressed, just to get in the door.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Local Skater Goes Into Business

We need more independent businesses finding OTR/Downtown are great places to locate. OTR is really the place to be for this type of small business. You can get great deals on business locations on Main and other streets, for now. If you are thinking about doing it in 3 to 5 years, I will wish you luck, but you won't find the deals you can find now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

'Radiant Baby' Opens to Rave Reviews

New Stage Collective's production of 'Radiant Baby' open last and the Enquirer was impressed. Check it out over at the Conveyor.

Heartless Bastards Playing OTR

It can't get much better, a Final Friday, a block party, and a Free Show from the Heartless Bastards.

The show will take place on 14th Street in front of the Lightborne video production building, which is just off Main Street.

POWR PAC Endorses 9

The Partnership of West Side Residents PAC published their picks for City Council. They are:

Chris Bortz
Melanie Bates

Jeff Berding,
John Cranley,
Laketa Cole
Cecil Thomas

John Eby
Leslie Ghiz
Chris Monzel.

Seven of the current incumbents were endorsed, only David Crowley was left out. No Sam Malone. Only one new Republican. What does this say about POWR PAC? Are they getting more moderate (with Mary Kuhl and Melva Gwynn in it, the racist vote has a "clear" voice), I think not. Instead I think this supports the contention that the 2005 election put one of the most conservative councils into office in a long time. Do the Democrats on this list face a revolt from the left? Obviously Berding has pissed away any support the "D" after his name gets him from the base, so he has to run to the Westside and Hyde Park for votes. Cranley actually looks better to the left after recent budget battles. Thomas is just too quiet for anyone's taste and Cole's Westwood Concern pandering still leaves a really bad stink on her.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Homicide: Real Life on the Streets

TV comes to the Cincinnati Police department in the form of the TV show "The First 48". I've seen the program before, and I've liked it. It really shows the investigation fairly straightforward. It will be interesting to see how our police stack up to other departments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Portman Running for Gov?

Rob Portman is leaving his job at the White House and he reportedly may run for Ohio Governor in 2010. He would be a good candidate for the GOP to run, but Stickland will be tough to beat if he can keep things going on an even keel.

Phoenix Closes, Good!

I noticed this a week or so ago, but now it is permanent that the Phoenix Cafe is closed. This is great news for the backstage area. A dive bar like the Phoenix was a big negative to the backstage area. This should fit in nicely with the backstage loop of bar/restaurants opening up around 7th and 6th street.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

To all the fathers and especially to my Dad, Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Banks Agreement

I don't know if there was white smoke or not, but we have a Banks Agreement. Here's the highlight:
The non-binding agreement calls for 300 apartments in the first phase, followed by 100 condominiums and 70,000 square feet of retail. It will also include an unspecified amount of office space.
Non-binding is the problem, but that will hopefully not be the case in a couple of months.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Antioch College to Close in 2008

You don't hear of this often, but the Yellow Spring, Ohio college will close in 2008 in hopes of reopening in 2012. I will be surprised if it reopens in Yellow Springs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Can't Totally Fault Bronson Today

I can't really go off on Peter Bronson's latest column, but I'll point out a few problems. He writes about classic rock and Wizards Records in Oakley. He is missing out on the big selection of music at Wizards from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, not just from Bronson's long haired days. The college kids who come to buy there are likely to want new wave, punk, and grunge more than classic 60's rock.

Finally, I don't know about Bronson, but I grew up storing my vinyl in milk crates, not cardboard boxes. I would guess Peter went through many boxes over the years. I still have my milk crates.

Moving Forward

Kudos to the entire metro area for moving up to 38th place in the "Cities Ranked and Rated" book. We are 38th out of 378 cities, and we moved up from 92nd place which was held in 2004 in the 1st edition of the book.

It's a New Skyline Time

Western & Southern has announced plans to build the tallest building in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Skyline is a very pretty site, so I hopte this improves it, as well as adding new development to the CBD. Are there any mocked up drawings of what it would look like with this new building?

UPDATE: This morning's paper included a artists rendering of the building.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pick of the Fringe

The Pick of the Fringe was made last night. The Conveyor also gave their Top of Fringe choices.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Green Party Looking Foolish

I am often bewildered by the Green Party. I guess they will gladly give power back to the Republicans by attacking Democrats if they can't instantaneously create a Utopian fantasy world where there are no poor or stupid people living in it. To make a claim that the jail tax vote by the democratically elected Hamilton County Commission was "Undemocratic" makes the Greens appear to be ignorant and hypocritical fools. How many gas tax increases are put up to a referendums? How many times has the Green Party called for increased gas taxes to help cut fossil fuel use? Did they call for a statewide referendum in order to enact it? If they did, I'd like to see a reference to that.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Council Candidates - the List

A candidate himself, Michael Earl Patton, has compiled a list of those who have picked up petitions to get on the ballot for Cincinnati City Council. The list, sorted by party endorsement, is as follows:

Brian Garry
Cecil Thomas
David Crowley
Greg Harris
Jeff Berding
John Cranley
Laketa Cole
Minnette Cooper
Wendell Young

Andre Harper
Charlie Winburn
Chris Monzel
John Eby
Leslie Ghiz
Patrick F. Fischer
Sam Malone

Charter Committee:
Chris Bortz
Joan Kaup
Malanie Bates

The Rest:
Christopher Davis
Curtis Wells
Dadrin Washington
Eric Wolterman
Kellley Cowdrey
Malik Showes
Michael Earl Patton
Mitch Painter
Paul Makin
Robert J. Wilking
Ron Stallworth
Sean Holbrook
Sean Lackey
Steven Pavelish
Yvette Barbara Baldwin

How many will actually make it to the ballot? Are there others missing from the list? I know of a few of the Independents, but not many.

Please note that I grouped the candidates by party endorsement, not affiliation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Downtown Relaxing

I'm off of my day job this week, so I've been spending lots of time in Downtown and OTR. Today I am trying out the wifi at Fountain Square. It works pretty well. The only thing to consider is that you need to find shade under a tree if you plan on using your laptop during the middle of the day, when the buildings don't any shade. It really is calming just sitting here. I got to watch the Daily Show on the big screen as well.

Protecting City Views

The battle over maintain city views boils down to property rights. Where does the concept of "right of way" come into play when thinking of the space above your land. How tall can you build something in relation to the structures around you? The zoning regulations are designed to cover this, but when the view of the river or of the city affects land value so heavily, I can see why people would make hay about new buildings.

Calculus: The Musical! - Extended Run

For those who missed out on this great CincyFringe performance, you have another chance. Call at 10AM today (Wednesday June 6th) and you can score some tickets. Do it now or miss out on the hottest Fringe ticket this year. The Details:

Calculus: The Musical!. Encore Performance
9:45 PM, Saturday, June 9.
Art Academy of Cincinnati,
1212 Jackson Street.
Tickets go on sale June 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
Call 513.621.ARTS (2787)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Trying Anything

There is at least one Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor that will say nearly anything in open court to push her case forward. In this case a claim was made that a defendant had a connection to al-Qaida. Yea, the prosecutor was claiming that a defendant is a terrorist, or at least connected to them. The defendant is up on charges of violation of his probation in a domestic violence case. He is likely a bad dude, but a terrorist?

Monday, June 04, 2007

iLove Sells Out On a Monday

Monday sell outs just don't happen at CincyFringe, but iLove Sold Out tonight at Fringe.

Inside the CAC Blog

CAC Public Relations Director Stacey Czar has begun an inside the CAC blog, giving a little bit of a behind the scenes peek at the happenings with the staff and the inside view of the Contemporary Arts Center.

Fringe Review: Girlfight | The Conveyor

For the record I did not write the play "girlfight" but I did review it: Fringe Review: Girlfight | The Conveyor

Fringe is Still On!

There are six more days of shows for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. If you want to go, check out Tickets for some shows are going fast! The Enquirer reports that so far this year's Fringe looks like a hit. is continuing our daily coverage of Fringe. Our latest review of Public Espionage! can be read here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fringe Review: Tommy Nugent’s The Show

Here is the review one of the more intense shows at Fringe this year: Tommy Nugent’s The Show from the |

Fringe Review: The Kid in the Dark

Here is my Fringe review for a great musical The Kid in the Dark over at

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cincy Blues Challenge

If you want a little break from the Fringe, check out the Cincy Blues Challenge, 1PM Sunday June 3 at Germania Park, 3529 West Kemper Road. It's $15 for the whole day, which includes the best in Cincinnati Blues. For more information, check out the website.

Southgate House Gets Praise

Newport's Southgate House has been name amounts"America's 40 Best Music Venues" by Paste magazine.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Crappy Review Headline in the Enquirer

The Enquirer should really be ashamed for the headline Not crazy about 'Mad', a review of a play about dealing with a mentally ill family member. Not only is it a trite and unoriginal headline, it is insulting.

Fringe Review: Calculus: The Musical! | The Conveyor

Here's my second review on Calculus: The Musical! over at

That is two shows seen and two good reviews. I am not softy, I just like good work.

CityBeat's Fringe Blog Is Up

For daily reviews of Fringe shows, check out CityBeat's Fringe Blog.

Their day 1 reviews includes a Grade A for The Kid in the Dark and a Grade D for Extreme Puppet Theatre.

Sales Tax Increase Approved

The two Democratic Hamilton County Commissioners approved a half cent sales tax hike to fund a new jail and other public safety initiatives. The lone Republican is against it. It will be interesting to hear any conservatives whine about increasing taxes without a referendum. I'd would have liked a referendum before we went to war in Iraq, but I am just an insignificant voter, so who am I to complain. Let the beatings begin.

Kids Gets a Glow from the Enquirer

Pamela Fisher gives a big approval to “The Kid in the Dark”. She says you better buy tickets now.

First Fringe Ouch

This review of "Extreme Puppet Theatre" hurts a bunch.

The Myth is False

There is a god and his name is Zeus. He has provided us proof that Luke and Adam are not the same person.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mad | The Conveyor

My first review of a play is up for Jen Dalton's Mad. It is a light review, being my first of the fest, that shouldn't be a surprise.

I really liked it. It is intense.

Day One Off to a Start

Got my press pass, got my first beer, working on the second as I sit here in Courtyard Cafe using Lily Pad (Yea Lilly Pad). Well this is my first post after my first show. I'm out of my first show and I am excited! It was a great show and I'm working on writing up a review on, so look for that post soon.

I'm working on how this blogging fringe thing is going to work out. I am glad I have place where I can blog and eat. Eating is very important at Fringe. I'll be eating often here.

First Glance - My Shows To See At Fringe

Below is my tentative list of shows to see at this year's Fringe. It is a long list. I don't know if my ass can take sitting in uncomfortable chair that many times, so I seriously doubt I will make all of them. After the reviews start to come in, I'll be switching things in and out. Not everything is going to be good, so with time an issue, I have to trim the fat at some point.

I have no great science to what shows have caught my eye. My picks are based on word of mouth, past history of the performers/companies, and the descriptions. At this point I don't know if there will be any run away hits like Catholic Girl's Guide was last year. This year's schedule has several shows that are placed well to fill the seats if the momentum can work in their favor.

Well here are my picks, in alphabetical order:
  1. Alone Together

  2. Calculus: The Musical!

  3. Christmas in Bakersfield

  4. Extreme Puppet Theatre

  5. Girlfight

  6. How to Fake Clinical Depression

  7. I Do… I Think

  8. I Take it Back

  9. iLove

  10. Mad

  11. Public Espionage!

  12. The Kid in the Dark

  13. Tommy Nugent's The Show

  14. True + False

  15. Wet Dream

Originally Posted at

City Beat's New Website is Up

Have a look at the vastly redesigned City Beat website.

Crime is Down

Good News, most certainly, but can we do better and will the police continue to keep targeting the problem neighborhoods? The City can't let up.

Thinking politically, how will some of the candidates react to this? I am thinking of Melanie Bates mostly, who is running on an anti-crime platform more than anyone else.

Rick Pender on Streetcars

Rick has gone to Portland, seen how well streetcars worked there and looks to the future as to how they would work right here in Cincinnati. Rick has the idea down perfectly, a streetcar through the Main Street/Gateway area and we get a boost to the theatre traffic.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fringe Venue Change

Via the Cincy Fringe website we learn that Mr. Pitiful's is no longer a venue for the Festival and the performances of the two shows scheduled there, Contains Adult Themes & Think Fast, Go Slow, have been moved to the 1201 Jackson Street Theatre. What is that space? I think I know the building, but not sure about the space. Check out the location on Google Maps.

Originally posted at

Movie Set in Cincinnati

The forth coming Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mystery is set in Depression-era Cincinnati. Anyone know if there is the possibility that any of the movie will be filmed in Cincinnati?

Happy Fringe Eve!

Here's an interview with the Co-founder of Cindy Fringe:

Magazine Reviews?

Peter Bronson is only able to muster enough energy to write a review of Rolling Stone's 40th Anniversary issue. I guess he'll be spouting on the SI swimsuit issue later in the year. I can't wait for his diatribe against Penthouse for refusing to publish his series of 'letters' he sent back in his "rebellious" youth.

Havana Martini: Still Hot

Based on this article in the Enquirer, you wouldn't guess there have been any problems for the Havana Martini Club since they started to comply with the smoking ban.

Mood After the Shooting

What is the literal 'word on the street' about the gun fight with police on Sunday afternoon? Since it happened over a holiday, I've not seen much from the opinion makers (bloggers) online, just the straight up articles from the pro-journalists.

Monday, May 28, 2007

CincyFringe Needs Volunteers

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival still has many open shifts and can really use your help. The more you volunteer, the more free tickets you can earn. It starts this Wednesday and runs through June 9th. For full details and a link to the sign up page, hit the CincyFringe Get Involved page.

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.

City Population Bigger?

A new estimate of Cincinnati's population puts it much higher than even the revised numbers:
Cincinnati might be more populated and richer than the U.S. Census thinks. Results of a demographic study by Social Compact, a national nonprofit group supported by financial institutions:

Population: 368,868 (compared with the Census 2006 amended projection of 331,310; original projection was 307,573).

Households: 166,143 (139,590).

Avg. household income: $53,877 ($50,371).

Aggregate neighborhood income: $8.951 million ($7.031 million).

Median home sale value: $139,715 ($134,525).
The perception of a stable or dare I say even a growing city is one that should go along way to improve business and residential growth for the city and the entire region. Thinking positive and having the numbers to back it up is a good feeling.

Via Joe Hansbauer.

Hip Tips Minute: Arts Events in Cincinnati: May 18, 2007

For more information, check out the Enjoy the Arts website at


June 2nd get out your running/walking shoes and take a jaunt through the historic Over-the-Rhine in the OTR 5K run:
See What’s Old and See What’s New in the GO OTR 5K Run/Walk in Historic Over-the-Rhine. The race/walk travels past much of OTR’s breathtaking historic architecture and provides a glimpse of the revitalization taking place in Over-The-Rhine. Proceeds benefit the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce.
Cost: $10 Pre-Registered, $15 Race Day. Both fees include T-Shirt and a Goody Bag.
For more info check out the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce's website at

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fringe Kickoff Party on Friday

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival kicks off early this Friday with a special happy hour from 6 PM to 8:30. Admission is free to this pre-event.

9PM to 1AM: join in on a great list of local music at the Fringe 4 Kickoff Party. $5 gets you a line up of: The Newbees, Jon Justice Band, O. yemi Experiment, Jake Speed and the Freddies, Ellery, & The Late Circuit.

Come out and support a great event with the best line up of music for a Theatre event in Cincinnati, ever!

Grandstanding Queen

If you were thinking ABBA, then you would have the type of show that came to mind when I read about the drama Ghiz and Cole generated about already vetted arts funding at Wednesday night's Council Meeting. Leslie Ghiz sounds like she is out to be confrontational for the sheer fact that she wants people to know she knows how to be confrontational with older men like Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell. The attacks on Tarbell were unwarranted and just mean.

Laketa Cole seems to have not been paying attention every year when this annual arts funding takes place. She was "disgusted." How the funding is determined isn't any different than it has been since 2002, so what is different in Cole's mind now? Did she forget how the process worked? Is she losing her memory? More puzzling, after all of her complaints, she voted for the funding anyway. If the process is disgusting, then its outcome should be voted down. Cole appears to want to play both sides for effect. Complain and look conservative, but in the end her voting record is in line with most Democrats.

Jeff Berding appears to be an obstructionist against fine arts. He will vote for "community" arts projects, but not fine arts project because they somehow don't help the public enough. I'm not being helped enough by Paul Brown Stadium, I'd like the Bengals to pick up the tab, immediately. I wonder if Jeff would agree there. How about funding community sports leagues instead? I think a pee-wee football stadium would have been the way to go.

City Wide WiFi?

I don't know how this would work, but in concept it sounds great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ken Lawson's Law License Suspended

For some very strange reason this news article about Cincinnati attorney Ken Lawson labels him as an "activist." Lawson has had his law license suspended until the Ohio Supreme Court makes a decision about the allegations Lawson mishandled cases. Lawson may be considered an activist by some, a small number. He is known foremost and in this situation it is most relevant to refer to him as a lawyer, his profession.

Joan Kaup Un-Interview Blog Post

The Enquirer's Jane Prendergast has an interesting blog post talking about what she talked to City Council candidate Joan Kaup about over coffee.

The impression Jane paints of Joan has a little bit of rookie overtone to it. Without any direct quotes that might be a little bit misleading, whether intention or not.

I do like this type of blog post. I called it an un-interview because it references what I presume was an interview, but what is in the post isn't anything close to what one would call the publication of an interview. It is something you wouldn't ever read in the newspaper. It is an odd mix of journalism the and personal influx that occurs with blogging. I hope Jane repeats these types of interactions with council candidates.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

For The Record

In hopes that local TV news teams are reading this, please note that the Enquirer is reporting on a survey of 25 cities about Road Rage and Cincinnati was 18th, with Miami at #1 with the worst road rage.

Road Rage is not a problem here. We don't need any more stories of the alleged problem. We don't need to know about any alleged road rage incidents in any other city, either.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Second Sunday on Main

Pictured here is a new mural painted on Main Street just this week. I spend a great Sunday afternoon on Main Street at the Second Sunday on Main Festival, the monthly summer street festival that showcases the North Main business district.

The highlight was the cooking demonstration from Chef Jean Robert de Cavel and a great lesson on matching wines from Sommelier Paul Ortiz. The dish was salmon with this egg dressing that was excellent. The wine chosen to match was actually champagne. If you've not seen Jean Robert cook live you really should take the opportunity. He looks like a symphony conductor, a friend even said he has conductor hair.

I can also attest that the Christian Moerlein OTR Pale Ale is pretty good.

Save the Second Sunday's for the rest for the rest of summer: June 10, July 8, August 12, and September 9.

Below the scene at Enjoy the Arts where the cooking demonstration took place.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Goat - At New Stage Collective

There is still plenty of time to see the New Stage Collective's production of the Goat. To the left is a photo of the set of the goat from NSC's open house back in April.

Check out for more!!!!!

A Start, But Not Enough

This trolley idea is a good start, but it needs to be run Friday nights and on the Weekends as well. There is more to downtown and to the Square than lunch time during the week.

Sorry I'm late. I was taking a crap.

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

Mommy, I want one too:

Lobbying By Race

I am tired of race. I am sick and tired of people using race as the impetus to lobby the government for money. Lobbying is part of our democracy, but doing so based on Race increases the racial divide, and does nothing to create an inclusive society. Invoking George Wallace is a hollow and misleading rhetorical tactic, especially from the mouth of Chris Smitherman, who appears to be angling to become a local Al Sharpton, playing the race card as his first and last play.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Everybody's GOP Fightin'

In local politics, party really is not thicker than personal beefs between bitter foes. In this case seeing the Republicans fight like dogs, is quite a sporting evening.

UPDATE: A lot of detail at CityBeat's Porkopolis Blog.

Ohio 2nd: Heimlich vs Schmidt

The GOP primary is going to have a real race for the Ohio 2nd Congressional district.

Don't Call It a Comeback

LL Cool J will be performing at the grand opening of Club Red in the former Red Cheetah on 12th Street in OTR.

Cincy Fringe Festival 2007

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

But, wait, there's more: