Monday, May 31, 2010

Give Your Opinion on the Taste of Cincinnati

Organizers of the Taste of Cincinnati are seeking opinions on this year's event from those who have attended. Chime in and voice your views on what works and what doesn't.

UPDATE: Link Fixed, I hope!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

CincyFringe: The Buzz on What to See

I am always asked by friends and even random strangers, what should I see at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  My first answer is EVERYTHING.  I get a blank stare and tell I am going to see all 29 shows and 1 special performance.  That gets another blank stare, followed by a comment along the lines of  "Wow, that's kind of crazy."  When I get past that I offer up some shows I've heard some buzz about.  Below is the list of shows I would suggest everyone plan on seeing.  These are not going to be the best shows of the festival.  These are the shows that are either from groups that I've see before and like the synopsis of their show, or these are shows people have mentioned they've heard good things about.  If will be leaving out a bunch of good shows that people will rave about.  That happens every year at Fringe, you will be surprised by at least one show, if not ten.

These are not in any significant order, other than I hope alphabetical.

A Brief History of Petty Crime
A Short Lecture of a Different Time
Aberrant Reflections on the Barbarism of You & I
Salem! The Musical
Tantric Acting at the Holiday Inn
That One Show
The Council
The Finkle's Theater Show

Knock Three Times

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Time to Make Your CincyFringe Selections

It's time to start selecting the shows you are going to see at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Below is a listing of all of the Productions with a link to's preview article.

A Brief History of Petty Crime
A Night of Well Adjusted Ladies
A Short Lecture of a Different Time
Aberrant Reflections on the Barbarism of You & I
Aftershock! An Event!
Ain't That Good News
Just Say Know
Money Back Guaranteed
Of People and Not Things
Queer in the U.S.A.
Safety In Numbers
Salem! The Musical
Sophie's Dream
Soul Juice
Tantric Acting at the Holiday Inn
That One Show
The Comfort of Anger
The Council
The End Is Near
The Finkle's Theater Show
The Global Lovers
The Long Way Home
The Water Draft
Blue Collar Diaries

Congrats to Liz Vosmeier on Acclaim Award

At Monday night's Acclaim Awards, see Rick Pender's recap here, the Know Theatre's Liz Vosmeier received a special MVP award for her efforts during the 2009-2010 Theatre season. Liz has done a great job this year acting at the Know, but as Rick points out, her work backstage has been crucial to the company's success. This was a well deserved honor.

You can show your support of Liz and the rest of the Know at Fringe. Liz appears in Of People and Not Things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Volunteer For CincyFringe!!!!

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival is an amazing event, but it takes amazing people to put it on. Please volunteer today for the festival and be part of Art in Cincinnati. Check out the Volunteer page where you can see the available shifts. As always you can earn free tickets!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reds Game Sounds Like Fun

Tonight's Reds game commemorates the 75th anniversary of the first night game in professional baseball, which was played at Crosley Field. The Enquirer's Reds Blog posts the Reds' press release here.

Among the highlights: the Reds mascots will actually race around the bases between the third and fourth innings. (Usually, the race is only a virtual one via graphics on the scoreboard.)

Given that the Pirates are in town, though, the mascots would do well to stay away from the visiting team's dugout.

Support for Street Car Has Increased Since 2009

The Mayor's Office issued an interesting press release last night, where they point out that the Enquirer commissioned poll has one overlooked result: support for the Streetcar has risen since the last time a poll on the streetcar was completed. The details from the press release:
Truth about the Enquirer Poll: Streetcar Gains Popularity
Streetcar is more popular today than it was a year ago

“The successful streetcar projects in cities around the country were met with public opposition before construction, and once they were built, neighborhoods fought to get the streetcar line to come to their area,” Mayor Mark Mallory said. “We were told to expect this. However, the fact remains that the Streetcar project is going to be of financial benefit to Cincinnati.”

Quick facts about poll in the Cincinnati Enquirer today:
Streetcar popularity:
  • 44% of poll respondents are in favor of building the Cincinnati Streetcar.
  • “24% say the streetcar would "revitalize Cincinnati's core;" 20% say it is a "risky project," but should still be built in order to help improve the city.” From Cincinnati Enquirer Politics Blog. 
  • 48% oppose building the Streetcar.
  • 7% remain undecided.

Some things to think about:
  • A similar poll was conducted in April 2009 in advance of the Issue 9 campaign.
    In that poll, 59% were opposed to moving ahead with the Streetcar and 38% were in favor of moving forward.
  • In today’s Enquirer poll, those opposed have dropped by 11% from 59% to 48%, and those in favor have increased by 6% from 38% to 44%.
  • That is a 17% change since last year.
  • Today’s poll shows that the Streetcar is much more popular today than it was a year ago and is in fact gaining momentum.
  • 44% is a tremendously high level of support for a project that is not even fully funded yet (the City is awaiting word of significant federal grants).
Please refer to the actual crosstabs located at the Cincinnati Enquirer Politics Blog
This does not mean the poll is not flawed. I would like to know the zip code breakdown of those polled. It also of course doesn't account for the Cell Phone problem, but even taking both of those of those flaws, not everything is bad.

New Blog From the Enquirer: Opinionati

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a new opinion blog running and call it "Opinionati." The blog seems to be from the Editorial Page Team, but focuses on what blogs and social media commentary is out and about about all sorts of topics. It's attempting to be a bit of a panoptic blog about the hot topics of commentary around the city. Leaving out local Talk radio is a plus, since WLW sucks for valuable opinion, but that leaves out what the extreme right-wingers are talking about.

It's funny how basically there are no local Conservative bloggers who cover mainly local issues and politics. (Beyond activists or candidates of course) Why is that?

At CincyFringe Speed Is Sometimes the Key to Success

But, not always.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Streetcar Poll Raises Questions (Mainly About the Enquirer)

Today's Enquirer releases poll results purporting to measure City residents' views on the streetcar. The article raises two questions: one about the Enquirer, and one about City voters. (Note: I am assuming, for the purposes of this post, that the instrument is valid and there were no sampling errors.)

1. Why is this article so intentionally misleading? The article, which sat on the front page of the online Enquirer most of today, begins:
Residents of Cincinnati overwhelmingly oppose the proposed $128 million streetcar project, objecting 2-to-1 to City Hall's plan to borrow tens of millions of dollars for a plan widely viewed as a waste of taxpayer money, an Enquirer poll shows.

But a look at the cross-tabs for the poll--linked in the Enquirer's blog, but not the article itself--tells a different story. 48% of those surveyed said that the streetcar is a "waste of taxpayer money." 24% said that it "will help revitalize Cincinnati's core," and another 20% said it's a "risky project but one that should proceed anyway to help Cincinnati."

In other words, in a poll with a margin of error of 4.1%, those opposed to the streetcar outnumber those in favor by just 48% to 44%. Another 7% are unsure.

So where does this business about opposition by a 2-1 margin come from? It turns out it's in the funding mechanism. Respondents were asked, "To pay for the construction of the streetcar line, the city will borrow $64 million. Do you approve? Or disapprove?" That yielded 61% disapproving with 31% approving.

While I don't have the expertise to question instrument validity, I have to wonder if the result would have been different if those surveyed were asked if they approved or disapproved of the city "issuing $64 million in bonds," rather than "borrowing." The composition of survey questions makes an enormous difference. "Borrowing" by the government is perceived quite negatively right now, and is associated with the national debt and deficit. I'm not sure that the issuance of bonds has quite the same connotations to people, though.

In the last few minutes, another article has been posted, and this one finally notes that the number of those who support and those who oppose the streetcar are pretty even. Of course, even that one is headlined 'Poll buoys streetcar foes."

So the question is: why is the Enquirer's editorial view--that the streetcar is bad--so transparently shaping its "news" coverage? I don't have a problem with the Enquirer commissioning a poll and publishing the results, but why not report the results fairly--at least when putting the results in the news section? Randy Simes offers an answer and a proposal to boycott the Enquirer. I don't know that I agree with him on either of these, but his post is worth reading.

2. What does this say about Cincinnati's voters? Assuming (for the sake of argument) the validity of the instrument, the tepid support for the streetcar (a nearly 50-50 split) is a bit surprising. This past November, City voters elected a Council majority that favors the streetcars and re-elected a mayor who has made the streetcar the primary and central piece of his agenda. So why the disconnect between candidates' stances on issues and the poll results? Are elections really about nothing but personality? Are our voters really so disconnected as to be unaware of their candidates' positions? I don't know.

Still Recovering From The Event

Today I didn't get up as early as I did yesterday. My energy drain and lack of youthfulness met in the alley behind the CAC last night. It was a blast. I can say that I really am in tune with Shepard Fairey's musical taste. My age shows when I say that, but it is true. I love the Clash and so does Fairery. When he's mouthing the words to "The Guns of Brixton," oh yeah, I can relate:
When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?

Lori Kurtzman of the Enquirer sums up the party fairly well down to the Rumpke pool. It was odd weeding your way through the crowd and at times running into people in their bathing suits soaking wet. Word in the alley was that the daughter of a local politician went for a swim. No one's going to confirm that. One thing I will have to do is introduce Lori Kurtzman to "Duckie." I think I know the person she was talking about. As far as I know, Lori did not go for a swim, but who knows what happened after I left.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

OTR/Gateway Summer Celebration TODAY!

The celebration of Summer starts today May 22nd in Over-the-Rhine's Gateway Quarter. Starting at 10AM with the Go/OTR 5K Race and continuing all day until 7PM with beer, food, arts, crafts, music and fun. For more information check out OTR Gateway's website or hit up the Facebook Event Page.

The music schedule is as follows (as I hear the sound system being checked):
12:00 - 12:50 Baoku Moses & The Image Afro Beat Band
1:15 - 2:00 Messerly & Ewing
2:20 - 3:00 Zumba
3:25 - 4:10 The Kiss Me Everlasting
4:30 - 5:15 Daughters & Sons
5:35 - 6:36 Brian Olive

Latest on the Phony Coney

Mr. Maoglone at the Cincinnati Man has latest take in comments on the State of the Phony Coney, a great blog that appears to be gone.

Friday, May 21, 2010

HCDP Chairmanship Debate Tonight

Who is going to be the next Party Chair for the Hamilton County Democratic Party? The public has a chance tonight to hear both of candidates speak. If you have upset with the way the Democratic Party has been run in the county, which has been poor inspire of the success in 2008, then now is the time to pay attention. The details:
Tim Burke, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman, and challenger, Darren Tolliver treasurer for the Hamilton County Democratic Party will participate in a spirited Debate at Greenwich Tavern, tonight, located at 2440 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati Ohio 45202, at 7:25 PM. 

Sha-Ron R Wilson, Vice Chair for the Cincinnati Democratic Committee, will be hosting monthly Precinct Executive “Meet & Greets” to bring awareness to the P. E. position and encourage more Hamilton County Democrats to participate in the political process.  Precinct Executive is a powerful position; let us utilize it to its fullest potential. 

The doors open at 6:30 PM.
Do we need a change at the top? We need new blood at the top. We don't need to make deals with the GOP.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Don't Take These Skinheads Bowling

So a group of Skinheads who are all in the Military allegedly beat a homeless man with pipes in Spring Grove Village and this is the first I've heard of this story? The arrests happened last month.

According to the news reports, local residents in Northside gave information that helped catch all of these suspects.

Another story on it is here.

Also according to the story, they man beaten is no longer living on the street.

I found this because of another story of a 'homeless' man being beaten and robbed in Downtown last night.

Why didn't this story get more coverage? Did I just miss it in the Enquirer?

How Long Before the Protests Start?

So, how far away is the nearest full line grocery store from the Kenwood Fresh Fare closing at the end of the month? There is a Trader Joe's near by, but is that an affordable replacement?

I'm waiting for protests...

I presume that I will be waiting for a long time. There must not be any old people living in Kenwood, nor any poor people. Did this store serve Madisonville or Silverton? Are community activists not paying attention? Are they overworked and just not able to help the people of Kenwood? Are they making a judgement about who lives in Kenwood that may or may not be true but would be prejudiced no matter what? Ok, I'll just back to waiting now...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear 3CDC: Offer a Better Deal

Below, Griff joins 3CDC in urging the Drop Inn Center to make room for the growing gentry class in Over-the-Rhine. While 3CDC's proposal may be the start of a longer conversation, it does not appear to be a viable solution as it is currently structured.

This Enquirer article has some numbers that should be cause for concern about the suggested "restructuring" of the Drop Inn Center. Presently, DIC is a 250-bed facility. The 3CDC proposal would have space for a total of 170 people: 50 women, 60 men, and some sort of transitional facility (for men) with 60 more beds. (There's also a suggestion for a facility for a facility open only to 18 - 24 year old homeless people that I suspect would be quite small.)

So we'd go from 250 emergency beds available in OTR to just 110. I've previously pointed out that during the winter months, DIC's capacity is already insufficient to meet the demand for emergency shelter.

Griff also makes the same mistake as does the linked Enquirer article: linking DIC to concern about sex offenders. Yes, an SCPA student was murdered last year, and yes, it was tragic. And yes, the perpetrator was a convicted sex offender. But he was not a resident of DIC. In fact, the DIC does not permit registered sex offenders to stay in its facility. Washington Park Elementary was a block away from the DIC for years with no problems. And the W.E.B. Dubois Middle School is just a few blocks away. Why are the "concerns" suddenly acute with the opening of SCPA? Because we like those students better for some reason?

Finally, I'll point out that Griff's concerns about loitering in Washington Park are likely to become moot, as the park is slated to be closed--either partially or altogether--for 18 months beginning this fall, if funding for renovations is finalized.

I'm not among those who claim that the Drop Inn Center has some sort of "right" to remain where it is, and that neighborhood development must necessarily happen around it. But it should not be displaced unless and until a reasonable replacement is available. 3CDC needs to go back to the drawing board.