Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Opening Day On Thursday?

The 2011 Reds Schedule was published yesterday and Opening Day is on a Thursday. Yes, it normally is on a Monday, but MLB has decided that games need to start earlier to avoid playing the World Series in November. The time of the game has not been published, but local support would be for an afternoon game, preceded by the traditional Findlay Market Opening Day Parade in the morning.

It feels kinda of cheap to move the day, but since the Reds lost the right to play the first game every year, this may be an opening to gain back that tradition.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Winburn Supports Qualls for Mayor in 2013

I don't know if Roxanne Qualls is happy that Republican Charlie Winburn is the first known endorsement of her yet unannounced 2013 mayoral campaign, but she got it yesterday via this Twitter post from Jane Prendergast of the Enquirer:
Winburn: I don't want to be mayor, I'm supporting Qualls. "I already told her that."
At this point, would there even be a Republican candidate to opposee her?  She got more votes than the sitting mayor got last year as Councilmember, and is the clearly leading candidate at this early stage. I find it laughable for an elected Republican to give her an endorsement, even this early and even off the cuff.  I am blogging this in part to make sure that he can't deny it wasn't published, but I'm sure Charlie Winburn wouldn't have much qualms about changing his mind a few years down the road.  He's not known for being unfungible.  Just so the search engines don't miss it: Republican Charlie Winburn has endorsed Democrat/Charterite Roxanne Qualls for Mayor of Cincinnati in 2013.
We have a big election coming up this November, next year we have Cincinnati City Council to go through, so the Mayor race seems like it isn't even a consideration.  I don't expect we'll hear much about this until late November 2011.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Get Ready It's Oktoberfest Week!

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. 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.

Local 'Tea party' Opens an HQ: Guess Where?

If you thought about it for all of Five seconds and then blurted out loud: "West Chester, of course," then you would be correct. There's nothing really surprising that the TPers GOTV efforts would focus in West Chester, home of the Conservative Republican base. The local group is nothing but a Republican organization, and anyone denying that is clearly not worth all of the tea bags in China you can buy at the West Chester Walmart.

Is Justin Jeffre a Plagiarist?

Well, if you read The incinnati Man then the evidence is there that Jeffre did plagiarize a book by Ralph Nader. The "Dean" appeared to defend Jeffre on The Cincinnati Man Blog and then the post on the Cincinnati Beacon was updated to include a citation of the original source.

So bottom line: Jeffre ripped a lengthy citation from a book, didn't cite it as a quote, got caught doing it, then added a citation after the fact. That's not good journalism, but I've never considered him much of a journalist.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

More on MOTR on Main

Soapbox has a nice article this week with some of the details of the new bar opening on Main Street later this month, MOTR. Hightlights include a courtyard, food, basement rooms, no cover, and eventually there will be music seven days a week. The last one is the biggest challenge. I welcome it.

Seven nights of music is something that only happens with coverband venues, like J-Hall in Newport. Original music venues like Southgate House and Northside Tavern come close to seven nights a week, but they don't adhere to that model, and use alternate programming to fill big holes: think Dance MF and Karaoke. Using genre themes on "off nights", something the owners plan to do, is a good idea to target wider audiences and make the seven day model more attainable.

MOTR as defined in the article is the type of cultural attraction OTR needs. Success will necessitate the owners put a lot out there to get the fans to make it a destination. There is not natural parking immediately near-by and OTR does not currently have as many live music fans living with in walking distance as Northside does. This would mean they need to capitalize on the proximity to Downtown and the new casino and draw in people who on any given night are looking for something interesting to do. There is risk, but I for one will have fewer reasons to go to Northside for live music.

The Streetcar Will Flow Uptown on Vine Street

The Enquirer is reporting that the City announced yesterday the route for the Northern leg of the Streetcar will flow up Vine Street. West Clifton Avenue was the other choice.

The Vine Street route will cost less and with the lower grade incline would on paper be easier to construct.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Texting While Driving

Cincinnati City Council is now poised to pass a ban on texting while driving. According to the Enquirer, it will have the support of at least 2 of the 3 Republicans on Council (and there's no mention of opposition from the third, who simply isn't on the committee from which the ordinance originated).

On the bright side, the ordinance apparently specifically permits the use of GPS devices.

I still don't understand how an officer will differentiate between a driver dialing his or her phone to make a call and using the cell phone to send a text message. Council was told by CPD that (a) this isn't an area in which CPD is noticing a significant problem, and (b) enforcement could be problematic.

One thing is certain: I don't ever want to hear another Hamilton County Republican ever complain about the so-called "nanny state." Ever.

Here's my previous post on this.

Seelbach For Council Publishes First Online Ad

First time Cincinnati Council Candidate Chris Seelbach is out early with his first online advertisement:

An early endorsement from former Vice Mayor David Crowley is strong showing for the very early days of the 2011 race. Raising money is the key now through next summer. An early start is the only way for a first time candidate to fare well in the election, and Chris has begun earlier than anyone.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Big Dog is Coming to Town

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Cincinnati to raise money for Ohio's Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher's Senate race.

The conservative zombies can already smell him and will rise from the dead to blame him for everything going on. They will blame him for the Reds losing 2 of 3 in St. Louis over the weekend. They will blame him for UC's embarrassing lose to Fresno State. They will also blame him for the Streetcar!!! Lock up your conservative middle aged women! A crisis is brewing! Conservatives can only blame President Obama for so much, they need to fall back on Bill for everything else.

Monday, September 06, 2010

BC, We Hardly Knew Ye....

I have no problem admitting that the Cincinnati Blog is not the best blog in town. That's not because CityBeat says so or because some other site gets more daily hits. It's because I read most of Cincinnati's blogs (with varying frequency), and I know what's out there.

In my opinion, the award for "Best Blog" in town over the last couple of years should go, hands down, to Building Cincinnati. (And I've said that before.) That's not to put down the quality of the work here or at other political blogs or other niche blogs (be they foodie blogs or diary blogs or sports blogs). But everything that Kevin LeMaster writes at BC is well-sourced, well-analyzed, and well-written. I lack the time (and probably the ability) to do those things as well as he does.

Unfortunately, putting together a blog the caliber of BC takes a lot of time. So much time, in fact, that Kevin can really only do it if he's able to make a living from what BC brings in through its partnership with the Enquirer and advertising. There's only a handful of blogs (none local, so far as I know) that generate this kind of money. So it looks like Kevin will have no choice but to leave the blogosphere and enter the "real world."

The loss of Building Cincinnati is a sad thing for Cincinnati.

Hopefully, Kevin will find another forum to write. Given the strength of his sources and his writing ability, surely someone in the print media must have a spot on staff for him? Cincinnati Business Journal? Cincinnati Magazine? Time for someone to take a chance....

Number 5 is Alive....

Bengals fans (including me) had better hope the offensive line provides Secret Service-like protection for Carson Palmer this season. Jordan is the backup? Really? Most people assume he only gets a roster spot because of some rider in Carson's contract. And now he's #2 on the depth chart.

There aren't many Frank Reich's in the league. But a playoff-caliber team has to have a viable backup QB to get through a couple of games if the starter goes down. Does anyone think the Bengals can win any of the games on their schedule if Jordan has to play the second half, much less start a game?

Someone better be making sure Carson is eating his Wheaties....

All Smoke, No Fire?

The Enquirer lists the major property owners along the most likely streetcar routes. There's a name that's notably absent: Towne Properties.

Certainly, Towne properties has an interest in the streetcar. The Uptown Commons project represents a pretty big financial gamble for the company, and they'll net a ton of money if it succeeds. And there can be no doubt it's more likely to be successful if a nearby streetcar connects it to downtown.

But vocal streetcar opponents insisted that Towne Properties had land all along the streetcar route. They made it sound as if the streetcar were a pet project of Towne Properties. Clearly, that's not the case.

And clearly, some people owe Chris Bortz an apology. I'll admit, I gave him grief in a post this past May, but that was over the really bad judgment required to request--and then ignore--an Ohio Ethics Commission opinion. And I stand by that assessment. But it now seems as if maybe some of those most vocally against the streetcar were pushing the Bortz conflict issue to distract from the merits of the question.

Shame on them.


That's the magic number for the Reds. The Enquirer now has a permanent spot for the magic number on its sports page. Wish I had seen it before removing my socks and shoes to do the math myself.

Barring some sort of historic breakdown, the Reds will be in the playoffs this year. But this weekend's series against the Cardinals has to give us some concern about how they'll do once in the postseason. Those two losses (3-2 Friday and 4-2 Sunday) looked like playoff games will look. Big, hostile crowds. Great pitchers. Low scoring, grind-em-out games. Can the Reds win these games? Colin Cowherd is a blowhard, but he usually has a point. Maybe he does this time, too. Maybe we're just a pitcher or two away (or a season or two away for the pitchers we already have) from the Reds being ready to go deep into the postseason.

None of this changes the following: the Reds are a lot of fun to watch this year, and I'm going to be a little sad when the season ends, whether that comes following the regular season or at the end of the World Series.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Gameday Predictions

Some of the games have already started, but (I promise!) I haven't looked at any scores. Just wanted to offer some opening week predictions. (I'm putting them on the blog because, quite frankly, I'd privately predicted the Reds would go 6-3 on their last road trip (exactly what they did), but only two friends heard me, so I'm having trouble getting credit for my Rainman-like sports instincts.)

The Redhawks will lose. Big. Their loss will be so earth-shattering they might disband the football team after the game. (How many fans tuned into the game thinking it was the real Miami playing Florida?)

TCU and Boise State will both lose, causing a major shuffle to the polls after Week 1.

My Penguins, sadly, will not prevail.

Brian Kelly starts off the Notre Dame season with a win. It'll be one of just 5 his team gets all season, leaving the Irish ineligible for post-season play.

But my Bearcats will win their first game--a trap game, quite frankly. It'll be high-scoring but close. Local media will start dreaming Zach Collaros Heisman dreams. (Has he finished his diversion yet?)

Michigan will win, but barely.

That's just about all the football I care about this weekend. Anyone else?

Training Day

For a few minutes of diversionary delight, go check out Kate the Great's post with embedded clips of Wendy's training videos. These are classic early '90's employment videos, set to music in order to capture the attention of their teenage new hires. The two-minute video on how to serve hot drinks is particularly instructive. Tips on how to pour a cup of coffee include the lyrics:

Gets a lid
Every time.
Wendy's coffee
Tastes so fine.

And from the segment on serving hot tea:

If they want lemon
It's very nice, don't think twice
Give the guests
Their juicy slice.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bhati Tops Speculation List for Coroner

Dr. Anant Bhati is the only name being mentioned in public by Democratic officials to fill the position of Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens who is leaving for Job as President of Cincinnati State.

Dr. Bhati sounds like a very compelling candidate. This is a job that gets little attention, unless someone dies or someone forgets to lock the doors of morgue. If Dr. Bhati can keep the door locked and oversee the team investigating all of the deaths in the county, he should do well. Job requirement #1 appears to be just being diligent. I don't know how a well respected doctor can NOT be diligent.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

CEA Winners Announced: Know Theatre Wins 5 Awards

The last Theatre CEAs awards program took place Sunday evening and the hosts of the event, the Know Theatre, took 5 awards, 3 individual performances and 2 production awards.

The list of winners for all categories are listed here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Well Said: Please. Shut. Up.

I'm not sure that I've every been in such heartfelt agreement with an Enquirer commentary.

Continuum of Care Decision: YWCA Should House Homeless Women

The Cincinnati/Hamilton County Continuum of Care for the Homeless has announced that following a request for proposals and a review by a panel of national experts, the YWCA has been selected as the agency to a women-only emergency homeless shelter. The "competition" for the responsibility was between the YWCA and the Drop Inn Center.

The Enquirer's coverage is here.

The announcement, frankly, raises more questions than it answers. According to the Enquirer, the shelter will not be housed at the YWCA on Walnut (where that agency presently has a shelter for victims of domestic violence). I'm not aware of funding having been secured to create a new facility, and there's no mention of where the new shelter will be. But CoC says that all funding for emergency shelter services for women will be directed toward the YWCA. The Enquirer puts that at about $42,000 annually (obviously, not enough to start a new shelter), which it appears DIC will lose in its 2011 budget. DIC, meanwhile, says it will continue to provide emergency shelter for women for years to come.


  • Where will the new shelter be?
  • When will it open, and from where will the money come?
  • How will the need for emergency shelter for women be met in the meantime?
  • Is this connected to Pat Clifford's dismissal earlier this month?
  • Is this just the first in a planned series of moves designed to eventually make DIC so small as to be meaningless and eventually de-funded out of existence?

We'll see.

Main Street Cooperation Will Help Reduce Crime

The Main Street area will get a boost from efforts of local business owners. Some minor changes to the type of products sold will help reduce crime. If local corner markets stop selling just a few products or certain items in single quantities, the minor street crime will start to go down.

The key is vigilance. Keep an eye on what happens outside your business or residence and report crimes, all of them, no matter who is responsible. If all residents did this all over OTR, the drug trade and the theft rings would dry up in the neighborhood. The drug trade has in the past used intimidation of some residents, so standing up to them requires police to lead the way and patrol the area.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Harang Back on Tuesday

With the troubles for Leake and Volquez, along with continued inconsistency from Bailey, it might be a relief to see Harang getting his first start since July on Tuesday.

His two rehab starts for the Sluggers, though, were terrible. He was 0-2 with an ERA of 9. (On the bright side, he had 10 strikeouts to just 2 walks.)

Let's hope for the best.

Hate Crimes in Covington: Victim Speaks out

A local woman was interviewed by the Huffington Post about one of the worst incidences of an anti-gay hate crime to occur locally. Good reporting, but I wish we never had to have this kind of story written about Covington or anywhere in the Cincinnati area. I really wish the local media had the connections or were given the resources to get this type of interview, but alas they don't have the enough reporters to do the shoe leather work needed.

For a rash of crimes like these it should not take that big an of effort to track down the individuals or groups responsible, as long as the police are aggressively investigating the crimes. The story indicates that Covington Police have some work to do on how they react to such crimes. Time for the CovPD to get to work.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Local Ballet School Launches Website

During the first week of our first semester, when we learned that one of our classmates had been a "dancer" before coming to law school, we all knew what that meant. A couple of chuckles and elbow nudges later, we found out that--as is typical of law students and lawyers--our minds had been in the gutter for no apparent reason. Our friend was a ballet dancer (and teacher) before law school. Plans to install a stripper pole in the law library were hastily--albeit sadly--abandoned.

Rather than plie-ing her way through courtrooms after graduation, Amy Tevlin returned to her first love. She spent a few years teaching ballet in the northeast and eventually came back to Cincinnati to launch, with her husband Michael, Tevlin Ballet. The West Chester-based enterprise boasts a school, a pre-professional company, and a professional company.

Tevlin Ballet is hosting an open house next Friday and Saturday, and registration for fall classes is ongoing.

So if one of your kids is dreaming of growing up to be a ballerina (or whatever it is they call male ballet dancers), this looks like a good place to start....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Miss Print Blogs on her Last Game of the Season

"Miss Print" of the Cincinnati Roller Girls (also known as Lauren Bishop of both the Enquirer and Cincinnati Imports) tells of her last game of the season. (CRG has two games left on the West Coast this weekend.)

Miss Print may have been disappointed with the way the game and her season ended, but I finished reading Lauren's post with the same thought I often have after reading her stuff for either her blog or the paper: Damn, that woman can write.

Conservative Poll Has Chabot-Driehaus Even

The Enqurier's Carl Weiser reported on the Politics Extra blog yesterday that in a Conservative Group's poll Chabot was leading Driehaus 47% to 45% with a +/- margin of error of 4.9%, making the race a dead heat.  This is something of a surprise.  Conservative polls are almost always going to lean towards the conservative candidate, usually based on the structure of the questions or the population based used for the sample.  A dead heat here goes against the conventional wisdom of this race, which in national press outlets was giving Chabot a big advantage.  This poll would sound to me on the surface to be good news for Driehaus, but there is a long way until November, and the economic news will drive this race.
This poll isn't a fair indication of much, but some of the internals are very interesting about people in the 1st district:
68% of those polled were age 50 or older.
45% of those polled make $75K or less per year.
71% of those polled are white.
50% are Male and 50% Female
51% are "Pro-Life" and 40% are "Pro-Choice"  (I thought this would be a much wider gap)
Steve Driehaus won:
17% of Conservatives
61% of Moderates
83% of Liberals

Is the Theft Related to the Lawsuit?

A tenant, Ramdake Lewis, of the Metropole is accused of stealing documents from a company in charge of the Metropole transition. There are many questions on what this all means, but I've get several initial inquiries that raise this incident up a bit. What are the documents and how do they relate to any of the lawsuits or complaints made on the Metropole renovation? Could any of these documents be evidence in the lawsuit filed against HUD and 3CDC? Could the motive for the alleged crime be that the man in question was looking for information he could give to attorneys in this case? Is this what some would call spying?

Was Mr. Lewis spying on the Model Group/Brickstone? Spying is a big word, but was the guy snooping around? Did he "steal" the documents as he is accused? If he did this, was he acting alone? Was he advised by anyone to obtain this information? The facts of the case are not known, but if this goes to trial, more details will emerge.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Give the Daily Show an Emmy For This NOW!!!

Jon Stewart is brilliant and this looks easy, but it is so well done, I almost peed. Yes, me, crusty blogger, Brian Griffin, almost peed my pants in laughter. The Daily Show summed up the fundamental problem with FOX News in a 9 minute gut busting segment. Watch and enjoy:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
I learn towards Team Stupid, but Team Evil makes really good points.


UPDATE: The above embedded video seems to be updating with newer episodes. To see the clip I referended, check out the full show from Monday August 23rd.

Is Smitherman a Political Whore?

Who won't Chris Smitherman, local NAACP chapter president , suck up to? He's reportedly going to have a big public meet and great with the local Tea Party. Who is next on his list? Chris Monzel? Phil Burress? Westwood Concern? I'll keep my eyes peeled for a Smitherman press release that calls for the repeal/amendment of the 14th Amendment in support of a "Birther" issue. Smitherman's been in bed with COAST for a while, and his screed against Cincinnati Public Schools seems to be a left flank attack that does nothing but hurts students and provides Chris Finney a way to demagogue public schools without lifting a finger.

It wouldn't be, I don't know, normal of Smitherman to be working with people like the Mayor of Cincinnati or...I don't know...the President of the United States instead? These men are, oh, I don't know, elected officals who happen to This fact seems to be lost on Smitherman. Has the NAACP become colorblind or has Smitherman become blind of everything but his own ambition?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CEAs and Acclaims Combine

Rick Pender reports that CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater will join forces with the Enquirer sponsored Acclaim Awards. The Acclaims will go forward with Pender and Jackie Demaline serving on the organization's Executive Committee. This year's CEAs will be the last. Next May's Acclaims will be changed to include public voting awards. More details on the merger likely will come out over time, but hopefully the Acclaims process will be updated overall.

I'm disappointed that we can't sustain both awards programs, but the decline in support for arts in the local (and national) media I believe has forced this move. The biggest theatre production that lose out will be the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, which this past year did not get any acclaim awards, so stand to not get any nominations next year. The Enquirer gave limited coverage of the event and it wasn't clear how many Acclaim representatives were at the festival in an official capacity. Hopefully, that can be remedied inside the organization. Having an alternative category is critical to preserving part of the CEA's superior structure.

I am going to be sure to head to this Sunday's last CEA event at the Know Theatre. I hope all Cincinnati Theatre fans come out and say farewell to this awards program which has provided strong support for local theatre.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fun Campaign Event

As a criminal defense attorney, I get invited to judicial campaign events all the time. They're pretty standard fare: pay $150 for entrance to some restaurant or bar, have a couple beers, and eventually listen to a judge or judicial candidate say a few words thanking everyone in attendance.

Judge Nadine Allen, running to retain her seat on the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, does things a little bit differently.

On Sunday, August 29, beginning at 4:00 at the Evendale Amphitheater, her campaign will throw a concert. Those scheduled to perform include Eliot Sloan of the Blessid Union of Souls. Bootsy Collins will make a special appearance, and the judge herself will take the stage with the Supreme Courtettes. (Judge Allen and the Courtettes won the Cincinnati Bar Association's "Idol" competition late last year.)

Admission is twenty bucks and includes food and beverages.

MPMF it ain't. but it'll probably be the most interesting campaign event I've been to in a really long time.

Legal Question of the Day

This story raises the following important question:

What are the feds going to do with all that Jamaican gold?

And a tip: if you're going to ship pot through CVG, don't use a really cheesy-looking tombstone to do so.

Clifton Ave or Vine St? Which Shall It Be?

Cincinnati Officials face a tough choice on where to put the Northern leg of the Streetcar: up West Clifton Avenue or Vine Street. I don't envy City Manager Milton Dohoney on this decision. I see merits on both plans. I think the key factor must be expansion. If either of these plans would make expansion of the Streetcar further North cheaper or more efficient, then that should be a big consideration. I am slightly less concerned about who is more ready for development now. If there was a way to serve both Clifton Heights and Corryville, that would be the ideal.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Metropole Lawsuit: Not So Fast, 3CDC

As the Enquirer reported earlier this week, the Metropole Tenants Association filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to halt the efforts of 3CDC and others to turn the Metropole into a luxury hotel. The tenants are now represented by preeminent Cincinnati civil rights attorney Jennifer Kinsley, as well as Terence Brennan (formerly Lead Organizer with the AMOS Project). And they've filed a lawsuit that is compelling. I thought many of our readers would be interested in an explanation of the allegations in the lawsuit, and why it could be a major impediment to 3CDC's plans for the Metropole.

Last November, I expressed skepticism that the tenants had a viable legal claim. Back then, according to published reports, the tenants (then represented by Legal Aid) seemed to be arguing only that 3CDC was engaging in race (and perhaps disability) discrimination. At the time, I wrote:
Ultimately, the question comes down to this: once a landlord accepts federal housing money, does that act as some sort of covenant that runs forever against the building, regardless of ownership? Certainly, that cannot be the case. Property owners must be free, assuming they follow the law, to opt out of Section 8.

I've reviewed the tenants' 50-page complaint, and there's more to the story than simply a landlord accepting rent subsidies. According to the complaint, back in 1988, the owner of the Metropole--609 Walnut Ltd. (which, in turn, is owned by Showe Builders Inc.)--executed a mortgage with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A HUD mortgage--in this context--is a federally-insured loan that gives the building owner an extremely low (1%) interest rate in exchange for using the building subject to the mortgage for multi-unit, low-income housing.

While the lawsuit doesn't go into the history of Showe's acquisition of the Metropole, this decision from the Sixth Circuit does. Showe bought the property back in the late '80's when the previous owner, Mid-Towne Associates, was in bankruptcy. Showe paid $675,000 and assumed a $2.9 million HUD mortgage. I'm guessing that was quite a deal: according to the Auditor, Azeotropic (a creation of 3CDC) bought the building for $6.25 million last year.

When Showe took over the mortgage, it signed a "regulatory agreement" with HUD. According to the complaint, one of the provisions of this agreement was that Showe could not, without the prior approval of HUD, prepay the mortgage. Prepayment is a big deal. As long as the mortgage exists, the property must be used for low-income housing. If the note is paid off, though, the building owner is subject only to the ordinary requirements of Section 8, which means that the owner can cancel its participation in the federal rent subsidy program one year after giving notice to its tenants.

Congress hasn't given HUD unfettered discretion in deciding whether to approve prepayment of a mortgage. Instead, when a HUD mortgage prepayment is subject to HUD approval (not all HUD mortgages require such approval), acceptance of an offer to prepay may only be given where the HUD Secretary decided that the building no longer meets a need for rental housing for lower income families in the area; the Secretary agrees that the tenants have been notified of the request for approval of prepayment; and the Secretary ensures that a plan exists to provide relocation assistance to displaced tenants.

Back to the lawsuit: the tenants say that HUD didn't do its due diligence before approving the mortgage prepayment, and have challenged the decision under the Administrative Procedures Act. (In some respects, this case is analogous to those where an environmental group challenges an EPA decision permitting the construction of an allegedly polluting factory.) It's hard to see how one could conclude that the Metropole doesn't meet a need for rental housing for lower income families in the area. In fact, with the closure of the Metropole, no low-income housing will exist in the central business district. (And the only other low-income housing downtown I can think of is Page Tower--and that may technically be in the West End, since it's on the west side of Central.)

I'm no expert in HUD mortgage regulations. But on its face, the lawsuit raises serious, non-frivolous claims that will not go away quickly. Stay tuned, folks: this promises to be an interesting legal battle.

T.O. vs. OchoNoShow

For the last few years, at the beginning of every season, Bengals fans wonder which wide receiver will take the field this year: Chad Johnson, or OchoNoShow. If the preseason is any indication (and I agree, you've got to take the preseason with a huge grain of salt), it looks like the latter will be wearing number 85 this year.

OchoNoShow may have the best hands of any wide receiver in the game. At least, that is, as long as no one is touching him. As a wide receiver gets older, he gets a bit slower. (Especially one like OchoNoShow, who by all accounts hasn't changed his diet or his workout routine to account for the fact that he's no longer 22.) So they have to run crisper routes and be better at catching the ball in traffic.

I went to last night's Bengals game. OchoNoShow's two most notable plays were two interceptions. The first was on a play that looked like Ocho ran the wrong route--or just failed to "come back to the ball." Palmer looked upset at the time; after the game, he took the blame (probably to avoid some inevitable OchoNoShow pouting).

The second interception was a ball thrown to Ocho over the middle, and Chad got hit. Hard. Replays showed that the ball had actually bounced away from him before he took the hit. (That hit, by the way, should have been penalized, as the defender launched himself at a defenseless Ocho. Look for a fine on that one.) And what did OchoNoShow do? Whine about the hit on Twitter from the bench:
Man Im sick of getting hit like that , its the damn preseason shit! 1day I'm gone jump up and start throwing hay makers , #Tylenolplease

Do the math on the time stamp. Yup, that was during last night's game. (Look for another fine next week.)

T.O. is a different story. From the first three games, it's clear he knows where he's going to make his living: over the middle. He hasn't whined about getting hit. And he's caught most of what's been thrown at him. He had a great, down-the-field catch late in the first half. But that was only after he'd run several short routes. He set up the deep route.

I think NFL fans will finally learn the difference between T.O. and OchoNoShow this season. T.O. can hang onto a ball in traffic. Ocho can't. Or at least, he won't.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nice Letter From Terrell Owens To Bengals Fans

New Cincinnati Bengal wide receiver Terrell Owens has written a very positive letter to Bengals fans. Yeah, it sounds like something a good PR person would write for him, but even so, I'm glad to see a professional athlete making a point to reach out to fans. Let's hope this attitude remains through the season, no matter how many wins the Bengals have.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who Will Be The Next Hamilton County Coroner?

Current Hamilton County Coroner Odell Owens is leaving his position to become the President of Cincinnati State. The HCDP will get to pick his replacement to finish his term, who gets it?

I really have no idea. This job requires a license to practice medicine, so the candidates are not as plentiful. It likely would be a pay cut for many doctors, so that may rule many out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We're Number 1!

Unfortunately, the category is bedbugs.

Great Day for OTR: Welcome SCPA Students and Teachers!

The waiting is over for students and parents alike, the new SCPA opens for the school year today. I hope this school provides a great education to every student that enters its doors. I also hope the school can bring OTR, teachers, and parents together to make the school and everything around it better. The arts are the cultural core of society, and institutions like SCPA are critical to enriching that culture and giving it value.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friday Night

There's lots to do this coming Friday night.

If you're hip enough, you can head up to Northside for the Greenhornes concert at the Comet. I'm not sure if this is properly termed a reunion or a revival, but lots of people are excited that the group is releasing a new album and playing again.

Then there's Fountain Square, where you can hear Bad Veins and the Harlequins. If the weather stays reasonably nice, anybody into Cincinnati's indie music scene who can't get into the Comet will be on the Square.

If indie music isn't your thing, then the Bengals play their final home pre-season game at 8:00. This is their third game, so there's a good chance the first team plays most of the first half. And it could be interesting to see exactly how bad a McNabb-less Eagles team is.

The Details On How Lakota Schools Will Worsen

The ramifications of the failure to pass a school tax levy in the West Chester area Lakota School District were outlined yesterday.

Gone are music, art, and physical education teachers in elementary schools.

Why would they not cut all high schools ports, instead of cutting the junior school programs? Why also would any parent pay any fee for their kid to play a sport, and not agree to a modest increase in their property taxes? This is an example of one of the problems with modern America. The heightened value placed on team sports and the devaluation of public schools is a sign that willful ignorance is manifesting itself as a lifestyle choice, not just a political philosophy.

I don't know if this levy will fail causing the beloved exurbanite paradise of West Chester will lose. We do know what will be cut if it does fail. Let's hope that West Chester voters will support public education again. If they want to cut the fat of their school, team sports would be the place to start.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Classism in McMansionville

The fight for maintaining your property values doesn't shield these Miami Township home owners when they fight to keep less expensive homes out of their subdivision. The situation has a group of home owners with houses the cost at least $300,000 fighting a developer from taking over an unfinished subdivision and completing it with $100,000 homes.

Keeping out middle and working class people is the goal. They can claim it is about property values, but that's not what it is about, it is about class, specifically keeping the lower classes out. I use "class" here to mean money/wealth, but part of what people with $300,000 homes mean is lower social status. To most people "class" refers to both the socio and economic distinction a person has, but in this case the prejudice is blatant and more importantly intentional. What these homeowners are telling us is that anyone who can't afford the $300,000 home has something wrong with them, and will degrade their lifestyle if they live near by. Segregation isn't going to make anyone stronger.

Look to OTR. We have Section 8 apartments a block from $250,000 condos next to $100,000 condos, all a block from market rate apartments. Go another block and you can find even more expensive condos. Except for the "activists" who are against any development anywhere, you are not going to find people complaining about mixing classes. You'll find more people seeing strength in this mix.

Let the lots go empty in Miami Township. Let the $300,000 homes lose value without adding more sprawl to the area. They may lose value slower, but less sprawl helps society more. Build more $100,000 homes in OTR or the West End or Pendleton. We'll be happy to have them in our neighborhood. We have neighborhoods, by the way, not subdivisions.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Random MPMF Thought of the Weekend

I can't stop giggling at the thought of a group called Holy F*ck playing at my office building during this year's Midpoint Music Festival. (It's just not quite what you expect of the building that previously hosted the law office of William Howard Taft.)

And while I'm on the topic, I'm confused: is there a difference between a "three day pass" and a "three day wristband," or are they the same thing?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pat Clifford Fired From Drop Inn Center

The Enquirer is reporting that Drop Inn Center Executive Director Pat Clifford has been fired by the board of the organization. Clifford told the Enquirer he has no idea why he was dismissed.

I will speculate that the DIC board may have determined that a new direction must be taken and that Clifford was an obstacle to change. This I would surmise is connected to the offer 3CDC gave the DIC to help it relocate. Clifford in my view was against the move, and fell in the lot of other 'activists' who are bent on using the homeless, mentally insane, and drug addicted as a political tool.

I honestly hope the board of the DIC can find a new director who can help the homeless inside it's doors, but also help the whole community deal with the problems it attracts outside its doors.

The Greenhornes Return: August 20th at the Comet

Local music heavy weights, The Greehornes, are reuniting while The Raconteurs are on hiatus and launch a tour at the Comet on August 20th leading up to a new album to be released in October.  Their FB page seems to be the place for the most up to date information, as their website appears to be under construction.

They would make a great guess for the MidPoint Secret Show at this point.  I have zero inside information, but their tour schedule has a big gap that leaves plenty of time for some MidPoint love.  Let the rumors fly!

Monday, August 09, 2010

It's the Baseball, Stupid

With the Reds beginning a three-game series against the Cardinals this evening (right now, in fact!), nothing else really matters in Cincinnati this week. Not the streetcar, not the City's budget woes, and certainly not that other team that plays its games on the river (no need to pay attention to them until September 12).

So feel free to talk about the Reds generally, but in particular the following:

1. What do you think about the Dickerson-for-Edmonds trade?

2. What should Dusty do about Cordero? (Remember that he's sitting on 30 saves. And if not him, who would you bring out in the ninth to shut things down in a close game?)

This is the first time since I moved to Cincinnati that baseball has mattered in August. It's awesome!

Oh--is anyone going to Wednesday's game?

Sheriff Rick Jones Needs to Set Priorities

Butler County Sheriff Rick is complaining about budget cuts that laid off deputies:
In the news release, Sheriff Rick Jones, who was forced to lay off about two dozen deputies last month because of a county budget crisis, said, "the effects of the recent budget cuts became painfully clear" in the Beissinger Road incident.
So to be clear, the Enquirer article reports that Jones said only eight deputies (four patrol and four detectives) were available to work this case. This screed comes from the guy who views illegal immigration to be the biggest concern in his county, but is worried about having only eight people to investigate one case. Sounds like someone needs to put his priories straight. Firstly, Mr. Jones, worry about crimes with actual victims: murder, rape, theft, etc. Secondly, Jones might rethink how many people he keeps in the field. Does it actually take more than 8 people to investigate a crime that will involve the help from Hamilton County, likely to include either the CPD or Hamilton County Sheriff's Department?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

2010 Midpoint Venue List

2010 will be a big year for the Midpoint Music Festival with 25 venues: 13 in OTR, 11 in Downtown, and 1 in Newport. Not all of the venues are hosting bands every night. Here's the list:

VenueStreet AddressNeighborhood
Arnold's Bar & Grill210 E 8th Street Downtown
ArtWorks20 E. Central Pkwy Over-the-Rhine
Below Zero Lounge1122 Walnut Street Over-the-Rhine
Blue Wisp Jazz Club318 E 8th Street Downtown
Cincinnati Club30 Garfield Place Downtown
Contemporary Arts Center44 East 6th Street Downtown
Courtyard Café1211 Main Street Over-the-Rhine
FB’s126 West 6th Street Downtown
Fountain Square5th and Vine StreetsDowntown
Grammer’s1440 Walnut Street Over-the-Rhine
Inner Peace Holistic Center708 Walnut Street Downtown
Jack Potts Tavern1150 Main Street Over-the-Rhine
Know Theater1120 Jackson Street Over-the-Rhine
Madonna’s11 E 7th Street Downtown
Main Event835 Main Street Downtown
Mainstay Rock Bar301 W 5th St Downtown
Media Bridges1100 Race StOver-the-Rhine
Mixx Ultra Lounge1203 Main Street Over-the-Rhine
MOTR Pub1345 Main StreetOver-the-Rhine

Mr. Pitiful’s1323 Main Street Over-the-Rhine
Neon’s Unplugged208 East 12th Street Over-the-Rhine
Segway of Cincinnati1150 Vine Street Over-the-Rhine
Southgate House24 E 3rd Street Newport
The Original Tax Place1335 Main StreetOver-the-Rhine
Washington Platform1000 Elm Street Downtown

For the full schedule and all up to the minute Midpoint information, go to

Friday, August 06, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Blues Fest and Blues, Brews, and BBQ

The Reds are out of town this weekend, but that's OK: it's time for the annual Cincy Blues Fest. With over 40 bands spread over four stages on Saturday and Sunday, there's lots of choices.

Blues Fest is at Sawyer Point and is on Friday from 5:00 to midnight and Saturday from 2:30 to midnight. Admission is $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. Kids 13-18 are five bucks each day, and children twelve and under (accompanied by a parent) get in free.

And if you don't get your fill of blues on Friday and Saturday, head on over to Findlay Market on Sunday from 11:00 to 4:00 for the Fifth Annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ. The Christian Moerlein will be flowing in the OTR Biergarten. Mayberry's Josh Campbell and Virgil's Matthew Buschle will be working the grill, and rumor has it that Molly Wellmann will be serving some sort of alcoholic, BBQ-friendly concoction. (She probably won't have the ingredients on-hand for it Sunday, but one of these, days, I've got to try her Manhattan, for which I've heard a great deal of praise).

Just one more weekend of nothing to do in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Wussy, The Dukes, Yo La Tengo, and Molly Wellmann

I'm not feeling very politically motivated these days, so I thought I'd share a snapshot of my weekend.

Friday, following a late night at the office, I decided to stop at Mainstay on the way home. I'd heard that (a) Cincinnati's favorite mixologist, Molly Wellmann, was tending bar that night, and that (b) there was no cover charge. So I moseyed on up to the bar and, trying to be heard over the band, asked Molly what she was mixing up that night.

I just assumed that anytime Molly's behind a bar, she's working on some awesome craft cocktails. But based on the look she gave me, I'm pretty sure she was just filling in for one of the bar's regular bartenders, and didn't have much up her sleeve. But after a couple seconds' hesitation, Molly went to work, grabbing a bottle here and a bottle there, finally setting something in a martini glass in front of me. She made me a variation on a Martinez, which, as Molly explained (I could listen to her talk about liquor for hours!) was a precursor to the martini. I'd never heard of it before--much less had one--but, as seems to be the case with everything Molly makes, it was delicious.

Now, away from the booze, and on to the musical part of the post. Playing at Mainstay that night was The Dukes. I hadn't heard them before. I'd characterize them as a garage rock band, and from what I heard, they're really good. Good enough, in fact, that I'll look for another opportunity to see them perform.

Saturday night took me across the river to Southgate House. For some time, I had that night marked on my calendar for Yo La Tengo, a group I'd first seen in concert several years ago on the East Coast. It was great to see them again, and the concert was marked by moments of brilliance. Unfortunately, it was also marked by long stretches of self-indulgence: stuff that probably is fun for them to fool around with during a practice session, but frankly, isn't much fun to listen to. Lots of reverb and distortion, coupled with some riffs reminiscent of '70s psychadelic rock. I'm not sure if they were aware that those sections kept sucking the enthusiasm out of the crowd.

Wussy opened for Yo La Tengo, and their set alone was worth the price of admission. I've seen Wussy a couple times and a friend who was there has seen them more, and we agreed it was the best we've heard them.

Finally, Saturday was my first time at a smoke-free Southgate House. It was a tremendously better experience than the smoke-filled version (I was actually able to see the ceiling!). Should northern Kentucky communities choose to enact smoking bans, I don't think they have to worry about it hurting business.

And (really finally this time) what a great weekend downtown! Friday and Saturday night, downtown Cincinnati was wall-to-wall people. (Yes, I grumbled about traffic, although I felt bad about doing so.)

BC Update on Community's Efforts on Casino Planning

Building Cincinnati has a great update on the Community efforts to address issues and concerns about the Casino.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The City Needs Money, So Buck Up!

The Enquirer reports on the parking meter rate increase which takes affect today and breaks out the everyman knee jerk quotes from the public:
"This country's going to hell, ain't it?"
Seriously, anyone who owns a car is going to say something this ludicrous about a $1 per hour increase to parker charges? I suppose that when the Bengals signed T.O. this same person hailed it as greatest thing ever to happen in the world, so far. People need to face facts and start pulling their weight. It would be nice for the Enquirer to pick more intelligent and relevant quotes than this gem.

Ugh! The City needs money. We need to pay for essential services, and since a majority of council lacks the courage to stand up to the FOP, they have to make revenues go up somehow. Even with this change we are still heading to another show down over the budget gap. I wonder how much grandstanding will occur from Council.

Speaking of grandstanding, I'll be waiting to see what Councilman Chris Monzel has to say on the budget. Last year he didn't issue any type of plan that would make the needed cuts or raise revenues, so I would expect nothing from him this year, even though he is running for County Commissioner, where the budget woes are just as bad as the City's.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cincy Douche-Bag Anthem

Dear Cincinnati douche-bags, you know you are. You hang out at douche-bag bars and generally possess the intellect of a plate of Goetta. Well, I have found something for you. This "remix" was made for you and you alone. It is your Anthem.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bad Move, NKY Chamber of Commerce

Local Businesses really don't need to get political. We don't need business interests funneling money into local candidates. Individuals who want to give, should do so, without hesitation. Business interests hiding behind a PAC sends a bad sign and adds more barriers to voters ability to know who is really funding local candidates.

The benefit of being local means you actually know the people who are candidates for political offices, or at least are very easily able to meet the candidates at various events. National candidates are faceless drones we really don't get to know, even the congressional candidates. We equally have the opportunity to know who is funding the local candidates. If a local business is going to fund a candidate, they should go on record and make it known who they are supporting. That is fair. That is democratic.  That is however possibly bad for business.

Additionally we don't need candidates running for Covington mayor trying to claim that since they got funded by the NKY Chamber, they are more pro-business than someone else. We can't let the broken national & statewide political systems corrupt the less broken local systems. Yes, I say they are less broken because for the most part, political party doesn't matter the same way it does on a national level. Party identification does not bind a city council member to vote for or against an issue. We have elected public officials that actually can evaluate an issue with a little bit of political leeway. Sure, they will vote to get reelected, but in local races that does not always mean voting with what the Party wants. A Chamber PAC just will increase the power of the Parties, making them more necessary if a candidate wants a chance to raise enough money to win.

I'm not saying if this is legal or not. It likely is very legal, especially under recent Supreme Court rulings. I'm talking about what good business people should be doing. Businesses should serve their customers and should, if they are thinking in the long run, believe that everyone is a possible customer. You can't please everyone, but why associate your business, even indirectly, with funding political candidates?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Food Equals Love

Just a quick post to note the return of Food=Love, a local food blog run by my friend, Kate. It had been dormant for a bit, but Kate is back now, promising a series of posts on finding good, meatless lunches for ten bucks or less.

Check it out.

Eat Sugar Plays Midpoint Indie Summer at Fountain Square This Friday

For the kids out there, this is what music videos were like in the early and middle 1980's. No frills, no real point, just imagery that may or may not makes sense with the song. In this case it makes pretty good sense.

For more check out or

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mike Brown is Still a Dick

So the Citizens of Hamilton County buy him a new Stadium. The same Citizens buy high priced tickets for his sports team. They buy jerseys and beer from his vendors. They don't rebel when he signs a too high number of players that can't stay off the police blotter. All of that and Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown still manages to say a big Fuck You to the Citizens of Hamilton County. Well, right back at you, Mike, right back at you.

More here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Si Leis Supports the Streetcars in Cincinnati

If we were talking about religion, I would say Si Leis has seen the light! Since we aren't, I will just be a little awe struck with his guest column in the Enquirer where he comes out in full support of streetcars in Cincinnati. It's a little bit late, but we're happy to have him along for the ride!

Big Week for the Reds

This is a pretty important week for the Cincinnati Reds. Not so much on the field (at least, this week's games are no more critical than any others). But the decisions General Manager Walt Jocketty makes over the next few days are critical, not just for this season, but for the future of the club.

The trade deadline is at the end of this week. I'm a Reds fan and a baseball fan, but I don't pretend to follow either closely enough to have a strong opinion as to which moves the Reds should or shouldn't make. I do realize, though, that a few teams have attractive players available, and right now, the Reds' farm club is chock full of talent. So Jocketty faces a daunting question: does he sacrifice a bit of the team's long-term potential for a chance to win the pennant this year? And that question, of course, raises a host of others. With or without an added player, is the World Series a realistic possibility this year? Will another player help the team, or upset the chemistry? How good are our prospects?

I'm not smart enough to have sabremetric statistics memorized or explain Moneyball principles, though Jocketty certainly is. And this year, the moves he doesn't make may be every bit as important as the ones he does.

Two Weeks Left to Vote for the CEAs in Theater

You have until Monday August 9th to vote in CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in Theater.

Keep August 29th open for the CEA Theater presentation show at the Know Theatre.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mt. Rumpke to Stink Less?

The Community Press is reporting the Ohio EPA has issued a permit for Rumpke to install odor control equipment at their landfill off of Route 27 in Northern Hamilton County.

This is replacement equipment, not something brand new. I wouldn't hold my breath for the smell of Mt. Rumpke to go away. I might consider holding my breath as you drive by Mt. Rumpke, at least if you have any fresh air circulating in your car.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Local GOP Wants TP Votes, But Not an Association

All of the local House GOP members ran the hell away from joining the new "Tea Party Caucus" in the U.S. House of Representatives. Boehner, Schmidt, and Davis all want the TPers votes, they just don't want to be associated with the crackpots who really believe all of the nutty crap they spew, like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. This indicates a little bit of sanity on their part, but more importantly shows how two faced a politician can be.

Police Chief Tom Streicher Again Announces He Will Retire

This time the announcement comes from the horse's mouth. Cincinnati Police Chief tom Streicher has told WLWT-TV that he plans to retire next year. The City Manager's office stated that they have not received official word on the retirement. WLWT reports that it is expected Streicher will retire in about 8 months.

I just really hope Streicher does not pull a Bret Favre on the City. Make it official already!

If he wants to jump ship and become the Police Chief of Pittsburgh, no one here would mind.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Legal Advice: Don't Waive Counsel

I went to the Reds game Saturday night, so I saw this guy run onto the field late in the game. He acted differently than other fans I've seen run onto fields. He was fully clothed (always a plus). And once he was on the field (I didn't see exactly where he came from, but someone sitting near me thought perhaps he had fallen over the wall in shallow right field trying to get a baseball hit in that vicinity), he ran directly to the nearest police officer (near first base), stopped, and put his hands behind his back. Usually, these guys make the police chase them around for a bit. So kudos to him for not making the police work too hard on a hot day.

So he's arrested and charged with a first-degree misdemeanor (which means the possibility of six months in jail and $1,000 fine). I was curious as to what would happen when he appeared in court today, so I looked up his case. (It appears, by the way, that he has no criminal record in Hamilton County. He may have one elsewhere. I'm not convinced that the name he gave--Talon Power--isn't an alias.) At arraignment, he waived (or gave up) his right to an attorney. He pleaded guilty. And he got a seven-day jail sentence.

Again, I don't have the guy's entire criminal record available to me, but seven days seems awfully tough. People convicted of domestic violence or assault for the first time generally get probation. DUI will get you three days (or six, if you test at twice the legal limit.) Causing a 30-second delay in a Reds game is worth a week in the slammer?

The point, though, is this: if you're charged with an offense that carries the possibility of jail time, don't waive your right to an attorney. There's a reason that the Sixth Amendment protects your right to counsel. It's because you don't know what you're doing in a courtroom. And that's not shameful or embarrassing. There's a whole host of things I can't do: repair a car, fix a pipe, cut my own hair, cure an illness, or perform practically any other useful task. Instead, I call a professional. And that's what you should do.

Would this guy's outcome have been different if he'd had an attorney? Who knows? But he should have found out.

Is a NKY Smoking Ban Just Around the Corner?

The Kentucky Enquirer is reporting that a draft of an ordinance is being circulated among elected officials of the three Northern Kentucky Counties.  That ordinance would ban indoor smoking in public places, including businesses. The details on the ban are not known, as the drafts of the ordinances are being kept under wraps.

The article indicates that officials believe that the votes are there for passage of such an ordinance in Campbell and Kenton counties, but not currently in Boone.

The leakage of the existence of such a draft ordinance is pretty clearly a trial balloon to see how much outrage is out there on a possible smoking ban. Many in Ohio screamed how bars and restaurants would fail in droves after a smoking ban. That proved false. Yes, some bars have closed, but most adapted and flourished. If anything happens after a NKY ban, I would say Cincinnati bars may temporarily suffer, with a slight drop in Kentucky business crossing the river. I think in the end both sides will remain strong, with people staying local more often when they can walk to a bar without smoke.

Outside the DIC Is Not the Place to Be

A woman died reportedly from a drug overdose just outside of the Drop Inn Center last Thursday.  Little about the story was made public, but this does provide a prime example of one of the problems of the DIC.  If it happens or affects something outside of their doors, they are not doing much about it, even though they attract people prone to problems that affect others and denigrate the area around Washington Park.

I for one don't want overdoses being common place in direct sight of a K-12 school.  This is yet another reason the DIC should move and take the 3CDC offer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pones, Inc. Presents: Rub, Dredge, Fry (repeat)

Join Pones, Inc. for provocative movement/dance/theatre as they Present: Rub, Dredge, Fry (repeat). It premieres Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 8 PM at the Museum Gallery / Gallery Museum located at 218 Sycamore Street.

Not sure what this is all about? Here's the description:
Rub, Dredge, Fry (repeat) examines our deep fried opinions, traditions, and relationships with comfort food. Layering dance, theatre, music, and cooking Pones Inc. creates a plethora of dishes (some more delectable than others) while asking: Why fried? Come hungry and leave happy but don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty in the process. “Rub, Dredge, Fry (Repeat)” wants to know ...are you better than fried food?

Throughout creating the show, the cast explored what happens when cost, accessibility, convenience, and tradition all factor into our choices.
Pones, Inc. has produced stunning productions at the last three Cincinnati Fringe Festivals. This show sounds like something cooked up with the food tastes of Cincinnati in mind. Get out of your comfort zone and try out a new show. You can't say there aren't cool things to do, so head to Over-the-Rhine and experience it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Result of Anti-Tax Extremism

Little Miami Schools is being taken over by the State of Ohio because the citizens of that school district have repeatedly failed to pass a tax levy to fund the schools. The anti-tax/anti-government extremists got their way and the schools will now suffer massive cuts. Students will likely not have any extracurricular activities. They will miss out on advance education opportunities. Little Miami Students will not have good educations.

Anti-tax zealots are dancing for Joy over this. Their goals include destroying public institutions. They have no plans for replacing these institutions. At best you are going to get a shrug and some vague reference to "let the market decide."  This is insanity.  There is no logic, no plan, just irrational selfishness, that if allowed to continue will create township that has nothing but a handful of residents, struggling to maintain a sense of a society.

There are reasonable people who can disagree on the size and focus of government. Reasonable people understand that public education is a bedrock of an functional society. If you have a public institution, you have to fund it. Starving it to death is not going to reform it, it is going to end it.

On a side note, I am less surprised knowing that Chris Finey, COAST/TP anti-tax/anti-government anti-gay activst works worth with Chris Smitherman, president of the the local chapter of the NAACP. Both men take actions that indicate a base underlying philosophy: tear everything down and start over. The politics of destruction will not gain advances for society, as these men think, each from their own perspective. Starting over isn't going to put anyone ahead, it puts us all permanently behind.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

West Chester Tea Party, What Say Ye?

The Enquirer is reporting that Lakota Schools is asking for a new 10 year tax levy. With West Chester, the home of Lakota Schools, being voting one of the "best" places to live in America and being a hot bed for the local Tea Party, I am wonder something. Will this levy get voted down? Will local officials instead campaign on increasing the budget of the county sheriff to help him remove the mythical illegal immigrant problem in Butler County? The Tea Party wants to decimate every element government run services, except law enforcement, border security and the military, so I would predict this levy will lose.

What is more logical than allowing public schools to decay in order to fund racism as a way to get votes? Isn't that the American Dream?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Interesting Article About Venue 222 Owner

Debbie Dent and her husband own Venue 222, but she also runs a marketing/design company which recently changed names.

The company has gone through a big transition, where the staff was let go as a result of the 2008-2009 recession.  The new name is, based on the article from the Business Courier, more of a rebirth of the company, which will be smaller than before.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Second Sunday in OTR - Global Groove

This Sunday, July 11th, head to OTR and check out Food, Fun, Beer, and shopping along Vine St, 12th St, and Main St. !  Here's the schedule:
12pm-5pm Street Fair on Main, craft and food vendors, and live DJ's (Main St. closed from 13th to Liberty)

12pm-5pm Neon's Unplugged- Beer Garden with live music
(208 E. 12th Street)
Bands at Neon's:
Toca Madera (Nuevo Flamenco trio) 12-1:15
Bachannal Steel Band (Carribean)  1:45-3:00
Laignappe (gypsy new orleans jazz)  3:30-5:00pm

12:30pm Free yoga session, hosted by You Do Yoga, (Main at Woodward)

1:00 Bellydancing demo by Anaya Gypsy Tribal Bellydance (Main at Woodward)

1:30 Bellydancing demo & class by Habeeba's Dance of the Arts (Main at Woodward)

2:30pm Celebrity Chef Demo featuring Daniel Wright from Senate
(1419 Main St., Falling Wall Condo)
For more information check out

Take the Hamilton County Citizen Survey

Hamilton County wants to know your opinions and has created the 2011 Hamilton County Citizen Survey. The questions cover many issues, but keep to mostly hot topics in the County's purview.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Streetcar Project Gets Federal Backing

The Enquirer is reporting that the City of Cincinnati will receive a $25 Million grant to help build the Streetcar to connect the Riverfront/Downtown to Over-the-Rhine and Uptown.
This is great news for the project, and was a critical need.  If they City had lost out on this round of funding, the project would have had a tough time maintaining support.  I believe now the corner may have finally turned to disway the anti-city/anti-downtown forces for good.

CityBeat's 2010 CEA Theater Nominations Announced

Rick Pending has announced the nominees for the 2010 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater.

The full list of categories and nominees is here. You can vote for the public categories here.

Set aside August 29th for the Awards show which will take place at the Know Theatre. We'll pass along more details on that as they become available.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bias Against Portly Men?

I have no particular problem with Thomas Edison, or his potential selection as our Statuary Hall representative in the Capitol.

But how can you compile a list of 10 Ohioans for this honor that doesn't include William Howard Taft? As everyone knows, he's the only American ever to be both President and Chief Justice. More importantly, perhaps, he is responsible for the construction of the building that houses the Supreme Court.

This is an outrage, I say, an outrage!

Confusing or Just Bad Journalism?

Now that Pride week is past, I want to point out a really confusing article in CityBeat last week. In fact, it was part of the Cover Story- The Great Gay Migration: Why are young gay professionals leaving Cincinnati? The confusing part of the article comes from the simple fact that it fails to cite any source, other than a random survey of some of the writer's friends, that there is in fact any type of change in the number of GBLT people leaving Cincinnati to warrant the use of "Migration." In fact, the article doesn't cite how many GBLT people left last year or the last decade. For all the writer knows, there could be a net gain in Cincinnati of GLBT people since Article XII was repealed.

The article consists of several anecdotal cases of people, obviously friends to the writer, who left or are leaving town. One wants to be a NATIONAL political activist. Gee, I am shocked there are not a 1,000 jobs for that here. Another wanted to be a rock star. Also, I am shocked this is not the place you can sell your demo for a million dollars. The third example moved for a job, also a shocking revelation!

The buried lead that should have been replaced the poorly written headline was this:
"Available data on LGBTQ individuals suggest they’re just as likely to move as heterosexual individuals but are more likely to move further away."
So gays are "just as likely to move" as straight people? How is this twisted into making people think there is a mass exodus of gays from Cincinnati?

The article just doesn't know what it wants to be, and fails at all attempts. Is Cincinnati anti-gay? Are Cincinnati gays not friendly enough to punk rockers? Do Cincinnati gays not support other gays enough?

GLBT people have a ruff time everywhere, but if you are going to write about gay flight from this Midwestern city, why not state some facts that it is actually happening, more than other groups. Using examples of GBLT people who left for reasons that are the same as any straight person only demonstrates that GBLT people are starting live normal lives like everyone else and are doing it right here in Cincinnati. Pride was just on Fountain Square and almost no one protested. Life for GBLT people in Cincinnati, at least in the City, is getting better. There are hurdles still ahead, but progress has been made.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Maltese Falcon and Fork Heart Knife

This Sunday July 11th get two tantalizing experiences in one place at one time. Venue 222 hosts dinner and a movie starting at 6PM. The movie is the Noir of all Noir films: The Maltese Falcon. The food is from Fork Heart Knife.

The Menu:
Bacon wrapped, manchego stuffed date
(the perfect bite)

Chimichurri chicken Skewer!
(skewers of finger food friendly on the stick chicken)

Peppadew devilled eggs
(who doesn’t love peppadew?)

Bloody mary gazpacho!
(served in cute cups, with classic bloody mary accessories- our pickled asparagus and olives)

Blueberry lavender jello mold
(yes we said ‘jello mold’ don’t judge…)

Mini brown butter sugar cookies
(like your kindergarten teacher used to make)

Cost is $6 for both dinner and the flick combined. What a deal! Get your reserved spot by paying via paypal on

The location is 222 E 14th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. What a great way to end a Sunday that starts at Second Sunday in OTR!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Touchdown Jesus 'Reborn' in Northside

If you happened to be at the Northside Fourth of July parade (which was on the Third of July this year), you may have witnessed a religious experience. No, I'm not talk about the really cute hipster girls in their short dresses and tall boots. Instead I'm referring to the return (of sorts) of Touchdown Jesus, aka Big Butter Jesus.

Don't believe me? You think that the hippies that live in Northside can't conjure up a resurrection? Come on, this is NORTHSIDE we are talking about!

Yes, those are scorch marks. I can't effective interpret how those work narratively, but there is likely a religious opinion on it, and I'm not qualified to render one, so I won't.

UPDATE: More on the return:

Friday, July 02, 2010

WLWT Is Living In A Blue Oyster World

In a post yesterday, I remarked that the comically-intended yet nonetheless stereotypical portray of a gay bar in a 1980's movie just wouldn't fly today.

It turns out, such stereotypes are just fine for WLWT, so long as they're meant seriously.

I'm not sure why I watch that station for news anymore. (OK, I do know: a friend of mine is a reporter and I wanted to see her story.) But last night I turned on the 11:00 news. The "Number One" story was about "opposition" to the decision to move the Gay Pride parade and festival downtown this year.

WLWT decided to feature everyone's favorite "community values" activist, Phil Burress. He should be a punchline by now. But instead, there's WLWT, treating him as if he's a serious person. And on camera--unchallenged and uncontradicted by WLWT--he warned that people would be "naked" and "having sex on the street" this weekend.

Part of me wishes he were right; it'd be interesting to watch. But he's wrong. It's bad enough that Burress says such things. It's worse--it's appalling, it's indefensible, it's pick-your-adjective-and-superlative-bad--that WLWT published his views to anyone who left Channel Five on for a few minutes after prime time ended.

WLWT owes an apology to the gay community, as well as to downtown residents and businesses.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A Good Time To Remember The Roots Of The Gay Rights Movement

Today's Enquirer carried an excellent article by Lauren Bishop on the decision to move Cincinnati's annual Gay Pride festival from Northside to Downtown this year. The article mentions in passing the Stonewall riots. It made me realize that while I've always been supportive of--and at times, an active advocate of--GLBT equality, I know very little about the history of the movement. In fact, until yesterday, I didn't even know why some gay rights groups organized under the name "Stonewall."

A brief summary, for those of you who don't know. (And a link to more information, for those who are interested.) In 1969, New York police raided a a gay bar. The reason for the raid? Well, it was a gay bar. That night, the bar's patrons, tired of being hassled by the police, responded with violent protest. The name of the bar: the Stonewall Inn. The event is largely credited as being the birth of the modern gay rights movement.

It can be easy to forget that not so long ago, police could harass with impunity an establishment simply because it catered to the GLBT community. I was born in 1974, and even in my lifetime, gay rights have come a long ways. Think about the stereotypical portrayal of a gay bar in Police Academy, made in 1984. I don't think a mainstream movie would get away with such a scene today. In fact, fast forward about twelve years to The Birdcage (a movie with some pretty bad ethnic stereotyping), where gay culture is presented as normal and Gene Hackman plays a Republican who is presented as out-of-touch because he is disapproving of his son-in-law-to-be's gay fathers. And this year, there are gay pride banners hanging from lamp posts on Fifth Street.

A schedule of events for this year's gay pride events--called the Equinox Festival--is available here.

Passage "Sneak Preview" This Weekend

Passage Lounge, at 6th at Main, will have a "sneak preview" this Friday and Saturday night. I'm not sure what else to say about this. Griff was excited about this back in October.

"Upscale lounges" generally aren't my scene; I'm neither hip enough nor pretty enough for such escapades. But I usually like to wander in once, just to know what all the fuss will be about.

So I think maybe my plan for Friday is to go watch the Pomegranates at Fountain Square, then head over to Passage to check things out.

Good Eats: Main Event

With a couple of friends, I stopped by Main Event for lunch today. (That link will eventually redirect you to the restaurant/bar's Facebook page, as its website is still under construction.) Griff posted about it back in April, before it opened; there's some help additional information in the comments. Main Event is at 835 Main Street--the old Lava Lounge, next to what used to be Bouchard's (and before that, Burrito Joe's).

The lunch menu was simple, but has some good food. The place offers sandwiches, salads, and freshly made pizza. All three of us opted for a sandwich, and all of us agreed that they were made of fresh ingredients and tasty. Their pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwiches both come on pretzel bread buns. I had a "Wellington"--roast beef, a potato cake, Colby cheese, and some sweet-and-sour sauce served on a Kaiser roll. It was probably the only truly original sandwich (most were clubs or straightforward, single ingredient creations) on the menu, and I'm glad I tried it.

Service was fast and friendly. It's definitely a good spot to hit on the way out of the courthouse (or on a lunch break if you're stuck in/work at the courthouse all day). And the prices are right: my sandwich, chips, and a pop cost $7.50.

Main Event is also open late at night. The bar was clearly well-stocked. The venue features a fairly large dance floor with a DJ booth. Our server ran down each night's theme for us, all of which I promptly forgot (one night is 80's music). But it sounded like it might be worth checking out.

Park + Vine Moving to Main Street

Cincinnati's very popular green store Park + Vine announced yesterday they are moving to new location in Over-the-Rhine.

The store will move to 1202 Main Street and will expand operations to include a vegan grocery store, a food bar, indoor/outdoor seating, as well as a room for meetings.

The new location plans to open in September during the MidPoint Music Festival, (Sept. 23-25). The Vine Street location will remain open until then.

This is really great news for Main Street and OTR. It shows the commitment of Dan Korman to OTR, Cincinnati, and community his store serves.

Read the full press release here.

The Cincinnati Herald in Tax Trouble

The Cincinnati Herald, a weekly newspaper targeted towards African-Americans, owes $73,000 in back taxes to the IRS. The newspaper is owned by Ohio State Senator Eric Kearney. Niche print media is difficult on a national level, but it is a nightmare on a local level. The Herald should consider ways to expand readership by including other target groups. Latinos would be the obvious choice to consider, but being the Urban newspaper, serving the City, would be the only long term model that could avoid these type of financial issues. The only other option would be finding a benefactor to plug the funding gaps. That is something a viable business should not rely on.