Friday, June 17, 2011

Who Are Chris Bortz's Enemies On City Council?

Enquirer reporter Barry Horstman wrote in an article effectively that Cincinnati City Council member Chris Bortz believes he has enemies on council. There is not a direct quote, but Hortsman attributes the 'feeling' to one that is from Bortz. Here is the section of the article:
"Those factors provide a foundation for Bortz's feeling that political enemies - including some on council - would like to use the issue to force his departure, while doing no harm to the project they favor."
So, that lead me to the question. Who are his enemies? There are only eight other people, nine if you include the Mayor. The list:

Mark Mallory (D) Mayor
Roxanne Qualls (C,D) Vice Mayor
Cecil Thomas (D) President Pro-tem
Leslie Ghiz (R)
Amy Murray (R)
Wayne Lippert (R)
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Charlie Winburn (R)
Wendell Young (D)
Any guesses?

Ok, so we all have foes in our life and in the workplace, but enemies? I'm sure some pols around town see me as a political enemy, in so much as I will speak out against their candidacies, but that's hardly new or excessive.  That is politics.  I'm not an enemy.  I'm not going to go after anyone's seat once elected.  I don't see that anyone on Council is an 'enemy' of Chris Bortz.  There is conflict on council.  That conflict is a two way street and no one is blameless. If there is a witch hunt to get Bortz, it is from outside Council.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wenstrup to challenge Schmidt For Congress

Losing Republican Mayoral candidate Brad Wenstrup will mount a primary challenge against sitting 2nd district Republican congress woman Jean Schmidt.

Does Wenstrup know something we don't? Does he know what the 2nd district will look like? That's a big reason we've not heard who else will run for congress, we don't know what redistricting will do. Where the lines are 'painted' for the 1st and 2nd districts will drive who will get in each of the races from the Democratic side. I expect we won't know what those districts look like until the Republicans draw the lines behind closed doors and do their best to create as many districts with demographics that favor their candidate, while giving the Democrats little time to review them.

Wenstrup mounted a suburbanite campaign when he ran for the City of Cincinnati Mayor. That means that while he lived on the east side of the city, his attitude and tone towards the city was like a moderate suburbanite's generally is: one of caution, some misplaced fear, and dislike. That doesn't play well in the city. That attitude may, however, play well if the 2nd district has a big suburban core. I don't know how well he will sell out in the rural areas. That is a whole different type of voter. In a GOP primary, they will be especially different from the typical suburban Republican on economic issues. That's going to be interesting.

Wenstrup is a solid challenger to Schmidt. He is a mainstream Republican, so he can lean as far to the right as he needs to and play to the middle if that is where is primary votes lie and for the general election if needed. Seeing how much this divides the party in the primary is going to be an enjoyable situation.

We Need a Wyatt Earp

The Stupidity of the Ohio GOP controlled legislature knows no bounds.

I guess pretending to live in the old West just isn't enough. GOP members of the Ohio House and Senate want to actually live like Cowboys of Cochise County. I am assuming they already have had their wives make them a red sash.

At this point we need a Wyatt Earp to take everyone's guns at the city limits. If that law was good enough for Tombstone and wasn't challenged in Federal Court in 1879, it should be good enough now. No one messes with Wyatt Earp or at least no one who is not going allow idiots to be inside an establishment that sells booze while carying a handgun. I mean only a logical person would assume that people go into bars to drink, not to have gunfights. I mean they wouldn't ever do both because Cowboys don't kill people unless they got it coming, after all, so we all should be safe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Reaction In Green Township Is Predictable

The Enquirer is reporting about Green Township residents' reaction to the settlement that would add public housing, 32 units, to their township. They report that many are fearful. One township trustee says he has heard people say this will cause them to move.

I am not going to say, without evidence, that this is a big issue to all or even most of the people in Green Township, but damn for those who are so scared that they are voicing their fears, they are really prejudice bigots. I know some conservative is going to get in my face for calling them bigots, but when you assume that poor people will bring so much crime to your neighborhood that you are going to leave, then that is bigotry and harsh prejudice. The underlying cause and what is not being said, and should be said, is that the fearful ninnies are assuming these poor people are either black or Latino. No, I can't read their minds, but would they move because a bunch of poor white people were going to move in? No, if that were the case this article would not have been written, because no one would be calling their local politicians about it. You wouldn't see Chris Monzel's photo in the article's montage.

History shows, and we have the city neighborhoods to prove it, that when poor minorities moved into a neighborhood, most of the whites moved out. We have come a long way since this happened, but the mindset is still there in far too many minds, and those with the kneejerk reaction to move when the thought of 32 more poor minority households are to be added to their community are a big part of our continued race relations problems.  It would be nice if they would act like adults, but we can't expect miracles.

Local News at Risk

Jim Hopkins at the Gannettblog had an interesting post recently discussing a study that states that America is facing a "shortage of local, professional accountability reporting."

We don't have enough reporters covering local and state level government. Cincinnati audiences have a handful of reporters covering nearly all of the local governments on a regular basis. Some reporters from TV sometimes will add some coverage of local governments, but nothing consistent.

The cause of this shortage is obviously the debatable issue. People will blame corporations, exclusively, or blame one political party over the other. The group that deserves most of the blame, as I have said often, is the audience.

At this year's Cincinnati Fringe Festival an edgy production called Music for Newspapers and Radios illustrated this issue quite well. At one point in the show, four actors read out loud different portions of that day's Cincinnati Enquirer. One person read the sports section out loud. Another read the TV listings, while still another read out the crossword puzzle. The fourth was reading the front page story on the State budget deal.  She was passionate about it and felt the importance of the story and read it louder to the others so they might pay attention.  They were oblivious and stuck to the entertainment they had before them.  As if almost in a trance, they focused on sports, TV, or the crossword and ignored her rising voice issuing a news story that would affect them.  It was important for them to know what it said, but being entertained was more important.  After while the front page news reader tired and just fell asleep with the others.  She gave up.

News outlets have given up trying.  They are giving people what they want and they want to be amused.  They don't care about consuming news that actually will have an impact on their community and would be needed to make choices on who should run the government.  The idea of not having to think and just buying a pre-made idea is so much easier for our mindless consumer and image based society.

Our local news is at risk and when it dies,  neither American Idol or ESPN will carry the story.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Restaurant Coming to Downtown?

I noticed the signs above while on my walk this
morning. This is on Vine Street between 6th and 7th Streets.

Pick of Fringe Awards Announced

The 2011 Cincinnati Fringe Festival came to close last night with the Pick of Fringe Awards. Here were the Winners:

FringeNext Audience Pick
The First Book of: The Bible

Audience Pick
Opal Opus: Journey to Alakazoo

Critic's Pick
Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown

Producer's Pick
Memoir of a Mythomaniac: The True Story of a Compulsive Liar (or Tallulah Dies)

Other awards for Fringe were also announced last night: Awards of Excellence and the Acclaim awards singled out performances and individual elements of the event.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 TheConveyor Awards of Excellence at CincyFringe Announced has posted their Awards of Excellencefor the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Congratulations to all winners. It was a wonderful festival. Start the clock for 2012!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Real Talk 1160 Makes 700WLW Look Good

In Conservative Talk radio Circles, at least in the lower rated ones, it appears to be just fine to be bigoted/racist against blacks and be an on-air host. WQRT 1160-AM has hired Eric Deters as an evening talk radio host, with future plans to move him to mornings, as a lead in for Dennis Miller. This is after Deters was fired by 700 WLW-AM for making a racist remark on a video posted to his Facebook page.

Somehow WLW did the right thing. As CityBeat noted today, however, why hasn't WLW fired radio host Bill Cunningham for saying the large number of extreme and offensive things he has said over the years?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Enquirer Starts 'Breaking News' Blog

The Cincinnati Enquirer started a blog: This Just IN: Breaking News from the Tri-State on Friday. It appears to be mostly a quick news feed of selected eye catching stories with little more than initial reports and no analysis. I don't see this is as a blog at all, just a repackaging of the stories that appear on the front page.

What makes blogs different is that they can provide a voice and space. First, they lend themselves to commentary, as mine does. That is sorely missing at the Enquirer overall and is not present so far in this new blog endeavor. Second, blogs do well with long form feature stories. They give more space that can't fit into the newspapers and can utilize multimedia more effectively.

The one plus I do see in this blog is that so far the blog content on their website have not fallen into the pay archive. That gives a better online historical reference, but still not a complete one. This doesn't mean that these archives will stay open forever, something that makes this less of a blog.

If this more space for more hard news on overall, then that will be another plus. I don't find it has added more, yet. I can be hopeful it does.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Greenhornes Playing Fountain Square Sept 2

I have been busy Fringing and missed the Big Announcement from MidPoint about their full Indie Summer at Fountain Square schedule, which will include the Greenhornes on September 2nd. Mark that date on your music calendars. What great way to end the summer!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

CincyFringe Day One Reviews Are Up at

Over at the you can follow along my coverage of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and I've got two reviews posted from shows I saw last night on day one.

Headscarf and the Angry Bitch
White Girl

Two more shows are on tap for tonight:

The Vindle Voss Family Circus
Peyote Business Lunch

Can We Focus On One Thing At a Time?

I like the idea of an Incline. I also like Wendell Young, but we need to focus on building a Streetcar and battles ahead instead of pushing new ideas.

The revised blog post linked above from Jane Prendergast also implies that Young is hedging on the Streetcar. I hope Wendell clarifies his position.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CincyFringe 2011 Nine Don't Miss Shows

Until I see a play, I can't really tell you if it is good or not. For the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, there are 33 performances, including FringeNext, and several other special events. Based on show descriptions, prior experiences with the performers and producers, I've come up with nine shows that would advise that are don't miss shows. If you have a particular preference for a type of show, you may want to do a little more research yourself. This takes my tastes in play and my tastes are not going to be compatible with everyone. In something akin to alphabetical order, here they are:

101 Rules for Dating, of Which You Will Hear 20 or So...
Curriculum Vitae
Headscarf and the Angry Bitch
I Love You (We're Fucked)
Peyote Business Lunch
The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular!
Tooth and 'Nuckle
You Only Live Forever Once

Don't shy away from any of the other performances.  There are always some surprise hits, so pay attention to the buzz every night at the Fringe Bar Series.  The back-room gossip from audience members can be very interesting and very contradictory.  If you don't like any of these shows, please let me know why.  I learn nearly as much from seeing a show as discussing the show with someone else who say it and comparing our opinions.  That's the part of all forms of art that we don't do often enough.  Art is both an emotional and intellectual experience.  We need to exercise the latter more often than we do.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ladies & Gentleman: The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular!

See The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular! at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. This show opens on June 2nd. Go to for tickets and a listing of over 30 other productions.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chapter 1 of Sir Derek of Snow vs. The Blue Suite #CincyFringe

Somewhere in this dazzling serial there rests a mystery that can only be solved by seeking out a web browser, going to, and buying as many tickets to Fringes shows as your credit card allows.

If you don't buy them, don't hold anyone but yourself responsible for what might happen...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Council Member Wayne Lippert Supports COAST

Cincinnati council member Wayne Lippert is set to be a "co-host" of a fundraiser for COAST's political action committee for a June event featuring national conservative-activist Grover Norquist.

Yes, that is "the" COAST.

That is the COAST bent on doing what ever it can to block any type of progress and development the City is trying to push forward.

That is the same COAST that mocks people who live anywhere in the City of Cincinnati that isn't either majority white or majority upper-middle class.

That is the same COAST that has no known members who actually live in the City of Cincinnati.

That is the same COAST that purports lies about anyone and everyone that dares speak out against their vitriol.

You may be wondering why a member of Cincinnati City Council would support a group like COAST. I'm wondering the same thing.  COAST represents the mindset that has been holding Cincinnati back.  What possible reason would any member of council support this group?  Sure, there is the political angle, which likely is part of the game here.  There is suburbanite money to be gained, and COAST has some far right-ring surban money out to keep the city down.  There has to be more to it than that.  Ok, fine, Grover Norquist is a well know speaker to Conservatives.  If one wants to go the event as a Republican, I can comprehend doing so.  I don't get "co-hosting" the event to benefit a group like COAST.  That ties Lippert to the group more than just attending the event.  This links Lippert to everything COAST has done.

When COAST wastes tax payer money to file a nuisance lawsuit against the City and the Mayor because they seek to harm the Mayor's personal financial income, that is something that will be linked to Lippert.

Some would ask how I can claim Lippert is going to be linked to everything COAST or a member of COAST does.  Well, that is rather easy.  Lippert will be linked to COAST because he chose to support them and every time he does not voice his disagreement with a position or action they take, I believe it's fair game to assume he concurs with it.  When they do something outrageous and offensive and Lippert does not denounce it, then his silence is a clear sign of agreement.  That is the bargain made when you "co-sponsor" an event and willfully show your support for a political organization.  You buy it, you own it.  Those who get into bed with the Local NAACP, for example, are burdened with the selfishness that is Chris Smitherman, so this fits along the same lines.  The problem here is that the local NAACP is in bed with COAST, so that type of mutual opportunism reeks of hazing at a really dreadful frat house, but that's a whole different topic.

What I am seeing Lippert and nearly all of the other Republican candidates for city council do is play politics like this is Washington, D.C.  They are playing alliances like they are either running for a Federal level office or for a suburban township board of trustees.  We live in a city.  It is a real place. We have Democrats here that make up a majority of populace.  We also have citizens who mostly believe in reality.  COAST lives in a fantasy land with an antebellum political philosophy that ignores the reality of the last 150 years.  Over that time cities were and are the center of progress.  We didn't win two world wars from ideas formed on farms or cul-de-sacs, we won them from the ideas born in urban areas.  Cities foster ideas on how to live with each other, not on ideas on how to live apart.  If Lippert wants to be a leader, he needs to lead the GOP and himself away from the nut-cases like COAST.  If not, he's going to end up another nut-case.

A first step for Wayne is to voice why he's supporting COAST (or denounce them for their tactics).  I'll open up my blog for a response from him or his campaign, published without alteration. Drop me a line and I'll get it up as quickly as I can.  I want to understand why a Cincinnati council member supports COAST and I believe the rest of you out there want to know the same thing, so I look forward to a retort of my comments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Enquirer Still Lacking on Analysis, Producing More Bias

It is not new for the Enquirer to specially highlight crime in OTR over other areas, but when they do, it would be less biased if they did a few things.

  1. Know the neighborhood better: Do the analysis and show where in OTR the crimes have taken place. You could answer better why something is happening statistically if you know where in the neighborhood these crimes are taken place. There are a couple of hot spots.  Then you might answer why police don't target those areas.
  2. Before putting of this type of news report, tell us who is publishing it and why they are doing this know. Are council members using this for political gain?
  3. If you are going to talk about increases, why not share the attention where shootings have risen at as high or higher rates, like in Northside, Lower Price Hill, Madisonville, North Avondale, and Bond Hill.
  4. Why does the article address why Avondale's rate fell so much? In 2010 Avondale had almost twice as many shootings. In 2011 it had about half as many.
  5. Why weren't any residents who live say North of Liberty in OTR interviewed, or not included in the article? I guess that get's back to my first point, something Journalist no longer do: know the people and areas they cover.
  6. Why not ask why police don't patrol OTR as much anymore?  Are shootings up in one place and down in other because of where police patrol and the drug dealing and criminal element go where the police are not?

WLWT recently focused on a why the recent anti-crime blitz of OTR failed, but their story covering the same story the Enquirer covered instead focued on the overall murder rate and police calls for more resources. They didn't target OTR the same way, they lumped the whole city together, a different type of bias. WKRC has similar story to WLWT.