Friday, June 29, 2012

Chabot Wants the City of Cincinnati To Fail

U.S. House member Steve Chabot has done nothing to improve the City of Cincinnati while in federal office. It is clear why. Chabot wants the city to fail.

No, that's not over the top. No, it's not just because he's against the Streetcar. He purposely by-passed due process and slipped in an amendment to a bill that specifically PUNISHES the people of Cincinnati, a large portion of which he is alleged supposed to represent in the US. House of Representatives. This was a personal/political action, not a policy action.  He could have reached out to the people in his community, his constituents, and engage us on this issue.  He could have held a meeting to hear why the Streetcar will help.  Instead he did the political thing.  He did what Republican political activists want to do, hurt the city and make the Mayor and the Democrats on city Council look bad.

Cincinnati was punished for being two things: Urban and Democratic. We don't subscribe to Chabot's brand of lifestyle that wants to mold the country into three types of places: Small Towns, Rural Areas, and Exurbs (suburbs). Cities, in Chabot's mind, must die.

Cars are still king and roads must feed them and that's Steve's mantra. Public Transportation is a city thing, so it's from the devil. (Not to mention it gives the poor a chance to visit his neighborhood.)

Chabot's action was so wrong I really feel like screaming at him. I won't, but when people act without honor, class, or common decency it is difficult to be civil to them.  Chabot's actions were sleazy. He went after us. Those of us who live in the city and those of us who believe that Urbanism is the future of society (our only hope to survive) and those who view public transportation as a vital way to help save the planet. He intentionally tried to hurt people's futures.  He wants the urban core to fail, so we'll all move to the burbs. There is no middle ground to try and position this act.  Chabot's despicable amendment is a declaration taking a cold war of Republicans against the City, to a hot war.

Please note who started the war.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More News The Enquirer Missed

A nationally known group of Catholic nuns is touring the nation holding events to promote their view that the House Republicans Budget (the Ryan Budget) is wrong and goes against Catholic teaching. For a newspaper that does not miss a beat covering Catholic related events, the Enquirer didn't appear to cover either the Nun's rally held on Fountain Square on Sunday or the event outside House Speaker's Boehner's West Chester office on Monday.

Instead, police news upstart FOX19 covered the story.

Not even a few photos of the nuns? Come on, if nothing else nuns are great in photos. It wouldn't have to do with ignoring an issue that conflicts with local Catholic Republicans?

Interesting Video From Ann Louise Inn Supporters

I generally agree with letting the Ann Louise continue to function and W&S's actions have not be good. I am concerned with the rhetoric used, however. I don't think it will work attacking W&S like this. I think it would be better to counter the lies of the W&S management with direct truth, not political style web commercials. This is still an interesting video.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ignorance Begat a Trite Enquirer Photo Montage

Has the Enquirer reduced its news gathering staff to the point of putting recycled photo montages on the front page of their website? Apparently, yes, they have. It's complete with an dig at OTR. Drivel. Indeed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where is the Mug Shot?

When I read about someone being arrested by the Cincinnati Police Department, I usually see a mug shot of them.  When I read about a Cincinnati police officer being arrested on charge of attacking his girlfriend, I was surprised not to see his photograph with the article.

Why would there not be a photo? Was it left out on purpose by the Enquirer? Did the police department not make it available? Is it a timing issue? Am I missing a simple fact that would explain why police officers are treated more kindly when they are arrested for allegedly beating up their girlfriends? By kindly I mean not having their photo attached to a newspaper story describing their arrest.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why is the Enquirer Mixing a Murder in North OTR with Development Efforts?

The Enquirer's article online about the tragic murder of a 15 year old girl fails to be nothing more than pointless quotes cobbled together and a transparent ploy to gain attention. The first problem was the sensationalism, with two headlines: one on the article itself:
Girl's blood marks Over-the-Rhine dividing line
the other on the front page preview:
Girl's death a 'black eye' on OTR
The thought of trying to link violence with the neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine (OTR) is not a new thing, obviously, in Cincinnati. OTR still brings up the idea of violence and crime to the average suburban/exurban resident of the metro area who have been here for at least 10 years. Today, that crime and violence has decreased at a massive rate. This has helped changed the image of OTR. We (I live in OTR) don't have the automatic fear factor present itself, as often, when we mention OTR in conversation, except by the most anti-urban conservatives around town.  This link, however, sells newspapers.  The Enquirer makes money selling papers to people who have lived in Cincinnati for all of their life and their ignorance doesn't like to be challenged, so the newspaper feeds that ignorance with the same old story: crime happens where it is supposed to happen. To the ignorant person that place is OTR.  Selling it with emotional tugs is just the means.  If you can get quotes that bash 3CDC and the development in OTR, then that just appeals to a newer potential Enquirer Reader that wants their ignorance fed.  That group tends to be one left, as opposed to the right wing anti-urban knuckle-scraper.

What is the more disappointing problem with the story is it's structure.  What I get from it is that the reporter walked down Vine Street over a half mile from the murder scene and talked with some of the businesses in the newly developed area (right where I live). The article added pleasant quotes from employees at a couple of the businesses. He then walked West towards Washington Park in the quasi-narrative and invoked quotes from the usual suspects that were not really relevant to the point of the article, which was talking about the divide of the neighborhood, or was it the violence, or was it the drop in crime, or was it the resilience of the new residents?

If the article was going to be about something, it needed to be one of three things. First: Tell the story of the crime and/or the victim.  We got little about who she was, why was she there, what happened. Second: Talk about the situation of the Street Violence that affects many neighborhoods in Cincinnati.  Was this a stray bullet from a drug deal gone bad?  What she standing next to people who are involved in the drug trade?  Was this just an accident of some foolish person handling a gun?  Third: Tell of the divide between Northern OTR and the development South of Liberty.  This would surely have been most of what Josh Spring would have talked about.  His quote was filled with a big lie, but that's another blog post. One of the three would have work as an article and been relevant.  Instead we get a mess.

This article had many contributors, so that likely added to the hodgepodge feel, but the lack of editing just beams like a beacon a top a tall radio tower. It is like there could have been three different stories written and either the reporters were not able or allowed to do enough reporting for those stories, or more likely the story was only given so many lines of space. It would seem to me that the Newspaper should stop structuring their articles for newspaper print and focus on writing for the web. On the web, there isn't much of a space limitation. Also, other than organizational limit, the number of articles shouldn't be an issue, so write three stories instead of one. Put the out of town copy editors and layout people to the test!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cranley Still Hates the Urban Core

The former Cincinnati City Council member and the architect of the City's Budget Deficit, John Cranley continues to push an anti-city agenda. This time he's in the COAST corner of opposing the Streetcar. More importantly he is lying about it, calingl the property increase a "Streetcar Tax" instead of what it really is: a tax to put more money into the police budget. Cranley was part of the council majority years ago that pushed to increase the police force even though the police chief didn't want more police officers. Instead of using more funds to build up the technological efforts to confront crime, Cranley and his ilk went for FOP votes. Most of the leadership of the FOP don't give a damn about the City, it's just a paycheck to their members, nothing more. That's the mentality Cranley endorsed.

John's history of support for the Urban core consisted of wanting to suburbanize the Downtown Riverfront so he could enjoy a beer at a chain restaurant after a Reds game, and then jump in his car and flee back to the West Side.

This former Democratic office holder is starting to sound more like a former Democrat. The more he plays the COAST tune, the more he slips into the anti-city camp.

Brace Yourselfs: Another Anti-Streetcar Article From Barry Horstman

You can't expect much else from the Enquirer's Barry Horstman but an anti-streetcar article, but the timing is the kicker today. We have the budget committee meeting yesterday where COAST and other anti-city Conservatives had an organized turnout against funding the city's needs and then today we have Hortsman's fear inducing article that will cause panic in someone's grandma living out in Loveland, making her think her A/C bill will go up for those City people and their "evil" public transit and ecologically friendly Urban lifestyle. What to stroke the sectarianism, Barry. It sells papers in the burbs! Woot.....

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Diana Frey Gets 4+ Years For Stealing From Union

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that former CODE union leader Diana Frey was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months for embezzling union funds. Fey was convicted of stealing over $750,000 in CODE funds. CODE is the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees union which covers middle management and professional employees of the City of Cincinnati. Fey was the founder of the Union.

She was also anti-streetcar and aligned her union with the Conservative and Republican political factions in the City. Her absence will not be missed in political discourse on City Issues and based on the conviction alone, not to mention allegations made about her work record, she will not be missed in City Government on any level.

CincyFringe – The Prodigal Fringer Returns

I have returned from my California Respite and shared that fact with the Fringing Public.

Yes, I jest. Yes, I like the Irony of using a Republican War Hero's speech from the ancient past as satire. He would have likely not been a big Fringe supporter, so I smirk a bit more each time I read it.

Now I just need to write a few more reviews!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Don't Fear Online Voter Data

I haven't heard of any privacy advocates going bonkers about the Hamilton County Board of Elections decision to put voter information to go online, but just in case people start freaking out they must understand this is not information that wasn't already available online. If you were to go to the Ohio Secretary of State's website, you can download the entire voter database for Hamilton County in a matter of minutes.  Import that into MS Access and you can query anyone's voter registration and general voting history.

The description of the data available sounds like it is selective reports from the same database, just more up-to-date data. This provides a positive for independent candidates who can't afford the technical support major party hand picked candidates get.  More access to data for political candidates makes for a more open election process.

I really hope this does NOT create any significant protest. The tin foil hat crowd is always far more vocal than they make sense.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Maija Zummo Wanted a BLUE Pony, Cincinnati!

Get out the big box of tissues! CityBeat's Maija Zummo is upset about the Pony she got. Her pony, in this case, is the vibrant Downtown/OTR we had last weekend, with about a thousand things to do. She had two things she wanted to do and didn't seem to be aware of the other 998 things going on, and therefore is pissed that traffic and parking were problems for her.

She lammented that it's fine if you live Downtown, but she doesn't, and appears to have no plans of moving here. I sensed a longing for a pity party was just beneath the surface of her words.

Maija wanted a blue pony and is mad. She didn't ask for just any old pony, she wanted one that was just for her. Damn all others to hell, as long as she gets her blue pony.

I find this type of attitude about as disappointing as it is unsurprising. Far too many people want the place they live to be cool and vibrant, but as soon as it starts to get that way...BAM...they complain about it being too much. This is what I would call My Little Hipster Pony Syndrome. A younger hipster wants things to be "cool" and dare I say "hip," but as soon as the cultural engine starts moving a fast pace, they want to jump ship, because its not what they wanted. To this type of person things are only cool as long as they are exclusive and admired. As soon as the exclusivity wears off, it sucks. Trendy for Trendiness's sake is no way to experience life.

This article comes on the heels of the Bill Cunningham's comments about OTR recently. I find the juxtaposition of opinions very interesting. I really don't like whinny rants about the personal inability to stay informed about ongoing events masquerading as column. I hope Maija instead takes the leap of moving downtown, gets used to mass transit, or buys a bike. That's the future of America and she can't drag her feet in the Suburbite lifestyle and still maintain credibilty in a Urban centric newsweekly.

CincyFringe Day Number Two!

Opening Night was an amazing success for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  Two shows sold out on their opening opening. That is a record for the first night of shows at the CincyFringe Festival.  Normally shows take a little bit of buzz to sell out.  Not this year. Grim and Fischer: a deathly comedy in full-face mask and The Sweet, Burning Yonder sold out last night.

Tonight's line-up:
Grim and Fischer at Know Theatre Time: 07:00 PM
Cecily and Gwendolyn at 1425 Main Time: 07:15 PM
Latitude at Hanke 1 Time: 07:15 PM
Storms Beneath Her Skin at Hanke 2 Time: 07:30 PM
Methtacular! at Art Academy Time: 08:30 PM
Where Is My Mind? at 1317 Main Time: 08:45 PM
Don't Cross the Streams at Know Theatre Time: 09:00 PM
Screw You Revue at 1425 Main Time: 09:15 PM
Trapped in a Box at Hanke 2 Time: 09:15 PM

To buy tickets go online to Grim and Fischer will sell out, so get your tickets Now!

At the bar series tonight it is Game Night, so bring your Candyland, Monopoly, Risk, or just a plain old deck of cards. If you being a role playing game, be prepared to share and be prepared to be mocked, slightly.

I saw two shows last night that were both good. I will doing reviews on, but have not yet completed any. They'll be up as soon as possible.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CincyFringe Day One

What shows are you going to see tonight?  Here's a list of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival day one schedule.  For the full 11 days of shows, please check out

Breaking Rank! at 1317 Main Time: 07:15 PM
Rodney Rumple at Know Theatre Time: 07:15 PM
Blown Up at SCPA Time: 07:30 PM
Methtacular! at Art Academy Time: 08:45 PM
Sweet, Burning Yonder at 1317 Main Time: 08:45 PM
Grim and Fischer at Know Theatre Time: 09:00 PM
Twenty-Five Minutes at SCPA Time: 09:00 PM
Quake at Hanke 1 Time: 09:15 PM

Be sure to stay around for Fringe Previews at the Underground at 10:30 PM, where all of the productions get the chance to give a taste of their performance in front of the Bar Series crowd.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CincyFringe Kickoff Party Tonight!!!!!!!!

Head out TONIGHT to the 2012 CityBeat Fringe Kick-Off Party! Doors open at 7PM at the Know Theatre (Fringe HQ) located at 1120 Jackson Street in OTR.  Fun will include a show by The Dukes Are Dead as well as the premier of Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News Update.

My Goal for this year's CincyFringe is to gain a mention on Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News.  As I will be missing several days of the festival, I would think this fact by itself would be news worthy.  I am going to need a press agent to get this mention.  The crack staff of the Fringe News Division is a hard team to understand. Here's hoping a few bribes or constant annoyance wears them down.

If you can't make it to the opening party, don't make me drive to your house to give you a postcard that highlights the 11 days of theatre that can't be missed!  Go to to find the full schedule and to buy tickets.  Buying tickets online ahead of time, is the best way to reserve your tickets to the hottest shows.

Stay tuned to this blog to find out the hottest shows.  As of now, you can assume they are all hot and a buy a ticket to all of them, just be sure.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

World Choir Games Song

Not my personal taste, but what do you think?

Some more previews of the games:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ten Years Of The Cincinnati Blog: A Damn Long Time

Ten years ago today, I posted my first blog entry here at the Cincinnati Blog. This wasn't my first blog, nor was it my first foray into web publishing, but this blog has become part of my identity.

I've been thinking for some time what I would write about on my tenth anniversary.  I thought of writing a retrospective of my best blog posts over the years.  I even looked back through many of my old posts.  I was surprised how harsh I was.  I was also surprised how independent I was in the beginning.  I would criticize leftist Greg Flannery almost as much as I would mock Conservative Peter Bronson.  I looked at some of my posts during the Iraq War.  I looked at the varied political races I followed.  It was a strange experience.  I like looking at  history and I found it fascinating to read about the past.  I didn't find it worth a blog post.  Current events are.....current.  My blog posts from the past doesn't hold up unless they can relate to the present.  Most of the time they can't.

Instead of looking back on what I wrote, I thought more about myself.  Call me an ego-maniac, but for me in my life the timing of this anniversary could not be more poignant. I turned 40 years old this year.  This is in part funny to some long time readers, who always called me a kid.  I used to chaff at that.  Now I welcome any youthful mentions I can get.  Blogging throughout my 30's was an amazing experience.  It gave me the chance to voice my views to a connected audience.  This blog never had an audience on the scale of the Enquirer or any other professional news outlet, but I was proud that it was read by people who were involved.  I was able to make an impact on the city.  People would sometimes actually read and respond to what I wrote.  A few minds were changed.  Not many, but a few.  For a guy doing this on the side while holding down a full time job, that's not bad.

What kept creeping into my mind most when I was thinking of my ten year anniversary was where I go next.  I seriously considered quitting.  I thought about writing a pithy post and signing off.  I'm not going to do that.  This blog will not see a 20 year anniversary, but it will not end today.  It is too much part of who I am.  I am changing, however, and writing about politics and the media don't put the fire in my belly as much as they used too.  Part of the reason is that I am getting older.  The other reason, honestly, is that the City is doing so much better than is was in 2002.  At that point we were lost in the wilderness.  We have come a long way in ten years.  I am proud of this city and while there are still many issues to write about, they don't fall of the tree like they used to do.

I will press on blogging.  It will be about like it has been this year, a little sparser.  If I get a bee in my bonnet, I may suddenly spew a swarm of posts.  If there is a battle to wage, I will suit up my armor and charge out there without looking back.  I have recognized that blogging today, as opposed to ten years earlier, is more about longer form ideas, not about posting a few sentences and a link to the latest news story. Social media (Facebook and Twitter) are doing what I used to do on this blog, just shorter.  You can get the latest links to news stories 100 times faster in your social media feeds than you can on blog.  Most don't recall that blogs were doing that and that's really how they started.  That's the only way you can do it day after day, link to someone else's longer posts.

I hope to be more thoughtful.  I no longer can post on the breaking news story.  I am reading it in my Twitter  feed at the same time 80% of my audience is reading it in their Twitter feed.  Maybe my Twitter feed will light up more.  I don't know.  I like have options, however.  I like having the chance to grow.

Evolution as a writer is not the sign of getting old, it is sign of getting a little bit wiser.  The wise man knows when to change.  In my personal life, I really hate change.  In my writing, I'm getting better at changing.  I can see how I have changed.  It just takes time.  I am getting better at letting myself change a little faster these days.  This blog will eventually end, but not before I take it to new places.  Stay tuned and find out where I go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CincyFringe Buzz: Four Humors Returns With Bombus and Berrylinne

The gang from Minneapolis are returning to the Cincinnati Fringe Festival this year with Bombus and Berrylinne, or the Bumblebee and the Hummingbird. This will, if nothing else, compete for one of the longest titles of a CincyFringe performance ever. The show is the brain child of Rachel Petrie and Ryan Lear (The Finkles), who are newer to the Four Humors, but have brought a fresh energy to the group which was evident in last year's performance of You Only Live Forever Once:

The Show takes place at the Know Theatre and the performance schedule is:
Monday, June 4: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, June 6: 9:15 pm
Thursday, June 7: 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 9: 2:00 pm

Cincinnati Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.1%

So, what will it take for people to have a more positive attitude about Cincinnati's Economy? If you would say the fact that the Local unemployment rate fell to 7.1%, then you should hear the smiles starting to crack. Unfortunately, since much of the Cincinnati mindset is to be negative until someone else makes something happen for you, I expect people to complain about the job numbers. Nothing short of a million dollars in every Westside or Exurban household bank account will bring a positive attitude on the Cincinnati Metro area's economy, at least as long as the President is from the Democratic Party.

Monday, May 21, 2012

CincyFringe Buzz: Must See Radio Star

We are just over a week away from the start of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, so it is time to start planning your schedule. I'll be giving some must-see shows I am recommending throughout the week. Please note that I haven't seen any of the shows in the festival. I've completed a vast three year research project that combined buzz, reputation of the producers/actors, and coffee to come upw with a short list of shows I am not going to miss. This means my knowledge should not be questioned and all theatre goers should head my advice.  Or they could just see every show.
Today's show is Radio Star by Tanya O'Debra of NYC. Radio Star was voted Best of Fringe at the 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival.
The Schedule:
Friday June 1 @ 7:15 pm
Saturday June 2 @ 8:45 pm
Tuesday June 5 @ 9:15 pm
Wednesday June 6 @ 7:15 pm
Friday June 8 @ 7:15 pm
at Hanke 2.