Sunday, April 29, 2012

Delusions of Grandeur Continue to Flow From Smitherman Like a River

Today's article from the Enquirer's Jane Prendergast on Cincinnati Council Member Chris Smitherman was an interest read. I say that because my blog (and myself) were quoted and I represented the face of Criticism of Smitherman. I take that as a compliment. I try to give voice to issues and topics that don't get lots of press. Criticism of Chris Smitherman does not get much media attention. I am glad it got some today.

The other more entertaining portion of the article comes from a direct quote from Smitherman himself:
“I will become the mayor one day,” he says, though he won’t run in 2013 when Mallory leaves.
I don't know what planet Smitherman is living on, but it appears to be akin more of an alternative-reality than anything resembling the actual Earth, where the rest of us reside. Smitherman at best has a niche voter base that he segments more each time he opens his mouth in public. Unless he plans a cultural revolution to drive out everyone in the City who disagrees with him, then I don't see him winning an election for Mayor against nearly any other remotely credible candidate.

Those of us in the political opinion world would love to see him run someday, just to watch him lose in the primary. How a man who wants nothing more than the destruction of the urban core could think he could be mayor is beyond my comprehension. I guess that's why I can't see it as anything other than a delusion of grandeur. One thing I don't doubt about Smitherman: he has a high opinion of himself. That doesn't translate to anything unless you can make stuff happen. The only stuff he can make happen is gettting in the newspaper by making outlandish comments. Negative press attention in the end might earn you a day old bag of doughnuts, but little else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wendell Young Sums Up Smitherman's 'Meeting'

Cincinnati City Council Member Wendell Young summed up the problem with fellow Council Member Chris Smitherman's special council meeting held last night. From the Enquirer Article:
“It is wonderful that we care,” he said, but it’s wrong to imply that this is the first time council and others have been interested in this topic.
Additionally in the Enquirer Blog post about the meeting, Young's comments were described as this:
People were deluded, he said, into thinking they would hear something new tonight.
This meeting was nothing but a show. It was a stunt to gain attention and make people believe that Smitherman and Winburn are doing something for black people. It was also a political tactic. The most brilliant aspect was to use the "black on black crime" terminology in the media. This gives Winburn something to appeal to the conservative, mostly White voters, that Republicans rely on for votes. Both Winburn and Smitherman have built narrowly defined voting blocks. Winburn's has more of a Coalition than Smitherman, so he needs to appeal to multiple angles of this issue.

No matter what, they got their media attention (yes including me). That gives them a slight boost to their reelection efforts. Each have to continue to walk the tight-rope of appealing to both Republicans and the Black Community.  Neither one will ever be able to totally rely on Republican votes alone, so they must play this game and it is sickening.

Quimbob over at Blogging Isn't Cool has more on the 'Meeting.'

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bunbury Music Festival Announces Set Times and Stages

The Bunbury Music Festival has announced the set times and stages for the three day event in July.

The five stages to cover the Sawyer Point & Yeatman's cove area are listed as:
Yeatman's Lawn
Serpentine Wall
L&N Bridge
Sawyer Lawn

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Second Sunday Schedule Announced

The Second Sundays on Main Street Festival returns this year and the dates and themes have been announced:

June 10th: Main St. Menagerie
July 8th: Music on Main
August 12th: Growth & Wellness
September 9th: Dance on Main
October 14th: Harvest Fest

For a detailed events schedule, check back here in the coming couple of months..

Friday, April 20, 2012

WLWT Has a Slide Show of People Arrested and Not Yet Convicted

WLWT has a slideshow on its website which is titled See Who Got Arrested - Photos: This consists of a slideshow, like you might see on the Enquirer's Metromix, with a caption listing the crime for which they were arrested. They've only been arrested, not convicted, and they have their pictures up. Most of the crimes are more serious crimes (murder, rape, assault) and a large number I've seen covered previously in the Enquirer with the same arrest photo.

I don't like this photo montage. I don't like it because it's tone is tabloid. It is like a raw dump of crime thrown on the floor for a rabid pack of viewers to consume. There's nothing unethical or knowingly false about what they reported, just how they are reporting it. If the television station wants to write a story about each person's alleged crime, many of which they have, then fine. Just throwing up a photo and adding a sentence below is not journalism and does a dis-service to the public.

What also is very disappointing is that this slideshow made editorial choices not based on a reasonable requirements of content, structure or relevance, but instead on marketing. This a group of people who got arrestest and that WLWT wanted to show in hopes of gaining a wider set of viewers looking for pictures to look at, not because they want to consume news. It is not even a full list of everyone arrested. The only definition listed of the group is this:
" posts some notable mugshots from across the Tri-State. An arrest does not mean anyone has been convicted of a crime."
Notable in this instance I believe means tawdry or what ever will get more eyeballs. Yes, I'm helping get more eyeballs, however I will suggest to WLWT that if they are going to do a police blotter style story, do it right or just don't do it. We don't need the pictures. Yes, pictures get you more web hits, but it is not journalism, it is exploitation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Surprise! The Enquirer Ran a Puff Piece on an Anti-Abortion Group

You are totally shocked, I am sure, to find out that the Cincinnati Enquirer ran an "In-depth" puff piece on an anti-abortion extremist group. The paper even has a photo collection so you can "meet" them.

This is nothing new for the newspaper. The Enquirer must appease the Westside and Conservative readers or they risk losing circulation.  Is that what they really risk? I am beginning to wonder if this is about business or about ideology of some editors.  For what ever reason, it has been come pathetic. Whether it is a puff piece on bus rides to Washington DC anti abortion rallies or blog posts on political tactics, the Enquirer has an anti-abortion bias in the newsroom. Yes, in the newsroom, not just the editorial page. The paper has a soft spot for the anti-abortion crowd and they don't disparage them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Horstman's Anti-Streetcar Bias Continues

Enquirer Reporter Barry Horstman continues to push an anti-streetcar bias in his reporting and this simple article about the locaion of the streetcar maintenance facility is his latest example. The story is straighforward, the city announced the exact location of where the Streetcars will be maintained, about two blocks north of Findlay Market. Horstman just had to add this stand alone sentence:
"On Monday afternoon, the only sign of commerce on the quiet block was an apparent prostitute trying to flag down passing drivers."
First, it is not even factual, it is supposition, unless he was the personal flagged down by the prostitute. There is no valid reason to include this comment. It has no relevance to article and is put there on purpose to disparage the project. There is no other explanation, and it is really disappointing that his editor let this get through. Horstman is far to biased to be reporting on the Streetcar, he can't even write a simple article about it without adding in bias. This needs to be addressed by the Enquirer management, or it will just get worse.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rich Patrons Don't Rule the World, Even the Arts World

Reading this article from the Enquirer on a 'protest' at the Cincinnati Art Museum, I come up with many points lost in the article and on the people protesting:

  1. This article would not have been written if someone with pull hadn't tipped off the Enquirer that this was going to happen.  I really hope it wasn't the rich patron who appears to pushing the issue with the Museum, but it was likely someone connected to that person.
  2. The issue isn't about money, it is about power within the Museum.  It appears to me that this curator wants a promotion and wants more control over what goes on at the museum.  What has he done to warrant that? Whose job would be lost for him? Does the rich patron care about that?
  3. It this curator is so great, why did his exhibit get the criticism from one of the article's author's blog? If he were to counter and say that the elements criticized were beyond his control, well, then if he wants to move up in management, he needs to make
I really enjoy the Art Museum and I hope patrons continue to support it, but staging a stunt like this makes people look foolish and ignorant. I would instead hope they use their time lobbying their elected officials to fund the arts.  If they don't want to do that, I suggest spending more time just raising more money to help the Museum be able to afford new cutting age art exhibits.  Money is the main factor in getting new and vibrant art at the Museum, not just one curator.

Great Article on Development in OTR

The Enquirer has a great article on development in Over-the-Rhine, specifically on what is still to come: projects like Mercer Commons. I enjoyed hearing from new residents who have moved here with different backgrounds and ages, especially the new couple who will be opening a new Seafood Restaurant near Washington Park.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Smitherman Still a Zealot with No Solutions

Cincinnati City Council Member and Local NAACP President Chris Smitherman is proving yet again that he has no solutions for difficult issues, he just wants to pretend he is doing something to fool people into thinking he is an effective member of council, when in fact he is a detriment to the City and all of its residents. This is more than evident from his email exchange with Council Member Cecil Thomas reported on the Enquirer's Politics Extra Blog. Here's the "shorter" version of the exchange:
Smitherman: Mr. Thomas, I have no plan, but you should hold a meeting so I can grandstand and pretend I am doing something about 'black-on-black' violence.

Thomas: Mr. Smitherman, I believe we have a program in place to help address that issue and I'm trying to get more funding for it. We can discuss this in the committee meeting on May 1st, just a few weeks away.

Smitherman: No, I want my meeting NOW, or I am going to have a hissy-fit! I will hold my breath until you give me my meeting or just force my own meeting. I still don't have a plan, I just need to pretend I am doing something.
Typical Smitherman. He still has no solution to address the violence plaguing the African-American community. He just wants a bigger soapbox to yell from so he can blame someone else for not finding a solution he can't find, himself. There is no easy or simple solution for this problem and there definitively is not a solution that will make anyone happy and win anyone re-election to any office.  The best solution would be for Smitherman to quit council or just stop pretending he's actually doing his job as a council member.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Did You Like Or Even Notice the Mayor's Speech?

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory gave the annual State of the City Speech last night at the Aronoff Center.

WVXU has more on the speech including the dueling Republican responses that CityBeat reported on yesterday. Current Council member Charlie Winburn appeared to give the Mayor an A+, while the "official" Republican response from former Council Member Amy Murray was more of the same in negative tone coming from most of the GOP on all levels of office. It says a lot about the Republican's influence in City politics when the only Republican they could get to stand up and criticize the direction the City is taking is a former Council member, who lost office last year. The only sitting member of office gave praise to the Mayor. The Republican Party despises the city something fierce, and mostly because we don't tend to vote them into office.

In case you weren't there or didn't catch the replay, here's the text of the prepared speech:
Fountain Square turned 140 years old last year.

Many of you know that the fountain was a gift to the city from Henry Probasco, a local Cincinnati businessman, in honor of his brother in law and mentor, Tyler Davidson. In its history, it has been a site of celebrations, civic engagement, festivals, parties, and even ice skating and broomball. And though it has always been a source of pride, up until several years ago, it had lost its luster. It had even become a site associated with controversy.

But then, because of the pride and commitment of Cincinnatians – the city of Cincinnati, 3CDC, and other partners decided to invest in the square and to promote it as the place to be in Cincinnati.

Fountain Square has become just that, the heartbeat of the entire region and the focal point of everything that is happening downtown.

In order to look to the future of our city, it is important that we maintain a connection with Cincinnati’s past.

The essence of Fountain Square is not in the big TV screen that sits on top of Macy’s; it is in what Henry Probasco wanted to give to the city of Cincinnati, a gathering place, a place to celebrate, to reflect, and to be reminded of what it means to be a Cincinnatian.

That is the formula for a successful Cincinnati. Fountain Square embodies it.

Pride, Commitment, Investment, Partnership, and Promotion.

Pride can be a powerful motivator. It has gotten people to do a lot of things. It has gotten people to take care of their homes, and look after their neighborhoods. Pride has motivated people to start businesses.

It is important for us to understand our own history because it is pride that will ultimately move people to improve our city – both now and for future generations.

If you look around Cincinnati right now, you can see aspects of our history that should make people proud.

Pick a neighborhood: east side, west side, central; it does not matter. Our city is connected to history in so many ways, whether we are talking about philanthropy, business, politics, or sports.

It is important for people to take pride in their neighborhoods. I take pride in the neighborhood I grew up in. So many important figures came from the West End – mayors, council members, judges, state legislators, and that is just in my family.

And speaking of family, my father the first African American Majority Floor Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives, William L. Mallory, is here tonight along with my mother.

The City of Cincinnati has had four African American mayors, and they all came from the West End. The Isley Brothers; world heavyweight champion, Ezzard Charles; the beer barons of the 1880s; one of the early owners of the Cincinnati Reds – they all lived in the West End.

That history is a source of great pride for me. And there are many neighborhoods in this city that have just as much to be proud of.

Mount Adams: home to Playhouse in the Park; the Cincinnati Art Museum; and Rookwood Pottery, the first female owned manufacturing company in the United States; and Nicholas Longworth, a Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1920s.

Madisonville: Founded in 1809 by Revolutionary War veteran, Joseph Ward, and named after newly elected president James Madison. It was also home to Dr. Lucy Oxley, the first Black woman to graduate from the Cincinnati Medical College.

Walnut Hills: home to Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In Clifton, the first Hebrew Union College was established by Isaac Wise in 1875. The University of Cincinnati, where cooperative education was pioneered in 1906. And, Cincinnati State, nationally known for its school of culinary arts, which you are going to get a taste of when I am finished talking.

And there is Westwood, once home to James Gamble, an industrialist, civic leader, and inventor of Ivory Soap. Legal issues aside, the reason people on the west side are so adamant about keeping the Gamble House is that it is a huge source of pride.

And that is exactly what I am talking about. Every neighborhood should celebrate its own history.

We need to do more to celebrate our history in order to create more pride in Cincinnati. Pride inspires people to commit to improving our city. Pride also gets people to invest in making this city a better place.

Stan Chesley is a great example of that. He grew up in Avondale, and as a kid, swimming was an important outlet for him because he did not have much else. And I think you all know that Stan is a very successful attorney. But, he still takes a lot of pride in his community. So, what does he spend his time doing? Making sure that our public pools remain open. Making sure that today’s kids have that same opportunity that he had growing up. That is the type of investment that impacts the community.

Those individual investments are shaping the present landscape of Cincinnati. They are paying off.

Take businessman Greg Hardman. He left a successful career and decided to buy Cincinnati’s historic beer brands and bring them back to Cincinnati. He invested in our history. In February, he opened the Christian Moerlein Lager House at The Banks and hired 250 people. The place is always packed. And by the end of the summer, Greg will be brewing all Christian Moerlein beers in Over the Rhine, restoring Cincinnati’s grand brewing tradition.

Look at what else is happening at The Banks.

Two years ago, after a Reds game, win or lose, fans got into their cars and drove out of Downtown.

Tonight, after the Reds beat the Cardinals, fans will have countless opportunities to celebrate within walking distance of the stadium.

If they want to hear some country music, they can go to Toby Keith’s. If they want to get a milkshake, they can go to Johnny Rocket’s. If they want to watch highlights from the game, they can go right across the street to Holy Grail. As a matter of fact, the Holy Grail has been so successful since they opened last year that they have already expanded their space.

This was what The Banks looked like on opening day. PHOTO

And people ask me all the time, “Why do you focus so much on Downtown development?”

The truth is: Downtown is the economic engine for this entire region.

There is no West Chester without Downtown Cincinnati. There is no Mason without Downtown. There is no sub without the urban.

It all works together. A strong and healthy and vibrant Downtown Cincinnati benefits this entire region.

And our Downtown is very successful. That is why companies want to locate in Cincinnati. There is renewed energy. It is vibrant. It is alive. Last year, five companies either moved downtown or increased their investments in downtown.

First Financial Bank relocated their corporate headquarters to 5th Street. Omnicare moved 480 employees into the Atrium 2 Building. KAO USA is in the process of relocating its corporate headquarters into downtown.

And yeah, we lost 270 jobs last year when Chiquita moved to Charlotte. But you know what, Nielsen moved into the Chiquita building and brought 600 jobs.

And dunnhumbyUSA: they started in Cincinnati in 2003 with 3 employees. In March of 2009, I cut the ribbon on their current headquarters when they had 265 employees. Today, they have 520 employees. And just last week, we announced a deal to build a new office tower downtown, which will grow dunnhumby to 1,000 employees by 2014.

The bottom line is that business is thriving downtown.

And those companies are choosing downtown because it is the place to be. They see it as hot. They see that there is activity. They look at Fountain Square and see that there is something going on everyday. They look at the new restaraunts that are coming in; the anticipation of the new 21C hotel. And their employees have told them, “We want to be downtown. We want to be where the restaraunts are. We want to be able to ride the streetcar when it is done.”

And you all know that I could not let you out of here tonight without talking about the streetcar.

Well, we broke ground a few months ago, and we are moving water lines. And, for the last several months, our City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. and his team, Chris Eilerman, project manager, and Michael Moore, the Director of Transportation, have been working with consultants, engineers, and transportation experts from around the country to select the streetcar that we will purchase to begin our system. And tonight, I am happy to announce that we have made the selection. Here is what the car will look like. PHOTO OF NEW STREETCAR

It will be built by CAF USA.

And, before we are even finished with the first phase, we have started work on the second phase. I have already asked for federal funds to study which route will be used to connect to our assets in the uptown area—UC, the hospitals, the zoo, the EPA.

And, imagine for just a moment what the future of passenger rail transportation in this region could look like.

SLIDE 1 (phase 1 of the Streetcar)
Here is the first phase of the streetcar, connecting Findlay Market to the Riverfront. This is what we are currently doing.

SLIDE 2 (adds phase 2 of the Streetcar in Uptown)
Here is a potential option for phase 2. But it does not have to stop there.

SLIDE 3 (adds potential additional future phases)
Future phases could connect to Walnut Hills, the Museum Center, and Northern Kentucky. And rail transportation should include more than just the streetcar.

SLIDE 4 (adds potential light rail lines to the map)
We could do light rail along I-75 and I-71.

SLIDE 5 (adds potential commuter rail lines to the map)
And we could even add a passenger rail line along the Ohio River. And I have got to tell you, I do not believe that we should give up on the idea of high speed rail in this state. Remember, we have got to be willing to make investments for future generations.

The best investment we can ever make in Cincinnati is the effort to keep our community safe.

I have talked about pride. I have talked about investment. The formula for a successful Cincinnati also involves commitment.

And there is nothing more important than the commitment we must all make to keep the community safe.

Last year, we hired two new chiefs: Fire Chief Richard Braun and Police Chief James Craig. Both of them have made improvements in their departments. They have found efficiencies and they are both having a tremendous impact on this community.

A few months ago, while pouring concrete at the casino site, 13 workers were injured when the floor collapsed during construction. When I think about that day, I think about our first responders and their training, their professionalism, and their quick action.

Their response to that emergency situation was impressive. Our firefighters and police officers were organized. They were innovative. They literally built a bridge over a trench in order to evacuate the injured workers.

I am extremely proud of the quick action of our first responders on that day. I mention this to remind you that the city of Cincinnati is prepared to deal with emergencies and we are committed to public safety.

The formula for a successful Cincinnati involves the commitment we must have today and for our future. So, how do we shape Cincinnati’s future?

I talked to a recent college graduate who grew up in Cincinnati and left in the fall of 2005 to go to school. Her plan was to go to school and not return to Cincinnati. When she graduated last May and came back to visit her parents, she saw that the city had changed.

She told me personally, “Mayor, this is a different Cincinnati than the one I remember.” She said she decided to stay because she was optimistic about Cincinnati’s future.

Her story shows that what we are doing is paying off. If you look at how far we have come, I believe we should be feeling good about Cincinnati.

Where are we going in this city? What does our future look like?

For the last two years, Charles Graves, the planning director, and his team have been engaging the community, talking to people about what they want to see developed in their neighborhoods. (PLANNING VIDEO)

I talk about the city as a whole and how we view Cincinnati, but people analyze their individual quality of life by their own neighborhood. I talked about neighborhoods earlier in the speech because that is what we see every day.

We know what we like about our neighborhood and we know what we want to see changed.

The comprehensive plan will be our guide to making those changes happen.

In order to find out what people want, we actually talked to people. We had open houses and meetings in communities across the city for two and a half years. We talked to college students and to high school students.

We even talked to kids. (PICTURES OF CHILDREN’S POTS) In fact, we had kids decorate clay pots with what they wanted to see their city become. The concept is that they planted their dreams in these pots.

Now, it is our responsibility to grow their dreams, to water them. We have to provide nourishment and the proper environment, to make sure their plans see the light of day so the dreams of Cincinnati’s children become a reality.

That is the responsibility that we have as civic leaders. This is exactly what we are doing, preparing our city for the next generation of people. This is why we are building the streetcar. This is why we do all the development that we are doing in Over the Rhine, Downtown, and in our neighborhoods. This is why we are working hard to attract companies here to create jobs.

I have talked about pride, investment, commitment. Here is the fourth element, partnership.

All of you know that 3CDC has been working in partnership with the city of Cincinnati in Over the Rhine to make a dramatic transformation and that partnership has been very successful.

It used to be that on Sunday mornings, people would come to Over the Rhine to buy a week’s worth of drugs. Now, on Sunday mornings, people come to Over the Rhine to eat chicken and waffles at Taste of Belgium.

Jean-Fran├žois recently opened Taste of Belgium in Over the Rhine. Five years ago, his business was just him and a waffle iron. Now, he has three locations and 60 employees.

The space that he occupies at 12th and Vine went from being a hot spot with police runs nearly every day to becoming a hot spot for brunch on Sundays.

That transformation was made possible because of the city’s partnership with 3CDC.

Over the Rhine has truly been transformed. With places like A Tavola, Bakersfield, the Lackman, Senate, Abigail Street, Lavamatic, and the 1215 Wine Bar. Before I was mayor, none of those were there.

So far, 3CDC’s work in Over the Rhine has transformed dilapidated buildings into more than 200 condos and apartments and created 87,000 square feet of commercial space. And there is much more to come.

But the partnership does not stop there. The city parks department and 3CDC are working together to renovate Washington Park.

Established in 1855, Washington Park is one of the oldest parks in our city. The bandstand is 101 years old, and there is a canon in the park that was used during the Civil War. In 1888, the city’s centennial celebration was held in Washington Park to highlight the success of the city’s first 100 years.

Today, with new housing to the north and the east, the School of Creative and Performing Arts to the south, and historic Music Hall to the west, the new Washington Park will bring together residents, students and the arts.

With new features, a redesigned landscape, a parking garage, a fountain, and a full calendar of events, Washington Park will bring people together in a way that it has not been able to in years, just like we saw with the transformation of Fountain Square.

Our partnerships go beyond development. They extend to improving the individual lives of Cincinnatians. I have focused on financial literacy and getting people away from check cashers and into banks and credit unions through my Bank On Greater Cincinnati initiative.

Take a look at this. (BANK ON VIDEO)

Sharon is just one of nearly a thousand people who have gone through Bank On Greater Cincinnati last year.

Let me tell you why this is so important. People who do not have bank accounts spend on average $900 dollars a year on check cashing fees. People who have gone through programs similar to Bank On Greater Cincinnati went from spending $900 dollars a year to saving about $1,000 dollars a year.

If that holds true for Cincinnati, 1,000 people who have gone through our program will go from spending $900,000 dollars a year to saving a million dollars a year. That is nearly a 2 million dollar swing. That is a lot of money being put back into our community.

There is another major partnership that is helping to shape our city. It is great to be able to tell you that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are partners with me in moving Cincinnati forward.

When I ran for mayor, I said I was going to use my relationships with the state and the federal government to bring resources back to the city of Cincinnati. And that is exactly what I have done. In my six and a half years in office, I have gone out and brought back $121 million dollars for various projects to help improve our city. That is just from the federal government.

And sometimes I have to leave the Mayor’s office to make my case because frankly sending a letter or an email or filling out a grant application is not enough to bring back $121 million dollars. The competition for money is tough and the bottom line is, we sent that money to Washington, and I want to bring some of it back, and put it to work in our city.

This brings us to the final part of the formula for a successful Cincinnati: promotion.

I said I would go out and promote the city because it is important, not just nationally, but internationally as well.

Business leaders will tell you all the time that this is a global economy. Well, if we want to compete, we need to be a global municipality. We have to be a global city.

That is why I spend so much time promoting Cincinnati around the country and around the world.

And it is paying off. (FILM COMMISSION VIDEO)

Cincinnati is becoming a destination for film and television production. And that is thanks to the hard work of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission. The video you just saw highlighted the movies and television shows recently shot in Cincinnati.

People around the country and around the globe are paying attention to Cincinnati.

In China, they are talking about our emergency preparedness. In Saudi Arabia, people are looking at Cincinnati for potential business investment. In Germany, people are talking about our cutting edge efforts in the area of sustainability. And right now, all over the world, people are talking about the World Choir Games. (WORLD CHOIR GAMES VIDEO)

We have created an international presence and because of that buzz, we were able to attract the World Choir Games. Make no mistake, this is the greatest opportunity to showcase the city that we have ever had and we earned it.

And now, we have got to be ready. So far, there are 367 choirs from 49 countries registered to compete. Safe to say, tens of thousands of visitors are expected to come to Cincinnati this summer.

We need volunteers. We need people to translate, help manage the crowds, and take tickets. We need people show these visitors around our city.

The city manager is actively encouraging our employees to volunteer at the World Choir Games. Here is how it will work: if a city employee volunteers two hours, they will get an hour of time off up to twelve hours. I think it is a great idea.

So tonight, I am calling on area employers to follow our lead and encourage their employees to volunteer for the World Choir Games.

Now you do not have to do exactly what the city is doing. But, like my mom always said, “You have to do something.”

We need all of you to show our city in the very best light.

Think about what you do when you are expecting a houseguest.

There is a lot of excitement. We vacuum our living rooms. We take out the trash. We polish up the silver. And we start cooking.

We are going to show Cincinnati in the best possible light for the World Choir Games.

Pride. Investment. Commitment. Partnership, and Promotion. That is the formula that we have used to transform our great city.

Tonight, I have shared with you points of pride and stories of success that we can celebrate but what I want to stress is that we cannot stop.

We can celebrate downtown development. We can celebrate our streetcar. We can celebrate those companies that have come to Cincinnati to create jobs.

But there are still a lot of people whose circumstances have not changed. We must continue to challenge ourselves to improve the quality of life for all of those living in Cincinnati today and we must continue to challenge ourselves to invest in our city for future generations.

As I think about the future of Cincinnati, I find myself wondering, what will the mayor say 50 years from now in his or her State of the City address that speaks to this period of time? What will that future mayor be able to cite as examples from this time that talk about pride? Will the mayor be able to talk about investments we made to benefit future generations? Will the mayor talk about our commitment to our city? Will he or she say that we were following the formula for a successful Cincinnati?

Let’s help that mayor, 50 years from now, write the State of the City address. Let’s write it right now. Let’s be one of the stories. You pick the project to commit yourself to. Let’s give the mayor a lot of options from this period of time.

Let’s write our history, together, today.
The Mayor's theme is exactly what Cincinnati and more importantly the surrounding suburbs and exurbs need to feel about greater Cincinnati: Pride. There are too many people who transfer their political and social anger into a hatred of the City and far too often into prejudice of the people living here. Everyone needs to reflect on the positive moves we are making and see them through. We don't need division, like the GOP wants, we need unity. Speeches like this don't bring about much unity, because few are paying attention, but I commend the mayor for his efforts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We Need a Tax to Support the Arts and Culture in Cincinnati

Sunday's Enquirer had an article detailing the movement to create a county sales tax to help fund arts and cultural organizations in the Cincinnati area. This or something like it needs to be done. We must continue Cincinnati's incredibly high quality level of arts and culture. We far out rank other cities of our size on the richness and depth of arts and culture and we have the potential of being so much more.

It has been long debated what is a better tax for this type of thing: property or sales tax. The problem with a sales tax is that it is dis-proportionally affects the poor. Property taxes don't directly hit the poor as much, but instead hit the wealthy and corporation more fairly. The rich and corporations (via their Republican representatives)don't like paying their fair share so they go nuts when anyone thinks about raising property taxes, and much of the middle class follow suit, no matter the cost to them in the long run.

We can't in this case use an income tax. Since the county has multiple municipalities and no ability to level a uniform tax, it is just not feasible.

The fight is going to end up being the typical anti-city struggle falling on geographic and political lines. County Commissioner and anti-arts Republican Chris Monzel puts that up front in this section from the article:
“The city owns those buildings, and they're trying to pass the cost of repairing them on to Hamilton County taxpayers,” said Commissioner Chris Monzel, referring to Music Hall and Union Terminal. “The city should pay for these buildings, not be building streetcars or atriums.”
Yes, Monzel blames the city for having all of the Cultural institutions, but forgets that two of the institutions included in this plan already have county wide property tax levies (Union Terminal and the Zoo). Monzel is just totally anti-city and anti-Urbanist. He appears to just want all art to die. I don't know how this guy pretends to be representative of the entire county. He only cares about helping Suburbanite Republicans, who I guess he thinks hates arts and culture. He may want to check the voter registration of the Board of nearly all of the major arts organization and he will find Republicans.

The Republicans in Hamilton County must wake up and understand that for a large metro city, like Cincinnati, to grow, it must have a vibrant urban core. You can't live by bread alone and you certainly can't live by Suburb or Exurb alone.  We need our arts and culture to thrive, not die off because of ignorance.

The urban areas have the history and have the culture that the suburbs don't have and do little to cultivate. It is almost a social/cultural belief by many that anything with history and depth is bad. I don't get where this comes from. I could guess rampant consumerism has pushed this along, but there must be something else. I hope it is not religion or politics or bigotry. It just seems like those are the only reasons for this anti-arts and culture attitude. Maybe it will change, but when the same people attack science as much they do the arts, don't expect any change.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Enjoy Opening Day!

Get out and enjoy Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds. Even if you are not going to the game find a party going on and celebrate a Red's win!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Enquirer Continues Anti-Urban Core Development Articles

I am just going to presume that the Enquirer is making a direct appeal to people in Price Hill, Madisonville, and Avondale to become subscribers by giving them lip service.  Here's the article on Price Hill, which is part two from Sunday's Fairmont Story and part three about Madisonville and Avaondale.  A simple fact brings out the underlying anti-ubran core development when these two sections appear in the articles. First from Part Two:
She and others are upset because they see massive development projects reshaping Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, while boarded windows and substandard rental housing spread in Price Hill. They want more help.
Here's the repeating of the dogma in Part Three:
As city leaders focus millions of dollars into remaking downtown and Over-the-Rhine, Madisonville and Avondale are in a battle to rebuild their aging communities.
Add these passages to this one from Part One and you get a Enquirer created narrative:
She and others are quick to point out that their neighborhoods have continued to decline even as tens of millions of dollars has poured into new housing and infrastructure in Over-the-Rhine, Downtown and the Uptown area.
What better way to create conflict than to fabricate it? The Enquirer is doing it all in the hopes of boosting circulation in these neighborhoods.  So is the Enquirer treating all of the communities it serves equally?  I think not.

This series is not news nor analysis, the Enquirer is pushing an underdog story and painting Over-the-Rhine, Downtown, and to a degree Uptown as the villains of a fable they are trying to construct. This is tabloid journalism in sheep's clothing. They have taken an editorial point of view and gone out and found people to fit their narrative.  This will get the Price Hill/Westwood/Suburban anti-city crowd in a frenzy, a market they want to reach, on an emotional level.

The odd element of part two of the series on Price Hill was how the black/white elements were discussed. The problem of white-flight was mentioned indirectly, but not as part of the narrative.  It can't be denied, but isn't the conflict that the newspaper is trying to exploit.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Neighborhood Problems Are Decades Old, Not Recent

In another "exclusive" the Cincinnati Enquirer attempts to explain the plight of several of the most depressed neighborhoods within the City. They do this by allowing an anti-Urban Core message to be presented. The basic premise of the article asks if the City CURRENTLY is treating neighborhoods "Fairly." Then they trot out anecdotal evidence of decaying areas of many neighborhoods, and talk about areas like North/South Fairmont which have been declining for decades. Just looking at the rate of decline over the last decade is not a valid measurement alone. If the neighborhood was already depressed and was small and just got smaller, that's not a fair assessment.

Places like Price Hill and Fairmont are not economic centers, they are residential neighborhoods.  As the article begrudgingly mentions, these neighborhoods were once home to large numbers of working class people who left when the manufacturing jobs left.  This started to happen well over 40 years ago and ended still decades ago. So trying to claim these neighborhoods are being held back today because the City is focusing on rebuilding the urban core, is a fallacy. Putting money into places that exist to support the job centers of the city will do nothing.  You have to support the Job Centers first and that will build up demand for housing in these neighborhoods.  That demand will bring development dollars.

What does this rely on, strong job centers, which are located in the Urban core (Downtown/Pill  Hill).  So the answer to the question in the article asking if all neighborhoods are treated equally, the answer is no, and has always been no.  Neighborhoods are different and serve different purpouses. It if funny that Queensgate wasn't really mentioned.  It is just as depressed and hurting. Why?  No one lives there, no one complains.

The City of Cincinnati must focus on building up the urban core.  This is the basis of city development.  Trying to prop up neighborhoods that don't have a viability beyond residential, can't be the focus. If these neighborhoods want to grow, they have to grow as the job centers grow.  Support job center growth and they have a chance.

Another thing not covered by the article, but a factor none-the-less is the affect white-flight had on these neighborhoods.  That's clear in the statistics and this isn't the initial wave that took place in the 1960's, this is a clear disparity.  East Price Hill shows this the most, where since 2000, white population dropped nearly 40%, while the Black population increased by more than 50%, and the Hispanic population rose 340%.  That doesn't fit the narrative, so it's ignored, like the neighborhood squeaky wheels claim they are being ignored.  Ironic?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bunbury Music Festival Adds GBV and Fills Out Line-up

Yesterday the Bunbury Music Festival announced nearly all of it's line-up for the three-day music festival in July.  The big news was the addition of legendary alt-rockers Guided By Voices.  Additionally many local bands are included, like Wussy, the Seedy Seeds, and the Minor Leagues.

These additions are on top off the previously announced mega headliners of Jane's Addiction, Weezer, and Death Cab For Cutie.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Howard Wilkinson to Retire From the Enquirer

CityBeat is reporting that long time political reporter Howard Wilkinson is retiring from the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Gannett, the Enquirer parent company, has offered early retirement buyout packages to qualifying employees.

Wilkinson has been a bedrock of political reporting in Cincinnati as long as I have been in town.  He's an excellent journalist and provided great reporting and analysis of political races over the years that will be impossible to replace, as will the other 18 possible buyout options pending in the newsroom.

This is yet another loss at the Enquirer that I don't see how the paper can recover.  They are losing so much city political knowledge.  One of the keys to a great reporter is to know the history of the subject they are covering.  Wilkinson has that.  At this point, no one has that at the Enquirer in the area of politics the way Howard does.  This I believe is one reason that the political reporting ends up being nothing but giving crazy nut jobs a platform to spout anti-city issues.  Wilkinson wasn't a sucker.  He didn't give COAST or Smitherman and their ilk reams of free press.  This is a massive loss for the Enquirer.

If will be a gain for someone.  Howard needs to continue to write.  He should blog.  If he is staying in town, he is more than welcome to blog here at Cincinnati Blog.  He certainly will have better spelling and grammar than I do.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Definition of Hipsterism, So Before Most Hipsters Were Born

The Cincinnati Monocle has found what may be the real definition of hipsterism from a French Writer.

Speaking of Hipsters I've been working on a couple definitions myself.  I won't try and define hipster, but instead think about two different levels of hipster: Aging Hipster and Aged Hipster.

An Aging Hipster is not a new term.  I define it as simply a hipster who is getting older, likely over age 30.  Maybe has a kid, maybe just finally got a 9-5 job.  This period can last well into their 40's.

An Aged Hipster is a newer thought under development.  One idea I have sees this as a newly found hipster who hit age 50, kids are gone, and wants to be relevant again.  Another more simple definition could just be what happens to the Aging Hipster. They finally get old and stop going out to see new bands, but still buy new music online and is sure to Tweet about it.

Boomers Don't Get Extra Sympathy From This Gen Xer

Yesterday the Cincinnati Enquirer highlighted the difficulties of Baby Boomers who lost their jobs during the Recession.  I don't have a ton of sympathy.  Those mentioned in the article are over 55 and most over 60.  These are people who are close to retirement age and often early retirement.  They are the type of person who it was extremely difficult to layoff in the recession because of their age, and the discrimination prevention laws that exist for people based on being older.

As a member of Generation X, I don't have any extra sympathy for Boomers on this issue.  Generation X has long been subjected to the collective excesses and selfishness of Baby Boomers, to our detriment.  Here the issue is Retirement.  Boomers don't seem to want to retire or maybe far too many of them are ill prepared to retire as they reach the appropriate age.  So, instead of retiring, like their parents did, they continue to work or in case of this article, continue to seek jobs.

For the people involved, they have no choice, they have bills to pay.  On a personal level, that is understandable and I hope they all succeed.  Collectively I wonder why so many Boomers, and maybe this is pointed to the older Boomer already past 65, are not retiring?  Why are they not getting out of the way for those younger?  How many people delayed retirement during the recession because they lost money in their 401K and wanted to wait to make sure they retired at the level they are accustomed.  They should have been invested in a way to prevent such a radical loss.  They instead took a risk, lost, and forced someone younger to lose their job because laying off an older person is not possible, even though they may be less qualified.

Younger generations are suffering just as much as these Boomer are.  Sure, a 41 year old father of two likely has a far wider skill set that would allow him to get other jobs more often, but he has far less of a safety net, having had far less time to prepare for these types of problems. More of my sympathy goes out to the 41 year old who lost his job.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yelp Helps After School Special - March 30th

On Friday March 30th the Cincinnati Yelp community and a laundry list of local non-profit organizations are congregating at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center for a great event to help out a wide variety of causes. The Yelp Helps After School Special (A Giant Party For A Good Cause!) brings the vibrant social media community here in Cincinnati together with a strong collection of very worthy non-profits. Hopefully fun and a little education will ensue.

Groups like Caracole, Crayons to Computers, Enjoy the Arts, and Women Helping Women will be present and attendees will have a chance to learn more about those organizations and find out what they do and how you can support them.

Enjoy the Arts is presenting the entertainment with an ETA Cabaret with spots from grand organizations like the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the NewEdgecliff, Theatre.

Come for the food and drinks from tons of local Restaurants. It will be great opportuny to find a great organization that could use a contribution or voluneer support and while you mingle and eat you can chat with non-profit representtaives.

Full lists of the organisations, Resturants, and entertainment is on the website link above.

It all starts at 8PM, but you need to have an RSVP to attend. Get out and have some fun for a good cause.

Oh, and if you are so inclinced to dress-up, the theme is school themed, so nerd it up, dig out the prep school wear, or the ladies can use their imagination. If I find some tape, a pair of nerd glasses may be in order. I

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This is What a Douchebag Thinks Like

When you are at home pondering about what a Douchebag looks like, you most often get the image of a frat-boy or some guy wearing a baseball hat inside a bar on a Friday night.  Well, if you want to know what someone like that has rolling around in his head, I will point you to anti-education and anti-women Rich Hoffman of West Chester.  Based on his photo in the Enquirer article, this guy looks more like someone with a really misplaced Indiana Jones fetish, than a frat boy. His thoughts make him the spokesman for Douchebags the world over.

This guy is part of the effort to block any and all tax levies for the Lakota School district out in Exurban paradise of West Chester.  This is one guy I am so glad lives out there.

Greg Harris Has Dropped Out of County Commision Race

CityBeat broke the story earlier this week that former Cincinnati Council member and Democratic Candidate Greg Harris is dropping out of the race for Hamilton County Commissioner.  Harris's job will be requiring him to travel extensively, so he won't be able to effectively campaign or later serve on the commission.

The Hamilton County Democratic party will be able to name another person to run in November.  Harris was unopposed in the Primary last week.  This opens up the possibilities.  I would not be surprised to see some familiar names brought up as possible contenders to face off against Hartman.

With the Presidential election taking place this year, the Democratic nominee will have very strong coattails to seize upon.  President Obama won Hamilton County by pulling in non-regular voters to the polls.  All expectations are that he will do this again in 2012.  Republican Hartman ran against an non-endorsed candidate in 2008 and still only got 216,000+ votes, compared to 251,000+ votes for Democrat Todd Portune, running the same year in a separate race.

With the right candidate, say a John Cranley or maybe even a Jim Tarbell, Hartman could go down.

The problem is having a campaign team.  Neither Cranley or Tarbell have a campaign up and running and it will take resources.  Both have the most important resource to have in November: name recognition.

The other name I could think of would be Cincinnati Council member Cecil Thomas. Thomas is term limited and he ran against Tarbell in 2010 Dem primary for commissioner, so he has interest in the job.  Thomas does not have the name recognition of Tarbell or Cranley, but he's a pretty conservative Dem and a former police officer.  That type of resume plays well in the inner-suburbs.  Add the fact that he's African-American and likely can county on support of Obama voters who bother to vote down ticket, he could be a strong candidate, if he can get a campaign off the ground soon.

Salon Writer Comments on Occupy Cincy Settlement

Natasha Lennard of Salon has some mixed thoughts on the Occupy Cincinnati settlement with the City of Cincinnati. She's not pleased with the limited free-speech zone.  I myself actually find the over-all elements of the settlement to be reasonable.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Did Kasich Allies Offer Quid Pro Quo to Control the Ohio GOP?

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the chairman of the Portage County Republican Party, Andrew Manning, has filed an affidavit with police claiming that "allies" of Ohio Govenor John Kasich offered Manning influence over Gubernatorial appointments in return for not running for Republican Party statewide central committee.

A Kasich spokeperson claimed the Governor would never do what was alleged.  That sounds like something close to a non-denial denial, meaning that it may have happened, but without Kasich's knowledge. So that might let the Governor off the hook, at least if his supporters don't turn state's evidence.  It all then comes down to who these "allies" are.  Manning needs to name names so police can get to the bottom of this and then the public can judge the politics of what is alleged to have happened.

If Kasich is another Nixon, we need to get him out office now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

John Fox Hired as VP of Events and Programming for 3CDC

Former CityBeat publisher, editor, and events director has been hired by 3CDC as the Vice President of Event Productions & Programming, accroding to a press relase issued this morning. His responsibilties will include the events at Fountain Square and the soon to be finished Washington Park. He will also be in charge of fundraising and sponsorhsips of the programming at the Square and Washington Park. Fox's position I conclude is filling the job left open when Bill Donabedian left 3CDC Last year. Bill is a co-founder of MidPoint and was key in the success of Fountain Square's popular summer music programming. I really like John and I believe he has been a vital member of the Midpoint team, so I hope he can carry much of the same ideals to the Square and the Park. I hope Midpoint itself can become part of the Park's future voice.

Monday, March 05, 2012

CityBeat Sold to SouthComm

CityBeat has been sold to SouthComm of Nashville, Tennessee. SouthComm ( is the owner of five other alternative weeklys beyond CityBeat. The purchase includes A-Line Magazine and the Midpoint Music Festival. Dan Backrath will remain as the leader of the paper.I know nothing of this company or of any of its other publications, so no word on what if any other changes will occur. Time will tell. This is the second big change after changing editing staffs earlier this year.

UPDATE: CityBeat Editor Danny Cross has a blog post discussing the acquisition of the newspaper.

Luke Brockmeier Is the Only Choice for the 31st District

This Tuesday there is only one choice for the Democrats in the New 31st Ohio House district and that is Luke Brockmeier.  I fully support Luke Brockmeier and here is a short list of the countless reasons to vote for him in the Democratic Primary on March 6th.

  1. Luke Brockmeier is the Future of the Democratic Party. 
  2. Luke stands with the full Democratic platform..
  3. Luke is from the grassroots of the Democratic Party.  He is not part of the power structure of the party.
  4. Luke is not part of a local political dynasty that has strayed out of its region of influence.
  5. Luke does not take big corporate money and won't be endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce.
  6. Luke is the ONLY PRO-CHOICE CANDIDATE in the race.
  7. Luke supports no-co-pay coverage for birth control.

The New 31st is a progressive district and needs a Progressive Force to represent it in Columbus. Please vote for Luke Brockmeier tomorrow.

For more information please check out

Friday, March 02, 2012

Conservative Economic Planning Fails Again

The Mason, Ohio area has all of the earmarks to be considered a Conservative Republican mecca.  It is an Exurb.  It has lots of cul-de-sacs, strip-malls, chain restaurants, churches, white people, and lots of businesses.  The Mason area, to be fair, has a significant amount of office parks and corporate operations.

So that leads it to be a place where the free market system would flourish and the problems that arise from a growing population would be solved by private entities.  You know, like if traffic became a job killer, where people literally would leave or avoid the area because traffic happened their ability function either when trying to go to work, come home from work, or just go shopping.

So, today I read a story in the Enquirer that indicates that traffic mess that is the Field-Ertel exit off I-71 is no where near being improved or better yet cured of the problems that plague the mangled interchange.  Why are the roads not able to be improved to keep the economics of the area chugging along?  The answer is there are not enough Government funds to build all of the the road improvements needed.

Yes, you read that right, the Conservative mecca of Mason can't improve their roads because the Government doesn't have the funds.  The place filled with Republican voters who regularly attack Government spending on everything short of Defense and Religious schools, is not fixing its own roads because there is not enough funding from the Government to get the job done.

When people complain about Government spending, remember the subtext of what they are really saying: "the Government is spending too much, on other people."  If the Government is doing something to benefit Republican communities, then those programs are championed.  When the Government does something for a mostly Democratic community, the Republicans oppose it and call it wasteful.  You don't need to look past the Streetcar to see that.  That will help the City of Cincinnati.  Not enough Republicans live there, so Republican voters don't tend to care what happens in places that are not mostly Republican.  That's a sad state to live in, but the modern GOP has become a sectarian movement.  It's like living in the Balkans or Iraq.

I for one would like the State of Ohio to kick-in funds to improve the Fields-Ertel interchange.  The Republican run State government should get on that.

Dear Chief Craig: Just Take the Test

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig has given notice he will not take the Ohio police certification test, which would be required for him to have police powers.  This sounds bad to me.  Why would he not just take the test?  It's reportedly 200 questions.  I don't know how hard of a test it is, but I would have presumed he could pass it quite easily.  By him not wanting to take it leas me to assume it may be more difficult, thus his knowledge of Ohio laws may not be up to snuff, yet.  That may be the reason for him not taking it.  I'm just surprised this has become an issue for him to address at all.  He should just take the test like every other police officer has to do.  I understand he doesn't literally need police powers, but I think the Chief of police of Cincinnati should have the power to make an arrest if needed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Basic Geography and Civics Lesson For Denise Driehaus

In case Ohio House District 31 candidate Denise Driehaus or the Ohio Democratic Party or anyone else following politics in Cincinnati didn't know, here's a lesson in geography and civics on the simple fact that the New 31st Ohio House District is an open seat.

The claims of others, specifically the ODP and Driehaus herself, are not only an insult to the people living in the New 31st District, it is an insult to the people currently in the Old 31st District.

Democracy starts when the political leadership is honest with the voters. That seems to be lacking here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are Denise Driehaus's Values Your Values?

An interesting video clip highlighting what Denise Driehuas's record indicates are her values:

Bill Sloat at The Daily Bellwhether has more on her record of an endorsement from an anti-abortion group. That's something you will not read on her campaign website, at least not anymore.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will You Subscribe to the Enquirer's Paywall?

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting on itself today and confirms that it, along with all of Parent Company Gannett's regional newspapers, will adopt a Paywall model for its website by the end of the year. The paper indicates it will use a subscription model similar to the New York Times, which allows for a limited number of free articles per month.

Needless to say this will send some into a tizzy. Not me. I have no problem with the Enquirer doing this. We as a public have long been coddled by having free news websites. It costs money to gather and write news articles. Sure, I wish the Enquirer did a better job of doing that, but that does not make the economics of reality go away. So I really hope the complainers get it out of their systems quickly. I for one will not be forgiving when anyone complains about having to pay for news. I also will challenge them to find a more comphensive source for local news in Cincinnati. If all you want is national news, you had 1,000 better sources than the Enquir anyway.

There are several things I believe the Enquirer must do in order to make this work:
1. Create more local content. Laying off more reporters is not the way to go. Some more hires better be in their future.
2. Don't rehash national Gannett content behind the Paywall. If I am going to pay for something it needs to be unique, so make the news local or at least by local reporters.
3. Bring back some opinion. Commentary is not evil, it just needs to be smart and not anything like Peter Bronson.
4. Make the archives free for online subscribers. If I am going to pay for content, I want to be able to read it now or three years from now. It should be retroactive too. I'd personally pay a slight premium for this, but not an arm and a leg.
5. Make it cheaper than the New York Times. The NYT may be able to make up the difference in volume, but you can't consider the value of the Enquirer to be more, let alone the same, as the Times.
6. iPad App: I believe this is in the works, but it can't come soon enough.
7. Make it easy. Don't have 12 price levels, a few is enough. Also allow access from all online tools: PC, Tablet & Phone.

What ever it looks like, I will subscribe. I am a news junkie and need the fix. I hope I like the high it gives me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A District Isn't Only a Number, It's About the People

When someone decides to run for office, the first thing I believe they should understand is that they are seeking a job to represent the people of jurisdiction that they live in.  Running for office is not about getting a job.  You don't just move to a new city to become its mayor.

Denise Driehaus does not understand this.  She did the opposite and foolishly says it to CityBeat. To her it's all about a number, not about the voters. Read what she said here:
“The only way to define statehouse district is by its number because geographies change,” she says. “Everybody’s districts changed during this redraw… the number is 31 for my current district. The number for the new district is 31. So, I consider that to be my district, and I consider myself to be the incumbent in that district.”
Driehaus is not the incumbent for the New 31st, that's just a lie and she knows it. The New 31st district is totally different than the Old 31st. The people and places she represents are totally different. She moved to the New 31st district a few weeks before the deadline.  She hasn't even changed the official campaign address for her campaign committee.  It's still in Price Hill.

Let's face the simple fact: Denies Driehaus moved to the New 31st because she wanted to keep her job, not because she wants to represent the people living there.She's an opportunist. This is about her, not about representing the people of the New 31st.  She's a carpetbagger.  Her views are in conflict with the majority of the people in the new district but she'll happily pretend otherwise.

She's a conservative Democrat and is hiding the fact that she's pro-life.  Her voting record on the subject is clear, but she's scrubbed her 2010 Right to Life endorsement from her website.  She didn't get it in the primary only because Terry Tranter managed to find a way to be more extreme on the issue, otherwise she would have gotten it.

Driehaus's answers to the 2010 Cincinnati right to life survey should make it clear to all where she stands on abortion rights.  In a year when the rights of women to control their own bodies are in danger in Ohio as well as across the county, the people of the New 31st district need to know this and not be fooled because she evades answering the issue head on.  She instead allegedly wants to focus on other women's issues, like jobs and education.  Well, those are issues that affect both men and women.  Driehaus needs to address issues that only affect women.  She needs to be honest with the voters and make her position on abortion clear and open and avoid letting people think she agrees with them on choice. She's anti-abortion and has voted to limit abortion rights.  She's not just against it personally, she actually has voted to limit the rights of women who have been raped or the victim of incest from being able to choose an abortion. There is only one candidate who supports the right of women to control their own bodies and that is Luke Brockmeier.

Make sure the voters know who is thinking about them instead of the number on a paycheck.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shots Fired Into Downtown Business and This Wasn't Huge News?

Someone fired shots into a jewelry store on Main Street last week and it didn't really make that much of a splash in the media, surprisingly.  Local 12 did a story on it, but I didn't see much else on it.

It appears it may be gang related, so it wasn't random.  The business in question, Main Street Jewelry, comes across as a store catering to a style often associated with gangs. Having a "Gold Teeth $13.99" sign stenciled in lettering on the window points to that.

This type of crime is very difficult to deal with, as witnesses and victims are often either scared to testify or are involved with a gang themselves.  It has the earmarks of an intimidation actions or maybe an initiation for another idiot.  It is very dishearten to see this happen in Downtown.  I am glad to hear the police up front about this and I hope they do take a look at some of the clientele, who according to the report appear to also be in gangs.  This unfortunately will likely not get a big penalty for the shooter, assuming he is caught.  The state of the justice system will render this criminal to the bottom of the pile, since he hasn't killed anyone yet.  When (not if) he does, then he'll get the full weight of the law.  This type of reality is not something that works for our society.  Joe Deters should be holding press conferences about that fact and stop wasting people's times with other political antics.

I am also just so surprised that this hasn't gotten anyone to make a statement. Smitherman is silent on this, but so are the City-Haters, so I'm perplexed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hamilton County Coroner Dies After Injury

Tragic news from WKRC today: Dr. Anant Bhati died late yesterday from the injuries he suffered after falling and hitting his head. He was 71 years old.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bunbury Announces Headliners: Jane's Addiction, Weezer, Death Cab

Then inaugural Bunbury Music Festival has announced the headliners for each night of the 2012 Festival: Fri July 13th: Jane's Addiction Sat July 14th: Weezer Sun July 15th: Death Cab for Cutie Those are really huge names for this event. I am astonished and pumped! I hope a series of more emerging indie acts along with the best local music can fill out the festival line-up.

Did Westwood Annex Part of Northside?

Blogging Isn't Cool is reporting that the Westwood Civic Association placed a "Welcome to Westwood" sign 500 feet inside Northside.  Allegedly Westwood asked to Northside cede that area to their neighboorhood, but Northside said no. Westwood proceed to annex CzechoslovakiaPart of Northside anyway.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Exurban Lunacy Alive in West Chester

As the result of the desire to destroy the community, Lakota School District officials were required to put out thier plan to deal with massive budget cuts forced on the school system by a majority of voters. There is no other way to describe the majority of voters in the Laktoa district other than lunatics. They have a wealthy school district with good schools and most voters there want lower quality schools. That defies logic. I also can't understand how they can cut a single teacher without cutting all extracurricular sports programs. They should sell all of land their football stadiums are built on, but no, they'll keep funding football above nearly everything else.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bad Boys, Bad Boys! What's Chabot Gonna Do?

Congressman Steve Chabot may not want his son coming home for three-day this winter after Brandon Chabot was arrested on Felony charges. The Enquirer is reporting that the 22 year old son of the Republican Member of the U. S. House is charged with breaking into a building in Oxford, Ohio, where he attends college. I am not shocked by this, other than the fact this actually made the news. It is refreshing to hear about this outside of the bubble of Oxford and Butler County. The younger Chabot is just another dumb college kid who made a mistake. If he only had not done this smack dab in the middle of Speaker John Boehner's district.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Another Local Republican Faces Sex/Drug Scandal

The reason for the resignation of former Clermont County Commissioner Archie Wilson, Republicsn, became very clear today. The Enquirer is reporting that He is being charged with solicitation of a prostitute and drug Trafficking in Kentucky.

Brockmeier Gains Jennifer Brunner Endorsement

The Enquirer is reporting that former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has endorsed Luke Brockmeier in the Democratic primary for the Ohio House district 31 race.  Brunner is a statewide political force with a wide following both in Ohio and nationally.  This is a very big pick-up for Brockmeier.  This demonstrates that his message that he's the real Democrat in this Democratic field is reaching the right people.  Brunner is a progressive force and the New 31st is a progressive district.

Brockmeier also is getting attention on DailyKos.

Monday, February 06, 2012

31st Ohio House Democratic Candidates on Newsmakers

Check out all three candidates on yesterday's Newsmakers program on WKRC. Luke Brockmeier stood out with strong direct answers on the issues. Terry Tranter sounded more like a Republican than a Democratic candidate. Denise Dreihaus is doing her best to avoid stating she is an anti-abortion, while still NOT championing a core Issue of the Democratic Party. It was unfortunate that the candidates were on for only half of the program. A full show would have better demonstrated the differences amongst the candidates.

Two, Four, Six, Eight

Cincinnati City Council has enough votes to put an issue on the ballot to change the term of council members from two to four years.  I'm torn on this.  I get the logic of it, but I like the idea of having the ability to vote the bums out when they screw up.

We need a broader set of council structural reforms and this could be part of it.  We need to consider changing the at-large only aspects of council and other elements, not just the length of term. I would prefer if a larger effort were made to discuss all reforms in city government, but this particular change is too good for some on council to pass up.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Where Are the Republican Cheers For This?

Local Townships are having to pay for their own police patrols starting April 1st, instead of Hamilton County paying for it.  This sounds like a conservative Republican's wet dream!  Self-reliance!  I am going to expect COAST or someone akin to propose hiring a private firm to conduct the police patrols of the townships.  Then I would expect either a wall or fences surrounding the townships with razor wire and electrification to be erected.  Maybe some search lights and tall guard towers?

What is the world coming too?  Just last night I was in the exurbs getting gas on the way home from work and while pumping gas, I was approached by a person who happened to be on their way to Cleveland but just realized they lost their wallet at a restaurant a while ago and just happened to make it here to the gas station with their family and their bank account just happened to be closed and their spiel was way too rehearsed, not remotely honest enough to be believed.  I mean this can't happen in the burbs, can it? Scammers? What is needed is RoboCop and we need it now or we are all going to constantly be harassed by con artists.  Someone call Omni Consumer Products!

Not Bad, But It Could Have Been So Much Better

If you grew up in the Suburbs/exburbs of Cincinnati, this is geared towards you. If you didn't grow up in the Suburbs/exurbs, this is could be so much better.

Alternate versions I would like to see are:
Shit People on the Westside would say (which may not be that different)
Shit People in Hyde Parker would say
Shit People in OTR would say
Shit People in Northside would say
Shit a COASTER would say (might be too bigoted for public viewing)

Here is an alternative version that is not work friendly in the least.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tonight! Musicians for Luke - Margaret Darling, Serenity Fisher

This is a reminder that tonight local musicians Margaret Darling (of the Seedy Seeds) and Serenity Fisher are teaming up to support Luke Brockmeier.  Tuesday January 31st come to Sitwell's Coffee House at 7PM and hear these talented musicians play.  A suggested donation of $5 is mentioned, but not required.

Jason Wells of For Algernon is the special quest appearing with Margaret.

For more information on the event, check out Facebook.

For more information on Luke Brockmeier, check out

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sin & Tonic YPCC Choral Concert on Valentine's Day at Below Zero

The Cincinnati Young Professionals' Choral Collective are staging a concert, Sin & Tonic, February 14th as an early start for Valentine's Day at Below Zero. From the Press Release:
Audience members will listen with martinis in hand to quality choral music that explores all aspects of love.  The doors (and the bar) will be open from 6-10pm, and the performance will take place from 6:45 – 7:30pm.  Audience members are invited to start their Valentine’s Day evening with bawdy English madrigals, sassy French chansons, gorgeous vocal jazz arrangements and soaring American spirituals…or to make a whole night of it!
Space is limited.  Free reservations (donations accepted) can be made at
For people with arts minded significant others, this would be a great prelude to your Valentine's day evening.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Glacial Past of Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Enquirer had very interesting article on the pre-historic glacial history of the Cincinnati area. We were just on the edge of where the last ice age affected the North American continent, and the effects can be felt not only in the topography, but in our weather.

I really like the historical articles the Enquirer has been publishing. Cincinnati has such a long past to draw from. I would love to read more about the 19th century.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Musicians for Luke - Margaret Darling, Serenity Fisher and More!

Local musicians Margaret Darling (of the Seedy Seeds) and Serenity Fisher are teaming up to support Luke Brockmeier.  Tuesday January 31st come to Sitwell's Coffee House at 7PM and hear these talented musicians play.  A suggested donation of $5 is mentioned, but not required.

There are rumors of special guests as well.  To find out who, you'll have to come to Sitwell's.

For more information on the event, check out Facebook.

For more information on Luke Brockmeier, check out

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bortz Pulls a Romney

Former Cincinnati Council Member Chris Bortz appears to most political observers to be positioning himself for a political run as a Republican.  No, he's not made any type of announcement.  He's done two things.  First he is openly supporting a Republican candidate in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional district. That alone indicates he's a Republican, at least on National issues.  He's joined forces with anti-city and anti-gay bigot Chris Finney to support that Republican candidate.  Linking one's name to Finney on any level is deplorable in my view, but politically it shows who you are willing to court to get what you want. In the case of Finney it indicates you are not courting a moderate city voter, you are instead willing to dive into the conservative sewer.

Where we can see the political posturing more up-close is in the other thing he did.   He's taken a blatant political position that is an attempt to align himself with conservative anti-City Republican voters.  He has changed his stance on the Streetcar.  He'll deny he has, I am sure, but no, you don't support something during the bottom of a recession when Federal Dollars were very available, and then oppose it now, claiming we wait and think about it more.  I guess Chris thinks we need more suburbanites to support it before we do it.  I didn't know that we had to be subservient to them.  I guess when you are thinking about running for a political office that would either include suburbanites or need there money to win, then you care what they think about.  Since they don't care about the city, why would those in the city care what they think about us?  It sounds like he's bring drinking a cup of what ever Leslie Ghiz was drinking.

Bortz has flip-flopped.  He's pulled a Mitt Romney.  The Streetcar is now Bortz's RomneyCare. Being for the streetcar was a position that helped him get elected in the city.  Positive ideas that benefit the city tend to get most voters support.  Anti-city or divisive issues don't get you votes.  Negative thinking is more rampant with local Republican voters, so if you are going to get their votes, you have to change your views to fit. Bortz has made a big change and it's not a pretty sight.

I'd like to have his flip-flop graded for political posterity, but it would require diving judges, and none were available.

Is Smitherman Under Investigation?

A complaint has been filed by a Cincinnati resident charging that Cincinnati City Council Member Christopher Smitherman is in violation of Ohio ethics rules.  Smiherman is simultaneously holding the positions of city council member and President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, a 501(c)(4) organization.

There is clearly a conflict of interest.  Smitherman should either resign from council or more likely resign as President of the local NAACP chapter.

I seem to recall Smitherman recently wanted the city to pay for Ethics classes.  Well, Council Member Smitherman appears to not have taken his class yet.  Any person with any sense of ethics would see the conflict of being on council and being President of the local NAACP.  That leas me to believe that Smitherman lacks ethics. The reasonability test has bee exceeded ten-fold, so this compliant has merit.  The city should be investigating Smitherman to make sure he is not in violation of Ohio ethics rules.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TweetUp For Luke Brockmeier Wed 6PM at Baba Budan's

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 18th, Luke Brockmeier, Democratic candidate for the New 31st Ohio House District, is gathering up those in the social media world for a meet and greet to discuss the issues facing the community and Ohio.  The event takes place at Baba Budan's, 239 W. McMillan St., and starts and 6PM and will end around 8PM.  All are welcome.

For more information on the event, check out the Facebook event here:

To learn more about Luke Brockmeier's campaign, go to

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Case You Forgot, Phil Burress is Still a Bigot

Bill Sloat at The Daily Bellwether has an important article detailing the latest bigoted action by the hateful Phil Burress, one of the leading anti-gay bigots in the state of Ohio.

A man who does not even live in the City of Cincinnati is threatening to file a lawsuit because the City Council voted in favor of Domestic Partner insurance coverage. This is clear evidence, as if we need any more, that Burress's anti-gay marriage crusade was never about 'protecting' marriage, but it was all about oppressing gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered people. The city isn't marrying anyone, they are trying to provide equal benefits to all of its employees. I wish they were allowing gay marriage, but far too many ignorant bigots voted to oppress people when they baned gay marriage in Ohio, making that against the law. Treating gays and lesbians with equal rights is what Burress is fighting against. Equal rights should be for all, not just the Phil Burress clan.

I feel like a broken record on this subject and I feel that most of readers of this blog think Burress is horrible, but he has an audience. I hope everyone who opposes the bigotry of Burress takes every opportunity to speak out against his type of bigotry. The people who could speak most directly to this are those of you who participate in the large number of religious institutions across the region. Many (not all) of those institutions have terrible stances on gay rights. I encourge those of you who face that bigoty to speak out against it and at least question the faux rationalizations used to justify the type of bigotry Burress pushes.

Preaching to the choir only goes so far, sometimes you have to stand up and speak out, even if you risk your reputation. That's how all civil rights issues should be addressed. It is a shame that religion, in the case of gay rights, is far too often the hurddle to make many silently let that bigotry exist in the places based on the philosphies of peace.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New CityBeat Print Edition Hit This Week

CityBeat has revamped it's print copy with this week's edition and editor Danny Cross has a column decscribing the changes and some background on himself as the new editor of the Alt-Weekly.

The changes are three fold. First the paper has a fresh new design that I like a lot. The page headings and titles are much appealing and pleasing to the eye. The second element is the order of sections, which move the music to the back and the arts & culture (art,theatre, film, dining) all together. The third element is the most striking: more relevant content. The inclusion of a focused stand along cover story has returned, which is not just a highlight of one section's story. Also the inclusion of a media and sports column along with more than one news story (in addition to Porkopolis)add more meat to the publication.

I like this week's edition and look forward to more. I hope the structure continues.

More Wussy, in an RV and Acoustic


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lack of Ethics Starts With Smitherman

Why couldn't COAST pay for an ethics lesson for Chris Smitherman himself? That would do hopefully do the most good, as long as COAST is not conducting the ethics lesson, since they don't have any. This would be a great alternative to Smitherman's motion he submitted to council requiring training sessions for council members and their staff, something the City already does. Smitherman needs a lesson in ethics. Some of things he should learn:
  • Don't threaten to have your non-city-employee lawyer sue the city because council didn't vote your way.
  • Don't even consider frivolous lawsuits that are more about getting legal work for your anti-city lawyer than a valid legal issue.
  • Don't go on the Radio and falsely claim a member city council works for the CIA.
  • Don't claim that a reason to vote for a position on the waterworks ballot issue would be to prevent the government from lacing the water of black residents with drugs.
  • Don't make up numbers about how much the Streetcar plan will cost.
  • Don't lie to the public when you claim Streetcar funds could be used to avoid police or fire layoffs.
Those are just the start of the many thinks Smitherman could learn. They are mostly just common sense, but a bright examples of what not to do. I really hope Smitherman can learn from these examples.

Hat Tip to Quimbob

Monday, January 09, 2012

Differences in District 31 Statehouse Race Clearly Shown on Women's Rights

Bill Sloat of the Daily Bellwether has an interesting article that outlines the Differences among the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the newly redrawn District 31 Ohio House seat.  Women's rights comes forward as the most striking difference where only one candidate, Luke Brockmeier, is in sync with the district's overwhelming belief in protecting a woman's right to choose. Sloat describes at length the record of Denise Driehaus and exposes her support for a GOP sponsored anti-abortion bill.  Tranter, the third candidate, was endorsed by Ohio Right to Life, something previously held by Denise Driehaus when she ran on the west side of town.  The new 31st District is not a Westside haven for Conservative Dems. The issue of choice matters in progressive neighborhoods. I'm guessing Driehaus and Tranter don't know much about the district or just hope no one notices their anti-women's rights beliefs.

Monzel's Failures Exposed

Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool brings up the campaign Mantra of Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel and points out that Monzel failed to balance the county's budget through "efficiencies." Yeah, Monzel actually claimed he could do that.  The Suburban Republican Monzel has not appeared to learn much while in office, other than how to screw over tax-payers.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Tranter Loses Challenge to Driehaus Residency Move

The Hamilton County Board of a elections has rejected the challenge to the residency of Denise Driehaus who moved into the new district 31 district after leaving her old district after the Republican made her old area more difficult for her to win.  Tranter, another candidate was challenging her residentcy via proxy because, as this quote from Tranter in the article from WVXU puts it
"It was perfect for me to run in. She decided to move over into it even though she has no familiarity with the district or it's constituents."
Yes, Tranter has a political point to make. Driehaus is not from this district. She's lived on the Westside her entire life and fits in with the Westside Conservatives, not this progressive district. That is a reason not to vote for her. It is not grounds for a  legal case. The challenges Tranter made via his neighbor were frivolous and a waste of tax payer's money.

The even bigger waste was in the challenge to the ballot signatures for Driehaus and candidate Luke Brockmeier. 50 signatures is the low requirement and both candidates had more than enough valid signatures.  There was no evidence of any problem and other than getting some media attention, served no purpose.  Tranter is making a huge mistake. He should not focus on being bitter that he has to face off against two other candidates. He should face the fact that along with Denise Driehaus, he's not living in a conservative Democratic district. He's living in a really progressive House district. He might want to ponder how to climb that Mt. Everest before playing political games.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Anti-Tax Extremists Take Tax Payer's Money

COAST lawyer Chris Finney has successfully shaken-down the City of Cincinnati on an invented scheme that gave his law firm $10,000 of tax payer's money.  Yes, let's get this straight.  A self-professed anti-tax group sued the city on a non-issue worth a few dollars and managed to get paid $10,000 to do it by the City.

Yes, to repeat, again: an anti-tax group staged a frivolous lawsuit over a few dollars and then collected 10,000 dollars worth of tax payer money.  The anti-tax group who claims to want to reduce spending, maneuvered the City into paying it's lawyers $10,000 of money they don't want the City to Spend.  The anti-tax group forced the City to waste tax payer's money.

Is it just me or is the level of insanity and hypocrisy emanating from the area around Chris Finney's fat head causing earthquakes in Youngstown?

COAST has one goal: Destroy the city.  They are not yet forming an army or planting bombs, but their goal is clearly the destruction of the city.  If they think that what they do is anything else, then they are even more delusional than they appear.