Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pre-Pre-Bock Fest Online Toast Competition

Tomorrow, Bockfest is having a toast competition on Fountain Square to kick off Bockfest. I'm going to kick it off here with an online version. Best one gets a free beer if you find me during Bockfest. Here is my entry:
Raise your glass
Shout your name
Shut up you fool
You are an ass

Cheer Spring Forward
and Boo Fall Back
Peter Bronson
is Still a Hack
If you can't do better than me, then you really aren't trying.

Roll Out the Barrel!

Christian Moerlein is bringing Hudy Bock Beer back for this weekend's Bockfest. It will be on tap. I would suggest trying it out at Kaldi's.

Ask Donald Murphy About Mixing Religion and National Parks

From comments we get word that the incoming Freedom Center CEO has a soft spot for letting religious documents adorn National Parks. Was he asked about that before he was hired? In a side note, the Freedom Center doesn't seem to be very up front about the new CEO's salary.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More on Berding's Fundraiser

The Dems are splitting a bit on supporting Jeff Berding. The split appears to be some of the grassroots of the party vs. the party leadership. One issue to remember is that the more money Berding gets, the more he will have to help out other Dems. If Berding can't spread around the wealth in the local Democratic Party, then he will get a swift kick in his wallet out the down of the HCHP headquarters.

Obama Vists Cincinnati - Anyone Go?

1,000 people turned out downtown for a Barack Obama fundraiser. Anyone go and care to provide a report?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Jake Speed and Tracy Walker

Prude Is As Prude Does

If you have to say "I'm not a prude" 7 times in an article about advocating prudishness, then you are a prude. Bronson would be a prude even if he never denied he was, but adding the denial increases the prudishness.

Birmingham Hires John Elkington

It would appear that someone has been suckered again by John Elkington.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

BockFest Cometh!


Get Up and head to Bock Fest starting this Friday with a Parade. Check out more at www.bockfest.com.

On Thursday the 1st, there's more too:

Friday, February 23, 2007

Study of City Core Great Step Forward

More great news on people moving forward on improving the City Core. Getting a better undstanding of our urban center and getting other business leaders convinced that the urban center is key to a vibrant metro region is a big picture plan to improve the City's image.

Candace Klein, chair of the Mayor's YP Kitchen Cabinet came up with the idea initially, but for some odd reason this effort didn't get included in the Mayor's speech this week on the State of the City. Odd.

New Boss At Freedom Center

Pepper is stepping down effective May 1st when Donald Murphy takes over as CEO. Murphy is a former deputy director of the National Park Service. The Freedom Center needs permanent leadership and a direction that can build it as an institution. It still feels to me like it has not found it purpose.

OTR Loves Coffee

This is great news and a great problem for OTR Area. This business is very forward looking. When the new SCPA goes in, the line out the door for coffee will be around the block.

The interesting part is that the coffeehouse is moving from Northern Kentucky to OTR.

Some FAF Grants Out

Good news for New Stage Collective, Inktank, and Cincy Blues Fest, all need the funding.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

State of the City - The Day After

Mallory gave his speech last night. Anyone go? Anyone have an opinion on it? Was it worth hearing? The text of the speech is here (doc).

It sounds like the YP Kitchen Cabinet is doing next to nothing:
Last year, my office created the Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet to help develop strategies to attract and retain young professionals. They are an energetic and passionate group, and they are already working on all types of ideas.

In fact, my office is about to launch one of their ideas. The Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet with the help of the Youth Council and Rumpke will be running a pilot recycling program in 6 Cincinnati Public Schools. Recycling containers are being delivered this week, and the students will be competing to see which school can recycle the most.
How does this do anything for YP's? A big thing for people to understand is that YPs most of the time DON'T HAVE KIDS!. Sure volunteering is a plus for some YPs, but this is not going to do a damn thing to attract more people to town, it does nothing to keep people here, and it doesn't make the city more interesting for suburban YPs. What real ideas did they have and is the Mayor going to consider or act on any of them? If this is the best they can do or if this is the only thing Mallory can (or will) announce, then I think the YP Kitchen Cabinet is, so far a failure, and waste of time.

UPDATE: CityBeat's blog has more.

Bortz Phone Demeanor

Councilman Chris Bortz is facing heat for why he called people on the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.

Smitherman Gets Another Chance

There will be a new election for President of the Cincinnati chapter of the. Edith Thrower, the incumbent, won last year after a controversial election over former Cincinnati councilman Chris Smitherman.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

State of the City

Mayor Mallory gives his State of City address tonight at 7PM at the Aronoff Center. The number one thing I would like him to report on is the progress he is making with the YP Kitchen Cabinet. As of yet, I've heard nothing official about it doing anything but meeting. Meetings can only accomplish more meetings. Actions bring about more actions.

In preparation of the speech, the Enquirer reported on public opinion of the City comparing 2006 to 2007 here is what they stated:
  1. Approval Rate of Mayor Mallory: Positive 2006-60%, 2007-50% That is a damn large drop.
  2. Wrong Track: Yes 2006-59%, 2007-57% About even.
  3. Are You Safe in Your Neighborhood: Agree 2006-42%, 2007-49% A gain!
The Enquirer is asking you to take their unscientific poll, so chime in.

Brownback In Town, Will Bring Out the Extremists

Few politicians will have better luck at getting out the most extreme Conservatives than Sen. Sam Brownback, who is coming to town again on March 3rd, after a quick visit here yesterday. In a sign that social conservatives have given up hope of getting an extremist on the ballot in 2008 is the results of polling of Ohio Republicans recently:
In a Quinniapac University poll of Ohio Republican voters last month, Brownback had only 1 percent support. Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani led the poll with 30 percent, following by McCain at 22 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11 percent.
1% isn't going to get you on stage for a primary debate.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Loop? Main Street Redo

It's long overdue, but the idea of making a neighborhood out of the Main Street area (including the area to lower Vine) is a wonderful idea. Make it place for people to live, work, and play. Consider it something like Hyde Park Square, where no one is going to cry if the streets are not crowded at 1 AM. If you can't find a parking spot at 1 PM on a Saturday in the Main Street Area, then I say good! Let the nightlife move to area on 7th Street and 4th Street. Make Main Street a neighborhood.

I also don't like the Loop, but I agree on changing the name from the "Main Street Entertainment District."

UPDATE: More from the Enquirer.

Another Reason to Move the Drop Inn Center

If you want a homeless shelter that can legally serve all of the homeless, then it is time to move the Drop Inn Center. It's been time to move the Drop Inn Center for years now and I would predict there are many groups who would pay to move the facility to a new location.

At this point, what are the reasons it has not yet moved? Here are the reasons I think I hear the feet draggers either saying or thinking.

  1. 'We' can't move it because the Homeless know where to go now, would suffer when they can't find the new location.
  2. 'We' can't move it because it would be admitting that we don't want the extreme poor around.
  3. 'We' won't move it because we don't want to cave into the business crowd.
  4. 'We' can't move it because we don't have the money.
  5. 'We' can't move it because we can't find a good enough location.
  6. 'We' won't move it because the homeless are our battering ram to force our political views down the upper classes.

Numbers 1, 4, and 5 could be valid reasons, but would be short run issues that with money can be solved. I think the money would be there if those who use the homeless as a political tool would worry more about sustaining the effort to provide services to the homeless, instead of using homelessness as a means to make your political foes look bad.

Are there other legitimate or not-so legitimate reasons to not move the Drop Inn Center?

Battle Won, War Lost

What happens now that the eminent-domain case was won? I guess I don't see why the developers don't raise the offer to include the legal fees that are likely waiting and then go forward with their development? If the home owners don't make a deal, I think they'll be hurt as well. I think its time to make a deal and get on with progress.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's Not News

In what must be a slow news day at the Enquirer, we get a story about a poll of a subgroup of the local GOP that had Rudy Giuliani as their top pick for the GOP nomination for President.

I'll be waiting for the Eastern branch of the South by Southwest Hamilton County Know-nothing Party Club's straw poll where Bob was victorious over Jack, 3 votes to 1 in their straw poll.

White Snow vs. Black Teenager?

Is the media and/or the Sheriff's office picking who to worry about fairly? In the case of the Sheriff, I think they may have a point about who they pick to open up a warning about. As for the media, well, they have no answer. They live for missing kids, if the pictures they can show on TV work for the suburban audience.

"God Save the Queen, Fascist Regime"

Not really news, but the Queen of England at the Kentucky Derby is interesting.

What's on Your Wallpaper?

On a snowy Saturday I'm going to post something light. What is on your PC/MAC's desktop wallpaper? Here is what I have:

This is a picture of a sunset on the beach in the small town on the West coast of Florida where my parents live. It was taken in winter about 5 years ago and it was warm that day.

What does everyone else have?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Berding’s Billions

CityBeat's blog as a lengthy piece on the Cash Machine that is Councilman Jeff Berding. Big money is behind this candidate for office. Last time Democratic Party endorsements went around the CW was that Berding was given the endorsement by some in exchange for others supporting Lynch's endorsement. This time around will there be enough support for Berding? He is a Democrat on council, so I don't see how the Party could not endorse him, no matter how much the rank in file scream.

Fangman: Call Me

Former FOP President and instigator is under investigation for allegedly making harassing phone calls to the current FOP President. I don't know if I can comment. This is just too ripe to hit off the tee.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Punting on the Banks

The Banks Project Working Group is allowing itself to punt.

Enquirer and Bronson Spread a Lie

It is no shock that Peter Bronson or the Enquirer would spread a lie, but they are:
Jason Mallott of Cincinnati is stationed in Baghdad. "Yesterday I found out about the vote from a younger soldier who came up to me and asked why my hometown does not support us," he wrote. "I have lived in the city for over 25 years. I was even thinking about applying for a job with the Police Department when I returned. I am just confused on why City Council would not be supporting us.
Bold Added. I guess Peter and Jason Mallott didn't read the resolution when it says this:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Cincinnati:

Section 1. That Council supports the U.S. troops currently serving Iraq, as well as those that have previously served, and those that have been killed or wounded during such service, and their families.
Peter Bronson, stop spreading Lies!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shut The Hell Up!

The Enquirer looks like a fool by printing a series of letters to the editor about the pending Cincinnati City Council Iraq War resolution. NONE OF THE WRITERS LIVE IN THE CITY!!!. Can we have a little bit of relative perspective from people who are actually governed by the politicians considering the resolution????? The funniest part is that they list this at the top of the letters "A sampling of some of the opinions we've received on this topic." Here is what I think it should have stated "A sample of our Conservative readers views, those readers we actually care about."

That idiocy aside, I find myself rather conflicted. On the surface I am strong believer in the City sticking to City Business and staying out of national issues, like abortion. I hope Monzel keeps his trap shut about the Iraq War resolution if he wants to forget about his push to outlaw abortion using City policy. That issue is decided, abortion is legal. He wants to change that, petition your Congressman.

That being said, I agree with what the resolution says, for the most part. What the resolution is missing is making reference to what Bush did right here in Cincinnati by misleading the American people during his speech at Union Terminal. That brings the issue home and has a sliver of relevance to Cincinnati.

More Downtown Development

A tip from reader Richard gives word about new Race Street Renovation in a building I've long loved and wished someone would bring back to life:
The beautiful Lyric Piano Building near the corner of 7th and Race is currently undergoing renovations. In the past, the ground level of this building served as a Hardees restaurant (and Burger Chef) and there was speculation a number of years ago that the former owners of The Temple Restaurant were planning a new restaurant at that location. But, I spoke with a lady who works at one of the jewelry stores next door and she said that a very nice couple has purchased the building with plans to use a portion of the structure as a new architectural office and the remaining square-footage as a private residence. It will be great to see this handsome building, which is a favorite of architecture lovers throughout the area, returned to its former glory.

Here's a link with information about the structure, crowned a "blight of the week" by CityBeat in 2002.
Race Street has for a long time needed more renovation. I hope this is just a start with Sully's going in just up the street.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Weather Report Suite

The weather is crappy today. Got any hot news flashes to warm up the roads?

Monday, February 12, 2007

'Cincinnati Rock Concert Philosophy'

In an almost therapeutic screed "Riggsveda" unleashed a post at the TPMcafe that riddled the culture with bullets mostly aimed at the Right Wing Hypocrites. In the process, however, this screed barreled into two things dear to me, Cincinnati & The Who:
What else? Well, there's the death of public civility on streets, trains, buses and in cars, and the failure of American parents to teach their children anything at all about manners and etiquette. This has led to the Cincinnati rock concert philosophy of life: that we all must be in a constant battle for supremacy with one another, whether it's who goes through a door first, gets a parking space, or gets to change lanes. All of this is directly anathema to the idea behind etiquette: that in order to create a tolerable and decent community, we must all behave graciously and with grace toward each other, meaning at times we back off, suppress our egos, and let someone else have something at our own expense out of sheer kindness. Meaning we treat others as if they were our dear friends, or at least unfortunately demented relatives not responsible for their own behavior.
I don't necessarily disagree with the point of the whole post, but do we have to create another term that denigrates a city and a horrible tragedy that occurred well over 25 years ago? This city has certainly suffered enough from that event and we don't need it put back into our faces, or more importantly, not hung around our collective necks. Including "Cincinnati" is really the injustice in the term. The City didn't create the tragedy. It was truly "the mob", which I believe is the point of the term. Having Cincinnati confused with "the mob" does nothing but put blame were none is deserved.

New Businesses Downtown and on Main

Joe Hansbauer is reporting there are two big additions to Downtown and Main Street. First rumor has it that the former Jump location at 12th and Main will become a Sushi restaurant. Don't know who is going to run it or if it will include a bar or not.

Second is word that McFadden's has bought several store fronts and will open a new bar called Lodge, and as Joe states it will be similar to the one in Columbus. I wonder where this space will be. I assume it is on 7th street, but not sure where.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

We're Still Here!

I just watched the Police reunite on the Grammys and play "Roxanne." The world did not end, so lets all rejoice and start saving now for tickets to their tour. I'd be game for a Police show at Paul Brown Stadium.

How'd I Get Mixed Up With This?

Somehow, Someway, I was dragged into Nate's latest feud:
If Ghizzy had black skin, the white media -- especially her boosters at The Cincinnati Enquirer, CityBeat, and The Cincinnati Blog -- would tear her apart like they did to former Vice Mayor Alicia Reece. The only reason Ghizzy gets a free pass is because she is a white girl. Period.
This is of course false, but that doesn't usually matter in this type of discussion when Nate is involved.

St. McCain In Town This Week

I'll throw a bone to Republicans and pass on word that Senator (Saint) John McCain will be visiting Cincinnati on Friday. Logically I would conclude the local media will be stumbling over each other to cover St. McCain. the media's darling. Around Cincinnati I really wonder, however, what level of support he will get, making the media's coverage not so intense. He's not well loved by the far rightists for his lukewarm stance on social issues. He's a mainstream Conservative when it comes to social issues, but in the past hasn't made them his focus. In the 2008 primary race I expect he'll go off the social issue deep end, one way or another. Either he'll counter Rudy's pro-gay/pro-choice stances, if Rudy gets into the race, or McCain will go to the middle to try and get the moderate vote if Rudy doesn't get into the race.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bill Maher Visits Nutty Creastionist 'Museum'

Sacha Baron Cohen is likely very proud of the methods used by Bill Maher in filming a documentary on religion. Maher's tactic was especially interesting because it happened just outside of Cincinnati in Kentucky at the Answers in Genesis facility. Ken Ham, the creator of the Creationist 'Museum', was reportedly not pleased with Maher. Go figure. I nutty creationist is likely confronted with the nutty ideas he has and the guy gets pissed off.

I am eagerly awaiting the documentary.

Obama to Visit Cincinnati on Feb 26

State Sen. Eric Kearney is bringing the Presidential hopeful to town for a fund raiser.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

GOP Endorsing Child Beater Sam Malone?

It is amazing that the GOP would dare endorse a man who admitted to beating his own child with a belt in court, a source indicates that the HC GOP has done just that. The reported slate of endorsements equal:

Leslie Ghiz
Chris Monzel
Charlie Winburn
Sam Malone
John Eby
Andre Harper is this the same person?
Pat Fisher (President of P-Ridge CC?)

UPDATE: CityBeat's Kevin Osborne has more.

HCDP Has New Executive Director

Caleb Faux is taking over the reins from Chandra Yungbluth who left to work for Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Question of the Day

Ok, I'll dare to put a question out there. What topics do people want the blog to include, that are not being posted, or not posted enough? Be gentle, keep the 7th grade humor to a minimum, please.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Death of the Arts Section at the Enquirer?

This morning I got an unsigned email which describes the tearing apart of arts/media/culture criticism at the Enquirer. Here is the email in its entirety:
Yesterday, on the 19th floor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, a room of arts critics (including theater critic Jackie Demaline, classical music critic Janelle Gelfand, art critic Sara Pearce, entertainment reporter Jim Knippenberg media critic John Kiesewetter, former arts editor Pam Fisher and food critic Polly Campbell) along with features writers were told they will be pulled off arts beat to staff phones on the Saturday general assignment reporting desk.

Apparently, one body is as good as another in the new "Info Center" reich over at Third and Elm -- although it seems counterintuitive in Gannett's penny pinching culture to stick high priced talent (several old timers rumored to be at six figures) manning the phones on one of the worst news days of the week -- not exactly fiscally savvy.

Oddly, this news comes just days before Enquirer publisher Margaret Buchanan kicks off the citywide Fine Arts Fund drive Sunday as its chair.

Shortly after arriving in Cincinnati, Buchanan took a spot on the symphony board and launching a new Sunday Arts section, promising better arts coverage to a disgruntled arts community.

If today's Enquirer is any indication, looks like a snow job: less arts coverage, but complete sledding hill lists in Cincinnati and diagrams for making snowmen.
Please keep in mind this is one writer's opinion and I have no confirmation of anything in this email. For those on the inside there are enough details to determine if this is authentic. I find it very credible for the simple fact that the issue at hand is a detail on how the inner workings of the newspaper happens. This is clearly someone with knowledge of the Enquirer.

Printing this email is not a great journalistic act, but it is a reasonable act for a blogger. Is this just another sign that the Enquirer is abandoning content creation in favor of press release publications? Will this act affect the many blogs on the Enquirer?

Drive Home Contest

A free pat on the back goes to the person who had the longest (in time) drive home last night in the snow. Mine was about 2.5 hours.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What If Bronson is Delusional?

Peter Bronson is living in lala land. It is just not worth my time to rebut his ignorance in his column, but I had to make people away that there are still people living with the delusions that Iraq can be "won", that "the terrorists" in Iraq are trying to kill "us", and that Dick Cheney is 'right' about Iraq. The facts are that Iraq is lost. The terrorists in Iraq want the US out and are fighting the Shia, they are not out to invade the USA. They don't threaten us, never did. Finally, Cheney is just a bad shot.

Panic Sightings

I can report first hand that the White Death is starting to fall up in Mason. At this point I haven't seen any soccer moms desperately making their way to buy milk, bread, toothpaste, and the most essential mayonnaise. What snow storm is complete with out Extra Mayo?

UPDATE: The Enquirer's website has the full snow coverage overload.

Speak to the Enquirer

The Enquirer has adopted a message board like tool that allows for feed back on all stories, editiorials, and letters to the editor. In the manner they use it, does it really add a value to the reader or to their publication? Will this just be a way to yell at people? I would guess they are going to use a filter or monitor to edit out the spam and 'rude' comments. I'll be posting on the story above about my post here to see if they really want interaction or not.

Budget Battle Lingers

I have lost track of what money is going where, but either progress is being made or we have found another impasse.

Build Humans, Not Machines

The bottom line problem with the
drop off of school groups visiting the arts is the misguided education philosophy sweeping most school boards, administrators, and politicos. It is the belief that test scores are the only thing that matters. Being a well rounded student is not going to get grant money. This is not an new conflict, but one that is ugly and is the true sign of the death of culture in this country. Those in power in Ohio and Kentucky for last 10 plus years have the idea that schools are meant to turn out machines to fuel the economy. Schools are meant to turn out adult human beings and citizens who can think for themselves, reason, and express their views and ideas. The Arts are one of the best ways to do that. If schools fear time constraints, why not cut back on sports?

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Cold

It is 1 degree outside. For people like me from the Buffalo area, yes, that is actually cold. I don't understand why schools are closed, unless the pipes froze.

Well, it was a slow news weekend, with the superbowl and all. I watched the game for the first time on DVR last night while at a friend's house. We all were going to be late to the start of the game, so we agreed to meet later at the one friend's house. It was strange knowing that we were about a half an hour behind what was really happening. I am very glad no one called to ask about the game after it ended.

Props to Prince for playing in the rain.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

But It Has a Sign!!

How can Cincinnati Mills be failing? It's in the suburbs where Malls are King. It has plenty of free parking. Finally, it has a massive sign out front, which, as Larry Gross helped point out, is the key to any Mall's success.

Sign of a Change on Main?

Great news for the local theatre scene with the announcement of the New Stage Collective getting a permanent space on Main Street. They'll be using the old Jekyll and Hyde's building. They will transform the 2nd floor into a very challenging but fresh theater space. For more information on the New Stage Collective, check out their website at www.newstagecollective.com. Be sure to review the announcement of NSC's new season with more details on the new space.

Friday, February 02, 2007

County Jail in Camp Washington?

A deal on where the new Hamilton County Jail will be built appears to be complete. How we pay for it is a whole different story.

Ummmm? Bronson?

I can understand that Peter Bronson is complaining about the angst on City Council, which he help create, but other than that, I don't get his point here. The only thing I get is that he thinks the CHRC is bloated and thinks this is all about money. It can't be about power or be personal? It also can't be the fact that this is an election year and candidates need money and votes and need to get the attention that conflict brings to help get money and votes.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Downtown Hop Around Returns April 21

The Downtown Hop Around is set to skip into downtown again on April 21. Stay tuned to their website for more details.

Is CPD Doing Its Job?

If the Cincinnati Police Department is able and willing to do their jobs, then why does former police officer and current City Council member Cecil Thomas want the sheriff to patrol 5 other neighborhoods in the city?

Also in this article, one is getting the sense that Council member Jeff Berding is sucking up to the Westside:
Council member Jeff Berding asked that Westwood and Price Hill be added to the list.
The FOP is screaming about this, but frankly, who gives a rat's ass?