Saturday, June 30, 2007

Smitherman Running For Council

Well, I guess Chris Smitherman has money to waste because he's running for city council again. I will be the first to say that he will not win. Smitherman is out for Smitherman. He just recently fought a harsh and nasty fight for President of the local NAACP, which I guess he feels so strong about that he would quit it in less than a year, if elected. What an ego.

George Zamary Running For Council

Local theatre supporter George Zamary is running for council. George is a lawyer and President of the Know Theatre Board. Starting out in June for a first time candidate is a tough position to be in.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The YP Place to Be in Ohio?

Cincinnati made the top half of 40 of the Forbes Magazine's Best Cities for Young Professionals. I've not read the Forbes article to judge how this ranking was conducted or how we compared in the past on similar type rankings, but the fact we are tops in Ohio and pretty high in the Midwest is good news.

Waiting for the Bus

Council voted to turn down the bus fare increase.

It lost 5-4, but it wasn't a usual suspects split. Anyone know the vote breakdown?

UrbanCincy has more.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Population Debate

The numbers are in and the City of Cincinnati is growing slowly. Slow growth is better than any loss, so we'll take this as a positive. Hamilton County lost 22,677 people last year, so what gives? What is driving people out of places like Reading, Silverton, and Cheviot? Are those communities starting to be too small and have aged facilities unable to keep up with their residents? Is it time for some of them to be annexed by the city? That is an option, but I don't know if it would be a good one for the City or not.

Any info on what is going on with Norwood?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Saving Newspapers?

Gannet and Enquirer seem to believe that the answer to saving newspapers is by getting readers to contribute the content. Well, sure, if you don't have to pay to gather content, you can surely make money. The problem is that you cease being a news outlet and become more of a vanity publication, where readers go to read their own work.

The problem I see with all local mainstream news outlets is that they are no longer in the business of gathering news. They thrive on channeling press releases, but don't put enough resources into shoe leather. If you are going to be a news outlet, you must get original and independent news.

What I hear the Enquirer saying is that they are out to create a flashy message board. I don't mind message boards. This blog is a form of a message board. Message Boards are not credible news outlets.

Tavern Wench Concert Review

JenJen at Tavern Wench reviews the Ben Folds/John Mayer concert.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hmmmmmmm

I am sorry I missed this ENJOY THE ARTS event at the CAC. What is funny is that if you read the article you would think the YP Kitchen Cabinet had something to do with the event. I wonder how many volunteers that organization provided. I know ENJOY THE ARTS had a full team there working very hard.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bad City Beat, Bad

I am guessing the editor-in-chief of CityBeat was on vacation last week. I say that because I would think he might have wanted this puff piece written by someone else, or maybe not even written at all. The News Editor at the weekly, Greg Flannery, was the author and the article was a straight-laced form of Journalistic fellatio that Peter Bronson would be proud of. Sure, Greg pointed out the facts about the subject of the article (over 98% of primary voters voted against him for mayor, for example), but he didn't hide his school girl affection and sounded like he was maneuvering to get his 98 Degrees lunchbox autographed.

When you thought it couldn't be worse, Greg writes on his blog about his admiration for Justin Jeffre, the subject of last week's cover story, specially about what Jeffre did during a protest Greg personally took part in. It was bad enough when Greg got into the business of creating news with his protests, instead of covering it, but here he his doing favors for his friends, throwing journalistic integrity out with the trash.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The State of YP Groups

After thinking about recent articles and talk about YP organizations and the general movement to attract more YP's to Cincinnati, I'm going to issue my take on the state of the Cincinnati YP World. In general, the state is good. We are making progress to attract new people by establishing the life and culture that will attract new people to Cincinnati. That positive has little to do with the efforts of YP organizations, however. I find the YP world has many problems. Here is a list:
  1. There are just too many YP organizations. You can't walk 5 feet downtown without stumbling on someone trying to start a YP outreach group for their organization.
  2. YP outreach groups, those tied to a parent organization, are not really about attracting new YPs to the city, they are about selling tickets, memberships, or gaining donations to the parent organization. There is nothing wrong with this, but these groups shouldn't be confused with efforts to promote the city.
  3. The umbrella type YP groups tend to try do too much, they try to be everything to everyone, instead of focusing on achievable goals.
  4. When you look at who runs the YP groups and who goes to the events they sponsor, you see the same people and same names. The groups tend to get cliquish when the same people all know each other and fail to be open to new people, especially those new to town.
  5. Much of the YP effort centers around talking. Sounding Sessions sound like they have a purpose, but they are about appearance, not about actions. The Mayor's YP Kitchen Cabinet and the Chamber's Bold Fusion I believe have been about talking, not about taking action. If you are all talk, then you are going to end up talking about acting, not acting.
  6. For a significant number of participants, the YP group is self serving. It is a resume filler, a means to help gain a promotion at work, a way to impress others, or just a way to meet people and get laid.
  7. There is a clear disconnect between Native Cincinnatians and the rest of us. The YP movement has failed to address the large number of YPs who grew up here and live in the suburbs. They complain about it sucking here because they don't know what their city has too offer and only live in the stale burbs. This is an underlying problem that if addressed would improve not only the city, but the lives of those YPs living in the burbs. They might wake up and understand that that the burbs are about being boring. If you don't want a boring life, then you have to move to the urban core.
  8. Finally, the YP efforts have been focusing on and programming to the affluent. Much like the efforts to bring residents Downtown, all of the push has been to get the 30 year old lawyer making six figures. We don't have a ton of people like that. We instead have many middle class people who are college educated and are starving for culture. When you can't afford to live in the city, then you are pricing out the masses you need to make the city more vibrant. Similarly, if you really think an average Jane or Joe can shell-out $35 every week for a YP event, then you really have no concept of wealth.
I'm harsh on the efforts of YP mostly because I have been vastly disappointed with what has been going on and what has failed to occur. The YP effort has not lived up to the great potential is possesses. With development coming together in Downtown and OTR, the opportunities are there but are being missed. The only solution I see is for groups to focus on small goals and for those with the ear of the media to stop hogging the spotlight for themselves without really doing anything worthwhile. Breakdown the Native Cincinnatian social walls and help them understand they live in a cool city, but don't know it.

YP Political Power

Joe Wessels has an interesting column this weekend about a new Political Action Committee seeking to represent the "Young Professionals" of Cincinnati in the political process.

The part of the whole YP movement that has troubled me is the definition of Young Professional. There is the Young part, which I think can easily be be overlooked. I think "young at heart" every time. The term professional has always been the problem. "Creative Class" was a much better term, but it too ran into problems. In the article, the head of Cincy PAC Sean Parker is taking a great step by trying to broaden the the reach of YP:
Parker is a Democrat, but said he votes independently and wants Cincy PAC to be non-partisan - and more broadly define who is a young professional. Often YPs are seen as the white-collar sect. Parker wants the PAC to be more inclusive, expanding the definition to blue collar workers and artists who may have felt left out.
I think this step is the key to really making both the political effort as well as the social movement affective.

The problem is that Sean Parker is starting off on the wrong track by holding the kickoff fund raiser at Bang, a local nighclub that caters to the more affluent, to the trend obsessed crowd, and to those who seek exclusivity. If you want to branch out, I hope the next fund raiser takes place in a venue where you don't have to worry about how you are dressed, just to get in the door.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Local Skater Goes Into Business

We need more independent businesses finding OTR/Downtown are great places to locate. OTR is really the place to be for this type of small business. You can get great deals on business locations on Main and other streets, for now. If you are thinking about doing it in 3 to 5 years, I will wish you luck, but you won't find the deals you can find now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

'Radiant Baby' Opens to Rave Reviews

New Stage Collective's production of 'Radiant Baby' open last and the Enquirer was impressed. Check it out over at the Conveyor.

Heartless Bastards Playing OTR

It can't get much better, a Final Friday, a block party, and a Free Show from the Heartless Bastards.

The show will take place on 14th Street in front of the Lightborne video production building, which is just off Main Street.

POWR PAC Endorses 9

The Partnership of West Side Residents PAC published their picks for City Council. They are:

Charter:
Chris Bortz
Melanie Bates

Democrats:
Jeff Berding,
John Cranley,
Laketa Cole
Cecil Thomas

Republicans:
John Eby
Leslie Ghiz
Chris Monzel.

Seven of the current incumbents were endorsed, only David Crowley was left out. No Sam Malone. Only one new Republican. What does this say about POWR PAC? Are they getting more moderate (with Mary Kuhl and Melva Gwynn in it, the racist vote has a "clear" voice), I think not. Instead I think this supports the contention that the 2005 election put one of the most conservative councils into office in a long time. Do the Democrats on this list face a revolt from the left? Obviously Berding has pissed away any support the "D" after his name gets him from the base, so he has to run to the Westside and Hyde Park for votes. Cranley actually looks better to the left after recent budget battles. Thomas is just too quiet for anyone's taste and Cole's Westwood Concern pandering still leaves a really bad stink on her.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Homicide: Real Life on the Streets

TV comes to the Cincinnati Police department in the form of the TV show "The First 48". I've seen the program before, and I've liked it. It really shows the investigation fairly straightforward. It will be interesting to see how our police stack up to other departments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Portman Running for Gov?

Rob Portman is leaving his job at the White House and he reportedly may run for Ohio Governor in 2010. He would be a good candidate for the GOP to run, but Stickland will be tough to beat if he can keep things going on an even keel.

Phoenix Closes, Good!

I noticed this a week or so ago, but now it is permanent that the Phoenix Cafe is closed. This is great news for the backstage area. A dive bar like the Phoenix was a big negative to the backstage area. This should fit in nicely with the backstage loop of bar/restaurants opening up around 7th and 6th street.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

To all the fathers and especially to my Dad, Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Banks Agreement

I don't know if there was white smoke or not, but we have a Banks Agreement. Here's the highlight:
The non-binding agreement calls for 300 apartments in the first phase, followed by 100 condominiums and 70,000 square feet of retail. It will also include an unspecified amount of office space.
Non-binding is the problem, but that will hopefully not be the case in a couple of months.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Antioch College to Close in 2008

You don't hear of this often, but the Yellow Spring, Ohio college will close in 2008 in hopes of reopening in 2012. I will be surprised if it reopens in Yellow Springs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Can't Totally Fault Bronson Today

I can't really go off on Peter Bronson's latest column, but I'll point out a few problems. He writes about classic rock and Wizards Records in Oakley. He is missing out on the big selection of music at Wizards from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, not just from Bronson's long haired days. The college kids who come to buy there are likely to want new wave, punk, and grunge more than classic 60's rock.

Finally, I don't know about Bronson, but I grew up storing my vinyl in milk crates, not cardboard boxes. I would guess Peter went through many boxes over the years. I still have my milk crates.

Moving Forward

Kudos to the entire metro area for moving up to 38th place in the "Cities Ranked and Rated" book. We are 38th out of 378 cities, and we moved up from 92nd place which was held in 2004 in the 1st edition of the book.

It's a New Skyline Time

Western & Southern has announced plans to build the tallest building in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Skyline is a very pretty site, so I hopte this improves it, as well as adding new development to the CBD. Are there any mocked up drawings of what it would look like with this new building?

UPDATE: This morning's paper included a artists rendering of the building.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Green Party Looking Foolish

I am often bewildered by the Green Party. I guess they will gladly give power back to the Republicans by attacking Democrats if they can't instantaneously create a Utopian fantasy world where there are no poor or stupid people living in it. To make a claim that the jail tax vote by the democratically elected Hamilton County Commission was "Undemocratic" makes the Greens appear to be ignorant and hypocritical fools. How many gas tax increases are put up to a referendums? How many times has the Green Party called for increased gas taxes to help cut fossil fuel use? Did they call for a statewide referendum in order to enact it? If they did, I'd like to see a reference to that.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Council Candidates - the List

A candidate himself, Michael Earl Patton, has compiled a list of those who have picked up petitions to get on the ballot for Cincinnati City Council. The list, sorted by party endorsement, is as follows:

Democrats:
Brian Garry
Cecil Thomas
David Crowley
Greg Harris
Jeff Berding
John Cranley
Laketa Cole
Minnette Cooper
Wendell Young

Republicans:
Andre Harper
Charlie Winburn
Chris Monzel
John Eby
Leslie Ghiz
Patrick F. Fischer
Sam Malone

Charter Committee:
Chris Bortz
Joan Kaup
Malanie Bates

The Rest:
Christopher Davis
Curtis Wells
Dadrin Washington
Eric Wolterman
Kellley Cowdrey
Malik Showes
Michael Earl Patton
Mitch Painter
Paul Makin
Robert J. Wilking
Ron Stallworth
Sean Holbrook
Sean Lackey
Steven Pavelish
Yvette Barbara Baldwin

How many will actually make it to the ballot? Are there others missing from the list? I know of a few of the Independents, but not many.

Please note that I grouped the candidates by party endorsement, not affiliation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Downtown Relaxing

I'm off of my day job this week, so I've been spending lots of time in Downtown and OTR. Today I am trying out the wifi at Fountain Square. It works pretty well. The only thing to consider is that you need to find shade under a tree if you plan on using your laptop during the middle of the day, when the buildings don't any shade. It really is calming just sitting here. I got to watch the Daily Show on the big screen as well.

Protecting City Views

The battle over maintain city views boils down to property rights. Where does the concept of "right of way" come into play when thinking of the space above your land. How tall can you build something in relation to the structures around you? The zoning regulations are designed to cover this, but when the view of the river or of the city affects land value so heavily, I can see why people would make hay about new buildings.

Calculus: The Musical! - Extended Run

For those who missed out on this great CincyFringe performance, you have another chance. Call at 10AM today (Wednesday June 6th) and you can score some tickets. Do it now or miss out on the hottest Fringe ticket this year. The Details:

Calculus: The Musical!. Encore Performance
9:45 PM, Saturday, June 9.
Art Academy of Cincinnati,
1212 Jackson Street.
Tickets go on sale June 6, 2007 at 10 a.m.
Call 513.621.ARTS (2787)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Trying Anything

There is at least one Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor that will say nearly anything in open court to push her case forward. In this case a claim was made that a defendant had a connection to al-Qaida. Yea, the prosecutor was claiming that a defendant is a terrorist, or at least connected to them. The defendant is up on charges of violation of his probation in a domestic violence case. He is likely a bad dude, but a terrorist?

Monday, June 04, 2007

iLove Sells Out On a Monday

Monday sell outs just don't happen at CincyFringe, but iLove Sold Out tonight at Fringe.

Inside the CAC Blog

CAC Public Relations Director Stacey Czar has begun an inside the CAC blog, giving a little bit of a behind the scenes peek at the happenings with the staff and the inside view of the Contemporary Arts Center.

Fringe Review: Girlfight | The Conveyor

For the record I did not write the play "girlfight" but I did review it: Fringe Review: Girlfight | The Conveyor

Fringe is Still On!

There are six more days of shows for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. If you want to go, check out www.cincyfringe.com. Tickets for some shows are going fast! The Enquirer reports that so far this year's Fringe looks like a hit.

TheConveyor.com is continuing our daily coverage of Fringe. Our latest review of Public Espionage! can be read here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cincy Blues Challenge

If you want a little break from the Fringe, check out the Cincy Blues Challenge, 1PM Sunday June 3 at Germania Park, 3529 West Kemper Road. It's $15 for the whole day, which includes the best in Cincinnati Blues. For more information, check out the Cincyblues.org website.

Southgate House Gets Praise

Newport's Southgate House has been name amounts"America's 40 Best Music Venues" by Paste magazine.