Friday, November 30, 2007
People who have recently moved downtown from the 'burbs need to be cautioned: it's not going to be anything like the Hyde Park Kroger or a Walmart Supercenter. Instead, it sounds like it will be like the grocery stores you'd expect to find in the midst of New York City neighborhoods. Fresh meat, produce, dairy, but not necessarily a ton of dry goods. But that's what should be downtown: a typical, urban grocery store. We don't need no stinkin' supercenters.
The irony, of course, is that the grocery store will sit quite literally in the shadow of the Kroger Building. Kroger has consistently declined to build a grocery store downtown, claiming there's not a sufficient population base to do so. Even more shameful, though, is that company's failure to build a decent-sized grocery store in Over-the-Rhine--which certainly has enough residents to support a larger store than the abomination that sits on Vine Street a few blocks from corporate headquarters.
I just can't wait for summer again....some of the best food I ate this past summer was from Avril Bleh's little grilling stand in front of the store.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
But really, should I care whether my President believes every word of the christian scriptures? Does it matter if Mitt Romney believes every word of the Book of Mormon? Does it matter if Mayor Guiliani believed every word of scripture, except the ones about divorce and infidelity, when he was using taxpayer money to provide security when he met up with his then paramour, while he was married? Does whether a candidate believes every word of christian scripture inform whether they believe waterboarding is torture -- John McCain, who has been tortured, does believe it, while Governor Romney, who avoided military service (like Dick Cheney and W), thinks waterboarding might be alright for really bad dudes (again, like Dick Cheney and W).
I was glad to know that John McCain, the soldier, does not own a gun, that Fred Thompson, the TV star, owns two, but the whereabouts are a secret, and that Mitt Romney's son owns two that are in the governor's house for some reason. Also, it is good to know that Romney thinks asking people with "funny accents" who are working on his lawn for their papers is bad form, but that America's Mayor thinks that would be just fine, while Tom Tancredo thinks we should not ask, but just round them up. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is worried about our national sovereignty and believes that there is a secret conspiracy to merge the US, Canada and Mexico (Given the exchange rate between the US dollar and the loonie, it might not be a bad thing).
So this is what is important in America in the new century! Thank God, I could go to sleep after this debate with images of dreamy Anderson Cooper in my mind to calm the disturbance caused by the thought that this was the best we could do . . . . . . .
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
And Nassar wasn't shy about his intent:
As soon as Nassar gave the man the money, he ran out the door and east on Ninth Street. When the robber took off, Nassar said he reached behind the counter, grabbed the .22-caliber handgun he keeps there and ran to the front door, opened it and started shooting, getting off five shots.
"How I missed him I don't know," Nassar said. "If I (would have) crossed the street, I would have killed him." Police heard the shots and responded. They weren't too thrilled about Nassar shooting his gun on a downtown street in an area across the street from a school.
Nassar said he gave the robber $400 – and then grabbed his gun and followed him out the door. That’s when Nassar said he fired his .22-caliber handgun at the fleeing robber. “I meant to kill the dude,” Nassar said minutes after the Nov. 12 robbery.
Why is this OK? Joe Deters says that the robber "forfeit[ his] right not to be shot." But this isn't about the robber's rights; it's about the legality of Nassar's conduct. With gun ownership comes responsibility. Shooting at a fleeing suspect--who's already outside your property--is not self-defense. If Nassar had hit and killed his target (whose name is Sanford O'Neal, and is obviously not a terribly sympathetic figure--a few weeks after the Minimart heist, he was arrested for allegedly burglarizing a homicide victim's house, an act made possible only by breaking through police crime scene tape), would Nassar still be a free man?
I'm not suggesting that Nassar be charged with attempted murder. But there should be consequences for firing your gun on a downtown street at someone who no longer poses a risk of harm to you. I'm not convinced that turning downtown into the Wild, Wild West is such a good idea.
Next thing we'll get is someone writing a letter to the editor bitching about Cincinnati Public Schools for banning a play by Jessica Fletcher.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Last week, Thompson made public a series of proposed budget cuts, including one requiring townships to pay for the deputies that patrol their streets. At the time, it seemed to be taken for granted that in the wake of the defeat of Issue 27, the county would discontinue funding for the patrols in Over-the-Rhine.
Yesterday, following a public meeting attended by several HamCo sheriff's deputies, we get this statement from Todd Portune:
"I expect the balanced budget will include Over-the-Rhine patrols. I expect it
will include no changes for township deputies. I don't know what we'll do to get
there, but I believe strongly we will accomplish our goals."
Here's my point: by raising the issue of county-subsidized policing for the townships, Thompson may have made it politically impossible for the OTR patrols to be de-funded. The average City resident, prior to last week's news reports, probably didn't realize the extent to which places like Greene, Colerain, Anderson, and other townships rely on the county for the provision of police services. How could the commissioners (particularly Portune and Pepper) have justified to City residents the expenditure of funds for public safety in the suburbs at the same time county funds for public safety in the City would be cut off entirely? The backlash from City residents would have been enormous (and perhaps rightly so).
So I wonder--was the issue of the township patrol budget floated intentionally, to ensure the commissioners would have political cover when they found money for the OTR patrols, or is that giving our local leaders credit for too much guile and foresight?
Monday, November 26, 2007
Something that was mentioned in the article was the Drop-In Center, but the reason for it being mentioned is not obvious to anyone not familiar with the underlying issue: the Bums must go. All of the renovation of the Park will be lost if the bums still camp out in the Park and along 12th Street. That is the big question about Park renovation. If they have no plans there, then it will not matter how nice it is, the bums will do two things: keep people away and they will quickly ruin many of the renovations.
It is great seeing the building on the corner of Vine and 13th Streets undergo a massive rehab. In the new plan it is good to see more money for Main Street.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This Thanksgiving, no one in my family was going to have time to do much baking, so I decided to order a couple of pies from Fred and Gari's--one pumpkin and one chocolate. Since Thursday (well, really, since Wednesday, when I first got a whiff of the pumpkin pie), I've been struggling to find words to describe how magnificent these pies are. They're so good they make you feel privileged to eat them, so good that you feel a little sad knowing that sooner or later (depending on your degree of self-control), they'll be gone.
Fred and Gari's: another one of the things that makes downtown Cincinnati a great place in which to live and work.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
“And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (The Qur’an 5:32)
“Poverty is the worst form of violence." (Gandhi)
"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." (Woody Allen)
"Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" (Matthew 19:21)
I thought I may as well weigh in on this discussion of homelessness and poverty that Griff and Donald have started. Perhaps I come from a very different place, but it seems that we as a society have decided in this The Second Gilded Age that we just don't care about poor and homeless people at all and see them as just reaping the harvest of their choices. For at least the last twenty-five years -- through the administrations of right wingers who believed in the literal word of scripture and Dick Cheney and left wingers who believed in both the holiness of scripture and blow jobs --, we have embraced social policies that destroyed the social safety net and that manifested a radical social darwinism. Systemically, we have said to poor people, "we are tired of you and your whining --- you are bringing us down --- don't you understand that the reason you don't have all that we have is because you have not worked hard enough, you are lazy and lacking in education, because you dropped out. Sorry that many of you had long long ago ancestors that lived in slavery, but we just don't care. You are on your own now. We have power and will move you where we want to move you and make social policy that is driven by what is convenient for us." So what happens when you to say to desperate people, "you are on your own to make do; you get what you get in this world because you get what you deserve"? A social policy built on the theology of the survival of the fittest means that it is power against power -- who knows who will win -- yet it puts us all in a war zone.
And, how can it be that we have a museum down the road a little ways dedicated to the literal truth of the Hebrew scriptures when it comes to science and creation, yet have a society of literal believers who do not believe Jesus literally meant what he said when he said "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." So contrary to all scientific findings, dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth at the same time, but Jesus was just kidding around when he said this. Hmmm. . . . . .
First you have three churches who bring food down for one day. Sure, that gives the bums something to eat for a day. Does it help them kick drugs or booze? No, it saves them buying food that can then be used for drugs or booze.
Second you have the "homeless" advocates (yes, I put that word in quotes on purpose) who in my opinion admit that they don't really want to help these people and improve the neighborhood, instead they want to force people to see the bums.
Well, how many times has Georgine Getty worked to move the bums away from the drug dealers and the corner stores with cheap booze? She does nothing but really make me want to protest her organization and the Drop Inn Center if they don't take any and every offer to move out of Over-the-Rhine. Her answer is:
"If you have a problem seeing homeless folks, you should end homelessness," Getty said.If you are a person hanging out around the park there are three possible things wrong you: 1. You are a drug addict 2. You are addicted to alcohol or 3. You are mentally unbalanced and can't afford treatment. If the Georgine doesn't want to find ways to treat those problem, then she doesn't want to help anyone in Washington Park. Giving a man a meal for one day does nothing to help him with why he is in the Park.
Finally, if you have a problem with wanting the bums to live normal lives, then you want the bums to keep on being bums so you can keep the funding for your ineffective programs.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Ultimately, the problem of providing for our city's homeless is going to be an excrutiatingly difficult issue for Mayor Mallory and City Council. It's true, of course, that many associate "homeless" with either "criminal" or "panhandler," and to the extent that happens (regardless of whether that mental association is based on reality), a visible homeless population hurts development efforts. But it's also true that in America's cities, the homeless have always tended towards the inner-city. CityLink probably won't cause a migration of our homeless population to the West Side (and if it does, what happens to redevelopment efforts there?).
True solutions (e.g., finding ways to eradicate homelessness) are unlikely, as both city and county leaders are likely to slash the few dollars that are presently slated towards social services. How we treat our homeless (who are often some of the most vulnerable among us) will say a lot about what our City will become in these transitional times.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Yes, I am kidding....on the square. I really am wondering why the sheriff would cut patrols that have been far more effective in catching criminals than worrying about speeders in Columbia Township. Is is using some kind of LIFO crime fighting technique?
Friday, November 16, 2007
Maybe we should have a Cincinnati Blog team.....[Posted by Donald]
But when I drive past the Christmas tree, I can't help but wonder: isn't it a little scraggly this year? Maybe it's just that the lights aren't up yet. Or maybe the summer-long drought kept the tree from being all that it could be. But I'm not loving this year's tree just yet. [Posted by Donald]
John Lee Hooker
In responding to Brian's gracious invitation for additional contributors to this blog, I told him that if he wanted a grumpy gay curmudgeon's perspective, I was the guy for the job. I am a 51 (almost 52, if anyone wants to get me a birthday present soon) year old attorney, a partner in a large downtown law firm -- so not a YP by any stretch. I am a civil litigator and also coordinate all of the pro bono work done by my firm. I also teach at the law school at the University of Cincinnati in areas related to legal ethics and sexual orientation/identity and the law. For the first 15 years I was in Cincinnati, I lived in Clifton (3 years) and then downtown (12 years). Currently, I live in the vicinity of Mariemont. I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and have been in Cincinnati for 17 years, having lived on the east coast for a number of years before that. Being an attorney is only one of several careers I have had in my life, having worked in prior incarnations as a political professional and then as a religious professional. I try to be an active contributor to the arts in Cincinnati, and I currently serve on the Board of the Cincinnati Opera. I am also active in a number of local, regional and national GLBT organizations, including serving on the Board of the Point Foundation, which provides financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious students across the country who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a love / hate relationship with Cincinnati, having been frustrated by its narrowness and provincialism and elevated by its beauty and its artistic heritage. In my blogging I want to give voice to this tension, recognizing the beauty and potential of this town and calling out those forces that hold us back. And I hope to have some fun in doing this. (Posted by Jack)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It seems about 9,000 less votes were actually cast than originally reported.The Canvass report did come out after the total results were listed, so it does fit. The Canvass report doesn't include absentee votes and the total number of votes cast in canvass document matches the number cast on the total document. Unless Jason has a different document, then he and Michael Earl Patton appear to have made a very foolish mistake. No, that would not be a surprise.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Why wasn't the club named? Someone planned a teen night and didn't control things at all. They are lucky no one was hurt, at least no reports on that were made in the paper. If someone was hurt, the paper certainly would have made that known.
The last thing Main Street needs are teenagers. Please, oh please, keep the kids out of an adult entertainment area.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
"The issue made it to the ballot when an unusual coalition of bloggers, the NAACP and conservative anti-tax groups collected more than 38,000 valid signatures in order to put the tax to a referendum.OK, bloggers plural? What blog beyond the Beacon supported, in more than lip service, the anti-jail tax petition? Also, how on earth do "bloggers" get top billing over the NAACP and the nuts in COAST?
I think Greg's bow tie was a little too tight on Tuesday night. I thought about getting a picture of him and post it, but the Less Nessman headline I was thinking of would have been just too snarky.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
2007 - 34.14%
2005 - 35.87%
Change - 1.73% Decrease
City of Cincinnati:
2007 - 27.91%
2005 - 35.23%
Change - 7.32% Decrease
On Issue 27 this shows that the anti-tax faction got their base out in force. It is difficult to get a motivated electorate to come out in mass in an effort to raise taxes.
Secondly, why the hell did it really take this long? Who was unprepared? Were the poll workers not trained correctly? I would surmise that may have only been a small issue. It sounds like to me the real issue was how the counting programming was set up. It was a BOE problem. Someone needs to either get new a new system, or get someone who knows how to operate the system they have. This is not the first election in which they used this new voting system.
While they are at it, could the HC BOE get a new website? Could they put the results online in a form other than a pdf? Why can't they also give real time precinct detail? Also, why can't I find a listing of the Cincinnati precinct locations online? Hell, I'd take a map of the wards to know where they are? I was personally very displeased with the efforts of local election officials. Cincinnati will again be part of the Ohio swing state mess that certainly will fall upon us in 2008.
John Cranley 32,663
Roxanne Qualls 32,648
David C. Crowley 30,112
Cecil Thomas 26,206
Chris Bortz 25,677
Leslie Ghiz 24,163
Laketa Cole 23,853
Jeff Berding 22,906
Chris Monzel 22,712
Charlie Winburn 21,267
Minette Cooper 18,141
Sam Malone 16,767
Melanie Bates 14,863
Pat Fischer 14,570
Greg Harris 13,734
John Eby 13,684
Wendell Young 13,432
Brian Garry 12,710
Joan Kaup 8,184
Andre Harper 7,223
Justin Jeffre 7,065
Mitch Painter 4,944
Steve Pavelish 4,058
Michael Earl Patton 3,025
George Zamary 2,112
This election is one where analysis of which Wards/Precincts voted and who voted for which candidate is going to be looked at with intense research.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Is the CCV actually losing all of its influence in the city? In the questionnaire referenced in the The Bellwether Daily only two council candidates are listed on the as having responded to the survey. I mean, where is Charlie Winburn and Sam Malone's response? Sam Malone carried the CCV's water in their crusade to oppress gays and lesbians in the City. Sam can't be bothered with the CCV? Or does the CCV not want to associate itself with a guy who allegedly whipped his son with a belt. I think I can take away the allegedly part, but I am going to be on the safe side.
Chime in with your voting experiences. So far it is cold and Sunny out. The forecast via weather.com states:
A mix of clouds and sun with gusty winds. Much cooler. High 48F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.So, there is no excuse to not get out there an vote.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Michael Earl Patton
Voter turnout will be the key factor this year, with the last few to get on council still up in the air. The two in the top that could really move are Cole and Winburn. Cole will unfortunately likely still win. She could drop like a rock to 7th or 8th place. Winburn could move up, depending on voter turnout and if he is keeping both the Conservative and Black votes he has had before.
I'll be doing more blogging tomorrow during the day. Keep me posted on any voting problems. This is another year where we have to have ID to vote. I just moved, and I have the electric bill as back-up ready to go!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I am a little bit surprised, but pleased they support John Eby. I disagree on some issues with John, but he is a good guy, and is the best Republican in the field.
I am very surprised about Laketa Cole. Even without her recent Drama, she's not been a good council member, and how she's been working with the fiscal five should turn her off from the usual CityBeat philosophy.
I am also surprised CityBeat has a very white slate. I think Cecil Thomas is worthy of consideration, even with his conservative social views. With CityBeat's choices as cover, I might be able to avoid some of the White Guilt crowd's anger when I say this year there is a clear lack of good minority candidates. There by comparison an increased number of non-minority quality Urbanist-Progressive candidates attractive to CityBeat. This does not fit the demographics of the city, however. Does this bode well for the future?
Secondly, if the clubs down there are at all to blame for bringing in stupid wannabe gang bangers. It is a rather simple thing, don't cater to the thugs. Do promote gang life, don't glorify it and the thug will stay away.
What is funny, if I hadn't read about this today, I wouldn't have know this happened 2 blocks from where I live. Who would ever have guessed that 12th and Vine is far safer than 12th and Main Street?