Thursday, September 30, 2010

Too Much Time On Their Hands

After seeing some Reds players light up cigars to celebrate their clinching first place in the National League Central the other night, five people called the state anti-smoking hot line.


I was (and am) in favor of the smoking ban. But good grief, folks. Get a life.

Westwood Civic Association Acting Politically?

Is John Sess, President of the Westwood Civic Association, using a meeting of the organization to benefit Republican Candidates? Kevin Osborne at CityBeat has an article which alleges the meeting, to occur on October 5th, has two GOP candidates on the attendee list, but no Democratic candidates. The event, as Kevin details, was not publicized as a candidate forum. The question is, where Democratic candidates offered a direct special invitation. Will the GOP candidates be allowed to speak? If they do, the event should be seen as a partisan event. Something that will not go over well with the WCA's mission or status.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ignorance at the Enquirer on County Commisssion

If the Enquirer is going to endorse a candidate they might back up their basis for picking that candidate. Their basis for the Hamilton County Commission race was:
"But Chris Monzel (R) appears to offer a clearer opportunity for forward-looking solutions and creative thinking at the county, which faces tough choices with a looming stadium fund deficit and other challenges."
Appears? Might they cite something? They say he works at GE, but what good did that do him at City Hall?

The say he has a "penchant" for "provocative" propasals. How about naming one of them? Just ONE of them. Selling the stadiums? Is that it? Didn't see that in the article. Was it background checks on Ice Cream truck vendors? Didn't see that mentioned. There's nothing else he's put out there. NOTHING. If there was something, the Eqnurier would have printed it.

Instead of providing an actual basis for who they are endorsing they go on the attack with a quote from their fake debates. The Enquirer held mini-debates in front of the Editorial Board. That "appears" to be the sole reason for their choice. Or rather I would wager this was their justification for opposing Jim Tarbell, someone who isn't a favorite of the Enquirer.

I accept the reality that the Enquirer is Republican, it is, and it has been for a hundred years or more, but I really don't like them phoning it in. If you just don't like Tarbell, say that is why you are picking Monzel. Don't make stuff up about Monzel and then conveniently leave out the details. If he has solutions for the County, what are they? He had no solutions for the City, but I guess his past performance of doing nothing on council isn't something they considered relevant or I guess it didn't "appear" to be relevant. Jim Tarbell's past performance "appears" to be something they are holding against him. I wonder what Jim did to piss them off? Fighting the power doesn't win many friends on Third Street. It would matter more if Third Street was more relevant.

If Monzel wins and signs on to Hartman's plan to cut funding for indigent health care, I guess being lied to won't be relevant either.

On Twitter I read some's question asking how they made their endorsement choices. Well, having their head in the sand is part of it. Something that needs to change. At some point the Enquirer needs to break the cycle of ignorance, but it wasn't this year.

Friday, September 24, 2010

MidPoint Day One - Hot Smiles

Thursday nights at MidPoint are traditionally quiet nights. Most people have to work the next day. Most people are holding out until Friday & Saturday to really fill the venues. This year I'm happy to report that Thursday was hot, both literally and musically. If you didn't make it out, you missed out.

I hit Grammers first and that meant seeing a local favorite first: Wussy. Chuck and Lisa are steamy together and last night Chuck's distortion ripped through the opening song Rigor Mortis. The group was pumped and pushing the envelope a bit. Even as I poured through the PBR, the heat of the evening didn't end until the sun had long been set.

Male Bonding was good, but very rough. I wasn't blown away and maybe the fact that I was more interested in talking with several friends drove me from listening intently. Maybe it was the heat. Best Coast was much better and by this point the crowd had really swelled. So had the heat.

Let me say the Metro buses were great and are air conditioned, which came in handy. They were also the perfect spot to chat up others about what bands they were going to next. Some were on their way to see Shonen Knife, some You, You're Awesome and Holy F*ck, but a good sized number, along with myself wanted to see Van Dyke Parks.

My knowledge of Van Dyke Parks was limited to his MySpace page. His music was very different. Very-non-indie-rock, something that I want more of at MidPoint, which is one of the reasons I was pleased when I listened to their samples. The Group's picture was of a 65+ year old white haired man. I honestly thought this might be a bit of joke. Well, it turns out that I'm joker. Van Dyke Parks is famous. I mean Beach Boys famous. He's a well known composer arranger, most noted for working with Brian Wilson on his famed album Smile. He is the white haired man in the PR photo.  He's also very aware of this fact and didn't hide it, joking often about it.

Parks played the Blue Wisp. Where else would he play? He fit in there like a musical king and musicians go to the Wisp to praise other musicians. The Blue Wisp was packed when we got there, and thankfully the fire marshal was not around. Clare and Reasons were still on stage and their music blew me away. I meant to put them on my list of picks, but for some reason I screwed up. If I believed in it, I would say fate led me to the Wisp early, but I don't, so I will just share my joy at their encore song "He Needs Me" which was written by Harry Nilsson. It is such a beautiful song and Clare and Reasons invited Van Dyke Parks up on stage to play with them for it. I was humming along to it very loudly. It only took me a few seconds to remember where it came from: Robert Altman's Popeye. I had always assumed that it was an old standard. Today I wanted to look it up, see who the composer was, so I didn't just reference the movie and appear ignorant. Well, it turns out the song, along with the rest of the score for movie, where original, by Harry Nilsson. I dug a little bit more, and as I was reading I ran across the golden ticket to a musical version of the "Rest of the Story". The music to Popeye was arranged by Van Dyke Parks. So, there it was. It all came back to something near a point. It was charming, it was cute.  If had a girlfriend I would want her to sing this to me all the time. It maybe up staged Van Dyke Parks a bit to me.  Maybe it was the amount of beer I had, anyway, I was really moved by it. In case you don't know the song, here's a snippet from the movie:

If that doesn't put a smile your face, not much will. Clare and the Reasons version was better on a thousand levels, but tall skinny girls are more gracefully challenged, and make for better movie stars.

Day two of MidPoint is almost ready to being, so get out and find your own smile tonight.

Willie Cunningham Wants Bigger Government!

Don't anyone tell the 'Tea Party,' but local Conservative radio talk show host and chronic suffer of Say-Anything-For-Ratings Syndrome, Bill Cunningham, has publicly endorsed a Deer Park Schools bond issue. Mr. Cunningham graduated from Deer Park High School. I will be waiting for his negative calls climb like Mt. Rumpke, defining him as a socialist for supporting public schools. I may be waiting in vain, but I will still wait.

What happens all too often with Conservative voters is they talk a big talk, but when it comes to cutting government, they only want to cut programs that affect others, not ones they care about. Good government is the honest answer to how to run a country, state, or city. We don't always succeed, but we need the government to be there and public schools are one of the most important ways governments keep society from imploding, outside of the pesky Rule of Law thing, but that's not a big topic for Willie.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pre-MidPoint X-Mas, MOTR, and Rambling

So, it is a mere few hours before MidPoint starts and I am sitting in a coffeehouse on the hottest September 23rd in Cincinnati history. I am excited. I feel like it is Christmas morning and my parents are not up yet, meaning I only get to see what Santa brought me in my stocking. The piled up gifts under the tree will wait until my parents awake. You can't rush this. My older siblings are on duty to keep me occupied while we wait. My Dad was up late last night putting one of my gifts together, and I need to let him sleep.

I snuck a peek at that gift Dad had to assemble last night: MOTR Pub, the newest original music venue in Cincinnati. It's on Main Street where MidPoint began and lives where Cooper's once resided. Having a Hudy Amber as I stood by the stage, I felt wave of nostalgia flow over me. I remember seeing a for Algernon show there with a huge line-up that forced the keyboardist to set up in front of the stage. It was the best I've heard them play. I don't remember what year it was, maybe 2005 or 2006, but was a time before Main Street really died. It was dying, but had not gone cold. Well, what felt good last night was that it was clear to me that Main Street has risen from the ashes and along with the rest of Over-the-Rhine it will be a cultural beacon for Cincinnati this weekend.

I know those who have not been to Over-the-Rhine since the Main Street Brewery closed last century will make dumb jokes. I don't really care anymore. The jokes have been fewer and fewer the last couple of years, as OTR and Downtown have started to return to their rightful place as the center of culture for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. They never stopped being the actual center of culture for the Cincinnati region, but those who live where chain restaurants and watching American Idol pass for culture are beginning to see how a vibrant urban care brings the most cultural value to a society.  The tide has turned.

OTR will have a permanent up-tick from MOTR and with its success will help keep MidPoint and local original music going forward in Cincinnati.

Now it's time to tweak my Day One MidPoint schedule for the 11th time.  If you are out tonight, say hi and buy me a beer!

More MidPoint Picks

Still not sure who to see at MidPoint this year? Well, Classicgrrl at has her out of town must see bands as well as local picks.

UrbanCincy's Dave Rolfes has some advice on Midpoint, which includes info on the Fest extras and some band picks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mayberry Foodstuffs Coming

I'd heard rumors of this a while back, but haven't posted so that the news could break in the traditional media first. As reported by today's Business Courier, World Restaurant Group's Josh Campbell will open an "urban grocery store" at Seventh and Main this November. Josh is currently playing with Mayberry Foodstuffs as the business's name. It'll cater both to downtown residents and to downtown workers who want to take dinner home.

Josh is clearly quite excited by the idea. (And when Josh gets excited, good things happen, as anyone who's been to one of Mayberry's supper club events knows!) The store will be open until 10:00--a blessing for downtowners. Right now, if I want a loaf of bread after 7:00, I have to leave the neighborhood to get it.

I'll definitely have a review once the store opens, but this is obviously a positive step forward for downtown.

And as long as I'm saying nice things about Chef Campbell, I ought to offer two other tidbits:

First, Mayberry's lunch menu changed last week to a fall offering. I haven't tried everything yet, but can recommend both the turkey hot brown and the "Menage a Trois." (The latter is recommended only if you schedule an immediate visit with your cardiologist. The sandwich is the ultimate homage to pork: pork loin, pulled pork, and bacon hot slaw, along with brie cheese and Josh's spicy beer mustard.) The mashed potatoes are also very good--unsurprising, given Mayberry's skill with carbohydrates.

Second, next Thursday (September 30th), City Cellars will host a beer and foodie event from 7 until 10. The beer portion of the evening is dedicated to the 175th Anniversary Hudepohl Amber Lager. On the culinary menu will be dishes from Josh Campbell, including spiced lamb burgers and baby back ribs. Fifteen bucks gets you dinner and three beers. I have to teach that night, or I'd be there. Reservations required.

ENS's Guide to MidPoint 2010

The team over at Each Note Secure has the most comprehensive Indie music coverage in the City and released their guide to MidPoint which includes a two good selections of local bands to see and new hot out-of-town bands. Check it out if you are going to MidPoint.  If you read ENS why would you not be going to MidPoint?

Metromix Lists 20 Must See MidPoint Acts

The Enquirer's Metromix has listed its list of 20 acts to check out this weekend at the MidPoint Music Festival.  I am again pleased with the level of coverage the Enquirer has been given MidPoint in this being the third year that MidPoint is run by CityBeat. A large portion comes from their blog network, but there have been other good articles in Enquirer itself.  I hope to see more reports during the festival.

MidPoint Picks - Imports

I spent quite a bit of time listening to all of the MySpace/Facebook samples for this year's MidPoint line up and I've got my listing of artists I am going to try and see. No, I will not get to see all of these. I purposely skipped the Southgate House, not because the acts over there are not good, they are, I am just going to stick with OTR/Downtown venues for convenience. I also left off local bands. I usually don't go to MidPoint to see local bands, but I hope that doesn't stop others from going to out see them. Since I tend to not see full sets in order to see as much as I can, I'll catch other bands, especially local ones, that's just how MidPoint rolls. I also left off a few of the bigger acts, I figure you don't need me to tell you to go where the crowds are really big, if you want to see the popular bands.

Some groups will be great, some good, some will have off nights, and some just will not sound like their sample tracks. The most important thing everyone going to MidPoint should remember: have fun! The second thing they should remember: applaud the hard work of these musicians and make them feel welcome in Cincinnati.

So Here are my takes by day in order of appearance:

Male Bonding Grammer’s 8:30 PM Dalston, United Kingdom
Karate Coyote Mainstay Rock Bar 10:30 PM Columbus, OH
Van Dyke Parks Blue Wisp Jazz Club 10:30 PM Pasadena, CA
Shonen Knife Contemporary Arts Center 11:00 PM Osaka, Japan
Astro Fang Courtyard Café 11:15 PM Dayton, OH
Holy F*ck Cincinnati Club 11:30 PM Toronto, Canada
Loto Ball Show Main Event 11:30 PM Chicago, IL
Caribou Grammer’s 9:30 PM Dundas, Canada
Aaron Daniel Segway Room 10:30 PM Seattle, WA
The Front Bottoms Below Zero Lounge 10:30 PM Bergen County, NJ
Royal Bangs Know Theatre 11:30 PM Knoxville, TN
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir Main Event 12:30 AM Chicago, IL
+/- ArtWorks 8:00 PM Brooklyn, NY
Caravan of Thieves Grammer’s 8:30 PM Bridgeport, CT
Natural Child Main Event 10:30 PM Nashville, TN
Love in October ArtWorks 11:00 PM Chicago, IL
Phantogram Know Theatre 11:30 PMSaratoga Springs, NY
Cults MOTR Pub 12:00 AM New York, NY
Kinetic Stereokids FB’s 12:00 AM Flint, MI
River City Extension Arnold's Bar & Grill 12:15 AM Toms River, NJ

WOW! WCPO Has a MidPoint Guide

Way to cover Local Music WCPO! They have a special MidPoint Music Festival section on their website with the schedule and other events during the festival, even some feature articles.  It appears CityBeat provided the copy, but I'm glad to have more coverage. I really hope to see TV cameras from WCPO and other TV stations out each night during the festival, along with lead features during every broadcast during MidPoint.

Hat Tip: Kate the Great via Twitter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

90 Minutes Left to Buy You 3-Day MidPoint Passes...Hurry!!!

You have 90 minutes left to purchase your 3-Day MidPoint passes online. Click there now, and BUY! $39 is cheaper if you are going more than one day, so save money and get more music.

UPDATE: 3-Day Passes are still on sale at Retail Locations, while supplies last.

Metromix MPMF Survival Guide

The Enquirer shares some help and hits about the 2010 MidPoint Music Festival, including places to get food during and after the showcases each night.

Each Note Secure Interviews MPMF Artist Shonen Knife

30 years of Japanese Pop music is coming to the Midpoint Music Festival and Each Note Secure has an interview with the band.

Monday, September 20, 2010

MidPoint to Offer Single Day Passes

The MidPoint Music Festival will offer single day passes for $20. These passes will be available at the door of each venue.

3-Day pass on-line sales WILL STILL END tomorrow(09/21/2010) at 5PM, and will NOT be for sale at the venue doors. A 3-Day pass is the only way you can go to the Secret Show. A 3-Day pass will also get you free rides on the Metro Midpoint route. If you are going more than 1 day, a 3-Day is still your cheaper route. So Get your's NOW.

Savvy Journalists Can Spin a Story Too, Kevin

Kevin Osborne of CityBeat wrote an attack on the Enquirer and Joe Deters last week over the way he claimed they spun the Washington Park incident where a police officer accidentally ran over a person allegedly sleeping under a blanket. Kevin ended his column with this paragraph:
"Savvy politicians know how to spin a story, and all too often media outlets are willing to play along in search of an “exclusive.” In this case, the public wasn't well served by the prosecutor or the local daily newspaper of record."

I guess what's good for the geese isn't good for the goose, at least not to Kevin. The public was not served by Kevin Osborne's article.  The family of victim was served with a set of  "facts" spun in such a way to help with a civil lawsuit more than likely to be filed in the near future. In the process of attacking the Enquirer and Joe Deters for drawing conclusions from an incomplete investigation, Kevin did the same thing, he just spun the case, and maybe a civil trial jury pool, with the "facts" that he cherry picked out of the more detailed, yet unfinished, report. Kevin made it clear in his article that the investigation was not complete and no-conclusions had be finalized. So Kevin's doing just what the Enquirer did, but goes way farther in spin-doctoring.

Publishing the statement about what drugs someone alleged was taking for medical conditions and then reporting the manufacturer's list of POSSIBLE side effects was un-journalistic.  Drawing conclusions and declaring what those possible medical conditions might mean in a court of law is irresponsible and damaging to the the focus of our justice system: Truth.  Spinning the facts to fit a story-line that helps activists push an unrelated cause against progress in redeveloping the city, well that's a reason why I am sad that Kevin's column is one of the few sources of news in the City.  I am sad because it is not news, Kevin is giving opinion that is being interpreted by much of his readers as at least a semi-objective news article. Kevin and City will not claim to free of bias, but when you use conjecture for a column, and hide behind have more information than the Enquirer, that doesn't mean you are right about your claim, that means you have more data, some of which might very well be irrelevant.

It was also very troubling when Kevin 'reported' this statement in his article:
Witness Tony Ferrell told troopers, “The word on the street is that the cop was chasing a beer drinker.” Yes, folks, it could be that Burton died as Polk pursued someone for a minor misdemeanor, which carries no jail time under Ohio law, only a $150 fine.
Word on the Street? Seriously, he is going to report that as relevant? Did another witness happen to mention that it was actually 3CDC driving the car and the cops are covering for them? Someone said is was Marge Schott. How about Spiderman?  Kevin makes this bad journalism by using the statement of  a person who was telling police of the rumors as the basis to draw a conclusion and attack police. Kevin picked out that quote because it gave him the opportunity to attack a police officer and the power structure and gave him a cheap and hollow political point. That is what we call spinning and in this case he jumped to conclusions with the purpose of making his readers distrust the police and be mad. Well, Kevin made me mad, but not at the police, I am mad at him for judging a case before the final report is completed, one that will be analysed by trained officials. I am mad at him for using a tragic case to push his political viewpoints.  I am mad at him for not serving the public, and instead serving the needs of those he wants to get a big settlement from the City.

Deters may have read a preliminary version of the same information Kevin read, and more, since Deters is the Proscecuting Attorney. The Eqnuirer's lack of research is, well, common, but when you are running a daily instead of a weekly paper, cutting corners is what you are going to do. Blame them for not writing a follow-up story after getting more information.  Don't blame them for not cherry picking the facts on the case as you may want.  This was a tragic accident, but doing your best to making it into another police brutality case is not going work. The cop screwed up.  Thinking there is a criminal offense here is not about this case, it is about bias towards police.  Let the family sue and settle for a large sum of money.  It does no good trying to use this sad case for political causes that don't relate to the facts.  We need calm and sensible journalism.  We don't need yellow-journalism from CityBeat.  Leave that to the kooks who wear capes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

MIAMI 31, CSU 10

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.

Read about it here. I have more hope of bringing the Bell back to Oxford this year. October 9th is coming up!

Friday, September 17, 2010

MidPoint 3-Day Passes Will NOT Be Sold During the Festival!

For all of you procrastinators out there, you better get your Midpoint 3-day wrist bands for 3 days full showcase access before 5 PM on Tuesday September 21st, when online sales will end.  Retail locations will continue sales while supplies last.  To repeat:
  • 3-Day Wrist Bands ($39) for Midpoint will not be sold at venue doors during the festival.
  • There will not be any single day all venue passes. This detail may change.
  • You will have pay the cover ($10-$20) for each venue without a 3-Day Wrist Band.
Get your pass TODAY! The Festival takes place September 23-25.  Some retail locations to try: Neon's, Coffee Emporium in OTR, CAC, Park+Vine, Grammer's, Shake-It and more.
To buy online: GO HERE.

Update: Details may be changing.

Effective Protest? I Say Yes

Two protesters were arrested and two others were thrown out of Great American Ball Park yesterday afternoon for holding large banners over the outfield wall with anti-racist/pro-immigrant messages during the Reds game against Arizona.  No one was hurt, the message got out to good sized crowd, and media coverage was pretty positive.  The two will likely plea out and take what should be very light punishment.  As far as protests go, this was effective.  It's not going to change the world mind you, but it hopefully will change some minds.

Monzel Is Grasping At Something, But Doesn't Seem To Know

During a mini-debate at the Enquirer with fellow Hamilton County Commission Candidate Jim Tarbell, Canidate Chris Monzel was just pulling every thought out of his ass he could grab.  All he came up with was straw.

Chris Monzel wants to sell the Bengals and Reds Stadiums to solve the county's budget crisis.  He fails to say how this might be accomplised.  He fails to say how it could be completed in time to affect this years or even next year's budget.  He fails to say he has a better idea than Commissioner David Pepper tried when he brought up the the idea to sell the stadiums previously.  He actually contacted a group of bankers who turned him down.

Monzel is failing to say because he doesn't know.  He doesn't know what he would cut, he just says everything.  He doesn't say who will be buy the Stadiums because he has no clue and is ignorant of the County study the Enquirer cited stating that there isn't a market for the Stadiums with the level of debt the County holds on them.

Monzel doesn't know much of anything, except what the anti-government nuts he has hitched his wagon to want.  He knows he will not raise taxes.  He knows he will never say what he would want government to do, because that would piss off his base, who hate having a government do anything.  He knows he can't do anything that will piss off the crazies he is courting because that is all he has.  He has no plan for the future, he has no ideas to make this a better place to live.  All he has are trite social concerns that don't have any inpact on County Government.  If you hear him talk about abortion, know that he is pandering.  When you hear him talk about being a son of the suburbs, know that he is pandering.  When you hear him say he will do "what ever it takes" to lower crime, know that he is pandering.

You can know this because he has done nothing as a council member to address the same problems the County is facing.  The City has a budget deficit, but he has not provided a plan that will reduce all or even a noticable fraction of that deficit, even though he claimed to have done so. Why?  Why hasn't a sitting Council Member come up with a plan to help the city?  He can't.  He knows he can't.  He can't fix the City budget without cutting the police and fire departments, and he knows the the FOP and Fire Fighters union members live in the County, as opposed to the City, and will vote against him without a hesitation if he agrees to cuts that layoff unneeded members of their unions.

Monzel seems to know who will vote for him if he panders to them, but don't seem to know hot to actually fix the problems facing the City and County.  Why would anyone vote for him?

Check out more from the Daily Bellwether.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Constitution Party & Tea Party Candidate Indicted for Sex With a Minor

Eric Deaton, Constitution Party and Tea Party endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio was indicted last month for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in a Montgomery County court.

The New Lebanon man is claiming this is politically motivated. He is accused to allegedly having sexual contact with a female 15 years old during 2006 and 2007.

Sorry Mr. Deaton, Grand Jurys are not known for political motivation.

The man out to "Restore moral citizens to office" didn't appear to actual mean himself, which seems to make his third party candidacy even more futile.  The Tea Party sure can pick 'em.

More here.

Opening Day On Thursday?

The 2011 Reds Schedule was published yesterday and Opening Day is on a Thursday. Yes, it normally is on a Monday, but MLB has decided that games need to start earlier to avoid playing the World Series in November. The time of the game has not been published, but local support would be for an afternoon game, preceded by the traditional Findlay Market Opening Day Parade in the morning.

It feels kinda of cheap to move the day, but since the Reds lost the right to play the first game every year, this may be an opening to gain back that tradition.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Winburn Supports Qualls for Mayor in 2013

I don't know if Roxanne Qualls is happy that Republican Charlie Winburn is the first known endorsement of her yet unannounced 2013 mayoral campaign, but she got it yesterday via this Twitter post from Jane Prendergast of the Enquirer:
Winburn: I don't want to be mayor, I'm supporting Qualls. "I already told her that."
At this point, would there even be a Republican candidate to opposee her?  She got more votes than the sitting mayor got last year as Councilmember, and is the clearly leading candidate at this early stage. I find it laughable for an elected Republican to give her an endorsement, even this early and even off the cuff.  I am blogging this in part to make sure that he can't deny it wasn't published, but I'm sure Charlie Winburn wouldn't have much qualms about changing his mind a few years down the road.  He's not known for being unfungible.  Just so the search engines don't miss it: Republican Charlie Winburn has endorsed Democrat/Charterite Roxanne Qualls for Mayor of Cincinnati in 2013.
We have a big election coming up this November, next year we have Cincinnati City Council to go through, so the Mayor race seems like it isn't even a consideration.  I don't expect we'll hear much about this until late November 2011.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Get Ready It's Oktoberfest Week!

Get you beer steins cleaned and work on your beer fighting weight. This weekend is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. The world of beer and brats will be centered on Cincinnati's 5th Street for 2 full days. Don't miss a second, unless you need to relieve yourself, which after a day's worth of beer drinking, you will need to do. Bring your grandma and your dancing shoes.

Local 'Tea party' Opens an HQ: Guess Where?

If you thought about it for all of Five seconds and then blurted out loud: "West Chester, of course," then you would be correct. There's nothing really surprising that the TPers GOTV efforts would focus in West Chester, home of the Conservative Republican base. The local group is nothing but a Republican organization, and anyone denying that is clearly not worth all of the tea bags in China you can buy at the West Chester Walmart.

Is Justin Jeffre a Plagiarist?

Well, if you read The incinnati Man then the evidence is there that Jeffre did plagiarize a book by Ralph Nader. The "Dean" appeared to defend Jeffre on The Cincinnati Man Blog and then the post on the Cincinnati Beacon was updated to include a citation of the original source.

So bottom line: Jeffre ripped a lengthy citation from a book, didn't cite it as a quote, got caught doing it, then added a citation after the fact. That's not good journalism, but I've never considered him much of a journalist.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

More on MOTR on Main

Soapbox has a nice article this week with some of the details of the new bar opening on Main Street later this month, MOTR. Hightlights include a courtyard, food, basement rooms, no cover, and eventually there will be music seven days a week. The last one is the biggest challenge. I welcome it.

Seven nights of music is something that only happens with coverband venues, like J-Hall in Newport. Original music venues like Southgate House and Northside Tavern come close to seven nights a week, but they don't adhere to that model, and use alternate programming to fill big holes: think Dance MF and Karaoke. Using genre themes on "off nights", something the owners plan to do, is a good idea to target wider audiences and make the seven day model more attainable.

MOTR as defined in the article is the type of cultural attraction OTR needs. Success will necessitate the owners put a lot out there to get the fans to make it a destination. There is not natural parking immediately near-by and OTR does not currently have as many live music fans living with in walking distance as Northside does. This would mean they need to capitalize on the proximity to Downtown and the new casino and draw in people who on any given night are looking for something interesting to do. There is risk, but I for one will have fewer reasons to go to Northside for live music.

The Streetcar Will Flow Uptown on Vine Street

The Enquirer is reporting that the City announced yesterday the route for the Northern leg of the Streetcar will flow up Vine Street. West Clifton Avenue was the other choice.

The Vine Street route will cost less and with the lower grade incline would on paper be easier to construct.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Texting While Driving

Cincinnati City Council is now poised to pass a ban on texting while driving. According to the Enquirer, it will have the support of at least 2 of the 3 Republicans on Council (and there's no mention of opposition from the third, who simply isn't on the committee from which the ordinance originated).

On the bright side, the ordinance apparently specifically permits the use of GPS devices.

I still don't understand how an officer will differentiate between a driver dialing his or her phone to make a call and using the cell phone to send a text message. Council was told by CPD that (a) this isn't an area in which CPD is noticing a significant problem, and (b) enforcement could be problematic.

One thing is certain: I don't ever want to hear another Hamilton County Republican ever complain about the so-called "nanny state." Ever.

Here's my previous post on this.

Seelbach For Council Publishes First Online Ad

First time Cincinnati Council Candidate Chris Seelbach is out early with his first online advertisement:

An early endorsement from former Vice Mayor David Crowley is strong showing for the very early days of the 2011 race. Raising money is the key now through next summer. An early start is the only way for a first time candidate to fare well in the election, and Chris has begun earlier than anyone.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Big Dog is Coming to Town

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Cincinnati to raise money for Ohio's Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher's Senate race.

The conservative zombies can already smell him and will rise from the dead to blame him for everything going on. They will blame him for the Reds losing 2 of 3 in St. Louis over the weekend. They will blame him for UC's embarrassing lose to Fresno State. They will also blame him for the Streetcar!!! Lock up your conservative middle aged women! A crisis is brewing! Conservatives can only blame President Obama for so much, they need to fall back on Bill for everything else.

Monday, September 06, 2010

BC, We Hardly Knew Ye....

I have no problem admitting that the Cincinnati Blog is not the best blog in town. That's not because CityBeat says so or because some other site gets more daily hits. It's because I read most of Cincinnati's blogs (with varying frequency), and I know what's out there.

In my opinion, the award for "Best Blog" in town over the last couple of years should go, hands down, to Building Cincinnati. (And I've said that before.) That's not to put down the quality of the work here or at other political blogs or other niche blogs (be they foodie blogs or diary blogs or sports blogs). But everything that Kevin LeMaster writes at BC is well-sourced, well-analyzed, and well-written. I lack the time (and probably the ability) to do those things as well as he does.

Unfortunately, putting together a blog the caliber of BC takes a lot of time. So much time, in fact, that Kevin can really only do it if he's able to make a living from what BC brings in through its partnership with the Enquirer and advertising. There's only a handful of blogs (none local, so far as I know) that generate this kind of money. So it looks like Kevin will have no choice but to leave the blogosphere and enter the "real world."

The loss of Building Cincinnati is a sad thing for Cincinnati.

Hopefully, Kevin will find another forum to write. Given the strength of his sources and his writing ability, surely someone in the print media must have a spot on staff for him? Cincinnati Business Journal? Cincinnati Magazine? Time for someone to take a chance....

Number 5 is Alive....

Bengals fans (including me) had better hope the offensive line provides Secret Service-like protection for Carson Palmer this season. Jordan is the backup? Really? Most people assume he only gets a roster spot because of some rider in Carson's contract. And now he's #2 on the depth chart.

There aren't many Frank Reich's in the league. But a playoff-caliber team has to have a viable backup QB to get through a couple of games if the starter goes down. Does anyone think the Bengals can win any of the games on their schedule if Jordan has to play the second half, much less start a game?

Someone better be making sure Carson is eating his Wheaties....

All Smoke, No Fire?

The Enquirer lists the major property owners along the most likely streetcar routes. There's a name that's notably absent: Towne Properties.

Certainly, Towne properties has an interest in the streetcar. The Uptown Commons project represents a pretty big financial gamble for the company, and they'll net a ton of money if it succeeds. And there can be no doubt it's more likely to be successful if a nearby streetcar connects it to downtown.

But vocal streetcar opponents insisted that Towne Properties had land all along the streetcar route. They made it sound as if the streetcar were a pet project of Towne Properties. Clearly, that's not the case.

And clearly, some people owe Chris Bortz an apology. I'll admit, I gave him grief in a post this past May, but that was over the really bad judgment required to request--and then ignore--an Ohio Ethics Commission opinion. And I stand by that assessment. But it now seems as if maybe some of those most vocally against the streetcar were pushing the Bortz conflict issue to distract from the merits of the question.

Shame on them.


That's the magic number for the Reds. The Enquirer now has a permanent spot for the magic number on its sports page. Wish I had seen it before removing my socks and shoes to do the math myself.

Barring some sort of historic breakdown, the Reds will be in the playoffs this year. But this weekend's series against the Cardinals has to give us some concern about how they'll do once in the postseason. Those two losses (3-2 Friday and 4-2 Sunday) looked like playoff games will look. Big, hostile crowds. Great pitchers. Low scoring, grind-em-out games. Can the Reds win these games? Colin Cowherd is a blowhard, but he usually has a point. Maybe he does this time, too. Maybe we're just a pitcher or two away (or a season or two away for the pitchers we already have) from the Reds being ready to go deep into the postseason.

None of this changes the following: the Reds are a lot of fun to watch this year, and I'm going to be a little sad when the season ends, whether that comes following the regular season or at the end of the World Series.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Gameday Predictions

Some of the games have already started, but (I promise!) I haven't looked at any scores. Just wanted to offer some opening week predictions. (I'm putting them on the blog because, quite frankly, I'd privately predicted the Reds would go 6-3 on their last road trip (exactly what they did), but only two friends heard me, so I'm having trouble getting credit for my Rainman-like sports instincts.)

The Redhawks will lose. Big. Their loss will be so earth-shattering they might disband the football team after the game. (How many fans tuned into the game thinking it was the real Miami playing Florida?)

TCU and Boise State will both lose, causing a major shuffle to the polls after Week 1.

My Penguins, sadly, will not prevail.

Brian Kelly starts off the Notre Dame season with a win. It'll be one of just 5 his team gets all season, leaving the Irish ineligible for post-season play.

But my Bearcats will win their first game--a trap game, quite frankly. It'll be high-scoring but close. Local media will start dreaming Zach Collaros Heisman dreams. (Has he finished his diversion yet?)

Michigan will win, but barely.

That's just about all the football I care about this weekend. Anyone else?

Training Day

For a few minutes of diversionary delight, go check out Kate the Great's post with embedded clips of Wendy's training videos. These are classic early '90's employment videos, set to music in order to capture the attention of their teenage new hires. The two-minute video on how to serve hot drinks is particularly instructive. Tips on how to pour a cup of coffee include the lyrics:

Gets a lid
Every time.
Wendy's coffee
Tastes so fine.

And from the segment on serving hot tea:

If they want lemon
It's very nice, don't think twice
Give the guests
Their juicy slice.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bhati Tops Speculation List for Coroner

Dr. Anant Bhati is the only name being mentioned in public by Democratic officials to fill the position of Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens who is leaving for Job as President of Cincinnati State.

Dr. Bhati sounds like a very compelling candidate. This is a job that gets little attention, unless someone dies or someone forgets to lock the doors of morgue. If Dr. Bhati can keep the door locked and oversee the team investigating all of the deaths in the county, he should do well. Job requirement #1 appears to be just being diligent. I don't know how a well respected doctor can NOT be diligent.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

CEA Winners Announced: Know Theatre Wins 5 Awards

The last Theatre CEAs awards program took place Sunday evening and the hosts of the event, the Know Theatre, took 5 awards, 3 individual performances and 2 production awards.

The list of winners for all categories are listed here.