Friday, December 30, 2011

Is COAST Bleeding Quadrophenic?

CityBeat's Kevin Osborne has an interesting blog post detailing the many varied stances of COAST since they got beat in the November election. I agree with Kevin's general assertion. It sounds like either a single member of COAST has a hardcore split personality disorder, or there is conflict in the ranks.

A silver star goes to anyone who got the reference in the title.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Residency of Denise Driehaus Challenged in Ohio 31 House Race

Denis Driehaus, a Westside Democrat, is having her residency challenged by a friend of another candidate (Terry Tranter) in the 31st house race.  The issue at hand is the question of Driehaus living in the 31st district 12 months prior to the 2012 election.  Driehaus has been a house representative on the Westside of Cincinnati and after her district was totally wiped out she has apparently moved to the new 31st district, which runs from Central to the Eastside of the Cincinnati.

Tranter's friend also questioned both Driehaus's and candidate Luke Brockmeier's signatures, claiming "irregularities" on them.  The article reports that the BOE of elections found that both candidates had enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Depending on the views of the board, a hearing could be held next week.  That would seem to be a really big waste of time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

IRhine's: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas All-Star Cincy Edition

COAST Members Looking to Waste More City Money to Benefit Finney

"Attorney" Chris Finney, along with token "residents" of the City of Cincinnati Mark Miller and Tom Brinkman, want to waste more of the Taxpayer's money by subsidizing the "career" of Finney.  They've sent a letter to the City Solicitor as the first step in what likely will be a frivolous lawsuit that has no basis in law. Finney stands to benefit from this if the lawsuit goes on and he can collect legal fees in a settlement or, if he gets an insane judge, an actual positive ruling.

This action is the exectution of the threat issued by Council Member Chris Smitherman and nothing more than is a total waste of time.  It is based on a single word "all" and as I previously blogged, the "all" clause "arguement put forth in the finney letter was fully satisfied when Council's legislative power was exercised with the passing of the rules of council.  All Legisilative powers included giving others in the government the power to carryout the charter.  Let me quote my own blog post linked above:
Section 5a of Article II of the City Charter states "The Council shall organize itself and conduct its business as it deems appropriate...." That's what they did with a 5-3 vote (one member was absent.)

Section 2 of Article III of the City Charter state "The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the council, but shall not have a vote on the council."
I am far from a legal scholar, but any educated person who understands the core basis of Representative Democracy and Divided Government understands that Finney has no case. They can dislike the rules of Council and they can voice their dislike, but unless they get a majority of votes, they have to learn to deal with losing.

Side Note: Originally Smitherman stated he was going to be the having Finney send the letter if Council didn't cave to his threats.  Why is this letter written with Miller and Brinkman as the complainants and not Smitherman?  Where's Chris Smitherman's name on the letter?  He is obviously, based on his original grandstanding incident, in cahoots with this cabal, but why the lack of his name?  Is there a misrepresentation here?  Is there a conflict? Is there any possible dereliction of duty as a Member of City Council? Should this be investigated by the authorites?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jeff Cramerding Running For Treasurer

CitBeat has a good summary on Long time behind the scenes campaign guru Jeff Cramerding's effort to put his own name on the ballot for Hamilton County Treasurer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

OccupytheLeftists Why Don't Ya?

If you are going to be a Leftist political movement, then just be a leftist political movement!  OccupyCincy shouldn't be picking the most leftist idea and pushing it as if they represent a belief shared by "99%" of the country.  I'm over it.  I had sympathy for the concept, but now it's just a front, and I'm not just talking the People's Front of Judea, I am downright talking the Judean People's Front.

And in other news, the Parks Board members are idiots.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Streetcar to Run to the Banks

The Federal Government has come through again and has awarded another grant to fund the Streetcar to allow it to reach the Banks project, near Great American Ball Park.  The $10.9 Million grant was announced yesterday with a visit from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to City Hall.

This really solidifies the Streetcar.  Not having the funding for the Banks was a setback that was going to require help and the Federal Government has come through for the people of Cincinnati and the entire region.

This grant also adds a little more salt to wounds of Streetcar foes who suffered big at the ballot box last month. I am not going to shed a tear if Tom Luken and COAST feel the sting a bit more.

We should see ground breaking by 1st quarter 2012 and the streetcars running in 2013.  The phase 2 portion, the connector to the Uptown area, still needs funding, so more work is still ahead and this should be from the State of Ohio.  We need to get the anti-Urban Republicans to start governing for everyone in the State, not just the Suburbanites.  That starts with voting and it starts with holding the Democratic Party's feet to the fire, something they need a the moment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What is the Future of Metromix?

Last week Gannett, parent company of the Enquirer, announced that it was closing seven Metromix outlets.  The Cincinnati edition of Metromix was not included, but how much longer will the publication last or in what form could it continue?

The MinnPost is reporting that the Twin Cities Metromix will be replaced by an "Express Metromix" which the article states would be an aggregation website for Entertainment.  I would prefer they shutter the website instead of being an aggregator.  We don't need any more aggregators.

Do we see the future of all of Metromix in these stories?  Will Metromix Cincinnati follow the Minneapolis model?

I hope not, but if you make me bet, I would give it until the end of summer 2012.

Is print advertising that unprofitable?  I still read the advertisements.  I do that mostly because in entertainment publications that is often how I can find out what events are going on, since original content in these print publications have become nearly non-existent.

I'm still waiting on the Enquirer iPad app, which reports indicate will require a subscription to read it.  I don't know how this will affect the regular online edition or iPhone app, but free online news in Cincinnati is endangered.  If the paper takes the profits from the iPad subscriptions and invests in more LOCAL reporters covering LOCAL stories, then I will pay for an online edition of the Enquirer.  I just don't see Gannett making any investment in anything that actually provides original local news content, just eyeballs to crap.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Light Up OTR On Friday At Neon's

Join the neighborhood in celebrating the holidays!

Here's the who-what... on the event:
WHO: Ionic Collective and Peanut Butter Jelly Co. (PB&J) 
WHAT: The 2nd annual Light Up Over-the-Rhine (Light Up OTR) will take place this Friday in Over-The Rhine. Community leaders, residents, young professionals and artists will join together this holiday season to set up over 1000 luminaries framing an 8-block radius from Central Parkway to Liberty Avenue.  The warm glow will symbolize safety, unity, and the coming of the holiday season. A 25-foot tree will be mounted as a permanent holiday fixture at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged. Light Up OTR will benefit the Freestore Foodbank with a $1 entrance fee, or a non-perishable canned good, required for entry.
WHERE: The Famous Neons Unplugged, located at 208 E. 12th Street in Over-The-Rhine, and the outlying Over-The-Rhine area.
WHEN:  Friday December 16, 2011

  •  • 7:00 p.m. Volunteers can gather together to assemble luminaries at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged.
  •  • 8:00 p.m. Teams will be coordinated to disperse the luminaries throughout the neighborhood.
  •  • 10:00 p.m. All volunteers and guests will gather back at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged to gather for the second annual lighting of the OTR Christmas tree.

Monday, December 12, 2011

City Budget Process To Be Sane This Year

One of the best results of the Cincinnati City Council election this year was the increase of a civil and sane budget process.  Gone are the pissing matches and games of Chicken.  Gone are the right-wing demands that require the suspension of the rules of Math.

Sure, we gained a level of insanity in the form of the election of Chris Smitherman, but other than being a pest, he has no power.

The only problem with this situation is that the comfort provided by the Convergys settlement is a one time event.  This time next year we will face a budget shortfall again, unless the economy does far better than expected.

With this fact in place the majority members of council can not wait.  They must begin the process to examine the 2013 budget as soon as the 2012 is passed.  The issue of property taxes must be resolved far earlier then the mid year deadline looming next year.  The public needs the whole year to digest the possible cuts that we could face.  New ideas can be vetted and discussed.  Hell, there will even be time for Winburn and Smitherman to come up with a plan on their own.  I'm going to presume that they will be able to use math more correctly than the Republicans of the past, but we'll see.

This is the first test of the new council.  How well they do making the budget process open and civil will help us determine the future of this council.  We'll have an idea if the seven can work together or if petty squabbles will arise and consume the process.

I am keeping my optimism going.  I've not had much of an optimistic attitude about council in recent years.  This year my optimism has returned and I hope it stays around for a while.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CityBeat Reorganizes Staff and Layoff 'Several'

The tough econmic climate has reached down to Cincinnati's Media landscape again and this time hit altweekly CityBeat.  In a blog post yesterday, publisher Dan Bockrath announced a new leadership team for the newspaper and stated that they have "eliminated or restructured several staff positions." No details on the exact staff members or positions affected were listed in the article.  This is sad news. I very much love CityBeat. I've regularly criticize articles and columns in the newspaper, and always tried to be fair.  I hope to continue to read the paper every Wednesday, filled with local news, arts, and culture articles.

I wish the best for new leadership of the newspaper. I hope they can provide new momentum to a much needed institution for the Cincinnati Community. I also hope all of the individuals who were affected in the layoffs are able to move on to new jobs as quickly.

Friday, December 09, 2011

ATT Claims Expanded Coverage in Downtown, Mason, & CVG

ATT has issued a press release claiming to have upgraded the cellular coverage in Downtown, Mason, and near the Airport in Northern Kentucky.  Does anyone agree?  I've not noticed this, but the next time I am at a large event in Downtown Cincinnati area, I will compare and contrast.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Smitherman's First Act of Grandstanding

It didn't take long, not even a week, and already Chris Smitherman has committed his first offense of Grandstanding in his term as a Cincinnati City Council member.

Smitherman is all in a tizzy because a majority of Council has approved a council rule removing a 90 day requirement for putting ordinances on the Council calendar.  Smitherman is upset because a majority of the council voted.  This would be a majority of the elected representatives of the people of Cincinnati.  They voted to establish their own rules, as provided by the City Charter which operates legally under State law.  Smitherman is "threatening" to sue.

According to the article, I think I can take the quote off the word threatening because it states that unless council votes his way, he will sue.  That sounds like a form of extortion, but in political activities you can get away with more than the average person.

I do question Smitherman, as a member of Council, taking legal action with any indication or standing as a member of the City Government without use of the City's legal representative.  If he, as he threatens, gets his right wing zealot attorney, and anti-gay bigot, Chris Finney to sue the city, I'd like to know what standing Smitherman is planning on using.  Also, who would pay Finney's fees?  If any legal fees ever go to any non-city lawyer suing on behalf of  Smitherman on a city issue, the fees should come from Smitherman's budget.

Section 5a of Article II of the City Charter states "The Council shall organize itself and conduct its business as it deems appropriate...."  That's what they did with a 5-3 vote (one member was absent.)

Section 2 of Article III of the City Charter state "The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the council, but shall not have a vote on the council."

What is he going to sue over? The City Charter was followed. This is Democracy in action.

Smitherman better get used to not getting his way on council unless he can get 5 or for veto-overrides, 6 votes on an issue.  He can't act like a child and threaten to sue over everything, especially when he has no grounds for a law-suit.  He can complain about the rule, but using threats to change the minds of his fellow members of council isn't going to win many (no one) over.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Greg Harris Seeking County Commission Spot

WVXU is reporting that former Democratic City Council member, Greg Harriss, is running for Hamilton County Commissioner against Republican Greg Hartmann.

Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune is running for re-election as well, but there is no word on any Republican opponent, who must file by 4PM today.

Another Take On the SGH Situation

I am going to start calling the Southgate House Closing as more of a Southgate House Situation. Yes, that makes it sound remotely like I'm referencing a reality TV show.  While the drama surrounding the family business dealings involved might bring that to mind, that's not my intention. This guest column on Each Note Secure from Margaret Darling of the Seedy Seeds makes it clear to me that there are two separate issues at stake here: 1)What will the New location of the Southgate House be like (and where will it be) and then 2)What will be come of the Southgate Building?  So SGH closing isn't the only issue, there is a much more complex concern. a "situation," if you will.

Number two becomes the more cloudy concern.  The operators of the SGH are planning on opening a new place.  We'll just have to wait and see where that is and how well the new location will work.  The Southgate Building is something different and the resulting owners don't appear to have the plan in place with what to do with the building.  That is bigger concern to me.  I don't fear that the new location for the SGH will be like.  I fear that the new owners will not use the building wisely.  It would be a great place for a music venue, but the building needs to be used wisely.  It is important to Newport and needs to continue to enrich the culture, no matter what it becomes.  We have a situation and the City of Newport needs to keep that situation from ruining a vital piece of the community.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Luke Brockmeier Campaign Kickoff Speech

Luke Brockmeier is running in the Democratic primary for the 31st District in the Ohio House. Above is his speech from his campaign kickoff event. For more information on his candidacy check out

Editorial Note: I am a supporter of Luke Brockmeier.  I am biased towards his candidacy and will not hide that in the least. As a political blogger, I am not going to censor myself, but will endeavor to be honest in what I write. This is an opinion blog, however, and it is the opinion of this blogger that if you live in the new Ohio 31st House District, you should vote for Luke Brockmeier in the Democratic primary in March and then when he wins, vote for him in November of 2012 in the general election.  If you don't live in the 31st, then you can still help a progressive candidate bring change to Columbus by contributing to his campaign: HERE.

Cincinnati and Findlay Market Featured on NPR Morning Edition Story

NPR had an interesting story this morning on it's Morning Edition programming that included interviews here in Cincinnati on opinions on Congress.  It took place at Findlay Market and included quotes from Dan Korman, owner of Park+Vine located in Over-the-Rhine.