Friday, March 30, 2012

Bunbury Music Festival Adds GBV and Fills Out Line-up

Yesterday the Bunbury Music Festival announced nearly all of it's line-up for the three-day music festival in July.  The big news was the addition of legendary alt-rockers Guided By Voices.  Additionally many local bands are included, like Wussy, the Seedy Seeds, and the Minor Leagues.

These additions are on top off the previously announced mega headliners of Jane's Addiction, Weezer, and Death Cab For Cutie.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Howard Wilkinson to Retire From the Enquirer

CityBeat is reporting that long time political reporter Howard Wilkinson is retiring from the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Gannett, the Enquirer parent company, has offered early retirement buyout packages to qualifying employees.

Wilkinson has been a bedrock of political reporting in Cincinnati as long as I have been in town.  He's an excellent journalist and provided great reporting and analysis of political races over the years that will be impossible to replace, as will the other 18 possible buyout options pending in the newsroom.

This is yet another loss at the Enquirer that I don't see how the paper can recover.  They are losing so much city political knowledge.  One of the keys to a great reporter is to know the history of the subject they are covering.  Wilkinson has that.  At this point, no one has that at the Enquirer in the area of politics the way Howard does.  This I believe is one reason that the political reporting ends up being nothing but giving crazy nut jobs a platform to spout anti-city issues.  Wilkinson wasn't a sucker.  He didn't give COAST or Smitherman and their ilk reams of free press.  This is a massive loss for the Enquirer.

If will be a gain for someone.  Howard needs to continue to write.  He should blog.  If he is staying in town, he is more than welcome to blog here at Cincinnati Blog.  He certainly will have better spelling and grammar than I do.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Definition of Hipsterism, So Before Most Hipsters Were Born

The Cincinnati Monocle has found what may be the real definition of hipsterism from a French Writer.

Speaking of Hipsters I've been working on a couple definitions myself.  I won't try and define hipster, but instead think about two different levels of hipster: Aging Hipster and Aged Hipster.

An Aging Hipster is not a new term.  I define it as simply a hipster who is getting older, likely over age 30.  Maybe has a kid, maybe just finally got a 9-5 job.  This period can last well into their 40's.

An Aged Hipster is a newer thought under development.  One idea I have sees this as a newly found hipster who hit age 50, kids are gone, and wants to be relevant again.  Another more simple definition could just be what happens to the Aging Hipster. They finally get old and stop going out to see new bands, but still buy new music online and is sure to Tweet about it.

Boomers Don't Get Extra Sympathy From This Gen Xer

Yesterday the Cincinnati Enquirer highlighted the difficulties of Baby Boomers who lost their jobs during the Recession.  I don't have a ton of sympathy.  Those mentioned in the article are over 55 and most over 60.  These are people who are close to retirement age and often early retirement.  They are the type of person who it was extremely difficult to layoff in the recession because of their age, and the discrimination prevention laws that exist for people based on being older.

As a member of Generation X, I don't have any extra sympathy for Boomers on this issue.  Generation X has long been subjected to the collective excesses and selfishness of Baby Boomers, to our detriment.  Here the issue is Retirement.  Boomers don't seem to want to retire or maybe far too many of them are ill prepared to retire as they reach the appropriate age.  So, instead of retiring, like their parents did, they continue to work or in case of this article, continue to seek jobs.

For the people involved, they have no choice, they have bills to pay.  On a personal level, that is understandable and I hope they all succeed.  Collectively I wonder why so many Boomers, and maybe this is pointed to the older Boomer already past 65, are not retiring?  Why are they not getting out of the way for those younger?  How many people delayed retirement during the recession because they lost money in their 401K and wanted to wait to make sure they retired at the level they are accustomed.  They should have been invested in a way to prevent such a radical loss.  They instead took a risk, lost, and forced someone younger to lose their job because laying off an older person is not possible, even though they may be less qualified.

Younger generations are suffering just as much as these Boomer are.  Sure, a 41 year old father of two likely has a far wider skill set that would allow him to get other jobs more often, but he has far less of a safety net, having had far less time to prepare for these types of problems. More of my sympathy goes out to the 41 year old who lost his job.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yelp Helps After School Special - March 30th

On Friday March 30th the Cincinnati Yelp community and a laundry list of local non-profit organizations are congregating at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center for a great event to help out a wide variety of causes. The Yelp Helps After School Special (A Giant Party For A Good Cause!) brings the vibrant social media community here in Cincinnati together with a strong collection of very worthy non-profits. Hopefully fun and a little education will ensue.

Groups like Caracole, Crayons to Computers, Enjoy the Arts, and Women Helping Women will be present and attendees will have a chance to learn more about those organizations and find out what they do and how you can support them.

Enjoy the Arts is presenting the entertainment with an ETA Cabaret with spots from grand organizations like the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the NewEdgecliff, Theatre.

Come for the food and drinks from tons of local Restaurants. It will be great opportuny to find a great organization that could use a contribution or voluneer support and while you mingle and eat you can chat with non-profit representtaives.

Full lists of the organisations, Resturants, and entertainment is on the website link above.

It all starts at 8PM, but you need to have an RSVP to attend. Get out and have some fun for a good cause.

Oh, and if you are so inclinced to dress-up, the theme is school themed, so nerd it up, dig out the prep school wear, or the ladies can use their imagination. If I find some tape, a pair of nerd glasses may be in order. I

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This is What a Douchebag Thinks Like

When you are at home pondering about what a Douchebag looks like, you most often get the image of a frat-boy or some guy wearing a baseball hat inside a bar on a Friday night.  Well, if you want to know what someone like that has rolling around in his head, I will point you to anti-education and anti-women Rich Hoffman of West Chester.  Based on his photo in the Enquirer article, this guy looks more like someone with a really misplaced Indiana Jones fetish, than a frat boy. His thoughts make him the spokesman for Douchebags the world over.

This guy is part of the effort to block any and all tax levies for the Lakota School district out in Exurban paradise of West Chester.  This is one guy I am so glad lives out there.

Greg Harris Has Dropped Out of County Commision Race

CityBeat broke the story earlier this week that former Cincinnati Council member and Democratic Candidate Greg Harris is dropping out of the race for Hamilton County Commissioner.  Harris's job will be requiring him to travel extensively, so he won't be able to effectively campaign or later serve on the commission.

The Hamilton County Democratic party will be able to name another person to run in November.  Harris was unopposed in the Primary last week.  This opens up the possibilities.  I would not be surprised to see some familiar names brought up as possible contenders to face off against Hartman.

With the Presidential election taking place this year, the Democratic nominee will have very strong coattails to seize upon.  President Obama won Hamilton County by pulling in non-regular voters to the polls.  All expectations are that he will do this again in 2012.  Republican Hartman ran against an non-endorsed candidate in 2008 and still only got 216,000+ votes, compared to 251,000+ votes for Democrat Todd Portune, running the same year in a separate race.

With the right candidate, say a John Cranley or maybe even a Jim Tarbell, Hartman could go down.

The problem is having a campaign team.  Neither Cranley or Tarbell have a campaign up and running and it will take resources.  Both have the most important resource to have in November: name recognition.

The other name I could think of would be Cincinnati Council member Cecil Thomas. Thomas is term limited and he ran against Tarbell in 2010 Dem primary for commissioner, so he has interest in the job.  Thomas does not have the name recognition of Tarbell or Cranley, but he's a pretty conservative Dem and a former police officer.  That type of resume plays well in the inner-suburbs.  Add the fact that he's African-American and likely can county on support of Obama voters who bother to vote down ticket, he could be a strong candidate, if he can get a campaign off the ground soon.

Salon Writer Comments on Occupy Cincy Settlement

Natasha Lennard of Salon has some mixed thoughts on the Occupy Cincinnati settlement with the City of Cincinnati. She's not pleased with the limited free-speech zone.  I myself actually find the over-all elements of the settlement to be reasonable.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Did Kasich Allies Offer Quid Pro Quo to Control the Ohio GOP?

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the chairman of the Portage County Republican Party, Andrew Manning, has filed an affidavit with police claiming that "allies" of Ohio Govenor John Kasich offered Manning influence over Gubernatorial appointments in return for not running for Republican Party statewide central committee.

A Kasich spokeperson claimed the Governor would never do what was alleged.  That sounds like something close to a non-denial denial, meaning that it may have happened, but without Kasich's knowledge. So that might let the Governor off the hook, at least if his supporters don't turn state's evidence.  It all then comes down to who these "allies" are.  Manning needs to name names so police can get to the bottom of this and then the public can judge the politics of what is alleged to have happened.

If Kasich is another Nixon, we need to get him out office now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

John Fox Hired as VP of Events and Programming for 3CDC

Former CityBeat publisher, editor, and events director has been hired by 3CDC as the Vice President of Event Productions & Programming, accroding to a press relase issued this morning. His responsibilties will include the events at Fountain Square and the soon to be finished Washington Park. He will also be in charge of fundraising and sponsorhsips of the programming at the Square and Washington Park. Fox's position I conclude is filling the job left open when Bill Donabedian left 3CDC Last year. Bill is a co-founder of MidPoint and was key in the success of Fountain Square's popular summer music programming. I really like John and I believe he has been a vital member of the Midpoint team, so I hope he can carry much of the same ideals to the Square and the Park. I hope Midpoint itself can become part of the Park's future voice.

Monday, March 05, 2012

CityBeat Sold to SouthComm

CityBeat has been sold to SouthComm of Nashville, Tennessee. SouthComm ( is the owner of five other alternative weeklys beyond CityBeat. The purchase includes A-Line Magazine and the Midpoint Music Festival. Dan Backrath will remain as the leader of the paper.I know nothing of this company or of any of its other publications, so no word on what if any other changes will occur. Time will tell. This is the second big change after changing editing staffs earlier this year.

UPDATE: CityBeat Editor Danny Cross has a blog post discussing the acquisition of the newspaper.

Luke Brockmeier Is the Only Choice for the 31st District

This Tuesday there is only one choice for the Democrats in the New 31st Ohio House district and that is Luke Brockmeier.  I fully support Luke Brockmeier and here is a short list of the countless reasons to vote for him in the Democratic Primary on March 6th.

  1. Luke Brockmeier is the Future of the Democratic Party. 
  2. Luke stands with the full Democratic platform..
  3. Luke is from the grassroots of the Democratic Party.  He is not part of the power structure of the party.
  4. Luke is not part of a local political dynasty that has strayed out of its region of influence.
  5. Luke does not take big corporate money and won't be endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce.
  6. Luke is the ONLY PRO-CHOICE CANDIDATE in the race.
  7. Luke supports no-co-pay coverage for birth control.

The New 31st is a progressive district and needs a Progressive Force to represent it in Columbus. Please vote for Luke Brockmeier tomorrow.

For more information please check out

Friday, March 02, 2012

Conservative Economic Planning Fails Again

The Mason, Ohio area has all of the earmarks to be considered a Conservative Republican mecca.  It is an Exurb.  It has lots of cul-de-sacs, strip-malls, chain restaurants, churches, white people, and lots of businesses.  The Mason area, to be fair, has a significant amount of office parks and corporate operations.

So that leads it to be a place where the free market system would flourish and the problems that arise from a growing population would be solved by private entities.  You know, like if traffic became a job killer, where people literally would leave or avoid the area because traffic happened their ability function either when trying to go to work, come home from work, or just go shopping.

So, today I read a story in the Enquirer that indicates that traffic mess that is the Field-Ertel exit off I-71 is no where near being improved or better yet cured of the problems that plague the mangled interchange.  Why are the roads not able to be improved to keep the economics of the area chugging along?  The answer is there are not enough Government funds to build all of the the road improvements needed.

Yes, you read that right, the Conservative mecca of Mason can't improve their roads because the Government doesn't have the funds.  The place filled with Republican voters who regularly attack Government spending on everything short of Defense and Religious schools, is not fixing its own roads because there is not enough funding from the Government to get the job done.

When people complain about Government spending, remember the subtext of what they are really saying: "the Government is spending too much, on other people."  If the Government is doing something to benefit Republican communities, then those programs are championed.  When the Government does something for a mostly Democratic community, the Republicans oppose it and call it wasteful.  You don't need to look past the Streetcar to see that.  That will help the City of Cincinnati.  Not enough Republicans live there, so Republican voters don't tend to care what happens in places that are not mostly Republican.  That's a sad state to live in, but the modern GOP has become a sectarian movement.  It's like living in the Balkans or Iraq.

I for one would like the State of Ohio to kick-in funds to improve the Fields-Ertel interchange.  The Republican run State government should get on that.

Dear Chief Craig: Just Take the Test

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig has given notice he will not take the Ohio police certification test, which would be required for him to have police powers.  This sounds bad to me.  Why would he not just take the test?  It's reportedly 200 questions.  I don't know how hard of a test it is, but I would have presumed he could pass it quite easily.  By him not wanting to take it leas me to assume it may be more difficult, thus his knowledge of Ohio laws may not be up to snuff, yet.  That may be the reason for him not taking it.  I'm just surprised this has become an issue for him to address at all.  He should just take the test like every other police officer has to do.  I understand he doesn't literally need police powers, but I think the Chief of police of Cincinnati should have the power to make an arrest if needed.