Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Brew Professor Ranks the Top 10 Cincinnati Beers in 2013

The number of Cincinnati Breweries is growing and we keep drinking there beer, so someone had better rank the best for 2013. Well The Brew Prof has taken care of that for us. Note the number of breweries include in the list. They are seriously good and there are a TON of them. Yes, tons of breweries right here in the Cincinnati area.  Makes me think of this old Cincinnati toast I read about in the book Images of America: Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine.
“Here’s to Cincinnati, the Queen of the West,
A dirty old city, but nobly blest.
For it’s here that fine arts with the frivolous twine,
A veritable Deutschland just Over the Rhine…
The kindliest greetings from all, whom we meet,
A good draught of beer every ten or twelve feet.”

Friday, December 20, 2013

WIRED: A Triumph for Transit in Cincinnati had an article Friday discussing Cincinnati's Streetcar project and the triumph in keeping the project going.

We Have a Streetcar! (Cue the White Smoke...)

What was a long three weeks of December came to a joyous apogee, compared to how the month started out.  The Cincinnati Streetcar project got the necessary votes to resume construction and all signs point to it being a done deal.

Much thanks need to be given to all of those who got this done:

1. The six on council who voted to resume constructions, with special thanks to council members Seelbach, Simpson, Sittenfeld, and Young.

2. The organizers of Believe in Cincinnati and Cincinnatians for Progress who kept the hopes alive and gave us a plan to make a difference for Cincinnati.

3. All of the volunteers who worked hours to gain signatures for the Charter Amendment, keeping the pressure on council going right up to the vote.

4. Everyone who signed the petition for the Streetcar Charter Amendment.  We showed the powers-that-be that thousands of activists were behind this effort and I truly believe that support was a large reason why we got the two extra votes needed on council.

5. Eric Avner of the Haile Foundation was the knight in shinning armor for the Streetcar. Along with the members of the business community he organized, they got the agreement done and won the day.

If I missed anyone, please let me know!

Walking through OTR last night I don't know if I felt the joy all around me or if it was just in me. I'm going to believe that it was in everyone.  Hope was all we had for a couple of weeks.  When that hope becomes reality, it really feels good. We still have a long way to go here in Cincinnati, but yesterday was a great step forward. We came close to taking a step back, but the voices of the people were heard and We Have a Streetcar!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cranley Wants Cincinnati of the Past (1974)

The Cincinnati Business Courier had a stinging opinion piece online yesterday that exposes the core problem with John Cranley and his approach to the City. Here's the key section:
"His vision of what Cincinnati should be most closely resembles what Cincinnati was."
Canley is trying to emulate the Lukens (Charlie and Tom) in both the style he interacts with others, on all levels, and in what he sees as priorities for the City. It is like he is living in 1974 (the year he was born) and wants to attract the first Walmart to town and is hoping to build more roads to make it easier for suburbanites outside the city to get where they want to go and he's not seen the damage that type of development plan did to the City. I will state that again, DID to the City. That's not something to come, that is the past that happened because of people like Tom Luken, who John is emulating. Focusing on the suburban lifestyle (Strip Malls, Cul-de-Sacs, and cars) is the core of the past that killed Cities in post-WWII America and reached it's zenith in the 70's.  This isn't a new idea for Cranley.  He didn't just pick this up to get elected.  He's been that way, and that is leaving his allies to be mostly Republicans, as they are the only ones still pushing the Suburbanist agenda forward.

It is such a shame that so much of the Progressive Vote (the Future!) stayed home on election day and left 'Past Cincinnati' to sweep in and give Cranley the chance to be another Luken and drive the City back 40 years.

When I think of Cranley I think of a "real square cat, he looks a-1974."  Other than the Big Red Machine, he's reaching into a time when things here were not good. The City Government was squarely against the Urban Core.  If John really wants to emulate the past, I suggest he not pick the 1970's subia and instead look to the example of something else.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Todd Portune: Burke Can't Fix a Primary Win For You

It would appear Hamilton County Commissioner and rouge Democrat Todd Portune is reportedly considering a run for Ohio Governor. Someone better explain to him that Ed Fitzgerald isn't going to drop out of the primary race just because Tim Burke asks him to make a deal.

I would have no problem with Todd running, as long as he resigns from Commission and Cranley takes his place at the County. That would be a win for the City. Cranley is about like Portune, so it would just be a better City without Cranley and the Commission would stay the same. Then Portune would lose in the primary and leave politics.

Cranley: 'Mommy, I Wanted a BLUE Pony!'

Last week Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley demanded a pony from Streetcar supporters.  While a childish act, it wasn't the most childish Cranley could have been.  After much hard work, by many people, Cranley was presented with a pony, it's name was SORTA. Then Cranley's childishness reached an all time high when he stamped his feet yesterday at a press conference and declared he wanted a BLUE pony.  Acting like an ungrateful, selfish, and duplicitous child when he gets exactly what he asks for is not the type of leadership the city wants or needs.

The 5-year-old antics just don't cut it in a mayor.  Even Charlie Luken must admit that Cranley needs a time out for the disingenuous offer.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Evidence of the Delusional Disdain Or Just Rank Hypocrisy?

Cincinnati Business Courier reporter Chris Wetterich wrote an eye opening article that outlines the hypocrisy of the likes of Chris Smitherman, John Cranley, Charlie Winburn, Amy Murray, and most of those against the Streetcar.  The MLK interchange (highway project) bond issue got none of challenges put upon the Streetcar.  The MLK interchange operating and maintenance costs won't pay for themself.  It's economic impact study was written by the same group that wrote the impact study for the Streetcar.  Yet, none of the Streetcar Critics questioned anything about adding more roads.

It is like the Cranley Conservative Cabal is delusional.  What else could explain their flip flop on what they demand on transportation projects.  It wouldn't be because this MLK interchange is something that suburbanites are demanding?  The GOP is all about the suburbs and more importantly about the homogeneous mindsets prevalent in a large portion of voters who live in the suburbs. (Like Driving and Free Parking)  I guess getting the short term traffic flow of I-71 Southbound cleared up is an unquestioned truth that must occur no matter the cost to the rest of the City.  I mean, how many cops could Cranley hire with the 20 million dollars of capital costs?  I am sure Cranley is working on the numbers, it's not like he's won't lie again about how capital budget funds can be used for operating expenses, again.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quimbob: Is John Cranley Even Lying to Himself ?

Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool asked the question: Is John Cranley Even Lying to Himself? I think it is clear he is lying to someone.

The question I have is: What is he NOT lying about?

Does Cranley know who leaked the Duke lawsuit memo? Can he honestly answer that question? Or is better to ask Will he? What makes all of this relevant is that he has partially answered that question by publicly denying it was someone on his staff, but no one asked him that.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Speaking of Old Cincinnati: Peter Bronson is Writing Again

I'm not a regular reader of Cincy Magazine, but they appear to have brought in Peter Bronson, former columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, to write a hatchet job feature on new Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.  In this article you get basically everything one expects from Peter Bronson, defend the police when they are Republican and/or Elder graduates, but attack them when they are Democrats.

When Bronson wrote for the Enquirer he was a shill for the Cincinnati police union and except when the FOP turned against John Kasich's union busting efforts, Bronson is back carrying their water.  I'd like to know how many of Bronson's sources are or have connections to the local candidates for CPD chief that didn't get the job.  I'm betting all of them.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

What is Behind Willie Carden's Withdrawal From City Manager Job?

I am sure I am not the only person to be wondering exactly what caused Cranley's choice, Willie Carden, to withdraw his nomination for City Manager.  I can theorize, however.

It is obvious that Cranley acted too quickly on that position. He should have vetted out Carden and Council before acting.  Another case of bad judgement from John Cranley.  This won't be his last.

Here is my theory on what happened: Based on reports I've read, Carden would have been required to live within the City, something he currently does not do. As usual, Cranley shrugged this off as no big deal and pretended he could wave his magic wand and make the law go away with his council lackeys. Well, at least Mann and Flynn, and maybe more of Cranley's council block, said no to either changing the residency requirement for City Manager or for creating some type of exception rule for Carden.

If true, I would say score one for City Council.  Showing Cranley he is not a strong mayor is something that will likely need repeating over the next four years. Council has the real power in the city, not the Mayor, and I hope Cranley remembers it, but until he gets burned severely enough, he won't learn.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Old Cincinnati Voted Last Month

It is quite clear who voted last month in the City Election based on age:
People Aged 18 to 43 made up 26.48% of the Electorate
People Aged 44 and up made of 74.52% of the Electorate
Compare that to Registered Voters:
People Aged 18 to 43 made up 52.98% of Registered Voters
People Aged 44 and up made of 47.02% of the Registered Voters
Turnout rates grew by decade backwards to the 1930's with around 58% turnout for those born during the depression. People born in the 1950's, the Baby Boomers, made up 25% of the electorate, even though they make up only about 15% of registered voters.

Irony: Far more people who were alive when Cincinnati was still paying off the Subway voted, than those not born after. Their ignorance is largely responsible for allowing Cranley and his Cabal damage our City. I thought wisdom was supposed to come with age?

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Cranley Fucks-Over the Urban Core

Few are surprised the Republican backed  Mayor John Cranley led the effort to damage the Urban Core by stopping the Streetcar, but that doesn't lessen the blow to the Urban Core.  It is both sad and disappointing to see the level that Cranley continues to see the Streetcar as a threat to his plan to Suburbanize the City. 

The odds that COAST's plan to pave over all of Downtown/OTR North of 2nd Street and create the world's biggest free parking lot for Bengals games has increased. The only question outstanding would then be how much would free parking reduce the number of battered women after Bengal losses. I don't see that as COAST priority.

COAST Honors Cranley

COAST, the Tea Party anti-City fringe group that endorsed John Cralney for Mayor, has nominated Cranley for a Conservative award.

This speaks for itself to those paying attention, but for those not paying attention or maybe the few left in denial about who supported John Cranley is this mayor race let this show them the base that Cranley had to win the election.

What will be most brazen would be Cranley actually appearing to accept the award. That would be a true insult to the City, the Democratic Party, and common decency. Cranley's not demonstrated an ounce of any of those thus far.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Does Anyone Like Todd Portune, Other Than Cranley?

I really can't stand Todd Portune. It must be his life goal to piss off 99.9% of the population of the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

This is the guy Tim Burke made a deal to keep in office. Yet another reason we need a change in the HCDP.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Cranley's Win Based on Strong Republican Turnout

The turnout battle in the 2013 Cincinnati City Elections was won handily by the Republicans. 69.39% of City Republicans came out to vote as opposed to 52.45% of Dems. A pathic 12.26% of non-affiliated voters bothered to come out on election day. These numbers are based on the Hamilton County Voter listing as of 11-29-2013. Here are the totals:

Registered Voters Votes Cast Turnout
Democratic 59,119 31,007 52.45%
Republican 19,235 13,348 69.39%
Non-Affiliated 124,003 15,208 12.26%
Total 202,357 59,563 29.43%

Party ID listed about is based on the historical primary voting and third parties were combined with Parties that are "closer" to it's leanings.  Third party numbers are not significant.

That turnout becomes clearer by comparing his election in 2013, to the Joe Deters vs. Janaya Trotter race in 2012.  Within the City, Trotter trounced Deters 65% to 34%, but of the 52 precincts Deters won in the city, Cranley won 51 of them.  In the one precinct he didn't win, Cranley only lost by 14 votes.

Cranley's win rested on being the "wink candidate" for the GOP, where they gave him as much private support possible, but not much public support to allow Cranley to placate enough of Dems and non-affiliated voters to win.  With enough anger pent up on the Parking Plan, Cranley got his Conservative voting groups to all vote for him and lucked out with more Dems staying home on election day.

It is clear that Cranley should never forget, or delude himself otherwise, that he won with GOP support.  Without it, he would have lost.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Cranley is Delusional on Political Situation

John Cranley appears to think there are only a handful of neighborhoods that count in Cincinnati. WCPO reported the following:
"Streetcar supporters have criticized Cranley for saying Cincinnati is more politically united than ever before.

But the mayor defended his comments. “Look at Bond Hill, look at Mount Washington, look at Price Hill, Mount Lookout, Hyde Park,” Cranley said. “In all the council races I was in, those neighborhoods didn’t agree on who should be mayor. This year, all of those neighborhoods were united together – not only in electing me but in electing a majority of council."
So, four solid Republican neighborhoods and Smitherman/Winburn's core neighborhood constitute Cranley's world of what matters to him, at least politically. Every place else doesn't rate in his mind and are all that matters to his sense of 'unity.'

Cranley needs to know that in Ward Seven, which includes Bond Hill, Flynn and Murry finished 17th and 18th place respectively and Malone and White finished in the top nine.  How is that unified with the rest Republican strongholds he cherished?

Cranley's dug himself a big hole and I fear he will think he's dug himself out, but really will be in a Smithermanesque alternate universe, one where truth isn't important. We don't live in Bizarro Cincinnati, we live in the real Cincinnati. Cranley needs to find the reality based Cincinnati or he will find the job of being Mayor even more difficult than it already is.

Smitherman Misleads Public About Conflict of Interest on Streetcar

Chris Smitherman has an ethics issue and is not being honest about it. The Cincinnati Business Courier has reported that Smitherman's brother owns a company that has a contract to build part of the Streetcar project. Smitherman is claiming, without proof, that he's only known about this for a week and that his brother no longer has a contract.  That connection is an ethics issue that Ohio Ethics Commission should investigate.

Smitherman provided no proof the contract has been nullified or rescinded. That's part one of the deception.

Part two is that Smitherman was not being truthful when he stated he knew nothing of his brother's contract prior to a week ago. Well, that is not true, and this 2009 NAACP press release provides evidence that he did know his brother was working on the Streetcar project.
The Cincinnati NAACP has been briefed that Jostin Concrete has joined the Mayor's streetcar team. The owner of Jostin Concrete is the brother of Cincinnati NAACP President, Christopher Smitherman. Citizens will have the opportunity to witness the integrity and commitment of President Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP leadership and membership. Jostin Concrete may have a great opportunity, however, building a "choo-choo" train is the wrong public policy direction for the masses of Cincinnatians. Smitherman says, "I deeply respect the independence of my brother's company. I am confident that the issue will be rejected in November."
So, this is the new chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee lying to citizens of Cincinnati? If he is making false statements about this, how can anyone trust anything he is saying? He should not vote on the Streetcar until he obtains a favorable opinion from the Ohio Ethics Commission and Smitherman must provide proof of all of his claims.

We don't need liars on City Council.