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Stories Still to Tell

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Hopefully this isn't goodbye. But with the way things are in this economy and in this world today, I'm being forced to take a break from this column. We hope it can come back in the fall. Meanwhile, I'll be putting my reporter’s hat back on and writing in the news section.  

Homeless, Empowered, Married

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Though I’ve technically never been homeless, I realize that like so many people I’m really just a paycheck or two or a major illness or some unforeseen catastrophe from being in some serious financial ut-oh. Giving up sometimes seems like a great idea. Or getting a simpler job.  

Getting Schooled

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I’m Joe Wessels, HSD. Yeah, that’s right, I have a high school diploma. I earned it in 1992 from Colerain High School. After graduation, I spent a fall cutting grass and shoveling frozen dirt from one pile to another at Maketewah Country Club.  

Back to the City

3 Comments · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The experiment is over. I’m not a suburban guy. It doesn’t totally surprise me. I grew up in the suburbs, but my heart is in the concrete and noise and combustible nature of an inner city — namely Cincinnati.   

Let's Not Make Another Mistake

2 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Let’s stop being a town of shoulda, woulda, coulda. With Cincinnati City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz’s announcement May 19 that she no longer supports the city’s streetcar initiative, she joins Republican colleague Chris Monzel, who never liked the idea from the beginning. And that stinks.   

A Park Grows at Fernald

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I had an outside chance of wandering into a two-headed deer-cow hybrid that could fly. But I ventured onto the Fernald Preserve anyway. When I was growing up out in northwest Hamilton County, Fernald was like our own private Area 51 far away from Roswell, N.M. Now the former Fernald Uranium Processing Plant has gone from Super Fund cleanup site to a nature preserve complete with a refreshingly balanced and frank museum inside a $3 million visitors center.   

Standing Up, Getting Involved

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 6, 2009
It seems young people are finally taking an interest in politics again. Ceair Baggett is 21 and a manager at Cincinnati Bell, overseeing some of their retail operations. He’s a graduate of Taft High School and Xavier University, lives in Mount Airy and owns a home in the West End he’s re-modeling. And he’s running for the Cincinnati Board of Education.   

Miscommunication

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Lockland police officer Brandon Gehring shouldn’t be in the hospital right now. He was simply trying to do his job. Unfortunately, thanks to elected officials so damn proud of their ability not to spend money, Gehring wasn’t equipped with a two-way radio that would allow communication with officers in another department a few miles away.  

Eight Ex-Mayors Discuss Cincinnati

2 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I joined about 200 politically-minded people at Xavier University April 15 to hear eight of the 12 living former Cincinnati mayors explain how the more things change the more they stay the same. Even former mayors of Cincinnati find that moving our city forward can be as challenging as getting a barge to hop over the Suspension Bridge. And, damn, Jerry Springer still is funny. And Bobbie Sterne can still put men in their place — politely, of course.   

Extending I-74 Doesn’t Build Anything

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2009
To most, Interstate 74 is the highway that starts in Northside and works its way northwest through rural southeastern Indiana. It’s the best way to get to Indianapolis and cheap flights. From Indy, though, I-74 goes on to Davenport, Iowa, connecting to cross-country Interstate 80.  

Cutting the Safety Net

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I've never completely understood why some people think that spending on social programs is "wasting money." Every detractor is armed and ready with some special story about how the system utterly and completely failed, taking their hard-earned tax money and giving it away to selfish, undeserving people who will never change their bad habits and, worse, are just waiting for the next handout. Cincinnati city administration officials, though, have taken this reasoning to new heights, canceling large swaths of funding for several agencies providing critical social services to our community.   

Cheating Death by Fluke

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2009
No one really knows what death feels like. If they did, they’d be dead. As a kid I remember looking out the back plate glass window into the backyard and telling my mother that the rays of sunshine poking through the clouds and hitting the valley below were people coming back from heaven after they died.  

TV Personality for the New Millennium

2 Comments · Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Bob Herzog is the morning traffic guy on WKRC-TV, not a reporter per se. But he makes me — a print journalist hypercritical of all that TV attempts to call news — enjoy watching television. So much so that I wrote him an e-mail and told him as much and invited myself to the Channel 12 studios one morning to watch him work and get to know him.   

Switching to Glide

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Progressive cities fare much better than the stodgy ones. And being stodgy typically breeds stifling behavior and uniformity antithetical to today’s urban dwellers and anyone else looking for a unique city-living experience. Boy, Cincinnati still rates pretty high on the “stodgy” meter.  

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

4 Comments · Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Maybe it’s the blank look on every one of their faces. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never gone for the ladies with plastic high heels, the big soles and the leg warmers. But that’s exactly who and what was flirting with me last Saturday night at the Deja Vu strip club in Milford. It wasn’t my idea to go there.