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by Steven Rosen 12.04.2015 63 days ago
Posted In: COMMUNITY, Culture, Music at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
who

Memorial Marker Unveiled For 1979 Who Concert Tragedy

The cold temperature Thursday night was appropriate for the solemn gathering on the plaza outside the main entrance of U.S. Bank Arena. Since the 30th anniversary of the Dec. 3, 1979 Who concert tragedy — 11 people died in the crush trying to get inside the doors of what was then Riverfront Coliseum — Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation has been having memorial observances with lighting of lanterns outside the site on that date.

At last night’s observance, which drew a sizeable crowd, the organization unveiled the two-sided memorial marker that will now permanently be at the location. It had been a long time in the works.

Before that occurred, Andy Bowes — brother of victim Peter Bowes of Wyoming — gave a speech to the crowd that included reading a statement of support for the memorial from the Who’s longtime manager, Bill Curbishley. Here it is:

“With the laying of the marker in dedication to those that lost their lives at the Riverfront Coliseum, on this day in 1979, I would like to pay tribute from myself and the two surviving members of the Who, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. I can fully understand how difficult it has been for the families who lost a loved one to go forward and attempt to regain their lives. That night will always stay with myself, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. It is a scar from the past and though the wound has healed, the scar is still there to be touched on occasion and felt. The band themselves were not aware of what had happened and were playing on stage when I was informed and saw the devastation on the plaza level. Nothing will erase that memory other than their soft edges.

“It’s with this in mind that I decided not to attend today because I felt it should not be turned into a Who media day or circus. There has to be dignity to this ceremony and the unfolding of the dedication of remembrance. This is not about the Who or their music but it’s about the families involved. Many people suffered as a result of that day and I am sure that many still do. If myself and the band can be of any assistance in the healing process going forward we are there for you.

Love

Bill Curbishley”

Mayor John Cranley, who promised at last year’s observance to dedicate a permanent memorial marker at this one, also gave a brief, moving address. He closed with, “Something happened a long time ago but is still with us. As your mayor, I’m proud to stand with you and say we will never forget.”

The band, itself, posted a short online comment, “Today we remember those 11 Who fans who lost their lives in the crush to enter the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio. May they rest in peace.”

Incidentally, something that seems to have gone overlooked at the time it occurred here but has continuing resonance and pertinence today can be discovered in a YouTube clip of Pearl Jam playing at U.S. Bank Arena on Oct. 1, 2014.

During that band’s 2000 appearance at a Danish festival, nine fans in the mosh pit died from suffocation. At U.S. Bank Arena, Eddie Veder reminded the crowd about the tragedy outside the arena in 1979 and how the Who “have to go on living with that event that happened 35 years ago. That became something we had to learn about, and they reached out to us when we really needed it.”

Pear Jam then played “The Real Me,” the last song the Who performed in Cincinnati at the December 3, 1979 show. Here’s the clip:


For more background on this new memorial, read my Big Picture column in this week's issue.

 
 
by Rick Pender 12.04.2015 63 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 12-4 - cast of rent at incline - photo mikki schaffner

Stage Door

A fairytale, a ghost story and lots of musicals for the holidays

December is full of shows for your holiday viewing pleasure: 

Every five years or so, Ensemble Theatre rolls out a new production of its holiday rendition of Cinderella. This one just opened on Wednesday, and while it’s the same material that was presented in 2005 and 2010, it’s been freshened with a new set and colorful costumes — and especially a vibrant cast with great voices for the tunes with lyrics by David Kisor and melodies by Fitz Patton. Brooke Steele is picture-perfect as the golly-gee title character who prefers reading to going to a ball. But Kate Wilford as “Gwendolyn the Well Wisher” (“I give good advice and then wish you well,” she tells everyone with a sweep of her hand to musical accompaniment) encourages her to go so she can meet Prince Frederick (Warren Bryson), who happens to be another bookworm. They’re a lovely couple who overcome the modest barriers thrown their way (she loses a pink sneaker that helps him locate her later), but the show’s real energy comes from Sara Mackie and Torie Wiggins as Cinderella’s crass stepsisters. They’re loudmouthed losers, spewing malapropisms and ridiculous self-aggrandizement (Wiggins’ Clarissa bellows competitively, “My patheticism outshines all others”) — constantly mugging and fawning and arguing. Deb G. Girdler as their manipulative mother Brunhilda is also great fun to watch as she tries to control events to her own advantage. As is always the case with ETC’s holiday musicals with scripts by local playwright Joe McDonough, there’s a timely moral: “The essence of true beauty lies … beyond what’s seen by normal eyes.” Oh, Cinderella and Frederick wear glasses — but they see love pretty clearly. Through Jan. 3. Tickets: 513-421-3555

I’ve been attending A Christmas Carol at the Cincinnati Playhouse for 25 years, as long as they have produced it. The script — Howard Dallin excellent adaptation of Dickens’ classic story — is top-notch and doesn’t need to be tinkered, but with actors coming and going, it’s always fun to see how things shake out from one year to the next. Greg Procaccino is the only actor to be in the show every year, playing Marley’s regretful ghost and slimy junk buyer Old Joe; the always-watchable Bruce Cromer holds the longevity record playing Scrooge (11 years, after 8 as Bob Cratchit). Kathleen Wise brings a light, bemused touch to Christmas Past in her first year; returning performers include Ryan Gilreath as nervous, angular Cratchit and Kelly Mengelkoch as the patient, loving Mrs. Cratchit, as well as Douglas Rees as the ebullient Fezziwig and Annie Fitzpatrick as his playful wife. There’s a new Tiny Tim for 2015, Henry Charles Weghorst, the tiniest ever, I believe (he needs two pillows to sit at the dining table), and truly adorable. This Playhouse production continues to be a joy to watch, a glorious, glittering set and costumes that deliver you to the mid-19th century. Pay attention to the David Smith’s sound design and recorded music, which set the emotional tone for virtually every scene. A Christmas Carol is a welcome Cincinnati holiday tradition. Through Dec. 30. Tickets 513-421-3888

Cincinnati Landmark Productions is offering shows at both of its venues this month; neither is holiday per se, although the musical Rent (at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre in Price Hill through Dec. 20) begins and ends with Christmas, celebrating a year of the “seasons of love” experienced by a clutch of impoverished young artists in New York’s East Village. This is a high-quality production, a great choice for fans of contemporary Rock music. Rent is almost 20 years old, but it has stood the test of time, especially as performed by the Incline’s committed, diverse cast of excellent, energetic singers. Tyler Kuhlman as the depressed guitarist Roger has the looks and the vocal chops for the role, and Lisa Glover is a fine match as Mimi, the sexy club dancer and drug addict who makes a lot of bad choices. Kelcey Steele provides the necessary connective tissue as videographer Mark, and RJ Caldwell ably portrays Tom Collins, an anarchist professor and street activist with AIDS. But the production’s most memorable performances come from Aiden Sims as Maureen, the brassy performance artist, and especially charismatic Christopher Carter as the transgender drag queen Angel: His high-flying rendition of “Today 4 U” is a show-stopper. The ensemble shines when presenting of Rent’s iconic numbers, particularly “La Vie Bohème and “Seasons of Love.” This production is a bold choice for the new venue, seeking audiences in search of more ambitious, adult fare — there were empty seats on opening night. Rent offers strong evidence that the Incline is up to the challenge. I give this one a Critic’s Pick. … I was part of a very full house for Mary Poppins last Sunday (at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, also finished on Dec. 20); this production is clearly intended as holiday fare for families. I wish it were a bit more joyous. Mary (Alyssa Hostetler, who’s a fine singer) is a rather starchy character who’s not very loveable. The uptight Banks family she convinces to reconnect and have fun has an initially irritable dad (Dave Wilson, another excellent voice) and a mom who’s a budding feminist (Sarah Viola, who sings very well, too) — these aren’t characters that children can instantly love. Even the two Banks kids (Lili Shires and Peter Godsey, who work hard at being coy) are kind of obnoxious. The production felt long, with numerous labored scene changes. On the other hand, the audience had a great time — the songs (familiar from the 1964 movie) are beloved, and everyone seems to know them. That’s fun. Tickets: 513-241-6550

The touring production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas wraps up its engagement on Sunday. It’s a fine cast of singers and dancers, a production full of familiar tunes that’s worth seeing if you have the scratch for seats at the Aronoff Center. Tickets: 513-621-2787

If you prefer something not holiday-oriented, Xavier University’s theater program is staging Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth. It’s a three-character play from the 1990s (set in the early 1980s) about young people struggling with the transition to adulthood. Guest director Ed Stern, the Playhouse’s retired artistic director, told me it was a great opportunity to work with actors who are exactly the right age to play these roles. Read more from Stern in my recent Curtain Call column. Performances are this weekend only, including a Sunday matinee. Xavier Box Office: 513-745-3939

Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 12.04.2015 63 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
james craig

Morning News and Stuff

SORTA avoids strike; former CPD chief wades into gun control debate; will feds investigate Ohio charters?

Hey all! I’m busy today working on a cover story about the economic future of Cincinnati’s DIY spaces (yes, really, we do weird stuff here in the news department) so let’s keep it short and sweet for news today. Here are a few things to take you into your weekend.

• The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and its bus drivers, represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union, have come to a last-minute agreement that will more than likely forestall a strike by ATU employees. There were talks of a strike vote, which would have happened yesterday, after SORTA proposed running smaller buses along under-served routes. Those buses wouldn’t require commercial drivers licenses and SORTA wanted to pay the drivers less, which tweaked ATU. The terms of the deal haven’t been released, and will still have to be approved by drivers, but it looks like a strike has been averted. The clash came as questions swirl around how to improve Metro service in Cincinnati, which currently only reaches about 40 percent of the city’s jobs.

• Here’s good news for prospective students looking at a nearby university. Miami University is planning to lock in tuition rates for incoming classes, holding the costs of attending for each incoming class over four years. That means that incoming freshman will still pay the same rate their senior year. That’s a big deal as the cost of higher education and student debt balloon. Wish MU had done this when I was an undergrad, but yeah.

• A former Cincinnati Police Department chief is wading into the gun control debate. Current Detroit Police Chief James Craig says that having more citizens with guns makes everyone safer. “If you’re a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want an unarmed citizenry,” Craig said recently. His comments come as the debate over gun control flare up yet again across the U.S. following the mass killing of 14 people in San Bernadino, Calif. earlier this week and the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last week. That debate is intertwined with a discussion about risks from radical terrorists following attacks by ISIS affiliates in Paris late last month. Craig says the 30,000 Detroiters with legal guns mean a harder task for criminals or terrorists. Meanwhile, gun control advocates point out that many more fatalities in the U.S. have resulted from domestic terrorists, many with legal guns, than from foreign-born religious extremists.

• The controversy over Ohio’s charter school system isn’t fading just yet, and may be the topic of a federal investigation. Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Education was rocked by revelations that officials withheld data from certain low-performing online charter schools in order to boost performance ratings for organizations that sponsor the for-profit private schools receiving state funds. The ODE official responsible for that omission, David Hansen, was dismissed from his position over the scandal, but so far, a state investigation into further wrongdoing hasn’t been forthcoming. Hansen is married to Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign manager. After that dustup, the federal government awarded Ohio millions in grants for charter schools, but was apparently unaware of the scandals. Now, a public information request by The Akron Beacon Journal regarding those grants has been turned down by the Feds, who cite an exemption allowing them to withhold documents if they’re part of a federal investigation. Does that mean the feds are sniffing around Ohio’s charter system? Could be.

That’s it for me! Look at that. Under 600 words.

 
 
by Steven Rosen 12.03.2015 64 days ago
Posted In: Movies, Film at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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'Anomalisa' in the Running for Academy Award Nominations

The film joins 'Carol' as a Cincinnati-related movie garnering praise

There looks to be another very artful Cincinnati-related movie, besides Carol, that is on important Best Films of 2015 lists, wins critics awards and even figures in Oscar nominations.

And it wouldn’t be Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, which like Carol was predominately filmed in Cincinnati but set in New York. Sony Classics isn’t planning to release that Miles Davis biopic, which Cheadle directed and stars in, until April.

Rather, this is a film that is set in Cincinnati but wasn’t shot here because it’s an animated feature for adults that uses stop-motion puppets.

It’s called Anomalisa and was written and co-directed by the always-adventurous Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and also wrote and directed Synecdoche, New York. (The co-director is Duke Johnson.) Anomalisa started life as a 2005 play called Hope Leaves the Theater.

I have not seen it, but going by online and print stories from those who have, it is the tale of a depressed, married motivational speaker who, on a trip to Cincinnati that features a one-night hotel stay, believes he has found his ideal mate. But there may be complications.

David Thewlis voices the lead character; Jennifer Jason Leigh is the woman he is attracted to. All other characters are voiced by Tom Noonan and have the same faces. That latter fact is important because it could be interpreted as a characteristic of a delusion called Fregoli Syndrome. In fact, the hotel in the film is named Fregoli.

Independently financed, partly through Kickstarter, Anomalisa has won raves since premiering at Telluride and Venice film festivals in September. Britain’s Sight & Sound, one of the world’s most important film journals, has just ranked it the 11th best new film of 2015 — Carol ranked second. And both it and Carol are Best Feature nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards.

It has been acquired by Paramount Pictures and is getting a limited release at the end of this month, after playing at film festivals, to qualify for Academy Awards. A huge poster board for its (still-undetermined) Cincinnati opening is already up at Esquire Theatre.

If all this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. Advance reports and early reviews don’t make it appear that Anomalisa’s depiction of Cincinnati is an especially complimentary one. In fact, the city just might have been chosen intentionally as an appropriate place for someone like the film’s principal character, Michael Stone, to have an emotional crisis.

Here’s how Rodrigo Perez’ review on Indie Wire began:

“With apologies in advance to the people of Cincinnati, in the worldview of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Anomalisa, or at least to the misfortune of its characters, the Queen City represents a soul-crushing dullness and boredom that could drive any man mad. For customer service guru and author Michael Stone (brilliantly voiced by David Thewlis as a classic Kaufman-esque misanthrope), already fundamentally unhappy and in the midst of a huge existential crisis, Cincy is a grueling hell on Earth of fatuous people and irritating small talk.

“In all fairness, it could be any faceless and anonymous city — part of Kaufman’s aim is to examine and send-up the mundanity of the business trip and that odd experience of feeling like an alien exploring the world of this not-quite-real, single-serving fantasy existence where people wait on you hand and foot.”

Whatever its take on Cincinnati, the work that went into making Anomalisa is impressive. According to the Crafting Anomalisa short, it involved the creation of 1,261 faces and 1,000 costumes and required 118,089 frames of film to reach its final 90-minute running time.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 12.03.2015 64 days ago
Posted In: News at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_1215winebarurbanwinefestival

Morning News and Stuff

Deters releases dash cam footage of Sonny Kim shooting; Cincinnati bridge could get federal funding for a needed upgrade; more opportunities to drink potentially coming to Cincy

Good morning, Cincinnati! Here are your morning headlines. 

• Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters yesterday released video footage of the June 19 Madisonville shooting of Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim. The video from Officer Tom Sandmann's dash cam shows suspect Trepierre Hummons charging off screen while Officer Kim is seen lying on the ground with Hummons' mother kneeling beside him in an attempt to aid him. Hummons was fatally shot by Officer Sandmann, which is not seen in the video, but the video appears to support the notion that Sandmann acted according to police procedure as Hummons apparently had already shot Officer Kim. Deters praised Officer Sandmann's response for stopping what he believed was an attempt at mass murder by Hummons and said Sandmann won't face charges. The case never went before a grand jury because Deters said he found Officer Sandmann's reaction justified. 

Deters released two versions of the dash cam footage yesterday: one 50 minutes uncensored and one shorter pixelated version which blurs out Officer Kim lying on the ground, which was played at the press conference. Deters has waited more than five months after the shooting to release the video because of the ongoing investigation into the incident, which is now closed. The case has sparked some attention for when the appropriate time is to release footage of officer involved shootings after the body camera footage of former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was released just two weeks after he fatally shot unarmed motorist Samuel Dubose on July 19. 

• One of Cincinnati's bridges could be in line for a federally funded multi-million dollar makeover. The Brent Spence Bridge project could possibly get hundreds of millions of dollars from a five-year $281-million transportation bill. The bridge is one of the many connecting Ohio to Kentucky and is a priority of the business community to fix as it is a constant source of congestion and is functionally obsolete, but remains a necessary daily route for transporting many goods. The feds will not foot the bill for the entire cost of the project, which is at an estimated $2.6 billion, and the Greater Cincinnati area will have to match the funds, which might mean charging tolls. 

• The Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP has elected Robert Richardson, Jr. as its new president. The chapter, faced with legal troubles, hasn't functioned in a year. Richardson will be the first leader since 2012. The race to become the newest leader of the historic organization that represents minorities wasn't hard for Richardson, as his name was the only one on the ballot. According to the Enquirer, he's hoping his team will restore focus on civil rights issues facing the city. 

• It's finally winter, my least favorite season. If you planning on surviving the next few months like me by curling up with an alcoholic beverage to pass the miserable days of snow and ice, there's good news. Local brewery MadTree announced that it's at capacity and looking for a new facility. Its co-founder Kenny McNutt says he's eyeing the old RockTenn Co. paper mill in Oakley as the next potential brewing spot. McNutt apparently underestimated Cincinnati's diehard love of beer and says the company has grown a lot faster than anticipated. The company hasn't said what will happen to its original home on Kennedy Avenue, and there's no timeline yet for when they are planning to relocate. 

• But if drinking in locally run businesses is not your style, well, Starbucks has also applied for permits to serve beer, wine and liquor at its new location in the recently opened Liberty Center. The giant coffee chain is trying out an evening concept and would actually include local brews, too. Starbucks has applied for liquor permits in other Ohio cities like Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo. 

• By now, you've probably heard of the horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which happened yesterday morning around 11 a.m. Police have identified two suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who reportedly walked into a social services center and killed 14 and wounded 17 during an office holiday party. Farook reportedly worked at the center. The couple was killed several hours later after a shootout with local police.  

The New York Times reported that more than one mass shooting per day happens on average in the U.S. As we near the end of 2015, 462 people have died in American mass shootings and 1,314 have been injured, including the tragedy that happened yesterday. They have an interesting analysis you can check out here.

Stay warm and email me any story tips to nkrebs@citybeat.com.
 
 
by Staff 12.02.2015 65 days ago
 
 
todo_bourbon&bacon_lauracox

This Week's Food and Dining Events

WEDNESDAY 02
CityBeat’s Bourbon & Bacon — If you like eating divine swine products or drinking high-quality brown liquor, head to New Riff Distillery for CityBeat’s annual Bourbon & Bacon party. Guests will enjoy samples of bacon-inspired dishes from local restaurants like Holtman’s Donuts, Pompilios, Cuban Pete, BrewRiver GastroPub and more. Wash the pork down with whiskey from Buffalo Trace, OYO, Woodford, Old Forrester and more — or just grab a beer. Tickets include 10 drink samples and all-you-can-snack food. 6-9 p.m. The event is currently sold-out. New Riff Distillery, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., citybeat.com.

You Won’t Miss Gluten — Whether eliminating gluten from your diet by choice or necessity, this class will teach you easily replace starches in your main dishes. 6-8 p.m. $70. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

THURSDAY 03
Holiday Entertaining — Get ready for the holiday season with recipes and tips to help you spend more time enjoying your guests. 6-9 p.m. $65. Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, culinary.cincinnatistate.edu.

Entertaining with Cheese — The most important hosting class you’ll ever take, whether you’re throwing a party or just eating cheese in your bed alone. Learn to make simple but sensational cheese boards. 6-8 p.m. $35. Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

Warped Wing Tapping — If you’re a fan of Dayton’s Warped Wing brewery, head to BrewRiver for a special tap takeover with giveaways and live music. 6-9 p.m. Free. BrewRiver GastroPub, 2062 Riverside Drive, East End, brewrivergastropub.com.

Cincinnati E.A.T.S. — Do you like dining and mingling? Cincinnati E.A.T.S. takes over Cricket Lounge with cocktails and appetizers, followed by a seated dinner and dessert. The organization — Epicureans About Town Society — is dedicated to supporting great, local restaurants and charities. Bring two canned goods to donate to the Freestore Foodbank. 6:30 p.m. $46.50. Palace Restaurant, 601 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnati.com/cincinnatieats/index.shtml.

FRIDAY 04
Date Night: Spiced Crusted Pork —  Bring a date and create a main dish of smoked paprika-crusted pork and Swiss chard with quinoa. 6-8 p.m. $160 per couple. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

SATURDAY 05
Dad Day at Rhinegeist
Photo: Rhinegeist
Dad Day at Rhinegeist — Party in plaid with dad at Rhinegeist. The brewery celebrates the release of its seasonal brew Dad — a hoppy holiday ale — with a party featuring commemorative glassware and posters for the first 100 guests. The event is BYOD and BYOP (bring your own dad and bring your own plaid), with a special #DadPlaid photobooth and cozy holiday setting. BTW: Dad comes in a plaid can, which is why Dad Day has a patterned theme, not just because tartan is incredibly Christmasy. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

Cincy Brew Bus: Bourbon, Brews and a Winery Too — The bus stops at New Riff, The Littlefield, Henke Winery and Rhinegeist. Noon-5 p.m. $70-$75. Leaves from New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., cincybrewbus.com.

Kids and Teens in the Kitchen: Holiday Cookies — Kids ages 8 and older can learn to make cut-out cookies, royal icing and various decorating techniques. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $50. Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, culinary.cincinnatistate.edu.

A New Holiday Brunch — Prepare an easy brunch for a winter holiday or lazy Sunday. 10 a.m.-noon. $65. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

Sushi Rolling and Dining — Learn to roll three kids of sushi. BYOB. 6 p.m. $25. Sushi Cincinnati, 130 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., sushicinti.com.

Braxton Block Party — Braxton Brewing Co. hosts a Cov block party with live music from the likes of Tracy Walker, Pete Dressman, Motherfolk and more. They’ll also be releasing the first beer in their Heritage Series: Dark Charge. Tappings throughout the day. Food trucks available. Noon-1 a.m. Free admission. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., braxtonbrewing.com.

Drink Local for Christmas — Test locally crafted wine and spirits for gift giving. Choose from 17 wines and 10 boozes. 2-7 p.m. $15. Woodstone Creek Winery & Distillery, 4712 Vine St., Saint Bernard, woodstonecreek.com.

Holly Jolly Roger Lunch Cruise — Christmas plus pirates! This lunch cruise features a family-friendly pirate crew, game, activities, turkey and a special appearance by Santa. Noon-2 p.m. Saturdays. Through Dec. $40 adults; $24 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com.

SUNDAY 06
Repeal Day Celebration
Photo: Provided
Repeal Day Celebration — On Dec. 5, 1933, the United States passed the 21st Amendment, effectively repealing Prohibition. Celebrate by getting drunk on Sidecars and Mary Pickfords in Jazz Age costumes at the Metropole at 21c. The restaurant and bar’s Repeal Day party honors the end of Prohibition with 1920s tunes, a burlesque show and classic speakeasy cocktails. Period-inspired costumes encouraged; mustaches provided by Metropole. Special room rates apply for those who don’t want to tipple and drive. 7-11 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com.  

MONDAY 07
Dinner Amongst the Stars — Local celebrities serve a meal to benefit the Still Strong Foundation and the Carlos Dunlap Foundation. 6 p.m. $250. Prime 47, 580 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-579-0720.

A Do-Ahead Brunch Celebration — Entertain with ease during the holidays with this make-ahead brunch menu, including savory goat cheese and artichoke frittata, baked crab benedict and a sparkling bellini. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $70. Cooks’Wares, 11344 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Point, cookswaresonline.com.

TUESDAY 08
A Trip to Vietnam — Learn classic skills such as seasoning and using spring roll wrappers. Create your own meal of pho and learn to roll your own spring rolls with rice noodles and veggies. 6-8 p.m. $70. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

Cookies Uncorked — Grab some friends for a night of cookie making and wine. The class includes naked cookies, icing, equipment and instruction. 7-9 p.m. $45. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., newriffdistilling.com.

 

 
 
by Steven Rosen 12.02.2015 65 days ago
Posted In: Film at 01:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
carol movie 2015 the weinstein company

'Carol' Wins Major Best Film Prize

The Cincinnati-filmed Carol has just won the first big critics poll of the year — the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film of 2015. The announcement was made this afternoon, following voting by the group.

Directed by Todd Haynes from the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, it concerns a lesbian relationship in the New York of the early 1950s. It stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Besides the film’s award, Haynes received a Best Director nod; Phyllis Nagy got Best Screenplay and Edward Lachman got Best Cinematography.

Because the two actresses both have leading parts, they may have split the vote — Saoirse Ronan received Best Actress for her part in the film Brooklyn.

Carol is in four theaters in New York and L.A. and is getting a very slow national release to build word-of-mouth, hopefully through awards and nominations.

Here is the Variety story on today’s awards.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 12.02.2015 65 days ago
Posted In: News at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

City plans to ask state for Wasson Way funding; more liquor licenses could come to OTR; House Republicans shoot down Obama's climate change initiatives

Good morning, Cincinnati! I'm back from Thanksgiving in Texas where the weather was actually colder and wetter than here. That's a definite win for the north. Here are your headlines:  

Ever since Mayor John Cranley's park tax levy failed, the city has been looking for other ways to fund the highly anticipated Wasson Way bike trail — and it might be through the state of Ohio. Cranley and City Manager Harry Black sent a letter to the Cincinnati Business Committee asking it to ask the state for money to fund three segments of the trail between Montgomery Road and Eastern Hills Lane at Hyde Park Plaza. The four initial phases are estimated to cost $17.5 million, but the city is only asking the state to kick in $4.5 million, the cost of construction. The cost of the total project is still unknown, but some estimates put it around $23 million. The city estimates that with help from Ohio, the first three segments could be ready for biking in 12 months.   

Speaking of bike trails, the city of Toledo presented a $32 million plan for 13 bike paths across the city. The project would disrupt some traffic by cutting a few four lane roads down to two lanes, which upset some Toledo residents, but was seen as necessary by the Toledo Department of Engineering to keep up with the times. One city administrator said bike lanes would help Toledo keep up with the competition between modern cities to offer residents a high quality of life. 

Leaders from the Corporation for Findlay Market and Over-the-Rhine Brewery District say creating a second Over-The-Rhine entertainment district could be good for business. The plan would split the neighborhood in half and double the amount of liquor licenses for business owners. City Council's Neighborhoods Committee will hear the plan on Dec. 16, but it already has the support of Vice Mayor David Mann and OTR Community Council, which voted in favor of it earlier this year. Liquor licenses in Cincinnati are handed out by geographic area. The current OTR entertainment district has a cap of 15 liquor licenses for its 179-acre area, and there's currently a long waiting list for businesses to obtain one.  

The number of Arabic speakers have shot up this year for Mason City Schools. This year, 38 percent of its English as a Second Language (ESL) students are native Arabic speakers, up from 8 percent last school year. Most families have come from Saudi Arabia for a program called Destination Excellence at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center that recruits out-of-area patients to the hospital as a way to attract more talent to the medical center. But the program has created a conflict for the school district. The majority of these families hold B-1/B-2 business and tourist visitor visas, which actually prohibits them from enrolling their children in public schools. That law clashes with the federal law that prohibits schools from asking their students their immigration status. The school has followed advice from various state government officials to allow the students to attend, but it is also scrambling to accommodate the cost alongside the influx of Arabic speakers.  

A New Day for America, the super PAC behind Gov. John Kasich's presidential run, is taking aim at fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The super PAC recently aired a series of ads against Trump and mailed out fliers to New Hampshire voters criticizing Trump's comments on immigration. Kasich's campaign has been focusing on New Hampshire to get ahead, and a spokeswoman for the super PAC said they're working on targeting "soft" Trump supporters in the state. 

While President Obama hangs out with world leaders in Paris to discuss combating climate change, the Republican-lead House of Representatives is busy shooting down the President's anti-climate change proposals. The House passed two resolutions that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing rules from the Obama administration to regulate greenhouse gases. The resolutions passed mostly along party lines. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the costs and benefits of the measures just don't add up, while Democrats mocked Republicans on the floor for being "climate change deniers."

Story tips go to nkrebs@citybeat.com.
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 12.01.2015 66 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Moeller cancels basketball game over Black Lives Matter rally; Cintas settles gender discrimination suit; Ohio's Planned Parenthood defunding law could have unintended consequences

Good morning Cincy. Here’s a quick rundown of some big news stories today.

Ah, high school athletics. A place where we can lay aside our differences and come together in mutual appreciation of sport in all its unifying glory. Or not. Last Friday, Moeller High School in Montgomery cancelled its season-opener basketball game at Taft High School, which is located in the West End, because of a scheduled Black Lives Matter rally downtown. Moeller officials cited concern for the safety of their students and say the decision was made collaboratively between the two schools. But representatives from Taft say that’s not true, and that Moeller made the decision unilaterally and at the last minute. What’s worse, Taft’s athletic program counts on proceeds from games like the one against Moeller, and at least for now is out the money it would have made from ticket sales. A spokesperson for Moeller said the game will be rescheduled. Some fans even showed up at Taft for the game, unaware it had been cancelled. Channel 9 reported that Moeller took the game off its calendar Saturday morning.

• Mason-based work wear and janitorial supply giant Cintas Corporation has settled for $1.5 million a decade-old gender discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The suit alleges that Cintas refused to hire qualified female workers in its sales department in Michigan between 1999 and 2005. The EEOC checked the number of female employees the company hired against the number of applications it received and found that a significant number were denied employment despite their qualifications. In addition to paying the monetary damages for missed wages to those women, Cintas will also undergo an independent review of its hiring practices.

• Which public school systems in Ohio provide the greatest value when you consider housing costs vs. school performance? Here’s a hint: they’re not around here. Finance website Nerdwallet.com crunched school performance, property value and property tax numbers to come up with a ranking of all the school districts in the state. That list shows that most of the best-value schools are around Toledo, which has relatively low housing costs and comparatively higher-performing school districts. Meanwhile, Cincinnati Public Schools came in at 605 in the ranking of 608 schools.

• A federal court has ordered the state of Ohio to commute the death sentence of a Hamilton County man convicted of murdering his neighbor in 1997, or to hold a new trial on the punishment phase of that conviction. Rayshawn Johnson was found guilty of murdering Shannon Marks with a baseball bat, and a jury decided on the death sentence for the crime. But Johnson did not get adequate legal representation during a phase of the trial that considered mitigating factors in his actions, including childhood abuse. A number of those factors make the death penalty inappropriate for Johnson, according to a 4-3 vote by the federal appeals court, which overturns an earlier Ohio Supreme Court decision upholding the death penalty ruling for Johnson. The state can hold the mitigation phase of the trial again or commute Johnson’s sentence to life in prison.

• Ohio is only days away from stripping more than $1 million in funding for health services that has in the past been given to the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics thanks to a law passed by both the state House and Senate. But the wording of that law could create a number of unintended consequences, including removing the funding from non-Planned Parenthood related entities such as the Columbus Public Health Department.

The law works by barring any organization affiliated with abortion providers from certain state and federal grants. But the wording of the law is tricky, and could mean that some programs designed to address STD prevention, infant mortality and other major, non-abortion-related concerns could lose out. Currently, Planned Parenthood wins the money in question in a competitive, state-administered process. Other providers that participate in that process, including Columbus Public Health, say they will not be able to accommodate a rush of new patients that could come from Planned Parenthood ceasing its health care services. None of the programs targeted by the funding cut are abortion related. State lawmakers say they’re simply making sure that taxpayers don’t contribute funds to abortion providers. The House and Senate bills must be reconciled, after which the legislation will go to Gov. John Kasich's desk to be signed into law.

I’m out. Later all!

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 11.30.2015 67 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_cincinnatibeerweek

Morning News and Stuff

Mount Auburn clinic clear to stay open until May; tensions on City Council; more liquor licenses for OTR?

Good morning all. Hope you had a great holiday weekend. Here’s the news today.

Cincinnati’s last remaining women’s clinic that provides abortions will remain open until at least May following a last-minute decision by the Ohio Department of Health to grant it a license. Back in September, the ODH denied Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center in Mount Auburn its first request for a variance to state laws requiring clinics to have transfer agreements with local hospitals. That move could have shut the clinic down, but an ensuing court injunction kept it open. Now, the ODH has approved the clinic’s second request for a variance on the last day of a 60-day deadline stipulated by new state laws. That request listed four doctors with individual admitting privileges at local hospitals. The clinic’s previous request listed three.

• Three of Cincinnati City Council’s most conservative members have been pretty good buds up to this point, even tapping each other to pick their successors should one of them leave council early. But the cozy coalition between council members Amy Murray and Charlie Winburn, both Republicans, and Christopher Smitherman, an independent, could change rapidly as the race for a Hamilton County commissioner seat heat up. None of the three are officially running yet, but Smitherman and Winburn have at least grabbed petitions that would enable them to appear on the ballot, and Murray  said she’s considering her options in terms of the race. If two or all three jump into the race for departing commissioner Greg Hartmann’s seat, things could get less friendly. As the Business Courier points out, party primaries can be brutal, no-holds-barred affairs.

• Meanwhile, The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a story yesterday on City Council’s accomplishments two years into its newly extended four-year terms. It also, strangely, both lauds council for getting a lot done while at the same time criticizing it for being “rife with feuding, dysfunction and for some members, missed meetings.” The piece takes a negative view of council Democrats’ disagreements with Mayor John Cranley and dings council overall for its lack of “one voting bloc” and “one agenda among members.” Which, to editorialize, seems like a very weird critique of a democratic body. Don’t we have nine council members so we can have different viewpoints and different goals? Anyway, take a look at the article, which does have some good tidbits of information in it about what council has been up to.

• About 60 protesters with Black Lives Matter Cincinnati took to the streets downtown Friday. The group says the rally through downtown and Over-the-Rhine was held in solidarity with activists in Chicago, where hundreds have decried recently released video of the Chicago Police Department shooting of Laquan McDonald. McDonald was shot 16 times by a CPD officer last year as he was walking away from police. Though McDonald was armed with a three-inch knife, the officer who shot him had arrived on the scene just seconds before and was a safe distance away from McDonald. The officer was subsequently charged with murder. The rally in Cincinnati follows a similar event last weekend to remember Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old shot by police in Cleveland last year.

• Does Over-the-Rhine need more liquor licenses? As we explored this spring in our feature on neighborhood entertainment districts, many people are pushing for ways to expand the number of licenses available in some Cincinnati neighborhoods. A new plan being proposed would do just that for OTR, doubling the number of licenses available in the neighborhood by splitting up its current neighborhood entertainment district into two parts and extending its boundaries north. While advocates of the plan say it would aid economic development in the area, especially around Findlay Market, others are asking for balance and caution, saying that too many bars could make the area less livable for residents.

• Hamilton County commissioners are set to approve the county’s upcoming budget this week. As they prepare to do that, though, there’s a hubub going on over the county sheriff’s office. The department, headed by Democrat Sheriff Jim Neil, makes up by far the largest single expenditure in the fiscal plan: $59 million of the county’s $200 million general fund expenditures go to the office. But the hard part has been that the department doesn’t stay within the lines on that budget and is expected to be about $5 million over the $54 million spending mark stipulated by the current budget. That has caused some pushback from county commissioners, who have said Neil needs to be more strategic about his spending. So what’s responsible for the overruns? Officials say lack of communication has played a role, but also needed staff increases and modernization efforts within the department have contributed to the cost overruns.

I'm out! Send me news tips.

 
 

 

 

 
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