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by Staff 06.08.2015 87 days ago
Posted In: Leftovers at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
summer guide behind the scenes

Leftovers: What We Ate This Weekend

Everyone was really into tacos.

Each week CityBeat staffers, dining writers and the occasional intern tell you what they ate this weekend. We're not always proud — or trendy — but we definitely spend at least some money on food. 

Ilene Ross: Some days, the job of being a dining writer has more perks than others. On Friday morning I picked up the makings of a lobster boil from Lobsta Bakes of Maine in Newtown and delivered them to photographer Jesse Fox’s studio for a CityBeat photoshoot. Since both Jesse and our Artistic Director Rebecca Sylvester are vegetarians, they had no use for the lobsters post-shoot, so I watched my little crustacean friends pose for their close-up, while also volunteering my hands for a shot, and then took them home so the BF and I could enjoy them for dinner. Score!
Friday was also National Donut Day, and the lovely Katie Willing of Holtman’s Donuts asked me to participate in Cincy National Donut Day to benefit The Salvation Army on Fountain Square. All I had to do was partake in a donut stacking contest and I would get to eat all the donuts I could. Bad news, I lost the contest. Good news, I got to take home a huge box of Holtman’s. So all I ate all day was donuts and lobster. No complaints.
On Saturday night while it seems the whole world was down at Bunbury, the BF and I did our own little musical tour de Northside. We started out on the patio at Django Western Taco with absolutely fabulous strawberry basil margaritas, shrimp ceviche with avocado and corn chips, and beef, al pastor and chicken tacos. Next, it was on to Northside Tavern for drinks and music from Biloxi to Brooklyn, then Urban Artifact for beer and Don’t Fear the Satellites Jack Steiner Quartet. We finished the night with snacks outside at The Littlefield.

Katie Holocher: I treated myself to a fully-loaded turtle from Gomez Salsa on Friday after dropping off my friends at Bunbury, but it was this pregnant girl's perfect Friday night. The only downside? My addiction has been reopened. I now anticipate multiple drive bys a week. And because the taco craving continued, I had to have Nada on Saturday night. My usual is just the vegetarian tacos, but this time I went with just one veggie, one shrimp, and one Baja fish. The shrimp was such a good call because it was on the lighter, fresher end. The fish was a good call because it was on the indulgent, richer end. I also got a side corn tamal, which will probably become a must-have side order, much like the guacamole, because it hits the spot with the sweetness of the corn, and the spicy of the jalapeño. Actually, it all hit the spot. 

Jesse Fox: I spent a large portion of my weekend at Bunbury so most of my food came from the vendors there. The best was my veggie dog from Wurst Bar. I typically don't like hot foods when I'm already sitting in the sun, but it was both good and sustaining for the next few hours of work I had to do. I also enjoyed a strawberry popscicle from streetpops, a really good tofu dish with lots of carrots in the artist catering area and probably one too many Red Bulls.  Although I really, really wanted to try the Island Noodles everyone was carrying around with them, I couldn't justify waiting 30-plus minutes in their never-ending line to get them.

Maija Zummo: Saturday afternoon I was out running errands and made a pit stop at Mazunte for tacos. I've never been in the actual restaurant before — I've only had their tacos via their pop-up at Neons on weekends — and it was very cute. You wait in line to order from the cashier, and then take a sign to your table; the signs all say things like Cozumel, Oxaca, etc. I ordered vegetarian tacos to go (while vegetarian and vegan options are not listed on the menu board, they are available). The three veggie tacos came with zucchini and mushroom, guacamole and some type of red sauce on little tortillas with a side of lime. They were great; I ate them in my car. And while I waited for my order — the place was super packed for 2 p.m. — I had a red sangria. It was REALLY good. It tasted like a mix between normal sangria and like gluhwein, there was something cinnamony about it.

Zack Hatfield: At Findlay Market on Saturday, I found Pho Lang Thang, a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in pho, a noodle soup with delectable broth and herbs. But you really have to try the Báhn Xá Xíu, an unapologetically unpronounceable Chinese barbecue pork sandwich that stole my heart forever. Sunday at high noon, I went to Barrio Tequileria in Northside and ordered a vegetarian burrito.
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 06.08.2015 87 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
city hall

Morning News and Stuff

Could more CPS preschool funding find its way into budget?; CPD anti-violence plan expected today; Texas police officer suspended after pointing gun at teens during pool party

Morning y’all. Hope you had a good weekend taking in the tons of live music downtown. If you’re one of the 10,000 people who saw Ja Rule on Fountain Square, well, I kind of envy you and wish I could’ve taken that early 2000s nostalgia trip. Ah, the days when Ja’s gruff calls of "every thug needs a lady" could unite us. Those were simpler times.

• Today is the deadline for City Council members to file motions seeking to change City Manager Harry Black’s proposed $1 billion city budget. We’re sure to see efforts to change the way human services are funded in the budget — the city manager’s financial plan is a big departure from past budgets in what it considers part of that category, and that's caused a lot of controversy. Look for more on that in our weekly feature story Wednesday. Meanwhile, some other interesting changes might also come up today, including one that would boost the city’s spending on public preschool with some money currently earmarked for street repair. Currently, demand for preschool seats in Cincinnati Public Schools is nearly double the 1,129 spaces available. Council members Chris Seelbach and P.G. Sittenfeld have floated the idea of taking money from a $110 million loan the city is taking out for pothole repair and fleet updates and spending it to create more preschool opportunities. With Cincinnati’s childhood poverty rate the second-highest in the nation, it’s an important step that could give more low-income kids a head start, Seelbach and Sittenfeld say. Getting enough classrooms, supplies and staff for the first year would cost about $8.5 million, CPS officials say. Cincinnati City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee meets today at 1 pm. The committee will discuss proposed changes to the budget.

• Also expected today: Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell’s 90-day anti-violence plan. City Manager Black asked Blackwell to draw up the plan amid the city’s recent summer spike in shootings, the worst in a decade. Black initially suggested a flexible Friday deadline for the chief, but Blackwell asked for the weekend to finish up the plan. Some details have already been released: CPD will put between 50 and 70 more officers pulled from all over the department back on patrol. Those include aides for the chief and other top brass in the department, Blackwell has said. The chief has also recently undertaken a series of three community listening sessions to hear public input about the crime problem. One thing that won’t change, according to Blackwell: Police will not become “over the top” or engage in stop-and-frisk style policing, but will continue to practice a more community-oriented approach that has won Cincinnati national attention recently.

• By the end of the summer, the second-biggest Kroger in the country will be open in Oakley. The store, which will stretch 145,000 square feet, will be the largest in Greater Cincinnati and will feature home décor, a full-scale pharmacy, a natural foods department and other features going beyond the usual grocery store. The store continues the pitched pace of development in Oakley, which has seen a bunch of activity in the past few years. All of which is great, and I’m happy for the neighborhood. I just wanna know when we’re going to get our Kroger super center mega mart thing in Mount Auburn. I’ll probably have to settle for the upcoming update of the Corryville location for now, but hey, keep us in mind, will ya, grocers?

• Despite continually discouraging poll numbers and an ever-swelling list of competitors, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has continued to push his not-yet-official campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, making plenty of trips to New Hampshire, South Carolina and elsewhere. As he does, his specific sales pitch on why Republicans should choose him has come into focus, as this Columbus Dispatch article outlines. Basically, Kasich says he’s uniquely qualified, having spent nearly two decades in Washington, run a large state and worked in the private sector. He’s also willing to stick to his guns, he says, even when a crowd might not like what he has to say. Then there’s the big one — he can give Republicans Ohio’s electoral votes, which history suggests they absolutely need to win the White House. Kasich’s campaign has said  speech attendees around the country have responded to his message, but of course his campaign would say that. Kasich’s poll numbers, however, are still in the 2 percent territory, far behind frontrunners like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and oh, about 10 other folks.

• You’ve probably already seen the national news item I have for you today because it’s gone viral in the past 24 hours. A police officer in McKinney, Texas, a wealthy suburb north of Dallas, has been suspended after he slammed a 15-year-old girl to the ground and pulled his gun on some teenagers at a pool party. The interaction Saturday was captured on video and uploaded to Youtube, where it has been viewed more than a million times. The incident is the latest in a long line of racially charged incidents between white police and black citizens that seem to show unnecessary use of force. Police were called to the scene of the pool party after a fight broke out between teens and adults at a high school graduation celebration. Reports say that fight might have been racially tinged: Many of the black attendees at the celebration were not residents of the neighborhood, sparking ire from the predominantly white members members of the private pool. When police arrived to address the fight, one officer, Eric Casebolt, began aggressively ordering teens, mostly black, to leave the area. When they did not immediately comply, Casebolt began handcuffing them, and, in the case of the 15-year-old girl, pinning her to the ground and sitting on her. When other teens rushed to her aid, Casebolt drew his weapon and chased them off. McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller promised a full investigation into Casebolt’s actions and said he was “concerned” and “disturbed” by the video of the incident.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 06.05.2015 90 days ago
Posted In: Streetcar at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news1_streetcar_jf2

SORTA Releases Streetcar Operating Costs

Lowest bids $7M apart; union employees would go over budget

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority today released the dollar amounts for the two lowest bids for the first ten years of streetcar operations. The names of the bidding companies were not released, per SORTA's assertion that it would compromise the competitive bidding process. You can read the bids here.

One bid, called the management scenario, would involve a management company using SORTA employees in the Amalgamated Transit Union to run the streetcar, while another, called the turnkey scenario, would let the management company hire its own employees.

The bids look to be politically tricky for Democratic streetcar supporters, who have pushed hard for a union-friendly contract. The turnkey scenario comes in just under the $47,088,828 the city has said it wants to spend over the first ten years of the streetcar at $46,972,813. The management scenario, however, comes in over that amount at $54,933,160. In the first year, the management contract exceeds the streetcar's $4.2 million budget by $500,000, while the turnkey proposal comes in about $160,000 under budget. The bids give numbers for a five-year contract plus an optional five-year extension.

Mayor John Cranley, who campaigned on opposition to the streetcar, has said he supports cutting frequency of service for the streetcar should it go over budget. However, he and other Democrats on Cincinnati City Council support the management bid because it would utilize unionized employees.

Some of the cost overruns in the management bid are attributable to benefits packages offered to union employees. However, employees under the management scenario wouldn't be eligible for state pensions. The ATU could unionize the turnkey bidder's selected employees after they are hired, however, though they still wouldn't get the state pensions.

Cincinnati City Council looks poised to vote on the two options next week.

 
 
by Staff 06.05.2015 90 days ago
Posted In: Arts, Comedy, Concerts, Culture, Events, Drinking, Life, Music, Fun at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
music-bunbury-thedecemberists-700x615

Your Weekend To Do List (6/5-6/7)

FUN FUN FUN

Theater, art, bugs to eat, opera to see, a performance from Ja Rule and a ton of music festival fun.

FRIDAY
Dress for a fest and head to BUNBURY
This year’s Bunbury Music Festival, the first since it was acquired by Columbus, Ohio’s PromoWest Productions, features an ambitious and diverse lineup. The event, running Friday through Sunday at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove along the riverfront, will draw plenty of fans to see headliners like The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers and Snoop Dogg. But there are once again plenty of other reasons to explore the festival’s stages this year. Click here to read about our picks for some of the "must see" acts performing at the 2015 Bunbury Music Festival. Through Sunday. $79-$349. 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, bunburyfestival.com.

Collective CAC
Photo: Jesse Fox 
Grab a cortado and check out some at the COLLECTIVE CAC
Helmed by Collective Espresso owners Dave Hart and Dustin Miller, Collective CAC opened in March. When you walk into the lobby, Collective CAC is to the left of the museum welcome desk. The dining area is comprised of two large angular, birch-colored communal tables and a few smaller round tables with white modernist wingback chairs. The current menu features all-day breakfast, with sandwiches, salads and snacks available until 2 p.m. daily. But if you have a hankering for a cortado in the evening, the café offers light bites and coffee service until close — which isn’t until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Current exhibits include The Perfect Kiss, The Vesper Project, Self-Portrait as Light and Remember the Future. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org/visit/caf.

Dog Show
Photo: Provided
Catch the final performances of CINCINNATI FRINGE
The Cincinnati Fringe Festival — running through June 6 — is celebrating 13 years of theater, creativity and fun. A total of 40 shows (selected by 24 jurors) will be presented during the 12 days of the 2015 Fringe, split almost exactly between shows generated by local creators and productions from elsewhere in the U.S., plus four international acts representing South Africa, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom. Tickets for Cincinnati Fringe shows are $15 each; artists receive 50 percent of ticket and pass sales. Through June 6. Various venues in downtown and Over-the-Rhine. For a full schedule, visit cincyfringe.com.

SATURDAY 
Ja Rule
Photo: Provided
Remember the early aughts with JA RULE
It’s been more than a decade since the early 2000s, which means we’re allowed to start feeling nostalgic about it. And what better way to indulge that nostalgia than with a Ja Rule concert. Signed to the infamous Murder Inc. record label (now called The Inc.), Ja Rule spent most of the late ’90s embroiled in a feud with Fiddy and Eminem and is probably most well known as a featured artist on hits from other early-aughts staples like J.Lo, Christina Milian and Ashanti — let’s be real, we all know all of the words to “Mesmerize.” He’ll perform at Fountain Square Saturday with openers Trademark Aaron, Diamond Star Russell and Mayo. 7 p.m. start; Ja Rule at 10 p.m. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

Friends of the Public Library Used Book Sale
Photo: Provided
Get smart and buy some books at the FRIENDS OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY USED BOOK SALE
The Friends of the Public Library Main Library Book Sale returns Saturday for its 43rd annual event (through June 5), offering more than 50,000 used books from every category imaginable, with most prices between $1 and $4. Feel free to casually browse or go on a book-buying spree — there will most likely be something for everybody, whether you’re looking for Alice or Zhivago. Free. Main Library, 800 Vine St., Downtown, friends.cincinnatilibrary.org.

Broadway Sing-Along with the Cincinnati Pops
Photo: Provided
Belt along with tunes from the Great White Way in BROADWAY SING-ALONG WITH THE CINCINNATI POPS
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra begins its summer series with a special Broadway Sing-Along: Belt out your favorite Broadway hits by singing along to lyrics on the Riverbend Corbett Pavilion big screen with talented guest vocalists. Conductor John Morris Russell will lead the orchestra and audience in classics such as “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Dancing Queen” from Mamma Mia! and selections from Rocky Horror Picture Show. 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $20. Riverbend, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, cincinnatipops.org.

Germany Day Weekend
Photo: Provided
Bite a brat during GERMAN DAY WEEKEND
Get out your finest lederhosen and celebrate Cincinnati’s cultural roots with German Day Weekend, which provides an immersive environment for attendees to experience a heritage still thriving today. The celebration, which turns 120 this year and raises funds for the German Heritage Museum, kicks off on Saturday, when a parade at Findlay Market will showcase traditional German dance and music. On Sunday you can chill at the Hofbräuhaus Newport brewery for authentic German fare and craft beer. Guten Appetit! 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Free. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, gacl.com.

Incline District Street Fair
Photo: Provided
Explore Price Hill during the INCLINE DISTRICT STREET FAIR
Created to showcase the multicultural richness of Price Hill, the Incline District Street Fair strives to bring the surrounding community together at an event held the first Saturday of every month (through September). The fair, held across the street from Holy Family School, will feature local food, live entertainment, craft beer and a variety of artisan vendors. All proceeds benefit the mission and ministry of Holy Family. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free. 3001 Price Ave., Price Hill, theinclinedistrictstreetfair.com.

I Love Lucy Live on Stage
Photo: Justin Namon
Laugh along with "I LOVE LUCY" LIVE ON STAGE
Back in the 1950s, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo were a big TV hit on I Love Lucy. To experience the fun — and what TV was like 60 years ago — you should head to the Aronoff Center, where you’ll get a taste of what had America laughing. I Love Lucy Live on Stage recreates the filming of two episodes of the pioneering sitcom starring zany comedienne Lucille Ball and her real-life husband, Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz. Between segments of the show there’s interaction with the studio audience — aka everyone in the theater — plus live singers doing ads from the era. Through June 14. $29-$102. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-621-2787, cincinnatiarts.org.

Heteronormativity at the Ice Cream Factory
Photo: Jen Warren
See some art with HETERONORMATIVITY at the Ice Cream Factory
Working in monotype printmaking, collage and projection, Cincinnati-based artist Jen Warren will show a collection of artwork at artist/curator Paul Coors’ Brighton gallery, which focuses on her personal experiences living within a society in which queer women and other feminist voices are often silenced. According to the press release, because Warren lives within a society that continuously “others” her, creating art acts as a healing process for her. Opening reception: 7-11 p.m. Saturday. On view by appointment through June 19. Free. Ice Cream Factory, 2133 Central Ave., Brighton, paulcoors@gmail.com

Photo: Jesse Fox
Find creepy crawlies at the Cincinnati Museum Center's BUGFEST
The 12th annual BugFest pays tribute to all things arthropod. There will be hands-on activities, environmental information, insects as food and a forensic entomology display. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Activities free in rotunda. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

SUNDAY
The Producers
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
See a matinee of the first show at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater THE PRODUCERS
Hit Broadway musical The Producers is the first show staged at Cincinnati Landmark Production’s new Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. It's the story of a pair of hucksters who raise a boatload of money to stage “the worst play ever written,” an extravagant musical they’re confident will fail (its title: Springtime for Hitler) enabling them to make off with the funds they’ve raised. Much to their surprise and dismay, it’s a wacky hit. Through June 21. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, corner of West Eighth and Matson, East Price Hill, 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.

Bring a lawn chair for OPERA IN THE PARK
The Cincinnati Opera goes live in Washington Park and kicks off their 95th anniversary with a free outdoor concert. Selections include opera and musical theater favorites performed by the stars of the 2015 season, the Cincinnati Opera Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. 7 p.m. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiopera.org.

Emily and Justin Carabello
Photo: Jesse Fox
Grab some snacks at TASTE OF NEWPORT
Restaurants and food businesses from all over Northern Kentucky — 24 to be exact — will be swarming Monmouth Street, festival-style, eager to feed hungry people. Look for bites and drinks from the likes of Carabello Coffee, Dixie Chili, Green Derby, La Mexicana and more. Entertainment, including sidewalk sales, live music and family activities, will also be available, plus beer booths featuring domestic and craft beers of all sorts to wash down the food. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Food prices vary. Monmouth Street, Newport, Ky., facebook.com/go2newport.

48-Hour Film Project
Photo: Provided
Catch a screening of 48-HOUR FILM PROJECT films
Lights. Camera. Hurry. Five hundred professional and amateur filmmakers in the region recently competed in the 48-Hour Film Project, an event that requires participants to write, film and edit a five-minute movie in only two days. You can watch the local films premiere Sunday at a series of screenings at the Thompson House in Newport, the perfect way to catch a little Cincinnati cinema. Then on July 8, at a Best Of Screening at the 20th Century Theater, the project will award the “City Winner.” The winning film will be held in competition with other winners from around the world, with a panel of international judges deciding the ultimate prize: a showcasing of the top 10 films at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Screenings 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $10. Thompson House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., 48hourfilm.com/cincinnati.



 
 
by Zack Hatfield 06.05.2015 90 days ago
Posted In: Movies at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
solaris 1972

Foreign Film Friday: Solaris (1972)

This weekly series discusses the cultural and artistic implications of a selected foreign film.

If you watch Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, you will have, if nothing else, an experience. Yours might be revelatory or painful or, like mine, a bit of both. Based off of Polish author Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel of the same name, Solaris has, perhaps too often, been thought of as the Soviets’ response to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odessey. Although both films use the sci-fi genre to explore outer space frontiers as well as existential ones, Tarkovsky’s themes are much more personal and spiritual, and gravitate toward the loneliness and fragility found in humanity.

The entire plot is tensioned over the emptiness of the unknown. Set in the unspecified future, psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) is sent to a space station orbiting the planet Solaris to check up on the two crew members there. He discovers that the planet’s oceans cause the station’s inhabitants to hallucinate, and he ends up seeing visions of his dead wife, Hari (Irma Raush). These visions haunt him until he must make the decision whether to return to Earth or descend into the desire realm of Solaris.

With glacial tracking shots and a running time of 165 minutes, watching Solaris challenges your attention span for sure, and the film’s understated acting and dialogue takes some getting used to. Honestly, I literally lost consciousness and fell asleep while watching this movie at least two times. But strangely, the cinematic aftertaste of Solaris is rich and rewarding. To me, the entire work felt more like music than cinema, eschewing narrative for aesthetic and feeling. After a while it’s easy to succumb to its languid, hypnotic rhythm.

Despite the movie’s pessimism, it evokes some breathtaking images of nature with a palette of earthy hues and filters. Tarkovsky takes advantage of the 2:35:1 aspect ratio, whether he fills it with surreal underwater plant life, foggy atmospheres or a sprawling metropolis.

Solaris is now considered a sort of masterpiece and one of the director’s more accessible films. Tarkovsky’s influence can be seen now in auteurs like Lars von Trier and Terrence Malick, whose Tree of Life shares the backdrop of the cosmos to explore human interiors and relationships. Also, in 2002, Steven Soderbergh made an American remake (don’t bother).

Perhaps most surprising is Tarkovsky’s ability to cull such an intimacy from the sterile reaches of outer space, and the way it leaves its final question unanswered — is it possible to fall in love with the concept of a person or life instead of the actuality, and is this enough?


SOLARIS is available for screening on Hulu Plus at hulu.com.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 06.05.2015 90 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news_policecameras_jonmedina2

Morning News and Stuff

Women's shelter opens in Mount Auburn; CPD second in command steps down; Dems push for payday loan reform

Good morning all. Here’s the news for Cincy today.

Today is the grand opening of the Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women on Reading Road in Mount Auburn. The shelter will house up to 60 women seeking to escape homelessness, as well offer classrooms and other on-site facilities. The shelter is one of two replacing the current Drop Inn Shelter in Over-the-Rhine. The men's shelter will move to Queensgate this fall. Correction: an earlier version of this post said the new Anna Louise Inn opened today. That shelter, also on Reading Road in Mount Auburn, will open Tuesday.

• Cincinnati City Council held its final Budget town hall meeting last night in Price Hill. The fifth meeting unfolded much the same way the last four have: The city administration's change-up on human services funding was the main issue, though a proposed city loan to Clifton Market that didn't make it into the budget also came up often. Last November, council voted to double human services funding, but that decision isn't reflected in City Manager Harry Black's budget. You can read our deep-dive into the human services issue next week, when we tell you how that part of the budget has changed, what council is doing to try to get more money back to social service organizations and what the split between the city manager and council means.

• It’s official: The portion of the  Eastern Corridor project that would have relocated State Route 32 between State Route 50 and Newtown Road through Newtown and Mariemont is dead, according to Ohio Department of Transportation officials. The road relocation proposal was contentious: Both municipalities, as well as some residents, staunchly opposed it. The new route would have run through archeologically significant sites near Mariemont, some opponents said, and ODOT cited other environmental and logistical concerns as reasons it was nixing consideration of that part of the project. Other elements, including proposed light rail through the Oasis Corridor, a little-used rail shipping line, remain on the table, ODOT says.

• Hamilton County Job and Family Services will see big changes in the wake of the recent tragic deaths of local children in abusive situations, county officials announced today. The changes are designed to decrease clients’ wait for mental health treatment, provide more in-home services for families and give better guidance to young parents and other youth.  

• Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Humphries, CPD’s second-highest ranking official, stepped down yesterday to take a job as head of security for Coca Cola in Florida. Humphries, who has been with CPD for three decades, has twice been in the running for the department’s top job, though both times a chief from outside the department was chosen. Humphries says that if he’d been promoted to the top spot, he would be staying but says there’s “no bitterness” in his decision to move on. The assistant chief’s announcement comes as Cincinnati’s police department has received nationwide attention for reforms it has made since the city’s civil unrest in 2001. Humphries has played a role in those reforms.

The announcement also comes as questions swirl around the police department following the revelation that City Manager Harry Black recently drew up resignation papers for Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, though the chief did not sign them and insists he’s staying on as the top cop. Blackwell has since been the center of scrutiny, with some detractors criticizing the department’s low morale and poor upper-level communication. Others, however, including several city council members, have expressed support for Blackwell. The Sentinels, Cincinnati’s black police fraternity, held a rally in support of Blackwell earlier this week.

• City Manager Black says the city will use Humphries’ departure as an opportunity to expand diversity in the force’s upper ranks, part of a larger push by the Sentinels and the city to foster a more diverse department reflective of Cincinnati’s demographic makeup. None of the city’s three assistant chiefs are black, and only one of the city’s 12 police captains is. The city yesterday announced it would change the way it undertakes promotions — tasking those outside the department with grading and evaluating promotional tests, instead of doing it in-house.

• Meanwhile, Chief Blackwell and the CPD are undertaking community listening sessions to get residents’ input on ways to curb the recent uptick in violent crime in the city. Last night, the department held a listening session in Roselawn, where a large group of residents weighed in. Better economic opportunities, recreation facilities and tighter gun control were all ways suggested to curb the violence. Another listening session will take place tonight in Avondale at the Urban League on Reading Road.

• A local video claiming to detail the emotional and physical aftermath of a break-in in Evanston has gained traction on YouTube, garnering well more than half a million views in just two days. Ron Moon, who says he made the video after he was assaulted by burglars June 3 at the community center he is working to establish in the neighborhood, has parlayed that recognition into a fundraising campaign for the center. That crowdfunding drive for 1853 Kinney Street, the nascent community center, has raised more than $38,440 in the last 16 hours. The emotional video features Moon, bloody and bruised, talking about the ways economic and other disadvantages encourage crimes like the break-in he says he experienced. Moon says three men and two women forced entry into the building, which Moon’s father purchased decades ago, and when he confronted them, they beat him and left.

• Let’s jump straight to national news, where Democratic senators are pushing hard for stringent regulations on the payday loan industry. That’s a big issue for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who earlier this year proposed a law that would allow those targeted most often by payday loan companies to borrow from their federal income tax returns instead. Other Democrats in the Senate, meanwhile, are working to get what they call “debt trap protection rules” passed, which would limit the industry’s ability to make high-interest-rate loans. Opponents of the payday loan business model say it sets incredibly high interest rates that trap low-income borrowers in a cycle of debt. Under the new rules, lenders would either have to verify income and ability to repay debt or limit the amount loaned to low-income customers.

 
 
by Sarah Urmston 06.05.2015 90 days ago
Posted In: Festivals at 08:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
bunbury

Your Weekend Playlist: Bunbury Music Festival

It’s music festival time, folks. That barefoot-in-the-grass, sun-on-your-skin, and live-music-filling-your-bones kind of season has arrived, and this weekend our very own city is welcoming music lovers everywhere to Bunbury Music Festival.

Here are a handful of my personal favorite jams from selected artists who will be performing this weekend:

The Black Keys – Weight of Love

It’s safe to say the Black Keys are easily loved at music festivals, considering I felt that very energy on the Gulf Shores, Ala., just last summer at Hangout Fest. Plus, being up on your 6-foot-4 friend’s shoulders to see it is about as “high” as you can get. The Black Key’s latest single release, “Weight of Love,” includes the same sound, slowed down, heavy on the instrumentals. Lead singer Dan Auerbach kills it (as always) and the spacey opener/closer matches the genius lyrics inside the body of it all.

Tame Impala – Let It Happen

I first heard this fairly recent song in a cramped, poorly lit airport in Havana, Cuba, and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. Tame Impala is that weird band you can’t help but love, with their psychedelic hypno-groove melodic Rock genre (can you say a mouthful?) and their modern-day resemblance to the Beatles. “Let It Happen” came out as a single in March, and its trippy and playful vibes truly make you want to get on your feet and dance around. Nothing more, nothing less.

Matt and Kim – Get It

This Indie dance duo can brighten any music lover's day with their upbeat, bouncy rhythms with lyrics sung by not only Matt and Kim themselves, but a crowd of party-animals to push for a bumpin’ weekend, and you can bet your ass they’ll be counting on the Bunbury crowd to join in on the movement. Now go “get it’” and dance no-hands-on-the-wheel style until it’s time to jam out with them live at Bunbury.

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Father John Misty a.k.a J. Tillman’s sad but hauntingly beautiful outlook on love and life is confidently expressed through his unique blend of Indie, Folk, and Psychedelic Rock, with lyrics open to various interpretations, depending on who’s listening. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and the rest of his previously debuted album stands out a bit from the rest of Tillman’s previous work. Seriously, just watch the video starring our girl April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) from Parks and Recreation, whose already dark character fits the scene beyond perfectly. It’s a confusing, marvelous piece of work, and Tillman will likely perform it just as beautifully (maybe slightly frightening) live.

Catfish & The Bottlemen – Pacifier

This “no fucks given” Welsh rock band from Wales might just be enough to get everyone in the Bunbury crowd to kick off their shoes and dance in the grass like crazy people. But that’s how music festivals should be, right? “Pacifier” is the perfect example of this kind of jam — the stuck-in-your-head, can’t-help-but-move-around song. And if you have any experience on the air drums, they might just become your new favorite.

Jamestown Revival – California (Cast Iron Soul)

Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance aren’t just a well-harmonized duo, but childhood friends, making for an even better band. The Country-Folk stylings of Jamestown Revival is easy on the ears, with their honest debut album recorded straight out of a cabin deep in the woods of Utah. It’s safe to say that what you hear is what you get, and “California (Cast Iron Soul)” is the epitome of not only the genre, but the lyrics that have the ability to bring listeners back to the authenticity of their roots.


Bunbury Music Festival takes place Friday-Sunday at Sawyer Point/Yeatman’s Cove, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown. More info: bunburyfestival.com.

 
 
by Rick Pender 06.05.2015 90 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 08:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
moonlight after midnight 2 (photo credit- andrew alexander)

Stage Door: Fringe and a Few Alternatives

Let’s start with the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. There are just two more days of performances, so you need to choose carefully. Based on what I’ve seen personally, I suggest you should seriously consider several shows still in the rotation: Moonlight After Midnight (Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 8:40 p.m.) is my favorite among this year’s productions, a well-written, well-acted two-hander that’s both romantic and thoughtful. Tales Too Tall for Trailers (Friday at 8:15 p.m.) is an entertaining hour of storytelling by Paul Strickland and Erika Kate MacDonald; Andy’s House of Blank, a script co-authored by Strickland during the winter run of Serials!, will be produced as a full-length show during the fall by Know Theatre. Edgar Allan (Saturday at 7:25 p.m.) is a fascinating piece inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, although it’s not one of his stories. But it’s slightly creepy and features two excellent performers, The Coldharts (aka Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan). For some great laughs, try Dog Show (Saturday at 9:10 p.m.), a fantasy from Animal Engine about what three dogs do when left at home alone. (Turns out it’s a French farce). To see some fine acting, I suggest you see Chemistry, another two-actor production, this one featuring Laurie Benning Roberts and Jay Hobson, recent members of the Cincinnati Playhouse’s acting intern company. She plays a chronic depressive; he portrays a manic and optimistic. They’re attracted, but their joint destiny is complicated and ultimately doomed. This is a serious and moving piece about mental illness. There are lots of other shows to see, and if you’d like to read full reviews of any of them, go to CityBeat’s Fringe review hub here.

If you prefer your theater a tad more mainstream than Fringe fare, you have several options. I particularly recommend Circle Mirror Transformation at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. It’s the final weekend for this show about five people engaged in an acting class in a small-town community center. What they learn is as much about themselves as it is about theater, and it’s sweet, profound and moving. The final performance is Saturday evening on the Shelterhouse stage. It’s the final production of the 2014-2015 season. Tickets: 513-241-3888

There are a couple of musicals you might want to catch, too. Showbiz Players is offering The Addams Family, based on the oddball cartoons of Charles Addams featured in The New Yorker (as well as an iconic TV show from the 1960s). It’s in its final weekend at the Carnegie in Covington. Tickets: 859-957-1940 … Also in Northern Kentucky, you can drop by the Monmouth Theatre in Newport to see Falcon Theater’s staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, an unusual work about the actual historical individuals who succeeded in shooting a president. It features fascinating music and a story line about the American Dream and what happens when people can’t grab ahold of it. It’s being presented through June 13. Tickets: 513-479-6783 … I’d like to recommend The Producers currently in production at the new Incline Theater in East Price Hill. It’s a delightfully silly show about showbiz. But the folks at Cincinnati Landmark Productions have so successfully marketed this opening production of its summer season that most performances are sold out. However, if you’re persistent, you might get your name on a waiting list by calling the box office: 513-241-6550.


Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here. 
 
 
by Staff 06.04.2015 91 days ago
Posted In: Fun, Events, Drinking at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Weekenders: What We're Doing This Weekend

Bunbury, Ja Rule, 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, Tri-State Antique Market

Each week CityBeat staffers share their weekend plans: from dinner and drinks or special events to out-of-town concerts and stories we're working on. And some of us just watch TV.

Mike Breen: I’m planning on Bunbury-ing as much as possible this weekend at the Bunbury Music Festival. There are some great acts throughout the entire weekend that I hope to see, but my “all-in” day is Friday. If Danny The Editor lets me leave early, I’m going to arrive at Sawyer Point/Yeatman’s Cove in time for the first band, the great, great Wussy, at 2 p.m. and I’m excited to see most of the acts performing throughout Friday. Tame Impala is one of my favorite artists of the past few years, so I’m especially psyched to see them, but also Catfish and the Bottlemen, Father John Misty, Multimagic, Royal Blood and Mini Mansions. My daughter has finally graduated from Disney Pop to actual Pop in the past year, so I’m taking her to see Cincinnati hitmakers Walk the Moon. I’ve been forcing them down her throat since their last album (which she indeed enjoys) and since “Shut Up and Dance” has become omnipresent on Top 40 radio, she’s become a full-on fan. I’m excited to see them as well; like Wussy, I’m really proud of their amazing success and look forward to rooting them on. I’m a little concerned about the child lasting the full day, but there are swing sets and other cool not-watching-band things to do along the riverfront all weekend (she is, after all, still a kid). OH — and I’m planning on plugging any holes in my festgoing schedule with some recommendations from those brilliant bastards at CityBeat. If any of them suck, I'm canceling my subscription and leaving a nasty comment on their website.

Rebecca Sylvester: Going to see Ja Rule on Fountain Square with a bunch of friends from high school. I'll respond to Becky if Ja asks.

Zack Hatfield: I'm going to relive my lost youth and check out 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, which opens this Friday. That same day I'll probably head over to the Main Library for the Book Sale on its last day and buy a shelf's-worth of books with their buy-a-bag-for-$10 deal. On Saturday I plan to head over to Visionaries + Voices in Northside and check out their new MAPS + LEGENDS exhibit, which promises unique landscapes of Cincinnati. 

Jac Kern: Friday night my guy and I are seeing the Entourage movie (OH YEAH) even though there’s no way it’s going to be very good. But with the combination of luxury loungers and a flask, we’re sure to have an entertaining evening. Like some of my colleagues, I, too will be checking out the free Ja Rule concert on Fountain Square Saturday followed by a stop at 16-Bit. Unlike Mike, I am only interested in seeing concerts from musicians I listened to on my discman on the back of the bus in seventh grade (the last concert I saw was Beyoncé and Jay Z last summer, so I'm not exaggerating). I still know all Ja’s songs from 2000-2003 (well, at least the girl parts) and am tempted to buy a JLo-esque denim bodysuit to truly live out my fantasy. Also, I’ve been to the 16-Bit in Columbus, and it was one of the most fun bars I’ve been to. If the vibe is anything like the original location, it’ll be a great spot. Then on Sunday I might round out the weekend with a torture session little shopping at Kenwood Towne Centre.

Jesse Fox: This weekend I will be photographing and attending Bunbury. I haven't photographed it the past two years, so I'm looking forward to getting back to documenting it. I have a few friends who are playing that I haven't seen in a while, so it will be a good time reuniting with them as well.

Sarah Urmston: After a long week of summer classes, work and internships, my boyfriend and I are super excited to have a much needed night in on Friday where he'll most likely cook something weird I can't pronounce while we watch 30 Rock re-runs together. Saturday will start with a birthday brunch at Taste of Belgium with the girls to celebrate my dear friend Kayla, followed by hanging at the Great American Ballpark for a Reds game. She's totally worth the overpriced draft beers, but I'll definitely try to hunt down the $1 hotdogs. I'm especially anxious to end the weekend at the Tri-State Antique Market in Indiana, picking out more vintage items I don't need to fill up my home. Not to mention they have the best homemade donut stand I've ever been to in my life! 

 
 
by Jac Kern 06.04.2015 91 days ago
at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

It should come as no surprise that I do not have very high TV standards (check my DVR full of every Shark Tank episode + all Bravo originals), but there is a small pool of programming I just won’t watch — basically anything that involves wedding dress shopping and all things Bachelor/ette related. So I missed the moment when self-proclaimed super-fan Amy Schumer appeared on a recent episode (which is a shame, because A., she’s a goddess, and B., a comedy-themed date in a manufactured setting like this is horrible and hilarious). She did not disappoint.

Also filed under horrible and hilarious: a documentary about the late, great comic Chris Farley is coming out this summer. Let me clarify: This will undoubtedly be hilarious because nearly everything Farley did was (he’s one of my comedic heroes), but also inevitably horribly sad (Farley died of a drug overdose in 1997 at 33 years old). I Am Chris Farley will feature interviews with Farley’s family, fellow comedians and Saturday Night Live stars — Tom Arnold, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Mike Myers and more. Check it out on Spike Aug. 10.

Reason No. 9280 why I love the Internet: One Tiny Hand. It’s photos of celebs Photoshopped to have one tiny hand.

Major Kardashian-Jenner news this week, she writes as her last remaining follower stops reading. Kim teased a second pregnancy in a preview for the second half of this season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She and Kanye are reportedly expecting their second Balmain-sporting bébé in December. Just hours later, Vanity Fair released the cover of its July issue featuring Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce), giving the public a name and an image to go along with Jenner’s transition.

She looks fantastic — happy, comfortable in her skin, and just plain traditionally attractive. But Laverne Cox made an excellent statement about how a beautiful heart and soul is much more important, and reached out to all the trans men and women who don’t have the genes, money, access and other resources to get surgeries, “pass” as a man or woman and be considered traditionally beautiful. Check out this thoughtful read here.

Jenner’s E! docuseries, I Am Cait, premieres July 26.

Mashup du jour: Welcome to the Grand Overlook Hotel.


You know that one friend who always thinks an Onion article is for real? Former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner is that guy.

San Andreas is a crazy disaster flick where The Rock rescues all attractive women when the planet cracks in half and the ocean swallows us all up (I think), and it’s bringing in tons of cash at the box office. But is it scientifically accurate? No! Obviously! A seismologist (a.k.a. earthquake scientist) confirmed that and fact-checked a few other depictions in the flick, just in case the idea of every city crumbling to the ground scares you.

NBC’s Hannibal premieres Thursday with a third season. Read more about this killer drama and more picks in this week’s TV column.

Finally, here are some baby goats in pajamas.

 
 

 

 

 
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