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by Rick Pender 08.14.2015 104 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
stage door 8-14 hundred days @ know theatre - id from left - lindsey mercer - abigail bengson -brian koch - shaun bengson -colette alexander - photo by daniel r. winters

Stage Door

Only a few more days for 'Hundred Days'

Know Theatre’s Hundred Days is not running for 100 days. In fact, it has only seven more performances, so I urge you to get your tickets now if you haven’t seen it yet. (I say this in part because I’ve now heard from three acquaintances that they liked the show so much they’ve purchased tickets to go back to watch a devoted couple deal with a marriage that’s foreshortened by illness. So I’m sure some performances are getting very full.) David Lyman gave it a good review in the Enquirer, and I attached a Critic’s Pick to my CityBeat commentary, so we agree — and I suspect you might, too. Abigail and Shawn Bengson, the performers and creators of Hundred Days, are full of energy and passion, and their backup musicians are infected with the same spirit. Next Wednesday (July 19) is a free admission performance, which is likely to be very full. Tickets ($25 in advance): 513-300-5669

This is the final weekend for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s very funny show, The Complete History of America (Abridged), featuring three very funny performers — Amanda McGee, Justin McCombs and Geoffrey Barnes. I don’t think you’ll leave the theater knowing more about American history, but you’ll understand our willingness to poke fun at ourselves and others. It has some moments that fall flat, but that’s to be expected in two hours of non-stop efforts at hilarity. When they hit it, the show is a laugh-out-loud riot. Final performance is Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets: 513-381-2273

Cincy Shakes’ FREE Shakespeare in the Park continues this weekend with performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Dunham Arts Center in West Price Hill (this one is actually an indoor performance) on Saturday at 2 p.m. and at Covington’s Linden Grove Cemetery on Sunday at 7 p.m. (Not that you want or need to drive to Portsmouth, Ohio, to see a performance, but the troupe is there tonight — showing just how far they’re willing to go to advance the cause of Shakespeare.)

I wish I could tell you that 9 to 5, the third musical in the inaugural season at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, is as entertaining or well done as its predecessors, The Producers and 1776. But it isn’t. Nevertheless, based on the strength of the season so far and the novelty of going to a brand-new theater most of the tickets for this lightweight musical have already been snatched up. It’s based on a movie from the 1980s that featured Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Parton’s countrified tunes, written for the musical not the movie (which did feature her hit song of the same title), are mildly entertaining, but the story is full of clichéd stereotypes about “working girls” who struggle to work with a chauvinistic boss. The real Parton makes a video appearance, but it’s not quite enough. Through Aug. 30. Tickets: 513-241-6550

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

by Natalie Krebs 08.14.2015 105 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
p.g. sittenfeld.nar

Morning News and Stuff

Rec Centers to offer longer hours for eight weeks; Cranley barbecues the crime wave; Former Xavier assistant basketball coach accused of sexual abuse; Regional study could mean more train services between Cincy and Chicago

Good morning, Cincinnati! Here are your morning headlines. 

• Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld announced yesterday at a press conference at Lincoln Recreation Center in the West End that the city will be rolling out an eight week pilot program partnership between the city, the Cincinnati Police Department and the city's recreation centers to keep five of Cincinnati's recreation centers open longer hours and open up a Lower Price Hill school for community use. Starting this Saturday, the Bush, Evanston, Hirsch, Millvale and Price Hills recreation centers will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will stay open until 9 p.m. on weekdays. Oyler School will start granting community members access to its facilities. The eight pilot program will cost $50,000 dollars with $25,000 coming from the city and another $25,000 from an anonymous private donor. At the end of its run, the program will be evaluated and possibly extended into other recreation centers and schools depending on its effectiveness.   

Sittenfeld hinted that part of the push for the program has come from a recent spike in gun violence over the past few months, saying, "part of the reason we feel a lot of urgency on this is that everybody knows that summer can be a little bit hotter time of year, and just not in terms of the temperature."

• Mayor John Cranley is also out and about trying to reduce the city's crime wave. Cranley was spotted last week at a barbecue put together by Cincinnati Works in East Westwood, one of the highest crime neighborhoods in the city, talking with community leaders about their concerns. In June, the city pushed out an ambitious 90 day plan to reduce citywide shootings by 5 percent and overall crime by 10 percent, but some priorities have been dropped since the July shooting of Officer Sonny Kim, including curfew enforcement. 

• A Xavier University basketball player has filed a complaint of sexual abuse against former assistant coach, Bryce McKey. The 20-year-old player alleged that last May McKey invited her over to his northern Kentucky home, gave her several alcoholic beverages, fondled her twice and then tried to kiss her as she left. The player also claims that McKey tried to offer her money to not file a complaint in the days that followed. McKey, who has since left Xavier for a position an assistant coach for the University of Maryland's women's basketball team, has been suspended indefinitely from his new job and is scheduled to be arraigned this morning at the Kenton County Courthouse. He could face up to 90 days in jail or a fine of $250 dollars if convicted. 

• A Cincinnati-based state Senator has introduced a bill that would keep cops from being able to pull over motorists just for missing a front license plate. The lack of a front plate lead to a traffic stop last month in Mount Auburn in which unarmed 43-year-old Samuel Dubose was shot by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing.  Sen Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) has proposed a bill making the lack of a front license place a secondary, rather than primary offense. So in order to be ticketed for it, a motorist must have been pulled over for another offense. Thomas, who is a former police officer, has titled the bill the "Dubose was Beacon Act."

• The Federal Railroad Administration is funding a regional study that could potentially increase train service between Cincinnati and Chicago. The FRA is planning to announce a study of a region-wide service that could increase service between the two cities. The Midwest and Southeast are the two regions chosen by Congress to spend $2.8 million on studying and planning rail networks. The federal money will flow through the Ohio Department of Transportation. That's wonderful news for rail advocates. Gov. John Kasich, who is not much of a fan of commuter rail, cancelled the Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland Amtrak route in 2011, a project which had $400 million from the federal government.

• Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has just announced the former secretary of state and Democratic prez hopeful will visit Cincinnati next month. Clinton will swing through the area Sept. 10 for a fundraising event and campaign stop. Clinton so far has been the easy frontrunner for the Democratic nod, but she's faced some opposition of late from Vermont's U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has campaigned on a more left-leaning, populist message.

by Staff 08.14.2015 105 days ago
at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List (8/14-8/16)

The Great Inland Seafood Festival, Western & Southern Open, Caracole's Party in Plaid & Paisley, 1940's Weekend, Midwest Black Family Reunion and more

The success of duo Johnnyswim has come gradually and organically. Abner Ramirez, a multi-instrumentalist who attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Florida, first met singer Amanda Sudano, onetime back-up singer for her mother (the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vocalist Donna Summer), at church in the early 2000s. Ramirez was smitten, but Sudano blew him off. It wasn’t until four years later that the pair reconnected and started writing songs together (the chemistry wasn’t just creative; the twosome eventually married). Working under the name Johnnyswim (the duo has given multiple sources for the name, so it’s unclear where it actually originated), Sudano and Ramirez created a sound that blended some of their prime influences, coming up with a super-accessible hybrid of Pop, Folk, Rock and R&B. Johnnyswim plays Coney Island's Moonlite Gardens 8 p.m. Friday. $25. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.

Great Inland Seafood Festival
Photo: Provided
While there might not be any lobster in the Ohio River, there will be 10,000 of them — imported from Maine — on the banks of the Ohio all weekend for the 28th-annual Great Inland Seafood Festival. The fest features more than 15 local and national eateries and vendors selling everything from super-fresh shrimp and crawfish to crab legs, oysters, salmon and more. 5-11 p.m. Thursday-Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Festival Park, Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., greatinlandseafoodfest.com.

'Under 30' at C-LINK Gallery
Photo: Provided 
C-LINK Gallery at Brazee Street Studios hosts Under 30, an exhibition of artwork featuring local artists under the age of 30. Seven artists — Laura Brooks, Kendra Douglas, Justin West, Sam Ferris-Morris and Eric Blythe (working together as creative studio Intermedio), Didem Mert, Andrew Neyer and Jessie Rienerth — will exhibit 2- and 3-D works ranging from painting to sculpture, plus multiple interactive installations. The works chosen are intended to highlight the diversity and talent of millennial artists currently working in Cincinnati. Opening Reception: 6-9 p.m. Friday. Through Sept. 3. Free. 4426 Brazee St., Oakley,brazeestreetstudios.com. 

Dan St. Germain
Photo: Provided
“I am recently single,” comedian Dan St. Germain explains to an audience. “My girlfriend left me to work at Google up in Northern California. The worst part of the break-up is using other search engines. You think you’re depressed? Try asking Jeeves something.” In addition to appearances on Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central, St. Germain also hosts the podcast My Dumb Friends. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.

Alt Hip Hop/Electronic artist Juan Cosby of the Counterfeit Money Machine crew is a participant in two new releases due out this weekend. Friday, Cosby and fellow CMM member AP’s side-project Night Bees will celebrate the release of their new EP, Donald Rump, with a free 10 p.m. CMM show at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). The show also serves as the launch of a CMM tour that will take the group throughout the Midwest, East Coast and South this summer. On Saturday, Cosby and Supa of Electronic music collective Cinthesizer issue their new EP, Submersibles, on cassette in conjunction with the monthly #Freshlist dance party at Chamelelon (4114 Hamilton Ave., Northside, chameleon-northside.com). Supa kicks off the event at 9 p.m. and Bit Flip, Firecat 451 and others are set to perform throughout the night. For more on Night Bees, visit facebook.com/nightbeesarereal. You can hear other CMM projects at counterfeitmoneymachine.com. And to check out audio and video from the Cinthesizer crew, go to cinthesizer.com.

The City Flea
Photo: thecityflea.com

Keep your dollars local and support small business by shopping from hundreds of area vendors, selling everything from handmade goods and vintage finds to artisan eats and organic beauty products. Food trucks flank the park and drinks will be available from the concession stand. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.

Western & Southern Open
Photo: Provided
Cincinnatians freaked out last month when Major League Baseball’s superstars descended on the Queen City for the All-Star Game. This month, the best of the best of another major sport will come to town when the Western & Southern Open kicks off in Mason. The event is the longest-running professional tennis tournament played in the city of its origin (it was first played in 1899 on the site where Xavier University currently sits). In addition to the best players in the world — including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova — the W&S Open will go out of its way to provide live entertainment, celebrity chef demonstrations, food, drinks and shopping. Attendees can use the WSOpen NOW app to stay apprised of live scores, results, entertainment options and a fan feed. Warning: Selfie sticks are banned. Seriously. Through Aug. 23, $10-$95; series and mini plans sold out. Lindner Family Tennis Center, 5460 Courseview Drive, Mason, cincytennis.com.

Party in Plaid & Paisley
With the mission to provide a safe environment and supportive services for those living with HIV/AIDS in the Tristate, nonprofit Caracole hosts the third-annual Party in Plaid & Paisley. Guests can look forward to cocktails, meals catered by Jeff Thomas Catering, breaking it down on the dance floor in plaid pants, a spontaneous plaid and paisley fashion show, a moving tribute and the hosting talents of emcee Clyde Gray. Proceeds benefit Caracole. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. $75; $40 YPs. Cincinnati Masonic Center Ballroom, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, caracole.org/party-in-plaid

'Bail or No?'
Photo: Joe Castrucci

Bail or No? The Impossible Tricks Show is the latest unusual exhibition from the Near*By curatorial collective. Artists, including John Auer, Joe Castrucci, Abby Cornelius, Tim McMillan, CityBeat’s Nick Swartsell, Jordan Tate, Loraine Wible and Erica Wine, have been charged with creating skateboards that should be hard — if not impossible — to use. But boarders have tried anyway, and Near*By will show videos of those attempts, along with the unusual skateboards themselves, at this event. 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Free. Lohio Gallery, 2157 Central Ave., Brighton, facebook.com/nearbycc

Joe Bonamassa 
Photo: Rick Gould
Guitarist/singer Joe Bonamassa says his new DVD/album, Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, captures a concert that will always stand out as a highlight of his musical life. Some of his memories involve the sheer enjoyment Bonamassa got from playing with the all-star band he assembled for the show last summer. But what also stood out about the Red Rocks performance — the first time the bluesman had played that spectacular outdoor Colorado amphitheater near Denver — was what the show meant for Blues as a genre. Joe Bonamassa plays Kettering, Ohio’s Fraze Pavilion Saturday. Tickets/more info: fraze.com.

The Cincy Brass
Photo: Provided
The Cincinnati Homeless Coalition is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its newspaper, Streetvibes, by throwing a music fundraiser this weekend. Streetvibes is also a fundraiser of sorts; the homeless can purchase the newspapers (which features content created by the distributors and others) for 50 cents each, then sell them for $1.50, keeping the profit earned. Saturday’s music fest will feature a guest appearance by hometown-boy-done-good Drew Lachey (his 98 Degrees bandmate Justin Jeffre is Streetvibes’ editor), plus the Blue Wisp Big Band, The Cincy Brass, The Burning Caravan, Cheryl Renee, Russell Up Some Grub and more. 5:30 p.m. Saturday. $10. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com

Photo: Mikki Schaffner
The Carnegie is staging Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical that broke the mold back in 1970, opening a new direction with a concept about friends advising a 35-year-old bachelor about the virtues and challenges of marriage. The show offers a series of vignettes rather than a continuous story that starts and finishes. It was a surprise hit in the day, and it continues to be a show that connects with audiences after more than four decades. Memorable tunes include “Being Alive,” “Sorry-Grateful” and “Getting Married Today.” Through Aug. 30. $18-$25. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., 859-957-1940, thecarnegie.com.

1940's Weekend
Photo: Phil Didion
Men, strap on your fedoras, and ladies, put on your favorite shirtwaist, because it’s time to Lindy Hop back in time and experience a little living history at Union Terminal’s 1940’s Weekend, a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The schedule includes a classic car show, food tastings, film screenings from the ’40s, vintage hair and makeup demonstrations, historical displays and live music from The P7G Big Band, Daniel Bennett and the Dirty Shirleys, The Queen City Sisters and more. Bring your dancing shoes. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. $14.50 adults; $12.50 children; $13.50 seniors; $4 members. The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

The Food of Love; Eric Lu
Photo: Provided
Kick off the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s Summermusik series in style at Food of Love: Fête, an elegant Art Deco-inspired soirée preceding Summermusik’s opening concert Saturday. Begin with cocktails in the Music Hall Ballroom, followed by a sumptuous dinner and a performance — “The Food of Love,” a play on a quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night — featuring a collaborative effort from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. The second half of the program features a premiere performance from the National Chopin Piano Competition winner Eric Lu (and a choclate dessert intermission). Cocktail attire recommended. Cocktails 5:30 p.m.; concert 8 p.m. $150; includes tickets to concert. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, ccocincinnati.org.


Started in 1989, this weekend celebration is wholeheartedly dedicated to showcasing and reinforcing the strengths, values and historic morals of the Black Family. The events kick off with a parade Saturday from Avondale Town Center, followed by an R&B concert; expect Gospel and morning services Sunday. With stages and pavilions for spirituality, young adults, children, the arts, seniors, health awareness and even chess and card games, there is something for everyone. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, myblackfamilyreunion.org.

Burlington Antique Show
Photo: Provided

The Midwest’s premier antiques and vintage collectibles-only show is back, with 200 vendors spread over the Boone County Fairgrounds offering vintage jewelry, memorabilia and Midcentury Modern, as well as some wonderfully awful kitsch. It’s so good the History Channel’s American Pickers chose the fair as the location to film their spinoff, Top Collectors. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. third Sundays. Through October. $3. 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky., burlingtonantiqueshow.com

The Perfect Kiss (QQ)
Photo: Contemporary Arts Center
Matt Morris, the Chicago-based artist/curator whose show The Perfect Kiss (QQ)* *questioning, queer is at Contemporary Arts Center, will be there himself Sunday to give a gallery talk and sign his new exhibit-related book. In The Perfect Kiss, he matches his own work with that of the late American conceptualist James Lee Byars. Morris, when he lived here, contributed visual-arts coverage to CityBeat. 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Free with museum admission. 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org

'Banquet Still Life' by Abraham van Beyeren
Photo: Provided by the Cincinnati Art Museum
It is not often one is able to stand in the presence of almost indisputable masterpieces, but the Cincinnati Art Museum is offering just this opportunity with Northern Baroque Splendor. The exhibit consists of 64 Dutch and Flemish paintings from the prestigious Hohenbuchau Collection, a bounty of 17th-century marvels from Vienna’s Liechtenstein: The Princely Collections museum, which is on a brief tour in the U.S. Cincinnati will be the collection’s second and last stop. Northern Baroque Splendor is on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum through Sept. 20. More info: cincinnatiartmuseum.org

Photo: Daniel R. Winters
Hundred Days, the first production of Know Theatre’s 18th season, defies categorization. Of course, it’s a play. But the performance is as much an Indie Rock concert as it is a dramatic work. Settling into Know’s 100-seat auditorium, you’ll see a multi-level stage ready for music: microphone set-ups, a drum kit, a snare drum, a cello, a keyboard, an accordion and several guitars. As Abigail and Shaun Bengson stride onstage, they are accompanied by five musicians. Abigail describes a dream she had before meeting Shaun, and you wonder if this is just to draw us in before they get down to the actual storytelling. But it’s a preface to a powerful love story, rooted in theirs but taking on a life of its own.
They quickly launch into songs — “Vows” and “My Skin is Made” — as their personal story unfolds. Their chance meeting was a case of love at first sight, “This Moment.” Shaun shares his excitement with a friend and we’re transported to their wedding three weeks later. Abigail’s dream had a fearful twist, “He Fell Down So Slowly,” which becomes the jumping-off point from the reality of the Bengsons to a speculative future that reflects more universal fears of mortality and separation, ultimately assuaged by the reassurance of love and longevity.
They imagine a couple faced with a fatal illness. Rather than panic, they fling themselves into living 60 years together in the 100 days life has allocated. It’s a joyous, poignant tale that uses every dimension of the performers
Hundred Days runs at Know Theatre July 24 to Aug. 22. knowtheatre.com.

Oscar Isaac in 'Show Me a Hero.'
Photo: HBO
From True Detective to a true story, Sundays on HBO feature new programming for the remainder of the month with Show Me A HeroThe creator of The Wire (David Simon) and director of Crash (Paul Haggis, whom you might recognize from his interviews in the recent HBO Scientology doc, Going Clear) present this miniseries about efforts to desegregate Yonkers, N.Y., public housing in the 1980s and ’90s. Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year, Ex Machina) stars as Nick Wasicsko, a cop-turned-Yonkers City Council member who becomes the city’s youngest mayor. When a federal judge orders Yonkers to build 200 units of public housing in a largely white, affluent area of the deeply segregated city, Wasicsko (while running for office) opposes it. But when his term begins, the young mayor changes his tune. Wasicsko’s efforts to enact the changes are met with opposition, bringing to surface the many political, socio-economic and race issues facing the city at that time — and much of America today. Miniseries Premiere, 8 p.m. Sunday, HBO. The series airs two parts at a time from 8-10 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 30.

A non-human in 'Humans.'
Photo: Des Willie/Kudos
The season winds down as the action ramps up, with Hobbs capturing Elster’s synths (and Leo) and the Hawkins family dealing with the fallout. One simple storytelling technique that many shows overlook is just a solid mix of characters interacting with one another. Humans nails that — from people to synths (and synths that act like people), each character has a range of relationships with the others. And with the promise of Season Two, we can expect to explore this even more next year. Season Finale, 9 p.m., AMC.

by Sarah Urmston 08.13.2015 105 days ago
Posted In: Playlist at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend Playlist: Bootstraps

With vocals as scratchy as sandpaper and an instrumental rock sound, Bootstraps are killing it with their soundtrack — their only soundtrack, to be exact.

Bootstraps are unique while maintaining a bit of what you’ve heard before. Lead singer Jordan Beckett’s voice is similar to Ray Lamontagne, while the overall sound resembles something along the lines of Coldplay. Explosions in the Sky’s strong yet delicate instrumentals play a part in the vibe this intimate band gives to their listeners.

Based in Los Angeles, Bootstraps’ admiration for California does not go unnoticed in their tracks. “OH CA” speaks for itself, while the rest of the jams have a majestic, passionate sound that carries you away to the oceans of Cali and the scenic roads that lead you there.

Personally, I’ve found Bootstraps to be a beautiful soundtrack for writing, reading and connecting deeply with your own emotions. (That’s right. ALL the feels.) My good friend Amanda with similar music taste commented on this newly discovered band and said, “I want to drink bourbon and sit and in a dark, rich, old bar while I listen to them.”

I couldn’t agree more.

My boyfriend pointed out that “their echo sounds like they are in the room next to you,” and although he wasn’t a fan of that, I absolutely was. If a band can prove to the listener that they sound that good in a live setting, then they are one hell of an artist, filled with the kind of talent that lacks a heavy amount tweaking. 

Bootstraps made their mark in my book. Even though their songs remain at a mostly slow pace, I still find myself turning them on even at my happiest moments.

They’re just that good.

by Nick Swartsell 08.13.2015 106 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

Legal pot will be on ballot; UC to spend big bucks on reform; Assange investigation dropped

Good morning all. Here’s a quick rundown of the news happening in Cincy and beyond today.

First, let’s flip the script and talk about some big statewide news: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted yesterday approved pot legalization group ResponsibleOhio’s petition drive, meaning the group’s proposed constitutional amendment will appear on November’s ballot for voters to approve or deny. The group has pulled off a sort of dramatic, buzzer-beating feat by landing the initiative on the ballot. Earlier this summer, it fell almost 30,000 signatures short on its first try, but got a short extension. ResponsibleOhio’s plan takes a page from Ohio’s casino playbook, calling for legalizing marijuana for anyone over 21, but restricting commercial growth of the crop to 10 grow sites owned by the group’s investors.

• The University of Cincinnati is shelling out for high-level salaries in order to reform its police department. The university’s reform team includes four positions related to implementing changes in UC’s law enforcement force after university police officer Ray Tensing shot unarmed motorist Samuel DuBose to death last month. New hires include new Public Safety Director James Whalen, who will make $165,000 a year, Director of Police and Community Relations Greg Baker, who formerly served as head of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV), who will make $119,000, and Vice President of Safety and Reform Robin Engel, a former UC criminal justice professor. Engel’s current salary is $216,000 a year, and that’s expected to rise with her new position. Also on the team implementing reforms is current UC Police Chief Jason Goodrich, who makes $140,000 a year. The university will also spend thousands of dollars on consultants, investigators and public relations firms. UC officials have admitted that its police force needs change and that mistakes were made in DuBose’s traffic stop.

• Mayor John Cranley is holding community meetings this week to discuss ways to limit violence in Cincinnati neighborhoods. The sessions will allow community leaders in Over-the-Rhine, Winton Hills, Evanston and East Price Hill to speak out about possible solutions to increasing gun violence in their neighborhoods. Cranley held the first meeting yesterday in OTR. Another takes place today at 11 a.m. at the Winton Hills Rec Center. More meetings will happen Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Evanston and Thursday at 4 p.m. in Price Hill. The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission is facilitating the meetings.

• The highest court has ruled, but in some places, including nearby, the battle isn’t over. Despite a Supreme Court ruling compelling states to recognize and perform same-sex marriages, and despite a further federal court injunction ordering Rowan County Kentucky officials to abide by that ruling, the county clerk’s office there is still turning away marriage license applicants, one same-sex couple says. David Moore and David Ermold, partners for 17 years, say they’re still not able to obtain a license from the clerk’s office, or from a county judge they’ve also reached out to. That’s a violation of court orders. The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting a legal battle on the couples’ behalf.

• Finally, in international news, Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigations into Wikileaks whistleblower Julian Assange. Assange had been charged with some real creepy stuff involving sexual assault, but Sweden’s statute of limitations on the investigation into those accusations expired today. Two women have come forward and accused Assange of rape. But his supporters claim the charges were retribution for the huge cache of confidential government information Assange has leaked over the years, information that has put the U.S. and other governments in very awkward positions. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for three years to avoid being extradited to Sweden or the United States. He founded Wikileaks in 2006 and has released thousands of classified documents from the U.S. and European governments since that time.

That’s it for me. Be sure to check out our news feature this week about displacement in Over-the-Rhine. In the meantime, tweet or email with your thoughts, hate mail, love letters, what have you.

by Staff 08.12.2015 107 days ago
Posted In: Events, fish, fundraising, Beer at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

This Week's Food & Dining Events

Sugar Rush, Great Inland Seafood Festival, Cincinnati Restaurant Week, CCO's Food of Love and more

Sugar Rush — We've all heard the phrase "Like a kid in a candy store," but you don't have to be a child to indulge in a smorgasbord of sweets. Join CityBeat at the Playhouse in the Park Wednesday for our annual Sugar Rush party. You'll feel like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory as you explore a colorful candy extravaganza. Several local sweeteries will provide samples of their best cupcakes, ice cream, donuts, pies, pastries and more. Guests will vote for their favorite treat of the night and a portion of ticket sales benefits the Cincinnati Ballet. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday. $20; free for children 8 and younger with adult admission. Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, citybeat.com

Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant Week — Dine at some of the area’s top eateries, which will be offering three-course, prix-fixe menus. Participating restaurants include Zula, Metropole, Jeff Ruby’s, Nicola’s and Via Vite (to name a few). Through Aug. 16. cincinnatirestaurantassociation.com

Canning Classes — Learn how to preserve your garden’s harvest with this canning class. Workshop features the latest recommendations based on USDA guidelines on safely canning fruits with a water bath. 6-7:30 p.m. $15. OSU Extension Office, 5093 Colerain Ave., Mount Airy, hamilton.osu.edu.

WingFling! — Washington Platform serves up more than 40 different types of wings, bone-in or boneless, with sauces ranging from mild to hot to stupid. Through Sept. 5. Prices vary. Washington Platform, 1000 Elm St., Downtown, washingtonplatform.com.

Dinner in a Flash — Learn recipes for quick-cooking meals, including breaded chicken cutlets, stir-fry beef and more. 6-8 p.m. $75. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

Great Inland Seafood Festival — While there might not be any lobster in the Ohio River, there will be 10,000 of them — imported from Maine — on the banks of the Ohio all weekend for the 28th annual Great Inland Seafood Festival. The fest features more than 15 local and national eateries and vendors selling everything from super-fresh shrimp and crawfish to crab legs, oysters, salmon and more. Along with the crustaceans and other marine life, there will be live music, alcohol and more entertainment. 5-11 p.m. Thursday-Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Festival Park, Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., greatinlandseafoodfest.com.

Wine School: Flight Night — Learn to compare new-world and old-world wines. This guided tasting will take you through five wines. Includes a small tasting plate. 6:30-8 p.m. $25. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., newriffdistilling.com.

Pay It Forward Celebration and Fundraiser — Head to Dewey’s for dinner and do-gooding. A portion of West Sixth beer sales will be donated to The Cure Starts Now. 5-7 p.m. 11338 Montgomery Road, Symmes Township, 513-247-9955.

Igby’s Cin City Cigar and Flight Night — Flights of Four Roses bourbon and Johnnie Walker scotch paired with cigars from Straus Tobacconist. 5:30-8 p.m. Prices vary. Igby’s, 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown, igbysbar.com.

An Elegant Summer Table — Seasonal dishes like grilled pork tenderloin, roasted corn and Challah bread pudding, wild mushroom and green bean salad and almond cake with fresh berries. 6-8:30 p.m. $50. Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

Crayfish All-You-Can-Eat Party — A Swedish tradition focusing on enjoying food and socializing with friends and family, featuring crayfish and other Swedish dishes and desserts. 4-8:30 p.m. $9.99; $2.49 ages 11 and under. IKEA, 9500 Ikea Way, West Chester, 513-779-7100.

Light Summer Pasta — Farfalle with caramelized onions and pan-roasted cherry tomatoes, cavatappi with sugar snap peas in lemon citrus sauce, then finish with orzo pasta salad with spinach and prosciutto. 6-8 p.m. $65. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

Hoots and Hops — Stroll trails at night stopping at hands-on education stations while tasting beer from Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, 50 West, Rhinegeist and MadTree along with sampling from more than 12 eateries. 7-11 p.m. $35. Cincinnati Nature Center at Rowe Woods, 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, 513-831-1711.

Anniversary Celebration for the Ohio River Foundation — Meet the staff of the Ohio River Foundation, hear stories and more. $1 of every pint sold benefits the organization, which aims to protect and restore the Ohio River and its watershed. 5-8 p.m. Free admission. Rivertown Brewing Company, 607 Shepherd Drive, Lockland, ohioriverfdn.org.

The Food of Love with the CCO — Kick off the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s Summermusik series in style at Food of Love: Fête, an elegant Art Deco-inspired soirée preceding Summermusik’s opening concert Saturday. Begin with cocktails in the Music Hall Ballroom, followed by a sumptuous dinner and a performance — “The Food of Love,” a play on a quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night — featuring a collaborative performance from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. An intermission featuring chocolate dessert sets the stage for the second half of the program, a premiere performance from the National Chopin Piano Competition winner Eric Lu. Cocktail attire recommended. Cocktails 5:30 p.m.; dinner 6:15 p.m.; concert 8 p.m. $150; includes tickets to the opening night concert. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, ccocincinnati.org.

Fire and Ice Craft Beer Festival — Fire = high-gravity beers/IPAs/smoked and spiced beers. Ice = lower-gravity beers/fruit beers/session beers. Drink both types from a selection of 50 beer provided by more than 25 different breweries. 3-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Firehouse Grill, 4785 Lake Forest Drive, Blue Ash, 513-733-3473.

Date Night, Spiced Pork — Brined pork chops with chipotle jalapeno barbecue sauce, risotto with roasted poblano and sweet-heat sugar snap peas with bacon. 5- 7 p.m. $155 per couple. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

Cincy Sundaes — Make sundaes with Dojo Gelato and then listen to four presentations on innovative community ideas. Audiences vote on their favorite and the winner receives the door money. 3-5 p.m. $5. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., cincysundaes.com.

Chef’s Table: Summer Brunch with Cincinnatian Chef Nathan Sheatzley — Get to know area chefs and watch them prepare their best dishes via an up-close camera. Enjoy a carefully paired tasting menu and take home recipes each chef prepares, like chef Sheatzley’s summer brunch with Dutch apple pancakes, BLT benedict, a waffle donut and more. 6-8 p.m. $50. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., newriffdistilling.com.

Savoring Summer — Cold potato and cucumber soup; spinach salad with mango; salmon with sesame; pasta with mascarpone; and creamy lemon tart. 6-8:30 p.m. $50. Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

Hot Summer Nights: Miami — Work at your own induction stove to create pollo agriculce (sweet and spicy chicken) with mango, arroz azafran (saffron rice) and tender green beans with ham and mustard. 6-8 p.m. $70. The Learning Kitchen, 7659 Cox Lane, West Chester, thelearningkitchen.com.

by Natalie Krebs 08.12.2015 107 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

Deters holds on to dash cam footage of Officer Kim; Tucker's gets community support to reopen; Cincy's new soccer team

The police dash camera footage of the aftermath of the shooting of Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim is now in the hands of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. Kim was shot and killed June 19, police say by Madisonville resident Trepierre Hummons who was then shot and killed by CPD Officer Tom Sandmann. Deters says he's using the footage to investigate the shooting of Hummons by Sandmann. A grand jury will convene this month once the police finish their end of the investigation. Local media outlets have submitted numerous public information requests to get the video showing the moments just after the officer was fatally shot. Many details of the shooting are still unclear. Jessica Kim, Officer Kim's widow, has recently pleaded with the city not to release the video, claiming that the video wouldn't be of any value to the public and would instead cause more emotional distress to the family.  

• Tucker's Restaurant in Over-the-Rhine has gotten significant community support to help open the restaurant's doors again after a July 27 fire caused major damage. The Tucker family estimates that it will cost between $35,000 and $50,000 to get the restaurant in working condition again. Frequent customers have pitched in to help with repairs and start crowdfunding campaigns that have raised more than $13,000 for the family. The family opened the restaurant in 1946, and the fire, which started in the kitchen after hours, resulted in the most significant damages the restaurant has experienced. Joe Tucker said the restaurant will look pretty much the same and hopes to re-open it in four to six weeks.

• Cincinnati is getting soccer team! Well, actually, a second soccer team. FC Cincinnati will begin playing next spring at the University of Cincinnati's newly renovated Nippert Stadium. The team will be owned by the prominent Cincinnati Lindner family, who have a history of investment in Cincinnati sports teams — mainly the Reds. It will be part of the United Soccer League, a second tier league in U.S. soccer, but could, in time, move up to Major League Soccer. Cincinnati's other soccer team, the Saints, play in the National Premier League, a league below the USL. The Saints draw about 250 people per game, while USL games draw more than 3,000 fans. Details will be announced in a press conference today.  

• Gov. John Kasich has made his way to New Hampshire with the presidential campaign strategy that victory there could mean victory everywhere! Kasich addressed a crowd of about 130 and covered topics including abortion, climate change and made sure to give a shout out to Donald Trump for bringing in 24 million viewers to the Fox News GOP debate last Thursday. He also got the endorsement of former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath, who served as a national adviser on the campaigns of Mitt Romney, Bob Dole and fellow GOP candidate Jeb Bush's brother, GW. The GOP presidential candidate has gotten a small bump from the polls after his appearance on the Fox debate but still remains in eighth place. A recent Suffolk University poll put Trump at the top with 17 percent followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 12 percent. Kasich is currently at 3 percent.     

• A Harvard sociology professor has put together a map of Cincinnati based on job industry location in the city. Professor Robert Manduca was inspired by University of Virginia Professor Dustin Cable's detailed racial distribution map for the U.S. and used that same method to map where different industries are located. In this blog post, there are also the maps for Cleveland, Columbus and the entire state of Ohio to compare.  

My email is nkrebs@citybeat.com and Twitter is here so drop me a message or a story tip!
by Natalie Krebs 08.11.2015 108 days ago
at 09:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

Historical Conservation Board appointee has a destructive past; Union Terminal's renovation to start next summer; no answer from streetcar company on delay

Good morning Cincy! Here are today's headlines. 

• Shree Kulkarni, the developer appointed to Cincinnati's Historic Conservation Board by City Manager Harry Black, has a history of destruction. In 2012, Kulkarni waged a two-year battled with the board to demolish a building in the Fourth Street Historic District that he claimed he was going to rehabilitate. He eventually convinced a judge to allow him to tear down the building, located on Fifth Street across from the Duke Energy Convention Center, and made it into a parking lot — after he had previously torn down a building adjacent to it. The developer also ran into criticism from the Over-The-Rhine Foundation when he posted a Tweet last week questioning the board's decision not to tear down the Davis Furniture building. His Twitter account has since been deleted. Kulkarni also donated $8,300 to Mayor Cranley's mayoral campaign in 2013, Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld's council campaign in in 2013 and $10,400 to Sittenfeld's campaign for U.S. Senate. In an interview with the Cincinnati Business Courier, Mayor Cranley refused to say whether he asked Black to appoint Kulkarni. Council approved Kulkarni's appointment 8-1, with just Councilwoman Yvette Simpson voting against it. 

• Union Terminal is undergoing a $212 million renovation starting next June or July that will last for two years. The construction will close parts of the historic building for months at a time, including the natural history museum and regional history museum. Last fall, voters approved a five-year, quarter-percent sales tax increase to fund $175 million of the project. The rest will come from state grants, historic tax credits and private donations. If taxpayer money happens to fall short, the museum will have to raise the rest. Hamilton County Commissioners will vote Wednesday on a development agreement to set construction rules and get the project going. 

• A letter sent from the city to streetcar company CAF USA questioning the expected delay of the cars has gone unanswered. Last week, it was announced that Cincinnati would not be getting the first four or five streetcars from CAF USA by the Sept. 17 deadline. This could delay the massive, controversial project's Sept. 15 opening and has left City Chief Procurement Officer Patrick Duhaney "deeply frustrated," according to a letter obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Elmira Heights, New York company is under contract to build the cars for nearly $21 million and is to pay a fine of $1,000 for every day Cincinnati has to spend waiting for the cars to show up. 

• The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct, the state Supreme Court's ethics panel, has ruled that Ohio judges who perform marriages cannot refuse to perform gay weddings based on "personal, moral or religious objections." The panel reached the decision on Monday after it received requests for guidance following the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling June 26 to overturn the ban on same sex marriage. A few Ohio judges, mostly in smaller counties, have refused to perform same-sex weddings. The ruling stated concern that judges who refused to perform these marriages could be seen as less than impartial by the public, and those who refuse could be breaking their oath of office and could face ethics violations.

• Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach has called on Gov. John Kasich to introduce legislation to prohibit discrimination against LGBT Ohioans when it comes to employment and housing. During the Fox News debate last Thursday, Kasich said he attended a gay wedding and called on LGBT Americans to be treated with respect. Ohio State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) says she plans to introduce non-discrimination legislation into the next General Assembly. While some Ohio municipalities have enacted LGBT non-discrimation laws, there has yet to be statewide legislation passed.

• Meanwhile Gov. Kasich, who is hot on the presidential trail, said Sunday night in an interview with CNN that he'd sign legislation requiring police officers to wear body cameras, after the July 19 shooting of Mount Auburn resident Samuel DuBose by a University of Cincinnati police officer. Activists have called for the use of police body cameras after the footage obtained from Officer Ray Tensing's camera lead to his indictment for murder and worldwide attention to the incident.

Email me at nkrebs@citybeat.com or tweet me with story ideas!

by Staff 08.10.2015 108 days ago
at 01:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
vegan cookbook_jesse fox

Leftovers: What We Ate This Weekend

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. 

Jesse Fox: I had the best weekend of food eating in awhile. I am working with Mark Stroud, a local vegan chef, by doing photos for a cookbook filled with his incredible recipes. We shot several this weekend and I was fortunate enough to get to taste test a variety of hummus, tofu salads, salad dressings, soups and sauces. These foods are filled with flavors I've never experienced and completely dispel the stereotype that vegan foods are bland or gross. You can preorder this cookbook here. To balance out the healthy, I also had an unnecessarily large portion of funfetti cake on Sunday night ... not having an award-winning chef at home is hard.

Ilene Ross: On Friday morning, I drove out to Greener Portions Aquaponics to do an interview for an upcoming article and Casey Miller, the owner, sent me home with a car-load of amazing stuff: Swiss chard, basil, baby bok choy and this incredible salad mix, which I immediately took home and devoured with leftover steak, tomatoes and feta cheese. I love my job. 
Friday night the BF took me to Le Bar au Boeuf for a really nice date night. We consumed all the food. Steak tartare, an amazing lamb patty with foie gras, super hot french fries, ratatouille and a salad to balance out all of the meat. It was perfection. On Saturday morning we hit up Findlay Market for our weekly groceries; Madison’s for staples, Eckerlin’s for meat, Colonel De’s for spices, and of course the farm shed for produce. We grabbed lunch at Eli’s and ate in the beer garden. Saturday night we stayed in, watched Lumenocity on TV and ate leftover Chinese from Suzy Wongs. 
Sunday night we played Cards Against Humanity at our friends Jon and Eric’s house, which is always a delicious pot luck. I brought Jell-O shots you make in watermelon halves from a recipe I found on Buzzfeed and pizzas from Mama Mimi’s.

Garin Pirnia: Every Saturday and Sunday from noon-4 p.m., Sundry and Vice not only makes bloody marys (with pickle ice cubes), cocktails with coffee and has food from Revolution Rotisserie, they also make boozy ice cream floats. Their in-house "ice cream savant" Giacomo Ciminello's family owns some sort of world-famous ice cream/surf shop on the New Jersey shore, so he knows a thing or two about the business. He makes about five different floats ($11), including one made with Italian ice and Prosecco. He said he sometimes makes his own ice cream, but for Sunday's floats, he used ice cream from Indiana. I tried the Smokey Robinson: mezcal, chocolate syrup, soda water and French vanilla ice cream. They serve it in one of those tall fountain-style glasses, and they spritz the soda from a chrome draft-arm soda water dispenser. I can't think of many other places in town that has something like this. The float was really good, and I'm interested to see how their boozy float program evolves.

Boozy float at Sundry and Vice

Casey Arnold: On Saturday my boyfriend and I braved the shopping crowds and went shopping at Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx. As a reward to ourselves, we indulged in a rare treat of pizza at Mellow Mushroom. I always order a Holy Shiitake, which is garlicky and cheesy and covered in marinated mushrooms. There is no substitute for it when you have a craving.

Pama Mitchell: We ate at Nectar in Mount Lookout for the first time in ages since the neighborhood isn't in my orbit. There were seven of us and I think everyone enjoyed their meal, especially some vegetarian tamales that were a small plate, but several of us had it as an entree. Downsides: Only a handful of other tables were there all evening, so the place was oddly empty. 

Bart Bishop: I went to the Berry Bros. BBQ for the Greater Cincinnati BMW Club. It's at my wife's uncle's house every year, and this year a representative from Meat Week actually came. Good stuff.
by Natalie Krebs 08.10.2015 109 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

ResponsibleOhio launches TV ads; Covington ISD clears school resource officer in handcuffing of boy; CPD officer's widow pleads with department to keep fatal dash cam footage private

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I managed to go check out the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and learned a lot about our nation's history and got to see a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. It's on display temporarily, so go check it out if you haven't already. But now back to the modern world, and here are today's headlines. 

• Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted hasn't announced yet if ResponsibleOhio's marijuana legalization amendment qualifies to be on the Nov. 3 ballot, but that hasn't stopped the investment group from launching television ads aimed at voters. The 15-second ads first ran last Thursday night during the GOP debates on Fox and gave little information. Instead, the ads direct the viewer to the organization's website where additional videos go more in-depth about the ResponsibleOhio's controversial plan to legalize marijuana for those 21 and over.

The group has been criticized for launching a plan that would create a monopoly on the industry by allowing only 10 commercial farms to grow the plant around the state. The group has recently changed the proposal so individual growers could have just four plants with the purchase of a $50 license. If approved for the ballot, the group's investors are expected to dump as much as $20 million
into pushing the amendment toward voters. Husted's office has said it expects to reach a decision by the end of next week. 

• An Kenton County d
eputy and school resource officer who handcuffed an 8-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder last year was just complying with school policy, according to an independent investigator hired by Covington Independent School Districts. Superintendent Alvin Garrison sent out a letter to parents assuring that the act was compliant with the school's restraint policy and that their kids were indeed safe in school after the video surfaced of resource office Kevin Sumner handcuffing a kicking and screaming boy's forearms behind his back. The release of the video prompted a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Kenton County Sheriff's Department claiming the act violated Kentucky law and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

• The widow of Cincinnati Police Officer
Sonny Kim, who was killed in the line of duty, has asked the city not to release the dash camera footage that caught Kim's last moments. Trepierre Hummons shot Kim the morning of June 19 after the officer responded to a 911 call about a man with a gun at the corner of Whetsel Avenue and Rose Street in Madisonville. It was later revealed that Hummons had made the call. Hummons' father and grandmother also joined Jessica Kim in pleading with officials to keep the tape under wraps. Kim, who has seen the footage, said that it would not be beneficial in any sense and only cause more pain to the family. City Manager Harry Black has asked for the Law Department to review the public information request made by the Cincinnati Enquirer and other media outlets. The Cincinnati Police investigation of the incident is still ongoing.    

• Gov. John Kasich is playing it safe with his party by refusing to criticize leading presidential GOP contender Donald Trump for his sexist remarks against Fox's Megyn Kelly, one of the moderators during last Thursday's GOP debate
. In a Friday interview with CNN, Trump stated, "You could see blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her whatever," which his campaign followed up Saturday by claiming he was, of course, referring to her nose and nowhere else. Kasich, who made the interview rounds at the major networks yesterday, has widely praised Trump's performance during the debate and has responded to the incident in an ambiguous statement in which he refuses to actually name Trump. Kasich, who just barely made the top 10 to be included in the Fox News GOP debate, might be playing it safe with other Republican contenders but risks angering women voters, who also happen to make up half of the voting population.  

That's it for today. Email me at nkrebs@citybeat.com or tweet me with story tips.