WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
Home - Blogs - Staff Blogs - Latest Blogs
Latest Blogs
 
by Anne Arenstein 07.10.2015 23 days ago
Posted In: Opera at 11:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
cover_don-pasquale-illustration_courtesy-cincinnati-opera

Review: Cincinnati Opera's Don Pasquale

The production continues Saturday

Cincinnati Opera's Don Pasquale was a delight and, so far, the season’s best overall production. Burak Bilgili’s Pasquale and Alexey Lavrov’s Malatesta share the honors for outstanding performances and the entire enchilada (as Peter Schickele would say) was directed by Chuck Hudson, with production elements and costumes built by Arizona Opera.

The setting is 1950s Hollywood and Don Pasquale is a silent film star trying to make a comeback by marrying a starlet. We get Don’s backstory through a series of black-and-white film clips of his biggest hits, press notices and his subsequent failures in talkies and as a director. They’re brilliantly effective and the opening segments are in synch with the overture.

Pasquale’s black-and-white environment takes on color as he decides to seek a bride, and by Act II, the only gray spot is Pasquale himself.

Burak Bilgili brought crisp articulation and robust presence to the aging Pasquale. He’s a gifted comic and he handled the physical demands (and there were plenty) moving gracefully across the stage. His foil Malatesta was Polish baritone Alexey Lavrov; the phrase "silky elegance" is the best descriptor of his voice. Since he’s scheduled to sing this role at the Met, it doesn’t look like he has to worry about future gigs, but if he ever does, he’s got a great future as Dracula — he can handle a cape with the best of them.

Tenor Ji-Min Park sang Ernesto with clarity and sweetness, especially “Com’e Gentil” but the stage business covered up a lot of the loveliest passages. Eglise Gutierrez broke her ankle earlier in the week, but she navigated the stage in such a way that unless you saw her wearing a slightly different slipper, you wouldn’t suspect anything was amiss. But something was because she was a restrained Norina and I frequently couldn’t hear her. She might have been in a lot of pain and backstage, she had on a boot, so I’m more than willing to give her a break. One hopes she'll notch it up by Saturday.

Richard Buckley led a lively reading of this delightful score. Hudson’s staging is based on his studies with Marcel Marceau and the best example of that was the staging “Com’e Gentil.” It was hilarious (the long arm reaching for Pasquale’s keys) but it upstaged the aria. Oh well. The audience loved it. The actors proved to be deft comedians, especially Park, whose wonky Ernesto can’t do anything right. Of course the revenge duet got an encore.

Fun, fun, fun. And with a ‘50s setting, there might have been a T Bird lurking backstage.


DON PASQUALE continues Saturday. For info here.

 
 
by Staff 07.10.2015 23 days ago
Posted In: baseball at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
summerguide_allstargame_jf

All-Star Weekend Events

It’s about to get busy up in here

The All-Star Game’s return to Cincinnati is of significance to both the game and this city, which has hosted the event four times going back to 1938. Though the game is more novel today — each team is awarded a representative in an everyone-gets-a-trophy type of scenario — the contest will still feature many of baseball’s superstars, some of whom Cincinnatians don’t often get a chance to see. 

Major League Baseball has events scheduled throughout “all-star weekend” July 10-14, including FanFest at the convention center, a celebrity softball game and home run derby Monday night before the game itself Tuesday evening. 

Visit allstargame.com for an up-to-date schedule and details on charitable events scheduled all week long. 

THURSDAY 09
Cov200 Summer Celebration
Photo: Provided
COV200 Summer Celebration — Founded in 1815, this summer marks the city of Covington’s 200th birthday, and they’re going to be fêting their bicentennial the same way you would if you had been alive for 200 years — with a huge six-day celebration. Focused along Covington’s riverfront, there will be a 50-foot Ferris wheel at Covington Landing, a “Bark Centennial” dog parade in MainStrasse, historical tours of the Licking Riverside’s beautiful homes, kids’ activities, food, drink, music, performances from Circus Mojo and much more. Also includes the 11th-annual RoeblingFest on Saturday, with tours of the Roebling Suspension Bridge. 6-10 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Tuesday. Covington Landing, Covington, Ky., cov200.com/summercelebration.

All-Star Brewery Tours — Cincy Brew Bus is hosting a slew of special All-Star brewery tours. Multiple tours daily. Meet at Rock Bottom Brewery, Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, cincybrewbus.com. Go online to see tour time and book tours.

FRIDAY JULY 10
All-Star Weekend Events at Washington Park — Washington Park offers free family-friendly programming all day through Tuesday, July 14. The concession stands will be open, offering full bar service, beer, wine, liquor and local beer offerings. Programming begins between 9 and 11 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m. It includes live music, free workouts, kid-friendly programming and more. All free. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. through July 14. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

T-Mobile All-Star FanFest — Think of it as Redsfest on steroids. This fan-friendly convention includes more than 100 appearances from baseball legends and Hall of Famers. Fans can check out players’ official All-Star Game uniforms, run around and take batting practice on mini fields and hang out in mini clubhouses and dugouts. There will be daily player appearances and autograph sessions, plus artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a display on the history of the Negro Leagues, plus much more. Opens 9 a.m. Friday-Tuesday. $35 adult; $30 children/seniors. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, 513-419-7300, allstargame.com.

Cincy Sports Fest — The best thing after making memories might just be, well, buying them. And that’s something you can do at the Cincy Sports Fest, an autographs and collectibles event that will bring in more than 100 exhibitors selling baseball memorabilia, sure to help you cherish the memories you make during the All-Star Game. The four-day event is also a way for hardcore fans to meet the living legends of America’s favorite pastime. For All-Star Gamers, Northern Kentucky’s Southbank Shuttle (tankbus.org) has a new route, which includes pick-up and drop-off in front of the fest at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Friday (VIP)-Tuesday. $5 one-day; $20 four-day. Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. Rivercenter Blvd., Covington, Ky., cincy2015.com

Volksfest
Photo: Provided
Volksfest — Meaning “people’s festival” in German, Volksfest brings all of Cincinnati’s favorite local beers together in one place for a two-day celebration of the Queen City’s craft brewing culture. Featuring more than 20 different area breweries, some of which have created special beers just for Volksfest, the idea is to focus on lighter, lower ABV and session beers for hot summer days. There will be music and food, and both families and dogs are welcome. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Free. Listermann Brewing Company, 1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, listermannbrewing.com.

The Summer Draft at Taft's Ale House — All your favorite local breweries and eats come together at Taft’s Ale House for the all-outdoors Summer Draft All-Star Weekend party. Featuring beers from MadTree, Rhinegeist, Christian Moerlein and Taft’s Ale’s summer selections, paired with Eckerlin Meats from Findlay Market, the draft party also features live music from locals Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, The Almighty Get Down, Jake Speed and more. Noon-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Free. 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, taftsalehouse.com

Eight Men Out/4192: The Crowning of the Hit King Screening — The Woodward Theater hosts a special screening of the films Eight Men Out and 4192: The Crowning of the Hit King. Eight Men Out (1988) chronicles the Black Sox Scandal of the 1919 World Series, when eight members of the White Sox were accused of losing the game to the Cincinnati Reds for gambling money. The film stars John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd and Charlie Sheen and was partially filmed in town. 4192 is obviously about Pete Rose. The film tells the story of Rose as a ballplayer with a true passion for the game. Both films will be in high-quality digital. The Woodward was once home to a silent-movie house that closed during the Great Depression. Films start at 6 p.m. Free. The Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.

SATURDAY JULY 11
The Color Run — MLB hosts an official All-Star Weekend Color Run 5K, starting at Sawyer Point. The un-timed race will wind through an All-Star-themed course downtown and into Northern Kentucky, dousing runners head-to-toe with colored powder at every kilometer. The start-line window opens at 9 a.m., with music, dancing, stretching and giveaways; waves of runners will continue to start the race every few minutes until 10 a.m. After crossing the Purple People Bridge from Northern Kentucky back into downtown, the free Finish Festival at Sawyer Point will include family-friendly entertainment, music and more color throws. Start time at 9 a.m. Saturday, with waves every few minutes until 10 a.m. $45 team member; $49.50 individual. Register at allstargame.com/run

All-Star Concert with Ariana Grande Demi Lovato — If you don’t know who teen Pop sensation Ariana Grande is, don’t worry, she's not playing the All-Star Game anymore. Maybe because she's getting her wisdom teeth out? Maybe because she hates America. BUT Demi — former Disney star, judge not The X Factor, other teen Pop sensation — is taking her place. 8 p.m. Saturday; gates open at 5 p.m. Paul Brown Stadium, Downtown, allstargame.com/concert.

4192: An Evening with Pete Rose — A live theatrical event during which Rose discusses his childhood, baseball career and the Big Red Machine. Sing the National Anthem, see a surprise guest throw out a first pitch and relive the moment Rose broke Ty Cobb’s hit record on Sept. 11, 1985. 8 p.m. Saturday. $32.50-$125. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

SUNDAY JULY 12
All-Star Summer Block Party — Food, beer, music, games, prizes and free giveaways on East Freedom Way at The Banks. Noon-8 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Free. Between Joe Nuxhall Way and Rose Parks, The Banks, Downtown, allstargame.com.

Futures Game — Great American Ball Park hosts the exhibition All-Star Futures Game, showcasing soon-to-be Major Leaguers in a minor league all-star game (current Reds such as Billy Hamilton, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto participated in the past). 3 p.m. Sunday. More info and complete weekend schedule at allstargame.com.

All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game — Stick around GABP immediately after the Futures Game for a softball exhibition featuring TV, film and music stars along with former major leaguers and Reds players. This year’s participants include Snoop Dogg, Josh Hutcherson, Nick Lachey, Chad Lowe, Macklemore, Miles Teller, Rob Riggle, Miles Teller and a bunch more. More info and complete weekend schedule at allstargame.com.

Norwood Highlanders Vintage Baseball Team
Heart of Vintage Baseball — The annual Heart of Vintage Baseball Tournament pits the area’s 1860’s-style baseball clubs against each other in a series of games using Civil War-era sporting rules. 10 a.m. Sunday. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, norwoodhighlanders.com. 

MONDAY JULY 13
Home Run Derby — MLB’s big bashers will compete in a newsly restructured home run derby contest. Great American Ball Park is kind of small — witness many baseballs being smashed out of it. 8 p.m. Monday. Great American Ball Park, Downtown, allstargame.com.

TUESDAY JULY 14
86th MLB All-Star Game — A late voting push by Reds fans helped earn third baseman Todd Frazier a starting spot in this year’s All-Star Game — not that he didn’t deserve it — the guy has been mashing all year. Joining @FlavaFraz will be teammate Aroldis Chapman, who will come out of the pen for the NL. The game is sold out (unless you go on sites like stubhub.com), but you can watch it at a variety of local sports bars — just walk into one and it will probably be on. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Red carpet show starts at 1 p.m. Great American Ball Park, allstargame.com.

All-Star Party and Pint Night — Head to Braxton Brewing Company for the release of 1957, an English mild with flavors of Cracker Jacks, and a screening of the All-Star Game. Starting at 5 p.m., they'll be featuring the All-Star Game on a projector in the taproom. And for just $10 you get a pint and keep the glass. 5 p.m. Tuesday. Free. Braxton Brewing Company, 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/braxtonbrewingcompany.

Related Tours and Exhibits
The 1919 Tour — Take an approximately 90-minute downtown walking tour of Cincinnati baseball history. The tour focuses on the events surrounding the controversial 1919 World Series — the Cincinnati Reds versus the Chicago White Sox — and the associated “Black Sox Scandal.” 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $20. Leaves from the Cincinnati USA Visitor Center at Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, americanlegacytours.com/1919-tour. 

Diversity in Baseball — Referred to as America’s Pastime, baseball also mirrors America’s social progress — as barriers were removed in society, so too were those in baseball. This exhibit celebrates the players who have broken racial and other social barriers. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. $14 adults; $12 seniors; $10 children. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, The Banks, Downtown, freedomcenter.org.

The Great American Pastime: Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds — Items on display include Reds jerseys, vintage photographs, an 1894 scorebook, newspaper archives and a scrapbook from the 1919 World Series. Through July 31. Free. Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Main Branch, 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org.

Kings of the Queen City — Explore the greatest moments and biggest names in Reds history through interactive monitors, historic artifacts, rare audio and video and more. Through Jan. 2. $10 adult; $8 senior/student/child. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, Downtown, cincinnati.reds.mlb.com.

Queen City Baseball: Diamonds and Stars — See baseball-related materials from the 19th century through the modern era, including 19th-century player contracts, bricks from Crosley Field, autographed baseballs and archival newsreel of the 1919 World Series “Black Sox Scandal.” Also on view is Science of Sports, an interactive exhibit that explores how athleticism works. Through July 26. All Museum Pass: $14.50 adults; $13.50 seniors; $10.50 ages 3-12; $5.50 ages 1-2. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, 513- 287-7000, cincymuseum.org.

Stars of the Queen City — Features period artifacts from more than 100 different players in Reds history who have been selected to represent Cincinnati at the MLB All-Star Game, including Bucky Walters, Pete Rose, Frank Robinson and more. Through Jan. 2. $10 adult; $8 senior/student/child. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, Downtown, cincinnati.reds.mlb.com.

Tony Perez — The Tony Perez exhibit features a personal look at the playing career of Perez, the “Mayor of the Riverfront.” Through Jan. 2. $10 adult; $8 senior/student/child. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, Downtown, cincinnati.reds.mlb.com.

Pete Rose
© 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Up at Bat: Warhol and Baseball — In 1985, the Cincinnati Art Museum commissioned a painting of Reds player/manager Pete Rose by Pop Art icon Andy Warhol, in anticipation of Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s record of 4,191 hits (spoiler: he did). Also included in this exhibit are Warhol portraits of Roger Maris and Tom Seaver. In addition to the prints, see process work and proofs for the limited edition Rose print, with historic baseball cards and commercial graphics. Closed Monday. Through Aug. 2. Free; $4 parking. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.



 
 
by Maija Zummo 07.10.2015 23 days ago
Posted In: Culture, Dating, Fun at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_cincysportsfest

Your Weekend To Do List (7/10-7/12)

Well, there's a lot of baseball stuff.

FRIDAY

CINCY SPORTS FEST 2015
The best thing after making memories might just be, well, buying them. And that’s something you can do at the Cincy Sports Fest, an autographs and collectibles event that will bring in more than 100 exhibitors selling baseball memorabilia, sure to help you cherish the memories you make during the All-Star Game. The four-day event is also a way for hardcore fans to meet the living legends of America’s favorite pastime. For All-Star Gamers, Northern Kentucky’s Southbank Shuttle (tankbus.org) has a new route, which includes pick-up and drop-off in front of the fest at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Friday (VIP)-Tuesday. $5 one-day; $20 four-day. Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. Rivercenter Blvd., Covington, Ky., cincy2015.com.

ALL-STAR FANFEST
This fan-friendly and family-friendly convention includes more than 100 appearances from baseball legends and Hall of Famers. Fans can check out players’ official All-Star Game uniforms, run around and take batting practice and hang out in mini dugouts. There will be daily player appearances and autograph sessions, plus artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Friday-Tuesday. $35 adult; $30 children/seniors. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, 513-419-7300, allstargame.com.

Volksfest
Photo: Provided
VOLKSFEST
Meaning “people’s festival” in German, Volksfest brings all of Cincinnati’s favorite local beers together in one place for a two-day celebration of the Queen City’s craft brewing culture. Featuring more than 20 different area breweries, some of which have created special beers just for Volksfest, the idea is to focus on lighter, lower ABV and session beers for hot summer days. There will be music and food, and both families and dogs are welcome. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Free. Listermann Brewing Company, 1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, listermannbrewing.com.

The Summer Draft at Taft's Ale House
Photo: Provided
THE SUMMER DRAFT AT TAFT’S ALE HOUSE
All your favorite local breweries and eats come together at Taft’s Ale House for the all-outdoors Summer Draft All-Star Weekend party. Featuring beers from MadTree, Rhinegeist, Christian Moerlein and Taft’s Ale’s summer selections, paired with Eckerlin Meats from Findlay Market, the draft party also features live music from locals Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, The Almighty Get Down, Jake Speed and more. Noon-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Free. 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, taftsalehouse.com

 
COV200 SUMMER CELEBRATION & ROEBLINGFEST

Founded in 1815, this summer marks the city of Covington’s 200th birthday, and they’re going to be fêting their bicentennial the same way you would if you had been alive for 200 years — with a huge six-day celebration. Focused along Covington’s riverfront, there will be a 50-foot Ferris wheel at Covington Landing, a “Bark Centennial” dog parade in MainStrasse, historical tours of the Licking Riverside’s beautiful homes, kids’ activities, food, drink, music, performances from Circus Mojo and much more. Also includes the 11th-annual RoeblingFest on Saturday, with tours of the Roebling Suspension Bridge. 6-10 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Tuesday. Covington Landing, Covington, Ky., cov200.com/summercelebration

ST. RITA FEST
The turtle soup-steeped 100-year-old tradition continues. St. Rita Fest is a three-day annual summer festival that gives participants the chance to win $25,000 in a grand raffle. When you’re not trying to get rich quick, you can celebrate the community with more than 100 booths featuring food, rides, games and the aforementioned renowned turtle soup. All proceeds benefit students of the St. Rita School for the Deaf. 7 p.m.-midnight Friday; 4 p.m.-midnight Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday. $2. 1720 Glendale Milford Road, Evendale, srsdeaf.org/StRitaFest.aspx.


SATURDAY

CITY FLEA ALL STAR MARKET

A special edition of the City Flea, in honor of All-Star Weekend. The event will feature the normal curated urban flea market selections, plus some baseball-themed fun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.



Pete Rose
4192 - AN EVENING WITH PETE ROSE
A live theatrical event during which Pete Rose discusses his childhood on the West Side, his baseball career and the Big Red Machine on a set that looks like a baseball field. Sing the National Anthem, see a surprise guest throw out the first pitch and relive the moment Rose broke Ty Cobb’s hit record on Sept. 11, 1985. 8 p.m. Saturday. $32.50-$125. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

Know Theatre
Photo: Eric Vosmeier
ONE-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL
Got a minute? How about an hour? That’s enough time to see some quick plays this weekend at Know Theatre. Local writers were invited to consider the world around them, locally and beyond, and write about moments that could only happen here and now. The result is a festival described as “a series of 60 pulses of storytelling, 60 heartbeats saying something about who we are, where we are and where we might be going as a community.” Two days only with proceeds benefiting new play development at Know. 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday. $10-$20. 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com.

GEOFF TATE
After splitting time between Los Angeles and Cincinnati, Geoff Tate is back in the Tristate full time. Since returning to Cincinnati, Tate has never been busier as he has been able to parlay his multiple appearances on Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies podcast into a string of East Coast and Midwest dates. Cincinnati audiences will be treated to six shows as Tate does new material attempting to reconcile his religious upbringing with his life today. Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go
Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. 

The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K
Photo: thecolorrun.com 
THE COLOR RUN
MLB hosts an official All-Star Weekend Color Run 5K, starting at Sawyer Point. The un-timed race will wind through an All-Star-themed course downtown and into Northern Kentucky, dousing runners head-to-toe with colored powder at every kilometer. The start-line window opens at 9 a.m., with music, dancing, stretching and giveaways; waves of runners will continue to start the race every few minutes until 10 a.m. After crossing the Purple People Bridge from Northern Kentucky back into downtown, the free Finish Festival at Sawyer Point will include family-friendly entertainment, music and more color throws. Start time at 9 a.m. with waves every few minutes until 10 a.m. $45 team member; $49.50 individual. Register at allstargame.com/run.

'Don Pasquale'
Photo: Provided
DON PASQUALE
Don Pasquale offers a break from unrequited love, tragedy and death. Nobody dies in Donizetti’s comedy, which is his most-performed opera during his lifetime. The tale of an old bachelor tricked into a fake marriage with his nephew’s sweetheart is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, and its music is like limoncello on a sweltering summer day. The physical production is a new one for Cincinnati Opera. In this iteration, Don Pasquale is a silent film star who wants a young starlet to help revive his career. Director Chuck Hudson studied with the great mime Marcel Marceau and, according to Mirageas, many of Marceau’s famed characters and routines will turn up. Read more here. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiopera.org.

SUNDAY
Norwood Highlanders Vintage Baseball Team
HEART OF VINTAGE BASEBALL
The annual Heart of Vintage Baseball Tournament pits the area’s 1860’s-style baseball clubs against each other in a series of games using Civil War-era sporting rules. 10 a.m. Sunday. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, norwoodhighlanders.com.

Rhinegeist
Photo: Molly Berrens
CITYBEAT AND RHINEGEIST WIFFLE BALL HOME RUN DERBY
Rhinegeist and CityBeat have partnered to play Wiffle Ball for a cause, with a home run derby inside the OTR brewery. Anyone can play — a $5 entry fee gets you 10 swings and your $5 goes directly to help the Bow Tie Cause and the Jason Motte Foundation. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $5. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

DIVERSITY IN BASEBALL
Referred to as America’s Pastime, baseball also mirrors America’s social progress — as barriers were removed in society, so too were those in baseball. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Diversity in Baseball exhibit celebrates the players who have broken racial and other social barriers. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. $15 adults; $13 seniors; $10.50 children. 50 E. Freedom Way, The Banks, Downtown, freedomcenter.org.





 
 
by Nick Swartsell 07.10.2015 23 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
baseball

Morning News and Stuff

Want to rent a room in OTR for $500... a night?; county clerks in Kentucky buck same-sex marriage ruling; Ohio considers amending grand jury process

So let’s talk a little about news today.

In case you like, didn’t see the 500 MLB All-Star Game headlines on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s website today, well, that’s happening. Two-hundred-thousand people are headed downtown. Traffic will be bad. Parking will be worse. Prepare yourself.

All that headache is probably worth it if you own an apartment or house anywhere near downtown and are willing to let some strangers crash there. Average prices to stay in Over-the-Rhine or downtown are more than $500 on room rental site Airbnb. No, that’s not monthly. That’s for one night. It’s a 25-percent increase from prices two months ago. The spike is simple economics — there are few hotel rooms left in town after MLB reserved 95 percent of them during the days around the game. That’s left people searching around in the sharing economy, where costs range from the very affordable for a place out in the ‘burbs to a $4,999 a night three-bedroom house with sweeping views in Bellevue, Ky. That five grand is pretty much a down payment on a house in my neighborhood, but whatever you need to party, I guess.

• The city’s police force is out in full force for the festivities, patrolling downtown by the hundreds. With the nation’s eyes on Cincy, city leaders are stressing the need for calm, professional policing, especially after last weekend’s unrest downtown following a concert injured two officers and lead to several arrests. CPD will be getting some help as well from a mounted unit borrowed from the Columbus police. That unit, paid for by the private group the Cincinnati Police Foundation, will patrol downtown on horses.  

• Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown has joined 56 other county clerks in asking Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to call a special session of the state’s legislature in order to take up a law creating religious exemptions to the Supreme Court’s recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Brown, and other clerks across the state, say their religious freedoms are being violated because they’re being forced to license a practice they say is against their beliefs. Brown refused to issue any marriage licenses the day the decision came down last month but has since resumed the practice. Other clerks, however, have been more defiant. Casey Davis, who is the county clerk in uh… Casey County (Really? Really.) has refused to grant same-sex marriage licenses. Gov. Beshear met with Davis yesterday and told him to begin granting the licenses or step down from his job. Davis has refused to do either, saying he will go to jail for his religious beliefs if necessary.

• A panel responsible for recommending changes to Ohio’s constitution is considering reforms to the state’s grand jury system following controversial officer-involved shootings here and across the country. The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission is currently mulling recommendations made by the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations convened by Gov. John Kasich last year after the police shooting deaths of John Crawford III in Beavercreek and Tamir Rice in Cleveland, among others. Among those recommendations: requiring judicial oversight in grand jury proceedings, releasing some testimony from proceedings to improve the transparency of the process and requiring grand juries review all officer-involved incidents resulting in death or injury, unless other independent investigations are conducted. Currently, there is some question about whether those changes should be made at the constitutional or legislative level, with lawmakers debating what exactly determines how Ohio’s grand jury system should operate. But whether or not the issue is constitutional or a matter for lawmakers, advocates say, it’s a good time to reconsider the state’s grand jury methods. They haven’t been examined by lawmakers in about 60 years.

• Finally, in national news, after a contentious vote yesterday, South Carolina today officially took down the Confederate flag that had been flying over the grounds of the state capital for more than 50 years.The flag was removed from the dome of the building itself in 2000, and its final banishment from the grounds takes place after the horrific shooting of nine African American churchgoers in Charleston by white supremacist Dylann Roof.

That’s it for me. Enjoy this All Star weekend! Oh, and come join our wiffle ball home run derby at Rhinegeist on Sunday. It’s gonna be fun.

 
 
by Staff 07.10.2015 23 days ago
at 09:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
music1_heartless bastards_photo_nathan presley 1-19

MidPoint Music Festival Announces More Artists

Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards to headline Moerlein stage Friday

The MidPoint Music Festival today announced a third wave of artists scheduled to perform at the 14th annual event this fall.

Locals Heartless Bastards will headline Friday night's shows at the Christian Moerlein stage, touring in support of their new album, Restless One. The band will join Purity Ring and Matthew E. White on Friday night's schedule, with Saturday performers including Ride and Sylvan Esso. Iron & Wine and Tune Yards highlight Sunday's slate. 

MidPoint, which is owned and operated by CityBeat, is scheduled for Sept. 25-27 and once again will take place in and around Over-the-Rhine. The full schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

The festival expects a total of around 125 total artists to perform. So far, the following have been confirmed: Heartless Bastards, Nick Diamonds, Good Graeff, Heat, Nick D' & the Believers, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Ona, The Eagle Rock Gospel Choir, Alanna Royale, Sphynx, Charles Walker Band, EZTV, Miracles of Modern Science, Bailiff, The Ghost Wolves, Wild Ones, Big Scary, Mothers, Xoe Wise, Turbo Fruits, Young Empires, Grandchildren, Forest and The Evergreens, Great Peacock, Kinky Love, Elk Creek, Ancient Warfare, What Moon Things, Bones Jugs N Harmony, Little Racer, GGOOLLDD, No/No, Kid Runner, Chrome Pony, Dirty Fences, Rose Quartz, Jackson Scott, Eclipse Movement, MULTIMAGIC, Sweet & the Sweet Sweets, Dawg Yawp, Gran Bel Fisher, Automagik, Coconut Milk, Jane Decker, Orchards, Kate Wakefield, Little Lights, DAAP Girls, The Yugos, Marcus Alan Ward, The Harlequins, yler Childers & the Food Stamps, Young Heirlooms, Us, Today, Public, Holiday Mountain, The Almighty Get Down, Noah Smith, Leggy.

Weekend passes will be available at a discount rate ($10 off) at the MidPoint Indie Summer concert at Fountain Square this Friday. Saint Motel, The Modern Novas, Grenades!? and Jane Decker will perform. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks. More info: mpmf.com.


 
 
by Nick Swartsell 07.09.2015 24 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news_smitherman_ck

Morning News and Stuff

Police say beating was hate crime; state investigating landscaper over diversity fraud; South Carolina removes Confederate flag

Good morning y’all. Here’s what’s up in the news today.

Cincinnati police have asked Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to pursue hate crime charges in connection with an attack on a man at Fountain Square Saturday night. That announcement marks a pronounced change of tone for the police, who earlier said the act did not appear to be racially motivated and that an officer on the scene who called the incident “anti-white” spoke in error. Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher McKnight, who is white, was attacked by several men, all black, following a period of unrest on Fountain Square in which two officers were injured and several arrests were made. Video of the incident taken from a Metro bus appears to show McKnight engaged in a one-on-one fight with another individual at first; soon, however, others also join in. One teen in a red shirt is shown trying to keep others from ganging up on McKnight, dragging another attacker off of him at one point. Soon, though, several teens attack McKnight, who is sometimes on the defensive, other times seen throwing punches. A couple minutes into the video, McKnight is seen getting up, putting one of his shoes back on and stalking back and forth along the sidewalk unaccosted by the crowd, eventually raising his arms in a challenging manner. He then walks out of frame of the camera. The video does not show what started the fight or an apparently later altercation that left McKnight bloodied on the sidewalk. Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell has said he’s recommending Deters pursue the hate crime charge against McKnight’s unidentified attackers. No suspects have been arrested in the incident.

• The national office of the NAACP has filed a U.S. District Court lawsuit against former leadership of Cincinnati’s local chapter, advancing long-running controversy over the city’s branch of the civil rights organization. The drama started when Cincinnati City Councilman Christopher Smitherman resigned as president last year. Ishton Morton stepped in to take his place, but the national NAACP suspended Morton, his wife and another member, Lettie Reid, from the organization, saying they weren’t focused on civil rights work. The NAACP lawsuit alleges that the three have continued to present themselves as local NAACP leaders despite the fact they are no longer members of the organization, conducting fundraising and spending the branch’s money without national authorization. The national group has asked a federal judge to yank incorporation from Cincinnati’s chapter and order its former leaders, including one-time president Ishton Morton, to pay $300,000 in damages. Morton and his allies say the national office is trying to dictate local affairs at the Cincinnati branch, and he’s vowed to fight the lawsuit. There’s a deep political element in the fight: Some within the local chapter have bristled at the rightward drift of the branch, which started under Smitherman and saw the civil right group allying with staunch conservative groups like the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes. Critics say the chapter’s activities in that time have drifted away from civil rights advocacy. Backers, however, say the branch is reflective of local wishes and that the national office is engaging in “voter suppression” by trying to dictate who leads the chapter.

• The state is investigating Newtown-based Evans Landscaping over allegations it has been abusing grants and other programs designed for minority-owned businesses. The company is also entangled in lawsuits around those allegations, which were filed by another company called Ergon Site Construction. An initial suit by Evans claims that Ergon owed the company $275,000 for work done on a contract. Ergon counter-sued, saying Evans was using the minority-owned Ergon to get minority contracts through the state and that the company kept state money meant for Ergon. In the midst of that fight, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Evans’ Newtown location Tuesday. Law enforcement officials would not comment on the reasons for the raid or whether it is related to fraud charges against Evans.

• So that was all super-heavy news. Here’s something less so. For $35 bucks, you can ride a zip line over The Banks. The zip line will go from an 80-foot platform in front  of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to a shorter platform near the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. It will be open starting Saturday at 11 a.m. and will go until 5 p.m. that day. The line will run Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon and then again from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Who’s going to do this with me? It sounds awesome.

• There is a lot of worry in Cincinnati surrounding the recent wave of shootings, which have spiked significantly over last year’s low numbers. But Cincinnati isn’t the only city experiencing increases in violence, and as its homicide numbers remain steady, other cities are seeing sharp increases. Among them is Milwaukee, which has seen 80 murders so far this year — double the 39 it had this time last year. In Baltimore, which has also seen a big spike in gun violence and deaths, the increase has led to the dismissal of the city’s police commissioner. Other cities, including St. Louis and New Orleans, are also experiencing big increases in murders. But social scientists are quick to point out that these spikes seem smaller in context to recent history. Even today’s increased numbers, which are only happening in certain cities, are still much lower than violent crime’s peak in the early 1990s. Experts have a variety of explanations for the mini-surge in violence in Cincinnati and elsewhere. Crime always picks up some in the summer, law enforcement officials note. Also, violent gun crime and murders have been so low in some cities like New York, which clocked its lowest murder rate in 50 years last year, that any increase looks big. Other experts point to the influence of drugs, weak gun laws or other explanations for the increasing violence.

• Finally, lawmakers in South Carolina voted last night to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state house there. The move comes in the wake of the shooting deaths of nine black church goes in Charleston at the hands of white supremacist Dylann Roof. Roof displayed the flag prominently on his vehicle and elsewhere.

That’s it for me. Tweet. Email. Etc.

 
 
by Jac Kern 07.08.2015 25 days ago
at 02:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
web-blog-ijustcantgetenough-3

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

American Girl dolls can teach us a lot: what it might be like to be a girl growing up during the American Revolution, Civil War or World War II; how to care for a special collectable; the things white people will blow hundreds of dollars on. But now they’re teaching us how to kick ass.  

Fast-food kids meal toys are serious business. From the controversy of pandering junk food and crap prizes to kids and the idea of “boy” and “girl” toys to the chaos of collectible items (remember the mini McBeanie Babies?), that inedible side dish served alongside nuggets is kind of a big deal. I even remember flipping out in a drive-through line over a Catwoman toy at a weak moment in my 8-year-old life. So it only made sense that a (fake) story about a McDonald’s employee dropping his mix tapes into Happy Meals went viral recently. Few took the time to notice the original source was Huzlers, a parody site. What is true is that the mugshot of a Micky D’s employee they used was real — only he was selling drugs, which is arguably not as funny.

On the topic of kid stuff, Maria from Sesame Street (aka Sonia Manzano) is leaving the block after 44 years. Fourty-four years.

Lots of rumors have surrounded the upcoming season of HBO’s The Leftovers — few actors would be returning, there’d be a totally new setting, etc. Well fans of the show, which debuted last summer, can calm the hell down now because nearly all the characters will be back and the new setting looks fascinating.

This is how a graffiti artist and city cleanup play a yearlong game of tag.

Fucking wedding-moons are a thing now. File this with mason jars and “greige” in my GO AWAY NOW folder.

Here’s a map of the most popular fictional character from every U.S. state. Ohio’s is kind of a bummer — Freddy Krueger. I didn’t even realize A Nightmare on Elm Street was set in Ohio (in the go-to fictional town of Springfield), let alone that director Wes Craven was from Cleveland. Kentucky’s character is a bit more contemporary and less creepy: Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead.

Stephen Colbert stepped in to host Only in Monroe, a Michigan public access show. Colbert reported on various Monroe happenings and history tidbits, interviewed the regular hosts of the program and welcomed Michigan native Marshall Mathers to the show.

An architecture firm in Australia announced its plans for a Beyoncé-inspired skyscraper in Melbourne. They design is apparently based on the artsy fabric dancing in her “Ghost” video. Looks like The Beygency has new headquarters!

7 Days in Hell premieres this Saturday — read more in this week's TV column.

Nick and Drew Lachey’s A&E reality show premieres next Wednesday. We all know Lachey’s Bar in OTR and now we can watch it on TV. Let’s not forget the last time A&E cameras were in town, though — with Rowhouse Showdown, shit got weird.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 07.07.2015 26 days ago
Posted In: News, Police at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news_bones2_dsorcher

Officers Charged with Covering Up Accident for Controversial Cop

Sgt. Andrew Mitchell, involved in the 2011 shooting of David "Bones" Hebert, was allegedly removed from crash scene by other officers

Two Cincinnati Police Officers have been charged in the cover up of a car accident involving a third officer, Sgt. Andrew Mitchell. Mitchell was the same officer who shot and killed local musician David “Bones” Hebert in Northside in 2011, according to a source within the department.

According to court documents filed Saturday, Mitchell was off duty and driving his personal vehicle, a Honda Odyssey, on West McMicken Avenue in Fairview at 5 a.m. when he ran into a pole. Afterward, Officers Jason Cotterman and Sgt. Richard Sulfsted concealed Mitchell from witnesses, helped him get home and did not fully investigate the accident, according to charges pending against them in Hamilton County Municipal court.

Sulfsted was the supervisor on duty at the time. 

Both Cotterman and Sulfsted face multiple counts of obstructing justice and dereliction of duty. They’re expected in court July 16. Mitchell faces charges in relation to the accident, including reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

“Resulting from an internal Cincinnati Police Department investigation, three Cincinnati Police officers have been arrested and had their police powers suspended pending the outcome of court proceedings, which are now underway,” City Manager Harry Black said in a memo released today.

The memo reveals that the incident was reported to CPD’s internal investigation unit the next day, and that law enforcement officials and prosecutors have reviewed the case for months.

The accident and subsequent cover-up charges raise questions that have yet to be addressed as Cincinnati Police continue their investigation, including the nature of Mitchell’s activities that night along West McMicken Avenue, his fellow officers’ motivations for the alleged cover-up and why Mitchell has remained on the force following other questionable situations in his past service.

Police haven't responded to multiple requests for comment on the charges, and a voicemail box for CPD's public information office is full, according to an automated message. CityBeat has filed public records requests for more information on the incident.

Mitchell's shooting of Hebert in 2011 was controversial, causing a number of protests and investigations in Cincinnati. The shooting also led to a 2012 wrongful death lawsuit against the Cincinnati Police Department. That lawsuit claimed Hebert was complying with instructions given by an investigating officer when he was shot and killed by Mitchell in Northside. The suit also claimed excessive force was used and that Mitchell “acted intentionally, recklessly, wantonly, and with deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of Mr. Hebert.”



Mitchell shot Hebert after officers responded to a 911 call around 3 a.m. alleging that Hebert had robbed and assaulted an intoxicated man with a pirate sword. Hebert was located sitting on a sidewalk on Chase Avenue about 10 minutes later. During subsequent questioning, officers say Hebert drew a knife and moved toward an investigating officer, causing Mitchell to believe the officer’s life was in danger. Mitchell shot Hebert twice, killing him.
  


Independent and police investigation into the shooting found that responding officers, including Mitchell, got too close to Hebert and did not have a plan for engaging him, a violation of CPD procedure. Reports show that responding officers barely spoke with each other about the situation before engaging Hebert. Despite the fact he didn’t follow procedures, three internal investigations cleared Mitchell of wrongdoing. 



That wasn’t the only controversial incident involving Mitchell, however. In January of 2008, he was the subject of a civil rights suit after he allegedly used a taser improperly against a teenager. Mitchell allegedly tased Christopher Bauer from his police cruiser after he asked Bauer to stop. However, the teen was wearing headphones and a hoodie and didn’t hear the command. Bauer’s suit says he fell face forward and sustained substantial injuries during the incident. Mitchell was eventually placed on a 40-hour suspension after exhausting appeals within the department’s disciplinary system.

CityBeat will update this story as more information becomes available.
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 07.07.2015 26 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
opera+in+the+park

Morning News and Stuff

CPD officers charged with cover-up; Cincy number one for recreation; OH pot farms would be unionized, legalization effort says

Hey all, here’s the news today.

Two Cincinnati police officers face charges of covering up a car wreck involving fellow officer Sgt. Andrew Mitchell. Mitchell crashed his car March 22 on West McMicken Ave. According to dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice charges filed in Hamilton County Municipal Court, officers Jason Cotterman and Richard Sulfsted acted to remove Mitchell from the scene and hide his involvement from investigators after that accident. Mitchell now faces criminal charges, including reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

• It’s too early to tell if an attack that took place on Fountain Square July 4 was racially motivated, police said during a news conference yesterday. The incident took place during a period of unrest in which a crowd at a post-fireworks concert allegedly threw bottles and fireworks at officers, resulting in increased police presence including officers in riot gear. Just after that confrontation nearby, a man was beaten by a group of teens and young adults. Originally, responding officer Alicia Essert indicated the assault on Christopher McKnight, a white man from Albany, Indiana, was a hate crime. McKnight suffered a broken nose, facial lacerations and other minor injuries after an altercation with a group of teens and young adults. Essert reported the incident as “anti-white” because the teens were black, Cincinnati Police Capt. Mike Neville told reporters yesterday. He says that’s an incorrect assertion, and that officials are working to investigate what happened before calling the incident a hate crime.

• Let’s talk a little bit more about Transdev, the company tapped to run the Cincinnati streetcar. The private French transit operator has its U.S. offices in Chicago and employs about 18,000 people here. It runs four other rail projects around the country. Transdev only runs one other streetcar project, however — the nation’s largest in New Orleans. The company has overseen ridership increases on that transit project and even an expansion of its route, something streetcar boosters looking to take the trolley uptown will find encouraging. Here in Cincinnati, Transdev will be on the hook for any cost overruns the $4 million a year project incurs, since the contract currently being negotiated between the company and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority is a fixed-cost deal.

* Cincinnati is the best city in the country for recreation, according to personal finance website Wallethub. Researchers there took into account climate, recreational costs, quality of parks and the number of recreational facilities in 100 cities to arrive at its rankings. Cincy ranked high in most categories, though it took a big hit in climate — we're 58. Big shocker there. But otherwise, we shine when it comes to our parks and other recreational opportunities. Cincy has the third-most music venues per capita, for instance, and ranked number one in overall number of entertainment and recreational opportunities. Pretty cool.

• The three potential marijuana farms in Southwestern Ohio proposed by weed-legalization effort RepsonsibleOhio would be staffed by union workers, owners of those farms said yesterday. Former Cincinnati Bengal and current Arizona Cardinal Frostee Rucker, one of those owners, promised that the farms would protect workers’ rights at a news conference yesterday. Rucker and other owners signed an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers union at that event. Owners of three potential marijuana farms in central Ohio have signed a similar agreement. The group, which is looking to put a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot, is proposing legalizing marijuana for anyone 21 and up, and making vending licenses available similar to liquor licenses. However, commercial growth of marijuana would be limited to 10 farms across the state owned by investors in the initiative. That’s caused cries of monopoly from a diverse array of critics spanning conservative state lawmakers and officials to other legalization groups.

• Attorneys for six Baltimore police officers charged in the police custody death of Freddy Gray are asking courts to move their trials, arguing that it’s impossible for the officers to get a fair trial in Baltimore. Gray died after sustaining severe spinal cord injuries in the back of a police van in April. After his death, large-scale civil unrest broke out in Baltimore and protests sprung up around the country. Because of the continued tension in the city, attorneys for the officers say it isn’t possible to assemble an unbiased jury pool in time for their October trials. Officers face various charges of murder, manslaughter and other lesser crimes.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 07.06.2015 27 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
streetcar

Morning News and Stuff

SORTA votes on streetcar contract; unrest downtown; map of rental affordability crisis

Good morning y’all. I hope your holiday weekend was as crazy as mine in all the good ways a weekend can be crazy without being crazy in all the bad ways a weekend can be. One BAD way your July 4 extravaganza can be crazy is when you have to wrestle a strange naked man off your porch. Yes, that happened to me this weekend. Our country really needs better mental health care systems. But enough about that. Let’s get right to the news thing.

Just a bit ago, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority board voted to award the Cincinnati streetcar operating contract to Transdev, a Chicago-based company that submitted the winning turnkey bid to run and staff the project. That bid, which came in at $4 million for the first year of operations, proposed using non-union employees instead of SORTA personnel. Another bid utilizing unionized folks came in at $4.7 million, which was over the city’s $4.2 million budget for the project.

SORTA is making the decision because Cincinnati City Council could not come to agreement about who should operate the streetcar due to the price difference. The Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents SORTA’s employees, tried unsuccessfully to convince Hamilton County courts to make council decide which bid should be selected, but a judge rejected their suit. Council’s five Democrats are pro-union, as is Mayor John Cranley. Cranley offered an extra $2 million toward the project if the union contract was selected, but some Democrats on council said they were worried that amount wasn’t enough to keep the project running at full capacity. Councilman Wendell Young voted against the union bid, citing those concerns and depriving the Dems of the fifth vote they needed to approve that bid.

• Here’s some more bad July 4 crazy. There was a rash of unrest on Fountain Square Saturday night as revelry turned into some fights. Cincinnati Police were called in and a group of 50 or more in the crowd became even more agitated, police say, throwing bottles and fireworks at officers. That in turn led to more police presence, this time in riot gear. Two officers were injured during the confrontation. Seven people were arrested. One person was hospitalized after he was beaten badly by a group of young men. It is unclear what connection, if any, the man had to the fights occurring in the area. Police are investigating that incident. Meanwhile, the biggest question local media can muster about the violence appears only to be what this means for next week’s MLB All-Star Game. Awesome.

• Where the ladies at? In the Cincinnati startup world, I mean. Women aren’t nearly as well-represented in the tech and startup industries here, despite being, you know, half the population. Business incubator The Brandery, for instance, had no females in its 2014 class, a problem the organization is looking to remedy for upcoming years, according to this story. It’s not just a problem for Cincinnati, of course — the world of entrepreneurs is famously male-centric. But there are some local efforts happening to change that here.

• Things are going to get interesting in Hamilton County in 2016, and not just because of the presidential election. There’s a big showdown brewing for a couple county commissioner seats. Both Democrat Todd Portune and Republican Greg Hartmann are up for re-election, and both could have some serious challengers.

Let’s zoom in on what’s likely to be the more interesting of the two races: State Rep. Denise Driehaus has signaled she’s carefully considering a run against Hartmann, who angered some voters with last year’s icon tax decision cutting renovations for landmark Music Hall out of a sales tax increase on last year’s ballot. Driehaus looks like she’ll be a strong candidate, but Hartmann has plenty of support, especially from the Hamilton County GOP and right wingers like anti-tax group COAST. He also has some donors with deep pockets. Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou has been touting a recent fundraising event for Hartmann that raked in $250,000 in a single night. That’s big bucks. County Dems, though, say Driehaus won’t need that much cash to topple Hartmann, who will be fighting the tides of demographic change in the county. Republican electorate here has been eroded in recent years, with a younger, more diverse and generally Democratic-leaning population trickling into Hamilton County as Republican voters head out to the ‘burbs.

• More bad July 4 crazy. Someone vandalized Serpent Mound, the ancient Native American burial site in Adams County. It appears someone basically took a big ole truck and did some donuts on the mound. Officials with the historic site say it will take extensive work to restore the damage. The mound is internationally recognized for its historic and cultural importance.

• Finally, I feel like I link you, my dear readers, to a map at least once a week. I hope they’re as interesting to you as they are to me. This one is pretty insane, I think. It’s been put together by the Urban Institute and technically shows rental affordability in every county in the U.S. compared to the national average. The bigger picture? It shows the country’s steadily-intensifying affordable housing crisis, especially for very low-income renters. Even though we have relatively low rents here in Cincy (unless you’re trying to move to Over-the-Rhine, am I right?), that crisis has hit home. In Hamilton County last year, there were 34 affordable units for every 100 low-income families. That’s better than the national average of 28 units per 100 families, but it’s still striking. Even more striking is how much worse that would be without various types of government rental assistance: Hamilton County would only have 10 units of affordable housing for every 100 families that needs them in the market without those subsidies. Yowza.

That’s it for me. Tweet at me. Email me. But for god's sake if you come to hang out on my porch keep your clothes on.

 
 

 

 

 
Close
Close
Close