What should I be doing instead of this?
 
Home - Blogs - Users Blogs - Latest Blogs
Latest Blogs
 
by Nick Swartsell 04.18.2016 42 days ago
at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ghostsigns_dennisonhotel_jf2

Conservation Board Reschedules Dennison Vote

Developer requested extra time after urban conservator shot down demolition proposal

The fight over the 124-year-old Dennison Hotel building on Main Street will continue a little longer after the Cincinnati Historic Conservation Board today tabled a vote on an application to tear down the Dennison brought by its owners, Columbia REI, LLC. The vote was rescheduled for 1 p.m. May 26.

Columbia’s attorneys say the group needs time to respond to a report issued by Cincinnati Urban Conservator Beth Johnson, who was highly skeptical of their demolition application. 

“The applicant has not provided credible evidence that they cannot reuse the building nor can reasonable economic return be gained from the use of all or part of the building proposed for demolition,” Johnson wrote in that report, released April 14.

The conservation board has the final vote on the demolition, however. The board set filing deadlines for various new documents in relation to the case for May 2, May 11 and May 18.

Attorney Sean Suder, who is representing the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Cincinnati Preservation Collective in the opposition to the demolition, said those groups welcome the extra time and hope it will lead to a change of heart for Columbia and a deal to save the building.

That would be a big change in direction for the developer. Attorneys for Columbia, which is run by influential auto dealership magnates the Joseph family, say the building is outdated, crumbling and dangerous.

The Historic Conservation Board had planned to vote today on whether the Josephs could tear the Dennison down, potentially to develop a new corporate campus for a Fortune 500 company, though no company has signed onto that plan yet.

Columbia's attorneys on Friday asked the Board to delay the vote in order to have a hearing on the matter. Their request came the day after Johnson's recommendation not to OK Columbia's plan.

CityBeat reported on Friday’s request here, Thursday’s urban conservator recommendation here and details of documents showing that the Joseph family bought the building to block low-income housing from being developed here.

 
 
by Steven Rosen 04.18.2016 42 days ago
Posted In: Film, Arts community, Visual Art, Movies at 03:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
the mini closing poster 2 copy

Animated Films with Insects

Live score played on toy instruments highlight Mini Microcinema's end

When I lived in Los Angeles, one of the most unforgettable events I attended was a screening of films by the 20th-century Russian animator Ladislaw Starewicz, who used insects in his amazingly inventive animated films. (He also used puppets.)

He placed the insects into various settings and then shot the stop-motion films frame by frame. A Jazz/New Music group called Tin Hat Trio played a live score to accompany the visuals.

Lo and behold, the Mini Microcinema on Tuesday (April 19) is presenting Starewicz’s films in the auditorium of Covington’s Carnegie. And there will be a live score played by Little Bang Theory, a group led by Detroit composer Frank Pahl. They play children’s instruments and toys.

There will be a reception starting at 6 p.m. and the performance gets underway at 7 p.m. It is free. This is the last event for the Mini during its residency at The Carnegie. It should be a rewarding one. For more information, please visit www.mini-cinema.org.

 
 
by Cassie Lipp 04.18.2016 42 days ago
Posted In: Culture at 01:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
11659496_849593901784034_2798677351388271197_n

Slice of Cincinnati: Harriet Beecher Stowe House

Situated on a hill overlooking a strip of Gilbert Avenue sits an old house that stands out from its urban surroundings in Walnut Hills. Though it may seem out of place against the backdrop of apartment buildings and businesses, inside the house lies a story of being in the right place at the right time, of discussion and of empathy and compassion.

2950 Gilbert Avenue is the last remaining building that was once part of the Lane Theological Seminary. It is also the former home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Although it is not where she wrote the novel that introduced Northerners to what slavery is like in the South and increased tensions between the two regions, it is where Stowe spent 18 years of her life.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been translated into more than 60 languages — second only to the Bible. It is no wonder that visitors from as far away as Russia and China have recently visited the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. In fact, Kelli Higginson, the house’s only paid employee, says most visitors come from out of town.

“This house is unique because at one time it was the ground center for discussion of slavery,” says volunteer John Douglass. Built in 1832, the house was saved from demolition and purchased by the Ohio Historical Society in 1943. It is still owned by the society today and is designated as a historic landmark.

Stowe lived in Cincinnati from her early 20s until 1859, one year before her famous book was published. Her presence in Cincinnati had a lasting impact on U.S. history and beyond, as Uncle Tom’s Cabin is read in schools around the world. While living in the border town allowed Stowe to see firsthand the desperation of slaves trying to escape to freedom across the Ohio River, it was also here that Stowe was exposed to the controversial debates going on at the seminary where her father, Dr. Lyman Beecher, was president.

Students of the seminary debated about the issue of slavery in 1834 before it became a hot topic throughout the rest of the U.S. Should slaves be emancipated? If slaves were to be freed, where should they go? Some supported sending freed slaves to Africa, while others thought they should be allowed to stay in the U.S. Enrollment at the seminary dropped after the school’s board of trustees dismissed these so-called “Lane Rebels.”

Living in Cincinnati also gave Stowe a stark look at the tension between the anti-slavery movement and those opposed to it. During the Cincinnati riots of 1836, the press that printed The Philanthropist, an abolitionist newspaper published by James Birney, was twice destroyed and thrown into the Ohio River. This sparked Stowe to find her own abolitionist voice and write her first remarks about slavery, in which she defended free speech and denounced mob rule. Her work was published in her brother Henry’s newspaper.

When the cholera epidemic swept through Cincinnati and Stowe’s one-year-old son Samuel Charles died, the personal tragedy caused Stowe to empathize with slave mothers who were often separated from their children. Her son’s death was the catalyst that caused Stowe to begin writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

While it is a work of fiction, Stowe’s novel depicts what American slavery was like at the time. Her visit to a Kentucky plantation allowed her to see how slaves lived. However, many argued that the book’s depiction of slavery couldn’t be accurate. Stowe responded with A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which provides factual evidence from her experience in Cincinnati to defend her claims. (Copies of the key just arrived in the Stowe House’s gift shop; Higginson says they were on backorder for six weeks).

The Ohio Historical Society plans to renovate the house this summer. The renovations will restore the house to what it would have looked like when Stowe’s family lived there. The house will also host Stowe’s 205th birthday celebration (with cake and ice cream, of course) on June 14.

The house is open for tours from noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is also the site of many field trips, lectures, film screenings, history portrayals and more. More information at stowehousecincy.org.

 
 
by Danny Cross 04.18.2016 43 days ago
at 08:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
cover_johnkasich

Morning News & Stuff

Dennison Hotel fight rages on; NPR launches education project, knows where you are; Kasich being Kasich

The next step in the saga of auto magnate Joseph Auto Group's attempt to tear down a historic Main Street building will take place today when the Historic Conservation Board meets at 4 p.m.

The Board had planned to vote today on a request to demolish the Dennison Hotel building at 716 Main St., but attorneys for Columbia REI, LLC, the development arm of the Joseph family, on Friday asked the Board to delay the vote in order to have a hearing on the matter. Their request came the day after Conservation Board staff recommended denying the demolition request for a variety of factors, including evidence that the Joseph family has not attempted to sell or lease the building to someone who would redevelop it, an engineering report that says the building could still be used for residential purposes and documents showing that the Joseph family purchased the property with the intention of demolishing it for redevelopment. Such considerations are commonly undertaken by the Historic Conservation Board regarding buildings in a historic area like the Eastern Manufacturing and Warehouse District.

Of course, the city staff report, written by Urban Conservator Beth Johnson, will not ultimately decide the fate of the building, which was designed by noted architect Samuel Hannaford and still boasts a “ghost sign” noting its “105 rooms and 60 baths.” That would be the Historic Conservation Board itself, which is comprised of seven members, five of whom were recent appointments made on Mayor John Cranley's watch. The most controversial of the appointments is developer Shree Kulkarni, who in the past has butted heads with the very board on which he now sits — because he wanted to tear down historic buildings on Fifth Street to build a parking lot.

CityBeat reported on Friday’s request here, Thursday’s urban conservator recommendation here and details of documents showing that the Joseph family bought the building to block low-income housing from being developed.

One noteworthy player in all this is 3CDC, which purchased the building in 2013 for $1.3 million then sold it to Columbia one month later for $744,000.

Preservationists hoping to save the building hosted a press conference on Friday. They expect a big crowd at today's meeting and what will likely be a contentious future hearing, should things go that far. The Save the Dennison Facebook page, which you can find here, has links to more background, including the following Cincinnati Enquirer article from 1987 when the Joseph family smashed up some other downtown buildings, leaving parking lots in their wake.


Gov. John Kasich is busy on the presidential campaign trail explaining his own unique versions of delegate math that could somehow lead to a convoluted GOP convention awarding him the nomination, and sometimes he eats pizza with a fork. Last week, Kasich said he wouldn’t be inclined to sign any law banning conversion therapy aimed at un-gaying homosexuals and that he had never heard of Leelah Alcorn.

• Last week, Kasich offered a tip for young women concerned with sexual assault: “Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”

• NPR today unveiled its “School Money” project, a collaboration with 20 member station reporters looking at education funding in public schools. Part 1 of the series considers academic spending per student, finding a stark difference in the academic resources at schools in low-income neighborhoods and those in more affluent parts of America’s cities.

The following is a snapshot of educational realities in public districts, according to NPR:

Ridge's two elementary campuses and one middle school sit along Chicago's southern edge. Roughly two-thirds of its students come from low-income families, and a third are learning English as a second language.

Here, one nurse commutes between three schools, and the two elementary schools share an art teacher and a music teacher. They spend the first half of the year at different schools, then, come January, box up their supplies and swap classrooms.

"We don't have a lot of the extra things that other districts may have, simply because we can't afford them," says Ridge Superintendent Kevin Russell.

One of those other districts sits less than an hour north, in Chicago's affluent suburbs, nestled into a warren of corporate offices: Rondout School, the only campus in Rondout District 72.

It has 22 teachers and 145 students, and spent $28,639 on each one of them.

What does that look like?

Class sizes in Rondout are small, and every student has an individualized learning plan. Nearly all teachers have a decade of experience and earn, on average, more than $90,000. Kids have at least one daily break for "mindful movement," and lunch is cooked on-site, including a daily vegetarian option.

Embedded inside the NPR project is the following line, which I feel like could use a bit more explanation: "In Ohio, which is our best guess for the state you’re currently in, the average district spends $12,018 per student, similar to the nationwide average. You can explore further or search for a district by name below." (Emphasis by NPR.)

Is Kai Rydssdal looking in your window right now? Are you sure?

The Supreme Court today will consider President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Obama’s legislation would grant temporary legal status to parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. A collection of states, led by Texas, sued over the executive action, which Obama created in response to the House’s inaction on a Senate-passed immigration reform bill.

• Ohio State Sen. Bill Seitz last week unveiled a new idea — require money up-front from anyone proposing longer voting hours. Judges at times allow polls to stay open past scheduled closing time. Seitz’s bill, which he says has nine co-sponsors, would also allow an immediate appeal of a judge granting longer hours.

• A local woman is going to appear on a new reality show. I don't know what it is, but you should watch it!

• A new study says being a reporter is the worst job… three years in a row.

• An octopus dipped out of an aquarium in New Zealand, got into a drain pipe and squirmed out into the ocean toward freedom.

• The Reds return home tonight to host the Colorado Rockies after losing five of six on their road trip to Chicago and St. Louis. But don’t worry — Dan Straily is joining the rotation. Seriously, I think he’s a good baseball player.

CityBeat reporters Nick Swartsell and Natalie Krebs will be around town today, Nick at the Historic Conservation Board meeting and Natalie at a City Hall presentation for the Violence Prevention Working Group. Follow them on Twitter: @nswartsell / @natalie_krebs.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 04.15.2016 45 days ago
Posted In: News at 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
img_2921

Developer Asks Historic Conservation Board to Delay Dennison Demolition Vote

Request comes as controversy swirls around proposed demolition

Attorneys for Columbia REI, LLC have asked the city's Historic Conservation Board to delay a vote on their request to demolish the Dennison building at 716 Main St. downtown.

The demolition request is on the board's upcoming Monday meeting agenda, but the developers have asked the board to table it and reschedule the vote.

That request comes after the city's Urban Conservator Beth Johnson issued a report yesterday that rejected the developer's claim thatit  cannot reuse the building and that restoring or preserving the building with result in a negative financial return.

Historic preservation advocates and affordable housing activists both have rallied around the building, which was designed by noted Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford's firm and, until five years ago, contained 114 units of single-room occupancy affordable housing. The Cincinnati Preservation Collective, the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, City Councilman Chris Seelbach and others held a press conference today outside the building decrying attempts to tear it down and calling for more affordable housing in the central business district.

The Dennison was the last of more than 20 downtown buildings containing such housing. The building was slated for redevelopment by Model Group for 63 units of permanent supportive housing to be operated by The Talbert House in 2013. However, that project fell through and the building was purchased by Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation affiliate CBD Holdings for $1.3 million that year. 3CDC then sold the building to Columbia, owned by the influential Joseph Automotive Group family, for $740,000 a month later. In filings to the Historic Conservation Board, attorneys for the Joseph family have indicated they purchased the property at least in part out of concern that supportive housing would devalue other properties it holds in the area.

It is unclear when the vote on the building will be rescheduled. Preservation activist Derek Bauman called the request by Columbia "shenanigans" and wondered if the vote would be rescheduled for a less-convenient time.

Columbia says the building is decrepit and unsafe, and says it would like to use the land it occupies as part of a large-scale development that would provide office space for an as-yet-undetermined Fortune 500 company.

 
 
by Katherine Newman 04.15.2016 45 days ago
Posted In: COMMUNITY at 12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stepping-stones-summer-day-camp-kids-901x1024

Nonprofit Spotlight: Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones was founded in 1963 as a nonprofit organization to increase independence, improve lives and promote inclusion for children and adults with disabilities. There are four campuses in the Greater Cincinnati area serving close to 1,000 children and adults every year.

The organization offers programs for people of all ages with many different abilities. The Summer Day Camp, Saturday Clubs, Overnight Staycations and Respites and the Sensory Needs Respite and Support Program are all ways for Stepping Stones to provide support, opportunity and education and to increase independence for participants and their families.

Volunteer:

Our participants love to meet new people and the attention they receive from a volunteer makes them feel important and valued,” says Moira Grainger, marketing, board and community liaison at Stepping Stones.Volunteers enhance our activities and programs by providing an added layer of respect, care, concern and enthusiasm for the daily goals our participants strive for.”

All year there are opportunities for volunteers to work on special maintenance projects, like landscaping and painting. Stepping Stones can use volunteers on the weekends for the Saturday Kids Club and during Weekend Respites. There are also frequent fundraising events where a helping hand is always welcome.

The Summer Day Camp is a program for children with a range of disabilities; it is also where the most volunteers are needed. In 2015 the camp served 455 children and utilized more than 800 volunteers. Summer camp runs Monday-Friday, June 6-Aug. 5. It is not required to be at camp every day of the week, but volunteers must commit to being there from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on the days they choose. This opportunity is open to people as young as 13. We are fortunate to have compassionate and caring individuals who simply love the involvement with our participants, regardless of age,” Grainger says.

Saturday Clubs are a time to celebrate the abilities of children and young adults that participate in the program. This weekend activity encourages friendships and social interaction and is a good opportunity for volunteering. Weekends Respites are for children with severe sensory needs. Since 2013, Stepping Stones along with its volunteers has been providing one-on-one attention for participants helping them learn social skills to take home with them.

Volunteers that have experience working with people with disabilities or a background in special education are often placed in leadership roles, where they can share their experience with less experienced volunteers.

Community groups are encouraged to volunteer at Stepping Stones. Business groups, boy and girl scout groups and school leadership programs are just a few types of groups that have already used the organization to engage in community service. “These groups will usually tackle a project such as landscaping or building something needed, sometimes a maintenance project, or setting up for a special event such as a group dance,” Grainger says.  When corporations visit, a lot of times they will host a special event, like a picnic, for the participants at Stepping Stones.

To become a volunteer, start by filling out the online application. After a receiving a clean background check there is a training program. “The goal of the training is to ensure that all events ranging from needing a band aid to responding to a weather alert can be addressed in a safe and orderly manner,” Grainger says. During training new volunteers learn how to work with people who have disabilities, the appropriate terminology to use when communicate about disabilities and safety procedures.

Stepping Stones hopes that all volunteers are willing to make a long-term commitment. “It makes the experience more rewarding for the participants and the volunteers,” Grainger says.

Donate:

Stepping Stones relies on financial donations to support their programs and activities. The materials they use change depending on the needs of the programs and participants. If you can’t donate time to Stepping Stones, the gift of money can provide financial aid for participants that can’t afford the programs.

Register a Kroger Plus Card to earn cash rewards for Stepping Stones by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program, which gives a portion of every purchase to the chosen organization. Amazon Smile is a similar program that can be used to make donations.


For more information on STEPPING STONES and access to the online volunteer application, visit steppingstonesohio.org.

 
 
by Rick Pender 04.15.2016 45 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 4-15 - brent vimtrup as brutus in julius caesar @ cincy shakes - mikki schaffner photography

Stage Door

Emperors, assassins, a whole lotta Shakespeare and a feisty mongoose

We’re closing in on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, and today is the Ides of April (that means the 15th of the month), so let’s start with several notes about the Bard.

Cincinnati Shakespeare’s production of Julius Caesar continues this weekend (it’s onstage through May 7). You might recall that the emperor’s assassination happened on the Ides of March. We’re a month late, but it’s worth noting since that historic event was the impetus for one of Shakespeare’s great plays of Roman history. Caesar is the focal point, but the play’s most interesting characters are Brutus, the morally conflicted conspirator, and the ambitious Marc Antony, who has his own designs on the throne. It’s also worth noting this production, since it will be followed in May by Shakespeare’s other Roman story, Antony and Cleopatra. Many of the actors playing key roles in Julius Caesar will return in the second production. It’s a rare pairing of these two works, made possible by Cincy Shakes depth of talent in its resident acting company. I wrote about this project in a recent Curtain Call column. Tickets: 513-381-2273.

If a history play isn’t enough, then you might want to head to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood where Cincy Shakes is continuing its education initiative, Project 38 Festival, working with more than 1,600 students at 45+ different area schools to bring each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays to life in creative ways. The celebration is already underway (performances continue through Monday) in Washington Park and the Woodward Theatre (1404 Main St.) — 43 free performances in all. Eighteen performances feature exclusively Shakespearean text, while others interpret the plays with music, dance, filmmaking and visual arts. One is even told with computer animation. For the festival’s full schedule, go here.

Know Theatre opens Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson this weekend. The Cincinnati Playhouse recently presented Gunderson’s intriguing show, The Revolutionists, a fantasy set during the French Revolution. The show at Know is rooted in real events, too, focusing on a group of brilliant women hired by the Harvard Observatory to catalog the stars. Directed by Tamara Winters, the production features a cast of excellent local professionals — Maggie Lou Rader, Justin McCombs and Miranda McGee (from Cincy Shakes) and Annie Fitzpatrick and Miranda McGee (regularly seen at Ensemble Theatre). It’s a fascinating story as well as a chance to experience another work by an award-winning young playwright. Tickets: 513-300-5669.

New Edgecliff Theatre opened the final production of its 2015-2016 season this week, Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things. It’s an emotional drama about relationships and love and what you can believe. Performances are at The Hoffner Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside). Read my recent column for more about NET’s search for a home. For NET tickets here.

A production with young audiences in mind kicks off this weekend with the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s “Off the Hill” staging of The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book by playwright Y York. It’s about a fierce mongoose and his enemy the cobra Nag. The show, directed by the Playhouse’s new director of education, Daunielle Rasmussen, debuts at the theater on Saturday (10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.); tickets are $5 at the box office. The show then tours throughout Greater Cincinnati, starting Sunday at 2 p.m. at Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason. Full schedule here.


Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.15.2016 45 days ago
at 09:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_flower-show_madtree-flower-show-beer_photo-provided

Your Weekend To Do List

Beer festivals, flower shows, cat shows?

FRIDAY
EVENT: CINCINNATI FLOWER SHOW
The five-day Cincinnati Flower Show features the theme “An International Adventure,” which will manifest through a variety of fine foods and creative floral displays. Along with both amateur and professionally designed exhibits featuring rare and lovely plants and flowers in tablescapes, creative container gardens, window boxes and landscapes, the show will also feature local and regional artisan food vendors. Snack your way through floral displays dedicated to our foreign sister cities, or RSVP for a special event, like a Southern afternoon tea, lunch and learn or wine tasting. MadTree is also releasing a special collaboration beer for the event, Hortense, brewed with the Cincinnati Horticultural Society and featuring nasturtium flower and cucumber (available at the flower show or MadTree taproom). Through Sunday. $15; $5 child; special events ticketed. Yeatman’s Cove at Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincinnatihorticulturalsociety.com.

 

EVENT: STARKBIER FEST
Listermann Brewing Company celebrates strong beer at its annual Starkbier Fest. The idea goes back to the 18th century, when German monks believed the nutritional value of strong beer helped them through their Lenten fast. In continuation of this tradition, Listermann’s fest features a slew of local craft beers with an ABV of 7.5 percent or higher from breweries including Blank Slate, Fifty West, Rock Bottom, Rhinegiest, Taft’s Ale House, Braxton Brewing Company and more. Since fasting isn’t required of this party, there will be food vendors, live music and some lighter beers on draft. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. 1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, listermannbrewing.com.

'The Last Five Years'
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
ONSTAGE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS
It’s not unusual for a movie, play or musical to follow the arc of a relationship. But Jason Robert Brown’s musical exploration of Jamie’s and Cathy’s coming together and breaking up charts a pair of parallel but opposite paths. We follow Jamie’s story from the beginning of their romance to the end, while Cathy starts at the conclusion and winds her way back to the beginning. They overlap for a moment — a song together on their wedding day. It’s a fascinating way to track the course of love… and loss. Brown’s gorgeous score makes it all the more poignant. Through April 24. $25-$28. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott St., Covington, Ky., thecarnegie.com.

Inter Arma
Photo: Relapse Records
MUSIC: INTER ARMA
Nuance isn’t a commodity that carries much value in Metal, but Inter Arma wields subtlety with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel rather than the body-count arc of a broadsword. The Richmond quintet is a perfect storm of Doom, Stoner, Sludge, Grindcore and Black Metal, with mercurial flashes of Punk, Psychedelia, Southern Hard Rock and symphonic Prog, all punctuated with the dirtiest hellhound vocals imaginable. Even for those who enjoy Metal but have never really embraced the raw fury of the Black end of the spectrum, Inter Arma is thrilling, visceral and unflinchingly compelling. Read more about the group in this week's Sound Advice. Inter Arma plays MOTR Pub with Grey Host on Friday. More info/tickets: motrpub.com.

George Winston
Photo: Joe del Tufo
MUSIC: GEORGE WINSTON
Consistent success and longevity are both rarities in the music industry, but the almost unhittable trifecta would be adding “genre architect” to that already improbable set of career accomplishments. Pianist George Winston has notches for that very trio on his Steinway. Winston developed an interest in instrumental music as a child, without regard for genre. At 16, he was enthralled by Vince Guaraldi’s Jazz score for A Charlie Brown Christmas and immediately purchased the soundtrack, but it was The Doors that inspired Winston to play the organ two years later. At 22, exposure to stride players Teddy Wilson and Fats Waller moved him to acoustic piano. In 1972, little more than a year after he began playing piano, Winston recorded his debut, Piano Solos, for the John Fahey co-founded Takoma Records; the album barely made a ripple. Read more about Winston in this week's Sound Advice. George Winston plays Live! at the Ludlow Garage Friday. More info/tickets:liveattheludlowgarage.com.

SATURDAY
EVENT: RECORD STORE DAY
The annual, worldwide Record Store Day returns Saturday (see this week’s Cover Story on page 15 for some local vinyl collectors especially excited about this). The celebration of independent record sellers means innumerable limited-edition releases will be made available from music manufacturers big and small, and several shops in Greater Cincinnati will once again be hosting special events for RSD. Visit recordstoreday.com for a list of RSD exclusives, as well as which stores in the area are participating. Here are a few local RSD notes:
• Shake It Records (4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, shakeitrecords.com) will have some special local-music-related items available for RSD. The store (which opens at 9 a.m. Saturday) is issuing an unreleased album by Cincinnati Punk pioneers The Reduced through its label.The Jockey Club favorites recorded Drastically Reduced in 1986, but the album never came out. The Reduced will perform a set at Shake It Saturday at 7 p.m. with a special lineup that includes Bryan Dilsizian of The Long Gones on vocals (original Reduced vocalist Bill Leist passed away early last year). There will be other performances throughout the day Saturday, including sets by Folk/Americana act Honey & Houston and Reggae/Caribbean crew Queen City Silver Stars. Rhinegeist has again made a special beer in honor of Shake It for Record Store Day. Last year, the brewery created a brew called A Side; this year, the drink will be called B Side, and it will be available to sample at the store (several Northside bars will also be serving the beer). Shake It is also again doing its food drive for Churches Active in Northside (CAIN) this year; a canned good donation will get you 10 percent off your entire RSD purchase. 
• Everybody’s Records (6106 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, everybodysrecords.com) has a full slate of local musicians performing throughout the day for Record Store Day. The store opens at 11 a.m. Saturday, and live music begins at noon with a performance by reigning R&B/Soul Cincinnati Entertainment Award winners Krystal Peterson & The Queen City Band.  
 Legendary downtown bar/restaurant Arnold’s isn’t a record store, but it is getting in on the Record Store Day action again this year.  The bar and grill has curated and produced the Arnold’s Bootleggers and Hustlers Vol. 2 local music compilation with Neltner Small Batch Records. Last year’s compilation sold out within a few hours and was reportedly the top-selling RSD release at Everybody’s Records. The compilation is limited to 500 vinyl copies; 400 feature gold and blue covers (with artwork by Keith Neltner and pressing by Otto’s) and are on transparent gold vinyl, while 100 copies will have red and blue covers and feature clear vinyl. 

Still from "Good White People"
Photo: Jarrod Welling-Cann and Erick Stoll
EVENT: PUSHED OUT! SCREENING AND DISCUSSION
Despite the determination of national media to proffer Cincinnati as an example of a city that has rectified all of its problems related to issues of race, the experience of those affected by our city’s efforts to “revitalize” ground zero neighborhoods like Over-the-Rhine tell a much different story. In an effort to balance that narrative, Cincinnati-based filmmakers Jarrod Welling-Cann and Erick Stoll will screen their short film Good White People, about Reginald Stroud, Sr. and his family who lost their home and businesses in OTR when an urban developer bought the building they rented. Afterward, Stroud and a panel of community members will discuss the film and invite audiences to share their own experiences related to race and displacement. 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. St. Francis School, 14 E. Liberty St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/goodwhitepeople

Cy Amundson
Photo: Provided
COMEDY: CY AMUNDSON
“Sorry about my ring-back tone,” says comedian Cy Amundson in reference to the Country music that callers hear before his cellphone connects. “It’s on there strictly to upset certain comedian friends of mine who are music snobs.” Indeed, if it hadn’t been for the fact that he can’t sing, like his more musically talented brothers, he might have pursued a career in Nashville. Using a ringtone to annoy his friends is perfectly in line with his penchant for pulling pranks. In one of his most popular bits, he tells audiences about how he’ll try on a shirt and then ask a store employee, “If you were in junior high would you trust an adult in this shirt?” Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Marketplace Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. 

Photo: Janiss Garza
EVENT: CINCINNATI CAT CLUB SHOW
The cat’s out of the bag: The 64th Cat Fanciers’ Association Championship show is coming to town, and guests should expect to meet some pretty fancy felines. Hosted by the Cincinnati Cat Club, the show features pedigreed cats on exhibition over a two-day period, with kitties competing to come out on top in 10 separate rings. Each ring has a different judge, who will determine a winner based on the written standard for a cat’s specific breed. The 10 winners from each ring move on to the finals, during which one coveted kitty is deemed Best Cat in Show. In the meantime, guests can mingle with local rescue organizations, meet other cat people and browse booths from local pet shops. You can even enter your own fame-fancying feline in a household cat competition. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $6 adults; $3 children; $5 seniors; $12 families. Butler County Agricultural Society, 1715 Fairgrove Ave., Hamilton, 513-892-1423, cincinnaticatclub.net.

Photo: provided
EVENT: EARTH DAY AT SAWYER POINT
Drum Circles, live music, recycling games, costume contests, furry and scaly critters, parades with Earth-friendly mascots and lectures — there are countless ways to celebrate our planet on Saturday at Sawyer Point’s Earth Day celebration. Learn about the declining bee population from the Civic Garden Center, find out more about the Cincinnati Streetcar from Metro’s Paul Grether or become an expert on regional trails with Green Umbrella. Exhibits, vendors and a kids’ zone will be open for the duration of the festivities. View a full schedule of activities online. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincinnatiearthday.com

EVENT: QUEEN CITY COMICON
Dust off your cape, sheath your weapon of choice and follow the Bat-Signal to the convention center this weekend. This super-sized hub of all-things comics features writers and artists, workshops and panels, a costume contest and more than 40 vendors, who will offer a wide selection of comic books, cosplay jewelry, toys and steampunk gear. Dozens of comic creators — many of whom have worked with the likes of Marvel and DC — will meet and discuss their work with guests; featured artists include Frank Brunner, artist of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Man-Thing, and David Michael Beck, a Cincinnati resident who has worked with Marvel, DC, Dark Horse Comics and many others. Come dressed as your favorite comic, manga or anime character to participate in a judged costume contest at 4 p.m. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. $5 (cash only); free with 2015 Cincinnati Comic Expo VIP badge. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, 513-419-7300, queencitycomicon.com.

'Glengarry Glen Ross'
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
ONSTAGE: GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
A-B-C: “Always Be Closing.” That’s the mantra of four desperate Chicago real estate agents, locked in close to mortal combat to become top dog. In David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize winner from 1984, these guys are selling worthless real estate to unwitting buyers and will stop at nothing — lies, bribery, betrayal, flattery, even intimidation and burglary — to make what they think of as an honest living. Cincinnati Landmark Productions takes another stab at establishing its Incline Theater in East Price Hill as a place to see serious drama. Can they sell it? Time will tell. Through April 24. $23-$26. Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre, 801 Matson Place, East Price Hill, 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.

SUNDAY
'Quintessence Starless'
Photo: Courtesy of Shinji Turner-Yamamoto
ART: SIDEREAL SILENCE AT THE WESTON ART GALLERY
Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, the Japanese-born, U.S.-based artist living in Cincinnati since 2008, has received international attention for work exploring nature in new ways and in unexpected spaces. His latest show — Sidereal Silence — debuts at downtown’s Weston Art Gallery on Friday. Occupying the entire gallery, the exhibition includes a surround sound installation of waterfalls, a large-scale clear-acrylic structure that disperses water vapor, a two-channel video of waterfall loops, paintings made outdoors on raw cotton canvas with natural, organic materials and a series of smaller sculptural works focusing on crystal formations that emulate stars.On view through June 5. Free. Weston Art Gallery, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org

Burlington Antique Show
Photo: Provided
EVENT: BURLINGTON ANTIQUE SHOW
Forget spring cleaning: Ditch the dust at home and head to the first Burlington Antique Show of the season to buy some new old stuff instead. Midwest’s premier antique market is celebrating 35 years of bringing the best antiques and vintage collectibles to the Boone County Fairgrounds. More than 200 dealers converge the third Sunday of the month (through October) to exhibit and sell their authentic wares — midcentury modern, art deco, pre-war, industrial and more. 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. $3 admission from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; $5 early-bird 6-8 a.m. 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky., burlingtonantiqueshow.com.

Tommy Castro
Photo: Victoria Smith
MUSIC: TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAINKILLERS
Any discussion of the world’s best guitarists would include legends that Tommy Castro lists among his influences — Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mike Bloomfield. But the fact is, Castro himself should be a part of that conversation. With a commanding vocal style that leans toward Delbert McClinton’s gravel-and-soul approach and a furious guitar attack that blends every iteration of the Blues with blustery Classic Rock, buttery R&B and thumping Funk, Castro has been channeling his heroes into his singular musical vision over the past four decades. Castro made his bones playing in a succession of San Francisco cover bands in the ’70s, which set the stage for his successful stint with The Dynatones in the ’80s. Read more about Castro in this week's Sound Advice.  Tommy Castro & The Painkillers play 20th Century Theater Sunday. More info/tickets:the20thcenturytheatre.com.

“Branded Head” by Hank Willis Thomas
Photo: PHOTO: Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection. © Hank Willis ThomaS
ART: 30 AMERICANS AT THE CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM
If you’ve been to the Cincinnati Art Museum lately, you’ve seen an early arrival for the show 30 Americans, which opens Saturday. It is the mural-sized “Sleep,” by Kehinde Wiley, the New York-based portrait painter whose depictions of young African-American men in poses reminiscent of Old Masters paintings have made him an art star. It is in the Schmidlapp Gallery, the corridor between the main entrance and the Great Hall, and is impossible to miss. 30 Americans, which primarily features some 60 artworks on loan from Miami’s Rubell Family Collection, also has such important contemporary African-American artists as Kara Walker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Glenn Ligon and more. On view through Aug. 28. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

MONDAY
Parkers Blue Ash Tavern
Photo: Provided 
EATS: GREATER CINCINNATI RESTAURANT WEEK
Be a culinary tourist in your own city with CityBeat’s inaugural Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week. Do you like eating? Do you want to try some multi-course meals for cheap? Restaurants throughout the Tristate will be offering $35 three-course meals to delight the palate and impress your date. Participating eateries include Harvest Bistro & Wine Bar, Pompilios, Kaze, The Palace, Parkers Blue Ash Tavern and more. Check out menus and more info online. Through April 24. $35 plus tax and gratuities. Find participating restaurants at greatercincinnatirestaurantweek.com.
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 04.15.2016 45 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
rob portman

Morning News and Stuff

UCPD chief pushed traffic stops, misled investigators; Uptown could get major development project; Ark Park employees must sign religious statement

Good morning all. Here’s the news today.

• A report released yesterday by the University of Cincinnati says that former UCPD chief Jason Goodrich pushed for aggressive traffic stops as a tactic for boxing out criminals from the neighborhoods around UC, then lied about that to investigators after the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Sam Dubose by UCPD officer Ray Tensing. Those enforcement techniques created what Goodrich reportedly called a “no fly zone,” which Dubose was in when he was pulled over for not having a front license plate in Mount Auburn. Goodrich and Major Timothy Thornton left UCPD in February. Tensing is scheduled to stand trial in Hamilton County Courts on murder and manslaughter charges in October.

• Cincinnati’s Urban Conservator Beth Johnson issued a report yesterday saying that developers seeking to tear down 716 Main Street, an 1892 structure built by the architecture firm of noted Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford, have not presented enough evidence to make their case. Owners Columbia REI, LLC — owned by powerful Cincinnati family the Josephs — have caused controversy with their request for permission to level the building, which sits in a historic district downtown. Johnson’s report notes that the owners seemed to have purchased the building with the intent to tear it down, and that there are other economically feasible uses for the structure that the owners didn’t consider. In documents Columbia filed with the Urban Conservation Board, which will decide the fate of the building Monday, the owners said they bought the building because they were concerned that planned permanent supportive housing there would decrease the value of other properties the group owns in the neighborhood. Columbia holds several parcels of land on the block, many of which also once held historic buildings. Columbia leveled some of those structures in the late 1980s, promising new buildings in their places, though today most of the parcels are parking lots. Columbia says it’s interested in using those plots, plus the Dennison’s, to build a headquarters for an as-yet-undetermined Fortune 500 company.

• Speaking of big developments, Clifton Heights may soon get a huge one. Developers M-G Securities, Nassau Investments and Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. are proposing a $75 million project at Vine and McMillan Streets on a now-vacant plot of land just west of Vine and south of Calhoun Street. That development could include a 195-room extended-stay hotel, 130 apartments, 350-400 space underground parking garage and an outdoor community area. The developers are calling it a potential gateway to Uptown neighborhoods.

• Are you a believer? You’d better be if you want to work for Northern Kentucky’s upcoming Noah’s Ark-themed park Ark Encounter. Workers seeking to fill the 300-400 food service and other jobs at the park will have to sign a form professing their Christian faith, founder Ken Ham says. That’s controversial because the park has wrangled with the state of Kentucky over a tourism sales tax rebate worth up to $18 million. It looks as though the park may get to have its cake and eat it too, receiving that tax break while also stipulating religious beliefs for its employees.

• U.S. Sen. Rob Portman had a nice visit yesterday with President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but says he’s still not going to push for a confirmation hearing for him or vote for him if there was one. Portman said he was impressed with Garland, but that Obama should not be allowed to nominate a Supreme Court justice in “a very partisan year, and an election year.” That’s an echo of talking points from other Senate Republicans, including Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said he will not hold a vote on Garland. Democrats have hit the GOP hard on what they say is a highly unusual, obstructive maneuver. The court has been down a justice since conservative firebrand Antonin Scalia passed away earlier this year.

• So, yeah, Democrat presidential primary contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated last night, and as predicted in this spot yesterday, the gloves came off. There was shouting. There was tension. Memories of the cordiality of the first debate were nowhere in mind. As expected, Clinton lit into Sanders on gun control, his weakest topic among liberals. Sanders blasted Clinton on her relationship to Wall Street. You get the picture. This was the last scheduled debate for the two, giving both time to take a breather and work on some new material before the primary fight ends this summer. You can read more about the debate here.

I’m out. Laterrrr.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 04.14.2016 46 days ago
Posted In: News at 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ghostsigns_dennisonhotel_jf2

City Report: Don't Demolish the Dennison

Urban conservator's report finds insufficient evidence for destroying historical hotel building

In the latest development on the ongoing drama surrounding the fate of the Dennison Hotel, which will be decided during a meeting on Monday afternoon, the city's urban conservator today sided with preservationists in recommending the Historic Conservation Board not allow the historical structure to be torn down

The city staff report, written by Urban Conservator Beth Johnson, refutes Dennison owners the Joseph family of the Joseph Auto Group's claim that they cannot reuse the building and that restoring or preserving the building with result in a negative financial return.

Some of the evidence the report cites is a lack of attempt by the owner to sell or lease the building to another buyer who might be able to restore or use the property; documents from the Joseph family that indicate it bought the property with the intention of demolishing it for redevelopment; and a structural engineering report that found the building could still be used for residential purposes after minor structural updates. 

The family purchased the building located at 716-718 Main Street in 2013 in part to block plans to turn the building into affordable housing, according to documents the family's legal team submitted to the Historic Conservation Board. 

The Historical Conservation Board is set to review the group's application for a certificate of appropriateness on April 18 at 4 p.m. The Joseph family says it would like to build an office complex for a Fortune 500 company where the building currently sits and on surrounding property it owns, though there is no agreement in place for any company to move there at this point. 
 
 

 

 

Latest Blogs
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.31.2016 30 minutes ago
Posted In: News at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
portman

Morning News and Stuff

Gorilla's death brings trolls out; medical marijuana initiative closes shop; Portman releases TV ads in Senate race

Hey all. Hope your Memorial Day weekend was grand. Mine involved bicycles, friends from near and far, brunch, puppies, beers and big sales on outdoor gear. So, yeah, basically everything that’s good in life.

Sometimes, the news is about everything that’s not so good in life. You’ve almost certainly already heard about the tragic death of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo who was shot and killed after a 4-year-old child ell into his pen. Harambe's death has made national and even international news. Zookeepers say it was necessary to shoot the gorilla because he had started dragging the child and because tranquilizers and other ways to neutralize him wouldn’t work fast enough. The incident has caused waves of controversy here in Cincinnati and around the country, because, apparently, that’s how we are now. Internet commenters have launched hateful, sometimes racially tinged attacks on the parents. They’ve blasted the zoo. They’ve even tracked down other people in Ohio with the mother’s name and harassed them. Harambe’s death is definitely a tragedy, but the really awful thing about this is how terrible people are.

• This weekend’s Taste of Cincinnati mostly went off without a hitch, but there were some troubling moments, including one in which a 15-year-old was arrested for firing a gun. No one was hurt in that incident, but it’s the kind of thing Councilwoman Yvette Simpson says shows that more work needs to be done engaging teens at the event, which is mostly adult focused. Last year, 19 teenagers were arrested at Taste, mostly for curfew infractions. This year, Simpson took to the streets around the festival with a dozen or so volunteers to engage teens downtown. Simpson says she’s pitched more formal youth engagement measures for the festival to the city’s chamber of commerce. Those ideas weren’t taken up this year, but the councilwoman and potential mayoral candidate has pledged to make them a reality next year.

• The last remaining health clinic providing abortions in the greater Cincinnati area will stay open another year, thanks to a last-minute variance to state rules granted by the Ohio Department of Health. Planned Parenthood, which runs the Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center in Mount Auburn, has been fighting with Ohio around recently instituted rules that require abortion providers to have admitting privileges with local hospitals. Those rules also prohibit publicly funded hospitals from entering into those agreements, which cost the Mount Auburn clinic its agreement with UC Hospital a few years ago. But clinics can apply for exceptions to the rule if they have physicians on staff with individual admitting privileges at local hospitals. Over the last few years, the Mount Auburn clinic has been applying for those variances, though ODH has been slow in granting them. The clinic’s position was made all the more tenuous by another new Ohio law that gives the health department just 90 days to approve a variance request before it is automatically denied. The new rules have cut the number of clinics in the state from 16 to nine.

• Ohio voters won’t be weighing in on a medical marijuana initiative that a national group had hoped to get on the November statewide ballot. The Marijuana Policy Project and its Ohio arm, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, on Saturday suspended their campaign for the ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for medical reasons, just days after the Ohio legislature passed its own, stricter medical marijuana legislation. The group needed to gather more than 300,000 signatures by early July to make the November ballot. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana originally decried the effort by state lawmakers currently awaiting Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s approval, saying it didn’t go far enough. Another group called Grassroots Ohio is shooting for a more expansive legalization effort for the 2017 ballot.

• Finally, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Wednesday will unveil his first three television ads in his bid for reelection in Ohio. Those ads highlight Portman’s role in fighting the state’s heroin crisis are another salvo in the tight battle between Portman and former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat looking to take the incumbent Republican’s seat. The race is seen as pivotal in Democrats’ efforts to take back the Senate, where they currently face a slight majority held by Republicans. Portman is seen as vulnerable in that quest, and, indeed, he and Strickland are running neck and neck here. Strickland has hit Portman on his refusal to grant a hearing to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and for his endorsement of Donald Trump as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

 
 
by Staff 05.27.2016 3 days ago
at 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_furry-friends-fest_photo-provided

Your Weekend To-Do List

Furry Friends Festival for pups and people; this month's O.F.F. Market; Taste of Cincinnati and more

FRIDAY

EVENT: FURRY FRIENDS FESTIVAL


The Furry Friends Festival is a dog-gone good time for pups and their people at Washington Park. Pet-friendly vendors will coalesce on the green, offering everything from dog food and accessories to toys and photography services. Share a plate of Eli’s BBQ with your pooch and imbibe craft beers from Taft’s, Rhinegeist, MadTree and Christian Moerlein. Live music takes place all weekend long, including bands Honey & Houston and Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle on Friday and The Tillers on Saturday. 7-10 p.m. Friday; 3-10 p.m. Saturday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

EVENT: PARK + VINE’S NINTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY Everyone’s favorite green general store Park + Vine celebrates nine years in business on Final Friday with a family-friendly party, featuring live music, food, a photo booth, vegan birthday cake and an ’80s-themed DJ. The events continue into Saturday with a sidewalk sale, featuring fresh food from local producers and info from environmental organizations. 6-10 p.m. Friday; sidewalk sale noon-3 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, parkandvine.com.

'Red Interior' - Artwork: Pang Jen

ART: PANG JEN AND BRUCE RILEY AT MILLER GALLERY

Known for his soft, bright oil paintings which have the look of pastels, Chinese-born American immigrant and artist Pang Jen’s romantic compositions will be on view at Miller Gallery in Hyde Park beginning Wednesday. Pang’s work often consists of still-lifes and landscapes, which include women and children as well as traditional Chinese boats, and Miller Gallery curators have juxtaposed Pang’s solo show with an exhibition of the equally colorful yet far more conceptual work of Chicago-based abstract artist Bruce Riley. Through June 25. Free. 2715 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, millergallery.com.
 
Taste of Cincinnati - Photo: Provided

SATURDAY

EVENT: TASTE OF CINCINNATI

The nation’s longest-running culinary arts festival returns to the streets of downtown, featuring booths from more than 50 restaurants, six stages of live music and an estimated 500,000 attendees. This 38th-annual Memorial Day Weekend tradition of fun and food provides Cincinnatians with the opportunity to sample the many flavors of the Queen City, ranging from Via Vite’s ricotta and veal meatballs to streetpops’ Thai-lime basil pops, with plenty of Cincinnati chili and hometown pizza sprinkled in between. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday. Free admission. Fifth Street between Vine and Sentinel streets, Downtown, tasteofcincinnati.com

EVENT: COCKTAILS & COMEDY FESTIVAL

Share some laughs and some drinks at Jungle Jim’s inaugural Cocktails & Comedy Festival. Each ticket includes eight craft cocktail samples, food and big laughs from area performers, including Holly Lynnea, Tom Schmidlin, Lee Kimbrell and Hayward J. Thompson. Kick the night off with a bloody mary bar — like dinner in a glass! — followed by more bold mixed drinks from the team at Jungle Jim’s. VIP access includes extra cocktails and a chance to meet and greet some famous NFL alumni. 5-10 p.m. Saturday. $40 pre-sale; $45 day-of; $80 VIP pre-sale; $85 VIP day-of. The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

O.F.F. Market - Photo: Provided

EVENT: O.F.F. MARKET

It can be difficult for local artisans, peddlers and food vendors to get their products into the marketplace. Dynamic husband and wife duo Leah Durig and Mikey Griffin, designers and small business owners themselves, created the Oakley Fancy Flea Market four years ago to give entrepreneurs a jumping-off point. Now, the open-air marketplace is better known as the O.F.F. Market, located in the heart of Oakley, and is bigger than ever. Specialty food and beverage vendors, independent small businesses, artists, farmers and more will return to this stomping ground monthly to provide local community shopping. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. 2890 Madison Road, Oakley, theoffmarket.org.
Prince - Photo: YouTube

MUSIC: PURPLE REIGNS: A CELEBRATION OF THE MUSIC OF PRINCE 

The shock of Prince’s sudden death last month hasn’t waned, and tributes to the iconic musician continue to flow (most recently, Madonna and Stevie Wonder paid tribute to him at the Billboard Music Awards). This weekend, a local tribute featuring a diverse array of artists will honor Prince’s huge contribution to the music world. The event is hosted by Cincinnati-born Funk legend Bootsy Collins and his wife Pepperminte Patti, with proceeds going to the Bootsy Collins Foundation, an umbrella group for Collins’ many charitable undertakings (from supporting music education to promoting oral health care). The lineup includes artists who’ve worked with Prince (drummer John Blackwell and bassist MonoNeon), local singer/songwriters like Jess Lamb and Kelly Richey and Bootsy’s group, The Rubber Band, among others. 7 p.m. Saturday. $20. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.

Photo: FC Cincinnati

SPORTS: FC CINCINNATI

After a handful of packed games, it appears that Cincinnati is ready to bleed orange and blue for our hometown futbol team, FC Cincinnati — 23,000-plus fans broke the United Soccer League attendance record at the club’s May 14 home game. Come cheer the boys on at the University of Cincinnati’s revamped Nippert Stadium as they take on the Harrisburg City Islanders. 7 p.m. Saturday. $20-$25; discounts for kids and students. Nippert Stadium, 2700 Bearcat Way, Clifton Heights, fccincinnati.com

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.26.2016 4 days ago
Posted In: News at 04:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news_dennison2_ns

Dennison Vote Delayed

Representatives for Joseph family make their argument for tearing down the historic building, but no decision reached yet

After a nearly four-hour meeting, Cincinnati's Historic Conservation Board adjourned this afternoon without voting on Columbia REI, LLC's application to tear down the historic Dennison building downtown at 716-718 Main St.

That application has caused controversy. Columbia, owned by the powerful Joseph family, says it would be too expensive to save the building and would like to build a headquarters for an as-yet unidentified Fortune 500 company on the site. But preservationists say the building, which was designed by the firm of noted architect Samuel Hannaford, is a vital part of downtown's urban fabric.

Representatives for Columbia and the Joseph family presented their case to five members of the seven-member board. The group called a number of experts they've hired while they've owned the building to give evidence they say shows the building can't be redeveloped in an economically feasible way due to its poor condition and structural attributes.

Most of the presentation restated the key points of this assertion in greater detail, but there was at least one new revelation: how the Cincinnati City Center Development Company, which purchased the building for $1.2 million and then sold it to Columbia for $740,000, recouped money on the deal. Representatives for the Joseph family say the group paid 3CDC further development costs after the initial sale, making up the missing money.

The meeting had its fair share of contention: Columbia's attorney Fran Barrett moved to have Cincinnati Urban Conservator Beth Johnson's testimony stricken from the proceedings. Barrett said that Johnson has shown "extreme prejudice and bias" and that the Josephs "have a stacked deck against us going in" to their demolition application.

Johnson last month wrote a report taking staunch issue with the Josephs' assertion that anything other than demolishing the building would present the company with an economic hardship, pointing out the building's sound structural condition and the fact that studies on the economic feasibility of redevelopment of the building didn't take into account historic state tax credits and other incentives.

Lance Brown, the executive vice president of Beck Consulting, which drew up the economic feasibility report, told the board that no normal type of use — apartments, condos, office space — was feasible for the Dennison. However, when pushed by the board, Brown admitted he wasn't specifically familiar with incentives like state Historic Preservation tax credits, LEED tax credits, or city grants and tax credits that could have made the project more feasible.

Multiple board members also took issue with Brown's use of the term "flophouse" to describe the Dennison's former life as a single room occupancy hotel. Brown cracked that he got his understanding of that term from "extensive research on Wikipedia and Google."

Board member Judith Spraul-Schmidt chided Brown for using the term, saying that such housing was designed to be "decent and safe."

The board will work with attorneys representing the Josephs and opponents of the demolition application to set the next hearing, at which those seeking to save the Dennison will make their case.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.26.2016 4 days ago
Posted In: News at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
cover_otr

Effort to Preserve 300 Units of OTR Affordable Housing Unveiled

Cranley budget proposal calls for $2 million in OTR to foster mixed-income developments

Over-the-Rhine will get 300 improved units of affordable housing, many as part of mixed-income developments, if $2 million in funding in Mayor John Cranley’s budget proposal is approved. Another $2 million would be dedicated to affordable housing elsewhere in the city if the plan goes forward.

The plan would rehabilitate affordable housing at eight sites, many under contracts with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Currently, those sites house 302 units of housing, many of which city officials say are in substandard and neglected condition. The city money would go toward a $135 million effort by developers like Model Group and 3CDC to turn those sites into 304 units of high-quality affordable housing along with 212 market rate units at four of the sites.

Cranley, Vice Mayor David Mann, representatives from Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and developers Model Group and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation unveiled the proposal today at a news conference outside 1525 Race St., which would see 25 units of affordable housing developed by Model along with 85 market rate units.

“We’re very excited to be here today to celebrate affordable housing and a diverse community in Over-the-Rhine,” said Over-the-Rhine Community Executive Director Mary Burke Rivers. “People who are working in our city, or retired, or veterans, can’t afford what the market provides for housing. It’s gotten very complicated, but at its core it’s a simple math problem. This money addresses that math problem.”

The developments are designed to help the slide in affordable housing the neighborhood has seen in the past decade, Cranley says. Since 2000, 73 percent of OTR’s lowest-cost housing units have left the neighborhood, according to a study by Xavier’s Community Building Institute. That's caused some displacement of residents.

“We’ve seen here in Over-the-Rhine an extraordinary renaissance that was unthinkable five or 10 years ago,” Cranley said at the news conference. “But I think we all believe it should not come at the expense of the people who have lived here a long time. There have always been HUD contracts that have been extended for 15 or 30 years to preserve affordable housing. But it’s not enough, and we’d like to do more. We want to adjust to changing circumstances. We want a healthy community that is mixed income. I think this is a tremendous opportunity to do that.”

Cranley says the financing is general fund money coming from the city’s sale of the Blue Ash Airport and refinancing of some streetcar expenses.

Model Group CEO Bobby Maly says affordable housing and economic development can go hand and hand.

“Investing in affordable housing can also be investing in economic development and revitalization. That means investing in high-quality affordable housing alongside, adjacent to, high-quality market rate housing. It also means investing in affordable housing next to high-investment community projects. Things like Washington Park and other public investments.”

A focus on mixed-income development is the very deliberate focus of the proposal, Mann says.

“It’s no accident that we’re here,” Mann said about the site of the news announcement, a series of empty buildings on Race Street. “Next door, new, market rate condos are being built. As I understand from (3CDC CEO) Mr. (Steve) Leeper, they’ll be $300,000 and up. Here, because of the affordable housing money that the budget will commit to Over-the-Rhine, there will be about 25 renovated units of affordable housing.”

Mann cited statistics that 50 percent of renters in Cincinnati pay more than 30 percent of their incomes for apartments, the threshold for affordability set by the federal government.

“We hope there are ways that the $2 million can be leveraged,” Mann said, to create more opportunities for affordable housing creation. The other $2 million will be dispersed to developers doing low-income housing projects in other parts of the city through an as-yet-to-be-determined process.

The plan would, in some cases, move affordable units to other buildings and create market rate or mixed-income developments in their place.

As and example: Among the sites involved in the OTR plan are the Jan and Senate Apartments, six buildings containing 101 units of subsidized housing, and the so-called Mercy portfolio, which includes 140 units in 18 buildings in OTR for people making less than 60 percent of the area median income — about $71,000 for a family of four. About 70 of those units are in bad shape, developers say, while another 70 need only minor work.

Developers say the Jan and Senate properties are in danger of losing their rental subsidies due to their poor condition and have begun managing the sites and moving tenants to other, nearby affordable units with the help of the Cincinnati Legal Aid Society ahead of rehab work. The HUD contracts held by the Jan and Senate buildings would then be transferred to a number of other affordable housing sites, 3CDC and Model Group say in an outline of their plan provided by city officials. About 45 units of housing at 60 percent of the area median income will stay at the Jan and Senate as part of a mixed-income development.

 
 
by Maija Zummo 05.26.2016 4 days ago
at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_tasteofcincinnati

What to Eat and Drink at Taste of Cincinnati

Gorge yourself all weekend — everybody's doing it!

Practice your plate-balancing and Porta-Potty hovering skills: It’s Taste of Cincinnati weekend.

As the nation’s longest-running culinary arts festival, Taste of Cincinnati ain’t always fancy, but it certainly is fun. More than 500,000 people will descend on downtown over this coming Memorial Day Weekend to eat, drink and make a mess of Fifth Street. More than 50 local restaurants will be serving up portable bites, and local breweries like Rivertown, MadTree and Christian Moerlein will be pouring some of their best summer and non-summer beers (like the tart Nice Melons, Sol Drifter blonde ale and Strawberry Pig cream ale, respectively).

Also big in brew news, Moerlein is launching its Over-The-Rhine Cider Company during Taste. It’s original and crisp hard cider varieties will be on draft at the OTR Cider Company booth; original is both sweet and acidic with a fresh orchard aroma, and crisp is reminiscent of granny smith apples, with a moderate but “pleasingly effervescent” bubbly finish.

And while we as a city have more than proven we’re great at drinking, you obviously can’t eat everything (or can you #doubledogdare). May we recommend the following eats from the more than 250 selections (vendor map here). And don’t forget Food Truck Alley, on Broadway, with...food trucks, plus live music and seating.


NEW

Skyline: It’s Skyline’s first year at Taste, which seems weird, right? They’ll be serving Greek salads, along with 3-ways, coneys and chilitos, for people who really enjoy the challenge of trying to walk and eat at the same time.
Buona Terra:
We pick cake batter gelato from this Mount Lookout creamery.

Cazadores:
Mexican-style roasted corn tips!

Crave:
Mexican sushi? With tuna, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro and soy citrus sauce.

Cuban Pete:
Recently expanding from a food truck to a Court Street cafe, Cuban Pete will be serving their classic Cuban sandwiches. 

Delicio:
 Coal-fired pizza and wing joint. The wings are a fave, but their Black & Bleu pizza has blue cheese, fire-seared steak and red onions, topped with balsamic glaze and spinach. Sounds fancy.
Forno Osteria + Bar: From the owners of Via Vite. Try the Fritto Misto (mixed fried seafood).

FAVE
Eli’s BBQ: Doing both their pulled pork and smoked turkey sandwiches, with vegetarian sides.
Habanero: This Clifton burrito spot will have their unique and cakey fried chips and salsa.
Melt Eclectic Cafe: For all you vegetarians out there, Melt’s serving a vegan sloppy joe.
Urban Vistro (food truck alley): A food trailer from West Side fave Vitor’s Bistro. Anything will be good.
Tom+Chee: Three words: grilled cheese donut.
streetpops (food truck alley): Thai basil lime pops! Perfect frozen summer treat.
Red Sesame (food truck alley): All the Korean barbecue tacos.
Empanadas Aqui (food truck alley): Fried plantains aka Tostones are a must.
Alabama Fish Bar (food truck alley): Cod plate!
Catch-a-Fire Pizza (food truck alley): Three little pigs. It’s a very meaty slice, with pepperoni, prosciutto and Italian sausage.


BEST OF TASTE WINNERS (people sampled, voted and these won)
Restaurant Best Dessert 

First Place: Chocolate Chip/Blueberry Bread Pudding — Bella Luna
Second Place: Gourmet Pops — Delicio
Third Place: Cinnamon Bread Pudding — Alfio’s Buon Cibo

Restaurant Best Appetizer 
First Place: Ricotta & Veal Meatballs — Via Vite
Second Place: Antipasto on a Stick  Bella Luna
Third Place: Buffalo Chicken Empanada — Alfio’s Buon Cibo

Restaurant Best Soup-Salad-Side
First Place: Black & Bleu Tuna Salad —Market Street Grille
Second Place: Cioppino — Via Vite
Third Place: Silver Ladle Salad — Silver Ladle

Restaurant Best go Vibrant! 
First Place: Wonton Soup — Thai Taste
Second Place: Chicken Wrap — Market Street Grille
Third Place: Vegetarian Grape Leaves — Andy’s Mediterranean Grille
*go Vibrant! menu items adhere to the American Heart Association per-serving standards of 6.5 grams or less of total fat, 1 gram or less of saturated fat, a half gram or less of trans fat, 20 milligrams or less of cholesterol, and 480 milligrams or less of sodium

Restaurant Best Entrée
First Place: Teriyaki Marinated Sirloin — The Melting Pot 
Second Place: Sacchetti (Stuffed Shells) — Bella Luna
Third Place: Five Cheese Angus Raviolo — Alfio’s Buon Cibo

Food Truck Best Dessert
First Place: Thai Lime Basil Pop — streetpops
Second Place: Sea Salted Belgian Waffle with Caramel Sauce topped with Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whipped Cream — Marty’s Waffles
Third Place: Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick — Sugar Snap! Sweet Treats

Food Truck Best Appetizer 
First Place: Borocado Martini — Urban Vistro
Second Place: Mini Quesadilla — Red Sesame
Third Place: 3 Meat Stroll — Adena’s Beefstroll

Food Truck Best go Vibrant!
First Place:
Korean BBQ Taco — Red Sesame
Second Place: Pomegranate Tangerine Pop — streetpops
Third Place: Psycho Hummus — Catch-a-Fire Pizza

Food Truck Best Entrée
First Place:
Bee Sting Sandwich — C’est Cheese
Second Place: Carnitas Taco — Urban Vistro
Third Place: 12 hour Braised Brisket Taco — Texas Joe Tex Mex


 
 
by Natalie Krebs 05.26.2016 4 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
cranley

Morning News and Stuff

Off-duty CPD officer fatally shoots robbery suspect; Cranley wants to restore human services funding; medical marijuana bill heads to Kasich's desk

Good morning, Cincy! A lot is happening around the city so let's get straight to the headlines. 

• An off-duty Cincinnati police officer fatally shot a man suspected of robbing a Madisonville bank yesterday afternoon. CPD Chief Eliot Isaac confirmed that the still-unnamed CPD officer fired two shots at 20-year-old Terry Frost in the Fifth Third bank off Madison Avenue shortly after 4 p.m. Frost reportedly claimed to have a gun during the robbery, then, after being shot, stumbled off into the woods behind the bank where he was found dead by CPD officers. Police still haven't said whether Frost had a gun or any other weapon. CPD is planning on holding a press conference this morning to reveal the name of the officer. This is the third fatal shooting by a CPD officer this year. 

• Mayor John Cranley says he is not OK with the cuts to human services funding in City Manager Harry Black's proposed budget released last week. Cranley told The Enquirer he wants to bring back 82 percent of the $413,500 Black has proposed cutting, amounting to an 8.5 percent decrease. Under Cranley's proposal, human services funding would account for 1.9 percent of the budget. Black's budget dedicates $4 million to five different agencies with the majority of funds going to nonprofit United Way. 

• Mayor Cranley appears to be a busy man at the moment. The mayor will also hold a press conference with Vice Mayor David Mann this morning at 10:30 a.m. in Over-The-Rhine to unveil the details of a $135 million initiative to upgrade and add low-income housing to the neighborhood. The effort reportedly will be led by 3CDC and Walnut Hills nonprofit The Model Group. 

• The city is taking Mahogany's owner Liz Rogers to court. Rogers received a $300,000 loan from the city in 2012 to open the soul food restaurant, which went under in September 2014. Taxpayers have forgiven Rogers for two-thirds of the loan, but she is refusing to repay the $96,928 she still owes the city. Rogers missed her $800 loan payments in March and April, and the city filed suit on May 11. Vice Mayor Mann said the city was left with "no choice." She is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 1.  

• A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Ohio in a highly restrictive form is on its way to Gov. John Kasich's desk. The legislation passed the Senate last evening with a margin of just three votes. The bill would still prohibit growing and smoking the plant, but would allow it in a vapor form and would be available for doctors to prescribe to patients with a list of approved medical conditions. The Ohio Department of Commerce would oversee the growth, distribution and testing of the plant. Some Democrats expressed disapproval at the provision that allows employers to fire employees who tested positive for the drug — even if they have a prescription. If Gov. Kasich signs the bill into law, Ohio will become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. 

• Gov. Kasich, like Mayor Cranley, also appears to have a lot on his plate now. Also on its way to the Gov.'s desk: a bill that would require taxpayers to fork over thousands of dollars to keep polls open longer. The proposal from Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Green Township, came from the controversy sparked after a federal judge in Hamilton County ordered the polls during the March 15 primary to stay open 90 minutes longer. The bill would require state judges who order polls to stay open later to collect bonds. Several Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union have objected to the proposed change, saying it could discourage people from voting.
 
 
by Steven Rosen 05.25.2016 5 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ugo-rondinone-copy

Contemporary Arts Center Announces 2016-17 Season

The Contemporary Arts Center announced its 2016-17 exhibition season last evening during a special presentation to its Board of Trustees and media. At the same time, it also previewed several performances scheduled for that same season. (There may still be another art exhibition added.)

The biggest takeaways from the announcement are that the CAC is striving for diversity in the artists it will show next year, and that it doesn’t believe painting is passé in Contemporary art. 

The first show, indeed, features one of Britain’s greatest living painters, Glenn Brown. 

“We wanted to celebrate painting,” says Steven Matijcio, CAC curator. “I think because it’s been the preeminent medium of the past, sometimes it gets secondary status in today’s art world. Glenn Brown makes very few works per year because he spends so much time on them. If an Old Master were living today, he would be that person.”

Here is the list of shows, edited from a CAC press release. A fuller story will appear in next week’s The Big Picture column in CityBeat.

GLENN BROWN

Sept. 9, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017:

Organized by the Des Moines Art Center; Curated by Jeff Fleming

This is the first solo museum exhibition in the United States to survey the work of renowned London-based artist Brown. Painting steadily for the last three decades, Brown crafts paintings with an immaculate, almost supernatural level of detail and fluidity.

ROE ETHRIDGE: NEAREST NEIGHBOR

Oct.7 2016 to March 12, 2017

Organized by FotoFocus; Curated by Kevin Moore

The exhibition leads the programming for the 2016 FotoFocus Biennial, which explores the theme of the Undocument in photography. Nearest Neighbor is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. and will present over 15 years of photographs.

NOEL ANDERSON: BLAK ORIGIN MOMENT

Feb. 10 to June 18, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven Matijcio

Noel Anderson is a Louisville-born artist and a professor at the University of Cincinnati, presently working in New York City. He is known for complex investigations into the evolving makeup of black-male identity translated through a variety of textiles — from old rugs to digitally produced tapestries. 

UGO RONDINONE: CHROMAphile

May 5 to Aug. 27, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Raphaela Platow

This exhibition will celebrate a new iteration of the Swiss-born, NY-based artist Ugo Rondinone’s color spectrum series that congregates his art, the gallery architecture and every visitor to the space as collaborators in an all-encompassing experience. 

NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY: THE PREDECESSORS

July 14 to Oct. 20, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center & Tang Museum, Skidmore College; Co-Curated by Ian Berry & Steven Matijcio

When Njideka Akunyili left Lagos for the U.S. at age 16, she detoured from her initial plan to be a doctor to pursue painting and tell another side of Nigeria’s story. She fuses painting, drawing, collage and the use of transfers — a typically Western printing process that involves transferring ink from photographs using solvent. 

JANE BENSON: HALF-TRUTHS

July 14 to Oct. 20, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven Matijcio

The story of two Iraqi brothers who escaped from Baghdad in early 2002 becomes a vehicle for British-born, N.Y.-based artist Jane Benson to explore the social reverberations caused by geo-cultural separation. The artist uses music to tell the story in a dual-channel video entitled Finding Baghdad (Part A), which serves as the show’s centerpiece. 

THE I-71 PROJECT

October through November, 2016 

Organized by the CAC, MOCA Cleveland and Columbus Museum of Art; Curated by Anne Thompson

The I-71 Project is a collaborative venture uniting three major art centers across Ohio to present art on billboards that confront the theater and confusion of elections in the U.S. It is organized by artist, writer and 2015-16 Missouri School of Journalism Fellow Anne Thompson, who successfully organized a similar project called The I-70 Sign Show. Some of the key artists will include Mel Bochner, Marilyn Minter, and Kay Rosen.

  • Here are the three performances that Drew Klein, performance curator, announced:

RADHOUANE EL MEDDEB: 

JE DANSE ET JE VOUS EN DONNE A BOUFFER

(I DANCE, AND GIVE YOU SOME TO EAT)

November 17-18, 2016

Here, Radhouane is immersed in his loves of dancing and cooking, creating and celebrating a bridge between the two. Seated before his couscous maker, he prepares a meal and dances with all the grandeur, generosity and poetry inspired by these two arts.  Between tomato concentrate, zucchini, carrots and cinnamon: a leap, a glance, a suspension or a rupture. Between the semolina and a chassé croisé, the dish simmers. This dazzling choreographic offering evokes all the senses in an almost synesthetic experience, the audience seized by the scents drifting through the air and captivated by the movement infused with generosity and poetry.

JAN MARTENS: SWEAT BABY SWEAT 

January 19-20, 2017

In Sweat Baby Sweat, Martens zeroes in on the most clichéd theme in dance: the relationship between a man and a woman. He traces the arc of their lifetime together in this physically demanding and intimate examination of a couple that just can’t let each other go. 

NAPOLEON MADDOX: TWICE THE FIRST TIME 

February 22-24, 2017

In the performance Twice The First Time, Maddox will dance, sing and rap the story of Millie-Christine, conjoined twins born into American slavery in 1851, into the 21st century. They were aunts of Maddox’s grandmother. 

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.25.2016 6 days ago
Posted In: News at 08:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
tom massie

Morning News and Stuff

Streetcar start date set; will Avondale get a real grocery store?; Kasich still won't support Trump

Good morning all. Here’s what’s going on in the world today.

The city of Cincinnati has officially announced an opening date for the city’s streetcar. The transit project running through Over-the-Rhine and downtown will take its first passengers Sept. 9, beginning with an opening ceremony at some point mid-day. The project, which has been fraught with political battles and funding concerns, is being financed with increased parking revenues, advertising proceeds and other sources that aren’t part of the city’s general fund budget.

• Mayor John Cranley yesterday rolled out more of his proposals for the city’s budget, which involve some $30 million for neighborhood projects. He spoke at a news conference in Avondale about projects he’d like to see funded in that neighborhood under his proposed fiscal plan, including a renewed Avondale Towne Center with a Save-A-Lot grocery store. Avondale has been trying to get a full-service grocery store since Aldi left the neighborhood about eight years ago. The city would chip in about $2 million to get development started under Cranley’s plan. The mayor did acknowledge that neighborhood activists had hoped for a higher-scale store such as a Kroger but that the Save-A-Lot will be expected to stock fresh produce and other necessities. Cranley yesterday also announced he would provide $3.2 million for a new community development corporation in Bond Hill and Roselawn.

• Cranley is set to pitch another round of investments today in the city’s East Side neighborhoods. He’s also expected to announce that the city will purchase the land necessary to build the Wasson Way bike trail. That $11.8 million, 4.1-mile stretch of former railway is vital to the completion of the trail, which would pass through a number of East Side neighborhoods on its way to Uptown. If the city doesn’t purchase the land by the end of July, the price will jump by nearly $600,000. It’s unclear where the construction money for the project will come from. The city applied for a federal TIGER grant last year to help fund building costs for the bike trail but was turned down.

• Wait. Hold on. Do I agree on something with U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, the tea party crusader from Northern Kentucky? It would… kind of appear so. Massie owes the GOP $24,000 in “party dues,” i.e. money from his fundraising coffers the party expects in order to stay in its good graces. Massie has criticized the practice, which is also used to determine who gets which committee assignment in the House. Particular assignments have particular dollar amounts assigned to them, and the more influential the committee, the more money a House member is expected to kick in. Massie is slamming this system, saying it means the best fundraisers, not the best lawmakers, get oversized influence in the legislative process. In what may be the only example of partisan agreement between a tea party member and the rest of Congress, some Democrats agree with him. I also think it sounds pretty messed up.

• What policies will law enforcement officers and departments have to follow regarding body cameras across Ohio?

Read More

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.24.2016 7 days ago
Posted In: News at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
trump

Morning News and Stuff

Judge divvies up DuBose settlement; council members request MSD audit; Clinton beating Trump in Ohio polls

Good morning all. Lots to talk about today so let’s get to it!

The 13 children of Samuel DuBose will each receive more than $200,000 as part of a settlement between the family and the University of Cincinnati, a Hamilton County judge ruled yesterday. DuBose was shot and killed by UC police officer Ray Tensing July 19 last year. In addition to the money for his children, DuBose’s mother Audrey DuBose will receive $90,000, his six siblings will receive $32,000 each and his father Sam Johnson will receive $25,000, Judge Ralph Winlker announced yesterday. The settlement, which also includes other elements such as college tuition for DuBose’s children, resolves a civil suit against the university. Criminal proceedings are ongoing against former officer Tensing, who is charged with murder and manslaughter. He’s scheduled to stand trial on those charges in October.

• Cincinnati City Council members are requesting the recently completed audit of the region’s Metropolitan Sewer District ahead of the city's budget process, but City Manager Harry Black says they shouldn't rush. The audit, which resulted from revelations that MSD spent millions on contracts it didn’t properly put through a bidding process, is still with the city’s lawyers in a working draft form, Black says. But with work on the city’s budget looming, council members like Kevin Flynn and Chris Seelbach say the time is now to reveal the results of the audit. Things got testy when Council pushed for more information from the audit at yesterday’s budget and finance committee meeting, with Black resisting requests for that information and Seelbach accusing the city manager of giving him an eye roll. Oh snap.

• Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is at the White House today meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and state and local government officials as part of a discussion on gun violence. Sittenfeld made gun control a big part of his campaign when he was running for Senate against former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. Sittenfeld lost that race but has pledged to continue efforts to curtail shootings. He told WVXU he is there to learn more about strategies for curbing gun violence and that he doesn’t think the invite has anything to do with his former Senate campaign. President Barack Obama and VP Biden endorsed Strickland in that race.

This is a weird article. Breaking news: The city has a lot of stairs. Some of them are crumbling. More breaking news: The city isn’t exactly rushing to pay to fix them. Thus concludes your breaking news update about something you probably already knew about. The steps are a big part of the city’s walking infrastructure (I take them every day). But they’ve been neglected since, well, probably since people started moving out of the city. The money it would take to fix them is also an infinitesimally small portion of the city’s budget at a time when Mayor John Cranley is discussing throwing $30 million to a few city neighborhoods.

• A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Ohio law that would strip $1.4 million in public money from Planned Parenthood in the state. That money goes to providing health screenings for low-income women, not to providing abortions. The temporary restraining order keeping Ohio from enforcing the law, which passed in February, comes as a larger court fight around the measure continues. You can read more about all of that in our story here.

• Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost yesterday announced the results of surprise headcounts at Ohio charter schools, saying at least some of the schools had very few or no students attending on the days of the unannounced visits. Yost said the extremely low attendance numbers at three charters in the state suggests they might be operating illegally as distance learning schools instead of the brick and mortar schools they’re certified to operate as. It’s the latest revelation in a bad stretch for the state’s charters, which have faced allegations of mismanagement and an Ohio Department of Education data rigging scandal that artificially inflated charter school performance by omitting some low-performing online schools. Yost visited 14 drop-out recovery schools around the state and found an average attendance of just 34 percent.

• The revelations, as well as other frustrations with the state’s public schools, had the auditor spitting hot fire at the ODE yesterday, calling it “among the worst, if not the worst-run agency in state government.” Yost cited poor charter school accountability and performance as well as a slow roll out for ODE’s new data management system as among the sources for his frustration with the agency.

• Finally, more presidential politics, because I know you need more of that in your life. Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Ohio, according to the latest polls asking voters about the upcoming general election. But it’s not the blowout you might expect. Clinton’s up 44 percent to Trump’s 39 percent in the Buckeye State — less than her primary opponent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who bests Trump 48 percent to 39 percent in the CBS/YouGov poll. Voters have a pretty negative opinion of both candidates, however — 55 percent view Clinton negatively and 59 percent feel the same about Trump.

That’s it for me. See you tomorrow. Tweet or email in the meantime.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.23.2016 7 days ago
Posted In: News, Women's Health at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news1_protester_7-9 copy

Federal Court Blocks Ohio Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

Temporary restraining order against the state will allow Planned Parenthood to continue providing health services for now

A federal circuit court today temporarily blocked an Ohio law that would strip Planned Parenthood of about $1.4 million in state and federal funds.

That law was slated to go into effect today, but will now be placed on hold until June 6 as the court considers a longer-lasting injunction against the defunding move by conservative state lawmakers. 

The money the state seeks to withhold is used by Planned Parenthood to provide non-abortion healthcare services, including HIV and cancer screenings. 

Judge Michael R. Barrett of the U.S. Southwest District Court ruled that the organization’s challenge to the law has a significant chance of success in federal courts, and thus placed a temporary restraining order on the state, preventing it from enforcing the law for the time being.

Barrett agreed with Planned Parenthood’s arguments that the law blocking the money could severely damage medical-screening activities the organization undertakes, and that those operations could be hard to reestablish.

“Plaintiffs explain that without the funds at issue here, Plaintiffs will be forced to stop providing services such as pap smears and other cancer screenings, tests for HIV/AIDS and tests and treatment for other STDs, infant mortality prevention programs, and sexual health education programs,” Barrett wrote in his ruling today. “Therefore, the Court concludes that for purposes of deciding Plaintiffs’ Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Plaintiffs have established irreparable injury.”

In seeking the injunction, Planned Parenthood argues that the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment by targeting the organization due to the fact it provides abortions.

State lawmakers have been open in acknowledging that they seek to strip funds from Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions, even though the public money given to the organization goes to other health services.

Conservatives in the state house have said they’re opposed to abortion for moral and safety reasons, and have described their crackdown on abortion providers like Planned Parenthood as a way to protect women.

“We have an obligation to say to Planned Parenthood, until you get out of the business of termination of pregnancy, the destruction of human life, we are not going to choose to fund you,” Ohio Sen. Peggy Lehner, a Republican who helped push the law, said during debate over the defunding provision in January.

But Planned Parenthood claims these clinics aren't immediately in a position to fill the healthcare gaps it would leave, which would include 70,000 free STD screenings it provides through a Centers for Disease Control program and 5,000 free HIV tests for populations at high risk for the virus.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio serves 20 counties in the region. It says about 75 percent of its clients are low-income.
 
The defunding effort is the latest in a recent string of laws passed by Ohio Republicans seeking to limit abortions. The state has passed ever-stricter standards, including stipulations about admitting privileges at local hospitals and rules against publicly funded hospitals entering into such agreements with abortion clinics. That’s whittled down the number of clinics in the state from 14 a few years ago to just nine today. Among them is the last clinic in the Cincinnati area, the Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center in Mount Auburn, which has been threatened with closure over the new laws.

Planned Parenthood officials cheered the federal court’s decision today.

“This ruling is a victory for the tens of thousands of Ohioans that rely on Planned Parenthood for care each year,” said Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio CEO Jerry Lawson. “Our state legislators want to ban abortion across the board, and they were willing to decimate access to preventive care in the process. But this isn’t about politics for our patients, it’s about their health and their lives. If you have a lump in your breast or need an HIV test, lawmakers should be making it easier, not harder, to get the care you need.”

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close