Dumb Starbucks, we hardly knew you!
The “parody” coffee shop, which mimicked the real Starbucks' name, logo, menu (Dumb Frappuccino, Dumb Espresso, served in Dumb Tall, Dumb Grande or Dumb Venti), everything — even font — opened in L.A. Friday only to be shut down by the Los Angeles Health Department Monday. Forbes posted Dumb Starbucks’ “frequently asked questions,” which explains that by adding the word “dumb,” it’s protected by parody law. Therefore the “coffee shop” was actually recognized as an art gallery and the coffee, art. Guests, who lined up out the door and around the strip mall where Dumb Starbucks set up shop, were treated to friendly service and free coffee and pastries (there were even CDs for sale at checkout, including a “Dumb” Norah Jones album). The real Starbucks acknowledged the parody shop, explaining the two had no connection and they were pursuing legal action.
Word about the stunt (which it obviously was, dummies) spread across the Internet via various comedians’ Twitters, so some it was no surprise that a comic was at the helm. Nathan Fielder, deadpan genius with the Comedy Central show in which he “helps” struggling business by offering ridiculous ideas (among other meta satirical “pranks”), revealed himself as the owner with this video:
Now I really can’t wait for the next season of Nathan For You.
Some big changes are happening to NBC’s long-running late-night shows, and you can read all about them in this week’s TV column. After some sad goodbyes (Jay Leno’s final episode of Tonight, Jimmy Fallon’s last time hosting Late Night and Seth Meyer’s final Weekend Update segment), there’s a lot to look forward to. Fallon brings house band The Roots and announcer/sidekick Steve Higgins with him — hopefully the same goes for all the celebrity drinking games and generally bizarre bits and skits. Like this gem:
As for Late Night, Seth Meyers starts his run Monday, Feb. 17 and in a total surprise announcement, Meyer’s old SNL buddy and modern comedic god Fred Armisen will be the show’s band leader.
The Olympics have taken over NBC (miss you, Parks and Rec) and oh, what a hot mess they’ve been! Plumbing problems and strange bathroom setups in the Sochi hotels, the Olympic rings mega-fail during the opening ceremony, the fact that it’s actually too warm for any of these damn outdoor winter sports — the list goes on. C’mon, Russia, you can’t even get winter right? At least we’ll always have this:
I'm not ashamed to admit VH1's Couples Therapy is one of my favorite shows on right now. With The Real L Word disappearing without a trace, I am finally able to get my Whitney-Sada fix (the couple is featured on Therapy), plus Jon Gosselin is apparently dating another mega-bitch and "Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham is equally intriguing and frustrating and alienesque. But the true star of the show is Ghostface Killah's girl, Kelsey Nykole...'s hair.
Remember Celebrity Death Match? The MTV claymation classic pitted musicians, actors and other famous people in pop culture or the news against each other in an over-the-top gruesome fight to the death. Showdowns included Marilyn Manson v. Charles Manson, Mariah Carey v. Jim Carrey (featuring Drew Carey) and Lil’ Kim v. Little Richard. Well, a few years after its 1998 debut, Fox presented a toned-down real-life version with Celebrity Boxing, which went down as one of TV Guide’s worst shows of all time. Has-beens like Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams (of The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch, respectively) took to the ring in what usually just a really sad battle. Only two episodes aired. So how do you take a bad idea like Celebrity Boxing to another level of shame? Add in the man at the center of one of the most controversial murder trials in recent years!
George Zimmerman was set to box rapper DMX in a televised match, but
both DMX and boxing promoter Damon Feldman have backed out, presumably after
thinking about it for three seconds. The fight is still on for now and will be
broadcast from a secret location this March, Zimmerman just needs an opponent.
In completely unrelated news, Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-stars Andy Samberg and Chelsea Peretti used to be childhood friends.
Cincinnati Hip Hop MC Santino Corleon’s latest music video, “Night Still Young,” is one of the five music videos by emerging artists currently featured in MTVu.com’s “The Freshmen” competition. If the 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee beats out the other nominees in the weekly contest, the clip will be put into “on-air rotation” on MTV’s television networks.
Click here to check out the clip on MTVu.com and to vote now (and repeatedly — there appears to be no voting limits). Voting ends this Friday at 2 p.m.
The track “Night Still Young” is featured on Corleon’s most recent mixtape, Keep the Change, which is available for free download here. Below is the audio for “Night Still Young.”
It was quite a treat for area fans of (forgive the term) Alternative Rock as Arctic Monkeys rolled into Covington’s Madison Theater again this past Monday night. As one of the millennium’s most influential acts, the band from the English Midlands can normally be found playing arenas and large theaters, or headlining festivals throughout their homeland and the rest of Europe. Yet, they managed to schedule Covington on this tour, knowing they would easily be able put butts in the seats (even though there are few seats in the venue), which indeed they did.
The sold-out but well behaved crowd witnessed the band flawlessly execute a 20-song set, that was heavy on new tracks, but still filled with “hits.” They got right down to business opening with “Do I Wanna Know?” before powering into “Brianstorm” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair.” Lead singer Alex Turner’s banter with the audience focused mostly on the correct pronunciation of “Covington.” He eventually adopted a passable American accent and assured the crowd that a good time was going to be had. That statement was not inaccurate.
The band’s energy steadily increased, tempered only by Turner’s occasional breaks to comb back his hair — which the audience seemed to love. Their main set ended with the perfectly arranged trifecta of “I Wanna Be Yours,” “Fluorescent Adolescent,” and “505.” The encore was similarly paced, ending with fan-favorite “R U Mine?”
A pleasant surprise was opening act The Orwells. There’s been some heat on this Chicago-based quartet since the Arcs hand-picked them as their support act, and because of their very well-received appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks back. Lead singer Mario Cuomo’s vacant yet engaging style captured the crowd’s attention, many dancing and bopping along to the band’s Post Punk stylings. Hope to see them back.
Mayor John Cranley says his parking plan intends to alleviate Cincinnati’s ongoing budget woes by increasing parking revenue, but the plan will need approval from a majority of City Council to become law. The plan wouldn’t increase parking meter rates downtown, but it would increase neighborhood rates by 25 cents to 75 cents an hour. The plan would also increase enforcement at parking meters, which could lead to more tickets, and extend enforcement hours to 9 p.m. around the University of Cincinnati, Short Vine in Corryville, Over-the-Rhine and downtown. But the plan would not give control of the city’s parking meter rates and hours to outside entities, like the parking privatization plan did. Cranley plans to send the proposal to the Neighborhood Committee, with a full council vote possible in two weeks.
An Ohio House committee yesterday cleared a pair of controversial election bills that would reduce the state’s early voting period by one week — effectively eliminating a “Golden Week” in which voters can register and vote at the same time — and restrict counties’ abilities to mail out absentee ballot applications. The bills wouldn’t go into effect until after the May 6 primary. Democrats say the bills are blatant attempts at voter suppression, but Republicans, some of whom acknowledge they politically benefit from reduced access to voting, say the reform is necessary to eliminate voting disparities between urban and rural counties. The bills still need approval from the Republican-controlled Ohio House and Republican Gov. John Kasich to become law.
A bill placing age requirements on electronic cigarettes
yesterday passed an Ohio Senate committee. Critics of the bill argue it
doesn’t go far enough because it puts e-cigarettes in a different
category than tobacco, which exempts e-cigarettes from higher taxes and
stricter regulations even though they contain addictive substances and
potential health risks. Kasich and the rest of the legislature need to OK the proposal before it becomes law.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center reopened three school-based health clinics closed after Neighborhood Health Care’s abrupt shutdown.
A poll worker in Avondale allegedly voted twice, according to the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
The Ohio Department of Education plans to increase the number of weeks schools can administer state tests to alleviate time concerns brought on by excessive snow days.
Meanwhile, the Ohio House plans to vote on a bill that would let schools take on more snow days this year.
A Christian university located south of Columbus gets public dollars to teach “biblical truth,” an Akron Beacon Journal investigation found. And the school’s president and lobbyist just happen to sit on the Ohio Board of Education.
NBC correspondent Tom Brokaw revealed he has cancer.
RoboCop isn’t that far off from email@example.com.
A federal court in Cincinnati could soon decide whether
married same-sex parents should be recognized by Ohio on their
children’s birth certificates. Civil rights attorney Alphonse
Gerhardstein filed the lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples who
married outside the state and an adoption agency that helped one of the
couples adopt a child in Ohio. The lawsuit argues leaving one parent
unnamed perpetuates harmful social stigmas and potentially endangers a
child’s life by making it more difficult for a parent to get his child
help in case of emergencies. Although opponents of LGBT rights argue allowing gay couples to adopt hurts children, the research suggests widespread discrimination and same-sex parents’ limited rights are the real threats to gay couples’ sons and daughters.
Mayor John Cranley is crafting a new plan to upgrade Cincinnati’s parking system while retaining local control. Under the drafted plan analyzed by The Business Courier, the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority would issue $25 million in bonds backed by parking revenues. To pay for the new costs, parking meter rates in neighborhoods — but not downtown — would increase by 25 cents per hour to 75 cents per hour, and the city would hire more officers to increase enforcement. The new parking meters would take credit card payments, but smartphone payments currently aren’t in the plan.
A revised version of the Ohio House’s fracking tax bill increases the severance tax on oil and gas companies but cuts the income tax more and directs funding to areas most affected by the state’s oil and gas boom. Fracking is a drilling technique in which millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to unlock oil and gas reserves. Following its widespread adoption, the United States, including Ohio, began pumping out natural gas at record levels. But critics worry the technique could pollute and contaminate surrounding air and water resources. CityBeat covered fracking in greater detail here.
As a result of the harsh winter, Cincinnati’s winter shelter for the homeless has been extra busy this year. Some City Council members appear to be considering a more standardized funding plan for the shelter, which traditionally relies largely on private funding.
The Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade will take a slight detour this year to avoid streetcar construction.
No surprise here: Ohio is among the worst states for funding transit projects.
Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland want to know what it would take to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, which will name the GOP’s presidential candidate.
Fixing food deserts alone won’t make people eat healthier, a new study found.
A Los Angeles newscaster mixed up Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne.
Astronomers say they found the oldest known star in the universe. At more than 13 billion years old, the star is about three times the age of the Sun.firstname.lastname@example.org.
A federal court in Cincinnati could get another chance to advance LGBT rights if it takes up a lawsuit filed Monday that calls on Ohio to recognize the names of married same-sex parents on their adopted children’s birth certificates.
Civil rights attorney Alphonse Gerhardstein filed the lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples who married outside the state and an adoption agency that helped one of the couples adopt a child in Ohio.
“Birth certificates are the primary identity document in our society,” Gerhardstein’s firm explained in a statement. “Birth certificates tell the child, ‘these adults are your parents,’ and tell the community that these adults and children are a family. Medical care, access to schools, travel and release of information are all easily accomplished with birth certificates and are constantly burdened without accurate birth certificates. Forcing families to accept incorrect birth certificates imposes life-long harms and is a direct attack on family dignity.”
Although opponents of LGBT rights contend that allowing same-sex couples to adopt could hurt children, the research suggests otherwise.
A Boston University meta-analysis released in March found “children's well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents.” Possibly harmful factors found in the study instead include widespread discrimination and the parents’ limited rights, neither of which can be blamed on same-sex couples.
The complaint filed Monday comes on the heels of recent rulings that advanced same-sex rights in Ohio and across the country.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black on Dec. 23 cited constitutional grounds to force state officials to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates. That case came about after a same-sex couple in Cincinnati filed for recognition. The Republican-controlled state government, defended by Attorney General Mike DeWine, is appealing the ruling.
That ruling followed a June 26 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and requires the federal government to recognize some same-sex marriages.
In enforcing the ruling, President Barack Obama’s administration on Monday plans to grant sweeping equal protections to married same-sex couples around the country, even those who reside in states where same-sex marriage remains illegal. The Justice Department’s decision applies to courthouse proceedings, prison visits and the compensation of public safety officers’ surviving spouses, among other areas.
At the state level, FreedomOhio is working to get same-sex marriage on the ballot this year. The campaign is facing some resistance from other LGBT groups, but FreedomOhio says it already has the petition signatures required to put the issue to a vote in November.
The full complaint:
EDITH IS PREGNANT AND SHE’S KEEPING THE BABY, PEOPLE. But her significant other, Michael Gregson, is still mysteriously missing. If he ends up dead, the Grantham spawn will officially be cursed with forever losing their loved ones in freak accidents.
Robert “went to America” (aka filming The Monuments Men) while Rose sat
in a canoe with Jack Ross, the only reoccurring black male character. This
plot-line feels very forced to me. Instead of focusing on the romance of her
whirlwind relationship, the show focuses more on the scandal of it all.
The Dowager Countess fell ill with
bronchitis, and her frenemy/nemesis Isobel Crawley nursed her back to health.
While Violet ran a fever and cursed at her caretaker, Isobel smirked at the
fact that she will be able to say she saved Violet’s life. By the end of this
week’s show, they were playing cards like old friends.
Lady Mary — who has never let a speck of dirt touch her porcelain skin — had a mud fight with Charles Blake. Since every man she interacts with is a potential suitor, this was an interesting scene. Because Blake is actively trying to dismember her estate farm by farm, he is not exactly her friend. Although, this could create some perfectly awkward sexual tension. They share a special moment — and by which I mean they looked at each other five seconds longer than normal — until they were interrupted by Ivy.
Not too much is happening downstairs this week, but the servants take part in their usual hijinks.
While Daisy and Ivy bickered over Alfred’s return visit, Mrs. Hughes and Carson tried to keep the hormones at bay. Which never works.
Anna’s rapist, Mr. Green, ominously returned to Downton just as pompous as ever. His comments to Mrs. Hughes blaming Anna for the assault were eerie and uncomfortable. Mr. Bates has confirmed his suspicions about who attacked and raped his wife after he sees Anna reaction to Mr. Green’s presence.
We are all scared as to what he will do next.
“I’m married, I know everything.” – Lady Mary
Mayor John Cranley yesterday announced a plan to add another recruit class to the Cincinnati Fire Department and effectively eliminate brownouts, but it remains unclear how the class will be paid for in the long-term. The Fire Department applied for a federal grant that would cover the costs for two years, but the city would need to pay for the new firefighters’ salaries after that. To some City Council members, the proposal, along with other plans to add more police recruits and fund a jobs program for the long-term unemployed, raises questions about what will get cut in the budget to pay for the new costs.
Gov. John Kasich’s administration has led an aggressive effort to shut down abortion clinics around the state, and a clinic in Sharonville, Ohio, could be the next to close after the administration denied a request that would have allowed the clinic to stay open without an emergency patient transfer agreement. The process has apparently involved high-ranking officials in the Ohio Department of Health, which one regulator says is unusual. The threat to the Sharonville clinic follows the passage of several new anti-abortion regulations through the latest state budget, but state officials say the new regulations were unnecessary to deny the Sharonville clinic’s request to stay open.
Unions broadly support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald’s campaign, but at least one union-funded group, Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT) Ohio, seems to be throwing its weight behind Kasich, a Republican. The surprising revelation shows not every union group has kept a grudge against Kasich and other Republicans after they tried to limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights through Senate Bill 5 in 2011. ACT Ohio says its support for Kasich is related to jobs, particularly Kasich’s support for infrastructure projects. The jobs market actually stagnated after Kasich took office, which some political scientists say could cost Kasich his re-election bid even though economists say the governor isn’t to blame.
Talk of tolls continues threatening the $2.65 billion Brent Spence Bridge project as opposition from Northern Kentuckians remains strong. Ohio and Kentucky officials insist tolls are necessary to replace the supposedly dangerous bridge because the federal government doesn’t seem willing to pick up the tab.
Ohio gas prices keep rising.
A Dayton University student froze to death after falling asleep outside, with alcohol a possible factor.
Airplane pilots often head to the wrong airport, according to new reports.
Watch people tightrope walk between hot air email@example.com.
Each week our intern Amber will be exploring what Cincinnatians are interested in by scouring the local Twitter trends and reporting on what she’s found. From serious tweets to goofy hashtags, she’ll highlight what Cincy’s been buzzing about. So get to tweeting, folks.
So it’s official: There will, in fact, be six more weeks of winter, according to Phil, the Groundhog’s Day spokes-rodent. For one, I never knew the groundhog had a name! He has even been on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but most people in Cincinnati are probably ready to go find and kill him after the weather we've endured. I am cool with winter and all, but it’s really sad when 30 degrees feels warm. As long as these six weeks don’t include another polar vortex, I think we’ll survive.
I know it seems like every day is a day for something. I could probably live without Ice Cream Day or Chocolate Pudding Day (lord knows my thighs could), but this day of awareness, on Feb. 4, is one I can deal with. On World Cancer Day, people are asked to spread awareness and remember those who passed away fighting cancer or currently dealing with cancer. @TCSociety made a good point: “Remember that a moment of awkwardness could save a lifetime! Talk about Testicular Cancer.” Talk about breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, too, and go get checked, then get re-checked. It could save your life!
Really? I don’t know if it’s sad or just funny that this was trending at #3 in the USA and #2 in Cincinnati this week. How these things get started and why so many people actually do it, I’ll never know. It does make for some comic relief at 3:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. Here were some that actually made me chuckle:
Up! In My Pants
Great Expectations In My Pants
The Dark Knight Rises In My Pants
Clueless In My Pants
A Series of Unfortunate Events In My Pants
#HottestCollegeInAmericaThe Cincinnati Bearcats beat the University of Connecticut on Thursday 63-58, which makes it their 15th straight win. I don’t know anything about basketball, so I’ll just say there was a lot of running, dribbling and shooting. The team is rising in the ranks of its division and momentum is high. School spirit is what being in college is all about, besides the whole degree thing. Whether you are a student, faculty member, staff member, alumni or just a fan, a sense of pride is among us. You don’t have to know anything about basketball to enjoy seeing a local team make sports headlines. Keep it up, fellas!
I seriously couldn’t figure out why Netflix was trending, but as I began scrolling through all the tweets, I noticed something. There were a lot of single people dwelling on the fact that Netflix would be their only date on Valentine’s Day. There is nothing wrong with watching Netflix on Valentine’s Day — hell, that’s probably what I will be doing with a bottle of bourbon. Just remember, it’s only one day, it will be over soon and then it’s on to the next irrelevant holiday. Plus, if you don't have a date, you don’t have to buy anyone else a gift and you can buy yourself all the half-off chocolate you want the next day. If you are hung up on the fact that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and Netflix isn’t an acceptable date for you, here are a few single-friendly events to treat yourself to:
Pretty in Pink at The Esquire
A classic '80s night, what’s not to love? Dress up in your favorite pink prom dress or tuxedo and there will be a costume contest before the show! $7-$9.75. 10:30 p.m. at Esquire Theater.
Southgate House Revival
Three shows take place under one roof: Elk Creek at 9 p.m. in the Sanctuary, Hank Erwin at 9:30 p.m. in the Lounge and Hot For Alice at 10 p.m. in the Revival Room. Get some friends together for some live music and cheap drinks.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstein Are Dead
The story of “Hamlet” told from the perspective of these two quirky characters. $22-$35. 7:30 p.m. at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.
Other things that were trending: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Superbowl, #Bearcats, #PLL, #LHHNY, Sochi and The Olympics.
CincyMusic.com, a website dedicated to all things related to Greater Cincinnati music, launched in early 2012 (or, rather, relaunched, after purchasing the domain dame from the previous owner, who’d let the site go dormant). Since then, the site — which has features, interviews, show listings, downloads and more — has continually expanded its brand by sponsoring numerous events and consistently growing its site and presence in the local community.
Last year, the CincyMusic empire expanded into terrestrial radio, presenting a local music-focussed show on Clear Channel local Alternative music station The Project (heard on 100.7 and 106.3). CincyMusic Spotlight airs every Sunday on The Project at midnight; on the Monday following each show, the programs are available for download as podcasts.
Now, WNKU — the Northern Kentucky-based public radio station with a long history of playing music by area artists — welcomes the CincyMusic crew on board for another weekly show, CincyMusic.com Soundcheck, which will “focus on local artists that are performing that weekend, releasing new material, or are just worthy of a little extra attention.”
Also hosted by CincyMusic Spotlight DJ Venomous Valdez, CincyMusic Soundcheck is slated to air every Thursday at 10 p.m. beginning this week (March 13). The shows can be heard on WNKU’s various over-the-air frequencies around the region (89.7 FM locally), as well as streaming on wnku.org. If you can’t listen, podcasts of the WNKU shows will be available here. (You can subscribe so you are alerted each time a new show is posted.)
Artists interested in submitting material for airplay on the WNKU show can do so here.
Each week our intern
Amber will be exploring what Cincinnatians are interested in by scouring the
local Twitter trends and reporting on what she’s found. From serious tweets to
goofy hashtags, she’ll highlight what Cincy’s been buzzing about. So get to tweeting,
This is a wrestling reference hashtag. I’m sorry, but how was this trending and not Bates Motel? I am ashamed of you, Cincinnati. I know they are both scripted, but at least Bates has good acting and an awesome plot. FYI: Norma Bates did start trending though, thank god. In this week’s episode, Norman visits Ms. Watson’s grave way too much, Norma makes a scene at a city hall meeting and Bradley blasts some guy’s head off and ends up in Norman’s bedroom asking for his help. Poor Norman, surrounded by all these crazy bitches. All you WWE fans better get hip to Bates Motel.
Muskie fans were blowing up their newsfeeds expressing their frustration after Monday night’s game when they lost to Seton Hall 71-62. Monday’s upset left many fans complaining about wasting their last Hopslam and chugging too much wine. On top of all the frustration, Matt Stainbrook went down with a knee injury and left the locker room on crutches. Better luck next year? Maybe.
I actually watched some of this show, Pretty Little Liars, for once. Awkward used to be my Tuesday night show (don’t judge me), but since Jenna and the crew are AWOL until next season, I figured I’d give this show a shot since I was apparently the only female in Cincy not watching it. I am a few seasons behind, so I don’t really get all the drama and who I should love/hate yet, but not a bad show from what I’ve seen so far. The season finale is Tuesday, March 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.
If this just isn’t confirmation that Cincinnatians are obsessed with their alma maters, then I don’t know what else is. Fox 19 set up a March Madness style bracket of all the high schools in the area and launched a Twitter competition. I’m reppin’ the Newport Wildcats, who already lost in the first round to Simon Kenton. Voting for the North bracket is going on now until midnight tonight.
I saved this one for last for a reason. Ukraine was trending all week. I haven’t been keeping this blog for very long, but nothing has ever stayed trending for an entire week before, as long as I’ve been keeping track. I also saved it for last because honestly, I don’t know what to say about the crisis in Ukraine. I guess it’s good that people are taking to social media for such a serious matter, but most of the people tweeting about it seem more clueless than me. I do know that most Americans want our government to mind their own damn business and do something about those crazy fucking Russians.
Also trending: Oscars, World Cup, #LiesToldByFemales, WCW (can this one just die already,) Taco Bell, #Scandal and The Lakers.
Mayor John Cranley is trying to find a compromise over whether early voting will move out of downtown after the 2016 general election, as some Republicans in the county government have suggested. Cranley called for a meeting with Hamilton County Board of Elections Chairman and Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke, Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou, Cincinnati NAACP President Ishton Morton and Hamilton County Board of Commissioners President Chris Monzel. The meeting will aim to “discuss alternatives the City of Cincinnati can offer to accommodate early voting downtown after the 2016 elections. (Cranley) believes that such a discussion is consistent with the recommendation of the secretary of state that there be an effort to find a nonpartisan solution to the existing disagreement.”
With a $12 million price tag in mind, Cranley remains worried Cincinnati is paying too much for a downtown grocery and apartment tower project. But the project is truly one of a kind, claims The Business Courier: The tower would boast nearly twice the number of luxury apartments of any other project underway in Over-the-Rhine or downtown. And it would replace a decrepit garage and establish the first full-scale grocery store downtown in decades.
A study found Ohio teens’ painkiller abuse dropped by 40 percent between 2011 and 2013. State officials quickly took credit for the drop, claiming their drug prevention strategies are working. But because the Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey only has two sets of data on painkillers to work with — one in 2011 and another in 2013 — it’s possible the current drop is more statistical noise than a genuine downturn, so the 2015 and 2017 studies will be under extra scrutiny to verify the trend.
Similarly, fewer Ohio teens say they’re drinking and smoking. But 46 percent say they text while driving.
Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in January, down from 7.3 percent the year before. The numbers reflect both rising employment and dropping unemployment in the previous year.
To prove his conservative bona fides, Ky. Sen. Mitch McConnell touted a rifle when he walked on stage of the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The other Kentucky senator, Rand Paul, will headline a Hamilton County Republican Party dinner.
Researchers studied a woman who claims she can will herself out of her body.
Personal note: This is my last “Morning News and Stuff” and blog for CityBeat.
After today, I will be leaving to Washington, D.C., for a new
journalistic venture started by bloggers and reporters from The Washington Post and Slate. (CityBeat
Editor Danny Cross wrote a lot of nice things about the move here, and
my last commentary touched on it here.) Thank you to everyone who read
my blogs during my nearly two years at CityBeat, and I hope I helped you understand the city’s complicated, exciting political and economic climate a little better, even if you sometimes disagreed with what I wrote.
Can you imagine Les Misérables without a turntable or the immense barricades lumbering down from the wings? Aubrey Berg, head of the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music’s renowned musical theater program, has dramatically re-imagined the legendary show for a run at UC, using a largely bare stage backed by a wall of ladders, staircases, shelves and recessed ledges. Berg's simplified physical production earned my Critic's Pick with its sharper focus on characters, action and music. Les Mis has a remarkable cast of 40 or so with soaring vocal talent for solo numbers and breathtaking choral power when they combine forces in iconic numbers such as “Do You Hear the People Sing?” and “One Day More.” It's a spectacular production, onstage through Sunday. Tickets: 513-556-4183.
Wicked just opened a three-week run at the Aronoff (it's the third time the show has been here, and it's set box office records every time). Tickets can be expensive (the cheap seats start at $38 and go up quickly from there), so keep in mind there's lottery for a limited number of $25 orchestra seats for each performance. You need to show up in person 2.5 hours before the curtain time (with a valid photo ID) to submit your name; if it's pulled you can purchase one or two tickets. It's worth a shot. Otherwise, you can purchase tickets by calling 513-621-2787.
If you're a Tony Bennett fan, you might consider heading to the West Side for I Left My Heart at the Covedale Center, a salute to the legendary crooner. You'll get to hear 40 standards that he's known for — "Because of You," "I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life" and, of course, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Tom Highley, Deondra Kamau Means and Brian Wylie will be singing, with Mark Magistrelli at the piano. Through March 23. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
Here's an item worth considering for Monday evening: The Educational Theatre Association, a national organization for high school kids involved in theater, is headquartered here in Cincinnati. (They're the folks behind the National Thespian Society.) They're partnering with the School for Creative and Performing Arts on Monday at 7 p.m. for Making Magic, Defying Gravity. Presented at SCPA's Corbett Theatre (108 Central Parkway in Over-the-Rhine), the evening offers a program of music and conversation featuring members of the touring cast of Wicked (as noted above) and performances by high school students from the area. You'll hear from Jason Daunter, Wicked's production stage manager, and Matt Conover, VP with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. They'll talk about how their high school dreams led to careers in the theater. Tickets are $10 in advance; 15 at the door (going on sale at 5:45 p.m.). Proceeds from this event will benefit the Friends of SCPA Scholarship Fund and the Educational Theatre Association's Scholarship Fund, both of which will help develop talent for the future of the theater.
Bockfest signals the coming of spring, celebrates Over-the-Rhine and serves up beer from tons of local breweries. The 22nd annual fest runs Friday through Sunday. Here’s just as handful of special events to check out.
Each year, the Bock-festivities commence with a parade of goats, music, people dressed as monks and a sausage queen, and it all starts at Cincinnati’s oldest bar, Arnold’s. This year’s parade is led by parade marshals Jim and Carolann Slouffman, a couple known for their involvement in Cincinnati German culture. They co-founded Kolping Sängerchor, a local German choral group, and organized the 150th anniversary Saengerfest of the Nord-Amerikanische Saengerbund in Cincinnati in 1998. The parade steps off at 6 p.m. Friday at Arnold’s (210 East 8th St., Downtown) and continues up Main Street to Bockfest Hall (Christian Moerlein Brewery – 1619 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine).
Park + Vine (1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine), known for its array of eco- and vegan-friendly foods, drinks and a bevy of other products, brings back the popular healthy alternative to a typical pork-laden grill out. Park + Vine will be grilling up Field Roast vegan hot dogs and sausages with Fab Ferments kraut and kombucha on tap from 6-9 p.m. Friday.
This second annual race takes runners and walkers through the historic brewery district of Over-the-Rhine. The race kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Craft Menagerie
Come support local artisans and their goods while knocking back a few pints. Browse and buy metal works, pottery, screen prints, fabric and textiles, jewelry, mosaics, paper goods and more from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Arnold’s.
A new event coinciding with the fest this year is BockFEAST, a beer and food pairing event taking place at five OTR restaurants. A Tavola, Bakersfield, Lavomatic, Quan Hapa and Taste of Belgium are all offering the same sweet deal: $10 for a 10-ounce sample of Christian Moerlein’s Emancipator Doppelbock and a unique paired dish. The offer is available from 5 p.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Sunday. Go here for a full menu list.
For more info on these and
other Bockfest vents, including a full schedule of festivities at Bockfest
Hall, go here.
The release of the self-titled debut album from Cincinnati trio Tweens is just about a month away now. The music site Stereogum recently premiered the trio’s first music video for new album single, “Be Mean,” a great introduction to the band’s classic-Pop-meets-classic-Punk style (or “Trash Pop,” as they like to call it).
The buzz around Tweens, which scored the “New Artist of the Year” award at the 2014 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, continues to grow across the nation, with more and more music press and online outlets heaping praise on the both the band's recordings and live shows. That buzz should be almost deafening when Tweens’ debut LP is finally released on April 8 through Frenchkiss Records. The band’s usually packed tour schedule is about to get extra-busy with the new release just on the horizon, beginning with a head-spinning six performances during next week’s South By Southwest music fest/conference in Texas.
Click here to read CityBeat's most recent interview with Tweens.
Flaherty & Collins, the developer that wants to tear down a garage as part of its downtown grocery and apartment tower project, offered to pay for a tenant’s move to keep the deal moving forward. The tenant, Paragon Salon, recently announced its intent to sue the city after Mayor John Cranley’s refusal to pay for the salon business’s move left the development project and Paragon in a limbo of uncertainty. With Flaherty & Collins’ offer, the development deal should be able to advance without extra costs to the city.
But Cranley says he still wants 3CDC to review the downtown development project to set the best path forward.
Federal money will help Cincinnati keep and hire more
firefighters. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response
(SAFER) grant provides nearly $8.1 million — about 2 percent of the
city’s $370 million operating budget — to pay the salaries and benefits
of 50 firefighters for two years. Afterward, the city will need to pick
up the costs, which could worsen an operating budget gap that currently
sits at $22 million for fiscal 2015. The move would increase the
Cincinnati Fire Department’s staffing levels from 841 to 879 and help prevent brownouts, according to the firefighting agency.
The Cincinnati Board of Health defied Mayor Cranley by
unilaterally pursuing a $1.3 million grant that will provide
preventative and primary care services to underserved populations. Rocky
Merz, spokesperson for the board, says the grant application complies
with guidance from the city’s top lawyer. Cranley opposes the grant because the extra services it enables could push up costs for the city down the line.
Hamilton County officials will look for outside legal help in their fight against the city’s job training rules for Metropolitan Sewer District projects. CityBeat covered the rules, known as “responsible bidder,” in further detail here.
Smale Riverfront Park will receive $4.5 million in federal funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control erosion and prevent flooding.
Crime around Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino never materialized, despite warnings from critics prior to casinos’ legalization in Ohio.
Ohio’s prison re-entry rate declined and sits well below the national average, according to a study from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The study found 27.1 percent of inmates released in 2010 ended up back up in prison, down from 28.7 percent of individuals released in 2009. In comparison, the national average is 44 percent.
Hundreds of Ohio school districts plan to test out the state’s new online assessments for math, language arts, social studies and science.
The cold winter is pushing up natural gas prices, according to Ohio’s largest natural gas utility.
A second baby might have been cured of HIV, the sexually transmitted disease that causes AIDS. Even with the potential successes, doctors caution it’s still very much unclear whether the treatment provides a definitive cure for the deadly disease.
Meanwhile, a first-of-its-kind intravaginal ring could prevent pregnancy and HIV.firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few weeks ago when I was heading to the CityBeat office I encountered a woman who changed my perspective on many things. It was one of those "Everything happens for a reason, even if you don't know the reason yet" moments.
I parked in the Elm Street lot, paid the machine my $3.50 and walked towards Race Street as usual. It was cold outside and my hands were full with coffee, a notebook, my lunch and purse.
I was running late — also as usual — when a woman approached me. Looking back now, I can’t even recall how she sounded or what she looked like.
Our conversation went something like this:
"Would you help someone in need if you could?" she asked.
"I'm selling my poems for $2 so I can have extra money to pay for my son's birthday."
"I don't even know if I have $2, hold on. I'm kind of in a hurry...Oh, wait…Here, I do have it."
I had three single dollar bills in my wallet and I handed her two of them.
"Thank you, God bless you," she said. We made our transaction and parted ways. Her poems were typed, printed and covered by a clear paper protector. She continued up Elm toward Vine Street as I turned the corner.
As I waited for the elevator, I began reading her poems. That's spelled wrong, I thought. That needs an apostrophe. It’s "to," not "too." I picked out a laundry list of grammatical and technical errors and immediately dismissed her work. I looked at her poems, but I didn't actually read them.
A few days later one of the ice and snowstorms hit the Tri-state area again. I wondered if anyone was out in this weather because I was certainly not leaving the comfort of my bed for any reason.
I don’t know why, but I began thinking about the woman who approached me on the street earlier in the week. I wondered if she was out there, in that terrible weather, selling her poems. Had she needed the $2 that badly? Did she ever get to have her son’s birthday party?
All of these thoughts washed over me. I pictured her, the image I had created of her, sitting at the library typing up the poems she had written while her son was at school.
I pictured her taking her last few dollars to buy the transparent paper protectors at the dollar store and preparing them for the next day when she would hit the streets to sell them.
A feeling of shame had overcome me. How could I dismiss what she had written because of a few errors that had no real effect on the message of her poems?
This woman had already probably sold more of her writing than me, and that’s what I am paying thousands of dollars in tuition for: to sell my words.
One of her poems is titled Determination, which is what she has and I was too blind to see that at the time we met.
I might have some of the editing experience now, but when I first started writing those were skills I didn’t possess or even care about.
I didn’t care if I needed a comma here or there, I didn’t care if I used the wrong form of “to” or ended a sentence with a preposition. I simply wanted to write.
I lost the passion behind my own words because I’ve been so worried about being technically correct all the time. And trust me, I never even end up being technically correct all the time.
That woman, whoever or wherever she is now, showed me that you don’t need a college degree to have determination. You don’t need to have the perfect sentence or know every grammar rule to express how you feel.
We, as humans, judge people all the time whether we want to admit it or not. We judge people by appearances, by the way they talk, or the way they write in this case.
She signed her name at the end of the poems, a signature that I can’t make out very well, but I want to thank her for showing me what real determination is.
Cincinnati prides itself on the local artists, musicians and writers that are bred here. We celebrate them and award them for their talent. I don’t know where this woman is now, but she, and the others just like her who might not be at the open mic nights or in galleries, deserve recognition as well.
To her I say: That was the best $2 I ever spent.
A group of Greenpeace protesters face burglary and vandalism charges after a stunt yesterday on the Procter & Gamble buildings. Protesters apparently teamed up with a helicopter to climb outside the P&G buildings to hang up a large sign criticizing the company for allegedly enabling the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia by working with an irresponsible palm oil supplier. P&G officials say they are looking into the protesters’ claims, but they already committed to changing how they obtain palm oil by 2015.
Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) will step in to resolve the status of a downtown grocery and apartment tower project. The previous city administration pushed the project as a means to bring more residential space downtown, but Mayor John Cranley refuses to pay to move a tenant in the parking garage that needs to be torn down as part of the project. Following Cranley and Councilman Chris Seelbach’s request for 3CDC’s help, the development agency will recommend a path forward and outline costs to the city should it not complete the project.
Meanwhile, the tenants in the dispute announced today that they will sue the city to force action and stop the uncertainty surrounding their salon business.
Cranley insists politics were not involved in an appointment to the Cincinnati Board of Health, contrary to complaints from the board official the mayor opted to replace. Cranley will replace Joyce Kinley, whose term expired at the end of the month, with Herschel Chalk. “Herschel Chalk, who(m) I’m appointing, has been a long-time advocate against prostate cancer, who's somebody I’ve gotten to know,” Cranley told WVXU. “I was impressed by him because of his advocacy on behalf of fighting cancer. I committed to appoint him a long time ago.”
The costs for pausing the streetcar project back in December remain unknown, but city officials are already looking into what the next phase of the project would cost.
Troubled restaurant Mahogany’s must fully pay for rent and fees by March 10 or face eviction.
Through his new project, one scientist intends to “make 100 years old the next 60.”email@example.com.
The wine festival was founded in 1991 to promote the wine industry and raise funds for local charities. Each year, it’s gotten bigger and better, and so has its charitable giving. Over the course of more than two decades, the annual celebration has donated more than $3.9 million to local charities across the region. Today, the wine festival is recognized as one of the largest wine events in the entire country.
The Cincinnati International Wine Festival increases in winery participation, events and attendance each year; like a fine wine, it seems to get better with age. Each year, as participation grows, so does the nonprofit’s ability to distribute grants to Greater Cincinnati area programs that support the arts, education, health and human services.
The festival itself is made up of four prominent events: Winery Dinners, Grand Tastings, a Charity Auction and Luncheon, and the annual Russ Wiles Memorial Golf Tournament. These events don’t just celebrate wine. They also foster community and charity in the process.
This year’s line-up of Winery Dinners is filling up fast, but tickets to many of the special events are still up for grabs. The dinners celebrate cooking and winemaking as art, and aim to combine the two to create perfect pairings that are sure to please any palate. The popular dinners showcase the skills of visiting winemakers from around the world alongside the area’s finest chefs. Together, the chefs and winemakers work together to create what the Wine Festival describes as a harmonious experience filled with fine wine and masterful cuisine.
Reserve your seat at the table of a very special Winery Dinner celebrating a special evening with 2014 honorary chair Leonardo LoCasio, the founder of Winebow, Inc. at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Plaza’s Orchids at the Palm Court on Wednesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. ($175)
Wineries and some of the Cincinnati area’s most beloved restaurants team up all across the city on Thursday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. Reserve your seat at the table for some serious wining and dining at the following restaurants:
The festivities continue with The Wine Festival’s main event: the 2014 Grand Tastings, which take place March 7 and 8 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. More than 700 wines from more than 100 wineries are available to sample as you enjoy live music, delicious food and a silent auction.
The Grand Tastings are the centerpiece of the Cincinnati International Wine Festival as they showcase new, rare and exciting wines from around the world. Whether you're a seasoned expert or an intrigued beginner, winemakers and winery representatives welcome you as they mix useful knowledge with exquisite samples of their art.
This year, access to the special tasting room will give you VIP access to seven tastes of high-end wines an hour prior to each night’s Grand Tasting at the Grand Ballrooms of the Duke Energy Center. ($40 prior to the event, $45 at the door. Tickets the special tasting room are only available with the purchase of a Grand Tasting ticket.)
After the special tastings room closes its doors, the celebratory Grand Tastings take center stage at the Duke Energy Center’s Grand Ballrooms on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening:
Charity Auction and Luncheon
Continue your celebration with Silent and Live Auctions at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza’s Hall of Mirrors on Saturday, March 8. The auctions boast a phenomenal catalog of limited-release bottles, winemaker-signed grand format bottles, rare wines coaxed from the cellars of notable Cincinnatians, chef's table dining opportunities at exclusive Cincinnati homes, fantastic trips, wine cellar tours, and more.
Afterward, experience a luncheon filled with savory cuisine from the Hilton Netherland’s Chef Todd Kelly paired with incredible wines presented by winemakers and winery principals from across the country.
The charity auction and luncheon will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a reception, silent auction, and live auction lot preview. At 11 a.m. the live auction will begin, followed by the winery luncheon. Tickets to the reception, auctions and luncheon are $125.
The Russ Wiles Memorial Golf Tournament
The festival might only last a few short days this March, but the celebration and charitable giving continues in June as the Wine Festival promises a tournament unlike any other. This summer, Russ Wiles Memorial 2013 Honorary Chair Dan Temming hosts a golf outing at TPC River's Bend. Enjoy wines from around the world at 5 holes during play along with food provided by some of Cincinnati's finest restaurants.
The day kicks off with a Dom Perignon toast and a shotgun start. 36 foursomes will compete in a scramble format tournament where the 3 winning teams will take home large-format bottles of wine. Golfers will also be eligible to win amazing prizes when they compete in the Closest to Pin Shootout, Hole-in-One Contest, Putting Contest and the Skins game. An After Party will then be held at the end of play where live music, food and drinks will be served under beautiful tents overlooking the 18th green. As a special thank you for supporting our Cincinnati charities, tee gifts will also be presented.
Organizations Benefiting from the Cincinnati International Wine Festival’s Proceeds
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra