WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
Home - Blogs - Users Blogs - Latest Blogs
Latest Blogs
 
by Nick Swartsell 01.05.2016 38 days ago
Posted In: News, Streetcar at 02:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
streetcar

Council Poised to Set Streetcar Hours

Transit project would run early during weekdays, stop before bars close

Though you’ll be waiting a while if you try to catch one any time soon, riders now have an idea of exactly what times they’ll be able to catch the coming streetcar when it starts picking up passengers in September.

Cincinnati City Council’s Major Transportation and Regional Cooperation Committee approved operating hours presented by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority at its Jan. 5 meeting. That sets up full Council to approve those hours as soon as Jan. 6.

The streetcar will run Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. until midnight and from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the cars will run the 3.6-mile loop through Over-the-Rhine and downtown from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m. On Sundays and holidays, the transit vehicles will run from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The cars will run every 12 minutes during peak operating hours, which SORTA suggests will be Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. All other times, the cars will run every 15 minutes.

“We tried to build a schedule that would address a lot of concerns” raised at past City Council meetings and in public forums, says SORTA’s director of rail services Paul Grether. Those concerns mostly revolved around consistent start times for the vehicles, hours early enough for commuters to get to work and late operating hours to serve patrons of bars and restaurants in OTR and downtown.

Earlier suggestions for operating hours started later and ended earlier, except on weekends, when it would have run until 2 a.m.

Council members on the committee seemed satisfied with the schedule.

“We’ve had people downtown from the bars and nightlife places who have said how they’d like it to stay open late,” Transportation Committee Chair Amy Murray said at the Jan. 5 meeting. “And we’ve also talked to early-morning businesses to see what time the peak morning time is. I think this really sets it up. It seems like this really captures what people have been asking for.”

SORTA officials say seasonal schedules are possible, if necessary, and that data will be collected to track ridership trends. Three or four times a year, the transit agency will decide whether hours need to be adjusted. Major changes in the schedule would require public hearings, but unless those changes shift the amount of money being spent, no federal approval is needed.  

“Our schedule really does depend on how the people of Cincinnati utilize the streetcar,” said Councilman Kevin Flynn, the surprise swing vote who allowed the streetcar to go forward during a dramatic showdown between council and Mayor John Cranley in 2013. “The beauty of the contracts are that there is that flexibility. Once we see what the ridership numbers are, these times can be adjusted within reason.”

One thing riders shouldn’t count on — catching a ride on the streetcar after closing down the bar. Bars’ 2 a.m. closing time was a concern brought up by some in public hearings, but late-night partiers will have to take a cab or use a ride sharing service.

“This is not, for lack of a better word, a drunk bus,” Councilwoman Yvette Simspon said.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 01.05.2016 39 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
beer_brewingheritagetrailrendering_grantparkmural

Morning News and Stuff

Greater Cincinnati could see major development in 2016; SORTA to make recommendations for streetcar operating hours; Ohio's Democratic caucuses to meet tonight

Good morning, Cincinnati! Here are your morning headlines. 

• Change is coming this way, or so some say. Leaders of Madisonville say they hope 2016 could be the neighborhood's year for development. Some of the upcoming changes in the town include the opening of a restaurant and two apartments in the vacant FifthThird Building on Madison Road and Whetsel Avenue by the end of this month, and six new retailers are expected to open this spring. The Madisonville Urban Redevelopment Corp. has also hinted that more deals are possible to come this winter in terms of new apartments and retailers. 

• This is could also be a big year for the development of Cincinnati's brew trail in Over-The-Rhine. Construction of the first 2.3-mile leg of the trail is set to begin some time this year. Construction of the $5.2 million trail will take three years overall, and it will ultimately stretch from the Horseshoe Casino on Reading Road, down Liberty Street to McMicken Avenue. City officials are hoping upon completion that residents and tourists will be so inspired to grab lunch or a beer at one of the local businesses along the way as they stumble, er, walk down it. 

• An Over-The-Rhine-based real estate company has purchased the former Strietmann Biscuit Company Building and plans to renovate it into nearly 90,000 square feet of office space. Grandin Properties has purchased the more than 100-year-old building located on 12th Street and Central Parkway for $1.6 million and plans to spend between $12 and $15 million on renovations. The ultimate plan will include loft-style offices and very possibly room for another OTR restaurant. 

• SORTA plans to make its recommendation to city council's transportation committee today for the streetcar's hours of operation. The recommendations would have the streetcar commence operating at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday. It would stop operating at 11 p.m. on Sundays, at midnight Monday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday — one whole hour shy of bar closings. It would run every 15 minutes except during peak hours where that interval would be 12 minutes, with peak hours defined as 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

• The Cincinnati Streetcar looks ready to run some time this year after a very long political struggle. But the excitement over the arrival of the shiny, new cars might have made Northern Kentucky forget the headache its controversy causes many Cincinnatians. Covington Mayor Sherry Carran says her city is now looking at the possibility of a streetcar. The Covington Business Council is planning a panel discussion on the possibility of a streetcar on Jan. 21, which will feature councilman Chris Seelbach and former mayor Roxanne Qualls.  

• The settlement of a Duke Energy Class Action lawsuit could mean a little more money for some Cincinnatians this winter. Ohioans who were a Duke customer and Ohio homeowner or renter between 2005 and 2008 and received a card in the mail from "Williams vs. Duke Energy" could be eligible for at least $200 from the company. Duke recently lost the lawsuit that claimed the company overcharged customers, but it has still not admitted it did anything wrong. It did, however, agree to refund $80 million to some of its customers. 

• Tonight Ohio Democrats will hold caucuses in all 16 of Ohio's congressional districts to choose candidates, meaning Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, for delegate and alternate at this year's Democratic National Convention, which will begin on July 25 in Philadelphia. To find out more information on Southwest Ohio's Democratic caucus meetings for districts 1, 2 and 8, taking place tonight, click here. 

• The Obama administration is expected today to announced an executive action that includes a package with 10 provisions attempting to increase gun control in the U.S. Possibly the biggest change would require gun sellers on the Internet and at gun shows to obtain a license and conduct background checks, closing the long-debate gun show "loop hole." Obama also wants to dedicate $500 million in federal funds to the country's neglected mental health system. Republican members of Congress have already spoken out against Obama's plan, saying he's overstepped his reach. The executive actions comes in the wake of the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. on Dec. 2, which killed 14 people. The New York Times reports that gun sales have spiked in the wake of the California shooting and Obama's announcement.

• Where are the most cycle-friendly cities in the world? Well, according to London's Guardian, they're in places like Denmark and the Netherlands, not surprisingly. But keep scrolling down, and eventually Cincinnati gets mentioned. Since 2000, the city has seen a 350-percent increase in cyclists on the road, but it still falls way short when it comes to bike commuters, who represent only 1 percent of all commuters. Once we get past this cold weather, I can't wait to start being one of those few bike commuters again.

Email any story tips to nkrebs@citybeat.com.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 01.04.2016 40 days ago
Posted In: News at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news1_prison

Morning News and Stuff

Cincy to face many transportation issues in the new year; State hits six month mark for new prison drug treatment program; Kasich takes aim at Christie and Rubio

Happy New Year, Cincinnati! Hope everyone had a fun and safe kickoff to 2016. Here is your first round up of headlines this year. 

• So, 2016 will probably be the year of some exciting elections as we inch closer to November, but locally, Cincinnati faces many upcoming issues dealing with planes, trains, and automobiles. According to this Enquirer list, some major transportation issues to look out for include keeping an eye on the streetcar's operating deficit, figuring out who's going to spearhead the major task of repairing the western hills viaduct, watching CVG slowly and painfully turn into a multi-carrier airport and seeing if SORTA will push a transit tax proposal on this year's ballot. One issue absent from the list is a local non-profit's ambitious push to get more bike lanes in the city, and only time will tell how far that project will get by the end of this year. 

• The new year marks the six-month anniversary of a state program launched last summer to offer more drug addiction treatment options in Ohio's prisons. Last June, the state allocated $27.4 million in the budget to help pay for drug counselors to treat inmates with addiction issues three months before they are released. After they are released, they are eligible to sign up for Medicaid to help fund further treatment. The program is authorized to run through June of this year and is an attempt to reduce crime by taking away drugs as the motive for offenders with known addiction issues. Before the program launched last July, Ohio had released approximately 4,000 untreated inmates back out into the community who were either ineligible for treatment because they were serving less than six months or the programs were already full. Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has hopes to extend the program pending the legislature's approval of its funding in this upcoming year. 

• Gov. John Kasich started out this new year extending his attacks from Donald Trump to fellow GOP presidential candidates New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. During an interview with NBC News, Kasich claimed he has proven able to handle issues like taxes and jobs better than Christie, and said Rubio lacks experience. He even compared the one-term Senator to President Barack Obama, who was also a one-term Illinois Senator when he became president. Kasich, who is still hanging out at the bottom of polls, has stated throughout his campaign that he feels his years of experience have been overlooked. 

• Maybe 2016 will finally be the year of a total revolution in the United States. Or so the Bundy militia in Oregon hopes. The group is in its second day of occupying the federal buildings on the Malheur National Wildlife refuge in Harney County, Oregon, claiming that the feds took the land unconstitutionally in the early 1900s. The militia apparently came out to help two ranchers who are headed to prison for arson, but they were rejected by those they came to aid so they turned to reclaim the refuge instead. According to the Guardian, Harney County Sheriff David Ward isn't buying their claim that they came to support the two convicted arsonists. He believes they're trying to spark a revolution across the country.

Send me any story tips or last minute New Years resolutions to add to my growing list to nkrebs@citybeat.com.
 
 
by Steve Beynon 12.31.2015 43 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
sanderscopy

Primary Cheat Sheet: Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders (Democratic)

Fun fact:

Don’t think your vote counts? The first office Sanders held was mayor of Burlington, Vt., and he won the election by 10 votes in 1981. That small margin of victory led this Jewish politician on a course to the Senate and the race for the presidency.

What’s up with the campaign?

Bernie Sanders is one of two Independent senators serving in Congress. However, he caucuses with Democrats and is largely considered the most liberal member of the Senate. The Vermont senator is running a populist campaign and focuses on domestic economics, often pointing to the growing wealth of America’s elite while the middle-class shrinks as a “moral outrage.”

The self-described Democratic Socialist fills convention centers with crowds and is very popular amongst the college crowd and to those on the left that are frustrated with the Democratic party’s move to the center over the last couple of decades.

Some criticize Sanders’ major proposals such as single-payer health care, free public college, a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure and social security expansion as “radical.” Even the 74-year-old senator admitted that taxes would have to raised on people beyond America’s wealthiest one percent. Critics point to the failed initiative in Vermont to establish a “Medicare for all” plan mostly because the effort would have eaten the state’s entire budget.

While Sanders sometimes beats Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire polls, he has been behind her for almost the entire campaign. However, he has raised more money than the Republicans. The Sanders campaign also recently announced he has more donations from females than Clinton and more than two million contributions, a fundraising record for American politics.

One of the campaign’s flagship ideals is not taking big donations, or funds from corporations. The maximum legal contribution is $2,700. Sanders hasn’t sought money from wealthy liberals, despite support.

Voter might like:

      With the college crowd being saddled with an average $28,000 of debt and working for Ohio’s $8.10 minimum wage only to live in their parent’s basement, it’s easy to understand why they’ve been taken by Sanders’ rhetoric of a fair economy.

      Sanders has been serving in government since 1980, which arguably gives him the most padded resume of the bunch.

      People like a winner, and this senator has gathered the largest crowds in the primaries. The Washington Post reported 27,500 people came to see him speak in Los Angeles. He has gathered similar sized crowds in Boston, Cleveland and Little Rock, Ark.

...but watch out for:

      The term “socialist” still scares people. Sanders has been pushing hard to communicate his definition of “Democratic Socialism,” often invoking FDR and Eisenhower.

      Strong anti-gun advocates say the Independent from Vermont is weak on guns due to a vote allowing firearms in checked bags on AMTRAK. He also voted against making gun manufacturers legally accountable for crimes committed with their firearms. 

      The Sanders campaign has been fighting against Hillary Clinton’s “inevitability.” His proposals are popular on the left, but drive the right crazy. He is often framed as “the cool guy who won’t win anyway.”

Biggest policy proposal: The College for all Act of 2015 was proposed to committee May 19, 2015 and aims to make four-year public universities tuition-free. His plan outlines a 0.5-percent tax increase on stock trades, 0.1 percent on bonds and 0.005 percent on derivatives to pay for it.

War: Sanders voted against the war in Iraq but is very vocal about the Islamic State being a major threat. He wants to maintain President Obama’s aggressive air campaign and Special Operations’ ground missions.

However, Sen. Sanders wants bordering Muslim countries to lead the fight and opposes utilizing conventional U.S. ground troops, saying, “It is worth remembering that Saudi Arabia, for example, is a nation controlled by one of the wealthiest families in the world and has the fourth largest military budget of any nation. This is a war for the soul of Islam and the Muslim nations must become more heavily engaged.”


The primaries are elections in which the parties pick their strongest candidate to run for president. In Ohio, Election Day is Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Go here for more information on primaries. CityBeat will be profiling each of the candidates every week until the primaries in March.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 12.31.2015 44 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
harby_fireworks_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1569839

Morning News and Stuff

Bevin plans to reform Kentucky Medicaid; Kasich gets new billionaire supporter; Cities worldwide increase security for New Year's Eve

Happy New Year, Cincy! Here are your final morning headlines of 2015. 

• It hasn't quite hit 2016 yet, but new Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is already thinking ahead to 2017. The Republican governor has said that he plans to transform the state's Medicaid plan, which will take effect in January 2017 and will affect the approximately 1.3 million people who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line. Gov. Bevin says he's not quite sure what the plan will be yet and has enlisted a team of experts to help develop it, but hopes it will be something like Indiana's — complete with tiers of coverage, cancellation policies for people who have missed payments, premiums and co-pays. 

• Meanwhile, Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is still a GOP presidential candidate, has gotten the support of a former Bill Clinton billionaire donor. Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, who is worth approximately $1.58 billion and has mostly supported Democrats in the past, is scheduled to host a Jan. 12 fundraiser for Kasich at the Soho House in Los Angeles. Burkle, who made most of his money through grocery-chain investments, was also a supporter of Bill Clinton when he ran for president, and apparently maintained a close relationship after with the former president. Burkle also gave money to the Hilary Clinton 2000 Senate campaign and her first unsuccessful 2008 campaign for presidency. 

• While I'm on the topic of billionaires, the rise in the split in wealth has been an ongoing hot topic this past year. To end out the year, The New York Times has published a story on the ways that the country's wealthiest avoid paying taxes. The country's tax rate on the wealthiest has slipped in the last decade. Twenty years ago, the top 400 earners paid 27 percent of their income in taxes. Now, that rate is less than 17 percent for a group that earns on average $336 million a year. It's a pretty interesting read that will also unfortunately make you feel very, very poor. 

• I moved to Cincinnati from Texas in the middle of 2015, and while I've enjoyed much of the city's German-inspired cuisine, some days I'd kill for a good taco. But that's just my opinion. So how does Ohio's food scene rank in comparison to the rest of the country's? Well, website Thrillist puts Ohio, home to White Castle, Wendy's and Skyline Chili, at number 28 — right in the middle. Kentucky with its bourbon-infused dishes right across the river came in at ninth, but at least we beat Indiana, whose apparent love of chain restaurants earned them the spot of number 41 on the list. But California tops the list — with Texas and its glorious world of tacos and barbecue, coming in second. 

• In the post-Paris attacks world, cities everywhere are tightening their security on New Year's Eve. Brussels cancelled its celebrations while Paris cancelled fireworks. New York City will put 6,000 officers, including 500 specially trained in terrorist attacks, in Times Square to monitor the expected crowd of 1 million.  

Be safe tonight, Cincinnati, and see you next year!
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 12.30.2015 44 days ago
Posted In: News at 02:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news-otr-demo-map2

We've Got You Covered

A look back at some of CityBeat's favorite news features from 2015

CityBeat's news team has been all over the map this year. In the past 365 days, we've delved deep into college athletic funding, the experiences of refugee families in Cincinnati, new community ownership models for neighborhood grocery stores and any number of other issues.

Often, we’ve covered stories no other media outlet in Cincinnati thought to. Hopefully you enjoyed it. Here are some of our most unique news stories this year. 

Despite new development, Cincinnati is still a deeply segregated place.

Our story detailing the long history that has kept large portions of Cincinnati’s African-American population in low-income neighborhoods explored why many in our city struggle to access economic opportunity.

In the past year, intense tensions around race in America have re-emerged, sparking protests, civil unrest and reams of media coverage. But underneath issues around law enforcement’s role in black communities lie other problems. A pervasive and historically entrenched economic segregation in predominantly black neighborhoods continues to seal off many Cincinnatians, creating desperation and setting up extra barriers for residents of those communities. This lack of opportunity also informs the city’s much-publicized recent upswing in gun violence, its sky-high infant-mortality rate and a host of other problems.

City officials, neighborhood activists and experts have all offered ideas to alleviate this segregation, but it’s clear a complex, long-term and multi-faceted set of solutions is needed to improve the prospects of black Cincinnatians. 


UC officials approved an $86 million renovation of Nippert Stadium in 2013 despite unanimous opposition from the Faculty Senate, which recommended using Paul Brown Stadium for home football games. Work was completed this summer. Photo: Jesse Fox

UC students come for education, but their fees go to sports

Over the past decade, University of Cincinnati leaders have used student fees and tuition to cover a nearly five-fold increase in the university’s athletic department’s annual deficit while cutting academic spending per student by almost 25 percent.

In 2013, UC officials provided the athletic department with a $21.75 million subsidy, records show, using student fees and money from the school’s general fund, which is primarily funded by tuition. The total subsidy amounts to $1,024 out of the pocket of every full-time undergraduate student on UC’s main campus. The four-year price tag costs each student more than $4,000.

The situation at the University of Cincinnati is not unique. An investigation by a UC investigative journalism class, which was published by CityBeat, looked into the eight largest public universities in Ohio in the Football Bowl Subdivision, finding that with one exception, college administrators and trustees impose hidden fees and invisible taxes on thousands of working-class students who pay tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to keep money-losing athletic departments afloat.

Many of these same schools are cutting faculty jobs and slashing academic spending. Between 2005 and 2013, academic spending per full-time undergraduate student at UC, adjusted for inflation, dropped 24 percent, according to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a national group of current and former college presidents seeking to reform college athletics using research studies and, more recently, online databases. 

Are cooperative groceries the future in Cincinnati?

Cooperatively owned groceries are uncommon in Cincinnati, but over the past few years, the concept — a business owned and controlled by the people who work and shop there, instead of a large chain or local corporation — has started to gain steam here. The model has existed, and even thrived, elsewhere for years. Interest in co-ops has seen a big revival in the last decade as well, specifically as an alternative to big-box chain stores like Walmart. Unlike chains, supporters say, co-ops keep their profits in the community and allow for local input.

The increasing interest in this alternate model comes partly from necessity — neighborhoods like Clifton and Northside are popular places underserved by grocery stores, and the industry is only getting more difficult for those with more traditional business models in mind.

But even with the big efforts and big visions of nascent co-ops like Apple Street Market and Clifton Market, questions linger. The excitement for an alternative grocery model has reached a high point, but there are also a number of voices questioning if co-ops will work in a challenging grocery market.

Local efforts like Clifton Market have made strides, securing funding and setting construction dates. Despite doubts, Cincinnati’s age of the co-op might be around the corner. 


This building on Walnut Street, now called Branderyhaus, once housed Reginald Stroud’s karate studio and convenience store. Developers say tenants were relocated because the building needed major improvements.
Photo: Nick Swartsell

As Over-the-Rhine changes, some long-time residents find themselves forced to leave

Many have trumpeted the changes happening in Over-the-Rhine, a quickly redeveloping but historically low-income, predominantly black neighborhood. But for former residents like Reginald Stroud, who ran a convenience store and karate studio in a building on Walnut Street he lived in with his family, that redevelopment has led to some bitter realities. Stroud was forced to move to Northside this year after the building was redeveloped.

Recent Census data suggests that Stroud isn’t the only one departing OTR. The area’s demographic makeup seems to be changing in parts of the neighborhood that have seen large-scale redevelopment.  

Development in OTR has, until recently, been limited to the southern part of neighborhood, where the building Stroud lived in is located. Those efforts have changed the economic, and perhaps the racial, makeup of the area.

Developers and city officials say diversity is a key concern as OTR continues to change. And work is underway in other neighborhoods like Northside to find ways to encourage equitable economic development. But for former OTR residents like Stroud, those assurances provide little comfort.

UC suspends its campus sexual assault program, even as sexual assault continues to be a national issue

As University of Cincinnati students began filing onto campus to start classes this fall, a battle was raging over a program run by the UC Women’s Center designed to aid sexual assault survivors.
 
The debate — signaled by public meetings, a protest and a flurry of social media posts — centered around the role of the RECLAIM Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate Program. A round of training for the program was suspended this fall, causing concern among students.

RECLAIM participants say they were just a few days away from beginning the necessary 40-hour intensive training for the program, which offers sexual assault counseling and prevention strategies, when they received an email in early August from the Women’s Center stating that the training was cancelled.

Advocates say RECLAIM can’t exist without yearly training. UC says the program will continue, but as the university works to reschedule training, it has remained in flux.


A baptism at St. Leo Photo: Nick Swartsell

Refugees in Cincinnati find hardships in neglected neighborhoods, but also build community

Iraqi refugee Oday Kadhimand his family came to the United States a year ago after an arduous four-year wait and settled in Millvale. That neighborhood and its surrounding communities are part of the unseen Cincinnati, an area that houses many of the city’s more than 90,000 residents living below the federal poverty line. 
  


The neighborhood is also one of the city’s most violent, struggling with drug activity, shootings, break-ins and murders. For families like Kadhim’s, the violence is an echo of the very strife they’ve come here to escape.



Kadhim and his family aren’t the only ones who struggle with the neighborhood’s challenges. Two-hundred Burundian refugees have ended up there in the last decade, plus others who have arrived more recently. The total number of refugees in the neighborhood is unclear — even the organizations helping refugees get acclimated don’t keep long-term statistics — but it’s clear they’re a big presence there, and often a positive one.



Dozens of the refugees living in this often-ignored corner of the city have found unique and vibrant ways to build community, helping to energize a 125-year-old church just down the road in North Fairmount. Some see their presence as hope that the area can rise again. 

But for many like Kadhim, the neighborhood’s danger, isolation and poverty remain obstacles to achieving the dreams of peace and prosperity they believed they could find in the U.S.

A new court helps those who have been sex-trafficked start over

When Caroline (whose name CityBeat changed to protect her identity) came out as transgender during high school, her mother asked that she leave her house and neighborhood in Northern Kentucky. That rejection started a long, harrowing journey through sex trafficking and addiction from which it took Caroline years to recover. Now, a new court has helped her erase a criminal record she never should have had in the first place.

Caroline’s transgender status was part of her vulnerability. Her pimps worked a whole group of transgender women, playing on their insecurities and search for acceptance. She describes how traffickers would brand them — burning them with cigarettes or hot clothes hangers. Caroline suffered beatings and also mental and emotional abuse. Then there was the danger from the johns.

Two murders of transgender women in the past few years illustrate the dangers Caroline once faced. Twenty-eight-year-old Tiffany Edwards was killed in Walnut Hills in June 2014, and Kendall Hampton died there at age 26 in August 2012. Police suspect both were engaged in sex work at the time they died. Both, like Caroline, were women of color.

The CHANGE Court, presided over by Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Heather Russell, will give those like Caroline a chance to expunge convictions for acts done under the duress of sex trafficking. The court is part of a wider shift in attitudes away from viewing sex trafficked individuals as criminals. Social service and law enforcement agencies are increasingly seeing them as victims in need of help.

The court’s focus will go beyond folks like Caroline, who have already triumphed over the horrors of sex trafficking,  providing a road out of the world of coerced sex work for those who have yet to escape.


Two immigrant laborers working on a Warren County job site Photo: Mike Brown

Immigrant workers victimized by wage theft fight back

Imagine you work hard to put food on the table, but your employer isn’t paying you when it say it will — or at all. Now imagine you can’t take easily report it or take the employer to court.

Because employers capitalize on their fear of being deported, undocumented immigrant workers are frequently victims of wage theft, whether it’s being paid less than minimum wage, shorted hours, forced to work off the clock, not being paid overtime or not paid at all.

From 2005 through 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor collected more than $6.5 million in unpaid wages from Ohio construction companies for workers who were cheated out of minimum wage, overtime pay or the regional prevailing wages required for public projects. Some 5,500 workers were affected, but how many were undocumented immigrants wasn’t recorded by the agency. The $6.5 million collected by labor officials for all workers is likely only a fraction of the actual wage theft in the industry, union officials say.

What’s needed, according to those officials, is the political will to adequately staff state and federal enforcement agencies so they can find violators without waiting for complainants to step forward. Ohio’s Bureau of Wage and Hour Administration, which enforces wage laws on public projects as well as minimum wage requirements and pay to minors, has just six investigators and one supervisor to cover the entire state.

Enforcing wage and hour laws is seen as “anti-business” among Ohio employers, chambers of commerce and its Republican-dominated government, some watchdog groups say, meaning that changing the situation seems a daunting political challenge.


Ice Cream Factory in Brighton Photo: Scott Beseler

Alternative spaces are changing and evolving in Cincinnati

The DIY ethos in Cincinnati is alive and well, though where and how under-the-radar spaces operate is in flux.

The city has been a surprising hotbed for self-funded, not-for-profit art, music and party spaces, which exist in a twilight world just beyond the economic, regulatory and social rules that usually bound more traditional, for-profit entertainment venues. They’ve been aided by the low rents and lax oversight often found in the city’s more neglected corners and by a community of people looking for something outside the norm. And proponents of these under-the-radar venues say they’re important for more than just a few boundary-pushing art shows.

Many say these venues have given otherwise-unavailable opportunities to generations of Cincinnati artists and musicians. What’s more, urban experts say, such DIY spaces are good for the social health of cities. But as interest in urban living continues to take hold in Cincinnati and those once-neglected pockets of the city attract the gaze of developers, the future of these unique places has become uncertain.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 12.30.2015 45 days ago
Posted In: News at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
beerissue_madtree-cans

Morning News and Stuff

More than 100 people march in Cincy to protest Tamir Rice decision; Suburbanites lead votes against failed marijuana reform; Cincy ranks as top beer-loving city

Good morning Cincy! Here are your morning headlines.  

• A rally and march in Cincinnati last night drew more than 100 people protesting a Cuyahoga grand jury decision not to indict officers in the Cleveland police shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The event drew a diverse group of activists and speakers from Black Lives Matter Cincinnati, local unions and workers’ rights advocates, representatives from Cincinnati’s Islamic community, the Cincinnati Radical Feminist Collective and others. The rally began at Findlay Park in Over-the-Rhine followed by a march to Cincinnati Police Department District 1 headquarters in the West End. Attendees brought toys to symbolize Christmas gifts Rice was not able to receive this year due to his death. Those toys will be distributed to disadvantaged children in the community, BLM organizer Brian Taylor said.  
 
Earlier this week, a grand jury declined to bring charges against officers involved in Rice’s Nov. 2014 death, a move which has sparked outrage from Rice’s family and anti-police violence activists across the country. In Cincinnati, march organizers released a list of demands aimed at Cuyahoga County, including the firing of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, a reopening of the Rice case against officer Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, an indictment for those officers, and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the shooting. At the rally and march in Cincinnati, activists also drew parallels to the July police shooting of Samuel DuBose, a black motorist killed by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing. Tensing was charged with murder for that shooting, but has yet to stand trial. 

• The U.S. Department of Justice announced earlier this month that they will be suspending the equitable sharing program that allows police to keep a large chunk of money and property seized from individuals. Local law enforcement will still be allowed to do it, but they will no longer be able to keep up to 80 percent of it. The program is controversial because police are able to keep property from those who are never actually charged with a crime like Charles Clark II, who now famously had $11,000 in cash seized by police at the CVG airport in February of 2014. CPD says they use the reportedly received $1.1 million they received from the program between 2010 and the middle of 2015 to pay for outside training for their police force, but non-profits like Washington D.C.-based Institute of Justice say the current program is problematic because it's become a money grab for law enforcement. 

• Who exactly voted against ResponsibleOhio's failed attempt at marijuana reform this past election? According to an analysis by Mike Dawson, a Columbus-based election statistics expert, well-to-do suburbanites represented the group with the highest amount of opponents to the measure. Nearly 70 percent of voters in the suburbs of Toledo and Columbus voted against it, while 60 percent of Dayton, Cleveland and Cincinnati suburbanites opposed it. Urban voters favored the legalization 5 percentage points more. While many opposed Issue 3 because it limited the growth of marijuana to just 10 commercial farms, Dawson told the Associated Press that suburbanites also fear that marijuana will be a gateway drug in their communities. 

• Cincinnati ranks as one of the best cities in the U.S. for beer drinkers. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has spent time in this city with its many breweries, beer-centered bars and massive Oktoberfest that rivals Munich, but the website SmartAsset ranked Cincy as number 10 in the U.S. It beat out Columbus and Cleveland in the ranking, having 14 breweries and 4.7 microbreweries per 100,000 people. With the average beer costing a mere $3 a pint, I'll drink to that.    

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 12.28.2015 46 days ago
Posted In: News, Police at 02:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news1_11-24_rice1

No Charges for Officers in Tamir Rice Shooting

Verdict from Cuyahoga County grand jury comes more than a year after 12-year-old's death

Cleveland police officers involved in the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice will not face criminal charges related to the child’s death, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office announced today.

A grand jury has been deliberating for months about the case, which has grabbed national attention as debate continues over police-involved shootings of people of color.

Rice was shot Nov. 22, 2014 while on a playground in Cleveland. A 911 caller reported that Rice was playing with a handgun, but told a dispatcher that it appeared to be fake. The dispatcher did not relay that information to officers. Surveillance footage shows the officers pulling within feet of Rice in a police cruiser. In the video, officer Timothy Loehmann exits the passenger side of the cruiser and shoots Rice within a few seconds. Loehmann and his partner, officer Frank Garmback, do not provide medical attention to Rice, instead waiting for an FBI agent to do so. Rice later died at the hospital.

Other cases of police-involved shootings, including July 19 shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, have moved more quickly. Tensing was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges later that summer.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty has said the long process was about doing a thorough investigation. But members of Rice’s family have said they think McGinty is making efforts to protect the officers and the Cleveland Police Department.

In a statement released following the grand jury's decision, the family accused McGinty of "abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment."

The family has held a dim view of the outcome of the case for months. The Rices cried foul, for instance, at a March court filing from the city of Cleveland which stated that Rice was responsible for his death, saying it was caused by “failure to exercise due care to avoid injury.”

The city later apologized for the wording of the legal document.

“In an attempt to protect all of our defenses, we used words and we phrased things in such a way that was very insensitive,” Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson said at a news conference. “Very insensitive to tragedy in general, the family and the victim in particular.”

McGinty commissioned three law enforcement experts to draw up reports about the incident, all of which found the shooting “reasonable,” citing Loehmann’s lack of knowledge about Rice’s intentions and the realistic-looking pellet gun he was playing with.

But there are questions about the objectivity of those investigations.

Retired FBI training specialist Kimberly A. Crawford issued one of those reports. Attorneys for Rice’s family have pointed out that Crawford’s arguments for the acceptability of other law enforcement shootings have been rejected by the Department of Justice for being too lenient to officers. Another investigator, Denver District Deputy Attorney S. Lamar Sims, has made previous statements in support of Loehmann’s actions before undertaking his study.

While the Rice family’s attorneys cite these moves by the city and prosecutor McGinty as reasons to move the grand jury deliberations outside Cuyahoga County, McGinty has said that his office and the grand jury are impartial.

Officials with the prosecutor's office cited a "perfect storm of human error" and suggested that Rice looked much older than a typical 12-year-old when explaining the grand jury's verdict. The prosecutor's office also said that tapes show Rice pointing the toy gun at passersby near the recreation center earlier in the day.

Two other experts hired by the Rice family issued reports saying Rice’s killing was not justified and that officers responsible should be prosecuted. They point out the short succession of events and the fact that Rice did not have the gun in his hand at the time of his shooting. The toy was tucked in his pants at the time.

Rice’s death occurred just two days before a grand jury in St. Louis, Mo., declined to indict a white officer who shot unarmed 19-year-old Michael Brown. Like Brown, Rice has become a touchstone for activists who protest racially charged police shootings and who call for law enforcement reforms in the United States.

According to data culled by journalists at British publication The Guardian, more than 1,000 people have been killed in officer-involved shootings in the United States this year, including 30 in Ohio, the seventh-most of any state. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to die in those incidents. While a good number of those deaths came from armed confrontations, many others involved unarmed citizens.

Rice’s shooting happened just weeks before the Department of Justice released the scathing results of an 18-month investigation into the Cleveland Police Department’s use of force. Among the cases cited in that investigation: a 2012 incident in which 13 police officers fired almost 140 rounds at two unarmed occupants of a car that had been involved in a police chase. One officer reportedly stood on the hood of the couple's car and repeatedly fired rounds through its windshield. That officer was acquitted of criminal charges in May. Both occupants of the car died.

“We have concluded that we have reasonable cause to believe that CPD engages in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” the report states. The report triggered an intensive consent decree between the Cleveland Police Department and the federal government, which will oversee changes in the department's use of force policies, training and other reforms.

In a letter earlier this month, Rice’s family called on the DOJ to investigate their son’s death. The DOJ said Dec. 15 that it is reviewing that request.

In Cincinnati, Black Lives Matter will rally Dec. 29 at 6 pm at Findlay Playground in Over-the-Rhine. Organizers ask attendees to bring toys to donate to local charities in honor of Rice.

 
 
by Staff 12.28.2015 46 days ago
Posted In: Alcohol, Cocktails, Holiday at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
2016

New Year's Eve Dinners

Ring in 2016 with prix fixe meals and champagne toasts

Reservations are required for pretty much all of these events. Please call to reserve space and make sure the evening isn't sold out. 

BB Riverboats New Year’s Eve Cruise — Sail into the new year full-steam ahead. The cruise includes a three-entrée buffet, party favors, entertainment, a late-night snack buffet and the main event — a split of champagne at midnight. Boarding begins at 8 p.m.; cruise 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $105 adults; $65 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., 800-261-8586, bbriverboats.com.

A Bright New Year Beer Dinner at Fifty West — Make your last meal of 2015 a four-course beer dinner consisting of familiar foods with a twist. Each course is paired with Fifty West brews, including a special pilsner released for the New Year. 6-9 p.m. $59. Fifty West Brewing Company, 7668 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, 513-834-8789, fiftywestbrew.com.

Banana Leaf Modern Thai — Receive a complimentary glass of champagne with purchase of an entrée or dessert. 7 p.m. Prices vary. Banana Leaf Modern Thai, 101 E. Main St., Mason, 513-234-0779, bananaleafmodernthai.com.

Cafe Mediterranean — Featuring a fixed five-course menu. 7 p.m. $45. Cafe Mediterranean, 3520 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-871-8714, cafe-mediterranean.com.

Cincinnati Donauschwaben — Celebrate 2016 German-style with an all-you-can-eat appetizer/sandwich buffet and dessert, with music from Alpen Echos. Reservations required. 8 p.m. $25. 4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain, 513-385-2098, cincydonau.com.

Grandview Tavern & Grille — Surf & turf, braised short ribs and potato-chip-encrusted sea bass in addition to special appetizers and desserts and a champagne toast at midnight. Live music by Legato. 7 p.m. Prices vary. 2220 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell, Ky., 859-341-8439, grandviewtaverngrille.com.

Hometown New Year’s Eve at Hebron Grille — Whittle down the hours with a steak and lobster dinner, live music from Dave May and a champagne toast at midnight. Take home door prizes every hour from Rhinegeist, Verona Vineyards and more. 6 p.m. $15. Hebron Grille, 1960 N. Bend Road, Hebron, Ky., 859-586-0473, facebook.com/hebrongrille.

A Mellow New Year's Eve at Bella Luna — Enjoy a mellow meal at Bella Luna with a prix fixe menu featuring ravioli, bone marrow with pomegranate jam, eggnog bread pudding and more, plus complimentary champagne with dessert. $125 per couple. Bella Luna, 4632 Eastern Ave., East End, 513-871-5862, bellalunacincy.com

Metropole — Savor every last bite of 2015 with a New Year’s Eve dinner at Metropole. Chef Jared Bennett’s farm-to-fireplace á la carte menu will be served until 6:45 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., guests will be treated to a four course prix fixe menu with amuse-bouche. 5:30-11 p.m. $95 ; includes champagne toast. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com.

Midnight in Munich — Celebrate NYE with our sister city, Munich. Features a traditional German buffet with roasted pig and includes entertainment, a champagne toast, appetizers, dinner and desserts. 5 p.m. Prices vary. Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, 513-221-5353.

Mount Adams Pavilion’s New Year’s Eve Ball — Two DJs on two levels provide music throughout the evening. Guests receive party favors, access to a complimentary hors d’oeuvres buffet and — of course — champagne to toast. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $30; $40 at door. Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, facebook.com/mountadamspavilion.

Nectar — Enjoy a three-course prix fixe meal at Nectar for New Year's. Meal includes choice of local polenta, coq au vin and caraway-crusted petite fillet. Reservations required. $65. Nectar, 1000 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, 513-929-0525, dineatnectar.comtmp_1451326182321.

The Presidents Room — An optional five-course tasting menu accompanies live music and a champagne toast. 7 p.m. Prices vary. The Presidents Room, The Phoenix, 812 Race St., Downtown, 513-721-2260, thephx.com.

Taft’s New Year’s Eve Bash — Taft’s Ale House hosts its inaugural New Year’s Bash with live music by the Eden Park Band and a rare beer tapping at midnight ­— the brewery has teamed up with Taste of Belgium to created a special waffle-based beer for the bash. 7 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Tickets start at $35. Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-334-1393, taftsalehouse.com.

Venue Cincinnati’s New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball — A sit-down dinner, party favors, a champagne toast and Electronic music by DV8. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Tickets start at $25. The Venue Cincinnati, 9980 Kings Auto Mall, Mason, 513-239-5009, thevenuecincinnati.com

Vinoklet Winery — Celebrate the advent of 2016 with a dinner buffet at the winery, with choice of prime au jus or swordfish, plus more. Includes open bar, hors d'oeuvres, party favors, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. 7:30 p.m. $75. Vinoklet Winery, 11069 Colerain Ave., Colerain, 513-385-9309, vinokletwines.com.

For more New Year's Eve events, visit citybeat.com.
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 12.28.2015 47 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
pride_leelahalcornvigil_jf2

Morning News and Stuff

Leelah Alcorn remembered; Ohio legislature not representative of state; Kasich sees upswing in New Hampshire

Good morning all. Hope your holidays have been good and, if you’re into the giving and receiving gifts thing, that you got and gave some good ones. So what’s up with news?

Greater Cincinnati’s transgender community will gather this morning at 10 a.m. at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine to remember Leelah Alcorn, the teen who took her own life one year ago today by stepping into traffic on I-71 near Mason. An online note auto-published after her death described the isolation and depression Alcorn felt over her treatment by her parents and peers because of her transgender status. That note challenged others to “fix society” and make it a more accepting place for people with non-binary gender identities. Cincinnati has made some progress toward that end: Cincinnati City Council passed a ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors. That therapy seeks to turn LGBT people straight and is usually religiously based. Councilors in Cincinnati who practice that therapy on minors will receive a $200 fine. Cincinnati is the first city in the country to pass such a ban. Many transgender activists in the city say that’s a good start, but isn’t enough. They’re calling for increased help and protection for transgender people, especially the most vulnerable trans groups — people of color and minors who have become homeless because of their status. A number of trans people across the country in those vulnerable groups have been murdered in recent years.

• Local news is a little slow this week, but plenty is happening statewide. Let’s zoom out for a minute. Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld continues to make the rounds in Ohio as he seeks to become the Democratic party’s nominee in the race for Republican Rob Portman’s U.S. Senate seat. Meanwhile, former Ohio governor and Dem frontrunner Ted Strickland has played a quieter waiting game, appearing at a few small events and releasing little in the way of policy statements or other missives aimed at wading into the political fray. That’s probably strategic: Polling shows Strickland, a well-known political force throughout Ohio, has carried a lead over incumbent Portman even as Sittenfeld trails both. Still, some statewide political figures are saying Strickland needs to start bringing substantive ideas to his campaign as Sittenfeld hits him with criticisms on gun control, climate change and other progressive issues. The Democratic underdog has also challenged Strickland to debates, but the frontrunner has so far been mum about facing off. Political experts believe Strickland will continue to ignore Sittenfeld unless he makes inroads with prospective voters.

• Is the Ohio legislature truly representative of the state? If you break it down demographically, it would seem not. Among those least represented in the state house: women, who make up 51 percent of Ohio’s population but hold just 25 percent of its legislative seats. Other groups, including Hispanics, are also under-represented, according to a report in the Dayton Daily News. It’s more than just a numbers game — the lack of representation means that public policy doesn’t take into account Ohio’s various populations and perspectives.

“With someone not in the room, a group not in the room representing different genders, sexual orientations, races — it’s a bunch of people guessing what that must be like,” state Rep. Dan Ramos told the paper. Ramos, a Democrat from Loraine, is one of just three Hispanic members to ever serve in the Ohio General Assembly. Though the state house has slowly become more representative over time, there is still a long way to go, some lawmakers say. That will take big social changes. Women are just as likely to win elections as men, some studies suggest, but are less likely to be in a position to run for office in the first place due to societal gender roles, parenting responsibilities and other factors.

• A grand jury decision could come any day in the case of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old with a toy gun shot by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann last November, the Associated Press reports. But the Rice family believes Loehmann won’t be charged in the shooting, according to their attorney, who has accused Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty of using the grand jury proceedings to “engineer denying justice” to the family. It’s been well over a year since the shooting, which was sparked by a 911 call from a man waiting for a bus. That call stipulated that the gun Rice had was probably fake, but a dispatcher didn’t relay that information to officers. The cruiser Loehmann was riding in stopped just feet from Rice. Loehmann jumped out and shot the boy within seconds of exiting the vehicle. The grand jury has heard testimony from experts convened by McGinty, who say the shooting was reasonable given what Loehmann knew about the situation, and other experts gathered by the Rice family who say Loehmann should be charged with the child’s death. The case has received national attention as police shootings of black citizens continue to rouse protests and calls for change.

• Will Ohio governor and GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich’s fortunes turn around in the wild world of the Republican presidential primary? At least one poll suggests there might be a glimmer of hope yet for the perpetual presidential underdog. A new Quinnipiac poll out of New Hampshire has Kasich third only to Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in the state, which holds the country’s second primary Feb. 9. That’s a big step up for Kasich — he was running sixth in New Hampshire earlier this month. In the past weeks, Kasich has stepped up his ground game in the state with more campaign staff and appearances there. The Kasich campaign has gone all-in on New Hampshire, indicating if the candidate doesn’t do well there, he may well pack it in and call it a day. But even as Kasich makes some progress in the Granite State, he’s still struggling in Iowa, another vital state hold its primary Feb. 1.

 
 

 

 

Latest Blogs
 
by Natalie Krebs 02.12.2016 18 hours ago
Posted In: News at 05:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
clinton

Bill Clinton Calls on Cincinnati to Support Hillary

Former president speaks in Clifton in support of his wife's presidential run

Former President Bill Clinton urged a group of more than 200 people in Clifton today to support his wife and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

Clinton called his wife a “changemaker” who held the expertise and experience to become the next president.

Much of his speech touched on the need to grow the country’s economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis through lowering the country’s high student loan debt and increasing the number of jobs.

“We suffered a terrible wound in that financial mess,” Clinton said.

Clinton also addressed the sixth Democratic debate that took place last night between Clinton and her competitor for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, without ever mentioning Sanders’ name. He recapped Hillary’s points from the debate on refinancing student loans and avoiding another financial crisis.

“I love the closing of the debate last night when Hillary said, ‘Look I agree we’ve got to do something to make sure the economy doesn’t crash again. You have your solution. I have mine. Most experts say my plan is stronger, and it’s more likely to prevent the financial crisis,’ ” he said.

Bill Clinton has been touring the country in support of his wife’s bid for the Democratic nomination in the wake of disappointing outcomes for Hillary in the last two weeks. She came in neck and neck with Sanders in the Iowa caucus on Feb. 1 and lost significantly in New Hampshire Democratic primary on  Feb. 9.

At the rally, the former president expressed disappointment at the current Supreme Court for upholding the Voting Right Act and the “Citizens United" decision, which allows unlimited spending on political campaigns by corporations and unions.

He emphasized how such issues could change with the next president, as he or she will likely appoint two Supreme Court judges.

“She’ll give you judges who will stick up for your rights,” he said.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and former mayor Mark Mallory introduced Clinton. Vice mayor David Mann and council members Chris Seelbach and Yvette Simpson were also at the event.

Christie Malaer of Green Hills says she attended the rally because she believes Hillary, along with her husband Bill, will make a good team together again in the White House.

“Hillary and Bill have stuck together through everything they’ve been through,” Malaer said. “That says a lot.”

 
 
by Maija Zummo 02.12.2016 24 hours ago
Posted In: Holiday, fish at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
izzys codfather

Friday Fish Fry Guide

Don't have to be religious to enjoy some beer-battered cod

For those of the Christian faith, Lent is the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter spent in religious observance preparing for the resurrection of Christ. It's a time to reflect, repent, fast and engage in some Americanized self-denial — like giving up Coke products or chocolate. It's also a time when people abstain from eating meat on Fridays — fish good; red meat bad — so in Cincinnati there's a flurry of end-of-week activity at local churches and parishes, who are all serving up fried fish dinners and raising money in the process. 

The competition is stiff, so if you're looking to indulge in some down-home, damn-good weekly beer-battered cod and hearty mac and cheese through March, here's where to dine. Some churches even offer adult beverages and parishioner-baked desserts, along with catchy themes and specialty items. Here's a list of local favorites — those offering unique twists or with "best of" votes from area media outlets. 

For a full list of local fish fry events, visit thecatholictelegraph.com/fish-fry-guide.

All Saints
Two words: fish tacos. Why wait in line in OTR when you can pop on out to Kenwood for some fan favorite fried fish, nestled in a lovely tortilla. Menu also features grilled salmon, tilapia, fried cod, sweet potato fries and pizza. And local beer. 5-7:30 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 8939 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, all saints.cc.

Beechwood High School Fish Fry Drive-Thru
One of the more popular local drive-thru fries. Head to the high school's concession stand to pick up your order — email in advance so it will be ready. Meal includes choices like a baked salmon dinner, fried fish dinner with two sides, fried fish sandwich, pizza, chicken nuggets and sides. 4-7 p.m. Fridays through March 25. 54 Beechwood Road, Fort Mitchell, Ky., 859-620-6317.

Bridgetown Finer Meats
Ok. So this deli is not a church. They still do Fabulous Fish Fridays. Every Friday through Easter, you can grab a fish sandwich as big as a house (with cheese, lettuce and homemade tartar sauce on two slices of giant bread), a shrimp boat, lobster mac and cheese and other fancy specialties. They also have a contest on their Facebook page where if you guess the closest to how many fish sandwiches they serve that day, you win a free sandwich. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays through Easter. 6135 Bridgetown Road, 513-574-3100, bridgetownfinermeats.com. 

Hartzell United Methodist Church
All-you-can-eat fish fry, featuring hand-cut and hand-breaded cod. Menu also includes chicken breast, shrimp, cheese pizza and sides including mac and cheese, cole slaw, applesauce, bread, dessert and drinks. Also available for carry out. $10 adults; $5 children 6-11; free under 5. 4-7 p.m. Fridays through March 11. 8999 Applewood Drive, Blue Ash, 513-891-8527, hartzellumc.com.

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Offers standard fish fry fare — shrimp, crab cakes, pizza, mac and cheese, french fries — but is also home of the famous Tommy Boy, a piece of fried fish nestled inside of a grilled cheese. Also available at the drive-thru. 5-7:30 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 5876 Veterans Way, Burlington, Ky., ihm-ky.org.

Mary, Queen of Heaven
Home of the Codfather, aka the alter ego of John Geisen of Izzy's dressed in mafia-wear and carrying a stuffed cod (photo ops welcome). Offers dine-in, carry-out and drive-thru options so you can get a Holy Haddock sandwich on a hoagie bun, Icelandic beer-battered cod cooked in vegetable shortening, mac and cheese, green beans and more. Menu also features homemade desserts, pizza, grilled cheese and BEER, which you can imbibe waiting in line to get in. 4-8 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 1150 Donaldson Highway, Erlanger, Ky., 859-371-2622, mqhparish.com/#!fish-fry/rhwto.
  • All Izzy's restaurant locations are also offering the Codfather special through March 24: North Atlantic cod filet, battered with Izzy's special blend of 17 spices, served on a kaiser bun with lettuce and tartar sauce. izzys.com.

St. Barbara 
For dine in or carry out. Menu features a cod fish dinner with three sides, the Bob Lee special (baked tilapia and four shrimp), shrimp dinner (8 shrimp with three sides), baked tilapia and a la carte options. 4:30-8 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 4042 Turkeyfoot Road, Erlanger, Ky., 859-371-3100.

St. Columban Church
Lots of choices here. Dinner choices include two sides — fish sandwich dinner, fried shrimp (five pieces), grilled salmon dinner, grilled tilapia dinner, fish taco dinner or buffalo shrimp wrap dinner, with side choices of waffle fries, green beans, baked potato, french fries, mac and cheese, coleslaw, applesauce or tossed salad. 5-8 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 894 Oakland Road, Loveland, 513-683-0105, stcolumban.org.

St. Francis de Sales
Fish fry featuring fried and baked fish, pizza, the famous "DeSales Slammer" and mac and cheese. 5:30-8 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 1600 Madison Road, Walnut Hills, 513-961-1945.

St. Francis Seraph
For $8, grab a meal with two sides (mac and cheese, applesauce or coleslaw). 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays through March 18. Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, stfrancisseraphschool.com.

St. Joseph Academy
Adult fried/baked fish dinner includes 12 oz. fish with three sides, drink and dessert, or adult six piece shrimp dinner for $11 (senior dinners $8). A la carte items include Cajun shrimp gumbo, fish sandwich, hush puppies and sides like scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese, french fries, salad and green beans. 4:30-8 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 48 Needmore St., Walton, Ky., 859-485-6444, sjawalton.com.

St. Joseph Catholic Church
Menu features hand-breaded cod and catfish, plus shrimp, crab cakes and salmon. Also includes homemade desserts. 4-7:30 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 6833 Four Mile Road, Camp Springs, Ky., 859-635-5652, stjosephcampspringsparish.com.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish
The parish's 11th-annual fish fry. Carry out and dine in available. Menu includes beer-battered and fried cod and shrimp, baked cod, grilled salmon and a seafood combo (with all three!). Dinners include two hush puppies and choice of sides (baked potato, green beans, mac and cheese and more). 4:30-8 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 5720 Hamilton Mason Road, Liberty Township, 513-777-4322, saint-max.org.

St. William 
Annual fish fry with drive thru or dine in. Features weekly live entertainment. Menu includes choices like Magnificod Platter (hand-breaded cod, fries, hush puppies and coleslaw), Baked Salmon Platter (baked salmon, green beans, roasted potatoes and coleslaw), Shrimp Platter (eight pieces of butterfly shrimp, sauce, fries, hush puppies and coleslaw) and other dinner platters and sides. Baked goods sold weekly. 4-7:30 p.m. Fridays through March 18. 4108 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, stwilliamfishfry.com.


 
 
by Natalie Krebs 02.12.2016 25 hours ago
Posted In: News at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
voices_wwe-billclinton700x615

Morning News and Stuff

UC officer Ray Tensing to testify in October trial; Bill Clinton to speak in Clifton; Kroger will sell antidote for heroin overdoses

Good morning, Cincinnati! Here are your morning headlines. 

Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing is expected to testify at his trial, which has been set for Oct. 24. Tensing is charged with the murder of motorist Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop in Mount Auburn last July. Tensing's attorney indicated in a pre-trial motion that Tensing would be on the list of more than 20 witnesses scheduled to testify. Other listed witnesses include Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and UC President Santa Ono. 

• Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Clifton today. Clinton will speak at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center at 3 p.m. at a Get Out the Vote event. The event could mark the beginning of the aggressive campaigning from presidential candidates in Ohio in the coming months. Not surprisingly, Clinton is expected to urge people to vote for his wife and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president as well as discuss the current election. Doors open at 2 p.m., and you can RSVP here

• Grocery giant Kroger announced today that it will start selling Narcan, the heroin overdose antidote, without a prescription at its pharmacies in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. The drug, which is often carried by emergency personnel, is currently only available in 27 state pharmacies without a prescription. Kroger's announcement follows the one made earlier this month by drug store CVS, which said it would begin selling Narcan in its Ohio stores next month. The corporations' decisions come as more attention has been brought to a recent spike in the number of heroin-related deaths sweeping the region. 

• Weed and redistricting are several issues on the minds of legislators. At the Associated Press Legislative Preview Session on Thursday, House and Senate leaders said they were each holding their own separate hearings on medical marijuana. Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) said while thinks there's support for it in the legislature, if marijuana is legalized it will probably be not be available in smoking form in order to keep from creating a loophole for those who just want to get high legally. Leaders also said they were kind of, sort of working on redistricting reform, which was approved by voters last November. Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) said the proposals received so far are going to a seven-member commission, which includes four lawmakers. 

• Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off in the sixth Democratic debate last night on PBS. Clinton, who has faced disappointing results from the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, attacked Sanders' revolutionary plans, saying they are unrealistic. She also circled her knowledge of foreign politics again and again in an attempt to knock Sanders' lack of overseas experience. Tension between the two Democratic presidential candidates has risen along with Sanders' popularity, especially with women and the young voters. The debate comes a less than a week before the South Carolina primary on Feb. 20 and the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 23.
 
 
by Staff 02.11.2016 46 hours ago
at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_cincy-beerfest-random-dudes-cheersing_photo-byron-photo

Your Weekend To Do List (2/12-2/14)

VALENTINE TIME

FRIDAY
EVENT: CINCY WINTER BEERFEST
Cincy Winter Beerfest is one of the top 10 craft beer festivals in the nation and one of the Queen City’s biggest beer bashes of the year — and that’s saying a lot (we have a lot of beer festivals). More than 350 craft beers from more than 100 breweries will descend on the Duke Energy Convention Center for two nights of drinking, dancing and dining. This ninth-annual fest not only features samples of all styles, tastes and ABVs of brews, but also live bands, a silent disco and food from dozens of local restaurants. Part of the proceeds benefits the Big Joe Duskin Music Education Foundation. 7:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $45 advance; $55 day of; early bird and connoisseurs packages available. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, cincybeerfest.com.

'Cinderella'
Photo: Cincinnati Ballet
DANCE: CINDERELLA
This weekend, Cincinnati Ballet’s Cinderella, last seen in 2010, takes the stage at the Aronoff Center. The timeless tale has fresh choreography by artistic director and CEO Victoria Morgan. There are newly refurbished sets and updated costumes, too, as well as the addition of friendly puppet mice and more children’s roles. Carmon DeLeone conducts the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in perhaps the most rhythmically powerful example of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet music. “Cinderella charmingly reminds us that generosity and imagination can lead to a different and better life,” Morgan says. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $32. 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cballet.org. 

FILM: LOVE ME TONIGHT

Cincy World Cinema hosts their annual Valentine's weekend movie special, screening Rouben Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight. As the group notes, "If you like love stories, romantic comedy, great songs, classic cinema and the candid vibrancy of Pre-Code Hollywood, this film is for you!" It's also for your date. For an additional fee, you can take your honey to dinner at the Highland Country Club. Meal includes buffet, with wine and dessert. 6 p.m. cocktails and dinner; 7:30 p.m. film. $35 dinner and film; $10 film. Highland Country Club, 931 Alexandria Pike, Ft. Thomas, Ky., cincyworldcinema.org.

EVENT: ANATOMY OF A VALENTINE DINNER & DISSECTION

Meddling with Nature, a local artistic taxidermy and photography studio, heads to GOODS on Main for a very special Valentine's Day weekend. The weekend not only features your typical lovely dinner stuff, but also a real dissection. The evening kicks-off with a hands-on dissection of a heart, followed by casual discussion over a heart inspired meal. Gloves, wine and hand sanitizer will be provided. Come hungry, thirsty and curious. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $50. GOODS on Main, 1300 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/meddlingwithnature.

EVENT: LOVE MOER ON CAROL ANN'S CAROUSEL

Follow up dinner at the Moerlein Lager House with a romantic carousel ride. Moerlein is teaming up with Carol Ann’s Carousel and the Cincinnati Parks Department to provide everyone who dines at the restaurant this weekend with a pass for a complimentary ride. Carousel operates 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5-8 p.m. Sunday. Moerlein Lager House, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, moerleinlagerhouse.com.


Orchids at Palm Court
Photo: Khoi Nguyen

EVENT: VALENTINE'S DAY AT ORCHIDS

Five-diamond restaurant Orchids at Palm Court serves up Valentine’s Day eats all weekend with two different seatings, including four and six courses respectively. Reservations required. Friday-Sunday. First seating $85; second seating $105. Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W. Fifth St., Downtown, 513-421-9100, orchidsatpalmcourt.com.


EVENT: VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER AT WASHINGTON PLATFORM

Meal includes fresh oysters, two entrées, salads, a bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries. But that’s not the best part — guests will also enjoy a half-hour horse-drawn carriage ride through the city. Friday-Sunday. $125; $90 without carriage ride. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, 513-421-0110, washingtonplatform.com.


ONSTAGE: CCO PRESENTS LA SERVA PADRONA AND STABAT MATER 

The Cincinnati Chamber Opera performs a double bill of works by Giovanni Battista. The night kicks off with La Serva Padrona, a comedic one-act intermezzo often credited with bridging the gap between the Baroque and Classical eras. The second half of the program is a staging of Stabat Mater, which tells the biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion from Mary’s point of view. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $25 adults; $20 students and seniors. St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park, cincinnatichamberopera.com.


EVENT: KROHN BY CANDLELIGHT

The Krohn keeps its doors open a little later for an adults-only date night. Stroll through the conservatory’s current spring show, Hatching Spring Blooms, and stop by the education room to learn about chocolate. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday. $12; reservations required. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, 513-421-4086, cincinnatiparks.com.

Do Ho Suh,
Courtesy the Artist and Lehman Maupin, New York
ART: PASSAGE OPENING AT THE CAC
Only a few of us can travel in space like Neil Armstrong or Yuri Gagarin, but we all travel through myriad spaces in everyday life. It’s so common, we rarely even think about it. But the South Korea-born, London-based artist Do Ho Suh thinks about it very much. He approaches public and private spaces with the same sense of exploration that an astronaut devotes to the moon. You’ll be able to see what he’s discovered when the exhibition Passage opens at the Contemporary Arts Center on Friday. It continues through Sept. 11. Using colorful fabric, he has constructed soft, allusive versions of spaces he has known in his 53 years of living and traveling throughout the world. The show features four major fabric sculptural installations, including a stand-out (and stand-up) three-story staircase called “348 W. 22nd St.” Read more about the exhibit here. Passage opens Friday at the Contemporary Arts Center. Do Ho Suh will speak to members at 7 p.m., followed by a public opening at 8 p.m. More info: contemporaryartscenter.org.

The library's smallest books are on display.
Photo: Courtesy of Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
ART: TINY TOMES AT THE LIBRARY
Tiny Tomes features 71 of the library’s smallest books, on display in six cases through March 13. It’s a quirky and thoroughly charming exhibit. Who knew so many miniature books of all types existed, or that their subject matter could be so unusual and their graphic design so beautiful? Read more about the exhibit here. Tiny Tomes is on display through March 13 at the main branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. More info: cincinnatilibrary.org.

Seratones
Photo: Chad Kamenshine
MUSIC: SERATONES
Shreveport, La., foursome Seratones began playing together in 2014. After working on its live profile, by the end of 2015, the band had signed a deal with Fat Possum Records, played acclaimed shows at the South by Southwest and CMJ fests and were named one of the 20 best new bands of 2015 by Paste magazine (among other accolades). Considering the band has yet to release an album (its debut is due this year), it’s safe to say Seratones is in a pretty good position to be a “best of 2016” contender as well. Meeting through musical peers in different projects, the group members started out as friends, attending Punk shows together in Shreveport. Read more about Seratones in this week's Sound Advice. See Seratones with Orchards Friday at Woodward Theater. More info/tickets: woodwardtheater.com.

Mike Stud
Photo: Provided
MUSIC: MIKE STUD
As a general rule, adopting the name “Stud” as a Hip Hop handle would be little more than chest-thumping braggadocio. But for Mike Seander, aka Mike Stud, it’s more or less a factual declaration. The Rhode Island native lettered in both baseball and basketball in high school. As a senior, Seander averaged 21 points and seven rebounds per game on the court, but his baseball skills were even more impressive — he earned a 9-2 record and an ERA of 0.91 with 107 strikeouts, and was named the state’s Gatorade and Louisville Slugger Player of the Year. He also received an athletic scholarship to Duke University, where, as a true freshman, Seander notched a 1.61 ERA in nine saves, respectively the lowest and second-highest marks in school history. Read more about the artist in this week's Sound Advice. Mike Stud plays Bogart's Friday. More info/tickets: bogarts.com.


SATURDAY
'The Revolutionists'
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
ONSTAGE: THE REVOLUTIONISTS

A world premiere at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (simultaneously with another, Native Gardens). In The Revolutionists, up-and-coming playwright Lauren Gunderson assembles a crowd of badass historical women, including Marie Antoinette and assassin Charlotte Corday, imprisoned during the French Revolution. She imagines how they might encourage, inspire and support one another during the horrific “Reign of Terror” as they await the guillotine. Their short-term future certainly distills their conversations about what’s important, but Gunderson leavens her irreverent fantasia with a lot of sassy humor. “The beating heart of the play,” she says, “is that stories matter, that art matters.” Through March 6. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com

My Furry Valentine
Photo: Provided

EVENT: MY FURRY VALENTINE

Cincinnati’s largest pet adoption event returns to the Sharonville Convention Center for its fifth year of connecting animals in need with forever families. Meet a variety of pets, including cats, dogs, rodents, reptiles and birds. More than 500 adoptable animals from 40 local rescue groups, like Adore-A-Bull Rescue, League for Animal Welfare and SPCA Cincinnati, will be in attendance. Vendors will also sell a variety of products for your current furry family members. Last year, the event was attended by more than 10,000 people, resulting in 729 adoptions; organizers hope to see even bigger numbers in 2016. To ensure the safety of all animals involved, attendees are asked to leave their own pets at home. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $3 entry; adoption fees vary per rescue. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, myfurryvalentine.com


Jungle Jim's Big Cheese Festival
Photo: Provided
EVENT: JUNGLE JIM'S BIG CHEESE FESTIVAL

Looking for a cheesy way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Jungle Jim’s has you covered. This year’s Big Cheese Festival promises to be the biggest one yet, featuring 40 booths from more than 80 different companies. Choose from 1,400 types of cheeses and pair your selections with meats, olives, breads, condiments and various liquors offered at stations throughout the building. Wine and beer can be purchased by the glass, and VIP and drinking wristbands are also available. Cheese carver Sarah Kaufmann, who holds a Guinness World Record for her talent, will be creating designs onsite; guests can even sample shavings from the cheese blocks Kaufmann carves. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $12 general admission; $2 children 16 and under; $16 advance two-day pass; $25 wristband. Oscar Event Center, Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

Lunar New Year
Photo: Provided
EVENT: LUNAR NEW YEAR

Celebrate the Lunar New Year and ring in the Year of the Monkey with a fusion of cultures in OTR’s newly renovated historic Gothic church, the Transept. Kick off the night with a cocktail hour and dim sum, including steamed pork belly sliders, sticky rice, rock salt tofu, turnip cakes and create-your-own congee. Main party starts at 10 p.m. with DJs and visuals from Chad Shack. Proceeds from the event will support Asian Food Fest and other Asian cultural events in Cincinnati. 8 p.m. cocktail hour; 10 p.m.-2 a.m. party. Saturday. $30 cocktail hour; free party. The Transept, 1205 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, godaspo.com

Whitey Morgan
Photo: Provided
MUSIC: WHITEY MORGAN AND THE 78'S
Well, looky here. The CMA Awards derned got turnt around this past November when the corporate Bro-Country boys and girls got to sit in their chairs and watch a true Honky Tonk hero, Chris Stapleton, win three top honors. The pendulum shift is nothing new — the battle between lame Nashville Pop (the mainstream cookie-cutter horseshit mostly heard on the radio these days) and true-grit Country music has been raging for a very long time. It is no coincidence that Stapleton grew up across the Ohio River in Eastern Kentucky (Paintsville), not far from where Kentucky Music Hall of Famer Larry Cordle was raised; Cordle, along with Larry Shell, co-wrote “Murder on Music Row,” a song about the beginning of the devaluing of the true nature of Country music. Read more about the artist in this week's Sound Advice. See Whitey Morgan and the 78's with Cody Jinks Saturday at Southgate House Revival. More info/tickets: southgatehouse.com.

Urban Hike: Winter Edition
Photo: Provided
EVENT: URBAN HIKE: WINTER EDITION
Lace up your trainers for a group urban hike with the folks from Imago and Park + Vine. Trek through Over-the-Rhine, downtown, across the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge into Covington and finally into Devou Park for a great view. The hike is about eight miles and will consist of some hills. Hikers will stop at Son & Soil in Covington for shots of ginger or turmeric tonic, zoom balls and coffee. Registration includes a snack, boxed lunch and coffee. 9:30 a.m. Saturday. $20. Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, parkandvine.com

EVENT: VALENTINE'S DINNER AT THE ZOO

This wild date night includes special close-up animal encounters in addition to dinner, dessert, a cash bar, wine-and-dine options and complimentary champagne. Guests will learn about the extreme measures some animals take to find a compatible mate in the wild. Saturday-Sunday. $150 per couple. 3400 Vine St., Avondale, 513-281-4700, cincinnatizoo.org

MUSIC: TIGERLILLIES AND THE SUNDRESSES

Acclaimed local Rock band Tigerlilies is taking over Cincinnati all month long, performing a free show every week in February. On Saturday, the band plays Northside’s The Comet with The Sundresses, honoring Valentine’s Day by taking “prom photos” with attendees — come dressed in your tackiest school-dance attire. 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, facebook.com/thetigerliliesusa.

EVENT: ROMANCE IN THE HEAVENS
NKU's Haile Digital Planetarium presents an evening of live music, actors telling romantic constellation lore, dessert and coffee. Adults only. 7:30-9 p.m. Saturday. $20 per couple. Northern Kentucky University, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky., 859-572-5600.


SUNDAY

EVENT: SPEED-DATING UNPLUGGED AT NEONS

Chill on the Tinder swiping for a second and meet some people IRL. Voted as one of Cincinnati's best bar for singles, Neons is hosting a series of six-minute speed dates, with some pre-written questions to help get things off to a conversational start. Only the first 30 ladies and gents to arrive will be able to participate. Evening includes romantic food spread from Picnic & Pantry (fruit, chocolate, cheese) and Valentine's cocktail specials. 6-8 p.m. Free admission. Neons Unplugged, 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, wellmannsbrands.com/neons.

'Noir'
Photo: Provided
EVENT: PASSION: A POLE TROUPE PRESENTS NOIR
Couples looking for an artistic Valentine’s night out can head to Northside Tavern for aerial art, acro-yoga and some thematic burlesque by Passion: A Pole Troupe. The show is part of Passion’s mission to promote pole dance as performance art; ain’t no creep joint. Come be awed by some sultry athleticism from ladies dressed as sassy dames and femme fatales in Noir. Includes special guests Ginger LeSnapps of Cin City Burlesque and Jazz singer Samantha Carlson. 8 p.m. Sunday. $15; $20 door. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, facebook.com/passionapoletroupe.

EVENT: REVOLUTION ROTISSERIE & BAR'S SINGLE'S BRUNCH

V-Day is not just for couples (although couples are also welcome). Celebrate and treat yourself to a boozy brunch. Includes bottomless mimosas, Cards Against Humanity and hourly gift card giveaways. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 1106 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-0009, revolutionrotisserie.com.


ONSTAGE: CATACOUSTIC CONSORT: THE HEROIC BAROQUE VIOLIN

Spend Valentine’s Day with modern and Baroque violinist Krista Bennion Beeney. Accompanied by harpsichord and bass viola da gamba, Beeney takes on pieces by Leclair, Biber and Bach. 3 p.m. Sunday. $25 general; $10 students; free children 12 and under. Church of the Advent, 2366 Kemper Lane, E. Walnut Hills, 513-772-3242, catacoustic.com.


EVENT: SONIC VALENTINE FOR THE EARTH

This local concert is part of a worldwide event called World Sound Healing Day, which combines sounds to generate peace and harmony. Featured musicians include Audrey Causilla, chant and piano; Vivian Hurley, gongs; Baoku Moses, Nigerian drumming and chant; and Janice T. Sunflower, Native American flutes. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $15. Grace Episcopal Church, 5501 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, 513-541-2415, gracecollegehill.org


COMEDY: JOHN ROY
John Roy has been touring steadily and plugging away at his podcast, Don’t Ever Change, where he talks to comedians about what they were like in high school. We hear a lot of so-called origin stories from comics, but Roy insists there’s quite a bit of variety in people’s backstories if you know how to dig. “There are only so many times you can hear ‘nerd boy discovers Punk Rock and becomes confident,’ ” he says. “I try to have a diverse range of guests on to discuss what challenges they faced in high school.” Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. 

Native Gardens
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
ONSTAGE: NATIVE GARDENS
When longtime, waspy residents are proud of their formal garden and the young Hispanic couple moving in next door prefer a more natural “native garden,” the temperature goes up. And when there’s a dispute about the property line, well, then there’s outright warfare. This world premiere by Karen Zacarías will entertain audiences (her Book Club Play did the same in 2013), but they’ll also think about how we get along with people who aren’t just like us. Kudos to the Playhouse for commissioning a new play by this skilled playwright. Through Feb. 21. $30-$85. Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com

Kathleen Wise as the Pilot in 'Grounded' at Ensemble Theatre
Photo: Ryan Kurtz
ONSTAGE: GROUNDED
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s 30th-anniversary season continues with an intense one-woman story told through the eyes of a fierce fighter pilot whose pregnancy “grounds” her. Instead of spending time flying missions, she is stationed in a windowless trailer in the desert outside Las Vegas, flying military drones above the Middle East to hunt down and kill terrorists. Pulled between two worlds, she is trapped in an unsettling pressure cooker. Kathleen Wise, a Cincinnati native with an impressive professional acting career, plays the pilot. Michael Evan Haney, a Cincinnati Playhouse veteran who knows how to shape solo performances into compelling drama, is the director. Through Feb. 14. $28-$44. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3555, ensemblecincinnati.org.

Read More

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 02.11.2016 49 hours ago
Posted In: News at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
pg sittenfeld

Morning News and Stuff

Tensing trial date set; Northside chili parlor has new owners; P.G. Sittenfeld gets biggest endorsement yet

Good morning, Cincinnati! Here are your morning headlines.

A trial date has been set for former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who fatally shot unarmed motorist Sam DuBose in Mount Auburn in July. Tensing will face murder and manslaughter charges brought against him by Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters on Oct. 24, a year and three months after he shot DuBose during a traffic stop. Tensing pulled DuBose over for a missing license plate. DuBose refused to exit his car, and after a brief struggle where Tensing reached into the ca and DuBose started his vehicle, the officer shot him. Tensing's next pre-trial hearing will be in April.

• Forty people marched downtown yesterday stopping in front of the John Weld Peck Federal Building on Main Street to protest the U.S. immigration policy.  The protest, which was coordinated with the Christian holiday of Ash Wednesday, was specifically calling on the feds' recent decision to start deporting women with young children and unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The march also comes a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided an East Price Hill apartment complex with a large number of Central Americans for unknown reasons. 

• Park Chili in Northside has new owners. The Cincinnati chili staple, which has been in operation since 1937, was bought by Steven and Susan Thompson to be operated by their daughter and son-in-law Allie Thompson and Kevin Pogo Curtis as The Park. Curtis previously operated Tacocracy on Hamilton Avenue. Curtis says they plan to keep it a cozy diner, and they even have the chili recipe from former owner Norm Bazoff, which they bought along with the restaurant. 

• U.S. Senate candidate and city councilman P.G. Sittenfeld may have gotten his biggest endorsement yet. Former Democratic Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste has come out in support of Sittenfeld. Sittenfeld is currently running against another former Ohio Gov., Ted Strickland, for the Democratic nomination. The winner of the March primary will face the Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman.

• A bill that would defund Planned Parenthood of Ohio is on its way to Gov. John Kasich's desk. Yesterday, while Kasich was celebrating his second place victory in the New Hampshire GOP primary, the House voted to approve the bill with the amendments added by the Senate. Some political analysts are asking if these two things were strategically planned. The House happened to vote on the legislation the day after the New Hampshire primary where the state's moderate Republicans are likely to be less supportive of defunding Planned Parenthood. But it could help Kasich at his next stop in South Carolina where the state's republicans are more stoked on the idea. Republican Senate President Keith Faber denied on Wednesday the vote was timed to boost Kasich's shot at the presidential nomination, but said he does think the bill will please South Carolina Republicans.

• Gov. John Kasich came in a distant second in the New Hampshire GOP primary. The Ohio governor grabbed just 16 percent of the vote to winner Donald Trump's 35 percent. But is it possible that Kasich can run as the anti-Trump? Exit-poll numbers showed that Kasich was grabbing a different demographic of Republicans than Trump. The ABC poll found that Kasich did much better with voters who wanted an experienced candidate and had post-graduate degrees. He got the vote of 22 percent of those with a grad school degree. Forty-five percent of Trump's supporters had a high school education. This article predicts that Kasich is drawing in a different kind of Republican: those who politely disagree with the state of the nation as opposed to those who are completely enraged by it.

Story tips go here. Stay warm out there!
 
 
by Natalie Krebs 02.10.2016 69 hours ago
Posted In: News at 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
voices_wwe_johnkasich

Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood Heads to Kasich's Desk

Ohio takes another step toward completely defunding abortion providers

A bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio of all government funding is on its way to Gov. John Kasich's desk. 

The Ohio House of Representatives today passed HB-294 with amendments added by the state Senate that would ban the Ohio Department of Health from distributing state and federal funds to centers that perform non-therapeutic abortions.

Health organizations are already prohibited from using state and federal funds toward abortion services. The bill will take this a step further by prohibiting federal funding for non-therapeautic abortions, meaning organizations that perform abortions as a result of rape or incest or those that are not medically necessary are banned as well. Along with non-therapeautic abortions, organizations like Planned Parenthood also use such funding for things like services that help prevent infant mortality, breast and cervical cancer, infertility, minority AIDS and HIV infection and teen STDs and pregnancy. The bill also bars the state from contracting or affiliating with any such organization.  

It would redirect the funding into other community health organizations like Women, Infant and Children (WIC) clinics.

If Kasich signs the bill into law, it will strip Planned Parenthood of Ohio, the largest abortion provider in the state, of the nearly $1.4 million it receives in government funds.

The added amendments would direct $250,000 toward infant mortality prevention efforts and allow pregnant women to go to government-sponsored medical programs while they are applying for Medicaid, instead of waiting until after they are approved. 

Ohio ranks 45th highest in the U.S. for infant mortality, with 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, according the 2013 Centers for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics Reports. 

On the House floor, Democrats argued that even though the bill's amendments were directing more resources toward an issue like infant mortality prevention, the bill overall is causing greater harm by stripping an organization like Planned Parenthood of funding it already uses for that purpose. 

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) said the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics in the state tackle educational issues like this and do not perform abortions.

"You are not defunding abortions with this bill," she said.  

Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Akron) said she believes the two items are mutually exclusive.

"The rate of infant mortality rate for aborted babies is 100 percent," said Roegner. 

The legislation is the latest move in a long string of new requirements lawmakers have passed for abortion providers.  

Proponents of the requirements say the laws are intended to improve safety standards at abortion providers. Opponents say they are bureaucratic red tape aimed at reducing the number of clinics performing abortions. 

A 2009 law requires that abortion clinics have a patient-transfer agreement with a public hospital but can request a variance, or exception, if they are unable to do so. 

Planned Parenthood in Mount Auburn and the Women's Med Clinic, the last two abortion providers in southwest Ohio, nearly lost their licenses to perform the procedure earlier this year when the Department of Health denied the clinics' request for a variance 

Planned Parenthood sued the state, and a judge ruled in October that the clinics are allowed to operate during the lawsuit. 

If the clinics lose their licenses, Cincinnati would be the largest metropolitan area in the country without access to abortion services. 

Stephanie Kight, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, told the Enquirer that its health education programs will see the most funding cuts under HB-294.  

Erin Smiley, a health educator at Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, told CityBeat last October the organization stands to lose a $300,000 federal grant for a sex education class for adjudicated and foster care youth it teaches across 18 Ohio counties. 

"I would welcome anyone, the legislature, Senators, whomever, if anyone ever wanted to come and see what our messages are really like and see the impacts that we have and how these young people are empowered by this information," Smiley said. "I really believe it would be hard for those folks to think that what they're doing right now is the best for young people."

 
 
by Steve Beynon 02.10.2016 69 hours ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 03:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
hillary

Clinton's New Hampshire Defeat Highlights Campaign Issues with Women

Bernie Sanders clobbered Hillary Clinton in his neighboring state of New Hampshire last night, and the early dominant performance could send shockwaves through Clinton’s operations.

Once seen as an afterthought in the Democratic primary, Sanders took the Granite State in an impressive 60-percent victory over the former secretary of state’s 38.3 percent.

"Nine months ago, if you told somebody that we would win the New Hampshire primary, they would not have believed you," the Sanders campaign wrote to supporters. With 11 percent of the votes counted, Clinton conceded defeat early in the evening.

“I know what it’s like to be knocked down — and I’ve learned from long experience that it’s not whether you get knocked down that matters. It’s about whether you get back up,” Clinton’s campaign said.

Shortly before Clinton conceded defeat, Sanders’ supporters gathered for a victory speech. Cheers erupted, “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” and chants of “We don’t need no Super PAC” were blared when TV cameras went live as the 74-year-old took the stage with his wife.

"The people of New Hampshire have sent a profound message to the political establishment, the economic establishment and, by the way, to the media establishment," Sanders said in his victory speech.

"What the people here have said is that given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for the same-old, same-old establishment politics and establishment economics — the people want real change."

Sanders’ senior strategist Tad Devine said in an MSNBC interview that they believe this was the biggest margin of victory in a contested Democratic primary in history.

Going through the election results, there is virtually nothing for Clinton to claim as a morale victory. Her margin of losing was too great with most voters.

New Hampshire exit polls show 85 percent of women under 30 voted for Sanders. He won 53 percent of the women’s vote overall.

Clinton fell short with every age group except those 65 and older among both genders.

"We are a better organized campaign,” Devine said. We have more people on the ground. And as of today I believe we have more resources, campaign to campaign, to expand. We are demonstrating that resource superiority by going on television all across this country, and it is our ability to organize people — which I think we showed in Iowa, and showed again tonight in New Hampshire.”

One of Clinton’s talking points has been her historic candidacy — the prospect of the first female president has been a major selling point.

However, the gender-politics element of the fight for the Democratic nomination has gotten ugly over the past few days with the recent comment by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright saying, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

One Friday’s episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, feminist icon Gloria Steinem suggested that Clinton’s lack of support with young women is because they’re meeting boys at Sanders rallies.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie,” Steinem said.

These comments were largely seen as dismissive and sexist, suggesting young women are not politically savvy enough to make their own choices. This rhetoric of shaming women — or any American — into voting for a specific candidate is ugly.

It is a safe bet that these troubling comments did not come from a campaign script, however, this brand of entitlement is exactly what is hurting Clinton with young voters.

We can easily sum up why Bernie Sanders wants to be president — his stump speech is simple: The top one-tenth of the one percent control too much wealth; we have gross injustice in campaign finance, and that it is a moral outrage that Americans might have to go into severe debt for healthcare and education.

Why is Clinton running for president? I’m not entirely sure, and I do not think there is that simple elevator pitch she can give to a voter.

I do not doubt Clinton’s ability to hold the Oval Office. However, I cannot easily identify what her key issues are and where her passions lie.

 
 
by Cassie Lipp 02.10.2016 3 days ago
Posted In: Culture at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
1873 building

Slice of Cincinnati: Cincinnati Observatory

To the naked eye, there are not very many stars visible in the Cincinnati night sky. However, a look through one of Cincinnati Observatory’s telescopes on a clear day makes it possible to catch a glimpse of the galaxy. It’s no wonder that the observatory’s assistant director and outreach astronomer Dean Regas says the most common reaction from visitors is "Wow."

Watching folks look through a telescope for the first time is his favorite part of the job. “They put their eye up to the telescope, and their eyes literally light up,” Regas says. “The light comes from millions to trillions of miles away through the telescope, down the tube, into their eye, and you can see their eyes light up.” He says visitors’ entire faces will then relax into a smile.

Most people do not know what to expect when they walk into Cincinnati Observatory. In fact, Regas himself didn’t know what to expect when he first visited the observatory in 1998 when he attended an event to view a comet passing by.

“It’s a very intimate moment with the universe. I think we really excite people’s imaginations a lot,” he says. “They see a bigger picture of things, in some ways.” Sparking this interest in the universe is at the core of the observatory’s mission. Since it opened to the public in 2000, the observatory has been dedicated to educating all generations and preserving the history of the site.

While it is the first major observatory in the Western Hemisphere, it is also home to the oldest public telescope in the U.S. Built in Germany in 1843, the telescope was first located in Mount Adams on the highest point in Cincinnati. (Just picture 173 years’ worth of eyeballs peering out into space as you look through the telescope).

However, coal smoke and other pollution flooding the valley made it impossible to look at the sky. The telescope was moved to a more remote, rural area for optimal viewing in 1873.

It’s because of the telescope that two of Cincinnati’s seven hills go their names. The telescope’s former home got its name when John Quincy Adams dedicated the observatory, and the land surrounding the telescope’s new home was dubbed Mount Lookout.

The telescope is now house in a smaller building on the observatory’s property, while a telescope purchased in 1904 is housed in the main building. Both are still in use.

Before opening to the public in 2000, the observatory had long been neglected and was seldom in use. “It was hard to notice the creepy building at the end of the street,” Regas says. “It looked like it was abandoned — trees were all over the place, ivy was growing on the buildings — it was black because of the pollution, and they used the telescopes maybe a dozen times a year.”

The old building came back to life when neighborhood residents and a group of amateur astronomers teamed up to reinvigorate the observatory. Yet with its old-fashioned wood floors and furnishings, stepping into the observatory is like taking a leap back in time. Since its rebirth, attendance at the observatory has gone from 1,000 visitors per year to 26,000.

“To think that there are institutions like this in our city makes it a richer city,” Regas says.

In addition to being open to the public every Thursday and Friday, there are many different classes offered at the observatory, including programs for beginners and continuing education classes for adults. It is a destination for many school field trips and special events such as Moon-day Monday and Late Night Date Night. Regas says many events become sold out within seconds of the signup being uploaded to the observatory’s website.

Visitors can look forward to special events each time planets move to their optimal viewing positions, with Jupiter Night on March 12, Marsapalooza on June 11 and Saturnday on July 9. You can also take classes at the observatory to learn how to map out the plants’ movements yourself. Whether you’d like to take classes, catch a glimpse of space or just take a tour of the historic building, that building at the end of a cul-de-sac in Mount Lookout that you never noticed has something for everyone.


For more information on the CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY: cincinnatiobservatory.org.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 02.10.2016 3 days ago
Posted In: News at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news1_kasichiowanov_maxgoldberg

Morning News and Stuff

Rhinegeist expanding to new market; Ohio House to vote again on bill defunding Planned Parenthood; Kasich finishes second in New Hampshire primary

Good morning, Cincinnati! Here are your morning headlines. 

Recently-released federal airfare data says that flying out of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport is no longer cheaper than flying out of Dayton. The average ticket price is $427 for both. As someone who frequently flies out of every Tri-State area airport but CVG, I'm skeptical, but hopeful. But if CVG can strike a deal with Southwest Airlines, then I'm there. 

• Rhinegeist's Cidergeist is all grown up and is heading out east. The company announced its taking its hard cider to Boston by the end of this month followed by New York at some point. Co-founder Bryant Goulding said the Cincinnati-based microbrewery chose to debut its cider over its beer because market for craft cider market is currently stronger than one for the craft brewing.

• The Ohio House is expected to vote on today on the bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of $1.3 million it receives in state funding. HB 294 would bar health organizations who perform non-therapeutic abortions from receiving state and federal funding. The Senate, which passed the bill on Jan. 27, added minor amendments to the legislation requiring the House's approval before it can go to Gov. Kasich's desk. 

• Public health officials have reported the first two cases of the Zika virus in Ohio and one in Indiana. The Ohio Department of Health confirmed yesterday that a Cleveland woman who had recently returned from Haiti and a Stark County man who also just been to Haiti tested positive for the virus. The virus, which is transmitted through mosquitoes, is most concerning for pregnant women as it has been linked to birth defects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken the unusual precaution of recommending U.S. travelers avoid 22 countries in South and Central America. 

• Gov. John Kasich proved he's holding tight to the presidential race in New Hampshire. After aggressively spending the last month campaigning there, Kasich finished second last night in the state's GOP primary behind Donald Trump. Trump, who finished second behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses, grabbed 35 percent of New Hampshire's Republican vote. Kasich, who took 15 percent, didn't exactly come in a close second, but the victory has flung him back into the category of legit GOP presidential candidates. At the very least, it means he won't be dropping out any time soon. 

On the other side, Democratic candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders crushed opponent Hillary Clinton even more than expected. Sanders grabbed 60 percent of the vote as compared to 34 percent for Clinton--the largest gap in New Hampshire's history. Political analysis, however, are predicting a rockier road ahead for Sanders as the candidates head to South Carolina and Nevada. The two states have higher Hispanic and African-American populations, which have shown stronger support for Clinton.


 
 
by Nick Swartsell 02.09.2016 3 days ago
Posted In: News at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news1_11-24_rice1

Local Lawmakers Call on Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice to Consider Grand Jury Reform

State Rep. Alicia Reece, State Sen. Cecil Thomas among those asking for changes including greater transparency

Black lawmakers from the Ohio General Assembly today met with Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to press for changes to the state’s grand jury process, including greater transparency in what are currently secret proceedings. 

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, which includes State Sen. Cecil Thomas and president State Rep. Alicia Reece from Cincinnati, has pushed for grand jury reform in the state in the aftermath of police shooting deaths of unarmed black citizens, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland and 21-year-old John Crawford III in Beavercreek. Grand juries declined to indict officers involved in either of those shootings.

State Sens. Sandra Williams of Cleveland and Edna Brown of Toledo also attended the meeting with O’Connor.

“Many of our constituents around the state are calling for action after the year-long grand jury process that culminated in the decision to bring zero charges against the officers that shot and killed 12 year-old Tamir Rice, and the lack of charges in the police shooting of John Crawford,” Reece said in a statement. “We look forward to working with both the Supreme Court chief justice and our colleagues in the legislature to enact meaningful justice reforms that keep us safe, treat citizens fairly and restore faith and transparency in our justice system.”

Late last month, O’Connor announced she would convene an 18-member panel to review the state’s grand jury process, which has been in Ohio’s constitution since it was written in 1802. Currently, grand juries meet in secret to consider evidence presented by law enforcement authorities and prosecutors, then decide whether or not to indict a suspect. That has led many to question whether the proceedings, and the decisions grand juries reach, are just and impartial.

The panel will consider changes to the system but will not look at a full removal of the grand jury system as some activists have called for. Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Stephen McIntosh will chair the group, which has its first meeting Feb. 17. O’Connor has asked for a report on suggested changes from the group by June.

Rice was on a playground playing with a toy pistol in November 2014 when a neighbor called police to say someone was pointing a gun at passersby. That caller stipulated the gun was “probably fake” and that the person was a minor. That information wasn’t relayed to officers, however, who pulled a police cruiser within feet of Rice. Officer Timothy Loehmann exited the cruiser and shot Rice within seconds, video footage of the incident shows. A Cuyahoga County grand jury declined to press charges against him.

Crawford was in a Beavercreek Walmart with a toy rifle over his shoulder when another shopper called police, reporting he was pointing it at customers. Security footage of the incident doesn’t show Crawford pointing the toy at others, and when police arrived, he had it slung over his shoulder. Crawford was shot by officers and died shortly afterward. A Greene County grand jury did not indict officers in that case.

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close