CityBeat - Wessels <![CDATA[Stories Still to Tell - ]]> Hopefully this isn't goodbye. But with the way things are in this economy and in this world today, I'm being forced to take a break from this column. We hope it can come back in the fall. Meanwhile, I'll be putting my reporter’s hat back on and writing in the news section.]]> <![CDATA[Homeless, Empowered, Married - ]]> Though I’ve technically never been homeless, I realize that like so many people I’m really just a paycheck or two or a major illness or some unforeseen catastrophe from being in some serious financial ut-oh. Giving up sometimes seems like a great idea. Or getting a simpler job.]]> <![CDATA[Getting Schooled - ]]> I’m Joe Wessels, HSD. Yeah, that’s right, I have a high school diploma. I earned it in 1992 from Colerain High School. After graduation, I spent a fall cutting grass and shoveling frozen dirt from one pile to another at Maketewah Country Club.]]> <![CDATA[Back to the City - ]]> The experiment is over. I’m not a suburban guy. It doesn’t totally surprise me. I grew up in the suburbs, but my heart is in the concrete and noise and combustible nature of an inner city — namely Cincinnati. ]]> <![CDATA[Let's Not Make Another Mistake - ]]> Let’s stop being a town of shoulda, woulda, coulda. With Cincinnati City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz’s announcement May 19 that she no longer supports the city’s streetcar initiative, she joins Republican colleague Chris Monzel, who never liked the idea from the beginning. And that stinks. ]]> <![CDATA[A Park Grows at Fernald - ]]> I had an outside chance of wandering into a two-headed deer-cow hybrid that could fly. But I ventured onto the Fernald Preserve anyway. When I was growing up out in northwest Hamilton County, Fernald was like our own private Area 51 far away from Roswell, N.M. Now the former Fernald Uranium Processing Plant has gone from Super Fund cleanup site to a nature preserve complete with a refreshingly balanced and frank museum inside a $3 million visitors center. ]]> <![CDATA[Standing Up, Getting Involved - ]]> <![CDATA[Miscommunication - ]]> Lockland police officer Brandon Gehring shouldn’t be in the hospital right now. He was simply trying to do his job. Unfortunately, thanks to elected officials so damn proud of their ability not to spend money, Gehring wasn’t equipped with a two-way radio that would allow communication with officers in another department a few miles away.]]> <![CDATA[Eight Ex-Mayors Discuss Cincinnati - ]]> I joined about 200 politically-minded people at Xavier University April 15 to hear eight of the 12 living former Cincinnati mayors explain how the more things change the more they stay the same. Even former mayors of Cincinnati find that moving our city forward can be as challenging as getting a barge to hop over the Suspension Bridge. And, damn, Jerry Springer still is funny. And Bobbie Sterne can still put men in their place — politely, of course. ]]> <![CDATA[Extending I-74 Doesn’t Build Anything - ]]> To most, Interstate 74 is the highway that starts in Northside and works its way northwest through rural southeastern Indiana. It’s the best way to get to Indianapolis and cheap flights. From Indy, though, I-74 goes on to Davenport, Iowa, connecting to cross-country Interstate 80.]]> <![CDATA[Cutting the Safety Net - ]]> I've never completely understood why some people think that spending on social programs is "wasting money." Every detractor is armed and ready with some special story about how the system utterly and completely failed, taking their hard-earned tax money and giving it away to selfish, undeserving people who will never change their bad habits and, worse, are just waiting for the next handout. Cincinnati city administration officials, though, have taken this reasoning to new heights, canceling large swaths of funding for several agencies providing critical social services to our community. ]]> <![CDATA[Cheating Death by Fluke - ]]> No one really knows what death feels like. If they did, they’d be dead. As a kid I remember looking out the back plate glass window into the backyard and telling my mother that the rays of sunshine poking through the clouds and hitting the valley below were people coming back from heaven after they died.]]> <![CDATA[TV Personality for the New Millennium - ]]> Bob Herzog is the morning traffic guy on WKRC-TV, not a reporter per se. But he makes me — a print journalist hypercritical of all that TV attempts to call news — enjoy watching television. So much so that I wrote him an e-mail and told him as much and invited myself to the Channel 12 studios one morning to watch him work and get to know him. ]]> <![CDATA[Switching to Glide - ]]> Progressive cities fare much better than the stodgy ones. And being stodgy typically breeds stifling behavior and uniformity antithetical to today’s urban dwellers and anyone else looking for a unique city-living experience. Boy, Cincinnati still rates pretty high on the “stodgy” meter.]]> <![CDATA[It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again - ]]> <![CDATA[Laughing and Crying With Uncle Al - ]]> Thanks, Uncle Al, for all the great memories not only for me but for so many Cincinnatians here now, long gone and never forgotten. You're gone now, too, even though we've been missing you for almost 25 years. We'll try to hold on to the good memories. There was so much we shared.]]> <![CDATA[Big Costs, Empty Seats - ]]> Cincinnati City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz has an idea: Let's elect our council members. Seems like a great idea, huh? Straight out of the Democracy 101 textbook. Problem is, most city council members are already elected and the alternative to the current system has two shocking options: big costs and empty seats. ]]> <![CDATA[Free Doritos, Instant Fame - ]]> Joe Herbert was grinning ear-to-ear Feb. 12 inside the Southeastern Indiana YMCA gymnasium in Batesville. He had about 50 people in a never-shortening line of admirers, all with either a Doritos promotional card with he and his brothers photo surrounded by a sea of Doritos bags or, even better, a newly-open copy of their board game, Triviathon.]]> <![CDATA[You Can't Communicate Too Much - ]]> My recent attendance at a casual junior high school reunion might indicate to some that I'm a true Westsider. I would say it has more to do with me being a Facebooker. If you haven't checked your tweets on Twitter, friended your friends, updated your status, combed over your RSS feeds or checked out your YouTube channel, social networking is taking over the Internet. Everyone is doing it: Even my 65-year-old mother, who still refuses to get an ATM card.]]> <![CDATA[Obama to the Rescue? - ]]> The world is screwed. I can't help but feel that way after listening to Richard Cressey, president of Washington, D.C.-based Good Harbor Consulting and a regular NBC News analyst, talk about the state of the world on Feb. 2 and how things could change under a new Obama administration.]]>