WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 04.16.2015 3 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

City declares April 28 John Arthur day; crazy day at the state house; national press continually fixated on Clinton's burrito habits

Good morning, y’all. Before we get to the news this morning, I want to plug a cover story we have coming up in a couple weeks. I've been working on it since February, and I really hope you all will take a look when it goes up April 29. It deals with one of the city's forgotten neighborhoods, a group of people fleeing incredibly difficult circumstances and a place where cultures from around the world mix in an incredible way. The folks in the story deserve your attention for their courage and patience. That's all I'm going to say for now. I hope you'll check it out.There is a lot to talk about today, so I'll stop promoting and get to the news.Let’s start with the positive stuff first. Cincinnati City Council yesterday declared April 28 John Arthur day in honor of the late Over-the-Rhine resident and gay rights activist who passed away in 2013 from ALS. Arthur’s husband Jim Obergefell has since fought the state of Ohio to get his name listed on Arthur’s death certificate, a battle that will find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court April 28. The case will almost assuredly be a history-making event. Look out next week for our feature story on the battle that could determine the future of same sex marriage.• Council also locked horns, once again, on the streetcar yesterday. Councilman Chris Seelbach proposed a motion that would direct the city administration to prepare a report on possible funding for Phase 1B of the transit project. Sound like a small step? It is. But oh, what a fuss it raised. The next hour was dominated by arguments over the project, including recent revelations that revenue won’t be as high as anticipated, Mayor John Cranley again touting a residential parking permit plan as a way to make up some of the difference and calls from at least one council member to can the project entirely. After all the fireworks, the motion passed 5-4. You can read all about it in our coverage here.• What else is new around town? Well, our own Nick Lachey, of 98 Degrees fame, wants to turn over a new leaf (heh see what I did there?) as a marijuana farmer. Lachey has invested in a ballot initiative by marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio. In return for putting up money for the effort, which needs to collect more than 300,000 signatures by this summer to get its proposal on the November ballot, Lachey will become part owner of a marijuana farm in the city of Hudson, which is in northeastern Ohio. That farm will be one of 10 under ResponsibleOhio’s plan, which would restrict commercial cultivation to a select number of sites. The group also tweaked its proposal after some criticism, and the current plan would also allow home growers to grow a small amount for personal use. Critics, however, including other legalization efforts, still say the plan amounts to a monopoly.• Representatives from some area school districts, including Princeton City Schools, are lobbying in Columbus today in protest over state budgetary moves that would cut millions from their budgets. Princeton serves Lincoln Heights, Glendale, Woodlawn and much of Springdale and Sharonville in addition to other areas. Some school employees have taken personal days off from work to protest the proposed elimination of a state offset for the so-called Tangible Personal Property Tax. TPP was a big part of funding for many schools like Princeton. It was eliminated by lawmakers in 2007, but the state continued to funnel funds to schools to make up for the loss. Now, with Ohio’s new proposed budget, that offset will gradually be eliminated. Princeton receives nearly a quarter of its budget from the payments. It’s one of a number of schools on the chopping block from the new budget, which is a milder form of Gov. Kasich’s proposed financial blueprint for the state’s next two years. Kasich’s plan would have cut half of the districts in Ohio while increasing funding for the other half, mostly low-income rural and urban districts. State lawmakers have eased some of those cuts, but the prospect of losing money has caused ire among schools like Princeton, Lakota and others. • There are a lot of other things happening in the state house today. Lawmakers are mulling whether to eliminate funding for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, tests. The state’s GOP legislators would like to eliminate the $33 million used to administer the tests, effectively killing them off. Part of the reason lawmakers want to eliminate them is that they’re tied to so-called federal Common Core standards. State Republicans are generally opposed to the standards, though Gov. John Kasich supports them. The tests’ roll-out this year has also been rocky, marked by complaints about glitches and difficulty. But there could be a big price tag for the political statement being made by eliminating the tests:  the loss of more than $750 million in federal money for education in Ohio, according to the Columbus Dispatch. • Elsewhere in the state house, the GOP is raising ire among its own with other measures in the state budget. Republican State Auditor David Yost has cried foul at an attempt to remove oversight of disputes about public records requests from his bailiwick. State lawmakers say that the auditor’s office is responsible for financial accountability of state offices, not their public records. They want to remove the auditor’s power to receive complaints about public records requests and issue information and citations about such requests. Yost says removing his office’s power to oversee public records request issues weakens his ability to hold other public offices accountable and is unconstitutional. The Ohio Newspaper Association has also come out against the move. Reporters file a lot of public records requests, after all, and I for one don't want to have to sue someone every time I want some information that YOU should be able to know.• What’s going on in national news, you ask? Stories about Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s Chipotle trip continue, revealing little other than the utter intellectual bankruptcy of some of the national political press. The initial story about the stop in the Maumee, Ohio, Chipotle earlier this week was a bit of a campaign stunt in and of itself (Hillary’s campaign staff tipped off the New York Times about the stop, leading to this incredibly important breaking news) and now we’ve just spun down into the dregs of mindless chatter about a burrito bowl. Not even a real burrito! Burritos are for eating, not for think-piecing. Why do you folks get paid to do this, again?Meanwhile, Kasich is getting some interesting press that could boost his chances in the Republican 2016 primary contest for the presidential nomination. National publications are calling him everything from the "GOP's Strongest Candidate" to the "GOP's Moderate Backstop." Ah, national media. Gotta love it.I'm out. Tweet at me, email me, hit me up on Livejournal. Just kidding. I haven't logged into Livejournal in forever. Weeks, at least.
 
 

Lachey's (Review)

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 18, 2015
When a celebrity opens a restaurant, customers likely fall into two camps: those who only go there for the celeb brand, or those who actually enjoy the food, drink and ambiance of a place that happens to be helmed by a famous person.  
by Jac Kern 05.16.2013
Posted In: Fun, TV/Celebrity, Music at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

98 Degrees appeared on Bravo’s late night show, Watch What Happens Live, last week and, shockingly, Justin Jeffre didn’t wear a fedora! But seriously, on the after-show, Nick played “Plead the Fifth” (without pleading the fifth!), a regular game in which host Andy Cohen asks a guest three personal questions, and they can only decline to answer one. Nick revealed, “The best thing about not having Joe Simpson anymore as a father-in-law is that I don't have to play grab-ass under the table on Easter Sunday anymore.” And judging by the reaction (plus the rumors about Joe batting for the other team), he ain’t talking about Jess… But the best part of this episode was the night's bartender, Internet sensation of yesteryear, Sweet Brown! In case you were wondering, no, she still ain’t got time for that. Hold on to your knickers, girls, because Robb Stark (government name: Richard Madden) is going to portray Prince Charming in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of Cinderella. If you somehow avoided the Internet late last week, perhaps you missed the genius that is Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal, a series of Vine videos by Ryan McHenry. IknowIknowIknow ANOTHER Ryan Gosling meme — but this one will make you spew milk out of your nose. That is, if you’ll ever eat cereal again knowing RG’s disdain for it. Peep them all here, conveniently compiled by Buzzfeed. Well, it’s time. Seven years after cancelling one of the smartest comedies on television, the folks behind Arrested Development  “unmade a huge mistake.” Season Four comes to Netflix May 26 and the first official trailer is here. According to HuffPo, AD goes live at 12:01 a.m. PT, which is 3:01 a.m. our time. Early morning frozen bananas, anyone? After all, breakfast is the most important thing — out of things you eat. Kristen Wiig hosted Saturday Night Live last week (don’t even get me started on that mess) and Vampire Weekend performed two songs from their new album, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s pretty good; you should buy it here. Does anyone know if lead singer Ezra Koenig (right) and actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, A Serious Man) are related?   Seth Meyers, head writer for SNL and Weekend Update host, is now the confirmed replacement for Jimmy Fallon when he leaves Late Night to take over The Tonight Show. Longtime veteran Jay Leno will be stepping down early next year. When the switch goes down, both The Tonight Show and Late Night will be filmed in New York. Lots of questions still remain: Will The Roots stay with Jimmy or stick to Late Night? How will old people react to two goofy, youngish SNL alumni with normal chins taking over their screens two hours each weeknight? Seriously, has anyone checked on Conan O’Brien lately? Is he doing OK? I can be suckered into any number of advertising campaigns (HELLO, TARGET) but it really irks me when an ad tries too hard and I can totally see through it. For example, remember last spring when Mike and Ike billboards were popping up and — oh my gosh, someone vandalized them! Every single one! That’s right, the ads appeared to have either Mike or Ike scribbled out and then a few weeks later, the next wave of ads were released, which revealed that Mike and Ike have “broken up.” I really do not give a shit about boring movie candy. Do kids even know what Mike and Ikes are anymore? I guess that’s the point. Well, a year later, Mike and Ike are back at it. This time, they're getting some street cred thanks to their new friend, Nelly. From a press release: Award-winning hip hop artist, Nelly has teamed up with MIKE AND IKE® to honor their recent reunion after a highly publicized split last Spring! As a long-time fan of the candy, Nelly played a role in helping Mike and Ike get back together and is excited to be part of their new campaign! Read more of this thrilling, newsworthy announcement here. And don’t forget to check out Tom+Chee on Shark Tank this Friday!
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.03.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor, Music, Movies at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

As the weather gets warmer, music lovers tend to get antsy looking forward to summer concerts and music festivals. There’s Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Bunbury all within a reasonable drive from Cincinnati, plus tons of touring concerts like The Shins, The Lumineers, country acts galore and the most anticipated tour of them all: The Package. Boy band lovers of the ‘80s and ‘90s will unite for this music spectacular from New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and Cincy’s own 98 Degrees. The tour kicks off next month and Nick Lachey & Co. may not officially come home until the sold-out concert June 25, but Buzzfeed is already getting in the spirit with this collection of photos that reminds us about how Justin Jeffre was essentially the Michelle Williams of 98 Degrees. Upon looking up some 98 deets on Wikipedia, I realized dude is the only bandmate who doesn’t have his own page. And he ran for mayor in 2005! Poor Justin. At least he took a break from rehearsing to stop by our Best of Cincinnati party last week (and if you obnoxiously asked him for a photo or just squealed and pointed at his presence…Shame on you), which was just one day before the release of the reunited band’s newest single. “Microphone” (which, according to The Daily Beast’s painstaking analysis, could have also been entitled “Penis”) has all the ingredients for a killer boy band tune: a danceable beat, barely-subtle phallic references that preteens could unknowingly sing on the back of the school bus, and lyrics that pay tribute to the group’s barber shop quartet past (“Say, ‘do-re-mi-fa-sooooo’ ”). Remember Ryan Cabrera? He was an early-2000s Pop singer who dated pre-Pete Wentz Ashlee Simpson and was later resurrected on that post-Lauren Conrad final season of The Hills that probably only I watched. Well, in a move I can only wish I was bold enough to pull first, he got Ryan Gosling’s face tatted on his calf. One glance at the InAPPropriate Comedy trailer and it was obvious — that shit was going to be bad. But as this Huffington Post live-blog of the — ahem — “film” describes, it was baaad. Like being-inside-Lindsay-Lohan’s-vagina bad (Spoiler Alert). The Walking Dead’s third season finale was Sunday night and, though the season closer was full of ample zombie/Governor scariness, the most terrifying part of the night came during the live after-show, Talking Dead. Somehow, this dude managed to make it on the air: Hey, if you want a captive, conspiracy-loving audience to stir up, TWD fans are it. OK, time to get serious for a minute. I don’t usually like to discuss serious matters like death or illness on this silly pop culture blog, but this latest news from MTV is just too crazy to ignore. A cast member from Buckwild, MTV’s take on the rednecksploitation trend that replaced Jersey Shore, was found dead in his car after having gone missing over the weekend. While full details have not officially been released, it’s looking like the accident is a result of off-roading after a stint at a local watering hole. Shain Gandee, 21, was found dead with his uncle and a friend in Gandee’s truck, which was partially submerged in mud. Their deaths have been ruled accidents, caused by carbon monoxide poisoning (with the car's exhaust stuck under mud, fumes filled the car).Obviously, this is tragic and not something to make light of. What’s really disturbing is that, had this not taken a terrible turn, the whole drinking-and-mudding scenario is something that easily would have been included in an episode of the series. Not that MTV needs to be a beacon for safety (see: Jackass, Ridiculousness, the Jersey Shore's “smoosh room,” etc.) But maybe it’s time to seriously re-think what we promote via reality TV bullshit. Production on the show's second season has since been halted and it has been reported that Gandee's funeral expenses will be covered by Buckwild producers. And here’s a cute video of baby Gorilla Gladys at the Cincinnati Zoo to help you recover from that story.
 
 

My Bloody Server Crash

Plus, Motorhead's Boxed Vino and NKOTB Sells Out? WTF?!

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
My Bloody Valentine's servers make long-suffering fans wait one more day for new album, Motorhead unveils new boxed wine and Cincinnati music fans sell out arena boy band show in hours.   

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