by Nick Swartsell
44 days ago
Posted In: News
at 10:13 AM | Permalink
I-75 north ramp from uptown to take five more years; Ohio Board of Ed ends 5 of 8 rule; Hillary goes unnoticed in Ohio Chipotle
Hello all. What’s up? Let’s dive right into the news today.If you live uptown and frequently need to hop on I-75 north, I have some bad news for you. It’s going to be another, oh, five years before the already years-old ODOT project to revamp I-75 makes it easier to access the highway from uptown. Let’s ruminate on that length of time for a minute. It’s an entire high school career plus a year of college. Or the amount of time it takes the average person to put 65,000 miles on a car. Or for some folks, multiple long-term relationships. The hang-up comes from a proposed connector bridge that will allow for easier access from I-74 to the area around Cincinnati State College. That construction is in the same area as the planned new northbound ramp, meaning the latter will have to be put off until 2020. That leaves uptown residents wanting to head north with the option of two complicated workarounds that probably add at least a few minutes to commute times. Happy driving y’all. • In more positive news, it sounds like the city’s July 14 parade for the MLB All-Star Game is going to be something else. Usually, these kinds of things are limited to a few pickup trucks full of ball players on the way to field from their hotels, but Cincinnati Reds COO Phil Castellini says this year will be different. Floats, music and other festivities inspired by our annual opening day parade will fill the mile-long parade route, which goes from the Westin Hotel downtown past Fountain Square to Great American Ballpark. The All-Star Game is a big deal for any city to land — estimated economic impact for the city is somewhere in the $60 million range.• Over-the-Rhine business course MORTAR will graduate its first class of entrepreneurs today. Locals William Thomas, Derrick Braziel and Allen Woods founded the group last year with a focus on increasing socio-economic diversity in the city’s startup culture. When you picture a startup entrepreneur, you might immediately think of a young white middle class male, which would be understandable since that demographic makes up a large percentage of entrepreneurs, especially in hot new markets like tech. MORTAR’s mission is to go beyond that, founders say, and to extend the opportunity to start a business to anyone in the city with a good idea. Tonight at Elementz, on the corner of Race and Central Parkway, the first class will take their ideas public during a series of presentations lasting from 6-9 pm. First year participants include Black Owned Outerwear founder Cam Means and soap maker Evie Cotton. • I knew y'all were smart. Cincinnati is among the most literate cities in the country according to a study by Central Connecticut State University President Dr. Jack Miller. Miller measured literacy in America’s 77 biggest cities by studying bookstores, libraries, newspaper circulation, education level and Internet usage to come up with his ranking. Cincinnati ranked 12th, just above Raleigh, N.C. and just below Portland, Ore. We are far and away the best Ohio city on the list — runner up Columbus ranked just 21st. Minneapolis took the top spot this year after a four-year run in the top spot for Washington, D.C., which finished second this time around.• The Ohio Board of Education voted yesterday to end the state’s stipulation that school districts have at least five of eight specialty positions in each of their schools. Those positions included librarians, music teachers and physical education teachers. The rule change has been hotly debated among educators and officials. Opponents say it will mean that students in many low-income schools will no longer be guaranteed arts, music and other important humanities education. Boosters of the rule change say it allows local school districts more autonomy with how they spend their budgets. • Is Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal dead? Looks like its prospects are grim, especially when it comes to the tax boosts the governor suggested to make up for his proposed $5.7 billion in income tax cuts. The GOPers in the Ohio General Assembly love the cuts, but hate the offsets, which include a sales tax hike. State lawmakers are expected to tweak Kasich’s budget to cut about $1 billion in income taxes while forgoing the sales tax hikes and some other big measures in the budget. Kasich’s plan has taken fire from both the left and the right. Progressives point out that shifting the tax burden from income toward sales taxes puts a higher proportional burden on the state’s low-income workers and that cuts to taxes on businesses and the tax bills of the state’s top earners is a regressive move that favors the wealthy. Conservatives, on the other hand, say the sales tax hike would encumber businesses and slow the economy. Both the state House and Senate will have to vote to approve a final budget agreement. • Big news here: While Hillary Clinton was driving around in her Scooby Doo campaign van yesterday, she passed through Ohio and stopped for some Chipotle. Surprisingly, this news story says, no one in the Maumee, Ohio, Chipotle recognized her, probably because they were too focused on their double barbacoa double cheese double sour cream burritos. Dude, when I’m eating a burrito, the wailing ghost of James Brown could come in spitting fire and singing "Poppa’s Got a Brand New Bag" and I probably wouldn’t take much note, but then the wailing ghost of James Brown isn’t running for president in 2016 (unfortunately).• Finally, new revelations have surfaced in the shooting death of Walter Scott, North Charleston, South Carolina man, by police officer Michael Slager April 5. North Charleston police have released audio recordings taken immediately after the incident in which Slager tells his wife he shot Scott while the man was running from him and then later laughs about the adrenaline rush to a supervisor. Scott was black, Slager white. The incident is the latest racially charged police shooting to capture the nation’s attention in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.
Plus, music flows at Cincinnati Pride Fest and MidPoint Indie Summer and local youth groups shine
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The annual BrownGrass Festival in Rabbit Hash, Ky., raises money for WNKU, fetes David Rhodes Brown's 50th anniversary as a pro musician AND features an excellent lineup of some of Greater Cincinnati's finest Roots music artists.
by Mike Breen
Hip Hop youth center to showcase artists involved with Elementz Thursday evening
Elementz, which uses the Hip Hop arts to engage local inner-city youth, is celebrating its eighth anniversary this Thursday with a special “open house” reception at the organization’s headquarters (1100 Race St., Over-the-Rhine) beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event will feature numerous performances by artists who have been involved with and benefited from the Elementz program, from Hip Hop and R&B musicians to poets, street artists and dancers. Advanced tickets are $10 (it's $12 at the door), which will go to help fund the center’s programming. Last year’s anniversary celebration drew around 300 people, according to elementz.org, where you can also find more info on the center and purchase advanced tickets. Elementz will be selling youth memberships for half off Thursday — for teens (13-18), a one-year membership can be obtained for $10; those 19-24 can join for just $20 a year.Here's a quick video press release for the open house/party:
by Mike Breen
Elementz Creative Director also featured in brief documentary by UC students
Musician and Creative Director of the Elementz Hip Hop youth center Akhe Abdullah hosts a listening party tonight for his new album, Journey: The Sound of Life. Abdullah will speak about the album and give a short presentation before spinning the new, all-instrumental recording which mixes Jazz, Hip Hop and other elements (pun neither intended nor unintended). Click here for more details about tonight's 6 p.m. event.Abdullah is the son of a music-loving father who played sax with Rick James and the Stone City Band and also worked with Stevie Wonder, Destiny's Child and many others. Abdullah's done production work with area Hip Hop artists like Moxy Monster, Ill Poetic and Holmskillet, as well as New York's Infinit Evol.Abdullah is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's Electronic Media program and was the subject of a brief documentary put together by current E-Media students at U.C. In the well-put-together doc, he speaks about his family, his music and his life as a Muslim. Check it out below (it runs about six minutes). Find out more about Abdullah and his journey here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 23, 2012
If you spend any of this long Memorial
Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati, there’s a really good chance you’ll
hear some of the best music makers in the area doing their thang. Two
festivals will be competing for your ears.
by Mike Breen
Hip Hop youth center to also detail "expanded mission" of Elementz
Local Hip Hop youth center Elementz — which provides an outlet for young people in the area to learn and practice the Hip Hop arts (DJing, MCing, dancing and legal graffiti artwork) — is settled into its new location at 1100 Race St., across from the School for Creative and Performing Arts and they're ready to show off their new digs. The new facilities are allowing the center to expand its mission, which will be discussed tonight, along with tours of the location and a few performances. The "open house" is free and open to all ages, running 5-9 p.m.Here is the video press release for tonight's event, as well as a recent interview with Elementz creative director Akhe Abdullah.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Tickets for the first Afghan Whigs
concert in 13 years go on sale this Friday through ticketmaster.com. The
band is kicking off its (so far) primarily European reunion tour dates
with a May 23 show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom.
by Mike Breen
Hip Hop youth arts center celebrates 7 years and announces plans to relocate
One of, if not the, coolest youth outreach programs in the region is the "Hip Hop Youth Arts Center" Elementz on Central Parkway, which gives local kids a consistent outlet to explore their creativity and learn about the arts. The center is now 7 years old and tonight at 6 p.m. the founders are hosting an anniversary party featuring performances by several artists affiliated with Elementz. Admission is just $3.The people behind the non-profit center recently began sending out video press releases to keep everyone in the loop on their happenings. Below is a clip about this evening's birthday celebration, followed by Elementz's winter video newsletter, which includes footage from various performances and workshops from the past few months, as well as an interview about politics with local DJ Hi Tek.There's also a special, surprise announcement about Elementz at the end of the winter newsletter clip. The center is preparing to move to the old Media Bridges headquarters on Race St. (across from SCPA) now that Media Bridges is relocating to the WCET building around the corner. (The new Media Bridges is slated to be reopened in its new space on May 3.) For more on Elementz, visit its website here.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Singer/songwriter Holly Spears celebrates the release of her first full-length album, Heartache to Hope,
at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley this Friday.