WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 11.06.2014 45 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Streetcar funding puzzle coming together; Lacheys' bar set for December; $2 million will get you the ultimate punk collector's item

All right all right! Before we get to what’s going on today, I want to talk for a minute about yesterday’s print issue, which we’re pretty proud of. Our copy editor/news person Samantha got her first news feature in, and it’s super-interesting look at new developments with the Wasson Way bike trail. Check it out. Also, yesterdays’ cover story is a long piece I worked on for weeks on the plight of coerced sex workers in Cincinnati. I was blown away by the stories sources shared and the immense strength of people who go through that world. Take a look.• It looks like the streetcar funding puzzle may finally be coming together. Yesterday afternoon Councilman Kevin Flynn presented a new plan to fund the transit project’s operations, and this one could go all the way. Flynn proposes a three-pronged attack to cover the annual $4 million or so shortfall for streetcar operating funds. One funding source would be an adjustment on commercial property tax abatement in downtown and Over-the-Rhine. The arrangement would ask commercial property owners to agree to a 67.5 percent abatement instead of the now-standard 75 percent deal. That would net about $200,000 the first year and up to $2 million a year a decade from now. The second source would be a boost in parking meter charges to a maximum in some areas of $2.25 an hour downtown and $1.25 an hour in OTR. About $1.5 million gained from that boost would go to the streetcar. Finally, the city’s counting on about $1.4 million a year from riders paying to ride the streetcar. The plan has a good shot. A majority of Council has signed on, including Transportation Committee Chair Amy Murray. Even Mayor John Cranley has indicated he won’t oppose the funding framework, despite the fact it cuts out the residential parking permit scheme he’s been pushing. The scheme elicited only minor grumbles from the streetcar opponent.“I appreciate a plan that won’t dip into the General Fund of the City and the hard work that went into crafting it,” he said in a statement yesterday evening. “I still think the streetcar is not the best use of these resources, but I look forward to moving past this debate.”• While we’re talking about City Hall stuff, City Manager Harry Black today announced the launch of the city’s Performance and Data Analytics Office. The office will set performance management goals with each city department, start an innovation lab to research operational problems the city is experiencing and design and run something called Citistat, which will utilize data analysis to find and address areas where the city’s services are underperforming. The office will be lead by Chad Kenney, Jr., who last led the city of Baltimore’s data analysis office. “I had the opportunity to work closely with Chad in Baltimore,” Black said in a statement. “I am confident that he is the right man for the challenge here in Cincinnati.”• Here are a couple news bits related to the ole’ al-key-hol. Nick and Drew Lachey, Cincinnati’s most famous singing brothers, have set the opening date for their bar, which will also be a reality show because that’s how things work now, for mid-December. It will be at 12th and Walnut and will be called… Lachey’s Bar. I really hope they didn’t pay a branding firm for that name.• Also in beer-related news, a new brewery on Harrison Avenue in Westwood is in the works. The 2,200-square-foot Bridgetown Brew Works will start by offering five brews, with more coming as business grows. The owners are currently working on construction of the space now. They say they’re hoping to avoid relying on financing and have turned to online crowd-funding site Kickstarter to raise money for the venture. Even if that campaign fails, however, they’re determined to open next year.• The fight over Common Core rages on. A bill to repeal the federal education standards in the state has made it out of committee and will now be considered by the Ohio House of Representatives. Opponents of the standards say they amount to a federal takeover of education, while supporters say they simply ensure students are being taught essential skills for the modern workplace. • Local college freshman Lauren Hill, who has an inoperable and likely terminal brain tumor, has become a deservedly celebrated figure around Cincinnati. She’s faced her disease with courage and grace, and last week she got to live out a dream when she scored two baskets in a college basketball game for Mount Saint Joseph at Xavier’s Cintas Center. She’s also gotten her picture on a Wheaties box and received national accolades. Yesterday, she was also the subject of this really incredible piece about sportsmanship published by Grantland. You should check it out.• Finally, if you need any more proof that punk is long-dead and that gentrification is alive and well, here it is. If you've got $2 million lying around, you can buy the house where seminal hardcore band Minor Threat played its first show. The house now features lux amenities like granite counters, a two-car garage and all sorts of other swank stuff. This time last year I was living in Washington D.C., paying an unspeakable amount to rent a room in a house with five other people. This house, which is actually kinda cheap for that neighborhood, I think, was a 15-minute walk toward the swanky side of town from where I lived.
 
 
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!
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: April 17-23

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
WEDNESDAY APRIL 17: The Vermont House of Representatives last week approved a bill that will reduce the penalty for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana. The bill passed by a 2-to-1 margin, which shouldn’t come as much of surprise in the state that Phish is from.   
by Jac Kern 04.23.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor, Is this for real? at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

On April 29, 1972, Kings Island opened its gates for the first time, welcoming guest from Cincinnati and across the country to its world of rides, games and overpriced snacks. The next year, America watched the country’s first family visit that very park — no, not the Nixons, the Bradys! In an episode filmed Aug. 20-24 1974 that first aired on Nov. 23, The Brady Bunch’s architect dad Mike pitched some expansion plans for the park and brought the whole gang along to enjoy attractions like Hanna-Barbera Land and The Racer. Forty years later, the Bradys are at it again. Barry Williams (Greg Brady), Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) and Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) will return to Kings Island May 19 for four live shows, autographs and photo ops. Am I the only one who had no idea Cincinnati’s Golden Child, Nick Lachey, has ties to the Kardashian Klan?! Nick and Kim dated briefly in 2006 after he and Jessica Simpson split, and in a recent interview with Details, Nick reveals the shocking claim that Kim LIVES for the papz, who somehow showed up during a private date. Thank God he ended up with former MTV VJ, Vanessa Minnillo. They seem to have a relatively normal, happy relationship and I can say this with confidence because I regularly read her mommy/lifestyle blog even though I don’t have a baby or a life. :-/ Hey, check out this sloth and cat hanging out: Now, I know I’m about to get tarred and feathered for dissing sloths, but watching this, I kept thinking sloth was about to hand-deliver cat to death’s door. Kristen Bell, please don’t hate me. NBC will debut a new comedy May 23 that takes place (but is not actually filmed) in suburban Cincinnati. Save Me stars Anne Heche as a housewife who develops the ability to communicate with God after a near-death experience, and she lives in none other than "Indian Hills." As a lifelong Cincinnati resident, I find it impossible to say “Indian Hills” without an unsophisticated twang. It sounds like how us simple peasant folk would mistakenly identify the most affluent neighborhood in Cincinnati. Indian Heels. In fact, I could swear that when I got accepted into a certain all-girls private institution for high school and my parents tried to politely warn me that all my friends would be richer than me, they said, “You’ll probably meet a lot of girls who live in Indian Hills!” A scathing email that the president of Delta Gamma at the University of Maryland sent to her sorority sisters has been making its rounds this week and, in case you missed it, here’s Michael Shannon’s dramatic reading of the text. Because if anyone can make this insane, delusional letter seem any crazier, it’s Nelson Van Alden. The video is NSFW, unless you happen to work as a Delta Gamma house mother. People like to personify “Amurca” as a blue-collar, Budweiser-drinking, NRA card holder. Nevermore, says former CEO of Anheuser-Busch and heir to the beer fortune, Adolphus A. Busch IV. Busch publicly announced the resignation of his lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association amidst recent gun control controversy, surrounding the organization. Check out Busch’s letter here and crack open a cold one for standing up for what’s right!
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: Aug. 8-13

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
WEDNESDAY AUG. 8: For the second time in a year, Country singer Randy Travis was arrested for getting too wasted.  

Limbaugh, Carney and Lachey

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The radio show hosted by former drug addict and defiler of the sanctity of marriage (thrice divorced, so far!) Rush Limbaugh might be loaded with a lot of dead air soon, and not just because advertisers are fleeing the program like passengers on the Titanic.  

Another Six Days of Reality TV and Fantasy Cures

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
TV has taught America a lot about Cincinnati: 1970s sitcoms, '80s rollerblade dramas, '90s drug movies and the 2001 riots gave people a pretty good idea of what we're all about. Now the country has a new perception of us, as MTV's 'Taking the Stage' reality show made our School of Creative and Performing Arts seem like an exciting place full of complicated teenagers and real-life dance-offs.  

A Dose of Reality

SCPA students prepare for a taste of 'Fame' on MTV's 'Taking the Stage'

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The 10-episode series introduces us to "five talented seniors on the cusp of greatness" (actually one of them is a junior). The first episode opens with a visual montage of Cincinnati, showing viewers that we're a sizable Midwestern city with an urban core. There's a panoramic scan of the skyline, a hyper-saturated shot of the Roebling Bridge and students in an urban-looking area walking into a school.  

Another Seven Days of Meeting Jindal and Needing Garbage

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 4, 2009
President Obama addressed Congress on Tuesday with a summary of America's many problems, but instead of Wednesday's headlines reading "Obama, America Totally F'd" they read "Jindal, Republicans Look Stupid."  

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