by Nick Swartsell
7 days ago
Posted In: News
at 10:01 AM | Permalink
NCAA tournament is Ohio against the world; VA head McDonald: speed up services to homeless veterans; NKY Rep. wants to cut fed funding for transit projects
Hey all, it’s news time on this glorious, if rainy, Friday. Let’s go.It truly is Ohio against the world right now, at least when it comes to March Madness (which, if you’re anything like some of my friends, truly is your entire existence at this moment in time). The University of Cincinnati beat Purdue in a heart-stopper last night, Xavier bested Ole Miss and OSU beat Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, the Dayton Flyers pulled one out Wednesday against Boise State to make it into the tournament. They’ll be facing Providence College tonight. That’s great, but big challenges loom ahead: specifically, 8th-seed UC will have to face 1st-seed UK tomorrow. That’s going to be a tough game for the Bearcats. But let’s see what happens, right? While we’re talking basketball, here’s an interesting look at which local programs are making money for their universities, and which are break-even propositions. UC, for instance, spends as much on its basketball program as its team brings in, while Xavier turns a handy profit — the Musketeers’ hoops squad brings in more than $6 million a year. • Veterans Affairs Secretary and former P&G CEO Bob McDonald wants Cincinnati, along with other cities, to speed up the process of identifying and helping homeless veterans. McDonald visited local service agencies helping veterans yesterday and said he was impressed with the work those groups are doing, as well as the progress the city has made on veteran homelessness. But he also called for quicker turnaround when it comes to getting homeless veterans into housing, saying that the longer it takes to find them and get them on the right track, the less likely they will be to receive and utilize that aid at all. Mayor John Cranley, who joined McDonald on his tours of service agencies yesterday, is engaged in a national program to help vets, called the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. That initiative looks to end veteran homelessness across the country by the end of this year. • The Cincinnati Zoo recently made a national list of top places to travel if you want to see cool animals. Family Fun magazine publishes its annual rankings on the best places to travel in a number of specific categories, and Cincinnati’s Zoo ranked number eight in the animal attractions category. It ranked just below Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is pretty impressive. It’s one more accolade for the zoo, which is widely recognized as one of the best in the nation. • U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, who represents Northern Kentucky, has a GREAT idea for fixing the nation’s highway funding dilemma: strip funding for all other transit projects from the National Highway Trust Fund. Massie says the federal government’s grants for streetcars and other alternate forms of transit cost billions that could go toward building and repairing highways and bridges. Hm. Right. Except each of those projects keeps cars off the road, lessens America’s dependence on oil, may create economic development in the communities they’re built in and provide ways to work and recreation for the millions of Americans who don’t own cars. Which, as of yesterday, includes me. It’s also worth noting that only a small percentage of the Highway Trust Fund goes to transit projects, so cutting that funding would be a drop in the bucket. An alternative measure would be to increase the nation’s gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since grunge rock was cool the first time (that’s 1993).
• Former (and perhaps future) Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum was once again in the Greater Cincinnati area Thursday, fueling more speculation about his ambitions for the GOP presidential nomination. The former Pennsylvania senator stopped by a fundraiser in Montgomery hosted by the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club. He avoided saying crazy stuff about religion (at least on the record) but did have some eyebrow-raising thoughts on the economy. Santorum is known to be a hardcore conservative when it comes to social issues, but there are signs he’s tacking moderate on the economy, a combination last tried by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee when he sought the GOP nomination in 2008. Santorum talked about how Republicans could capture the hearts and minds of America’s workers, backing policies that step away from the hardcore trickle down theories (tax cuts for the wealthy, decreased regulations) most recently advanced by the GOP. He revealed his presidential platform, should he run, would include supporting a small minimum wage increase — something few other Republicans seem willing to touch. He also committed something close to sacrilege for conservatives, saying the party needed to move on from Ronald Regan’s economic legacy and message. Santorum’s continued courting of the buckeye state (he was here visiting folks in Butler County a couple weeks ago for a religious freedom conference) comes ahead of his party’s national convention in Cleveland next year and is further evidence that the presidential race may be tightly focused on Ohio.• While we’re talking presidential hopefuls, let’s cross the spectrum for a minute and talk about Democrats, specifically their frontrunner for the presidential nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She’s been dominating the field on the Dem side, even though she hasn’t officially announced her candidacy. But that could be changing, according to a new poll from news organization Reuters. That poll shows Clinton’s support among Democrats has dipped by 15 points since mid-February, and that now about 45 percent of those identifying with the party say they’re sure they’ll vote for her. That’s still a bigger margin than any other potential candidate, of which there are very few, but the drop is alarming. Some of the dip may be explained by the recent high-profile flap over Clinton’s e-mail usage while secretary of state. After the New York Times reported earlier this month that Clinton used a personal account to conduct State Department business, she has been on the defensive explaining that move. Clinton has turned over tens of thousands of work related e-mails sent from her personal account, but also had other e-mails she claims were personal deleted. That’s led some to suggest she may be hiding information. Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail account appears to have fallen within State Department rules, which were changed after her tenure to require the Secretary of State to use a government account for accountability purposes. And I’m out. Tweet me (@nswartsell), e-mail me (email@example.com) or comment below. What do you think? Do you hold out any hope for UC against UK? Do you think we should raise the gas tax? Should I buy a car or wait for regional transit in Cincinnati to become so stellar I won’t need one? (I'm not holding my breath on any of these).
Fresh off a deep Big East Tournament run, Xavier seniors look to cement their legacies in the Big Dance
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
On Sunday evening, after the NCAA
Selection Committee revealed the first three tournament regions with no
sign of Xavier’s name, the Musketeers started to sweat.
by Nick Swartsell
137 days ago
Posted In: News
at 11:04 AM | Permalink
Distillery coming to OTR; FitzGerald to Hamilton County Dem. chair: "I'm a procrastinator"; conservatives once again craft plans to repeal Obamacare
Morning all. There is a busy weekend’s worth of news to recap, but before we get to that, I just gotta say this: I went to something called Mustard Club Saturday, and it changed my life. While I haven’t been quite as up on the German heritage tip as a lot of folks in the city are, this monthly event in Corryville may change that. Here’s a little hint: all you can eat pretzels, mashed potatoes, German desserts and, of course, various meat products. Oh, and lots of German beer if you’re into that. Anyway, down to business. • Tonight at Xavier, a woman whose father saved 669 Jewish children during the Holocaust will meet one of those survivors. Barbara Winton is the daughter of British stockbroker Nicholas Winton, who in 1938 took steps to find foster parents for Czechoslovakian Jewish children caught up in the horrors of Nazi genocidal programs. She’s written a book about his life, called If It’s Not Impossible, and tonight at the Cintas Center she’ll meet with Renata Laxova, who at 8 years old left Prague for the safety of Britain thanks to Winton’s efforts. Laxova, who became a geneticist, is 83 today and lives in Madison. Wis. She was among the last children Winton was able to rescue. Amazingly, Nicholas Winton is still alive today, but at 105, he’s not able to make the ceremony, which is part of Xavier’s “Touching History” series.• Over-the-Rhine is already a brewing hub, but soon the neighborhood will be host to a distillery for gin, whiskey and bourbon for the first time in a long time. Owners of local pet store PetWants recently purchased a 17,000-square-foot warehouse on Central Parkway and hope to be distilling there by next year. They’re also looking to turn the spot into an event space, as well as running some operations for the pet store from the warehouse.• Mayor John Cranley today announced that he and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune are requesting the city and county create a shared services task force that will find ways the two governments can work together for the region. Cranley and Portune will discuss their ideas further at a news conference later this morning.• The city is considering turning two major one-way arteries in East Walnut Hills into two way streets. East McMillan Street and William Howard Taft Road will probably be converted to boost traffic and business in the neighborhood. Other parts of the streets were converted into two-way corridors in 2012. A neighborhood hearing on the proposals is scheduled for Nov. 18.• A riverbank park in Lower Price Hill and Riverside is a lot closer to reality. River West, the group planning the park, will receive a $16,000 grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and a $30,000 grant from nonprofit Interact for Health for the project. The group has been pushing for the park for the last seven years, when it successfully fought plans to turn the area into a landing spot for barges. The group worked with the city, which rezoned the land. The 16-acre park, which will be called Price Landing, is still in the early stages, with community input and design phases expected to begin next year. One feature on the table is an extension of the Ohio River Trail. • If you’re curious about what Hamilton County’s GOP and Democratic party chairmen thought of local and state elections this year, you’re in luck. They shared some candid thoughts Friday at a post-election luncheon for the city’s political bigwigs. Dem chairman Tim Burke bemoaned the county’s 45 percent voter turnout rate, which he said was the lowest since 1978. He also said he saw Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald as a good candidate but a long shot to topple Kasich, at least until it was revealed that FitzGerald hadn’t had a driver’s license for 10 years. Burke says FitzGerald told him “I’m a procrastinator” as an explanation for the gaffe that tainted his campaign. GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou had his own insights and revelations about the election. He acknowledged that the trend for the GOP in the county, like in many urban places, is anything but promising long term, but promised that the party would continue to field good candidates. Triantafilou also had some nuanced thoughts about Gov. Kasich’s reelection, saying the incumbent took a more centrist tack this time around after big backlash over the effort to repeal collective bargaining rights for state employees he undertook after voters elected him the first time. That hasn’t endeared him to the state’s tea party faction, Triantafilou said, but won him enough support to take the election by a large margin. • In state news, Ohio earned a C grade on a new report for its legislative efforts to stop human trafficking. Fourteen other states also received the middling grade from nonprofit Shared Hope, which gave Ohio a score of 78 out of 100, a five point bump from last year. The report said Ohio has made some positive steps in terms of creating specific crimes for those who engage in the sex trafficking of children but has more work to do in terms of trying to limit demand for such services.• Conservative groups are already pushing for likely Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass legislation defunding or repealing Obamacare. The rifts in the GOP that were very evident in the last budget fight have reappeared, with tea party-aligned groups like Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action signaling that they’ll push senators and representatives to pursue strategies for repealing the health care law. But it will be tough for McConnell to lead a repeal of the law. Republicans still don’t have 60 votes in the Senate to override a filibuster from Democrats and wouldn’t be able to get past a presidential veto even if they could get legislation out of the Senate.
What will become of longtime sports and entertainment venue Cincinnati Gardens?
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 9, 2014
With its plain, light-brown brick and
simple square design, Cincinnati Gardens is an unassuming building, out
of the way from the hustle of downtown and the riverfront. Driving by on
Seymour Avenue (or Langdon Farm Road), you wouldn't think twice about
the 65 years of history held within the building’s walls. To most, it’s
just an outdated concert venue.
by Amber Hemmerle
Posted In: Commentary
at 02:07 PM | Permalink
Cincinnati's most buzzworthy tweets of the week
Each week our intern
Amber will be exploring what Cincinnatians are interested in by scouring the
local Twitter trends and reporting on what she’s found. From serious tweets to
goofy hashtags, she’ll highlight what Cincy’s been buzzing about. So get to tweeting,
This is a wrestling reference hashtag. I’m sorry, but how was this trending and
not Bates Motel? I am ashamed of you,
Cincinnati. I know they are both scripted, but at least Bates
has good acting and an awesome plot. FYI: Norma Bates did start trending
though, thank god. In this week’s episode, Norman visits Ms. Watson’s grave way
too much, Norma makes a scene at a city hall meeting and Bradley blasts some
guy’s head off and ends up in Norman’s bedroom asking for his help. Poor
Norman, surrounded by all these crazy bitches. All you WWE fans better get hip
to Bates Motel. Xavier
Muskie fans were blowing up their newsfeeds expressing their frustration after
Monday night’s game when they lost to Seton Hall 71-62. Monday’s upset left
many fans complaining about wasting their last Hopslam and chugging too much
wine. On top of all the frustration, Matt Stainbrook went down with a knee
injury and left the locker room on crutches. Better luck next year? Maybe. #PLL
I actually watched some of this show, Pretty Little Liars,
for once. Awkward used to be my Tuesday night show
(don’t judge me), but since Jenna and the crew are AWOL until next season, I
figured I’d give this show a shot since I was apparently the only female in
Cincy not watching it. I am a few seasons behind, so I don’t really get all the
drama and who I should love/hate yet, but not a bad show from what I’ve seen so
far. The season finale is Tuesday, March 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family. #19HSHysteria
If this just isn’t confirmation that Cincinnatians are obsessed with their alma
maters, then I don’t know what else is. Fox 19 set up a March Madness style
bracket of all the high schools in the area and launched a Twitter competition.
I’m reppin’ the Newport Wildcats, who already lost in the first round to Simon
Kenton. Voting for the North bracket is going on now until midnight tonight. Ukraine
I saved this one for last for a reason. Ukraine was trending all week. I
haven’t been keeping this blog for very long, but nothing has ever stayed
trending for an entire week before, as long as I’ve been keeping track. I also
saved it for last because honestly, I don’t know what to say about the crisis
in Ukraine. I guess it’s good that people are taking to social media for such a
serious matter, but most of the people tweeting about it seem more clueless
than me. I do know that most Americans want our government to mind their own
damn business and do something about those crazy fucking Russians. Also trending: Oscars, World Cup, #LiesToldByFemales, WCW (can this one just die already,)
Taco Bell, #Scandal and The Lakers.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:46 AM | Permalink
If you love musicals, you should run, don’t
walk to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music this
weekend for the short run of Singin’ in the Rain. It's a
fabulous recreation of the iconic 1952 movie that featured Gene Kelly.
It's about the transition from silent to
talking pictures in the late 1920s. Even if you’ve never seen the film,
bet you know Kelly’s iconic splash down a movie-set street, joyously
in puddles and swinging from a lamppost. That's what's onstage at
Corbett Auditorium — a whole stage full of tap dancers and a torrential
rainfall! But it's only there through Sunday afternoon; shows at CCM seldom run more than one weekend. So if you want to see this one, call for tickets right away: 513-556-4183.
There's water falling on another stage right now: The touring production of Flashdance: The Musical is at the Aronoff through Nov. 10,
and its star, Jenny Mueller as the free-spirited welder who aspires to
be a dancer concludes the first act with a memorable sequence where she
performs at a club, culminating in a backlit shower. Mueller is a fine
dancer and onstage from start to finish, but the show is full of shallow
characters and too many subplots that make for slow going. Tickets: 800-982-2787.
One more musical item: I gave the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's production of Cabaret
a Critic's Pick, and it's definitely worth seeing. Despite the fact
that it first appeared on Broadway 50 years ago, it's still a powerful
piece of theater — about intolerance and willful ignorance. But it's
framed in a great story with a memorable score by John Kander and Fred
Ebb (who also created Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and more) with a new production by Broadway veteran Marcia Milgrom Dodge. Tickets: 513-421-3888.
you're in the mood for something more serious, there are plenty of
choices that have received good reviews: Check out Cincinnati
Shakespeare's staging of Of Mice and Men or their joint project with Xavier University of The Crucible. Tickets: 513- 381-2273, x1. And I hope you have on your radar Know Theatre's staging of Bull (which runs throughout November) by Mike Bartlett, the same playwright who wrote Cock, presented last spring. It opens tonight. Tickets: 513-300-5669.Find reviews of Flashdance, Cabaret, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible at citybeat.com.
0 Comments · Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and human-rights advocate whose landmark 1956 memoir of surviving the Holocaust, Night,
has been translated into more than 30 languages, will speak Sunday
evening at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. For his sponsoring agency,
his speech will be more than just a history lesson.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Students from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind.,
created a gas-powered vehicle that earned 2,188.6 miles to the gallon on
its best run in the Shell EcoMarathon Competition last week. WORLD +2
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 20, 2012
For the first time in the history of the
NCAA Tournament, four teams in the Sweet 16 — a qualified quarter — are
from the state of Ohio, with Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio and Ohio State
moving on to make up 25 percent of the remaining teams fighting for a
chance at basketball supremacy.
Xavier seniors relieved to earn NCAA berth, look to cement legacy
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tu Holloway and Kenny Frease know all too
well what it means to be senior basketball players at Xavier
University. For three seasons they saw older players — the likes of
Jason Love, B.J. Raymond and Jamel McLean — lead the program to deep
runs in the NCAA tournament. It would be Holloway and Frease’s turn this