Eight ways to try something new without feeling phony
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 5, 2012
“Pretentious” is a dirty word — we call it an effort to
be perceived favorably by our peers by practicing unnatural behavior.
Does the fear of seeming hoity-toity mean we should avoid all the finer
things in life? Fall in Cincinnati is full of happenings that could be
called cavalier, but there’s nothing wrong with test-driving the
highfalutin life — just because you can.
2 Comments · Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I looked at my watch. It was a quarter
after 6. I figured with it being early evening, Walgreens, up on Madison
Avenue here in Covington, wouldn’t be that busy. I’d walk up there and
get me another bottle.
by Andy Brownfield
Local Democrats say GOP nominee's plans would hurt middle class, Hamilton County
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday laid out
five steps that he said would have America “roaring back” during his first campaign stop since formally accepting the
Republican nomination.At Cincinnati's Union Terminal, Romney was joined on stage by his wife Anne, who spoke briefly, echoing her convention speech meant to humanize her husband.
He said his plan involved encouraging development in oil
and coal, implementing a trade policy that favored American companies
and not “cheaters” like China, making sure workers and students had
skills to succeed in the coming century, reducing the deficit and
encouraging small business growth.
“America is going to come roaring back,” Romney told the crowd of thousands packed inside Union Terminal.
Not everyone was so impressed with the GOP nominee’s promises.
About an hour after the Romney campaign event, Cincinnati
Democratic leaders held a news conference to rebut the Republican’s
“Much of his (Romney’s) speech was like his speech in
Tampa, which is where Romney gave Cincinnatians nothing more than vague
platitudes, false and misleading attacks without one single tangible
idea on how to move forward,” said Democratic/Charterite Cincinnati City
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson.
Simpson, along with Democratic Councilman Cecil Thomas and
Bishop Bobby Hilton, attacked the tax plan put forward by Romney and
his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. They said it would cut taxes
for the richest Americans while raising taxes on the middle class by
about $2,000 per household, citing an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax
“Mitt Romney’s plan would take Ohio and Cincinnati backwards, and we don’t have time to go backwards,” Hilton said.
Hilton credited Cincinnati’s revitalization and urban development in part on federal money obtained from Obama’s stimulus plan.
“We deserve better than this. We deserve better than Romney/Ryan,” he said.
Romney would have disagreed with Hilton’s assessment of
Cincinnati’s growth. During his speech he praised Ohio Gov. John Kasich,
crediting him with bringing jobs and businesses to the state.
Romney also took time to attack President Barack Obama’s
record in office. The GOP nominee said in preparation for his convention
speech he read many past convention speeches — including Obama’s.
“He was not one of the ones that I wanted to draw from,
except I could not resist a couple of things he said, because he made a
lot of promises,” Romney said. “And I noted that he didn't keep a lot of
Romney also criticized what he called the bitterness and
divisiveness of Obama’s campaign, saying as president he would bring the
country together. He mentioned the “patriotism and courage” of the late
Neil Armstrong, who was honored in a private service in Cincinnati on
“I will do everything in my power to bring us together,
because, united, America built the strongest economy in the history of
the earth. United, we put Neil Armstrong on the moon. United, we faced
down unspeakable darkness,” Romney said.
“United, our men and women in uniform continue to defend
freedom today. I love those people who serve our great nation. This is a
time for us to come together as a nation.”
The candidate’s remarks ignited the crowd of thousands,
many of whom wore shirts with slogans like “Mr. President, I did build
my business,” in response to a remark made by Obama about businesses being helped to grow by government contracts and
infrastructure, and “Mitt 2012: At least he never ate dog meat,” referring to a passage in Obama’s 2008 memoir during which he recalls being
fed dog meat as a boy in Indonesia.
Steve Heckman, a 62-year-old environmental consultant from
Springfield, Ohio, said he voted for Obama in 2008 but will likely
vote for Romney in this election.
He said he’d written “some pretty ugly stuff” about Romney
in the past but felt jobs was the No. 1 issue and thought the Obama
administration’s policies were sending them out of the country.
“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has, to me, become a little too almost like a fringe group, putting so much pressure
on businesses that they are moving to Canada,” Heckman said. “Things
like air permits, the EPA is taking too long to issue them. It’s not
just power plants they’re affecting, but all manufacturing.”
Heckman said he didn’t blame the president personally but thinks whoever he put in charge of the agency is being too strict.
“I grew up when the EPA was first put in place in the '70s, and they were, in my opinion, doing God’s work,” he said, citing
the cleaning up of rivers such as the Cuyahoga near Cleveland, which
famously caught fire because of pollution in 1969.
“I support the EPA, but it’s driving businesses out of here.”
Speaking ahead of Romney were U.S. House Speaker John
Boehner, Sen. Rob Portman, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio treasurer and
GOP senatorial candidate Josh Mandel and Republican U.S. House candidate
for Ohio’s 2nd District, Brad Wenstrup.
“This election is all about changing Washington,” Mandel
said. “The only way to change Washington is to change the people we send
by Andy Brownfield
City Council approves ballot measure for non-staggered option
Cincinnati voters will decide in November whether to double
the length of their council members' terms.
City Council voted 6-3 on Wednesday to put the ballot
initiative before voters. The measure would have all nine members run at the
same time, instead of a competing ballot initiative that would have staggered
“We are the only major city in Ohio that still has two-year
terms for its leaders, and the cities that we compete with are also moving to
four-year terms, including Louisville and as far as St. Louis, Minneapolis,
Denver and Atlanta,” said Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan, who spearheaded the
If approved by voters, the change wouldn’t affect
council members serving currently and would go into effect in 2013.
Not every council member was thrilled with the idea.
“I think accountability is paramount, and I don’t see going
from two-year terms to four-year terms as increasing the accountability
citizens want,” said Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who was one of three new
faces to join council in last year's election, which saw four Republican incumbents booted from
“I’m sure it’s not lost on my colleagues that last November
the electorate was craving change and wanted change, and if we had been in the
middle of a four-year cycle they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make that
change and a substantial portion of this council … wouldn’t be sitting up here
Sittenfeld equated an election to a job evaluation. He,
along with councilmembers Chris Smitherman and Charles Winburn, voted against the
Quinlivan has said her rationale for pushing four-year
terms would be to eliminate the cycle that currently has sitting council members
spending half of their terms campaigning.
Councilman Cecil Thomas said four-year terms would allow council members
to focus on longer-term projects as well.
“Four years gives us plenty of time to gel together, to work
together,” Thomas said.
Councilman Chris Seelbach attended all four public hearings
council held throughout the city and called the number of people who support
four-year terms “unbelievable.” Seelbach said he himself was “semi-conflicted”
over the proposed changes, but was not conflicted over whether voters should
have that choice: He voted in favor.
Mayor Mark Mallory was sure to remind councilmembers before
their vote that they are forbidden from using city resources to campaign for a
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 1, 2012
I had hope that time would allow cooler heads to prevail
in the discussion of the Aurora, Colo., tragedy. By now, more than a
week has passed, but something feels different this time. Maybe it is more
personal because the attack took place at a movie theater and, being a
film critic, it struck too near to home for me.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 1, 2012
On Labor Day, 1994, I got a phone call from twin brother’s
friend in Seattle, Wash., where my twin, Jered, lived. This friend told
me that Jered was in a Swedish Hospital in serious condition. He also
told me Jered had AIDS. This was the first I’d heard about it.
8 Comments · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
We, as humans, really love getting compliments. Next to
free stuff, there are few things we appreciate more. Compliments make us
feel like we’re special or have done something smart, even if it’s as
simple as choosing an item from the fast-fashion store that ends up
earning praise from an acquaintance. “I like that shirt,” she says,
platonically. “Thanks, I got it at the mall,” we say, not at all
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A native, I’ve now had (ahem) approximately
40 years of experience watching how things go down in Cincinnati. And I
remember at least 30 of them. More importantly, I’ve been able to see
the evolution of Cincinnati’s society and culture. And recently it has
felt like I’ve had a front row to that part of evolution where the
monkey-man stands erect.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Games aren’t always won by the most talented, the
high-flying slam-dunking, ankle-breaking, one-on-one sensations with all
the speed, power and hops of the greatest phenoms with the
multi-million dollar free agent deals. No, sometimes, more often than you might think, the
difference maker is one of the old-heads coming off a perfectly timed
screen heading along the baseline just as the pass arrives to meet him
at the three-point line as he steps back and fires quickly,
instinctively, because he just knows every beat in this measure.
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Is it possible to get burned out on, or overwhelmed by,
simple human interaction? My recent nightlife apathy stems from equal
parts unwillingness and utter lack of motivation to take on the
potential hours-long task of getting from Point A (leggings and hot
rollers) to Point B (prettified and in a reasonable parking space). As
the great Peter Gibbons said, “It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just
don’t care.” But I want to.