0 Comments · Wednesday, August 7, 2013
WEDNESDAY JULY 31:
People who say that things are “meta” are
usually annoying and prone to trying to make themselves appear way more
intelligent and informed than they truly are. That said, there seems to
be a debate within the debates when it comes to the upcoming Cincinnati
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 29, 2013
If sources begin to think twice about
contacting us in any fashion other than midnight meetings in darkened
parking garages, public service reporting will become an endangered
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 12:15 PM | Permalink
The remaking and
re-imagining of classic films and TV shows is often met with high expectations
and harsh reviews. Despite this, I was really looking forward to A&E’s new
horror-drama, Bates Motel. Something
of a warped prequel to Psycho, the
thriller places a young Norman Bates and his mother Norma in charge of a
previously foreclosed motel in a contemporary setting. With the swoon-worthy
Vera Farmiga (big sis to American Horror
Story’s Violet, Taissa Farmiga) starring as the mother to the future sociopath
(who is portrayed by creepy-yet-cute Freddie Highmore), I really thought it was going to be
awesome. It wasn’t. Check out my full reaction in this week’s TV column.
I know I should
have lowered my expectations — prequels generally suck — but I was really
pulling for this one. Sadly, I’ve felt more suspense in an episode of A&E’s
Intervention that in this show where
multiple people were murdered in the premiere. Dammit, Bates Motel, I was rooting for you!
recommendation site Urbanspoon recently listed the most buzzed about
bar-n-grills across America and Cincinnati topped the list with seven restaurant-bar mentions
— matched only by Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis. The restaurants
include A Tavola, Adriatico's Pizza, Bakersfield OTR, Nada, Senate, Taste of
Belgium Bistro and Terry’s Turf Club. With Covington’s Wunderbar bringing the
local count up to eight, it looks like Greater Cincinnati is the place to go
for beers and bites!
Usually when my
mom shares with me something she found on the Internet, it’s either a pug photo
shoot on YouTube or an MSN slideshow of inappropriate advertisements, but
recently she sent me something even
better. Check out this informational North Korean documentary footage of
Ah, America: Where
there aren’t any birds, except for the ones we all ate yesterday. Just a
reminder, next time you order your snow coffee, make sure to ask if it’s
Thanks for the cake, North Korea!
So the Catholics
got a new pope last week. Remember: There’s always money in the Vatican!
Usually when I
hear “Satan” and “Obama” in the sentence, I quickly tune out whichever Fox News
zombie or disgruntled family member is ranting, but this week the two were
compared for a new reason. The History Channel’s incredibly factual miniseries The Bible obviously features the devil,
an important supporting character from the original masterpiece, but some
people are upset about the resemblance to our president. Check it out for yourself here.
The Princess Bride is a classic, but
what if little Fred Savage’s grandpa gave him another book instead?
If the kid hated
all that kissing in PB, I can only
imagine what he’d think of GOT’s uh, adult scenes.Hey remember my American Horror Story Season Three guesses? AHS: Coven = confirmed. Witches! Squee!
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 02:04 PM | Permalink
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
historically be an unlucky number, but we’re all sure to be blessed with pop
culture gold this year. Sure, Heidi and Spencer are back on TV and Kim
Kardashian is cooking up a baby with Kanye West — don’t run for the hills quite
yet. The fact that the New Year was rung in by a washed up Jamie Kennedy
and a stoned Macy Gray on this low-budge Los Angeles NYE show
has to be a good sign of what hot messes are to come. Here’s a peek at what’s to come in 2013. Many spoilers
lie ahead; proceed at your own risk.
This Sunday, the
Golden Globes (aka the one show where TV and movie stars mingle while drunk) will be hosted by women for the first time ever! OK, the show has only had an
official host since 2010, but it’s been Ricky Gervais every year since. This time around,
dynamic duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler run the show. The pair have a long
history, back to their improv days at Second City in the ‘90s. Over the past
decade+ they’ve proven their comedic chemistry on Saturday Night Live and in Baby
Mama, but they’re also awesome in their respective rights, as seen on 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Check out some of my unlikely-but-hopeful Golden
Globes picks here.
calendar may deem 2013 the Year of the Snake, but according to my diva calendar,
this is definitely the Year of Beyonce. The musical maven, who just celebrated
baby Blue Ivy’s first birthday with hubby and baby daddy Jay-Z, is set to sing
the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration Jan. 21. Next, she’ll fly
down to New Orleans to headline the Super Bowl halftime show
on Feb. 3. Bey is rumored to perform with a reunited Destiny’s Child (FINALLY)
and the Hov. Just two weeks later, HBO will premiere Queen B’s full-length documentary
on Feb. 16. The Bey-directed doc touts a personal, never-before-seen look at
“Beyonce the person” (there’s no way she’s 100% human, but whatever) as opposed
to Sasha Fierce the performer. A few things I’m really hoping to see: Jay-Z
changing Blue’s Egyptian cotton diaper; Beyonce eating actual solid food; a
baby bump shot to put those pesky rumors to rest; at least 13 different
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of
Season Three on Feb. 10. We’ll pick up with the new Woodbury/prison storylines
introduced in early December’s mid-season finale. Fan fave Daryl has been
captured by the Governor, who places him in the demented fighting arena against
his brother Merle (who was pretty much presumed dead by the group after leaving
a trail of blood and sawed-off hand behind in Season One). Loyalties will
certainly be tested when the Dixon bros meet for the first time and, according
to this sneak peak, the Woodbury clan wants them to battle to the death. Back
at the prison, Rick questions his leadership role and Tyreese (a character
plucked from the comics) will step up as the group’s token black guy. On the other side of the camera, showrunner Glen Mazzara, who took over for
Frank Darabont after a rather sluggish second season, will be stepping down.
Some speculate the move may be due to a lackluster second half of this season,
but Mazzara, AMC and comic creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman all claim the
departure is on good terms.
We’ll see for ourselves next month; meanwhile, check out this preview:
At first glance, Game
of Thrones did not seem like my small screen cop o’ tea. I generally don’t read
or watch anything too fantastical/mythical (but bring on the zombies and True Blood), plus the number of
characters and settings almost make fictional family trees and note-taking a
must. Regardless of TV preferences, though, GoT
is an addictive epic. And on March 31, fans will return to Westeros for a third,
slightly super-sized season.
See, in the past, episodes were generally just more than 50 minutes long. This
season promises several eps as long as 57 minutes, ultimately adding up to almost a whole extra episode. Way too nerdy and nitpicky?
Well, that’s Thrones for you. But another
fun addition to this season is that fans can now drink along with the show as New York’s Brewery Ommegang
releases a series of Game of Thrones beer. The first, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, is set
to debut in time for the season premiere.
And speaking of TV
show beer tie-ins, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will also get its own brew
with Aleman and Two Brothers Brewing Co.’s Dayman Coffee IPA, also slated to come out this
March. Let’s just hope the gang hasn’t touched the stuff.
And since you
can’t even read the word “Dayman” without singing:
Moving along to
May, you better scratch those Star Wars Day
and Cinco de Mayo plans. Cult hit Arrested
Development is coming back with a new season, to be released on Netflix in
its entirety on May 4. Of course, everyone is happy to have a little more Tobias Fünke in their
lives, but this is a huge, possibly telling move for television in general.
Plenty of failed shows gain a following after their demise on TV, but rarely do these
shows actually get picked up again, and certainly not 7 years after
cancellation. My only fear is super-fans’ high expectations will be hard to meet in just a single season. 'Til the release,
catch up on the series and look out for these Easter eggs.
After being pushed
from its original Christmas 2012 premiere date,
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby will
hit theaters May 10. The director is known for his visually exciting films,
such at Romeo + Juliet (which starred
Gatsby himself, Leonardo DiCaprio) and Moulin
Rouge, and likes to blend contemporary music and themes in with those of
the films’ eras. For example, in the following trailer, Kanye West's “No Church in the Wild” juxtaposes the 1922 setting.
If that's not enough for ya, stay tuned for more 2013 pop culture previews for summer and fall.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 10:56 AM | Permalink
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Election season is
over! Regardless of how you voted, I think we can all celebrate the fact that
our portals to pop culture — television, radio, social media and the rest
of the Internet — will no longer be clogged with annoying political rants, campaign
advertisements and baseless polls, making more room for puppy cams, nail art
blogs, unflattering celebrity photos and other important things the American
But, since we’re
talking politics, this week we witnessed what can only be described as the
best Rom-com of 2012. Here’s a sampling of the finest presidential gifs:And, for old time's sake:As people in
Colorado and Washington are legalizing recreational weed, the cannabis king himself, now known as Snoop
Lion, is working on his first Reggae album. While the release date for Reincarnated is yet to be
announced, Snoop debuted his video first single under his new moniker, titled
“La La La.” While it’s no “Oh Sookie,” this colorful Jamaican adventure looks
straight out of Pee Wee’s Playhouse and was directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Grindhouse).
Here’s a really
freaky map plotting out the expansion of Walmart locations over the past 40
sequels have become a staple in Hollywood at this point. It’s irritating, but
can you blame ‘em? You’ve got your foundation already set, there’s a built-in
audience and, presumably, it requires a lot less effort than a completely
original work. Generally, I detest the modernization of classics (or even silly
childhood gems), but my heart skipped a beat when I read Disney is in the early
of a Boy Meets World sequel.The ‘90s
T.G.I.F. staple followed Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) as he grew from an
adorable sixth grader to the best college-aged husband ever (oops, Spoiler
Alert). From 1993-2000 audiences got to know and love Cory, his family, BFF Sean, GF
Topanga and neighbor/principal Mr. Feeny. Girl
Meets World, Disney’s proposed sequel, is to follow Cory and Topanga’s
tween daughter as she comes of age herself *wipes tears*. Casting Savage and Danielle
Fishel (who played Cory’s main squeeze/’90s lioness) is crucial to this being
acceptable in my book. Savage’s work has been sparse in the past 10 years — a
couple indie flicks and a few single TV show episodes — and if Fishel can take
a break from her “I almost lost my virginity to Lance Bass”
tour, I’m thinking they can make this work.
news, MythBusters is working on an episode
devoted to Breaking Bad.
While Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage
won’t be cooking any of the blue stuff, they will be trying two experiments from the series’ first season. One involves the stomach-churning scene where Jesse uses hydrofluoric acid to dispose of some evidence. Since BB has offered countless other scenes begging to be myth-busted, there is talk of additional episodes dedicated to Walter White & Co. The episode, airing in Spring 2013, will feature Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) and creator Vince Gilligan.
Breaking Bad is
one of those shows that, if you are or ever even plan to get into, you really don’t want anything to be
spoiled. But in this age of the Internet, where millions of people think an
unsolicited “woah can’t believe [character] just died on [series]” is a
necessary and interesting message to share with the world, spoilers lurk around
every corner. College Humor created a helpful guide to dancing around spoilers.
TV people, take note.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 01:27 PM | Permalink
Bill Cunningham to seek advice on retirement because of Obama re-election
Voice of the common man, conscience of the American
people, shepherd of men and 700WLW staple Bill Cunningham made an
impassioned plea to his radio audience Nov. 2, saying if Mitt Romney
lost the election, he would end his 30-plus year career in radio.
“For nearly 30 years I’ve been the voice of the common man
and conscience of the American people. I have led you and you’ve
allowed me to lead you through thick and thin, through good times and
bad, through recessions, depressions, wars, feasts and famines, through
hurricanes, tornadoes and more,” Cunningham said.
“If Mitt Romney does not win the election, I, Bill
Cunningham, your shepherd, will quit radio on Wednesday Nov. 7. I’ll
give it up. Continue my great television career and practicing law, but
if my credibility means anything between you and me it means that you
will listen to what I have to say.”
Now, in the morning after, a time when we ourselves have often
felt that “oh God, what have I done” feeling, we at CityBeat want to
make our own impassioned plea: Don’t quit, Willie. Cincinnati needs you.
You’ve always been a source of inspiration and wisdom to
budding journalists and truth-seekers at CityBeat. Were it not for your
Aug. 28, 2009 interview with Cincinnati Profile, we would never have
known what “my baby daddy” was. We might forget what Barack Hussein
Obama’s full name is were it not for your show.
Without your faithful shepherding we’d go on believing the
lie that things like assistance to the disabled and payments to workers
who are injured on the job were good things!
We’re glad to hear that you are backtracking on your Nov. 2 pledge planning to go on an intervention with Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Gov.
John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman to determine your future in radio.
As you said on your show today, “every herd of sheep needs
a shepherd,” and you’ve been our shepherd for more than 30 years.
Please don’t “take [your] staff, crash in [your] skull and kill
[yourself].” We, the bleating masses of Cincinnati, still need you.
by James McNair
Posted In: News
at 08:56 AM | Permalink
Voting memo suggests Obama policies bad for company, workers
It’s no secret that Cintas Corp. CEO Scott Farmer showers
part of his wealth on Republican political candidates. Over the years,
he has thrown money at George W. Bush, Rob Portman and Steve Chabot.
This year, he has given $52,500 to the Mitt Romney campaign. His wife
Mary has ponied up $22,500.
But votes, not money, win elections, and the Farmers’ two
meager votes don’t amount to much. So what better way to help the Romney
effort than to muster the votes of the Cintas-employed masses, as Scott
Farmer did in an Oct. 19 letter e-mailed to his 30,000 or so workers,
or “partners” as he likes to call them.
Farmer, the son of Cintas founder Richard Farmer, takes
issue with Obamacare, the “potential of government to increase current
tax rates” and what he considers business-impeding “over-regulation” by
federal agencies. All three are straight from the Romney playbook.
Farmer, though, insists that the company doesn’t “endorse one candidate
over another.” Cintas spokeswoman Heather Maley said the letter was sent
to help employees “make an informed decision.”
“In today’s political climate, the issues can certainly be
confusing and even overwhelming,” Maley said in a statement. “We
believe our partners want to be informed about issues that affect our
company and are interested to know where the company stands on these
One would think that after Cintas’ shabby treatment at the
hands of the Bush administration, Farmer would welcome a second Obama
term. In 2008, Cintas agreed to pay a $2.8 million fine to settle
federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration charges that it
was willfully negligent in the death of a Cintas worker who fell into an
industrial dryer while clearing a tangle of wet laundry at a company
plant in Tulsa, Okla. In 2005, Cintas had to fend off U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission claims that it was biased against
women in filling sales jobs. The claims were dismissed in court. And in
2004, the Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service investigated
whether Cintas tacked millions of dollars in “environmental fees” on
uniforms, towels and mats it cleaned for the postal service under a
10-year, $200 million contract. Cintas halted the practice.
One person who doesn’t buy into Cintas’ professed
ambivalence about its workers’ voting choices is Caleb Faux, executive
director of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. Cintas is based in
Mason, and many of its workers live and vote in Hamilton County. He sees
the Farmer letter as a brazen reminder to workers of the source of
“I think that it’s disgraceful that any employer would use
the power implicit in the employer-employee relationship to coerce
people while they are making their voting decisions,” Faux said.
by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.
Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast last night. At
least 16 people are believed to have died from the storm, and as many
as 7.5 million were left without power. Areas of New York and New Jersey
also faced major flooding. It took until 4:30 a.m. for Sandy to go from
hurricane to tropical storm.
The Anna Louise Inn will be in court at 9 a.m. today arguing in front of the First District Court of Appeals, which could overturn a May ruling and allow the Inn to move forward with its renovation. CityBeat will have online coverage for the hearing later today.
Hamilton County’s probation department is facing
sexual harassment charges. The charges are coming from a county worker
who said her promotion was denied due to her actions “for opposing
discrimination and encouraging others to exercise their right to be free
from acts of discrimination.”
The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes
filed a lawsuit Friday in an attempt to reverse the August reworking of
the Blue Ash airport deal. For COAST, the lawsuit is mostly to stall or
stop the financing for the $110 million Cincinnati streetcar.
City Council will vote next week to decide whether
the city should borrow $37 million to fund development projects and a
portion of the Homeless to Homes program. But Homeless to Homes is
generating some concern due to its requirement to move three shelters.
Three Cincinnati charity groups are coming together to
help veterans with disabling injuries. The organizations will pool
available resources to hopefully find jobs for veterans.
Mitt Romney is running a new ad against President Barack
Obama in Ohio that says Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China. The
ad, which Chrysler says is false, warranted a snarky response from the
car company: “Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given
birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans
to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore
idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be
difficult even for professional circus acrobats.” The Obama team also
responded with its own ad. It is somewhat understandable Romney would be
getting a bit desperate at this point in the race. Ohio is widely
considered the most important swing state, but aggregate polling has
Romney down 1.9 points in the state. Romney is up 0.9 points nationally.
State Republicans are refusing to pull an ad that accuses
William O’Neill, Democratic candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, of
expressing “sympathy for rapists.” This is despite the fact that Justice
Robert Cupp, O’Neill’s Republican opponent, has distanced himself from
the ad. At this point, even the most nonpartisan, objectives watchers
have to wonder why the Republican Party can’t keep rape out of its
messaging. In comments aired first on Aug. 19, U.S. Senate candidate
Todd Akin of Missouri said on pregnancy after rape, “If it's a
legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole
thing down.” On Oct. 23, Richard Mourdock, the Senate candidate for
Indiana, said, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came
to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life
begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that
God intended to happen.”
Ohio is getting closer to the health exchange deadline
with no plan in sight. Obamacare asks states to take up health exchanges
that act as competitive markets for different health insurance plans.
States are allowed to either accept, let the federal government run the
exchanges or take a hybrid approach. As part of the health exchanges,
the federal government will also sponsor a heavily regulated nonprofit
plan that sounds fairly similar to the public option liberals originally
wanted in Obamacare.
Meanwhile, Ohio and other states still haven’t decided
whether they will be expanding their Medicaid programs. In the past,
state officials have cited costs as a big hurdle, but one study from
Arkansas found Medicaid expansions actually saved money by reducing the
amount of uncompensated care. Some states that expanded Medicaid also
found health improvements afterward.
An inspector at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) was
caught not doing her job. The inspector was supposed to do 128 site
visits for in-person safety inspections, but she apparently never showed
up to some of the schools and filed fraudulent reports.
Peter Cremer North America could add 50 jobs in Cincinnati over three years in an expansion.
A San Francisco firm bought a major stake in Cincinnati Bell.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
State officials in Columbus are getting
squeezed by the Obama administration because Ohio failed to move enough
people off public assistance programs into real jobs. The feds contend
the state has mismanaged welfare reform since 2007.
by Bill Sloat
Penalty threatened because too few recipients shifted to paying jobs
For the past month, Romney-Ryan and crew have been busy
accusing President Obama of eliminating welfare-to-work requirements.
You can hardly miss the campaign commercials that claim Obama has taken
the “work” out of welfare reform. But what we haven’t heard is that
state officials in Columbus are getting squeezed by the Obama
Administration because Ohio failed to move enough people off public
assistance programs into real jobs. The feds contend the state has
mismanaged welfare reform since 2007.
It is former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland’s administration getting blame for not being aggressive with the work component. Now Ohio is desperately trying to dodge $136.2 million in penalties for failing to shift welfare recipients into the workforce. Next
week, Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration plans to spend
nearly $500,000 on a consultant to help clean up Ohio’s mess. Public
Consulting Group Inc. of Boston is in line to get the $499,642 contract.
That company says the welfare to work reforms suggested by the Obama
Administration in July — the waivers denounced by Romney-Ryan — could
actually help get more people off assistance and into jobs.
Here’s language straight from the Kasich Administration’s request to hire the Boston consulting firm:
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Administration for Children and Families (ACF), notified Ohio of its
failure to meet the performance threshold of fifty percent (all
families) and ninety percent (two parent families) for TANF work
participation for FFY’s 2007, 2008, and 2009. These
notifications carried potential penalties of $32,758,572 for FFY 2007,
$45,050,074 for FFY 2008 and $58,517,487 for FFY 2009. Ohio’s current
corrective compliance will require Ohio to completely correct the
violation by meeting the work participation threshold during the current
FFY 2012. Failure to do so will result in a reduction of Ohio’s State
Family Assistance Grant (i.e. TANF) of $32,758,872 …”
State officials said the consultant would do analysis to
increase work participation rates “in accordance with federal
requirements.” Nobody is suggesting that work participation requirements be ended.
The consulting firm says it knows how to help a state win a
waiver, which is an alternative way to assist TANF recipients into the
workforce. The waivers are what Romney and Ryan have denounced as
killing welfare reform. (So far, Ohio hasn’t asked the consultant
directly to develop a waiver plan.) But the consultant Ohio is hiring is
clear that waivers don’t end work requirements and they could actually
help achieve better employment outcomes.
“The Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
recently issued a challenge for states to develop and test new and
innovative strategies that will improve employment outcomes in the
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program,” the consulting
firm says. It sees the change as opening up “thoughtful and innovative
approaches that connect TANF participants to jobs in a more effective
and less administratively burdensome way.”
Again, the consultant being hired by the Republicans at
the Statehouse in Columbus doesn’t say Obama is gutting welfare reform.
The consultant says, “The waiver authority specifically allows states to
test new ways of helping achieve better employment outcomes within the
TANF program by offering flexibility on how work requirements and work
participation are defined, administered and measured.”