by German Lopez
Judge says case is too early to call either way but refuses to grant restraining order
Hamilton County Judge Carl Stitch today ruled against
granting a temporary restraining order that would prevent the trio that
owns and leases the Emery Theatre from evicting the nonprofit seeking to
renovate the building.
The ruling comes as a minor victory to the University of
Cincinnati, Emery Center Apartments Limited Partnership (ECALP) and the
Emery Center Corporation (ECC), the groups that own and lease the Emery
Theatre, and a loss to the Requiem Project, the nonprofit formed in 2008
to restore the theater to its former glory.
Still, Stitch cautioned that both sides potentially have a
case and the rejection shouldn’t be seen as indicative of who will
ultimately win the legal battle.
Given the ruling, both sides agreed to come back to the
judge in 30 days with a status report on what their legal intentions are
Requiem argued that it needs the temporary restraining
order to continue with the momentum the organization has built to
renovate the theater. The nonprofit says it needs a permanent lease to
use and raise funds that would go toward restoring the theater, which is
cited as one of the few “acoustically pure” complexes in the nation.
On the other side, the various groups that own and lease
the Emery Theatre claimed Requiem has shown little progress in raising
funds to renovate the building. They said they would still like to see
the theater restored, but not under the management of Requiem.
UC also continued denying any direct involvement in the
case, instead arguing that ECALP handles the Emery building in its
entirety for the university.
Tina Manchise and Tara Gordon, the two women who founded
Requiem, said after the hearing that the three organizations are trying
to eschew responsibility by pointing fingers at each other. In
particular, they pointed out that UC has consistently claimed a lack of
culpability, yet it’s also getting involved by asking the city to take
over the building.
Last week, emails revealed that UC is offering to give the Emery Theatre to the city.
UC Vice President of Governmental Relations Greg Vehr wrote in a June 21 email
to Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan that giving the building away would
allow the university to avoid becoming “a lightning rod in the private
dispute between (ECC and ECALP) and the Requiem Project.”
If the city takes over the building, the legal dispute
would likely become unnecessary and Requiem would probably be allowed to
carry on with its plans.
For an in-depth look at the situation and history between Requiem and UC, ECALP and ECC, check out CityBeat’s original coverage here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The city of Cincinnati might take over
the Emery Theatre following a legal dispute between the nonprofit seeking to renovate the theater, and the group of leasers and owners trying
to push the nonprofit out of the building.
by German Lopez
CPS gets national attention, city might take Emery Theatre, SoMoLend accused of fraud
New York City mayoral candidates see Cincinnati Public Schools’ (CPS) community learning centers as a model for their city’s schools.
The centers bring members of the community, including dental clinics,
mental health therapists and mentors from local banks and churches, to a school hub to
keep students engaged after traditional classroom hours end. But an
analysis from The New York Times also finds that progress has
been fairly modest, with some schools in the district still struggling
and graduation and attendance rates showing little sign of improvement.
Still, CPS officials argue the initiative has helped mitigate the
effects of poverty and hunger in the classroom. CityBeat covered CPS and its community learning centers back in October here.
The city of Cincinnati could take control of the Emery Theatre
following a legal dispute between the Requiem Project, a nonprofit
seeking to renovate the theater, and the University of Cincinnati, Emery
Center Apartments Limited Partnership and the Emery Center Corporation,
the group of leasers and owners trying to push Requiem out of the
building. Requiem stated in a letter Friday that it would approve of the
city taking over the building, a possibility currently being analyzed
by Cincinnati’s legal team. CityBeat first covered the Emery Theater situation in further detail here.
SoMoLend, the local startup and city partner that connects small businesses seeking loans and lenders, is being accused of fraud by the state of Ohio.
The charges could force the high-profile business to shut down; for the
time being, it’s not giving out any loans in the state. In December,
the city of Cincinnati teamed up with SoMoLend in a partnership that was meant to land local small businesses and startups much-needed loans through crowdfunding.
Ohio will spend $6.2 million this fiscal year to combat gambling addictions.
With casinos, racinos and gambling generally expanding in Ohio, the state government is directing more
money to county mental health and addiction boards to ensure problem
gamblers are treated.
The two officers who were on the clock when death row inmate Billy Slagle hung himself have been put on paid administrative leave
while the Ohio prisons department investigates what happened. Slagle
was convicted of murder and sentenced to death — a punishment the Ohio Parole Board and Gov. John Kasich upheld in July despite pleas from a county prosecutor — but he hung himself days
before he was supposed to be executed. CityBeat covered Slagle’s case in further detail here.
Attorney General Mike DeWine is asking Ohioans to be cautious of unsolicited phone calls offering medical alert devices.
Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino accidentally awarded two $1 million prizes
on Saturday night. It turns out the casino gave a $1 million check to
the wrong Kevin Lewis, so it decided to keep course with the original
check and give another $1 million to the Lewis the check was
originally intended for.
Cursive might get kicked from the classroom.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is directing federal prosecutors to minimize the use of mandatory minimum drug sentences.
The change will mostly benefit drug offenders with no ties to
large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels and no history of violence.
Ohio gas prices dropped this week and remain below the national average.
Actual headline: “Video shows thief stealing cigarettes.”
Check out Kings Island’s new roller coaster: Banshee.
Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN’s medical respondent, is now down with marijuana.
The Requiem Project sues UC over its Emery Theatre contract; UC and its lessees shift the blame
14 Comments · Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The University of Cincinnati and the chain of command
between it and the Emery Theatre are giving conflicting explanations about
whose decision it was to cut the Requiem Project out of the picture.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: News
at 03:50 PM | Permalink
Organization faced eviction with management agreement set to expire Aug. 3
The Requiem Project filed a complaint today asking a judge
to force the Emery Theater’s operating entity to enter into a long-term
lease with the organization.
On Monday, Judge Carl Stitch is scheduled to rule on a motion to
grant a temporary restraining order to stop the Requiem from being
evicted from the building. The complaint states that the Emery Center
Corporation asked Requiem to vacate the theater by Aug. 3 and has
requested that Requiem return its keys to the building. It asks the court to declare that the Requiem is entitled to a long-term lease of the property based on a 2010 agreement that the two sides would work toward a long-term lease.The Requiem Project is a nonprofit organization that
formed in 2008 to redevelop the Emery Theater, a 1,600-seat,
acoustically pure concert space on Walnut Street in Over-the-Rhine. The
theater entrance is on the west side of the building at the corner of
Walnut and Central Parkway, which includes Coffee Emporium and about 60
apartments. Requiem founders Tina Manchise and Tara Gordon have programmed events at the venue during the past few years under
temporary occupancy permits. The theater is not eligible for a permanent certificate of occupancy because it needs significant renovations — it currently doesn't have working plumbing or heat. Still, organizers have produced individual events, sometimes bringing in portable toilets and taking other measures to make the space functional. In April, the
Emery hosted the Contemporary Dance Theater’s 40th anniversary
celebration. It also hosted three nights of live music during last fall’s MidPoint Music Festival, which is owned and operated by CityBeat. MidPoint organizers were unable to secure the venue for this year’s event.
The theater is operated by the Emery Center Corporation
(ECC), a nonprofit organization that subleases the theater from the
Emery Center Apartments Limited Partnership (ECALP), a for-profit
corporation that holds a long-term lease to the building from UC. All
three parties — UC, ECC and ECALP — are named as defendants in the
University of Cincinnati spokesperson Greg Hand declined
to comment, only stating that UC doesn’t have a relationship with the
Requiem Project because Requiem works directly with the ECC, which subleases part of the building from ECALP. The Requiem Project alleges that the intent all along was
for ECC to lease the space to Requiem long-term, not just for Requiem to program
events under a management agreement. According to the complaint, the
Requiem and ECC in 2010 signed a Letter of Intent, which stated that the
ECC would enter into a lease agreement with the Requiem “on
substantially similar terms” as the ECC’s current deal with ECALP, the
for-profit entity that oversees the rest of the building. That lease,
signed in 1999, is for 40-years and renewable for another 40 years after
The two sides entered into a management agreement while
negotiating the long-term lease, but the lease was never agreed upon.
The most recent yearlong management agreement is set to expire Aug. 3.
ECC informed Requiem Jan. 16 that it would not renew the current agreement “for no cause,” according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that the theater cannot obtain a
permanent certificate of occupancy because ECALP removed the heat and
water systems while renovating part of the building into apartments,
which were developed to raise revenue for the eventual renovation of the
theater. The renovations of the apartments left the theater without
running water, heat, bathrooms or fire escapes, according to the
complaint, which notes that ECC let the theater sit empty between the
time it took over its management in 1999 and when the Requiem Project came
along in 2008. A permanent certificate of occupancy would allow regular programming in the theater, but the venue needs considerable
renovations to qualify. "UC refuses to even meet with the parties to outline its demands," the complaint states. "ECC and ECALP have stopped replying to Requiem's reasonable proposals."
The hearing is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. Monday.
Educating students about sexuality and self-expression, giving LGBTQ students the "permission" to be completely themselves
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
If there’s anything University of
Cincinnati human sexuality professor Carolyn Peterson wants to give you, it’s the gift
of permission, of consent, to everyone, but especially to her students
who identify as LGBTQ.
by Kenneth McNulty
Posted In: local restaurant
at 11:08 AM | Permalink
Strange how many times in my life I have started toward
something and then found myself at a very different destination. I ate Greek
food in Chicago, gyros to be specific, and asked, ‘How come you can't get these
in Cincinnati?’ Seemed like the next great thing to me.”
This is what guided Myra Griffin of
Myra’s Dionysus as she ventured to open her own restaurant near the University of Cincinnati campus in 1977. She wanted create a unique eating experience in the Cincinnati area. Kicking
off the next big thing isn’t easy, though, and to keep it fresh, Myra saw to it
the menu has an array of ethnic food.
“…I realized how little meat other
cultures used and how much better it was for you,” she says. “Thus I became a
much more vegetarian restaurant.”
When most people think of food in a
college town, greasy quick meals and sandwiches from McDonald's come to mind.
Myra didn’t want that. In fact, one of her main criteria for a location was a
college town, for open-minded individuals who would enjoy her healthy,
vegetarian alternative to standard college cuisine. “Healthy does not mean it
can't taste good,” she says. That’s what she strives to deliver for every meal.
Myra’s other point in opening Dionysus
was to craft an atmosphere where people could bring their families and enjoy
themselves, again a notion not widely thought of in a college town. One would
think more of fun drinking locations or places to get a quick bite but not
somewhere you’d bring a child.
Myra’s Dionysus is a place where one
family in particular has created a tradition — four generations have enjoyed Myra's cooking. That is service
that’s hard to compete with. Dionysus is a kinetic place as well. It’s always
moving forward, adapting new dishes to the proverbial arsenal. Myra enjoys the
challenge of coming up with new dishes. She draws on cultures around the world,
relishing in diversity.
“It has been a case of trying things,
if they work, keep them; if not, change,” she says. At Myra’s Dionysus, the goal
for the restaurant is to entertain people through atmosphere, customer service
and good conversation. Myra has her degree in education, so teaching her
employees was simply second nature. Seeing workers solve issues together and
have a great time doing it is what helps drive the business ahead of the rest.
Myra’s Dionysus is an interesting
establishment. It’s healthy, odd, has history but plays on contemporary trends.
Myra makes sure all of these aspects and more show off to the outside world to
bring in anyone willing to give one of her dishes a try. All Myra wants at the
end of the day is a good experience for people involved.
“The fun is in seeing others enjoy what
we have to offer,” she says.Myra's Dionysus is located at 121 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights. Go here for menu, hours and more information.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: baseball
at 02:05 PM | Permalink
Postgame hilarity available in video and GIF form
The University of Cincinnati baseball team might not have
had a winning record last year (24-32, 6-18 Big East), and it is currently
without a leader after the school fired longtime head coach Brian Cleary last
week. But that doesn’t mean the dudes didn’t have some fun this season — at
least after the games ended.
People of the Internet are enjoying a collection
of videos and GIFs released by UC showing players doing hilarious stuff in the
background of postgame interviews. The clips have been posted at Deadspin and
USA Today’s sports blog.Here's the video: And GIF form:
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
At the end of past spring classes I’d
spend weeks in a thick-headed fog, obsessing over the state of America’s
education system; I was confused by our simultaneous political
demonization of China and our dependence on Chinese students to grow and
improve our science and technology departments. Wow, I used to think. Then in spring 2009 — after three years of teaching it — I realized how piously I had been thinking.