by Hannah McCartney
Main Street spot is being eyed for CitiRama 2014
Leaders of a quiet Over-the-Rhine civic garden that harvests produce like peaches, tomatoes, garlic and blackberries to sell at Findlay Market are worried they could be forced to relocate after calling the same spot home since 1998. CitiRama, a partnership between the Cincinnati Homebuilders Association and the city of Cincinnati that holds annual or biannual home shows on chosen urban plots
of land, has proposed that the lot at 1718
Main St. in Over-the-Rhine, which currently houses the Eco Garden
project (run by local nonprofit Permaganic), be amended to instead house
the site for its next event, which would force the garden to
relocate. The Livable Communities Committee yesterday was presented a memo
submitted by Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls from City Manager Milton Dohoney
Jr., recommending that the Eco Garden lot, which is currently
subletted to Permaganics for its Eco Garden program by the Civic Garden
Association (CGA), be relocated to a larger area so the site can be procured for CitiRama. The parcel of land is actually owned by the city of
Cincinnati, but the city leases a number of parcels to the CGA for
their use. According to the memo, the lease between the city and
the CGA expires in 2015, but grants the city the power to terminate the
lease at any time if another use for the land arises. The area
containing the Eco Garden has been targeted as the next CitiRama site by
the city’s Department of Community Development (DCD), the main
controller of the property. According to Dohoney’s memo, should the Eco
Garden be forced to move elsewhere, the DCD would fund the garden's startup and
relocation costs. For Angela Ebner, executive director with Permaganic,
that’s not a sufficient compromise, but she’s hopeful the parties can
reach an agreement by demonstrating that the Garden's OTR existence is actually of value to CitiRama, which is seeking out forward-thinking potential homeowners invested in fostering positive urban cultural experiences. “We think they’re (CitiRama) interested in
working with us because we think they’re interested in working with that
demographic of eco-friendly people. I’m pretty certain they’ll be
accepting of the fact that we do a really good job of reflecting the
needs and values of people in the community,” she says. CitiRama's events are designed to attract potential homeowners and developers to pinpointed plots of land in hopes of reviving urban areas with new housing opportunities, but there's also a heavy focus on sustainability. The most recent CitiRama event, which opened at Virginia Place in Northside (located at the intersection of Virginia and Chase avenues), took place in Sept. 2012. The Eco Garden exists to “create experiential learning opportunities for inner-city youth to cultivate self-reliance, job skills and an entrepreneurial aptitude by cultivating a market garden to grow fresh, healthy vegetables and herbs for direct sales at Findlay Market," according to a Permaganic Facebook post. They recruit local at-risk teens for a unique job readiness program, which allows the teens to work in the garden in exchange for a stipend. Supporters of Permaganic and the Eco Garden are concerned that moving the garden would cause disrupt not just to the crops that have grown for the past several years, but also the fabric of the neighborhood, particularly the at-risk neighborhood youth who see the space as a "home away from home." Ebner and supporters are currently waiting for word from the city in hopes of moving forward on a compromise. “We want a green, peaceful, healthy world for everyone’s children,” says Ebner. “That’s the bottom line.”
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It was the ever-evolving OTR landscape of empty lots and abandoned Italianate buildings that inspired Michael Stout to create what is arguably VisuaLingual’s most recognizable product — muslin vegetation bundles called “Seed Bombs.”
by German Lopez
City releases parking documents, parking plan gets hearing, restroom could cost $35,000
Following CityBeat’s blog post yesterday, the city released the official documents
for the city manager’s parking plan. So far, no one has reported
anything outrageous or unexpected. If you see anything, feel free to
Of the two dozen people who spoke at a public hearing for the parking plan yesterday, all but two opposed the plan.
Much of the opposition came from people who said they were worried parking will be expensive, but the city manager’s office says it will take three years for
parking rates to go up in Downtown and six years for rates to go up in neighborhoods after an initial hike
to 75 cents. CityBeat covered the parking plan in detail here.
Cincinnati officials are now saying that a freestanding restroom could cost as low as $35,000.
Officials say the public restroom is needed to accommodate growing
activity and population in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown. Some critics
were initially worried that the facility would cost $100,000.
Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino will partner up
with the Cincinnati Police Department to keep out cheats and prevent
theft. The casino will also have advanced surveillance equipment,
allowing them to detect anyone around the casino before they even get
into the building. It may seem like a lot, but casinos do tend to
attract cheaters and other troublemakers, according to Ohio Casino
Control Commission Director of Enforcement Karen Huey. The Horseshoe
Casino is set to open March 4.
A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association found more teen drivers died in crashes this year than the last two,
and some officials fear wireless devices may be a leading cause. In
Ohio, the six-month grace period for the teen wireless ban expires
Friday, which will allow police officers to issue tickets instead of
warnings to teenagers using any wireless devices while driving.
Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal would cut back a state-funded college internship program, which awarded $11 million to universities around the state.
Ohio Democrats are asking Kasich to put his Ohio Turnpike funding promises in writing
after they found out the governor’s budget proposal doesn’t actually say
that 90 percent of leveraged funds will remain in northern Ohio, which
Kasich originally promised.
Barry Horstman, investigative reporter at The Cincinnati Enquirer, collapsed and died in the newsroom yesterday. CityBeat offers its condolences to Horstman’s co-workers, family and friends.
The University of Cincinnati got a $2.3 million grant
from the National Cancer Institute to train cancer researchers. “Our
emphasis is on training the next generation of cancer researchers to
translate basic science discoveries into improved patient care,” Susan
Waltz, co-principal investigator of the grant and professor of cancer
biology at the UC College of Medicine, said in a statement.
A homemade jetpack can reach altitudes up to 25,000 feet, but it might have some trouble landing.
by German Lopez
Rush to rent underway, sales tax plan criticized, city's retirement system beats projections
A new report found “renters by choice” — those who
can afford to own a house but choose not to — and people returning to
the market in the Great Recession’s aftermath may be driving a rush to rent in Cincinnati, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer.
from CB Richard Ellis found the average apartment occupancy rate was
93.6 percent in 2012, underscoring the need for new apartments in
Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. News of the report came just one day after
City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. announced his parking plan, which will add 300 luxury apartments to Downtown.
Gov. John Kasich and Ohio legislators are getting some bad feedback
on the governor’s plan to broaden the sales tax, reports Gongwer.
Numbers from Policy Matters Ohio found the sales tax plan would outweigh
sales and income tax cuts for the lower classes, but won’t be enough to
dent tax savings for the wealthiest Ohioans. CityBeat covered Kasich’s budget in detail here.
Not much new information came from a special City Council meeting last night that covered Cincinnati’s public retirement system, reports WVXU. The one piece of new information was that preliminary
numbers show Cincinnati's Retirement System had an 11.9 percent return
on its investments in 2012 — higher than the 7.5 percent that was
Mayor Mark Mallory is using his plan to lower Cincinnati’s infant mortality rate to try to win the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge. Mallory’s
proposal would create an Infant Vitality Surveillance Network, which
allows pregnant women to enroll in First Steps, a care program that
maintains a secure database of new mothers and monitors pregnancies,
according to a press release from the mayor’s office. The program could be especially helpful in Cincinnati, which has a higher infant mortality rate than the national average. The Bloomberg challenge pits
mayors around the country against each other to win $5 million or one
of four $1 million prizes for their programs aimed at solving urban
problems and improving city life. With Mallory’s program, Cincinnati is
one of 20 finalists in the competition. Fans can vote on their favorite
program at The Huffington Post.
A local nun may have committed voter fraud,
reports WCPO. Rose Marie Hewitt, the nun in question, died Oct. 4, but
the Hamilton County Board of Elections still received a ballot from her
after she died. Hewitt apparently filed for an absentee ballot on Sept.
11 — less than one month before she died. In a letter to Board of Elections
director Tim Burke, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters wrote there’s
enough probable cause to believe criminal activity occurred.
In 2012, 88,068 new entities filed to do
business in the state — making the year the best ever for new state filings, according to Secretary of State Jon Husted.
A new bill in the Ohio legislature that allows poll workers to help blind, disabled and illiterate voters file their ballots is getting widespread support,
but another bill that makes it more difficult to get issues on the
ballot is getting a stern look from Democrats, reports Gongwer.
Think your landlord is bad? An Ohio landlord allegedly whipped a late-paying tenant, reports The Associated Press.
The University of Cincinnati surpassed its $1 billion fundraising goal for the Proudly Cincinnati campaign, reports the Business Courier.
President Barack Obama is coming back to Ohio to give the commencement speech at Ohio State University, reports the Business Courier.
Donald Trump is threatening Macy’s protesters with a lawsuit because they want the Cincinnati-based retailer to cut ties with Trump, who is currently contracted as a spokesperson, reports the Business Courier.
Popular Science has seven reasons coffee is good for you.
by German Lopez
Parking vandalism, Cranley demands debate, Kasich plan limits counties
Damaged parking meters in Over-the-Rhine are causing problems
for residents and local businesses. For months, thieves have been
cutting off the top of meters to steal change. The vandals
directly steal revenue from the city, ensure the damaged meters
won’t collect revenue until they’re fixed and force the city to shell
out more money to fix the meters. Businesses and residents are also
worried the damaged meters cause confusion for drivers
and make the area look unattractive.
Democratic mayoral candidate John Cranley wants to debate
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, a Democrat who’s also running for mayor, over
the city’s plan to privatize parking services. Cranley, a former
council member, has pushed the city to find an alternative to the
privatization plan — sometimes leading him to make claims with little backing.
Qualls isn’t ecstatic about the privatization plan, but she seems to
side with City Manager Milton Dohoney’s position that it’s necessary to avoid the layoff of 344 city employees.
County officials around the state are peeved at Gov. John Kasich’s budget plan because it limits how much they can leverage in county sales taxes.
The proposal bars counties from changing their sales tax rates for
three years starting July 2013, and it also adjusts county’s rates to
force a 10 percent revenue increase over the prior year beginning
December 2013. The Kasich administration claims the move is necessary to
prevent county governments from using the governor’s plan to subtly raise the sales tax, but county officials argue the
move infringes on local rights. Kasich’s plan lowers the state sales tax rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent, but it expands what’s affected by the tax.
CityBeat analyzed Kasich’s budget proposal yesterday:
CPS Still Loses Funding Under Kasich Administration:
The budget does increase school funding for Cincinnati Public
Schools (CPS), but it’s not enough to make up for the last state budget cuts
to CPS.Kasich Tax Cut Favors Wealthy:
Kasich claims he’s giving a tax cut to every Ohioan, but a new report
from Policy Matters Ohio shows the poor and middle class will pay more
on average under his plan.
Kasich’s school funding plan is also drawing complaints
from school leaders. At a press conference, Kasich made his plan sound fairly
progressive, but school leaders found the actual numbers underwhelming,
and 60 percent of schools won’t get any increased funding.
City Council Member Chris Seelbach took to Facebook to
slam Cranley for some recent comments regarding
freestanding public restrooms. During an interview with Bill Cunningham,
Cranley tried to politicize the issue
by saying City Council wants to build a $100,000 freestanding restroom.
In his Facebook post, Seelbach explained that’s not the case: “John
Cranley, if you haven't heard (which I find surprising), NO ONE on City
Council has ever said, in any capacity, that we should spend $100,000+
on a 24-hour public restroom facility. No one. In fact, I went on Bill
Cunningham to make that clear. I'd appreciate if you'd stop trying to
politicize the real issue: Finding a way to offer more public restroom
choices in our urban core for our growing and thriving city. In case you
didn't hear my interview with Cunningham, or my comments to almost
every media source in this region, I'll post the interview again.”
Seelbach’s interview with Cunningham can be found here.
Clifton’s new grocery store will begin construction next week. Goessling's Market-Clifton is finally replacing Keller's IGA on Ludlow Avenue.
A local high school’s prom was canceled
to punish students for a massive water balloon fight at lunch. The giant fight
was planned as a prank on social media, and school staff tried to
prevent it by warning students of the repercussions on the day of the
prank. Students did not listen. Prom was lame, anyway.
PNC Bank donated $450,000
to Smale Riverfront Park. The money will be used to build the PNC Grow
Up Great Adventure Playground, which will have a swinging rope bridge
for kids to walk across a canyon. PNC is among a handful companies to donate
to the riverfront park; most recently, Procter & Gamble donated $1
Cincinnati was called the most literate city in Ohio.
The Montgomery County Democratic Party endorsed the Freedom to Marry Amendment, which would legalize same-sex marriage. CityBeat wrote about the amendment here.
Kasich’s latest budget proposal would privatize
food services in prisons to save $16.2 million. The Ohio Civil Service
Employees Association, which represents prison staff, has come out
against the plan.
A lawsuit has been filed
to take down a Jesus portrait in Jackson Middle School in southern
Ohio. The lawsuit is being backed by the American Civil Liberties Union
of Ohio and the Freedom from Religion Foundation. They argue the
portrait is an “unconstitutional endorsement of religion and must be
A new cure for color blindness: goofy glasses.
There’s new evidence that a giant asteroid really sparked earth’s last great mass extinction event, which killed the dinosaurs.
How Ravi Shankar helped Cincinnati's urban revival
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
When Ravi Shankar died last month at age
92, Jim Tarbell’s thoughts turned to when he brought the great Indian
classical musician to the historic — and endangered — St. Paul Church in
the Pendleton District.
0 Comments · Thursday, January 3, 2013
Two homeless people helped rescue a man brutally attacked
in Over-the-Rhine after using an ATM; they warded off his assailant
until the police arrived. CINCINNATI +2
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 12:02 PM | Permalink
Northside and OTR
get a lot of neighborhood love, but Walnut Hills is quickly becoming yet
another hot spot for local businesses, art galleries, shopping and more.
Support the Hills Friday and check out the Walk on Woodburn
from 6-9 p.m. Neusole
Glassworks will have a mobile glass-blowing truck, there will be plenty of live
music performances and caroling, Queen City Cookies will be hawking delicious
edible art and pop-up shops will be joining area businesses for all your holiday shopping needs. Read Her Magazine’s feature on the women of
This year has been
an a amazing time to live and work in Over-the-Rhine. Businesses, restaurants
and bars are opening every week, Washington Park’s revitalization has been a
success and the area is truly becoming a destination for locals and visitors
alike. On Friday, OTR will shine — and not just figuratively —with luminaries
for the third annual Light Up OTR
event. Volunteers will illuminate the streets beginning at 6 p.m., followed by
the lighting of the OTR tree at Kaze (new sushi spot opening next week at 1400
Vine St.) at 10 p.m.
Make Covington Pop
and Renaissance Covington keep the local love flowing as they present the first
annual 7th Street Makers Market Friday and Saturday. This festival
features area artists, bakers, farmers and business owners as they show off
their handmade and homegrown goods. Purchase gifts or goodies for yourself and enjoy
free gift wrapping at Artisan’s
Enterprise Center (AEC). Come hungry on Friday — there will be a food truck
happy hour outside AEC. The fun runs 5-8 p.m. Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday.
Street style is rapidly
gaining attention in the fashion world. No longer is fashion defined as
couture on a runway model — everyday folks are showing off their personal
style and flair all around cities, especially Cincinnati. Rise of the Cool Kids
(#ROCK) is a celebration of individual style, art and music and it all goes
down Saturday at the Bertke Electric Warehouse in Northside. Guests will get to
be a part of Cincy’s first projected fashion show, filmed in advanced,
featuring local designers and fashionistas. It all kicks off at 7 p.m. and is
followed by an after-party at FB’s downtown (there will also be a free shuttle
going to and from each location.) Get tickets here.
On Saturday, Third
presents a third installment of its monthly
experimental film program, Staring Eyes. “Yule Logs and
Certain Types of Nog” will feature eclectic holiday-themed screenings — no Miracle on 34th Street here.
The event begins at 8 p.m.
Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker opens Friday;
OTRimprov’s The Naughty List continues
at Arnold’s Sunday-Tuesday; Find more weekend theater info here.
out our calendar for more events, art shows, theater
productions and more to do this weekend and beyond.
by Stefanie Kremer
They have been
talking about it since they were 15 years old. Now, about 15 years later, all it took was an evening
stroll through some back alleys on the way to The
Famous Neons Unplugged in Over-the-Rhine to stumble across the
perfect spot for their new start-up, Collective Espresso.Owners Dave Hart and
Dustin Miller had always dreamed of opening a coffee shop together. Lifelong
friends and Ohio natives, the two spent a few years
on separate journeys living in and being inspired by different
states along the West Coast and working in multiple restaurants and cafes along
"We kind of just
moved to Cincinnati with the plan that we would figure it out," Hart
explained nonchalantly as he reached for a cup and saucer behind the
bar. Cold November rain
fell outside during our interview, but the coffee and conversation warmed the already cozy shop
as I sat comfortably on a stool that Hart and Miller hand-made, at the rustic
bar that they crafted out of an old barn door. Just like the
simplicity of the shop's design, Miller explained that it's their goal to very
simply, "make great coffee taste great."
"There are a lot
of great natural things happening in this coffee," Miller explained, joining Hart behind the bar. "It's our job as baristas to make it look and
taste awesome. We want the coffee to speak for itself."
The shop, on the brink of
opening, will mainly serve Deeper Roots Coffee — which is local — and
Quills Coffee from Louisville, Ky. However, since they have a multiple
roaster format, they are excited that they have the freedom to serve anything
that piques their interest.
I watched in awe as
the duo made the perfect cup of coffee through a process known as the
drip method. This procedure takes about two and a half minutes and is performed
through several steps in a homemade set-up resembling a science
of coffee is made-to-order," Hart explained as he
smelled the complex aroma from the coffee. "We don't want
to be so slow that it's frustrating to get a cup of coffee here, but
we like the idea of people being able to chill out for a
few minutes and have a real coffee experience."
There are many ways
to get your caffeine fix at Collective Espresso including espresso,
macchiatos, cortado, cappuccino, lattes and mochas. The average price for a
drink is $2.50-$3.50.
recognized some great coffee shops that Cincinnati already has to offer, Hart
explained that they thought the Cincinnati coffeehouse scene was missing
something — Collective Espresso. With seating arranged in a
bar-like fashion, the shop provides a welcoming atmosphere to stop
in, have a cup of coffee over the daily news (CityBeat, of course) and meet or catch up with neighbors.
"If people are
as dorky about coffee as we are, we also want to be a place where people can
explore different brew methods and learn about different coffees," Miller
Just as the perfect cup of
coffee takes time, the finishing touches are being put on Collective
Espresso. The shop, located at 207 Woodward St., (off Main Street) is
expected to open very soon.
4 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Asking the beautiful, shiny revelers occupying the part
of Vine Street comprising Gateway Quarter to recall and meditate on the
April 2001 riots, curfews and economic boycotts that erupted after
then-police officer Stephen Roach shot and killed Timothy Thomas on
Republic Street is impossible.