by Danny Cross
The private group hoping to purchase
Music Hall for $1 is now asking for $10 million in city contributions
to its effort to update the historic building, double the initial $5
million it asked for. The Music Hall Revitalization Co. says failing
to strike a deal before June 1 will jeopardize the proposed $165
million renovation. Among the updates the city is being asked to fund
are $75,000 buffers to block noise from the streetcar and a $150,000
escrow account to pay for any future disruptions due to the
City Council yesterday spent some time
considering ways to fix the city's retirement fund deficit.
Cincinnati's retirement board wants the city to contribute $67
million to the pension system this year, though Council has
reportedly contributed only about half of that.
CVG today will unveil its updated
Concourse A, which has undergone a $36.5 million renovation. It is part of the
airports attempt to lure a low-cost airline to the hub that formerly
Cleveland is the first Ohio city to
open one of the state's four new casinos, drawing about 5,000 to a
grand opening last night. Cincinnati's casino is expected to be the
last of the four to open, with Hollywood casinos scheduled to open in
Toledo May 29 and in Columbus this fall. Cincinnati's' Horseshoe is
scheduled to open next year.
Barack Obama's Super PAC is airing TV
ads questioning Mitt Romney's business record, specifically his
commitment to workers.
Prosecutors today decided to bring
charges against former News of the World editor Rebekah
Brooks, who along with her husband and four others will be charged
with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The alleged
incidents occurred in response the phone hacking allegations, and the
charges are apparently quite embarrassing to Rupert Murdoch and
British Prime Minister David Cameron.
JP Morgan today said, “Surprise! We
lost a bunch of money!” Two years after congress tightened
regulations on Wall Street, the industry now fears that regulators
will now listen to their fears even less as they enact stricter
Humans are consuming more resources
than the earth can replenish, according to the World Wildlife Fund's
Living Planet Report for 2012.
Lady Gaga yesterday cancelled a
cold-out Indonesia performance in response to conservative protests
over her clothing and dance moves.
National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, responding to the
pressure, said Tuesday that the permit for her June 3 "Born This
Way Ball" concert had been denied.
Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than
any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious
tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent
Hard-liners have loudly criticized Lady Gaga, saying the
suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country's
moral fiber. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her
from stepping off the plane.
Lawmakers and religious leaders, too, have spoken out against her.
by Danny Cross
Bike to Work Week today kicked off its
series of morning commuter stations offering free coffee and treats
all week long in an effort to encourage residents to try cycling to
work, meet fellow cyclists and learn about bike advocacy. The city
was scheduled to announce an award for its Bike Program this morning
at the Coffee Emporium bike commuter station on Central Parkway in
Find a schedule of Bike to Work Week
morning and afternoon commuter stations here.
The Enquirer over the weekend
checked in with another of its “in-depth” pieces, this one
detailing the huge amounts of money energy companies will make once they're allowed to treat northeastern Ohio's land like
they do Texas. The story accurately described the fracking process as
“controversial,” though it took the liberty of describing Carroll
County as an “early winner” because 75 to 95 percent of its land
is under lease to an oil or gas company. Here's a link to the weird
slideshow-style presentation. And here's a sidebar on the issues
surrounding fracking, which includes the following regarding the
Fracking was exempted from the federal
Safe Drinking Water Act under the Bush Administration, so it now
falls under state jurisdiction. In Ohio, the Department of Natural
Resources issues permits for all oil and gas wells, including
fracking wells. The department also inspects the drilling of all
wells in the state.
The New York Times came to Ohio
to see how the good, working class folks feel about the president who
has spent three-and-a-half years trying to help people like them
during a recession he didn't start. Turns out many still won't vote
for him because he's still black.
Madiera is a really nice suburb, and
some residents plan to keep it that way by blocking developers from
building luxury condos so “renters” can't move in and “alter
the landscape of their charming suburb.”
Ohio State University has released a
plan to combat hate crimes in response to several incidents on its
campus this spring. The "No Place to Hate" plan includes 24
recommendations including a public safety division “hate crime
alert” line staffed by operators. The OSU campus reportedly had a
mural of President Obama defaced and found spray-painted messages
supporting the death of Trayvon Martin.
Good news from the AP's strangulation
beat: “States cracking down on strangulation attempts.”
Newsweek's May 21 cover shows
Barack Obama with a rainbow-colored halo over his head and the
headline, “The First Gay President.”
National media are talking about HBO's
Weight of the Nation, a four-part documentary detailing America's
obesity epidemic. CityBeat's Jac Kern told y'all about it last
John Edwards' defense attorneys are
reportedly basing a lot of their case on the definition of the word
“The.” That should go well.
Joey Votto hit a two-out,
bottom-of-the-ninth grand slam to win yesterday's game for the Reds,
9-6 over the Washington Nationals. It was his third home run of the
satellite has taken an awesome 121-megapixel photo of Earth.
by Danny Cross
Gov. John Kasich has something to say
to anyone waiting on federal funding to help fix their bridges (and
while we're at it, any local governments who need funding for
something other than food and water): Forget about it. During an interview with Enquirer editors and reporters yesterday,*
Kasich said tolls are the best means for funding a new Brent Spence
“I do not believe that a white
charger is going to come galloping (from Washington) into Cincinnati
with $2 billion in the saddlebags,” Kasich said. “So if that
isn’t going to happen and all we do is delay, delay, delay and we
push this thing out until 2036 ... holy cow!”
* CityBeat had a similar meeting
scheduled but we forgot about it and weren't here at the time —
sorry Kasich, we'll get ya next time!
Things are about to get weird in a
Clermont County courtroom if David Krikorian and Chris Finney get
their wish — to have Jean Schmidt on the witness stand on May 17.
Finney, the attorney for Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and
Taxes (COAST), has been representing Krikorian, a former Democratic
and independent candidate who unsuccessfully ran against Schmidt for
Ohio's 2nd congressional district seat, has served Schmidt with a
subpoena as part of Krikorian's lawsuit claiming a Schmidt lawsuit
against Krikorian was frivolous. COAST's ghost-written blog posted
commentary in February in response to accusations from Brad Wenstrup
that Schmidt was using campaign funds to pay off legal fund debt from
earlier campaign nonsense against Krikorian. Eastsiders mad.
Some high-level Procter & Gamble
executives are getting the Bearcat Bounce out of Cincinnati, heading
to Singapore where the company believes growth opportunities for its
beauty care products are the highest. About 20 positions will be
moved to the Singapore office during the next two years.
Does it matter that Mitt Romney might
have led a group of teenagers in a “pin that dude down and cut his
hair” prank during the '60s? The Nation says Obama's gay-marriage
announcement caught Romney off guard. As expected, Obama's fundraiser at
George Clooney's house raked in the dough, raising $15 million in one
British Prime Minister David Cameron
only recently learned what LOL means in text-speak. The explanation
occurred during witness testimony from Rebekah Brooks, the former
head of Rupert Murdoch's the now-defunct News of the World.
Brooks was forced to resign last year amid a phone-hacking scandal.
"He would sign them off 'DC' in the main," Brooks
said, referring to Cameron's initials. "Occasionally he would
sign them off 'LOL' — 'lots of love' — until I told him it meant
'laugh out loud,' and then he didn't sign them off [that way]
It was certainly an LOL moment during Brooks' testimony in a
London courtroom Friday as part of a judicial inquiry into media
ethics. But the disclosure also underscored the warm personal ties
between the prime minister and Brooks, the former head of media baron
Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers who was forced to resign in
disgrace last summer.
Someone found a really old Mayan
calendar, and it offers good news: It goes way beyond Dec, 12, 2012.
Major League Baseball phenom Bryce
Harper is in town for a three-game series with his Washington
Nationals. The 19-year-old was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and is
the first superstar-caliber player to make it to the big leagues this
quickly prompting comparisons to Ken Griffey, Jr. at that age. Here's
the local spin about on freak outfielder coming to town for a
weekend series against the Reds.
by Danny Cross
In news you've likely already heard
from your favorite website, social network, radio station, print
publication, TV or the guy in your neighborhood who likes to talk
about current events, President Barack Obama yesterday announced his
support for same-sex marriage, becoming the first-ever sitting
president to do so. The news has spawned analysis from across the
land, ranging from “risky but inevitable” to “matters less than
you think.” The Enquirer says the decision is going to “echo in
Ohio” (whatever that means).
One thing we know for sure: Hollywood
celebs are preparing to pack George Clooney's house tonight and fill up
Obama's briefcase with money.
The “No. 2 official at the Hamilton
County Sheriff’s Office” says the jail being next to the casino
will be bad for business, according to an Enquirer story detailing
worries over jail overcrowding leading to accused criminals to go
into the casino to “get warm, panhandle customers or just give
visitors a bad impression of Cincinnati.”
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd
Portune yesterday cancelled a new truck order for Paul Brown Stadium,
instead giving the vehicles to Parking Operations. Parking Operations
was supposed to get the stadium's used trucks after the stadium
received new ones, but Portune said the stadium doesn't need brand
new stuff all the time.
Up north, Columbus Mayor Michael
Coleman says his city wants an NBA basketball team now that the
public has purchased the arena the Columbus Blue Jackets play in.
Poll watch: Portman on GOP ticket
doesn't change Ohio race
New claims for unemployment benefits
dropped again last week, nearing a four-year low.
Facebook will soon launch an App
Center, because it's so annoying to have to leave Facebook to get
cool new apps.
Famous hairdresser Vidal Sassoon died
yesterday after a bout with leukemia. He apparently played a large
role in creating “wash and go” hairstyling and later
revolutionizing the hair-care industry. Here's a Philadelphia
Inquirer obit. And five ways Vidal Sassoon changed people's hair. Sassoon, according to the book Insider's Guide to Cincinnati, had a home in Mount Adams (his wife was a Greater Cincinnati native).
by Hannah McCartney
at 02:10 PM | Permalink
Becomes first president to openly affirm approval for same-sex marriage
News has been buzzing about North Carolina yesterday passing a controversial constitutional amendment that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state in the U.S. to outright ban same-sex unions. Unsurprisingly, the backwards legislation and its passage came as a monumental blow to the LGBT community and its supporters — especially in light of the fact that the state still allows marriage between first cousins. Today, president Barack Obama announced his official support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. His declaration marks a strong political stance supported by Joe Biden's statement on Sunday to Meet the Press and growing pressure from Democratic constituents to form a solid platform on the issue. Over the course of his 2012 presidential campaign, critics have lambasted Obama for refusing to speak out on the issue, many assuming he was opposed to same-sex marriage on a moral level.In the interview, Obama states: "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have
talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of
my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships,
same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think
about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there
fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask
Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a
marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally
it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex
couples should be able to get married."According to ABC, in the interview Obama attests that his statement is a matter of personal opinion, and that he still believes states, like North Carolina, should still possess the rights to independently craft legislation on the issue. Thus, the statement will likely do little for the LGBT community. His affirmed support could rally stronger support among Democrats and the LGBT community for his reelection, but might also alienate voters in strong opposition of same-sex marriage. A full version of Obama's interview with Roberts will air on ABC Thursday.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I’m going old school with the flow, biting a rhyme from Uncle L, when I say, “Don’t call it a comeback.” It being the rebirth, the remixing and reloading of The Alternative,
and I could also add that like LL, “I’ve been here for years.” I’ve
been underground, hiding out in darkened theaters, multiplexing my way
above the fray.
by Danny Cross
City Council is
considering increasing cab fares prior to the World Choir Games in
July as part of an overhaul of the city’s taxi industry. During a
Rules and Government Operations Committee meeting Monday, Councilman
Wendell Young described the industry as having little regulation and
often undesirable experiences, The Enquirer reports. Council last
spring removed a city rule that made it illegal to hail a cab. Among
the recommendations expected to be made are the standardization of
rates, an increase in the number of permanent taxi stands and the
visible display of a Customer Bill of Rights.
The two men hired to
beat a Columbia Tusculum man over a property dispute admitted in
court yesterday to having been paid by Robert Fritzsch to whoop on
Tom Nies Jr. The beaters will avoid jail time in exchange for
testifying against Fritzsch. The beating was allegedly a retaliation after a court ordered the removal of Fritzsch's addition to his home that blocked the river view of Nies' house.
Robert Chase is a
member of Ohio’s oil and gas commission, in addition to operating a
private consulting firm that deals with many of the private companies
interested in making mass money off the state’s drilling leases.
The Ohio Ethics Commission this week warned Chase that such consulting
work could present a conflict of interest, though Chase says he’s
not surprised and that he knows what his ethical responsibilities
NBC has picked up a
sitcom set in Cincinnati starring Anne Heche, who reportedly plays an
Indian Hill housewife who believes she can channel God after
surviving an accident involving nearly choking on a sandwich (with
humorous results?). The show, which will have a 13-episode first season, is titled Save Me.
administration might be hinting at considering same-sex marriage
rights during a second term, but the folks down in North Carolina are
having none of it: A state constitutional amendment to ban gay
marriage and civil unions is on today’s ballot, despite the
existence of a state statute that already outlaws it.
Meanwhile, the Obama
administration is busting Mitt Romney up for choosing not to address
a woman’s suggestion that Obama should be tried for treason.
During an event near
Cleveland yesterday, a woman asked Romney if he thinks President
Obama is "operating outside the structure of our Constitution,"
and "should be tried for treason."
Romney did not
respond to the treason comment, but instead criticized Obama's recent
comments on the Supreme Court -- drawing a rebuke from the Obama
Romney says he doesn’t
correct all the questions that are asked of him and that he obviously
doesn’t believe Obama should be tried for treason. USA Today
pointed out that the incident is similar to one that occurred during
the 2008 election, which John McCain handled quite differently:
It was one of the
defining moments of the 2008 presidential campaign: A woman at a
rally for Republican John McCain, while asking McCain a question,
called Democratic contender Barack Obama "an Arab" who
couldn't be trusted.
McCain took the
microphone and said, "No ma'am. He's a decent family man ... who
I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."
McCain's response symbolized his discomfort with the volatile crowds
he was seeing as his campaign faded during the final days of the 2008
A study suggests that
fighting obesity will necessitate a broader approach than blaming the
individual, likely involving schools, workplaces, health care
providers and fast-food restaurants.
Yahoo CEO Scott
Thompson has apologized for pretending to have a degree in computer
science. Thompson says he’ll update his resume but has no plans to
The U.S. could make a
$1.5 billion profit on its bailout of insurance company American
International Group, Inc. At least that’s what the Government
Accountability Office says.
cars have received their permits in Nevada. What's next? Drive down every single street in America and photographing it?
by Danny Cross
Sen. Rob Portman is
sitting on more cash than nearly all of his GOP colleagues in the
Senate, despite the fact that he’s not up for re-election until
2016. There has been widespread speculation that Portman is a
Republican vice presidential candidate, and only three Senators have
more money on-hand than his Promoting Our Republican Team PAC
(PORTPAC) leadership committee.
Companies upstream from
Cincinnati have been dumping pollutants into the Ohio River since the
1940s, and federal authorities have reached a $5.5 million settlement
to start cleaning it all up. Eighteen companies and several federal
agencies will collectively contribute to restoring the Ashtabula
River and Harbor in northeast Ohio. Here's the latest from Dredging Today (the authoritative voice of underwater excavation activity and other earth-altering digs).
Locals who have
recently “pimped their rides” might want to read up on a bill
passed by Ohio lawmakers yesterday that bans hidden compartments in
vehicles. Police don’t want to have to open those fancy
compartments to check whether there are drugs inside or just a
10th tiny TV. Hear that, Colerain?
Here’s what Obama and
his advisers do on Sundays (after the prez’s round of golf, of
course): size up Mitt Romney.
More insights from the
letters and notes released on Thursday by the Combating Terrorism
Center at West Point: “Bin Laden worried about legacy and sought to
U.S. job growth was
down in April, adding only 115,000 positions after seeing 154,000
added in March. The unemployment rate dropped .1 percentage point to
8.1 percent, largely due to workers leaving the labor force.
Republicans have some thoughts on the matter (Obama’s fault).
Ted Nugent is not
looking so hot these days. He’s also thoroughly offended at the
notion of not being a moderate. The following are comments he made today on
CBS This Morning:
"If you examine
how I conduct myself," Nugent said, "I don't think a day
goes by in my life for many, many years now that we don't do charity
work for children. ... Call me when you sit down across from someone
who has more families with dying little boys and girls who get a call
to take them on their last fishing trip in life.
Nugent continued in a raised, irritated voice, "when you meet
someone who does that more than I do. Because that's really moderate.
In fact, you know what that is? That's extreme. ... I'm an extremely
loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly,
without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the
conclusion that I'm a damned nice guy. ... And if you can find a
screening process more powerful than that, I'll [expletive]. Or
[expletive]. How's that sound?"
Headline: “Tech world
is out for blood.” Apparently Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s decision
to start a patent war was not such a good idea.
New York Yankees future
Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera tore his ACL during pregame
batting practice yesterday, putting the 42-year-old’s career in
jeopardy. There had already been speculation that Rivera would retire
after this season, and recovery from ACL surgery usually takes more
than nine months.
by German Lopez
Ohio GOP to repeal parts of its own passed legislation
week, Republicans are moving forward with a partial repeal of HB 194, a bill that was blasted
by voting rights groups for eliminating opportunities to vote early and disallowing pollworkers to guide voters to the correct precinct. The bill was
also criticized by Democrats for curtailing voting rights in a way that made it
harder for mostly Democratic constituents to vote.The good news first: Most of HB 194
is being repealed. It’s good to see Republicans follow the advice of Ohio
Secretary of State Jon Husted, a moderate Republican who called or the repeal
of HB 194 earlier this year.The bad news: Some new limits on
voting rights are going to remain in place, and the entire repeal process, which involves the passing of SB 295, might
be unconstitutional.While it’s good to see HB 194
repealed, it’s not the only voting law Republicans enacted last year. The Ohio
legislature also passed HB 224, which prohibited voting the Saturday, Sunday
and Monday before election day.For Democrats, this poses a bit of
a problem. Democrats are happy to see most of the restrictions on voting
repealed, but they want to see all of the restrictions repealed. If SB 295
passes, Democrats worry that the rest of the restrictions won’t be repealed
because Republicans will think they have done enough.Even the Obama team spoke on this
issue. In an email to Obama supporters Tuesday, Greg Schultz, the Ohio State
Director on the Obama team, urged voters to speak up: “This bill could mean an
end to our last three days of early voting this November — and would change the
rules, right in the middle of an election year. It's an unambiguous attack on
our voting rights.”The other problem is the repeal
could be unconstitutional. After HB 194 passed, voters were quick to speak out
against the new law and put it up for referendum in the November 2012 ballot.
So Republicans are repealing a law that is already up for referendum. This is
the first time that’s happened in the Ohio legislature, and Democrats claim it might be unconstitutional.But a lot
of that opposition may be pure political posturing. After all, Democrats were
sure they were going to win the referendum on HB 194, and they were sure they
could use it to get more supporters out to vote. With SB 295, the referendum of
HB 194 could potentially be taken off the ballot, and state Democrats will lose
one issue to hammer Republicans with in an election year.In a sense,
Democrats aren’t just upset about a “change of rules in the middle of an
election year,” as Schultz put it in his email. They’re upset about a change in
politics in the middle of an election year.Regardless,
SB 295 does have some legitimate problems. It’s good to see most of the
draconian restrictions on voting repealed, but if Republicans really want to
admit their mistake, they’ll repeal the rest of the restrictions as well.
2 Comments · Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Sometime in the next 10 weeks or so, U.S. citizens will learn whether the Supreme Court will uphold the first significant health care reform in nearly a half-century. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in
politics or couldn’t give a hoot, the decision will directly impact
you, your family and your friends for years to come.