by Mike Breen
Renovated park gears up for early July grand opening events
Veteran, internationally-acclaimed Cincinnati band Over the Rhine will be performing a free concert on July 22 in Over-the-Rhine (the neighborhood). The group is kicking off a series of "grand opening celebration" concerts this summer at the newly renovated Washington Park, which took 18 months and $48 million to complete. All events are free and open to the public.The first big event is Over the Rhine's July 22 concert at Washington Park's permanent stage on the new "Civic Lawn." An opening act will soon be announced.On Aug. 3, the Park will host a rare "joint performance" by the Cincinnati Pops, May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet. The full Pops Orchestra will perform a program of Classical, Broadway and Pop tunes, joined by the May Fest Chorus, singers from the Opera and dancers from the Ballet. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. On Aug. 4, the Over-the-Rhine Community Festival returns to Washington Park. The 28-year-old fest was on hold last year while the park was under construction. The event will feature games, food, kids' events, DJs and live music (TBA). The fest runs 12-6 p.m.Washington Park officially re-opens on July 6 at 10 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. There will be a free "Friendship Concert" in the park later that day (5-7 p.m.), presented by the World Choir Games.Like on Fountain Square, 3CDC is bringing a full slate of weekly musical events (as well as Saturday night movies and family-oriented fare on the weekends) to Washington Park. Full details will come with the launch of the new Washington Park website in early July. Plans so far are to have Bluegrass on Wednesdays, Jazz on Thursdays and R&B and Soul on Fridays. Check out the park on Facebook here for the latest updates.
Freaky fixture in local arts scene brings creativity, community
2 Comments · Monday, June 11, 2012
The most successful
Cincinnati Fringe Festival since the annual event’s launch in 2004
wrapped up on June 9, boasting a nearly 9 percent increase in overall
attendance compared to 2011, from 7,177 to 7,728. More than 230 artists
performed, and the number of sold-out performances, 24, set a new
by Danny Cross
Posted In: President Obama
, 2012 Election
, Social Justice
at 07:16 AM | Permalink
The ongoing saga involving Cincinnati
Police Chief James Craig and his nonexistent policing powers will
continue into July, as a hearing scheduled for Thursday has been
continued. Craig's attorneys will argue in front of the Ohio Peace
Officer Training Commission that his prior experience, and
certification in three other states, should exempt him from a state
rule requiring all officers pass a certification exam before earning
police powers. Craig believes he was hired to do things other than
study for an entry-level policing test, and some states would already
have certified him.
A statewide ban on texting while
driving moved through the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday and
is expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Kasich. The law makes
the writing, sending or reading of a text message while driving a
secondary offense, meaning officers may not pull over an adult driver
for the act. Teens, however, under House Bill 99 will be prohibited
from using any electronic device other than GPS and may be pulled
over for it.
Kasich on Tuesday followed through with
the GOP plan to overturn its own controversial election law that was
to go before voters in November. State Republicans and election
officials now say there's no reason for the law to go in front of
voters thanks to the 300,000 signatures gathered by President Obama's
re-election campaign and other opponents, but opponents of the
election law point out that the repeal still reaffirms an election
law change that would end early voting the weekend before an
election. Democrats plan to keep the issue on the ballot.
But people on both sides of the issue
say there's no precedent for a legislative repeal of a bill that also
is the subject of a referendum, so it's unclear how a court might
rule if a legal challenge is filed.
Jennifer Brunner, a former Democratic
secretary of state and a leader in the Fair Elections Ohio campaign
that brought the referendum, said Tuesday that the action taken by
Gov. John Kasich and Legislature doesn't force the removal of the
question from November ballots.
"Since this issue is a case of
first impression for any court, we do not see the statement of the
Secretary of State to be determinative on this issue," Brunner
said in an email. "The issue remains on the ballot."
More drama from Columbus: Republicans
are moving forward with a test program requiring some welfare
recipients to submit to drug testing in order to continue receiving
benefits. Opponents say the process stigmatizes the poor, while the
GOP says it's just a simple process involving poor people paying the
upfront costs for drug tests, being reimbursed if they pass and
living on the streets for six months if they fail.Northern Kentucky leaders plan to use
the revitalization of Over-the-Rhine as a model for reinvesting in
their urban core. A nonprofit organization has raised $10 million
during the past five years to get started spurring commercial and
Two Kentucky high school students who
were turned away from their senior prom for arriving as a same-sex
couple have argued that if their Catholic high school wants to ban
students based on upholding the church's teachings, such a
ban should include couples who have had premarital sex and kids who
plan to get wasted after the prom.
Apparently viewers of Harry's Law,
which was set in Cincinnati and used a stage-version of Arnold's as
the lawyer gang's regular hangout, are too old to attract advertising
dollars despite their relatively high numbers.
The show ranked very low among viewers
ages 18 to 49, the demographic most advertisers care about. In fact,
its young-adult numbers were beneath those for "Prime Suspect,"
a cop show that NBC canceled earlier this season, and roughly on par
with those of "Off Their Rockers," the Betty White show
about senior citizens pulling pranks on younger people.
"It was a difficult decision,"
an NBC executive said Sunday, quoted by the site Deadline.com.
"Everyone here respects 'Harry's Law' a lot but we were finding
it hard to grow the audience for it. Its audience skewed very old and
it is hard to monetize that."
President Obama raised $44 million
during April for his and other Democratic campaigns.
John Boehner says that when the federal
government raises the debt limit again America can expect another
prolonged fight about cuts.
George W. Bush has found “freedom”
wherever he ended up after having little to offer the GOP after his
tumultuous two terms as president. From ABC News:We don't see much of Bush these days.
He's the president that a lot of people would like to forget, still
so toxic that he's widely considered more likely to hurt than
help the Republican Party by participating in the 2012 campaign.
Bush's speech Tuesday morning was a
rare exception. He spoke in a small, nondescript room to about 200
people about democracy activists, promoting a human rights campaign
that's part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
His presence on the national stage is
perhaps best seen in his presence on the small stage at 1777 F
Street. At the end of the affair, Bush and his wife were called back
up to be presented with writings by Czech human rights icon Vaclav
Havel. They posed for pictures as the audience clapped, and when they
were done, Bush glanced around as if unsure what to do next.
He walked back to his seat, but then
quickly walked back onto the stage and behind the lectern. He leaned
forward into the microphone, paused, and said slyly, "Thanks for
Bush waited a second or two. Then he
said, "See ya later."He waved, and then he left. Is U.S. energy independence a pipe
dream? This article says no.
Apple might soon give you a larger
A private rocket launch this week could be the
start of commercial space travel.
Here are some important tips about
sunscreen as summer approaches and the circle in the sky threatens to
burn off our skin.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Things ain’t what they used to be at
Ensemble Theatre. A decade ago 1127 Vine St. in Over-the-Rhine was near
ground zero for some of the city’s worst behavior — drug-dealing,
shootings, arrests and police controversy. During the 2001 riots,
artistic director D. Lynn Meyers and the cast of a show she was
rehearsing had to be barricaded and locked into the theater for their
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Cincinnatian Jan Christian can speak for the first time in
35 years thanks to a miraculous larynx surgery at the Voice and
Swallowing Center at the University of Cincinnati. Christian lost her
voice in a car crash when she was 17.
April 24 • 20th Century Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, April 16, 2012
Over the Rhine — the
Cincinnati musical duo of husband-and-wife Linford Detweiler and Karin
Bergquist — has a lot for which to thank the Cowboy Junkies. Hopefully they’ll
get a chance to thank the Junkies when the latter is in town for a Tuesday
night gig at 20th Century Theatre. The Junkies are here to celebrate the
completion of an unusual project, The
Nomad Series, four albums in 18 months. The final one, Wilderness — a sensitive look at the needs and impulses that drive
a person’s life — came out last month.
by Kevin Osborne
The Enquirer ran a lengthy, glowing article over the weekend about the ongoing redevelopment of Over-the-Rhine and 3CDC's central role in helping it occur — all of which is well and good. But the piece, which contained more than 1,900 words, could only find space for 125 words critical of the effort and none at all for a direct quote from 3CDC's critics. (That's about 1/16th for the those keeping track at home.) Maybe that's because Enquirer Publisher Margaret Buchanan sits on 3CDC's executive committee and is in charge of publicity for the group, which was yet another fact curiously missing from the article.Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, Hamilton County's new coroner, attended a screening of the film, Bully, over the weekend. Her appearance was part of an effort to draw attention to bullying and child abuse during Child Abuse Awareness Month. The documentary relates the tales of several students across the United States who have been tormented by their peers. Its distributor, The Weinstein Co., released the film without a rating after the MPAA announced it would give it a “NC-17” rating for coarse language, which would've prohibited anyone under the age of 17 — the movie's primary audience — from seeing it.Cincinnati Reds superstar Joey Votto hit a two-run double in the 11th inning Sunday, which allowed his team to avoid a four-game sweep by giving it an 8-5 victory over the Washington Nationals. Some Covington business leaders are upset that a current plan to build a new span to replace the Brent Spence Bridge doesn't include any exits into the city's downtown. As proposed, motorists on southbound Interstate 75 would have to exit the highway about a mile earlier, near Ezzard Charles Drive in Cincinnati, to reach the Northern Kentucky locale.Just up I-75 a bit, a new report reveals the city of Dayton has the highest office vacancy rate among the nation’s metropolitan areas, and the portion of its office space that is unoccupied is at least at a 13-year high. The struggling Rust Belt city had about 27.3 percent of its office space vacant in the first quarter of this year, according to Reis Inc., a New York-based commercial real estate research group.In news elsewhere, Taliban insurgents and government security forces clashed over the weekend in Afghanistan. A series of insurgent attacks Sunday left four civilians and 11 members of the security forces dead. Afterward, security forces launched a counter-offensive that killed three dozen assailants, including some suicide bombers.President Hamid Karzai linked Sunday's militant attacks to intelligence failures, especially on the part of NATO. In his first response to the attacks, Karzai praised the performance of the Afghan security forces. He gave tribute to the "bravery and sacrifice of the security forces who quickly and timely reacted to contain the terrorists," a French news agency reported.The trial began today for Anders Behring Breivik, the anti-Islamic militant who allegedly killed 77 people last summer during a shooting rampage in Norway. Breivik, 33, was defiant at the proceedings. Asked by a judge whether he wished to plead guilty, Breivik replied, “I acknowledge the acts but I don’t plead guilty as I claim I was doing it in self-defense.” He has previously said his actions were meant to discourage further Islamic immigration.As the deadline looms for the filing of federal income tax returns, a new Gallup Poll finds Americans fall into two almost evenly matched camps: those who believe the amount they pay in federal income tax is too high (46 percent) and those who consider it "about right" (47 percent). Just 3 percent consider their taxes too low.The United States and China have been discreetly engaging in "war games" amid rising anger in Washington over the scale and audacity of Beijing-organized cyber attacks on western governments and Big Business, London's Guardian newspaper has reported. State Department and Pentagon officials, along with their Chinese counterparts, were involved in two war games last year that were designed to help prevent a sudden military escalation between the sides if either felt they were being targeted. Another session is planned for May.
1 Comment · Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Greater Cincinnati civic leaders are
debating whether or not to ask for a sales tax increase to help raise
the funds necessary for renovations at some of its longstanding
institutions such as the Museum Center and Cincinnati Zoo. But saving
links to our city’s past costs money, and getting citizens from all of
Cincinnati’s neighborhoods to agree to do so has proven to be
by Kevin Osborne
Workplace safety inspectors have cited six companies for violations in connection with the Jan. 27 accident at the construction site of the Horseshoe Casino. More than a dozen workers were injured in the mishap. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposed more than $108,000 in fines on the companies, which include such local stalwarts as Messer Construction and Jostin Construction. In a statement, Messer's CEO says the firm “respectfully disagrees” with the findings and will request a meeting with OSHA.A man who was the police chief of Elmwood Place for 11 days is trying to get his record expunged of the five criminal charges that cost him his job. Jeremy Alley briefly served as chief in 2003, until he was caught using his police department computer to seduce someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl but actually was a police officer. Hamilton County prosecutors, however, are opposing the expungement request.A billboard advertising a cat litter brand was recently removed in Over-the-Rhine after some residents complained that it insulted their neighborhood. Tidy Cat's billboard stated, “You're so Over-the-Rhine,” followed by “#lifestinks.” It was part of its “NoMorePU.com” ad campaign, which used the billboards to mention things in life that stink. Tidy Cat's maker, Purina, issued an apology on Twitter that said "We're sorry. Our billboard was meant to be humorous, but to many of you it wasn't. We'll take fast action to correct this."Construction began Monday on a long-delayed retail, office and hotel project in Norwood. Developers broke ground on Rookwood Exchange, which will include a 15,000 square foot retail building along Edwards Road and a 230,000 square foot retail/entertainment/office building, along with a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, two restaurants and a parking garage. A legal dispute with homeowners involving eminent domain held up the plans for several years.Local ticket scalpers, who are licensed by the city, are upset with the Cincinnati Reds. After a counterfeit ticketing scheme on Opening Day, the team is urging fans to only buy their tickets from its website, or online at StubHub or TicketMaster. But legitimate scalpers, who pay $400 per year for a license, says the counterfeiters came from Atlanta and are giving them a bad name.In news elsewhere, FBI statistics indicate that although violent crime continues to decrease across the United States, the killings of police officers are increasing dramatically. Seventy-two officers were killed by perpetrators in 2011, a 25 percent increase from the previous year and a 75 percent increase from 2008. The 2011 deaths were the first time that more officers were killed by suspects than car accidents and was the highest in nearly two decades, excluding those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds President Obama holds clear advantages over Mitt Romney on personal attributes and various major issues, but remains vulnerable to discontent with the pace of the economic recovery. Obama has double-digit leads over the likely Republican presidential nominee on who would do a better job of protecting the middle class, addressing women’s issues, handling international affairs and dealing with health care.A decision about whether George Zimmerman will face criminal charges for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida could be announced today. Special Prosecutor Angela Corey said Monday that she won't present the case to a grand jury, which legal experts say means that Corey won't charge Zimmerman with first-degree murder, because that charge requires an indictment by a grand jury. In a statement, Corey's office stressed that the decision not to call a grand jury "should not be considered a factor" in whether Zimmerman will ultimately be prosecuted in Martin's death. If Zimmerman is charged, it likely will be for the lesser charge of manslaughter, experts added.In related news, activists in Sanford, Fla., said the investigation into Martin's death isn't the first case involving the death of an African-American person that the local Police Department has botched. Leaders in Sanford's black community say police have repeatedly failed to properly investigate crimes involving minority victims. In the past three years, officers have been caught demanding bribes from motorists, fabricating evidence and drawing weapons unlawfully.A psychiatric examination has found that confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is not criminally insane, despite a claim based upon an earlier assessment. Today's finding comes six days before the 33-year-old man is set to stand trial on terror charges stemming from a bomb and shooting rampage that killed 77 people last summer in Norway.
by Kevin Osborne
Ending months of speculation about why a special prosecutor was investigating her, a Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleader was indicted Thursday for allegedly having sex with an underage student while she was a teacher at Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood. A grand jury indicted Sarah Jones on first-degree sexual abuse and a charge of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual acts. The charges are felonies that are punishable by up to five years in prison. She resigned from her teaching job in November. Jones won $11 million in a default judgment in summer 2010 arising from a libel lawsuit she filed against Thedirty.com, a gossip website. An online post had claimed Jones had two venereal diseases and was having sex in her high school classroom. The website has asked that the judgment be dismissed, while Jones has appeared on TV shows like ABC’s 20/20 to discuss cyber-harassment.Cincinnati officials are touting how the violent crime rate in Over-the-Rhine has dropped in recent months, on the heels of the FBI and local police arresting five alleged gang members Thursday that are accused of committing crimes there. Police note there hasn't been a homicide in Over-the-Rhine in the past seven months, adding stepped up patrols partially are responsible..Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order Thursday that is designed to crack down on human trafficking. His order creates a task force to coordinate statewide rescue efforts, law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, and services for victims. The task force is scheduled to report back to Kasich within 90 days on the problem's scope and how best to address it.As The Enquirer's parent company this week sheds numerous employees by offering a voluntary “early retirement” severance deal, a union representing reporters at The Dayton Daily News are fighting efforts to replace older, more highly paid workers. The Dayton Newspaper Guild rallied outside the Cox Media Center on Wednesday, as the union resumes contract negotiations with the media company. Guild leaders said newspaper executives are seeking unlimited power to use freelancers to replace professional journalists, along with wanting to abolish job security for its most experienced workers by eliminating seniority-based layoffs. Cox also owns newspapers in Mason, West Chester, Hamilton and Middletown.A Columbus man is crediting his friend for saving his life after a freak accident involving a turkey. Ohio State University “super fan” John Chubb, who also is known as “Buck i Guy,” was recently driving home on Interstate 79 from Pittsburgh after the Buckeyes’ win over Gonzaga when a turkey crashed through his windshield and knocked him unconscious. Chubb's friend, a retired Columbus firefighter, grabbed the steering wheel and safely brought the car to a stop. (Shades of Arthur Carlson on WKRP in Cincinnati: “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”)In news elsewhere, a group launching a $3.6 million advertising campaign criticizing President Obama for high gasoline prices is connected to the notorious Koch brothers. The American Energy Alliance is the political arm of the Institute for Energy Research, and sources told Politico that both groups are funded partly by industrialists Charles and David Koch and their donor network. In all, the brothers’ network is aiming to steer significantly more than $200 million to conservative groups for political advertising and organizing ahead of Election Day.A conservative think tank with ties to local politicians has been drawn into the controversy over Florida teenager Trayvon Martin's shooting death. The unarmed 17-year-old was killed last month by a neighborhood watch volunteer who is expected to use Florida's “stand your ground” law as his defense. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which drafts model legislation for state lawmakers, promoted "stand your ground" laws. A statement issued by ALEC said the law probably is being misapplied in Martin's case: “It does not allow you to pursue another person. It does not allow you to seek confrontation." State Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Green Township) is among ALEC's leaders, as CityBeat has previously reported here and here.Meanwhile, the police reports from the two officers who first responded to the scene of Martin's shooting have been posted online. They reveal what the officers encountered and how shooter George Zimmerman reacted upon being confronted by police.Newt Gingrich's recent casual attitude toward his supposed presidential campaign might now have an explanation. The Washington Times has revealed that Gingrich secretly met with GOP rival, Mitt Romney, on Saturday. The ex-House Speaker said he has made no deal to end his bid for the Republican nomination, adding he hasn’t been offered a position in a potential Romney administration in exchange for dropping out. Curiouser and curiouser.The Human Rights Campaign has obtained confidential documents from a prominent anti-gay rights group that indicates its legislative strategy includes trying to divide African-American and gay voters and pit them against one another. The documents, from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), were unsealed this week in a Maine court case. “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,”the NOM report states. “Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” Seems like that strategy worked with our local NAACP president, Christopher Smitherman.