Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic garners over 10,000 attendees !

Suck on that, neocon bitches !

Friday, August 29, 2008

Knowlton's Corner, intersection of Hamilton Avenue, Spring Grove Avenue and Hoffner Street

The Cincinnati Perservation Association offers a series of walking tours that explore various parts of the city. On this year's list is a walking tour of Northside.
Looks like the weather is going to cooperate, too !
From the Cincinnati Preservation Association website:
The Specially offered Northside tours will start at 11:00 a.m. at the BP station at Knowlton's Corner (intersection of Hamilton Avenue, Spring Grove Avenue and Hoffner Street). There is public parking just 1/2 block up Hamilton Avenue past Wizard Computers at 4024 Hamilton. The price of the tour is $10/adult; $5/child. The tour is approximately 2 hours, 2+ miles and will feature more than 30 sites in the area.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Does Ohio Need Casinos ?
Leave the casinos to Las Vegas. They do it right. Low end casino towns, like Deadwood suck.
If you just want to gamble, get a game going with your friends or coworkers.
The latest push for a casino in Ohio is coming out of Wilmington, which is getting creamed by the abandonment of a major employer, DHL.
Las Vegas was built into a success a long time ago by people that Wilmingtonians would not want for neighbors. Las Vegas, today, is a result of that success built upon by big entertainment corporations. What Wilmington, or any location in Ohio, would get with a casino, is, basically, a bone from the entertainment moguls that would provide low paying jobs to locals and siphon off the lion's share o the cash while leaving Ohio and Wilmington holding the bill for infrastructure improvements and public services.
A smarter location in Ohio would be on Ohio's northern lakefront, southern riverfront or in south east Ohio's hills. That is, areas that have natural attractions tourists want. But the tiny profit and large headaches would still be the same.
If Ohio really wants to succeed in the tourist trade, it should legalize marijuana. Still, most of the jobs in the tourist industry just don't pay all that well and, frequently don't provide much in the way of employment for older people.
Ohio, and it's cities need to focus on using and marketing their resources. Cincinnati is right to have a major focus on the downtown areas of OTR, CBD & the Banks. OTR, in particular represents an old neighborhood that is still salvageable but would be impossible to re-create.
Ohio should focus more on new industrial jobs. First Solar has recently announced plans to expand and add jobs in Perrysburg. Renewable energy would be a great industry for Ohio. It would create jobs, it's adoption could lower energy costs, making the cost of living and doing business in the state more palatable. A cleaner environment would aid in tourism, the agriculture industry and cut health care costs.
Expanding and diversifying our agricultural industry (what Ohio was built on) is crucial. Agriculture for energy is one idea, focusing on specialty stuff like Alpacas is another.
I offer no quick fixes, no "jackpots", but with some work, dedication and investment in things that are already somewhat in place, Ohio can do a lot better in the long run than by looking to casinos for band-aids.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Around my house, it's Halloween pretty much 365 days a year, 24 hrs a day. My last post should be of some testament to that.
Anyway, even tho it's more than 2 months out, Clark County's dancing sheriff has decreed Beggar's Night to be Oct. 30 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Glad to see somebody has their priorities in order.
From the Noose Son:
"Springfield, Ohio — Beggar's night in Clark County will be Thursday, Oct. 30, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sheriff Gene Kelly has announced.
The date and time is expected to be observed county-wide, said Kelly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My latest favoritest band in the world.
Zombina and the Skeletons
Where's Groucho when you need him ?
This sounds too much like the flap between the Warners v the Marxes over the title "Night in Casablanca".
"Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against Mumbai-based producer/distributor Mirchi Movies related to the title of its upcoming film "Hari Puttar -- A Comedy of Terrors," which Warners feels is a tad too similar to its franchise about a certain young wizard."
Story here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Metro wants to know "Where You Want to Grow"
Take the survey here.
It's kind of a pointless survey. They could have just asked where you live and where you go. Anyway, they're trying.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Security for the conventions ?

Unfortunaetly, I don't think they will need it. The Republican convention could be interesting with Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic (with almost 10,000 tickets sold !) going on next door.
Foolish corporate parties - seems like giving us a riot to watch on tv is the least they could do.
Denver doesn't disappoint !
"Police in riot gear used pepper spray on protesters about a mile from the site of the Democratic National Convention on Monday night."
Story here.
Toss in a half assed assassination attempt and the Republicans are going to have a hard act to follow !
(note the URL cites an "assisination" plot)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Team in Town
When I attended the now defunct Springfield North High School, a social studies teacher tried to organize a soccer program. One of my best friends grew up near Leeds and had played soccer from about the time he could walk and he encouraged me to go out for the team with him.
never mind that we were two of the more notorious dopers in the school.....
Some weird guy who was skinnier & less jockish than myself showed up and a bookish guy who had been an exchange student in Germany for a year showed up.
That was the team.
ok, it wasn't a team, the coach rolled his eyes, sighed and called it a day.
North is gone, now, replaced by a new Springfield High and while the school still hasn't opened yet, they have a real soccer program that has just started playing - and losing. But they are doing better than my class ever did - they are making it to the field !
Good luck to coach Kohl & the Wildcats.

Noose Son story here.
Learn How to Ride the Bus
From the Fishwrap:
"Commuters thinking about switching to the bus can take a close look at a Metro bus, ask questions, pick up schedules, test an online trip planner and register to win a free monthly pass Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Walnut Street side of Fountain Square."
Seriously, HOW HARD IS IT ?
Granted, teenagers have a hard time with it, but what are our expectations of teenagers ?
One of the biggest things you need to learn on Metro's newer buses is how to be under 6 foot tall, because you ain't gonna fit if you are taller. If you need to stand near the rear, you need arms (at least one) that are about seven feet long to grasp the overhead handrail. A skill with gymnastics can be helpful as one gropes for handholds placed "here and there" and an ability to make onesself paper thin as you squeeze past the kids who congregate around the front of the bus.
It also helps to not be old as the low seats can be murder to get out of, and without that seven foot arm, you won't have any handholds to assist yourself getting out of the seats.
But, other than being a physiological freak, riding the bus is pretty simple. Schedules and a system map are online. There is a poorly done but usable "trip planner" application on the home page and you can just call for routing info at 513-621-4455, too. The bus names and numbers are clearly marked (for normally sighted people). Most of the drivers are courteous and helpful as are most of the adult riders. Zones might be kind of weird but once you know your zone, you are set. The bicycle racks are pretty easy to use. You might need to instruct the driver if your wheelchair has special requirements. The driver will usually tell kids to give you their seat if you are handicapped & the surly kids are just giving you that, under the brow, I've got a block of cement where my brain oughtta be, glare.
Seriously, riding the bus isn't that difficult.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wittenberg University, in Springfield, Ohio, will be hosting a discussion series titled, "Modern Marvels: Jewish Adventures in the Graphic Novel".
They will be discussing Will Eisner's A Contract With God, Art Spiegleman's Maus, A Survivor's Tale, Ben Katchor's Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories, Harvey Pekar's The Quitter and Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat.
Graphic novels are, of course, just comic books that intelligent people can read and remain respectable.
They call it literature.
As far as the actual series goes, I think they missed a couple goodies, Joe Sacco's Palestine and Robert Crumb's Kafka.
Palestine is a detailed account of Sacco's visit to his parents homeland to visit friends and relatives. Sacco, an American has neither a great love for Palestine
nor a seething hatred of Israel. A very insightful book -er- graphic novel.
Crumb's biographical Kafka is glaringly missing, however as Crumb's work in underground (independently published) comics took comics out of the realm of the drug store and opened up the comic book world to the diverse publications that resulted in the format we call graphic novels !
The underground comic product helped give rise to a distribution network of head shops, record stores and ultimately specialty comic book stores. In fact it was through this network that Maus first appeared (in serialized format) in Spiegleman's RAW magazine.
Another important Jewish comic book type of guy (though not having a graphic novel to his name) was publisher Bill Gaines. Though not exactly a paragon of Jewish virtue, his no-nonsense approach to freedom of expression and his respect for the creatives who produced it was crucial to the development of the comics environment that spawned the graphic novel. Gaines defended his publications and the work of his artists and writers in the Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the 50s but still wound up having to cease publishing anything but Mad magazine. The hearings resulted in a censorship board, The Comics Code Authority. Gaines fought hard against the board that saw fit to "censor" things like black characters.
Panel from "Judgement Day" by artist Joe orlando.
Anyway, maybe next time around, they can include Howard Chaykin's American Flagg.

Noose Son story and registration info here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How to attract wealth in Ohio ?
In this chart on the BizJournals pages, 267 cities are ranked by wealth. The top cities are dominated by cities in California. Ohio cities were all towards the bottom. Indeed, Forbes ranked several Ohio cities as America's fastest Dying.
So I wondered what we were doing differently than California.
Apparently we are not taxing the rich enough and, instead relying too much on user based taxes.
Below is a chart comparing Ohio and California on taxes and prices.

Cost of Living Ranking 15 50
Groceries 96.9 119
Housing 79.7 208.7
Utilities 104.7 96.7
Transportation 100.6 111.3
Health Care 96.5 111.7
Misc Goods 97.9 109.8
Gas 3.64 4.09
Personal Income 0.618 - 6.24 1 - 9.3
Corporate 5.1 - 8.4 8.84
Ssales Tax 5.5 2 (adjustable)
Gas .28 .18
Cigarettes 1.25 .87

Ddata from:
Federation of Tax Administrators
Missouri Economic Research and Information Center

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Route 66

The classic television show, Route 66, was re-released on DVD recently. The show ran from 1960 - 1964 starring Martin Milner and George Maharis as Todd and Buzz - two young men traveling the back roads of the US taking odd jobs as they go and meeting the diverse people who make up America.
The show was primarily the work of Stirling Silliphant. He made a name for himself with the show as he delved into the darker side of people's characters showing a world that frequently wasn't what it appeared to be on the surface. He also made a name for himself with his character's dark soliloquies. In about the 4th episode Lew Ayres (playing a Nazi hunter (the show was only about 15 years out of WWII)) delivered this gem:
"I hope you live a long life and never know the blistering forces which sear and destroy, turn men into enemies and sweep past the last frontiers of compassion. Once you've seen that dark, unceasing tide of faces... of the victims...the last spark of dignity so obliterated that not one face is lifted to heaven, not one voice is raised in protest even as they died..."
Of course, it's all pretty fantastic and idyllic. Halfway through the first season they might have intersected with route 66 once.
What I am really loving about watching the show, however, is that it was almost completely shot on location around the country. The backgrounds and sets - the houses, offices, farms and towns offer a very real glimpse of life in America in the early 60s.
And it's all shot in stunning black and white !
The supporting guest stars are a daggone Who's Who.
Lon Chaney Jr, Roger Carmel, Robert Duvall, Robert Redford, Leslie Nielsen, Bruce Dern, Suzanne Pleshette, Pat Hingle, Inger Stevens, Harvey Korman, DeForrest Kelley, Lee Marvin, Anne Francis, John Astin, Peter Graves, Barbara Eden, Susan Oliver, and a seriously hot Donna Douglas.
All in all, it's a great look back at a time that wasn't in a time that very much was.
Vandalism in St Bernard Cemeteries
Trashing cemeteries is some kind of rite of passage for dumbass teenagers. It's nothing new. It's going to happen again.
What bothers me the most about this is the complete lack of sculpture and form (?) in our architectural world these days. Seems about the only place you can see this "old school" art is in cemeteries. It's awful to lose what little is left.
I guess we must be grateful for the wisdom of youth.
St John's is a kind of boring flat cemetery with little landscaping. Some of the stones look old enough they may have been moved from older cemeteries. A huge number have inscriptions entirely in German.
Here's some pics from a few years back.

Fishwrap story here.
"St. Bernard police had gone undercover Sunday night and, armed with night-vision goggles they borrowed from Montgomery, nabbed a trio of juveniles early Monday suspected of toppling gravestones at the two cemeteries.
After the damage at St. John's, the teens returned to St. Mary's, where they were stopped and arrested by Officer Doug Roll.
Three boys were charged Monday with desecrating grave sites.
The teens, 15 and 16, face charges of criminal trespass, desecrating a grave site, criminal mischief and vandalism."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Vince McMahon could learn a thing or two from the Ohio election process.
What I don't understand, here, is why the memory cards and the computer that reads them have anti-virus software on them when they are supposed to be in a controlled environment.
From The Reg. (or should that just be From Reg ? stupid limey caveman talk.....)

Ohio official sues e-vote vendor for sloppy counting

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner wants an electronic voting machine vendor to pay for dropping hundreds of votes in the state's March primary election.
In a filing at Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Brunner seeks unspecified damages from Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold. She claims Premier made false representations of its equipment and failed to live up to its contractual obligations.
Votes from at least 11 counties in Ohio were lost in the recent election when memory cards were uploaded to computer servers that tally the votes.
Although the votes were later recovered and counted by election workers, Ortega argues that they could have easily been overlooked.
Premier pins the problem on an antivirus program that was loaded on the server. But Brunner claims the servers in Ohio were certified with the antivirus software installed.
Premier e-voting machines are used in half of Ohio's 88 counties.
In May, Premier sued the Brunner's office and the Cuyahoga Country Board of Elections seeking a ruling that it had satisfied the obligations of its state contract to provide the voting machines. County officials responded with a countersuit accusing the company of beach of contract, negligence and fraud. Brunner's office added their own counter-claim with today's lawsuit.
Last year Brunner commissioned a study that found e-voting machines in Ohio contain critical security failures that could jeopardize elections. But she assures voters the state will take steps to tally accurate results in the upcoming fall presidential vote.

Story here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Red Light Camera Lies
While the implementation of red light cameras may vary in the many cities in the 30+ states that use them, this is about Cincinnati.
There was a presentation to the Law and Public Safety Committee on the topic on 8-5-08. It can be found on CitiCable.
#1 The city will use valuable tax dollars to purchase the expensive cameras.
The cameras and their installation will be free.
#2 The ticketing process is entirely automated.
All evidence is reviewed by a Cincinnati law enforcement officer before a citation is issued.
#3 You must pay a fine before you can challenge a ticket.
When you are notified by mail, you will have the option to pay or challenge.
An estimate of 2% of citations are challenged. No number was given on the success rate of challenges.
#4 If someone else is driving the car and runs a light, the owner will be held responsible.
This can also be challenged.
(honestly, if the person you loaned the car to won't stand up and defend you, you have more serious problems than a traffic ticket)
#5 People stopping for red lights cause accidents.
This was dismissed in the meeting but a national study by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration was cited that said, nationwide, minor rear end collisions increased slightly while "T-bone" collisions that incurred greater damage and injury as well as death and dismemberment decreased significantly at intersections monitored with cameras.
#6 Cameras will be placed in predominantly black neighborhoods in an attempt to harass, control and generally victimize black people.
The intersections chosen will be picked by looking at traffic accident data only.
The notion that photographing a driver out on public roadways is somehow a violation of his civil rights and that using the cameras would open up the city to expensive lawsuits are pretty wild and were not even discussed.
The idea that photographing a person steals their soul was not discussed either.
A study was recently conducted that said 77% of the local population would vote against a referendum to prohibit the cameras. Part of the survey asked the 23% of respondents who were against the cameras if they would change their minds if they knew the cameras were provided and and installed for free. Approximately 25% of them said they would.
Apparently the spreading of the red light camera lies is going well.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


all equipment was in a rented penske 15 foot yellow truck with u.s. (michigan) license plate number AC46493 and the theft had to have happened in the morning, between 6:30 and 7:30 am

Info, list and pictures here.
The Website is Down

Friday, August 01, 2008

NASA Astro pic of the Day
In Springfield there is a real, sometimes amusing but ultimately unfortunate alienation between city residents and Wittenberg University.
Many residents don't attend the college, frequently because of financial restraints while many of the students from out of town come from fairly affluent families. This rift is simply a socio-economic one but probably drives most of the rest of the opposition. Students going away to college tend to practice pretty crappy behavior no matter where they are but when they treat their host city with contempt, they generally get a response in kind. While many Springfielders are of blue collar origins, they tend to look at fine arts with contempt and, subsequently do not appreciate aspects of the university like the school of music. They tend to see the school as a waste of real estate and a drain on city resources.
So, it is a pleasant surprise to see this in the Noose Son:
Wittenberg students promote city

Young adults from Covington, Cleveland, Columbus and Kentucky have fallen in love with Springfield.
They want you to, as well.
On Thursday, July 31, six Wittenberg University students presented a proposal to help the city promote itself, not to the outside world, but within.

Their list of the Champion City's top assets:

  • Heritage Center

  • Wittenberg University and Clark State Community College

  • Westcott House

  • Springfield Symphony Orchestra

  • Affordability

  • Nextedge Applied Research and Technology Park

  • Springfield Arts Council

  • Citizens Police Academy

  • Historic Districts

  • After-School Programs

  • Kuss Auditorium

  • Parks and Recreation

  • Cancer Center

  • Downtown Entrepreneurship

I think I would have to point out the Civic Theater Association and the mere existence of 2 older movie theaters even tho the movie theaters are not currently in use (at least not consistently), The Clarence Brown reservoir (The Springfield Sea) and The Clark County fair, one of the biggest and bestest county fairs in the state.
Still, I don't think you really need to sell Springfielders on Springfield and I am glad it is attracting some enthusiastic new residents, but I think they are just seeing what the core population already knows.

Full Noose Son story here.