Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bedbug Has Lost It

Ohio congressman, Dale Mallory, tends to campaign by not campaigning. He certainly doesn't debate. He knows that opening his mouth is probably just about the worst thing he could do.
Well, he's opened it & he's got a plan, nay, a vision.
A 5,000 seat boxing arena.
Where? - at the site of the Greyhound Station. What happens to the Greyhound Station? It gets moved over to the west side of downtown.
But wait! The arena will have a pizza shaped green roof! And a museum!!
This is what he's got:
A. Construction of "a state-of-the-art eco-friendly green Greyhound terminal" in Queensgate.
B. Demolition of the old Greyhound terminal on Gilbert Avenue
C. Construction of a "green" — energy efficient — 5,000-seat Buddy LaRosa Sports Arena on the Gilbert Avenue site, including rooftop gardens that recycle rainwater.

First thing to come to my mind is - Who is going to run it? There's no Bengals, Reds, Cyclones, Royals, Commandos or Silent Lambs to call it home. Why not just use the Coliseum (whatever it's called nowadays) or the Gardens & carve out a space for the museum? Since transportation patterns have already been established for the football & baseball stadiums, the coliseum makes the most sense & he does want it near the casino. Is the casino going to take sports bets like in Vegas?
Pizza shaped green roof? whatever.....
Is there a benefit to moving the bus station? Maybe if passenger rail came into Union Terminal it would establish the area as a transportation hub???
But it will be green!
Fortunately there are no more pressing matters to be dealt with.

Fishwrap article here.
Ohio v. HSUS
Round 2?

With a new governor we get a new Secretary of Agriculture, Jim Zehninger, who, by default, will be the new head of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. Zehringer will be the first SoA to have a full term in the newly created position.
The board was created in an effort to thwart radical animal rights groups from imposing onerous rules on farmers through ballot initiatives promoted with deceit. In the end, however, the board & Governor Strickland made a last minute "back room" deal with the group HSUS.
Zehninger says he wants to review that deal.
Zehninger, whose background is in raising poultry & fish seems to be more of the mindset that if you give these guys an inch & they'll take a mile. he sees the rules as roadblocks to new farmers. He wants to draw a line in the sand.
Kasich, who seems to shoot from the hip, says he wants to carefully review the issues & proceed with caution. Does this mean he will actually take aim?
HSUS is primarily in the organizing, PR & fund raising business. It is not affiliated with local animal welfare groups called humane societies. It's substantial war chest provides virtually no funding for animal welfare facilities (that in most cases are hurting for money). It's sole function is to promote itself & it's agenda. It would be a formidable opponent even for a Fox News announcer.
Building coalitions won't be easy either because the issue doesn't split neatly along any of the usual ideological lines. There is plenty of animosity between small "green" farmers & factory farmers. It's not a left & right thing - Rush Limbaugh is a big HSUS fan. It's more likely a city v. country thing but that's about it.
It could get interesting. It will probably get ugly.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday
Buy My Stuff !

Cincinnati Iconography.

Shirts, mousepads, mugs, clocks, tote bags, aprons AND MORE !!!
All emblazoned with iconic Cincinnati images. AMAZE your friends! THRILL your parents ! Go HOMETOWN PROUD this holiday season!!
~ or ~

Get your Jaguar & Thunderbird gear for your music geek friends. (& I mean serious geeks)

Wondering what the new year has in store for you?

Get this handy dandy reference chart showing the astrological aspects of the tarot!. With this tool your holiday divinations will be most accurate! You can win the lottery! Predict horse races & football games! Find out exactly when that tall dark handsome stranger is going to enter your life.
Whether you're celebrating Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Krampusnacht, Christmas, National Fritters Day, Yule, Boxing Day, New Years, VegasAnt's birthday or just a late 4th of July, make it a Quimbob Holiday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

nom nom
Enquirer Threatens Suit Against Endorsed Candidate

Before the last election the Enquirer condemned the campaign of a county commissioner they had endorsed. Now, after the election but before anybody has even taken office they are threatening a lawsuit against the gubernatorial candidate they endorsed.
Just what's an Enquirer endorsement really worth these days?
Gamble House Update

11/23/10 Livable Communities Committee

Not much new. Winburn seems to be thinking too much & making for a very convoluted direction. The committee will hold the measure til after a hearing on Dec 6 when Greenacres will be seeking permission for demolition. Appropriateness of eminent domain was rehashed. Nobody from Greenacres spoke. Nobody spoke in favor of Greenacres. (I had to trim the comments to fit this thing on Vimeo).
Berding brought up the issue of who possesses the property after an eminent domain takeover. This was the major issue in regards to the Norwood eminent domain case.
Quinlivan reiterated the most common sense opinion that is probably on everybody's minds (except maybe Greenacres) - that Greenacres & the Preservation Association just work it out.

PS, not in this clip but right before, a vote was made to liberalize zoning along the streetcar route in regard to minimum parking. I can only guess that Winburn (and 1 other, I couldn't tell who it was) opposed this due to his blind hatred of the streetcar project. His love of big government should certainly raise some red flags amongst local Tea Baggers.
oh, right....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


An open message with a bit of handy info for Cincinnati blogger & UrbanCincy founder, Randy Simes.
Hope ya don't need it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Many Cops Do We Need ?

In this article at the Fishwrap, we see that a timely call to the police & co-operation result in a swift capture of a criminal. Over & over there are crimes in Cincinnati and, even though there are dozens of people present, "nobody saw a thing". Then the police are lambasted for not solving the crimes. This shit ain't magic, folks.
With the imminent layoff of at least 144 police officers, we need to quit bitching about the ineffectiveness of a nanny state & start working with these guys. The reason crime escalates is due to people keeping silent & protecting the criminals. If the criminals are confident in their actions they will just carry on. How about some confidence for the police?

Citizens on Patrol
If You Can't Be With the One You Love...

The lying and delusional Cincinnati streetcar opponents have started yet another club. This one headed up by a trio of abrasive, belligerent loudmouths, one of whom doesn't even live in the city. The usual suspects have popped up along with failed state auditor candidate, David Pepper & Connie Pillich in tow. Pepper is no longer a Cincinnati resident, either. Tyrone Yates has yet to join in. Do they really believe Luken's demented ravings & Miller's distortions ?
What is humorous, hypocritical & just bad politics is the overlap between the streetcar opponents & Westwood special interest proponents. That Kuhl & the Windbag think the city should invest in a venture in Westwood that will have virtually no positive economic impact & will likely get hauled into court with the city losing even more money and to not invest in a downtown venture which should have an acute economic impact on the city at large is the height of arrogance / stupidity. The improvements in just the OTR area should free up emergency personnel across the city. Using eminent domain to procure the Gamble House will likely end up an expensive failure costing the city millions & still not saving the home.
Is one more of a "pet project" than the other?
Will Charlie Winburn wind up with blood on his hands if the city purchases the Gamble House?
Is it really good form to ask the residents of OTR to buy a house in Westwood while at the same time telling them their neighborhood can go to hell? How do the COA Ters feel about their new allies circumventing personal property rights through eminent domain? oh yeah, they don't care about rights - that's the Libertarians.
COA T & Republicans fighting for the unions is straight out of bizarro world. Their efforts are sure to keep costs down, tho......
I know people like to work for the government because it offers a degree of stability, the city isn't going to close down anytime soon, but the government is not immune to economic upheavals. Economists pointed out that government bodies were going to suffer as commerce dropped, unemployment rose & tax revenues fell. Conservative citizens & politicians are constantly clamoring for balanced budgets & we are legally bound to adhere to that conservative principle. Cincinnati is fortunate that, while it's operational budget is hurting, it's capital budget is not in as bad shape. Can the capital budget be used for operating costs?
Now, why is there no clamoring for the Windbag's head for offering up capital budget money for the Gamble House? Why are we not hearing about Chuck, Mary & Dusty trying to kill us all? They have all been bought and paid for by the unions? COA T's best buddies for now...
Glad the Tea Party is around to call this shit out.

more on the subject.
Fishwrap ramblings

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Will Ohio Need to Vote?

When Governor Strickland (D) wanted to authorize slots at horse racing facilities, Republicans & Christians cried foul, engaged the courts & fired up ballot initiatives to block him.
Now there are rumors that Governor-elect Kasich (R) might attempt the same thing.
Of course, the Kasich camp tells us that, like every other issue in the state except passenger rail, they have no plans.
Will this plan for increasing state revenue be opposed if a good Christian Republican suggests it?

Read all about it at the Fishwrap.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

When you talk about The Gamble House in Los Angeles, people think of a large immaculately preserved Arts & Crafts house owned by the city of Pasadena that attracts tourists from far & wide.

In Cincinnati, you get a contentious gaggle of people fighting over what, until recently, was a slowly deteriorating but viable old Victorian house on the west side of town. What is ironic is that Cincinnati, home to Procter & Gamble (to this day, a fine corporate citizen of the city), has much closer ties to the Gamble family. They were neighbors. They were employers. James Gamble was the mayor of Westwood at one point before it was annexed by Cincinnati. I guess that's why it is more emotional around here.
So why does the current owner, The Greenacres Foundation, founded by a descendant of Jim, want to demolish it? In the 70s Gamble descendant, Louis Nippert, put the home in the hands of the Greenacres Foundation precisely in an attempt to preserve the home similarly to the way the Los Angeles Gamble home was preserved. Now, the Greencres Foundation claims they want to establish the property as a park / nature preserve and can find no possible use for the structure. They cite astronomical costs in restoring & maintaining the building. Their projected maintenance costs gave Counclimember Chris Bortz, a person well acquainted with building maintenance, reason to pause.

So, back to L.A. They also have The Los Angeles Arboretum with this cool old restored Queen Anne Cottage sitting in the middle. Like The Gamble House in Pasadena, it is a source of local pride & delights tourists from around the world.
So, if Cincinnati followed this successful example, it could have both nature & a famous old home in one package. It seems so obvious, it's killin' me. The only entity not on board, however, is the foundation that owns the property.
Up in Springfield, Ohio an old dilapidated home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, that had, for years, been treated like pooh - sliced up into low rent apartments & later abandoned - was later saved through no small amount of civic & private work. The Westcott House now has daily tours & is used for receptions & educational events. It has also given the community a renewed sense of pride.
A number of folks are struggling to save the Cincinnati Gamble House however they can. Some members of City Council have suggested procuring the property through eminent domain. I think that would be problematic. Local businesses & organizations have volunteered to donate their work to preserving the property AND facilitating the park aspect Greenacres purports to want. People are raising funds to purchase & maintain the property. Neighbors are not opposed to the park idea. So far all offers have been rejected out of hand by The Greenacres Foundation.

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved,
Save The Historic Gamble House on FaceBook
email contact
Cincinnati Preservation Association
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Victorian Antiquities & Restoration
Cincinnati City Council
The Examiner

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NTSB Holds Meetings Concerning Older Drivers

The National Transportation Safety Board is holding meetings yesterday & today on the topic of "Safety, Mobility, and Aging Drivers". This is in reaction to the aging baby boomers and their real & perceived issues in mobility.
While aging drivers are perceived to be the worst menace on the road, that honor still goes to teenagers / new drivers. Accidents in older drivers gets a lot of press but is actually down. The Baby Boomers are really the first generation to grow up in a car saturated society. Many of their parents would not have experienced that til their teens / early twenties FWIW.
There's money in retirement communities & they are all over the place. Thing is, new ones are usually built on virgin land on the outskirts of towns. Other than personal automobiles & tour buses, residents are pretty much stuck on these islands. There is a benefit to these places being somewhat removed as it reigns in Alzheimer's suffering "wanderers". In Cincinnati, Twin Towers requires a person to get to a bus stop but it is on a major bus line affording mobility for quite a few of it's residents using mainstream transit.
We have all seen the short buses for seniors & the disabled. These things run at about 30-40 bucks a ride. Cincinnati has seen reductions & price hikes in these service. This is how many seniors get to see their doctors.
An ideal opportunity is beckoning for these Boomers who are in sound mind, however, with the streetcar project and the developable properties in The CBD, The Banks & Over the Rhine. The connection to Clifton & the medical resources cements it.
With the ease of access for walking challenged people & the smoother ride, the streetcar will be an ideal platform for the older passenger. Proximity to entertainment, shopping, dining & services without the need, hassle & possible problems of having a car make it an ideal combination. The population would make downtown more attractive to doctors & other health care providers as well.
Many of the older buildings will not be practical for handicap access, of course, especially from a restoration POV, but some will be.
I know a lot of people view the streetcar as an opportunity to cart around drunken transient college students, and I know old people are transient in their own way, but this would be a better community building population, bringing it's own brand of diversity, into the basin.

Watch on C-Span here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

How do I arrange getting busted by these chicks ?

Preferably something involving tackling, "resisting", handcuffs, etc.....
That guy looks to be in complete bliss.
Why All the Vacant Housing ?

Looking around at all the vacant housing in Cincinnati, you have to wonder what the owner is doing with his property that he seems ok with just letting it sit & deteriorate pulling down neighboring property values, while paying taxes, utilities, VBMLs & such.
This guy just got busted for renting out vacant houses he didn't own.
So ~ why can't the owners get their shit together & rent the damn things out?
Cincinnati Takes to the Clouds

In an effort to save money, the City of Cincinnati is looking at changing it's computer systems. They are looking at virtualization & cloud computing.
Taking this route is supposed to result in 30% - 40% savings over all. It reduces the costs of individual licenses & maintenance for every computer & consolidates server operations. Just going open source would solve the licensing but there would still be the high maintenance costs for the massive number of computers & systems involved. It also slows things down a bit for the user (the graphics guys will likely want to up their blood pressure meds).
This all seems ok but security is kind of an issue. This article at govtech outlines basic concerns & points out that when you finally get your security up to snuff, it starts eating away at your savings significantly. Also, and this is a much greater concern to me, is that the city is planning on turning over the central data storage to a private company. Two companies the city is looking at are Google & Micro$oft.
Google, Micro$oft & IBM have been working with municipalities in New York, California & Michigan (not without some hiccups). A major sticking point here is that any provider demands indemnity from the city & Ohio state law forbids that. With good reason, I think. The provider would be privy to sensitive info regarding tax, police, court & health records of citizens. Carlsbad, CA required background checks of Micro$oft employees who would be working with their systems. Everything checked out ok but in today's world a Micro$oft or Google could be taken over by a Chinese or Indian company any day. Cincinnati has been around for over 200 years & will likely be around for another 200 in one way or another. While IBM will be turning 100 next year Google's only 28 & Micro$oft is only 35. What happens if they start charging us double or a Chinese Google starts filtering information?
I think a better solution might be to consolidate systems in Columbus & have municipalities use a central statewide system. The consolidation & statewide standardization could probably find all sorts of efficiencies especially in law enforcement.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Springfield Rocks
Avalanche 1975

Let the good times roll.
This was recorded at a wretched hole called "The Sandpiper". They had chicken wire across the front of the stage area. I saw this band more often at an even more wretched hellhole called "The New Frolics" where a mass brawl would inevitably break out every night. There were no tables & chairs there, just wooden picnic tables that were a lot harder to throw or break.
Some friends of mine would organazize parties where they would rent out K of C halls or apartment complex party rooms, hire a band & serve "free" beer after charging admission. Avalanche was one of their favorite bands.
Unfortunately I don't think there are any recordings of Brontosaurus.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Rebirth or Zombie Uprising?

Listening to John Boehner sloooowwwly say nothing in his deep baritone, I kept thinking about a press conference Vic Gold made at the Cato Institute back in the summer of 2007 when he was touting his book, Invasion of the Party Snatchers. Gold, an excitable, fast talking man commented how people would comment on how he sounded "radical" - not because of what he said but the way he said it and how people like Dick Cheney & particularly Ramsey Clark, could say any outrageous thing & be taken seriously because they spoke slowly & in a deep voice like Boehner.
I looked up the broadcast on C-Span & found more of what he said pretty interesting.
It's here.
His book describes how southern Democrats or Holy Rollers, disenchanted with Johnson & Carter, gradually took over the Republican Party (think Reagan Democrats) & changed the face of what we call Conservatism for the worse. Much worse. Like a Linda Blair possession worse.
He predicted the Republicans would get creamed in 2008 and their only chance of moving forward would be to die & be reborn.
In 2008 they were looking pretty toasted. In 2010 they came back like gangbusters but was it reborn or was it something more akin to a zombie apocalypse or some kind of Frankenstein's monster brought back to life by mad Tea Party scientists?
Gold points out what the Republican Party needs to do to regain it's true old school conservative roots at about 24:30 in the video.
The party must die & be reborn:
∇ It can't carry on about groups like Planned Parenthood and obsess on the failed war on abortion rights.
∇ It must render unto Caesar & unto God but on different days of the week.
∇ It must see America as a beacon & not the policeman for the world.
∇ It must embrace fiscal conservatism & quit wild deficit spending.
∇ It must see family values as something the family, not the state defines.
∇ It must be alert to the dangers of a strong centralized government.
Well, not much change. There's lip service to the fiscal conservatism but we have heard that that refrain before. It's as recognizable as "BRAAAIINSSS".
The rest? SSDD
I suggest we all remember Sheriff McClelland's advice.
Happy Guy fawkes Day, everybody!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Thoughts

I think a Portman win could have been called a month or two ago. In the land of coulda woulda, I wonder how Brunner would have fared. She couldn't have run a campaign worse than Fisher.
Wonder how many votes, the Beacon's boy, LaBotz siphoned off of Fisher.
Conway's last ditch "outing" of Paul was pretty hopeless & probably killed him. Linking the guy to anti-Christian secret societies sounded kinda loopy for what sounded about as sinister as college hijinks.
Dale no show Mallory stays in office & out of jail. Maybe the Republicans could have tried?
Monzel off to the county commission to stop the streetcar.....
& retread Chabot is back in
So, to recap
Kasich, Boehner, Chabot, Mallory, Monzel, Wilson...
Dumb wins.
Faith Matters

by Subodh Gupta

nabbed from The Daily Undertaker

Monday, November 01, 2010

ok, since you NEED this because you had no idea who to vote for on your own, here's my list of recommeded candidtates for the election Tuesday. It's probably a list of people who will lose, too.
As usual, when in doubt, vote Libertarian.
US Congress 1st District
  Steve Driehaus
US Representative 8th District
  Justin Coussoule
  Ted Strickland
State Representative 32nd District
  Eric Nebergall
State Representatice 28th District
  Connie Pillich
State Representativ 31st Distric
  Denise Driehaus
Hamilton County Commissioner
  Jim Tarbell
Hamilton County Auditor
  Dusty Rhodes

I would like to thank Dale Mallory for not making this a straight Democratic ticket. That would have been a first.