Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Young Professionals

Am I a YP in Cincinnati? Sure, I guess you could say that. I don't know to what extent the P applies to me, but I am Y.

Two pieces slid across my desk today:

Politicians as Innovators, A piece written by a new contributor to the Beacon. Not much is divulged about the author other than that they are a Young Professional and that they are interested in the retention of their peers in the area. I like the piece because I like to hear people come up with ideas rather than complaining. I agree with the premise that retaining YPs is critical and I also like the appeal for politicians to be more creative. I don't really know that the proposal would work, because (as is mentioned in the post's comment section) there is still a kind of chicken-and-egg problem. Namely, the firms with the Creative Class jobs have to actually be here in town first. But still, much kudos for starting up a discussion.

'Cities Compete in Hipness Battle to Attract Young' CoolTown Studios links to studies showing what cities are hip for young people, and what it takes to be hip. It seems like it's getting harder and harder to deny the basic ideas behind "Creative Class" Theory.

It's a huge multi-dimensional challenge. I'm in favor of anything that make Cincinnati's image more attractive, creative, innovative, happening, whatever you want to call it because, hey I want to live in a hip city too.

I see you!

Is the new Fountain Square a happening place? See for yourself:


I found these amazingly fun webcams. You can actually control the camera; move it around, zoom in and out. There are two rhino cams and a gorilla cam at the zoo in addition to the fountain cam.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New "Visions of Vine"

In December 2001 a documentary by Channel 9's Laure Quinlivan aired about Vine Street. You can view the video on channel 9's website here. The piece won a Peabody award. It was not without a little bit of controversy, however.

Quinlivan has revisited the topic in a New "Visions of Vine" piece and will examine what has changed and what has not changed since the riots in the new half-hour documentary that will air commercial-free next Tuedsay, December 5 at 9:3-pm.


Making a Square Hip

Some local bloggers have been expressing frustrations with the new Fountain Square.

I haven't been down there since the grand opening concert. It was fun but I agree with the sentiment that it was rather sparse looking (before the huge crowd showed up, that is). There really wasn't anything much to sit on. It didn't feel like a place you would stop to hang out for a few minutes. (The cold and wind might have contributed to this atmosphere a little bit.) I think that the empty feeling may have changed a bit with the recent opening of the ice rink, but I have yet to verify by making another visit.

I was reminded of these recent articles on cooltown studios.
+ http://www.cooltownstudios.com/mt/archives/000937.html
+ http://www.cooltownstudios.com/mt/archives/000915.html

As I was casually web-surfing around, trying to get ideas for how I would like to see the Square evolve, I happened across a site I've visited often before, but I was shocked to notice something I've never noticed before. The logos for the Project for Public Spaces and the new Fountain square are uncannily simliar.

That is very striking. It brings to mind some questions:

a) Is the logo intentionally similar?
b) Was the PPS involved at all in the Square planning?

And I have some other questions:

a) Can we see some plans and/or studies that examine the square in this fashion?
b) A number of initial gripes about the square have been solved, but what about seating? Are there tables and chairs down there now? Will there be eventually?

I have a hunch that the answers might be buried in 3cdc's site, so I'm going to do some digging. There are a number of .pdf's that I need to download and read.

The new Fountain Sqaure probably has a way to go before it is a real Third Place, but I really think the potential is there.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fountain Square Broomball League

"Play under the lights at the brand-new, outdoor Fountain Square ice rink in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, with announcers and live game coverage on the giant LED video board.

Games are on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings from January 8 through February 21, with the championship game on Friday, February 23, 2007, at 8:00 pm. Teams will play one night a week (days/times to vary)."


I don't know if I really could or would want to get a team started, but I think it would be entertaining to see. Broomball is fun to play and to watch.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Buying a Local Turkey

After, my initial idea to post about getting local, organic foods for Thanksgiving, I started doing some research online. I was quickly overcome with the amount of information to sort through. There are a lot more farms and farmers markets in our area than I had realized. So, I've been compelled to break down my local food quest into smaller chunks. First, let me link to LocalHarvest.org. That link will take you to search results for the Cincinnati area. The LocalHarvest.org databank holds entries for farms, farmers markets, CSA's, restaurants, and grocery/co-ops. If you have any interest in finding local food, LocalHarvest.org should definitely be your starting point.

I thought, rather than trying to summarize the entire local food scene, I'd do small research projects of particular foods, particular farms, or particular markets. Let's start with turkey. In Cincinnati, most people know about Findlay Market. Located in historic Over-The-Rhine, Findlay Market is open year-round and has merchants indoors and outdoors selling meats, produce, spices, flowers, and much else. I browsed through the list of merchants selling poultry and found a few that claim to have turkey: Busch's Country Corner, Charles Bare & Sons Meats, and Heist Fish and Poultry. Busch's page says that their poultry is free-range, has no preservatives, no hormones, no chemicals and is never frozen. A similar approach is used to raise poultry at Greenacres Farm.

Ok, that's as much as I have discovered on local turkey so far. Here are a couple other links that are good jumping off points for further research:


Friday, November 17, 2006

Who is Greg Harris?

Several local blogs are talking about news that Greg Harris is running for City Council in 2007. I personally have not heard of Greg Harris before now. So, I've started a page for him on the Cincinnati Wiki. I encourage anyone who knows anything regarding Harris that would be relevant to the city to edit the page and educate us all.

The object of everyone's conversation is the quote provided by CityBeat:
"My priorities include leveraging Cincinnati's existing assets," he says. "I would love for Cincinnati to become one of the greenest cities in America, including more brownfields re-development and connecting Cincinnati's core to our region's network of recreation trails. I think the Freedom Center can be better utilized to catapult Cincinnati as a heritage tourism hub that allows for immersion into the history of abolitionism and the Underground Railroad but also a site for the ongoing fight for human rights. I would love, for instance, to see an annual African American Theater Festival on the riverfront devoted to these themes. I also see a strong need to create a seamless public transit grid to unify and support the emergence of a central entertainment corridor that unifies The Banks, downtown, Over-the-Rhine, UC, Clifton, Northside, etc." source

I like the talk about greening the city and I like the talk about public transit. It's hard to really judge the "greening" comment until Harris comes out with more specific proposals, so I'll just keep my hopes up on that one. I also appreciate Harris' use of the phrase "seemless public transit". Nasty, Brutish, and Short seems to think that this implies Harris is talking about light rail, which for unknown reasons NBS opposes. I, on the other hand, hope that what the comment means is that Harris recognizes that transit in the corridor he is talking about is neither "seemless" nor "unified". I am in favor of multi-modal transit systems because they help accomplish those goals. I think our city needs to seriously reconsider light rail and/or BRT as components in a grid of transit. I can't recommend this BRT study put together by DAAP highly enough. I really think that if the options are seriously investigated, people will find that light rail or BRT (or God forbid a subway) are going to be necessary components in solving our transportation problems.

But, hey, us bloggers are probably making too much out of this one tiny quote. I guess that's what we do best.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thanksgiving in the Ohio River Valley

I've been reading my new Worldchanging book and it is awesome. The last few nights I've been making my way through the sections about food. There are all kinds of neat little articles in there.

In one article I read last night, they were talking about heirloom species, heirloom breeds, and argicultural biodiversity and they mentioned as an example a particular heirloom breed of turkeys. That got me thinking.

See, my mom mentioned to me yesterday that she was planning to go to Kroger today and buy a bunch of food for Thanksgiving (which we're hosting for ~30 people at our house). So, me being the brilliant individual I am, put 2 and two together and I thought, "Hey, I wonder how much of our Thanksgiving we could make local, organic, and sustainable?"

So, naturally I wanted to write a post about this on this blog which I'm trying to make all about cool Worldchanging.com-type things around Cincinnati. But I don't know a ton about this particular topic. Not enough to give Cincinnatians shopping advice.

My mental notes so far are:
tewes poultry farm
hollmeyer orchards

So, I need to do my usual research routine and bust out my Google skills. But I thought I'd solicit comments from people first, too. That'd be the smart/fun/efficient way to begin.

Do you know anything about local food around Cinnati / Ohio River Valley. Know any good organic products available at Kroger that are Thanksgiving-y?

Look for a post, hopefully in the next few days here, since I would prefer my vast audience has my post in hands in time to shop.

More Cincinnati Wiki Articles Started

I created a couple more articles in the Cincinnati Wiki yesterday and today:

Milton R. Dohoney, Jr.: I wanted to put down some facts since I had no idea who he really was. I also tried to write a quick summary of this week's news about his budget proposal. This was the first real news I recall hearing about Dohoney in his new job as city manager.

Also, since I am in the process of educating myself about the structure and history of Cincinnati government, I made a page for City Manager. I just copied the text from the city's offical website.

I also created extremely brief pages for Hamilton County and Hamilton County Board of Comissioners. I edited the November 2006 Elections page with the winners of the elections and I wanted to go in and change the official positions of the people that got elected and voted out. But then I realized that the jobs don't actually change until later. So, I am in the process of figuring out when all the changes will occur. Hopefully, I (or someone) will remember to go in later and change the jobs of the people that got changed by the elections.

In all the articles, I have been trying to link-ify them in useful ways so that people can surf around to other relevant articles with ease.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The End of "Everything Alternative"

After the terrestrial demise of WOXY there was something of a vacuum in the "modern rock" category of radio in Cincinnati. In my car I mostly surfed between 7-10 stations just to find songs I liked and avoid songs I didn't like. (Actually, 90% of the time I was listening to 91.7, our NPR station in Cincinnati). "New Rock" 97.3 was pretty reasonable most of the time. One was always guaranteed to hear a Sublime song when one got the hankering for one. It was no WOXY though.

In any case, around Christmastime last year 97.3 went "on shuffle" which was meant to evoke the random mode on an iPod. They added some older music into the mix at this point too, and I began to like the station a lot better. So, excluding "Rover's Morning Glory", 97.3 had become a very decent radio station.

It was not to last however. Last week, I tuned to the station and heard to my surprise "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" by John Michael Montgomery. Apparently an abrupt takeover occured and the station had become WYGY "The Wolf", a Top 40 Country station. Whoa. The next day I checked into the situation and found only this text at the old 97.3 website:

As you may have heard by now,
97.3 WAQZ as of noon today, November 9th, is no more.

Thank you for listening.

We've had fun bringing you Everything Alternative on shuffle.

In show business, when one show closes, another one opens – so we'd like you to know about a new sound that will be shaking up Cincinnati radio: 94.9 The Sound. They'll be playing a wide variety of music from artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers,
My Chemical Romance, Staind, Panic at the Disco, Nirvana,
Green Day – and shuffling in surprises, too.
We hope you'll set a button for 94.9 on FM. Or you can listen online here. I know they'll welcome your input, too.

Again, on behalf of everyone at 97.3 throughout the years,
thanks for listening and thanks for your support.

And there was a link to the 94.9 The Sound website. The Sound has taken the old Mojo 94.9 spot which was vacated in September of this year when it moved up to 100.3FM . So far listening to The Sound has been good. I believe they are playing 9,490 songs straight to kick off the station and I haven't heard a commerical on there yet.

I guess, it all goes to show that the modern terrestrial radio market is a tough battlegroud.

My picks for best radio shows in town aren't actually on any of the above mentioned stations. These are shows that still feature old fashioned DJs that make the radio experience fun and local:
The Jelly Pudding Show - Sunday nights on 92.5FM WOFX
Cuttin' The Grass - Saturday mornings on 88.3FM WAIF
Carribean Express - Sunday afternoons on 88.3FM WAIF
Rockin' & Surfin' - Saturday evening on 88.3FM WAIF


Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Election Reactions

(Yes, I know it's several days tardy. So sue me.)

Governor: I'm happy Mr. Blackwell was defeated. I'm not expecting anything great from Mr. Strickland.

District 1: I'll admit that I wouldn't have minded very much if old Chabby had lost, because I wanted to see the control of the House flip. But I'm somewhat glad he didn't have to lose and I still got my wish.

District 2: It is preposterous that so many people continue to vote for Jean Schmidt. I don't know what to think.

Senate: Again, I'm not strongly for or against Mr. DeWine or Mr. Brown, but I do like the flip of the Senate to the Democrats because I like the idea of an opposition Congress. My theory is that with the Executive and Legislative branches opposed, it will be harder for the crazies to get their laws passed and their secret/illegal actions done. I want the Congress to quit having blind faith in the President, and I trust the President not to let them pass anything too extreme.

County Commissioner: I haven't heard anything much that I don't like about this Pepper character, and I've heard a number of things I don't like about Heimlich. Yes, I regularly read the Beacon, but I do take it with a grain of salt. My biggest hope is for some progress to be made on the Banks. Also, maybe some mass transit?

Minimum Wage: I'm happy that the populace decided that it needed to go up. I'm not happy that it had to be accomplish by constitutional amendment. I'm one of those "constitution should be for core principles" guys.

Smoking Bans: I voted against both. One for being a constitutional amendment. The other because I'm against smoking bans. Right now my thought on smoking bans is that bar proprietors ought to be free to decide whether they want to allow smoking or not. I think arguments about the health of the patrons are totally irrelevant. I am willing to entertain those arguments about the health of the workers, yet I still have not been convinced by them.

Slot Machines: I say again, I rather oppose constitutional amendments. Also, I was somewhat persuaded by those that said the law was poorly designed and would not really lead to as much funds for schools as its supporters implied.

Voting Machines: I had a very unremarkable experience. I used the fill in the bubble and send through the scantron type ballot. I still have a strong mistrust of computerized voting, but I'm satisfied with what happened on Tuesday. I'm looking for more improvement on the open-and-transparent front.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Minor Layout Changes

I added two elements to the right side of this blog:

Del.icio.us Links: This is a feed of links that I have tagged with the word 'cincinnati'. Hopefully I will continue to use del.icio.us and the cincinnati tag at least as much as I have up til now.

I Read: A barebones blogroll. I actually read A LOT of blogs, so I'm still deciding which ones belong on the blogroll over there and which don't.

UPDATE: I made changes to the colors, fonts, etc. Hopefully the page is more readable now.