by Mike Breen
Weekly music, interactive musical fountains and more planned for renovated OTR park
Revitalization group 3CDC's live music programming throughout the past few summers has helped turn Fountain Square into the heart of Cincinnati's increasingly active downtown area, drawing thousands to the Square every week to catch everything from Reggae and Salsa to Hip Hop and Indie Rock. The group will be doing the same thing in Over-the-Rhine at the newly renovated Washington Park across from Music Hall. The Park officially opens tomorrow (July 6) with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The christening will be followed by tours of the park, then a free 5 p.m. World Choir Games "friendship concert" at the Bandstand.Like with Fountain Square, Washington Park's weekly music series will showcase local musicians, with live performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday will be "Bandstand Bluegrass" night, featuring some of the best area Bluegrass artists. The shows begin July 11 and will run every week, starting at 7 p.m., until Sept. 5. On Fridays, the Park features "Friday Flow," a night of R&B and Soul that starts July 13 and runs each Friday through Sept. 5.The lineups for Wednesdays and Fridays have yet to be announced, but more details have been made available about the every-Thursday Jazz in the Park series. Beginning July 12, the lineup has been curated by local Jazz pianist Chris Comer, who held a similar role on Fountain Square last year. The first Jazz in the Park concert is July 12 and features Comer and his quintet, plus special guest Napoleon Maddox from the progressive Jazz/Hip Hop group IsWhat?!Jazz in the Park performances run 7-9 p.m. through Aug. 30. Other shows in the series include the P&G Big Band (July 19); The Cincy Brass (Aug. 2); Steve Schmidt (Aug. 9), Ricky Nye Inc. (Aug. 16); and the Dick Sorice-Dan Jackson Quintet (Aug. 23).Along with many other special concerts — like Over the Rhine's (the band) free show July 22 and the rare joint performance featuring Cincinnati Pops, May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet — the Washington Park summer schedule is filled with other types of events, from community festivals to "dog programs" to movie nights and special "Curiosity Saturdays" for kids. One of the coolest physical changes to Washington Park is the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame, a project in conjunction with the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and InfoTrust which will enable visitors to use their smartphones and tablets to play various musical selections through the park's sound system or through the very cool "musical fountains," which will change appearance/flow/color depending on which music is selected. Here's a quick overview of how the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame will work. To read about all of the things Washington Park has planned just this summer alone (remember, it will be a primary venue for the MidPoint Music Festival at the end of September) click here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The $54 million residential and
commercial development project Mercer Commons broke ground in
Over-the-Rhine June 26, paving way for 126 apartments, 28 condos, 17,600
square feet of commercial space, a 340-space parking garage and a
19-space surface parking lot.
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