If any organization or group wants to see how to put on a great music festival, they should apprentice with the folks who put on MidPoint ("Five Alive," issue of Sept. 20). If any club owner wants to learn how to host an event, they should spend MidPoint with Bob and the great crew at Mr. Pitiful's in Over-the-Rhine. This includes the extremely competent sound man and stage manager.
For the second straight year our band has come down to play the festival and had a fantastic time. Thanks to MPMF and the folks of Cincinnati — you really know how to make it work, and your hospitality is second to none.
— Kevin Anderson, Northern Whiskey Syndicate Detroit
Blue Wisp Rocks, Headline Doesn't
I just read Liz Wu's thoughtful article about the Blue Wisp and Marjean Wisby's passing ("Limp Wisp?," issue of Sept. 20). It was well written and accurately reflected the current situation of the club, the positive feelings musicians have for it and why the Blue Wisp has been a special place for jazz music for many years.
Why then do you attach the title "Limp Wisp?" to the piece? This negative characterization is completely unrelated to the content of the article and seems an odd editorial commentary for a publication that fancies itself as a promotional agent for the local music scene.
— Phil DeGreg, Bridgetown
Minimum Wage Hike Rocks
I want to thank you for your story on the battle over minimum wage in Ohio ("Waging War on the Minimum," issue of Sept. 20).
I think it's important for readers to be clear, however, that the Ohioans to Protect Personal Privacy (OTPPP) aren't telling the whole truth.
Please look at the language in the minimum wage amendment. In the article, OTPPP Campaign Manager John McGough is quoted as saying, "Employers will be required to make this information available on demand at their own expense as many times and to as many people who request it. Who is permitted to have access to this information is also unclear because the language is so vague."
Read the actual ballot language, which says, "(Payroll) information shall be provided without charge to an employee or person acting on behalf of an employee upon request."
This language makes available an employee's records to an employee, not just anyone who wants to see the information.
Minimum wage is at an all-time low. For example, in today's dollars the 1968 minimum wage would be $9.60 per hour.
Raising the minimum wage is about valuing our brothers and sisters, no matter who they are, for their work.
Minimum wage is the floor. It's where we say, "This low and no lower." I'm voting yes on Issue 2 to give Ohioans a raise.
— Katy Heins, Lead Organizer Let Justice Roll Ohio
Low-Paying Jobs Rock
Reading the arguments made by the AFL-CIO's Tim Burga and others regarding raising the minimum wage ("Waging War on the Minimum," issue of Sept. 20), it would take more space than this newspaper would allow me to tell him all the reasons he's wrong. So I'll keep this brief. I'll make it simple so that even liberals, er progressives, can follow.
No government — including federal, state, county, city or township — has any right whatsoever to tell employers how much to pay their employees. The only wages governments should be setting are wages for their own employees.
If this ridiculous ballot initiative passes, I'll be the first one to laugh at those who voted for it and then had their jobs eliminated because the wages their employers are going to be forced to pay them exceed the value of their contribution to the business.
Believe it or not, some jobs are only worth $5.25 or $6 an hour. Your wage is determined by the value you provide to your employer. It's not determined by how much you have to pay each month for your mortgage, car, groceries or utilities and how many kids you have.
What's next in line for the uneducated and ill-informed left — a ballot proposal to create an office in each county that will determine the wages of all employees in that county? Joe Smith accepts a job at CityBeat cleaning the windows and CityBeat has to send to the Office of Wage Determination his job duties, marriage status, number of children and monthly expenses and the board made up of Burga, a member of ACORN and union leader Dan Radford will inform CityBeat that Smith's annual salary for window cleaning is $42,600 per year. Plus benefits.
— Steve Jung, Colerain Twp.
CEAs Rock Our World
I'm writing to offer sincere thanks and gratitude to CityBeat, Dan McCabe and especially theater critic Rick Pender for an amazing 10-year run as hosts of the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. This yearly gathering of members of the local theatrical community — including large professional theaters, small theater companies, college theaters, Fringe Festival participants and community theater enthusiasts — is an annual highlight.
I applaud the inclusiveness, the range and scope of work noticed and celebrated and the spirit of community support and artistic celebration that CityBeat selflessly sponsors. The critical achievement awards — voted on by a large, knowledgeable theater panel — are unique in this city. Being awarded a CEA can have deep meaning, as evidenced by the outpouring of true, thankful emotions in speeches by winners at this year's award ceremony on Aug. 25.
That CityBeat — whose theater and arts coverage is comprehensive, insightful, mature and inclusive — has taken the lead for 10 years with Cincinnati Entertainment Awards honoring both theatrical and musical excellence makes this writer want to offer Awards of Gratitude in return to all who have worked year in and year out to make this program a reality.
— Richard E. Hess, Chair, College-Conservatory of Music Drama Department