The Cincinnati Lesbian Archives have found a new home. The collection of news articles, personal journals and other cultural items (see "Shelving Lesbians," issue of May 24-30) will move to Clifton United Methodist Church, according to Phebe Beiser, co-founder of the archives.
"Yes, we have a new home," she says. "We literally just saw the room and OKd everything with the minister, Suzanne Fountaine."
Describing the church as a "GLBT-welcoming congregation," Beiser says the church views housing the Cincinnati Lesbian Archives as part of its community outreach activities. The building in which the archive is currently housed, the former Crazy Ladies Bookstore, is being sold. The archives, scheduled to move June 27, will give a donation to the church every month for the full use of a room in the basement. The space is larger than the current location and easier on the legs — down one flight of stairs instead of up three.
"It's everything we wanted," Beiser says. "We're not out in the suburbs, so you don't need a car to get there."
And there were no hidden costs.
"We didn't have to promise to become Methodists or anything," Beiser says.
The archives are still accepting donations. To contribute, write [email protected].
For such an active and outspoken person, gay rights activist John Zeh's passing earlier this year was especially quiet, his remains found in his apartment by police. But even his unexpected death from illness didn't keep Zeh from participating in the annual Pride Parade through Clifton and Northside.
After a memorial service at Hoffner Park on June 11, Zeh's ashes, which have been kept until now by attorney, Scott Knox, were placed on Zeh's wheelchair and marched along the parade route with a sign saying, "John Zeh protested here. " One of the people who escorted the wheelchair was Cincinnati filmmaker Barbara Wolf, who was arrested while protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Zeh, too, had been active in the peace movement.
Moneymakers at the Library and at Church
The atrium of the main downtown library will soon have an automated teller machine from Fifth Third Bank. The library board approved the proposal June 13. Hoping ready cash will lead patrons to pay late fees in a timely manner and informed that the installation wouldn't cost the library anything, the board met the proposal with a lot of head-nodding. Then a board member asked if other banks had been consulted. The answer was no, but the library would receive 50 percent of the revenues generated.
Other questions not asked include: How much electricity does an ATM require, and who will pay for it? How many other for-profit entities get this kind of treatment? What's the standard for such a prominent display of partnership without any formal bidding or cost/benefit analysis? Will this lead to more Fifth Third ATMs in library branches in the near future?
It's parish festival season on the West side, with crowds of Catholics gathering to drink beer, eat fried chicken and play games of chance. But one of the larger and more affluent parishes, Saint James Church in White Oak, is facing a gambling crisis. It's not a conflict between virtue and vice but rather a shortage of dealers. An announcement in the parish bulletin last weekend warned that the faithful might be disappointed: "If we can't get anyone to volunteer, we may not be able to have any gambling this year."
We'll all be gambling on a fair election Nov. 7 unless Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell steps down. The Republican candidate for governor, whose conduct of the state's 2004 presidential election was infamous, was recently the subject of an editorial in The New York Times that criticized him for being in charge of counting votes for his own election.
Vigilance is even more important this year than it was two years ago. Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat running for Blackwell's job as secretary of state, wants to hear the public's concerns about the integrity of Ohio's electoral system. Joined by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, Brunner holds a forum at 5 p.m. Thursday at Laborers Local 265, 3457 Montgomery Road, Evanston. She wants to hear from voters, poll workers, activists and concerned citizens about their experiences voting in Greater Cincinnati.
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