Making Bigots Unwelcome

Military recruiters would be banned from Walnut Hills High School if a student initiative wins approval from adults in charge of the school. The Walnut Hills High School Student Congress voted Apr

slim Jim Puvee

The Great Satan, Karl Rove, is heading this way. Who will show up to greet him?

Military recruiters would be banned from Walnut Hills High School if a student initiative wins approval from adults in charge of the school. The Walnut Hills High School Student Congress voted April 14 for a resolution that bars groups that discriminate against gays and lesbians.

"Walnut Hills High School bans the recruiters of any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation from its campus," said the resolution, which won approval in a vote of 29-4 in favor with seven abstaining.

The Student Congress is a council of student representatives elected by students of all high school grades. In order to take effect, the Local School Decision Making Committee (LSDMC) and then the Cincinnati School Board must pass the resolution.

Students understood that the resolution would ban military recruiters, according to Traven La Botz, 17, who introduced the proposal.

"We learn in our history classes that all Americans are entitled to the same rights under our Constitution," he says. "The U.S. courts have taken the right position on this issue. Any organization that discriminates should be banned from our campus. Gay and lesbian servicemen and women should have the same rights as all others, and until those rights are recognized by the military they should not be welcome on our campus."

The resolution would also ban the Boy Scouts of America, because of its anti-gay policies.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, ruled last year that the U.S. government can't withhold funds from colleges that ban recruiters because of discriminatory policies against gays in the military. The Harvard Law School bans military recruiters for that reason.

Speaking of unwelcome visitors, the devil himself is coming to town Monday. Karl Rove, the political genius who engineered George W. Bush's appointment to the presidency in 2000 and his acquisition of a second term in 2004, speaks Monday to the Butler County Republican Party. The occasion is the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Sharonville Convention Center. Rove is scheduled to speak at 6 p.m., an event that will be a love-fest for local Republicans — unless local activists get together and create a great public spectacle of the resistance movement.

Bon Voyage to Bon Appetit
If you can't stand the heat, they say, get out of the kitchen. That's not exactly what the owner of the Maisonette did last week — but, unable to generate much heat downtown, he announced he's moving the kitchen altogether, all the way to Kenwood. On April 20, Nat Comisar held a news conference at his Mobil five-star restaurant to announce that, after 56 years of fine French food in downtown Cincinnati, he's decided to seek greener pastures in the suburbs.

In the fall of 2006, Maisonette and its casual downstairs cousin, La Normandie, will desert the legendary Sixth Street location. The redesigned Maisonette will re-open in a new facility just south of the Kenwood Towne Center on Montgomery Road; the atmosphere of La Normandie will be infused, Comisar says, into Baby Got Blues, a more relaxed eatery with music; and there will be a 280-seat banquet facility.

Comisar was full of enthusiasm for the future while nodding to a fabled past. Despite maintaining high standards, the Maisonette has struggled for about five years to find a new formula. A big problem has been the downturn in conventions and business accounts, which once made up a majority of Maisonette's business. It didn't help when popular former chef Jean-Robert de Cavel established his own high-end eatery a few blocks away with a menu and ambience that has diners waiting for months to get a table.

The Maisonette continued its admirable record of Mobil stars, but it seemed a bit old-fashioned to a younger clientele. So Comisar is going where his diners from Indian Hill and Sycamore Township won't have to brave anything but Interstate 71.

It seems odd to think that the oh-so-proper purveyor of haute cuisine will be in an upscale strip mall — they call it "an 8.2-acre mixed use campus," but we know what that means: overflow valet parking at the Taco Bell next door and folks buying tires at the nearby Bob Sumerel dropping in for a chocolate mousse.

Comisar reminded everyone that the Maisonette on Sixth Street remains open until the new facility is ready. Perhaps we'll stop in between now and then — because Sycamore Township might have a lot to offer, but it sure ain't downtown.

Porkopolis TIP LINES: 513-665-4700 (ext. 138)

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