Mayor-Elect Mark Mallory put his much-publicized arts support to the test Nov. 21 as he graciously joined the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) party at the Taft Theatre downtown. He and Cincinnati resident rocker Peter Frampton shared the stage to present a handful of awards, including Mallory's presentation of the New Artist of the Year trophy.
As with most awards shows, however, the real fun was backstage, where Mallory and his father, former State Rep. William Mallory Sr., talked politics with Frampton in a small room while waiting for their turn at the podium. (Frampton was active last year in local fund-raisers for John Kerry's presidential bid.) Band members, radio station personalities, the "trophy girls" from Barnyard Burlesque and various hangers-on took turns shaking Mallory's hand and wishing him luck in his new job, leading to classic scenes of Cincinnati's next mayor hobnobbing with shaggy-haired, twentysomething musicians and burlesque dancers in full body paint.
More than once Mallory shot a "What have you gotten me into?" glance at CityBeat staff who arranged his role at the CEAs, while Mallory's father took it all in with a bemused smile. Funkmaster Bootsy Collins, another presenter, asked to meet the mayor-elect, which was arranged after Mallory's award segment.
Meanwhile, the city's arts czar, Councilman (and new Vice Mayor) Jim Tarbell, caught much of the CEAs after attending the Post/ Corbett Awards earlier in the evening. He was in his element chatting with dozens of musicians, many of whom he knew, including Councilman John Cranley aide Marvin Hawkins, who blew the crowd away during his performance with Marvin and the Experience. Tarbell was even spotted discussing city arts allocations with Hogscraper's showman leader Lariat B. Grim, his face painted black and wielding a large wooden staff.
Determined to help celebrate Cincinnati's talented music community, Tarbell followed the party to Alchemize in Over-the-Rhine, where he squeezed up front to catch the amazing Psychodots performance and the amazing-in-quite-a-different-way striptease set from Barnyard Burlesque.
Photos from the CEAs, including backstage activity and the Alchemize afterparty, can be found at www.citybeat.com/cea.
Protecting Us From Republicans and Wal-Mart
The Hamilton County GOP went to court to last week, seeking a temporary injunction to shut down a Web site they dislike. The county GOP claims www.hamiltoncountyrepublicanparty.com infringes on its trademark — an argument that got short shrift from Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Ralph E. Winkler. Owned by Michael Dalton, the Web site is highly critical of the party and some of its judges. Public Citizen, a national grassroots advocacy group, took up Dalton's cause, filing a brief in opposition to the party's suit.
"The trademark laws were not designed to prevent citizens from publicly criticizing a political party," said Public Citizen attorney Gregory Beck. "The party was attempting to shut down a site just because it features uncomplimentary statements about it. However, the court recognized that shutting down the site would have been a clear violation of Mr. Dalton's First Amendment rights."
A copy of Public Citizen's memorandum is available at www.citizen.org/documents/ dalton_memorandum.pdf. The Republicans now have to decide whether to continue their effort to get a permanent injunction; a hearing is scheduled Dec. 7.
Wal-Mart shoppers at two Cincinnati stores got more than bargains on the day after Thanksgiving; they also got a reminder of the old warning, "Buyer beware." Supporters of the Wal-Mart Consumer Alert campaign distributed fliers accusing the retail behemoth of charging more than prices listed in stores. Two new studies — by the University of Illinois-Chicago Center for Urban Economic Development and the University of California-Berkeley — show that, in at least four states, Wal-Mart failed to meet the federal standard for pricing accuracy, according to Chris Kofinis, spokesman for the campaign. For more information, visit www.wakeupwalmart.com.
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