Friday, July 15, 2005


Findlay Sundays - It's Working

With the signing of two long term leases at Findlay, we are seeing that the plan to open the market on Sunday afternoons is working (at least when you measure it in financial terms).

Sales for Sunday are the second largest (to Saturday), and the per hour sales on Sunday are the highest, (they are open fewer hours on Sunday than Saturday, so the average per hour is higher). That's a great result considering the market has only been open Sundays for a couple months. Adding a Deli down there is awesome, and will be a welcome addition for outdoor eating.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Fountain Square Whine

This article infuriates me. Where do I even start. So let me think, $42 million in city/state government, private investment, and tax credits are being used to redevelop your front yard. New tenants, lights, safety will result next door. And your response is:

"Quite honestly, we feel like we've been trampled in this whole thing," said
Doug Christman, general counsel for Rock Bottom restaurants.
I mean, okay, business will likely decline during construction. And I have no problem with them communicating their issues with 3CDC, and working with 5/3 to talk about lease terms/rates/etc. But why comment to the paper? I am sure they were called for comments, but the response should be "No Comment". You're not helping your cause.

But that wasn't the worst part of the article to me. This was:

"You've got to have access, you've got to have visibility and, of all
things, you have to have a comfort level before you brave downtown
Cincinnati for dinner," he said.

BRAVE DOWNTOWN! And you're a freaking downtown business owner? Don't go into the PR business. If anyone feels like they're brave because they went to Rock Bottom on Fountain Square, you need a reality check.

I won't even comment on Smitherman... wait yes I will... Here he goes again. Before the first shovel is in the ground, see I told you so... I don't know wizkid Smitherman, maybe this quote from you explains exactly why we DID move ahead:

"If you look around most of the area, there are really no other businesses
there," Smitherman said.

Yeah... that's the point. There are no businesses on fountain square, that's why they're doing the project, not a reason to go SLOWER.

Damn, I keep trying to end this post and then find another ignorant comment in the story.

The businesses say they were not consulted before the city made the
decision to revamp the square. Christman said Rock Bottom learned about the
renovation when a manager approached a surveyor working on the square.

This is a joke right? I'm not sure if he was refering to recently or maybe a few months ago that they saw a surveyor on the square. But man... 3CDC has been around for 2 years and when created it was announced that they were in charge of revamping the Banks, Fountain Square and OTR, with Fountain Square going first. So how you 'learned' about by seeing a surveyor doesn't say a lot about you ability to manage your businesses. Take an interest in the area you do business in. Not to mention Rock Bottom doesn't OWN fountain square. It's public property, so if the city wants to redevelop it they do it. Do you think the Cincinnat Park Board takes a poll of Mt. Adams when they plant a new tree in Eden Park?

Shut up... stop whining! Quit talking to the newspaper, and figure out how you can be a part of the project, how to best make your business successful. YOU WILL BENEFIT from this when it's done. Work behind the scenes to figure out the best way to run your business for the next 12 months.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Steve Earle - What Happened

Via Radio Free Newport....

Pretty interesting rant from Dave here. It's amazing to me how things like this happen. How a guy who claims to be a socialist, can end up with his music in the background of a commericial for one of the LARGEST SUV's on the market during the All-Star Game.

It reminded me of during the Summer Olympics when I saw the Volkswagen commerical for the first time and heard Richard Buckner in the background. I thought to myself 'No Way'. Someone better call Buckner and let them know his song had been stolen. I mean, this is the same guy I saw on stage at Bumbershoot in Seattle a couple years ago, actually informing the crowd NOT to buy his record at the show, because the merch folks were selling it for $15 and that was too much... now he's okaying a commercial for a car?

I guess I'd be out there hocking my songs if I were a musician (that's kind of the point), but it always amazes me when musicians take holier than though positions, and then turn around and sell their soul when the pocket strings get tight.


Broadway Commons Parking Lot - New Use?

I've heard ideas for an Broadway Commons (Reds Stadium), Urban Recreation Fields (Baseball, soccer, etc), a casino. I liked all those ideas, some more than others, but I can at least see the benefits to all.

But today, I heard quite possibly the most ridiculous use for Broadway Commons. It's gotta be the worst urban development proposal I've ever heard. Charlie Winburn (Republican Mayoral Candidate) today suggested building a new jail at Broadway Commons. Now I am not saying that I don't think it's a good idea to get some of the drug dealers, murderers and the like off the street, but why in the middle of the city. It's a Hamilton County jail, isn't there ANY place else in hamilton county it could go? Certainly there's an old factory in a brown field area that could be redeveloped. What OTR needs is people on the streets, lights, security. Not a jail.

Monday, July 11, 2005



Well, we've got some initial reports for Council and Mayoral campaigns (Council number not yet available online, but should be available soon). The first reports are in, and here is what the race looks like for council:

Total Monetary Contributions:

Jeff Berding $150,740.00
John Cranley $135,297.00
Chris Monzel $94,234.00
David Crowley $92,419.00
Chris Bortz $83,050.00
Leslie Ghiz $75,663.00
Chris Smitherman $33,363.00
Sam Malone $23,805.00
Laketa Cole $21,155.56
Nick Spencer $15,414.00
Damon Lynch $9,914.00
Samantha Herd $8,420.00
Jim Tarbell $7,750.00
John Eby $7,375.00
Paul McGhee $5,500.00
Eve Bolton $4,145.00
Robert Wilking $4,000.00
Gerry Kraus $1,300.00
Wendell Young $1,548.20
Andrew Warner $1,005.35
Robert Wilson $955.00
Curtis Wells $763.34
Bill Barron $258.51
Cecil Thomas $250.00

So what does that mean? If you go straight by the numbers the top 9 get in. But that means Tarbell doesn't get re-elected. There is no way that happens. Let's look at incumbents that aren't running for Mayor (Tarbell, Cranley, Crowley, Malone, Cole, Smitherman, Monzel). Tarbell, Cranley, Crowley, Cole are in. Smitherman (made lots of enemies), Monzel (lost last time, and was appointed), and Malone (personal problems with son) are vulnerable. In my book that leaves 5 seats that are wide open. Here is my short list for who has the best spot at those seats: Berding, Monzel, Bortz, Ghiz, Smitherman, Malone, Spencer, Lynch. If I could pick the 5 it would be: Berding, Monzel, Bortz, Ghiz, Malone. That is based on one thing and one thing only. I think the other three, Smitherman, Spencer and Lynch like to see their name in the paper too much. They shoot for the dramatic instead of just getting stuff done, and we've had too much of that.

Quick comment on the Mayoral run as of June 29th here is how the campaigns shape up:

Justin Jeffre: $4,460
Mark Mallory: $33069
Alicia Reece: $57683
David Pepper: $437148

This says ALOT, since the max. contribution is $1,000 having $437,000 dollars at this point is amazing. I think it shows there is a lot of support behind his campaign. It also shows that Mallory and Reece have a LONG way to go in this campaign. I'll comment more later when the full council reports are available.


City Talkin' Blues

I will make my radio debut on Sunday. I've been invited to the City Talk program on WKRC (1530 AM) on Sunday from 7-8 PM. I'll be on the show to talk about Give Back Cincinnati, Project Lily Pad, Regionalism, and the image of Cincinnati. I'm honored to be on the program, and I'm going to do my best not to make a fool of myself!

I'll be joined by a great cast of other characters. Warner Allen and Candace Klein from Legacy, and fellow Lily Padder Jodi McIntosh will also be on the show hosted by Dacia Snider (Downtown Cincinnati Inc), and Michael Sweeney (Comey and Shepherd).

If you feel really engaging, give us a call with a question... 513.749.1530.


Happy Hour - Ecuadorian Style - July 22

Join us as the Give Back Cincinnati Service Travel team turns Jefferson Hall on Main Street into a South American Oasis.

Come on out on Friday, July 22nd from 5 PM - 9 PM for a celebration of International proportions. A minimum of $10 donation includes drinks, pizza and live entertainment. If the good cause, the friends, and the food/drink isn't enough, then here's the tipping point. The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation is making it possible for Give Back Cincinnati to MATCH all donations on July 22nd. So come out and make stretch your donation!

More Information here:

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Pleasant Ridge - Attracting Families

Pleasant Ridge fought for and won the right to keep a neighborhood school. This comment catches it squarely for me:

"The city is in trouble and the schools are a small block of that," said
Chris Reece, a Pleasant Ridge parent who lobbied to save the school. "If you
don't have a strong neighborhood school, you're going to have a tough time
keeping people here."

That catches the heart of the city, and neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Crime is important, but when it comes right down to it, families WILL leave the neighborhood if their neighborhood doesn't have a strong school. And if you're going to move you will look at ALL options, which many times will mean moving out of the city to the suburbs.

So I applaud Pleasant Ridge for organizing and fighting to keep a school. In addition, I think it's great that they're going for the Montessori Method. The city has huge waiting lists for the current set of 4 Montessori schools, and this is a great way to not only retain, but ATTRACT families to the city.

However, since my wife is a Montessori trained teacher who majored in Montessori Education at Xavier University, I personally find the final comment comical:

Teachers are being trained in the Montessori method this summer and next
year so the school will have Montessori-certified teachers when it opens, said
district spokeswoman Janet Walsh.

I just picture a summer seminar for a couple hours defining what 'Montessori' is. And knowing how many students at Xavier and other schools specialize or major in Montessori, I know that it would require much more than that to develop a good Montessori teacher.. but maybe I'm wrong and these summer programs are intense. All in all, I think it's good, I just hope that it's not Montessori in Name Only.

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