Archive for December 2006

Bob Bodley 1950-2006

December 29, 2006

James Brown wasn’t the only musical great to pass away on Christmas Day. Beloved, go-to Jazz bassist Bob Bodley — the “house bassist” at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club who had toured the world and played with some of Jazz’s greatest players, local or otherwise — died Dec. 25 after a long illness. According to the Blue Wisp’s Web site, Mr. Bodley’s wife has requested that donations be made in Bob’s name to the Jazz Scholarship Fund at CCM, in lieu of sending flowers. The site says a musical tribute to Bodley is also planned for some time in the next few months.

For a great representation of Bob’s specialness as a musician, check Katie Laur’s 2001 column for CityBeat, “Yes, Bob, We Dig.” She’s updated it in this week’s issue of CityBeat.

— Mike Breen

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Whose Rights Are Going Up in Smoke?

December 29, 2006

(Photo: Tuberose.com)

The Cincinnati Health Department is encouraging people to comment on the proposed enforcement rules for the Clean Indoor Air/Smoking Ban, which went into effect Dec. 7.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has posted the rules online until Jan. 10. Send comments by e-mail to beh@adh.ohio.gov by regular mail are to Chief, Bureau of Environmental Health, Ohio Department of Health, 246 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Under the proposed rules, the Office of Environmental-Indoor Air would handle complaints. ODH isn’t able to levy any fines until the enforcement rules are in place. All complaints can be forward to ODH at 1-866-634-7654.

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Ms. Smith Goes to Washington

December 28, 2006


(Photo: ibiblio.org)

What’s missing in Washington D.C. is a gender-balanced perspective on life in this country and the realities faced by more than 50 percent of our population. With no female representation from Ohio, women will likely represent less than 15 percent of the U.S. Senate, once all election results are finalized. The U.S. House of Representatives will include less than 35 percent women. In state legislatures, women currently represent 19 percent in Ohio, 18 percent in Indiana and 11 percent in Kentucky, according to a study by the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

“Research shows that women holding office and women voting make a difference in the types of issues and actions undertaken by government,” says Roxanne Qualls, former Cincinnati mayor and director of the Public Leadership Initiative at Northern Kentucky University (NKU).

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Deadly City

December 28, 2006


(Photo: Parkland College)

Murder is becoming such a familiar part of Cincinnati life that it’s casually entered the banter of entertainment. This morning a DJ on WGRR (103.5 FM), an oldies station, introduced a Disco number by saying, “Unfortunately it has been a record year for homicide in Cincinnati. But here are some words of reassurance from Gloria Gaynor.”

The song? I Will Survive!

— Gregory Flannery

Gerald Ford: He Wasn’t a Crook

December 28, 2006


(Photo: The History Place)

Yes, Gerald Ford was better than Richard Nixon, but that faint praise is the highest encomium he’ll receive in the next few days. Perhaps a better way to look at it is to say the one good thing Nixon ever did was to appoint Ford vice president.

As a policymaker, Ford had few accomplishments. His response to staggering price increases was to wear a button saying, “Whip Inflation Now.” He oversaw the humiliating retreat of U.S. troops from South Vietnam.

It’s become popular to say Ford was courageous in pardoning Nixon and that the pardon helped “heal the nation.” That’s the kind of thing it’s nice to say about avuncular old statesmen when they die. But Ford’s pardon created a precedent that effectively gives U.S. presidents immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in office. After all, if we wouldn’t prosecute the kind of crimes Nixon committed, what would we prosecute?

— Gregory Flannery

Was Christ Even ‘in Christmas’ to Begin With?

December 27, 2006


(Photo: 3bellsembroidery.com)
Is there an organized effort to take the “Christ” out of Christmas and, really, would Jesus care even if there were?

It’s that time of the year again when arch-conservatives — giving in to their urge to feel persecuted so they can rally their base — rant on and on about this peculiarly American modern myth, the supposed War on Christmas. I tend not to watch the Fox News Channel unless my friends and I are playing drinking games, so I thought I could avoid this year’s tired debate about the alleged attack on the holiday.

Then I got a nice little stocking stuffer in the mail from our friends at Citizens for Community Values (CCV), the Sharonville-based group best known for trying to take pornography out of convenience stores and hotel rooms. The mailer included a letter from CCV rallying support to defend Christmas, along with two separate inserts seeking donations, all wrapped around by a rubber bracelet inscribed with the saying, “Just say Merry Christmas.”

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‘Values Democrat’ Running for Kentucky Governor

December 27, 2006


Jonathan Miller, who spoke last month in Cincinnati, has announced he is running for governor of Kentucky. Miller, serving his second term as state treasurer, is a Democrat. He appeared Nov. 8 at Hebrew Union College and discussed his book, The Compassionate Community.

“When we act in service to others, that’s when we’re acting in our most morally valuable way,” Miller said. “We owe special compassion to those in our society who are most vulnerable — our old, our very young, our poor, our disabled. As the prophets teach us in the Hebrew Bible, we can judge a society’s value in how it treats its (victimized).”

— Gregory Flannery