Archive for March 2007

Friday’s Flicks

March 30, 2007

(Photo courtesy of Dreamworks)

Things are starting to look up as winter turns to spring: Four of this week’s five opening movies get the CityBeat thumbs up, including a slapstick-laden comedy starring pasty-chested lothario Will Ferrell as, of all things, a figure skater; the latest thriller to showcase affecting actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt; an animated Disney flick; an immigrant drama from filmmaker Mira Nair; and, most curiously, the return of a Nick Nolte indie that opened in local art houses last summer. (more…)

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Does Colombia Want Lindner?

March 30, 2007

With the Colombian government continuing to press U.S. officials for the right to question certain Chiquita Brands International executives in connection with an admission they made payments to terrorist groups, there’s been no media report on whether the executives sought include Carl Lindner Jr. and his sons.

A federal judge recently fined Chiquita $25 million for making payments to drug traffickers and terrorist groups in the South American nation to protect its banana plantations there. Chiquita paid $1.7 million to the groups over the course of several years.

Colombian prosecutors are mulling whether to file an extradition request for the executives, which the U.S. government probably would oppose. The Lindner family still was involved with managing Cincinnati-based Chiquita at the time of at least some of the payments, so exactly who is the subject of the Colombian inquiries should be a hot topic for local media outlets.

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Pronounced ‘B-o-n-e-r’

March 30, 2007

U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-West Chester) has pulled a series of boners in Congress lately that are drawing the ire of his GOP colleagues.

The liberal blog, Think Progress, reported the following about a presentation made Thursday during a congressional ceremony by Boehner, the House Minority Leader, to honor the Tuskegee airmen, the U.S. military’s first group of African-American fighter pilots who served during World War II.

A person who attended the ceremony wrote, “During his short speech to those in attendance, Boehner six times mispronounced the group’s name as the ‘Tusk-E-gee,’ eliciting audible groans from the front to the back of the Capitol Rotunda. One woman standing in front of me leaned to her companion and whispered, ‘This is so embarrassing, and he’s from my state.’

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Voters Could Unite to Overturn Council

March 30, 2007

Cincinnati City Council took two actions Wednesday that seemed to defy the will of a majority of voters, and the issues might end up as citizen referendums on the November ballot.

Council voted 7-2 Wednesday to indefinitely extend the city’s tougher penalties for marijuana possession and also voted 6-3 to close a public hillside stairway in East Walnut Hills that is frequently used by neighborhood residents.

Only Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell and Councilman David Crowley opposed the tougher marijuana penalties, and Councilwoman Laketa Cole joined the pair in opposing the closure of the stairway.

A citizen group is organizing to force a voter referendum on the marijuana penalties, and another group is considering similar action in an effort to reopen the stairway. In both instances, the residents say council was kowtowing to special interest groups instead of acting in the city’s best interests.

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A Correction and … Holy Fuck!

March 30, 2007

Good news and bad news about this Sunday’s Southgate House show headlined by intriguing west coast Post Punk band 31 Knots. Despite the gorgeous photo and raving preview of the appearance of Two Ton Boa in this week’s CityBeat, Two Ton Boa is not on the bill. No, Sherry Fraser (the TTB mastermind) didn’t pull out because I wrote in my preview that their music made me think of Evanescence (though I wouldn’t blame her). While the group will be in town Sunday, they decided to take a breather and not play the show.

The good news is that the other band on the bill, Holy Fuck, is even more interesting (though not for everyone; if you don’t like the word “challenging” when it comes to music, stay at home). The all-instrumental band plays (sort of) Electronic music, but they don’t employ modern, expected tools like backing tracks and laptops. With drums, keyboards, guitar pedals, mixers and other effects, the band creates a deep, engulfing sound that could have been created by a stoned Electronica genius on his home computer (assuming she blends some manipulated, heavy Jesus Lizard bass samples into the mix). But the full-band approach and lack of “tricks” gives the music a lively, irresistible quality. Songs like “Lonely Alien” recall the seamless creations of former Cincinnatian Boom Bip, (who similarly creates music that makes you wonder if it’s “live” or “canned”), while others tracks (like the head-spinning “Safari”) are wildly progressive and collage-like.

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Make the Cops Put it in Writing

March 29, 2007

Here’s a simple, common sense way for Cincinnati City Council to begin holding the police department to the same standards that apply to other city departments — and in a method that should be easy for police and involves no political risk for council.

When Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. or other police supervisors appear before city council to give a presentation — or what police refer to as a “report” — have the police click the “print” button on their computers and actually produce a hard copy of the document.

It’s a routine practice for police command staff to appear before city council and give a Power Point presentation on a computer projection screen, then depart, leaving no official record of what was claimed in the “report.” Such a practice isn’t tolerated by other municipal departments, who must leave hard copies of any documents with the clerk of council’s office for public scrutiny.

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More Troubles For alchemize

March 29, 2007

Despite glowing raves in the “Best of Cincinnati” issue, it appears that music club alchemize is being forced out of its current location in Northside. Owner Nick Spencer sent out a lengthy bulletin through MySpace explaining what happened. The gist of the diatribe is that the property owner wants to put a new bar in the alchemize space. Spencer says the show by mash-up king Girl Talk on April 7 will be the last event at the club (as alchemize), barring a change of heart. On April 5 there will be a benefit for the staffers who are out a gig … at least temporarily. The language of the bulletin (reprinted below the fold) suggests Spencer is looking for a new home for the club.

— Mike Breen

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