April 2007 Archive

Stripper convergance

Progress Ohio will be hosting a big stripper protest tomorrow:

Entertainers from across the state will gather in Columbus for a news conference on Tuesday, May 1, at 10 a.m. The event will take place in the offices of Progress Ohio, 265 S. Third Street, Columbus.

Dancers formed the grassroots organization “Dancers for Democracy” to try and combat Senate Bill 16, a measure that would limit the hours of adult businesses and ban patrons from coming within six feet of any nude or semi-nude entertainers. The six-foot rule will cause wages to drop off dramatically and force many of the dancers into minimum wage jobs, said Charity Fickisen, a Columbus dancer and chairwoman of the new organization.

I oppose SB 16 on home rule grounds, but the apparent focus of the press conference, on how it will negatively affect “entertainers” is wrong-headed politically. The focus should be on how Columbus shouldn’t get involved in issues that people can decide (and are deciding) for themselves at the local level. They might score some press attention out of this- they are strippers after all- but I’m not sure voters will get too worked up over out of work exotic dancers. (Via Plunderbund.)

UPDATE: Also at Right Angle Blog.

Name that park

RetroMetro points to a Dispatch article about the problem of coming up with a name for the park planned for the peninsula behind the Brewery District Kroger’s:

The Scioto River is the single distinguishing natural feature. The Columbus skyline is another prominent element.

Residents of a homeless encampment on the grounds had called the area Miranova West, Hanley said, referring to a nearby luxury condominium high-rise.

O’Meara said the parks board probably will choose a name by the end of spring.

The park is expected to open next spring, Hanley said. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center, which will be part of the 84-acre park, also is expected to open in 2008….

Whatever name is chosen, Hanley will check that the name’s acronym doesn’t spell out something embarrassing.

Scioto Area Metro Park (SCAMP) and Timber Ridge (TRAMP) might not work.

It’s in the Brewery District, so its got to be Beer Park. Wait, keep the German influence going: Bier Park. Simple. Next?

UPDATE: Cap City Savvy is running a contest to name it.

More pork, please

Interesting charges against Deborah Pryce from the Ohio 15th blog:

Pryce, no longer a congressional leader, has pretty much lost the power to deliver jobs and economic development for Ohio’s 15th district. Anyway, she has never delivered anything to this district except more Wal-marts.

The blogger is endorsing the worst part of politics. Washington constantly vacuums up our money and it’s Congress’s job to fight it out amongst themselves to return as much as possible to the people where it came from in the first place. Except when the money comes back, it’s even better since it comes with political strings attached and we’re all so grateful to politicians in DC.

Nevermind about having representatives who share your ideals and your political outlook. Show me the money (ok, I know that reference is really tired). I guess ohio06win thinks Robert C. Byrd is the epitome of politics- the king of pork. Sure, he was in the KKK, but look at how much he delivers to his state.

What we ought to do is look at all the federal money- which started out as ours, remember- that goes to states, cities, and counties, reduce federal revenue and federal taxes by that amount, and let the local governments collect it themselves, if they want to. Then maybe we can stop playing this ugly game of which politician has the best connections to return the greatest part of our own money back to us.

Disarming the people

Fourth Amendment denier and former diplomat Dan Simpson writing in The Toledo Blade on disarming America:

The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.

Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for “carrying.”

His thoroughness can only be described as totalitarian. There’s also this subtler bit from earlier in the article:

Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.

Outside of statistics, there’s something chilling about referring to the people as “the population”- a cold scientific distance. Policymakers should avoid this, to put it lightly.

This totalitarian fantasist also imagines that his plan could be carried out while its legality was being determined in the courts, due to challenges from the “gun lobby”. As if the only issue was the 2nd amendment, and the 4th, prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure, didn’t exist. I’ve got to believe that even the ACLU would have problems with this- wouldn’t they? (Please tell me they would.) Not to even mention the concept of an injunction. (Via Right Angle Blog.)

Downtown farmer’s market to return

From the Dispatch:

Fear not, those of you who like to peruse the popular Downtown farmers’ market for fresh fruit and vegetables.

The farmers will return to Pearl Alley on June 1.

The Pearl Alley Growers’ Association reached an agreement with the group that holds the permit for the farmers’ market and adjacent merchandise market in Lynn Alley after weeks of negotiations and bitter words.

Via RetroMetro.

Downtown Westin sold

Westin Hotel

The current owner will maintain a minority stake and continue to manage it. The bigger news is the renovation:

Marcus Hotels and Resorts will own a 15% minority interest in the joint venture and will continue to manage the hotel under a long-term management agreement, as well as oversee a major, multi-million dollar renovation of the property. “Upon completion of the renovation, the Westin Columbus will be the premier property within the downtown Columbus market,” said Bill Otto, president of Marcus Hotels and Resorts.

I think that hotel could play a much larger role in downtown. (Image by jfsl3 @ Flickr.)

Bagelgate

Nice.

Now where are the flying cars?

Humina, humina. City of the Future:

London-based fDi Magazine - Foreign Direct Investment in its April issue rated Columbus as the third top large city in North American in the “Cities of the Future” ranking. The rankings were based on more than 60 criteria in seven different categories ranging from; Best Economic Potential, Most Cost-effective, Best Human Resources, Quality of Life, Best Infrastructure, Most Business Friendly and Best Development and Investment Promotion.

“Local business entrepreneurs, the Chamber and residents deserve the credit for building Columbus to these national rankings, and as we prepare for our 2012 Bicentennial we have to keep pushing higher,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

fDi also ranked Columbus fourth among all cities in the individual category of “most business friendly.”

More here.

Republican prez candidates leading in Ohio

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, blogged about on the Ohio GOP blog, both Guiliani and McCain are preferred by Ohioans over Clinton, Obama, or Gore.

Giuliani – 46 Giuliani – 45 Giuliani – 47
Clinton – 41 Obama – 37 Gore – 39

McCain – 44 McCain – 42 McCain – 46
Clinton – 42 Obama – 36 Gore – 39

Of course, it’s really early.

Skybus stuff

Cute post here:

C-bus, has taken a bunch heat this week for being the obscure Skybus hub town, but central Ohio fans are not taking the big media bullying lying down.

An LA Times commenter, and C-bus supporter:

Do we have a beach or mountains? No, but neither do we panic when it rains. Having lived in both, I’d still rather raise my kid in Columbus (though I’m sure I’ll be flying Skybus to get back to SoCal to visit everyone from time to time).

Buy your tickets here.

Consult this

ColumbusING stays on top of the Rebecca Ryan / Next Generation Consulting / YP issue with a link to The Other Paper’s article on it:

So, if Ryan’s report is chock-full of common-sense suggestions, ideas recycled from her Akron report and suggestions that seem to have come straight out of Mayor Coleman’s last few big speeches, what exactly did we get for our $165,000?

“It helps when you have other people raising their hand saying, ‘This is important to me,’” Coleman said. “It builds momentum for our community.”

The mayor said it was important to bring someone in from outside Columbus because it offers a new perspective.

“What’s that somebody once said? You’re never a prophet in your own land,” he said. “You gotta bring somebody else in to say, ‘Hey, you’re going on the right track,’ and that’s exactly what she did.”

Hey, I would have done it for half of what Ryan charged.

Blog gone

I had earlier questioned the sanity of new Columbus blog whycolumbus.com. Dave at Dave’s Beer noticed that it seems to be gone now:

Don’t bother visiting; as of this morning, shortly after a comment I made, it began redirecting visitors to the City of Columbus site. No loss.

It appeared to be a kind of sloppy series of posts with the new cool grammar (no capitalization and kind of loose sentence structure) with content intended to get a rise out of people. E.g., calling for a series of school shootings to get Columbus on the map and this morning it went on a rant about the stupidity of content in Columbus blogs with lots of offensive remarks. He called some of the silliness hyperbole.

I guess that’s one word for it.

Ah, the ephemerality of the web. (It’s a word.)

UPDATE: He’s back now.

Road rage bill

The Ohio Senate is debating one:

The proposal means traffic violations now considered minor misdemeanors and carry fines would escalate to 4th degree misdemeanors with possible jail time.

In addition, aggressive drivers would be required to attend a road rage seminar, a remedial driving class and pay a $100-$250 fine.

“It would close a loophole in the law that results when a driver causes an accident but cars don’t collide with one another,” said Ohio Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland.

Now what am I going to do on weekends?

Nuke Ohio

Alarmingly reasonable post on nuclear energy at Buckeye State Blog:

Then there’s the issue of nuclear power. While most Ohio enviros are against it, some nationals like NRDC and Environmental Defense are re-thinking their positions in light of the extreme threat of global warming. Nuclear power production is essentially carbon-neutral (though uranium mining is an energy-intensive industry). Yes, there are clear regulatory deficiencies (think Davis-Besse). Disposal issues are still a concern. Bottom line – we can’t stop global warming without nukes in the mix, but enviros are still steadfast in their opposition.

See, all this is what’s wrong with our party and its coalition of supporters – the inflexibility and antagonism and just plain unworkable policy expectations. And, if we’re serious about stopping global warming, it’s time for Ohio’s enviro groups to drop the dogmatic, neo-60s litmus tests and start focusing on what works (or can work).

Unlike wind and solar, nuclear scales well.

I don’t think global warming (and didn’t BSB get the memo- it’s Climate Change now) is the crisis that many people believe it is. But ending our dependence for energy on a handful of crazy regimes is important.

German Village awards

The German Village Commission will be handing out its annual awards next Wednesday.

Last year awards were given for a wide variety of work: the total restoration of a Kossuth Street house, the restoration of front porches on two Sycamore Street houses, the very successful and first-ever Village Lights event by the German Village Business Committee, and the dedicated and diligent work of the city Code Enforcement Officer whose area includes German Village.

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