Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You Notes

 Not the original foundry, but production started on Thanksgiving Day (1880).
Source: Cincinnati Views.

Thanksgiving has become as much of a birthday celebration as it is for all of the traditional familial gatherings and gratitude. Still, some candid offerings are definitely due this year - a long list of commendations will be handed out to kin and comrades on a silver platter, in one way or another related to these recent events...

Elizabeth is due to deliver child #2 in December.
Amazing to think that: (1) We'll have another wonderful addition to our family - a little girl!, (2) my son is now 2 and will have to deal with some serious Mommy-withdrawal, (3) just when we're getting into a rhythm that's bearable, our nights are most likely going to elongate dramatically again, and (4) the amount of work that Elizabeth currently entails day-in and day-out, and the amount added to that to come, all with the perspective of a full glass, is completely inspiring.

After long and hard searching (studio and soul), our decision to stay awhile longer culminates with a new job downtown.
We thought laboriously on many areas of the country, but this is a good move all-around - for family, friends, and us - and ends the feeling that we're on a never-ending cusp of transition. So, since we'll be here for the foreseeable future, hopefully we can make some long-lasting contributions to the city that have been swept under the rug for far too long.

We moved. Again.
Elizabeth and I have a storied past, but no one could have predicted the number of legs of this trek we've already completed. Actually, maybe a better way of putting it would be: No one would have guessed how many legs this trek was going to be comprised of, and how many markers we've already passed. Heck - any way you put it, moving five times in five years back and forth between two different cities is tiring enough... then add in all of the other fun stuff and you've cooked up an official bowl exhaustion. But, it's good exhaustion... and we're in a new part of the city. Both having grown up and lived a substantial portion of our lives here, neither of us have resided in this particular local, nor have any friends or family members. It's a little reinvigorating in that way - new places to explore, fresh perspectives on old memories, and welcome solace from another one of Cincinnati's great neighborhoods (not proper, but still Cincinnati to me). It's a good compromise... and it's on the bus line.

There's other stuff of which I won't break the code of silence, but is well worth explicit gratitude as anything else. All I can say is that I am completely humbled by the amazingly supportive people near and far that I'm lucky enough to call my family and friends. Hopefully, one day, this perseverance will echo favorably and I'll be able to reciprocate that generosity to those in kind.

Have a good holiday, everyone.

• Now if this would just happen again, I'd be really thankful...

Milwaukee Sentinel (p.2) [1958].

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I've grown to hate politics, mainly because I hate the underhanded, argumentative nature that surrounds most issues (and usually the politicians themselves)... so I bite my tongue, but still manage to get the polls when that time comes around. Though, thanks to COAST and other outside entities trying to shape our local government/society, this year has been a little different...

There are several issues that I personally think are extremely important (as you've seen if you visit some other local blogs, like CAAST or The Phoney Coney), and so, in honor of the big day, here's a quick rundown of what I'll checking my name next to on some of the issues:

Issue 9
If you want a referendum-style government like California has (voting on every single issue, and costing the taxpayers millions of dollars just to vote on them), the Anderson Township-based COAST's Issue 9 takes you down that path. Also, this charter amendment is not just about the streetcar - it states that ANY rail construction will have to be voted on by the citizens, from the miniature Cincinnati Zoo train to the high-speed 3C Corridor train planned for the whole state of Ohio... anything that involves rails.

The logic behind COAST's plan is to basically slow down, and potentially stop any kind of rail construction, because these four guys
think it's a bad investment for the whole of the city. Basically, they like sprawl, they like pollution, they like spending thousands of hours of their life in traffic, they like how much money they spend on their car (and related maintenance), and they like that a substantive portion of their taxes go to road construction/maintenance year after year after year, even if it doesn't solve the aforementioned problems.

Cars are incredible pieces of machinery, no doubt, and the perceived independence you have while in them is worth something. But it's the worst investment you'll ever make with your hard-earned money; immediately nosediving once driven off the lot, and costing you a fortune over it's lifespan. Additionally, with the development of electric vehicles (that the car companies have been holding out on us for 50 years), there will be lessening gas taxes to finance the maintenance of those roads, and who will pay for this in the near future? We all will... heavily.

So, if you agree with them on rail, so be it - but imagine this... voting on every type of construction related to the automobile. I'm not going to get into a long rant here, but one has to recognize that everything related to car transit - from road/bridge infrastructure & maintenance to car manufacturing itself - has been one of the most heavily subsidized (government/taxpayer funded) portions of our society to date. Do you feel good that tens of billions of dollars of our tax money was given to private car companies recently? No? Do you wonder why COAST didn't put up a substantial fight against it, or why they don't construct a charter amendment demanding votes on every extremely-high priced road construction in our city? It makes you wonder, considering that the amounts spent on car-related infrastructure dwarfs the amounts associated with rail.

Additionally, we vote in leaders to our government that we think will lead us in the right direction - if you don't agree with their views, you vote in someone different. But COAST and the supporters of Issue 9 don't agree with this style of government - in fact, COAST has stated this on their official website (as they've also been opposed to giving the state required information about who contributes to their PAC). They want you to pay millions of dollars to hold special elections for every single little issue, essentially killing any forward progress that a city might make.

Thus, this issue has become less about rail, and more about how we want our government to function. Still, I personally am sick and tired of the billions of dollars of government handouts to private corporations (e.g. car companies), the lost time and increased stress facing the heavy traffic everywhere I drive, the high cost of car maintenance & insurance, and the inevitable rise of gas prices... so it's no surprise that I'm all for the expansion of alternative types of transportation. And as we've seen time and time again in other cities, when the proper investments are given to these alternatives, they flourish, along with the surroundings.

Lastly, no one is pretending that rail transit will ever overtake the automobile, but to have multiple transit options not only is smart for the viable movement of a community at large, but aids in a healthier, wealthier, and more vibrant community. I want a better quality of life for all Cincinnatians, which is why I'd urge you to also:


You can visit any of the other numerous local blogs against Issue 9, but here a couple more interesting posts from outside the state, and conservative...

Issue 3
Basically, I don't like gambling - I don't think it's healthy for individuals or cities at large... but who am I to decide what others do with their earnings. Aside from the fact that we already have a multitude of options in place for those who like to do it, other factors at play here surround the outside entities trying to shape our local community. Like COAST trying to dictate what happens in other peoples' neighborhoods, we have casino owners in another state trying to control the future of Ohio gambling laws. Even if I was a gambling proponent, I wouldn't vote for this issue - I'd want my own city and state to decide upon and have control of these issues and structures. All of this is why I'm voting:


More people all over the state (conservative & liberal) against Issue 3 here...

Some others:

A renewal to continue funding of issues surrounding MRDD.

Funding for maintenance of the historic Cincinnati Union Terminal.

Funding for local libraries.

• No matter what you decide, just get out and vote!