29 September 2009

Yeah...I'm well aware that I haven't posted much of anything on here for a while. I'm finally arriving at the home stretch of this busy year. I can't wait for the winter!

Most of my time has been used to plan my wedding, originally scheduled for 11 June 2010. Unfortunately, my future mother-in-law got really ill and that depleted funds and time. She's getting better now, thank goodness.

I have learned plenty from the saga that was my future mother-in-law's illness:

1--> Matt is a better man than I thought

2--> Family can really do you dirty

3--> Family can be the fakest people you'll ever encounter and


Tis true...tis true...

23 June 2009

A friend of mine posted a link on facebook to a website that concluded Over-the-Rhine was the most dangerous neighborhood in America? In America!? Over-the-Rhine wasn't even the most dangerous neighborhood in Cincinnati in the past four years!

According to WalletPop.com, Over-the-Rhine, between Liberty Street and Central Parkway, has the most crime per 1,000 people (266.94) than any other area in the United States. The insurance website collected data compiled by NeighborhoodsScout.com, which gathers FBI data from 2005, 2006 and 2007 submitted by all 17,000 local law enforcement agencies and from that came up with the highest predicted rates of violent crime in America. Yeah, PREDICTED.

A couple of points:

1) In 2006 and 2007 the most dangerous neighborhood in Cincinnati wasn't Over-the-Rhine. That distinction went to Walnut Hills which outpaced Over-the-Rhine in just about every crime stat--including homicides. Over-the-Rhine hasn't been the most dangerous neighborhood in Cincinnati since 2005.

2) These websites compile numbers only to make predictions and their methods seem faulty. Is crime in O-T-R? Heck yeah it is but in all of my years of ever being down there during all parts of the day and night nothing has ever happened to me or my friends or family. NOTHING!

The Cincinnati Enquirer gobbled the story up and an onslaught of racist comments followed. The problem with an erroneous story like O-T-R being the most dangerous neighborhood in America (beating out areas in cities like Miami, Baltimore and Chicago--places infamous for rates of crime so high Cincinnati looks like an utopia in comparison) gives people in Cincinnati another reason not to care about the heart of the city. It has been further demonized in the eyes of the outsiders. No one wants to care and it's that apathy that will bring Cincinnati to its demise will continue on and on and on and on...

I have plenty of faith in the people on the front lines in the city--the people who fight to win the community back from the crime that wants to consume every crevice it can. Everyone in the city and everyone in O-T-R aren't welfare receiving, ignorant, illiterate, unwed mothers or dope dealing, white t-shirt wearing high school dropouts with mouths full of gold. Families, hard working people, and young professionals reside there. If there is anyone who will ruin an area like Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati, it will be the suburbanites who do their dirty deeds in Over-the-Rhine and the suburbanites who want to ignore the problem, add to the problem, or destroy the "problem" which, to them, is the area all together. Ignorance and apathy will destroy a community far greater than anything else.

20 June 2009

Wolf Blitzer informed me Thursday afternoon that the United States Senate issued a formal apology to African Americans for slavery in the United States. Well, that's mighty nice of a branch of Congress that only has one African American senator, Roland Burris--a senator that may not be a senator for much longer because of his alleged role in the attempt to sell that seat, vacated once Barack Obama became president, by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Oh the irony!

Well members of the Senate, thanks for the apology. It took 144 years but thanks! Thanks for apologizing for the hundreds of years my ancestors had to do very hard back-breaking work for lazy people. (Slave labor built the city of Washington, D.C. and an African American, Benjamin Banneker, planned the city.) Thanks because the slave owners who raped their female slaves and ripped families apart for profit sure wasn't going to say it. Thanks because those people with the smiling faces photographed in front of black bodies hanging from trees forgot to mention it. Thanks for systematic and systemic racism and Affirmative Action--now the powers-that-be can complain about reverse racism when a company made sure they had their "token" hired, passing over some who swear up and down they're more qualified.

Perhaps you all felt obligated now to say sorry now since 2009 seems to be the year for Civil Rights. Major League Baseball will hold the first ever Civil Rights game right here in Cincinnati on June 20th. Juneteenth, the celebration of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans, is today, June 19th. Barack Obama is president. Eric Holder is Attorney General. Maybe it was time to go with the flow of things, time to make your mark in "Black" history.

To my non black brethren: If you think that this extremely late apology and the election of Barack Obama is going to erase centuries of mistreatment, disenfranchisement and Jim Crow segregation then you are mistaken big time. "Better late than never" doesn't apply here because the negative ramifications of slavery and the mistreatment that followed (and follows) afterward are prevalent today. Things have gotten a tad bit better but we have a very looooooooooooooooooooooong way to go.

To my black brethren: It's time for us to step up our game. Even with President Obama in office I doubt we would get reparations. But if we did, how would we use it? Would we waste it on material things or would we use it to rebuild our communities? It was always and will always be up to us to take care of our communities and our people, just like in the days of my great grandma Betty and my grandpa George. WE must educate ourselves and stop being victims to intellectual slavery. Our history is rich and we must take pride in it. We must stop looking to everyone else to fix the sad and sorry state of Black America because, as it is pretty much evident, no one cares what happens to Black America anymore. Black folks have even stopped caring, for the most part.

It's hard to have people who aren't black to understand what it's like being black. We all aren't about complaining about how bad everything is. It's not about blaming everyone for all the negativity that is in the black community. Our grievances are not unfounded--things are not 100% fair and as long as people remain naive then they never will be. But that just means, black folks, that we have to try a bit harder than everyone else. Yeah...it isn't fair but it is totally worth it and we are more than capable of accomplishing amazing things. It's time to tap into our potential and shut these blowhards who doubt us all the way up!

02 June 2009

I never heard of Dr. George Tiller before today but now it seems like he's all I hear about. He performed late term abortions and cheated death a few times. Now, he's dead--shot dead in the foyer of his church.

I find all of this ironic: the man who shot and killed him did so because he felt Dr. Tiller was taking lives of the unborn did just what he hated--he took a life. I don't understand the logic. It is perfectly okay to oppose something--I oppose plenty of things within our society--but when is it ever okay to take the life of someone whose opinion and/or livelihood is different from yours? It never is.

This isn't about what my views of abortion are. This is about people killing others to prove a political point. This is about people not being able to get over the fact that women are given a legal right to abort a pregnancy. This is about infringing upon the rights that allow doctors to perform these acts no matter how abhorrent one may find them.

I won't blame FOX News or Right Winged Christian extremists because we, ultimately, decide how we react in situations. I will, however, ask these people who incite those to commit acts of violence for the sake of politics to really think about what they say before they say it. Have your opinion, sure, but realize that your words can shape and influence opinion and affect--or end--people's lives.

Postscript--Perhaps instead of the "we're gonna bully and scare women into not wanting an abortion by being in their faces and yelling at them and, perhaps even, killing them" why not try a loving approach? Teach legitimate sex education (not the phony crap I heard in high school), encourage adoption and make contraception readily available for sexually active women. Folks are having sex at younger ages and just because they hear "it's wrong and immoral" won't stop them from having it as we have clearly seen in the past two decades. It's time for a new approach but, of course, it always will begin at home.

28 May 2009

Family is such a strange word to me. Recently, I had some family get in touch with me--family I have not seen in years. I didn't feel excited or happy. In fact, I didn't feel anything. I still don't. Honestly, why should I?

I have plenty of family who live in the exact same city as I do but if I were to bump into them right now I wouldn't recognize them. It's funny to me how we share so much but we know so little of those we should have intimate bonds with.

This disconnect seems to be the norm in my family on both sides, I guess, because no one I know of in my family has expressed any sadness about this fact. The really sad part is that, other than facebook and funerals, I don't see my extended family. What's even more interesting than that is that this is fine by me. Blood tends to be faker than water.

The family I know and have known for so long is one that has your back. They tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. You may not always agree but you're getting an honest assessment on how they see things. This family includes my immediate family, my close friends, my fiance and some of his family, and people who share the same interests as me and who care about me as much as they care about the causes we share.

I wish I felt more when it comes to what a "family" is suppose to be, in the traditional sense, but I like the family I have just fine.

13 May 2009

I read a very fascinating story today on abcnews.com about a man suing a New Jersey school after being disciplined and removed from the school he attended because he says he's African-American? Before you get ready to page Al Sharpton and company hold on a second because there is a twist to this one--the man who made the claim is white. Yeah, I said it.

(For the whole story, check out this website:

Here's the gist of it: Paulo Serodio, 45, sued the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey after he claimed he was harassed and suspended for calling himself a white African-American in a cultural exercise in his class, according to ABC News. Serodio was born and raised in Mozambique and is now a naturalized American citizen.

Others who are white but are African citizens (that I know of anyway):
Charlize Theron
Chelsea Davy, Prince Harry's ex--yeah, I was interested. So what?!? :-)

There are plenty of white people who are citizens of African nations, remnants of colonization and missionaries come to mind. So, is it possible for a white person to be African-American? I think so. After all, he came straight from Africa. I have yet to step foot on African soil. In fact, my ancestors from Africa came to America via slavery hundreds of years ago. He's more African than I'll ever be, in that sense. Now I'm sure my features will tell you otherwise since I have brown skin, a wide nose and very dark brown eyes. I am also part Choctaw and Irish. You wouldn't be able to tell unless I told you and I bet you would still have a hard time believing that. I would be, in your mind, an African-American.

African-American is an interesting term. According to Webster's, an African-American is "an American of African and especially black African descent". When you fill out a job application in the United States, the definition is "any person identifying with the black racial groups of Africa". Conversely, a white person, according to the many job applications I have filled out as of late, is anyone who "is of European, Middle Eastern or NORTH AFRICAN descent"! I know Mozambique is in southeastern Africa, by the way. Nevertheless, could it be possible that this man is a Mozambique native of European descent who is African-American by default?

How about this? Perhaps the whole concept of race is relative. I'm a little bit of everything as are the vast majority of "African-Americans" in the United States. Enough of the labels--I am an American but, more importantly, I am human just like you. We are one race--the human race--and we mustn't ever forget that.

06 May 2009

Throughout the week I have noticed that the theme has been forgiveness. I was contacted by two women that were once my friends. One messaged me on facebook apologizing for her part in the nonsense of 2008. Another one just texted me out of the blue asking how I was.

While I try my best not to harbor grudges towards anyone I find myself somewhat skeptical towards the correspondences. Maybe it is best not to make more of it than what it is. I should just exercise caution when it comes to any other dealing with them. I will be cordial and such but as far as hanging out and things like that...nah. I forgave the one who texted me once before and tried to have everything go back to normal only to watch things go even crazier than before. Learning from the first time I thought it would be best to cut ties before things went really bad.

I can't ask others to forgive me if I won't forgive anyone. Something to think about...

27 April 2009

I find myself in a strange place right now. I don't want to be bothered with people for the most part but I like people. I like people because they challenge you to be more than you think you can be. You can find yourself by learning more about yourself through your interactions with others. Nothing can substitute human interaction.

I don't want to be bothered, per se, because there are too many people who bring BS to the table. They constantly test you by always nudging you to the breaking point. They are extremely annoying at times (as I am sure I can be to others) and heaven forbid you're stuck in a place full of people you don't really want to be bothered with. This seems to happen to me more than I like.

To be very clear--I don't dislike or loathe humanity. I'm constantly disappointed by it, though. I tend to be quasi-distant from people I consider my good friends, people I would give the skin off of my bones for. I guess we are still good friends because they understand me and for that I am forever grateful.

15 April 2009

On only three-and-a-half hours of sleep, my fiance and I made our way to the tea party on Fountain Square on this chilly grey day. The space on the square was limited because of the flower carpet that is displayed every spring but that didn't stop folks--they just hung round on the street.

I proudly wore my Obama victory shirt on the square full of angry and frustrated people. There were speakers who all said the same thing and folks clapped, shouted, touted their signs and chanted U.S.A....U.S.A.... The crowd soon marched to City Hall, with their teabags and petition of 1,700 signatures, to tell Mayor Mallory to refuse the stimulus money. Okay...quit laughing for a second. Nah, go ahead. These people who, most likely, don't even live in the City of Cincinnati are raging against the machine to tell a Democratic mayor of a city that is really financially strapped who backed President Obama from the beginning to not accept money? HA HA HA!

I digress...

I went there for several reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to show support for my president. He's trying to get something done in a very messed up time for everybody. Secondly, I wanted to really know why these people were so willing to assemble on a lousy weather day to protest something that they should have been protesting. Where were all of these people when former President Bush and Congress approved $720 billion in TARP money during his last months in office. After all, they are protesting wasteful spending, right? RIIIIIIGHT... Thirdly, I was interested in how people would react to me openly supporting President Obama. My mom read in City Beat about a lady who claimed to have been hit with nigger this nigger that while she showed her support for Obama during the first Cincinnati Tea Party. Would history repeat itself? You bet your butt it would! The final count for every n-bomb I heard was four. I got plenty of stares. Surprisingly enough, though, the kids who were forced to go really liked my shirt. It is quite colorful. (I bet those poor kids wished they were in school. Wait...the protesters were so about "think about the kids" when it came to the economy. Why weren't they in school? Don't they care about education? Truant officer, please!)

It appears to me that we are so ready for President Obama to screw up. The protesters write him off as a failure before he can even get a chance to fail. For those opposed to what President Obama is doing I have a few questions that I hope get answered here since no one at the tea party would really answer them:

1) Where was the mass protest when President Bush gave Wall Street $720 BILLION and told Congress to allow President Obama to have access to that TARP money once he was president?

2) If these same people were so concerned about the future of our kids, where was the outrage when it was discovered that Bush's "No Child Left Behind" legislation was underfunded by billions of dollars?

3) What about Iraq? With the pointless invasion, the U.S. has spent billions upon billions upon BILLIONS of dollars that could have been used here at home.

4) Why waste wonderful bags of tea? I love tea, especially green tea. Very refreshing.

04 April 2009

Now that Easter draws near I thought I should take the time to reflect upon the very thing I gave up for Lent--facebook. My silly butt thought that I did something unique by giving up facebook. Go ahead, laugh at me but I'm being honest. The NPR show All Things Considered and, later that week, Kent Jones on The Rachel Maddow Show mentioning how weak the move was on his "Weak In Review" segment burst the bubble.

I thought that with giving up facebook I would also give up the drama that facebook brings. How I was so wrong. It all involves two people, one nasty break-up and a whole mess of he said-she said. I won't go into much detail here for several reasons. First and foremost, I want to respect the privacy of the people involved. Second, the story is chock full of allegations so it has been challenging to discern what is true and what isn't. Thirdly, I really don't feel like typing all of that stuff!

The relationship, ultimately, was one involving people who couldn't let go of past loves, feelings of insecurity, selfishness and, in my opinion, stupidity. All of this, however, is beside the point. The point is that in my respite from facebook coupled with my crazy schedule I have still managed to get caught up in it somewhat.

When things like that happen one must take a moment to reflect. The world is in such disarray right now on just about every level. Who really has time for one more drama-filled thing? If you realize that something won't work--no matter how much you try to force it to--then it isn't worth it. Why put yourself through so much extra unnecessary stress? It got to the point where I had to remove myself from both parties for a spell because I really didn't want to be involved. Unfortunately for me, whenever someone comes to me for advice I give them a very honest assessment of how I see and hear things and that keeps a small part of me in it. Maybe I should charge for my services. It'll be interesting to see how long the silence lasts...

My character has been challenged because of all of this by quite a few people. I had my loyalty questioned which I'll clear up here right now--I don't make it a point to be loyal to much of anyone. I won't try to hurt or sabotage you but you don't give out loyalty liberally. That's just stupid. I guess my whole issue with this is that instead of people coming to me to ask what exactly I said or did they assume everything and judge me accordingly. To those who have made it a point to do that I will say this: PISS OFF! I won't lie to you about anything because the truth will rear its ugly head sooner or later. But don't think that you are in the right because you feel you made an accurate assumption of me. I'ma tell ya right now--you're a bigger idiot than I thought if you feel secure in your assumption.

On the flip side of that, if multiple people are telling you the same thing at any given point then either one of two things is true: 1. We are all crazy or 2. You are effin' up BIG TIME. It's not that hard to figure out.

All of what has happened has led me to believe wholeheartedly that you guys really need lives. GET IT TOGETHER and leave the people who have something to do alone! Period.

02 April 2009

People sure do grow a massive pair of balls when posting comments on the web and that reminded me of something I had posted on facebook a couple of weeks ago about these folks...

A teenage girl goes for a solo jog around her home during the mid afternoon hours. When she didn't return home that evening, her parents called the police and filed a missing persons report. Tragically, young Esme Kenney's nude, partially burned body was found in the woods near her Winton Hills home. The police also found 40-year-old Anthony Kirkland, a man with a seedy past, asleep near Esme's body. Kirkland had Esme's i-pod and watch in his possession. He has since confessed to killing her.

Kirkland served 16 years in prison for burning another woman alive in 1986. There are also reports of possible evidence connecting him to two other homicides that resulted in the victims being burned. One of the possible victims is a 14-year-old girl killed in Avondale a few years ago, a story that hasn't received much public outcry from the posters (or lack thereof) on the web.

This case of Esme being killed the way she was is very sad and disturbing. The Greater Cincinnati area has weighed in heavily on this homicide as evidence by the number of comments readers posted following the story on every local media website. But as much as Esme's death bothered me, some of the readers comments got to me almost as bad.

Here are some of them:

"It's simple.
We have the most morally bankrupt system in the world.
What a shame that the life of this girl was taken by a piece of scum like Kirkland.
As offensive as this may sound, Hitler had a way of dealing with these kind of people. No appeals, no 20 year waits, no coddling!

Tried, convicted, killed!"--webthedog, poster at cincinnati.com

"this is a hate crime ...plain and simple....a black man kills a white girl in cold blood.....i am so tired of this crap in my society.... kill the f@ck now"--sirlouie, poster at communitypress.com

"Blacks make up 13% of the population, yet are responsible for 54% of all murders? And 94% of blacks murdered are killed by other blacks... What is wrong with black culture to produce these monsters? Look at the heroes of Black "culture" - pimps, Scarface and misogynistic rappers... "--Hang em High, poster at wcpo.com

"love and peace mu butt. Yes this is about black and white. Reverse this and we would have a riot on our hands. But we cant reverse it because whites do like to go to otr. Hell whites are being targeted just for being white. You kill each other but leave our children alone. stay in your hood and get out of ours."--boredatwork, poster at wcpo.com

"Now, now, folks... we've all collaboratively agreed that it's never the African American's fault. Well, at least you Cincinnatians agreed..."--bandaid36, poster at local12.com

"Another beautiful white girl gone, the victim of black savagery. This girl is yet another victim of forced integration. A return to strict segregation would go a long way in preventing blacks from preying upon whites. Don't believe blacks are dangerous? Move your family to a black apartment complex."--Joe G, poster at fox19.com

So very very sad...sad...sad...sad...sad...

You'd be hard-pressed not to read a thread on any of the stories of Esme and not find this venom of racial hatred. People sure do develop a big pair of balls when they have the anonymity of the web to hide behind. This horrible crime that proves our legal system is way off kilter. And I am reminded (as if I need anymore reminders) of how dumb people can be.

We all grieve the same. Pain hurts us equally. We all hate to see children victims of such vicious violence or any violence, for that matter. Our blood is red, our tears are clear, and we all wish that we could live in safe communities where we can rasie our children to be the best that they can be.

This shouldn't about race. This should be about a man who has a history of attacking women and burning his victims being on the streets. This is about a system that allows a person who has repeatedly committed the same crime to be free but you'll find yourself behind bars quick over weed. Now I believe that everyone should be given a chance at redemption. However, I don't feel the same for this man. My conscious won't allow it.

I would just hate to see that one of the legacies the death of this child may leave behind would be one of further deepening the chasm of black/white in Cincinnati. That just might be the biggest tragedy of all.

It seems like ignorance will always have a fighting chance in our society. Tsk tsk...

01 April 2009

It's been a few days since we wrapped up shooting for our movie submission in the College Movie Festival. Our team drew the romantic comedy genre--the second year in a row our school had it. We won last year, by the way, but the movie wasn't all that funny. I feel we have a very real shot at winning the trophy again because our script is way funnier.

All of that is fine and dandy but the pre-production and production I was involved in was insane. For starters, the Sunday morning I arrived our campus rep Nikk handed me a partially done script. I couldn't help but to look shocked. I was a part of the writing team so I expected to have a bigger part in writing the script. After all, I thought, we all said we were going to meet Sunday morning. When we all finally got together at noon Sunday I sat silent at first, mainly because I was so tired. But then, as I began to engage in the conversation, I was essentially ignored. Initially I brushed it off but then I grew very annoyed because everything I said our campus rep had some snippy comment for it. I just started returning them back--screw it, right? It won't continue for too much longer, right? WRONG! It lasted for a few days. I don't know what made him stop but I'm glad he did because I was reaching my wits end. There's only so much BS I can tolerate and I'm sure you know exactly where I'm coming from on that one.

What caused all of that crap to transpire? Hmmmm...Good question. I wasn't the only woman involved and I wasn't the only African-American, either. Besides, he's African-American. We're both of the same political stripe. Perhaps there is just something about me that he doesn't care for too much. We're all guilty of not liking a person for no reason other than there's just something about them I don't like too much. A dumb reason for sure but a common one I'd venture to say.

Enough of that garbage for now--it's time to tell about the movie. The contest has parameters, kind of like the 48 hour movie challenge. Colleges and universities round Cincinnati had 10 days to write, shoot and edit a 6 minute movie that had to include:

*a character named William "Willie" Sudgrass and he had to be a truck driver
*two lines of dialogue
- "How long have you been sitting here?" Willie had to ask and
- "I don't know, boss. I've never seen him eat." Anyone could say that.
*a photo album, the essential prop

Our character, Willie, is an employee at a courier service that specializes in delivering to law firms round the city. He falls in love with a receptionist named Stacie at the law firm Benton and Rossi but an attorney there, Mr. Storm, gives Willie a hard time. Willie's roommate Burt gives him horrible but hilarious advice to get the girl but, of course, they don't work. It takes a near tragedy for Stacie to realize that Willie is the guy for her. I don't want to give it all away. I'll post a link as soon as I get the chance. :-)

31 March 2009

I woke up not too long ago worried about how I'm gonna pay my rent and bills. I have been laid-off for two-and-a-half months now and no matter how many applications I fill out and how many resumes I send I still don't have a job. I have been fortunate so far that I have people who have been able to help me but it gets annoying to always ask for help, especially when your used to doing things on your own. This all has been a very humbling experience for me.

There's a saying amongst the folks I volunteer with: "If you're gonna pray, don't worry; if you're gonna worry, don't pray." Good point. That's all I can really do right now because everything else isn't working. It doesn't mean that I won't continue to try.

Maybe I'll hit the lottery. Now...if only I had the dollar to by the mega millions ticket... Nah; time to fill out more applications.

29 March 2009

I rode through Avondale today and it was such a sad sight.

I remember playing at the park at the corner of Harvey and Hickory. Just a week-and-a-half ago, two men were killed execution style in a house on Hickory. I remember walking to school and stopping at the beauty supply store to get a lollipop from the owner. All that remains is a boarded up building with graffiti on it. What once was business and not so littered streets is now nothing but blight and tons of litter.

My mom was with Matt and me and she bumped into a guy she knew from back in the day. He bummed 45 cents off of her. When we hit the road again mom saw another woman that she said been on the streets bummin' for 20 years, addicted to crack. The man my mom knew looked to be more of an alcoholic than a crackhead.

"Crack and alcohol were the worst things to ever be introduced to the black community", I said. Matt and my mom agreed.

I really don't know or understand why these types of issues are so prevalent in my community. I have heard many theories but it seems that no one can come up with a concrete answer. I'd venture to say that there has to be more than one answer for such a complex issue.

The Obama administration is dedicated to fighting the drug war in Mexico. The stuff I've seen on the news and read online sounds like the stuff movies are made of. Very very scary things. But what I see happening in the old neighborhood seems to be the realization of my biggest fear--we, black folk, are perpetually cursed by... I don't know what exactly because, that too, is a complex issue.

Aren't we are more than drug addiction, liquor stores and hopelessness? We are a people of thinkers, artisit, inventors, teachers...positive contributors to our society. The black community can be greater than is it because were are very capable of being people who accomplish great things. I know we are and I know we can.

28 March 2009

Today was such a beautiful day--warm and sunny with so many flowers in bloom. I spent my Saturday afternoon at Washington Park with a group from Shiloh Seven-Day Adventist church feeding the homeless that hang in the park.

Everyone there isn't homeless because of misfortune, of course. You can look at the folks who can't help but to shake because of their alcoholism or you can see the gaunt features of the crack addicts who have yellowish burns on their thumb and index finger from the crack pipes they use. Either way these are people who need our help. Neglecting them because one doesn't want to admit that there's an issue isn't the way to go because it never works.

The city of Cincinnati seems to be good at doing that. For the longest time Washington Park and Over-the-Rhine were places "designated" for the poor, the addicted, the uneducated. Now that the city wants to turn the area round Washington Park into an arts district officials are jumping to fix things. Washington Park School, the neighborhood school, was torn down to create parking for Music Hall. A block up the new building for The School for Creative and Performing Arts is in the middle of being constructed. You have to audition to go there. That leaves the only neighborhood school 10+ blocks up from where Washington Park School was. Vine Street School is overcrowded and in need of renovation. The other neighborhood school, Rothenburg, was supposed to be renovated seven years ago but the Cincinnati Public School system proclaims that it doesn't have enough money to fix it. This school system is spending 72 million to build another SCPA but they don't seem care that the children of Over-the-Rhine are left hanging.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory wants federal money to build a trolleycar system. That wouldn't be such a bad idea if there weren't other pressing issues that need funding--schools, the Banks project, putting more cops and first responders on the streets, rehabbing Over-the-Rhine...