The Jillian's Controversy- Can This Historic Building be Saved?

The building that formerly housed Jilllian's on 12th street in Covington is not a protected historic building.

While the former Bavarian Brewery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it's not in a local zone. In addition, the National Register of Historic Places told me that as long as there are no federal monies attached to the building, "owners have no obligation to open their properties to the public, to restore them or even to maintain them, if they choose not to do so."

There's only way to stop a new buyer from doing whatever they want to the Jillian's brewery. If the city of Covington or the 12th Street development plan initiates a design review, there's hope that this building could be saved.

A brief history of the Covington Jillians Entertainment Complex:

  • In 1949, the Bavarian Brewery purchased the Heidelberg Brewery on West 12th and what's known today as "Jillians Way."

  • The International Brewing Company bought the Bavarian label rights and closed the plant in 1966.

  • After sitting vacant for years, Ken Lewis, the Party Source proprietor, purchased the property with the intention of demolishing it and building a new Party Source location.

  • Lewis instead remodeled to the tune of $11 million and opened Brew Works, a microbrewery. It did not fare well and in 1998, Louisville-based Jillian's opened the Jillian's Covington complex.

  • Jillian's shut down on July 27, 2006.

The property is currently assessed at $3.6 million.

I Confess. Now You Can Confess Too.

“The Number 23” opens at theaters everywhere today. The movie deals with secrets and the need to repent by confession. The movie’s promotion department is sponsoring a contest. Your videotaped confession (you can blur yourself out, tape in the dark, or do anything you need to do to guarantee anonymity) could win you $2300.

The Catholic season of Lent began Wednesday and marks the 40 days before Easter. During Lent, Catholics are encouraged to go to Confession. I never had much to confess when I was little and have never been to Confession as an adult (can you imagine how far the line would back up waiting for me to finish?). I maintain that I live life without regret, but there are a few things I am sorry for.

I confess: I’m sorry I did that stupid, hurtful thing. I think about it still and it rankles every time I remember. I hope you’ve forgiven me, and I hope that you’ve had many successes in your life since then.

Videotape your confession and submit it to YouTube for a crack at winning $2300.
Or, post your confession here in the blog comments and you’ll win my admiration instead. Whether that’s worth $2300 is up for debate.

You Want Fries With That? The Argument for Dining at Locally Owned Restaurants in Northern Kentucky.

I don’t eat at franchised restaurants. At least not by choice. If a client suggests a chain restaurant for lunch, I’m too polite to tell them I don’t want to go. But when given the chance, I’ll always pick a locally-owned restaurant to dine.

Reasons to eat at a locally owned restaurant in Northern Kentucky:
  1. The food is better at locally owned and operated restaurants. I have heard, but can’t authenticate, that much of the food at franchised restaurants is prepared, frozen and shipped to satellite locations to be heated up and served to unknowing customers. That isn’t always true. It is true that the food, prepared on or off-premises, is based on test market-approved recipes that are designed to appeal to the masses.

  2. There’s a distinct lack of ambience at franchised restaurants. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way. I know that for me, this feeling is compounded by my previous life as a business traveler. Franchised restaurants feel the same to me, no matter what the style of food served. Perhaps some people feel a sense of comfort at seeing the same wagon wheel at every steak house they visit. For me, it feels more like I’m looking at the golden arches, a playground and straw wrappers on the floor.

  3. I eat at locally owned restaurants to help support the small businessperson. I am a small businessperson. And I think we should all be helping each other to succeed.

I think the quality of the food, the ingenuity used to smarten up the dishes and the overall look and feel of locally owned restaurants are important reasons to choose them over their franchised competitors. I know I don’t want to go out to eat something I could make at home.

I want a night out to more closely resemble dining with my parents when I was a little kid. My parents, who also eschew franchises, always chose locally owned restaurants when I was growing up in Eugene, Oregon. When we relocated to the tri-state, they again sought out tiny supper clubs, local taverns and locally owned restaurants on a grander scale to dine.

We have a lot of great neighborhood bars and restaurants to go to in Northern Kentucky. Yes, we have our fair share of chain restaurants too, but there’s a good mix of places like the Loyal in Bellevue, York Street Café in Newport and many more great places to eat in the historic Mainstrasse district.

The next time you’re heading out to dinner, consider your options carefully- and make it a night to remember.

Oscar Treadwell Benefit Back On & Some More Local Jazz News

Sweet Love: A Tribute Concert to Cincinnati DJ Oscar Treadwell has been rescheduled for Monday, April 23rd at the Madison Theater in Covington.

Mary Ellen Tanner & John Von Ohlen got a recurring gig at Chez Nora beginning in April. More details to come...

Finding a Good Mechanic in Northern Kentucky. And Remembering the General Lee.

When I was in college I drove an old Mustang. Not a cool old Mustang. A 1979 Indy Pace car. Some of my (guy) friends liked it, but from the beginning I had my suspicions that it was really just a hunk of junk.

When I first test-drove the Mustang, I noticed the brakes were shot. I still remember the owner leaning in through the window and telling me that if I got in a jam, I could always “yank on the emergency brake.” I drove it home at a top speed of 10 miles an hour.

Then the driver’s side door handle quit working. Solution? I left the window down all the time and slipped in through the window when I was ready to go. When you do this upwards of 10 times a day, you perfect the move pretty quickly. The only part of my body that touched the door was my hands. Other than the “yo, General Lee!” and “Hey Bo Duke!” comments it didn’t bother me a bit.

One time my college boyfriend borrowed the Mustang and dropped me off at school. An hour later, he was back.

Me: “What happened?”

Him: “I lost a tire.”

Me: “What do you mean you lost a tire?”

Him: “It fell off when I was driving up the hill.”

Me, ever-concerned for his well-being and safety: “Did you get it back?”

Then I started having muffler problems, the really loud kind of muffler problems. When I’d go through drive-thrus, the impatient order takers would tell me to “Turn off your car. We can’t hear over your engine.” Indignant, when I reached the pay window I’d crisply tell them my car was not too loud, while they all rolled their eyes at each other.

The good old American way of making cars easily (too easily) let you lock your keys in your car. I did it so often I started leaving emergency sets of keys at all of my friends’ houses.

Finally, the floorboards starting rusting, and I had to insert a board under the driver’s seat to prevent it from hanging through the gaping hole. The Mustang quickly went from the General Lee to the Fred Flintstone, as friends joked that I’d need to use my feet to put on the brakes by the end of summer.

When you buy used cars, you take your chances. Your mechanic becomes an entrusted friend and your lifeline to the outside world. I’ve struggled through many a bad garage relationship, until I found Mark’s Garage in Southgate.

I like working with Mark. He’s honest, upfront, and personable, too. He remembers me every time I come in (not often) and he always gives me a lift home when I have to leave my truck at the garage (not often). The mechanics at Mark’s Garage do their thing efficiently, and, just as important, in the timeframe they say they will. The minimum DIY that I attempt has been helped along by Mark, who’s always willing to give out advice.

I don’t drive a pace car now. But I still need to know that I can rely on my mechanic. I’m happy to say that I found my mechanic of choice.

Mark’s Garage
2301 Alexandria Pike
Southgate, KY 41071
(859) 572-0600

Design Competition Calls For Best Derby Day Hat Designs

Submit a design sketch for a Kentucky Derby hat that includes a way to incorporate Chrysler Sebring soft top fabric, and you might just win a trip to the Derby (top three finalists), or a 2008 Sebring convertible (grand prize winner).

Churchill Downs has been hit as hard as the other Kentucky horse parks, laying off 30% of their full-time staff at the end of last year and selling Hollywood Park in California and Ellis Park in Kentucky. The attempts to reorganize coincided with the hiring of new CEO Robert Evans in August.

I will post my Derby picks soon. So far I like Any Given Saturday.

Enter the Derby hat design contest at the Chrysler Web site. Entries accepted on-line through March 5th. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by March 5th.

The Ritualistic Mating Call of the Architect

There’s an architecture firm around the corner. I pass it on my almost-daily morning trudge (lately through snow and ice) to buy my diet coke. The building is something of an oddity in the Covington riverside district, because it isn’t historic. It’s a modern structure, encased in black-tinted glass.

Every once in a while when I walk by the building, I’ll hear a frantic knocking on the glass. Since the glass is black, I can’t see in to know what the fuss is about. Is this the ritualistic mating call of the architect? Or just a spunky intern? It’s a mystery, but it strikes my funny bone every time I walk down the street.

And strangely, it makes me feel like a little kid again. I am tempted, when I walk past my dark reflection, to turn a cartwheel. To do a little quick-step with some hot jazz hands. And, inevitably, to do an improvised snow angel, flush against the glass while sticking out my tongue. Weird, right?

Maybe it is strange. But how many opportunities do you have after the age of 12 to act like a little kid? And when I was 12, I wanted nothing more than to be an adult.

When I was in Oregon at Christmas, my niece and I talked about her angst-filled adolescence. She wants what all kids want, to be grown-up and on her own. I tried to explain that it all passes in a blink. That 20 years from now, she’ll want nothing more than freedom from bills, societal pressures and the general stress of trying to get by. Actually, I summed up her impending adulthood thusly: “It’s all just bills.”

But I know how she feels.

Like most little girls, I experimented with wearing make-up and high heels and other “adult” trappings, desperately wishing to be a grown-up. If I knew then that one day, I’d want nothing more than the freedom to be a little kid again, I would have taken each day a little more slowly, and savored my independence.

Chances are, the knocking on the glass at the architecture company comes from some part-time employee or off-hours member of staff. It hasn’t happened often, and I’m sure the regular, full-time employees are far too busy (and adult) to notice the curious passer-by.

I may never know who’s on the other side of the glass. But it always makes me smile.

KY Bans Same Sex Insurance. Hell.

Senate Bill 152, banning same-sex health insurance for most public agencies, passed the senate easily last week, 8-0.

The Bill became numero uno for its proponents after the University of Louisville started offering domestic partner benefits January 1.

Despite dire warnings of a massive liability exposure, only eight employees have taken advantage of U of L benefits for their partners. U of L President James Ramsey fought against the bill, stating it affects the school's ability to hire from a talented and diverse pool of professorial applicants. And besides, other schools are doing it.

"The intent of the bill is to protect marriage and protect the family structure," McGaha, R-Russell Springs, told reporters.

By the way, this bill also affects unadopted grandchildren, siblings and parents of employees, even if the employee has custody of the relative.

As my niece would say, "that ain't right."

Ohio Smoking Ban- Count Your Blessings

To Delete or Not to Delete? That’s the Question I Wish I Would Have Asked.

I had to switch cell phones twice last year. First I upgraded, and then I had some problems, so I took it back a couple of months later and upgraded again.

Both times, I was incensed at the number of phone numbers that I lost in the upgrade process. If you’re like me, you quit updating your address book (I was never very good at updating my address book anyway) once cell phones came into the picture. The idea that the SIM card only holds 200 numbers was not something I was prepared for, and both upgrades seriously drained my list of contacts.

There is, of course, another way of cleaning up your cell phone. In the old days, we crossed out old contacts in our address books. “Old contacts” might refer to a friend that moved, or it might mean something else, like “I’ll never speak to that blanking blankety blank again!”

So when it came to managing my mobile phone’s memory, I was all too glad to click on that very satisfying delete button when it came to wiping ex-boyfriends’ phone numbers. However. This quickly presented a problem.

I’m self employed. So when the phone rings, I answer it. If it’s a phone number I don’t recognize, chances are it’s related to a gig. But when I deleted The Jerk’s phone numbers from my mobile, I hadn’t realized I was effectively deleting my Caller ID, too. So when he called- as he occasionally does- I was caught out.

The call went well. We caught up for the first time in years and, having a lot of friends in common, we had lots to talk about. Unfortunately and inevitably though, the call ended with an invitation to lunch.

“I’ll think about it,” I said cautiously. “It’s never worked out for us before so I am not sure there is much point.” (This sounds harsher than it really was. Friends, etc. know that I am very honest and open and would expect no less from me.) “But I will think about it and maybe I’ll give you a call.”

I meant what I said, that things had never gone well for us in the past, and that I would consider having lunch. And that maybe I would give him a call. No hidden agendas, no stringing him along, just that I would think about it. I thought that was a fair response. He seemed to think so too, and we ended the call on good terms.

However. Here is what happened next:

  1. I saved his number, With His Name, so that I could effectively Caller ID him on my cell phone when or if he ever called me again. This was fortuitous because:
  2. After about a week, he called to remind me of the lunch invitation. Then the next day he called again. And again. And again. He called more than 20 times in just under a week, leaving me a half dozen voicemails.
  3. I didn’t intend to ignore him. I missed the first call because I was driving with the radio at top volume. When I heard the voicemail I thought, well, maybe. But then I had a big project due and I was madly working on my deadline. And then I got that nasty cold that’s been sweeping the tri-state.

And after a few days, he was kind of freaking me out. That much intensity from someone whom I’m not involved with, and haven’t seen for several years, was just not welcome.

The strange thing is that's really not like him. Yes, he has a lot of intensity, but I don’t remember him ever acting like this before. Actually, it’s more like something I would do.

In the past, if I thought that I had offended someone, or that they were somehow upset with me, I would call them repeatedly to try to get a handle on the situation. What I’ve learned, over time, is that no, these people were not upset with me. In fact, they hardly noticed and didn’t even remember my imagined transgression. They definitely were not put off by me, though they did seem puzzled by my worry and concern.

So I can relate. But I also feel like I didn’t promise anything, and we left the ball in my court, so to speak. I don’t feel obligated to return the call. But there is a part of me that remembers the old anxieties and how badly I handled a couple of potential (now lifeless) relationships.

With the minimum amount of soul-searching that I can muster (you’re reading it all here), I know that I’ve learned an important lesson. When I buy my Blackberry next month, I’m recording every name and number on my phone and moving it to my newest method of communication.

If I need to feel the satisfaction of deleting anyone, I’ll instead borrow a friend’s idea. Constantly squabbling with boyfriends, she changes their name to *$#%! when they’ve had a particularly nasty throw-down. That makes it really easy to decide whether or not to take the call.

Independence Branch of Kenton County Library Opens: Old Branch For Sale

Photo courtesy of local photographer Harry Kran-Annexstein of Cincinnati, Ohio. Check out more of Harry's beautiful frozen Cincinnati photos at Flickr.

After a few delays, the new William E. Durr library is open for business in Independence (it was originally scheduled to open in 2006). Meanwhile, the old branch of the library is for sale for a cool $1.3 million. The word is that no one is buying much of anything in Independence, as locals collectively hold their breath, waiting to see where the Kenton County jail will end up.

Kenton County judge Drees is giving Independence opponents of the new jail a couple more weeks to come up with their list of alternative sites for the jail. Are they just postponing the inevitable? Or do Independence residents really have a shot at getting the Covington jail site moved?

The new William E. Durr Library is located at 1992 Walton-Nicholson Road in Independence, KY. Phone: 859-962-4030

Question: Who are the people that bootleg proofread all of the books I check out from the Kenton County library? Why do you do it?

Things to do Today in Northern Kentucky:

  1. Visit the new Kenton County library in Independence. Consider purchasing a commemorative plaque, ranging from $50 to $500. Proceeds benefit the Library Foundation.

  2. E-mail the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and ask them why they don't have one event listed on their Web site's event calendar. Since most people like to plan ahead, a listing of events for At Least the next three months is a must-have for effective public relations. Six months would be better.

  3. Yes, it's cold. And it snowed. That's no reason to miss the 2007 Mainstrasse Mardi Gras Grande Parade beginning tonight at 7:45 p.m. $15 tickets get you into the festival and all of the bars and more importantly, support the Covington Mainstrasse Association.

Teenage Girl Hasn't Stopped Hiccuping for 3 Weeks

Jennifer Mee is on the Today show this morning, hiccuping every other second. News stories claim she hiccups 50 times a minute. It's painful to watch.

Everyone in my family gets the hiccups. And we all get the hiccups very loudly. My cure-all for hiccups has always been, drink upside down. It usually works. Holding my breath and swallowing hard is another alternative that I've had some success with.

Of course, poor Miss Mee has tried every hiccup remedy known to man, with no success. Suggestions that came to Today included acupuncture and going to a Chiropractor. She's willing to try almost anything.

What are your ideas for a successful hiccups remedy? I'll e-mail the best ideas to the Today show.

One Man’s Argument Against Daylight Saving Time

Photo courtesy of local photographer Harry Kran-Annexstein of Cincinnati, Ohio. Check out more of Harry's beautiful frozen Cincinnati photos at Flickr.

My friend Stu and I were recently lamenting the bad weather. “Cheer up;” I told him, “spring is right around the corner. Daylight Saving Time starts next month!”

“I don’t understand Daylight Saving Time,” says Stu. “Time is a human construct anyway.” (Yeah, he’s one of those). “Why do we even have it?”

“Well,” I explained, “it was started for a number of reasons, mostly relating to saving energy, so we have longer days.”

Stu: “Changing the time doesn’t make the day longer. You do that yourself, by what time you get up or go to sleep.”

Me: “But we all follow the same clock. So if we get up later and stay up later, and have more sun, the day is actually longer.”

Stu: “Well I think it’s stupid. And I’m not doing it.”

Me: “What do you mean you’re not doing it? How can you not follow Daylight Saving Time?”

Stu: “I’m just not doing it. I’m not changing any of my clocks next month.”

Me: “Let me get this straight. So you, Stu, in addition to Arizona and some outlying US islands, will not adhere to Daylight Saving Time?”

Stu: “I’m not doing it.”

Me: “But what will your customers do?” (Stu is self employed too.) “How will they know what time to come over for appointments if you’re operating under a different time zone?”

Stu “They’ll have to get on my time zone.”

An updated list of areas in the U.S. that do not observe DST but instead stay on standard time all year round, for your consideration: AZ, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa. And Stu’s house.

Update: Ashlet Tongret to Appear on Jeopardy Next Month

Now that the Community Press has broken the story about a Covington resident appearing on Jeopardy next month, we can share it here, too. Our own Historic Preservation Officer, Ashley Tongret, will appear on Jeopardy in March.

10 Reasons to Love Cincinnati Craigslist Right Now

I have been using craigslist for several years, and it’s finally starting to catch on in greater Cincinnati. Craigslist is a comprehensive community network with free classifieds including notices for jobs, housing and personals.

Cincinnati craiglist still has a long way to go to become as useful as its east and west coast counterparts, but lately it’s improving.

10 reasons why I am loving cincinnati craigslist right now:

  1. Because when someone moving from Chicago posted asking about good neighborhoods in Cincinnati, the responses ranged from “Avondale” to “stay where you are.”
  2. Porn under the guise of singles ads.
  3. Lame attempts to follow up with people after they were too shy to talk to them in person in craigslist “missed encounters.” Sometimes these are just (even more) lame attempts to disguise singles ads (“To the beautiful blonde I saw downtown today…”). Sometimes they are the real deal, as when a young woman tracked down her child’s father- he never knew he had a baby.
  4. “Rants” that some people take to the excess, writing for hours in that age-old battle of on-line wits. Very few seem marked as winners. Except maybe the fed-up posters: “We all smoke. We all speed. Who cares?”
  5. I have picked up a lot of freelance work through craigslist. In addition, headhunters and recruiters from the world’s best companies are out there looking through craigslist. I’ve been contacted by AOL, PayPal and CNET, to name a few.
  6. best-of-craigslist posts are nominated by craigslist readers. Some of the best-of-craigslist postings right now include a rant against craigslist women’s singles ads called Maddening Phrases from w4m (although he does exactly what he purports to dislike) and Will pay to catch your cold!
  7. Cincinnati homes listed as “vacation rentals.”
  8. The Barter section has items listed that the owners will often trade for “anything.”
  9. The craigslist forums, especially haiku, etiquette and kink. Recent posting from kink: “Where do kinky bloggers go?” Response: “In my lungs and sometimes up my…”
  10. And of course, the “free” section on craigslist. I haven’t found my favorite free item yet, but it’s always fun to troll this section.

I am not crazy about the prostitutes posting their wares and their rates on-line in the erotic services area, but that’s vice’s problem.

Craigslist is currently looking for “missed encounters” success stories for publication.

Al Franken: Breaking the Tim Robbins Rule

Al Franken announced that he will run for senate next year. Political watchdog USA Today says Franken's decision "instantly makes him a serious contender and brings national attention to the race."

Franken made the announcement to run for US senator on the last day of his Air America radio show.

Snow Day: Northern Kentucky Snow Closings For February 13, 2007

Everything related to education is closed. In addition, the Campbell County library will open at 11 am on Wednesday and Crescent Springs, Kentucky is under a snow emergency.

The Kenton County Web site outlines a snow emergency thusly:

"During Snow Emergencies, where snowfall accumulation is 2 inches or greater, no vehicle may be parked and no person , corporation, partnership, joint venture, unincorporated association, or any combination thereof may park or permit any vehicle to be parked upon any public road right of way.

Any person violating any provision of this ordinance, or any lawful order, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to it, may be issued a citation by the Kenton County Police, Sheriff, or any duly authorized official; and upon conviction, shall pay a fine of not less than twenty ($20.00) dollars nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars."

Meanwhile, the snow has clogged the street drains throughout Covington, so driving around town was liking navigating a small creek today. Should be fabulous when it ices over tonight.

So go home, already.

Read the full list of school closings in the tri-state area.

Year in Review: Omnicare faces fraud charges, an FDA crackdown and personnel changes and moves. Whatever will they do for an encore?

  • Last year, Omnicare's #1 guy in Michigan was indicted on 148 charges of fraud.
  • A few months ago, Omnicare paid out almost $50 million to settle their whistleblower Medicare fraud claims suit. The company switched brand-name drugs with generic drugs to get more Medicaid dollars, prompting Kentucky Attorney General Stumbo to go on record saying "This company puts profits above patients."
  • Last month, Omnicare received a warning letter from the FDA citing the company's past problems complying with FDA safety regulations:

    "because of your firm's compliance history, the serious nature of the observed violations, and the significant risk to consumers associated with the CGMP deviations involving potential product contamination and product mix-up. Due to the large number of significant deficiencies cited, we thought it would be useful to group the observations in a systematic approach."

  • Omnicare brought in a new COO last month too, after terminating their last COO's contract several months early.

What’s next for Omnicare?

Rumors are swirling:

#1 The HMIS division of Omnicare was hit with the announcement that their billing department is moving to Allentown, PA. Employees claim they were promised that no changes would happen, and additional rumors are swirling that HMIS will shut down and move to Annapolis.

#2 Nursing home franchises continue to pull the plug on their OCR agreement.

Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky: Bridging the Past with the Present or Intellects on Strike?

Some Fast Facts about the upcoming Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky:

  • 1,200 pages; 2,100+ entries may grow considerably.
  • 2 Co-Editors, 6 Associate Editors, 20 Topical Editors, 350+ Authors are working to publish the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky.
  • The Northern Kentucky Encyclopedia will include data from 11 Counties: Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Mason, Owen, Pendleton, and Robertson.
  • $726,000 Budget
Originally slated to be published this year, it looks like we'll have to wait for 08 to buy a copy. Visit the Web site to share your photos or ideas for the encyclopedia before they shut the door on submissions.

Sidenote: I work in organic SEO so I often "view source" when I visit Web sites. It's an unbreakable habit. I thought it was curious that the city of Covington Libertas Technologies programmer is an Ayn Rand fan, leaving this in the enyclopedia's home page source: Who is John Galt? I wasn't sure how to take that, but some on-line research indicates a John Galt Web site template was probably used. Or does it?

Restaurant Review: Newport Kentucky's Arnies on the Levee

Last night we tried to eat at Pomipillio's in Newport but they were packed, with a 40 minute wait to seat two people. We moved on to Mythos for mousaka, but they were closed. By then, Someone was Very Hungry so we went to Arnie's on the Levee, since we were, after all, Already There.

Even with a poker tourney in progress, Arnie's on the Levee seemed to be operating at about 20% capacity. The few people there that were not part of the game appeared to be emloyees.

A welcoming sign explained the rules of the road in re to appropriate dress. Apparently Arnie's of Newport has had some issues with gang activity. I am guessing this is of the mall rat variety because of its proximity to the world's fair (Arnie's is across from the Levee). My only real disagreement here, the sign stated plain white tee shirts are not allowed. I like to wear plain white t-shirts. Unfortunately, we were too hungry for me to run home and put one on, then run back and defiantly ask to be seated.

In a nutshell: The food at Arnies on the Levee was terrible, terribly overpriced, and not terribly warm on one of the coldest nights of the year. Even with bar food, I'd like it to be a little bit better than what I could have made myself. We tried several items and agreed, Arnie's food was just not good. Our server was nice, though.

I won't go back unless I am trapped into it. Not likely since everyone that knows me knows that I avoid the Levee at all costs, all the time. Why eat and drink at a mall when you have Southgate, Mainstrasse and the Covington arts district all within a mile or two?

Update to Sweet Love Tribute blog

The sweet love tribute to Cincinnati DJ Oscar Treadwell scheduled for tonight at the Madison Theater has been canceled due to weather. The Madison is asking people to hang on to their tickets.

My hair appointment for tomorrow afternoon was moved to Wednesday, also in anticipation of bad weather. Not sure what that means since nothing is happening outside at all right now. However, I have it on good authority that spring is imminent. An excerpt from a recent phone call with my mother, who's currently living it up in AZ:

"That animal? The one who lives underground or whatever? Came out and missed seeing his, what, shadow? So spring will start soon."

I gather she's talking about the groundhog. And yes, mom was on the money- Phil missed seeing his shadow and spring is (I hope, I hope) right around the corner. I can't take all of these schedule changes.

Word of Mouth blog- Epic Tales From a City Held Hostage

Kelly is a professional writer with a number of books under her belt and a widespread experience.

I love reading her entertaining blogs about Northern Ohio, her life and times. Stop by the famed word of mouth blog site to read her latest, In Defense of Imagination.

Ashland Oil Drops Off Chicago Stock Exchange To Save Money; Top Execs Pull Down Millions

A recent recap of Covington-based Ashland Inc. trials and tribulations:

  • Ashland Oil is exiting the Chicago Stock Exchange to save on fees. Hmm.
  • Ashland Inc. lost the DOW contract, a move that's finalized next month. Oh.
  • Ashland Distribution reported $14 million in operating income for the December 06 quarter, compared to more than $34 million the year before. Ouch.
  • In December, APAC, The Ashland Inc transportation division, sent letters of intent to 1100 employees, offering a vountary buy-out. Uh-oh.
  • Gelosa and Cappeline's "retirement" has many shareholders wringing their hands. Yes?
  • Nothing is confirmed, but Ashland Distribution may soon be cutting back on sales staff to help slow the drain, too.
Yet Ashland Oil has some of the highest paid execs in the industry today. Group Operating Officer Jim (JJ) O'Brien pulls down $13 million and is lauded on message boards as the decade's answer to Gordon Gecko. Hardly a fair comparison. Gecko didn't marry into the family biz. He made his money the old-fashioned way, by pillaging and plundering.

Still, Ashland Distribution employees state it's a great place to work in all of the employee surveys. But then again, does anyone tell the truth on those things?

Somewhere, Gordon Gecko is laughing up his sleeve. Greed is Good.