Page 1

january 2014

volume 1 | issue 4


Worker-Owned Grocery in Northside


The “S” Word, A History


Not-so-New Bike Shop Takes Root in Northside






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celia yost

elia Yost was born in Seattle, Washington, but has lived in Ohio for most of her life, and has called Northside home for four years. She received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2007 and spent several years working as a freelance illustrator before getting her current job as a graphic designer. Her art tends to focus on human influenced landscapes and more surreal scenes from her imagination. Also, monsters, because those are fun to draw.

CALL TO ARTISTS | MONTHLY COVER ART Monthly Cover Art submissions: The Northsider is seeking monthly cover art submissions from local artists. Artists will be paid $40 for published covers. All 2 dimensional pieces will be considered. One stipulation of publication is that the piece or a print be donated to The Northsider Annual Art Auction Fundraiser. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be reinvested in a fund to support art projects in Northside. The remainder will help support the paper. If you are interested in having your artwork considered: email: Subject line: Cover Art Submission 2 vol. 1 | Issue 4 JAN 14’






Barry Schwartz, Kristen Barker, Anne Steinert, Mike Moroski, Steve Sunderland, Larry Wells, Alisa Balestra, Tommy Reuff, Kristen St. Clair, Vanessa Thurman, Lora Jost

artwork: Celia Yost, Anne Steinert, Mike Moroski, Larry Wells, Andrea Millette, Tommy Reuff, Kristen St. Clair

volunteer advisory committee: Jeni Jenkins, James Kinsman, James HellerJackson, Barry Scwartz, Karen Andrew, Mark Christol.

layout, Design and editorial management Jeni Jenkins of Uncaged Bird Design Studio

delivery team James Moore, Stephen Davis, James HellerJackson, SaraLynne Thoresen, ThoraLynne McKinney, Mati Senerchia, Noeli Senerchia, Jacob Walker, Jared Walker, Isaac Hunter, Evan Hunter, Owen Hunter, Kirah Hickman, Margaret Roe.



Mission statement:

As an independent monthly communication, The Northsider’s mission is to engage and inform about life and culture in the Northside Neighborhood. As such, The Northsider is committed to providing timely, quality and informative community news and opinions while embracing the diversity of the neighborhood.

organizational structure: The Northsider is a Nonprofit Limited Liability Company overseen by the Northside Community Council. The Northside Community Council is a volunteer, community-based organization that provides an opportunity for all individuals and groups in the community to participate in Northside’s present and to chart Northside’s future. As such, it is committed to bringing people of diverse backgrounds and opinions together in an atmosphere that fosters cooperation and communication. The Northside Community Council meets the third Monday of the month, (except January and February, fourth Monday due to holidays) at 7:00 pm at McKie Recreational Center, 1655 Chase Avenue. The Northsider Monthly newspaper is published on the first Friday of the month and is distributed to businesses and residents living in the 45223 zip code. life & culture 45223


CAIN Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | 2nd Annual Personal Care & Hygiene Drive


hurches Active in Northside (CAIN) honors the spirit of Dr. King by hosting our second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Personal Care & Hygiene Drive. This initiative provides Northside residents a way to extend a hand to neighbors in need to continue to strengthen the community. CAIN hosts an MLK Day of Service event as part of our participation in the AmeriCorps Vista program. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. Each week, CAIN volunteers and donor answer that question by providing basic food and necessities to neighbors in need. Each month, nearly 500 Northside households receive food, necessities and critical support during times of uncertainty and challenge. CAIN staff and volunteers greet and meet each guest individually: listening, offering encouragement, and assessing the level of assistance needed. All are served with mind-


fulness and compassion. The need for personal care and hygiene items is second only to food by those who visit CAIN’s Rainbow Choice Food Pantry. Week after week, the hygiene shelves in the CAIN Choice Pantry are emptied quickly and guests routinely request more of these basic and critical hygiene items than we can provide. Some people come to our pantry just to get these items. A mother of teens sums it up: “If I wasn’t able to get hygiene products for my kids I’m afraid their self-esteem would suffer. CAIN provides, soap, shampoo and cleaning supplies we would otherwise go without.” Basic essential personal hygiene products including soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, diapers and toilet paper cannot be purchased with food stamps. They tend to be expensive to purchase and are also taxable, which adds to their cost. CAIN depends on individual financial contributions and donations of hygiene items to meet the needs in our community. Last year over 3500 items were donated. This year we are aiming for 5000

which will stock the pantry for almost 3 months! YOU can help and honor the legacy of Dr. King by: -purchasing and donating extra personal care items -making a financial contribution designated to MLK Hygiene Drive - coordinating a drive and hosting a barrel at your school, church, workplace - volunteering before or during the MLK Day event. On Saturday, January 11 from 9:30 to 11:30, volunteers are needed to distribute bags on identified streets, hang flyers and place collection barrels at designated locations. On Monday, January 20th from 9:30 to 2:30, volunteers are needed to collect and sort items. Donations can also be dropped directly to CAIN on MLK day, January 20th, 10:30 to 12:30 PM Please call Dave at 513.470.0935 or email at to sign up, or for more information about the drive.

BY David Payton

Dave is CAIN’s AmeriCorps Vista ‘Healthy Food for All Advocate’ and coordinates CAIN’s “Healthy Food for All” Initiative.

Northside community council Nominates Officers for 2014

he Northside Community Council has nominated the following slate of officers for 2014. Members of the community council will vote for officers at the next meeting, the fourth Monday of January, which is scheduled for January 24, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. at McKie. You must be a member to vote. You may join the NCC at that meeting if you wish to vote. We are very thankful to the outgoing offices and those who are willing to serve in 2014. They have agreed to help out their community and get involved.

President- Oliver Kroner Vice President- Sue Wilke Board Secretary - Barry Schwartz Treasurer- Dan Majesky Council Secretary- Fred Neurohr Membership Secretary- Mati Senerchia Directors at Large (second year of two year term): James Kinsman Jonathan Sears Mary Jo Minerich Those running for Directors at Large (vote for 3): George Murray James Heller-Jackson Ray Allen Martha Dourson

We look forward to seeing all of you at that meeting.

BY Barry Schwartz Barry is a retired city planner and is currently the board secretary on the Northside Community Council, the Northside COP team, and the steering committee of the Northside Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update.

wanted: contributors


vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 3


Worker-Owned Grocery in northside


hen Save-a-lot closed and an affordable grocery option disappeared, Northsiders jumped in immediately to analyze the problem and come up with solutions. The Northside Community Council created an ad-hoc committee. People from Happen and CAIN began conducting surveys of former Save-A-Lot shoppers to better understand how people were being affected by the closure. Neighborhood architects did a study of the challenges and opportunities for repurposing the former Save-A-Lot into a new full service grocery. Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI), a non-profit that partners with others to develop worker owned businesses that create family sustaining jobs , was asked if we could help develop a worker owned grocery store for Northside. Avondale and College Hill residents extended CUCI similar invitations. We said yes!

So, the goal : Develop a small chain of sustainable worker owned grocery stores that offer quality, affordable products in neighborhoods with low food access while creating family sustaining jobs for residents. Easy? NO. Possible? YES. Why? • An awesome project team that includes the experienced Ohio Employee Ownership Center who is leading the feasibility study (due February 28). • Technical assistance from Uplift Solutions, who helps grocers find a way to create sustainable stores in food desert areas, • Support from the United Food and Commercial Workers, connections to dozens of their members with 30+ years experience managing different grocery store departments • Technical assistance from Mondragon, world’s most successful network of worker-owned cooperatives (over 100 cooperatives, 80,000 employees and $24 billion annual sales)

• Extremely motivated and engaged residents! We need your help! Please fill out the enclosed survey and drop it off at Happen. If they are open, you can be entered into a raffle to win a $20 gift certificate to a Northside vendor. Consider participating in Save-A-Lot meetings every other week. The next Save-A-Lot replacement meeting is Wed, January 8, 6:30 - 8:00pm at McKie. For more info on CUCI visit:

BY Kristen Barker Kristen is the President of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative. As a community organizer for the past 12 years, she fosters faith, labor & community partnerships. She is the mother of a resilient daughter with special needs. She is a lifelong Cincinnati resident (except 2 years in El Salvador) and lives in Northside.

eighth annual Up for Grabs Day in Northside


he eighth annual Up for Grabs Day in Northside is coming up this month! We hope you’ll join us for this super fun way to build community and save reusable goods from the landfill. This year’s Up for Grabs Day will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from Noon to 4 pm. Up for Grabs Day is a completely free reuse event! The price of admission is at least two reusable items to donate (but feel free to bring a truck load - the event is more fun if there’s lots of good stuff!). You sort your own stuff onto tables by category (listed below) and then you’re free to take as much stuff home as you want. You can come back as many times as you like over the course of the event as long as you bring more stuff to donate. Please remember that items at up for grabs day are for personal use only and are not to

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be sold or used for profit. Our goal is to bring like-minded people (the Northside state of mind) together for a fun day while at the same time help people streamline and clean out their lives, and redistribute items to those who will use them in hopes of keeping useful items out of landfills. All unclaimed items are donated to charities including CAIN, the public library, and St. Vincent DePaul at the end of the day. The categories for Up for Grabs Day are: Office, Lawn & Garden, Housewares, Linens, Appliances, Electronics, Health & Beauty, Books/Movies/Music, Pets, Crafts, Art, Toys & Games, Sports & Fitness, Shoes, Accessories, Baby Items, Children’s Clothes, Men’s Clothes, Women’s Clothes, Holiday, Hardware, Luggage, Furniture, Oversize (for items too big to bring to UFG Day, please bring a picture to post on our oversize bulletin board).

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Check us out on facebook to volunteer or for updates about this awesome event!

BY Anne Steinert


The “S” Word, A History


t’s the word that you have to think twice about before uttering at family gatherings. It’s the topic that may or may not be a good idea to bring up at a bar or restaurant depending in which neighborhood you are. It’s the word that, if used in a Facebook post, could potentially garner you over 200 “likes” and over 60 really angry comments. It conjures images of hope for some; hatred and waste for others. It promises significant return on investment (ROI) for some; guaranteed layoffs for the City’s safety personnel for others. It is “sound investment” for some; it is an “amusement park ride” for others. Guessed the “S” word yet? I imagine you have – the streetcar. There are few, perhaps no, issues that I have seen divide this City more than the streetcar in the (going on) 17 years that I have lived in Cincinnati. Yes, the riots divided us, but not in the same way as the streetcar. The riots were a reaction to years of mistreatment & ignorance. One could claim, if one were so inclined, that the riots ultimately brought the City together and forced us to have a serious conversation about race issues (note that I do not feel we have had these conversations yet – not to the extent that we could, at least). The same phenomenon, that of bringing people together, cannot (yet) be said for the streetcar. The riots pitted groups of people against one another, but the dividing lines were clear and you always knew who was on whose side. The streetcar, on the other hand, has made strange bedfellows indeed (e.g., local Democrats and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, or, COAST). Now, do not get me wrong, the events surrounding the riots were (and are) far more significant than the issue of the streetcar, but those events in 2001 are the only ones that seem to serve as a “counterpoint” to the strange events of the past few

Councilmembers who voted to continue the streetcar (from left to right) Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld, Yvette Simpson, Wendell Young, Kevin Flynn, David Mann, their six votes were required to disable Cranley from vetoing the ordinance to continue construction. Photo: Mike Moroski

months regarding the streetcar. And my human mind, like all human minds, desires comparison when looking to make sense of current realities. All that said, I was asked to write about the history of the streetcar for the Northsider. That is a tall order unless the editors of this publication desire a 400 page dissertation. So, I will stick to the basic facts, and, with this publication’s blessing, add an editorial comment or two. In 2002 a comprehensive light rail plan was introduced to the City of Cincinnati. It looks very similar to the one that opponents of the streetcar say would be a “good investment” today – you know, the one that opponents always compare to the current streetcar, saying the one we have now doesn’t go “far enough.” Well, these very same people said the one in 2002 was “too big.” The voters of Hamilton County shot down this proposal, called MetroMoves, by nearly a two to one ratio. But that’s not the end of the story, it gets much better. After

the voters shot down this proposal, Governor John Kasich gave $400 million in high speed rail funding back to the Federal government. This left Cincinnati in a bind. If we wanted light rail, we would have to go our own way and leave Columbus out of it. It deserves to be mentioned at this point that President Barack Obama is a huge fan of rail and transit. It was Obama’s administration that gave outgoing Democratic Governor Ted Strickland the $400 million for comprehensive light rail. It was then Republican Governor John Kasich who immediately gave it back. So, Democratic Mayor, Mark Mallory, decided to go ahead and get his own money for his own City. And that’s precisely what Mayor Mallory did. In 2007, five years after MetroMoves failed at the ballot box, Cincinnati completed its own feasibility study to determine if modern streetcars would be beneficial to our City’s urban core. It was determined that they were

beneficial to the region and would garner a significant ROI for the City. On April 23rd, 2008, Cincinnati City Council voted to begin construction on a streetcar line that began at the Banks and ended in the Uptown/Clifton area. The theory was to connect the two largest employment regions in the City and spur investment along the rails. However, construction was halted in 2009 when COAST and the local NAACP gathered enough signatures to put the streetcar to referendum. In November of that same year the voters overwhelmingly voted against Issue 9 (to the tune of 56%). The streetcar moved forward. . . . . .But not for long. In 2011, signatures were gathered again and the streetcar went back to the ballot box and was once more soundly defeated by 52% of the voters who voted against Issue 48. It was at this point that many people began investing along the streetcar route as they felt assured that the project was finally moving forward. This was all two years becontinued on page 15

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vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 5




o we need another book or movie about the heroic teacher? Or have we read and seen enough about a superhero teacher, a miraculous principal, or even a deeply disturbed parent? The books and movies are distracting and enjoyable: they make us believe that change in our schools can really take place. Only, sadly, we turn to look at our children and schools and see that the schools look the same, year after year, and produce the same results: one group seems to be successful and off to college and another group barely, if ever, finishes high school. Excuses are offered: bad teachers, poor test taking behavior, low expectations for poor kids, poverty swamps kids and their families, and a racist culture that punishes “success.” We eat our popcorn and leave. What could really change our schools and our society? A surprising new book has captured my attention precisely because it offers a system to think about rather than one major factor. A group of changes, acting together to reinforce strengths, might work the magic of changing a school.

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who have not had real help in imA commitment to stopping bad teachproving their instruction? Wouldn’t ing and stopping bad leadership of we expect our schools of education schools and stopping testing withto justify why students in schools of out feedback to the student and the education are taught in ways that ill teacher, and stopping the belief that prepare them for brilliant teaching in anything that happens in a school or effective schools in public education? afterschool program is educational, and stopping large programs that are too big to supervise, might Closing the “achievement gap” can take place and make a difference in must take place if our society is to use education public education. Also, as a key ingredient in strengthening social summer schools for all democracy and community peace. ” students in low performing schools. This is the major presentation Closing the “achievement gap” of M. Night Shyamalan is his book, can take place and must take place “I Got Schooled” (2013, Simon and if our society is to use education as a Schuster). Shyamalan is a writer and key ingredient in strengthening social director of movies and fully aware of democracy and community peace. the need to communicate in a clear Making change is complex and it fashion. His writing, while filled with can be done in the PUBLIC SCHOOL. humor, is a very serious presentation Shyamalan ends his book with 50 for every parent, teacher, and citizen schools that have closed the gap, ininterested in changing schools right deed have exceeded performance now. on a school wide basis. His belief is What would it be like if every that a system of changes is needed parent approached the schools with to overcome the idea that any one a checklist from Shyamalan’s book magic bullet can make a difference. and asked those in charge of the His system of five factors is a good school system, or the class, or the place to start; it will require new perschool, just why spectives on how to view and particithe experience pate in school change, a perspective of children are that seeks a different approach that not consistentleads to a different education for evly excellent? ery child. Read this book. Let’s take How different action. would our public discussion of children’s BY Steve Sunderland lives be if we a p p ro a c h e d the reality Steve is a founder of the Peace Village and a that there are professor of peace and teachers who educational studies at cannot teach the University of Cincinnati. He has been a and that there Northsider for over 10 years. are teachers

life & culture 45223



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No More New Year’s Resolutions Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, how about an Improved You Resolution?


t’s that time of year when people think about making major lifestyle changes. I have no idea how long the concept of New Year’s resolutions has been around, but I do know that making resolutions seldom leads to the desired outcome. Suppose I resolve to exercise on a regular basis. Starting is easy. We’ve all done that. It’s sticking to it that can be difficult. WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT? Change is difficult because we don’t seriously consider what we’re going to give up in order to add regular exercise to daily life. Do I get up earlier in the morning to exercise – meaning that I’m going to give up that early morning sleep? If I’m committed to exercise and to sleeping x number of hours, that means I have to go to bed earlier. Which, in turn, means I have to give up some evening activity. If I resolve to give up something such as smoking or desserts, I have the flip side of the same coin: “What am I going to do instead? How will I fill that void?” Making life changes necessarily sets up internal conflicts. A part of me wants to change, but there’s another part that does not.

IS IT A LACK OF WILLPOWER? I hear people say things like, “I want to change, but I just don’t have

the willpower or discipline.” That was as complaint among my clients caught in the trap of substance abuse. “I want to quit drinking but I lack willpower” was a common refrain. But once an alcoholic decides he or she is going to drink or an addict decides to use, NOTHING is going to stop them. It isn’t a question of willpower. It’s a question of internal conflicts. To solve an internal conflict, one has to use the same strategy one uses to solve other conflicts. CONFLICT RESOLUTION Whenever there is a conflict there are four possible outcomes: I win, you lose; You win, I lose; We both lose (called compromise); We both win. Achieving a win-win outcome requires higher level thinking, but is worth the effort. It starts with digging deeper. What is it that each of these conflicting parts really wants? For example, suppose I want to lose weight so I decide to give up sweets. But there’s a part of me that feels the meal isn’t complete if there is no dessert. By digging deeper I may discover that what I really want is to be healthy and feel satisfied. If that’s the case, maybe the two conflicting parts are willing to engage in a solution that fits both needs like eating smaller portions of everything. I don’t deprive myself of pleasure and give myself a chance to be healthier. IMPROVED YOU DIPLOMACY Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, how about an Improved You Resolution? A New Year’s Resolution is, by design, an attempt to “bulldoze” over some part of yourself, a part that had its way for

Achieving a win-win outcome requires higher level thinking, but is worth the effort.”

a long time and is unlikely to give up without a fight. By finding the positive intention of each of the parts involved in the conflict and working to find a way of satisfying both, remarkable outcomes can arise. Wishing you a Happy New Year AND an improved you.

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BY Larry R. Wells Larry R. Wells, M.Div, MSW is a partner in Future Life Now and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Contact him: LarryWells@

vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 7



Bistro Grace is a welcome addition to Northside’s growing restaurant scene.”

Photos: Andrea Millette


istro Grace opened their doors on Black Friday of this year, taking over the space where Honey previously resided on Hamilton Ave., near the intersection at Blue Rock Street. Owner Suzanne McGarry named the restaurant after her granddaughter. Bistro Grace specializes in “traditional culinary dishes with a modern twist,” as well as craft beers and wines by the glass. Locals who visited the space in its previous life will appreciate the extensive renovations that McGarry and her team put into the space. A striking, illuminated tin ceiling has been installed over the bar area, and the interior walls and fixtures are accented with reclaimed barn wood. Café-style

banquette seating now runs along the wall opposite the bar. Rustic pendant lamps and chalkboards listing craft beers contribute further to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere that is both classy and casual. The taps at Bistro Grace are filled with noteworthy local craft beers, such as Rhinegeist’s The Truth IPA and Mad Tree’s PsycHOPathy IPA, and Blank Slate’s Fume Smoked Porter (all $5). Over 30 additional beers are available by the bottle ($3-7). The bar menu also features eight signature cocktails ($9). Offerings include the Gin Rickey with cucumber and cilantro, and the Sazerac; Bulleit Rye, simple syrup, Pernod Absinthe & Peychaud’s bitters.

I was delighted to see there was not a single taco on the restaurant’s dinner menu (Northside joke!). The main dishes at Bistro Grace include a wide variety of meat and seafood options that range from $12-21. Standouts include the scallops with brown butter hollandaise ($18), braised lamb with bourbon cherry sauce ($19) and grilled hangar steak with bordelaise sauce and stout butter ($21). The options available for vegetarians are more limited, but feature items like the Quinoa Veggie Burger sliders with verde sauce ($12) that rise far above the consolation-prize entrees that herbivores are sometimes saddled with in fine dining establishments. continued next page

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The menu also features a variety of sizeable starters ($6-14), including decadent items like the Duck Poutine, a French-Canadian dish with fries, duck confit, cheese curds and gravy. These starters and many other dishes on the Bistro Grace menu offer elegant updates to humble, traditional dishes that a wide variety of tastes will appreciate. During our visit, my party of three sat in the bar area facing out into the restaurant. Although it was after 8:00PM on a Sunday, two-thirds of the tables were occupied and I made a mental note to get a reservation if I planned on dining there during busier hours. Nevertheless, we were greeted immediately by our server/ bartender, and the owner herself. Throughout our meal, our server showed a genuine interest in our dining experience and gave thoughtful recommendations based on our expressed preferences. We started with the Abby’s Mac and Cheese and the sizeable Beet salad with goat cheese, almonds and orange mint vinaigrette ($8). We liked how thick and creamy the mac and cheese was, and appreciated the portion- enough to feed three or four people. The salad was also impressively large, and the vinaigrette was a subtle and refreshing addition. For dinner, we tried the Grace Burger made two ways (burgers are

half price every Sunday) and the risotto cakes with tomato confit and celery cream sauce. I enjoyed the simplicity of the risotto cakes, and the burgers were a hit. While we ate, our server shared some of the thought processes behind the menu and invited us to sample a Sazerac cocktail, making our experience even more enjoyable. We finished off the meal with dessert, dutifully trying not one, but all three options prepared in-house: chocolate mousse, crème brulee, and banana pudding. The banana pudding was the easy winner amongst the group, made outstanding by the addition of Bistro Grace’s homemade gingerbread ice cream. All in all, Bistro Grace is a welcome addition to Northside’s growing restaurant scene. The dinner menu is one of the most ambitious and adventurous in the neighborhood, with enough versatility to satisfy a wide variety of tastes.

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* kitchen closes one hour before closing life & culture 45223

SATURDAY dinner: 5–11* vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 9



Our Harvest Cooperative | Strengthening The Local Food System

rowing up in an Academic Household, I thought I understood Economics. My father has taught courses on ethics and Marxism for over four decades. At age seven, I witnessed many of his lectures about the struggles of the “migrant tomato workers” while shopping in the produce section (front and center court of the Gaslight District) of the Keller’s IGA on Ludlow Avenue. The curse of the uncommon last name started there. So, imagine my excitement, (Dork Alert.) when this summer, I began working with an amazing group of activists and farmers from Our Harvest Cooperative, a food hub/distribution center and organic farm in College Hill. Near a busy intersection of West North Bend and Winton Roads, is our leased space of 13 organic acres of farming land. The property extends over 30 acres, and this July, Our Harvest signed a six year lease with the owner, Dale Bahr. The Bahr family has been farming there since 1916, and a good working relationship has developed. Max Bahr, the sheepdog, often accompanies me on days when I deliver paychecks to our staff. If it sounds utopian-an urban organic farm, with nice people working, and making a great and healthy product, wait. There is more. I spent a few late nights this summer researching a very different way to make American dollars, and here in Cincinnati, we can witness the incubation and progress of some inspiring local businesses. The Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative, or CUCI is a sound partnership of individuals and organizations dedicated to the development of union cooperatives. These new businesses are (or are expected to be in 2014) worker-owned, providing family-sustaining jobs, and creating econ-

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No one eats a whole sandwich, while someone else has none. ”

omies that work for all. In 2013, Our Harvest, created 10 new jobs, obtained a substantial loan for expansion, and became the site for Cincinnati State’s Sustainable Agricultural Management Practicum. 2013 was also a great year for three other innovative businesses: Renting Partnerships, Sustainenergy, and the Danobat Group. Affordable housing, the reduction of utility costs and carbon emissions, and the creation of advanced manufacturing jobs in the Queen City? Of course! Plus, everyone really is THAT NICE. Try having a lunch hour meeting, and forgetting your lunch. No one eats a whole sandwich, while someone else has none. All of these pioneering programs are guided by the core principles of sustainability, solidarity, accountability, and community, and are guided by the Mondragon, the world’s largest worker-owned industrial cooperative, business model. In the past 50 years, the Mondragon cooperative network changed a broken region of Spain stuck with the effects of war, poverty and high unemployment into a thriving and economically successful community. Today, Mondragon has 80,000 employees, has a presence in 70 countries, and in 2012, generated more than $24 billion in sales. Earlier this month, when Snow unexpectedly made a visit, over 100 people from all over the US, Spain, Mexico, and elsewhere, gathered in Cincinnati to share stories and listen about the Union Cooperative Movement. Weather delays did

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not dampen the event. In true cooperative fashion, agendas were shifted around, and an unexpected grand entrance brought international drama. On December 8th and 9th, two days of workshops and lectures were presented by: the President of the CUCI, the Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO, The North American Delegate from Mondragon, The United Steelworkers’ Union Organizing Delegate, the Director of the International Development for the Mondragon’s Bank, representatives from the Community and Economic Development Clinic at CUNY School of Law, and the Director of the Americas, Mondragon International, just to name some of the presenters. It really was amazing to hear so many smart, thoughtful, dedicated, and kind people share their stories. Business people who spoke with compassion! Both successes and failures were analyzed, and there were plenty of insightful Q and A’s sections. The energy in the room was electric, as the snow was piled up outside. 2014 will be an exciting year for Cincinnati, and I am thrilled to be a small part of the growth. Coops such as Our Harvest, founded on the commitments to worker ownership, workplace democracy, and environmentally and economically sound business practices, will surprise you this year.

BY lora jost Lora Jost lives close by, works around the corner, and loves baseball.


spun Bicycles | Not-so-New Bike Shop Takes Root in Northside


ou could say the owners of Spun Bicycles in Northside really like bicycles, but that would be an understatement. Judi and Dominic LoPresti have over 58 years of cycling experience between the two of them, with Judi a former racer and bike commuter until the age of 30 and Dominic a BMX rider since the 1980s. The couple met in a bike shop, went on a bike ride as a first date, and married during InterBike (U.S. cycling industry trade show). When the LoPrestis decided to open Spun Bicycles in Northside in February of last year, the couple chose the neighborhood because of its “non-traditional, laid back, out of the box” feel – a sentiment Judi echoes in describing her and Dominic’s vision for Spun Bicycles: instead of a shop that only catered to racers, Judi and Dominic wanted Spun Bicycles to serve the racer and the recreational or commuter cyclist. Since opening in February of 2013, the LoPrestis have done just this; customers come to the shop from within and outside the neighborhood (as far away as Loveland!), and Judi and Dominic continue to hear from Northsiders, “We are so glad you are here.” And boy are we glad. Located at 4122 Hamilton Ave., Spun Bicycles is a full-service bike shop “dedicated to keeping the fun in bikes.” In addition to providing affordable, quality products for the “average cyclist,” Judi, Dominic, and mechanic John Myers also offer custom wheel builds,

old bike restores, and basic tune-ups (and at a cost much lower than many shops around). Spun Bicycles also sells affordable new bikes for the average cyclist or for the “newbie” interested in cycling. Judi and Dominic have always dreamed of owning their own bike shop. From the years Dominic spent “wrenching” bikes in his basement to opening Spun Bicycles in 2013, the LoPrestis have been grateful for the success of the shop these past 10 months and are excited to serve Greater Cincinnati cyclists for years to come. In three to five years, Judi said she’d like the shop to “branch out to offer more goods, brands, and accessories.” Given the success of Spun Bicycles, Northsiders can assume – and hope – that the shop will continue to thrive in the neighborhood. If this article doesn’t make you run – no, cycle – to Spun Bicycles for all your cycling needs, then head over to the shop to check out its new CoSign sign, or check out Spun Bicycles’s Facebook page. Spun Bicycles is open Tuesday-Thursday from 11 AM to 7 PM, Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM, and on Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM.

BY alisa balestra Alisa Balestra is a Northside resident and the Director of Community and Strategic Partnerships at Public Allies Cincinnati, a leadership and professional development nonprofit in Cincinnati. Balestra also teaches one literature course per semester at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Allow your furry family members to stay in the comfort of your home. Kennels and relying on family or friends is not always the best solution. We are here to provide that peace of mind. As certified pet sitters we are a reliable, educated, and experienced team of professionals that care for you and your animal companions like family. life & culture 45223

vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 11


Northside Kids Become Film Critics

Reviews of The Sandlot “I liked it. I didn’t like when they had jumpy surprises. I liked that the beast “Hercules” becomes their friend. In each of their attempts to get the ball back they really expressed the beast’s strength.” -Maxwell Nolan, Happen Kid Film Critic “It was great and funny!!” - Lourdes Keith, Happen Kid Film Critic “I liked the film and was interested in the subject. I especially liked the dog. I would give this movie 4 out 5 stars.” -Henry Jost, Happen Kid Film Critic “I thought the movie was great, it made me feel very emotional. Sometimes I was scared, worried, sad, happy, and grateful. ” -Olivia Parmer, Happen Kid Film Critic

Happen’s Kid Film Critics watched and reviewed The Sandlot (1993) directed by David M. Evans. Kid Critics received their own official Happen film critic packet and a press badge. TT Stern – Enzi, Cincinnati film critic, provided insight about the film and guided the children as they wrote this month’s film reviews. Each month the Happen kid film critics will review a different film. Selected reviews are printed in The Northsider and all reviews will be posted online and displayed in the Happen, Inc. windows. So look for the film reviews each month and read a kid’s perspective about films. The Sandlot Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves into a new neighborhood at the worst time: the beginning of the summer. His mother (Karen Allen) and stepdad (Denis Leary) do the best they can to gently push him to get him out of the house, and his life certainly

“There is a lot of baseball. It is mostly about a new kid in town. I got scared close to the end. But it was a good movie. ” -Gwen Riley, Happen Kid Film Critic

BY TOMMY RUEFF Tommy Reuff is Happen, Inc.’s founder and Executive Director

HAPPEN NORTHSIDE Art activities for parents & children 4201 Hamilton Ave (&Chase) HOURS: 3:30 - 7:30pm (Tue.-Thu.) & 10am - 5pm (Sat.) FREE on a first come first served basis. (513)751-2345

“If I was 4 or 5 I would not like it, but I do now and I would give it a grade A! ” -Oscar Jackson, Happen Kid Film Critic

12 vol. 1 | Issue 4 JAN 14’

changes when he meets up with Benny the Jet (Mike Vitar), the leader of a pack of baseball-loving misfits who spend all of their time at the sandlot turning double plays and smacking home runs over the picket fence separating their home away from home and a junkyard guarded by a mythical junkyard dog. The movie is set in a bygone era when kids playing baseball on dirt lots professed their undying love for the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the one and only Babe Ruth, but even now, celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Sandlot continues to swing for the fences. - TT Stern-Enzi, Cincinnati Film Critic

life & culture 45223

diy: FOOD

The Cranberry Experiment


he experiment below is an example of one of the many seasonal vegetable focused experiments performed every Thursday from 4pm to 6pm at Gabriel’s Place Market in Avondale. The samples are free and everyone is welcome to cook, shop, garden or just watch. Gabriel’s Place is a non-profit committed to garden to table education and access. Please call us at 513-221-2306 or e-mail at

Cranberry, Cherry and Grapefruit Chutney Cranberry Muffins 1 (12 oz.) package fresh or frozen (thawed)

Makes about 18 muffins.


1 ½ cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

¾ cup sugar

1 ¼ cups sugar, divided

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. ground cardamom

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

Pinch of ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of salt

½ cup butter

½ cup dried sour cherries

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 ruby red grapefruit, pith and peel removed,

1 cup milk

separated into segments

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Cook cranberries, sugar and vinegar, cardamom, cloves, salt for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add cherries. When the mixture is completely cool add grapefruit. Use this chutney on sandwiches, meat or as a topping on ice cream!

Cranberry Punch Makes 7 cups (8oz each) 1 ½ cups water 2 tbsp. sugar

1 tablespoon grated orange peel Toss cranberries with ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine eggs with milk; stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Gently fold in nuts and orange peel and cranberries. Fill paperlined muffin tins two thirds full. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Zest and juice of 1 orange 4 sprigs sage 4 cups cranberry juice 2 cups soda water

Boil water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add zest and sage. Steep 45 minutes and let cool. In a large pitcher, combine cranberry juice, orange juice and the sugar mixture. Let chill and add soda water.

BY Kristen St. Clair, Gabriel’s Place educational Chef Kristen is a graduate at The Midwest Culinary Institute. Her role at Gabriel’s Place is to run educational cooking classes, geared toward expanding knowledge on utilizing fresh foods that result in inexpensive and nutritionally full meals. She can be reached at: gabrielsplace.kst.clair@gmail. com

life & culture 45223

Schaeper’s Pharmacy… Serving the Families of Northside For Over 28 Years! Your Headquarters for Flu Shots & Medicare Part D Plan Selection Assistance! Call or Stop By Today!


vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 13


events calendar – november

FIND OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND NORTHSIDE THIS MONTH. Library (3PM) For information call 513- Every Sunday– Comet Bluegrass Allstars ONGOING EVENTS: 369-4449 or email Sarah.Schellenger@ @ The Comet. (7:30PM & 9PM) The

First Monday of the month– Northside Business Association Monthly Meeting @ Happen, Inc. (6:00PM) The Northside Business Association is a resource for all Northside Businesses and works to continually improve the neighborhood. 4201 Hamilton Avenue. For more information, call 513-541-4745 or email: Third Monday (Fourth Monday January and February) – Northside Community Council Monthly Meeting @ McKie Rec Center (7:00 PM) Get involved with issues that directly affect our community! The NCC is a volunteer, community-based organization that provides an opportunity for all individuals and groups in the community to participate in Northside’s present and to chart Northside’s future. McKie Center, 1655 Chase Avenue. Every other Monday – The Qtet @ Northside Tavern (9PM) The Qtet plays every other Monday. Influences range from Miles Davis to Van Halen. Front room. Cost: Free. 4163 Hamilton Ave. Every other Monday – Northside Jazz Ensemble @ Northside Tavern (9PM) From Funk, Reggae and Soul to Rock, Free Jazz, Blues and straight-ahead Jazz and back again, this tight four-piece puts familiar tunes in a brand new bag. Front room. Cost: Free. 4163 Hamilton Ave. Every Monday – Bomb’s Away Comedy Open Mic @ Mayday (8:00PM) Cost: Free. 4227 Spring Grove Ave. Every Tuesday – Teen Crafts @ Northside Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library (3:00PM) 4219 Hamilton Ave. For information, call 513-369-4449 or email Every Tuesday – Trivia Tuesday @ Mayday (8:00PM) Trivia every Tuesday, with prizes and specials. Cost: Free. 4227 Spring Grove Ave. Every Tuesday – CoOp Night @ Mobo Bicycle CoOp (6:00PM) 1415 Knowlton Avenue. For information mobobicyclecoop. org or Every Wednesday – Open Shop @ Mobo Bicycle CoOp (6:00PM) 1415 Knowlton Avenue. For information mobobicyclecoop. org or Every Wednesday – Kreative Kids @ Northside Branch of the Cincinnati Public 14 vol. 1 | Issue 4 JAN 14’ Every Wednesday – Northside Farmers Market @ North Presbyterian Church auditorium (4-7PM) The NFM is a twelve month market that brings tri-state farmers to the city of Cincinnati to sell their produce, meat, eggs, crafts and fruit. MidOct to Mid April months the NFM lives in the North Presbyterian Church Auditorium located at 4222 Hamilton Avenue. NFM prides itself on bringing fresh and locally produced food to the vibrant community of Northside. Every Wednesday – Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke @ Northside Tavern (9:00PM) Live band karaoke. Back room. Cost: Free. 4163 Hamilton Ave. visit www. Third Wednesday – Gathering hosted by Starfire @ McKie Center (6PM) 1655 Chase Avenue. Citizens are gathering every month to meet-up over community building and inclusion. The gatherings are a springboard for people’s ideas around community related projects, as well as opportunities to learn from local citizens. Hosted by Starfire, free, and open to all. Each gathering begins with a potluck. For information Every Thursday – Preschool Story Time @ Northside Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library (1PM) For information call 513369-4449 or email Sarah.Schellenger@ Every Thursday – Slow and Steady Bike Ride @ Leaves from Hoffner Park 4104 Hamilton Avenue (7:30PM) Cost: Free. Join this welcoming and easy bike ride. Every Friday Night – Zumba Party @ Off the Avenue Studios 1546 Knowlton (7-8PM) Cost: $7 drop in, $5 10 class. Every Second Saturday – Northside Second Saturdays (6-10PM) Come see art, shop, imbibe and eat in one of Cincinnati’s most creative and diverse neighborhoods. Featuring new art openings, later hours, bar drink specials, interactive events and promotions that vary monthly with participating businesses. Every Second Saturday – Basement Reggae Night @ The Comet. (10PM) DJ Grover, Abiyah and Boss Lady bring you all vinyl, all the time. Cost: Free. 4579 Hamilton Ave.

Comet house band plays two sets every Sunday. Cost: Free. 4579 Hamilton Ave. Weekdays – Homework Help @ Northside Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library (3PM) For information call 513369-4449 or email Sarah.Schellenger@ Weekdays –– OPEN STUDIO @ Happen, Inc. 4201 Hamilton Avenue. 3:30 7:30pm (Tue.-Thu.) & 10am - 5pm (Sat.)

UPCOMING EVENTS: RINGIN’ IN AN APPALACHIAN NEW YEAR CELEBRATION Sunday, January 19, 1-5pm, Holy Family Church, 3001 Price Hill Ave, East Price Hill Family-friendly potluck and Appalachian heritage celebration, sponsored by the Urban Appalachian Council. Features music, including the Northside Volunteer String Band, square dancing, kids crafts, a pie contest, hollerin’ contest and splitthe-pot raffle. Admission free with a dish to share for the potluck. This event has been held in Northside the last several years, but this year, a change in venue. For more information, call 513-251-0202 ART AT NVISION TYPOLOGIES OF AMBIGUITY: new work by DAVE ROHS On display thru February 2, 2014 This is a photographic based exhibit with 4 categories of work: Digital History Painting, Glitchscapes, Faces in the Grid, and Television. Tension and purpose are found in the intersection of rational structures with non-rational content. Grids and other structures are used to impart order and seeming clarity on nonlinear content. The interaction between ambiguity and order help to give the pieces a sense of energy and vibration. Regular hours at NVISION are 2pm-9pm Wed-Fri, and Noon-9pm Sat-Sun NVISION (next to the Comet) 4577 Hamilton Avenue 513.542.4577

life & culture 45223

Do you have an event, class, program, or workshop you would like listed in the Northsider? Then submit that info online: -ORemail:

The “S” Word, A History, Continued fore the fateful Mayoral election of 2013, when the streetcar once again became the center of the public’s attention. One candidate, Democrat/Charterite Roxanne Qualls, had been a streetcar proponent for years and championed the 2.7:1 ROI on the campaign trail. The other candidate, Democrat John Cranley, touted the streetcar as a waste of money that would force the City to layoff police & fire personnel if it was built. Around the middle of the campaign season the streetcar tracks began being laid and construction began. As the campaign season grew to a close, a good bulk of construction was complete along Elm Street in Over-the-Rhine. On the evening of November 5th as streetcar supporters gathered around television sets awaiting the final results, the air was thick and emotions were high. It looked as if an anti-streetcar supermajority (six) were about to win the nine Council seats, and it was all but assured that Cranley was going to take the Mayoral spot. And that is precisely what happened. Without wasting any time, Cranley began laying out the case to cancel the streetcar, to renege on the contracts the City had with all manner of firms, to all but guarantee a loss in the City’s litigation with Duke Energy (to move the power lines below the street – the suit focused on who was responsible for payment), and to give back close to $47 million of Federal money. For streetcar supporters, this all felt like déjà vu – hearkening back to the MetroMoves days when Kasich so casually told the Obama Administration that their money was “no good here.” But how did Cranley win? Why do people hate the streetcar so much? These are the questions my out-oftown and Cincinnati friends ask. It all just seemed so strange. In fact, the weeks following the election carried a fog of confusion & air of frustration for all streetcar supporters. They felt defeated. So, how did he win and why do people hate the streetcar so much? First of all, the frustration felt by our citizens in outlying neighborhoods and many core neighborhoods is quite

valid. Many feel that their corner of Cincinnati has been ignored, that their roads go unpaved, that it takes too long for a police car to arrive when they call. Every single one of these citizens is justified in their concerns. Over a decade of structurally imbalanced budgets and wasteful spending, combined with back door meetings & lack of transparency, created a sense of distrust in many who live in Cincinnati. Combine with this a lack of proper or responsible marketing of the streetcar as far back as 2007, and you get a “gap” in the streetcar narrative. Compounding this issue was the abhorrent manner in which the streetcar was “sold” to the African American Community. In short, it was not “sold” to them at all. Furthermore, having serious discussions about how minority businesses could get secured bonding for investment along the route has still not happened. So – we have a majority of our citizenry that has been left out of the conversation, another portion of the citizenry that is angry, and poor marketing on behalf of the streetcar project proponents. And all of this is occurring in a City that is not well known for its ability to move forward on anything without a fight. This is why John Cranley won. He filled the gap in the narrative. He campaigned all over this City telling the African American Community that the streetcar was no good for their neighborhoods, that it would not bring them jobs – he told citizens in the outlying neighborhoods that the streetcar would decimate the City’s operating budget and that it would take longer for police cars to come when they called if the streetcar was built. Of course, Cranley had no proof of any of this, and instead of offering solutions to all of these problems, he simply pushed the point that Roxanne Qualls and the streetcar would compound them. But Cranley didn’t need proof as the gap in the narrative was so BIG. He told people what they needed, not necessarily wanted (big difference in politics), to hear and he won. In fact, he trounced Qualls. And what did people need to hear? They needed to hear what was to blame for their frustrations. And even though the streetcar’s effect on population growth and

resulting tax revenue will help every neighborhood, The theory was to connect the two largest it easily became the focal employment regions in the City and spur point for some Cincinnatiinvestment along the rails.” an’s anger because of the gap in the narrative. It all made sense that car’s victory goes to Believe In CincinCranley went as hard as he did in the nati, a grassroots organization that days following the election because arose in the 11th hour to help save the he felt he had a “mandate” to kill the project. The group organized, gathstreetcar, even though only 16% of ered signatures for a potential refregistered votes in Cincinnati voted for erendum if Cranley got his way, and him. The problem arose when it be- helped put pressure on Council memcame clear that it would cost as much bers who were wavering. It was truly (if not more) to cancel the project than impressive to watch, and humbling to to move forward with it. When this in- be a part of the movement. formation came to light Cranley simply Is the streetcar the answer to our said he “didn’t believe” the numbers. City’s budgetary woes? No. But it is The more he pushed, the more ir- part of the answer to growing our tax rational he looked. base and making us an attractive City The first three days in Coun- in which to live. It also proves that Cincil Chambers with the new Council & cinnati can accomplish big things and Cranley at the helm were some of the undertake a significant infrastructure most embarrassing days I have ever project that will put us near the top of lived in this City. It looked like no one the list of modern American cities. It had any idea what was going on. Ul- also proves that we are resilient and timately, Council decided to “pause” won’t quit, even in the face of adverthe streetcar to the tune of $1.25 mil- sity. lion to get an independent audit from Now, my hope is that this energy in KPMG weighing costs of cancellation the City remains stable and funneled vs. costs of completion. to other areas that need to be adThe audit came back with the dressed. The low voter turnout on Nosame numbers that had already been vember 5th, 2013 has proven to be a presented to John Cranley and Coun- kick in the pants to many in Cincinnati. cil by streetcar project manager, John Hundreds (thousands?) of people have Deatrick. woken up to the fact that local governAfter a lot of meetings and deal- ment matters most and that you can be ings, two councilmembers formerly op- heard at the grassroots level. If you posed to the project, Charterite Kevin are reading this and are one of those Flynn & Democrat David Mann, came people I say this to you: Welcome – around and voted to continue the proj- let me know how to help you get more ect. This was weeks after Democrat involved because we need you. P.G. Sittenfeld’s announcement that he, The streetcar battle is finished, but too, was going to support completion there is much, much more to be done if of the project after seeing the num- we are truly serious about taking Cinbers. cinnati well into the 21st Century with At the end of the day, the three all of our citizens on board. mentioned above were joined by longtime Democratic streetcar supporters Yvette Simpson, Wendell Young, and BY Mike Moroski Chris Seelbach for the six votes reMike Moroski has been quired to disable Cranley from vetoactive in the community ing the ordinance to continue construcfor 12 years fighting tion. Those opposed to the project for issues affecting were Republicans Charlie Winburn, low-income people, Amy Murray, and Independent Chriseducation, homelessness, and affordable topher Smitherman (it should be nothousing. He currently serves as Director ed that Smitherman was Chair of the of Community Outreach at Lower Price NAACP for some time, and helped Hill Community School, board member, lead the charge to kill the streetcar activist, & educator and has two postyears ago). graduate degrees; one in English, and one Much of the credit for the street-

life & culture 45223

in Nonprofit Administration.

vol. 1 | Issue 4 jan 14’ 15

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Northsider Vol 1 | Issue 4  

IN THIS ISSUE: [3] Community News: -Cain Celebrates Mlk Day -NCC Nominates Officers For 2014 -Worker Owned Grocery -Up For Grabs Day [5...

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