Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Bill Would Finally Make "Ballot Selfies" Legal in Ohio

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Posting a picture of your completed ballot is currently a felony (yes, dumb), but that could be reversed soon.

The reason? The law is essentially overkill, and it limits a voter's freedom of speech and freedom of expression. 

It's obviously too late for such a law to be put in effect in time for this upcoming presidential election, but Republican Reps. Mike Duffy and Niraj Antani hope to have it on the books sooner rather than later. If they get their way, Ohio House Bill 609 will be passed next year.

The law is never enforced as it is, but that's not the point here. 

"Because it hurts our justice system to have laws that are unenforced," Duffey told about the motivation. "It's not supposed to be a joke — we should work to repeal unconstitutional laws. Period. This is free speech."
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The Indians Are Giving World Series Tickets to the Guy Who Helped Kenny Lofton Make His Flight to Cleveland

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Kenny Lofton threw out the ceremonial first pitch at yesterday's World Series game at The Jake. That happened, in part, because a guy named Ken Kostal gave up his seat on a flight from LA to Cleveland two days ago so that No. 7 could take his place. Lofton had been on standby for the overbooked flight.

Clevelanders being Clevelanders will never get old. It was a helluva gesture, and as the internet gave its thanks to Kostal, it also collectively called out for the Indians to show their appreciation by giving Kostal some tickets to the World Series. If the series goes to Game 6, that's now going to happen.

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Loren Naji Will Talk About His Month Living In His Spherical Sculpture This Friday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 1:13 PM


Local artist Loren Naji spent nearly a month living inside his ArtPrize installation, Emoh, located outside of Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream.

Emoh (titled “Home” backwards as a statement on society’s values) was created to raise awareness of homelessness and poverty in Northeast Ohio, but made an impact with ArtPrize audiences in Grand Rapids, MI.

From Sept. 10 through the day the winners were announced on Oct. 7, Naji slept on a custom-fitted twin mattress inside his art installation every night throughout his time in Grand Rapids, except for one night he spent at a homeless shelter with a reporter from a Grand Rapids news station. Naji’s efforts earned local and national attention, including an article in USA Today.

Naji was one of just 20 entries out of 1,453 eligible works to continue through to the final round of public voting. The eighth annual ArtPrize drew more than 400,000 visitors to 170 venues this year, and awarded more than half a million dollars in prizes overall.

Naji will discuss his “Emoh adventure” during an informal, half hour discussion at 7 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 28 in his Studio Gallery in Ohio City. Topics to be discussed include how Naji conceived of the idea, the construction process, its significance and meaning, his experience living inside it for nearly a month in an unknown, urban environment, as well as future plans and unanticipated developments. Naji’s talk will be followed by an audience Q&A and an after party (location TBA).

“I will discuss creating my art for social change and relate my adventure of living inside my own spherical sculpture for a month in downtown Grand Rapids among the homeless,” Naji says. “Emoh will be on site for viewing. Come see my temporary home!”

(Loren Naji Studio Gallery) 2138 W. 25th St.

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MetroHealth Asks Employees Not to Wear Wahoo-Branded Indians Gear

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 12:37 PM

  • Twitter: @MetroHealth
That's the MetroHealth crew, gathered on their quad Tuesday afternoon for a photo celebrating the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Per the encouragement of MetroHealth, many staff members wore Tribe gear to work. (And MetroHealth was obviously not the only local employer who invited its staff to dress down Tuesday). 

But MetroHealth sent a memo to employees specifically asking that they refrain from wearing "Chief-Wahoo branded" apparel.

"As an institution, we want to express our pride respectfully," the memo read, "without images that are counter to the inclusive, welcoming, affirming, and respectful culture we are trying to build at MetroHealth."

The above line was the only one bolded in the memo.

Appropriately enough, when the staff gathered on the quad to take a photo, they formed a "Block C," the team's purported primary logo.

Tuesday morning, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on ESPN's Mike & Mike show that he and Indians' owner Larry Dolan had agreed to "have a conversation" about the future of the logo.  

MetroHealth and others might encourage them, when and if they have that conversation, to consider the culture they want to build and promote among local baseball fans. 

Here's the Spirit Day memo:
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MLB Commissioner Says He Plans on Talking to Indians Ownership About Chief Wahoo Logo

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Let us start by saying the best thing about the 2016 Tribe's roll through the postseason is obviously just that — a phenomenal roll through the postseason. After last night's victory, the Indians hold a 1-0 lead in the World Series.

A secondary benefit of the playoff run has been the further discussion and exposure of the Indians' use and defense of Chief Wahoo, a racist logo whose time should have long ago expired.

It began with the Toronto series and a trio of huge stories, as far as logo stories go. The first being the Blue Jays' announcer's refusal to use the word Indians while talking about the team. In fact, Jerry Howarth said he hadn't used the name since 1992 when he got a letter from a fan.

“He said, ‘Jerry, I appreciate your work, but in the World Series, it was so offensive to have the tomahawk chop and to have people talk about the ‘powwows on the mound’ and then the Cleveland Indians logo and the Washington Redskins,’” Howarth told The Jeff Blair Show. ”He just wrote it in such a loving, kind way. He said, ‘I would really appreciate it if you would think about what you say with those teams.’”

The second: Former Tribe team president and GM Mark Shapiro said that he was "personally bothered" by the logo.

"The logo — Chief Wahoo — is one that was troubling to me personally," Shapiro said. "So when I was an official spokesman for the Cleveland Indians, I distanced myself from the fact that it personally bothered me. But we as an organization with strong support from ownership came up with the 'Block C' that you're wearing on your credentials right now. We built equity in the 'Block C.'

"We gave that alternative for people and I think that we established that as an important logo and now the primary logo for the Cleveland Indians. And so I'm proud of that.

"I think there will be a day, whenever that is, that the people that are making decisions here decide that Chief Wahoo is no longer fitting. But people in this city — over 90 per cent of them — are deeply, deeply passionate about Chief Wahoo and want him to be part of their team. So that's about all I'll say because I'm not really focused or care that much about that anymore. That's my opinion."

The third story was, of course, the legal challenge in a Canadian court to forbid the broadcast of the Indians' logo or name on airwaves. That injunction  was eventually denied but the gambit managed to get an MLB lawyer on the record about the league's stance on the name.

Meanwhile, a few ignorant Indians fans have done the expected and gone all out redface to games through the postseason in Cleveland.


Since just the beginning of the playoffs, the renewed spotlight and focus on the deplorable red Sambo has gotten plenty of attention. Here's just a short and non-exhaustive list of the coverage so far:

- It’s time for Major League Baseball to take a stand on Chief Wahoo (NBC Hardball Talk)

- Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo is racist caricature (New York Daily News)

- Hard To Take MLB Seriously On Inclusion With Indians' Racially Insensitive 'Chief Wahoo' (Forbes)

- Cleveland Indians should say goodbye to Chief Wahoo (ESPN)

- Thumbs up to Cleveland for going to the World Series, but send that f'n Chief Wahoo to oblivion (Daily Kos)

- Indians should quit hedging, retire Chief Wahoo completely (Sporting News)

- The Cleveland Indians are liars (Deadspin)

You get the point.

While the team announced the block C logo as its primary logo before the season, ownership has remained steadfast in its stance that Wahoo won't be going anywhere. They are “very cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the conversation” but had “no plans of making a change,” a team spokesman told the Washington Post during the summer.

Their hand might be forced. Yesterday, on a segment with Mike & Mike on ESPN, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was asked about Chief Wahoo. Here's what he said.

"Well, I understand that particular logo is offensive to some people, and I understand why. On the other side of the coin, you have a lot of fans that have history and are invested in the symbols of the Indians. I think that after the World Series, at an appropriate point in time, Mr. [Larry] Dolan and I have agreed we’ll have a conversation about what should happen with that particular logo going forward."

If you ask a certain contingent of Indians fans, nothing should happen. But the (rightful) momentum to be done once and for all with the racist caricature is growing despite backward-ass, fearful, Trumpian pleas for continued ignorance from certain people. This jackass, for example.

Pressure from the commissioner might actually turn the dial on this debate. (If he decided to apply pressure instead of waffling.)

The other thing to consider: If you parse through Mark Shapiro's quotes above, it's abundantly apparent keeping the Chief has been a business decision. For years and years now, the Indians have had the lowest or near lowest attendance in baseball. Their TV deal was nice for region and for the time at which it was signed, but it's a pittance compared to the megadeals brokered in bigger markets. If you're struggling to fill the seats, attract eyeballs and sell merchandise, you probably figure you can't afford to alienate fans. We think that's misguided calculus, that the fans would quickly get over it, but you can understand how ownership and the front office could come to that decision.

So maybe a World Series trip (and, Jobu willing, a World Series championship) assuages some of those business concerns. Maybe with a hefty hike in season tickets for next year, a ticket rake through the playoff games that could damn near well equal or surpass the regular season till in pure dollars, and merchandise flying off the shelves, you're not so concerned about doing the right thing anymore.

But make no mistake, it's always been the right thing to do. The question is when and how the Indians are finally forced to do it.
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Video: New Nike Ad Highlights LeBron's Game-Saving NBA Finals Block, Will Probably Make You Tear Up

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Nike's newest ad campaign with LeBron, "Come Out of Nowhere," brings all the emotions for Cavs fans and Cleveland natives and anyone else who needs a little motivation.

The storyline focuses on James' epic, game-saving block (right before Kyrie Irving's epic, game-clinching three-pointer) to lead the Cavaliers to one of the most exciting Game 7s in NBA history and the first championship in Cleveland since 1964.

Take a look.

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Tremont Entrance Ramp to Inner Belt Bridge Opens

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 9:37 AM

The Innerbelt Bridge is complete. It opened fully on Monday, just in time for hella traffic for the Indians and Cavs.

One of the few remaining touches after the east and westbound lanes — some final touches on entrance and exit ramps, including the Tremont entrance to the highway, which has been closed for years.

That finally opened this week as well.

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