Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cleveland Council pushes lead paint suit

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Cleveland City Council has finally acknowledged the poisoning of thousands of children in its midst. But don't get too excited—your leaders aren't actually going to do anything about it. Monday night, Council passed a resolution—non-binding, of course—urging Mayor Frank Jackson to consider suing Sherwin-Williams and other companies that sold lead paint for decades after they discovered it was toxic to kids ("The Poison Kids," Aug. 16, 2006). Most other big cities in Ohio have already filed suit. Yet Cleveland, home to one of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country, has been holding out. Now time is running out. Friday is the last day to file if Cleveland wants to avoid major battles at the state level over whether such suits are even legal. ACORN, the community activist group, is pushing Jackson to make a decision fast. Since the Invisible Mayor tends to move slower than Dick Cheney's pacemaker, we're not holding our breath. Expect a major announcement some time around Labor Day. — Lisa Rab

Iron Maidens — the women's rugby kind

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 3:30 PM

The Iron Maidens, Cleveland's female rugby team, showed why they were last year's national rugby finalists by winning the first two games of their season against Akron and Rochester. Stormy conditions on Saturday made the game resemble a mud-wrestling match more than a sporting event. The ball was as slippery as a slimy sea creature, and the girls clobbered each other like WWE all-stars. "That bitch took out my leg," complained one Maiden who emerged from a pile with jagged scratches across her legs. "My father's a wrestling coach, so he figured if I wasn't a wrestler, this would have to be the next best thing," one girl said. But the fun didn't really begin until the teams arrived at The Kenilworth in Lakewood for the post-game drinking traditions. Pouring forth frothy Miller Lite and chewing on squares of pizza, the girls started pounding the table in preparation for the night's sing-off. The tawdry lyrics, sung in drunk, off-key notes, went something like this: "Monday is a working day/ A working day/ Tuesday is a hmm day/ A hmm day/ Wednesday is a dancing day/ A dancing day/ Thursday is a practice day/ A practice day/ Friday is a fucking day/ A fucking day/ Saturday is game day/ game day The rest of the bar, there to watch the college basketball playoffs, seemed miffed by the singing. A father escorting his toddler to the bathroom merely shook his head. But at least one table of yuppie guys were amused by the whole thing. "I think I like Friday the best," he deadpanned. —Rebecca Meiser

National media coverage of the Midwest

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 3:25 PM

I love reading haughty East Coasters ruminate over the phenomenon that is the Midwest. So when the Columbia Journalism Review ran "Missing Middle" by NYC columnist Michael Massing, I knew I was in for some serious cringe time. Massing contemplates why the Midwest is so poorly covered in the national media. Aside from blaming its general lack of presence in places like Ohio — they're too busy talking gentrification over $10 Red Stripes at some Lower Eastside bar — he also points to the destructive budget slashing at major daily newspapers throughout the Heartland. While Massing's call to arms for more national coverage of our area was a much appreciated gesture, his own ignorance of who we really are as a people — quaint religious zealots who can't afford college — left me feeling that I don't really want New Yorkers coming in and writing about us after all. If you're flying in to simply cover mega churches and illiteracy, go home, please. It reminds me of a recent flight I was on from Los Angeles. As the plane landed at Midway Airport in Chicago, the girl behind me said, "The Midwest — it's best known for being flat and boring. And everyone has a garage." The main problem with America's misunderstanding of the Midwest is best illustrated by Professor Victoria Ekstrand of Bowling Green: "It's one thing to fly in and cover a news event and fly out. To understand the full context, you have to live in the community. I understand the country so much better now that I live here." — Denise Grollmus

Christmas (Ale) in April

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 3:10 PM

Head up, Christmas Ale fans: On Monday, April 9 at precisely 4 p.m., Great Lakes Brewing Company barkeeps will tap the final two kegs of last year's Christmas Ale. The seasonal brew, rife with honey, spice, and everything nice, is generally only available from October through December. The timing of this final tapping is a nod to the repeal of Prohibition, which happened on April 7, 1934. Christmas Ale can only be enjoyed on-premises, while supplies last; growlers and jugs will not be available. The award-winning brew will be featured in the Taproom and while dining only. Get it while you can! -- Elaine T. Cicora

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Further proof of the Chinese Master Race

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 1:50 PM

While the departure-in-disgrace of Cuyahoga County Elections Board Director Michael Vu had brought conflict to our Asian stereotypes — he practiced Karate, yet was a complete moron — 18-year-old Yuan Yuan, a student at Western Reserve Academy, is intent on setting it straight. Yuan Yuan, who goes by "Stanley" when he's interfacing with the rest of us imbeciles, won this year's Siemens Award for stellar scores on his math and science tests. Yet for Asians, excelling on tests is so 1995. So Yuan Yuan is taking his Chinese-ness to new heights. According to an article in today's Plain Dealer, Yuan Yuan has patents pending on an earthquake-proof house and automatic navigation shoes to be used by blonde joggers or blind people. But he's still ironing out the details for a highway anti-collision system and a drive-through scheme for wholesale stores. By the time he's 25, he hopes to have every American man, woman, and child stuffing firecrackers for 25 cents an hour. Read your fortune cookie, honkies: It's Yuan Yuan's world. We're just the stupid crackers he allows to eat General Tso's Chicken. -- Jared Klaus

Baseball season is here

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 1:34 PM

Opening Days is just day away. The experts love the Tribe, giving us all the more reason to plop down big bucks for tickets, and to open that line of credit to buy us some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. But if things follow tradition and go south, there is plenty of other, cheaper baseball to be found. The Tribe's Double A affiliate, the Akron Aeros, get under way next week. So do the Class A Lake County Captains. If you want to catch both teams at once — and double your helping of future Indian talent — they play an exhibition against each other on Tuesday. And in coming years, there will be even more pro baseball within driving distance. Avon plans to bring a Frontier League team to the suburb, to play in a 120-acre recreational complex planned near I-90 and Route 622. They may not have Grady and Pronk. But where else could you see a meltdown like the one in the video above. — Joe P. Tone

This Just In: Concert Announcements

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 1:27 PM

Barenaked Ladies come to town June 17
This week, 38 new shows including Britain's lovely Lily Allen, arena-rock icons Rush, and mope king Morrissey. THIS WEEK: SUNDAY, ARPIL 1 The Moog: 7 p.m., no cover (all ages). Happy Dog, 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474. THIS JUST IN Bryan Adams/George Thorogood & the Destroyers: Fri., Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m., $25/$39.50/$55 (LiveNation.com). Tower City Amphitheater. Lily Allen: Mon., June 4, 7 p.m. House of Blues. Barenaked Ladies: Sun., June 17, 7:30 p.m., $29.50/$47.50/$60 (LiveNation.com). Plain Dealer Pavilion at Nautica. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Fri., June 1, 7 p.m., $23. House of Blues. The Bravery: Fri., May 25, 8 p.m., $15 ADV/$17 DOS. Agora Ballroom. Chicago/America: Sat., June 16, 8 p.m., $25.75/$57.50/$75.50 (LiveNation.com). Tower City Amphitheater. !!!: Mon., May 21, 10 p.m., $10 ADV/$12 DOS. Grog Shop. Coffinberry CD release/This Moment in Black History/the Lindsay/Series: Sat., May 5, 9 p.m., $5. Beachland Tavern. Don Caballero: Sat., May 26, 9 p.m., $8 ADV/$10 DOS. Grog Shop. The Drams (ex-Slobberbone): Fri., June 29, 9 p.m., $8. Beachland Tavern. Gran Bel Fisher: 11 p.m., free show in the Cambridge Room following Mat Kearney's show the HOB Music Hall, Fri., April 6. House of Blues. Chris Garneau: Tue., May 22, 9 p.m., $7. Beachland Tavern. Wayne Hancock: Fri., June 22, 9 p.m., $12. Beachland Tavern. It's Only Rock & Roll: Sat. May 19, 6 p.m. Rock Hall fundraiser featuring Ronnit Spector, Billy Squier, Mitch Ryder, Tone Loc, Deniece Williams, Dr. Hook, A Taste of Honey, and Tom Cochrane. $10-$3,000 (Ticketmaster). J. Medicine Hat: Mon., May 21; Tue., May 22. The Funny Stop Comedy Club. Candye Kane/Blue Lunch: Thu., May 31, 8 p.m., $10. Wilbert's. Richard Lloyd (ex-Television): Wed., May 16, 9 p.m., $10 ADV/$12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Los Straitjackets', featuring Little Sandy: Rock en Espa< \#150>ol kids' show: 1-4 p.m., $8 ADV/$10 DOS, Sat., April 28. Beachland Tavern. May Daze 2: Angel Alanis/Nini Anthony/the Bridgade/DVS/Evasion/Robtronix: and others, Sat., May 19. View Cleveland. Melt Banana: Sun., June 17, 9 p.m., $10 ADV/$12 DOS. Grog Shop. The Moody Blues: Sun., July 22, 7:30 p.m., $29.50/$45/$55 (LiveNation.com). Plain Dealer Pavilion at Nautica. Morrissey/Kristeen Young: Thu., May 17, 7:30 p.m., $42.50 (LiveNation.com/ Tickets.com). State Theatre. John Nemeth: Fri., April 27, 9 p.m., $10. Wilbert's. The Pack/Huey/Lil' Mama/Sunny Valentine: Tue., May 22, 7 p.m., $8 ADV/$10 DOS. Agora Ballroom. Papa Grows Funk: Fri., May 18, 9 p.m., $10 ADV/$12 DOS. Wilbert's. Ralph's World: Morning show, doors 9 a.m, Sat., June 9, $15. House of Blues. Robert Randolph & the Family Band: Wed., May 2, 8 p.m., $25. House of Blues. RatDog/Keller Williams: Mon., July 16, 6:30 p.m., $33.50/$35 (LiveNation.com). Tower City Amphitheater. The Recipe: Sat., April 28, 9 p.m., $10. Wilbert's. Reverend Raven & His Chain Smoking Altar Boys, featuring Madison Slim: Thu., May 3, 8:30 p.m. Wilbert's. Rush: Thu., Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m., $24/$49/$59/$69 (LiveNation.com). Blossom Music Center. Bob Schneider (and band): Mon., April 9, 8 p.m., $15. Agora Ballroom. Scott Blasey (Clarks frontman, solo): Wed., April 18, 9:30 p.m., $5, 21 and over/$10, 20 and under (all ages). Lime Spider. Solillaquists of Sound/DJ J Storm/Greyskul: Wed., May 9, 9 p.m., $7. Grog Shop. Son Volt: Tue., June 12, 9 p.m., $20. Beachland Ballroom. TruMystic: Sat., May 19, 9 p.m., $8. Wilbert's. Weird Al Yankovic: Fri., July 6, 7:30 p.m., $22.50/$37.50/$45 (LiveNation.com). Plain Dealer Pavilion at Nautica. CANCELED RTX/Totimoshi: Thu., May 10. Beachland Tavern. NEW DATE Maia Sharp: Wed., April 11, 9 p.m., $15. Nighttown. SPECIAL No ticket service fees for Blossom and Tower City Amphitheater shows via LiveNation.com Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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