U2 isn’t just a rock band from Ireland. The group has been a cultural force for over three decades now and inspires the kind of worship that borders on fanaticism. This year, we’ll get to see just how much people can geek about the band when the annual U2 Conference rolls into town on April 26-27. The conference, which will take place at the Marriott Key Center and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, will feature a series of speakers who will talk about the band’s enduring influence and importance. “We are happy to welcome the U2 Conference to Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,” says Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of Education and Public Programs at the Rock Hall, in a press release issued by the Rock Hall. “Engaging scholars and fans alike dovetails with the museum’s mission of encouraging global celebration and study of rock and roll music. We’re especially excited to showcase the incredible resources at the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives to conference attendees.” Registration opens tomorrow. Find more info at www.U2conference.com.
The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, a network of organizations that provide resources for low-income Ohio residents, just released its 2012 State of Poverty in Ohio Report, and it’s a pretty sobering read. The OACAA’s data is based on the federal poverty threshold, which is calculated yearly by the U.S. Census Bureau and is determined by family size and annual income. The Census Bureau’s computation of poverty status has historically been criticized by economists and aid advocates for relying on outmoded findings about where the average household allocates its money and underrepresenting degree of need, but it remains the most comprehensive tool for national and statewide poverty surveys.
Lazy? Too busy nursing a bottle of Dom and mowing over homeless people in your stretch Escalade to read a 52-page report on poverty in Ohio? Below are some easily digestible statistics from the report, but you might want to check out the original for the helpful infographics at the beginning, which is where I drew most of the statistics from anyway because I don’t know how to read and also I’m on the phone with my portfolio manager in the Cayman Islands.
Ohio poverty statistics:
1 in 6 Ohioans live below the national poverty level.
Our statewide poverty rate is 16.4; the national rate is 15.9
42.3% of those living in poverty work full- or part-time.
Poverty increased in Ohio by 57.7% between 1999 and 2011, though the population only increased 1.7%
Over the past 22 years, the hourly wage of Ohio’s richest 10% increased by $3.99, while wages for low-income workers decreased by 71 cents and those for middle-income workers by $1.34.
1 in 12 Ohioans living in poverty has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Cleveland’s poverty rate in 2009 was 26.3%; in 2011, it was 34.3% (a 7.3% increase).
Of the family types afflicted by poverty, single females with children overwhelmingly predominate — the poverty rate of single women and their children is 5 times greater than that of married couples with children. Surprisingly, single women with children who work part-time sustain a higher poverty rate than unemployed single mothers and single fathers who work part-time.
Ohio’s median hourly wage increased by 2.9% between 2000 and 2011; during those years, the average per capita cost of healthcare expenditure increased by 36.1% and net tuition for in-state, public college education increased by 63.4%. Ohio college graduates have the seventh highest average student loan debt in the country.
1 in 4 Ohio children under 18 lived in poverty in 2011; for children under age 6, the rate increases to 1 in 3.
The shot was to the chest, and the man was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center. His condition is currently unknown.
This news comes on the heels of the Rocky River shooting last week, wherein two men were shot on Westway near Wagar Road. Michael MacGillis Jr., 39, of Rocky River, was fatally shot and his 43-year-old friend, Andrew Geraci, was shot three times but is in good condition at MetroHealth.
Donovan Owens, a 21-year-old man, has been arrested and is being held in custody for the double shooting.
No one has been arrested in last night's shooting.
The Queen Diva herself strolled onstage, dropped off her purse next to the DJ's rig and lit right into one of the hottest shows in the country. And that's really not an overstatement.
Freedia's been making a name for herself and the rest of New Orleans' sissy bounce movement for years now. With her show on the road, crisscrossing North America and shining a beacon of light on unshaken asses from Montreal to South Central, she's proffering a grand statement: Be yaself and don't give a good goddamn what others think. "Shaketh thy ass," to once again invoke Swift.
So at the Grog Shop last night, this mostly miraculous show brought a world of fun to Cleveland Heights' grungy venue. It was LOUD - Freedia was often calling for more volume, More Volume, MORE VOLUME! - and it was brash. She brought along a succinct dance team to round out the "ass-certified" aspects of the show, as she said. And later, during her borderline hit "Azz Everywhere," she brought up about a dozen audience members to shake their stuff and get down. A choice quote from the Queen Diva: "Hands on the floor! Ass in the air!"
Even in the pit in front of the stage, the dancing masses ebbed and flowed in time with the chopped-up, flibbity-bibbity, can't-stop-won't-stop beats and loops. The whole bit is fairly repetitive, but a dismissal like that would miss the point. Freedia's come to free your
asses minds and dish up a NOLA-style party wherever her and her dance crew find themselves. Consider yourself lucky - and totally spent by the time it's all said and done - to catch a show like that in our little corner of the otherwise Americana-laced Rust Belt.
On the way out, dig one of Freedia's more excitable videos below:
David Wain, he of Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models, and other comedic, cinematic, and television fame, once grew up in Shaker Heights. In the video below, a young Wain takes us on a tour of the town, pointing out the sights and sounds — the library! the police station! there are a lot of books!
City of Cleveland's official Facebook page for updates and photos of today's West Side Market fire.
The Ohio Senate’s new Finance Subcommittee on Education, chaired as of last week by Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), is off to an auspicious start with this droll little spelling gaffe (via NPR).
In vaguely related news, the Ohio Department of Education recently issued guidelines for its “Third Grade Reading Guarantee Policy,” which seeks to “diagnose reading deficiencies in students at grades kindergarten through three, create individualized reading improvement and monitoring plans, while also providing intensive reading interventions.” New legislative requirements for elementary educators include strengthened diagnostic testing to identify students as either “On-Track” or “Not On-Track” — those deemed off-track will receive a battery of monitory letters home and “intensive remediation services.”
Did you fall asleep during that last paragraph? I did, and so did the Senate! Let’s face it: standard usage is a snoozefest. Tacitly snubbing the ODE’s new guidelines is a fun and cheeky way for senators to show kids that being "not on-track" in literacy is tantamount to being "on-track" for an illustrious congressional career.
Unfortunately, they caught the error before mounting the sign, imputed the blunder to the sign-maker, and cruelly revoked years of potential educateional hilarity.