Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blues/Rock Band JJ Grey & Mofro Captures Its Live Sound on Its Latest Effort

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 4:02 PM

For more than a decade, singer-guitarist John “JJ” Grey, the frontman of the rock/blues band JJ Grey & Mofro, worked at a lumber yard while he tried to get his band off the ground.

As he explains, the lumber yard gig gave him the cash so thathe and his band could hit the road.

“I worked in a lumber yard for ten or 12 years until I got this going big enough that I couldn’t work there anymore,” Grey says in a recent interview from his Florida home. He performs at the Kent Stage on July 6. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if it weren’t for them. My boss man allowed me to go on these sometimes two month tours and then would allow me to come back and go straight back to work, so I could make money. Going on tour always put me in the hole. I would save money from the lumber yard and then pay them. The lumber yard let me do it.”

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Dan Gilbert Weirdly Joined the Chicago Cubs' Visit to the White House Today. Why?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 2:39 PM


We have a lot of questions for Dan Gilbert, but right now our main concern is why he joined the Chicago Cubs' visit to the White House today.

During a photo op/press conference-type event typical for championship-winning teams, the 2016 Cubs found JACK Entertainment CEO and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in their midst. President Donald Trump even called out for him by name amid a flurry of shutter snaps.

"Where's Dan? Where's Dan Gilbert?" Trump asked multiple times before pointing at the Detroit-based billionaire and beckoning him closer. "Do you want a good baseball player to play basketball?" he said, gesturing to the team that beat your friends and mine, the Cleveland Indians, in a hard-fought seven-game series last fall.
Trump then described the Cavs' season as "good ... not great."

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Garfield Heights 17-Year-Old Charged in Cluster of Downtown Robberies

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 1:21 PM

  • Photo via vickieun/Instagram
A Garfield Heights teenager behind several robberies in recent months (most notably one at Playhouse Square) has been apprehended and charged.

And he's been busy. The 17-year-old is accused of carrying out multiple robberies from March 4 to June 16.

According to the office of Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O'Malley, on June 6, the teen and an accomplice allegedly choked and punched a 23-year-old man downtown before swiping his wallet and fleeing on bikes.

On June 9, he is accused of taking a woman's purse and cellphone at gunpoint in a parking lot around Euclid Avenue. Ten hours later, also in a parking lot near Euclid Avenue, he's accused of sneaking up behind a couple (one aged 69, one 82) and threatening to slice the female's throat if they didn't comply. He made off with $175.

Most recently, on June 16, the boy allegedly approached a woman in a Huron Road parking garage around 1:30 p.m., then shoved her to the ground before taking her handbag and, later, using her credit cards at Target.

He faces 36 counts against him, including aggravated robbery, identity theft and misuse of credit cards.

Although he is just 17 and currently being held at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center, he will likely be tried as an adult.

"This kid was given multiple opportunities to correct his way of life and he's failed at every turn," O'Malley told

The boy is currently on probation stemming from a 2015 incident involving grand theft and a police chase, after he and three 14-year-olds robbed a pregnant woman at gunpoint in Valley View.

He'll appear in juvenile court Wednesday.
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Canopy Exhibition 'Bats in My Bouffant' Pairs Art and Fashion

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 12:58 PM


The latest event at Canopy is part art exhibition, part fashion show. Bats in my Bouffant features collaborative works by visual artist and illustrator Angela Oster and textile artist Krista Tomorowitz. Opening with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on June 30, Bats in my Bouffant showcases garments crafted by Tomorowitz using sheer silk chiffon, hand-painted or printed with imagery by Oster. The silk used to create the clothing features Oster’s drawings and paintings repeated to create unique patterns.

Collaborating with local artists is an essential part of Krista Tomorowitz’s creative process. In her first collaborative exhibition, Tomorowitz collaborated with her husband, renowned local painter Timothy Callaghan at the legendary William Busta Gallery in 2015. Later that year, Tomorowitz collaborated with 13 local artists, creating garments from textiles painted by: Christi Birchfield, Timothy Callaghan, Rebecca Cross, Elizabeth Emery, Jason Frederick, Michael Loderstedt, Liz Maugans, Christian Mickovic, Jessica Pinsky, Katy Richards, Corrie Slawson, Annmarie Suglio and Royden Watson. Fatefully, Praxis was where Tomorowitz first met Angela Oster.

“This show is a result of Krista and I meeting at a class she taught at Praxis Fiber Studio,” says Oster. “We kind of hit it off, and we've been working together since the beginning of the year. I've hand-drawn on fabric and have had some of my drawings printed on fabric through an online platform (Spoonflower). Krista is designing and sewing them into clothes which will be available at the show. The hand-drawn designs are one-of-a-kind garments, but we will take orders for the printed designs.”

The show also features original drawings by Oster, including her Bouffant Ghouls and Thread Heads, which bridge the gap between the garments and the more traditional works on paper.

“The thread heads came about kind of by accident,” Oster says. “I wanted to make unique invites with hand-drawn heads with thread for hair. This was impractical, but I got hooked on using the thread as hair and I felt it was kind of a bridge between the traditional drawings in the show and the garments we were making. The heads are kind of tributes to famous big haired ladies, and also as portraits of friends - little love letters! I will also show a whole body of work along with the clothes, including many drawings and watercolors with my ‘Bouffant Ghouls.’”

During Friday’s opening reception, music will be provided by Kristin Plambeck (Garageland on WCSB).

Can’t make it to Canopy on Friday night? Bats in my Bouffant remains on view at Canopy for two weeks.

(Canopy) 3910 Lorain Ave., 216-309-1090,

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As Health Care Vote Looms, Ohio Reps Want to Freeze Medicaid Expansion Anyway

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 12:54 PM

The whole country is watching the nuances of Washington pol negotiations ahead of a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, otherwise known as the U.S. Senate's version of the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill. The bejowled Mitch McConnell is working feverishly to nail down a majority of his colleagues; failing thus far, he's delayed the vote until after the July 4 recess.

Part of why McConnell's been backed into a corner on this one is the force of a small contingent of moderate Republican, including our very own Sen. Rob Portman. Just yesterday, Portman said that he cannot support the bill as-is. He joins other Republicans in opposing this bill, mostly on the grounds that the law would phase out the Obama administration's Medicaid expansion far too quickly. In Ohio, whose population has benefited greatly from the expansion (and whose governor champions the policy), that's a political problem. More than 700,000 Ohioans have jumped on the Medicaid expansion since 2014.

But state legislators, not known for tasteful decision-making over the years, are moving ahead with a Medicaid expansion freeze in their state budget. Jim Siegel at the Columbus Dispatch reports that this sets up a "showdown" with Gov. John Kasich as a most contentious time. The proposed freeze would begin in July 2018. Here's the Dispatch:

Those covered by the Medicaid expansion as of that date would continue to be covered, but only if they don’t get better employment and drop off the Medicaid rolls, something that happens regularly. The catch is that those who leave Medicaid could not return later even if they lose their job, unless they are getting mental-health or drug treatment.

However, no one could be added to the Medicaid expansion group starting in July of next year even if they need medical help for mental-health problems or drug use.

The federal bill could cost some 1 million Ohioans access to health care coverage if it's passed. This state budget provision would cost more than 500,000 Ohioans access to Medicaid coverage, as the Governor's Office of Health Transformation points out.

The state budget bill needs to be signed by Friday, and Kasich will almost surely use his line-item veto authority to scratch out the Medicaid expansion freeze. From his time in Columbus to his work on the campaign trail, the role o Medicaid in Ohio has been a touchstone of his government.

It would take a three-fifths majority of the Statehouse to override a veto like that, teeing up a fight for a razor-thin vote margin not unlike what we're seeing in Washington right now.

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Cleveland Native Joshua Smith Launches Go-Fund Me Campaign to Replace His Stolen Saxophone

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 12:16 PM

A native Clevelander who currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area where he performs regularly at jazz clubs, restaurants and private events, Joshua Smith has played a 1952 Selmer Super Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone for the past 21 years.

Smith, who launched the avant garde jazz act Birth here in Cleveland before moving west, has just launched a Go Fund Me campaign to replace the instrument, which was recently stolen.

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Video: The Steelyard Wal-Mart, the Worst Wal-Mart in America

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:28 AM

The Steelyard Wal-Mart, deemed by Scene and everyone else in Northeast Ohio as the Worst Wal-Mart in America, got the video treatment it deserved thanks to Taco Truck. Watch, cringe, enjoy, cringe again, and thank your lucky Target stars no one is making you spend time there.
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