Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Plain Dealer Journalists Told To Wait By The Phone In The Morning For Layoff News

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 6:07 PM

With a newsroom-wide email fired off this afternoon, Plain Dealer journalists were given a new assignment: Wait.

The inevitable announcement of layoffs was sent out to all newsroom employees today. They were told to wait by the phone tomorrow morning for news of whether or not they'll be "separated from employment," as the message goes. Pretty freakin' classy.

Sources note that the attachment on management's first email wouldn't open on some computers, so they had to send a second one. Bear in mind, all of this is happening as the paper tries haphazardly to blaze its own trail into digital-first publishing.

Per the "Save the Plain Dealer" campaign, all employees will gather tomorrow in support of one another outside the newsroom. The exact time has not yet been announced. A news conference and rally will be held outside 1801 Superior Ave. at 6 p.m.

It's also expected that At 7 p.m., the newsroom crowd will congregate at Market Garden Brewery. If you happen by, do send a round their way. Regardless of how tomorrow's details play out, Cleveland will be losing much-needed talent and local wisdom in the morning.

Newsroom layoffs are among the final pieces of the Major Transition at the paper, which will essentially begin Aug. 5. That's when home delivery will be slashed to just three days of "premium print experiences." Thankfully, as we try to navigate all of this, PD editors will toss a *six-page* reader's guide into this Sunday's edition, explaining how things will work going forward.

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21 Cool Things You Can See at the Cleveland Public Library's Superman Exhibit

Posted on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

The Cleveland Public Library is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel with an exhibit which runs until Sept. 14.

We've compiled a slideshow of some of the neat things you're bound to see when you stop by.

From autographed photos of celebrity supermen (and women), to limited edition superman cereal, and droves of superman keepsakes, CPL is hosting quite a hearty celebration for our hometown hero.

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Ravenna High School Goes Blue With New Turf

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Smurf Turf
  • Via Colin Harris
  • Smurf Turf
Ravenna High School is tossing down some fresh turf in the stadium ahead of football season. The Record-Courier's Colin Harris tweeted out a photo of the new gridiron gear.

It's a bold, vivid blue. Boise State-style. Hell, let's call it Smurfesque.

The new turf is part of a series of broader renovations at the school's athletic complex, all of which clock in around $1.1 million. The plan is for that money to come from private investment from around the community. Ravenna High School Athletic Director Dave McBee was unfortunately not in his office to provide an all-important comment today.

As history proves, however, the shift to a blue on-field palette does not come without a patently Idaho-grown toll. Two years ago, Oxford (Michigan) High School Athletic Director Mike Watson received a letter of notice from Boise State University’s general counsel declaring that the term “Blue Turf” was a long-held trademark of the school. The letter came shortly after the high school announced its own plans for blue turf. He added that the school was forced to start referring to the field as “True Blue Turf” or “Oxford Blue Turf” or “Navy Blue Turf.”

How's about a little Tobias Funke under Ravenna's Friday night lights? Call it "I'm Afraid I Just Blue My Turf... Turf"

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Bruell's Version of Shake Shack Coming to PlayhouseSquare

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM


Observant downtown visitors might have noticed the exhaust vents rising from the small glass kiosk in the center of Star Plaza in PlayhouseSquare. Now that the colorful sign is exposed, everybody can see that Dynomite burgers is just about to open.

Long in the works, Dynomite is the latest eatery by local mega-operator Zack Bruell. The "Shake Shack-style" burger concept will be dispensing hamburgers as soon as this week if inspections go smoothly. Beer and wine will be added soon.

"In the summertime, there are tons of office workers out there eating Subway — there's plenty of foot traffic," explains Bruell. "These people won't necessarily come in to Cowell & Hubbard for lunch, but I can still serve them something good at very low price points."

Bruell says the operation will very straightforward: On the menu are burgers ($6-$8), hot dogs ($5) and chili dogs ($7), chicken sandwiches ($6) and vegan burgers ($6), fries ($2.50) and chili fries ($4), and any number of add-ons. It will serve lunch and early dinner.

"This is not going to be very complicated, and it will be something I can spin off," he adds. "The hamburgers we'll do will stand up to anything in the city."

As for the name, Bruell is fond of the infamous line from J. J. Walker in Good Times: Dyn-O-mite!

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Forever Festival Will Showcase 200+ 'Live Digital Concerts'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Bob Weir
  • Bob Weir
Beginning Aug. 4, "Earth’s first live digital music festival" will showcase more than 200 bands at venues around the world. And fans can tune in (for free and/or pay-per-view) for seven days of tunes without even leaving the couch.

The first-ever Forever Festival will be headline by Bob Weir and Kings of Leon (the latter being directed onstage by Fred Armisen). Other artists will include Slayer, Anthrax, Mos Def, Lamb of God, SBTRKT and many more. The official lineup is expected to be released online shortly.

Many fans and industry insider types foresee more events like this down the road. And plenty of bands are already capitalizing on the convenience of tuning in from home.

"Couch tour" is a burgeoning phenomenon among digital-savvy bands and their fan bases. Phish is the eminent example here (and their Aug. 4 show will be a part of Forever Fest). Last weekend, the band played two stellar shows at The Gorge in central Washington state. In a few days, they'll stream their three-night run at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Fans stuck on the couch and off the road will tune for $15 a pop, and the shows, thousands of miles away, will turn into a party in homes across the world.

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An Oberlin Man is Threatening Actor Richard Roundtree

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:09 AM

The Threat Management Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department got in touch with investigators in Oberlin on July 22 to outline a series of threats made against actor Richard Roundtree, famous for his role in 1971's "Shaft."

One of the letters threatened to have the actor's “throat cut” before explaining that he would be “dropped into the Pacific Ocean to be eaten by sharks” if he were to sign on to projects with particular directors.

They were reportedly sent from a West College Street address in Oberlin, according to the Chronicle-Telegram. No charges have been filed.

Oberlin police say the threats, though at times creative, aren't credible.

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Rapper Nelly Reflects on Kickin' It with Amanda Berry at Rover Fest

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:18 AM

The hip-hop star who invited Cleveland kidnapping victim up on stage with him last weekend at Rover Fest told CNN he was pumped about meeting Amanda Berry.

"What stuck with me the most, first of all, that she had a smile on her face, you know, that's one of the most impressive things to me, considering everything that she had been through," Nelly said.

During his performance, Nelly dedicated his hit song, "Just a Dream" to Berry.

Berry's first public appearance came one day after Ariel Casto pleaded guilty to 937 counts. Castro will be sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years on Thursday.

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