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Friday, November 11, 2016

Update: Andrew W.K. Coming to Grog Shop to Talk About ‘The Power of Partying’

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 1:16 PM

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Update: The Andrew W.K. talk slated to take place at the Capitol Theatre will now take place at the Grog Shop at 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14. All tickets for the Capitol will be honored, and additional tickets will be available.

Original Post: The self-proclaimed King of Partying, singer Andrew W.K. has somehow made a career out of his 2001 novelty tune "Party Hard." Of course, W.K. has recorded and toured regularly in the decade or so since he got his big break. The raspy-voiced hard rocker has also gotten gigs as a motivational speaker and worked as a producer (he has teamed up with Clevelander Baby Dee on numerous occasions). But nothing's had as much impact as the rowdy rocker "Party Hard," though like-minded tunes such as "It's Time to Party" and "Long Live the Party" come close.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Isaiah Crowell Makes Donation to Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 2:39 PM

[image-1]Update: Browns running back Isaiah Crowell has made good on his summer promise to make a donation to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation after posting a graphic illustration portraying an officer being killed on his Instagram account earlier this year.

This comes after he attended the funeral of fallen Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa, one of the five officers killed in the shootings in Dallas earlier this year.

Via Fox 8:

Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, President of Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, told FOX 8's Peggy Gallek Tuesday, Crowell donated more than $10,000.

Crowell quickly took down the image, issued a public apology, and pledged to make a donation to the Dallas Fallen Officer’s Foundation. This summer 5 Dallas officers were murdered.

But Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, head of that Foundation told FOX 8 a few weeks ago, "He continually kept saying to me I want to donate the money. And I kept saying, ‘ Isaiah I don't want your money.’"


***

(Updated 7/19/16): Isaiah Crowell attended the funeral of fallen Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa, one of the five officers killed in the recent tragedy in Dallas. Dallas police sergeant Demetrick Pennie, who leads the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, sat and talked with Crowell and related the experience via a Facebook post, which you can read in full below.

"Isaiah Crowell is a professional football player for the Cleveland Browns. He was recently subjected to national criticism after he briefly posted a picture on social media portraying an image of a police officer getting his throat slit by a man dressed in black with a mask on. I, like most other police officers, was disgusted by the posting; however, to me Mr. Crowell's posting represented something much more than just an offensive post. It represented a disconnect in understanding that existed between the police and many in the Black community. A misunderstanding that I have personally been subjected to from my own family.

"In response to the public backlash, Mr. Crowell pledged to make a donation to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, of which I am the president of. In an effort to show the progressiveness and professionalism of the Dallas Police Department, its officers, and its affiliated police support organizations, I reached out to Mr. Crowell and expressed a disinterest in his money. Rather, I told him that I did want an opportunity to educate him about the policing profession and the meaning of police service and sacrifice.

"Based on this premise, I offered Mr. Crowell an opportunity to travel to Dallas to accompany me to the funeral of one of our fallen police officers. When offered the opportunity, Isaiah Crowell didn't think twice before accepting. Although, he was initially afraid and skeptical of the environment that he was entering, he traveled to Dallas overnight and met with me for an extended period of time in an attempt to find some resolve in understanding.

"Our initial meeting was facilitated by shared private stories related to our inner-city backgrounds. These shared experiences were used to build a rapport and trust between us. During the discussion, Isaiah Crowell explained that he misguidedly posted the offensive image based on the constant provocative rhetoric that spewed through the media on a daily basis. Crowell expressed that he was never active in social media, so posting the offensive image was well outside of his character. After posting the image, Mr. Crowell immediately took it down but not before it was captured and made viral. Acknowledging his mistakes, he advised his organization and prepared for the backlash which included intense public shunning and even death threats. As Mr. Crowell spoke and expressed remorse for his actions and was pulling back tears. His voice rattled as he explained the entire incident. I could hear the pain and hopelessness in his voice - the pain of feeling that you are alone in this world!

"As the conversation developed, I noted that Mr. Crowell was very tuned into the discussion and was receptive to my feedback. This marked the beginning of an open dialogue where greater understanding for policing culture could be obtained. I could see that he was curious and wanted to know more. This dialogue would not have been possible, if I had not had a personal understanding of the disconnect that existed between police officers and young people coming up from backgrounds similar to Isaiah Crowell. I am familiar with the sentiment because of my family's negative experiences in the impoverished inner-city.

"The next day, I spent 8 hours with Isaiah Crowell. During this time, he met with high-ranking police and political officials in the State including Texas Police Commissioner Rob Kyker. He also attended the funeral of slain Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa and paid his respects to the Fallen Officer. During the visit, he met with several police officers from across the country, who expressed their appreciation for him seeking forgiveness for his actions and having the courage to admit that he was wrong and making an attempt to redress the problem.


"These were interactions that Mr. Crowell never believed would be possible. At the conclusion of our day, Crowell expressed his deepest condolences for the loss of our officers and stated that he would be willing to return in the future to assist the survivors in Dallas in honoring the sacrifices of their loved ones. Crowell also expressed his gratitude to me for granting him the opportunity to attend the honorable ceremony. He stated that the visit was very humbling and gave him a different outlook on the sacrifices that police officers make every day. He also commended Dallas Police Chief David Brown for his leadership during this crisis.

"Based on my 17 years of experience in law enforcement, I found the meeting with Mr. Crowell to be authentic and reflective of the truest meaning of "Community Policing". The visit was very professional and non-threatening, which I think is a testament to the professionalism of the Dallas Police Department and is emblematic of our officers' compassion for the community at-large. As a police officer with one of the leading community policing departments in the nation, I feel that every police agency should take every opportunity available to bridge the gap between law enforcement and those with opposing viewpoints in the community because it is the only way to enhance understanding. From a member of a police family that has just lost five brothers, it is time for us in the law enforcement community to open dialogues and restore public trust.

"Years of broken communication has facilitated the rise in growth of flawed ideologies about police that we should be on the forefront of addressing. That is why I elected to meet with Isaiah Crowell personally to determine if there was any hope of reforming his thinking. Based on my interactions, I am confident that the policing community now has a supporter in Mr. Crowell. Personally, I would like to commend Isaiah Crowell for the courage of principled accountability.

"Crowell's story is a path of redemption that parallels the experiences of Daniel entering the Lion's Den. Crowell entered the most unlikely venue surrounded by thousands of police officers, which could have possibly been the most hostile environment he could have ever imagined himself walking into. But by the grace of God, he was accepted with open arms. As leaders in the police community, it is our duty to establish and maintain the public trust. We, in the Dallas Police Department, are hurting and now it is time to start the healing process by creating greater understanding in the community. My interactions with Mr. Crowell demonstrates that mutual understanding is possible as long as both parties are willing to listen.''

***

(Original story 7/13/16): Early this morning Browns running back Isaiah Crowell posted an apology video on Facebook after last week posting an illustration of a police officer being slit in the throat to Instagram. The reaction to the insensitive and graphic post was immediate and far-reaching — the Browns made a statement and specifically said the running back's original apology wasn't enough; Cleveland police union president Steve Loomis said he'd consider pulling Cleveland cops from game days if Crowell didn't do more (Loomis said this morning during an interview on 92.3 The Fan that he's accepted Crowell's apology). In addition to apologizing again in today's video, Crowell said he'd donate his first game check this season to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation. Watch for yourself below.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Update: Rapper YG to Bring Fuck Donald Trump Tour to House of Blues

Concert Announcement

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 12:58 PM

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Update: Known better as YG, rapper Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson released his first single, “Toot It and Boot It” back in 2009. In the wake of that song’s success, he’s had a slew of successful singles and even started his own record label.

His latest offering: a remix of his single “Fuck Donald Trump.” The remix starts with the sounds of sirens before a minimalist bass riff kicks in and YG, Macklemore and G-Eazy begin trading raps. “Your politics are like a Starburst pack (why?)/Nobody fucks with the orange one,” raps Macklemore. “Party in the street when Hillary wins.”

YG came through town earlier this summer to play Blossom with rappers G-Eazy and Logic, and now he's set to return to Cleveland with RJ, Kamaiyah, Sadboy to perform on Sunday, October 23, at House of Blues. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday. 

*****

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Public Square Architect 'Anticipated' Bus Traffic Being Phased Out

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 11:09 AM

[image-1]Mayor Frank Jackson's insistence that Public Square not include bus traffic is picking up steam — despite the $50-million city centerpiece renovation being completed already — thanks to architect James Corner's totally chill admission to Cleveland.com that "We always anticipated that one day it might close anyway."

Who knew? 

Corner goes on to tell Steven Litt that the design of Public Square wouldn't really be different, despite removing a two-lane roadway from the middle of it, and adds that changing the layout to suit Jackson's fancy isn't even a big deal. "No problem," according to Litt. 

The problems — depending on perspective, one supposes — are delineated neatly in the Rustwire link below and in the 2012 traffic study that laid out extensive costs to RTA in the event that bus traffic is shuffled out of the square entirely. (See original stories below.)

"The redesign of Public Square called for buses to use Superior Avenue," an RTA spokesperson tells Scene today. "The Group Plan Commission design and construction went forward with Superior Avenue reserved for RTA only, with the exception that when major events were held in Public Square, RTA would vacate Superior Avenue and use the perimeter roadways.

"With Public Square construction now successfully complete, the City Traffic Department has reached out to RTA for information regarding daily and peak-hour bus frequency in Public Square.

"That information, which has been supplied to the City Traffic Department, shows that significantly fewer buses per day would travel around the perimeter roads of Public Square if Superior Avenue was open to RTA."

***
Originally published Aug. 1

With Mayor Frank Jackson's 13th-hour call to ban bus traffic from the newly redesigned Public Square, RTA announced today that the return of bus traffic through the square has been delayed — with no firm date to reinstate it. (Public Square bus traffic was supposed to restart today.)

Via RTA: "Although the original plan was to resume bus service on Superior Ave through Public Square on August 1, the City of Cleveland & RTA...are in discussions regarding when and if the buses will be allowed to use the designed, exclusive transit lanes."

Ah, the old "if" qualifier. 

Rustwire published some quick, reasonable and extremely basic reasons why this is a concerning move on the city's part. 

***
Originally published July 29

The newly redesigned Public Square has been open just one month — a brief timeframe that included brutish RNC shenanigans en masse — and, here we go, Mayor Frank Jackson wants to fuss with it.

NEOMG's Mark Naymik dropped the news today, reporting on "informal discussions" about the mayor's wish to bar RTA bus traffic from the two-block stretch of Superior Avenue that bisects the square — thus closing the square entirely from any traffic. (The current plan allows only buses to trek eastward and westward through the square.)

Jackson's wanted this for a while. “I want to see one big square,” Jackson told Cleveland Magazine in 2012. And when questioned about possibly closing just one of the streets at the time, he said, "We could make it two halves, but that’s not a square. A square is one piece.”

Indeed. Still, that was then, before $50 million had been poured into the "two-halves" plan.

At that time, a consultant hired by Jackson and the Group Plan Commission (to the tune of $120,000) recommended keeping Superior open to bus traffic. That would reduce overall traffic congestion in the area and prevent the city from "displacing nearly 18,000 bus passenger pick-ups and drop-offs daily," as Cleveland.com reported at the time. Closing Superior to bus traffic would also tack on a cool $2.6 million in annual operating costs to RTA's already concerning balance sheet, according to that 2012 study.

RTA has been rather mum on the mayor's renewed push to relocate Public Square bus traffic. 

Naymik points out that the two halves of Public Square do sort of blend into one another, but, he rightfully notes, there is essentially a street (curb cuts and all) built into the very expensive park — a street that was built into the redesign for the purpose of bus traffic. On that note, we ask: What's up with the redesigned redesign wish list from City Hall? 

No word yet, if ever, on where this debate is headed.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Video: Machine Gun Kelly's Grossest Tattoo Story

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:00 PM

It was gross, but it was worth it.

Machine Gun Kelly told Cleveland native and comedian Dave Hill all about it.


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World Rallies Around Canton Gay Couple That Received Anti-Gay Letter in Response to Accidental Wedding Invite

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Remember that story from the spring where a gay couple from Canton inadvertently sent a wedding invite to a wrong address and received a nasty piece of hate mail in response?

The letter promised that an "anti-gay group" from the Akron-Canton area would be attending the wedding to protest.

"Like it or not this is going to happen," the letter promised. "This day is going to be ruined for you." 

See for yourself whether or not Keith and Chad's wedding day was ruined. 

Turns out that Keith Alan and Chad Michael were overwhelmed with support from around the globe after their letter went viral. And the wedding day, according to videographer Candace Wright, was "that much better" because of the support in the face of negativity. 

Video from their wedding day above. You couldn't ask for a better story in the wake of the announcement, yesterday, that Cleveland's 28th Annual Pride Parade has been canceled.

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7 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 10:54 AM

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FRIDAY, JULY 29

Hillbilly Casino


Last year, Nashville’s Hillbilly Casino opened a nationwide tour for rapper Yelawolf. Though the rockabilly band plays with a punk DIY edge that would make Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent proud, the group went over like gangbusters. Local rockers the Whiskey Daredevils, who just completed a new album with producer John Smerek (Detroit Cobras, Reckless Kelly, Paybacks, Electric Six, Sea and Cake) will join Hillbilly Casino for tonight's show billed as the “2016 Greaser Championship.” Local rockabilly outfit Bomb City Royals will also play. (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

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