Thursday, August 16, 2018

Some Dude Threw Hot Coffee on Children Riding the RTA For No Apparent Reason

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 5:15 PM

  • Wikimedia

As first reported by Cleveland.com this is one of the the wildest RTA crime stories in months.

According to a police report, finally released more than a week after request, Cleveland's Stevie Wilson, 58, burned two children on August 3 after throwing scalding hot coffee on them for no apparent reason. The children were 11 and 5 years old.

The incident occurred in the morning hours after a mother and her four children boarded the train at the East 55th Street stop. The mother informed RTA police that Wilson was sitting in the back of the train and began screaming obscenities while pulling out what she believed to be a crack pipe.

Once the train arrived at Tower City, Wilson disregarded the exit closest to him, walked by the family, and threw hot coffee on two of the children while yelling profanities. Cleveland EMS paramedics treated the burns at the scene of the crime, but both children suffered skin discoloration and pain with their burns.

Wilson was tracked down by RTA officers, as he threw an unknown object and the conductor and officers forced Wilson to the ground. He continued screaming and threatening the officers, promising violence and sprinkling in racial slurs for good measure.

Wilson is being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on $50,000 bond with charges of felonious assault, misconduct while using public transportation and assault. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

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5 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 4:09 PM

  • Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The Flaming Lips

Earlier this year, the Flaming Lips released Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, which included their most well-known songs, B-sides and a couple previously unreleased tracks. They also released Seeing the Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings of The Flaming Lips: 1986-1990, which includes more than 70 songs over six discs. Expect the band to draw from its extensive catalog when it performs tonight at the Agora. (Laura Morrison) 8 p.m., $45-$128.50. Agora Theatre.

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A Brief History of the WMMS Buzzard

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 2:31 PM

  • Collection of David Helton
We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of WMMS with an oral history that’s this week’s cover story. A big part of the station’s legacy has been the Buzzard. While other radio stations have had well-known mascots over the years, it can be argued that none of them, or at the least, very few, had the national — and international impact of the Buzzard. Witness the mid-’90s when the station went online with its first website, and received email requests for songs as far away as Japan. To this day, if you happen to be traveling and in an airport in another city wearing a WMMS T-shirt, chances are good that someone will stop you and ask, “Where did you get that shirt and how can I get one?”

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Details for Cleveland Blockchain Conference Announced

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM

  • Courtesy: Blockland Cleveland

Cleveland's inaugural Blockchain "Solutions" Conference, which is being hastily organized for the first week of December at the Huntington Convention Center, now has a roster of keynote speakers.

In a press release this morning, the Blockland team announced that the conference has also secured the financial backing of Cuyahoga County, which will provide the Convention Center at no cost, (an in-kind contribution of $95,000), and will donate $50,000 to pay for the registration and lodging of some attendees.

The local tourism bureau, Destination Cleveland, will serve as the primary event manager.

“The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee illustrated how successful a collaborative approach to community initiatives can be, and the Destination Cleveland team is honored to be an integral contributor to Blockland initiative and Solutions Conference,” said David Gilbert, Destination Cleveland's boss, in the release. “Both the Blockland effort and the conference are unprecedented for Cleveland. There is risk associated with trying something different, but we will apply our expertise to making the event the best it can be and learn from the experience so that future endeavors can be even better.”

The conference keynote speakers will include the following:
  • Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow, Vice President of IBM Blockchain Technologies
  • Jeremy Gutsche, New York Times Bestselling Author
  • Jason Kelley, General Manager of IBM Blockchain Solutions
  • Joseph Lubin, founder of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) and co-founder of Ethereum
  • Will McDonough, Founder & CEO of iCash
  • Larry Sanger, Co-Founder of Wikipedia
  • Alex Tapscott, Author, Blockchain Revolution and Co-founder of Blockchain Research Institute
Bernie Moreno is the Blockland initiative's driving force and public face. His blockchain company, Ownum, was also announced as an event sponsor. At a Greater Cleveland Partnership Forum this morning, Moreno and GCP's Joe Roman discussed the initiative.

Blockland Cleveland also unveiled a new website.

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If 'Stranger Things' Was Grittier and Slower, it'd be 'Summer of '84,' Opening Saturday at the Capitol Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 11:18 AM

  • Courtesy of Gunpowder & Sky

When the Canadian film collective known as RKSS first came into public consciousness, it was with their ABC's Of Death competition short film, "T is for Turbo." The super gory and simultaneously extremely cute Mad Max meets Rad throwback became a quick fan favorite, and was developed into the contemporary cult classic, Turbo Kid.

Nostalgia throwbacks work very well for RKSS, and they have an excellent grasp on how to breathe new life into a long-dead decade. Their next venture, a kids-solving-their-neighborhood-murder flick Summer of '84 backed against synthwave music and an abundance of pop-culture references is exactly the type of film RKSS can make successfully.

The only problem is that Stranger Things and the new adaptation of Stephen King's 'IT' exist. Part of what made Turbo Kid such a smashing success was that it was a nostalgia throwback before we became overrun with films and television shows of the same nature. For RKSS, their sophomore venture is secure in their wheelhouse, but it's difficult to watch this film and not view it as more nostalgia bait.

Summer of '84 is a retro-thriller about suburban kids investigating their neighbor, whom they believe is a serial killer. It's very Goonies, it's very Monster Squad, and good-god, it's so Stranger Things it hurts. Every moment feels like a love letter to the forgotten VHS tapes we never had the chance to rent before the video stores closed their doors, but it reads like a love letter that we've read time and time before.

On the positive side, Summer of '84 is much darker and grittier than Stranger Things and IT, given the fact it's based in reality. This isn't a scary clown or a government agency giving people special powers, these are real kids tinkering around with a real serial killer.

The identity of the murderer can be predicted pretty early on, so the film plays less like a "whodunit" and more of a "how do we prove this?" Unfortunately, because of that, the legitimate reveal doesn't have much of an impact because audiences already figured it out an hour earlier.

Summer of '84's also suffers from slow pacing and unnecessary endings. The film is way too long for the story its telling, running nearly a full thirty minutes longer than the iconic films they're trying to invoke. False endings are littered throughout which may have read well on paper, but in execution causes the film to drag.

Luckily, Summer of '84 is saved by incredible production design, a killer score, gorgeous cinematography and authentic performances from child actors. Fight me on it if you must, but the kids in this film are absolutely dynamite performers, and handle the less-than-stellar dialogue better than the Stranger Things kids who are reciting lines from the minds of an entire staff.

Ultimately, Summer of '84 is a perfectly acceptable gritty reboot of Stranger Things and fans of nostalgia bait flicks are going to absolutely eat this up. If you can endure the unnecessarily long run-time and clunky dialogue, it's a charming throwback sprinkled with brutality.

Summer of '84 is playing as part of the Cinema Late Shift series at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, August 18 at 11:59 p.m. and Tuesday August 21 at 7:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, click here.

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Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer Take Dumb National Trump Editorial Idea, Make it Dumber

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 11:14 AM

  • Emanuel Wallace

More than 350 newspaper editorial boards around the country today published responses to Donald Trump's repeated attacks on the press, including calls of "fake news" and labeling reporters the enemies of the people.

It's been rightly noted that the concurrent, unified defenses of the free press, led by the Boston Globe, are echoes of those that have been repeatedly and independently voiced already. Furthermore, they will, like their predecessors, do nothing to change the minds of readers who agree with Trump nor change the rhetoric or actions of the president himself. There are other problems, of course. Journalists like few things more than free food and talking about journalism, and the whole affair feels like nothing more than a cloistered contest to see which editorial board can most elegantly move from resting pose (in this case, navel gazing) into a more advanced contortion (in this case, autofellatio).

As Dig Boston Editor-in-Chief Chris Faraone wrote: "Whether deliberate or if editors there really are delusional enough to think that Trump will care and can tell the Globe from the Wahlburgers menu, their marketing and editorial teams are using all these suckers—readers, writers, conservative nutjobs freaking out about a left-wing media conspiracy—to execute an inarguably futile campaign to spread the word about something people who read newspapers already know." 

In other words: Participate, don't participate, it doesn't really matter either way.

Unless, of course, you're the Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer editorial board and you say to yourself, this is probably a dumb idea, but let's make it dumber.

"The consensus of the Editorial Board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer is that the Globe's effort, while well-intentioned, is not the ideal way to respond to the administration's criticism, so we are not participating," they wrote before introducing a roundtable of opinions from the Editorial Board members, thusly participating. (If you'll remember, it's far from the first time they've attempted a gimmick/cop-out move in response to topics.)

Let's check in with some lowlights of their non-participation participation, beginning with resident Neanderthal Ted Diadiun.

"I don't think the Globe's effort is well-intentioned or wise: Urging news organizations across the land to band together in a coordinated attack on President Trump, less than three months before the partisan battle of the midterm elections, is a terrible idea. Such an effort erases all pretense of objectivity in our coverage of the administration, and destroys any credibility we might have left, removing any doubt the president and his supporters might have that journalists as a body have declared war on him and them."

A coordinated attack?

Pretense of objectivity?

Any credibility we might have left?

Declared war?

As an exercise in projection, we give it a solid C-. As a more grammatically correct predictive text of how Trump would himself respond this morning, we give it an A+.

Let's move on to Mary Cay Doherty, one of the new community members added to the editorial board earlier this year.

"Sadly, the media misses an invaluable message behind President Trump's bombastic rhetoric: he gives voice to the distrust many Americans share of a "free and independent" press seemingly prone to cherry-picking information that supports a liberal agenda. 'Enemy of the people' and 'fake news' are wholly inaccurate and unfair descriptors, but dismissing almost 63 million Americans who voted for Trump (and their views) as ignorant or, worse, malicious, is not the unbiased approach we expect from our press."

Yes, that right there is a reasoned, vetted opinion that should be widely shared with the backing of Cleveland's largest media outlet's editorial board. For absolute fuck's sake.

Finally, let's check in with Cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn, who argues that the they shouldn't participate but instead let their watchdog reporting speak for itself.

"The best way for journalists to convince Americans that the media are vital to our democracy is to do our jobs well, reporting accurately on how government works and operating as the ever-wary watchdog. With all the criticism we make when government fails, we ought to be able to shoulder the kind of criticism this administration lodges against us, however unfair we believe that criticism to be."

Two things here.

First, shout out to Mark Naymik, who, most recently, is single handedly killing it on the Ken Johnson grift beat, the latest in his batch of legit watchdog reporting on local government.

Second, shout out to the rest of Quinn's pack of watchdogs below:


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Rock Hall's First Woman Inductee Aretha Franklin Dies at 76

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 11:05 AM

The first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has died. Aretha Franklin's family announced today that after a battle with pancreatic cancer the Queen of Soul passed early this morning at her home in Detroit. She was 76.

Scene's own music editor, Jeff Niesel, spoke with Franklin back in 2016 for our sister paper, the Detroit Metro Times, and she said then she wanted to sing until the end.

"I will be singing all the way," she said. "...It's not good to go and sit down anywhere, especially after having been very active. That's just not a good idea."

Henry Beecher Hicks III, president of the National Museum of African American Music, said in a statement today that the "Respect" singer will be greatly missed. 

"Franklin’s influence on subsequent generations of musicians is too pervasive to sum up in a few words," Hicks said. "But perhaps, President Barack Obama described it best when he said that her music 'captures the fullness of the American experience, the bottom as well as the top, the good and the bad, and the possibility of synthesis, reconciliation, transcendence.'"

The Rock Hall plans to add a dress worn by Franklin to its In Memoriam case later today. 

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