Scene & Heard

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Indians Announce Extended Safety Netting for 2018 Season

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 11:08 AM

  • Scene

The Indians today announced they will be installing expanded safety netting around the field before next season. Spanning sections 140 through 164, the extended protection will run from the end of one dugout clear to the other.

Safety concerns over scorching foul balls and bats that slip loose from players' grips and fling, helicopter-style, into the crowd, have risen in recent years. Clubs have responded in various fashions — the Indians being among those that have been the most proactive. The team added extra netting across homeplate sections before the 2016 season, following recommendations set by Major League Baseball. The team says it will continue to use the best technology in the forthcoming expansion to minimize any disruptions to the view.

“We remain committed to delivering the best experience for our fans at Progressive Field,” Indians VP of Ballpark Operations Jim Folk said in a statement. “Safety is our No. 1 priority and these measures should balance that commitment to safety with the interactive nature of our game, something we know is also important to our fans.”
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Chuck Todd was in Cleveland Yesterday and Walked a Mile for a Slyman's Corned Beef Sandwich

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 10:48 AM

  • / @chucktodd
Chuck Todd, of NBC's Meet the Press, was in town for a speaking engagement with the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland yesterday. At some point, he got a jonesin' for corned beef.

That is all.

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Former Channel 19 Anchor Sharon Reed Responds to Atlanta Viewer Who Called Her N-Word

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Sharon Reed, the former Channel 19 news anchor who's now in Atlanta at CBS 46, responded live on air last night to a viewer who sent her an email calling her the n-word. Race has taken center stage in Atlanta as the city, which hasn't elected a white mayor since 1973, voted in a tightly contested run-off election between two candidates, one white (Mary Norwood) and one black (Keisha Lance Bottoms). Bottoms prevailed last night by a slim margin — less than one percent of the vote.

Responding to the station and Reed's coverage, an emailer identifying herself as Kathy Rae sent Reed a message calling her "a racist N****r."

"You what's wrong with the world," it read. "You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight. It's OK for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites, really? You are what I call a N****r not a black person."

Reed's perfect response, transcribed and in video from last night's newscast, is below.

"I didn't say that white people couldn't talk about race. Quite the contrary, we think that race is an authentic discussion to have. It's one we're having tonight because it's one that you are talking about at home and it's one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor's race.

"That's why, behind the scenes, my colleagues and I — white and black — we decided, hey let's go for it.

"When arguing with somebody you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint, so I won't mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae. I get it. On 5 December, 2017, you think it's OK to call this journalist a 'n****r'. I don't.

"But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead I'll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themselves. And that will be the last word."
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scene at the Ohio Governor Democratic Primary Debate

Posted By and on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM

Your faithful Scene Magazine correspondents Sam Allard and Eric Sandy attended Monday evening's Democratic Primary Debate between four candidates for Ohio Governor. Video of full debate is above.

Sam Allard: You’ve seen these candidates up close more than I have, duder. [Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and former State Rep. Connie Pillich]. How would you rate their performances Monday?

Eric Sandy: There’s nothing like the campaign trail, I guess. I thought each candidate delivered a smooth debate performance last night. This is only the third time they’ve appeared onstage together in what should be a competitive and important primary race, and they’ve landed in a pretty well-worn groove, rhetorically speaki —-


ES: Oh, you mean Richard Cordray? The Richard Cordray?

SA: The very same.

ES: He wasn’t there! Didn’t even bother to announce in time!

SA: Sounds like Betty Sutton in the press room afterwards. NO-SHOW!

ES: Precisely. I thought that was weird, too. Aside from Scene, there were only two other reporters covering the debate.

SA: Plus Castele, don't forget, roving the premises like a seismologist.

ES: Point is — c’mon — you’ve got to get some face time with the press! The other three candidates were very congenial in the press room.

SA: Consider me your choir, preacher man. One of the big narrative threads on the Democratic side is that the four candidates haven’t successfully differentiated themselves from one another. All they do is agree! Do you feel that they carved out any individual territory last night? I feel like Nan Whaley, just for example, was pushing a more Bernie-ish progressive angle, calling out lobbyists and CEOs and big special interests more than her counterparts.

ES: Whaley definitely took a grassroots stance. She’s a mayor, after all, and advocated in several answers for reviving the local government fund to its pre-Kasich heft. I think that’s a key distinction. For the others: Sutton has some real Washington experience, which I think she’s using to indicate some across-the-aisle skills and which will help with the GOP-dominated Statehouse. (Each candidate brought up the gerrymandering problem, by the way.)

SA: Wait, Betty Sutton has Washington experience? Do you mean her work with “PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA” (a name she dropped at least thrice)?

ES: She’s a big fan, and that’s really emerged as a theme to her campaign. Marcia Fudge endorsed her last month, too. Otherwise, though, Joe Schiavoni is a current state senator, and has a lot of newly introduced bills to talk about — broadband infrastructure, college affordability, etc. And Connie Pillich has some helpful leadership experience from her time in the U.S. Air Force on which to draw. She may have had the most zip in her answers last night, to my ears.

SA: In a question about transit infrastructure, Pillich mentioned that she’d been endorsed by the Amalgamated Transit Union in both Toledo and Cincinnati. That’s nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand — maybe it was the live feed in the press annex or something — I kept thinking Pillich was on the verge of tears... I’ll say this about Joe Schiavoni. He’d make one hell of a JV football coach.

ES: His halftime pep talks could be legendary, in a kinder universe.

SA: Imagine him entreating his Youngstown peewees to buy homes in Ohio down the road, in order to have half of their college loans forgiven (smart legislation that Schiavoni has introduced in the Statehouse). Riveting stuff.

ES: “You’re gonna go out there, kids, and you’re gonna secure a mortgage! And you’re gonna give that student loan debt a real whoopin’ — with the help of your O-line in Columbus!” is what he’d say.

SA: (Just a note that I am now blasting the iconic “Chariots of Fire” theme.)

ES: (It’s true.)

SA: (Which I'm only now realizing was composed by Vangelis, of Blade Runner fame.) Any weak moments from the candidates?

ES: Well, it’s been said before, but none of the candidates really pounced on one another. That’s not a weak moment, per se, but at this point in the campaign it’s getting hard to see through all the Democratic party line talking points. Each candidate has some really great policy platforms, but they didn’t use this moment — five months out from the primary election — to stake a real claim. I also thought they could have gone after Cordray even more, if only to brace for impact.

SA: Pillich really attacked him — basically called him a traitor for abandoning his post at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On the other point, the same sort of dynamic obtained during the Cleveland mayoral primaries. With limited exceptions, the challengers focused their attacks on incumbent Frank Jackson, not on one another.

ES: Right. And look how that ended.

SA: Ahem. Let’s end on presentation and style points. Because if you’re not going to say it, bud, I will: Nan Whaley has an incredibly warm and maternal presence at the lectern! She does! Not only was I finding myself on board with her platform — money back to local governments, death to Big Pharma — I think she can win over a not-insubstantial number of on-the-fence voters on the strength of vibe alone. She doesn’t smell like Washington, you know what I mean? She smells like Dayton. She gets the frustration of Ohioans who voted for Trump.

ES: There’s something to be said for mayoral experience in a race for the governor’s office. And that’s a key point: There are a lot of Trump voters in Ohio who will be looking for something comprehendible in 2018, something oriented toward small businesses, labor rights and “the dignity of work,” as Whaley herself said. The Trump thing is unavoidable in a race like this.

SA: Schiavoni mentioned it, too. He said he never begins a meeting talking about 2016, but that realistically, the only way Dems can win is if they snag Trump crossover voters. In fact, he called himself the only candidate (at least among the debaters) who’d be electable statewide. He thinks his Youngstown-area connections will be a valuable asset.

ES: And they will be. This is an 88-county race, no doubt, and the Mahoning Valley represents the 2016 electoral shift better than almost any other part of the state. It’s steel country. A former manufacturing hub. His bonafides there will mean a lot — and, again, he’s got this very active legislative record to point to when voters want proof of what a candidate will do in office.

SA: “You’re gonna go out there, kids, and you’re gonna secure a mortgage!” Before we part ways, is there room to note my appreciation for moderators Russ Mitchell of WKYC and Karen Kasler of the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau? Absolute pros, those two.

ES: They were terrific.
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Richard Cordray Joins Ohio Governor's Race

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM

Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, D.C., entered the Ohio governor's race today. He made the announcement at a diner in Grove City, his hometown.

This development has been bandied about for months, and it will no doubt change the landscape of the Democratic primary. Cordray is a "big name," after all, but that alone does not make a campaign.

Last night, the other four Democratic candidates gathered for a debate in Cleveland. Cordray was not present, of course, as he hadn't yet formally announced his candidacy. The timing there won't be forgotten as this primary race moves forward; the other candidates said as much last night.

"I'll take on all comers at whatever stage," Cordray said this morning, however.

Future debates will help limn the candidates' distinctions and bonafides, and we look forward to seeing how Cordray's arrival shapes the primary race for Democrats.

As a former state treasurer and attorney general, Cordray certainly has a great deal of Ohio state experience on which to draw.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Report: Suspended Met Opera Conductor Led Blindfolded Masturbation Sessions in Cleveland in 1969-1970

Posted By on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 1:46 PM

Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra - PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
  • Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra
Famous conductor James Levine, with whom New York's Metropolitan Opera has severed ties after multiple allegations of sexual assault, was once an assistant conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra.

While there — from 1964 - 1970, first as an apprentice to conductor George Szell, then as an assistant conductor — Levine was the leader of a close-knit circle of friends and musical acolytes, the members of which he sometimes forced into "humiliating" sexual encounters.

According to musician James Lestock, who gave a detailed account of his experiences to the Times, Levine once "encouraged the members of [the Cleveland group] to put on blindfolds and masturbate partners they could not see." Another member of the Cleveland group confirmed the account.

Levine is accused of sexually assaulting two teenage boys at Michigan's Meadow Brook School of Music in the summer of 1968. Levine was then 25, the two teenage victims, both male, were 17. Another man accused Levine of sexual assault that began in the summer of 1986, when he was 16.   

Via the New York Times, Levine retired from the Met last year with ongoing health issues, but he was scheduled to conduct a production of "Tosca" and two other performances in 2018. The Met has canceled those engagements and announced that it was "working on an investigation with outside sources" to determine appropriate action.
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Lawsuit Accuses Fired Euclid Police Officer of Another Violent Arrest

Posted By on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 12:02 PM

  • Spencer
Michael Amiott was fired from the Euclid Police Department this year after multiple accusations of excessive force piled up on his personnel file. In August, he was seen on video beating a black man in the street during an apparent traffic stop.

Now, a Dec. 5, 2016, incident has come to light via a lawsuit against Amiott and the Euclid Police Department. If this is all starting to sound like a familiar refrain, you're not wrong.

Euclid resident Emirius Spencer argues that Amiott kicked him in the face during an arrest for possession of marijuana.

Spencer was carrying less than a gram of bud when officers encountered him in the hallway of Richmond Hills Apartments, where he lives. Two officers approached and began questioning him. Amiott reached into Spencer's pocket and pulled out the small amount of marijuana.

It's unclear how or why the officers were in the hallway at Richmond Hills.

According to the lawsuit: "Amiott immediately grabbed Spencer arm and began twisting it. Officer Amiott's response was sudden and unnecessarily aggressive. Spencer was pushed against the hallway wall and grabbed by both Officers Amiott and [Shane] Rivera. Spencer tried to be calm and asked the Officers why they were doing this, but he was ignored. Rather, Officer Amiott was shouting at Spencer to 'Stop Resisting!' despite the fact that Spencer was being compliant. Amiott then kneed Spencer in the groin and forcefully pushed Spencer to the ground."

As the officer restrained Spencer on the ground, Amiott kicked him in the face. Both officers then tased him. Amiott's partner, Shane Rivera, is also a named defendant.

  • Amiott
Read the full lawsuit below.

"Spencer was eventually taken to Euclid Hospital. The medical staff at Euclid Hospital recommended Spencer be transferred to MetroHealth Hospital because MetroHealth has trauma unit and Spencer injuries were sufficiently severe," according to the lawsuit. "Later, Amiott and Rivera attempted to justify their use of force by alleging Spencer was violently uncontrollable Spencer, and 155 lbs., has no criminal felony record nor does he have any history of violence. Amiott, and 218 lbs., has history of misconduct, dishonesty and using excessive force."

Spencer seeks at least $25,000 in compensatory and consequential damages, along with punitive damages.

Spencer v. City of Euclid by sandyatscene on Scribd

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