Posts Tagged ‘The Advocate’

Genuinely Authentic Destination

June 11, 2018

Week end of June 10, 2018 found The Newark Advocate become an oxymoron. OK, the politically correct term would be the newspaper became an antinomy. Highlight of the week end news, with articles, photos and video, was Newark Pride 2018. A rather lame attempt to “support” this was made by the Sunday (6-10-18) Our View editorial, Big things ahead for Newark’s past, future (written by the editorial board; a collaborative effort indeed!). Kurt Snyder’s Hundreds spread positive message during Pride (6-10-18) covered the Saturday’s festivities in the Canal Market District “before later heading to Thirty One West and the Denison Art Space. Attendees enjoyed music, dancing and fellowship on a hot, sunny afternoon.” The previous evening, Saturday’s revelers creatively resisted the Licking County Commissioners refusal to light the court house by shining gelled rainbow colored flashlights over its west side (also covered by The Advocate in photo’s, etc.). In the Our View editorial, the editorial board feigned support for multiculturalism by highlighting the great “tourist” draw to be found in the greater Newark area. “And while we all will get a new way to look to the stars, an effort to appropriately showcase our history got a major boost. The U.S. Department of the Interior made a formal invitation to make the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks the next United States nomination for World Heritage designation. Sites with such a designation include the Great Wall of China, Statue of Liberty, Vatican City, the Taj Mahal and Yellowstone National Park.” Wow! The editorial board makes it sound like Newark has finally made it to the Bigs. Don’t put your flashlights away just yet. Further on the same board writes of the increase in tourism to other such sites in the U.S. and finally “Giving people who visit the earthworks a place to eat, shop and sleep is critical to maximizing its potential. The conceptual plan for the former Meritor site is one intriguing idea for how to do this. Turning the vacant and contaminated site into an inclusive visitors center would be amazing, but it would not be cheap. Frankly it would be impossible for Newark, Heath and Licking County to develop the site to its potential without assistance from the state and federal governments.” Kurt Snyder wrote “Long-time Newark residents and those new to the area were equally pleasantly surprised at the positivity throughout the afternoon. Pride organizers were disappointed during the spring the Licking County Commissioners refused to light the courthouse for the event, and it caused division across Licking County and on social media.” But this is much more than an oxymoron of LC Commissioners (and the Newark mayor’s office) choosing to enact the will of “the people” to mean “our people.” May 25, 2018 Time.com’s MONEY put out clic bait entitled This Is the Best Park in Every U.S. State. Ohio finds that park to be Washington Park adjacent to Cinci’s Over The Rhine area. “Newly renovated and expanded less than six years ago, Washington Park is at the heart of Cincinnati. The park’s amenities include a playground, a dog park, and a “civic lawn” used for concerts and cultural events. During summer months, locals can grab a craft beer or glass of wine on the Southwest Porch and play games like chess (using an oversized set) and ping-pong.” Google the park and one sees something very familiar. Indeed, it is so central to the park (“a “civic lawn” used for concerts and cultural events”) that MONEY’s photo also includes it. The “it” is a gazebo that looks a lot like the one that used to grace Newark’s downtown “tourist” destination. Money’s short paragraph also seems to accurately describe what was once the courthouse square before Jeff Hall and Tim Bubb prioritized “security” at the cost of an expendable “civic lawn.” Other news of the past week included business owners of various downtown entities not finding their locations to be enough of a business draw and pulling out. Antinomies like an “inclusive visitors center” while  city (and county)  governments choose to enact the will of “our people” certainly don’t “spread [a] positive message” of what “is critical to maximizing its [marketing] potential.” As MONEY pointed out, a “civic lawn” is an irresistible gathering place, a genuinely authentic destination without the covert guile of profit design.

 

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No Government Is Politics By Other Means

May 22, 2018

Well, this is actually quite old, only now it is so much more overt than covert. How so? News blackout in Newark, The Advocate has definitely NOT been covering the Payday lender news in its editions. As pointed out in this blog’s Buried Lead posting (4-18-18), the resignation of House Speaker Cliff Rosenbeger had beaucoup to do with the definitely weird and unaccountable primary reelection campaign ads by Larry Householder (whose win was, to use the liberal term for a conservative cause celebre, “inevitable”, aside from also being within The Advocate’s coverage area. As mentioned in previous posts, The Advocate’s customer base is its paying advertisers, not readers). Those ads positioned Householder (and the various other state rep candidates he backed so they would back him) for election as Speaker of the House in 2019. Though a bit odd, he is not one of the candidates to replace Rosenberger who resigned, to run out the rest of the Speaker’s term in 2018. Most voters will find this strange as there were two separate lists of primary candidates for the 12thUS Congressional district – one to fill out Pat Tiberi’s recent term, and one to run for the next term. These two lists included the same names. Ditto for Ohio House Speaker? Emphatic nyet! Yet Householder’s “inevitable” campaigning was all about the speaker’s job. Confused? Following all this for the Dayton Daily news, Laura Bischoff headlined Payday lender made 3 international trips with ex-Ohio House speaker (4-25-18). In it she reports on various overseas trips to China, Great Britain and France by Rosenberger accompanied by Advance America exec Carol Stewart. “Advance America, which has 2,000 stores across the nation, employs lobbyists to influence legislation, including House Bill 123, a payday lending reform measure that had been stalled in the Ohio House for months.” Since then, other lobbyist for various umbrella groups of the Payday Lending industry have been named as being involved in financing other such trips (as well as accompanying Mr. Rosenberger). For Cleveland.com Jackie Borchardt headlined Payday loan ballot measure advances while Ohio lawmakers debate bill (5-21-18). After originally refusing to allow a citizen initiative petition, Ohio Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine eventually certified the Short Term Loan Consumer Protection Amendment. “The effort now goes to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will decide whether the proposal is one or multiple ballot issues. After it clears the Ballot Board, supporters can begin collecting the 305,591 signatures of Ohio registered voters to put the measure on a statewide ballot. The deadline for the November ballot is July 4.” The citizen Amendment initiative is in response to the constipated effort of the Ohio House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to move HB 123. As mentioned in this blog’s posting “Buried Lead”, the committee moved the bill along immediately following Speaker Rosenberger’s resignation. Committee member and House Speaker candidate Ryan Smith supports and promotes the bill as is. Smith is running for filling out the unexpired speaker’s term as well as opposing Householder for the next session. What does this have to do with The Advocate and all the trips to China, etc.? The House Speaker’s position is one of the most powerful in the legislature, determining not only what legislation moves along (and what never sees the light of day) but also what is funded, etc. For the unfulfilled speakership term the GOP caucus is currently deadlocked which means no special sessions of the house can be assembled. Though a vote on HB 123 is on tap for the regular scheduled session later this summer, the bill still needs to pass the Senate in the fall (an election year) before seeking Governor Kasich’s lame duck approval. With a new session (and speaker) in 2019, HB 123 would need to start all over again from scratch. Rosenberger’s trysts with the Payday lenders association, along with Mike DeWine’s footdragging and now the failure of the GOP to fill out Rosenberger’s unexpired term have effectively killed the possibility of any meaningful short term loan regulation. None of which is newsworthy for The Advocate. It is often said that “war is politics by other means.” In the US today it is more like “No government is politics by other means.”

If You Are Not Paying For The Advertising, You Are The Advertising

March 29, 2018

Big RSVP pre-season opening ice cream social was held at Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill the other day (Velvet Ice Cream increasing wages for new employees, credits federal tax cut, Kent Mallet, The Advocate, 3-28-18). Smiles and ice cream all around with Ohio Senator Rob Portman celebrating the recently enacted permanent tax cut for businesses like Velvet. Who doesn’t like ice cream? Good times. Isn’t a day goes by that The Advocate doesn’t feature some area business, established or just opening, usually on the front page. Comes under many guises like “Ace of Trades” or family history, etc. The Dager family history has little to do with a water powered mill (“Velvet will fix the roof of the mill, installing natural shingles like the ones used 200 years ago, at a cost of about $60,000 to $80,000.”). But then celebrating THAT history would be politically incorrect, at least for the theme of this particular GOP social event. Elsewhere, same trade journal, same day (business news is usually the product of a business trade publication), the headline “Licking County set record low unemployment in February” (same reporter, 3-27-18). Good times. Who doesn’t like setting a record (“The county’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent last month, according to the ODJFS Bureau of Labor Market Information.”)? A day earlier we read “State gives $750k to help build Newark Boys and Girls Club” (same reporter, same publication, 3-26-18). “State Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, who helped secure the appropriation in the state senate, praised the Evans Foundation effort to establish the local club, which will be part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Columbus Region. “For youth, this is one of the most exciting things in my lifetime,” Hottinger said. “It’s something that’s been on my radar screen for 30 years. I have a special place in my heart for at-risk kids. It’s an economic opportunity for the youth of Licking County and long overdue.”” Good times. Who doesn’t desire an “economic opportunity” for their kids? “The $1.2 million [state appropriated] amount ranked Licking County 24th of Ohio’s 88 counties in the community projects funding. When adding the $750,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs, the county ranked 19th.” Someday we’ll be number one! We’re always told how competitive it all is, economic opportunities for youth and all. So where’s the 21% of Licking County that is below the poverty line? Or the 51% that the United Way in the ALICE report says is one step away from being there (if not there already)? Only a couple of days earlier (3-22-18) Emily Stewart for VOX headlined “Corporate stock buybacks are booming, thanks to the Republican tax cuts. Republicans said their tax bill would go to workers. Instead, it’s going to Wall Street.” (“Right after Republicans in Congress passed their tax bill, lowering tax rates on corporations, companies delivered a very public thank-you: a series of bonus and investment announcements. It was a major PR opportunity for both corporate America and the GOP, meant to show that American businesses were sharing their billions of dollars in tax cut savings with their workers and the broader economy. But over the next few months, the real winners from the corporate tax cut became clear — not workers and consumers, but shareholders. Companies have boosted dividends and stock buybacks. A stock buyback is when a company buys back its own shares from the broader marketplace.”) Well, the GOP ice cream was good. And how about all those kids? At least the Advocate avoided using the phrase “at risk” in conjunction with the great “economic opportunity” (Jay did it for ’em!). Wages haven’t gone up, the poverty rate is still the same as well as the ALICE “almost poverty” rate, so how are these kids to get to the Boys and Girls Club? “Expected to open in 2019 at 96 Maholm St. Open 3-8 p.m. during the school year, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer, serving about 200 children per day. Cost $5 per year for each member. Ages, kindergarten through 12th grade.” One high school for all of Newark is possible only because of mandated (and funded) public school bus transportation. What are the kids on the north end to do? Play at the Hollander Pool whether it has water in it or not? And those at the east end? Play along the tracks? There is no reliable, affordable, accessible, sustainable public transportation in Newark, at least not during the hours the Club will be open. And the single moms at or in poverty, who are working while being at or near poverty, who would benefit most from this Club (estimated at 40+% of single moms)? What have they to look forward to? Same day as Mallett’s record setting employment news (3-27-18) Arthur Delaney headlined “GOP Food Stamp Plan Would Shift Some Funds From Benefits To Training” for the Huffington Post. “The proposal to reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would subject more enrollees to “work requirements,” and would require states to set up training programs for 3 to 5 million people who might be unable to find suitable private sector work. Such programs currently serve 700,000 SNAP recipients.” Gannett failed to cover this. Why is that? At one time there were free small print publications like The Advertiser, the Booster, and other “neighborhood news” community outlets. They were bought out by The Dispatch, Gannett, Sinclair and other “News” outlets. What those small publications served for advertising commercial products is now done by bona fide news source journalism. Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.” More like “If you are not paying for the advertising, you are the advertising.” Good times.