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Brooklyn-based muralists creating art for Covington buildings

From Oct. 9-23, Brooklyn-based art collective FAILE is creating a mural on two Covington buildings. The mural, called Around the Corner, will be 100 feet wide and about 60 feet tall, and is being painted on the rear of the Republic Bank building and Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Bridal on the corner of Sixth Street and Madison Avenue.
 
“FAILE is one of the most influential groups of street artists currently doing work in the contemporary art movement,” says Lesley Amann, a partner at BLDG. “Bringing FAILE to Covington adds one more artist to the city’s unique collection. Our ultimate goal is to put the city on the map, along with LA, NYC, London and Paris for having a collection of street art. It’s unexpected in this small town on the river, and it’s something to be proud of.”
 
The mural, which is being funded by private donors and businesses, will depict classic FAILE characters, including a dog catching a masked lady sneaking out into the night. The words ‘FAILE Dream Club’ represents the collective’s original studio that had no windows, and the hopes and dreams they had. The stock car represents FAILE’s newer body of work, and it also fits into Kentucky’s racing history.
 
“The mural was inspired by our rip style of painting,” FAILE said in a statement. “Given the opportunity to paint two buildings adjacent to each other, we wanted the murals to have a conversation and to connect to one another.”
 
BLDG hosted an in-progress party on Oct. 17, and the rest of FAILE will join the head muralist and his assistant on Oct. 22 and 23 for the last two days of mural painting.
 
“We hope the mural creates conversation and intrigue,” Amann says. “I hope that people who haven’t heard of FAILE get online and seek them out and learn about them. We want to educate people and raise their curiosity.”
 
If you pass by the mural, take a photo and tag it #aroundthecorner on all social media.

Local couple brings Wiedemann beer back to Newport

Next spring, Newport will once again be home to the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co., which closed and moved to Evansville, Ind., in 1983. But local Jon Newberry is bringing the brand back to Northern Kentucky, and will operate out of a 10,000-square-foot space in WaterTower Square.    
 
“I want to bring some of the good times people remember back to the area,” Newberry says. “There’s more nightlife in Newport, we want to add to it, and bring people from Ohio here, expanding the brewery trail development that’s going on over there.”
 
George Wiedemann founded the brewery in 1870, and under his direction it grew to be the largest in Kentucky. Heilemann Brewing, a Wisconsin company, purchased Wiedemann in 1967, and operated the brewery in Newport until 1983.
 
At the time, Heilemann was purchasing a number of regional breweries, and decided to move Wiedemann to the old Sterling Brewery in Evansville, but it shut down in the 1990s. Pittsburgh Brewing then acquired the rights to the Wiedemann brand and made the beer until 2006, when they filed for bankruptcy.
 
The trademark rights to Wiedemann had expired, so Newberry applied for the rights. When he brought the brand back, he introduced a new beer, Wiedemann Special Lager. Wiedemann is currently available in stores and restaurants throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, including Pompilio’s in Newport and Mecklenburg Gardens.
 
The new brewery will have a large taproom with about 12 Wiedemann beers on tap, and will serve food as well. Newberry also wants to offer tours and host beer-related events. There will also be an outdoor biergarten with a bar that will be set up in the building’s existing courtyard.
 
“This will be the third brewery in Newport, and people have been really encouraging and are excited to have some Newport pride back,” Newberry says.

Plans are still in the works, but Newberry hopes to have construction underway by next month.

Interact for Health awards grant for trail system work

Interact for Health recently awarded Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek a grant for $186,000. The grant will go toward research and analysis on ways to connect the existing and planned trails in Cincinnati, and for securing local, state and federal funds.
 
This past year, the Green Umbrella Regional Trails Alliance, through another grant from Interact for Health, mapped 391 miles of existing trails, 439 miles of planned trails, and 1,293 miles of potential trails in the Greater Cincinnati area. Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek’s grant will advance the planning for trails that will complete the core of the city’s trail system.
 
The goal is to create a green, urban loop of interconnected trails that will link people and places, as well as encourage walking, hiking, running and bicycling. The city’s current trails include Mill Creek Greenway Trail, Ohio River Trail West, Wasson Way, Little Duck Creek, Oasis Line and Ohio Riverfront Trail East.
 
The grant will make advance planning for each trail possible, and will help ensure that connector trails are identified and built in order to create a seamless trail system.
 
The Connecting City Trails Project Steering Committee will oversee the project, and will include representatives from Interact for Health, the city, Queen City Bike, Green Umbrella Regional Trails Alliance and the six city trail groups. The committee will be assisted by a team from Human Nature.

Frameshop opens Workshop in Walnut Hills

Frameshop recently moved the back end of its framing business to 700 E. McMillan in Walnut Hills. It’s in the same building as Beck Paint and Hardware, and will allow Frameshop the space to do the woodwork and finishing on pieces.
 
Co-owner Jake Baker says they ran out of space to make frames at the Over-the-Rhine location, and needed a place where they could test out their services and maybe develop new products.
 
“We were looking for new opportunities to work with wood,” Baker says. “Walnut Hills is looking to change the dynamic of the neighborhood, and we’re excited about that.”
 
Workshop will be housed in a 1,100-square-foot space on the first floor of the building, but they’re also testing out the third floor, which is about 2,000 square feet. It will solely be a workshop, and Frameshop will continue to offer retail options, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and appointments during the week.
 
Baker says they might take appointments at Workshop, as there are customers who like to see the whole framing process, but that’s still up in the air.
 
Frameshop is expanding in other ways, too. Since opening in 2012, they hired two employees, both graduates of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. They also opened a location in Lexington last September, with the intention of moving to a new space in January. The lease at the new location fell through, so Baker and partner Jake Gerth decided to focus on Cincinnati and the new Workshop.
 
“Being active in Walnut Hills and OTR is going to allow us to get to know a new set of people, and introduce each neighborhood to a new set of people,” Baker says. “We’re ambassadors for business and the neighborhood of OTR, and we want to do that for Walnut Hills too.

New movie theater concept to offer classics and cocktails

Jacob Trevino’s heart is in craft cocktails—he works at Japp’s—but his other passion is movies. About six months ago, he started trying to find a way to combine his passions.
 
Trevino has been to movie theaters that serve beer, but he wants to improve upon that idea. His venture, Gorilla Cinema, will feature food and beverages that tie in with the movies being shown.
 
“Gorilla Cinema will be a truly immersive experience that celebrates the films that I love,” he says.

Trevino plans to show mostly classic movies that everyone has seen at least once. And Gorilla Cinema’s menu, which was designed by Chef Martha Tiffany of The Precinct, will feature upscale pub food that will change for special events. It will also reflect what movie is being shown.
 
“There’s something about watching a movie in a theater that you can’t get when you watch it at home,” Trevino says. “There’s something magical about going to the theater and seeing your favorite movie on the big screen. It invokes a kind of nostalgia that our generation really didn’t get to experience.”
 
Trevino is currently looking for a space in Bellevue or Pleasant Ridge to renovate and is seeking investors, but until then, he’s hosting popup events around the city to help build the company. The ideal permanent location for Gorilla Cinema will be in an old movie theater, with seats for 124 people, with space for a front bar and lounge area.
 
“Gorilla Cinema will celebrate the memories that movies bring back, and help recapture some of those memories,” Trevino says. “People talk about having their first kiss in the movie theater. I remember seeing Jaws for the first time. Movies are a weird art form that people remember when they saw something—they’re engrained in our culture.”
 
If you’re interested in a popup movie, Gorilla Cinema is hosting a horror movie double feature, with the original Dracula and House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price, on Oct. 26 in a parking lot at the corner of Montgomery Road and Ridge Avenue in Pleasant Ridge. Keep tabs on its Facebook page for event information.

Permanently show your love for Cincinnati with a CincyInk tattoo

During Midpoint Music Festival, people were asked to share what they love about Cincinnati. Now that MPMF is over, postcards will be available throughout the city for more input.
 
Thousands of entries are expected, and each message will inspire the creation of a love poem for Cincinnati, which is being coordinated by Chase Public, a Northside-based collaborative art and assembly space. The finished poem will be shared with the city in December.
 
The campaign, called CincyInk, will serve as the centerpiece of The Cincinnati Tattoo Project. As part of the project, 200 people will get tattoos of words and phrases from the poem. Tattoo artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, who were behind similar projects in Lexington and Boulder, will design each of the tattoos.
 
The tattoos will only be produced once, and each tattoo will be different. The tattoos will feature one to five words from the poem in a simple black serif font, and will be surrounded by a motif of “^,” which represents Cincinnati’s hills and valleys.
 
The Cincinnati Tattoo Project is free, but if you want to secure your chance to receive a CincyInk tattoo, you can underwrite a stanza of the poem for a monetary donation to the project. Once the poem is finished, underwriters will be able to choose their tattoo. Act fast because there are only 20 Get Inked; Give Ink sponsorships available.
 
Gohde and Kremena will also create a video that will feature a reading of the CincyInk poem, as well as images of each of the 200 tattoos that were inspired by the poem. The video will be shared with the community at the CincyInk celebration next October.
 
If you’re interested in a CincyInk tattoo, contact sara@artworkscincinnati.org or visit the CincyInk website.
 
And if you love Cincinnati but permanent tattoos aren’t for you, you can pick up a package of temporary tattoos here. The tattoos, which were designed by Artworks youth Apprentices, feature images of what make Cincinnati famous, including Graeter’s and the Cincinnati Zoo. Tattoo packages are $14.95, and all proceeds benefit the ArtWorks youth Apprentice Program.

NKY Scholar House to offer housing, programming for low-income student-parents

The Scholar House is a program of the Kentucky Housing Corporation, and is designed to help out low-income families as parents earn post-secondary degrees. The goal is for people to leave the program able to live free of public assistance, including housing.
 
NKY’s Scholar House, which will be located at 450 W. Sixth St. in Newport, is modeled after ones in Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, Paducah and Pikeville. The $8.3 million project broke ground in August, and the plan is to have residents moving in by next August. 
 
The project is the redevelopment of a parcel of land that houses a community center, which will be connected to the Scholar House’s education center. Eight apartment buildings will each house six, two- and three-bedroom apartments, for a total of 48. Programming at the Scholar House will include a child development center, and the space and staffing for life skills classes.
 
“The Scholar House’s main emphasis is on the education program, but it will also provide housing and childcare,” says Tammy Weidinger, CEO of the Brighton Center. “We want to be supporting each student throughout their educational endeavors, and if they run into a problem, we want to be there to help them work through it.”
 
The Brighton Center will manage the Scholar House, as well as provide the education programs, run the child development center and provide case management and life skills workshops for parents.
 
“We want to help create a community of learning and support for people who are going through the same experience,” Weidinger says. “It’s hard to be a parent and go to school full-time. There will be enough support to help parents work through that, and they will be there to support each other, too.”
 
The project is being funded through a variety of sources, but the largest is low-income tax credits through the Kentucky Housing Corporation, as well as a grant through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. It also received a Community Development Block Grant from the Campbell County Fiscal Court.
 
In order to qualify for the Scholar House, residents must be at least 18 years old, be considered low-income and have children. They also must be enrolled in a two- or four-year degree program at a state college, as well as attend six life skills workshops a year.
 
 
 
 

Off the Vine brings cold-pressed juices to Cincinnati

A juice bar will soon open in the old 940-square-foot Cincy Haus: American Legacy Tours space on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. Off the Vine will offer cold-pressed juices made from local and organic ingredients, when possible.
 
Cold-pressed juice is pressed between hydraulic plates in a juicer, which squeezes out every drop of juice and nutrients from the produce, and leaves a dry pulp behind.
 
Off the Vine’s menu will feature about eight different types of juice, ranging from a green juice to a nut milk-based juice. Juices will range in price from $6-$10, and will have three pounds of produce in each serving. Off the Vine will also sell juices for cleanses, which are $55 per day. Each cleanse package comes with five juices and one nut milk, and are meant for meal replacements.
 
Co-owners and OTR residents Annie McKinney and Cydney Rabe, who owns Core a Movement Studio in OTR, both started drinking juices for different reasons. McKinney is interested in how eating health food affects your daily mood and life, so she started drinking cold-pressed juice.
 
“You’re getting raw, living nutrients from cold-pressed juice that you can’t get from eating raw produce,” she says. “Plus, when you feel better, you treat other people better. It’s almost like a pay-it-forward mentality.”
 
When Rabe started doing Pilates, she looked at what she was eating and how she was treating her body, and decided that juicing would be the fastest way to get all of the nutrients she needed in one sitting.
 
Rabe says juicing can be frustrating because you see all of the produce that you’re throwing out. But with cold-pressed juices, you’re not wasting anything.
 
Off the Vine will offer some fruit-based juices for those who are just getting into juicing, as well as green juices and nut milks for more seasoned juice drinkers.
 
When Off the Vine opens in late October, its hours will be Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 

Covington neighborhood added to National Register of Historic Places

Ritte’s East, which makes up 35 blocks of Latonia, recently was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The mostly residential area is adjacent to Ritte’s Corner Historic District, which is the more commercial center of Latonia.
 
Most of the houses are pre-1949, and include American Four Square, Bungalow, Colonial, Italianate, Prairie, Queen Anne and Tudor Revival styles. The variety of architectural styles lies in the history of Ritte’s East.
 
Many of the families who moved to the area were wealthy, including the Rittes, for whom the neighborhood was named. Their main economy was the railroad and racetrack, and some of the larger Victorian and American Foursquare homes belonged to them. But there was also a need for housing to accommodate jockeys and other racetrack employees, and many bungalows were built with Victorian or Tudor elements.
 
“The historic designation for Ritte’s East has been a long time coming,” says Clare Norwood with the Center for Great Neighborhoods.
 
When CGN, Covington and Kenton County began the planning process for the Latonia Small Area Study in 2009, they wanted to create at least one historic district in the neighborhood. It was a little less than two years ago that there was finally time and manpower to tackle the project, she says.
 
Now that Ritte’s East is considered a historic neighborhood, it should help to stabilize the housing market in Latonia. There is now a tax incentive for people who wish to rehabilitate houses that are listed within the historic district.
 
“There are lots of fixer-uppers in this area,” Norwood says. “The housing stock is pretty behind, and hasn’t been updated since the '60s or '70s. Existing homeowners and new buyers want to rehab their homes.”
 
Many people purchased homes in Ritte’s East when the housing market crashed, and wanted to flip them. But they didn’t have the money to invest in a total flip, and only ended up putting on a new coat of paint. The tax incentive will encourage flippers to do decent renovation jobs, and help increase the housing stock in the area.
 
“Residents here still have a lot of Latonia pride, and want to put Latonia on the national map,” Norwood says.

Five Shotgun Row houses designated for artist-in-residence housing

Five houses in Covington are being rehabilitated for artists-in-residence. The houses, located on Orchard Street, are all one-story shotgun houses, with one bedroom and one bathroom, and the space for a studio.
 
“Historically, this is one of the worst areas in Covington, and neighbors wanted to do something about it,” says Sarah Allan with the Center for Great Neighborhoods. “Everyone thought the buildings should be torn down, but instead, we’re redoing them and creating value.”
 
Six identical houses were built in the late 1800s, and are considered historic by the state of Kentucky. The same people have owned the house on the end of the street for many years, but the other five houses had been made functionally and mechanically obsolete from years of decay. However, they couldn’t be torn down because of their historical designation.
 
CGN purchased the houses and thought they would make great studio/living spaces for Covington’s artists. The zoning on the houses allows artists to live and work in them, but they can’t operate retail stores.
 
As part of the Shotgun Row project, CGN is transforming a nearby dump into a parking lot. There isn’t a lot of on-street parking available, and there isn’t the space for off-street parking. CGN received a grant from the EPA to redevelop the dump into 12 parking spots. Each artist will receive a spot lease-free for the next five years, and the remaining spots are available for lease.
 
“Stemming from this project, we’ve had a lot of interest from older people who want to age in place in a urban setting,” Allan says. “They want a one-story house in an urban setting as opposed to one in the suburbs. There are shotgun houses scattered all around Covington, and in the future, we might remodel them for those that are interested in the product, but aren’t necessarily artists.”

ArtWorks brings interactive bike racks to city

If you’re a bicyclist, you’ve probably seen the 14 artist-designed bike racks, called Art Racks, throughout Greater Cincinnati. ArtWorks is currently working to help install a 15th in front of The Carnegie in Covington.
 
The new Art Rack will be designed by Michael Stillion, and will feature three ghosts. The Carnegie, ArtWorks and power2give have partnered to bring the new Art Rack to the city.
 
The organizations need to raise $7,000 to pay for the materials and the artist. The NLT Foundation will match all donations dollar-for-dollar. Donors will have the chance to select from a variety of benefits, including a Carnegie membership, tickets to The Carnegie’s annual Art of Food event and bike rack naming rights.

There are also three other power2give campaigns open for Art Racks in Columbia Tusculum, at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and at the Lloyd Library and Museum.
 
Since 2012, ArtWorks has partnered with local artists and organizations to bring artist-designed, functional Art Racks to spaces and add to the streetscape of the neighborhoods.
 
Art Racks can be found at:
  • The Coffee Emporium, 110 E. Central Parkway: Tour de Cincy, designed by Pam Kravetz, Carla Lamb and Karen Saunders; sponsored by the NLT Foundation 
  • Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave.: designed by Bob Dyehouse; sponsored by Truepoint, Inc. and ArtsWave
  • Duke Energey Convention Center, 525 Elm St.: Humanity Machine Outpost, designed by Edward Casagrande; sponsored by Duke Energy Convention Center
  • YWCA, 898 Walnut St.: designed by Carolyn Watkins; sponsored by Pantene
  • Fifth Third Bank, 38 Fountain Square Plaza: Currents, designed by Claire Darley and Rebecca Seeman; sponsored by goVibrant and Fifth Third Bank
  • Salway Park Trailhead at Mill Creek Trail: Elements, designed by Christopher Daniel; sponsored by ArtsWave and Truepoint, Inc.
  • Studio S, 3456 Michigan Ave.: Circular Logic, designed by Mark Schlacter; sponsored by Studio S
  • 1411 Main St., Ohio?: designed by John Dixon; sponsored by Over-the-Rhine Revitalization Corporation via Urban Sites
  • Hoffner Park, 4104 Hamilton Ave.: Sago Palms, designed by Kate Demske; sponsored by Terry Bazeley and John Castaldi and MoBo Bicycle Co-op
  • Walnut Hills High School, 3250 Victory Parkway: Acanthus Leaves, designed by David Tarbell; sponsored by Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation
  • Over-the-Rhine Kroger, 1420 Vine St., and East Price Hill Kroger, 3609 Warsaw Ave.: Fresh Fruit, designed by Maya Drozdz and Michael Stout of VisuaLingual; sponsored by Kroger
  • Smale Riverfront Park, West Mehring Way: designed by David Rice; sponsored by Jan and Wym Portman
  • SCPA, 108 W. Central Parkway: SCPA Octopus, designed by Christian Schmit and students at SCPA; sponsored by ArtsWave, The Johnson Foundation and power2give donors

Trails of Sleepy Hollow now open at Devou Park

The Trails of Sleepy Hollow, a new addition to the Devou Park Backcountry Trail system, are now open. The trails are ideal for hiking, running, mountain boarding and off-road cycling.
 
In the past four years, the Devou Park Trail Expansion Project has added 10 miles of new trails, including the Trails of Sleepy Hollow. This section of trails completes part of Phase III of the project.
 
Phase I included the completion of more than four miles of new trails, which doubled the previous offerings at Devou. Phase II, which was completed in 2013, added another four miles of natural surface trails to the park.
 
The Trails of Sleepy Hollow are on the east side of Sleepy Hollow Road, on the edge of Devou Park, a 703-acre park. The trails cover about 80 acres, and include a variety of paths.
 
The Sleepy Hollow trails system includes the Goat Path, which has been an active trail for years, and was officially added to the expansion project this year; the new Sleepy Hollow Trail, which was built for bikes; the Old Montague Road Trail, a road-to-trail conversion path; the Benny Vastine Nature Trail, which was established before the expansion project; and the Full Monty Trail, which was completed in 2012.
 
A ribbon cutting will be held in mid-October at the annual Backcountry Bonanza.
 
 

Food truck association to host street food festival

The Cincinnati Food Truck Association will host its first event, the CFTA Food Fest, from 4 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Washington Park. The event will feature beer, live music and food from 19 CFTA members.

CFTA members can be found at events all over the city, as can non-CFTA members. But this is the first time for a CFTA-exclusive event. All members were invited to Food Fest, but some won't be there due to prior commitments.
 
“CFTA members have been wanting to do our own festival since the beginning,” says Elizabeth Romero, president of CFTA and co-owner of SugarSnap! “We’re hoping the event will increase the buzz around town and give people a chance to try new and different trucks.”
 
Traditionally, Washington Park has been a great place for food trucks to set up for events like the City Flea and LumenoCity. So it made sense to have the CFTA event there too.
 
“It’s a great place to bring the community together,” Romero says. “It brings great vibes, and it has the room for a large number of trucks.”
 
Food Fest will feature beer served by 3CDC, music spun by D.J. Nate the Great, cornhole and giant Jenga.
 
CFTA members will be serving up everything from pizza and burgers to cupcakes and ice cream. Trucks that will be at the event include: Bistro de Mohr, C’est Cheese, Cuban Pete, East Coast Eatz, Eclectic Comfort Food, Falafel Mobile, Mobile Coldstone, Panino, Pizza Tower, Quite Frankly, Red Sesame, Streetpops, SugarSnap!, Texas Joe, The Chili Hut, Ricco Food Truck, Roll With It Café, Waffo and Wiggy Dip.  
 
CFTA’s goal is to host two events per year, and possibly make Food Fest an annual tradition in Cincinnati. The group also hopes to work with local bands, breweries and nonprofits in the future to give their events a wider scope.

Mural tour to highlight Cincinnati's history and famous painters

Cincinnati’s first annual “Mural Month” kicks off Oct. 1, and to celebrate, ArtWorks is launching its brand-new walking mural tours. The tours, The Spirit of OTR and Cincinnati Masters & More, begin Oct. 4.
 
Both walking tours feature about 10 murals, and last about an hour and a half. An Artworks Apprentice and an ArtWorks volunteer lead the tours, and give tour-goers background information on the mural, its painter, how it was made, and its connection to the community.
 
“Our murals tell stories, and are eye-catching and engaging,” says Ellen Stedefeld, communications and development coordinator for ArtWorks and the curator of the mural tour. “We want to tell the stories of the murals and the story of ArtWorks, as well as the murals’ connection to the city and the community.”
 
The Spirit of OTR tour will being outside of Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway, and will wind its way through Over-the-Rhine, ending at Washington Park. Tour guides will describe how the murals were made, and connect the murals to the history of the neighborhood from the 1800s to the present.
 
Murals included on The Spirit of OTR tour are Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat, located at 1109 Vine St.; Canal at Vine Street circa 1900, located at 101 W. Central Parkway; Cincinnati Strongman Henry Holtgrewe, located at 1215 Vine St.; and The Vision of Samuel Hannaford, located at 1308 Race St.
 
Cincinnati Masters & More also begins at Coffee Emporium and ends at Fountain Square. It celebrates Cincinnati’s artistic legacy by highlighting some of the city’s most famous artists, including Charley Harper, John Ruthven and Tom Wesselmann. Murals included in the Cincinnati Masters & More tour are Fresh Harvest, located at 1014 Vine St.; Homecoming (Blue Birds), located at 119 E. Court St.; and Still Life #60, located at 811 Main St.
 
Tours will take place every Saturday in October and November, ending around Nov. 22 for the winter. Tickets are $20 per person (children under 12 are free) and are available on Artworks’ website. Tours are capped at 20 people, but larger groups can book private tours in advance.
 

The Sidewalk Project to bring awareness to sidewalk use, problems

Advertising agency PB&J and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful have teamed up to help improve one of Cincinnati’s most important asset: its sidewalks. The Sidewalk Project aims to keep the sidewalks cleared in the winter, as well as use them for community events.
 
Last year, PB&J CEO Micah Paldino was walking from his home to work, a total of two blocks, and he noticed that because the sidewalks weren’t properly cleared, pedestrians were actually walking in the street.
 
“It was a little bit backward to me,” he says. “Our city is becoming more pedestrian-friendly, but we can’t even walk on the sidewalk in the winter.”
 
Paldino says that the city is a brand, which aims to give people positive experiences 365 days a year. Winter needs to be addressed, not ignored.
 
According to an old city law, businesses need to clear their sidewalk within four hours of accumulation. But the law has many loopholes, and no one is quite sure how to interpret it. PB&J is working with law firm Graydon Head & Ritchey to figure out how to create positive conversations within the community about the law.
 
“The sidewalks aren’t being cleared because people have this perception that they will get sued if someone gets hurt,” Paldino says. “Changing the law isn’t feasible, but we want to work with the city and the community to stay within the law and make walking easier.”
 
The details are still being worked out, but PB&J hopes to have crews out clearing the sidewalks of ice and snow buildup. The plan is to launch The Sidewalk Project this winter in Over-the-Rhine, and if all goes accordingly, expand to other areas of the city.
 
In the spring, The Sidewalk Project will roll out a park-let initiative, which is a semi-temporary patio that is set up in front of a business. It takes up the metered parking spots on the street, but still allows traffic to pass. A railing is set up, benches erected, and flowerpots or other decorations are added to give new dimension to a space.
 
There are also plans to do public awareness initiatives like street cleaning, sidewalk washing, crime awareness, gum pickup, cigarette butt pickup and trash pickup on the weekends—in OTR and downtown, trash pickup isn’t available on the weekends.
 
“The opportunities are endless,” Paldino says. “Any action that happens on the sidewalk can help facilitate conversation and enact positive change.”
 
Because this winter is supposed to be worse than last year, PB&J hopes to raise $25,000 to get The Sidewalk Project going. To donate, visit Keep Cincinnati Beautiful's website.
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