Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Once again I'll be getting up at 5:00 a.m. this coming Tuesday to help out Franklin County. The work is extremely rewarding and helpes provide legitimacy to the election process. Consider volunteering your time. Contact informatin is below.

338 sought to work polls on March 4
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 5:47 AM

Franklin County is looking for 338 poll workers for Tuesday's primary election.

The Board of Elections will keep telephones open until 8 p.m. weeknights and until 5 p.m. during the weekend to sign up workers. Training courses run through Monday. Register online at vote. or call 614-462-5393.

Workers are paid at least $110 for the day, depending on their assignment. They must attend a two-hour course, be able to work from 5:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m. on election day and have transportation.

The board expects to hire about 5,000 poll workers for this election. It still needs 200 Republicans and 138 Democrats, including 30 as presiding judges.

Areas short on Republican poll workers include Bexley, Gahanna, Dublin, New Albany, Reynoldsburg, and central and northeastern Columbus. Democrats are primarily needed in suburban precincts outside I-270.

-- Barbara Carmen

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The Dispatch reported on a few new restaurant openings in the SN and downtown area. Most of these have been reported on elsewhere but this article clears up opening dates, etc.

VegiTerranean- Chrissie Hynde creation. Locations currently being scouted.
Cafe Lola- focuses on grab and go lunch crowd. Broad St and N High.
Original Soupman- you guessed it...soup. Next door to Lola and will open next week.
Cinco- Mexican fare. Huntington Building. Open in five months.

Read the article at:

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Camera is still crapped out so you are just going to have to trust me on this.

Exile on 4th Street reopened this past Friday evening and I have to admit the remodeled bar is pretty great. No longer do you enter through a side door and the boarded up street windows have been replaced with actual windows. The interior has been freshened up and feels more opened. The remodel continues with a larger dance, stage and patio being added. Fourth Street seediness just got a little less.

Welcome back Exile.

Friday, February 22, 2008


This Monday, February 25, 2008, the City of Gahanna's City Council will once again consider passing a resolution in support of the Ohio Hub Freight and Passenger Rail development. In October 2007, the Council rejected the proposition 4-3 but due to a few new faces on the board and additional time to learn more about the hub plan the resolution stands a favorable chance at passage.

If you are in support of the Ohio Hub plan, consider attending the Gahanna City Council meeting Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. Gahanna City Hall is located at 200 S. Hamilton Road and offers plenty of free parking since you can't ride the rails there just yet.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I rarely ever do more than just glance through The Other Paper because I never find any substantive journalism in it. I have come to accept that it really is just a big events calendar that lets me know just what is happening at Ugly Tuna every night of the week. I admit, I have been there once and I did consume a fish bowl of liquor while there. I digress.

However, in this week's issue of the OP, Kitty McConnell brings to light more information regarding the old Little Brother's Location. Apparently the new business, Liquid, is going to be debuting this spring as a bar/restaurant geared toward gay professional women. In my head I am imagining Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier and all the other L Word ladies hanging out on High Street and I am loving it.

The design of the new space is about half-way done and how it is described in the article sounds nice. I am anxious to get a sneak peek of the place and maybe convince the owners to name it something other than Liquid which just makes me think of it as a place where the clap is swapped back and forth.

Check out the article only available in print on page 15.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I am all for placemaking and I agree that universities should make a greater effort to make sure residents, students and visitors know its defined boundaries. However, I think there are a couple things a little off with plan proposed by OSU students.

First, the coined name "Unidentity" is atrocious. I get where it came from and good for them for trying to be clever but using a prefix that means "opposite of" and "not" when trying to create identity isn't the smartest move.

Second, the arch is already taken by the Short North. Creating a unique identity means using symbols that are not already adopted by other entities. Sure, the SN does not have exclusive rights to the arch but when the areas are so close to one another they may want to try something more distinctive.

I give the students props for trying to create a more clearly defined campus. The banners are a great start but there are many other options to consider. I would suggest these good folks look to other colleges located in urban environments to see what they have done. George Washington University right smack dab in the middle of DC has done a great job.

Unidentity gives face to University District
By: Cara Shirley
Posted: 2/19/08
Block O banners suspended from lamp posts and archways curving over streets might adorn the University District by 2009.

This is part of a new plan developed by a group of Ohio State students. They call it the "Unidentity Project," an effort to define the boundaries of the University District and to make people feel more welcome when they enter it.

"I believe building the arches will identify and consolidate the community, instill pride and strengthen the community," said Nick Uhas, project director.

Uhas said the University District consists of OSU's campus and the residential and business areas that surround it. The north border is Arcadia Avenue, the south border is fifth avenue, the East border is the railroad tracks and the west border is the Olentangy River.

The group said its motives for creating the project are evident in the name it selected. "Unidentity" is a combination of the words "university" and "identity."

The arches were initially Uhas' idea and the banners were Taylor Meadows.' Because they are both members of the Undergraduate Student Government, they combined their goals into one project and gathered support from additional USG members along the way.

The project outline, which they began in the fall, designates that banners run along the lamp posts on High Street and Lane Avenue, while the arches will be constructed in four different locations on the north, south, east and west borders of the district, said Brennan Duty, USG member and co-project director.

Uhas thinks branding the edges of the University District with arches will help students and residents better understand the boundary locations.

After talking with fellow OSU students, Uhas said he realized, "there was confusion about where the University District stops and starts."

To gather more precise data on what students know and do not know about the district, Uhas created a survey. Jerry Dunleavy, a USG member helping with the project, sent out the survey to 10,000 students through Webmail last week.

The results are still coming in, but out of the 250 students who have responded so far, 61 percent do not know where the district starts and stops. The survey revealed that 75 percent of students would like a welcoming structure.

Once they finish gathering the survey data, Duty said those involved in the project will develop "a business plan" and present it to OSU's Campus Partners and Columbus City Council.

Because the lamp posts on High Street and Lane Avenue are owned by OSU, the university has the power to approve the banners. The arches, though, must be approved and funded by the city of Columbus, Duty said.

Duty said constructing arches around the University District has been proposed in the past by city officials, "but no one spearheaded it." However, the funds set aside for the arches still exist and are waiting to be spent, he said.

Uhas said he is so adamant about the project that he will make it happen this time around.

He said since the student population is contributing $250,000 a day to the part of the University District surrounding campus, the city should support the project.

"Look what Ohio State does for Columbus. We want Columbus to do something for Ohio State," Uhas said.


Curious about who the 19 Democratic superdelegates are for the state of Ohio? These folks may have the power to decide the upcoming presidential election. If you want them to know who you think should lead the country in 2008, call their offices. Also know that superdelegates can switch their support up to the election.

Distinguished Party Leader

David Wilhelm- supports Obama

US House

Marcy Kaptur
Dennis Kucinich
Tim Ryan
Zack Space
Betty Sutton
Charles Wilson

US Senate
Sherrod Brown


Joyce Beatty
William Burga
Enid Goubeaux
Mark Mallory
Ronald Malone
Rhine McLin
Patricia Moss
Sonny Nardi
Chris Redfern
Stephanie Tubbs Jones- supports Clinton

Monday, February 18, 2008


Two more storefronts may be opening soon along High.

Restaurant owner accused of mortgage scam
Monday, February 18, 2008 12:23 PM

The Columbus Dispatch
DELAWARE, Ohio -- The co-owner of the Happy Greek restaurants was arrested Friday as part of a lengthy investigation into a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud ring that authoriies say operated in Franklin and Delaware counties.

Authorities on Friday arrested Gihan “Gigi” Zalat, 40, of Columbus, and charged her with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. She is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Delaware Municipal Court.

The Dispatch reported last year that law-enforcement officials suspected that Zalat and her husband, Mohamed Hassan, ran a fraud ring that involved foreigners buying houses in elite central Ohio neighborhoods.

Police have said real-estate deals were hatched at meetings in the basement office of the Short North restaurant location.

Real estate agents and mortgage brokers became suspicious when buyers began to offer sellers thousands more than the asking price for some homes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


My partner and I have been checking out dogs for the past few weeks and I can't tell you how great the volunteers are at the Franklin County Dog Shelter. Each day wonderful individuals help walk the dogs, clean their cages and show them to prospective adoptive parents.

So, first I encourage you to consider opening your home to a dog if your lease allows it and you have the time and patience for one.

Second, consider volunteering. You decide what you are willing to do and when.

Third, donate money or needed items. Money is always the most helpful but think about contributing the following items on the shelter's wish list:

soft or chewy dog treats
extra towels or blankets
pet carriers
canned or soft dog food
plain or vanilla yogurt
kongs and other toys

Find out more about the shelter at

Friday, February 15, 2008

STILL FOR SALE- 1120 N High St

Although the location is great, they are definitely asking too much for the site especially since the New Victorians purchased the beautiful Mason Building up the street a few years ago for only $500,000. I think this site will require a lot of work and a lot of money to meet the expectations of the SN clientele.

Info is as follows:
$750,000. 8 apartments, 2 commercial spaces in rapidly developing Short North. Recent improvements including roof, gutters, landscaping, tuck point, etc. Opportunity to add value. Condo-conversion potential. Off-street parking pad for 5 cars. Large-scale development directly across the street.


Got $53K? If so, you can buy a cute little boutique business. Fibres at 791 N. High Street in the Short North is up for sale.


I really enjoy street vendors. Admittedly I like their tasty morsels they hawk but they also add a unique vibrancy to city streets. Without street vendors I would sadly be without a Hebrew National and the latest issue of Hello! more often than I would like.

A group of investors in DC just launched a unique twist on the street vendor concept that would be great to duplicate in Columbus whether it be targeted to the business day downtown, post bar crowd or both.

On the Fly is an eco-friendly sidewalk vendor that promotes sustainability by offering locally produced food and drinks and serves it in biodegradable packaging... and of course, the carts are electric. Even better is that the food options are a little more upscale than traditional street fare and prepared by chefs from Zagat rated restaurants.

On a related note, for those of you interested in keeping street vendors part of the urban landscape, you can provide financial assistance to the Street Vendor Project. The nonprofit organization's focus is helping street vendors to continue operating as legitimate businesses in NYC and opposing "quality of life" efforts to remove them.

Monday, February 4, 2008


It's that time of the year again- tax season. However, I am glad to see that the City/County is attempting to help out low-income residents by offering free tax assistance. I am unsure how these entities are advertising the service but I hope they are attempting to publicize this opportunity heavily in social service agencies and non-profit groups. Unfortunately I have seen similiar services offered in the past that end up underused because they fail to get the word out. If you work or volunteer for a social service agency that administers services to low-income individuals, I encourage you to make this information readily available to your clients.

Coalition is offering free tax help
Monday, February 4, 2008 3:04 AM

Thousands of Franklin County residents may be giving too much of their hard-earned income to the IRS.

A coalition of county and city government offices, banks, universities and nonprofit organizations have joined to offer free tax-preparation services to households earning less than $40,000 a year.

Officials fear that low- and middle-income workers are unaware of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which makes qualified residents eligible for a credit of as much as $4,716. Or, worse yet, residents are paying for tax services that they can get for free.

Volunteers will be available at 18 sites in Franklin County throughout the tax-filing season to help prepare returns. To get more information, determine eligibility and find locations, call the 211 information line.

As an incentive to call, officials said that in 2005, the Internal Revenue Service returned more than $161 million to 85,000 Franklin County households because of the tax credit.


A student in the City and Regional Planning Program is conducting a survey to measure student satisfaction with parks, open space and green space. If you are so inclined to participate in the 10 minute survey, visit:


There has been a string of new graffiti popping up in the Italian Village lately and I thought it would be a good idea to remind people that the City offers free paint and tools from its mobile tool library to combat graffiti. Other home maintenance equipment is also available. Additionally, if you or a group wants to volunteer to help clean up graffiti, you can volunteer with Keep Columbus Beautiful.

Here are the contact numbers:

Mobile Tool Library: 614-645-8542

Keep Col. Beautiful: 614-645-8027