CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{April 3, 2007}   April Showers Bring. . .


Spring is here and it’s a mixed blessing for me. During the winter months, I sometimes feel caved in. Come spring time, I’m anxious to get out and about and visit my friends more and see what’s happening in The Hood.

That’s part of the problem. In the winter, things kind of slow down here. When I say things, I’m taking about drugs and the violence that goes with it.

April showers bring May flowers but here in Over-the-Rhine it also brings more killing and more danger to those of us here who try to be good citizens. In the summer it will get only worse and around August, I’m always anxious for the snow to start falling again.

Karen @ The Hood

(Artwork from


Karen says:

Nice post 🙂

Theresa says:

I don’t live in what I would consider a safe part of town either. Sometimes in the spring and summer, my kids and I will take a metro bus ride to a park. It’s better than having to worry about them playing on the sidewalk.

Matt says:

Try to move yourself in closer to the downtown area. If you look around, you can find some good deals on apartments.

Gus_J says:

Nice post Karen, your posts are my favorite.

Matt said it. Also, don’t be afraid to get roommate(s) they certainly make things cheaper.

Pam says:

A thoughtful post with beautiful artwork. Nice.

Brian the 1st says:

Karen, spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, right? So bear yourself on up to a new place down on Court St. or up the hill off Clifton Ave, over on Klotter or Warner. I just got out of the ghetto end of Northside this past weekend and am back up in Clifton Gaslight. Not as expensive as some might think and I’m glad to be away from Chase and Kirby and all the vibrating car trunks and noise @ the gas station there.
You can do it too, just get some roomate[s] if you need to. You deserve better than you have and you know it.

Erin says:

I will echo what some others have said here in the past. I know OTR is the only place you know and that change can be a scary thing – but downtown, the real downtown would be much safer for you. And yes, roommates makes expenses less. Think about it, Karen.

Marilyn says:

I’ve noticed for a long time, that warmer weather brings out the best and worst in people.

In addition to shootings escalating, you see much more aggressive (read: dangerous) driving. I’m not really sure what it means.

Bob says:

Do you enjoy being stuck? Take the suggestions above and do something about your situtation.


i have said it before, and i’ll say it again–moving is easier said than done.

instead of karen moving, we need the city to work to help the law-abiding citizens of OTR.

Marilyn says:

I’m with RoxyRoxy on this one. If I could move right now, I’d do so. Financially, not gonna happen real soon.

David Gallaher says:

Forgive me for being a nag. (I’ve brought this up before on one of your posts.) But if you understood how the War on Drugs–NOT THE DRUGS–is the cause of violence down here in the ‘hood where we both live, you could be a great, if not down right unbelieveable, resource in stopping the violence.
If you only understood, then wrote about it half as eloquently as you have written about springtime in this post, we’d be to third base in ending the insane War on Drugs, brought to you by Ghiz, Thomas, et al.
Won’t you help the Little Woman and me stop the violence in your and our neighborhood?
Forgive me, but it’s not the drugs; it’s the War on Drugs.

I’m with David.

The War on Drugs is a war on the lower class.

Do middle and upper-class people do drugs? YES!

Do they go to jail for it? RARELY.

Folks who can’t afford lawyers go to jail.

Whether or not they committed the crime.

Many (not all) of the laws used to arrest people and seize their property for drug offenses are illegal. That’s right, illegal laws. This means that if you at least have a lawyer, there’s a really good chance you won’t go to jail.

Illegal (unconstitutional) laws are passed and stay on the books because of political pressure from voters who are too easily manipulated into thinking the “War on Drugs” is a good idea.

These laws stay on the books because they don’t get challenged so they can be overturned. the people who can afford the lawyers don’t want to stick their necks out to change the laws, they just want to get acquitted and go home.

The fact is that the war hurts people more than the drugs do.

At one time, this country outlawed alcohol for all the same reasons we outlaw drugs. Did this keep people from drinking alcohol? No! It only brought in a new era of organized crime.

Gangs in the hood are the modern equivalent of the Mafia: organized crime.

Making drugs a crime does not keep people from doing drugs; it just makes more crime.

And the people who suffer the most are the lower class: those who can’t afford a lawyer (whether or not they committed a crime), and those who can’t afford to move away from the organized crime brought about by the War on Drugs.

Marilyn says:

David and Heather, I hear you and understand exactly what you are saying. But my question is this: What in the hell can we do to stop the war on drugs??

The first step is reversing public support for the war and educating voters.

A big reason why these laws pass and continue to destroy lives is that people want these laws.

Did you know that Bush passed a law almost as soon as he got into office so that anyone convicted of a drug offense can’t qualify for government college loans? This coming from the guy who claimed the “youthful indiscretion” defense for things he did in his thirties? This is clearly a law that targets lower class kids because few kids whose parents can afford a lawyer (like GW’s) will be convicted of a drug crime; and if a person can’t afford a lawyer, they are certainly going to need government loans to get an education.

Sorry, didn’t mean to get off on another rant.

We’ve got to change people’s attitude about the drug war, and even then it will be a fight to stop it.

And speaking of fighting; everyone charged with a drug crime needs to take the case to court. Don’t listen to your court-appointed lawyer; they are NOT there to help you! If every single person took the case to court instead of pleading out, it would put a lot of strain on the system, resulting in acquittals, and possibly the courts taking a more serious look at the constitutionality of these laws.

David Gallaher says:

Notice Karen has not responded to Heather’s or my comments?
The snowball of change will begin when Karen can shake off her hysteria about drugs.
I don’t want to be picking on Karen, but escaping the hysteria about drugs has to start with people like Karen.
It will not start with Mallory or any other politician (except maybe Portune), because drug hysteria is like “100 more cops,” a malevolent incitement of the unthinking to harvest their votes.

Gus_J says:

David, of course you and Heather are absolutely correct, the root problem has to be defined and fixed. The reality is though, that action will take at least Karen’s lifetime to sort out, or a major advance in social evolution. To lose Karen’s spirit and talent to a stray bullet is counter-productive to the cause. Securing a room-mate and scraping together enough funds to migrate to better surroundings is more realistic and practical. Sometimes you have to tackle the present before you can address the future. Karen is probably being polite.

Karen rarely comments on her own posts. I think that’s just her style.

Karen is not the problem or the solution. She’s just fumbling through this crazy life as best she can; just like the rest of us.

Oooh… That’s a good post topic…

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