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Monday, October 31, 2011

Its Official - Mios to the Old Warners Building

I spoke with the new owners of the old Warner's building today and Mios is on the way.  The new owners closed on the sale of the building today and while an open date has not been set they are anxious to get engaged in the community and begin the hard work of getting the building ready for business.

The new owners are so anxious that despite the fact the store will not be open for business in time for the Holiday Walk - they plan to participate in the Holiday walk as a way of meeting the community.  Be sure to stop by and welcome them to the community and offer any suggestions about what you would like to see at this Mios location.

Update - you can also like their Facebook page and share your thoughts.

Fresh Breads Delivered to You

As you are aware the Fort Thomas Farmers Market has closed for the winter.  But just because the market has closed for a few months doesn't mean you can't still get fresh baked bread without traveling to Findlay Market on the weekends.

Bean Haus wants to continue to offer it’s customer bread during the coming months. I have listed the breads that they have available below.  If you contact them by 5:00 p.m.  on Tuesday they will have the bread on Wednesday evening between 5-6 with any other items ordered and will deliver to the regular market spot at the corner of River Road and Fort Thomas Avenue and be there between 5-6 p.m.  Any questions please call.

This week they have the following items:
Regular eggs $3.25
Jumbo eggs $4.00
Turnips $2.00 a bunch
Mustard Greens $2.00
Meats available this week are
Pork shoulder $4.00 a pound
Breakfast Sausage (hot only) $4.00 a lb.
Cheese available -Baby Swiss, Feta, Pepper Jack, Habanero, Veggie Jack, Mozzzella, Garlic and Herb, Lemon Zest,Cheddar,and Colby Dill.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Neltner's Number (Guest post by Ben Petracco)

After the trophies and championships the next greatest honor an athlete can have bestowed upon them is have their number retired. Highlands High School honored one of their own Friday night when they retired Ross Neltner’s number 45.

Ross had an amazing career at Highlands where he was named 2003 Mr. Basketball in Kentucky, averaging 20.2 points and 10.6 rebounds a game. His outstanding production on the court helped lead the team to a 27-3 record his senior year. He was the top vote getter for the First Team All-State by the Louisville Courier Journal and the Lexington Herald Leader. Ross was not only a team captain for Highlands but was also named a team captain of the Kentucky High School All Stars.

Ross’ on court dominance and athleticism made him a top recruit out of high school where he was pursued by Vanderbilt, LSU, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan. Of these schools, LSU won out initially, but after two years at LSU Ross opted to finish his education and basketball career with Vanderbilt.

At 6’9” Neltner was an undeniable presence in the paint, grabbing rebounds and disrupting close range offensive attempts, but he was also a threat with his jump shot and uncanny passing ability. He was such a versatile player for his height that offenses didn’t know how to contain him. He could nail the pull up jumper with ease, be the assist man setting up his teammates or get in the post and prey on the ill prepared defense. He could do it all.

Ross played basketball with skill and agility rarely seen in the high school gym. He earned awards and accolades with humility, which made him an even greater person to cheer on. Ross had a character and dignity that you couldn’t help but appreciate; yes Neltner was an amazing basketball player, but his on court accomplishments may always be eclipsed by the amazing person that he was off the court.

Congratulation Number 45.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Feet Penguins at the Happy Feet Ball

The clip above is of the Happy Feet movie that was originally released in 2006 and now has a sequel that is about to launch.  How does this have anything to do with Fort Thomas you might ask.... the Charities Guild has managed to secure the attendance of two Happy Feet Penguins at their upcoming Happy Feet Ball.

The Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky (CGNK) developed a “Shoe Fund” program that partners with area schools, churches and social service agencies to identify children in need.  The Shoe Fund then distributes $25 shoe vouchers through these agencies to children in need of good warm shoes throughout Northern Kentucky.

“Providing this basic need has enormous benefits.  When children arrive at school with shoes in good condition, school officials report that they are able to focus more effectively on learning,” said a Northern Kentucky school administrator.  The latter part of 2010 proved to be a year of great need.   The CGNK distributed more than 550 vouchers to area children in a 6 month period!  The total value of these vouchers $13,750!  

Understanding the growing need and wanting to do more, the guild is focused on raising money to support our Shoe Fund.  On November 5, 2011 we will be hosting along with Dr. Nicholas Gates Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgery, “The Happy Feet Ball.”   The event at Arnie’s on the Levee will boast a robust silent auction, appetizers, beverages, and music by the coveted Naked Karate Girls. You can click the image of the flyer above for more details.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Best Pizza in Northern Kentucky

This website has been pretty PG and I'm not about to take that to the next level, without Darrin's permission. But the quote I'd love to use here about bad pizza by Mel Brooks would be so appropriate. Google it.

Anyway, it basically says there's no such thing as bad pizza and I tend to agree. I basically have the diet of a 12 year old, but I don't care. I love pizza and I'm going on a quest to find Northern Kentucky's (within a 10 mile radius of Fort Thomas) best pizza.

I know it's been done before (most recently in the November edition of Cincinnati Magazine), but I thought it would be interesting to try and find the best pizza that isn't one of the big boys (Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Donatos, etc.)

And as much as I love it, LaRosa's (or as my friend Courtney from Lexington calls it - Kings Island Pizza) is out as well.

We'll come up with a standard criteria and grade each one to crown a pizza king by the end of the year. So far we're thinking Ft. Thomas Pizza, 915, The Midway, Buona Vita, Newport Pizza Co, Bourbon Pizza House, Fatty Patty's and Raniero's.

We'd love to hear your suggestions and if you'd like to join us, by all means, let's make it a party.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Be an Easy Target

Part of the reason why I love this city was mentioned in one of the comments on Ben Petracco's last post about the fence around the reservoir. Without going back to look at it, it said something along the lines that "it's not the fence or alarms or gates that keep Fort Thomas safe, it's the eyes and ears of the neighbors looking out for one another."

That comment flows seamlessly into the following Facebook post I just came across from Matt Birkley (of FTM advertising fame) :

A WARNING to everyone in the Ft Thomas, Highland heights area. A customer of mine foiled an attempted burglary today in Ft Thomas. She saw a woman in her neighbor's garage and a man sitting in a car in the driveway. When she confronted the woman, she quickly jumped into the waiting car which sped off. Police came within minutes but they got away. Look out for your neighbors. Call the police if you see ANYTHING out of the norm. The word is out that that we are easy targets.
This particular incident was on Canon Ridge, near the old Moore's Hardware, right off 471. We have mentioned it a number of times on this site. The Fort Thomas Police Dept. has issued a number of warnings as well. Even though we continue to get mocked in our comments, but we will say it again: Don't be an easy target. Lock your houses and your doors and let's keep these fools out of our city.

And God Bless nosy neighbors. In this instance.

It's Happening (Last Farmers' Market Edition)

Today will sadly end our 2011 Fort Thomas Farmers' Market. Please come say "until Spring" to your favorite vendors. We so appreciate every vendor who worked hard to bring FRESH to Fort Thomas. If you want to order eggs, meat, etc. to be delivered throughout the winter, please make sure you come Wednesday and sign up.

The Camp Springs Winery is open year around. Last week our family rented their beautiful loft room for my daughter's bridal shower with wine tasting. It was a fabulous time for all of us! The rental is only $50. We spent hours, were able to decorate and serve our own food, and the winery provided wine tastings for only $5.00/per person. I saw a few bottles being purchased by those in attendance! Here is their website link:

Doc's Dressings are showing up in many retail places now! Rempke, Fort Thomas Drugs . . . we'll keep you posted!

For those of you who have loved buying goodies for your pets, Pet Wants is open year round at Findlay Market.

We are looking at possibilities of bringing our vendors' merchandise to Fort Thomas year-around. If you have any thoughts to help us, please let me know!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where Did All the Children Go?

Tonight after work my wife and I took advantage of possibly one of the last nice weather days in 2011 and got the kids out of the house for a walk.  I got home late so a walk to Tower Park was out of the question before it got dark so we made a short trip to Highland Park.

I hadn't been to Highland since the spring for a sand volleyball game and boy was a surprised to find the changes.  I knew the city had planned shelter and bathroom changes at Highland to match the work that was completed at Tower and that was in process at Rossford but I didn't realize they took out all the playground equipment at the park.

While the new shelters look great - there is nothing for kids to do there now.  No people = underutilized investments.  On top of the disappointment of seeing no one around I realized that the iced tea and waters I had at lunch had caught up with me and I needed to use the restroom.  As I expected the great looking bathrooms that had to cost well into 6 figures to build was locked.

The only thing at the park that was being utilized was the dog park which had about 20 people and 35 dogs - an amazing usage but what about us non pet owners - what is there to do at Highland Park?  My four year old was most disappointed  that his swings and slides were gone.  These were not old and decaying playground equipment but fairly recent additions.

Even the basketball courts had been removed!  For those living in the Moyer district - what do you think of the changes?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fort Thomas News to Start Your Week

1. The big story of the weekend was not only the big win for the Bluebirds over Elder but also the injury suffered by Pat Towles on the first drive.  Our report on the story even got a shoutout on our favorite website Kentucky Sports Radio - which made both Mark and I's weekend.

The other story from the game was Sheehan's nearly 200 yards receiving.  It is easy to get wrapped up in the monster numbers that Towles puts up week in and week out but lets not forget he has a pretty good wide receiver to throw to and without Patrick throwing the ball we saw he can still put up big numbers.  Despite Austin's status as a 'preferred walk-on' this may end up being the bigger commitment for Kentucky since UK has no one that can actually catch the ball.

2. I enjoyed seeing the Enquirer insult all of NKY in today's Sunday paper.  Notice that the picture at the top of the NKY Living section is of Sharon Woods.  Seriously Cincinnati Enquirer?!  You couldn't find a single cool picture of Northern Kentucky to put at the top of the Northern Kentucky section?

3.A general observation about the opening of the Kroger Fuel Center.  On Saturday morning I stopped in for my first fill up and paid $3.02 / gallon after using 200 fuel points.  As I left and drove up Grand Ave on my way to my son's last soccer game of the season I passed the BP station which advertised a $3.44 / gallon price.  That is a 40 cent swing and an $8 saving on my fill up.

4. Speaking of retail success how about a Fort Thomas business using their local success as a launching pad for expansion?  Look no further than Cake Towne - according to their Facebook page:
Cake Towne is opening another location! Butler, Ky next to Judy's Attitudes on US27. Watch for opening details.... Also, new cake ball flavors! Root Beer and Maple

Friday, October 21, 2011

HHS 34-Elder 29

HHS QB and UK commit, Patrick Towles, was hurt during the first offensive series but backup Donovan (McNabb) McCoy played well in the hard fought Highlands win at The Pit.

A FTM correspondent at the game overheard Cris Collinsworth say that "Towles is doing good." No need to worry BBN.

Towles, who committed to UK and entered Friday’s game having completed 103 of 158 passes for 2,376 yards, 30 touchdowns and only 1 interception, played only the first series and accounted for all 68 yards (52 passing and 12 rushing) of a game-opening TD drive. He capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run, but suffered a blow to his head when he dove into the end zone.

This game had undertones of a 2009 game where Towles, as a sophomore at the time, came out of nowhere to fill in for injured starting QB, Will Bardo, in a 12-7 win over top 10 nationally ranked Cincinnati St. X.

Highlands' reputation of College QB factory is continuing. Lorenzen, Guidugli, Towles, McCoy. Elder has a very un-GLVC-like record at 2-7, but as a 2001 graduate and seeing our guys lose at The Pit in 2000, I had to say I was glad to see the result.

The revenge of Brent Grover wins out.

Box Score:
Highlands 7 14 3 10 -- 34 Elder 7 10 10 2 -- 29

H-Towles 3 run (New kick) E-Mazza 33 pass from Moore (Williams kick) E-FG Williams 26 E-Burdine 5 pass from Moore (Williams kick) H-McCoy 8 run (New kick) H-Sheehan 4 pass from McCoy (New kick) E-FG Williams 29 H-FG New 40 E-Robben recovered McCoy fumble in the end zone (Williams kick) H-FG New 27 H-Christian 58 pass from McCoy E-Safety, Highlands recovered own blocked punt in end zone

Records: Highlands 9-0, Elder 2-7

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fenced In (Guest Post by Ben Petracco)

On a casual drive through Fort Thomas on any given day you see people walking and running through town; exercising up and down the streets of the city, enjoying the outdoors and getting their necessary cardio. Up until 2001, there was a popular exercise spot where one could park their car, enjoy the fresh air and walk as many laps as their cross trainers could carry them. This exercise location has all but been forgotten, it had a fence put up around it and the exercise crowd has been asked to disperse. I am referring to the Fort Thomas reservoir and its restricted track that is no longer accessible to the residents of Fort Thomas.

I was interested in why the sudden restriction was placed on the reservoir. I contacted the Vice President of Engineering, Water Quality and Production with the Water Company, Mr. Richard Harrison, and asked him general questions about the fence project and the future of the Fort Thomas Reservoir.

The fence was erected in late 2001 early 2002, but I had never heard a clear explanation as to why. What was the over all catalyst to put up a perimeter fence?

Mr. Harrison said, “The events of September 11th prompted a federally mandated vulnerability assessment to all reservoirs, tanks and public water facilities in the area. The fence was a required increase in security to ensure that anyone inside the reservoir area in fact had access and was supposed to be there.”

I was completely unaware that the terrorist attacks had a subtle effect right in our backyard, but the attacks were the main reason for the increased security around the water company facilities.
I asked Harrison what the total cost was to put up the fence around the reservoir and he advised that it cost approximately $330,000. There is a lot of fencing around both of the reservoirs that range from route 27 to South Fort Thomas Avenue and everything in between.

At one time, I was an avid runner and walker of the track so I asked Harrison if there is any plan to open the reservoir to the public again. He advised that at this time there is no plan to open the track back up to the public. The impending restriction from the track is understandable considering the work and the cost that went in to protecting the area.

The fence may be viewed as a negative addition to the reservoir by some, but it is a necessary step in protecting our water supply. I inquired with Harrison, “What are some of the benefits to now having the fence up and placing a strict ‘no trespassing’ law on the reservoir?” He explained, “The main benefits of the fence are to know that the reservoir is secure at all times. Now anyone that is seen on the grounds is employed by the water company or they are permitted to be beyond the fence line; before the fence you never could be sure if the individuals on the grounds were employees or trespassers.”

After the mandated vulnerability assessment, the fence was viewed as a necessity to secure our water supply and ensure our safety. You may think “this is Fort Thomas, no terrorist-related act would ever happen here,” but being safe is much better than being sorry. The exercise enthusiasts will find streets and sidewalks elsewhere to get their hearts pumping, but after that workout, they’ll find extra solace in knowing that the ice cold glass of water is safe to drink.

What are your thoughts on the reservoir and the addition of the fence? Leave your comments here:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

3000 Words Worth

That's what 3 pictures are worth, right? It's pretty neat to see what types of posts "move the dial" as far as page views, types of stories, etc. Another cool feature that blogger allows you to view is where people are who read the site. Obviously, most are in Fort Thomas and Northern Kentucky, but we have readers in almost every state and in a few other countries.

I've gotten a few emails from people who aren't local anymore that wrote that they'd like to see what some of the entities look like that we've written about recently. Without further adieu, pictures:

The new Woodfill School, which was completed earlier this year. Its been a good year for the Wildcats, as they picked up a Blue Ribbon Excellence Award as well. The state-of-the-art school is gorgeous.

Took a few pictures of the Rossford Park renovation, but after I got home I realized this was the only one that survived the drive. The grass is growing in nicely and should be ready to roll pretty soon.

A pretty sad sight, actually. This is the Marquise at the Fort Thomas Frisch's on Alexandria Pike. 51 years and now vacant. I wonder if the Big Boy out front at the new location is the same one from this restaurant.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More to Dos in and around Town

- Sears near Remke Market in Newport is closing. You've no doubt seen the humongous sign and walking signs promoting the end of times for the tool giant. I've actually been in there recently and the walls are pretty bare. Tools are still only 25% so there are pretty many of those left. But get in there soon, if you want a deal. They are closing their doors October 24.

- Vito's celebrates its 10th Anniversary on Friday, November 11, 2011. They will be featuring many of their former "stars" who will be attending, and are now singing in places like Beijing, Germany, NYC, and all over the 50 states. Vito and Mary will be greeting guests upon arrival with a glass of sparkling wine in a souvenir champagne glass. Reservations are limited.

- With limited storage space, Bowman's Framing runs an "Oops Sale" from time to time. There are lots of frames that accumulate either from customers that re-frame things and leave old ones behind, or as the name implies we chop something to the wrong size and say "oops". They will all be clearly marked with the size and low price. There won't be much time to do design work at the counter on this day, so if you find something that works, or can be cut down to smaller size so that it will work for you, grab it on Saturday and bring it back later to figure out possibilities. This sale is this Saturday, Oct 15, from 9-3.

- Thefts are still taking place due to people not taking simple precautions, such as locking houses and cars. It'll be interesting comparing this year's crimes statistics to last year's. Maybe it's just the "it's happening now" phenomenon, but it does seem like this is becoming more of a problem. Perhaps as the economy continues to lag, these types of thefts will continue to escalate.

Here's the message from FTPD:

Although there are two suspects in custody who were caught while in one of our stolen vehicles, the thefts of vehicle continue now in the cities of Highland Heights and Cold Spring. Additional unknown suspects continue to rummage through unlocked cars and take the car if the keys are left in it.

We would like to remind you to please keep your diligence about securing your property, especially locking your cars and removing the keys.

DO NOT HESITATE to call 911 should you see anyone who looks suspicious or is going through vehicles any time after midnight and especially in the very early hours of the morning. The common strike time for these thieves is between 03:00 AM and 07:30 AM.

It's Happening

The Farmers' Market has three more weeks! Be on the lookout for these wonderful vendors who have spent the past several months in cold, wet, hot, dry, and now nearly perfect weather! Wednesday 3-7 in the Historic Midway District!

Mark Docter from Doc's Dressings can be contacted at if you need dipping oils, dressings, etc. If you're like me, those bottles of dipping oil just go too quickly!
Sharon and Chuck Wright have greens, tomatoes, some peppers, maybe squash, some pork, beef steaks, cheese and eggs. You can contact Sharon at She will be delivering all winter long on Wednesday evenings from 5-6 pm.

If you haven't had a chance to drive past the Amphitheater lately, please do so! Our Public Works Department has worked so hard to bring beauty to the facility. The thick, green sod has made a powerful change. The hillside in front of the museum is being transformed through clearing of undergrowth, excavation, and planting of trees. Many thanks also to the Fort Thomas Forrest Conservancy and to Erik Geiman (and family!) for all the landscaping work they are volunteering.

The USO Dance and Salute to Veterans are coming to us in November--thanks to the Fort Thomas Museum committee. Linda and Lonnie Slone are chairpersons for the dance. If you need information, our Board consists of Gloria Sisk, Jerry and Bonnie Jansen, Jim and Toy Hall, Ross Brown, Bud Cross, Chuck Taylor, Linda Slone, and Linda Rankin.As always, our thoughts are on our current soldiers as well as our veterans. I am attaching a brochure for a very special event that goes along with our support.

So many thanks to all who have donated funds for the USO Dance! The churches have been especially generous, and individuals have been donating as well. We are grateful and look forward to making this another significant evening for our veterans. If you would like to help serve the meal on November 4, please notify me at Last year we had 25 volunteers who took the plates of food to each soldier. It showed incredible generosity. If you would like to attend the dance, you may get your tickets through Linda Slone at the Bank of Kentucky (441-3302). The cost is $25 per person. Veterans are only $10. The Swingtime Big Band will again bring the music. Sarelli's will be providing a delicious meal. Cake Towne will provide the desserts.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Point / Counterpoint on the Evolution of Media

Two observations from this past weekend about a topic we mention from time to time on this blog.

1. We have talked at length as the occasion presents itself about the need for newspapers to reinvent themselves as we enter the digital age.  There was a statistic in Time magazine that I read over the weekend that underscores this - 69% of people say the loss of their local newspaper would not hinder their ability to find news.

2. On the flipside of this are all the drawbacks of newer media including the lack of in-depth writing and reporting, the need to keep our ever shorter attention spans in check long enough to develop something more than a passing a thought, etc, etc.  Or the criticism which is near and dear to our heart at FTM ()being a blog with open and anonymous comments) - keeping knuckleheads from hijacking a free flow of thoughts and ideas about a post.  It is in this spirit that I present to you a short take on this phenomenon from Saturday Night Live this weekend:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mucho News to Start Your Week

1. Fans of group buying sites can take advantage of a deal from another Fort Thomas business today.  Living Social is offering $15 at Sarelli's for $7.  If you haven't tried Sarelli's this is a great way to get introduced.

2. You have until midnight tonight to vote for Patrick Towles in the Channel 5 weekly poll for the Primetime Performer for this past weekend's performance.  They must have had a get out the vote effort in Wyoming because Patrick had a world better numbers but is trailing in the poll.  Not to mention that he probably only played a half of football.

3. Fort Thomas police issued an alert today - avoid leaving your keys in the car.  Apparently someone can steal your car if you leave the keys in them.  The FTPD indicated there have been a rash of stolen cars including several this weekend.  Additional info is as follows:
This warning stems from a previous E-Lert in which we asked everyone to keep an eye out for suspicious subjects wandering the neighborhoods and rummaging through open cars.  It now appears to be a group of unknown subjects that are hitting all over the Northern Kentucky three county area.  At first open cars were being rummaged through with cash and valuables taken, but it has slowly escalated into taking the vehicle if the keys are left in the car.  We have recovered many of the cars after time, but the abuse they received was mild to extensive.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fort Thomas Education Focuses on College Readiness

By now you have probably seen recent headlines about NKY schools’ performance on the Kentucky Core Content Tests (remnants of No Child Left Behind).  You can visit the link to see all the data for area schools including Highlands.

What may not have been as clear in these stories was that Highlands actually regressed according to the scores.  What is even more hidden in the stories and numbers is the shift that has occurred in the High Schools focus last year and going forward in terms of measurement and readiness.

Fort Thomas and Highlands began shifting their focus away from this Core Content Testing toward college readiness along with the state mandate for all juniors to take the ACT that began in 2008.

This new focus and the results of it is even evidenced in a recent accolade for the school as the Washington posted ranked Highlands #294 out of all high schools in the US.   The formula used by the Washington post values college placement and includes a formula that divides the number of college placement tests taken (AP & others) by the number of graduating seniors.

In addition to the focus on Advanced Placement exams general readiness for the ACT test has also been a boon to the school and its students.  Despite being fourth in the state in composite scores in previous years the most recent testing cycle has yielded a pretty dramatic increase in overall test scores into the 24 range – up from the 2008 average of 22 and a 2010 average of 23.3

Some other stats to consider when evaluating the success of this new focus include: