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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Pre-Hump Day Notes

photo credit: Melissa Kelly

- River Road, the street where HHS alumni Brandon T. Pickering grew up, will henceforth be known as Private First Class Brandon T. Pickering Memorial Highway.

Pickering died last April after his unit was attacked in Iraq. Veterans like Brandon, who pay the ultimate sacrifice for country, are our true heroes and memorializing his sacrifice is the least the city, county, state and country should do.

- Via one of our readers, those who hold court in the Newport/Fort Thomas Starbucks may have to find shelter elsewhere temporarily: Thanks, Chuck!

The manager at Starbucks told me that they will undergo complete renovation soon. They will serve from a trailer in the parking lot while under construction. If they keep the carpenters pumped up maybe time will be cut in half.

- We have reached 500 likes on our Facebook page which means you win! We're going to give away a Divotcard (a $70 value for free golf, range balls, etc all summer) on Wednesday to a random fan on our Facebook page. If you'd like a chance to win, be sure to like us by Wednesday.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Boy Hit By Car on S. Ft. Thomas Ave.

Editor's Note: Prayer service for Clay Frink tonight at 6:00 at Highland United Methodist Church across from Highlands. See below. (MLC)

Highland United Methodist Church
HUMC Prayer Service TONIGHT at 6:00 p.m.
Clay Frink, one of the youth in our church was hit by a car this afternoon in Ft. Thomas. He is currently at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. We welcome anyone who would like to come this evening to a prayer service at 6:00 pm in the sanctuary at HUMC. As of 2:45 this afternoon Clay was able to move his limbs, but CT scans were being done to check for head and neck injuries and he will be in ICU for a while. Please feel free to pass the info of the service tonight to anyone you think might like to attend.

Many of you have noticed the police activity in the middle of town this afternoon. One lane of the intersection at Highland Ave. and S. Ft. Thomas Ave. has been closed while the police continue investigating and photographing the area outside of Warden & Associates Realtors.

From what I gathered at the intersection, a boy was hit crossing S. Ft. Thomas Ave. in front of the Warden & Associates storefront. He was reportedly with another boy, and both were wearing masks at the time of the incident.

We will keep you updated on situation as more details become available regarding today's events. If you have more information about the incident, let us know in the comments below or contact us directly.

2011 General Services Annual Report: Park Review Part II

Highland Park

 Tower Park always has been and continues to be a park of special significance.  Not only does it have historic merit, being a frontier and Civil War fort, it continues to be an active military base and even more active playground for children through adult.  I grew up playing at that park; the swings may be different and the seesaw may be gone but the laughter lingers and the activity abides.

And in a sweeping move to ensure that the parks remain relevant, safe, clean, and fun, the city of Fort Thomas undertook a wholesale makeover of the entire park system, including Tower.  I reviewed Rossford last week, the below is Knox’s review of Tower and Highland Park.

Tower Park is the favorite.  Not only is it 0.64 miles from the house, a distance Knox can (and does) easily run, but it has the most options of all the parks.  The renovation installed an all-new water drainage system on the baseball field, built a new amphitheatre, three new picnic shelters, two new playground areas (new equipment was installed prior to the rest of the renovations), volleyball courts moved over by the basketball and tennis courts so all of these games were in the same area, and resurfaced sidewalks and pavement. Some of the work continues, including the grading of the seating and some pavement work.

The play area really is a lot of fun for children of various ages.  It would be nice if they had a bit more separation of play areas between those designated for toddlers and those elements for older children.  Also, it does lack some elements I fondly remember such as the seesaw, climbing dome, and merry-go-round (likely intentional exclusions for safety).  But, in all, a great playground, tennis courts, baseball/softball diamond, and family fun area.

Highland Park Restrooms
Highland Park was also completely renovated.  Much work had previously been done at this park on the baseball field and installing one of the best dog parks in the area.  The focus, then, was on the entry of the park and the former tennis courts.  The basketball court was removed, playground shifted to the other side of the street, bathrooms rebuilt, and a new picnic shelter installed. Also, the playground and shelter up by the baseball field were replaced.  The former tennis courts are still being rebuilt to create a sand volleyball court.

This park is definitely smaller and the playground area is quite a bit less thrilling, but it has a quaint feeling (at the end of a nice neighborhood street), is secluded and has a different variety of elements (i.e. dog park and Frisbee golf course).  The renovations are definitely a vast improvement.

The improvements at all parks really have been well received by Knox.  Additionally, it is great to see the continued commitment to family and recreation in the city.

Highland Park Pavilion

Highland Park Swings

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fort Thomas Weekend News

It has been a couple weeks since I have given you an update so here is a roundup of events over the past few days:

1. Heroin deaths in Campbell County has increased from 5 in 2010 to nearly 30 in the past twelve months.  The article doesn't mention if this is isolated to communities like Newport or if it is a rural Campbell County heroin issue.  No real possible solutions to or sources of the problem were identified in the article but it is clear more will need to be done to stem the tide and keep it from spreading.

2. The recent induction of Barry Larkin to the Hall of Fame wasn't without its Fort Thomas influence.  As John Fay reports Sean Donelan, a Fort Thomas resident, shouted 'we love you Barry' as he paused to gather himself during his induction speech.  The gesture was rewarded by Barry.  Watch the video to hear the full story.

3. There was an interesting hash tag with a Fort Thomas influence that trended on Twitter the other day - #DaleMuellerQuotes.  Search the hash tag for yourself, it is a blast.  Patrick Towles got in on the action and my favorite.... "How intimidating is our mascot? We are the Highlands Bluebirds... What will we do? Peck you to death?"

Friday, July 27, 2012

Van Damme It's Friday Links

VDIF, FTM readers. (Van Damme it's Friday, Fort Thomas Matters readers to you newbies.)

- Signage for Anita's Mexican Bar & Grill is up at the old Frisch's location on Alexandria Pike. I was going to try and see if I could talk to the owners, or possibly pull a "Target meet and greet." It was a no-go. My bad.

They have built a patio with a pergola over top, where the drive through used to be. Great touch. Can't wait to see the finished product.

- Let's all welcome as our Mark vs. Food sponsor. These guys are hilarious, uniquely Cincinnati and know how to make cool freaking shirts. I now have three in my wardrobe (here, here and here). Plus, Fort Thomas resident and friend of the blog, Jenn Hardin is one of their models.

They are always giving away shirts on their facebook page, and offer lots of discounts. Go Like them and buy a shirt.

- Two Mark vs. Food events have been planned for August, and they are going to both be the biggest yet. Big venues, huge challenges, lots of money raised and two outstanding celebrity guests. Details will follow, but our first challenge will feature 2012 Miss Kentucky, Amanda Mertz.

She was so cool, when approached with the idea for the event, she said, "Heck yeah. I always eat more than my boyfriend, anyway."

This should be a blast.

- Via our Facebook page, we breached the topic about the changes the Cincinnati Enquirer have begun to make. We have been riding this story since near the inception of the blog, and have been of the belief that old media is dead.

In steps that could only be looked at as throwing a hail mary, the Enquirer is changing -among other things- its format size, changing its content, and charging for online viewing.

To me, it's a step in the right direction, but it's probably too little, too late. People simply do not consume news the way they used to. Sometimes society just grows out of institutions. Cars made horse and buggies outdated, DVDs made VHS obsolete. Our society has become busier, which means that the need for news is NOW - not tomorrow morning.

We'll see how it goes, but one thing I know for sure - Fort Thomas Matters will NEVER charge you to see what's happening in Fort Thomas and Northern Kentucky.

Monday, July 23, 2012

HHS 2000 Graduate Cancer Benefit This Friday

Our friends at the Olde Fort Pub are hosting a benefit for 2000 HHS graduate, Becky Reed this Friday. I'll see you up there!

Please Come Out & Join Us For


*Because when it comes to fighting cancer, we are all in this one together!!!


WHEN: Friday, July 27th 8 P.M. – Close

WHERE: The Fort Thomas Pub

WHAT: Split the pot, raffles, food, DJ, donations at the door

Becky Reed is a graduate of Highlands High School, class of 2000. She has had the misfortune of being diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and has recently undergone an additional surgery to have mass removed from her lungs.

Due to her condition, she has understandably been unable to work. As a result, the bills associated with her cancer have been piling up, and are a great source of anxiety for her and her family. The purpose of this event is to help to alleviate some of the financial and emotional burden, and to help give her strength through our support.

Please come out to The Fort Thomas PUB on Friday, July 27th and show some support. A percentage of the sales that evening will be donated to the cause, and your mere presence will lift her spirits!

*If you are unable to attend, donations will be (gratefully) accepted at Bank of Kentucky

2011 General Services Department Annual Report

Recently, the 2011 General Services Department Annual Report was compiled to summarize the projects performed by this important but often unnoticed department of the city.  While this was no Fifty Shades of Grey, it was still a very interesting read.  As the report contains a wealth of information, it will be discussed in two separate posts; this one will highlight the report as a whole and give my Mama’s review of Rossford Park. The next post will review Tower Park and Highland Park.

The General Services Department oversees the ongoing construction projects including granting of permits for residential construction, new construction, signage, zoning variances and even the parks.  The following are some interesting statistics from the report:
1)   Two new subdivisions are in the planning stages: one off Mel Lawn and a second off Grand Avenue
2)   Twenty zoning variances were requested with 18 approved
3)   Sixteen new trees were planted and Fort Thomas was named a Tree City USA for the 20th straight year
4)   178 building permits were granted with over $38,600 in fees collected as a result (and 6 new residential pools if you’re looking for a new swimming hole)
5)     $6,593,592 in construction costs for 10 new residential construction projects (14 homes as one project was a 5-unit townhome, compared to 21 new homes in 2010), 40 residential remodeling permits, and 4 commercial remodeling projects including $113,402 spent on St. Elizabeth hospital, $400,000 by the schools, and $60,000 for New Garden Restaurant.
6)   95 violation complaints were received for projects violating ordinances but only one of these was referred to the court system
7)   116 Garage/Yard sale permits were issued
In addition to the private construction and permits that were issued, the General Services department also undertook and oversaw some Capital Improvement projects as approved by the city which saw the resurfacing of 11 streets ($200,311 in cost), sidewalk construction, and the three major park renovations ($3,829,125 in total construction cost). 

As one can clearly see, it has been a busy year for Capital Improvements and construction for the City of Fort Thomas.  FTM highlighted the changes taking place at Rossford Park in the north end of town in a post by Stephanie Class.  However, Knox and I lived them!

The fully renovated park now contains a fully irrigated baseball/soccer/football field, a playground, restrooms, picnic shelter, parking, walking surfaces, practice fields, basketball court, and one huge slide.  The playground is really neat, integrating natural elements and gradation of the surrounding area, and offering unique and fun play opportunities.  Obviously, the main draw is still the baseball field but the playground with a turf fall surface and the huge picnic area and bountiful parking makes this a great place for a family party or company softball outing.  From “minimal, antiquated facilities and under-utilized potential” to a fun and functional family recreation park, the Rossford renovations were a job well done.

Rossford Park Play Area

Rossford Park Play Area

Rossford Park Baseball Fields

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What's Going On: July 23 - July 28

You definitely won't be bored this week, Cake Eaters. There's everything from a Shakespeare performance to a visit from the Bubble Truck this week. The upcoming week will also feature an important event in honor of Private First Class Brandon T. Pickering.

Monday, July 23rd:
Fun-Day Monday
On Mondays, Mio's becomes more than just your friendly neighborhood pizza place, but also an entertainment spot for the whole family. Dan the Balloon Man will provide your kids with exciting balloon creations, and the Kona Ice truck will be parked out front for an after-dinner treat. Order a Collier Mama and send us your photos!
Location: Mio's Pizzeria
Hours: 5:00pm

Tuesday, July 24th:
Ft. Thomas Police Department Presents - Teen Safety Tips
The Ft. Thomas Police Department will teaching teens how to stay safe. Also, participants in the Teen Summer Reading Program are eligible to win prizes attending the event.
Location: Ft. Thomas Library
Hours: 4:00pm

Wednesday, July 25th:
Farmers' Market
Stock up on some organic and locally grown food items.
Location: Midway District
Hours: 3:00-7:00pm

Thursday: July 26th:
The Merchant of Venice
Can't make it to the Globe Theater this summer? No worries, Shakespeare is coming to Tower Park. Stop by the Amphitheater and check out a performance of The Immortal Bard's tragic comedy.
Location: Amphitheater at Tower Park
Hours: 7:00pm

Bubble-Making Extravaganza! 
Blue Marble Bookstore is helping to keep your children entertained this summer. According to Blue Marble's website, "Bubble-making expert Sonny Fenwick of Louisville, Kentucky will be bringing his souped-up, colorful Bubble Truck and will be demonstrating the creation and sculpture of bubbles of all shapes and sizes."
Location: Blue Marble Bookstore
Hours: 4:00-5:00pm

Friday, July 27th:
Art After Hours: Art Exhibition, Music, Food & Wine!
The library will be displaying the work of 16 artists from around the area. Appetizers will be available courtesy of McHale's Catering & Events, and samples of Stonebrook wine can be purchased for $1.00. The Kentucky Wonder String Band will be performing during the evening.
Location: Ft. Thomas Library
Hours: 7:00-9:00pm

Saturday, July 28th:
Memorial Highway Dedication
Private First Class Brandon T. Pickering will be honored with a Memorial Highway. Pickering passed away on April 10, 2011 due to injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan. Pickering graduated from Highlands High School in 2008. Join his family and government officials in honoring his service to our country.
Location: Corner of River Rd. and South Ft. Thomas Ave.
Hours: 9:00am

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Two Jobs Released In Proactive Adjustment

-Two Jobs Released In Proactive Adjustment-

The City of Fort Thomas recently let go two outstanding employees, Jay Treft and David Buerger, from their positions.  Jay was the Assistant City Administrator/ Economic Development Director and David was the Director of Recreation.  Jay had been employed since 1999 and David had been employed since 2005.  The reason these men were let go sounded different to Fort Thomas Matters, which prompted some research and the writing of this article.  You may have read a story on about this situation, but Fort Thomas Matters took it a step further; we went to the city council and wanted to know the details behind these men being let go.

The reasons that were given to justify Jay and David being released were the following:

1.      Streamline the delivery of city services
2.       Maintain fiscal stability
3.       Position the city to better address future financial challenges

I understood trying to maintain fiscal stability; less people to pay, more money to “stabilize” the city in other areas.  It is a less than desirable situation when good men lose their jobs, but these are the times that we live in.

The other two explanations didn’t sit right with FTM though.  I wanted more of an explanation of how future financial challenges and streamlined delivery of city services could be justifiable means to relieving someone of their job.  To get my answers I contacted Mr. Don Martin, City Administrative Officer.

I asked Mr. Martin, “In preparing for these future financial woes what if vacating these two positions is not enough?  Could property taxes in Fort Thomas be increased to combat any financial challenges?”
Mr. Martin’s said, “Fort Thomas is fortunate that it generally responds to challenges proactively rather than reactively.  The elected officials believe it is fiscally responsible to address known or anticipated challenges now when they have more flexibility and options, rather than waiting until they are forced to act.  In accordance with state statute the city adjusts the property tax rate annually, and before the city would consider proposing a substantial increase in property taxes I feel confident it would instead focus on reducing expenses or public services.”

I asked Don to explain the “streamlining the delivery of city services” and the part in played into the situation.
Don explained, “One of the goals of the restructuring is to streamline the delivery of city services in a more cost-effective manner.  Effectively the city is delivering the same services it has traditionally provided like grants, economic development, etc. but doing so with fewer employees.”

The one reason behind these terminations that stuck out in my mind was to Position the city to better address future financial challenges.  I thought it sounded different, if not plain wrong, that these men were let go because of a future threat that wasn’t completely guaranteed.  I asked Don to address that issue; this is what he had to say:

“Increased costs and fiscal challenges are guaranteed to a certain extent.  Employee pension contribution rates are projected to rise substantially over the next decade.  The city has no control over these contribution rates and is required to pay the rates established by the state requirement board.  Currently, for police and fire employees, the city is required to contribute 35.76% of the employees’ total pay toward their pensions and this is expected to rise 30% over the next five years.  For non-public safety employees, the city is required to contribute 18.96% of the employees’ total pay and this is expected to rise 20% over the next five years.  When health insurance cost associated with PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), there are additional cost increases which will likely need to be addressed.

Fort Thomas Matters contacted Mr. Treft to get his feelings on recently being let go. 
Mr. Treft explained, “I am very proud of the things that I was able to accomplish for the city during my 12 year tenure.  A few examples include spearheading the community's involvement in the Renaissance/Main Street downtown revitalization program along with creation of a Renaissance Coordinator position With the City Administrator and Renaissance Coordinator I was able to secure several state and federal grants for the community, primarily for business district revitalization and community development.”

The grants that Mr. Treft played a part in securing (upwards of $600,000 total) made the following projects possible for the city:
  1. -          Improve 8 commercial building exteriors in the Town Center and Midway business districts  
  2. -          Construct the sidewalk on Memorial Parkway connecting Fort Thomas to Newport and Bellevue
  3. -          Construct the new bandshell at the amphitheater in Tower Park

Mr. Treft concluded in saying, “I am thankful to have served as the lead staff member on several important projects in the community, including the Midway business district street scape plan, initiating its designation as a national historic district. And also developing a historic preservation ordinance that created the design review board and paved the way for what I hope is the city's eventual purchase of the historic homes on Alexander Circle. I'm also proud of the work of the tree commission, most notably in producing a revised tree ordinance to better address development issues facing the community.

While Fort Thomas Matters is very pleased with the enhancements being done throughout the city; it is unfortunate that two outstanding employees were let go in an attempt to protect the city from future financial hardships.  It should be said that in contacting the city council their comments were nothing but complimentary.  Everyone had great things to say not only about the work that Mr. Treft and Mr. Buerger produced, but also about these men in general!

All of us at Fort Thomas Matters wish nothing but the best for Jay Treft and David Buerger in their future endeavors.  Their work and contributions to the city will be missed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Celebrity Birthdays Want Mid Week Notes

Click image to view bigger

I was trying to find a visual to go with this post and nothing really came to mind, so I decided to google "who was born today" to see if I could get any ideas. Pretty interesing. Nelson Mandela, John Glenn, Vin Diesel, Richard Branson and Kristen Bell.

Then, I looked at who was born tomorrow, July 19th. I'm fairly confident there hasn't been a mismatch bigger than these two groups of people. In terms of... well, everything. Onto the news and notes:

- Had the Collier Mama last night at Mio's. It was awesome. Bacon, pineapple, onion, mushroom stuffed pizza. Or the Spicy Collier Mama with jalapenos. Remember, the first to order it ($17.99), take a picture and submit it to this blog, wins a FREE Divotcard.

- While I was there, I noticed that The Candy Cottage has a notice to customers that it's relocating. I haven't called yet to figure out where, but their last day will be next Friday. Their 2 year lease may be up, as I found this article in our archives.

- This hits just a day after Jessica Duke broke the story (see below this post) that Marshall Granger Jewelers is leaving Fort Thomas for Cold Spring after 53 years in Fort Thomas. Two big blows for the Towne Center Business District. I'd like to hear the landlord's side of the story on this story.

- Campbell County voters will get to decide on a tax rate increase to build a South Branch of the public library by a vote of 3-1.

- If you are as pumped as I am about the new Batman movie coming out (I know, I'm a nerd) and read everything you can get your eyes on about the third installment, make sure you read Stephanie Class' article in the latest Inside Fort Thomas. I know, I know. It's not Fort Thomas Matters, but Stephanie does a great job detailing her time on set with the 2nd installment, The Dark Knight.

Ben, Darrin and I were absolutely enthralled of her stories from the movie, including a chance encounter in a rickety elevator with Heath Ledger in full Joker costume. Good stuff.

- Finally, some rain. It is pretty sweet not to have to mow the grass, though.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marshall Granger Jewelers Shutting its Doors

After 53 years located at 18 N Ft Thomas Ave in the Hiland Building, Marshall Granger Jewelers is permanently closing their doors in Fort Thomas. The jeweler, which was founded in Cincinnati in 1944 and later moved to the Fort Thomas location in 1959, will be relocating to Cold Spring.

It is always unfortunate when, despite the best efforts of the Fort Thomas Business District, a business moves elsewhere. This situation is especially unfortunate because the business is an the established, prosperous, and upstanding business that benefits our community greatly.

However, according to the sales representative with whom I spoke, it was NOT Marshall Granger’s decision to move. Per my source, the landlord of the Hiland Building forced the well-known jeweler out.

The landlord had, allegedly, been engaging in behavior that was stifling Marshall Granger’s business. Let me preface these statements by highlighting the use of quotations. Some of these activities include "refusing to allow them to use the back parking lot, even going so far as to tow customers’ vehicles and/or calling the police to ticket their customers." The issue to move out of Fort Thomas, per Marshall Granger, was not monetary but behavior-based; Mr. Granger has even taken the issue to court and the case was decided in his favor but the behavior has, allegedly, continued.

Marshall Granger has been looking for a new place for his jewelry store for more than three years due to these ongoing landlord/tenant issues. He has delayed the move for “sentimental reasons” since his father, Carl Granger, was so committed to our community. However, they feel that due to the alleged and ongoing actions of their landlord, they felt they had no real option for their business besides the move.

Their new location will be at 3955 Alexandria Pike and they will be having a moving sale through July 21st for“preferred customers” where savings of up to 60% will be available.

Let’s bid farewell to this Fort Thomas businessman and be sure to welcome them in their new Cold Spring location.

Author’s Note: As of time of publishing, my phone calls andvoicemail to the leasing office for The Hiland Building at 18 N. Ft Thomas Avewent unanswered and unreturned.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Introducing The Collier Mama - Mio's Specialty Pizza

Call yer mama. Tell her how amazing this pizza looks. In what is probably one of the coolest thing that's happened to me since starting Mark vs. Food, the braintrust at Mio's in Fort Thomas has decided to offer a pizza special named after yours truly. And it looks freaking outstanding.

Go up and order one. The first one of our readers to order it, take a picture with the pizza and send it to me at, gets a free Divotcard ($70 value FREE GOLF ALL SUMMER!)

We're scheduling an installment in the next few weeks for a competition, which will unfold pretty soon. I can tell you our celebrity guest will be rolling deep into Mio's. That's the only hint I'm throwing out there. Below is the building of the Collier Mama (via Mio's Facebook page).

Start with a 13"round pan that is 2" deep

Add 16 ounces of dough for the bottom crust
Add 20 ounces of cheese and 3 ounces of each selected toppings

The Collier Mama Topping are pineapple, bacon, onion, mushroom and jalapeno peppers. Toppings weight is 15 ounces

Add the top crust which is another 8 ounces

Send the pizza through the over the first time with out sauce to make sure the cheese and topping melt and blend together

Add another 12 ounces of sauce and send through the oven a second time to make sure the inside temp reaches around 160 degrees.

Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley mixture

Cut in to 8 pieces

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What's Going On: July 16th - July 21st

Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the next week is basically another seven days of heat and humidity. The good news is that there are plenty of events happening this week to keep you distracted from the ridiculous weather. Here's a guide to this week's events in and around the Ft. Thomas area:

Monday, July 16th: 
The Colored Pencil Society of America's 20th Annual International Exhibition
This isn't your typical art exhibit. It features masterpieces created entirely out of colored pencils. The Carnegie's website describes the exhibit as "a much more mature and dexterous take on elementary school art class. The extraordinarily detailed artworks, that could very well be mistaken for photographs, showcase the versatility of this art medium, and viewers can expect to fall in love with all that they see." 
Hours: 10am-5pm 

Tuesday, July 17th: 
Concert in the Park: Silver Arm 
The Celtic band, Silver Arm will hit the stage at Tower Park with their well-known blend of musicianship and creativity. 
Hours: 7:00pm

Kids Summer Movie Series: Kung Fu Panda 2
Wilder's Great Escape movie theater boasts a great summer movie series for kids, which parents also enjoy thanks to the free admission. This week, Kung Fu Panda 2 will be showing on the big screen. 
Hours: 9:30am

Animal Exhibition with the Cincinnati Zoo (Ages 8-18)
The Cincinnati Zoo will be taking over the Ft. Thomas Library. Registration is required for the event, so sign up before you miss the chance to spend the afternoon with some of your favorite animals. 
Hours: 4:00pm

Wednesday, July 18th: 
Farmers' Market
Stock up on organic and locally grown food items. 
Location: Midway District (River Road at South Fort Thomas Avenue - Across from The Pub).
Hours: 3:00pm-7:00pm

Ladies Luncheon
The Ft. Thomas Swim Club hosts their annual Ladies Luncheon for all the ladies aged 21 and up. The Swim Club's website has all the important information you need before attending the event. According to the Swim Club, "$15 Pre-sale $20 At the Door The tradition continues! Open to the public! All food, beer, wine, soft drinks, food, and music provided. Door prizes will be given away. Booths of products and services will be on display."
Hours: 11:00am-4:00pm 

Thursday, July 19th:
Baby Time
"Clap, sing and move with your baby! Make new friends! Age range: 0-2, especially for walkers," says the Ft. Thomas Library's website. Bring your baby to the library for a morning of fun and learning. Registration is required for the event. 
Location: Ft. Thomas Library 
Hours: 9:30am

Friday, July 20th:
Wine Tasting at the Music and Dance Art Exhibit
Newport on the Levee is currently hosting their Music and Dance Art Exhibit, which features an array of accompanying events. Relax after a long week with a wine tasting courtesy of StoneBrook Winery. 
Hours: 5:00pm-10:00pm

Saturday, July 21st:
Highlands Middle School Garage Sale
Help support the 8th Grade Washington D.C. Trip by purchasing some treasures at the Garage Sale
Location: Highlands Middle School
Hours: 9:00am-12:00pm

Do you know of any events in the area we should feature? Drop us a line, and we'll add them to the list. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Van Damme It's Friday Links

-The Mark vs. Food video is complete. Kudos to Zeke the Intern. It's a little long, but bear with us while we figure out what works and what doesn't. The next few videos will be much shorter so when you watch it at work, your boss probably won't bust you.

Here's the video: Mark vs. Food - Izzy's 110 Challenge vs the Cincinnati Rollergirls.

- Mio's is going to name a pizza special the Collier Mama (call-yer-mama). So, yeah. I guess my life is pretty much complete at the moment and in no way is that depressing to me.

-Tower Park is in the running for "Best Park in the Nation" - in a contest being put on by Coca-Cola. First place wins a $100,000 grant for the park. It's important to vote early and often as the contest ends Sunday. As an ancillary benefit, maybe we can rehire the two Fort Thomas employees who were let go to due to "future financial hardships." Here's how to vote:

Log on: www.LivePositively.Com
Click: "Get Involved"

Click: "Vote for your favorite park"
Click: "Leaderboard"

enter search: "Fort Thomas Tower Park"

Click on Fort Thomas Tower Park & vote.

You can double click the name again and vo
te a 2nd, 3rd, 4th time etc without going to the beginning again.

We need people with smart phones voting via foursquare at the park. Not only is it 100 votes, but in the case of a tie, the park with the most votes this way will be the winner.

We have over 400 votes now and that is after just starting at around 7:00 last night. We are currently ranked in the 500's but getting better with every vote. We still have a long way to go and a short time to get there. Only 2 1/2 days left.

- Cobblestone Cafe is celebrating their 7th anniversary. Congrats to them! Grab a soup and sandwich and tell them congrats in person

- Back in April, 2008 Highlands High School graduate, Brandon Pickering died from enemy fire as he was serving our country in Iraq. To honor him, River Road will be forever be know as the Brandon T.Pickering Memorial Highway.

I've seen other communities do this for veterans killed in action, and am glad to see this take place for one of our own. Details below:

A local soldier who died while serving in Iraq will be honored with a Memorial Highway along KY 445 River Road in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. State and local officials will recognize Private First Class Brandon T. Pickering.

Pickering, 21, died April 10, 2011 of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire and a rocker propelled grenade in Wardak province, Afghanistan, April 8. Pickering was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La. He was a 2008 graduate of Highlands High School.

Pickering’s memorial highway will be from the intersection of KY 8 to the intersection KY 1120 on KY 445 (River Road) in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky.


Family of Private First Class Brandon T. Pickering;

State and local officials


Memorial Highway dedication


Saturday, July 28, 2012, 9:00 a.m.


The plaza corner of KY 445 (River Road) and KY 1120 (South Ft. Thomas Ave.)

Ft. Thomas, Ky. 41075