The debate over the Indians’ name, too, technically. Anyway, here’s this week’s cover of Scene, with a story by Sam Allard that includes more detail about last week’s Opening Day encounter between Robert Roche (at left) and Pedro Rodriguez (in redface), including a lot of quotes from Roche and Rodriguez themselves, as well as from other Cleveland baseball fans who shared their thoughts about the anti-Wahoo and team name protesters.

Wahoo's Waterloo

“Only twice in three hours did we observe pro-Wahoo folks talk politely with the protesters about the root of their opposition or try to explain their own difficulties with the logo,” Allard writes, before getting to specifics, like, “Talk to Obama if you think it’s racist,” and “It’s funny because they all look homeless.” 

Thanks to the folks at Scene for continuing to keep a light on this issue.

Please check back tomorrow or Saturday with a post on a big Sin Tax/Issue 7- related announcement, and for an excellent read check out Dan McGraw’s latest at Belt Magazine on Cleveland’s problem with attracting and integrating immigrants into the City.


Redface has another big day at the ballpark in Cleveland

by Cleveland Frowns on April 6, 2014

About 45 minutes before the first pitch of the Cleveland Indians’ home opener on Friday against the Minnesota Twins, I took the below photo just outside of Gate C at Progressive Field, where a protest against the Cleveland team’s name and Chief Wahoo logo was being held by a group organized by the local chapter of the American Indian Movement (AIM).


Pictured at left is Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache tribe member, AIM member, Executive Director of the American Indian Education Center in Parma, Ohio, and more. At right is Cleveland Indians baseball fan Pedro Rodriguez, who is not a Native American.

Shortly after snapping the photo I posted it to the Cleveland Frowns Twitter account from where it was quickly picked up by a number of national outlets, including Deadspin, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and Yahoo. Scene’s Sam Allard, who also witnessed this confrontation, posted some pictures of his own along with a first-person account and roundup of responses to the anti-Wahoo protesters. And the photo has been discussed at length on local sports talk radio programs, including yesterday on ESPN Cleveland 850 AM where Rodriguez was interviewed by Aaron Goldhammer and explained (or at least gave the impression) that he believed he was “set up” for the photo.

Here’s what really happened: [click to continue…]


Cleveland-area bingo players say No Dice on Sin Tax

by Cleveland Frowns on April 4, 2014

Earlier this week, the Coalition Against the Sin Tax (C.A.S.T.) visted a popular Cleveland-area bingo game to speak with citizens about Issue 7 — the proposed $260+ million Sin Tax on alcohol and cigarettes that Cuyahoga County’s business and political leaders want to take from the County’s residents to give to Cleveland’s pro sports teams for improvements to their facilities. Not surprisingly, the bingo players were none too pleased with the idea of the sports owners reaching back into their kitty.

Unfortunately, there’s far too much doubt as to whether informed opinions of regular Clevelanders will be heard in this low-turnout May election, especially with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “Keep Cleveland Strong” propaganda flooding the County like something out of an Orwell novel. And the problems caused by money’s corrupting influence on politics won’t be subsiding anytime soon, with the U.S. Supreme Court having ruled this week that [click to continue…]


The Coalition Against the Sin Tax (C.A.S.T.) spent last Saturday at Cleveland’s West Side Market, asking shoppers and vendors what they would do with $260 million in proposed Sin Tax revenues that Cuyahoga County’s business and political leaders want to give to Cleveland’s pro sports owners for improvements to their facilities.

Market denizens were quick to point to better uses for these public funds. [click to continue…]


Below is a document from the Coalition Against the Sin Tax that summarizes why Issue 7 should be defeated at the ballot box on May 6. Everybody loves Cleveland’s sports teams, but that’s no excuse to rush into “a lazy solution to an undefined problem.” In these times of massive and growing inequality, the rush to renew the Sin Tax on terms from 30 years ago represents government at its worst. While the team owners and their corporate sponsors will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to pass Issue 7, the facts are overwhelmingly on the opposition’s side. What’s most important is to get people talking about those facts, so please join the effort in any way that you can, including by sharing and discussing the below document, signing up for our mailing list at, “Liking” the Coalition Against the Sin Tax Facebook page, and following @noCLEsintax on Twitter. Also, please offer any feedback as to how the below document might be improved, either in the comments here or by email to Thanks.

Next week we’ll get to unpacking the Pro Sin Tax “Keep Cleveland Strong” campaign’s veiled threats in greater detail.


Just a quick reminder about tomorrow’s meeting that was announced here last week, as well as a few links to more information, including the new official Coalition Against the Sin Tax Facebook page (please follow for campaign updates and further discussion of Issue 7), a pair of interviews with WKYC and Cool Cleveland on the formation of the opposition campaign, and a pair of Sin Tax FAQs, one by Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins and one by the editors of Belt Magazine

CAST meeting

If you can’t make it to tomorrow’s meeting and want to know more about how you can join the fight against the Sin Tax, please sign up for the mailing list at, email, and follow the new Facebook page for updates. Stay tuned here for more here as well. Thanks.


Grassroots coalition announces campaign to defeat Cuyahoga County Sin Tax renewal (Issue 7) this May

March 12, 2014

As was predictable enough when the Greater Cleveland Partnership (the local chamber of commerce) first announced its support for the issue last August, a proposed 20-year renewal of the Cuyahoga County Sin Tax – intended to collect between $260-$320 million from taxpayers to be used to finance the costs of constructing, renovating, improving, or repairing […]

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Talking Chief Wahoo on CBS Cleveland 92.3 The Fan

March 10, 2014

Joe Lull of CBS Cleveland radio 92.3 The Fan had me on his show for a few minutes on Saturday morning for a lively discussion about Chief Wahoo. A link to the audio is available here. In other news,

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Checking in with the “Keep Chief Wahoo” crowd

March 3, 2014

Since the news broke in early January that Chief Wahoo would be demoted from its position as the Cleveland Indians’ “primary logo” in Major League Baseball’s branding style-book, a couple of pro-Wahoo Facebook groups have picked up steam, with the “Keep Chief Wahoo” and “Protect Chief Wahoo” pages having added a combined 3,200+ members mostly […]

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Did Burke Lakefront Airport miscalculations add to Hopkins hub troubles in Cleveland?

February 21, 2014

When United Airlines announced its decision to eliminate its hub at Cleveland Hopkins Airport earlier this month, Cleveland’s only “daily” newspaper responded mainly by supplementing its dutiful printing of press releases from business and political leaders with empty boosterism and a generous pour of white whine to go with a slice of pie in-the-sky. There […]

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