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Opening Volley

It’s been a damn fine year here in Columbus. It seems like every other day we land on some “Best” list nationwide (see page 134), and in an issue where we let you pin the ribbon on your local faves (page 59), it’s worth noting that I had a few personal highlights in 2014, too. [...]
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It’s been a damn fine year here in Columbus. It seems like every other day we land on some “Best” list nationwide (see page 134), and in an issue where we let you pin the ribbon on your local faves (page 59), it’s worth noting that I had a few personal highlights in 2014, too.

This job keeps getting weirder and more wonderful every year, and so I thought I would catalog my BEST DAYS EVAR!! here in this space. And since emojis don’t translate very well to print, each comes with its own superfluous and technologically useless hashtag. #enjoy

December 31: Started a yearlong personal campaign (that lasted three days) to mis-attribute mid-’90 songs lyrics to famous intellectuals online. I still wonder how many that liked the post know who “The past is gone but something might be found to take its place,” is Gin Blossoms, not Neil deGrasse Tyson.#evolution #iamfunny

March 17: Spent the day looking through thousands of old photos for a cover collage that included my boss’s dog and a good friend’s butt crack. #ColtLewis #DaneTerry

January 18: Purchased a double-sided axe and a bottle of bourbon…for work. #prepped #vortex #JackTorrance

March 8: Delivered about 5,000 (614) Magazines in a van with Executive Editor David S. Lewis. #goodjobSteve #beefjerky

April 20: Found some “buy one get one free” beef jerky at a local Speedway. #beefjerky

June 16: Played an ill-prepared set of country tunes with my old man. #BillandLilBill #Honky #Tonk

October 2: Retired as a sports writer. #UWeekly #alotofwritersstayincollegefor8years

June 22: Tied up an owner of a prominent local pizza chain while his co-owner stood watch on top of a van in a ninja costume, on top of a parking garage in mid-day; held a flash knee-deep in a river while two of my writers faced off in a battle of canoe-machete chicken #greatfun #badidea #614TheMovie

May 12: Received a double middle finger on the street from my girl’s ex. #BOOM

August 3: Officiated a wedding in a comedy club. I was the third-funniest on stage. #nuptials #FunnyBone #stillcannottieabowtie

April 21: Executed, with the help of a crack team working around the clock, a chalkboard mural so real and vibrant that most people assumed it was Photoshopped anyway. #noregrets #drywall #ColumBest2013

March 29: Had a nephew. (Technically, my sister-in-law did the heavy lifting, but it was still a personal highlight).
#MasonPaulHoewischer

December 11: Sat in a chair while E. Gordon Gee lobbed insults at me through a megaphone #buckeye #roasted

February 27: Went to Pittsburgh. #Fatheads #worldtraveler #daydrunk

January 23: Was hired by the Cleveland Browns. #doppelganger #MikePettine #jockinmystyle

July 20: Won an Emmy. #ridiculous #NOSH #NBC4 #wenttoTVcamp

July 11: Got 200 likes on a Facebook post; still, mostly ignored Twitter. #hashtag #traditional

April 4: Got a heart-warming hand-written letter from an openly gay, war-vet advocate, who I once shared a Labatt Blue Light with a few years back. #thanksTwink #allies

June 15: Won a completely ludicrous Celebrity Bartending event, mostly by virtue of having less stuff floating in mine that the other competitors. And one was a magician. #suckitJohnnyDiloretto #Digfest

November 14: Printed a story that got the Wall Street Journal to take notice and coax an apology out of a global swimming star. #NyadOhNo #LoriGumshoe

May 29: Went to Ikea. Nice place. #goodprices #inandout #nomeatballs #movedinwithmyGF

November 30: Went to my 15-year high school class reunion. #lies #MillerLite

Today: Added one more Best list to the Columbus pile. #bigwinners #cop-out #funnyhashtags

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Op-ed: Whitehall mayor responds to recent negative press

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As the City of Whitehall, Ohio begins a new year and reflects on the successes of 2018, we were disappointed to see a 614 Now headline reading, “Whitehall takes top spot in ‘10 Most Dangerous Cities in Ohio’” based on a November 3, 2018 blog post on RoadSnacks.com.

We strongly disagree with some of the methodology that the study relied on in making their opinion on the level of danger in our community. The safety and well-being of our neighbors and business partners always will be our number one priority and, thanks to a number of initiatives we’ve undertaken, our community is experiencing great momentum.

Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard

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Our Safer Whitehall initiative, which includes the establishment of a specialized narcotics unit, the hiring of additional and the enhanced training of police officers, adding four new K-9 officers and our proactive Mobile Community Watch has all led to additional arrests being made, thus we are seeing lower crime rates. In fact, since the beginning of 2017, violent crime has decreased by 48%, robberies have decreased by 47% and theft arrests have declined by 22%. These are statistics from the Whitehall police department.

This positive and significant upswing in statistics can also be attributed to our aggressive approach to rid the community of criminal activity through increased economic development and innovative training for businesses and residents on how to prevent and decrease crime.

Great things are happening here. Heartland Bank and The Wasserstrom Company have moved their headquarters to Whitehall. The Whitehall Community Park is undergoing a multi-million dollar update with a new Community Park Y. And, the $50 million Norton Crossing project is underway at the gateway to our city – the intersection of Broad and Hamilton.

We are extremely proud of our community. We invite everyone to visit our city and see the progress we are making each and every day. 

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Opinion

The Closing Volley

This is my final letter as editor of (614) Magazine. Those are among the hardest words I’ve ever had to type. I’ve always told myself that I wouldn’t stay in this seat forever, but it’s still hard to prepare for the day when “not forever” arrives at your door, leaving even someone like myself at [...]
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This is my final letter as editor of (614) Magazine. Those are among the hardest words I’ve ever had to type.

I’ve always told myself that I wouldn’t stay in this seat forever, but it’s still hard to prepare for the day when “not forever” arrives at your door, leaving even someone like myself at a loss for words.

As a little inspiration for one last Opening Volley (by my count, the 102nd), I reflected on my first one, penned June 2010:

“I’ll put my own stamp on the magazine, sure. Most likely, some of these ideas haven’t yet presented themselves to me.”

If only you knew, you big dum-dum.

I’d love to give myself points for prescience there, but how could I have known what this would all mean? How could I have known we’d last at all?

I didn’t know we’d print a story about a long-forgotten Columbus swimmer that would lead to justice for his legacy in the Wall Street Journal (Thanks, Lori Gum).

I didn’t know I’d watch my Uber driver make global news and come out of the closet on The View four months after picking me up on a random Friday (Thanks, Trey Pearson).

I certainly didn’t know that I’d win an *Emmy for the least amount of work I’ve ever done on something so cool, hosting a food show called NOSH. (Thanks, NBC).

(*Regional, and the interns always assume it’s just a prop sitting at the front desk).

I did know that when I first sat down in this chair to write this letter that I was sitting in a position that was perfectly suited for me—even though it was something I never could have aspired to back when I was starting out.

I didn’t know it would give me the most satisfying and fulfilling time of my life, a period of feverish creativity, passionate collaboration, and an intense feeling of civic pride I’d not previously enjoyed.

“What (614) will continue to do is to present Columbus as the diverse, interesting—and growing—Midwestern hub that we feel it is. To hell with that Cowtown bit.”

My thesis statement in that first letter—I called a shot I didn’t have the right to. But damn, if we—and I do mean we—haven’t helped accomplish that in this last decade. We used to have to prove that we were more than college football and chain restaurants. Now, we’re having spirited debates over the loss of cocktail bars and craft breweries.

It’s that collective effort to move the Columbus culture that fueled us at (614)—less so than the other way around. I’ll put that humility aside only long enough to say, I do think we succeeded in our goal to make this magazine stand out from the rest of the rack. If I do say so myself, we set a new print standard for those glossy city mags you see strewn about any active city. Yes, we are the city guide—this festival, that band, those food trucks—but it’s always been my hope that we could be more. It’s been my hope that we’ve been able to serve as part of the city’s conscience, and present a curation of our collective personality on display. Maybe we’ve been a guide to what life feels like in Columbus’s modern rebirth, a new outline for a city without an identity for so many decades—other than their incessant, sometimes obsessive search for one.

But, we’ve mostly been YOU. If there’s one thing I’ve been most proud of over the last 10 years and 100-plus issues, it’s that we produced an open-source document for Columbus—an approachable read that gave access to the everyday folk in Columbus. It’s always been a poorly kept secret that if you have an idea that Columbus would love, you have a spot in (614). No credentials or diploma needed. Just someone with the same passion we had. Your new editor-in-chief Jeni Ruisch has it. And I can’t wait to see her era of this funny little journalistic experiment begin.

I’m gonna miss the work like hell—I won’t lie. It’s been one of the great pleasures of my life to put this thing together. I’ll miss wondering what’s on your mind; what stories you were excited to share with and through us.

I’m not going anywhere, though. I have plans and schemes to continue to pay forward what this magazine and this city has given to me. In what capacity? I suppose I am still plotting that chapter, but as always—I’m open to Columbus’s input. In other words:

“Most likely, some of these ideas haven’t yet presented themselves to me.”

Cheers, Columbus. I’ll see ya out there.

Travis Hoewischer, Editor-in-Chief

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Opinion

The Closing Volley

This is my final letter as editor of (614) Magazine. Those are among the hardest words I’ve ever had to type. I’ve always told myself that I wouldn’t stay in this seat forever, but it’s still hard to prepare for the day when “not forever” arrives at your door, leaving even someone like myself at [...]
614now

Published

on

This is my final letter as editor of (614) Magazine. Those are among the hardest words I’ve ever had to type.

I’ve always told myself that I wouldn’t stay in this seat forever, but it’s still hard to prepare for the day when “not forever” arrives at your door, leaving even someone like myself at a loss for words.

As a little inspiration for one last Opening Volley (by my count, the 102nd), I reflected on my first one, penned June 2010:

“I’ll put my own stamp on the magazine, sure. Most likely, some of these ideas haven’t yet presented themselves to me.”

If only you knew, you big dum-dum.

I’d love to give myself points for prescience there, but how could I have known what this would all mean? How could I have known we’d last at all?

I didn’t know we’d print a story about a long-forgotten Columbus swimmer that would lead to justice for his legacy in the Wall Street Journal (Thanks, Lori Gum).

I didn’t know I’d watch my Uber driver make global news and come out of the closet on The View four months after picking me up on a random Friday (Thanks, Trey Pearson).

I certainly didn’t know that I’d win an *Emmy for the least amount of work I’ve ever done on something so cool, hosting a food show called NOSH. (Thanks, NBC).

(*Regional, and the interns always assume it’s just a prop sitting at the front desk).

I did know that when I first sat down in this chair to write this letter that I was sitting in a position that was perfectly suited for me—even though it was something I never could have aspired to back when I was starting out.

I didn’t know it would give me the most satisfying and fulfilling time of my life, a period of feverish creativity, passionate collaboration, and an intense feeling of civic pride I’d not previously enjoyed.

“What (614) will continue to do is to present Columbus as the diverse, interesting—and growing—Midwestern hub that we feel it is. To hell with that Cowtown bit.”

My thesis statement in that first letter—I called a shot I didn’t have the right to. But damn, if we—and I do mean we—haven’t helped accomplish that in this last decade. We used to have to prove that we were more than college football and chain restaurants. Now, we’re having spirited debates over the loss of cocktail bars and craft breweries.

It’s that collective effort to move the Columbus culture that fueled us at (614)—less so than the other way around. I’ll put that humility aside only long enough to say, I do think we succeeded in our goal to make this magazine stand out from the rest of the rack. If I do say so myself, we set a new print standard for those glossy city mags you see strewn about any active city. Yes, we are the city guide—this festival, that band, those food trucks—but it’s always been my hope that we could be more. It’s been my hope that we’ve been able to serve as part of the city’s conscience, and present a curation of our collective personality on display. Maybe we’ve been a guide to what life feels like in Columbus’s modern rebirth, a new outline for a city without an identity for so many decades—other than their incessant, sometimes obsessive search for one.

But, we’ve mostly been YOU. If there’s one thing I’ve been most proud of over the last 10 years and 100-plus issues, it’s that we produced an open-source document for Columbus—an approachable read that gave access to the everyday folk in Columbus. It’s always been a poorly kept secret that if you have an idea that Columbus would love, you have a spot in (614). No credentials or diploma needed. Just someone with the same passion we had. Your new editor-in-chief Jeni Ruisch has it. And I can’t wait to see her era of this funny little journalistic experiment begin.

I’m gonna miss the work like hell—I won’t lie. It’s been one of the great pleasures of my life to put this thing together. I’ll miss wondering what’s on your mind; what stories you were excited to share with and through us.

I’m not going anywhere, though. I have plans and schemes to continue to pay forward what this magazine and this city has given to me. In what capacity? I suppose I am still plotting that chapter, but as always—I’m open to Columbus’s input. In other words:

“Most likely, some of these ideas haven’t yet presented themselves to me.”

Cheers, Columbus. I’ll see ya out there.

Travis Hoewischer, Editor-in-Chief

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