Thursday, July 18, 2002

Blame it on wind

Irrational acts must be heat-related

        Crazy from the heat?

        Join the club.

        There's been a recent outbreak of behavior that just doesn't make sense. Over the last seven days, the strangeness has ranged from downright goofy to extremely serious.

        The National Urban League can't make up its mind. First, its 2003 convention is coming to Cincinnati. Then it isn't. Then it is. Then it isn't. Memo to the League: Is that your final answer?

        The possibility of pickets was cited as a reason the League pulled its convention. The civil rights group's president stated: “Pickets at local and national Urban League offices and events is utterly unacceptable.” Protesters carrying signs, he noted, would interfere with the League promoting “academic achievement, economic opportunity and civil rights for black people.” Memo to the prez: Picketing is a civil right.

        Mayor Charlie Luken forgets the assistant city manager's last name during a press conference called to discuss the Urban League's latest decision. Memo to the strong mayor with the weak memory: His last name is “Young.”

        Two teens confess to senselessly toppling 150-plus tombstones at Clermont County's Williamsburg Township Cemetery. Memo to vandals: Hope you're sentenced to repair the damage.

        Pierce Township police officer Robert “Blaine” Jorg sues the Rev. Damon Lynch III and the Black United Front for $10 million. Claims defamation of character. The Clermont County lawman once served in Cincinnati. He was acquitted of assault in the death of Roger Owensby Jr. A mistrial resulted in him not being retried for involuntary manslaughter. Memo to Officer Jorg: You're free, alive and not working in Cincinnati. Let it be. Memo to the Rev. Lynch III: Comments can be costly.

        Still not mad over the Tristate being crazy from the heat? Try this:

        Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher calls a press conference to suspend a much-honored assistant police chief, Lt. Col. Ron Twitty. Protests follow. Suspending the city's top black cop comes one day after the Urban League announced it would bring its convention to town. Despite Cincinnati's racially charged climate, the chief gave the mayor just three hours' advance notice of the controversial announcement. Memo to the chief: Timing is everything. Memo to Charlie Luken: You're the strong mayor.

Tough forecast

        This rash of weird behavior made me wonder if the heat wave gripping Greater Cincinnati is to blame.

        Impatience, irritability and poor decision making go hand-in-hand with heat and humidity, said psychologist Gail H. Friedman.

        “With heat, energy goes down,” she told me. “That translates into behavioral issues. Things are little harder to do. People are a little more irritable. Tempers can flare.”

        Over-heated people, she noted, may not be “as supportive, patient and accepting.”

        They just may act a little nutty. And they can't help it.

        Look at what happens when the sirocco winds blow, said Tim Hedrick, Channel 12's chief meteorologist.

        “They come off the deserts in Africa and blow into Italy.

        “Italians describe them as ... deadly to the human temperament.”

        The blazing winds blowing into Cincinnati have not been as hot as a sirocco.

        “But, they certainly have some effect on the Tristate,” he said, “because they've been so consistent throughout the late spring and early summer.”

        Mr. Hedrick sees no end.

        “At least not for the next five days.”

        He was only talking about the weather. No one in his right mind would be willing to forecast when Cincinnati's craziness will come to an end.

        Call Cliff Radel at 768-8379; or e-mail:


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