What you missed in Columbus for June 28

The status of a proposed SoHud music venue is up in the air, the city’s violent year continues and more from the last week

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
The Old North building that will become the new bar and music venue Lovebirds

The status of Lovebirds, a new bar and music venue planned for the SoHud neighborhood, is up in the air following a deadlocked vote on a requested parking variance for the space, the Dispatch reported. In a vote last Tuesday, the Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment knotted 2-2 on a request by the building's owner, Bubbykins LLC, to reduce the number of required on-site parking spaces from 41 to zero.

“If we don't get a variance, it's a death sentence for this building," said music promoter Bobby Miller, who first discussed his plans for Lovebirds with Alive earlier this year.

Miller told the Dispatch that the group might go back to the zoning board this summer to request another vote with the full five-member panel.

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Business owners and Republican politicians have long adopted a common refrain that the extended pandemic jobless benefits are fueling the staffing issues that many companies are currently experiencing nationwide, particularly those in the service industry. But a piece in today’s New York Times takes a closer look at Missouri, which was one of the first states to roll back the additional $300 unemployment benefit and has seen virtually no uptick in job applicants.

Earlier this year, Alive talked to a handful of service workers who have left the industry amid the pandemic and discovered a different narrative than the commonly repeated refrain that “nobody wants to work.”

More:The myth of ‘nobody wants to work’

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The city’s violent year continued over the weekend, with two men killed in separate shootings on Saturday, bringing Columbus to 98 homicides for 2021. The city didn’t register its 98th killing until Sept. 6 last year, a record deadly year in which Columbus  logged 176 homicides. At the current pace, the city would surpass that number in October.

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Former President Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally in Northeast Ohio on Saturday, his first since being voted out of office in a free and fair election, the validity of which he has steadfastly refused to acknowledge.

During the rally, which contained his usual Festivus-style airing of grievances, Trump also insisted that he is “trying to save American democracy,” a statement that rings particularly hollow after the former president, who lost his reelection bid, inspired a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year.

More:The inevitability and dire consequences of 'Stop the Steal'