Sue Hardenbergh: Some local conservatives are wondering where Hardenbergh’s political loyalties lie. They dislike that the Anderson Township Tea Party leader is supporting a Democrat for Ohio Auditor (Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper) while she’s also running for a seat on the Hamilton County Republican Central Committee. But conservatives say the auditor’s race is vital to GOP interests because the winner will be one of the five members of the Ohio Reapportionment Board, which will redraw congressional and state legislative districts after the 2010 Census. It will be interesting to watch this one play out.
Baptist Ministers Conference: No doubt swayed by local NAACP President Christopher Smitherman, the group of African-American clergy last week decided to oppose any property tax levy sought by Cincinnati Public Schools this year.
Smitherman and the ministers have said not enough minority contractors are used in the district’s ongoing renovation projects. But ask them for specifics about the problem and they don’t offer much in return. It’s curious the sudden interest in CPS’ hiring only began after Smitherman started using Chris Finney, a longtime anti-school levy activist, as his legal adviser. The best way to improve any community is to have good schools. This misguided tactic only harms students in the end.
City Firefighters: The Cincinnati Fire Department is getting a $6.9 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to hire firefighters. Although the grant is intended to add firefighters to increase a department’s existing ranks, Cincinnati will seek a waiver asking to let it pay for replacements for retiring personnel. It’s expected the grant could pay for up to 40 new people. After a year of bad news for the local department due to cuts required by City Hall’s fiscal crisis, the federal cash is a much-needed reprieve.[LOSER]
Cincinnati Reds: Despite sunny weather and enthusiastic crowds, the Reds lost their Opening Day game against the St. Louis Cardinals 11-6. With Mark McGuire as their new hitting coach, the Cards managed to hit four home runs during the game, setting a new team record for Opening Day. (Where’s Bumpus Jones when you need him?) Still, the Queen City should be used to these bad starts by now. According to the Baseball Almanac, the Reds have won fewer Opening Day games than they’ve lost over the decades. Oh, well: You win some, you lose some. There’s a long season ahead and plenty of opportunities to impress us.