MOBILE FOOD VENDORS: Led by City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan, Cincinnati officials recently expanded the mobile food vending program by creating new zones near Fountain Square. Prompted by a request from 3CDC, officials late last summer eliminated food vendors that used tents and wagons from the square itself, stating they blocked the view of the fountain and ruined the plaza’s aesthetics. Now the city has created one zone on Vine Street and two other zones on Fifth Street where owners of mobile food trucks can sell food and drinks.Vendors may park in the designated areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except weekdays during morning and afternoon rush-hour periods. So far at least two vendors — Tim Hurst of Vinnie’s Gourmet Pretzels and Tom Acito of Café de Wheels — have said they will use the zones, and more are sure to follow. This is a great idea, one we hope will be expanded to other pedestrian-friendly areas in Cincinnati.
MEGHAN FREY: The 17-year-old girl from Anderson Township has never let her epilepsy or diabetes get in the way of her goals.
For the past few years, Frey has participated in the “Everybody Counts” program at her school to raise awareness about the ailments among her peers, along with taping an educational video called Taking Control of Epilepsy. Last week she was awarded a $5,000 UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship from a Belgium pharmaceutical firm to apply to her studies at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. The scholarship is awarded each year to “inspiring people whose lives have been affected by epilepsy, and who seek personal growth through higher learning,” according to the company. We think Frey fits the bill perfectly. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition affecting approximately 3 million people in the United States and 40 million people worldwide.
PET ALLIANCE: The local animal advocacy organization was given $15,000 by a major pet supplies retail chain to help support Greater Cincinnati’s animal shelters during the holiday season. Pet Alliance provides spaying and neutering services for cats, and works to prevent the euthanasia of healthy, homeless cats and dogs in the region. It received the latest gift from Petco, a San Diego-company that operates more than 1,000 stores in the U.S. including several in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Animal advocates say about 4 million shelter animals die each year due to improper spay or neuter care. The nonprofit Pet Alliance encourages potential pet parents to think about adoption first — before purchasing an animal — during the holiday season, as well as to spay or neuter their pets so fewer end up in shelters. Petco’s gift will help deal with so-called “colony cats,” which are feral, stray and abandoned cats.
METRO: The agency that operates Greater Cincinnati’s bus system will receive more than $1.9 million in federal Clean Fuels grants. The money will be used to buy new buses featuring more environmentally friendly “mini-hybrid” technology. The buses contain advanced cooling systems that increase fuel efficiency, similar to hybrid buses. The new vehicles will replace older buses that have exceeded their 12-year useful lifespan. The award was made as part of the Federal Transportation Administration’s 2011 Sustainability Awards. Metro is overseen by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority; the system carries about 60,000 riders daily. As area highways become more and more clogged, and as gasoline prices continue to rise, any aid given to cut down on automobile use and foster the use of mass transit is money well spent. Now, let’s try to get some federal grants for light rail!
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