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Painting a Better World

Artist/activist turns 70, recalls civil rights struggle

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Mary Ann Lederer’s story has a bright line down the middle: Before she was shot in the back at age 35, and since then as she turns 70 on July 4 and marks half her life in a wheelchair. Lederer’s is a tale of surviving and thriving, told too little except among fans of her art, of her teachings on diet, nutrition and the health practices she says saved her life and fans of an activism that began in the 1960s when she was one of Cincinnati’s early civil rights promoters.  

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat

National Latino group meets in the Queen City

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 29, 2011
With still-fresh wounds from the WLW ad campaign in 2007 that thoughtlessly touted the radio giant as “The Big Juan” — with its cartoonishly stereotypical imagery on billboards — and a suburban sheriff constantly in the headlines railing against immigrants, Cincinnati is hardly the city you would think would be embraced by a national group that represents the Hispanic community. This week, though, the Queen City is hosting the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), as the organization comes to town for its 82nd annual national convention.  

Greening Construction, Changing Minds

Cincinnati becoming focus for eco-friendly development

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Cincinnati’s role as a national center for green progressivism gets spotlighted this week when the Greening the Heartland conference brings some 1,000 attendees and 100 exhibitors to downtown’s Duke Energy Conference Center. The theme of the three-day conference, which starts June 22 and is sanctioned by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Midwest region, is “Breaking New Ground.” And it’s a fitting one for what’s happening here.  

EPA Approves Pleasant Ridge Cleanup

Residents say plan doesn’t go far enough

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Three months after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Hilton Davis’ plan to clean up its industrial site in Pleasant Ridge, no progress has been made and some residents still are concerned about the plan’s details, calling them inadequate. The agency and Hilton Davis worked together for years to come to an agreement on how to clean the contaminated site, located at 2235 Langdon Farm Road, after decades of toxic waste had been dumped there.  

Mired in the War on Drugs

Some police say it’s time for end

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
What became clear to me while speaking about marijuana legalization with volunteers of the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is that the argument is really about responsibility. Are we as a society responsible for controlling what adults put into their own bodies? Or are individuals responsible for themselves? And is the Nixonian “war on drugs” — now in its 40th year — responsible for creating more problems than it solved?  

Shakeup in Lockdown

As Ohio prisons go private, one town gets angry

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Robert Shaw has been around the world, but he’s never found a friendlier place than Grafton, Ohio. The sixtyish foundry worker is spouting his rural Lorain County gospel from his perch at the Deluxe Bar on Main Street. Shaw and others are fuming over what’s happening to their hometown — and the fact they have no power to stop it.  

Closing Bars a Black and White Issue?

Some say city’s rules are unevenly enforced

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Andrew Williams is still standing, much to the chagrin of Cincinnati officials and some of his neighbors. The city of Cincinnati has attempted on numerous occasions to close William’s nightclub — known variously as Club Oasis, Club Ritz and Club Aqua Nite Life — through legal means but he continues to stay open to fight another day.  

Telling Their Stories to Others

Group wants to help LGBT youth through video project

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
A local organization is trying to educate area schools on the importance of accepting the LGBT youth in their midst by presenting a series of documentary videos that it hopes will inspire and educate. The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is creating a series of videos called the “Stories Project.”  

Stopping Stadium Subsidies

New group wants NFL, MLB to pay their own way

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Citing a long-festering frustration with the “the lack of any progress or any meaningful discussion” with the Reds and Bengals on their spiraling demands for Hamilton County stadium subsidies, County Commissioner Todd Portune gathered a unique group of allies for a May 20 press conference outside a Court Street barbershop downtown.  

Old St. George Continues to Decay

More than three years after fire, repairs languish

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Barricaded and continuing to rot away from weather’s abuse, the dilapidated remains of Old St. George Church still lie dormant after a four-alarm fire nearly destroyed the historic site more than three years ago. Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. (CHCURC) has plans to begin repairs to the building in the next four to six weeks.  

Adding to the Stigma

Health advocates: Criminalizing HIV is wrong approach

4 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Even with all the medical advances, people infected with HIV have plenty to worry about. They include concerns like fearing the reaction when telling a new partner, being able to afford medications and qualifying for health insurance. Then there’s the case of Andre Davis, a former semi-professional wrestler and Hyde Park resident, who is facing a total of 24 counts of felonious assault for not disclosing his HIV-positive status to sexual partners.  

Disputed Race Drags On and On

Ruling on judicial contest probably will be appealed

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
A federal court might finally put an end to a contested judicial race that has been bitterly disputed since the November election. A hearing date of July 18 has been set in the Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge race. At the hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott will determine if provisional ballots that were originally thrown out should be counted.  

Restricting Access or Restoring Integrity?

GOP pushes for tighter election rules

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Hamilton County candidates seeking elected office in November might experience dramatic outcomes to their races as Ohio voters adjust to new election laws. Sweeping election law reforms are pending in the both the Ohio House and Senate that supporters say are aimed at expanding access to the voting booth, but that critics counter will disenfranchise some people.  

Rethinking the Common Good

Neither capitalism nor communism, new concept protects resources

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The usual narrative of America’s Dust Bowl years goes something like this: Midwestern farmers, driven by greed, recklessly and ignorantly wrecked the land to such a point that it became worthless. They essentially ate themselves to death. But Raj Patel, author of "The Value of Nothing," says it wasn’t some innate, every-man-for-himself style of greed that raped the land; it was the dominant capitalist construct that was to blame.  

High Stakes Pursuit

Experts: Almost 40 percent of police chases result in accidents

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A spate of deaths in the area during police chases has renewed both local and national concerns about how and when officers should pursue suspects in vehicles. The most drastic incident, which ended late at night on March 16 with the deaths of a 33-year-old West African taxicab driver and his blind passenger, has already been noted by national advocates and pointed to as a reason why police pursuit policies need changed.