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City Council Overhauls Pension System

Critics say burden falls too heavily on current workers

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In an effort to fortify Cincinnati’s ailing retirement system for municipal workers, City Council narrowly approved a package of reforms March 16 aimed at reversing the system’s current course toward a projected $1 billion shortfall. In a 5-4 vote, City Council approved reforms that stiffen eligibility requirements, reduce some benefits and increase the retirement age for current workers.  

Coffee Party Bucks Status Quo

On anniversary, group shifts focus to third-party candidates

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A fledgling political group has slowly been gaining membership in Greater Cincinnati by organizing rallies and meetings where they try to hold local politicians accountable and ask citizens how they can reform their government. Founded in March 2010, the Cincinnati Coffee Party is a nonpartisan grassroots organization that questions the policies of government and strives to get citizens involved in the political process.  

Rehabilitating the Rehabilitators

After crimes, VOA center for sex offenders makes major changes

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 16, 2011
While opponents have stepped up calls to shut the Volunteers of America (VOA) center that treats sexual offenders in Over-the-Rhine, operators of the controversial halfway house are trying to assuage longstanding concerns — concerns that flared anew due to two recent cases in which sexual offenders from the program committed new crimes.  

Planned Parenthood Vows to Fight On

GOP attack on funding threatens services for poor

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Despite attempts to cut its federal funding, officials in Planned Parenthood’s Southwest Ohio Region insist closing isn’t an option. Regional President Becki Brenner's concern isn’t merely for her organization’s survival but for the many people who have lost their jobs, had their COBRA health insurance expire or women who need health-care services and can’t afford them and don’t have anywhere else to go.  

Money Changes Everything

Move to Amend wants to restrict corporate donations

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 9, 2011
In the 14 months since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned restrictions and allowed for unlimited corporate spending in campaigns for elections, the political landscape of America already has dramatically changed. During the 2010 midterm elections in November, the first major cycle after the decision, so-called “independent groups” spent more than four times as much money as they did in the 2006 midterm elections.  

Growing Up Under Apartheid

Daughter of famed archbishop comes to town

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Naomi Tutu is the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the first black Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town who helped bring worldwide attention to the struggle against apartheid in the 1980s. Among his many awards, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Following in the footsteps of her father, Naomi Tutu is a renowned human rights activist who is visiting Cincinnati March 10 to discuss her first-hand accounts of apartheid, and how racism and violence can destroy the fundamentals of a community.  

Outsourcing Law and Order

City Council’s proposal to abolish Police Department ignites debate

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Some community groups are outraged about a hastily crafted proposal by Cincinnati officials that could result in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office taking control of all policing within city limits, adding it shows a lack of planning and judgment. Critics say the wide-sweeping proposal, which is being rushed through in three months, would disrupt many of the hard-fought police reforms that resulted from the Collaborative Agreement.  

Middle Class Under Fire

Experts discuss causes, solutions of the vanishing middle class

7 Comments · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Whether you’re looking at economic indicators, stagnant wages, the persistently high unemployment rate or the continued outsourcing of jobs overseas, it’s hard to quibble that America’s middle class has hit rough times. Local experts weighed in on the topic during a panel discussion Feb. 15 at an Avondale church. The event, “The Vanishing Middle Class in Cincinnati: Myth or Reality?”, was sponsored by the Woman’s City Club, a longtime civic organization.   

Reading the Way

Literacy Network helps provide a better future

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
According to the National Institute for Literacy, between 21 and 23 percent of the U.S. adult population can read a little but not well enough to fill out an application or read a food label. Statistics estimate there are more than 280,000 adults who have trouble reading in the Tristate region alone. That’s a bleak picture that the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati is trying to change.  

Battling to Save a Piece of History

Residents, preservationists try to save Gamble House

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As it awaits the outcome of a multifaceted legal battle that will likely decide its fate, Westwood’s historic James Norris Gamble House is enduring a harsh winter. The uncertain future of the Gamble House has stirred contentious debates between the property’s owners, city government and preservationists across Greater Cincinnati and beyond.  

Recalling A Gentle Warrior

Task Force seeks to create award named for an LGBT ally

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It takes a brave and committed person to take a stand for progressive values in a notoriously conservative city like Cincinnati. Nonetheless, Nancy Minson was up to the challenge, tackling her share of political battles with an ingratiating sense of grace and good humor.  

Making OTR's Makeover Easier

Proposed loan program would close funding gap

1 Comment · Tuesday, February 8, 2011
In an effort to spark smaller-scale projects in Over-the-Rhine, the Owner Redevelopment Loan Task Force is working to find ways to close the “development gap” that typically blocks many people from trying to rehabilitate structures in the neighborhood due to inadequate lending options for vacant, historic building stock.  

Putting the Brakes On

Labor dispute might cause bus strike

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 8, 2011
If you're one of the nearly 60,000 people who ride Greater Cincinnati's Metro bus system every day to get to school, go to work, buy groceries or for some other purpose, you might soon have to make other travel plans. The board that oversees Metro voted Feb. 1 to reject a state fact-finder's recommendations about a labor contract with its workers, and the union says it might go on strike.  

Letting the Sun Shine In

Zoo installs largest publicly accessible, urban solar array

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Lions, tigers and bears ... and energy? The Cincinnati Zoo’s latest pet project won’t be housed behind glass or enclosed in habitats; instead, it will be openly displayed outside the facility for all to see. Developed, designed, owned and operated by the Melink Corp., the $11 million Melink Solar Canopy will provide 20 percent of the Zoo’s energy needs.  

Once More, with Feeling

Smitherman: Latest streetcar petition will be the last

5 Comments · Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Just 18 months after Cincinnati voters rejected Issue 9, the proposed charter amendment that likely would’ve blocked the city’s proposed $143 million streetcar system, the project’s opponents are taking another shot. COAST and the NAACP’s local chapter are working to put another referendum on the primary ballot that would call for a straight up-or-down vote on the project, hoping for a different result.