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Police Layoffs Aren't the End of the World

2 Comments · Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Cincinnati is grappling with a budget crisis triggered by a drop in tax revenues, and to avoid a $28 million deficit this year the city manager is considering laying off some municipal workers, including 138 people in the Police Department. Republicans, particularly the party's long-shot mayoral candidate, are salivating over a wedge issue they can use to their advantage. But even with layoffs, the Police Department's staffing level still would be within the range that Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. said was sufficient just a few years ago.  

Reviving a Vile Legacy

3 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
States' rights. For most CityBeat readers who are too young to remember it, the phrase sounds vague and innocuous, but it's a code word frequently used throughout the 1950s and '60s when Southern states resisted federal efforts aimed at ending deep-seated racist policies. Amazingly, the current Tea Party movement has revived the mantle of states' rights as its latest rallying cry.  

Mayoral Race Needs More Beef

4 Comments · Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Just in time for campaign season to heat up, the Republican candidate for Cincinnati mayor has released his platform of issues, and it focuses heavily on providing incentives to lure new businesses to the city. Cincinnati faces a budget crisis due to declining tax revenues, with city officials considering $28 million in cuts this year and up to $40 million in 2010. Those cuts are expected to trigger layoffs among City Hall's 6,000-member workforce and possible elimination of some services.  

Zealots on the Right and the Left

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Last week's controversy about a homeless camp at the Hamilton County Courthouse and the subsequent proposal to tax panhandlers reminded a history buff like me of Barry Goldwater. When he accepted the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1964, he famously said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Wrong.   

Enquirer Layoffs Hurt Us All

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
If you think CityBeat staffers are rejoicing over last week’s abrupt demise of CiN Weekly, think again. Produced by The Cincinnati Enquirer, CiN Weekly was CityBeat’s primary competitor. Although our newspaper had philosophical differences with CiN about what a free weekly should be, it’s never a good thing when a newspaper ceases publication or people lose their jobs.  

Dems Meet to Discuss Berding

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
On July 8, an interesting private meeting will occur that could influence who sits on Cincinnati City Council next year. At the request of Mayor Mark Mallory, a high-powered group of Democratic officials will convene behind closed doors to discuss growing discord on council. He called the session after CityBeat's blog reported last week that some Democratic Party precinct executives were angry about recent actions taken by Councilman Jeff Berding, a Democrat who's running for his third term. Those precinct executives are trying to build support for calling for a special meeting of the party's Executive Committee to rescind Berding’s endorsement.  

Mallory's October Surprise?

3 Comments · Wednesday, July 1, 2009
People who follow local politics were probably surprised recently to read Mayor Mark Mallory's response to the news of a pending budget deficit next year. When Cincinnati City Council received its monthly financial report in late May, members were informed that the city potentially faced a $40 million deficit in 2010 due to a drop in earnings tax collections. The news prompted some council members to contemplate possible layoffs at City Hall or cuts in services to citizens. But when The Cincinnati Enquirer contacted Mallory, who was in Las Vegas attending a convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the mayor did his best impersonation of Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman: What, me worry?   

Cincinnati Police Should Think Outside the Box

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Cincinnati neighborhoods could use more businesses like Milton's Prospect Hill Tavern. The watering hole, located roughly where Mount Auburn touches Over-the-Rhine, usually features an interesting cross-section of customers: young and old, black and white, straight and gay. In short, its crowd is often a microcosm of the city. But twice during the span of a week, on May 25 and May 31, the bar was robbed while it was open. Frustrated with the lackluster police response, Milton's owner is holding a fundraiser June 28 to help pay for security upgrades like indoor video cameras, increased outdoor lighting and fencing to enclose a patio area.  

Let's Not Repeat Health Care History

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
It's complicated and not very sexy, but don’t fool yourself: The messy debate going on in Congress right now about health care reform will affect every single American. Forty-six million people, including 9 million children, are uninsured in the U.S. To put that statistic in perspective, that's just a tad less than the combined populations of California and Ohio and is larger than some Third World nations.  

Obama's Sneaky Maneuvers

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that — some 140 days or so after he took office — President Obama has acted in a way on two important issues that shakes the confidence placed in him by many supporters. As I told some skeptical Democratic friends during the weeks after the election, Obama might have campaigned as a progressive to shore up support, but he’s really more of a centrist ala Bill Clinton.  

Sheriff Goes Overboard Again

4 Comments · Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and this is an instance in which a local Republican is right and his two Democratic colleagues are flat out wrong. Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. wants to spend a federal Homeland Security grant to buy a $98,691 sport cabin boat, which his office will use to patrol the Ohio River.  

Careful: Streetcar Petitions Can Be Deceptive

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It’s certainly true that good people can come to different conclusions and disagree on an issue. Sometimes, however, good people are led astray by those with ulterior motives. For more than a year, an unusual coalition of arch-conservatives, civil rights groups, Libertarians, Green Party members and others have joined together to mount several petition drives that have made the ballot and let voters decide on issues that otherwise would have been made by elected officials.  

Pepper's Decision Starts a Scramble

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Ever since David Pepper finally confirmed last week what CityBeat first reported online in mid-March — that the prominent local Democrat will run for Ohio Auditor next year — speculation has run rampant about who will campaign for the seat he's vacating on the Hamilton County Commission.   

Time to Limit the Moneychangers

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
There was a time, not too long ago, when if someone loaned you money and charged you 29 percent interest they'd probably be called a "loan shark" and hauled off to jail. That term, loan shark, is one you don't hear much these days because the practice of usury has gone all respectable on us. It's no longer the neighborhood wiseguy or shady character who employs it — it's used by the bank down the street as well as most major U.S. lenders who issue credit cards.  

Bad Apples and Bad Attitudes at CPD

6 Comments · Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Here’s an incident involving the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) and Tom Streicher that most residents probably haven’t heard about. Sometime between midnight and 10 a.m. on the day after Valentine’s Day, Streicher fired a shotgun through the front window of Seventh Street News, an adult bookstore, while he was on-duty.