by Danny Cross
Hamilton County has been killing people more often than Ohio counties of similar size, despite actually asking for the death penalty less often. Today's Enquirer takes a look at the growing opposition to the death
penalty in other states and recent legislation and task forces aimed
at either studying its effectiveness or stopping the practice
altogether. Prosecutor Joe Deters says he's going to kill all the people who deserve it because the law is still the law.
Would you like to pay tolls or higher
gas taxes in order to have a new Brent Spence Bridge? No? Then you're
like a majority of people who take the time to respond to Enquirer polls.
City Manager Milton Dohoney plans to
ask City Council to raise the property tax rate in response to a
projected $33 million 2013 deficit that everyone knows was coming.
The Community Press on the East Side
says Norfolk Southern is willing to consider selling the Wasson Way
right of way that some would like to see turned into a bike trail.
CityBeat in March found the proposed trail to have support among cycling enthusiasts but some resistance from
light rail supporters.
President Obama hooked up an
11-year-old kid with a note excusing him from class on Friday.
“He says, ‘Do you want me to write
an excuse note? What’s your teacher’s name?” Sullivan told ABC.
“And I say, Mr. Ackerman. And he writes, ‘Please excuse Tyler. He
was with me. Barack Obama, the president.'"
Fortune magazine has taken exception to
Mitt Romney's recent criticism of Solyndra, the solar panel
company that went out of business despite a $500 million Department
of Energy loan.
So last Thursday Romney held a surprise
press conference at Solyndra's shuttered headquarters. During his
prepared statement, Romney said:
"An independent inspector general
looked at this investment and concluded that the Administration had
steered money to friends and family and campaign contributors."
Romney then repeated the claim later in
the press conference.
Small problem: No inspector
general ever "concluded" such a thing, at least not based
on any written reports or public statements.
Wisconsin Gov./Union Crusher Scott
Walker holds a slight lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett, according to a recent poll.
George Zimmerman is back in jail after
what his attorney is calling a misunderstanding over telling a judge
that he had limited money even though a website set up to fund his
legal defense raised more than $135,000.
Legal issues will be involved in New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to ban giant sodas. Jason Alexander has released a lengthy and quite thoughtful apology for referring to the sport of cricket as "a bit gay" during a recent appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
Why do people on the West Coast get to
see all the cool stuff that happens in space? First the eclipse and
now the Transit of Venus, when Venus will cross paths between the sun
and earth. Next time it will happen is 2117. And Australia got to see
a partial lunar eclipse the other day, too.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Ohio and Kentucky transportation
officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to build a $2.4
billion span to serve as a companion to the Brent Spence Bridge. To lessen traffic on the Brent Spence,
which is over capacity, officials are recommending that a new
double-deck bridge be built just west of the existing span.
by Kevin Osborne
Today is Presidents' Day and even though it's a federal holiday, most readers probably don't have the day off from work. You can console yourself about this affront to George and Honest Abe by learning all about the holiday's quirky history. For example, it was the first holiday authorized to commemorate an American citizen (Mr. Washington) and was split among three different holidays until President Nixon decided to consolidate them in 1971. (Thanks for that, Dick.) And here's CityBeat contributer Ryan Carpe's account of interesting anecdotes involving several presidents from Ohio.Xavier University is facing yet another federal investigation for possible civil rights violations. The probe, the third since December, again involves allegations that campus officials didn't appropriately investigate and punish complaints of sexual assaults filed by female students. In the latest incident, 2011 XU graduate Caitlin Pinciotti charges that she was sexually assaulted in late 2008. She says the university allowed the student found responsible in a March 2009 campus disciplinary hearing to flout terms of his one-semester suspension and frequently return to campus.Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. looks back on his 41-year political career as he prepares to retire later this year. Leis, 77, was county prosecutor and a judge before being elected to his first term as sheriff in 1987. He is perhaps best known for his 1977 prosecution of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, which was later thrown out on a technicality, and his temporarily shutting down a photographic exhibit by Robert Mapplethorpe at the Contemporary Arts Center in 1990, both of which helped solidify Cincinnati's image as a backwards, culturally inept burg on the national scene.Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is in town today, stumping before Ohio's March 6 primary. Romney will visit Meridian Bioscience in Newtown this afternoon, then hold a $2,500-a-plate fundraising dinner at downtown's Great American Tower at 5 p.m.Do you plan on using the bridge that replaces the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River whenever it's finally built? Then you'd better have some change ready. Greater Cincinnati business leaders said tolls likely will be part of whatever financing plan eventually is cobbled together for the $2.3 billion project.In news elsewhere, a Washington Post analysis of various speeches and documents from years past reveals that GOP presidential wannabe Newt Gingrich criticized President Reagan and often took moderate positions on some issues until it became more politically expedient to portray himself as a staunch conservative.Nuclear inspectors from the United Nations are visiting Iran to verify that its uranium enrichment work is peaceful in purpose and isn't designed to make weapons. International tensions have risen due to speculation that Israel may soon carry out a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.It's not just the United States and Europe that's having problems with deficits. Japan is posting a record trade deficit in January as fuel imports rose sharply following last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster. January's deficit totaled $18.5 billion, the highest since the nation began record-keeping in 1979, officials said.Canada is threatening a trade war with the European Union over the bloc's plan to label oil from Alberta's vast tar sands as highly polluting in a key vote scheduled for Thursday. Canadian officials believe it would set a global precedent and derail its ability to exploit its tar sands, which are the biggest fossil fuel reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia.
by Kevin Osborne
Duke Energy announced Thursday night that it will help fund a campaign to raise private and government money to replace the outdated Brent Spence Bridge. It will cost about $2.3 billion to replace the span, which carries traffic from I-75 and I-71 over the Ohio River.Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig said an audit to determine methods for improving the Police Department’s efficiency is continuing. Among the latest recommendations, the department will no longer seek accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and that response of a recent shift to 10-hour workdays has been positive.Three development groups have submitted proposals to Covington officials, each vying to be selected to reshape that city’s riverfront area. One of the proposals, drafted by Corporex Realty & Investment and Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, involves refurbishing the Waterfront Restaurant and creating a floating boardwalk, marina and wharf.A Cincinnati police officer assigned to the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education (DARE) program was suspended without pay this week after she was charged with tampering with records, securing writings by deception and forgery. Sandra Johnson, 38, allegedly said she taught DARE classes and got paid for them when she didn’t. DARE is among the programs being ended by Chief Craig; he has called it ineffective.In news elsewhere, German President Christian Wulff resigned from his position today as head of state amid mounting criticism over a home loan scandal. Wulff has been plagued by allegations since mid-December over his connections to wealthy businessmen, initially over an advantageous home loan from a friend's wife. He then faced claims he tried to hush up the story, as well as reports of free vacations accepted from friends.The Obama administration’s newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to begin monitoring and regulating debt collectors and credit bureaus for the first time. Richard Cordray, the agency’s director, said he wants to ensure people aren’t subjected to abusive practices.An influential group of scientists issued a report this week pressing U.S. officials to tighten regulations of so-called “fracking” operations to reduce environmental and health risks. The independent review of fracking by professors at the University of Texas in Austin said that the development of shale gas was "essential to the energy security of the U.S. and the world,” but added the process needs more oversight.The recent brouhaha over a new federal rule that requires insurance coverage of birth control for women reveals that the Roman Catholic Church has lost its influence in U.S. politics, some observers said. An AlterNet article noted that even though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops remains opposed to a compromise rule pushed by President Obama, many other Catholic groups — including the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Catholic Health Association — are ignoring the conference and accepting it.Police in Fort Worth, Texas, have arrested 16 students in a major drug bust at Texas Christian University, a conservative evangelical institution. The drugs involved included marijuana, ecstasy pills, a powdered form of ecstasy commonly called “molly” and prescription drugs such as Xanax, hydrocodone and Oxycontin. Four football players were among those arrested.