0 Comments · Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The Pope and the archbishop of Canterbury joined together
to call for action against human trafficking. In a meeting, the two
faith leaders talked about how to combat modern-day slavery.
by Nick Swartsell
94 days ago
Posted In: News
at 09:26 AM | Permalink
The power's out, CVG will track your phone, campaign finance fun
Hey all. Let’s get straight to the important stuff… Across city, a whole lot of ice cream is melting. Large swaths of the east side seem to be without power right now for an indeterminate reason. Between 10,000 and 20,000 people are without electricity. • Some of Cincinnati’s city department directors have been caught living outside the city limits. That’s a violation of city regulations, according to the Cincinnati Business Journal, which drew attention to the situation last month. Metropolitan Sewer District Director Tony Parrott and Citizen Complaint Authority Director Kenneth Glenn were disciplined by the city for skirting the residency rules. Glenn, who has been living in West Chester, is retiring in July. Parrott has been living in Butler County; he’s been docked 40 hours of vacation time and has six months to establish residency in the city limits. Now me, I’m from Butler County, and would give up a week’s vacation to not live there, but hey, that’s just me.• On a note that’s bound to freak some people out, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will be the first in the country to track the number of travelers in specific parts of the airport by using signals from their Wi-Fi devices. The information will help the airport mitigate congested spots and calculate wait times at security checkpoints. Lockheed Martin owns BlipTrack, the system being used to monitor devices. The company says no personal data is collected by the system, which only looks at the number of signals being emitted from devices. I'm cool with this so long as they aren't keeping track of the embarrassing amount of time I spend on Twitter while waiting for my plane.• Campaign finance reports filed Friday show council member Charlie Winburn with a big stack of cash going into his run for state Senate. Winburn, a Republican, announced his candidacy last week, and his filings show he’s got more than $50,000 to spend. He’ll be challenging former council member Cecil Thomas, a Democrat. Thomas hasn’t filed a finance report this time around but had $1,500 going into the Democratic primary. He looks to have an advantage, though, due to the ninth district’s highly Democratic tilt. The district stretches across most of Cincinnati and other urban parts of Hamilton County. All statewide candidates filed Friday, and the results are fairly predictable, with Republican candidates getting large contributions and widening fundraising leads over their Democratic opponents. Gov. John Kasich doubled up on Democratic opponent Ed FitzGerald, gaining $1.7 million in contributions this period to FitzGerald’s $800,000. That puts Kasich with more than $9 million overall to spend in the race, compared to FitzGerald’s less than $2 million. • On the subject of Republicans, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be in town today. He’s promoting his new solo rap mixtape, which doubles as a campaign tool for his presidential bid. No, actually, that’s completely made up. He’s here to raise money for the Republican National Committee, and you can hear him talk for just $1,000. For that price, he better at least drop a couple freestyle rhymes about his economic policy ideas, though. Bush's name has been floated as a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, though he's a ways down the list.• On a sad note, Casey Kasem passed away Sunday. He was most famous for his radio show, American Top 40, which millions of people listened to for decades. Closer to my heart, he was also the voice of Shaggy. No, not that Shaggy. Shaggy of Scooby Doo fame, which for you youngsters out there was kind of like Adventure Time before there was Adventure Time. I was a big fan.
by German Lopez
Drop Inn Center to move, sewer and water rates set to rise, CVG's losses cost region
The Drop Inn Center and 3CDC (Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation) on Friday announced a deal
to move the region’s largest homeless shelter from its current location
in Over-the-Rhine to Queensgate. The Drop Inn Center says the new
location represents “most of the things on our wish list, which is
fantastic.” And 3CDC has been pushing the shelter to move since it began
its efforts to revitalize the Over-the-Rhine and downtown area, which
some label gentrification. Josh Spring, executive director of the
Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, said in a statement that
government officials and developers should be helping maintain
affordable housing in all parts of the city instead of moving poor
people to other neighborhoods.
Local sewer rates could rise by 6 percent
and local water rates will skyrocket by 22.6 percent following proposed
price hikes from the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD). The higher
sewer rates are needed to help pay for a federally mandated sewer upgrade
that will cost $3.2 billion over 15 years, according to MSD officials.
MSD says the spike in water bills is necessary because water use is
declining and treatment costs are increasing.
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) has lost more flights and seats since 2005
than any other major airport across the country, which effectively cost
the Cincinnati area 33,000 jobs and nearly $1 billion in annual
economic activity in the same time span, according to an analysis from The Cincinnati Enquirer.
The 78-percent drop in flights — far higher than the national average
of 19 percent — comes even as CVG’s average fares increased by 26 percent,
which were also above the national average of 4 percent.
Commentary from The Business Courier: “(Mayor-elect John) Cranley doubles down on streetcar cancellation.”
Supporters of Cincinnati’s $133 million streetcar project
will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Cincinnati Hyatt Regency Ballroom
to discuss their options to prevent Cranley from stopping the streetcar
project. Supporters were recently reinvigorated by the current city
administration’s projections that canceling the streetcar project could cost nearly as much as completing it.
As Ohio’s Republican legislators move to adopt a stand-your-ground law, the research shows the controversial self-defense laws might increase homicides and racial disparities in the U.S. justice system.
Economists generally agree that state officials don’t play
a big role in changing the economy in the short term, but political
scientists say the economy will still play a major role in deciding Ohio’s 2014 gubernatorial elections.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald argues Republican Gov.
John Kasich deserves the blame for Ohio’s economy, given that Kasich
initially credited his policies for Ohio’s brief economic turnaround
early on in his term. But now that the economy is beginning to stagnate,
Kasich refuses to take the blame and points to congressional gridlock at the federal level
as the reason for Ohio’s slowdown.
Ohio paid nearly $1.2 million
for a string of charter schools that closed weeks after they opened.
The schools, which all operated under the name Olympus High School, are
now facing an audit and have been ordered to pay back some of the money.
A state job program for disabled Ohioans could lose millions in federal funds
after the U.S. Department of Education warned the state it is
improperly spending the money on case management and other
administrative activities. But the head of Opportunities for Ohioans
with Disabilities insists the state program is under compliance.
Ohio’s number of uninsured children is below the national average, according to a Georgetown University Center for Children and Families report.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is fast tracking business permits to outpace neighboring states.
With Thanksgiving looming, Ohio gas prices rose in the past week.
Migraine sufferers who also deal with allergies and hay fever might suffer from more severe headaches, according to a study from three medical centers that include the University of Cincinnati.Would you ride the world’s tallest water slide?Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy• News: @CityBeat_News• Music: @CityBeatMusic• German Lopez: @germanrlopez
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Future Republican Presidential Nominee Watches Sci Fi Film, Says Plot Could Totally Happen: While the liberals here at CityBeat
prefer the nutty “everything is a conspiracy” brand of Republican
politician over the “selectively interpret passages from the Bible to
exert social control over a nation founded on the principle of
separating state and church” kind, they both suck.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
WEDNESDAY MAY 1: People love to complain, and one of the
old standbys when doing so is feeling tired. In response to everyone
always whining about feeling tired or hungover, many food companies have
begun producing snacks with caffeine added to them.
by Danny Cross
The private group hoping to purchase
Music Hall for $1 is now asking for $10 million in city contributions
to its effort to update the historic building, double the initial $5
million it asked for. The Music Hall Revitalization Co. says failing
to strike a deal before June 1 will jeopardize the proposed $165
million renovation. Among the updates the city is being asked to fund
are $75,000 buffers to block noise from the streetcar and a $150,000
escrow account to pay for any future disruptions due to the
City Council yesterday spent some time
considering ways to fix the city's retirement fund deficit.
Cincinnati's retirement board wants the city to contribute $67
million to the pension system this year, though Council has
reportedly contributed only about half of that.
CVG today will unveil its updated
Concourse A, which has undergone a $36.5 million renovation. It is part of the
airports attempt to lure a low-cost airline to the hub that formerly
Cleveland is the first Ohio city to
open one of the state's four new casinos, drawing about 5,000 to a
grand opening last night. Cincinnati's casino is expected to be the
last of the four to open, with Hollywood casinos scheduled to open in
Toledo May 29 and in Columbus this fall. Cincinnati's' Horseshoe is
scheduled to open next year.
Barack Obama's Super PAC is airing TV
ads questioning Mitt Romney's business record, specifically his
commitment to workers.
Prosecutors today decided to bring
charges against former News of the World editor Rebekah
Brooks, who along with her husband and four others will be charged
with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The alleged
incidents occurred in response the phone hacking allegations, and the
charges are apparently quite embarrassing to Rupert Murdoch and
British Prime Minister David Cameron.
JP Morgan today said, “Surprise! We
lost a bunch of money!” Two years after congress tightened
regulations on Wall Street, the industry now fears that regulators
will now listen to their fears even less as they enact stricter
Humans are consuming more resources
than the earth can replenish, according to the World Wildlife Fund's
Living Planet Report for 2012.
Lady Gaga yesterday cancelled a
cold-out Indonesia performance in response to conservative protests
over her clothing and dance moves.
National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, responding to the
pressure, said Tuesday that the permit for her June 3 "Born This
Way Ball" concert had been denied.
Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than
any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious
tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent
Hard-liners have loudly criticized Lady Gaga, saying the
suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country's
moral fiber. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her
from stepping off the plane.
Lawmakers and religious leaders, too, have spoken out against her.
by Brandon Barb
A former baggage handler's account of the job
The Cincinnati airport is located in another state — I’ll let
you decide on how backwards that makes the city. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
airport, CVG, was a major hub for Delta Airlines but in the last few years the
number of daily flights and employees has dropped. In 2009 the airport laid off close to 900 employees, and I was one of them. I was a baggage
handler for two years, and boy do I have some stories which will be gotten to a
little later. But first, there is some good news for CVG.
On March 15, DHL announced that $47 million would be
invested in a new facility at its CVG hub. This new sorting facility will help
meet international customer demands and add close to 300 jobs over the next 12
months. The date given for the facility to be operational is Nov. 2012.
DHL has been thriving compared to the downward spiral that
is Delta. DHL has gone from 1,600 jobs to 2,000 in the span of three years and
has invested around $105 million in the Cincinnati location since it was
established in 2009. Not everything that happens at CVG is bad.
During my two years as
a baggage handler I experienced a little bit of everything. From holding on to the
wing of a plane to keep in from tipping during a wind storm, to seeing a drunk
little person getting taken off a plane in handcuffs, to destroying a few bags.
There is more to an airport than what passengers see in the concourses. Have
you ever wondered where that guy in the orange vest was going when he
disappeared behind a door? Ever thought about how your bag was being handled?
Well, hopefully with a few of these stories those questions and more can be
During my time as a baggage handler, I saw some incredible
things. At the same time, there were weird events that took place. These
would occur like lightning; they happened quickly and would never strike
the same place twice.
One of those events is about a worker stealing. He wasn’t
stealing from the company, but stealing from passengers’ bags, more
specifically, female passengers’ bags. As baggage handlers, we would load the
bags up into the cargo bins of aircraft. These bins were only big enough for
one person, and at times that one person would be in the bin for extended
periods of time. Normal workers would write random sayings on the bin walls, or
play a game on their phone, but this guy did something different.
When he was up in the cargo bin, he would go through the
bags until he found women’s panties — clean or dirty. To show the high caliber of
intelligence some of the people at the airport had, he kept all the underwear in his locker at work. There was no attempt to
hide anything in his car or house; the underwear was in a bag in the break
room. I’m not one to call someone stupid, but he deserves it for this one.
Did he get caught? Hell yes, he got caught. When our supervisors went through his locker, sure enough, there was the
underwear. His explanation of it is comical on its own. “It’s for my
girlfriend.” His girlfriend, if he had one, fluctuated in weight a lot because
the underwear was different sizes. This doesn’t reflect on every baggage
handler but it shows there are some strange people touching your bags.
The job of a baggage handler is a dirty one. I came in
contact with bags full of unwashed clothes, shook hands with people who don’t
wash their hands after using the bathroom and cleaned out the restrooms. Ever
wondered who cleans out the lavatory on an aircraft? Well, at CVG, that job falls
to the baggage handlers. This task is worthy enough for Mike Rowe and then
When an aircraft needed to have its bathroom dumped, a handler
would drive up next to the plane in the "lav cart." Imagine a blue electric
cart that has never been washed, excrement has been spilled on it, it has a tank full
of shit and the sun has been cooking its contents all day. I felt
like I should have been wearing a Hazmat suit whenever I was around the damn
thing. It made me throw up a little every time I was in the driver’s seat.
When a baggage handler dumps a lav, he or she drives the
cart up to the aircraft, hooks up the foulest smelling hose to the aircraft and
pulls a lever. What comes out, I’ll leave for the imagination. Once all the
lovely contents are inside the cart, the “blue juice” is added, which is the
liquid solution that you see when flushing an aircraft toilet.
Some handlers would dump a lav, not wash their hands and
then go straight to loading bags. A person fresh from coming in close contact
with human goodness would go right on touching, quite possibly, your possessions.
In the movie Fight Club the narrator tells of a policy
about holding a passenger’s bag if it is vibrating. At CVG I never once saw a
bag being taken because it was vibrating. What we did do was either slam the
bag on the ground in hopes of shutting off the razor or toothbrush — not the
smartest idea if it really was an explosive. Another way we handled a vibrating
bag was to call the passenger down to the ramp where we would proceed to open
it to find the cause of the vibration. If you have seen Fight Club you know
what is coming next. Sometimes the bag would belong to a female passenger. When
her bag would be opened a certain product would be rattling around on
the inside. That happened to me once and while the passenger was red-faced, I
had to walk away before I began to laugh in her face. Movies can teach you something every now and
There is a side to an airport that most people don’t know
about. Sure, there are those zoo-like windows in the concourses that allow
passengers to see outside, but that is just a glimpse. Does everyone want to know about what goes on behind those
doors? Probably not. I’m not trying to scare people away from flying. In a way, an airport is
similar to a restaurant. Taken at face value everything is great and everyone
has a smile on their face, but behind closed doors disgusting, depraved and
weird things are going on.