by Nick Swartsell
37 days ago
Posted In: News
at 10:12 AM | Permalink
Could Simpson oppose Cranley in 2017?; Griffey will wear Mariners cap in HOF plaque; economy grows, wages do not
Good morning all. Here’s your news for this morning.First, let's go to something we’ve been talking about here at CityBeat HQ for a little bit now: Who might oppose Mayor John Cranley in 2017? One of the top names on a lot of people's lips (and someone we’ve speculated might launch a campaign) over the past few months has been Democrat Cincinnati City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. This is kind of a non-news story, but Simpson has said she hasn’t ruled out that possibility. She gave the standard “I’m still focused on my current job” answer when asked by The Cincinnati Enquirer about the possibility but also said she would consider running against her fellow Democrat. Simpson and Cranley have vastly different styles and, at times, very different policy ideas. The two have butted heads often in Council, including over provisions for human services funding in the city’s budget process and former Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell’s firing last year.• It’s official: The Hamilton County GOP has tapped Dennis Deters to fill the Hamilton County Commission seat vacated by outgoing commission head Greg Hartmann. The move has been widely expected since Deters, brother to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, filed to run for that slot in the 2016 election. The county GOP named Deters as a temporary fill-in after Hartmann abruptly announced he would not seek reelection and then that he would step down early. The temporary gig gives Deters a better chance at landing the full-time job: He’ll have almost a year of incumbency when he faces off against Democrat State Rep. Denise Driehaus, who looks to be a formidable opponent.• Well, how do you like that? This is the third day in a row I’ve written a blurb about Ken Griffey, Jr., who will be wearing a Seattle Mariners hat in his Hall of Fame plaque. Yes, yes, he spent more of his professional years there, I guess. And scored way more home runs and by every other statistic had his best years there. But come on. Dude went to high school in Cincinnati and played for years with the Reds — as did his dad Ken Griffey, Sr. The Griffey name is a Cincinnati name. Wait, his dad played for the Mariners, too? Ugh. Fine. Take him, Seattle. We have a bunch of Hall of Famers of our own, and we invented professional baseball anyway.• So, extending the theme of surprisingly famous Cincinnatians I’ve drawn out over the past few days, let’s get one more in there before the weekend. Did you know that a Cincy attorney made the cover of the New York Times Magazine recently? And that Rob Bilot, who works for a law firm usually tasked with defending big corporations, is on that cover for aggressively pursuing one of the world’s largest, DuPont, over environmental damage its caused in West Virginia? The story is a very good read and worth a look. • Here’s something kind of unusual: the Ohio Republican Party has voted to endorse Gov. John Kasich’s bid in the GOP presidential primary. That may seem like a no-brainer — Kasich is governor of the state, after all, and one of the state party’s most powerful members — but state-level parties usually stay neutral in primaries so they can support party voters’ choice of candidate better in the general election. Party officials say they’ve made the move because Kasich is popular in the state and has a strong conservative record. The nod could be a big boost for Kasich: Republicans desperately need Ohio to win the presidential election.• Finally, this is the same story nearly every month, but here it is again: the U.S. economy added nearly 300,000 jobs in December. Things are going pretty well, employment level-wise, unless you’re a miner, in which case things are probably not going so well on a number of levels. Mining jobs were one of the few categories that saw losses. But it’s not all good news. Like past positive job gains, this one comes with the caveat that wages remain flat for U.S. workers. There were zero wage gains in the month of December, and pay for employees across the country rose just 2.5 percent in 2015 overall. Annnnd I’m out. E-mail or tweet me story tips or the best gear/tricks for cold-weather bicycling. Also, give me a shout if you have thoughts about the Netflix docu-drama Making a Murderer. I have so many half-baked thoughts about that show.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2015
So maybe they came in last in the NL
Central last season, but they’re still our Cincinnati Reds, and while
they may not win the season, they always win the traditions.
by Nick Swartsell
Posted In: News
at 10:46 AM | Permalink
Sittenfeld gets support from major local fundraiser; construction company admits errors in Hopple Street offramp collapse; could some salaried employees be eligible for overtime soon?
Good morning Cincy. Remember last weekend when the high was 59 degrees? No, no, I don’t either. Let’s just not talk about the fact that winter is apparently going to last forever and get on with the news, shall we?A major Cincinnati fundraiser for the Democratic Party has put his backing behind current City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld in his run for the U.S. Senate. Cincinnati businessman Allan Berliant raised as much as $500,000 for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 through his network of donors both here in Cincinnati and around the country. He expects many of those donors could chip in for Sittenfeld in his upcoming race. "I have been very pleased almost to the point of being surprised at the breadth, width and depth and passion of support, both politically and financially, that I've seen here in the last three weeks,” Berliant told the Cincinnati Business Courier about Sittenfeld’s campaign. “I'm a fairly seasoned political fundraiser. I will tell you there is a lot of excitement surrounding this campaign and that is off to a great start."The 30-year-old councilman has a big task ahead, as Democratic favorite and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has made noises about entering the race for the seat. And should Sittenfeld best Strickland and the other experienced Democrats eying the seat, he’ll have to take on sitting Sen. Rob Portman, who has already raised $6 million ahead of the election. Sources say Sittenfeld has raised about $500,000 since he announced his campaign a few weeks ago.• Officials with Columbus-based Kokosing construction company apologized Friday for the fatal collapse of the Hopple Street off ramp last month. The collapse, which investigators believe was at least in part caused by last-minute changes to demolition plans, killed construction foreman Brandon Carl. Officials with the company have said a review shows key details missing from the plans, including stipulations about how to remove the road surface on the ramp. "I am very sorry, and all of us are deeply troubled by these findings," CEO Brian Burgett said in a statement about the accident. The company will institute new safety policies as a result of the accident, having an independent engineering firm produce plans for bridge demolitions along with Kokosing’s in-house engineers. Demolition won’t proceed unless both plans match.• So this is cool: A proposed tribute to Crosley Field, the Cincinnati Reds’ former home in Queensgate, is making headway. Designs have been drawn up for replica foul poles, a mural depicting the field near where it stood at Findlay Street and Western Avenue, a pocket park with information about the Crosley and other historical features. Crosley was the home of the Reds from 1912 to 1970, when the team moved to Riverfront Stadium. It was demolished in 1972. Boosters are aiming to have the tribute done in time for the 2015 MLB All Star game, which will take place in Cincinnati July 14. • House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP members of the House are playing budget hardball again, this time over immigration. Republicans are risking shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security over several executive orders President Barack Obama has issued over the past two years. Boehner has signaled he won’t back down on a bill the House passed to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded for the next year. The department’s current funding ends Feb. 27. The GOP funding bill rolls back Obama’s 2012 and 2014 executive orders that have kept the federal government from deporting millions of undocumented immigrants. The GOP bill stands no chance with Democrats in the Senate and President Barack Obama has threatened to veto it, putting the Department of Homeland Security’s funding in a precarious position. Boehner says the House has done its job and passed a bill to fund the department and that it’s up to Senate Democrats and the president to follow through. Democrats, on the other hand, are saying that the bill is an obvious no-go and that far-right members of the House are once again playing political brinksmanship.• Low-earning salaried positions could become eligible for overtime pay if a plan by the Obama administration comes to fruition. Under current rules, companies can declare some low-paid workers making as little as $23,600 “exempt" employees, meaning they’re not eligible for overtime. Labor advocates say that arrangement allows employers to take advantage of workers by forcing them to work long hours with no extra compensation, eroding the traditional 40 hour work week. The Department of Labor has discussed a plan would raise the floor for those who can be considered exempt to somewhere between $42,000 and $52,000 a year. Anyone under that salary range would have to be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. Liberal think tank Economic Policy Institute says the increase could affect between 3 and 6 million workers in the U.S. The Department of Labor is expected to roll out its proposal sometime in February or March.
by Nick Swartsell
Posted In: News
at 10:55 AM | Permalink
Hunter won't get new trial; Reds bling for sale; Republicans sink tax cuts for low-income
Hey all. Here’s the news this morning.Former Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter won’t get a new trial, a judge has ruled. Hamilton County Judge Norbert Nadel has denied all three of Hunter’s motions for retrial after she was convicted last month of one of eight felony counts in relation to her time as judge. Since her conviction, three jurors have recanted their guilty verdicts, however, and Hunter’s attorney has alleged procedural mistakes mean she should get a new trial. With those motions denied, Hunter will be sentenced this Friday. She plans to file an appeal on her conviction.• Cincinnati must pay Duke Energy $15 million for moving utilities that stood in the way of the streetcar, a Hamilton County judge ruled Monday. The city already had that money in escrow as it awaited the ruling but plans to appeal Judge Carl Stich’s decision. That’s a good move, according to former city solicitor John Curp. Curp says the way Stich decided the case — by declaring the streetcar an “economic development project” — could set a hard precedent for other Ohio cities in the future. In order for Cincinnati to avoid paying Duke to move the utilities, the project would have to be something that benefits the city’s general welfare. Stich cited cases from the 1930s and the 1950s to justify his decision. Back then, public transit was run by private companies, a much different situation than today. Curp thinks the Ohio Supreme Court might have a different opinion of the streetcar and should hear the case to set a more modern precedent on transit projects.• Do you have about $6,000 just sitting around taking up valuable space that could be used to, say, store an enormous ring? Do you need a sports-themed piece of jewelry so ostentatious no one will ever question your love for America’s favorite pastime? If so, I have a solution to both of your weird, unlikely problems. A Cincinnati Reds 1990 World Series ring has gone up for sale at a local auction house, and for a few grand you can make it yours. But be advised: It’s not Chris Sabo or Eric Davis’ ring. Heck, it’s not even Glenn Sutko’s, who saw action in one game that season. It belonged to one of the team’s part-time accountants, who I’m sure did great work counting the Reds' money. Every position is important on a winning team. Anyway, it’s big, it’s red, it has the logo on it and you should buy the ring. Or, I dunno, you could buy me a nice used car instead. Up to you.• So it’s no secret the state’s Democratic party is hurting after last month’s disastrous statewide election. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern stepped down after losing his own state representative seat to a guy accused of burglary. Now there’s a scramble to take his spot, and former Cincinnati city councilman and recent attorney general candidate David Pepper is a frontrunner. But he’s got a challenge ahead of him in becoming the top Dem in the state: Ohio’s powerful Sen. Sherrod Brown has backed one of his opponents, former candidate for lieutenant governor Sharen Neuhardt, for the job. Pepper still sees himself as a front-runner in the contest to lead Democrats in one of the country’s most important swing states ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The new state chair will be decided by a vote within the party Dec. 16.• Chicago City Council voted yesterday to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour over the next five years. The move was a proposal by Mayor Rahm Emanuel ahead of proposed Illinois laws that could hamstring city governments when it comes to raising minimum wages and February’s Chicago mayoral election. The boost is expected to benefit about 400,000 workers in the city. Other cities like Seattle have passed similar increases recently.• Finally, Republicans have scuttled an extension on tax cuts for low-income and middle class workers while pushing bigger corporate tax breaks. The cuts were part of a $400 billion bipartisan tax deal lawmakers in Washington were working to put together. But President Barack Obama’s announcement last month of an executive action allowing some undocumented immigrants to stay in the country has killed the deal as Republicans pull back from the low-income tax cuts like the Earned Income Tax Credit and double down on the corporate breaks. They say undocumented immigrants will take advantage of the EITC and other credits in large numbers and therefore can’t support the cuts. Translation: Obama made us mad so we’re taking the ball that keeps millions out of poverty and going home.
C. Trent Rosecrans, Enquirer Reds Beat Writer
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 17, 2014
CityBeat readers might remember C.
Trent Rosecrans’ weekly sports column in this publication during 2012,
before he came up on his current gig at The Enquirer covering the
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
A role on a Law and Order episode is a rite of
passage for actors — it won’t necessarily guarantee success, but nearly every
major TV actor has done time in the Law
and Order franchise. I mean honestly, if you haven’t portrayed a bludgeoned
child prostitute, an over-affectionate music teacher or an undercover crack
dealer, I’m really not interested in the rest of your body of work.
Who doesn’t love
recognizing actors before they made it in old SVU reruns, or seeing more established actors guest-star on new
episodes? One minute it’s, “Hey, isn’t that bailiff the neighbor from Shameless?” Next thing you know, it’s 3
a.m. on a Tuesday and you’re in an IMDB black hole. We’ve all been there.
Thankfully for fans of Orange Is the New
Black that are obsessive TV watchers, someone has cross-referenced the
L&O archives to create this list of every Orange character’s appearances on everyone’s favorite
Fun Fact: OITNB star Taylor Schilling has never
appeared on L&O — and her IMDB page starts in 2007. Newbie!
Fun Fact No. 2: Taylor
Swift recently got a cat and named it Olivia Benson, so. It’s been a very Dick
Since TV and food go
together like Benson and Stabler (never forget), Ben & Jerry’s is releasing
a line of Saturday Night Live-inspired
ice cream flavors.
Lazy Sunday — named after the Andy Samberg/Chris Parnell rap video that put the
SNL Digital Shorts on the map in 2005 — is not
flavored with Mr. Pibb and Red Vines (missed opportunity), but rather yellow
and chocolate cupcake pieces in vanilla cake batter ice cream with a chocolate
frosting swirl (I seriously gained four pounds typing that). Gilly’s
Catastrophic Crunch, a chocolate and sweet cream ice cream swirled with
marshmallow, fudge-covered almonds and caramel clusters for no apparent reason,
pays tribute to Kristen Wiig’s prankster schoolgirl character. Two additional SNL flavors will roll out later this
Double Dare was a gem of a game show from Nickelodeon’s heyday. But stacked up
against today’s sophisticated offerings like American Ninja Warrior, the family-friendly DD
probably wouldn’t work in the new millennium.
At least we’ll always have Marc Summers and these faaaabulous pri-zes!
History will be divided
into two times: before there were selfies and when everyone just gave up on
life. If this is true, Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis will find themselves on
both sides of history, as they recently recreated their famous selfie
Polaroid self-portrait photograph from Thelma
Athletes are no strangers
to hecklers. Take a pastime that’s revered on a religious level for many fans,
then add alcohol — it’s not always going to be classy. During last week’s
rain-delayed Reds game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, one spirited Pirates
fan took to heckling Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. His taunts echoed in the near-empty
stadium, ringing loud and clear for an amused Phillips. The second baseman
responded by signing a ball for the heckler, thanking him for the support and
asking him to kindly “shut the phuck up,” and posing for a picture.
This will go down as the
friendliest interaction between a Cincinnati athlete and a Pittsburgh fan,
In news that makes us say,
“What, w-why?” Lifetime is making a TV movie about the making of Saved by the Bell. There’s already been
an E True Hollywood Story on SBTB (why yes I can confirm this, having
seen it multiple times – don’t judge me), so there really is no need for
another dramatized look at the ‘90s hit. The stars (aka “Who?” x 6 — see them
all here) look like Bratz Babyz versions of the originals, but they were selected by
original SBTB casting director Robin
Lippin, for whatever that’s worth. It’s going to be terrible. And I’m going to
watch it as soon as it premieres.
Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and a deep pitching staff look to take the next step this season
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Is this the year the Cincinnati Reds
finally break through and give long-suffering local sports fans
something to get excited about? Uh, maybe.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
When you see
people who fought in World War II watching the Reds play at Great
American Ball Park just the same as you are, it makes something click
that the role of sports is not something that lessens over the time of a
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I feel some of the same vitriol expressed in many of these angry tweets. But it’s not that
hard to resist the urge to publicly express irrational rage related to a
sporting event. Especially so pointedly directed at a single person.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I think that we, as humans, are natural
participators, but maybe we, as Cincinnatians, are isolated in the
Hinterland. We are so self-conscious about making a good impression that
when we are finally in close contact with other humans we become afraid
to break convention and make noise in support of something we purport