by Nick Swartsell
4 days ago
Posted In: News
at 11:00 AM | Permalink
Cincinnati area follows national trend in arrest disparities; rail advocates concerned city leaders are trying to shut down a commuter rail project; someone made a video game controller that draws blood
Morning all. Let’s get right to the news, shall we?It’s hardly a secret that arrest rates in communities across the country are often much higher for minorities. That’s certainly true for suburbs in the Cincinnati area, where authorities often arrest a much higher proportion of blacks than whites. In Sharonville, for instance, blacks are 12 times more likely to be arrested, and in Norwood, they’re seven times more likely. Law enforcement authorities in those communities say that the data controls for the lower population of blacks in those communities but doesn’t take into account the fact that not everyone committing crimes in those places lives there, which they say skews the numbers. Civil rights activists, however, say the data shows a clear racial disparity caused by a number of factors that need to be addressed. Many studies have made it clear that drug use, for instance, is just as high among whites as it is blacks, but law enforcement in many communities makes many more arrests in the latter. • Are City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley trying to pre-empt a rail project right out of existence? It seems a little premature to say, but that’s the concern expressed by the city’s planning commission chair Caleb Faux and some advocates for a rail component of the proposed Wasson Way trail. The project looks to extend bike paths and eventually, possible commuter rail lanes through Evanston, Hyde Park and Mount Lookout. But on Thursday, Black removed from the city’s planning commission agenda legislation seeking to preserve the possibility of rail in the area by creating a transportation overlay district. The move has sparked worries that Black was acting on orders from Cranley, no friend of rail, in a bid to pre-emptively block a future rail project through the Wasson Way corridor. Cranley said he only wanted to give time for more public input before a vote on the overlay district was taken.• In other City Hall news, Black announced his pick for the city’s director of trade and development today in a news release. Oscar Bedolla will be the city’s head of economic development. He previously worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration on infrastructure projects in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago and Denver. • State Rep. Alicia Reece, who represents Cincinnati, is pushing for a law that would require greater aesthetic differences between fake guns and real ones in the wake of another police shooting Saturday night in Cleveland. A 12-year-old boy was shot and killed by police officers, who thought the toy gun he was carrying was a semi-automatic pistol. The incident has tragic echoes of the August shooting of John Crawford III in a Beavercreek Walmart. Crawford was carrying a pellet gun sold in the store when police shot him. • As lawmakers in the Ohio General Assembly wrangle over how to fix the state’s unemployment compensation system, a new report on the fund reviews how slashes to taxes on employers put the state in debt to the federal government to the tune of $1.3 billion. It’s interesting reading, to say the least, and a primer in the problems that can arise from some lawmakers' "cut every possible tax to the bone” mentality.• Finally, if you’re really serious about video games, I have a Kickstarter for you to check out. It’s for a company that wants to make a controller that extracts real blood from you every time you’re injured in a video game. “It’s stupidly simple,” the pitch starts. Well, that’s at least partially right. Yow. The device keeps track of how much blood it hass removed, however, so you don’t like, pass out or bleed to death because you’re terrible at "Call of Duty."
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 8, 2014
City officials on Oct. 2 announced the
Cincinnati Living Wage Employer Initiative, which will officially
recognize employers paying their employees at least $10.10 an hour.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
For many Cincinnatians, the scariest part
of going across the Western Hills Viaduct is not knowing which lane you
should be in as you wrap around that McDonald’s that greets you on the
West Side — one wrong turn and you could be headed down State Street and
wondering both what year it is and if parts of Gummo were filmed
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Here’s a zombie story. It won’t die. It’s
the perennial urge to screw with Burnet Woods. There’s something about
the quiet of walking a dirt trail among trees, the sound of treading
through fallen leaves or sitting in the grass that makes City Hall and
the Park Board crazy.
0 Comments · Thursday, December 27, 2012
A lot happened in Cincinnati and Ohio in
2012, and, for the most part, the year was good to progressives around
the nation and in Cincinnati.
by German Lopez
Councilman says more gun regulations unlikely at local level
In light of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, a City Council member wants metal detectors put back in City Hall.
Democratic Councilman Cecil Thomas says he’s always been
concerned about security, and he hopes recent bouts of gun
violence will make it clear more protective steps are necessary.
Thomas argues City Hall should not be
an exception to a practice that’s carried out in other government buildings. He
points to federal and county buildings and other city halls around the
nation, which tend to use metal detectors.
Thomas, who was a police officer until 2000, acknowledges
metal detectors are a “little bit of an inconvenience” to visitors, but he adds, “These are times when a little bit more
inconvenience can go a long way to possibly save a lot of lives.”So City Hall could get more security, but what about the city as a whole? Earlier today, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls announced City Council will work on a resolution to encourage Congress to pass new gun regulations at a federal level. Beyond that, Thomas says not much is likely.The problem is state law trumps local law
when it comes to gun regulations, so City Council’s hands are tied on the issue. “I would like to see us be able to
control our own destiny as it relates to gun laws, but, obviously, I
have no control over that,” Thomas says.
Metal detectors were in place at City Hall until
2006, when Mayor Mark Mallory had them taken down to make City Hall more
open to the public.
by Hannah McCartney
at 12:33 PM | Permalink
Today’s 1 p.m. meeting at City Hall could decide whether or not Cincinnati will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy as early as this summer. According to Urban Cincy, the approval could make Cincinnati “the largest city in the United States to have its energy supply come from 100 percent renewable resources,” and could be established without much of a cost difference to taxpayers. Cincinnati City Council is meeting to decide on how to move forward with the “Natural Gas Aggregation Program” and the “Electric Aggregation Program.” These programs, if approved, would automatically apply to all Cincinnati residents. In Ohio, local communities are allowed to pool together to buy natural gas and electricity and gain “buying power” to obtain the lowest possibly costs for the utilities.
City Council reinstates individual artist grants
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Good news from City Hall? Yes, actually.
City Council has voted to re-instate and improve a long-established
program providing grants to individual artists, which was cut for
budgetary reasons in 2009.
Foot surgeon, an Iraq vet, challenges Mallory for mayor's job
8 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Stationed at Abu Ghraib for 11 months in 2005-06, Brad Wenstrup was part of the 344th Battalion Combat Support Hospital. He's now accepted an assignment that some observers think is actually tougher to accomplish: The Hamilton County Republican Party asked Wenstrup to challenge Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory in November's election.