by Nick Swartsell
8 days ago
Posted In: News
at 10:01 AM | Permalink
NCAA tournament is Ohio against the world; VA head McDonald: speed up services to homeless veterans; NKY Rep. wants to cut fed funding for transit projects
Hey all, it’s news time on this glorious, if rainy, Friday. Let’s go.It truly is Ohio against the world right now, at least when it comes to March Madness (which, if you’re anything like some of my friends, truly is your entire existence at this moment in time). The University of Cincinnati beat Purdue in a heart-stopper last night, Xavier bested Ole Miss and OSU beat Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, the Dayton Flyers pulled one out Wednesday against Boise State to make it into the tournament. They’ll be facing Providence College tonight. That’s great, but big challenges loom ahead: specifically, 8th-seed UC will have to face 1st-seed UK tomorrow. That’s going to be a tough game for the Bearcats. But let’s see what happens, right? While we’re talking basketball, here’s an interesting look at which local programs are making money for their universities, and which are break-even propositions. UC, for instance, spends as much on its basketball program as its team brings in, while Xavier turns a handy profit — the Musketeers’ hoops squad brings in more than $6 million a year. • Veterans Affairs Secretary and former P&G CEO Bob McDonald wants Cincinnati, along with other cities, to speed up the process of identifying and helping homeless veterans. McDonald visited local service agencies helping veterans yesterday and said he was impressed with the work those groups are doing, as well as the progress the city has made on veteran homelessness. But he also called for quicker turnaround when it comes to getting homeless veterans into housing, saying that the longer it takes to find them and get them on the right track, the less likely they will be to receive and utilize that aid at all. Mayor John Cranley, who joined McDonald on his tours of service agencies yesterday, is engaged in a national program to help vets, called the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. That initiative looks to end veteran homelessness across the country by the end of this year. • The Cincinnati Zoo recently made a national list of top places to travel if you want to see cool animals. Family Fun magazine publishes its annual rankings on the best places to travel in a number of specific categories, and Cincinnati’s Zoo ranked number eight in the animal attractions category. It ranked just below Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is pretty impressive. It’s one more accolade for the zoo, which is widely recognized as one of the best in the nation. • U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, who represents Northern Kentucky, has a GREAT idea for fixing the nation’s highway funding dilemma: strip funding for all other transit projects from the National Highway Trust Fund. Massie says the federal government’s grants for streetcars and other alternate forms of transit cost billions that could go toward building and repairing highways and bridges. Hm. Right. Except each of those projects keeps cars off the road, lessens America’s dependence on oil, may create economic development in the communities they’re built in and provide ways to work and recreation for the millions of Americans who don’t own cars. Which, as of yesterday, includes me. It’s also worth noting that only a small percentage of the Highway Trust Fund goes to transit projects, so cutting that funding would be a drop in the bucket. An alternative measure would be to increase the nation’s gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since grunge rock was cool the first time (that’s 1993).
• Former (and perhaps future) Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum was once again in the Greater Cincinnati area Thursday, fueling more speculation about his ambitions for the GOP presidential nomination. The former Pennsylvania senator stopped by a fundraiser in Montgomery hosted by the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club. He avoided saying crazy stuff about religion (at least on the record) but did have some eyebrow-raising thoughts on the economy. Santorum is known to be a hardcore conservative when it comes to social issues, but there are signs he’s tacking moderate on the economy, a combination last tried by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee when he sought the GOP nomination in 2008. Santorum talked about how Republicans could capture the hearts and minds of America’s workers, backing policies that step away from the hardcore trickle down theories (tax cuts for the wealthy, decreased regulations) most recently advanced by the GOP. He revealed his presidential platform, should he run, would include supporting a small minimum wage increase — something few other Republicans seem willing to touch. He also committed something close to sacrilege for conservatives, saying the party needed to move on from Ronald Regan’s economic legacy and message. Santorum’s continued courting of the buckeye state (he was here visiting folks in Butler County a couple weeks ago for a religious freedom conference) comes ahead of his party’s national convention in Cleveland next year and is further evidence that the presidential race may be tightly focused on Ohio.• While we’re talking presidential hopefuls, let’s cross the spectrum for a minute and talk about Democrats, specifically their frontrunner for the presidential nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She’s been dominating the field on the Dem side, even though she hasn’t officially announced her candidacy. But that could be changing, according to a new poll from news organization Reuters. That poll shows Clinton’s support among Democrats has dipped by 15 points since mid-February, and that now about 45 percent of those identifying with the party say they’re sure they’ll vote for her. That’s still a bigger margin than any other potential candidate, of which there are very few, but the drop is alarming. Some of the dip may be explained by the recent high-profile flap over Clinton’s e-mail usage while secretary of state. After the New York Times reported earlier this month that Clinton used a personal account to conduct State Department business, she has been on the defensive explaining that move. Clinton has turned over tens of thousands of work related e-mails sent from her personal account, but also had other e-mails she claims were personal deleted. That’s led some to suggest she may be hiding information. Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail account appears to have fallen within State Department rules, which were changed after her tenure to require the Secretary of State to use a government account for accountability purposes. And I’m out. Tweet me (@nswartsell), e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment below. What do you think? Do you hold out any hope for UC against UK? Do you think we should raise the gas tax? Should I buy a car or wait for regional transit in Cincinnati to become so stellar I won’t need one? (I'm not holding my breath on any of these).
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
TUESDAY FEB. 5: The Boy Scouts of America has decided to
realize that a gay guy can play the role of gruff scout leader who
probably drinks too much and yells at his kid too often just as well a
by Kevin Osborne
“Accentuate the positive” has always been Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's motto when giving his annual State of the City address, and Tuesday night's speech was no different. Mallory talked about the new development in Over-the-Rhine and The Banks riverfront district, adding that type of vision for the future must continue. The mayor also said city officials must strive to improve the quality of life for residents.A national teachers' union said Cincinnati Public Schools officials have used faulty budget estimates to justify a plan to lay off up to 225 teachers next week. CPS says it will have a $43 million deficit next year and already has laid off 40 administrators. At the request of the local union president, the American Federation of Teachers reviewed the CPS budget forecast and declared it has identified at least $17.9 million in savings, enough to save at least 197 teaching jobs.Less than a week after the Reds agreed to a major contract extension for Joey Votto, the team now has struck a deal with Brandon Phillips. The second baseman will get a six-year, $72.5 million contract. Referring to the deals, Sports Illustrated wrote, “the small-market Cincinnati Reds show that they're serious about winning.”A University of Cincinnati student remains hospitalized today after a toxic chemical explosion on campus overnight. Police say a female student was working with the chemical alone at the engineering building around 1 a.m. when a reaction caused an explosion. The student was working on a process known as aluminum etching.Oxford police have had to stand watch while members of a fraternity that was ordered to shut down at Miami University clear out their belongings from the frat house. Sigma Chi International officials yanked the local charter and ordered the 29 frat house occupants evicted by today after years of sanctions for alleged drug use, alcohol abuse, hazing and property damage. Police had to arrest an apparently inebriated 21-year-old student from Chicago for refusing to leave the scene after he repeatedly barked at a police dog. (How douchey.)In news elsewhere, Rick Santorum announced Tuesday he was leaving the race for the Republican presidential nomination, clearing the path for Mitt Romney. Although Santorum — an ex-Pennsylvania senator who lost reelection in 2006 — said his decision partially was prompted by health concerns about his three-year-old daughter, Bella, most pundits agree he likely was afraid of losing the primary election in his home state on April 24, which could've dashed his plans for a political future.More Americans think the U.S. Supreme Court justices will be acting mostly on their partisan political views than on a neutral reading of the law when they decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health-care law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News. Only 40 percent of respondents expect their decisions to be rooted primarily “on the basis of the law.”Attorneys representing George Zimmerman in the Florida shooting death of an unarmed black teenager dropped out of the case Tuesday, saying they've had no contact with their client since Sunday. The attorneys, who conceded they had never met their client in-person, said Zimmerman had been in contact with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity during the same period. Meanwhile, special prosecutor Angela Corey said Tuesday she would hold a press conference “in the next 72 hours.” Corey will decide whether Zimmerman should face criminal charges for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.McDonald's has become the fifth major company to recently drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The shadowy group, which has ties to the Koch brothers and the NRA, provides model legislation for state lawmakers to introduce on various conservative and “free market” issues. ALEC has been criticized for pushing the “stand your ground” law in Florida that allows people to kill someone in public places if they feel their life is threatened. Other firms that have dropped membership are Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Intuit.A massive earthquake off Indonesia’s western coast triggered tsunami fears across the Indian Ocean today, sending residents in coastal cities fleeing to higher ground. The U.S. Geological Survey said the first 8.6-magnitude quake was centered about 19 miles beneath the ocean floor. At least one aftershock also has been reported.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 3, 2012
In March, according to Rolling Stone,
Jack White celebrated his label Third Man Records’ third anniversary by
giving away all of the label’s “Blue Series” singles on an “easy to play
but impossible to hear” vinyl record designed to be “played” at 3 rpm.
by Jac Kern
Jac's favorite recent pop culture and Internet findings
can be dangerous. Tebowing is just plain dumb. If there’s one viral Internet
pose I can sign off on, it’s Draping.
Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.Like
many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that
has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re
listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage
to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”)
and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.
The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.
could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though
anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been
bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.
Kony is the head of a Ugandan
guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping
children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international
villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell
has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement
Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since
2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012,
to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.The video flooded Facebook
walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular
with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that
if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something
about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.
it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international
injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting
a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.
Soon after the video went viral came speculation about Russell and Invisible Children. Because, you know, some
people like to look into an organization before blindly accepting its cause.
Turns out just a little over one-third of the non-profit’s funds went to
direct services in Uganda, in addition to countless examples of fishiness.
Most funding was spent on travel expenses and film production. So the people who were
critical about the whole KONY viral vid weren’t just being dicks after all.
something crazy happened. Literally.
Russell lost his shit. Last week, Russell ran around naked, shouting obscenities on a sidewalk
in San Diego. He was arrested, but not charged, and sent to a hospital on a 5150
psychiatric hold. Most recently, he has been diagnosed with "reactive psychosis"
brought on by stress, dehydration and exhaustion.
this, in a matter of weeks! Really, I don’t mean to make light of an
international war criminal and an activist’s state of health, but this story
has brought up more drama than any soap opera could dream. And that’s why I
love the Internet.
by Kevin Osborne
GOP candidate backs off earlier comment
Conservative presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is busy today trying to clarify a comment he made Thursday that indicated reelecting President Barack Obama would be better than electing Santorum’s Republican rival, Mitt Romney.Santorum’s comment, made in San Antonio, Texas, at the USAA insurance company, drew criticism from Romney, Newt Gingrich and other Republicans."You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum said in San Antonio. "If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future."Romney quickly fired back about Santorum’s comment.“I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America's promise,” Romney said. “I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”Not to be left out, Gingrich took to Twitter to join in the symbolic thrashing."Rick Santorum is dead wrong. Any GOP nominee will be better than Obama.” Gingrich tweeted.This morning Santorum’s campaign released a statement that sought to clarify what the candidate meant. (How many times has that phrase had to be used in relation to Santorum in the past few months?)"I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous,” Santorum said in the prepared statement. “This is just another attempt by the Romney campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney's policies mirror Barack Obama's.”Santorum added, “I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it's easy to see why — Romney has sided with Obama on health-care mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts. Voters have to be excited enough to actually go vote, and my campaign's movement to restore freedom is exciting this nation. If this election is about Obama versus the Obama-Lite candidate, we have a tough time rallying this nation."Santorum might be correct about the enthusiasm gap over Romney.A new poll found that more people offer negative than positive assessments of Romney. But, tellingly, this also is the case for Romney’s rivals — Santorum, Gingrich and Ron Paul.When Americans were asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about Romney, the top responses were “no” or “no way,” and “rich.” After those, the most frequently used words were “flip-flopper,” “idiot” and “arrogant.”Roughly twice as many respondents gave negative one-word descriptions of Romney rather than positive terms, 30 percent versus 14 percent; just 29 percent used neutral terms.The most frequently used terms for Santorum, with the exception of “no,” were “crazy,” “too conservative,” “extreme” and “idiot.”A mere 13 percent of respondents used positive words for Santorum, while 30 percent used negative words and 22 percent used neutral terms.Words most frequently offered about Gingrich were “old,” “no,” “no way,” “idiot” and “untrustworthy.”Thirty-nine percent of respondents used negative terms about Gingrich, compared to 10 percent that used positive terms, and 23 percent that used neutral terms.The most frequent descriptions used for Paul were slightly better, but not by much: “no,” “old,” “Libertarian,” “honest” and “crazy.”Twenty-seven percent of respondents used negative terms to describe Paul, compared to 15 percent that used positive terms, and 23 percent that used neutral terms.The national survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post. It surveyed 1,009 adults March 15-18.Of the respondents, 605 were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 404 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 176 who had no landline telephone.The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Unfortunately, Frisch’s Restaurants
Inc. today announced that it will sell off 29 Golden Corral buffets,
ending their affiliation with the leaders in the field of
Hoveround-based snackin’ and home of the chocolate waterfall.
by Ben L. Kaufman
Blogs note two incidents last week involving protesters
I have to pay more attention to The Enquirer's websites. That’s apparently where the fun is.Former Cincinnatian Peter Heimlich follows our Sole Surviving Daily online and on his blog, The Sidebar, he noted two photos that suggest web posts don't get the same alert editing as those in print.One photo this week showed a male Rick Santorum critic holding a sign that defined “santorum” as “a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter sometimes resulting as a bi-product of anal sex” and telling readers to “Google it.” That leads to the “definition” by sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage.Heimlich said The Enquirer took down the photo when he asked about it.Another Enquirer photo faux pas was first caught by The Political Daily Download blog. This one involved another anti-Santorum poster, this one held by a woman. It had the former senator and lobbyist’s smiling face and said, “Doesn’t support products made for women’s reproductive organs” and, in much larger print, “IS A DOUCHEBAG.”A similar photo replaced it online.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A crispy looking jersey and the fact that the Bearcats are NCAA
Tournament-bound pleased nearly all Ohioans, though Gov. John Kasich was
reportedly quite crestfallen to learn that the lack of numbers on the
jerseys shown at the unveiling was because they were prototypes and not
the result of cuts in education funding.
by Jac Kern
Happy Super Tuesday! The No. 1 item on today's To Do list is to get your tush to a voting station and participate in Ohio's primary. Those living in Hamilton County can go here to find your polling locations.Occupy Cincinnati is hosting a primary watch party at C & D Northside from 8-11 p.m. Check out the night's results while enjoying a stiff drink — the group's Facebook invite suggests ordering a "Santorum" (though something tells me I might have to pass). Occupy has some tips for voting against corporate parties; check those out here.And speaking of the man who turned "Santorum" into a dirty word, a bit further south down I-75 Dan Savage is speaking at the University of Kentucky. Savage is touring as a part of the It Gets Better lecture series, the movement created by Savage to give hope to LGBTQ kids who face bullying, and fight hatred and intolerance against them. Savage will give a presentation and sign books beginning at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the UK campus. If you can make the trip, it's a great opportunity to meet Savage and become involved in It Gets Better — tickets are free to all attendees (just have a local direct you to the Student Center Ticket Office to pick up passes).MOTR Pub hosts its weekly Writer's Night for original artists of many mediums: poetry, music, comedy, spoken word, etc. Sign up early, starting at 8:30 p.m. and hang out to enjoy performances 'til 12:30 a.m. Participants are all entered for a prize drawing for up to $40. Tonight's showcase is hosted by Fists of Love's Donna J. Drink specials for the night include $3 24-ounce Hudy Amber. Check out the event on Facebook for more info.Investigative reporter, film producer and Cleveland-native James Renner debuts his first novel tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons. The Man From Primrose Lane is a "mind-bending and genre-twisting" story about the murder of an elderly man in Akron. Renner will read from and sign the novel at 7 p.m. The event is free (the book is $26).Go here to find other arts and theater events happening tonight. Find tonight's live music schedule here.