by Nick Swartsell
43 days ago
Posted In: News
at 09:04 AM | Permalink
Barricades, free speech, and museums up, McDonalds down
It's morning. I've got news. Check it out.Barricades along McMicken Avenue in Over-the-Rhine and Fairview
are working to deter prostitution, Cincinnati Police said yesterday in a
presentation to City Council’s Human Services Committee. The barriers sit in
three locations along the street and were put up April 30 as part of a program
to fight sex work and human trafficking in the area. Other efforts include new
laws making penalties tougher for pimps and johns and releasing the names of
those convicted of soliciting prostitutes.
The stretch of McMicken is known for high levels of
prostitution and other crime. In January, a 24-year-old woman was shot in the
head and killed on the street. Authorities suspect she was involved in the sex
trade. Police say the volume of prostitution in the area has gone down with the
barricades, though they also acknowledge that they’ve seen an uptick in
activity in places like the West End. Residents in West Price Hill have also
reported an increase in prostitution since the barriers went up.
Some residents in the area aren’t convinced the barricades
help and say they make their daily commutes more difficult, though others say
they’ve noticed a difference in the level of crime. The barricades will come
down by the end of the summer.
• Everyone’s favorite proto-tea party group and an anti-abortion
organization got a win yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled that they can
challenge an Ohio law prohibiting false statements in political advertising.
The court ruled both the Coalition Opposed to Additional
Spending and Taxes, or COAST, and the Susan B. Anthony List were harmed by the
Ohio law and could sue the state. In 2010, Democrat Steve Driehaus, then
running for governor, threatened legal action over SBA plans to buy billboards
saying he voted for “tax-payer funded abortions.” SBA cited Driehaus’ support
of the Affordable Care Act as proof of the claim. Though Driehaus dropped the
matter after losing the election, SBA sued, saying their First Amendment rights
were violated. COAST jumped on the suit as well, claiming they did not carry out
plans for similar advertisements due to fear of legal action.
SBA’s assertion against Driehaus was incredibly
questionable — using taxpayer money for abortions is still illegal under the ACA, and abortion
providers must still go to great pains to show they’re not using public money to
administer the procedure — but the larger issue of free speech convinced both liberal
and conservative justices at the Supreme Court. Lower courts originally
dismissed the groups’ suits, but the case will now go back to them to be
• Former Reds slugger and skipper Pete Rose got to manage a baseball team again yesterday,
doing a one-day stint with the Bridgeport Bluefish, a Connecticut team in the
independent Atlantic League. The 73-year-old hasn’t managed a game since his
suspension from major league baseball 25 years ago for gambling. • In other sports news, Team USA won over Ghana to kick off
its bid for the World Cup, but you probably already know that from all the
yelling your neighbors did about it last night. At least that’s how I know
about it. We're number one!
• …Except when it comes to health care. In fact, a new study
by the Commonwealth Fund shows the United States is number 11 when it comes to
our health care system when compared with 10 other developed countries. The
U.S. ranked behind the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Germany,
The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, France and Canada in terms of quality of
healthcare available. We’re number 11! That’s like being number one twice! The
U.S. was legitimately number one in a single category, though: We have the
most expensive health care of all the countries in the study.
• Before you get too sad, consider this: Another study
found there are more museums in the United States than Starbucks and McDonalds
combined. We have about 25,000 of the two chains combined, and more than 35,000
museums. Now if they would just combine the two so I can see some postmodern
art and grab a Big Mac at the same time, or maybe enjoy a smoothie as I check out the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Economists and polar scientists published a report that
found climate change in the Arctic could be impactful enough to deal a
$60 trillion blow to the global economy. WORLD -1
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Ohio’s Human Trafficking Commission on
June 28 released its first annual Human Trafficking Statistics Report
detailing human trafficking investigations conducted by local law
enforcement agencies across the state.
1 Comment · Friday, May 31, 2013
All of these women have
different stories to tell and each are selling their bodies for their
own personal reasons. I could simplify those reasons and say it’s all
about money to get drugs, but that would be too easy and would only be
scratching the surface.
by German Lopez
Council combats human trafficking, Medicare reveals price data, Duke tops 'Dirty Dozen'
With a set of initiatives unanimously approved last week, City Council is looking to join the state in combating Cincinnati’s human trafficking problem.
The initiatives would evaluate local courts’ practices in human
trafficking and prostitution cases and study the need for more
surveillance cameras and streetlights at West McMicken Avenue, a
notorious prostitution hotspot. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who
spearheaded the initiatives, says the West McMicken Avenue study will
serve as a pilot program that could eventually branch out to other
prostitution hotspots in Cincinnati, including Lower Price Hill and Camp
Medicare data released yesterday revealed charges and payments can vary by thousands of dollars
depending on the hospital, including in Cincinnati. Health care
advocates and experts attribute the price disparity to the lack of
transparency in the health care system, which allows hospitals to set
prices without worrying about typical market checks. CityBeat previously covered the lack of health care price transparency in Ohio here.
Duke Energy is the No. 1 utility company polluter
in the nation, according to new rankings from Pear Energy. The rankings
looked at carbon dioxide emissions, which directly contribute to global
warming. Pear Energy is a solar and wind energy company that competes
with utility companies like Duke Energy, but the methodology behind the
rankings was fairly transparent and based on U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency data.
Commentary: “Republicans Continue Voter Suppression Tactics.”
City Council approved form-based code yesterday, which
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls has been working on for years. In a statement,
Qualls’ office called form-based code an “innovative alternative to conventional
zoning” that will spur development. “Cincinnati now joins hundreds of
cities that are using form-based code to build and reinforce walkable
places that create value, preserve character and are the bedrock of
Cincinnati neighborhoods’ competitive advantage,” Qualls said in the statement.
State Sen. Peggy Lehner is looking to amend the Ohio budget bill to add a $100 million voucher program
that would cover preschool for three- and four-year-olds. The details
of the program are so far unclear, but Lehner said she might put most of
the funding on the second year of the biennium budget to give the state
time to prepare proper preschool programs. If the amendment proceeded,
it would join recent efforts in Cincinnati to open up early education
programs to low- and middle-income families. CityBeat covered the local efforts and many benefits of quality preschool here.
Gov. John Kasich says he would back a ballot initiative for a mostly federally funded Medicaid expansion,
which the Health Policy Institute of Ohio says would insure nearly half
a million Ohioans and save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars
in the next decade. CityBeat covered the Medicaid expansion in further detail here.
Policy Matters Ohio released a lengthy report
yesterday detailing how the state could move towards clean energy and
electric cars and calling for more state incentives for clean energy.
The report praises Cincinnati in particular for using municipal policies
to build local clean energy and keep energy jobs in the city.
The last tenant at Tower Place Mall is moving out.
Scientists are working on a microchip that could be implanted into the brain to restore memories.
They also found proof that seafloor bacteria ate radioactive supernova dust.
Local efforts join state battle against sex trafficking, prostitution
2 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
In our present-day American society, the
term “modern-day slavery” sounds almost like an oxymoron. Slavery, we
think, is a dark stamp in a long American history; at worst, it’s
something we think is isolated to poorly developed countries.
Off the Streets graduation marks renowned purpose, hope for prostituted women
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The OTS program, created in 2006, is
spearheaded by Cincinnati Union Bethel and focuses on six areas of
need: emergency needs, housing, medical care, mental health, substance
abuse, education and employment.
by German Lopez
Posted In: News
, Human Rights
at 03:29 PM | Permalink
Most common buyers of trafficking victims were law enforcement
The Ohio Attorney General’s office today released a report on
human trafficking in Ohio which found that out of 328
self-identified human trafficking victims, more than one-third were
trafficked while they were minors.
The victims were taken from all around Ohio, including
Cincinnati. The report found that 63 percent of the victims had run
away from home at least once, 59 percent reported having friends
involved in selling, 47 percent were raped more than a year
before being trafficked and 44 percent reported to be victims of child abuse.
In Cincinnati, the most common risk factors reported were
dropping out of school and having an older boyfriend. Rape was third
with 40 percent of Cincinnati victims reporting being raped.
In all of Ohio, the most common buyers for victims were
law enforcement. Businessmen and drug dealers were second and third,
respectively. In Cincinnati, the most common buyers were drug dealers,
followed by factory workers, then truckers.
The report highlights the severity of human trafficking in
Ohio. A 2010 report by the same commission found that 1,000
American-born youth had been trafficked in Ohio over the course of the
year, and as many as 3,000 American-born youth in Ohio were at risk for
trafficking.Since the 2010 report, Gov. John Kasich has signed H.B.
262 into law, which outlaws human trafficking and enforces tougher
However, the commission does not believe current law is
enough, and it’s pushing for more rules against human trafficking. The
new rules would identify trafficking as child abuse, place a focus on
arresting and convicting buyers and invest in responding to adult sex
trafficking. The commission also wants a better response to youth
runaways, and it wants to establish better protocols for dealing with
at-risk youth, especially in correspondence with school officials.When contacted by CityBeat, the Ohio Attorney General’s office said
they have no suggestions to specifically deal with law enforcement officials, which topped the list of buyers, who are involved in human trafficking.The report was issued by the Attorney General’s Human
Trafficking Commission. It was authored by commission member Celia
Williamson, who is also a professor at the University of Toledo. The full report can be found here.