by German Lopez
8 days ago
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
1 Comment · 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.