by German Lopez
Voters elect anti-streetcar majority, pension privatization rejected, turnout at record low
Voters last night elected an anti-streetcar City Council majority and mayor,
which raises questions about the $133 million project’s future even as
construction remains underway. Ex-Councilman John Cranley, who ran
largely on his opposition to the project, easily defeated streetcar
supporter Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls 58-42 percent, while non-incumbents
Democrat David Mann, Charterite Kevin Flynn and Republican Amy Murray
replaced Qualls, Laure Quinlivan and Pam Thomas on council to create a
6-3 anti-streetcar majority with Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld, Republican
Charlie Winburn and Independent Chris Smitherman. Democrats Chris
Seelbach, Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young — all supporters of the
project — also won re-election. It remains unclear if the new government
will actually cancel the project once it takes power in December, given concerns about contractual obligations and sunk costs that could make canceling the project costly in terms of dollars and Cincinnati’s business reputation.
Other election results: Cincinnati voters rejected Issue
4, which would have privatized Cincinnati’s pension system for city
employees, in a 78-22 percent vote. Hamilton County voters
overwhelmingly approved property tax levies for the Cincinnati Zoo and
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in 80-20 percent votes.
In the Cincinnati Public Schools board election, Melanie Bates, Ericka
Copeland-Dansby, Elisa Hoffman and Daniel Minera won the four available
At 28 percent, citywide voter turnout was at the lowest since 1975, Hamilton County Board of Elections Chairman Tim Burke told The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Ohio Libertarians are threatening to sue
if Republican Gov. John Kasich and the Republican-controlled Ohio
legislature pass a bill that would limit ballot access for minor
parties. Although many of the new requirements for signatures and votes were
relaxed in the Ohio House, minor parties claim the standards are still
too much. Critics, who call the bill the “John Kasich Re-election
Protection Act,” claim the proposal exists to protect Republicans,
particularly Kasich, from third-party challengers who are unhappy with
the approval of the federally funded Medicaid expansion. CityBeat covered the Ohio Senate proposal in further detail here.
Meanwhile, the Kasich administration stands by its decision to bypass the legislature
and go through the Controlling Board, a seven-member legislative panel,
to enact the federally funded Medicaid expansion despite resistance in
the Ohio House and Senate. The Ohio Supreme Court recently expedited hearings over the constitutional conflict,
presumably so it can make a decision before the expansion goes into
effect in January. Opponents of the expansion, particularly Republicans,
argue the federal government can’t afford to pay for 90 to 100 percent
of the expansion through Obamacare as currently planned, while
supporters, particularly Kasich and Democrats, say it’s a great deal for
the state that helps cover nearly half a million Ohioans over the next
Across the state, voters approved most school levy renewals but rejected new property taxes.
Maximize your caffeine: The scientifically approved time for coffee drinking is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy• News: @CityBeat_News• Music: @CityBeatMusic• German Lopez: @germanrlopez
0 Comments · Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Proud parents Saarai and Humphrey last week welcomed the birth of the Cincinnati Zoo’s first baby camel in nearly 30 years.
10 reasons Cincinnati is greener than you think
1 Comment · Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Cincinnatians just love to joke about
that old, clichéd quip often attributed to Mark Twain: “When the end of
the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years
behind the times.” The colloquialism is used to exemplify anything
considered remotely backward, from legislation to fashion to potholes.
Signs of life, though, are sprouting up around the city like a canary
dandelion through a crack in the cement.
by Kevin Osborne
In an effort to avoid an estimated $43 million deficit, the Cincinnati Board of Education decided Wednesday to eliminate 237 teaching jobs for next school year. Of the job cuts, 35 are layoffs, 112 are retirements or resignations, and 90 are long-term substitutes. In March, the board also approved laying off 40 administrators. The actions are expected to create $20 million in savings, but officials say more cuts are needed.Cincinnati City Council has approved an ordinance cracking down on so-called “predatory towing.” Some local towing companies haven't been following state guidelines about how much may be charged for the towing and impoundment of vehicles. The city law clarifies that they must be complied with, and companies that violate the fees can lose lucrative towing contracts with the Cincinnati Police Department.As part of their standard procedures, state regulators are reviewing the background of a company slated to open the state's first casino next month and Cincinnati's casino next year. The Ohio Casino Control Commission meets this week to review a newly completed report on Rock Ohio Caesars. It will include details about the company's financial stability and whether it has any criminal background.Although Earth Day isn't until Sunday, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is marking the holiday early by sponsoring an e-waste recycling drive today to collect and recycle unwanted electronic waste from guests. Collection is from 4-6:30 p.m., and all electronic devices will be recycled by 2trg, a certified recycler that operates under zero landfill and zero export policies. A $10 cash fee will be charged for each TV set, and all other acceptable items will be recycled for free. Other acceptable items include cables, CD-ROM drives, cellular phones, DVD players, keyboards, laptops, LCD monitors, microwave ovens, printers and more.Locally-based Fifth Third Bank says its first-quarter net income quadrupled, thanks in part to its stake in the payment processor Vantiv, which had its initial public offering. The company reported net income of $421 million today, or 45 cents per share. That compares with $88 million, or 10 cents per share, reported in the same period last year. Apparently, there's only a recession going on for some of us.In news elsewhere, House Speaker John Boehner (R-West Chester) is dismissing criticism brought against the Republican budget plan by Catholic bishops. Referencing Matthew 25, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Congress to put the poor first in budget priorities and rethink cuts to programs that help them. But Boehner, a Catholic, said at a press conference Wednesday the cuts were necessary, despite the impact they may have on the poor. “What’s more of a concern to me is the fact that if we don’t start to make some decisions about getting our fiscal house in order there won’t be a safety net,” he said. “There won’t be these programs.” (Hey, John: Maybe you should take another look at the Pentagon's budget.)Six former employees of a company connected to a firm founded by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney filed a federal lawsuit this week, alleging they were fired because they weren't Mormon. The plaintiffs worked for Sorenson Capital Partners, whose managing directors and officers are former partners or executives at Bain Capital and Bain & Co. Romney founded Bain Capital in 1984 after working for Bain & Co. The plaintiffs seek $5.35 million in damages for breach of contract, discrimination and retaliation.If the CIA gets its way, acting suspicious will be enough to get you killed in Yemen. The spy agency is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed, U.S. officials said. Securing permission to use these “signature strikes” would allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior, such as imagery showing militants gathering at known al-Qaeda compounds or unloading explosives. Remember: They hate us because we love freedom.Syria and the United Nations have reached a tentative deal to deploy observers to monitor the nation's ceasefire, officials from both sides said. A spokesman for peace envoy Kofi Annan said the agreement covered the observers' functions and Syrian government's responsibilities. It came after the U.N. secretary general said Syria was failing to comply with its peace plan obligations. The plan seeks to end unrest which has killed at least 9,000 people.The global economic downturn is even visible in China, where large amounts of retail and office space sit vacant, in nearly pristine condition, having never been used. Part of the problem is Chinese industry has been producing massive amounts of steel, cement, and aluminum, so much that its economy cannot absorb all of the output. For example, the seven-story Global Furnishing Design and Exhibition Center in Shanghai, the most populous city in the world, is known as “the ghost mall of China” due to its empty corridors and vacant stores.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Halloween is, at its heart, a children’s holiday. Despite the hugely popular and profitable businesses of haunted houses and adult costumes, it’s kids who get more out of October than anyone else. It does not memorialize a war and has little religious significance. Its the playful, secular traditions that have risen above its Christian and Gaelic ones.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2009
More than 8,000 locals are expected at the 39th annual Cincinnati Earth Day celebration, one of the city’s top outdoor festivals and a tribute to all things green and eco-friendly. Performances include native flute music by Janice Tryten, contemporary Folk music by Wild Carrot and the Roots Band and Jamgrass music by the Rumpke Mountain Boys. Other attractions include live animal shows by the Cincinnati Zoo and Sunrock Farm, a recycled costume contest for kids and local environmental awards presented by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Statement of fact: Cincinnati Zoo = Good, Creation Museum = Evil. Let's be clear: It's evident to anyone with a brain that the Creation Museum is a horrible joke told by some seriously unfunny people, and the Cincinnati Zoo is a place of happiness, truth and light.