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County Approves Memorial Hall Lease

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Feb. 27 unanimously approved a 40-year agreement with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) that will lease the county-owned Memorial Hall and provide renovations to the 105-year-old building.   
by German Lopez 02.27.2013
Posted In: News, Commissioners, Development at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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County Approves Memorial Hall Lease

Agreement will provide renovations

The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a 40-year agreement with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) that will lease the county-owned Memorial Hall and provide renovations to the 105-year-old building. County officials have long said the building, which is used to host concerts, shows and speaking events, is in dire need of upgrades, particularly overhauls to its roof, windows, facade work, floors, air conditioning and bathrooms — all of which will now be financed by 3CDC with the help of tax credits. “The public-private partnership between 3CDC and Hamilton County will result in the preservation of historic Memorial Hall without the use of taxpayer dollars for the improvements,” Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Republican, said in a statement. “3CDC has an impressive track record with development projects in downtown Cincinnati and will be a great partner to manage this project.” The partnership will also relinquish the county government’s operational funding for insurance and utilities for Memorial Hall, which cost the county about $200,000 annually. In a statement, Hartmann’s office said the partnership with 3CDC “extends only to the renovations at Memorial Hall,” and the county will retain ownership and the final say over any increased programming. The city of Cincinnati has repeatedly partnered with 3CDC, a nonprofit company, for projects at Fountain Square, Washington Park, the Vine Street streetscape project and ongoing developments throughout Over-the-Rhine.
 
 

...And Never the Twain Shall Meet

4 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Asking the beautiful, shiny revelers occupying the part of Vine Street comprising Gateway Quarter to recall and meditate on the April 2001 riots, curfews and economic boycotts that erupted after then-police officer Stephen Roach shot and killed Timothy Thomas on Republic Street is impossible.  

Enquirer Conflicts of Interest Still on Display

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Margaret Buchanan, president and publisher of The Cincinnati Enquirer, resigned from the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees Sept. 28, citing potential conflicts of interest in her staff’s reporting on the UC Board.  

Board Votes Down Washington Park Rules

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Cincinnati Park Board voted Sept. 20 to end Park Rule 28, which allowed the Park Board to enact new rules by placing signs on Washington Park grounds.  
by German Lopez 09.20.2012
Posted In: News, Parks, Homelessness at 03:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Board Votes Down Washington Park Rules

Cincinnati Park Board ends allegedly discriminatory rules

The Cincinnati Park Board today voted to strike down signs enforcing rules in Washington Park. The vote ended Park Rule 28, which allowed the Park Board to enact new rules by placing a sign on Washington Park grounds. The signs, which the city could use to enforce any park rule as law, had recently come under fire by homeless advocate groups. In a statement, Josh Spring, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, wrote, “Park Rule 28 allowed opening for the back-room creation of the special rules in Washington Park that were written by an employee of the Police Department, a couple of Park Board employees and 3CDC employees — completely without the input of the public or any legislative body or process.”Before the Park Board vote, homeless advocate groups claimed the rules were being written away from public view — in part by private companies. Jerry Davis, member of the Homeless Congress, cited 3CDC's involvement in the rule writing as an example: “3CDC is a private corporation that does not answer to the Citizens of Cincinnati. This private group should not get to decide what rules are created and enforced. 3CDC is saying to the Citizens of Cincinnati, ‘You pay the bills and we make the decisions.' " Three Over-the-Rhine residents, including Davis, sued the Park Board on Sept. 4 to put an end to the signs. In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Spring claimed the park rules “discriminate against certain classes of people” — specifically, the homeless and poor. The Washington Park rules were different than rules at other Cincinnati parks in a few ways: They did not allow “dropping off food or clothing,” “rummaging in trash and recycling containers” or the use of any amplified sound. Homeless advocate groups claimed these rules were contrary to broader park rules that allow the sharing of food, permit inspecting and removing items from trash and recycling containers and only prohibit amplified sound if it disturbs the peace or safety of the public. Homeless advocate groups said the rules hurt others as well. Spring wrote in the lawsuit’s press statement, “If a family decides to picnic in Washington Park and the parents hand their children food, they would be in breach of these rules, or if a friend hands a jacket to her walking companion, she would have broken these rules.” Cincinnati Police Department Captain Daniel Gerard admitted the rules were targeting the homeless when, according to documents revealed by homeless advocate groups, he said, “Until the Drop Inn Center moves, the line about food and clothing drop off being prohibited is absolutely needed.” The Drop Inn Center is a homeless shelter.Despite the Park Board vote, the lawsuit will continue. The city will file to dismiss the lawsuit, but the city claims the lawsuit should never have been brought forward.“The issue was brought to our attention, we took a look at it and decided to take down the signs, yet they inexplicably decided to file a suit anyway,” said Aaron Herzig, deputy city solicitor. “That's not how it should work. The city looks at a concern and decides to take action, and there's no need for a lawsuit at that point.”Jennifer Kinsley, the attorney representing the three Over-the-Rhine residents suing the city, defended the lawsuit and its continuance.“We congratulate the city on doing the right thing by repealing Rule 28, but the lawsuit covers a broader range of topics than just that rule,” she said, citing statutory damages. She also said she's worried the Park Board ruling will not overturn rules already enforced by the signs: “It may and it may not. We've seen that the Park Board, 3CDC and others are willing to bend the law in order to make special rules for that park, so the status of the rules for that particular area are unclear at the moment.”Herzig says the rules on the signs were not enforced after the signs were taken down “weeks before the lawsuit.” He says the only rules remaining are the rules officially published by the Park Board.
 
 

A Day at the Park

7 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Washington Park is a social experiment so vastly successful Cincinnatians might be unaware of the nuances in its meaning.We’re still spastically drunk off the park’s new-park smell.  
by Danny Cross 07.06.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Steve Chabot’s self-righteous attempt to block federal streetcar funding found new criticism yesterday, as The Enquirer spoke to several credible sources who say his amendment is broad enough to affect federal funding for transportation projects beyond the streetcar, including bus lanes or ferries. Mayor Mark Mallory and 3CDC representatives were scheduled to kick off a grand opening celebration of Washington Park at 10 a.m. this morning. The $48 million renovation includes an underground parking garage, concession building, dog park and concert space. A rally against the renovation and displacement of residents was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CityBeat’s Mike Breen blogged away yesterday about the park’s scheduled weekly music series.  It’s going to be another sucky hot weekend in Cincinnati. U.S. hiring is being weak again. Walgreens is buying mass drug store chains, preparing to cash in on that ObamaCare money.  Brad Pitt’s mom wrote a pro-Mitt Romney, anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage letter to the editor of a Missouri newspaper. Brad, for the record, is pro-gay marriage and donated to the 2008 anti-Proposition 8 campaign in California. I have given much thought to Richard Stoecker’s letter (“Vote for Mormon against beliefs,” June 15). I am also a Christian and differ with the Mormon religion. But I think any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon. Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage. I hope all Christians give their vote prayerful consideration because voting is a sacred privilege and a serious responsibility.First they were telling us that the Higgs boson is the building block of the universe. How Professor Peter Higgs says he has no idea what the discovery will mean in practical terms. Come on, Higgs! Apparently 250,000 people are going to wake up without the Internet on Monday.  Scientists believe they’ve created the most realistic robot legs ever. 
 
 
by Mike Breen 07.05.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Washington Park To Be Quite Musical

Weekly music, interactive musical fountains and more planned for renovated OTR park

Revitalization group 3CDC's live music programming throughout the past few summers has helped turn Fountain Square into the heart of Cincinnati's increasingly active downtown area, drawing thousands to the Square every week to catch everything from Reggae and Salsa to Hip Hop and Indie Rock. The group will be doing the same thing in Over-the-Rhine at the newly renovated Washington Park across from Music Hall. The Park officially opens tomorrow (July 6) with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The christening will be followed by tours of the park, then a free 5 p.m. World Choir Games "friendship concert" at the Bandstand.Like with Fountain Square, Washington Park's weekly music series will showcase local musicians, with live performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday will be "Bandstand Bluegrass" night, featuring some of the best area Bluegrass artists. The shows begin July 11 and will run every week, starting at 7 p.m., until Sept. 5. On Fridays, the Park features "Friday Flow," a night of R&B and Soul that starts July 13 and runs each Friday through Sept. 5.The lineups for Wednesdays and Fridays have yet to be announced, but more details have been made available about the every-Thursday Jazz in the Park series. Beginning July 12, the lineup has been curated by local Jazz pianist Chris Comer, who held a similar role on Fountain Square last year. The first Jazz in the Park concert is July 12 and features Comer and his quintet, plus special guest Napoleon Maddox from the progressive Jazz/Hip Hop group IsWhat?!Jazz in the Park performances run 7-9 p.m. through Aug. 30. Other shows in the series include the P&G Big Band (July 19); The Cincy Brass (Aug. 2); Steve Schmidt (Aug. 9), Ricky Nye Inc. (Aug. 16); and the Dick Sorice-Dan Jackson Quintet (Aug. 23).Along with many other special concerts — like Over the Rhine's (the band) free show July 22 and the rare joint performance featuring Cincinnati Pops, May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet — the Washington Park summer schedule is filled with other types of events, from community festivals to "dog programs" to movie nights and special "Curiosity Saturdays" for kids. One of the coolest physical changes to Washington Park is the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame, a project in conjunction with the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and InfoTrust which will enable visitors to use their smartphones and tablets to play various musical selections through the park's sound system or through the very cool "musical fountains," which will change appearance/flow/color depending on which music is selected. Here's a quick overview of how the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame will work. To read about all of the things Washington Park has planned just this summer alone (remember, it will be a primary venue for the MidPoint Music Festival at the end of September) click here.
 
 

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