WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 07.02.2013
Posted In: News, Development, Voting, Budget at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Seelbach calls for Voting Rights Act rework, 3CDC upkeep criticized, politics in budget veto

Councilman Chris Seelbach and other local leaders are calling on Congress to rework the Voting Rights Act following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down key provisions. Supporters of the Voting Rights Act argue it’s necessary to prevent discrimination and protect people’s right to vote, while critics call it an outdated measure from the Jim Crow era that unfairly targeted some states with forgone histories of racism. “Within 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act, five states are already moving ahead with voter ID laws, some of which had previously been rejected by the Department of Justice as discriminatory,” Seelbach said in a statement. “The right to vote is one of the most sacred values in our nation and Congress should act immediately to protect it”. Nonprofit developer 3CDC says it’s restructuring staff and guidelines to take better care of its vacant buildings following criticisms from residents and the local Board of Housing Appeals. The board has fined the 3CDC three times this year for failing to maintain Cincinnati’s minimum standards for vacant buildings, which require owners keep the buildings watertight and safe for emergency personnel to enter. Gov. John Kasich said the funding allocation belonged in the capital budget — not the operating budget he signed into law — when he vetoed money going to State Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office, but The Columbus Dispatch reports it might have been revenge for Mandel’s opposition to the Medicaid expansion and an oil-and-gas severance tax. Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols says the allegation is “silly” and “absurd,” adding that Kasich said he would work with Mandel on allocating the money during the capital budget process. The state treasurer’s office says it needs the $10 million to upgrade computers against cyberattacks. Mandel was one of the first state Republicans to come out against the Medicaid expansion, which CityBeat covered here and here. A series of mandatory across-the-board federal spending cuts was supposed to take $66 million from Ohio schools, but state officials say they’ll be able to soften the blow with $19 million in unspent federal aid. The federal cuts — also known as “sequestration” — were part of a debt deal package approved by Congress and President Barack Obama that kicked in March 1. Prior to its implementation, Obama asked Congress to rework sequestration to lessen its negative fiscal impact, but Republican legislators refused. CityBeat covered some of sequestration’s other statewide effects here. The mayoral race officially dropped down to four candidates yesterday, with self-identified Republican Stacy Smith failing to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot. Check out the Cincinnati Zoo’s latest expansion here. Headline from The Cincinnati Enquirer: “Where does John Cranley live?” It’s now legal to go 70 miles per hour in some state highways. Cincinnati-based Kroger and Macy’s came in at No. 2 and No. 14 respectively in an annual list of the nation’s top 20 retailers from STORIES magazine. The Tribune Co. is buying Local TV LLC in Newport for $2.7 billion to become the largest TV station operator in the nation. Human head transplants may be closer than we think (and perhaps hope).
 
 

If You Build It, They Will Come

Newly renovated Washington Park hearkens Cincinnati's urban heyday

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 3, 2013
A couple of years ago, Washington Park wouldn’t have been much of a spot to have a picnic. In a few months, though, the fountains in the water park will be turned back on after a long winter and children will clamp their feet over the pop-up jets and watch the clear blue water trickle between their toes.  

Worst Week Ever!: March 6-12

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 12, 2013
THURSDAY MARCH 7: The American thing to do is buy an even bigger and more expensive TV than the one you already have even though it works just fine. Fountain Square, located in America, will soon follow this cultural imperative.  

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)
 
 
greg hartmann

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)
 
 
to do_washington park opening_photo 3cdc

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.  

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