Federal transportation officials announced late last week that Cincinnati will receive a $24.9 million grant to help build a proposed streetcar system, while the NAACP's local chapter continues its strange disconnect from the organization’s national office.
Known as "Wolfie" to his followers, local blogger Will Kohler operates the always provocative Back2Stonewall site. Besides keeping Queen City queers and their friends up to date on gay-related news from around the world, he also offers sharp commentary on what he sees as deficiencies in national gay leadership and more.
Although it sounds like a facility where mutant superheroes might train, X-Lab actually is Xavier University's economic development program. Operated by the Williams College of Business, the lab is holding a unique competition: 35 entrepreneurs submitting ideas in a bid to win consulting services from X-Lab to help start or expand their business.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled June 9 that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters was within his legal authority last October when he convinced 12 Common Pleas judges to sign an order firing a private law firm used for years by Hamilton County commissioners. The action was taken without prior notification to the commissioners and occurred only after they had cut $15 million from the Prosecutor's Office budget. Just a week before the high court's decision, another judge in a lawsuit related to Deters' action had sided with commissioners.
For all of his frequent talk about cutting taxes and limiting the size of government, uber-conservative Chris Finney keeps costing area taxpayers more money. He supported the notorious Article 12, which gave Cincinnati a national black eye and cost the city more than $25 million in lost business, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Now another of Finney's bizarre antics has cost Hamilton County $9,700 in taxpayer money.
If anyone is to blame for the controversy over why Councilman Chris Bortz ignored an Ohio Ethics Commission advisory opinion regarding his votes on the city's streetcar plan, it's Bortz himself. Why ask for an opinion at all if he wasn't going to follow it? And once the opinion has been issued, it would be better to come clean about it rather than wait for the slow burn of its release almost a year later, which makes the whole affair look sordid.
While much of the local media attention during the past several days was focused on Cincinnati City Council's vote to approve $2.58 million for the proposed streetcar system, another controversy involving the long-discussed project was brewing that went barely noticed.
Some politicians and activists hate the media. Although they might say it's because of a perceived bias in coverage, the truth is it usually has more to do with holding them accountable for past words and deeds that otherwise might be long forgotten. For example, consider the current ranting and raving by the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) and one of its leaders, attorney Chris Finney, about the deficit in Hamilton County's stadium account.
Cincinnati is a city that was settled predominantly by German Catholics, but I doubt if even the most devout modern-day resident knows Latin well enough to understand what "e.g." means. The obscure abbreviation is at the center of the latest debate over whether Cincinnati should build a $185 million streetcar system that connects downtown and Over-the-Rhine with the uptown area near the University of Cincinnati and local hospitals.