WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 11.07.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, City Council, Homelessness, News at 05:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
city hall

Council OKs Application for Homeless Relocation Loan

Loan would help move three homeless shelters out of Over-the-Rhine

UPDATE 11-8-12: An aide to Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls tells CityBeat that the $7 million loan will only go toward moving two of the shelters: the Drop Inn Center and a new women's shelter to be operated by the YWCA. Because the City Gospel Mission requires a religious component to is outreach to the homeless, it cannot receive federal funding. The original story follows below.City Council on Wednesday signed off on a plan to apply for federal loans to help move three Cincinnati homeless shelters to new locations. Council members voted with all but one approving the application for $37 million in loans, $7 million of which would move the Washington Park-area shelters. If the loan is approved, the City Gospel Mission would move to the West End, a new women’s shelter would be build in Mount Auburn and the Drop Inn Center would move to a yet-undetermined location.  Cincinnati had pledged $10 million toward relocating the shelters. The loan would be paid back at $532,000 a year for the next 20 years. Councilman Chris Smitherman was the sole dissenting voice. He said he supports the homeless, but he is wary of the risks of the loan and the city’s ability to pay it back. Councilman Chris Seelbach, who said he moved to Over-the-Rhine shortly after the 2001 riots, voted to approve applying for the loan, but also voiced some concern. “The reason I moved is because I loved it; I fell in love with the diversity of the neighborhood,” he said, noting income diversity as well as racial and ethnic. “I would hope that we could find a location for the Drop that is in Over-the-Rhine and there isn’t a continued effort to push low income people out of Over-the-Rhine.” Josh Spring, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, said the shelters the city has now are perfectly adequate and the money could be spent better developing affordable housing and creating jobs to help eliminate homelessness. “Historically a majority of shelters started between 1982 and 1990 because in that era we cut dollars to housing and employment,” Spring said.  “Shelters were never created to end homelessness. Shelters were created for people to have a safe place once everything else had failed them. We shouldn’t let everything else fail them.”
 
 
by Bill Sloat 11.01.2012
Posted In: Media at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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City Offers Cash Incentive to Local Media Giant Scripps

WCPO-TV’s parent corp. pledges to retain 184 jobs, add 125 more downtown

A deal is expected to be approved next week between E.W. Scripps Co. and Cincinnati could bring about $5.65 million in tax revenue to the city by 2018. It also means that Scripps — which was founded here in the 1800s — promises to expand and keep its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati for at least 10 more years. The media company currently resides in a downtown high-rise on Walnut Street, and the growth will be in cyber content as it morphs for the Internet Age. A City Hall document submitted to council in advance of next week’s meeting, says:“The expansion downtown will be from the Scripps digital group that is growing and gaining momentum with new product offerings, enhancements and technology. These products will be developed for smart phones, tablets and computers.  They will include applications that push content from Scripps’ chain of newspapers and TV stations and distribute new content to consumers in cities that Scripps does not serve. The new jobs will include skills in sales, design, marketing and journalism.”In all, the payroll is expected to reach $30 million when the 125 new jobs are added. The agreement says Scripps will make “good faith efforts to fill at least 75 percent of the new jobs created” with city residents. Scripps owns 19 television stations and 13 newspapers across the U.S. It used to publish the Cincinnati Post — the publication that started the entire Scripps company — but that daily newspaper was shuttered in 2007 because of sharp declines in readership. 
 
 
by German Lopez 10.30.2012
 
 
anna louise inn

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast last night. At least 16 people are believed to have died from the storm, and as many as 7.5 million were left without power. Areas of New York and New Jersey also faced major flooding. It took until 4:30 a.m. for Sandy to go from hurricane to tropical storm.  The Anna Louise Inn will be in court at 9 a.m. today arguing in front of the First District Court of Appeals, which could overturn a May ruling and allow the Inn to move forward with its renovation. CityBeat will have online coverage for the hearing later today. Hamilton County’s probation department is facing sexual harassment charges. The charges are coming from a county worker who said her promotion was denied due to her actions “for opposing discrimination and encouraging others to exercise their right to be free from acts of discrimination.” The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes filed a lawsuit Friday in an attempt to reverse the August reworking of the Blue Ash airport deal. For COAST, the lawsuit is mostly to stall or stop the financing for the $110 million Cincinnati streetcar. City Council will vote next week to decide whether the city should borrow $37 million to fund development projects and a portion of the Homeless to Homes program. But Homeless to Homes is generating some concern due to its requirement to move three shelters. Three Cincinnati charity groups are coming together to help veterans with disabling injuries. The organizations will pool available resources to hopefully find jobs for veterans. Mitt Romney is running a new ad against President Barack Obama in Ohio that says Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China. The ad, which Chrysler says is false, warranted a snarky response from the car company: “Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.” The Obama team also responded with its own ad. It is somewhat understandable Romney would be getting a bit desperate at this point in the race. Ohio is widely considered the most important swing state, but aggregate polling has Romney down 1.9 points in the state. Romney is up 0.9 points nationally. State Republicans are refusing to pull an ad that accuses William O’Neill, Democratic candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, of expressing “sympathy for rapists.” This is despite the fact that Justice Robert Cupp, O’Neill’s Republican opponent, has distanced himself from the ad. At this point, even the most nonpartisan, objectives watchers have to wonder why the Republican Party can’t keep rape out of its messaging. In comments aired first on Aug. 19, U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri said on pregnancy after rape, “If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” On Oct. 23, Richard Mourdock, the Senate candidate for Indiana, said, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Ohio is getting closer to the health exchange deadline with no plan in sight. Obamacare asks states to take up health exchanges that act as competitive markets for different health insurance plans. States are allowed to either accept, let the federal government run the exchanges or take a hybrid approach. As part of the health exchanges, the federal government will also sponsor a heavily regulated nonprofit plan that sounds fairly similar to the public option liberals originally wanted in Obamacare. Meanwhile, Ohio and other states still haven’t decided whether they will be expanding their Medicaid programs. In the past, state officials have cited costs as a big hurdle, but one study from Arkansas found Medicaid expansions actually saved money by reducing the amount of uncompensated care. Some states that expanded Medicaid also found health improvements afterward. An inspector at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) was caught not doing her job. The inspector was supposed to do 128 site visits for in-person safety inspections, but she apparently never showed up to some of the schools and filed fraudulent reports. Peter Cremer North America could add 50 jobs in Cincinnati over three years in an expansion. A San Francisco firm bought a major stake in Cincinnati Bell.
 
 

City Council Moves Streetcar Refinancing Forward

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
City Council’s budget committee voted 6-3 Sept. 24 to use $29 million from other projects in part to move utility lines and pipes to accommodate for streetcar tracks.   
by Andy Brownfield 08.31.2012
 
 
city hall

City Council Cancels First Half of September Meetings

DNC causes first week's cancellations, Council to resume Sept. 19

After taking a two-month summer break — with a week for some committee hearings and a council meeting — Cincinnati City Council has canceled its meetings for the first half of September. The council meetings for Sept. 6 and 12 have been canceled, along with all committee meetings for the first week of September and the Job Growth Committee meeting for Sept. 10. Jason Barron, spokesman for Mayor Mark Mallory, said the council meetings were canceled due to the Democratic National Convention, which is occurring in the first week of September. Barron said many of the Democratic officials in the city are delegates to the convention. Asked why the City Council meeting was canceled for the second week of September, Barron said he didn’t know.Council did meet once in August, where they approved a ballot measure to lengthen council terms from two to four years, as well as a plan to undo the sale of the Blue Ash airport. All of the committee meetings for the week of the DNC were canceled as well. Strategic Growth Committee chairwoman Laure Quinlivan is not a delegate to the convention, but is attending, an aide said. Council members Roxanne Qualls and Cecil Thomas, who chair the Budget and Finance and Public Safety Committees respectively, did not respond to CityBeat’s requests for comment as of Friday afternoon. A special meeting of the Rules and Government Operations Committee is meeting on Sept. 10 — the first committee meeting after the summer break. An aide to committee chairman Wendell Young says the committee is meeting to receive a report from a task force charged with recommending ways to put grocery stores in so-called “food deserts” — neighborhoods where fresh food isn’t readily available. The Livable Communities Committee and Major Transportation & Infrastructure Sub-committee are meeting during the second week of September, but the first full council meeting isn’t until the 19th. Council still has a few big-ticket items it is expected to deal with this year, including proposed budget cuts from City Manager Milton Dohoney (expected to be laid out in November) and the approval of a new city plan, which shifts development emphasis from downtown and Over-the-Rhine to the city’s other 50 neighborhoods. More on that plan here. 
 
 

City Council Moves to Ban Fracking Injection Wells

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Nobody stood up for fracking in a July 31 City Council committee meeting that saw dozens of people urge council to pass an ordinance banning injection wells within Cincinnati.  
by Andy Brownfield 07.31.2012
Posted In: News, Environment, Development, Science at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
news1_fracking.widea

City Council Moves to Ban Fracking Injection Wells

Wording tries to skirt ODNR oversight

Nobody stood up for fracking in today's City Council committee meeting that saw dozens of people urge council to pass an ordinance banning injection wells within Cincinnati. All members of the Strategic Growth Committee voted in favor of the proposed ordinance, with the exception of Councilman Chris Seelbach, who was recovering after allegedly being assaulted in downtown Monday  night. If approved, the ordinance would prohibit injections wells — which inject wastewater underground — from being allowed within city limits. It now goes before the full council. The practice is commonly associated with hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” — which uses chemical-laced water to drill for oil and gas. Fracking fluid injected underground has been tied to a dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio. A 2004 Ohio law puts regulation of oil and gas drilling under the state’s purview, preventing municipalities from regulating the drilling. The wording of the proposed Cincinnati ordinance doesn’t mention oil or gas drilling, which proponents say they hope will keep it from clashing with the state law if it passes. Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Heidi Hetzel-Evans tells CityBeat that injection wells also fall under ODNR’s purview. She says she isn’t sure if the proposed Cincinnati ordinance would conflict with the state law. “It’s very hard for ODNR to speculate on what might happen,” she says, adding that there aren’t any injection wells or applications for them in the Cincinnati area. “This may not be an issue that’s ever tested.” That didn’t stop the dozens of people who spoke in favor of the ordinance at the committee meeting from erupting into applause once the ordinance was approved. Barbara Wolf, a documentarian who has made a video about Cincinnati’s Water Works, said that the city has some of the cleanest water in the world, and chemicals from hydraulic fracturing could jeopardize that. “We are studied by other countries,” Wolf said. “If it (fracking fluid) goes into the Ohio River, we don’t know what the chemicals are. It’s very hard to clean up chemicals if you don’t know what they are. And that’s one of the things we do really well: clean up chemicals.” 
 
 

Four More Years

City Council to determine which proposal for four-year terms voters will see in November

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Cincinnati voters will decide in November whether their City Council members will serve four-year terms instead of the current two-year ones — councilors just haven’t decided which proposal to send to voters.   

Wasson Way Bike Plan Moves Forward

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Advocates of converting into a bike trail the space on the long-vacated Wasson Way railroad tracks that snake through several healthy residential and business districts gleamed new hope Tuesday when Cincinnati City Council’s Livable Communities Committee passed a resolution to approve the space to be preserved for a public hike-bike path.   
by Danny Cross 06.27.2012
 
 
music hall

Morning News and Stuff

City Council is expected to vote this morning to divert the $4 million for the City Hall atrium project to jumpstart the Music Hall renovation, which has brought the city and arts supporters interested in owning and operating the historic venue closer to a compromise. Council could vote on the renegotiated deal later Wednesday, though details of the lease agreement have yet to be released.  Council is also expected to approve a property tax increase of $10 per $100,000 in valuation to fund capital projects such as a new West Side police station and additional road paving.  Today’s Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District meeting will include a presentation about the Brent Spence Bridge that will probably include polls. Gov. John Kasich today will sign a human trafficking bill that makes the crime a first-degree felony rather than second-degree and includes funding to help victims.    The ACLU will represent the Ku Klux Klan in a legal fight involving Georgia’s highway cleanup program and a pending First Amendment lawsuit.   The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday will rule on President Obama’s health care law.  Obama and Biden are still jamming Romney up on his outsourcing history.  A Walgreens store and other pharmacies in Washington, D.C. are offering free HIV tests to make diagnosing the disease more convenient and to increase awareness.  College football has approved a four-team playoff to determine its national championship rather than the computer-human two-team plan that has faced scrutiny over the years. The new format will start in the 2014-15 season. 
 
 

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