by German Lopez
City says a number of issues contributed to more than yearlong postponement
The $110 million streetcar project's opening is being delayed by more than a full year — from spring 2014 to summer 2015.
Meg Olberding, city spokesperson, attributes the delay to “a number of scheduling issues.”
“There’s so many moving pieces,” she says. “There are
issues with utility and we have to order the cars. We
have to get a contractor on-board for the work. So we still have a
couple of things that are taking longer than we thought.”The delay, which was announced Sept. 10, is
the latest in a history of plan and schedule changes for the Cincinnati
streetcar, which saw $52 million pulled by Gov. John Kasich last year and forced
the city to abandon its Uptown connector lines. Kasich, who has been against other rail projects in the state, claimed the move was necessary to balance the 2012-2013 budget.Today, a feud between
the city and Duke Energy is causing more trouble. The city and utility company disagree over
who should pay for moving utility lines to accommodate the
streetcar. On Aug. 29, the city said it was considering a lawsuit to
resolve the issue. Olberding says the conflict played a role in the delay.“We need to resolve that quickly because, obviously, the
longer we can’t get utility work done, it’ll cause delays and cost
overruns,” she says. “So we want to get that done as soon as possible.”
Before the current spat, the city and Duke could not agree
on whether manhole covers and utility lines should be eight feet from
streetcar tracks or three to four feet. The city claimed the smaller
number was fine, but Duke disagreed, citing fears for its workers. In a
previous look at the issue, CityBeat found the city’s standard
was supported by experiences in other cities (“The Great Eight Debate,”
issue of March 6). The city eventually won out, and manholes will only be required to be three to four feet from streetcar tracks.The streetcar has faced consistent opposition from other Republicans besides Kasich. U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot of Cincinnati successfully amended the 2013 transportation bill to ban federal funding from going to the streetcar and other light rail projects. Councilman Charlie Winburn, the lone Republican on Cincinnati City Council, said the city should stop its threat of lawsuit against Duke Energy.
by German Lopez
A federal judge is ordering Secretary of State Jon Husted
to appear in court to explain why Husted is ignoring a recent ruling. The judge
ruled Friday that Husted must enact in-person early voting for all
voters on the weekend and Monday before Election Day. Husted told county
boards of elections to ignore the ruling until after an appeal process.
Republicans have consistently blocked the expansion of early voting,
citing racial politics and costs.After a merger with Progress Energy, Duke Energy will
rebrand itself. The details are sparse, but CEO Jim Rogers promised in a
letter last week that the company will be going some big changes. Even a
name change was hinted at in the letter, which promised the commission
“a rollout of the new logo and name-change occurring at the end of the
first quarter of 2013 and beginning of the second quarter.” An activist group is demanding the U.S. Department of
Labor investigate allegations that Murray Energy forced its miners in
Bealsville, Ohio to attend a campaign rally for presidential candidate
Mitt Romney. CREDO Action, the group filing the petition, wants the
Department of Labor to see if any laws were broken in the process.
Murray Energy’s CEO says workers were told the campaign rally “was
mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” But that explanation makes
no sense.Cincinnati hospitals and medical centers saw higher
expenses and revenues in the past few fiscal years. Urban hospitals and
centers in particular were more likely to see higher costs and income,
while rural hospitals and centers sometimes saw decreases.Voters First is mocking the redistricting system with a
new graph. The graph shows a real email exchange between politicians
carving out districts for personal gain. The exchange only lasts 13
minutes and has no questions asked before Republican redistricting officials agree
to redraw a district to benefit Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican. Voters First also held
a 13-minute press conference to mock the exchange further and explain
the redistricting process.I-75 will be undergoing a massive widening project starting in 2021. The project is estimated to cost $467 million.Three downtown buildings have been sold to 3CDC for $10. The company currently has no plans for the buildings.Ohio is hosting an international venture capital
conference. The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds
conference is in Cleveland between Oct. 15 and 17. The nonprofit
organization has 200 members, and 22 of them are in Ohio. Venture
capital has come under fire during the current campaign season due to
Romney’s campaign and Romney’s work as CEO of Bain Capital.The Miami University frat that was suspended is dropping
its $10 million lawsuit. The frat was suspended after a fireworks
battle led to police finding illegal substances inside the frat.Ohio farmers from all counties are now seeking disaster aid after severe storms and drought hurt crops this summer.Former Gov. Ted Strickland got “God” and “Jerusalem” put
back in the Democratic Party’s official platform. There was some booing
after the pandering addition was made. Former President Bill Clinton made a speech defending
President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention last night.
In the speech, Clinton points out that Republicans were in power when
the recession began, and Obama inherited a horrible situation from them.
But Clinton passed the largest deregulatory law in history when in 1999 he repealed the
Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, and the severe lack of regulation is
often blamed for the financial crisis that helped spur the Great
Recession.A scientist is linking global warming to the amount of exploding stars in the sky.
by German Lopez
Duke Energy told city officials to OK an operating deal
for the streetcar before trying to talk costs. The fighting words are in the
middle of an ongoing feud between city officials and Duke Energy about
who will move utility lines and pipes to accommodate the streetcar.
The operating details will help Duke know what “unbreakable rules” about
maintenance and emergency repairs exist and where the streetcar will go,
according to the company’s spokesperson. CityBeat previously covered the streetcar issue and all the pettiness from Duke here.
A suspended frat is suing Miami University. The frat was
suspended after a fireworks battle led to the discovery of illegal
substances in the frat. The frat claims the university improperly
suspended it, damaged its business and property, and made libelous
allegations out of “malice, hatred and ill will.” The frat says it
shouldn’t have been suspended without a written complaint, but Miami's spokesperson said the university is allowed to suspend
students without a written complaint if there is a pending
investigation.Ohio will soon begin tying college funding to graduation rates. If only that was done with e-schools.Equality Ohio announced Columbus, Ohio made a step forward
in LGBT rights yesterday. It is now among the few cities in Ohio to
have a domestic partner registry, which allows same-sex couples to
legally declare their relationships without marriage or civil unions.
Toledo, Cleveland, Athens and Dayton also have registries.Secretary of State Jon Husted wrote a “guest column” on his own website defending early voting rules in Ohio. Republicans are facing criticism over bringing racial politics and poor arguments into the early voting debate.Ohio’s unemployed will soon get a little less help from the
federal government, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Ohio’s rapidly falling unemployment rate has triggered a second
reduction in the amount of aid the unemployed can get. Before April
2012, unemployed Ohioans were eligible for 99 weeks of benefits. The eligible weeks dropped to 73 weeks in April
and will drop to 63 weeks starting in September. However, the benefits are set to expire in December if the federal government doesn't act, and that would push the eligible weeks down to 26 weeks. Ohio's unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent, down from 10.6 percent at the height of the recession.
The University of Cincinnati’s new interim president just got a nice raise.The state texting-while-driving ban goes into effect tomorrow.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio made his speech at the Republican
national convention yesterday. In the speech, he criticized President
Barack Obama for the current state of the economy. In return, Democrats criticized
Portman for his budget work for former President George W. Bush,
whose administration is widely blamed for the current economic crisis.It seems like Paul Ryan spent a lot of time lying in his
speech at the Republican national convention yesterday. The vice
presidential candidate blamed Obama for an auto plant closing
that closed before Obama was president. It seems Ryan is getting
on-board with the Romney-Mandel plan of running on dishonesty.
Cincinnati is the top hot dog city, according to a new
survey. The survey says 7.3 percent of Cincinnati restaurant menus have hot dog options, making it the city with the most accessible hot dogs.Space sugars have been found around a young star.
by German Lopez
The City of Cincinnati and Duke Energy are still fighting
over the streetcar. The city and company are both disputing who is
required to relocate utility lines and pipes in order to accommodate for
the streetcar. Cincinnati officials say Duke Energy is required to do
it under state law, but the company disagrees. The city is considering
legal action, so the feud might soon be heading to court.A recent campaign event might have been mandatory for
workers at a mine in Beallsville, Ohio. The miners were allegedly pulled
from work, refused pay and required to attend the event with
presidential candidate Mitt Romney and senatorial candidate Josh Mandel.
Romney, Mandel and the mine owner have all been criticized for the
move.Cincinnati Bell and StarTek plan on bringing back 200 outsourced jobs to Cincinnati. StarTek will also hire another 136 workers.President Barack Obama’s administration finalized new
regulations yesterday requiring the average gas mileage of new cars to
be at 54.5 mpg by 2025. The new standard is double today’s standard.
Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, said on Twitter the new standards will
reduce national oil consumption by two million barrels a day. The United
States currently uses about 20 million barrels a day. That reduction in
consumption could help combat climate change, which is partly blamed
for Arctic Sea ice hitting record lows this summer.A federal judge ruled Ohio boards of elections must count
defective provisional ballots if the ballots were counted defective due
to errors from poll workers. The ruling protects voters from mistakes by
poll workers. Secretary of State Jon Husted is expected to appeal the
ruling because he says it disagrees with state law.Husted ended up firing the two Democrats on the Montgomery
Board of Elections that voted for extending in-person early voting to
include weekends. Democrats say not allowing weekend voting is voter
suppression, but Republicans cite racial politics and costs as
New rules for juries stop the use of Twitter and Facebook during cases.The Republican national convention is underway in Tampa,
Fla. Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio will be there. For
coverage, check out Twitter’s Republican convention page, which tracks
all mentions of the convention.Romney apparently
agrees with Mandel that fact checkers
don’t matter. This is despite Romney’s claim that President Barack Obama
should stop running ads after fact checkers find them to be false or
misleading. Mandel previously said he will continue saying wrong
statements even after they’re declared false or misleading by fact
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland criticized Romney on his
plans for Medicare. The former governor said the Romney-Ryan budget plan
would “destroy Medicare as we know it.”
Republicans like to say that Obamacare will get employers
to drop health insurance, but a new survey has found zero out of 512
employers plan on dropping health insurance.The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter. The growth isn’t great, but it slightly beat expectations.Apparently computer grading programs are judging student essays better than teachers.And some scientists want to use HIV to fight cancer.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The Tristate’s extreme heat wave is blamed for the deaths
of about 1,000 chicks at a mail processing plant in Louisville, Ky. The
chicks were mailed from Iowa to recipients all over Kentucky in
perforated cardboard boxes. CINCINNATI -2
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Cincinnati Duke Energy customers could face increased
utility costs to help Duke relocate utility lines for the new streetcar,
if state regulators decide to permit Duke to recover expenses
associated with the mass transit project. CINCINNATI -1
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
New laws will soon change where and how
you can buy things to blow up in Northern Kentucky. In March 2011, a
bill passed that allowed the establishment of permanent retail sites for
fireworks sales and also legalized the sale of mine shells, aerial
shells and other previously illegal types of fireworks.
by Danny Cross
The ever-debated, never implemented property tax increase
will continue to be nonexistent, as will a new police station, playgrounds,
some public pools, Music Hall renovations and certain street repavings and
building demolitions, according to The Enquirer.
Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan will make the deciding vote against City Manager
Milton Dohoney’s proposed tax increase, which would add $46 to the owner of a
$100,000. Also against disproportionately taxing rich people are Councilmen Chris Seelbach, P.G.
Sittenfeld, Christopher Smitherman and Charlie Winburn. Quilivan says
the government isn’t the right size and that the government should make the
tougher changes before asking for more revenue.
Here are two ways to report the latest news regarding
potential Duke Energy rate hike connected to streetcar construction:
• From The Enquirer: “Duke
customers could face streetcar tab”
• From The Business Courier: “Cincinnati, Duke making progress
on moving utility lines”
A 15-year-old girl was killed in Over-the-Rhine around 11
p.m. last night. She was reportedly standing with a group of people, though
Police haven’t released any details about the shooter.
A new poll shows support for President Obama’s shift on
More Asians are immigrating to the U.S. than Hispanics these
Adult humans are 16.5 million tons overweight, which
researchers say will threaten the world’s food security and environmental
Approximately half of all new AIDS cases are occurring in
the South, and the region is severely short on HIV specialists.
Attorneys for the Penn State football coach who showered with a
bunch of boys are starting their defense by painting him in a positive light.
Spotify will stop charging $10 per month for use on mobile
devices. Free now.
Facebook acquires Face.com. Ha.
Former baseball player Roger Clemens was acquitted of
perjury charges, the latest in a bunch of wasted time by the federal government
investigating athletes who can afford really good lawyers.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: News
, 2012 Election
, President Obama
, Tea Party
, County Commission
at 08:50 AM | Permalink
County Commissioner Todd Portune's idea to borrow more
money and extend a half-cent sales tax in order to keep up with
stadium costs has been shot down by a Bengals lawyer who used 15
bullet points to demonstrate that Portune's plan “proposes to
breach one or both leases.”
Duke Energy is asking state regulators if it can bump customers' rates up again. Duke says the
increases are to pay for infrastructure investments. The change would
increase customer costs of electric service by $86 million and for
natural gas by $44 million. A federal appeals court on Monday reinstated an antitrust lawsuit against Duke Energy that accuses the
company of paying kick-backs to corporations opposing a 2004 rate
A rally for “religious freedom”
will take place on Fountain Square today in response to federal health care
legislation requiring women to have abortions employers to
provide insurance that covers birth control. The law includes a
religious exemption, which bishops have said isn't enough.
A group pushing to ban dog auctions in
Ohio has halted its effort to put the issue on the November ballot
due to lack of funding and time. CityBeat in February reported the
group's efforts to ban the sale of dogs through auctions or raffles,
as well as all trafficking in dogs from out-of-state auctions.New York City officials, including
Brooklyn Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke, are arguing that the city's
“Stop and Frisk” policy is racist. The policy allows police to
stop an individual and pat him or her down for contraband if they
suspect illegal activity. From USA Today:Clarke says the program, known as "Stop, Question and Frisk"
or "Stop and Frisk," amounts to racial profiling. It is
based on a 1968 Supreme Court ruling that police could stop people on
the basis of "reasonable suspicion."
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin approved
class-action status for a lawsuit that alleges the practice subjects
people to race-based illegal searches.
President Obama's health care law helped
6.6 million young adults stay on their parents' plans during the
first year and a half.
Rick Santorum has formed a new conservative organization aiming to
recruit 1 million supporters to help get Barack Obama out of the
While House. No word on how Santorum's “Patriot Voices” group
will differ from the tea party patriots.
NASA says it has spotted the universe's first objects.
Black members of the Netherlands soccer team were subjected to
racist chants at their Euro 2012 practice facility in Krakow, Poland.
The team says fans were making monkey chants at the players.
LeBron James scored 45 points to lead the
Miami Heat over the Boston Celtics last night, forcing a deciding Game 7 for the
Eastern Conference championship. The Oklahoma Thunder await in the
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Historic Everybody’s Records and Gaslight Café in Pleasant
Ridge are facing threats of closure because Walgreens wants to purchase
the corner of Ridge and Montgomery to demolish the properties and build
a new pharmacy, only blocks from an already-existing location. CINCINNATI -2