by Kevin Osborne
Today is Presidents' Day and even though it's a federal holiday, most readers probably don't have the day off from work. You can console yourself about this affront to George and Honest Abe by learning all about the holiday's quirky history. For example, it was the first holiday authorized to commemorate an American citizen (Mr. Washington) and was split among three different holidays until President Nixon decided to consolidate them in 1971. (Thanks for that, Dick.) And here's CityBeat contributer Ryan Carpe's account of interesting anecdotes involving several presidents from Ohio.Xavier University is facing yet another federal investigation for possible civil rights violations. The probe, the third since December, again involves allegations that campus officials didn't appropriately investigate and punish complaints of sexual assaults filed by female students. In the latest incident, 2011 XU graduate Caitlin Pinciotti charges that she was sexually assaulted in late 2008. She says the university allowed the student found responsible in a March 2009 campus disciplinary hearing to flout terms of his one-semester suspension and frequently return to campus.Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. looks back on his 41-year political career as he prepares to retire later this year. Leis, 77, was county prosecutor and a judge before being elected to his first term as sheriff in 1987. He is perhaps best known for his 1977 prosecution of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, which was later thrown out on a technicality, and his temporarily shutting down a photographic exhibit by Robert Mapplethorpe at the Contemporary Arts Center in 1990, both of which helped solidify Cincinnati's image as a backwards, culturally inept burg on the national scene.Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is in town today, stumping before Ohio's March 6 primary. Romney will visit Meridian Bioscience in Newtown this afternoon, then hold a $2,500-a-plate fundraising dinner at downtown's Great American Tower at 5 p.m.Do you plan on using the bridge that replaces the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River whenever it's finally built? Then you'd better have some change ready. Greater Cincinnati business leaders said tolls likely will be part of whatever financing plan eventually is cobbled together for the $2.3 billion project.In news elsewhere, a Washington Post analysis of various speeches and documents from years past reveals that GOP presidential wannabe Newt Gingrich criticized President Reagan and often took moderate positions on some issues until it became more politically expedient to portray himself as a staunch conservative.Nuclear inspectors from the United Nations are visiting Iran to verify that its uranium enrichment work is peaceful in purpose and isn't designed to make weapons. International tensions have risen due to speculation that Israel may soon carry out a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.It's not just the United States and Europe that's having problems with deficits. Japan is posting a record trade deficit in January as fuel imports rose sharply following last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster. January's deficit totaled $18.5 billion, the highest since the nation began record-keeping in 1979, officials said.Canada is threatening a trade war with the European Union over the bloc's plan to label oil from Alberta's vast tar sands as highly polluting in a key vote scheduled for Thursday. Canadian officials believe it would set a global precedent and derail its ability to exploit its tar sands, which are the biggest fossil fuel reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 3, 2010
American universities year after year are forced to admit that their athletic coaches break many rules in order to win games. The University of Iowa basketball team stuck with this process, only instead of throwing awesome stripper parties last month two high school recruits got to meet celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Kudos to Channel 9, which performed a valuable public service this election season by sponsoring and airing debates featuring candidates in several noteworthy races. On the downside, Rep. Jean Schmidt showed poor judgment again by discussing abortion with Catholic school kids, prompting an apology from the school principal.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 4, 2010
With local streetcar funding and support increasing like the value of property along the proposed route, it's no wonder that some East-siders are wondering what's up with a proposed rail project that would link the eastern suburbs to the city.
1 Comment · Wednesday, April 7, 2010
James O'Reilly has taught law at the University of Cincinnati for 30 years and has written dozens of textbooks and more than 100 articles on regulation and liability. With that type of expertise, it's not surprising that Hamilton County commissioners chose him to co-chair a task force examining methods for improving the efficiency of county government. But even a mind as sharp and quick-witted as O'Reilly's can be challenged when facing off against entrenched politicians and bureaucrats trying to protect their turf.
4 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It's always surprising which columns elicit the biggest reaction from readers. I might think my pieces on health care reform or the Religious Right would trigger a heated reaction, but inevitably it's the ones I consider mostly self-evident and not particularly controversial that kick up the largest shit storm. Let's check out some of my recent correspondence.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
There's an old saying that goes something like, "Once you learn how to ride a bike it's really easy to do it again at any later point in your life." The same can't be said for the education of local transportation planners, who today asked the public what it would take to get more people riding bikes even though it's kind of their job to know that.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Simon Leis Jr.: We knew he couldn't help himself. Just two weeks after CityBeat dubbed him a "winner," Hamilton County's crusty sheriff returned to form by letting his fourth-highest paid employee retire to collect his state pension, then rehired the man for the same job.
3 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Regarding Ric Hickey's recent music story about Duppy A'Jumba, as thrilled as I was to see Duppy get the great ink that they deserve, as the owner of the Crazy Fox Saloon I must take exception to the author's characterization of my tavern’s neighborhood, staff and service.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
TV has taught America a lot about Cincinnati: 1970s sitcoms, '80s rollerblade dramas, '90s drug movies and the 2001 riots gave people a pretty good idea of what we're all about. Now the country has a new perception of us, as MTV's 'Taking the Stage' reality show made our School of Creative and Performing Arts seem like an exciting place full of complicated teenagers and real-life dance-offs.