WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 04.09.2013
Posted In: News, Budget, Streetcar, Health care at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Local casino tops revenue, streetcar could get new director, Medicaid expansion to fail

Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino topped state casino revenues last month, translating to $1.4 million in casino tax revenue for the city in March. If the trend holds — a huge if, considering March was opening month for the Horseshoe Casino — the city would get $16.8 million a year, which would be above previous estimates from the state and city but below estimates presented in mayoral candidate John Cranley’s budget plan. Cranley and other city officials say casino revenue could be used to avoid laying off cops and firefighters to balance the budget, but the city manager’s office says it wouldn’t be enough.Two City Council decisions yesterday will allow the current project manager for The Banks to take over the streetcar project. The two 5-4 decisions from City Council came in the middle of a tense budget debate that could end with the layoff of 344 city employees, including 189 cops and 80 firefighters. But John Deatrick, who could be hired as executive director of the streetcar project as a result of the measures, says his salary would come from the capital budget, which is separate from the general fund that needs to be balanced in light of structural deficit problems. House Republicans are poised to reject Gov. John Kasich’s proposed Medicaid expansion. The expansion, which was part of Kasich’s 2014-2015 budget proposal, would have saved the state money and insured 456,000 Ohioans by 2022, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. But it would have done so mostly with federal funds, which state legislators worry will not be there years down the line. The Medicaid expansion was one of the few aspects of Kasich’s budget that state Democrats supported. CityBeat covered Kasich’s budget in further detail here. PolitiFact Ohio gave Kasich a “Pants on Fire” rating for his claim that his transportation budget and Ohio Turnpike plan “would make sure we have lower tolls than we’ve had through the history of the turnpike.” PolitiFact explains: “Yes, the bill aims to keep tolls from rising faster than the pace of inflation -- a practice that would stand in contrast to KPMG’s findings from the past 20 years. And, yes, the bill freezes tolls for 10 years on a small, targeted cross-section of turnpike users. But not only are higher tolls a part of Kasich’s plan, they are integral to the concept. The increased revenue will allow the state to issue bonds to finance other projects. Furthermore, the inflation cap is not written into the law, and the state has an out from the local EZ-Pass freeze.” Melissa Wegman will be the third Republican to enter the City Council race. Wegman is a first-time candidate and businesswoman from East Price Hill. She will be joining fellow Republicans Amy Murray and incumbent Charlie Winburn.The struggling Kenwood Towne Place will be renamed Kenwood Collection as part of a broader redesign. One program in President Barack Obama’s budget plan would task NASA with pulling asteroids to our moon’s orbit, where the asteroids could then be studied and mined. The Obama administration says the program will only involve small asteroids, so big, killer asteroids will not be purposely hurled towards Earth. New evidence suggests some two-legged dinosaurs were strong swimmers, further proving that unless we have extra asteroids to cause an extinction event, we might want to leave them dead.
 
 
by German Lopez 02.27.2013
at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Findlay Market ideal for restroom, Kasich cuts local funding, The Banks exceeds goals

A report issued by Director of Public Services Michael Robinson found Findlay Market would be the best place for a freestanding public restroom, which could cost as little as $35,000. The idea has been heavily pushed by Councilman Chris Seelbach, who has argued that the restrooms are necessary to accommodate a growing population and wider activity in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. A new Policy Matters Ohio report found local government funding has been reduced by $1.4 billion since Gov. John Kasich took office, leading to a nearly 50-percent reduction in state funding. Most of the cuts came from the elimination of the estate tax, which would have provided $625.3 million to local governments in the 2014-2015 budget, but it was repealed in 2011 by the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature and Kasich. When presenting his 2013 budget proposal, City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. said the state funding reductions cost Cincinnati $22.2 million in revenues for the year. In 2012, the team behind The Banks’ public construction met or exceeded all four major project goals, according to the annual report from The Banks Public Partnership. Contractors installed public safety technologies throughout the intermodal transit center and parking facility, awarded a trade contract for a new Pete Rose Way pedestrian bridge and walkway and prepared design and funding documents for a river walk along the Ohio River. The project has also gone more than 400,000 hours without a lost-time accident. The Banks previously won what John Deatrick, project executive, called the “Oscar” of planning awards, which CityBeat covered here. City Council delayed a vote on opposing the sale of more than 700 Section 8 units in Avondale, Walnut Hills and Millvale because they want meet with the firm buying the units first. City officials have scheduled the meeting for next week. CityBeat previously covered Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls’ opposition to the deal here. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency lifted a requirement that forced any new sewer development that added waste water to the county’s overall system to offset its gains with a fourfold reduction in storm water taken in. BuzzFeed, the popular viral video and pop culture website, listed the Cincinnati Public Library as No. 28 on the list “The 30 Best Places To Be If You Love Books.” Ohio’s imprisonment of fewer youth may be part of a nationwide trend. Three Cincinnati area businesses made Interactive Health’s “Healthiest Companies in America”: Standard Textile Inc., Totes-Isotoner and American Modern Insurance Group. Mercy Health’s Anderson and Fairfield branches made the Truven Health Analytics ranking released this week, putting the two hospitals among the nation’s best. Omya Inc. is receiving a five-year, 40-percent tax credit for completing a consolidation of its regional headquarters to Cincinnati, which should create 25 full-time jobs and generate $1.4 million in annual payroll. Breaking news: Teenagers are horny. Headline from The Cincinnati Enquirer: “Hundreds of Madeira High students involved in sexting?” A Dayton donut shop is apparently one of the best in the nation, according to Saveur magazine. Do video games cause violence? Apparently, the debate is a lot more complicated than most people think. Mouse brain cells can live longer than the mice they came from.
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: Feb. 13-19

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 20, 2013
SUNDAY FEB. 17: Today marks the 50th birthday of basketball star and cultural icon, His Airness, Michael Jordan. As one of the most exciting and dominant athletes ever, Jordan won titles at the collegiate and pro levels, was an All Star like 29 times and notably saved the human race from alien criminals in Space Jam.    

Bank On It

Once-stalled Banks Project wins development award; leaders look ahead to new phases

1 Comment · Wednesday, January 16, 2013
John Deatrick seems genuinely excited and proud to be part of the riverfront project receiving the American Planning Association’s (APA) 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation, announced Jan. 9.   
by Jac Kern 07.26.2012
at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Whenever I hear about laser night at planetariums, I immediately think of Freaks and Geeks. Lindsay and the crew would go to Laser Dome and hang out/make out under squiggly beams set to Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. You can pretend it’s 1980, too, as Drake Planetarium presents Laser Beatles, 8-9 p.m. Making out optional. Mystery novelist and New York Times-bestselling author Alex Kava will discuss and sign her latest book, Fireproof, tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Rookwood Commons). Like her past mysteries, Kava’s latest follows FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell, this time as she investigates and tracks down a dangerous arsonist. The event begins at 7 p.m. The Clermont County Fair continues tonight with a petting zoo, carnival rides, deep-fried comfort food and live music. Tonight’s lineup features a pie auction and demolition derby. Yes, please! Chic.lits (“fashionable friends of fine art, fine reading and the Mercantile Library) present a screening of the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice tonight at the Merc. Doors open at 6:30 for the 7 p.m. showing and admission is $5 (free for members). Salsa on the Square takes over downtown from 7-10 p.m. tonight. Come for the live tunes from Son del Caribe, stay for the free dance lessons — expert Salsa dancers are always on hand to give tips and show you the basics. Over in Washington Park, it’s Jazz night. Enjoy a free concert by The Chris Comber Quintet, 7-9 p.m.Update: Live After Five at The Banks has been postponed due to heat and possible storms. The event will be rescheduled in August.
 
 

Crave (Review)

New Banks eatery has something for everyone

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Crave offers everything from sushi to steaks and ribs to seafood and even pizza. To do all these things well, you’d think they would need a decked-out kitchen, a fully staffed sushi bar and a dedicated pizza oven — maybe even wood-burning. Check, check and check.   
by Jac Kern 05.31.2012
at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Streetfilms Film Festival takes over Emery Theatre tonight for a party and showcase of films from locals and creatives from around the world. Since 2006, Streetfilms has been producing short films about how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play. The organization has traveled across the globe documenting solutions to “the problem of automobile dependency.” The films featured at tonight's free event will all fit that theme. The party kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Snacks and drinks (booze) will be available for purchase.The highly anticipated World Choir Games are just over a month away, and the city is celebrating tonight with the premiere of “Cincinnati Singing,” a star-studded, Cincy-centric music video. Nick Lachey, Jerry Springer, Bootsy Collins and others are featured in the video with iconic shots of the city. Check out the video on Fountain Square tonight at 5 p.m. with Mayor Mark Mallory, councilmembers, Cincinnati Pops Director John Morris Russell and more, and take a peek below.. The free event will also feature performances by American Idol's Eben Franckewitz and several area choirs.After that sing-stravaganza, walk over to Live After Five, a new weekly summer street festival at The Banks that kicks off tonight. Freedom Way will close each Thursday (except July 5) from 5-8 p.m. for a free evening of live music and after-work drinks. Check out local faves The Rusty Griswolds as you sip the Leinenkugel mix of the night: “Pink Lemonade,” a mix of Summer Shandy and Berry Weiss. YUM.The Fringe Festival keeps on cranking out the fun and freaky performances tonight. Find the entire festival lineup here.
 
 

Cincinnati vs. The World 5.30.12

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Los Angeles last week became the largest city in the U.S. to officially ban use of plastic bags, following the lead of 47 other California municipalities.   
by Danny Cross 05.23.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

We Are Ohio, the organization that helped repeal SB5 last year, says it will team up with nonpartisan Ohio Voters First to help put on the November ballot a constitutional amendment that would change the way legislative and congressional districts are drawn. The effort is in response to Republican-drawn redistricting maps that attempted to create 12 solidly GOP districts and four Democratic districts. The proposal calls for a nonpartisan commission to redraw legislative and congressional boundaries rather than letting politicians and anyone who gives them money do it. The University of Cincinnati has released a study showing a considerable economic impact from construction of The Banks. Between construction contractors, new residents and visitors to the area's restaurants, the development reportedly will impact the local economy by more than $90 million a year. The parent company of Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino will host two informational sessions this week to offer local vendors information on how to bid on contracts for supplies and services the entertainment complex will need. The first takes place 6 p.m. tonight at Bell Events Centre near the casino site at 444 Reading Road, and the second is 9 a.m. Thursday at Great American Ball Park. The Enquirer on Tuesday reported that the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University have agreed to move the Crosstown Shootout to U.S. Bank Arena for two years in response to last year's massive brawl. NBC Sports today reported that the presents of both universities issued a press release in response, stating that no final decision had been made. The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University were both surprised to see today’s announcement concerning the future of the Crosstown Shootout. While both schools are committed to the future of the Crosstown rivalry, specific discussions are ongoing and no details have been finalized. We look forward to sharing our plans with the community at an appropriate time in the coming weeks. If it does happen, The Enquirer's Bill Koch says it's reasonable, while Paul Daugherty says that's fine but kind of dumb. President Obama is finding it rather difficult to even win primaries against nobodies in the South. Not that it's surprise or really matters, though. Of course, there are reasons for these kinds of returns. Few Democrats are voting in these primaries where Obama faces only token opposition; only protest voters are truly motivated. There's also the fact that Obama is an underdog to Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the states of Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia; Obama lost all three in 2008 to John McCain. Another potential factor: Race. Just when you thought Sarah Palin was super reliable, she goes and backs a Utah Republican incumbent over a tea party supported candidate. The John Edwards jury entered its fourth day of deliberations today because they need to see more prosecution exhibits. A white supremacist was sentenced to 40 years in jail by a federal judge for a 2004 package bomb attack that injured a black city administrator in Arizona. European researchers say they can figure out if Bigfoot really existed, if they can just get one of his hairs. The film version of On the Road premiered at the Cannes Film Festival today, 55 years after Jack Kerouac's Beat Generation-defining novel was published. London's The Guardian says the “handsome shots and touching sadness don't compensate for the tedious air of self-congratulation in Walter Salles's road movie.”
 
 

Asian Food Fest Comes to The Banks

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
One of my favorite foodie events of the year is coming to The Banks this weekend. I almost hate to report this, since it’s been a best-kept secret, but the Asian Food Fest is a don’t-miss.    

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