WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Benchmark

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 30, 2013
There was trouble at the University of Cincinnati the night of Aug. 6, 2011. Real, life-and-death trouble.  

Campus Insecurity

5 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
There is a profoundly false sense of security not only on the campus of the University of Cincinnati but also surrounding it, and this isn’t anything new.   
by Andy Brownfield 12.07.2012
Posted In: Privatization, Budget, Community at 03:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Clifton: Private Parking Bad for Business

Head of community group sends letter opposing parking privatization

One of Cincinnati’s largest neighborhoods and business districts is adamantly against a proposed plan to lease the city’s parking systems. A Dec. 7 letter to the mayor from Clifton Town Meeting President Peter Schneider calls the plan “baffling,” “short sighted” and “counter-intuitive.” The city administration wants to lease all Cincinnati parking meters, garages and surface lots for 30 years in exchange for an upfront payment of at least $40 million and a share of the profits. The city wants to use $21 million of the upfront payment to help close a $34 million hole in the upcoming budget. Schneider writes that the proposal is bad for business, making it harder for customers to find cheap or free parking near retail areas like Clifton’s Ludlow Avenue corridor. He also worried that a private operator would ratchet up the price for parking, making the facilities “unidirectional ATM’s (sic) benefiting a third party that provides minimal or no value to the citizens.” Schneider also complains that Cincinnatians have not been given details of the deal or the opportunity to weigh in on it. “It is unconscionable that the City administration would allow a similar plan (to the citizen-defeated red-light cameras) affecting parking meters and services be railroaded through City Hall without the appropriate sunshine and input of the populace,” he wrote. He also compares the proposal to Hamilton County’s mishandling of the stadium deals, claiming that a similar long-term lease is unwise. Schneider ends the letter by admitting that there are some aspects of outsourcing that could be beneficial, such as private management of surface lots or garages or maintenance, but the idea of privatizing everything goes too far.
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 11.14.2012
 
 
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U Square Worker Payment Investigation Continues

Committee members want to change way contracts are written to ensure fair wages

A City Council committee wants Cincinnati’s leadership to investigate whether workers in a Clifton Heights development project are being paid what they’re supposed to. The Strategic Growth Committee on Wednesday passed a motion asking the city administration to report back on wage payments to workers on the U Square development. The project includes a parking garage as well as residential and commercial units. Under Ohio law, workers on projects funded by cities must be paid a prevailing wage, which is equivalent to the wage earned by a union worker on a similar project. The city only has money invested in the garage, and the state  of Ohio recently ruled that workers on other parts don’t have to be paid prevailing wage. Council members Wendell Young, Cecil Thomas and Laure Quinlivan produced a video in which they interviewed carpenters who said they were being paid less than the prevailing wage. At issue is a letter from developer Towne Properties that says the company will pay all workers prevailing wage anyway. Arn Bortz with Towne Properties said his company cuts a check to subcontractors respecting that agreement, so if workers aren’t being paid the proper amount it’s their fault. City Solicitor John Curp told members of the Strategic Growth Committee that under city and state law, the subcontractors are not required to pay workers a prevailing wage on parts of the project that are not getting public funding. He said the letter from the developer does not hold the weight as a legal contract. Young, Thomas, Quinlivan and Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld all expressed the need to overhaul the way the city enters into development contracts to better protect workers. However, City Manager Milton Dohoney hinted that overzealous requirements for high wages could chase off some development projects. He said that a project like U Square is tied to the Clifton location because of its proximity to the University of Cincinnati, but the city can’t be too restrictive when it comes to businesses that could expand elsewhere. Dohoney said the city also doesn’t currently have the manpower to do the kind of aggressive enforcement that the council members were asking for. Councilman Young countered that he would like to see the city be as aggressive with enforcement as they are with making economic development deals. “We want to change the rules of the game to make sure everyone is treated equal,” Young said. 
 
 

Worker Mistreatment Alleged at U-Square Development

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Some members of City Council during a special joint committee meeting Nov. 1 agreed that the city needs to take a hard look at the way it inspects projects done with taxpayer money, but they took no action other than discussing allegations that workers were being underpaid at the University Square development in Clifton.   
by Jac Kern 09.27.2012
Posted In: Events, Music, Movies, Performances at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your (MPMF) Weekend To Do List: 9/27-9/30

Odds are if you’re reading this, you already know all about the 11th annual music festival descending upon OTR and Downtown Cincinnati this weekend. MidPoint Music Festival runs tonight through Saturday, bringing more than 100 local, regional and national musicians to the city. If you still haven’t gotten tickets, planned your schedule and read interviews with artists, find all that good stuff here. There’s more to MPMF than hopping from venue to venue and discovering your new favorite band (though that is an awesome aspect). The MidPoint Midway, which takes over Twelfth Street between Vine and Walnut, is not only the box office location (where you can still purchase three- or one-day tickets) but also features the returning Box Truck Carnival, poster expo, photo booth, food court and more. Here, MPMFers can enjoy box truck gallery exhibits, improv shows, an arcade and more interactive activities between concerts each day. Just down the street at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Midland Film Institute presents the first MidPoint Film Festival, featuring local, independent and cult films (ahem, Human Centipede double feature). It’s a great sign that MPMF has expanded beyond music to incorporate art, film, theater and more entertainment — there’s quite literally something for everyone, from children to hip kids to old timers. Read more about the carnival and film fest here. When you’re all MPMF-ed out, there’s even more happening around town. Amid the MidPoint action, Night Owl Market returns to the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. Grub out on goodies from local food trucks like SugarSnap!, New Orleans To Go and C’est Cheese from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Vendors will also be on hand hawking goods each night. Remember our cover story on the area steampunk trend? The antiqued-futuristic creatives who brought the Steampunk Symposium to Cincinnati present Pandoracon Friday-Sunday. Whether you’re into comics, sci-fi, anime, cosplay or anything in between, there’s a nerd in all of us that wants to come out and play at Pandoracon. Meet fantasy artists and authors, geek out in the game room, dress in costume, watch sideshow circus acts and stop by what are sure to be some of the craziest hotel parties — all at Blue Ash’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. There are tons of events all weekend long, so go here for more info and tickets. This weekend is locals’ last chance to celebrate Oktoberfest this year with Newport on the Levee’s festival running Friday-Sunday. Enjoy live music, traditional dancers and all the beer and schnitzel you can stomach. Find a full rundown of events and menus here. From UC students and grads to retired hippies to skater kids, Clifton has been home to many of us at one point or another, and the neighborhood holds special memories for most who have visited. Make more during A Weekend in Clifton, a celebration of Ludlow Avenue and its surroundings. The street will be closed from 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday to accommodate Cliftonfest — featuring vendors, live music and artists — and the 10th annual StreetScapes street-painting bash.
 
 

Missing Link

Residents, nearby businesses lament delayed reopening of Clifton IGA

16 Comments · Wednesday, May 9, 2012
In January of 2011, Keller’s IGA on Ludlow Avenue closed its doors, leaving Clifton residents devastated. For those who believe “devastated” to be too strong of a word, simply ask residents how much the store is missed orb visit the numerous posts on Facebook asking about the store’s reopening or watch the YouTube videos of the passionate pleas to Ohio Gov. John Kasich to save the store.    

The Heights Music Fest Returns Next Week

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Since it’s such a huge, kick-ass music festival that spotlights the newest and best of the local, original music scene from several genres, we thought we’d give you a little heads up on next week’s Clifton Heights Music Festival so you can make plans early.   

Triple Trouble on Rohs Street

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Singer/songwriter Holly Spears celebrates the release of her first full-length album, Heartache to Hope, at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley this Friday.  

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