by Danny Cross
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has already
had a rough week, having to give back more than $100,000 in campaign
contributions in response to an FBI investigation. Today The
Cleveland Plain Dealer's Politifact website looked into
one of the five claims made in Mandel's new 30-second TV ad, and it
seems to be pretty false. Mandel claims that his opponent, Democratic
Sen. Sherrod Brown, “cast the deciding vote on the government
takeover of health care." Politifact notes that since the
health care overhaul passed by the minimum 60 votes necessary, that
every vote was technically “deciding.” But, on the other hand,
Brown was an early supporter of the legislation, and it is widely
known that Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the final “yes” vote to
join. Plus, technically, Brown was the seventh person to vote because
it was taken in alphabetical order.
Ohio public schools have received a
waiver for parts of No Child Left Behind that will remove a
requirement to get all of their students proficient in math and
reading by 2014. Nineteen states have received the waiver, meaning
they'll have to create their own federally approved academic progress
Covington leaders are expecting staff
reductions as part of balancing the 2012-13 budget to cover $1.5
million that was left out. The city is facing $1.6 million in cuts to
public-safety services and about $700,000 across other departments.
Mitt Romney officially won the
Republican presidential nomination yesterday, but no one's talking
about it because all the stories involve Donald Trump and the fact
that his iPhone app misspelled “America.”
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has
two weeks to offer arguments against extradition to Sweden after a
U.K. supreme court ruling.
The makers of Blackberry are
considering how to remake their products into something people will
actually want again.
Facebook's public offering drama has
caused experts to ask questions such as, “should investors see the
wretched performance of Facebook’s IPO as any sort of signal about
the likely future direction of the overall stock market and the
While the rest of us were living our
lives, two asteroids zipped past the earth early this week. Don't
worry — they were small.
by Danny Cross
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has returned
more than $100,000 in campaign contributions in response to an FBI
investigation into 21 donors who had no record of giving to federal
campaigns and many appearing to have low incomes. Mandel, a
Republican, is running against incombent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Mandel's campaign treasurer Kathryn Kessler sent a letter to donors
explaining that any contributions appearing to be under investigation
would be refunded.
From The Toledo Blade:
Although the campaign provided a copy of the letter to The
Blade, it would not explain the timing of the decision or how long it
has been aware of the federal probe.
The Blade revealed the unusual pattern of contributions in
The company's owner, Benjamin Suarez, and 16 of his employees
(plus some of their spouses) gave about $200,000 to Mr. Mandel and
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth) last year. Each of those donors
gave $5,000, the maximum allowable amount, to one or both candidates.
The Ohio Senate yesterday passed new
fracking regulations, and the final version caused some environmental
organizations to change their stance on the bill. The Ohio
Environmental Council and the Sierra Club had both been neutral on
the legislation until changes were made forcing anyone suing over
chemical trade secrets to show current or potential harm, according
to The Enquirer. The regulations are part of Kasich's new energy bill
and easily passed both the Senate and House and is expected to be
signed by Kasich soon.
Cincinnati Public Schools says it will
apply for the latest available federal education grants, which amount
to nearly $700 million. The grants are geared toward helping schools
proceed with reform and innovation.
According to a new poll, President
Obama leads Mitt Romney in Ohio by six percentage points. Wonder if
Obama's “cow pie of distortion” speech had anything to do with
The John Edwards trial has entered day
six of deliberations.
United Nations inspectors have
reportedly found uranium in Iran enriched beyond the highest levels
previously reported. One diplomat said the measure could actually be
a measurement error, though the reading could also mean that Iran is
closer to producing bomb-grade uranium than previously thought.
Scientists might be one step closer to
creating birth control for men after U.K. scientists found a gene
used to enable sperm to mature.
From USA Today: “Profits at big U.S.
companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs.”
Facebook's initial public offering
didn't go entirely as expected, and some investors are getting
refunds after technical problems and other issues marred the
company's first week of trading.
The Reds completed a four-game sweep of
the Atlanta Braves last night, winning their sixth in a row and
overtaking the St. Louis Cardinal for first place in the NL Central.
by Danny Cross
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman
was arrested early Monday morning for driving with a suspended
license in Grove City, outside of Columbus. Chapman, who has
previously purchased vanity plates that read MPH102 and 101MPH based
on his ability to throw a baseball way faster than you're allowed to
drive, was caught doing 93 on I-71.
The Music Hall Revitalization Co. will
meet Thursday to consider its next move after the city of Cincinnati
decided not to sell the historic building to the nonprofit
organization, prompting the resignation of the Revitalization Co.'s
leader. The resident arts organizations issued a joint statement
yesterday offering to work with the city and private donors to revive
the project in some form. Some arts supporters contend that local
philanthropic leaders will not donate to the project while it is city
In the wake of last season's Crosstown
Shootout melee, officials from UC and Xavier have decided to play the
annual game at U.S. Bank Arena for the next two seasons. The behavior
of players and fans will reportedly be evaluated after that time. The
game was scheduled to be played at UC's Fifth Third Arena this year.
The commercial space vehicle today
finally launched after shutting down its first attempt to fly to the
International Space Station without the government's help.
Exploration Technologies Corp.'s SpaceX rocket is scheduled to touch
down on May 25 and could help jumpstart the privatization of space
Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama in
2008, but he's not quite ready to do it again.
Facebook shares went down a little bit
after analysts revised their outlooks.
Fuel economy is more important to
consumers than overall car quality, according to a new survey by
Is Brad Pitt's new film Killing Them
Softly an anti-capitalist screed? Pretty much.
Everything you need to know about
(writer-director Andrew) Dominik's worldview came with a moment in
the news conference in which the Australian said that in his
experience America is largely about making money, and that that went
double for Hollywood.Or, as the film's touchstone piece of
dialogue has it: "America isn't a country -- it's a business.”
Ever wonder what would happen if the NBA rookie of the year dressed up like an old man and played ball with dudes at some random courts, with at least some of the players not knowing what's going on? Wonder no more:
by Danny Cross
After 18 months in the courts, Democrat
Tracie Hunter has won a Hamilton County Juvenile Court judgeship, but
a GOP challenge to the court's acceptance of Hunter's challenge is
likely to follow. Republican John Williams led hunter by 23 votes on
election night 2010, but Hunter filed a lawsuit over provisional
ballots cast at incorrect polling stations that weren't counted. After a
recount of 286 provisional ballots, Hunter moved ahead by 74 votes.
Republican board of election members reportedly plan to argue that
the 286 should not have been recounted.
The Enquirer's Mark Curnutte today
offered an analysis of recently released census data that shows a
steady growth of the regional Hispanic population and a growth of
minority population in areas outside the city that were once largely
white. Cincinnati's data suggests that the city and region are
slightly different than the nation's overall trend, which in 2011 for
the first time found a majority of the country's under 1-year-old
population minority (50.4 percent), up from 49.5 percent in 2010.
Included in The Enquirer's story, which
included a profile of a Mexican-American Florence family that moved
to Northern Kentucky eight years ago from Los Angeles:
A decrease of 1.3 percentage points in Hamilton County’s
black population under 5 was countered by increases in the black
population under 5 in each of the region’s six other core counties:
Butler, Clermont and Warren in Ohio and Boone, Campbell and Kenton in
Overall, the regional population of Hispanic children under 5
years rose from 7,583 in 2010 to 8,032 in 2011, a proportional
increase of 0.4 percentage points to 6.1 percent.
The family of a teenager fatally shot
by a Cincinnati police officer on Fountain Square last summer has
filed a federal lawsuit alleging police used excessive force and
violated 16-year-old Davon Mullins' constitutional rights. Police
say Mullins pulled a handgun, but the lawsuit says he had been
disarmed before officer Oscar Cyranek shot him multiple times.
Cincinnati's Bike Month revelers and
Over-the-Rhine residents received some good news this week when Reser
Bicycle Outfitters announced the opening of an OTR location. The
store could open by June 1 in the 1400 block of Vine Street.
Legislation regulating ownership and
breeding of exotic animals has been approved by the Ohio House Agriculture
and Natural Resources Committee, 17-4. Senate Bill 310 could get
through the full House and Senate next week and be signed by Gov.
John Kasich soon afterward. The ban on the acquisition, sale and
breeding of certain species would take affect 90 days later.
Europe is preparing for Greece to
completely duck out of the Eurozone. The world markets are feeling
Mitt Romney has released his first
general election TV ad. And he's giving cookies to the media.Former Senator John Edwards will learn
his fate today, as a jury was set to deliberate this morning on charges that Edwards used campaign funds to
conceal an affair during his run for president.
More than 200 pages of documents,
photos and audio recordings were released yesterday
offering further details about what happened the night George
Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
The documents include an FBI audio
analysis of the 911 call placed by a resident that captured yells and
screams. Two FBI examiners said they could not determine whether it
was Martin or Zimmerman yelling because of the poor quality of the
recording and the "extreme emotional state" of screamer.
The AP is live-blogging Facebook's
stock market debut. Why does Bono have so much Facebook?
Cell phone maker Nokia has accused
Apple of programming bias into its interactive Siri voice search by
making it answer the question “What is the best smartphone ever?”
by stating “"Wait... there are other phones?" The answer
had apparently previously been “Nokia's Lumia 900.” Apple won't
say whether or not it changed Siri's answer after finding the glitch.
A new study suggests that nighttime
fasting can go a long way toward keeping you slim even if you eat bad
stuff during the day.
Scientists have found a car-sized
The private space launch is scheduled for
4:55 a.m. Saturday, and there will be alcohol involved.
Locals put Cincinnati on the map of steampunk empire
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 25, 2012
“I’m known to many as Aloysius Fox, and I am
actually British,” says the enigmatic founder of The League of
Cincinnati Steampunks. Though role-playing is a significant part of the
literary genre-turned-cultural movement, Aloysius assures that his
charming European swagger is, in fact, authentic (he notes that he moved
to the States from Britain in the mid-1990s).
by Kevin Osborne
Cincinnati's streetcar project manager told City Council Monday that top level officials from the city and Duke Energy are continuing negotiations on who should pay for the relocation of underground utilities for the project. Chris Eilerman, an assistant to the city manager, called the discussions “fruitful.” City officials say some of the cost should fall to Duke as some of the pipes and wiring are old and will need to be eventually replaced regardless of the streetcar project. A CityBeat review of streetcar projects in other cities found that utility companies often paid the entire cost for relocation.About 55 percent of hospitals think they will experience a drop in revenue because of federal health-care reform, according to a new survey. Twelve percent anticipate an increase in revenue and 28 percent don’t know what to expect, according to research by Woburn, a Massachusetts-based benefits consulting firm. The Business Courier reports that Greater Cincinnati hospitals are taking steps to make the best of the reform including forming tight networks with physicians and other providers in order to pursue quality-improvement initiatives the government is promoting.Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig told City Council that some violent crime is the result of lack of parental involvement in their children's lives. At a special council session Monday evening to discuss a recent spike in shootings, Craig said each homicide costs a community millions of dollars in various expenses, so it's in everyone's best interests to try to reduce the crimes.Ohio's tax-credit program for film production has helped create work for thousands of people, and sparked millions of dollars in economic impact, according to a new study. The report, compiled by the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University, estimates that each dollar of state tax breaks results in $1.20 in economic impact. The tax credits have cost the state some $30 million so far, the study reports. The film industry has created more than 9,000 temporary jobs and more than 1,100 full-time jobs in the Buckeye State since 2009.ESPN will shoot a TV commercial promoting its popular College GameDay football show at a campus selected by fans based on online voting. Every college with a Division I football team is eligible to compete for the honor, and the University of Cincinnati is encouraging its fans to participate. Voting in the contest began Monday, and can be done here.In news elsewhere, Republican presidential primaries are being held today in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. A total of 228 delegates are at stake, although frontrunner and presumptive nominee Willard Mitt Romney is expected to easily win the primaries. Of the five states, only Pennsylvania is considered as a swing state that could go either way in November's general election.Facebook's stunning growth might be starting to cool a little. The social media company reported its first quarter-to-quarter revenue decline in at least two years as it prepares to go public in the largest ever Internet IPO. Net income slid 12 percent to $205 million in the quarter, from $233 million a year earlier, which executives blamed on seasonal advertising trends. Facebook is preparing to raise at least $5 billion in an initial public offering that could value the world's largest social network at up to $100 billion.A nonpartisan group that advocates for open government has filed an IRS complaint against a secretive conservative group, alleging it is falsely claiming tax-exempt status while doing widespread lobbying. Common Cause filed the complaint Monday against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has pushed for voter ID and “stand your ground” laws, among many other efforts. "It tells the IRS in its tax returns that it does no lobbying, yet it exists to pass profit-driven legislation in statehouses all over the country that benefits its corporate members," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. The group wants an audit of ALEC's work, penalties and the payment of back taxes.The net flow of Mexicans into the United States has dwindled to a trickle and may now be in reverse, according to a survey by the Pew Hispanic Center. From 2005-10, about 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the U.S., exactly the same number of Mexican immigrants and their US-born children who quit America and moved back or were deported to Mexico. By contrast, in the previous five years, about 3million Mexicans came to the U.S. and fewer than 700,000 left it. Poor economic conditions and an increase in border patrols are being credited with the reversal.Israel has approved three settlements in the occupied West Bank, the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said in a statement. At a meeting late on Monday, a ministerial committee "decided to formalize the status of three communities which were established in the 1990s following the decisions of past governments," the statement said. The formal approval was criticized by Palestinians, who said it's another impediment to peace talks about contested land.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Residents of The Lakes of West
Chester Village apartment complex will soon face $200 fines if Summit
Management Services proves they’re not picking up after their dogs that shit
everywhere. By using its “Poo Prints” DNA program, the owners hope to identify
the culprits and put a stop to the problem.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Obama administration last week gave a total of $90
million to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) and
Uptown Consortium to fund urban growth projects. CINCINNATI +1
Moroccan contractor leaks secret document revealing strange guidelines
Never piss off the proletariat.Upset about his low pay and dismal working conditions, a worker at one of Facebook’s Third World contractors has leaked the social media site’s ultra-secret document about what type of content it censors.Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, worked for an outsourcing firm last year that scanned Facebook members’ pages for banned content. Given Facebook’s profitability, Derkaoui became angry about its stinginess with workers.As a result, Derkaoui gave a copy of Facebook’s internal guidelines about what content it will delete to Gawker, a top Internet gossip site.Some of the forbidden items are obvious like racial slurs, depictions of human or animal mutilation, photographs or cartoons of sexual activity, violent speech and content that organizes or promotes illegal activity.But some of the other verboten items are more unusual, if not downright strange.For example, naked “private parts” including female nipple bulges and butt cracks are forbidden, but male nipples are allowed. The list specifically mentions “mothers breastfeeding” as unacceptable.Also, most depictions of bodily fluids are unacceptable, but not all. It lists “urine, feces, vomit, semen, pus and ear wax" as unacceptable (yes, ear wax). But, it helpfully notes, “cartoon feces, urine and spit are OK; real and cartoon snot is OK.” Well, that's good to know.Other items subject to deletion include cartoon nudity, images of internal organs, bones, muscles, tendons and “deep flesh wounds,” along with “blatant (obvious) depiction of camel toes and moose knuckles.” (Confession: I had to Google “moose knuckle” to know what that meant.)Images of “crushed heads, limbs, etc. are OK,” however, as long as “no insides are showing” and the person posting them doesn’t express delight or gratification.Moreover, all criticism of Ataturk, the founder of the nation of Turkey, along with images depicting the burning of Turkish flags are forbidden. It’s believed this restriction is due to certain European laws that, if violated, could cause the site to be blocked in Turkey.The 17-page manual includes a one-page “cheat sheet” so workers can quickly reference it when making decisions about what to delete.Gawker said Derkaoui found his job through the outsourcing firm oDesk, which provides content moderation services for Facebook and Google. About 50 people across the globe — mostly in Turkey, the Philippines, Mexico and India — work to moderate Facebook content. They work from home in four-hour shifts and earn $1 per hour plus commissions."It's humiliating. They are just exploiting the Third World," Derkaoui told Gawker.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Newt Gingrinch has commandeered the bafflingly popular
trend of conservative politicians using songs in their campaigns by
musicians who would rather have their music soundtrack snuff films.
First, British Funk/Rock group The Heavy found out its hit “How You Like