1 Comment · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Attorney General Mike DeWine says Obamacare infringes on religious liberty, but Republicans just want special economic rules for religious institutions.
by German Lopez
DeWine says DACA recipients should be eligible to obtain driver's licenses
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has been reviewing its
driver’s license policy for the children of illegal immigrants for nearly
two months now, but if it was up to Attorney General Mike DeWine, those
people would already be eligible for driver’s licenses.
In a letter to the Latino Affairs Commission dated to March 19,
DeWine wrote, “It appears that the BMV would have to accept driver’s
license applications from individuals that fall under the Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative because they can provide
all of the information necessary.”
DACA is an executive order signed by President Barack
Obama that allows the children of illegal immigrants to qualify for a
social security number and work permit. According to DeWine, that should
be enough to qualify for an Ohio driver’s license: “With these
documents and any other documents normally required by the BMV, an
individual can provide the BMV with the information necessary to receive
a driver’s license.”
The BMV has been reviewing its driver’s license policy for DACA recipients for nearly two months. A previous CityBeat report
found the BMV is granting driver’s licenses to some of the children of
illegal immigrants, but what qualifies a few and disqualifies others is
DeWine’s letter is not legally binding, but since it’s
coming from the state’s top legal adviser, it could put
pressure on the BMV’s legal team as it continues reviewing the Ohio’s driver’s
“I encourage any citizen who is concerned about a law or
policy to contact their legislators and voice that concern,” DeWine
wrote. “As Attorney General, I do not have the authority to introduce or
vote on legislation.”
CityBeat originally broke the story regarding the
BMV policy through the story of Ever Portillo, who was not able to receive a driver’s license despite being a DACA recipient (“Not Legal Enough,” issue of Feb. 6).
CityBeat later heard stories and received documents showing what seemed to be internal confusion and conflict about the policy at the BMV. Between January and February, there was a
noticeable shift in the BMV’s messaging from flat-out barring DACA
recipients from obtaining driver’s licenses to reviewing the entire
process — a change that might be attributable to the barrage of statewide media coverage on the issue after CityBeat's coverage.
2 Comments · Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Washington, D.C., is once again on the
verge of another manufactured crisis. On March 1, the sequester, a
series of mandated spending cuts, is set to kick in, threatening the
country with another round of austerity measures that will cut jobs and
bring down an already-fragile economy.
by German Lopez
Federal cuts will hurt Ohio, casino revitalizes neighborhood, danger at private prison
The White House released a list
of what cuts will be made in Ohio as part of mandatory spending cuts
set to kick in March 1, which are widely known as the sequester. Among other
changes, 26,000 civilian defense employees would be furloughed, 350
teacher and aide jobs would be put at risk due to $25.1 million in
education cuts and $6.9 million for clean air and water enforcement would
be taken away. President Barack Obama and Democrats have pushed to
replace the sequester with a plan that contains tax changes and budget
cuts, but they’ve failed to reach a compromise with Republicans, who
insist on a plan that only includes spending cuts.
Community Council President David White told WVXU that the
streets and sidewalks of the long-neglected neighborhood of Pendleton
were previously crumbling, but the Horseshoe Casino’s development has helped transform the area.
With Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds, the city has budgeted $6
million in neighborhood development that has led to new trees, expanded
sidewalks and the potential for further developments that will appeal to
A surprise inspection
of the private prison owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)
on Feb. 22 revealed higher levels of violence, inadequate staff, high
presence of gang activity, illegal substance use, frequent extortion and
theft, according to the report from the Correctional Institution
Inspection Committee (CIIC), Ohio’s nonpartisan prison watchdog. The
CIIC report found enormous increases in violence, with a 187.5-percent
increase in inmate-on-inmate violence and 305.9-percent in
inmate-on-staff violence between 2010 and 2012. Many of the problems are
being brought on by inadequate staff, according to the report. The
findings echo much of what privatization critics have been warning about
ever since Gov. John Kasich announced his plans to privatize the state
prison in 2011, which CityBeat covered in-depth here.
Kasich has highlighted funding increases in the education plan in his 2014-2015 budget proposal, but the plan also includes looser requirements for Ohio’s schools.
The plan will remove the teacher salary schedule from law, which sets a
minimum for automatic teacher pay increases for years of service and
educational accomplishments, such as obtaining a master’s degree. It
would also change the minimum school year from 182 days to 920 hours for
elementary students and 1,050 for high school students, giving more
flexibility to schools. CityBeat took an in-depth look at the governor’s budget and some of its education changes here.
Ohio Democrats want to change how the state picks its watchdog.
The governor currently appoints someone to the inspector general
position, but Democrats argue a bipartisan panel should be in charge of
making the pick.
Mayor Mark Mallory is in Spain to meet with CAF, the
company constructing the cars for Cincinnati’s streetcar project. Streetcar opponents, including mayoral candidate John
Cranley, say the cars are being built too early, but the city says it needs the time to build the cars, test them, burn the tracks and
train staff in the cars’ use. CityBeat covered the streetcar and how it relates to the 2013 mayoral race here.
The amount of Ohio prisoners returning to prison after being released hit a new low of 28.7 percent in 2009.
The numbers, which are calculated over a three-year period, indicate an
optimistic trend for the state’s recidivism statistics even before Gov. John
Kasich’s sentencing reform laws were signed into law.
Cincinnati’s real estate brokers say the city manager’s parking plan will revitalize Downtown’s retail scene
by using funds from semi-privatizing Cincinnati’s parking assets to
renovate Tower Place Mall and build a 30-story apartment tower with a
parking garage and grocery store.
The University of Cincinnati was the second-best fundraiser in the state in the past year. On Feb. 20, UC announced it had met its $1 billion goal for its Proudly Cincinnati campaign.
On Saturday, Bradley Manning, the American citizen accused of leaking a
massive stash of diplomatic cables and military reports to WikiLeaks, went through his 1,000th day in U.S. custody without a trial.Popular Science has seven ways sitting is going to kill us all.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Here’s an unfortunate fact for journalism
teachers and angry website commenters all around the world: Reality
sometimes has a bias.
by German Lopez
Obama gives State of the Union, archdiocese defends LGBT firing, Qualls against HUD sale
President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union speech
yesterday. During the speech, Obama outlined fairly liberal proposals for the economy, climate change, gun control and immigration. He also suggested raising the minimum wage to $9 and attaching it to rising cost of living standards. The Washington Post analyzed the proposals here. To watch a bunch of old people clap too much while the
president outlines policy proposals that will likely never pass a
gridlocked Congress, click here.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is standing firm
in its firing of Purcell Marian High School administrator Mike Moroski.
The termination came after Moroski publicly stated his support for
same-sex marriage on his blog — a position that contradicts the Catholic
Church’s teachings. CityBeat covered Moroski’s case in this week’s news story, and gay marriage was covered more broadly in a previous in-depth story.
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls wants to stop
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from selling
768 housing units in Walnut Hills, Avondale and Millvale. Qualls says
the sale is “eerily similar” to a sale dating back to 2007, which
resulted in dropping property values and blighted buildings. She argues local buyers should get a chance to take up the properties before HUD makes the sale to a New York company.
State Treasurer Josh Mandel is up to his old tricks again. In a letter to Ohio legislators Monday, Mandel, a Republican, opposed the Medicaid expansion,
claiming, “There is no free money.” But for the state, the Medicaid
expansion is essentially free money. The federal government will cover
all the costs of the expansion for the first three years, then phase down to paying 90 percent of the costs by 2020 — essentially, free
John Kasich, another Republican, has backed the Medicaid expansion, claiming it makes
financial sense in the long term. In 2012, Mandel lost the race for Ohio’s Senate seat after he ran
a notoriously dishonest campaign against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Financing details for the Brent Spence Bridge are due in March.
The details will provide much-wanted information for local residents
cautious about the new tolling scheme, which will help pay for the bridge’s
Cincinnati officials and residents celebrated
the work completed near the Horseshoe Casino at an event yesterday.
Mayor Mark Mallory highlighted the infrastructure improvements made to
accommodate the casino, calling the work a successful collaboration
between city government, the casino and residents.
The Ohio Resource Center has a new website for K-12 digital content. The website, ilearnOhio, is supposed to provide parents and students with the tools needed for online distance learning.
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is being sued
for not paying rent. The restaurant claims it’s financially viable, but
it’s holding the rent in escrow after its landlord allegedly violated the
leasing agreement. The establishment was one of the first to open at
A public Ohio school district is fighting a lawsuit in order to keep its portrait of Jesus.
The school district claims the portrait is owned by a student club and
is “private speech,” but opponents argue the portrait violates
separation of church and state.
Update on the Alamo situation at Tower Place Mall: Only one tenant remains.
The unofficial spokesman of Heart Attack Grill, the infamous Las Vegas restaurant, died of a heart attack.
Americans expect a human mission to Mars in the next 20 years, but that’s probably because they don’t know how little funding NASA gets.
An asteroid will barely miss
Earth on Feb. 15. If it were to hit, it would generate the explosive
equivalent of 2,500 kilotons of TNT. In comparison, the nuclear bomb
that hit Hiroshima during World War 2 generated a measly equivalent of
17 kilotons of TNT.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
President Barack Obama’s second inauguration or, as it will be remembered,
Michelle Obama’s Bang-auguration
or, perhaps, Beyonce-gate.
I think we can all
agree that most of the event was kind of coma-inducing, right Sasha?
Between all the
swearing-ins and speeches, frozen onlookers and viewers at home were treated to
James Taylor singing “America the Beautiful” and (OK) Kelly Clarkson’s
rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” (meh). Richard Blanco became the first
Hispanic and openly gay as well as the youngest Inauguration poet (pretty cool,
I guess). Sadly, we didn’t get any true diva moments a la Aretha Franklin’s
iconic hat game
of 2009. Of course, not until Beyonce
took the stage for the National Anthem.
Editor’s Note: I really try to not constantly cover
the Beyonce beat, but she keeps being fabulous every damn week.
So Ms. Bey comes
out with a chic black dress, emerald earrings and her weave on-point, and belted out a fabulous National Anthem with enough flair but not too much
Christina Aguilerizing. Joe Biden was all over that shit.
wouldn’t be a true BK moment without a little drama, she ripped out her
earpiece mid-way through, and just kept on going. Note to self: sporadically
rip out earpieces more often in everyday life to show when I mean business. I’m
not sure if anyone really knows what that move means, but within 24 hours of
the Inauguration, everyone went from discussing Michelle’s bangs to accusing
Beyonce of lip synching the performance. Blasphemy! Beyonphemy!
Here’s a raw cut
of her singing via Vanity Fair.
It sounds like may
be singing with a backing track, which I feel like is fair game when performing
in front of a gigantic crowd. But if that’s lip-synching, Bey deserves an
award. That’s the most convincing lip synching I’ve ever seen, and I was the
first place winner for SharonFest’s 1999 “Puttin’ on the Hits” lip synch contest.
From diva drama to
sports scandals, Notre Damer Manti Te’o has been all over the news for the past
week. I don’t follow sports closely enough to have known about Te’o and his
epically tragic story of losing both his grandmother and girlfriend on Sept. 11, 2012 and then immediately hitting the
field and leading the Irish to beat Michigan 20-3. But people love a good,
sappy sports story, so I can understand why the story would get picked
up by Sports Illustrated. This was back in fall 2012, and the story probably
fell off most people's radar within a month or two. But Deadspin
followed up on the story and, in this INSANE investigative piece, discovered that, basically, the “girlfriend” in question never existed,
Te’o got catfished and was probably in on the whole thing. You've heard all about it on the news, but the details in the Deadspin story are absolutely cray.
Our editor Danny
is all about Jose Canseco’s unintentionally hilarious Twitter, but Sammy Sosa is beginning to take the lead in
the battle for the strangest social media accounts. Completely ignoring the
fact that he’s got some kind of Vitiligo thing going on, Sammy’s
Pinterest and Twitter are odd in their own respects. His Twitter info reads: "I
am the real Sammy Sosa. I will always love baseball, but now I'm a businessman
and entrepreneur." And it appears he responds to every tweet that so much as
mentions his name. Over on Pinterest, a site used primarily by women to “pin” and share everything
from recipes and DIY projects to fashion tips and fitness inspiration, Mr. Sosa
has turned it into his personal portrait portfolio.
Yes, most of the images he’s
pinned are photographs of himself posing around various office furniture. Each one is titled, “Sammy Sosa. Yes, I'm the real Sammy Sosa, and this is my Pinterest.”
Every Thursday I
watch Project Runway with my
boyfriend Jeff and our friend John. The design competition (which now, thanks
to Project Runway reboots, is always
on in some capacity, every single week) is on Lifetime, certainly a
female-targeted channel, as embarrassing as that may be for the female population. Additionally, I’d bet PR would draw mostly women on any
channel, and one could tell be just the commercials alone. First off, every
other ad is for Yoplait. The other half can be divided between Weigh Watchers, NuvaRing
and Tampax. Really, what else does a modern woman need? Yahoo (via Bust) has
the answer to this question:
Harmonie Korine‘s latest flick Spring Breakers finally has a trailer out and
never before have you so seriously wanted to see a movie starring ex-Disney starlets and Kevin Federline.
Somehow the Vice
(NSFW) did not make the preview, but they do have a confirmed role in the film.
Normally when a
show gets a One Million Moms protest, I want to watch it even more, but I can officially say for the first
time that I am agreement with these crazy bitches. Oxygen has pulled All My Babies’ Mamas, a reality show that was going to follow rapper Shawty
Lo and the 11 kids he had with 10 different women. Though we’ll never get to
see how the show turned out, it sounds like an extended version of the “Family
Flavors” episode of Flavor of Love. On second
thought, I kinda want to see it now…
And since it’s my
dream to be ?uestlove’s baby mama, here he is with Captian Kirk Douglas as Black
Simon and Garfunkel on Late Night with Jimmy
by German Lopez
Terhar compared Obama's gun control proposals to Hitler quote
Democrats are calling for the resignation of Ohio State Board of Education President Debe Terhar, who compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler in a Facebook post. The Columbus Dispatch reported Terhar
posted an image of Adolf Hitler on her personal Facebook page that read, “Never forget
what this tyrant said: ‘To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.’
— Adolf Hitler.”
Terhar, a Cincinnati Republican, insists she
was not comparing Obama to Hitler. She told The Dispatch that people who know her understand she was describing the “need to step back and think about it and look at history.”When looking at history, there is no evidence Hitler actually said the quote in question. The Nazi leader referenced disarming the “subject races,” according to Hitler's Table Talk, but the direct quote Terhar posted is unverifiable.
“I’m not comparing the president to Adolf Hitler,” Terhar said. “It’s the
thought of disarming citizens, and this has happened throughout history.
What’s the true intention of the Second Amendment? It was to protect us
from a tyrannical government, God forbid.”
Terhar’s stance could have an impact on school policies. She told The Dispatch,
“Schools are gun-free zones. If you have someone who is bent on causing
harm, where are they going to go? To a place where there is little
chance of resistance.”
But when looking at different countries
and states, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found a
correlation between more guns and more homicides. More specifically, men
and women in places with more firearms are at a larger risk for
Terhar was elected Jan. 14 by the 19-member Ohio State Board of Education to serve as president.
0 Comments · Thursday, December 27, 2012
A lot happened in Cincinnati and Ohio in
2012, and, for the most part, the year was good to progressives around
the nation and in Cincinnati.
by German Lopez
Qualls to push for federal gun regulations, UC to renovate Nippert, company rigs bid process
Metal detectors could come back
to City Hall, but local legislators can’t do much more regarding local
gun control. Still, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and other City Council
members will begin pushing for more federal regulations on guns starting
today. President Barack Obama is already beginning to drum up
support for more regulations on guns, including a ban on assault
weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. He also wants to close a
loophole that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows without
background checks. At the state level, a new bill loosening gun regulations in Ohio is facing criticism.
The bill will make it easier to store firearms in cars and allows them for
the first time in parking garages under the Ohio Statehouse and a nearby
office tower. Gov. John Kasich said he will sign the bill.The University of Cincinnati is launching
a fundraising effort for the renovation of Nippert Stadium. The project
could cost as much as $70 million. The university wants to offset as
much of the cost as possible to build premium seating, with the
possibility of 28 new luxury boxes and more than 1,400 premium seats
being added. Goals could change based on demand and fundraising efforts.A Cincinnati-based company and its top executive have pleaded guilty to circumventing Ohio’s competitive bid process. The actions cost Ohio taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars,
according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The company circumvented
the competitive process by submitting multiple bids on road jobs under
different names, creating the illusion of competition. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible candidate for the presidency in 2016, will headline
a Hamilton County GOP event. He will be a featured speaker next month
at the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club's annual pancake
breakfast.The Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy failed to follow its own compensation policies, resulting in improper over-payments of $2,325, according to Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost.Top state officials will begin pushing and outlining school safety efforts in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. State Impact Ohio has a fantastic infographic showing the growth of charter schools in Ohio. In the Cincinnati urban district, charter schools now host 6,642 students.A new state policy will automatically refund businesses when they’ve overpaid their taxes. The first round of the policy will refund businesses in Ohio $13 million.The animal takeover continues. Due to the effects of climate change, some animals are moving into cities. On the bright side, animals can be pretty cute. Here is a dog flipping over its food, and here are cats locked in deadly combat against a printer.