WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 02.25.2013
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

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 new businesses. 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.
 
 

Two-Sided Story Syndrome

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 02.13.2013
 
 
barack obama 2

Morning News and Stuff

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 money. Gov. 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 reconstruction. 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 The Banks. 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 01.24.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Goddam wind, Performances, Music, Movies at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Monday was 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. Because it 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. Truth. 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: Controversial filmmaker 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 twins (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 Fallon.
 
 
by German Lopez 01.22.2013
Posted In: Education, News, Barack Obama, Democrats, Republicans at 02:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Democrats Call for School Board President's Resignation

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 gun-related homicide. Terhar was elected Jan. 14 by the 19-member Ohio State Board of Education to serve as president.
 
 

Extra! Extra! 2012 Didn’t Suck

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 12.19.2012
 
 
qualls

Morning News and Stuff

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.
 
 

Cincinnati vs. The World 11.14.2012

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
An Oklahoma cop thought it fit to ticket the mother of Dillan, a 3-year-old in the process of potty-training, for $2,500 after he had an urge to go and peed in his family’s own front yard. WORLD -1   

Camille Paglia's Inclusive 'Journey Through Art'

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Long an incisive cultural critic, a dedicated teacher and a nimble-minded writer, Camille Paglia is known for her polarizing opinions on everything from politics (she’s voting Green Party this year) to pop culture (she recently confessed her love for Real Housewives of New Jersey, which she says is a more accurate depiction of the state’s residents than The Sopranos, which she hated).  
by German Lopez 11.09.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Barack Obama, News at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Obama Cries While Thanking Volunteers

President says staff will go on to do “amazing things”

Just a day after securing his next four-year term, President Barack Obama had a heartfelt moment with campaign volunteers in Chicago. While thanking his staff, Obama said they were better than he was when he compared their experiences and accomplishments to what he did as a community organizer in the 1980s. He said he had no doubt his staff would go on to do “amazing things.”The Obama team has gained fame for its highly advanced campaign. It used a team of data crunchers for almost every decision, which TIME covered in a post-election look.Watch the video:
 
 

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