Streetcars could be rolling along downtown streets in Cincinnati in just a few years. After years of proposals and studies, city officials are lining up financing for the first phase. The plan calls for modern streetcars running on tracks with quiet electric motors that get their power from overhead wires.
If its true that misery loves company, then you might think two groups of people used to being prejudged and scorned just for who they are might be more sympathetic to each other. Thats not the case for Cincinnatis black and gay communities, at least if you listen to Christopher Smitherman, president of the local NAACP chapter.
Call it a bad omen. As I traveled along I-71, I saw it, creeping out of the horizon in a butterscotch mass of grizzled fur: a cocker spaniel in its final resting place along the side of the highway. The family dog probably. Surrounded by medians, he must have fallen out of a car. That doesn’t happen in normal times, I thought, eyes wide. In normal times, you watch him just a little bit closer.
In a move that’s raised eyebrows across the political spectrum, the president of the NAACP’s Cincinnati chapter has given a board appointment to an arch-conservative legal activist who has a history of working on anti-gay rights causes.
For all the recent headlines about tainted toys from China and contaminated peanut butter in snacks, public health hazards caused by everyday items are nothing new. In fact, the U.S. has a long and tragic history involving scares caused by overzealous entrepreneurs making profits at the expense of consumers while politicians turn a blind eye — until outrage builds and action finally is demanded.
Progressive cities fare much better than the stodgy ones. And being stodgy typically breeds stifling behavior and uniformity antithetical to today’s urban dwellers and anyone else looking for a unique city-living experience. Boy, Cincinnati still rates pretty high on the “stodgy” meter.
My hero in the Cincinnati world of responsible journalism has been CityBeat until I read the article “Being Neighborly” (issue of Jan. 21), which contains many inaccuracies and misleading statements about Invest in Neighborhoods (IIN).
The streetcar proposal is an economic driver for our city. Businesses will want to locate on the route, and citizens will want to live close to it too. The addition — I should say reintroduction — of streetcars will be a boon for visitors to our city by connecting our various destinations on an easy-to-use and well-laid-out route.
Young professionals, the creative class, punks who think they own the city … whatever you call them or want to be called, these twenty- and thirty- and sometimes as late as freshly fiftysomethings have been recognized as a key demographic for keeping Greater Cincinnati competitive in a global marketplace.