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
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Westboro Baptist Church came to town
today to protest at Oak Hills High School and Miami University over
“what the queers are doing to our soil.” When asked to comment on how
exactly homosexuals have ruined the soil around any large U.S. city with
a big underground homosexual population, a Westboro representative said
the queers are in it with the aliens building landing strips for gay
martians and then got really frustrated trying to explain how burrow
owls live in the ground.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Steve Chabot banned cameras from a town hall meeting in Green Township for “security purposes.” Chabot then advised residents to fight a new plan to add public housing units to the neighborhood, though his speech was reportedly cut short when he saw a guy playing “Angry Birds” on a cell phone and thought he was recording a video and laughing.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For most people, a visit to a Taco Bell restaurant is an infrequent occurrence, normally undertaken late at night after several hours of bad decisions (were you wasted or do you really believe there’s supposed to be a “fourth meal?”). As such, there’s generally little backlash when a menu item is accompanied by a surprise ingredient: “Dude, my burrito has Fritos in it … and it’s fucking delicious.”
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The Cincinnati Reds today honored Hit King Pete Rose on the 25th anniversary of his record-breaking 4,192nd hit, only the second time Rose has participated in an on-field activity here since his lifetime banishment in 1989 for betting on baseball. Rose afterwards attended a roast in his honor, during which he gave an emotional speech and was subsequently reinstated to Major League Baseball.
1 Comment · Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My Facebook status on Jan. 8: "I drove home calmly and safely, keeping the RPMs low as I navigated the steep hills. I stepped into enormous silence, so brilliantly alone, with the snow moving, but seeming so still all around me. I opened my mouth to taste and to let out a deep laugh. A perfect moment: I am grateful for this solitude."