Gabrielle Giffords visits Cincinnati to support responsible state gun legislation after NRA defeats federal attempts
4 Comments · Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Gun control advocates lobby for legislation, even as it falters at the federal level.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will
appear in Thursday’s Northside 4th of July Parade as part of a
nationwide tour supporting responsible gun legislation.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Radical anti-abortion group Personhood Ohio tried
fundraising for its cause — to outlaw all abortions — by selling assault
rifles. CINCINNATI -2
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A new bill may weaken Ohio's restrictions for semi-automatic weapons.
by German Lopez
Ohioans support Medicaid, bill would ease gun rules, Smitherman steps down from NAACP
Got questions for CityBeat about anything related to Cincinnati? Submit your questions here and we’ll try to get back to you in our first Answers Issue.
CityBeat is looking to talk to convicted drug offenders
from Ohio for an upcoming cover story. If you’d like to participate or
know anyone willing to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new poll from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati found a majority of Ohioans support expanding Medicaid coverage,
but state legislators have passed on a federally funded expansion in
their latest budget bills and other legislation. About 63 percent of 866
Ohioans asked between May 19 and June 2
supported the expansion, with a margin of error of 3.3 percent. The
question was part of the Ohio Health Issues Poll, which the University
of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research has conducted for the
Health Foundation each year since 2005.
An Ohio bill would ease restrictions on semi-automatic magazines,
making it so gun owners can more easily purchase high-round clips for
their semi-automatic weapons. Supporters of the bill say the change helps
differentiate between automatic and semi-automatic weapons — a
differentiation that doesn’t currently occur under state law. Critics
argue the bill makes it easier for offenders to carry out violent
shootings, such as the recent massacre in Sandy Hook
Councilman Chris Smitherman is stepping down
as president of the local branch of the NAACP while he runs for
re-election. If he wins the election, Smitherman will then offer his resignation, which the NAACP's local executive committee can accept or reject. James Clingman, a vice president of the NAACP and founder
of the Greater Cincinnati African-American Chamber of Commerce, will
take Smitherman's spot for the time being. Before the move, Smitherman was criticized for engaging in
partisan political activity as he ran for re-election, which is
generally looked down upon by the NAACP and federal rules regarding
501(c)(3) organization like the federal branch of the NAACP.
The world’s most advanced solar plane touched down in Cincinnati Friday before continuing its record-breaking journey across the nation to Washington, D.C.
Apparently, cities with more room to grow actually grow more. For Cincinnati, that could be a good sign as the city moves to build more apartments.
The Columbus Dispatch says Internet cafes make gambling more convenient and accessible to problematic gamblers. As a result of recently passed legislation, Internet cafes are being effectively shut down around the state.
Ohio gas prices are coming back down.
If someone wants to get away from the U.S. government, Popular Science has a few suggestions.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology built a robot that helps people be less awkward.
by Hannah McCartney
Bill would remove language monitoring sizes of magazines
Six months ago today, 26 children and adults were slaughtered at the hands of Adam Lanza and a semi-automatic Bushmaster XM12 E2S rifle inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., one of the deadliest school shooting massacres in U.S. history. As parents, friends, family and gun control advocates around the country mourn and commemorate the loss of life, Ohio gun rights advocates are worried about something else. Their concern: how to make it easier for Ohio citizens to obtain high-round magazines for their semi-automatic weapons.A new Ohio House Bill introduced by State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township) could, if passed, allow people to purchase high-round magazines for semi-automatic weapons, removing language from the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) that currently restricts use of magazines exceeding 31 rounds for semi-automatic weapons. Specifically, the proposed bill would remove the definition of "automatic firearm" from section 2923.11 from the ORC that currently qualifies a weapon traditionally defined as a semi-automatic firearm (which operated by firing only once for each pull of the trigger) as an automatic firearm under Ohio law when used with a magazine holding greater than 31 rounds of ammunition. Gun rights advocates are in favor of deleting the line because qualifying a semi-automatic as an automatic weapon under Ohio law (dependent on magazine size) subjects gun owners to greater background checks and stricter purchasing restrictions, which they consider an unlawful hassle and burden. Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, says that the sentence Becker has proposed to remove is one that inherently conflicts the actual definition of an automatic weapon; he says it doesn't make sense to qualify a semi-automatic weapon under the same umbrella as an automatic weapon when the two are entirely different types of firearms. He says that the issue is one of convenience for most semi-automatic gun owners, including himself. "Loading up magazines can take time," he says. "When I go to the shooting range I want to use my time up shooting, not reloading." That extra time, though, is exactly the point of the wording in the ORC, explains Toby Hoover, executive director for the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. Limited magazines were what eventually stopped the Arizona gunman who shot former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords because a bystander was able to attack the shooter when he dropped a magazine while trying to reload. Hoover asserts that gun rights advocates like Irvine are being subversive in their reasons for wanting to change the changed law. She says the legal issue is not that the ORC is trying to directly equate semi-automatic weapons to automatic weapons — they clearly operate differently — but that grouping them together using that magazine restriction is a common-sense way to define them both as dangerous, unnecessary forms of firearms that simply shouldn't be readily accessible to the average gun owner. Semi-automatic weapons are extremely easy to purchase in Ohio, she says, while purchasing automatic weapons involves many more complicated restrictions and regulations. "I'm just really upset with the way they [Ohio Republicans and gun lobbyists] are ignoring the fact that people in Ohio want gun restrictions. They're just going the opposite direction," she says. "If they're really concerned about the wording of the law, just have them maybe separate the definitions but keep the restrictions the same." Ohio is one of several states monitor magazine limits on semi-automatic weapons, she explains, so it's not unusual at all that the ORC does so. Adam Lanza, Sandy Hook's shooter, had several 30-round magazines on him and was also carrying two handguns. It's estimated he used somewhere between four and 10 magazines during the shootings, which took place over a matter of minutes. The bill has been assigned to the House's Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security committee, where it currently awaits hearing
by German Lopez
Budget pushes conservative policy, moms demand action on guns, mayor shrinking budget
For this week’s cover story, CityBeat analyzed the Ohio House budget bill that would defund
Planned Parenthood, fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers and forgo the
Medicaid expansion in favor of broader reforms. The bill passed the Republican-controlled Ohio House last week, but it still needs to be approved by the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate and Republican Gov. John Kasich. Ohio Senate President Keith
Faber announced yesterday that the Ohio Senate will not move forward
with the Medicaid expansion — a sign the Ohio Senate is agreeing with the Ohio House on that issue.
Facing the recent wave of deadly gun attacks around the nation, some moms have banded together to demand action. Moms Demand Action is using its political clout to push gun control legislation at a federal level, but it’s also promoting grassroots campaigns in cities and states around the nation.
Contrary to The Cincinnati Enquirer’s “exclusive” story, the mayor’s office is actually shrinking its budget
by $33,000 between July 1 and Dec. 1 despite plans to give some
employees raises. The mayor’s office says the raises are necessary
because the employees will be taken a bigger workload to make up for
reduced staff levels, but the budgetary moves will save money overall.
Originally, The Enquirer reported the raises without noting the savings in the
rest of the budget plan, inspiring a wave of angry emails from readers
to the mayor’s office through The Enquirer’s “tell them what you think” tool.
This week’s commentary: “Streetcar’s No. 1 Problem: Obstructionism.”
At the NAACP meeting today, members will ask independent Councilman Chris Smitherman to step down from his leadership position. The disgruntled members told The Enquirer
that Smitherman, who is an opponent of the streetcar and often partners
up with the conservative Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and
Taxes (COAST), is using the NAACP for his “personal and political
agenda,” not civil rights. Smitherman told The Enquirer to focus
on the legitimate work of the NAACP instead of a potential coup that he
says isn’t newsworthy. Smitherman will not allow media into today’s
City Council unanimously passed a resolution
yesterday to oppose anti-union laws that are misleadingly called “right
to work” laws. The laws earned their name after a decades-long spin campaign from big businesses that oppose unions, but the laws’ real purpose is weakening unions
by banning collective bargaining agreements that require workers to join
unions and pay dues. The City Council resolution has no legal weight;
it simply tells higher levels of government to not pass the anti-union law.
Metro’s budget would need to increase by two-thirds
to implements the bus and public transportation agency’s long-range plan, which would add rapid
transit lines, other routes and sheltered transit centers with more
Two Cincinnati economic entities are getting federal funds:
The Cincinnati Development Fund will get $35 million to invest in
brownfield redevelopment, nutritional access and educational
improvements, and Kroger Community Development Entity will get $20
million to increase low-income access to fresh and nutritional foods and
fund redevelopment projects.
As expected, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald officially announced yesterday that he will run for governor against Kasich in 2014.
Kasich appointed former State Rep. John Carey to head the Ohio Board of Regents,
which manages the state’s public university system. Carey says his
biggest goal will be to better align higher education opportunities with
jobs that are available in Ohio.
Sen. Sherrod Brown is unveiling a bill that would effectively break up the big banks by imposing strict capital limits and other rules. CityBeat wrote about Brown’s efforts here.
In a blog post
yesterday, Rep. Steve Chabot, a Cincinnati Republican, criticized
President Barack Obama for not calling the Boston bombers “Islamic
jihadists.” Public officials typically do not publicly jump to
conclusions in the middle of an ongoing investigation.
A new app gives you an automatic nose job.
Researchers are developing a solar dish that produces electricity and fresh water at the same time.
Nationwide coalition of moms lobbying for common-sense gun law reform grows local roots
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A group of mothers is trying to put a stop to gun violence after recent events have shocked the nation by demanding action.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Cincinnati Republican Bill Seitz in an interview with The Wall Street Journal compared Ohio’s energy efficiency laws to former Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin’s five-year plan. CINCINNATI -1
by German Lopez
Judge halts council's parking plan, city's deficit options, gun records could be sealed
City Council approved a plan
to lease the city’s parking assets to the Port of Greater Cincinnati
Development Authority, but the plan is now being held up by a judge’s
temporary restraining order (TRO). The plan was passed with an emergency
clause, which is meant to expedite the plan’s implementation, but it
also makes the law immune to referendum. The judge’s TRO, which will
delay implementation for at least one week, will provide enough time to
process a lawsuit filed by Curt Hartman, an attorney who represents the
Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), on behalf of
local activists who oppose the plan and argue it should be subject to
referendum. The parking plan will lease the city’s parking assets to
fund development projects, including a 30-story tower and a downtown
grocery store, and help balance the deficit for the next two fiscal
years. Opponents say they’re concerned about the plan leading to parking
rate hikes, and they say the plan will not fix the city’s structural
Before the final vote on the parking plan, City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. gave a presentation
to City Council that showed options for reducing Cincinnati’s
structural deficit, including a reduction or elimination of
lower-ranked programs in the city’s Priority-Driven Budgeting Process, a
reduction in subsidies to health clinics that are getting more money
from Obamacare, the semi-automation of solid waste collection or the
introduction of new or increased fees for certain programs, among other
Ohio senators are pushing a law that would make records of people licensed to carry concealed firearms in Ohio off-limits to journalists.
The senators say they were inspired to push the law after a New York
newspaper published the names and addresses of permit holders in three
counties. Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper
Association, says the law will decrease government transparency and
limit rights: “I wish the pro-gun forces would be as respectful of the
First Amendment as they are of the second, and they should be fearful of
excessive government secrecy.”
The superintendent and treasurer of the Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy, a charter school, were indicted
after allegedly using school funds to go to “Girls weekends” in
Chicago, sightseeing tours through California and Europe and a trip to
Boston to see Oprah — allegedly costing taxpayers more than $148,000. Dave Yost, state auditor, said in a statement, “The
audacity of these school officials is appalling. The good work by our
auditors and investigators has built the strongest possible case to
ensure they can never use the public treasury as their personal travel
The Ohio Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are working together
to make the case that any delays in the Brent Spence Bridge project
will hurt Greater Cincinnati’s economy. Most people involved in the
issue agree the bridge needs rebuilding, but not everyone agrees on how
the project should be funded. Northern Kentucky politicians in
particular have strongly opposed instituting tolls — one of the leading
ideas for funding the project.
In public hearings yesterday, service industry officials
said Gov. John Kasich’s budget plan, which will expand the state’s sales
tax to apply to more service, would drive some service providers out of Ohio
and make the state less competitive. Among other complaints, Carter
Strang, president of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, said
the plan could make it harder for Ohioans to access legal counsel by
increasing costs and reducing employment in the legal sector. CityBeat covered Kasich’s budget proposal in detail here.
State Auditor Yost filed a subpoena
to get JobsOhio’s financial records after the agency failed to turn
them over. The subpoena puts Yost at odds with Kasich, a fellow
Republican who established JobsOhio, a nonprofit company, in an attempt
to bring more jobs to the state and replace the Ohio Department of
Hamilton County is launching the Hamilton County Community Re-entry Action Plan,
which will help integrate ex-convicts back into society. Commissioner
Todd Portune told WVXU the plan will help with overpopulation in jails
and prisons: “When you build (jail and prison) facilities, the
population in them always seems to rise to meet whatever the (capacity)
level is in the facility. You never seem to have enough space. The real
answer beyond facilities is that we've got to turn around the lives of
the individuals who are in our corrections system that have made bad
choices.”The University of Cincinnati says it won’t block an outdoor display of vagina pictures on campus.
Yesterday, Kentucky’s U.S. Sen. Rand Paul held a nearly 13-hour filibuster to protest any possible use of drone strikes on American soil. Paul was joined by
senators from both sides of the aisle in his opposition to using the
strikes, which were used in Yemen in 2011 to kill Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American
citizen accused of being a high-ranking al-Qaeda official.
The same Cleveland judge who made a woman hold an “idiot” sign for driving around a school bus is making a 58-year-old man hold another sign
for threatening officers in a 911 call. The sign will apologize to
officers and read, “I was being an idiot and it will never happen
again.” The man will also go to jail for 90 days.
There used to be camels in Arctic Canada,
but that shouldn’t be too surprising — camels currently reside in the
Gobi Desert, which can reach -40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.