WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 02.08.2013
Posted In: Economy, News, Budget, Mayor, Taxes at 10:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
city hall

Morning News and Stuff

Parking vandalism, Cranley demands debate, Kasich plan limits counties

Damaged parking meters in Over-the-Rhine are causing problems for residents and local businesses. For months, thieves have been cutting off the top of meters to steal change. The vandals directly steal revenue from the city, ensure the damaged meters won’t collect revenue until they’re fixed and force the city to shell out more money to fix the meters. Businesses and residents are also worried the damaged meters cause confusion for drivers and make the area look unattractive. Democratic mayoral candidate John Cranley wants to debate Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, a Democrat who’s also running for mayor, over the city’s plan to privatize parking services. Cranley, a former council member, has pushed the city to find an alternative to the privatization plan — sometimes leading him to make claims with little backing. Qualls isn’t ecstatic about the privatization plan, but she seems to side with City Manager Milton Dohoney’s position that it’s necessary to avoid the layoff of 344 city employees. County officials around the state are peeved at Gov. John Kasich’s budget plan because it limits how much they can leverage in county sales taxes. The proposal bars counties from changing their sales tax rates for three years starting July 2013, and it also adjusts county’s rates to force a 10 percent revenue increase over the prior year beginning December 2013. The Kasich administration claims the move is necessary to prevent county governments from using the governor’s plan to subtly raise the sales tax, but county officials argue the move infringes on local rights. Kasich’s plan lowers the state sales tax rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent, but it expands what’s affected by the tax. CityBeat analyzed Kasich’s budget proposal yesterday: CPS Still Loses Funding Under Kasich Administration: The budget does increase school funding for Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), but it’s not enough to make up for the last state budget cuts to CPS.Kasich Tax Cut Favors Wealthy: Kasich claims he’s giving a tax cut to every Ohioan, but a new report from Policy Matters Ohio shows the poor and middle class will pay more on average under his plan. Kasich’s school funding plan is also drawing complaints from school leaders. At a press conference, Kasich made his plan sound fairly progressive, but school leaders found the actual numbers underwhelming, and 60 percent of schools won’t get any increased funding. City Council Member Chris Seelbach took to Facebook to slam Cranley for some recent comments regarding freestanding public restrooms. During an interview with Bill Cunningham, Cranley tried to politicize the issue by saying City Council wants to build a $100,000 freestanding restroom. In his Facebook post, Seelbach explained that’s not the case: “John Cranley, if you haven't heard (which I find surprising), NO ONE on City Council has ever said, in any capacity, that we should spend $100,000+ on a 24-hour public restroom facility. No one. In fact, I went on Bill Cunningham to make that clear. I'd appreciate if you'd stop trying to politicize the real issue: Finding a way to offer more public restroom choices in our urban core for our growing and thriving city. In case you didn't hear my interview with Cunningham, or my comments to almost every media source in this region, I'll post the interview again.” Seelbach’s interview with Cunningham can be found here. Clifton’s new grocery store will begin construction next week. Goessling's Market-Clifton is finally replacing Keller's IGA on Ludlow Avenue. A local high school’s prom was canceled to punish students for a massive water balloon fight at lunch. The giant fight was planned as a prank on social media, and school staff tried to prevent it by warning students of the repercussions on the day of the prank. Students did not listen. Prom was lame, anyway. PNC Bank donated $450,000 to Smale Riverfront Park. The money will be used to build the PNC Grow Up Great Adventure Playground, which will have a swinging rope bridge for kids to walk across a canyon. PNC is among a handful companies to donate to the riverfront park; most recently, Procter & Gamble donated $1 million. Cincinnati was called the most literate city in Ohio. The Montgomery County Democratic Party endorsed the Freedom to Marry Amendment, which would legalize same-sex marriage. CityBeat wrote about the amendment here. Kasich’s latest budget proposal would privatize food services in prisons to save $16.2 million. The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, which represents prison staff, has come out against the plan. A lawsuit has been filed to take down a Jesus portrait in Jackson Middle School in southern Ohio. The lawsuit is being backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Freedom from Religion Foundation. They argue the portrait is an “unconstitutional endorsement of religion and must be removed.” A new cure for color blindness: goofy glasses. There’s new evidence that a giant asteroid really sparked earth’s last great mass extinction event, which killed the dinosaurs.
 
 

(Lack of) Appreciation for the Complexities

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I swear there are days when it would be best to turn off the television, stay away from computers, the Internet and smartphones, maybe just remain in bed with the covers firmly clasped over my head to silence the ignorant noise spewing out of the mouths (and from the furiously tweeting thumbs) of politicians, commentators and lobbyists.    

Reporters Should Challenge Candidates on Creationism

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I’m grateful to the GQ magazine reporter who asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio about the age of the earth. It raises a vital question for a country where significant numbers of Americans reject much of science from creation to evolution.     

Appreciating Non-Mainstream Media

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I value small publications with strong opinions or reporting. The small publications that I turn to live off subscriptions, a few ads, wealthy benefactors, foundations and/or myriad smaller donations.     
by Andy Brownfield 10.26.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Religion, News at 04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Letter: Keep Politics off Pulpit

Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati warns against politicking in parishes

The Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati this week sent a letter to all local parishes warning them to keep politics off the pulpit. The letter reminds pastors and parishioners that church leadership may not endorse parties or candidates or take any action that could be construed as endorsement, let candidates or parties use church facilities, distribute political materials in church or use church publications to promote a party or candidate. “The Church has the responsibility to provide moral guidance on political issues; however, the Church does not wish to engage in political activity,” Chancellor the Rev. Steve Angi wrote in the Oct. 24 letter. Some Cincinnati-area parishes had placed stacks of tickets to a rally for Rep. Paul Ryan or stacks of Republican sample ballots, according to Parishes Without Politics, a group of lay Catholics. “We think the Cincinnati Archdiocese’s letter should be a model for bishops nationwide and the rest of the Church leadership,” group spokesperson Deborah Rose-Milavec wrote in an emailed statement. “Catholics should feel free to vote their own consciences without being bombarded by partisan political messages from the pulpits, on parish websites, in parish bulletins, in the vestibules or anywhere else on parish property.” CityBeat has previously written about how both major parties are using different aspects of Catholic social teaching to woo voters.
 
 

Social Schism

Social justice vs. religious freedom: Catholic organizations woo a divided voting bloc

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Were it not for the giant touring bus emblazoned with the words, “Nuns on the Bus,” it would be hard to assume that the collection of about 10 white-haired women were members of Catholic religious orders.   

The Price of Independence

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This is not just my response to the first presidential debate, which truth be told wasn’t a debate at all since one of the guys behind the podium was decidedly not in the mood to debate or discuss much of anything that voters might have been concerned about.   

How to Maintain Friendship with a Republican (or Democrat)

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
We’ve all been there. You’re just minding your own business, killing time on the Internet, when you see “4 friends like this” beneath Mitt Romney’s shining visage. First comes the feeling of shock, then anger. Before you shed a single tear and click “Hide all updates from this user” or — gasp! — “Unfriend,” stop what you’re doing.  

Worst Week Ever!: Sept. 12-18

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
THURSDAY SEPT. 13: Amanda Bynes, once named one of Teen People’s “25 Hottest Stars Under 25” got herself into hot water today after paparazzi filmed her driving around for hours while hitting a marijuana pipe that looks like a car lighter.  
by German Lopez 08.14.2012
Posted In: News, 2012 Election, Democrats, Republicans at 01:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
p.g. sittenfeld.nar

Early Voting Controversy Reaches Hamilton County

Democratic council members call for extended early voting

In a letter to the Hamilton County Board of Elections, City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld today asked the Board to extend in-person early voting hours in the county. Council members Roxanne Qualls, Chris Seelbach, Cecil Thomas, Laure Quinlivan, Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young also signed the letter. Council members Christopher Smitherman, an Independent, and Charlie Winburn, a Republican, were notified of the letter Thursday, but they did not agree to sign. In-person early voting will begin on Oct. 2 and run until Nov. 2. If hours are not extended, polls in Hamilton County will only be open on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If the Board agrees to Sittenfeld's recommendations, early voting will be extended to 8 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday mornings. The letter brings home a political controversy that has recently gained national attention. In recent weeks, Democrats have accused state Republicans of extending in-person early voting in predominantly Republican counties and keeping shorter in-person early voting hours in predominantly Democratic counties. Democrats typically point to Warren County and Butler County — two predominantly Republican counties with extended in-person early voting — and the recent actions of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. In the predominantly Democratic counties of Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin, Husted had to break ties in Boards of Election on the issue of in-person early voting hours. In every case, Husted voted against extending in-person early voting hours. Jerid Kurtz, spokesperson for Ohio Democratic Party, says the move follows a clear Republican trend: "Every opportunity that presents itself, Republicans take away the right to vote." Kurtz is referring to Republicans' initial push to end in-person early voting in Ohio. In 2011, Republicans passed two laws — H.B. 194 and H.B. 224 — that ended in-person early voting in the state. After Democrats managed to get enough petition signatures to put the early voting issue on the November ballot, Republicans repealed H.B. 194. However, by not repealing H.B. 224, Republicans have made it so all non-military voters are still disallowed to vote the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day. Democrats and President Barack Obama have filed a lawsuit to restore those early voting days for all voters, including military personnel and families.Democrats like Kurtz argue that in-person early voting is necessary to maintain reliable, efficient elections. In 2004, Ohio did not have in-person early voting in place, and the state drew national attention when its long voting lines forced some people to wait as long as 10 hours to vote. After the debacle, a Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Bob Taft, also a Republican, passed laws allowing in-person early voting.But now Republicans seem skeptical of their own laws. Republicans say the measures are meant to cut costs and stop voter fraud, but Democrats say the measures are all about suppressing the vote. In a moment of honesty, former Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer told MSNBC that the measures are about disenfranchising demographics that typically side with Democrats. Even Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has stepped in to criticize Republicans for what he sees as disenfranchisement.Husted told reporters at Cleveland's The Plain Dealer that he is considering establishing uniform rules. With such rules, every county would have the same in-person early voting hours.But Kurtz says the talk about a uniform rule is "pure silliness." He says counties have differences, so they need different voting times. Instead of worrying about uniformity or what counties can afford, Kurtz says Husted should worry managing elections and "empowering people to vote." The calls for extended early voting come a time when Hamilton County is facing budget issues. With a $20 million budget shortfall projected for next year, affording more early voting hours might be difficult. No official estimate has been released on how much the extended hours would cost.The Hamilton County Board of Elections will meet Thursday at 9 a.m. to discuss extending in-person early voting hours.
 
 

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