by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: News
at 03:33 PM | Permalink
State parks, forests undergoing assessment
Imagine: You take your children to the park for a leisurely stroll beside some calm lake waters. You're looking for pure, unadulterated nature; an escape from the industrial hullabaloo that is city life. Instead, you find several areas of the park blocked off, occupied by massive machines sucking out shale and oil through the process known as "fracking." According to an investigative report from The Columbus Dispatch, that image might not be far off. Dispatch found that 18 employees from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have been working to assess the availability of Utica shale in parks and forests across the state, resources that could eventually be marketed to oil and gas drilling companies. The concentrated push has involved a widespread, coordinated effort to examine public records and assess original mineral rights on Utica shale across the state. In the past, drilling companies have offered as much as $5,000 per acre to landowners in Eastern Ohio to procure mineral rights. The undertaking potentially signifies ODNR's interest in profiting from fracking sales in the future; cataloging mineral rights means easing the process of selling land to drillers once they make initial offers. Fracking, the relatively new drilling technology that involves blasting thousands of gallons of water into the earth to fracture shale and free trapped, valuable natural oil and gas. It's been touted as a way to expose previously unavailable areas underground for drilling and has been subject of discussion on its economic value and potential.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Ohio environmentalists and conservationists won a small
victory against the fracking industry June 6 when Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) decided to halt all water
sales from Ohio's largest contained watershed to drillers in the oil and gas
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: News
at 11:18 AM | Permalink
Lack of information, understanding of industry spurs halt
Ohio environmentalists and conservationists won a small victory in the fracking industry today when Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District decided to halt all water sales from Ohio's largest contained watershed to drillers in the oil and gas industry. Environmental groups have expressed concern that the watershed's water supply could be sold for use in fracking, a fairly new drilling technique in which thousands of gallons of chemical-laden water are shot into the earth in order to fracture shale and free natural oil and gas. Critics of the process say more research is needed on the technique to fully understand fracking's long- and short-term environmental and economic effects. (Read CityBeat's June 6 cover story, "Boom, Bust or Both?" about Ohio's fracking industry, here.)The decision to postpone the sales will be held until data is received in a water-availability study that's currently underway. Pending analysis of the study's results, MWCD plans to update its water supply policy to help deal with interested clients in the future.
believe strongly that it is in the best interest of the public we serve
and the conservancy district to not entertain any water supply requests
until this study has been completed and the MWCD has had an opportunity
to update its water supply policy for review, public discussion and
consideration of the MWCD Board of Directors,”said John M. Hoopingarner, MWCD executive director/secretary in a press release. The MWCD will honor its preexisting agreement to provide Gulfport Energy Co. with 11 million gallons of water from Clendening Lake in Harrison County.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Anyone who has heard about how important
bees are to the existence of humanity understands the fundamental
frailty of our ecosystem (and maybe likes honey a lot or has really
nerdy friends). Such an individual would have been interested in today’s
news that the Asian longhorned beetle will soon reemerge in Clermont
County and threaten to eat all the trees.
by Danny Cross
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has returned
more than $100,000 in campaign contributions in response to an FBI
investigation into 21 donors who had no record of giving to federal
campaigns and many appearing to have low incomes. Mandel, a
Republican, is running against incombent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Mandel's campaign treasurer Kathryn Kessler sent a letter to donors
explaining that any contributions appearing to be under investigation
would be refunded.
From The Toledo Blade:
Although the campaign provided a copy of the letter to The
Blade, it would not explain the timing of the decision or how long it
has been aware of the federal probe.
The Blade revealed the unusual pattern of contributions in
The company's owner, Benjamin Suarez, and 16 of his employees
(plus some of their spouses) gave about $200,000 to Mr. Mandel and
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth) last year. Each of those donors
gave $5,000, the maximum allowable amount, to one or both candidates.
The Ohio Senate yesterday passed new
fracking regulations, and the final version caused some environmental
organizations to change their stance on the bill. The Ohio
Environmental Council and the Sierra Club had both been neutral on
the legislation until changes were made forcing anyone suing over
chemical trade secrets to show current or potential harm, according
to The Enquirer. The regulations are part of Kasich's new energy bill
and easily passed both the Senate and House and is expected to be
signed by Kasich soon.
Cincinnati Public Schools says it will
apply for the latest available federal education grants, which amount
to nearly $700 million. The grants are geared toward helping schools
proceed with reform and innovation.
According to a new poll, President
Obama leads Mitt Romney in Ohio by six percentage points. Wonder if
Obama's “cow pie of distortion” speech had anything to do with
The John Edwards trial has entered day
six of deliberations.
United Nations inspectors have
reportedly found uranium in Iran enriched beyond the highest levels
previously reported. One diplomat said the measure could actually be
a measurement error, though the reading could also mean that Iran is
closer to producing bomb-grade uranium than previously thought.
Scientists might be one step closer to
creating birth control for men after U.K. scientists found a gene
used to enable sperm to mature.
From USA Today: “Profits at big U.S.
companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs.”
Facebook's initial public offering
didn't go entirely as expected, and some investors are getting
refunds after technical problems and other issues marred the
company's first week of trading.
The Reds completed a four-game sweep of
the Atlanta Braves last night, winning their sixth in a row and
overtaking the St. Louis Cardinal for first place in the NL Central.
by Jac Kern
at 11:04 AM | Permalink
The Sierra Club and Food & Water Watch
present a screening of Josh Fox’s fracking documentary, Gasland, tonight at Esquire
Theater. Learn more about the controversial natural gas drilling techniques
taking place across Ohio, and discover potential health/environmental risks
that can result. The free screening begins at 7:30 p.m. followed by a
discussion with the event’s hosts, Representative Denise Driehaus and Southwest
Ohio No Frack Forum. RSVP here
— seats are first come, first served.
The Mercantile Library
welcomes author and garden designer Jon Carloftis
to speak as part of its Hearth & Home Lecture series. Carloftis, a Kentucky
native, has been featured in magazines and television and has won awards for
his landscaping, gardening and writing. He’s a driving force behind the
now-popular trend of small space/rooftop gardening. Lit lovers and gardeners
alike will enjoy hearing him reflect on his work. The lecture begins at 7 p.m.
tonight; admission is $15, $10 for members.
Shane Mauss kicks off his weekend at Go
Bananas tonight. Mauss has appeared on Conan
O’Brien (both shows) four times, is a regular on The Bob and Tom Show, has been
featured on Comedy Central and travels across the globe performing at
international comedy festivals. Tonight’s show features opener Michael Palascak
and MC Kelly Collette. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $8, $4 with college or
Winedog Wine Shoppe and Art
Gallery hosts a Last Blast of Spring tonight from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy shop wines
from Ralph Taylor, Spanish wines from Edgar Saborit of Cat Wines USA and Babee
Bites Catering hors d’oeuvres by Debbie Hook. The shop’s attached gallery,
Souleiado will feature artwork by Donna Schwarz and live music from Cheryl
Renee. Guests should have already reserved their spots; find out more about
closes its speaker series tonight with Andie MacDowell — Acting As A Way
Of Life. MacDowell has acted in Groundhog Day, Four Weddings and a Funeral,
Sex, Lies and Videotape and many other films and television programs. She also
works to raise awareness for heart health. And she has amazing hair. Check her
out tonight for a lecture and Q&A session at 7:30 p.m. at the Aronoff
Center. Tickets are $25-$85; find them here.Check out more events, art exhibits and theater shows on our To Do page and follow our music blog for nightly shows.
by Jac Kern
at 10:07 AM | Permalink
The Reds take on the Atlanta Braves tonight
in the third of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park. If the boys
bring home another W, that will make five consecutive Reds wins. The game begins at
7:10; get tickets here.
May 23 is National Lucky Penny Day,
so keep an eye out for face-up coins today.
Author Emily St. John Mandel makes a stop at
Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion tonight at 7 p.m. She will discuss
and sign her latest novel, The Lola Quartet.
In what is being touted as her most ambitious work, Mandel “combines her most
fully realized characters with perhaps her most fully developed story that
examines the difficulty of being the person you'd like to be, loss, the way a
small and innocent action can have disastrous consequences.”Check out our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater shows and other events happening tonight and follow our music blog for a daily live show lineup.
Cincinnati Parks Foundation’s Women’s
Committee presents its annual benefit, the Hats Off Luncheon, Thursday. Don your best hat and gather at the newly opened John G. and Phyllis W.
Smale Riverfront Park
on the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Stage and Event Lawn at 11 a.m. for a champagne
reception followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. Support the organization that works
to endow, maintain and preserve Cincinnati greenspace and help kick off a
fundraiser for a carousel at Smale Riverfront Park.
Denise Driehaus and the Southwest Ohio No Frack
Forum host a free screening of Gasland tomorrow,
presented by the Sierra Club and Food & Water Watch. The documentary
exposes the negative side effects of the controversial Horizontal Hydraulic
Fracturing, known as fracking. Some call the recent Ohio fracking boom a “gold
but filmmaker Josh Fox points out the
environmental and public health consequences that may result from the drilling.
The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by a discussion.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The first in a series of nine events in
cities across Ohio, culminating with a rally at the Columbus statehouse,
kicked off in Cincinnati last week to protest the use of fracking
across the state of Ohio.
by Hannah McCartney
at 10:33 AM | Permalink
Advocates spread concerns over dangers in Kasich's energy plan
The first in a series of nine events in cities across Ohio, culminating with a rally at the Columbus statehouse, kicks off in Cincinnati tomorrow to protest the use of fracking across the state of Ohio. The event will take place 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12 at the Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church at 103 William Howard Taft Road. It's part of the Don't Frack Ohio Spring Roadshow, a project brainstormed by 350.org, which heads a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. According to Danny Berchenko, an Ohio organizer for 350.org, the roadshow is a much-needed venue for dialogue to discuss the problems fracking in Ohio poses to people and communities, including those related to public health, climate change and even potential to cause natural disasters such as earthquakes. "Kasich's office is not doing its job to protect people or communities — we need to focus on putting people to work in safe environments and employ people in sustainable, clean energy jobs," said Berchenko. Berchenko says that Saturday's event will involve a mix of discussing the generalities of fracking, why action is necessary, and tactics and strategies for how communities can rally together to strategically protect themselves from fracking and protest Kasich's energy plan, which heavily focuses on bringing frackers to Ohio, an integral part of his economic plan. Want to know more about fracking? Watch a kid with an Irish accent explain:
by Danny Cross
Bike to Work Week today kicked off its
series of morning commuter stations offering free coffee and treats
all week long in an effort to encourage residents to try cycling to
work, meet fellow cyclists and learn about bike advocacy. The city
was scheduled to announce an award for its Bike Program this morning
at the Coffee Emporium bike commuter station on Central Parkway in
Find a schedule of Bike to Work Week
morning and afternoon commuter stations here.
The Enquirer over the weekend
checked in with another of its “in-depth” pieces, this one
detailing the huge amounts of money energy companies will make once they're allowed to treat northeastern Ohio's land like
they do Texas. The story accurately described the fracking process as
“controversial,” though it took the liberty of describing Carroll
County as an “early winner” because 75 to 95 percent of its land
is under lease to an oil or gas company. Here's a link to the weird
slideshow-style presentation. And here's a sidebar on the issues
surrounding fracking, which includes the following regarding the
Fracking was exempted from the federal
Safe Drinking Water Act under the Bush Administration, so it now
falls under state jurisdiction. In Ohio, the Department of Natural
Resources issues permits for all oil and gas wells, including
fracking wells. The department also inspects the drilling of all
wells in the state.
The New York Times came to Ohio
to see how the good, working class folks feel about the president who
has spent three-and-a-half years trying to help people like them
during a recession he didn't start. Turns out many still won't vote
for him because he's still black.
Madiera is a really nice suburb, and
some residents plan to keep it that way by blocking developers from
building luxury condos so “renters” can't move in and “alter
the landscape of their charming suburb.”
Ohio State University has released a
plan to combat hate crimes in response to several incidents on its
campus this spring. The "No Place to Hate" plan includes 24
recommendations including a public safety division “hate crime
alert” line staffed by operators. The OSU campus reportedly had a
mural of President Obama defaced and found spray-painted messages
supporting the death of Trayvon Martin.
Good news from the AP's strangulation
beat: “States cracking down on strangulation attempts.”
Newsweek's May 21 cover shows
Barack Obama with a rainbow-colored halo over his head and the
headline, “The First Gay President.”
National media are talking about HBO's
Weight of the Nation, a four-part documentary detailing America's
obesity epidemic. CityBeat's Jac Kern told y'all about it last
John Edwards' defense attorneys are
reportedly basing a lot of their case on the definition of the word
“The.” That should go well.
Joey Votto hit a two-out,
bottom-of-the-ninth grand slam to win yesterday's game for the Reds,
9-6 over the Washington Nationals. It was his third home run of the
satellite has taken an awesome 121-megapixel photo of Earth.