by Danny Cross
City Council is expected to vote this morning to divert
the $4 million for the City Hall atrium project to jumpstart the Music
Hall renovation, which has brought the city and arts supporters
interested in owning and operating the historic venue closer to a
compromise. Council could vote on the renegotiated deal later Wednesday,
though details of the lease agreement have yet to be released.
Council is also expected to approve a property tax
increase of $10 per $100,000 in valuation to fund capital projects such
as a new West Side police station and additional road paving.
Today’s Hamilton County Transportation Improvement
District meeting will include a presentation about the Brent Spence
Bridge that will probably include polls.
Gov. John Kasich today will sign a human trafficking bill
that makes the crime a first-degree felony rather than second-degree and
includes funding to help victims.
The ACLU will represent the Ku Klux Klan in a legal fight involving Georgia’s highway cleanup program and a pending First Amendment lawsuit.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday will rule on President Obama’s health care law.
Obama and Biden are still jamming Romney up on his outsourcing history.
A Walgreens store and other pharmacies in Washington, D.C. are offering free HIV
tests to make diagnosing the disease more convenient and to increase
College football has approved a four-team playoff to
determine its national championship rather than the computer-human
two-team plan that has faced scrutiny over the years. The new format
will start in the 2014-15 season.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: 2012 Election
, President Obama
, LGBT Issues
, Healthcare Reform
at 09:19 AM | Permalink
Leaders of the nonprofit Music Hall Revitalization Co.
seemed to have compromised last week when the group proposed a 99-year lease of
Music Hall as part of a $165 million renovation. But the lease included a
clause that would allow the group to acquire the historic building for $1 at
the end of the lease or at the end of a second 99-year lease. The permanent
sale of the building is what held up the initial plan to turn the renovation
over to the nonprofit group, which says its donors will not offer the financial
support without the city turning over ownership. Mayor Mark Mallory told The
Enquirer that the proposal will not be approved. “I don’t care if it’s 99 years, 198 years, 500 years or
1,000 years, the city should always retain ownership,” Mallory said. “That
should never change.”
George W. Bush Presidential Library denied a request by a Democratic super PAC
for documents related to Sen. Rob Portman’s work in the George W. Bush
administration. The library says it is not subject to the Freedom of
Information Act and that all are welcome to see the documents in 2014. The
super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, has been researching GOP candidates as
Mitt Romney moves closer to choosing a running mate.
you look at the roster of V.P. candidates, each of them is significantly
flawed,” American Bridge senior adviser Ty Matsdorf said in a statement. “For
Portman, it is his calamitous record on fiscal issues while working at the Bush
White House. It shouldn’t be a shock that he is going to want to keep that
under wraps for as long as possible, but unfortunately it’s pretty hard to hide
a record as terrible as that.”
is live blogging from the Supreme Court to see if there are any rulings on the
health care law or immigration.
Gay pride celebrations took place in New York, Chicago and
San Francisco over the weekend, and Obama organizers were there to recruit
Spain formally asked for European aid for its banks.
The sea level is rising faster along the Atlantic Coast than
other places in the world.
Facebook has created a new “find friends nearby” function
that will allow users to see friends and people they don’t know who are at
events or social gatherings. From some Facebook engineer’s comments on the
I built Find Friends Nearby with another engineer for a
hackathon project. While it was originally called ‘Friendshake’, we
settled on ‘Find Friends Nearby’ for launch (the URL was a little bit of
a homage to the previous iteration).
For me, the ideal use case for this product is the one
where when you’re out with a group of people whom you’ve recently met
and want to stay in contact with. Facebook search might be effective, or
sharing your vanity addresses or business cards, but this tool provides
a really easy way to exchange contact information with multiple people
with minimal friction.
HBO’s The Newsroom premiered last night, and this guy at the
Toronto Star said it kind of sucked while the New York Times says CNN could
learn something from it.
by Danny Cross
The Kentucky Speedway and state of Kentucky will find out
soon whether the $10 million they spent on highway infrastructure
improvements in response to last year’s traffic mess at a NASCAR race
was worth it. The Speedway and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will hold
a news conference today to outline plans to actually get all of the
race attendees into the venue to watch the race rather than sit in
traffic all day and get super mad.
A Cincinnati police officer with a long record of wrecking
police vehicles was arrested on Monday and charged with assaulting a
woman who he’s already been charged with assaulting once before. The
Enquirer detailed the disciplinary history of officer Kevin Jones, who was also charged with two counts of assault from an incident that occurred May 19.
Politico says President Obama’s recent announcement of a
new immigration policy that allows many young immigrants who have never
been in trouble with the law to stay in the country, and even travel
across its borders, was a really smart move. The policy is not permanent, which leaves Mitt
Romney to answer the question of whether or not he would repeal it if
elected. The idea is reportedly similar to legislation that Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential Romney running mate, has been considering introducing. “This is a stroke of political genius,” Bruce Morrison
told me. A former Democratic congressman from Connecticut, Morrison was
chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee, a member of the U.S.
Commission on Immigration Reform and House author of the Immigration Act
of 1990. He’s now an immigration attorney and lobbies on a wide variety
of immigration issues.
“Obama has taken Rubio’s idea and put it into action,”
Morrison said. “He has given these people a work permit, the ability to
remain in this country, but no permanent status.” Their legal status can
be terminated at any time. “But it won’t be terminated by Obama,”
Morrison said.A breast cancer survivor who has undergone a double
mastectomy has been allowed to swim topless by the Seattle Department of
Parks and Recreation after stating that wearing a bathing suit over her
chest causes pain. (Jodi) Jaecks opted against reconstructive surgery. "I don't see a need to fake having breasts," she said.
"My ultimate goal is to change policy at beaches and
pools, to increase people's awareness of cancer and the realities of the
human condition," Jaecks told Reuters.LeBron James and the Miami Heat won the NBA title last
night, completing a 4 games to 1 series victory over the Oklahoma
Thunder. It is the first title for James, who has been widely mocked for
stating that he’d like to win more titles than Michael Jordan’s six.
James, who is 27, won his first a year younger than Jordan did, thought Jordan then won the title in six of eight years.
Two alien plants planets around the same star apparently rise in
the night sky of each other, looking like a giant full moon. The
planets, Kepler-36b and Kepler-36c, are 1,200 light-years from Earth and 1.2 million miles apart, the closes two planets known.
by Danny Cross
The ever-debated, never implemented property tax increase
will continue to be nonexistent, as will a new police station, playgrounds,
some public pools, Music Hall renovations and certain street repavings and
building demolitions, according to The Enquirer.
Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan will make the deciding vote against City Manager
Milton Dohoney’s proposed tax increase, which would add $46 to the owner of a
$100,000. Also against disproportionately taxing rich people are Councilmen Chris Seelbach, P.G.
Sittenfeld, Christopher Smitherman and Charlie Winburn. Quilivan says
the government isn’t the right size and that the government should make the
tougher changes before asking for more revenue.
Here are two ways to report the latest news regarding
potential Duke Energy rate hike connected to streetcar construction:
• From The Enquirer: “Duke
customers could face streetcar tab”
• From The Business Courier: “Cincinnati, Duke making progress
on moving utility lines”
A 15-year-old girl was killed in Over-the-Rhine around 11
p.m. last night. She was reportedly standing with a group of people, though
Police haven’t released any details about the shooter.
A new poll shows support for President Obama’s shift on
More Asians are immigrating to the U.S. than Hispanics these
Adult humans are 16.5 million tons overweight, which
researchers say will threaten the world’s food security and environmental
Approximately half of all new AIDS cases are occurring in
the South, and the region is severely short on HIV specialists.
Attorneys for the Penn State football coach who showered with a
bunch of boys are starting their defense by painting him in a positive light.
Spotify will stop charging $10 per month for use on mobile
devices. Free now.
Facebook acquires Face.com. Ha.
Former baseball player Roger Clemens was acquitted of
perjury charges, the latest in a bunch of wasted time by the federal government
investigating athletes who can afford really good lawyers.
by Danny Cross
Ohio political season will be in full
force today as Mitt Romney visits a manufacturing company in Carthage
to discuss the manufacturing industry and trade, Barack Obama will be in Cleveland
talking about the economy and Rob Portman, a candidate to be Romney's
vice presidential running mate, will be in Washington D.C. telling
the Faith and Freedom Coalition that it's still really important to
have religious freedom.
Some Columbia-Tusculum residents are
upset about the proposed design of new apartment buildings on the
corner of Delta Avenue and Columbia Parkway. The 76-unit Delta Flats'
design was apparently supposed to fit into the nearby business
district, which includes the Precinct restaurant.
China doesn't want to have sanctions on
Syria, and Russia is reportedly still selling Syria weapons.
OPEC has decided to keep oil output on
hold, meaning Saudi Arabia gets to decide if gas costs go up.
A new poll suggests that Americans
blame George W. Bush more for America's economic issues than
HBO and showrunners for its new
medieval show Game of Thrones have apologized for using Bush's head
on a stake in a scene where one of the dudes shows someone a line of
traitors' heads on stakes.
Surgeons replaced a 10-year-old girl's
has blood vessel with one grown with her own stem cells. The vein was
taken from a dead person, stripped of its cells and then coated in
the girls' stem cells. Doctors says there has been a “striking”
improvement in her quality of life, according to the BBC.
Nokia will cut 10,000 jobs by the end
of 2013 after being hit hard by both expensive competitors like the
iPhone and cheaper Android models.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain
threw a perfect game against the Houston Astros last night. It
included an awesome diving catch by outfielder Gregor Blanco in the
by Danny Cross
Mitt Romney will visit the Cincinnati
area this week: tonight at a private fundraiser at the Hilton
Netherland Plaza, Thursday at a Carthage manufacturing comany and
this weekend to hang with Rep. John Boehner up north and probably
with Sen. Rob Portman at some point. President Obama plans to be
around soon, too.
Economists say Romney's job creation
claims need more specifics before they'll be believable. On the other
hand, Obama's American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act has saved or created 1.4 million to 3.3 million
jobs, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and the American
Jobs Act would create 1.9 million, according to Moody's. From NPR:
+11.5 million — that's how many jobs
last September he would create in the first term of his
administration. But true to form, Romney never said how he would
create that many jobs, nor has any reputable economist backed up his
claim. "Nowhere in the 160 page plan could I find a stated job
creation number," wrote Rebecca Thiess of EPI. "The math
doesn't just appear to be fuzzy — it appears to be nonexistent."
Added David Madland of the Center for American Progress: "It is a plan from the Republican
candidate for president designed to maximize corporate profits. What
it doesn't do is help the middle class or create jobs." Even the
conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal called Romney's 59-point economic
tome "surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic
Democrat Ron Barber won the
congressional seat left by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an
assassination attempt and resigned to focus on her recovery. The win
gives Democrats hope for taking control of the House in November.
California could become the first U.S.
State to require that genetically modified (GM) foods be labeled as
such on the package if a November measure, “The Right to Know
Genetically Engineered Food Act,” passes.
What makes the referendum in California different is that, for the
first time, voters and not politicians will be the ones to decide.
And this has the food industry worried. Understandably so, since only
one in four Americans is convinced that GMOs are "basically safe", according to a survey conducted by the Mellman Group, and a big majority wants
food containing GMOs to be labeled.
This is one of the few issues in America today that enjoys broad
bipartisan support: 89% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats want
genetically altered foods to be labeled, as they already are in 40
nations in Europe, in Brazil, and even in China. In 2007, then
candidate Obama latched onto this popular issue saying that he would
push for labeling – a promise the president has yet to keep.Retail sales were down for the second
month in May. Go buy something.
More than 2,000 proposals for new
internet suffixes have been proposed, including ".pizza,"
".space" and ".auto."
Scientists have figured out why woolly
mammoths went extinct: “Lots of reasons.”
by Danny Cross
Posted In: News
, 2012 Election
, President Obama
, Tea Party
, County Commission
at 08:50 AM | Permalink
County Commissioner Todd Portune's idea to borrow more
money and extend a half-cent sales tax in order to keep up with
stadium costs has been shot down by a Bengals lawyer who used 15
bullet points to demonstrate that Portune's plan “proposes to
breach one or both leases.”
Duke Energy is asking state regulators if it can bump customers' rates up again. Duke says the
increases are to pay for infrastructure investments. The change would
increase customer costs of electric service by $86 million and for
natural gas by $44 million. A federal appeals court on Monday reinstated an antitrust lawsuit against Duke Energy that accuses the
company of paying kick-backs to corporations opposing a 2004 rate
A rally for “religious freedom”
will take place on Fountain Square today in response to federal health care
legislation requiring women to have abortions employers to
provide insurance that covers birth control. The law includes a
religious exemption, which bishops have said isn't enough.
A group pushing to ban dog auctions in
Ohio has halted its effort to put the issue on the November ballot
due to lack of funding and time. CityBeat in February reported the
group's efforts to ban the sale of dogs through auctions or raffles,
as well as all trafficking in dogs from out-of-state auctions.New York City officials, including
Brooklyn Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke, are arguing that the city's
“Stop and Frisk” policy is racist. The policy allows police to
stop an individual and pat him or her down for contraband if they
suspect illegal activity. From USA Today:Clarke says the program, known as "Stop, Question and Frisk"
or "Stop and Frisk," amounts to racial profiling. It is
based on a 1968 Supreme Court ruling that police could stop people on
the basis of "reasonable suspicion."
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin approved
class-action status for a lawsuit that alleges the practice subjects
people to race-based illegal searches.
President Obama's health care law helped
6.6 million young adults stay on their parents' plans during the
first year and a half.
Rick Santorum has formed a new conservative organization aiming to
recruit 1 million supporters to help get Barack Obama out of the
While House. No word on how Santorum's “Patriot Voices” group
will differ from the tea party patriots.
NASA says it has spotted the universe's first objects.
Black members of the Netherlands soccer team were subjected to
racist chants at their Euro 2012 practice facility in Krakow, Poland.
The team says fans were making monkey chants at the players.
LeBron James scored 45 points to lead the
Miami Heat over the Boston Celtics last night, forcing a deciding Game 7 for the
Eastern Conference championship. The Oklahoma Thunder await in the
by Danny Cross
The Enquirer today broke out its
Freedom of the Press Card, pressing the city to release details of
the bids to build the streetcar's five vehicles. Enquirer
Editor and Vice President Carolyn Washburn says the newspaper is
being a good watchdog by investigating all the redacted parts of
documents released by the city, which reportedly include typical
streetcar parts, performance data and personal information of
employees. A firm called CAF USA, which won the bid for more than $20
million, is trying to block the release of the data, along with two
losing bidders who claim the information is trade secret.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Gov.
Steve Beshear are considering a private-public partnership that
includes tolls to fund renovations to the Brent Spence Bridge.
President Obama enjoyed an enthusiastic
welcome from Los Angeles LGBT supporters at an event in Beverly Hills.
Republicans are saying Obama is being all glitzy in California so
he's out of touch with Americans' struggles.
Russia would like Iran to be involved
in forcing a political transition in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton says Syrian President Bashar Assad should quit and
The U.S. is losing patience with
George Zimmerman's bond hearing has
been set for June 29. He returned to jail on Sunday after a judge
revoked his bond for failing to disclose $135,000 in funds raised for
his legal defense.
Thousands of homes in the Atlantic and
Gulf coasts are at high risk for hurricane damage, and New York City
has the highest risk of losses.
Do you use LinkedIn or eHarmony? Well,
you shouldn't. Also, both sites were hacked and had user
A car called the Honda Fit EV has
earned the highest ever miles-per-gallon equivalency rating from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency — 118 mpg.
More than 80 lawsuits by former NFL
players have been consolidated and filed in a Philadelphia federal
court, accusing the league of hiding details that linked head trauma
to permanent brain injuries. The NFL denies culpability.
The Reds are still in first place.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: 2012 Election
, LGBT Issues
, President Obama
, Climate Change
, Social Justice
at 07:47 AM | Permalink
A local music teacher says Cincinnati
Hills Christian Academy offered him a job and then rescinded the
offer after asking him if he is gay. Jonathan Zeng says he went
through the school's extensive interview process, was offered a
position and then called back in for a discussion about religious
questions in his application, during which he was asked directly if
he is gay. Zeng says he asked why such information was pertinent, and
an administrator said it was school policy not to employ teachers who
are gay because they work with children and something about the
sanctity of marriage. When contacted by local media CHCA released the
CHCA keeps confidential all matters
discussed within a candidate's interview. We're looking into this
matter, although the initial information we have seen contains
inaccuracies. We will not be discussing individual hiring decisions
or interviews.Cincinnati's deficit isn't going to get
better any time soon, according to a new report.
The Reds drafted high school pitcher
Nick Travieso in the first round of the MLB draft on Monday. Here's a
rundown of their other picks Monday and Tuesday.
Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a
Democratic bill calling for equal pay in the workplace, and the Dems
are going to stick it in their faces during this year's campaigns.
From the AP:
As expected, the pay equity bill failed along party lines,
52-47, short of the required 60-vote threshold. But for majority
Democrats, passage wasn't the only point. The debate itself was aimed
at putting Republicans on the defensive on yet another women's issue,
this one overtly economic after a government report showing
slower-than-expected job growth.
"It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break
moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics
ahead of American women and their families," Obama said in a
statement after the vote.
"Even Mitt Romney has refused to publicly oppose this
legislation," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "He
should show some leadership."
The Washington Post wonders whether
Mitt Romney can use Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's template for
surviving a recall election to try to win the presidency. It involves
“big money, powerful organization and enormous enthusiasm among his
base.” Exit polls in the state suggest Obama is ahead, however.
China wants foreign embassies to stop
releasing reports and Tweeting about its poor air quality.
Gonorrhea growing resistant to antibiotics?
Dinosaurs apparently weighed less than
scientists previously thought. Adjust paper-mache Brontosaurus
Facebook is considering letting kids
younger than 13 use the site.
The Boston Celtics took a 3-2 series
lead over the Miami Heat on Tuesday and could send Bron Bron and Co. back home
by Danny Cross
Hamilton County has been killing people more often than Ohio counties of similar size, despite actually asking for the death penalty less often. Today's Enquirer takes a look at the growing opposition to the death
penalty in other states and recent legislation and task forces aimed
at either studying its effectiveness or stopping the practice
altogether. Prosecutor Joe Deters says he's going to kill all the people who deserve it because the law is still the law.
Would you like to pay tolls or higher
gas taxes in order to have a new Brent Spence Bridge? No? Then you're
like a majority of people who take the time to respond to Enquirer polls.
City Manager Milton Dohoney plans to
ask City Council to raise the property tax rate in response to a
projected $33 million 2013 deficit that everyone knows was coming.
The Community Press on the East Side
says Norfolk Southern is willing to consider selling the Wasson Way
right of way that some would like to see turned into a bike trail.
CityBeat in March found the proposed trail to have support among cycling enthusiasts but some resistance from
light rail supporters.
President Obama hooked up an
11-year-old kid with a note excusing him from class on Friday.
“He says, ‘Do you want me to write
an excuse note? What’s your teacher’s name?” Sullivan told ABC.
“And I say, Mr. Ackerman. And he writes, ‘Please excuse Tyler. He
was with me. Barack Obama, the president.'"
Fortune magazine has taken exception to
Mitt Romney's recent criticism of Solyndra, the solar panel
company that went out of business despite a $500 million Department
of Energy loan.
So last Thursday Romney held a surprise
press conference at Solyndra's shuttered headquarters. During his
prepared statement, Romney said:
"An independent inspector general
looked at this investment and concluded that the Administration had
steered money to friends and family and campaign contributors."
Romney then repeated the claim later in
the press conference.
Small problem: No inspector
general ever "concluded" such a thing, at least not based
on any written reports or public statements.
Wisconsin Gov./Union Crusher Scott
Walker holds a slight lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett, according to a recent poll.
George Zimmerman is back in jail after
what his attorney is calling a misunderstanding over telling a judge
that he had limited money even though a website set up to fund his
legal defense raised more than $135,000.
Legal issues will be involved in New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to ban giant sodas. Jason Alexander has released a lengthy and quite thoughtful apology for referring to the sport of cricket as "a bit gay" during a recent appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
Why do people on the West Coast get to
see all the cool stuff that happens in space? First the eclipse and
now the Transit of Venus, when Venus will cross paths between the sun
and earth. Next time it will happen is 2117. And Australia got to see
a partial lunar eclipse the other day, too.