by German Lopez
City Council approved a $29 million plan that will shift $15 million
from the Blue Ash airport deal to
move utility lines and pipes in order to accommodate for streetcar
tracks. The money will be reimbursed if a conflict with Duke Energy is settled in the city’s favor. The city is currently trying to resolve the conflict over who has to pay for moving utility lines
and pipes. If the city wins out, Duke will have to pay up, and the money
from the Blue Ash airport deal will be put back
where it belongs. If Duke wins out, that money could be lost forever — a
worry Chris Smitherman voiced in the public City Council session.
Smitherman, Charlie Winburn and P.G. Sittenfeld voted against the plan,
and Roxanne Qualls, Laure Quinlivan, Yvette Simpson, Cecil Thomas,
Wendell Young and Chris Seelbach voted for it.CORRECTION: This blog originally said the entire $29 million plan will be reimbursed by
Duke. Only the $15 million from the Blue Ash airport deal will be
reimbursed if the city wins in the dispute.Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted received a failing grade from Voters First Ohio and the Ohio Unity Coalition for the way he's handled the 2012 election. The left-leaning groups criticized Husted for taking away in-person early voting hours that were available in 2008 and issues regarding provisional ballots, wrongful terminations and misleading language on the November ballot.Stan Heffner, former state superintendent of public
instruction, won’t face criminal charges. Heffner stepped down after an
investigation found he improperly lobbied legislators in favor of
legislation that benefited a private company Heffner was employed under.
Prosecutors claim Heffner acted inappropriately, not criminally.The Controlling Board unanimously approved $4 million Monday to conduct a study to determine possible funding for the Brent Spence Bridge. The study will look at tolls and the viability of various public-private partnerships to see how the bridge will be paid for.Jungle Jim's is opening an Eastgate location today, and people are apparently really excited for it.The state launched a new website to connect Ohio job seekers and
opportunities in the energy industry. The website presents opportunities in
advanced energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency and gas and oil.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be in southwest Ohio today,
and Obama will be in other parts of the state. The state is typically
considered a must-win for Romney and Ryan, but aggregate polling has looked worse lately for the Republican duo.
Speaking of Romney, he indirectly admitted he’ll have to raise
taxes on what he considers middle income. Remember when Republicans ran
on tax cuts?Another problem with global warming: Hotter days make people less productive, which greatly hurts economic output.
A Cincinnati research team found NFL players die
often to Alzheimer’s disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. The two
diseases kill NFL players four times more often than the average U.S. population, and
other neurodegenerative diseases kill them twice as often as the norm.Having sex once a week instead of once a month is the
“happiness equivalent” of making an extra $50,000 a year. Do not try
that line at home.
by German Lopez
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be stopping by Greater
Cincinnati next Tuesday. The campaign stop is part of a three-day bus
tour across Ohio. The state is considered a must-win for Romney’s
presidential campaign, but aggregate polling is not friendly to his
prospects in Ohio.
Will Romney dye his face for the Ohio events? Gawker was
among a few outlets and individuals that noticed Romney dyed his face
brown for an event on a Latino television network.Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 7.2 percent, the same
as July and June. The state made gains in leisure and hospitality,
professional and business services, financial activities and government,
but it had losses in trade, transportation, utilities and educational
and health services. Still, Ohio’s unemployment rate remains far below
the national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.
City Council is taking action to prevent further delays for the
streetcar, but the city says the delay to 2015 is still set. By moving
money around, the city will be able to front money to pay for moving
utility lines and pipes, but it expects to get the money back
eventually. The city says Duke Energy is responsible for moving the
lines to accommodate for the streetcar, but Duke says it’s the city’s
duty since the streetcar is the city’s project. If the city is right, it
gets the fronted money back. If it’s wrong, the money is on the
The Cincinnati Park Board struck down Park Rule 28, a rule
that had come under fire by homeless advocates. The rule allowed the
city to put up signs that would immediately enact rules as law. Homeless
advocates said the signs allowed Washington Park to make rules that
discriminated against the homeless and poor. The dispute led to a
lawsuit, which three Over-the-Rhine residents filed on Sept. 4. The city
countered by saying they took down the signs weeks before the lawsuit
and that the rules were never truly enforced on any individual
The Anna Louise Inn won a zoning appeal yesterday. The
appeal gives way to the $14 million renovation at the Anna Louise Inn.
But Western & Southern will continue its opposition to renovation of the historic
building, even though it could have avoided all its problems by simply
buying the Anna Louise Inn when it had the chance. In related news,
Western & Southern commissioned a study from the University of
Cincinnati to see how replacing the Anna Louise Inn with a hotel would
work, which prompted laughter from Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls because the building isn't theirs.The Cincinnati Hispanic Center is launching an initiative to connect bilingual and multilingual people around the region. The initiative will help multilingual individuals flaunt their skills to employers and anyone else in need.In Butler County, fewer teens are using alcohol and tobacco, but more are using marijuana and prescription pills.
Procter & Gamble and a local manufacturing contractor
are getting sued for religious discrimination. The dispute began when
P&G and its contractor allegedly fired a Muslim employee after she
was humiliated by another employee.Bioscience looks to be a rising star in Ohio’s job market, according to a new study.An Ohio woman unknowingly married her dad.Your next leather wallet may be grown in a petri dish.
by Andy Brownfield
Obama campaign's Women's Summit appeals to Ohio women to vote, volunteer
Actress and acclaimed rapper Natalie Portman played up her
Cincinnati ties in a Wednesday appearance at the Obama campaign-sponsored
Women’s Summit at Union Terminal.
The Academy Award-winner said her mother graduated from
Walnut Hills High School and her grandfather — Art Stevens — grew Champion
Windows in Cincinnati after starting as a door-to-door salesman.
“Because of that, I see President Obama’s support of small
businesses as so crucial to our economy,” Portman said, adding that Obama has
cut taxes for small businesses 82 times since taking office.
Portman said the Republican Party and their presidential
ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did not have the best interests of women at
heart. She pointed to attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s mandates that
insurers provide birth control to women and ensure preventative care such as
mammogram screenings for breast cancer is covered, as well a bill sponsored by
Ryan and embattled congressional candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) that would
eliminate all abortion funding except for cases of “forcible rape.”
“We need to stand up for ourselves,” Portman told the packed
auditorium that was crowded with an audience of mostly women. “Our mothers and
our grandmothers made giant steps for us. We can’t go backwards. We need to go
Portman was joined by Obama Campaign National Women’s Vote
Director Kate Chapek, former Ohio first lady Frances Strickland, Ohio Rep.
Alicia Reece and Obama campaign volunteer Mary Shelton.
An Ohio Romney rep said the campaign did not have a comment
on the Women’s Summit, but is hosting a “Women for Mitt” call night featuring
former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao in Kenwood on Thursday.
“Ohio women believe in the Romney-Ryan
path for America that will result in lower taxes, less spending, less
government and more economic growth,” said a release from Romney’s campaign.
The Obama event on Wednesday catered to
women, with Chapek telling the audience she knew how difficult it was for women
to get there with jobs and the challenge of getting their kids to school. She
framed women’s role in the election as a conversation.
“The conversation starts like this:
women, turns out, we’re not a constituency,” Chapek said. “Who knew? Apparently
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, because they don’t realize that women are actually a
majority in this country.”
She told the women gathered to have conversations with their
neighbors and friends and encourage them to volunteer at phone banks or
knocking on doors.
Strickland talked about the need to reconcile qualities
traditionally seen as masculine — like power — with those seen as feminine —
She also took the opportunity to riff on a statement made by
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said political wives were heroes because while they’re
husbands were on stage in the limelight, they were at home doing things like
“I even did the laundry last night so I could come here
today,” Strickland said. “Even (former Gov.) Ted does the laundry.”
Summit attendee Ray Boston, a 67-year-old retired writer for
AT&T, said Natalie Portman’s presence caught his eye.
“I’m a celebrity photo enthusiast,” he said. “Nothing’s
official until I’ve taken a picture of it.”
Boston said he didn’t vote in 2008, but felt the upcoming
November election was too important to sit out. He said he was leaning toward
voting for Obama and liked his health care overhaul, but was opposed to the
president’s views on gay marriage for religious reasons.
Gwen McFarlin, who works in health care administration, said
she was there to support President Obama. She supports his health care overhaul,
but thinks it’s a first step to further changes.
She said she was encouraged by the diversity of the women in
“For me, I’m sure the women who are here represent all
the world, not one issue,” she said. “We’re here as a group of women working to
empower all the U.S. and the world.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
President Barack Obama announced a new
trade action against China during a Cincinnati campaign stop in Eden
Park Sept. 17, where he also took the opportunity to attack Republican
challenger Mitt Romney.
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
It makes me nervous knowing the re-election of President
Barack Obama rests partially in the hands of Ohio voters and in the
trustworthiness of the shaky Ohio electoral process.
by German Lopez
President Barack Obama announced trade action against
China while in Cincinnati yesterday. Obama said his team had filed a
lawsuit at the World Trade Organization on the claim China is
cheating in auto trade by offering “extensive subsidies” to its
automakers and auto-part producers. China fired back with its own
lawsuit for U.S. tariffs that raise the price on a variety of Chinese
products — from steels to tires. Anti-China rhetoric has fast become the
latest flavor of the month for the Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns, and
China is not happy with it.But the presidential race raced back to gaffes over trade policy when Mother Jones
posted amazingly candid footage of Romney speaking to millionaires at a
fundraiser. In the videos, Romney straightforwardly outlines campaign
strategy. In one video, Romney said he doesn’t care about getting the
vote of the 47 percent of Americans that don’t pay taxes because he
doesn’t believe he can convince them to “take personal responsibility
and care for their lives.” The Obama team retaliated in a statement:
“It's shocking that a candidate for president of the United States would
go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that
half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to
handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their
lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve
disdainfully written off half the nation.”
Ohioans love their local schools, a new survey shows. The
survey also found Ohioans trust their local school boards of education
with education-related decisions, but they really don’t trust the state
superintendent, governor or legislature.
Hamilton County courts want to go paperless. The move would save money and space and make the system more efficient.County budget meetings are still chugging along. Different
department directors are still pleading for no cuts, but the
commissioners insist cuts have to be made somewhere.Cincinnati police announced a new Taser policy. The new policy
disallows the use of frontal shots except in situations involving
self-defense and the defense of others, reinforces the fact officers
need to make sure such force is necessary and points out people have
been injured due to Taser use. The new policy was brought about due to
findings Taser use can kill in rare situations.Cincinnati launched a national design competition for the
decks over Fort Washington Way that will connect the Banks and Central
Business District.A new Hamilton County initiative to improve neighborhoods will tear down 700 dilapidated homes.The streetcar’s yearlong delay got an explanation
yesterday. A few issues are to blame, including the city’s ongoing
conflict with Duke Energy over who has to pay for moving utility lines
to accommodate for the streetcar.The amount of people on Ohio’s death row is shrinking.
After Donald Palmer’s execution, Ohio will drop to its lowest death row
population since July 1995.Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted launched a mailing
campaign to clean up voter rolls. Using data from U.S. Postal Service
National Change of Address Registry, Husted mailed 70,000 former Ohioans
encouraging them to cancel their voter registration. The action is a
lot tamer than Republican-led efforts to purge voter rolls in other
states, which states like Florida, Iowa and Colorado have backed out of —
at least for now.Duke Energy unveiled its new logo.A new meta-analysis found fish oil may not live up to its health hype.NASA is now saying faster-than-light travel may be
possible and feasible. The technology would allow spaceships to travel
to Mars in minutes. Still, the theory does have some problems.
by Bill Sloat
Tax data shows Republican states more likely to pay less taxes
Well, surprise. Most of the Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes live in states that polls show are locked in for Mitt Romney. They are down South. Or out in the Southwest, according to Tax Foundation data.Mississippi has the most filers with no income tax liability. It has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980. When Obama was on the ballot there in 2008, he only got 43 percent of the popular vote. Yet 45 percent of Mississippi tax filers pay nothing. That tidbit certainly rips a hole in Romney’s contention that Obama voters don’t pay income taxes — Republican voters appear to be skating as well, and obviously in far larger numbers than Romney suggests.Our neighbors in Kentucky — who voted early 60 percent GOP over the past three presidential elections — are pretty good at not paying income taxes too. Fewer send checks to the IRS than in West Virginia. Alaska is the outlier — it votes Republican and just 21 percent of its filers don’t pay income taxes to Uncle Sam. You betcha, the vast majority of Alaskans do send money to the IRS. Perhaps they write their checks while looking at Russia from their porches.If you are wondering about Ohio, the state had 5.56 million tax filers. Of that number, some 68 percent paid federal income taxes. We’re a swing state that backed Obama in 2008. Clearly, not all the payers were Republicans.Here is a map with all the data:
The Tax Foundation, a group based in Washington, D.C. that calls itself a nonpartisan research group, produced its state-by-state ranking of non-filers in May 24, 2010. It has been available on the Internet for more than two years, which means it was available long before Romney said Obama’s supporters don’t pay taxes. This insight gets right to the heart of the matter:“Nine of the 10 states with the largest percentage of non-payers are in the South and Southwest. In Mississippi, 45 percent of federal tax returns remit nothing or receive money with their federal tax returns; that is the highest percentage nationally. Georgia is next at 41 percent, followed by Arkansas at 41 percent, and Alabama, South Carolina and New Mexico at 40 percent. All of the top 10 ranking states have among the lowest median family incomes in the country.”
by Andy Brownfield
Vows to bring to justice killers of U.S. Ambassador to Libya
DAYTON – Vice President Joe Biden took time at the beginning of his
Wednesday campaign stop in Dayton to condemn an overnight attack that killed the
U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, while praising the work and
courage of American diplomats and promising to bring to justice those who
carried out the attack.
“(This) brave — and it’s not hyperbole to say brave –— ambassador
was in Benghazi while the war was going on. Our ambassador risked his life
repeatedly while the war in Libya to get rid of that dictator was going on,”
“These men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors.”
The Tuesday attack took place during a protest against an amateur
short film made in the United States that protesters say insulted the Prophet
Muhammad. U.S Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members
“Let me be clear — we are resolved to bring to justice their
killers,” Biden said.
The vice president made no mention of Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration’s response from
the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which he characterized as “akin to an apology” and a
“severe miscalculation,” but the vice president quickly segued into politics, alluding
to Romney’s relative lack of experience in foreign policy.
“The task of a president is not only to defend our interests and
causes and the cause of freedom abroad, it is also to build a nation here at
home, to which the entire world can look and aspire to be like,” Biden said. “Whether
we do that and how we do that, that is literally the essence of the choice we
face in this presidential election. It really is that basic, and foreign policy
is not some sideline to all of this.”
The Romney campaign in Ohio was quick to respond, calling Biden’s
remarks “hypocritical” in an emailed statement.
“Vice President Biden’s appearance in Dayton only served further
damage to his credibility as he reprised hypocritical and widely debunked
attacks against Mitt Romney. Not only did the Vice President mislead Ohioans,
but he attacked Mitt Romney for supporting the same tax policy the Obama
Administration supported just last year,” Romney Ohio spokesman Christopher
“With today’s Census report showing nearly 1 in 6 Americans
living in poverty and incomes continuing to decline, it appears that misleading
attacks are all the Obama campaign has left to offer 400,000 Ohioans looking
Maloney’s email also fact-checked a claim made by Biden during
his speech. Biden said that he opposed the so-called “territorial tax,” which
he said would allow American companies that invested abroad to avoid paying
taxes in the United States.
The email included links to an Associated Press fact checking
article that concludes that Romney’s proposal was aimed at encouraging
investment in the U.S. rather than overseas.
Biden spoke to a packed house at Wright State University in
Dayton, with overflow crowds estimated in the hundreds viewing in separate
rooms in the Student Union.
The vice president reiterated many of his usual stump speech
points — the Romney tax plan’s negative effects on the middle class, the
benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s commitment to
manufacturing — but much of Biden’s speech focused on education. He said a president
Romney would cut funding for Pell Grants, meaning many students in the audience
would have to leave school. He also lauded President Barack Obama’s
administration’s enactment of a tax break of $2,500 for every family that sends
a child to college.
The usually bombastic Biden wasn’t without his gaffes. Twice he
referred to Wright State as “Wayne State,” which is in Detroit, despite a large
Wright State University banner displayed in the conference room where he gave
The crowd was quick to correct him after the second time he misspoke.
“Wright State, which also includes Wayne State,” Biden said after
he was corrected, eliciting laughs from the audience.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Gina Rinehart, an Australian billionaire mining tycoon who
inherited her fortune, stated that the key to economic success for
Australians is to cut labor costs to compete with Africans who “are
willing to work for less than $2 a day.” Rinehart earns $600 a second
from her mining company, BBC reported. WORLD -2
by German Lopez
Vice President Joe Biden will make a stop at
Cincinnati this weekend. Cincinnati has quickly become a pivotal part of
the presidential election. Ohio is widely considered to be a must-win for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. However, polling in Ohio has consistently favored President Barack Obama and Biden in the past few months, although Romney did receive a decent bump in Ohio during and after the Republican National Convention. A similar bump could come for Obama and Biden after the Democratic National Convention, which ended last night. Last week, Romney was also in Cincinnati. CityBeat covered Romney's rally here.The national economy added 96,000 jobs in August, pushing
the unemployment rate down to 8.1 percent. The amount of jobs added is
less than economists expected, even though it does signify some good
news.Ohio may delay its new letter grading system for schools. The
system is a lot tougher on schools and school districts than the previous system. Using
data released by the Ohio Department of Education, CityBeat previously found the new system would flunk 23 schools at Cincinnati Public Schools. The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission ruled
Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig must take Ohio’s standard police
exam. Craig insists he shouldn’t have to take the exam due to his extensive experience.The Horseshoe Casino is coming along quickly. It is currently 75 percent complete and still expected to open spring 2013.Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble may be cutting more
than the originally planned 5,700 non-manufacturing jobs next February.
The company is also planning nine new product launches.On the bright side, Kohl’s is hiring 1,200 seasonal workers for its Monroe facility.The state auditor released a new audit detailing the use
of state airplanes. According to the report, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor used
several routes “for convenience” to get closer to an airport near her
home. Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder also used a plane to go to a
private event. Taylor and Batchelder both reimbursed the state.Obama gave his nomination acceptance
speech at the Democratic National Convention last night. The full
transcript can be found here. C-SPAN also posted Bill
Clinton’s full convention speech, which was great despite the former president’s bad deregulatory history.Scientists made a monkey control a robot hand with his mind.