by Danny Cross
The FBI has been investigating the
long-stalled Kenwood Towne Place development for the past year, and a
grand jury will determine whether crimes were committed involving the
improper use of funding for the project, according to The Enquirer.
CityBeat on May 16 reported that Nathan Bachrach, host of local radio
show Simply Money, was among those in heat over the
The city of Cincinnati used eminent
domain to secure a piece of Over-the-Rhine property to build its
streetcar maintenance facility.
So, uh, Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan
rewrote the lyrics to John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary” (“Rolin' on
the River”) as part of a promotion for the World Choir Games.
Celebrities such as Bootsy Collins, Nick Lachey and Jerry Springer
participated. Cool? Awkward? The city does look pretty nice — shots
were filmed at Fountain Square, Great American Ballpark, Findlay
Market, the School for Creative and Performing Arts and the
Serpentine Wall.John Edwards is basically off the hook after
jurors returned from nine days of deliberations believing that the
government did not prove its case. Edwards was found guilty one one
charge of accepting illegal campaign contributions to hide his
pregnant mistress, but a mistrial was declared on five charges.
President Obama and Mitt Romney
reportedly spoke on the phone yesterday. Romney says they exchanged
pleasantries and congratulations. Obama apparently gave Romney some credit for his health care bill, which sounds kind of passive aggressive.
The nation's unemployment rate is up to
8.2 percent; apparently a third month of disappointing payroll led to
the addition of only 69,000 jobs.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
is being called “Nanny Bloomberg” in response to his proposed ban
on extra large sodas by people such as 18-year-old Johnny Ojeda of
Kansas City, who reportedly pounded a 21-ounce soda and its 240
calories in front of Kansas City Star reporters.
“A lot of teenagers get them,” said
On the other hand, today is National
And cancer is expected to increase
worldwide by 75 percent by 2030, partly due to poor nations adopting
unhealthy Westernized lifestyles.
DC Comics' Green Lantern is revealed to be gay in an issue that comes
out next week. Green Lantern is one of the comics' oldest heroes and
the latest in a growing number of out superheroes. From the San
Jose Mercury News:
In May, Marvel
Entertainment said super speedster Northstar will marry his longtime
boyfriend in the pages of "Astonishing X-Men." DC comics
has other gay characters, too, including Kate Kane, the current
And in the pages of Archie Comics, Kevin Keller is one of the
gang at Riverdale High School and gay, too.
Some groups have protested the inclusion of gay characters, but
Robinson isn't discouraged, noting that being gay is just one aspect
"This guy, he's a media mogul, a hero, a dynamic type-A
personality and he's gay," Robinson said. "He's a complex
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 Danny Cross
Mitt Romney's campaign has reportedly
entered an “audition phase” in its search for a vice presidential
candidate, and local boy Rob Portman is on the AP's speculative list. With three months to go before the Republican National Convention, Romney's people will soon be asking intensely personal questions of potential VPs, such as whether they've ever had marital problems, affairs or mental health counseling. In preparation, many Republicans are already speaking out against President Obama with hopes of sounding like a guy that can help Romney win in November. The AP included in its rundown of the more high-profile candidates the strengths and potential weaknesses of each:
who are informally auditioning would each bring different strengths —
and drawbacks — to the presidential ticket.
Ohio Sen. Rob
Portman supported Romney early, has a solid rapport with the
candidate and hails from Ohio, a critical battleground state that
could decide the election. But he wouldn't necessarily appeal
directly to Hispanic or women voters.
Bobby) Jindal, the Louisiana governor, could help Romney turn out the
religious right and would add diversity to the ticket as an
Indian-American, but he struggled during a national debut rebutting
the 2010 State of the Union address.
Virginia Gov. Bob
McDonnell appeals to social conservatives but signed a controversial
state law that requires Virginia women to have ultrasounds before
having an abortion.
New Hampshire Sen.
Kelly Ayotte, who's campaigned frequently with Romney, could help
with female voters and in her swing state of New Hampshire. But she's
from New England, the same region of the country as Romney, while
(New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie, a conservative favorite who can
work a crowd, is from New Jersey.
Marco) Rubio could bring Florida, always a deciding factor in a
general election, and appeal to Hispanics, a fast-growing voting
bloc, but he's run into some trouble over a foreclosed home and
possible misuse of an official credit card. And Ryan is a serious,
leading policy mind with a bright future — and a brand name that's
directly tied to a controversial budget that would make major changes
Meanwhile, Romney says Obama doesn't even understand free
enterprise. A Columbus tavern owner has lost his
freedom isn't free battle in the Ohio Supreme Court, which yesterday
unanimously ruled that the state's smoking ban is constitutional. The
owner of Zeno's Victorian Village had racked up thousands of dollars
in fines after 10 citations for violating the ban from July 2007 and
September 2009. The state has reportedly threatened to seize the bar
if the fines are not paid.
Meteorologists say after this weekend's heat wave this spring
could be the hottest on record.The Reds defeated the Atlanta
Braves last night on a Todd Frazier walk-off home run in the bottom
of the ninth inning. It was the Reds' fifth straight win, and they're
currently a half game behind St. Louis for first place in the
The Pakistan conviction of the Osama bin Laden doctor who helped
the CIA find him is not going over well with the U.S. government.
Pakistani authorities sentenced Shakeel Afridi to 33 years in prison
for treason, and Afridi was not entitled to representation, though he
has a right to appeal. The U.S. has threatened to cut aid to the
country, arguing that informants work against al-Qaeda and not
Britain's recession is worse than expected, as the country's
economy shrunk by .3 percent during the first quarter.
The SpaceX shuttle passed some tests
necessary to move forward with its landing on the International Space
Station Friday morning. President Obama called the company's CEO to
congratulate him and he answered despite thinking it might be a
John Malkovich is in the latest Apple
advertisement for Siri, during which Malkovich gets some life advice.
The ads follow those released starring Hollywood actors Zooey
Deschanel and Samuel Jackson last month.
by Danny Cross
We Are Ohio, the organization that helped repeal SB5 last year, says it will team up with
nonpartisan Ohio Voters First to help put on the November ballot a
constitutional amendment that would change the way legislative and
congressional districts are drawn. The effort is in response to
Republican-drawn redistricting maps that attempted to create 12
solidly GOP districts and four Democratic districts. The proposal
calls for a nonpartisan commission to redraw legislative and
congressional boundaries rather than letting politicians and anyone
who gives them money do it.
The University of Cincinnati has
released a study showing a considerable economic impact from
construction of The Banks. Between construction contractors, new
residents and visitors to the area's restaurants, the development reportedly will impact the local economy by more than $90 million a year.
The parent company of Cincinnati's
Horseshoe Casino will host two informational sessions this week to
offer local vendors information on how to bid on contracts for
supplies and services the entertainment complex will need. The first
takes place 6 p.m. tonight at Bell Events Centre near the casino site at 444 Reading Road,
and the second is 9 a.m. Thursday at Great American Ball Park.
The Enquirer on Tuesday reported that
the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University have agreed to
move the Crosstown Shootout to U.S. Bank Arena for two years in
response to last year's massive brawl. NBC Sports today reported that
the presents of both universities issued a press release in response,
stating that no final decision had been made.
The University of Cincinnati and
Xavier University were both surprised to see today’s announcement
concerning the future of the Crosstown Shootout. While both schools
are committed to the future of the Crosstown rivalry, specific
discussions are ongoing and no details have been finalized. We look
forward to sharing our plans with the community at an appropriate
time in the coming weeks.
If it does happen,
The Enquirer's Bill Koch says it's reasonable, while Paul
Daugherty says that's fine but kind of dumb.
President Obama is
finding it rather difficult to even win primaries against nobodies in
the South. Not that it's surprise or really matters, though.
Of course, there are reasons for these
kinds of returns. Few Democrats are voting in these primaries where
Obama faces only token opposition; only protest voters are truly
There's also the fact that Obama is an underdog to Republican
candidate Mitt Romney in the states of Kentucky, Arkansas, and West
Virginia; Obama lost all three in 2008 to John McCain.
Another potential factor: Race.
Just when you
thought Sarah Palin was super reliable, she goes and backs a Utah
Republican incumbent over a tea party supported candidate.
The John Edwards
jury entered its fourth day of deliberations today because they need
to see more prosecution exhibits.
A white supremacist
was sentenced to 40 years in jail by a federal judge for a 2004
package bomb attack that injured a black city administrator in
researchers say they can figure out if Bigfoot really existed, if
they can just get one of his hairs. The film version of On the Road
premiered at the Cannes Film Festival today, 55 years after Jack
Kerouac's Beat Generation-defining novel was published. London's The
Guardian says the “handsome
shots and touching sadness don't compensate for the tedious air of
self-congratulation in Walter Salles's road movie.”
by Danny Cross
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman
was arrested early Monday morning for driving with a suspended
license in Grove City, outside of Columbus. Chapman, who has
previously purchased vanity plates that read MPH102 and 101MPH based
on his ability to throw a baseball way faster than you're allowed to
drive, was caught doing 93 on I-71.
The Music Hall Revitalization Co. will
meet Thursday to consider its next move after the city of Cincinnati
decided not to sell the historic building to the nonprofit
organization, prompting the resignation of the Revitalization Co.'s
leader. The resident arts organizations issued a joint statement
yesterday offering to work with the city and private donors to revive
the project in some form. Some arts supporters contend that local
philanthropic leaders will not donate to the project while it is city
In the wake of last season's Crosstown
Shootout melee, officials from UC and Xavier have decided to play the
annual game at U.S. Bank Arena for the next two seasons. The behavior
of players and fans will reportedly be evaluated after that time. The
game was scheduled to be played at UC's Fifth Third Arena this year.
The commercial space vehicle today
finally launched after shutting down its first attempt to fly to the
International Space Station without the government's help.
Exploration Technologies Corp.'s SpaceX rocket is scheduled to touch
down on May 25 and could help jumpstart the privatization of space
Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama in
2008, but he's not quite ready to do it again.
Facebook shares went down a little bit
after analysts revised their outlooks.
Fuel economy is more important to
consumers than overall car quality, according to a new survey by
Is Brad Pitt's new film Killing Them
Softly an anti-capitalist screed? Pretty much.
Everything you need to know about
(writer-director Andrew) Dominik's worldview came with a moment in
the news conference in which the Australian said that in his
experience America is largely about making money, and that that went
double for Hollywood.Or, as the film's touchstone piece of
dialogue has it: "America isn't a country -- it's a business.”
Ever wonder what would happen if the NBA rookie of the year dressed up like an old man and played ball with dudes at some random courts, with at least some of the players not knowing what's going on? Wonder no more:
by Danny Cross
City Leaders have decided that they
don't need to sell Music Hall to a private organization in order for
the historic building to receive tax credits toward its renovation.
Mayor Mallory on Sunday told The Enquirer that selling the building
was not part of any discussion he's willing to have. While city
leaders hope a public-private partnership like that which has
renovated Washington Park can help update the building, organizers
with the Music Hall Revitalization Co. say some donors willing to
contribute to the private renovation of the building will not
contribute to the project while it is city owned. On Saturday, the Music Hall Revitalization Co.'s leader, Jack Rouse, resigned.
First they had a giant bridge built
over their neighborhood. Now the residents of Lower Price Hill who
live near the Sixth Street viaduct hope construction crews can take
it down without causing too many clouds of lead paint dust to cover
their homes. The viaduct is being replaced by a new structure
currently under construction south of the existing one.
Ohio's second of four new casinos is
set to open in Toledo next week. Cleveland's casino opened last week,
while Columbus' Hollywood Casino is scheduled to open this fall with
Cincinnati's Horseshoe in-line for an early 2013 unveiling.
Jury selection in the trail of former
Goldman Sachs/Procter & Gamble board member Rajat Gupta began
today in federal court in Manhattan. Gupta is accused of insider
trading stemming from a 2008 phone call that authorities have already
used to convict hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, who is currently
serving an 11-year sentence. From the AP:Rajaratnam has been the biggest catch so far in a wide-ranging
insider-trading investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that's
resulted in more than two dozen prosecutions of white collar
defendants. But based on Gupta's standing in the world of finance,
his trial could draw more attention — and a potential conviction
could resonate farther.
Aside from his role at Goldman Sachs, the Indian-born Gupta is
the former chief of McKinsey & Co., a highly regarded global
consulting firm that zealously guards its reputation for discretion
Gupta, 63, is also a former director of the huge consumer
products company Procter & Gamble Co., a pillar of American
industry and one of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones
industrial average. P&G owns many well-known brands including
Bounty, Tide and Pringles.Researchers have created a national
registry of wrongful conviction exonerations that has identified 873 faulty convictions
during the past 23 years that have been recognized by authorities.
The registry's founders say the collection is only a fraction of such
convictions and that it demonstrates a serious problem with
America's criminal justice system.
"What this shows is that the
criminal justice system makes mistakes, and they are more common than
people think," said University of Michigan law professor Samuel
Gross, the registry's editor. "It is not the rule, but we won't
learn to get better unless we pay attention to these cases."
Mitt Romney is having some trouble
getting conservative donors to back his campaign. Meanwhile, Obama
continues to talk about Romney's business dealings.
The John Edwards jury is still in
deliberations today trying to determine whether the former Democratic
presidential candidate conspired to violate election laws while
hiding an extramarital affair during his campaign. Prosecutors say
Edwards solicited more than $900,000 from a 101-year-old woman named
Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and a Texas lawyer to hide a child from his
wife, who had cancer at the time.
Protests continued in Chicago today
during the final day of the NATO summit.
Apparently 25 percent of American teens
have diabetes or pre-diabetes, up from 9 percent in 1999-2000.
People in Asia and the western U.S. last night got
to see a solar eclipse that looked like a ring of fire.
The private rocket scheduled to launch
a commercial space capsule was forced to abort its mission on
Saturday but is scheduled to fly up into space on Tuesday.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Germany’s Der Spiegel reported
today that during 2011 German police shot only 85 bullets, and most
weren’t even aimed at humans. Out of 85 bullets fired, 49 were warning
shots. These numbers make it seem like it might be possible to greatly
reduce the number of times per year in this country a person gets shot
to death by the police in a situation where it seems like other
resolutions could have been reached.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Two contemporary music stars have been cast as two legendary ones in a pair of recently announced projects. The L.A. Times reports that Andre 3000 of Outkast will finally portray iconic Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix in the biopic All Is by My Side.
by Danny Cross
The private group hoping to purchase
Music Hall for $1 is now asking for $10 million in city contributions
to its effort to update the historic building, double the initial $5
million it asked for. The Music Hall Revitalization Co. says failing
to strike a deal before June 1 will jeopardize the proposed $165
million renovation. Among the updates the city is being asked to fund
are $75,000 buffers to block noise from the streetcar and a $150,000
escrow account to pay for any future disruptions due to the
City Council yesterday spent some time
considering ways to fix the city's retirement fund deficit.
Cincinnati's retirement board wants the city to contribute $67
million to the pension system this year, though Council has
reportedly contributed only about half of that.
CVG today will unveil its updated
Concourse A, which has undergone a $36.5 million renovation. It is part of the
airports attempt to lure a low-cost airline to the hub that formerly
Cleveland is the first Ohio city to
open one of the state's four new casinos, drawing about 5,000 to a
grand opening last night. Cincinnati's casino is expected to be the
last of the four to open, with Hollywood casinos scheduled to open in
Toledo May 29 and in Columbus this fall. Cincinnati's' Horseshoe is
scheduled to open next year.
Barack Obama's Super PAC is airing TV
ads questioning Mitt Romney's business record, specifically his
commitment to workers.
Prosecutors today decided to bring
charges against former News of the World editor Rebekah
Brooks, who along with her husband and four others will be charged
with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The alleged
incidents occurred in response the phone hacking allegations, and the
charges are apparently quite embarrassing to Rupert Murdoch and
British Prime Minister David Cameron.
JP Morgan today said, “Surprise! We
lost a bunch of money!” Two years after congress tightened
regulations on Wall Street, the industry now fears that regulators
will now listen to their fears even less as they enact stricter
Humans are consuming more resources
than the earth can replenish, according to the World Wildlife Fund's
Living Planet Report for 2012.
Lady Gaga yesterday cancelled a
cold-out Indonesia performance in response to conservative protests
over her clothing and dance moves.
National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, responding to the
pressure, said Tuesday that the permit for her June 3 "Born This
Way Ball" concert had been denied.
Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than
any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious
tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent
Hard-liners have loudly criticized Lady Gaga, saying the
suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country's
moral fiber. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her
from stepping off the plane.
Lawmakers and religious leaders, too, have spoken out against her.
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.