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.
by Danny Cross
Plan to reduce income tax by taxing gas and oil companies met with opposition from industry
Gov. John Kasich
yesterday outlined a plan to reduce Ohio income taxes over a
five-year period and make up for the reduction in revenue by taxing
the oil and natural gas extraction industries his administration is
luring to the state. The resultant pushback from gas and oil
companies now pits opposition to various parts of Kasich’s drilling
plan from both sides — industry and environmentalists.
Dan Whitten, a vice
president at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a Washington-based
trade group, had already expressed opposition to the idea, on March 8 telling Bloomberg in an email: “Natural-gas
production is a capital-intensive undertaking and we believe
generally that fees should be directed to communities where we work,
with careful consideration of the possible direct jobs impacts.”Other trade organizations today spoke out against the increased tax rates, as they would prefer to take all the energy out of Ohio’s land and not pay
executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, told
The Cleveland Plain Dealer that his organization will fight
the tax increase when the plan goes before lawmakers.
"This sounds like
something that would have come from the left," Steward said.
Among the methods of
extracting the natural gas is a controversial process called
fracking, which involves blasting pressurized slurries of water,
chemicals and sand into ancient shale formations, thousands of feet
below ground. CityBeat reported on Jan. 24 that 43 households
have filed a class-action lawsuit in response various environmental
hazards allegedly caused by fracking in Geauga County, Ohio. From the
Fracking in Ohio is
booming rapidly, thanks in part to the barely tapped potential of the
vast Utica Shale, a gassy, 445-million-year-old rock formation that
lies beneath a third of the state, at a depth of around 7,000 feet.
Until last year, only three permits had been granted for horizontal
drilling into the Utica, but in 2011 the number exceeded 40.
In 2004 Ohio’s
State Legislature repealed the abilities of elected local governments
to regulate or refuse gas drilling, instead handing full authority to
the industry-friendly Ohio Department of Natural Resources
(ODNR). In 2005, the U.S. Congress ruled to exempt fracking
from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.The gas extraction
process has been found to be so environmentally detrimental that
France and Bulgaria have banned the practice in their countries. New
Jersey is the only U.S. state where it is banned. CityBeat in
January reported that State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Price Hill) had
sponsored one of three state bills that would tighten fracking
regulations and Rep. Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown) introduced a bill to
put a moratorium on wastewater injection. Kasich’s interest in
reducing income taxes comes one year after his two-year budget cost
counties, municipalities and townships $167.1 million, according the
The Columbus Dispatch, which described the plan’s impact on
the state in the following manner: “Kasich's budget slashes aid to
local governments: Tuition hikes limited to 3.5% for higher
Ohio’s budget deficit
was $8 billion when Kasich offered his 2011 budget, which his
administration said would save $1.4 billion through reform measures
that included reduced funding for social service programs such as the
health and developmental disability departments.
Despite the still
existing state budget deficit, Kasich wants to reduce income taxes,
even though his spokesman Scott Milburn proudly told Bloomberg that,
“the governor has already cut taxes by more than $800 million.”
by Kevin Osborne
Duke Energy announced Thursday night that it will help fund a campaign to raise private and government money to replace the outdated Brent Spence Bridge. It will cost about $2.3 billion to replace the span, which carries traffic from I-75 and I-71 over the Ohio River.Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig said an audit to determine methods for improving the Police Department’s efficiency is continuing. Among the latest recommendations, the department will no longer seek accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and that response of a recent shift to 10-hour workdays has been positive.Three development groups have submitted proposals to Covington officials, each vying to be selected to reshape that city’s riverfront area. One of the proposals, drafted by Corporex Realty & Investment and Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, involves refurbishing the Waterfront Restaurant and creating a floating boardwalk, marina and wharf.A Cincinnati police officer assigned to the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education (DARE) program was suspended without pay this week after she was charged with tampering with records, securing writings by deception and forgery. Sandra Johnson, 38, allegedly said she taught DARE classes and got paid for them when she didn’t. DARE is among the programs being ended by Chief Craig; he has called it ineffective.In news elsewhere, German President Christian Wulff resigned from his position today as head of state amid mounting criticism over a home loan scandal. Wulff has been plagued by allegations since mid-December over his connections to wealthy businessmen, initially over an advantageous home loan from a friend's wife. He then faced claims he tried to hush up the story, as well as reports of free vacations accepted from friends.The Obama administration’s newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to begin monitoring and regulating debt collectors and credit bureaus for the first time. Richard Cordray, the agency’s director, said he wants to ensure people aren’t subjected to abusive practices.An influential group of scientists issued a report this week pressing U.S. officials to tighten regulations of so-called “fracking” operations to reduce environmental and health risks. The independent review of fracking by professors at the University of Texas in Austin said that the development of shale gas was "essential to the energy security of the U.S. and the world,” but added the process needs more oversight.The recent brouhaha over a new federal rule that requires insurance coverage of birth control for women reveals that the Roman Catholic Church has lost its influence in U.S. politics, some observers said. An AlterNet article noted that even though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops remains opposed to a compromise rule pushed by President Obama, many other Catholic groups — including the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Catholic Health Association — are ignoring the conference and accepting it.Police in Fort Worth, Texas, have arrested 16 students in a major drug bust at Texas Christian University, a conservative evangelical institution. The drugs involved included marijuana, ecstasy pills, a powdered form of ecstasy commonly called “molly” and prescription drugs such as Xanax, hydrocodone and Oxycontin. Four football players were among those arrested.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The state representative Alicia Reece has introduced a bill that would reduce
the number of reasons for making voters cast provisional ballots and
also clarifies that election officials will be held responsible for
errors instead of blaming voters.
After tremors, lawmakers try to slow down ‘fracking’
1 Comment · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
of 12 unusual earthquakes in northern Ohio reached a 4.0 magnitude on
New Year’s Eve, shaking homes in Youngstown and intensifying nationwide
opposition to fracking, a controversial natural gas extraction process.