WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Jac Kern 05.24.2012
at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

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. Comedian 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 military ID. 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 Winedog here. SmartTalk ConnectedConversations 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 05.23.2012
at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

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. Looking Ahead 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 rush,”  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.
 
 

Anti-Fracking Roadshow Kicks Off

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 05.11.2012
at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Anti-Fracking Roadshow Kicks Off in Cincinnati

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 05.14.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

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 Over-the-Rhine. 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 industry's oversight: 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 week. 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 day. A Russian satellite has taken an awesome 121-megapixel photo of Earth.
 
 
by Danny Cross 03.15.2012
Posted In: Environment, Governor, Republicans at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Tax Reduction Plan Is Typical Kasich

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 higher taxes. Thomas Steward, 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 story: 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 education.” 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 02.17.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

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.
 
 

Alicia Reece and Rebecca Heimlich

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.  

What the Frack?

After tremors, lawmakers try to slow down ‘fracking’

1 Comment · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
A series 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.   

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