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.
by Danny Cross
Gov. John Kasich has something to say
to anyone waiting on federal funding to help fix their bridges (and
while we're at it, any local governments who need funding for
something other than food and water): Forget about it. During an interview with Enquirer editors and reporters yesterday,*
Kasich said tolls are the best means for funding a new Brent Spence
“I do not believe that a white
charger is going to come galloping (from Washington) into Cincinnati
with $2 billion in the saddlebags,” Kasich said. “So if that
isn’t going to happen and all we do is delay, delay, delay and we
push this thing out until 2036 ... holy cow!”
* CityBeat had a similar meeting
scheduled but we forgot about it and weren't here at the time —
sorry Kasich, we'll get ya next time!
Things are about to get weird in a
Clermont County courtroom if David Krikorian and Chris Finney get
their wish — to have Jean Schmidt on the witness stand on May 17.
Finney, the attorney for Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and
Taxes (COAST), has been representing Krikorian, a former Democratic
and independent candidate who unsuccessfully ran against Schmidt for
Ohio's 2nd congressional district seat, has served Schmidt with a
subpoena as part of Krikorian's lawsuit claiming a Schmidt lawsuit
against Krikorian was frivolous. COAST's ghost-written blog posted
commentary in February in response to accusations from Brad Wenstrup
that Schmidt was using campaign funds to pay off legal fund debt from
earlier campaign nonsense against Krikorian. Eastsiders mad.
Some high-level Procter & Gamble
executives are getting the Bearcat Bounce out of Cincinnati, heading
to Singapore where the company believes growth opportunities for its
beauty care products are the highest. About 20 positions will be
moved to the Singapore office during the next two years.
Does it matter that Mitt Romney might
have led a group of teenagers in a “pin that dude down and cut his
hair” prank during the '60s? The Nation says Obama's gay-marriage
announcement caught Romney off guard. As expected, Obama's fundraiser at
George Clooney's house raked in the dough, raising $15 million in one
British Prime Minister David Cameron
only recently learned what LOL means in text-speak. The explanation
occurred during witness testimony from Rebekah Brooks, the former
head of Rupert Murdoch's the now-defunct News of the World.
Brooks was forced to resign last year amid a phone-hacking scandal.
"He would sign them off 'DC' in the main," Brooks
said, referring to Cameron's initials. "Occasionally he would
sign them off 'LOL' — 'lots of love' — until I told him it meant
'laugh out loud,' and then he didn't sign them off [that way]
It was certainly an LOL moment during Brooks' testimony in a
London courtroom Friday as part of a judicial inquiry into media
ethics. But the disclosure also underscored the warm personal ties
between the prime minister and Brooks, the former head of media baron
Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers who was forced to resign in
disgrace last summer.
Someone found a really old Mayan
calendar, and it offers good news: It goes way beyond Dec, 12, 2012.
Major League Baseball phenom Bryce
Harper is in town for a three-game series with his Washington
Nationals. The 19-year-old was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and is
the first superstar-caliber player to make it to the big leagues this
quickly prompting comparisons to Ken Griffey, Jr. at that age. Here's
the local spin about on freak outfielder coming to town for a
weekend series against the Reds.
by Danny Cross
In news you've likely already heard
from your favorite website, social network, radio station, print
publication, TV or the guy in your neighborhood who likes to talk
about current events, President Barack Obama yesterday announced his
support for same-sex marriage, becoming the first-ever sitting
president to do so. The news has spawned analysis from across the
land, ranging from “risky but inevitable” to “matters less than
you think.” The Enquirer says the decision is going to “echo in
Ohio” (whatever that means).
One thing we know for sure: Hollywood
celebs are preparing to pack George Clooney's house tonight and fill up
Obama's briefcase with money.
The “No. 2 official at the Hamilton
County Sheriff’s Office” says the jail being next to the casino
will be bad for business, according to an Enquirer story detailing
worries over jail overcrowding leading to accused criminals to go
into the casino to “get warm, panhandle customers or just give
visitors a bad impression of Cincinnati.”
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd
Portune yesterday cancelled a new truck order for Paul Brown Stadium,
instead giving the vehicles to Parking Operations. Parking Operations
was supposed to get the stadium's used trucks after the stadium
received new ones, but Portune said the stadium doesn't need brand
new stuff all the time.
Up north, Columbus Mayor Michael
Coleman says his city wants an NBA basketball team now that the
public has purchased the arena the Columbus Blue Jackets play in.
Poll watch: Portman on GOP ticket
doesn't change Ohio race
New claims for unemployment benefits
dropped again last week, nearing a four-year low.
Facebook will soon launch an App
Center, because it's so annoying to have to leave Facebook to get
cool new apps.
Famous hairdresser Vidal Sassoon died
yesterday after a bout with leukemia. He apparently played a large
role in creating “wash and go” hairstyling and later
revolutionizing the hair-care industry. Here's a Philadelphia
Inquirer obit. And five ways Vidal Sassoon changed people's hair. Sassoon, according to the book Insider's Guide to Cincinnati, had a home in Mount Adams (his wife was a Greater Cincinnati native).
by Hannah McCartney
at 02:10 PM | Permalink
Becomes first president to openly affirm approval for same-sex marriage
News has been buzzing about North Carolina yesterday passing a controversial constitutional amendment that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state in the U.S. to outright ban same-sex unions. Unsurprisingly, the backwards legislation and its passage came as a monumental blow to the LGBT community and its supporters — especially in light of the fact that the state still allows marriage between first cousins. Today, president Barack Obama announced his official support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. His declaration marks a strong political stance supported by Joe Biden's statement on Sunday to Meet the Press and growing pressure from Democratic constituents to form a solid platform on the issue. Over the course of his 2012 presidential campaign, critics have lambasted Obama for refusing to speak out on the issue, many assuming he was opposed to same-sex marriage on a moral level.In the interview, Obama states: "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have
talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of
my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships,
same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think
about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there
fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask
Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a
marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally
it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex
couples should be able to get married."According to ABC, in the interview Obama attests that his statement is a matter of personal opinion, and that he still believes states, like North Carolina, should still possess the rights to independently craft legislation on the issue. Thus, the statement will likely do little for the LGBT community. His affirmed support could rally stronger support among Democrats and the LGBT community for his reelection, but might also alienate voters in strong opposition of same-sex marriage. A full version of Obama's interview with Roberts will air on ABC Thursday.