by German Lopez
Connie Pillich, a Cincinnati Democrat, is asking the University of
Cincinnati Board of Trustees to explain former UC President Greg
Williams’ $1.3 million severance package. Williams abruptly left UC on
Aug. 21, citing personal reasons. Pillich writes in her letter, “I was
disappointed to learn that the University agreed to continue paying
former President Greg Williams a sum of $1.3 million over the next two
years, considering the former president abruptly resigned six days
before classes were to start this fall. It is disheartening to see such
a great deal of public money spent in a manner that is inconsistent
with the financial realities many colleges, students, and families face
in the current economy. … The University’s tuition increase of 3.5
percent this year means students and families must incur a greater
financial burden at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.
Certainly Mr. Williams’ payday will weigh on the minds of these
students and parents, leaving them to wonder, ‘Does this kind of
decision result in tuition and fee increases?’”The Cincinnati Enquirer
gave some insight into what happened with Williams and the UC Board of
Trustees the day before Williams’ resignation. Apparently, there was no
sign of conflict in the correspondence and emails revealed under the
Ohio Open Records Act, but anonymous sources told The Enquirer that the relationship between Williams and the UC Board of Trustees was breaking down prior to Williams’ resignation. The Enquirer
could not get information from Margaret Buchanan, the publisher and president
of the newspaper that is also on the UC Board of Trustees; instead,
Buchanan referred reporters to Francis Barrett, another trustee.In-person early voting in Ohio begins Tuesday. Get ready to vote.A
nonprofit group says Mitt Romney’s health care proposals are more
expensive for Ohio than Obamacare. Families USA, a left-leaning group
that lobbies on health issues, says Romney’s plan would make families
pay about $10,100 a year on health care — almost twice the $5,100 paid
under Obamacare. The
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced it will not
be privatizing more prisons. The announcement came less than a week
after CityBeat’s in-depth story on private prisons and the many issues
state’s efforts to drive down prison recidivism rates saw some positive
news. In total, the state’s recidivism rate fell by 21 percent from
2003 to 2008. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Josh Mandel, state treasurer and the Republican candidate for this year's senate race, is only doing as well as he is in polling due to $20 million in pro-Mandel spending coming from out-of-state sources. But the money doesn't seem to be helping much; Mandel is currently down by 7.5 points in aggregate polling.To
celebrate Mandel’s birthday, Ohio Democrats gave him a new pair of
pants. Democrats said Mandel, who is Ohio’s treasurer and Republican
candidate for the U.S. Senate, will need the pants after earning “more
‘Pants on Fire’ ratings from Politifact Ohio than any politician in
state history.” Cincinnati
is working on rainwater harvesting codes. A task force has made
progress on the issue in the past year, but Cincinnati has only had one
rainwater harvesting system installed since 2009. A new manufacturer could be bringing 60 jobs to Northern Kentucky.Bill
Ackman, an activist investor, has a few bad things to say about Procter
& Gamble. The problem? The public doesn’t know what those
criticisms are. Ohio’s
exotic pet owners are acting slowly in registering their pets, putting
themselves at risk for jail time if they don’t register before Nov. 5.In an interview with Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, President Barack Obama said he will go after China's unfair trading practices, but the United States will not “go out of our way to embarrass” China. Obama said the lighter approach typically produces better results. The Cincinnati Reds rode their great home season to a 6 percent attendance gain.Science says traveling into the future is technically possible, but traveling to the past “can only exist in the movies.”Speaking of the past and science, Popular Science
posted an old article published in 1961 with predictions for the future’s
family cars. The article predicted invisible, self-driving cars that
could travel at 1,500 mph.
by German Lopez
President Barack Obama is in town today. Expect some coverage from CityBeat this afternoon. Last time Obama was in Cincinnati, he discussed gay rights, small
business support and girl scout cookies. Ohio is typically considered a
must-win for presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but he is currently
losing in aggregate polls.Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich of Cincinnati criticized the
University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees for former UC President Greg
Williams’ severance package. She told The Enquirer, “It’s
really disappointing that the trustees would make such a decision while
so many students and families are struggling with rising tuition costs.
As the trustees vote to needlessly spend over a million dollars, the
University is trying to decide how to fund $10 million for the
Cintrifuse project and students are taking out more loans to pay a
tuition that was increased by 3.5 percent this year.” Williams got a
package totaling $1.3 million after abruptly leaving the university,
citing personal reasons. Despite the allegedly rocky past between the
Board and Williams, the Board of Trustees insists it did not force him
out.Local governments setting 2013 budgets are feeling big cuts from the state government’s Local Government Fund. Eligible residents could save $163 a year with natural gas thanks to a new aggregation program in Cincinnati.
The city announced Friday it's working on the new plan with Duke
Energy, and customers should get details about the deal soon. The city
says the deal will reach about 64,000 residents and small businesses.Voter fraud is still not a widespread problem. A Butler
County Tea Party group found zero complaints with sufficient proof to
remove anyone from the voter rolls.As part of its expansion at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, DHL is adding 300 jobs.In case you missed it, the streetcar has been delayed to 2015. The city is now looking
for consultants to help manage the project with CAF USA, the city’s
preferred car manufacturer. The first phase of the streetcar will span
the Banks and Findlay Market. The city is also trying to study a
connection to the University of Cincinnati, Uptown’s hospitals and the
Cincinnati Zoo.U.S. senatorial candidate Josh Mandel of Ohio claims he
has seen a recent surge in the polls, closing a 13-point gap. But a new
poll from Rasmussen Reports, which typically has a Republican-leaning
in-house effect, says Mandel is still very far from Sen. Sherrod Brown
in the polls with an eight-point gap. Aggregate polls show Brown leads
Mandel by 7.2 points.There is a lot of criticism being hurled at public charter
schools. While some charter schools are successful, some have serious
financial and educational problems. Critics say the schools need tougher
standards.Romney is facing criticism for saying middle income is
$200,000 to $250,000 and less. However, Obama made a similar distinction
in the past when he said income up to $250,000 is middle class. The
reason for this strange distinction from both sides — most Americans
would find $250,000 to be beyond middle class — is to protect small
businesses. Typically, politicians try to bundle up small businesses
with middle class protections, and taxing income between $200,000 and
$250,000 as if it’s not middle class could potentially hurt small
businesses.Dissatisfied with the lack of innovation in the iPhone 5? Apparently, you might be alone.Scientists can now levitate fluids with ultrasonic sound.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
University of Cincinnati President Greg
Williams abruptly stepped down Aug. 21. According to reports, Williams
walked into a UC Board of Trustees meeting, announced he was resigning
effective immediately and left.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A 10-year-old distraught over smoothie company Jamba
Juice’s use of giant Styrofoam cups created a Change.org petition to end
Styrofoam usage, garnering more than 130,000 signatures and a call from
corporate Jamba promising to phase out the stuff by 2013. WORLD +2
by German Lopez
Williams out after three years, 'Enquirer' publisher/UC board member doesn't know why
University of Cincinnati President Greg
Williams stepped down yesterday. According to reports, Williams
walked into a UC Board of Trustees meeting, announced he was resigning effective
immediately and left.
Greg Hand, spokesperson for UC, said Williams resigned for “personal reasons.” No further explanation was provided by Williams.
Santa Ono, UC provost, is taking over temporarily as
interim president. In a tweet, he promised to give the university 150
Williams was at UC since 2009. A year after
arriving, he introduced his UC2019 plan. The plan seeks to make the
university into a top school by 2019. The plan also implied Williams had
long-term plans for UC, making his abrupt resignation even stranger.
The Board of Trustees seemed happy with Williams — at
least happy enough to give him a raise. On Sept. 20, 2011, the Board gave
Williams a $41,000 raise, bringing his salary up to $451,000. He also
got a $102,500 bonus.
The news took UC students by surprise. Lane Hart, student body president at UC, told the school's independent student newspaper, The News Record, he was “shocked” when he heard the news.
To give credit where credit is due, when The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the story, the newspaper mentioned that Margaret Buchanan, president and publisher at The Enquirer, is on the UC Board of Trustees. However, The Enquirer
did not mention asking Buchanan about the resignation — an omission
that raised questions for Jim Romenesko, a popular journalism blogger.
Since then, The Enquirer emailed Romenesko saying Buchanan did not know any extra information.
Buchanan's ties to local groups the newspaper frequently covers have failed to be disclosed in the past. Previously, CityBeat found in stories related to 3CDC, which Buchanan is also involved in as a member of the executive committee, The Enquirer
overwhelmingly failed to report the possible conflict of interest. The
newspaper only reported the connection one out of 32 times, although the
number could be inflated due to The Enquirer’s system of posting duplicate articles. In one particular story, The Enquirer praised 3CDC but failed to bring up Buchanan’s role overseeing publicity and marketing there.
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Former visiting professor at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Fashion Department Henry Navarro has returned to Cincinnati for Mis-Measured and a site-specific fashion-based public art project inspired by Cincinnati itself.
Local colleges increase tuition, cut offerings in response to decreasing state funding
2 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A U.S. Department of Education survey has
found that Ohio’s public colleges are among the most expensive for
students nationwide, and universities around the region were quick to blame the Ohio state government for high costs.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
New laws will soon change where and how
you can buy things to blow up in Northern Kentucky. In March 2011, a
bill passed that allowed the establishment of permanent retail sites for
fireworks sales and also legalized the sale of mine shells, aerial
shells and other previously illegal types of fireworks.
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: Courts
at 11:14 AM | Permalink
Judge orders university to change policy
The University of Cincinnati lost a court battle yesterday when a federal judge ruled that the public university's decision to restrict all "demonstrations, picketing, and rallies" to a Free Speech Area was a violation of the First Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black ruled that containing the area in which students and outsiders who obtain the proper permission to demonstrate acted as an unconstitutional limitation. In February, the UC Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) filed a lawsuit against the university after they were denied the right to circulate freely across UC's campus to gather signatures for a petition to place the Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment on the Nov. 2012 ballot. The students were restricted to gathering signatures only in the university-designated Free Speech Area within the McMicken Commons Northwest Corner, which is less than one tenth the size of a football field. Officials threatened to arrest students who attempted to gather signatures outside of that zone. The space restriction often rendered the the students' efforts ineffective; the Free Speech Area covers, relatively, a miniscule part of UC's campus. YAL plaintiffs argued that UC's free speech policy was unfairly vague and unconstitutional. The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a non-profit, non-partisan legal center, assisted YAL with the lawsuit. According to a press release from the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, Judge Black's ruling prevents UC from enacting or upholding a free speech policy from: • “Requiring
prior notification for the solicitation by students of signatures for
all solicitation by students of signatures for petitions in any designated
public forum, including the Free Speech Area, the outdoor spaces described in
the MainStreet Event Guide, and campus sidewalks;”
that all student ‘demonstrations, picketing, or rallies’ occur only in the Free
5 to 15 days prior notification for any and all student ‘demonstrations,
picketing, or rallies’ without differentiations;”
or enforcing any policy restricting student speech in any designated public
forum, including the Free Speech Area, the outdoors spaces described in the
MainStreet Event Guide, and campus sidewalks, that is not individually and
narrowly tailored to serve a compelling university interest. In March, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education named UC's speech policies the worst in the nation specifically because of the restrictive free speech zone.
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.”