Category Archives: Cincinnati

Cincinnati is 10 of US most toxic cities

A pretty picture of Cincinnati in the news accompanying not-so-pretty facts:

Last year, Environmental Data Resources ranked America’s most toxic cities, defined by the amount of man-made chemical in each area’s soil.

10. Cincinnati

Contaminated Sites: 22,992
Leaking storage tanks: 1,719
Corrective action reports: 44

Cincinnati
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Prisoners are 1 in 100 adults

I’d never realized this fact. It’s striking, to say the least.

Additionally, 1 out of 9 young black men is locked up.
The Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project counted 2,319,258 adults behind bars at the beginning of this year. That was 25,000 more than the previous year.
Ohio was one of the three large states whose prison populations rose last year. The number of prisoners in state institutions topped 50,000 recently for the first time.
One in 30 men between 20 and 34 is locked up, the study showed.

Cincinnati’s Soapbox mistakes Charlotte as hot?

A new effort to cast Cincinnati in a positive light, Soapbox Media, has an opening blog post that lauds Charlotte.

For whatever reason, Charlotte is red hot. Everyone’s talking about Charlotte. Charlotte’s buzz has enabled them to sustain rapid growth, largely from a massive influx of young talent. Charlotte’s buzz has allowed them to overcome a location not in the mountains or near the ocean.

Red hot? Compared, maybe to Detroit, which Forbes lists as the number one most miserable place to live. Charlotte is ninth. Charlotte is the ninth most miserable place to live.

Charlotte has undergone tremendous economic growth the past decade, while the population has soared 32%. But the current picture isn’t as bright. Employment growth has not kept up with population growth, meaning unemployment rates are up more than 50% compared with 10 years ago. Charlotte scored in the bottom half of all six categories we examined. It scored the worst on violent crime, ranking 140th.

(Then there’s anecdote. I know of three creative professionals/people who moved from Charlotte within a one-year period. They didn’t move to Cincinnati or elsewhere in the Rust Belt.)

Cinci roundup

A few items, in between watching the candidates speak to medical marijuana and decriminalization.

At The Nation, Engaging Youth, For Real. Originally published by Wiretap, a national magazine for a new generation of progressive ideas and action. (Lori Roddy).

T]he last of a ten-part series produced by the All Ages Movement Project, in which the leaders of community-based youth organizations share tips and tricks of their trade. All stories are researched and written by members of organizations using independent music–punk, hip-hop, rock, noise, electronic and more–as a vehicle for social change.

The summer of 2001 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the year of its infamous race riots. (April 2001, a police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Timothy Thomas; explosive riots ensued.):

In a community called Over-the-Rhine–a largely marginalized, poverty-stricken neighborhood–several leaders including Life Allah, Islord Allah, Dureka Bonds, and Gavin Leonard decided to take what had been their regular discussions in a barbershop about housing, drugs and police issues and turn them into a community organizing effort.

That summer, a mix of community folks who cared about police accountability founded CopWatch, a neighborhood organization charged to monitor police-citizen interactions. In 2003, volunteer-driven CopWatch became a nonprofit called Citizens Organizing Neighborhoods to Regain Our Liberation (CONTROL). CONTROL decided to found Elementz, a hip-hop youth center, as a way to ensure the young people in Over-the-Rhine were provided with the necessary resources to gather, build community, and promote change.

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The local paper publishes a DUI checkpoint planned for tonight? Well, thanks and all, but doesn’t that sort of miss the point?

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UrbanCincy laments the in/famous Mark Twain quote about Cincinnati, i.e. “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.” (Which, by the way, is attributed to Twain, but not ever verified, as far as my uninspired Google search takes me.) But, come on, Uncle Rando, think about it, at the same time, we’ve got the paper publishing a story on the Go Green Challenge. “Save-the-Earth fervor spreads in businesses, governments,” is the story’s name. Fervor? Fervor! This is 2008, and these few places are just now talking about how to recycle?

I think if Twain (or whoever’s responsible for the quote) were around today, he would perhaps rethink this. (While undergoing chemo for pancreatic cancer or dragging his oxygen tank along.)

Cincinnati proclaims February 12, 2008 Darwin Day

The Free Inquiry Group of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Inc. (FIG) is pleased to announce that the Honorable Mark Mallory, Mayor of the City of Cincinnati, has proclaimed February 12, 2008 as “DARWIN DAY.” You can read the press release and actual proclamation on Edwin Kagin’s blog.

John Welte, Sr., President of FIG, who had requested the Proclamation, said he was very gratified to see the City of Cincinnati continue its historic support of science, reason, and free inquiry. “This is particularly important in light of the fact that there are constant attacks on the evidence of evolution by the ‘Creation Museum’ here in our area, by educators who want to allow the religious viewpoint called ‘Creationism’ to be taught in our schools, and even by candidates for the Presidency of the United States. Evolution has been clearly established as one of the most robust of scientific facts,” Welte said.

Cincinnati ruled, not governed

Recently, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory released his GO Cincinnati “Growth and Opportunities” Project report “outlining recommendations for a strategic approach for economic development.” According to the City website:

the GO Cincinnati Steering Committee and Project Teams – more than 200 community and business leaders – presented 14 recommendations to help the city reposition its assets to attract businesses, employees and residents.

I wonder who the community and business leaders were? For, also recently published is the voluntary association of scholars, activists, and community residents, Cincinnati Studies’,  “Who Rules Cincinnati?” which

argues that seven corporations have dominated the City of Cincinnati’s economy, society, and politics, leading to “distorted development” and “grotesque contrasts between rich and poor” with “a particularly damaging impact on the African American population.”

The study, a compendium of information on Cincinnati-based corporations, their revenues, profits, the salaries of their officers, and their political contributions, also describes the role of corporate coalitions such as Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC), Downtown Cincinnati Incorporated (DCI), and Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

The findings of the study as summarized are fascinating. Both reports are available at their respective websites and should prove interesting reading in conjunction with each other.

A cold and broken Hallelujah

Dutton, who is, (according to the bio — see the link) , a professor in Miami University’s Department of Architecture and Interior Design, and is director of the university’s Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine, gets it right with his guest column, which I was really pleased to read. It’s not just that he is spot-on with the Drop Inn’s contribution and value but that he points out the terrible problem with the Enquirer’s previous approach to its earlier, Jan. 12, “story” on the Drop Inn in terms of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood’s current and ongoing gentrification.

The front-page headline of The Enquirer on Jan. 12 read “Will Drop Inn Center be pushed out?” bolstered by the subhead “Some wonder if homeless shelter hurts Over-the-Rhine development.” If those questions weren’t bold enough, readers were encouraged to register their opinions to the question “Should the Drop Inn Center move?”

The prejudicial character of these questions should be obvious. People say that to really solve a problem, the question that frames that problem is crucial. These questions are no example of a decent framing. They are sly and specious, harboring assumptions that in no way reveal what the Drop Inn Center is and does. Example? The questions presuppose incompatibility, and worse, that such incompatibility rests with the Drop Inn Center. The questions place you too far down the road to recognize a more fundamental question: What is our society’s capacity for empathy?

Read the rest of the column here: The Enquirer – Drop Inn Centers power is capacity for love