Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What are we going to do with that Stimulus?

I thought the topic of the stimulus would make a good post on this blog since Cincinnati seems to be host to a microcosm of the conversations that are happening nationwide. Everyone is talking about how those stimulus dollars are going to be spent.

The post that I saw this week that put me over the tipping point to go ahead and write this post up was actually not related to Cincinnati at all. It turns out there is a Google Maps mashup covering news stories about layoffs related to the big economic downturn. The screenshot that the Google Maps Mania blog chose to illustrate this mashup just so happens to show a story in Cincinnati about 7000 layoffs. That particular entry appears to be gone from the LayOffMaps site, but plenty more stories about local layoffs and other signs of the economic times can be found at Cincinnati BizJournals on a daily basis.

So what are Cincinnatians doing about it? Two prominent local politicians have written letters on the topic. Mayor Mark Mallory wrote a letter to senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown and House members Jean Schmidt and Steve Driehaus requesting that those federal funds be allocated to a wide variety of local "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects.

The proposed streetcar is amongst the projects listed as "shovel-ready" and streetcar opponent and Cincinnati NAACP President Chris Smitherman wrote a letter to President Obama specifically calling out the streetcar as a bad investment of federal dollars.

Meanwhile an exciting project at StimulusWatch.org is keeping tabs on how that stimulus money is being allocated and it has provided a platform for citizens to advocate for or against proposed projects. The site breaks down these published lists of "shovel-ready" projects geographically, allowing users to browse by state or city. Here is the page for Ohio and here is the page for Cincinnati.

UrbanCincy.com has more on the site and some of the exciting and controversial projects in our area.

Based on a quick glance through other transit projects, it looks like the Cincinnati streetcar as one of the more negative ratings as rated by the users of the site. It's also in the top five most actively edited projects which indicates a lot of debate. Check it out to see how our projects stack up against other projects nationwide!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Win!

I win the title of worst commute ever for Thursday morning: 4 hours, 25 minutes! I thought when it took 3 hours last year, I'd never beat that. The 2 hour trip home seemed to fly by after the morning.

Here are places I could've driven in the time it took me to get to work:
To Cleveland
To Lexington and back
To Detroit
To Canada
To Charleston, WV

My iPod and new radio transmitter held up for a surprisingly long time, so that was good I guess.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cincinnati as Center of the Country

According to this map on Wikipedia, based on census data, Cincinnati (or Covington actually) was the mean center of population in the U.S. in my favorite decade of Cincinnati history, the 1880s.

Reminds me of the "moving right along" series of posts on mahketewah hall 1876 blog.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I saw this at Andrew Sullivan's blog, and I thought it was appropriate for today. I especially did not expect what the young couple with the pregnant wife had to say. Whoever you are voting for, you should get out and vote. Even if you plan to take all the money from the rich to create a socialist utopia or plan to impose a theocracy, you are still probably smarter than most people.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Go Bearcats!

Paul Daugherty had a good article in the Enquirer, which I saw on Cinplify, about the move of UC from Conference USA to the Big East and how expensive the move has been for UC.
Mike Thomas wasn’t the athletic director when UC bought the Mercedes. He’s the one charged with paying for it. He’s not complaining, not even close. Who wouldn’t jump from Conference USA to the Big East? It’s just that, well, the big time costs. Big time.
Growing up, I was mostly a Xavier fan but I cheered for UC when they weren't playing Xavier for basketball. I remember that UC football games never came close to selling out the already small stadium. Heck, up until a few years ago the biggest crowd at Nippert was for a St. X-Elder playoff football game. I happened to be at UC Law during the time UC made the jump to the Big East, and it amazed me that UC was able to pull off such a coup. Instead of being in one of the no-name bowls every year, UC joins Ohio State as the only other college in a BCS conference.

Although I'm always going to be an Ohio State fan first, as a Cincinnatian (and UC alum) I want UC to do well too. I just don't want them to do too well. However, this quote in the article amazed me: "If the Bearcats win Thursday and next week at West Virginia, they’re in the front of the bus headed to the Orange Bowl and a payout to the conference of $17.5 million. Imagine any of this a decade ago, when UC was 2-9 and losing to Army by 17." With Ohio State losing to Penn State this past weekend, they will likely be headed to a non-BCS game. If UC goes to a BCS game while Ohio State does not, that would be absolutely huge for the city and for UC. Our pro teams may not give us much to cheer about, but at least the collegiate teams represent the city well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

National Media Stealing Our Theme

In an article at Slate.com, an Ohio native discusses a piece of local political baking: the Busken presidential cookie poll.
Busken is a family-run bakery in Cincinnati, and every election since 1984, it has sold iced cookies bearing images of the presidential candidates' faces. As of today, Obama is outselling McCain at Busken's 19 stores by a cookie margin of more than 2-to-1.

I was more interested in a later paragraph though.
Good news for Busken's bottom line is bad news for the McCain campaign. No Republican has ever won the presidency without taking Ohio. Further, the Buckeye State isn't just a swing state. It's a bellwether. And for good reason: Ohio is a microcosm of the nation. According to the Census Bureau, Ohioans graduate from high school, go to college, have children, shop, and buy homes in numbers almost mirroring national averages. Our median income is $43,371; the national median is $44,334. Our population breakdown is slightly whiter than the United States as a whole, but we have just as many women-owned and black-owned business as elsewhere. Even our commute is almost identical to the national average. (And we're probably all listening to the same bad music or talk radio for those 23 minutes in the car.) The state is utterly Midwestern, but it borders—and is influenced by—the Northeast (New York and Pennsylvania) and the South (West Virginia and Kentucky).

Sounds very familiar. In fact, it is very strange that the article comes out shortly after we started the blog. Either way, Dave and I need to start cashing in on our ideas at major online publications.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Answer: Yes!

This is a new blog for Dave and I, although we both have or have had blogs previously. We both enjoy blogging, but we are sometimes busy and lose track of our blogs. However, we hope by pooling our blogging resources, we can put out a high-quality blog discussing events in and around our lovely hometown of Cincinnati.

People often discuss how Ohio is a microcosm of the United States. Ohio contains urban, rural, and suburban areas, providing a wide variety of political and cultural types. From Appalachian Southeast Ohio, to Cleveland where they like to consider themselves an Eastern big city, to thoroughly Midwestern, rustbelt Toledo, to Midwestern/Southern mix of Cincinnati, there is so much variety in Ohio. Dave and I, as native Cincinnatians, both consider Cincinnati to be a great place, worthy of celebration for the diversity and unique attributes of the city.

Dave and I are not all that different in a lot of ways. We are both graduates of a certain all-male high school in Finneytown, and we are both graduates of THE Ohio State University. We are both in public service jobs. However, we are different in a lot of ways too. While Dave walks to his job in downtown Cincinnati, I drive from the Dayton suburbs to the Cincinnati suburbs each day for work. While Dave tends to vote for Democrats, I tend to vote for Republicans (though neither uniformly I believe). Dave is a long-time Westsider (Price Hill and Cleves I believe), while I hail from the Eastside (Pleasant Ridge mostly and Deer Park for a bit).

In the end, Dave and I both want what is best for Cincinnati, Ohio, and the U.S. of A. We may disagree on the specifics of that sometimes, but we often agree. That is what we are going for with this blog. We wanted to create a forum where two people who may or may not disagree on issues connected to Cincinnati (probably tenuously sometimes) can discuss those issues, hopefully with some help from a reader or two. That's the way it should be everywhere.