Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, June 30, 2008

July Committee of the Whole meeting cancelled

Per the Clerk of Council’s office this morning, tomorrow night’s regular Committee of the Whole meeting has been cancelled. Last month, we reported the June meeting was cancelled and that, according to the Clerk of Council’s office, COW would meet later in June with the Norwood School Board when a date was agreed upon. There has been no announcement yet about a date for that joint meeting.

Alleged Empire owner says tavern closing and apologizes

Just a few minutes ago, the following comment was posted by Dave Proud under the blog “End of the Empire” immediately below. He claims to be the CEO of the corporation that owns the Empire. Clicking on this blog's title will take you to a page at the Ohio Secretary of State's website that shows someone named Dave C. Proud is, indeed, the agent for 50FIVE Group, Inc., the tavern’s owner. While we cannot confirm that the comment was authored by the agent David C. Proud, it does sound somewhat credible to us:

Respected Norwood Residents. I am the CEO of the corperation that owns Empire Tavern. I want to let you know that Empire Tavern will be closing in the next couple of weeks by its own will. We have put alot into trying to make Empire work but it has become obvious that it cannot exsist in the current locatation. After this occurance I and my company have lost all taste for the Tavern buisness. I hope that you and your readers will accept our apology.
Dave Proud | 06.30.08 - 8:42 am | #

End of the Empire?

Local media outlets have reported that the Norwood Police and the Ohio Investigation Unit raided the Empire Tavern on Worth Avenue Friday night, ending their 5-month joint investigation. This Kentucky Post article (includes a picture of the place) says the police executed a search warrant and arrested two people, one a female employee, on multiple drug charges. They also issued citations against the bar that included no food service, unsanitary conditions, improper conduct-disorderly activity, improper conduct-drug sales, and improper conduct-drug possession. According to officials, the Ohio Liquor commission could either fine the Empire Tavern or revoke their liquor permit as a result of the raid.

It’s a given the City would prefer the second option above. At their 4/22/08 meeting, city council passed the following resolution objecting to the renewal of the Empire’s liquor permit:


Prior to the vote, a number of people spoke to council in support of the tavern, including, several employees. They talked about the owner’s efforts to improve security in order to reduce the extraordinarily high number of calls to police for fights, intoxication, etc. We remember at least one speaker suggested the place was being unfairly targeted by local authorities. Little did the supporters know that night that the Empire was the subject of a joint investigation already well underway. Council was not persuaded by their arguments, and the resolution passed.

In view of Friday night’s raid, arrests, and citations, is there any way the Empire Tavern won’t lose its liquor license?

(Thanks to Jeanette for sending this news item.)

Community blood drive at Rookwood Commons

Hoxworth Blood Center is a conducting a community blood drive this Thursday in front of Bed, Bath and Beyond at Rookwood Commons. If you’ve never given blood before, here’s some information from the Hoxworth website about their safety procedures.

When: Thursday, July 3; 11 am - 5 pm
Where: Bed, Bath and Boyond at 2669 Edmondson Rd.
Appointments recommended: Call 366-3532 or click here to schedule an appointment online.
Bonus: All donors will get a free T-shirt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Citizens on Patrol: graffiti vandals’ worst nightmare

We suppose they think they’re clever, going around Norwood with spray paint and defacing property with their unsightly so-called graffiti “art” and coded messages. But now these vandals have met their match in Citizens on Patrol’s graffiti remediation program. With the removal of about 250 graffiti tags under their belt, COP volunteers have put out the “Graffiti Unwelcome Here” mat by erasing the stuff almost as soon as it appears.

So what’s the biggest weapon in the COP arsenal? Elephant Snot, of course. What, you're like us and didn't know about the wonders of Elephant Snot and how it “penetrates deeply into concrete, cement, brick, grout, stone, virtually anything porous to dissolve and loosen all types of tags?” It removes “spray paint graffities, marker, pen, ink, crayon, shoe polish, lipstick, pencil, and most other graffiti marks and stains.” Bill Graff, Vice President of West Norwood Neighborhood Association and a founder of Citizens on Patrol, says that “while Elephant Snot is expensive at $75.00 a gallon, it really does the job on spray paint removal. COP volunteers have used it to remove graffiti that was years old after failed attempts with other products.” He advises, of course, that it’s important to read and follow all safe use instructions.

Bill says one of their recent victories was removing the 6 or 7 year-old word “SEER” from the brick apartment building at the corner of Park and Forest. But the job is much easier if it’s tackled right after the graffiti appears. In several instances lately, his team has removed graffiti within 24 to 72 hours of the offense. And now there’s a Norwood ordinance that requires property owners to remove it within five days of its appearance. Lt. Tom Williams, Jr., sponsor of COPP, encourages the public to call the NPD’s non-emergency phone # 458-4520 to report graffiti sightings. If you see someone in the act, please try to give an accurate description of the suspect. Be on the lookout for the code words “COS” and “CRUST,” which he says are starting to pop up in a number of places throughout the city.

Both Bill Graff and Lt. Williams tell us COP volunteers can advise homeowners how to best remove graffiti from their property and will even perform the task for residents like senior citizens who either unable to do it themselves and/or can’t afford $75 for removal products. Residents will be asked to sign a liability waiver for removal as well make a small donation to COPP to help defray the cost of the chemicals. Before and after photos will be taken.

To report graffiti: Call the NPD at 458-4520.
Residents who need help with removal: Call Bill Graff at 371-6977 or Lt. Williams at 458-4545.

Norwood Boy Scouts seek donations for 10-day mission

According to today's Enquirer, Boy Scout Troop 9, which meets at the old St. Elizabeth School building, is asking for financial help for their August 1-10 Mission to the Dominican Republic to build 12’ X 12’ concrete homes for the needy. According to this informational page at The Village Mountain Mission website, the intent of the trip for each scout “is to provide service to mankind that can also change your understanding of the world while having fun and adventure at minimal cost." The cost of the trip is $475 plus $700-$1,000 for airfare. It is hoped each scout will pay about $500 of the total cost. If you’d like to make a donation to help out, visit this Troop 9 web page for contact information for Scoutmaster George Schneider and Senior Assistant George Ahrman.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mayor Williams sets attendance goal for Burwood pool

Our bad for not checking the Burwood Pool Parents blog more often. We missed these two June 14 blogs updating pool attendance and Fun Friday’s. In the attendance update, the parents report an average of 63 swimmers per day for the 12 days since the pool opened, excluding 3 “bad weather” days. That’s excellent news, but the really big news is that Mayor Williams told the group the City will “spend the money” to upgrade and improve the pool next year IF an average of 60 swimmer per day can be maintained this season.

Naturally, we’re all invited to swim at Burwood in support of the 60-per-day goal, but we’ve got a technical question: what exactly counts as swimming? For instance, if one feels wearing a bathing suit might frighten the children, would it count as swimming to come over in shorts, sit on the edge of the pool and dangle the feet for half an hour, or does it have be a whole-body immersion?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Relayman asks about aluminum can theft

Yesterday, Relayman sent us an email asking, “Are we supposed to call the cops every time we see someone going through the bins?” Excellent question, we thought, especially after reading about his frustration with an ongoing problem in his neighborhood:

According to a flyer we received from the City of Norwood, removing aluminum cans from the recycling bins is illegal. Yet, once again, it's Monday night and the old guy is going down Kenilworth pulling cans out of recycling bins.

I called the dispatch center once on another gentleman, and they sent out an officer, but I'm not sure how that was handled (I doubt that an arrest was made, though, because the officer didn't actually witness the subject stealing aluminum).

What's the solution? My solution is simple: I don't put aluminum cans in the recycling bin any more. The last straw was when I saw two children, about six and eight, going through the bins.

We quickly paid a visit to the Norwood Health Department website’s Recycling page and found this:

It is illegal to remove items from recycling bins, either on private property or at the curb. The City of Norwood receives grant funds to increase recycling based on the amount recycled, so taking items from residents’ recycling bins is just like stealing from the city. It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a $1000 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Next, we spoke with the NPD’s Lt. Tom Williams, Jr., and he told us, “Residents should immediately call the police non-emergency number 458-4520 every time they see someone illegally removing items from recycling bins. It’s not illegal, however, for people to remove items from regular garbage cans. Although the responding officer does have discretion not to arrest, say, a first time offender, perhaps someone who claims not to know about the ordinance, the police do need a record of each infraction in the event there‘s a second offense.” Lt. Williams also said it’s extremely helpful if the witness can provide a sworn affidavit about the incident in case the police aren’t able to catch the crime in progress.

The City of Norwood is paid by the ton for what we recycle, so it costs every time items are stolen from the bins. Lt. Williams pointed out that aluminum cans are increasing in value, so we may see more and more thieves on the prowl for them. If that’s the case, Relayman’s last question may not be farfetched: do we need bins that lock and only Rumpke can open them?

John McCain plans town hall meeting at Xavier tomorrow

According to today’s Enquirer, Sen. John McCain is planning a town hall meeting for noon tomorrow, June 26, in Xavier University’s Schmidt Hall, 3800 Victory Parkway. In an effort to bring in 150 undecided voters, phone calls are being made to Cincinnati-area voters to weed out people who have already decided on a candidate or who are strongly committed to a political party.

NPD arrest woman drenched in beer on Montgomery Rd.

The Enquirer is reporting the NPD arrested a woman late yesterday afternoon when they found covered with beer, clutching a teddy beer, and stopping traffic as she walked along the 3800 block of Montgomery Rd. Tara Ashbrook was celebrating her recent release from prison on a cocaine trafficking charge, and according to Sgt. Earl Warman, she told officers she poured the beer over herself. They had to douse her with pepper spray when she began resisting arrest. She’s being held at the Justice Center on charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and resisting arrest and will be before a judge later today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just in: Mike Gabbard says Relay for a Life a huge success

Mike Gabbard, Co-Chair of this year’s Relay for Life, definitely has ESP. Before we could get an email off to him this morning to find out how the event went over the weekend, his email telling us about it arrived just a few minutes ago. As you’ll see below, Mike has a lot of thank you’s to share with our readers, but we also want to thank him and all the other volunteers for making Relay for Life such a huge success.

I wanted to say THANK YOU again for all your help in getting the word out about the Relay For Life.

This year we raised $64,000.00 and had about 800 participants. The night was full of fun for all ages. Ken Broo, Sports Director for Ch.5 News, was on site and broadcast his sports segment live from the Relay. His wife Jackie also spoke and shared her story of "taking control of your own health" at the survivor dinner. Speaking of the survivor dinner, we would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Betta's Restaurant for providing the dinner for all our survivors. Owner Willie DeLuca provided the dinner in memory of his father Roger DeLuca, who passed away from cancer. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Willie.

We look forward to this event event again next June and hope to have even more people come join in the fun. Besides raising money our goal was to raise awareness and that was accomplished with your help. Thank you, CBN.

Mike "Gabby" Gabbard

Clases de español en Norwood Service League

Starting next month, Norwood Service League, 2071 Lawrence Avenue, is offering classes for people who would like to learn Spanish for conversation or for work-related skills. The classes will be taught by Panamanian native Elba Madison, a graduate of Xavier University. NSL Executive Director Lupe Gozales Hoyt told us, “Elba teaches Spanish to corporate professionals and average English-speaking folks who want to learn Spanish. She is an engaging teacher with a friendly personality.”

There will be two 10-week sessions, one in the morning and one late afternoon. There need to be at least 5 students enrolled per class in order for the classes to proceed:
1. Every Monday at 10:30 a.m. starting July 7
2. Every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. starting July 10

At this point, Lupe tells us, both the fee and length of each class are open-ended because Elba wants to know if adult learners want a 1 hr., 1.5 hr. or a 2 hr. class each Monday or Thursday. The length of time AND how many students are enrolled determine the individual weekly fee. So, a 1.5 hr class with 5 students would cost $15 while a 2 hr. class with 5 students would cost $20. The more students in the class, the less cost per student. Materials are developed and provided by Elba Madison.

Anyone who is interested in this opportunity should call Norwood Service League as soon as possible at 924-1200 to place your name their Spanish Language Class list. As Lupe says, “This class will help with your job and broaden your interaction with more people in the community.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Al-Yanna belly dancers at Norwood Library this Saturday!

Al-Yanna Dance Troupe was to appear at the Norwood Branch Library this past March; but, unfortunately, our near blizzard cancelled their dance demonstration. Dancers Lisbet and Seraphina have been rescheduled for this Saturday, and everyone is invited to attend. They have a unique style that uses tribal moves as well as veils and swords. Click the video on the left here to see them balancing swords on their heads while they dance.

When: Saturday, June 28, 2008; 11 a.m.
Where: Norwood Branch Library, 4325 Montgomery Rd.
Who’s invited: all ages
Cost: free
More information: 369-6037

Two other great programs this week at the Norwood Library:
1. Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 24, at 10:30 a.m.; Storybook Puppeteers for ages 3-12
2. Thursday, June 26, at 2:00 p.m.; Stage Combat (with Amazing Portable Circus!) for ages 12-18

Low interest HIP Program loans reinstated

Last week, Jami Stutzman informed her Keepin’ it REAL Estate readers that the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners voted on May 28th to reinstate the Hamilton County Home Improvement Program (HIP). HIP loans enable Hamilton County homeowners in these participating communities, including Norwood, to borrow money to repair or remodel their homes or rental properties at interest rates 3% below the lowest rate a bank would normally offer. Below are a few of the details from the Hamilton County HIP website:

- No Income Restrictions or limits (must be able to meet bank's credit requirements)
- Loans capped at $50,000
- For one-family, or two-family, and commercial properties valued up to $350,000 (based on - Hamilton County Auditor's appraisal)
- Owner-occupied and investment dwellings
- No property value limit on multi-family dwellings (three or more units)
- Loans can be used for alteration, repair, maintenance or improvement
- Can also be used for code violation compliance and property upgrades

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stretch your grocery budget at Norwood Nazarene Church!

No, it's not a joke

With the price of food skyrocketing, this incredible, community wide, grocery-savings event on July 26th, hosted by Norwood Church of the Nazarene, is definitely right on time. Deb Robinson, a member of the church, told us the church is one of many teaming up with Angel Food Ministries in a national program that delivers quality food packages to all the host churches at a greatly discounted price. She explained that “the food is not seconds, dented, or day old. There is a cost of $30/per box, which is supposed to feed a family of four for about a week. There are also 3 meat/poultry and 1 veggie/fruit add-on specials ranging in price from $16 to $20 each. It’s a great program to help families stretch their food budgets. There are no income guidelines, so ANYONE can order. Food stamps are also accepted."

Incredibly, you pay only $30 for the following items worth $60 to $75:

40 oz. Marie Callender’s® Family Crock Pot Dinner (Meat Included)
1.5 lb. Boneless Pork Filet
5 lb. Breaded Chicken Chunks
1.5 lb. Meaty Beef Ribs
28 oz. Meatloaf and Gravy
1 lb. Beef Fajitas
1 lb. Fully Cooked Meatballs
1 lb. All Meat Hot Dogs
1 lb. Broccoli
1 lb. Peas and Carrots
28 oz. Pasta Sauce
1 lb. Pasta
32 oz. Borden 2% Reduced Fat Shelf Stable Milk
32 oz. Hawaiian Punch
12 ct. Corn Tortillas
7 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
1 Dozen Eggs
1 Dessert Item

Click here to see the menus, including the 4 specials, ordering instructions, and the order form, which must be submitted with payment (except for food stamp recipients) by Sunday, July 13, to Norwood Church of the Nazarene, 4424 Floral Avenue, 45212. You can either mail the form with your payment or drop both off at the church any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 9:00 a.m. and noon before the July 13 deadline. After that, all you have to do is pick up your order at the church on Saturday, July 26, between 1 and 2 p.m.

If you have questions, call the church at 531-7585 or email Pastor Tim Brooks at

Our thanks to Deb Robinson for letting us help spread the word about this great event and to Norwood Church of the Nazarene for helping community members save on our groceries!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A perfect day for NSL’s Open House and Building Dedication

Norwood Service League’s Open House and Building Dedication today honoring Bill and Vivian Graff was a treat to attend in every way, including the beautiful weather. A complete guided tour of the building prior to the 11:30 a.m. dedication was proof positive why there is now a plaque on the right hand front side that says, “Graff Building In Honor of Williams and Vivian Graff." The Graff’s attention to detail shouldn’t have been surprising (remember the gorgeous Victorian dollhouse he built that was in not one, but two drawings a few years ago?), but was, nonetheless, amazing. Of course, Bill was quick to tell everyone he couldn’t have done the renovation without a lot of help from other volunteers.

Among this morning’s Open House attendees were Harriet Arnold, who began volunteering at Norwood Service League 60 years ago; former Cincinnati Mayor Dwight Tillery who is currently the CEO and President of Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati which provides funding to NSL; Councilperson Mike Gabbard; Kevin Raines, pastor of Vineyard Central Church; Casey Brown with the Norwood Fireworks Committee; and Mayor Tom Williams and Mrs. Williams.

Liz Wenker, Board Chair of Norwood Service League, welcomed about thirty guests to the outdoor Building Dedication Ceremony, followed by Mayor Williams reading the “Norwood Service League Day” proclamation. Next, Executive Director Lupe Gonzales Hoyt unveiled the Graff Building plaque and made the official dedication. After some modest remarks by both Bill and Vivian Graff praising others for all their help, Pastor Jerry E. Jones of the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church offered the Dedication Prayer.

The Open House goes until 3:00 p.m. today, so stop by if you can and enjoy the festivities.

May, 2008 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Below is the summary information from the Earnings Tax Department‘s May Report. This 1st Quarter report showed a YTD increase of 13.6% over the 1st Quarter of 2007. Collections for last month show a significantly smaller increase over May ’07, which prompted Councilpersons Joe Sanker and Keith Moore to make some remarks about it at last week’s council meeting. Essentially, they said the days of 8-15% increases may well be things of the past, but that 4% increases in earnings taxes are still the envy of many other municipalities.

May Collections
Individual………….$ 51,554.50
Business……….…...$ 17,792.30

Collections thru May 2008.….……….....….......$7,121, 308.98
Collections thru May 2007.….……..….............$6,838,455.01
Increase in collections over 2007.....4.14%..….$ 282,853.97

Norwood police chase, catch man who ran over his brother

The Enquirer is reporting a 30-year-old Cincinnati man allegedly ran over his older brother during an argument the two were having both outside and inside the BP station at Madison and Edwards roads at 2:00 a.m. today. Norwood Police Sgt. Michael Spille said once the brothers left the store and got back into the vehicle, “the victim got out, and that’s when his brother hit him multiple times with car and then ran him over.” He immediately fled onto southbound I71 with a Norwood police officer in pursuit. The officer pulled him over on Fort Washington Way and took him into custody. The victim was taken to University Hospital. Sgt. Spille told the Enquirer his injuries are not life threatening, but he could lose his right leg.

Norwood Marching Indians car wash this Saturday

When: Saturday, June 21 from 10: 00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: CVS Pharmacy, 5229 Montgomery Road
Cost: Make a donation

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 4th of July Hometown Fireworks at Shea Stadium

Thanks to the dedication of the Norwood Fireworks Committee, headed by Donna Burgess, and the generosity of the Carl H. Lindner family, the 5th Annual Norwood Hometown Fireworks promises to out bedazzle previous years, and that’s really saying something. For one thing, The 122nd Army Band, The Ohio Army National Guard’s premier performing group will be the entertainment. The band, which is stationed at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, has over 80 members who travel throughout the state performing sit-down concerts, jazz concerts, military ceremonies, parades and a variety of other public functions.

There’s another great addition to this year’s program, and this is really, really fantastic for our young people. The Fireworks Committee had an essay contest through Norwood High School on the subject of “What do the fireworks symbolize on the 4th of July?” Committee member Casey Brown tells us Stacha Hof wrote the winning essay, and Sarah Watson was the runner up. Stacha will be presented a cash prize of $300, and Sarah will receive $200. Also, Stacha’s essay will be printed in the fireworks’ program, and we’ll publish it here at a later date. Congratulations to these two gifted essayists!

Friday, July 4, 6:30 p.m. ‘til after the fireworks at dusk

Where: Shea Stadium, 2603 Harris Avenue
122nd Army Band Concert: Starts at 8:00 p.m.
Food and beverages: Athletic Boosters and the Boy Scouts will have separate booths.
Fun extras: There will games and different fun things for the kids to do before the fireworks start, plus B-105.1 FM Country Radio will be on hand.
Master of Ceremonies: Steve Thornbury
More information: 731-4287

The Fireworks Committee has created a terrific poster to promote the event and is looking for businesses, churches, and other organizations to place them. If you can help, call Casey Brown at 396-6683 or e-mail her at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cincinnati Reds’ summer baseball camps at Shea Stadium

Yesterday, Jeff Lozoski, General Manager for the Reds’ Champions Baseball Academy responded to our request for additional information about the Academy’s 3-day summer training camps starting next Monday, June 23, at Shea Stadium. There will be a total of 31 regional camps in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia for kids ages 5-14. All the basics are taught by top instructors and are designed for players of all skill levels.

Three camps at Shea Stadium:
1. Little Red Champions: For boys & girls ages 5-6, covering all the basics - $129
2. Reds Prospects: Ages 7-9, for the beginning player - $149
3. Reds Veterans: Ages 10-14, for the more experienced and competitive player - $149
Camp sessions run for three hours, with ages 5-9 starting at 9 a.m. and ages 10-14 camp starting at 1 p.m.

The cost includes:
Two tickets to a Reds Home Game
1 Ticket to Red’s Hall of Fame
Reds Summer Camp Hat and T-shirt
Summer Camp Graduation Certificate

Click here to enroll and pay online or call 247-9511.

Red light cameras - is it time?

By Rick Hursh

Is it time for red light cameras in Norwood? Cincinnati is struggling with the issue with City Council supporting the move for the protection of the community and with COAST and the NAACP opposing the issue on the side that cameras are intrusive, cause more accidents, increase insurance rates and would scare people from downtown.

Red light cameras are automatic systems that take pictures of cars that run red lights. A citation and usually a picture is sent to the owner of the car. These camera systems are more often than not monitored and maintained by a private company receiving a portion of the money generated by the tickets at no cost to the community.

Of the many down sides to the system, a person is considered guilty and must prove his/her innocence. The cameras may tend to increase the number of accidents because people slam on there breaks when they see that they may be caught by the camera. In addition, there is a big brother feel to the cameras as you can see on YouTube. A camera in Hartford, Connecticut caught a hit and run incident where an elderly man was left in the street and was passed by a number of people with no one coming to his aid.

Why red light cameras? Norwood is a city of pedestrians. In our town, people walk to school, the store, church, the bar, with their dogs, and to our parks and pools. Cars that run red lights are a clear danger not only to other cars but also to those pedestrians. With the ever higher gas prices, we are bound to see more and more walkers.

Having personally witnessed a number of drivers just blow through red lights while other cars patiently waited, I can see that it will not be long before we will have to deal with the tragedy of the situation. That our police can only do so much and cannot be everywhere at the same time may need to be a factor in our decision.

So, is it time for red light cameras or are there other solutions? Do we need to increase police presence at major intersections, drawing them away from their current patrols? Hire more police, which will increase our taxes or draw money from other services like the fire department? While having heard the arguments against red lights cameras, I have not heard COAST or the NAACP come up with solutions to the problem. We can always do nothing and just pray that our family, friends and neighbors do not become the victims. Prayer is good; just make sure you include the atheists and the agnostics. They have kids, too.

Norwood man charged with abduction in Brown County

Channel 5 is reporting that Norwood resident Stephen Wells, 48, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly holding a Ripley, Ohio man captive at gunpoint for more than two hours at a campsite in Brown County. The victim had gone to the campsite to pick up a friend. Wells, whom deputies found visibly intoxicated, told investigators the victim had been trespassing and he intended to arrest him. He is police custody on $5,000 bond, charged with abductions and using weapons while intoxicated.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Open House at Norwood Service League this Thursday

Guest blog by Lupe Gonzales Hoyt

Norwood Service League is inviting the public to our OPEN HOUSE Thursday, June 19 between 11AM-3PM. A special Building Dedication event at 2071 Lawrence Avenue will occur at 11:30 AM to honor board members William and Vivian Graff for their work and support. The NSL building is being named The Graff Building with beautiful signage provided by FastSigns-Jeff Cline. A Mayoral Proclamation will be read making the day "Norwood Service League Day". City and county officials will be in attendance alongside various leaders of the community. Tours of the building is planned, refreshments provided.

Norwood Service League is a community-based social service agency helping people in crisis in Norwood, and helping to move them toward self-sufficiency. A staff of trained professionals carry out the work of anti-poverty, job preparation, information and referral. NSL is a Community Rep for Hamilton County Food Stamp Program. We partner with Great Oaks Vocational for our adult education program, The Center for Closing the Health Gap for our health initiative, the Norwood Community Coalition for asset building initiative, and Abriendo Puertas-ASAP Center.

Lupe A. Gonzalez Hoyt
Executive Director
Norwood Service League

Computer classes for Norwood adults at “The Mouse Pad”

Hands-on basic computer classes for Norwood adults start Monday, July 7 at TriHealth SeniorLink on Wesley Avenue in Norwood. TriHealth and ezPC Training of Cincinnati have collaborated to provide basic computer training, starting with how to turn on a computer and proceeding through computer basics into using the Internet and e-mail. SeniorLink recently added a new computer lab they affectionately named “The Mouse Pad” to their Wesley Avenue facility. They’ve been teaching computer skills to their day-time SeniorLink participants and are now ready to make the training available to adult residents of Norwood and surrounding communities.

When: every Monday for 10 weeks starting July 7; 3 to 5 p.m.
Where: TriHealth Senior Link at 4750 Wesley Avenue
Cost: $40 for each 2-week class includes Student Manuals
Contact: Judy Oberton of ezPC Training at (513) 706-0916 or visit their website at

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tree Board’s Rene Dierker speaking at WNNA meeting

Public speaking and gardening are two of Norwood Tree Board President Rene Dierker’s strongest suits, so you definitely don’t want to miss her presentation this coming Tuesday at a very special meeting of the West Norwood Neighborhood Association. WNNA Vice President Bill Graff tells us Rene will be giving her audience gardening and landscaping tips, plus she’s bringing plants to share. Everyone’s invited to get some free advice from one of our most gifted gardeners.

When: Tuesday, June 17; 7:30 p.m.
Where: Community Center, 1810 Courtland Avenue

Relay for Life only 7 days away

Mike Gabbard, Co Chair of the American Cancer Society’s 2008 Relay for Life, sent us the following blog to remind everyone that it's not too late to support this important event:

The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life-Norwood is only 7 days away. It starts next Friday June 20th, at Shea Stadium.

* Opening Ceremonies begin at 6 pm with the Survivor Lap & Survivor Dinner to follow.

* Calling ALL Cancer Survivors...please come down and be our honored guest. Free t-shirt, dinner and gift.

* Luminary Ceremony begins at 9 pm. This is a very heartwarming ceremony. All the names on the luminary bags that encircle the track will be read aloud.

* Luminary bags can be bought in honor of a survivor or in memory of someone who you've lost.

* Stop by anytime between 6pm Friday thru noon on Saturday. It's 18 hours of Celebrating, Remembering and Fighting Back.

* A LOT OF FUN for all ages. Very family oriented event


If you would like to make a donation to the Relay please make checks payable to:
American Cancer Society
Mail checks to:
Relay For Life
4631 Carter Ave.
Norwood, Oh. 45212

Call Michael "Gabby" Gabbard with any questions at 200-6846
Hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

AFL-CIO members protesting gas prices at Norwood BP today

Channel 12 is reporting that members of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor organization, have scheduled 12 protests in Ohio over the next five days. Demonstrators are scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. today at the BP gas station at the corner of Edwards and Madison. They are protesting rising gas prices and Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The Ohio protests are part of a series of nationwide protests that began Monday in Indianapolis.

29 days left to vote Quatman’s burger the best!

Mike Gabbard just emailed us that Quatman’s is one of 7 Cincinnati area restaurants up for “best burger” at this online polling site. We can vote once a day for the remaining 29 days the poll is open. How about it? Let’s show some hometown support and put Quatman’s in the win column with a little effort! And, of course, email this blog to any people or organizations you think will help.

6/12/08, 8:25 a.m. UPDATE: Quatman's has pulled ahead of Zip's! Yesterday morning when we posted this, Quatman's was in 2nd place with 23% of the vote, and Zip's had 28%. Less than 24 hours later, Quatman's is 27% vs. Zip's 26%. Keep voting, everybody!

April 08 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

This monthly Norwood Fire Department report is brief enough that we can publish it in its entirety, though we do format it just a little differently from the original:

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of April = 375

Medic Runs = 290
Fire Runs = 18 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 2 minutes, 56 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 18 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 21 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 15 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 4 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 4 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 23 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 0

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Spring Service Program started in April: flow and lubricate hydrants

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 719
Total Inspections – 141 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 186
Total Violations – corrected 286
Total Block Inspections – 6 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 100

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Armed robbery at local Speedway, no injuries

Channel 12 is reporting the Speedway station at 2713 Williams Avenue was robbed just before midnight. The robber pulled a gun and demanded cash. He then fled to a dead-end street nearby where a getaway car was waiting. Norwood police were unable to locate the suspect with a canine unit. A description of the suspect has not been released.

10th Annual Rolling Thunder POW/MIA Awareness Run

On Saturday, June 28, Ohio Chapter 9 of Rolling Thunder will be assembling on their motorcycles for a one-hour, police-escorted run through Norwood as part of their annual commemoration of our country’s soldiers who are still prisoners of war or missing in action. All cycle riders are welcome to join them on their ride, and everyone is invited to the Victory Park memorial service at the end of the ride.

When: Saturday, June 28
Ride starts: 12:00 noon at the Harley Davidson Store , 1799 Tennessee Ave. Assemble on the side street, Transpark Dr.
Ride ends: 1:00 p.m. with a brief memorial service at Victory Park, Montgomery Rd. at Mills Ave.
More information: Call Jerry Owens at 531-2848

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

99 swimmers at Burwood pool, but who’s counting?

The Burwood Pool Parents, that who. And having persuaded the Norwood Recreation Commissioners to keep the pool open, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll be keeping very accurate attendance records this summer. This past Friday, Rebecca Schaen gave us this report on the pool opening to share with our readers:

“We have just enjoyed our first full week at Burwood. The first day, it took a while for the pool to get open (inspections and such), and the next two days it stormed, but this past Thursday was great, and today we had our Opening Day picnic. We served more than a hundred hotdogs! Also, Thursday, today, and for the next 2 days (yes, we actually get to swim this weekend!) Burwood will be open until 7:00 pm. Of course, when Waterworks opens, we have to go back to the normal hours. Thursday we counted 99 swimmers!!”

Click here to see photos of the kids enjoying the pool.

Ordinance to purchase new $382,541 Seagrave pumper

The following ordinance is on tonight’s council meeting agenda for an introductory reading. It calls for the City to enter into a contract under the State Bid Purchase Program to purchase a 2008 Seagrave Marauder II pumper for $382,541. Regular readers may recall this blog we posted about Lt. Cartuyvelles’ presentation at the 9/4/07 COW meeting outlining the NFD’s need for a new paramedic pumper estimated at that time to cost $300,000. This website has information about the Marauder II pumper.


WHEREAS, the City of Norwood requires a replacement fire apparatus to continue to serve its citizens, businesses, and employees in the performance of their duties; now therefore,

BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Norwood, State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That the Director of Public Service Safety is hereby authorized to enter into a contract under the State Bid Purchase Program, in accordance with specifications on file in the office of the Director of Public Service Safety, for the purchase of one 2008 Seagrave Marauder II pumper outfitted with the proper safety equipment for use by the Norwood Fire Division.

SECTION 2. That the City Auditor is hereby authorized to draw and the City Treasurer authorized to pay warrants in the amount of THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY TWO THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND FORTY ONE DOLLARS AND NO CENTS ($382,541.00) plus interest not to exceed 8% for the purchase of the aforementioned vehicle out of the FUND 98 - FIXED ASSETS.

SECTION 3. The Auditor is hereby authorized to execute, on behalf of the City, any and all financing agreements to obtain financing for the purchase of the aforementioned vehicle.

SECTION 4. This ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency ordinance and a measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and general welfare and shall go into effect forthwith. The reason for said emergency is the necessity to proceed forthwith.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Councilperson Steve Thornbury launches Ward 2 Website

We are pleased to announce that Ward 2 Councilperson Steve Thornbury’s brand new website Norwood Ward 2 is, as he puts it, “ready for public scrutiny.” This first ever Norwood ward site is the result of a collaboration between Mr. Thornbury and his Mrs. It was her final project for a web design class she took last quarter at Raymond Walters, and it’s clear the “A” she received for the class was well deserved. As he explains, the site can serve as a resource for all Norwood residents:

“The Ward 2 website has been designed to give residents a resource for news and information that affects our ward and the City of Norwood in general. It includes a calendar that we’ll try to keep updated with current events. Please feel free to send any information you have about the ward or the city that you’d like to see added to the calendar. You can also use the site to alert me to any concerns you might have on any subject related to the city services.”

We think a ward website is definitely an idea whose time has come, and we congratulate Mr. Thornbury for blazing the trail. Norwood Ward 2 has been added to our links on the right hand side, another great addition to our growing online community!

Farmers markets at Whole Foods Markets in Norwood

This past Friday, we spoke to Rachel DesRochers to find out more about the twice-a-month outdoor farmers markets scheduled through September at Whole Foods Markets at Rookwood Commons. Rachel is the Marketing Specialist for the store and tells us 27 vendors have signed up so far and more are in the pipeline. As soon as word got out about the markets, she started getting phone calls from Findley Market vendors wanting to participate. Among them, she said, is the famed Gene, the Radish King who sells mustards and horseradishes. In addition to chicken, meat, baked goods, flowers and produce vendors you’d expect to see, you’ll also find things like pottery, handcrafted jewelry and artwork, herbs, body care products, and roasted coffee for sale. Naturally, Rachel hopes Norwood residents will stop by and check it all out.

Where: Whole Foods Market at Rookwood Commons, 2693 Edmondson Road
Hours: 4 to 7 p.m.
Dates (all Tuesday’s): June 10 and 24; July 8 and 22; August 12 and 26; September 9 and 23
More Information: 531-8015

Related story:
Friday’s Business Courier reported that Whole Foods Market, based in Austin, Texas, has recalled fresh Roma and large field-grown round tomatoes at all its stores following a salmonella outbreak linked to eating uncooked tomatoes. Texas health officials found 21 confirmed cases of salmonella since mid-April and believe raw tomatoes are the likely source. Yesterday, we noted the Norwood Kroger’s has also pulled Roma tomatoes off the shelf and is selling only the vine-attached variety.

How to find the cheapest gas in and near Norwood

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Beacon published three useful websites that enable consumers to locate the least expensive gas in their area. Each website allows you to enter a zip code to see a map of reportedly the cheapest gas for that neighborhood.

3. GasPrices@MapQuest

Friday, June 06, 2008

U.S. Playing Card may be closer to moving

Today’s Business Courier is reporting that United States Playing Card Co., located on Beech Street in Norwood, has applied for $5 million in state tax incentives related to a proposed relocation site in Boone County, Ky. Property locations in Ohio have also been under consideration, including the recently vacated 29-acre Showcase Cinema site in neighboring Bond Hill. U.S. Playing Card President Phil Dolci told the Business Courier in this March 21 article that the company, a subsidiary of Jarden Corp., was exploring relocation options and could make a decision by the end of June. Mayor Tom Williams told both the Business Courier and City Council that he/the City would do everything possible to keep the company in Norwood. Unfortunately, there are no other sites within the city that are large enough to accommodate their operation.

Health Fair at Norwood Presbyterian Church

Pastor Chris White of Norwood Presbyterian Church wants everyone to know about the free community wide Health Fair at the church on June 16. The event is sponsored by Presbytery of Cincinnati in cooperation with Synod of the Covenant Mobile Health Fair Program. An array of free screenings will be available, including the all-important blood screening to check sugar, cholestorol, and hemoglobin. Pass the word around - this is a wonderful opportunity Norwood Presbyterian is offering to help community members stay healthy.

When: Monday, June 16 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: Norwood Presbyterian Church, 4400 Floral Avenue @ corner of Washington Ave.
More information: 531-1546

Services provided:
1. Height & weight measurement
2. Blood pressure check
3, Blood screening (sugar, cholesterol, hemoglobin)

4. Vision check
5. Dental screening
6. Hearing check
7. Information about health related topics
8. Every person will receive a free health kit at the conclusion of the screening (shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Calling all 12-18 year olds: take the TeenTube Challenge!

When we read all the information Cathy Plichta with the Norwood Branch Library sent us about the upcoming TeenTube Challenge, our jaws dropped and our eyes popped! This summer, for the first time, any Norwood teen between the ages of 12 and 18 has a golden opportunity to learn how to make a short film under the guidance of the library, WCET, and Norwood Community Television. Cathy tells us all the equipment and training will be provided free of charge starting June 13. And get this: teens can burn their video or audio podcast onto a DVD or CD and turn it into their local library to enter a contest, and THEN attend the July 12 TeenTube Premiere Party on Fountain Square when the winners will be announced. First prize is a $100 gift card to Target, second prize is a $75 gift card to Target, and third prize is a $50 gift card to Target, plus the winning videos will run on the big screen for all the partygoers to see - what a thrill!

Click here for the complete details on how TeenTube Challenge works. And thank you, Cathy, for sending us all the info for our readers.

Johnny Bench signing at Norwood Joseph Beth

Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench will be discussing and signing his newest book next Thursday at Joesph Beth Booksellers. The book, entitled “Catch Every Ball: How to Handle Life’s Pitches,” details his life beginning with the cotton fields of Oklahoma through his 1989 induction into the Hall of Fame. He will talk about some of the famous people who influenced him along the way, people like Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer, Sparky Anderson, Joe Morgan and Bobby Knight.

When: Thursday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Joseph Beth at Rookwood Pavilion
Line letters are required and are available with book purchase.
More information: 396-8960

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Section 8 density: how does Norwood compare?

In today’s blog entitled “Section 8 Density by Neighborhood,” the Cincinnati Beacon presents the facts about Section 8 housing density in Cincinnati neighborhoods and Hamilton County communities/cities, including Norwood. Using a spreadsheet he obtained from Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, the Beacon’s Dean puts to rest the myth that Westwood is awash in Section 8. From time to time, we’ve heard community members state that Norwood, too, has too many Section 8 housing units/renters for our city’s size and financial health and welfare.

But how many is too many? Compared to other communities listed on this Assisted Housing by Neighborhood spreadsheet, Norwood’s Section 8 stats look relatively low. With regard to D. and F. in the figures below, the Dean asked Kelly Kramer from CHMA the following question: “Am I correct in thinking that columns D and F indicate the percentage of rentals and houses that are section 8 as compared to the neighborhood’s total stock of rental and housing units?” She replied, “Yes, your thinking on columns D and F is correct.” She also said: “We only update our list of assisted housing divided by neighborhood twice a year. The last one was completed in February.”

A. Norwood:
B. Total Assisted Units in Neighborhood: 242
C. Rental Units in Norwood: 4,499
D. Assisted Units as %of Total Rentals: 5.38%
E. Housing Units in Norwood: 10,044
F. Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 2.41%
G. Housing Choice Voucher: 212
H. Project-Based Section 8: 8
I. MOD: 0
J. CMHA Public Housing: 18
K. Affording Housing: 4

Using data the Dean pulled from the spreadsheet and some we collected, too, here’s how Norwood’s D. and F. figures compare with the following communities:

Assisted Units as %of Total Rentals: 5.38%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 2.41%

Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 34.08%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 13.82

Golf Manor:
Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 26.83%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 11.14%

Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 9.84%
Assisted Units as % of total Units: 5.19%

Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 11.10%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 6.27%

Mt. Airy:
Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 24.45%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 14.36%

Kennedy Heights:
Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 18.13%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 6.59%

Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 14.77%
Assisted Units as % of Total Units: 6.60%

College Hill:
Assisted Units as % of Total Rentals: 22.78%
Assisted Units as % of total Units: 9.08%

How Operation: Splash! gets needy kids swimming

Now that our public pools are open for the summer, Operation: Splash! is underway to fund $30 swim passes that will be provided free to our community’s neediest children. Annual fundraising for the program is conducted by Norwood Service League. Yesterday, Lupe Gonzales Hoyt, NSL’s Executive Director, filled us in on how Operation Splash! works:

Operation: Splash! was established by David Bientz when he was on the Recreation Commission about 7 or 8 years ago. Last year, Norwood Service League helped to raise funds for this account at Wright-Patt Credit Union for families that can not afford to purchase a $30 pass for their child. Once again, we are beating the drum to raise funds on behalf of our needy children.

Operation: Splash! works this way: A needy family contacts the Norwood Recreation Commission office requesting free swim passes. They are referred to Norwood Service League to screen household income, proof of residency, verify need with a signed form from NSL. They take the NSL form back to the NRC office and receive the requested swim pass. The dollars come from an account set up at Wright-Patt and every penny goes directly to helping our kids swim this summer.

My hope is Citizens for a Better Norwood’s blog readers will consider donating generously to Operation: Splash! If anyone has questions, please call Norwood Service League at 924-1200.

Norwood Service League is a 501 (3)(c) charity, and all donations are tax deductible. Wright-Patt is the fiscal agent working with Norwood Recreation Commission in overseeing donations received. Send your donation to:

C/o Wright-Patt Credit Union
4560 Lafayette Ave.
Norwood, OH 45212

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Surrey Square update at Keepin’ It REAL Estate

Jami Stutzman’s “Keepin’ It REAL Estate” is on our must read list for keeping current with local real estate trends/activity and for blogs she does about Norwood. Last week, she did this Surrey Square update, complete with pictures documenting what surely is the ugliest phase of the redo. According to Jami, just the rumor that Chipolte is going in is becoming a selling point for people looking at Norwood properties. Something else we didn’t know about are t-shirts that say “Norwood Happens.” How true, but who’s selling them?

Monday, June 02, 2008

View staff giving back to beloved school counselor

According to today’s Enquirer, Norwood View Elementary school counselor Rae Lynn Burton leaves no child or anyone else behind by going above and beyond her job description on a daily basis. The list of her “aboves and beyonds” is lengthy: she has bought new bed linens for a family that couldn’t afford them so they could rid themselves of a chronic infestation of lice, driven sick children home from school or taken them to doctor appointments, collected donations from staff for a family without weekend groceries, protected children by counseling bullies that threaten them. Now she is the one the receiving end.

This past Friday, Ms. Burton underwent a mastectomy. The staff at Norwood View raised more than $1,000 to help pay for house cleaning or anything else she and her family need during her recovery. They and family members organized a calendar to deliver food to her Deer Park home. "We could never repay her for all she's done," said Sandra White, principal at View. "She's just that once-in-a-lifetime person that you're able to meet that does so much for others."

John P. Vincent taught typing at NHS for 30 years

John Paul Vincent, 87, died May 26 in Lexington, Ohio. He began teaching vocational education at Norwood High School in 1956 and retired in the late 1980’s. According to his son Dan, "Anyone that went through the typing program in the '60s or '70s had him." After retiring, he and his wife Adele moved to Lake Waynoka Retirement Community in Brown County. Following her death in 1999, Mr. Vincent went to live with Dan in Lexington. Condolences can be sent to Dan Vincent and Family, 2810 Hunters Ridge Court, Lexington, Ohio 44904.

Norwood City Schools Place Three New Principals

Filed by Lisa Bauer

Superintendent Steve Collier announced three personnel changes in the Middle and High School. Brad Winterod, principal of Sharpsburg Elementary, will become the new principal of Norwood High School. Kathy (Shelby) Sabo will become principal of the Middle School. Mark Gabbard, a social studies teacher at the middle school, will become assistant principal of the Middle School.