Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, September 28, 2007

Starting Monday: blogs by candidates for Norwood offices

We thought a good use for our blog this campaign season would be to invite candidates for both City and school board offices to submit compositions that will inform our readers about themselves, their platforms, issues they’ve identified - essentially, whatever they’d like to say in an open ended format. The only restriction we’ve applied is a 700-word limit.

Candidates for city offices will be featured first, followed by the school board candidates who accept our invitation. We plan on publishing one candidate blog per day until we’re finished, and we don’t know when that will be since the submission deadline hasn’t passed yet. We’re putting some of our regular features like the 2006 NPD Report excerpts on hiatus in favor of publishing what we think is a special feature that will help at least some Norwood voters make more informed decisions this November 6.

We want to thank Keith Moore, Co-Chair of the Norwood Democratic Club, and Vic Schneider, President of the Norwood Republican Club, for all their help inviting the candidates from their respective parties.

Law & Ordinance Committee meeting called next Tuesday

Law & Ordinance Committee Chair Keith Moore has scheduled a meeting next Tuesday, 10/2/07, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers before the 7:30 p.m. televised COW meeting. We’re assuming the committee meeting will also be televised on cable Channel 4. If we find out otherwise today from NCT, we’ll post a correction.

Here’s the 5-item agenda:
1. Vacant Property
2. Sexual Predators
3. High Grass
4. Changing Council Rules
5. Budget Information to Council

UPDATE: NCT has verified the committee meeting will air Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

10/1/07 UPDATE: We've just learned from the Clerk of Council's office that COW Chair John Mumper has canceled the 7:30 p.m. COW meeting. Certainly, that will give the L & A Committee more time to work their way through what looks to us like a very meaty agenda.

Norwood pastor speaks out on immigration raids, policies

Pastor Kevin Jobe of Grace United Methodist Church on Slane Ave recently had an editorial in the Cincinnati Post regarding the immigration raid in Butler County. Pastor Jobe's work inside the prison and court systems gives him a perspective that we in the community may never see. Here is his editorial.

X.U. razing Zumbiel plant as first step in 20-acre development

Today’s Enquirer says Norwood's vacant Zumbiel plant will be razed next month, though construction of the Xavier Square development at Montgomery Rd. and Dana Ave. isn’t expected to start until early 2009. The demolition was announced yesterday at Xavier’s Founders Day dinner. X.U. official John Kucia said, “for years we’ve known that one of our weaknesses is that there’s really nothing within walking distance of our campus for our students. Our intention is for this to be a neighborhood destination. It’s an acknowledgement that the health and vitality of the university and the surrounding community are interdependent.” Mayor Williams said Xavier Square will be part of the city's transformation from industrial center to an attractive site for mixed-use developments and added, "It cleans up that area down there. I think it will have a ripple effect."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Classical guitar concert at Xavier this Sunday

This Sunday, William Kanengiser will be the first of five classical guitarists to perform in Xavier’s 2007-2008 Classical Guitar Series. The St. Louis Post Dispatch said Mr. Kanengiser has “a relaxed, playful manner that contrasts with his controlled, intense playing.”

When: Sunday, Sept. 30; 2:30 p.m.
Where: Gallagher Student Center Studio Theater; handicapped accessible; free parking
Directions: Enter the main the entrance at University Drive where the stone pillars are. Either park along University Drive or proceed to the new Gallagher Student Center on the right (by circle driveway); park below on the left.
Individual ticket prices: $12; Senior Citizens 60 years old & older receive $3 discount; $3 for students grade school (at least 8 years old) through college with ID.
Season subscription: $45
More information: 745-3161

June ’07 Norwood Police call stats

A monthly feature

The total calls for June broke a 6-month upward trend.

Total NPD calls:
August: 2,853 = 92 per day = 3.8 per hour
September: 2,688 = 89.6 per day = 3.73 per hour
October: 2,850 = 91.9 per day = 3.83 per hour
November: 2,407 = 80.2 per day = 3.34 per hour
December: 2,358 = 76.06 per day = 3.16 per hour
January: 2,546 = 82.1 per day = 3.42 per hour
February: 2,556 = 91.2 per day = 3.8 per hour
March: 2,927 = 94.4 per day = 3.93 per hour
April: 3,210 = 107 per day = 4.46 per hour
May: 3,341 = 107.8 per day = 4.49 per hour
June: 2907 = 93.7 per day = 3.9 per hour

Below are the number of calls for some of the more serious incident categories the NPD tracks. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to format with a chart. The first five sets of numbers below are for August through December ’06, followed by January through June‘07 in this partial breakdown by categories of calls:

Auto Accidents: 78-78-70-75-74 - 2007: 69-80-69-68-80-74
Criminal Damage: 58-54-47-42-41 - 2007: 41-32-39-53-46-45
Dom. Violence: 35-34-39-20-27 - 2007: 25-24-30-34-31-31
Fights: 40-42-43-37-42 - 2007: 36-35-63-56-70-36
Burglary: 34-16-26-15-22 - 2007: 23-20-24-19-24-17
Traffic Stops: 298-184-317-287-189 - 2007: 248-208-324-373-466-320
DUI: 6-5-11-7-9 - 2007: 1-1-5-9-10-10
Assault: 20-26-29-14-14 - 2007: 22-21-17-23-39-26
Noise Complaints: 50-71-49-36-37 - 2007: 31-33-64-66-78-72
Theft: 145-102-139-125-105 - 2007: 106-80-96-132-138-118
Theft/Motor Vehicle: 21-12-14-7-12 - 2007: 10-10-12-12-9-16
Rape/Attempted Rape: 4-2-4-1-1 - 2007: 1-1-1*-1*-1-2

* This number was in the “Sex/Crime” category. “Rape/Attempted Rape” category wasn’t in the report for the particular month.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Our roving reporter's account of the voter registration drives

Saturday’s two voter registration drives (see 9/18/07 blog below) were successful on several counts. Between 5 residents who registered on the spot and those who took the forms home to mail in to the Board of Elections, there could be as many 20 new voters for this November’s election. Most who stopped by had the opportunity to meet candidates for both City and school board races.

“It was especially satisfying to see two brand new voters who recently turned 18 and three new residents of Norwood register to vote,” said Lisa Bauer, candidate for Norwood School Board and sponsor of the events.

Bauer and school board candidate Lynn Ellis, and city office candidates Mike Gabbard, Steve Thornbury, Jerry Owens, Pete Tepe, Todd Tittle, Cassandra Brown, and representatives from Jim Stith's campaign met and talked with voter registrants. In the morning, the event was held on the piazza outside the Speckled Bird Café at the corner of Mills and Carter. In the afternoon, the event went on the road, setting up a wiener roast in the parking lot of Zion United Church of Christ, 2332 Sherwood Lane.

“I was excited to see candidates from all parties come to our event,” Bauer said. “I appreciated getting the chance to meet them before I vote on Nov. 6.”

Bauer, 45, is a Norwood parent, a volunteer, and an assistant professor of education at Wilmington College. The first-time school board candidate says her top priority is “to allow Norwood families and residents significant input into offering our children an education rich with the pride, heritage, resources and values of the Norwood community.”

Bauer and her husband Nelson have lived in Norwood since 1984. One son graduated from Norwood High School, and two other sons are currently enrolled in Norwood schools.

The deadline to register for the Nov. 6 election is Oct.9. Forms are available at the Norwood Branch of the Public Library or at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, 513-632-7000.

9/27/07 P.S. Yesterday, we forgot to identify the three candidates in the picture. From L to R, council-at-large candidate Cassandra Brown and school board candidates Lisa Bauer and Lynn Ellis.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Judge Myers rules Burtons must repay Rookwood Partners

The Enquirer is reporting that Judge Beth Myers ruled today that the Burtons, one of the two remaining holdons at the Rookwood Exchange site, “must repay the developer, Rookwood Partners, $96,062 before receiving compensation for any damage to the building the developer is responsible for…and the amount of money the developer must pay will be determined after a court hearing concerning compensation. No date has been set for the hearing.”

9/26/07 UPDATE: Today’s Enquirer edition features quotes from Norwood attorney Tim Burke and the Burton’s Institute for Justice attorney Burt Gall. Each claims Judge Myers’ ruling was a victory for his side. As is often the case in articles about this dispute, there are no quotes from any of Rookwood Partners’ attorneys.

NCS Distinguished Hall of Fame to honor its first inductees

6 NHS graduates chosen by NCS Alumni Association

Today’s Enquirer names 6 alumni of Norwood High School who have been selected as the first inductees into the newly established Norwood City Schools Distinguished Hall of Fame. All are individuals “who have distinguished themselves in academics. arts and science at the high school, collegiate or professional level" and were selected from 30 nominations collected by the hall of fame committee. The plan is to induct four members annually or semi-annually in the future.

The article goes on to state that, “Induction ceremonies will be conducted at 12:45 p.m. Friday at Norwood High School and at a 7 p.m. dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blue Ash. Dinner tickets are $30. For information or tickets, e-mail

Citizens on Patrol update

The COPP volunteers are now fully equipped with radios for their patrols. Since our last update in July, the shoulder microphones for the 800MHz radios have come in, according to Lt. Tom Williams, Jr., Coordinator of this NPD-sponsored program. He tells us the volunteers have already expanded their patrols to all four corners of the city after getting their feet wet initially walking the streets of West Norwood. Walking in groups of 3, they’re trying to get out 2-3 times per week. They use daily reports to record the date, time, location of each walk, as well as what they come across.

And guess what Lt. Williams says they come across a lot. Graffiti - lots and lots of graffiti. And guess what else. They’re trying to clean it off wherever they find it! Seeing some on a public mailbox recently, they even sought and got permission from the Postmaster to remove it carefully with paint thinner. This sounds above and beyond the call of duty to us, and calls for a big thank you to our volunteers, doesn’t it? Thank you, COP volunteers, for helping to rid us of this blight on our surroundings!

But it’s not only about graffiti. They’re also passing along possible violations they spot to the Health and Building Depts. for follow up later. Residents approach them with these, too, as well as give them positive feedback for their presence in our neighborhoods.

Now for gym shoes on overhead utility wires. Ever seen these and wondered why someone would deliberately throw them over a wire? It might be a juvenile prank, but according to Lt. Williams, it might also be a way to alert drug addicts they’re in the right area to make a buy. The COP volunteers have found these in 4 different locations in our city, and 4 different times Public Works employees have been called to remove them. Now we all know to call Public Works (456-4615) if we see these ourselves.

Lt. Williams says there are 3 new volunteers for the COP Program. Two of them may have finished their training by now at the Cincinnati Citizens on Patrol Academy. If you’re interested in joining this great effort to keep our neighborhoods safer, contact Lt. Williams at the NPD at 458-4545.

And last but not least, our thanks to Lt. Williams who has generously offered to give us useful crime fighting tips, things we can all do to prevent becoming victims of crime. We plan on publishing a few of his tips next month.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Freon Removal/Tire Drop Off Event at Public Works

If you’ve got old tires and/or old freon-filled appliances to get rid of, you’re in luck. Weekend after next, you can drop off all of them at Norwood Public Works for free disposal.

When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct 6 & 7; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Norwood Public Works, 3001 Harris Avenue
Directions: from Forest Avenue, turn onto Harris Avenue and drive past the swimming pool on the right. Go through the light to the deadend and turn right. City personnel will be there to take the appliances and tires.
Cost: free
More information: Public Works: 458-4615; Health Dept.: 458-4600

Falsehoods alleged in Peter Bronson’s Sunday jail column

Yesterday at the Cincinnati Beacon, Michael Earl Patton, a candidate for Cincinnati City Council, quickly challenged much of the data about the Hamilton County jail issue Peter Bronson included in his Sunday editorial in the Enquirer. Among other things, he takes on David Pepper’s “70 percent recidivism rate” quote Bronson used:

"Finally, Mr, Bronson quotes Commissioner Pepper as saying there is a “horrible 70 percent recidivism rate” which has offenders back in jail every 22 days. What’s this? Every 22 days ? There is no way this can be true. That would mean that the average offender is jailed 16 times per year. And then one has to ask for what is a person arrested so many times? Jaywalking? Spitting on the sidewalk? Loitering? Throwing a cigarette butt on the ground?..."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Leo Coffeehouse underway for 2nd season at Norwood church

We should have blogged about this long ago because it’s hardly news that the Queen City Balladeers moved their 40-year-old Leo Coffeehouse to Norwood’s Zion United Church of Christ last year. Having Leo here is truly a boon for our community, especially for folk music performers, enthusiasts and future converts of all ages. In case you didn't know, every Sunday evening, starting at 7:00 p.m., from September through May, for a small donation of $3 (or a lot less per performance if you buy a membership), some of the best folk music artists around will delight you with bluegrass music, blues, Celtic, original and traditional tunes - truly a mixed bag with offerings for every taste…all right here in Norwood!

One of us used to be a semi-regular at Leo back in the ’80’s when it was located at the Y on McMillan in Clifton. What a relaxing ambiance that dimly lit basement provided…adults and youngsters lying about on huge pillows on the floor or sitting at tables with candles, good vibes everywhere, the audience every bit as enjoyable as the music…a really wholesome respite from the rush of the real world. Ah, those were days, but think of it - these days, that magic is right here in Norwood!

Be sure to check out the Q.C. Balladeers website and this schedule of performers for this month through May.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Norwood Health Dept. Flu Shot Clinics

Shots for everyone!

Take it from us, the Norwood Health Dept. nurses give the best “no ouch” flu shots you’ll ever get. So far, there’s plenty of vaccine to go around, so anyone can get a shot, regardless of age, health issues, etc. Take your choice of 4 Flu Shot Clinics:

1. Thursday, Oct. 4; 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Health Dept., 2059 Sherman Ave.
2. Tuesday, Oct. 16; 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Health Dept. 2059 Sherman Ave.
Schedule an appointment: 458-4600

3. Walk-in clinic:
Tuesday, November 6, Election Day: Health Dept., 2069 Sherman Ave.
No appointment necessary. Signs will be posted at Norwood precincts inviting voters to stop by that day for a shot.

4. Wednesday, Oct. 24: Community/Senior Center, 1810 Courtland Ave.
We’ll post the time as soon as it’s arranged, or call 458-4600 next week.

Flu shot cost: $15 except for those on Medicare. The Health Dept. will bill the cost to ALL forms of Medicare, i.e. HMO Medicares, etc.

Pneumonia shots
$35 pneumonia shots are available, too. These are not billed to Medicare or any other insurances. Always check with your physician about if and when you should get one of these. The Norwood Health Dept. recommends waiting 7 years between pneumonia shots if you get one before age 65; after 65, get just one shot, but do check with your physician. Call the Health Dept. at 458-4600 for more info.

$6 guided tour of Mars next week at Drake Planetarium

Public invited; reservations required

Next Thursday, September 27, Patrick Stewart, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek, will narrate the MarsQuest program featuring striking photos of Mars and recent information obtained from the new Mars landers.

When: Thursday, September 27, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m
Where: Drake Planetarium at Norwood High School, 2020 Sherman Avenue
Tickets: $6 in advance, $7 at the door
Pre-registration: call 396-5578 or click here

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lt. Cartuyvelles' letter requesting $300,000 paramedic pumper

At the 9/4/07 COW meeting, the Norwood Fire Department's Lt. Brett Cartuyvelles made a detailed presentation about the fairly urgent need for the City to purchase a new $300,000 paramedic pumper. As he explains in his letter to Chief Goodman below, the current 1980 Seagrave Pumper is essentially beyond repair and not replacing it will cause the ISO rating drop, which could result in a substantial increase in insurance rates for local businesses and industry.

Mav 27, 2007

Re: Request to purchase new paramedic pumper

Dear Chief Goodman:

I would like to request that we replace the 1980 Seagrave Pumper. This apparatus has been in service with the Norwood Fire Department for 27 years. We have recently invested 750.00 dollars to correct a power steering problem that had placed the pumper out of service for 6 months. After making this costly repair, another part of the steering mechanism failed. This has once again placed the apparatus out of service until parts and repairs can be made.

At the directive of the Safety Service Director, I have sent the 1980 Seagrave Pumper to Command Seagrave to be evaluated for all mechanical problems. I have enclosed a letter from Command Seagrave and list of mechanical problems with the projected costs of those repairs.

read on

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2 Voter Education and Registration Drives this Saturday

All local candidates are invited attend

If you or someone you know still needs to register to vote for the November election, you’ve got two convenient voter registration events to choose from this coming Saturday, September 22. With the Hamilton County jail tax, our own local 8 mill levy renewal, and both city and school board candidates on the ballot, no one should miss casting votes November 6. All the 2007 local candidates are invited to come and meet voters at both locations, so you just might be able to ask them firsthand where they are on issues that are important to you.

Morning registration
When: Saturday from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Where: Speckled Bird Café, 1766 Mills Avenue, across from Vineyard Central Church
Hosted by: Lisa Bauer, NCS school board candidate

Afternoon registration
When: Saturday from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Where: Zion United Church of Christ - north on Montgomery Rd., turn right onto Indian Mound, then make an immediate right into Zion’s driveway and park in the church parking lot.
Free lunch: there will be a cookout at noon
Hosted by: Lisa Bauer, NCS school board candidate

Residents registering to vote will also be given information about absentee voting, voter ID requirements, and voting guidelines.

Norwood runner Mary Wineberg’s website & blog

Better late than never, we’ve just discovered that Norwood resident Mary Wineberg has both a well-constructed website and a blog so her fans stay up-to-date on her path to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Following her recent success in Japan, Mary headed to competitions in Switzerland and Belgium. Her blog entry yesterday goes into great detail about her experiences both on and off the track in Zurich and Brussels and includes these two interesting tidbits: Europeans call track meets “meetings” and french fries originated in Belgium, not France.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Excerpts from the 2006 NPD Annual Report

A weekly series - 6th installment

Following are five of the fifteen anecdotes in the report that describe some the NPD’s 3rd Shift successes last year. If you'd like to read the entire report, the Norwood Public Library has a copy.

3/16/06: Officer Kilby was stationary on Montgomery Rd. at Prentiss running radar in the stationary mode when he observed a vehicle south on Montgomery Rd. at Williams Ave. at a high rate of speed. Radar unit picked the vehicle up 42 mph.

The officer pulled out to stop the vehicle and was following the vehicle south on Montgomery Rd. when he observed the vehicle cross the double yellow line three times. He activated his emergency lights, and it took the vehicle three blocks to pull over…on the Butternut Bakery lot. The driver was found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or drug abuse and was taken into custody.

During the search of the vehicle the officer found two loaded magazines in the glove compartment. Officer read the defendant his Miranda Warnings and asked him about a firearm. The defendant stated that he had a weapon in the center console. Recovered from the center console was a Taurus Millenium 9mm automatic. Defendant charged with OVI, Speed, Marked Lanes and Improper Transportation of a Firearm.

read on

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Norwood Marching Indians off to great start

The Marching Indians opened their competition season this past Saturday in the Western Brown Marching Band Competition. The Indians competing in class A took first place, Best Color Guard and qualified for the finals. In the finals, they placed 5th with trumpet player Page Pilman (pictured) winning best soloist. Congratulations to all!

Beware of callers asking for your credit card number!

Yesterday, one of us received a phone call from a man claiming to be with the Barak Obama campaign. Using the correct last name, he asked to speak to either the Mr. or the Mrs. He asked if we were familiar with the fact that Barak Obama was a Democratic presidential candidate. Upon hearing an affirmative, he said, “Good, because that saves me a lot of time.”

Next, he asked if we would be interested in contributing money to the Obama campaign. Having no interest in making a donation but curious about exactly where this was going and how, he was given a weak “perhaps,” response. He asked if the amount might be $300. “Absolutely not” he was told with some irritation in the voice. Red flags started sprouting up when, from there, he asked about amounts ranging from $250 down to $125, getting “no” reponses for each. Finally, he suggested that any amount was acceptable and could be donated on the spot by giving him our credit card number. He was told that under no circumstances would credit card information be handed over to a stranger calling the household. Not bothering to confirm our address, he said he would drop something in the mail and ended the call.

Everyone knows not to give financial information, credit card numbers and the like to strangers over the phone, but we’re sharing this suspicious call just to warn everyone to never, never let your guard down. Never.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Just in - 2 Republican council candidates have websites

We’ve just found out that two Republican candidates for Norwood city council have campaign websites up and running: Council-at-Large candidate Cassandra Brown and Ward 1 candidate Jim Stith who is challenging Democrat incumbent Keith Moore. Are these websites a first for Norwood office seekers? If we learn of any additional city or BOE candidate websites, we'll publish them regardless of party affiliation.

Cassandra Brown:

Jim Stith:

Classical piano concert this Sunday at Xavier

This Sunday, Spencer Myer will be the first of nine pianists to perform in Xavier’s 2007-2008 Classical Piano Series. The Cleveland Plain Dealer said of Mr. Myers, “His music making contained something too often lacking on today’s musical scene: charm.”

When: Sunday, Sept. 16; 2:30 p.m.
Where: Gallagher Student Center Studio Theater; handicapped accessible; free parking
Directions: Enter the main the entrance at University Drive where the stone pillars are. Either park along University Drive or proceed to the new Gallagher Student Center on the right (by circle driveway); park below on the left.
Individual ticket prices: $19 for keyboard side; $17 for right side; Senior Citizens 60 years old & older receive $3 discount; $3 for students grade school (at least 8 years old) through college with ID.
More information: 745-3161

Good News: City set to receive $254,000 in Block Grants

In a letter to council this past Tuesday night, Norwood Development Director Rick Dettmer stated the City is tentatively scheduled to receive five Community Development Block Grants for 2008 worth $254,000:

$125,000 - improvements to Hunter, Millcrest, and Dorl Parks
$100,000 - infrastructure improvements
$15,000 - assistance to the Norwood Service League
$10,000 - streetscape improvements in cooperation with the Norwood Tree Board
$4,000 - Norwood Health Department’s Youth Dental Program

Mayor Williams explained during Administration Reports that Hunter and Millcrest Parks will be made handicapped accessible, restrooms will be improved, and new playground equipment will be installed. Dorl Park will get new fencing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rookwood Exchange update: why the holdons aren’t selling

This past March, Rookwood Partners purchased the home of Carl and Joy Gamble whose property was one of three left standing at the proposed Rookwood Exchange site. Some of us wondered if this might be a sign of possible negotiations as well between developer Jeff Anderson and the remaining two holdons Joe Horney and the Burton‘s. For now, the wondering can stop. Yesterday, a source close to the action informed us that Mr. Anderson has not made any offers, meaning that since last summer’s Ohio Supreme Court decision in favor of the holdons, not a single offer to purchase either property has been put on the table for their consideration.

Of course, now what some of us are wondering is why Jeff Anderson isn’t making any offers? We all know he was successful in getting his property taxes on the Exchange parcels reduced to land values only, a fraction of their value based on what he paid for them with improvements. Does this have any bearing on his not negotiating to buy the two remaining properties? Is there not just a little bit of irony here in that Mr. Anderson now appears to be something of a holdon himself?

The next news we’ll likely see in the Enquirer about this ongoing saga will be the written ruling Judge Myers said she would issue no later than September 25 regarding matters related to the Burton’s.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

July 07 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

We thought our readers, like us, would like to know more about the Norwood Fire Department’s many activities and how they are tracked. This monthly NFD report is brief enough that we can publish it in its entirety, though we are formatting it just a little differently from the original:

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of July = 371

Medic Runs = 253
Fire Runs = 25 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 2 minutes, 57 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 25 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 35 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 7 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 1 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 19 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 31 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 0

B. Total Bureau of Fire Safety Inspections/Activities w/Breakdown = 702

1.) Bureau of Fire Safety Activities and Number of Activities:
Total Inspections – 91 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 344
Total Violations – corrected 147
Total Block Inspections – 19 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 101

2.) Breakdown of Fire Division Events:
NIMS 300 & 400 Training Class
EMA Emergency Ops Software Meeting
Hamilton County Accountability Committee Meeting
Hamilton County Fire Chief’s Meetings
Eastern Fire Chief’s Meeting
Homeland Security Meeting - EMA
CPR Classes
Southwest Fire Code Meeting

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11

Since September 11, 2001, we have been a nation at war. It seems a day does not go by that we don’t hear the term “terrorist” in the news.

Our nation has also had its share of natural disasters – hurricanes, deadly tornadoes, firestorms, earthquakes and floods. What we need to remember is that no community is immune to the wraths of nature; nor can we say with certainty that a terrorist will never attack our town.

The question that has to be asked is Are You Ready? Do you have your emergency supply? Do you and your family members know what to do when an emergency happens? Do you know how to shelter in place or do you know the evacuation route established by the City of Norwood (Here's a hint: it’s a secret). As we reflect on this day, let’s not forget our responsibility.

American Legion Open House this Sunday

Norwood’s American Legion Post 123 is hosting an Open House this coming Sunday, and everyone is invited. Make it a family affair and bring the kids. This will be a great opportunity to get acquainted with Norwood veterans if you aren’t already, and some who have served during wartime will be there.

When: Sunday, Sept. 16, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Where: 5129 Montgomery Rd., just north of the intersection of Ross and Montgomery Rd.
Parking: free parking lot at the building
Menu: free hot dogs, chips, and beverages
More information: 396-7337

Xavier Players open new season with “Frozen”

Xavier Players are launching their new season with 8 performances of the play “Frozen,” starting this Thursday. The play takes place over a 25-year span as it explores reconciliation between a murderer and the mother of one of his victims. We’re still reeling from the incredibly low $5.00 ticket price. But wait… it gets even better - we were told when we called X.U. that season tickets are only $14.00!

When: 9/13 - 9/16 and 9/20 - 9/23; 7:30 p.m.
Where: Gallagher Student Center Studio Theater; handicapped accessible; free parking
Directions: Enter the main the entrance at University Drive where the stone pillars are. Either park along University Drive or proceed to the new Gallagher Student Center on the right (by circle driveway); park below on the left.
Tickets: $3 for students; all others $5
Box office: 749-3939

Monday, September 10, 2007

Excerpts from the 2006 NPD Annual Report

A weekly series - 5th installment

In his letter to Chief Schlie describing the 2nd Shift‘s responsibilities last year, Sergeant Bill Kramer states, “In addition to random patrol, 2nd Relief also assists with many other functions of the Police Department. We worked closely with the Norwood Drug Task force and their many drug buys and search warrants.

…The officers on 2nd Relief had a variety of training and experience. Sergeant Murphy and PO Chuck Bell were both members of the Major Accident Team. Sergeant Dipietrantonio is the K-9 handler of Norwood Police Division member Axel. Officer Ward assists in the training of Norwood Police Division members and is also a member of the Hamilton County Honor Guard. Officer Whitford is a member of the Hamilton County SWAT Team. Officer Couch serves as a member of the Hamilton County Honor Guard. Sergeant Kramer is in charge of the Field Training Officer Program.”

Here are some of the 2nd Shift anecdotes:

2/1/06: Officers were dispatched to Fenwick Park to investigate a male white who was suicidal. Officer Ward and Sgt. Rankin arrived and observed a subject sitting in his vehicle holding a knife to his throat. Both officers were able to talk the distraught individual into putting the knife down, and he was taken to University Hospital for treatment.

3/22/06: Officers attempted to serve a warrant at 1818 Cleveland on Darryl Isbel…who was wanted out of Clermont county on a warrant for Breaking and Entering. He was also suspected of several other break ins. Isbell fled on foot and was caught after a foot chase and K-9 track…

read on

Friday, September 07, 2007

Norwood native & hero Spc. Brandon Rork: “I’m still standing”

Now he has the Bronze Star, too

We want to thank Norwood resident Cassandra Brown for sending us something extraordinary this week to share our readers. It’ s the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division’s blog where an article by Lt. Col. John Valledor describes in great detail the events of the day Spc. Brandon Rork saved his Iraqi base, a nearby town, and hundreds of lives from a truck loaded with explosives driven by a suicide bomber. Spc. Rork was honored for his heroism at our 2007 July 4th Fireworks at Shea Stadium.

Brandon’s mother emailed the article to Ms. Brown with a note telling her, “The week before last, Brandon called stating that there was a lot of excitement on the base because the general had arrived, and the Rolling Stone magazine was there as well, and he was trying to figure what it was all about. Well, it turns out that it was all for him! The General awarded Brandon the Bronze Star, and Brandon will be featured in an upcoming Rolling Stone’s article.” Congratulations, Spc. Rork!

Mrs. Rork says this article is the best one she’s seen yet about her son’s split-second decision to fire on the truck, which had 8 times the explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombing:

"I'm Still Standing"
By Lt. Col. John Valledor

On any given day, thousands of Soldiers are manning static gun positions all over Iraq as part of cohesive, forward-based force protection measures.Radical Shiite militants taught our nation a painful lesson in 1983 with the high-profile suicide truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut, Lebanon, International Airport. Fast-forward to 2007 in Iraq, and the threat of suicide truck bombings is all too real and pervasive.Very few Soldiers burdened with the task of securing their bases will ever face the reality of having to make on-the-spot life saving decisions of applying deadly force in a suicide attack scenario. For Spc. Brandon Rork, a 24-year-old mortarman from Norwood, Ohio, that life-altering moment occurred one hot Sunday afternoon in a small village on the banks of the Euphrates River.June 10, 2007 started out like any typical day in the Iraqi farmstead of Sadr Al-Yusufiyah. Rork began his shift on the machine gun position located on the rooftop of Patrol Base Warrior Keep. Most days are spent fighting boredom and wiping the sweat from one’s eyes as the machine gun shelter, made of sheets of plywood, sand bags and thick wooden beams, swelters in the searing 112-degree heat. From his vantage point, Rork overlooked a narrow stretch of asphalt road directly in front of the patrol base, known as Route Pinto. On an average day, Rork counts more than 80 Kia Bongo trucks, three to five dump trucks and about 60 locals’ vehicles slowly meandering along the gentle curves in front of the patrol base. This day seemed slightly different.

read on

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Building Cincinnati: Recognize any of these Norwood shots?

We’re big fans of Kevin LeMaster’s Building Cincinnati blog, and we’ve been meaning to write about his fantastic photo gallery for several months. The day has finally arrived. Kevin’s gallery features over 100 different neighborhoods, parks, landmarks, etc. on both sides of the Ohio plus one for the Ohio River, too. Clicking on our headline above will take you to a slide show of the Norwood gallery where you’ll see photos of many Norwood homes, several churches, commercial buildings (Be sure to hit pause when you see the sign, “Open to the Public.”) and the like. Maybe you’ll see your own home or church.

To check out the entire photo gallery, click here, then click on the neighborhood or landmark you’d like to view top right. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Feature: Cultural events at Xavier

Starting with the Masters of Swing Series

No one in Norwood needs to be told we live next door to a top notch university that’s very much on the move, even moving in our direction with plans for building expansion and development on the south end of town. And everyone’s known forever that Xavier’s concerts, lectures, and plays are open to the public, but we’ve never seen much in the way advertising for the events, especially right around the corner here in Norwood. So, we’ve decided a new feature is in order. We’re going to regularly publish the details of upcoming concerts, plays and lectures at Xavier, starting with the Masters of Swing Series. Parking is free for all events. Over the next several days, we’ll post information about other September concerts as well as the Xavier Players' performances of their season opener “Frozen.”

Masters of Swing Series
Who: Bill Gemmer’s Newport Dream Band & Everett Greene will perform arrangements from the 1930’s as well as some associated with Count Basie. Everett Greene is a vocalist noted for singing in the Basie blues style.
When: Sunday, September 9, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Gallagher Student Center theatre; handicapped accessible
Directions: Enter the main the entrance at University Drive where the stone pillars are located. Either park along University Drive or proceed to the new Gallaher Student Center on the right (by circle driveway); park below on the left.
Individual ticket prices: $20; Senior Citizens above 59 years old: $17; all students grade school through college: $3
Series ticket price: $105 for 7 concerts for 2007-2008 season
More information: 745-3161, M-F, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Gerald Owens challenging Donnie Jones for Auditor

The latest issue of “The Norwood Times” published a list of City and NCS school board candidates for the November election. As soon as we saw Gerald Owens listed as the challenger to incumbent Donnie Jones for City Auditor, we immediately checked the Unofficial Candidates List online at the Hamilton County Board of Elections site to see if there was any more detail. There was. On the line with Gerald Owens’ name and address are the words “Write-In,” meaning, of course, that Mr. Owens’ name will not appear on the November ballot and, instead, must written in by voters who choose to vote for him.

Yesterday, we called the Board of Elections for more information. Mr. Owens, we were told, filed as a write-in candidate either on August 23, the deadline for certain candidates to file, or the day before. Like all other candidates, he must abide by all campaign finance laws and submit the same financial reports to the Board of Elections. The person we talked to speculated his campaign would probably be purchasing lots of pencils to distribute to voters.

Many Norwoodians know Gerald Owens as “Jerry” and are familiar with his many years of involvement with the Victory Park Veterans Association and the Norwood American Legion Post 123. We can’t help but wonder if Channel 12’s 8/22/07 report on Auditor Jones’ delinquent payroll deductions, most notably child support payments, from city employees’ checks influenced Jerry Owens’ decision to file as a write-in by the 8/23 deadline.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Excerpts from the 2006 NPD Annual Report

A weekly series - 4th installment

The report includes 35 anecdotes that describe dangerous situations the NPD’s 1st shift dealt with last year. The 10 featured for this week's installment were selected because we think they typify the range of criminal activity our police routinely handle, though sending the entire shift and the Cincinnati Bomb Squad to a residence to safely dispose of unstable dynamite probably isn’t an everyday event. At least, we hope it isn’t.

2/17/06: A male and female were arrested at 4500 Montgomery Road after buying a quantity of cold remedy capsules. A search of their out-of-state car revealed over 900 more pills. This investigation continued and resulted in the discovery a meth lab in the State of Indiana. Charges of illegal possession of chemicals to manufacture drugs.

2/19/06: Police were called to Surrey Square for a call of male suspect with a shotgun which he took from his trunk and placed in the passenger compartment. Car was stopped in the parking lot and the suspect was arrested. A 12-guage shotgun and ammo were recovered from the car near a two-year-old child. Charges of improper transportation of a firearm and child endangering.

3/1/06: Male suspect arrested for theft and resisting arrest after fleeing Dollar General. Suspect had to be tased when arrested. Officer sustained injuries to his hand while pursuing the suspect over a fence.

read on

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Flag Retirement Ceremony

The Norwood American Legion Post 123 performed a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Saturday at Victory Park. This veterans organization performs this service for the community as a way to respectfully dispose of torn and/or faded American flags.

If you have an American flag in poor condition and would like it disposed of properly, you can drop it off at the Legion Post located at 5129 Montgomery Road.

In addition, if you know any veterans who might be interested in joining the Legion, they can call 396-7337 for more information.

Click here for more pictures

Sept. 1 issue of "The Norwood Times" in distribution

The second issue of Ted Hooks’ "The Norwood Times" is hitting the front porches of Norwood homes this Labor Day weekend. As with the first issue, this one is full of ads, many for local businesses, many with discount coupons. Included are announcements about a Norood (a typo perhaps) Cruise-In Swap Meet tomorrow, 9/3, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Frisch’s and a Community Picnic on Saturday, 9/15/07, 4:00 p.m., at Lower Millcrest Park. The sponsorship of these events isn't clear, but they both sound like a lot of fun. There’s a new classified ad section with local apartments for rent and a form to mail in for advertisements.

Additionally, a front page article announces the newspaper is now available by subscription. It states, "The Norwood Times is asking for subscription support in order to publish a newspaper to keep the people in Norwood up on what is happening in the city. There is much going on in our recreation, Senior Center and local organizations that are not printed in any other publication." A mail-in form for a $3.00, 4-month subscription for 4 upcoming issues appears on page 6. Contact information is provided on the front page: phone # 891-2292 and an email address

In this issue’s editorial, Mr. Hooks mentions, among other things, Citizens for a Better Norwood and a specific blog we published on 7/30/07, which we entitled "Look up in the sky, it’s a plane!" We’re certainly pleased Mr. Hooks visits our site. However, he misunderstood some of the facts we presented in our blog as well as our real purpose for writing it, which was to share with our readers information we collected about the Ohio State Police plane patrol program we’d never heard of in the hope that we all might slow down a bit on the highways and interstates.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hooks misconstrued from we wrote that a friend who reported getting a ticket after a plane clocked her traveling near Norwood 20 mph above the I71 speed limit complained about it. The friend, a lifelong and current resident of Delhi, acknowledged her guilt during our conversation and mentioned the episode only because it occurred near our city and involved a plane. (As far as is known, she’s never heard of this blog or Citizens for a Better Norwood.) We did not complain to Lt. Williams at the NPD when we called him seeking information about the plane patrol. Our call to him (we didn’t go see him as Mr. Hooks suggests) was strictly to gather information for a blog about the plane patrols. He briefly explained them and then referred us to the Ohio State Police since they run the program. We did not complain to the OSP officer, either, who very generously took the time to answer our questions.

Below, we’re publishing only the passages from Mr. Hooks’ editorial that pertain to our blog. Directly below these is a link to the blog he discusses for anyone who would like read it and judge for themselves how accurately Mr. Hooks described our content, tone, and purpose.

I recently read an article on a blog that is in Norwood, called Citizens for a Better Norwood. This article was about complaining about the noise with police and fire sirens. Actually, the true focus of this article was about the noise of an airplane that flies overhead. This plane belongs to the Ohio State Police and it covers 6 to 7 counties in southwest Ohio. As I read this piece, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. What the blog was really about, was a lady complaining because she was caught going 20 miles over the speed limit on I-71.

So let’s go and see Lt. Williams and complain. The only reason she complained was because she broke the law and got caught. The plane which she complained about flies so high, that we can’t hear or even see it.

Can’t we find better things to complain about? What will be next?

...As for the Citizens for a Better Norwood blog, I have found they have many interesting and informative articles, even though some of the articles are optionated. (Note: We think he means opinionated, but for sure, the reading of all of our articles is optional or optionated.) Like I said, freedom of speech. Isn't it great?

Click here to read the 7/30/07 blog