Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, February 29, 2008

Building Burton’s sold to Rookwood Partners razed yesterday

Last Thursday, the Enquirer reported the Burton’s sold their property at the proposed Rookwood Exchange to Rookwood Partners for $650,000. Today’s Enquirer reports the building on the property was torn down yesterday, leaving only the two-family of the last holdon Joe Horney still standing at the site.

Xavier Players’ “Steel Magnolias” opens next Thursday

For those who have never seen the play or the film version of Steel Magnolias starring Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts, this Xavier Players’ press release describes the play as “a story of the friendship of six southern women who share their secrets and a spritz of gossip and throw themselves open to each other. Every event in their lives, from the mundane to the essential, is faced with grace, strength and perfectly done hair. In the face of tragedy, they turn to Truvy's hair salon and each other for solace and support. Steel Magnolias is a celebration of love, loyalty, strength and the bonds of sisterhood.”

When: Thursday, March 6 - Sunday, March 9; 7:30 p.m.
Where: Gallagher Student Center Theatre, Xavier Campus; free parking
Tickets: $15; $5 students and seniors
Reservations recommended: Call the Players box office at 745-3939.
Extra included in ticket price: “Hat and Glove Party” with a red armadillo cake as featured in the play. Reservations required: call Tracy at 745-3576.

Recycling program for musical instruments at Norwood Joseph-Beth

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CMM) is holding it’s 15th annual 2-day LINKS (Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids) Collection Days next weekend at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Donated new and used musical instruments will be placed with students in area school bands and orchestras whose parents cannot afford to buy or rent instruments. Instruments do not have to be in perfect condition because Buddy Roger’s Music, a LINKS partner, restores, tunes and cleans each instrument.

When: Saturday, March 8 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 9 from 12 - 5 p.m.
Where: Norwood Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion
Donations tax deductible: Instruments will be appraised for tax deductions.
More information: CCM External Relations Office, 513-556-2100

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Channel 12: Norwood officials working on funds for a salt dome

In another story about the shortage of salt in the Tri-State, Channel 12 is reporting that unnamed “Norwood officials say they can't pre-order order extra salt because Norwood doesn't have the space to store it. Norwood officials say so far, they've been able to make do…Norwood says it is working on funds to build a salt dome. That way the city will have the space to store a lot more during the winter.”

Question: What's the best location to build a salt dome?

Superintendent Steve Collier's report on school bullying

The NCS website recently published Superintendent Steve Collier’s 2/13/08 report on school bullying. Per HB 276, school districts are required to provide summaries of all reported incidents of bullying twice a year:

Williams Avenue Elementary: 8
Sharpsburg Elementary: 2
Allison Street Elementary: 10
Norwood View Elementary: 0
Norwood Middle School: 34
Norwood High School: 13

The comparatively high number of bullying incidences at the NMS and NHS seems to back up the serious concerns parent and Council-at-Large Mike Gabbard expressed about school safety when he spoke to the BOE at their 1/10/08 board meeting. Here’s the clip of his remarks taken from NCT’s broadcast of the meeting.

Biz Courier: new website compares 20 area hospitals

Yesterday’s Business Courier announced the Greater Cincinnati Health Council and the Ohio Hospital Association have created this new website with 2006 data that compares 20 area hospitals on care guidelines for the following:

1. How often hospitals follow eight recommended care guidelines for heart attack
2. How often hospitals follow four recommended care guidelines for congestive heart failure
3. How often hospitals follow nine recommended care guidelines for pneumonia
4. Average length of hospital stay for nine conditions, including heart attack, stroke and pneumonia
5. Mortality for the same nine conditions

The ratings are based on care guidelines accepted as best practices by groups such as the Joint Commission and the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program/American Osteopathic Association.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two important upcoming meetings at the Community Center

At last night’s council meeting, Ward 1 Councilperson Keith Moore announced two upcoming community wide meetings at the Community Center. We just got an email from him with all the details:

What: Informal discussion of issues in Ward 1 and around the city and how to best address those issues: communication, curb appeal, developments, vacant properties, building a sense of community, etc.
When: Saturday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Community Center; 1810 Courtland Avenue
Who’s invited: Everyone

What: Liz Blume, Executive Director of Xavier’s Community Building Institute, will give a presentation about the Xavier East Campus project, followed by Q&A. The presentation will include plans for student housing, market housing, medical center, health club, retail and office space, plus discussion about what Xavier and the Covington, Ky. developer Corporex are planning, when it will probably happen, and what the impact will be on the community. And, of course, anything else that would be interesting for people for to talk about.
When: Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Community Center, 1810 Courtland Avenue
Who’s invited: Everyone

Norwood Service League helping middle income families, too

Today’s Enquirer has a lengthy article about the Norwood Service League’s recent move to the newly named Graff Building at 2071 Lawrence Avenue and the services they're providing in their new location. Lupe Gonzalez Hoyt, the agency’s executive director, says, “All our programs are now under one roof. It’s a perfect location.” Last year, the NSL served 1,400 to 1,500 local residents, not only with emergency services such as food, clothing, and rent money, but also with youth-mentoring and job-training programs that include classes for computer, GED, and English as a second language. As Ms. Hoyt stated, “You have to do more than give people things. We give them opportunities to help themselves.” She went on to tell the Enquirer that this past year, the NSL has helped an increasing number of middle-class families caught in a financial crisis because of lost jobs, health problems and the rising cost of utilities.

Norwood’s salt supply "empty or pretty close to empty"

Norwood is among some Tri-state communities worried about how to replenish their road salt supplies, which have been inconsistent this winter. Norwood Safety and Service Director Joe Geers told Channel 5 News yesterday, “I would say we're concerned. I would say we're on empty or pretty close to empty.” Major snowfalls, periods of freezing rain and normal have washed salt away before it can work on subsequent snows. Vendors are having trouble delivering on the high demand for new supplies. A barge is expected to arrive with a large salt shipment later this week. In the meantime, Mr. Geers stated, “We put rubber blades on our snow plows. In case we do get snow, we're going to use those like a squeegee and push the snow out of the way for now.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Community blood drive this Saturday

Hoxworth Blood Center is conducting a community blood drive this Saturday at New Haven Missionary Baptist Church on Indian Mound Avenue. If you’ve never given blood before, here’s some information from the Hoxworth website that describes their safety procedures and the various tests they run to assure the blood donated is free from infectious diseases.

When: Saturday, March 1, 2008; 9 am - 3 pm
Where: Basement of New Haven Missionary Baptist Church, 2417 Indian Mound Ave.
Bonus: Hoxworth offers free cholesterol screening tests to all donors.
Reservations: Appointments recommended. Click here for contact information on the church flier.

Norwood woman caught up in latest pocketbook pinch - car repo

Staggering numbers of homes foreclosures aren’t the only sign of a faltering economy. Now it’s car repossessions, reported to be up by 10% from a year ago, according to today’s Enquirer. Norwood resident Tanya Englert is one of the latest victims. She made payments for 3 ½ years on a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee for 31/2 years, only to have it repossessed this past December:

"The car had problems, a big repair bill," she said. "Then I had a $400-a-month car payment, $100 a month for insurance, $100 a month for parking. Gas hit $3 a gallon. "It all added up. I was just sick about it."

A court reporter, Englert, 40, is now dealing with the aftermath. Because she still owed more than $10,000 and the car sold at auction for $4,200, Englert is obligated to pay the difference.

"It has affected my credit rating," she said. "I'm a single mother with four children, and I have a good job. I realize now that this could happen to anybody."

Ms. Englert, we're sorry it happened to you.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just in: Parks & Rec. Committee meeting Wednesday evening

Victor Schneider, Chair of Norwood City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, has called a meeting of the committee for this Wednesday, February 27. It will get underway at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center, 1810 Courtland Avenue. Councilpersons Keith Moore, Ward 1 and Steve Thornbury, Ward 2 also serve on the committee. We have a call in to NCT to find out whether or not the meeting will be aired live on cable Channel 4.

1. Community Center Renovation
2. Community Theatre at Community Center
3. Burwood Park
4. Waterworks

12:45 p.m. UPDATE: Councilperson Schneider just responded to our email asking about Item 2 on the agenda, Community Theatre. Sounds like he’s hoping for a good turnout from residents for Wednesday night’s meeting. Here’s what he had to say:

“Community Theatre is getting the stage at the Community Center back in shape so that we can potentially have a summer, fall, or winter production or something going on to use the stage. I had two people ask me about it since the Community Center is now being utilized more. Could be fun. I am just trying to find out if there is real interest. Hopefully, we will have some interest in all of the exciting changes that are happening at the parks. It would be great to have some resident involvement and to schedule some clean-ups and really get the word out.”

He also said the meeting won’t air live, but it will be videotaped and played later on Channel 4.

Celebrate Black History Month at Drake Planetarium

This Thursday, Drake Planetarium is offering an educational show based on Jeanette Winter’s book “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” which tells the story of how slaves made their escape on the Underground Railroad following the Big Dipper. This website has both photos depicting various aspects of the story and the lyrics to the well known folk song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”

When: Thursday, Feb. 28; 7 pm.
Where: Drake Planetarium at Norwood High School; 2020 Sherman Avenue; directions here.
Cost: $6 in advance; $7 at the door
Reservations: Call 396-5578; must pre register

Speed Stacking at the Norwood Branch Library

What’s speed stacking, you ask? Well, it’s a sport; and according to the Norwood Library, it’s an exciting sport. Tomorrow evening, all children ages 6-12 are invited to try their hand at it.

What: Speed stacking, specifically stacking cups
When: Tuesday, Feb. 26; 6:30 pm
Ages: Best for ages 6-12
Where: Norwood Branch Library, 4325 Montgomery Rd.
Cost: Free; no advance registration required; more information, call 369-6037

Friday, February 22, 2008

Experiment: Weekend open thread

A couple of our favorite national blogs feature open threads from time to time. These give their readers the opportunity to take over and bring up topics of their own choosing to discuss. This seems like a good weekend to try it out, seeing as the icy weather forecast might keep some of us housebound more than usual. Also, we’re always open to suggestions, if anyone wants to point us in the direction of some good blog topics for the future.

Ohio Supreme Court ruling in favor of sex offender

Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 6-1 in favor of a Green Township man who challenged a July 2003 state law that banned sex offenders from living with 1,000 feet of schools. In 2005, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman had ordered the plaintiff Gerry R. Porter, Jr. to move from the home he had owned for 14 years because it was located 983 feet from St. Jude School. Mr. Porter was convicted of a sexual offense in 1999.

The Supreme Court ruled that “the legislature was unclear about retroactive intent when it voted to ban sex offenders from living with 1,000 feet of schools.” As a result of the decision, according to yesterday’s Enquirer article, “thousands of Ohio sex offenders can return to their homes.”

Remembering that sexual predators was an agenda item for both the January and February Committee of Whole meetings and that former Norwood Law Director Rick Gibson had spoken to council 1-2 years ago about his successful efforts to have sex offenders move who were living under 1,000 feet of our own schools, we called the Law Director’s office to explore what, if any, impact the Supreme Court ruling might have on sex offenders potentially moving back to our community.

We didn’t get very far. We were told the Law Director’s office doesn’t speak to the media.

2/25/08 UPDATE: Regarding last week’s Ohio Supreme Court decision, today’s Enquirer editorial “Get real on sex offender rules” seems to agree with our 2/22/08 commenters for this blog: “Applying these laws retroactively is inhumane. Forcing an offender who has served a sentence to later uproot himself and move beyond an arbitrary boundary line destabilizes the person’s life, while doing nothing to protect society…these laws have several flaws, including treating most types of sex offenders as being equally dangerous...statistics show that most sex offenders aren’t strangers to their victims.” In the wake of the court’s decision, perhaps council will discuss this topic at their meeting tomorrow evening.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Burton’s stop holding on at Rookwood Exchange

The Enquirer is reporting the Burton’s have accepted a purchase price of $650,000 from Rookwood Partners for the house on Edmondson Road they formerly used for their business Kumon Math & Reading Center. They, Joy and Carl Gamble, and Joe Horney were the three property owners who successfully fought Norwood’s use of eminent domain after they refused to sell to the developer for the proposed Rookwood Exchange. The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled in their favor in 2006. Prior to Carl Gamble’s death, the Gamble’s sold their property to Rookwood Partners in March, 2007. Joe Horney is the last remaining holdon. Richard Tranter, attorney for the developer, told the Enquirer that Rookwood Partners have no immediate plans to develop the site, despite having acquired nearly all the property for the planned project.

December 07 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 a little differently from the original:

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of July = 338

Medic Runs = 254
Fire Runs = 12 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 4 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 12 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 24- (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 18 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 6 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 8 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 26 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 0

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
City Hydrants checked for leaks - 489
City-owned hydrants Out of Service & require repair/replacement - 18

C. Total Bureau of Fire Safety Inspections/Activities w/Breakdown = 461

1.) Bureau of Fire Safety Activities and Number of Activities:
Total Inspections – 90 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 127
Total Violations – corrected 180
Total Block Inspections – 0 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 64

2.) Breakdown of Fire Division Events:
Cornerstone Christmas Lunch
Southwest Ohio Code Official Meeting
Hamilton County Accountability Committee Meeting
Hamilton County Fire Chief’s Meetings
Eastern Fire Chief’s Meeting
Siemens’ Grand Opening
CPR Classes
Civil Service test for firefighter

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cincinnati Show Choir holding auditions in Norwood

Yesterday, we spoke with Chester Imhausen, longtime music educator and director of the Cincinnati Show Choir, to find out more about their upcoming March auditions at Grace United Methodist Church on Slane Avenue. That’s when we learned this exciting news: Cincinnati Show Choir is actually based right here in Norwood, specifically at Grace Church! This is another one of those great things happening in our community that got by us…until now, finally.

While talking to Mr. Imhausen, we discovered the Cincinnati Show Choir was the multi-talented group that delighted everyone at the Norwood Historical Society’s Holiday Open House three years ago. They not only sang supremely, they also moved to the music with choreography that added just the right punch to their performance. Among their engagements this past Christmas season, they performed for the Norwood Business and Professional Women’s Club as well as in the Aronoff Center’s lobby prior to performances of The Nutcracker.

Mr. Imhausen told us the choir currently has 12 members. He hopes the auditions will add 8 more so that each singing part - soprano, alto, tenor, and bass - will have 5 members. The choreography can be taught, so people trying out don’t have to have a dance background. In fact, for the auditions, everyone will learn part of a song and a portion of the choreography, then try out together after some practice. Following the auditions, the choir will set to work perfecting their 2008 show, which will include music from the 1950’s and 1960’s, plus tunes like “Over the Rainbow,” “I’ve Got Rhythm,” and “Ease on Down the Road” (from The Wiz). Rehearsals will be at Grace Church on Sunday’s at 7:00 p.m.

When: 6:30 pm on Sunday, March 2 and Sunday, March 9
Where: Grace Church, 2221 Slane Ave. Directions here.
Who: Singers who are high school graduates, ages 18 to approximately 35.
Contact: Call Chester Imhausen at 633-6411 to get on the audition list.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Text of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech

We decided during this month’s celebration of Black History Month to revisit Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. At least one of us remembers watching him deliver the momentous address on television. One of us also recalls growing up in a town with “Whites Only” bathrooms and drinking fountains on the court house square and restaurants where black people could come in only long enough to pick up food to go. Then there was 1958 when school desegregation happened and the fifth grade teacher who explained to her class she seating all the male black children in their own row next to wall so she wouldn’t get calls from white parents complaining about their children sitting too close to them. Later in the early 1960’s, two male African students were recruited by missionaries to attend the local Baptist college. The local church wouldn’t allow them to attend services unless they wore their native costumes. Twenty members immediately left in protest and started their own Baptist church, which today is the largest in the town. There were a few heroes here and there…but only a few.

“I Have a Dream”
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

read on

Monday, February 18, 2008

XU students giving tax assistance to low income, elderly taxpayers

We just received the following press release from Xavier’s Public Relations Office announcing free basic Federal and State income tax assistance to low income and elderly taxpayers in Norwood, Evanston, and Avondale. Be sure to pass this information along to anyone you know who could benefit from this free service:


Xavier University accounting students will help prepare tax returns for low income and elderly taxpayers, as well as students, on Monday evenings, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. from February 25 through April 14.

The students are offering free basic Federal and State income tax assistance to the Xavier, Norwood, Evanston, and Avondale communities through the IRS sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).

Getting help is easy. First, call 513 745-3236, to schedule an appointment. Then, bring a photo ID, your Social Security card, any tax-related forms and a copy of last year’s tax return (if possible) to the appointment. The students will set up on the second floor of the Admission Building (also known as Schott Hall) on Dana Ave. Parking is available in the Admission lot after 5:00 p.m.

Xavier alumni have also volunteered their time to assist in the review process.

Assistance is available from 5:30-8:00 p.m. on the following Mondays by appointment only:
February 25
March 3
March 10
March 31
April 7
April 14

January, 2008 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Every month, John Hanrahan submits an Earnings Tax Report to council. Below is the summary information from the January report, which shows collections are off to a good start this year.

December Collections

Collections thru January 2008.….………........$1,411,434.45
Collections thru January 2007.….……..…......$1,280,808.67
Increase in collections over 2007...10.20%…$ 130,625.78

Year end 2007
Net Collected 2007…….$15,397,382,38
Net Collected 2006.…….$13,532,186.61
Net Increase 2007:……..$ 1,865,195.77

Friday, February 15, 2008

Finance Committee meeting next Tuesday

Finance and Audit Committee Chairperson Chuck Barlowe has called a meeting for 6:00 p.m. next Tuesday, February 19, in Council Chambers.

1. Appointed Positions Salaries
2. Budget Analyst Position
3. Police Cruisers
4. Fire Department Pumper
5. Health Department Computer
6. Auditor’s Office Computers/Training
7. Public Works Pick Up Truck
8. Motel/Hotel Tax

Monstrance for Vocations at Our Lady of Holy Spirit Center

In 2005, Pope John Paul II blessed six vessels, one for each inhabited continent. The vessels, called monstrances, are sacred objects to hold Holy Communion. They are used in Eucharistic Adoration, prayer in the presence of Jesus Christ in the form of the Eucharist. Tonight at 7:00 p.m., the Traveling Monstrance for Vocations will make it’s first stop at Our Lady of Holy Spirit Center in Norwood where parishioners will gather “to invite God’s calling as they determine the course of their lives: if they’ll marry or have children, or enter religious life, or become a lay minister.” The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has scheduled the Traveling Monstrance for Vocations for services at 7 other area churches over the next 18 days. Today's Enquirer article has the complete schedule.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rummage sale this Saturday

The Norwood Christian Church at 4400 Ashland Avenue is having a rummage sale this Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. For more information, call 631-5366.

Hamilton Co. Auditor: Annual Cost by School District

Relayman found this document by the Hamilton County Auditor posted on Channel 9’s website and sent it to us. As he pointed out, it doesn’t show how much each Hamilton County school district spends per student, but it does rank the current tax burdens for homeowners in the county’s 23 districts per $100,000 of market value. We’re not suprised Madeira leads the pack at $1,372.58, but how about Norwood at #16 with $891.37 and Indian Hill dead last with $670.18?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pianist Alon Goldstein performing at X.U. this Sunday

This coming Sunday afternoon, Xavier’s Classical Piano Series is featuring Alon Goldstein in concert. Born in Israel, he is one of the most respected pianists on the international scene. Here is a video of Mr. Goldstein playing Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 7 “Archduke.”

When: Sunday, Feb. 17; 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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Gem of the Highlands - Norwood Historical Society’s website!

Steve Thornbury just sent us the link to the Norwood Historical Society’s brand new website, and we are just overwhelmed by how fantastic it is. Mr. Thornbury, secretary for the NHS, tells us member Rodney Rogers has been quietly gathering and digitizing all the information for several years, and then he announced recently he’d set up the website. We think he’s just created a new Gem of the Highlands that we can all enjoy. There's no sense in us trying to describe what you’ll see when you visit - we could never do it justice, and we don't want to spoil the wonderful surprise you're in for. At some point, Mr. Thornbury will fill in some more detail for us, plus he’ll tell us about the plans in progress for the Norwood Historical Society’s 30th anniversary celebration.

We’ve added the Norwood Historical Society to our links on the right side.

October ’07 Norwood Police call stats

A monthly feature

Total NPD calls:

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
July: 3163 = 102 per day = 4.25 per hour
August: 3,167 = 102 per day = 4.25 per hour
September: 2761 = 92 per day = 3.83 per hour
October: 2806 = 90.5 per day = 3.77 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 numbers in each category start with January ’07 and go monthly through October ’07.

Auto Accidents: 69-80-69-68-80-74-63-70-74-77
Criminal Damage: 41-32-39-53-46-45-53-41-41-37
Dom. Violence: 25-24-30-34-31-31-31-35-42-43
Fights: 36-35-63-56-70-36-58-37-37-45
Burglary: 23-20-24-19-24-17-15-25-27-21
Traffic Stops: 248-208-324-373-466-320-622-341-207-339
DUI: 1-1-5-9-10-10-13-4-8-2
Assault: 22-21-17-23-39-26-21-25-35-20
Noise Complaints: 31-33-64-66-78-72-98-36-55-63
Theft: 106-80-96-132-138-118-134-133-109-105
Theft/Motor Vehicle: 10-10-12-12-9-16-9-6-10-8
Rape/Attempted Rape: 1-1-1*-1*-1-2-1-1-1-1

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

Monday, February 11, 2008

Zumbiel video update on Xavier website

Thanks to Debora Del Valle, Xavier’s Director of Public Relations, we now have the link to the first video updating the progress on the Zumbiel demolition project. Click on the link above, then click on the first photo captioned “January Construction Update.” And while you’re at the site, click on “Xavier Square” on the left panel to access a description of what’s planned for the development. The interactive map shows where the boutique hotel, 600 housing units for students and 120 market-rate apartments for the public, etc. are going to be built.

Ms. Del Valle tells us there will be monthly Zumbiel video updates, plus they’re also working on a construction website for this spring that will provide information about the various projects on the campus as well as the development on the Dana/Montgomery corner. There’s still no new date for the Zumbiel implosion, but the February video should have something about it. We’ll post it as soon as it’s available.

Channel 5: NHS “Cool School” video

Check out the short video of Norwood High School that Channel 5 news featured in their “Cool School” segment at 5:00 a.m. Yep, pretty cool!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ham. Co. Coroner rules Mark Decator's death a homicide

On November 16, suspected bank robber Mark Dacator was fatally shot by the NPD’s Sgt. Tom Stein following a 100 mph chase through Norwood neighborhoods. The Hamilton County Coroner’s office told us this morning that Mr. Decator’s death has been ruled a homicide. As a result, his autopsy will not be made public unless or until Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deter’s office allows it to be released.

Interested in finding out what the legal process is in the wake of the homicide ruling, we called the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office and spoke with Bill Ranaghan. Here are the steps he told us will follow:

1. Joe Deters will review both the Hamilton County Coronor’s report on Mr. Decator, including his autopsy, and the Norwood Police Department’s full investigation into the incident. From these, he will determine if there is evidence of a crime. If there’s no evidence of a crime, the case is closed.
2. If Mr. Deters determines there is evidence of a crime, he will assign the matter to a chief assistant in the Criminal Division of his office. That individual may talk with Norwood’s investigating police officers, find out who the witnesses are, what the potential defense is, etc.
3. From there, the chief assistant may refer the case to the Grand Jury, which may or may not indict the police officer.

Mr. Ranaghan said there’s no way to know how long the process will take if the matter winds up going before a Grand Jury.

This website has legal definitions for various types of homicides and describes the conditions under which a homicide is justifiable.

Vineyard Central hosting “Stop Human Traffiking” event

Recently, Jeremiah Griswold, Administrator of Norwood’s Vineyard Central Church, emailed us about an amazing effort to fight human trafficking underway right here in Norwood. Next Saturday, we’re all invited to the church to learn what the fight is all about and how we can help end this scourge against humanity. A Vineyard task force has already been formed, they’re working on a documentary, and…but we’ll let Mr. Griswold tell you all about it in his own words. Here’s his email:

"Life is the gift of our Creator...and it should never be for sale. There is a terrible wickedness afoot in the world...and it has taken root in our own backyard. That wickedness is modern-day slavery...also known as human trafficking. What is Human Trafficking? Who are the victims of trafficking? Who are the traffickers? Where is it happening? How can our local community join the fight? We will wrestle with these questions and explore what is human trafficking and how we can join the fight...

Steven Hamilton is a member of the pastoral staff at the Central Maryland Vineyard. He is helping to facilitate an informal task force within the Vineyard to empower their fight against human trafficking. The Vineyard task force is currently in the midst of filming a documentary and will host a conference in September 2008. Steven was formerly a researcher with the Department of Homeland Security and currently works with trafficking survivors in Ukraine and the U.S."

Event: Stop human trafficking!
When: Saturday, February 16; 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: St. Elizabeth’s Church (Vineyard Central) at 1757 Mills Avenue
More information: 396-7202

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Videos of COP presentation at 2/5/08 COW meeting

More volunteers needed!

Below are links to most of the presentation Bill Graff, Lt. Tom Williams, Jr. and Casey Brown made to the Committee of the Whole this past Tuesday. Mr. Graff was quick to say that Citizens on Patrol would not work were it not for the support of the City’s administration. In addition to using their radios to alert police about suspicious behavior they spot on their patrols, COP volunteers are using chemicals to rid our community of graffiti. Mr. Graff displayed a notebook with photos of the graffiti by locations they've removed thus far.

Currently, there are 12 COP volunteers for city wide patrols, but more are needed. Another training class starts later this month, so if you’re at least 21 and would like to participate, call Lt. Williams at 458-4545, and he’ll have you fill out a volunteer application.

Clip 1 - Bill Graff
Clip 2 - Lt. Tom Williams
Clip 3 - Questions by council and Casey Brown

Finance Committee meeting next Monday

Finance and Audit Committee Chairperson Chuck Barlowe has called a meeting for 6:00 p.m. next Monday, February 11, in Council Chambers. All but one of the agenda items deal with city vehicles and computer equipment. Finance Committee meetings are rarely televised on local cable Channel 4. We’ll post an update if we find out this one is going to be aired.

1. 2008 Appropriations
2. Health Department Computer
3. Fire Department Pumper**
4. Public Works Pick Up Truck
5. Police Cruisers and Budget

** For background, here’s the May, 2007 letter Lt. Cartuyvelles of the NFD wrote to council requesting a $300,000 pumper.

Just in - Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin to speak at Xavier

Xavier University has just announced that Emmy-winner Jeff Corwin will give a presentation on Wednesday, February 20 in connection with his latest CNN documentary, entitled Planet in Peril: Environmental Threats of the 21st Century. He will speak from 7 - 9 pm in the Cintas Center Banquet Room. His talk will be followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Corwin, host of The Jeff Corwin Experience on Animal Planet, has been working for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the world since he was a teenager. Planet in Peril takes viewers on an around-the-world examination of our changing environment and has contributed to the spread of knowledge about global warming, animal extinction, and dangerous practices that are negatively affecting our planet.

Community blood drive this Friday

The Hoxworth Blood Center is conducting a community blood drive this Friday at the Norwood Health Department. If you’ve never given blood before, here’s some information from the Hoxworth website that describes their safety procedures and the various tests they run to assure the blood donated is free from infectious diseases.

When: Friday, February 08, 2008; 9 am - 3 pm
Where: Norwood Health Department at 2059 Sherman Ave
Bonus: Hoxworth offers free cholesterol screening tests to all donors.
Reservations: Appointments recommended. Call 458-4600.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Don’t tase me, Sis!

Yesterday’s Enquirer told the story of a Hamilton, Ohio man who gave his girlfriend a small, metallic pink Taser C2 for Christmas. The Taser C2 comes in 4 designer colors, looks like an electric shaver, and ranges in price from $299 - $379. Taser also sells a holster embedded with an MP3 player.

According to the Enquirer, C2’ s range “is 15 feet, 10 to 20 feet shorter than the distance afforded (police) officers, and its burst lasts 30 seconds, six times as long…” The 30-second burst allows the shooter to put the Taser down “while it’s still attached to it’s target - and get away.”

We called Lt. Tom Williams, Jr. at the NPD for a little more information. He told us the C2 is a one-use only taser. While not specifically spelling that out in their article, the Enquirer implied it by stating the company will replace the taser if the shooter submits a police report documenting what happened. Lt. Williams said the reason the C2 is designed for single use is to protect the police themselves from being tased multiple times by suspects armed with C2’s. He explained that police tasers fire in 5-second bursts and can be reused multiple times until a subject is subdued. He advised that C2 owners should not tase anyone unless they feel the threat to their safety is serious. For instance, being told “I’d like to wring your neck” probably doesn’t justify tasing…unless the person is approaching with a piece of rope.

Man jailed after hitting NPD’s Sgt. Stein with his car

Yesterday when Norwood police opened the car door of a 22-year-old man asleep at the wheel, he awakened, slammed the car in reverse, and knocked Sgt. Thomas Stein to the ground. Today, Jeffrey Smith is behind bars charged with felonious assault, failure to comply with police, resisting arrest, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Bond has been set at $225,000. Sgt. Stein may have escaped serious injury, since the Enquirer article doesn’t say anything about him being taken the hospital.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pictures from Images of America - Norwood

For those who haven’t yet purchased or seen Christine Mersch’s book Images of America - Norwood, feast your eyes on these photos of Norwood’s past. See any of your ancestors? How about those Norwood Town Hall Ladies? - sounds like they kept things lively in the ’wood. And take a look at the Norwood Service League’s building on Lawrence Avenue - it’s certainly looking a lot spiffier at the hands of Bill and Vivian Graff, isn’t it? Copies of the book are still available at the Norwood Service League for $20.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Feds, NPD, SWAT team bust up Norwood cocaine ring

Channel 9 is reporting police threw a percussion grenade into a Warren Avenue house last night and then entered with guns drawn. Shortly, they escorted three suspects out in handcuffs, two women and a man. Police told neighbors the trio won’t be back. Once again, the Norwood police get their man…and some women, too. But how many lowlife drug dealers are left to go, and is it true there are three ready to take the place of every one that gets busted?

Thanks to Relayman for alerting us to this.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bill Graff to address COW about Citizens on Patrol

Next Tuesday’s COW meeting will start at 7:00 pm instead of 7:30 pm in order to provide Bill Graff, Chairman and Vice President of WNNA, ample time to speak about the successful COP Program he was instrumental in launching last year in conjunction with the NPD. COW Chairman John Mumper tells us Mr. Graff will include in his remarks how community members can get involved as volunteers. NCT will air the meeting live on local cable Channel 4.

1. Speaker - Bill Graff
2. Financial Planning and Management
3. Vacant Houses
4. Rental Property
5. Sexual Predators
6. Zoning Ordinance for Sherman Avenue

NSL honors Linda Brim, Bill and Vivian Graff

The Norwood Service League honored Linda Brim and Bill and Vivian Graff at their recent Semi-Annual Board of Governors Dinner Meeting. Engraved plaques were unveiled honoring Mrs. Brim for creating the NSL Career Center which helps adult learners with GED/ABLE, English Literacy and Computer Job Training. Bill and Vivian Graff, tireless volunteers for many community endeavors, were honored for their work remodeling and restoring the NSL’s new home at 2071 Lawrence Avenue.

According to the Enquirer, “The executive board voted unanimously to name the building in their honor. Dedication of the custom-made sign will be in the spring.”