Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, March 31, 2008

Public Works’ Appliance Recycling/Tire Drop Off Weekend

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20 for the absolutely free Appliance Recyling and Tire Drop Off Weekend at Public Works. Unload those pesky freon-filled appliances we can’t leave at the curb for Rumpke, and throw in those worn out tires while you’re at it. Bring old refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers or any other appliances that contain freon. Leah at P.W. tells us they won’t have unloading capabilities, so bring some extra hands if you need them for heavy appliances.

When: Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Norwood Public Works, 3001 Harris Avenue
Directions: from Forest Avenue, turn on Harris and go past Shea Stadium all the way to the deadend where there’s a stop sign. Turn right at the sign, and you’ll see Public Works personnel outside directing everyone to the exact drop-off location.
More information: Public Works at 458-4615

A big welcome to the new Beautify Norwood blog!

Last Monday we featured this guest blog by Pastor Kevin Rains of Vineyard Central Church in which he invited everyone to drop by Saturday mornings to help beautify the areas around the Community Center and St. Elizabeth’s. Now he’s started a blog to keep everyone connected to the ongoing project, and we’ve just installed a link to the new “Beautify Norwood” blog to our growing list of links on the right hand side. Check out the pics he’s posted of some of our neighbors who helped this past Saturday. See anybody you recognize? A big thanks to Kevin for starting a new online community to help us all stay informed about this terrific project for our city… and welcome to the Norwood blogosphere!

APB for found dog’s owner

We’re putting out an APB to help Norwood resident Tom Brown locate the owner of a dog that started wandering around the Presidential Streets yesterday near his home. Please email Tom if you recognize the description of this found dog:

There is a little 'spitz' type dog that seems to have been lost. It appears to be a female and is very well groomed. She has no collar. She has been wandering around the Ashland/Adams/Jefferson/Floral area all day Sunday. We and several neighbors have tried to catch her but she runs away. She’s very afraid of anyone who calls to her. We think she may belong to an older person because no one seems to be looking for her. If you know of a neighbor who has lost their dog, please let us know. We have been unable to catch her and maybe she will come to the owner. She likes to hang around the Ashland/Adams intersection. She keeps coming back to that corner. We are going to call the SCPA if no one can catch her soon.

Tom Brown

3:00 p.m. UPDATE:
Tom Brown just emailed us some good news: "We finally caught the dog! She is being fostered by a neighbor on Adams. If you know someone who lost their dog, please call the SPCA at 541-6100. Describe the dog and say it was caught on Ashland Ave and is being fostered by a family on Adams Ave."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Xavier Elite Eight Viewing Party Saturday night

We just received the following invitation for everyone from X.U. 's Public Relations office:

If you are looking for a place to gather with other Xavier University fans to watch the Musketeers take on the UCLA Bruins in the NCAA Elite Eight, come to the Schmidt Fieldhouse on Saturday night, March 29. You can park in the Cintas Center parking lot and take a free shuttle to the Fieldhouse located on Winding Way. Food and soft drinks will be available for sale and the game will be televised on a 12’ x 16’ rear-projection screen. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tipoff is 6:40 p.m.

The Xavier Student Government Association and X-Treme Fans are sponsoring the event. They are providing 1000 wings, 70 pizzas, 12 platters from Chick-Fil-A and 162 liters of soft drinks.

Schmidt Fieldhouse has wooden bleachers so bring your seat cushions and enjoy the game with hundreds of your friends.

Friday Media Olio

1. Word to the besotted wise: if the Norwood Police ever take you into custody for being intoxicated, then release you to “a sober friend,” don’t do what William McClure of North Avondale subsequently did minutes later to get himself arrested and in court this morning. Read today's Enquirer account here.

2. Congratulations to Kevin LeMaster for his most excellent Building Cincinnati blog making the top five in City Beat’s “Best of 2008” Best Source of Micro-Local Media.

3. Last Friday's Business Courier reported U.S. Playing Card may leave its 108-year-old Norwood headquarters at 4590 Beech St. Phil Dolci, president of the firm, said unspecified locations in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana are under consideration, but no decision has been made yet. He stated, “Ideally we’ll make a decision in the second quarter.” Mayor Tom Williams told council at Tuesday night’s council meeting that he would do everything possible to persuade the company to remain in Norwood.

4. We certainly hope the City of Cincinnati will be able to fix its critical ambulance shortage and 911 Dispatch problems as reported in recent I Team investigations broadcast on Channel 9. Contributing to the Dispatch crisis is high call volume and high turnover among operators, resulting in callers frequently being put on hold. Of course, the ambulance shortage is causing long delays that endanger the lives of those needing emergency medical assistance. Did it really take the I Team to get Cincinnati City Council to pay attention to this public safety crisis? We don’t think Norwood officials would ever allow its residents’ safety to become this endangered. Cincinnati’s troubles make us especially grateful to live in a city with a superb fire department with 3-minute emergency response times and Dispatch operators who don’t put us on hold…at least, not that we’ve ever experienced or heard of.

Computer Recycling Collection Program starts Monday

Starting Monday, March 31 and going though December 30, 2008, Technology Recycling Group is offering a free collection program for old computer equipment such as monitors, CPUs, hard drives, mice, keyboards, laptops, docking stations, back-up batteries, power cords, speakers, modems, external hard drives, memory chips, storage chips, cellular phones, printers, scanners, and desktop fax machines.

Where: Technology Recycling Group, 5139 Kieley Place, St. Bernard, OH
When: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Closed on all major holidays.)
More information: 761-5333
Directions: Click here.

Free Saturday exercise class at Grace Church

Grace Church at 2221 Slane Avenue is inviting all adults and teens to their free Saturday morning Beginners - Intermediate exercise class from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Just bring an exercise mat and blanket and exercise away to music, Bible scripture, and other inspiration readings. Yoga techniques will primarily be used for strength building, relaxation, muscle toning and development, cardiovascular fitness, spiritual growth and physical health enhancement. Contact Linda Wallace at 984-9212 for more information.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jeff Anderson donates audio/video equipment to NFD

Channel 5 is reporting that Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate recently donated $4,500 worth of audio and video equipment to the Norwood Fire Department. Norwood City School children who tour the NPD during Fire Prevention Month will benefit from donation. The equipment will be used to enhance fire and emergency medical services training.

In a news release, Chief Goodman stated, “The Fire Department greatly appreciates the generous offer and support of Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate. We have been very fortunate to have had community partners such as Mr. Carl Linder and Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate who has donated much needed resources to our Public Safety Services.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

Guest blog: Kevin Rains, Pastor of Vineyard Central Church

We are so pleased Kevin Rains sent us the following blog announcing a brand new, long term community project underway to beautify the areas in and around the Community Center and the old St. Elizabeth’s Church on Mills Avenue. We’re all invited to pitch in and help whenever we can. Doesn’t starting a community garden sound like a fun idea whose time has come?

This past Saturday, ten residents of Norwood gathered to get to know one another, pick up trash in the area and survey the assets and needs in the Mills/Carter corridor of west Norwood, OH. This area is home to the Norwood Community Center, Speckled Bird cafe, and old St. Elizabeth’s church among other things. Mills is also bookended by Victory Park at one end and Upper Millcrest park at the other. It’s also what many of us like to call ‘home.’ It’s an important place for us to start this work of beautifying the neighborhood. We have a goal that by summertime one hundred people will gather weekly on Saturday mornings to beautify the neighborhood. Right now we pick up trash and have dreams of starting a community garden in the area. This is an ongoing event happening every Saturday at 10am. We meet at the Speckled Bird Cafe (corner of Carter and Mills), get a plan and then hit the streets for a fun, doable project. Please join us if you're interested. Our plan is that as warmer weather hits this event will take on a more festival attitude and atmosphere with a cookout afterward, games and music. It's simply about connecting neighbors and beautifying our neighborhood... and you're invited.

Kevin Rains
Pastor, Vineyard Central

Pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa performing at X.U. this Sunday

This coming Sunday afternoon, Xavier’s Classical Piano Series is featuring Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa in concert. Her performances have been described as “vivacious, with technical finesse and lyrical talent combined to regularly force audiences to edge of their seats.” Click here for a short video of Ms. Ursuleasa playing Franz Schubert’s piano quintet in A major.

When: Sunday, March 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: $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

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program

Environmental Enterprises, Inc. is conducting a Household Hazardous Waste Program through November 22, 2008 for all Hamilton County residents. Hazardous material such as paint, batteries, pesticides, driveway sealers can be dropped of at one of two locations. Click here for the five areas or your home to check for hazardous items as well as a complete list of items that are accepted for disposal.

Central: Environmental Enterprises, Inc.
4650 Spring Grove Ave. Entrance directly across from Winton Rd.
Wednesdays: 2 p.m.—6 p.m.
Phone (513) 541-1823

North: Environmental Enterprises, Inc.
10163 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd.
Tuesdays: 2 p.m.—6 p.m.
Saturdays: 9 a.m.—1 p.m.
Phone (513) 772-2818

*Closed March 22, May 24, July 5 and August 30.

Norwood man facing 2 counts of receiving stolen property

Channel 9 is reporting that 24-year-old Christopher Smith of Linden Avenue was arrested yesterday for allegedly trying to sell stolen football memorabilia the NPD says were taken from a Norwood home during a burglary. Police say that on February 19, he allegedly sold a signed Walter Payton Chicago Bears jersey and a San Francisco 49er’s signed by Bill Romanowski to two area stores. It doesn’t appear he has been charged in connection with the home burglary.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

8:00 a.m. Zumbeil implosion heard throughout the land

Don't know if any us made it to the implosion or not, but the big bangs certainly started at exactly 8:00 a.m. for a few seconds. Any comments from readers who witnessed the event?

10:15 A.M. UPDATE: Click here to see the Enquirer's implosion video.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Norwood Do Right! campaign launch at Lindner YMCA

We want to thank Lupe Gonzales Hoyt, Executive Director of the Norwood Service League, for sending us the following press release to share with our readers. This sounds like a fun, musical way for the entire family to get healthier, doesn't it?

Norwood Do Right! Campaign Launch

The Norwood Do Right! Campaign Launch will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2008 from 11am -3 pm at the Richard Lindner YMCA located at 2039 Sherman Avenue in Norwood. A brief program will take place at noon lead by Norwood leaders; Dwight Tillery, Center for Closing the Health Gap; and Lupe Hoyt of the Norwood Service League.

The Center for Closing the Health Gap is leading this campaign through the Norwood Service League. The Do Right! Launch event has been organized by the Norwood Do Right! Steering Committee comprised of organizations and community leaders in Norwood.

This community launch event will include activities for the entire family to learn to Eat Right! Move Right! and Live Right! The activities will include: Live music from Zumba! – Cincinnati’s premier Latin ensemble, Salsa demonstrations, Cooking demonstrations, Children’s activities, and a variety of free health screenings for the entire family.

Olio: a miscellaneous mixture: hodgepodge

With our new M-W-F schedule, Friday’s may be a day we regularly catch up on news items published earlier in the week and throw Friday items in as well. We’re thinking about naming this feature “Media Olio” because one of us came across the word olio working crosswords and wants to find a way to use it. Somehow, "Media Hodgepodge" just doesn't have the right ring. We welcome hearing from anyone who can tell us whether or not we're using olio correctly.

1. 3/17/08 Business Courier: short article about the “green” architectural firm Steed Hammond Paul’s changing its name to SHP Leading Design. Expected to move headquarters from downtown Cincinnati to Norwood (doesn't say where) at the end of March.

2. 3/20/08 Enquirer: longer article about Steed Hammond Paul’s name change and how the organization is being “greened.” Says the move to Linden Pointe will take place by early April.

3. Today’s Enquirer: 28-year-old Avondale mother** in court this morning, accused of beating her 5-year-old son at The Youthland Academy on Smith Road.
**Correction from the previous "Norwood mother."

The Daily Bellwether: reported that Alex Triantafilou, the new chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party, started a blog this past Tuesday called
The Hamilton County GOP Blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Breaking...Norwood Plaza under contract to Xavier University

Earlier today we spoke with a Xavier official to confirm whether or not the Norwood Plaza on Montgomery Road is under contract to the university. We just received the following statement from Xavier:

Xavier University has a signed contract for the purchase of the Norwood Plaza property at 3845 Ivanhoe Avenue, just off Montgomery Road. Xavier is in the due diligence process right now and expects to close on the sale within 30-45 days. There are no immediate future plans for the site.

“Our focus right now is on Xavier Square,” says John Kucia, Administrative Vice President of Xavier.

Developing...Norwood Plaza under contract

We expect to publish the details between 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. today.

Kite making and free tree seedlings at Norwood Library

Next week, the Norwood Branch Library at 4325 Montgomery Road is offering two free programs: “Make Your Own Kite” for children and a “Free Tree Seedling Giveaway” for adults:

What: Celebrate spring with “Make Your Own Kite”
When: Tuesday, March 25, 3:00 p.m.
Who: Best for ages 6-12; no advance registration required
More information: Call 369-6037

What: "Free Tree Seedling Giveaway"; receive a White Pine seeding with any check-out in honor of “going green.”
When: Friday, March 28, 10:00 a.m.
Who: Adults
More information: Call 369-6037

Monday, March 17, 2008

Finance Committee meetings called tomorrow and Wednesday

Councilperson Chuck Barlow, Chair of City Council’s Finance and Audit Committee, has called two meetings, both with the single agenda item “2008 Appropriations.”

1. Tuesday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m.
2. Wednesday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. or immediately following the Community Development meeting

Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers. Ward 2 Councilperson Steve Thornbury has asked NCT to tape both meetings for broadcast on Government Access Channel 4. We’ll post an update when we know whether or not the meetings will be broadcast.

9:45 a.m., 3/18/08 UPDATE: NCT has informed Mr. Thornbury that today's 5:00 p.m. meeting will be videotaped for replays on Channel 4. We applaud Mr. Thornbury for taking the initiative to get the meeting aired.

Norwood Health Department Receives $1200 in Mini-Grants

Funds to educate students about health

We are pleased to announce that Norwood resident Lisa Bauer will be blogging periodically about topics related to Norwood City Schools, and following is her first report. Many Norwoodians got acquainted/better acquainted with Lisa when she ran for school board this past November. We’ll refer to her as our NCS Reporter until or unless we think of a better title. Welcome aboard, Lisa!

This week, Norwood City School students in grades 1-4 will participate in a program titled, “My Pyramid: Eat Right. Exercise. Have Fun.” The program was selected to receive funding through the Ohio Department of Education to teach students about the food pyramid. The Norwood Health Department applied for and received the grants of $300 for each elementary school.

“We are VERY excited to be offering this program to all students in Norwood City Schools in grades 1 – 4.” said Health Commissioner Donna Laake, noting that parents are also invited to come to school to enjoy the fairs with their students.

Laake said the health fair consists of 10 stations. Six stations are food stations (1 for each color of the food pyramid) and 3 are physical activity stations. The 10th station is the “check out” booth where students who have completed all 9 pieces of the health fair will receive prizes of coloring books, My Pyramid posters, dairy coloring books, sticker, cook book, pencil and a bag of trail mix.

At Station 1, students will have an opportunity to follow a crime scene to find whole grains (orange). Station 2 is a chance to move to the colors of the pyramid where students will toss a bean bag onto pyramid to find out what movement they will do. Station 3 is called, “All Tossed up with Veggies”(green) where students will discover a wide variety of vegetables. At Station 4, watch out for all the great dancing moves as students take part in Dance Dance Revolution! Station 5 is a fruit “Plinko” game (red) where students will coax a chip down the right path to a yummy fruit picture. At Station 6, students will role dice to see what exercise they will do and for how many times. They will also plan when they can go on a walk around their neighborhood with family or friends. “Ring 3 Dairy” is the game at Station 7 (blue). Students will attempt to toss a ring around the best low fat dairy products on the board. Have you wanted to go fishing lately? Then come on over to Station 8 (purple) to fish for lean protein products at our special “fishing pond.” Students will write down the leanest food they caught. Station 9 (yellow) is the booth where students will learn the foods to avoid or that contain the highest fat. Their challenge will be to select a fast food that is 20 grams of fat or less and less than 700 calories.

“I bet that even parents could learn a lot at this station!” said Laake.

When students complete the nine learning stations, Laake said they will be sent to Station 10, “where all the goodies are located and we celebrate all the good things that were learned.”

Fairs will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 noon March 17 – 20 at each school’s gymnasium:
Monday, March 17th - Norwood View
Tuesday, March 18th - Williams
Wednesday, March 19th - Sharpsburg
Thursday, March 20 - Allison.
Each grade level will have 40 – 45 minutes to complete the colors of the pyramid.

“What a great way to begin spring break by having fun and learning too!” said Laake. “The health department is so pleased to present this our younger customers. Come and see us “Eat Right. Exercise. Have Fun!”

Lisa Bauer
NCS Reporter

January 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 January = 338

Medic Runs = 276
Fire Runs = 17 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 45 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 17 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 24- (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 15 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 13 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 2 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 41 - (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 - 11
City-owned hydrants reported back in service - 10

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 692
Total Inspections – 130 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 161
Total Violations – corrected 284
Total Block Inspections – 0 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 117

Friday, March 14, 2008

Breaking news…Zumbiel finally set to implode March 22!

We just received the following press release from Xavier University's Public Relation's office announcing all the details surrounding the scheduled implosion of the Zumbiel Packaging Plant at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, March 22:


Xavier, Norwood and Evanston communities to benefit from “college town” development

The morning of Saturday, March 22, marks the beginning of a new chapter for Xavier University and the communities of Norwood and Evanston.

At approximately 8:00 A.M. the former Zumbiel Packaging Plant on Cleneay Avenue will be imploded. The implosion, which will last just four seconds, is to make room for Xavier Square, a 20-acre extension of the University campus which will include a new fitness club, health center, student housing and student bookstore as well as restaurants, a hotel, office space and shopping.

A website with information about all of Xavier’s construction projects is scheduled to go live on Wednesday, March 19. On that date, please visit

Media should report to the Cintas Center parking lot. A designated area will be marked off to view the implosion. Herald Avenue in front of Bellarmine Chapel will be closed. Media can enter the Cintas Center parking lot by entering the campus on Ledgewood off of Victory Parkway. Turn left at the stop sign and follow the road up the steep hill. Turn right at the top of the hill and look for the viewing area. The viewing site at Cintas is NOT open to the public.

Another good viewing site is at the corner of Dana and Montgomery. No one will be allowed on sidewalk on the west side of Montgomery or the north side sidewalk of Dana near the chain link fences.

Several streets in the area will be closed at following intersections for a short period of time prior to the implosion and shortly after the implosion. Cincinnati and Norwood police will determine when safety requires that the streets be closed. The streets are:
· Cleneay at Montgomery
· Lexington at Montgomery
· Dana from Montgomery to Idlewild.
· Side streets between Montgomery to Idlewild (Brooks, Clarion, Newton, Idlewild)
· Herald Avenue at the Bellarmine Circle on Xavier’s campus

Montgomery Road will NOT be closed.

read on

Blog update and weekend open thread

We want our readers to know that we’re cutting back some on the frequency of our blog entries. Starting next week, we’re going to try a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for 2-3 weeks and see how that fits our schedules. The exception will be late breaking news items as they come up. We may do some more tinkering here and there, and we hope everyone will bear with us as we try to figure out something that works. In the meantime, this is an open thread for any topics our readers would like to discuss.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Celebrate Albert Einstein’s birthday at Drake Planetarium

Two showings of “The Universe of Dr. Einstein” at the Drake Planetarium this month will celebrate his birth, cover his many revolutionary ideas about space, time, and motion and also take a look at his personal side.

When: Sunday, March 16 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m.
Where: Drake Planetarium, 4th floor of Norwood High School, 2020 Sherman Ave.
Who: Recommended for ages 9 and up
Cost: $6 advance, $7 at the door
Reservations recommended: Call 396-5578

Get ready for the Semi-Annual Street Sale May 2 & 3

Norwood City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night authorizing the Semi-Annual Street Sale for Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We checked with the Treasurer’s Office yesterday and were told the free permits required for residents holding yard sales will not be ready for pick up until around the 1st of April. The City will have a directory available with the addresses of everyone who obtains a free permit at least 7 days prior to May 2. We’ll keep you posted…

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Volunteers needed for April 26 Great American Clean up

Jennifer Wallace, Executive Director of Norwood’s Recreation Commission, spoke to council last night as part of her campaign to recruit community members to pitch in and help with their annual Great American Clean up of our parks. Click here for Recreation’s web site, then click on “Parks” for a complete listing all our parks. Ms. Wallace said she will be handing out flyers about the event at Recreation’s Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday (see 3/6/08 blog below) in an effort create more awareness about the need for volunteers. Last night, she got one volunteer right away when Councilperson Joe Sanker said he would lead the clean up of Northwoods Park. If you can lend a helping hand on Saturday, April 26th, please call Recreation at 531-9798. Operators are standing by!

Following is more detail in the letter from Ms. Wallace to City Council that was read aloud at last night’s meeting.

February 25, 2008

Dear Madam President and members of Council,

The annual Great American Clean up is set for Saturday, April 26, 2008. This is when we ask for volunteers to help clean up the parks and other areas of our community. This year, Recreation has a special project for the clean up. We will need volunteers to help us at J.B. Wirth-Waterworks Pool. We have some minor repairs, painting and landscaping that we would like to complete to improve this pool. On July 21st and 22nd Norwood Recreation will be hosting the NSSL Swim League Championships with about 2,500 to 3,000 people from other cities attending this event. If you would like to help with this project or to clean up another park or city area, please give us a call to sign up. We appreciate everyone who helps.


Jennifer Wallace
Executive Director,
Norwood Recreation Commission

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Letter from Rec. Commissioners closing Burwood pool

Following is a letter from the Norwood Recreation Commissioners informing Norwood City Council of their decision to close the swimming pool at Burwood Park. The letter appears on tonight’s City Council meeting agenda:

February 25, 2008

Dear Madam President and members of Council,

After many hours of discussion and reviewing attendance statistics, the Norwood Recreation Commissioners have voted to close Burwood Pool. The commissioners plan to use the money budgeted for Burwood and J.B. Wirth-Waterworks Pool for the maintenance. The commissioners have voted to rent Burwood Park out for picnics just as Fenwick and Millcrest can be rented. The commissioners are also working on future renovation ideas for Burwood Park. Thank you for your time.


Norwood Recreation Commissioners
Ken Henges, Kevin Moreland,
Scott Faulkner, Tom Kemper

cc: Mayor Tom Williams
Joe Geers, Safety-Service Director
Tom White, Public Works

Mayor’s letter re wage increase ordinance for appointed personnel

Following is Mayor Tom Williams’ 2/28/08 letter to the Finance and Audit Committee regarding his amendment of a wage increase ordinance for appointed personnel that will have an introductory reading at tonight’s 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting. Click here to read the amended ordinance.**

**7:30 p.m. Addendum: One of our commenters alerted us that this ordinance, which we requested today from the Clerk of Council's office, is not the amended version. Councilperson Victor Schneider just went over the wage increase ordinance that's on tonight's agenda during his "Quick 20" cable show on Channel 4. He clearly stated the ordinance calls for 3% raises for all appointed employees, including Mr. Geers. The ordinance we have published is obviously the prior ordinance, not an amended version.

3/12/08 UPDATE: The ordinance we posted was not amended until last night’s council meeting. The amended version passed 6-1 after all three readings. Councilperson John Mumper proposed the amendments, the primary one being the removal of the section that provided for a 10% raise for Safety-Service Director Joe Geers. We have changed the ordinance to reflect what was amended.

February 28, 2008

Mr. Church Barlow, Chairman
and Members of the Finance Committee

Re: Wage Increase Ordinance

There has been a lot of conversation since Tuesday’s Council meeting regarding the ordinance to give appointed personnel a wage increase.

After listening to some of the statements that were made during and since the Council meeting, it is my strong belief that Mr. Geers is being used as a pawn to leverage a higher raise for people who have not been here very long or people who have not yet been hired.

After speaking to Mr. Geers, and in order to keep all politics out of it, I have decided to request that the ordinance be amended to give “all” appointed personnel a 3% raise. I will not be part of this plan to broker wage increases.


Thomas F. Williams, Mayor
City of Norwood

February, 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 February report, which shows an even bigger YTD increase than last month‘s report.

February Collections

Collections thru February 2008.….……….............$2,731,147.45
Collections thru February 2007.….……..…...........$2,374,596.85
Increase in collections over 2007.....15.02%…....$ 356,550.60

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

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snow removal update: more salt delivered to Public Works

We just spoke with Leah at Public Works, and she told us some good news: 25 tons of salt have been delivered and another 175 tons may arrive later today to complete their 200 ton order. As we can all see, the warmer temperatures are helping melt the snow, especially yesterday on streets that get sun, so today Public Works is concentrating on plowing/spreading salt on streets that don’t get sun. They’re also clearing intersections where snow piled up so children can cross safely on their way to and from school.

In response to some of the criticism our readers expressed about the City’s snow removal efforts, Leah said considering the weekend weather conditions and what they had to work with, Public Works absolutely did the best they could with every employee working their assigned shift. All the salt they had on hand was used. Unfortunately, some of the narrower streets and deadends posed obstacles and still do. They don‘t accommodate the large trucks, especially when cars are parked on them, and there’s only one small truck that can plow but can’t spread salt. For these streets, salt has to be spread manually.

For those who doubt the report about the broken crane in our Friday blog below, Leah reiterated that the City’s trucking company told Public Works this was why they could only scrape up 40-60 tons of salt in time for the winter storm. Now that P.W's 200 ton salt order is in the process of being delivered, perhaps that's a sign the crane has been repaired.

Via Crucis::Immersion at Vineyard Central Church

Jeremiah Griswold, Administrator at Vineyard Central Church, asked us to let everyone know we’re all welcome to attend their weeklong Via Crucis::Immersion starting this Sunday. Via Crucis is an ancient Christian practice based on the 14 Stations of the Cross…remixed. It’s a pilgrimage, a journey into the heart of God, and it will be presented in a multi-sensory, multi-denominational, multi-layered, and multi-media format. Via Crusis::Immersion is an immersion into the suffering of Jesus and a discovery of our own brokenness. It is Christ’s passion. Click here for pictures from the 2006 Via Crusis at Vineyard Central.

When: Opening Night on Sunday, March 16; 7 - 11 p.m.
Open Daily from Monday, March 17 - Saturday, March 22; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Where: St. Elizabeth’s auditorium at 1759 Mills Avenue
More information:

Safety, Police & Fire Committee meeting this Tuesday

Councilperson Mike Gabbard, Chair of City Council’s Safety, Police and Fire Committee, has called a committee meeting for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 11, at 6:00 p.m., in Conference Room B at City Hall. Other members of the committee are Steve Thornbury, Ward 2 and John Mumper, Ward 4.

1. Fire pumper
2. Police cruisers
3. Public safety information

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Enquirer: No driving except for emergencies

The Enquirer is reporting that law enforcement officials in Butler, Kenton and Hamilton Counties have declared Level III emergencies, which means motorists are not allowed on the snow-covered roads unless they have an emergency. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning until 4 p.m. today.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Public Works has salt for weekend street treatment!

Can you park your car off the street?

We just got off the phone with Leah at Public Works who assured us Public Works will be working 24/7 this weekend to clear our streets during what is predicted to be the biggest snow storm of the season. The P.W. trucks are already loaded with 60+ tons of salt with 40 tons of fine sand mixed in. The sand not only stretches the salt, it also gives our vehicles a little extra traction.

But getting the 60-80 tons delivered was no easy matter. The trucking company the City contracts with told Public Works there’s a large shipment of salt sitting on a barge on the river, but it can’t be unloaded because the crane is broken. Yikes! Nonetheless, our trucking company was able to scrape up enough salt to handle what’s coming. Surrounding communities may not be so lucky, though we hope that’s not the case.

Leah told us the first order of business will be salting bridges and our main thoroughfares. That’s not only for the safety of the traveling public, but it’s also to make sure our emergency vehicles, the snow plows and trucks can get through. Next, the snow plows go out to clear our streets as the snow accumulates. Finally, the trucks go out and spread the salt/sand combo. And, yes, Public Works will be working ‘round the clock until our streets are fully treated.

Leah went on to say, “If you have off-street parking, please use it this weekend. Not only will this protect vehicles from getting sprayed with the salt/sand mixture and from possible dings, it will enable the snow plows to clear more of the street.” She also urged that we all try to patient because “our guys will be working around the clock until our streets our cleared.”

Hooray for Public Works!

Reminder: XU students still helping with tax returns

On February 18, we published this Xavier press release announcing that accounting students are available to prepare free basic Federal and State income tax returns for low income and elderly taxpayers in Norwood, Evanston, and Avondale. Yesterday, we received a second press release stating appointments are still available between 5:30-8:00 pm on the following Monday evenings:

March 10
March 31
April 7
April 14

Call 745-3236 to schedule an appointment. Bring a photo ID, 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.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Norwood Recreation Easter Egg Hunt

It’s almost time for Norwood Recreation’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Water Works Park. Children will be divided into 4 age groups, including a group for babies at least 6 months old who will, of course, hunt for eggs in the arms of their parents/other adults. There’ll be prizes, too. Some of the eggs will have numbers inside that will indicate prizes, all of which will be age appropriate for the winners. Last but not least, the Easter Bunny will be there to thrill the kiddies, and Recreation Director Jenny Wallace will have a Polaroid camera to give you a picture of your child with him.

When: Saturday, March 15 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Water Works Park on Harris Avenue
Who: All ages 6 months to about 10-12 years old
Cost: Free
More information: 531-9798

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Locals DebiO and Tom White performing in The Big Show XVI

Make your reservations now

Many Norwoodians have known for a long time about resident Tom White’s double life - his day job as head of our Public Works Department plus his gigs playing bass and singing vocals with his band Dejavu. But we didn’t know about DebiO’s multiple lives until we got an email last week telling us she’s been a vocalist with The Avenues for the past seven years. (We need to get out more.) We just found out the beautiful DebiO, her stage name, also has lives as Councilperson Victor Schneider’s wife/better half and mother to their children. Honestly, isn't Norwood just teeming with talented artists, actors, and musicians?

You can catch both DebiO and Tom White performing with their respective bands this Saturday at The Big Show XVI at Jim and Jack’s on The River, but make your reservation now to get a good table. It’s not a battle of the bands, but more of a showcase of talent; and we’re told Debi and Tom would really like to see some friendly faces from the ‘wood in the audience. There’ll be a total of 5 bands performing with DeJaVu probably playing no earlier than 9:00 p.m. and The Avenues around 10:30 p.m.

When: Saturday, March 8
Where: Jim and Jack’s, 3456 River Rd; click here for a map
Cost: $10
Reservations: Call 251-7977

NHS Performing Arts present “The Little Shop of Horrors”

Under the direction of Janet Powell, “The Little Shop of Horrors” opens next Thursday with three performances at the Norwood Middle School auditorium. Based on the 1960 comedy film by the same name, this musical is a hilarious spoof of the 1950’s sci-fi movies. When we spoke with Ms. Powell on Monday, she not only bragged on the actors but also indicated the very special plant, the show’s centerpiece, will impress the audience, too. Here’s a partial list of the Performing Arts’ star-studded cast she gave us:

Seymour - Matt Hursh
Audrey - Ashley Shelby
Mrs. Mushnik - Sarah Watson
Orin the dentist - Paul Clark
Crystal - Marissa Whittle
Chiffon- Cheyenne Hamberg
Ronnett - Rachel Wiles

When: Thursday, March 13 through Saturday, March 15; 7:30 p.m.
Where: Norwood Middle School auditorium, 2060 Sherman Avenue
Tickets: $7 in advance or at the door. Call the Box Office at 924-2787

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Belly dancing this Saturday at Norwood Branch Library!

Ever think you’d see that headline?

The folks at our Norwood Branch Library have really gone and outdone themselves with an ingenious program for all ages: this Saturday, the Al-Yanna Dance Troupe will thrill and delight their audience with a belly dance demonstration to live music. Dancers Lisbet and Seraphina, trained in Lebanese and Egytian style cabaret, have a unique style that uses tribal moves as well as veils and swords. Click here for a preview of the treat in store for Saturday’s attendees.

When: Saturday, March 8 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Norwood Branch Library, 4325 Montgomery Rd.
Who’s invited: all ages
Cost: free
More information: 369-6037

Monday, March 03, 2008

Just in: Xavier hosting Annual Spring College Fair

On Sunday, March 30, Xavier University is hosting its 8th Annual Spring College Fair at the Cintas Center. All high school students and parents are invited to explore college options with more than 150 nationally recognized universities. Last year more than 1,600 students and their parents attended the fair. There is no cost or pre-registration for the event.

In addition to Xavier, representatives from other Jesuit universities including Saint Louis University and John Carroll will be attending. Universities that will be represented include University of Cincinnati, College of Mount Saint Joseph, University of Dayton, Colgate University, Hawaii Pacific University, Michigan State University, and Miami of Ohio.

When: Sunday, March 30 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Where: Cintas Center, 1624 Herald Avenue. Free parking.
Cost: Free
More information: Call the Xavier Admissions Office at 745-3301 or visit

St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation offering spring break art courses

This past January, we published this guest blog by Vineyard Central’s Jeremiah Griswold in which he announced the church’s new St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation. Thanks to an email several days ago from Julianna Boehm Thompson, Community Liaison for the foundation, we’re able to help publicize two 5-day courses being offered during spring break to 9th-12th graders who are interested in art. There’s a $50 cost, but scholarships are available. Ms. Thompson tells us no student will be turned away because of finances!

These two courses are just the beginning - they’ll be offering a variety of summer courses, too. The St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation certainly is on the move, and we hope their classes are filled to the brim!

Spring Break Art Intensive
What: 5-day painting/drawing/collage and a 5-day puppet making workshop
When: March 24th-28th from 9 am-12 pm. Students must attend all 5 days.
Who: 9th-12th grade students interested in art
Where: St. Elizabeth Studios, 1757 Mills Ave., Norwood
Cost: $50, but scholarships are available. No one turned away because of finances.
Register now: online at
More information: Call Julianna Boehm Thompson, Community Liaison, at 513-295-2821
or email her at