Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, May 30, 2008

APB: NHS Class of ‘74 searching for 200 missing classmates

Terry McFadden, a 1974 graduate of Norwood High School, recently told us a group of her classmates got together and funded this wonderful free website and this blog for all NHS Class of ’74 alumni to visit, add content stories, photos and reconnect with one another. The great thing is the rest of us get to enjoy them, too; and we’ve done just that, starting with the photo gallery of the cheerleaders and classmates all dressed up for dances, awards banquets, and graduation, and click here for even more photos of alumni at previous class reunions. Maybe you know some of the ’74 grads who signed this guest book. There are many other fun (check out Class Trivia), interesting features, and we congratulate everyone for putting together a fantastic website: Terry McFadden; Debbie Simpson, who initially energized the effort; Steve Barker, website development; and Melissa Murray McGrath, and Linda Degaro, who serve on Debbie’s reunion committee.

Now, back to those 200 classmates missing from the Class of ‘74. Terry told us, “We are planning our 35 year reunion for next year - hence the push to find about 200 folks not yet contacted. I have also started a blog at as a way to try to further get the word out, and as a fun way to describe this process of classmate networking and maybe do some other things that our primary site structure won't permit.” Everyone missing from the class is listed on the blog. Terry hopes if any of our readers are family members or old, we mean good, friends of any of the missing, that you’ll help them reconnect for the reunion. One way to do that is email the Class of ’74 website address to them, or have them contact Debbie Simpson at

We’ve added both the website and the blog to our links on the right hand side.

Committee of the Whole meeting cancelled

Per the Clerk of Council's office, "The Committee of the Whole meeting for Tuesday, 6/3/08 is cancelled. The Committee of the Whole will meet later in the month with the Norwood School Board when a date is agreed upon."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Readquest Kick Off Party this Saturday

Judy Adams at the Norwood Branch Library has put together a terrific lineup of educational and fun programs this summer for our young people. This is Judy’s first summer as our Children’s Librarian, and she is especially excited about Readquest, a completely free summer long program that encourages children to read as many books as possible and rewards them along way for their progress. Judy tells us that 386 kids participated in Readquest last year and that most of them lived in Norwood. She’s been visiting our schools recently, promoting the program to increase participation this summer.

Children receive various rewards for completing levels of reading. For instance, for every 5 books or 2 ½ hours of reading, they’re given little toy prizes. Each child who completes the 4th level, 20 books or 10 hours of reading, gets to select a free book. Additionally, every time a child completes a level of reading, his or her name is put in for one of the two grand prizes awarded at the end of the program. A MP3 player will be the grand prize for the category of kids entering the 6th grade and up this fall, and a bike will be the prize for the category of kids entering the 5th grade or lower this fall. The drawings are scheduled for August 1st.

What: Readquest Kick Off Party
Where: Norwood Branch Library, 4325 Montgomery Road
When: Saturday, May 31 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Free activities: The craft will be decorating a drawstring back sack to carry around all the books that will be read this summer. Balloon Man Dan will be there making balloon creatures.
More information: Call Judy Adams at 369-6037

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Norwood mother charged with endangering child

The Kentucky Post website is reporting that Rachel Giesman of Norwood is facing a criminal charge after her 3-year-old son was allegedly found wandering the streets. She was arrested yesterday by Norwood police just before 5 p.m. on Hopkins Avenue. A resident called the police when she found Geisman’s son on her front porch. Shortly afterwards, Geisman showed up at the address. Just last Thursday, a Norwood couple (see 5/22/08 blog below) was charged with child endangering for allegedly locking their two young sons on their second floor porch while they slept.

12th Annual Norwood Citizens Car Show & Cruise In

Last week, we spoke with Sharon Noel, secretary of the Norwood Citizens Car Show, about next month’s Norwood Citizens Car Show and Cruise In. Sharon’s enthusiasm is contagious, and she and the other hardworking Car Show Committee members are hoping everyone will stop by for a day of fun looking at the extraordinary classic cars and trucks that will be on display. Norwood native Carl Lindner, a big supporter, is expected be there again this year, along with 4 or 5 of his own classic vehicles.

For those who might not know, the Norwood Citizens Car Show is a non profit that generously donates to other worthy non profit organizations. Sharon tells us that each year money from their proceeds goes to the Norwood Food Bank, plus one of our local hospitals on a rotating basis, usually Childrens Hospital or Shriners Burns. Additionally, they’ve started a fund to build a shelter at one of our parks and hope to add to it this year.

Cruise In: Friday, June 13; 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Registration open for the car show, $15.00 per vehicle.
Car Show: Saturday, June 14; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Over 50 trophies will be awarded at 4:00 p.m. Registration open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., $15.00 per vehicle.
Where: Frisch’s parking lot at 4765 Montgomery Rd. and next door in the back parking lot of the Quality Inn. Food and beverages available at Frisch’s.
Extras: Music will be provided by WGRR Warm 98 Radio’s Deejay J.D. Hughes. Raffles for a grill and corn hole set, plus split-the-pot. Car Show t-shirts will be sold for $10.00.
Registration: Open to all classic cars and trucks. Cost is $12.00 per vehicle now through June 1. After June 1, the cost is $15.00 per vehicle. To register prior to the event, contact Sharon Noel: cell phone # 641-6662 or home phone # 731-0163. All registrants will receive goody bags and will be eligible for door prizes and, of course, trophies.

Also, Sharon invites everyone to stop by at the cruise ins every Saturday night from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Frisch’s parking lot. There’s music and drawings for $5.00 gift cards, compliments of Frisch’s.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just in: Community Crime Control Workshop at Xavier

Xavier University’s Community Building Institute, a partnership between Xavier University and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, will offer a Community Driven Crime Control (CDCC) Workshop on Thursday May 29, 2008 from 6-9 pm in Kelley Auditorium in Alter Hall on the Xavier campus. It will be repeated on Saturday May 31, 2008 from 9am-noon. Admission is free and the workshop is open to the public.

This workshop is a follow up to the Neighborhood Summit presentation by Bond Hill and North Avondale on the crime-prevention initiative implemented in their neighborhoods. It will show how neighborhoods can:

  • find new ways to solve problems
  • be empowered to control their own destinies
  • learn skills to address problems such as crime and disorder
  • use data to inform decisions about crime solutions
  • discover resources, find assets and build capacities

The workshop will be moderated by Dr. Kam C. Wong, chair of Xavier University’s Criminal Justice Department. It is sponsored by Xavier University, the Community Building Institute, Invest in Neighborhoods Inc., Bond Hill Community Council, and North Avondale Neighborhood Association.

For more information, contact Teresa Stiens with the Community Building Institute, phone # 745-3896.

Opportunity to serve on Norwood Service League board

Lupe Gonzales Hoyt, Executive Director of Norwood Service League, sent us the following guest blog to let our readers know the organization is seeking a new board member. Please contact her if you’re interested and meet the qualifications, or email this blog to anyone you think might be a good candidate.

Board members are very important to any organization, especially non-profits (NOP's) such as Norwood Service League. Board members provide governance, accountability, and support to the executive director and staff. We have a need for a board member with a social work degree and experience to replace a current member who is shifting her place on our board for greater professional job reasons. We would also welcome a corporate business person to apply for our board membership. We wish to have applicants who live in Norwood, work in Norwood or have a relational connection to Norwood and its people.

Norwood Service League has a Board of Governors, and from that body an Executive Board which supervises the executive director and provides helps, advice and guidance. The Executive Board meets monthly, while the Board of Governors meet twice a year as a board and serve on board committees which meet either monthly or as needed to work on specific topics. According to Board Policy the number of people serving is between 15-21 people. We are currently at 18 people. These are three-year terms, with conditions for ending terms sooner when needed by the individual or agency.

Norwood Service League has undergone many changes since its inception in 1917. The field of social work and social services change frequently due to various internal and external reasons, as well as grantor trends. We wish to have board members that put the best interest of the agency ahead of any personal agenda, or thought of position of authority, or the interest of other agencies to the detriment of NSL. Our main interest is in building our capacity to serve the thousands of individuals with food, adult education, job training, emergency dollars (when available with qualifications), clothing, and transportation. We have many areas of poverty to address, and it takes professionally trained staff to deal with the pain and suffering that come with poverty.

I have personally served on five boards of nonprofit agencies in the last six years, many simultaneously or short term steering committees. To anyone interested in serving on our board or any other board, I recommend The Health Foundation/InterAct for Change website: and United Way website and board training at

People may contact me at for a Board Application which can be completed and emailed back. Our Board screening process takes up to three weeks. Anyone going on the ballot will be notified of the Annual Board of Governors Dinner Meeting to be held in late June.

Lupe A. González Hoyt

Executive Director
Norwood Service League
2071 Lawrence Avenue

Mayfield’s Spine Surgery Center might add rehab services

According to today’s Enquirer, Mayfield Clinic’s Spine Surgery Center at Cornerstone in Norwood might partner with a national provider to start a pilot project as early as next year to add rehabilitation services. With 18 doctors, the Spine Surgery Center is the world’s largest independent neurosurgery practice. There may be as many as 600 candidates for the new service among Mayfield’s existing client base. That includes those who suffer from back pain but don’t need surgery, those preparing for surgery, and those who have already had surgery.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Dr. Holden starts July 1 at Winton Woods High School

According to Community Press, Dr. Terri Holden, principal at Norwood High School for the last five years, will start her new position as principal of Winton Woods High School on July 1. Among her accomplishments at NHS, she improved the academic rating, graduation rate, and ACT scores. Dr. Holden also “has made numerous presentations at High Schools That Work and other professional conferences on helping students succeed academically and socially. Under her leadership, Norwood High School has been an active promoter of High Schools That Work key practices, positive behavior supports, relationship-building, and alumni activities.” We wish her the best and hope her successor will be just as accomplished as she is.

View teacher Heidi Kriz receives “Celebrate Excellence” honor

Norwood View second-grade teacher Heidi Kriz is being honored today at the second annual “Celebrate Excellence” breakfast at the Sharonville Convention Center. She joins a number of other teachers from area school districts being honored as 2008 Celebrate Excellence Educators of the Year. The top award, the Hamilton County Education Foundation Scholarship, went to Roger Bacon High School music teacher Jennifer Meister. We congratulate Heidi Kriz for being recognized as an excellent educator!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baccalaureate Service for NHS Class of ‘08 this Sunday

Thanks to our reader Laura, Joann Payne with NCS, and Vicki Gabbard, secretary at Norwood Presbyterian Church, we have some highlights from the program for this Sunday’s Baccalaureate Service. But first, a little history about this historic event. Ms. Payne confirmed for us that it has probably been somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years since the last Baccalaureate Service for Norwood High School graduates. (Anyone know the exact year of the last one?) One of the goals of the somewhat newly formed Norwood Ministerial Association was to try to have the service reinstated, so this past fall shortly after school started, Dr. Daniel Meister, pastor of Zion United Church of Christ, approached NHS principal Dr. Terri Holden and asked if this would be possible. The answer was “yes,” but then the challenge became finding a date to have it on an already full school calendar. Fortunately, this coming Sunday was open, and everyone is invited to attend.

Now for some of the program highlights: Among the singers will be NHS students and members of several local congregations. Soloist Sara Lehew will sing “Lullaby” by Jason Robert. Dr. Meister will open the service with a prayer; Rev. Chris White of Norwood Presbyterian Church will introduce Rev. Timothy J. Brooks, pastor of Norwood Church of the Nazarene, who will deliver the message Carpe Manana, using the text from Luke 4:16-20. At the close of the service Rachel Ferguson, Class of 2008 President and member of the National Honor Society, will deliver the Student Address and perform the Lighting of the Candle of Hope. The candle represents the light of hope, protection, and success that God desires to impart upon our graduates and their families.

When: Sunday, May 25. The service starts at 3:00 p.m. ** A reception with refreshments will follow.
Where: Norwood Middle School Auditorium at 2060 Sherman Avenue

** 5/24/08 Correction: We have corrected the start time to 3:00 p.m. We apologize for incorrectly posting it as 1:00 p.m. It is most definitely 3:00 p.m.

Guest blog: Doug announces St. Elizabeth Arts summer programs

After visiting The St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation website recently and seeing the great summer programs they have lined up for our young people, we asked if they could give us more information and background for our readers. We want to thank Doug for putting together a terrific guest blog full of detail about the exciting classes being offered this summer. We’ve added the website to our links on the right hand side.

Doug’s guest blog:

The St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation is pleased to announce summer opportunities for training in the arts. If you haven't heard of it yet, The St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation is a new grassroots, Norwood-based organization committed to developing the cultural and artistic heart of our community. Studio E is our collection of programs offering top-notch training in the creative and performing arts to the youth of Norwood, with opportunities for both beginning and advanced students.

Free and low cost opportunities for this summer include:

1. OPEN STUDIO: unstructured studio time and informal tutorials - free materials!
2. a week-long course: PHOTOGRAPHY with MICHAEL WILSON (for high school students)
3. a week-long course: PUPPETS from JUNK (for middle school students)
4. ART TRIPPIN: a full-schedule of field trips for students to do sketch work and individualized one-on-one training for exceptionally motivated students.

Details on these programs and more are available at Join the mailing list to keep informed about even more opportunities coming in the fall.

One program we're particularly excited about is the high school photography course being hosted by Norwood native Michael Wilson. The credit for this event goes first to Angela, our friend and neighbor here in west Norwood. Here - in her own words - is the story of where the idea for this exciting event originated:

"I'm the Director of Development at Our Daily Bread. Often in the course of the week I bring a camera into the dining area to take photos of volunteers, or of a collection that has come in, etc. so I can share what's going on here with our donors. Recently one of our guests saw me with the camera and asked if I would take his picture. I thought of how long it may have been since he had gotten a picture of himself, so I was happy to oblige. But it got me thinking--what if more of our guests would like photos? (Not long after the first guest asked me for a picture, another man came up and asked for his picture to be taken too.)

I know the St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation very well, so I contacted them to see if they'd be interested in putting together a photography project involving our guests. When they wrote back and said Michael Wilson was interested in participating, I was floored. As a music fan, I knew and loved his work with Over-the-Rhine, Emmylou Harris and Bill Frisell. I am excited that he will be working with students and that their energy will be put toward creating portraits of our guests."

We're excited about the enthusiastic response we have gotten from the photography students at Norwood High School. Recently we visited Our Daily Bread to meet some of the staff and take a tour. We were impressed by the facility, its mission, and the obvious commitment of its staff. We're looking forward to spending the week with them in June. We have had quite a handful of adults comment how much they wish THEY could attend the class. Who knows - maybe someday we'll add opportunities for adult education to the lineup! In the meantime, students grade 9 - 12 who are interested in joining us should submit their applications without delay - space for the class is limited to ensure adequate one-on-one attention. More details here:

TO GET INVOLVED, or for GENERAL INQUIRIES, visit the website: or email us:

Norwood couple charged with endangering children

Channel 9 is reporting that Alvis and Catrina Smith of Carthage Avenue were arrested yesterday afternoon for keeping a four-year-old and a two-year-old on a locked second story porch while they slept. Police went to the couple’s apartment after receiving a complaint that “two small children were on a second floor porch.” They reportedly found the children locked outside on the porch for about 30 minutes. Both Smith’s are facing two counts of endangering children.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Four administrators leaving NCS at end of the school year

Filed by Lisa Bauer

Superintendent Steve Collier has announced that one district administrator and three principals will leave Norwood City Schools at the end of the 2007-08 school year. Assistant Superintendent Karla Berger will become director of curriculum of instruction for Mount Healthy Schools. Terri Holden, principal of Norwood High School, will become the principal of Winton Woods High School. Matt Freeman, principal of Norwood Middle School, will become the principal of Wilmington Middle School; and Scott Counts, current principal of Allison Elementary, will become the principal of Morrow Elementary in the Little Miami School District.

Employee of Norwood company accused of stealing $150,000

Michelle Paluga of Colerain Township was in court yesterday, accused of stealing $150,000 from Carew International, a Norwood sales training company that employed her as an accounts payable clerk. “We caught her, but it was after a long period of time,” Carew’s CEO Jeff Seeley said yesterday. “It doesn’t make us look good.” In a second case, she is accused of stealing $28,000 from the Bevis Elementary School PTA. She served as treasurer of the school. In all, she faces a maximum of 11½ years in prison.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rep. Steve Chabot hosting two 1-hour Town Hall Meetings

Neighboring Bond Hill is one of the locations of two Town Hall Meetings Congressman Steve Chabot is hosting, according to his recent mailer:

When: Tuesday, May 27; 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Woodward High School, 7005 Reading Road in Bond Hill

When: Monday, June 2; 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Ross High School, 3601 Hamilton-Cleves Road in Hamilton

There will also be this $1,000 per person fundraiser for Chabot on May 28 at Great American Ball Park.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Burwood website: new look and new pics

It’s not yet a month old, but already the Burwood website has a spiffy new look as of yesterday, compliments of Bob Mace. Be sure to click on the Photo Gallery where he installed photos of the beautiful new flower beds around the pool and some of the volunteers who planted them this past Saturday. According to the Burwood blog, Councilpersons Steve Thornbury and Vic Schneider pitched in to help, and Larry from Home Depot donated a free tiller rental for the occasion.

Mammogram screenings, blood drive this Friday at Rookwood

The Jewish Hospital Mobile Mammography Unit will be at Rookwood Commons and Pavilion this Friday, May 23:

What: 15-minute mammogram screenings
Cost: varies per insurance plan. Financial assistance is available for qualified applicants. Call 686-3310 for more information.
Appointments required: Call 686-3300.

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

Friday, May 23; 11 am - 5 pm

Appointments recommended: Call 366-3532 or click here to schedule an appointment online.
Bonus: All donors will be entered into a drawing for two Bengals season tickets.

Friday, May 16, 2008

So how are Norwoodians offsetting gas pump pain?

Will it ever end, or is this it?

We’d really like to know any money-saving tips our neighbors can share now that we’re all spending nearly $4.00 per gallon on gas. This Channel 9 story says shoppers are currently flocking to discount stores, while full-price retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Penney’s are in a world of hurt from declining sales. Of course, some of us are seasoned veterans of thrift stores where we’re sure we find the biggest bargains of all. Anyone have a favorite to tell us about? We’ve got one, especially you’re at least 50 years old, not that any of us are - every Sunday at the Goodwill in Oakley, most merchandise is half off for the 50+ set.

The Channel 9 piece goes on to report business is booming at the discount grocery Save-A-Lot located at Ross Avenue and Vine Street in St. Bernard. Is that a good, cheap place to shop? Now that the Aldi’s in Avondale is closed, one of us is anxiously awaiting the new one Building Cincinnati reported should be opening this year in Pleasant Ridge. Is this new Kroger 10% added Gift Card offering, timed just right for the arrival our stimulus checks, a good deal, or is there a catch we’re missing? Recently, we heard a radio show caller say he'd applied it or something similar for big savings on gas purchases at Kroger's.

Are we busing to work more often, carpooling more, eating out less? Are we about to ditch our cars and SUVs in favor becoming healthy bicyclists commuting to work or running errands? Will our air conditioners be mostly off this summer? Is the family still vacation still on, maybe closer to home this year?

Of course, we think living in 3-square-mile Norwood, the most centrally located city in Hamilton County, is in and or itself something of an ongoing cost saver. With the exception of commuting to work, we’ve actually found it’s possible to survive for long stretches of time without having to leave our borders very often for outside goods, services, and even entertainment (see free meal and movie blog directly below). But we’re more interested in any cost-saving tips our readers have and hope you’ll share some of them to help relieve our own gas pump pain.

Free meal and movie, anyone?

This coming Monday, Zion United Church of Christ is hosting another one of their fun community meal and movie evenings, and we’re all invited. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep will be featured, a film for all ages. Click here for a synopsis and here for the movie trailer.

When: Monday, May 19
What: Free meal starting at 5:00 p.m., followed by 6:00 p.m. showing of The Water Horse
Where: Zion United Church of Christ, 2332 Sherwood Lane
Directions: click here, then click on Directions
More information: 531-5400

Cardboard rocket to blast off from Drake Planetarium

On May 18 and 22, Marcus and Bonnie, two youngsters who have managed to convert an old cardboard box into a rocket, will blast off in the “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” show at the Drake Planetarium. They’ll be visiting each planet in the solar system, complete with 360 degree imagery and surround sound that is sure to thrill the audience. This special show is recommended for both children and adults.

When: Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
Where: Drake Planetarium, 4th floor of Norwood High School, 2020 Sherman Ave.
Cost: $6 advance, $7 at the door
Pre registration required: Call 396-5578

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Burwood flower planting, t-shirts, Fun Friday’s, and more…

This was going to be a simple reminder blog about this Saturday’s 10:00 a.m. flower planting project at Burwood Park, sponsored by the recently formed Burwood Park Parents who successfully petitioned to keep the park’s pool open. Yep, that’s all it was going to be until we checked the new Burwood Park website again to see if anything else might be going on. One look told us these Burwood Parents have gone wild planning a flurry of free Fun Friday’s for everyone as well as projects that will help increase community awareness of their ongoing effort to beautify the park and ensure the pool stays open:

1. Click here to see what they’ve planned for Fun Friday’s scheduled June 2 through August 8 in the way of potlucks, a Watermelon Festival, Xmas in July, Pirates Ahoy, etc.
2. Click here to view the “I Swim at Burwood” t-shirt they’re selling for $8.00 until June 2, after which it will it cost $10. Any funds left over will go for crafts for the children.
3. A Norwood Day parade float is in the works, but they need a flatbed. Anybody have one they can borrow?

Whew! These hardworking folks are amazing, aren’t they? This is surely going to be the best summer ever at Burwood for children and families!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

10 Things to Know About Child Passenger Safety Seats

Recently, Betsy Williams, one of our two first-rate Health Dept. nurses, underwent 4 full days of training and testing to become a Certified Child Safety Seat Technician, a designation our other nurse, Chandra Corbin, attained earlier in her career. Health Commissioner Donna Laake has been a certified instructor for 6-7 years and taught during 2 of the 4 days of classes Betsy took. When we expressed wonder that car seat training could take as many 32 hours, Donna Laake told us she had the same reaction prior to taking the classes 10 years ago: “What in the world could take 4 days to learn about car seats? After the class, though, on my evaluation I said they should consider adding a 5th day because of the amount of material that is covered. I share that with my students now when I teach the class.”

That’s good enough for us, especially since we also learned from this Children’s Hospital Care Safety Seat Guide that “more than 600 children under the age of 5 die as a result of motor vehicle crashes, and more than 130,000 suffer injuries. Child safety seats could prevent as many as 70 percent of those deaths and more than 60 percent of the injuries.”

The Norwood Health Dept. does between 350-400 free car seat checks each year and encourages all parents and all others who transport children in car seats to take advantage of their free inspections. Just call 458-4600 to make an appointment. In the meantime, Donna, Betsy, and Chandra collaborated (thank you all!) on the following list of 10 important items in order to give our readers just a small sampling of the intricacies of child car seat safety:

10 Things You Should Know About Child Passenger Safety Seats

1. Children should remain rear-facing in an infant seat until they are BOTH 1 year old and weigh 20 pounds.
2. Children should remain in a child restraint until they are BOTH 4 years old and weigh 40 pounds (Ohio law).
Parents should read the instruction manual for the car seat. Not all seats are the same and some have very specific instructions for use.

4. Rear facing car seats should NEVER be placed in the front seat with an airbag. If the airbag deploys, it could crush the car seat and the child.
5. Rear facing seats should be installed at approximately a 45 degree angle.
Parents should read the automobile manual to make sure the car seat can be safely installed in the position where it is placed. Children are the safest in the CENTER position.

Car seats should be installed tightly so that they do not move more than one inch from side-to-side or
front-to-back when checked at the path of the seat belt.

8. After-market products (items that did not come with the seat when purchased) are not recommended for use because they have n0ot been tested in crash situations.
9. Check to ensure the seat remains installed tightly each time you placed your child in the car seat.
10. Harness straps should be snug on your child (you should not be able to pinch any webbing at the top). The clip should be properly secured and placed at armpit level.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Memorial Day Ceremony at Victory Park

Following is a letter from Victory Park Veterans’ Chairman Jerry Owens to City Council inviting everyone to the special Monday, May 26 ceremony honoring our fallen veterans.

April 18, 2006

Dear Ms. Grote & Members of Council,

On May 26, 2008, at 1:00 pm, we will have a special Memorial Day Service to Honor all Men and Women who are Veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The Event is co-sponsored by Leland M. Barnett American Legion Post #123.

All City officials are asked to attend this special ceremony which is open to the general public to recognize our fallen Veterans. Everyone is WELCOME!

We hope everyone will be able to attend this even in this time of turmoil in the world.

Sincerely yours,

Jerry Owns
Victory Park Veterans

115 volunteered for Great American Clean up Day

Following is a letter from Jennifer Wallace, Executive Director of the Norwood Recreation Commission, to City Council thanking community members for cleaning up our parks Saturday, April 26:

April 30, 2008

Dear Madame President and members of Council,

The annual Great American Clean up was Saturday, April 26, 2008. We had over 115 volunteers cleaning up in several park areas. Half of the volunteers were under the age of 16. It is great to see so many people dedicated to their community to invest time into our parks. We had volunteers at the following parks: Burwood, Millcrest, Northwoods, Lindner, and Waterworks. They cleaned up trash, old tires and did some painting. We would like to thank everyone for the time and dedication to our community parks. We appreciate everyone who helped.


Jennifer Wallace
Executive Director
Norwood Recreation Commission

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

Monday, May 12, 2008

April, 2008 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Below is the summary information from the Earnings Tax Department‘s April Report. Click here to see last month’s 1st Quarter report.

April Collections


Collections thru April 2008.….……….....….......$6,014,229.63
Collections thru April 2007.….……..…..............$5,608,681.51
Increase in collections over 2007.....7.23%..…...$ 405,548.12

Friday, May 09, 2008

Channel 12: Norwood firefighters donate $700 special tricycle

Click here to see Channel 12’s video about the generosity of the Norwood Firefighter Association with their recent donation of a $700 tricycle to Xavier Johnson, a nine-year old boy with cerebral palsy. The trike will provide Xavier with some physical therapy by strapping in his feet while a chain moves the pedals. The NFA raises money through the year to help children in need. A round of applause, please, for our caring Norwood firefighters!

Guest blog: Steve Thornbury explains gas aggregation

Yesterday, we received a “free gift” from Councilperson Steve Thornbury - this guest blog about a natural gas aggregation plan that may wind up as a ballot initiative for us to vote on. We thank him for taking the time out of what we know is a very busy schedule to provide this informative piece for our readers:

At the recent Committee of the Whole meeting (Tuesday, May 6) the sole item on the agenda was a presentation from a gentleman representing Integrys Energy Services regarding the idea of “gas aggregation.” It was a very enlightening evening. I’m sure many Norwood residents are like me in that we’ve heard the term before but have never had a good explanation of what it really is.

First, a bit of background (much of which is lifted from the Ohio PUCO web site)…

Beginning in 1997, residential and small commercial customers throughout the state were, on their own, allowed to choose their own natural gas suppliers. They still do for that matter. More recently however, local communities have been given the right, by law, to join their citizens together to buy natural gas as a group and, on the group’s behalf, negotiate with a private company the terms, conditions, and price of the natural gas supply.

The people who presented to us at the COW meeting are from such a company.

read on

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Everyone’s invited to the Historical Society’s Open House

We just received this warm invitation from the members of the Norwood Historical Society:

The Norwood Historical Society will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of its founding with an Open House this Saturday, May 10 at the McCoullough House in the Lindner Park Nature Preserve on Cypress Way. The Open House, which is free and open to everyone, begins at 2:30 pm directly after the election of the Historical Society officers for their two-year term.

The Norwood Historical Society held its first meeting on May 2, 1978. The Open House will provide a rare opportunity for visitors to see the interior of the McCoullough House which, for over a century, was home to the McCoullough family, founders of the McCoullough Seed Company which enjoyed a national and international reputation throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The home and the property now devoted to gardens, ponds and nature trails, was purchased by the City of Norwood over twenty years ago and has been maintained by the City with the generous support of the Carl and Robert Lindner Families.

Please join us for cake, ice cream, and a glimpse into the rich and fascinating history of our great City. Meet incoming Society President, Rodney Rogers, the gentleman who has been the driving force behind the remarkable web site recently launched for the Society (link to the web site using the CBN Blog links to the right). Feel free to bring any items of historical interest that you¹d like others to see or even donate to the Society. Archivist Bob Hilvers will be on had to discuss our current holdings housed in the Archive Room in the Norwood Community Center.And finally, consider joining the Norwood Historical Society and help support a valuable part of our community. Yearly dues are only $10 and can be paid at the meeting.

Cypress Way is located in the far northern reaches of the city, the first right off Montgomery Road as you pass the light at Quatman heading north. Please join us for this great occasion.

- The members of the Norwood Historical Society

NHS grad Clark Wheeler honored by Mount St. Joseph

Many thanks to our reader Darlenna for tipping us off to this Enquirer article we missed about Norwood resident and NHS alum Clark Wheeler’s 2008 Co-op of the Year Award from the College of Mount St. Joseph. He was selected from a field of nine outstanding students for the award.

The son of Gregory and Deborah Wheeler, Clark is a senior majoring in nursing and has seven co-op placements at Children’s Hospital under his belt. After graduation, he plans to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in the Thoracic, Pulmonary Vascular Critical Care Unit. Darlenna isn’t sure what year he graduated from Norwood High, but she is sure he was the class valedictorian, which certainly doesn’t come as surprise.

Congratulations to Clark for this great achievement!

March 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 March = 412

Medic Runs = 307
Fire Runs = 20 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 16 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 20 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 28 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 13 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 10 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 5 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 29 - (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
(Spring Service Program starting in April!)

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 576
Total Inspections – 113 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 212
Total Violations – corrected 161
Total Block Inspections – 0 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 90

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

X.U. clearing Norwood Café tomorrow for campus expansion

We just received the following press release from Xavier’s Public Relations office announcing tomorrow's demolition of the Norwood Café’ and several houses on Cleneay. Information on the university’s construction projects is available here.

Xavier University Takes Another Important Step Toward Campus Expansion

Xavier University continues to make progress on Xavier Square, a 20-acre extension of the University campus which will include a new fitness club, health center, student housing, and a bookstore as well as restaurants, a hotel, office space, market housing and shopping.

As part of the development, several houses along Cleaney Ave. will be cleared as well as the previous site of the Norwood Café at the corner of Montgomery Road and Cleaney Ave. The café site is scheduled to be cleared at approximately 11:30 a.m. TOMORROW, Thursday, May 8. J&L Management Corporation of Mt. Clemens, MI is handling the process.

read on

Adopt a planter now while supplies last!

Spring is here, so it’s time to get your order in to adopt a planter or two or three, compliments of a Community Development Block Grant as part of the Streetscape Program. Health Commissioner Donna Laake oversees the adoptions and tells us approximately 40 planters will be available to place around the city. “Usually we put them in groups of 3, but if there are lots of folks who will “adopt” them, we may only put 1 or 2 at each site,” she told us, adding, “We need to know how many sites can be adopted so we can order sufficient flowers and dirt for the pots.” Donna estimates the planters could be on the streets by early June if she gets good response from community members, businesses, churches, and other organizations now. If you want a planter but don’t want the sole responsibility of caring for it, recruit some neighbors to pitch in and help. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Promise you’ll care for and water each planter faithfully, then
2. Call Donna Laake at the Health Dept. at 458-4600 and tell her you want to adopt a planter or planters and where you would like it/them placed.
3. Donna will take it from there and make arrangements for delivery to the location at no charge to you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Poll on NCS downsizing

Tonight’s 7:00 p.m. meeting at Sharpsburg Elementary Auditorium is the last of the 5 “Planning for the Future of Norwood City Schools' informational meetings on the school district’s downsizing proposals. In his discussion with our school reporter Lisa Bauer for her 3-part series we published last week, Superintendent Steve Collier stressed that input from parents and community members would be key to deciding which option would be chosen. We want to thank all who commented on the K-8 Option and the K-6 Grade-Specific Option. We hope everyone is taking every opportunity to make make his/her preference known to Mr. Collier and Board of Education members.

Now that our readers have had some time to digest the two downsizing options we posted and perhaps attend one of the informational meetings, we thought a poll (unscientific, of course) on the issue would be interesting and provide even more feedback for NCS school officials. You’ll notice we threw in an option for a levy in the event anyone would support additional taxpayer funding to keep the status quo. As always, feel free add to the discussion in the comments box.

Which downsizing option do you prefer?
K-6, Grade-Specific Buildings
Neither - I'd vote for a levy to keep things as they are
Not sure free polls

Results of Xavier accounting students' free tax assistance

This past February, we published this press release from Xavier announcing that the university’s accounting students would provide free basic Federal and State income tax assistance to low income and elderly taxpayers in Norwood Evanston, and Avondale. Was the program a success? According to the following press release we received, the 20 accounting students prepared 290 tax returns, which translated into a total savings of $87,000 for their clients:


Xavier accounting students and three volunteer alumni prepared 290 tax returns for low income and elderly taxpayers in the Evanston/Norwood area during the six weeks of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). Sixty-eight of these returns were prepared for mentally and/or physically challenged adults who reside in group homes. The total dollars of Earned Income Credit received by these taxpayers was $71,140; total tax refunds received were $230,591.

“The average charge by a paid tax preparer for a return of the typical level of difficulty seen during the free VITA program would be $300,” says Priscilla O’Clock, Xavier accounting professor and head of the VITA program. “This translates into an approximate $87,000 savings for our clients.”

Twenty accounting students from Xavier gave up their Monday evenings to translate their classroom learning into a real world benefit.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Our good corporate neighbors at Emersion Design

Employees helped clean up Millcrest Park

Several days ago, Nikki Marksberrry with Emersion Design sent us this press release announcing Emersion Design’s award by The Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition during its April 19th Earth Day celebration at Sawyer Point. GCED distributed their 2008 Environmental Awards in five categories. Emersion Design was the recipient of the Business/Organization award.

Emersion Design is a small architecture firm in the Hamilton County Business Center at 1776 Mentor Avenue. In less than six months, it has grown from the original four founders to the current full time staff of eleven. Ms. Marksberry tells us the company continues to be involved in the Norwood community. Eight of their employees and family members cleaned Upper Millcrest Park during the April 26th Great American Clean Up Day. Wouldn’t it be great if Emersion Design stays in Norwood after they outgrow the HCBC?

A Sue Wylie Norwood tale

Anybody recognize this 1950’s NHS graduate Sue Wylie featured in a Wednesday Enquirer article promoting her book “How to Throw a Great Derby Party?” One of us worked with her years ago at WLEX TV in Lexington where she regaled everyone with outrageous and vivid stories about growing up in Norwood. Out of respect for this warm, witty, charming woman, only one will be told here.

According to Sue, she grew up in near abject poverty in Norwood and spent her nights dreaming about escaping and becoming a star, which she most definitely was and is in Lexington. As she told it, her widowed father continued to live here in a slummy house with nearly nothing to his name. Several days following his death in 1974, she came to work in a shell-shocked but upbeat state. It turned out her father had amassed a small $100,000 fortune in cash, and she had just found it the previous day under his bed! And if memory serves, she was the only heir.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Just in: Apache Attack Helicopter landing at X.U. tomorrow

An AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter, pictured here, will land at the Xavier University campus tomorrow morning. As part of the ROTC end of year cookout on Friday, May 2, the helicopter will fly over campus at approximately 10 a.m. and land on the Intramural Fields, along Ledgewood and Victory Parkway. Students and others can view the Apache and talk to the pilots. Xavier ROTC will also have other activities for students, including a rock climbing wall and a tactical hummve (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, usually called a Hummer or Hummve).

Here's an Apache YouTube Video.

Xavier University first offered military instruction in 1877. Xavier University ROTC has a number of distinguished alumni, including five general officers. Since 1991, Xavier's ROTC program has received the General MacArthur award seven times. This award identifies the top ROTC units among the 272 programs across the United States, and is based on an assessment of each program, including training, performance, and GPA.

2008 Spring Semi-Annual Street Sale Directory

We've been waiting for the 2008 Semi-Annual Street Sale Directory to be published on the Norwood City Council website so we could provide a link to it for our readers. Perhaps it will be up shortly; but as of this writing, it's not there, so we've retyped the directory and posted it here.

Part III: NCS Downsizing K-6, Grade-Specific Buildings Option

Filed by Lisa Bauer

To readers: This blog outlines the second of two options Superintendent Steve Collier is currently asking Norwood citizens to consider for downsizing schools (See Tuesday’s Part II: K-8 Option below.) CBN readers are encouraged to post their input on this blog in the comments box. It is another way for citizens to give school district administrators and the school board members feedback on how to address the declining enrollment in Norwood City School District.

Superintendent Steve Collier said that another plan for making the Norwood City Schools’ use of its buildings more efficient is to designate four elementary buildings to house specific grades for Norwood students. In this plan, grades would be divided between the buildings in this way:

1. Pre-K and Kindergarten,
2. Grades 1 and 2,
3. Grades 3 and 4, and
4. Grades 5 and 6.

Collier said that with this plan, students would all continue to walk to their neighborhood schools daily. However, he said, children who are students in grades that are not housed in their neighborhood school would be bused from that school to where their classroom are located.

“Nothing changes,” he said. “You still would walk to your old neighborhood school and we’d take you to your new school…we don’t want students to be in any danger of walking.”

Collier said that if this downsizing option is chosen, two buses would run loops between schools before and after school. Based on current costs the school district pays for the limited school bus transportation needed under the current system, he estimates the new system would cost “ballpark figure” around $60,000 annually. He added that under the new system, parents would also be allowed to provide transportation to their children if they wish. “Everybody will get two years (as students) in their neighborhood schools,” he said.

Collier said that according to many studies, having students attend grade-specific buildings benefits children. Also, children are attending school with other students their age and developmental level, which can cut down on behavior issues. Because all the teachers in one grade for the district can work together in teams, he said, test scores have the potential to go up. He added that Norwood district personnel have been visiting other school systems in the area using grade-specific buildings and have seen positive things. “Educationally, it’s sound,” he said.

Fiscally, grade-specific schools also offer some advantages over neighborhood schools, Collier added. Because all students in one grade are attending one school, the district can often hire fewer teachers to serve them because class sizes can be better consolidated. Grade-specific schools also allow school districts to spend less money on materials such as library books and computer programs since all the students who need them at a certain level would tend to be in the same building. For the Norwood district, he added, less money would have to be spent on retrofitting schools than if it changed its elementary schools to K-8.

Collier said the biggest disadvantage to making Norwood elementary schools grade-specific would be that students would no longer spend all their K-6 years in a neighborhood school close to home. Another important disadvantage would be the cost of busing elementary students to school each day.

Collier emphasized that the school district is not committed to one plan for downsizing the schools at this time and that community input is very important. He said the major issue for school district personnel is to be financially responsible to the community at a time when enrollment in Norwood schools continues to dwindle.

“We’ve made cuts. We’re going to run out of money,” he said. “I want to show options and get feedback.”