Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, August 29, 2008

Search for Norwood Health Commissioner discontinued

This morning, Gary Arthur, President Pro Tem of the Norwood Health Commission, sent the following email, a public document, to Mayor Tom Williams and a number of City officials informing them the Norwood Health Commission has discontinued their search for a new Health Commissioner to replace Donna Laake and that Medical Director Dr. Frank Perrino will be the acting Health Commissioner:

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 9:46:04 AM

Subject: Search for Health Commissioner

Mayor Williams,

The Health Commission has decided to discontinue at this time our search for a new Commissioner of Health. We are reluctant to offer the position to anyone in light of the current events that are contributing to the delay.

We would like to be included in any future discussions relating to the
future of the Health Department. It is important for the Health Department and the City of Norwood as well, that we keep an open dialogue during this discussion process. If this had been a consideration in the past, much of this confusion could have been eliminated.

Dr. Frank Perrino, Medical Director, will be the acting Health Commissioner until we are able to resume the search, or a decision has been made by City Council, regarding the Norwood Health Department.


Gary Arthur
President Pro Tem

NCS inducting six alumni into Distinguished Hall of Fame

On September 22, six alumni will be inducted into the Norwood City Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. David Frisch, founder of Frisch’s Restaurants, will be inducted posthumously, along with Dr. H. James Bingham physician/philanthropist/Norwood historian; Bronze Star recipient Capt. Kenneth C Reynolds; Lexington, Kentucky broadcaster Sue Rippey Wylie; educator David A. Query; and Gerald W. Borin, Executive Director of the Columbus Zoo.

The Norwood City Schools Alumni Association established the hall of fame last year to honor former students who have distinguished themselves in academics, arts and science at the high school, collegiate or professional level. The evening induction ceremony will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5901 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash. The event begins with a 6 p.m. social hour, followed by dinner and ceremony. Cost is $30 per person. Reservations required and must be received no later than Sept. 8. For reservations, call 513-774-0226.

July, 2008 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Below is the summary information from the Earnings Tax Department‘s July Report. July is the first month this year YTD collections were lower than the same period in 2007.

July Collections
Individual………….$ 106,039.09
Business……….…...$ 83,973.56
Withholding…….…$ 897,903.17

Collections thru July 2008.….……….....…..........$9,495,463.17
Collections thru July 2007.….……..…................$9,534,334.84
-.0001% decrease in collections over 2007.…..$ (38,871.67)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Republicans opening campaign storefront in Norwood

Ward 2 (R) Councilperson Steve Thornbury has confirmed that soon the Bogle Jewelers building at 4210 Montgomery Road will be transformed into a campaign storefront for the whole range of Hamilton County, State, and Congressional candidates, as well as for the John McCain presidential campaign. He told us, “It’s a joint effort with the Hamilton County Republican Party, the Norwood Republican Party, and the various area candidates. It will be staffed and operated primarily by Norwood Republican Club/Party members. Once we get everything set-up it will be a place where anyone needing campaign signs or other campaign materials for their favorite Republican candidates can stop in and pick them up. We will also have voter registration information and absentee voting information available very soon." Mr. Thornbury will let us know as soon as everything is fully operational.

Keith Moore’s letter to Norwood community leaders

Two weeks ago, Ward 1 Councilperson Keith Moore sent the following letter to various Norwood community leaders asking them to participate in a study regarding housing trends in Norwood. The study is part of an effort by Xavier University’s Community Building Institute, Property Advisors, and the City of Norwood to develop a housing Strategy for Norwood in anticipation of the improvements Mr. Moore says the Xavier Square project will have on “the overall commercial and economic vitality of this part of the community.”

August 13, 2008

To: Norwood Community Leader

I would like to ask for your help. As I am sure you are aware, there are lots of changes taking place in Norwood, and many still to come. Our housing market, like those across the county, has undergone changes related to the housing crisis and bank foreclosures. It has also shown strength as more and more people are attracted to our great location and housing stock.

Students will always be a part of our community, and we have been working with Xavier University to better manage their presence. The University has heard our comments regarding the number of students in Norwood and has begun a process of developing student housing closer to campus in the new Xavier Square project.

In order to make sure that we take advantage of the improvements that the project will make to the image of Montgomery Road and the overall commercial and economic vitality of this part of the community, Xavier University’s Community Building Institute and Property Advisors are working with the City to develop a housing Strategy for Norwood. The housing strategy will provide guidance on how to attract new families, stimulate renovations and generally upgrade overall housing conditions. Xavier University has already completed a housing conditions survey of the community, and Property Advisors has begun to develop data on real estate activity and other housing related socio-economic information.

As part of the study, the team would like to interview community leaders who have a perspective on housing trends in Norwood. Please expect a call from someone on the project team in the next week to schedule some time with you. If you have any questions on the work feel free to contact Liz Blume at 745-3332. Thank you in advance for your participation on this important effort.


Keith Moore, Councilmember
Norwood City Council

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Xavier razing houses next week for Hoff Academic Quad

Today’s Enquirer is reporting that 21 houses Xavier University owns on Ledgewood Drive will be demolished next week to make way for the $108 million Hoff Academic Quad project. The project will consist of a new business school building and library straddling a new grand entrance at Ledgewood and Dana Avenue, as well as a new utility plant across the street.

The Enquirer goes on to say that construction on the $150 million, 20-acre Xavier Square project should start next year. The university is close to a formal development agreement with Corporex for that project, which will include apartments for at lest 550 students, a new health center, recreation center, stores, offices, and a hotel. Xavier official John Kucia said Xavier's main contribution will be the property, but it's still negotiating whether it will make a cash investment. Monday, Corporex started accepting proposals for retailers and other tenants on the property.

Earlier this summer, Xavier added more property with its $1.75 million purchase of the Norwood Plaza. It will use that for parking and decide later on future developments there, Kucia said.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NCS rates Continuous Improvement again on LRC

The 2007-2008 Local Report Card results were published just a few minutes ago on the Ohio Department of Education website. Click here to see the Continuous Improvement results for the Norwood City School District, and click here to view the individual results for each of our 6 school buildings. Sharpsburg Elementary received an Excellent rating; Norwood View, Williams Ave. and Norwood High School received Effective ratings; and Allison Elementary and Norwood Middle School received Continuous Improvement ratings.

Community blood drive at Rookwood Commons

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

When: Friday, August 29, 2008; 11 am - 5 pm
Where: Bed, Bath and Boyond at 2669 Edmondson Rd.
Appointments recommended: Call 366-3532 or click here to schedule an appointment online.
Bonus: All donors will get a free T-shirt.

Is NCS one of 42 area districts rated Effective or higher?

Today’s Enquirer says schools districts across Greater Cincinnati made improvements in 2007-2008 state ratings and test scores, with 42 of 49 of them receiving an Effective rating or better. Today is the day the Ohio Department of Education is scheduled to release results of Local Report Cards for all Ohio school districts, but they aren’t published yet at the ODE website. We'll keep checking and provide the link the as soon as we see the Norwood City Schools data.

9:20 AM Update: We called the ODE to find out when the LRC results will be published. The person we spoke with said she had heard they might be experiencing trouble with the server. They still expect to have them online later today.

Monday, August 25, 2008

550 kids participated in Norwood Library's summer Readquest

The Norwood Branch Library was definitely a fun place for our young people to be this summer. Children‘s Librarian Judy Adams told us, “From May 31 through July 31, we had 375 kids and 175 teens participate in Readquest, our summer reading program, plus we also offered a variety of programs for both age groups, including a puppet show, a juggling show, and a live animal show. Total attendance at our summer programs was 737 kids and teens!”

Children received various rewards for completing levels of Readquest. For instance, for every 5 books or 2 ½ hours of reading, they were given little toy prizes. Each child who completed the 4th level, 20 books or 10 hours of reading, got 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. This year, Jeslyn N. won the MP3 player, the grand prize for the category of kids entering the 6th grade and up this fall; and Sophie K. won the bicycle, the grand prize for the category of kids entering the 5th grade or lower this fall. Congratulations to Jeslyn and Sophie for being the grand prize winners, and kudos to Judy Adams for making summer reading so much fun for the kids!

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to open X.U. '08-'09 lecture series

Series to focus global climate change

Xavier University is announcing that its 2008-2009 Ethics/Religion and Society (ER/S) lecture series on Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Schiff Banquet and Conference Center will start with a free lecture by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on ““Our Environmental Destiny.” The event is co-sponsored by the Brueggeman Center and The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Although there is no charge for admission, tickets are required. Distribution will begin next Tuesday, September 2. If the Schiff Family Banquet Room reaches capacity, tickets will be distributed to a simulcast in the Cintas Center conference rooms. For the general public, a maximum of 4 tickets per person may be obtained at the walk-up window at the Cintas Center beginning Tuesday, September 2, open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. You can also download and mail with a self-addressed, stamped envelope the form at Any tickets not distributed in advance will be available at the door the evening of the event. For information on ticket availability, call 513-745-3411 ext. 7.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s reputation as a defender of the environment stems from many successful legal actions. He was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. He serves as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio.

Friday, August 22, 2008

WNNA meeting with X.U. officials to air on NCT

At this past Tuesday night’s West Norwood Neighborhood Association meeting at the Community Center, a panel of five top Xavier University officials answered 18 previously submitted questions regarding the Xavier Square project. They were John Kucia, Administrative Vice President; Liz Blume and Byron White with the Community Building Institute; Luther Smith, Dean of Students; and Chief Michael Couch of Xavier Campus Police.

Our roving reporter was able to attend an hour of the meeting and came away impressed both with the candor of the Xavier panel members and with the easy dialogue and information sharing between them and the attendees. John Kucia’s opening remarks included an acknowledgement that communication with WNNA and the Norwood community regarding Xavier Square and other issues had gone awry. He apologized for this and assured the audience that, in the future, officials would be more responsive to concerns and questions about the impact Xavier Square will have on Norwood.

We will post the air times the meeting will run on NCT as soon they’re available. In meantime, here are some of the questions the Xavier panel addressed:

- What does the Montgomery Road business design include?
- Will Montgomery Road or Cleneay be expanded?
- How much green space is in the design?
- Will there be a focus on bringing in locally owned businesses to Xavier Square?
- Will the functions of Xavier Square be tax-exempt?
- How will new housing for students impact Norwood’s housing market, for better or worse?
- How will traffic be affected by the new development?
- Why did Xavier recently attempt to purchase the Hamilton county Business Incubator?

The last question on the list above is the only one to which we will supply the answer. John Kucia emphatically denied that Xavier either had any plans to purchase or had ever made any attempt to purchase the Hamilton County Business Incubator. Rather, Trammel Crow, a private developer, did inquire into purchasing the property with the intention of building a private student housing facility, which, of course, Xavier would be opposed to since it is developing its own housing options.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

July ’08 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of July = 423
Medic Runs = 295
Fire Runs = 19 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 12 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 19 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 31 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 26 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 5 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 9 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 36 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 2

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Hydrants flow tested: 118
Out of Service Hydrants: 8

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 749
Total Inspections – 216 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 283
Total Violations – corrected 127
Total Block Inspections – 35 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 88

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Urgent: Blog readers needed to submit project ideas to NYP

Several days ago, Oliver Comstock, a member of Norwood Young Professionals who does some of the marketing for the fast growing, highly civic-minded group, contacted us with a request. The group would like our readers to suggest projects near City Hall they can add to those they have already selected for their “Taking Care of Business” event on September 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. On that day, NYPs will be working with about 100 volunteers from “Give Back Cincinnati” doing some landscaping, trash pick up, and painting of various public as well as privately-owned commercial buildings - all for only the cost of materials!

So far, the old Safety Lane/Farmer’s Market next to Victory Park pool, City Hall, the old Firehouse on Montgomery Rd. near Norwood Plaza, Montgomery Rd. parking meters, and three businesses are scheduled for attention on September 20, but Oliver tells us they quickly need to add 2-3 more commercial buildings to the list, preferably in and around City Hall. Now, really, who better to give them project ideas than our faithful readers?

You can either leave your ideas in the comments box, and/or, if you would like a speedy reply from NYP, you can send them to Projects do not have to be limited to just painting - they’re open to all kinds of suggestions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Estimated cost to replace NHD with contracted services

In a letter to Hamilton County Public Health Commissioner Tim Ingram dated 7/17/08, Norwood Safety-Service Director Joe Geers requested an estimate for the cost to contract for health services. Mr. Ingram supplied the information to Mr. Geers in a letter dated 7/30/08. Last week, Joe Geers sent the following letter to all Norwood City Council members informing them about Mr. Ingram’s $21,901 cost estimate to replace our Norwood Health Department with services provided by Hamilton County Public Health. HCPH is preparing a chart comparing Norwood Health Department Services with health services they would provide per a contract.

August 13, 2008

Re: Hamilton County Public Health

Dear Members of Norwood City Council:

This is to advise you that I have been in discussion with the Hamilton County Health District regarding their services. Below is a brief breakdown of what they offer. I have also enclosed a copy of a letter from Health Commissioner Tim Ingram.

1. The services provided for Environmental Health, Disaster Preparedness and Vital Statistics are similar with the exception that HCPH doesn’t investigate high weed complains, unless vermin and rodents are involved.
2. HCPH provides immunization clinics, flu shots, T.B. testing and reportable disease follow up. They do assure that persons needing these services are referred to the one of many services provided in Hamilton County. I have them checking on what it will take to continue one nurse program.
3. Based on 2008 appropriations, it appears that the City’s appropriations through four funds is $541,077.01 for salaries, supplies and contractual cost.
4. Our cost for contracting with HCPH for 2009 would be $21,901.81. They would also carry out licensing and other permit functions with those revenues going to HCPH.

I do have them looking at a nursing program to continue home nursing, blood pressure clinics, and school health programs, water testing and compliance reports. We would transfer some duties to the Building Department when it comes to inspections.

They are also putting together a comparison chart to show how the two compare. Also, they will meet any time after Labor Day to answer questions and/or put on a slide presentation.


Joseph C. Geers, Director
Public Service-Safety

Click here to read both Joe Geers’ 7/17/08 letter to Mr. Ingram and Mr. Ingram’s 7/30/08 reply.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gary Arthur: search for new Health Commissioner NOT suspended

This morning after reading in the Enquirer (see today’s blog below) that the Norwood Health Commission has suspended its search for a replacement for retiring Health Commissioner Donna Laake, we emailed two questions about this to Gary Arthur, Pro Tem President of the Norwood Health Commission:

1.) Has the Norwood Health Commission, in fact, suspended its search for Ms. Laake's replacement?
2.) If not, does the authority to suspend the search lie anywhere outside the Norwood Health Commission?

We just received Mr. Arthur's reply, along with his permission to publish it:

Ms. Knox,

We have not suspended our search for a new Health Commissioner. It is our desire to move forward with the selection process.

As to the authority to suspend the search. The selection of the candidate is the responsibility of the Health Commission. City Council however, does have the option whether or not to fund the position.

I understand that City Council is looking at other options regarding the future of the Health Department. Compounding the problem has been a lack of communication between the Health Commission and City Council. We have not had much feedback from Council regarding our request for information on their position. As soon as City Council makes known to us their thinking on this matter, the sooner we can have a new Commissioner in place. As it stands, we cannot in good faith offer the position to anyone until there is some guarantee from Council that the Health Department will be funded.

The other option available to us is to have an interim Health Commissioner until such time we can fill the permanent position.


Gary Arthur
President Pro Tem
Norwood Health Commission

Finance and Audit Committee meeting tomorrow

The Finance and Audit Committee of Norwood City Council will meet tomorrow, August 19, at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. There are two items on the agenda:

1. 2008 Appropriations
2. Review of half year reports

As soon as NCT returns our call, we’ll post whether or not this meeting will be televised live on cable Channel 4 or taped for later replay.

3:15 PM Update: Steve at NCT just returned our call and said the meeting will be broadcast live on cable Channel 4.

Enquirer: Search for new Health Commissioner suspended

Today’s Enquirer reports that city officials are considering contracting with the Hamilton County Department of Health. As a result, the Norwood Health Commission has suspended its search for a replacement for retiring Health Commissioner Donna Laake, and no decision has been made regarding appointing an interim commissioner. According to Enquirer reporter Steve Kemme, U.S. Playing Cards' decision to move 460 employees to Northern Kentucky next year is a big reason City officials are evaluating the Norwood Health Department. Donna Laake stated that the Health Department cost Norwood $390,000 in 2007, if revenue from department fees is subtracted from the city’s total allocation. “That’s less than $20 per resident,” she said.

Photos of Norwood Tour at Building Cincinnati

Kevin LeMaster of Building Cincinnati has a great write up today of his August 8 tour of Norwood and has installed a slideshow with 61 terrific pictures he took that day. Councilperson Steve Thornbury with the Norwood Historical Society and Historical Society President Rodney Rogers took Kevin into every nook and cranny of our city, and, of course, provided running commentary on the historical as well as the political. (Don't think that wasn't some gold!) A huge thank you to Steve and Rodney for showing off the Gem of Highlands to Kevin. Click here, everyone, to see the sights through Kevin’s eyes.

Letter thanking Carl Lindner for $15,000 AED’s

Following is the letter Health Commissioner Donna Laake sent to Carl Lindner thanking him for the $15,000 he donated for the purchase of lifesaving AED’s. We thank him, too, for caring so much about our health and safety.

August 7, 2008

Dear Mr. Lindner:

Last year, you provided the Norwood Health Department with a generous check for $15,000 to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) for use throughout city offices. Medtronic, the make of this equipment, was having some difficulty getting approval from the FDA for the new models of machines for use by the general public. After a year of conversations with Medtronic, I was offered the medical models of AED equipment for the same price of the lower grade machines. Needless to say, after conversations with the Norwood Fire Department, we jumped at the chance for the better equipment, saving over 50% of the higher quality models.

I showed you the new equipment at the “Norwood Day Parade” and wanted to let you know that the equipment has already been placed at the Waterworks Pool facility, Norwood Health Department and in the two nurses’ cars. They will be placed shortly in the Norwood Community/Senior Center, Norwood Public Works and at City Hall as soon as employees complete training on the new AED equipment. Captain Chuck Fischer of the Norwood Fire Department will help us complete that training.

I wanted to let you know of our progress in getting this equipment out where it can save lives. Your generosity is legendary in Norwood, and I truly appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for our town. God bless you.


Donna M. Laake, RN
Health Commissioner

cc: Norwood City Council

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just in: Gary Arthur’s 8/14/08 email to Mayor Williams

Following is an email, a public document, that Gary Arthur, President Pro Tem of Norwood Health Commission, sent to Mayor Williams and 14 others yesterday. Councilpersons Victor Schneider, Michael Gabbard, Keith Moore, and Chuck Barlow, Council President Jane Grote, and Heath Commissioner Donna Laake were among the recipients. Click here to read Mr. Arthur’s two related emails, dated 7/22/08 and 7/25/08, to Mayor Williams and Finance Committee Chair Chuck Barlow and others.

Subject: Health Commission

Date: August 14, 2008, 10:29

Mayor Williams,

I understand there is some confusion circulating with regards to your not being kept in the loop during the Health Commission's search for a new Commissioner. I have included you in each phase of our selection process and invited you to attend each interview session. I received no feedback from your office, except on your position regarding city residency. During this conversation you informed me that City Council wanted to look at some options with regard to the Health Department in light of the current Health Commissioner¹s retirement, and suggested that I contact the Finance Committee for further information. I did so, and suggested to the chairman, Mr. Barlow, that a meeting be set up with the Finance committee members and the Health Commission to share with us their direction and or concerns. To date no meeting has been set. We completed the first round of interviews, narrowed our selection to three possible candidates, and invited you and the Medical Director, Dr. Perrino, to sit in on the second round, and asked you to schedule the date at your convenience. We have heard nothing from your office.

Regarding the residency requirement. The Health Commission does not have a problem with the new commissioner living in Norwood, however, because of the trend of the current mortgage crisis, we were concerned about the time frame in which you would insist that the new commissioner take up residency. We want what¹s best for the city as well, and the new Health Commissioner becoming a resident encourages others that may be seeking employment in the area to be more inclined to take up residency in Norwood..

We should resolve these issues quickly. The Health Commission is ready to move forward with the next phase of the selection process. I would ask that you contact Donna Laake to set a meeting that is a convenient time to proceed with the 2nd round of interviews. If possible the Finance Committee of council should sit down with the Health Commission members as well. I will continue to monitor my email while away. My cell phone is always with me and I will be available for discussion should the need arise. I will be back in Norwood on August 25.


Gary Arthur

Norwood Indians Wrestling fundraiser at City Barbeque

Rick Robisch, head coach of Norwood Indians Wrestling, invites everyone to support a special fundraising event for the team. If you’ll just print out the form below and take it to City Barbeque this coming Monday, August 18, and order a meal, 25% of your purchase will be donated to Norwood Wrestling.

Sale Amount:


Name of group: Norwood Wrestling
Date of fundraiser: Monday, August 18, 2008
Participating Location: Hyde Park City Barbeque, 3804 Paxton Ave.

Good all day on Dine In & Carry Out Orders

Note: If ordering carry out for large groups, please use our Pig Up’n Go Menu.

Flyer must be presented at time of order to receive credit for the sale.

Flyers cannot be passed out on City Barbeque property. Fundraiser cannot be combined with other promotions or offers. Not valid on gift card purchases.

Check out our menus at
We look forward to serving you to help raise money for your organization!

Please print this out and present at time of order.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Burwood Party a smashing success with 250 guests!

Burwood Pool Parent Robin Mace just sent us the following account of last night’s festivities at Burwood Park. The kids presented awards to a number of officials and residents they felt deserved some special recognition for helping make it such a special summer at the park.

Burwood Pool's last day could not have been more perfect! Almost everyone was there. The Mayor and his lovely wife Maryann, Councilmen Mike Gabbard, Vic Schneider and Steve Thornbury and his lovely wife Patty, Donna Laake, Bill Graff and his lovely wife, Randy Huber of Huber lumber Co., and Jenny Wallace and her administrative assistant, Kathy. The Burwood Parents serving the food worked like a well-oiled machine. They served over 250 people! And best of all, we had enough food to feed that many people! Our young people were so well behaved it was scary. They did their little award presentations like pro's and made everyone smile. Everyone congratulated us on a job well done this summer, and, of course, we thanked everyone for all their support throughout the season.

Mike Gabbard invites everyone to NSA Opening Day

Guest blog

This Saturday, August 16th, is the Norwood Soccer Association’s Opening Day at Shea Stadium. The morning will begin with the parade of teams into the stadium at 9:00 a.m. followed by opening day ceremonies. Following the ceremony, each player receives a ticket for a free hot dog and bag of chips from the concession stand. Then the games begin! Scrimmage games will be played throughout the day. We would like to invite all to come down and enjoy a whole day of soccer fun.

NSA signs up about 350 kids, ages 3-17, each spring season and again in the fall season. NSA turns away NO child because of lack of finances. We secure sponsors that will help cover those who want to play but can not afford the registration fee. We would like to publicly thank all the sponsors that support the Norwood Soccer Association. Their support helps keep kids off the streets on the field. THANK YOU SPONSORS!!!

Mike Gabbard

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mayor Williams: Health Dept. review will be open process

During last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Williams made, to our knowledge, his first on-the-record remarks regarding the Norwood Health Department issue. We are publishing his and Councilpersons Steve Thornbury’s and Victor Schneider’s statements and questions verbatim, with the exception of only a few words that were garbled here and there. We hope our readers will find this transcript beneficial, especially readers who do not have cable service to view the meeting on cable Channel 4.

Mayor Williams: Other issue, discussion going on, a lot of people are anguished, and I understand it.

First part of July, we were notified USPC would be leaving With the earnings taxes starting to go down some…Take UPCS announcing they’re leaving and announcement of the health commissioner retiring, the discussion came up among a couple of council members, the idea was maybe to look into the future of that health department.

I know it’s caused some problems. I think it’s the prudent thing to do. If I remember, going back when we were in Fiscal Emergency, (we were asked) “Did anybody look at anything; did you make any adjustments; did you see it coming?” As hard as this is, I still think it’s the right thing to do.

How it’s going to turn out, I don’t know. I had a brief conversation with the health commissioner (Donna Laake) tonight, and, basically, what she said to me was true. She said, “You know we were interviewing people, and you never said anything." That’s true. Mainly because it didn’t come up at the time they were having their first round (of interviews).

I did have a conversation with a member of the health commission, and I said, “Maybe you should look at this. Maybe we should not be in that big of a hurry.” It went from there…it went downhill. People got very emotional, uh, and I can understand it somewhat. The way I look at it is so…what we decided to do is, we contacted Hamilton County. We had a brief conversation with them. A little bit of information was given which we will share, and he made contact with the health commissioner.

Now, this is one of the issues where, and I can tell you this, before the year is up, there’s going to be another area we’re probably going to be looking at to review. And it’s going to be, basically, what you’ll be doing is a cost analysis.

You know, what seems to be a good economical decision does not always turn out to be that way. It doesn’t turn out to be worth it. And there’s several reasons. By the City and the residents, if another agency takes over, lack of service, uh, and the, once again, chipping away at our independence. Do I still think it’s worth reviewing? Yeah, I think we’ve got an obligation to look at it, and I mean everybody included, the health commissioner, the medical director, the retiring health commissioner. Get everybody involved. Let’s do it openly. That way, we say, “Okay, what we provide is good, and that’s all we need. And this is a dead issue.” But, once again, with going through it like we did at one time, I don’t believe there’s anything with reviewing it.

I do understand that it causes some problems, and I’m sorry for that; but, on the other hand, I go back to when we were in Fiscal Watch and Fiscal Emergency, and I had people come up to me and say, “Why didn’t you do this; why didn’t you do that; did you ever check into it?” I said, “No.” You know, I wasn’t willing to make a change. I guess it was partially due to Donna. Donna and I go back 27 years, and I had a loyalty. But now, you know, as I said, it’s a combination of both issues. And I think it’s worth looking at in an open process. And it’s not really something we should do, that it should be done quickly. It should be done over time, and everybody who knows anything, who’s got anything to contribute, contribute and say something.

I’ll take my share of the responsibility and my position. One of the things, and we all know this, one of the problems that we have is our proximity to each other. Yet, on the other hand, all the information that’s flying around, the rumors get out, and nobody calls. I was the recipient of some really bad rumors, and there was an individual, and I’ll let them on their own stand up and say who they were, that called me up and asked me. That was a refreshing thing. And so, I know how it works, but I believe, still believe, that there’s this obligation to at least look at it and include people in it, the health commissioner, retiring health commissioner - include everybody. I’m not saying hide it from anybody. Just everybody have their say and speak for themselves.

read on

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Permits for September Semi-Annual Yard Sale now available

The Norwood City Treasurer’s office tells us the free permits for the September Semi-Annual Yard Sale are now ready for pick up. Be sure to get a permit at least a week in advance of the event in order to assure your address is published in the directory.

Yard Sale Dates: Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Free Permits: Monday through Friday, 8:00 - 5:00 p.m., City Treasurer’s Office, 1st floor City Hall, 4645 Montgomery Road

Throngs expected at celebration honoring Donna Laake

Mark your calendars for 5:15 p.m., Friday, September 5. That’s when Norwood residents will gather at the Indian Mound Café, 5227 Montgomery Road, to wish our much beloved retiring Health Commissioner Donna Laake a fond farewell and to express our appreciation for her years of dedication to keeping us all healthy and safe. Let’s all show up and show her our love!

Liquor license transfer to Betta’s Italian Oven

Correspondence from 4 City departments regarding “Liquor License Transfer” appear on tonight’s City Council meeting agenda. They are from the Building Department, Tax Commissioner, Police Chief and the Norwood Health Department. We obtained one of them, a memo from the Norwood Health Department:

"In response to your memo of July 28, 2008 regarding the transfer of a liquor license from Cabana Boy LLC, dba Randy’s Sports Bar to William E. DeLuca, dba Betta’s Italian Oven, please be advised that the Norwood City Health Department has no objection to the transfer of the liquor license. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact me."

Attached to the memo is a one-page Ohio Division of Liquor Control form entitled “Notice to Legislative Authority” addressed to the Clerk of Norwood Municipal Council. If the City wants a “hearing on the advisability of issuing the permit,” it must return the form postmarked no later than 8/25/08.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Final four farmers markets at Whole Foods Markets

Following are the dates of the remaining farmers markets at Whole Food Markets. At least one of us will be there tomorrow on the hunt for some delicious ripe tomatoes:

Where: Whole Foods Market at Rookwood Commons, 2693 Edmondson Road
When: (all Tuesday’s) August 12 and 26; September 9 and 23; 4-7 p.m.

Preschool Story Times at Norwood Library

The Norwood Branch Library invites all 3 - 6 year olds to three free upcoming story times:

When: August 13, 20, and 27 (all Wednesday’s) at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Norwood Branch Library at 4325 Montgomery Rd.
More information: 369-6037

Norwood First United Methodist Church for sale

Like many older churches in urban areas that have lost population, the 104-year-old Norwood First United Methodist Church has seen its membership dwindle from 900 pre-WWII to fewer than 40 today. Unable to maintain the large church and its attached annex, the small congregation must sell both in order to move to a smaller building that’s less expensive to maintain. Church trustee and treasurer Wilma Hensler told the Enquirer, "All our money is going into maintenance and upkeep. We can't do any mission work and outreach in the community… It would be a wonderful museum and arts center. That would be the answer to my prayers.”

In addition to selling the church and annex, the congregation is auctioning off some of its possessions to raise money to pay bills. Tables, chairs, bookcases, kitchen china and hand bells will be auctioned tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10:30 a.m. at Main Auction Galleries at 167 West Fourth St. in downtown Cincinnati.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Keith Moore’s perspective on the Norwood Health Dept.

We are pleased to present a very timely guest blog Ward 1 Councilperson Keith Moore asked us to publish. To our knowledge, Mr. Moore is the first council member to make public remarks about the future of the Norwood Health Department (see 7/31 and 8/1 blogs below). He is definitely the first to weigh in on the topic here, and we thank him for sharing his thoughts and questions with us:

There are going to be changes at the Health Department — whether Council does anything or not.

Donna Laake is retiring. It won’t be the same. In fact, I’ve already been asked if we could waive the requirement that the new Health Commissioner live in Norwood. That strikes me as a big change right there.

So this seems to me like a good time to re-evaluate what services the people of Norwood are receiving from the Health Department and what other approaches we can take.

In fact, I think it’s our job to take a hard look. Maybe we can find ways to save money that we can put towards Burwood or Millcrest Park or into the streets, or maybe some service we don’t offer now.

Nobody in their right mind wants to eliminate the services the Health Department provides. If anything, I think we’d all like to see more of some of them.

But I, for one, have some questions about where to go from here. Some of them are:

1. What services are we paying for twice? And by that I mean that our taxes already support the county health services. What are we duplicating, and what are we getting more of because we provide it locally? And are there services or programs we are losing out on because the County offers them and we don’t?

A few years ago, we asked exactly those questions about the Building Department and 911. What we discovered is that we would have less service and not save any money. Will that be the case for the Health Department? I don’t know.

2. Does it make any sense to divide code enforcement authority between the Health and Building Departments? Would it be better to have the same number of people doing inspections and citations, but have them all in the same department? Would we have better coordination? Why not have inspectors that cite an owner for both garbage and a rotting porch; for both high grass and 8 people in a single apartment?

3. How many Health Department services come from the Health Department because Donna just volunteers to be responsible for things? That’s really a two-part question:

A. How many of those services be provided by others in Norwood? Can the schools sell the head lice shampoo and offer cholesterol testing for their employees? Can Public Works loan out the HEPA? Can the Clerk of Council hand out yard waste bags?

B. How much on the list here (which I’m glad you posted, because nobody sent me a list with a comparison to the county), will be a part of a new Health Commissioner’s job description? Will a new Health Commissioner be installing car seats or watering planters or working on county disaster plan development of being a liaison for the Tree Board? Which I think is even more of an issue if they don’t live here.

4. How much can we contract out at low cost, like TB tests at the Salvation Army or swimming pool testing?

So that’s what this is all about – answering those questions. There are others, but I think these are the big ones.

I have always thought having the Health Department was very important. I can’t remember the number of debates I had during our budget crisis with people who told me that it was a luxury we just couldn’t afford, that there were more bigger priorities.

Things are going to be changes at the Health Department, regardless of whether Council does anything. So let’s gather some information and then decide what we want those changes to be.

Keith Moore
Ward One

Swim, eat, and dance at Burwood Pool Party!

The Burwood Pool parents are throwing a big community wide party next Wednesday to celebrate the end of an extremely successful season at Burwood Park. An increase in pool pass sales this year is just one indication that Burwood Pool is gaining support among residents. So “come on down” and enjoy the free festivities, including 4 extra hours of swimming.

When: Wednesday, August 13 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Burwood Park
What: Swimming, buffet dinner starting at 6:30 p.m., music and dancing

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Brian Mumper’s Holy Trinity Festival highlights

We want to thank Brian Mumper for taking the time to fill us in on the great success of the recent Holy Trinity Festival:

Thank you all for attending as we launched the Holy Trinity Festival's "New Tradition"! We are thrilled with the attendance in our first year with the new layout and thank all for their support.

We learned quite a bit for our first year in the new location; aside from a few bottlenecks, the festival grounds worked out nicely. The layout will be tweaked accordingly to optimize this venue.

While we had a NEW location, we had many of your TRADITIONAL festival favorites including metts, brats, burgers, turtle soup, walking tacos, funnel cakes, corn on the cob (our Festival Food of the Year), and your favorite booths including Big 6, High Low, Ring Toss, Groceries, Kids Games, Instants, Black Jack/Poker, etc.

We also heard some very positive comments regarding the entertainment (The Avenues, The Remains, and Zahnadu productions) and hope to maintain that caliber of entertainment in the future. The Bands were absolutely incredible and drew crowds of their own!

Split the Pot (Our Festival Booth of the year) was able to award several prizes per night with many drawings reaching up to $200 each.

Our Major Award winners were all Norwood residents and all Holy Trinity Parishioners...Mary Griesemer won the 3rd prize ($550), Laura O'Brien won the 2ndprize ($1600), and Caroline Schirmer won the 1st prize ($5250). As the grand prize winner, Caroline also had the chance to pick from a table full of money bags - one of which contained the grand prize of $25,000. Caroline did not pick the bag with the jackpot but of course was thrilled with the $5250 that she did win.

We intentionally kept it simple in our first year in this location and from what we have heard a good time was had by festival goers of all ages. Now that we are established in the new location, we will certainly build on the momentum and introduce new booths for your enjoyment in coming years.

Once again, thank you for your support, thank you to the local businesses that sponsored the festival, thank you to the parishioners who volunteered all weekend, and thank you to the surrounding neighbors who put up with traffic, parking, and noise over the weekend.

We hope to see you at the 2009 Holy Trinity Festival.

J. Brian Mumper

August WNNA meeting to feature Xavier Square answers

Bill Graff, Vice President of the West Norwood Neighborhood Association, invites everyone to attend the group's August 19 meeting to hear Xavier officials answer questions about the university’s plans for the Xavier Square project. Questions collected from attendees of last month’s WNNA meeting were handed over to Byron White with X.U.’s Community Building Institute so he could determine which Xavier personnel directly involved in the project would be best suited to answer them. Bill tells us Mr. White will be bringing 4-5 other Xavier officials to answer the questions.

What: WNNA meeting
When: Tuesday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Community Center at 1810 Courtland Avenue

8/10/08 Note: Haloscan comment counter is out of order. There is 1 comment.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Just in: Steve Thornbury’s report on the COW/BOE meeting

I can add my two bits on the meeting.

First, you’re right, I’m sure it was difficult for many in the audience to hear what was being said. In addition to the noise generated by the air conditioning system (kudos to Bill Graff for periodically going back and switching it off for a few minutes so more people could hear…), the microphones were strictly for recording the proceedings for future play on Norwood Community Television Channel 4 on Time Warner Cable. Hopefully folks can hear more of what was said on the replay.

I was a bit surprised that there was no accommodation made for, or solicitation of, comments or questions from those gathered in the room. In a typical Council COW meeting that would be part of the regular protocol. If that was not to be the case in this meeting I think it should have been made clear to the attendees.

The key take-away, I think, is that the District is at the very earliest stages of even considering implementation of this sort of program. Everyone involved understood that such an endeavor would be extremely complex and would have to be thoroughly worked-out before it could be initiated. I would expect that, even under the most optimistic scenarios, it would be another year or two before we’d see something tangible to even discuss. Particularly since the intention is to fund this entirely through private contributions.

That being said, there was clearly unanimous enthusiasm for the idea. As Mr. Moore asked, rhetorically: Is there any downside to what’s being done in these other communities? Any protests or complaints anywhere?

Support for such an effort is truly a no-brainer.

From Council’s perspective, we ended with unanimous agreement to pass a resolution in support of the effort at a future regular Council meeting and expressed a willingness to appoint a representative to any joint committee that may be formed in the future.

Steve Thornbury
Norwood City Council, Ward 2

Overview of last night’s COW/BOE meeting

Several of our regular readers/contributors attended last night’s meeting, too. We’re hoping they will add comments, especially if we misunderstood anything or leave out anything substantial. There weren’t any microphones, so sometimes it was difficult to impossible to hear what was said.

Supt. Steve Collier made opening remarks about both agenda items. First, he said the school district needs to “do something before 2010.” The options are 1.) a levy, 2.) serious cuts, which would impact educational programs and class sizes, and 3.) close a building. Regarding the latter, the BOE wants to make a decision soon on whether or not to close a school for the 2009-2010 school. As we understood it, it’s possible a school won’t be closed until the following year, if at all.

Next, Mr. Collier shared how the Kalamazoo Promise works:
All high school students who graduate receive free college educations at Michigan’s state colleges and universities. There are no daily attendance requirements, and things like school suspensions are not taken into account. Three other cities have adopted variations on the KP, and at least one of them, Denver, placed requirements because their donors wanted them. One variation that Norwood might consider is giving maximum benefits to students who attend K-12 at NCS and something less for students who attend 6-12 grades only.

Councilperson Sanker asked Mr. Collier how many Norwood students might qualify. Currently, there are about 140 NSC grads per year and about 60% of these go to college. Using the cost of U.C. as an example, Mr. Collier said the cost for a Norwood Promise that would be identical to the K.P. would be $1.1 million for each year in donations. A foundation would be set up to receive and allocate funds.

We believe Mr. Collier said the K.P. started in 2005. The benefits to the Kalamazoo community thus far are increased population and increased property values in a region of Michigan that is experiencing lowering property values. He emphasized that a Norwood Promise would have more clout if the City and NCS team up. Judging from council members’ positive remarks, a partnership sounds possible.

So what’s next? Mr. Collier said the school district needs to put together a presentation for corporations they would approach for donations. School officials will start attending Keith Moore’s Wednesday afternoon Community Development meetings to get up to speed on what’s going on that front. And there was agreement that there should be future joint meetings to discuss the topic.

NHD’s Communicable Disease Program stats

Last week, we obtained a copy of the Norwood Health Department’s “2007 Annual Services Report to the Community, “ which has last year’s statistics for the services residents receive. Today, we're starting a series of blogs using excerpts from the report…while we’re all waiting to learn what city council members have in mind for the future of our Health Dept. First up is the Communicable Disease Program, a program that would not be duplicated by contracting with Hamilton County Public Health, according to Donna Laake’s analysis this past Friday (see below). Note that 7 positives resulted from TB screenings:

Communicable Disease Program or “Can I Catch That from Someone?”

Communicable Disease Control provides for the analysis, reporting, control, follow up, education and prevention of communicable disease within the City of Norwood and protects the residents from exposure and/or contracting a communicable disease.

A. Reportable Diseases: 79 Total Cases
Hepatitis C Chronic: 35
Strep. Pneumonia: 2
Campybolacter: 6
Biardia: 4
Hepatitis B Chronic: 5
Salmonella: 2
Influenza: 4
Shigella: 21

B. TB Screenings:
Firemen tested: 50 - 50 Negative results and 7 Previous positive results
TB tests to others: 229 - 222 Negative results and 7 Positive results

C. Immunization Clinics:
1.) 21 Clinic Sessions with 340 total visits from 150 children and 190 adults
2.) 552 Total vaccines administered (excluding TB testing)

D. Influenza Clinic
Influenza Clinic provides vaccine to reduce the incidence/illness of flue among Norwood residents. Public Health Nurses do home visits each year to reach those shut-ins who are unable to come to Norwood Health Department for shots…

Total flu shots administered: 1,448, including 113 to people in their homes, 986 at NHD, 27 at the Senior Center, and 123 school employees

Norwood Young Professionals event this Sunday

We received an email from NYP announcing a gathering they’re having this Sunday afternoon at Lower Millcrest Park. This will be a great opportunity to drop by, get acquainted and see if you’d like to join. They’ll have a grill ready for anyone who wants to bring food, as well as ice and cups for drinks you want to bring. But that’s not all. It’s mostly about hanging out and having fun playing kickball (if enough people show up for a game), corn hole, boards, etc.

There’s also this important news in the email: "We are collaborating with Give Back Cincinnati to put a great service event on September 20 right here in Norwood! We're hoping to have at least 25 NYPers volunteer for the event, so mark it on your calendar if you're interested and let us know if you'd like to get more involved. Give Back has their August event this Saturday at various non-profits around the city. Join Give Back this week if you'd like to get a taste of how the event in Norwood will run (RSVP here). The events are a great way to contribute to the city of Cincinnati and meet young professionals from across the region."

When: Sunday, August 19, starting at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Lower Millcrest Park on Hopkins just east of Victory Parkway

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Norwood Fire Department’s rapid response times

Roughly 4 years ago at one of former Councilperson Casey Brown’s ward meetings to discuss the city’s financial crisis, Norwood Fire Department Chief Goodman told residents, “The reason you don’t often read about fires in Norwood is because of our rapid response times.” Saturday’s Enquirer article about fire department services in Hamilton County and nearby counties on both sides of the Ohio River certainly supported Chief Goodman’s statement that night. As readers know from the monthly NFD Activities Report we publish, the response times are usually under the 3 minute mark. According to this chart that accompanied the article and includes stats for 7 counties, of 34 Hamilton County fire departments listed, the NFD’s average response time is 2:55, second only to Lincoln Height’s 2:50.

The article states, “Reaching a fire in 6 minutes is considered critical to give firefighters their best chance to save lives and property and to protect themselves from injury or death. But the goal is elusive, especially in the suburbs. Despite having some of the region's highest incomes and priciest homes, the suburbs have some of the lowest percentages of runs under 6 minutes, the analysis shows.” In addition to having an outstanding Norwood Police Department and an award-winning Health Department, we can all be grateful also for the protection of our lives and property the Norwood Fire Department provides. Who wants to live in the suburbs? Not us.

Norwood Day Parade airing on Cable Channel 8

Laura Hobbs sent us the August air times for NCT’s Norwood Day Parade video and will let us know the Baby Show schedule when it’s available.

Cable Channel 8:
Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
Monday - 3 p.m.
Tuesday - 3 a.m.
Thursday -11 a.m.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Welcome to our 3rd year and 826th blog!

We suspect our readers will be as relieved as we are to know that our Terrible Two’s are finally behinds us. Things can only get better now, right? The blog’s birthday was actually Saturday, but we’re making the official announcement today.

The list of community members we have to thank for adding value to our content this past year is so lengthy we’re afraid to start listing names for fear of leaving someone out. But you know who you are, and our regular readers know who most of you are, and we thank all of you for sending us news tips, community event information, guest blogs, topic suggestions, research material, and, yes, for sending kind emails supporting our effort. The latter always seem to arrive at precisely the right moment.

We thank our readers for taking the time to visit. Except for December's and January's, our readership has grown every month since we started. Last month, the blog had nearly 1,300 more visitors than in June. Prior to that, the biggest monthly jump was 1,110 last October. We appreciate the quality of the comments you’re making and the information and opinions you’re sharing with the rest of us. Plainly and simply, we love community dialogue!

Our blog has a voracious appetite and is never, ever sated. So, if you have information you want fellow community members to know about, don’t hesitate to send it to us at Guest blogs are always welcome, too, of course. To borrow from the New York Times, all the news that’s fit to blog will appear here. So far, our contributors are batting 1,000 on that score. Keep ’em coming!

If you have any suggestions for how we can improve our blog, please do leave them in the comments box. And, thank you, everyone, for stopping by. We hope you’ll keep coming back.

It’s time for Vacation Bible School at Norwood Nazarene!

Norwood Nazarenes are at it again already with yet another wonderful community event for our kids. Pastor Tim Brooks tells us Saturday’s big Bash was definitely a success again, but now “we are doing a Vacation Bible School for the community! And it’s all about providing safe, productive activities for our children.” Every Norwood child age 4 - 6th grade is invited to 5 evenings of games, free snacks and beverages, music, etc. , and it all starts today from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. To be clear, just like at the Bash, kids won’t be carded to prove age and residency. No child will be turned away. As Pastor Brooks said, “This is meant to be a service for Norwood, but it is open to everyone.”

Where: Norwood Church of the Nazarene, 4424 Floral Avenue
When: Monday, Aug. 4 through Friday, Aug. 8; 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Everything is free.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What we’ll lose if we lose the Norwood Health Dept.

Just when we needed to know what would happen to each of our current Norwood Health Dept. services should City Council vote to contract for services with Hamilton County, a thorough accounting was available via a public document Health Commissioner Donna Laake produced this past Tuesday. Donna sent the following email, dated 7/29/08, to Gary Arthur, President Pro Tem of Norwood Health Commission. By our count, of the 23 services listed, only 5 or 6 would be duplicated or nearly so, and the status of 1 is unknown. That means about 16 services would either be lost entirely or significantly diminished, many, many more than we imagined. Among services that would be cut is the School-Linked Dental Program, which served nearly 500 Norwood students last year. This is a lengthy document, but we hope everyone will take the time to read it.

Immunization Clinics
While we hold formal, walk in clinics on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, the vast majority of our immunizations, including TB testing, are done on an appointment basis. We also provide a large number of adult immunizations that are prepaid by the recipient, ordered by the NHD and kept at our facility until administered per the timeline of the vaccine.

Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) offers one a month immunization clinics in SOME of their 43 political jurisdictions for childhood immunizations only. They do not offer adult immunizations. Fees are similar to ours and folks are expected to pay for immunizations. We also do a large number of immunizations for immigrants who are in the process of becoming citizens. They are referred to us from Bethesda Care. Hamilton County Public Health (HCOH) does not offer this service to my knowledge. We also do month TB testing of residents at the Salvation Army facility. HCPH would NOT provide this service.

Blood Pressure Clinics
We conduct 2 blood pressure clinics each month - 1 here at the NHD and 1 at the Community/Senior Center.

To my knowledge, HCPH does not offer this service.

This is a program administered through the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) that is similar to a 3rd party insurance for children with special health needs. Public health nurses act as case managers to make sure that families can navigate through the medical system to get medical appointments and equipment for their children. Health Depts. are reimbursed for their time doing home visits, telephone calls and advocacy for patients and families.

HCPH does provide this service and no change would take place other than a new nurse doing the home visits.

Home Visits
Our nurses currently assist many folks, especially the elderly, in setting up medications, assisting with health needs following hospitalization, especially when their Medicare coverage does not allow for more home visits by paid home health nurses. The nurses check blood pressures, check medications, conduct simple blood tests for diabetes, assist in coordination of physician appointments and act on referrals from hospitals and local physicians for follow up care.

HCPH does not provide this service.

Flu Clinics
Each fall, we offer flu and pneumonia vaccine for anyone who makes an appointment. We will bill Medicare and Medicaid. Others are asked to pay a modest fee (about ½ the cost of Walgreens, etc.) to cover the cost of the vaccine. We also provide flu shot FREE OF CHARGE FOR ANY CITY EMPLOYEE.

HCPH contracts with a private company to administer flu and pneumonia vaccine at some of their senior centers, but you must pay the $25 to $30 fee for the vaccine (similar to getting a flu shot at Krogers).

Communicable Disease Control
All health departments are required to follow up with reports of communicable diseases. We attempt to do so with a home visit.

HCPH mails letters to patients and does follow up primarily by phone.

Lice Free and Rid Shampoo
This is a partnership with Norwood City Schools where students and families can purchase treatment for head lice at the NHD.

HCPH has no such program.

Lead Investigation
We conduct nursing home visits for children with elevated lead levels. In addition, the ODH will send someone to Norwood to conduct an environmental inspection of the home with our nurses as assistants with a very specialized piece of equipment.

HCPH would conduct investigations in the same manner (not certain if nurses do home visits).

Food Service Inspections
The ODH oversees the FSO program and the number of inspections is determined in rule. For instance, if a restaurant prepared food, serves that food, has left over portions that are refrigerated and then reheated for sale at a later time, the establishment would be a “Level 4.) A bar that serves only snacks or repacked foods would be a “Level 1.” The number of required inspections is determined by the classification of the establishment. Level 4 facilities require 4 inspections a year. 2CCP (Critical Control Point inspections look at food from where it is ordered until it is served to the public. There are 14 “critical” steps in securing the quality of food) and 2 regular inspections. The law allows for a regular inspection to be done on the same day as a CCP inspection, thus only being in the facility only twice a year. NCH does not do this…we believe it is important to be in facilities such as these at least 4 times a year due to the potential for food borne illness. Fees are charged according to the actual cost of providing these services and a Cost Methodology is required each year.

HCPH has fees very similar to our and they would collect those fees for themselves if they took over the health department. Understand that HCPH conducts the MINIMUM number of inspections required by law.

Pool Inspections
The ODH oversees this program and requires that public swimming pools be inspected once before opening and once during the swimming season. Fees are charged per the cost of the program. Our fees are very similar to HCPH. However, the NHD conducts the pre-opening inspection and at least every other week during the swimming season, sometimes weekly if necessary. We feel that this is necessary to prevent waterborne illness and to establish relationships with life guards who report activities to us that we might not normally know about.

HCPH conducts the MINIMUM number of inspections as required by law. It would be VERY IMPORTANT for Norwood Recreation to have ALL pools ready for pre-opening inspections at the same time since HCPH has as large list of pools for pre-opening with a limited number of sanitarians assigned to an area.

Food Establishment Inspections
Same as Food Service Inspections above except the program is administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

HCPH conducts the MINIMUM number of inspections and fees would go to HCPH.

Infectious Waste
The Ohio EPA requires that infectious waste facilities be inspected annually. Our environmental staff conducts these inspections.

HCPH has the nursing division conduct these inspections. Fees would go to HCPH.

Animal Bites
Our registered sanitarian conducts animal bite investigations. He visits the home personally to observe the animal for signs of rabies, inform of quarantine requirements and check for rabies vaccination and dog license. This is an unfunded requirement from the ODH.

HCPH sends letters to the owners of animals who have bitten asking for documentation.

School Inspections
“Jared’s Law” now requires that schools be inspected once a year while school is in session. In the past, the NHD would conduct inspections during summer and winter breaks. All local health departments conduct school inspections in the same manner, and there is no reimbursement for the inspections. We have had very good cooperation with NCS over the years in getting repairs completed because of our relationship with them over the years.

HCPH would conduct inspections in the same manner.

Nuisance Inspections
By the end of 2008, the NHD will have logged and investigated over 2,500 complaints ranging from high grass/weeds and housing issues to child endangerment and concern for occupant. The NHD is charged with following up with posting houses for high grass, having Public Works cut, billing the owner and placing the lien on the tax duplicate if not paid. We are able to cite people to Mayor’s Court for non-compliance. Staff is often called during the day from the Police and Fire Departments to respond to property where there is a concern. We are there within minutes of the request.

HCPH has 43 communities to cover and does very few nuisance complaints which are “prioritized” according to greatest public health threat. For non-compliance, HCPH is required to use Hamilton Municipal Court (stand in line!) Good luck with that!

Water Testing
The NHD conducts chlorine testing 365 days a year. We also do 20 water samples each month for bacteria. The health commissioner conducts Phase 1 TTHM and HAA5 testing quarterly and Phase2 testing every other month at 8 facilities. The H.C. also conducts testing for Lead and Copper every 3 years and prepares a yearly “Consumer Confidence Report” as required by the OEPA.

HCPH does not conduct these tests or write the assemble/print/mail the Consumer Confidence Report for their jurisdictions as it is really the responsibility of the Water Purveyor in each jurisdiction.

Vital Statistics
The NHD maintains birth and death certificates for those folks who were born or died in Norwood. The cost for a birth or death certificate is $17. We also provide burial permits for local funeral directors.

All records would need to be transferred to HCPH. The cost of birth/death certificates at HCPH is $20.

Car Seat Checks/OBB Program
Currently there are 3 of us at the NHD certified as child passenger safety technicians. I originally got certified as a requirement for an NPD grant from the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety for DUI checks and seat belt checks, et. At least one person from the jurisdiction was required to be certified through NHTSA. I have no idea if that requirement is still in place. In 2007 we conducted about 250 car seat checks. Because of my certification as an instructor and my affiliation with CCHMC (Children’s Hospital), the NHD is the Hamilton County site for the “Ohio Buckles Buckeyes” (OBB) program that distributes 60 car seats per year to folks who are on WIC or are WIC-eligible.

HCPH does not do car seat checks.

Yard Waste Bags
Because of application for grant funds to the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services, the NHD uses grant funds to purchase approximately 15,000 yard waste bags per year for distribution to Norwood residents.

HCPH would not be eligible to apply for those funds, nor would they give out yard waste bags to Norwood residents. This would have to be absorbed by another department or discontinued.

H.E.P.A. Vacuum
This HEPA vacuum is a grant from the ODH. We lend it out to Norwood residents to clean up during construction to prevent lead dust, for cleaning after head lice and for bed bugs. The vacuum is used frequently and there is occasionally a waiting list.

I have no idea if the HCPH has a HEPA Vacuum

School-Linked Dental Program
The NHC receives funds from CDBG funding to provide dental services in the schools. A dentist oversees the program and conducts initial exams on students whose parents have completed an enrollment form. A dental hygienist then returns to the schools throughout the year to do cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants where appropriate. In 2007, nearly 500 students took advantage of this program.

HCPH does not have any such program, nor would they be eligible to spend the City of Norwood’s CDGB funds. This program would cease to exist.

Handicap Parking Sign Committee
Volunteers appointed to this committee review applications for placement of handicap parking signs in front of their homes. Nurses conduct home visits to determine if applicant meets eligibility requirements.

HCPH does not have this service, nor would their nurses go to homes to conduct medical assessment on applicants.

Tree Board
By city ordinance, the health commissioner is the Liaison between the City of Norwood and the Tree Board because of the expenditure of CDBG funds.

I can almost guarantee that Commissioner Ingram would NOT take part in a Tree Board meeting.

1. The NHD routinely secures grants to conduct Freon removal and tire drop off events.
2. The NHD provides “Have-A-Heart” traps to Norwood residents for trapping animals at no charge.
3. The NHD surveys restaurants for “heart healthy” menus each year and awards “GOLD Plate Awards” to restaurants who offer heart-healthy” options in low fat dining.
4. The NHD received a silver “Healthy Community” award from the ODH in 2006 and a gold award in 2007. Awards for 2008 have not been announced as of this date.
5. The NHD works with the Norwood City Schools each year to conduct cholesterol and blood sugar screenings for staff as part of their “Wellness Policy.”
6. The NHD provides “LifeSkills” tobacco prevention programs to 3rd and 6th grade students in Norwood City Schools. As a result, polls show that students have delayed the start of smoking or have not started smoking. We worked with the Norwood City Schools to have them adopt a “Tobacco Free Policy,” the first district in Hamilton County to do so.
7. The NHD was honored by the National Association of City and County Health Officers as a model program for collaboration between local health departments and public schools.

In 2007/2008 the NHD received $26,678.14 in grant funds to conduct preparedness activities. After working for 6 months with Xavier University, the NHD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Xavier to use the Cintas Center in the event of an emergency when medicine or vaccines need to be administered. We are collaborating with the Cincinnati Health Department to staff the “Point of Dispensing” (POD) because we know that it will be a very popular and accessible site for Cincinnati and Norwood residents. We are also working with Xavier to have them take responsibility for dispensing medications to their students through their own medical facilities, thus reducing the number of students coming through our POD. The NHD has on hand sufficient medication to dispense medication to police, fire, health and elected officials and their families in the event of an emergency so that governmental activities can continue. We have also secured sufficient medicine for Xavier police and their critical staff because they would rather deal with us vs. Cincinnati.

HCPH covers 43 governmental units. Their preparedness plans call for each community to find their own site for dispensing medications to their residents. Staffing these PODs are the responsibility of the community that is charged with finding someone to lead the POD and sufficient residents to “man” the site. HCPH will provide 1staff person as a Liaison between their health department and the community. And HCPH WOULD RECEIVE ALL FUTURE GRANT FUNDS despite the fact that the community still does all the work. I would NOT recommend that Cintas Center be used because then ANYONE could come to that site for medication dispensing.

In the 2 hours that I have been working on this email, I was called twice about problems in the city: uncapped syringes at the curb on Kenilworth Avenue and a concern for occupant. I responded immediately to each call for service. I have also arranged for C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) training to potentially take place in Norwood so that volunteers could be trained to assist in any emergency in the city. You will NOT get that kind of service from HCPH, not because they don’t want to provide it, but because they have 43 other communities clamoring for the same service. If the city keeps the police, fire, dispatch and Public Works departments because of the immediate and personal service for Norwood, then the NHD should rank right at the top of the list.