Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, October 31, 2008

Old Kroger at Norwood Plaza being razed for parking

We want to thank Xavier’s Public Affairs Office for sending us this Norwood Plaza update to share with our readers. Over a year ago, Public Affairs agreed to send us all of their press releases, but they also send us news items from time to time that are specifically for our blog and the Norwood community. Thank you, Deb and Laurel, for another “scoop":

The construction on Xavier’s James E. Hoff, S.J. Academic Quad is focusing this week on the removal of tons and tons of earth. The excavation is taking place on the future site of the new Williams College of Business. The dirt, about 20,000 cubic yards of material, will be re-used at two locations.

The earth will be used to help with the restoration of Owl’s Nest Park in O’Byronville. It will also be used to create a walkway connecting a parking lot in the back of Norwood Plaza to the Cintas parking lot. The walkway would be located on the west side of the Norwood Plaza lot and cross over now abandoned railroad tracks.

Xavier is in the process of opening up more parking in the recently-acquired Norwood Plaza on Montgomery Road. The old Kroger store in the back of the plaza will be removed. The area will be paved. The entire plaza will provide more than 1100 parking spaces. Xavier crews are working to have the Norwood Plaza lot and the pedestrian walkway completed in time for the first men’s basketball game on Friday, November 14.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yellow NHD yard signs now available to our readers

The latest shipment of the yellow NHD yard signs asking City Council to “Keep Our Norwood Health Dept.!” is quickly flying off the proverbial shelf and into yards all over the City. The Norwood residents who are issuing the signs are now making them available to our readers. If you’d like a sign, just email your name and address to, and one of the residents will place it in your yard.

The NHD petition drive continues, with over 1,500 signatures collected to date and submitted to City Council. If you would like to help collect signatures, you can contact the residents at the email address above to volunteer.

Norwood Health Board asked to attend 11/4/08 COW meeting

Following is a letter John Mumper sent to Gary Arthur, President Pro Tem of the Norwood Health Board, asking that all the board members attend the November 4 Committee of the Whole meeting to answer various questions about the daily operations of the Norwood Health Department. It appears Mr. Mumper does not intend to allow members of the public to speak/ask questions during the meeting.

October 24, 2008

Dear Mr. Arthur:

Please be advised that on Tuesday, November 4th, at 7:30 p.m., there will be a Committee of the Whole meeting of Norwood City Council, with the only agenda item being Health Department.

Please attend this meeting with the rest of the Norwood Health Board and please notify them of this meeting. The meeting will be held in council chambers and will be televised by NCT. At this meeting, the discussion will be limited to members of the Norwood Board of Health, Norwood City Council, City of Norwood Administration and others that the Administration determines should be present.

We would like to discuss the daily operations of the Health Department and be advised on what services the Health Department provides to departments of the City of Norwood and to the Norwood City Schools. Also, we would like to know what services are performed by the Health Department for residents, for non-residents and for former residents. We would also like to have an explanation of the difference between the Norwood Health Department and a Health Clinic. Additionally, we would like to know the fee schedule of the Norwood Health Department and the qualifications needed to be exempt from these fees. Other topics may arise at the meeting and the board will be given time to provide answers at a later date, if needed.

Thank you for your service to the City of Norwood , as a member of the Health Board, and for taking part in this review of the Health Department. If there are any questions please contact me by phone or email as listed below.

John T. Mumper
Chairman, Committee of the Whole
Phone: 513-531-3863

Cc: Norwood City Council
Mayor Thomas Williams
Safety-Service Director, Joseph Geers
Treasurer, Tim Molony
Auditor, Jim Stith
Law Director, Ted Kiser

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gas aggregation issue on ballot for Norwood

Today’s Enquirer has an article about the following gas aggregation issue Norwood voters will be deciding on Tuesday:

A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage.
Shall the City of Norwood, County of Hamilton, Ohio, have the authority to aggregate the retail natural gas loads located in the City of Norwood, and enter into service agreements to facilitate for those loads the sale and purchase of natural gas, such aggregation to occur automatically except where any person elects to opt out?

The Enquirer explains that, “a natural gas aggregation plan places customers in a community in a single buying group, ideally resulting in a more stable gas price that’s locked-in for a period of time – protecting residents from upward spikes in prices. Under such a plan, it is hoped that increased purchasing power nets a better gas rate than a single customer could find alone.” Mayor Tom Williams told the Enquirer there’s a perception among some residents that the city is endorsing passing the aggregation plan, but that it’s not true. “The City of Norwood endorses giving people that option. On this one, it’s strictly up to them," he said.

In this guest blog we published this past May, Councilperson Steve Thornbury informed our readers about how gas aggregation would work and how it can benefit customers who choose to participate. He was careful to explain that while the potential savings for gas users may average, “at best, $50 per single family home over a four to five month period. But savings are savings.”

This website has success stories of four area communities that have gas aggregation. It would be interesting to know how much the City of Norwood will save in gas costs should the issue pass next Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mayor appoints Jesse Layne to Norwood Board of Health

Norwood resident Jesse Layne has accepted Mayor Tom Williams’ appointment to fill an unexpired vacancy on the Norwood Health Board. In an October 17 letter to Jesse that appears on tonight’s City Council meeting agenda, Mayor Williams thanks him for accepting the appointment and “for all your dedication to this city, and I look forward to working with you.” Many of our readers will recall that Jesse retired from the Norwood Health Department in February, 2007 after over 10 years’ service as Health Inspector.

City Council must approve the appointment, which begins immediately and ends December 31, 2009. Mayor Williams states in the letter, “By copy of this letter, I am requesting that they approve your appointment.”

Xavier announces free session for women interested in MBA

This Saturday, November 1 at 10:00 a.m. in Xavier University’s Cintas Center Schiff Family Conference Center the Xavier MBA Office, in partnership with the Xavier Women’s MBA Association, is offering a free special information session geared specifically to women interested in obtaining an MBA.

Women executives face a host of unique career and family related issues. During the Xavier session, attendees can learn how to work through these issues as a panel of current female MBA students and female alumni discuss the Xavier MBA program from a woman’s perspective. In addition, information will be available about the admission process and program options, financial aid options, and how Xavier female MBAs acquire tools to break the glass ceiling.

You can RSVP by October 31 by e-mailing: Walk-ups are welcome as well. Registration and refreshments begin at 9:30 a.m. Please call 513-745-3525 with questions.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Unscientific presidential prediction polls are open

We thought it would be fun to see who our readers think will win Ohio and the White House and then compare the results with what happens next week on Election Day. We’re not asking who you’re voting for because you may or may not be voting for the candidate you think will actually win.

Who will win Ohio?
Not sure free polls

Who will win the White House?
Not sure free polls

Female assaults pregnant woman at Fun Factory

The Enquirer is reporting that Bond Hill resident Aisha Crawford, 27, was arrested last night for assaulting a pregnant woman on October 18 at the Fun Factory skating rink on Sherman Avenue. The unnamed victim told Norwood police that Crawford knew she was pregnant when she threw water on her and kicked her in the stomach while she was pinned on a fence. Crawford is being held at the Hamilton County jail until her arraignment this morning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

NHD petition, free yard signs at Norwood Post Office today

Barring torrential rain, residents will be at the Norwood Post Office today from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. today soliciting signatures for the Norwood Health Department petition. Free yellow yard signs that say, “City Council: Keep Our Norwood Health Dept.” will also be available if you’d like to stop by and pick one up.

Channel 19: Norwood residents upset with Xavier students

Last night’s Channel 19 news broadcast did a story about the Norwood residents who are working with Xavier officials to solve the problem behavior of Xavier students living in our community. Norwood resident Cheryl Folley said her neighborhood isn’t quiet when Xavier is in session. “Every Thursday thought Sunday you get the anxiety of OK, it’s 9 o’clock, when are the parties going start…When you wake up on Friday and Saturday, there’s beer cans all over, there’s cups all over, just garbage all over the place, so it’s just that lack of respect,” she said. Cheryl is part of the grassroots movement resident Russell Johnson kicked off at a neighborhood picnic he hosted last Sunday.

Debora Del Valle, director of public relations at Xavier, told Channel 19, “They’ve come up with, from what I understand, a plan of action (see 10/21/08 blog below) to try and work out any problem they might encounter in that situation there.” Xavier student Natasha Salzl was asked what she thought about the residents’ plan, and she replied, "It's hard because we want to go out and have fun and live this college life, and at the same time we're in this neighborhood where they're raising families.”

Channel 5: Norwood Woman Wins $100,000

Channel 5 is reporting that Norwood resident Helen L. Isaac won $100,000 in the October 17 Rolling Cash 5 drawing of the Ohio Lottery. She bought the winning ticket at the Kroger at Hyde Park Plaza. After mandatory federal and state taxes totaling 31%, Ms. Isaac will receive a check for at least $69,000.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Residents' meeting about XU students on Fox news tonight

Russell Johnson just informed us that tonight's 10 p.m. news broadcast on Channel 19 will feature a story about the neighborhood picnic he and his wife hosted this past Sunday. He says Channel 19 learned of the Xavier students' behavior problems from our blog.

McCain/Palin Norwood Street Sign Rally

We just received the following press release issued by the Norwood Republican Club:

October 17, 2008

The Norwood Republican Club invites everyone to join them for a McCain/Palin Street Sign Rally to be held on Monday, October 27th, a week before the November 4 election, at the Hamilton County Satellite Campaign Office at 4210 Montgomery Road in Norwood.

The event kicks off at 5 pm as participants are invited to join the members of the Norwood Republican Club on the sidewalks at the corner of Montgomery and Hopkins as they show their support for the County, State and Presidential candidates.

Participants will be invited into the campaign office afterwards for food, refreshments and presentations by the candidates and their campaigns. The event is free and open to the public. Yard signs for displaying your support will be provided. The event will continue until 8 pm, or until the last supporter leaves!

For more information, email Steve Thornbury at or call him at 373-9653.

Xavier hosting Mark Brown’s anti-bullying lecture

Mark Brown, an internationally-recognized presenter and winner of the World Champion of Public Speaking award, returns to Xavier University as the 2008 speaker in the annual Ann Buenger Catholic Lecture Series. This year’s event will be at Xavier’s Cintas Center on Wednesday, October 30 at 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public (reservations required 513-745-3477). Mark Brown has dedicated his career to spreading inspirational messages to young people all over North America. With his “tell it like it is” approach, Brown challenges some of the most serious problems in our schools today. Brown is an Emmy-nominated dynamic speaker whose unique blend of insight and humor leaves his audiences entertained, uplifted, and inspired.

Brown will also present his acclaimed “no bullying” program to Catholic school students on October 29 and 30 to over 4,000 students at the Cintas Center. For more information, call 745-3477.

These events are sponsored by the Xavier Center for Excellence in Education. The schedule is:

Wed., 10/29, at 10 a.m.: Anti-Bullying program, Cintas Center Arena, 3,000 students
Thursday, 10/30, at 9:45 a.m.: Anti-Bullying program, Cintas Center Banquet Room, 700 students
Thurs., 10/30, at 12:30 p.m.: Anti-Bullying program, Cintas Center Banquet Room, 700 students
Thurs., 10/30, at 4:00 p.m.: “Our Children, Our Future” Cintas Center Banquet Room, 700 teachers, administrators, university students, guests
Reservations: Call 745-3477

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

September 08 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of September = 451

Medic Runs = 265
Fire Runs = 33 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 66 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 33 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 21 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 70 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 7 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 14 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 40 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 1

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Out of Service Hydrants - 11
Hydrants painted - 108

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities - 519
Total Inspections – 115 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 158
Total Violations – corrected 140
Total Block Inspections – 79 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 99

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Action plan developed to address X.U. students' behavior

Yesterday, we received the following email Russell Johnson sent to all the residents who attended the neighborhood picnic he and his wife hosted Sunday afternoon to discuss solutions to the behavior problems of Xavier students living in our community. Several Xavier and Norwood officials also attended. This was no mere gripe session. As you’ll see, the group quickly came up with an impressive action plan they intend to implement over the next 12 months. We applaud these residents for tackling this problem constructively, and we’ll keep our readers informed of their progress.

Thanks again to all who attended our first neighborhood meeting discussing Xavier student off-campus behavior. We had an excellent turn-out with many passionate people, interesting stories, and lots of ideas. My wife and I have consolidated the discussions into a single document that has four sections:

Informational - Information that was gathered from various sources during the meeting. This is information that will be helpful now in working with your Xavier students.

Short-Term Actions - Suggested actions that might be implemented in a short period of time (1-4 weeks). These are things which can be done individually or already have facilities in place to handle.

Medium-Term Actions - Suggested actions that might be implemented in a longer period of time (1-3 months). These actions require some level of effort or require coordination of multiple parties.

Long-Term Actions - Suggested actions that would take a long period of time to implement (3-12 months). These probably involve policy, procedure, or organizational changes and may require multiple agencies.

Each action has been assigned to a group of people we believe would be responsible for the work. If you would like to volunteer for one area of work (short, medium, or long) please e-mail me and I will track the progress of each item and send out updates on a periodic basis. In addition to what we have documented, we are looking for more actionionable ideas that we can add to our list. Please e-mail me with any and all ideas.

Finally, our next meeting has already been scheduled for Sunday, November 16th at 5 pm. Location is tentatively 3904 Regent Ave (unless someone else volunteers to host). We hope to have a similar if not larger turnout to keep the momentum moving forward and keep the pressure on.



Click here to read the action plan

Monday, October 20, 2008

Norwood Health Dept. Flu Shot Clinics

Shots for everyone!

Norwood Health Dept. has scheduled two walk-in Flu Shot Clinics at their 2059 Sherman Avenue location:

1. Thursday, Oct. 23; 8:30 - 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
2. Tuesday, Nov. 4, Election Day: 8:30 - 11:45 a.m. and 1:00- 4:30 p.m.

The shot will also be available on a walk-in basis at Sherman Avenue on the following dates:

1. Friday, Nov. 7 during free monthly Blood Pressure Clinic; 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
2. Monday, Nov. 10, and Monday, Nov. 24, during regular Immunization Clinics; 2:00 - 4:30 p.m.

If you can’t make any of these dates, call NHD at 458-4600 to make other arrangements.

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

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gary Arthur requests NHD update from City officials

Yesterday, Gary Arthur, President Pro Tem of Norwood Health Commission, sent the following email, a public document, to Mayor Williams, Council President Jane Grote, and Councilpersons Keith Moore, Steve Thornbury, Michael Gabbard, and Victor Schneider. Mr. Arthur copied the email to six other individuals, including one of us.

From: Gary Arthur
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 3:55 pm

I understand that you are continuing with your evaluation of the Health Department. It is regrettable that you have still chosen to keep the Health Commission in the dark regarding your progress. It has been over two weeks since you held the committee as a whole meeting, and to date, the Health Commission has not received any information regarding your progress or your intentions. This is unacceptable and unprofessional, since the outcome of your decisions will greatly impact the future of the Health Department.

The Health Department provides a very real and necessary service to the citizens of Norwood at a very reasonable cost. To out source any of the services would increase the cost to our residents and greatly delay any response time to our elderly and shut-ins that are unable to travel to the outpatient facilities. The representatives from the Hamilton County Heath department said they would have to increase their staff to accommodate our needs, which would increase their budget, and ultimately this increase would be charged back to the patients. Outsourcing the services to another facilitator would result in a delay of the response time to those in need of timely attention, as was also outlined by the Hamilton County Health department representatives.

Please provide us a progress update report at the earliest convenience.


Gary Arthur, President Pro Tem
Norwood Health Commission.

Mayor Williams delighted with Rookwood Exchange plan

During Tuesday night’s council meeting, Mayor Tom Williams gave a sneak preview of plans for Rookwood Exchange when he unveiled a preliminary drawing of what could wind up being more than a $200 million project. Tracy Nemenz, marketing director for the developer Rookwood Partners told today’s Enquirer, “It’s very preliminary. We wanted to put something on paper to get a dialogue started…The plans are a way to start to think about what's the best use for that property in 2008." According to the preliminary plans filed with the City, office and retail space, condos, restaurants, a hotel, a two-story underground garage would be included. One building could be as high as 16 stories and two others could be 15 stories.

With the precarious state of the national economy, Rookwood Partners has no firm start date for construction, but Mayor Williams told council Tuesday night that the project might be completed in four years. He told Enquirer reporter Steve Kemme he is delighted with the preliminary plans and that he doesn’t know of anything Rookwood Partners has ever done that wasn’t first class. He added, “I have a feeling this is going to be way above first class.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NHD petition drive at Shea Stadium tomorrow

Residents have been given permission to set up a table tomorrow evening in front of the Shea Stadium gate to collect signatures for the Norwood Health Department petition. The table will be set up promptly at 6:15 p.m. prior to the 7:30 football game when a huge crowd of fans will pour into the stadium to watch the Norwood Indians rout Edgewood. If you'd like to help with the petition drive, just drop by the table and let one of the residents know.

Neighborhood picnic to discuss X.U. students’ behavior

On September 29, we published Russell Johnson’s open letter asking other Norwood residents to contact him if they wanted to find solutions to the behavior problems of Xavier students living in our midst. Russell received enough response to go ahead and organize a neighborhood picnic this coming Sunday to discuss the issue. All concerned residents are invited to attend:

Fellow Norwood Residents -

Thank you for your interest in helping to improve our Norwood neighborhood. I am happy to announce our first meeting to discuss the behavior of Xavier students in our neighborhood and how to improve the situation. The meeting will be held on Sunday, October 19th at 6pm and located at 3904 Regent Ave. Attending this meeting will be:

Dr. Luther Smith, Xavier Dean of Students
Steve Thornbury, Norwood Ward 2 Representative
Angie Kneflin, Assistant Director for Apartments and Off-Campus Living
Concerned Norwood residents

The purpose of the meeting is to allow people to share their experiences, to get information from Xavier and Norwood representatives as to what policies are currently in place and how they apply to our situation, and finally to brainstorm and discuss ideas for how we can make things better. Food will be provided, so we please request that you RSVP at least 24 hours in advance so we can ensure we have enough for everyone. Children are welcome and we have plenty of toys for 2-5 year olds. Any older children may want to bring some toys with them. Thanks again for your interest and we hope to see you on the 19th!

Russ Johnson and Amy Schardein

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Minority Report fails, petition drive continues

During last night’s council meeting, Councilperson Steve Thornbury introduced the Minority Report for the September 25 Committee of the Whole meeting when Hamilton County Public Health officials presented their health services. Both Mr. Thornbury and Councilperson Michael Gabbard signed the report, which essentially asked that Norwood City Council pass a resolution affirming continued funding of the Norwood Health Department as well as recommend that the Norwood Board of Health be encouraged to hire a new Health Commissioner.

Following a lengthy discussion during which Democratic council members Keith Moore, COW Chairperson John Mumper, and Joe Sanker agreed that the process of examining the merits of whether or not to keep the Norwood Health Department intact should proceed, though more quickly, the Minority Report failed to be accepted by a vote of 4 to 3 along party lines. Prior to the vote, Mr. Mumper announced that he would invite members of the Norwood Health Commission to appear at the October COW meeting on November 4, Election Day.

It’s worth noting that Mr. Mumper announced during the September 25 COW meeting that he did not intend to produce a report of the proceedings, and he did not place one on last night’s agenda for a vote. The Open Meetings Act of the Sunshine Laws requires minutes be filed and maintained of all public meetings, defined in an Ohio Sunshine Laws publication as “prearranged gatherings of a majority of the members of a public body to discuss or conduct public business.” We just spoke with a representative in the Ohio Attorney General’s office who confirmed that the September 25 COW meeting when 6 of 7 council members were present met the criteria for the definition of a public meeting and therefore require minutes of the proceedings. The representative emphasized that minutes are required of all prearranged meetings when a majority of council members are present to discuss/conduct public business.

Later in last night's meeting during New Business, Councilperson Michael Gabbard introduced the petition residents have been circulating for the last two weeks. The petition asks council to continue funding Norwood Health Department and to encourage the Norwood Board of Health to start the process of hiring a new Health Commissioner. Mr. Gabbard announced that he was submitting more than 1,300 signatures to council on behalf of the residents and that he will present more signatures at future council meetings as the petition drive continues.

Tonight's Recreation Commission meeting canceled

Recreation Director Jenny Wallace tells us the Recreation Commission has canceled tonight's regular monthly meeting. It is rescheduled for next Wednesday, October 22, at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center, 1810 Carter Avenue.

Norwood’s Tom Brown running for Ohio District 33 seat

Norwood resident Tom Brown is running against incumbent State Representative Tyrone Yates in Ohio District 33, which includes Norwood. Mr. Brown has this campaign website with his biography and his positions on school funding, gambling in Ohio, and eminent domain. You can also visit this Smart Voter website where Mr. Brown has answered four questions posed by the League of Women Voters and posted 3 position papers. Mr. Yates has not yet supplied responses to the 4 questions.

September, 2008 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Below is the summary information from the Earnings Tax Department’s September Report.

Individual………….$ 42,698.66
Business……….…...$ 455,610.82
Withholding…….…$ 934,777.24

Collections thru Sept. 2008.….……….....….......$12,106.724.60
Collections thru Sept. 2007.….……..…..............$12,072,330.43
.285% increase in collections over 2007.……….$ 34,394.17

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

“Blessing of the Animals” open to all Norwood pets

Pastor Chris White of Norwood Presbyterian Church extends an open invitation to all Norwood residents and their beloved pets to this Saturday’s “Blessing of the Animals” in the front yard of the church. Rain or shine, the special blessing will start at 2:00 p.m. - just make your pets are on leashes, in cages, or otherwise under control.

When: Saturday, October 18, at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Norwood Presbyterian Church, 4400 Floral Avenue @ corner of Washington Ave.
More information: 531-1546

West Norwood neighbors share, barter, borrow to save $$$

Channel 5 reports that our neighbors in West Norwood exemplify a growing trend in a worsening economy: families are borrowing, sharing, and bartering for anything they need, all in the hope of saving some cash. About 75 to 100 Westsiders have opened their hearts and homes to help one another, and this includes sharing produce from a donated community garden, child care, lawnmowers, and home cooked meals when money is short at the end of the month. Residents Jeremiah Griswold and Tracy Rains are among the participants and are featured in the Channel 5 video. Tracy Rains says, “"It's a way to share life with your neighbors and get to know each other and go deeper than just the surface hello."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guest blog: The Question of the Norwood Health Dept.

By Steve Thornbury
Norwood City Council, Ward 2
October 12, 2008

Part 1.
The chronology of events, from my perspective, relating to the current question regarding the Norwood Health Department:

In May of this year, Health Commissioner Donna Laake submitted her resignation to the Mayor of Norwood and the Norwood Board of Health. In response, the Norwood Board of Health immediately began conducting a search for a replacement.

On July 17, Norwood Safety/Service Director Joseph Geers sent a letter to Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) asking for an estimate of what HCPH would charge to provide certain services currently being provided by our own Norwood Health Department. At the time, neither Norwood City Council nor the Norwood Board of Health was either consulted or informed of this request for an estimate.

On July 30, the HCPH director Timothy Ingram sent a letter in response with an initial estimate.

On August 13, the Safety/Service Director sent a letter to Norwood City Council to advise Council that “I have been in discussion with the Hamilton County Health District regarding their services.” This is the first time Council has been made aware of the Administration’s interest in contracting with HCPH.

On August 18th an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer stated that “the Norwood Health Commission has suspended its search for a replacement for Laake.... There's been no decision about whether an interim health commissioner will be appointed.” Upon reading this I sent an email to Gary Arthur, President pro-tem of the Norwood Board of Health asking for confirmation of the report that the search for a new Health Commissioner had indeed been suspended. To that point, Council had not been informed of such a move. That same day Mr. Arthur responded via email:

“The search for the new Health Commissioner HAS NOT been suspended, unless it was done without my knowledge. My suggestion to the Health Commission when I left for vacation was to move forward as planned. I asked Mayor Williams to schedule the next round of interviews at his earliest convenience so we could have a candidate to present to council by the end of August. I was contacted by the Enquirer and played phone tag and never had the opportunity to give them any information regarding either the search or outsourcing any of the services we provide for our citizens. The Health Commission is NOT considering any option other than to continue the Health Department with a new Commissioner. We believe it would not be in the best interest of Norwood to contract any services with Hamilton County, Cincinnati or any other Health Department. My understanding is Norwood City Council is reviewing these options.

I would suggest that we move forward with the selection process. If Dr. Perrino is in agreement, I believe we can work with him as an interim director until we can agree on a new Commissioner. I am sure that if we all work together in a timely manner, we can bring this to an agreeable conclusion.”

Despite Mr. Arthur’s statement “Norwood City Council is reviewing these options,” there had been no action on Council to that point in response to the letter from the Safety/Service Director.

read on

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yard signs: “Keep our Norwood Health Dept.!”

Some of the people soliciting signatures for the NHD petition are reporting that residents are very eager to sign it. Several say they have collected in excess of 100 signatures each, and one is up to 300. Now there are yellow signs popping up in yards throughout the city that say, “City Council: Keep our Norwood Health Dept.!” They are already placed in South Norwood on Monroe, Williams, Floral, Ashland, Regent, etc., as well as several on Indian Mound. We understand there’s such high demand for the signs that more may be ordered.

HCPH: Norwood taxpayers don’t pay twice

Last week, we contacted Hamilton County Public Health to get an answer to this excellent question Councilperson Keith Moore posed in his 8/8/08 guest blog:

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...?"

In the following reply to our question, Health Commissioner Tim Ingram states that, except for one very small fraction of a levy, no portion of Norwood property taxes funds Hamilton County Public Health:

October 7, 2008

Thank you for contacting the Health District and giving me the opportunity to explain the funding of Hamilton County Pubic Health. The portion of your property taxes that supports Hamilton County Public Health’s operations is the Health and Hospitalization levy. Three percent of that levy revenue is budgeted for Tuberculosis Control which serves Hamilton County residents by reducing and preventing the spread of Tuberculosis.

On May 1, 2008, the Tuberculosis Control Office was acquired by Hamilton County Public Health from Hamilton County Job and Family Services. No other Norwood property tax is allocated for Health District operations.

If you have any other questions, please contact me at 513-946-7822.


Timothy I. Ingram
Health Commissioner
Hamilton County Public Health

One of us looked at a recent property tax bill and calculated approximately what will be paid to HCPH for Tuberculosis Control in 2009: $2.00 total, which is 3% of the $67.60 annual cost of the Health and Hospitalization levy. We hope this clears up any concern our readers may have had that Norwood property taxes fund both Hamilton County Public Health and Norwood Health Department, i.e. duplication of services.

We also made a call to Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper’s office to find out if HCPH is in the Hamilton County budget. Mr. Pepper’s assistant told us that it is not and that the Hamilton County Commissioners have absolutely no involvement with HCPH's budget.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Xavier and NCS sign partnership agreement

We just received the following announcement from Xavier University’s Public Affairs office:

Xavier University and Norwood City Schools have established a professional development partnership will provide educational opportunities, support, and services to Xavier and Norwood faculty, staff, students, and the community as a whole.

The Norwood-XU Professional Development Partnership agreement was signed during a Norwood Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, October 8. The meeting was held in Xavier’s Conaton Board Room. Xavier and Norwood faculty, staff and administration were in attendance at the signing.

Xavier Provost and Academic Vice President Roger Fortin and Norwood City School Superintendent Steve Collier signed for their respective schools.

Under the agreement there will opportunities for Xavier students to student teach in Norwood schools and for professional development activities for Norwood students, teachers, educational personnel and administrators.

Academic departments across the Xavier campus will be involved such as Criminal Justice, Childhood Education, Social Work, Nursing and others.

“This is the establishment of a partnership, a two-way street for both Norwood and Xavier,” says Dr. Mark Meyers, Dean College Social Science, Health, and Education. “Norwood students and staff should benefit from the proximity of the University to their schools and this benefit should come in both academic and extracurricular activities.”

Xavier Student Life and Leadership will partner with Norwood students leaders on a variety of leadership development activities. There will also be a focus on service opportunities for both Xavier and Norwood students and staff.

Just in: video of Donna Laake’s surprise candidacy

One of our readers sent us a link to a TV station’s coverage of an astonishing, last minute grassroots movement to elect former Norwood Health Commissioner Donna Laake to the highest office in the land. Seeing is believing, right? Click here to view the clip.

Rev. Tim Brooks: what’s happening at Norwood Naz

Yesterday, Rev. Tim Brooks of Norwood Church of the Nazarene sent us a guest blog to let our readers know about two great events: Church of the Nazarene’s recent 100th anniversary and the closing of the church this Sunday. Not to worry, they’re just closing for the day to put, as he says, “our money where our mouth is” for the benefit of the people of Norwood. We appreciate Rev. Brooks, his congregation, and all our local churches for everything they do for our community.

Last weekend we celebrated the 100th anniversary of our denomination (Church of the Nazarene). We gave away what is called Heritage Awards to four Norwood residents (Tom and Marcy Hamm, Marianne Steinmetz, and Yuelta Kingery) as well as two long time residents (Dick and Helen Van Vuren). There were only 1000 of these given out in the world recognizing outstanding service through the church. Our community is lucky to have these people count themselves as members.

This Sunday (Oct. 12) we are turning off our instruments, muzzling the pastor (me), closing the sanctuary doors, and not printing bulletins. Why? We are having our first "Don't Go to Church, Be the Church!" Sunday. Our goal is to be the church to the community! We will be cleaning up local parks, writing letters of love to the kids who come to our annual Back To School Bash, and participating in the Breast Cancer walk downtown. We are spending one of our 52 precious few Sunday mornings putting "our money where our mouth is." We preach service, this week we will embody it. Our church is serious about its connection to the people of Norwood. We do not exist in Norwood, we exist for Norwood.

Rev. Timothy J. Brooks
Norwood Church of the Nazarene
4424 Floral Ave.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Medpace moving to Madisonville if…

The Enquirer is reporting that yesterday afternoon Medpace said it has agreed to relocate to the former NuTone, Inc. site in Madisonville, pending Cincinnati City Council’s approval today of a tax incentive package. The package would include an eight-year $7.5 million job creation tax credit on corporate income and employee income taxes. By 2014, Medpace expects to add 700 new employees to the 600 it currently employs in Norwood. Cincinnati’s total benefit would be about $41.7 million.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

UPDATE: Norwood Health Dept. petition

Anyone who would like to sign the Norwood Health Department petition after work this Thursday can drop by the Norwood Post Office at 4515 Allison Street. Several Norwood residents will be standing outside the front door between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. unless there's a torrential rain. The petition asks City Council to keep funding NHD.

There are now over 30 residents circulating the petition, plus two local beauty shops and a restaurant have them available for their patrons to sign. We don’t have a total number of signatures to report to date, but one resident has gathered 250 signatures and another 100 over the past week.

Animal expert Jack Hanna at Joseph-Beth tomorrow

Animal expert and author Jack Hanna will discuss and sign his latest book Passport Into the Wild at Joseph-Beth Booksellers tomorrow. The book is the newest addition to his children's series. Mr. Hanna graduated from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. He managed a small zoo in Sanford, Florida for several years before being named director of the Columbus Zoo in 1978. In 1992, he became Director Emeritus at the Zoo in order keep up with his many media appearances. In 1993, he began hosting his own nationally syndicated TV show Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, which enjoyed a ten-year run. Today, he hosts another TV series, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild.

Wednesday, Oct. 8; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Road at Rookwood Pavilion
Cost: Free

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tomorrow's COW meeting canceled

Per the Clerk Council's office, tomorrow night's regular monthly meeting of the Committee of the Whole has been canceled.

Norwood couple arrested for allegedly beating teen

WCPO Channel 9 reports that Norwood Police arrested John Hamilton and his girlfriend Deborah Cromer this past Friday after they allegedly used a switch and a belt to hit a teenage girl. The incident happened on Weyer Avenue where Hamilton allegedly used a thin tree branch to hit the girl’s upper thigh four or five times. Police say Deborah Cromer hit the girl with Hamilton’s belt six times and also hit her in the mouth with an open hand and scratched her arms. The teen was taken to Children’s Hospital for documentation of her injuries.

Hamilton is charged with felony domestic violence, and Cromer is charged with misdemeanor assault. Both have pled not guilty, and the court granted a temporary restraining order, meaning Hamilton must stay away from the teen.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Reward for missing dog

A Norwood resident is distributing flyers offering a reward for a missing female tea cup yorkie that answers to the name Little Bit. If you spot her, please call 646-2975 or 307-1132. The flyer promises, "No questions asked."

ADDENDUM: Little Bit is missing from a home on Quatman.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chipotle fundraiser for NHS a big success!

Casey Brown sent us an email with some great news to share with our readers:

Tom and I happened to be there last night partaking of the great deal after the event ended at 8, as we were still eating. There was quite a crowd, but the line moved fast. Anyway, they said they made almost $3000 from the fundraiser last night! There was a good broad representation of people there, from students to their families, from young people to old people like Tom and me!

Another petition - this one for the Norwood Health Dept.

First there was the successful Burwood Pool parents’ petition (approx. 850 signatures) this past spring to save the Burwood pool. Then there was the petition to save Allison Elementary (approx. 650 signatures) that was presented to the Board of Education at their September meeting. Now, there’s a third one, a petition asking Norwood City Council to keep funding the Norwood Health Department. With upwards of 30 people reported to be out gathering signatures, it appears Norwood residents have discovered the power of petitioning our local governing bodies.

If anyone is interested in signing the petition tomorrow, Saturday, a resident got permission from the manager of the Norwood Post Office at 4515 Allison Street to stand outside the front door to solicit signatures between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. We’ll keep our readers informed of any other designated locations/times the petition is available to sign.

Blog about X.U. students' behavior featured on Cinplify

Our Monday blog (see 9/29/08 blog below) with Norwood resident Russell Johnson’s open letter about Xavier students’ bad behavior appears on the website Cinplify. So far, five of Cinplify’s readers have voted for it, and one of them left this comment:

“Xavier’s off campus policy states that students living off campus should ‘integrate into the community and be good neighbors’. If you don’t feel the Xavier students living near you are living up to this expectation it is time to take action.”

If you’re not familiar with Cinplify, this statement on their website will fill you in:

Cinplify is a user generated social bookmarking site for news throughout the Cincinnati metropolitan area. On Cinplify, users can submit links to articles that they find worthy of sharing with the community. Their links are accessible to the public and can be bookmarked under the users profile for future reading. The submitted content can also be organized by categories, tags and users.

Norwood woman dies after crash, driver charged

Norwood resident Tina M. Hayes, 37, died after the SUV in which she was a passenger crashed in Colerain Township. A Hamilton County deputy spotted the driver of the vehicle, William A. Campbell, driving recklessly Wednesday night, and after he failed to stop at an intersection, the deputy turned on his emergency lights. Instead of stopping, Campbell sped up, and seconds later the SUV hit a pine tree. He has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. Both Campbell and Tina Hayes were scheduled to appear for trial on Oct. 21 on charges of felonious assault that resulted from an alcohol-related bar fight in St. Bernard this past March.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just in: Norwood wins the Gold!

Following is a press release from Ohio Department of Health’s Office of Public Affairs announcing the 21 Ohio communities that will be receiving Healthy Ohio-Healthy Community Awards on October 16. Norwood is the only Hamilton County community named and will be receiving a Gold Award, the highest possible. We just spoke with someone in the Public Affairs office who explained that the outstanding services and programs provided by Norwood Health Department helped get the award but that features such as our parks, sidewalks, and other attributes and services were also taken into account.

Congratulations to Norwood!

For immediate release – Oct. 2, 2008


Twenty-one communities receive Healthy Ohio-Healthy Community Awards

COLUMBUS – Fifteen cities, three villages, two counties and one neighborhood will be honored for promoting good health for their residents.

The Office of Healthy Ohio will present Healthy Ohio-Healthy Community awards to the 21 communities at the Ohio Society for Public Health Education Health Educator’s Institute annual meeting, slated for Oct. 16 at Mohican Resort and Conference Center in Loudonville.

“These communities do what it takes to create healthy environments for their residents,” said Ohio Department of Health Director (ODH) Alvin D. Jackson, M.D. “If others emulate their actions, Ohio can truly become the state of living well.”

Healthy Ohio-Healthy Community awards recognize communities’ outstanding achievements in implementing health-related policies and providing healthy community environments. The award recognizes communities’ efforts in encouraging and enabling employees, residents and visitors to make healthy choices including participating in physical activity, eating good, nutritious foods and avoiding tobacco.

Housed at ODH, the Office of Healthy Ohio is part of Gov. Ted Strickland’s Turnaround Ohio initiative and consists of three core areas: health promotion, disease prevention and health equity.

Healthy Ohio-Healthy Community award winners are:

Gold: Village of Aberdeen (Brown County); Allen County; City of Athens (Athens); City of Bucyrus (Crawford); City of Defiance (Defiance); City of Columbus (Franklin); Village of Fayette (Fulton); City of Findlay (Hancock); City of Napoleon (Henry); City of Norwood (Hamilton); City of Orrville (Wayne); Ross County; City of Warren (Trumbull); City of Westerville (Franklin).

Silver: City of Brunswick (Medina County); City of Bryan (Williams); City of Kettering (Montgomery); City of Lancaster (Fairfield).

Bronze: Village of Deshler (Henry County); City of Heath (Licking); Joy Park Neighborhood – City of Akron (Summit).

Enquirer: Norwood’s Medpace nears decision on new HQ

Today’s Enquirer reports that Medpace, Inc. expects to decide in the next few months whether to relocate its Norwood corporate headquarters to Greater Cincinnati or to Northern Kentucky. The move will create nearly 800 new jobs.

Kay Nolen, general counsel for Medpace, confirmed the company is looking at the former NuTone site in Madisonville, although a number of other properties are still under review. This week, the State of Ohio awarded the company a 75 percent tax credit for 10 years, valued at $15 million, for the proposed expansion. Ms. Nolan said Kentucky has also offered the company an incentives package but declined to reveal specifics.

If there’s any good news for Norwood regarding the Medpace move, its that the company’s nearly 500 employees won’t be leaving right away. According to Ms. Nolan, Medpace will continue to occupy its four locations here until all the leases expire. The largest location is about 135,000 square feet on Wesley Avenue, and that lease doesn’t expire until 2013.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Four nationally known political strategists coming to Xavier

Xavier University is hosting a panel presentation with four nationally known political experts discussing the historic nature of this year’s presidential campaign on Monday, October 20, 2008, from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Schiff Conference Center of Xavier’s Cintas Center. Panel members include Donna Brazile (D), Joe Trippi (D), Michael Murphy (R) and John Kasich (R). The discussion will be moderated by Roger Fortin, Academic Vice President and Provost of Xavier University.

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve a spot, please send an e-mail to To learn more about the panelists and the event, visit the event’s website here.

Donna Brazile (D)
, chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, is also a senior political strategist and former campaign manager for Gore-Lieberman 2000—the first African American to lead a major presidential campaign.

John Kasich (R) spent a combined 18 years in the Ohio State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Today he serves as an investment banker on Wall Street and hosts "Heartland with John Kasich" on the Fox News Channel and occasionally subs on the "The O’Reilly Factor."

Michael Murphy (R) has handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns, including those of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney. He served as senior strategist for Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign and was senior strategist for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election as Governor of California.

The New Republic heralds Joe Trippi (D) as the man who “reinvented campaigning.” In 2004, as the national campaign manager for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, Trippi pioneered the use of online technology to organize what became the largest grassroots movement in presidential politics.

Don’t forget big NHS fundraiser tomorrow at Chipotle

Laura Hobbs sent us a flyer with all the details about tomorrow’s fundraiser at the new Chipotle:

Whole Lotta Love.

Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser party.

Thursday, October 2nd
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
In Surrey Square Mall

100% of your $5.00 donation will benefit
Norwood High School Student Activities Fund
as well as getting you a

Chipotle at Montgomery and Monroe

The Rev. Chris White: keep NHD staffed and funded

The following letter, written by Chris White, Pastor of Norwood Presbyterian Church, was distributed to City officials at last Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

September 25, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been my pleasure to serve as Pastor of the Norwood Presbyterian Church for the last five years. Unfortunately, during that time, I have seen and heard from many people who have urgently needed help in obtaining basic health needs: flu shots, car seats, home safety assessments, general health care information, etc. Fortunately, Norwood has had an excellent local resource for such much-needed services: the Norwood Health Department. What a relief it has been for me to be able to refer folks to the Norwood Health Department, knowing they would get the attention and care they so desperately needed.

As a Norwood homeowner, I am very proud of Norwood and the many services it provides for its residents. The Norwood Council is to be commended for ensuring that such services are available. Much has been said about the excellent “response time” our police and fire departments provide. The Norwood Health Department has just as impressive of a record in responding in a timely manner with highly skilled care to the many needs of our community. However, it appears that the services provided by the Norwood Health Department might not have been given the level of recognition and appreciation it deserves. In the five years I have lived and worked in Norwood, I have had to call on the Norwood Health Department for emergency care many more times than I have for service from any other organization.

To borrow a phrase from our real estate friends: location, location, location. Most of the folks I have referred to the Norwood Health Department would not have been able to get help if the facility was located outside of Norwood. They would not have been physically, mentally, nor emotionally able to travel outside Norwood to seek help. In addition, several church members and friends, who have been unable to leave their home due to health reasons, have been blessed to receive regular visits from the Norwood Health Department staff. I am deeply concerned that such services would not be readily available if the Norwood Health Department became absorbed into a county-level organization.

I understand, only too well, that monetary funds are a limited resource and that distribution within a budget must be done very carefully. I pray that the Norwood Council will agree that for Norwood to continue to be the safe and healthy city it is, we must keep the Norwood Health Department within our city limits, fully staffed, and adequately funded. Thank you for your attention to my concerns.


The Rev. Chris White