Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

COW meetings scheduled for tonight and April 7

Per the Clerk of Council’s office, the Committee of the Whole is meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss one agenda item: Waiver of Residency for Health Commissioner candidate. The meeting will air live on local cable Channel 4.

On Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m., COW will meet in Council Chambers to discuss 1.) Zoning Updates and 2.) Review of Garbage Ordinances.

Ch. 5: Ted’s Pawn Shop thriving in hard times

It’s a sad sign of the times. Yesterday, WLWT TV' s Ch. 5 highlighted Ted’s Pawn Shop on Forest Ave. in a report about how business is booming at area pawn shops because of the tough economy. The credit crunch and layoffs are driving first time customers from the middle and upper classes to pawn big=ticket items at Ted’s like collectible Gibson guitars, Rolex and Briteling watches, and even a 12 carat diamond ring with a $9,000 price tag. Small business owners are showing up to pawn items in order to meet payrolls. At substantial discount’s, Ted’s is selling big screen plasma TV’s and other luxury items pawned by people who can no longer afford the payments.

Another sign of the times: buyers don’t have to go Ted’s Pawn Shop to make purchases. Ted’s website directs visitors to view items for sale on eBay. Who knew?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Help us help your we “Strike Against Cancer”

Recently, we were asked to publish the following letter regarding an April 19th benefit at Stones Lanes to raise money for medical expenses for one our Norwood neighbors:

Lewis Neal, a resident of Norwood, Ohio, was diagnosed in September 2008 with Stage IV lung cancer, which had already spread to his chest, lymph nodes, spine and brain at the time of diagnosis. Due to complications from chemotherapy and extensive radiation treatments and hospitalization, he has been unable to work since October.

The family's drastically reduced income and rising medical expenses have left them financially devastated.

In an effort to ease the financial burden on the family, co-workers of his daughter Taylor Neal are inviting you to join them for an afternoon of fun fundraising. We will have bowling, food, raffles, split the pot, and lots of other activities and fun.

Date: Sunday, April 19th
Time: 3:30pm - 6:00pm
Where: Stones Lanes at 3746 Montgomery Rd.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE – Come join the fun! $10 for unlimited bowling includes shoes, so be sure to come and show your support for this family.

Thanks for your support!

Holly Banner
Assistant, Exec & Offsite MBA Programs

Cheryl Wilson
Administrator, Back to Business Program

Friday, March 27, 2009

Burwood Parents gearing up for 2009 season

The Burwood Parents recently updated their website with some announcements about what they’re planning for the 2009 summer season. After the successful yard sale they staged last year to raise money for what wound up being their 1st place Norwood Day Parade float, the parents are planning two fundraising events this year, one to fund another float and one to fund their end-of-the-season cookout and party.

The parents recently submitted this “wish list” to the Norwood Recreation Commission for improvements they hope can be made this year. One improvement already made since last season is a new roof on the craft building. If the Rec. Commission can secure grant money, they may be able to also enlarge the shelter, picnic areas and replace some of the playground equipment.

And here are two upcoming community-wide upcoming events the Burwood website is promoting:

1. Every child in Norwood is invited to Norwood Recreation’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4, at Waterworks Park on Harris Ave. Everything is free, including pictures with the Easter Bunny starting at 9:30 a.m.. The hunt begins at 10:00 a.m. For more information, call 531-9798.

2. Everybody is invited to volunteer for the annual Great American Park Clean-up on Saturday, April 25 at 9:00 a.m. Call Norwood Recreation at 531-9798 and let them know which park you would like to clean up. Also, you’ll need to stop by the Rec. office in the Community Center at 1810 Courtland Ave. Monday-Friday before April 25 to sign a release and pick up free materials like garbage bags. Free lunch will be provided that day to all volunteers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Did the mayor’s letter to Shop Local work?

It’s been over two weeks since we reported that Mayor Williams sent a letter to Shop Local telling them to put their ad bags on our porches instead of littering them on our sidewalks. Since then, we haven’t seen any ad bags delivered, and Bill Graff told us in a recent email he hasn’t, either. In fact, he said he wondered if “maybe the delivery people were fired after the mayor’s letter.” Is the problem fixed on your street?

Also, Relayman wrote to remind us that, according to Norwood’s Waste Management Guidelines, Rumpke will start picking up our yard waste at the curb for composting from April 1 through Nov. 30. Yard waste must be placed in brown paper bags at the curb on your garbage pick up day. Free bags are available to Norwood residents at the Norwood Health Dept. at 2059 Sherman Ave., phone # 458-4600. Just bring proof of residency.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Residency waiver for Health Commissioner referred to COW

Last night, City Council voted unanimously to approve the Norwood Health Board’s salary request for the Health Commissioner candidate and to place the issue of the residency waiver into the Committee of the Whole for further discussion (see Dr. Frank Perrino’s letter posted 3/23 below). The general consensus among council members seemed to be that waiving the residency requirement immediately without first considering other options like a temporary waiver for up to 2 years could pose problems in terms of requiring all future City department head hires to reside in Norwood.

COW Chairperson John Mumper called a meeting for 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 28, to discuss the issue. It was felt that if a majority of COW members sign a report recommending some version of a residency waiver, that would be a strong signal to the Health Commissioner candidate how council would likely vote when they take the matter up at their next meeting.

Xavier hosting Aaron Feuerstein on March 30

As part of its annual Heroes of Professional Ethics Series, Xavier University is hosting Aaron Feuerstein next Monday, March 30 in a free public lecture at the Cintas Center from 6:30-8:00. He appeared on 60 Minutes and was mentioned in a State of the Union address by President Clinton when his company, Malden Mills, burned to the ground in 1995. Feuerstein was the third generation owner of Malden Mills, which developed Polartec fleece. When other mills fled the U.S. for foreign soil, Feuerstein maintained his presence in Lawrence, MA. Even after the fire, instead of cashing a $200 million insurance check (from AIG, no less) for himself, he rebuilt there, and paid his 3,000 employees their entire salaries, during the rebuilding process.

But there’s more. He did not patent Polartec Fleece and his company went into bankruptcy. It came out of bankruptcy several years ago, but Feuerstein was no longer its owner. He is still battling to get the company back. This is one of the few positive and interesting business ethics stories about a very unique and spiritual man.

Aaron Feuerstein embodies the best of corporate leaders who are willing to risk their own finances for the benefit of other stakeholders," said Professor Paul Fiorelli, Director of the Cintas Institute for Business Ethics at Xavier University.

"I have a responsibility to the worker," Mr. Feuerstein told Parade Magazine in September 1996. "I have an equal responsibility to the community. It would have been unconscionable to put 3000 people on the streets and deliver a deathblow to the cities of Lawrence and Methuen. Maybe on paper our company is worthless to Wall Street, but I can tell you it's worth more."

Click here for a YouTube video about Aaron Feuerstein.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Youth art exhibit opens tomorrow

The St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation’s juried art show “The Way I See It” opens tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at 1757 Mills Ave. Students in grades 9-12 were invited to submit their own original work. A selected group of artwork was then chosen from the submissions. The foundation’s jury has reviewed them all and awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for two groups: 9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade. “The Way I See It” will run through April 10.

February 09 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of February = 310

Medic Runs = 233
Fire Runs = 1 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 5 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 1 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 17 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 14 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 5 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 8 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 17 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 7
Motor Vehicles - 6

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Winter Maintenance - 490
Extra Hydrants (leakers checked) - 105
Out of Service - 11

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities - 386
Total Inspections – 27 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 162
Total Violations – corrected 133
Total Block Inspections – 0 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 64

Monday, March 23, 2009

At long last, City’s Codified Ordinances are online!

City Auditor Jim Stith’s website now contains a link to the online Codified Ordinances for the City of Norwood. Now anyone can search and view the City's codified ordinances. Go to and look under the "Our City" tab for the link. We’ve also added Norwood Codified Ordinances to our links on the right.

County approves $125,000 for Sherman Ave. improvement

The Enquirer is reporting that Norwood’s Sherman Ave. improvement project is one of 11 Hamilton County road and bridge projects that will receive funding from the $2 million 2009 Municipal Road Fund.

Pay approval, residency waiver sought for new Health Commissioner

Following is a letter from the Norwood Health Department's Interim Health Commissioner Frank Perrino, M.D. that appears on the agenda for tomorrow’s City Council meeting. Even though the letter is a public document, we have redacted the starting pay the Norwood Health Board proposes for Ms. Walker-Bauer.

March 20, 2009

Dear Jane and members of City Council:

At their regular meeting on March 9, 2009, the Norwood Board of Health again interviewed three candidates for the position of Health Commissioner. Each of the three candidates had their own strengths, but ultimately the board decided to offer the position to Pamela Walker-Bauer. As you can see from the attached resume, Ms. Walker-Bauer is a registered sanitarian and has a Maters in Public Health as well as a Masters of Business Administration. She also has experience in epidemiology and led the Butler County team of public health preparedness staff for 5 years. We believe that Ms. Walker-Bauer will make an excellent addition to our Norwood Health Department staff.

Because of her education and experience, we are requesting that Norwood City Council approve a starting pay rate of (redacted) per year, less than $4,000 above the starting pay scale for a health commissioner with a degree. Because Ms. Walker-Bauer has children who are enrolled in Fairfield Schools and because of the ongoing housing slump, we are also requesting that Norwood City Council waive the residency requirement for this position per Section 159.04(f) of the Norwood Codified Ordinances which states: “Any position of employment which because of special expertise cannot be filled by a Norwood resident, or a person moving to Norwood, maybe filled by a non-resident only upon application to Council by the requesting department head and such appointment is predicated upon Council’s express authorization.”

Members of the Norwood Board of Health will be on hand at the March 24th meeting to answer any questions you may have about Pamela Walker-Bauer and our requests for salary and residency waiver. Thank you in advance for your positive consideration of these matters.


Frank D. Perrino, MD
Interim Health Commissioner

Click here for highlights from Pamela Walker-Bauer’s resume.

Xavier fans: travel packages available for “Sweet 16”

Yesterday afternoon, we received the following press release from Xavier's Public Relations Office:

Having earned a trip to the 2009 NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16,” the Musketeers will play Thursday, March 26, at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Mass. Xavier fans looking for travel packages can go through Champion Sports Tours. Champion Sports Tours will offer a complete travel package that includes round-trip air, hotel, game tickets and ground transfers. In addition, Champion will also offer a land-only package.

Please visit for more information or call 1-877-766-9568 for all your travel needs. Phone lines will be open from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. tonight (Sunday, March 22). The chartered flight will be leaving Thursday morning, March 26, and will return Saturday, March 28. Space is limited.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Urology Group may build on former American Laundry site

Both the Enquirer and the Business Courier are reporting that The Urology Group in Norwood’s Central Parke complex may build a new $15 million headquarters on 4 acres of land on the old American Laundry site the group purchased last month. Plans to build are tentative because of the economy. Dr. Gary Kirsh, president of the 35-doctor Urology Group said they "will decide by the end of the year whether to build a state-of-the-art center to house administrative offices, surgical facilities, pathology labs, radiology and radiation/oncology services.”

(h/t to Laura)

Just in: Norwood Auditor Jim Stith’s new website

We just received the following announcement about Norwood Auditor Jim Stith’s terrific new website. As you’ll see, he constructed the site at no cost to the City. As we did with Mayor Williams’ new website, we’ve added Norwood Auditor Jim Stith to our links on the right. Welcome aboard, Mr. Stith!

Jim Stith, Auditor of the City of Norwood has designed and launched a new website for the Auditor's office. The site introduces the Auditor's staff, discusses issues within the Auditor' office, and supplies information on the City of Norwood and it's finances. There are areas to provide feedback, view fees for licenses and permits, and obtain contact information for City departments.

For anyone who has seen the Auditor at Council meetings referring to the monthly Council reports and displaying charts and graphs, these are made available for download. From the "Auditor Reports" page you can download monthly Auditor reports, annual financial reports, State of Ohio Audits, financial forecasts and even the Fiscal Watch Analysis.. City employees and department heads can download forms used by their departments.

The Auditor's office is looking for feedback on the site and would love to hear any ideas for it's improvement. It should be noted that the site was designed and constructed by the Auditor himself on his own time using free software downloaded from the internet at no cost to the City. The monthly hosting cost of $25 will be waived for the first 3 months while the site is being tested.

Please take the time to check out the site

WCPO's Cyndee O'Quinn to speak at Republican Club

WCPO Channel 9 meteorologist Cyndee O’Quinn will be the guest speaker at the Norwood Republican Club’s March meeting this coming Monday, March 23, at the Community Center, 1810 Courtland Ave. Casey Brown, president of the group says, “Everyone is invited to come. Cyndee will be telling us about weather forecasting and preparedness as we head in to tornado season. She will speak at 7:30 p.m., and the club meeting will follow.” Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Weather & Meteorology from
WCPO’s Cyndee O’Quinn

Her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama was hit by a F-4 tornado in November of 1989, killing 22 people and touching down a mile and a half from her high school. Many of her friends and teachers were affected by the tornado. Cyndee decided then that she wanted to be meteorologist and help save lives during severe weather by providing early warnings. Cyndee is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and currently holds her NWA Seal.

Allison to close, reopen in 2010 as Intergenerational School

Yesterday, The NCS Board of Education voted 3-2 to close Allison Elementary this coming school under a restructuring plan that save the school district approximately $315,156 by cutting 5.4 teaching positions as well as a custodian and a health aide. Allison’s 240 K-6 students will attend either Sharpsburg or Williams elementaries. Allison will then reopen in 2010 as an Intergenerational School for K-2 students in conjunction with Xavier University.

Board members Scott Faulkner and Sarah Horsley voted against the restructuring measure. Ms. Horsely objected on the grounds she “personally does not feel that the cost savings are significant enough to warrant closing a school in this short time period.” Mr. Faulkner questioned why busing Allison students wasn’t on the agenda, and said the cost of $71,000 for one bus route, “to me, is worth it if kids get safely from one school to another…I can’t seeing us griping over $71,200 a bus and making these kids walk across a state route and across busy intersections.” Board President Carolyn Atwood disagreed and said, Board President Carolyn Atwood “It is a cost savings if we don’t do it, but that’s not the only reason why I’m saying that we can’t do it. If we do it for one, we have to do it for all.”

After Norwood resident Jen Seurkamp told the BOE she didn’t think they did enough research on alternatives and were rushing the decision, member Cherie Scott-Geraci responded, “We feel like we have dug deep and tried to pull in every single thing that we can do to save this district from financial ruin … We’ve already received letters from the state that say if we do not propose how we’re going to solve our financial problems, they’ll come in and they’ll decide it for us.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Invitation to Cornerstone Christian Academy's Variety Show

Cornerstone Christian Academy

Variety Show and Open House

Thursday March 26, 2009
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cornerstone Christian Variety Show

Join us for an evening of entertainment as you
meet the students, staff and parents of CCA!

Student work will be on display. Displays will include projects made by the students in the area of Science, Art, Social Studies, Computer Skills, and English.
Stations will also be available with information on enrollment and scholarships for the school!
4255 Ashland Ave.
Norwood, Ohio
In the Gym off Ashland Ave.

For information call 351- 7900, or Phyllis Wilson, Director at 841-9951/264-1412

Broadway producer picks Norwood woman for Cirque show

Norwood resident Tara Nicole Murphy, 24, auditioned Saturday at an open casting call at Eastgate Mall for touring “Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy” and was chosen by Broadway producer Neil Goldberg for a singing part. Ms. Murphy will make her debut in the April 7 performance of the show, which opens March 31 for a two-week engagement at the Aronoff Center. Click here for ticket information.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New: Mayor Tom Williams’ website

Mayor Williams’ new website is up and running with some great features that include current events (see how much money the City is saving on insurance premiums), volunteer opportunities, and a feedback page where we can submit comments and questions the mayor will actually answer. We’ve added his site to our links on the right. Welcome to the internets, Mayor Williams!

Xavier Newswire: fewer underclassmen to live off campus

Some Norwood residents may be very pleased to know that Xavier University’s Residence Life Office intends to allow fewer underclassmen to live off campus starting this fall. According to the current issue of the Xavier Newswire, “Before move-in day, each first-year student signs a housing contract which states that all unmarried first-years and sophomores who are not commuters are expected to live on campus…However, in years past Res Life has allowed more exceptions to this rule than they will allow for the 2009-10 school year. In previous years, sophomores only needed to complete a form and obtain parental permission to live off campus. This year, unless a student had a signed lease and parental permission before Feb. 20, they will be required to live on campus next school year.”

Residence Life Director Lori Lambert said that some sophomores who have lived off-campus have not been great neighbors to the surrounding community. However, student behavior is not the only reason fewer exceptions will be allowed for sophomores. Lambert told the Newwire, “Certainly there is [also] a financial consideration to this decision. All offices have been asked to look at what they can cut and what extra revenues they can generate. The Office of Residence Life has a budget to meet based on a percentage of occupancy each semester. Any empty bed is lost revenue to the university, we are trying to minimize this possibility by enforcing the policy in the Housing Agreement.” If the current 97% occupancy rate can be improved to 100% this fall, Xavier would realize a gain of $750,000.

Congrats to NHS Symphonic Band for “excellent” rating!

Norwood Band Booster Laura Hobbs emailed us that the Norwood High School Symphonic Band received a II (Excellent) rating on Saturday, March 15 at the OMEA District XIV contest. She explained the band is in concert mode in the winter, which is why it is called symphonic band; most of the same kids, plus a few additional, are in marching band in the fall.

Laura also included this great news: The Norwood High School Marching Band will appear in the Opening Day Parade on April 6.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Free permits now available for Semi-Annual Street Sale

This spring’s Semi-Annual Street Sale will be Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th from 9 am to 5 p.m. Free permits are required for residents who hold yard sales. You can obtain a permit M-F from 8 - 5 p.m. from the Treasurer’s Office on the first floor of City Hall. The City will have a directory available with the addresses of everyone who obtains a free permit about 5-7 days in advance of the sale.

Book Club and Celtic music this week at Norwood Library

This Friday at 10:30 a.m., the Norwood Book Club will be discussing The Soloist by Steve Lopez at the Norwood Branch Library at 4325 Montgomery Road.

On Saturday, everyone is invited to a free performance of traditional Celtic music by Kyle Meadows from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. He will also be demonstrating his instruments, including the dulcimer, and attendees will have an opportunity to try them out as well. Click here for a sampling of Kyle Meadows' music.

For more information about both events, call 369-6037.

Afternoon blogging

The old computer expired Saturday, and Mr. Computer Guy is scheduled to come this morning to install a new one. He's an exceptionally nice Mr. Computer Guy - we've been been getting by this week with a laptop he immediately offered when we told him about this blog. Check back in the afternoon because we plan to catch up with a couple more blogs after everything is set up.

NYPs start Wednesday morning running club

Yesterday, we received the following announcement from Norwood Young Professionals:

For those of you interested in a unique way to meet fellow NYPs and/or in looking for extra incentive to get yourself out of bed for an early morning workout, we're starting the NYP running club! The plan is to meet on Wednesday mornings at 6 a.m. at McDonald's at Surrey Square. This Wednesday looks to be a perfect day to start, with temperatures projected in the high 40's or low 50's and dry.

If you're interested, meet in the parking lot of McDonald's, on the Taco Bell side, at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. The group will depart at 6:00 sharp (so we aren't late for work!), so be there a couple of minutes early so we don't leave you.

Hope to see a few of you bright and early on Wednesday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

February 09 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

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

Individual………….$ 73,698.02
Business……….…...$ 98,787.32

Collections thru Feb. 2009….……….....…...........$2,652,949.60
Collections thru Feb 2008................................$2,731,147.45
(2.85%) decrease in collections over 2008.………($ 78,197.85)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good today only: coupon for free Yagoot at Rookwood

If you haven’t tried Yagoot yet, click here for a coupon for a free Strawberry Yagoot that Jami Stutzman has posted on her Keepin’ it Real Estate blog. You can redeem it today only at the new Yagoot store, owned by Busken Bakery, at 2737 Edmondson Road at Rookwood Commons.

Let’s see…should I walk, ride the bus, or steal a car?

The Enquirer is reporting that Norwood resident John Spinnie is now facing two charges of receiving stolen property. He was arrested Tuesday morning for stealing a Chevrolet Uplander in order to get to his arraignment at the Hamilton County Justice Center on charges of stealing jewelry worth $1,800. Police arrested him outside the justice center on a charge of receiving stolen property. But Spinnie spun it to the officer that he had paid an unknown man $10 to use the vehicle. Obviously, a very bad decision, but beyond that, can anyone comment on why he seems to be charged in both cases with receiving stolen property instead of theft or maybe grand larceny?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Channel 19 video features Steve Thornbury, St. Al’s official

Thanks to a reader who tipped us off, we have the link above to Channel 19’s clip regarding City Council’s vote against the proposed St. Aloysius School.

Xavier invites public to submit comments to Accreditation Board

Xavier University will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit March 30-April 1, 2009, by a team representing The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Xavier has been continuously accredited by the Commission since 1935. Its accreditation is at the Master's degree level and includes degree sites at various other locations within the state.

The Higher Learning Commission is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. Accreditation is voluntary. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

For the past year and half, Xavier has been engaged in a process of self-study, addressing the Commission's requirements and criteria for accreditation. The evaluation team will visit Xavier to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the Commission a continuing status for the college. Following a review process, the Commission itself will take the final action.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding Xavier University to:

Public Comment on Xavier University
The Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Written, signed comments must be received by March 23, 2009. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered. Comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the comments. Comments will not be treated as confidential.

Note: Individuals with a specific dispute or grievance with an institution should request the separate Policy on Complaints document from the Commission office. The Higher Learning Commission cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals. Complaints will not be considered third party comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Norwood Recreation Commission wants to hear from us

The Norwood Recreation Commission invites all community members to submit suggestions about how Recreation can improve current activities, including changes to pool hours, and/or submit ideas for new activities. All ideas will be discussed at the next Rec. Commission meeting at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 18, at the Community Center at 1810 Courtland Avenue. Either call the Recreation Office at 531-9798 or email with your suggestions, and they’ll be put on a list for the meeting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Council votes 5 to 2 against St. Aloysius

At tonight's City Council meeting following an hour and fifteen minutes of discussion, Council had the 3rd reading of the St. Aloysius School Ordinance and then voted against it. Voting against the measure were Keith Moore, Michael Gabbard, John Mumper, Joe Sanker, and Chuck Barlow. Voting in favor were Steve Thornbury and Victor Schneider.

Early on, St. Aloysius’ attorney Joe Trauth and COO Joan Tumblison answered a range of questions posed by council members. There were inquiries about whether or not faculty and staff carry weapons (no), about plans for a sprinkler system (yes), about police calls to the current location (average twice per month), about whether other schools had been considered (yes, many), etc. Mr. Moore asked the attorney a number questions about his position on the current zoning, after which each council member and Mayor Williams weighed in on the various factors that have influenced his position on the issue. Most of the members who voted against the ordinance spoke in terms of the public sentiment against the school and their own commitment to have their votes reflect what they believe is in the best interests of the City.

3/11/09 UPDATE:
Today’s Enquirer article about Council’ s vote quotes Joan Tumblison: “I’m disappointed. We’ll just have to find another place.” Dan Reitz, attorney for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said the archdiocese “would consider its options, including filing a lawsuit against Norwood.”

Blood drive, gospel concert this Saturday

Norwood Young Professionals are inviting everyone to come by and donate blood at the Community Blood Drive the group is sponsoring this Saturday, March 14 at New Haven Baptist Church at 2417 Indian Mound. Call Doug Walden at 563-7026 to schedule an appointment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. As NYPs put it, “Please come out and donate blood so that we can save lives!”

Later in the day, the gospel group The Greesons will be performing in concert at 6:00 p.m. at New Haven Baptist Church. For more information, call the church at 531-6185.

10:24 AM ADDENDUM: Anyone interested in getting involved with NYP is invited to their Executive Meeting at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow evening at the Indian Mound Café, 5226 Montgomery Rd.

Quartermania this Thursday

First Family Network of Women’s monthly Quartermania is this Thursday at the Norwood Quality Hotel. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Norwood Service League, the charity FFNOW recently “adopted.” Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and bidding starts at 7:00 p.m. Print out this flyer and bring it with you for an entry to win a spectacular prize.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

For those pursuing a GED, there is a GED practice test tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Norwood Branch Library at 4325 Montgomery Road. To register for the test, call 369-4570.

Also, on Thursday, March 12 at 6:00 p.m., the Teen Book Discussion will be about Sharon Draper’s Fire from the Rock. There will be pizza and doors prizes. Everyone ages 12-18 is invited.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mayor to Shop Local: put ad bags on porches!

We just called Mayor Williams office to complain about Shop Local haphazardly tossing their weekly ad bags on sidewalks only to find out many of our fellow Norwoodians had already contacted the mayor. Hooray, his office told us that today Mayor Williams is sending a letter to Shop Local’s Chicago headquarters telling them to stop this practice and start distributing the bags to front porches. Thank you, Mayor Williams, for your fast response to what can only be described as mass littering of our community.

St. Elizabeth Arts: TED Talks, Youth Gallery Show & more

The St. Elizabeth Arts Foundation's March newsletter (click on the title) announced an amazing array of programs and activities. Only a little over a year old, the foundation is clearly on the path to being a major arts force in our community. Here are just two programs they’re offering at their 1757 Mills Avenue location:

1. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Elizabeth Hatchett will be leading a TED Talk in the grand tradition of Matthew Morris’s ART 21 discussions and will be featuring segments from well-known designers Stefan Sagmeister and Paula Scher from the TED conference (Technology, Entertainment, and Design). TED Talks are bite-sized lectures that never fail to inspire, amaze, and provoke.

2. “The Way I See It” juried art show is open to all high students grades 9-12 . Students are invited to submit their own original work, produced without aid from friends or instructors, by March 20. The show will run from March 25 to april 10. Click here for the entry rules and other details.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Alert: rash of home burglaries in Central & South Norwood

Lt. Tom Williams, Jr. with the Norwood Police Department wants residents to take extra precautions because there have been 11 residential burglaries since 1/1/09 with most of them occurring in February. The thief or thieves hit mostly in the daytime from roughly 8:00 a.m. on into the early afternoon and are targeting residences where no one is at home. These are forced entry burglaries, mostly through back doors or through broken windows.

Among the streets in South Norwood that have been hit are Hudson, Robertson, Regent, Monroe and Williams. There has also been a break-in on Ivanhoe near Norwood Plaza.

Lt. Williams asks that we all be alert to anyone who walks to the backyard of a neighboring property and to any noise that sounds like breaking glass. Sometimes, home burglars will ring the doorbell first to test if anyone is at home before going to the back of the house. If we see or hear anything suspicious, we should immediately call either 911 or the NPD’s non-emergency number 458-4520.

Thank you, Lt. Williams, for letting us help get the word out about this so residents can take steps to protect themselves and their families and, maybe, just maybe, help catch the criminal(s).

“Lost In Holland” concert Sunday at Speckled Bird

Guitartist Michael Ronstadt (Linda’s Ronstadt’s nephew) and cellist Josh Hisle will be performing this Sunday afternoon at the Speckled Bird Café. Broken Arrow Magazine had this to say about the duo: “An awesome fusion of sound with Josh's brilliant folk-twinged guitar runs being complemented by Michael's wonderful soaring cello.”

Event: “Lost in Holland” concert
Where: Speckled Bird Café at 1766 Mills Avenue
When: Sunday, March 8 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 cover
More information: 841-2473

Friday Media Olio

The Enquirer featured Norwood news in 3 recent articles, which we’re posting in case any of our readers missed them.

Click here for the article about Supt. Steve Collier’s retirement. The BOE expects to save $900,000 annually on his and 10 other early retirement incentives school employees have accepted.

This article explores whether our Norwood Sorrento’s was the subject of Saturday’s installment of the nationally syndicated comic strip “The Dinette Set.”

Click here to read about Sharpburg Elementary student Kelsey Lynn Howard being chosen as Honoree for the 2009 Cincinati Arthritis Walk on May 17 at Sawyer Point.. As this year’s honoree, Kelsey’s goal is to raise over $1,000 and recruit over 20 walkers.

Xavier fans: vote for Musketeers to win scholarship funds

And while you’re at it, enter contest for trip to the Final Four

Thanks to the following press release from Xavier’s Public Affairs office, our readers can participate in two online contests:

At the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip Off on November 21st, Xavier stunned Virginia Tech with a 63-62 victory. Sophomore guard Dante Jackson sank a half court shot with less than three seconds remaining in overtime to secure the win and earn the Musketeers a Pontiac Game Changing Performance nomination.

Now it is up to Xavier fans to determine if the Musketeers will earn a Pontiac Game Changing Performance for the regular season of NCAA Basketball. Xavier fans can go to, where they can view video clips of the eight nominees and vote for the Musketeers!

Voting ends at midnight on Saturday, March 14th. CBS will announce the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the NCAA Basketball regular season on the Selection Sunday Show on March 15th.

The winning university earns a contribution to their general scholarship fund from Pontiac. In addition, one lucky individual who visits and enters the “Pontiac Pick and Roll Promotion” will win a trip for four to this year’s NCAA Final Four in Detroit.

For full program details, visit

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Guest blog: Victor Schneider reports on Parks & Rec. meeting

Councilperson Victor Schneider, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, held a committee meeting this past Tuesday in Council Chambers. He wanted to share his notes of the meeting with our readers, especially those who can’t watch replays of the meeting on NCT (see schedule following his notes.) We appreciate Mr. Schneider keeping us informed about plans and programs for Norwood Recreation.

Opening of meeting was history of Recreation Commission and the current rules that dictate the operation. We discussed the changes that took place over the 80’s and 90’s as well as the current status of the Recreation Commission.
  1. Communication – Typically through the schools, community access cable and community bulletin board. Discussion was held on updating and getting the website updated and current with daily or at least monthly updates. Communication between Council and the Recreation Commission was clarified. All came to the understanding that we are working for the greater good of the City and that open and clear communication is important.
  2. NEW recreation programs and implementation of ideas – funding of ideas. We discussed the upcoming indoor volleyball program that recreation is in the process of starting. Utilizing the schools’ facilities as well as other Norwood facilities. There was discussion of other programs that could be started. The point was brought up that with all the discussion we do not see action. The recommendation was made that if new programs are requested then a proposal should be made to the recreation commission. If they deem it to be feasible they would present it to City Council for additional funding if necessary. Discussion was had on a complete proposal package presented to Council from recreation.
  3. Parks discussion – all city parks where discussed with current condition, maintenance that has been completed recently as well as upcoming up grades. Some discussion on improvements to make our parks more “rentable” as well as resident friendly with the proper play equipment. Both Fenwick and Burwood seem to have the most potential for a really nice family party, i.e. birthday or reunion.
  4. Pools – Small amount of discussion on the current conditions of the pools. Pool operations are the major topic for the March 18th Recreation Commission meeting that will be held at the Community Center. This will not be the exclusive reason for the meeting. The Recreation Commission will be discussing other matters also. If residents are interested in submitting ideas, with some background information on how to implement, they need to do so before March 17th. They should be submitted to the Executive Director at the Community Center.
Of course, there was considerable discussion during this 2 hour meeting. The meeting was taped for broadcast on local community cable and will be running throughout the month of March.

Victor Schneider, Chairman
Park and Recreation Committee

Cable Channel 4 replays:
Wednesday’s: 11:30 p.m.
Friday’s: 10:00 p.m.
Saturday’s: 8:00 a.m.
Sunday’s: 8:00 pm.

NSL offers free tax prep to qualified Norwood residents

Lupe Gonzales-Hoyt with Norwood Service League emailed us yesterday with some wonderful news for many Norwood taxpayers: NSL, in partnership with Urban Appalachian Council, is offering free tax preparation for Norwood residents with incomes of $54,000 or less. She wrote, “This offering is a service to thank our community for their support.” All we have to do is call NSL at 924-1200 to make an appointment for any Wednesday. Frankly, we can’t think of a better way to thank Norwood residents, and it’s right on time. Thank YOU, NSL!

When: Wednesdays from 9am-2pm. (appt. required)
Where: Norwood Service League at 2071 Lawrence Avenue
What: Free services include a free e-file with The Ohio Benefit Bank and hard copy of return. Refund estimated time is 7 to 10 days with direct deposit.
Who: For incomes $54,000 or less
How: Call 924-1200 for appointment with Nancy

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Everybody’s invited to St. Patrick’s Day Party

Casey Brown, President of the Norwood Republican Club, is inviting everyone, regardless of political persuasion, to the St. Patrick’s Day Party the group is sponsoring this Friday night at the Norwood Fraternal Order of Eagles’ party room. Casey tells us, “We are just planning to have a lot of fun and fellowship - no strings attached!”

When: Friday, March 6; 7 to 11 p.m.
Where: Norwood Fraternal Order of Eagles at 2863 Harris Place
Cost: $10 per couple includes draft beer & setups, DJ, and snacks
More information: Chairperson Victor Schneider at 631-3972

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sarah Horsley selected to fill seat on the BOE

At a special meeting of the NCS Board of Education last evening, Sarah Horsley was selected by board members to fill the seat vacated by Rick Guy. Sarah’s husband Rick told us, “She is very excited about this new opportunity to serve the community.” Congratulations, Sarah! We wish you the best and thank you for your willingness to serve.

3/4/09 UPDATE: This article in today’s Enquirer regarding Sarah Horsely’s appointment states she will serve through 12/31/09. In November, voters will elect a new board member among candidates who run to fill out Rick Guy’s unexpired term through 12/31/11.

Norwood Star addresses distribution glitch

The much anticipated first issue of the Norwood Star was distributed this past weekend to residences all over the city. Except for the wind blowing many of the papers away from their destinations and into the streets, the Clark family is off to a roaring good start. At Andrew Clark’s request, we are publishing the Norwood Star’s apology for this mishap, which they intend to improve on with future deliveries:

Dear Norwood Star Readers:

We'd like to apologize to all of you who had to "find" the Norwood Star. In an effort to get the newspapers delivered to every resident this weekend, we understand a lot of them have been found on the sidewalks and gutters.

The papers were very light and the wind was very strong this weekend causing those not picked up right away to be carried off. We are working to improve the next delivery. Again, we apologize and appreciate your understanding.

Vicki Clark

Norwood Star
ph: 513-607-8537

Andrew Clark
Norwood Star
ph: 513-706-6893

Monday, March 02, 2009

Jami Stutzman: Is Norwood interested in urban farms?

Last week, Norwood resident Jami Stutzman, our favorite real estate blogger at Keepin’ it Real Estate, posted this blog describing Cincinnati City Council’s recently passed plan for mini-farms, also known as urban farms, which many other major cities have also started as new uses for vacant, unusable city plots of land. Jami says CCC will be working out details later this month, including how to lease the plots and whether or not to charge anything. She asks if Norwood is interested in a similar plan. Are we? Does the City even have vacant lots available for urban farms? Are there other plots that might be suitable? One that comes mind right away is the privately-owned 11-acre Rookwood Exchange site. Think about it - instead of looking at a field of weeds all summer, we could feast on fresh veggies from our own urban farm.

March COW meeting canceled

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