Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

UPDATE: 2009 4th of July Hometown Fireworks

Casey Brown just sent an email with several late breaking program changes to the July 4th Fireworks at Shea Stadium (see blog directly below.):

"Steve Thornbury is not going to be available to be Master of Ceremonies, so Victor Schneider, our esteemed councilman, will take his place. Unfortunately, just last night we found out our DJ from Jeb’s had to cancel. We are working on getting someone else, but may be difficult at the last minute. Will let you know the new person’s name once we get them. And our National Guard unit was just deployed over the weekend! We are also trying to find a substitute for that."

If anyone knows a DJ who can fill in, contact Casey at 396-6683.

7/1/09 - 11:00 a.m. UPDATE: Casey just emailed us some excellent news: "We have a DJ for Saturday! Thanks to all those great Norwood people who helped!"

2009 4th of July Hometown Fireworks at Shea Stadium

Thanks to the dedication of the Norwood Fireworks Committee, headed by Jane Grote, and the generosity of the Carl H. Lindner family and many local businesses and individuals,** the 6th Annual Norwood Hometown Fireworks is set to explode this Saturday, July 4 at Shea Stadium at approximately 8:30 p.m. But you’ll want to get there early for all the pre-fireworks fun and games the committee has lined up to entertain the entire family, starting with B105 FM Radio’s show from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in front of the stadium where they’ll be doing lots of give-aways. Inside the stadium, also from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Norwood resident Jim Brock with Jeb’s DJ Service will be entertaining everyone who comes early to get a seat.

But wait, there’s more - much, much more! Fireworks Committee member Casey Brown tells us, “The Norwood Community Choir, under the direction of Judy White, will be singing patriotic songs during the fireworks program. Then we will have our fun “Master of the Fireworks” program presented by Lois and Victor Schneider. This has really become a fun part of our program. Lois Schneider (Victor’s mom!) gets all of Norwood’s elementary school kids entered in a drawing by school, and then draws finalists names from each school. 20 kids are chosen as finalists. She has great gift bags for all the finalists, and then from these finalists she draws a name. That child gets a 6-month family membership to the Richard E. Lindner Family YMCA and the opportunity to “push the button” to start the fireworks! We have some adult “kids” who designed a rocket that the winner launches off the center of the football field, immediately followed by our fireworks show.”

The Wings of Wonder are back for the 3rd year, bringing 3 birds to show off. Casey says “They bring a hawk, usually an eagle, and then Jane Grote’s favorite, the 4th of July penguin! The penguin is the cutest, but a bit smelly! Also, our local National Guard will provide demonstration equipment, including a simulator in a Humvee with turrets that spin around. People will be able to get inside and actually do a battleground simulation."

And last, but not least, be sure to stop by and visit the booths of Citizens on Patrol, Norwood High School, and the Norwood Girl Scouts, who will be fundraising with something to sell.

When: Saturday, July 4, 6:30 p.m. ‘til after the fireworks at dusk
Where: Shea Stadium, 2603 Harris Avenue
Food and beverages: Athletic Boosters and the Boy Scouts will have separate booths.
Fun extras: Clowns doing face painting and balloon animals; moonwalkers out front for the kids
Master of Ceremonies: The inimitable Steve Thornbury
More information: 396-6683

**No city funds are used to pay for this event. The event is paid for through the generosity of Carl Lindner and many Norwood businesses and individuals. The Norwood Fireworks Committee is required to get all applicable city and school permits (the schools do not charge us to use Shea Stadium, we only pay for maintenance personal ) and pay for our own police coverage. Some of our featured entertainment and attendees, like the Norwood Community Choir and the National Guard, donate their time to participate, but additional entertainment is paid to make the event fun for all ages.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Creature Feature Film, Storybook Puppeteers at Norwood Library

Reminder: Have you contacted Gov. Strickland, Rep. Tyrone Yates, and Sen. Eric Kearney yet to tell them not the cut the Public Library Fund (see our 6/22/09 blog below)? Our Norwood Branch Library has another great week of free programs lined up, but we may see them disappear if we don’t speak out against the proposed cuts.

Tuesday, June, 30, 2009
Creature Feature Film in the Library!
Call the day of to find out the movie!
2:00 p.m., Ages 6-12

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m., Ages 3-6

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Puppet Show!
Presented by the Storybook Puppeteers
2:00 p.m. All Ages.

More information: 369-6037

Finance and Audit Committee meeting tomorrow

The Finance and Audit Committee will meet tomorrow, June 30, at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. There are two items on the agenda: 1. Appropriations and 2. Claims.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Kroger: WOW!

What a pleasant and easy grocery shopping experience we just had at the new Kroger. Our readers Scott, krs and Jackson also gave it good reviews in our 6/19/09 blog below. Navigating the 80,000 sq. ft. was a breeze, and the aisles are wide enough so we won’t be wasting time anymore waiting for people to get their carts of the way. The free samples of Jarlsberg dip with pretzel crackers, the Irish Butter on French bread, and the coffee cake wound up being a nice, light lunch. The produce is well organized and displayed beautifully. And we have a salad bar and fresh seafood (silverbrite salmon is $2.99 lb.), finally! We thought this was a nice touch and maybe a good omen - an overhead sign across from the cashiers that says, “Customer Care.”

Monday: Annual Norwood Republican Club Summer Picnic

Steve Thornbury sent this invitation to all our readers:

Members and non-members alike are invited to the kick back and relax at the Annual Norwood Republican Club Picnic being held this Monday, June 29th beginning at 6:30pm at the shelter house in Lower Millcrest Park in West Norwood. The event is free and will feature a full complement of picnic favorites from brats, metts, burgers and refreshments to a variety of covered dishes and deserts supplied by members of the club. Bring the kids, bring the neighbors, bring your in-laws. It’s a great way to kick-off another beautiful summer here in Norwood, Ohio, the Gem of the Highlands.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yard sale at Burwood Park this Friday

The Burwood Parents are having another yard sale this Friday, June 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Burwood Park to raise money for their Norwood Day Parade float and for snacks and crafts for the kids this summer. Burwood Mom Robin Mace tells us the sale will go on rain or shine and advises everyone to “bring an umbrella and shop til you drop!” Burwood Park is located at 2323 Morton Ave. off Floral Avenue.

May 09 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of May = 364
Medic Runs = 281
Fire Runs = 7 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 15 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 7 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 43 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 4 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call - 4 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent - 12 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 13 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Severe Weather - 0
Special Incident - 0

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Flowed, Lubed & Weeded - 238

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 742
Total Inspections – 115 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 282
Total Violations – corrected 240
Total Block Inspections – 30 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 75

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two terrific choirs performing this weekend

1. Andrew Clark with the Norwood Star asked us publicize that the Norwood Community Chorus be performing two free concerts this Saturday, June 27 at Zion United Church of Christ at 2332 Sherwood Lane at Indian Mound (click here for directions) at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Food will be available between the concerts. The choir, under the direction of Judy White, will perform a mix of spirituals and show tunes. The shows are free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

2. Then on Sunday, June 28th there’s another great musical event. Angela Pancella wants our readers to know that at 7 p.m., the choir of St. Joseph Catholic Church on Ezzard Charles is making a guest appearance at Vineyard Central, at the corner of Carter and Mills Avenue (the church that had once been home of St. Elizabeth parish). The choir sings songs in the black gospel tradition full of praise and joy. It is under the direction of Wylie Howell, past rehearsal pianist at La Scala in Milan. The $5 suggested donation for the event goes to St. Joseph's and towards the restoration of the St. Elizabeth church building.

Monday, June 22, 2009

ALERT: additional 50% cut in Public Library Fund proposed!

We just got off the phone with Emily Mueller with The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. She gave us permission to publish the following email alert she sent out that was forwarded to us earlier today. She and we hope our readers will contact Governor Strickland’s office and our state legislators to let them know in no uncertain terms that an additional 50% cut to the Public Library Fund is unacceptable. To make this easy, Ms. Mueller just sent us a sample letter (following her email) that can be used to email our state officials. We can’t risk losing our Norwood Branch Library and the great programs (see this week’s programs in the blog immediately below) and resources it provides to our community!

Emily Mueller's email:
Governor Strickland proposed an additional cut of 50% in the Public Library Fund (PLF), which is the primary funding source for public libraries in Ohio. If passed, as early as September this year, area residents could see ...
  1. Up to 20 of our 40 branch libraries closed
  2. Dramatic reduction in Main Library hours
  3. 250 additional Library jobs lost, computer access reduced by over 30%
  4. Fewer new materials available, elimination of services to residents of all ages
  5. Fewer children's programs
  6. And less qualified staff to help

ACT NOW! Time is of the essence. Email or phone the Governor and our state legislators to let them know that these cuts will do unacceptable damage to our communities. We cannot afford to lose half of our Libraries at a time when people need them most!

...If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at or at 513-369-6959.

Thank you in advance for your support!

State Reps. for Norwood:
1.) Tyrone Yates
State Representative

2.) Senator Eric H. Kearney
Senate Building

Governor Ted Strickland
Click here to send an email.

Sample email to state officials:
I am contacting you today to express my concern over the proposed cut to the Public Library Fund (PLF). Approximately 70% of our state's libraries are funded solely through the PLF. Cutting this fund will result in closures, layoffs, and reduced hours in libraries throughout Ohio. These proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio's public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services. Ohioans value their libraries to assist in educating their children, providing high speed Internet access, job searching and employment research, as well as information and entertainment. That cuts would be made to the PLF at this time effects those who need the library most during these rough economic times: the unemployed, who use library resources for job seeking, and children, whose education should always be our first priority. However, it is unlikely that many of Ohio's public libraries can remain open with these proposed cuts.

Please do as much as you can to help reject the Governor's proposed cut on the PLF and Save Ohio's libraries.

[your name]

Tooth care and rescue dogs this week at Norwood Library

Where else but our Norwood Branch Library would we find so many educational and fun programs for all ages like these?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Teeth, Teeth, Teeth!
Learn how to take care of your teeth and get free dental stuff!
2:00 p.m. All Ages

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m. Ages 3-6

Friday, June 26, 2009
Meet a search and rescue dog!
Learn about what these special dogs do.
12:00 p.m. All Ages

More information: Call 369-6037

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Surrey Square Kroger opens next Thursday

We’ve triple-verified with Kroger personnel that the new Surrey Square Kroger will open at 6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 25. We haven’t been by Surrey Square in about a week. Is there a “grand opening” banner up yet over the new store? How do you like the exterior design? Do you think management will keep the interior spiffy and well stocked a la Hyde Park Kroger?

Xavier’s Forum on Education features Ohio's First Lady

On Friday, June 26, 2009 at 8 a.m., at the Cintas Center on the Xavier University campus, the Community Building Institute will present the free Strive Community Forum on Education. The public is invited. Lunch is provided free of charge for those who have pre-registered. To register, contact Nancy Hackett at 513-745-3264 or

Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland will be the luncheon speaker and also lead one of the discussion sessions. She had the opportunity to pursue higher education and eventually earned a doctorate in educational psychology at the University of Kentucky --where she met her future husband. After graduation, she worked many years in a public school system as an educational psychologist. She authored a screening test for kindergarten-age children and a children’s book, The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Be Governor. As first lady of Ohio, Frances works on a number of initiatives. In addition to serving as the chair of the Family and Children First Councils, Frances lends her help to work on education, the environment, renewable energy, and inclusion.

The Strive Community Forum on Education will be an opportunity to discuss the importance of education in initiatives that seek to improve the quality of life in our area. Instead of hearing from people about what is happening, most of the time will be spent offering you the chance to provide your thoughts on what we need to do to address the three critical themes drawn from the Striving Together report card:

Increase the Pace of Change
There is a great deal of success to build on: 35 of 53 student outcomes from birth through college are on the rise. Now we need to find ways to build on these successes to help more students succeed more quickly.

Increase Rigor in the Classroom
Student scores are improving to meet state standards. We can be one of the first communities to aim even higher by ensuring students not only meet these benchmarks, but are fully prepared for college or career training.

Increase Enrollment, Retention, & Graduation from College and Career Training
In today’s tough economic times, we need to prepare students for tomorrow’s jobs. This requires education beyond high school. Increasing the number of graduates is a key indicator of our ability to compete in the 21st Century.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finally, Norwood’s fiscal watch may be drawing to a close

On October 7, 2004 the Auditor of State declared Norwood to be in a state of fiscal watch. Today’s Enquirer says that because the City recently submitted financial documents to the AOS the state may lift the designation within the next few months. It may very well be that one of these documents is the long overdue 2006 GAP (General Accepted Principles) report we blogged about here on 6/3/07:

According to our AOS source, the state needs only two more documents from the City before our collective financial nightmare is over : 1.) Auditor Jones must submit a 2006 GAP (General Accepted Principles) report to the AOS, and then 2.) the City must formally request an analysis. With regard to the former, Mr. Thompson (AOS official) told council that as of a month ago, Mr. Jones was looking at how he would accomplish the GAP report, and our source told us a representative from Mr. Jones’ office met recently with an AOS official to discuss the matter.

It appears current City Auditor Jim Stith (and perhaps other City officials, too) has accomplished what former Auditor Donnie Jones did not accomplish prior to his resignation last year, that is, submit documents necessary for the state to consider removing the City from fiscal watch. Another positive for the state to consider is Mr. Stith’s five-year financial forecast showing Norwood maintaining a positive balance through 2014. He told the Enquirer, "There are some years in the future where we can see our expenditures exceeding our revenues. But we have money in the bank to carry over to compensate for that."

So far, our City Auditor seems be a pretty good forecaster. He told the Enquirer this past December, “If revenue projections hold true, the city could be taken off the state's fiscal watch list next year." And now that our elected officials have brought us back from the brink, it would nice if the Enquirer’s Peter Bronson would revisit and update what he wrote in August, 2006 about our city being mismanaged. Unfortunately, mismanaged seems to better describe the current state of the City of Cincinnati's finances.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rookwood brawl: the plot thickens

The Enquirer has just updated their original account of a brawl Monday at Rookwood Commons during which Norwood police arrested five people on various charges. South Fairmont resident Finesha Owensby, who along with her 20-year-old son and a 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection to the incident, has filed a complaint against a Norwood police officer. She claims police “got the wrong people” when they confused her with two other girls, but she also said her son Michael did attempt to break up a fight two women were having. She says he was not disrespectful to police and that officers had no reason to pepper spray him, her, and the 14-year-old boy. Lt. Tom Williams with the NPD commented only that the courts decide a person’s guilt and that Finesha Owensby “will have her day in court.”

1st Annual “Little Indians Combine” this Saturday

Ward 2 Councilperson Keith Moore sent us the following Norwood Little Indians Football flyer with this note: “This competition is open to all Norwood kids, and I was hoping you could publicize it for the good people that have spent so much time and effort to put together the Norwood kids football league.”

Norwood Little Indians Football
1st Annual “Little Indians Combine”


-All Norwood kids from K-6th grades (2009 -2010 school year) are eligible to compete.

-Field events will include: 40 yard dash, 100 yard dash, long jump, vertical jump, pass competition, punt competition, kicking competition, shuttle run and more.

- All competitors will be grouped by age and school grade

- Awards: 1st thru 3rd place in each grade and event

- Registrations start promptly @ 5:00p.m. And end promptly @6:00pm Competition starts @ 6:00pm


Concessions stands will be serving your favorite food drinks and music (concessions are not free)


Norwood Little Indians Football


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Steve Thornbury guest blogs about 2009 Street Program

We want to thank Ward 2 Councilperson Steve Thornbury for sending us this excellent detailed account of last week’s Streets and Infrastructure Committee meeting, especially for our readers who either don’t have cable to watch the replays of the meeting on NCT or can’t find the time to do it (us).

Subject: Norwood City Council Streets & Infrastructure Committee Meeting
June 10, 2009

On Wednesday, June 10 I attended a meeting in Council Chambers of the Norwood City Council’s Streets and Infrastructure Committee, of which I am a member. Also present was Councilperson at-Large, Joe Sanker who is Chair of the Committee, the other Committee member Ward 3 Councilperson Chuck Barlow, Safety/Service Director Joe Geers and Mr. Randy Terry, a consultant representing Terry Asphalt Materials of Hamilton, Ohio. The meeting was videotaped by Norwood Community Television and will air for the foreseeable future (beginning 6/15/09) at 4pm on Mondays; 8 pm on Thursdays; 2:30 pm on Fridays and 9:30 pm on Saturdays.

The purpose of the meeting was to bring the Committee members up to date on the City’s 2009 street maintenance program and the other street projects that are either underway or planned in the next two years.

The 2009 Street Maintenance Program
At the meeting I was given a copy of the most recent “Street Survey,” an Excel spreadsheet listing each of the 49 individual projects planned for this year that includes the rating given each section of road being addressed. As he explained, the condition of each section is rated on a scale of 1 (excellent) to 5 (critical). Mr. Terry did an excellent job of summarizing the history of the street maintenance program that has been implemented in the past few years. He pointed out that the 2009 program differs from the 2008 program in that it focuses more attention on preventative measures. In 2008, he explained, more attention was paid to sections of our streets that fell into the category of “poor or critical” condition.

(Note: As of 6/15/09 I am still working to make the 2009 Street Survey available as a download or in summary form.)
6/16/09 UPDATE: Click here to read to the 2009 Street Survey

According to the survey, as of today, 39 percent of the 43 miles of streets in Norwood are classified as “good” or “excellent,” 21 percent are considered “fair,” while 40 percent are rated as “poor” or “critical.” These ratings are used to help prioritize the work being done.

The survey lists a particular section of a street, it’s rating and the dollar estimate for the level of work to be done. Although there are, technically, seven categories of work, they can be lumped into three types: crack and joint sealing, patching, and pavement “planing” and replacement. According to Mr. Terry, last year’s work was primarily planing and replacement. This year, it will be more of a mix of all three categories. As Mr. Terry explained, the street repair program tries to strike a balance between major repairs on the “worst” streets and some level of preventative crack and joint sealing that helps keep streets that are in “good” shape today from more rapid deterioration.

A good example of the latter is what is scheduled to be done on my own street, Floral Avenue. Floral is among a group of streets that was fortunate enough to have enjoyed total rehabilitation over ten years ago when nearly the entire length of the asphalt surface was completely repaved with the added bonus of all the cement curbs and driveway aprons being replaced. At first glance, while driving on Floral, it may not seem like putting any money into it would make sense. This year’s street maintenance plan, however, has allocated a certain amount of dollars for two different levels of service. The first is to address a few rough spots that have developed that will be patched and sealed - what the Street Survey terms “partial depth repair.” The second is for sealing cracks and joints that may have begun to appear. As Mr. Terry and Mr. Geers were quick to point out, this sort of preventative maintenance now will go a long way toward postponing the day when the Floral is, once again, in need of a complete (and considerably more expensive) repaving.

All in all, the meeting went a long way toward answering a lot of the questions I’ve had about our street maintenance program and helped me understand the process being used to evaluate and plan the work that needs to be done. In analyzing the list of the sections of streets being addressed, I’m satisfied that the plan takes into account a broad cross-section of the city. It’s hard not to notice, of course, that the First Ward streets of Allison, Carter and, especially, Ivanhoe will be looking forward to the most significant work in the coming months, just in time for the November elections. But it’s also hard to argue that those streets, like so many in our City, need considerable attention.

According to Mr. Terry, with this year’s effort, 33 percent of our street surfaces will see some work. He noted that we should see the first signs of the work in late June when they begin marking the areas that will be worked on.

read on

Monday, June 15, 2009

City Auditor’s website updated with May reports

City Auditor Jim Stith notified us that he has updated his website with these financial reports through May, 2009. This YTD Earnings Tax report comparing 2009 with previous years shows a YTD increase of 7.48% or $525,565 over last year. Contrast that to the dire news in today’s Enquirer that Cincinnati’s projected 3% rise in income tax collection was way off and is actually down 8% or $15 million so far this year. Of course, the year is not over, but as Mayor Williams said last month, “We’re keeping our head above water.”

Friday, June 12, 2009

NPD to share in $25,000 seized in Northside drug bust

After seeing this Channel 9 report (click on the title above) stating a drug bust last week resulted in getting more than 20 pounds of marijuana off Norwood streets, we were a tad confused. The report says that Bernard Kiybu, 38, was arrested at his home on Cherry Street for possessing roughly 22 pounds of pot. After verifying there is no Cherry Street in Norwood, we called the NPD’s Lt. Tom Williams, Jr. for some clarification about the story. As always, he quickly provided a wealth of information.

Lt. Williams told us the drug bust was conducted by the Cincinnati Office of the multi-jurisdictional DEA Task force. One of our Norwood Police Department officers is assigned to the DEA Task Force and participated in a Norwood surveillance operation last Thursday. He observed a suspicious-looking car whose driver sped out of Norwood and wound up crashing on South I75. The driver immediately fled from the car and escaped. Task force members, including our Norwood officer, recovered 5 pounds of marijuana from the car. They also found information that immediately led them to the home of Bernard Kiybu on Cherry Street in Northside. Mr. Kiybu was not the driver who escaped.

Lt. Williams told us the task force seized $25,000 in cash, 25 pounds of marijuana, 1 lb. of marijuana butter (a concoction, he said, that is used to enhance food like toast) at the Cherry Street home. Mr. Kiybu was arrested on the spot, and because our officer made the arrest, the NPD will receive a portion of the $25,000 seized. Congratulations to our officer and the task force for a job well done!

Art gallery opening this Monday**

Works by photographers Anthony Wayne Cooper and Donald Phelps will be featured Monday** evening, June 13, from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. at City Retreats Gallery at 4101 Montgomery Road at the corner of Waverly Avenue. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. For more information, call 351-5840.

**6/14/09 We apologize to our readers for getting the day wrong. June 13 was, of course, Saturday. (Thanks, Lupe, for catching this.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saturday‘s “Beach Blanket Book Bash” is for all ages

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 91.7WVXU, and Norwood Community Television are hosting the first-ever Beach Blanket Book Bash for people of all ages who love summer reading. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday, June 13, at Joesph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion.

What: Beach Blanket Book Bash
When: Saturday, June 13 starting at 12:30 p.m.
Why: Summer Reading is not just for kids. It’s for everyone…kids, teens, parents,
grandparents, families and individuals, too. And, everyone is invited. So slip-on your favorite sandals and most colorful flowered shirt, and then head for the Book Bash.
Beach It: Listen to some great beach music. Bounce a few beachballs. Play some “beachy” games. Show off your best “beachcomber” outfit to win a prize.

Book Bash Highlights:
12:30 p.m. - Thane Maynard Cincinnati Zoo Storytime
1:00 p.m. - Beach Games, Music, Beachball V-Ball, & more
1:30 p.m. - Book Bash Panel Discussion featuring experts in the know from the Public Library, Joseph-Beth and 91.7 WVXU - Soak up some insight on sizzling hot reads from “those in the know,” including representatives from the Public Library, 91.7 WVXU radio, and Joseph-Beth as they discuss their favorite page-turners for beach and summer reading during this fun-filled kickoff party. Norwood Community Television will videotape the discussion for viewing beyond the program.

For more about the Book Bash or the Library’s Summer Reading Program log onto

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bomb squad called to Water Works Park

Channel 5 is reporting that yesterday afternoon a worker found a box containing military ordnance at Water Works Park on Harris Ave. A bomb squad was dispatched to the scene, and after X-raying an old mortar shell, investigators said no explosives were present and took it away. According to police, the box contained WWII-era items. There were no injuries, and the incident is under investigation.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Burwood Pool & Park 'Donation Event' Multi-Family Yard Sale

Robin Mace just sent an invitation to everyone to the Burwood Parents 'Donation Event' this Friday:

Our Burwood Pool kids are very excited to enter their float in the Norwood Day Parade again this year. We need the help of the community to fund the materials needed to build the float. The Burwood Parents Committee is organizing a "Donation Event" at Burwood Park, under the picnic shelter, on Friday June 12th, from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. The event is a multi-family yard sale. We will have a little bit of everything: electronics, dolls, clothes, toys, household items, furniture and much more. This is a one day event. So, everything is priced to move.

If anyone has items to donate for the sale, those items may be dropped off at the Burwood craft building, between 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm, now through Thursday. For anyone who has not had a chance to visit Burwood Park at 2323 Morton Ave., it is easy to find. Take Montgomery to Williams Ave., turn right on to Floral Ave., go to Morton Ave. Turn left onto Morton and Burwood park is on the right just before the stop sign. We hope to see everyone at this event. You never know what treasures you might find.

Robin Mace
Burwood Mom

Street Program to be discussed at council committee meeting

Per the Clerk of Council’s office, Chairperson Joe Sanker has called a Streets and Infrastructure Committee meeting for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, June 10, in Council Chambers. The 2009 Street Program is on the agenda. Committee member Steve Thornbury is asking that NCT tape the meeting and air it as soon as their schedule permits.

UPDATE: Mr. Thornbury tells us NCT is planning on taping the meeting. We'll post the local cable Channel 4 air times when they're available.

Monty’s Bar robbed at gunpoint last week

Channel 12 reports that Crimestoppers is offering cash for clues to find this man who robbed Monty’s Bar at 4108 Montgomery Road last Wednesday. According to Norwood police, Windsor Burton, whose last know address is Weil Road, Cincinnati, pointed a gun at the bartender, demanded cash, and then got away. The bartender wasn’t hurt. Anyone with information about this dangerous individual should call CrimeStoppers at 352-3040.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Free Mad Cap Puppets performance June 19

The Caleb Tate Fuller Foundation is hosting an upcoming Mad Cap Puppets performance at Williams Elementary. Check out this article about the puppets’ Sunday premiere of “Master Peter’s Puppet Show” with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra at the University of Cincinnati. Joyce McDowell with the foundation sent in the following email inviting everyone to the event:

The Caleb Tate Fuller Foundation is excited about the upcoming Mad Cap Puppets performance to be held on Friday, June 19th at 7 p.m at Williams Ave. School auditorium. We are looking forward to a good turnout from the community. This performance will be enjoyed by kids and adults. There in no charge for admission but we are asking anyone that can to bring a nonperishable food item which will be given to the Norwood Food Pantry.

- Joyce McDowell

Friday, June 05, 2009

Xavier increases ‘09 freshman class by 34%

After reading this Enquirer article announcing that Xavier University is rushing to build new residence hall by 2011 and a $17 million classroom by 2012 to accommodate growing enrollment, a fairly new Norwood resident sent us the following email: “I wondered if you had heard about any new developments concerning the Xavier Square project. After reading the Enquirer story, I wondered if the housing future for Xavier students combined with increased enrollment numbers would encourage the school to look at pushing the Xavier Square project ahead.”

We thought we’d pose the emailed question to our readers since we don’t know anything other than what the accompanying article said about Xavier pulling back on the project and announcing Monday that they will revisit it. This quote by Xavier official Beth Amyot begged a few questions: "We will do something there. We've stepped back and we're re-evaluating all of that land.” What is “something” and just how far back has Xavier stepped?

Is anyone else as surprised as we are to see size of the freshman increase (from 860 to 1150 students)? One of us recollects hearing a Xavier official say during one of the public meetings last year, either at the Community Center or Norwood High School, that the university did not plan to increase enrollment beyond about 6-7%. Does recruiting a 34% larger freshman hint at some larger enrollment figure over time? We’re very interested in what are readers think or may know about these new developments.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kickoff for Farmers Markets at Whole Foods Markets

Whole Foods Markets at 2903 Edmondson Road at Rookwood Commons is kicking off their seasonal farmers markets this Saturday , June 6, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. with live music from Jive Creek Ramblers, a grill-out, and lots of kids activities. The $7.99 grill-out features chick,en, corn, salad, and a drink. More than fifteen local farmers and producers will be selling fruits, vegetables, flowers and more in the parking lot.

Whole Foods Markets has scheduled 17 farmers markets every Saturday from June 6 through September 26, all from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. For more information, call 531-8015.

Xavier hosting Strive Community Forum on Education

On Friday, June 26, 2009 at 8 a.m., at the Cintas Center on the Xavier University campus, the Community Building Institute will present a free Strive Community Forum on Education. The public is invited. To register, contact Nancy Hackett at 513-745-3264 or

Founded in 2006, Strive is a unique partnership spanning all sectors of Greater Cincinnati. It unites common providers around shared issues, goals, measurements and results, and then actively supports and strengthens strategies that work. Together, all work to help each child in the urban core succeed from birth through some form of college into a meaningful career. Strive is focused on home, school and community: the building blocks for successful students, productive citizens and thriving cities.

Community efforts to compile this information will end with the summit, an opportunity to discuss the importance of education in initiatives that seek to improve the quality of life in our area.

The Community Building Institute and the KnowledgeWorks Foundation partnered to implement the community engagement portion of the Strive initiative. Much work has been done in the region over the past several years on an agenda for change, in efforts such as:
  1. Agenda 360: which seeks to transform the region by 2020 into a leading metropolitan region for talent, jobs and economic opportunity
  2. GO Cincinnati: The “Growth and Opportunities” Project outlines recommendations of more than 200 community and business leaders around helping the city reposition its assets to attract businesses, employees and residents. This approach considered workforce development, transportation, neighborhood revitalization, and job attraction and retention
  3. place matters: believes that strong schools, steady jobs, stable housing and safe neighborhoods are interconnected and is working with Avondale, Covington and Price Hill on a place-based investment project to improve the quality of life
  4. CPS Strategic Plan: Building Futures spell out clearly that CPS will engage families in student learning, work with parent groups to increase parent involvement and provide more training opportunities for teachers and parents
  5. Civic Index: a survey designed to measure a community’s perception of itself with regard to its public schools

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Need an ambulance? Live in Norwood.

Yesterday, Channel 12 filed a report (click on our headline above) entitled “City of Cincinnati Tries to Ease Ambulance Shortage.” Cincinnati City Hall is starting to address “a nagging, potentially-deadly problem - the strained ambulance system” because “hundreds of times a year, the system is so overwhelmed people in Cincinnati call 911 but have to wait for an ambulance.“ A city task that has studied the problem for a year has released its findings, which includes this statement: "We're going to make the changes necessary so if a citizen calls 911 and needs emergency medical attention to their home or office that an ambulance is going to get them there right away. We will never again accept the response: no ambulance is available which happens far too often in this city."

Also in the report are these stats: In the last 100 days of 2008, more than 180 people called 911 and were told no ambulance was available. After adding two ambulances, it still happened 55 times in the first four months of this year. Fortunately for the citizens of Cincinnati, “the city’s recommendation is to deal with the supplies and demands on the system.”

Our regular readers know from the monthly Norwood Fire Department Activities and Statistics Report we publish that the department’s response times to 911 calls are an impressive 3 minutes plus or minus seconds. But, we wondered, are people who call Norwood Dispatch for fire department service ever told no ambulance is available? We were able to talk to NFD’s Chief Goodman a few minutes ago to pose our question. He assured us that there is no occasion when our fire department doesn’t show up in response to 911 calls for service. There are instances when a fire truck equipped with medical equipment is dispatched if both ambulances are in service. If that’s case, the medics assess whether or not the emergency requires an ambulance be dispatched to the scene from a nearby fire department (usually St. Bernard or Golf Manor) that provides mutual aid for transport to hospitals.

And speaking of fire trucks, Chief Goodman asked us to let everyone know the NFD’s new $371,000 pumper is being delivered today. Maybe you can get a glimpse of it next time you’re driving by the station.

Dr. Alex blogs about Norwood Community Garden launch

Local blogger The Medicine Man of Norwood, aka Dr. Alex, has this great account and photos like the one above of Saturday’s launch of the Norwood Community Garden at Linden Pointe. He reports that Mayor Williams and other local politicians appeared as guest speakers for the occasion. It looks like Linden Pointe developer Al Neyer did a fantastic job of developing the individual garden beds. Dr. Alex, a member of Norwood Young Professionals, shows a sketch of the bed NYP has reserved and says, “The veggies of our labor are open to all who want to help grow and tend to the soil of the plot. If you're free one evening, come and walk down to check out the NYP Community Garden and remember to give show a little love and attention.” Now there’s offer that sounds hard to refuse.

(Dr. Alex, thank you for leaving your homepage in our comments box, and thank you for the compliment.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Enquirer: Allison Elementary closed yesterday

Yesterday was a sad and tearful day for students, staff, and parents saying goodbye to our oldest school Allison Elementary, which closed but will reopen as a K-2 school, possibly as a Montessori school, in fall 2010. Principal Bob Schnur called it “a tough day.” Also quoted in the article were first-grade Marcia Silber, who taught at Allison in the same class room for 26 years; Allison mom and kindergartner aide Michelle Prewitt; and sixth-graders MaKayla Layne and Brian Gideon, both of whom come from families with long lines of Allison alums.

A sad day, indeed, but there is much to look forward to in 2010 when the school district reopens Allison as an Intergenerational School in partnership with Xavier University.
This is the second “save” of the Allison building in recent times. The first was five years ago when Norwood voters saved the school from the wrecking ball by voting down the huge Norwood City Schools bond levy.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Norwood Star looking for veterans

Andrew Clark with The Norwood Star sent us a guest blog to let our readers know about a great upcoming feature in the paper’s July issue:

The Norwood Star is looking for veterans who are willing to share their stories! We are planning a feature in July’s issue called “Freedom Isn’t Free“! If you are a veteran and would like to be featured or know of a veteran who maybe interested, please contact us by June 10th! We also want to include names and photos of anyone from Norwood who has served or is serving. Send a photo with name, rank, dates of service, etc. Sending the photo via email is preferred, but we will accept photos by mail just so we receive the information by June 10! Call us if you have any questions (513-607-8537).

We have also added a new feature to the Norwood Star - “Military Spotlight”, which is separate. In this new monthly feature, we plan to spotlight an active serviceman/woman. Please contact us if you or someone you know would like to be spotlighted. Moms and dads can contact us for their son or daughter!

Send your information to

-Andrew Clark

June COW meeting canceled

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