Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, January 29, 2010

Physics Professor’s Torah was aboard Atlantis Shuttle mission

Henry Fenichel, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Cincinnati, will speak at Xavier University on the topic “Reach for the Stars: An evening of science, faith, history and the human person” in 101 Lindner Hall on Xavier’s campus at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 1, the seventh anniversary of the disintegration of the Columbia space shuttle during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, 16 minutes prior to its scheduled landing on February 1, 2003. This is a free discussion open to the public.

Prof. Fenichel will speak about the story of his little Torah that was carried into space aboard the Atlantis Shuttle mission. He will share his unique background as a Holocaust survivor and his connection to one of the crew members of Columbia – astronaut Ilan Ramon.

Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, and the son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, carried a number of Holocaust artifacts aboard the Columbia, including a small Torah. His mentor and friend, astrophysicist Joachim Joseph (known as Yoya), was a Holocaust survivor to whom the small Torah was entrusted by a rabbi with whom he was an inmate of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Hoping the boy would survive, the rabbi asked Yoya to tell their story to the world. The rabbi died in the camp. Yoya sent this small Torah with Ramon on the Columbia. Ramon also brought a pencil sketch, "Moon Landscape", by 14-year-old Petr Ginz, who died in Auschwitz. Ginz, incarcerated in the Terezin ghetto, depicted his dream to view the threatening earth from a safe distance. Ramon felt his journey fulfilled Petr’s dream after 58 years. February 1, 2003, the date the Columbia disintegrated, with the crew, the Torah and the drawing inside, was the date Petr Ginz would have turned 75, had he survived Auschwitz.

"Being the first Israeli astronaut, I feel I am representing all Jews and all Israelis," Ramon said. "I'm the son of a Holocaust survivor. I carry on the suffering of the Holocaust generation, and I'm kind of proof that despite all the horror they went through, we're going forward."

Ramon’s wife, Ilan, was part of a videoconference with Yoya between children from Netanya, Israel and from Cincinnati. From Cincinnati, Prof. Fenichel shared his yellow “Jude” star and a small Torah scroll, given him by an elderly cousin who escaped Nazi Germany. Fenichel’s Torah was almost identical to Ramon’s.

Fenichel allowed his Torah scroll to be taken on the Atlantis space shuttle mission at the request of Rona Ramon, in memory of her husband’s goals. He said "the Torah represents the survival of the Jewish People, the ability to rise from the depth of despair in the Holocaust and reach for the stars. It symbolizes a hopeful promise for a new beginnings and shining example of respect between cultures and religions." The Atlantis returned safely to Earth on Sept 21, 2006, fittingly, the eve of the Jewish New Year.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Help wanted: Paid positions to work on Haitian reconstruction

As a board member of The Center for Closing the Health Gap, Lupe Gonzalez-Hoyt received the following solicitation for workers to help rebuild Haiti and asked us to post it. The positions are with Adams Communication & Engineering Technology, Inc. (ACET, Inc.).


ACET, Inc. has received an immediate request to provide assistance to the devastation from the recent earthquake that has befallen the nation of Haiti. We are looking for anyone interested in going to Haiti to help for a 3- 6 month period. There are no particular skills sets defined at this point, except the willingness to help wherever needed. We will be presenting folks and highlighting their unique skills and trade qualifications, so if the opportunity to help in your area exists - it will be noted and presented. As you can well imagine, any skill that you may have - can be of great help.

Typical skill sets needed:
  1. Carpenters
  2. Masons
  3. Electricians
  4. Medical Personnel
  5. Communications
  6. Builders
  7. Heavy Equipment Operators
  8. Plumbers
  9. Logistics
  10. Etc.

THIS IS NOT A VOLUNTEER REQUEST - you will be paid for the work you do.
This is a temporary employment assignment that will include travel, expenses, remuneration with an understanding that housing accommodations will be very basic. All that is needed at this point is a passport or ability to obtain one ASAP.

If you are seriously interested or know of someone who would be interested - please email me back ASAP or forward this email, and I will provide more details for you at that time.

This is a unique opportunity to make a difference to the people of Haiti!

Onekqua Beverly
Corporate Recruiter/Security Specialist
ACET, Inc.
301-861-5023 (Office)
301-885-3199 (Fax)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

December 09 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total emergency responses for the month of December = 373
Medic Runs = 279
Fire Runs = 7 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 28 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 7 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 2
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 44 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 10 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call - 11 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent - 4 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 16 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Severe Weather - 0
Special Incident - 0

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
500 regular hydrants winter strapping and 100 extra hydrants pumped

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 656
Total Inspections – 118 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 238
Total Violations – corrected 237
Total Block Inspections – 0 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 63

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Xavier University Women in Psychology Speaker Series

The Xavier University chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, invites you to a winter speaker series on women's issues. Prominent female psychologists will lead informative, compassionate discussions on their respective topics of expertise. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Conaton Board Room, Schmidt Hall at Xavier
Eating Disorders and Body Image
Ann Kearney-Cooke, PhD
Director, Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute

Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Conaton Board Room, Schmidt Hall at Xavier
Women in the Workplace/Supporting the Women around You
Robin T. Arthur, PsyD
Chief of Psychology, Lindner Center of HOPE and managing director, Sibcy House

Monday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. Cintas Banquet Center Conference Room 2
Intimate Partner Violence: What Can We Do to Make a Difference
Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP
Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Xavier University’s Women of Excellence was created to honor and advance the legacy of Xavier and Edgecliff graduates. Xavier depends on the support and leadership of its alumnae and friends to shape the University. This speaker series was generously funded by a Women of Excellence Giving Circle grant. To learn more about Women of Excellence, visit

Mammogram screenings at Rookwood

The Jewish Hospital Mobile Mammography Unit will be at Rookwood Commons and Pavilion this Thursday, January 28:

What: 15-minute mammogram screenings
Where: Rookwood Commons and Pavilion, 2669 Edmondson Rd.
Hours: 7:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
Cost: varies per insurance plan. Financial assistance is available for qualified applicants. .
Appointments required: Call 686-3300.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Account of the Streets and Infrastructure Committee meeting

Guest blog by Steve Thornbury

The Streets and Infrastructure Committee met on Thursday evening to discuss the agenda item “Sidewalks and Curbs Repair Assistance Program” which was referred to the committee by Councilperson Moore.

Councilperson Joe Sanker began the meeting with a brief history of the City’s past efforts in sidewalk repair. Back when we had a Public Works crew dedicated to concrete work, regular maintenance of the sidewalks was supervised and paid-for by the City. In the decades since then the policy in Norwood has been that the property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in front of their property.


(a.) No owner or occupant of abutting lands shall fail to keep the sidewalks, curbs or gutters in repair and free from snow, ice or any nuisance. (ORC 723.011)

It was noted that some municipalities offer to help defray the cost of such repairs.

In the meeting we discussed several possible scenarios for encouraging property owners to initiate such repairs. These included designating one area each year that would be the focus for repair efforts. Another suggestion was to begin the first year with a citywide voluntary program that would serve to inform the residents of their responsibilities before a more aggressive program is instituted in subsequent years. Common to any program discussed was the idea that the repairs could be made at a lower cost if the City were to contract with one company to do all the work and thus receive something like a “bulk rate.” To that point, a resident in attendance at the meeting noted that caution should taken if the choice of concrete contractor was left to the individual property owner. It was pointed out that such a policy might open the door to a form of bid-rigging that would inflate the cost of an estimate in an attempt to unfairly collect more from the City for a given repair.

The ultimate purpose of any program established by Council would be to eliminate the dangerous and unsightly stretches of sidewalks that inevitably develop over time in older neighborhoods such as ours.

Program particulars aside, it was acknowledged that many property owners are not currently aware of their responsibility for maintaining their sidewalks and that an effective public information program would be helpful in achieving the goal of ultimately upgrading the curbs and sidewalks in our city. It must also be noted that any effort that involved City participation in funding these types of repairs will mean having to make decisions about where limited City revenues that are not already committed would be best spent.

In the end the Committee is not prepared to make any specific recommendations to Council. The meeting was adjourned with the understanding that additional information was needed before another meeting would be called. At this point the members of the committee are encouraging citizens to contact them with any thoughts or insights they might have, particularly those from previous experiences in other communities.

Steve Thornbury
Streets and Infrastructure Committee
Norwood City Council

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Tuesday, January 26th
Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m., Ages 3-6

Wednesday, January 27th
Preschool Storytime
11:30 a.m., Ages 3-6

Thursday, January 28th
ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

For more information, call 369-6037

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking readers’ questions for interview with Mayor Williams

Mayor Tom Williams has graciously agreed to a sit-down interview with us in the next few weeks. He told us he will respond to any and all questions from our readers that are answerable, meaning he cannot address topics like union negotiations, lawsuits filed against the City, the identities of companies in talks with the City about developing /redeveloping local properties. Let us know what questions you’d like us to pose by either leaving them in the comments box or emailing them to us at We’ll do our best to get all questions answered. The interview will probably be published as a two or three-part series.

Leslie Ghiz speaking at Norwood Republican Club meeting

This coming Monday, January 25, at 7:30 p.m., the Norwood Republican Club’s first monthly meeting of the year will feature a “Souper” bowl party theme, complete with complimentary homemade soup and beverages. Dues-paying club members (annual membership $10; senior citizens $7) will elect new officers and a new board. The group meets at the Community Center at 1810 Courtland Avenue.

Cincinnati City Council member Leslie Ghiz will be speaking about her campaign for Hamilton County Commissioner. She is in her second term on City Council and serves on the Public Safety, Strategic Growth and the Budget and Finance committees. During her time on City Council, she has worked towards making the City and County safer places to live and introduced a plan to build temporary jail facilities.

The Norwood Republican Club now has its own Facebook Page with news and information about meetings and events. To visit, just log into your Facebook, then type “Norwood Republican Club” in the Search Box.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More good news: Norwood’s year-end carryover balance $2+ million!

Councilperson Victor Schneider asked us to publish the good news in City Auditor Jim Stith’s January 12, 2010 letter to City Council, which appears in the City Auditor’s Report for the Month Ending 12/31/09. Mr. Schneider is extremely pleased with the City’s current financial condition and optimistic about our financial future. And he has a challenge for our readers: “How about posting Jim Stith’s letter on the CBN blog with a challenge for everyone in Norwood to tell at least 5 people how well Norwood is doing? Let's get a little self promotion going and see if we can't get it to catch on. A good attitude about our great City can be the start of something. Let’s get the word out!” So how about it? All you have to do is hit the email option below and pass the good news on to friends.

January 16, 2010

Dear Members of Norwood City Council,

The complete City of Norwood’s Monthly Auditor’s Report for the month ending December 31, 2009 is now available for viewing online. Please take the time to review this report. Printed copies of the report are on display in the Auditor’s office and a copy will also be maintained in the Clerk of Councils office. If you would like a printed report please request a copy from the Auditor’s office.

In 2009 the General Fund revenue was $22,067,258, while expenditures were $22,064,782. Year-end encumbrances totaled $237,658 making the year-end carryover balance $2,170,048. The year 2009 saw significant savings in the areas of insurance and real estate taxes but increases in expenses related to income tax refunds. Overall the greatest expenses were in payroll at $16,372,654 with its greatest revenue source
being local taxes with $16,622,820.

A Supplemental Auditor’s Report is also available. This offers graphical representations of the yearend report. It includes breakdowns of revenue sources, expenditures by departments, year to year comparisons, and a break-down of health care costs.
The Auditor's report and the supplement contain the initial totals at the year-end closeout for 2009 and are presented in unaudited form. Detailed audited information will be available in the 2009 CAFR which should be completed in the Spring of 2010.

The City has done well so far in these tough economic times. I would like to encourage continued caution and close budgetary control as we face the uncertainties of 2010.


Jim Stith

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Streets & Infrastructure Committee meeting tomorrow

Steve Thornbury, Chairperson of City Council’s Streets and Infrastructure Committee, has scheduled a meeting for 6:30 p.m. tomorrow in Conference Room B at City Hall to discuss one agenda item: Curb and Sidewalk Assistance Program. Other members of the committee are Michael Gabbard and Joe Sanker.

Good news: Norwood’s 2009 earnings tax revenue up nearly $1 million

December 2009 Earnings Tax Report

The Earnings Tax Department’s Report for December shows YTD collections for 2009 increased 6.31% over 2008.

Individual………….....$ 57,390.26
Business…………......$ 278,573.70
Withholding……......$ 738.928.56

Collections thru December 2009….……….....…...........$16,613,164.66
Collections thru December 2008.............................$ 15,627,395.02
6.31% increase in collections over 2008.………………......$ 985,769.64

SPCA Cincinnati: Buy dog license, get free rabies shot

Time is running out to buy your 2010 Hamilton County Dog license! According to Ohio law, every dog over the age of three months must have a license by January 31 of every year. Dog owners who fail to purchase a license for their dog by January 31, 2010 are subject to a fine.

A great opportunity to get a license, as well as other services for your pet, will be during SPCA Cincinnati’s Pet ID Day, Sunday, January 31, noon to 4:00 p.m. at the SPCA Cincinnati Humane Center, 11900 Conrey Road, Sharonville.

Licenses are $19.75 each. A Hamilton County dog license not only ids your pet, but is also their ticket home if they get lost or loose.

SPCA Cincinnati will also offer a free rabies shot for your dog with the purchase of a Hamilton County dog license. This offer is good ONLY during Pet ID Day on January 31 and ONLY at SPCA Cincinnati’s Sharonville location.

Rabies shots are also free for cats, but SPCA Cincinnati is asking for a small donation of your choice as cats are not required to have a license.

Discounted microchip implantations will also be available. Microchipping and registration for one cat or dog is $15, a savings of around $60. With a small microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) implanted under the skin, a pet can be traced back to its owner if found and turned in to an animal shelter, including SPCA Cincinnati.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rick Hursh's account & video of the Haitian earthquake

First, let me thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Your generous outpouring of concern was a comfort to Sheri during those hours after the quake and the days that followed.

Grace UMC church in Norwood has had a long history of service in Haiti. Members have been service in that mission field as long ago as the early 70's. Our current Pastor Kevin Jobe went to Haiti when he was a teenager at the church. More recently we have been sending members to Haiti with our sister church in Sharonville under the direction and supervision of Christian Services International. These teams, combined with the efforts of other teams from primarily the Midwest, have been with the blessing of God, building and maintaining a school for about 200 students, an orphanage for 20 girls, and a medical center.

For the past couple of years we have been building a parsonage and a church, which is what we were working on during this trip. Our team consisted of 11 members, 8 from Sharonville, Matt and me from Norwood, and the remaining members were from Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist church. In addition, we were combined with a construction Team from Pioneer Methodist Church in Michigan. After two days’ work on the church, our team was scheduled to have dinner at the orphanage with the girls while the Pioneer team headed back to the mission house in Port-au-Prince.

The earthquake hit while the team was preparing to eat with the girls. We were able to help get the children out of the building, put out a small fire in the kitchen from a broken gas line, and make what repairs we could to the facility to help save water that was running from a storage tank. It was quickly determined that the medical center about 50 yards away was in better condition after the quake so we helped move the girls to that location.

At the medical center, three of the team members worked with injured residents who came to the center for treatment. Normally, the center is staffed during the day with a Haitian doctor and several nurses, but they were not at the clinic at the time of the quake. The rest worked to restore water and get the center back in operation. Victims were treated as best as they could be until supplies were exhausted and attempts were made to get other to local hospitals. Those few hours after the quake will probably be the hardest for the team members to deal with.

The next day and for the rest of the week, we worked on restoring water to the medical center and rebuilding the walls needed for security. Half of the Pioneer construction team came to the medical center to lead the effort while the other half stay in Port-au-Prince to help with the mission house. None of the buildings that have been a part of our projects over the years collapsed from the quake. Two are severely damaged and may have to be replaced. Some may attribute this to the construction skills of the teams, but most of us give credit where credit is due and simply give thanks to God for our protection.

Because Christians Services International has been in Haiti for decades they have been able to operate at a time and under the kinds of conditions that challenge the efforts of the biggest powers in the world. As our week was completed, we were able to leave and be replaced by a medical team which is better suited for the task at hand. In addition, the school will be converted for temporary housing and food center for the people in the area. The orphans are currently staying at the medical center, but the long term solutions for the orphanage and the Missions house will have to be addressed. If you have a desire to help them in their efforts, please contact them through this website. Please also keep the people of Haiti and those who were effected by this quake in your prayers as they deal with the disaster in the next days, weeks, months and years.

Thanks again for all your concerns and prayers.

Rick Hursh

For more about Rick’s experiences in Haiti, be sure to watch him and his son Matt interviewed in this Channel 5 piece that aired yesterday afternoon and this remarkable 1 ½ minute video Rick took of the earthquake in progress with Matt playing with the orphans just as the building began to shake.

Resurrect Haiti | An Art Event this weekend in Norwood

Resurrect Haiti is a two-evening art event to raise money for the urgent humanitarian crises in Haiti. Offerings from a variety of artists include over 60 pieces of small affordable artwork. 9" pieces are free with a minimum donation of $75 dollars each. Enjoy snacks and beverages, live music and like-minded friends. This event is a practical and meaningful way to help those in pain and thus fulfill the desire to stand with those who are suffering so much loss.

A handful of underwriters have generously agreed to underwrite all the expenses of the event, covering all the manufacturing costs of printing and framing the photographs. This means that 100% of all sales will go directly to the relief effort. We have the names of and relationships with at least four organizations on the ground doing work there.

Organizations that will distribute the benefits from this event include:
-International Sports Alliance
-Matthew 25 Ministries
-Restavek Freedom

When: Resurrect Haiti will be held for two consecutive nights on Friday and Saturday evenings, January 22 & 23, 7:00 - 10:00 pm.

Where: Resurrect Haiti will be held simultaneously at two adjacent locations:
1. The Speckled Bird Café at 1766 Mills Avenue
2. 1801 Mills

Who: A large portion of the work are photographs of Haiti from Cincinnati artists and photographers Jon Willis and Owen A Brock, taken while on recent humanitarian trips to Haiti. We are also excited that a number of other artists have offered their work as well, so there should be a tremendous offering of work on display.

Regarding art, contact Owen Brock at: or 513.253.5683.

Regarding organization of the event or volunteering, contact Matt Dawson at: or 513.390.8580.

Monday, January 18, 2010

12 police depts. assist NPD with out-of-control teen crowd

Several hundred teenagers turned away from a capacity crowd of 200 at a Saturday night dance at the American Legion hall on Montgomery Rd. flooded the Norwood Business District engaging in fights and vandalism, prompting police to alert businesses to lock their doors. Officials estimated the street crowd at about 400. After responding to a 7:40 p.m. call of trouble at the hall, Norwood police asked for help from other area police departments. With the assistance of officers from 12 police departments, the teen crowd was brought under control by 10 p.m. Vandalism and fights were reported at the nearby White Castle and UDF. No arrests were made, and there was only one injury, a teen with a broken jaw who was taken to Children’s Hospital.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Tuesday, January 19th
Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m., Ages 3-6

Wednesday, January 20th
Preschool Storytime
11:30 a.m., Ages 3-6

Thursday, January 21st
ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

Friday, January 22nd
Wii Play!
4 p.m., Ages 5-12

For more information, call 369-6037.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update: Rick and Matt Hursh returning from Haiti

The following email from Sheri Hursh has great news about Rick and Matt and all the other area residents who went to Haiti recently to do mission work:

I just wanted to follow up and let you know that the team has been evacuated to the Dominican Republic today. They'll spend the night there tonight and be flying back home tomorrow. They are scheduled to arrive around midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning and will travel as a group from the airport to Sharonville United Methodist Church where family and friends will be to greet them around 12:45 AM. Their journey is nearly over! :)

Sheri Hursh

Friday, January 15, 2010

Xavier University Responds to Haitian Earthquake

The Xavier University community is responding to this tragedy of the Haitian earthquake by supporting Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS is well-established in Port-Au-Prince, has strong ties with domestic development organizations, and is committed to supporting both immediate relief services and the necessary long-term rebuilding and development processes.

Xavier has connections with Haiti that have been established through various academic initiatives and the first-year common reading program, amongst others. Additionally, the United States has significant historical and political ties with Haiti, the poorest nation in our hemisphere.

Xavier is inviting students, staff, faculty and alumni to consider making a financial contribution to the relief and rebuilding efforts. Online tax-deductible donations can be made at

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Norwoodians Rick and Matt Hursh among uninjured in Haiti

Shortly after we posted this morning’s blog below about the 2 Norwood residents reportedly safe after Haiti’s earthquake, we opened an email from one of readers telling us CBN founder and Rick Hursh and his son Matt are the residents not identified in the article. We immediately emailed Rick’s wife Sheri, and she quickly us sent the following account to share with our readers. Thank you, Sheri, and know that your family is in our prayers. We share your relief that Rick and Matt are okay.

Guest blog by Sheri Hursh

We've not had much word from them specifically but I'll share what I have had and what I know at this point:

There is confusion regarding where exactly they were when the quake hit. Initial reports were that they were out in the field working on a building, but word came from the full time missionary whom they are working with in Haiti that they were actually just sitting down to have dinner at the orphanage when it hit. Fortunately all of the orphans (20 young girls) and the entire missionary team were unharmed. Severe damage occurred to the guest house they were staying in (which I understand is located inside of Port Au Prince) and the orphanage (a small drive outside the city) sustained structural damage making it unsafe to be in. They were able to keep their health clinic open and were overwhelmed with injured people needing help the first night. Fortunately both the clinic and the church are structurally sound. The team slept outside the first night, primarily due to concern that the clinic (where they were staying) would not withstand the aftershocks. It's my understanding they spent yesterday working in clean up and repair and have managed to secure a safe place for the children as well as the team to sleep. No word quite yet on if and when they will be able to travel home on Saturday, as was originally planned. Selfishly I'm praying that will be the case - but I also know that God has them there for a very clear reason, and thus they'll be home according to His plan. They have had some internet service and Rick managed to send one brief e-mail, just letting me know they are both okay and wasn't sure what would be happening from there or when he'd be able to be in contact.

Matt updated his Facebook status with this last night:

"I'm extremely thankful that none of the missionaries were hurt and that all the girls from Hope orphanage are safe. But now we have a ton to do before we leave. Thank you for your prayers, God was definitely with us this week."

As you can imagine we are so thankful and relieved to know that they are okay and extremely proud of the work they are doing there.

Mayor Williams’ State of the City address

Following is the text of the State of the City address Mayor Williams delivered at Tuesday’s night City Council meeting. He is also scheduled to speak about the City at the January 19 Chamber of Commerce meeting at noon at the Cintas Center. Click here for details.

January 12, 2010

Dear Madame President and Members of Council:

The City will move into 2010 in financially better condition than most other government entities. In the past, we have discussed the ramification of the economic downturn that this country has suffered. We, in the City of Norwood, have been through tough times and by working together, we have survived. We must continue to work together to prepare for the economic turnaround.

As always, we continue to maintain our efforts to make our City clean and safe. We must also continue to improve our streets and keep our word to the voters to invest in our streets. When financial times were tough, we continued to provide the first class emergency services to not only our residents but to the businesses also located in our City.

As financial times improved, we increased the enforcement of our building codes and even, for the first time in our history, started the process of removing blighted buildings that have for years lowered the quality of life in many of our neighborhoods. In the past, people that lived around the blighted properties had just heard talk but for the first time, the talked stopped and action was taken.

Recent changes have occurred to further improve the building enforcement efforts in our City. One such change is the coordination between the Police Department and the Building Department. Building Department inspectors and police officers go out together and target areas that have chronic problems with crime and building code violations. Once again, this is a new program that has never happened before in our City.

The Administration will continue to stay in contact with the business community and to use every tool at our disposal to not only maintain the businesses we have but to bring new businesses to our City. We have established our City as business friendly and to stress our accessibility and availability along with confidentiality that most businesses not only expect but demand.

As I stated previously, we must continue to not only maintain our City but to improve all aspects whether it be residential streets or parks. The services we provide are what separate us from other jurisdictions. When the snow falls, our streets are maintained. When you need paramedics or fire services, our response time is second to none. When you call the police, the response time is also second to none. The Health Department, working cooperatively with the school system, flawlessly handled the inoculation of school children.

These services are what make Norwood what it is today, a City that provides services second to none. A City that reviews all options regarding costs versus services and a City that learns from its mistakes. As usual, the Administration will continue to work with Council. With that said, the Administration will continue to protect funds that have taken years to accumulate and will not support those funds being allocated for purposes other than what they were intended. As we have learned in the past, when you use every dollar at your disposal it never has a good outcome.


Thomas F. Williams, Mayor
City of Norwood

2 Norwood residents safe after Haiti’s earthquake says two Norwood church members doing missionary work in Haiti with a group of 35 from the Sharonville United Methodist Church reported early Wednesday they are safe following Tuesday’s devastating 7.0 earthquake. Eleven members of the Sharonville church who just got to Haiti say they're all okay, as do 17 members of a church group in Hillsboro.

Matthew 25 Ministries charity at 11060 Kenwood Road in Blue Ash is accepting donations of food, supplies and money to aid the millions struggling to survive in Haiti. If you’re aware of any Norwood churches/organizations that are collecting donations for Haitian relief, please let us know in the comment box.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lupe Gonzalez-Hoyt: What’s on your wish list for local commerce?

As a new trustee with the Norwood Chamber of Commerce, Lupe Gonzalez-Hoyt, Executive Director of Norwood Service League, wants to know our readers’ thoughts about the state of business, especially small businesses, in our community. With her guest blog below as a starting point, what do you think we can do to attract new businesses and help them thrive?

It’s no secret since 1964, that the Pike lost a lot of local business and customers with the opening of shopping centers and malls. Check out the photo displays at the Norwood Historical Society archives to view the crowded sidewalks back then. In the 1980’s, Montgomery Rd. lost it cozy customer feeling when the road was widened to a football field. The habits of shoppers changed, the products people bought changed. The commercial market changed. So here we are in 2010, beginning of a new year and we still hear people say, “We ought to have….” “I wish there were…” in regards to the kinds of businesses they need or want.

But the buying public isn’t aware of what it takes to open, maintain and grow a small business, are they?. Small business has been the backbone of any community economy. There is a place for small businesses in the landscape of commerce with larger corporations, conglomerates, and international companies. The newer retail developments which have revitalized that neck of the ‘wood are different from the Norwood Central Business District.

For the local small business owners, times are tough and we need to work together to get through. With the recent closing of Kruse Hardware Store, it reminds that we are losing businesses. Yes, the overall economy in our country is a bitter pill, but we have some control of the local economies of our homes and small businesses.

As small business owners we have a dream, a desire to serve and impact our community. Sometimes we need extra help to adapt to changes that affect business. And it gets lonely working all by yourself. For the local business man or woman, what would you say are your needs? Networking, technical assistance, new ideas for PR and marketing, better parking? You tell us. Are you interested in starting a small business one day? What information do you need?

Do we want our Central Business District to look like Montgomery & Dana/Brewster? Or do want to redevelop and expand what we have on our main street? As a new board member of the Norwood Chamber of Commerce, I‘d like to hear your thoughtful comments. This is serious business, so please let’s work together on this. My intent here is to provoke thought, inspire planning, brainstorming, and start a new conversation. This is an exhaustive subject, but one I enjoy delving into for too many reasons to explain in one sentence.

Just for fun, this is my own wish list for new businesses in Norwood, based on my personal needs and what I know about our community:

1. An attractive, friendly community conference center where companies, organizations and groups can hold meetings, trainings, seminars.
2. More family restaurants, eateries, mobile restaurants (seasonal) w/ specialty foods. I know of several local new corporations with employees who need variety beyond what we currently offer.
3. More child care centers for 0-4 years old. Quality learning begins in the early years. Believe me, we do not have enough to meet the needs In our area.
4. A hardware store. My 98 year old Tudor home needs special hardware, wood, tools, equipment, to maintain its functional and architectural integrity. The hardware store sells new stuff doesn’t fit my house. The average age of Norwood housing is 1939.

In the meantime, there are great small businesses who are members of the Norwood Chamber of Commerce. Need your computer fixed? Need a CPA? Need jewelry redesigned? How about printing projects? Check out the NCC website at for a listing of services, and support the small businesses with your business.

Lupe Gonzalez-Hoyt
Phone: 924-1200

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Suspect charged with all 3 Wright-Patt robberies

Lt. Tom Williams with the NPD has just informed us that Derrick Kidd, 37, of Auburn Avenue in Mt. Auburn has been charged with all 3 robberies at Wright-Patterson Credit Union and with assault on a police officer in today’s incident (see blog immediately below) when he allegedly scuffled with an off-duty sheriff’s deputy doing security in uniform. With the help of residents, Officer Chuck Bell spotted Kidd getting in a blue minivan parked on Ashland Ave. and apprehended him. All other Norwood police officers quickly responded to assist. Kidd was taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Lt. Williams also told us the bank teller did not shout, “Hey, this is our guy” as reported by the Enquirer. She did, however, manage to alert the sheriff’s deputy that a robbery was in progress, which lead the deputy to take action to stop the suspect.

Stupendous! 3rd Wright-Patt robbery thwarted this morning

Thanks to an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, a bank teller, community members and a Norwood police officer, a man attempting to rob the Wright-Patterson Credit Union on Lafayette Ave. was stopped just a minute or two latter with a full bag of cash. After ignoring the deputy’s request that he remove his knit cap, the suspect went past him directly to the teller with a note the bank was being robbed. According to the NPD’s Lt. Tom Williams, the teller then shouted to the deputy, “Hey, this is our guy.”

A struggle between the deputy and suspect ensued in which the would-be robber lost his coat and shirt before running bare-chested into the below-freezing air where alert residents pointed the police officer responding to the teller’s 911 call to direction the suspect was running. He was arrested 1 block away at the corner of Ashland and Washington Avenues, apparently without further incident. The police don’t yet know if this suspect also robbed Wright-Patt on two other occasions recently.

Lt. Williams told the Enquirer, “We are very proud.” Yes, and we are all very proud of you and everyone else involved in bringing down this thug. Now, who among us thinks today’s catch was going for a third robbery at Wright-Patt?

Free Walk-In H1N1 Vaccination Clinics this month

Guest blog by Pamela Walker-Bauer

During the month of January, 2010, FREE Walk-In H1N1 Vaccination Clinics will be held at the Norwood Health Department at 2059 Sherman Ave. on:

Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except Martin Luther King day, with Nurse Chandra

Thursdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. with Nurse Betsy

Since we have an ample supply of vaccine no appointment is needed. Please print the Consent for Free 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Form under the Forms and Documents section of the Pandemic Flu Planning page at our website Bring the completed form with you to the clinic for faster service. Contact 513-458-4600 with any questions.

Due to the inclement weather cancellation of last Thursday’s clinic on January 7, 2010, we still are having an after-hours clinic on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to accommodate those who missed their appointments. Individuals must schedule an appointment for this clinic at 458-4600.

Pamela Walker-Bauer, MPH, RS
Health Commissioner
Norwood City Health Department

Xavier issuing bonds for new construction this Thursday

Xavier University’s campus is getting ready to grow again with the construction of a new 240,000 square feet residence hall and dining complex near the corner of Ledgewood and Herald.

The complex, which is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011, will house approximately 525 students in suite-style living in four connected buildings. The new dining facility will have a seating capacity of up to 800 and will replace the Hoff Marketplace dining hall in the Cintas Center.

To help finance the construction, Xavier University will issue approximately $48 million in tax exempt bonds this Thursday, January 14, 2010 through the State of Ohio Higher Educational Facility Commission. For more information on the bonds, please see the information below.

The project is scheduled to begin next month with the demolition of several houses on Ledgewood and Herald. Offices currently in those buildings are being relocated to other spaces on campus.

Construction of the Hoff Academic Quad, currently underway at Xavier, is on schedule to open in August. The Quad includes the new Williams College of Business, the Conaton Learning Commons and a new Central Utility Plant.

Xavier University
2010 Bond Issue
January 11, 2010

Xavier University is in the process of issuing approximately $48 million in tax exempt bonds, through the State of Ohio Higher Educational Facility Commission, for the construction of a new on-campus student residence hall and dining facility. The project will include suite style rooms to accommodate approximately 525 students and an 800 seat dining facility.

The bonds will be at fixed interest rates scheduled to mature in various years through May 1, 2040 and are a general obligation of the Xavier University. The bonds have received ratings from Moody's, S&P and Fitch of A3, A- and A-, respectively. Barclays Capital is serving as senior manager, with Fifth Third Securities and PNC Capital Markets LLC as co-managers.

The bonds are currently scheduled to be priced on January 14, 2009. Individuals and organizations interested in more information concerning the availability or possible purchase of these bonds should consult with their current financial advisor/investment broker before the January 14 pricing date.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Xavier speaker to tell story of her captivity in Iran

Haleh Esfandiari will speak on "My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran" at Xavier University’s Cintas Center at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, January 19. This free lecture, open to the public, is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Leadership Council, the American Jewish Committee and the Bruggeman Center for Dialogue. Esfandiari, a leading expert on Iran, was for a time imprisoned by the current regime. She is the director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, the former Deputy Secretary General of the Women's Organization of Iran, has taught at Princeton University, and has worked in Iran as a journalist. With a leadership that is unpredictable and possibly unstable, a desire to develop nuclear weapons, and its involvement in the Iraq war, Iran presents one of our most difficult foreign policy challenges.

Esfandiari’s book by the same title, "My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran," will be available for purchase at the lecture.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Superintendent Amodio closes NCS again today, says safety first

Like most other area school officials, Superintendent Rob Amodio decided early yesterday morning to close NCS hours before snow began to fall at about 9:00 a.m. In advance of his decision to close the schools again today, Mr. Amodio told the Enquirer, "The whole issue is going to be the cold. My concern is for the safety of the kids walking to school in single-digit wind chills, walking on unshoveled sidewalks and getting soaked, walking on the streets…Whether we have three days or whether we have 10 days, the first thing you have to worry about, and the biggest thing you have to worry about is safety of the kids and the staff. That's paramount. You can't jeopardize the safety of kids and staff, worried about makeup days."

Currently, Ohio allows schools to miss five days of school for hazardous weather, disease, etc. without making them up, but that will change starting next year when calamity days are reduced to three in order to lengthen the school year. Mr. Amodio says that change won’t affect his decision to call off school.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

NPD asking public to help re Wright-Patt robberies

Lt. Tom Williams with Norwood Police Department told us yesterday police are considering the possibility the same suspect robbed Wright-Patterson Credit Union on Lafayette Ave. both Tuesday this week and on Wednesday, December 30. In addition to the similar descriptions of the robbers witnesses provided, there is the additional information that in both robberies, the suspects were last seen running up Washington Ave. and turning right on Ashland Ave.. It is not known whether the suspect(s) then fled the scene in a car parked on Ashland or a nearby street in advance of the robberies or whether he fled in a getaway car driven by an accomplice. But here is what Lt. Williams is asking all of us to do: please call the Norwood police at 458-4521 or Crimestoppers at 352-3040 if we see anyone resembling the suspect’s description (see yesterday’s “WLW 700...” blog below) or anyone else walking towards/to Wright-Patterson Credit Union after getting out of a car on Ashland Ave. or even a block away. At this point, that meets definition of suspicious behavior the Norwood police want to know about right away.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tomorrow’s H1N1 vaccination clinic canceled and rescheduled

Norwood Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer just informed us that she and Mayor Williams have decided to cancel tomorrow’s H1N1 free vaccination clinic because of the 2 -4 inches of snow predicted. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 19 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Norwood Health Department at 2059 Sherman Ave. Please call 458-4600 to schedule an appointment, and don’t forget that nurses Chandra and Betsy are available to visit anyone homebound in Norwood to provide the H1N1 vaccine to them free of charge. The Norwood Health Department is well-stocked with vaccine for our community.

Tom White: Public Works ready, set to go on tomorrow’s snow

Tom White, Director of Norwood's Public Works Department, told us earlier this morning there will be 6 snow trucks in service early tomorrow morning treating our streets and plowing the 2-4 inches of snow predicted. That’s 1 snow truck more than in previous years because a small street truck has been converted to address dead end streets and narrow streets like Cleveland Ave. as well as the water tower on Indian Mound and Pig Tail Alley off Laura Lane. Truck drivers will have specific routes tomorrow, but the sequence as always is to clear main thoroughfares like the Lateral and Montgomery and Smith Rds. first, followed by steep streets like Marion, Forest, Buxton, etc. in North Norwood, and then all secondary streets.

Currently there are 300 tons of salt on hand with 200 more tons on order. With the recent conversion of the old transfer station into a salt barn, the City can now store between 400 to 500 tons of salt completely under cover.

Tom White asks that residents with driveways park their cars off the street if at possible so the trucks can do a thorough job of plowing. He assured us all the streets will be plowed and treated tomorrow, so maybe we can all try to exercise a little patience and not bombard Public Works with phone calls about service.

700 WLW: Wright-Patt Credit Union robbed twice in six days

Wright-Patterson Credit Union at 4560 Lafayette Ave. was robbed again yesterday at 1:00 p.m. by a suspect described as 30 years old, dressed in matching light tan work coat and pants, a dark brown alligator pattern cap with a small bill, and black shoes with white soles. He was last seen running east on Washington Ave. towards Ashland Ave.

According to this Channel 12 report, just six days ago on Wednesday, December 30, Wright-Patt was robbed by a lone suspect who was black wearing a three quarter length work coat which is light brown in color and grayish knit cap with black and gray trim, faded blue jeans, and black shoes with white soles. He, too, was last seen going east on Washington Avenue towards Ashland Avenue. No one was hurt during the robbery and no weapon was shown.

Police are asking that with anyone with information regarding these robberies call Norwood police at 458-4521 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 352-3040.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Norwood students featured in Channel 9 report on math

According to Channel 9, this fall the State of Ohio is requiring 4 years of math for incoming freshmen, but Norwood City Schools has already implemented the requirement with courses in algebra, geometry, algebra II, and pre-calculus. Featured in the report and video are seventh grade students in John Stacy’s math class and high school students in Brad Hunt’s AP Calculus class.

(h/t Robin)

H1N1 vaccination clinic this Thursday

1/6/10 UPDATE: This vaccination clinic has been canceled and rescheduled for Tuesday, January 19 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Following is an announcement from Pamela Walker-Bauer:

We have scheduled another FREE H1N1 vaccination clinic this Thursday, January 7, 2010 from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. at the Norwood Health Department at 2059 Sherman Ave. We have plenty of vaccine available but are still asking that individuals call for an appointment to prevent traffic congestion and ease parking constraints. I would also like to remind CBN readers that the Norwood Health Department will not charge individuals for this vaccine unlike other locations in the community. Please call 458-4600 for an appointment for your FREE H1N1 vaccine. Our nurses, Chandra and Betsy, are also available to visit anyone homebound in Norwood to provide the H1N1 vaccine to them free of charge.

Pamela Walker-Bauer, MPH, RS
Health Commissioner
Norwood City Health Department

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Presenting...our new Norwood City Council

Front row L to R: John Mumper, Steve Thornbury, Michael Gabbard
Back row L to R: Donna Laake, Keith Moore, Jane Grote, Joe Sanker, Victor Schneider

Program for January 1, 2010 Inauguration Ceremony

The City of Norwood Norwood City School District Inauguration Ceremony - 2010 -
Norwood High School Auditorium
2060 Sherman Avenue
January 1, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

Scott Faulkner
Sarah Horsley
Ken Miracle
David Ragle
Cheri Scott-Geraci

Thomas F. William, Mayor
Ted E. Kiser, Law Director
James P. Stith, Auditor
Timothy W. Molony, Treasurer
Jane M. Grote, President of Council/Vice Mayor

City Council
Michael D. Gabbard, At-Large
Joseph W. Sanker, At-Large
Victor Schneider, At-Large
Keith Moore, Ward 1
Steve Thornbury, Ward 2
Donna Laake, Ward 3
John T. Mumper, Ward 4


Master of Ceremonies - Todd L. Tittle

Invocation - Pastor Kevin Jobe of Grace United Methodist Church

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call of Elected Officials

Board of Education, Norwood City School District Oath of Office

City of Norwood Elected Officials Oath of Office

Keynote Speech - John F. Kucia, Administrative Vice President, Xavier University

Moment of Silence

Benediction - Pastor Kevin Jobe of Grace United Methodist Church

Oaths of office administered by:
Board of Education,
Norwood City School District
Cheri-Scott Geraci
(School Board Members)
City of Norwood Elected Officials
Jennifer Stith (James P. Stith)
Thomas Molony (Timothy W. Molony)
Mary Romanello (Jane M. Grote)
Kiley Gabbard (Michael D. Gabbard)
Tom Williams (Joseph W. Sanker)
Maximilian Schneider/Wilhelm Schneider (Victor Schneider)
Lisa Moore /Nathan Moore/Elijah Moore (Keith Moore)
Patricia Thornbury (Steve Thornbury)
Robert Laake (Donna Laake)
Julia Mumper/Kate Mumper/Jake Mumper/Samantha Mumper
(John T. Mumper)

Special thanks to the following individuals, organizations and businesses for their assistance in planning this ceremony:
Rob Amodio - Superintendent, Norwood City Schools
James Helmecamp - Supervisor of Plant Operations, Norwood City Schools
Tom White - Superintendent, Norwood Public Works Department
Brian Mumper - Clerk of Council
Deborah Simpson - Secretary to the Clerk of Council
Betty Greene - Greene’s Flower Shoppe
Tyler Meyer/Steve Grothaus - Norwood Community Television
Robin Mace
Jerry Klems