Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

City Council seeking input on “chicken ordinance” draft

We’re interrupting our holiday hiatus again because Norwood City Council is seeking feedback from residents regarding the amended “Prohibited Animals” ordinance (see text below), which appeared on last night’s council meeting agenda for the first of three readings. The ordinance has been amended to allow up to 7 hens/no roosters on single-family or two-family owner occupied parcels. Feel free to leave your comments in the comment box. You can also email them to the Secretary of Council or to individual council members by clicking here. Clerk of Council Casey Brown tells us the ordinance is expected to have all 3 readings at separate council meetings so residents will have plenty of time to comment.


WHEREAS, Council desires to amend Section 505.15 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Norwood, Ohio, entitled “Prohibited Animals” to better protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community; now therefore,

BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Norwood, State of Ohio, that:

SECTION 1. Section 505.15 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Norwood, Ohio, entitled “Prohibited Animals” is hereby amended to read as follows:

(a) Keeping or Harboring of Animals Prohibited. No person shall keep or harbor within the corporate boundaries of the City:

(1) Any animal categorized as ferae naturae or wild animals, including, but not limited to, exotic foul or birds, reptiles and prehensile or carnivorous mammals normally found in a circus or zoological garden; or
(2) Those domesticated animals commonly found on a farm including, but not limited to, sheep, goats, swine, horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, cattle, rabbits, ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens.
(3) A “pitbull terrier”.

A. “Pitbull terrier” is hereby defined as any Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog, or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier, as to be identifiable as partially of the breed of Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier.

B. Testimony by a veterinarian, zoologist, animal control officer (SPCA), or Health Department code official (designated as an animal control inspector) that a particular dog exhibits distinguishing physical characteristics of a pitbull shall establish a rebuttable presumption that the dog is a pitbull.

(b) Property Owner Deemed a Harborer. No person, being the owner of real property within the corporate boundaries of the City, shall knowingly allow any such animal described or named in subsection (a) hereof, to be kept or harbored upon his property.

(c) (1) Exclusions. The following animals are specifically excluded from the parameters of this section: dogs (other than pitbull terriers), cats, guinea pigs, Vietnamese potbellied pigs, gerbils, hamsters, parakeets, canaries, parrots and other birds commonly available for purchase in area pet shops, goldfish and tropical fish.

(2) The animals listed as prohibited animals under this chapter are permitted within the City limits for educational use or exhibition provided that the educator takes precautions to ensure the safety of person viewing or handling such animals and that such educator obtains the written permission of the Board of Health and complies with such safety precautions and insurance coverage as the Board of Health deems necessary to
protect the health and safety of all persons presenting or attending such exhibition.

(3) The prohibition to keeping chickens in this section does not apply to the keeping of up to seven (7) female chickens while the animals are kept in such a manner that the following standards are complied with:

A. No person shall keep a chicken on property within the City of Norwood without a permit issued by the Health Department.

B. Application for a permit required by this section shall be made in writing on a form provided by the Health Department. The permit fee shall be twenty-five dollars ($25). Prior to issuing such permit, the Health Department shall inspect the property to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.

C. Chickens shall only be kept on a single-family or two family owner occupied parcel(s).

D. Chickens shall be provided with a covered, predator-proof chicken house that is thoroughly ventilated, of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens, designed to be easily accessed, cleaned, and maintained by the owners and be at least two 2 square feet per chicken in size.

E. No chicken house shall be visible from the public street on which such residential property fronts. Such structures shall be appropriately screened from abutting properties by either a solid fence, wall, or landscaping at a height no less than four feet and no greater than six feet high.

F. The chickens shall be shut into the chicken house at night, from sunset to sunrise.

G. During daylight hours the adult chickens shall have access to the chicken house and, weather permitting, shall have access to an outdoor enclosure on the subject property, adequately fenced to contain chickens and to prevent access to the chickens by dogs and other predators.

H. Stored feed must be kept in a rodent-and-predator-proof container.

I. It is unlawful for the owner, custodian, or keeper of any chicken to allow the animal(s) to be a nuisance to any neighbors, including but not limited to: noxious odors from the animals or their enclosure; and noise of a loud and persistent and habitual nature. The Health Department shall be permitted to inspect the property to
determine whether or not a nuisance exists. If the Health Department finds that a nuisance exists, the Health Department shall revoke the permit to allow for chickens on the property.

J. No person shall own, keep, or harbor any rooster in the City of Norwood.

K. No person shall slaughter any chicken upon a residential lot.

(d) Nuisance. Any animal listed or described in subsection (a) hereof is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.

(e) Penalty. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Each day that the animal continues to be harbored within City limits shall be deemed a separate violation of this section.

(f) Effective Date. This section shall take effect and become enforceable thirty days after the first day of its posting in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Ohio Revised Code. Any person keeping or harboring animals as prohibited by this section within the corporate limits of the City shall therefore abate such nuisance by the time this section becomes enforceable as hereinabove provided by this section.

SECTION 2. This ordinance shall go into effect on the earliest date allowed by law. PASSED __________________________

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We interrupt our hiatus for this PSA from Public Works

We just got off the phone with Public Works Director Pete Tepe, who told us there is plenty of salt on hand this year: 319 tons with 180 more tons to be delivered soon. All of the City’s salt is stored inside the old incinerator on Public Works’ property at the end of Harris Avenue. Three Public Works trucks spread about 90 tons of salt for the snowfall on 12/12 and 12/13 over a 13-hour period.

With 1-4 inches of snow predicted to start at about 3:00 a.m. tomorrow, Mr. Tepe has scheduled some employees to start working at 2:30 a.m. “We always hit the main roads like Montgomery and the Norwood Lateral first, then the hilly streets like Hopkins, Section, Marion, and Buxton. We treat the dead end streets last,” he told us. As always, we need to be a little patient while the Public Works guys work their way to our own streets.

Signing off for our annual holiday break

As in years past, we’re going on hiatus until the first of the year so we can get into the full spirit of the holiday season. We want to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year! We’ll see you back here on Monday, January 3.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog commenting etiquette

For our civilly challenged commenters only

This year has seen an increase in sporadic rashes of uncivil comments, in many cases filled with mocking, demeaning, sometimes hateful language and unsupported accusations directed at community members, elected officials, other commenters, and CBN. We have had to spend extra time we really don’t have moderating and deleting comments, revoking commenting privileges, answering emails about our decisions, etc.

Our vision for the Citizens for a Better Norwood blog from its inception in 2006 has been essentially twofold: (1) In the absence of a local newspaper at the time, we wanted to provide a conduit for news and information about the Norwood community that might not otherwise be readily available to residents, and (2) we wanted to provide a forum where community members could comment about local issues and news in a civil manner. We did not start off with a commenting policy, preferring to moderate comments on a case by case basis. Things went along pretty well this way, with a minimum of moderation required, until January of 2008 when we published this blog entitled “Commenting policy - should we have one?” Following is an excerpt, which is a driving force in our decisions about topics we choose and comments we moderate:

“Last week, the Daily Bellwether’s Bill Sloat wrote about his own conflict over comment moderation in a cautionary blog we recommend entitled “Ohio Blog Sued by School Principal: Toledo Lawsuit Tackles Anonymous Comments.” Three of us put our names on our first blog on 8/2/06, and we have no desire to be sued over either our blog content or anonymous comments. We will continue to moderate in a way we will think will best protect all of us from litigation.”

But it isn’t just the threat of lawsuits that concerns us. We are also concerned about the negative effect of uncivil discourse on our visitors, our valued guest bloggers and others who contribute important information and material for publication, so we want to be crystal clear: the comment boxes are not and never have been intended for use as repositories for rude, crude, disturbing, sniping, personal, hate-filled, mocking, short or long rants. If you find yourself composing an inappropriate rant to post, it’s time to vacate these premises until you can compose yourself. If the urge persists, you can proceed to the seemingly not moderated, wild west City of Norwood Discussion Board and have at it. That’s the online venue to express venom, not this one. And let there be no confusion about this, either: It is government that is mandated by the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment to protect free speech rights. Citizens for a Better Norwood is not a government entity and, therefore, is not charged with protecting free speech. CBN is, however, going to protect ourselves and everyone else from speech we deem entirely too free for publication.

We want our civilly challenged readers to know that we have always viewed this blog as an online home away from our actual homes where all are invited to partake of our offerings, and, using their best guest behavior, participate in rational discussions and debates. Using this analogy, we’re going to describe what it’s like for us and perhaps many of our readers when comments go awry:

Let’s say you, one of our guest bloggers, and 8 other Norwoodians accept our invitation to lunch at home to review and discuss the pros and cons of City Council’s proposed chicken ordinance. Lunch is served, and one of the guests turns to us and says, “The only reason I came today is to tell you directly that inviting people to talk about the chicken ordinance has got be THE most stupid idea ever conceived. But I also see you’re serving us picnic food. I was expecting a hot lunch, not sandwiches, pasta salad, and deviled eggs. I’m offended at your lack of effort.” Another guest, Ed, pipes up and says, “Yeah, I’ll second that, plus I don’t understand why you invited Virginia here. Everybody knows she’s an idiot and a slut.” In defense of Virginia, yet another guest picks up the plate of deviled eggs and begins hurling them at Ed. Just as we’re telling these 3 to leave, you stand up, horrified, and storm out muttering about the people we associate with and how you’ll never come to our home again. And who would blame you?

What unfolded above is intolerable, so we plan on starting the new year with a simple commenting policy that will be accessible under the links on the right hand side of this page. It will express our belief that it is possible to disagree about local issues without being disagreeable. With that as the standard, commenting here may not be for everyone.

P.S. One of us reads foreign affairs expert Steve Clemons’ blog. Just last night, coincidentally, we saw he wrote this blog yesterday about his disappointment in toxic comments left on his website The Washington Note. He responded to a mentor of his who wrote to him, in part: “I hope you realize that you are providing "acceptable" space for some truly hateful rantings. With "friends" like these that you are attracting, you don't need enemies.” Steve’s thoughts about these kinds of comments pretty much echo our own, but, of course, he expresses them so much better than we can.

Monday, December 13, 2010

“White Christmas” with Norwood dancer Vera-Ellen airs today

This Enquirer article about Norwood native Vera Ellen Rohe’s dancing career was a fun read. Born in 1921, she was the daughter of a piano tuner and grew up on Cathedral Avenue. Norwood native Kathleen (Metzgar) Shafer grew up with her and tells the Enquirer a lot of interesting stories about Vera-Ellen before she dropped out of Norwood High School in 1937 to dance in New York and later star in 13 films with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Danny Kaye. In “White Christmas,” Vera-Ellen plays Rosemary Clooney’s sister and love interest for Danny Kaye. The film airs at 8:00 and 10:45 p.m. today on AMC.

Here’s a list of other famous people from Norwood on the Norwood Historical Society website.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Wednesday, December 15

Movers & Shakers
Sing, dance, move!
10:00 - 10:30 a.m., Ages 1-4 with adult

Preschool Storytime
Stories, songs, and a craft.
10:30 - 11:00 a.m., Ages 3-6 with adult

For more information, call 369-6037.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lt. Paul Cain: he loved policing our city

A tribute by Lt. Tom Williams, Jr.

As many in our community know, Lt. Paul Cain was in his 42nd year of impeccable service in the Norwood Police Department when he passed away suddenly last Friday. Since joining the force in 1968, he touched countless lives both in and out of the department, earning everyone’s respect and admiration along the way. Among the things that may not be so well known is that he and my father, Mayor Tom Williams, who was previously a Norwood police officer, were the NPD’s very first canine officers starting in 1971. Paul’s canine partner was Trooper.

Paul rose quickly through the ranks and was given an array of important assignments over his long career. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1979, and not long after, he was named Lieutenant. In 1984, he was named training supervisor at the Norwood Police Academy. In 1989, he became Patrol Supervisor in charge of a shift for 20 years. Then in 2009, he became the Communications Supervisor of 911 Dispatch.

I’d like to share a couple of favorite Paul stories. He was a longtime gun enthusiast with a vast knowledge of weaponry and firearms that we often relied upon during the course of our work. When the department switched to semi-automatic firearms, Paul stayed with his revolver, explaining to us, “My revolver never jammed!”

Another favorite has to do with his longevity at the NPD. He was eligible to retire 17 years ago after 25 years of service. But not Paul. He loved his job of policing the city too much to leave. So the running joke was, “He’ll have to be to carried out of here.”

Everyone at the Norwood Police Department sends their heartfelt sympathies to Paul’s family and many friends. We want them to know that we will all greatly miss him.

Lt. Tom Williams, Jr.
Norwood Police Department

Chamber names Norwood entrepreneur Woman of the Year

Thirty-two women in business, women-owned businesses and their advocates were honored this week for their achievement, innovation, social responsibility, and mentoring at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s WE (Women Excel) Celebrate event at the Hyatt Hotel. Congratulations to Mary Miller with JANCOA Janitorial Services Inc. for being named Woman of the Year - Entrepreneur.

(h/t Lupe)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

November report for Keep Our Property Safe Program

In November, the KOPS (Police, Building & Property Maintenance, Fire and Health Departments visited the following eleven problem properties that were selected by the Norwood Police Department as habitual offenders:

2009 Williams Ave.............5144 Hunter Ave.
1813 Cleveland Ave............5252 Warren Ave.
1815 Cleveland Ave...........2147 Lawn Ave.
1912 Mills Ave. #9..............4571 Smith Road
1821 Mills Ave. #2
2015 Foraker Ave.
5131 Hunter Ave.

These inspections resulted in all properties being issued orders and three of the properties being issued vacate orders.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gerry Stoker, Building Commissioner
City of Norwood

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Norwood loses 2 great community members

We want to extend our condolences to the families of Paul Cain and George Schneider. Mr. Cain, an active member of the Norwood Police Department for 42 years, passed away this past Friday at the age of 63. Friends may call at the Naegele, Kleb & Ihlendorf Funeral Home at 3900 Montgomery Rd. tomorrow from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Rd. on Friday, December 10 at 10:30 a.m.

George Schneider. 74, passed away this past Saturday at his Norwood home where he had been under the care of Hospice of Cincinnati for multiple health issues since Thanksgiving. Despite his failing eyesight, Mr. Schneider never let being blind stop him from leading a very active life. He helped his children deliver the Cincinnati Post and Times-Star in their neighborhood, led Cub Scout Pack 12 as a Webelos leader and helped two sons achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. In addition to his wife of 50 years, Lois, Mr. Schneider is survived by 6 children, 3 of whom reside in Norwood: Councilperson Victor Schneider, Norwood firefighter George Schneider, and Timothy Schneider. Visitation is 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Naegele, Kleb & Ihlendorf Funeral Home, 3900 Montgomery Road, Norwood. Mass of Christian burial is 11:00 a.m. Thursday at Holy Trinity Church, 2420 Drex Ave. in Norwood, with visitation at the church from 10:00 a.m. Thursday until services begin.

Mr. Bill’s Jewelry Store robbed in 2 minutes

Channel 12 has this video of a thief smashing the door of Mr. Bill’s Jewelry Store at Surrey Square Sunday morning and then smashing display cases containing diamonds and gold in a robbery that took him just 2 minutes. Wearing a black jacket, white gloves, and mask, he seems unconcerned about the alarm going off. Norwood police were at the scene just 37 seconds after being dispatched, but the thief was already gone. Lt. Tom Williams with the NPD gold Channel 12, “(He) Probably knows from prior experience how long it takes an alarm to trip."

Included in the Channel 12 video is a clip showing a man in the same black coat and white gloves inside the Fig Leaf in Hyde Park Square on Saturday talking to a clerk about the jewelry that was later stolen. The Wheel of Justice is offering a thousand dollars for information about the jewelry thief.. Call CrimeStoppers at 352-3040. Callers are identified by code numbers, not names.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Jamie Belty on the mend, back to work at NCT

Congratulations to NCT employee Jamie Belty on her miraculous recovery from a near-fatal beating April 25 at the hands of boyfriend Berkheimer. One of two policeman responding to a domestic dispute call that night wound up shooting and killing Berkheimer when he refused orders to stop beating Jamie with a hammer. After extensive facial reconstruction and rehabilitation to regain her balance, Jamie is back at work at Norwood Community Television, sporting a tattoo of a hammer on her left arm that says, “Tougher than nails.”

Monday, December 06, 2010

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Wednesday, December 8
Movers & Shakers
Sing, dance, move!
10:00 - 10:30 a.m., Ages 1-4 with adult

Preschool Storytime
Stories, songs, and a craft.
10:30 - 11:00 a.m., Ages 3-6 with adult

Saturday, December 11
Make a Gift and Wrap it Too!
Make a beautiful, wearable gift for someone you love. See library staff to view a sample.
(It’s a surprise, after all!)
2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Ages 12-18. Registration suggested but not required.

For more information, call 369-6037.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Santa Claus at Community Center tomorrow!

Kathy Hammond with Norwood Recreation asked us let everyone know that their annual Christmas Celebration is tomorrow, December 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Community Center at 1810 Courtland Avenue. Santa will be arriving around 9:45 a.m. for all the fun, which will include the children getting their pictures taken with him. They can also write a letter to Santa, make Christmas crafts to take home, and there will be lots of treats for them. This is a free event for everyone!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

COW meeting tonight

Norwood City Council’s Committee of the Whole is meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss the following agenda items:

1. Urology Group
2. Residential Parking Permits
3. Draft ordinance amending section 505.15 in the codified ordinances entitled “Prohibited Animals.”

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

October 2010 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Individual…………….$ 101,130.44
Business………………$ 103,939.76
Withholding………….$ 749,037.14
TOTAL………………....$ 954,107.34

Collections thru October 2010….……….....…...........$12,499,653.77
Collections thru October 2009..............................$14,451.273.82
13.5% decrease in collections over 2009.…………….($1,951,620.05)