Light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second.

Cincinnati’s mayor-elect, John Cranley, has been pushing that speed limit in the 12 days since he won a landslide victory in a low-turnout election.

He has put together a seven-member majority of the new nine-member council to convince the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati to back off issuing $85 million in bonds for the long-term lease of Cincinnati’s parking meters and five city garages – a deal that would have put that money into the city’s coffers as an upfront payment.

Xavier University

Other than our former police chief, what does Detroit have that we don’t have? A group of Cincinnati leaders traveled to Detroit to get ideas from the city determined to pull itself up and out of bankruptcy. Sean Rhiney, director of The Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning at Xavier University, was part of the expedition and wrote about it for Soapbox Cincinnati.

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority has released details of its “substantially completed” agreements with two private companies to operate Cincinnati’s parking meters, five downtown garages, and three surface parking lots.


Tuesday's mayoral primary election, with its record low turnout of 5.68 percent, has convinced former mayor and congressman David Mann that Cincinnati needs a new way of electing its mayor.

Mann, who is now running for city council with Democratic and Charter Committee endorsements, said that if he is elected, he will introduce a charter amendment that will replace the direct election of the mayor system that has been in place since 2001.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnatians have a tight grip on our pocketbooks (and wallets, handbags, purses, man-bags, bank accounts, etc). Kiplinger's is out with its list of best cities for cheapskates and the Queen City is on the list at number six.

Kiplinger's says the title is a compliment. Criteria includes the mix of prosperity and affordability along with access to lots of free or low cost activities such as museums and libraries.

Here's the full list:

A Cincinnati group trying to revamp Cincinnati’s troubled pension system through a charter amendment paid a California firm nearly $70,000 to put petition circulators out on the streets of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati for Pension Reform, a group that includes some long-time tea party activists, says it collected nearly 16,000 signatures, which are now being checked by the Hamilton County Board of Elections. They need the valid signatures of 7,443 Cincinnati voters to put the issue on the November ballot.

The Banks Partnership

New details are being released about the next phase of the Banks project along the Ohio river.

Phase II A will feature a nine-story building running the length of Second Street from the Freedom Center to Race Street.

The development will include 305 apartments and 21,000 square feet of retail space.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials are slated to sign off on the project later this month. If everything moves on schedule, construction would begin in December with an expected opening date in fall 2015.

From a release:

Sarah Ramsey

UPDATE: 6/13 5:40 pm

Cincinnati lawyers have filed a brief with the appeals court objecting to the plaintiffs' request for a stay in parking case.  The first two paragraphs from the city's request:

Poor old Cincinnati Republicans.

They don’t have a mayoral candidate of their own.

There’s John Cranley, Democrat. Roxanne Qualls, Democrat. Jim Berns, Libertarian. And probably a couple more before the June 27 filing deadline for the September 10 mayoral primary.

But nary a Republican.

Michael Keating

Cincinnati has a new budget, but some compromises made could play a bit part in this fall's Council and Mayor's race.  Howard Wilkinson shares his thoughts.

Here's how it works:

The magic number is 8,522.

That is how many valid signatures of voters in the city of Cincinnati that opponents of the ordinance to lease out Cincinnati parking meters and garages need to place a referendum on the ordinance on the November ballot.

The petitions are filed with the city finance director. Amy Murray, a Republican city council candidate who is one of the leaders of the petition drive, said they plan to submit their signatures to the finance director on Tuesday of next week.

Are You Ohio Proud?

Mar 21, 2013

Even though I was born and raised in Kentucky, I have lived just over half of my life in the state of Ohio.  Ohio is where I have a home, a wife and three very cool kids.  So when I first heard of Be Ohio Proud, I decided that it was time to fully accept my role as a buckeye.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's Youth Jobs Program will take place Thursday, March 28 at the Duke Energy Convention Center, but the mayor said Tuesday morning he needs more companies to get involved.

Mallory, in a press conference with city council member Yvette Simpson, said that many city departments will be offering summer jobs to young people from low-income families, but there are now about 40 non-profit and for-profit companies to set up booths at the job fair, which will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Michael E. Keating

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will take a break from selling his budget plan to the state legislature Monday night when he comes to Cincinnati to be the keynote speaker at the Hamilton County Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner.

The dinner and program begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Junior Ballroom of the Duke Energy Convention Center downtown, with the governor making his speech a half hour later.

The Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner is one of the party's major fundraising events of the year. This year, ticket prices begin at $75 for individuals and $750 for a table of 10.

Photos: Cinciditarod 2013

Mar 2, 2013
Sarah Ramsey

For the past three years Cincinnati has held a shopping cart race around downtown to raise money for the local Freestore Foodbank.

This year's Cinciditarod took place around downtown Cincinnati and over the bridge into Newport, KY.

Contestants form teams, put on costumes, and decorate carts to race. There are checkpoints where the contestants are asked to eat, drink, dance, and even pose with Mr. Redlegs.

Teams have two and half hours to complete all the checkpoints before making it back to Fountain Square, the finish line.

Team Hoist won this year.

photo by Michael Keating

J. Kenneth Blackwell and Jerry Springer - political polar opposites who served together on Cincinnati City Council in the 1970s - will share the stage March 12 for Beyond Civility's "Side-by-Side" discussion series.

Springer, a former councilman and mayor who went on to international fame as a TV talk show host, is a liberal Democrats. Blackwell, a former state treasurer and secretary of state who ran unsuccessfully for Ohio governor in 2006, is a conservative Republican.

David Mann - former Cincinnati City Council member, mayor, and congressman - is running again for Cincinnati City Council, 20 years after he left that legislative body.

About three dozen supporters crowded into the lobby of Mann's downtown law office Tuesday morning to hear him officially announce his candidacy.

"I am not running for mayor again; I'm not running for Congress,'' the 73-year-old Democrat said. "I'm running to be  the best city council member I can be."

Mann served on that body from 1974 to 1992, with two stints as the city's mayor - 198-1982 and 1991.

Libertarian Jim Berns has filed petitions to run for Cincinnati mayor, setting up what will be the first mayoral primary election in the city since 2005.

Democrats Roxanne Qualls, a former mayor and now vice mayor, and former council member John Cranley have not filed their petitions yet, but are actively campaigning and raising money and plan to file petitions by the June filing deadline.

Berns' entry into the race guarantees a primary election in the city of Cincinnati on Sept. 10; and it will be a costly one.

Employees of dunnhumbyUSA and community leaders gathered at the corner of Fifth and Race in Cincinnati Thursday morning for the groundbreaking ceremony for the company's four-story headquarters.

The $100 million development  will include a 1,000- space parking garage and 35,000 square feet of commercial space.


A recent survey conducted by The Entrepreneurs' Organization indicates 62 percent of Cincinnati-area entrepreneurs think they'll see increased net profits in 2013.  Forty-one percent of those surveyed expect to hire more full-time employees, while 50 percent expect to hire more part-time workers.

The survey included 43 Cincinnati-area companies with at least $1 million in annual revenue.  Overall, the average respondent grosses $3.4 million in revenue.

Photos from Cincinnati's Martin Luther King Day march

Jan 21, 2013
All photos by Michael Keating

City of Cincinnati employees will observe  Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.  That means garbage and recycling collection will be delayed by one day all week.

Monday's pickup will be Tuesday, Tuesday's pickup will be Wednesday, and so forth.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Carthage and Mt. Airy are the two newest communities targeted for Cincinnati's Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP). 

Beginning March 1, police, businesses and civic groups will work together on an accelerated revitalization and reinvestment plan.


Listening Thursday night to P.G. Sittenfeld, a Democratic Cincinnati city council member, and Mike Wilson, the founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party, sit onstage at  Hebrew Union College might, one would think, produce some partisan sparks.

It did no such thing.

Instead, the crowd of about 200 in Mayerson Hall, heard two young men talk about their backgrounds, their early family lives, about the influences that led them toward politics, and about the need to listen – really listen – to what people of opposing ideologies and political persuasions have to say.

Michael Keating

While Democrats in Washington are attending the inaugural balls on January 21, Cincinnati area Democrats will be holding their own celebration of President Obama's inauguration at a downtown bar.

Cincy's on Sixth, at the corner of East Sixth and Walnut streets, will be the scene of a $20-a-head "Partiers for Obama" inauguration party, beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 21 - seven hours after President Obama is sworn in for a second term on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol.

In decades of writing column, I don’t think I have ever started one on a personal note.

But with this most interesting year coming to a close, and a new one about to begin, I will, if you will indulge me.

For me, it has been quite a year.

After 29 years, six months and two days at the Cincinnati Enquirer, writing on politics and a myriad of other subjects, I took an early retirement offer from the Enquirer in April, leaving behind working on a daily basis with good friends and  opportunities to do interesting journalism too numerous to count.

The Prince Hall Shriners, who filled downtown Cincinnati in August 2011 with 25,000 members, spouses and family, liked the experience so much they are bringing their national convention back in 2015.

The Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine – better known as the Prince Hall Shriners  - is the oldest African-American fraternal organization in the world , founded in 1893 with 35,000 members in 227 Shrine Temples around the country.

In 2013, the Cincinnati mayor’s race is likely to suck most of the air out of the room, as it has since the city adopted direct election of the mayor in 2001.

But it is not the only important race in Cincinnati next year.

There is this little thing called a city council election; and it will be vastly different this year than any other since the city charter was created in the 1920s.

As of now, Cincinnati voters will be electing nine council members for four-year terms, instead of the two-year terms we have had since 1927.


The Ohio Casino Control Commission says Horseshoe Cincinnati has been granted a public opening date of March Fourth next year.  

The casino will be the last of four voter-approved casinos to open in the state in less than one year.  Construction at the site started in February 2011 and is now in its final stages.  

Casino General Manager Kevin Kline says in a statement efforts to hire and train about 1,700 new workers are on schedule and several hundred slot machines have already been placed on the gaming floor.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has restored the 11-ton weight limit on the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge.

In October, a routine inspection found some deterioration of one of the beams.  That led KYTC officials to impose a 3-ton weight restriction.

The repairs were finished Thursday.  A final inspection performed Friday determined the bridge could go back to the 11-ton weight limit.