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Welcome the the web-log that is "Always In It, Always On It and Always Wants It"©. QueenCityForum.com Magazine's Blog is the First Independent Cincinnati News Blog to Feature Weekly City Hall Reporting.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ownsby's Father: We Want Accountability

$6.5 Mill Settlement Comes to Surprise Pause
by Jennifer Greenup
QueenCityForum.com Magazine

City Hall--Roger Owensby Jr.’s father addressed Cincinnati City Council in chambers for the first time Wednesday, saying that the $6.5 million settlement approved by City Council March 22 was off.

“Five and half years ago I lost my son,” said Roger Owensby Sr. “I have never come to city council before, but last week when the city solicitor sat over there and said that no one was going to be held responsible for my son’s death, I had to come.”

When asked by a member of council to explain the settlement in a little more detail, the assistant had said that the settlement was not an admission of guilt and that the officers involved in the case were also covered under the settlement.

There were two things that were supposed to happen, said Owensby. He was to get a letter of apology from the city and his granddaughter was to be taken care of.

“She said that it’s all about the money,” said Owensby. “It’s not about the money, ladies and gentlemen. All of you would fight for your child and that is all I have been doing.”

Mayor Mark Mallory quickly diffused the situation. He asked to speak private with Mr. Owensby for a few minutes and they left the council chamber. Owensby’s lawyer, Paul B. Martins was also present.

When the group emerged from their short impromptu meeting, the settlement agreement was back on. Mayor Mallory said that there had been a misunderstanding and that they had worked everything out.

“All I want is for the city and my family to move forward,” said Owensby. “We got it worked out and no more needs to be said about it.”

“This has been very emotional for the family,” said Mallory. “From all I have observed he has been through a lot.”

Roger Owensby Jr. died in 2000 of manual asphyxiation while in police custody after being mistaken for a wanted drug suspect. The police did not find any drugs on Owensby Jr. and all the officers involved signed affidavits that he cooperated fully.

Owensby Jr.’s death had sparked racial tensions and unrest throughout the city and the settlement was an important step forward for the city and its new representatives.

Mayor Mallory said at the March 22 council meeting the city needed to settle the case.
“It will allow the family to find closure and allows the city and its citizens to heal their wounds,” said Mallory. “I have heard people say that $6.5 is too much, but you can’t put a price tag on a person’s life.”

Councilwomen Laketa Cole said that Owensby Jr.’s death was a very unfortunate situation and the public should know the truth about what happened. She wanted to make it clear to the public that Owensby was not a criminal who happened to be killed in police custody.
The Council approved the $6.5 million settlement to the Roger Owensby Jr. family by a vote of 8-1.

Reporter Jennifer Greenup covers the City Hall and local politics. The feature appears each Thursday exclusively in QueenCityForum.com Magazine.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ownensby's Father Says "No" to Settlement

City Hall--Roger Owensby Sr. did not accept the settlement with the City that Council had approved initially. He and Mayor Mallory talked off council floor as Mr. Owensby requested a written admission of accountability.

QCF Magazine City Hall reporter Jennifer Greenup will have more...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wiki Gone Awry: Zimpher Not to Northwestern

University president's bio smeared online Someone with grudge says she's a witch in Wikipedia entry

"Cincinnati - Somebody with a grudge against University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher performed a little black magic on the Internet..."
Complete Plain Dealer Article

This was also the source of the Northwestern interview rumors.
[Thanks to Pork's Picks]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Former Vice-Mayor Cooper Supports Inclusion Initiative for Banks

Optimistic call for more comprehensive process in selecting master developer
By Michael D. Altman
QueenCityForum.com Magazine editor in chief

City Hall -- It was good to be on the other side of the podium, former Vice Mayor Minnette Cooper said, laughing. It was the fist time she had done so since her term expired in 2003.

She stood before City Council on behalf of several organizations Wednesday, asking specifically for County and City officials to engage in a "more comprehensive process to determine the selection of the master developer" of the Banks project.

"In addition to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), we feel it is imperative that our leaders, both city and county, require a request for proposal before making a final decision," Cooper outlined.

Ms. Cooper's statement represented the feeling of The African American chamber of Commerce, AMOS, Baptist Minister's Conference, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, CBUF, Community Action Agency, Faith Community Alliance, Greater Cincinnati Building & Trades Union, H.O.M.E., N. O.I./Mosque 5, NAACP, Women's Chamber of Commerce & Women's City Club.

She went on to say that a number of people represented by the groups, who were in attendance of Tuesday's special joint session of the county and city, were encouraged by the open and honest exchange."(They) left the meeting with a sense that the dialogue regarding our concerns had finally begun."

New Martini Club in Tower Place Rounds Off Picks...

Cincy Update's Weekly "to do list" sez...

Whether it's art, comedy, or fine wine that you crave, Cincinnati has you covered - and with this crazy weather, the 'Nati offers lots of fun INDOOR activities! Wednesday, see world and Olympic figure skating champions jump, turn and glide at Smucker's Stars on Ice.

Thursday, check out the Grand Opening of Artonomy Gallery at Rookwood or the Dress for Success Happy Hour at the newly re-opened Havana Martini Club. Friday, it's all about the laughs, with The Second City Touring Company (which fostered the careers of Mike Myers, John Candy, and others) at the Carnegie and Colin Mochrie and Bard Sherwood (of "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" fame) at the Aronoff. Saturday, for giggles of another kind, sample the crisp libations at the International Wine Festival at the Cinergy Center. Need to run off the wine? Then lace up your sneakers and get moving at Sunday's Heart Mini-Marathon.

Next week, bounce on over to Newport Thursday for the Levee Bar Bounce, get in touch with your worldly side on Friday at the International Happy Hour at Bella, and shake your groove thang with Freekbass on Saturday. There's so much to do, we're exhausted just writing about it!

Did you know that through Lily Pad USA you can get free wi-fi access in areas throughout the city? Hop on to www.lilypadusa.org for a complete list of hotspots so that you can log on to www.cincyupdate.com wherever you are!

Seriously, I Wanna Know...

My first question is, where does all the spam come from? Who benefits from this?

My next question: President Bush is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch (not the real one, the Reds don't need pitching that bad) at the ball game on April 1. (Okay that was a statement, now the question,) What would it take for half the crowd to boo him? It is a pipe dream, but what would it take?

Next question, the oe that will never be answered, if he did get booed, would the media cover the heck out of it or not at all? Could it possibly be the "mo'" that makes the anti-Bushies say, "hey, maybe we can recall this bastard..."

Or maybe they start putting together the lies that the administration has told publicly and put together a case to nail them for treason or something. I'll be real honest with you, that's the proportion I think this has reached.

I dunno, what do you think?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dumas and Hackett to Join Others at Candidates Night

Thursday March 30th, Stephanie Dumas will join fellow Democratic County Commissioner Candidate David Pepper and a host of other candidates in a Meet the Democratic Candidates Night.

The Hamilton County Democratic Forum will host keynote speaker Paul Hackett at the 20th Century Theatre on Oakley Square. The Program is scheduled to start at 8:00.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is Light Rail in Cincinnati's Future?

Every large city has transportation problems. Every modern large city uses modern technology to address those problems. Compare Mumbai or Bankok to Chicago or Shanghai, for example.

Cincinnati needs to address its traffic and infrastructure issues and plan for the future. If the past is any indication, perhaps we'll see solutions in Northern Kentucky first...

Is light rail the answer? Should Cincinnati use its abandoned subway tunnels? Should street cars figure into the plan?

The city wants to explore the issue and options, and- no surprise here- is looking to hire consultants to draw up a report.

The Cincinnati Department of Transportation & Engineering wants to know how much the 80-year-old tunnels are worth, the cost to bring them up to today's building codes and the feasibility of using them for a modern subway system. The city also is looking at extending the system south to Third Street.

If that doesn't work, one option is to abandon the tubes and stations and fill them in, according to the city's request to potential consultants for the study... City officials are loath to take such a drastic step, because of what it would cost to build the tunnels today.


Light rail hasn't had much public support around here in the past, and it's doubtful that that has changed much in 10 years. The first step should be marketing the idea, then the plan(s).

Monday, March 13, 2006

Archbishop Pilarczyk Issues Call to Action on Immigration

From his recent missive "They Are Blessed Who Welcome Strangers":

Immigration is a subject that should be of interest to us all. For one thing, all of us are here, enjoying the blessings of life in the United States, because we are descended from immigrants. Each family has its own story. Some of the stories are happy, some sad. But the fact remains that, if there had been no immigration somewhere in the past, we wouldn’t be here today.

...immigration should be of interest to us is because it is a human rights question. The social teaching of the church calls for ordered opportunities for immigration simply because seeking a better life and a wider spectrum of opportunities is a fundamental human right.

I therefore urge Catholics and other citizens of our area to write letters and make phone calls to our Senators asking them to reject the restrictive proposals of the House bill [H.R. 4437] and support the enlightened, comprehensive reforms of the Senate bill [S. 1033].

Click here for Sen. Mike DeWine's web page (click on "contact information" to email him).

Click here for Sen. George Voinovich's contact form.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

That Time of Year (Baby!)

The NCAA tournament is now only moments from being announced.

In a time where the this administration in charge throw unparalleled distraction--from tough talk to declaration a la Hollywood that the war has been won--it is interesting to consider what kind of an impact the Super Bowl, World Series and March Madness have on reminding us that things can be good.

So, what is it that keeps us focused long after our team has exited? Is it the common objective of hard work? Is it the stories of kid before his time--Magic vs. Bird, Jordan hits winning shot.

Why does America need this so much? Is there anything comparable in the world?

Whatever it is, I love to watch. I love to be a part of this mystic connection that fans share.

Friday, March 10, 2006

waiting till the last second

March brings wonderful excitement in the world of college basketball and Cincinnati is blessed to have the Atlantic 10 championships. I must ask, Why in the Hell do college basketball teams waste so much time at the end of a half before screwing up a final shot?
Let's look at some facts: Basketball teams miss more shots than they make. following this argument would it not make sense to run your offense, take a good shot or two (oh, my god!) and then play defense for a few seconds, knowing the the odds are in your favor.
Secondly, teams seem to do better when playing their game and not having to force plays. One fella yesterday had 30+ seconds, dribbled at half court for 23+ seconds, went to make a drive, lost the ball immediately to the chagrin of the other team who proceeded to throw home an emphatic dunk.
One more scenario: 45 seconds to play with 35 second shot clock (believe me this happened yesterday as well). the team tried to waste as much time as possible to, i suppose, put pressure on the opponents insuing possesion. I'm not positive of the play's outcome, but i don't remember a basket. This isn't the point. Logic would tell me that with 45 seconds to go, a team should run an 7-8 second play, this would force the opponent to make a play during their next trip down the court and give the orignal team at least a few seconds to make a second play during those 45 seconds.
On top of of all this nonsense, too many college coaches are allowing their players to make bad decisions and use poor mechanics. The fundamentals are nearly void and this is not a knock on the A10 because i see it across the board. By the way, Xavier fans are some of the least intelligent, jerks i have ever had the unfortunate encounter of sitting around. They play Fordham tonight, who actually looked like a team and played proper defense. Go Rams!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Supreme Court, Ohio State Host Judicial Scientific Training Seminar

Ohio’s Supreme Court and OSU recently held another seminar in a series designed to make judges more informed about matters of science and technology. From the press release:

The Supreme Court of Ohio, in cooperation with the Ohio State University… hosted the first Ohio session of a national program designed to prepare judges to preside over complex scientific issues likely to come before their courts.

[The] session at Ohio State focused on agricultural issues, such as air, ground and water quality associated with farming operations, genetic modification and animal and human health.

It’s good to see Ohio take the lead in educating judges about science and technology. For one thing, they'll know what to do in case something like this happens.

Monday, March 06, 2006

"We Will See You... Tomorrow!"

Jack Buck did play-by-play for CBS during the 1991 World Series, one the tightest contested Series of my lifetime. The Twins and Braves seemed to end every game on the last at bat in those seven games, the seventh going scoreless for 10 innings.

In game six, when it looked like the Braves were going to win it all, the Twins came back and won on a Kirby Puckett homer to centerfield in extra innings.

It was amazing.

Buck called that game, his famous words as the ball soared over the Metrodome's centerfield baggie, "we will see you... tomorrow!!"

I miss Jack Buck's voice.

Kirby Pucket passed away yesterday.

How Important Is Sportsmanship?

Yankee fans, Cowboy fans, Duke and so on...

There is a thin line between arrogance and confidence. In the often talked about college basketball showdown between two possible players of the year, Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick, Morrison has taken a step on the nasty side.

Morrison was accused of talking a lot of trash by the San Diego State forward who guarded Morrison Sunday night. A lot of trash. The potential POY was quoted as saying that he would get all the calls and that the other player was a loser. The quotes were definitely competitive in nature. It will be interesting to see if ESPN has a story written about it tomorrow.

The funny thing when you think about it... The Duke player probably does it every night. He just plays stiffer competition.

So does sportsmanship still matter?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Springer/ Hannity Debate

This is good stuff... Matt Bergantino (who did write a great story about QCF Mag for Cincinnati Magazine) went to the Jerry Springer/Shawn Hannity debate last weekend at Argosy. This is one of the things that he had to say...

But we are idiots who want to connect with each other: The Springer and Hannity brands are so popular because they help people argue with their in-laws. If you can't stand your liberal meathead son-in-law, listen to Hannity and get all the ammunition you need. Meanwhile, your son-in-law will be listening to Air America. Then when you meet over the dinner table, you can re-enact what you've heard. In this way, these gratingly dumb celebrity pundits provide a script we can use in our real life. And that's a fast track to brand loyalty.