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Diversity : Cincinnati In The News

159 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All

How transportation planning is stuck in the past

A new report from the National League of Cities, "City of the Future: Technology & Mobility," details the many challenges city and regional leaders face in adapting their planning efforts to coming workforce and demographic changes. Bob Graves, associate director of the Governing Institute, writes about the report's findings in Governing Magazine.

"For all we hear about the impact that technology and social changes are having on urban mobility, you'd certainly expect to see their influence reflected in city transportation planning," he says. "For the most part, unfortunately, this simply isn't the case."

In short, Graves writes, the NLC study finds that the cities' planning efforts focus heavily "on the problem of automobile congestion and prescribe increased infrastructure in the form of new roads as the primary cure."

The study analyzed city and regional transportation planning documents from the 50 most populous U.S. cities as well as the largest cities in every state, for a total of 68 communities. Cincinnati didn't make the cut, but our regional planning shortcomings are certainly echoed in the report.

Read the full Governing Magazine story here.

Cincinnati among top 20 U.S. cities for freelance graphic designers

The Graphic Design USA website is citing Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers to say there are 259,500 graphic designers in the U.S., with 24 percent self-employed. It then looks at a study by Zen99, a tax company for self-employed workers, to compare which cities provide "the biggest bang for the buck" for self-employed or freelance graphic designers.

Cincinnati is ranked #18 in the study, which explores where graphic designers earn the most, which cities have the highest percentage of self-employed designers and how affordable are living costs, especially health insurance.

The top five cities are Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; and Miami.

Read the full Graphic Design USA post here.

ArtWorks murals tell Cincinnati's story "one wall at a time"

The Cleveland Plain Dealer takes a tour of ArtWorks' mural program and comes away impressed.

"To learn the history of Cincinnati, take a walk. Then look around," Susan Glaser writes. "The city's story surrounds you, in full color, on the exteriors of buildings scattered throughout downtown and in dozens of nearby neighborhoods."

Glaser and a Plain Dealer photographer check out some of the Cincinnati's newest and best-known murals, including Ezzard Charles and Henry Holtgrewe, the world's strongest man, in Over-the-Rhine; the fruit stand beside Kroger's headquarters; and the retouched Cincinnatus homage at Vine Street and Central Parkway.

"Every day, thousands of residents and visitors pass by the murals," Galser writes, "and, perhaps, wonder: What is that? How did it get there?"

Read the full Cleveland Plain Dealer story here.

25 years later: Cincinnati and Mapplethorpe

Cincinnati writer/artist Grace Dobush has a well-researched and well-written story in today's Washington Post about this weekend's activity at the Contemporary Arts Center celebrating the 25th anniversary of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's infamous Perfect Moment exhibition at the CAC. Events and the symposium continue through tomorrow; see the full schedule here.

Dobush does a nice job reminding readers of the local tumult in 1990, centering around the prosecution of the CAC and its director, Dennis Barrie, and their subsequent acquittal by a Hamilton County jury. She also discusses Cincinnati's slow recovery from the culture wars that created an atmosphere where art could be prosecuted as obscenity.

"When Chris Seelbach became Cincinnati’s first openly gay City Council member in 2011 ... Cincinnati’s score on the Human Rights Council’s Municipal Equality Index, which evaluates cities on support for LGBT populations, was 68," Dobush writes. "As of 2014, it was a perfect 100. And Cincinnati son Jim Obergefell was at the center of the landmark Supreme Court decision this year to legalize gay marriage."

Interviews include Seelbach, CAC Director Raphaela Platow, Source Cincinnati's Julie Calvert, former Mercantile Library Director Albert Pyle and Vice Mayor David Mann. Great job, Grace!

Read the full Washington Post story here.

Ohio political parties want to limit their own power in redistricting

Governing Magazine has a good roundup story about Ohio Issue 1, which we'll be voting on in a few weeks. If passed, it would change how Ohio legislators draw state senate and state rep districts every 10 years in accord with the U.S. Census.

"Ohio politicians have long talked about changing the redistricting process, but, if approved, this would be the first major change to it in more than 40 years, according to Brittany Warner, communications director for the Ohio Republican Party," writes Daniel Vock. "The 66 members of the state's Republican central committee 'found the plan to be transparent, accountable and fair, so they endorsed the issue,' she said.

"Democrats are on board, too — although the chair of the state party, David Pepper, said they would prefer an independent redistricting commission like the ones in Arizona and California. But voters soundly defeated a proposal to do that in 2012.

"'If you're going to have it be the politicians doing redistricting, which is less than ideal, I think it provides a structure that pretty creatively incentivizes doing it the right way,' Pepper said."

Pepper also told Vock, "The direct result of gerrymandering is non-stop, very far right, extreme legislating. Hopefully the outcome of fair districts is a much more measured approach by our state legislature."

Read the full Governing Magazine story here.

How Cincinnati fares in analysis of U.S. bike & walk commuting

The League of American Bicyclists recently released its 2014 edition of “Where We Ride: An Analysis of Bicycling in American Cities,” a look at the growth of bicycle commuters based on new data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Topics covered include how all 50 states rank according to bicycle commuters as a share of all commuters, how cities with a high percentage of bicycle commuters compare to other cities in their regions and even numbers on the rate of growth among walking commuters.

The broad results show there was a modest increase of 0.5 percent from 2013 to 2014 in the percentage of bike commuters nationwide. That number has grown by 62 percent nationally since 2000.

Cincinnati, Ohio and Kentucky show up throughout the report, of course, with mixed results. The best news: Cincinnati is the third fastest growing city for bike commuting, with 350 percent growth in bike commuters between 2000 and 2014. Only Detroit and Pittsburgh grew faster.

Cincinnati ranks #31 among U.S. cities for percentage of commuter trips taken by bike (0.9 percent), which is about where the city sits in overall market size (#35). Portland, Ore. is #1.

In terms of overall share of commuting performed on bicycle, Ohio ranks 36 and Kentucky 43. Oregon is #1.

Interestingly, 6.4 percent of Cincinnati workers commuted by walking in 2014, which ranks ninth among U.S. cities in the 200,000-500,000 population range. Pittsburgh was first in that size category with 11 percent.

Read the full League of American Bicyclists report here.

When art fought the law in Cincinnati and art won

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Contemporary Arts Center's Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, The Perfect Moment, that resulted in obscenity charges against the CAC and its director, Dennis Barrie, and ultimately their exoneration by a Hamilton County jury. Smithsonian Magazine does a good job recapping the 1990 events and trying to explain how Cincinnati — the arts community and the city in general — has evolved since then.

Writer Alex Palmer interviews Barrie and his lead defense attorney, Lou Sirkin, to provide memories of the 1990 events as well as current CAC Director Raphaela Platow and Curator Steven Matijcio for "what does it mean today" context.
"The case has left a positive legacy for the CAC, and for Barrie, who went on to help defend offensive song lyrics at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum," Palmer writes. "'People see the CAC as a champion of the arts,' says Matijcio. 'We're still always trying to be challenging and topical, to draw on work that's relevant and of the moment.'"

The CAC commemorates the 25th anniversary with a series of programs and exhibitions, starting with a "Mapplethorpe + 25" symposium Oct. 23-24.

Read the full Smithsonian Magazine story here.

Wired likes local project's use of video games to fight urban decay

Wired magazine took notice of local designer Giacomo Ciminello's use of video game play to help re-invigorate blighted spaces through his People’s Liberty grant project, Spaced Invaders. Soapbox was on hand Aug. 27 for the project's first public display in Walnut Hills.

"I like the idea of just 'spaced invaders' because that is literally what we are doing," Ciminello tells Wired. "We aren't destroying property, we aren't making permanent marks. We are having fun, and opening up people's eyes to possibility. Why is this parking lot here? Empty? … What does this neighborhood or community need and can it be in this space? That's the kind of dialogue we are hoping for."

Read the full Wired story here.

How Hamilton produced "drill rap" star Slim Jesus

Apparently Hamilton is home to an up-and-coming rap star who goes by the name Slim Jesus. The Atlantic's CityLab attempts to find out why a white rapper from small-town Ohio has a video with more than 1.5 million YouTube views (image from the video is above) and close to 16,500 "thumbs-up" as well as more than 7,000 "thumbs-down."

"His song 'Drill Time' has launched him into overnight celebrity status, in no small part to his gunshow spectacle, but also because of the power of social media," Brentin Mock writes. "There are plenty of blogs, listicles, and Reddit threads attempting to explain who Slim Jesus is. However, his hometown of Hamilton — the city where (President George W.) Bush dropped bombs on education and Iraq in the same speech (in 2002) — perhaps most deserves examination to understand how Slim Jesus came to be."

Among "the conditions that created Slim Jesus," Mock focuses on Ohio's vanishing manufacturing sector, which hit Hamilton especially hard, and the state's steady pro-firearms legislative march.

"While gun violence is often associated with black teens, it's not surprising to find such a huge arsenal of guns in the hands of the white, teenaged rapper," he writes. "He's a reflection of his city — which is 84 percent white and 22.9 percent poor — and a reflection of the values of the predominantly white National Rifle Association. Along with Slim Jesus, Ohio also produced Machine Gun Kelly, from Cleveland, a Rust Belt city that has recovered a bit better than Hamilton but is still in an economic rut."

Read the full CityLab story here.

Oyler School's role in transforming Lower Price Hill praised by national education leader

"Imagine an old, abandoned end unit row house that is tall, slender in build, and neglected in infrastructure," writes Martin J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership, in The Huffington Post's education blog. "For many years it's been a crack house, filled with needles — a revolving door of drugs and criminal activity. The back of this house overlooks a local schoolyard, where neighborhood children and youth come to learn and play. The house stands in contrast to a beautiful rebuilt school and is a reminder of the challenges students, educators, families, and the community face daily."

Blank then describes how the house offered an opportunity to be part of the amazing transformation of Lower Price Hill in Cincinnati thanks to the reconstruction of Oyler Community Learning Center.

Titled "What Happens When a Crack House Becomes an Early Childhood Learning Center?" the blog post describes how Oyler leaders helped renovate the house to become a neighborhood pre-school center.

The Robert & Adele Schiff Early Learning Center opened late last year, expanding a program that Oyler began by housing it inside the school.

Public radio education reporter Amy Scott premiered her documentary film about the same Lower Price Hill experiment, Oyler, in May at the school. It's screening Thursday night at the 2015 Cincinnati Film Festival.

Read the full Huffington Post column here.

U.S. News ranks Ohio State as top area college, followed by IU and Miami

U.S. News & World Report is out with its latest college rankings, which the magazine suggests "provide an excellent starting point ... for families concerned with finding the best academic value for their money."

After the listings intro states, "The host of intangibles that makes up the college experience can't be measured by a series of data points," USN&WR does just that. And how do the data points add up for area schools?

In the "National Universities" category, Ohio State is the first area school at #52. Other area institutions include Indiana University at 75, Miami University 82, University of Dayton 108, University of Kentucky 129, Ohio University 135 and University of Cincinnati 140.

In the "Regional Universities" category, the Midwest features Xavier at #6 and Mount St. Joseph at 68. The South includes Thomas More at 53 and NKU 80.

In the "National Liberal Arts Colleges" category, the region's highest ranked school is Oberlin at 23, followed by Kenyon 25, Centre 45, Denison 55, Earlham 61 and Berea 67.

Forbes magazine released its own college rankings last month, with Miami, Indiana and Ohio State as the highest rated area schools as well, but in that order.

See the full U.S. News & World Report rankings here.

Cincinnati the cheapest of 24 major U.S. cities surveyed for living costs

Yahoo Finance has gathered statistics from the Economic Policy Institute's 2015 Family Budget Calculator to demonstrate, once and for all, that living in San Francisco and New York City is really expensive. The accompanying story suggests that Cincinnati might be a cheaper — and vastly superior (our interpretation) — alternative.

"Even if you're living on your own, expenses can add up," Yahoo Finance explains. "Especially in a big city."

The Economic Policy Institute gathered data in 618 metro areas throughout the the U.S. for several different family types, and Yahoo's story focused on the cost of living for a single person (one adult, zero children) in 24 major U.S. cities. Their numbers measure the annual cost of necessities for one adult to live a "modest lifestyle" by estimating the costs of housing, food, transportation, health care, other necessities and taxes; the numbers don't include savings or discretionary spending.

It costs over $43,500 per year for a single person to live in San Francisco and NYC, the two most expensive cities of the 24 surveyed. Cincinnati comes in as the cheapest, costing a single person $25,403 per year. Cleveland, San Antonio and Pittsburgh were just behind Cincinnati on the list.

Read the full Yahoo Finance story here.

"Choice amenities" like Washington Park are changing urban landscape across U.S.

Michael Gaughan, a director with the National Development Council, writes a column on the Governing Magazine web site today discussing how new ideas and players are coalescing to provide attractive options for the livability of cities, saying that's good news for economic development. He includes Washington Park on a short list of examples of urban projects centering on new forms of recreation and mobility that often have a blurry distinction.

"More recently, a new movement has taken hold that is creating an equally powerful set of amenities for today's city-dwellers," Gaughan writes. "A hallmark of this transformation has been an interdisciplinary approach in which transportation departments and public/private developers are as important to recreation as parks departments have long been. For economic-development professionals, this evolution requires further expansion in the definition of what constitutes an urban amenity as well as who should be recruited for growth partnerships."

Read the full Governing Magazine column here.

NYT Magazine chronicles Cincinnati Reds' long connection to Cuba

The New York Times Magazine has a photo story about the Cincinnati Reds' long connection to Cuban baseball, starting with a 1908 tour of Cuba and the debut of Cuban players on the Reds in 1911. The slide show includes information about Tony Perez, whose statue at Great American Ball Park will be unveiled this weekend, and ends with the team's three current Cubans: Raisel Iglesias, Aroldis Chapman and Brayan Pena.

"The Reds were one of the first National League teams to play in Cuba," the photo story says. "During a 1908 exhibition tour of the island, the Reds were sometimes outmatched by the local talent, and the rest of the baseball world took notice. Over the last century of baseball, the team has had consistent luck developing some of the major league's biggest Cuban stars."

See the New York Times slide show here.

47 local companies ranked on Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private firms

The Business Courier reports on 47 Greater Cincinnati companies being ranked in this year's Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest growing privately held firms. Two local companies — United Installs in Erlanger and ePremium Insurance in Mason — make the more selective Inc. 500 list. In fact, ePremium Insurance ranks for the second year in a row.

The largest local private company on the list is RoundTower Technologies of Blue Ash with revenue of $131.5 million. It ranks #1,668 with "only" 244 percent growth over the past three years.

Read the Cincinnati Business Courier article here.
159 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All
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