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Cincinnati In The News

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Freedom Center recognizes civil rights champion

The New York Times reported that National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will honor Jim Obergefell on Oct. 22 with its Everyday Freedom Hero award which recognizes people and organizations that strive to live up to the ideals of the Underground Railroad movement.

Obergefell was the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that led to the legalization of same sex marriage in 2015 as he  battled to have his marriage with his dying partner John Arthur legally recognized in Obergefell v. Hodges. The Everyday Freedom Hero Award presentation is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested as seating is limited.

The Everyday Freedom Hero Award  was created to recognize individuals and organizations who strive to live up to the ideals of the Underground Railroad movement—courage, cooperation and perseverance, while using one’s resources for the wellbeing and betterment of their community.

After marrying John, his partner of more than 20 years, who was dying of ALS, they decided to file suit against the state of Ohio to demand recognition of their lawful Maryland marriage on John’s impending death certificate.

Read more here.

Chef Todd Kelly of Orchids at Palm Court featured on CBS This Morning

Executive Chef Todd Kelly of the award-winning restaurant, "Orchids at Palm Court" at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Downtown Cincinnati Hotel appeared on "CBS This Morning: Saturday" on Oct. 7 to show off his signature dishes. He also shared the story of his childhood on Mauritius, a tiny island off the coast of East Africa.

Kelly spent most of his childhood in New York, but at age 11, the family moved to the East African island where he learned to cook in a place with no radio or TV, no pizza or hamburgers.

Read more at "CBS This Morning: Saturday."

Findlay Market named one of the best places in America

Findlay Market has been named one of five Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association. On Oct. 3 it made the 2016 “Great Places in America” list. 
During National Community Planning Month, the APA recognizes public spaces that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth and inspire others around the country.

A public space must embody eight characteristics to be considered for the award: promotes human contact and social activities; is safe, welcoming and accommodating for all users; has design and architectural features that are visually interesting; promotes community involvement; reflects the local culture or history; relates well to bordering uses; is well maintained; and has a unique or special character.

Home to 42 full-time individual merchants and more than 50 additional outdoor vendors and farmers on Saturdays and Sundays, Findlay Market is the only surviving municipal market house of the nine public markets operating in Cincinnati in the 19th and early 20th century.

Read more about it.

Renaissance Covington named Great American Main Street Award semi-finalist

Last year, Renaissance Covington was named as "One to Watch" by Main Street America, and now it's a semi-finalist for a Great American Main Street Award.

Since its inception in 2003, Renaissance Covington has created 790 new jobs, and about 150 new businesses have opened in the downtown Covington. While maintaining a strong commitment to the Main Street Approach, the organization has implemented creative and fun solutions to downtown revitalization challenges, including pop-up shops, a temporary “parklet” initiative and annual arts festival.

See the other semi-finalists for the Great American Main Street Awards here.

New drug causing increase in drug overdoses in Cincinnati and beyond

Over the past few weeks, Cincinnati has made headlines for the number of drug overdoses occurring within Hamilton County. While many of these overdoses have been attributed to heroin, a number of them have been caused by something even more dangerous: carfentanil.

Carfentanil is the world's most powerful commercial opioid, and is 100 times more potent than the similar drug fentanyl, which is a controlled prescription painkiller, and is 50 times stronger than heroin. Carfentanil is an animal tranquilizer that was never intended for human use, and isn't widely popular among American veterinarians or zoos.

So why are people using it? How is it getting to the United States?

Read the full story, "How America Gets Its Deadliest New Drug," on Fast Company's website.

Orchids at Palm Court and Sotto ranked among top 100 restaurants for foodies

Based on ratings from OpenTable users, Orchids at Palm Court and Sotto were recently ranked among the nation's best restaurants for foodies. The best of the best were chosen from among five million reviews of more than 200,000 restaurants across the country.

Orchids is the only AAA-Five Diamond rated restaurant in Ohio, and is known for serving up modern American dishes using French techniques. Chef Todd Kelly sources local and organic, even from the beehives on the roof of the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, where Orchids is located.

Sotto, which is a sister restaurant to Boca and Nada, is all about Italian comfort food. The restaurant's rustic atmosphere makes diners feel as if they just stepped off the streets of Italy.

Check out the full list here and make your reservations today. 

Cincinnati considered one of the greenest cities in the U.S.

Cincinnati is known for its huge strides in technology, sustainability and social innovation, and is therefore considered one of the greenest cities in the United States.

Triple Pundit highlights the ways Cincinnati is blazing the trail in each area, including its growing number of startups. According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, Cincinnati has seen the biggest startup growth in the country. Hubs like Bad Girl Ventures, The Brandery, Cincy Tech, Cintrifuse, Differential and UpTech, just to name a few.

Read the full story here.

The Overlook Lodge named one of the best bars in the country

The Overlook Lodge was recently name one of the 50 best bars in the country by Playboy. Voting is now closed, but the Top 10 winners will be announced in the magazine's November issue. 

The bar is themed after the hotel in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, with axes and stag antlers adorning the walls. And the cocktail menu features drinks like Writer's Block, which is bourbon and apple-berry sweet tea, and the Summer Caretaker —  rum, lemon, habanero, peach bitters and prickly pear soda. There's even a snack menu, featuring different homemade trail mixes.

Read the full story here.

Cincinnati ranked fourth best city for 20-somethings

Cincinnati was recently ranked one of the top 10 best cities for 20-somethings by Move.org. Other cities in the top 10 include: Lincoln, Neb.; Minneapolis; Boise, Idaho; Lexington; Lubbock, Texas; Pittsburgh; St. Paul; Oklahoma City; and Madison, Wisc. Cincinnati came in at #4.

Move.org took the 100 most populated cities in the country, then evaluated them based on the following criteria:
  • Cost of living
  • Median gross rent
  • Unemployment rate in 2014
  • Median age
  • Singles between 20 and 34 years old
  • Number of bars and restaurants
  • Commuting under 30 minutes
  • Car-free commuters
See the full article here.

What happened to Cincinnati's subway system?

Cincinnati started construction on a subway system at the turn of the 19th century. The idea was that with the subway, the city's population would boom because people would be able to live and work in two different places, but still be able to get there quickly.

Work on the 16-mile loop never finished.

As history would have it, World War I, Prohibition, the stock market crash and World War II played a huge part in the demise of the subway. And although the city has tried to revive it, nothing has ever come of those plans. The abandoned tunnels remain locked and removed from the public eye.

With the streetcar opening scheduled for September, it seems the city is once again ready for mass public transit.

Read the full story here.


Walk through Findlay Market reveals 40 vendors & restaurants

Findlay Market is getting lots of attention this summer as new developments crop up around it and the streetcar opening looms near. USA Today recently named it one of the top U.S. food markets.

USA Today now has compiled a virtual "tour" of Findlay Market, complete with photos of vendors, merchants and restaurants. If you can't make it to the market, this tour is for you.

Take the full virtual tour here.

Liberty Center developers are leading the "town center" resurgence

The New York Times explores how the Easton Town Center in suburban Columbus has contributed to several influential turn-of-the-21st-century trends in land use and community design, helping to reintroduce density as an attractive and profitable real estate design principle.

“You could say that the period from 1950 to 1990 was an urban planning aberration,” said Yaromir Steiner, chief executive of Steiner and Associates in Columbus, who moved to the area to help design and develop Easton Town Center. “We are finally correcting all of this.”

Steiner and Associates has taken the town center concept further at Liberty Center off of I-75 in West Chester. The $300 million project opened late last year with plans for  800,000 square feet of retail space, 75,000 square feet of office space and 240 residences.

Lee Peterson, an executive vice president at WD Partners, a national design consultancy based in Columbus, estimated that after the development of Easton roughly 120 other mixed-use town centers have been built across the country.

Town centers, he said, are defying the trend of declining retail store sales nationwide.

“Town centers fit the scale that people like,” Peterson told The Times. “Bigger isn’t better. Better is better.”

Read the full New York Times story here.

GE at The Banks benefits from corporate America leaving the suburbs for downtowns

When General Electric starts moving its top executive team from a 70-acre wooded campus in Fairfield, Conn., to downtown Boston this month, The New York Times reports that the renovated red brick warehouses that will form part of G.E.’s new headquarters won’t even have a parking lot, let alone a spot reserved for the chief executive.

The move is part of a wave of similar decisions from large corporations to move headquarters back into downtown areas, including McDonald's, Motorola and Kraft Heinz relocating to downtown Chicago from far-flung suburbs.
“Part of it is that cities are more attractive places to live than they were 30 years ago and are more willing to provide tax incentives, and young people want to be there,” David J. Collis, who teaches corporate strategy at Harvard Business School, tells The Times. “But the trend also represents the deconstruction and disaggregation of the traditional corporate headquarters. The executive suite might be downtown, but you could have the back office and administrative functions in Colorado, the finance guys in Switzerland and the tax team in the U.K.”

The first 175 members of G.E.’s management team will move to Boston’s Fort Point section on Aug. 22, and a total of about 800 G.E. employees will be based there eventually.

“Hundreds of other workers in back-office functions like human resources, legal and finance will be scattered among G.E.’s existing locations in Cincinnati, Norwalk, Conn., and Schenectady, N.Y.,” The Times reports.

Read the full New York Times story here.

Cincinnati named one of top cities for beer

Real estate blog Redfin and the Beer Institute recently named Cincinnati as one of the top 15 beer cities in the country. It was ranked #14 on the list, just above San Francisco. Pittsburgh was ranked #1, followed by Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Philadelphia.

Cities were ranked based on five criteria: the number of breweries in the state per every 100,000 adults age 21-plus; the number of active breweries in each state; state beer taxes; the median home sale price; and the city's Walk Score — also known as "Don't drink and drive."

Read the full story here.

Eric Avner and People's Liberty lauded for innovative approach to philanthropy

People's Liberty is a five-year experiment to see how philanthropy can be done differently and possibly even more effectively, CEO Eric Avner explains in an "Innovator of the Week" profile story from Urban Innovation Exchange. Avner and his team didn't want something permanent but instead devised a timeline with a sense of urgency.
"Building this as a separate brand from the (Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation) gives us ability to be more experimental, to have a slightly cheekier tone, a different pace, a different way of using tech and design," Avner tells UIX. "All of these things, whether storytelling or design or metrics or outreach or work culture, will ultimately make us better grant makers. It also sets the tone for how to reach people in ways that are more authentic without seeming stuffy, but do it in a different way than foundations typically operate."
Avner, Vice President and Senior Program Manager at the Haile Foundation, launched People's Liberty in summer 2014 and awarded its first grants later that year.

Detroit-based Urban Innovation Exchange is an initiative to advance the growing movement of people leading change in cities. Launched in 2012 as a three-year project funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, UIX now showcases catalytic talent transforming cities and neighborhoods across the U.S.

Soapbox's parent company, Issue Media Group, is a UIX national partner.

Read the full Urban Innovation Exchange story here.
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