August 2007

Free! Take One!

The Cincinnati Beacon
Where Divergent Views Collide
Hey, Black People: Go Directly to Jail (p. 6) Tyrone Yates: Cincy Needs a Syringe Exchange Program (p. 12)

Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Cincinnati
by Michael Earl Patton Senior Analyst It's not clear why this should be so, but Cincinnati is above average in an area that would probably surprise most -- the rate of sexually transmitted disease (STD). It doesn't have the highest rate in the country, but it is definitely in the top half for major Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSA's for short. In the early 1900's Cincinnati used an unorthodox method to reduce infection, which will be revealed later. For our area the MSA is called the Cincinnati-Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area and includes part of Northern Kentucky and Indiana. For chlamydia, the most common STD reported and tracked by the Center for Disease Control, the rate for the Cincinnati-Middletown MSA is 413.8 per 100,000 population in 2005, the last year for which data have been compiled. For all the top 50 MSA's the rate is 352.2. So Cincinnati is above average. There is a large difference between the reported infection rates for men and women. For women the rate is 624.2 in Cincinnati, for men it is just 173.9. The MSA with the highest rate is, surprisingly, Memphis with 756.4 per 100,000. The lowest is the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Miami Beach MSA with just 194.0. The story is similar for gonorrhea. For the Cincinnati-Middletown MSA the rate is 190.8 per 100,000 compared to an average rate of just 128.2 for the top 50 MSA's. Again, the highest rate is found in Memphis (302.5), but the lowest rate is in the Boston-CambridgeQuincy MSA with just 38.1. The rate for men and women is not nearly as different as it is for chlamydia. The national rates for syphilis is much, much lower than the other two diseases. The CincinnatiMiddletown MSA reports just 1.2 cases per 100,000. The top 50 MSA's report 4.5, so here Cincinnati is happily well below average. But the rates are so low they don't affect the overall rates for STD's. The Center for Disease Control does not report AIDs cases by MSA, but AIDs infection rates are also much, much lower (con’t on p. 2)

Socially conservative Cincinnati has a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases. How can that be the case? Is there a dirty little secret behind our City’s socially moral front?

Beacon Bits
! Judge Nathaniel Jones made

Cincinnati’s Sexy Secrets

statements in The Cincinnati Enquirer opposing Christopher Smitherman for running for Council the same year he got elected as president of the local NAACP. But did anyone mention that Jones sits on the jail board and supports the building of a new jail – the same new jail that Smitherman and the NAACP opposed with their signature drive? Anyone feel like talking about real conflicts of interest? ! How did Kentucky end up owning most of the Ohio River? Should we send a citizens brigade over to take it back or just have them clean it up?

Cuck & Bull Story: Can a Hamilton County Republican Outdo David Vitter?
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Thanks to Senator David Vitter, R-LA, recently many Americans were introduced to the world of diaper fetishism. Vitter's public image as a staunch family values Republican took a beating amid lurid news stories of escort services and Jay Leno jokes about adult Pampers. Not to be outdone, word is that Hamilton County has its own high-profile hypocrite with a taste for unusual extra-curricular activities. Like Vitter, this Republican preaches "traditional family values" and attacks all the usual targets. Like Vitter, he's used his own family to hype his wholesome image. But in private he's said to indulge in a decidedly more exotic activity known as "cuckolding.". Cuckolding is a fetish in which a married man is willingly humiliated by encouraging his wife to engage in sex with another man, sometimes in front of him. Commonly, the wife and her lover (known as a "bull") get to mistreat and humiliate the husband in a variety of extreme ways. Not surprisingly, more material is available online for those of you (con’t p. 2)

What’s Inside?
The Labor Report ....... p. 4 A Closer Look ............. p. 6 The Soapbox ............... p. 8 Lifestyle ...................... p. 10

Under the Radar: Cincy’s “Escort” Services!
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Open the Yellow Pages to “Adult Entertainment,” and you will see three full pages of services promising to fulfill your every desire. What is the story behind these escort and personal dancer services? How thriving is Cincinnati’s business based on delivering sexual entertainment to your door? Type “cincinnati escort services” into Google (we did it without the quotation marks), and the first hit is a business named Fantasy Connection. According to the map, they are located somewhere on Eastern Avenue. I called, and a male voice answered the phone saying, “Entertainment.” When I said I had some general questions for a story about escort services, he said he did not work for an escort services. When I apologized, and said really I was interested in adult entertainment, he told me he could no longer help and hung up the phone. My experience calling An Erotic Fantasy (located near I-275 and Beechmont) was similar. The guy answering the phone became belligerent, said he had only worked there one weekend, and when I asked how business was for that weekend he hung up on me. Why were these businesses afraid to talk? (con’t on p. 2) 1

What is Avtar Gill Doing?

(con’t from p. 1) than for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Ohio reports 6.8 per 100,000 population. Sexually transmitted diseases were a problem in 1900, too. Cincinnati had a policy then that is worth remembering. According to Zane Miller's book Boss Cox's Cincinnati, prostitution was both banned and regulated. It was technically prohibited, but in practice the city tried to examine every prostitute once a week. Those who

were not infected got a clean bill of health and were allowed to continue their profession. Those who were infected were kept in a hospital until they were clean. The owner or manager of the brothel had to pay the hospital bills. Since prostitution remained illegal, the police could always threaten to enforce the law if someone did not cooperate. This system seems to have been in place until at least 1913. Unfortunately there was no Center for Disease Control back then so we have no idea how well Cincinnati's peculiar policy worked. Current data for STD's can be found at this webpage from the CDC:

(con’t from p. 1) Several other businesses do not even offer the chance to talk to a live person when you call:,, and Executive Concierge Services all require you to leave a message. Someone then will decide whether to call you back. (I did not leave messages at these establishments.) Why all the apparent subterfuge? Why is it hard to talk to an employee at one of these allegedly legitimate businesses? Finally, someone was willing to talk: a representative from a placed called Passions, with an apparent address near the corner of Dana and Reading. (The representative said they were from Northern Kentucky.) Speaking under the condition of anonymity, this employee kept explaining that their girls do shows “for entertainment purposes only.” He repeatedly emphasized that they run a “clean business.” The implication seems to suggest that other adult entertainment services may have a reputation for offering a little more for the dollar than just a strip tease.

As for the three pages in the Yellow Pages, this representative claimed many of those apparently different businesses are all owned by the same three companies. “They monopolize the phone book,” he said. “Every year or two, someone gets busted for running a prostitution ring,” he said. “We don’t get involved in that kind of stuff. We do mainly bachelor parties.” Interestingly, this representative made an observation about business trends in the private stripper industry. “Our business is best if the Reds or the Bengals are having a good season.” The psychology of men wanting to see naked women aside, the price lists for some of these organizations is very luring, indeed. At, for example, one is promised a “private” massage and show for $200 per hour. So, in Cincinnati, men cannot go out to a strip club due to our alleged socially conservative culture. At the same time, plenty of places send private strippers into area homes for massages and personal shows. And as indicated by Michael Earl Patton in the top story in this months Beacon, Cincinnati is one of the leading cities in the country for sexually transmitted diseases. mainstream feminism has in some ways added to the objectification stigma by indirectly allowing women to unknowingly objectify themselves. Being a truly sexually liberated woman means being able to connect with men. A truly liberated woman knows that she has more power by having sex, than by withholding. While I am still not certain about how I feel about the suggestion made in a previous Beacon article to open an Adult Entertainment District in Cincinnati, I do know that we have a lot to learn about ourselves, our fears, and our insecurities individually as well a city collectively, when we take a position on matters such as these. What you learn in the process, by asking yourself to question what you never thought you’d question previously, might prove to be quite liberating in the process.

Strippers, Feminism, and Sexual Liberation
by K. Allison A recent article in the Cincinnati Beacon led to some discussion between my friends and I regarding feminist principles pertaining to strip clubs and/or an Adult Entertainment District within city limits. My initial instinct was to become defensive. However, I have come to question if my own ideas and thoughts regarding feminism as a whole have also been mainstreamed and in turn marginalized by the socially conservative culture in which I live. When I read the first article in last month’s Beacon about the revenue generation Adult Entertainment Districts have brought to other cities, I rejected the concept. But upon further thought, I asked myself questions: Why was I so adamantly against this idea? What was I scared of, and where did my insecurities stem from? Mainstream feminism rejects pornography based upon the idea that it objectifies women. Mainstream feminists, who have created what we know as feminism today, maintain that the objectification perpetuated by pornography leads to violence against women and rape. Mainstream feminism scares women and then victimizes them. It offers women an outlet for them to base their insecurities on by instilling the fear of rape/violence upon them. Blaming rape and violence against women on pornography allows women to falsely feel as if they have control over something they do not. Rape and violence have little to do with sex. Men are biologically stronger than women. Taking anger out upon an individual that is biologically weaker has nothing to do with objectification and everything to do with human nature and power. Mainstream feminists claim the path to more power is by withholding sex. We live in a society that reveres women who withhold sex. We are taught that we should aspire to be like them. Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? One has to wonder how this line of rhetoric constitutes sexual liberation. When one withholds sex, she is buying into the idea

that she is an object – that her only power is her power to withhold. Certainly, the right to choose when and if to have sex should be an understood right of all women at all times—but not wanting to have sex at all? How is that respecting one’s self? How has denying basic human desires become a means of dignity? So I’m brought to the point of questioning how mainstream feminism has really offered me any sort of liberation. How does being victimized by pornography into withholding sex make me a liberated individual? How does the one generally accepted, social fact of feminism liberate women at all by locking them into sexually repressed prison in which they are separated rather than connected to the men in their lives? Mainstream feminism has made sex into a commodity that can be used for bargaining. In saying this,

Cuck and Bull
(con’t from p. 1) who just have to know.) Why would a husband submit to this? Google for more info, but it appears the husband plays a submissive role to his wife and enjoys the degradation. It's also suggested that this fetish may allow a closeted gay man to have the opportunity to watch another man in action. A source tells us that Southern Ohio has an active "cuckold" subculture, complete with internet hook-ups. Rumor has it our family values Repub and "hot wife" are known on the scene. Is this why the kiddies don't look like daddy? 2

Reader Grievances
Dear Editor of the Cincinnati Beacon: I picked up The Cinti Beacon for the first time today, and was very disappointed. Jason Haap's, "Black Out! No Equal Access to Print News for Black People?" gave me serious questions about the quality of your publication. Here's why: The first half of the article raised an important question: Is The Enquirer overlooking some of Cincinnati's more challenged neighborhoods? Are financial concerns driving the news we get in Cincinnati? "Great!" I thought, "Can't wait to see how he deals with this!" Then Haap pulled the old switcheroo and equated "poor" with "black." I think I know why Mr Barraco never responded to

Mr Haap's call. He had forgotten the right questions and was asking the wrong questions. I live in Price Hill, a neighborhood like Walnut Hills, which was mentioned in the article. Like Walnut Hills, Price Hill has both the poorest and wealthiest. But when I see poverty in my struggling neighborhood, I see black poverty AND white poverty. Yes, ask questions about the marginalization of the poor. And then, yes, go on to ask why it is that an inordinate number of those poor are also black. But we help noone, blacks or whites, to equate poverty and blackness. That's just muddy thinking and poor journalism. A. Smith

Reader Praise
Jason: Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a copy of your publication. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the Cincinnati Beacon. I have to tell you that I truly enjoyed the articles, layout and content. Not sure how long you have been around. I imagine that you are published monthly. I will surely look for your publication in future months. Keep up the great work! Crystal K. ----Guys, I really enjoy the Beacon and think its an important part of making Cincinnati a better city.

I'm a UC student and was wondering if the Beacon would consider coverage of UC athletics, at least in a superficial sort of way. UC season football tickets start pretty inexpensively so it might be something to consider. The Enquirer has started a little row over its decision to not attend Big East media day despite the positive prospects for the team this year. Obviously the Beacon doesn't have the resources to do that but commentary about the team from a Cincinnati-centric source would be appreciated. Thanks for your dedication to a better Cincinnati media environment. Brad J.

Christopher Smitherman
for Cincinnati City Council, 2007

Bold Leadership, Determination, and Vision.

Paid for by Smitherman for City Council, JohnHarris JR. Treasurer

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The Labor Report
Corporate Prophets: AMOS Project Brings God to Local CEOs
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati What's the bottom line? For many, the concept of "business" is a cold and heartless reality, where money reigns supreme and corporate profits take precedent over human welfare. But in a country where 80% of the population profess some religious affiliation, how does God fit into this picture? How do we reconcile, for example, some of the poverty wages handed out by area corporations with the teachings of Jesus? The AMOS Project is an affiliation of diverse religious congregations through the region, banded together for the common purpose of promoting social justice. Recently, AMOS has teamed with the SEIU in the Justice for Janitors campaign. This association has brought AMOS leaders to the table with area corporations, comparing their treatment of low-wage employees to the teachings of Christ. "We talk about God because that is our business," said Paula Jackson, minister at Mt. Auburn Episcopal church, "God is not the bottom line for these corporations. But there is another bottom line. What is the point of having clean buildings when outside that sparkling building there is hopelessness and despair?" Jackson's point cuts to the heart of the perceived social ills politicians love to stump speech about during campaign season. We may hear about how "safety" is the number one challenge facing our City, and we may be told that new jails are the solution to safer streets -- but we hear far less about how poor working conditions, low wages, and a lack of benefits can actually promote the very culture that keeps people oppressed. "We jail them for paying the bills illegally," continued Jackson, "but we don't offer them jobs that can pay the bills." When Jackson speaks, she invokes the teachings of the prophet Amos, for whom the AMOS project is named. She describes the great wealth of Cincinnati corporations as a blessing from God, and that CEOs have a responsibility to share that wealth with those who help them earn it. Doing anything else is stealing, which turns that blessing into a curse. "That wealth is what the CEOs have deprived of their workers," stated Jackson. "Will our City's wealth be a blessing of good stewardship, or will it be the curse of what has been stolen -- bringing violent conflict?"

Pastor Greg Chanlder, president of AMOS, agreed. "The bible teaches that to whom much is given, much is required," said Chandler. He says the well being of workers like those represented in the SEIU Justice for Janitors campaign is important to his congregation because "it is important to God." The collaboration between religiously oriented AMOS and the SEIU breaks several stereotypes -- as many affiliate religion with political conservatism and labor unions with liberalism. In this meeting point, however, the game of politics gets

trumped by basic human compassion for the dignity of one another, emphasized by the teachings of holy books held sacred by a majority of the population. Pastor Aaron Green Lee (former president of the Baptist Ministers Alliance) maintains hope for this work in the future. "A top CEO should know God," he said. "We usually can't get to them. We go through people who negotiate contracts. We've been cut off. But if we keep pressing, the man on the top must come down."

ridiculous enough by itself, the city admits that the extra staff and money necessary to immediately fund this endeavor are really not there, so it aims to complete this project by the end of the year. Despite this apparent setback, City Council is very serious about said bench removal: the goal is removal of roughly one thousand benches on Cincinnati sidewalks. Oh, and in case any law-abiding citizens spot and want to report an “illegal bench," the city has conveniently provided a phone number for you to call so that we can make sure that our time and energy is properly used in the removal of aesthetically displeasing benches. To summarize the situation, we have very real and very serious problems of poverty, homelessness, and social/economic injustice plaguing the streets of our city, but are instead spending money we don’t have and staff that is not available on a ludicrous endeavor to remove sidewalk benches. It seems that instead of addressing the deep rooted problems that already exist in our city, we are instead wasting time and resources to create and then “solve” new ones.

Priorities: Human Beings versus Curb Appeal
by Leigh Tami On any given night, between 1,300 and 1,500 people are homeless in Cincinnati. Twenty-nine percent of those experiencing homelessness are children, and thirtythree percent of those children are under the age of five years old. Accessibility to affordable housing is at a low, and hate crimes against the homeless are at a high. Day Laborers are dying from limb amputations and other serious injuries resulting from unsafe conditions while being paid a laughably small and aptly named minimum wage. After reviewing statistics like these, it would seem that the financial priorities of the city of Cincinnati would drastically shift toward funding human services and resolving the ever-worsening problems of homelessness and poverty.

How does a sight like this affect a city’s “curb appeal”? Chris Bortz wants to address the problem of advertisements on bus stop benches. Presumably, people like the one in the photograph above will be shuffled off to a brand new jail. By the way, the jail tax will disproportionately affect the poor!

Unfortunately, as far as spending is concerned, City Council has other things in mind. As of this June, new rules regarding sidewalk benches were approved by council in order to “improve the curb appeal” of Cincinnati. As if this were not

Charlie Winburn

Charlie Winburn is back for City Council, 2007 Together we can do it!

A leader who gets things done!

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An Exciting Time to be a Progressive in Cincinnati, But What’s Next?
by Gavin Leonard SEIU Local 3’s organizing efforts are heating up, with a strike vote on the books, and actions happening consistently over the past several months – they’re fighting for higher wages for janitors cleaning up after some of Cincinnati’s wealthiest corporations. The Amos Project is training and activating leaders in the faith-based community – they’re advocating for and winning concessions concerning equitable distribution of wealth on the Banks Project. The NAACP is shifting from talk to action, mobilizing a growing support base – they’ve led a broad coalition to jump start democracy and put the jail tax on the ballot in November. And that’s just the beginning. UFCW Local 1099 is connecting with immigrants in and around Cincinnati, taking Wal-Mart head on. Christopher Smitherman is running as a Green, giving real hope of victory to an emerging political party. Non-profit organizations, both big and small, are getting vocal about City Council cutting into the Human Services budgets. This paper exists, giving voice to pressing community issues, and providing hope that a better media can be a reality. Work to reform campaign contributions is building steam, and citizens are starting to talk more and more about what our priorities are as a community, and where are resources should go. There are many, many other efforts that I’m leaving out. So with my fingers crossed, I say it is indeed an exciting time to be a progressive in Cincinnati! Some will be quick to point out that WalMart is trying to make the designation "organic" more lax than the current standards. That would be a bad thing. But a corporate giant buying into the organic and eco-friendly movement provides an opportunity for growing sustainable economies. And while Wal-Mart has a history of union-busting, corporations are capable of being unionized. In the fight to unionize Wal-Mart, a success would mean improved working conditions for tons of Americans, as Wal-Mart is a top employer. But what does this have to do with buying stock? Can't someone support all the aforementioned items without becoming a corporate sell-out? Stockholders have the right to vote at annual stockholder meetings. That vote helps shape the future direction of the corporation. In government, progressives seem to realize they need good candidates for whom to cast their ballots, hoping those politicians will represent the will of the votes that elected them. Something similar can happen with a corporate vote, as you can try to shape the corporate policies of something like WalMart into a more socially just and conscious organization. People concerned about the effect of corporations on our society must participate in corporate culture in order to change it. the need to let a new generation of leaders take their seats at the table, even if it means we have to step back. And a time when we are planning and thinking strategically about our next moves proactively – articulating our own values and ideas, not just reacting to those of the traditional power brokers. I’m excited because I truly believe there is reason to be hopeful about our future in Cincinnati right now. But I also know that hope is not enough. We must think critically about how deeply ingrained power is in Cincinnati, and take the necessary steps to maintain momentum and build power of our own. We cannot be afraid of success. In communities across the US and abroad, groups are getting together – whether through Community Benefits Agreements that negotiate for equality in development deals in Pittsburgh or through landless peasant’s movements in Brazil – to say out loud that “another politics is possible.” In fact, at the US Social Forum in Atlanta last month, an estimated 10,000 people got together to discuss just that. It’s a beautiful thing, to know that we are a part of something bigger. Here’s to more great work in Cincinnati; we have a long but rewarding road ahead!

But what’s next? As I see and hear about all the hard work folks are putting in throughout the area, I look toward a time that will include more collaboration. A time when we’ll take more risks. A time when we’ll acknowledge whole-heartedly that the status quo is not acceptable and speak truth to power unabashedly. A time when we recognize

Hey Progressives, Buy Wal-Mart Stock!
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Too many progressives have the wrong attitude when it comes to investing in major corporations: they think they shouldn't do it! But while the corporate behemoths everyone loves to hate, like Wal-Mart, are guilty of several injustices, it may be that a grassroots solution to influencing their policy has less to do with handmade picket signs and more to do with a diversified portfolio. That's right, I'm calling on progressives to invest in Wal-Mart. The reasons are straightforward, once you step back and think about it. Wal-Mart supports universal health care. Sure, we all know it's because they don't want to pay for health coverage – but the issue goes beyond that motivation. Millions of Americans who do not work at Wal-Mart also have no health insurance. If one of our largest corporations decides to start lobbying the government for universal health care, it is a net benefit for everyone. Wal-Mart deserves support from progressives on that particular front. Wal-Mart has also shown an interest in ecologically sustainable products, from organic foods to low-energy light bulbs.

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A Closer Look
Structural Economic Imbalances: Health & Pollution
Meet the people behind The Cincinnati Beacon! Jason A. Haap, MA
The Dean of Cincinnati, President, Content and Audience Awareness
by Howard M. Konicov, MSES/MPA Executive Director, The Synthesis Foundation Southwest of Cincinnati exist a series of coal fired public utility plants along the Ohio River which account for half of the fine particulate pollution in the region. These particulates travel northwest across the most populated areas of Cincinnati before the prevailing weather pattern blows them towards Columbus and Cleveland. These fine particulate (pm2.5) pollutants contribute to heart and respiratory disease in our city and are a significant health and quality of life issue for our population, especially the 177,000 plus children under 14 (30% of which live in poverty), the 112,00 plus seniors over 65, and finally for legions of active individuals who participate in recreational outdoor sports. The American Lung Association in its "State of the Air, 2004" report delves further, quantifying the number of individuals with serious medical problems in Cincinnati whose health is impacted by this fine particulate pollution as those afflicted with: Pediatric Asthma,17,820; Adult Asthma, 45,615; Chronic Bronchitis, 27,590; Emphysema, 9,951; and finally those with Cardiovascular Disease at 183,126. According to the American Lung Association, "about 4,000 residents of the state die prematurely every year because of particulate matter [alone] in the air." One very progressive option for reducing health related air pollution costs which has the side benefit of generating millions of dollars in revenue would be to put a $.05/lb fee on particulate pollution, criteria & toxic pollutants for the largest source polluters like Duke, an active political contributor & now seemingly deregulated monopoly. Duke additionally just raised utility rates 70% on Cincinnati residents and is in violation of the Clean Air Act for not installing pollution control. Running the numbers for Duke alone : CO.....................................................866.87 NOx............................................. 26,428.00 Fine Particulates (pm 2.5).................516.91 Large Particutes (pm 10)................1,137.00 SO2...............................................78,086.00 VOC.................................................. 103.79 106,000 tons [212 million lb's] @ $.05/lb = $10.6 million, which is 1/2000 of the $18 billion analysts estimate they will earn next year. This fee of 5 cents a pound would additionally raise a few dollars of additional revepolicies and resource allocation. The study done by the Sentencing Project determined the majority of resources, instead of being used to treat individuals with drug problems or diversion programs, are directed to prosecuting and policing schemes that emphasize policing in neighborhoods or color and the execution of large-scale drug arrests. The study also determined that the higher frequency of mandatory sentences being used in cases have increased the incarceration rate overall. Mandatory sentences frequently target certain crimes and add to the inequality of treatment between African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians in the criminal justice system according to the study’s findings. The study cites the federal crack cocaine laws and school zone drugs laws as examples of how poor, urban people of color are policed and prosecuted much more severely than Caucasians who live in the suburbs. Furthermore, the study reveals that since people of color are more likely to have a low-income household than Caucasians, they are more likely to rely on less than an adequate public defense attorney and have less access to treatment and sentencing alternatives. The study proposes several ways to address the racial disparities in the incarceration of African-American citizens, Hispanics citizens and the majority. The study supports policies being developed to emphasize drug prevention and treatment as opposed to having policies that are focused on law enforcement. The study also proposed changing sentencing laws to reflect a focus on prevention and treatment as well as establishing policies that guarantee quality defense attorneys for all accused of crimes and adequately training judges and attorneys to use alternatives to jail or prison. nue from these polluters. It further would create the real incentive necessary to reduce human health exposure to these pollutants in our community, while giving the city national and international visibility for our leadership on Environmental issues.

Justin P. Jeffre
Minister of Information, President, Community Outreach

Michael Earl Patton
Senior Analyst Other Contributors: K. Allison, Jim Clingman, Josh Gwinn, Howard Konicov, Gavin Leonard, Zak Nordyke, Dylan Speeg, Leigh Tami, Casey Weaver.
Photo Credits: Picture of Jeff Berding by Justin Jeffre; picture of Cincinnati Night at Edwards in Tribeca by Casey Weaver; all other photography is royalty free stock footage.

Hey, Black People! Go Directly to Jail: Study shows racial disparities in jailing
by T. Lawrence Gragston, Jr. Prisoner-rights group, the Sentencing Project, has released a report showing continuing racial disparities in jailing. AfricanAmericans are jailed at almost five times the rate of white prisoners. Latinos are jailed at almost double the rate of whites. According to the report, since the early 1970s, the jail and prison population has increased 500% to 2.2 million people currently. African-Americans make up approximately 900,000 of the 2.2 million incarcerated people in the United States. It was also noted in this report that AfricanAmerican women are more likely to be incarcerated than white women. Almost 2 !% of the entire African-American population in the United States is incarcerated! According to the Prison and Jail Incarcerations Rates in 2005, in the State of Ohio, African-Americans were incarcerated at a rate of 2,290 per 100,000 people, which is close to the national rate of incarceration. Whites in the State of Ohio are incarcerated at a rate of only 344 per 100,000 people and Hispanics are incarcerated at a rate of 613 per 100,000 people. Why are the incarcerations rates so much higher for AfricanAmericans as opposed to every other racial group in the United States? Four reasons, according to the report, why there is a high AfricanAmerican incarceration rate are because of current drug policies, sentencing policies, race-neutral

Hey, Beacon Readers! Have you been enjoying the first few months of The Cincinnati Beacon? Would you like to help this emerging media project become a Cincinnati mainstay? Maybe you can help! We are always interested in people to help with research, writing, distribution, ad sales, and more. Call (513) 407-4233, or email

Andrew Warner snaps a shot of The Dean almost failing to meet the production deadline!


Fundraising, Fundraising, Fundraising! Big Money Brings Big Wins
by Justin P. Jeffre The current city council members are in office largely because they are good at fundraising. During the 2005 election, 4,762 persons made campaign contributions of $1,325,365.42. Twenty-three percent of the people contributed 73% of the money. 619 persons made contributions over $1000. Additionally, 64 entities pitched up more than a grand. PAC and Corporate party contribution limits are higher than the $1000 individual contribution limit. This is how they stacked up back then. PAC & PARTY FUNDING Berding ................................. ........... 18250 Bortz ................................................ 17500 Cole ................................................... 17275 Monzel .............................................. 15500 Crowley ............................................. 14650 Ghiz ................................................... 13250 Cranley .............................................. 12900 Malone ................................................ 7500 $1000 CONTRIBUTIONS Berding ............................................125000 Cranley ............................................ 108000 Bortz ................................................. 76000 Monzel .............................................. 56000 Ghiz ................................................... 36000 Crowley ............................................. 34000 Malone .............................................. 33000 Cole ................................................... 17000 Berding was the true winner grabbing over $140,000 from large donors. Bortz was smiled upon from PACs and the Charter Committee. Cranley played a good game and it paid off. Malone would have done better but bad press hurt him. And that was the way the serious candidates finished. Next issue we will explore what these contributors received in return for their civic generosity through corporate philanthropy.

First Amendment Abridged at Fountain Square

Democracy or Hypocrisy? A greater Cincinnati is waiting
by Justin P. Jeffre The most important part of the electoral process is to have deep discussion about the needs, direction and future of our community. Why should we be limited to corporate owned candidates with large corporate campaign contributions and agendas? Why do we need corporate media gate keepers, pooh bah pundits and stenographers for those in power to tell us what our choices are? We don't. We need fair coverage, in depth interviews, record reviews and deep analysis of all the candidates that are on the ballot, not just the ones that make large media buys. In a true democratic republic it is 'We the People' that should be the ultimate "deciders,” not 'We the Lobbyist, corporate PACs, special interests and moneyed elites.’ In a real democracy or democratic republic, all you need is an informed electorate, real debates, more voices and more choices. How can we expect two parties that are beholden to the same special interests to represent the diverse opinions in our community? In our flawed elections, our corporate controlled media only covers the horse race, how much money has been raised, and where candidates stand in undemocratic and mysterious polls. We only hear sound bites, PR slogans, platitudes and phony posturing instead of substantive questions, answers, and in depth discussions and debate. We haven't been told the truth about the cost of the corporatization of our Fountain Square garage and it's annual revenue, we haven't been told the truth about the shady Drake deal at the county level, and we weren't told the truth about the stadium deal. It is time for us to stand against this bipartisan shell game, demanding real change and real choices!

by Michael Earl Patton, Senior Analyst While the recent petition for putting the sales tax increase to a public referendum was being circulated, the No Jail Tax PAC heard reports that some petitioners were prevented by the police from gathering signatures on Fountain Square. Some others, including myself, had been left alone. Then in the last few days of the campaign a petitioner came forward with full details, including the name of the police officer who had stopped her. I called Bill Donabedian of 3CDC, who is responsible for the management of the square. He explained that gathering signatures on the square while a scheduled event was in progress was considered interference with that event and the petitioner should move to the sidewalk. To my specific question as to whether I could gather signatures on one corner of the square while a permitted event was going on in the far corner, Mr. Donabedian repeated that the petitioning should be on the sidewalk. He noted that not interfering with a permitted event is one of the rules listed at the Fountain Square website, True, such a

rule is there, but it doesn't state that asking someone for a signature on a petition is considered to be interference. And this has a striking parallel to a 1971 U.S. Supreme Court case involving First Amendment rights in Cincinnati, Coates v. City of Cincinnati. In that case a student, Coates, was arrested in a demonstration for the crime of "annoying" behavior. As the Supreme Court ruled: "We are thus relegated, at best, to the words of the ordinance itself. If three or more people meet together on a sidewalk or street corner, they must conduct themselves so as not to annoy any police officer or other person who should happen to pass by. In our opinion this ordinance is unconstitutionally vague because it subjects the exercise of the right of assembly to an unascertainable standard, and unconstitutionally broad because it authorizes the punishment of constitutionally protected conduct. "Conduct that annoys some people does not annoy others. Thus, the ordinance is vague, not in the sense that it requires a person to conform his conduct to an imprecise but comprehensible normative standard, but rather in the sense that no standard of conduct is specified at all."

Both the right of assembly and the right to petition the government are First Amendment rights. "Interfere" is not the same as "annoy," but in some ways it is even more vague. Does asking someone for the time or for directions "interfere?" What about asking someone to move so you can pass by? What about criticizing karaoke? Can the police ask you to leave if you boo a scheduled political speech? (I presume that they won't ask you to leave if you applaud.) Keep in mind that none of these examples rise to the level of actually trying to drown out or shut down the event itself. Petitioners know that if someone is indeed paying rapt attention to an event that it's more productive to ask someone who is not paying attention. But according to Mr. Donabedian's interpretation, asking anyone on the square is considered interference. I called the Cincinnati Police Department for their policy on petitioning activities on Fountain Square and was told to call something called "Downtown Services." Repeated phone calls were not returned.

Sam Malone

Because you deserve to be represented!

Vote Sam Malone for Cincinnati City Council, 2007

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Sam Malone, Robert L. Hall CPA, MBA, Treasurer

The Soapbox
Time for the Citizen Blitz! Sack Berding PAC!
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Jeff Berding has caused problems for area rank-and-file Democrats. His infamous coalition against human service funding in the budget with three Republicans (Leslie Ghiz, Chris Monzel, and Chris Bortz) outraged Cincinnati's progressive community. Even more infuriating is that formerly liberal councilwoman Laketa Cole has teamed up with Berding, apparently sacrificing liberal politics for fundraising dollars and a Westside endorsement. And during the endorsement process, many thought Berding would have been left behind by Hamilton County Democrats, but a hurry-up offense on his behalf stacked the deck in his favor and he just scraped past. Now that we are entering campaign season, expect a full-frontal media assault from Team Berding. Expect him to spare no expense, as the corporate interests who fund him would like to keep their access open by having their boy on City Council. During the 2005 election, some analysts believed that the Democrats used their endorsement of Damon Lynch as a way to secure Berding votes in the Black community: by including Berding's name with Lynch's on the sample ballot, or so the theory goes, Black voters would be likely to cast a ballot for Berding; however, it is unlikely that Cincinnati's white community – particularly the white Westside community – would ever reciprocate. Hence, candidates like Lynch got left behind while Berding waltzed into a council seat. Luckily, there is a solution to those who feel helpless against a big money political system that plays these kinds of games with voters. Introducing the Sack Berding PAC! This new political action committee is dedicated to getting Jeff Berding unelected. Full disclosure: I am the treasurer, and founder of this new PAC. The idea is rather simple: raise money to engage media buys with the purpose of making people not vote for Jeff Berding. Current ideas include newspaper advertising, public access television productions, targeted mailings, YouTube video cam-

The Time is Now to Stop this Endless War
by Josh Gwinn, Cincinnati Organizer for Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq As the failures of President Bush's endless Iraq war policy become more clear, the American people have become fed up with the situation in Iraq and are calling for an end to the war. This summer, Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) is committed to just that – bringing an end a reckless war and bringing our troops safely home. Modeled after the Freedom Summer civil rights project, the Iraq Summer campaign plans to harness the energy of the 70-percent of Americans demanding a change in course, pressuring 40 Representatives and Senators across the country to vote to bring a responsible end to the war. AAEI is a broad coalition made up of labor unions, veterans groups, and millions of Americans across the country dedicated to bringing our troops safely home. President Bush has recklessly and irresponsibly refused to change his failed policy, and so the responsibility lies with Congress to take action. The Iraq Summer campaign is in Cincinnati to pressure Sen. George Voinovich and Rep. Jean Schmidt to stand up to the President and vote for redeployment of American troops out of Iraq. Schmidt continues to stand with Bush and his reckless war policy, leaving her out of touch with the vast majority of Ohioans. Rather than taking a stand on behalf of her constituents, Schmidt stands idly by while our soldiers are in harms way, stuck in the middle of a civil war with no end in sight. The Iraq Summer campaign is turning up the heat on Schmidt, Voinovich and other lawmakers. Voinovich continues to say one thing and do another. On the one hand, he offers empty rhetoric and meaningless, unenforceable "resolutions" that proclaim opposition to the war. Last week, CNN reported that Voinovich said Bush has "f-ed up the war." But the reality is that Senator Voinovich has repeatedly sided with the Bush administration when it counts, voting again and again to continue the President's unending war. It's not enough to simply say you're against the war; Voinovich needs to vote for the safe redeployment of our troops. Will Voinovich and Schmidt finally stand up to President Bush and his endless war policy, or will they continue to defy the will of their constituents?Ohioans are demanding change. Through a vigorous grass-roots effort that involves weekly meetings, letter writing campaigns, and visibility, the Iraq Summer campaign is working to energize the people of Greater Cincinnati to continue to speak out and demand an end to the war in Iraq.

Councilmember Berding getting bored while listening to citizens speak.
paigns, robocalls, and more. We even have a new website dedicated to the project: So if you are interested in this project – by either volunteering, providing information or other services, or even just by giving a campaign contribution (nothing over $10,000, please!) – then contact me. This is an opportunity for Democrats Against Berding to have their voices heard!

Smitherman continues to fight, but against whom?
by James Clingman The latest brouhaha regarding his candidacy for Cincinnati City Council must be a real laugher for Christopher Smitherman. Well, it probably would be if it were not so sad. Why sad? While it’s one thing to have to fight against your known enemies, it’s an entirely different thing to fight against your own teammates. It is no surprise to hear some of the usual Cincinnati “suspects and detractors” complaining about Smitherman’s temerity and abject defiance of the status quo, but there is something sinister in the fact that a few NAACP members, both local and national, are participating in this ridiculous “Stop Smitherman!” campaign. As NAACP Executive Committee member, E. Lynn Brown always quotes the words of Victor Hugo, "There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Such is the case with Smitherman and his new army of Patriots. He will not be stopped by the likes of ill-willed, selfappointed, misleaders of Black people who are only interested in their own individual progress rather than the collective progress of nearly 50% of Cincinnati’s populace. Yes, it is sad that such a man would have to battle against folks who have and will continue to reap the benefits of his work as President of the local branch of the NAACP, which is, let us all remember, a non-compensated position. It is sad that instead of being able to counsel with former Federal Judge Nathaniel Jones, a man who claims to “have been” one of the fighters and great legal minds in the Civil Rights struggle, Smitherman has to respond to Jones’ negative comments about his character and leadership ability. It is sad to watch as Smitherman, who twice fought for and won the Presidency of the NAACP, and in just 120 days, with the work of his “Patriots,” accomplished the following: spoke out and insisted that “Black” developers be partners on the Banks Project; called for and succeeded in getting more than 18,000 of the 28,000 signatures necessary to allow citizens to vote on the jail tax issue; doubled the number of members in the local branch, and has a great start to boost membership to 2000 by the end of his term; and cut expenses of the local branch as well as the 2007 Freedom Fund Dinner. The denouement of Smitherman’s accomplishments is something Judge Jones, who after calling Smitherman “divisive,” specifically said the young NAACP President would not be able to do: Raise the 8 $200,000 necessary to bring the 2008 National NAACP Convention to Cincinnati. Jones said corporate Cincinnati would close their checkbooks to Christopher Smitherman. Wrong again, Judge Jones. The $200,000 check was delivered to the National Office during its 98th Convention in Detroit in July 2007. What more do we want Christopher Smitherman to do? Now he has to fight against a selectively enforced provision written during the height of the Civil Rights struggle in 1968 which, even though the policy allows Smitherman to run and hold both offices, is being used, out of context by some, to keep him from occupying a City Council seat and the Presidency of the local branch of the NAACP at the same time. Despite there being precedents across the country where this occurs, Smitherman is being singled out as one who cannot occupy both positions. What is so frightening about this upright, honest, strong Black man? All he does is get positive things done. If he has shown us nothing else, Smitherman has proven, without a doubt, that he is indeed a multi-tasker and can, with the help of friends, family, and supportive NAACP workers accomplish several victories simultaneously. It would be a laugher for Smitherman and his family, were it not so sad to see some of his “teammates” trying to undermine what he has done in such a short time. Let’s see how many rank-and-file members, along with Executive Committee members, of which I am one, will step up and take on this latest fight to keep Christopher Smitherman not only as President of the NAACP but also to support his candidacy and his right to run for Cincinnati City Council. To quote another great leader, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” –Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Contrary to what secular progressives would have you believe, they did not have a “Gay old time.”

by Dylan Speeg

For Cincinnati City Council, 2007!
Are you looking for good looks and charisma? Then Michael Earl Patton is not the candidate for you. But if you understand that running for City Council should not be a beauty contest or a money raising race, then cast your ballot for Michael Earl Patton.

“He Knows the issues!”
Paid for by Win With Patton Committee Micheal Earl Patton, Treasurer


Cincy Night in Tribeca: Where a Cincinnati expatriate in NY can enjoy some hometown cuisine
by Casey Weaver I am an expatriate and from time to time I crave a fresh four-way. These cravings are not satisfied by the Cincinnati chili spice packets my mother sends me regularly, nor the cans of Skyline chili I acquire on my bi-yearly visits to the Queen city. I want it fresh, served on an oval platter, smothered with a mound of finely shredded mild cheddar cheese with a side of oyster crackers. I caught wind (pardon the pun) of a Cincinnati Night at a bistro called Edward's in Tribeca, a hip (expensive) neighborhood in downtown Manhattan. On Cincinnati Night, Edward’s serves Skyline chili, Montgomery Inn ribs, Larosa’s pizza, and Graeter’s ice cream. I called to find out when the next monthly Cincinnati night would be. The woman on the phone told me it was in one week on the following Monday. I alerted my fellow expatriates and the response was overwhelming. A party of 8 was formed. I called back to see if they could accommodate us and to my surprise, our party was too large to get in at the 7:00 or 9:00 timeslot. If we were to come at those times, we would be put on a waiting list. A waiting list? For Skyline chili?? I know it's difficult for Cincinnatians to imagine a waiting list for cheese coneys and Graeter’s ice cream. Yet for those of us who have acquired a taste for this marvelous cuisine, it was no surprise. I alerted my party of 8 that the only time they could accommodate us was 6:00. Unfortunately due to work schedules, my party of 8 turned to 4. I did not lament this. I wanted to gorge myself with as few interruptions as possible. When we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the unpretentious decor of this downtown brasserie. The red and white vinyl mirrored banquets complemented tables covered in paper tablecloths. This place clearly understood the messy affair that accompanies our hometown chow. I have to admit, my mid-western sensibilities were surprised by the prices of these delicacies. But no matter, dear readers, as this is a craving that knows no price. We ordered everything on the menu. The Montgomery Inn ribs were perfectly cooked. The meat fell from the bone into a sauce as spicy and tangy as I remembered. The Larosa’s pizza was perfectly doughy and crispy with that sweet, garlicky sauce we all know and love. Then our four-ways arrived. The cheese was slightly melted, but no matter, since it tasted like home. My first bite brought back memories of post soccer/play practice dinners, when carry-outs were the only option for my busy family. The complex flavors of spicy chili with cinnamon and chocolate were perfectly balanced over the thick spaghetti, topped with mild cheddar cheese and perfectly diced onions. I was home again! I wish I could admit to bringing home a doggie bag. But I was so enraptured that I sopped up the leftover chili from my platter with a spare slice of Larosa’s pizza. I am not ashamed of my piggery. Isn’t that what our fair city is all about? Once our platters were licked clean, it was time for Graeter’s. The server informed us that Mocha ice cream was also available. I promptly ordered Mocha Chip. She said, “I don’t think it has chips, but I can check for you." I said, “No need to check. Mocha has chips.” My insistence startled her, each one of the nutrient classes individually. Water: Yes, water is a nutrient. In fact, water is the most vital nutrient to our existence. The body can go nearly 8 weeks without food, yet it can only survive a few days, at most, when deprived of water. More than 50% of our total body weight comes from water and all tissues and cells in the system depend on this fluid in order to function properly. Here are just a few of the benefits provided by water according to the book, Water, the Ultimate Cure. Water improves oxygen delivery to the cells, cushions bones and joints, and removes waste from the system. Now for the big question; how much water does a person have to consume to receive the benefits? Using the basic formula of dividing your body weight by 2 should give you the approximate number in ounces. For example, a 150 pound person divides their weight in half requiring them to intake about 75 ounces of water per day, which is around 5 regular size bottles of water. Carbohydrates: We live in a low carbohydrate nation yet most people probably couldn’t tell the first thing about the nutrient. It is time for a little carb education. There are two types of carbohydrates: “simple” and “complex.” Sugar and fruit fall under the “simple” category and things like whole grains, rice, and vegetables can be classified as 10 but she politely said, “Okay.” My friends giggled, but they knew I was right. My Mocha arrived with chips and all. Needless to say, all conversation halted. We gorged on Graeter’s like we just got out of prison. Nothing compares to the creamy texture and giant semisweet chocolate chunks that are in this ice cream. After any gelato or Tasty Delight that I enjoy in NY, I always wistfully whisper to myself... “Graeter’s...” It is rare for me in my first visit to any New York restaurant to be so intimately acquainted with the cuisine. Edward’s allowed me to cross this threshold. Apparently, I am not alone. I spoke with the owner, Edward, who grew up in Bond Hill and graduated from Walnut Hills High School in ‘65. He said this night started three years ago and after 36 times it gets busier and busier. I asked him if the clientele on these nights were mostly Cincinnatians, and he responded emphatically, “Of course! There’s a lot of us here!” When I asked him if, perhaps, he created any converts to our hometown tastes, he promptly said, “No.” This is clearly an acquired taste that we are all so fortunate to have. What will this acquired taste cost “complex”. Carbohydrates have received a bad reputation because our body is drawn to eating simple carbohydrates for quick energy. This tends to provide a rapid boost with a massive drop. This roller coaster effect can lead to over-consumption because as energy levels decline, we want the rapid boost again by eating more sugar-packed simple carbs to restore the high. It is important to balance the amount of complex and simple carbohydrates to maintain stable energy levels. Carbohydrates should account for 40% of your diet. Protein: Protein is the building material used by the body to create everything from organs to muscle. Protein is composed of small compounds called amino acids. There are about 20 total amino acids necessary to form a complete protein. If a food source has less than 20 amino acids, then it is classified as an incomplete protein. Examples of complete protein foods include meat, dairy, eggs, and tofu. Incomplete proteins are nuts, grains, and vegetables. Thirty percent of our diet should come from a mixture of complete and incomplete proteins. Fat: This nutrient is often associated with clogged arteries and big stomachs. Fat is very misunderstood and the average person who goes on a traditional diet would probably be inclined to purchase all fat(con’t on p. 11)

you in NYC? Dear reader, please do not cringe, but here is what we paid: ! slab of Montgomery Inn Ribs= $17.00 3 - way = $10.50 4 - way= $11.00 5 - way= $11.50 Cheese Coney= $3.50 Larosa’s Medium Cheese Pizza= $15.50 Graeter’s Cream (2 scoops)=$6.50 Taste of home in the big city= Priceless

Are You Eating A Balanced Diet?
by Zak Nordyke Eating a balanced diet has changed greatly over the last 50 years and it is becoming more important than ever with the rising cost of health care. A well balanced diet contains “six key nutrients,” according to Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc. which are water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Let’s examine

Hallucinate, Legally!
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Most people have not heard of salvia divinorum, a perfectly legal psychoactive and smokable herb. You can buy it at the Smoke Shop near the UC campus. The brand name is called “Purple Sticky.” Recently, news reports have started surfacing about this allegedly dangerous “drug.” Perhaps you have seen footage of kids rolling around on the floor, in some kind of painful and contorted ecstasy. The effects of smoking salvia divinorum only last a few minutes, however. So if you find yourself on the floor like a fool, you may be stone cold sober within ten minutes. I have never seen shocking news footage of a drunk person, writhing on the floor in a pool of his or her own vomit, with a headline designed to make me fear beer. Here is my real fear: that once again, we are going to criminalize an herb. And once we do that, we are going to increase not only the amount of crime, but the amount of criminals. I say stop freaking out about an obscure smoking product, and worry about some real issues!

Guerilla Gardening
by J. Richard Hague When we first moved here in l981, my wife and I hardly looked beyond the floors and walls and broken doors of our house. When we finally got the place under control and began gardening a bit outside, we couldn’t help but notice the abandoned lot across the street (on the 6100 block of Erie Ave.), its rank fourfoot weeds, its bedraggled and generally cast-off state. I did a little research and found out that in l950 it had been sold to the Chessie Railroad, who had owned it since then. CSX obviously felt no need to maintain their property beyond cutting the weeds down around the signal box that stands on the far northeast side of the lot, at the edge of the railroad ballast. For the first years we lived here, the place was completely neglected. A local youth group made a video of the neighborhood around that time; my neighbor Roger Miller and I, to emphasize the state of the lot, knelt down in its weeds. On the screen, it looks like we’re in the African Veldt, or in the original beargrass that grew six or seven feet high in river bottoms and forest openings in pioneer days. The show aired on local public access; the next summer the city took to mowing the lot once a month. Not that it helped. They bush hogged it, chewing up beer bottles, papers, pieces of wood, frequently wrecking their machinery. Where I had begun to carefully mow, the blade set high enough to allow continued growth and root formation, the grass was green, lush. Where they bush hogged it, the vegetation was destroyed, mowed so close to the ground that it was, in my father’s word, “scalped.” It thereafter declined to yellow then brown patches of dead vegetation poxing the whole lot. The bush hogging destroyed the weeds, yes, but it also trashed what could have been there, what diversity might have sprung up. In another weird echo of Vietnam, the city crew destroyed the piece of ground in their intent to save it. Still, I kept at it. In fact, I think I enjoyed the challenge; there’s something satisfying about believing you occupy the high moral ground on an issue. There are people, for example, in this neighborhood who would call the police immediately if they saw someone kicking a dog, let alone a child. But here this lot sits, abandoned, neglected, at times as abused in its own way as any child in need of foster parents. And, of course, no one gets the slightest bit exercised over it but me and Roger and sometimes John Hale, who lives across the street. So it has become a kind of stubborn and ornery issue of mine, the earnest occupation of many a summer morning and afternoon. I have been so angry sometimes that I have considered forcing the Chessie System to have me arrested and so publicize the corporate and civil absurdities. There was a particular term of official abuse of the lot about ten years ago that tells much of the story. I had been complaining for years to the Chessie about their lack of policing and maintenance of the lot, and when, frustrated, I told one of the men I talked to that I would simply keep calling, every day, and bugging them about it, he’d answered, “”You can call till hell freezes over, buddy, it don’t make no difference to me.” It had reminded me of the reply I’d gotten from the City Engineer, when, shortly after moving here, I had received a notice ordering me to have all my sidewalks replaced. Simpson Street has no curb, and so school buses and parents waiting to drop their kids off at our corner often pull into the green strip between the street and the sidewalk, and sometimes even up onto the sidewalks themselves. It was causing huge ruts that gathered water after rain, and which froze in the winter, heaving the edges of my sidewalks and cracking them. When I told the engineer of this, and then asked him how the city was going to protect my new sidewalks after ordering me to replace them, he said they’d do nothing. “It’s just something you inherited when you moved to Madisonville, sir. You’ll just have to live with it.” That was an astonishment to me— as if moving to certain places in America carried a penalty like Original Sin. “You just inherited it.” At any rate, I embarked on a series of phone calls to various city offices—Litter Control, Health, Zoning, Streets and Sidewalks, to see if I could stir something up on behalf of the abandoned lot. Nothing doing. The buck was passed so many times, became so dog-eared and ragged,

(con’t from p. 10) free food. Vitamins A, D, E, and K all rely on fat to be absorbed into the body. When the system is deprived of fat, the body becomes vitamin deficient, which can lead to conditions such as unstable mood, hair loss, dry skin and brittle nails. Fat should come from healthy sources like flax seed oil, organic olive oil, coconut oil, and raw unprocessed nuts. Fat should comprise 30% of your diet. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins only account for 1% of the compounds that compose the human body, yet they play a two hundred year-old residential neighborhood filled with Victorian architecture. A few years later, it was the railroad’s turn. Section gangs aboard a work train tore out one of the two lines running less than a hundred yards from our house. They rebuilt the crossing on Simpson. This resulted in a huge pile of rotting ties, stinking of creosote, piled eight feet high and running for a hundred and fifty feet along the back of the lot. A young crazy with long hair and a Bobcat came and for a day selected the best of the ties, steelbanded them in bundles, and hauled them away. He took maybe a hundred of the thousand or so. He never came back. He

critical role in metabolism regulation, waste elimination, and immune system function. Water and fat must be present in the system in order for vitamins to be properly absorbed. Minerals account for nearly 4% of the compounds in the body and contribute to tissue growth, nerve system function, and muscle stability. Vitamins and minerals need to be ingested through food or whole food vitamins. The body cannot sufficiently produce these substances. It would be advisable to use a complete whole food liquid vitamin and mineral supplement found at a health food store if you feel your diet is lacking balance. Zak Nordyke is a personal trainer with Zak Nordyke Holistic Fitness. Find him on the web at and those of us in the neighborhood either have to turn our backs on them, engaging in a kind of forced rudeness and ignorance, or we have to take on their care. No wonder certain neighborhoods, certain stretches of ground in our cities, decline into vileness. What happens to the selfimage of those who live in such places— do they, too, inherit some warped notion that they themselves must be vile? Do they turn to destructive ways of living and thinking because it’s in the air, so to speak, around them? I know what I’m up against: a bureaucracy that in no way understands the notion of advocacy for abandoned lots and industry officials who have long lain abed with city government, and who thus fear no consequences if they abandon their responsibilities to vast areas of railroad right-of-way through the United States, including my neighborhood of Madisonville. (To get the Chessie person responsible for maintenance, you formerly had to call their Corbin, Kentucky offices; now, there’s a number in Jacksonville, Florida—talk about absentee landlords!) City agencies and departments are staffed by inept or grouchy overworked people who keep passing the buck, so that a simple inquiry about a litter problem takes up forty-five minutes of a spectacular June morning better spent in the yard, under the sun, in the company of the breeze. It is not lost on me that this habitual laggardry makes it practically impossible for working people—nightshift employees, for example—to contact their government about local issues such as the lot. They simply don’t have the time. As a teacher, I do have some time, and in the summer I make phone calls and use up whole mornings or afternoons, and little or nothing happens. I am afraid that such environmental abandonment happens widely; much potential for beautiful and productive land goes unrealized, and hours of human endeavor are wasted. There is no ending yet to the story of the lot. It is an ongoing essay in local ecological stewardship versus civil and corporate bureaucracy, patience versus expediency, the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law, adventure versus routine, hope versus a kind of crackpot realism. This was taken from a longer essay of the same title which appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, published at the Utah State University.

that at last I took it out of circulation. A few months later, as if to show me how little my concerns had moved all these governmental departments, the city staged a Neighborhood Blitz, a clean-up campaign which at first glance looked like a commendable project. Throughout the 45227 zip code area, the city would pick up all dead appliances, haul away all abandoned vehicles. Our neighborhood had a problem with both; we citizens looked forward to the improvement. On the day the Blitz was to begin, suddenly in the lot there appeared four roaring front-loaders, spewing diesel fumes, accompanied by several huge dump trucks. For the next two weeks, the lot became the repository of hundreds of mangled freezers, doorless refrigerators, defunct washing machines, and paralyzed airconditioners drooling freon into the gravel and dust. A pile of scrap metal rose to nearly twenty feet. From my front porch, through the hanging ferns and baskets of impatiens, I beheld a scene more reminiscent of the county landfill than of a nearly 11

disappeared as completely as the thugs who by night pull into the lot and download wrecked cars or dumpster-sized piles of construction debris they don’t want to pay to dispose of properly. For two years the ties continued to lie by the railroad right-of-way – six-foot high mulberry trees growing among them weeds obscuring the edge of the pile. It had become, almost, a part of the topography. I talked to the man in charge of the maintenance of this section of the Chessie; he is a helpful and sympathetic fellow who shakes his head over his own company’s behavior, but he can do little. He did tell me, however, that the railroad had contracted the man with the Bobcat to remove all of them; he fled the commitment after selling the few he selected, and the railroad feels no responsibility to clean up after itself. Nor does the city seem to feel any obligation to make them. When huge corporations and city bureaucracies climb into bed together, their offspring are often, like the lot, bastards of abandonment, ugliness, and ignorance,

The Dean’s Phrase Maze

Directions: Start in the upper right hand corner. The correct path will move through the sides of each square (no corners, no crossing), spelling this month’s phrase maze. Hint: Bus stop seating. Last month’s: “Laketa got off the Cole Train and hopped on the Berding gravy train!” Perhaps there is still hope for a Syringe Exchange Program in Cincinnati. But we cannot have such a program if I am a lone ranger. The success of such a program can occur only if you help me and if our medical community, public officials, and our HIV/AIDS medical specialists join their voices. We can do it if we are steadfast.

Cincinnati Needs a Syringe Exchange Program
by Representative Tyrone Yates By the time I left Cincinnati City Council in 1999, a majority of Council was prepared to approve a syringe exchange program – but the issue had cooled and a legislative opportunity did not present itself before I left. Some of the members of Council who were prepared to vote favorably were Mayor Roxanne Qualls, former Mayor Bobbie Sterne, Councilmember Minette Cooper, Councilmember Jim Tarbell and Councilmember Todd Portune. I believe that other members not specifically mentioned here with whom I served would today support a syringe exchange program in Cincinnati. Syringe Exchange Programs are proven by every major study including those of the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences to reduce HIV infections and DO NOT promote increased use of drugs in the drug using and addicted populations. In 1994, I visited a needle exchange program in Cleveland where, facially illegal, the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Department of Health allowed such a program. I saw with my own eyes, firsthand, the life saving quality of a medically supervised Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) where SEP volunteers exchanged a clean needle for a dirty or used needle from a program participant. The clean needle cost 12 cents; the care for a person who contracts AIDS with a dirty needle costs over $120,000 in lifetime public care costs. You might ask why not just send the drug user to rehab? The reason addicts often do not go to rehab, making Syringe Exchange Programs necessary, is because there are relatively very few drug rehab slots for those who seek them – leaving hundreds of thousands of addicts in the United States to potentially contract HIV, AIDS, or Tuberculosis A, B, or C. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges its members to strongly support Syringe Exchange Programs to prevent IVDU infected mothers from passing AIDS and HIV to their yet to be born babies. The Congress of the United States voted on June 28, 2007 to lift the ban on the District of Columbia's use of its local funds in support of D.C. Government's Syringe Exchange Programs. The District of Columbia has the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate per capita of any area in the United States. On July 12, 2007 I introduced an Amendment to a National NAACP Resolution on International Affairs (Health and Global AIDS support) more clearly specifying the NAACP's advocacy in supporting medically supervised syringe exchange and condom distribution programs-worldwide. The Amendment passed the NAACP Convention with a wide vote of the Delegates.

The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless (GCCH) was formed in May of 1984 for one purpose: the eradication of homelessness in Cincinnati. What started out as a coalition of 15 volunteers meeting weekly in an unheated church basement has since grown into a Coalition of over 45 agencies and hundreds of volunteers. For more information, please visit