Welcome to Somewhere Over the Rhine

A site dedicated to Cincinnati's Over the Rhine neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shameful, Outrageous Politics in Ohio Today

For a more detailed explanation read here: PRESS RELEASE

At a staff meeting for the Ohio TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council) today, staff members recommended that funding for the Cincinnati Streetcar Project be withheld due to "fiscal balance" issues.

The decision was made to withhold these funds despite the fact that the Cincinnati Streetcar Project was rated as the highest ranking project in all of Ohio as reviewed by TRAC just months ago. This is the same Streetcar project that TRAC unanimously voted to support 8-0 just last year. Under obvious dictator like tactics by Gov. Kasich, the money will not be used to reduce the state deficit, but will instead be reallocated to much lower ranking road, highway, or bridge projects around the state.

Just yesterday, according to a press release from All Aboard Ohio's Ken Prendergast, a proposed amendment to ODOT’s biennial budget request would change the laws in Ohio to prevent any state or federal funds from being given to the Cincinnati Streetcar project. "The Ohio Senate Transportation Committee is expected to approve today an omnibus amendment which includes provision SC-0257-1. A summary of that provision says it “prohibits state or federal funds appropriated by the state from being used for the Cincinnati streetcar project.”

All this happening to a project expected to return huge dividends in economic development to a city struggling to make ends meet year after year. Investments like these are what help cities climb out of holes, yet our Gov. is taking away funding and channeling it instead to road and highway projects that have absolutely no value in giving this city or the entire state what it really needs.

This is an absolute abomination happening in our state right now and I fully believe that Ohio and Cincinnati citizens deserve better than this. Regardless of where you stand on the Streetcar Project, this sort of abuse of power and political wrangling should not be allowed to go unchecked!

Please write the people below today and express your anger towards their shameful behavior.

ODOT Director Jerry Wray:
Jerry Wray, Director
Ohio Department of Transportation
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus Ohio, 43223
Phone: (614) 466-2336

Gov. John Kasich: (614) 466-3555 or http://governor.ohio.gov/ShareYourIdeas.aspx
Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, Oh 43215-6117

TRAC: TRAC@dot.state.oh.us

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Millionare's Row

Front view of the John Hauck mansion on Millionaire's Row in the West End

First, I must take a minute to apologize for my last post in which I threatened to leave Cincinnati if the streetcar project doesn't happen. This is not going to happen. I suppose I sometimes let emotions get the best of me when it comes to standing up for downtown and OTR:)

Moving on...The Enquirer ran a story today about Dayton St. in the West End in reference to Mallory's recent appearance on Undercover Boss. In the article, they felt it necessary to explain to Cincinnati viewers what the term "Millionaire's Row" was referring to. I suppose in some sense they did an okay job explaining its historical importance, but it seems to me they went a little too far in making sure to let everyone know that the neighborhood is no longer full of millionaire's, but instead mostly low-income families. I got the feeling that they wanted to keep people thinking negatively about that part of town. They went out of their way to explain how many of the mansions are boarded up and even went so far as to call it Skid Row instead of Millionaire's Row.

I just don't get the Enquirer. I mean, how can anyone hate Downtown and OTR that much that they take every opportunity possible to put a negative spin on things? The West End neighborhood of Cincinnati, before getting sliced up by I-75, was a magnificent place. It was huge and contained just as many, if not more beautiful 19th century buildings than OTR does today. I always like to remind people, that if they consider themselves native Cincinnatians they likely had great grandparents or great great grandparents who helped build these neighborhoods and likely lived out their entire lives there. Why would you want to constantly crap on your own family history?

Anyway, I just wanted to express my frustration with the Enquirer for again screwing up a perfectly good opportunity to help Dayton St. out a little by publishing an nice article detailing all the interesting historical and architectural facts about Millionaire's row. Why not take the opportunity to educate your readers about all the different brewery owners that once lived there? Or how about point out that the Hatch House (referred to in the article as simply "in need of a lot of work") is believed to be one of the only remaining structures in the area built by the famous architect Isaiah Rogers. Instead, we are left with nothing but negative commentary that I see as totally unnecessary.

I suppose I don't mind it all that much though because what they are essentially doing is preventing rich suburbanites from wanting to come down here and buy up all these old mansions. For my wife and I that's a good thing because we would love to eventually buy one of these amazing properties and fix it up and live there. So, at least they're helping to keep property values down?

Below: A few examples of the type of magnificient architectural treasures still intact throughout most of the West End and especially prominent along Millionaire's Row.

An example of a Carriage House in the rear of the Hauck Mansion. Many of the buildings along Millionaire's Row still have these beautiful structures intact as part of the property.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sorry Cincinnati, You Lose

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears we won't be getting a streetcar after all. You can all thank Gov. Kasich for this. He's decided he doesn't support giving Cincnnati the grant money we were recommended for earlier in 2010. Without his support those funds won't find their way to Cincinnati. Without those funds our city will never be able to afford a project like this. It is very sad to see that YEARS of hard work will be going down the drain because of misinformed, close-minded, conservative, out dated values. We can all look back in history and thank Gov Kasich and the current GOP controlled Congress for keeping Ohio and Cincinnati in the same old condition it's been in for the last 60+ years. It looks like my wife and I just found an excuse to move to NYC after all.

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