July 2007 Archive

Sorry, no posts today due to real work intervening. Why not add something to the OhioWiki instead? OhioWiki needs editors!

Don’t sleep on train tracks.

I, doctor

Robot hospital:

In just a few weeks, stroke patients who are taken to Mount Carmel East Hospital may be treated by a doctor located miles away. At the same time, that doctor will be bedside — all thanks to a robot….

If the doctor is out of the hospital when a patient arrives, the robot goes into action.

From a remote location, the doctor flips open a laptop and guides the robot to the patient’s bed. The doctor then sees the patient through a camera attached to the screen.

“Actually, they’re really not talking to the robot,” said Dr. Mark Hackman, vice president for Medical Affairs at Mount Carmel East. “They’re talking to the physician. The robot is just a tool. I’d say it’s a pretty revolutionary change.”

They call that sort of thing telepresence. I see some potential for stuff to go wrong with this. It would give new meaning to the phrase “blue screen of death.”

Farmer welfare passes House

The US House passed a $42 billion dollar welfare package for farmers on Friday. Dave Harding at Progress Ohio covers it- is he supposed to be proud that Democrats favored this? I don’t get it. There are some heros though:

[Passage of the bill] came after Democrats quashed a rebellion from one of their own, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., who teamed with conservative GOP budget hawks and urban and suburban Democrats on an amendment to wean farmers from government payments. It would have imposed stricter income limits on farmers, barring subsidies to those making an average of $250,000 or more annually, and would have steered more money to conservation, nutrition, specialty crop and rural development programs….

“I had high hopes that this Congress — given market conditions and our commitment to a new direction for this country — would have the stomach to reform these outdated and unfair policies,” Kind said in a statement.

What are those billions for? Here’s one thing it does:

…leaves in place — and in some cases increases — subsidies to producers of major crops such as corn and soybeans at a time of record-high prices.

Nice. The Senate will work on their end of it in September.

Meh.

Less terrorism aid from the feds

Joe Hallet on the federal funds Columbus receives:

[Former official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Matt A.] Mayer said Columbus should be in the top half of cities eligible for terrorism funds because it is the nation’s 15th largest city, has America’s biggest university and the fifth-busiest zoo, is home to several Fortune 500 companies and large shopping centers and has critical infrastructure such as power plants, dams, rail lines and airports.

Columbus has been one of the busiest areas in the US as far as terrorism goes:

[Christopher] Paul, who grew up in Worthington, is awaiting trial, accused of helping train terrorists for attacks on America. Former Columbus truck driver Iyman Faris is serving a 20-year prison term for scouting the Brooklyn Bridge for al-Qaida. And Nuradin Abdi of Columbus, a Somali immigrant, is scheduled for trial Aug. 7 on charges involving a plot to bomb an unspecified Columbus-area shopping mall.

With allegations of three al-Qaida-related plots in its backyard, Columbus would seem primed for steep increases in terrorism funds. The opposite has occurred: The city received $4.7 million this year, nearly $3 million less than it got in 2004, the first year funds were available.

You’ll recall that major cities like New York complained that other places were getting too much money. I guess they fixed that.

Spinning the State Auditor’s report

Buckeye State Blog is reporting that $20M was misspent under Ohio’s charter school program. This is either spin or a misunderstanding of the Ohio Auditor of State’s report. Here’s BSB:

Doc Wood, BSB’s resident education expert, has some bad news for us. The Ohio Department of Education misspent $20+ million through problems with charter school’s/accountability. For comparison’s sake, the whole intern blunder cost us $2.2 mil. Wonder if the Republicans will be debating this one? -Jerid

It should not have been any surprise to read that Republican State Auditor Mary Taylor found that our own Ohio Department of Education mis-spent over $20,000,000 in the Community School program. These schools, also known as charter schools, were the focus of much of the debate around Governor Ted’s budget this past spring. While the Governor wanted to put the program on hold (and end payments to ‘for profit’ charters) while issues like this were straightened out, the General Assembly charged ahead and funded the program without any new controls.

The audit report doesn’t actually conclude that the money was misspent, but rather that the proper oversight wasn’t in place to insure that the money, all of which was federal grants, wasn’t misspent. Apparently, the state had rules in place that said that only schools spending over half a mil in federal funds had to file certain reports, but that schools spending less than that accounted for the majority of the money. From the 2006 state audit report (pdf, real page 189):

During SFY 2006, EDU disbursed $20.8 million in Federal Charter Schools grant funds to qualified charter schools in the form of start-up (planning and design) and implementation sub-grants. EDU’s Office of Community Schools (OCS) is responsible for monitoring the use of the Federal Charter Schools funds by the charter schools. However, during the majority of SFY 2006, OCS did not have an effective system in place to determine whether subrecipients were using these Federal funds in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

As in previous years the Department has a number of potential monitoring tools in place such as required site visit reports and other monitoring procedures performed by charter school sponsors, reviews of Annual Performance Reviews (APRs) and Final Expenditure Reports (FERs), and the monitoring of A-133 audits performed on the schools. However, these tools either were not used effectively or did not provide for adequate subrecipient monitoring during SFY 2006.

OCS did not have procedures in place to ensure that charter school sponsors were performing their required compliance monitoring. Furthermore, the majority of these schools did not expend $500,000 or more in Federal money during SFY 2005, and therefore were not required to have an A-133 audit. Of the 137 charter school subrecipients that received funding during SFY 2006, only three were required to have an A-133 audit for SFY 2005, and none of these three were submitted to EDU until after SFY 2006. Finally, while the APRs and FERs do address these Federal funds, they do not provide a level of detail which would allow the Department to determine whether subrecipients are complying with applicable Federal regulations.

This is a problem obviously, and one that is being resolved. But lack of oversight of the money is quite a different thing from saying that it’s known that the money was misspent. It’s no doubt that some of it was misspent, statistically speaking, but I think quite unlikely that anything approaching most of it was.

As BSB mentioned, this problem was the one Gov. Ted Strickland used in an attempt to trash the whole program, certainly a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The better solution is to fix the oversight problems.

NBC4i also covers this, and they get the story right:

Improper accounting practices led the state to overpay Medicaid providers $13 million last year and made it impossible to know whether $20 million in state payouts to charter schools was being properly handled, according to a state audit released Thursday.

In all, state Auditor Mary Taylor questioned $36 million in spending at six state agencies last year, most at the departments of Education and of Job and Family Services.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for BSB’s post on the $13 million in questioned expenditures “related to the Medicaid Cluster and State Children’s Insurance Program.”

Jeff at Urban In-Fill looks at the little-known second Parsons Avenue Kroger parking lot.

New immigrants need not apply?

The AP has this story on a proposal that Columbus cabbies should have had a US license for 5 years rather than the current 6 months:

The Independent Taxicab Association of Columbus, which represents mostly foreign-born drivers, says about 530 of the group’s 700 drivers would lose their jobs under the proposal.

A committee of city, community and business officials recommended the requirement to make the capital city a more cab-friendly town….

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says the proposal is somewhere between ill-advised and illegal.

I have to side with the ACLU on this one. If having a driver’s license is not a sufficient guarantor of good drivers, then increase the licensing requirements. Discriminating against recent immigrants isn’t the way to go.

Walker Evans is looking for input into the YP Commission “Convince” Subcommittee that he’s a member of.

Chiquita’s terrorist pay-offs and the Ohio media

Bill Sloat on Chiquita’s payoffs to a terrorist group in Colombia and the failure of Ohio media to cover the Cincinnati-based company:

Ohio’s newspapers seem to have been stricken with sleeping sickness. Or maybe they have lost consciousness. Or maybe they just don’t give a damn. What else could explain how the Los Angeles Times dug up a story about a $4.5 billion Oho corporation that seems to have been treated leniently by the Bush Administration in a case involving pay-offs to terrorists.

Big Fruit of course has a long and sordid history in Latin America. The fickle nature of the Ohio news media in what they choose to cover and what they choose to ignore has come up before.

A recent email pointed out a site that I wasn’t aware of before: Campaigns & Elections, which has an Ohio section. A couple of recent articles focus on Ohio Democratic blogs and conservative blogs. The site allows subscribing by email, but not by feed, which is so 2002.

Lots of posts about Sherrod Brown being named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill by The Hill. But Nancy Pelosi is number 4 on that list, so a huge grain of salt is certainly warranted here.

No light rail for Columbus

Light rail for Columbus is officially off the table for now. (Note: this does not refer to the city’s streetcar project.) From ThisWeek:

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has officially removed the proposed light rail transit plan from its Fiscally Balanced Transportation Plan and placed the concept on the commission’s “wish list.”

Ahmad Al-Akhras, assistant director of transportation, recently told the group’s policy committee that MORPC will continue to monitor conditions for the proposed light rail transit corridor and federal policy, but the project cannot move forward without federal support and approval.

The project doesn’t meet federal guidelines for subsidies, so it’s a no-go.

Ahmad Al-Akhras, by the way, is a defender of accused terrorist Christopher Paul, is one of Mayor Coleman’s closest associates, and is vice chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations which has several former leaders convicted of terrorism-related charges and which is linked to the terrorist group HAMAS.

UPDATE: Blue Bexley has a good post on why Columbus doesn’t qualify for federal funds (and incidentally channels the Smiths). Bottom line: per dollar, the project doesn’t reduce transit times from current levels nearly enough.

1840’s Columbus

Ed Lentz at ThisWeek has a cool column on the Columbus social scene of the 1840’s.

Columbus is a created city, created in a special place for a special purpose - to be the center of things for the people and state of Ohio. Since 1812, it has been just that.

In 1900, a local writer named Alice Faye Potter wrote a short article describing what the social life of the capital city was like in the 1840s. It is worth recalling as a reminder of a world that used to be in the capital city.

Read about the Parsons, the Deshlers, and Dr. Goodale. Abraham Lincoln makes a cameo.

The Feed

Spotlight: Joshua Dandurand, Vorisek Financial Corp.

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Oct 24, 2014 2:05 pm

Biz1st anniversary issue: 30 years of Columbus business history, plus a loo

CompuServe Corp. was the first to envision reading a newspaper online – and here you are. Columbus Business First celebrated its 30th anniversary....

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Oct 24, 2014 1:50 pm

Mikey’s Late Night Slice teaming with Katalina’s at its Oddfellows Liqu

Now here's a twist: Mikey's Late Night Slice – the pizza slingers known for running the kitchens for other bars – turned the kitchen of its own....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 1:25 pm

Music-focused Walrus bar coming to East Main

The Walrus aims to offer bar-goers a little bit of everything, but its main goal is to bring a little music to downtown. It's a new venture from....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 12:52 pm

Exacter planning 13 new jobs from Third Frontier grant

A Columbus company seeking to help utilities prevent blackouts by targeting preventative maintenance is planning to roll out a new product....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 12:45 pm

Chief sustainability officers becoming more common, survey finds, including

Central Ohio is home to two chief sustainability officers of public companies, not a bad feat when there are just 36 members with the C-suite....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 12:35 pm

Top of the List: Central Ohio’s biggest office buildings

The largest office building in the region is home to thousands of employees who enjoy amenities ranging from a Starbucks coffee shop to a dry cleaner....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 11:14 am

Indianapolis Motor Speedway wants to sell solar power to Ohio

Ohioans, start your renewable energy credits. OK, so it's not as catchy as "Gentlemen, start your engines." But the world-renowned raceway that made....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 10:35 am

Crawford Hoying expanding project by Fifth Third Field in Dayton

Crawford Hoying Development Partners has expanded its commitment to its Water Street riverfront project near the Dayton Dragons' home at Fifth Third....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 10:19 am

Cycle614 Opens as City’s First Indoor Cycling Studio

If you love riding your bike for exercise, but hate the oncoming winter weather, you’re in luck. Cycle614 opened their doors at 1636 Northwest....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 24, 2014 10:18 am

Panera's joining Hofbrauhaus at Grandview Yard next week

Tuesday is going to be a busy, busy day at Grandview Yard. You may have heard that Hofbrauhaus will be opening its doors that day. The relocated....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 10:13 am

Gahanna’s Eastgate spec project breaks ground after tenant signed

The Mark F. Taggart Co. and FedOne Dublin development firms have signed a tenant for their 80,000-square-foot spec office-warehouse in Gahanna's....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 10:03 am

Candle with a Cause Growing into Regional Markets

Mitch Underwood and Dan Kim were sitting at a bar four years ago hanging out when a light bulb went off. The duo noticed that the bar was throwing....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 24, 2014 9:19 am

New Museum Design Approved, Demolition of Old Vets Memorial Set to Begin

The plan by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) to remake the Scioto Pennisula took another step forward this week as the Downtown....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 24, 2014 8:33 am

Morning Edition: OSU comes out swinging in response to Jonathan Waters’ f

Gloves are off. Ohio State University isn't taking the clash with fired band director Jonathan Waters lying down. Several reports Thursday detailed a....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 24, 2014 6:38 am

First Look: Katalina’s at Oddfellows Liquor Bar

Katalina’s in Harrison West is growing onto High Street this weekend with a pop-up restaurant that launching inside the Oddfellows Liquor Bar....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 7:59 pm

Short North White Castle to be Redeveloped

On April 1st, we announced that the Short North White Castle would be torn down and replaced with a new mixed-use apartment development. Of course,....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Mega Fall Weekend 2014 – Vol. 5

Happy Halloween Weekend Round 1! Are you going to the big party on High Street, HighBall Halloween on Friday and Saturday night? Enter to win tickets....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 2:53 pm

Barcelona owner adding Red Brick Occasions event venue

Barcelona restaurant's catering arm now has an event venue of its own. Scott Heimlich, owner of the German Village restaurant and its sister....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 2:31 pm

Short North’s White Castle site targeted for apartments

Two longstanding family businesses in Columbus have tentative plans to jointly redevelop a site in the middle of the Short North. Borror Properties....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 1:52 pm

Drillers helping boost AEP in Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas

Growth in shale country continues to buoy industrial sales for American Electric Power Company Inc. The company notched double-digit year-over-over....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 1:25 pm

Earthquake talk draws big crowd at drilling industry gathering in Columbus

Ohio oil and gas regulators are still dealing with implications from earthquakes. Officials have acknowledged links from underground waste....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 1:16 pm

Tom & Chee bringing quirky grilled cheese menu to Ohio State campus area

If there is a population of hungry people more apt to like a grilled cheese sandwich made with doughnuts than college students, I'm not sure what....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 1:09 pm

Full circle: Pinnacle Data founder helping OSU students build KAir battery

John Bair started a business in his Ohio State University dorm room 25 years ago while double-majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Today....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 12:59 pm

Orange Township site emerges for piece of Amazon’s $1B data center operat

The last of three sites planned for the proposed Amazon Web Services data center operations in the region has emerged. A zoning application filed....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 12:01 pm

PJM Interconnection: Natural gas to top coal as main fuel source

Natural gas will replace coal as the primary fuel source for a 13-state regional transmission organization as soon as May. The chief executive of....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 11:30 am

Barcelona Owner Opening Downtown Event Venue

Business has been going well at Barcelona in German Village. So well in fact, that the business is spinning off its special event hosting....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 11:27 am

American Realty Capital buys Dublin office property for $7.85 million

The New York City-based American Realty Capital Properties REIT has purchased another property just a week or two after scoring the Avnet Inc.....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 11:07 am

Central Ohio’s most expensive home sales in 3Q – COUNTDOWN

Things have changed on the high end of Central Ohio's housing market as the year has gone along. And if you're a commission-based sales agent, that's....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 9:51 am

MSc Human Resources and Organisations – Your Career

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Columbusite

Oct 23, 2014 9:49 am

Columbus Has Issues: A Guide to the 2014 Ballot Issues

If you are following the 2014 election season closely, you’re probably familiar with the candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 9:43 am

Ohio

Ohio's job creation is now officially in the toilet!Plunderbund:The last time Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business ranked....

Ohio 15th District

Oct 23, 2014 9:43 am

Transit Columbus Announces Map Contest

As a follow-up to last year’s Good Ideas Columbus initiative, Transit Columbus last night announced a new project – a map contest....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 9:40 am

Dish Deathmatch: Mac(aron) Attack!

Hello Macarons. For the longest time, it was difficult to understand why people described macarons with such loving superlatives. They’re....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 9:30 am

Courtyard by Marriotts at Crosswoods park, Dublin sold in national portfoli

The spurt of Columbus hotel sales continues. Records show the Courtyard by Marriott at 5175 Post Road in Dublin sold for $11.88 million while the....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 9:28 am

HealthSpot wins telemedicine fans in Cleveland, but Nationwide Children’s

One pediatric medical director says HealthSpot Inc.'s enclosed and instrument-equipped pods should be "the standard of care" for telemedicine, but....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 8:54 am

Concert Review: tUnE-yArDs

On Monday, October 20th, Promowest and CD102.5FM welcomed the wildly cultured, eccentric and inspiring five-piece to the Newport Music Hall.....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 7:36 am

Concert Review: tUnE-yArDs

On Monday, October 20th, Promowest and CD102.5FM welcomed the wildly cultured, eccentric and inspiring five-piece to the Newport Music Hall.....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 23, 2014 7:36 am

Morning Roundup: Honda appoints quality czar after yet another recall, form

In today's roundup: Another recall has Honda refocusing on quality, NAACP close to awarding 2016 convention to Cincinnati, Wendy's polling well....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 6:36 am

National Roundup: Invest like Warren Buffett? Be careful (Video)

In the world of investing, there are worse people you could follow than Warren Buffett. It seems like all it takes is one mention of Buffett's....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 23, 2014 6:11 am

Get ready for (Your Name Here) Ohio General Hospital

The Texas operator of freestanding ERs that's been preparing a path for Central Ohio is divulging more about how it joins forces with hospital....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 1:04 pm

Top of the List: Central Ohio’s biggest M&A law firms

The No. 1 mergers and acquisitions law practice in Central Ohio has been around since 1964 and has represented a range of clients ranging from Piada....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 12:41 pm

Hospitals with the best operating margin – COUNTDOWN

Although no single Columbus hospital bears the entire burden of providing care for those who can't pay, each system leans on high-performing....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 12:27 pm

Ohio Video Game Expo Returns for Bigger and Better Second Year

Video games may be a recreational hobby for most people, but for others it’s a big business. Globally, the video game industry is projected to....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 22, 2014 12:19 pm

EPA’s as bad as the British pre-1776, Mississippi governor tells Columbus

The governor of Mississippi brought some Southern angst against the federal government to Columbus. Gov. Phil Bryant said a proposed U.S. EPA water....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 11:10 am

Rusty Bucket’s Clintonville hopes rest with voters

Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern is still finding new sites in Central Ohio, but its next restaurant is going to need the backing of voters. The....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 10:54 am

Pentagon adding power grids at military bases

The Pentagon, concerned about the security of utility companies, is building its own power grids at military bases in the U.S., the Wall Street....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 10:23 am

Hofbrauhaus opens Tuesday – SLIDESHOW

Saying the Hofbrauhaus is much-anticipated isn't hyperbole. The restaurant and beer hall is set to open next Tuesday, Oct. 28 and though its owners....

Business First of Columbus

Oct 22, 2014 9:52 am

Community Plates Saves Food from Local Landfills

Community Plates was launched in 2011 with a very simple goal: to get food to people in need. Founder Jeff Schacher recognized a huge discrepancy....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 22, 2014 9:29 am

Restaurant Review: Tatoheads Public House

Hal & Al’s was on the official CU review go-see list for a long time. Too long: it closed its doors this summer and became Tatoheads Public....

The Walker Evans Effect

Oct 22, 2014 7:28 am