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market conditions and our commitment to a new direction for this country — would have the stomach to reform these outdated and unfair policies,” Kind said in a statement.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

Dr. Sok Siphana and Khim Sok Heng on Human Resources Development

Dr. Sok Siphana and Khim Sok Heng on Human Resources Development Cambodia’s Global Dialogue

Columbusite

Sep 19, 2014 12:44 am

Nationwide economist: ‘Short-sighted’ to assume Fed will keep rates low

David Berson is a former visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and now makes economic forecasts for Nationwide Mutual....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Tanisha Robinson’s test for what it takes to be an entrepreneur

Tanisha Robinson is on tech startup No. 4 or so, with two running simultaneously at the moment, and aiming to make the latest a billion-dollar....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 4:27 pm

Nationwide: NFL incidents ‘not consistent with our corporate values’ (V

The National Football League’s botched handling of recent off-the-field issues has some corporate sponsors questioning the league, including one of....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 3:13 pm

AEP boosting transmission grid in eastern Ohio to handle shale boom

State regulators have approved a $21 million transmission project that American Electric Power Company Inc. will build for major midstream oil and....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 2:24 pm

Harrison West apartment project on tap at Trotting Association site

Short North investor Snyder Barker Investments LLC has purchased the United States Trotting Association offices at 750-800 Michigan Ave. as it....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 2:01 pm

ClearSaleing team back with free event-management tool SmartCrowdz

The founders of ClearSaleing Inc. are back with SmartCrowdz LLC, which has raised $3.4 million toward upending online event planning and marketing....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 1:52 pm

Bake Me Happy Opens Gluten Free Bakery in Merion Village

If you’re gluten-free, but completely in love with Twinkies, then this news is for you. Bake Me Happy is opening their full service gluten free....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 18, 2014 1:27 pm

Mega Summer Weekend 2014 – Vol. 18

Happy Weekend! It’s the last weekend of the summer.  The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek has opened, have you tried it? Shadowbox has a few days left....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 18, 2014 1:00 pm

Will Apple Pay hurt smaller banks?

Apple Inc.’s forthcoming iPhone-based payments service, Apple Pay, quickly grabbed the attention of large banks. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC),....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 12:47 pm

Top of the List: Central Ohio’s biggest title agencies

The No. 1 title agency in the region has been serving the Columbus market for more than four decades. It was started at a kitchen table and the....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 12:46 pm

AEP’s Gavin plant lands on Dirtiest Power Plants report

What do Ohio power plant emissions have to do with Greece and millions of passenger cars? A new report by Environment Ohio Research and Policy....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 11:54 am

Phillips Edison explains Trader Joe shopping center purchase

Phillips Edison & Co.’s Phillips Edison-ARC Shopping Center REIT Inc. affiliate led the purchase of the Trader Joe’s-anchored shopping center I....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 11:26 am

Health-care real estate agent Chad Pinnell lands new gig

Health-care real estate agent Chad Pinnell has a new post. Pinnell reported for work at JLL’s Columbus office as managing director of the....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 11:18 am

Columbus Foundation awarded record $161M in grants last year

The Columbus Foundation and its donors awarded an all-time high $160.6 million to nonprofit organizations in Central Ohio last year, the....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 11:10 am

First Look: Inside the new OSU James Cancer Hospital – SLIDESHOW

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center gets the keys next Friday to its $750 million, 1.1 million-square-foot replacement for James Cancer....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 10:51 am

Columbus Ranked #1 Opportunity City of 2014

If you want to make a mark on the world, there’s no better city in the US to do that than Columbus. Of course, we’ve all known that....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 18, 2014 10:21 am

Magnum Hunter planning more ‘stacked pay’ drilling from same well pad

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., one of the early adopters of drilling in Ohio’s Utica and Marcellus shale on the same well pad, expects to have five....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 9:46 am

Ohio’s Own: Tasha’s Treats

Is it pumpkin season yet? No? … How about now? Is it pumpkin season now? Now? For those who wait all year for pumpkin flavored coffee, ice....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 18, 2014 8:43 am

Morning Roundup: Kroger testing online shopping, why data centers love Ohio

Kroger is testing online shopping, Ohio deemed not risky for natural disasters, outlet center backers unveil a funding proposal, Blue Jackets are all....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 6:30 am

Proposed Two-Story Giant Eagle Goes Back to Bexley Commission

The latest design for a two-story Giant Eagle on Main Street will be presented to the Bexley Planning Commission at its September 22nd meeting.....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 18, 2014 6:20 am

National Roundup: Amazon updates Kindle with hardware updates, one for kids

Amazon announced several updates to its line of Kindle tablets and e-readers that could expand the potential markets for those devices. The New....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 18, 2014 6:13 am

GCAC Presents: Harmony on the South Side

A video that has received 600,000+ views on YouTube. An opera singer who toured Europe, and sang with symphony orchestras. A vocalist who backed....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 18, 2014 6:10 am

Human Resources – A Day in the Life of an HR Business Partner

Human Resources – A Day in the Life of an HR Business Partner ADB Video for internal presentation on A Day in the Life of an HR Business....

Columbusite

Sep 18, 2014 5:45 am

Rife’s Market Closing their Doors

After 78 years in business, Rife’s Market, located at 1417 West Fifth Avenue is closing their doors for good. The family-owned operation has....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 5:17 pm

M & A Architects opening Cincinnati office to manage projects, drum up more

The M & A Architects design firm expects to open a modest Cincinnati office later this fall to manage of spurt of projects underway as it looks for....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 4:04 pm

Hot Chicken Takeover Going Mobile

Hot Chicken Takeover has been very successful in 2014. Since launching earlier this year, the pop-up fried chicken restaurant in Olde Towne East has....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 3:24 pm

‘Much larger pool of potential believers’ needed to boost Columbus'

Want to send Tanisha Robinson into a rage? Tell her the plan to build Print Syndicate LLC past $100 million revenue in the next few years is....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Glimcher expects to add 50 jobs at merged HQ in Columbus

Glimcher Realty Trust says its merger with Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE:WPG) will mean more jobs in Columbus. The $4.3 billion deal calls for....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 1:42 pm

Skyline Exhibits nearly doubles space, launches SmartBox Creative

Skyline Exhibits of Central Ohio LLC has expanded, launched a sister company and doubled its work force. The company this month moved from....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 1:37 pm

The Meat Bar Pop-Up Restaurant Opening Downtown

The restaurant space at 122 South High Street is getting a new pop-up concept in October, after previously being home to Chez du Bon and Fin (the....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 1:34 pm

Trader Joe’s-anchored center in Dublin sold after long delay

A Cincinnati investor has purchased the Trader Joe’s-anchored shopping center on Sawmill Road in Dublin after a year-long wait to close. Phillips....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 1:09 pm

Commercial Vehicle Group unveils six-year plan to boost sales

Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. has experienced a tumultuous six years, seeing its stock price dip below 50 cents and closing more than a dozen....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 12:49 pm

Columbus Zoo Celebrating New Babies

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium expanded its animal family over the weekend with the birth of a male dama gazelle and a bonobo whose sex is still....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 12:45 pm

Land Grant Brewing Company Opens Franklinton Operations

Opening a brewery can take a very long time, as Adam Benner and Walt Keys would attest. The two co-owners (along with other partners) of the new....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 12:28 pm

Walmart selling auto insurance in Ohio at ‘everyday low prices’

Want to find the best rates for auto insurance? Walmart says it can help with that. The retail giant and AutoInsurance.com have introduced an online....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 11:42 am

Independents Day Returns to Celebrate Local Music and More

If you’re a fan of local music, then get ready to get your fill this weekend at the annual Independents’ Day celebration. This year marks....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 11:00 am

Ohioans say Kentucky drivers are the worst (and vice-versa)

When it comes to driving, Ohioans are not as rude as we probably think we are – though a neighboring state may disagree. Insure.com surveyed more....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 10:33 am

Covelli picks up 11 more Paneras in Dayton

Covelli Enterprises Inc. has taken another helping of Ohio’s Panera Bread restaurants. The Warren-based franchisee Wednesday acquired 11....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 10:11 am

Mount Carmel adding wellness-focused outpatient center in Delaware County

Mount Carmel Health System is building a 130,000-square-foot outpatient center emphasizing fitness and wellness in Delaware County – complete with....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 9:24 am

Restaurant Review: Spaghetti Warehouse

In spite of writing about food in Columbus for umpteen million years, the longstanding Spaghetti Warehouse has never been the subject of any personal....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 17, 2014 8:19 am

No Debates???

Those of us that are familiar with John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, know that he is an arrogant person.Now that he has refused to debate Democratic....

Ohio 15th District

Sep 17, 2014 8:07 am

A Short History of Human Resources and Total Rewards

A Short History of Human Resources and Total Rewards A short timeline of factors that shaped human resources and total rewards from the early 20th....

Columbusite

Sep 17, 2014 7:32 am

Sold! Garth’s buys St. Louis auction company

The owners of Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers have purchased the assets of a beleaguered St. Louis auction company. Jeff and Amelia Jeffers....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 6:50 am

Morning Roundup: Columbus making bid for Browns training camp, Cedar Point

Columbus is making a bid for the Cleveland Browns' training camp, TechColumbus' business incubator scores high in a new ranking, a Chicago....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 6:49 am

National Roundup: Anheuser-Busch warns NFL over discipline issues (Video)

In a statement, Anheuser-Busch InBev sent a warning to the National Football League, that it is, "not yet satisfied with the league's handling of....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 17, 2014 6:04 am

Federally chartered banks converting to state regulation to save money

Several of Ohio’s federally chartered banks are thinking they’ll be better off with the state as their primary regulator. Two have converted....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 16, 2014 4:13 pm

Faber names Ohio Senate members to Energy Mandates Study Committee

The Ohio Senate has named its half of the committee to review Ohio’s renewable energy mandates. Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, told Business First....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 16, 2014 3:35 pm

So You Want To Be A Columbus City Councilmember?

Columbus City Council is currently accepting applications for anyone interested in filling the seat left vacant by President Pro Tem A. Troy Miller,....

The Walker Evans Effect

Sep 16, 2014 3:32 pm

Battelle aims for business use of quantum-computing encryption for cybersec

Battelle is testing the first commercially funded U.S. network to use quantum computing to protect data from cyber attacks – before hackers figure....

Business First of Columbus

Sep 16, 2014 2:58 pm