JEAN SCHMIDT: There they go again. To justify their attempts to pull federal funding from Planned Parenthood, some GOP lawmakers have resorted to spreading outright lies about what the group does. First, U.S. Rep. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said on the House floor that abortions are “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does,” when in fact it’s 3 percent. Now our own U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) testified that 32 of every 33 women that visit the clinics get abortions. Woo boy, not quite. The ex-president of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati vastly distorted statistics to reach that conclusion, earning her a “false” rating by the nonpartisan PolitiFact website.
CAMP WASHINGTON: The Cincinnati neighborhood that’s home to several slaughterhouses and once contained a jail got some good news recently. In a comparison of changes in property values, The Enquirer reported that Camp Washington was best at holding its value, just ahead of the tony Mount Adams. Property values in “the Camp” declined just 1.04 percent, with Mount Adams at -1.06 percent. For comparison, College Hill declined 13.48 percent, Northside declined 8.58 percent and Westwood declined 9.26 percent. Part of the credit for the Camp’s decent showing goes to its active community council, which has fought foreclosures by purchasing derelict properties and by taking dilapidated properties through “nuisance abatement” legal procedures.
STARBUCKS: Talk about a corporate policy run amok. State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery) was holding a “Meet and Greet” event April 25 at the Starbucks in downtown Blue Ash, so she could solicit comments and complaints from her constituents. The coffee shop’s manager, however, disliked her sign that simply read, “Connie Pillich, State Representative,” and tossed her out of the store alleging it violated the chain’s policies against political activities. Now, to be clear, Pillich wasn’t campaigning; she just wanted to hear what the people in Blue Ash and Montgomery had to say. Apparently, though, that might offend a few people while they listen to World Beat music and order their chai lattes. The misguided policy provides another reason to visit locally owned coffee shops.
GALINA LEWANDOWICZ: Congratulations to Lewandowicz, who won the “Librarian of the Year” award last week from SouthWest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries, an area cooperative. Galina has headed the Mary R. Schiff Library and Archive at museum for the past two years, where she’s had much success in reviving the facility. She tied for the award with Amy Schardein of Kenton County Public Library’s Mary Ann Mongan Branch. Schardein is a children’s librarian and was honored for her efforts at getting youngsters excited about language, words, books and reading. At a time when the budgets for libraries are being cut, it’s the hard work of people like Galina and Amy that help keep such institutions relevant.