Culinary and Political Health in Kentucky

If you're going to a restaurant in Northern Kentucky, you can now easily check the score it received on its most recent health inspection. The Northern Kentucky Health Department has put the resu

 
Jared M. Holder


Ben Brandzel, advocacy director for Moveon.org, calls for justice at Wal-Mart.



If you're going to a restaurant in Northern Kentucky, you can now easily check the score it received on its most recent health inspection. The Northern Kentucky Health Department has put the results of its inspections online. The list includes 1,270 food-service establishments, including school cafeterias, day-care centers and other institutions that serve food to the public.

Many restaurants scored 100 percent. The lowest score was 70 percent, earned by Terri's Sports Café in Fort Wright and the Dragon Buffet in Florence. Any score below 70 leads to enforcement measures that can include immediate suspension of a permit. Thomas More College came close in an inspection April 24, scoring just 74 percent. But a follow-up inspection May 6 showed the college had made significant improvements, scoring 98 percent. To view the inspection results, visit www.nkyhealth.org and click on "Current Programs."

Moral hygiene, rather than kitchen cleanliness, is on the minds of members of St. John United Church of Christ in Bellevue, Ky. Last week the pastor, the Rev. Keith M. Haithcock, wrote an open letter to State Sen. Richard L. Roeding (R-Lakeside Park), deploring homophobic remarks he made last month.

Interviewed by The Louisville Courier-Journal for a July 14 article on the University of Louisville's decision to extend health benefits to straight and same-sex domestic partners of employees, Roeding said, "I find this very repulsive. ... I don't want to entice any of those people into our state. Those are the wrong kind of people."

In the letter on behalf of his congregation, Haithcock told Roeding that his remarks were out of line. "We are disturbed and disappointed by your statements made regarding gay and lesbian persons," the letter says. "As followers of Jesus, we raise our voice in opposition to such words as well as attitudes. For too many years there have been untruths and prejudices proclaimed about gay and lesbian people. ... We invite you to join us for worship and learn with us more about God's love as well as about God's gay and lesbian children."

Low Wages and Other Capitalist Tricks
The "Change Wal-Mart, Change America Tour" stopped by Cincinnati City Hall last week and held a rally calling for health care and decent wages for the retail behemoth's employees. The Aug. 9 visit, part of a 19-state bus tour in support of the Wake Up Wal-Mart campaign, attracted Ben Brandzel of MoveOn.org, Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley and State Sen. Eric Kearney. For more information, visit www.wakeupwalmart.com.

Wal-Mart is owned by the nation's wealthiest family, but its average salary is below the poverty line, according to Brandzel.

Business interests opposed to a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution to raise the state's minimum wage are fighting dirty, according to David Little, longtime Democratic political organizer. He recently received several "survey" calls about the proposal.

"It started off with the basic demographics to make it sound 'extra official' and soon turned to ballot initiatives," Little says. "It was then that I was asked approximately 12 push-polling questions or anti-wage raise questions followed, of course, with the tag, 'Would that make you less likely to support it?' Honestly, some of the information was absolutely wild. A sample: 'Did you know that persons making $52,000 a year will be the chief recipients of the raise in the wage?' Finally, after I said that I thought the questions were slanted and that she was calling on behalf of opponents to the wage issue, she hung up on me without comment."

Government Square re-opens Sunday, and the city of Cincinnati and Metro officially dedicate the new downtown transit hub Friday. The square was redesigned to improve safety, convenience and accessibility for people with disabilities, and it now features larger shelters, a security camera system, a new information booth and the Journey Through History panels chronicling the history of the Government Square area and transit in Cincinnati.

Government Square will be the newest Lily Pad free wireless Internet hot spot, thanks to the partnership of Metro, Project Lily Pad and Time-Warner Business Class. The $9.3 million project was funded primarily through federal and state grants. Later this month Metro introduces its new Web site, www.go-metro.com, complete with an on-line personal trip planner similar to MapQuest.

CityBeat's Porkopolis blog has details on why every single member of city council missed the new city manager's swearing-in ceremony, why Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis is eating his words and why Larry Gross doesn't have a car. Visit citybeat.wordpress.com and get today's news today.



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