Kasich: GOP "may not come out of its stupor" around Trump; more news

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is noncommittal about his future with his party under President Donald Trump

click to enlarge Ohio Gov. John Kasich - Max Goldberg
Max Goldberg
Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Hello Cincy. Let’s do a quick news roundup today, shall we?

City officials, social service groups and downtown business groups yesterday announced a plan called GeneroCity 513 that will offer people asking for money downtown $45 a day to do basic cleanup jobs. That plan by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, Downtown Cincinnati Inc., Strategies to End Homelessness, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services and City Gospel Mission would fund a so-called “jobs van” that would pick up 10 people a day, provide them with lunch and pay them $9 an hour to work seven hours. The van will also connect people experiencing homelessness or other issues to relevant services. 3CDC says the plan came about after they received complaints about the number of people asking for money in the downtown and Over-the-Rhine areas, triggering the creation of a task force to address that issue. The van will travel to different locations between Tuesday and Friday. In its first week, officials say, the van picked up 28 people. About 80 percent of those participating were experiencing homelessness.

  City of Cincinnati officials today announced a new initiative designed to improve the city’s 911 service. The new Smart911 system allows residents to create a profile that would automatically provide vital information in the event of an emergency call. That could include family members’ contact information, make and model of the person’s car, photos and medical details. The new initiative comes in the wake of the death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush, who in April suffocated in his van after calling 911 twice.  “Smart911 could’ve saved Kyle’s life,” his mother, Jill Plush, said today at the announcement. “As a mother who’s experienced loss, I urge you to sign up.”

• As intravenous drug use in the region continues to increase, so have HIV rates. Hamilton County Public Health in 2017 saw three times as many HIV cases among those injecting drugs compared to 2016, and the Northern Kentucky Health Department saw four times as many in that time period. Sadly, that’s not entirely a surprise — 65 counties in Ohio and Kentucky among 220 nationwide were identified by the Centers for Disease Control two years ago as places where HIV rates could climb due to the opiate addiction crisis. Experts say needle exchange sites could help the problem, but those have been controversial in Greater Cincinnati.

• Will the City of Cincinnati eliminate parking requirements for developments in Over-the-Rhine? That’s the plan reportedly in the works by city administration, according to this Cincinnati Enquirer article. Earlier this week, people living in OTR, Pendleton, and parts of Mount Auburn and the West End received notices that their area may soon be in a parking overlay, or a district in which development is exempt from the city’s normal parking space requirements. That’s caused concern among residents who are already fed up with parking difficulties. The city could institute a residential parking permit system — it already has one in one part of Clifton and Columbia Tusculum — but that may be a tough political fight. Mayor John Cranley has strictly opposed such a plan in OTR in the past, saying that taxpayers from all over the city pay for the streets in OTR and that they should be able to park there.

• Hamilton County Clerk of Courts and congressional hopeful Aftab Pureval says he won’t support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's reelection to that leadership position should he win his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican, from his district encompassing part of Hamilton and Warren counties. Pureval is the latest upstart Democrat to signal his displeasure with Pelosi. “I’m running for Congress because I genuinely believe we need a new generation of leadership,” Pureval says. “Washington is broken. It’s toxic, and it’s on both sides.” Chabot has tried to link Pureval to Pelosi, who has been a popular target of conservative ire.

• An eight-state commission that has looked out for the health of the Ohio River for the last 70 years is mulling stepping back from its water pollution standards, saying the federal EPA and state regulations make its own standards redundant. You can read more about the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission and its pending decision — along with critics of that move — in our news feature here.

 • Ohio Gov. John Kasich continues to pop up in the news even as his governing career sails off into the sunset. What’s next for him? Unclear. Kasich said Wednesday that he’s not sure about his future in the Republican Party and that it may never “come out of its stupor.” Kasich, the final primary opponent to now-President Donald Trump, has been an outspoken critic of many of Trump’s policies, including recent moves on immigration that have separated migrant families. Kasich says he’s continued to jump into the national spotlight, appearing with TV pundits and making comments at public events, because “someone has to speak out about these things.”

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