Morning News and Stuff

Port Authority could buy parking assets, county may raise sales tax, Cincinnati's LGBT score

Making cash, spending cash
Making cash, spending cash

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority is

making a move to buy up the city’s parking services

. Cincinnati is

pursuing parking privatization

as a way of balancing the budget. If it accepts the Port Authority’s deal, the city will get $40 million upfront, and $21 million of that will be used to help plug the $34 million deficit in the 2013 budget. Port Authority also promised 50 percent of future profits. The Port Authority proposal is only one of nine Cincinnati’s government has received since it announced its plan. CityBeat criticized the city’s budget plan in

this week’s commentary


The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners might raise the sales tax instead of doing away with the property tax rebate to

stabilize the stadium fund

. Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune suggested the idea, and Board President Greg Hartmann says it might be the only solution. Republican Chris Monzel is against it. Sales taxes are notoriously regressive, while the property tax rebate disproportionately favors the wealthy. Portune claims the 0.25-percent sales tax hike would be more spread out than a property tax rollback, essentially impacting low-income families less than the alternative. CityBeat previously covered the stadium fund and its problems



While Cincinnati has made great strides in LGBT rights in the past year, it still has ways to go. The Municipal Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign scored Cincinnati

a 77 out of 100

on city services, laws and policies and how they affect LGBT individuals. Cleveland tied with Cincinnati, and Columbus beat out both with an 83. It's clear Ohio is making progress on same-sex issues, but will Ohioans approve same-sex marriage in 2013 ?

Some conservatives just don’t know when to quit. Even though Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus pronounced the heartbeat bill dead, Janet Porter, president of the anti-abortion Faith2Action, wants to

force a vote in the Ohio legislature

. CityBeat previously wrote about

Republicans’ renewed anti-abortion agenda


Some people are

not liking the idea of new fracking waste wells

. About 100 protesters in Athens were escorted out of an information session from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for loudly disputing a proposal to build more waste wells. Fracking, which is also called hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique that pumps water underground to draw out oil and gas. Waste wells are used to dispose of the excess water.

One reason Ohio's online schools are so costly is advertising. CityBeat previously looked into

online schools, their costs and their problems


Divorce in Ohio might soon get easier to finalize,

as long as it’s mutual and civil


A new bill would give Ohio schools

more flexibility

in making up snow days and other sudden disruptions in the school year. The bill changes school year requirements from day measurements to hour measurements.

A new study found 60 percent of youth with HIV

don’t know they have the deadly disease

. CityBeat covered a new University of Cincinnati push meant to clamp down on rising HIV rates among youth in

this week’s news story


Tech jobs are seeing

a boom due to Obamacare

, according to Bloomberg.

Scientists have discovered a quasar that

glows brighter than our entire galaxy


They’ve also invented a chocolate that

doesn’t melt at 104 degrees

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