Morning News: Community groups propose solutions to CCAC/CPS rift; Harambe lives on; Trump falls flat in Hamilton County, but keeps it close in Ohio

A group of community councils and other stakeholders that have been mulling the fate of the embattled Clifton Cultural Arts Center believe they may have solutions to an impasse between CCAC supporters and CPS.

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click to enlarge Clifton Cultural Arts Center
Clifton Cultural Arts Center

Hello all. Hope your weekend was grand. Let’s talk news, K?

A group of community councils and other stakeholders that have been mulling the fate of the embattled Clifton Cultural Arts Center believe they may have solutions to an impasse between CCAC supporters and Cincinnati Public Schools. Members of Clifton Town Meeting, the CUF Neighborhood Association, Spring Grove Village Community Council, Fairview German Language School’s Local School Decision Making Committee members and CCAC representatives will hold a news conference today at 5:30 before a CPS board meeting to announce proposed solutions to the battle between CPS and the CCAC, which kicked off when the school district sought to rent classrooms in the building it has leased to the arts center. When the two couldn’t agree on a rental rate, CPS indicated it might take the building back and build a community school there. That’s led to consternation from arts center supporters. Clifton’s Fairview German Language School, which is across the street from the CCAC, has seen its capacity stretched to the limit as a popular CPS magnet school.

• We’ve been telling you a lot about Duke Energy lately. There’s the fight over its proposed pipeline through eastern parts of the city and surrounding suburbs. There’s also the recent effort at City Hall to fight against a request by the power company to be exempted from requirements that it notify customers in person before it shuts off their power. Given those fights, this piece looking into the company’s campaign finance contributions to prominent local and state level politicians, mostly Republicans, is interesting and timely. Over the last two years, Duke’s political action committee gave more than $230,000 to political groups in the state.

• Though the now-iconic gorilla has passed on to that great jungle in the sky, Harambe lives on, if only on the internet. Cincinnati Zoo Director Thayne Maynard had his Twitter account hacked over the weekend by someone who loaded the account with posts that included the hashtag #justiceforharambe, #animalrights and other slogans generally used by Harambe supporters who have been critical of the zoo’s handling of the incident. The gorilla was shot and killed after a child fell into its pen earlier this summer. Months after the incident, hashtags, internet memes and even an online shrine to the fallen gorilla continue to be very popular.

• It kinda goes without saying that this election has been confusing. It’s probably even more so for some local Republicans who wonder if their presidential candidate is fighting at all for Hamilton County, a pivotal purple spot in the nation’s quintessential battleground state. With two and a half months left until voting closes, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has scant presence here — no campaign office, no staffers other than local GOP volunteers, no ad buys in the Greater Cincinnati market. Though Trump has visited nearby Butler County, he hasn’t held any public appearances in Cincinnati yet and has only one appearance scheduled here, on Sept. 1 at the American Legion convention. Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been here twice already and will also appear at the convention. Some believe Trump is conceding the county in favor of more likely victories elsewhere in the state. Others in the GOP wonder if it’s a campaign stumble, an oversight that could spell big trouble down the road. Compounding the problem — some local Republicans staunchly supported former Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s primary bid, and still aren’t feeling the Trump train.

• Despite Trump’s inaction in Hamilton County, some polls show the race between Clinton and Trump is still pretty close in Ohio. Trump remains within four points of Clinton here, despite a nearly disastrous two week stretch for his campaign that saw more major party leaders jump ship from supporting him, big campaign staff shakeups and more. Part of that is the state’s white, working class population, political experts say, along with the state’s relatively small population of Latino voters. Ohio is also a very competitive state, and any contest between two major party candidates is likely to be close here.

That’s it for me. Email or tweet at me with your news tips, to complain about things or just to throw down some Harambe hashtags because that’s what the internet is for.

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