Good morning all. I hope you’re coming back from our frozen tundra of a weekend with all your digits intact and frostbite free. Luckily, mine mostly work so I’m going to type you up some news.
Mayor John Cranley on Friday teased a coming announcement about a soccer stadium for FC Cincinnati. The mayor was a little coy about it, saying there would “probably” be news about a soccer team in the city in the next couple weeks. But with FC President and General Manager Jeff Berding also indicating the team is close to a plan for a dedicated soccer stadium, it’s easy to put two and two together.
Of the three locations floated for the project — Newport, West End and Oakley — signs point to Oakley as the most likely location for the stadium. Cranley’s involvement means FC probably isn’t looking across the river, and a recent vote in preliminary support of the stadium by Oakley Community Council seems to suggest the team is focused there. FC says it needs a soccer-specific stadium to compete for a Major League Soccer franchise. MLS wants to see applications, including plans for stadiums, by December.
Though Cranley hasn’t discussed many details about what a deal might look like — including the amount and source of any public money involved — critics have already raised opposition to the idea that any taxpayer funds go toward the project. Some say the mayor should focus on fixing the city’s bus system before committing public money to something like a sports arena. Others point to the city’s last stadium deal two decades ago, which is generally considered to be a disaster.
• Once again, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was the top vote-getter in council elections. But just how popular is he? This map gives a pretty clear illustration. Precincts where Sittenfeld got the most votes out of the crowded field of council candidates are in blue. He took a large swath of the map outright, and split another big swatch just west of the Mill Creek with Councilman David Mann, who also picked up the most votes in a couple of the city’s northernmost neighborhoods. A few precincts in the West End and Bond Hill opted for Wendell Young first and foremost, while Riverside and other neighborhoods on the city’s far-western tail picked Amy Murray. Otherwise, Sittenfeld ran the map. Does that wide-ranging appeal — plus prodigious fundraising — mean a mayoral bid in 2021? Sittenfeld’s not saying.
• Less than a year after Kroger closed its only location — and the only full-service grocery store — in Walnut Hills, a neighborhood group is taking the first steps toward rehabilitating the vacant building the grocer left. The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation last week took possession of the former Kroger in the heart of Walnut Hills on East McMillan Avenue. What could be in store for the 3.5 acre site? Read more here.
• A community organizing group is keeping pressure on Hamilton County Commissioners to find solutions to the region’s Metropolitan Sewer District flooding problems. Communities United for Action, based in South Cumminsville, wants the county to help clear up complaints around sewer problems more quickly. It says only a fraction of the 6,000 complaints filed by MSD customers over sewers between August last year and this April have been settled. MSD has given different numbers, however. CUFA says it wants to see MSD’s plan for fixing the sewers, and it would like that plan to include provisions for green technology and better sewer rates. It would also like to see how MSD plans to hire from the neighborhoods it is working in. CUFA is holding a public meeting with county commissioners about those requests tonight at 6 p.m. at 1814 Dreman Ave.
• Ohio Gov. John Kasich says his party should back away from a candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama accused of molesting girls and young women. Late last week, the Washington Post published a story saying Roy Moore engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with four women between the ages of 14 and 18 when he was in his 30s. The story has caused a firestorm of controversy for Moore, whom the GOP nominated to replace now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate. Moore denies the stories are true, despite multiple accusers telling similar stories. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, also a Republican, has also called for Moore to step down, though he added the phrase “if what we read is true.”
Kasich offered no such equivocation. On Friday, he tweeted that Moore is “unfit for office.”
“The GOP must not support him,” Kasich tweeted. “He should step aside."