Good morning all. I skipped the news update yesterday to take care of some longer-term election-related coverage, but we’re back today and ready to catch up. Let’s get going.
Mayor John Cranley and Councilwoman Yvette Simpson got together Tuesday night at the Cincinnati Art Museum for their one-millionth general election debate (note to the CityBeat's fact checkers: this number is a roundabout figure). That debate, hosted by WCPO, was wide-ranging, but there was a defined takeaway: Cranley and Simpson have very different attitudes about economic inclusion and the city’s largest employers. You can read more about the debates in our story here.
• Former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory has thrown his endorsement to a first-time City Council hopeful. Among high-tech pressure cookers, cutting boards and other kitchen wares at Artichoke OTR, Mallory yesterday endorsed former suburban police officer and streetcar activist Derek Bauman, a fellow Democrat. Mallory touted Bauman’s focus on transit and his focus on urbanism in his remarks. He also said the OTR resident is a snappy dresser. This marks just the second endorsement the former mayor has made this election cycle — the other being mayoral candidate Yvette Simpson.
Mallory and Bauman chose the cookware retailer just off the streetcar line north of Findlay Market to illustrate the resurgence in Over-the-Rhine. Bauman credits Mallory’s policies for sparking new development there. The building the store occupies was vacant for 40 years before its owners rehabbed it. The endorsement illustrates a marked schism in the local Democratic Party between supporters of Mayor John Cranley and those who are closely allied with Mallory. Bauman has been a vocal critic of Cranley.
• Top city leaders are signaling they’ll bend over backward in their pitch to attract Amazon’s enormous second headquarters, which the online retailer announced will bring 50,000 jobs to whatever city emerges victorious from its bidding process. But at the same time, Amazon poses a very real threat to the large companies that make up Cincinnati’s economy — its business model is basically predicated on siphoning customers away from brick-and-mortar stores like Macy’s. Here’s an interesting Business Courier piece about the implications of that paradox.
• Should city and county officials apply for federal money to replace the Western Hills Viaduct or to put decks over Fort Washington Way between downtown and The Banks? That’s the debate between Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune and city officials. Portune thinks the decks would provide more space for development and could be part of a pitch to lure Amazon to the city. But the aging Viaduct has been a priority for a long time, is structurally obsolete and will need a full replacement soon. So many projects, so little cash.
• University of Cincinnati officials will meet this afternoon to decide how to handle a request from white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus. He’s one of the organizers of August’s deadly Charlottesville, Va. white supremacist rally. Some attorneys say that if UC refuses Spencer’s request, the public university could face a 1st Amendment lawsuit.
• Being a semi-major city and getting declared an “under-the-radar destination” is kind of a sideways compliment, but if I know Cincinnati, we’ll eat up any sort of positive attention we can get from national media. To that end, Imbibe Magazine put Cincinnati and Covington on a list of 10 lesser-known but must-visit cities for beer lovers. The magazine highlighted the city’s brewing history as well as its current bustling brew scene, giving shouts out to Rhinegeist, Listermann, Madtree, Braxton, Rivertown and Urban Artifact. Also on the list: Indianapolis, Santa Rosa, Calif., Eugene, Ore. and more.