The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Their Mouths Off Straight

It's not an exaggeration to say the Fraternal Order of Police was way off in its efforts to help the Rev. Charlie Winburn become mayor of Cincinnati. In fact, the FOP was about 700 miles wide of

Jymi Bolden


Xavier University is now home base for Peter Block.



It's not an exaggeration to say the Fraternal Order of Police was way off in its efforts to help the Rev. Charlie Winburn become mayor of Cincinnati. In fact, the FOP was about 700 miles wide of the mark. Instead of reaching registered voters, many of the FOP's recorded campaign calls went to people living in the 518 area code instead of the 513 area code that works in Cincinnati.

Debra L. Brand, financial coordinator for the city of Albany, N.Y.'s Office of Special Events, says she alone received three of the messages in the week before the mayoral primary. She says the messages were all the same: "This is Fraternal Order of Police President Harry Roberts encouraging you to vote for Charlie Winburn for Mayor of Cincinnati. David Pepper and Alicia Reece have a long history of not supporting police officers."

"I laughed because I live in Albany," Brand says. "I know of two other people in Albany who also received these phone calls."

Winburn finished fourth in the primary Sept. 13.

When Xavier University decided eight Cincinnati Police officers weren't enough to keep order during a truce game between Bond Hill and Avondale youth, the kids went off and played the game elsewhere.

It's not an exaggeration to say the Fraternal Order of Police was way off in its efforts to help the Rev. Charlie Winburn become mayor of Cincinnati. In fact, the FOP was about 700 miles wide of the mark. Instead of reaching registered voters, many of the FOP's recorded campaign calls went to people living in the 518 area code instead of the 513 area code that works in Cincinnati.

Debra L. Brand, financial coordinator for the city of Albany, N.Y.'s Office of Special Events, says she alone received three of the messages in the week before the mayoral primary. She says the messages were all the same: "This is Fraternal Order of Police President Harry Roberts encouraging you to vote for Charlie Winburn for Mayor of Cincinnati. ... David Pepper and Alicia Reece have a long history of not supporting police officers."

"I laughed because I live in Albany," Brand says. "I know of two other people in Albany who also received these phone calls."

Winburn finished fourth in the primary Sept. 13.

When Xavier University decided eight Cincinnati Police officers weren't enough to keep order during a truce game between Bond Hill and Avondale youth, the kids went off and played the game elsewhere. Scheduled for Sept. 17 at Schmidt Fieldhouse, the game was canceled with one day's notice by XU.

"After consulting with the promoters and law enforcement officials, there was mutual agreement that it would be difficult this weekend to ensure a safe environment for those attending the game," said John Kucia, XU administrative vice president. "Xavier University looks forward to partnering with the promoters and police in the very near future on a successful community event."

Instead the kids played the game at Southern Baptist Church with no cops, no security guards and no trouble.

By contrast, some of the revelers leaving the annual Labor Day fireworks display apparently turned bullies when passing Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine. At least two homeless people in the park sustained injuries when attacked by a group of boys ages 13-16, according to police reports. Georgine Getty, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, says one man was hit with a brick as he slept on a park bench. The victim said at least four other homeless people were attacked the same night, Getty says.

"This is a horrifying series of occurrences," she says. "Many people don't realize how dangerous it is for people experiencing homelessness. The victimization rates for this population are shocking."

The village of Fairfax last week received a plan from Florida developer Regency Centers to redevelop the old Ford transmission plant on Murray Avenue. But officials still are not certain a 24/7 Wal-Mart Supercenter is in the works (see "Wary of Wal-Mart," issue of Aug. 24-30.)

"Regency needs to certify that the site is free of environmental contamination before they sign any tenants," says Village Administrator Jennifer Kaminer.

Walter Raines, newly appointed head of the Fairfax Planning Commission, will review the plans before a public hearing is held. It seems likely that village council will vote on rezoning without knowing whether the proposed development includes a 24-hour Wal-Mart. Some neighbors, fearing Regency Centers is planning to bring a Wal-Mart Supercenter to the site, have formed Fairfax First, a grassroots organization (www.fairfaxfirst.org) to educate residents about the consequences if Fairfax votes to rezone.

Colleges Make Room for Higher Education
Antioch College, in nearby Yellow Springs, has opened the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom. Named for its 1951 alumna, wife of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the center will focus its efforts on applied ethics, including the philosophy of human rights and equality. Programs will include symposia, conferences, lectures and other special events.

The first program scheduled is the Native American Symposium, to be held Oct. 12 — the day in 1492 that white Europeans arrived in North America. The symposium aims to provide understanding of what it means to be a federally recognized tribe and the issues confronting contemporary Native Nations.

Best-selling author and consultant Peter Block of Mount Adams is the first distinguished consultant in residence at Xavier University (see "Peter's Principles," issue of Sept. 3-9, 2003). Block will guest lecture in classes and work with XU advisory boards.

"There are great possibilities growing out of this connection with a university so grounded in a set of human values and committed to become an outward facing institution," Block said. "The fact that the invitation comes from the business school is also significant, for the business community is a primary player in fulfilling whatever potential people in Cincinnati have for themselves."

Block's books include Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used and Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest.



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