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Cincinnati In The News

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Cincinnati Public Library improves to fifth busiest in U.S.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County checked out more than 18 million items in 2014, making it the fifth busiest public library system in the U.S., according to a new Public Library Data Service statistical report. In last year’s report (2013 usage data), the Library was the sixth busiest library in the U.S.

The 2015 report is based on survey responses collected from more than 1,800 public libraries in the U.S. and Canada for fiscal year 2014. It's published each year by the Public Library Association, the largest division of the American Library Association.

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.

"Choice amenities" like Washington Park are changing urban landscape across U.S.

Michael Gaughan, a director with the National Development Council, writes a column on the Governing Magazine web site today discussing how new ideas and players are coalescing to provide attractive options for the livability of cities, saying that's good news for economic development. He includes Washington Park on a short list of examples of urban projects centering on new forms of recreation and mobility that often have a blurry distinction.

"More recently, a new movement has taken hold that is creating an equally powerful set of amenities for today's city-dwellers," Gaughan writes. "A hallmark of this transformation has been an interdisciplinary approach in which transportation departments and public/private developers are as important to recreation as parks departments have long been. For economic-development professionals, this evolution requires further expansion in the definition of what constitutes an urban amenity as well as who should be recruited for growth partnerships."

Read the full Governing Magazine column here.

NYT Magazine chronicles Cincinnati Reds' long connection to Cuba

The New York Times Magazine has a photo story about the Cincinnati Reds' long connection to Cuban baseball, starting with a 1908 tour of Cuba and the debut of Cuban players on the Reds in 1911. The slide show includes information about Tony Perez, whose statue at Great American Ball Park will be unveiled this weekend, and ends with the team's three current Cubans: Raisel Iglesias, Aroldis Chapman and Brayan Pena.

"The Reds were one of the first National League teams to play in Cuba," the photo story says. "During a 1908 exhibition tour of the island, the Reds were sometimes outmatched by the local talent, and the rest of the baseball world took notice. Over the last century of baseball, the team has had consistent luck developing some of the major league's biggest Cuban stars."

See the New York Times slide show here.

Social media roundup of FC Cincinnati announcement

FC Cincinnati was introduced Wednesday as an expansion team in the United Soccer League (USL), the equivalent of AA minor league baseball in the hierarchy of U.S. soccer. The team will play at UC's newly renovated Nippert Stadium starting next year, and former U.S. Men’s National Team standout John Harkes will be its first head coach.

The USL has a roundup of social media reaction to and coverage of the FC Cincinnati announcement.

See the full report on the United Soccer League website.

47 local companies ranked on Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private firms

The Business Courier reports on 47 Greater Cincinnati companies being ranked in this year's Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest growing privately held firms. Two local companies — United Installs in Erlanger and ePremium Insurance in Mason — make the more selective Inc. 500 list. In fact, ePremium Insurance ranks for the second year in a row.

The largest local private company on the list is RoundTower Technologies of Blue Ash with revenue of $131.5 million. It ranks #1,668 with "only" 244 percent growth over the past three years.

Read the Cincinnati Business Courier article here.

Could Cincinnati be a model for police reform nationwide?

Boston's public radio station discusses the recent spate of police shootings of unarmed African Americans by asking the question, "Could Cincinnati be a model for police reform nationwide?"

Website columnist Rich Barlow explains why Cincinnati is succeeding where other U.S. cities aren't.

"One place to look for answers, ironically, is Cincinnati," Barlow writes on WBUR.com. "Ironic, because that’s the city where a white cop stands accused of murdering unarmed black motorist Samuel DuBose. But DuBose’s killer is a university cop, not a municipal one, and that’s important: The Cincinnati PD is a model for the sea change needed in policing.
"After race riots 14 years ago following an officer’s killing a black man, Cincinnati altered the way it policed and interacted with its black residents. A lengthy Atlantic article described how the key reform was something called community-oriented policing, which seeks to address problems leading to arrests before the arrests have to be made."

Read the full WBUR column here.

Cincinnati's marketing efforts a "best practices" model for collaboration

Andrew Levine writes about "marketing places" for Forbes, and his most recent article discussed how successful cities find ways for their two main marketing organizations — the convention and visitors bureau and the economic development agency —  to work together to increase investment in the city.

Levine suggests five ways the two marketing organizations should collaborate and uses Cincinnati as one of his "best practices" examples.

"Cincinnati is a good example of collaboration," he writes. "In May 2014, the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, REDI Cincinnati and half a dozen major arts organizations in the region led a ten-day mission to New York City (titled 'Cincy in NYC'). Amid performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Joyce Theatre, the group connected with meeting planners, site selection consultants, corporate executives, travel/business media and past Cincinnati residents. It was a tour de force for the community."

Read the full Forbes article here.

Lonnie Wheeler's new baseball book focuses on the game's little things

A new baseball book by Cincinnati author Lonnie Wheeler is always something to appreciate. As is a real book review in a newspaper.

Wheeler, former sportswriter for both The Cincinnati Post and The Enquirer, has published Intangiball, subtitled "The Subtle Things That Win Baseball Games." The book was reviewed in The Washington Post last week.

"Baseball writer Lonnie Wheeler isn’t opposed to sabermetrics, the application of sophisticated (and often recondite) statistics to professional baseball," reviewer Dennis Drabelle explains. "But he does object to a habit that stat-hounds sometimes fall into: disregarding the old-fashioned baseball virtues."

Having co-authored books with baseball greats Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson, Reggie Jackson and Mike Piazza, Wheeler certainly knows and loves the game's subtle virtues — only he thinks they don't have to be labeled old-fashioned in today's numbers-driven climate.

Read the full Washington Post review here.

All signs point to Cincinnati

American Sign Museum was featured in a travel story in yesterday's Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer, the second time this year the funky Camp Washington museum has received national media coverage.

"For a guy who has spent his life around signs, Tod Swormstedt sure has a difficult name to fit on one," the article says in introducing the local icon. "He's the founder of the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, a celebration of the art of signage, from painted wooden panels to wildly lighted neon extravaganzas."

Writers Larissa and Michael Milne get in the requisite mention of Cincinnati chili at the end, pointing readers/visitors to nearby Camp Washington Chili.

Read the full Philadelphia Inquirer story here.

Miami, XU, UC and NKU ranked in Forbes' top 650 colleges

Forbes is out with its annual rankings of U.S. colleges and universities, focusing more than ever on the hot topic of a college degree's return on investment — which it says differentiates its rankings from U.S. News & World Report, among others.

Miami University was the top Cincinnati area college, ranking 167 overall, ahead of Xavier University at 315, University of Cincinnati at 381 and Northern Kentucky University at 626. Other notable area rankings include Indiana University at 112, Ohio State University at 155, University of Dayton at 220, University of Kentucky at 319 and Ohio University at 407.

"While the cost of U.S. higher education escalates, there’s a genuine silver lining in play," Caroline Howard writes in the intro to "America's Top Colleges Ranking 2015." "A growing number of colleges and universities are now focusing on student-consumer value over marketing prestige, making this a new age of return-on-investment education. This pivot is the result of intense public scrutiny on the substantial cost of a degree vs. long tail worth — the very heart of Forbes' definitive Top Colleges ranking, now in its eighth year."

Forbes partnered with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity to rank the top 650 schools on what Howard says distinguishes is "our belief in 'output' over 'input.' We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank, SAT scores and the like. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college?"

Forbes' rankings score colleges on post-graduate success (32.5% of grade), student satisfaction (25%), student debt (25%), academic success (10%) and graduation rate (7.5%).

Read the full Forbes article and rankings here.

Roundup: Media coverage of Tensing indictment

Cincinnati is the latest U.S. city in the media crosshairs over a police shooting of an unarmed African-American citizen. Hamilton County's indictment of UC Officer Ray Tensing on murder charges for the killing of Samuel DuBose hinged directly on video from Tensing's body camera of the traffic stop that led to DuBose's death.

In case you want more information and perspectives, here's a roundup of local and national media coverage surrounding Tensing's indictment and police/community relationships in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Enquirer online section: Everything you need to know about the Samuel DuBose shooting

WCPO: How video differed from report of UC shooting, and why attorneys say it's crucial

P.G. Sittenfeld column at Huffington Post: Why white politicians should say black lives matter

New York Times editorial: This environment of death and distrust is a threat to the fabric of society and to democracy itself

Washington Post column: How the lack of police 'discretion' killed Samuel DuBose and Sandra Bland

CityLab: Police body cameras coming everywhere in 3 to 5 years

New York Times: Glare of video is shifting public's view of police

PBS: Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell talks about Cincinnati's changes in policing since 2001 and how Samuel DuBose's death has stirred up old feelings

MSNBC: How Cincinnati learned from riots in 2001

Christian Science Monitor: Cincinnati shooting tests 'blue wall of silence'

Jeff Ruby's named best steakhouse in Ohio

Business Insider magazine has collaborated with Foursquare to identify the top steakhouses in every state based on what Foursquare-savvy diners think. The restaurants were chosen using an algorithm that considers likes, saves, shares and tip sentiment, among other Foursquare user information.

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse downtown was chosen as the best in Ohio.
"The elegant decor at Jeff Ruby's recalls a French Art Deco steakhouse, circa 1940s Manhattan," the magazine writes, adding that it's "popular among celebrities, athletes and politicians."

Read the full list of top steakhouses in all 50 states here.

City birds really are meaner

Gizmodo offers a little insight into modern urban life by citing a recent study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, in which a group of researchers describe the differences in song sparrow behavior they observed in rural and urban areas.

"Out in the country, birds are always singing happily," the Gizmodo post begins. "But in the city, they squawk and fly into your face. Now scientists say there's actually a reason why city birds can be such aggressive jerks — and no, it's not the same reason why urban humans can be so terrible."

Read the Gizmodo post and find a link to the study here.

Cincinnati is recapturing and redefining its dining legacy

Cincinnati native Keith Pandolfi makes a convincing argument that Cincinnati is and should be recognized as the next big food city in the U.S.

Writing in Savuer ("a magazine for people who experience the world through food first"), he fills its "Where I'm From" column with memories of great local restaurants from his youth (Pigall's, The Maisonette, The Gourmet Room, The Precinct) and a first-person journey through the city's current high-profile dining spots.

"But Cincinnati is recapturing something," Pandolfi writes, "and while it’s a little different — a little less formal — than the opulent dining scene of its past, it’s definitely something worth checking out the next time a magazine article lures you to Louisville." He bristles at "other midsize cities like Nashville, Pittsburgh and Asheville, all deserving in their own ways, being called the next big food city when hardly anyone says that about Cincinnati."

Read the full Saveur article here.

How Cincinnati nailed the All Star Game

After a solid year of planning and publicity, the 2015 All Star Game has come and gone. What were the main impressions Cincinnati left on the MLB players and officials, the visitors and the media? Will there be any long-term benefits? And what did we residents ultimately get out of the experience?

It'll take months if not years to sort out the benefits, but two things are clear the day after the game: Cincinnati did a masterful job of planning and hosting the All Star Game, and we really lucked out with the weather. Every major outdoor event went off as planned, and even a last-minute replacement headliner for the free concert at Paul Brown Stadium turned lemons into lemonade.

Local organizers were surely dying a thousand deaths during Monday's and Tuesday's storms, but the Cincinnati presented during national TV segments was sunny, balmy and happy.

Here's a roundup of day-after media coverage:

8 ways Cincinnati rocked the All Star Game (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Fans, visitors impressed with Cincinnati's show (WVXU-FM)

All Star players impressed with Cincinnati and events (Local 12)

Cincinnati's All Star festivities a home run for visitors, locals (Business Courier)

9 lessons Cincinnati learned from the All Star Game (WCPO.com)

Alisha Perkins: I was fully prepared to not like Cincinnati, but I kind of fell in love with this place (Huffington Post)

Pete Rose drama plays out on baseball's biggest stage (New York Times)
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