Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Life, Media, Policy, Me

Life goes on, and I've been focused on other priorities, like family, this last week. But humans are great at processing patterns, and living isn't an activity that exists separately from reading and writing. For instance, on Sunday:

I went to the Blue Jackets game with my wife and daughter on Sunday. At 8 months of age, it was Charlotte's first sporting event. She loved it. She would have loved it even if the CBJ hadn't hammered the Sens 6-2, but it certainly helped her parents enjoy the game.

Now, hold that last paragraph in mind...

Impressionistically Catching up on a Long Weekend's Worth of Stories From the Dispatch (1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

Columbus’ poverty rate has increased more since 1999 than in all but nine other large U.S. cities, a new report shows.

Cleveland had the nation’s biggest increase; Toledo tied for fourth place. Columbus tied for 10 th-worst with Grand Rapids, Mich.


Tamira M. Moon is young, educated and ambitious. A scholarship to Ohio State University drew her to Columbus. Pursuing a graduate degree and launching her career kept her here.

But Moon, a program specialist at the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, is looking to leave for Charlotte, N.C., or Atlanta because Columbus lacks cultural, social and entertainment offerings that appeal to her.

"It’s a town for college people," said Moon, 27, of Clintonville. "Then it jumps to a family town, especially for African-Americans. In between there is nothing for us."


"The young and talented want to know what is going on in the city after 5," she said. "They want a good job, and in a cool city you have to add that in a calculation when you are making the job offer."

They want communities with entertainment districts clustered together within walking distance, and they want ethnic diversity and a city where they feel like they belong, Ryan said.


Take the Groveport Madison school district and divide it by Rt. 33.

It’s a formula some Groveport village residents say will solve the problems of a troubled school district. Those advocating a split say it would create two smaller school districts that would be better able to serve students and give residents more control over leadership and finances.

But the southern area — the proposed new Groveport district — would have a richer and whiter student body than the northern one, according to a Dispatch analysis of the elementary and middle schools in both areas.


When Ohioans voted two years ago to outlaw same-sex marriages, they also might have stripped away defenses for unmarried partners in abusive relationships, domestic-violence attorneys will argue today in a case before the state Supreme Court.


Evolutionists say Gov. Bob Taft went back on his promise to name only pro-science appointees to the State Board of Education.

The three appointees named last week by Taft all previously voted to support teaching intelligent design in science classes, said Patricia Princehouse, a biology professor at Case Western Reserve University.


Frey said that Columbus is in a better position than many cities in the region.

"It’s a state capital with universities, high-tech jobs and an airport with connections to bigger cities," he said. "Columbus has as good a chance as any Midwestern city to pull this off."

But pulling it off is more than a campaign to be cool. It’s also about keeping an educated crop of workers who will contribute to a city’s tax base, Frey said.

"We need to make sure our employers have the work force they need so they can stay here, and make sure that they have them so other business will be attracted to come here," said Susan Merryman, spokeswoman for the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.


George Zeller, an economic analyst for the Clevelandbased Center for Community Solutions, said the Columbus area has been better off than other parts of the state but the city is not immune from economic trends. And the problems impact the inner city and surrounding suburbs.

"Incomes didn’t just fall in Columbus, they fell in Upper Arlington and Bexley, too. There are lower incomes across the entire region with a few exceptions," Zeller said.


Jorge Newbery, the embattled landlord of Woodland Meadows, is facing new code violations and evictions at another East Side apartment complex.

Columbus building inspectors issued orders yesterday to move residents immediately from nine second-floor apartments at Berwick Court, 3680 E. Livingston Ave.


Bexley homeowners will have to prove that they live in the district before sending their children to its public schools, the latest move in the district’s efforts to crack down on outsiders enrolling in its top-notch schools.

In September, the school board began requiring potential pupils to show five forms of proof that they live in the city before they take a seat in Bexley classrooms. Renters were required to show a lease.


First of all, notice how all of the young professionals that can be found are associated with OSU or the State of Ohio. Second of all, notice how class, race, and school systems interact. Third, see how the city and the suburbs are sinking/swimming together. Finally, notice how conservative priorities are almost perfectly antithetical to the goals of folks like the Chambers of Commerce.

My wife and I are young professionals who are employed by public entities. We lived in what many see as the gay neighborhood in Columbus, because as in many cities, that's where the culture is. We loved being close to downtown, and being able to do things like walk to Martini and then to Nationwide.

We moved to Bexley because we wanted to own our own home, not rent. We wanted a 'top-notch' school district. We wanted short commutes and easy access to downtown. We wanted to do this without secluding ourselves on a White Anglo-Saxon island.

So when I say that my wife and daughter and I had a great time at the Blue Jackets game, it seems to me that it represents a qualified success for Columbus and an unqualified success for Central Ohio. I just thought I'd point that out.

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