360 Fireworks Party

Thursday, July 12, 2012


by Michael Monks 
"Don't Lose Your Covington Fire/EMS Protection" says a new website launched this week in an attempt to rally the public against recommended cuts to public safety in the City. Some highlights offered at the site:
  • OSHA has federal mandates that state firefighters must have a 2 man team in order to enter a structure fire and a second 2 man team on stand-by for their safety. This is referred to as “2 in – 2 out”. If a fire engine arrives with only 3 personnel this mandate cannot be met and the firefighters will have to remain outside until more arrive. With no ambulances and only 21 personnel/day this will happen more frequently. The most affected neighborhood would be South Covington (Company #5). The next due company is 10 minutes away and with no firefighting ambulance, there would only be 3 total firefighters until the next due arrived.
  • In order to combat this, the City suggested using mutual aid from Taylor Mill to supplement staffing in South Covington. Taylor Mill is a majority volunteer fire department and has no guarantee of how many (if any) firefighters they could provide. Should citizens of Covington pay the tax rates set by the city and have their fire protection provided by another fire department that is staffed with volunteers?
  • Other recommendations in Management Partners report: Elimination of all fire apparatus at Company #5 (Hands Pike)
    Elimination of Ladder Truck #7 (Latonia), leaving only 1 Ladder Company in the City.
    Using 3 mostly volunteer fire departments as mutual aid with no reduction in taxes.
    Elimination of full-time Safety/Fire Inspection officer.
    Accepting these recommendations could reduce daily staffing to as low as 16 firefighters/day.
The website then urges citizens to contact the Mayor, City Commissioners, and City Manager to voice opposition to the proposed changes. Check out the website at the link below.
City Hall welcomes Covington's business community to City Hall today at 1:30PM. Representatives of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the City of Covington will be on hand to discuss the City's desired changes to the design of the Brent Spence Bridge project. Check out the link below where City Manager Larry Klein seems to be more comfortable with the originally proposed concept as transportation officials have tried to assure the City that drivers will have ample opportunity to come to (and know they are coming to) Covington.
Brent Spence was a worthy gentleman, but who else should have the honor of a bridge named after them? An interesting story via The Atlantic Cities:
Another obvious problem with naming things after living people is that their reputations are subject to change. Koch seems to be avoiding controversy, but former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani notoriously erred in naming the Manhattan Detention Complex—colloquially known as "The Tombs"—after Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik in 2001. The Bernard P. Kerik Complex quietly reclaimed its former name in 2006, when Kerik pleaded guilty to ethics violations. (He is currently serving four years in federal prison on other charges, including conspiracy and wire fraud.) Of course, that minor bureaucratic hurdle is nothing compared to what's going on in Egypt right now, where there were 388 schools named after deposed president Hosni Mubarak, and another 160 named after his wife Suzan, not to mention highways, streets, and a central Cairo Metro Station.
Full story: Click Here 
A Covington Police officer alerts tenants and saves them from a building fire...
Covington School Board chooses Kenton Co. Sheriff's Office over Covington Police to serve as school resource offices in money-saving effort...
Pregnant lesbian and her partner booted from Kentucky park after kissing; Covington native lives a dream after buying a steamboat and sailing down the Mississippi and Ohio (video); Plus, with the large number of people who just don't seem to care, can city dwellers ever really have nice things? 
All of those stories are at the link below!
After her home in Newport was shot up, a Covington educator knew she had to move her three kids somewhere else. How a house gave a family a second chance at home, and several young adults a second chance at life, at the link.
ALSO: HONK will show off another finished home in Covington Thursday afternoon:
In its first partnership with The Brighton Center, Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK) recently completed the major rehab of 330 E. 18th St., a two-bedroom home in Covington’s Austinburg neighborhood. This project, like all HONK projects, is made affordable for a family looking for a homeownership opportunity.

“This house had seen better days before we started on it,” says David Hastings, HONK’s Executive Director. “It had been through foreclosure and was really in need of significant investment. Now we’re standing in a home that has been fully rehabbed, with new mechanicals, new insulation, an extra half bath added, a new roof, and all new finishes.”

“While we used some of our own volunteers, staff, and other subcontractors on this home, it was Brighton Center’s Construction and Manufacturing Technologies Program that really made a difference here,” says Steve Lutkenhoff, HONK’s Construction Manager. “This has worked out so well, we are hoping this partnership can continue so we can help even more local families become homeowners.”

The house on E. 18th is one of four HONK has completed on this street in the last 8 months. Another was recently built by HONK just around the corner. Funding for 4 of the 5 homes has come through a federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grant to the City of Covington through the Kentucky Department for Local Government.

While the focus of the celebration will be on the Open House at 330 E. 18th St., two additional homes recently completed by HONK will also be open for the public during the same time at 334 E. 18th (a rehab project) and 618 E. 17th St. (new construction).
Click to enlarge
Another municipality will file for bankruptcy protection NPR 
Southern Air is closer to a deal at CVG Airport Cincinnati Enquirer 
Wait, what? President Barack Obama is the "smallest government spender" since Eisenhower? Who's reporting this? Wait, Forbes? Interesting:
So, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole “Obama as big spender” narrative?
It might have something to do with the first year of the Obama presidency where the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9% —going from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. I’ll bet you think that this is the result of the Obama sponsored stimulus plan that is so frequently vilified by the conservatives…but you would be wrong.
The first year of any incoming president term is saddled—for better or for worse—with the budget set by the president whom immediately precedes the new occupant of the White House. Indeed, not only was the 2009 budget the property of George W. Bush—and passed by the 2008 Congress—it was in effect four months before Barack Obama took the oath of office.
Accordingly, the first budget that can be blamed on our current president began in 2010 with the budgets running through and including including fiscal year 2013 standing as charges on the Obama account, even if a President Willard M. Romney takes over the office on January 20, 2013.
Full story: Forbes 
VIDEO: Rep. Geoff Davis on voting to repeal "Obamacare" YouTube 
Kentucky story raided for selling bath salts WKYT 
Personnel Board to consider overturning merit hire pushed by KY Democratic leader Courier-Journal 
Things are bad in Allen County, Kentucky:
"We see kids who come from backgrounds of no electricity no running water sometimes," says Principal of the Allen County Intermediate School, Randy Cook.
So, to help those children, the schools have something called Family Resources.
In Allen County schools, kids can get necessities like food, clothing and school supplies.
"Not that their families don't love them, but in our hard times right now those families are doing everything they can to take care of them," says Cook, "and we're just going to go that extra step to help them."
Full story with a video report at the link.
From a press release:

Mary Fisk-Taylor, president of PPA Charities, the charitable arm of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), has announced that Matthew Andrews Photography in Covington in conjunction with The Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center, is one of 48 PPA members to earn the designation as an “Operation Smile Studio” for 2012. This honor was given to those photographers who donated $240 or more through the organization’s first “Celebration of Smiles Day” that raised $46,581 to benefit Operation Smile, its charitable partner. Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children around the world who suffer with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformations.
“These funds will go a long way toward meeting our 2012 goal of raising $120,000 for this wonderful organization,” Fisk-Taylor said. As of July 1, PPA Charities’
2012 fund-raising total stands at $72,180. Because Operation Smile’s medical professionals and support staff volunteer their services, it costs only $240 to provide a simple cleft lip surgery to a child in desperate need. Therefore the funds raised by PPA members so far in 2012 means that over 300 smiles will be saved.
By donating enough to save a smile, the studio is eligible to compete in a drawing for an opportunity to document an Operation Smile mission.
The Celebration of Smiles Day promotion provided consumers with the opportunity to receive a mini-session and a 5x7 professional portrait in exchange for a donation to Operation Smile of only $24; therefore, for every 10 sessions photographed by a participating studio, another smile could be saved by the volunteer professionals of Operation Smile. The official date for the first Celebration of Smiles event was April 21, but studios that had commitments on that date were allowed to conduct the fundraiser on alternate dates in April or May.
Next year’s Celebration of Smiles Day is scheduled for April 6, 2013.
From the Emergency Shelter of NKY:
One of our guests has a job starting at a warehouse this weekend near Wal-Mart in Ft. Wright...2nd shift. TANK does not run that late to get him back to our shelter. Do you have an adult bike that is in good working condition that you would like to donate to someone in need to hold down a job? If so, email Rachael Winters at emergencyshelternky@yahoo.com
From the West Latonia Neighborhood Association:
Hey folks!!! WE are looking for any interested persons to help watering up at the park.. the new plantings need to be watered at least every other night and we need to do this at least up through September. Please contact Julie Plageman if you are available and interested in helping! 859-816-7230.....  
Now, this sounds like fun. From the Roebling Suspension Bridge Facebook page:
Anyone out there interested in Climbing to the Top of the RSB. I have the authority to Auction one trip for 6 people to spend 1 hour at the top on a mutually agreeable date before Oct 29 2012. I am trying to find a way to execute that auction and reach businesses, groups, families, photographers, fans and friends of the RBS. I would start the bidding at $500 (a tax deductible contribution to the Covington Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee) to help fund the pier lighting, phase 2 of the Light Up History Campaign. Someone could organize a group of people and come up with the highest bid? Or maybe a business is looking for a unique way to reward its staff/ employees, local artist and photographers would have a filed day! Oh, the winner will also receive an $80 Gift Card to Blinkers Tavern. Give me some feedback please.

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