IRISH GATHER B1 Nearly 200 graduates, friends and supporters of the University of Notre Dame recently gathered for the Notre Dame Club of Greater Cincinnati’s 38th annual reverse raffle scholarship fundraiser. Election letters Want to make your opinion known about a candidate or issue on the March 6 ballot? Start writing. The deadline for electionsrelated letters to the editor and guest columns is noon Friday, Feb. 17. Letters should be 200 words or fewer; guest columns should be 500 words or fewer, and include a color head shot and short bio of the author. Candidates and groups supporting or opposing ballot issues are limited to one column before the election. We reserve the right to edit all columns and letters. We will print as many as we can. All letters and columns will be posted online at Cincinnati.com. E-mail letters or columns to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Artsy weekend Columbia Tusculum will become an arts haven Saturday, Feb. 11, as three local centers open their doors for the annual Arts Sampler weekend. The Ballet Theatre Midwest, the Irish Heritage Center and the New Edgecliff Theatre will host a variety of events beginning at 11 a.m. “It’s really going to be a fun day, and it’s not just for the Irish,” said Maureen Kennedy, co-founder of the Irish Heritage Center. “It’s a whole familyfriendly day full of art and entertainment.” Full story, A2 EASTERN HILLS JOURNAL WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 Your Community Press newspaper serving Columbia Township, Columbia-Tusculum, Fairfax, Hyde Park, Madisonville, Mariemont, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, Terrace Park 50¢ BECAUSE COMMUNITY MATTERS Columbia Twp. opposes annexation By Rob Dowdy firstname.lastname@example.org COLUMBIA TWP. — Newtown recently voted to annex a portion of Columbia Township, and township officials are not taking the issue lightly. During a special meeting Jan. 31 meeting, township trustees discussed the annexation of 233 acres, which Newtown approved during its Jan. 24 meeting. Most of the acreage Newtown voted to annex is owned by the Hamilton County Park District and lies in Anderson Township. The village also annexed property owned by Little Miami Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Little Miami River, the Hamilton County Park District’s Little Miami Golf Center and Bass Island Park on the south side of the Little Miami River and Hahana Beach, 7605 Wooster Pike, and the former Heritage Restaurant, 7664 Wooster Pike, on the north side of the river. Hahana Beach, a sand volleyball facility with a bar and grill, hosted the 2011 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball in September. The facility is owned by Bob Slattery. Columbia Township Trustee President Stephen Langenkamp said he’s not as concerned with Slattery’s businesses leaving the township as he is about what could potentially happen next. “My fear is everything connected to his property is up for grabs,” he said. “There’s nothing at this point from stopping Newtown from going up and down (state Route) 50 at this point." Several days after the meeting, Township Administrator Michael Lemon released the township’s official statement which said that the township attempted to reach out to Newtown to discuss the annexation, but “Newtown refused to meet with township officials to discuss alternatives in lieu of annexation.” Bob Slattery recently bought the former Heritage House restaurant in Columbia Township and then requested the property be annexed into the village of Newtown. ROB DOWDY/STAFF According to the statement, ditional security, “extraordi“Columbia Township believes nary maintenance assistance” this proposal resulted from during beach volleyball tournaNewtown’s inability to ments at Hahana Beach successfully develop and and helping Slattery obto grow its own business tain county permits community and to imneeded to open the busiprove its financial ness in a timely fashion. strength.” At the conclusion of Lemon noted during the special meeting, the meeting his frustraLangenkamp hinted tion with the village’s acthat the township could tions, considering the two Lemon accrue “legal expenses” communities, along with because of the recent Fairfax, are members of the Lit- annexation. tle Miami Joint Fire and Jennifer Sivak, comRescue District. The munications manager for statement goes farther, the Park District, said the questioning whether the annexation “will affect a township wants to supportion” of the Little Miport the district when ami Golf Center. She said one community is atemployees at the center tempting to “annex anwill pay income taxes to other member’s territoNewtown. ry and the very sources Langenkamp Newtown approached used to help pay for the the Park District in April, district.” 2011, and the Board of The Columbia Township Park Commissioners reviewed statement also takes issue with the annexation proposal and deSlattery’s actions, noting he and clined the invitation to be anthe township worked together nexed . “over five years” to aid his busi“Being annexed by Newtown ness in opening by providing ad- offers no direct advantages or disadvantages to the Hamilton County Park District,” said Jack Sutton, the executive director of the Hamilton County Park District. “With this type of annexation (the park district) really doesn’t have a voice in it and there is really nothing the park district can do about it.” Newtown released its own statement on the annexation, outlining its reasons for making the move. The statement notes that Slattery approached the village about annexing his properties along Wooster Pike and that Little Miami Inc. joined the petition because it “determined that being in the village provided unique opportunities to protect the river.” Newtown’s statement says the village considered the interests of neighboring jurisdictions before making the move to annex along state Route 50, which is why it chose to use an expedited type 2 annexation. This type of annexation allows those properties to remain in their current jurisdictions while also paying income taxes and receiving services from Newtown. City is considering cul-de-sacs in Oakley By Forrest Sellers email@example.com Valuable lesson Valentine’s Day brings back memories of Rita Heikenfeld’s first real box of candy. Her boyfriend, Jim, came with two velvet heart-shaped boxes of Brach’s candy from the corner drug store. One was for her and the other for her mom. She learned a valuable lesson: Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts! Full story, B3 Contact us News ..........................248-8600 Retail advertising ..............768-8196 Classified advertising .........242-4000 Delivery ........................576-8240 See page A2 for additional information Vol. 32 No. 2 © 2012 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED OAKLEY — An option to convert three Oakley streets into cul-de-sacs may be one step closer to implementation. Representatives with the Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering will meet with residents on Arbor, Atlantic and Hyde Park avenues in February to discuss converting their streets into culde-sacs. This meeting will be specifically with residents whose property would be impacted by the conversion of the streets into cul-de-sacs. The cul-de-sacs are an alternative suggested by members of the group Save Oakley Near Rookwood to help alleviate potential traffic issues associated with the Rookwood Exchange. The proposed Rookwood Exchange is an expansion of Rookwood Commons and will include a hotel and 16-screen movie theater, which is expected to open in the fall. Rookwood Commons and Pavilion is located on Edmondson Road in Norwood. Save Oakley Near Rookwood formed shortly after the development was announced. Members of the group have expressed concerns about patrons of the development driving down the residential streets instead of main roads. During a fall meeting of the Oakley Traffic, Safety and Pedestrian Friendliness Subcommittee, supervising engineer Bryan Williams with the Cincinnati De- Bryan Williams, center, supervising engineer with the Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering, speaks with Oakley residents during a fall meeting of the Oakley Traffic, Safety and Friendliness Subcommittee. During the meeting residents had asked the city to consider installing cul-de-sacs on several Oakley streets. Also shown is Oakley Community Council member Craig Rozen, left. FORREST SELLERS/THE COMMUNITY PRESS partment of Transportation had said converting the streets into cul-de-sacs could be problematic because of loss of property. At the time, he said the option would be investigated further. “I’m excited the city has heard the desires of the Oakley residents and has formulated a plan to implement those (recommendations),” said Craig Rozen, an Oakley Community Council board member and head of the Traffic and Safety Subcommit- tee. Rozen said the cul-desacs are an effort to minimize the impact of traffic associated with the new development. “I’m just happy with the fact it’s moving forward,” said Oakley resident Scott Frey Whitlock about the consideration of cul-de-sacs. Whitlock, an Arbor Avenue resident, would be one of the property owners directly impacted by the conversion of the street into a cul-de-sac. “We know if we don’t close off the streets we are going to be bombarded with cut-through traffic,” he said. “By controlling the traffic we think we can also dramatically reduce crime.” Tom Frey, an Oakley Community Council board member and one of the organizers of Save Oakley Near Rookwood, said he is also glad the cul-de-sac option is being considered. “I’m glad (the city is) listening to the citizens,” he said. “Save Oakley Near Rookwood wants cul-de-sacs. There isn’t any other viable option.” Rozen said the next meeting of the Traffic and Safety Subcommittee will follow up on discussions with the residents about the cul-de-sacs. The meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at the Oakley Recreation Center, 3882 Paxton Ave.