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GROUNDBREAKING B1 Mariemont City Schools recently broke ground at the sites for three of its schools. Your Community Press newspaper serving Columbia Township, Columbia-Tusculum, Fairfax, Hyde Park, Madisonville, Mariemont, Mt.Lookout, Oakley, Terrace Park Email: Website: We d n e s d a y, J u n e 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 Volume 76 Number 19 © 2011 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Donations sought FAIRFAX – Village officials hope to raise $500,000 for streetscape enhancements. The enhancements will include the addition of various amenities such as benches, planters and waste receptacles at 15 different sites, or “pods,” along Wooster Pike. In an effort to raise funds, which will come from corporate donors and residents, designated street captains will try and obtain donations by going door to door. FULL STORY, A2 Saving the trees The Cincinnati Park Board is trying to save ash trees at three of its area parks from the invasive emerald ash borer. In a partnership with Valent Professional Products, the Park Board selected 110 ash trees to treat with insecticide in Mt. Echo, Mt. Airy and Ault Parks. The company approached the Park Board about treating affected ash trees with one of its insecticides, said David Gamstetter, natural resource manager for the Cincinnati Park Board. FULL STORY, A2 JOURNAL B E C A U S E C O M M U N I T Y M AT T E R S 50¢ Shooting triggers precautions Madisonville lot cleaned up, cameras in alley considered By Forrest Sellers MADISONVILLE – A 2-inch bullet hole in the window of the Madisonville Arts Center serves as an exclamation point to a recent crime. The incident, though, has led to added safety precautions in an alley and parking lot next to the center. The alley is located near Sierra Street and Whetsel Avenue. “We have seen the lot cleaned up,” said Capt. Paul Broxterman with the Cincinnati Police. The incident occurred May 20 during the afternoon. Broxterman said evidence indicates it was a drug deal in which shots were fired. He said the incident remains under investigation, and no suspects have been arrested yet. Debbie Hill, executive director of the Madisonville Arts Center, said she was thankful no one was in the center at the time. Someone could have been killed, she said. “What upsets me is there are a lot of children on the street,” she said. “For this to happen in the afternoon is alarming.” Although Hill said she wasn’t aware of potential drug activity occurring in the alley, she said she has noticed an increased amount of pedestrian traffic. Broxterman said the way the alley is situated officers do not FORREST SELLERS/STAFF Debbie Hill, executive director of the Madisonville Arts Center, looks at a bullet hole in the window from a recent shooting in an alley next to the center. Police said evidence indicates the shooting occurred during a drug deal in the alley. have a clear view of it. He said officers have been alerted to the problem and will monitor it. The alley extends from a parking lot on the site and is not considered city-owned. Broxterman said the owner of the lot, Eric Champion, has been encouraged to add fencing to prevent pedestrian access as well as improve lighting in the area. Broxterman said a “flash” camera is also being considered for the site. The camera has a motion detector that when triggered takes a picture and issues an audible alert. However, he said the number of cameras is limited and based on need. He said the police will make a determination after reviewing whether the lighting and fencing have an impact. Champion said he feels an increased police presence in the area will help. “It (is) a very unfortunate situation that all of the communities are dealing with,” said Champion referring to crime associated with urban blight. “I don’t think it’s as bad in Madisonville as some of the other communities, but I firmly believe it is rooted in drugs. “More police patrolling the area or randomly going back (there) should curb that activity.” Hill said she was impressed by the proactive approach of the police as well as volunteers from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, who helped clean debris from the alley shortly after the incident. Although shaken by the incident, Hill said her faith in her community remains. “I still believe in Madisonville,” she said. For more about your community visit Bike trail proposal garners support By Forrest Sellers Help on the way Businesses along Plainville Road could get some financial help sprucing up their buildings, thanks to a $90,000 grant awarded to Columbia Township. The Community Development Block Grant would fund a program to assist business owners with improvements to exterior signage, lighting, awnings, wall construction and repair and improvements made to make the business Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. FULL STORY, A3 To place an ad, call 242-4000. HYDE PARK – A proposed bike trail has the support of a Cincinnati City Council member and several community council representatives. Ultimately, though, final approval will rest with a railroad company. Jay Andress, a volunteer for the Wasson Way Project, asked City Council’s Quality of Life Committee to provide its support for a plan to convert 6.5 miles of railroad track into a recreational hiking and biking trail. The railroad track is owned by Norfolk Southern. This would benefit about 100,000 residents, said Andress about the trail, which would extend from the Little Miami Bike Trail in Newtown through the communities of Hyde Park, Oakley, Mariemont as well as several others. It’s an opportunity for recreation, transportation and exercise, said Andress. “We want to work with the city to see this happen,” he said. He said the project would cost FORREST SELLERS/STAFF Jay Andress, a volunteer for the Wasson Way Project, stands along the railroad tracks at Wasson Road and Hyde Park Avenue. Supporters of the plan to convert 6.5 miles of railroad track into a recreational hiking and biking trail recently spoke at a Cincinnati Quality of Life Committee meeting. about $6 million. Several community council members spoke in favor of the project during the Quality of Life Committee meeting. Carl Uebelacker, a member of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Council who lives near the railroad track, said he was at the meeting to speak as a resident. “This (trail) offers the city and residents an opportunity to convert an eyesore into a fantastic asset for the community,” he said. Peter Draugelis, president of the Oakley Community Council, said while he is in favor of the project the impact of a potential light rail system also needed to be considered. Madeira Bike Race & Family Fun Festival Friday Night | June 24th | 4:30 - 11pm Downtown Madeira CE-0000461195 PRESENTING SPONSOR: “What is the exit strategy if light rail enters the picture?” he inquired. The city has been considering a light rail proposal for a number of years. “Even if we’re not sure (the Wasson Way Project is) entirely possible, it could be great for quality of life and add to the bike plan we already have,” said Cincinnati City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan, who is chairwoman of the Quality of Life Committee. However, supporters of the trail project have not contacted Norfolk Southern. Andress said he wanted to get support from the city before contacting the railroad company. “The city has a good relationship with Norfolk (Southern),” said Andress. “We think they would be receptive to this idea.” Quinlivan said the committee was receptive to the idea. “If we could make it happen it would be an asset,” she said. No actions in relation to the proposed trail were taken by the committee. For more about your community visit


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