Police: 'No' to Issue 2

Police and other public employees are taking their case against SB 5 to the voters "” by being seen, heard and collecting nearly four times the number of signatures needed to put the repeal referendum on the November ballot.

Vice President Joe Biden told the Labor Day crowd at the annual union picnic that Senate Bill 5 "” which limits the ability of public employee unions to negotiate contracts "” is an attack on labor and the middle class.

At the Harvest Home Parade, some
local police officers urged voters to reject SB 5, on the ballot as Issue 2, when they step into the voting booth.

"Come Nov. 8, we want voters to remember three things: That SB 5 is unfair, SB 5 is unsafe and SB 5 hurts us all," says Cincinnati police officer Aaron Layton.

Proposed by State Sen. Shannon Jones, SB 5 prohibits strikes by public employees, requires union members to pay at least 15 percent of their healthcare expenses, and institutes merit pay for teachers and classroom audits, among other provisions. SB 5 supporters say the bill is necessary to deal with Ohio's mounting debt.

Layton says that the bill unfairly cuts jobs and pay for public employees such as police, teachers and firefighters.

"(SB 5) puts our families at risk by making it illegal for emergency responders to fight for safer staffing levels, critical safety equipment and training that protects the emergency responders as well as our communities," Layton says. "It hurts us all."

"” Brianna Bodine

Feather in Fedora for UC Fashion Program 

The fashion design program at the University of Cincinnati received a feather in its fedora from Fashionista.com, the popular weblog-based site, when it ranked the Clifton-based school No. 12 in the top 20 fashion design programs in the nation.

Known as the go-to spot for everything from perfecting tie-dyed nails to the latest runway gossip, Fashionista said the design program (part of UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) "in general, consistently ranks as one of the best in the nation. While this is a fashion design program, there's a strong focus on business and marketing aspects."

The publication by Breaking Media tallied its rankings from data, jobs procured, opinions of people in the industry and standout program offerings.

Not surprisingly, Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology, both in New York City, took the first two spots. UC fashion grads' success is credited to the "combination of a strong academic program combined with the co-op program," says Margaret Voelker-Ferrier, one of the program's professors. "You are in school for five years, have six opportunities for on-the-job training ... Close to 90 percent of this year's graduating class had job offers upon graduation. Since June almost all are now employed. In a tough economy that says a great deal."
 "” Joy W. Kraft


Parking Info at Fingertips

Off-site airport parking company Fast Park offers a website with mobile functionality, intended to save time for travelers.

Customers can view maps to parking locations, check parking rates and facility amenities, view personal parking history and apply for receipts to use in expense reports. Any phone with Internet capabilities can use the
website's mobile functions, though some functions require membership to the company's Relax for Rewards loyalty program.

Fast Park is headquartered in Cincinnati and has 16 facilities across the country, including two in Hebron, Ky., serving the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Visit
www.thefastpark.com for more information.

"” B.B.


Urban Active Ranks Among Top Gyms

Urban Active ranks 11th among the Top 100 health clubs based on 2010 revenues, according to Club Industry Magazine.

Affordable memberships and lots of options "” from spinning to Pilates, aquatic classes to personal training "” are the reasons for the success of the six Cincinnati locations, says Bill Robinson, general manager for Urban Active Cincinnati.

"The fitness experience we provide our members lets them choose different types of workouts...They never get bored with their workouts. It's critical for our members to stay engaged in their fitness goals so they can accomplish them," Robinson says. Urban Active has six Cincinnati locations: Colerain, Deerfield Township, Hyde Park, Kenwood, West Chester and Western Hills.

The respected fitness business publication ranks U.S health club companies by total corporate revenues. Urban Active made the 11th position with a reported $100.2 million revenue in 2010, up from 13th in 2009, with a 16 percent increase over its then-reported $86.7 million revenue.

Royce Pulliam, CEO and Owner of Urban Active, credited the 1,500 staff members committed to providing more than 250,000 members company-wide with a "high energy product and service."

Taking the top five spots again this year were fitness heavy-hitters, 24 Hour Fitness ($1.35 billion), LA Fitness ($1 billion), Life Time Fitness ($912 million), ClubCorp ($812 million), and Bally Total Fitness ($550 million).



Debuts at Aronoff

Ericka Nicole Malone might consider her career as still "beginning," but there's nothing small about having her urban theater play, In Love with Tyrone, on stage at the Aronoff Center for the Arts Oct. 14 -15.

"Even though I've been doing this for a long time, in a sense it's still the beginning because people are still learning who I am," says Malone, who has been writing, directing and producing plays for the past 20 years.

Malone hopes it will be the kickoff to a nationwide tour. "If you don't book major venues, you're not going to be taken seriously, so you have to book the biggest and best venues," she says.

The play tells the story of a woman struggling to cope with her husband's betrayal and finding redemption. Malone composed and wrote most of the show's musical score and acts, directs and does the marketing.

"You just grow and become more polished, so I'd say this play is more polished than any of the other plays I've ever done," Malone says. "I wanted my audience to feel that they're going to be a part of something special, so everything from the set to the atmosphere is elegant and upscale."

Catch the show at 8 p.m. Friday or 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $37.50 in advance or $42.50 at the door.

"” B.B.


Fall Book

The cool temperatures of fall make perfect reading weather. So, Cincy asked Michael Link and Benjamin Vore of Joseph-Beth Booksellers for top picks among the new arrivals. Descriptions are excerpted from publishers' descriptions.


"Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with
John F. Kennedy"
Edited by Caroline Kennedy & Michael Beshloss (Hyperion, $60), now available.
In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven interviews which can be heard and read in this illustrated book and eight-CD set released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's inauguration. The famously private widow sat down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and recorded an astonishingly detailed and unvarnished account of her life as the wife and confidante of John F. Kennedy.

"Rin Tin Tin: The Life
and the Legend"
By Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster, $26.99), available Oct. 4.
The powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin's journey from orphaned puppy to movie star. Discovered by a soldier on a World War I battlefield, Rin Tin Tin's improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog's first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies and television shows. The book explores the bond between humans and animals while it chronicles the history of entertainment and entrepreneurship.

By Charles Frazier (Random House, $26), available Oct. 4.
The author of "Cold Mountain" and "Thirteen Moons" returns with a dazzling novel of suspense and love set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s. The lean narrative offers a brilliant portrait of Luce, a young woman who inherits her murdered sister's troubled twins which cracks open her solitary life in difficult, hopeful, dangerous ways.

"The Marriage Plot"
By Jeffrey Eugenides (FSG, $28),
available Oct. 11.
The author of two beloved novels, "Middlesex" (bestselling winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, with more than three million copies sold) and the now-classic "The Virgin Suicides" (made into a haunting film by Sofia Coppola), is back with a novel about a modern love triangle.