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Archive for December, 2008

Gary Leitzell declares for Dayton Mayor’s race

I have slapped a web page together and a blog site to assist in my campaign to run for Mayor next year. I am an independant candidate. I have no party affiliation. This also means that I will have no friends at the board of elections! You might be interested to see what I have posted. Here is the link

http://Garyleitzell.com

I saw that the GOP went so far as to advertise for candidates in the DDN on the 12th. Stating that they are interviewing candidates and will make a decision by mid January. Four people had expressed an interest. I know from my own efforts that the nomination requires 500 signatures from registered voters and the petitions are due in March. That doesn’t leave much time for a potential candidate to touch base with their residents. I hate to be too critical but they should have been on this much sooner. I started getting signatures in October and have already done the rounds of many neighborhood associations. I’m personally about half way through with the requirement. I have some other people circulating petitions for me as well to make life a little easier. I guess this gives the illusion that I am actually quite organized! I really haven’t heard if anyone else is seriously in the running besides Rhine McClin, but then again, I’m not secretive. I’m all about citizen participation!


Perspectives and Pints: Young creatives claimed their community

On Monday, December 15 a large group of young professionals gathered to find a common voice in determining important aspects for their community. Lead by Scott Murphy and Tokz Awoshakin, the focus group provided updayton direction for the planning of the April 18th Young Creatives Summit.

The first Perspectives and Pints focused on positive and negative aspects in communities throughout the region. Participants shared many positive aspects of the Dayton area such as cost of living, ease of transportation, great entertainment options, and the feeling that Dayton is a “big, small town” where people can feel connected to the community. Some challenges to the area include a lack of walk-ability and an abundance of vacant buildings.

Although the focus of the conversation was on the young professionals, stakeholders in the region were there to listen to our needs, share their current projects, and bring our message back to their organizations. Theresa Gasper, Mike Martin, and Dr. Mike Ervin all contributed to the conversation and provided insight into upcoming development in the city. A lively exchange occurred when one young professional expressed a need for a stronger physical connection between destination areas (i.e. Schuster, Oregon, Fifth-Third Field) and Dr. Ervin was able to share a plan in the works where that need for connection may be met.

This focus group proved to be a very valuable step in preparation for the Young Creatives Summit. Updayton learned more about the specific needs of young professionals in the region so a fully developed concept and unified voice will be presented to city leadership at the summit. Young creatives are assured to have influence in the development and betterment of the region.

Perspectives and Pints continues next month on January 27 at Blind Bob’s in the Oregon District at 6 PM. The topic for January is the entertainment and nightlife in the region. All young professionals who work or live in the Dayton region are invited to come out and discuss what they enjoy and what they would like to see for the nightlife in Dayton.

Download the full press release: pr_dec_perspectives


Nominations deadline for best company to work contest

Dayton Business Journal is looking for the Best Places to Work in Dayton. Is your company one of them?

Employees of nominated companies will take an online, anonymous survey in January, and winners will be featured in a special publication and honored at an awards program in March. Companies must have at least 10 employees to participate. Nominations are due Dec. 29. Call Don with questions at (937) 528-4420.

Nominate on line by going here:  http://dayton.bizjournals.com/dayton/nomination/1528


Catalyst honored with Governor’s Arts Award

Willis “Bing” Davis, who’s spent a lifetime in the area as a premiere artist and educator, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Irma Lazarus Award, which honors a lifetime of dedication to the arts; and Cityfolk, Dayton’s presenter of traditional and ethnic performing arts, was the winner in the Community Development and Participation category, recognizing an individual or organization that strengthens arts participation and increases public awareness.

Davis and Cityfolk are among eight winners of the annual awards, to be honored with a Governor’s Awards ceremony and luncheon in Columbus on April 1. At the luncheon, each winner will be presented with an original work of art by New Carlisle painter Jean Koeller.

The other award categories and recipients are: Mark Folk, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo (Arts Administration); Corwin Georges of Springfield (Arts Education); Roe Green of Aurora (Arts Patron); Huntington Bank (Business Support of the Arts); Derek Mortland of Columbus and Michael Joseph Ulery of Sunbury (Individual Artists, collaboration); and The Honorable Patrick Sweeney of Cleveland (Irma Lazarus Award).

The Irma Lazarus Award is the only Governor’s Awards honor for which nominations are not accepted; they are given “at the pleasure of the Board,” said Sharon Howard, WDTN’s executive director of community & public relations and the area’s OAC regional representative.

“The Irma Lazarus Award is the highest honor the state gives out, and they don’t necessarily award one every year,” said Howard, who, as an OAC board member, submitted Davis’ name. “It’s given to a person or organization who not only has brought national attention to Ohio but has international acclaim. I felt like Bing fit the bill … The fact that Bing is being recognized is an amazing honor. ”

It was Howard, too, who left last year’s awards luncheon inspired, even though her region came away empty-handed.

“When you’re giving out six or seven awards for the whole state, odds are you’re not going to win one every year,” she said, “but we left quite inspired, because the winners were all very deserving.

“On the way home, I decided we needed to get our act together — in years past there have been one or two people who’ve tried to make things happen, but it’s always been at the last minute. I felt like we needed to be more methodical and more strategic in our approach.”

She started last spring by pulling together interested parties for an ad hoc committee that worked on the nominations —Montgomery County’s 15 nominations was second only to Franklin County’s 17, she said.

“I’m happy with the winners,” Howard continued. “We knew were weren’t going to win them all. The important part is that we got the names of our artists in front of the Council so when they’re nominated again — and they will be — they will be synonymous with arts in Ohio.

“When one person or organization wins, the enter region wins,” she said.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2403 or ldempsey@DaytonDailyNews.com.


Ohio House approves tax credit for film industry

Ohio House approves tax credit for film industry

Columbus- It wasn’t “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” but state lawmakers exchanged a hail of partisan fire before approving a tax credit for Ohio’s film industry that backers say would bring jobs to the state.

In a 50-39 vote, House lawmakers approved House Bill 196, which would grant a 25 percent tax credit on total investments made in Ohio by film companies. The credits would be transferable from shoot to shoot, but would be capped at $100 million. The vote was along party lines, with Republicans voting to get the cameras rolling while House Democrats yelled “Cut!” because of concerns about corporate giveaways.

The bill, which heads next to the Senate, is one of a handful being considered in the lame-duck session of the Republican-controlled legislature that could face a roadblock at Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland’s desk

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Aaron Marshall
Plain Dealer Bureau

Stivers School for the Arts named to top 100 Ohio Schools

U.S.News & World Report—in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business that provides parents with education data on schoolmatters.com —analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 21,000 public high schools to find the very best across the country. These top schools were placed into gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention categories.  In the Dayon region  schools rated silver include Bellbrook, Centerville and Oakwood High Schools.  Bronze ratings were awarded to Stivers, Cedarville High School and the Early College Academy.

Since 2001, School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business of Standard & Poor’s, has served as an independent, analytical resource for parents of school-aged children, state and national policymakers, and educators. Today, it provides parents with the largest easily searchable collection of education data ever assembled on www.schoolmatters.com.


US Census Bureau Releases American Community Survey; Link to Dayton Region’s Data and Narrative

Social – Education, Marital Status, Relationships, Fertility, Grandparents…
Economic – Income, Employment, Occupation, Commuting to Work…
Housing – Occupancy and Structure, Housing Value and Costs, Utilities…
Demographic – Sex and Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Housing Units…
Narrative – Text profile with graphs for easy analysis…

Dayton, OH Urbanized Area
Population and Housing Narrative Profile: 2005-2007
Data Set: 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates
Survey: American Community Survey

New Tricks With Old Bricks: How reusing old buildings can cut carbon emissions

Many house builders claim that new homes are four times more efficient than older houses. This study shows that refurbished houses can be just as efficient as new homes.

new-tricks-with-old-bricks-final-12-03-081

Excerpt:

“New properties are “greener” than older ones”. – Sunday Times October 2006.

“New homes are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than at any time in
recent history” – Home Builders’ Federation 2007.

New homes are over four times more energy-efficient than older homes and therefore
‘greener’. – Smart New Homes 2007.

“New homes can be up to eight times more efficient than a typical Victorian property.”
– Peveril homes 2007.

It is increasingly common for developers to make environmental claims for the
buildings they produce. A significant body of wider opinion holds that demolition of
existing housing and replacement with new housing (built to high energy efficiency
standards) is broadly preferable in many cases to refurbishment.  A key foundation of
this argument is that the operational (in-use) carbon emissions of highly efficient newly
build housing can be far lower than those from existing properties.  Often these claims
are well founded. It is undoubtedly true for example that new homes are better
insulated than homes built in the past; when the majority of the UK’s older houses
were built there were no mandatory standards governing energy efficiency or
thermal comfort. Some claims however are harder to quantify. Assertions of the
superior environmental performance of new housing are sometimes used by
developers and regeneration planners to justify supplanting existing homes with new
homes. It is also sometimes used to explain building new developments when there is
an existing supply of unused buildings that could be used.

This approach has profound implications for the whole housing stock.  For example,
the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University has set out a “vision” in which
the rate of house demolition in the UK would rise to 80,000 per year by 2016,
continuing at that level until 2050, giving a total of 3.2 million demolitions from 2005-
2050.3

A contrary argument also exists and is increasingly used by environmental
campaigners and heritage organisations in promoting alternatives to new
development. Their argument is that new buildings consume huge quantities of energy
in their development, energy that could be saved by reusing existing buildings.  In
addition, the high standards of energy efficiency assumed for new buildings are
entirely dependent on enforcement and achievement of very high construction
standards.

There are also critical elements missing from the calculation: the carbon embodied in
existing buildings, the energy required to demolish them and dispose of any waste
(around 24% of all waste is generated by demolition and construction4), and the
energy cost of extraction, production, transport and use of new materials – not to
mention the wider environmental effects of minerals extraction and demolition and
construction disturbance.

(accessed at www.adaptivereuse.net)

Now consider the potential for Dayton’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program to act as an anchor for Green renewal efforts:

NSP Neighborhood Stabilization Program, NSP

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President on July 30, 2008. The legislation contained $3.92 billion in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding.

On September 29, 2008, the City of Dayton was awarded a special allocation of $5,582,902 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to be used for foreclosed and abandoned properties in the City as part of the NSP. You may view the Notice in the Federal register at nspnotice.pdf.

Eligible uses of the NSP funds includes:

* Establish temporary land banks of abandoned or foreclosed properties to facilitate redevelopment;
* Demolish blighted structures;
* Purchase foreclosed or abandoned parcels
* Redevelop vacant, abandoned or foreclosed properties; and
* Offer purchase and redevelopment assistance to income-eligible buyers of foreclosed or abandoned properties.

Read More from the City of Dayton…

And checkout the final Substantial Amendment…


Three Reasons Opensource Will Save the Economy

Hey, is your economy down?

All right, bad joke, but it is the country’s current collective bellyache. 760,000 jobs lost already this year according to the Bureau of Labor. Businesses are frantically jettisoning people-weight just to stay afloat. Times are tougher than Chuck Liddell. I think I saw my old CEO in line at the soup kitchen last Tuesday.

My friends, I’m here to tell you that in the face of grim economic turmoil there are opportunities. The fundamentals of open source are strong. Open source software is going to save the global economy.

Sir Isaac’s Third Law: spending trends in the marketplace are reversing course as companies search for faster, cheaper solutions to everyday business problems. Open source anyone?

Open source software is freely available, easily downloadable, and deployed and modified without any licensing cost. Though not strictly free-in-house administration and support costs money — open source software can provide a tremendous boost to struggling small and medium businesses. Three reasons open source is going to save us — watch out while I lay ‘em on ya.

You always make time when there’s less money.

You got two resources with which to do business: time, and money. Build vs. buy arguments die out when the economy softens because enterprise software is expensive. Take databases. MySQL, PostGres, and Ingres can be downloaded, installed, and up and running for little if any cost. Businesses will trade support time for fiscal cost.

Free software removes previous barriers to entry.

It’s cheaper and easier to start a business on open source. Microsoft SQL Server starts at $1,500. MySQL is free. Photoshop costs $699. GIMP is free. Microsoft Office costs between $149 and $499 depending on the version you purchase. Open Office is free. With only 20 employees, using Open Office can save you $3,000 to $10,000.

You buy the shovel, but you want the hole.

It’s amazing how easy it is to forget that software is just a tool. Companies purchase software so their employees can execute specific tasks. You don’t need a laser-guided shovel with built-in GPS navigation to dig your hole. A plain ol’ shovel will get the job done just fine.

So buck up, little campers, open source software even comes with a free pack of weenies and a bag of marshmallows. Seriously, folks, go take the money you save by going open source and invest it in keeping the people around who really run your business. They need those jobs now more than ever.

From Whurley, the Evil Genius


Community Garden Between Oregon District & Canery

The Circus Creative Collective and Five Rivers MetroParks Grow With Your Neighbors are combining efforts to create a vibrant community art park & community garden in downtown Dayton and we would like to invite you to join us!

The Dayton Circus (www.daytoncircus.org ) is a group of artists dedicated to building a nourishing environment that will encourage community interaction, artistic collaboration, and the empowerment of the individual. We offer a place to create, perform, and share freely in the experience of living. We envision a Dayton that attracts and retains creative people and fosters the creative expression inherent in everyone. We value: Dayton, Community, Creativity, Growth, Connection, Inclusion, Empowerment, Expression, Inspiration, Equality, Diversity, Support, and Sustainability.

The art park supports our values of community involvement and beautifying downtown Dayton!

We have arranged to lease the vacant lot on the NE corner of Wayne and 4th Street (between the Oregon District & the Cannery) from the city and hope to have art exhibits, community picnics, bonfires, concerts, movies, as well as community garden plots with the assistance of Five Rivers MetroParks Grow With Your Neighbors program. Our lease is still pending but the growing season is upon us so we need to start preparing growing space!

Read more and sign into the yahoo group for updates!


What happens when the right brain and left brain collide?


This Is Dayton Facebook

New facebook group is 175 members and growing strong!

Get in on the conversation!


Bigger Houses, Smaller Families

Richard Florida

I’ve argued for a long time now that part of what’s going on in cities is smaller families – 1 or 2
people – taking over spaces that once housed much larger families or even groups of families. You can see this everywhere from Brooklyn’s Park Slope to Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Boston’s South End, and lot’s of other places. So I was delighted to see the folks over at Zillow have crunched the requisite numbers.

American families have shrunk dramatically and consistently over the past century. In 1900, the average American family was 4.6 people. By 1940 it declined to less than 4. In 1980 it slipped below 3, and hovers around 2.5 people today. Over the same time, our houses have gotten much, much bigger. In 1900, the average new home was about 700 square feet and most families lived in much smaller quarters than than. By 1940, the average new home was 1500 square feet where it hovered through the 60s and 70s. Before climbing to more than 2000 square feet in 1990 and around 2500 square feet today.

Or think of it this way. In 1900 the average American family in a new home was using up about 152 square feet per person. By 1940, each of them was consuming more than 400 square feet. By 1990, the figure was roughly 750 square feet. And today it’s about 1000 square feet each.

We don’t need all that space. In many ways, big houses have become a status good. And a costly one at that. The environmental costs and impacts of our super-sized housing are a no-brainer. But there’s also
the tremendous opportunity costs that come from… Read More!


Where a Recession Will Hurt the Most

RICHARD FLORIDA and JAMES MILWAY
If a recession hits Canada, as many think is already the case, will its turbulence affect all of us in the same way? Not if past history is a guide.

The good news is that it’s likely that the continuing shift in our economy from traditional blue-collar, working-class jobs to creative and service jobs will dampen the effects of job losses – over all. But those in the working class will feel the pain much more.

Our economy is composed of four classes, defined by the kinds of work people do. The first is the working class, consisting of workers who use physical skills and carry out repetitive tasks (for example, tradespersons, mechanics, crane operators and assembly line workers). Next is the service class, where workers engage in relatively low-autonomy occupations providing services, for example, food-service workers, janitors and clerks. Then there are those in farming, forestry and fishing. Finally, there is the creative class – the growing number of workers who are paid to think. These include scientists and technologists, artists and entertainers, and managers and analysts.

Defining our economy by the work people do is different than the conventional way of defining it by industries. Somebody may be working in the automotive industry but is not necessarily working on the assembly line in a working-class occupation. Actually, about a third of employees… Read More!


From Creative Economy to Creative Society: A neighborhood-based strategy to increase urban vitality and promote social inclusion

Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert
Can a creative economy ameliorate urban poverty? The contemporary U.S. city is witness to an increasing proportion of its residents being denied active participation in the local economy, social institutions, and broader civil society. While many a metropolis has weathered the transition from an industrial to an information-based economy, most urban neighborhoods bear the persistent physical and social manifestations of economic inequality and social exclusion.

Urban policy-makers generally agree that regional economic development and job growth are the solution to urban poverty and its associated blight and pathology. Many cities have latched onto Richard Florida’s argument that attracting the “creative class” to the region will generate jobs and tax revenue, a trickle down of benefits to all citizens. Unfortunately, it appears that growth of the creative economy can spark inequality and exclusion. Is the creative economy a bargain with the devil? Does a city have to accept increased economic inequality to reap the prosperity of the creative economy?

In this article, we recap current research and policy on culture and revitalization and propose a new model—a neighborhood-based creative economy—that has the potential to move the twenty-first century city toward shared prosperity and social integration.

The Creative Sector And Urban Policy
A focus on the creative economy represents the latest wave of interest in culture as a post-industrial urban revitalization strategy. Beginning with the 1983 landmark study by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, economic impact studies have quantified the contribution of the nonprofit cultural sector to a regional economy based on the multiplier effect of organizational and audience expenditures. In time, policy-makers realized that economic impact is magnified when bounded spatially. So the planned cultural district came into vogue, along with the development of major cultural facilities like museums or performing arts centers, as catalysts for downtown revival.

The creative economy is more than just nonprofit arts and culture. Studies by the Rand Corporation of the performing and media arts took the lead in treating nonprofit and commercial cultural firms as a single sector. Richard Florida’s work—with its claims about the role of the “creative class” in global competitive advantage—encouraged the trend to treat nonprofit and for-profit firms as a single sector and expanded definitions of culture to include design and related fields as part of the creative economy.

The excitement among public and corporate executives about the creative class has overshadowed a growing literature on the community benefits of the arts and culture. Researchers studying community-building seek to integrate their findings on grassroots cultural practices and informal arts with their understanding of contemporary urban community. Economic geographers have developed a third stream of literature, which explores production-driven “cultural clusters” and the social networks underpinning productivity. It is this cultural cluster perspective that has the greatest potential to meet the dual policy goals of economic growth and social inclusion.

Social Costs of the Creative Economy
Neither the literature on the creative economy nor that on community building has focused on possible negative effects of culture-based revitalization. Gentrification remains the most common fear. A less commonly discussed drawback of culture-based revitalization, but one for which there is more evidence, is the expansion of inequality. Economic inequality—attributed to structural changes including globalization, the decline in unions, and deindustrialization—has exploded in the United States over the past thirty years.

Of particular relevance to the arts is the emergence of “winner-take-all” labor markets. Robert Frank and Philip Cook, who developed the concept, show that changes in the U.S. labor market have expanded the number of job categories in which the most skilled members reap a disproportionate share of rewards. Frank and Cook suggest that what used to be a relatively rare feature is now common in a great number of occupations and serves to accelerate economic inequality.

Within the creative economy, artists are especially vulnerable to the winner-take-all dynamic. The handful of opera singers, concert pianists, dancers, and authors seen as the best in the world garner incomes that dwarf those of gifted practitioners who are seen as less extraordinary. Indeed, the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP),* in a 2005 study of artists in six U.S. metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2000, found artists consistently among the occupations with the highest degree of income inequality.

Empirical research indicates that as culture increases its share of the metropolitan economy, increased inequality is a much more significant downside than gentrification. In his 2005 work, Richard Florida acknowledged that the growth of the creative class has contributed to the rise in economic inequality and its social and political repercussions. “Perhaps the most salient of… the externalities of the creative age,” Florida noted, “has to do with rising social and economic inequality.”

Still, since its publication in 2002, Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class has been used by city officials from New York to Spokane as a how-to manual for stimulating economic growth. The realization that pursuing creative class strategies will actually exacerbate the divisions between rich and poor has been slow to sink in.

The job mix within the creative economy poses concern as well as promise for its role in promoting economic revitalization. Overall, the creative industries are dominated by jobs with high educational requirements. The expansion of both arts occupations specifically and the creative economy overall will create more opportunities for highly skilled workers than for urban residents with modest educational qualifications.

Social Benefits of Community Culture
Research conducted over the past decade across the U.S. has reshaped our understanding of the role culture plays in urban communities. We now understand that culture includes nonprofit, public, and commercial organizations as well as independent artists. In addition, we have learned that even the “informal arts” play a critical role in building social networks and connections across communities.

Much work on community culture is concerned with the inclusion of historically marginalized populations. The Urban Institute has developed a broad framework for tracking community cultural vitality—which it defines as “evidence of creating, disseminating, validating, and supporting arts and culture as a dimension of everyday life in communities.” The informal arts sector, in particular—characterized by participatory, hands-on cultural and creative activities in non-chartered groups and informal settings—is associated with people of color, immigrants, and other out-of-the-mainstream communities.

Ethnographers in Chicago and the Silicon Valley have documented the community building potential of the informal arts. A recent study, for example, found that Mexican immigrants in Chicago “use artistic and cultural practices to break down social isolation, create new social networking relationships, strengthen… bonds among group members, and … create local and transnational ties with [outside] institutions…” Read More!