Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Does the NHL lockout personally affect you? - Columbus Dispatch

Just because you're sleeping together doesn't mean you should be sleeping together, an official Ohio State University Twitter account told hundreds of co-ed students yesterday after a water-line break forced them to move into a university gym.

But some students felt that the hands-to-yourself tweet posted by the OSU Student Wellness Center lacked a certain subtlety.

"Just because she sleeps next to you at the (Recreation and Physical Activity Center) DOES NOT mean she wants the D," the tweet on the center's official account read. It was followed by the hashtags "consentfirst" and "besafe."

For those out of the college-vernacular loop, "D" can stand for a slang word that's also a nickname for "Richard."

The tweet followed others directing students to wash their hands and "wrap it." But many students responded on Twitter specifically to the message referring to "the D." Responses ranged from amused to incredulous to more-critical.

"Rape is not something that should be joked about, especially by an official university twitter account," read a tweet directed at the center by student Ben Schulman.

Some offered similar responses, but others gave kudos to the center for delivering the message with a sense of humor. In a response to one student, the center tweeted: "Hoping to spread the message of safer sexual choices w/ a bit of humor mixed in, due to the crazy night! Be safe!"

University officials wouldn't say who posted the tweet for the office, but gave a statement from Office of Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs:

"The tweets were in response to social media messages coming from students who were in RPAC, and intended to be similar in tone and spirit. We have received a number of responses, and most have been positive. However, any negative feedback is a good foundation for reviewing our social media efforts in the future."

For a while, the tweet's hashtags were a trending Twitter topic in Columbus. But within a few hours of the post, the online debate had cooled and the center was back to tweeting more G-rated advice.

"Making a smoothie? Add a cup of spinach. Rich in vitamins and nutrients, and you won't taste any difference (we promise!)"

Columbus misses cut for Budweiser's local brews - Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday September 19, 2012 5:50 AM

COLUMBUS

Budweiser said yesterday it will sell three limited-edition beers next month named for the ZIP codes where they were developed. Beer from Columbus’ brewery will not be among them.

Beers from Los Angeles, St. Louis and Williamsburg, Va., are the winners of the project begun in the spring, when Budweiser asked for 12 recipes from its brew masters. Of the 12, six were chosen to be brewed in small batches. Columbus’ recipe â€" Small Batch 43229, a light-amber lager using eight types of hops â€" was among the six. The three winners were chosen by feedback from consumer taste tests.

The beers will be available starting on Oct. 29 in a 12-bottle sampler package.

â€" From staff, wire reports

The next revolution will be led by robots - Columbus Dispatch

By  Froma Harrop

Creators Syndicate Wednesday September 19, 2012 5:44 AM

Robots don’t take bathroom breaks, and that’s one reason why, all else being equal, they may make better factory workers than the human version. But all else is getting less equal. New generations of super “smart” robots are doing more and more complex tasks, their needle arms going into tiny spaces the most delicate human hand can’t reach. And just as the machines leap forward in sophistication, their price is coming down.

Another industrial revolution bangs at the doors, and as other industrial revolutions have done, this one will change everything. For one thing, factories that moved to Asia for low-wage workers may return to the United States. After all, if machines can do the labor-intensive jobs, it may not matter whether the factory is in Cleveland, Hartford, Nashville or Guangzhou.

In truth, while factory jobs have left the United States, factories never quite did. America still makes lots of stuff that can be produced with a handful of people running computerized equipment. What’s different now is that the machines are getting more clever.

There always were some advantages to manufacturing locally, and they remain. For example, the Flextronics solar-panel plant in Milpitas, Calif., can ship a solar panel to Phoenix more quickly and cheaply than a factory in Jiangsu province can. Courtesy of robots, it can now also compete with the Chinese solar-panel giants on manufacturing costs. Furthermore, the company’s creative secrets are safer at home than in China, where protections for intellectual property are notoriously lax.

This trend helps workers in other high-wage countries. In Drachten, Netherlands, a Philips Electronics factory now employs one-tenth as many people as its sister plant in Zhuhai, China, according to a report in The New York Times.

Companies operating here won’t care as much whether their employees are unionized or not. For one thing, they’ll employ relatively few humans. For another, the people who run the robots will have high-level skills that automatically command good pay. Local cost of living and the price of energy may still play a role. But to attract the factories, a community will have to offer a tech-savvy workforce able to keep the robots on task.

Won’t displacing vast numbers of factory workers with plug-in substitutes set off a social revolt? Probably not here, because the kinds of workers who simply glued one part on another were laid off long ago. Today, 9 percent of working Americans are directly employed in manufacturing, way down from 30 percent in 1950.

China is another matter. Its economic miracle has relied on having lots of low-wage people do low-skilled things. They have the jobs to lose. True, China is rapidly educating engineers and other tech workers. But it remains a developing nation where impoverished masses hold high expectations for a cushier tomorrow. Apple is still building factories in China to make the iPhone, but even those plants will have more robots and fewer people than in the past.

The wild card is how robots may threaten other kinds of jobs. These new machines can move around and perform multiple operations. They’ll do farm chores, cooking and housecleaning. They’re already packing boxes for shipment, using video cameras for eyes.

So here are the big-picture questions: What will happen to those replaced by mechanical arms? Will they be dropped into shiftless poverty? Or will they share in the productivity miracle and suddenly find themselves freed to write poetry? What about new occupations this revolution may open?

All bets are off about who will be the industrial superpower of the 21st century. But here’s a hint: It may not be China, after all.

Froma Harrop writes for Creators Syndicate.

fharrop@projo.com

Obama weakness spurs enemies - Columbus Dispatch

By  Cal Thomas

Tribune Media Wednesday September 19, 2012 5:42 AM

 “How could this happen?” asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others.

The rioting by Muslims supposedly “inflamed” by a cheaply produced YouTube film about the Prophet Muhammad was cited as the reason, but we have learned the attacks may have been planned, to coincide with the anniversary of Sept. 11. What doesn’t Secretary Clinton get? The actions and statements of Islamic extremists have been visible for some time.

In his latest obsequious gesture to the Islamic world, President Barack Obama wants to offer $1 billion in “debt relief” to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt. The president apparently hopes Egypt’s leadership can be bought off and will then start behaving like us. The president appears to ignore Egypt’s crackdown on political opposition, its sending tanks into the Sinai, in violation of its 33-year peace treaty with Israel, and the persecution of Coptic Christians who are fleeing the country in droves. This is what America got in Iran, Egypt and now Libya when we helped topple dictators who were then replaced by radicals.

That these and many other provocations against America, Israel and the rest of the West bring no credible response from the United States encourages and enables extremists to ramp up their violent behavior. Paper tiger is the term Mao Zedong used to describe “American imperialism” in 1956. Spineless amoeba might characterize this administration’s response to outrages performed in the name of Islam.

Just as the amateurish video was not the cause of the violent attacks, neither was Mitt Romney’s critique of them. The Obama administration’s foreign policy has failed dramatically. A recent Wall Street Journal headline had it right: “U.S. policy in Mideast challenged by assaults.” Coddling, understanding, bowing and submitting to extremists only leads to more violence. History has shown and common sense tells us they respect and fear only power and consistency.

What is the flipside of “peace through strength”? It is war through weakness.

Iran’s nuclear-bomb preparations? This administration’s response is more sanctions and more diplomacy, though these have failed. Kill our people? Send them more money.

This is what we get when the administration denies statements from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic leaders about their hatred for America, Jews, Christians and women’s equality. Do we not think they mean what they say? If not, on what basis do our leaders disbelieve them?

Tyrants enjoy telling the world about their intentions. It is how they recruit followers. Think Hitler, Marx, Lenin and Mao. Tyrants aren’t the real danger, though they are to their own people. The real danger is when the West fails to recognize evil and develop an effective response to it. Asking Israel to continue to “wait” while Iran builds a nuclear bomb is madness, especially when Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has described Israel as a “disgraceful blot,” has said it should be “wiped off the face of the earth.” Islamic extremists say what they mean and mean what they say. So why don’t we believe them?

Whether the Islamists are a small minority within “peaceful” Islam is irrelevant. If the bad guys are pursuing nuclear weapons and their minions are killing our ambassadors and citizens, what is there to discuss? What can diplomats do?

How could this happen, Secretary Clinton? You have only to look at the one you correctly described four years ago as “inexperienced” and not ready to be president. If you continue in denial, deny this: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know (but) whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged” (Quran 8:60, Sahih International).

Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Media Services.

tmseditors@tribune.com

Franklin County taxpayers have little on the line in hockey lockout - Columbus Dispatch

By  Josh Jarman

The Columbus Dispatch Wednesday September 19, 2012 5:31 AM

Chris Russell | DISPATCH PHOTOS

The streets surrounding Nationwide Arena likely will be this subdued on Monday when the Blue Jackets’ first exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was scheduled to be played.

While hot-dog hawkers and beer slingers have plenty to fear from a prolonged National Hockey League lockout, Franklin County taxpayers have little on the line in the dispute, even though they now own Nationwide Arena.

The lockout that began on Sunday will not cost taxpayers or the Franklin County agency that owns the arena anything because the public receives no revenue from hockey games â€" not from concessions, parking or tickets.

That money all goes to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were the main benefactors in a deal brokered late last year to have the city and county split the cost of buying and operating the arena, and allow the team to play there rent free.

The deal is expected to save the Jackets about $9.5 million a year in rent and operational costs, in exchange for which they agreed to stay in the city through 2039.

Todd Sharrock, a Blue Jackets spokesman, said not having to pay rent during the lockout puts the team in a better financial situation than during the 2004-05 season lockout, but that “the club would bear the financial burden of any canceled games as it did eight years ago.”

“The agreement is structured so that there is no cost to the public sector for games that are not played,” Sharrock wrote in an email yesterday. “That said, the entire community suffers from the lost economic impact that games bring to central Ohio.”

The team also does not have to pay the players for missed games, an obvious savings.

Xen Riggs, an associate vice president for advancement and student life at Ohio State University and the chief operating officer of the private entity that was formed to manage the arena, said part of the beauty of the arena-purchase deal is that it holds the public harmless should the team miss games.

“It turned out to be an excellent deal for the taxpayers,” Riggs said.

He said the money to purchase and operate the arena comes from two sources: a portion of the tax revenue Columbus and Franklin County receive from the state’s four new casinos, and the non-hockey events Riggs helps book at the arena.

For example, when the legendary progressive-rock band Rush plays there on Thursday night, profit from the concert will go to Columbus Arena Management and the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, which owns the building.

Those dollars mingle with the casino-tax money to keep the building open and to pay for upgrades such as the new multimillion-dollar scoreboard that was to be unveiled later this month during the hockey club’s first exhibition game.

City Auditor Hugh Dorrian said the loss of tax revenue from the last season-long lockout did not significantly affect the city’s income-tax collections.

It has been estimated that the Blue Jackets generate about $4 million a year in sales and income taxes for city and county governments.

“The bad news is, you’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs â€" vendors, business owners, concession workers â€" they’re going to suffer,” Dorrian said. “But as far as the financial arrangement … it does not put any financial obligation on the city other than what was previously agreed to.”

jjarman@dispatch.com

@Josh_Jarman

Crash Closes S.R. 142 In Madison County - NBC4i.com

By: Denise Yost, Andy Long & Alex Mazer | NBC4

A Columbus police officer was killed when she crashed into an ambulance in Madison County Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred on state Route 142 just north of U.S. 40 at about 2:30 p.m.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 53-year-old Marcia "Jodi" Frederick, of West Jefferson, was driving a black Ford Expedition when she veered left of center and crashed into a Jefferson Township ambulance.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Frederick is a 15-year veteran Columbus police officer who is currently on medical leave for treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Officials said they believe Frederick had a seizure while driving.

"The fact there is no skid marks, no braking, it … was so sudden that the full force of these two speeds coming together would be a lot worse than someone slamming on the brakes, slowing the vehicle down so the impact was pretty severe," said Sgt. Jeff Shane.

The ambulance, driven by Medic Todd Picken, was also occupied by Medic Richard Forrest. Both were transported to The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

At the time of the crash, the ambulance was transporting Evan Strauss and Brenda Osbourne to a hospital for treatment from a non-related incident. 

As the result of the crash, both occupants were transported to Grant Medical Center for further treatment. 

According to Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner, Frederick was not married and had no children.

S.R. 142 was closed in both directions during the investigation and cleanup. The road reopened at about 5:45 p.m.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Columbus Police Officer Killed In Crash With Ambulance In Madison Co. - NBC4i.com

By: Denise Yost, Andy Long & Alex Mazer | NBC4

A Columbus police officer was killed when she crashed into an ambulance in Madison County Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred on state Route 142 just north of U.S. 40 at about 2:30 p.m.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 53-year-old Marcia "Jodi" Frederick, of West Jefferson, was driving a black Ford Expedition when she veered left of center and crashed into a Jefferson Township ambulance.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Frederick is a 15-year veteran Columbus police officer who is currently on medical leave for treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Officials said they believe Frederick had a seizure while driving.

"The fact there is no skid marks, no braking, it … was so sudden that the full force of these two speeds coming together would be a lot worse than someone slamming on the brakes, slowing the vehicle down so the impact was pretty severe," said Sgt. Jeff Shane.

The ambulance, driven by Medic Todd Picken, was also occupied by Medic Richard Forrest. Both were transported to The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

At the time of the crash, the ambulance was transporting Evan Strauss and Brenda Osbourne to a hospital for treatment from a non-related incident. 

As the result of the crash, both occupants were transported to Grant Medical Center for further treatment. 

According to Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner, Frederick was not married and had no children.

"The type of person she was, the unit she was in, being a juvenile detective investigating sex crimes involving small children takes a special person," said FOP president Jim Gilbert. "And I know that she was very dedicated to being an advocate."

S.R. 142 was closed in both directions during the investigation and cleanup. The road reopened at about 5:45 p.m.

For additional information, stay with NBC4 and refresh nbc4i.com.
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