Blog Posts For The Week Of October 17, 2014 Through October 23, 2014

Release: Stinziano To Introduce Legislation Cutting Taxes For Ohio Artists
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: October, 23 2014 9:58 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) will soon introduce legislation providing artists with an income tax deduction for any income derived from the sale of their works within designated “arts and entertainment” districts. The legislation will aim to reduce the tax burden on Ohio’s creative artists who qualify as a “resident artist.”

Stinziano’s legislation defines a “resident artist” as an individual who owns or rents residential property in the state, conducts business within any arts and entertainment district, and derives income from a sale or performance within those districts. The proposal would broadly define musical compositions, plays, paintings, sculptures, photographs, dances, and traditional or fine crafts as a “work.”

Currently, Ohio offers a sales and use tax exemption for some artistic purposes, such as property sales for use in non-profit presentations of music, dramatics, the arts and related fields.

“By reducing the tax burden on artist entrepreneurs, Ohio will attract and retain a creative and vibrant artist community,” Rep. Stinziano said. “My legislation will cultivate creative and cultural enrichment, making Ohio more attractive and more competitive with other states that have larger metropolitan areas. We need to retain more college graduates, attract young professionals and families, and support local artists that call Ohio home, and we need to strengthen Ohio's cultural education opportunities."

Rep. Stinziano was appointed to serve on the Ohio Arts Council Board by Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder in June.

“Representing Columbus’ Short North Arts District, Franklinton, Bexley, German Village, Grandview, and the University Community, the Columbus College of Art and Design, and several other creativity incubators gives me a unique opportunity to champion legislation benefitting artists, galleries, and art institutions,” Stinziano said. “By serving on the Ohio Arts Council Board and with this new legislation, I will continue to support artistic experiences that enrich Ohio’s communities and bring new economic opportunities to artists throughout Ohio.”

If adopted, Ohio will join Maryland and Rhode Island in similar efforts to create an incentive for statewide artistic creativity.

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

Following introduction, the bill will be assigned to a House committee for further review.

Release: Ohio’s chemical manufacturing industry holds science education conference
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: October, 23 2014 9:57 AM

COLUMBUS - Oct. 22, 2014: Nearly 60 science teachers from across Ohio are gathering for a two and a half day conference in Columbus aimed at bringing hand-on experiments and tools back to the classroom.

The Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC) Foundation, in partnership with the Ohio EPA, is holding the 22nd Annual Teachers, Industry & Environment (TIE) Conference on Oct. 22-24 free of charge for third through eighth grade science teachers through sponsorships from OCTC member companies.

“Science education is constantly evolving and leading educators realize that students are more enthusiastic about science when it is presented in a way that is interesting and encourages hands-on student involvement,” said Jenn Klein, President of OCTC. “The TIE Conference provides teachers with tools they can use in the classroom to help capture the imagination of students at a young age, helping to build better prepared students for success in this technology-driven global economy.”

The conference features dramatic experiments that teachers can easily duplicate in the classroom by scientists from the chemical manufacturing industry, universities, NASA, the Carnegie Science Center and the Ohio EPA.

Attendees receive a behind the scenes look at Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a high-technology facility, in Columbus and will attend a luncheon with members of OCTC’s Board of Directors, where they will discuss what the chemical manufacturing industry is doing to further education outreach in their respective communities.

Established in 1993, the TIE Conference provides firsthand experience of basic science principals and real world environmental challenges through professional lectures and hands-on demonstrations designed for classroom adaptation. The conference is aligned with Ohio’s state teaching standards for STEM curriculums.

Participating teachers are also eligible for graduate credits from Ashland University.

Release: Complete Cabin Renovations Announced at Hocking Hills State Park
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: October, 23 2014 9:55 AM

LOGAN, OH - Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer today announced several capital improvement projects at Hocking Hills State Park.

“Hocking Hills continues to receive international acclaim and is certainly one of Ohio’s greatest natural treasures,” said Zehringer. “These improvements allow us to enhance the experience of our guests as we showcase this beautiful park and introduce more visitors to the great things Ohio has to offer.”

Upcoming improvements at Hocking Hills State Park will include:

           Completely renovating all 40 of the state park’s cabins

           Replacing the dining lodge roof

           Doing exterior renovations to the dining lodge

           Renovating the outdoor pool at the dining lodge

           Adding more full service hookup campsites

           Installing new playground equipment in the campground area

           Upgrading the restroom at the welcome center at Old Man’s Cave

           Making improvements to the restroom at Ash Cave

           Increasing trail signage throughout the park, including safety signage and confidence markers

           Installing brand new interpretive signage for the first time at an Ohio State Park

           Larger campsites at the horse camp

The Ohio State Parks capital improvement projects, and others like them around the state, are made possible through the support of Governor John Kasich, Senate President Keith Faber and the Ohio General Assembly. Ohio State Parks received an unprecedented $88.5 million for capital improvements to strengthen the infrastructure and modernize facilities in the most recent capital budget.

To assist in identifying key projects, ODNR launched a website to allow people to submit their ideas for improvements within the Ohio State Parks system. By visiting www.parks.ohiodnr.gov/improvements, people can fill out a survey to suggest improvements at their favorite state park. To date, the department has received more than 6,100 completed surveys. Ohioans are encouraged to continue to fill out these surveys and share their feedback as they visit Ohio’s 74 state parks this fall.

Ohio is proud to be one of only seven states in the nation where admission to state parks is free.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.gov.

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