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Heart and Hustle in Hamilton County
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Heart and Hustle in Hamilton County

Author: Bridget Doherty

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Heart and Hustle in Hamilton County is a podcast about the people, places, and policies that govern our local response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Hosted by County Administrator Jeff Aluotto, Heart and Hustle discusses the issues, challenges, and opportunities Hamilton County faces as we battle a global pandemic.
11 Episodes
The news lately has been filled with headlines around housing values and housing affordability.  In this episode of Heart and Hustle, we talk with three housing experts in who really tackle the question- Is housing affordable in Hamilton County, Oh?Hamilton County Community Development's Interim Director Emily Carnahan, Liz Blum with the Community Building Institute at Xavier University, and Kristen Baker with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) get to the heart of the conversation on whether our neighbors can afford to stay in the communities where they live. Join us in Part 1 of a 2 part conversation!
The Hamilton County Environmental Crimes Task Force is heating up this summer. Corporal  Bryan Peak with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office leads a multi-department effort to crack down on illegal dumping of tires, construction debris and other household items. Listen to the latest podcast of Heart and Hustle in Hamilton County, and subscribe, to hear about this great program helping to improve the quality of life for Hamilton County, Oh residents.  
In a disaster, Nick Crossley says there's no such thing as 'no.' In Episode 9, the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency Director talks about the biggest challenge he faced during the early days of the local COVID-19 pandemic. "If you ever call me, I'm saving your cell number," says Crossley who discusses how he gets around the word "no" in order to find a way. He also details the quick partnerships that formed overnight to protect the most vulnerable including seniors. Crossley's agency administers emergency management and disaster preparedness functions for all of Hamilton County and its political subdivisions. This may be the ultimate episode- we can't think of a better department  to spotlight on a COVID-19 podcast. Have a listen!
Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day? What better way to honor our planet than nourishing its soil with your kitchen scraps! Just as gardening and cooking have gained new enthusiasts during this pandemic, so has composting. We discuss tips and tricks with our local composting connoisseurs – Michelle Balz and Gage Bradford with Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District. Michelle and Gage give us  the latest on how you can buy discounted compost bins and take free virtual composting seminars. Plus, they convinced a ‘reluctant composter’ to stop procrastinating and start reducing household waste.
Hamilton County Board of Elections' top officials, Sherry Poland and Sally Krisel,  talk about changes made on the fly to conduct Hamilton County's 2020 elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.  With nonstop directives coming out of the State due to the  Governor and the Courts arguing  election postponement, Director Poland and Deputy Director Krisel reflect on their sleepless night before the March primary.  In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Poland and Krisel also talk candidly about efforts they took to combat misinformation, while preserving the integrity of our local elections. Discover how the pandemic is impacting future elections. Give a listen on episode 7 of Heart and Hustle in Hamilton County. 
Hamilton County Environmental Services Director Brad Johnson discusses the rich history of environmental awareness in Cincinnati and Hamilton County that dates back to the 1800s- when Cincinnati was one of the largest cities in the country and one of the first to monitor air quality thanks to a women's organization. With the pandemic, Environmental Services has seen its fair share of change including an emphasis on air quality, pollen and mold counting, and changes in recycling patterns including the shortage of cardboard being recycled. Listen as Anna Kelly, Monitoring and Analysis Supervisor, answers the most common question she hears- "how can air quality be good when the pollen count is so high in Hamilton County?" 
The Hamilton County Office of Reentry had to get creative fast when the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak ramped up locally in March of 2020. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office instituted measures to reduce the jail population while also increasing safety measures inside of the jail. Once inmates served their time and were released, reentry advocates hit the phones to ensure resources were available to keep formerly incarcerated individuals from reoffending and ending back up in jail. Reentry Director Trina Jackson discusses some of her favorite success stories thanks to the hard work of the Sheriff's Department, Cincinnati Police and other community partners. 
Chances are every person in Hamilton County will dial 911 at least twice in their lifetime.  And connecting people to emergency services like police, fire, and EMS during a pandemic is more important than ever.  911 services have seen a tremendous amount of change over the past year, but the mission has remained the same: providing  the most accurate, expeditious, and innovative communication services possible. Director Andrew Knapp discusses how to keep emergency communication running during a pandemic and why servers and bartenders tend to make the best 911 Dispatchers. 
“2020 will go down as the year of the public servant,” said Hamilton County Job and Family Services Director Tim McCartney who reflected on the tumultuous year and saw a lot of reasons to be optimistic. On this episode of Heart and Hustle, McCartney  and Frank Spataro, director of Hamilton County Human Resources, discuss the rapid organizational changes that took place in response to the COVID-19 crisis and how front line staff completely relocated without missing a beat. 
Assistant County Administrator Holly Christmann discusses the heart and hustle behind allocating Hamilton County's $142 Million in CARES Act funding. We dissect how the County prioritized that funding as well as talk to a small business owner who used a CARES Act grant to sustain her business and provide much needed services to her local community. 
Heart and Hustle in Hamilton County is a podcast about the people, places, and policies that govern our local response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Hosted by County Administrator Jeff Aluotto, Heart and Hustle discusses the issues, challenges, and opportunities Hamilton County, Ohio faces as we battle a global pandemic. On Episode 1: Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman takes a look back at the whirlwind that was his first month on the job at the helm of Hamilton County Public Health. Greg talks about how his department is rising to the daily challenges of contact tracing and messaging out about the dos and don'ts of safe behavior (spoiler: no partial credit for wearing a mask incorrectly).  
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