Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Day After

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting - even the mouse.

The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.

And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.

The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.

Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

"Now Dillard's, now Broadway's, now Penny's and Sears
Here's Levitz's and Target's and Mervyn's--all here!!

To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!"

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.

He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,


Sunday, December 24, 2006

So ya want some free stuff?

Specifically free software that is actually useful rather than that three year old stuff that software companies like to give away?  Try this site!

Giveaway of the Day

The catch is that you have to download the software that day, and install it the same day to get it activated.  It is truly free, no 60 day trials or anything.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Got a problem with JW's or Mormons?

Here’s a possible solution:

The Jehovah's Witnesses Have Finally Returned


Ladies and Gentlemen today is an exciting day! I am no longer banned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a major milestone in my life.

Today, I came home and found on my doorstep the first Watchtower to be rolled up and placed there in six years!

You see, it was about that long ago that Mrs. Erickson and I decided we would need separate bathrooms and a king size bed to make our marriage work. We were still just engaged at the time. So, we found a house with separate bathrooms and ordered a king size bed. On the day it was to be delivered, Mrs. Erickson went to work and I stayed home to study for the bar exam.

I had my coffee then took my shower. While in the shower, the front doorbell rang. Now, nobody ever used that door in the house. It was inconveniently located unless you were delivering large furniture — then it was the door you had to use. So, fearing I’d miss my new bed, I raced from the shower dripping wet, ran to the front door wrapping an oversized towel around my overly white, naked body (this is the point where I should point out that I am so white that my white socks look tan compared to me).

I hurled open the door, which caught on to my towel, which dropped my towel, which causes the very nice ladies from the local Jehovah’s Witnesses organization to flee. I’ve never seen them since.

But today, today they started leaving me Watchtowers again. Today is an exciting day.

They pretty much stay away from my house anymore, but for an entirely different reason.  Seems like they’re pretty convinced that they can’t convert the person that lives in this house.  Its a shame really, I love the looks on their faces when I ask them a few questions.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tis the season

For the end of the year blogging slowdown.  I think this year I’m going to try to not make it last until about mid-February. 

So your kids like to have their apples peeled before they eat them?  You like to have an orange or two during the day?  Take those peelings and put them in a saucepan on your stove, put some water in it and let it simmer for a while.  It makes the kitchen smell really nice, like you actually did some cooking that day!  No, its no ancient Chinese secret, but hey, as we’ve said before, perception is reality.

I need more tips that that one.  Thanks Mom!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Getting in the spirit

Yes, Christmas is just around the corner, and what’s that you say?  You’ve still not decorated the house?  Well here’s a few ideas.

10 Ways to Silly Up Your Christmas

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm tired of it

Honestly, I’m tired of the wondering who’s running the Discussion Forum.  Waiting for days to get a response to a thread question.  No stinking private messages.  I went and did it.  I created a forum for me to just blithely talk to myself as much as I want.  Beyond this blog that is.  Its an ezboard, so its laced with popups until I decide to pony up some money for preferred status.  You all are more than welcome to join up.

The Windham Soapbox


I need some cookie ideas, does anyone have any favorites that are not chocolate-chip blah blah blah cliche kitty cookies?

The Forum

Looks like the Forum has been hit again with some…

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bidding adieu to war

From Jules Crittenden via Gay Patriot

The loud chorus of Kumbaya that precedes any American military unit will alert anti-American terrorists that here are people who want to understand why they hate us. Surely this will cause these heartless killers to pause, and reconsider their ways.


Chickenus Dovus Asniniensis

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Storytime, part Deux

Someone asked the question about how did the Mrs. reply to the forlorn substitute from a few posts below.  She let her go on for a while, then told her that she was from Windham.  The woman asked her, “Don’t you fear for your life?”

She said no, not at all, she even ventures out at night without fearing for her safety too, which drew a shocked look.  To leave her car somewhere unattended, she could understand, no one really wants to do that anywhere, but its not a dangerous place to live.

I wonder if it did any good though.  It goes to prove one of my theories of life, “People are stupid.”  That woman proved it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

2006 Politics, Funny? Definitely.

Of course, politics really are funny most of the time, here’s Extreme Mortman’s list of the top 10 funny moments in 2006 politics.

Could we put together a list of the top funny moments in local politics?  Hmmm.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

So I have these kids...

What is up with so many kids being sick this year?  Mine have had laryngitis, some random cold, this new head/cough thing, and its only December.  We haven’t even had our annual Flu Turnstile start yet.  Everyone knows what that is, one kid brings it home, passes it to a brother, who gives it to Dad, then to Mom, then to the other kid, then, if you’re REALLY lucky, it goes back to the first kid and you get to have another round of it or something very similar!  Whee!

Its especially awesome when the sick kid starts on Friday and you have all kinds of things planned for the weekend.  You know, its time to set up the Christmas tree, but watch out for Wheezes over there, dont’ pick up what she’s handing out, you won’t like it, believe me. 

Then there’s the Phantom Puker who shows up in the middle of the night to do his business on your kids bed, but they don’t wake up in the process.  There’s nothing like walking into a closed room with the humidifier running and getting hit with the rosy aroma of old vomit.  I love being a parent! 

For you folks who are reading this just after supper, I apologize for that last comment.  I’m sure that just mentioning that caused you to vomit in your mouth a bit.  Again, I apologize.

As much as we joke around about having a test before allowing someone to be a parent, its things like this that need to be taught to our youth in middle and high school.  Don’t go handing out condoms to guys or anything, just have them take care of a sick kid for one night and remind them that kids are what happen if you have sex.  Its what the whole “process” was designed for.  Yeah, kids all cute and cuddly sometimes, but the other things that are hidden in the whole package are not nearly as pleasant.

Monday, December 04, 2006

You know, there are quite a few folks who come to this little blog that’s been kind of running on and off for about a year and a half now.  I get all kinds, and even allow some people from Garrettsville to come over and read.  There are times when I am totally amused by some of the comments on here. 

A few posts below this one, the one where I relate the Mrs.’ story that was told to her, someone asks the question why I would post something like that, asks when I’m leaving, and then comes up with a “minister, huh?” comment that really doesn’t make much sense in context. 

First of all, to whomever wrote that, hi!  Thanks for stopping by.  You’ve driven up my page views and doubled my Adspace revenue ($0.00 and counting!) for this month. 

So I’m sitting back here and wondering why someone would be so offended by posting something like that and realize, its because they don’t want to face reality.  That is a genuine account from someone who actually said those things.  Should we bury our collective heads in the sand and run away from it?  We can’t, if we ever expect to change the view of Windham as a whole.  That is one of the perspectives that exist out there right now, whether we like it or not. 

And yes, I’m still here.  I do still plan on moving, but obviously not quickly enough for this person.  According to them, when I leave, their worldview will become much better, Windham will magically become a nicer place to live, the lion will lay down with the lamb, drugs and alcoholism in town will evaporate, a thousand police officers will be able to be employed by the Village and Jesus himself will return.  Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until next summer sometime.  And even then, I still might just keep posting stuff about Windham.

Why?  Because I can.

To the last “minister” comment, I’ve always been amused by the thought that most people seem to have that ministers/preachers are perfect in every point.  Every church is plagued with people who are more than happy to put the person that fills the pulpit on a very tall pedestal, disregarding the fact that the person is just that.  A person.  Read your New Testament and see that Jesus wasn’t always peaches and cream in his preaching.  He called people hypocrites and vipers.  He got angry.  He used sarcasm.  He wasn’t always what most people today want in a preacher.  We have the itching ears of 2 Timothy 4.  If someone doesn’t fit into our mold, he’s obviously wrong and should be made fun of until he falls into line.  We want to be catered to and have everything given to us on a silver platter.  It doesn’t work that way, by design. 

And to top it off, the author was so proud of their comment that they signed it “anonymous”.  Nice lack of testicular fortitude there.

Yeah, I suppose that kind of set me off.  Sorry.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


So at around 12:30 or so this afternoon, the electric flickered off here at the house just after the biggest gust of wind of the day blew through.  I think I saw a few children fly by my back window, but I couldn’t open it fast enough to catch them.  I know I saw a teacher with a black dress riding a bicycle too, she was saying something about a dog I think. 

Anyway, later I took a drive to survey some of the damage around town since the fire siren went off at least five times, and I was flat out astonished at what I found.  Befuddled.  Perplexed. 

There were many residents of Windham that were without power for hours this afternoon.  The number of the unfortunate is simply unknown.  But you know who had electricity at his house?  That’s right.  C. James Moore.  I don’t know if this guy has a deal with the First Energy or has a pact with the great Electric Gods in the sky, but there’s something very wrong going on here.  How is it fair for someone who holds a position of power to hoard electricity like that and not share it with his fellow residents?  Where does he get off thinking that his power needs are greater than my own?  I think that the Village Council should take a serious look at the power lines around his home and check for blatant tampering or some device that sucks electricity covertly from the surrounding homes.

Because, c’mon, everyone thinks that the guy is the source for every bad thing in town, why not blame him for the power outage? 

Sarcasm anyone?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hello Visitor 9000!

Sorry to have missed you a couple of days ago!

Domain Name ? (Network)

IP Address 70.106.131.# (Verizon Internet Services)

ISP Verizon Internet ServicesLocation 

Continent : North America
Country : United States  (Facts)
Lat/Long : 38, -97 (Map)
Distance : 876 miles

Time of Visit Nov 27 2006 10:56:37 am

Last Page View Nov 27 2006 10:57:59 am

Visit Length 1 minute 22 seconds

Page Views 1

Visit Number 9,000

Storytime, as related by the Mrs.

Lady Windhamite had an interesting encounter at her work yesterday.  It seems that there was a substitute teacher at one of the schools in town yesterday that had her van break down on Maple Grove near Katherine Thomas Elementary.  She related to the Doctor that Lady works for that she feared for her life, because she just knew that if she stayed there she would be raped or murdered or mugged because the Projects were such a horrible area.  She refused to leave the van there because she was afraid it might have been broken into (which I can fully understand).  She also said that one of her unruly students threatened to track down where she lived and kill her.

You can’t beat press like that.  I think the last statement is a fabrication, because if someone told a teacher that, they are required to report it to the administration. 

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm glad someone checked...

Suddenly, that economy isn’t so bad.  But wait, it has more to do with media coverage than anything.

Black Friday - Same Effect, Different Media Coverage

Doing my part...

Well, for the first time, I ventured out in the early morning to hit the doorbuster Christmas sales on Black Friday yesterday.  There was a deep-seated need within my evil Conservative heart to go out and do the right thing for our evil Capitalist pig-dog economy. 

Many other people joined me in this celebration too. 

The plan was to go to Best Buy and get a camcorder and laptop computer.  The plan was not exactly realized, but I knew it ahead of time when I drove by the back entrance of the new Circuit City and the line to get in there wrapped around the front of the building, along the side of it, clear out to the road that I was on.  The line at Best Buy was even longer.  There were at least 750 people in it, probably more.  And why didn’t anyone warn me that actually getting into the building was only half the battle?  Getting out was even worse.  I did get a camcorder, but waited in line an hour and a half just to checkout.  Luckily there were some nice people there that had fought valiantly in previous similar battles before to talk me through it.  It was a test of patience, and we won the day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Unless I'm mistaken

And let's be honest, I'm very rarely mistaken, it is the third Monday of the month, which means its time, once again, for no one to show up for a Village Council meeting! There have been some seriously non-record setting numbers showing up for these things. You'd think for a bunch of folks that like to complain as much as we do, we'd like to have more cannon fodder straight from the horses' mouths. But alas, it is likely not to be.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

O H...


And as always, Michigan sucks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dead Schembechlers? Call me a fan!

So its part of the lunatic fringe?  Who cares!?!  I love it!

Check it out here.

Favorite quote:

Do you have any favorite memories from the rivalry?

"I believe we're 102-0 against the Wolverines," Biafra insisted. "If you go back and check the lying, liberal Wolverine media, they'll make you believe they won many of the games."

Biafra explained that game footage was doctored, and crop dusters were flown over the stadium to drug fans and make them believe they were seeing Michigan victories. He pointed out the vast reach of the international Wolverines conspiracy by mentioning that the founder of Walgreen's, Charles Walgreen, is a Michigan alum -- and where do you think the maize and blue got the pharmaceuticals to drug Buckeye Nation?

Go Buckeyes!

What's That?

You say you really wish you could by that special someone (read: special blogger) something for Christmas and can’t think what it would be, because he has everything?

You might want to try  Highly recommended. 

You can get shirts like these:

…and my personal favorite:

Don't Tell

Why do secret societies even exist anymore?

If you really sit down and think about it, there’s really no need.  Back in the day, there was a desire to keep artisan tradesecrets, well, secret.  There was also the old political secretkeeping that kind of still goes on today, but really, is there a need for a bunch of men to gather in the basement and lock the doors to pat themselves on the back for a job that at best is only kind of done, but not very well?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll defend the right of folks to be as secretive as needed or possible.  I don’t think that anyone needs to step in and squash these meetings.  I think even the Boy Scounts have some secret traditions and rituals, one being Pipestone.  My best friend when I was younger was a Scout and wouldn’t even tell me about it.  I told him that it was ok to come out and tell me that it was just a bunch of teenage boys running around naked humping trees, but he would never fess up.  It was a “bonding” thing for the boys.  Nonsense.  It was the same as that joke that two people have between each other that no one else gets, because they “weren’t there”. 

Maybe someone’s trying to manipulate Windham’s massive political power behind closed doors?  Oooh, there’s a huge prize to be had.  Everyone knows that if you’re after power to that degree, you start a blog.  Then automatically you have perceived credibility, even when you’re talking about things you haven’t the faintest idea concerning.  Plus, folks automatically start crediting you with awesome political powwer to shift elections and turn out mind-numbed voters that can’t think for themselves.  Then of course, the power begins to go to your head and you step away for a while to get your bearings, creating various and sundry conspiracy theories as to why you’re gone, when in actuality, you were in the Betty Ford clinic because of your addiction to the Internets.  Upon your return, the drug reasserts itself and you’re thrown into another downward spiral.

But at least this time, you can enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Phantom Images

Yeah, nothing serious going on yet.  In the meantime, here’s a neat little optical illusion.  Load the page below, stare at the black dot in the weird looking picture, then put your mouse over the picture about fifteen seconds later.  I’ve seen a couple of these pictures lately, it must be the newest fad or something.

Hi, I'm a link. Click me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

So....did you?

You paid attention during 86% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In consideration of Veterans Day.

One of the greatest sculptures in Washington D.C. is the Iwo Jima Memorial. Most pictures that are taken are from the side standing a good bit away. This one is taken from a different angle and I think brings out a different feel for the memorial. Take some time today to thank a veteran today for their service to our country. May we never lose sight of the sacrifices of this special group of citizens. They have been willing to offer their lives in service to this country and its freedoms.

Thank you all.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Why didn't anyone tell me?

I suppose that its partially my fault really, I have never really made it a habit to read the front page of the Villager.  As of the November 17th issue, the paper will be going on hiatus.  Jody Schroath has accepted a position in Maryland with the Chesapeake Bay Magazine.  As of this time, there’s no one to replace her.

Hmmm, I wonder….

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Financial Figures

In 2007, the Village will pay $42024.00 to the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, fulfilling (hopefully) a bill that has been outstanding for three years.

The Village’s responsiblity to the BWC in January of 2006 was $77,274.18.  The Village’s responsibility to the BWC in July of 2006 was $77041.64.

In October, the Village reported that it had paid down the loan from Cortland bank that was taken out a few years ago to keep the Village afloat, but has been a burden ever since.

In March of 2007, the Dangling Debt of $36345.33 will be paid off.  There will be $24000.00 going to this debt in 2007. 

For you immigrants from Garrettsville, that’s $66024 in past due payments to be made in 2007 that could be going toward a Police Officer or two.  If you want to know why the Village is in such bad shape right now, this is a big part of it.  The Village had horrible management of its finances in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. 

If you’ve given a thousand dollars to a buddy of yours and you watched him gamble it all away, will you be likely to give him more when he comes back to ask for it?

Think for a moment if all of those old bills could have been paid off on time.  We wouldn’t have been burdened with a huge loan from Corland Bank.  We could have gone without this Dangling Debt that hangs over our heads.  Perhaps we could have even caught the Worker’s Compensation problem before it became so huge.  Any cutbacks during the weak economy would have been nearly insignificant in comparison to what we’ve had to deal with for the last few years.  Business would have a better opportunity to come here because of the stability in government and protection.  With a regular police force, some of the problems in the Projects would not have been as pronounced as they have become.

Many of our problems today could have been prevented with a good accounting process.

Boy, it would be really nice to get my hands on a relatively detailed budget for the last three years.  I wonder how much it will cost me to get it? 

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I’m kinda sorta trying to look into starting a business of my own by selling on eBay for other folks.  Basically, you give me that lime green candy dish that you keep hidden in the back of the cupboard and I research and try to sell is on eBay.  Of course, being an evil Republican, I take a cut from the winning bid, but you don’t even have to think about that.  See it as doing your part in getting a thorn in your side out of town.  Unless you like me of course, then you would be doing your part to increase tax revenue for the Village. 

All jokes aside, if any of you would like to get rid of something that you don’t need on eBay, I’d be more than happy to help.

The next two years...

I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years now that the Democrat party has won control of the House of Representatives and likely will take control of the Senate in a few days. 

“Huh?” you say.  “Why would he look forward to that?”  Well let me respond.

Well, for the next two years Conservatives don’t feel the need to defend the decisions of a huge group of morons who couldn’t legislate their way out of a wet paper bag.  Many of us have been quite disappointed in the recent Congress and their decisions and the attitude that they’d taken on.  Now granted, I certainly believe that the current set-up in Washington will not be any better, but really I don’t think it will be much worse either.  Hopefully we will be able to find more people like Michael Steele, I’ve stated my support of him before.  I don’t agree with him on every point, but his attitude and charisma took him a long way in a race in which he should have gotten pounded.

Here in Ohio, DeWine loses, no surprise, he lost the support of Conservatives a long time ago, plus boneheaded moves by Taft and Bob Ney drove any chance he had into the ground.  Blackwell, who is a very nice guy in person, suffered Taft backlash and also ran a horrible campaign. 

The Village won’t be getting any tax increase anytime soon.  It didn’t even garner the numbers that is had back in February. 

One thing to notice for everyone.  When Democrats lose, there are charges of voter fraud, Americans being stupid, and threats to flee to Canada.  When Republicans lose…well, I haven’t heard anything shrill like that yet.  I don’t anticipate it either.

Your Taxes...

…will not be going up because of the Village.

For the Levy – 173 – 31.00%

Against the Levy – 385 – 69.00%

What now?  How about a detailed prospectus of the Village’s finances?

Monday, November 06, 2006


Has anyone heard that something very serious happened in town this evening?  I’m hearing word of a murder, but have no confirmation yet on that.  I’ll try to track down some more information.  I’ll update this post as more information comes in.

Update:  There was a seventeen year old man shot in the face sometime around 5:30 this evening.  There is the possibility of drugs being involved somehow.  The victim was being transported for LifeFlight, but may have been pronounced DOA.

Update 2:  It seems that it was an eighteen year old.  The bullet entered under the right eye and exited behind the left ear.  There is an ongoing question about whether the young man was murdered or accidentally shot.  There are two Windham cruisers, two Garrettsville cruisers, two unmarked cars (likely detectives), and one county and one K-9 unit at the scene.  One young man has been taken for questioning.

Update 3:  Latest word is that there were a few kids drinking in one of the apartments in 9145 Maple Grove.  One of the boys was screwing around with a gun, wasn’t paying attention, and it went off.  They had planned on blaming it on suicide, but one of the people there broke down and told the truth.

Update 4 (per comment by G.R.I.T.S.):   Fisher was charged with reckless homicide for the death of Frazier.

Final Update:  From The Record Courier

Ravennan shot in Windham Allegedly shot in head with rifle

Record-Courier staff writer

A Ravenna man was shot and killed Monday at an apartment in Windham, and another Ravenna man is in custody, charged with the shooting.

Jesse Frazier, 18, of 470 S. Prospect St., was pronounced dead Monday night at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna following the shooting.

Brandon Fisher, 20, of 531 Coolman Ave., was arrested and charged with reckless homicide, a third-degree felony, in connection with the shooting.

Fisher was arraigned Tuesday in Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna, where Judge Barbara Oswick set bond at $500,000 cash. A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday in the same courtroom.

According to Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley, a 911 call was received around 5:30 p.m. regarding a shooting at 9145 Maple Grove Road, Apt. C. The call was transferred to Windham police, who requested assistance from the Portage County Sheriff's Office, Kaley said.

Kaley said officers found Frazier had been shot in the head, and he was transported by the Windham Fire Department to Robinson Memorial. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, Kaley said.

In addition to the charge of reckless homicide, Kaley said Fisher also could be facing additional charges of tampering with evidence for allegedly attempting to hide the gun, a .22 caliber semiautomatic rifle, used in the shooting.

Both Kaley and Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the shooting.

"All I can say right now is that this individual apparently pointed the firearm at two other individuals, then pointed it at the victim, at which time the weapon discharged," Kaley said.

Kaley would not comment on whether the shooting was accidental.

The rifle was taken from the scene, along with other items Kaley said were being considered as evidence.

Kaley said the sheriff's office is working with the Windham Police Department and its acting chief, Dale Korman, during the investigation.

For the record

Since I’ve made it plain that I’m going to be moving in the middle of next year, I don’t feel that it is right for me to cast a vote on a tax in which I don’t have a part. 

But if I was, I’d keep in mind…

  • The property tax issue is designed to do directly to the Village Police Department to the tune of $100,000.
  • It costs a lot more than that to run the Department.
  • Will the allocation from the General Fund stay the same, decrease, or increase?
  • The Village has paid their responsibility to the State Worker’s Compensation system.
  • The Village is in the process of paying off their “Dangling Debt”.
  • Those payoffs net approximately $100,000 per year.
  • Regardless of this issue’s passage or rejection, the majority of that revenue should flow back toward the Police Department.
  • What will be the state of the Village’s finances upon repayment of all debt?

But, you know, that’s just me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Coolest Clock You Will Ever See

Online at least. Seriously.

Update:Doesn't it just figure, the website went down right after posting.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bias? nooooo....

To Every Season There's A Bias

Posted 10/23/2006

Public Opinion: You are v-e-r-y tired. . . . You will believe everything I say. . . . Just keep your eye on President Bush's sinking polls. . . . Pay no attention to that low jobless rate . . . or the shrinking budget deficit . . . or the record Dow.

That, it seems, is the spell that's again been cast over a strangely receptive public as the Nov. 7 election nears. Despite an economic boom that's nothing short of amazing, especially given the obstacles it's had to overcome, many Americans still think we're on the verge of recession. Or at least that's what some polls say.

Why the disconnect? We keep scratching our heads. Beyond the grumbling over gas prices and some concern about what lies ahead in the war on terror, the only thing we can come up with is the unremittingly negative coverage the economy gets in the mainstream media.

You'd think that after a while people would put two and two together — that if things are pretty good for them and most people they know, the economy itself must be pretty good, despite what they read in the papers or hear on TV.

How do we know there's a disconnect? Because we see it in our own polling. When we ask Americans about their own financial situations, they're upbeat. When we ask what they think of the economy in general, the response is much less bullish.

In our October survey, the personal finance index stood at 60.6 — well above the 50 level that separates optimism from pessimism. Our overall economic optimism index registered only 52.4.

Some might say: How about the lower-income people who supposedly are falling further and further behind, or the middle class that's forever being "squeezed"? Well, as the accompanying charts show, they too are positive about their own situations but have their doubts about the rest of us.

This "cognitive dissonance" tends to be more pronounced at election time, perhaps because that's when coverage tends to get more biased. Examples from past election cycles abound.

In 2004, when the Bush-Kerry race was heating up, we couldn't help notice all the stories about trouble in the Midwest, and especially in key manufacturing states like Ohio, where the recovery that began two years earlier was said to be a no-show.

That's funny, we thought at the time. Data showed the factory sector expanding for the 12th month in a row and employment at a 31-year high. But with Bush in office and John Kerry polling well, the media weren't about to let facts get in the way of a good woe-is-us tale.

It was just the opposite in 2000, when Bush and Dick Cheney were campaigning to replace Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and had the nerve to point out the economy seemed to be slowing. Never mind the data indicated as much, or that stocks had been signaling a downturn since they topped that spring.

Eight years earlier, when George Bush Sr. was in the White House, and Clinton, Gore and 90% of the national media wanted him out, it was all about "the economy, stupid." Though we were in the 18th month of expansion, and activity in the latest quarter was the strongest in three years, 92% of stories written about the economy in that stretch were negative.

The negative coverage dried up as soon as Clinton and Gore were elected. Only 14% of stories in November 1992 were negative vs. 90% the month before.

In 2006? Once again, there's no shortage of anecdotal evidence. Typical was the one we cited last week, when both CBS and CNN took the best piece of economic news in a long time — the plunge in gas prices — and turned it into an election-year conspiracy of George Bush and Big Oil.

For fresh empirical evidence, the Business & Media Institute, admittedly a right-leaning group that audits coverage of the free enterprise system, just released a study of how the TV networks covered what was a strong economy in the 12 months ended in July. Among its findings:

• More than twice as many stories and briefs focused on negative aspects of the economy (62%) vs. positive (31%). "News broadcasts dwelled on one prospective cataclysm after another, yet each time the economy continued unfazed," BMI said.

• Bad news was stressed on all three networks (CBS, NBC and ABC) and appeared in full-length stories twice as often as in shorter items.

• Ordinary people and businessmen whom reporters used to underscore negative stories outnumbered those telling positive stories by a 3-to-1 ratio.

• CBS' coverage was easily the most slanted. More than 80% of its full-length stories on its "Evening News" delivered a negative view of the economy.

• Generally speaking, "the U.S. economy has been depicted as one major event away from collapse on all three evening news shows."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Its been a long time coming...

Well, I made the announcement this morning during worship services, so I think its only right to make it here also.  Come next July or August, I will be a Windhamite no longer.  Its time to move back home and take care of things around the farm.  This is a move that I’ve been considering since my Dad passed away in late 2004. 

I’ve never really explained the feelings that I have attached to the farm down in Holmes County.  Most folks know I grew up in Walnut Creek surrounded by the largest settlement of Amish in the world.  It has been an endless conversation starter time and time again.  You’ll remember how torn I was when it came to the Bombers game against my alma mater Hiland Hawks in basketball last year.  The farm that my family owns is on the other side of the county.  My grandparents lived there for years, Dad and Mom moved in a few years before discovering Dad’s cancer, and I hope to live there for a good long while.  It was a place that I spent weeks of each summer as a kid playing, scouting in the woods, swimming in the pond, building dams in the creek, and so many other things that could possibly get me in trouble if Grandpa was still around.  He never did find half of his tools thanks to my cousin and I. 

There’s so much more involved in the move that I’m at a loss to really explain it.  I’ve come back into contact with two people that I really care about, but haven’t talked to in years.  That was just very weird and unexpected, but I’m really happy that it did.  They remind me of home.  Mom has been talking about us moving down for over a year.  My sister has been pestering me off and on.  Its something that I’ve always wanted.

So I think now is the time.

There’s a lot to button up before I leave.  The kids need to finish the school year, I don’t like the thought of pulling them out in the middle of their studies.  Plus, I’m going to have to get used to sending them to a school in the West Holmes School District.  Sorry Brandy and April, that’s just never going to be quite right.  Ugh…Knights.  There are a few things at church that I’d like to finish, but I have little control over a lot of things.  I’d love to stick around here until the next election cycle in 2008, I think its going to be very interesting.  Don’t worry though, if anything strikes my fancy in the next few months, I’ll say something.  We do have a tax issue to be voting upon. 

Overall, I just want to say that I’ve enjoyed living here.  Windham is in no way an idyllic town or anything, but the people here are real, and many truly care for the overall well-being of people, even though we don’t always agree what that well-being specifically is.  I’ll…kinda…sorta…miss it ‘round here. 

But its still at least 8–9 months away.

If anyone ever wants to contact me directly, my email address is or call at 330–984–3053. Whoohoo!  Spam!  Whee!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's The Economy, Even If The Media Doesn't Report It

Blatantly stolen from Captain’s Quarters

Bill Clinton got elected on the James Carville slogan, "It's the economy, stupid." Fourteen years later, it's the media playing stupid, as a roaring economy has been treated with more secrecy than national-security programs by newspapers and television news channels. Michael Barone points out the hypocrisy:

The Labor Department Friday announced that the number of jobs increased between April 2005 and March 2006 not by 5.8 million but by 6.6 million. As an editorial in the Wall Street Journal notes, "That's a lot more than a rounding error, more than the entire number of workers in the state of New Hampshire. What's going on here?" The most plausible explanation, advanced by the Journal and by the Hudson Institute's Diana Furchgott-Roth in the New York Sun, is that lots more jobs are being created by small businesses and individuals going into business for themselves than government statisticians can keep track of. Newspaper reports on the number of jobs usually focus on the Labor Department's business establishment survey. But over the past few years, the Labor Department's household survey has consistently shown more job growth than the business establishment survey. The likely explanation: The business establishment survey misses jobs created by new businesses. Our government statistical agencies do an excellent job. But statistics designed to measure the economy of yesterday have a hard time reflecting the economy of tomorrow.

The federal budget deficit has been cut in half in three years, three years faster than George W. Bush called for. Why? Tax receipts were up 5.5 percent in FY 2004, 14.5 percent in FY 2005, and 11.7 percent in FY 2006. That's up 34.9 percent in three years. And that's after the 2003 tax cuts. When you cut taxes, you get more economic activity, and when you get more economic activity, the government with a tax system that is still decidedly progressive gets more revenue.

The bottom line: The private-sector economy is much more robust and creative than mainstream media would have you believe.

What? Your newspaper hasn't told you about the massive addition of jobs since the Bush tax cuts? Perhaps they've mentioned the new historical highs for the Dow Jones index. No? How about that falling deficit, driven by a huge boost in tax revenues caused by record employment and increased profits (and therefore taxes) in the private sector? Page C-17, you say?

What a shock in a midterm election season!

When the last labor report came out, many people pointed to the small job growth as a point of criticism for the Bush administration. However, with unemployment at 4.6%, we're approaching the point where there aren't many left to employ. At a certain point, the unemployment figure reflects transitional status and not joblessness of any significant length. As Barone notes, it also might reflect the effect of new investment in small businesses, which do not report employment as rapidly as corporations and which created the 800,000 shortfall in the new-job count the BLS just corrected.

If critics want to see more jobs get created, then they should promote the freeing of capital for investment into the economy. Raising taxes will have the opposite effect, something George H. W. Bush found out the hard way in 1990.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tax Cuts for the Poor

Who reads USA Today anymore?  Well, maybe we should have read this.

Income tax cuts benefit all payers

Americans of every income have benefited from a drop in federal income tax rates as Bush administration tax cuts enacted since 2000 took effect, an independent analysis of newly released IRS data shows.

But those earning $75,000 to $500,000 are shouldering a larger share of total taxes paid as millions more of them earn higher incomes and get hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax, the analysis also found.

The review by the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research group that favors low taxes, provides one of the first detailed looks at the impact of federal tax changes phased in between 2000 and 2004.

Alluding to the political debate that often surrounds tax issues, Gerald Prante, a Tax Foundation economist, said, "It is true that in dollar amounts the rich have gained the most. But everybody's tax rates have fallen."

The analysis showed, for example, that a taxpayer who earned $35,000 in 2000 would have paid 8.54% of that income — $2,989 after credits — in federal taxes. In 2004, federal taxes would have accounted for 5.12% of that taxpayer's annual income, or $1,792. That represents a 40% decrease in tax burden.

At the higher end of the income brackets, a $1.75 million earner would have paid $513,625 in 2000 federal taxes, when the rate for that earning bracket was 29.35%. Four years later, when the rate dropped to 25%, that earner would have paid $437,500. That represents a 14.8% cut in tax burden, the analysis shows.

Millions of upper-middle and moderately high-income earners also benefited from tax rate cuts. But the analysis shows their savings was limited by the Alternative Minimum Tax, which eliminates some deductions and credits they could otherwise claim on federal tax returns. The levy particularly hits those whose high state and local taxes become ineligible for federal tax deductions.

For instance, taxpayers who earned between $100,000 and $200,000 in 2004 paid 22.5% of all federal taxes, up from 19.4% four years earlier. Those who earned between $200,000 and $500,000 in 2004 paid 17.9% of all federal taxes, up from 15.4% in 2000, the analysis showed.

Prante said the federal government "cut ordinary income tax rates but left AMT alone. So the middle range (of taxpayers) ended up getting less of a reduction."

The Tax Foundation also found that:

Millions of lower-income Americans — those earning $25,000 annually or less — have been taken off the federal tax rolls. In 2000, roughly 29 million tax returns had no federal tax owed. Four years later, the number rose to about 43 million returns.

The increase resulted from the doubling of the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000, as well as the Earned Income Tax Credit, a federal benefit program for low-income workers.

• Income for the highest-earning Americans dropped sharply from 2000 to 2002, following the end of the bull stock market of the late 1990s, then grew rapidly from 2002 to 2004 as the economy recovered.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Daniel Chesterfield

Perhaps you’ve seen this on television:


If you enjoyed it, you’ll love the original:


Monday, September 18, 2006

Humor to deter the wrath from the post below.

Let’s lighten the mood around here before the ladies decide to declare fatwa on me because of the blatantly scientific post below.  Or was that supposed to be sexist?

The Pregnancy Tester

Finally, Proof!

We always knew it, now the science backs it up!  Sorry ladies. 

Men are more intelligent than women, claims new study

C’mon, you know it makes a great Monday morning headline.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Have you ever...

I suppose that we all do it every once in a while.  We all play the “what if?” game.  What if I’d have left the house three minutes earlier, would I have been part of that automobile accident right now?  What if the Indians had not let Bob Howry go during last off-season, would the team be contending for a shot for the playoffs right now?  What if I had not had those hot wings last night, would my tail end not feel unnatural?

Ok, that last one is a bit extreme, but you get the idea I think.

All of these things are decisions.  Some are bigger than others, some are just off the wall, but each one becomes part of the fabric of our lives.  One thing that I’ve come to understand is that each one of these decisions, whether bad ones or brilliant, make us exactly who we are today.  Sometimes we screw up royally and make a horrible decision, many times we make the right ones. 

Luckily every once in a while we get a chance to make one right, or at least as close to right as we can.  I hope we all get the opportunity one of these days.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A nice quote

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. -Groucho Marx

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day

May you all have a nice weekend.  Labor Day doesn’t make much sense to me though.  Don’t really know why.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Welfare to Work

And old acquaintance of mine (in internet years) has something that I think might be valuable to read when we consider the Projects in town here.

Welfare to work - Ten years later…again

He references two articles, the first his own, and the second, an interview with Georgia’s Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond

And here’s a link to the front page of his blog, Drifting Through the Grift


Thursday, August 24, 2006

The New View

Well, if you’ve picked up a Villager, like we all do and rapidly search for anything about Windham, because we’re navel-gazers like that, you’ve seen that after eight tries at passing an income tax increase, the Council has changed gears.

Like some of us *ahem* have been saying for quite a while.

Personally, I believe that if the Council could guarantee that every penny of the Income Tax increase would go directly to the Police Department, it would pass. The problem is that as it is now, the increase would go directly into the General Fund which is used for every other program in the Village save Water/Sewer business (unless there’s a shortfall there, which is another story entirely). Some in the Village have a mistrust in the Council, and consequently refuse to hand over their money to the General Fund without any kind of definite direction as to the use of the increased revenue. Each time that the issue has arisen, the drumbeat from Council’s direction is “It will go to the Police Department, trust us.” – Source

How hard would it be to split off the Police Department from the General Fund? What would be involved in setting it up after the same fashion as the Water/Sewer Department? Would that open up new avenues of increasing the revenue? That’s the type of creative thinking we’re looking for.  Same source as above

So now we have proposed a 4.something mill property tax levy.  This solves a lot of concerns, but raises a couple of others which we will be looking at over the next few months.  Hopefully we can have a clear picture of the tax landscape before the voting takes place in November.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Taste of what I think is funny

Admit it, you’re either laughing hysterically or are really scared right now.

Via b3ta stuff

A Week of Good Thoughts

Suppose we start this very day To live our lives in a different way;
Suppose we vowed and constantly tried To help those in trouble on life’s wayside;

If we showed by our deeds a hint of His love

Wouldn’t earth be a bit more like heaven above?

ON MONDAY: Look for a smile today and return it with one of your own.
Give someone faith and hope, it’s such a beautiful loan.
ON TUESDAY: Gather a thought that’s kind, one that’s sincere and deep.
Be sure to pass it along for such are too precious to keep.
ON WEDNESDAY: Forget yesterday’s sorrows, mistakes, sadness, and pain.
Lift your heart with hope as flowers to sun and rain.
ON THURSDAY: Offer a word of comfort and prayer to help someone in need.
A little thoughtful gift, some flowers, or a smile makes us all rich indeed.
ON FRIDAY: You shall not pass this way again, so do any good you can do.
Don’t put it off till tomorrow or the chance may be lost for you.
ON SATURDAY: Today will soon be a memory so don’t let it come to an end,
without a smile, without a song, or just a word from a friend.
ON SUNDAY: Don’t let worry and care depress you, or brush your joy away.
But arise and give thanks to God above, for His love and another “Blest Day.”

“...let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his
own things, but every man also on the things of others”
(Phil 2:3, 4).


Monday, August 21, 2006

Aww crud.

Tonight was the Village Council meeting and I completely forgot about it.  Sure, things have been quite busy around the house and all, but that’s really no excuse.  It just slipped my mind.

Anyway, there are a couple of issues that continue to nag at my mind.

1.  Has anyone heard anything about that whole Fire Department Agreement that was such a vitally important issue last November lately?  Why is it suddenly of little importance?  Was it being overemphasized or is this a resolved issue?

2.  Hey look, the schools around here seem to be improving and no one wants to talk about it.  I think its a great thing that we’ve more than doubled our scoring from last year.  Is it the pinnacle of scholastic achievement?  Not by a long shot yet, but considering the multitude of factors outside the schools that enter into the problem, any turnaround is a good one.

3.  The Police Department in town is doing very well for being vastly underfunded.  In my jaunts around town, a cruiser is regularly seen driving here or there.  Visibility is an important piece of the puzzle, and I’m glad to see that being continued.

4.  The tax issue that continues to be raised and continues to be voted down.  I commented to a member of council prior to the election that if it doesn’t pass at this time, there has to be something going on other than simply not wanting to raise taxes.  I believe that a clear case was made by the Villager in the days prior to the election that would have sufficed to sway enough voters to pass the issue.  The problem is that the issue did not pass.  My conclusion is that there is another reason why the tax isn’t passing rather than the realization of need.  Of course, that’s pretty much the same conclusion that was stated three election cycles ago, but pishposh.

5.  I’m beginning to think that the future of this town does not lie with attracting new business.  In our area, one of the greatest “growth industries” is construction.  Specifically high-end housing construction.  I know its an impossibility but wouldn’t it be great to have the Council claim eminent domain over Maple Grove parkway and transfer ownership to some high falutin’ construction outfit?  Let’s put some $200,000 homes right in the middle of Windham rather than what’s there now.  Sell the lots for $50,000 a piece like they’re doing in Garrettsville right now.  The draw would be a quiet neighborhood on an out-of-the-way road basically in the middle of nowhere.  What a great place to get away from mundane business life?  Come to Windham!

Ahh to dream. 

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Before We Judge Others

Heavenly Father,

Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry, and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity.

Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, showing patience, empathy, and love.

“All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them . . . ” —Matthew 7:12


Monday, August 07, 2006


Isn’t it nice to know that us little folks aren’t the only one’s to make mistakes?  The big guys do it to.  Sadly, this is during a war, when reporters are supposed to be held to a higher degree of trust.

Reuters calls the doctor, take 2


Extreme Makeover - Beirut Edition


Friday, August 04, 2006

*cough cough*


Number one in the preseason poll

Yeah, I know it doesn’t mean much, but hey, its still a number one ranking. 

On the lighter side...

Waitress gets own ID when carding patron

WESTLAKE, Ohio - A bar waitress checking to see if a woman was legally old enough to drink was handed her own stolen driver's license, which was reported missing weeks earlier, police said.

"The odds of this waitress recovering her own license defy calculation," police Capt. Guy Turner said Monday.

Maria Bergan, 23, of Lakewood, was charged Sunday night with identity theft and receiving stolen property. She was arrested at her home in suburban Cleveland and was jailed in Westlake to await a court appearance.

The 22-year-old waitress, whose name was not released, called police last week and said she had been handed her own stolen driver's license by a woman trying to prove she was 21. The woman, who became suspicious of the delay as the waitress went to call police, fled the Moosehead Saloon, but her companion provided her name.

The waitress said she had lost her wallet July 9 at a bar in Lakewood.

The victim also had a credit card stolen. The stolen card has been used to make $1,000 in purchases, Turner said.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Twice in five days

Well, the lovely little vista most of us call home has made the front page of the Courier twice in the last couple of days.  Under other circumstances, we’d be proud.  When does football season start again?  Tell me the volleyball team is expected to be good this year.  I’ll take anything else at this point.

First off, I think its a good thing that The Honorable C. James MooreTM went to the Commissioners to try and get some help in the Maple Grove/projects/huge problem that we have in town.  We need all the help we can get in this area.  Even with a fully staffed police department like we had a couple of years ago, we would still have to depend upon mutual aid and county assistance.  You don’t disperse a 70 person crowd with four or five officers. 

Of course, the paper was quick to point out our financial difficulties of late and use them as a reason that some of these things are taking place.  The Mayor was even quoted as saying that we only have one full-time officer on patrol at a time. 

“Hi guys, wanna do some badness type things tonight?”

“Yeah man, lets get in a scirmish, yea, even a throwdown.”

“Where should we go?”

“Hey, I hear that Windham place only has one cop around, lets take our bad selves over there.”

Yeah, not necessarily the best quote to have in the headline article of the local paper.  Of course, I doubt all that many folks who do the badness-type things really read the Record-Courier, so no foul is going to be called right now.

Anyway, even with the recent financial problems, this is not some new problem that’s only cropped up since we had to reduce police hours.  I recall reading a Landlord’s Meeting record from 1994 that discussed the issue of having private security to patrol the area and give aid to the local police.  Once again, that’s going to be discussed.  Let’s hand it to a committee, because committees fix things.  Sure they do.  Don’t wait on the Owners to do al that much except for talking about it, because they’d be taking more money out of their pockets. 

One thing that would be valuable for the Owners to do is a *real* background check.  Not the mandated bare minimum “hey, no felonies, right?” check, but a serious looking into.  You can get online and find out just about anything you want to these days.  I’ve seriously thought about doing it, but then realized how much that would cost.  Yeah, it ain’t cheap.  It would be able to weed out more of these morons that keep getting shipped to us. 

*note – saying morons does not necessarily imply that every person living there is a moron – just that the ratio in the Maple Grove/Project/Problem Area is higher than in most places*

Then came today’s (August 1) paper.  Whee.  There’s another tax issue on the ballot.  Yeah.  I do have to admit though, its about time that they address the  issues that we’ve been crying out about since last October.  Replacing officers.  But…

Enh, that’s enough for now.  Catch you later.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kinda Interesting

I wonder how Windham would compare?  Maybe I’ll have to track down county by county rates somehow.

Unemployment Rates by State

Its a comparison of the average 80’s rate, the average 90’s rate, and the current rate.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Its on the ballot

Interesting, we get to vote on raising the minimum wage in November.  Not sure yet how things will go, but this view isn’t mentioned so much.  From Marginal Revolution

How to Unemploy Immigrants

In a shocking op-ed in the NYTimes two well known liberals, Michael Dukakis and Daniel Mitchell (a former price-control Czar), acknowledge that the minimum wage creates unemployment.  Nevertheless, they are in favor of raising the minimum wage.  Why?  Because it will create even more unemployment among immigrants than among natives.

The mean-spirited, Machiavellian nature of their op-ed is chilling but I will give Dukakis and Mitchell this, their logic is impeccable.  The minimum wage creates unemployment among the low-skilled.  As a result, the minimum wage tends to create disproportionate unemployment among teenagers and young African Americans.

Similarly, since many immigrants have lower-skills than natives, Dukakis and Mitchell are correct that a well-enforced minimum wage will put immigrants out of work reducing the pull of the American economy to workers in foreign countries.

I wonder if the NYTimes would have printed an op-ed that advocated minimum wages as a way of creating unemployment among African Americans and raising white wages?

(Long-time readers will know that the original proponents of the minimum wage had in mind exactly that so Dukakis and Mitchell are true progressives.)

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 85% Conservative, 15% Liberal
Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Friday, July 21, 2006

I hear...

…that it would be an excellent night to stay out of the projects.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Advice needed:

So what do you tell your six year old daughter in this situation?

Her:  Mommy, I’m scared because I had a bad dream and I can’t forget it.

Mommy:  What was your dream honey?

Her:  I forgot.

And how do you tell her anything without laughing?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Thursday, July 13, 2006

There's gotta be a way

How can we get in on the bidding process? 

Alternative fuel business may be area’s future

Monroe Energy LLC of Greenford is looking at four Mahoning Valley sites for an ethanol/bio-diesel plant that could start turning corn and soy into fuel within two to three years. One site is in Lordstown. This one plant, though itself will only employ about 40 to 100 workers, has the potential to spawn 2,000 support jobs. And there is demand for many, many more such plants.

Hopefully, Lordstown’s recent income tax increase will not scare away the Monroe plant. Lordstown already failed to capitalize on The Andersons Inc., which owns a fertilizer distribution business on Muth Road. The company is building its second ethanol plant near its hometown in northwest Ohio. Ethanol helped drive The Andersons Inc. stock from $8 a share in 2001 to $91 a share in March.

It is imperative that Ohio, and Trumbull County in particular, prevent Wisconsin, western states and others from taking the lead. Mahoning Valley leaders should consider an alternative fuels summit to capitalize on the state’s close gubernatorial race to solicit support from Columbus. And Ohio leaders should capitalize on this being a battleground state in the next presidential election to solicit federal help.

This window of opportunity will be small. We can wallow in sorrow over Delphi and GM. Or we can rise to the challenge, battle for the next economic trove, and resume our position as a world leader.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You get to keep more of your money

That’s what the term “tax cut” really means.  Not, “they’re giving us our money back” or “they should spend it somewhere else”.  We give our money to the government, when they don’t use it all, they should return it, not find new ways to spend it.

State to accelerate income tax cuts

Rather than transferring money from an expected budget surplus to the state's Rainy Day Fund, Ohio is returning money to residents by speeding up income tax cuts.

Beginning Oct. 1, the Ohio Department of Taxation will cut personal income tax rates by 8.4 percent, double the annual amount called for in the tax reform package instituted last July.

The cut would be in addition to a 4.2 percent cut in tax rates in January. Ohio's tax reform package called for a 21 percent income tax cut phased in over five years.

According to a release from Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, the 8.4 percent cut would average about $390 per Ohioan.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

The words that declared our independence over two hundred years ago remain as relevant today as ever.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The Declaration of Independence

Saturday, June 10, 2006

If you haven't heard it yet...

You must not live in town…

15 charged in Windham vandalism 5 adults, 10 juveniles allegedly trashed park

Maybe we’ve got 15 “volunteers” to blacktop Center Street.  By hand.  I’m sure the Water Department can find some really nice jobs for these cretins.  Nothing like a good bit of sludge to remind people that being stupid has consequences.

I think some of the parents need a good thrashing too.

Edit to add: I removed the linkage, as it seems to change with each new day. One more thing to complain about with the Record Courier I guess.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Or “The Continuing Theme”.  Taken from the Washington Post:

And Now For Some Good News

By now Americans know the litany: The nation is engaged in a difficult and costly war in Iraq; Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon; gas prices are high; the costs of reconstructing the Gulf Coast region are huge; illegal immigration is a major problem -- and more.

These issues are real and pressing. But they aren't the whole story -- and they ought not color the lens through which we see all other events. We hear a great deal about the problems we face. We hear hardly anything about the encouraging developments. Off-key as it may sound in the current environment, a strong case can be made that in a number of areas there are positive trends and considerable progress. Perhaps the place to begin is with an empirical assessment of where we are.

Read it all.

Monday, June 05, 2006

History Lesson

President Bush gave a very interesting commencement address to the newest class of West Point.  Michael Barone comments upon it:

Bush Knows His History

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remember "Reform Ohio Now"?

I recall seeing some signs supporting the amendment in the Village back in November.  I’m sure that those folks aren’t very happy with their own party right now.

Reform won’t wait from the Columbus Dispatch

“After House leaders, who needed three-fifths approval to place a redistricting amendment on the statewide November ballot, lost the first vote, they cleverly repackaged the bill to mirror a Democratic reform plan drawn up last year. And Democrats proceeded to vote down their own idea.

On this Memorial Day...

A different view of our present struggle:

Looking Back at Iraq

There may be a lot to regret about the past policy of the United States in the Middle East…

Friday, May 26, 2006

Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Yeah, we rock.  Really we do!  No seriously!  Why are you laughing?

Rockin' all night long!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Maybe Ohio has finally decided to get on the bandwagon

Some good economic news from Ohio.

Ohio among tops for job growth

Ohio's job growth in April outpaced that of all but two other states, while the nation's overall jobless rate fell compared with a year ago, according to federal statistics released Friday.

Ohio added 18,500 jobs in April, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. That brought Ohio's total number of jobs to 5.46 million in April, compared with 5.44 million in March.

April's largest job growth was in Illinois, with 23,100 jobs added, and in Georgia with 19,500. Ohio outpaced Michigan, where 16,600 jobs were added, and Minnesota with 15,800, according to bureau statistics.

North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and California experienced the largest job losses for April.

National unemployment dipped to 4.7 percent, compared with 5.1 percent in April 2005.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Is it just me?

If there’s work going on at the Center Street/Maple Grove intersection, shouldn’t there be a “Road Closed” sign beside KT’s driveway?  It is the “point of no return” for folks driving down the road in that direction, and for parents who perhaps weren’t paying all that much attention, it would save some hassle without having to turn around.

Of course, its most likely just me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

So there was this Council Meeting tonight

And there was huge community interest in it.  I was totally astonished to see a whopping five people turn out.  One of those folks even got to be on Council!  Not a bad deal if you ask me.

It wasn’t me if you were wondering.

Anyway, as Council Meetings go, it was rather dull overall.  Sorry folks, it really was a toss up between watching paint dry and taking notes.  Anyway, a brief review.

Council President Scott Garrett commended the Edwards’ for coordinating the Clean Up Day.  It does look pretty nice and they did a lot of work pulling this all together.

Sonya Edwards was appointed to the open Council position.

Mayor Jim Moore compared the last three attempts at passing the Income Tax issue.  He pointed out that in November it had 30% support, in February it had 24% support, and in May it received 36% support.

The Safety Committee is looking into any federal grants to help with financing the Police Department.  Rachel Barrett will be the new chair for this committee and it will meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:15 pm after the Finance Committee’s meeting at 6:30.

The Financial Committee discussed issues with improperly depositing USDA money into the General Fund and conforming to the advice of the Auditor.  A Worker’s Compensation payment is to be made for the months of April and May to the tune of $28,606.00.  Marian also pointed out that the interest on the sustained debt is compounding continually.

Two ordinances were passed as Emergency measures.  They are as follows:

Ordinance No. O-2006–13  Declaring it necessary in order to continue to provide services in the Village of Windham to increase the Village Income Tax by .5% effective January 1, 2007, declaring an Emergency and repealing all prior inconsistent ordinances.

Ordinance No. O-2006–14 Declaring it necessary to place a .5% General Income Tax increase on the ballot for the August 8, 2006 Special Election said increase to be effective January 1, 2007 and notifying the Portage County Board of Elections to cause notice of the election, and declaring an Emergency and repealing all prior inconsistent ordinances.

The Committee also pointed out that there has been a request made by the Portage County Commissioners to purchase a 12 x 12 granite brick for the Veterans Memorial that will be in the front lawn of the County Courthouse.  It will be a Level III donation at the cost of $1,000.00.  The Council tabled the issue until next meeting.

The Service Committee presented an ordinance pertaining to the continuing issues with the water meters in the Village.  Presented was this ordinance, which was passed unanimously by Council:

Ordinance No. O-2006–11 Enacting new Section 927.06 of the Codified Ordinance of the Village of Windham to assess a monthly fee for water meter rentals and to create a fund for meter repair, replacements, and maintenance to be effective July 1, 2006 declaring an Emergency and repealing all prior inconsistent ordinances.

Through this ordinance, the Village Water Department will be able to purchase new water meters from a fund set up specifically for that purpose.  A $5.00 fee will be assessed per meter beginning in July, 2006.

The committee also presented issues raised by Kevin Knight.  Some fences in the Village are in need of repair which is estimated to cost $5,600.00; a valve on the water tank needs replaced which will cost $7,000.00; and some of the storm sewers in the Village are in need of maintenance.

The Public Housing Committee recommended that their Ordinance be tabled until the next meeting:

Ordinance O-2006–15 Amending Section 1341.02 (49) of the codified Ordinance of the Village of Windham to include single family rental units to the housing code to make them subject to inspections and licensing fees repealing all prior other inconsistent ordinances and declaring an emergency.

The Ordinance is intended to tighten up on licensing and enforcement of such in the Village.  There was also discussion about the method of inspections.  The housing inspector has not been filling out reports correctly and has not responded to a request made by the Mayor two weeks ago.

The Planning and Zoning Committee put this ordinance before Council, which was passed unanimously:

Ordinance O-2006–12 Authorizing a request to the Ohio Board of Building Standards to certify the Village of Windham for enforcement of the Residential Code of Ohio with the condition that the Portage County Residential Building Department exercise enforcement authority and accept and approve plans and specifications, and make inspections, and authorizing an agreement for such enforcement between the Village of Windham and Portage County Residential Building Department declaring an emergency.

The ordinance is a formality to make the PCRBD officially the building code inspectors.

In Guest Recognition, Robert Edwards thanked the Village and Council members individually for their help during the Clean-Up Day.

The Council went into Executive session twice during the meeting, first to discuss the selection of the new Council member and second to discuss legal and police personnel issues.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

To the women of the world who have taken on the most underappreciated job in the history of the planet:

Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by two women in my life who have been excellent examples of motherhood.  First, my own mother who raised me to be the charming chap that I am today.  Without her example of patience and persistence, my perspective (alliteration!) would be totally different.  She showed me what love truly means and can do within a person, and how that love interacts with another person who loved her back, even though things may not always be perfect.  Everyone should be able to say that they love their mother, and have the love of their mother to show to others.  I’m lucky enough to be able to say the same.

My wife is the second dear mother in my life.  She has now raised three excellent children and shown them the same type of love that my own mother showed to me.  I’ve witnessed the struggles of young motherhood and how she has adapted to the changes in life, personality, and the simple differences between each of the kids.  She has shown how to be flexible, yet tenderly remaining resolute in the things which will better the kids’ lives.

To both of the mothers in my life, I love you dearly and couldn’t imagine life without you.

To everyone that is a mother, may the kind thoughts offered you this day always be a reminder of how truly important you are in so many lives.  You are the guides to the next generation and that is a tremendous responsibility.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Some random pictures from Saturday

Let’s hope we get these sized correctly. 

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Traffic has spiked after the election.  What do you folks want?  A nasty repudiation?  Spit and vinegar?  Clever snark? 

If I had it in me, I’d do it.  I’m thinking more along the lines of submitting a resume to Council for the soon-to-be resigned seat.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The outcome of the Income Tax vote

 FOR THE INCOME TAX – 131 – 36.09%

AGAINST INCOME TAX – 232 – 63.91%

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Got five minutes to burn?

Did you love to play Mario Brothers on the old Nintendo? Then check this out.

Mario Live!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I hear that a Village Council seat is being resigned.  Who could fill that seat?  Hmmm……

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Resignation Letter of Ms. Shelley Craine

The title pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

April 8, 2006

Village of Windham
9621 East Center Street
Windham, OH  44288
To Mayor Jim Moore, Council President Scott Garrett, Council members Rachel Barrett, Jason DeBolt, Robert Donham, Marian Garrett, Scott Garrett, Jodi Minotti, and to the residents of the Village of Windham:
It has been my privilege to serve as Village Fiscal Officer for the past 16 months.  I want to say thank you for the opportunity that you have given me.  After thoughtful consideration, I am submitting my resignation effective Friday, April 21, 2006.
I would like the residents of the Village of Windham and the Village Council members to know that when I accepted this position, I understood completely that this job is an “Executive position” which is defined as Exempt from Overtime according to Federal Wage and Hour Laws and beyond my normal and reasonable salaried wage and the one (1) week of vacation time that I am due, I will not under any circumstance seek additional compensation for hours worked above my normal 40 hour work week from the Village of Windham.  There will also not be any attempt on my part to seek any compensation from the State of Ohio Office of Job and Family Services Unemployment Division.  In resigning this position, I acknowledge that I forfeit all rights to those options.
I also acknowledge that all work completed during my tenure belongs to the Village of Windham and will be willingly surrendered and all records will be left on the premises for future reference.  Upon my last day of work, I will voluntarily surrender all keys, passwords, safe combination, bank signature rights, all files, records, official copies of Council minutes, official copies of Ordinances & Resolutions, Village cell phone, email addresses and rolodex phone files, cash balances, financial records, UAN procedures and training manuals, LGS Conference Manuals, all Village owned computer equipment and furniture and computer backup CDs and floppy disks.
To the best of my ability, I will leave the 2005 and 2006 Financial and Clerical records in a condition that will be conducive to the upcoming Audit.
In addition, I would request that Marian Garrett contact the State Auditor’s office to inquire concerning any reporting requirements that may exist as a result of my resignation.
I understand the confidential nature of the financial work I have completed for the Village and will not make any further public statements, nor speak in any capacity on behalf of the Village.
This will include speaking to any member of the press in regards to the financial affairs or any other matter regarding the Village of Windham.
Thank you and my best wishes to you all.
May God Bless the Village of Windham.
Shelley K. Craine