West Carrollton Council member Democrat Patrick Merris has just expressed interest in running vs. Republican Niraj Antani for the seat vacated by Terry Blair in Ohio 42. Leonard Johnson, who was the Dem candidate has turned in a letter saying he’s withdrawing.

If Merris wins, there will be a vacancy on the West Carrolton council. Merris has been a commenter on this site.

Term Expires: 12/31/17

Education: Sinclair Community College, Associate’s Applied Sciences Paralegal Studies. Professional Accomplishments: Navy and Army Veteran, Citizens Police Academy Graduate 2011, Parks and Recreation Board, West Carrollton Historical Society Member & Trustee. Statement to citizens: I have been and continue to be an aggressive advocate for all residents and businesses in West Carrollton. My belief is ‘Progress Through Cooperation and Transparency for West Carrollton.’ I need constructive input from everyone to be able to serve to the best of my ability.

via Patrick Merris.

While Merris is newly elected, Antani is seen as beatable, whereas Blair was not.

Expect money to flow into this race, and possibly other candidates now that Johnson has withdrawn. A meeting of the party next week will finalize this change of candidates.

The Republican party had to go through 4 rounds of voting to select Antani. It will be interesting how much money the parties choose to throw into this last-minute street fight.

Dayton Daily News cutting about SGM Woodall Murder

Gone, but never forgotten. SGM Woodall, US Army Special Forces

In today’s Dayton Daily news, the war of words continues about Mayor Whaley’s quest for the spotlight and Mike Turner’s subliminal inferiority complex. It’s July 29th and I’m the only one who remembers every year that a real American hero was gunned down in his home, and that the spineless murderers are still running the streets of Dayton- free.

The headline- which peaks out above my monitor “Veteran of 3 wars, 85, dies in home invasion” is still there- reminding me that there has been no justice for Sgt. Major North E. Woohall. Every year I write a post. Every year I hope for justice.

You don’t hear updates on the unsolved murders in this city at every City Commission meeting from our police chief- because that might remind people that while “economic development” takes millions of your tax money and hands it over to developers and large companies, we can’t hire enough detectives to solve this crime. And while every year I write a post, hoping the day comes when I can take that yellowed piece of newsprint off my wall- I could be adding more just like it.

Photo of the tomb stone of Oscar Keithly Beason, murdered in Dayton Ohio

Another unsolved murder of a veteran in Dayton Ohio

My friend Keith Beason, who is one of the partners at Quincy’s Fish on West Third Street- has to go to bed every night, without knowing who killed his father. Oscar Keithly Beason was another veteran of WWII- killed at 95 in Dayton Ohio. Keith posts things like this on his Facebook wall:

If anyone has any information regarding the murder of Oscar Keithey Beason on or around February 16, 2013 please contact Det. Darrell Smith or Det. David House with the Dayton Police Homicide Department at: (937)333-1166 or (937)333-COPS

The senseless deaths of two senior citizens who served our country is more important than the plight of Honduran children to the people of Dayton Ohio. Our senior citizens deserve the right to feel safe in their homes. Our community deserves to be free of fear. For all the horrible things that may happen to those children in Honduras, our first priority is that our own children, even if they are grown adults, shouldn’t have to go to sleep each night, wondering who killed their father, and are their other senior citizen relatives safe in our City.

That’s shit that really matters- Mayor Whaley, Congressman Turner, how about taking care of our people first?

Not that anyone cares, but the Dayton City Commission appointed a charter review committee to clean up the City Charter. which is an old and tired document.

I’ve been calling for changes to the recall and charter change requirements for years. Of course, I wasn’t invited to work on the committee.

Here is who the commission appointed:

  • Richard Clay Dixon – Chairperson
  • Jason Antonick
  • Jimmy Calhoun
  • Mike Galbreath
  • Gaye Jordan
  • Marcia Knox
  • John Lumpkin
  • Pat Rickman
  • Greg Scott
  • Manicka Thomas
  • Dave Williamson

They’ve already completed most of their meetings, and a Freedom of Information Act request got me the following minutes: 2014 Charter review committee minutes from which I culled the following:

Meetings are held in the City Manager’s Large Conference Room, Second Floor, City Hall on Thursdays:

  • June 12, 3:30-5:00
  • June 26, 3:30-5:00
  • July 10, 3:30-5:00
  • July 24, 3:30-5:00

and if needed- an additional one Thursday, July 31, 3:30-5:00

I’ll be attempting to visit the final scheduled meeting tomorrow to clarify the following:

4. Change special elections to require 50% of voting.
Members directed that no additional action be taken on this tiem (sic).

Mr. Gray explained that the commission did not expect to put each item up for a separate vote or to put all the items in one package for a single vote. He explained that the commission would welcome suggestions from the committee on how to organize the items into a few ballot issues.

While this is a great start to make changes to the former rules that were based on number of total registered voters, which could exceed the number of residents over the age of 18 due to rules of the Board of Elections- nothing is mentioned about the petitions, their language and the obsolete requirement of having a notary sign off on petitions. I hope to bring this up tomorrow.

They are still planning to discuss language for the following:

  • Ensuring that the City has the power to levy service charges, fees and taxes granted by the state to local governments
  • Permitting the City to levy special assessments using the standard provisions of state law that may change from time to time.
  • Permitting the City to enter into arrangements and contracts with other governments. The absence of this provision in our Charter could be used against us since it is in most city charters.

Considering they just popped the street light assessment on residents without a vote, I would think more people would be upset about additional ways to levy taxes without votes by the public.

Please consider joining me at the meeting on the 24th.

 

 

 

Just back from a contentious meeting of Historic South Park Inc. For the last year, the County Prosecutor’s office has been sending high-priced lawyers out to our meeting to answer questions. Of course, since we can’t actually get them to file a case directly, this is a ridiculous waste of resources. Tonight, the two county prosecutors were joined by a city prosecutor, who also, won’t file a case unless it’s brought to them by the police, the city law department, or some other department.

The issue was mostly housing code enforcement, at which the laws have been failing for years to make a real change in our community’s net worth. The problem is that they mostly deal with prosecuting physical issues- peeling paint, overgrown yards, dilapidated and abandoned properties. The secret to South Park’s success has been by focusing on social capital- instead of the bricks and mortar. More homeowners create more stable neighborhoods. Local landlords do better than absentee ones. Law abiding citizens create a sense of security that makes investment possible.

So, why are most of our laws focused on the physical capital? My quality of life isn’t damaged by the peeling paint on my neighbor’s carriage house. Sure, the wood can weather- and eventually rot- and decrease the value or increase the costs of repair- but this is a minor problem compared to the following key issues that are killing our neighborhoods: I call them the four pillars of failing cities.

Bad neighbors are bad for investment

Around 2008/9 a foreclosed home was bought by a drug addict with a brood of criminals for family. On average, we’ve had well over 30 police calls per year to the address. Older sons have been in and out of prison, younger ones are a constant issue for children’s services and truancy officers. Windows are broken, bonfires in the backyard are often used to separate metal from plastic for scrap (including a large number of air conditioners) and since they moved in- a string of 17 years without a single break-in, changed to several a year. Well documented on this site.

While the city has no problem charging law-abiding citizens progressively higher fines for false alarm responses by police, no one is fining the bad neighbors for their draining of city resources for their failure to conform to society’s basic rules. Change this- and shut down homes that require inordinate amounts of public dollars- and not only will the city have more resources, but quality of life will improve in the neighborhood- boosting investor confidence.

Bad bankers are bad for investment

A home once appraised for over $150K gets foreclosed on. It had a woman who was divorced from a disgraced public servant living in it. She owed about $70K on the property- and the bank wouldn’t settle for less than the outstanding debt. They used our county prosecutors and sheriff to bounce her out of the home. Once vacant, they failed to properly winterize the home, forcing the bank to invest about $5k to make the home sellable. They then auctioned the home for $45K. Had they accepted a refinancing deal of $40K (what they netted on the deal) they would have kept her in the home- and not used your tax dollars to process the paper to evict- probably costing the taxpayers another $10K.

The solution: If a bank sells a property for less than what its lowest offer was to the homeowner, they are forced to contribute the difference back to a fund to help assist homeowners keep their properties. If a bank has inventory that is currently not being maintained or properly marketed, they aren’t able to proceed with foreclosures. If a bank takes possession of a property in habitable condition- and sells it in less than habitable condition, due to theft, malfeasance, or incompetence, they are forced to pay the purchaser for all repair costs to return those services.

The foreclosure cycle is only contributing to decreasing property values and it’s insanity for taxpayers to continue to support private enterprise with managing their business. As a small business owner, I can barely count on the courts to help me collect on my court-awarded debts.

Bad property owners are bad for investment

We have properties throughout Dayton that are owned by shell corporations, people in other countries, people who can’t be found. While peeling paint is something the city seems to focus on, the most dangerous physical problems are:

  • Leaky roofs
  • Overflowing gutters, which can cause foundation issues and siding and structural rot
  • Stink trees- weeds that grow at a crazy pace and can break foundations in a few years
  • Critters- raccoons, possums, feral cats, etc., can render a home uninhabitable quickly.
  • Dopers
  • Squatters

The problem is, if you can’t find the owner, how do you address these problems? This is where nuisance property laws and eminent domain could be useful, but both seem to be too much work for our elected public officials. We’d rather wait until the property is to the point where it has to be torn down than create intervention strategies that can avert entropy, which is the real enemy. A vacant home isn’t killing the neighborhood values- unless it begins to have the above problems. Work on systems of notification, fines and seizure in order to prevent non-compliant owners from devaluing others’ properties through their apathy.

Impotent police are bad for investment

No, I’m not talking about cops that can’t become parents, I’m talking about police who don’t have the manpower or the support of the community to enforce community standards. Sure, robberies, murders and vandalism suck- but, quality of life, peace and tranquility are where police can best make their presence felt.

You don’t speed through Oakwood for good reason- they enforce speeding laws- without the assistance of stand in cameras. They come when you call about drunk neighbors, loud music or even not putting your trash cans away. Dayton police would scoff at all of those complaints when in fact, those are the root base of community standards of conduct that make the difference in property values. Investment in community safety may trump all “economic development” dollars ever spent in our community- and pay back many times more, than our current reactive solution of tearing down the detritus of our years of failed priorities.

We, the citizens of Dayton, deserve better. If we had leaders who really understood anything other than how to keep their friends and family on the government dime, we might stand a chance of once again becoming the “Cleanest and safest city in America” worthy of investment.

Choose wisely.

Mayor Nan Whaley likes attention. She likes it even better when federal dollars are attached. In her bid for the spotlight and a chance to move up the ladder in the national Democratic party, she says some pretty stupid things- like this:

Dayton would likely be a destination for a portion of the thousands of undocumented children showing up at the nation’s southern border if Congress approves funding to provide humanitarian aid, Mayor Nan Whaley said.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have talked with city leaders across the country, including Dayton, to identify places that have the space and facilities to accommodate children fleeing Central America.

+ Mayor Whaley: Dayton would shelter immigrant children if asked photo

Rhonda Moser from Huber Heights along with nearly a dozen other demonstrators held signs Thursday evening in front of the Haines … read more

The city is willing to do its part to provide a safe landing spot for needy refugees, Whaley said, but there are no current plans for that to happen.

via Mayor Whaley: Dayton would shelter immigrant children if asked | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

Let’s be clear about the differences between the “Welcome Dayton” initiative that was begun by former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, which is now being co-opted by Commissioner Joseph who has decided that he needs to be able to say something positive about what he’s done after 8 years on the commission when he faces re-election next year:

  • “Welcome Dayton” brings legal immigrant families to Dayton. They work, they pay taxes, they buy old houses and fix them up- and they contribute to the community.
  • “Welcome refugee children” – brings children without parents to the community that will create a strain on our schools, which are already near capacity, and add expenses to our community.

Let’s also be clear that we’re unable to provide adequately for the children that are already here- where many are food insecure and we have zero-to-none programming available to keep them out of trouble. Dayton, during the reign of Nan Whaley and her friends, has systematically reduced opportunities for our children, closing rec centers, bulldozing pools, and barely cutting the grass in parks. I’ve hung close to 400 basketball nets in Dayton over the last year to try to at least give our kids something to shoot hoops on- hoping it makes a difference.

And while I believe in the basic premise of what is written on a plaque in the museum at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – I strongly believe that children need parents, and that Ohio’s foster care system is already operating at capacity.

Congressman Michael Turner has given his knee-jerk response that calls the flood of children seeking refuge “illegal border crossings”- he is correct, that this isn’t a Dayton problem- it’s a national problem- one that he, and his worthless colleagues in Congress should deal with. We’ve failed completely to come up with rational immigration policy in this country, and it’s not an issue Mayor Whaley should be sticking her nose into.

Maybe she could work a little harder at taking care of the children that are already here. But, there are no headlines to be had for that.

 

Last week, Esrati.com gave you the long list of potential candidates to fill OH-42 existing term, and the ballot position for Terry Blair’s seat. You may have read about it in the Dayton Daily news a few days later.

Today, the DDn ran a press release from the “Conservative Republican Leadership Committee”- read that the Tea Party People who are pretending to not be Tea Party People:

A Republican Party group plans a candidates’ forum tonight on the eve of local GOP leaders voting to replace the late Terry Blair on the ballot for a seat in the Ohio General Assembly.

The Conservative Republican Leadership Committee forum will include three of the four candidates vying to replace Blair, who died June 26 during the last months of his third term in the 42nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Niraj Antani of Miami Twp. and Washington Twp. residents Mark Crawford, Scott Paulson and Tom Young have expressed interest in replacing Blair. Republicans are set to vote Thursday on a candidate.

That person will face Democrat Leonard D. Johnson, 67, of West Carrollton in November in a district that also includes Germantown, German Twp., Miamisburg and Moraine. The winner will be elected to a two-year term with an annual salary of $60,584.

The forum, set for 7 p.m. at the Washington Twp. Recreation Center, will include all of the candidates but Young. Young said Tuesday that notice was too short for him to attend the event, which he became aware of late Friday.

The forum will include a question-and-answer session with the candidates followed by written questions from the audience, said Ohio House 36th District state Rep. Seth Morgan, the forum moderator.

“This is a great opportunity — and the only opportunity that we know of that is open to the public — for the public to ask questions,” he said.

Morgan said the forum will help voters assess the candidates in the “highly conservative district.” It tends to lean Republican, with 58 percent of the votes cast in the 2012 presidential election going to the GOP candidate, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. “We think this is a great opportunity for the public to engage in the conversation,” he said. “The party will do what the party will do.” District party precinct captains – which number between 65 and 70 – are set to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Mandalay Banquet Center, said Dave Landon, vice chair of the county GOP Executive Committee.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to address the audience, he said, before the vote. Landon is among the party precinct captains in the district but declined to say how he will vote.

via Forum set for House seat.

What they don’t tell you is that Tom Young already had a meet and greet on Sunday afternoon at the Chop House hosted by Sheriff Phil Plummer and Sharon Lowry- the “chair and co-chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party” (even though they weren’t elected to the positions after former chair Rob Scott stepped down). I’m sure Tom Young made that meeting on short notice. Here is a link to a badly scanned leaked invite: Plummer invite to Young event

Having Seth Morgan as the moderator sets the tone for this to be a more radical Republican event, however, Young is unworthy of office in my book if he can’t make it to the only candidates’ forum being held. Insiders say only Paulson and Young have a shot- with Paulson being backed by the upstarts who flipped the party to lean Tea in the last legal party election- including potential future House Speaker Rep. Jim Butler, OH-41. Old school GOP folks on the friends and family plan, prefer Young.  Crawford who immediately sent out a two-page letter to all members of the central committee asking for consideration, spelling out his global experience and qualifications, unfortunately- I can’t find my copy of it, but I’m sure someone will supply another copy within a few hours of my posting it.

Niraj Antani is the young go-getter in the group- who is being ignored by almost everyone. He’s probably the only one who is social media aware- favoring my first tweet about the showdown, and quickly following me on Twitter. Crawford also seems to have some social media chops as well. As to Young and Paulson- not so much.

If the Republicans really cared, the party would have sponsored this event and made sure a video was up on YouTube before the vote tomorrow night. However, this isn’t an open and welcoming Republican party- it’s a nest of infighting children arguing over whose daddy has more money. For now, that would be the Sheriff.

You know those parking meters at The Greene? The ones where payment is optional and goes to charity? You know how you don’t have to pay for parking at any business anywhere in the suburbs? That The Greene has not one, not two, but THREE parking garages- and they are all FREE?

And then we have downtown Dayton. No, this isn’t one of those get-rid-of-parking-meter rants by some idiot. Parking meters serve a very important purpose- making sure there are spaces for people who just have to run in and run out. Otherwise, the early bird downtown workers would all fill the on-street parking spaces- and no one would go downtown. At least not in a car.

But, we have meters- and the dreaded parking meter maids. You get a ticket and it’s $5 or $10 and it’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

Not so in the Oregon District. While everyone knows not to park in the lot next to the porn shop – which sits empty most of the time (even the people going into the porn shop don’t want to park there for fear of being singled out)- recently two establishments have been having a feud and pissing off patrons galore.

Roost and Lucky’s Tap Room are going at it hot and heavy. Lucky’s is probably pissed about losing the spaces out front for Roost’s valet service- and decided to start towing people who park in their little side lot- adding a $100 towing fee to anyone who doesn’t take heed. Now, granted- it’s a private lot, and there are signs. And, it’s happening often- so the first thing Roost should do is to ask where you parked- and have the valet move the car if it’s in Lucky’s lot.
However, if the Lucky’s owners really want to keep their spots free for their customers, they could make their first move by asking the people at Roost to please stop in after their meal to have a beer or two at Lucky’s – or make a donation to a charity much like they do at The Greene. Instead of calling a tow company- get a boot- but, label it a charity boot.

The real question is why has the city not built a garage behind the EPA building, even with a nominal parking fee of $1-$3 – it could change the district into a really amazing place. All the parking spaces out front- could be used for extended patios- closing off the street to cars entirely would make for an awesome party district (especially since the street isn’t even fit to drive on). The garage could even have mixed uses- with more retail on the first floor- and a rooftop party deck- or housing on top. This is an economic development project worthy of tax dollars and would help many businesses- instead of handouts to single companies who promise the world and deliver squat.

For all the money we’ve poured into the Downtown Dayton Partnership- what the Oregon District is still in need of most is public infrastructure to support the businesses. Towing customers is just sending a message to take your money elsewhere and helps no-one in the long run.

(This post was for S.T., who had her car towed on Friday night.)

Scabies and the Dayton VA

by David Esrati on July 6, 2014

in Social Media as a change agent

In today’s Dayton Daily news, the leading non-news story was about failures at the Dayton VA. Not statistically relevant failures, not showing a real systemic series of failures (like the very real story of the dentist who was failing to properly sterilize his equipment and spreading hepatitis) but, just random whiners about their perceived lack of care.

However, one thing caught my eye:

Darrell Rodin …The self-employed handyman also claims the VA misdiagnosed a scabies infection.

via ‘They blew my trust’ | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

My father contracted scabies a few years ago- and it went misdiagnosed/mistreated as well. For almost a year, he and my mother, both struggled with the horrible itch of scabies. Considering they don’t get out much- the question of where he contracted it is still in question. He thinks a visit and overnight stay at the VA caused it, and here is another veteran complaining of the same thing.

For those of you who don’t know what scabies are-

Scabies (from Latin: scabere, “to scratch”),[1] also known colloquially as the seven-year itch,[2] is a contagious skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite is a tiny, and usually not directly visible, parasite which burrows under the host’s skin, which in most people causes an intense itching sensation caused by an allergic response. The infection in animals other than humans is caused by a different but related mite species, and is called sarcoptic mange.

Scabies is classified by the World Health Organization as a water-related disease.[3] The disease may be transmitted from objects, but is most often transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, with a higher risk with prolonged contact. Initial infections require four to six weeks to become symptomatic. Reinfection, however, may manifest symptoms within as few as 24 hours. Because the symptoms are allergic, their delay in onset is often mirrored by a significant delay in relief after the parasites have been eradicated. Crusted scabies, formerly known as Norwegian scabies, is a more severe form of the infection often associated with immunosuppression.

Scabies is one of the three most common skin disorders in children, along with tinea and pyoderma.[4] As of 2010 it affects approximately 100 million people (1.5% of the world population) and is equally common in both genders.[5]

via Scabies – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

It’s not that common in older people.

Scabies is contagious and can be spread by scratching an infected area, thereby picking up the mites under the fingernails, or through physical contact with a scabies-infected person for a prolonged period of time.[15] Scabies is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread through contact with other objects, such as clothing, bedding, furniture, or surfaces with which a person infected with scabies might have come in contact.[16] Scabies mites can survive without a human host for 24 to 36 hours.[17

via Scabies – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

My question is are you a veteran, who has received care from the Dayton VA over the last 3 years, who has contracted scabies? The question of reporting of infectious disease to someone like the Center For Disease Control (CDC) is being followed by the VA and if scabies is one of the tracked maladies is something I think would be useful information.

I had asked Director Costie if there had been an outbreak of scabies at the VA- and received a prompt reply of no. And while two misdiagnoses of the same illness don’t make it news- if there were a lot of other cases maybe social media via this blog can bring them out.

Please respond in comments- or by contacting me: david at elect esrati dot com

Thanks