Did your Dayton Daily news seem a little less significant this morning?

The Dayton Daily news and Cox Media eliminated 7 people yesterday.

Some, were out on assignment, when the big boss notified the staff who got the axe.

When it’s your time to go, it’s “Hhello, you’re fired, give us your ID and keys and we’ll escort you out. We’ll go through your desk- and mail you anything that we think is yours.”

A few of the people heading out the door, were retirements. But, others were long-time employees, with skills and institutional knowledge. Something that isn’t valued in the puzzle palace on S. Main St.

Here’s a copy of the email that went out:

From: Collier, Jana (CMG-Dayton)
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 4:00 PM
Subject: staffing announcement

Staff –

Today we met with seven employees whose jobs are being eliminated as part of our newsroom downsizing. Each of these journalists has contributed to the success of our company and our brands, and I want to thank and honor each one of them for their work and service.

  • Photographer Jim Witmer
  • Reporter Kelli Wynn
  • Reporter Ken McCall
  • Reporter Dave Larsen
  • Manager Rashida Rawls
  • Manager Ken Paxson
  • Manager Kermit Rowe

Today is their last day in the office. The manager for each impacted team has created a transition plan to ensure continuity for our products and audience.

As we continue to evolve our business, I want to make sure you have the clarity you need to focus on what’s most important, to grow and engage our audience. I am working with the content leadership team to shape and focus our teams to create that clarity; to streamline our processes; and to ensure a strong digital future for each of our brands.

These efforts will require 100 percent from everyone. I need your imagination and dedication as we move forward. We’ll have staff meetings in the next two weeks to present plans and to get your input. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to your manager, your director or me with specific questions or concerns. Our brands are strong, and the work you do every day is vital to the success of this company and to this community.

Thank you,


Missing from this list is Meredith Moss who retired- and supposedly Ken McCall, who is on the list- got a full pension. Not so lucky for the rest.

Rumor has it that one TV person was concerned with her personal safety- in case there are angry reprisals.

Gotta love the corporate buzzword bullshit- of “content leadership team”- which must mean “people who troll the internet to find things to publish to create page views” and the “strong digital future” where people actually view our shitty ads on our shitty sites.

When you have people who don’t understand news, journalism, or the city of Dayton- you get what they have, a “newspaper in name only.”

Now, it has 8 less names for bylines on an already thin news hole.

Thank Al Gore for the Internet- and Steve Jobs for the iPad -so I can still read a real newspaper everyday- the New York Times.

Best wishes to those jettisoned. May your careers all take off now that you don’t work for the evil empire.


Dayton Daily news to make cuts tomorrow

As if losing your job doesn’t suck enough, those fine folks at Cox Media- who have a million dollars to donate to Dayton’s Whitewater- announced last week that they would be cutting jobs this week.

Word is that more reporters are being shown the door, a photographer and a few managers.

Considering they barely publish much in the way of original news now, one can only wonder what will be left.

Trained monkeys can run articles handed to them about how great the Dayton Development Coalition, Sinclair, UDRI, and assorted other sacred cows are.

Yet, they keep saying they are making money, selling ads no one sees, or wants to look at on their multitude of crappy digital properties.

If anyone had a brain there, the integration of radio, TV, print would have one super site that works.

Yet, they continue to launch new sites to increase their page views and hence their crap-ad count.

Best wishes to those who leave. Maybe all of your careers will blossom once you leave the mushroom factory. Look at what leaving did for Larry Price.



The Dayton Daily makes up the news

As most of my readers know- I’m a huge University of Dayton Women’s basketball fan. So last night- I was at Milano’s watching the first battle of the roommates- and former Flyers, Andrea Hoover who was a third-round pick by the LA Sparks and Ally Malott who was a first-round pick by the Washington Mystics.

Unfortunately, Hoover’s Sparks continued their losing streak and lost.
But, no, wait, the Dayton Daily news gave the game to…. well….

WNBA  Malott’s Sparks win Flyer reunion  Former University of Dayton standouts Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott played against each other for the first time as professionals Tuesday, and while Hoover put up better numbers, Malott’s team, the Los Angeles Sparks, beat the host Washington Mystics 84-80.  Both players came off the bench, Hoover for 20 minutes, Malott for eight. Hoover scored four points on 1-for-5 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Malott did not attempt a shot and went scoreless.

Uh, the facts please. Every thing in this DDN article is wrong.


Malott’s Sparks win Flyer reunion

Former University of Dayton standouts Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott played against each other for the first time as professionals Tuesday, and while Hoover put up better numbers, Malott’s team, the Los Angeles Sparks, beat the host Washington Mystics 84-80.

Both players came off the bench, Hoover for 20 minutes, Malott for eight. Hoover scored four points on 1-for-5 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Malott did not attempt a shot and went scoreless.


To get this right – Malott plays for the Mystics and won, 84-80. Need proof- here’s the WNBA box score link. Their site is actually really awesome- with easy to track individual players’s stats.

Just remember- if you read it in the Dayton Daily- it may be news- to the people they write about….


When you’re bad, mediocre looks good: Dayton Daily news attempts at social

I had a talk with Ron Rollins last night at the Sideshow X. Ron’s an artist, and the editor of the “Opinion pages” of the Dayton Daily news.

He assured me that the Dayton Daily news was not for sale. I think that decision is way above his paygrade, but, I’m glad he’s so sure.

In the world of journalism, there had always been the struggle of keeping the journalism and the business/ad side separate. With the advent of the internet and the free sharing of content news organizations got scared. Very scared. The first and biggest enemy was Craigslist- where their bread and butter money maker- classified ads- went flying away too. Instantly.

Craigslist isn’t perfect. They have a real problem with spammers- especially in the personals sections (the benefit of these spam ads has never been obvious to me, same way spam email never made much sense either). But, the prospect of free for a listing to hire your new office manager or to sell your crib beat the hell out of $7 a line of micro type for a day on the non-searchable, version the newspaper provided.

Hence, newspapers love to run stories about Craigslist killers, thieves and scams.

The real issue of the “newspaper” was never the news part- it was the “paper” part. Taking the electron bits that were used by word processors, digital cameras, page layout programs, etc.- and converting them into physical atoms- was and is expensive. It’s also stupid. For the price of a bad tablet- you can rent subscribers a digital version much cheaper than the cost of printing a paper, and distributing it across the region. The brainiacs at Cox built the state of the art buggy whip printing facility (in Warren County) just about the time the Internet was about to take off. They try to put frosting on the pig by calling it a “Print Technology Center.”

In an everlasting quest to make a buck- they follow other models blindly and think they know what they are doing as page counts go up- which means ad showings go up. This was what Ron was so proud of last night- and I’m just laughing.

Besides being a pain in the ass to Dayton, with this blog, my real job is owning a small ad agency. The reasons it’s small, and in Dayton are because of personal choices I’ve made as the only son of two amazing aging parents that I have to take care of. Although I may bitch about it sometimes, I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than to have them across the street from me- and for me to be able to give them back the time they spent raising me.

All that said- my ad agency isn’t like the others- it’s called “The Next Wave” for a reason- and the main one is that I’ve always been ahead of the curve on where the industry is headed- first with a Mac for Desktop publishing and direct to film print prep, digital video, open source content management, organic SEO, customer relationship management systems, social media, and now working with sophisticated marketing automation.

Advertisers no longer struggle with finding space to run ads- online there is an almost infinite supply of ad space to buy, and while it’s easy to sell ads to the unsophisticated locals who still think they know how to buy ads and make them on their own, the real money in advertising these days is going to companies that can directly target very specific customers- which is why Facebook is cashing in beyond it’s wildest dreams and Yahoo is not. Note, the Dayton Daily had a partnership with Yahoo for a while.

In order to directly target customers for advertising, there are a couple of keys online: very specific content that is accessed by a distinct URL, with very little chance of inadvertent clicks (meaning ads that you are trying to navigate past to get to  more content- don’t count as clicks when most of them are accidental) and that the content can’t be accessed without a click- meaning the whole paper as a picture on an iPad that can be scanned- isn’t worth a damn for generating targeting data.

Facebook is fighting click bait like crazy- the idea that you post content that forces a click with teasers is bad in their book- because it makes you go off their site to another- and this is the main way that the DDn is driving views and thinking they have a “social strategy”- they don’t.

Social media has been co-opted by idiots who think it’s a one way platform to foist your content and ads onto people. That may be 95% of what social is by current day practitioners- but it’s not. Social is two way – with hosted, moderated conversations- like the comments on this site. Where social discussion takes place. Very few old media have figured out the power of subscription to comments either via email or RSS- but, it’s what makes Facebook so powerful- example in case I’ve lost you- you comment on a friends post, every time someone else comments, you get a notification asking you to come back and comment again- that’s social strategy.

I could write an entire book on the strategy of effective social marketing- but instead I’ve been teaching my www.websitetology.com seminars since 2005. No one from the Dayton Daily news has ever taken the seminar- and it’s too bad- they might have learned something.

The Dayton Daily thinks their launch of www.Dayton.com is somehow a success. Rollins even thinks the clown posse they hired to help them with the marketing of it know what they are doing. Of course, when you’re bad, mediocre looks good. The reality is, adding more properties to manage isn’t the answer- launching good ones is. We’ve seen them try this before- and I mocked it then, anyone remember MeetFred.com?

The reality is that most of the people in journalism still don’t know how the internet can make their content gathering and curation so much easier and more powerful. You wouldn’t believe what I can learn in advance from this site and its web-stats. I know when almost anyone in the public sector is job hunting- or been naughty, before you’ll ever read about it in the Dayton Daily news. And just remember, this is the hobby site of one person- they have an entire paid staff doing theirs….

The real question is- and I ask this of my readers who’ve taken the time to read this, if they call, how much should I charge the people at Cox Media to tell them how to save their sorry “media empire?”


Dayton Daily News may be up for sale

For years- Cox Enterprises refused to sign a contract with most of their unions. All of a sudden, every bargaining unit is under contract.

There has been a mad rush to create new online properties like Dayton.com, which is laughably late- and an amateur production.

They recently offered a digital subscription for $20 a year- while they’d been robbing me for $10 a month.

Claims are, they are making money. First time in a long time, but, it’s come at a steep price. They’ve sliced staffing of actual news people to the bone. Institutional knowledge and even the rare few super-talented people they had- cut.

They’ve created an editing stable on the top floor- that attempts to edit the copy from their entire network – with disastrous results. I’m sure I’m not the only one who snickers every time I see 9/11 turned into a fraction, or key people’s names mangled or missing.

All this points to only one thing- they’re getting ready to sell the whole shooting match, and think that some internet billionaire with a J. Jonah Jameson complex is going to buy them. It happened to the Washington Post- so why not? (Amazon’s Jeff Bezo’s bought the paper, on the side, unrelated to Amazon).

I personally don’t think anyone is stupid enough to reach down this far in the barrel to buy the DDn, which is no longer separable from WHIO etc.- as part of  “Cox Ohio”- etc. but, the reality is what they would buy is the biggest mess of Internet incompetence ever concocted.

The entire digital strategy, platform, and management is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Just the fact that I, as a subscriber, have to log in so many times to the same machines- since they can’t keep track of my login screams that they have no clue how to digitally target and sell value added ads to advertisers. Just because you are the only game in town, doesn’t mean you play it well.

How long it takes for them to find a sucker and negotiate a deal isn’t something I’ll venture to guess a timeline for, but mark my words, it’s being packaged and primped for a push as you read this.

The Socialist Republic of the United States Military

I’m not a fan of the Dayton Daily news- and even less a fan of their local editorial pages- after years of being mocked by them. First time running for office, I was called “an advertising man with not much to say.” All of you who know me, know that wasn’t true- and my campaign literature at the time was 11×17 covered in text. I once walked out, after they refused to apologize for something that had just appeared in their paper- where a writer said a band (G-Love and Special Sauce) sounded black. As if music sounds a race? Then there was when I mocked the big plans for the 2003 “celebration of flight” which instantly got me on their shit list- since it was Brad Tilson’s baby. We all remember what a fiasco that was.

A few years back, they stopped doing local opinion and promoted Ron Rollins to curate the page. This means ask people to opine for you. I find it lame, but fairer than what came before under the old regime. His second in command is now Dr. Connie Post- yep, a Ph.D. working at a newspaper. Ron must have been on vacation last week, because I sent a short response in to a “Speak Up” piece and Connie asked me to expand it into a guest column. Usually I don’t like working for the evil empire for free- but, in this case, I felt pretty strongly about the issue- and believe it or not- I was on the editorial page last Friday- for once, not being lampooned.

First- the “Speak Up”- a called in, anonymous thing that no reputable paper would do.

This appeared 17 Feb 2015- unsigned:

For those fast food employees striking for $15 an hour, let’s do some math. At $15 an hour, Johnny Fry-Boy would make $31,200 annually. An E-1 (private) in the military makes $18,378. An E-5 (sergeant) with eight years of service only makes $35,067 annually. So you’re telling me that a burger flipper deserves as much as those who are getting shot at, deploying for months in hostile environments, and putting their lives on the line every day protecting you?

My response was published on Friday, 27 Feb. 2015 – Photo was a crop of a shot by Larry C. Price who used to work for the DDN. It was behind their paywall (nice to know I was helping their bottom line, as they’ve never given me a link or mention for my stories they’ve taken).

I did not write the headline:

Serving my country as an Army private

By David Esrati
A recent “speak-up” caller compared a $15 minimum wage for “Johnny-Fry Boy” to an E-1 in the military. He stated there was no way flipping burgers was worth more than risking your life for your country on a straight hourly basis.

As a former E-1, I feel qualified to respond.

On Day 1, I was issued clothes. When in training, I didn’t even have to do my own laundry. Food was free. I was given three square meals a day, even if some came in cans or plastic packages. Granted, “fast food” depended on the order of entering the mess hall — first in and you had time to eat; last in and it was eat it or leave it.

Zero rent. For the most part, I lived communally. The WWII-era barracks at Fort Gordon had group showers, and cheek-to-cheek toilets, which took a little getting used to. But it still beat the portable micro housing I sometimes slept in. It came without running water (unless raining), no heat or electricity unless I used the 25-pound hand crank generator that I had to carry with my house, food, bed and M16.

My only utility bill was a phone bill, paid in quarters, via a phone booth.

Health care was 100 percent covered, including dental and vision. If I was injured on the job, I was guaranteed health care for life as well as a disability check.

Job security was solid; in fact, my employer liked to sign me like a pro-athlete. There were signing bonuses via 3- to 4-year revolving contracts. Advancement opportunities were up to me with a very clear career path. All training was provided free.

I learned Morse code at 15 groups per minute send/receive. I jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, which in my time paid an extra $75 a month, so I could visit faraway places and serve as a “community organizer.”

After 20 years, retirement was guaranteed at 50 percent of my pay. Stay in longer and retirement went up. Many of my peers got to travel internationally, sometimes with welcoming arms and others versus small arms. A gym membership was unnecessary. I was paid to work out, often going on long hikes with a very large rucksack. My hours were never subject to overtime. Often I was scheduled to be on the job 24/7.

I always found it ironic that our military, tasked to spread democracy and capitalism, was a lot like socialism.

If the speak-up caller was making an argument that the Private E-1 should make more than “Johnny Fry-Boy,” I’m in total agreement. But, if you say that Johnny Fry-Boy shouldn’t make enough to pay for his health care, clothing, food and shelter, this former E-1 wants to know why he was putting his life on the line to protect a country that doesn’t believe its citizens are entitled to the basic freedoms that financial stability provide — nominally described as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Those freedoms certainly cost a lot more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

We’re long overdue for a higher minimum wage and deserve a country that truly treats its citizens as if “all men are created equal,” providing an equal opportunity for advancement, without having to volunteer to die for our great country.

David Esrati served in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, in the 1980s. He got out as an E-4.

I posted this on Facebook- and received a considerable amount of positive feedback. At the Second Street Market yesterday, a few people praised it- and again today, at the Legacy Pancake House- a few more. I’ve had more than a few fellow veterans also thank me- because as one, Scott Ricketts so gracefully summed it up:

The military taught me we had to take care of everyone on the team and pay more attention to help the ones having problems. We were not allowed to leave anyone behind and we’re only as strong as the weakest among us. Making sure the people on the bottom get to the finish line is our collective responsibility. At least that’s what TSgt Esteves yelled at us.

This pretty much sums up why I probably feel closest to my friends who have served.

There are some arguments about “entry level jobs” and the minimum wage. I don’t buy them. I’d be OK with a lower minimum for kids in high school, or for their first 2 years of work, but, there is no excuse for our pathetic minimum wage, or the crying of huge corporations talking about “competitiveness.” McDonald’s operates in Germany, where they have to pay a living wage, GM does too- where they deal with labor unions in a totally different way than they do here. Apple is sitting on $170+ billion in cash- and still refusing to let Americans make much of their product (the Mac Pro which starts at $3k is assembled in Texas- but that’s about it).

Our country has to stop believing the lies that are fed to us by politicians who didn’t serve, who sell out, and for the most part, work against the best interests of the American public. This isn’t the America that any of us want to risk our life for- but we do and did.

It’s time to reassess. We can do better.

Front page news that isn’t. DDn racist behavior- those dang black youth criminals

What you put on the front page isn’t always the biggest news- it’s the news you think will sell papers. In the business- the biggest “sellers” go above the fold- so you see it in the paper box window or on the top of the stack.

This article was below the fold- but, it’s there for a reason- to sell papers.

The headline:

One in 3 accused of felonies under 18
West Dayton statistics on arrests show large number of offenses.”

Front page image grab of front page

It’s only news on paper- not online

When you go to the newspaper site online- where there is a “free” teaser area- this article is no where to be found. Had to save the iPad edition to get the link. And let’s be clear, we all know “West Dayton” is a code word for black.

Here is how the article begins:

About one in three people arrested for felony crimes in west Dayton are under the age of 18, police officials said, and juveniles have been linked to a variety of serious offenses in the area, including a string of armed robberies over the summer.

More than 150 juveniles this year have been booked for felony assault, burglary, robbery and theft offenses that took place in west Dayton,

according to data from police reports and records obtained by this newspaper.

Almost 40 percent of suspects arrested for felony theft offenses in west Dayton were minors, compared to 23 percent of theft suspects citywide.

Some West Dayton neighborhoods have a greater share of young residents than the city as a whole, officials said. Education, poverty and socioeconomic factors can play a role in youth crime trends, according to juvenile justice experts.

via One in 3 accused of felonies under 18.

The article continues with more finger pointing statistics:

By comparison, juveniles citywide represented less than 23 percent of felony burglary and theft suspects arrested and less than 27 percent of robbery suspects, according to the police data.

Nationally, less than 22 percent of burglary, robbery and theft suspects arrested are juveniles, according to 2011 data from the U.S. Department of Justice.

We’re in trouble if this is the best quotes we can get from “experts”

Effective intervention programs must target crime-producing needs, such as substance abuse; anti-social attitudes, values and beliefs; anti-social peer associations; and a lack of self-control and problem-solving skills, according to Edward Latessa, a professor and director of the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.

“Montgomery County has a very strong juvenile court and has developed quite a few evidence-based programs to serve youth in the community,” he said.

Dayton police are using analysts to evaluate crime data and police reports each day to determine connections between illegal activities, such as suspects and crime patterns. Officers are then assigned to specific patrols based on the data. Officials said they hope to catch young criminals in the act before their crimes progress in severity.

“The more we can interrupt any kind of patterns, any kind of criminal conduct, the better the neighborhoods will be,” Carper said.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time amongst these “black youth criminals” over the last two summers- hanging green basketball nets on decrepit courts that would get housing violation notices in any other community. Weeds growing through cracks in the pavement that were taller than kids expected to play there (Parkside courts) or rims so rusty you’d have to get a tetanus shot to dunk on safely (Gettysburg park) or backboards so rotted they could barely hold a rim (multiple- but the worst were at Burkham park and Princeton Rec). If you notice something- all these parks are on the West Side. For comparison- go to Jane Reese park in Patterson Park, where there were no weeds, rust, and the backboards and rims were in perfect condition- they even had nets.

I rarely saw adults working with kids on the courts, coaching, mentoring or getting to know their neighborhood kids. One memorable exception was on the old courts from the former Grace A Greene school, off Edison Street, where I ran into a guy with a gaggle of kids- and he was running drills, and teaching them the fundamentals of the game. He was a barber- around 42, and the kids were mostly his own and his deceased sister’s, but this is the kind of intervention we need more of- not police and courts, by the time the cops figure things out and you’re in the court’s eye, it’s already too late.

photo by David Esrati of backboard at Princeton Recreation center in Dayton

Rotting wood, bent rim. This is at one of our few staffed recreation centers

I spent a lot of time at Princeton Rec hanging nets. The courts get a lot of use, and 2 of the rims were the worthless style for chain nets that I had to use zip ties to attach the nets (it took me a year to realize I had to double the zip ties with each attachment point to stop them from becoming a fun game to pop ties by hanging on the nets). I put up three new quality rims at this court because they were missing or so badly broken it had to be done. Note- the Princeton Rec center has full time staff, not many, but some, and I never, ever saw them working with the kids outside. In fact, when I told kids to complain about the backboards and rims to the people inside- the kids told me that the city employees said that it was someone else’s job to take care of the rec equipment at their facility.

I’m not going to go on a diatribe about what needs to be fixed here. My readers are smart enough to know, kids’ youth sports are one of the best and cheapest ways to keep kids out of trouble and interacting with adults in a positive environment. My campaign literature had a picture of my x’s kid, a 10-year-old girl, who was playing football with the Dayton Vikings at the screwed up field on the site of the former Belmont High School. The program had teams at all age levels, equipment for all the kids, and was in a league of about 8 teams based out of Butler County. Figure each team had close to 20 kids, so you had over 100 kids practicing every day of the week in football season.

I ran into Bruce, the “Commissioner” last week at Skyline on Brown. The team shut down last year- apparently the move to Wilbur Wright field didn’t go too well, and the number of kids dropped. All the equipment is in storage. The kids- are on the streets, you know what happens next.



Dayton Daily news steps to new lows: Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge

Graphic for Esrati.com

Political Mudslinging reaches epic proportions in Dayton, Ohio.

The free part of this Dayton Daily news “article” reads:

Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge

The Republican candidate for the Montgomery County commission was arrested in Florida in 1987 after he was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Candidate Mike Nolan said the incident was out of character for him and driven by emotion.

This event happened in 1987- and while it’s clearly old news, nothing in the accessible part tells you that “the case was never prosecuted.” which is in the next paragraph.

Nor did they tell you how they “obtained” the police report- probably handed to them by one of the idiots in the Democratic party who thinks they are doing to Nolan what happened to Ed Fitzgerald, just weeks before the election. In case you’ve been living under a rock- it was first revealed Fitzgerald, the Dem candidate for Ohio governor was “caught” in a parking lot at 4:30 am with a “woman who was not his wife” and then it dribbled out that Mr. Former FBI didn’t bother to renew his driver’s license for 10 years- while in political office and driving.

Facebook recently changed its algorithm to stop allowing click baiting links to appear as often in ‘newsfeeds- because the practice was ruining the FB experience- while the Dayton Daily newsless has become less and less of a journalistic endeavor and more of a click mill. The public beatdown of their “blogger” Amelia Robinson just recently for writing about the demolition of the Taco Bell at Wyoming and Brown- even though the building had been gone for a week was  quite entertaining- I’m waiting another week for her to write about the Burger King remodeling on Brown or the demolition of the very expensive pharmacy at the corner of Warren and Oak that was built for the Medicine Shoppe but never opened because MVH had changed its mind at the last minute. But I’m heading on a tangent- back to Mike Nolan.

For the record- I really don’t know Mike Nolan from Adam. I do know the other two candidates in the race- Dan Foley, everyone but mine favorite darling “nice guy” and Gary Leitzell, our former mayor and the only independent in the region to have managed not only to get elected but also to make it onto the ballot every time despite the partisan Board of Elections’ best efforts to keep the two juntas in power.

My first experience with Dan Foley was when he was working for then congressman Tony Hall- when I first got to Dayton and had to ask my congressman for some help in sorting out some military pay issues. Foley was probably 19 and had the cushy paying job in the congressman’s office because his daddy was a judge. He had a roommate at the time who was interested in the girl I was dating- and Dan decided to share some things he shouldn’t have with his roommate so his roommate could get the girl.

When I reminded him about this years later- when I’d asked for his backing in a congressional primary, he threw back how I hadn’t backed Rhine McLin against Leitzell as a reason for not backing me. He claimed to have totally forgotten about his breach of my trust- despite him getting an ass chewing from Bear Monita who was then Tony Hall’s chief of staff. My opinion of “the nice guy” image has always been tainted by that experience, but my main complaint is that Foley is nothing but an empty suit driven to keep his lifetime of sucking at the public teat alive. He’s never had a job in the private sector, nor will he ever have a hard time finding one as one of our anointed leaders of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County.”

Leitzell entered the race over a year ago on rumors that Foley was thinking of not running. The rumor was that he was headed over to the Dayton Development Coalition for a job that paid twice what the commission job pays- but when they couldn’t figure out how to slush fund more tax dollars into the DDC- Foley had to run again, at least as a placeholder. Unlike the Dayton Commission- if a county commissioner resigns or dies midterm- his party gets to replace him with anyone it wants- leaving the question of what happens if an independent like Leitzell were in office and got hit by a bus? Does the “independent party” get to select a replacement? Are you starting to see the picture?

I know Gary Leitzell pretty well. I consider him a friend. Full disclosure,  my firm The Next Wave has helped him with webhosting and printing for his campaigns on a service provider level more than a strategic level. I find Gary’s political naiveté both entertaining and refreshing. I believe his public calls for giving heroin to the worst repeat criminal offenders who are trying to feed their habit the most original thought by a local politico in probably the last 30 years- totally going against what is considered both “safe” and/or “responsible” campaign playbooks would suggest. I believe that he would be the first county commissioner to have an original thought or initiative since I’ve been in Montgomery County (1983).

Back around to the Nolan slander piece in the “Newspaper”- I believe that the public has every right to know what is in the piece- and that it shouldn’t be behind a paywall, weeks before an election. Nolan has not only held public office in this county for years, he has also served as a law enforcement officer for years after this incident. Had it been cause of major concern, he never would have been a sheriff’s deputy. The paper is engaged in a smear campaign- nothing else at this point. For this to be on the front page of the local section is a disgrace to professional journalism- something the Dayton Daily news has less and less claim to everyday.

I am republishing the entire article as a public service. I have only done this in the past when their articles have featured me in them (mostly with a negative slant). I have in the past, been threatened with lawsuits by their digital department for using their “copyrighted content” in my blog, to which I have a counterclaim of questioning the frequent use of my blog to get their stories as long time readers of this site well know- without EVER giving credit.

I believe the Dayton Daily should remove the paywall on this article- and reveal who delivered the lead on the police report. If they aren’t willing to do that, I would challenge them to change the headline to read “27 year old dropped charges surface about candidate” and a sub-head or lead of “Politics has reached a new low in Montgomery County when mudslinging rises to new lows.”

Here you go – sans paywall. Please consider supporting my legal defense fund when the “newsPaper” attacks. Remember, you also heard it here first.

The Republican candidate for the Montgomery County commission was arrested in Florida in 1987 after he was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Candidate Mike Nolan said the incident was out of character for him and driven by emotion. After their divorce, the couple worked together to raise their children, he said.

Nolan faced a misdemeanor battery charge, but the case was never prosecuted.

“It is disheartening that with all the problems in Montgomery County — drugs, crime, gangs and the lack of jobs — the Democrats and the Dayton Daily News have focused on an incident the occurred almost 30 years ago,” Nolan wrote in an e-mail. “I resent their questioning my more than 30 years in law enforcement and public service.”

On the night of the incident, Judith DiCosta, Nolan’s wife at the time, told police he first broke a window, then entered through the front door after a man who was inside left the home to find a phone and call police. DiCosta said her own phone wasn’t working.

Nolan had a knife in his possession, DiCosta told police, but he laid it down once he came inside, the report said.

DiCosta said Nolan pushed her around and then picked her up and told their two daughters — ages eight and six — to get in the car because they were leaving. The police report indicates she had a bruise above her left eye.

Reached last week, DiCosta said she considers the incident a private matter. Nolan was a great father and has proved to be a great public servant, she said.

“I am sure he will make a great county commissioner,” DiCosta said.

Nolan’s opponents in the commission race — Democratic incumbent Dan Foley and independent candidate Gary Leitzell — said the campaign is about issues and accomplishments in office.

“Everybody has the right to screw up,” Leitzell said. “That’s so long ago.”

Nolan, 63, began working for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office in 1988, and his career lasted until 2010, when he retired as chief deputy. Before that, Nolan worked for the Florida State Highway Patrol for more than four years, until the end of 1984.

He was promoted multiple times at the sheriff’s office and earned excellent marks on his work evaluations. Nolan also served as a Miami Twp. trustee for one term beginning in 2010.

Nolan said he has been married to his current wife, Bonnie Nolan, for 26 years. He and DiCosta were married in 1977.

Records show that in January 1987 DiCosta filed for divorce and custody of the two children in Lee County, Fla. In divorce papers seeking a restraining order, DiCosta claimed Nolan had harassed and physically abused her.

At 10:20 p.m. on June 28, 1987, Cape Coral police were dispatched to a disturbance at their home, according to a police report.

Police said as they approached the home, they encountered Nolan, who was exiting the front door while carrying his wife. He was arrested, but records show a misdemeanor battery charge was dropped in the Lee County courts two months later.

Nolan was 36 at the time and working as a driver for a shipping company, according to his resume. He and DiCosta were legally married, but he was not living at the home.

In a transcript of a hearing on the petition for divorce, DiCosta’s divorce attorney said she would make a “a good faith attempt” to have the misdemeanor charge against Nolan dropped as part of the divorce settlement.

Nolan said the experience helped him counsel his employees when they went through emotional times in their lives.

“Never, has this incident affected my ability to perform as chief deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Miami Township trustee or county commissioner,” he said in a written statement.

Phil Plummer, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican party, said the incident only involved accusations.

“He was never convicted of a crime. He had a super career as a law enforcement professional. And he would have never been a police officer if he had any conviction,” Plummer said.

Past behavior has been thrust into the forefront in numerous political campaigns this year, including in the governor’s race, where Democrat Ed FitzGerald has struggled to explain why he went 10 years without a valid driver’s license. Other candidates have had to fight off attacks involving late tax payments from years ago.

In his 2012 race for the U.S. Senate, Republican Josh Mandel made a veiled reference to an accusation from a two-decade-old divorce involving Sen. Sherrod Brown to argue that Brown was a “hypocrite” on women’s issues.

The county commission funds a variety of programs and services related to domestic violence, including the Artemis Center, the YWCA emergency shelter and Erma’s House Family Visitation Center.

via Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

note to faithful readers- my posting frequency has dropped recently due to large amounts of work- and a few instance of life happening. First- the hit and run motorcycle accident, then there I  started South Park Social Soccer Sundays (more on that later) – and then a broken or badly bruised rib or two from a freak pre-season hockey injury which is still hurting and keeping me awake at night. I’ve tried to give you higher quality articles at a lower frequency to keep you happy. My apologies.

Loss of institutional knowledge at Dayton Daily news showing

A good friend thanked me for posting about the passing of two former candidates for the Dayton City Commission. I didn’t write much- but, both times, the following day, the paper had a decent send-off for these past leaders. Granted, both of them died way too young (55, 53) but, by no means should they have received more ink than this man- Tom Wilson. The sum total of the obit that I could find in the DDn is this:


Former Montgomery County Sheriff Lewis “Tom” Wilson died Friday, a day after his 86th birthday.

Wilson, of Kettering, served as sheriff from 1979 to 1987.

Funeral visitation is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 4, followed by the funeral services at 2 p.m. at the Kettering Routsong Funeral home, 2100 E. Stroop Road.

via Former sheriff Tom Wilson dies at 86 | www.mydaytondailynews.com. Posted: 6:26 p.m. Sunday, March 30, 2014

No photo, no recollections, no noted accomplishments- just what amounts to the same as a death notice.

From the paid death notice:

WILSON, Lewis Thomas Of Dayton, Ohio, died peacefully in his apartment at One Lincoln Park on March 28, 2014, the day after celebrating his 86th birthday. Tom was the 5th born to Russell and Madeline Wilson of Falmouth Ky. on March 27th, 1928. His family moved to Dayton where he graduated from Wilbur Wright HS in 1946. While there, Tom lettered in football and track, worked as a lifeguard at NCR’s Old River, and met Lois Joan Anderson whom he was married to for 54 yrs. After high cchool, he got a job with NCR as a key bank setter where he saved up enough money to pay for his first year at UD and was awarded a football scholarship. Tom would soon find his calling and spend a total of 37 years in law enforcement. He served 8 years with Oakwood and graduated from the FBI National Academy. Tom then served 19 years as chief deputy sheriff and 10 years as sheriff of Montgomery County from 1978 to 1988. He was past president of the FBI National Academy Association of Ohio, the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, Law Enforcement Officers Association of Montgomery County, Ohio-Indiana Police Association, S.W. Ohio Police and Sheriffs Association and was awarded the Ohio’s Outstanding Sheriff’s Award in 1981. His involvement and lifelong contributions to the Dayton community are many where he has served as past president of the Dayton Agonis Club and on the boards for AAA, Goodwill Industries, Dayton Boys/Girls Club, Kiwanis Club, Easter Seals, Camp Fire Council, and Old Time Newsies. He was past master of George Marshall Lodge which became Far Hills Lodge #784, a member of the York Rite Bodies, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, Royal Order of Jesters, and a past potentate of the Antioch Shrine Temple. Most of all, Tom was deeply dedicated to his family and numerous friends and always strived to deliver an unsurpassed level of excellence in all that he did. Tom was predeceased by his wife, Lois in 2003. She was the love of his life. He is survived by his very dear loving companion, June Mathewson of Centerville, OH; son, Joseph C. Wilson of West Carrollton, OH; 2 daughters, Penny Ellis of Boulder Creek, Calif., and Wendy McArdle of Bristol, Vt.; 2 grandsons, Jason Wilson and Alex Ellis; 2 granddaughters, Caroline McArdle, Jenna McArdle; 2 great grandchildren and a host of loving nieces and nephews. A Masonic service will be held at 1:45 p.m., with a memorial service to follow at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 4, 2014, at Routsong Funeral Home, 2100 E. Stroop Rd. in Kettering. The family will greet friends in the funeral home from 10:00 a.m. to 1: p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Antioch Building Corp., 107 E. First St., Dayton, OH 45402 or The Dayton Masonic Foundation for the Scottish Rite Learning Center, PO Box 932, Dayton, OH 45401. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.routsong.com

Published in Dayton Daily News on Apr. 2, 2014
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dayton/obituary.aspx?pid=170459471#sthash.uj8Jvzy1.dpuf

In the past, the DDn has been criticized for not remembering D-Day, Pearl Harbor Day, MLK Day, etc.- so they make sure to give ample coverage- but, that’s not really news in our community, that’s fluff. A man whp served in our community as the highest elected lawman for a decade, deserved more.

The fact is, with all the “retirements” and cutbacks- the Dayton Daily news institutional knowledge base is minimal. They don’t know the history, the connections, the reason 2+2 often only equals 3 in this community.

My father chastised me for writing about the death notices- and calling them failed obits. I’m pretty sure, had I not written about them, the DDn wouldn’t have either. To Tom Wilson, and all his friends- and I’m sure he had way more friends than I’ll ever have, he deserved better. I’m sorry I didn’t catch it. And to TP, thanks for pointing this out.


Dayton Daily news slanders VA for fun and profit

The latest “news” from the paper that publishes stories about its own meteorologist rescuing a kitten – is that in 13 years, the VA has paid a pittance in settlements and attempts to suggest that the VA is a horribly run institution where veterans die from delayed care.

Of course, the metric that’s missing- the VA doesn’t spend a ton of money with Cox enterprises for advertising like the local private hospitals. When you draw a comparison between just the local yokel hospitals and the entire VA system- it’s comparing watermelons to a tenth of a grain of rice.

The fact that the idiots in Congress have latched onto this story is just further proof that we need IQ tests for our Congress as qualifications to run. That the NYTimes calls this an uproar- is an embarrassment to journalism as well:

The uproar over medical care for military veterans involves one of the nation’s biggest health care systems, a far-flung operation that treats 6.5 million people a year at 151 hospitals and 820 outpatient clinics, with more than 18,000 doctors and an annual budget of more than $57 billion.

The need for care has increased with a surge in the number of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, coming on top of a population of aging veterans who were already straining the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Improvements in battlefield medicine mean that many service members survive with severe injuries that need treatment after they leave the armed forces….

Q: How big is the Department of Veterans Affairs?

A: The clinics and hospitals serve more than 230,000 veterans a day and deliver care in 85 million appointments a year. The 6.5 million patients treated each year include more than 757,000 whose military service began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

via History and Context of an Embattled Department of Veterans Affairs – NYTimes.com.

The reality is our private hospital system turns away people every single day for lack of insurance. Billions are paid out in malpractice suits in the private sector- and this is ignoring the fact that many veterans have very serious health conditions due to their military service.

While it’s easy to pick on the VA – by those who have never experienced the system, and that there is always room for improvement, this veteran would suggest that this is just smoke and mirrors distracting Americans from the real failures of the “American Health Care System” that fails many more Americans daily than the VA does in a decade.

The fact that General Shinseki runs a system far bigger than all of Premier Health Partners for less than a tenth of what Premier pays its top dogs, totally escapes the public. The fact that Shinseki, is himself a Service Disabled Veteran who has counted on the VA for care gets overlooked.

Considering that we now have the fewest legislators who have served in the military in our nation’s history, most of them need a real lesson in what public service is.

The VA has been on a massive search for veterans to enroll in its programs- with many veterans unaware that they are eligible for care if they served more than 180 days and have a general or honorable discharge. This manufactured hysteria about failed care isn’t helping the mission or improving the system in a meaningful way.

Our veterans deserve better than being used as fodder for selling newspapers. If someone with integrity exists in journalism today- they’d do a true comparison between this government-run health-care system and the joke of our private one. Dollar for dollar, patient for patient, the VA would win hands down.