I have a half a dozen clients who run very different types of businesses over the Dayton well field. All have different rules and regulations about what they can and can’t have in their buildings. None of them have any desire to pollute the well field- or our drinking water- that wouldn’t benefit them, or our community, but the insanity of the actual laws should make everyone in this community stop and wonder what geniuses put this monstrosity into effect.

To bring people up to speed, who may not know what our “well field protection ordinances” are- or why we have them, let’s go back in time. About one hundred years ago- when Dayton was an industrial powerhouse. Back then, there were machine shops and manufacturing plants all over our city. There was even a small machine shop in the alley behind my house when I first moved to South Park. It went up in a crazy hot blaze of fire about 20 years ago- and the building was only recently demolished.

Back in those days, companies big and small had no clue what to do with waste oil, cleaning fluids and the like. Some burned it in open pits, others poured it in the ground, others put it in drums and stored it- only to have the drums leak. It wasn’t until the seventies with the charter of the EPA by the federal government,  that everyone got hip to the fact that trichloroethylene, a common industrial solvent was a serious carcinogenic toxin.

Our Dayton well field pumps water out of a giant underground limestone aquifer- said to be one of the largest in the world. And, for a long time, companies in town routinely fouled it. Times changed, with the federal and state EPA regulations. Users of hazardous chemicals were required to maintain extensive logs of their industrial inputs and outputs. Material Data Safety Sheets had to be kept on hand, as did emergency procedures for a spill. The days of wild and wooly hazardous waste disposal were long over by the time the Sherwin Williams paint warehouse burned to the ground on May 27, 1987.

That fire burned for days, with firefighters standing by, trying to contain runoff and not pouring water on the flames- so as not to contaminate the well field. Citizens were terrified that our water supply might get polluted- sales of bottled water skyrocketed and a young Dayton City Commissioner, Mark Henry, introduced his original “Well field protection” ordinance.

If that piece of legislation were still in place, there would be no outcry of the local business owners, but over time, changes in the rules have caused it to be onerously restrictive, very capricious in its enforcement. In other words- it’s silly and enforced randomly.

Photo of BP fuel farm on Brandt Pike in Dayton Ohio

On Brandt Pike there is this little chemical storage facility- right over the aquifer.

One only has to drive out Brandt Pike, just past Stanley Ave., to pass the BP fuel farm where a hundred gazillion gallons of fuel sit smack on top of our well field. A little spillage of the underground pipes would hardly be noticed- and would easily contaminate our water supply. They are allowed to be there- they just can’t add capacity under the current laws.

In the meantime- my baker friend, has a limit of 6 gallons of bleach in his facility. Bringing in the seventh bottle of Clorox would put him in violation. Another friend, who has a machine shop- has reached his limit of cutting oil with his current number of CNC machines, he can’t add a machine, without breaking the law. Never mind the fact that modern day CNC machines are practically hermetically sealed systems that totally prevent leaks- compared to the old school open lathes that were as common as street lights in our manufacturing heyday.

Regulations that are in place now set limits on chemicals based on a base line of when the laws were written. An analogy would be restricting the houses on your block based on the occupants of each home on a random day 20 years ago. If you had 3 kids and grandma and grandpa were visiting- you could have 3 kids and 4 adults in that house, while the house next door- would have been permanently banned from occupancy because your neighbors were on vacation.

The recent situation in Toledo with the algae bloom contamination of Lake Erie is no different than what’s been going on for years in Celina with Grand Lake/Lake St. Marys which is a cesspool of industrial agriculture runoff. This is an entirely different problem- much akin to the old school pouring of toxic chemicals down the drain or into the ground- because companies are too cheap or don’t care about the implications. Sustainable agriculture methods can eliminate almost all of this toxic runoff- but, big ag is more powerful than the people who have to live with their needless pursuit of cheaper crops- even if the side effects are heinous.

If Dayton was serious about protecting our wellfield- there would be no fuel farm sitting over our water supply. But, that would cost hundreds of millions to relocate.

Common sense needs to come to our regulations- with good working relationships between regulators and the regulated, to cooperatively protect our water and our community. For all the “experts” claiming that any changes to the ordinance would put us in greater danger- the reality is, every one of us who has ever cleaned out a paint brush has done more to pollute our well field than many of these regulated businesses. It’s time for some collaboration to come up with a modern, enforceable, realistic set of rules, processes and procedures, and not keep these convoluted rules on the books, because one day, the baker may want to have 7 gallons of bleach to clean and sanitize his bakery, and we wouldn’t want him to be raided by the water protection police.

Just in:

A.J. Wagner of Dayton (Montgomery Co.) has been appointed to represent District 3 on the State Board of Education. He will assume the seat on August 4, 2014, and must run in November 2014 to retain the seat for the unexpired term ending December 31, 2017. Wagner is replacing Jeffery J. Mims, Jr., who resigned.

The State School Board is woefully short on people who have common sense and really care about our kids. A.J. will be a good addition.

As far as I know, there were no other candidates running in the November election.

I went to what was to be the last official meeting of the Dayton Charter Review Committee. Former Mayor Richard Clay Dixon was nice enough to recognize me and allow me to participate- at least for a little bit, until the FOP rep decided to be a jerk.

Interestingly- the committee is only working on what it was told to work on by the commission. My questioning of changes needed in the petitions for Commission, with their high propensity for filing failure, were sort of ignored: “that wasn’t on the list.”

Although changes are coming that would make it possible for citizens to finally petition the government to change the charter or to force a vote on commission passed legislation. Currently, it takes 10% of REGISTERED voters to put an initiative on the ballot- which works out to somewhere around 10,000 signatures (Mayor Whaley only had 9,000 votes in the last election as a point of comparison). In the future- 2,500 votes will guarantee an opportunity to get an issue on the ballot.

On those petitions- they will no longer have the “Ward and Precinct” boxes which are on the current petitions- but are tacitly ignored by the Board of Elections- which is odd, because everything else on the form is ironclad required. I’m still not sure if they are going to require notarized signatures of signature gatherers- an absolutely meaningless step that only does one thing- guarantees that last-minute signatures are almost impossible to collect. Having a Notary witness a signature of a petition gatherer has zero relevance over the validity of any of the collected signatures- so what’s the point?

No mention of the elimination of the “Nominating committee” as well. This archaic idea makes zero sense- and was proved to mean nothing when William Pace turned in over 650 legitimate signatures on petitions- but wasn’t allowed on the ballot because he hadn’t signed a clause that he would accept the chance to run. If the nominating committee was “empowered” by the 500+ valid signatures- then they should have been able to pick any qualified candidate they like- regardless of if William had “accepted” the nomination. And besides, no nomination is valid until the “handwriting experts” at the Board of Elections certify a petition- so how can you accept something you aren’t qualified to run for yet?

Apparently- much of the committee’s time was spent arguing over protecting the hiring practices that are in place, with the FOP, IAFF and AFSCME reps all voting to delay the final work of the committee to the commission until they have another meeting- which is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 4, at 3:30.

Generally, the meeting was run by former city Planning Director, Paul Woodie, the go to guy for anyone who wants anything done in Dayton. He left the city to work for Premier Health Network for quite a while- kicking off the changes in the Fairgrounds neighborhood – which is now becoming more UD housing despite promises by the city and MVH for it not to be.  Paul pushed off the discussion of the last issue that the Commission chartered them with investigating- the ability to create townships within the city- a bizarre request, which he claimed would require too much investigation into State law. I can just see it now- as South Park would petition to become a Township- eliminating the city income tax- and expanding our boundaries to include UD- since we already have MVH within our planning district. Another tax free haven… to pretend to be a part of our community like Washington, Miami, Harrison, Butler, etc., townships- where drama and mismanagement are the norm.

I’m posting PDF’s of the documents I picked up. I’m not sure what the city commission will do with these recommendations- or if they even have to abide by them. Our Charter is an antique that’s desperately in need of updating- but, there weren’t very many engaged people in the meeting I sat through- with one exception- one young lady who did want to know why the petitions weren’t part of the discussion (I circulated a proposed redesign of the current petition)  and she also caught a double negative that they were proposing as a change.

If the recommendations all make it to the ballot this fall, it may be possible for us to fix the petition process in the March primary once and for all. They are also setting a ten-year requirement for review- something that is currently missing.

Of course, no changes are being made to the current language for a recall- which requires 25% of the registered voters’ signatures- or 25,000 signatures. Nope, Mayor Nan and Crew likes their cushy safe jobs; too much to risk having to answer to the public.

Typically, the charter has only been revised when the commission has needed to change something like how bonds are handled or taxes raised to keep the city out of trouble. To proactively fix fundamental flaws is a rare occasion. We will see what makes it from this committee onto the ballot soon enough.

We elect stupid people.

by David Esrati on August 3, 2014

in big ideas for Dayton OH, Dayton Government

In the latest tiff over who can get the most publicity for a non-issue, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer should win a prize for the stupidest statement by a local politician:

Plummer said he signed the letter out of concern that taxpayer resources are at stake and that some of the children could join gangs here and get involved in the heroin trade.

“Is anyone vetting these kids? Is anybody doing background checks on these kids?” Plummer asked.“We need to take care of our own first. That’s not a selfish point of view. Everybody says the federal government is going to pay for this, but it is still our tax dollars.”

via Immigrant friendly but mired in controversy | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

How exactly do you do a background check on a kid from a dirt poor country?

I do agree we could try to take care of our own first- with one in five kids living in an environment where there are questions about where their next meal is coming from. Where we have an educational system where an 80% graduation rate from high school is considered OK and even those “graduates” aren’t really ready for college.

We have children here living in conditions that we would send money to a third world country to rectify, yet, Mayor Whaley is offering up the Naval Reserve training facility on Gettysburg to kids from Honduras- while I’ve been talking to people about turning it into a charter boarding school- to provide a safe place for kids to live while their parents or guardians are going through tough times. Yes, we could be taking care of our own first- but, that doesn’t make headlines.

Leave it to the two Dayton Mayors with the biggest egos to have a knock-down drag-out in the media over a non-issue and the dumbest of our local pols to join in. The Beavercreek council- yes, those who fought the RTA from bringing “those people” from Dayton to their mecca of retailing stepped up to say no to immigrant children, as did Plummer and State Rep. Mike Henne who joined Turner in a photo session for the paper.

You can expect to see all of them- out working with our own kids, you know, doing things like making sure our basketball courts have rims and nets on them- and no vegetation growing through the cracks in the pavement?

And while Montgomery County’s latest brilliant solution to the scourge of  the “heroin trade” is to put up badly designed billboards that say “heroin kills”- where are the programs for youth recreation?

I drove by the Gateway Sports complex yesterday and Kettering fields by the river- and saw empty baseball diamonds in the middle of summer on a Saturday afternoon. Contrast that with driving by Delco park almost any day, where you see hundreds of kids playing soccer- with adult supervision.

I’m not saying that sports are an answer to keeping kids off drugs- but, it’s a good start. Where are programs like that in Dayton, Mayor Whaley? And, going back a few years- Mayor Turner?

Last week I went by Mary Queen of Peace on Gramont. I stopped and talked to a guy who lives across the street from the playground and asked what happened to the basketball court rims? He told me the church took them down- and locked the gates.

a personal note-

I just stopped into Tuffy Brooks on Friday and saw my friend Jim. He’s ordering my fourth box of 100 nets. This will clean out my net money. I’m out of stickers to put on the poles to give kids my number to call for a net. I’ll be needing more zip ties- and the chain nets I bought- don’t attach to the rusted “chain” rims I run into at places like Gettysburg park- so I need to buy some type of S hook to put these nets up because zip ties aren’t the answer. If you can spare some money to donate to our own kids, it will go a long way toward my efforts to keep our kids on playgrounds instead of into other stuff.

I’m including a few photos:

I’ve been reporting issues non-stop with our courts with the Dayton Delivers mobile app. The backboard without a rim at Virginia O’Neal Park- or Welcome Park- depending on which sign you read- was reported resolved a few days after I turned it in. I went back to the park- and the rim was still missing – and I reopened the case. If you have a smart phone- download the app- report potholes, unpainted speed bumps, tall grass in parks, street lights out- instead of grandstanding, lets start seeing our commission get a report each week about the number of issues opened- and resolved in Dayton each week- instead of the focus on Guatemalan kids. Our kids deserve better than this.

And as a side note, I sent a proposal to the Dayton Public schools to ask them to pay $5 per net I hang at their schools and was turned down. The only reason I asked, was because I was called into the office and scolded for placing my “Elect Esrati” stickers on school property with the number to call for a net. Considering buying nets onesy twosy is a $5 proposition- and doesn’t include the labor- I figure I average about 20 minutes per net- including driving time, ladder time, etc.- it was a steal of an offer. I was turned down by the Superintendent. I’m still hanging nets on their properties.

Also note- the only guaranteed maintenance to our parks by our Mayor and her minions- every single one of my stickers on a basketball pole has been scraped off. No nets hung by the city.

 

 

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.