Issue 9 information session report

The group Neighborhoods over Politics, NOP, held a forum on Wednesday 12 Oct, 2016 at CSU Dayton campus.

There were about 50 people in attendance including all four Dayton City Commissioners and the County recorder Willis Blackshear. Normally, more than 2 members of the city commission causes Sunshine law issues if discussing public business.

There was an employee of the group pushing to pass issue 9- the one that hasn’t filed a campaign finance report. When asked who was bankrolling his job, all the signs, mailings- it got kinda strange.

Sorry about the quality of the video- it would really help if organizations holding candidates nights etc would read this post before holding an event like this.

Everyone needs a microphone- and to step up to speak. Preferably in the same spot.

It also helps to have a handout with the names and titles of your panel.

The people from Learn to Earn- or whatever organization they were from, seemed to be oblivious to who I was- or why I was asking the types of questions I was… with a camera… because, local “journalists” don’t ask questions….

I’ll have a post opposing issue 9 and why up here once I complete some more research.

It’s really apparent that this plan creates some new slush fund entities with no public oversight- that can take tax dollars and funnel them to private business. This isn’t what government is supposed to do with our tax dollars.

Rumor has it that an organization dumped $200K into the coffers of “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future”  and we still don’t know why.

As always- follow the money if you want answers.


Issue 9 Q&A this Wednesday- Dayton income tax increase

Dayton issue 9 info session flyer by Neighborhoods over PoliticsThe activist group Neighborhoods Over Politics (NOP) is hosting a Q&A on Dayton Issue 9- the tax increase from 2.25% to 2.5% this Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm at Central State University West campus at 840 Germantown St. The event is free and open to the public.

By now, if you are a Dayton resident, you’ve seen the blue and green signs and if you are a likely voter, you’ve gotten a mailing “Paid for by “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” Michael Voelkl, Treasurer. NOT PAID FOR WITH PUBLIC FUNDS.” Michael used to be the tax commissioner of Dayton, but retired a while back.

But, the real question is, who the hell does fund this?

It says it’s endorsed by Dayton Firefighters, AFSCME/DPSU, AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce.

Looking up organization in the Montgomery County Board of Elections worthless website- we see that they haven’t filed a campaign finance report since the annual of 2015– so there is no way to tell who’s paying for all those signs and mailings.

The former Mayor, Gary Leitzell took the time to actually read the full ordinance and makes mincemeat out of their claims on the mailer.

But, this isn’t a post to explain why I think you should vote no on issue 9- it’s about the Q&A session- which you should go to and ask the questions yourself. There won’t be any huge dollars spent against this tax hike, if it’s to fail, it will depend on a grassroots effort.

Issue 9’s backers are claiming helps “every neighborhood” and includes a bizarre venture into pre-school by City Government- instead of the School Board.

Most of the other claims are to do the things they already are supposed to do but fail at- like cutting grass on vacant lots, or resurfacing streets or taking care of parks. Want to have an extra 2 million right off the bat- don’t buy real estate for which there is no public use- and then come back and say “we need more money.”

I’ll be at this session on Wednesday with my video camera to record it and put it up on YouTube.





Color coding prisoners in the Montgomery County Jail

Phil Plummer, Sheriff, Montgomery County OhioFemale prisoners in the Montgomery County Jail are being segregated with the black females being most likely to be locked up in the old jail, with bars and limited privacy, while white women are in the new jail, with pods and a modicum of privacy.

This is only one of the problems in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office, which is currently dealing with multiple issues- like having a white Major refer to a black correctional officer as “a thug” in a recorded meeting, the pepper spraying of a restrained prisoner, and the ongoing issues of nepotism that run rampant in the Republican branch of the Monarchy of Montgomery County.

Sadly, the Sheriff, Phil Plummer, who is also the Republican Party Chairman (which should be illegal, since in Ohio, the final word on election issues on the day of the election is the sheriff) is running unopposed this fall.

This isn’t the first brush with racism in the Sheriff’s fiefdom, two of his trusted people were fired last year because they had been exposed for exchanging racist text messages. Three others were “disciplined.”

But it would seem that screwing up is the fastest track to promotion under Sheriff Plummer.

We first found about Tom Flanders when he was a Sgt. shredding documents that were key to an investigation on the Sheriff’s sister being hired as an appraiser. Then, Captain Flanders was supposedly fired for the racist text messages, but he really wasn’t- because instead, both he and the other “fired” officer took full medical retirement. It pays to be a bad cop in the Sheriffs office.

Somehow, the good ole boy network in blue never lets one of their members down.

But it’s time for the Sheriff to trade in his badge for stripes for a stay in his own jail. How else do you explain how the Black female Sgt, Judith Sealey, with the itchy finger on the pepper spay, is now a captain? Maybe it’s because Plummer needs to show a little bit more diversity in his jail where there are over 100 employees with only a dozen or so of color? Or maybe, he was hoping to keep her quiet and that the tape of the criminal action would disappear. That may be the most expensive can of pepper spray in Montgomery County by the time the taxpayers finish paying for the lawsuit that’s coming. Had the “screaming inmate” had asthma- we’d be looking at murder charges. Flat out- you don’t pepper spray someone in restraints, but apparently, in Phil Plummers world, do it and you get promoted.

When a black corrections officer brings up the issue of the segregation of female prisoners- and gets a reprimand instead of a “thank you for pointing that travesty out, I’ll get right on it.” You know there are problems. The racial segregation of prisoners alone is an issue, but putting the blacks predominantly in the old section of the jail makes it clear that some prisoners are less equal than others. That section, has the old style bars and shouldn’t even be in use- apparently it has some kind of grandfather clause that allows them to use it. Yet, putting the white women, who make up the majority of the female inmates, in the new pods section should be clear evidence that this isn’t random.

What we need is a special prosecutor to come in to investigate the MCSO from top-to-bottom.

Instead, Plummer thinks that an internal investigation is appropriate. Right there should be a clear indication that he’s lost touch with reality and is unfit for office;

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Maj. Scott Landis amid allegations of inappropriate language he allegedly used while talking about a black corrections officer.

Source: Montgomery County sheriff’s major investigated for his comments |

Why would you even think of an internal investigation? And as to allegations, this one is on tape, it’s as easy as push play.

There is a small group of righteous correctional officers that have had enough. Some have gone to attorney Michael Wright for representation. There are bound to be more things coming to light as time goes on.

The housing records are very easy to pull up and look at, with the location, age, race of the prisoner all clearly marked. Even if the Sheriff tries to have the computer files wiped, I’ve got a stack of printouts of the assignments that can be verified without any access to the Sheriffs records.

It’s time to get a new sheriff in town. Our current one is either grossly incompetent, or a racist.



Congressman Moocher. Warren Davidson. OH-8

Congressman Warren "Moocher" Davidson, [R] OH-8U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson hasn’t been in office for more than 3 months, and he started out with a great idea to help get the VA on track- force Congress to “eat their own dog food” by moving their care to the VA.

I’d love to see Congressman Turner and Davidson at the Dayton VA for something other than cutting a ribbon or talking about how they help veterans, like waiting for an appointment for a proctologist or a psychiatrist, because the VA can’t hire enough of them. Davidson, a former Army Ranger, is eligible for care there.

I’ve received all of my health care from the VA since 2001 or so. For the most part, it has been absolutely exemplary. They also took care of my father, and he thought the same thing. But, now I have to ask, was he the moocher, or am I? Both of us qualified as Service Disabled Veterans. Or is it my employees Dad, a Vietnam Veteran who has a 100% disability? Is he a moocher?

Of course, Davidson’s first mistake is thinking that Congress actually gets things done. When it comes to work ethic, integrity, and return on investment, the American tax payer is paying a lot of money to windbags who can’t do their jobs- like appoint a 9th Supreme Court Justice.

In today’s Dayton Daily news, Davidson just tried to redefine a legal description of what a veteran is. This bothers me no end, because I just had to battle the VA and their SSVF (Supportive Services for Veterans Families) program about the qualifications of a veteran to be eligible for services. It’s actually spelled out in law, one Davidson is sworn to uphold. Yet now, Davidson says the problems at the VA are caused by “moochers”

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson told a room full of veterans that one way to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care system is to get the “moochers” out of it.

The Troy Republican spoke with the Concerned Veterans for America at a town hall event Monday evening in West Chester Twp.

“Just like work comp out here’s got moochers, I wish that there were no vets that were the same sort of problem on our society,” said Davidson. “But part of the problem is there are some vets that are moochers and they’re clogging up the system. And we do as taxpayers want to make sure the VA filters out these folks that are pretenders. Just like we wish there were no people out there with stolen valor, but that’s a problem in the vet community too.”

Source: From the Dayton Daily News, 9/21/2016: Davidson to vets: Get ‘moochers’ out of VA

Getting a VA ID card isn’t exactly easy. It requires a DD-214. That comes with completion of at least 180 days in the service. In case Congressman Davidson forgot, since he’s a veteran too, that usually includes basic training, advanced individual training and having the potential of being sent places where people can shoot you.

Ah, but, what is a moocher?

noun: moocher

North American
a beggar or scrounger.
“the mooch who got everything from his dad”
synonyms: beggar; informal, bum, scrounger, sponger, cadger, freeloader, moocher
“she is such a mooch”

I thought I’d look up Congressman Davidson on the moocher index, conveniently provided by the Federal Elections Commission.

Address: 1385 STONYCREEK RD. BOX 4, TROY, OH 45373
Treasurer Name: DETRICK, ALISSA
Type: H – HOUSE

Itemized Individual Contributions $402,283
Unitemized Individual Contributions $71,090
Total Individual Contributions $473,373
Party Committees Contributions $0
Other Committees Contributions $107,495
Candidate Contributions $9,461
Transfers from Authorized Committees $0
Candidate Loans $250,000
Other Loans $0
TOTAL LOANS $250,000
Offsets to Operating Expenditures $0
Other Receipts $0

If I read this correctly, Mr. Davidson spent $250,000 of his own money, and mooched $590,329 from others, to get a job that pays about $178K a year. It comes with comprehensive health care coverage, retirement, an annual payroll in the millions, to hand out to friends, family, and donors. And, as we can see from the person he replaced, John Boehner, a guarantee of fat paychecks after you “resign” from the job- midway through, so Warren could take over in an easier election.

I’d like to give Davidson a chance to apologize for his mis-characterization of veterans seeking care from the VA. That care was part of a contract those veterans made with the people of the United States.

If we use Davidson’s reasoning that “moochers” are the cause of all the problems at the VA, our country has an even bigger problem,  because using the definition of moocher, every single congressman qualifies as one, or am I missing something Congressman “Moocher” Davidson?


PechaKucha 20×20 – Dayton – Vol. 28 – PK and the Machine Thursday, 22 Sept 2016

Dayton PK Night volume 28-posterIf you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Pecha Kucha Dayton- a local event run by three South Parkians.

This is a local event of a global network of events. It’s free (including the beer and wine- donations accepted) and it’s fun- and you may learn something. If you still don’t know what PK is- I’ve included three videos at the bottom of the post that explain it- and why. One follows the format- 20 slides, 20 seconds each- the other- is a TED talk-and longer (he doesn’t quite practice what he preaches), and the last is a PK about making a PK that is a little more academic version.

This event will be a little different- like a tent revival. The next one will be at the Masonic temple… in about 3 months.

Here’s the details from the global site:

Gosiger is going to put up a tent and invite us to party at their place! (McDonough + Bacon) We can’t believe our luck! Not only do we have a venue that’s exciting the heck out of us, we have a tantalizing assemblage of presenters lined up. Now, this list is still tentative, but it’s looking really great. And–oh yeah–our emcee will be Jason Antonick.

  • Aili Bresnahan – Dance: what and why
  • Brynn Delange – Bearded dragons
  • Crystal Lake – Artisanal products inspired by literature
  • Arch Grieve – Sarajevo, Bosnia
  • Joel Pruce – a Ferguson, Missouri, project
  • Yvette Kelly-Fields – Blame it on the Funk
  • Juanita Darden-Jones – the arrival of Downtown Brown what led her to open Third Perk
  • Todd Muskopf – Boudoir photography Glamour portraits and survivorship
  • Randi Levinson – sexuality

Plus, we’re hoping to snoop some history on the folks at Gosiger, a century-old, family-owned machine tool, engineering and automation joint. They are kind of awesome.

Source: PechaKucha 20×20 – Dayton – Vol. 28 – PK and the Machine

And, here are the videos I promised:

See you there Thursday night.

7:30 PM
108 McDonough Dayton OH 45402




Medical marijuana in Ohio: a false positive

Welcome to Ohio, where medical marijuana is now legal, except, you can’t get it, use it, sell it, grow it. Only in Ohio folks, where despite being a democratic state in the last 2 presidential races, we’re run by a bunch of goober republicans who are beyond reckless in their pursuit of petty control over everything that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, while the important stuff gets ignored.

They rushed through their medical pot legalization after a bunch of rich assholes tried to get the voters to create a constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on pot sales in Ohio. Luckily for once, the old adage of “never underestimate the stupidity of people in large numbers” didn’t hold true and voters told the future barons of pot to go smoke their stuff somewhere else.

Unfortunately, the legislature has now made pot legal, and then, put it on the legislative slow boat for the next two years. In the mean time, states like Colorado are rolling in dough off taxes on legal pot for all. We’re still locking people up for possession- as if being stoned is a threat to humanity. The real threat is the idiots we’ve elected- not just at the state level, but now, we have local jurisdictions passing ordinances to delay any kind of pot-dispensary in their jurisdiction for the next six months- as if legal pot would be here in the next 24 if we’re lucky.

My old friend and republican sparring partner Greg Hunter was in town, and we decided to have a little conversation about medical marijuana and recorded this last month. Sorry, personal events have slowed me down a bit. Here it is for you to enjoy, debate and discuss.

If the State legislature really wanted to do their job, the first thing they’d do is put together some parameters for how dense and big you can be in order to have your own local banana republic within the state. A simple formula based on population density would regulate how much power to do local legislation is possible, forcing cities to merge, urban township tax havens to disappear, and stop duplication of resources in the name of political patronage positions… but, no- teasing us with medical marijuana legalization without implementation is much more fun.

When the newspaper of public record- isn’t

Screen shot of public records notices in Dayton Daily News

These are expensive ads.

Years back, A.J. Wagner looked at the amount of money the County was spending on required publication of public documents- court dockets, bid notices, sheriffs sales etc. and wondered if he couldn’t save money by buying ads in the freely distributed Dayton City Paper.

The local “newspaper” run by the billionaire Cox sisters cried foul. Apparently, the newsprint they print on is somehow more informative, more legal, regal and deserving of that public money.

They went to court. They won. The ads and the taxpayer money, went back to subsidizing our poor excuse for a paper.

This is something that could easily be replaced by a simple county wide website for public notices, that would cost less to run than what they spend in a day of the small print classified ads in the Dayton Daily.

Why am I railing about this today?

It’s been 4 weeks since my father, Stephen G. Esrati passed from this planet, and so far, not a mention of his demise in the death notices. He lived in Montgomery County, he died in Montgomery County at the Dayton VA hospice, and his body was sent to Greene County- to the Wright State School of Medicine. Not a word in the death notices, unless I really missed something. I picked up the death certificate over 3 weeks ago from the Reibold building. It’s on record.

Just not in our newspaper of record.

It’s time to save some money and stop pretending that the Dayton Daily news is doing us some kind of public service by publishing the page after page of legal notices. I’ve seen some days where the Sheriff’s sale pages take up more space than the Sunday Real Estate section. Why again are we paying for this?

For around $1500 a week, I could have a website that is searchable- with all the listings of public records, and print a 1000 booklets with the same info for those who want a printed copy. The Dayton Daily is probably taking in over $2500 a day on this.

Newspaper of record? Not in my book.

Throw this Hillary supporter into the “Basket of Deplorables”

We're stronger together unless we're deplorable www.esrati.comDear Hillary, the DNC, all of the surrogates and the rest of vaunted machine, this is why Bernie Sanders was a serious candidate, even though you did everything you could to discredit him.

You’re out of touch.

You’re possibly about to blow an election to someone who no one would have considered a serious contender a year ago, and you still don’t know why.

Hint: it’s really you. Not the #basketofdeplorables as you put it.

All those people who are voting for Trump- are voting against what they see you stand for. The machine. The one that’s broken. The one that tells us Ted Strickland is our only hope to beat Rob Portman, and then, once we passed over the bright young rising star for “re-tread Ted” – you pull the wheels off his wagon two months before the election, canceling ad buys and leaving him to twist in the wind. Note- this is Ohio, a state you “Have to win”- and he was your surrogate, your man, your ardent supporter. He was all in for Hillary, who said she stood for “stronger together” – unless you are those in the basket of deplorables.

No, I’m not a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it” I’m just another American who doesn’t claim I’m “dead broke” while buying million dollar homes. Or giving top-secret speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wizards of Wall Street.

What we’re facing in this country is a class war, and your kind, isn’t up for the challenge. Yep, I said it “your kind.” Because as long as we’re bandying about slurs and gross generalizations, let’s throw out this one, our country can’t afford for either of you to “win.” That’s right, both you and the guy you are running against, are out of touch, disconnected, living in an echo chamber feasting on the media induced frenzy of selling out our country to the highest bidder to their benefit.

It doesn’t cost a million dollars to buy a house in my hometown. In fact, you can buy them left and right for less than the cost of a new car. Granted I bought my “Historic Home” in Dayton Oh in 1986 for $14,500 and it’s worth more now- but about 6 years ago, someone bought one slightly bigger, two doors down for only $14,000 thanks to your friends on Wall Street.

Record numbers of people say they don’t trust you. As a guy who makes a living doing marketing, that’s a real problem. You see, if you weren’t still adhering to the same political playbook your husband used to get elected, you’d understand that times have changed. Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. And that they is us, some of us, who just ended up in the basket of deplorables.

Unlike many who just ended up in that new basket- I’ve been in that basket for the last 26 or so years. I’m one of those bright young democrats who had the gall to think I had the right to run for office. I’m a citizen, a veteran, college educated, and I went down to the board of elections back in 1991 or so, to pull petitions to run in a non-partisan local political race.

The local democratic party, which, btw- was all in for you, so much so that it practically took an act of god to allow Bernie supporters to meet in the democratic party offices, had a different idea of who could and should run for office. When invited to “screen” before the “screening committee”- a hand-picked bunch of local cronies and friends and family, the question to this day is “if we don’t endorse you, will you drop out.”

What kind of democracy is this? 40 people in a room deciding instead of the electorate?

When will you realize that Bernie Sanders stood for the same ideals you stood for as an idealistic young graduate at Wellesley College back in 1969? Granted, you still were at an elite school, while many of us in your basket, are paying through the nose for student loans, and trying to keep our heads above water. Maybe you can start to understand that while you collect huge speaking engagement money from the very same people who kicked us while we were down, stealing our homes, our jobs, while paying themselves millions and even billions.

It’s happened before, when a candidate drops out- even if it’s a VP. Thomas Eagleton did it, and now you can too. It can be Bernie, or Kaine, or Biden for all we care, but, you’ve got to realize by now, your email server isn’t ever going to go away, nor is Benghazi, or will your #basketofdeplorables or the fact that you took a paycheck from the people who screwed America just as bad as your opponent has screwed contractors, small businesses, taxpayers, students at his schools etc.

It’s over. You aren’t going to win Ohio while backing away from your ally Ted. You aren’t going to win the country, while calling some of us names. And, I’ll never get elected either, but that’s a different situation.

I’m not running to lead this entire country, you are. And sometimes, true leaders have to admit that they aren’t the right answer, no matter what their own perception of their life tells them.

It’s time to blame the DNC for throwing you a bone, which now, you have to respectfully, throw back to someone who kept his principles and isn’t going to hand the election over because their ego got in the way of reality.

Unfortunately, dear Hillary, you don’t listen to anyone, other than who you choose to listen to, so this message will go unheard as well. God help us all.

When the Dayton airport does cut-throat pricing to cut its own throat

Newspaper ad in Dayton Daily News for Dayton Airport lot economy parking


11 Sept 2016. I have some more accurate numbers for the airport economy lot. I’ve updated the post to reflect them.  This is more expensive than I first wrote.

There is more to the story than a city issued press release, but, you can’t count on the understaffed Dayton Daily news to know more. If you read the paper you’ve been seeing ads by the airport touting the new lower rate, and on the airport access road, there is the billboard- all bragging about the new $4.95 a day on airport economy lot rate- from the paper:

Dayton International Airport continues its expansive program of improvements through new parking rates and benefits.

The on-airport economy parking lot has a lower flat rate of $4.95 per day ($34.65 per week) when travel is booked in and out of Dayton International.

The newly reconstructed longterm parking lot was recently reopened and is a short walk from the terminal (the DAYrider courtesy shuttle is also available). With a maximum price of $14 per day, the long-term lot includes more than 1,100 parking spaces and is brightly lit with new LED lighting.

From the DDN: Dayton Daily News – 2016-08-27

Source: Airport parking now has lower economy lot rate

What did they leave out you ask? How about that the price used to be $6 a day for years to start? And, there are only 2 competitors for airport parking: a former client of The Next Wave, Park-n-Go, and Westwind. In order to run their shuttles onto the airport and advertise “airport parking” both are bound by rules and regulations and have to pay a 10% tariff on every customer. So, when the airport forces them to cut rates, the airport makes less all around. In Dayton airport parking ads those are the “hidden fees” that in fact come right back to them.

Do the math. The airport has 1100 2800 spaces in the long term lot- meaning the city leaves at least $2800 a day on the table. Multiply that times 365 and you have $401,500 $1,022,000  potentially less in parking income from the lot. Then you add up the advertising costs, newspaper, and billboards, and maybe some TV- and you’ve spent another $50,000 at least. They average about $300,000 a month on the economy lot- or 60,000 parking days, so at minimum, it’s $60,000 loss each month, times 12 or $720,000 they are really losing by the $1 price cut. There is also the potential that with the low price, the city is pulling people away from their more expensive options which are $14 long term, $18 garage, $20 valet and $24 short term.

Dayton Airport Parking Configuration

Long Term$14.001100
Short Term$24.00390

Park-n-Go has about 1100 850 total spots, with only a few hundred 350 committed to the self-park economy lot at $4.95 a day plus .50 for the city. They make most of their money from their valet service at $9.95 a day (plus $.99.5 city tax) which offers your car ready and waiting as you get off their shuttle- cleared of snow- or with the A/C already running. That price puts them well below the city close in lots- or the city valet rate, but with a “white glove” level of service. The city also collects an extra $.99.5 from each of these- making PNG still cheaper than any of the higher priced city lots.

The reality is, the Airport has the advantage all the way, since they don’t have to pay property taxes, and they don’t have to make a profit. Trust me on that last part. All one has to do is look at the horrendous deal the city did to build a parking garage- that gave away the bottom floor to the rental car companies for free for 20 years- and then spent over $600K in legal fees to try to weasel out of the bad deal. (they lost). And note, half of the people parking in the three story garage, are paying $18.00 a day to park on the roof- with no cover over their car.

Speaking of bad deals, in case you didn’t see the other story about the Airport- we’re also getting screwed with some of the highest fares in the country.

The average price of a domestic ticket dropped to $361 in the first quarter, down 7.8 percent from the same period in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Dayton International Airport saw a drop in average fare amounts for the first quarter of 2016. Prices for airfare averaged about $427.59, down from $431.57 in the first quarter of 2015.

Source: Ticket prices remain high at Dayton airport |

When NCR pulled out of Dayton, one of their excuses was the lack of flights and the costs.

Maybe, the airport could focus on actually adding value to the community, instead of trying to put small independent business people out of business.

And maybe, we stop the insanity of having a regional asset, run by, and paid for, by a single municipality? The city of Dayton has way too many other things to work on, in the city- not in Vandalia.
If there is a real reason for regionalism, it’s that stupid moves like this, affect the whole region.