2014- my year of hit and runs

Last night around 9:45, just blocks from home, an idiot in a beat-up maroon sedan decided to turn left and hit the rear of my motorcycle. Thanks to the side cases on the back of my bike, proper riding gear and a lot of luck, nothing except the bike appears to be broken.

Photo of Doc Marten shoe after motorcycle accident. No damage to foot- just to the shoe

My Doc Marten had a hole in the top down to the steel toe. My foot only has a bruise.

I was on Brown Street at Wyoming- heading north, when the light turned green and I started to cross Wyoming, when the idiot in the left turn lane heading south inexplicably decided to turn left- he must have been in a hurry- because it didn’t seem like a good idea to hit the brakes, swerve the other way- nope, he just plowed into the rear of my 1996 BMW R1100RS. And then he did the dipshit move of taking off. The bike ended up on the NE corner sidewalk- spilling oil- and on top of my left foot and leg. The people who were there were all incredibly nice- checking on me- and calling 911- as I pulled my foot out from under the bike. I had on a full face helmet, a Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket, gloves, Levi’s, and steel toed Doc Martens- which now have a hole in the toe- right down to the steel.

Dayton Fire took me to Miami Valley, back-boarded and tied down. X-rays showed nothing broken- and I walked, albeit with a limp- out around 11 p.m., to be picked up my wonderful neighbor and friend, Cathy M.

I had just filled the tank at UDF- and gotten three pints of ice cream, which I hope the nice lady who tended to me on the street enjoyed.

I’m pretty sure the bike is totaled. I began searching for a new-to-me BMW on Craig’s list before I went to sleep last night. I miss my bike already. The outpouring of love and support from all my friends on FB last night was really nice. I’m probably not going to be hanging nets at the Dakota center for a few days while the leg gets back to 100%- sorry guys.

If anyone has any information about the vehicle that hit me last night- please contact the Dayton Police, 333-COPS.

  • Another angle on the bruised boxter
  • a bruised boxter engine
  • Front fairing damage
  • Where the bag got torn off

How my parathyroid was sucking the life out of me

Back around 1997-98 I had my first bout with kidney stones. I don’t remember if my friend Audra Huelsman drove me to Miami Valley Hospital ER- or was the one that picked me up, but going in I could barely stand up. I remember lying on the gurney tucked into the fetal position. They gave me a shot in my butt- without telling me what it was. 10 minutes later I could dance right out of there. Welcome to my first experience with morphine. Now I knew how guys in WWII stormed machine gun nests despite being shot 5 times.

I started feeling like I had lost my “energy” around 2000. I went to my family doctor, I went to another. I started dating a girl in Cincinnati- who recommended me to a guy who specializes in cholesterol. He found that my triglycerides were at 1200 (normal is under 100) and started me on some meds to put that in check. I felt a little better, but I still didn’t feel like myself.

After eating, I’d often get tired- or feel a wave of depression. I started having reflux, and felt that eating more would help it go down. I’d have a pain in my lower, right side- toward the back. I wondered if it was my gall bladder, appendix or later my adrenal gland. In the last year, my memory seemed to be not as sharp- I found myself hunting for words.

Last September, I went to the hospital again for kidney stones. This time, they weren’t coming out without help. I had surgery to break them up- and a stent put in, and then a second minor procedure to take the stent out. I was sent to an endocrinologist for the first time. He ran tests. Vitamin D was low, calcium was high, PTH- the parathyroid hormone was elevated. He did more tests. 2 biopsies, 2 nuclear scans, multiple ultrasounds. He thought is might be my parathyroid, but wanted to be sure.

I didn’t even know what a parathyroid was, or what it did before that. A friend, Jen Alexander, pointed me to the website of a doctor in Florida who runs an assembly line for removal of parathyroid glands. Reading that site, www.parathyroid.com I learned more than I could ever need to know. There was no need for more tests- it just had to come out.

My grandfather, who was an MD, used to poke at my neck when I was 12 or so- wondering about my thyroid. My grandmother had had hers removed with radiation in 1948- when they were in the first stages of using all the new-found nuclear toys to do new things in medicine. All of my life I’d heard about the thyroid- but never the parathyroid. The parathyroid is actually four small glands that are supposed to be the size of grains of rice that sit on the thyroid- right next to your vocal cords. They are supposed to regulate calcium in your body. When one goes crazy and starts producing too much hormone, the others go dormant. Your body starts sucking the calcium out of your bones- and often times, makes kidney stones. But it also can do all kinds of other things- like be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia among other things.

David Esrati's neck after parathyroid surgery

On leaving the hospital, the purple was marking the surgery- the scar below is the parathyroid scar.

Then came a few delays in scheduling which were frustrating me no end. Falling asleep while reading, feeling sore and stiff when waking up, all these things were driving me nuts. Never mind the recurrent kidney stones.

Yesterday, around 8:30am I went under the knife at the Cincinnati VA by Dr. David Steward, and got at least 1 oversized parathyroid removed. I have a scar at the base of my neck that follows a fold. The stitches are all internal- and there is a clear glue protective coating on it. It looks like someone tried to garrote me with piano wire- and didn’t finish the job.

My neck and throat were sore as I left the hospital around 1 p.m. They were still sore today- although it’s getting better by the hour. But the way I feel is magical. The haze that hung over me, the feelings of depression and tiredness are gone. I feel a clarity again that I’ve missed for so long, it’s as if I’ve been given a whole new life.

To think that I’ve spent the last 13 years thinking this was just because I was getting old, is a little bit depressing. I’ve always reminded people that doctors are “practicing” medicine – as in they still haven’t got it perfected, but right now- despite being sore, I feel like a gazillion bucks comparatively.

If you’ve had kidney stones, or if you’ve felt like you’ve had a loss in energy, or feel depressed after eating- I highly recommend you do a little research and have your PTH, calcium and vitamin D checked. Apparently, parathyroid disorders often go misdiagnosed for years.





Great gifts for the holidays

In case you’ve wondered, life has had to take a front seat to keeping you informed on the inner workings of Dayton. I should be back on track soon. But, in the meantime, it’s CyberMonday and if you are going to shop- here’s my advice on some gifts that I think rock. Plus- if you buy by following the link- it helps pay for this site.

My first advice- is shop local. This doesn’t help me fund this site- but it helps us keep our economy vibrant. Many local restaurants have gift certificates- as do small shops.

Apple earpods in the amazing great case

The case makes the Apple Ear Pods even more delightful.

The best improvement for your iPhone or iPod. Apple came out with new ear buds- or ear pods- as they call them. Getting the ones with your iPhone is ripping you off of the best part of the retail item- the little white case that they snap into and wrap the cord. For $29 they sound awesome and carrying them around has never been easier. Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t the best place to get them- so go to MacTown or MacDepot. If you want to spend a bit more at Amazon- avoiding sales tax and driving, they are $33 I carry mine all the time, and for the first time- can actually use these ear buds while running.

The Next Learning Thermostat

Save money year round with the Nest Learning Thermostat

My favorite gift that keeps on giving- is the Nest Learning Thermostat – not only does it look great, and is easy to use- it will save you a ton of money. I have the first generation- it’s a little thicker – but uses the same software as the new one. Either way- spend $229 to $249  and save money all year long. You can access your thermostat via your smart phone- and turn the heat down (away) and back up when you need it. You get monthly reports of how much energy you saved- and it takes into account local weather as well. Amazing technology from the guy who designed the iPod.

If you want to eat healthier and feel great- I’m going to point you back to another post- where I talked about our government, your health and our food– I’ve loved the Breville Juicer– but now am looking at an Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer, Black and Chrome too- believe it or not- each has it’s own advantages. For $200 to $300 you can get into juicing and feel great and get a lot of nutrition easily and not feel hungry. Really.

If you really like someone- I can’t live without my iPad- and now you have choices of the iPad Mini which is really sweet- or picking up an older iPad 2 for about the same $350. And while the DDn version of the paper sucks on the iPad- you can read it for free- saving you a subscription- and the dead trees. Get a subscription to the New York Times for $20 a month and you’ll have plenty of great news. Amazon isn’t always the best place to look- the Apple store is always good to buy refurbs which have the same warranty as new ones, but here’s Apple iPads on Amazon

If you know any photographers- or budding ones- the DSLR is getting close to perfect as it’s being threatened with obsolescence by the ubiquitous cell phone cameras (The iPhone 4s has an amazing camera- and supposedly the iPhone 5 is even better). The camera we love at the office is the new Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens I’m not a huge fan of the stock lens- I really love this camera with either the “Nifty 50” Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens for $110
or the new pancake Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens which is $149 – both lenses will give you amazing low light portraits with “bokeh” and take your photography to the next level.

A subscription to Netflix is another thoughtful gift- I’m amazed at how well this service delivers entertainment value with a really amazing fun interface. You can watch it via so many different devices- your iPad, your laptop, or with a Playstation, Wii or many of the wired DVD players on your TV.

I also still love giving people a subscription to Wired magazine. It’s not just tech- it’s what’s next, written beautifully- and they give it away for $12 a year.

And, if you haven’t switched to a Mac yet- and are considering a computer purchase- I love the Apple MacBook Pro MD102LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop once you switch- you’ll never go back to a PC. Yes, they are expensive- but worth every penny.

And, just FYI- if you go to Amazon via any of these links- and then do your shopping, it helps.

Any suggestions of other great gifts?

Found dog. Need to find the owner.

Dog found in Dayton's South Park Historic District

We call him George. He belongs to someone.

George came the same day that my kidney stones did.

Harbinger of things to come? Not. He is half beaver/woodchuck- our woodpile is slowly being turned into woodchips- and he’s likely to find shoes, dog leashes and smelly socks and drag them around the house.

I feel bad that besides notifying the neighborhood- and posting on CraigsList- we’ve not done much until today to try to find his home. He had 2 collars on.

He’s about 25lbs, maybe 3-4 months old, and sweet as can be. He’s starting to get the housebreaking thing- and he actually likes his cage.

If you recognize him-we’d love to let you have him back. If not, I think he wouldn’t mind staying.

He was found the morning of Aug 27 in South Park- where he was spotted with another, bigger dog a little before my kids brought him home.

You can call 937.228.4433 to arrange to meet him, if you think he’s yours.

If you want to print out a flyer and hang it up: George poster


A local unsung hero

Note: On the request of Jeff- I’ve deleted most of the post. The Army-produced video has his rank wrong.

Jeff doesn’t like the headline either- he’s not a hero- just a guy doing his job. I’m not changing the link. He’s still a hero in my book- for many reasons,

Jeff Lee grew up in Beavercreek, graduated from Beavercreek High School and Wright State University.

I was in his wedding.

Jeff Lee, thanks for being my friend all these years, and thank you for your service.

Today is your day to adopt a dog

Akeeli, a black lab mix available for adoption at SICSA


We’ve been fostering dogs from SICSA. We have two older big dogs and they are good trainers for young whippersnappers. Plus, they come to my office every day with me.

Last Friday I went to pick up Akeeli, a black Lab mix. They told us she was a 1-year-old puppy, about 45 lbs., who had been adopted and returned because she had severe separation anxiety (the new owner only kept her from Friday to Monday before bringing her back). She wasn’t doing well at SICSA in a cage (they didn’t tell us she had stress diarrhea until after we got her home- but, we never saw evidence of it). She immediately bonded with me. I’ve never met a dog quite so loyal or faithful- so trusting so quickly (my dogs have always found me- after being abused). She doesn’t like me to leave her- even when I’m in the bathroom- she sits outside the door and waits. She will jump up gently to greet people, and practically does pirouettes on her hind legs when the leash comes out. She’s great with kids, other dogs and old people.

She’s totally housebroken, doesn’t chew on things (except dog toys), she’s perfect in every way except she will bark when left people-less and still whimpers when I leave. She will take off if given a chance, but comes to me. When the 8-year-old let her loose the other day- she ran directly to my office, looking for me.

Needless to say, I hate to take her in for adoption today, starting at 11 am. But, I want all of you to consider this wonderful dog who needs a good home. The adoption fee is about $150. She’s already fixed. She knows her commands and is smart as a whip. I think she’s older- although her teeth are perfect, I think she’s probably closer to 3 or 4- because she can settle down just fine, despite having a lot of energy when it’s time to play.

She will be very stressed out in the kennel, so take my word for it- you get her home, she’ll be the best dog you ever had. And, if for any reason you need a dog sitter, she’ll always be welcome here.

SICSA is at 2600 Wilmington Pike,  Dayton, OH 45419 (937) 294-6505 You can come see her starting at 11 a.m.

The new fairness doctrine as proposed by Congressional Candidate David Esrati

I believe the first thing we need to do if we want to have the representation we deserve, is change the way we elect Congress. We have to change our auctions for office into elections.

There are two parts to leveling the playing field and balancing the power of the Congress with the power of the people.

The first is to take the money out of politics- entirely.

Rootstrikers, are looking to get to the root of the problem- by introducing a new way to finance political campaigns. Their leader is academic superstar Lawrence Lessig who has a new book out: Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It

1. Provide that public elections are publicly funded;

2. Limit, and make transparent, independent political expenditures, and;

3. Reaffirm that when the Declaration of Independence spoke of entities “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” it was speaking of natural persons only.

via Rootstrikers – Fighting the corrupting influence of money in politics.

One of the proposals is to allow unlimited donations, but they have to be routed through the Federal Elections Commission so that candidates have no indication of who supported their positions.

Another brilliant solution is the so called “Patriot dollars:”

The best solution we have heard of is called the “patriot dollars” plan, put forth by Yale law professors Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres. Basically, it eliminates all hard contributions to candidates. Period. Instead, each voter is given a $50 ATM card so that he or she can literally vote with their dollars and contribute their $50, in part or in whole, to their choice of federal candidates. Simple enough. Let’s do the math. We spend about $5 billion to $6 billion collectively on all federal elections. If the approximately 131 million who voted in November also had voted with $50 worth of patriot bucks, the donations would have equaled — surprise — $6.5 billion! That money would cover presidential, Senate and congressional races.

via ‘Patriot dollars’ to reform politics – latimes.com.

Both of these solutions would transform our current system that creates a culture of congressional corruption- where our representatives spend at least half their time either begging for money- or spending it campaigning.

Republic, Lost from Daniel Jones on Vimeo.

Once we’ve solved the influence-peddling conundrum, we need to look at bringing some sanity back to our economic ecosystem. There is wealth and there is greed. Having a nation with a small number of people who control most of the wealth creates a system that is unsustainable. This isn’t a new phenomena, Justice Brandeis talked about this at the turn of the last century- his thoughts have been revisited with another solution (and it also mentions the problems of bought elections):

Over the last three decades, income inequality has again soared to the sort of levels that alarmed Brandeis. In 1980, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans made 9.1 percent of our nation’s pre-tax income; by 2006 that share had risen to 18.8 percent — slightly higher than when Brandeis joined the Supreme Court in 1916.

Congress might have countered this increased concentration but, instead, tax changes have exacerbated the trend: in after-tax dollars, our wealthiest 1 percent over this same period went from receiving 7.7 percent to 16.3 percent of our nation’s income.

What we call the Brandeis Ratio — the ratio of the average income of the nation’s richest 1 percent to the median household income — has skyrocketed since Ronald Reagan took office. In 1980 the average 1-percenter made 12.5 times the median income, but in 2006 the latest year for which data is available the average income of our richest 1 percent was a whopping 36 times greater than that of the median household.

Brandeis understood that at some point the concentration of economic power could undermine the democratic requisite of dispersed political power. This concern looms large in today’s America, where billionaires are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money on their own campaigns or expressly advocating the election of others.

We believe that we have reached the Brandeis tipping point. It would be bad for our democracy if 1-percenters started making 40 or 50 times as much as the median American.

Enough is enough. Congress should reform our tax law to put the brakes on further inequality. Specifically, we propose an automatic extra tax on the income of the top 1 percent of earners — a tax that would limit the after-tax incomes of this club to 36 times the median household income.

Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income per se; it only caps inequality. Billionaires could double their current income without the tax kicking in — as long as the median income also doubles. The sky is the limit for the rich as long as the “rising tide lifts all boats.” Indeed, the tax gives job creators an extra reason to make sure that corporate wealth does in fact trickle down.

Here’s how the tax would work. Once a year, the Internal Revenue Service would calculate the Brandeis ratio of the previous year. If the average 1-percenter made more than 36 times the income of the median American household, then the I.R.S. would create a new tax bracket for the highest 1 percent of income and calculate a marginal income tax rate for that bracket sufficient to reduce the after-tax Brandeis ratio to 36.

This new tax, if triggered, would apply only to income in excess of the poorest 1-percenter — currently about $330,000 per year. Our Brandeis tax is conservative in that it doesn’t attempt to reverse the gains of the wealthy in the last 30 years. It is not a “claw back” tax. It merely assures that things don’t get worse.

via Don’t Tax the Rich. Tax Inequality Itself. – NYTimes.com.

While any combination of the above ideas would be game changing, the real issue that needs to be addressed first and foremost is how to create living wage jobs in this country and get people back to work.

It’s not going to happen by lowering interest rates, government spending or by crony capitalism/corporate welfare, nor is a “payroll tax reduction” going to solve any long-term systemic problems.

What we need to look at is linking the ability to gain wealth directly to how many jobs you create in this country. It’s time to stop rewarding corporate raiders like Mitt Romney and the Wizards of Wall Street who think that owning a stock for less than 12 seconds is “investing.”

There are two ways to do this: one is to limit all compensation in publicly traded companies to a ratio of highest to lowest paid employees and or payroll. A formula would be put in place that requires at least 51% of your payroll be spent in America for you to have patent protection and other rights, and that the top compensation be directly tied to total payroll and a ratio. The more people you employ, and the higher their average wage- the more you can take home. No more billion dollar plus salaries for creating new financial junk paper- the only financial paper that would count is your payroll report.

The second option is that the Federal Government, the largest purchaser of goods and services no longer does business with any company that breaks the ratio. Things would change very quickly.

The costs of inequality and poverty will destroy our country. When people can’t find meaningful honest work, survival mechanisms kick in and crime kicks in as civility walks out.

Without approaching our problems in a new way with new thinking as outlined above, democracy as we used to believe in it, is doomed if not already dead. It’s why I’m running for Congress in OH-10, and hope that you will support me.

No bid to a no-name company? Dayton Airport deal suspicious

Whenever I see a no-bid deal involving any local government body, I start questioning the process.

From today’s Dayton Daily News:

Dayton International Airport is requesting City Commission approval to pay a company up to $36,000 over three months to recommend a new telephone system at the airport.

The commission will be asked today to approve the contract with JYG Innovations LLC, which will not supply the new system.

The Clayton company is to assess what is needed for an upgrade to a voice-over-Internet-protocol phone system and to help the city shape plans for the new system, according to documents prepared for city commissioners.

Last week, the Commission approved a three-year contract with the same company, paying it up to $90,000 annually for a three-year total of $270,000, to provide information technology and support services to the airport. That includes IT systems engineering, design, implementation, security monitoring and problem-solving.

The city did not seek competitive bids for either contract, instead opting to directly hire JYG under “professional services agreements,” said Stanley Earley, Dayton’s deputy city manager.

The company, which was registered with the Ohio secretary of state in 2009, is certified as a minority-owned, female-owned and small business enterprise in Dayton’s procurement program, according to city documents.

Dayton hired JYG because it has expertise suitable for these contract needs and its personnel have worked with the city and know its systems, Earley said. Dayton would seek competitive bids for larger contracts, he said.

via Airport wants to study new phone system.

What’s even more fun is that JYG Innovations LLC is calling itself a minority-owned company and apparently getting bonus points for it. What about other minority-owned companies? Shouldn’t they get a chance to bid as well? (The City of Dayton does not consider Veteran or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses worthy of special consideration,  despite the Feds having a 3% SDVOB contracting mandate).

I went to look up the registration of the website- and find they registered www.jyginnovations.com by proxy- to hide the registrants’ info. Luckily, they list their CCR registration on the site and their CAGE code 5X0W5 – where I find thanks to the SBA site:

Jacqueline Gamblin

Jacqueline Gamblin

JACQUELINE GAMBLIN 180 FIVEPINES CT CLAYTON, OH 45315-9657 IT Consulting services focused on IT Strategic Planning, Business Process Improvement, Business Intelligence and Information Security.

Then I go to LinkedIn- where I find I have connections to her through 4 people, including Pete Hager who is ourchasing manager for the city. She worked for Ingenium from 1997 to 2009 before starting JYG Innovations with her last title VP.

She has a BS in Biology from WSU earned in 1990

Ingenium seems to be one of those huge companies that small businesses like to call a “Beltway bandit” with HQ in Maryland and primarily be involved in government contracting. They have a local office in Dayton.

Her maiden name is Yokley and she graduated from Wayne HS in 1985 (that answers why it’s JYG)

Manta tells us she has a staff of 1 and annual revenues (before the no-bid contracts) of under $100,000 a year.

Her PTAC page- (PTAC is a government paid-for operation to help small businesses do business with the government) is almost blank: http://www.ptacconnect.org/company/view.asp?iLookupCompanyID=10593

She is the chair for “Involvement Advocacy” in Dayton- which is a group started by Peter Benkendorf (with whom I grew up in Cleveland Heights) to support the arts- and his Blue Sky Project among other things.

I’m not able to connect the dots to why she got this contract without having to bid- or allowing others to have an opportunity to bid, but I’m pretty sure one of my readers will make the connection before the day is done.

For an IT professional, the idea of hiding your domain registration by proxy is stupid. Incredibly so. It’s for that reason I kept digging and finding and pursuing this. The Internet has no hiding places.

It’s unfortunate that the DDN missed the bigger no-bid contract last week. Miss Gamblin just got a $102,000 a year job, without having to be hired- or going through an open-hiring process. The contract which was approved last week- actually started on Nov. 1, 2011 according to the non-ADA compliant posting of the meeting agenda http://www.daytonohio.gov/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2011/11-16-11%20Agenda.pdf

Apparently, this is the hiring of an independent contractor to work on site- and possibly subcontract two other positions via her company. There is no indication if she is to hire onshore for those other positions (she could be hiring someone in India to do her server admin or security work if my quick read of the contract is correct).

This is not the way an honest, open government operates.

I am unable to decipher from her website her history of expertise in this specific project, or a track record of doing this kind of work solo. The firm is less than 2 years old and lists zero clients, or references.

Please enlighten me, this looks like hiring someone’s lover to a sweet paycheck with zero oversight.

additional info:

Here is the contract scope on the $270K work from the city agenda- note the original spec included VOIP services:

  • Consultant will perform the following work and services for the City’s Department of Aviation:
  • Perform server system administration and operations.
  • Monitor data backup processes.
  • Maintain desktop computer systems.
  • Assist users with problem resolution.
  • Monitor network availability and operational status.
  • Monitor system security posture including antivirus signatures, system patches, Pix
  • firewall rules, and ISA server.
  • Manage user add, remove, and changes in Active Directory.
  • Provide IT systems design and implementation guidance.
  • Communicate status of project activities and actions with the Airport IT staff.
  • Infuse new technologies into the environment as requested.
  • Provide final-tier problem resolution services as requested.
  • Assist with VOIP implementation.

Consultant shall assign one of its Programmers to provide on-site (at the Airport) support and off-site (remote) monitoring support to provide the Professional Services up to a maximum of twenty (20) hours per week during the term of this Agreement. In addition, Consultant shall provide Application Engineer, Senior Systems Engineer and Systems Engineer labor categories to provide Professional Services on an as needed basis and upon the verbal or written preapproval from the City’s Director of Aviation or his designee.

If you want to look at the whole agenda in an ADA compliant form (unfortunately- the OCR reoriented the internal links) I’ve done the OCR for you: 11-16-11 City Of Dayton Agenda ADA compliant







Esrati is stoned, a VA supporter, a dog saver and stolen bike retrieval officer

Some of you may have noticed that the number of updates to Esrati.com has decreased in the last few weeks. One reason is that it took a bit of time to write the two big posts of late: The resignation of Dayton Daily News photo chief Larry Price– which went international, and the post about the competing efforts on regionalism (which to have been totally right would have taken a few solid days of calling for comment, etc., if I were paid to do this).

We’re also very busy at The Next Wave, opening a Miami FL office, launching our new web site, creating new brands, building web sites, making video, crafting advertising. The Huff-n-Puff hockey season also started.  Add in that I’ve also had to deal with the latest break in, adding late night walks on “security patrol” to my already stretched schedule.  The latest update on that in a bit, plus how I saved a dog’s life.

Then, to top it all off- I’ve got kidney stones. Not the first time, that was about 10 years ago- and the first time I had ever been given morphine. I had gone to Miami Valley Hospital, barely able to walk, and 15 minutes after the shot- I was ready to dance. Unfortunately, the next 36 hours- I was in bed- in and out of consciousness.  Won’t make that mistake again- this time, it’s only vicoden- which I’m on after a 9 p.m. trip to the VA emergency room last night.

I know that our local Congressman, Mike Turner, has made it a personal mission to vilify the entire institution over one dentist’s gross misconduct. But, as a Service Disabled Veteran, who gave up my private health insurance about 6 years ago and have only received my care from the VA- I would like to tell you that all your fears of “socialized medicine” would go away if the kind of care I’ve received was scalable to the entire country.

I see my General Practitioner twice a year. He typically spends between 30 and 45 minutes going over my health with me. He responds to e-mail about questions in my care program, his nurse- Mike, has become a good friend, and any test that’s needed, gets done, without question of cost. I recently had a CAT scan for my stones, no problem. All records are digital, including X-rays.

Pharmacy is all done by mail, with an online portal for renewals of regular medication. My eyes get checked annually, and glasses are available free from a choice of basic frames and for about $100 for “designer” frames. I’ve been wearing the $100 frames for a few years- and had many compliments.

My only complaint over the years is that I had forgotten some basic medication (not a narcotic)  when on a trip- tried to get a few pills for 2 days in St. Louis, where they wanted to go through a whole bunch of craziness including an ER visit, where if I’d had my prescription at Walgreens, it would have been walk in and sign.

You should be as lucky as me to have such an amazing team of people that took care of me last night. Thanks to Knickenbocker, Fat Pat (we’ll hit the road for a scoot soon), Amy, Heather, Doc D for taking amazing care of me.

If this seems like a ramble- it’s proof not to take drugs and write.

Scooby, a terrier lab mix, soon to be able to be adopted from SICSA

Scooby, our latest addition (possibly with ringworm)

We also began fostering a puppy for SICSA on Friday around 5. I think we’re going to fail our first foster- and end up with “Scooby” (a name we hate)- a 7-month-old terrier-lab mix, who weighs about 25 lbs.

It was yesterday morning when SICSA called and asked us to bring him in for a “vet check.” Turns out, he came in with 3 other puppies from a family that had him living in their yard. The house was foreclosed on, and the 4 came in. Before they checked all of them- we had the Scoobster. The girls introduced him to our two 10-year-old big dogs, with minimum fighting. And he started making friends, esp. with me (dogs tend to like me a lot more than people do). So, less than 20 hours after we have him- and all of us have been loving on the mutt, I get the news that the other three pups were destroyed- one had ringworm, and the other two were put down as a precaution. Do we want to keep Scooby, having to wait 2 weeks to see if the culture tests positive for ringworm- in which case, we’re looking at 4 additional weeks of fostering (by which time, I think I’d have a hard time giving him up). Or, hand him back, in which case, he wouldn’t live to  see 3 p.m. (it was 2:30 p.m.).

Ringworm isn’t a horrible disease, it’s easily cured with Lotramin AF, but the problem is it’s easily transmitted through microscopic spores that are only killed by lots of UV light, or bleach. We’d have to soak all three dogs with Sulfur Lime solution (we now have three rotten egg smelling dogs)- and keep Scooby semi-isolated.

Obviously- I brought him home. Odds are about 50/50 that he has ringworm- but, we won’t know till the end of the month.

The Bicycle Thief

The Bicycle Thief

On the way home, I stopped by Family Dollar on Clover St. at Wayne to pick up some Lotramin AF. As I was pulling out of the lot, I see three teens, in the middle of Theobald Lane- one of whom was on Teresa’s bike that was stolen. I pull the car over- taking pictures with my iPhone as I get out of the car. They start asking me what I’m doing taking pictures- I say “That bike was my Girlfriend’s until it was stolen last week” at which point- the kid starts pedaling as I start chasing. Note: keys are in car, Scooby is in the car, and there are three of them. The kid realizes he can’t get the bike going fast enough- as I’m running and about to grab him- so he dumps the bike and takes off running toward the Cricket Store. I stop- take more pix- and call 911.

Neighbor Rob Gonzalez, comes by in his jeep- asks what’s up- I give him description of punk kid, he goes looking for him. Note, Rob is  SFC Gonzalez, U.S. Army- and is a Military Police officer. Luckily for the punk kid- Rob doesn’t find him.

The other two talk trash as I take more photos and wait for the cops, who show up in about 15 minutes. The cop gives me a form for E-crew (Dayton’s Evidence Crew)- but says they won’t get prints off the bike, and tells me to take it home.

Turns out when I get it home- Teresa says it’s not her bike. Same style, same color- but slightly different. So now, I’ve “stolen” a stolen bike. I’ll explain to the cops when they show up. I’ve posted pictures to our neighborhood crime watch group on Facebook- to ID all three kids- to see what we can come up with. Our community based police officers also have all the pix.

Add in a few hours of work in the early morning at the office, a trip to the bank and the Second Street market (where I ran into Bubba Jones)- and you have a day in the life of David Esrati.

May your life not be like mine. I’m off to vicoden dreams.

However, I’m going to leave you with something I wrote in response to someone who didn’t like my language in describing the criminal element (and future criminal elements) in our neighborhood: “Pollyanna won’t save you. Buford Pusser will.”


Bonds for Charter Schools that can’t write English

If the Dayton Public Schools sent out an 8-page newsletter like the “Horizon Science Academy,” a congressman would be crawling up their behinds questioning why they are allowed to teach our children.

However, this charter school is about to get tax-exempt bonds to finance their little money-making “non-profit” skool. Oh, did I misspell that?

“This newsletter is only a few pages from your neighborhood school” opening line of the “Director’s Letter” on page 2.

“Having only about 200 students, we know all the students and their parents with their names and personalities”

“Horizon schools are good for all students at different academic levels: if your child is behind the grade level, our teachers spend extra time with them via after school tutoring and Saturday schools.

“to give our students a breath from hard work”

“Another breath that our students take is when it’s time for our elective classes”

Signed- “Mr. Matt”

Then we have a “Parent Comment” on “would you recommend other families to Horizon Science Academy – Dayton Downtown”

“Yes, because I seen an instant change in my child’s grades, wanting to go to school, she is happy here.”

I’ve attached a PDF of this “newsletter” for you to see for yourself:Horizon Science Academy newsletter

The vote will be Tuesday, July 26-

Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss said the resolution was pulled from the commission agenda Thursday because of significant interest in the Horizon Science Academy and the way its new school building would be financed.

“We want to make sure we’ve got all the information together before we put it before the commission for consideration,” Tuss said.

via Dayton Daily News Archive of Past Articles | Montgomery County.

The original article on the vote:

Montgomery County commissioners will decide Thursday whether to approve the issuance of $9.2 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to expand a controversial charter school in Dayton. Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss said the county would have no liability for the issuance of the bonds, but commission approval is required under the Internal Revenue Code.

The bonds would be issued by the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima, Ariz. Proceeds of the bonds would be loaned to New Plan Learning, Inc., an Ohio nonprofit corporation, to finance the expansion of Horizon Science Academy — Dayton High School at 250 Shoup Mill Road.

Chicago-based Concept Schools runs 19 Ohio charter schools, including three Horizon Science Academies in Dayton. One of the state’s largest operators of publicly financed charters, it was founded by Turkish educators inspired by religious leader and scholar, Fethullah Gulen.

The commissioners unanimously approved the same issuance of bonds in June 2010, but the process is being repeated because the approval expired before bonds could be issued, officials said.

Concept Vice President Salim Ucan said the plan calls for moving students from an elementary school at 545 Odlin Ave. to the Shoup Mill location to create a K-12 campus by the 2012-13 school year.

Part of the school would be renovated to add classrooms, offices, labs and a cafeteria, and a new gymnasium also would be built.

School officials also want to purchase 3.26 acres of adjacent property for athletic fields.

via Dayton Daily News Archive of Past Articles | Charter seeking $9.2M to expand.

A very quick investigation of Concept Schools- on their own website, finds them rebutting a TV news story in Cleveland about the recruitment of Turkish teachers using H1B visas to teach at Horizon Schools. In a state where we are extra finicky about who teaches in unionized public schools- it’s odd that we are now so short of qualified Americans to teach at HS and below- that we have to go to Turkey.

But the true zinger is that our property values that are so low and their business model is so untested that banks won’t lend to them in Dayton:

Fourth, such reports raise concerns about the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, which is leasing its facility from an Ohio limited liability company that is owned by a Turkish businessman who was willing to take a risk on the development of this property as a school, when Dayton area banks and others were not. The Dayton school leases the property for $3.78 a square foot, which is a bargain compared to medium grade office space in Dayton, which is leased for $10 a square foot or more. News stories that make this sound like hundreds of thousand of dollars go oversees is nothing but part of an agenda of sensationalizing their stories.

via Concept’ s rebuttal of recent news stories in Ohio – Concept Schools.

This means that the tax-free bonds that Montgomery County is about to issue- are to help pay a foreign investor off. Can I sign up for that deal? And- even more confusing is that according to the article- which is clear as mud- the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima, Ariz is issuing them? Huh? Right on their website under the non-profit area it says:


The Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima (the “Authority”), in conjunction with Wells Fargo Bank, is committed to supporting the development and expansion of the local community by awarding low interest rate loans (“Non-Profit Loan”) to nonprofit organizations in Pima County.

via Pima County Industrial Development Authority.

Is Pima County breaking its own rules?

Why is Mr. Tuss even wasting time on this deal? Is he creating more of his famous “high tech jobs”- to be imported from Turkey? Considering the state has already created a charter high school focusing on STEM- the Dayton Regional STEM school– which just bought and is remodeling the former Value City Department Store on Woodman- where is the essential public need for this school that can’t spel?

Hint for the Montgomery County Commissioners- just vote Know, I mean NO. Otherwise, we’ll have to start digging into this more and find out who is getting paid off for this dumb deal.

I need a breath from all this hard work.

UPDATE- 10:20PM- I took a breath- and then dug a little deeper:

The IDA does not act as a lender but as a “conduit,” allowing a lender to issue tax-free bonds on behalf of the borrower, Russo said. The conduit role earns the IDA fees and brings money to its partner in many projects, the Community Investment Corp.

The IDA receives a $3,000 fee for each successful application, and gets a fee of one-tenth of 1 percent of the principal of each bond issue every year. That money can help the IDA with other programs it runs, such as a nonprofit loan program and a program that helps single-family home buyers, Russo said.

The Community Investment Corp. acts as the administrator of the IDA’s charter-school financing projects. For its services the corporation charges a set-up-fee of $1,000 and an annual fee of $8,000 or $12,000, depending on the size of the bond issue. That money can help the corporation’s charter-school-finance program and other activities, such as investments in local start-ups, said executive director Frank Valenzuela, also a director of the IDA.

via Financing group’s practices questioned.

When you look at the site for “The Community Investment Corp” you find a shell of a site- with pages still under construction- even though this non-profit was set up in 1996. From their “Site”

The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) was founded in 1996 as a non-profit 5O1(c)3 agency to assist small businesses and provide public purpose services. Working in collaboration with other agencies, CIC has provided investment in new and existing businesses for start up and business expansion.

Once again, smoke and mirrors. So what we have is the Montgomery County Commissioners, voting to approve a tax exempt bond issued by a development authority in Tucson AZ that subcontracts to another Tucson non-profit to administer the bond, which is floated by a Wall Street bank (like Wells Fargo) to an Ohio non-profit, for a Chicago based firm, owned by Turks to put a school in Dayton.

And we wonder why the country is about to head into default?