Sinclair is dreaming.

Sinclair Community College trustees are getting an A+ for chutzpah. While diverting their attention and focus from Montgomery County in a scramble to provide services to Warren County- they are now asking Montgomery County voters for a 28% levy increase- while Warren County pays nothing.

This levy will be on the same ballot as the Dayton Public Schools levy and the Metroparks levy. If you think voters have levy burnout and remorse now- wait till March.

Sinclair is chartered and funded by Montgomery County- it’s time the Trustees learn to represent their shareholders- and make sure our dividends come back to us- and not get diverted to Warren County. If they want this levy to pass, I recommend they sell Warren County the assets, and walk away from their expansion plans. Otherwise, they will find that Montgomery County voters aren’t going to keep giving them a hall pass at the voting booth.

Sinclair to ask voters for levy increase – Dayton Business Journal:
The Sinclair Community College Board of Trustees voted in a special session Friday to ask Montgomery County voters this March to approve a 28 percent levy increase during the next decade to keep tuition costs at bay and offer more career programs.

The new 3.2 mill levy would generate $31 million a year and cost owners of a $100,000 home $98 in taxes per year. The college’s current 2.5 mill rate, set to expire in December 2008, would cost owners of $100,000 homes $76.56 in taxes that would have produced about $24 million in revenue.

The nine board members representing Montgomery County voted unanimously for the increase. By law, Sinclair’s two Warren County trustees did not participate in the vote.

What do you think?

News Flash: Spineless species of man discovered.

Apparently, a new species of men has been uncovered in Dayton Ohio, closely related to the Neanderthal Kneejerk Conservutus species who is best exemplified by Rush Limbaugh et. al.

Dayton City Commissioners Dean Lovelace and Joey Williams, who have both benefited from the civil rights movement of the sixties, chose to show that they answer to a lynch mob of African American Ministers first, and the people of Dayton second.

Dayton commission passes anti-discrimination law
The City Commission voted 3-1 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of protected groups. Commissioner Dean Lovelace was the sole “no” vote. McLin and Commissioners Matt Joseph and Nan Whaley voted for the measure. Joey Williams requested additional dialogue and did not vote.

With both Williams and Lovelace members of the Democratic party, this shows that either the party really isn’t that important to them, or they are Dems in name only. Both should be kicked out of the party for this.

I always laughed when the buzz against our sole Catholic president, JFK, was that he would be the Popes mouthpiece- but, I guess Williams and Lovelace prove that there isn’t a true separation of Church and State right here in Dayton Ohio.

Hopefully, this vote is the beginning of the end of their political careers. Williams can squirm on this all he wants, but, I find his kind of fence sitting particularly lame. Leaders make decisions when the time comes, not when it suits them.

Equal protection and equal rights are fundamental rights that this country was founded on. There is only one way to vote on this.

What do you think?

The Stone Soup Cafe- not quite ready for prime time- yet.

Photo of the Storefront of the Stone Soup Cafe on Xenia Ave in Dayton OHI try to be a locavore, so I was real excited to head to lunch at the newest, hippest local cafe, which just happens to be a long stones throw from the office.

Got there, and guess what, the health department didn’t like the sink, so it will be next week before they have lunches ready. Right now, it’s coffee and pancakes or waffles.

Here is a link to their site- it’s on MySpace-

MySpace.com – The Stone Soup Cafe – 100 – Male – DAYTON, Ohio – www.myspace.com/stonesoupcafe
“625 Xenia Ave., Dayton, OH USA – Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. Coffees, Teas, Soups, Cookies and much more”

I asked for a menu, but that’s being redone too. So, after thanksgiving we’ll give it another shot.

Although it says day time hours- apparently, there will be evening poetry slams, art shows- etc.

Keep an eye on this, it may be a new cool cat hang-out.

Dayton Daily News shows bias in restaurant news

I’m not going to dig up the links on the DDN site- or try to tell you what days the stories ran (bad blogger)- but, there is a trend: stories about Downtown restaurants get bigger headlines than suburban ones when the news is bad.

Case in point: The very large Villa D’Giovanni in Fairborn closed this week– and got a mere 2 inches in my print edition. The reasonably sized Encore- closed this week in Springboro- and got a mere 2 inches. Both had at least 30 employees- and new high rent buildings.

Today, the DDN reported about Dolcessa‘s future move to Brown Street from the Oregon District- about 12 inches or more- and a 3 column headline. Dolcessa employees maybe, 6 people.

They aren’t even closing yet- not until Nov. 30.

When the Blue Moon closed in the Oregon District, with their 20 employees- it was front page news. Same for Mediterra. Same for Olivias. Why the bias?

Joe Lacey needs a clue

I filmed an interview of Joe Lacey with Mike Robinette on Joe’s school board candidate slate- and his “ideas” about DPS.  I was totally unimpressed by him, his answers, his demeanor and bearing- I’d almost rather watch GWB talk- and that pains me no end.

So, when a back link to my site showed that Dayton Daily News educational blogger Scott Elliot had blogged my DaytonOS post on the poor campaign lit– I found Lacey had made yet another baseless accusation of my lack of substance (a position the DDN once took pride in making). I’ve included his whole quote:

School board candidates: Out of touch? | Get on the Bus | Observations on schools, kids, teachers, teaching and education by Scott Elliott, Dayton Daily News
By Joe Lacey

October 5, 2007 10:49 PM | Link to this
I must protest that I think my card does have some good information. I designed it to promote the three challengers, Taylor, Nerny and Crisp, because they represent change and I give examples of some bad board policies carried on by the current board. I point out the fact that the current board does not hold the administration to a budget, a bad board fiscal decision. All of the current board members but Jeffrey Mims have defended the $20 million purchase of the new administration building, another bad board decision that I point out on the card. The card also suggests that our historic school buildings don’t have much of a chance under the current board. I think that this is pretty clear from the board’s history. I included my phone number if anyone wants to call me for any more information and my email address was omitted by a printing error. If David Esrati is so interested in school issues he should address those that I raise on my card…rather than how pretty or low tech my card is.
(bold and italics mine)

I’ve been interested in school issues since I first ran against Clay Dixon and Mike Turner in the Mayors race back in the late 80’s. Turner used to mock me for suggesting the city sue to lift the DeSeg order- and then later took credit when he got it lifted. At this point- Joe was still a Democratic Party pissant with a patronage job (not much different than now- only he’s a school board member too).

I’ve got a whole category of suggestions on how to fix DPS. More than he’s got anywhere- or any of the “Candidates” had.

And the thing that bugs me more than anything- by posting my opinion on DaytonOS we gave people a real comment stage- unlike the lame one on the Dayton Daily News site- with e-mail updates to those who comment- the ability to use HTML to link to sources- and to continue the discussion for as long as you want. No comments. The DDN blog- has plenty of great comments- and I can’t post a reply now- since they’ve closed it (without telling you until after you’ve written a response). The real discussion is here- or at DaytonOS- not on Scott Elliot’s blog.

Daytonians need to wake up. And, Joe Lacey needs to get his own blog- before he continues to talk trash.

Dayton Public Schools pick style over substance

It’s time to recall the School Board – at least the ones who voted to choose Ronald Lee over David Bohardt because of “personality”- see DDN article excerpt below:

GM retiree picked for city school board
The Dayton school board Wednesday night chose Ronald Lee as its newest member.

Board President Yvonne Isaacs said the retired GM autoworker was picked over David Bohardt, who challenged Rhine McLin for mayor in 2005, and Ken Hook, an ex-teacher and former restaurant owner, because Lee’s personality was the best fit with the board.

“We’re not looking for a rubber stamp, which I don’t think Ron will be at all, but someone who will work with the board to reach consensus and support the positions of the board,” Isaacs said.

Forget original thought in Dayton- we just like to have “leaders” that work as a herd- not anyone that could actually be heard.

Why do the School Board Members that got voted out- have any right to weigh in on this decision? Maybe it would have been smarter to take the last cut of the last election to fill the seat instead of an appointment.

Either way, it’s obvious that “Kids First” is only that in name only- right now, it’s more about them first than the kids.

Any thoughts?

Wayne Ave Kroger- Round 2?

The city hosted an informational meeting about the Wayne/Wyoming Kroger location tonight at Twin Towers Place. Shelly Dickstein did an admirable job trying to be polite, and project an air of confidence to a crowd numbering around 100. A large contingent from South Park was there, but surprisingly- of the 65 owners of the 89 parcels- only 15 were in attendance and only 3 were owner occupants.

Noticeably missing- any one from Kroger or Midland Atlantic.

Somehow- they don’t seem to get it- or just enjoy watching the city do their bitch work for them. Apparently, I was quite out of place asking the following questions:

  • Has the city talked to other grocers about the location- or a smaller footprint store (or asked Kroger to go with a smaller store).
  • Has the city offered the same financial support to competition?
  • Has the city looked at other locations for Kroger competitors?
  • Has the city learned anything from the failed Midland/Atlantic attempt to aggregate the properties 4 years ago?
  • How much has the city asked for in earnest money from either Kroger or Midland/Atlantic?
  • Is the city prepared to go after Kroger for the neighborhood devaluation caused by their failed attempt and no earnest money offers from 4 years ago?

Apparently- we’re not supposed to question them.

When residents asked about financial assistance programs for relocation, back taxes and assessments, interest rate assistance (they may have fixed 5.25% loans on current homes- and can’t qualify for an 8% variable now because of the sub-prime crisis)- they were offered no concrete answers. Hardly an inspiring pep talk.

As in the Arcade, the Arcade Tower, the Cit Fed tower- the city still doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to effectively do a real estate deal. Reality is- they shouldn’t be in this business in the first place. If they are going to try to be developers- they should hire real developers to do the work. I like Ms. Dickstein- but she doesn’t seem to have the skills to pull this off without taking one in the keister.

I’ve presented ideas previously on this subject on this site- I don’t see any change in the position. We’ll still have hold-outs, and we won’t have a way to address them.

In the mean time, Kroger sits back comfortably, in their current shit-hole location, paying month-to-month rent, giving a substandard Kroger experience while the taxpayers get hosed. Make them put up some cash- or sue them for causing the decline of a neighborhood and get on with it.

Have we really asked Target, Meijer, WalMart if they are willing to do a small market urban store on the location? Have we offered them $3 million? I don’t think we have- and that’s part of the reason this deal ain’t going to happen anytime soon.

What do you think? Watch tomorrow’s Dayton Daily for an article- with a probable quote from me.

You don’t have to eat chain food in Dayton

Friday night I ventured south to try some of Dayton’s newest independent restaurants.

Camera phone picture of Rue Dumaine from the parking lotFirst stop was Rue Dumaine- which is in a strip mall location right next to Arhaus on 725- a bit premature, since they aren’t open yet. The inside looks promising- with that retro-NY twist on French Metro style. I’ve read that the owners are Dayton natives who found great success with a small boutique restaurant in New Orleans before coming back to Dayton – and that they’ve teamed with Brian Griffy who used to work at The Blue Moon under chef Greg Fitzgerald.

Next stop was the former Eclipse/Blue Moon on 48 in historic Centerville- now called Savona and headed by Keith Taylor. Describing themselves as “Old World Italian with a Contemporary Flair”- we didn’t have reservations and the wait was an hour and a half.

Sorry, but, I was too hungry to wait.

Next stop wasn’t exactly “new” – but the recent change in the kitchen made it well worth being a first destination: Madison’s Bistro, which now has former Blue Moon/Eclipse owner/chef in the kitchen. It was kind of sad that there wasn’t a wait- but that’s probably because you haven’t sampled their spinach salad with a honey-vanilla vinaigrette. Trust me, this salad is so good- it’s worthy of desert. Those of you missing the Blue Moon- you can find a lot of your old favorites like the portabella fries, or the blue cheese stuffed steak.

Madisons is probably the hardest to find of the three- set way back off Far Hills in the rear of the Lamplighter Shops at 5531 Far Hills Avenue 45429. The number is 937-435-7080

Savona is at 79 S. Main Street 45458- phone is 937-610-9835.

If you are looking for a uniquely Dayton dining experience- and want to support local people trying to make something special in Dayton – I highly recommend you check these restaurants out.

Ohio isn’t ready for a “Third Frontier” yet.

I’m not sure what to expect from a State that was stupid enough to reelect George W. Bush, but today in the voting booth I got a full frontal display of idocy.

One of the advantages of “electronic voting” is that ballots can be changed and updated on the fly. No printing required. So why was the “Stripper Bill” on the machine as the first question? The petitions were thrown out weeks ago.

If the State of Ohio wants to be taken seriously as a tech leader, better figure out how to get a digital ballot to be current.

And, one other thing: when sending out bid requests- it’s pretty easy to send a link to a page, but the State still shows it’s incompetence by sending bid request e-mails like this:

How to Find This Opportunity Online:

Use the following process to view this opportunity:

-Access the Office of Procurement Services Web site at
http://www.ohio.gov/procure
-From the Navigation Bar on the left, select
Find It Fast;
-Select Doc/Bid/Schedule # as the Type;
-Enter the Bid Number
-Click the ?Find It Fast? button;

Following the directions stated above will navigate you to the details page for the opportunity. Clicking on the link that reads “Click to View Document” will provide the document in PDF format.

Somebody at [email protected] should be fired.

Don’t forget to vote today.

Not that Dayton residents can change their ineffective City Commission- but the school board seats, and Issue 20 are critical decisions.

Although the Charter changes are nice housekeeping issues- until the Commission allows us the right to vote them out, vote a write in, or petition our city- my answer is NO.

What we really need to do is ditch off-year elections all together- bring real campaign reform to not make it a battle of money over minds, and begin the consolidation of the  big cities in Ohio so that we can become competitive.