Volunteers needed to walk this weekend.

If you want to see change, we need to have choices on the ballot.

I am well on my way to collecting 500 signatures on my own, but, to make sure that the partisan board of elections doesn’t try to keep me off the ballot, I’d like to turn in at least 750.

If you have a few hours to spare this weekend, I will hand deliver a petition and a walking list to you- if you’ll take a few hours to go knocking.

Please e-mail me at [email protected]. Thank you.

The petitions will have to be notarized after you complete them. I will then come and personally pick them up from you. Everyone who walks will be rewarded with an invitation to dinner with the candidate at the South Park Tavern after the petitions are approved!

The definition of insanity is electing the same people and expecting a different result. Let there be choices this time.

Moe’s on Brown becoming Hot Head Burritos, a step closer to local flavor

It didn’t take long for Moe’s to mosey off Brown Street, and now signs in the window suggest that local chain Hot Head Burritos will be taking over the space.

The real question is how long can a strip of fast food feeders survive without any other reason to head there other than to eat? A bookstore, a clothing store (other than the flyer apparel shop) a drugstore, a small grocery, a gym? All of these are normal retail sites that typically surround a college campus.

Almost every new business on Brown is a chain, save Dolcessa and the aforementioned flyer gear shop. What makes this strip special, unique, interesting? Even Hot Head and Deweys are small chains.

If we don’t add some local flavor, there is no real reason to make it a destination?

Is it time to require developers to include at least 20% local flavor in projects? I’m not a fan of legislating business practices, but, since we have no problem sticking our noses into everything else for “economic development’s” sake, why not foster local business?

Homogenization is good for milk, for the most part. It’s not good for a city’s shopping options.

How to become the new news media in Dayton

Flip Mino HD video camera

Flip Mino HD video camera

You can publish your ideas to www.daytonos.com if you don’t have a site of your own. Or you can send your news tips to me, and let me do it. But, what about video? You’ll have noticed that I’ve posted more video lately- and it’s all thanks to my new FlipHD camera. Right now, Amazon is offering 2 free accessories with the HD version Flip HD Video deal

For less than $210 you can carry an HD camera with you anywhere, with easy publishing to YouTube or Flip’s own site. Citizen journalism just got a lot easier.

It’s time for Dayton to focus on counting blessings

Business Week has an interesting story on positive psychology.

Dayton could use a strong dose of it right now. For all that we have wrong, we have so many things right. Foremost in my mind is the sincere friendliness that you feel on the streets- people will look you in the eye and say hello in passing, smiles are abundant, even in tough times.

While we seem to dwell on things that we used to be, or could be, the reality is- our right now is pretty good: we have water, our housing values didn’t do wild swings, we don’t have earthquakes or hurricanes and we have a cost of living that is one of the lowest in the country- while still having arts and culture.

The BW article is long- but the key principles are summed up here:

a central tenet of positive psychology: capitalize on your fundamental character strengths, especially when things get bleak…

Coaches specializing in positive psychology are selling entrepreneurs a twofold promise. One is that optimism and cheerfulness have a measurable effect on the bottom line. The other is that happiness is a muscle you can strengthen.

via How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business – BusinessWeek.

After the presidential campaign, it should have become clear that a positive message trumps negativity. Last night’s Presidential address to Congress was upbeat and positive in the face of doom and gloom.

Unfortunately, our leaders continue to keep having meetings to solve our many problems, instead of focusing on our strengths. It’s time to look on how to start focusing on doing what we’re already doing- better, and pushing people to do what they do with a new veracity and renewed energy.

The old “It’s great in Dayton” tagline needs to have the dust knocked off- because, no matter how bad we think it is here- it’s a lot worse somewhere else.

Do you agree?

Death by study and development.

We have a lot of committees, we have a lot of plans. We have a lot of people doing economic development, but don’t seem to be developing economically.

What to do?

The County spent good money on a bad idea. Had they asked the community first, they would have heard that we don’t want to spend millions to add to sprawl, but they spent it anyway- $150K down the drain:

Montgomery County paid $150,000 to Threesixty Architecture of Columbus for a feasibility study of a proposed 6,900 seat hockey arena and events center at the I-75 interchange that will be built this year at Austin Pike on the county’s southern border.

via With troubles of its own, county passes on arena.

The Dayton Business Journal had two tables of how much and who we spend money on economic development annually as a region in their Feb 12 09 issue:

The top 12 area economic development departments have operating budgets of $8.53 mill, employ 40 people making decent money.

The top12 Economic development groups (non-municipality attached) have operating budgets of $19.5 mill and employ another 70.

Just imagine if that $28.03 million was spent on providing public amenities to all- from ice rinks to velodromes to BMX facilities to libraries, livable and walkable communities, and high-speed fiber based Internet instead- luring business with a great, affordable quality of life?

That’s economic development.

No money for your rink, Mr. Gunlock

From, let’s sneak a tax hike through the backdoor, to no, we can’t afford your dream Mr. Gunlock (of RG Properties) County Administrator Deb Feldman must have felt the heat after one public discussion on where to build an arena.

Montgomery County should not pursue a hockey arena and events center at the proposed Austin Landing on the county’s southern border, according to a recommendation that is expected to be made Tuesday, Feb. 24, by County Administrator Deborah Feldman.

via County administrator opposes arena for Austin Pike.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that there will be a downtown arena either, but, at least we won’t be paying for more sprawl with a tax hike.

Now, we have to wait for the previously non-existent “plan b” to surface, because we just heard from Joe Tuss that we need some kind of attraction at our new intersection.

It’s the men in suits who’ve messed it all up.

When I started riding the scooter as my main form of transportation, I pretty much abandoned the suit for jeans and boots. When I saw “An inconvenient truth” I came to the conclusion that we need to figure out how to end our dependency on fossil fuel- and my walk to work tax credit idea was born.

This video from the EU, pretty much sums up my feelings:

There is also the question of what happens when the gap between the haves and the have nots gets too big. Typically, the sides collapse, and fall into the center. It’s not pretty- and we’re starting to see the result of years of unbridled greed. This video about Goldman Sachs and their kingdom of Burger flippers makes it pretty clear:

While neither item is the purview of a Dayton City Commissioner, I still believe that think globally, act locally is a pretty good mantra.

Both of these videos came to me through listening to you (thanks Tim and Teresa). I publish them to try to keep a dialog going, and to stimulate discussion on what we can do in Dayton to change the world.

That is Dayton’s heritage, and it should be our goal to keep it going.

What will you bring to the effort?

Non-news gets more space than facts in DDN: Commission race

Why bother buying the Dayton Daily “News” when posturing and conjecture by the local GOP gets more column inches than people who’ve taken out petitions?

Why answer a reporter’s inquiry when you send a quote via e-mail, but instead she uses the word lost like a vowel in your description- even adding a race you weren’t in?

GOP ‘fresh faces’ likely to make bids to unseat incumbent Democrats.
DAYTON — The Montgomery County Republican Party plans to burst “fresh new faces” onto the Dayton political scene with first-time candidates for mayor and two seats on the city commission, but those endorsements likely won’t be finalized until after the March 6 filing deadline.

“Until I have that person who says 100 percent ‘yes,’ I don’t want to throw anybody out there. Every (candidate) I know of has not been in public life,” Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Gregory M. Gantt said.

Republican candidates hoping to win endorsements were interviewed last week, Gantt said. Some were told they needed more experience. Others haven’t fully committed to a run.

Democratic incumbents Mayor Rhine McLin, along with commissioners Nan Whaley and Joey Williams received endorsements from the Montgomery County Democratic Party in December.

“In these tough economic times, they’ve stepped up to the plate and kept the city afloat,” party Chairman Mark Owens said.

Candidates must submit petitions with 500 valid signatures to the Montgomery County Board of Elections by March 6 to participate in the May election. The two mayoral candidates who get the most votes in the primary will be on the fall ballot with the top four contenders for city commission.

Others who have taken out petitions to challenge McLin include:

Gary Leitzell, 114 Volkenand Ave., a self-employed, professional miniatures painter, a home renovator and home-schooling parent. He has served as president of the Walnut Hills Association for five years; and, he has been a member of the Southeast Priority Board for 10 years.

Tojuan W. Minus, 2535 Bridgeport Drive, is the director of the Info Kids Early Learning Center. She has served on the Northwest Priority Board for about a year.

Other candidates for mayor include: Jerome Franklin Savage, 400 N. Cherrywood Ave., who also took out petitions for mayor in 2005, and Jamie M. Simpson, 53 Birchwood Ave.

Candidates vying for the city commission seats held by Whaley and Williams include:

Donald Allen Domineck Jr., 1035 Superior Ave. Domineck took out petitions for the 2007 city commission race, but dropped out before the filing deadline.

David Esrati, 113 Bonner St., a local activist and owner of an advertising agency, ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for mayor against former Mayor Richard Dixon and now Congressman Mike Turner in 1993. He lost city commission races in 1997 and 1999. Esrati also lost a bid for the 3rd Congressional District seat in the March 2008 primary election.

Lorana M. Kelly, 2235 Ravenwood Ave., is the community development coordinator for the Montgomery County Community Action Partnership. Kelly has run for a city commission seat three times. If elected, Kelly said she would focus on reducing crime and vacant housing, along with building opportunities for youth.

Mark Anthony Newberry, 910 Crestmore Ave., is director of marketing for Jeni King, a commercial cleaning service. Newberry lost a run for a Montgomery County Commission seat in November. He also took out petitions for city commission twice.

Jeffrey L. Wellbaum, 437 Shroyer Road, a U.S. Army reservist and Iraq War veteran working at Walmart, said his first bid for an elected office has been frustrating.

“I was the only one that I know of who was screened (by the Republican Committee) for city of Dayton commissioner,” Wellbaum said. “It seemed like the main question they had for me was how much money I had for the race.”

Dayton Police Officer Douglas S. Brandenburg withdrew his name as a candidate after learning a department policy prohibits his running for city office. Sandra Brasington, chief of staff for the county Republican Party, also took out petitions, but is not a candidate.

via Mayor, commission races taking shape.

Note, Wellbaum dropped out by posting on this site on Saturday, yet he got more inches than a 5 time candidate. As a reminder, even Abe Lincoln lost more races than I have. There are other candidates for Mayor who are Democrats still on the horizon (I’ve seen a website already), but the DDN doesn’t have them on their radar yet.

The part about the Democratic Party endorsing incumbents in December was reported here first as well.