The DPS saga continues: Principals leaving

The agenda for last nights review session wasn’t quite complete. Many more resignations that were turned in on the 10th weren’t included. While the board was falling all over itself for their “New Digital Dashboard” for reviewing their slow improvement from failure to mediocrity, the question of how we’ll even open school in the fall isn’t mentioned.

Scratch one Megan Winston from the roster. Winston, one of their “star” principals, who took over from Tracy Mallory several years back (another “star” principal who is now working in Trotwood) resigned yesterday. And while Corr was meeting today with the remaining principals for their planning for next year this morning at 9:30 there are two in the audience ready to resign, just finalizing their contracts with other districts. Principals contracts actually run through July 31- so if you leave early, you may owe the district some money back. Of course, if DPS was smart- 1) they would work hard not to lose them- by paying better and having a contract in place, and 2) have a way to keep these valuable assets on to manage a building transition via a per diem wage.

Dr. Adil Baguirov was in fine form, boasting that the district was the first in Ohio to have such amazing technology, and possibly in the midwest. Taylor actually asked Dayton Daily news reporter Jeremy Kelley to write about this stunning achievement. Apparently, she missed the group MMS I sent to the board members and Kelley- of a link to an undated article from Columbus about their new data dashboard.

The boards internal auditor, Randall Harper, gave the paper another freebie bad news story about the Athletic Department having yet another loss of funds from athletic event collections. Board members asked how this happened- and the auditor blamed a failure to follow the procedures put in place. The Dayton Daily made inquiries on who what where and how much and got the dodgy responses we just love (he can’t hide it- so why they don’t answer truthfully is unbelievable). If this theft is related to anything relating to Dunbar athletics- it would and could have impacted the vote later- to rehire coach Powell. Whole thing was strange. In any company I work at- you steal money, you get a pink slip, not a nice request to write an IOU.

The funniest faux pas came from Dr. Sheila Burton while walking the board through the data dashboard. When looking at attendance numbers- she publicly questioned the work of The Ohlmann Group, who the board hired to do marketing and enrollment campaigns but came up short. Why this contract is still in place, if you are publicly going to slam your sub-contractor is beyond me. Full disclosure, my firm was the low bidder, and the highest ranking minority firm- and didn’t get the contract. This has been extensively covered on this site.

Last but not least, Board Member Sheila Taylor wanted to go into executive session over the Darran Powell hiring – and another personnel issue that she wanted separate but didn’t want to identify by name. Well, it’s too late in the meeting to remove an item and not be by name. If she had prepared properly, reading the agenda- she should have had the item removed from the agenda in advance. Despite all her years on the board, she still seemed lost at the basics of Robert’s rules of order- and the process to vote something separate. This is part of the reason this board is beyond help.

No discussion of the board negotiations, school start dates, or questions about the mass exodus of talent.

Just another day at the circus.

 

 

Dayton Daily news lays off Post and Kollars

In the ongoing effort to remove all institutional knowledge and reason for buying the paper, the geniuses at Cox Ohio decided that two senior staff were no longer needed.

As the pool of institutional knowledge shrinks- their ability to connect the dots on stories shrinks even more.

Confirmed by Jana Collier, Vice President of Content at Cox Media Group Ohio,  last Friday walking papers as of Dec 31 were handed to two senior staff: Connie Post- “Team leader- Entertainment” or the Life Section Editor/editorial page contributor or “Newsroom Production Editor at Dayton Daily News” depending on where you find it. Connie was known as the queen of recipe trials- aside from her other duties. She’s one of the few edumacated folks down in the puzzle palace- with a PhD in English from Texas Tech. The drawl is still evident. Her latest love has been photography- building a huge following on Facebook, where she also occasionally posts videos of her playing the piano. A real renaissance woman. Last time Cox tried to sever ties, she threatened them with a discrimination lawsuit according to sources– and with her no comment on her dismissal, another suit may be in the works.

UPDATE

9 Dec 2016- Post sent a certified letter stating she never threatened Cox with a lawsuit, and I have no foundation of a threat now. That information came from what I consider a very credible source. She “demands that I remove the post.” As a professional journalist- she should know better how these things work. There is no “removing” anything from the Internets- just corrections/redactions. Note- I did call her for comment, before I contacted Jana Collier. 

Post came to the Dayton Daily news back in July of 2000- giving her 16 year 6 months of experience.

Also ejected from the game was Brian Kollars. I’m sure he’d be bestowing “Knuckle head of the week” award on someone in the cox empire, if he was still the sports editor. From his official bio:

Brian Kollars has worked for the Dayton Daily News since 2003. He was named Investigative Team Editor in March 2012 and works with a staff of five to uncover government waste and dig into key topics in our community. He also collaborates with WHIO-TV on I-Team stories and writes a Sunday Sports column entitled “Second Thoughts.” Prior to his current assignment, Brian worked as Sports Editor for seven years. He edited many sections that won state and national awards and his writing resumé includes a Best of Gannett. Brian was born and raised in Yankton, S.D., and is a graduate of Valparaiso University. He enjoys coaching youth sports and lives in Oakwood with his wife and three children.

Source: Brian Kollars | www.mydaytondailynews.com

So besides getting rid of Brian, the Cox sisters also just ruined Christmas for his three kids.

Nice.

Looking at the staff listing on the DDn site is almost a laugh.

Bennish has been gone for months.Jessica Heffner, Dave Larsen, Tiffany Latta, Ken McCall, Allison Wichie and of course- former HMFIC Julia Wallace- all gone…but not forgotten on the DDn staff page.

And it’s been kept a secret- but both Meredith Moss and Tom Archdeacon aren’t really with the paper anymore- they’re just contract staffers now.

For some of us, Arch is the only reason we bother to pay for the damn thing.

For a company that’s “digital first” – they really need to learn how to keep basic information relevant.

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.

The Dayton Daily makes up the news

As most of my readers know- I’m a huge University of Dayton Women’s basketball fan. So last night- I was at Milano’s watching the first battle of the roommates- and former Flyers, Andrea Hoover who was a third-round pick by the LA Sparks and Ally Malott who was a first-round pick by the Washington Mystics.

Unfortunately, Hoover’s Sparks continued their losing streak and lost.
But, no, wait, the Dayton Daily news gave the game to…. well….

WNBA  Malott’s Sparks win Flyer reunion  Former University of Dayton standouts Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott played against each other for the first time as professionals Tuesday, and while Hoover put up better numbers, Malott’s team, the Los Angeles Sparks, beat the host Washington Mystics 84-80.  Both players came off the bench, Hoover for 20 minutes, Malott for eight. Hoover scored four points on 1-for-5 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Malott did not attempt a shot and went scoreless.

Uh, the facts please. Every thing in this DDN article is wrong.

WNBA

Malott’s Sparks win Flyer reunion

Former University of Dayton standouts Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott played against each other for the first time as professionals Tuesday, and while Hoover put up better numbers, Malott’s team, the Los Angeles Sparks, beat the host Washington Mystics 84-80.

Both players came off the bench, Hoover for 20 minutes, Malott for eight. Hoover scored four points on 1-for-5 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Malott did not attempt a shot and went scoreless.

Source: IN THE NEWS

To get this right – Malott plays for the Mystics and won, 84-80. Need proof- here’s the WNBA box score link. Their site is actually really awesome- with easy to track individual players’s stats.

Just remember- if you read it in the Dayton Daily- it may be news- to the people they write about….

 

When you’re bad, mediocre looks good: Dayton Daily news attempts at social

I had a talk with Ron Rollins last night at the Sideshow X. Ron’s an artist, and the editor of the “Opinion pages” of the Dayton Daily news.

He assured me that the Dayton Daily news was not for sale. I think that decision is way above his paygrade, but, I’m glad he’s so sure.

In the world of journalism, there had always been the struggle of keeping the journalism and the business/ad side separate. With the advent of the internet and the free sharing of content news organizations got scared. Very scared. The first and biggest enemy was Craigslist- where their bread and butter money maker- classified ads- went flying away too. Instantly.

Craigslist isn’t perfect. They have a real problem with spammers- especially in the personals sections (the benefit of these spam ads has never been obvious to me, same way spam email never made much sense either). But, the prospect of free for a listing to hire your new office manager or to sell your crib beat the hell out of $7 a line of micro type for a day on the non-searchable, version the newspaper provided.

Hence, newspapers love to run stories about Craigslist killers, thieves and scams.

The real issue of the “newspaper” was never the news part- it was the “paper” part. Taking the electron bits that were used by word processors, digital cameras, page layout programs, etc.- and converting them into physical atoms- was and is expensive. It’s also stupid. For the price of a bad tablet- you can rent subscribers a digital version much cheaper than the cost of printing a paper, and distributing it across the region. The brainiacs at Cox built the state of the art buggy whip printing facility (in Warren County) just about the time the Internet was about to take off. They try to put frosting on the pig by calling it a “Print Technology Center.”

In an everlasting quest to make a buck- they follow other models blindly and think they know what they are doing as page counts go up- which means ad showings go up. This was what Ron was so proud of last night- and I’m just laughing.

Besides being a pain in the ass to Dayton, with this blog, my real job is owning a small ad agency. The reasons it’s small, and in Dayton are because of personal choices I’ve made as the only son of two amazing aging parents that I have to take care of. Although I may bitch about it sometimes, I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than to have them across the street from me- and for me to be able to give them back the time they spent raising me.

All that said- my ad agency isn’t like the others- it’s called “The Next Wave” for a reason- and the main one is that I’ve always been ahead of the curve on where the industry is headed- first with a Mac for Desktop publishing and direct to film print prep, digital video, open source content management, organic SEO, customer relationship management systems, social media, and now working with sophisticated marketing automation.

Advertisers no longer struggle with finding space to run ads- online there is an almost infinite supply of ad space to buy, and while it’s easy to sell ads to the unsophisticated locals who still think they know how to buy ads and make them on their own, the real money in advertising these days is going to companies that can directly target very specific customers- which is why Facebook is cashing in beyond it’s wildest dreams and Yahoo is not. Note, the Dayton Daily had a partnership with Yahoo for a while.

In order to directly target customers for advertising, there are a couple of keys online: very specific content that is accessed by a distinct URL, with very little chance of inadvertent clicks (meaning ads that you are trying to navigate past to get to  more content- don’t count as clicks when most of them are accidental) and that the content can’t be accessed without a click- meaning the whole paper as a picture on an iPad that can be scanned- isn’t worth a damn for generating targeting data.

Facebook is fighting click bait like crazy- the idea that you post content that forces a click with teasers is bad in their book- because it makes you go off their site to another- and this is the main way that the DDn is driving views and thinking they have a “social strategy”- they don’t.

Social media has been co-opted by idiots who think it’s a one way platform to foist your content and ads onto people. That may be 95% of what social is by current day practitioners- but it’s not. Social is two way – with hosted, moderated conversations- like the comments on this site. Where social discussion takes place. Very few old media have figured out the power of subscription to comments either via email or RSS- but, it’s what makes Facebook so powerful- example in case I’ve lost you- you comment on a friends post, every time someone else comments, you get a notification asking you to come back and comment again- that’s social strategy.

I could write an entire book on the strategy of effective social marketing- but instead I’ve been teaching my www.websitetology.com seminars since 2005. No one from the Dayton Daily news has ever taken the seminar- and it’s too bad- they might have learned something.

The Dayton Daily thinks their launch of www.Dayton.com is somehow a success. Rollins even thinks the clown posse they hired to help them with the marketing of it know what they are doing. Of course, when you’re bad, mediocre looks good. The reality is, adding more properties to manage isn’t the answer- launching good ones is. We’ve seen them try this before- and I mocked it then, anyone remember MeetFred.com?

The reality is that most of the people in journalism still don’t know how the internet can make their content gathering and curation so much easier and more powerful. You wouldn’t believe what I can learn in advance from this site and its web-stats. I know when almost anyone in the public sector is job hunting- or been naughty, before you’ll ever read about it in the Dayton Daily news. And just remember, this is the hobby site of one person- they have an entire paid staff doing theirs….

The real question is- and I ask this of my readers who’ve taken the time to read this, if they call, how much should I charge the people at Cox Media to tell them how to save their sorry “media empire?”

 

The Socialist Republic of the United States Military

I’m not a fan of the Dayton Daily news- and even less a fan of their local editorial pages- after years of being mocked by them. First time running for office, I was called “an advertising man with not much to say.” All of you who know me, know that wasn’t true- and my campaign literature at the time was 11×17 covered in text. I once walked out, after they refused to apologize for something that had just appeared in their paper- where a writer said a band (G-Love and Special Sauce) sounded black. As if music sounds a race? Then there was when I mocked the big plans for the 2003 “celebration of flight” which instantly got me on their shit list- since it was Brad Tilson’s baby. We all remember what a fiasco that was.

A few years back, they stopped doing local opinion and promoted Ron Rollins to curate the page. This means ask people to opine for you. I find it lame, but fairer than what came before under the old regime. His second in command is now Dr. Connie Post- yep, a Ph.D. working at a newspaper. Ron must have been on vacation last week, because I sent a short response in to a “Speak Up” piece and Connie asked me to expand it into a guest column. Usually I don’t like working for the evil empire for free- but, in this case, I felt pretty strongly about the issue- and believe it or not- I was on the editorial page last Friday- for once, not being lampooned.

First- the “Speak Up”- a called in, anonymous thing that no reputable paper would do.

This appeared 17 Feb 2015- unsigned:

For those fast food employees striking for $15 an hour, let’s do some math. At $15 an hour, Johnny Fry-Boy would make $31,200 annually. An E-1 (private) in the military makes $18,378. An E-5 (sergeant) with eight years of service only makes $35,067 annually. So you’re telling me that a burger flipper deserves as much as those who are getting shot at, deploying for months in hostile environments, and putting their lives on the line every day protecting you?

My response was published on Friday, 27 Feb. 2015 – Photo was a crop of a shot by Larry C. Price who used to work for the DDN. It was behind their paywall (nice to know I was helping their bottom line, as they’ve never given me a link or mention for my stories they’ve taken).

I did not write the headline:

Serving my country as an Army private

By David Esrati
A recent “speak-up” caller compared a $15 minimum wage for “Johnny-Fry Boy” to an E-1 in the military. He stated there was no way flipping burgers was worth more than risking your life for your country on a straight hourly basis.

As a former E-1, I feel qualified to respond.

On Day 1, I was issued clothes. When in training, I didn’t even have to do my own laundry. Food was free. I was given three square meals a day, even if some came in cans or plastic packages. Granted, “fast food” depended on the order of entering the mess hall — first in and you had time to eat; last in and it was eat it or leave it.

Zero rent. For the most part, I lived communally. The WWII-era barracks at Fort Gordon had group showers, and cheek-to-cheek toilets, which took a little getting used to. But it still beat the portable micro housing I sometimes slept in. It came without running water (unless raining), no heat or electricity unless I used the 25-pound hand crank generator that I had to carry with my house, food, bed and M16.

My only utility bill was a phone bill, paid in quarters, via a phone booth.

Health care was 100 percent covered, including dental and vision. If I was injured on the job, I was guaranteed health care for life as well as a disability check.

Job security was solid; in fact, my employer liked to sign me like a pro-athlete. There were signing bonuses via 3- to 4-year revolving contracts. Advancement opportunities were up to me with a very clear career path. All training was provided free.

I learned Morse code at 15 groups per minute send/receive. I jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, which in my time paid an extra $75 a month, so I could visit faraway places and serve as a “community organizer.”

After 20 years, retirement was guaranteed at 50 percent of my pay. Stay in longer and retirement went up. Many of my peers got to travel internationally, sometimes with welcoming arms and others versus small arms. A gym membership was unnecessary. I was paid to work out, often going on long hikes with a very large rucksack. My hours were never subject to overtime. Often I was scheduled to be on the job 24/7.

I always found it ironic that our military, tasked to spread democracy and capitalism, was a lot like socialism.

If the speak-up caller was making an argument that the Private E-1 should make more than “Johnny Fry-Boy,” I’m in total agreement. But, if you say that Johnny Fry-Boy shouldn’t make enough to pay for his health care, clothing, food and shelter, this former E-1 wants to know why he was putting his life on the line to protect a country that doesn’t believe its citizens are entitled to the basic freedoms that financial stability provide — nominally described as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Those freedoms certainly cost a lot more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

We’re long overdue for a higher minimum wage and deserve a country that truly treats its citizens as if “all men are created equal,” providing an equal opportunity for advancement, without having to volunteer to die for our great country.

David Esrati served in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, in the 1980s. He got out as an E-4.

I posted this on Facebook- and received a considerable amount of positive feedback. At the Second Street Market yesterday, a few people praised it- and again today, at the Legacy Pancake House- a few more. I’ve had more than a few fellow veterans also thank me- because as one, Scott Ricketts so gracefully summed it up:

The military taught me we had to take care of everyone on the team and pay more attention to help the ones having problems. We were not allowed to leave anyone behind and we’re only as strong as the weakest among us. Making sure the people on the bottom get to the finish line is our collective responsibility. At least that’s what TSgt Esteves yelled at us.

This pretty much sums up why I probably feel closest to my friends who have served.

There are some arguments about “entry level jobs” and the minimum wage. I don’t buy them. I’d be OK with a lower minimum for kids in high school, or for their first 2 years of work, but, there is no excuse for our pathetic minimum wage, or the crying of huge corporations talking about “competitiveness.” McDonald’s operates in Germany, where they have to pay a living wage, GM does too- where they deal with labor unions in a totally different way than they do here. Apple is sitting on $170+ billion in cash- and still refusing to let Americans make much of their product (the Mac Pro which starts at $3k is assembled in Texas- but that’s about it).

Our country has to stop believing the lies that are fed to us by politicians who didn’t serve, who sell out, and for the most part, work against the best interests of the American public. This isn’t the America that any of us want to risk our life for- but we do and did.

It’s time to reassess. We can do better.

Dayton Daily news steps to new lows: Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge

Graphic for Esrati.com

Political Mudslinging reaches epic proportions in Dayton, Ohio.

The free part of this Dayton Daily news “article” reads:

Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge

The Republican candidate for the Montgomery County commission was arrested in Florida in 1987 after he was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Candidate Mike Nolan said the incident was out of character for him and driven by emotion.

This event happened in 1987- and while it’s clearly old news, nothing in the accessible part tells you that “the case was never prosecuted.” which is in the next paragraph.

Nor did they tell you how they “obtained” the police report- probably handed to them by one of the idiots in the Democratic party who thinks they are doing to Nolan what happened to Ed Fitzgerald, just weeks before the election. In case you’ve been living under a rock- it was first revealed Fitzgerald, the Dem candidate for Ohio governor was “caught” in a parking lot at 4:30 am with a “woman who was not his wife” and then it dribbled out that Mr. Former FBI didn’t bother to renew his driver’s license for 10 years- while in political office and driving.

Facebook recently changed its algorithm to stop allowing click baiting links to appear as often in ‘newsfeeds- because the practice was ruining the FB experience- while the Dayton Daily newsless has become less and less of a journalistic endeavor and more of a click mill. The public beatdown of their “blogger” Amelia Robinson just recently for writing about the demolition of the Taco Bell at Wyoming and Brown- even though the building had been gone for a week was  quite entertaining- I’m waiting another week for her to write about the Burger King remodeling on Brown or the demolition of the very expensive pharmacy at the corner of Warren and Oak that was built for the Medicine Shoppe but never opened because MVH had changed its mind at the last minute. But I’m heading on a tangent- back to Mike Nolan.

For the record- I really don’t know Mike Nolan from Adam. I do know the other two candidates in the race- Dan Foley, everyone but mine favorite darling “nice guy” and Gary Leitzell, our former mayor and the only independent in the region to have managed not only to get elected but also to make it onto the ballot every time despite the partisan Board of Elections’ best efforts to keep the two juntas in power.

My first experience with Dan Foley was when he was working for then congressman Tony Hall- when I first got to Dayton and had to ask my congressman for some help in sorting out some military pay issues. Foley was probably 19 and had the cushy paying job in the congressman’s office because his daddy was a judge. He had a roommate at the time who was interested in the girl I was dating- and Dan decided to share some things he shouldn’t have with his roommate so his roommate could get the girl.

When I reminded him about this years later- when I’d asked for his backing in a congressional primary, he threw back how I hadn’t backed Rhine McLin against Leitzell as a reason for not backing me. He claimed to have totally forgotten about his breach of my trust- despite him getting an ass chewing from Bear Monita who was then Tony Hall’s chief of staff. My opinion of “the nice guy” image has always been tainted by that experience, but my main complaint is that Foley is nothing but an empty suit driven to keep his lifetime of sucking at the public teat alive. He’s never had a job in the private sector, nor will he ever have a hard time finding one as one of our anointed leaders of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County.”

Leitzell entered the race over a year ago on rumors that Foley was thinking of not running. The rumor was that he was headed over to the Dayton Development Coalition for a job that paid twice what the commission job pays- but when they couldn’t figure out how to slush fund more tax dollars into the DDC- Foley had to run again, at least as a placeholder. Unlike the Dayton Commission- if a county commissioner resigns or dies midterm- his party gets to replace him with anyone it wants- leaving the question of what happens if an independent like Leitzell were in office and got hit by a bus? Does the “independent party” get to select a replacement? Are you starting to see the picture?

I know Gary Leitzell pretty well. I consider him a friend. Full disclosure,  my firm The Next Wave has helped him with webhosting and printing for his campaigns on a service provider level more than a strategic level. I find Gary’s political naiveté both entertaining and refreshing. I believe his public calls for giving heroin to the worst repeat criminal offenders who are trying to feed their habit the most original thought by a local politico in probably the last 30 years- totally going against what is considered both “safe” and/or “responsible” campaign playbooks would suggest. I believe that he would be the first county commissioner to have an original thought or initiative since I’ve been in Montgomery County (1983).

Back around to the Nolan slander piece in the “Newspaper”- I believe that the public has every right to know what is in the piece- and that it shouldn’t be behind a paywall, weeks before an election. Nolan has not only held public office in this county for years, he has also served as a law enforcement officer for years after this incident. Had it been cause of major concern, he never would have been a sheriff’s deputy. The paper is engaged in a smear campaign- nothing else at this point. For this to be on the front page of the local section is a disgrace to professional journalism- something the Dayton Daily news has less and less claim to everyday.

I am republishing the entire article as a public service. I have only done this in the past when their articles have featured me in them (mostly with a negative slant). I have in the past, been threatened with lawsuits by their digital department for using their “copyrighted content” in my blog, to which I have a counterclaim of questioning the frequent use of my blog to get their stories as long time readers of this site well know- without EVER giving credit.

I believe the Dayton Daily should remove the paywall on this article- and reveal who delivered the lead on the police report. If they aren’t willing to do that, I would challenge them to change the headline to read “27 year old dropped charges surface about candidate” and a sub-head or lead of “Politics has reached a new low in Montgomery County when mudslinging rises to new lows.”

Here you go – sans paywall. Please consider supporting my legal defense fund when the “newsPaper” attacks. Remember, you also heard it here first.

The Republican candidate for the Montgomery County commission was arrested in Florida in 1987 after he was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Candidate Mike Nolan said the incident was out of character for him and driven by emotion. After their divorce, the couple worked together to raise their children, he said.

Nolan faced a misdemeanor battery charge, but the case was never prosecuted.

“It is disheartening that with all the problems in Montgomery County — drugs, crime, gangs and the lack of jobs — the Democrats and the Dayton Daily News have focused on an incident the occurred almost 30 years ago,” Nolan wrote in an e-mail. “I resent their questioning my more than 30 years in law enforcement and public service.”

On the night of the incident, Judith DiCosta, Nolan’s wife at the time, told police he first broke a window, then entered through the front door after a man who was inside left the home to find a phone and call police. DiCosta said her own phone wasn’t working.

Nolan had a knife in his possession, DiCosta told police, but he laid it down once he came inside, the report said.

DiCosta said Nolan pushed her around and then picked her up and told their two daughters — ages eight and six — to get in the car because they were leaving. The police report indicates she had a bruise above her left eye.

Reached last week, DiCosta said she considers the incident a private matter. Nolan was a great father and has proved to be a great public servant, she said.

“I am sure he will make a great county commissioner,” DiCosta said.

Nolan’s opponents in the commission race — Democratic incumbent Dan Foley and independent candidate Gary Leitzell — said the campaign is about issues and accomplishments in office.

“Everybody has the right to screw up,” Leitzell said. “That’s so long ago.”

Nolan, 63, began working for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office in 1988, and his career lasted until 2010, when he retired as chief deputy. Before that, Nolan worked for the Florida State Highway Patrol for more than four years, until the end of 1984.

He was promoted multiple times at the sheriff’s office and earned excellent marks on his work evaluations. Nolan also served as a Miami Twp. trustee for one term beginning in 2010.

Nolan said he has been married to his current wife, Bonnie Nolan, for 26 years. He and DiCosta were married in 1977.

Records show that in January 1987 DiCosta filed for divorce and custody of the two children in Lee County, Fla. In divorce papers seeking a restraining order, DiCosta claimed Nolan had harassed and physically abused her.

At 10:20 p.m. on June 28, 1987, Cape Coral police were dispatched to a disturbance at their home, according to a police report.

Police said as they approached the home, they encountered Nolan, who was exiting the front door while carrying his wife. He was arrested, but records show a misdemeanor battery charge was dropped in the Lee County courts two months later.

Nolan was 36 at the time and working as a driver for a shipping company, according to his resume. He and DiCosta were legally married, but he was not living at the home.

In a transcript of a hearing on the petition for divorce, DiCosta’s divorce attorney said she would make a “a good faith attempt” to have the misdemeanor charge against Nolan dropped as part of the divorce settlement.

Nolan said the experience helped him counsel his employees when they went through emotional times in their lives.

“Never, has this incident affected my ability to perform as chief deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Miami Township trustee or county commissioner,” he said in a written statement.

Phil Plummer, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican party, said the incident only involved accusations.

“He was never convicted of a crime. He had a super career as a law enforcement professional. And he would have never been a police officer if he had any conviction,” Plummer said.

Past behavior has been thrust into the forefront in numerous political campaigns this year, including in the governor’s race, where Democrat Ed FitzGerald has struggled to explain why he went 10 years without a valid driver’s license. Other candidates have had to fight off attacks involving late tax payments from years ago.

In his 2012 race for the U.S. Senate, Republican Josh Mandel made a veiled reference to an accusation from a two-decade-old divorce involving Sen. Sherrod Brown to argue that Brown was a “hypocrite” on women’s issues.

The county commission funds a variety of programs and services related to domestic violence, including the Artemis Center, the YWCA emergency shelter and Erma’s House Family Visitation Center.

via Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

note to faithful readers- my posting frequency has dropped recently due to large amounts of work- and a few instance of life happening. First- the hit and run motorcycle accident, then there I  started South Park Social Soccer Sundays (more on that later) – and then a broken or badly bruised rib or two from a freak pre-season hockey injury which is still hurting and keeping me awake at night. I’ve tried to give you higher quality articles at a lower frequency to keep you happy. My apologies.

Why does Dayton reward mediocrity?

Someone questions something in Dayton- shoot the messenger.

Yesterday, the Dayton Daily news posted an obituary on Edyth Lewis. In it, they spelled our former mayor’s name “McClin”- for pointing out the typo- I get called names, and one person suggests that if I’d die right now, it might increase my chances of winning some precincts. For those of you who don’t know, the name is McLin. We’ve got highways named after her father, a gym at WSU etc. There is no excuse other than lack of any kind of editing and proofreading talent at the paper.

Also yesterday, someone tried to claim that my recent posts about two former candidates’ death notices- not getting obits was a form of trolling for reads to this blog- and they did it on the article that was there to prove that obits were being missed.

Today, it’s front page news that Miller Valentine has a “plan” for redeveloping the “Fairgrounds like the Greene.” The paper supplies a pretty site plan picture- only, there is no indication that Miller Valentine is doing anything like the Greene. The main differences? The Greene always has had parking garages, and the development has zero exclusive residential – all of the buildings are mixed use. The Miller Valentine plan is decidedly missing both garages and has separate residential. And while they show a 35,000 square foot grocery store, the question is which company is going to use that size space? That’s approximately the size of the Wayne Avenue Kroger store which was deemed in need of replacement- which sucked over $4 million of the taxpayers’ money to create nothing.

Now, Miller Valentine has its hands out for public funds? Who is going to fill these spaces, or are we, the taxpayers, just supposed to finance their pipedream without signed leases and some sort of performance contracts in place?

Anyone can draw a pretty picture and sell an idea, but execution of it is another matter. One only has to look at Miller Valentine’s project “University Place” at the corner of Brown and Stewart to see its total failure to address parking properly- and that there are still multiple vacancies 5 years later should make it clear, this isn’t Steiner at work (developer of the Greene and Easton in Columbus).

photo by David Esrati of backboard at Princeton Recreation center in Dayton

Rotting wood, bent rim. This is at one of our few staffed recreation centers

While I was at Princeton Recreation Center (also known as Northwest or Dabny) hanging nets on Sunday- it was clear the city’s main effort at fixing up the basketball courts has been in the removal of my stickers from the poles – which give the number to call for net replacement. The kids asked me why I hadn’t fixed the crap rim and backboard- next to the rock. It’s not good enough that I hung three top of the line rims there- and keep the nets up. When I suggested they call Commissioner Williams, one of the kids- a girl who was riding around on a bike, dismissed me “we’re just trying to play basketball here.”

Mediocrity reins supreme in Dayton OH.

DDn finally acknowledges Esrati.com in print

In a story in today’s DDn focusing on former Mayor Gary Leitzell’s position on issue 6, the paper did an amazing thing- it actually acknowledged the existence of Esrati.com which had a post on the city mailing on April 12:

Earlier this month, David Esrati, who unsuccessfully ran for seat on the city commission last year, also criticized the flier on his blog, Esrati.com, saying it was not honest nor informative.

“My father, a senior, who is relatively astute, said that he read it — and has no clue what Issue 6 is,” Esrati wrote.

via Ex-Dayton mayor critical of tax campaign | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

Generally, you read about many of the things posted on Esrati.com about a week later in the DDn, although sometimes it takes them as long as a year and a half as it did on the QBase stories.

What’s still missing from the discussion of this mailing is who funded it- and why does the city claim that these renewals cost the city money according to another DDn article, although they only tell part of the story- the cost to the BOE:

It also does not make sense to periodically spend taxpayer dollars on election costs, Williams said.

The city of Dayton paid $87,706 in 2000 and $4,188 in 2006 to put tax renewal measures on the ballot, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

via: http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/news/dayton-wants-income-tax-renewal-to-be-permanent/nfbqz/

Why is Whaley the only elected official on the mailer? And why is it a campaign photo? When I asked Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan who paid for this- he was evasive and talked about city employees chipping in and a fundraiser. More than likely, unions were pressured to support the tax that helps pay them as a “do us a solid now- and we’ll go easy on you in contract negotiations.” Of course Whaley is the queen of the unions receiving tens of thousands of dollars in her mayoral campaign from them- many of the donations in $10k checks.

If voters say no to Issue 6 in May, it will be back on the ballot in November- as a renewal as a temporary tax again. Of course, most voters don’t know that- or understand this issue- since Whaley decided to play games and politicize the first mailer.

Look to the DDn to run a story soon on the questions raised in my last post about the sheriff being the head of the local Republican Party. Whether it cites the article as breaking the story or not is yet to be seen.

Also- note that the Dayton Business Journal has ALWAYS given credit to Esrati.com for breaking stories following standard journalistic practice.

 

Dayton media bias called out

Remember when a guru was going to buy the old Society/Key bank building for half-a-million dollars at auction, and the Dayton Daily News crawled up his legal behind with a microscope, questioning everything about him? I do. I wrote about it: “You must be crazy – to invest in Dayton” It turned out they were partially right, the Commander Swami sold off what he could in the building (including a ton of really nice office furniture for pennies on the dollar) and then neglected to heat the building, allowing pipes to freeze, break and flood parts of the building rendering it worth even less.

But as I pointed out in that article, there were plenty of lawsuits against local “developers” that pretty much go unreported.

A few weeks ago, Larry Ealy turned in enough valid signatures to run as a Democratic nominee for Governor. No less than four articles appeared in the Dayton Daily News about “possible voter fraud” in his petitions. Other candidates have turned in all kinds of wonky petitions- and there is never another word said. In fact, a certain Democratic Party Queen was investigated for forging petitions for a gubernatorial candidate when she was in college and it never made the paper. She’s now sitting in office. What was most interesting was how the paper felt the need to recap an entire story of the questionable prosecution of one of the circulators for conviction of voter fraud years ago– yet, there is no law against a convicted felon circulating petitions in Ohio, nor is there one stopping them from voting (a common misconception).

When I ran for Commission last time, the paper had to make sure that readers knew I had tax liabilities, even though they were small and being taken care of. No mention of one of my opponents failed business ventures with lawsuits galore, or his wife’s vehicular homicide charges. In fact the first time he ran for office, they barely figured out that he didn’t actually live in the city when he filed- and he had to get his property annexed into Dayton to run legally.

Then there is the persecution of Raleigh Trammell, the preacher who used to be able to come and yell at the City Commission at will when he was in his prime. Had I ever raised my voice to the commission like that, I’d have been arrested. Despite the fact that Reverend Trammell had been convicted of felony welfare fraud and served time in the late seventies, no one seemed to question how he was given a contract to administer welfare dollars for years without oversight or why no one else was held responsible? Someone kept signing those checks right? I lost some friends in the local business community for posting this question (three times) “who’s the criminal”  Let’s see, the President of the United States makes $400,000 as the most powerful man in the world, and the CEO of CareSource pays herself $3 million a year with tax dollars that are supposed to go to aid the poor? Oh, but that’s right, without these quasi-governmental contract jobs Dayton would be in bankruptcy just like Detroit right now. Something is wrong when companies that only get tax dollars as income, spend it on lavish CEO pay and hire a bevy of lobbyists.

Nah, the media won’t write about that here.

But, wait, just a week ago, the Dayton Daily news did three pieces questioning the Dayton Development Coalition and their questionable right to be secretive with their financials, despite being a quasi-governmental organization. Never mentioned their hiring of Congressman Turner’s former wife on a grossly inflated no-bid contract to come up with a horrible branding campaign. Nope- not a word. You had to read that here on Esrati.com.

Somehow, local developers have managed to tax the little peoples’ income in townships where income taxes aren’t supposed to be levied. That’s right- if you are a white=collar worker, working for a law firm that has a state legislator on staff and a candidate for Lt. Governor- you don’t pay income tax, but if you work for a retailer and are paid close to minimum wage- you pay income tax. Barely a peep in the media- had to read it here: Only the people who don’t pay off politicians pay income taxes at Austin Road

There is a former local restauranteur who made a real mess of her business and is currently serving prison time and facing deportation when she gets out. They’ve had a field day reporting about this stupid case of insurance fraud. Yet, right across the street, there is another restauranteur who has a history that’s even more fascinating that has never hit the local press. Confidential sources inside the Cox Castle confirm that they’ve known about this story- bur didn’t think it was newsworthy. Note, this restauranteur was financially backed by a local kingmaker who likes to think he’s the man behind the curtain and Dayton’s savior.

As they’ve always said- politics makes strange bedfellows.

If you look at the Dayton Daily News over the last year, hardly a week has gone by without some mention of Drones and UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicle) as our potential economic savior. I’m sorry, but I built model airplanes as a kid and flew them, but that didn’t make me the next big thing since the Wright Brothers. First, we need to get some basic terminology straight- drones and UAV’s aren’t interchangeable terms. A drone is something that isn’t controlled by a pilot. It just goes up and does its thing. UAV’s can be a drone- or they can be remotely piloted. If it’s not bigger than a lawn chair, and it doesn’t fly over 1.000 odd feet- it’s no different than a model airplane (don’t quote me as an FAA source). Really, if this is our future- we’re all in trouble. Even if it’s big- and flies fast and high like a Predator, this isn’t going to solve the world’s problems- not like renewable energy, greener technology, sustainable agriculture. Nope, this is a line of bunk created to keep a small group of fear-o-crats in high priced suits in jobs. The Dayton Development Coalition has gotten a hall pass for years, despite it being an illegal slush fund for tax dollars being funneled to lobbying activities. And yes, loyal readers have read that here too- including the flow chart that showed how it was a big circle jerk of money for what is left of Dayton’s old boy network.

I apologize for not writing the story about a sitting mayor who is also a Realtor, handling the lease for a county agency, or about the lack of accountability for a woman dying by dog bites, or any of the other stories people have asked me to write over the last month or so. I’d love to do it, but, unfortunately, when you write articles like this and expose local media bias, your ability to earn a living from local business is hampered. I’ve been working my rear-end off trying to make a living so that I can afford the time to hang basketball nets again this summer- and to pay all my taxes on time (wouldn’t want the paper to write me up again for it). I’ve also got to paint my house by June 1st, and because I do it right (my last paint job lasted almost 20 years before it started to peel), I need to work extra hard.

Of course, if I step on too many toes, I may end up an unsolved murder, like that of the father of a former Mayor. Word on the street has it that his father was killed because of a flip-flop on a vote on a landfill. I’m still wondering when Sgt. Maj. North Woodall‘s murder will be solved- or that of Dayton Police Officer Kevin Brame.

When I first ran for mayor over 20 years ago, I had my office windows shot out two nights in a row. That was a message not to keep screwing with the system. Lucky for you, I’m better at sending messages than receiving them, so here we are 20 years later- the “ad guy with nothing to say” (what former DDn editorial page writer Martin Gottlieb said about me when I ran the first time) is still telling it like it is.Thank you for reading- and your continued support. Did I miss much?