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West Side News & Notes

9/27/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Supreme court OKs ballot language for Akron charter amendment

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Supreme Court of Ohio decided Sept. 21 to allow the ballot language approved by Akron City Council for a proposed charter amendment to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, despite objections raised by Councilman Bruce Kilby (D-Ward 2) in a lawsuit filed against the Summit County Board of Elections (BOE), the city of Akron and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Issue No. 3 will read: Shall Sections 28.2 and 53 of the charter of the city of Akron be amended to eliminate the cost of an extra election, to elect all Council members to a four-year term at the same election commencing 2015 and to limit raises for members of Council and the mayor?

In July, Council approved placing the item on the ballot by a vote of 10-3, with Kilby and Council members Linda Omobien (D-at large) and Michael Williams (D-at large) in opposition.

Last month, the BOE voted 3-1 to allow the question to go before voters without changes. Husted also OK’d the ballot language last month.

Kilby filed his complaints with the Supreme Court Sept. 6, as an expedited election matter.

Among the arguments presented in the suit, it stated, “the proposed ballot language is a ‘sales pitch,’ ‘electioneering,’ and amounts to a ‘persuasive argument in favor of the proposed charter amendment.’”

At another point in the filing, the proposed amendment is referred to as “deceitful, misleading, false and fraudulent.”

Kilby’s lawsuit pointed out that in November 2006, voters defeated the following item by a margin of 61 percent: Shall Section 28 of the charter of the city of Akron be amended to change the term of a ward Councilman from two years to four years?

If Issue No. 3 is approved in November, ward Council members will go from serving two-year to four-year terms. At-large Council members already serve four-year terms. All Council members’ seats — 10 ward Council members and three at-large Council members — will be up for vote during the same election, along with the mayor, starting in 2015.

A “yes” vote on Issue No. 3 also will indicate agreement to base raises for Council members and the mayor on the average amount a private industry employee receives as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week states the ballot language as it is “properly describes the amendment.”


Richfield hosting historical walking tours

RICHFIELD — Sundays in October once again will feature free historical walking tours in Richfield.

The Richfield Historical Society events will take place weekly at 1 p.m. and last about an hour.

The planned tours are:

• Oct. 7, starting at the Historical Museum of Richfield, 3907 Broadview Road, and covering state Route 303 from Broadview Road east to Humphrey Road;

• Oct. 14 from the museum to state Route 303 from Broadview Road west to Southern Road;

• Oct. 21, featuring a “town loop” beginning at the museum, going north on Grant Street across state Route 303 to High Street, west on High Street and then south on Broadview Road back to the museum; and  

• Oct. 28 at the West Richfield Cemetery, 4219 Broadview Road, which was founded in 1824 and is the final resting place for the members of many Richfield families, as well as veterans of the War of 1812 and the Spanish American War.

Society officials said the Taverne of Richfield is open during tours and will welcome tour-goers for dining following the tours.

For additional information, call Karen Smik at 330-659-4750.

Local Red Cross to recognize 10th anniversary of building construction


WEST AKRON — Following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the local community undertook a capital campaign to provide the local American Red Cross with a home that would enable the organization to effectively fulfill its mission of disaster preparedness, relief and recovery. The result is the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Building, which has stood at 501 W. Market St. for the past 10 years.

To show its appreciation to the community for the building and for its ongoing support of the organization for nearly 100 years in the Akron area, the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties plans a Re-dedication Ceremony for the evening of Oct. 10 and welcomes the local community to attend.

A day-long blood drive also will mark the anniversary.

The rededication ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. and will be conducted from the front steps of the building, weather permitting. Hosting the ceremony will be Eric Mansfield, who is the new executive director of University Media Relations for Kent State University and a local TV personality. The evening’s keynote speaker will be Jim Tressel, vice president of strategic engagement for The University of Akron.

The blood drive will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Red Cross encourages local residents who wish to donate blood that day to make a reservation by calling 800-733-2767 or online at www.redcrossblood.org/northernohio. Walk-ups also will be welcomed.

“We are very thankful to have a community that so generously supports the Red Cross and our work — not just the work we do here locally, but across the country and around the world as well,” said Margaret Medzie, executive director for the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties. “And we are blessed to have such a remarkable structure from which to do our work. The generosity of so many people and organizations made this building possible. And on the 10th anniversary of its construction, we want to say again how much that generosity is appreciated.”

The Red Cross also will use the anniversary to rededicate itself to its theme “Here for Life,” which was the rally cry for the original capital campaign in 2002.

Following the ceremony, attendees will be invited inside to tour the facility, and refreshments will be served. The 15-minute tours will begin approximately at 5:45 pm and every 15 minutes afterward, with a final tour at 7:45 pm. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Shelley Sprang at 330-535-2224.


Japan official to speak at ACWA event

Kuninori Matsuda
Photo courtesy of the Consulate General of Japan
FAIRLAWN — On Oct. 11, Consul General Kuninori Matsuda of Japan will speak on the topic of “Japan and the U.S. — Economic and Political Partners” at a presentation of the Akron Council on World Affairs (ACWA).

The presentation will take place at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St. Attendees may choose dinner and the program beginning at 6 p.m. for $45 per person or the program only at 7:15 p.m. for $15. Both include a question-and-answer period.

Matsuda will speak about Japanese corporate investment in Northeast Ohio. According to ACWA officials, Japan ranks first among foreign investors in Ohio, with 420 Japanese companies employing more than 56,000 people statewide. At least 21 Japanese subsidiaries provide jobs for workers in Summit, Medina and Portage counties, according to ACWA officials. Matsuda will explore how Japanese investment contributes to Northeast Ohio’s economy and labor market. He also will discuss possibilities for accomplishing expanded enrollment in Japanese language classes.

Matsuda also will offer thanks for the response of U.S. military personnel in search and rescue efforts in the Tohoku region following the East Japan earthquake. In addition, citizens in Ohio and across the United States organized relief efforts, contributing financial, volunteer and moral support, according to ACWA officials. Matsuda will provide an update on the restarting of two nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident.

Registration is required for the presentation. Send a check and attendee information to ACWA, P.O. Box 5300, Akron, OH 44334, by Oct. 4, or go to www.akronworldaffairs.org/programs/events/japan-matsuda.html to register.


Veteran of the Year nominations open to Summit County vets

SOUTH AKRON — Once a year, the Summit County Veterans Service Commission (VSC) honors a local veteran who has faithfully served the community with the Veteran of the Year award.

Any Summit County veteran is eligible to be nominated, as long as he or she meets the following requirements: is an honorably discharged veteran, resides in Summit County and has performed documented community volunteer service or veterans’ outreach service.

Veterans, service organizations and the general public are encouraged to participate in the nomination process. Nomination forms can be downloaded from www.vscsummitoh.us (under the “Documents” tab) or picked up at 1060 E. Waterloo Road.

“So many of our veterans continue their service to the community long after their discharge from the military,” said David Burden, project manager at the Summit County VSC. “Often, these veterans give of many hours per week and make a great difference to the cause they are serving. We want to be sure these people receive due recognition for all their efforts – although recognition is usually the last reason they choose to volunteer.”

Nomination forms must be submitted by Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. Forms should be dropped off at the VSC office, mailed to the Veterans Service Commission, Attn: David Burden, 1060 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, OH 44306, or emailed to DBurden @vscsummitoh.us.

The selected veteran will be honored at the annual awards dinner Oct. 25 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Firestone VFW Post No. 3383, located at 690 W. Waterloo Road. Tickets for the Veteran of the Year dinner are $14 each and must be purchased in advance by calling Burden at 330-643-7636.


Participants sought for UWSC’s Neighborhood Leadership Institute

SUMMIT COUNTY — United Way of Summit County’s (UWSC) Neighborhood Leadership Institute of Summit County is seeking participants for the fifth class that kicks off in March 2013.

The Institute — coordinated by Devoe Johnson, UWSC’s senior director of community impact — is a community collaborative designed to increase grassroots leadership engagement in the community. The goal is to train and empower local residents and community leaders, allowing them to promote positive changes in their own community.

Up to 24 men and women from neighborhoods throughout Summit County will be chosen to participate in the program. The cost is $600, and scholarships are available for individuals who can show need.

The Institute will begin with orientation Feb. 21 and an overnight retreat hosted by The University of Akron (UA) March 1-2. The classes — most of which will be at UA’s Quaker Square site — will take place Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. between March 7 and May 9.

Applications are now available at www.uwsummit.org/NLI/NLI.htm.

The classes offered will cover a variety of topics, ranging from criminal justice to communication and engagement. By participating in these classes, leaders will, according to UWSC officials, learn a wide variety of skills, including how to serve as an advocate for their families and communities, how to find and utilize resources and how to work with government agencies and social service providers. Participants also will gain insight on community development, coalition building, how to assess their neighborhood and their own potential as leaders.

Once they begin to identify the areas in their communities that need improvement, participants can then go about setting a plan and utilizing resources to fix those areas, according to UWSC officials.


Ariel Hakim and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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