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West Side News & Notes

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

City of Akron delays leaf pick-up schedule

AKRON — The city of Akron has announced a delay in the 2013 leaf pick-up schedule.

“Mother Nature is holding onto her leaves a little longer than expected,” said Service Director John Moore. “In response to the slow drop of leaves, we are pushing back the schedule for leaf pick-up approximately one week. We will attempt to stay on the schedule listed below, but as we all know, Ohio weather does not always cooperate with our plans. As normal, we will modify our schedule as the weather dictates.”

In the West Side Leader’s coverage area, leaves will be picked up beginning: Nov. 16 for Ward 1; Nov. 21 for Ward 8; Nov. 30 for Ward 4; and Dec. 5 for Ward 3.

Residents are reminded to not rake their leaves into the street until the day before their leaf pick-up. Each of the wards takes more than one day to complete, so workers might not show up to collect leaves on the day listed above. Nevertheless, city officials stress that leaves need to be on the street by the dates listed; if they are not out, they might not get picked up.

Workers will make one round through each ward, and the schedule may change. Up-to-date information can be found at www.akronohio.gov or by calling 3-1-1 (330-375-2311 from a cell phone or outside of the city).


SCCS board announces Saros’ successor

Julie Barnes
SOUTH AKRON — After a search that lasted several months, the search committee of the Board of Trustees of Summit County Children Services (SCCS) has announced its recommendation of the top finalist to succeed John Saros, who is retiring as SCCS executive director at the end of 2013. 

The top finalist is Julie Barnes, M.Ed., LSW, who is currently executive director of Stark County Job and Family Services (SCJFS), a triple-combined agency including Human Services, Child Support and Children Services with approximately 475 staff and an annual budget of approximately $50 million, according to SCCS officials.

Barnes has held her current position since 2008 after serving as deputy director of SCCS from May 2007 to May 2008. Prior to joining SCJFS, Barnes served as director of foster care and adoption at SCCS. Barnes has also held positions at the Ohio and Geauga County departments of job and family services.

Barnes has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hiram College and a master of education degree in higher education from Kent State University.

A start date and employment agreement have yet to be finalized. Barnes will be introduced to the community at a reception at SCCS, 264 S. Arlington St., Oct. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m.


UA School of Law hosting Food Day

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The University of Akron School of Law will present Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food, tomorrow, Oct. 25, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Room 165 of the School of Law.

Attendees will hear how local organizations and businesses are connecting Ohio residents to healthy, affordable and sustainable food. Guest speakers will include Beth Knorr, farmers’ markets manager, Countryside Conservancy; Alex Lackey, Green Corps program manager, Cleveland Botanical Gardens; Erika Meschkat, program coordinator of community development, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition; Abraham Nabors, second-generation owner, Mustard Seed Market; and Carol Smathers, MS, MPH, field specialist, youth nutrition and wellness, The Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences.

Learn more about Food Day at www.foodday.org, or contact Sarah Morath, assistant professor of law, at morath@uakron.edu or 330-972-2762.


UA Bliss Institute will host election post-mortem Nov. 7-8

DOWNTOWN AKRON — According to The University of Akron’s (UA) Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, despite President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, American politics remains deeply divided, with Congress, state governments and the public increasingly polarized. Bliss Institute officials add that many of the special features of the election — from the Tea Party to the Super PACs — might have intensified these differences.

“The frenzied work of politicians and campaign workers ended on Election Day,” said John Green, Bliss Institute director, in a press release, “and now it is time for careful analysis of what happened and what it means.”

Scholars and journalists from across the nation will address these topics at the seventh “State of the Parties” conference, hosted by the Bliss Institute at UA’s Quaker Square Nov. 7-8.

Journalist Dan Balz, of the Washington Post and author of “Collision 2012,” will be the keynote speaker. Conference sessions will cover national polarization, party nominations, Tea Party activism and party resources.

Participants will include political scientists Alan Abramowitz (Emory University), Jeffrey Stonecash (Syracuse University), Paul Beck (The Ohio State University) and David Magleby (Brigham Young University), as well as journalists Joe Hallett (Columbus Dispatch), Linda Feldman (Christian Science Monitor), Tom Beres (WKYC-TV Cleveland) and Mark Niquette (Bloomberg News).

The conference is open to the public. For more information and to register for the conference, call 330-972-5182 or visit www.uakron.edu/bliss/stateoftheparties.dot.


Cuyahoga River changing; work continues

CUYAHOGA FALLS — The removal of the two downtown low-head dams in the Cuyahoga River took place this summer, and work continues on revitalization efforts as the river begins to change.

According to Cuyahoga Falls officials, evidence of changes in the river can already be seen, as it has a much more natural meandering pattern, ripples and some white caps leading to open access to the category 4 and 5 whitewater near the Sheraton Suites Akron/Cuyahoga Falls. 

Sediment continues to move toward the Gorge Dam, especially after heavy rainfalls. Shoreline areas are beginning to fill in naturally, as well. Other areas, like near the Burntwood Tavern, were seeded to control some erosion.

A large cleanup effort has also taken place at the river, including the removal of approximately 220 tons of bicycle and other small tires. Tires continue to be removed from the river as more come to the surface, according to city officials. 

On National Public Lands Day, the Cuyahoga River was selected for cleanup; many volunteers cleaned out more than 2 tons of trash. Debris could still surface during the next 12 to 18 months as the river continues to reshape, according to city officials.

In addition, the river area is still a construction zone. RiverWorks is building what are called “deflection walls” to protect both the powerhouse structures at the Burntwood Tavern and the Sheraton Suites from powerful water resulting from 100-year rain events.

In addition, work is underway to create a take-out point for canoeists and kayakers under the Portage Trail bridge in anticipation of the river construction ending for this calendar year. This location was the optimal place to create a take-out point due to the shoreline bedrock and existing structures down to the river, according to city officials. Some of the pillars will be covered with rock, and a new limestone path will be added to provide a safe exit area for paddlers prior to getting to more difficult and dangerous waters. Some of the pillars will remain for viewing purposes and historical effect.

The city also is working with river recreational experts on what the Cuyahoga River can become over the next few years, especially in the areas of paddling and recreation.


Akron attorney honored for military service

WEST AKRON — Post No. 349 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will honor Akron attorney Donald Jenkins Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Tangier, 532 W. Market St. 

“An Evening With the Generals” also will feature special guests U.S. Army Gen. Donn Starry (posthumous), Maj. Gen. Dan Hahn and Brig. Gen. Thomas Lucynski, all of whom have ties to Northeast Ohio.

Jenkins is a former College of Business professor at The University of Akron (UA) and College of Law professor; he later became dean at the UA School of Law. An Akron native and Kenmore High School graduate, he is also a former and longtime Bath Township trustee. He retired in 2009. 

Licensed to practice law in Ohio since 1964, Jenkins is being honored by the VFW Post No. 349 for his exemplary military service, according to VFW officials. A retired two-star general, Jenkins is, according to VFW officials, a highly decorated U.S. Air Force World War II and Korean War fighter pilot. He also was post commander of the Rickenbacker Air Force Base, among other military assignments.

Dinner tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased from the VFW Post 349 no later than Oct. 31. Call Bruce Kilian at 330-204-0386 or Peter Ryerson at 330-283-4233 to purchase tickets.

All proceeds will benefit the military service-connected charities supported by the Post. 


United Way invites nonprofits to list volunteer opportunities

SUMMIT COUNTY — Agencies can post holiday projects’ needs on the United Way of Summit County Volunteer Center website for free.

According to United Way officials, these projects will be seen by hundreds of people looking to volunteer during the holidays. The Volunteer Center is already receiving requests from individuals and groups looking for holiday volunteering opportunities.

Nonprofit organization representatives seeking volunteers to help with holiday projects are invited to call Andrea Metzler, director of volunteer services, at 330-643-5512.

Those looking for a volunteer opportunity may view the full list at www.uwsummit.org (click on “Volunteer”).


Community Medal Award honors Philip Maynard

WEST AKRON — The Community Medal Award and Kettle Kickoff Luncheon will take place Nov. 12 at the Tangier, 532 W. Market St.

The Salvation Army’s Community Medal Award honors individuals who have made a significant impact in the Greater Akron community through professional and volunteer work. The 2013 Community Medal Award recipient is Philip Maynard.

Maynard currently serves as chairman of Akron Children’s Hospital’s Foundation Board and is past chairman of Akron Children’s Hospital’s Board, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation, Archbishop Hoban High School Board, International Warehouse Logistics Association and the Ohio Warehouse Association. According to Salvation Army officials, he has served on numerous other not-for-profit and corporate boards and continues his membership on the Executive Committee of The University of Akron Foundation and OPEN M Board.

Major Darryl Leedom, national social services secretary for The Salvation Army National Headquarters, will speak on “Homelessness in America, and The Salvation Army’s Response.”

Call 330-434-7310 to make a reservation. Tables of eight are $500 and individual seats are $75, with proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army Summit County Area Services.


Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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