The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 24, 1991 · Page 50
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September 24, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 50

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Tuesday, September 24, 1991
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2 EXTRACentral THE CINC INNATI F.NQllRF.R Tuesday, September 24, 1991 All signs point to levy campaign's fight against school deficit BY SUE KIESEWETTER Enquirer Contributor Bill Dobson and Patti Fehr want to see red in Norwood. Each time they drive down a city street they would like to see red signs and they're hoping their friends and neighbors have the same idea. As co-chairpersons of the school district's 8.83-mill levy campaign, the two lifelong Norwood residents are hoping so many people support the operating levy that the 1,000 red signs they've ordered won't be enough. "My goal," Dobson said, "is to have a sign in every front yard and every business elementary school fees, impose participation fees for extracurricular activities and delay capital improvement projects. Money from the levy, if approved, will be used to avoid a $1.9 million deficit by June. The owner of a $50,000 house would pay an additional $145 per year if the levy is approved. The owner of a $75,000 house would pay $217. Voters last approved a levy in 1986 just prior to the closing of the General Motors plant. Despite the loss of $2.4 million in taxes from the plant, the school board kept its promise to make the 1986 levy last until 1991, Dobson said. It did that by making staff and program cuts in 1987 which totaled $2 million. To get voter approval the committee has several strategies planned, Dobson said. Along with the yard and business signs, the committee hopes to get endorsements from as many groups as it can. Campaign workers will go door-to-door passing out literature. Voter registration drive School secretaries in every building have become deputy registrars in order to make it as convenient for residents to register to vote. Wednesdayhas been designated "Voter Registration Day" at school, Dobson said. Presentations will be made at the following PTA meetings: Williams Avenue, 7 p.m., Oct. 3; Norwood View, 7 p.m., Oct. 7; Sharpsburg, 7 p.m., Oct. 30. Literature will be available at the following open houses: Allison, 6:30 p.m., today ; Sharpsburg, 6-8 p.m., Wednesday ; Norwood middle school, 7 p.m., Wednesday . And at 7 p.m., Oct. 15, Norwood Cable access Channel 1 will broadcast a live call-in question-and-answer show on the levy. Questions will be answered by Dobson, Fehr, Superintendent John La-zares, and school board president Allen Hill. Two videotapes explaining the need for the levy have been made and are available for borrowing from Jo Alexander, communications coordinator, at 396-5524. Norwood in Norwood." Fehr said the signs will go up in front yards the week of Oct. 7. Dobson said business signs and messages on marquees in the central business district along Montgomery Road will go up the following week. "We've got an uphill battle. No doubt about it," Fehr said. "Nobody wants to raise taxes but nobody wants the cuts either." In July the school board voted to cut positions, impose a hiring freeze, double TOC fights a ReS ghetto una ge Co-op assists Over-the-Rhine M A -"" i ' Iff si j I vU Bicentennial is history, not hoopla BY LYNDA HOUSTON The Cincinnati Enquirer f r iami Township's bicentennial is a I If 1 celebration by numbers. I If I That's because it is also the 150th anniversary of the inauguration and death of township resident and ninth U.S. President William Henry Harrison; the 125th anniversary of construction of the Miami Township Hall in Cleves; and the 100th anniversary of Addyston. "It's truly a red-letter year," historian Marjorie Bymside Burress said. However, the township will celebrate quietly Oct. 12-13, beginning with a lighting ceremony outside Township Hall at 8 p.m. Oct. 12. A historical exhibit also will be on display in the Township Hall during the weekend. Trustee Joe Sykes, a member of the bicentennial committee, said the group did not want to lose sight of history through celebratory hoopla. "The more I look around, the more commercial ventures I see," Sykes said. "We tried to go with strictly sticking with the historical significance of the township's founding and progress over the last I - Art l- xTs T?t-Ntj' .rf: :n r '.. vr.-w V x- : I, V , , '..I . I 'X S " - IT 1 ' ' V BY PAT KERIN Enquirer Contributor The double wooden doors are covered with newspaper articles, meeting notices and a poster announcing a march on President Bush's home in Ken-nebunkport, Maine. With the exception of the notices, a collage of photographs and a banner emblazoned with the word ReSTOC, it might easily slip into the anonymity of the other storefronts on Over-the-Rhine's West 14th Street. But this is the headquarters of ReSTOC Inc. (Race Street Tenant Organization Cooperative), a co-op dedicated to refurbishing local housing, providing work for Drop Inn Center homeless, and steering young people away from drugs. With a paid staff of seven and numerous volunteers, ReSTOC has restored both single-occupancy and family-sized units in Over-the-Rhine. Whether because of renewed interest in similar programs like the Peace Corps, or an increased sense of housing problems, ReSTOC is experiencing revitalization. Internship applications are on the rise. "A few years ago we usually had one intern in over the summer," said construction manager Mike Stehlin. "We have four interns now who will probably be here for an entire year." The group also has its first business manager and operating budget, totaling $125,000, in its 14-year history. "Our organization has grown so much," said Bryan Brown, who began as business manager in June. "Budget cuts have hurt groups like ours, so we have to work more on getting grants. But we're also impressed by the quality of responses for. internships. We're getting many bright and committed students." For ReSTOC employees and volunteers, that means commitment to fighting stereotypes and poverty. Preserving heritage and youth "We're fighting the image of Over-the-Rhine as a ghetto," Brown said. "This area has a rich cultural heritage, and we want to preserve it. There's room for everyone in OTR, so we want to avoid 'gentrification.' We also want to keep the - in i MMM t .ilii i r The Cincinnati EnquirerJoanne Rim John Rodgers, a volunteer construction worker, leans out the window of a Vine Street rowhouse he is helping to rehab. 200 years. The township's history is being laid out on poster boards in Burress' Miami Heights home. Her dining room table is also filled with items like a book on pomology, the science of fruit cultivation, written by John Aston Warder, a township resident in the 1800s and founder of the American Forestry Association. Victorian-era valentines decorate a nearby table. A brick from the Miami Township Hall, inscribed with the name of brick mason Jacob Zondler, who helped build the structure in 1866, also lies among the memorabilia. The brick, Burress said, was discovered during remodeling in 1930. Exhibits will also compare the township of the past to today's Miami Township. For instance, in 1869, baseball was also a favorite pastime, but the team to watch was the Cleves Blue Stockings. There was theft, too, but in 1878, it was the body of Honorable J. Scott Harrison, son of William Henry Harrison, that was stolen from Congress Green Cemetery. The robbery focused national attention on the township. kids from falling into drug use and delinquency." The organization quickly expanded with volunteer aid after being formed in 1977 by Buddy Gray, the Drop Inn Center's volunteer program coordinator, and Race Street tenants interested in restoring local properties. "It just grew and grew and grew," said Katherine Howard, ReSTOC tenant, board member and a former president of the OTR Community Council. She said the co-op was especially adept at handling emergency problems. "A lot of times, ReSTOC workers have to fix leaky faucets and frozen pipes. They're always there. Tenants don't have to wait." ReSTOC struggles each year for funding, organization officials said. "We don't receive any city or state money," Stehlin , said. "About half of our funds come from tenant fees. We also rely on Section 8 certificates, grants and donations." ReSTOC charges $50 a month for a single room and $100 for a four-room unit. Section 8 certificates are HUD contracts. HUD pays full or partial tenant rent for a certain time, usually 15 years. "The Section 8 certificates enable us to get loans and financing," Stehlin said. ReSTOC also conducts fund-raisers like its Buy-a-Day campaign, in which local businesses and citizens donate the amount of one day's operating expenses or more. ReSTOC tenant and volunteer John Rodgers said ReSTOC restored his life. "They gave me an opportunity," he said. "I've been here five months now." Rodgers is adamant about the need to help the neighborhood's poor and homeless. "People need to pull together. There's no need to tear any of these buildings down. They can be rebuilt." Because ReSTOC is directly across the street from Washington Park School, the potential casualties of crime and drug abuse are seen every day. "Twenty years ago, you had the alcohol and marijuana here," Rodgers said. "But it was nothing like this crack problem. We do what we can for the kids." ReSTOC volunteers are trying to get funding for 20 single-room units on Vine Street while restoring 11 apartments on Republic and Elm streets. Despite bureaucracy, neighborhood crime and a growing homeless population, ReSTOC workers are committed to saving Over-the-Rhine. "This area is a valuable part of the city," Brown said. "Out-of-town people are amazed this neighborhood is here, that it's not all million-dollar walk-ups. We have to preserve it." Trains ML. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 close to. Some relatives still live in the neighborhood. The train noise doesn't disturb him. As a boy, he and his friends put pennies and nickels on the tracks. When the train passed, they would giggle at the flattened coins as large as silver dollars. "Trains are nostalgic in America," Fields said. "When my father-in-law from Arizona visits w us, he thinks it's great to sit here t ' ' Y 4 r7 5 V i and watch the trains come through." However, he's very conscious of the potential danger for his three children. He forbids them But not everyone who lives near the tracks enjoys the trains. Don and Yvonne Morgan and their three children live on Huff Avenue in the East End, with the railroad tracks about 40 yards in front of their house. Don Morgan complained that the trains go by too fast. He said that when he bought his house five years ago, the trains traveled more slowly through the area. He worries about his children's safety. "The trains fly by," he said. "I've called (Conrail) I don't know how many times, but it doesn't do any good. If they don't take this track out, I'm going to sell this house and move." But another East Ender, Dorothy Ellis, enjoys the trains. "The trains rock you to sleep," said Ellis, who has lived in her Eastern Avenue house for 35 years, just 30 yards or so from the tracks. Bob Libkind, spokesman for Conrail, said federal guidelines determine speed limits for trains based on track conditions and operations. The East End line isn't a high-speed track, he said. "What may seem like a high speed to someone isn't necessarily so," Libkind said. Sharon Robbins, who lives in back of the tracks on River Road in Sedamsville, doesn't like the increased truck traffic caused by a zoning change granted earlier this year that allowed hauling businesses to locate in the Con-rail's yard in the neighborhood. But that's her only complaint. "The railroad is just a part of your life when you live down here," said Robbins, vice president of the Sedamsville Community Council. Wayne Bandy of Sedamsville grew up near the tracks. He lived far from any tracks when he moved to Michigan after high school to attend a vocational school. Still, he would listen at night for clattering sounds and the whistles of the trains. After he finished school in two years, he moved back to Sedamsville. "I missed the trains," Bandy said. "I don't think I'd move away from here unless I had to." to play near the tracks. The Cincinnati EnquirerErnest Coleman As a veteran train observer, Barbara and Ralph Lutes' Sedamsville home is just a few yards Fields can tell by the noise how from railroad tracks that run along the Ohio River, much cargo a train car is carry- editonal services with CSX, said the railroad can't afford to beautify the rights of way along its 18,000 miles of track. MC watch CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 what they'd do if Mike ever decided to close shop. For the last 2'A years, Mike has been a regular house sitter there, offering care to the couple's two dogs, Lobo and Moet. "Mike is the first (teen-ager) that we've ever used to house sit; we've always used friends," Cathy Stegman said. "He's very honest, and he's a big help." The Stegman's have known Mike for five years, and they only wish that Mike will train a successor when he graduates from high school. "We'll have to hope that," Cathy Stegman said with a laugh. "Hopefully there will be some other teen-ager that will step in to take his place." His work with animals including the part-time job he's had for three years at the Springdale-Glendale Veterinary Center will end at the close of next school year, if he's accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. "I like pets and they're fun to work with, but I have a burning desire to become a pilot," he said. To meet that goal, he maintains a 3.5 grade-point average, in addition to a number of school band rehearsals, the veterinary job, MC watch and the airbrushing business. "It's hard, but I really try to fit it all in," he said. "I'm just running around from job to job, just squeaking it all in." Despite the hectic pace, Mike said he's thankful for the extra prodding. "She's the one that really got me off on the right foot," he said of his mother. "I can talk to friends who have never washed their clothes, or whose parents are always giving them money, and I wonder how they're going to make it. I know I could leave home right now and be all right." Carlton said that, if she could, she'd change one thing about her son: "I still have to tell him to mow the grass," she said. "He mows everybody else's grass but mine." To schedule an appointment with Mike, call 771-0246. mg. When a train car is empty, it's very noisy," he said. "But when it's full, you just hear a click-clack, click-clack." Fields said he wishes CSX grass or shrubbery along the right of way, he said. Helen Johnson, who has lived on Van Roberts Place since 1943, said she can tell by the trains' whistles when a special train is coming by. "When the whistle is different, I get up and look out," she said. Transportation would plant grass Usually, communities take re- and shrubbery along the tracks, sponsibility for sprucing up the which are surrounded by nothing areas along the tracks, he said, but gravel. The company nearly always gives But Norm Going, manager of communities permission to plant CENTRAL ZONE East Central West East Reaching us General Information....... ..................721-2700 Advert sing .....................................369-1 781 EXTRA news.... 860-5180 Circulation 651-4500 Reader editor ........369-1851 Submissions Calendar items tor The Enquirer EXTRA must be received one week prior to publication. Other Items tor Tuesday's EXTRA must be recieived by 2 p.m. the preceding Thursday; other Items for Friday's EXTRA are needed by 2 p.m. the previousTuesday. Items should be typed and Include a description of the event person or award with name, address, phone, date, place, time and cost, If applicable. Include a black-and-white glossy photograph if possible. 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