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NEW HOME, EH? B1 Anderson Township sold this aerial ladder truck to the city of Saint John Fire Department in the province of New Brunswick. Your Community Press newspaper serving Anderson Township, California, Mount Washington, Newtown E-mail: We d n e s d a y, M a r c h 2, 2011 JOURNAL Web site: B E C A U S E C O M M U N I T Y M AT T E R S 50¢ Firefighters get 2.5% raise Volume 50 Number 49 © 2011 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Anderson Township OKs new collective bargaining deal By Lisa Wakeland Expensive mess The Anderson Township Park District spends a lot of money trying to get people to pick up after their pets, but it doesn’t always work. Park Commissioner Josh Gerth was surprised by a how much Mutt Mitts – the degradable bags provided for dog owners to put on their hand to pick up their dog’s excrement – cost while reviewing financial reports at a recent Board of Park Commissioners meeting. SEE STORY, A4 Voice your opinion Anderson Township trustees recently approved a new collective bargaining agreement for the township’s Fire and Rescue Department. What do you think? Let us know by going online and voicing your opinion by typing andersontownship or into your Web browser’s address bar and voting on our poll. We’ll run the results in next week’s edition of the Forest Hills Journal. Poll results The results of the Feb. 23 unscientific poll on our Anderson Township community site at hip asking readers how important is connecting Interstate 74 at Interstate 75 with State Route 32 at Interstate 275, also known as the Eastern Corridor project are: Very important: (30) 53% Important: (11) 19% Not important: (7) 12% Not important at all: (9) 16% Total votes: 57 To place an ad, call 242-4000. Anderson Township trustees recently approved a new collective bargaining agreement for the township’s Fire and Rescue Department. The agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1 and will be valid through the end of 2013, Assistant Township Administrator Suzanne Parker said. Both the township and firefighters union have been working on a new agreement for months, she added. In this collective bargaining agreement, firefighters will receive a 2.5 percent raise this year and a 2 percent raise in both 2012 and 2013. Firefighters received a 4 percent raise in each of the last three years, according to a township memo outlining changes to the agreement. Trustee Russ Jackson said township staff researched other local entities trying to renegotiate contracts and said this agreement was a reasonable approach. Jackson acknowledged the battle in the Ohio Legislature over a bill that aims to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees and limit bargaining for other public employees. “This is something that has been done and for us to go back on it would not be appropriate and not in the best interest of the township,” he said of the new collective bargaining agreement with GLENN HARTONG/STAFF The Anderson Township trustees approved a new collective bargaining agreement for the firefighters. Here, firefighters help a truck driver whose semitrailer flipped over on Interstate 275 in January. the firefighters. Other changes to the agreement include compensatory time, sick time payout, questionable absences, military leave holidays, clothing and training. It also expands license requirements and includes streamlined list of household equipment that must be provided at each fire station, such as appliances and day room furniture. The change to the holiday pay provision in the new agreement could potentially cost taxpayers an additional $30,000 per year. It was changed to allow any employee, scheduled or not, who works on a holiday to receive one and one-half times the hourly rate. Though costs could increase, the memo states it would save the department the burden for finding last-minute replacements on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The new agreement also states that employees would receive an annual $350 credit allowance for to purchase uniforms instead of a check. Employees would continue to receive a $200 check each year for uniform maintenance and linen. This change could save taxpayers $10,000 during the threeyear agreement because employees would not likely use all of the $350 if it is given as a credit rather than a lump-sum check, according to the memo. Trustee Peggy Reis was not at the Feb. 17 meeting when the collective bargaining agreement was approved. For more about your community, visit School’s veterans project honored By Forrest Sellers “I don’t think any other veterans project will be like this one.” More than a year later reflections of area veterans continue to have an impact. In 2009 second-graders at Sherwood Elementary School interviewed area veterans using video cameras to document their recollections. A video was prepared and screened at the Anderson Center and given to the participants. The veterans spoke from the heart, said second-grade teacher Donna Prues, who coordinated the project with her class. The video project, which was titled “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land,” was recently awarded a 2010 Success in Public Schools Award by the Coalition for Public Education. Prues has also been invited to serve on a Veterans Steering Committee, which is looking at ways to honor and recognize local veterans. She said a memorial at the Taylor Black Sherwood Elementary School third-grader FORREST SELLERS/STAFF Sherwood Elementary School third-graders Parker Gebhart, left, Nick McLaughlin and Taylor Black hold an award they and their classmates received for a video project featuring reminiscences of local veterans. The project was coordinated by second-grade teacher Donna Prues, shown at right. Anderson Center has been discussed. Prues said a number of the students interviewed family members and stories were shared with them they had never heard before. Prues said she learned one of her own family members, an uncle of her father, was a prisoner of war. A total of 45 veterans were interviewed. Four hours of footage was condensed into a one-hour video. “I learned about sacrifice,” said third-grader Nick McLaughlin, who was one of the students who interviewed a veteran. Third-grader Parker Gebhart, who also conducted interviews, said he hoped the video would inspire other schools to consider a similar project. “I don’t think any other veterans project will be like this one,” said third-grader Taylor Black, who interviewed her great-grandfather, who participated in D-Day. Prues said the students may do another video project involving veterans since she said a number of veterans who weren’t interviewed at the time have expressed an interest. Copies of the video can be obtained by contacting Prues at For more about your community visit andersontownship Your East Side Neighborhood Family Owned Jeweler Since 1913 • Free Gift Wrap • Old Gold Accepted in Trade • Interest Free Layaway • All Major Credit Cards Accepted 8429 Beechmont Ave • Cincinnati, OH 513.474.9333 CE-0000442786 BETWEEN EIGHT MILE & PAMELA OPEN MON-SAT 9:30 AM - 6 PM


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