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Caffeine for K9s Poker Run

BEAVERCREEK — The first Caffeine for K9’s Poker Run will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28 at the Greene County Animal Shelter, 641 Dayton-Xenia Road in Xenia. The entry fee is $25 and the last bike or car is out by 11:30 a.m. Like a kind of motorized scavenger hunt, poker run players follow a predetermined course through five Greene County towns. Drivers will collect one card at each of the destination coffee shops in an effort to have the best hand at the end of the journey. From the animal shelter, motorcyclists and car drivers will ride to Stoney Creek Roasters, 83 N. Main St. in Cedarville, then on to the Spirited Goat Coffee House, 118 Dayton St. in Yellow Springs. From Yellow Springs they will proceed west to Expressions Coffee House, 313 W. Main St. in Fairborn, finally ending up at 4Starters Coffee Cafe, 2495 Commons Blvd. in Beavercreek. Each biker/driver will receive free Boars Head hot dogs and coffee. The contestant with the best poker hand at the end of the run will win a flat screen television. Event organizers Kathy Ramsey and her husband Jim are the owners of 4Starters Coffee Café in Beavercreek. “The money we take in from the event will be used to purchase needed pet food and supplies for the animal shelter,” Ramsey said. “We want everyone to come out, enjoy the food, music and other activities and support the efforts of the shelter.” Amanda Wissinger is the animal shelter’s administrative support technician. “We are here to help as many animals as we possibly can,” she said. “Unfortunately we are overpopulated but we do our best to find homes for the animals we take in.” For more information, contact Jim or Kathy Ramsey at 4Starters Coffee Café by calling 937-3205866.

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Former director files suit against GCCS By PAUL COLLINS Staff Writer pcollins@xeniagazette.com XENIA — Alice Maddox, the former executive director of the Greene County Children’s Services, has brought a civil complaint against the agency’s board of directors. The complaint, was filed at the Greene County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, July 10. It calls into question the circumstances surrounding the board’s April 26 meeting, when members voted to place Maddox on administrative leave. The complaint states the board “announced it would hold an Executive Session to consider a ‘personal matter,’ without further specifics.” The complaint takes issue with the boards alleged lack of specificity concerning the matters that would be taken up during the executive session and asserts that Maddox “was not provided advance notice her employment would be a topic at this meeting, and was not given the opportunity to request the meeting be held in public.” The complaint states that in the closed executive session, “the CSB (Children Services Board) purported to vote to terminate Ms. Maddox.” Maddox, according to the complaint, was given 21 days to sign the agreement. The complaints

points out that Maddox “was escorted directly to her office to remove her personal effects and directed to turn in all property of the county, including keys to her office.” “At the conclusion of the Executive Session, the CSB returned to a public meeting, but no vote or other discussion took place pertaining to Ms. Maddox’s employment,” said the complaint. Maddox and her attorneys contend that the actions taken against her at the board’s April 26 meeting violated the Sunshine Law. Other former agency employees have agreed. Elaine Hughes, a former member of the board of directors and a current member of the Friends of Greene County Children’s Services, called the board’s actions at the April 26 meeting into question during the public comment portion of the board’s May 31 meeting. “My concern is how this (Maddox’s placement on leave) was done,” Hughes said. “It (the record of the board’s April 26 meeting) never says there was a vote taken in public session. It’s my understanding that that’s a violation of the Sunshine Law.” Maddox and her attorneys provided a June 26 advisory opinion prepared by Attorney General Mike DeWine at the request of Greene County Prosecutor Stephen K. Haller as support for their

contention that improper procedure was taken during the April 26 meeting. The advisory opinion states that a public body that desires to conduct an executive session “must, in the motion and vote to hold that executive session, state which one or more of the approved purposes listed in R.C. 121.22(G)(1) are the purposes for which the executive session is to be held.” The advisory opinion later cites R.C. 121.22(G)(1), “which permits a public body to hold an executive session to ‘consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual, unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing.’” According to the advisory opinion, merely stating that an executive session must be held to address a “personnel matter” fails to meet the requirements laid down by R.C. 121.22(G)(1). “This requirement is not satisfied if the motion and vote state, without further explanation, that the session is to discuss a ‘personnel matter,’” the advisory opinion said. See Maddox on page 2A ➤

Police looking for armed robbery suspect Officials meet to discuss potential radio upgrades

Submitted photo Beavercreek police are still searching for a suspect seen driving this Dodge Charger before robbing a woman at gun point in the Beech parking garage at The Greene last week. By ASIA AIKINS Beavercreek Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com BEAVERCREEK — The Greene’s Beech Street area was a hot spot for armed robbery last week, as two people were approached by suspects bearing hand guns last Monday and Wednesday. “We believe these are both isolated crimes, not connected in any way,” said Beavercreek Police Captain Jeff Fiorita. The first incident occurred around 11:40 p.m. Monday evening on Beech Street, just behind Rave Motion Pictures. According to a press release by the BPD, the victim was driving his car when the suspect stepped in front of the car. The suspect walked up to the driver’s window and pointed a handgun at the victim, demanding money. The victim immediately drove away to a secure area and called the police. “The first incident, we think, was a crime of opportunity,” Fiorita said. The suspect, Aaron Johnson Jr., 18, was found by Kettering Police within minutes and turned over to BPD. The handgun was recovered at the scene.

The second incident occurred around 2:05 p.m. in the Beech parking garage. Police said the victim, a 21-year-old female, was exiting her vehicle when the suspect approached her, displayed a handgun, and demanded her purse. “There was a struggle over her purse and she was hit in the face with something during the struggle,” Fiorita said. The suspect fled the scene after gaining possession of the victim’s purse. Beavercreek Police are still investigating the incident. The suspect was described as a heavy-set black male in his twenties with a corn-row hair style and wearing a black t-shirt. He was caught on video surveillance leaving the scene in a bright red-colored newer model Dodge Charger with dark tinted windows and custom chrome wheels. “It looks like the vehicle was cruising the garage prior to the incident, looking for a victim,” Fiorita said. Anyone with any information regarding the robbery on Wednesday is asked to contact Beavercreek Police. Information can be given on the department’s tip line: 937-320-7393.

Rocky’s Pizza feeds the funny bone By ASIA AIKINS Beavercreek Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com BEAVERCREEK — The struggling economy doesn’t usually bring about laughter, but three Beavercreek natives are using comedy to help each other succeed in business. Rocky’s Pizza Ring has been a staple to the Beavercreek community for more than 40 years. Amy (Knight) Calcutta’s father, Dave Knight bought the restaurant 23 years ago and now she’s the owner of the family business. “In this economy, ma and pap businesses struggle,” Calcutta said. “It’s hard.” Mike Etienne grew up next door to the Knight family and has been a patron of Rocky’s his entire life. For the last few years, Etienne has worked to build a career as a comedian. He and fellow Beavercreek native Jonathan Craig were looking for a local venue to get some stage time when Etienne thought of Rocky’s. “We were finally getting shows and we were looking for another place to perform,” Etienne said. “I was eating at Rocky’s one night and thought it would be a perfect space. I called Jon and had him look at it and he was sold.” Rocky’s first comedy night took place in March of 2011. Since then, the show has ran consistently every second Monday of the month. “It’s really taken on a life of its own,” Etienne said. Headliners like Geoff Tate, John Evans, Vince Morris, Roy Habor and Dave Webster have sought out the local venue to get stage time. “We don’t want to compete with the big clubs around here in any way,” Craig said. “The thing that comedians like about Rocky’s is they can come here and try out new material. They’re not getting paid to do the show, and people aren’t paying to get in. So they’re free to try something without risk.” The comedy night has also helped Craig and Etienne get gigs of their own and network with other comedians.

Local comedians gather for a photo after the first comedy night at Rocky’s in March, 2011. “It’s like a fraternity,” Craig said. “Everyone helps each other and promotes each other.” Calcutta said the night is also helping to promote Rocky’s. “We’ve got these headliners contacting Jon and Mike trying to come to my restaurant,” she said. “They’re talking about Rocky’s and getting the name out there … No matter who is performing my profits on those Monday nights are always higher.” Craig said the venue is getting so popular, he is having to turn comedians away. “We’ve thought about doing comedy night twice a month,” he said. Calcutta said that she is also looking into coordinating a benefit show this fall for a child with cancer. Although the comedy business is booming at Rocky’s, Calcutta said making good pizza will always be her business. “I love this place. I just hope these guys get big and this can be the place where they got started,” she said. “I want to be the pizza place with the autographed pictures hanging on the wall … the place they come to when they do ‘Before They Were Stars’ on TV.” For Etienne, Craig and Calcutta, Rocky’s isn’t just a place to get started. It’s a place to be with friends and help each other. For more information about comedy night at Rocky’s, visit Rocky’s Pizza Ring, Inc. on Facebook.

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By ASIA AIKINS Beavercreek Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com BEAVERCREEK TOWNSHIP — Elected officials from all over the area gathered last Wednesday to learn about an inevitable change to local radio systems. Project 25 is a federal project that aims to create an open architecture for emergency response radio systems nation-wide. The goal of the project is to prevent mass-casualty disasters, like 9/11, from happening through open radio systems used by emergency responding agencies. “The reason why so many fire fighters died in the towers that day and so many police officers survived was because the police radios got the message to get out,” said Bob Glaser, Beavercreek Township trustee and coordinator of the P25 information session. As of 2018, the federal government will require that all local government and county radio systems be compliant with Project 25 standards. But some County officials are urging communities to get on board sooner. Recently, state leaders have nailed down P25 compliant systems and are offering incentives to those who upgrade now. “Right now there are federal grants available and a competitive market to work with,” Glaser said. “I don’t expect those grants to be available long.” Counties have also been given the option to partner with the state-funded MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System) or W.S. Electronics. They could also choose to build their own system through another state-approved radio system, such as Motorola, as well. Representatives from MARCS, Motorola and W.S. Electronics were at the session, answering questions about their services and P25 standards. Since 1991, Greene County agencies have used radio technology manufactured by Harris (whose parent company is W.S. Electronics). However, in 2011, Harris warned County agencies that the technology they have been purchasing will no longer be supported as of 2018. The current technology used in Greene County is another issue that urges leaders to make a decision before the 2018 deadline. According to Beavercreek Township Battalion chief Nathan Heister, radio systems all over Greene County are reaching the end of their life and are in need of an upgrade. Heister said that the Township’s radios most recently experienced glitches and down-time during the windy storms that rolled through the county two weeks ago. “We could wait until 2018,” said Rosanne Anders, director of Greene County’s Emergency Management Agency. “But what’s the point in waiting when we’ve already experienced problems and could prevent worse things from happening.” Greene County Commissioners Alan Anderson, Marilyn Reid and Rick Perales all attended the session, and are expected to be the first area leaders to take the next step. The county will bare the cost of upgrading the overall radio system. As of now, MARCS, Motorola and W.S. Electronics are all three competing to provide that system. Local governments will then decide on complying with the system the County chooses or creating their own. Cities and townships will also bare the burden of funding the upgrades for dispatch consoles, hand-held radios and mobile radios. Representatives from Clark County attending the session said that they are strongly considering the MARCS system. If Greene County chooses to go with the MARCS system as well, a tower will be built in John Bryan State Park that will allow responders from each county to communicate even in the most dense areas of John Bryan as well as surrounding rural areas, MARCS Office Manager Dick Miller said. Commissioners Anderson and Reid stayed after the presentation to speak with the system representatives and County officials. Greene County Administrator Howard Poston said he is not sure when the commissioners will make a decision, but is confident that the information session helped them to understand their options at this time.


THURSDAY, May 31, 2012

THE

Sports: Beavercreek boy honored at Dragons game, see page 9A ➤

Vol. 8 No. 46

Honoring our nation’s heros

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Local News

Beavercreek residents came together honoring our nation’s heros during the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park Monday, May 28. This year’s ceremony featured local VFW members and music from the Beavercreek High School music department. Mayor Vicki Giambrone opened the ceremony and introduced guests speaker Colonel William Venanzi. News-Current photos by Barb Slone.

Bike Rodeo BEAVERCREEK — The City of Beavercreek and the Beavercreek Bikeway Advisory Committee will hold a Bike Rodeo from 911 a.m. June 9 at Shaw Elementary School’s rear parking lot, 3560 Kemp Road. Children in kindergarten through sixth grade are to bring their own bicycles and helmets. Children will be required to demonstrate five bicycling skills with prizes awarded in each age division. All bicycles will receive a free safety check and the first 25 participants will receive a free helmet provided by Children’s Medical Center. The event’s rain date is June 16. Organized by the Beavercreek Bikeway Advisory Committee, the Bike Rodeo will be held to promote safe biking. Contact Roger Brislawn at 937-426-3253 for more information.

Carroll High School graduation photos Page 13A ➤

GCCC graduation photo page Page 14A ➤

Deaths •William Harbine Hagenbuch • Eleanor Eddings • Marcia Williams Shannon Page 5A ➤

Index Local..............................................2A Local..............................................3A Opinion..........................................4A Record...........................................5A Obituaries......................................5A Education.......................................6A Sports............................................9A Grad pages.............................13-14A

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Memorial Day crash kills 18-year-old By ASIA AIKINS Beavercreek Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com BEAVERCREEK — An 18-year-old man was found dead at the scene of an early morning crash on Memorial Day. Beavercreek police responded to reports of an SUV crashing into a tree near the intersection of Fairknoll and Claydor drives around 4 a.m. The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. “It looked like he came to the intersection and tried to make a turn, but didn’t make it,” said Sergeant Phil Wesseler. “Speed may have been a factor.” The driver of the SUV was identified as Zane Clark of Hendersonville, Tenn. Police said they think Clark recently relocated to the Beavercreek area. Police are still investigating the official cause of the accident and said they believe that there were additional passengers in the vehicle at the

A man died in an early morning crash in a Beavercreek neighborhood on Monday. Photo courtesy of WDTN. time of the crash who left the scene before responders arrived. “We will have to wait for toxicology reports and more information from the investigation before we determine the cause,” Wesseler said. Police are asking for anyone with additional information about the crash to contact officer Dan Krall at 937-426-1225.

Beavercreek High School Class of 2012 graduation preview By ASIA AIKINS Beavercreek Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com BEAVERCREEK — The Beavercreek High School Class of 2012 will graduate at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 2 at the Nutter Center. BHS faculty members will hand off 694 diplomas this year, including 184 with honors. Seven of those seniors will be honored as the class valedictorians and an additional seven students will be honored as salutatorians. Samantha Venkatesh leads her class as one of the valedictorians. She plans to enter the accelerated medical program at Boston University, where she will earn her Medical Doctorate in seven years. She is the daughter of Seshadri and Latha Venkatesh. Venkatesh said her role model is her mother. “She taught me the value of hard work and inspired me to become a doctor,” she said. Yiran Zhang is also a Class of 2012 valedictorian. He plans to attend Vanderbilt University to study cellular and molecular biology and mathematics, with a minor in music. He is the son of Jun Zhang and Shuxia Sun. Zeshan Hussain leads the Class of 2012 as a valedictorian. Hussain plans to attend Stanford University and study bioengineering. Zeshan’s parents are Saber Hussain and Durdana Begum. Adam Moran leads his class as one of the valedictorians as well. He plans to Carnegie-

Mellon University and study computer science. He is the son of Kenneth and Tracy Moran. “My role model is my father for his hard work in achieving a lasting career in engineering when he started from nothing,” Moran said. Michael Wang represents the Class of 2012 as one of the valedictorians. He plans to attend Chicago Northwestern University and study chemistry and bioengineering. He is the son of Huabin Wang and Yu Chen. Brian Nam is one of the class valedictorians as well. He plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania and study Bioengineering. Nam is the son of Deok and Okhwa Nam. Nam said his role model is physicist Richard Feynman. Shayta Roy also represents the Class of 2012 as a valedictorian. She plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study chemical engineering. She is the daughter of Ajit and Indira Roy. Roy said her role models are her parents and her brother. “My parents have taught me all that I know and have always worked hard to provide for our family,” she said. “My older brother, Shuvro, is someone I’ve always looked up to since he’s consistently setting the bar so high. He’s even started a non-profit organization with his college roommates to provide clean water in impoverished areas.”

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Politicians push for Project 25 By ASIA AIKINS Beavercreek Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com COLUMBUS — State and local representatives are reaching the end of a project that could save emergency responders time, confusion and potentially, lives. Project 25 is a public communications standard that is designed to allow open communication between local, state and federal agencies while protecting the public’s welfare. Communication problems between emergency responders had been acknowledged in the past after times of large-scale emergency. During the Oklahoma City Bombing and Columbine, different responding agencies were unable to communicate because their radio systems were operated by incompatible equipment. But on Sept. 11, 2001, the inability to communicate was blamed for the loss of thousands of lives. “On 9-11, everyone was using separate systems, different equipment, and couldn’t talk to each other,” said Bob Glaser, Beavercreek Township Trustee and Project 25 advocate. “P25 is a universal program that will allow these agencies to communicate at any time of disaster, like 9-11.” The significant impact radio communication had on 9-11 immediately prompted a movement to improve the radio systems in America’s largest cities. In 2004, New York City was ranked number one in the nation for communication between emergency response chiefs. Now, Ohio is getting on board with P25. Local and state representatives, like Glaser, and members of the Ohio Controlling Board are locking down on a system that will allow local, state and federal agencies to openly communicate with each other if need be. “We’ve been working on it for months,” Glaser said. Last Monday, the Controlling Board unanimously voted to allocate $90 million of tax payers’ money for the upgrade of Ohio’s Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS). This upgrade will allow state-wide open communication. The next step for representatives is to choose a system provider. “We are using $90 million of our taxpayers’ money,” Glaser said. “It’s important to choose a product that creates a truly open architecture.” Glaser said his concern is that the state sole sourced the work to one vendor without a bidding process. He is concerned that the end product must be an open architecture P25 compliant system. In a little more than six years, every state is expected to have an open radio system, allowing the opportunity for nation-wide open communication. Glaser said Ohio representatives expect to have a plan for P25 locked down by the end of this year. “We should start to see remnants of P25 by September,” he said. Local representatives who sit on the Ohio Controlling Board include: Sen. Chris Widener (10th District), Sen. Shannon Jones (7th District) and Rep. Clayton Luckie (39th District).


4A Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beavercreek News Current

OPINION

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. - The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Letters to the editor Severe weather brings out best in Red Cross and community Editor: First the March tornados. Then, a dramatic June storm that caused unexpected power outages and oppressive heat. At times like these the public hears a lot about the American Red Cross in action providing shelters, cooling centers and water. While these actions may seem like quick spontaneous responses they are actually months in the making and show our community at its best. Last year leaders at the Dayton Area Red Cross Chapter conducted almost four hundred- yes, 400- meetings with government agencies, community based organizations and citizen groups. Of those an estimated four out of five were proactive to specifically focus on disaster planning: What happens when the storms hit? How will communications flow? What can we expect of each other?

The Red Cross response to the tornadoes in March and its ability to serve the community so well after the recent storm is a testament to all our partners, including donors who give us the necessary funds not only to be there when called but to know what to do! It also underscores the value of the Red Cross regional structure, where the entire volunteer base and material resources of the thirty six-county Greater CincinnatiDayton Region can mobilize at a moment’s notice. As we continue to deal with unpredictable weather, our Chapter wants to thank all who work with us- including our army of 900 plus volunteers- to handle life’s emergencies. As famous broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say: “Now you know the rest of the story.” Tom Fodor, Chief Executive Officer, Dayton Area Chapter American Red Cross Send us a letter to the editor today. See rules below. editor@xeniagazette.com

Wishes come true in Buenos Aires By Vicka Bachmann

GUEST COLUMNIST I’ve been wanting to go to Buenos Aires since I was a little girl and my wish came true! My family and I went there to pick up my host sister that was returning to Argentina from her exchange experience in Ohio. In the United States the presidential office is called the “White House,” in Argentina it’s called the “Pink House!” There are many areas of Buenos Aires, such as: La Boca, Obelisco, La avenida 9 de Julio, Puerto Madero, El Cabildo, La casa Rosada, Los bosques de Palermo, La calle Caminito. My favorite was the Caminito street because all the houses were colorful; green, yellow, red, blue, orange. It was the cheapest and most popular way of living in the 19th century. I couldn’t believe that people actually live there. Another reason why it’s my favorite area is because the Caminito Street is the birth place of Tango. I actually got to dance Tango in a restaurant, in front of people for the first time. I was so nervous! People dance Tango in restaurants to make money, some dance, just for the love of Tango. Overall, I went home with a big smile on my face! Vicka Bachmann is a student at Beavercreek High School. She is visiting Argentina as an exchange student and writing about her experience for the Beavercreek News-Current.

Vicka noted that the Caminito area of Buenos Aires was her favorite area because of the colorful buildings (pictured above). She also did the Tango during her visit (top), dancing with a professional Tango dancer in a restaurant. Below, Vicka stands along a busy street in Buenos Aires.

Year of the Gaffe; We’ve got four more months of this Maybe you think the presidential election will come down to the issues. That would mean looking at how Barack Obama and Mitt Romney differ on important matters — or, in many cases, how they don’t. Or perhaps the election might be all about money, and the shadowy Super PACs that will bombard us with TV advertising. But often the campaign dwells on something else: gaffes. What’s a “gaffe”? One of those unscripted or “off-message” comments that, according to big-media pundits, are deeply revealing. Here’s the bad news: The presidential campaign has barely even started. And the worse news: The media is in full-on gaffe mode. The gaffe season was in full swing a few weeks back when Barack Obama said at a press conference that the private sector is “doing fine.” He was comparing the employment picture among private companies to that of the public sector — government jobs. I suspect even the White House would agree this was not well put. But it happened to be an accurate observation. The number of private-sector jobs has rebounded to about what it was when Obama took office, while the number of government jobs has declined by more than 600,000. Meanwhile, corporate profit margins are at record-high levels. Romney’s campaign used this supposed gaffe to illustrate how Obama “doesn’t understand business,” which is its main line of attack. Those few ill-chosen words would form the basis for many thousands of words that would attempt to tell us how this

comment would affect, or even define, the presidential campaign season. And just think: We’ve got at least four more months of this to come. Not too long after Obama’s comments about the private sector’s wellbeing came a “mini-gaffe,” where reporters spent the better part of an after-

COMMENTARY By

Peter Hart Guest Columnist noon suggesting that Mitt Romney was dazzled by the sandwich kiosks at a Wawa convenience store. That sandwich flap followed a cascade of out-of-touch comments from Romney that were so absurd that Mad Magazine created a quiz to see if readers could distinguish the ”GOP candidate’s gaffes from zany things uttered by Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. “I like being able to fire people who provide personal services to me”? Romney. “I’m really enjoying this socalled ‘iced cream’”? The filthyrich owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant on the TV show. Mitt Romney has, however, had trouble identifying chocolate doughnuts and treating locally revered cookies in Pennsylvania with the appropriate degree of reverence. One of the strangest things about all of this “gaffe” business is that it’s so transparently phony. A campaign seizes upon

a minor event. It makes a quick Web video. And reporters spend days, if not weeks, pondering the meaning of it all. Of course, the same journalists could do something else entirely. They could cover the issues that actually matter. Or maybe, believe it or not, factcheck the candidates’ claims and counter-claims. Without journalists playing that role, campaigns are developing a monopoly over defining which issues should matter to voters. Too many campaign reporters are behaving like they’re on the weather beat. They’re telling folks what happened that day and maybe what’s likely to happen tomorrow. But that’s not really the way it should work. Journalists don’t just observe the action. They are active participants in the campaign, making choices about what to treat as important news and what to ignore. Waiting around for candidates or spokespeople to misspeak — is this any way to run a democracy? Of course not. But so long as big media sticks to the campaign “narratives” and wastes time wondering what the latest poll numbers might mean, it makes it that much harder to fix what is so obviously broken. Peter Hart is the activism director of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. www.fair.org Distributed via OtherWords (OtherWords.org)

The Beavercreek News-Current encourages readers to write letters to the editor: • Letters should be typed, or printed legibly, signed and include current address and daytime phone number of the author. We will publish only the name of the author and city, or organization. Full addresses will not be published. Form letters will not be accepted. Anonymous letters will not be printed. • Letters to the editor must be 350 words or less. Deadline for let-

ters is 9 a.m. The Friday before publication. Letter writers have a limit of one published letter every 30 days. • Letters will be verified by the newspaper via telephone. The newspaper reserves the right to edit for length, style and grammar and to limit the number of letters on a specific topic. • If content is libelous or misleading, letters will not be printed. For letters that include claims that are not a matter of public record, the

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burden of proof of the claim(s) fall upon the letter writer. • Election letters will be published prior to the election, but not the day before the election, that issue is reserved for the newspaper’s endorsements. • Opinions of letter writers or columnists are those of the author only. They do not represent the opinion of the staff and management of the Greene County Dailies. Send letters to 1836 W. Park Square, Xenia, 45385 or editor@xeniagazette.com.

Necessary costs for reliability In the last couple of months we have been schooled on Project 25 — a federal project pushing for open radio communication for emergency responders. With the help of some elected officials and a thick copy of a slide show and P25 overview, we are finally understanding what it is going to take our county to become P25 compliant. The federal government doesn’t require P25 compliant systems until 2018, but we have learned that Greene County emergency responder radio systems are aging and experiencing down times. It is essential that we make the necessary upgrades as soon as possible. In a county that houses a large Air Force base and has been torn apart by severe weather many times, unreliable emergency responder communication is unacceptable. County officials get it and they are looking at the cost of upgrading to/purchasing P25 compliant radio systems now. The whole goal of P25 is imperative for our safety. If Greene County experiences a devastating storm, like the tornado in 1974, emergency responders from Columbus could come down and be able to communicate with Greene County emergency responders as well as any mutual aid from other areas. The cost of this upgrade is concerning us. Last week staff sat for three hours learning about the costs of these systems. Cost could be in the upwards of $3 million just for the county to upgrade the systems. In addition, cities and townships will have to purchase equipment. The state is offering a deal to cut the cost of the system in half through a Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) partnership. But Ohio doesn’t have the money to give back to the county, so they will basically just not charge the county monthly service fees until the discount is met. During the information session, the common suggestion was to fund this upgrade through grants and loans. Sounds like college to us. It’s something we have to do — but who has the money just sitting around to do it? This is a common problem met in our society today. Here we are, forced to upgrade without the money to support it. In the case of P25 radios, lives are potentially at stake. Our elected officials have no choice but to spend the money that they have to borrow to upgrade. It’s just a matter of deciding the best route to take as we go in debt.

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Beavercreek News Current

LOCAL

Thursday, July 19, 2012 3A

ODOT to host hearing about SR 444 closure By AMANDA CROWE Fairborn Editor acrowe@fairborndailyherald.com FAIRBORN — The public will have their chance to weigh-in on the relocation of SR 444 during an ODOT public hearing Thursday evening. During the meeting, scheduled for 6-8 p.m. July 19 in the Fairborn Government Center, the Ohio Department of

Financial impact of P25 By ASIA AIKINS Weekly Editor aaikins@xeniagazette.com GREENE COUNTY — Greene County leaders met in Beavercreek Wednesday to discuss their options while making upgrades to public safety radio systems. Making the upgrades is inevitable, officials said. “Our current system is older and we’ve seen some down times recently,” said Beavercreek Fire Battalion Chief Nathan Heister. “We need to make a change to continue reliability.” Wednesday’s informational session went over the federal project called P25, which requires all public safety radio systems to have an open architecture, allowing multiple agencies to communicate on the same frequency in matters of mutual aid by 2018. Over the last several months, Ohio leaders have made decisions about what companies should provide to stay in compliance with P25. The Ohio Communications Committee has also made recommendations for local governments looking at upgrading their systems. A representative from the state-funded MARCS (Multi-Agency Response Communication System), Motorola and W.S. Electronics were at the session answering questions about radio systems and the services their companies can provide. Both MARCS and W.S. Electronics have made proposals for communities to consider. These proposals are expected to save communities money if they act sooner rather than later. The cost of upgrading the radio system infrastructure will be the county’s responsibility. It is also the most expensive cost. W.S. Electronics and MARCS are currently offering partnerships, intended to save the county money. W.S. Electronics is the parent company of Harris, the company who has provided Greene County’s radio system since 1991. Harris recently informed county officials that the current technology they are using will no longer be maintained as of 2018. Upgrading the system to P25 standards through Harris with the partnership will cost the county $4,024,908. But, W.S. Electronics will include a master controller used to operate the system, decreasing the end cost of the partnership to $3,751,986. MARCS is currently the backbone of the state’s transition to becoming P25 compliant. Through a partnership with MARCS, the county will use the state’s existing master controllers, creating a shorter migration from the current system. The state will also be responsible for maintaining the system. The cost to upgrade through MARCS will total $3,613,359. But through a partnership, MARCS will credit the state’s maintenance fee of $20 per month for each radio toward the end cost until it totals $1,806,680. With a total of 1,541 emergency responder radios in Greene County, that credit will be good for almost five years. “The purpose of our proposal is to save money, increase interoperability and save lives,” said Dick Miller, MARCS office manager. Counties also have the option of creating their own system through stand-alone companies like Motorola. According to a chart presented at the information session, a system operated by Motorola will cost $4,213,359. Counties will also have continuing costs for maintenance with stand-alone systems. All systems compliant with P25 standards are supposed last for at least 30 years. “This will be the only time that any of us in this room will have to deal with an upgrade,” Miller said. Greene County Commissioners Alan Anderson and Marilyn Reid examined the proposals with each representative before leaving the session. “I’m just worried about how I’m going to get that $3 million,” Anderson said. According to Beavercreek Township Trustee Bob Glaser, Greene County has already obtained a Local Government Innovation Fund (LGIF) loan through the state that has zero interest. “Only 12 people applied for the loan state-wide,” Glaser said. “I believe in using OPM, other people’s money … There are all kinds of federal grants and loans that are available for this purpose that won’t be around in 2018.” Glaser also said that two P25 radios cost $13,400 last year; now, radios are costing around $2,700. The cost for subscriber equipment such as handheld radios and dispatch consoles will be the burden of local communities. According to Miller, the 800 MHz frequency is designated for emergency responders only. If local communities decide to go with a stand-alone system, subscriber equipment will only work on Greene County towers. If MARCS infrastructure is purchased, subscriber equipment will work with towers throughout the state, and Motorola will offer a 40-percent discount on subscriber radios if more than 1,500 radios are purchased. If the Harris partnership is chosen, Harris will upgrade existing P25 radios at no additional charge to the communities. Additional prices for communities will vary with each community’s needs. Motorola and Harris both provided price menus for each elected official to overlook with their colleagues.

Art Affair Artist Market Entertainment Children’s Art Activities Narrated Architectural Tours Art Exhibits Varied Food Fare Specialty Shops Open All Day Historic Downtown Urbana

Sat. July 21st 10am-6pm 937-653-6126 9 22

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Transportation (ODOT) will review the proposed relocation and provide a Powerpoint presentation with a time for public comments. “The purpose of this meeting is to outline our way forward as the base advances their project to close the road,” said City Manager Deborah McDonnell. “Residents should come to understand exactly what’s going to happen and what the times lines are. They can ask any questions they may have regarding how this will affect them, if it will.” Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has already received their signed Record of Decision, which was the last item required for them to move forward with the project. They currently looking for contractors and will soon go out for bids, according to McDonnell. Base officials are aiming for full closure of the roughly 2.2 miles of SR 444 in early October 2012. Message boards created by WPAFB will notify motorists of upcoming changes to the roadway. “Our strategy is to monitor the traffic to determine the reality of the impact, and then work with ODOT to determine what changes will be necessary to accommodate that traffic as it actually comes through,” McDonnell said. Public Administrative Services Director Pete Bales stated that each impacted intersection would be discussed during Thursday’s meeting to show the public how traffic is to be rerouted. “ODOT will provide funding for the restriping. Furthermore, ODOT will perform a traffic study approximately one month after the closure to verify that the restriping and re-signalization plan is working appropriately,” said Bales. “Should the study show traffic not flowing as desired, then a new plan of action will be developed to rectify any traffic situations.” The City of Fairborn has created a SR 444 page on their website and maintained it with updated information along with a map indicating relocation at http://ci.fairborn.oh.us/gov/SR444.htm.


Community Awareness