aroundkent Magazine Vol 2 2013

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volume 2 | 2013 •

volume 2 | 2013 •


content volume 2 2013

photographer/editor Matt Keffer 330.221.1274

art director

Susan Mackle contributing writers Jean L. Druesedow Kelly Ferry Margaret Garmon Ami Gignac Michelle Hartman Mark Keffer Joelle Liedtke Matt Lindsay Adrienne Moncrief Dr. Patrick O’Connor Tina Puckett Heidi Shaffer Tom Simpson Diane Stresing Cheryl Townsend Lori M Wemhoff Amy Young Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content of any manner is prohibited without written permission. aroundkent accepts no responsibility for solicited materials.

Vol 2 | 2013

Serving Kent and its Surrounding Areas

On the Cover: Breakneck Acres Owner

Ami Gignac, Photo by Matt Keffer

6 Kent State University Museum Exhibits

10 L ast Exit Books 13 T he Local Bookshelf 14 R ay’s Place: A Kent Institution 17 I mpetuous Townsend 20 T he Kent Franklin Hotel 23 B reakneck Acres 26 D -Stresing 28 M ental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County

31 C hamber Chatter 32 L ucky Penny 34 V isual Art Showcase 40 4 Cats Acorn Alley 44 A New World Vision 46 K ent’s Energy Vortex 48 D estination: Kent Stage 50 L ocal Music Scene 52 A Vague Retro Analysis 54 B lack Clad Punk 5

14 13


32 26 48


K e n t

S t a t e

U n i v e r s i t y

M u s e u m

E x h i b i t s

The new Esplanade leads from the KSU Hotel and Conference Center right to Rockwell Hall, home of the Kent State University Museum, the Fashion School and Fashion’s new TechStyleLab. The museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, holds a world renown collection of fashion with examples from the 18th century to today shown thematically in eight galleries in changing exhibitions. Rockwell Hall, the university’s original library, was extensively remodeled to meet the high standards required for the museum, and is one of the best exhibition spaces for fashion in the country. Seventh Avenue entrepreneurs Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers founded the museum with a gift of 4000 dresses and 1000 decorative objects in 1982. The museum opened to the public in 1985. Today the museum’s collections number almost 40,000 objects. The museum’s Web site has up to date information about exhibitions and programs as well as a searchable on-line catalog Kent State University Museum for objects in the collection. The Museum Store features publicaAddress: 515 Hilltop Drive (corner of E. Main and S. Lincoln Streets) Kent, Ohio 44242-0001 tions, jewelry and other tantalizing gifts. The following pages 330.672.3450 • highlight the current exhibitions. Hours: Monday and Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday Sunday

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Closed 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. 10 am to 4:45 p.m. Noon to 4:45 p.m.

Jean L. Druesedow, Director


Pretty Pleats June 28, 2013 – March 16, 2014, Stager and Blum Galleries | Sara Hume, Curator Pleating is one of the most basic fabric treatments as it serves to create three-dimensional clothing out of two-dimensional cloth. Folds and draping occur naturally when cloth is wrapped around the body. As tailored clothing developed in the West, these folds were stitched down, creating pleats. Pleats can also be produced through heat treatment of fabric to form intentional, lasting creases. Box, inverted, kick, knife, sunburst, accordion, cartridge, tuck… This exhibition highlights many of the countless variations of pleating. The pieces on exhibit span more than two hundred years of fashion history and are organized by type of pleat and technique rather than chronologically or geographically. Masterpieces by Mariano Fortuny, Mme. Grès, Issey Miyake, and Christian Dior are exhibited alongside folk costumes and intricate 18th- and 19th-century gowns.

Raiment for Liturgy Vestments in the Kent State University Collection March 8, 2013 – February 9, 2014, Higbee Gallery | Jean Druesedow, Director “Raiment for Liturgy: Vestments in the Kent State University Collection” will highlight a variety of religious garments and textiles from the KSU Museum’s permanent collection, many of which are made from lavish materials. The Roman Catholic Church decreed that vestments be made of silk, the most expensive and precious of all textiles, because bishops and priests celebrating mass should wear only the finest materials. For this reason, many of the vestments in the exhibition are made of luxurious woven silks brocaded in gold and silver or embroidered in polychrome and precious metallic threads. Shannon Rodgers acquired liturgical vestments as part of the collection that formed the original gift establishing the Kent State University Museum. Along with these pieces, “Raiment for Liturgy” includes textiles from the FultonLucien Collection, acquired in 1986, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, transferred to the KSU Museum in 1995. These pieces were collected primarily as examples of the textile art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Together these vestments serve as a survey of the extraordinary textile art of the periods of their creation. Glass Selections from the Kent State University Museum Collection February 7, 2013 – June 28, 2015, Tarter/Miller Gallery | Joanne Fenn. This exhibition of glass showcases the breadth of the Kent State University Museum collection that has resulted from many donors’ personal collecting interests. Thanks to generous donors, the museum has amassed a diverse collection of glass that spans the Roman Era to the 20th


century. The primary glass donors, Paul Miller and Jabe Tarter, were well known glass and antique connoisseurs, and the museum received a 10,000 piece donation from their estate in 2004. Since that time, with the help of James Measell, the museum has exhibited selections from the Tarter/Miller collection. In addition to the representation of American manufactured glass from the Tarter/Miller Collection, other important contributions include art glass from Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers, Roman glass from Jack W. and Shirley J. Berger, and perfume bottles collected by Ruth and Ralph Fuller, as well as Barry W. Bradley. This exhibition gives you a glimpse into the complete glass collection housed within the museum’s storage. Fashion Timeline June 29, 2012 – June 28, 2015, Palmer and Mull Galleries | Sara Hume, Curator The “Fashion Timeline” showcases the Kent State University Museum’s world-class collection of historic fashions. Encompassing two centuries of fashion history, this exhibition is designed to show the evolution of styles and silhouettes while contextualizing the pieces with relevant political, technological and cultural developments. The first gallery spans the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. This was a period of

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is intended to be a permanent feature at the museum, but the individual pieces will be rotated frequently so there is always something new to see. Arthur Koby Jewelry The Creative Eye October 25, 2013 - October 5, 2014, Alumni Gallery | Jean Druesedow, Director Architect/sculptor/ jeweler: all describe the work of Arthur Koby whom Vogue Magazine described as “one of the masters of collage.” Designer Geoffrey Beene asked Koby to provide jewelry for his runway collections as did Oscar de la Renta revolutionary change that can clearly be seen reflected in the fashions. The American and French Revolutions radically changed the political landscapes while the industrial revolution transformed how goods, particularly clothing and textiles, were made. The luxury and rococo excesses of the eighteenth century gave way to the romanticism and neoclassicism of the early nineteenth century. The next room includes the second half of the nineteenth century to the dawn of World War I. Synthetic dyes opened up a world of color and the sewing machine facilitated the application of yards of ruffles, pleats, and fringe. The upholstered, heavy styles of the Victorian era eventually gave way to Edwardian froth and lace. The final room finishes the timeline with fashions of the early twentieth century. While it may have been a period of world wars and depression, fashions also reflected the heydays of jazz and swing, the boldness of Art Deco, and the endless possibilities of technology from plastics to rockets. In addition to the garments on view in the Palmer and Mull Galleries, an array of accessories, particularly shoes and hats, line the hallways. The silhouettes are the most obvious changes that can be seen, but there are also changes in textiles and colors. The display

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and Donna Karan throughout the 1980s. He combines, manipulates and assembles unexpected materials, found in his worldwide travels, into necklaces that his clients can choose to wear in full evening dress or with jeans and T-shirts. The fantasy necklaces might be made of “drawer hinges, Victorian shoe buckles, diamond-faceted stones made from melteddown beer bottles, hand-carved buffalo horn and shredded or solidified balloons” as the New York Times put it in 1987. “You have to be a little daring; that’s what adds excitement!” said the designer.


This exhibition will include works on loan from clients who have amassed collections of Arthur Koby’s jewelry, and from the designer himself. Shifting Paradigms Fashion + Technology 26, 2013 – August 31, 2014 Broadbent Gallery | Margarita Benitez and Noël Palomo-Lovinski, Guest Curators. The innovative subject of the exhibition has potential to shape future ideas of fashion and business. The exhibition seeks to address pioneering applications of technology that will have a radical effect on the future of personal expression, image and clothing. The exhibition will be divided into four categories: Generative Technology Design, Democracy of Preference/Subversion of Traditional Production, DIY, Technology and Expression. These four categories will illustrate how designers are creatively addressing technology in a wide variety of forms to express changing 21stcentury culture. The applications of technology allow articulation of complex philosophical ideas and context, the perceptions of uses of impending technology, the fostering of a new relationship with craft, and individual means of production that are shaping future conceptions of fashion and clothing.

Margaret Garmon Last Exit Books in Kent is much more than a bookstore. It’s an all-media destination for those who enjoy discovering a good book to read, a great movie to watch, or a special album or music CD to listen to. It’s a gathering place for like-minded literary souls to share their work and thoughts on the written word. It’s a nice store to find an ideal gift at a great price.

lovers would be hard-pressed to find a store that offers as large an eclectic selection at affordable prices.

Each visit to Last Exit Books offers something new to see and be tempted to buy. Merlene updates the selection daily thanks to new books from publishers, people selling or donating their books, and Merlene’s purchases

Last Exit

BOOKS Th e L a s t Wo rd i n B o o k s, DVDs, CDs and More

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Last Exit Books, owned and operated by Jason Merlene, has been a welcome and familiar part of downtown Kent at 124 East Main Street for almost nine years. Book, music and movie


Visitors have the convenience of a one-stop shopping experience, according to Merlene. “Shoppers can come to one location to buy books, records, and movies. Other stores have books, but no records or records but no books. We have it all,” Merlene said.

from estate sales. The formula must be working – Merlene is in the process of the fourth expansion for the store. The expansion will provide a larger space for people to gather and share a love of the arts. Twice a month, area poets and poetry fans gather to recite and discuss their original poetry, attracting 25 to 40 people. A book group and a writers group have also found homes at Last Exit Books. Live music is featured on the last Saturday of the month with local jazz or folk musicians providing a pleasant musical background perfect for browsing the stacks. Visitors will get to meet and greet local and visiting authors at future book signing events. Merlene’s formula for Last Exit Books has overcome the “show room shopper syndrome” of people coming into a store, looking over the merchandise and then turning to the Internet thinking they will buy it cheaper online than from a local merchant. But Merlene keeps the prices low enough to be competitive because shoppers see the condition of items and avoid paying the ever pricey shipping and handling fee. This includes open stack items and the first edition, autographed and collector worthy books. “Like” Last Exit Books on Facebook for updates on Clearance Bag Sale dates when for $5 customers can fill a bag with clearance books and records. Often quality of the clearance

merchandise is usually just as nice as the regular merchandise. Facebook followers can also be updated on future events at the store. The shopping and browsing experience is pleasant thanks to an organized and orderly display that is as neat and tidy as a public library. Comfortable chairs provide a quiet space to relax and read. The day I visited, a young reader about 10-years-old was completely lost in a book; he was in a world that only a truly good read can provide. Yes, the bookstore is young reader friendly offering many choices for children and young adults. For college and high school students, the literature offerings and academic books about literature and authors are worth checking to see if the books are listed on their class syllabi.


The bookstore is part of the college scene, and a lot of the inventory has a pop culture feel. Comic books include anime and action heroes, books about comics – scholarly and coffee table. Fantasy and science fiction and sub genres within. Yep, I admit it’s a cliché to write the store offers selections from A to Z and everything in between, but it’s true. Anime or architecture to Zydeco music or zoology in the science section. In November, Last Exit Books will once again show why it is more than a bookstore when it will be the setting for a wedding ceremony, according to Merlene. The couple really likes the bookstore and will exchange their wedding vows, making this event one for the books for certain.

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Proud Supporter of Local Events Coming soon! MyLinkables – automatically credited paperless coupons! It's Free! Sign up by • visiting • scanning the qr code or • going to

Hometown Banking Since 1898 Ravenna Office 100 E. Main St. Ravenna, OH 44266 (330) 298-3104

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Brimfield Office 4023 St. Rt. 43 Kent, OH 44240 (330) 673-9556

Main Office 142 N. Water St. Kent, OH 44240 (330) 673-9827

bookshelf T H E LO C A L

Meet Me at Rays by Dr. Patrick J. O’Connor

Katharine Hepburn Rebel Chic by Jean Druesedow, Contribution by Kohle Yohannan, Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, Nancy MacDonell and Judy Samelsony

Promise of Blood – Book One of the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan

The Art of Autism: Being Awe-Sam by Sarah Lund-Goldstein

The Tower of Babel by G. T. Anders

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cleveland: Including Akron and Canton by Diane Stresing

Calliope by Mark Pucci

Think You Know America? by Dr. Patrick J. O’Connor

A Chair Between the Rails by G.T. Anders


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Dr. Patrick O’Connor

Celebrating 75 Years!

Ray’s Place A


“It’s a place where you can take your parents and your grandparents”. This phrase once described Ray’s Place in Kent, Ohio … a popular eating, drinking and celebration spot for over 75 years. It has also been described as the place “where the hustlers meet to hustle the hustlers”. Ray’s is a destination place … that is … it’s a place customers purposely come to Kent to visit. It’s unique and has a huge loyal following of Kent and area citizens as well as thousands of KSU students.


and Gertie’s chili (Gertie worked at Rays for all four owners for 40 years). The sunstix, wings, desserts and specials all have a loyal following.

And, there are numerous craft beers and specialty drinks (Futher-Mucker anyone?) patrons remember year after year.

Ray‘s is so popular it is almost synonymous with KSU and the city of Kent. If fact, if you’re traveling and you wear any shirt, hat or item to identify yourself with KSU or the city, strangers will frequently strike up a conversation. And, it takes only a question or two before they ask about Ray’s.

Ray’s also features many iconic items, memorabilia and even some folklore. First in many customers’ minds is the famous moose head proudly holding court over the main bar for some 35 years. Legend has it that the moose first appeared over the bar as part of the introduction of Moosehead Canadian beer to the area back in the early 1980’s. Other items such as the shot wheel, phone booth, the 1940’s cash registers and the special posters and paintings are as familiar to customers as the many employees and managers who have worked there … some as long as 35 years. That alone is a pretty rare claim in the small business world these days.

The Ray’s Vibe

Ray’s is a Friendly Place

Ray’s has a vibe unlike any other place. There are signature food items like the Mo-Fo (decreed as the best burger he ever ate by Michael Symon on his Food Network show)

A major attraction for many customers is Ray’s is like most places used to be. That is, many customers still like going to a place that reminds them of days gone by. At Ray’s, people

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are socializing with each other over good food, beverage and laughter. You rarely see people texting or on cell phones unless they’re calling friends to let them know a table just opened up. Ray’s reminds people of what life used to be like in small-town America. There are lots of familiar faces on both sides of the bar. Just ask Joe Schircliff who has been a regular for over 70 years. He first came to Rays in 1943 while waiting for a train to take him to Army basic training. He would then be shipped to fight the World War II in Europe. Fortunately, Joe returned and has been coming to Ray’s with his friends and extended family ever since.

Ray’s is many things all at once. It was referred to as the Harley-Davison of college taverns because of the loyal following it has created over the years. Like the motorcycle, Ray’s has a following that see Ray’s as part of their lifestyle. And, Ray’s features two floors. The upstairs is referred to as “new charm” while the downstairs is called “old charm”. Yet, Ray’s has a near chameleon flavor to it. Depending on time and day of the week, you will see completely different patrons. Weekday lunch and dinner hours are filled with local citizens of all ages along with business people and workers of all persuasions. You may even see two or three generations of


family members dining together. And some of those parents and grandparents went to Rays when they were children! Evenings are packed with college students and weekends feature sports fans cheering on their favorite team. Ray’s has always been well known as a major player when it comes to professional and KSU sports. Ray’s was even designated as the First Sports Bar in Ohio in 2013. It is also one of the first taverns in the country to televise sporting events going back to 1946. Many professional sports figures in football, golf, baseball and bowling have frequented Ray’s over the years. Continued on page 64

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Cheryl Townsend

Impetuous T O W N S E N D

Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc is a landscape design and development duo serving local and national clients from their base office in downtown Akron. Sabrena Schweyer and Samuel L. Salsbury combined their talents in 1993 after realizing they shared a vision “to create fine gardens that whisper deep into the souls of those who enter” and to honor Mother Earth with sustainable methods and native plantings. Both hold certification through the Association of Professional Landscape Design (APLD) and offer extensive knowledge in horticulture, agriculture, permaculture, art, and building design. They have extensively traveled abroad to study historical gardens

still of note in the field of horticulture and humbly note numerous awards, magazine articles and various accolades. In their “creative approach” they note that a “sensitivity” to the land and all its inhabitants is a prime concern in the creation of SalsburySchweyer’s fine landscapes. Especially in today’s world, the concept of “sustainability” is important; landscapes should endure – indeed improve over time – without requiring high levels of water, chemicals or pruning. The use of native plants, “natural” water features and other elements helps to establish ecosystems and maintain the balance of nature.

Challenging sites are not viewed as problems, but as opportunities for greater creativity and enhancement. The objective of a garden is to enrich the lives of all those who enter.” I sat with Sabrena and enjoyed an open conversation on plants and plant philosophy. Well, at least that’s how I saw it. cat In looking through your portfolio, I am in awe of how gorgeous, lush, happy these gardens are. How do you do that? SS Our philosophy for making everything appear lush is to amend the soil well. In some of those pictures, they have taken away the topsoil, so we were left with the subsoil, heavy clays. That left us with bringing in a lot of compost and tilling the soil first, adding amendments and re-tilling so it had a good quantity of organic matter. We prefer not to bring in topsoil because that is just stealing one part of the earth’s resources, hauling it and making use of it elsewhere. We try to use waste materials, of which compost is a fine example of, and it really does get the plants off to a much better start. cat Do you do your own composting? SS No we don’t. I usually try to talk to clients into incorporating compost piles where they’re willing to have them. We try to have one at their home for our own personal use. But for different projects, we will bring in yard waste compost or whatever seems appropriate for that particular site.


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cat What about the waterfalls? Is that a preexisting area or do you manufacture/create the waterfall entirely? SS Samuel is a master artist with water in many, many ways, creating space relationships, the architecture, that whole sense of the experience. The experiential structure and the bones of what the garden really is. Water is an area that he is considered one of the best in the country, so we do incorporate water in many of our projects. Typically, it’s a biological system so it incorporates plants, fish, and natural bacteria. It’s completely natural, just like a mountain stream, so that provides an environment to give wildlife a habitat and water source. It also is very earth friendly, you can drink out of it, but it’s also low maintenance. It mimics the style of a natural stream so you don’t have to do much. We live in Highland Square and we’re delighted to say our garden was featured in Julie Moir Messervy’s book. She’s probably our favorite

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gardener. She’s a contributing editor at Fine Gardening magazine. Are you familiar with the books Outside the Not so Big House or The Inward Garden? In them she talks a little more about the emotional aspects of what gardens do. It’s a psychology of the garden. They are wonderful, wonderful books. She did Outside the Not so Big House with Sarah Susanka, who wrote a full series of books on The Not so Big House. How you get back to smaller size living with more detail craftsmanship and well designed spaces. And so that garden book took that concept outside. She’s a fabulous writer and speaker. She came in July I believe and photographed our own garden to be featured in her next book. I think she is also going to incorporate some photos from some of our client’s projects. cat In the book in your front office space of your landscape projects, where you built the big stone wall? That looks like some undertaking!


SS That was a major undertaking. That was their side yard. From the front door to the back door it dropped 16 feet. They had two basements and then it dropped out the back door 8 feet. It was just straight down this cliff, so the retaining wall allowed them to have a garden space. Because most of our clients are passionate gardeners or they have travelled and seen gardens and really know the difference. So they then want somebody who can help them work that vision they have in their mind. We always ask to have lists of what they want, how they want to use the space, what they love and what they hate. Think outside the box. Think about if you could plop yourself into the most beautiful outdoor experience imaginable and what it would look like. Our job as designers is to capture the essence of that. Maybe it’s something completely outlandish to consider in Ohio, certainly with the budgets we all have, but if they can convey that image of fantasy to us, somehow we will manage to capture that essence. Give them something that will touch them deep inside and allow them that fantasy. Work within the realities of soil and sunshine and deer and budget and maintenance, all of those realities that we have to face. And oftentimes, as with this particular project, the more difficult and challenging a situation is when we end up with the most creative solutions and the most spectacular projects as a result. cat I really liked that. From the images that I did get to see of it, I’d love to go see the garden. Has there ever been a yard that was so totally against what you believe that you just told them we’re sorry we’re not the people for you? SS I think that there are instances, that they want something if they call us out and want a bunch of concrete pavers and plastic pools with those ready-mades, that’s just not what we

do. That’s where our consultations are the first step of the process. If someone wants to know more about us, how we work, I’ll come out and do maybe a two hour consultation. Then they have a homework assignment to do. It’s really fun, a sort of inspirational experience where we brainstorm and look at what they have, what they want and some of the possibilities. It’s a real general first step for the design process. They can see how we approach the project, how we think and how we would work with them to capture their vision and then that’s a stand alone. If it seems like it’s a good fit, and they want us to design something for them then they proceed with the design contract. If they just want to take the ideas and think about it or do it themselves, however they wish, then that’s fine. Some people just say “We need a jumpstart and some conceptual ideas.” We don’t do an onsite design but we give them insight as designers, as gardeners and as ecologists, to have a little bit more perspective, because it’s a lot to them and the general public doesn’t understand all the different things. It’s an art form, it’s a science, it’s that whole inter connectivity, that whole holistic approach and there are so many different variables. That’s one reason our process takes longer, because we try to take into consideration all that. It takes us time to mull it all over and just really live with it. That’s what sets us apart, too.

cat It shows that you made some really good choices because it looks wonderful. SS That’s probably after 5 years. That’s our approach, not to just do a typical landscape. We do something that will look good in three years but look even better in 10 or 20. There is some transition period and some tweaking to be done, because a garden is a living, breathing thing. It’s hard to collaborate with the earth and Mother Nature as part of the art. A well designed area should last for decades. cat I like your contrasting. SS The textures, the colors, trying to create interest. The usage of unique plants, like Japanese Butterbur. I can tell you Samuel’s favorite plant, it’s Persicaria polymorpha. It’s actually in the Highland Square garden we did. It’s a 5 foot tall, 5 foot wide perennial. Akron started using it after we did. Foliage is something that we find real important.

cat Regarding maintenance, when is it best to cut back for a fuller plant? Can you do that with, say, green-headed coneflower? SS We cut ours back especially in May by half. A lot of late bloomers will actually do much better as far as their height and fullness if you cut them back by the end of May or second of June, at the latest. Green-headed coneflower? Yes, but typically I don’t. cat Why is the APLD so exclusive? SS There are only several hundred professional designers. It is a professional organization that allows designers to become certified through a process that is relatively stringent and requires knowledge, creativity and full understanding of the many aspects of design. To be a certified designer, you have to be able to prove you have the knowledge and skill as far as drawing abilities, structural knowledge, drainage, Continued on page 22

cat You refer to it as holistic. That’s a perfect way to refer to a garden. That’s what mine is, a sanctuary. SS That was all the same project done in Canton. That one won some major international awards. We tied with one of the top landscape architects in the world on that one. It’s quite a nice.


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Michelle Hartman

The Kent Franklin Hotel Y e s t e r d a y ,


onstruction began in June 1919 on a five story structure that was planned to be the pride of the community, The Franklin Hotel. The Kent Hotel Company purchased the property from Dudley Mason and hired H.L. Stevens & Company, a Chicago and New York architectural firm that specialized in hotel design to design and build the Franklin Hotel which opened on September 8, 1920. The 16,000 square foot reinforced concrete and brick structure was prominently poised on the land where the George Barnett homestead once stood at the southwest corner of East Main and Depeyster streets and is a visual landmark from nearly all entry points into the city. When the hotel opened in 1920, it featured 50 rooms, including 27 with separate baths, a formal lobby, mezzanine, coffee shop, restaurant, ballroom, billiards parlor and barbershop. It quickly became Kent’s center of activity attracting overnight guests, annual conferences, and a meeting place for many local civic organizations. At the time, the city of Kent was very prosperous due to other local development

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T o d a y


T o m o r r o w

and the expanding railroad industry. This continued through the early decades of the twentieth century when the hotel first opened. The opening of Kent State University also added to the prosperity and success of this highly visible, impressive landmark. After numerous changes of ownership and financial hardship over several decades, the Franklin Hotel was having difficulty operating as a profitable business. The hotel was transformed into student housing in the 1970’s and after several fires, Kent’s Health Department condemned the building in 1977 due to severe damage to the upper floors. The building remained vacant until 1985 when a pizza shop and two night clubs were located on the first and basement floors. The building transferred ownership again in 1994. The new owner committed to restoration of the building, but the project was never realized, and the building sat empty for nearly twenty years. Late in 2011, the City of Kent purchased the building and then sold it to the current owner, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Acorn Alley developer, Dr. Ronald L. Burbick, who


purchased the building and committed to renew its historic character, add some modern day flare and turn it into a viable mixed-use facility. Dr. Burbick began by having the hotel placed on the U.S. Registry of Historic Buildings and then initiated his aggressive plan. This restoration plan called for restoring the hotel as closely as possible to the 1920’s version with a new minor addition within the footprint of the original building to accommodate a new, modern elevator and interior staircase. Just over a year later, the old Franklin Hotel is now known as “Kent’s Acorn Corner,” and houses Buffalo Wild Wings on the first floor and second floor mezzanine level; Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and Marathon Financial Services on the third floor; luxury apartments for lease on the fourth and fifth floors; and The Secret Cellar Wine Bar and Jazz Club in the basement level. Acorn Corner is fully ADA accessible.

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For More Information Or Private Showing, Contact: Michelle Hartman Genghis Properties, LLC. 330.815.4315

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Continued from page 19 sustainability. There is a whole list of criteria that needs to be met. You must submit a whole list of substantial drawings and one major project. cat How does your art background influence your landscaping? SS I think that gardens are an art form. The same principals apply to the designs of landscapes and gardens as they do when you work with any medium, be it painting or whatever. It has to do with balance, color, texture, form – all of those play in to it. With the garden, you have an ever-changing situation because the flowers come and go, so you have more of an orchestration. It’s almost more related to music in some respects. You still have the different motifs and the repetition and balance, but it’s a process, almost like a ballet with a whole orchestra playing. But you have to do it in collaboration with nature, so you’re never quite sure of the result and there maybe some tweaking involved. There may be some wonderful, happy discoveries that you never imagined. But at this point, Samuel and I will be hands on as needed and teach and train. I’m not actually out there digging each perennial into the ground, I’m more trying to keep a head of the crew doing it. But I do place the plants. Samuel’s out there working with the water to make it look like the hand of nature instead of the hand of man. We are very much hands on in working with our crews and all the craftsmen that we bring in to realize the project. Samuel is very meticulous. He has an eye and he’s of the persuasion that it has to be right and if it doesn’t feel, look, or it’s not constructed in the best way, then we’re not doing the job. The client may be satisfied but we have to be satisfied with our work before we put our name on it.

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cat I know you use natives but do you also take wildlife in to consideration? SS We do. Especially for clients that are looking for birds. We incorporate more of the habitat in food and water sources and encourage those who are interested in birds to bring water into the landscape. Ideally, we implement a stream with the biological systems, because that’s the ideal way to attract birds year round. If nothing else, add a bird bath or a trough that has a shallow bit of water. cat Which do you think is actually harder for you, a big yard or a little yard? Big canvas or a little canvas? SS I think that it depends upon the restrictions and challenges we need to overcome, whether it is building setbacks and code requirements, space, disguising something ugly that we cannot move, or bad soil. Budgetary restrictions are probably one of the hardest. I don’t think it matters so much whether it’s a big or small space. The less restrictions make it easier, but


at the same time, if we have one of those big open suburban back yards, where they all open up to the neighbors and it’s a blank canvas, in many ways that’s almost harder to wrap our heads around initially because we don’t have those things to get us thinking, OK how do we solve this, or that. So I don’t really know how to answer that. But we love the creative projects where we have the ability to work with the client to realize their vision without the restrictions of a lot of budgets and deer and heavy dry shade. cat Do you go back to your creations? SS Oh, as much as possible. We try to create long term relationships with our clients so that they know they can come back to us. That we can go and see our little babies and help them raise them to maturity and tweak them and adapt things as their lifestyle changes. Perhaps they want to turn that child’s swing set into a vegetable garden or whatever. We hope to develop long term relationships with not only Continued on page 56

Breakneck Acres A N U N C O N V E N T I O N A L PAT H T O T H E K E N T L O C A L F O O D E C O N O M Y

The purchase of a grossly neglected farm in Ravenna Township on a whim, one lazy day snacking on junk food while reading ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan, and the courage to leave a successful corporate career paved the way for Breakneck Acres to offer the Kent community seasonal produce, stone milled grains, free range eggs and pasture raised meats.


Ami Gignac

I didn’t grow up on a farm. I grew up in a pizza shop in the suburbs. As a child, I never had a garden and I assumed Old McDonald was the keeper of all farm animals. We were members of the local food co-op, rarely ate fast food, and lived an overall healthy lifestyle … but I had no idea where my food came from. I assumed that if a vegetable was in the grocery store it was in season and milk came from happy cows.

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extremely high, and I was in my mid-thirties. The stress of my high paced career and dangerous diet was taking a toll on my mind, body, and spirit. As I read Pollan’s words, I knew what I needed – and it wasn’t an executive title and a hefty salary – I needed to find the courage to make a change.

An Unconventional Business Plan After graduating from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in Mining Engineering, I embarked on a career in the construction aggregate industry. A position with a worldwide company landed me in Portage County where I met Tim Fox. He was a successful small business owner, a hard worker, and a risk taker. He had grown up on a dairy farm in southern Indiana and working the soil was in his blood. In 2006 he casually mentioned that he was going to buy a 33 acre farm on Summit Road in Ravenna Township. The property had been grossly neglected and I immediately challenged the challenge, “are you sure…? “ and Tim simply replied, “I have a vision.”

Our current food system is a complex web of connections between agriculture, public health, environment, animal husbandry, and politics that many would argue is broken and not sustainable. Today the average farm is 500 acres and is highly subsidized to grow a single genetically modified organism (GMO) crop year after year that will be transformed into cheap processed food. What we don’t fully understand is the ultimate impact on our health, environment and financial system. Our farm is exactly 33 acres and unconventionally diverse. In the beginning, Tim simply grew a rotation of corn, soybeans, and wheat to harvest and sell

He spent the next two years – alone – bringing the farm back to life. His goal was simple, clear the land and get back in the seat of a tractor. I enjoyed visiting the property on my weekends off from the corporate grind and was impressed by what Tim had accomplished, but I didn’t really see a place for myself at the farm. When my company presented an opportunity to manage a business in the San Francisco Bay Area, I accepted, leaving Tim and the farm behind. The role was demanding and I found little time for myself. One afternoon I took a break, grabbed a few processed snacks and a high fructose corn syrup soda and settled in to read a borrowed copy of ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan. I was seventy pounds overweight, my blood pressure was

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to the local commodity market as he improved the health of the soil and continued to clean up the property. He decided to grow these crops organically and I helped him get the farm certified organic in 2008. After finding the courage to leave my career and put my health first, I used my management experience to devise a business plan for the farm with a focus on niche markets and value added products to sell directly to the end user. We settled on growing very specific varieties of food grade corn and wheat that would perform well in northeast Ohio and have the required properties for baking. We also purchased a handcrafted stone mill from Austria to produce fresh stone milled whole wheat flour, corn flour, cornmeal, and grits/polenta.

Chickens in a School Bus? Shortly after we started to stone mill grains and sift fine flours, we realized that our product mix was out of balance and we were left with highly nutritious byproducts. We had a short

conversation about marketing the products or possibly making feed. I dusted off the business plan and Tim simply ordered 50 laying hens and retrofitted a school bus into a chicken coop. Impulsive? Yes. Strategic diversification? Absolutely. I was so nervous about the arrival of new chicks, but had little time to mine through the online chicken chat rooms for guidance. Tim made it sound easy – feed them, water them, and keep them warm. I focused my attention on formulating a feed recipe that included our milled grains, sea kelp, salt, calcium carbonate, a certified organic nutritional balancer, and a probiotic (while checking the brooder temperature every five minutes!) Today our chickens are allowed to free range the property with access to fresh water, food, and shelter at all times. At night they are secured in the school bus, known as the Free Range Rover, for safe keeping from predators and weather. The Free Range Rover has windows that allow natural light and ample space for the chickens to move around, spread their wings, roost, and comfortably lay eggs. Customers love the school bus. In the beginning I was frustrated and would try to shift the focus from the Free Range Rover to our “lovely handcrafted stone mill from Austria and our fresh milled grains…” but all they wanted to talk about was the chicken bus. Where do they sleep? Where do they lay eggs? How do you get them back in the bus!?!?!

Listen to the Customer As the free range egg business grew and the buzz about the Free Range Rover intensified, our customers started to ask about local sources of meat. I was also concerned with meat industry standards that included; overcrowded feed lots, chickens in battery

cages, hogs in gestation crates, diets that were loaded with animal byproducts, antibiotics and hormones, and poor treatment. We listened and realized more livestock would improve the sustainability of the farm. I was excited for the addition, putting a priority on humane treatment of animals and healthy diets made with ingredients grown on the farm. One day Tim decided to “sell” a piece of farm equipment and came home with two heifers. I was caught off guard and immediately started researching cows online while Tim laughed and got to work laying out pasture boundaries. It took me a few months, but I quickly became a modern day cowgirl – immersing myself in understanding humane livestock handling and cattle behavior. Our beef cattle are grass fed and allowed unlimited access to fresh water and shelter. In the summer, the cattle are moved weekly into new pastures with a simple system of electric fence. They graze areas at the farm that were typically mowed in the past saving us time, equipment usage, and fuel. In the winter they are fed hay that was cut off the property during the summer months. Our herd is never fed antibiotics, hormones, animal byproducts or whole grains. In October 2012, Tim settled into his La-Z-Boy with the Farm & Diary newspaper and after a brief phone call he announced, “I bought three Berkshire hogs!” By this time I was used to his impulse decisions and agreed they would be an integral addition to our operation. Hogs would also feed on the stone Continued on page 65.


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Diane Stresing

Take a Walk: A Theory on Genetics and Advice on Parenting, Dating, Shopping, and Living in a River Town

Some gifts keep on giving. My dad gave me the hiking gene, and I’m pretty sure his dad gave it to him. Grandpa was a walker.

to extend your vacation time and gives sweet memories a chance to seep a little deeper into your psyche.

Good thing, too, because Grandpa wasn’t much for talking – unless he was walking. As I remember, he rarely spoke at our extended family gatherings. But when he stood up and announced that he was going for a walk, I always wanted to go.

When we return home, I invariably find myself longing for more vacation time. And I find a walk helps. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Walking = “time off.”

For years my kids have fussed at me, saying (among other things) that I walk too fast. I say that I learned to walk fast because I wanted to keep up with my dad and grandpa on those walks. But it wasn’t because I was afraid of being left behind. It was because I didn’t want to miss a word. Now I like to walk with my kids because I realize that walking has a way of bringing about delightful conversations, and silences.

Travel Advice: Take a Walk When we travel, I try to find a “good local walk,” for a few reasons. There’s the obvious: “Stretching our legs” is a euphemism for “let’s get out of this car before we kill each other.” Another benefit: Walking in an unfamiliar area affords a unique, not-too-touristy view of things. Also, I believe that walking slows the pace, of life in general. Walking a bit when you travel seems

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Parenting Advice: Take a Walk When I was a teenager, I drove to the mall and looked for trouble in cars. Yeah, I know it still happens, even here. But there are also places in Kent to walk, where teenagers (or any agers) can make some good memories. Last year, dear old friends who have settled in Oregon visited, and a bunch of us reunioned at (where else?) Ray’s. It didn’t take long for the kids to grow bored with our stories. My teen stood up and said, “Come on, let’s go for a walk.” Those of us of legal drinking age stayed put; the younger generation headed across the bridge, down to the trail, and eventually into the river. (They dried.) Somebody said they were looking for a geocache. I’m not really sure what happened (and might be better off not knowing) but I’m pretty sure some memories were made. On foot. I’m OK with that.

Everyone came back to Ray’s eventually; we bid our old friends adieu and elicited promises that they’d come back as soon as they could. My point is this: Baby’s first step, that quintessential parenting moment immortalized with so many bronze shoes, is just the beginning. After you teach them to cross the street safely, and even after they no longer want to hold your hand as they trot along beside you, trust me, you want to keep walking with your kids. Kent offers so many ways to do it, you’ll never run out of excuses. Try, “Let’s just walk, it’s only a couple of blocks.” If that doesn’t work, don’t be proud; use a bribe. “Hey if we park here we can walk and stop at the popcorn or ice cream shop on our way.”

Eventually they’ll walk on into adultland without you, but even then, you might find those walks have a way of keeping you in step. I still love to walk with my dad. Maybe there really is a walking gene. If there is, I hope my kids inherited it.

Dating Advice: Take a Walk There’s a reason why moonlit walks are the stuff romantic clichés are made of. Take your honey for a walk after dark and you will make a sweet impression. That autumn chill in the air is a good excuse to hold hands. Moonlit walks are also free, by the way. (Guys: you’re welcome.)

Shopping Advice: Take a Walk Because the “shop local” message has played long and loud in Kent – with good reason, but


still – I won’t repeat it here. My advice on shopping, especially holiday shopping, is “take a walk” because I believe it will save your sanity. There’s something about the hum of cash registers and specter of credit card bills that make a walk in the woods, or anywhere that’s not a mall, especially appealing – even when snow and temperatures are falling. That’s it, that’s all the advice I’ve got. If I were you, I’d walk away before I think of some more. Diane Stresing lives, walks, and gives unsolicited advice in Kent. Among other things, she wrote 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Cleveland. She blogs about Ambling Around Kent on

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Nestled in the heart of downtown Kent, the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County is a place that welcomes people who know difficult times. At 155 East Main Street, people discover that they aren’t alone even in the darkest moments of life. The MHRB is a place where people receive information about and support for mental illness, addiction, preventing suicide and handling crisis. It’s a hub for people looking for education and empowerment. They often enter looking for help, find what they need and leave ready to pay it forward. “The Mental Health & Recovery Board is one of the first places I went after my son completed suicide,” said author and suicide prevention advocate Iris Llewellyn Angle of Aurora. “I was looking for a way to educate the community about a serious health issue. They offered me a place to work where I could reach out and connect with other families. It was part of my healing journey.”

Mental Health & Recovery Board OF PORTAGE COUNTY

This November, Issue 3, a 1-mill levy that helps the MHRB to fund these services, will be on the ballot for renewal. For 30 years, Portage County voters have generously supported the issue that has made possible treatment, education and crisis services for thousands of people. Board officials are quick to point out that Issue 3 is not a tax increase.

A New Way To Look At Family Adrienne Moncrief

The board has 18 members who live in the county’s cities, villages and townships. An independent county government agency, the board makes important decisions to allocate public funding for mental illness and addiction treatment needed by Portage citizens. The funding

The MHRB is not only a hub for information, but also a meeting place for mental health groups and organizations. On the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Portage County meets in the conference room. Members share their struggles whether it is they who have the illness or a loved one. NAMI is a national

Celebrating 10 years, some members of the Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition: left to right seated, Dr. Joel Mowrey of the MHRB, Paul Dages of Townhall II, Maureen Keating of Kent State University; second row, left to right, Amie Cajka of MHRB, Iris Llewellyn Angle of Aurora, Dr. Lori Wagner of KSU, Bev Cole of Kent, Monica Mlinac of Guidestone, Amy Lukes of Northeast Ohio Medi­cal University, Larry Cole of Kent, Mary McCracken of Children’s Advantage, Greg Hoefler of Family and Community Services, Pam Farer-Singleton of KSU and Kevin Fiesthamel of Hiram College. Also represented on the coalition are the Portage County Juvenile Court, County Coroner’s Office and Coleman Professional Services.

Crisis Intervention Team and CIT Education Collaboration leaders: standing, left to right: 2008 CIT Officer of the Year Sgt. Andy Suvada of Streetsboro Police, Streetsboro Police Chief Roy Mosely III, Portage County Sheriff David Doak, CIT Portage founder Maj. Dennis Missimi of Sheriff’s Office, 2011 Officer of the Year Lt. Greg Johnson of Sheriff’s Office; seated, 2013 Officer of the Year Lt. Sharon Hissom of Robinson Memorial Hospital Police Department and CITEC founder and coordinator Carrie Suvada, a teacher. Doak and Mosely, both CIT grads, have been strong supporters of the programs. Officer Jim Fuller of Kent City Police was honored in 2012 and Sgt. Dale Korman of Windham Police in 2011.

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is efficiently used for services provided by four local agencies: Coleman Professional Services, Children’s Advantage, Townhall II and Family & Community Services.


CIT on the KSU Campus with Chief John Peach, left, and Officers of Year, Officer Will Scritchfield for 2013, center and Officer Jeff Futo for 2010. KSU Officer Michquel Penn was also recognized with the honor in 2009.

organization that strives to improve the lives of those who are affected by mental illness. The door is open to anyone seeking support for problems that often seem insurmountable. In 2006, Karen Cox of Atwater Township started searching for answers as a mother of a son who has mental illness. She found NAMI national’s website and was so impressed with the information that she wanted to join NAMI Portage County to get more answers. Cox discovered that the Portage County chapter had closed down. As a parent with grown children, she wanted to do something that would make an impact on people going through similar issues with loved ones. “I didn’t have any answers,” Cox said. “I was lost, and I felt like I was the only one and my son was the only one. So I started NAMI back up. It’s allowed me to be a voice now for people. I never was a voice for anyone before. I was wondering what I wanted to do with my life, and I think it kind of found me.” Cox turned to the MHRB to help her pick up the pieces to re-establish NAMI. With its state mandate to provide support for persons with mental illness and for family members, the board provided meeting space and office

The Mental Health & Recovery Board has 18 members who represent Portage County’s townships, cities and villages.

help. The meetings started up again. The conference room is filled with tears and laughter on Thursday nights. Look for the members and supporters in the annual Walk for Recovery set for Sept. 28 in Kent.

program continued for the past decade even when NAMI was dormant, covering the cost and recruiting teachers and students. Classes are held at the board’s Kent office. There is also a new location at The Church in Aurora.

According to Cox, NAMI members have become like a family. “They understand … I understand what people are going through,” Cox said. “[NAMI] gives people hope, ideas and someone to talk to.”

What makes the program special are the instructors. They are all family members who have already taken the course, then received additional training to become an instructor.

Coleman Professional Services President and CEO Nelson Burns believes that NAMI, along with the other professional mental health providers, is essential for making available support and education to persons with mental illness and their families. Burns is a NAMI member. “I applaud Portage NAMI’s work as a vital contributor to a healthier community,” said Burns, a Kent resident. “The MHRB serves as an excellent central point to aide Portage NAMI’s outreach to the entire county. You have to have a place where the work starts.”

‘I Have No Doubt.’ An offshoot program of NAMI, Family-to-Family is a 12-week education course designed for people who have a relative or friend with mental illness. The MHRB made sure the


Two years ago, Amanda Thomas of Kent took the course because a family member has a mental illness. When the classes ended, she decided to become an instructor. Family-toFamily was that important to her. “The class was really instrumental in changing my life and my family members’ lives,” Thomas said. “My family was on the edge of falling apart at one point … and this class saved us.” While the course offers basic information about symptoms, diagnoses, causes, medications and so on, Thomas believes that the biggest benefit was finding out that she and her family were not alone. “Any kind of mental health education program is really letting people know that they are not alone, and they don’t have to do it by

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NAMI Portage County members gathering for the monthly meeting: seated, left to right, Karen Cox of Atwater Township, Carrie Martin of Kent and Junior and Rikki Malone of Streetsboro; standing, Beth Stanko of Richfield, Terri McGuckin of Kent, Anna Rosenfeldt of Mantua, Roger Cram of Hiram, Alison Ward of Ravenna, Patti Smith of Ravenna, Amanda Thomas of Kent, Melissa Millis of Ravenna, Rick Halloran of Kent and Linda UmBayemake of Kent.

themselves,” Thomas said. “I did for my family member what they would have done for me if I was in their shoes. I have no doubt.”

You Are A Gatekeeper In 2003, agencies in Portage County collaborated to create a suicide prevention plan in line with the State of Ohio’s plan. The Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition was born. The coalition includes members from juvenile court, county coroner, law enforcement, mental health, education, health and the community. They meet monthly at the MHRB. The Coali­ tion’s goal is to increase awareness of suicide as a national health issue, reduce stigma and increase family support. This year, members are celebrating the Coalition’s 10th anniversary. Iris Llewellyn Angle, a family survivor of suicide, has been a member of the Coalition from the beginning. Since her son’s suicide death 20 years ago, she has been a tireless advocate for suicide prevention and education. She shares her story in her recently published book, Tell Your Story Walking: One Mother’s Legacy.

Incident Response Team coordinating group: left to right; Dr. Joel Mowrey of the MHRB, Paul Dages of Townhall II, Greg Hoefler of Family and Community Services, Mary McCracken of Children’s Advantage, Rob Young of Townhall II and Amie Cajka of the MHRB. Michelle Furbee of Coleman Professional Services also assists with the coordination.

resources,” Angle said. “We want to educate the community on depression and suicide, because suicide is a national issue that we need to pay attention to.” At these monthly meetings in the MHRB conference room, coalition members work on prevention projects which include “gatekeeper” training that educates community members to identify when people are in crisis and might be at risk for suicide. What if you have survived the suicide of a loved one but aren’t ready to be an advocate? The MHRB has established a monthly Survivors of Suicide Support Group at 155 E. Main. Angle and Dr. Joel Mowrey, executive director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board, co-facilitate the group.

Saving Lives When Kent resident Maj. Dennis Missimi of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office started the Crisis Intervention Team in Portage County in 2006, there were high hopes that the program would be embraced by law enforcement.

“The Coalition offers support to family members and for those who need help and

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“We knew we needed the program here. With the Mental Health & Recovery Board as the springboard, we were able to get it off the ground. We’ve been able to sustain and grow CIT with the help of a lot of collaborators,” said Missimi who just rejoined the MHRB after a long hiatus. With more than 200 members, there are CIT officers in every police department in the county. It is endorsed by the Portage County Police Chief’s Association. A local program for school personnel based on CIT has been created. Eight officers have been nominated and recognized as CIT Officers of the Year for Portage. One has gone on to be named International CIT Officer of the Year. CIT is a national program sponsored by NAMI. It provides officers with the knowledge and tools to help de-escalate people in crises and make referrals. The end result is safety for the individual and the officer and the chance that the person will be connected to the services he or she needs. CIT Education Collaboration applies the same approach to working with students and their families. Continued on page 63



Lori M Wemhoff


Kent, Ohio is a destination! It’s true. People are coming to downtown Kent from all over to see what all the fuss is about, and check out for themselves all of the great shops and eateries that call downtown Kent, ‘home!’ How do I know? Just pop into McKay Bricker Gallery & Framing or Carnaby Street or Franklin Square Deli and Rise & Shine Café. Do a little eavesdropping, and don’t be surprised if you don’t hear the comment that this is someone’s first time to the 200+ year-old, college town, or a particular establishment. For some, they had no idea all of these great places to shop and eat (old or new) were here.

The Kent Area Chamber of Commerce is honored to be a part of the energy and excitement that is being felt in downtown Kent. Our new home at Acorn Corner (the old Franklin Hotel) on the third floor above Buffalo Wild Wings is amazing. From our windows we can see people going in and out of places to shop and eat throughout the day. They’re shopping and eating LOCAL … patronizing the small businesses that are run by our friends and neighbors. Spending money and bringing more energy and excitement to a place that all along, we’ve known is a great place to work, live, play and do business!

Downtown Kent is a destination point with its rich history, natural beauty, eclectic mix of commerce, entertainment and cultural expression that sets Kent apart from the rest. This is exactly what the visionaries had hoped would happen when the revitalization of downtown was just an idea and sketches on a drawing board. Even those visionaries couldn’t have imagined the amount of success that would result from the hard work, determination and collaborative efforts of so many. Look around you and you’ll see businesses of all types, flourishing and foot traffic up and down Main, Water and Erie Streets at any given time of the day … SEVEN days a week!

by Lori M Wemhoff, Executive Director Kent Area Chamber of Commerce


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Photography by Shannon Miller



Kelly Ferry


e should all have a lucky penny in our pocket as a reminder that simple pleasures can bring great treasures. That philosophy is what helps shape Abbe and Anderson Turner’s business, Lucky Penny Farm and Creamery – a 6000 square foot adaptive reuse space in the old Labor Temple off of Lake St. in Kent. They named their farm and business Lucky Penny because they believe that just like pennies add up, small, incremental, and consistent actions also add up to create big, lasting changes in a community.

Abbe Turner, optimist, cheese maker, and owner of Lucky Penny Creamery is available for speaking engagements, and will facilitate a presentation to any size group focused on your topic of choice within the theme of Entrepreneurship. Examples include: Sustainable Farming, Women in Farming, and Farm to Plate Value Added Products.

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The Turners’ farm to plate philosophy and slow money principals have helped them to create relationships with several dozen other local


agricultural enterprises. From finding local investors to help them build out the creamery facility, to their recent successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $11,850 for the purchase of an 80-gallon Groen kettle that they will use to expand their product line with a Mexican goat milk caramel sauce called Cajeta, they have gratefully created their business with tremendous community support. Lucky Penny specializes in small batch handcrafted fresh chèvre, feta, and ricotta cheeses made from local goat and sheep milk, and produces 10,000 pounds of cheese each year with milk sourced from seven Ohio farms. Their cheeses are currently available at Kent Natural Foods Cooperative and Haymaker Farmers’ Market, while their chèvre is used on a wonderful cured meat, cheese, and pickle plate at Kent’s new Bar 145, and also in an omelet at Little City Grill, formerly known as Diggers. Lucky Penny chèvre is also featured on chef Nate Fagliani’s menu at Crosswinds in Genevaon-the-Lake, along with Breakneck Acres’ stone ground polenta grits. Abbe and Breakneck Acres’ farmer, Ami Gignac, support each other by combining their deliveries to the restaurant. The backbone of Abbe’s work is the partnerships she has made with other agricultural business, most of them owned by women. She is committed to building a community that support women in agriculture, and currently has four women-owned companies, including her own utilizing the creamery building in Kent. Long-time master flower grower Barb Eaton of Blue Sage Farm uses the raised garden beds behind the creamery to grow cut flowers, which she sells at Haymaker Farmers’ Market in Kent on Saturdays. Jackie Borsinger of Boko Botanicals makes all-natural goat milk soaps,

which the Turners sell at their many farmers’ market booths all over northeast Ohio, and in Pittsburgh. The soaps can also be found in area boutiques. Abbe’s excited that yet another food producer will soon launch their locally sourced specialty cows milk product out of the creamery. They also own their own pasture to plate restaurant, Farm Girls Pub & Grub in downtown Alliance, with a locally sourced menu that highlights both produce and proteins raised on fifteen individual farms. Many of those farmers are women, including Ami Gignac of Breakneck Acres and Sarah Vecci of Veccitable Farm. The restaurant is open Fridays and Saturdays only, from 5-9pm with a seasonal menu, and a full bar and handcrafted beers and wines. As the United States continues to see a slow, but steady increase in small farmers, we are also seeing more women put their blood, sweat, tears, and cash into building meaningful agriculturally-based life and business that are changing the shape of communities and of the food economy. Lucky Penny Farm and Creamery is helping to create the infrastructure and the human asset network that will make it easier for others in northeast Ohio who want to take on this equally rewarding and challenging way of life.

Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Polenta Yield: 8 Servings Culinary Director: Andrew Racin

MIse en Place 1c Polenta, ground coarsely 2c Vegetable Stock 2c Whole Milk .5c Green Olives, chopped 8oz Mushrooms, sliced & lightly sautéed 1T Minced Garlic, lightly sautéed 1c Goat Cheese (Lucky Penny Chevre) 2T Parsley, rough chopped 1T Salt 2t black pepper, freshly ground Plating .5c Flour 2T Vegetable Oil Method 1 In a large sauce pot, bring milk and vegetable stock up to a boil; then reduce heat to a simmer. 2 Add polenta slowly – about .25c at a time – while whisking constantly. (Polenta likes to burn if left unwatched.) 3 Cook until thick. The polenta should stick on the back of a wooden spoon. 4 Gently fold in remaining ingredients until well mixed. 5 Transfer to a greased 4x8-inch loaf pan, and let cool in refrigerator for 1 hour or until set. 6 Remove from loaf pan and slice about 1-inch thick. Lightly dredge in flour. 7 In a large sauté pan, heat vegetable oil to a medium heat. Place polenta in pan, browning each side until golden brown.

Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Polenta made with Lucky Penny chevre and Breakneck Acres polenta.


8 Remove from pan to plate and serve with a light salad; a perfect appetizer or light lunch dish.

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Visual Art


Kent’s rich history of excellence in the visual arts is alive and well. Artists have long made their impression on Kent, as this city has made its impression on them. The relationships forged between artists and the community are varied and ever-evolving. Three artists featured here reflect this reality in distinct ways. Their work shows an independence of thought and practice that can be found throughout the many individual endeavors that comprise the experience of life in our area.

D A V I D Dave Cintron is an artist with many interests. Within the visual arts, he creates work in painting, drawing, prints and collage. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions regionally and has moved beyond


gallery walls to include commissioned work for album packaging, t-shirts and concert posters. Having received a BFA degree from Kent State with an emphasis in both studio arts and graphic design, it is easy to understand the ease with which he moves between the realms of fine

Ocean Den acrylic on canvas, 20” x 20”, 2012

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Mark Keffer KSU Class of ‘88

art and its more commercial applications. No distinction seems necessary. But this is only half of the story. Cintron is also a highly active member of NE Ohio’s rich music scene. From early bands Dimbulb and Burning Lesbians to current bands Terminal Lovers and Obedient Skull, in addition to solo work (most

Soliton of Improbability acrylic and oil on canvas, 47” x 68”, 2012


recently, No On), among many other projects, he has been incredibly prolific in making music, both live and in the studio. He has recently been recruited to join the line-up of seminal ‘avant-garage’ band Pere Ubu on their current tour of the eastern US and Canada. Whether visual or musical, it’s all a similar creative process for him. He’s always bounced between the two. His current work space has an area set up as a music studio and an area that is a studio for painting and other visual art.

To quote John Petkovic of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Music fans might know David Cintron as the inventive guitarist and leader of Terminal Lovers. Well, he’s also an artist. And the Cleveland resident is just as experimental, colorful and at times surreal with a brush as he is with a guitar.” Regarding his painting, Cintron states: “My work starts as improvisational gesture. Initial inspiration comes from various sources as patterns in the natural world, a quick line drawing, a found color palette, or an interest-

ing spatial relationship. A dialogue with the work begins as compositions grow, and shed intuitively and organically. This spontaneous creative process has no predetermined end. As a piece develops, it can often change dramatically several times, taking on new and surprising meanings and associations that will guide its development. Through this process a finished piece gradually reveals itself – it’s own unique world.”

As Eyes Burn Clean LP front cover, Client: Public Guilt

My Trip to The Lake collage, 2013


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Visual Art M I C H E L L E From her beginnings as a precocious teenager showing artwork for the first time in a long- since-defunct Kent gallery, to an artist of rich complexity and considerable reputation, Michelle Murphy has made great strides in her work through continuous development. Since 2011, she has been developing a large body of work composed now of about 60 pieces, specifically photographs and video art about beauty tools. In this most recent series, “Nature’s Beauty Tools” 2013, she is replacing



synthetically produced and manufactured beauty products (fake eyelashes, lipstick and silicone implants) with nature’s materials that serve as compelling stand-ins. The regions where the materials were sourced include the Adirondack Mountains, the Catskill Mountains, low-economic private yards of Greensboro, NC, as well as hikes in Ohio. Temporary sculptural props of twigs, mushrooms, slate, bark,

Pine Needle Eye Lashes 2013, metallic chromogenic print, 30” x 20” created during a residency at Contemporary Artist’s Center in upstate NY

Petals Lipstick 2013 metallic chromogenic print, 20” x 30”

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M U R P H Y leaves, etc. are physically manipulated, then attached to the model and photographed in studio environments. Artificial lighting is very important to the process; the style created for this series makes the subject and material both dramatic and visible. The lighting

along with the large-scale presentation of the finished framed works sets the overall tone for the viewer, referencing both art history and contemporary advertising. She states: “My work is at times humorous, dark, cold, and awkward, which is my response to mass media. The models and body parts that I photograph are intentionally diverse and at times challenging to mass media’s projected ideals of beauty. I do not adhere to social norms about gender, race, and sexuality in my work and I hope the viewer is inspired towards

openness so we all may shift the current cultural vernacular.” Murphy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography with a minor in digital arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2004. Her artwork has been published and exhibited internationally, including exhibitions in Geneva Switzerland, Guatamala City, Chicago and San Francisco. She is a professional photographer at the NASA Glenn Research Center and cocurator of the art and culture online magazine MAKE8ELIEVE.

Thorn Grill 2013, metallic chromogenic print, 20” x 30”, created during a residency at Contemporary Artist’s Center in upstate NY

In 2012-13 her work was featured in DISCOVER Magazine, Buzzfeed, Art & Science Journal, DivineCaroline, SFMOMA Tumblr, NATIVE Publications, Maybelline NY Tumblr, Newsweek and the Daily Beast – Picture Dept Tumbler, 20x200, Popular Photography magazine, and the Drawing Center (NYC) Viewing Program. Her work has been acquired in private collections internationally as well as the Progressive Art Collection.

Pine Cone Brows 2013, 20” x 30”, metallic chromogenic print


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Visual Art


L E S L E Y Lesley Sickle is a Kent State University alumnus with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Her current work explores the landscape, abstraction and color. She uses drawings of shadows to create small, intimate compositions that are then cut, bent and folded to create a new set of shadows. Sickle’s work has been exhibited at the International Print Center in New York City, the Prince Street Gallery in New York City, William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, OH and


a number of times at Zygote Press in Cleveland. She is the Downtown Gallery Coordinator at Kent State University and is a picture framer at McKay Bricker Framing. She serves as Marketing Assistant for Main Street Kent as well as a partner in Sickle & Sullivan Printmakers. She resides in Kent with her family. Not easily categorizable, her new prints are culled from a variety of sources. In her words:

Shadow Play 3 screen print on frosted Mylar, 13” x 16”, 2013

Shadow Play 5 screen print on frosted Mylar, 12” x 11”, 2013

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“Influenced by my surroundings, I recognize and document the often unobserved and humble elements of the everyday. Broken pavement, cracked sidewalks and cast shadows become the lines and shapes that make up each image. Exploring a balance of structured lines and the ambiguity of natural forms, I create abstracted compositions with combinations of these forms. Washes of watercolor lay in the background of shapes depicting the softness of sky and breeze of air, exploring the juxtaposition of loose strokes amongst hard-edged shapes. Bold and bright shapes are layered on top of one other and when cut and bent, they create their own set of shadows.”


Sickle & Sullivan Lesley Sickle and Emily Sullivan met in Kent State University’s printmaking studio in 2008. They quickly became friends, collaborators and business partners. With a tendency toward “making pretty things” the pair decided to channel that energy into Sickle & Sullivan

Printmakers. They were quickly off the ground making custom wedding invitations, birth announcements and stationary. The decision to become entrepreneurs has launched them into a partnership with McKay Bricker Framing and Gallery. The team works in their home studios to produce Kent and Ohio

themed clothing for McKay’s Kent store. They also participate in local markets and events to sell their products. Keep up on where they will be next on their facebook page, Sickle & Sullivan Printmakers. Merchandise can be purchased through

A statement featured on one of their t-shirts – “Kent, Ohio, The City of Hump and Hustle” – comes from a 1909 competition where residents were asked to provide a slogan to reflect their burgeoning town’s character.


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Joelle Liedtke

4Cats A C O R N


Photograph by Tara Carman (Carman & Pugh Photography

Art is Good. Three simple words that say so much! Why is art good, you may ask? Art awakens the imagination and allows the magic in! Have you ever seen a work of art that transported you to another time or triggered a favorite childhood memory? For example, do the paintings of Claude Monet remind you of your Grandmother’s backyard, a favorite botanical garden or maybe a trip to France? Do the pop art paintings of Roy Lichtenstein bring your childhood love of comic books back to life? This is the power of art!

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Art is very important for young children as it develops focus and attention, good handeye coordination, and builds self-esteem. Cutting, painting, drawing, and sculpting all take concentration and skill. Art incorporates many of these skills in a fun and engaging way. For instance, working on a paper collage like those of Henri Matisse requires cutting, gluing, composition and an understanding of color selection. And we can’t forget self-esteem! When a child brings home his or her own work of art – the look on her face says it all! There is a great amount of self worth that comes from creating something that is uniquely yours. More than 33% of children are visual learners and it has been shown that when art is integrated with other subject areas, children become more engaged in the content. While studying ecology, for example, children could use objects found during a nature hike to create art. Twigs and buckeyes can become a sculpture or ink prints using leaves can be used to study leaf structure. In English class, children might write a poem about a piece of art they’ve created.


Art has a way of reinforcing mistakes and transforming them into something positive. “So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.” – Neil Gaiman. Art not only teaches children to take risks and to learn from one’s mistakes, but to see that there can be more than one solution to the same problem.

Photograph by Tara Carman (Carman & Pugh Photography)

How does 4Cats Acorn Alley fit in? 4Cats Acorn Alley is a professional arts studio for everyone! The name, 4Cats, is inspired by the 4Cats Cafe in Barcelona, Spain. The 4Cats Cafe (Els Quatre Gats) is the place where Picasso met fellow artists, poets and philosopher friends. There they discussed creating and sharing great art! This is what we do – create masterpieces and talk about art!

Art fosters open-ended thinking and creates an environment of questions rather than answers. Claude Monet once said, “Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.” Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by the way sunlight filters through the trees or wondered how many uses you could come up with for a simple paperclip? Art opens your eyes to the beauty that is all around. It opens your mind to view things in a different and interesting way. Art teaches children to explore playfully, without a preconceived plan, learning from accidents and being surprised by the outcome. A wonderful example is the work of the abstract expressionist, Jackson Pollock. Put a group of people together in a room with some paint, a canvas, brushes (or syringes and balloons for our splatter parties!) and what do you get? Very happy, albeit very messy, people with beautiful works of art! Andy Warhol’s blotted line drawings are another example. Each child may start with the same initial image, but depending on his or her technique, the resulting art of each student will look unique and special.

At 4Cats, we provide a beautiful, engaging, inspiring, safe place to create. Our studio is filled to the brim with professional tools and materials just waiting to be put to use. Our walls are overflowing with inspiration. We offer many ways to get those creative juices flowing! We have weekly classes for children ages 2 to 15.

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.” — ROBERT MOTHERWELL

loved to paint bones and skulls, too! Learn about Art Deco through the glamorous life of Tamara De Lempicka, and discover the wonderful world of Pop Art when we study the outrageous Andy Warhol. We tell captivating and inspiring stories in a fun and humorous manner about the life and work of the artist being introduced, creating an environment that encourages a love of learning, creativity, and fun! In addition to art history, at 4Cats we learn the varied and intriguing techniques used by all the artists we study. If we are studying Henri Matisse, we create paper collages just like he did in his later life. If we are studying Vincent Van Gogh, we create acrylic on canvas paintings using modeling paste and quick brush strokes, just like Van Gogh did, himself. When studying the fantastic pop art of Andy Warhol, we use silk screens, over and over and over again! Visit our studio, and let us show you what makes the 4Cats experience truly amazing! Art is Good!

In addition, we offer workshops for adults and children where we explore pottery, paint and other materials. We put the ART in pARTy with imaginative themes that appeal to all ages. At a 4Cats Acorn Alley Team Building event, everyone contributes their unique artistic touch to create a memory that beautifies your workspace and inspires teamwork. Our Artist Focus classes allow students to create imaginative pieces inspired by the work of famous artists. At 4Cats, you’ll become an art history expert! Did you know that Vincent van Gogh’s favorite color was yellow? And that he lived in a yellow house? Or that he wrote hundreds of letters to his best friend and brother, Theo? Georgia O’Keeffe is famous for her fabulous flowers, but guess what? She


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911 N. Mantua St. • Kent, OH 330.677.4400 •


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Tina Puckett

A NewVision World N e w Wo r l d C h i l d r e n ’s T h e a t r e


or twenty-eight productions and over twenty years, Jeff Ingram, Executive Director of Standing Rock Cultural Arts, has mentored hundreds of community youth and directed their creative and spirited energy into the unique annual New World Children’s Theatre Playwriting Workshops. The New World Children’s Theatre is one of several programs produced by Standing Rock Cultural Arts (SRCA) on an annual basis and is considered the pride-and-joy crown jewel. In keeping with the mission of “Building Community through the Arts” with a vision of arts access for all, students ages 7-17 participate regardless of race, religion, origin, gender, orientation, socioeconomic status, and whether home, private, or public schooled. Jeff kicks off the workshops in January and for several years has had a full enrollment, often because of direct referrals from parents of

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former participants. The students study library books for ideas, develop plots, and write a play using their own ideas, characters, and plotlines. Jeff guides the students in employing major playwriting elements and assists them in developing their vision. Given the title of the workshop, one might think that would be the extent of the process, but New World Children’s Theatre students also learn to create costuming and stage props, draw and paint backdrops, and perform one May weekend per year putting the play that they’ve written themselves to life on the stage. After each performance, they participate in a Q&A session with the audience and offer the brand of candid and exciting responses that only a young person can. The Q&A is often as enjoyable, humorous, and endearing to the audience as the performance itself!

Photography by Tina Puckett

Some stage alumni opt to fill other roles in their teen years serving in backstage direction, art and workshop assistance, and lighting or sound crew. Many move on to careers in the arts using skills that they’ve obtained – such as Chicago theatre starlet and educator, Anya Clingman, and world-touring singer, Jessica Lea Mayfield – and they have let SRCA know that they do think back on these moments with great fondness and appreciation. Statistics show that children, particularly of lower socioeconomic status, avoid juvenile delinquency and peer pressure that can lead to alcohol and substance abuse, crime, and underage pregnancy when involved in activities that direct their energies into something positive that supports self-esteem (“Arts Programs for Youth At Risk” (pamphlet), Statistics also indicate that students involved in the arts score higher on SAT tests by about 100 points (“2012 National Arts Index,”; “Arts Students Outperform Non-Arts Students on SAT,” Effects are lasting as research even reflects that disadvantaged students who participate in the arts are more likely to earn better jobs and college degrees, as well as volunteer in their communities (“Increased Arts Involvement Among Disadvantaged Students Leads to: Finding a Better Job, Earning a College Degree, and Volunteering,” Children of all educational levels, energies, and gifted or spirited needs have been welcomed into New World Children’s Theatre with the nurturing direction of a patient mentor who believes in what youth have to say and never discounts it based on adult theory. As theatre parent, Erin LaBelle, put it, “The New World Children’s Theatre is one of the best things

about living in Kent with children in my humble opinion. The beauty of this local endeavor is that it is about process not perfection … It is a rare opportunity to see an original play written and performed by children and directed by a man who trusts them and their creativity” (“Process over Perfection,” The Kent Patch May 19, 2013 edition, While enrollments fill and limited slots are available, no student is ever turned away for an inability to pay the annual tuition fee. In 2013, 50% of students received scholarships in order to participate. In most if not all cases, parents of students who receive a scholarship will offer in-kind support, such as bringing snacks, providing transportation for another student, helping out backstage during performances, providing publicity, and creating costuming, props, and backdrops. SRCA expends additional funds on workshop materials and play production expenses.


Skilled volunteers, who help reduce costs, are welcomed. For those who would like to support the New World Children’s Theatre, donations are tax-deductible when paid to SRCA, a 501(c) (3) charitable nonprofit. Funds benefit arts programming including the scholarships that are offered to students in need every year. Donors may designate contributions to NWCT at the time of donation (at North Water Street Gallery, via mail, or on via secure PayPal). For those who would like to check out what New World Children’s Theatre is up to, details about upcoming workshops and performances, a list of previous productions, and photos from the most recent playwriting workshop (from page to stage) are available at along with a full calendar of events and other SRCA programming information.

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Heidi Shaffer

Kent’s E N E R G Y


hen I came to live in Kent in January 1996 to attend graduate school, I bought a house on S. Willow St. that has since been torn down to develop the Esplanade, now winding through the University into Downtown Kent. Just down the street was Brady’s Cafe (now a Starbucks). I wandered into Brady’s soon after I unpacked and was greeted by Andy Esparza, a local artist who married Brady’s owner, Bonny Graham. Bonny has since transformed into maker of “Bonny’s Bread”, sold hot out of the oven at the Haymaker Farmer’s Market – now a Kent institution – every Saturday. Not known for reticence, Andy launched into a conversational interrogation of my background, current status and future plans.

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“You are now in ‘The Vortex’”, he said, waiving off my plans to escape once I finished my degree. “Kent is an energy vortex, like Sedona, Arizona, and you will not be able to leave. And if you do, you will come right back.” While I laughed this off, I felt the back of my neck get prickly. Since living in California for 10 years, then briefly back to Pennsylvania, and then to Ohio for another six years, I had lived in more than nine cities prior to moving to Kent and buying my first house. I was getting tired of looking for greener grass and the right place to raise my nine-year old son, Conor. And, besides, this city had an arts community, a viable counter-culture, an environmental consciousness, great schools, racial and cultural diversity, a


major university, a real downtown, and a river! Kent did indeed appear to have potential. So here I am, nearly 18 years later, still in Kent, Ohio. I own a business, Kent Yoga. I am a second term city council representative for Ward 5, which includes Downtown Kent. I work at a Kent-based non-profit organization. I worship in a historic Kent church. My son went to Kent schools and played for Kent teams. I also married a townie, the late Bret Orsburn, who had been sucked back into the vortex from an apartment in Middleburg Heights. I am all about Kent, Ohio. Kent is in an unprecedented time of economic growth and transformation. It came about

because countless people committed themselves to the community and believed in Kent’s potential for true quality of life. There was also an obvious need for Kent to become more economically alive to provide jobs, attract new residents of all ages and walks of life, and preserve renowned city services. (For example, the City of Kent won the international “Best-Tasting Municipal Water” award in 1995 and has placed in the top 5 six times since.) Everyone has their stories as to how they became involved, and what issues are most concerning or motivating to them. I got involved because I saw potential and felt that with my background living in other vibrant college towns, I could help with the transformation. I got involved because I was concerned about what appeared to be a downward spiral threatening my chosen community, including deteriorating neighborhoods and loss of businesses. I got involved because there was a vacuum. No one else who saw a positive future was ready to run in Ward 5 in the Spring of 2007. Like many others, I got sucked in to the “vortex” of citizen participation, gradually at first by volunteering opinions at neighborhood meetings developing the 2004 Bicentennial Plan, a visioning process resulting in a comprehensive plan that is used as the community’s blueprint for change. Other citizens got activated by the Crain Avenue Bridge replacement, which, due to the insights of these citizens, is now the Fairchild Bridge. Dozens more community members were involved in University-initiated transportation-related projects such as the Kent Central Gateway – the multi-modal transit center recently built and operated by the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority (PARTA), or attended meetings to discuss the on-campus Summit Street improvements that

are still unfolding. Still other citizens have served on recently very busy boards and commissions, such as Planning, Zoning, or Architectural Review. Without eager volunteers and participants, downtown events sponsored by Main Street Kent and new venues such as the Kent Stage would never have gotten off the ground. In Kent, Ohio, an ordinary citizen can make a real difference. We do participatory democracy well. This is one of the most compellingly attractive features of this personable “smalltown, big attitude” midwestern city-onthe-move. It is a town where yoga teachers, bankers, artists and administrators can come together to harness the city’s diversity and youthful energy to build a positive future. A whirlwind of transformation has taken hold in Kent, Ohio. From the beginning of 2012 to date, the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce reports that close to 50 new business ribbon-cuttings have occurred within the city. Miles of bike and hike trails parallel the Cuyahoga River connecting Kent to its neighbors. Dozens of abandoned or blighted buildings have been demolished. Neighborhoods have new gateways, alleys are paved with bricks, art and music fill the air, and new public spaces are everywhere. People of all ages are on the sidewalks and in the outdoor cafes at all hours of the day and night. Established businesses sport new facades. Cranes and construction workers are commonplace. New eateries and shops beckon to the curious across the region who then discover the one-of-a-kind places that have always made Kent a special place.


Everything happening today has roots in the past, recent and distant, and in the minds and hearts of the people who became stewards of the community. Transformation is happening with a spirit of bringing new life to historic structures and respect for the natural and built environment. Underlying all of this movement is a concern for improving the quality of life for the people who live, work, study and visit in Kent. In a few short years, the naysaying, despair and lack of consensus that had seemed so paralyzing have been replaced by hope, excitement and maybe a little measured concern for Kent’s ability to integrate these changes. To sustain itself, Kent needs to stay an engaging place to be for residents, workers and travelers alike. Perhaps some of these people, maybe YOU, will get caught in the Kent Energy Vortex! Don’t laugh.

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Kent Stage

The Beginning The March 22, 2002 opening of a renovated movie theater, now called The Kent Stage, marked a revival of activity and live music in downtown Kent. The Kent Stage, a 662

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seat concert venue with exceptional acoustics, has been a harbinger of success and was out in front of the renaissance of Downtown Kent. Following the creation of The Kent Stage were the West River Medical Center, West River Place, the Black Squirrel Gallery, the Phoenix Project, Acorn Alley, CollegeTown Kent, the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center and most recently, Acorn Corner. Constructed as the New Kent Theatre in 1927, The Kent Stage is the only remaining downtown theater of its kind in Portage


Tom Simpson

County. The building opened as a movie and vaudevillian theater and has been providing entertainment for 86 continuous years. The leadership of the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association took an ailing Kent Cinema and built up a clientele of music aficionados from literally around the world. The building has seen a renovated backstage area, a new stage, a bar, new stage curtains, lighting and sound equipment. The HVAC and electrical systems have been updated as well. A poem by the late Merle Mollenkopf moved The Kent Stage from a movie house into the world of live entertainment on March 22, 2002. Merle was followed by Hal Walker, a well known local singer/songwriter and headliner Lucy Kaplansky. These artists were the first to

perform in what has become a landmark for live entertainment in Northeast Ohio.

Results Since it’s opening, The Kent Stage has injected tens of millions of dollars into the local economy of Kent and surrounding communities. Area hotels, restaurants, bars and retail stores have seen their business markedly increase on evenings of concerts at The Kent Stage. The Kent Stage provides an intimate setting to enjoy locally, nationally and internationally recognized performers in a small city in northeast Ohio. What started as a part-time folk music venue has grown into an internationally known music venue which now presents an average of 150 concerts per year, as well as two theatrical performances, and four film festivals/ movie premieres. Additionally, The Kent Stage is the home of the internationally acclaimed Kent State ‘Round Town Music Festival, the Kent Blues Fest. These performances have been attracting fans from all 88 counties of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and 33 other states as well as Canada, England, Scotland and Japan. Over 150,000 music fans have attended events at The Kent Stage in the last 11 years! The vast majority of these fans (92%) are visiting Kent. During the first seven years of operation, The Kent Stage was host to six sold-out events. Since 2009, there have been 20 soldout concerts. During the summer of 2013, The Kent Stage sold 7,120 tickets to fans from 40 states for sold-out concerts by Dave Mason, Todd Rundgren (Twice), Kenny Loggins, Kevin Costner, Poco/Pure Prairie League, Richard

Thompson, Great Big Sea, Leon Russell, as well as great concerts by Mickey Hart, Richie Furay, Jake Shimabukuro, Tab Benoit and The Temptations There are thousands of you-tube videos online from The Kent Stage. WKSU’s carries live recording of Kent Stage artists into 130 countries across the globe. Additionally, there are hundreds of live recordings on the internet. The Kent Stage website; averages 20,000 visitors per month and the Facebook page averages 35,000 hits per month.

Other facts of note In 2004, The Plain Dealer named The Kent Stage, Best Acoustic Venue in Northeast Ohio. In 2007, The City of Kent Economic Development Achievement Award was presented to The Kent Stage. In 2007, The Kent Stage served as the initial meeting location for the Main Street Ohio’s presentation to the citizens, business owners and city officials regarding the possibility of Kent’s participation in the national Main Street program. Main Street Kent was born at The Kent Stage. Main Street Kent is an economic development program designed to improve and enhance the entire Downtown Kent area.

An original member of The Beatles: Pete Best Woodstock veterans: Richie Havens, Melanie, Joan Baez Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members: Roger McQuinn, Chris Hillman, Bo Diddley, The Shirelles, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The Drifters, The Coasters, Poco, Johnnie Johnson, Richie Furay, Steve Hackett of Genesis and Terry Sylvester of The Hollies. Grammy winners: Asleep at the Wheel, Riders In The Sky (Also an Academy Award winner), Steve Earle, Tim O’Brien, Nickel Creek, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nanci Griffith, Richie Havens, The Kingston Trio, Denny Laine, Janis Ian, Chris Thomas King, Sam Bush, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, Glen Campbell. Vocal Group Hall of Fame members: McGuinn & Hillman of The Byrds, Terry Sylvester of The Hollies and the Moody Blues, The Crystals, The Chiffons, The Tokens, Jay & The Americans, The Marcels, The Kingston Trio, Continued on page 55

Who’s Who Comes to Kent! Since 2002, The Kent Stage has presented: The Father of Rock & Roll: Johnnie Johnson


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scene LO C A L M U S I C

This Holiday, Give the Gift of Local Music

Shivering Timbers

Mo Mojo

Hey Mavis

The Numbers Band

Tres Space Beefs

Patrick Sweany

Peggy & Brad

The TwistOffs

Hive Robbers Craig Martin Rio Neon

Roger Hoover

Xtra Crispy



Smokin Fez Monkeys

The David Mayfield Parade

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a vague retro analysis o f o n e k i d ’s k e n t d a y s

Matt Lindsay

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I met Donnie Brown when I was 15, so he was 16 or 17. I was this little suburban idiot, too confused and frustrated to deal with the regular world, and Donnie seemed like this young god who had already figured out life’s big jokes and was on his own path of enlightenment. Don ran with the older crowd, the first generation of punks to hail from Northeast Ohio. The rest of the world may or may not know that the term “peace punks” was probably most definitely coined to describe the small community of punks in the Kent/Akron area who were into the aggressive music and message of punk but wanted peace, equality and unity for all of human kind … perhaps most known worldwide for their huge contribution to the P.E.A.C.E. comp release with most all the “big” or well- known punk bands of the late 70’s early 80’s. Of course 35 some odd years later all of these peace punks I know


(Sam Ludwig, Vince Rancid, Jeff Ingrahm, Tom MadAgain, Jimi Imij, Tommy Strange, Jeff Curtis and more) are still folks with the same vision and real life outlooks they have always had. Kent was a place for people like Greg Lee and I to come and get real with people. We grew up in a time when bullying was not only tolerated but encouraged by some adult members of the Hudson High School staff (yes, I’m talking right to your face, Coach Glavin). We grew up in a time when our science teacher Mr. Sherhall proudly displayed his paddle on the wall behind his desk, and got terribly excited when a student misbehaved and needed their punishment. It was Hudson Ohio, and back then if a kid had spikey hair the jocks would pick on him, the girls would laugh at him, etc etc. We were good friends with a senior girl (who’s name shall remain a mystery)

who was dating Greg Shedlowski of the TwistOffs, back when the Twisties were a four piece punk/new wave outfit. So she would take Greg and I to JB’s in Kent to see the TwistOffs and we would eventually become acquainted with many folks around town. My friend Neil Sherhag has a similar story about growing up in a small town he didn’t identify with, and when he moved to Kent in the early 1990’s he found what he had been looking for and had a place in the underground music world. His band Fuzzhead would go on to sign small record deals with New York labels and open up for Sonic Youth on occasion, but mainly just do what they did naturally in a basement in Kent: make music and worship life together. Hyper as Hell was Donnie’s band, or as he was known in certain circles, Donnie Zombie Vision. Anyone who was there to see them knows how special and magical they were. They were easily as great as any hardcore punk rock crossover band of their time; and probably better than most. They were totally original, totally prolific, totally majestic to watch, and totally insane. They were all such “true” artists that the notion of getting signed or doing giant national tours was not even on their radar. Well, also to be fair, that sort of music was not as, “ahem”, socially acceptable back then. I was roomies with them off and on as a teenage runaway squatter, and at one point they were trying out new drummers. I played two songs with them, and they kind of chuckled. Jeff said to me, “That was pretty good, Poopy, now can you do them twice as fast”? I did not get the job, thank Allah, and Matt Apanius would become the drummer that made them the most devastating band in NE Ohio. As fate would have it, about six years later the band got back together and I did play

drums for them; mostly out of necessity, as Matt Apanius could not be located and I was roommates with Rich, the bass player. I knew the old songs pretty well, and we wrote a lot of new stuff over the course of 2 or 3 years. We opened for the Meatmen and various other national touring bands up in Cleveland, mainly at the Grog Shop. But in 1993 the scene’s thirst for classic crossover hardcore was weaning and grunge and the like were all the rage. Chemical dependency problems and creative differences had us split up for good. In 2001 Donnie and I had a thirst to play together again. We sort of ran into the same problems. We had a great sludge metal band in the middle of a time when no one was interested in hearing any of that. We played a lot of shows with a band from Akron called Don Austin, who was a terrific classic American hardcore band, and they also had few other bands they could do shows with at that time. We usually played sets for each other, there may have been 5 or 10 other people there but it was usually quiet. At the time I worked as a sound engineer in downtown Kent at a little place called Moondog Recording. We recorded our band there with all the deluxe bells and whistles and all the time in the world to mix our masterpiece, and nobody was interested in hearing it.

whom I have played with many times throughout my lifetime. I am not ready to be doing lead vocals, and my old pal Donnie seemed to be in the right place in life to try doing a band again. So we have a four piece art rock band now, again, after all this time. We call it Stump Burner. I’m very happy to still be doing what we’ve always done. Totally organic song creation together and lots of bonding time. Now there are venues in Cleveland and Kent that are excited about having us in to play, and we have a label from Salt Lake City who is releasing a vinyl album for us. Is culture catching up with us? Probably not, but I think the Justin Biebers of the world can only take you so far. When someone asks me what our new band sounds like, I give them a simple answer leaving them wanting more: We sound like Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band trying to play Black Sabbath songs. For a sample and show roster please visit the Stump Burner FB site https://www. Tentative vinyl album release date is Winter 2013.

So now I find myself middle aged and playing in a band with Neil and Greg, both of


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Amy Young


o me, Kent was magical at 8-years-old when I went to visit my oldest brother as he attended Kent State. Hell with Barbie dolls! I could spend weekends holding tightly onto my bro as we cruised the streets of Kent on his motorcycle, final destination always his Silver Meadows apartment. It was also the best time I ever spent with that particular sibling, those times probably the glue that inspires our minimal contact these days. It was equally magical to me at age 16, when my black-clad punk rock pals and myself would pile too many people into some kind of ridiculously small VW Bug or Ford Pinto and haul ass to try to catch some action at the holy grail of live punk and weirdo music, JB’S Down. Hell, even not getting in, which usually wasn’t a problem, was exciting enough. Just standing on the street with other people who didn’t want to punch our lights out for having spiked hairdos felt like nothing else. We acted like invincible little jackasses and it felt insanely

glorious. Even just reveling in teen angst with people who got it felt incredible – the kids back at school didn’t talk about anything worthwhile, let alone things like we did. They didn’t even know there was a threat of nuclear war, while we listened to bands crassly croon about it night after night. It was the most magical to me a couple of years later when I packed up and headed to Kent for college, armed with the knowledge – even if subconscious at the time – that the school part wasn’t what I wanted to immerse in, but more of that succulent culture. Crazy parties, crying on street corners in the middle of the night about pent-up family problems, world issues, stupid love interests, all with no ability to see a week into the future, let alone years. It was reckless, wild and something I wouldn’t trade for a million dollars, even when a million dollars would


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have looked only like salvation to struggling writer/art dealer. And it’s not just because of the hours spent walking around a mildly aesthetically broken town eating at its cafes, holding court in its bars or admiring its black, black squirrels or lush green trees, but it is about the brilliant, amazing people I met and shared my time with – many who are still an active part of my life; are my family. What other people saw as freaks, weirdos and outcasts were some of the most clever, talented, artistic, inspiring souls anyone could ever hope to know. And I do not doubt for a minute, that had I made that journey (a whole two hours away from home), I would have not have been as inspired as I have been to follow the artistic pursuits that allow much of my joy and salvation in adult life, like writing, playing drums, or exhibiting fine art. Screw the butterfly effect in my story, I wouldn’t twist an inch. I think about Kent a lot – a place I couldn’t wait to get to that became in many ways a place I couldn’t wait to leave, the significance of the latter is more of a testament than the insult it suggests, for it provided a place to learn and grow, making departing an integral part of my personal progression, even if I did leave and come back a couple times first. Amy Young, Owner/Director – Perihelion Arts, Phoenix, AZ

Ryan Humbert, Dale Galgozy, Wallace Colman, Frankie Starr, The Speedbumps, Simeon Soul Charger, Case Sensitive, David Mayfield, Michael Searching Bear, Jessica Lea Mayfield, One Way Rider, and dozens more.


Continued from page 49 Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The Drifters, The Coasters. International Bluegrass Music Association Award winners: Ralph Stanley, The Grascals, Del McCoury, Tony Rice, Nickel Creek, Claire Lynch, Tim O’Brien, Infamous Stringdusters, Gillian Welch, David Grisman, Tony Trischka, Sam Bush, Vassar Clements, Mountain Heart, Alison Brown, Chris Thile. Country Music Association Award winners: Asleep at the Wheel, Rosanne Cash, David Frizzell, Chris Thomas King, Nickel Creek, Gretchen Peters, Riders in the Sky, Leon Russell, Darryl Scott, Billy Joe Shaver, Ralph Stanley, Gillian Welch. Americana Music Association Award winners: Darryl Scott, The Avett Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, The Greencards, Nanci Griffith, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Sam Bush, Asleep at the Wheel, Chris Hillman, Billy Joe Shaver. Folk heroes, Icons and legends: Tom Paxton, Loudon Wainwright III, Livingston Taylor, John Gorka, David Wilcox, Leo Kottke, Leon Redbone, Kathleen Edwards, John Cowan, John McCutcheon, Jay Unger and Molly Mason,

Robin and Linda Williams, Greg Brown, Iris Dement, Peter Rowan, Susan Werner, Tom Rush, Claire Lynch, Blind Boys of Alabama, Maura O’Connell, The Punch Brothers, Over The Rhine and dozens more. Blues Music Award Winners and Blues HOF Members: Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, Roomful of Blues, Bo Diddley, Tab Benoit, Robert Lockwood, Jr. Rock and Pop Stars: Todd Rundgren, Al Stewart, Rusted Root, Little Feat, Karla Bonoff, Jonathan Edwards, Brewer & Shipley, Josh Radin, India Aire, Lisa Marie Presley, Bo Bice, The Dunks, Amos Lee, Chad & Jeremy, Peter & Gordon, Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, Commander Cody, Keller Williams, Medeski Martin & Wood, Brian Auger, Leon Russell, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Avett Brothers. Jesse Colin Young, Lisa Loeb, Michelle Shocked, Steve Forbert, Colin Hay, Martin Sexton, Donna The Buffalo, Cowboy Junkies, Ekoostik Hookah, BoomBox, Brandi Carlile and Richard Thompson. Numerous local and regional artists including: The Numbers Band, The TwistOffs, Alex Bevan, The Rhondas, Hillbilly IDOL, Rio Neon, Hal Walker, Jon Mosey, Brian Henke,


The Kent Stage has been the host of a number of benefits including the Woodchoppers’ Ball benefiting the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (five times), Rotary Club of Kent’s “Music of Main Street” (five times), St. Pet’s Day for the Portage County APL (three times), Kent Social Services/Lords Pantry, Portage County Sheriff’s Association fund raisers (five times), FOP Lodge 70 fund raiser (five times), Ravenna Firefighters’ Association fund raisers (three times), and Townhall II.

Education Additionally, TKS has been the host of the Children’s Musical Theatre of Kent, Standing Rock Cultural Arts Children’s Theater, Standing Rock’s Film Festival, Who’s Your Mama, (Kent’s Earth Day Festival), the Tree City Players and Kent Stage Players, as well as numerous film premiers.

Dedication The Kent Stage is operated by the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association. In addition a paid staff of two, an average of 10 volunteers come together from various communities in Northeast Ohio including Akron, Brunswick, Hudson, Ravenna, Richfield, Shaker Heights, Solon, Stow and Kent in order to produce the events at The Kent Stage. Combined, they have contributed over 50,000 hours to the activities of The Kent Stage.

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Continued from page 22 our gardens but our clients, the tenders and keepers of those gardens. cat Do you get a lot of people calling you saying “why is this doing this?” and “I need help with this…”? SS Not as much as we’d like. We wish they’d call us with their issues more often, especially with ponds. If they have an issue and they go to a pond supply store, they may be sold something that is not in the interest of an ecological system and could throw things out of balance, creating real havoc with that delicate balance of nature. And so I wish they would call us more often and keep us posted, because we’re always learning as designers too. We’re trying new plants out and not always sure how thing will work in the long term. So it helps us to grow as designers and to see how things have weathered the test of time. cat Do you have a signature? SS I think that if we do, it’s hard to define. But we have been told by other designers that they know immediately that it’s one of ours. Even though sometimes we do prairies in the front of some one’s yard and other times it’s English gardens or Zen gardens or minimalist or contemporary or whatever. But I think that essence, that spiritual connection of what you feel entering the space, that’s probably our signature. I hope that’s our signature. The experience obtained would be the signature we hope to bring, rather than a signature style.

our portfolio. But yes, I think it would be fun to do a tour of gardens. cat Everything you do just blends … it looks natural, not landscaped. Who’s the poet “To create fine gardens that whisper deep into the souls of those who enter”? It’s beautiful. Do you write your own? SS Yes, it’s a collaborative effort. And that’s what sets us apart. “Whispering deep into the soul” may be the title of the article. That’s our signature style isn’t it? cat That’s all the questions I have. Is there anything you’d like to add? SS Did I answer all your questions about sustainability? cat Elaborate on how you incorporate that into your landscapes. SS Our newsletter has the basic points. One of the most important things that we do is to try to reduce lawns, create diversity and to create layers and incorporate native plants, water and habitat as much as possible. That would probably be the core and it gets into retaining water as much as possible so you don’t have the runoff. That’s important. Reusing materials and making sure they are as local as possible, without the lesser use of natural

cat Have you thought of setting up a garden tour? SS We have, and I think we need to get a few that are closer together. But I would like to do that in the future. Some of our clients are very private and their pictures don’t even end up in

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resources, shall we say. But I would say diversity and reducing lawns and to do things economically. One of our newsletters was about lawns and alternatives to lawns and ideas of being organic and the fact that even though it may say organic on the label it does not means it’s 100% organic. It’s a very misleading world out there and there’s work being done in that regard, but there are chemical companies out there that are promoting themselves in ways that confuse the public. It’s really hard to know what really is organic … so I guess use caution. Really study, learn and encourage people to sign up for our e-journal. I would really love people to have that as something they can have delivered to their e-mail once a quarter. I think the e-journal is our outreach to the community. Not just to our clients but to the community at large, teaching them what they need to know to be successful with their gardens and educational opportunities. And not just where Samuel and I are lecturing, but also where other things are going on that we feel are of value that they can go to learn more, whether they are a beginner or a fellow designer. Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc is located in historical Canal Place, the former BF Goodrich complex in downtown Akron.

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volume 2 | 2013 •

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Continued from page 30

We’re Here When Needed

Sgt. Andy Suvada of Streetsboro Police was the first CIT Officer of the Year and went on to win the international award. He has become a regular volunteer at the board office along with his wife, Carrie, who was the drive behind creating CITEC and is now its volunteer coordinator.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board is also the place planning and preparing how to meet the mental health needs of the community after a disaster or crisis, whether it is a tornado or single or multiple deaths. For the past 20 years, the board has coordinated the activities of the Portage County Incident Response Team (IRT).

“After the CIT training, the light went on when I started receiving calls back from the residents involved in the incidents. You understand how powerful it is when someone tells you that you saved their life. For all this you still have to have a place where someone is overseeing the process and the program. The Mental Health & Recovery Board does that for the community,” Suvada said. Carrie Suvada just completed coordinating the sixth CITEC class which has been noticed on the state and national levels. “Class members tell us that this is the most useful, practical training they have received, whether working in the classroom or driving a bus. The board’s willingness to sponsor, develop and maintain programs that meet these kinds of local needs – that’s responsiveness at its best,” Carrie Suvada added.

The IRT’s counselors and mental health professionals support residents through emergency situations. The IRT is called in to schools, businesses or agencies for guidance and to help support staff, students or community members. Mary McCracken LISW-S, clinical director of Children’s Advantage and an IRT coordinator, said that the IRT’s first priority is to inform people of the facts of the crisis and then meet with anyone wanting to talk to someone. “The MHRB provides guidance and leadership for IRT in relation to making sure staff is trained as well as provides guidance for handling crisis calls for team,” McCracken said. “It has been an important part of the board’s mission to be responsive to what is happening

Working to pass Renewal Issue 3 for mental health and recovery services: left to right, Amie Cajka of the MHRB, Audrey Kessler of Kent, Robin Dudley of Ravenna, Holly Melin of Coleman Professional Services, Chuck Tuttle of Children’s Advantage, Alberta Caetta of Ravenna, Karen Cox of Atwater Township, Jan Rusnack of Kent and Terrie Nielsen of Mantua Township. Kathy Myers of Coleman Professional Services and Jody Klase of Family and Community Services are also part of the committee.

Paid for by the Citizens’ Committee for Good Mental Health, Dave Brokaw, Treasurer, 155 E. Main St., Kent Ohio 44240.

in communities in the county,” said Executive Director Mowrey. “We fund treatment for the individual but we also have programs that reach out to families and the community at-large.” Whether it’s directly or indirectly, individuals, families and communities are helped through the Mental Health & Recovery Board. “It’s what we believe: treatment works. It helps people recover; and people in recovery make Portage County’s communities stronger,” Mowrey affirmed. • A Hub of Support at the MHRB 155 E. Main St., Kent, 330.673.1756, Facebook and Twitter • National Alliance on Mental Illness free, 2nd & 4th Thursdays of month, 7 p.m. • Family-to-Family Classes free, enrolling for Oct. 2, 330.673.1756, ext. 201, to register • Suicide Prevention Coalition 3rd Thursday of month, 3 p.m. at MHRB • Survivor of Suicide Support Group free, last Wednesday of month, 6:30 p.m. at MHRB • CIT Training Dec. 9-13, 2013, call 330.673.1756, ext. 201, to register • CITEC Training for School Personnel July 2014, call 330.673.1756, ext. 201, to register

Portage County Family-to-Family instructors: left to right, Linda UmBayemake of Kent, Beth Stanko of Richfield, Terri McGuckin of Kent, Roger Cram of Hiram and Amanda Thomas of Kent. Tracy Stamm of Mantua and Suzanne Ludwick of Tallmadge also teach for Portage County.


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Continued from page 15 KSU and Kent have had a long history with music of all eras and Ray’s has been right in the middle of it. From regional groups such as The Walking Clampetts (unofficial house band of Mother’s Junction which was once in the upstairs of Ray’s) to Music Hall of Fame member Joe Walsh (of James Gang and Eagles fame), Ray’s patrons have enjoyed some pretty good music. Other popular bands such as The Numbers Band 15-60-75, Devo and The TwistOffs also call Kent home.

Meet Me at Rays “Meet me at Ray’s,” is a common phrase people have been saying for years in Kent. That’s the reason it was selected as the title for the book that chronicles the history of Ray’s Place as told by the people who know it best; the loyal customers and employees.

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The book features stories and memories from a few hundred of the Ray’s faithful who have shared their experiences and affection. The most common story relates to meeting a special someone at Ray’s. Many people, especially KSU students, met their future spouses there. And "Congrats to Ray's and Charlie … Here's to 75 more years of the MOFO" — Michael Symon chef, restaurateur, television personality, and author dozens of married couples and their wedding parties stopped at Ray’s for photos on the way to the reception. Some even had their wedding receptions at Ray’s! The book takes the reader “behind the scenes” to answer the important question of why so many people love Ray’s.


You Can Go Home Again Some say, “You can never go home again”. Well, at Ray’s Place you can go home again … you can go home as often as you like. Why? Because Ray’s has pretty much maintained the same atmosphere since it opened. The food and beverage items, the employees, the interior décor, the customers are all pretty much the same. They are part of the Ray’s vibe. Generations of people from Kent and surrounding communities have been dining there for years as have thousands of KSU students. Ray’s has an authentic feel to it which appeals to many customers. Make the trip to Kent to enjoy something authentic … it’s definitely well worth it. Meet Me at Rays by Patrick J. O’Connor, Black Squirrel Books

Continued from page 25. milled byproducts, work fallow areas and compost piles, and offer another product to our customers. Our policy with hogs is to, “let pigs be pigs.” – allowing them to root, run, and play in plenty of space with unlimited access to shelter, fresh water, and feed. Recently we added Cornish Cross broiler chickens to our flock. My peers told me to avoid this breed since, “they won’t free range or forage and their mortality rate is high.” Tim tricked me into trying them (do you see a pattern here?) and I’m glad he did. They’re a joy to have in the barnyard and have dispelled all of the myths. They are on a strict diet to manage mortality, look forward to free ranging and foraging, and have become the unofficial welcoming committee when customers come

to the farm. We’ve had excellent success and look forward to increasing our flock in 2014.

Is it Local? Today we offer seasonal produce, stone milled specialty grains, free range eggs, beef, pork and chicken at the farm and select products at the Downtown Ravenna Farmers’ Market and Haymaker Farmers’ Market in Kent. We are committed to environmental and land stewardship, sustainable and natural farming practices, the humane treatment of animals and complete transparency with our customers. We are so thankful that this unconventional path led us to Kent, Ohio – where customers cultivate personal relationships with growers and prove their support by purchasing our products every Saturday at the Haymaker Farmers’ Market. Knowing where your food comes from is your right and responsibility as a consumer. Buying local, from someone you know and trust, must be your priority. Breakneck Acres is located one mile east of Kent State University’s Dix Stadium on Summit Road in Ravenna Township. The farm is open for sales all year on Wednesdays from 1–7pm. Check their website for availability and follow them on Facebook for the latest news!


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Kent Central Gateway Veterans’ Memorial




Wischt & Sons Construction has been providing quality concrete and masonry work for over 30 years to customers both large and small. Since they first started, they have maintained the attitude that every customer large or small is trusting them with their project and that's always been a responsibility that the Wischt family takes seriously and prides themselves on. George Wischt & Sons Construction recently completed the masonry for the KSU Gateway Arch between KSU and downtown Kent. Wischt said that the stone installation went much quicker than the planning that was quite involved to hang the many tons of limestone. Wischt & Sons has been doing masonry in the area for more than 30 years and take much pride in being involved in local projects. Although it is hard to be competitive in the construction market, most people look at the cheapest price not thinking much about the input that a qualified subcontractor can add to a project. Wischt has also completed masonry projects including the KSU Recreation and Wellness Center, the main Kent Fire station, and some masonry at Acorn Alley.

George Wischt & Sons Construction Co., Inc. 881 Tallmadge Road Unit F • Kent, Ohio 44240 phone (330) 678-7881 • fax (330) 678-6774


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