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Your Community Press newspaper serving Anderson Township, California, Mount Washington, Newtown




Math mistake leads to promotion changes By Lisa Wakeland

A mathematical error has led to a comprehensive review for how Anderson Township conducts promotional testing for the fire department. Township trustees in November approved a memorandum of understanding with the Anderson Township Professional Firefighters Association that outlines the details of the mistake and its remedy. Administrator Vicky Earhart said they realized earlier this year a small percentage point led to one firefighter being promoted to lieutenant instead of Ken Lovins. The township promoted Lovins in January, but it took a while to reach an agreement with the union, she said. Because of this, “we want to look at all of our promotional testing processes for battalion chief and lieutenant,” Earhart said. “It’s been a while since we looked at it, and we want to see whether we need to make changes or upgrade it.” The fire department’s promotional testing process for lieutenants was effective in 1998 and last looked at in February 2010, according to township documents. According to the memorandum of understanding, this change means there are 13 lieutenants instead of 12, so one can be reassigned for administrative duties or inspections. “We did not hire another person,” Earhart said. “We’re actually down two from where we were several years ago and had two existing employees who were both promoted.”

Anderson Township firefighters perform a series of training exercises.FILE PHOTO

Anderson Township is also negotiating its collective bargaining agreement with the fire union. It was last adopted in 2011 and expires at the end of the year. Firefighters received a 2.5 percent raise in 2011 and a 2 percent raise in both 2012 and 2013. Firefighters received a 4 per-

cent raise in each of the three years prior to the most recent agreement. “We’re hoping that we have reached an agreement by the end of the year,” Earhart said of the negotiations. “We’ve been pleased with the cooperation we’ve been receiving from the union, and I think

we’re very close.” Other parts of the memorandum of understanding approved in November include: » The township will compensate Lovins for $5,050 – the difference between his firefighter/ paramedic and lieutenant salaries from September 2011 and January 2013.

» His file will reflect his official date of promotion as Sept. 15, 2011 for all purposes of seniority. » Because of the change, the first person on the promotion list will move to lieutenant when there is a vacancy, and then the township would compile a new promotional list.

We can help, emergency workers say By Jeanne Houck

Michael Thompson, a firefighter-paramedic with the Little Miami Joint Fire & Rescue district, is coordinating a new safety initiative called “Caring for our Community." JEANNE HOUCK/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Do you live in Newtown and wonder if police will check on your house when you go on vacation? Are you a senior citizen in Fairfax with a bewildering array of medicines in your cabinet or a new mother in Columbia Township wondering how to babyproof your home? You can get help in all these situations and more by calling Michael Thompson, a firefighter-paramedic with the Little Miami Joint Fire & Rescue district, at 271-3636. Thompson is coordinating a new safety initiative called “Caring for our Community” for the fire district in cooperation with



This potato dish baked with cheese is one of Rita’s favorite potato recipes. Full story, B3

These Christmas tree farms are worth the trip to put you in the holiday spirit. Full story, B1

the Newtown and Fairfax police departments and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies assigned to Columbia Township. The program is designed to connect residents of Newtown, Fairfax and Columbia Synan Township with the help they need – be it from emergency-service or social-service agencies. “‘Caring for our Community’ encompasses many elements of service that we currently provide, but people may not realize it,” Thompson said. “We can bring all our combined resources to the forefront for anyone who needs it.

“The goal of ‘Caring for our Community’ is to streamline and organize things that both we and the police departments already do in the hopes of creating a better and more thorough service,” Thompson said. For example, Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan said his department has for years checked on residents officers know live by themselves. Now, “We agreed to go with (fire department workers) on checks they may make,” Synan said. Thompson said the “Caring for our Community” program is geared toward the elderly but available to anyone who needs help. See HELP, Page A2

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Residents help families for the holidays By Lisa Wakeland

More than 100 families will have gifts to open Christmas morning, thanks to the generosity of many local residents. It’s all part of an initiative from the Beech Acres Parenting Center that lets the community adopt a family for the holidays. They also partner with the Forest Hills Local School District to raise money for the gifts. “The Forest Hills schools raised more than $7,000 this year, and many other community members come in to shop,” said Susan Wiesemann, marketing manager for the Beech Acres Parenting Center. “We have 150 families

Help Continued from Page A1

“By help I mean everything from regular wellness checks, fire-safety in-

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that are part of the Beech Reach program and will receive gifts.” Each family fills out a form with their interests, favorite colors, ages and other information to help shoppers pick out toys, clothes and other items. “It’s completely customized so they get exactly what they want for the holidays,” Wiesemann said. Eighth-graders Molly Grossman and Katie Kobasuk came to the Beechmont Avenue Target during the shop and share event Dec. 3 and were excited to pick out gifts for a 2-year-old girl. A teacher encouraged them to participate, but Kobasuk said they also came because it would be fun. Sarah Henning, a spections by the fire department, security inspections by police officers, information on available social services, fall prevention – anything that we can do to make the resident or their home safer,” Thompson said. “All they have to do is call and we’ll come meet with them, assess their needs and either help or put them in touch with someone who can.” For more about your community, visit Newtown.


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first-grade teacher at Wilson Elementary, was shopping for four children with the money her class raised. “They were really excited about helping the families,” she said. Dawn Garvin, who also heard about the program through the schools, said her family wanted to participate “to help other kids and for my kids to learn about giving.” The gifts will be wrapped and delivered to the families by Beech Acres employees. “We’re so grateful the community has embraced this so much,” said Kristina Meek, social media marketing manager for Beech Acres.

Katie Kobasuk, left, and Molly Grossman look at clothes for the 2-year-old girl they’re shopping for during the Shop and Share program. These gifts will help 150 families served by Beech Acres Parenting Center. LISA WAKELAND/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Tax-incentive foe qualifies for break in Clermont Gannett News Service

One of the area’s most outspoken critics of tax incentives for businesses is himself in line to get one as he opens a new law office in Clermont County. But conservative activist Chris Finney, of Anderson Township, says that the tax “rebate” is routine and has been offered to other businesses in the Union Township building where he is starting his new firm. “I certainly didn’t ask for this, and this is certainly no incentive created specially for me and my new firm,” Finney said. “This isn’t like the Pure Romance deal or anything like that.” Finney, one of the organizers of and the leading spokesman for Citizens Opposed to Additional Taxation and Spending, is leaving his current Hyde Parkbased firm of Finney,

Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson Co. and creating a new firm called The Finney Law Firm set to open Jan. 1. He is locating it in a building that is part of a Joint Economic Finney Development District created by Union Township and the city of Milford in December 2007. The district allows for the collection of a 1 percent earnings tax for infrastructure improvements. (Townships are normally not allowed to collect earnings taxes.) The JEDD covers the Ivy Pointe office park development adjacent to Interstate 275 where Finney is locating. But Union Township has previously given tenants rebates on the total tax paid. According to a draft of the deal provided


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Carol sing set

The Five Mile Chapel Society is hosting its Carol Sing from 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Wassail and cookies will be served before and after the carols, which start at 3 p.m. and are directed by Danny Stover. The Five Mile Chapel is located on Five Mile Road,

between Ayers Road and Burney Lane. Contact Don Hogue with questions,

Carol program

The McNicholas High School Choirs will present “Lessons and Carols” 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Guardian Angels Parish, 6531 Beechmont Ave.



late September by the city of Cincinnati to move the women’s products firm Downtown from Loveland. “This is just a formulaic deal that everyone gets,” Finney said. “I never even filled out an application or anything like that.” It’s too early to predict how big the new firm will be or how much in payroll it will generate, Finney said, adding that only eight or nine workers have committed to work there. “I’m not even sure I will take it,” Finney said. However, on Dec. 4, Finney said he would take it. “I did, however, request that the township grant me that credit, and I presently do intend to accept it if offered,” Finney said. “I am sorry for saying otherwise. I want to be sure my actions and position are clear in this regard.”



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by Finney, the firm would get back 10 percent of the taxes paid for the length of the lease. If those taxes paid by the firm exceed $5 million, the rebate kicks up to 15 percent. That resolution is scheduled to be voted upon by Union Township trustees on Dec. 12. The deal would last 42 months starting Jan. 1, the length of Finney’s lease in Ivy Pointe. Union Township attorney Larry Barbiere declined to comment on the deal. Union Township Director of Planning and Zoning Cory Wright also declined to comment, deferring all questions to township Administrator Ken Geis, who did not return repeated calls and email messages seeking comment. Finney and COAST have been openly critical of tax incentives for businesses – including the $700,000 tax credit granted to Pure Romance in

This year’s program will be themed around the idea of “Light and Darkness,” using choral music, scripture, lighting, movement and sacred readings to tell the story of Christ’s birth and the history of salvation. Admission is free.

Holiday concerts

The Forest Hills Local

School District has a number of holiday events planned for the season. These events include: » Nagel Middle School Orchestra Concert: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Turpin High School Auditorium. » Nagel Middle School Band Concerts: 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19.



CLERMONT COUNTY BOARD OF DD Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities 2012 Annual Report and Outcomes Management Summary Executive Summary – Sharon Woodrow, Superintendent As we review the accomplishments and challenges of 2012, it is apparent that in spite of the fiscal challenges we all have faced, many individuals and their families were supported by the Clermont County Board of DD with services that they needed. Our Board’s commitment to finding ways to fund immediate needs for as many people as possible resulted in over 400 individuals receiving services from our various waiting lists. I am really proud of that and of our staff who have worked so diligently to make that happen. 2012 introduced a new funding stream to our board. The Self Empowering Life Funding (SELF) Waiver, which allows individuals to direct what services are funded to make their lives better and safer, was introduced by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and Clermont DD requested 40 of them to be spread out over 2012 and 2013. It is our belief that individuals and families should be the “driver” of their services and work in partnership with us on a budget to direct the most efficient and effective services and supports. Another very exciting development in 2012 was the culmination of planning between our Board, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services for two houses which will allow individuals from the Southwest Ohio Developmental Center to move into the community with the appropriate supports they need to be successful. For several years, there has been a commitment to reduce the size of institutions in Ohio, and we are proud to have been part of a major project which supports that commitment. This has been a thoughtful and planful venture, and we are looking forward to its first full year in 2013. In July of 2012, Governor Kasich signed the Employment First Initiative which directs our system to make employment for individuals with disabilities a priority. Clermont DD has long supported this concept and in 2012 we ramped up current services by expanding a major project which targets young people with disabilities still in high school. This project is also a partnership – between county boards of DD, and the Rehabilitation Services Commission. It is everyone’s hope that by making employment a priority, fewer individuals with disabilities will have to rely on facilitybased services. And, these individuals will become tax paying citizens – fully included in their communities. Exciting stuff! As you read through this report, I hope that you will see the results of the dedication and strategic planning that our Board and staff

Wildey School is a special education option on the continuum of services, addressing intensive medical/physical needs, multiple disabilities, significant behaviors, and Autism Spectrum Disorders in a public separate facility for students age 6 through 22. School Age enrollment decreased by 6% between September, 2011 and September, 2012. 7 students graduated in May, 2012, and 5 new students enrolled in August, 2012. Classrooms had an average of 6 students per class; each class had an instructor and instructor assistant; 18 students required additional assistance of an educational aide, and 3 students required a personal nurse which was provided by the home district. All 3rd-8th grade students are required to take the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) and 10th grade students are required to take the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). 14 students participated in the OAT (grades 3-8). Scores range from Advanced, Accelerated, Proficient and Basic. All grades were assessed in Reading and Math. Grades 5 and 8 were also assessed in Science. No Social Studies in 2012. 7 students participated in the OGT. (10th grade). Scores ranged from Advanced, Accelerated, Proficient, and Basic. All Indicator 16 compliance deadlines were met by completing 100% of all IEP’s and Evaluation Team Reports (ETR) on time. 14 ETR meetings were held during the 2011-2012 school year. Additional School Age statistics in 2012: Received a $1,000 grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation Learning Links program titled “Let’s Be Interactive.” Financial support from the Wildey PTO included a gazebo with a swing and benches for the courtyard; supporting several events that increased family engagement (Grandparents Day and the Christmas Carnival); donated funds for students to attend field trips; the purchase of classroom materials and pool equipment. Major menu changes occurred at the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year to be in compliance with the new rules for a healthy lunch as part of the National School Lunch Program. The School Lunch Program was reviewed in December, 2012; a positive review was received. Over 80% of families now receive information from the email list. The School Age website page was redesigned in 2012. Wildey provided training/internship opportunities for many college students from Xavier and the UC to complete observations for special education classes and education internships. The “Wild Dog Treat” business sold dog treats in the community and at the Milford Craft Show (December); bird feeders were added to the craft booth in 2012. Students participated

have worked so hard to accomplish. And, most important, I hope you can see how the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities have been supported - educationally, socially, and vocationally.

in Special Olympics—swimming, bowling, basketball, track, and field events. One student attended the State Special Olympics Games in Columbus. Community activities in 2012: transition classrooms spent one day a week in the community to develop transitional skills; students volunteered at Matthew 25: Ministries; field trips included a day at the Brown County Fair, Fishing with a Friend at the Southern Ohio Coonhunters Club, Newport Aquarium, and a symphony performance at Music Hall. We used SurveyMonkey in the fall for our satisfaction survey this year; paper surveys were sent to families not on our email list. Survey results recap: 95% attended IEP meetings in person or by phone; 100% felt the IEP team listened to concerns and answered questions; 80% felt their child’s needs are being prioritized in the IEP; 95% rated communication as excellent.


Infants, Toddlers, and their Families (Early Childhood Services) Clermont DD’s Early Childhood Services strive to provide the best services for children, ages birth to three, and their families. This department includes Early Intervention, Help Me Grow, and the Regional Infant Hearing Program. Early Intervention (EI) includes specialized services for children under the age of three with a developmental delay, disability or a diagnosed medical or physical condition. Help Me Grow (HMG) is the system for the coordination and implementation of services for children birth to three. The HMG Program received an increase of 22% referrals over last year. The Home Visitation component of HMG was absorbed by the Ohio Department of Health, and they contract directly with local providers thus bypassing DD altogether. Clermont HMG Central Intake continues to receive all referrals for both programs, but only provides services for children who qualify for Part C funding. Referrals for Home Visitation go directly to the local providers. The Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP) provides services for children birth to three identified with hearing loss and their families. RIHP received several hundred referrals and served an average of 55 children/families per month. This enrollment number has remained the same for several years. The Early Childhood oversight and monitoring agencies include the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Local Family and Children First Council Opportunities for families/ caregivers to provide feedback in 2012 included: ongoing phone surveys to families by Families Connected; exit surveys by phone conducted by Families Connected; quarterly roundtable discussions by Families Connected; anecdotal feedback from families on a regular basis as a part of routine service delivery; a specialized, targeted survey in 2012 by the Ohio Department of Health; ongoing administrative review of requests made by families for changes in services as well as celebrations shared by families throughout the calendar year; phone survey conducted by the Director of Early Childhood Services. In a sample of 82 phone attempts by Families Connected from Jan.-Oct., only 29 actual contacts were made. The most successful feedback quantitatively from families/caregivers occurs during direct visits with families as a part of ongoing services. During the Early Childhood Director’s phone survey to parents and caregivers in the fall: 98% were totally satisfied with services; parents mentioned how much they love the respite program; parents were very positive/ grateful for Early Childhood Services. The monitoring of each child’s outcomes on their Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) and their developmental progress is also utilized as a source of input to this program. IFSP goals are tallied/tracked to insure that goals and services are well matched. Individuals served by Early Childhood Services: Early Intervention—465; Waiting List—0; Active Enrollees as of December 31, 2012—215. Children, Teens, and Young Adults (School Age Services) The Thomas A. Wildey School serves students residing in Batavia, Bethel, Blanchester, Clermont Northeastern, Felicity, Goshen, Milford, New Richmond, West Clermont, Western Brown, and Williamsburg school districts. As of December, 2012, the Wildey School served 46 students. The Thomas A.

Adults in the Workplace (Adult Services Program) The Adult Services Department is Clermont DD’s largest division with traditional workshops, community employment, leisure activities, and retirement programs. In 2012: an exercise area was added at the Grissom Center; we expanded Employment First Initiatives; we continued to redefine the mission of current enclave sites to make them more transitional to community employment; we expanded the number of smaller work and activity areas to serve individuals that may require this due to their sensitivity to noise or over stimulating environments; the Bridges to Transition Project offered the opportunity to provide schoolto-work transition to students aged 14-22. In 2012, the department was able to serve over 20 students by providing Job Seeking Skills Training in their schools and paid work experiences throughout the school year and in the summer; students enrolled in Bridges worked onsite at Coney Island Amusement Park, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Grants Farm, the Clermont County Public Library (Owensville Branch), and Clermont YMCA. The Donald A. Collins Center underwent renovation. Individuals at the Wildey Center participated in recreation and leisure programming in 2012. Small group outings in the community took place, including the exploration of service projects; the Next Chapter Book Club continued in the community; a music sensory room was completed in the Wildey Adult Wing; Supported Employment Enclaves included work experiences in housekeeping, production, document scanning preparation, and lawn crews; Community Employment Services placed 23 individuals in community jobs and 65 people in community work assessments. Total billing to the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation was $228,631.25; there was no waiting list for Community Employment; several employers from the community served as volunteers on the Clermont DD Business Advisory Council; Clermont DD recognized Marty Ward as Business Associate of the Year at the October Clermont Chamber Monthly Luncheon. Adult Services continues to use various means to obtain feedback regarding the programs offered and their quality. This is done through the Individual Planning process, satisfaction surveys and also through the use of Client Council meetings. In addition to soliciting feedback from the individuals served, feedback was also obtained from families, guardians, providers and other stakeholders. In 2012, a volunteer contacted individuals, family members, guardians and providers to conduct satisfaction surveys: 99% of those surveyed were happy with being made aware of the day program options available; 98% or better were happy with overall building upkeep, program accessibility, and building comfort; 9% of respondents were “somewhat dissatisfied” with the safety in the programs. Comments in this

section shared concerns about building security (buildings being locked to not allow visitors free access). There were also suggestions to install cameras in the programs, both in the buildings and on buses; 95% were satisfied (with the majority being very satisfied) with the direct staff’s interactions with individuals. These included questions about their friendliness, treating individuals with dignity and respect, being trained well, and providing enough support when needed; 98% of respondents were satisfied with their program managers. These questions focused on program manager availability, knowledge, and follow through. The biggest concern shared was about program manager turnover; the lowest total response in the survey was an 86% satisfaction rate with the availability of work in the program; there were large increases from surveys past in overall satisfaction with the quality of the activity programs offered (95% satisfaction rate). Comments included that individuals were much happier with the types of activities they had to choose from and the types of community outings they had a chance to participate in. The swim program continued to be very popular with many comments about how nice it was to have that option available to individuals; overall satisfaction with transportation services was 96%. Satisfaction results were much higher in the area of transportation than in the past. In 2012 there was an uptick in the amount and variety of work from our different contracted partners. Additionally, there was expansion in the number of individuals going to the Bryan Enclave due to increased demand at that location. Locked doors were installed at the Donald A. Collins Center and Grissom Center with a security procedure for allowing visitors to enter, but not freely. Community Supports In 2012, the Community Support Services Department (CSS) embraced the mission of creating the best possible and most meaningful life experience for all the individuals we plan for and support through County Board services. The CSS Department encompasses service and support administration and work related to home and community based waivers, supported living, the adult services individual budget option, self-determination, behavior support, alternative options, crisis intervention, intake and eligibility, provider support, and provider compliance. Also managed and monitored by CSS is oversight of contracts including those for Providers of Supported Living and Individual Budgets, provision of in-home behavior support (CITE), Family Support Services (SWO COG), capital housing (CCAN), guardianship (Personal Guardianship Services) and respite coordination. We reorganized the Community Support Services Department, adding positions and reallocating duties to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The Intake and Eligibility Specialist represented Clermont DD as a Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) Interviewer in addition to the duties of her job description. She partnered with nine other interviewers in the Southwest/West Central Ohio ten-county region to assess individuals selected and willing to participate in the SIS Project. The target group to be assessed includes IO Waiver recipients who have billed annual costs, excluding day services, of $130,000 or more and individuals receiving services in a State Developmental Center. We utilized technology to a much higher degree. Staff training increased. CSS learned how to implement the Self Empowered Life Funding (SELF) Waiver and the Transitional Waiver (TDD) within the mandated guidelines. The demand for specialized services was greater and exceeded the funds available to continue to offer funding for everyone on existing waiting lists. 358 family members who received funding from Family Support Services. Prioritization of funding was limited by available funds to a broad base of families with a maximum annual amount of $1,000. Alternative Options was fully implemented in 2012. The new funding system derived from asking people what they need NOW besides being placed on a waiting list for a Waiver or Supported Living. In March, we began authorizing designated alternative options funding for children’s summer camp programs. We made contact with 77 families who were on the camp waiting list, offering local tax dollars to provide a camping opportunity designed with their child’s interest and support needs in mind. In April, we began tackling the Waiting List for other services under the Alternative Option Funding categories. This included respite, after-school and specialized summer care, transportation, environmental modification and “other.” Staff participated in training on February 1 about providing services to individuals who are victims of domestic violence & sexual assault. On May 21, our Provider Meeting featured the Prevention Education Coordinator for The YWCA Eastern Area, who presented training on “Sexual Assault: Responsive Service to Survivors with Disabilities.” Providers participated in an ongoing curriculum development and facilitation of groups of individuals with disabilities to provide education and information on rights and responses. A presentation to individuals with disabilities was hosted at the May 25 People In Action (PIA) Meeting on rights and responses. A YWCA trainer along with PIA members orchestrated the first in a series of training. PIA officers planned a SELF ADVOCACY one-day conference on November 30 that included sessions on Music Therapy, Healthy Cooking, Speaking Up, and Learning about Voting. A Volunteer Mentoring Program was designed in partnership with local colleges to use student interns as volunteers for Clermont DD. In exchange for course credit, the students were linked to children with developmental disabilities who would benefit from a mentor. Clermont DD participated in the Ohio Telemedicine Project for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and developmental disabilities needing ongoing psychiatric services but challenged to receive it due to limited resources for this service in our county; 4 individuals are currently participating. We continue our contract with the Resident Home Corporation for CITE (Community Integrated Training and Education) services to provide in-home behavior support and give training to assist families with effective techniques. 24 families received consultation from CITE in 2012. Community Support Services worked with Lifepoint Solutions to set up a Dialectical Behavior Therapy group at Clermont DD. Final selection and demographics were finalized in late 2012 for weekly individual and group sessions that begin in January, 2013. We continued to collaborate respite efforts and share the Gift of Time Respite concept with other county boards. Other projects included working to implement the Sanctuary Model, discussions with DODD regarding the challenges of serving young people with multiple diagnoses, histories of trauma, and a complexity of issues that require specialized service delivery and support. The Waiting List report of 12/31/12 indicates there are 692 unduplicated requests for either a waiver or supported living. Feedback from individuals, families, and providers continues to be very important to Clermont DD and the Community Support Service Division. 399 surveys sent out with 103 responses, a 25% return rate which was an excellent response. There was a satisfaction rate of 99%.

Community Partnership and Awareness The Communications and Community Relations Department has four main areas that serve as a pipeline between Clermont DD and the community: media relations, volunteer coordination, community activities, and fundraisers. Clermont DD staff served the community by being a Board member on the Partnership for Mental Health Board, participating in community committees and groups including the Batavia Rotary, Southwestern Ohio COG public relations group, Social Marketing Committee for FAST TRAC, the Clermont Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s LEAD Clermont Advisory Committee, the Clermont County Township Association, and the Ohio Valley Long Term Recovery Committee. Dancing with the Stars Extravaganza for Respite was held on March 9 at the Holiday Inn Eastgate with Guy and Kristy Guckenberger winning the Mirror Ball Trophy. School groups volunteered in 2012 including the Miami Valley Christian Academy spring carnival on April 18; St. Louis Catholic School 8th graders participated in craft projects for the Clermont County FAST TRAC “My Feelings Are A Work of Art” Projects on May 9; 2 students from Grant Career Center’s Allied Health Program; the Teacher Academy from Grant participated in Disability Awareness Curriculum in April. An activity survey was sent to 615 individuals who were eligible to participate in the Community Activity Program. 44 surveys were completed for a 7% return rate; 21 were interested in Wii Tournaments; 20 would like to volunteer in the community; 25 would like to see more physical education/open gym classes; 27 were interested in learning a new skill; 30 were interested in a Spring Bowling League, in addition to the Fall League that is already on our regular schedule. The UC Community Health Nursing Department sent four student nurses for clinicals April-June, and September-December. On May 15, Gorman Heritage Farms unveiled their new accessible wagon at a Wildey ceremony with over 100 people in attendance. Clermont DD presented info to Crisis Intervention Team Training May 3 and September 12; this was law enforcement training. The Clermont Chamber of Commerce hosted a Morning Mixer at the Wildey Center on May 24 with over 50 chamber members in attendance. Clermont DD hosted an informational booth at the Clermont Fair and made announcements at the Paging Booth as well. We distributed 2,000 cookbooks, over 1,000 ink pens, and at least 2,000 fans. Clermont DD partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Clermont County Game Warden, Clermont DD Empowers Me Board, the Clermont County Juvenile Probation Department and Southern Ohio Coonhunters Association to present “Fishing with a Friend” on October 5; almost 200 people participated from the workshops and school age programs. Our agency participated in many outreach expos throughout the year: Clermont Chamber Business Expo in April, Workforce One’s Youth Career Fair at UC Clermont College in April, Summer and Other Adventures Expo at Tri-County Mall in February, and Felicity “Cool Tools for School” back-toschool festival in August. A free Breast Cancer Awareness Walk was held in October at the Wildey Center. Frankie Hughart and Linda Eppler from Clermont Senior Services judged the annual Halloween Costume Contest at the Grissom Building on October 31. Clermont DD’s Recognition Dinner on November 1 recognized volunteers, providers, Supported Living Council Members, Board Members, and other community members who made a difference in our lives in 2012. On November 7, the Community Relations Department hosted over 80 people at Pattison Park Lodge for the annual Fall Bowling League Awards. 141 surveys were sent via to community stakeholders including county leaders, village/township representatives, and board members. 30 surveys were returned, for a return rate of 21%. The survey asked 7 questions: 1. Clermont DD offers several services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Please check all services you are familiar with in the list below: 76.7% Early Childhood; 93.3% School Age; 86.7% Adult Services; 73.3% Community Employment Services; 56.7% Self-Advocacy; 2. Do you feel we are fulfilling our mission for individuals and families in Clermont County? 66.7% Above and beyond; 30.0% To the best of ability; 3.3% Agency could better fulfill its mission; 3. If you knew someone was in need of services, would you know how to make a referral to our agency? 93.3% Yes; 6.7% No; 4. How would you like to receive information about our agency? 17.9% Post Office Mail; 82.1% Email; 25.0%Social Media; 21.4% Via postings on Website; 5. Our newsletter will be going to an every-other-month schedule in 2013. What information would you like to see provided within it? 82.1 % Activity Information; 42.9% Referral; Information; 82.1% Photos of Events/ Services; 64.3 % Detailed Program/Service Information; 6. Clermont DD holds several events each year. What events would you like to see continue in 2013? 85.2% Dancing with the Stars; 77.8% Car Show; 25.9% Night with Sinatra Levy Event; 37.0% Motorcycle Ride; 59.3% 5K for the DD Levy. 7. Overall, how do you feel about the value and quality of Clermont DD Services? (1 = very satisfied, 5 = least satisfied). 1 = 70%; 2 = 3.3%; 3 – 16.7%; 4 – 3.3%; 5 = 6.7%. Investigations The Investigative Unit for the Clermont County Board of DD manages information for all DD service providers; including County Boardoperated programs and services, involving significant incidents that pose a risk to the health and safety of individuals with DD. This information is generated through the Major Unusual Incident (MUI) process. The Ohio Department of DD defines certain types of occurrences as Major Unusual Incidents, or incidents that have the potential to pose a significant risk to the health and safety of the individuals we serve. 2012 saw an increase in the rate of MUI reporting of about 13.2% over 2011. Hospitalization remains the most frequently reported incident, accounting for an average of 27% of all Major Unusual Incidents. Reporting numbers across all categories are very similar in nature to 2011. Additionally, ICFMR facilities continue to report one of the highest percentages of Major Unusual Incidents, accounting for 27% of the incidents filed. Licensed waiver facilities accounted for 16% of reports, and the remainder from workshops and other home and community-based services. Clermont DD conducts a quarterly review of all MUIs occurring within the program and services it operates. The County Board of DD additionally monitors and reviews the incidents occurring in services provided by individual service contractors. The County Board monitors Total MUIs filed and assesses quarterly reviews conducted by private agency providers as well. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities conducts an annual compliance review of the incident reporting process. Safety and Emergency Preparedness When an EF-3 tornado hit southern Clermont County on March 2, 2012, Clermont DD was immediately called upon to organize volunteers. Clermont DD acts as the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) in a disaster situation; this is

our way of giving back to the community which, in turn, keeps an accurate record of people who are volunteering in each disaster zone. Just 3 hours after the tornado occurred, Clermont DD was called to action. This entailed answering a cell phone 12-14 hours each day in the beginning and later registering those callers as volunteers. Clermont DD’s Wildey Center acted as the VRC from March 3-6, where staff registered citizens to volunteer in three donation centers across the county. A Clermont DD van became the VRC on March 7, opening in the Zimmer Power Plant parking lot to register volunteers for Moscow (the village that took the most-direct hit), Tate, Franklin, and Monroe Townships. Clermont DD staff operated at this location until Sunday, March 11, when volunteers were no longer needed. Over 1,100 volunteers were registered. We continued to assist with projects through the Ohio Valley Long Term Recovery Committee and served on the Citizen Corps Council.

Business Operations The Business Operations Department provides several key functions to the Agency: fiscal operations, information technology, risk management and safety, human resources, administrative quality and compliance, facilities management, and transportation management. These functions are essential to assist the Agency in accomplishing its mission. Fiscal Operations - Maintaining the financial stability of the Agency is attributed to adhering to budgets, analyzing financial forecasts, longterm planning including a capital improvement plan and budget, finding ways to be more efficient and developing new revenue sources. To monitor the budget, the Director of Business Operations presented to the Board monthly financial statements to include a fund balance report, budget to actual statements and a recap of monthly expenses. Additionally, the Board received quarterly a five-year forecast to assist the Board in making long-term operations and service decisions. In summary the Agency operated within budget and is good standing moving forward into 2013. Information Technology - In 2012 the IT department purchased 2 new servers and replaced all outdated laptops and desktop computers. We also purchased and implemented Intellinetics document imaging software, to transition from a paper to an electronic environment. Senior Administration reviewed and updated the agency’s records retention schedules. Risk Management and Safety - There were no major changes to the Risk Management Plan in 2012. Human Resources - The County Commissioners made changes to the health insurance benefits slated for 2013, and the Assistant Director participated in many meetings to provide input and represent our employees. The web-based training program was continued in 2012 and expanded to include additional classes based on specific needs and requests from departments. We participated in union negotiations meetings, which were successfully completed by the end of the year with a new contract agreed upon for 2013 through the end of 2015. Administrative Quality and Compliance - We continued to monitor operations throughout the agency to ensure that we remain in compliance with all of our accrediting bodies and the many rules and regulations. We not only reviewed our annual CARF Conformance to Quality, but prepared for our Accreditation Survey by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (ODODD). We ended 2012 with anticipation that we had everything in place for a successful DODD Accreditation survey in January, 2013, at which time we achieved the maximum award. Facilities Management - In August 2012, the Business Operations Department reorganized internally and the Facilities Coordinator began reporting directly to the Director of Business Operations. Transportation Management We continued our contract with First Transit for Adult Services transportation and vehicle maintenance after we went out for bid again in early 2012. Three vans were purchased for the Adult Services fleet. 2012 Revenue – $17,973,826 Breakdown: Adult that includes Adult Services, Employment Services, Enclaves, Individual Budgets, Self Determination: $9,633,133 (54%); Community Services includes Supported Living, Family Resource Services, I/O and Level One, Room and Board, Non-Waiver Community Srvc - $4,762,108 (27); Service and Support

includes Case Management, Service and Support Admin., Staff involved in Community Services, Investigations: $2,060,250 (11%); Transportation for Adult Services: $1,518,335 (8%). 2012 Expenses - $18,266,030 Breakdown (descriptions same as above): Adult: $7,342,012 (40%); Community Services: $2,984,169 (16%); Early Intervention includes Early Intervention, Regional Infant Hearing Program, and Help Me Grow: $2,140,513; Service and Support: $2,065,137 (11%); School Age (Wildey School): $2,016,202 (11%); Transportation - $1,717,996 (10%). Fundraisers include: Dancing with the Stars - $5,232; Flying Pig Marathon - $850; 5K for the Levy - $1,000; Car Show - $1,800; Quaker Steak and Lube Bike Nights - $1,075. Strategic Partners in 2012 included the Regional Autism Advisory Council, Clermont DD Empowers Me Board, the Business Advisory Council, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, Inc, the

2040 US HIGHWAY 50 • BATAVIA, OH 45103 Southwestern Ohio Council of Government, and Clermont FAST TRAC. Goals and Objects in 2012 Early Childhood Services: EI Staff will reflect effective and efficient evidence based on practices using iPads, video cameras, and laptops – Achieved; All Part C eligible children will have a dedicated HMG Service Coordinator – Achieved; EI Staff will reflect effective evidenced based practices based on new State Rule and will conduct regular team meetings – Achieved; Families will respond that the ones who participated in small groups benefited from the interactions between families– Achieved. Families will be able to access respite services at no cost to them 2-3 days per month. The program can accommodate 10-12 children per session – Achieved; Will ensure that the EI department will work with the regional ADEP

program to provide public awareness, activities, increase local medical involvement and improve communication with families – Achieved; EI staff will participate in trainings specific to personal safety and the safety of children – Achieved; EI Dept. will work collaboratively with other agencies in the county to expand mental health resources and accessibility to families who children are Part C – Partially Met. School Age Services: Classrooms will participate in at least one community out per month- Achieved; Review and update LPDC handbook and forms and train all staff (w/ODE licenses) on procedures – Achieved; Evaluate data collection systems and increase efficiency in reporting meaningful data – Goal not met, but is ongoing; All instructors will participate in the “Learning Community” that will focus on using technology in the classroom – Achieved; Clermont DD website will have a training page – Achieved. Adult Services: AS will expand its current offerings of physical activities for individuals served – Achieved; AS will expand upon its current Employment First Initiative to include quarterly work groups – Goal not met but 2 people were placed and 6 went through community based work assessments; AS will revisit and redefine the mission of its current Supported Work Crew opportunities – Goal in progress. AS will continue its goal from 2011 to develop smaller work and activity areas to serve individuals that may require these areas due to their sensitivity to noise and/or over stimulating areas – Achieved; AS will seek ways to involve individuals more directly in gathering satisfaction information from peers – Goal not met; AS will conduct information sessions and/or disseminate information to families, guardians, providers that would help them with any questions they have about community employment – Goal not met; AS will increase the quality of the non-work activity programs offered –Achieved. AS will work with Clermont Sheltered Work Services to develop new strategies for marketing for the procurement of work – Achieved. Community Support Services – Maintain funding of the Family Support Services (FSS) Program to enable families to access funding assistance for needed services/items: total families served = 343 15 families had multiple children eligible for FSS Total dollars expended = $147,530; Promote the mission of providing eligible individuals with what they need, when they need it – After-school summer care = 36, Camp = 59, Respite = 47, Transportation = 61, Environmental Mod = 30, Therapy = 28, Other = 46, Total = 307; Electronic files and communications will be utilized to a higher degree – Achieved; Continue contractual agreements and shared funding opportunities to provide intensive and stabilizing services to children and adults with critical needs – Achieved; Survey tools will be routinely utilized to gather input to improve services – Achieved; Enroll additional consumers from Waiting Lists – 20 new SELF waivers were given, 35 new Level 1 waivers were given, 20 additional individuals received Adult Individual Budgets, 7 individuals from the Supported Living waiting list began receiving services. Communications and Community Relations – Raise at least $30,000 for the Gift of Time Respite Program by obtaining sponsors and selling tickets for Dancing with the Stars event – 33% achieved, raising $8,957 through 3 separate fundraisers. Create a “young professionals” group that will engage in social activities – Achieved; Build awareness in Clermont County about the DD program and those who receive services – Achieved; Determine new activities and satisfaction with current activities through activity survey – Achieved. Investigations – Meeting applicable timelines – 87 of 90%achieved; Timely completion of review and investigation – 88 of 90% achieved; Monitor of provider review systems – 77 of 80% achieved; Review data to assess individual and system trends/patters – 100% achieved; Coordinate county-wide review process – 77 of 80% achieved; Raise awareness of issues affecting health and safety of individuals, provide information, support, and training, and monitor participation in training opportunities – Achieved; Effecting a positive outcome for individuals receiving services – 56 of 75% achieved; Coordinate/participate in Protection From Harm and ETF to address identified risks to individuals – Achieved. Business Operations – Make access to and navigation of our buildings more accessible – Partially achieved and ongoing; Provide updated and functional computers – Achieved; Mitigate technology risk – Achieved; Analyze past, present, and future storage of records, files, and the Wildey Warehouse document storage system – Partially achieved and ongoing; Develop a capital improvement plan and a budget so that funds are available to maintain and repair facilities when major needs arise – Achieved. An expanded version of this entire report can be found at



New stadium proposal on track

Seasons Greetings from Adams County Cancer Center

By Jeanne Houck

Prakash B. Patel, MD THE LEADER IN CANCER CARE Introducing the Elektra Hexapod Evo RT System

NEWTOWN — Miami Valley Christian Academy’s proposal to build a football stadium and other sports amenities at Short Park is a work in progress, said Newtown Village Councilman Chuck Shortafter a Dec. 2 council work session. Mayor Curt Cosby and other Village Council members promised academy officials after a Nov. 13 meeting that if council wants to explore the possibility of the academy’s proposed improvements, Newtown would by year’s end hammer out a position paper outlining what



terms the school must meet. The good news for Miami Valley Christian Academy, which is in Newtown, is that village council did not reject the proposal out of hand at its work session Dec. 2. Issues that concern Newtown Village Council include who would be responsible for maintenance and insurance costs for any improvements at

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the 16-acre park at 3623 Church St., which is owned by the village of Newtown, whether additional lights and noises would hurt surrounding neighborhoods, how revenue from leasing the sports amenities would be divided and the composition of a joint governing board. Village Councilman Joe Harten said after council’s Dec. 2 work session that he plans to compile ideas discussed and present a summary at the next Newtown Village Council meeting. “At that point council could authorize the solicitor to begin discussions with the school,” Harten said. If village council decides to proceed, Short said, its desires will be forwarded to Miami Valley Christian Academy officials for their thoughts and, “At some point in the future we will then get together to work on the final negotiations.” Tom Rhodenbaugh, president of Miami Valley Christian Academy’s board of directors, said at the Nov. 13 meeting with Newtown officials that the academy wants to increase its enrollment from about 350 students to 500, and that having a strong sports program will help reach that goal. The school at 6830 School St. wants to build a football stadium because it doesn’t have one and has to play its “home” games at Turpin High School and Anderson High School. The academy is proposing to build and pay for the improvements.

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A6 â&#x20AC;˘ FOREST HILLS JOURNAL â&#x20AC;˘ DECEMBER 11, 2013



Editor: Eric Spangler,, 576-8251


Maggie Puttman, Henry Forte, Cecilia Grisi and Adelyne Chu, friends from the Village Preschool, have fun on a wagon while playing at Shaw Farms.


farmers T

he Village Preschool 3-year-old classes recently visited Shaw Farms, where they rode on a tractor-drawn hayride, learned how pumpkins are grown, pretended to be pumpkin farmers and enjoyed sunshine, animals and playgrounds before picking out a pumpkin to take home.

Lucy Waleskowski, a student from the Village Preschool, enjoys watching the farm animals at Shaw Farm.

Village Preschool students hunt for buried farm treasures in the corn dig during a recent trip to Shaw Farms. Lucy Burson, a student at the Village Preschool, gets a hug from a giant pumpkin statue at Shaw Farms.

Maggie Puttman and Samantha Reineke, both students at the Village Preschool, discuss things that are found on a farm during a recent trip to Shaw Farms.



Editor: Melanie Laughman,, 513-248-7573


Redskins, Rockets, Spartans return state swimmers By Mark D. Motz and Scott Springer

Swimmers and divers have hit the water. Teams in the Forest Hills Journal coverage area hope to make a splash come tournament time in February.

The Rockets set records last year and second-year head coach Tessa Lengerich hopes for more of the same this season. The records came from the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams that qualified for district competition, as did the Rocket medley relay. Leading the way for the girls, sophomore Shelby Miller qualified for state in the 500 free as a freshman while dropping 30 seconds from her previous personal best in at the district meet. Five seniors also return among the 13 girls on the squad, bringing solid experience and consistency. They include Ashley Dundon in all strokes, Kristen Rehl in the freestyle sprints, Lillie Motz in the 200 free and

PRESS PREPS HIGHLIGHTS By Mark D. Motz and Scott Springer

Boys basketball

» Miami Valley Christian Academy defeated Clermont Northeastern 63-61 on Dec. 2 as Jamie Carson had 33 points. » Walnut Hills beat Sycamore 73-66 on Dec. 7. Senior Andrew Finley had 23 points.

Girls basketball

» McNicholas beat Loveland 47-44 Dec. 2 to improve to 2-2 on the season. » Turpin beat Kings 4335 Dec. 4. Kristin Mills had 12 points to lead the Spartans, who improved to 1-2 with the win. » Miami Valley Christian Academy downed Riverview East 56-9 on Dec. 3 as Michelle Lee had 23 points. » Walnut Hills defeated Anderson 55-38 on Dec. 4. Sophomore Khira Burton had 18 points.





All three boys relays scored for the Redskins at least season’s state met. Anderson also sent a girl to Canton individually last year. Head coach Ed Bachman looks for bigger and better things this year. “To get your kids to swim their fastest times at the end of the season, that’s kind of the ultimate in coaching,” Bachman said. “From the very first day we focus on what we can do on the district and state level. The bar is set pretty high from last year for these kids.” Especially for sophomore Marissa Martin, the state qualifier last year, who swims the 200 and 500 freestyle. Senior Cara Wethington is a possible state qualifier in the butterfly and individual medley. Keep an eye on freshman Julia Baldasare in the fly and 50 free, as well as swimming on the medley relay. On the boys’ side, sophomore Hassler Carroll took ninth in the state 500 free last season. He also swims the 200 and Bachman will put him in the IM this season. Also back are seniors Korey Aukerman – a state relay qualifier – and Grant Wethington – Cara’s twin brother – who is returning from back surgery in the spring. Sophomore Patrick Johnson is a returning district qualifier in the sprints and breaststroke, while freshman Nicholas Haller adds some depth in the breaststroke and freestyle. The ‘Skins have seven divers out under coach Debbie Gallagher. Junior Evan Lupin set the school record last season and just missed qualifying for the state meet. Senior Josh Roberts took third in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference dive meet last season. Sophomore Kent Johnson shows promise, as does freshman Jennifer Dunn for the girls. The divers compete compete in a dive-only meet Dec.14 at the University of Cincinnati pitting some of the top squads from Ohio and Kentucky. The full squad has home meets Dec. 18 against Milford and La Salle and McAuley Jan. 14. Anderson hosts the ECC league championship meet Jan. 25.


Anderson High School sophomore Hassler Carroll returns to the Redskins swim team after qualifying for the state meet as a freshman. MARK D. MOTZ/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Anderson High School diver Evan Lupin breaks the surface during a Dec. 4 practice. The junior set a school record for scoring last season and narrowly missed qualifying for the state meet. MARK D. MOTZ/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

butterfly, sprinter Karina Cabrera and Sarah Faust, who did not swim as a junior. Junior Kate Leys along with freshmen Skye Lewis and Molly Jordan should contribute additional depth and flexibility. “I have high excitement going into the season that we can play with our lineup and use our versatility to put people in good places,” Lengerich said. Lengerich has only two boys out for the team - senior Mitch Bloemer (50 free, back and breaststroke) and sophomore Rick Riede (100 free, IM). “Mitch has set some ambitious goals for himself, especially in the 50,” she said. “And Rick dropped time in every event, every meet last season. He joined a summer team and he’s that much better already this year.” Dave Wolkoff coaches the McNick divers, including senior

twins Abbie and Maddie Mitchell, both of whom have qualified for state competition. Junior Salvatore Marino dives for the boys. McNick competed in the Mason Invitational Dec. 7 and hosts Clark Montessori and Colerain for a tri-meet Dec. 21 at the M.E. Lyons YMCA.


The Spartans have 81 swimmers – including 55 girls and 26 boys - in the program this season, as head coach Rene Contino looks forward to a successful year. “With so many kids, we have to divide things up a little bit,” Contino said. “We have a varsity, a JV Gold an a JV Maroon. It’s a good problem to have to get everybody into the pool and ready to compete to their best ability.” Three state qualifiers return

for the Turpin varsity girls, led by senior Faye Spellman in the 200 and 500 freestyle, as well as the individual medley. Senior Izzy King is a freestyle sprinter and swims the relays. Junior Stephanie Williams qualified in the 500 free and on relays. “We have a strong freshman class who will help a lot,” Contino said. “It’s a matter of getting them acclimated and seeing what their strengths are.” On the boys’ side, state qualifier senior Drew Hamilton (500 free) and junior Michael Norton (butterfly) should be the top returning performers. “The boys team I think will be a little stronger this year,” Contino said. “And I think we’ll have some more depth there, maybe a chance to get some of the guys back to state this season.” Turpin has several divers under first-year coach Kate Rodgers, including Megan Roberts, Michaela Starahs and Elisa Hallenbeck for the girls, with Jonathan Dowd and Griffin Crawley for the boys. The Spartans hosted Lakota East and West in a tri-meet Dec. 5. Other home meets include an ECC dual against Milford Jan. 9 and senior night festivities against ECC and neighborhood rival Anderson Jan. 22 “(The ECC) keeps getting stronger and stronger,” Contino said. “The competition is good. Every school has some fast swimmers who can push us.”

Walnut Hills

Eagles coach Gregory Lynch looks to make it 10 consecutive winning seasons off of Victory Parkway as he returns a 6-3 boys team and an undefeated (10-0) girls unit. Last season, Lynch shared Eastern Cincinnati Conference Girls Coach of the Year honors with Turpin’s Rene Contino. Back for the the Walnut Hills girls are seniors Lena Rose, Anna Bray and Elisa Fay; juniors Keira Hassel, Brookley Garry and Delaney French; and sophomores Melanie Cashell and Casey Becker. Hassel was ECC first team in the 100 butterfly last season and Garry was first team in 100 backstroke. Returning Walnut boys are seniors Andrew Tengen, Julian Cann and Nick Siemers; juniors Laith Barakat and Tino Bernard; and sophomores Myles and Cooper Keener. See SWIM, Page A8

Boys bowling

» Walnut Hills beat Milford by 28 pins on Dec. 2. Junior Christopher Franz led with a 415 series. The Eagles beat Milford again by 78 pins on Dec. 4 with senior Karl Schottelkotte rolling a 386 series. » McNicholas High School beat Chaminade Julienne 2,328-2,152 Dec. 2 before dropping a 2,276-2,135 decision against Badin Dec. 3 to start the season 1-1.

Girls bowling

» Anderson split with Kings, winning 1,876-1,727 on Dec. 2 and losing 1,8821,634 Dec. 3. The Redskins are 1-4 on the season. » Turpin took on Withrow Dec. 3. The Spartans got off to a slow start, but led 1,3071,139 after match play as Alise Dumford rolled a 179 in her first game. The Baker games went to Turpin for a 1,831-1,660 victory. Madison Gillespie rolled the high series of 289 as Turpin improved to 4-1. The Spartans took control of Lakota East in the second game of match play Dec. 5 and overwhelmed East in the Baker games, winning 1,942-1,743 and improving to 5-1. Alise Dumford led with a 322 series.

Catching up with College Athletes

The Community Press & Recorder, along with, would like to give readers over the holidays the ability to catch up with local high school stars doing well in college athletics. In what has become an annual readership project, parents/friends of college athletes are welcome to send a photo and brief description of their college athletes’ accomplishments over the last calendar year to Include the names of the people in the photo as they are shown, the college name and sport, parents’ names, where the athlete lives, what weekly newspaper they get at home and their accomplishments by Friday, Dec. 13. Photos will run in print Jan. 1 and be used in a photo gallery. Questions can be directed to mlaughman@



Sheriff’s office hits home run with ‘Game with a Cop’ By Tom Skeen

HAMILTON CO. — The “Game with a Cop” program is off to one heck of a start. The Bengals and Reds teamed up with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to send 12 students from Cincinnati’s Northwest Local School District, two unpaid volunteer police officers and two volunteers from the school to the Hamilton County suite at Paul Brown Stadium to watch the Bengals’ 49-9 dismantling of the New York Jets Oct. 27. Sheriff Jim Neil, along with the architect of the program, Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover, introduced the program at a Nov. 4 press conference at PBS. Reds COO Phil Castellini, Bengals director of business development Bob Bedinghaus, Northwest Local School District Superintendent Mark Farmer and Colerain High School students Destyne Watson and Maiya Harrell joined the officers at the press conference. “It was a very fun experience getting to meet the police officers,” Harrell said. “Before I was al-

Swim Continued from Page A7

Lynch starts the season in the new Walnut Hills High School pool with high tech equipment that

From left are Northwest Local School District Superintendent Mark Farmer, Colerain High School students Maiya Harrell and Destyne Watson, Cincinnati Reds COO Phil Castellini, mascot Mr. Red Legs, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover, mascot Who Dey and Bengals director of business development Bob Bedinghaus at the “Game with a Cop” press conference Nov. 4 at Paul Brown Stadium.THANKS TO THE CINCINNATI REDS COMMUNITY FUND

ways scared to talk to them, but now I know they are just people like us.” It was the first time either Harrell or Watson had been to a Bengals game. The idea stemmed from the “Shop with a Cop” program, where economically challenged children from all over the county have the opportunity to shop at a local department store with a uniformed officer around Christmas time. “It was just a very good experience all they way round and it’s very important for the sheriff and I to foster relation-

ships between the sheriff’s office and the communities in Hamilton County and I think this is one great way to do that,” Schoonover said, who spent roughly a half hour at the Oct. 27 contest along with Neil. Over the final four regular season games (and possibly a home playoff game or two) at PBS, students from Winton Woods, Deer Park, Mount Healthy and Norwood high schools will attend games in the suite. “We love having these folks down here,” Bedinghaus said. “We have an excellent working relation-

ship with the sheriff’s office and the Cincinnati Police Department and the opportunity to bring some kids down here that would otherwise not have an opportunity to come to our game, much less have an opportunity to enjoy the game from a suite, is something that we embraced right away.” When April rolls around, the “Game with a Cop” program will provide tickets for roughly 40 of the Reds’ 81 home games. “Really for us this was a no-brainer in terms of a program to get involved,” Castellini said. “… It’s

should enhance the Eagles’ program. He also has another strong incoming class to replace graduating seniors like 2013 Swimmer of the Year Zachary Fisher. “Last season, the team had great showings at

dual meets and greatly improved their ranking from the previous year’s tournaments,” Lynch said. “This year our goal is to increase the number of swimmers to represent Walnut Hills at all postseason meets.”

After hosting Kings and taking on Loveland and Milford to start December, the Walnut Hills boys host Elder Dec. 14. The same day, Walnut’s girls will be at Anderson against Mount Notre Dame and Highlands.

just one of the many things we’re doing in the

community that we’re proud to be involved with, especially with the underprivileged kids.” While the full program plans are yet to laid on paper in terms of more schools being involved, this is just the beginning for a program with a very bright future. “This is an important program to use in the sheriff’s office and it’s also important to the youth of Hamilton County,” Neil said. “… This will grow county wide, regional wide and it will involve a number of school districts as well as a number of police departments and it’s going to be a winwin for our region.”


The Guardian Angels School sixth-grade girls basketball team went undefeated and beat defending champion St. Vivian to take the city CYO title. Team members include, from left: Front, Elizabeth Homan, Maddie Kouche, Maggie Scott and Jillian Vogler; middle, Caroline Zahumensky, Hannah Sizemore, Mackenzie Burdick and Lauren Klare; and back, head coach Andy Frey and assistant coach Mark Vogler. PHOTO PROVIDED

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St. X water polo lays foundation for future seasons By Tom Skeen


Jake Westerkamp and his St. Xavier High School water polo teammates were one half away from seeing their ultimate goal come to fruition. The Bombers led St. Charles Preparatory Academy out of Columbus 8-6 at halftime of the Ohio High School state title game, but were outscored 11-5 in the second half en route to a17-13 loss Oct. 26 at Mason High School. Despite the loss, coach Mike Roberts isn’t focusing on what the Bombers didn’t accomplish; he wants everyone to know what his guys accomplished in just three years since establishing the program. “All we had this year was positives,” Roberts said. “… We beat every team in the state. We beat the team that won last year, we beat the team that won this year and that’s nothing but up for

us. This is like the first rung of the ladder.” Roberts believes if it weren’t for Westerkamp, there wouldn’t even be a ladder to climb. As a “little skinny” sophomore, Westerkamp of Loveland started the first water polo match in St. X history and has started the 90plus games since. “If he didn’t come out or chose to go to a different high school, I’m not sure we could have carried the program through some bumps in the road,” Roberts said of his senior captain. “He’s just been tremendous.” Westerkamp ended his career in style despite not bringing home a state title. He scored eight of the Bombers’ 13 goals against the Cardinals to earn himself a 2013 Ohio state AllTournament team honor. “Jake is like a coach’s dream,” Roberts said. “He’s a kid that’s not physically imposing, he’s not exceptionally strong, he’s not exceptionally fast, but he’s very aware. He plays as a good teammate. He’s

smart, he’s wily, he’s a great leader and he’ll be missed.” The Bombers (18-11-1) struggled all season long with the Cardinals going 1-4 versus the state champs. Their lone win came Oct. 6 at the Milford Invitational, knocking off the Cards 8-5. “They are a very well coached team,” Roberts said. “(St. Charles coach) Jeff Geers has been coaching a long time and he’s got a system. He’s insistent his kids play within the system; they do that and they do it well.” Three years ago St. Xavier didn’t have a water polo program, now they have three teams with 28 kids, including 14 who never touched a water polo ball prior to the beginning of the season. This year’s team includes boys from Loveland, Roselawn, Sharonville, Pleasant Ridge, Colerain Township, West Chester, Blue Ash, Middletown, Anderson Township, Hyde Park, Maineville, and Madeira. The foundation has

Members of the St. Xavier High School water polo team show off their state runners-up trophy Oct. 26 at Mason High School after losing to St. Charles Prep 17-13 in the Ohio High School state water polo title game.THANKS TO JOANNE LUTMER

been laid for those youngsters who were exposed to success and leadership early in their careers. “They have grown up playing other sports or swimming so it’s just a great mix,” Roberts said of his underclassmen. “Having them exposed to Jake Westerkamp for 100 days and a season is just going to be great for them going forward.”

St. Xavier senior Jake Westerkamp works around two St. Charles Prep defenders and puts a shot on net during the water polo state title game Oct. 26 at Mason High School. The team captain scored eight goals in the Bombers’ 17-13 loss to the Cardinals. TOM SKEEN/COMMUNITY PRESS


The Nagel Middle School seventh-grade silver volleyball team is crowned the ECC tournament champions. Nighthawks advanced through the bracket with steady play and timely serving. The team advanced to the finals by beating the previously undefeated Loveland Tigers. Making the final match even more intriguing was the fact the Nagel Blue, led by coach Niki Makin, squad had advanced to the finals as well. Both teams represented their school positively and showed each other respect throughout the match. In back, from left, are Coach Jim Rhein, Spencer Heming, Chelsea Coffey, Peyton Kennedy and Jenna Storn. In middle are Sophia Locker, Lauren Steele, Ashlee Tomlinson, Lindsay Baker and Jenna Feck. In front are Leila Alagha, Abby Leist, Josie Locker and Kerstin Ficker.

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Take a spin on the ice at Fountain Square, hop on the Holly Jolly Trolley, ride a free horse drawn carriage, and see Santa rappel down the 525 Vine building during Macy’s Downtown Dazzle on December 14.

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Join in the fight against hunger Cincinnati remains the 10th poorest city in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Carla, a Cincinnati resident who works 10-hour days, six days a week, while taking care of eight great-nieces and nephews counts on the extra help she receives from the Freestore Foodbank to care for and put food on the table for her family. “It’s a great help. It means a lot to me. It helps to stretch the rest of the food. The Freestore Foodbank means everything to me. It’s part of my survival,” she said. The holiday season is upon us, and our city must continue supporting those in need now and year-round. I am proud to live in Cincinnati and have much gratitude towards those organizations that devote their time, energy, and livelihood to help in-

dividuals and families in our city, especially the Freestore Foodbank. The poor and the struggling are our neighbors, Carla is our neighbor. People in our community must face the harsh reality of hunger and Michael T. food scarcity LaRosa Even COMMUNITY PRESS daily. those that are GUEST COLUMNIST fortunate enough to have jobs still struggle to make ends meet as the cost of food and expenses continue to increase. My family, our team members, and our guests have grown up in this community. To look at our neighborhoods – in our backyards, and see the struggles

families have to face in order to make ends meet, is disconcerting. It is our responsibility to come together to help those in need. We as a community can work as a team to fight hunger. I regularly visit our 63 pizzerias, from our Boudinot Avenue location to Price Hill to Anderson Township to Forest Park, to meet with guests and team members, to listen to their stories about their families, their interests, their successes and sometimes, their hardships. While many families who frequent our pizzerias can afford a hot meal, I have heard of challenging times when putting food on the table was a struggle for them, their families or friends. During this holiday season, LaRosa’s is once again proud to support the Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati to fight hunger right here in our own backyard.

CH@TROOM Last week’s question What is your favorite Christmas/holiday song, TV show, movie or performance? Why do you like it?

“My favorite Christmas song is a combination of ‘Peace on Earth’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ It was a duet done by a unique collaboration of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. “My favorite movie has to be ‘A Christmas Story’ as it is timeless although set in the 1940s. It is repeated every year and watched by a new generation annually. Go figure!”

NEXT QUESTION Do you think Ohio legislators should approve a bill to allow back-to-school shoppers to buy certain items free of state and local sales taxes? Why or why not? Every week we ask readers a question they can reply to via e-mail. Send your answers to with Chatroom in the subject line.

“‘Father Christmas’ by the Kinks!”

Wonderful Life’ are my two favorite Christmas classic movies, but nothing is better than singing ‘Silent Night’ at the end of our candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, everyone!”

“'The Little Drummer Boy' is a favorite because he hadn't any material thing to give to Jesus, so he played for him, giving what he could give. The pa-rumpa-pum-pum is also a great onomatopoeia"

“Albert Finney's 'Scrooge' is our favorite holiday movie. It's a musical version of "A Christmas Carol" and was made in the 1970s. It can be checked out at the local library. The best version of this story ever made!”

“‘White Christmas’ and ‘It's a

“My favorites are all the ri-






diculous and boring commercials because I know they end Dec. 26.” D.J.

“Favorite song: 'Snoopy and the Red Baron,’ favorite TV Show: 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ favorite movie: 'A Christmas Story,’ and favorite performance: 'A Christmas Carol.'” O.H.R.

“'Pine Tree! Coming into Pine Tree!' ‘White Christmas!’ Best Christmas song, best Christmas performer, best Christmas movie. “Bing Crosby is the top of the Christmas triumvirate of Bing, Perry Como and Nat King Cole. And he didn't need Auto Tune! The movie has great scenes, songs and classic performers. “Rosemary, Vera, Bing and Danny bring music, laughter, dance and that great warm and fuzzy Christmas Spirit that we all seek this time of year. I'm sure everyone's feelings about this movie are 'Mutual, I'm sure!'” T.J.F.

The tree crisis: Reviving a battlefield The drive along Interstate 275 is the scene of a battlefield. Thousands of giant soldiers are in a battle to save their lives. Unfortunately, the enemies are winning. With too many forces working against them, the soldiers don’t stand a chance. They need replacements. The drive, that once provided an awesome view of expansive greenery, is now a scene of barren and broken limbs and masses of dead or dying trees. Throughout the Tristate region, thousands of trees are caught in a battle against disease, insect infestations and invasive species. The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle which bores into trees and disrupts the flow of nutrients, is now attacking the nine species of native ash throughout the region. In total, more than 20 million trees will inevitably be lost to the emerald ash borer in the TriState region within the next 10 years. Other insects are also threatening the tree canopy. In Clermont County, the Asian longhorned beetle is responsible for the loss of 9,000 trees. Although

this beetle is expected to be contained and eradicated, it has caused significant damage, and its potential to return requires continued vigilance. Another new threat is the walnut twig beetle, which carries a fungus fatal to Tia Garcia black walnut COMMUNITY PRESS trees. GUEST COLUMNIST Insect infestations are not the only threats to the region’s trees. Disease and other invasive species also endanger local forests. With the increase of invasive plants like honeysuckle and the flowering pear, forests can’t regenerate and open areas can’t re-forest as they have in the past. The tree seedlings that do survive often fall victim to deer, whose growing population consume young plants before they have a chance to mature. With all these factors working against them, trees and forests are struggling What can be done to keep the trees we have and replace the



A publication of

ones that are lost? The OhioKentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the Green Partnership for Greater Cincinnati and the Green Umbrella have joined forces to create Taking Root, a broad-based campaign to address the current and historic loss of the region’s tree canopy. Through education and improved management, the campaign hopes to better maintain existing trees and also to plant 2 million trees by 2020 (one for everyone in the region). This is not the first time the region’s trees have been victims of a battle. In the late 1800s, much of the region had been deforested. It was during this time when Cincinnati became a prominent leader in the movement to conserve the nation’s forestry. For more information on the battle and how you can help, go to Tia Garcia is the communication intern for the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

Serving more than 300,000 people annually in 20 counties across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The Freestore Foodbank is the Tristate’s largest foodbank distributing more that 19 million meals annually. The organization provides emergency food assistance to more than 7,200 individuals per month from its Customer Connection Center in Over-the-Rhine alone. Each of our pizzerias are selling Buddy Cards (our two-forone pizza discount card) for the benefit of the Freestore Foodbank. We will donate $5 from the sale of every $10 Buddy Card directly to the Freestore Foodbank and the nourishment and comfort they provide to those who truly need help in our community. Ultimately, our contribution will help support the Freestore

Foodbank’s annual goal to distribute 16.2 million pounds of food to meet our region’s growing demand. We hope you’ll join us in our efforts to surpass our 2012 effort of 7,000 cards sold for Cincinnati. Here’s how you can help: » Buy a LaRosa’s Buddy Card by Dec. 31. For a full list of locations, visit » Donate to the Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati. Visit or www.thefoodbankdayton. Food brings people together and can build a community. No child, person or family should go hungry. Please join me and the LaRosa’s family in the fight against hunger. Together we can feed our neighbors in need. Michael T. LaRosa is chief executive officer of LaRosa’s Inc.

Seeking a balanced budget amendment Balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility are the hallmarks of good government. Being good stewards of taxpayer funds requires restraint in spending so that future generations are not burdened by excessive spending toRep. Peter J. day. Families Stautberg are similarly COMMUNITY PRESS required to GUEST COLUMNIST make difficult budget choices every day. The federal government, however, is not currently required to have a balanced budget. Indeed, we have become too familiar and accustomed to the notion that the federal government will spend more than it takes in year after year. However, momentum is growing behind the ides of amending the United States Constitution to require the federal government to balance its budget. Many Americans are becoming increasingly worried about what a massive national debt means for our country’s future, and are calling on national leaders to govern with fiscal responsibility. Efforts are underway in many states around the country to call for a constitutional convention for the specific purpose of proposing an amendment to the US Constitution that would require a balanced federal budget. Despite repeated suggestions for such an amendment over the past several years, neither chamber of

Congress has sought to achieve the two thirds of votes needed to propose such an amendment. Fortunately, Article V of the Constitution provides a mechanism whereby the legislatures of two thirds of the states can apply to force the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing an amendment. In the Ohio, I am a proud cosponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 5, through which the Ohio General Assembly officially applies to Congress for the calling of a convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget except in cases of a national emergency. Senate Joint Resolution 5 recently passed both chambers of the Ohio legislature. At least 19 states have already passed such a measure, and Ohio’s effort will be added to this national drive. States have a strong role to play in holding the federal government accountable, and the expanding national debt risks putting our future generations in a financial crisis. To continue ignoring this problem represents a major problem. It is my hope that action taken at the state level will spur the federal government to work with us on achieving the calling of a convention, or at least acting and spending within its means. Thank you for allowing me to represent you. Please contact me directly if I can be of assistance. Rep. Peter J. Stautberg, 27th Ohio House District, 77 South High St., 11th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215, 614-644-6886


Meets at 6 p.m., the third Thursday of the month, 7850 Five Mile Road. Phone: 6888400. Web site: Trustees Peggy Reis, Russell Jackson Jr. and Kevin O’Brien; Fiscal Officer Kenneth Dietz. Township Administrator Vicky Earhart; Assistant Administrator for Operations Steve Sievers; Planning and Zoning Director Paul Drury; Public Works Director Richard

394 Wards Corner Road Loveland, Ohio 45140 phone: 248-8600 email: web site:

Shelley; Facilities Manager Mark Magna; Police District 5 Commander Lt. Matt Guy, 4745770; Fire Chief Mark Ober, 688-8400; Event Coordinator Amy Meyer.


Meets at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month except June, July and August when it meets at 6 p.m. at the Mt. Washington Rec Center 1715 Beacon St.

Forest Hills Journal Editor Eric Spangler, 576-8251 Office hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday See page A2 for additional contact information.



“Our mission here is to provide a place for families to create memories and traditions,” Big Tree Plantation owner Bryan Keeton said.FORREST SELLERS/THE COMMUNITY PRESS


Sheldon Corsi, owner of Corsi Tree Farm 1651 Bolender Road, Hamersville. The farm, which was started in 1955, features blue spruce, Norway spruce, white pine, Scotch pine, balsam fir and concolor fir on nearly 100 acres.ERIC SPANGLER/THE COMMUNITY PRESS


Timberwind Tree Farm owner Jim Luers said last year he and his family began placing name tags on the trees giving each an individual story. FORREST SELLERS/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Making the (holidays) cut Tree farms are a growing business as families renew their holiday traditions of choosing and cutting their own Christmas trees. While you may have to drive a bit to find them these tree farms are worth the trip to put you in the holiday spirit.

on other days by calling 7561998. Directions to the tree farm can be found on the Koch website,

Ever Green Acres


Nana and Papa’s Christmas Tree Farm

287 WEST PEKIN ROAD, LEBANON Scott Graves, owner of Ever Green Acres, said his tree farm offers customers a family atmosphere. “We’re a hometown, family-oriented tree farm,” he said, noting he runs the farm with his wife, Lauren, their two children, Kristine and Kevin, and their grandson, Elliott. Established in 2005, Graves said Ever Green Acres offers customers the choice of cutting their own tree or picking from a selection of pre-cut trees. The farm also offers balled and burlap trees for those who want to plant their tree after Christmas. Types of trees include Canaan, Douglas and Fraser firs and Norway and Colorado spruce. Trees sell for $6 per foot. Graves and his family will bail trees and assist customers in tying them to their cars. After finding your tree, stop in the Christmas shop to browse the wreaths, grab a free hot chocolate and cookies and sit down by the wood stove. Ever Green Acres is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22. – Kurt Backscheider/The Community Press

Corsi Tree Farm HAMERSVILLE This tree farm has been in business since 1955. Situated on 100 acres at 1651 Bolender Road, Hamersville, owner Sheldon Corsi’s farm offers about 50,000 cut-your-own Christmas trees. Yep, that’s 50 – as in thousand! Customers walk up, down and around the gently rolling hills of the farm along gravel roads carrying a saw provided by the business. Trees range in height from 3 feet to16 feet and no matter what size blue spruce, Norway spruce, white pine, Scotch pine, balsam fir or concolor fir tree a customer chooses to cut down for Christmas the price is the same – $42 with tax included. The tree farm also includes a 2,500-square-foot Christmas shop with tree ornaments and gifts, an indoor petting zoo, homemade Italian chili, hot dogs, metts, and hot and cold drinks.

Tom Dirr has been growing trees since 1960 on his 115-acre farm on 6066 Goshen Road. KEITH BIERYGOLICK/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Call 937-379-9200 or go online to for more information. – Eric Spangler/The Community Press

Dirr Nurseries GOSHEN Tom Dirr has been growing trees since 1960 on his 115-acre farm on 6066 Goshen Road. Customers drive through a .75-mile gravel road system to choose their tree, which costs $45 for any size. Customers can cut their own white pine, balsam fir, Canaan fir, Scotch pine and Colorado spruce trees. Saws are provided and tree shaking and netting is available. Workers help secure the trees to the customer’s car. But as Dirr says, “We’re in the entertainment business, not the Christmas tree business.” So check out the farm’s nativity display or get pictures on Santa’s sleigh while sipping hot cocoa. Then take the kids to the petting zoo, where Schnitzel the goat takes center stage. Schnitzel has led the Bockfest parade in Overthe-Rhine for the past four years, pulling the ceremonial first keg of bock beer. For more information about the farm call 513-6252000 – Keith BieryGolick/The Community Press

Big Tree Plantation MORROW With an estimated 45,000 trees situated on more than 60 acres, Big Tree Plantation is one of the largest cut-your-own tree farms in Ohio. The family-run farm, which is owned by Bryan Keeton, is located at 2544 S. Waynesville Road. Trees range in price from $45 for a 6-foot tree to $400 for an 18-foot tree and include Canaan firs, Scotch pine, white pine and blue spruce. “Our mission here is to pro-

“The difference in trees depends on what you prefer, like odor, long-lasting and color,” says owner John T. Nieman.LEAH FIGHTMASTER/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

PINING FOR MORE? Find more Christmas tree farms online at

vide a place for families to create memories and traditions,” said Keeton. Customers are taken by tractor to the trees and provided with a saw and sled to transport them. Big Tree Plantation has a gift barn, Nativity, and “Winter Wonderland” where children can make a craft, visit with Santa Claus and see live animals. Admission to the Winter Wonderland is $5 per child. The farm also has a cafeteria. For information, call 513-8360975 or go online to – Forrest Sellers/The Community Press

John T. Nieman Nursery ROSS John T. Nieman Nursery, 3215 Hamilton New London Road, has been in operation since 1962 with 125 acres, growing about 70,000 trees of various varieties. Customers looking for the perfect tree can wind their way through rows to cut a tree down themselves with their own saw, borrow one or ask an employee (or grandchild) to cut it. They will also load the tree onto the car as well, and if you need a stand, they sell four sizes of stands that they’ll cut your tree to fit. If you buy one, bring it back next year and they’ll fit it for free.Tree varieties include blue spruce, Canaan fir, white pine and Norway spruce that vary in height from 2 to 16 feet. Trees that are balled and wrapped in burlap can be bought to plant after Christmas as well. Trees are pre-priced and range from about $15 to $300, de-

pending on size and variety. The nursery also has a Christmas store with that Nieman’s late wife Marilyn started, where they sell their in-house live wreaths, swags and other decorations that can either be bought as decorated or be made-to-order. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Fields with trees are open until dark. 3215 Hamilton New London Road, Call 513-7381012 or go online to for more information. “The difference in trees depends on what you prefer, like odor, long-lasting and color,” says owner John T. Nieman. “We don’t have a petting zoo or anything like that. People come here for a nice tree.” – Leah Fightmaster/The Community Press

Koch Christmas Trees REILY TOWNSHIP This family-owned farm in Reily Township has been in operation since 2001. The trees are a short distance from the parking lot at this farm, a few miles south of Oxford, at 6232 HamiltonScipio Road. Farm workers will help to cut the tree if requested, and hand saws are available for use. the tree will be shaken to remove debris, then properly fit by drilling the cut end of the tree for a tree stand. The tree will be wrapped, free of charge, and help is available to load the trees on the car. What kind of trees? Scotch pine, eastern white pine, Canaan fir, blue spruce. Price range: $35 to $100. Free treats and hot chocolate are available, and tree stands are available for sale. Because this is a small family farm, Koch is open on weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will take requests to meet at the farm

This farm overlooking the confluence of Bullskin Creek and the Ohio River just north of U.S. Route 52 has been in business since 1833. Owner Tim Broadwell’s farm, situated on 130 acres at 108 state Route 133, Felicity, offers 5 acres of cutyour-own Scotch pine or Canaan fir trees. Scotch pine trees cost $25 and Canaan fir trees cost $32 for any size. New this year is a hayride that customers can take from the parking lot to the trees and back. Saws are provided and tree shaking and netting is available. Free coffee and hot chocolate are also provided. The hayride travels part of the trail that was once known as the Bullskin Trail, Bullskin Trace, Xenia Trail or Xenia Trace. The trail, created initially by the thundering hooves of millions of migrating buffalo and other animals traveling to the salt licks in Kentucky, was also used as a major travel route by Native Americans. Legend has it that Daniel Boone used the trail through this farm in 1778 during his escape from Shawnee Indians, Broadwell said. The trail was also a major Underground Railroad route. For more information about the farm call 513507-1456. – Eric Spangler/The Community Press

Timberwind Tree Farm LEBANON At Timberwind Tree Farm, every tree has a story. Located at 1566 W. Pekin Road, Timberwind Tree Farm is eight acres with about 400 trees. The family-run business has been in operation for 25 years. Owner Jim Luers said last year he and his family began placing name tags on the trees giving each an individual story. For example, Tammy is the “Miss America Tree” because she is “tall, well rounded with a perfect figure.” This year students from St. Susanna School will help write the name tags. For information, call 937-7465027 or go online to – Forrest Sellers/The Community Press



Art Exhibits

Youth Sports

John A. Ruthven, John Stobart and Robert Off, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, 5729 Dragon Way, Exhibition and sale of original paintings and prints by wildlife artist Ruthven, maritime artist Stobart and miniature room box artist Off. Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax. Multiplicity/Hang It Up, Noon-8 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., gallery One One. Multiplicity is group show based on idea of creating art in multiples or as part of series. Hang It Up specifically features and sells ornaments in separate room. Free. Through Jan. 3. 321-0206; Oakley. Small Treasures, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center, 6980 Cambridge Ave., The Barn. Show and sale of small artwork, no larger than 8-by-10 inches. Original works in oil and watercolor by active members of the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati. Free. Through Dec. 22. 272-3700; Mariemont. repARTee, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Phyllis Weston Gallery, 2005 1/2 Madison Road, Classical/modern/ contemporary visual conversation. Works by Jeff ChapmanCrane, Diane and Frank McElwain, Michael Scott and more. Free. Through Feb. 1. 321-5200; O’Bryonville. Tyler Shields: Shot in Cincinnati, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Miller Gallery, 2715 Erie Ave., World debut of 15 never-before-seen images artist shot locally 20122013. Free. Through Jan. 2. 871-4420; Hyde Park.

Pre-School Open Gym, 9:3011:30 a.m., Beech Acres Park RecPlex, 6915 Beechmont Ave., Playground atmosphere indoors. Unstructured playtime for parents and pre-schoolers. Ages 4 and under. $2. Presented by Anderson Township Park District. Through March 27. 3884515. Anderson Township.

Community Dance Beechmont Squares, 8-10 p.m., Anderson Senior Center, 7970 Beechmont Ave., Western-style square dance club for experienced dancers. $5. 929-2427. Anderson Township.

Exercise Classes SilverSneakers Flex, 12:30-1:15 p.m., Summerside Woods, 5484 Summerside Road, Move to music through variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living. Call for pricing. Presented by SilverSneakers Flex. 478-6783. Summerside. Zumba Fitness with Sue, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Clough United Methodist Church, 2010 Wolfangel Road, Burn calories, sculpt your body and have a blast. $5. 379-4900; Anderson Township.

Health / Wellness Mercy Health Mobile Mammography Unit, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Kroger Withamsville, 450 Ohio Pike, Fifteen-minute screenings. Cost varies per insurance plan. Financial assistance available for qualified applicants. Appointment required. 686-3300; Withamsville. Muscle-Tendon-Ligament Screening, 7-8 a.m., Cincinnati Sports Club, 3950 Red Bank Road, Grandin Room. Sports medicine doctor shows how these issues are evaluated using ultrasound. Ages 18 and up. Free. Reservations required. Presented by Christ Hospital Physical Therapy. 527-4000. Fairfax.

Holiday - Christmas Santa’s Workshop, 2-8 p.m., Santa’s Workshop, 6940 Madisonville Road, Historic Shillito’s Elves have moved to Mariemont and are opening workshop for public tours. Bring letters to mail to Santa. Pictures with Santa available on Saturdays and Sundays. Benefits Ronald McDonald House. $4, free ages 3 and under. Presented by Mariemont Inn. 620-4353; Mariemont.

Music - Classic Rock Encore Band, 6-8 p.m., Stonekry Resale Books, 8253 Beechmont Ave., Free. 474-0123; Anderson Township.

On Stage - Theater Les Miserables, 7:30 p.m., Anderson Center, 7850 Five Mile Road, The legendary Broadway and film sensation. $12. Presented by Brieabi Productions. 497-5000; www.brieabiproduc-

FRIDAY, DEC. 13 Art Events Open Studios: Multiplicity + Hang it Up, 6-9 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., In addition to work of Brazee artists, visit gallery One One to see annual shows featuring series and handcrafted holiday ornaments. Free. 321-0206; Oakley.

Art Exhibits John A. Ruthven, John Stobart and Robert Off, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax. Multiplicity/Hang It Up, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, Free. 321-0206; Oakley. Small Treasures, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center, Free. 272-3700; Mariemont. repARTee, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Phyllis Weston Gallery, Free. 321-5200; O’Bryonville. Tyler Shields: Shot in Cincinnati, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Miller Gallery, Free. 871-4420; Hyde Park. Warm Embrace, Gifts That Last for Generations, Noon-9 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, 5729 Dragon Way, New works by living artists, paintings that make perfect holiday gifts. Included are works by Beverly Erschell, Val Gottesman, Chris Griffin-Woods, Ray Hassard, MaryBeth Karaus, Keith Klein, Kate Lackman, Jeff Morrow, Cindy Nixon and Sally Schrohenloher. Free. Through Feb. 1. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax.

Art Openings Warm Embrace, Gifts That Last for Generations, 6-9 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, 5729 Dragon Way, New works by living artists, paintings that make perfect holiday gifts. Included are works by Beverly Erschell, Val Gottesman, Chris Griffin-Woods, Ray Hassard, MaryBeth Karaus, Keith Klein, Kate Lackman, Jeff Morrow, Cindy Nixon and Sally Schrohenloher. Exhibit continues through Feb. 1. Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax.

Drink Tastings Friday Evening Tasting, 6-8 p.m., Remke Market Oakley, 3872 Paxton Ave., Delicato Family Vineyard with Chris Hoffman. $5 for five samples and snacks from deli and bakery. Through Dec. 20. 619-5454. Oakley.

Exercise Classes Zumba Fitness with Sue, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Clough United Methodist Church, $5. 379-4900; Anderson Township.

Exhibits Picturing the Parables Traveling Art Exhibit, 6-8 p.m., Faith Presbyterian Church, 6434 Corbly Ave., Church Lobby. Gallery Gathering: with light refreshments. Scenes from Jesus’ parables. CIVA exhibition (Christians in the Visual Arts) contains 20 works representing voices of diverse subcultures and ethnic groups. Free. 752-0878. Mount Washington.

Health / Wellness Mercy Health Mobile Mammography Unit, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Kroger Anderson Towne Center, 7580 Beechmont Ave., Fifteen-minute screenings. Cost varies per insurance plan. Financial assistance available for qualified applicants. Appointment required. 686-3300; Anderson Township. General Joint Screening, 4-6 p.m., Cincinnati Sports Club, 3950 Red Bank Road, Brief history and exam designed to troubleshoot and modify activities and exercise programs covered. Ages 18 and up. Free.

Reservations required. Presented by Christ Hospital Physical Therapy. 527-4000. Fairfax.

Holiday - Christmas Santa’s Workshop, 2-8 p.m., Santa’s Workshop, $4, free ages 3 and under. 620-4353; Mariemont.

Music - Cabaret An Old-Fashioned Christmas, 7:30-9:30 p.m., American Legion Post 318, 6660 Clough Pike, The Banquet Hall of the Patriot Center. Matt Snow: The Cincinnati Sinatra. Stuart Snow: Reflections of Elvis. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Benefits American Legion Post 318. $20-$30. 576-9766; Anderson Township.

On Stage - Theater Les Miserables, 7:30 p.m., Anderson Center, $12. 497-5000; Anderson Township.

Religious - Community Feeling Good, 7-9 p.m., Healing Offices, 2723 Markbreit Ave., Front meeting space. Time to pause, rest and regroup. Discover your inner wealth with simple, powerful tools and practical spiritual wisdom for feeling more joyous and at peace with life. Experiential activities, guided meditations, discussion, music, poetry and more. Ages 18 and up. Good will donation requested. Presented by Pathwork of Cincinnati. 293-1038; Oakley.

Youth Sports Volleyball Clinic, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Beech Acres Park RecPlex, 6915 Beechmont Ave., Grades 3-5. Drills designed to help experienced players learn new skills and energize game before upcoming season. $35, $25 residents. Registration required. Presented by Anderson Township Park District. 388-4514. Anderson Township.

SATURDAY, DEC. 14 Art & Craft Classes Make+Bake: Hot Glass - Ornament, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., Design and create your own blown glass ornament in this holiday class. $35. Registration required. 321-0206. Oakley. November + December Family Open House: Ornaments, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., Celebrate holidays by making ornaments with your family. $15. 321-0206. Oakley.

Art Exhibits John A. Ruthven, John Stobart and Robert Off, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax. Multiplicity/Hang It Up, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, Free. 321-0206; Oakley. repARTee, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Phyllis Weston Gallery, Free. 321-5200; O’Bryonville. Tyler Shields: Shot in Cincinnati, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Miller Gallery, Free. 871-4420; Hyde Park. Warm Embrace, Gifts That Last for Generations, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax.

Craft Shows Marielders Senior Center Craft Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Mariemont Elementary School, 6750 Wooster Pike, Free admission. Presented by MARIELDERS, INC. 271-5588; Mariemont.

Exercise Classes Zumba Fitness with Sue, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Clough United Methodist Church, $5. 379-4900; Anderson Township.

Holiday - Christmas Breakfast with Santa, 8:30-10 a.m., Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, 2692 Madison Road, Fresh breakfast, meet-and-greet with Santa Claus and special holiday prizes. Portion of proceeds benefit Cincinnati Recreation Foundation. $5. Reservations required. 841-2739; Norwood. Santa’s Workshop, 10 a.m.-8

McNicholas High School vocalists, musicians and performers are having three musical events: The Lessons and Carols celebration with the McNicholas Liturgy Choir and Campus Ministry Team at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at Guardian Angels Church, Mount Washington; and the band's annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, in the school's main gym. Admission for both concerts is free. The concerts are open to all ages. Pictured, the McNicholas choir practices for its upcoming performance. p.m., Santa’s Workshop, $4, free ages 3 and under. 620-4353; Mariemont. Home for the Holidays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Remke Markets, 5218 Beechmont Ave., McNicholas High School Performance Troupe with Christmas carols, magician, Santa and holiday foods. Family friendly. Free. 231-0606. Mount Washington.

Literary - Signings Beverly Erschell, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, 5729 Dragon Way, Author discusses and signs “The Lucky Greyhound.” Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax.

Nature Lantern-Lit Look into the Past, 5-6:30 p.m., Pioneer Cemetery Park, 333 Wilmer Ave., Use ghost hunting equipment and tour oldest cemetery in Hamilton County, in hopes of communicating with pioneers laid to rest. Meet in parking lot. Ages 18 and up. Free. Reservations required. 761-4313; Linwood.

On Stage - Theater Les Miserables, 7:30 p.m., Anderson Center, $12. 497-5000; Anderson Township.

Pets Pet Adoptions, 1-4 p.m., Peppermint Pig, 8255 Beechmont Ave., Cats and dogs available for adoption. Through Dec. 28. 474-0005; Anderson Township.

Shopping The Great Cookie Caper, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Parish Hall. Homemade Christmas cookies and candies for sale and quilt raffle. Music, trains and crafts for children, plus visit from St. Nick. Benefits Inter Parish St. Thomas Discretionary Fund. Free admission. 831-2052. Terrace Park.

Support Groups Codependents Anonymous, 9:30-10:45 a.m., Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, 1345 Grace Ave., Book discussion group. Room 206. Donations accepted. 583-1248. Hyde Park.

SUNDAY, DEC. 15 Art Exhibits Small Treasures, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center, Free. 272-3700; Mariemont.

Drink Tastings Holiday FestiviTEAS: Tips from the Rabbithole, 4-5:30 p.m., Essencha Tea House, 3212a Madison Road., Favorite holiday teas, scones, cookies and finger sandwiches. Learn scone-making secrets, tea tips and creative cookie recipes. $18. Reservations required. 533-4832; Oakley.

Education Anderson Township History Room, 1-4 p.m., Anderson Center, 7850 Five Mile Road, Lower atrium. Learn about the history of Anderson Township through photos, hands-on exhibits and artifacts. Free. Presented by Anderson Township Historical Society. 231-2114.

ABOUT CALENDAR To submit calendar items, go to and click on “Share!” Send digital photos to along with event information. Items are printed on a spaceavailable basis with local events taking precedence. Deadline is two weeks before publication date. To find more calendar events, go to and choose from a menu of items in the Entertainment section on the main page. Anderson Township.

Holiday - Christmas Nativity Experience, 4-9 p.m., Comboni Mission Center, 1318 Nagel Road, Opening night: entertainment and children’s activities. Room-sized display features moving figures in true-to-life activities, soft lighting and narration. Includes Mission Market. Narration also available in Spanish. Benefits St. Vincent de Paul. Free, canned good donations accepted. Presented by Comboni Missionaries. 474-4997; Anderson Township. Luminaria, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Cincinnati Observatory Center, 3489 Observatory Place, Carolers, stargazing, gift shop and hot drinks. Shuttles between Mount Lookout Square and Observatory. Free. 321-5186; Mount Lookout. Santa’s Workshop, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Santa’s Workshop, $4, free ages 3 and under. 620-4353; Mariemont.

Music - Classic Rock School of Rock Van Halen Show, 6 p.m., Redmoor, 3187 Linwood Ave., Van Halen classics. Doors open 5 p.m. Dinner menu available. $8, $6 advance. Presented by School of Rock Mason. 770-1257; Mount Lookout. School of Rock: Music of Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Friends, 1 p.m., Redmoor, 3187 Linwood Ave., Also performing Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, Manassas and solo work. Doors open at noon. Lunch menu available. $8, $6 advance. Presented by School of Rock Mason. 770-1257; Mount Lookout.

Music - Classical Carillon Concert, 4-5 p.m., Mary M. Emery Carillon, Pleasant Street, Open air concert. Carillonneur plays bells using keyboard in upper tower. Tours of tower available; playground, restroom and shelter house on site. Free. Presented by Village of Mariemont. 271-8519; Mariemont.

On Stage - Theater Les Miserables, 2 p.m., Anderson Center, $12. 497-5000; Anderson Township.

Support Groups Codependents Anonymous Meeting, 7-8 p.m., Hyde Park Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 3799 Hyde Park Ave, Twelve-step fellowship open to everyone who desires healthy and loving relationships. Free. Through Jan. 26. 290-9105. Hyde Park.

MONDAY, DEC. 16 Art Exhibits

John A. Ruthven, John Stobart and Robert Off, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax. Multiplicity/Hang It Up, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, Free. 321-0206; Oakley. Warm Embrace, Gifts That Last for Generations, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax.

Exercise Classes Zumba Fitness with Sue, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Clough United Methodist Church, $5. 379-4900; Anderson Township.

Holiday - Christmas Nativity Experience, 6-9 p.m., Comboni Mission Center, Free, canned good donations accepted. 474-4997; Anderson Township.

Literary - Story Times Make a Mess at the Manatee, 10-10:30 a.m., Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore, 3054 Madison Road, With Ms. Kelli. Listen to book and participate in an art-making activity with your child. $7. Reservations required. 731-2665. Oakley.

TUESDAY, DEC. 17 Art & Craft Classes Make+Bake: Holiday Glass Gifts, 5-7 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., Students choose from fused glass Make+Bake projects including plates, bowls, sun catchers, channel plates, platters and more. $10. Registration required. 321-0206. Oakley.

Art Exhibits John A. Ruthven, John Stobart and Robert Off, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax. Multiplicity/Hang It Up, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Brazee Street Studios, Free. 321-0206; Oakley. Small Treasures, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center, Free. 272-3700; Mariemont. Tyler Shields: Shot in Cincinnati, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Miller Gallery, Free. 871-4420; Hyde Park. Warm Embrace, Gifts That Last for Generations, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Free. 791-7717, ext. 109; Fairfax.

Education Anderson Township History Room, 6-8:30 p.m., Anderson Center, Free. 231-2114. Anderson Township.



Cheesy potatoes make great holiday side dish Our little patch of heaven looks quite festive. The lights are strung on the pine trees and wreaths are hung on the house, garage and outhouse. This weekend we go to Corsi’s tree farm with all the kids to cut down our Christmas trees. The most fun for me is taking photos of the little ones in the back of the pickup with their Santa hats askew on their heads and hot chocolate mustaches on their smiling faces. A simple country pleasure!

Boursin cheese potatoes

Yummy alongside the holiday ham or roast. I don’t make these often but it is one of my favorite ways to cook potatoes. 3 pounds potatoes, either Yukon gold or red 2 cups whipping cream 5 oz. pkg. Boursin cheese (I like the garlic and herb blend) Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Slice potatoes into 1⁄4-inch slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat cream and cheese together, and whisk until cheese is melted. Layer half the potatoes in pan. Pour half cheese mixture over. Repeat and bake, covered, for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

Chewy cocoa brownies

St. Xavier High School Mothers’ Club “Food for the Journey” cookbook is different from the usual


community cookbooks. It has mouthwatering recipes, including “dateworthy Rita fare,” Heikenfeld heartRITA’S KITCHEN healthy tailgate recipes and family favorites. It also contains original artwork by students, along with school history and stories of faith and wisdom. I couldn’t put the book down! Here’s an adaptation of a brownie recipe requested by several readers. The book is available in the St. Xavier’s Spirit shop for $25. 1 cup butter or margarine 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 4 large eggs 3 ⁄4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa 1 cup flour 1 ⁄2 teaspoon baking powder 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Microwave butter in large bowl on medium power until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa; beat until blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat well. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Don’t overbake.

This potato dish baked with Boursin cheese is one of Rita’s favorite potato recipes.THANKS TO RITA HEIKENFELD

Creamy brownie frosting Check out my blog for this recipe.

Nell Wilson’s homemade blue cheese dressing/veggie dip I was a guest, along with Joe Boggs, Hamilton County Extension, on Ron Wilson’s annual Thanksgiving radio show on 55WKRC. We shared our holiday memories and favorite recipes. Ron told us about the blue cheese dressing from his mom, Nell. I told him I had to have it for my readers.

“She makes quarts and quarts of this to give away,” he told me. Nell is special to me for many reasons, one of which is how generous she is in sharing her good recipes. Nell says you can eat this right away “but it’s better after 24 hours.” For gift giving, pour into a pretty jar suitable for the refrigerator. In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients: 2 cups Hellman’s Mayonnaise 1 ⁄2cup sour cream 1 ⁄4 cup white vinegar 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon sugar 1 to 11⁄2 cups blue cheese crumbles

Cinnamon mocha mix for giving

Give with a couple of holiday mugs. Go to taste on ingredients. Combine and store in covered container at room temperature: 16 oz. non-dairy powdered creamer 16 oz. chocolate mix for milk 1 pound confectioners’ sugar 6 cups dry milk powder 3 ⁄4 to 1 cup cocoa powder 1 ⁄2cup instant coffee 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Gift tag: Pour 6 oz. hot water over 3 heaping tablespoons mix; stir.

Can you help?

Pia’s chicken salad for Mindy Seibert. “My husband and I were recently in Mount Adams and would love to find the recipe for Pia’s wonderful chicken salad. We really enjoy the old food places up on “the hill.”’ Rita Nader Heikenfeld is an herbalist, educator and author. Find her blog online at Cincinnati.Com/blogs. Email her at with “Rita’s kitchen” in the subject line. Call 513-248-7130, ext. 356.



RELIGION Anderson Hills United Methodist Church

The church has two contemporary services on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., and two traditional services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. A contemporary service is also offered at 6 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month in the fellowship hall. The church is at 7515 Forest Road, Anderson Township; 231-4172;

reason may be, all who are in need of comfort are invited to come and experience the healing power of God’s love. The church recently made several changes to its Sunday schedule. The 9 a.m. service will become a chapel service, moving from the sanctuary to a more intimate room.The main service will move from 11-10:15 a.m. The church is at 2010 Wolfangel Road, Anderson Township; 231-4301;

in Cincinnati’s Spanish-speaking community, who do not have the option to attend a Spanishlanguage service with an approach like that offered by the United Church of Christ. Faith UCC’s more traditional service is Sundays at 10:15 a.m. The two congregations will have the opportunity to gather as one for refreshments and fellowship in between the two services. The church is at 6886 Salem Road, Anderson Township; 231-8285;

Clough United Methodist Church

Faith United Church of Christ

First Baptist Church of Anderson Hills

Clough United Methodist Church is offering a special service at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 22, for all who are hurting this Christmas season. Whatever the

The church offers s Spanishlanguage worship service in addition to their regular service. This service is at noon every Sunday. The service is being organized to fill a need

The choir will present “Bethlehem Morning” at 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15. This Christmas musical tells the miraculous story of Christmas through traditional carols and Christmas

favorites. The church is at 1674 Eight Mile Road, Anderson Township; 474-2441.

Lutheran Church of the Resurrection

A contemplative prayer service is offered at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. All are invited to “Enter the Silence; Awaken the Spirit.” Services are Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The church is at 1950 Nagel Road, Anderson Township; or call the church at 474-4938.

Parkside Christian Church

Those who need an extra measure of comfort, joy and hope

ABOUT RELIGION Religion news is published at no charge on a space-available basis. Items must be to our office no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, for possible consideration in the following edition. » E-mail announcements to, with “Religion” in the subject line. » Fax to 248-1938. Call 248-8600. » Mail to: Forest Hills Journal, Attention: Religion news, 394 Wards Corner Road, Suite 170, Loveland, Ohio 45140. are welcome to attend the Comfort and Joy Christmas Gathering at 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at the church. The church is at 6986 Salem Pike, Anderson Township; 231-9482;

brate Recovery is a Christcentered recovery program based on the Beatitudes addressing many of life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits. Organizers say about one-third of the people attending Celebrate Recovery or “CR” deal with chemical dependencies. The church is at 8136 Wooster Pike; 576-6000.

Sonrise Church

SonRise Church is announcing the launch of a Celebrate Recovery ministry group. Cele-





Hyde Park Baptist Church Michigan & Erie Ave

513-321-5856 Bill Rillo, Pastor Sunday Worship Services: 11:00am & 6:00pm Sunday School: 9:45am Wednesday Bible Study: 7:00pm


Senior Pastor, Rev. Dave Robinette 986 Nordyke Road - 45255 (Cherry Grove turn off Beechmont at Beechmont Toyota) Worship Service, Sunday 10:45 am Classes For All Ages, Sunday 9:15 am Prayer Service Wednesday, 6:45 pm

Equipping Service: 4:30 p.m. Sat. & 8:50 a.m. Sun. Exploring Service: 10:00 a.m. & 11:10 a.m. Sun. Birth thru high school programs

3950 Newtown Road Cincinnati, OH 45244

513 272-5800

Building Homes Relationships & Families Sundays 9:15am & 10:45am

Indian Hill

Episcopal-Presbyterian Church

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE First Church of Christ, Scientist 3035 Erie Ave 871-0245

Experience the Light and Sound of God You are invited to the Community HU Song

4th Sunday, 11:00-11:30am

ECK Worship Service 11:00 am - Noon Second Sunday of Each Month Anderson Center Station 7832 Five Mile Road Cincinnati, OH 45230 1-800-LOVE GOD Local (513) 674-7001


3850 E. Galbraith, Deer Park Next to Dillonvale Shopping Ctr 791-7631 Worship Service - 10:00AM Sunday School - 10:15AM Pastor John Robinson, Interim

White and Sons Funeral Home, Mount Washington. Memorials to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Scott D. Hartman Scott D. Hartman, 49, formerly of Anderson Township died Nov. 21. Survived by parents Charles J. Hartman and June Hartman; brother, Wayne (Connie) Hartman; nephew, Wayne II; and niece, Lauren Hartman. Services were Nov. 29 at Anderson Hills United Methodist Church.

Marilyn A. Mason Marilyn A. Mason, 84, of Mount Washington died Nov. 27. Survived by niece, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephew. Preceded in death by parents Paul B. Mason and Lillian Fergus; and siblings Paul B. (Barbara) and Lowell F. Mason. Services were Dec. 3 at T.P.

Wendall Sullivan Wendall Sullivan, 89, of Anderson Township died Nov. 24. He was a US Army veteran of World War II. Survived by wife of 53 years, Marilyn Sullivan; children Tim (Lisa), Kevin (Eileen), Brian (Lori) and Barry (Jennifer); brothers Eddie and Bill; sisters Katherine, Corrine, Helen and Beverly; and grandchildren Sean, Ryan, Brendan, Michael, Amy, Claire, Chelesa, Moira, Ann, Natalie and Naomi. Preceded in death by parents Frank Sullivan and Mamie Hankins; brother, Ralph. Services were Nov. 30 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Anderson Township.

Programs for children, youth and adults 6000 Drake Road






Nurre Funeral Home.

Sunday Services 8 &10:30 am Sunday School 10:30 am

NON-DENOMINATIONAL Connections Christian Church 7421 East Galbraith Cincinnati, OH 45243

Phone: 513-791-8348 • Fax: 513-791-5648


Sunday School 10:00 am Sunday Worship 11:00 am Wed Night Bible Study 7:00 pm Pastor Ed Wilson 8105 Beech Avenue - Deer Park (Just off Galbraith across from Amity School) 513-793-7422

Alberta Elizabeth Flottman, 90, formerly of Mount Washington, died Dec. 1. She was a graduate of the Cincinnati Art Academy. Survived by sister Viola Meagher; nieces and nephews Nora Cooper, Sandy Berry, Earl Souther, Gary, John Flottman; great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by siblings Nettie Mae Souther, John Flottman, niece Kathryn Johnson. Services were Dec. 7 at E.C.

Basic obituary information and a color photograph of your loved one is published without charge. Call 248-8600 for a submission form. To publish a larger memorial tribute, call 242-4000 for pricing details.

Jeff Hill • Minister Worship Service 10:30am Sunday School 9:15 am

TRADITIONAL WORSHIP Sunday 8:30 & 11 am CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP Sunday 9:30 & 11 am & 1st Saturday of the Month 6 pm Children’s programs and nursery & toddler care available at 9:30 and 11:00 services. Plenty of Parking behind church.

7515 Forest Road Cincinnati, OH 45255 513-231-4172 •

CHURCH OF THE SAVIOUR 8005 Pfeiffer Rd. Montgomery 791-3142 "Christmas Gifts That Won’t Break: Abiding Joy"


Childrens Church & Nursery PASTOR MARIE SMITH

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FAITH CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP CHURCH ~ Solid Bible Teaching ~ 6800 School Street Newtown, OH 45244 Phone: 271-8442


Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell, Senior Pastor Pastor Justin Wilson, Youth Minister Vibrant Teen and Children’s Ministries

Sunday Worship 10:30 am All ages Sunday School 9:30 am Wed. Fellowship Meal 6:00 pm Wed. Worship/Bible Study 6:45 pm All are Welcome!

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Dr. Cathy Johns, Senior Pastor

Sunday Worship: 9:00 & 10:15 AM with


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Traditional Worship 8:20am & 11:00am Contemporary Worship 9:40am Sunday School (All ages) 9:40 & 11am Nursery Care Provided

2010 Wolfangel Rd., Anderson Twp. 513-231-4301




Alberta Elizabeth Flottman



Sunday Service and Sunday School 10:30am Wednesday Testimonial Meeting 7:30pm Reading Room 3035 Erie Ave

William Cavagna Jr., 84, of Anderson Township died Nov. 29. He was a US Army veteran of Korea. Survived by wife of 57 years, Janice E. Cavagna; daughter, Lori (Charles Welch) Beahr; and grandchildren William Craig, Robert Major, Thomas and Edward. Preceded in death by parents William Cavagna Sr. and Clara Vonderhide. Services were Dec. 2 at T.P. White and Sons Funeral Home, Mount Washington.


William Cavagna Jr.

Sunday 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. 11020 S. Lebanon Road. 683-1556



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Sunday Worship: 8:30 & 11 a.m. Sunday School: 9:45 a.m. Active Youth • Outreach • Fellowship Music Ministries • Bible Studies

Ark of Learning Preschool and Child Care Ages 3 through 12

681 Mt. Moriah Drive • 513.752.1333


8000 Miami Ave. 513-791-4470 Sunday Worship 9:00 am - Contemporary Service 10:00am Educational Hour 11:00 am - Traditional Service

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Fun at the castle

The local nonprofit organization Lighthouse Youth Services recently had its annual fall fundraiser at Bishop’s Place Castle, the Clifton home of Jakki and Len Haussler. “Fashion, Food, Friends and Fun at the Castle“ featured an afternoon of boutique shopping, lunch provided by some of Cincinnati’s finest restaurants and Cincinnati Enquirer Food Critic Polly Campbell as the guest speaker. The Lighthouse fall event is conducted annually in a beautiful Cincinnati home, and it sells out every year. The event raised more than $60,000 to provide funding for Lighthouse programs and wish list items for the youth they serve. Area restaurants donated all the food, and participating boutiques donated a percentage of their sales to Lighthouse. At Lighthouse Youth Services annual fall fundraiser are, in front Bob Mecum, president and CEO of Lighthouse Youth Services, Pierce Township; and Karen Cassidy, last year's fall event chair and hostess, Indian Hill; in back are Jakki Haussler, fall event chair and hostess, and her husband Len Haussler, Clifton. THANKS TO TAMARA SULLIVAN

Bishop's Place Castle in Clifton, the home of Jakki and Len Haussler, is this year's location for Lighthouse Youth Services annual fall fundraiser. THANKS TO TAMARA SULLIVAN

Happy Holidays

Brian Albach, Jan Timmel, Gregory Wells and Stephen Dauer dine together at Bishop's Place Castle, the location for this year's Lighthouse Youth Services fall fundraiser. Albach, Wells andDauer are with The Albach, Wells & Dauer Group at Morgan Stanley (Kenwood), a Points of Light Sponsor. THANKS TO TAMARA SULLIVAN

from the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce THE 2013-2014


Katie Kerrey and Kristen DeMarco, both of Indian Hill, attend the Lighthouse Youth Services annual fall fundraiser. THANKS TO

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Helen Murdock, Audre Sedacca of Anderson Township and Linda Busken Jergens of Hyde Park enjoy the afternoon together at the Lighthouse Youth Services annual fall fundraiser. THANKS TO TAMARA SULLIVAN


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LLC to Cincy Construction LLC; $45,000. 8291 Forest Road: Cincy Construction LLC to Frontline Investment Group LLC; $104,900. 2030 Gilchrest Farm: Glutz, Thomas J. & Claudia MillerGlutz to Kelly, Jay P. & Nicole Marie Welsh Kell; $256,500. 1861 Lindsey Lane: Zemites, Ronald & Crystal to Sacher, Michael Jason & Theresa Marie; $472,000. 7535 State Road: Black, Leo Allen Jr. to Forest Hills Dental Investments LLC; $275,000. 7331 Ticonderoga Court: Wilson,

Kevin & Lauren Hayden Wilson to Lay, Christopher W. & Jaime J.; $173,500. 7429 Wallingford Drive: Ary, Patrick J. to Reynolds, Steve & Stephanie Liechte; $229,900. 1173 Wilshire Ave.: Lewis, James L. to Flaherty, Daniel P.; $114,400.


1976 Berkshire Club Drive: Knopf, Clarence E. to Bishop, Catherine A.; $183,000. 1233 Moonkist Court: George, Patrick A. to Scott, Courtney L. Roseman & Adrienne M. Adams; $125,900.


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(Kroger Shopping Center) (513) 752-0461

Information is provided as a public service by the office of Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes. Neighborhood designations are approximate.



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1116 Beacon Road: Taylor, Shawn M. & Alicia M. to Liske, Elijah Joseph & Eliza Jean; $100,000. 7051 Beechmont Ave.: Wells Fargo Bank NA Tr. to Mlynek, Giselle & Mark; $20,947. 5315 Beechmont Ave.: BP Oil Co to Hedlesten, Robert C. Tr.; $75,000. 5944 Crittenden Drive: Laycock, George E. & Ellen M. to Koch, Paige; $190,000. 5944 Crittenden Drive: Koch, Paige to Sparks, Richard L. & Alicia M.; $336,150. 1070 Eight Mile Road: Rineair, Brian M. & Restituto H. Alonzo to Maimone, Tracey Tabar; $182,339. 8291 Forest Road: Brock, Karen M. & John Michael Brock to Brock, John Michael & Cincy Construction LLC; $45,000. 8291 Forest Road: Brock, John Michael & Cincy Construction



POLICE REPORTS ANDERSON TOWNSHIP Arrests/citations Juvenile, 15, assault, Nov. 12. Ronnie Alsept, 54, 8 Cottage Court, domestic violence, Nov. 17. Chandra Ballou, 24, 4405 Eastern Ave., theft, Nov. 14. Juvenile, 16, criminal damage, Nov. 19. Juvenile, 16, theft, Nov. 20. Randell Blackwell, 52, Banklick Street, theft, Nov. 15. Wendy A. Neulist, 28, 1394 Deerfield, theft, Nov. 21.


Assault Adult male was assaulted at Altercrest at Sutton Road, Nov. 12. Male was assaulted at 6631 Sutton Road, Nov. 22. Male was assaulted at 1349 Stanley, Nov. 22. Burglary Attempt made to enter residence at 1063 Azure Court, Nov. 15. Two TVs, computer, etc. taken; $4,025 at 1775 Kings Way, Nov. 20. Criminal damage Window broken in vehicle at 1549 Huntcrest, Nov. 17. Vehicle keyed at Kroger at

ABOUT POLICE REPORTS The Community Press publishes the names of all adults charged with offenses. The information is a matter of public record and does not imply guilt or innocence. To contact your local police department: » Anderson Township, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Lt. Matthew Guy, District 5 commander, 825-2280 » Cincinnati District 2, California and Mount Washington, Capt. Jeff Butler, District 2 commander, police officer Germaine Love, neighborhood officer, 979-4400 » Newtown, Tom Synan, chief, 561-7697 or 825-2280

Beechmont Avenue, Nov. 16. Outside lights damaged at Altercrest at Sutton Road, Nov. 19. Domestic violence At Stanley Road, Nov. 17. Fraud Female stated ID used with no authorization at 1131 Deliquina, Nov. 21. Theft Currency and a watch taken; $150 cash at 7272 Ayers Road, Nov. 15. Camera, etc. taken from vehicle at 300 Summer View, Nov. 17. Laptop and GPS taken from vehicle at 7112 Best View Terrace, Nov. 19. Landscape stones taken; $125 at 5630 Brookhaven, Nov. 21. Laptop taken from classroom at Anderson High at Forest Road, Nov. 20. Male paid for work that has not been completed; $3,100 loss at 6906 Gammwell, Nov. 19. Jewelry taken; $9,900 at 2396 Elstun, Nov. 20. Trading cards taken from Target; $24 at Beechmont Avenue, Nov. 15. Purses taken from Macy’s; $1,922 at Beechmont Avenue, Nov. 21.

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Cell phone taken from vehicle at 7954 Beechmont, Nov. 18.

CINCINNATI DISTRICT 2 Arrests/citations Holly Tinker, born 1990, criminal damaging or endangering, Nov. 21. Latris D. Cliett, born 1976, criminal damaging or endangering, Nov. 23. Rakesha Thomas, born 1993, assault, Nov. 25.

Kevin King, born 1991, burglary, Nov. 26. Asina Valentine, born 1975, aggravated menacing, Nov. 28. Wendy Weathington, born 1988, aggravated burglary, Nov. 29.

2226 Salvador St., Nov. 27. Theft 2120 Beechmont Ave., Nov. 26. 1202 Deliquia Drive, Nov. 27.



Assault 1326 Deliquia Drive, Nov. 28. 1326 Deliquia Drive, Nov. 28. Breaking and entering 4822 Morse St., Nov. 22. Robbery

Jennifer Davidson, 25, 930 Jefferson St., bench warrant, Nov. 20. Jesse Pitman, 21, 4524 Weiner Lane No. 10, bench warrant, Nov. 20.


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By Lisa Wakeland



laboration list with the parks and schools to look at different options. With tax increment financing districts, the local school districts have revenue sharing agreements with the township and will still get 100 percent of the property taxes they would otherwise receive. While the 1994 TIF


Tunning joins GCF

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) welcomes an Anderson Township resident to its staff. Joelle Tunning is the communications and events coordinator. She is the owner of Arts at Heart Consulting and is a former employee of Enjoy the Arts.

Spine surgeon joins Mercy

Dr. Bret A. Ferree, who specializes in spine surgery, recently joined Mercy Health Physicians. Ferree began seeing patients in September, at Mercy Health – Anderson Orthopaedics and Spine, located at 7575 Five Mile Road. and in Eastgate at 4440 Glen Este-Withamsville Road.


St. Xavier Performance Center 600 West North Bend Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45224

Sat., Jan. 25 • 7:30 p.m.


McAuley Performing Arts Center 6000 Oakwood Ave Cincinatti, Ohio 45224

Sat., Feb. 22 • 7:30 p.m.

For Tickets and Information Go To or call 513-484-0157

Anderson Township


“We treat your pet like family” Voted Best Place to Pamper Your Pet! Cincy Magazine 2013


we do it all! 6666 Clough Pike | (513) 231-7387(PETS) Mon.-Fri. 7-7 • Sat. 9-5• Sun. 12-5


» The Board of Directors of Mt. Washington Savings Bank appointed Shelly Alltop as vice president and chief financial officer. In these roles, Alltop will be responsible for Accounting, Information Technology, Human Resources and managing the Deposit Operations of the Bank. Alltop has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Xavier University with a major in accounting. » Tom McAllister has joined Mt. Washington Savings Bank as chief credit officer. He will be responsible for the bank’s loan review program and underwriting of commercial real estate loans. McAllister graduated

from Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration and Economics. He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin. » Bonnie Deer has joined Mt. Washington Savings Bank as vice president of SBA Lending. Deer specializes in working with both the SBA 7(a) Loan Program for Business Loans and the 504 Loan Program for Commercial Real Estate Loans. She will be responsible for the origination of SBA Loans and other Government Loan Programs. Deer attended Miami University and The American Institute of Banking.




Mt. Washington Savings hires 3

Difference in Diamonds

Every year Anderson Township sets aside money in its tax increment financing fund for different projects and reserves some for joint projects with other agencies. According to TIF projections from earlier this year, here is how much money is set aside in each of the next five years for miscellaneous projects: » $575,000 for 2013 » $75,000 for 2014 » $100,000 for 2015 » $125,000 for 2016 » $250,000 for 2017


More collaboration on capital projects could be on the horizon in Anderson Township. The possibility of future partnerships came up as officials from the township government, Forest Hills Local School District and Anderson Township Park District reviewed tax increment financing projections. The discussions were part of an annual meeting of the Tax Incentive Review Council, a Hamilton County agency that reviews and designates areas for exemptions, such as enterprise zones or tax increment financing districts. Anderson Township has had a tax increment financing district in place throughout much of the community since 1994, which means property tax payments on improvements go to the township instead of the county. That money can only be used for capital projects or infrastructure, not operating expenses. “We go through and project spending throughout the life of the TIF, and this is our projected wish list,” said Township Administrator Vicky Earhart. “This changes frequently as the needs change from department to department.” Anderson Township has been pushing back big projects and holding off on buying new vehicles because of lower than expected revenue, Earhart said. Forest Hills Treasurer Rick Toepfer said the school district would like to be part of the improvement plans in the future. “A lot has changed since 1994, and we have a lot of needs we haven’t filled,” he said. Earhart said they’ve had similar requests from the Park District, and staff has been working with the current board of trustees to determine what the township needs are and how to balance those with what the schools or parks would like to see. For example, she said, they can delay a new fire station on Broadwell Road for now, but “if the Ancor area develops quickly then that becomes a higher priority.” The township also planned to rebuild the public works garage on Beechmont Avenue, but that has been eliminated. Toepfer said the school district also has needs for large vehicle bays, fueling, mechanic space, and they could work together on a project. Some of the township’s TIF spending, such as new sidewalks, have helped the school district, Toepfer said, “but we have some specific things we can’t put our arms around right now.” Assistant Township Administrator Steve Sievers said they have decided to make some repairs to the public works building, but “we’re not looking to do any major expansion of that site.” Earhart added they could put together a col-

covers much of the community, there are separate districts near the Ohio RivEarhart erfront at the new Belterra racetrack, the uncompleted Anderson Towne Place movie theater and garage development behind the Anderson Towne Center on Five Mile Road, and in northern Anderson Township, near the Little Miami River.




Anderson Twp. agencies talk about collaboration

Kenwood Towne Centre Tri-County Mall Florence Mall Northgate Mall Eastgate Mall



Shielding gay son, Portman tried to stay off GOP ticket Gannett News Service WASHINGTON — Sen. Rob Portman tried to take himself off Mitt Romney’s vice presidential short list, fearing the selection process could force his son to reveal his homosexuality in the glare of the political spotlight, according to a new book on the 2012 presidential campaign. “The prospect of being tapped (as Romney’s running mate) filled him with no small degree of anguish,” write journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, authors of “Double Down: Game Change 2012.”

In the spring of 2012, Romney’s campaign had winnowed the list of two dozen potential running mates to five – including Portman, a Republican from Terrace Park. The vice presidential search was code-named “Project Goldfish,” after the crackers, and each of the candidates was given an “aquatic code name.” Portman’s was “Filet-OFish.” When Romney called to tell Portman he was among the finalists, “Portman put him off, saying he wanted to consult with his family,” the book recounts. Unbeknownst to the

Mt. Washington American Legion Post 484 American Legion Auxiliary Unit 484 Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Squadron 484 1837 Sutton Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45230 513-231-7351

Children’s Christmas Party December 15th 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. Ages 10 and under

Entertainment includes:

lunch, gifts and a visit with Santa! Reservations required. Please call Bill Hosking at 232-0958 for reservations

(or leave a message with number of children attending).

Free admission.


Romney campaign, Portman’s son, Will, a college student at Yale, had told his parents in February 2011 that he was gay. Will’s disclosure had prompted Portman to rethink his opposition to same-sex marriage, but the senator wasn’t ready to announce his reversal on such a politically volatile issue yet. “Father and son had been talking about going public together for a while, but they wanted to do it on their own timetable,” the book says. “Although Will was out of the closet at Yale, he wasn’t ready to be out on the national stage, and Portman wasn’t prepared to announce his newfound support for gay marriage.” Portman called Romney and said he didn’t want to be considered, without disclosing anything about Will. With the press still hounding him about whether he was being vetted, Portman asked Romney’s campaign in late May if he could put out a statement saying “he had chosen not to be considered.” Romney’s top aides, though, were afraid it would look like a slap at the former Massachusetts governor – that no one wanted to be on the ticket with him. That’s because Portman’s request came soon after former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels gave Romney what the book calls a “kick in the shins” when he told Fox News that he wasn’t being vetted to be

Sen. Rob Portman was a finalist to be Mitt Romney’s running mate on the 2012 Republican ticket.ASSOCIATED PRESS

Romney’s running mate. “Of course not,” Daniels said. “If I thought the call was coming, I would disconnect the phone.” So Stuart Stevens, a top adviser to Romney who had also worked for Portman, begged the Ohio Republican to keep himself in the mix. Portman didn’t want to deal a blow to the campaign. And he also realized that, if he took himself out of the running, the media would want to know why. Because of “… the press corps’ obsession with the veep stakes, removing himself from the short list would raise more questions than it answered. Reporters would furiously try to figure out why he was standing down,” the authors write. After consulting with his family, Portman de-

cided to tell Stevens and Beth Meyers, who was leading Romney’s vice presidential vetting, that Will was gay. “Portman made it clear that, if he were picked, he would also announce that he was changing his position on gay marriage,” the book says. Stevens and Meyers said that would be fine. “Doesn’t help us, doesn’t hurt us,” was Stevens’ analysis. In the end, all the behind-the-scenes drama was for naught, because Romney settled on Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. And Portman waited until well after the election – March 2013 – to disclose his stunning shift on same-sex marriage. “Double Down” also reveals a few snippets about House Speaker

John Boehner’s role in the 2012 election. The West Chester Republican was quietly pushing two other GOP contenders – Daniels and Ryan – to jump into the race as an alternative to Romney. “The speaker had been briefed on the mechanics of a white-knight entry and was increasingly warm to the notion,” the book says. “He made sure Daniels knew he wanted the Hoosier to reconsider” his earlier decision against running, “while at the same time encouraging Paul Ryan to step into the fray.” Boehner and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are even described in one section as “extreme doubters” of Romney’s candidacy. The book quotes Kasich as exclaming early on: “It can’t be Mitt. He’s terrible!” m

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5005 Cincinnati Brookville Rd. Shandon, OH 45063 513-738-4200 M-SAT 10AM-7PM, SUNDAY 11AM-5PM







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Forest hills journal 121113  
Forest hills journal 121113