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April 10, 2011

Big Darby Town Center

Community takes a look at plan By CARLA SMITH ThisWeek Community Newspapers

The impact of more housing — bringing with it more students — in the Hilliard and South-Western city school districts was one of the major concerns expressed about the Big Darby Town Center Master Plan at a public meet-

ing April 5. Urban Design Associates, the design team in charge of the creation of the master plan for a massive planned development on the West Side, presented the final proposal to a crowd packing the Prairie Township Fire Station that night. The Town Center is to be developed within the Big Darby Accord Watershed

in western Franklin County. It encompasses the western portion of Prairie Township and a southwest portion of Brown Township. The mixed-use development plan calls for the building of single-family homes and apartments, townhomes, 300,000 square feet of retail space and a hotel. Paul Lambert, a member of the Hilliard

school board, asked why the Hilliard and South-Western school districts were not included in the planning process. He said he is worried that the proposed residential development in the area will become a burden to both districts, as they will have to rely more and more on property taxes. “My concern is that there has been no

thought in regard to the school districts,” Lambert said. “We will be relying on most of our funding now through residential property taxes.” The impact of new development on schools could be great, he said. Maggie Connor, of Urban Design AsSee COMMUNITY, page A2

Grossman says S.B. 5 vote was toughest she has faced By LISA AURAND ThisWeek Community Newspapers

By Chris Parker/ThisWeek

Graffiti defaces the Hometown Inn on Broad Street, just west of I-270. Prairie Township has purchased the property.

Civic leaders hope to see ‘Graffiti Free Columbus’ By KEVIN PARKS ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Short-term solutions to tagging suggested

The handwriting may be on the wall for graffiti in Columbus. As far as those who attended a special meeting last week are concerned, it should be off the walls for all graffiti, and off to jail for those who commit the crime of defacing public and private property with their “tags.” About 50 people from across the city turned out last week for the “Graffiti Free Columbus” meeting held at the Charity Newsies building on Indianola Avenue. They came, certainly not to praise graffiti, but to condemn it. They called for harsher punishment, tempered with diversionary programs for would-be taggers, such as public murals and more art education in schools. They wanted almost immediate eradication of “tags” on public and private structures, while at the same time suggesting some form of insurance reform so that property owners — already victims — have greater

The people who attended a community meeting on the subject of graffiti last week were asked to break into smaller groups to come up with possible immediate solutions to the problem. A sampling of their suggestions includes: • Stiffer penalties. • A Facebook page for reporting incidents of graffiti, such as the one city officials used recently in a campaign to repair potholes. • Creative alternatives, such as art projects and murals. • Encourage residents and victims to appear in court when vandals are sentenced. • Improve communication among civic groups. • Have ex-offenders speak to school groups. • Organize local and even national “graffiti wipeout days.” • Talk to business owners about the cost of leaving “tags” in place, countering their arguments about the cleanup incentives. And could somebody, please, do something about the railroads? James R.Blazer II of the Clintonville Area Commission said the purpose of the “Graffiti Free Colum-

cost of removing them. • Remove signs posted illegally in the public right of way to discourage taggers from feeling residents in an area of the city don’t care about the appearance of their neighborhood. This latter suggestion came from a group headed by Northland Community Council vice president Emmanuel V. Remy. The council has a graphics task force that was initially created to encourage removal of illegal advertising signs, but has since evolved to embrace reporting violations of the graphics codes and graffiti. University District Commission president Ian MacConnell, one of the co-chairman of last week’s “Graffiti Free Columbus” meeting, said he thinks the latter suggestion was an especially good one. He added that often, taggers tell him they don’t see why they can’t put their mark somewhere when an individual or company selling a mattress is allowed to advertise.

bus” gathering was to get a better han- our lives.” dle on what graffiti is while taking a “It undermines the economic podefinitive stance on what it is not. tential and gives the appearance, right“Graffiti is not art,” Blazer said. ly or wrongly, that an area isn’t safe,” “Graffiti is criminal behavior that destroys property and affects all of See GRAFFITI, page A2

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The Ohio Legislature’s March 30 vote on Senate Bill 5 was the toughest Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) has faced thus far, she said. Grossman, the former mayor of Grove City, was re-elected to a second term in the Ohio House Cheryl in November. Revised Senate Bill 5, which Grossman limits collective bargaining for public sector unions, passed the Ohio House 53-44 and the Senate 17-16 amid yells of protest from teachers and firefighters in the galleries. “I hate to see people so angry and upset,” Grossman said. “It was difficult. It really was.” Grossman said she believes some of her friends who are firefighters, policemen and teachers have been misled by union leaders about what S.B. 5 actually will do. “I think some of the in- See related story formation they’ve received on S.B. 5, page is very, very nonfactual, A5 and I know they’re confused and angry and disappointed,” she said. “I think the (Ohio Education Association) has manipulated a lot of the facts, and I think that’s unfortunate.” The bill requires workers to pay at least 15 percent of their health insurance costs and replaces automatic pay increases with a pay system based on performance. Additional provisions prohibit layoffs based solely on seniority and limit the issues that can be bargained. Grossman said she was involved in the introduction of amendments to the original Senate Bill 5. “I’m glad I was able to offer amendments that were included,” she said. The amendments included one about a new meritbased pay system and another that allows firefighters, police officers and nurses to negotiate for safety equipment. Another amendment eliminates an old rule prohibiting union members from talking with their elected officials during bargaining. “I had a fit with that,” Grossman said. “As Americans, we’re given that right and privilege and that shouldn’t be a rule in my mind, at all.” Grossman said the process of putting together the amendments was necessary, but difficult because of resistance from public unions. “I’ve been extremely involved with working on amendments to try to make this better,” Grossman said. “The teachers would say, ‘There’s nothing you can do other than kill the bill.’In reality, I was under

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ThisWeek Community Newspapers West Side

Page A2

April 10, 2011

Community takes a look at Big Darby Town Center plan Continued from page A1 sociates, said the question of the financial impact of development on the school district is a tough one to answer. She said that most of the new housing in the Hilliard school district would occur in the northern portion of the development, which means less impact for Hilliard schools. “This is a relevant point,” Connor said. “However, the residential will be light within the Hilliard school district, with big lots. It is our hope that the commercial development will offset any residential development.” The purpose of the April 5 meeting was to gather public input before the four jurisdictions involved with the development plan vote on it. Those jurisdictions are Prairie and Brown townships, Franklin County and the city of Columbus. Connor said the Big Darby

Town Center Master Plan is an extension of the work done on the Big Darby Accord. It is a plan that sets standards in place before development occurs in order to protect the highly sensitive Big Darby Creek environment. “Currently, damage is being done from existing farmland that is degrading the stream,” Conner said. “Unchecked development has negative impacts, not only to the Big Darby but socially and economically as well. We see this as an opportunity to draw economic activity to the area.” Most of the higher-density development will occur in Prairie Township, Connor said. There will be a mix of single-family homes, townhouses and mixed use in a main street configuration, she said. “We have set criteria for the type of development,” Connor said. “You have the opportunity to respond to the market at the

time.” Timeline for the potential development is anticipated between 2015 and 2030. Before that happens, Connor said, several things will have to take place. The plan must first be approved by the four jurisdictions involved, she said. Next, it is expected to take at least two years for a process called landowner outreach. A community improvement corp. would be formed in order to negotiate with landowners to agree to the town center plan. Once 1,000 acres are committed to the plan, a second community authority will be created for the purpose of realizing the plan, Connor said. That organization would then solicit for a master developer. “Implementation is complicated,” Connor said “It is a strategy and will take a few years to get off the ground.”

Challenges to implementation include getting sewer and water to the development. The Big Darby Accord allows the development to tie into Columbus water and sewer without annexation of land, she said. In order to bring sewer and water to the site, an 11,000foot extension to the existing waterline will be needed. Cost of getting water is estimated at $13.7 million, she said. “Water and sewer has to be invested in first before development can occur,” Connor said. “How do we fund this?” The city and the county are discussing funding options that include grant opportunities, contributions from developers and a sewer charge. Another challenge is multiple owners who may or may not want anything to do with the town center plan.

Graffiti opponents want stronger penalties Continued from page A1 city council member Zachary M. Klein said. He has scheduled a hearing of his council development committee dealing with graffiti for Wednesday, April 27, at 5 p.m. in council chambers. Klein is exploring the idea of imposing mandatory sentences on repeat offenders as well as — much more controversially — a suggestion from University Area Commission president Ian MacConnell to require the owners of occupied properties to remove graffiti within 60 days. In a February letter, he urged that the time period should be only 30 days for vacant properties. Klein told those attending the session that he looked forward to incorporating their recommendations into his committee’s April 27 hearing. People from the University District, Clintonville, Franklinton, the Hilltop and other neighborhoods were on hand for the meeting. William Logan, of the Northland Community Council, said the meeting was a start,

Summit devises possible long-term answers The approximately 50 are residents on hand for the “Graffiti Free Columbus” meeting last week broke into groups to devise some possible long-term strategies for dealing with the issue. Some of those put forth included: • Make violations felonies, based on the amount of damage. • Develop one consistent law statewide. • Require that the homeowners insurance of juvenile offenders’parents pay for tagging damage. • Require community service by taggers to clean up graffiti. but only a start. At meeting’s end, he took the microphone to urge that a future meeting or meetings be held. “There needs to be a follow-up,” Logan said. “Don’t let it drop.” Sometime in early May, after the city council committee hearing is held, would probably work out well, MacConnell said.

• Develop incentives for taggers to turn one another in. • Allow surrogates to appear in court on behalf of business owners who would find it a hardship to do so themselves. • Foster local and federal cooperation to clean up tagging on railroad property. • Expand art programs in schools. • Publish the names of convicted taggers, as with sex offenders. • Create a reward system for those who immediately remove graffiti from their property. — Kevin Parks “Graffiti is everybody’s problem,” Blazer said early in the proceedings, stating that it costs the United States $8-billion a year. It’s an eyesore and a drain on tax dollars, he added. “We do not have to live with it in our communities.” “We want a graffiti-free city,” MacConnell said. “That really is our agenda here.”

Grossman says S.B. 5 vote was toughest she has faced Continued from page A1 the impression that it was probably going to pass, so my goal was to make it as fair and responsible as I could.” Grossman said she thinks the

passage of Senate Bill 5 was necessary to improve financial conditions for cities, schools and the state of Ohio itself. “For our future kids and grandchildren, we’ve got to turn this state around,” Grossman said.

In a similar vein, Grossman said she is co-sponsoring a bill to reduce the wages of the state representatives. “I think we made (S.B. 5) better than how it came out of the Senate,” Grossman said. “I spent

a lot of heart-wrenching hours to help and trying to determine what to do. I hope that when the dust settles ... and things are implemented, that people are going to see not a lot of change to how things have been done in the past.”

James Schimmer, of the Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department, said the plan presented that evening is not a fixed thing. It has to be malleable and have the ability to change as the economic climate changes, he said. “Please continue to work with us as we evolve this plan,” Schimmer said. “This isn’t about us but future generations. It is really im-

portant to understand that this process does not end here tonight.” Those residents who could not make it to the meeting still have an opportunity to look at the plan and give feedback. The plan is posted, along with a survey, on the Franklin County web page, www.franklincountyohio.gov/bigdarbyaccord. Csmithwestside@aol.com www.ThisWeekNews.com

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April 10, 2011

who wanted to help. That’s what we want to highlight — that human spirit.” The “Amazing Student Volunteers” scholarship, presented by Columbus State Community College and supported by Stanley Steemer, is open to children in kindergarten through 12th grade in ThisWeek’s five-county coverage area: Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking and Union counties. ThisWeek readers may nominate an amazing student volunteer on ThisWeek’s website, at ThisWeekNEWS.com/volunteers. Nominations must include a description of the student’s amazing impact through a 500word narrative or a 3- to 5-minute video with a short cover letter. The contest will be open to nominations through April 30, and the winner will be announced online at ThisWeekNEWS.com on May 12. Two additional $500 scholarships are included, and details are posted at ThisWeekNEWS.com. Stories on the winner, runners-up and other notable youth volunteers will be published in the May 19 editions of ThisWeek and online at ThisWeekNEWS.com, along with videos of some of the entries. ThisWeek also is searching for two sponsors. Those interested should contact Doug Dixon, ThisWeek sales manager, at (740) 888-6007 or email ddixon@thisweeknews.com.

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You might not think about it every day, but economic development touches every aspect of our lives, from the jobs we go to in the morning to the places we buy our food and clothes and to the weekend entertainment spots where we unwind. Creating a location where people want to live and work and where businesses want to put down roots is not an easy task. That’s the challenge for Columbus2020!, a regional growth strategy that provides the funding and structure to market and promote the eight-county Columbus region to prospective businesses and employees. While we’ve invested $2 million annually in economic development in the past, cities like Nashville, Memphis and Louisville have invested double and triple that amount. To compete for job-creation opportunities, we must have the resources to reach out to businesses locally, nationally and internationally to introduce them to the great assets this region has to offer. As part of the Columbus2020!

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Achieving these objectives by the year 2020 will have a cyclical effect, as Columbus will be positioned as an ideal spot to work and do business. This will put the region on the map, enticing even more companies to move to central Ohio and create additional jobs. The Columbus2020! initiative is off to a productive start, but we still have much work to do. I will be providing updates through this column on a monthly basis, but I encourage each of you to reach out to me directly with questions on our progress or feedback on what we could be doing better. The success of the Columbus region’s economic development affects all of us, and we have the ability to set our own course for the future. Let’s ensure that the region continues to move forward. Kenny McDonald is chief economic officer for Columbus2020! Email McDonald at km@columbusregion.com or visit columbusregion.com for more information.

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Central Ohio legislators divided over S.B. 5 THISWEEK STAFF REPORT ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Central Ohio legislators were divided on Senate Bill 5, the historic legislation backed by Gov. John Kasich that redefines collective bargaining for Ohio’s public employees. The bill signed last week by Kasich becomes law on June 30. Opponents of the legislation have vowed to mount a campaign to place the issue before voters as a referendum on the November ballot. To do so, they must collect more than 230,000 valid signatures by the end of June. If they’re successful, the bill won’t take effect until after the election, according to Rob Nichols, Kasich’s public information officer. S.B. 5 prohibits public workers from striking, restricts the number of issues that may be discussed in collective bargaining, institutes performance-based pay raises instead of basing raises on longevity, drops the percentage of workers needed to decertify a union from more than 50 percent to 30 percent, and caps employers’payment of their workers’ health insurance at 85 percent. Recent amendments institute a performance-based pay scale for teachers and stop nonunion public workers from being required to pay union dues, among other changes. Public-sector employees represent 6.5 percent of Ohio’s 5.5 million workers but are a significant political force in the state. S.B. 5 was approved by a 1716 vote in the Ohio Senate following its 53-44 passage in the Ohio House. Central Ohio legislators supported the bill 12-8. When polled by ThisWeek Community Newspapers, many of the local legislators who voted in favor of the bill said they did so because it gives local governmental entities such as cities, villages, townships and school districts more control over their budgets. Those who opposed it said they didn’t like the process by which it was passed and objected because they believe it is anti-union. “What the bill is about is letting state and local government manage their own budgets in a down economy,” state Sen. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) said. “It’s about creating flexibility. We have local government and big government on the verge of fiscal crisis, and they need the tools to balance their budgets. Bacon said the only other option was to increase taxes. “There are a lot of people out there that can’t afford that,” he said. “In terms of economic development and unemployment, this is a terrible time to impose tax increases on the middle and lower class.” State Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Victorian Village), called S.B. 5 a “union-busting bill.” He disagrees with those who contend the bill was meant to give Ohio municipalities and school boards an additional tool to tighten their budgets. During a prolonged recession, he said, unions throughout Ohio have shown their willingness to make concessions by accepting pay freezes and contributing more toward their retirement and medical benefits. “You don’t give somebody a hammer when they’re trying to tighten a screw,” Stinziano said. “I’m a fan of the process that brings two sides together so they can talk about their differences.” Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (DColumbus) said she voted against the bill because she thought it was political punishment for Democratic Party supporters. She said collective bargaining “is a mechanism for negotiation; it’s not a mandate for anything. “Public employees have been … taking their hit on the chin all through this recession, to the tune of $250 million, in terms of wage increases and furlough days,” Heard said. “Almost 5,000 (positions) have been permanently eliminated under Gov. Ted Strickland’s administration. If more is needed, why not just go back to the table and say, ‘We need you to tighten a little more,’ versus eliminating the process altogether … This is political punishment for those who traditionally support and fund Democratic candidates.” Rep. Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) said S.B. restores authority to local governments. “I thought the law as it currently exists for collective bargaining in Ohio, and as was passed in 1983, was far too expansive in terms of taking away the power of local governments and managers to control spending and the work per-

formance that has to be done,” Stebelton said. “It’s been my experience over the last 28 years, particularly in schools, that administrators are really restricted in their ability to reduce costs by the collective-bargaining agreements, which require last-in, first-out to be the sole factor in determining who is laid off when you have a cost reduction. That results in people (with) longer seniority always being protected, even though their performance may not be as good as some of the newer employees. Also, requiring more of those newer people to be cut basically destroys your progression for the future.” Rep. Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) said she was “unhappy with how the process developed — not sitting down with the interested parties from the very beginning and talking about the issues people have. “Certainly, we have a budget

problem; you can’t deny that,” she said. “But I really don’t think we should put this on the backs of public employees … Do we need to make some tweaks? Yes, I totally agree with that, but we kind of took a sledgehammer to it.” Rep. Ted Celeste (D-Grandview Heights), who voted against S.B. 5, said he doesn’t think the issue has been decided. “It is a disappointing day in Ohio when we turn our backs on the working-class people, public servants who keep us safe and teach our children each and every day,” Celeste said. “I am confident that this will not be the last we see of Senate Bill 5 and that the voters of Ohio will have their voices heard when the issue is brought up as a referendum on the upcoming ballot.” Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) said he supported the bill because of the state’s economic condition. “We are going broke,” he

said. “We are in bad shape and we have to fix it. We’ve lost 600,000 jobs; there are over half a million people unemployed in this state. What am I to tell small-business owners and people that work in the private sector — that your benefits can get cut, your pay can go down, you can lose your job, but government can’t be reformed? I know people are going to be upset, but these reforms have to occur.” Rep. John Carney (D-Clintonville), who voted against the bill, said the process didn’t include leaders of the union labor force on changes to the collective-bargaining laws. “I don’t think these are the right changes, in many respects,” Carney said. Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Powell) said S.B. 5 “is one of several policy changes that need to be made to help keep costs under control. “This bill gives taxpayers a seat at the table,” he said. “It gives management more ability to run their operations efficiently and it gives workers the freedom to associate or not associate with the union, which they haven’t had since 1983.” State Rep. Mike Duffey (RWorthington) said he supported the bill because it “puts final decision-making for collective bargaining in the hands of locally elected officials, such as city councils, school boards and the voters themselves, rather than unelected arbitrators from outside the community. This was the pivotal aspect of the bill for me,” he said. Rep. Cheryl Grossman (RGrove City) said she voted for the bill after offering amendments she thought were needed. “I have met with numerous teachers, firefighters, law-enforcement and other public-sector union members,” Grossman said. “From these discussions, I offered several amendments to this legislation to improve this bill. S.B. 5 has been the most difficult decision I have faced as a state representative.” Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) said she, too, offered amendments. “The bill that came from the Senate, I didn’t think that it was a very good bill,” she said. “I think the House did a good job of making it better. I supported the

Page A5

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Coming up To add, remove or update a Wednesdays (free), Gentle listing, email Stretchers—10 a.m. Tuesdays editorial@thisweeknews.com. and Fridays (free), Line Dancing—noon Mondays ($2).

Events Lenten Fish Fry, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays through April 15 at St. Margaret of Cortona Church, 1600 N. Hague Ave. $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children 10 and younger. Free coffee; pop and beer available. Carryout will be available. Call the parish office at 614-2791690.

Meetings Southwest Area Commission, 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at New Horizons United Methodist Church, 1665 Harrisburg Pike. Visit www. columbusswac.org. The commission boundaries are the Scioto River to the east, I-270 to the south, the railroad tracks west of Harrisburg Pike on the west and Mound Street to Mt. Calvary to Greenlawn Avenue on the north. Call (614) 562-4728. VFW Post 6065, 5 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at the Prairie Township Senior Center, 4616 W. Broad St. Ladies Auxiliary meets at 6:30 p.m. For information, call Will Davis at (614) 309-0171. West Columbus Civitan Club, 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the private dining room at Bob Evans Restaurant in Georgesville Square. Call (800) 248-4826. A singles group for seniors meets at 6:30 p.m. every Friday at various locations. For details, call Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church at (614) 8764343.

Seniors Westland Senior Citizens, 11 a.m. the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Columbia Heights Methodist Church, 775 Galloway Road. All are welcome. For more information, call 870-6476. The following meet at the Prairie Township Senior Center, 4616 W. Broad St., unless noted. Call (614) 878-5110. Exercise Programs, Aerobics—10:30 a.m. Mondays and

Support groups A support group for people struggling with panic meets on an as-needed basis. To express interest in participating, call 8782697. Al-Anon, for friends and families of alcoholics, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 3220 Columbus St., Grove City. Families in Touch, for families and friends of people with mental illness, co-sponsored by the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare Community Support Network, 5:30-7 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at 2200 W. Broad St. Call Janet Mueller at (614) 752-033, ext. 5178. Adult Epilepsy Support Group, 6-8 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month at Riverside Hospital Conference Center, 500 Thomas Lane. Call (614) 315-0437.

Community brief WABA seeking volunteers The Westland Area Business Association has chosen “Reflect, Renew, Restore: Strengthening Our Westland Community” as the theme for the Independence Day Parade and Celebration, to be held Saturday, July 2. WABA members are working to organize post-parade events to take place and will be selling raffle tickets for gift baskets and monetary prizes up to $500. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for eight. Volunteers who would like to assist with the planning process may contact Rachelle Parsley at (614) 851-8790 or rparsley@internationalcollision.com.

People in business Previts named state archivist Fred Previts of Galloway has been appointed as the archivist for the State Archives of Ohio. He comes to the position after serving as the assistant state archivist since July 2009. Previts will be responsible for managing the operations at the state archives and serving as the liaison to the Ohio Historical Records advisory board. Previts joined the Ohio Historical Society as a government record

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archivist in 1999. He was previously employed at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. Fred Previts Previts holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University. He also holds a master’s degree in history from Cleveland State University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from John Carroll University.

Central Ohio legislators divided over S.B. 5 Continued from page A5

April 10, 2011

cs 081309 526600801-1

Page A6

“The reason I voted for it, simply, was because of the control and flexibility it gives local government and school boards,” he said. “I was for it essentially from the beginning. There were a lot of things about the Senate version that I was not real pleased with that I think the House did a reasonable job of resolving most of my concerns.” Sen. Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin), who supported the bill, said the General Assembly “was convinced that this effort to bring Ohio’s collectivebargaining law more in line with the practices of other states was necessary in this time of looming budget deficits. “I am hopeful that, as Ohio’s economy continues to improve, funds will be available to improve the budgets of our local schools and local governments.” For extended comments from state legislators, visit ThisWeekNews.com.

bill because there were a number of amendments I had submitted that were put into the language, one being that (police and firefighters) could collectively bargain for their personal safety equipment, and another that (allows union members to communicate with their local officials). I also supported the amendment that 50 percent of teachers’ and principals’ evaluations would be developed by the Ohio Department of Education.” Rep. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) said he voted for the bill despite the fact that he wasn’t totally satisfied with it. “I worked to try to make changes and to try to improve upon it,” he said. “The bill as it passed was what was before us, and I had two options: I could vote against the bill and have no reform, or I could vote for the bill that maybe goes further than what I would have liked. At the end of the day, not having any reform wasn’t a viable option.” ThisWeek writers Lisa Aurand, Bonnie Butcher, Rep. Bill Hayes (R-Pataskala) said he sup- Gary Budzak, Lin Rice and Gary Seman Jr. conported the bill after it was revised by the House. tributed to this story.

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April 10, 2011

Page A7

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Westland Roundup

Growing pains are likely for track teams By FRANK DiRENNA ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Tim Eckard began his eighth season as coach of the Westland High School boys and girls track and field teams with what might be the youngest group of athletes he has guided. Eckard’s main focus is seeing how quickly he can get his teams to adapt to varsity competition. “I still enjoy working with the kids,” Eckard said. “Every year it’s a different team, so there are new challenges and new rewards when you conquer those challenges. This year is a very young team, so we’re trying to teach them how to win and how to have a varsity attitude of what it takes to put in the time and the effort needed to be successful at the varsity level.” Westland opened the season by competing in the Newark Invitational on April 2. The boys team scored 3.25 points to finish last in the 12team field, behind first-place Gahanna (111). The girls were 12th (1) behind first-place Hilliard Bradley (105). On April 5 at Worthington Kilbourne, the boys lost to the host Wolves 79-57 and the girls lost 104-28. The boys team is looking to senior captains Jonathan Bowen (shot put/discus/sprints), Abdi Omer (distance), Dylan Ross (distance), Ben Warner (distance) and Travell Wright (sprints) for leadership. ThisWeek file photo Against Kilbourne, Bowen Ben Warner of Westland competes in the 1,600 meters at the Best of the South-West Invitational last season. Warner is among five was first in the discus (110 feet, senior captains expected to provide leadership for a young boys track and field team. 5 inches).

“It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good season,” Bowen said. “It’s a really young team; we have a lot of new people coming out. They’re showing a lot of potential. It would be nice to see what is going to happen with this team a couple years from now.” Junior Chris Butcher was first in the 100 meters (11.9 seconds) at Kilbourne. Much of the rest of the team is inexperienced. Eckard expects contributions from junior Chase Lockhart, who was second (17-3 1/2) in the long jump at Kilbourne in the first dual meet of his career. Other athletes expected to contribute include sophomore Justin Pettis (shot put/discus), who was first (33-11) in the shot put at Kilbourne, and freshmen Kris Davies (sprints), Erik Martinez (sprints), Giann Martinez (sprints) and Connor Scott (sprints). The four freshmen will compete in the 800 relay. Last season, the Cougars finished eighth (15) at the OCCCentral Division meet, behind first-place Hilliard Davidson (136), Dublin Coffman (133), Hilliard Darby (119.5), Thomas Worthington (101), Upper Arlington (63.5), Kilbourne (62) and Central Crossing (29). Westland tied Columbus East for 14th (6) at the Division I, district 2 meet, behind first-place Olentangy Liberty (121). Junior Jackie Barnhart, who competes in the discus and shot put, is expected to lead the girls team. Other key returning athletes are juniors Courtney Henderson See COUGARS, page A8

Football

OCC-Ohio teams already preparing for fall have 10 coaching days with his players before the start of fall practices. He will Below are capsule looks at OCC-Ohio use those practices to run drills, includDivision teams. To read full offseason ing 7-on-7. stories for each team as well as others Grove City throughout central Ohio over the com•Coach: Matt Jordan, third season ing weeks, visit Friday Night Live at •2010 record: 4-6 overall, 4-3 (tied ThisWeekSPORTS.com. for third) in OCC-Ohio •Final 2010 computer ranking: 17th Gahanna in Division I, Region 3 •Coach: John Snoad, fourth season •Outlook: Losing 37 seniors from a •2010 record: 5-5 overall, 4-3 (tied program that coach Matt Jordan called for third) in OCC-Ohio “very young and inexperienced” last sea•Final 2010 computer ranking: 16th son, Grove City began the offseason inin Division I, Region 3 tent on building more camaraderie among •Outlook: The Lions hope the spring its classes. means the continuation of building upon Jordan took over the program in 2008 the season-ending momentum it gained and that season led the Dawgs to a 6-5 in 2010. finish that included a Division I, Region The Lions closed last season with vic- 3 playoff berth. tories over Grove City (38-14), ReynoldsGrove City did not have fall sports in burg (45-7) and Groveport (24-21) to fin- 2009 because of a South-Western City ish 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the OCC-Ohio Schools levy failure, and several players Division, marking their first non-losing who were expected to play key roles that season during John Snoad’s first three season transferred to play for other proyears as coach. Gahanna was 4-6 in each grams. In addition, some of the program’s of his first two seasons. younger players took a step back in their For a team losing 24 seniors, includ- development because there was no footing several starters on the offensive and ball in 2009, and Jordan noticed the difdefensive lines, the main offseason goal ference last fall. The conditioning done during this offfor Snoad has been to build the players’ season is something that Jordan knows strength. In addition to the continued weight, is crucial in developing the younger classagility and speed training, Snoad will es. Among their other offseason activiFrom staff reports

, Don t let your kid go to IOU.

Minus the warming conditions that usually begin to be ushered in during the early weeks of April, it feels an awful lot like fall outside. With that in mind, the ThisWeek sports staff has decided to follow suit. Beginning this week with the schools from the OCC-Ohio Division, we’ll be taking a look at the offseasons of central Ohio’s high school football programs. What was each team’s biggest goal for the offseason? What is their biggest question mark with the season a little more than four months away? What kinds of things will area programs be doing during the spring and throughout the summer to accomplish their offseason goals and bring more success to their respective teams? Every team has its own unique issues. Next week, we look at teams in the OCCCentral, including Westland.

ties, the Dawgs are planning to participate in a team camp at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe in July. Among the seniors whom the Dawgs are losing to graduation is quarterback Luke Smurthwaite, who passed for more than 2,300 yards and made the ThisWeek Super 25. Jordan and his staff know that

replacing Smurthwaite and designing From late February until the end of the an offense for the returning personnel school year, many of the current high will be paramount over the coming school players spend three days a week months. lifting weights and taking part in study table sessions. Players who are more seGroveport rious about weightlifting can participate •Coach: Tim Brown, ninth season •2010 record: 6-4 overall, 3-4 (sixth) in a power-lifting program. Because football doesn’t allow playin OCC-Ohio ers an opportunity to play the game dur•Final 2010 computer ranking: 11th ing the offseason, coach Tim Brown in Division I, Region 3 said it was important for players to focus •Outlook: For years, the Cruisers were simply on improving their physical ata downtrodden team, but that changed in tributes. 2007 when they made the playoffs for Lancaster the first time since 1988. Since that 2007 playoff year, the Cruis•Coach: Rob Carpenter, 14th season ers largely have been contenders in the •2010 record: 7-3 overall, 5-2 (secOCC-Ohio, but they’ve failed to make it ond) in OCC-Ohio back to the playoffs. The past two sea•Final 2010 computer ranking: 10th sons, they seemed destined for the post- in Division I, Region 3 •Outlook: Most followers of area prep season before late-season collapses. The Cruisers were in the thick of the football likely would rattle off Hilliard Division I, Region 3 playoff race last fall Davidson, Dublin Coffman, Pickeringbefore losing three of their final four ton Central, DeSales and Watterson as games. As was the case in 2009 when being among the top candidates annualGroveport also lost three of its last four ly to not only make the playoffs, but also games to miss the playoffs, injuries start- to make a dent once they’re in the posted to take a toll, particularly at quarter- season. Lancaster has earned enough regularback and on the offensive line. The fact that injuries have hurt Groveport’s post- season wins and playoff berths over the season chances the past two seasons has last decade to be listed among that group altered the coaching staff’s thinking on of programs in those regards, but it has how the Cruisers are going to prepare been lacking in the other area. during preseason practices as well as the See FOOTBALL, page A8 practices throughout the regular season.

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ThisWeek Community Newspapers West Side

Page A8

April 10, 2011

COUGARS

At a glance

Continued from page A7

By Adam Cairns/ThisWeek

Grove City coach Matt Jordan has focused this offseason on building team unity. Not only have the Dawgs lifted together in the weight room, they’ve worked together to clean it.

FOOTBALL also will participate in 7-on-7 of $500 per sport beginning in the camps at Dublin Coffman and fall. Another issue that Phillips and Although the Golden Gales Muskingum University during that his staff are dealing with involves have posted nine consecutive win- month. teaching situations. As Phillips ning seasons, they won their only playoff game during that span in Pickerington Central feared when the levy failed last November, he doesn’t currently 2003. That season, they beat Grove •Coach: Jay Sharrett, ninth have a teaching position in the City 56-28 in a Division I, Region season district. 3 quarterfinal and lost to Dublin •2010 record: 11-1 overall, 7Junior offensive linemen Pat Scioto 17-12 in a semifinal before 0 (first) in OCC-Ohio Elflein and Luke Carothers, who later being given a forfeit win. •Final 2010 computer rankhave been starters since their sophSince that time, the Gales have ing: First in Division I, Region 3 omore seasons, are expected to been to the postseason five times •Outlook: The Tigers are exremain as leaders of the program but lost in the first round each time. pected to return several starters over the coming months in the Last fall, a 7-3 regular season and other key players for the 2011 weight room as well as on the field. was good enough for just a No. season, including three juniors in Of those who were listed on 10 finish in the final computer quarterback Nick Jensen-Clagg, North’s varsity roster last fall, 23 ratings. running back Devone Penick and were sophomores. The Gales have cranked out offensive/defensive lineman and According to Phillips, the Pantheir share of Division I prospects Ohio State recruit Jacoby Boren. thers will need the players who in recent years as well, with the Given the number of expected remain from that class as well as latest recruit being junior linereturnees who saw significant varthose from the current freshman backer Luke Roberts. A first-team sity action last fall, coach Jay Sharclass to take on bigger roles in the all-district player last fall, Roberts rett is confident that he will be coming season than in past years. has scholarship offers from Bowlable to fill the cleats of the 13 senThe Panthers are hoping that ing Green, Buffalo and Kent iors who started at least one game the team unity that is developed State. last year. during conditioning, which will While Roberts should be back But after losing a total of 28 take place four mornings per week as a key player next fall, the Gales seniors, Sharrett’s top priority is during the summer, will help offlikely will be spending much of to bring his younger players up to set the drop in overall numbers. this offseason looking to fill a big speed to replenish the Tigers’ hole at running back. Connor depth. Smith was a second-team all-disReynoldsburg Most of the Tigers attend trict player and one of 20 seniors •Coach: Buddy White, first weightlifting and conditioning last season. Another of the team’s sessions under the supervision of season key running backs, Christian Long, •2010 record: 3-7 overall, 1-6 coaches year-round, and many of also was a senior, and Lancaster them also get together to do foot- (seventh) in OCC-Ohio had senior Nolan Flowers running •Final 2010 computer rankball drills on their own, which is its wing-T offense at quarterback. a tradition that was started by quar- ing: 23rd in Division I, Region 3 •Outlook: Buddy White adterback Chazz Anderson in 2004. Newark Sharrett and his staff use the 10 mits that he hasn’t spent much •Coach: Gregg Forsythe, days they are allowed to coach time talking about the Xs and Os second season their team in the offseason during of the playbook since taking over •2010 record: 1-9, 0-7 (eighth) the month of July. as coach in late January. in OCC-Ohio Most of his efforts have been •Final 2010 computer rankaimed toward how the program Pickerington North ing: 26th in Division I, Region 3 can “get to the core” of what has •Coach: Tom Phillips, fifth caused it to go a combined 12-38 •Outlook: Not long after Gregg Forsythe was named coach, he season the past five seasons. •2010 record: 6-4 overall, 4-3 headed for South Carolina to pick Thus far, he couldn’t be more the brain of a peer and longtime (tied for third) in OCC-Ohio pleased with the results. •Final 2010 computer rankfriend. In addition to having a group ing: Ninth in Division I, Region of players who are more comHis intention was to learn more about the spread offense he 3 mitted to the sport, White and his •Outlook: An offseason full of staff have spent significant time planned to implement. Forsythe became Newark’s questions began four days after stressing the importance of conthird coach in four years when the final regular-season game of ditioning and academics. he was hired to replace Jeff 2010 for the Panthers. White coached the varsity wide That’s when the school district receivers and served as the freshBuchanan in March 2010. He said his first full offseason as levy failed, resulting in a series of man head coach last season for coach at Newark is coming along issues for coach Tom Phillips and Hartley. well and that his players are put- his staff. In terms of classroom issues, ting the weight room in the Perhaps the biggest situation White has spent significant time school’s new auxiliary gym North must deal with over the watching players’ grades since through quite a workout. coming months before its opener taking over. His plans over the reThe Wildcats, who do not have Aug. 26 against Watterson has to mainder of this school year ina weightlifting team as some do with its depth. clude having study tables. schools now sponsor, took a step The Panthers will lose 21 playThis summer, he plans to have forward last fall with a new of- ers to graduation from last sea- the Raiders participate in three 7fense directed by freshman quar- son, and last month it was decid- on-7 tournaments and possibly terback Grant Russell. Still, they ed by the Pickerington board of have a “lineman challenge” that have a combined 10-40 record education that the students at both would include things such as a since winning a second consec- North and Central must pay a fee tug-of-war. utive OCC-Ohio title in 2005 while qualifying for the Division I playoffs for only the second time in program history. Coaches currently get 10 days to work with their players in the offseason, and Forsythe said he’ll use four of those for a team camp in late July. He said the Wildcats Continued from page A7

(sprints) and Moni Neri (distance/shot put/discus). The team only has one senior in Louise Kirk, an exchange student from Denmark. Others expected to contribute are sophomores Melina Gaines (discus/shot put/long jump/high jump), Kacey Hill (discus/shot put/long jump) and Odunayo Shobo (hurdles/sprints) and freshmen Sasha Bouaroy (hurdles/sprints) and Lindsay Vachon (distance). Last season, Westland finished eighth (13) in the OCC-Central meet, behind champion Davidson (136.5), Darby (117), Thomas (108), UA (107), Coffman (99.5), Kilbourne (50) and Central Crossing (29). The Cougars were 11th (16) in the district 2 meet, behind first-place Reynoldsburg (115). Eckard realizes it will be difficult for both the boys and girls teams to improve on last season’s finishes. “It’s going to be tough,” Eckard said. “We’re going to have to pick our spots when we choose to front-load some kids and try to get a mix between some varsity and some freshmen, so we’re not throwing just

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Westland baseball, softball and boys tennis teams: BASEBALL April 1 — Lost to Franklin Heights 9-5 April 2 — Lost to St. Charles 11-4 and 7-3 *April 5 — Lost to Hilliard Davidson 11-1 in six innings *April 6 — Lost to Davidson 7-2 April 7 — Played Brookhaven *April 8 — Played Dublin Coffman April 9 — Played Fairfield Union (DH) *April 11 — At Coffman April 12 — Home vs. Westerville South *April 13 — At Worthington Kilbourne April 14 — At Briggs *April 15 — Home vs. Kilbourne April 16 — Red Devil Classic at Marion-Franklin Of note: The Cougars were 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central before April 7. SOFTBALL April 2 — Defeated Whetstone 6-2 and 6-0. Ashley Collins was the winning pitcher in the first game and Brooke Harris got the win in the second game. *April 5 — Lost to Davidson 6-0 *April 7 — Played Coffman *April 8 — Played Kilbourne April 9 — Played Olentangy Liberty

all freshmen out there in an event. We’re going to have to be more strategic this year than we ever have been of when to use our juniors and seniors and

and Watterson *April 11 — Home vs. Thomas Worthington *April 12 — At Hilliard Darby *April 13 — Home vs. Upper Arlington Of note: The Cougars were 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the OCC-Central before April 7. BOYS TENNIS *March 31 — Lost to Davidson 5-0 *April 5 — Lost to Coffman 5-0 April 7 — Played Circleville *April 12 — At Kilbourne April 13 — Home vs. Watkins Memorial *April 14 — Home vs. Thomas April 15 — Home vs. Centennial Of note: The Cougars were 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central before April 7. *OCC-Central contest

SCHEDULE TRACK & FIELD April 2 — Newark Invitational April 5 — at Worthington Kilbourne April 9 — Falcon Invitational at Fairfield Union April 12 — vs. Thomas Worthington April 15 — Best of the South-West at Central Crossing April 19 — vs. Upper Arlington April 26 — at Hilliard Darby April 30 — Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights May 3 — vs. Central Crossing May 7 — Viking Invitational at Teays Valley May 12, 14 — OCC-Central meet

how to mix them in with our 75 percent freshmen.” fdirenna@thisweeknews.com www.ThisWeekSPORTS.com

Sports briefs Wrestling event set for April 16

1460 AM to air Crew show

The 19th Ohio Tournament of Champions wrestling event is scheduled for April 16 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. According to organizers, more than 2,200 wrestlers from more than 30 states will compete. The wrestlers are ages 5 to 40.

The Columbus Crew and RadiOhio have launched “Inside the Crew,” a radio show that will air 8 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays on “The Fan,” WBNS 1460 AM. The Crew’s radio play-by-play announcer, Neil Sika, and TV analyst Duncan Oughton, a former Crew player, will serve as hosts of the show, which will focus on the team and soccer in central Ohio.

All-star basketball event set for April 17 Upper Arlington High School will be the site for the third annual Jump25.com Ohio College All-Star Classic on April 17. The event will begin at noon with a high school boys all-star game featuring seniors from central Ohio. At 1:45 p.m., seniors from Ohio NCAA Division II and III and NAIA schools will play in the men’s small college all-star game. At 3:30 p.m., a men’s Division I college allstar game featuring seniors from Ohio schools will be played.

Reds outfielder to hold camp Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce’s baseball camp is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 25-26 at Prasco Park in Cincinnati. Bruce will direct activities and provide instruction. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6-14. For more information and to register, visit www.JayBruceCamp.com or call (888) 3892267.

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ThisWeek Community Newspapers West Side

April 10, 2011

GCSTO holding swim tryouts

Online coverage, updated daily at

Spring Football

nis teams. Mr. High School Sports: Larry Larson gives his list of must-see teams, individuals and events during this spring season. District 10 All-Star Games: ThisWeek’s Frank DiRenna has complete recaps from all three games.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE RETURNS Beginning this week, ThisWeek is providing an offseason look at central Ohio high school football programs. To read full offseason stories on each team, as well as any throughout central Quotable Ohio during the coming weeks, go to Friday Night Live “To get a win period is nice. at ThisWeekSPORTS.com. It gets that stink off of us.” This week: OCC-Ohio — Chris Huesman, Dublin Next week: OCC-Central Jerome baseball coach. The Celtics beat Cleveland St. IgTop stories natius 10-3 in the second game of a doubleheader April 2. The Spring Football: The OCC- Celtics were beaten by New AlOhio Division is featured this bany 10-1 in a district final last week. Does Pickerington Cen- season and then started this tral have enough talent re- season by losing to Twinsburg, turning to win its sixth con- Grove City and St. Ignatius. secutive league championship? Spring Previews: ThisWeek Note of the week concludes its spring previews with boys volleyball and crew, During his 25-year tenure as well as the rest of area at Grandview, wrestling coach lacrosse, track and boys ten- Andy DiSabato had 48 state

Page A9

qualifiers, 24 state placers and four state champions. He was named league Coach of the Year 10 times and state Coach of the Year in 2004. Last month, DiSabato retired after starting in the fall of 1987. Before that, he was an assistant at Ohio State, where he had been an All-American wrestler.

The Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio (GCSTO) is looking for new athletes for its spring season, including its evening swim team programming and its daytime home school programming. New swimmers are allowed a week with the team to see what it has to offer before deciding to commit. The team practices at Columbus Academy, the Concourse Hotel Fitness Club and St. Charles Preparatory School.

The team also has started a scholarship program for students in Columbus City Schools. Athletes who have competed only for summer and high school teams, or those new to swimming, are eligible for the scholarships. For more information, contact GCSTO coach Steve Nye at (614) 478-5445 or stevenye@sbcglobal.net. More information also is available at www.gcsto.com.

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Page A10

ThisWeek Community Newspapers West Side

April 10, 2011

Merchandise PUBLIC AUCTION Sat., April 16 10 a.m. 4588 Annhurst Road Columbus, OH

CHARLESTON RIDGE ANNUAL COMMUNITY SALES: Fri & Sat ~ APRIL 15th & 16th ~ 8-4. Off Demorest Rd, just So. of Alkire Rd. Rain/Shine! HH, Clothes, Furn, Toys, Bicy cles, Collectibles & MORE! ENCHANTED ACRES WHITE ELEPHANT SALE April 16, 9am - 3pm 4510 S. Parsons Ave. Lunch will be served. MOVING SALE!. Sunday, April 10th, 8am-2pm. Furni ture, t.v., baby clothes & gear,Collectibles, small ap pliances, movies, & more! Rain or Shine. 3642 High Creek Dr, Col, OH 43223

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Thursday papers: SW Columbus - Perfectly maintained 3 BR 2BA BiLevel in Big Run Village and Southwestern City Schools has it all! Call Rich Jenkins at Just Results Real Estate @ 746-7639 or go to www.RichardJenkins Auctioneer.com Open House Sunday April 10th between 1-3 pm.

SOUTH - 523 Frebis Ave. 2 story, 2BR, 1 full BA, 2 car detached garage, fenced yard, appliances included, newly renovated. Patio & basement. 614-374-0315 SW Schls - Trabue Woods, 3BR, 2BA, updated kit w/ all appls, FP, 2 car gar w/opnr, bsmt, possible RTO, $995 + utils. No pets, N/S. Good credit a must! 614-505-0225

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0410aiA01AWS  

West Side 4/10