Monday, December 31, 2007

What the Red Brick Said

Here is a story that appeared in the 1919 WHS yearbook. It was written by Class of 1919 member Isabel Smith. Miss Smith aspired to be an English teacher and the picture is from that year's yearbook. The story was sent to me from Sparky Miller. I'm not sure what building Miss Smith was writing about. The old MacDonald School on 9th St. was dedicated in 1880 according to Edgar Davidson. At that time it was called Central school building and at first I thought that was what she was referring to. She may have been writing about the Brick School House which was built in 1826 at 454 Main St. by Joseph Wells. That would fit into her time reference. I just can't find any reference to a new building that was opened in 1873. Maybe some of you ville historians can help us out. Maybe Miss Smith just got confused about the right year. At any rate it's an interesting read. Sounds like Miss Smith wasn't too approving of make up! Thanks for sharing with us Sparky. Can anyone tell us more about Miss Smith?

What the Red Brick Said

In the dim grayness of a foggy morning, a group of excited school children were hurrying toward a huge, red, brick building, which, with its numerous wings projecting, stood our distinctly in the fog. Young hearts beat swiftly and eyes were bright with enthusiasm as the students hurried up the walk to the new brick building. The year 1873 would always be stamped on their hearts. They thrilled with joy as their feet climbed the stair­way to the various rooms of their grand new building.

Many, many events has the old brick witnessed. Mark you, Heedless Ones, who would lightly enter the new gray brick across the way, for this is what the old building told me in confidence, the other day.

"Once in a lifetime even a brick building is moved to speech, but that once is caused by some terrible event.
"When I was built, 46 years ago, my builders looked at me with pride—the scholars looked at me with pride—the whole city looked at me with pride. They thought, and so did I. that 1 would serve Wellsville for ages. Not so.

I am not complaining, for I have that which your new building can never have; associations. Shall I tell you some of them? I have had the pleasure of seeing- countless boys and girls cross my thresholds, and have sent them out to battle with life, Hilly equipped with experience, knowledge, and all their needed arms. I have followed them with my paternal eyes and have seen them struggling with life and have rejoiced to see them succeed—and invariably they did succeed.

"I have seen girls rosy cheeked and healthy, with hair fly­ing, come tripping gaily into my doors. Girls who were in love with nature and who would be quite shocked could they see the girls who will enter the new building, with their artificial color­ing and powder puffs which are more often in use than in con­cealment.

"I have watched the affections of my children for one an­other. I have helped straighten out boyish and girlish love af­fairs and with paternal watchfulness have seen them mature.

"It has been my privilege and my pleasure to send out the first football team from Wellsville. Year after year the team has grown in power and recognition and it is needless to say, that my old walls quivered with pride when our boys won the victories. When the students cheer and applaud the returning victors, I try to help in every way and my heart beats faster as I think of each added laurel.

My boys have distinguished themselves widely in all ath­letics, and my girls have shown their spirit and make-up and have nearly caused my old sides to burst with pride at the victories they have helped win for me.

"I have sheltered all classes of students and have cherished them all alike, rich or poor, bright or stupid. I have seen the merry pranks carried on behind some teacher's back and have wisely turned away my head and kept silent. I have seen stud­ents discouraged and have encouraged them to try again.

"But I shall never have these experiences again, for my day is past and I must bequeath these pleasures and responsibilities to the new gray brick, and I do it unselfishly, because I know that these associations, these memories, can never be taken from me. They shall always be cherished in my heart until my walls shall crumble in ruin."

"And with these words, the old building ended its confidence and remained in pensive silence, living again the events of the glorious past.
ole nib

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year 2008

Well 2007 is coming to a screeching end. It's hard to believe. They say time flies when you're having fun and if nothing else it's been fun. To say the least it's been fun and very interesting for me. We've had our ups and downs but overall it's been a good year. We hope it's been a good year for all of you too. We've covered a lot of territory this past year and look forward to the new year.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year. May 2008 be filled with happiness, good fortune and good health.

The image above was found through a Google image search at a place call It's copyrighted but they said we could show it for personal use.

Again, Happy New Year. Be safe. Be careful. Don't forget your designated drivers.

ole nib

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Back on December 7th I wrote an article entitled Dear Santa. It was a wish list for what we would like to have in town that would make the ville a more attractive place to live. At the time one of the things on my list was a decent restaurant where you could get a good home cooked meal and possibly have a cocktail or two while waiting to be served. I must have been partially brain dead at the time. When I wrote that piece I never once thought of Dalonzo's-On-The-Hill. It wasn't an intentional slight. It was simply an oversight with no insult intended. As I said I must have been partially brain dead at the time. Thankfully a couple of days later some of our good readers reminded us of Dalonzo's.

Shortly after that some other commenters with no common decency attempted a character assassination of Dalonzo's proprietor bringing up unsubstantiated rumors and inuendos. It was obvious they were shooting off their mouths with nothing to back it up with and were hiding behind the anonymous signature. Talk about being brain dead. I doubt if those people even have enough brain matter to determine if it's functioning. It was very upsetting to me and Nick to say the least. Again I apologize that those comments got past me. It won't happen again.

First off anyone's personal life is their business and their business alone. It is certainly not my concern and no concern of anyone else. We'll write on public personas and events. There's no shortage of material for subjects in that arena. Time permitting politicians alone can keep you very busy.

Speaking of public personas lets take a look at Nick Dalonzo and what he's contributed to our fair village. Wellsville is very fortunate to have one of their hometown sons decide there is a future in the village and that he decided to stay here. Nick was born and raised here. He went through the Wellsville school system. He got his start in the food business back in the early 80s when Dalonzo's Pizza opened down on Commerce Street after Crucible Steel closed their doors. Even before that Nick had a passion for cooking. His cooking education came from one of the best sources available to anyone. He picked up his culinary skills from his mother and grandmother. Papa Joe had to have some input too. Jo Jo's sauce is one of the best you'll find anywhere.

After a fire put the pizza shop out of business in 1988 Nick went on to be a x-ray tech but he never lost his passion for cooking. Ten years later Nick put it all on the line and opened his own pizza shop here in town and it was enthusiastically welcomed. A few years later he was able to expand his shop into a full line Italian restaurant with some old family recipes and quite a few of his own. Nick dropped pizza from the name and renamed his eatery Dalonzo's. You could still get the same great tasting pizza but he also gave us additional choices with an expanded menu.

While all this was going on Nick got very involved with our fair community. He is very active in our Chamber-of-Commerce and there is hardly a Chamber event that is held that Nick isn't involved in some manner. Just earlier this month he portrayed Santa in the Christmas parade. He also lends his help to the revitalization committee. I remember seeing him and his son Nicholas helping to clear the brush up at the floodwall. Believe me that is hot, dirty work but Nick was there for it all.

Nick is a very real benefit for our community. How he finds time to run a business full time and still have time left for all he does is beyond me. He has a heart as big as the state of Texas and has amply displayed his dedication and devotion to our hometown.

Now a days he is the owner and operator of Dalonzo's-On-The-Hill located in the old Fairview School building up in Hillcrest. What he has done up there is nothing short of amazing with the bar, the lounge, restaurant, banquet facilities, theme rooms and game room. It is a great place for banquets, parties or meetings of any sort or just a real nice place to go for dinner. Not only are the facilities quite attractive the menu is second to none. For the best in Italian cuisine you need not look any farther than up on the hill.

They have a very attractive web site that can be found at You can find their complete menu there and can even get orders delivered. They even have a coupon you can print up for a discount. Although not located within the village limits Dalonzo's-On-The-Hill is very definitely an asset to this piece of heaven we call home.

Before closing there is one other thing I want to mention. Back in February of this year Nick allowed some promoters to hold a "rave" up there. Nick told me himself that he was naive about just what a rave was and at the time so was I. I just thought it was a bunch of hard rock music lovers looking for a place to party. I was only partially right but from what I've been told by Nick and others that attended it went very smoothly with out a lick of trouble from anyone there. It was a huge crowd and a very profitable night for the establishment. For the promoters it was extrememly sucessful and they have been after Nick to hold more. Because of suspected drug use by some of those in attendence Nick has turned down five or six additional opportunities for the good of the community. Even though he has a chance to make some big bucks that's the kind of guy Nick is. That tells me he has a good head on his shoulders. That's just one reason Nick Dalonzo is a real plus for the ville.

Stop by sometime. Have a bite to eat. If you have a drink make sure you have your designated driver with you. Nick puts his heart and soul into what he serves. Once you try it you'll see. As Jo Jo says "Seven days without Dalonzo's pizza makes one week"...

ole nib

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas

From the sunny ville I would like to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. We hope that ole Santa is good and generous to you and yours. It's an annual tradition at our house to procrastinate with the preparations for this holiday. With the decorating, baking, planning and shopping we have been pretty busy. I envy the folks that start shopping in July and hide the stuff. I could never do that. If I bought something for someone I would want to give it to them right away. I've always been that way. I like to make the folks in my life happy. Being realistic I know it can't always be accomplished but I remain optimistic. There's always hope and I enjoy being one of Santa's helpers where I can.

Which brings me to the point that I have to mention that some of you most certainly deserve nothing but a lump of coal. I wrote the post "Dear Santa" to see what the people would like to see on a wish list for the ville. Had a lot of good responses but then there were some that attempted to turn this into a trash site. Again I apologize to Nicky D. He didn't deserve that treatment and we will have more on that later on. I won't have this turned into a trash spreading forum with rumors, innuendo, insults, obscenity and racial slurs. Since starting this blog I've gotten comments either on here or via e-mail from all over. I've found that the readership is more than just local folks. I mentioned it before and tried to avoid it but a few bad apples have forced me to go to comment moderation. That means I get notified of comments before they are posted. I get to decide whether they get posted or rejected. It slows down the process which I was really trying to avoid. I was warned by other bloggers but was hoping it wouldn't be necessary.

This blog is a hobby. It's something I enjoy doing but it's not my whole life or livelihood. I have other obligations which take up a lot of time especially this time of the year. No I wasn't on vacation or hospitalized earlier this week. I simply did not have time to spend on the computer and when I got back to it I was truly upset with what was here. I felt I was taken advantage of by some very unscrupulous people that apparently have no common decency. I fully realize that there will be both negative and positive responses. That's part of life and I embrace getting differing opinions. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and you can rest assured that I won't block out the negative stuff. That wouldn't be right and I truly want to do the right thing and be fair to all. If you want to blast me for being a thick skulled thunder head that's ok. I won't hold it against you but I may ask why you think that way. Everybody has an opinion. Not everyone has the same opinion and that's what makes it interesting. To those of you that take the time and effort to comment I would like to truly thank you. To those few of you that want to degrade and insult just for the sake of being nasty and down right mean and ignorant you'll have to find somewhere else to vent. You won't see your comments on this blog.

That being said, again, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas or at least a Happy Holiday if you're not a believer in Santa. The picture above came from They have a lot of neat clip art. We like the old fashion looking pictures of Santa. I'm asking Santa for more time. How about you? Weather Underground says we have about a 20% chance of a white Christmas. We may not see the tree tops glistening.

Enjoy the season and please be careful...

ole nib

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ed Wilson's Slander Suit

According to a Mary Ann Greier story in this morning's ER the slander law suit that WPD officer Ed Wilson filed against the mayor and the village will be decided on by Judge Dave Tobin real soon. Lawyers for both parties have filed briefs on the merits of the case for the good judge to consider. Tobin will make the decision whether to let it proceed or toss it out.

Wilson filed the suit saying he was slandered by the mayor and the village with a statement that Surace made to a reporter from Channel 9 about Wilson's last suspension. It was something about the fact that Ed didn't go to investigate the murder of the late Bill Yost.

One of the reasons that Wilson used for filing the suit was that he was losing money even though he was on a paid suspension. If he was losing money it must have been from his other job and that has nothing to do with his duties as a police officer. Many have spoken highly of Ed but I get the feeling that this law suit was brought about by a defensive move and at best is frivolous. Ed was still under paid suspension when the suit was filed.

Hopefully Judge Tobin will see through all the superfluous words and rule that the case doesn't have merit to proceed. For the good of the village we need to get this behind us and get on with the future of the village. According to the lawyer for the village there was no malicious intent in the mayor's remarks and I tend to agree.

As I said before it's time to move on.

ole nib

The Grinch Lives In the 'Pool

Normally we don't touch on East Liverpool politics. My head is still spinning from last month's elections in Wellsville. There was so much to ponder that there was little time to pay a whole lot of time thinking about what goes on in East Liverpool but this one was too good to pass up.

Yesterday's MJ gave us a story about the 'pool's auditor-elect Terry Sprague. The story was penned by seasoned area reporter Jo Bob Gilbert. You all remember Jo Ann. She's the gal that used to cover the 'ville scene a few years ago before they switched things around and sent her up the river.

At any rate Ms. Sprague narrowly won the auditor's post in the November elections. As far as I know she hasn't even been sworn in yet but that hasn't apparently stopped her from going on a power trip. In less than a month before Christmas she advised two employees of the ELO auditor's staff that they will be out of their jobs for New Years. I'm sure these folks were already worried about that. Thanks to Ms. Sprague's stone cold good heartiness these unfortunate ladies won't have to worry through the holidays. No siree, she was very thoughtful of getting that off their minds so they could enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. Nor will Ms. Sprague have to be concerned about this unpleasantness during this time of joy and happiness. Nice job Terry. The Grinch would be proud of you and surely would want to call you one of his own. If there was such a thing as Grinch-of-the-year award I would be the first to submit your name for that honor.

Terry is a member of ELHS Class of '65. She was a controller for a company called Deschner Corp. which is head quartered in Santa Ana, California. I think she is the one that recently moved back to the area from out there. I remember being impressed with her credentials for the auditor's job. I must of misjudged her as a people person. She got herself uninvited from the office she will occupy and I imagine the hoped for smooth transition is out the door too. She even got accused of harassment. Being somewhere around the age of 60 I guess she doesn't want make things easy for herself in her later years. She certainly earned my respect and hopefully I won't have to be subjected to being in her presence at any time down the road. Thankfully she is ELO's sweet heart. The story is on-line at the Journal's web site.

Yep, the Grinch is smiling...

ole nib

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Least We Forget

This picture was e-mailed to me today. I don't know who took it but it touched me. I thought I would share it with you all. It is a picture of wreaths placed on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. According to my sources this picture was taken in 2005. Today was the first time I saw it. They have a wreath laying ceremony on December 14th each year.

The wreaths - some 5000 in all - are all donated by a fellow named Merrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. He has been donating wreaths for the project since 1992 to honor some of the veterans who served our country and are laid to rest at Arlington. Each year they decorate a different section and will eventually honor each and everyone buried there. Five thousand is only a fraction of the number of graves there. I don't think the gesture is meant to be a damper on our Christmas spirit but rather one man's way of saying thanks from a grateful nation. I think it is very thoughtful and I would like to thank Mr. Worcester for his efforts.

We could use more people like him.

ole nib

Ville Connection???

Yesterdays local papers informed us of a drive-by shooting in the early morning hours Sunday up in East End. I'm sure nearly all of you have read about it or at least heard of the incident. I won't dwell a lot on the details. I suspect it is related to drug activities but that remains to be seen. So far nothing has been mentioned in the papers about drugs.

Four suspects have been arrested in connection to the incident after a brief police chase and some quick thinking with connecting the dots by East Liverpool's finest. With witness reports they quickly spotted a car matching the description of the one involved in the shooting and collared the four. The driver is a Wellsville native and resident. One of the other suspected desperadoes was wanted in Columbus for armed robbery and was described as being armed and dangerous.

Now it was reported in today's ER that three weapons have been recovered along the get away trail that police believe were used in the shooting. Hopefully they will get some prints matching the guns to the suspects and recover some slugs matching the guns to the shooting. That would give a nice, neat wrap to this incident.

The big question in my mind is why. What prompted the shooting? Maybe some of those details will come out when this case goes to court. No doubt there will be some bargaining going on when everyone is lawyered up. Often the whys and whatfors come out when the suspects start trying to get a better deal for themselves before going to trial.

Another thing came to mind. Back in the early part of the year there were rumors of gun fire in the lower part of town. We never heard anything from official sources but I'm wondering if this is somehow related to what went on up in East End. Maybe it's related to some of the same suspects. Maybe it's worth looking into. It's got a ville connection already. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes out.

Meanwhile I would like to congratulate the ELPD for their quick and thoughtful work on this one. You got those suspects off the street. Thanks...

ole nib

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dear Santa

One of our commenters on an earlier post said that they wished we had a decent grocery store in ville. They remarked that Save-a-Lot was cold, dirty and didn't have much to offer. After reading that I stopped in there the other day. Of course I had a winter coat on but I didn't notice it being exceptionally cold. What I did notice was the store was pretty dingy in appearance. The ceiling and floor tile are probably the same ones from when that place was built and opened as Wellsville IGA. The lighting isn't so great. All together it makes for a dull, boring shopping experience. Although most of their merchandise is generic off brands that many haven't heard of, the store serves its' purpose. However, except for an urgent last minute item needed right away, there isn't much to entice me to shop there on a regular basis. Even with off brands I've never noticed much of a price difference with what can be found elsewhere. It's a hometown store and I like to support hometown businesses but when it comes to groceries I prefer my name brands. Call me a snob if you want.

That being said I thought it would be interesting to get a wish list started for things we would like to see in the ville, things that would entice us to spend our shopping dollars in town. This is purely a dream list. There are many things I would like to see that my practical side says we just don't have the market to support. However getting into the Christmas season we'll let the folks with the fat wallets consider the practical side.

I'll start the wish list, a sort of "Dear Santa" letter. Please feel free to add on. You never know who's reading our letters.

Since it has already been mentioned I too would like to see a "full service" grocery store opened here - one with fresh cut meats, fresh baked goods and deli items. Preferably it would be one of the chain stores that has the wherewithal to keep prices competitive with the Wal-Marts, etc. and can afford to keep the doors open in lean times. Giant Eagle, Riesbecks, Kroger - it makes no difference. If the prices where just as good or even a little less why would you want to drive to Calcutta?

I would like to see a full service gas station reopen in town - one you can get not only oil and gas but needed minor mechanical work done in one stop. One you could get your oil checked and wiper blades replaced if needed. I know we have a few good auto shops in town but none of them offer both mechanics and the ability to get gas in the same spot.

I would like to see a new car dealership open in the village - one that offers a full line of cars and trucks.

I would like to see a decent restaurant that offers good, home cooked food that isn't prepackaged and prepared in a microwave, thrown on a grill, or dropped in hot grease. It would have to be one where you can have a cocktail or two while you wait for your dinner to get ready. Again I'm using the phrase "full service" but I would like to see an eating establishment with a full service menu that offers fine dining or just some good home cooked grub.

I would like to see a good taxi company in the village - one that doesn't force you to be crammed into a cab with total strangers sitting hip to hip. You call a cab. It's yours and the driver's until you get to your destination.

I would like to see a municipal swimming pool right downtown in the village proper - one with kiddie pools and a big pool with diving boards and water slides. Hammond Park is nice but it ain't within easy walking distance. There's a lot of kids that would practically live there during the summer months and there are a lot of us older kids that would appreciate having a place to take a dip once in awhile.

I would like to see the Revitalization Committee find the funding to have a Riverside boardwalk complete with benches built from 3rd to 12th St. Wouldn't that be a wonderful addition to such a beautiful, scenic area? Even the occasional passing train wouldn't detract from that.

Finally, and this is more a regional thing, I would love to see a public transit or bus service in the area. It would be one that would start in Wellsville, swing out through Calcutta, back to East Liverpool, cross over to Chester and take Route 2 to Newell, stopping at Homer Laughlin and Mountaineer, on down to Weirton, cross over to Steubenville up around the mall area and come down the hill taking Route 7 to Toronto and back to Wellsville. It would have to be 24/7 service and have four or five buses so there would be a regular time schedule. It could even have one bus going one way and another going the other. In spite of my run on sentence wouldn't that be nice to have?

Dear Santa, I promise to be good. See what ya can do...

ole nib

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Another County Official In Hot Water

After reading the headlines in both of yesterday's papers one thought kept coming to mind. Back in the early 19th century Sir Walter Scott wrote "Oh what tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive". I hope I'm wrong but the findings of a special state audit seem to have a pretty strong case going on.

Wellsville resident, native and former council member, County Health Commissioner Bob Morehead has been indicted by the County Grand Jury and will face seven criminal counts. He has been charged with one count of theft in office, another count of theft and five counts of forgery for allegedly signing other people's names to charge card slips. If that is true it means he knew that using the Health Commission charge card was wrong and tried to cover his butt by using other people's names.

All the alleged offenses occurred in an eight year time frame beginning in 1996. During regular state audits there were two findings for recovery issued to Morehead for misuse of health commission funds. According to newspaper accounts the findings for recovery were for the purchase of books, groceries, tickets to a Rolling Stone's concert and other non-related health commission items. He's accused of double dipping on mileage expense allowance. The findings prompted County Prosecutor Bob Herron to ask for a special prosecutor to be appointed by the State Auditors Office to investigate the matter earlier this year. Herron used his favorite excuse of conflict of interest on this one too.

Apparently the special prosecuter felt they had enough to go to the grand jury for the indictment. I hope they are wrong and that there is something in error. The commissioner is appointed to that position by the county health board. Although it is not an elected position his career as a public official is now in serious jeopardy. How do the board members get in their position? They may have a pall cast over their positions as well if the alleged offenses stand. The audit was first made public three years ago. The second one came out this past January.

Morehead has been with the health board since 1987 and was appointed commissioner in 1992. He faces arraignment December 20th in County Common Pleas Court. He faces jail time, fines and orders to repay if convicted or he pleas guilty to the charges. If he is convicted or pleas guilty to the theft in office charge he is automatically done by law. If the alleged offenses are true what a disgraceful way to end a twenty year career and the reputation of one of the ville's notables. If they are true... stupid, stupid, stupid.

With Dave Smith and his troubles all-in-all it hasn't been a good year for county officials. The picture came from the Health Board's web site. "Oh what tangled webs we weave"...

ole nib

Old Man Winter Pays A Visit

Old Man Winter came a calling the night before last, yesterday and last night. Those of you living in the area are already vividly aware of this. Yesterday the temperature didn't get past 26 degrees F and by the end of the day we had three to four inches of snow on the ground. At 5:00 this morning the temp was a brisk 6 degrees and things were kind of crunchy.
We have had a little snow before this but it didn't last long on the warm ground. With the past week's cold temperatures this snow will be around for a few days. Won't be for long though. Today is beginning with bright sunshine and by Sunday the temperature is suppose to be in the low fifties.
Not being a great fan of snow and cold that's fine with me. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. The village employees did a nice job yesterday getting the salt out. Thanks guys.
ole nib

New Wellsville Web Sites

There are two new Wellsville web sites that may interest some of you. The first one I wanted to let you know about is the one for our Chamber of Commerce. Those good people finally got one up and running and can be found at There's not much to see but there is a list of contacts for their officers and members along with a calendar of events. The home page has some changing pictures of scenes around the ville. They have a list of links but you can't click on them to go to that link's web site. On the links page there are a couple of pictures that have me baffled. One reminds me of the Lincoln Memorial in DC with tall columns across the front of the building. The other is what appears to be a coast line on an ocean somewhere with tall cliffs. It's certainly not a river scene. Makes one wonder why they are included.

The other site is the one for the Wellsville Tree Commission and can be found at This is the site for the all volunteer group that was responsible for the ville getting the distinction of being named Tree City USA this past year. It is a very informative site and it does have links that work that are conveniently listed right on the home page. You can pull up a copy of the village ordinance for all the ins and outs of tree removal, replacement and the required permits. This is the committee that got the park on Broadway cleaned up of all the old and dangerous trees and replaced as their first project. From what I read in the papers and viewing their web site that was just the beginning.

Check 'em out. Things are moving forward in the ville.

ole nib

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ron Daniels

I don't know much about the man personally. To me he was a nodding acquaintance as the saying goes. I learned of Ron when I attended my first Lip Sync performance and heard him sing. He sang a cappella and had a voice that was truly impressive and, I'm sure, pleasing to the good Lord. I admired his talent.

Whenever I ran into him around town he always had a smile and a hello. To me he always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. Ron was a member of the Class of '65 at WHS and I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing this last Sunday. He was called home way before his time. The picture above was borrowed from the Alumni web site.

Although I can't tell you much about Ron's history I can relate my impressions of the man. To me he seemed to be a gentle, caring and loving man. His involvement with the Alumni Committee proves to me he cared about this community and the good work those folks support. I was told he was an organ donor and that goes to show he was considerate of others even after he was gone. It's a gift that keeps on giving. To me he seemed to be a man I wished I have gotten to known better. He seemed to be a man that I would have been proud to call friend. That will always be my loss.

Our condolence and heartfelt sympathy go out to the Daniel's family. Ron's death is not only a tragic loss to his loved ones it is indeed a loss to our place we call home here in Wellsville,

May you rest in peace Ron. I'll miss that twinkle...

ole nib

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Over - Lets Move On

The campaign, the election, the provisional ballots and the automatic recount are all officially completed. It's over. It's done. It's time to put it all behind us. It's time to move on.

Congratulations to Mayor Joe Surace. Your four vote margin win held up after the recount on Wednesday. Your opponent, Dave Lloyd, was quoted as saying they "gave it a heck of a shot" and that 0.4% difference in vote totals makes that an understatement. To say the least it wasn't an overwhelming victory and that in itself should speak volumes. There's a lot of work to be done. As you were reported as saying "now is the time to start moving forward".

I tend to agree that your first term was a learning experience and some of those lessons came right out the books for the school of hard knocks. I hope you learned your lessons well and that there are no hard feelings. Your administration is not out the woods yet. There will be some criticism but hopefully you will take it as corrective criticism and take it under advisement. Take the comments into consideration. There is often merit in what those that oppose have to say.

Our fair village is our home and I for one appreciate what has been done to improve the appearance and hope we can continue with what has been promised for the way things are to be done. Coming out of two fiscal emergencies we have certainly learned that we have to live within our means. That will never change and we will always have to research for a way to our means. We have to be fiscally responsible and we tax payers have a constitutional right to know how that will be accomplished. If you're going to build, say a road, let us know up front how it's being planned to pay for it. If you're going to borrow from Peter to pay Paul let us know. It's our right. As tax payers we're the ones footing the bill. Don't leave us feeling uneasy on how anything is going to get done.

Any politician has to have dreams and visions on how to move our village forward with improving and maintaining what we have. You have shown me you have these qualities. There's a lot of work to be done and we have a lot of good people willing to give their support. There is nothing ahead of us but the future. Show those 493 voters that they made the right decision.

Again congratulations and Good Luck in your next term. Some say Wellsville got what they deserve. Show them they are absolutely correct.

ole nib

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Speaking of Being Gone

Speaking of being gone - remember this little building that sat on the east side of Main Street between the old Fire Station and the laundry mat? It's been knocked down. Wish I had a picture of it in its' glory days.

I'm sure it didn't date back too far as some of our other historic structures but it has been there as far back as my memory goes. Now I'm fuzzy on this. I was never in that building but I think I remember it being a hamburger and coffee shop when I was a kid. Maybe some of you folks can help us out here and share some of your memories of this place. I've been told that the people who own the laundry mat used it to store their supplies in for the last few years.

By the way if you care to share pictures old or new or even story ideas about Wellsville please e-mail me at We'll see what we can work up and get it posted on here. We're always open to ideas.

ole nib

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thoughts Bouncing Off My Window VI

It's been awhile since we did a "Thoughts" post and there are several things I want to get off my mind before they go fuzzy on me. I'll try to keep it brief.

Automatic Recount Scheduled
The County Election Board surprised us. Originally they said the official results wouldn't be released until the 26th but they moved it up and got it out this past Wednesday. Out of the 286 provisional ballots 68 of them were disqualified. From the remaining Surace picked up 12 more votes and Lloyd an additional 15. That narrowed Surace's margin of victory down to four more votes than Lloyd received and lines that race up for an automatic recount. According to the newspapers that will be done next Wednesday. In other words the Mayor's victory is still not official. It won't be until the recount is completed and the results are announced and certified.

Amato Death Probe
The MJ's Tom Giambroni got in touch with Mr. Grimshaw and reported that Grimshaw hopes to have something ready over the next month. According to the article Grimshaw has asked for some additional testing based on the results he has seen so far. Grimshaw was also reported as saying logistics is a problem since he lives 260 miles away. I'm betting that we won't hear anymore news until after the holidays. Since Mr. Grimshaw is retired I'm sure age and road conditions are a definite factor in making a four or five hour drive just to get here.

Baard Industries
It was reported last week that the folks at Baard are working closely with the Ohio EPA in getting their permit applications ready for the new CTL plant. Although it's a lengthy process getting the permits, it will shorten the time span getting it accomplished by cooperating and consulting with the EPA. Eventually there will be public meetings conducted by the EPA for our input and concerns before the permits are issued. Most companies submit an application and then go back and forth until all the issues are worked out with the EPA. Baard's novel approach to the process is commendable and gives me a feeling that they are indeed an environmentally responsible company.

Wellsville Terminals
In an article in the ER Tuesday it was reported that Chip Muse said they are continuing their efforts with controlling the coal dust pollution caused by drag out from their terminal in the ville. He told Jeremy Lydic that they have winterized the truck wash and are considering paving the road from the truck wash to village streets. That certainly sounds more encouraging then their previous musings. Last year it was reported that freezing temperatures prevented them from using the truck wash.

Police Manual
From last week's council meeting we learned that the police manual for the WPD is being updated. According to Fiscal Officer Dale Davis that will take time with making sure it conforms to federal guidelines and labor laws. We speculated earlier that the lawyers will be busy after the investigation report came out. Davis said the village attorneys are working on it and once it's completed it will have to be voted on and approved by council. Many people wanted to see blood after the report came out and it ain't gonna happen unless something involving gross negligence occurs in the meantime. For the time being it is good to see that cooler heads are prevailing and that steps for corrective action are in the works.

Phyllis Memorial Park
C of C rep Dolly Brophey suggested to the mayor and council that the mini park at Rt. 45 & Wells Ave. be named Phyllis Memorial Park in memory of the late Phyllis Thrasher. I like the idea. Hopefully ODOT won't have a problem with it.

Good Satire
Satire is described as "a literary composition in verse or prose in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision or ridicule". Many comedians employ satire in their routines. It is meant to be funny, to get us to laugh and entertain us. It is intended for us to see the lighter side of events and actions of our fellow men. In this day and age of enlightened political correctness good satire is not meant to be malicious with racial overtones. Just ask Don Imus. In my humble opinion to use those themes is not amusing and displays an immense lack of maturity and quite a bit of selfishness.

ole nib

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Before signing off we would like to wish each and everyone of you Happy Thanksgiving. Whether you're having dinner at home, with friends or relatives enjoy it all. Remember that this holiday was to give thanks for our bountiful harvest that gives us food for our tables. Over the years the holiday has evolved into having us be thankful for our good fortunes, our relatives and our friends. There's a lot to be thankful for and that includes you good people.

Be safe and enjoy...

ole nib

McClelland's Complaint Rebuked

From the front page of this morning's ER comes Jeremy Lydic's report that the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) has returned former Wellsville politician John McClelland's complaint alleging that Mayor Joe Surace fraudfully used campaign funds. The OEC reportedly return the complaint to have it corrected and notarized. Apparently Mr. McClelland did not correctly cross reference exactly just what section of the Ohio Revised Code he was using as the basis of his complaint. To save money he didn't bother to consult any legal authority before firing off his letter to the OEC. To save a buck he just goes ahead and tries to destroy a man. Maybe he should have consulted with The Wiz to have his complaint researched before sending it off.

Even more telling of McClelland's thought process is what he was quoted as saying to Mr. Lydic. Verbatim I quote from the ER article: "McClelland said he understands why the OEC sent the complaint back, but said he believes the complaint itself should hold precedence over the process. The (OEC) is there to protect the best interests of the public. McClelland said If someone has a legitimate complaint, the OEC should look at that and not if all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed". Apparently McClelland believes the OEC process should be disregarded just for him.

You're wrong John. In something as serious as this it is very important that all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. You should have made yourself extremely knowledgeable in what the law says about this matter and at least correctly used the right sections of the ORC. You dropped the ball on that and not having your signature notarized. Were you saving another buck there? If you knew what your were talking about you would have known that little part about verifying who sent the complaint.

You were correct in saying the OEC is there to protect the interest of the public. That's why you got the complaint sent back to you. The OEC has to be fair and impartial and follow the law to the t. They can't follow up on a complaint on supposition. That's exactly what the basis of your complaint is - supposition. You are assuming your facts are accurate and now you are belittling the OEC for following the rules. Maybe a little thought should be employed before you go off on a temper tantrum.

My best advice is to drop the whole thing. Save yourself some money. You seem adept at that.
I seriously doubt if you have any hard proof. It's seems to be your word against the Mayor. Let it rest.

ole nib

Saturday, November 17, 2007

McClelland's Hissy

Front page news in this morning's MJ is the story that former Wellsville councilman and fiscal officer John McClelland has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission about Mayor Joe Surace's discount prescription card. McClelland alleges that Surace used the cards for political communication, made false statements and conducted unfair political practices.

The cards came out in early October and at the time Surace stated they had nothing to do with his re-election campaign. Surace also stated the cards were something he had been trying to get for Wellsville residents for a year. Nowhere on the card or the enclosed letter did it say "Vote for Surace" or anything pertaining to "Surace for Mayor". Nowhere on the card, the letter or the envelope. The card had his likeness, his name and title. It said "Mayor Joe Surace, Wellsville, OH". If you think it was for campaign purposes that's your opinion. Surace said it wasn't.

McClelland also alleges in his complaint that Surace used campaign funds to purchased postage stamps and and pay for copying expenses. Surace said he used the stamps to send out thank-you notes to campaign supporters. Mrs. Surace mistakenly said the stamps were used to send out invitations and thank-you notes. Saying they were for invitations was obviously in error. The fund raiser was held in July. From her comments as quoted by the reporter Mrs. Surace was apparently and rightfully upset. With the recount looming and the police investigation report I think it would be safe to say things are a little tense on Commerce Street.

McClelland is apparently upset that the 2002 state audit report on the fiscal emergency was brought out in the closing moments of the campaign. McClelland was in office back then. Even though a council meeting has nothing to do with the campaign McClelland was at the last one to bring the 2002 report and the discount cards up. He was gaveled down and has now taken his tantrum to the next level. The last council meeting was the day after the election.

Who made John McClelland judge & jury? Is he going to let this juvenile venom continue to tear this village apart for some kind of personal satisfaction? We have enough real problems. We don't need McClelland's personal nonsense.

Get a life John. You've shown us enough. It doesn't always go your way. Quit playing the grammar school yard "I'll get you back" card. If you're not going to be part of the solution - get lost.

ole nib

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Alumni Lip Sync

It's been in both papers but as a sort of public service I thought I would mention it here. Even though I can't imagine living without news papers I know there are some of you out there that do.

This coming Saturday evening there will be another edition of the Alumni Lip Sync at the high school. If you have never been to one you are really missing out on a very entertaining performance. This all volunteer group of dedicated people really do a bang up job. The proceeds after expenses all go back into our community. I think most of it goes into the Alumni scholarship fund for WHS students.

The performers are mostly all WHS alumni and future alumni. Most of the numbers are skits performed with them lip syncing popular songs. Also, there is some that actually sing using their own voices. It is readily apparent that they put in a lot of time on the props, costumes and learning the words of the songs they are using. You won't be disappointed. It's a toss up who has the most fun - the performers or the folks in the audience.

This fall's performance is Saturday, November 17th at the high school. Doors open at 6:15 for those that purchased tickets in advance. Everybody else will be let in at 6:30. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. There will be a 50/50 drawn at the intermission and the Lions Club will be running the refreshment stand. You can call Carrie McMahon at 330-843-6338 or Toni Figley at 330-532-1317 to buy the advance tickets.

I highly recommend you get there and enjoy a night of good, clean fun. You won't be disappointed. The price of admission is cheap at twice the price.

Break a leg Alumni... You guys are the greatest.

ole nib

Comments Deleted

In my post titled Where's Grimshaw? I just deleted three comments that named an individual. I'm not a lawyer by any means but I'd rather not have some one's name posted that has not been charged with anything or has not come out and publicly made a statement about themselves or their actions. Simply put I do not want to get in a possible law suit. The individual named is not a public figure and even if they were I would have to seriously consider allowing statements made about them.

The comments were made about an individual that apparently lives most of the time in another community but owns property in the village and maintains that address as his permanent residence. The rumor is that he is registered and voted for Surace. Actually those comments did not have anything related to the subject of the post. In my opinion they were just rumor and I can't validate it.

I really would like to keep this blog open to all anonymous comments without having to approve each and every one before they get posted. My colleague blogger up the river has recently and highly suggested that I filter the comments. The jury is still out on that. I don't want to do it. Please don't force me into it.

Call me what you will. Over the years I've probably been called worse and I can take the negative comments along with others. Since the Wiz is boycotting us I sleep easier at night! I do feel that the comments were sincere and those that made them had no malice intended. I appreciate that and all you good folks that comment.

Generally speaking the deleted comments dealt with the mayor's race and the recount. All we know for sure at this moment is that the Election Board has started the recount. The recount will include the provisional ballots. The Election Board will meet on Monday morning, November 26th, to announce the results. Until then we can only consider stories of disqualified ballots, etc as rumor. In checking the board's web site nothing has been changed on the final, unofficial count. It won't be until the 26th. I was hoping to hear something next week but I guess those folks over in Lisbon don't want to work through Thanksgiving. Can't understand that. Do they realize we are anxiously waiting for the final, official count???

ole nib

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where's Grimshaw?

It's been some time since we heard of any movement in the Tonia Amato murder investigation. The last news we had was September 14th when the MJ reported about the third search of the Amato residence.

In that article Special Prosecutor Lynn Grimshaw was quoted saying taking the case to the grand jury "could come by the end of October". He was also quoted as saying that "progress is being made slowly, but none of us want to be accused...of rushing to judgement".

There is a confessed shooting suspect who admitted on the day that Tonia was killed back in July that he shot her. There have been three different search warrants executed, the last in September. One would think that by now all testing would be done. The end of October has come and gone. We are now in the second full week of November. At this time no one will be accused of rushing anything. Come out, come out where ever you are Mr. Grimshaw. It's time.

In fact it is past time.

ole nib

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some Thoughts On The Election

Well, folks it ain't over yet. The campaigning is over but the decision on the mayor is still hanging out there. Articles in both papers yesterday reported that there are 286 provisional ballots that have to be dealt with by the County Election Board. Most of the provisional ballots are for voters that didn't have identification with them or are living at a different address then what was on the board's records. The board has to go through them and determine if they are valid. This won't be done until the 19th or 20th of this month.

As we know Surace's unofficial victory was only by seven votes which automatically requires a recount by law. When the provisional ballots are added in he could very well lose this election. It's still possible Dave Lloyd could be our mayor. We just have to wait to find out.

I was beginning to think that Surace's practically silent campaigning was ingenious until I read the editorial in yesterday's MJ. In it - it stated that Surace made two appointments with a MJ reporter for an interview prior to the election. Surace didn't show for either of them and didn't call to let the reporter know he couldn't make it. The first time could have been an honest mistake but the second time was down right rude. I don't know if he did this on his own or on advice of one of his political advisers. Whichever it might be it sure didn't look well for him. Maybe the Silver Fox should get an appointment book and check it every day. Choosing not to take part in a forum was his decision but being discourteous to the press was just not right. Now he's got both papers slamming him.

His slim, unofficial victory speaks loud and clear that the voters of the ville are not happy. From what I'm reading accountability and job performance are what most are concerned about. If the victory stands after the recount hopefully we will see some improvement.

ole nib

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Not Quite What We Were Lead To Believe

Wellsville Council and the mayor released the police investigation report last night. Since reading both news paper accounts this morning there is still one dominant thought coming to mind - WOW! This is not good. I read and reread both reports. I've long suspected that Scarabino and Wilson had issues with each other. This goes way back when they were both just officers and over the years I've neither seen nor heard anything to change my opinion. Now we have outsiders from Cleveland come in, look around and pick up on it in just a few weeks... The report is not quite what we were lead to believe, was it? It's not what the Wilson supporters lead us to believe. It is not what Dinch lead us to believe. I think I'm beginning to understand what Ms. Gross meant when she was quoted as saying "reading is fundamental" at the Dinch press conference.

If you don't have print copies the reports are available in the on-line editions of both the Review and the MJ. Although neither Jeremy Lydic or Erin Colella made any mention of it there is clearly an overtone of failure to perform in the chain of command at the WPD from that report. No matter who is mayor, after the provisional ballots are either validated or disqualified, they most certainly have a hand full dealing with the WPD situation. They will most definitely have to research to see what can be done and have a plan of correction in place to work with.
Andy Beech will probably have to go to the books on this one. I'm just wondering if that chain of command is salvageable. What do you think? I got a mix of emotions on this issue. They range from dread, to disappointment & betrayal and to being seriously mad.

This is not good.

ole nib

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Post Election Morning After Thoughts

Well, it's over - almost. We have to await the recount but I don't think it will change anything. I could be wrong but I think the recount on the mayor's race will stand as reported by the Election Board's final count last night.

I don't know about you but speaking for myself I'm glad it's over. It seems that for the last few weeks we were consumed with this election. It got to the point that yesterday I didn't even turn on my computer. Even today I only checked the Election Board's web site and came here to note a few thoughts after reading the papers this morning. Maybe tomorrow I'll go surfing on the net. My folder of clippings is overflowing with articles to be considered for future posts. For now it's time to step back and reflect. There is more to life than politics.

There's been a lot of comments posted and I want to thank each and everyone of you who participated. Just remember you're responsible for your comments. Some were thoughtful. Some were outrageous and some of the banter fell somewhere in between. It has all been interesting and hopefully we can continue.

We got "new blood" on village council. Congratulations to all the winners. It's going to be challenging to keep your campaign promises and even more challenging to find the means to finance a lot of it.

We were happy to see that the floodwall and fire levy passed with such margins. Both are vital to our village and us residents. It's a small price to pay for such services and in the long run our cost of home insurance will offset the cost of the levies compared to the rates we would have to pay if we didn't have them.

Many predicted that the mayor's race would be close. So much for the 2 to 1 for Lloyd in the MJ internet poll. It was interesting to see that the Review did not endorse any candidates or issues and they call themselves a community paper. I can remember the day when the Review was very active in endorsing candidates and issues. Their neutral stand in these times is disappointing. Right or wrong at least the MJ had the moxie to do some endorsements for us to consider. You didn't have to agree with them but you have to respect them for doing it.

Now Mayor Joe Surace will have to step back and consider long and hard about his administration's policies with the close vote tally. The people of the village have spoken loud and clear. His first term has been a learning experience. Now it's time to make doubly sure all the i's are dotted and all the t's are crossed. We feel you got us going in the right direction especially in the past year. For the first time in decades our future is looking up and Joe has been there in its' infancy. Let's continue on in that manner. The people have spoken at the polls and you can bet they will be watching with eagle eyes.

There have been a lot of shots taken at each other in this election. It's over. Now is the time to get together with each other from both sides and pull together for the good of the community. It's time to be mature about our community and move on.

Let the healing begin...

ole nib

Phyllis Thrasher

It was with great sadness I read of the passing of Phyllis Thrasher yesterday. Wellsville lost a very good friend and an extremely active member of the community. In my opinion she was the type of woman that was the best of the best. Not only was she active in community affairs she was a devoted family member. I remember years ago frequently seeing Phyllis at sports events with young ones in tow. I can only assume those young ones were grandchildren. It took a devoted woman to sit through all kinds of weather to root for the Tigers, her kids and all.

Her list of accomplishments are many. Just read her obituary. She was a real dynamo in the Chamber of Commerce up until her health forced her to slow down. As with her family she will be sorely missed there. When you see the Christmas decorations go up and the annual parade just remember that Phyllis was the one mostly responsible for us having them. When you drive into the village from the north or east you can thank Phyllis for that beautiful little park that greats you at the intersection of Rt. 45 and Wells Ave. That park should be named and dedicated to Phyllis.

We will miss you Phyllis. You will be a tough act to follow. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Our condolences to all your family. You left us a legacy with the example you set. You were special.

Rest in peace...

ole nib

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wellsville Levies

Ok, everone is getting all heated up and passionate on their choice for mayor. Let's look at another aspect of this election that we will be deciding this coming Tuesday. In addition to electing a mayor and council people we will be looking at four different levies here in the ville.

According to the MJ there will be two county wide issues to be voted on. The biggest one getting most of the attention is the MRDD/Robert Bycroft new levy. If passed it will generate an additional $3.5 million a year. This is in addition to the four existing levies that will generate $6.3 million plus the state and federal tax revenues that add another $3.4 million income. We county residents just approved a replacement levy for them last May. On top of all that it came out in the papers this past week that they have a $6 million balance already on the books.

Now I'm all for supporting and recommending that we support the special needs people. However, in this case I'm inclined to agree with my friend up the river on this issue. Yea operating costs are going up. Just ask anyone trying to pay their heating costs. To me the money in the bank and anticipated revenue look pretty good to maintain and continue the services at MRDD. We recommend voting no for this issue. As Mr. Stewart said, if Bill Devon's predictions turn out to be correct we can address this at a later date.

The second county wide issue we will be looking at is the 1 mill operating levy that will be on the ballot for the County Career Center. It is a new levy that will be used to upgrade equipment and make improvements to the facilities. The last time they asked us for money was 13 years ago in 1994.

The Career Center is part of our educational system that prepares some of our students in various trades. Not every child is cut out or wants to go on to college after high school. The ones that attend CC Career Center get training in fields that are just as important as doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs. They are the ones that will be providing integral services that is needed in every community. The tax bite will be a small price to pay for this much needed part of school system. We recommend voting yes on this levy.

Locally in our village we will be voting on two levies. The first is the 1.4 mill renewal levy for our Fire Dept. Wellsville is fortunate to have a top notch fire department. Many of us have seen them in action and I'm always impressed with their professionalism and well trained personnel. Our fire department consists of a small full time force and the volunteers. These good people work extremely well as one unit when the alarm rings with the common goal to protect us and our structures. I rest easy knowing they are there if needed. Maintaining that service is an important part of Wellsville's infrastructure. We heartily recommend voting yes for the fire levy. This is the kind of levy I like. It will not cost us any additional taxes.

The second local levy that we will be voting on is the 0.5 replacement levy for the the floodwall. This part of our infrastructure was first used in 1942 and several times over the years have save the biggest part of our village from the ravages of rising water. Making it a replacement levy will enable taking advantage of the reevaluated real estate rates but it will still be a very small price to pay for the service it provides. Also it is very important to show we are doing everything possible within our means to maintain the floodwall. Down the road when we apply for state and federal aid to refurbish the floodwall it will be a plus in getting that help. We also heartily recommend voting yes for the floodwall levy.

Come next Tuesday, November 6th, the polls will be open for 13 hours from 6:30 A.M. until 7:30 P.M. Surely if you're eligible and registered you will be able to go vote in that time frame. The Election Board predicted a light turn out. Let's show them we ville people take our right to vote seriously.

ole nib

Friday, November 2, 2007


While others spent time with political commentary and still others plotting their next move we took this bright, sunny afternoon to tour the country side & enjoy what's left of the fall foliage. Coming across the Calcutta-Smithsferry Road I caught sight of this pond with all the ducks. They caught my attention and made me wonder if these feathered fowl actually live there or were just making a lay-over stop on their way south. We don't get out that way too often and couldn't determine which is the story. Being this time of the year I'm inclined to believe the flock stopped by on their way south for the winter season but what do we know. We're village kids. Whichever the case it was interesting to us.

Joe Takes A Swing

Found under my door mat this morning was a hand out from the Friends of Joe Surace entitled "Let's Review the Record". In it is referenced several items related to the Fire Department that were noted by the state auditors in their Performance Audit five years ago.

Joe's friends referenced the audit's comments about over-staffing, over-compensation, deficits, lack of record keeping and lack of safety inspections on equipment while his opponent was the Fire Chief in charge of running the WFD.

The audit was requested by then Mayor Joe LaScola in May 2001. The village was $339,000 in the red at the end of April of that year. Consequently the State Auditor declared Wellsville to be in fiscal emergency and the audit began in February 2002. It's all there if you care to review it - all 172 pages of it. All you have to do is pull up the Ohio State Auditor's web site and search the State Performance Audit dated 8/22/02.

I read through it this morning and found their references to be where they said they were. It's not exciting reading but it's there if you are interested. I'll refrain from any other comments and as Joe's Friends said let "You Decide". ORL's Matt Stewart and commenters there and here are all over it already. Enough said...

ole nib

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No Surprise Here

It's time. A week from today is Election Tuesday and we eligible Wellsville residents will be voting for the future of the ville. The item on the ballot getting the most attention is the race for mayor. We have a choice between incumbent Mayor Joe Surace and independent candidate Dave Lloyd. We at thevilleview endorse and recommend that we stay the course and re-elect Joe Surace for another term. We didn't come to this decision lightly.

There is no doubt in our minds that Dave Lloyd is a good family man but when it comes to leading our village into a hopefully exciting future we think he is lacking in four particular areas. Number one and the foremost detracting item is his failure to vote in the past six years. If a person that professes concern for the fate of our village not voting makes us question the sincerity of that concern. Mr. Lloyd publicly confirmed twice in the last two weeks that this is indeed true and that he has not bothered to vote. This is an issue that has nagged at us since it came out. How many issues have we voted on in the last six years? Many of us have found the time to get to the polls and voice our concern on those issues. In our way of thinking there is no excuse for not voting for that long. If someone feels that his government has let him down it is time to vote for changes. It is time to voice your concern and your passion for your home. It is not time to skulk away and pout.

The second distraction that bothered us is the reasons Mr. Lloyd stated for his decision to retire as a village employee. From his lloydformayor web site and we quote "In either 2001 or 2002 we were going to be declared in fiscal emergency again. I was trying to operate an emergency service on a shoestring and to go through more cuts and no money to work with, I took my retirement". That is a quote verbatim from the Questions and Answers segment of Mr. Lloyd's site. There is an old saying that goes something to the effect that "when the going gets tough the tough get going". In other words the tough stick with it, try to work through the adversities and see it through to the end. We agree that such problems may seem immense and insurmountable and the easiest solution would seem to be to simply walk away. Let someone else deal with it. That is what Mr. Lloyd did. For that reason we have to question his compassion & sincerity to make Wellsville a better place. Is Dave suddenly a born again concerned citizen? Can we have faith that he will stick with it in good times and bad?

Mr. Lloyd was quoted as saying at the Future Voters event that if there was one thing he could change it would be the attitude of us ville people. He said there is too much negativity which brings us to our third concern. It seems that Mr. Lloyd's most vocal supporters have no end to their smear and mud slinging. With Surace's quiet campaign it seems Lloyd's people are the greatest generators of the negative innuendoes and so far Dave has done nothing to refute the tone of their negativity. If it is such a concern than why are the Lloyd supporters continuing to use it? Are they ignoring his wishes? What are we to think of what a Lloyd administration will behold?

Our fourth concern is Dave's public appearances. Surace has been trashed to no end for his not attending the debate over in Lisbon and having his daughter speak for him at the meet the candidates night. Lloyd appeared at both but it is apparent that Dave is only showing up for events in which he will be showcased. How many council meetings has he been to in the last year? Did he join in the show of support for the Revitalization Committee's events? Did he attend the WFD open house this past Saturday? Is there a tone of self concern being shown? You decide but it loomed as a concern for us to consider.

Our choice, Joe Surace, was fairly new to politics when elected to his first term. There have been some blunders but we don't feel they were of an arrogant or intentional nature. We think that Joe's efforts were all for the benefit of the ville. Being new to politics we think Joe was and continues to be wise to seek counsel of others that have been there. We like what we have seen accomplished with the appearance of our village and also like what has been indicated and will continue to be an on-going effort. Joe walked into a mess with our village government and has been diligently working to improve matters. That is something that won't happen overnight and will continue to be a gloomy shadow cast over us until he can get attitudes of all concerned turned around. As Joe has found out not everyone is working together toward a common goal for the betterment of this place we call home. We like that Joe's emphasis has been on working as a team and his encouraging the formation of the various committees that have been enthusiastically working to make this a better place. We were glad to see that Joe has been able to work with- in the financial restraints of the limited funds of our village budget and has shown the initiative to seek out other sources of funding with grant money and donations. We also like that Joe has shown remarkable concern for people's feelings, positions and the welfare of the village. One of those main concerns is our Police Dept. The people involved there were in place when Joe took office. It is apparent that he has tried to let the WPD personnel work through their problems and was finally forced to take a public stand of intruding on their authority with the much publicized outside, impartial investigation. Since the completion of the investigation Joe has continued to be considerate of the sensitivities of all involved. In his way we feel he is dealing with this particular problem with dignity for all. Others have tried to make it an election issue showing no thought of all the complexities.

Somewhere along the line a while back someone said Joe was conducting a "gentleman's campaign". It has been frustrating for us and his opponent's supporters. If it wasn't for others we would have nothing to write about. Some say Joe is hiding but nothing could be farther from the truth. The mayor has an open door policy, has presented himself at many public events that were not centered around him and is present at council meetings. Anyone from a concerned resident to members of the media can easily approach Joe at any of these times. We do not call this hiding. Some of us would have liked to see Joe come out swinging but obviously Joe decided that wasn't necessary in this campaign.

We believe that Joe Surace has shown he has the best interest of Wellsville in mind and have been given no reason to doublt that he will continue in this manner. We believe Joe Surace is the man to lead our government into the next few years. We recommend that you good people re-elect Joe Surace to a second term.

ole nib

Monday, October 29, 2007

Another Staged Event

While decent people are attending church services, getting ready for the weekly family luncheon, tail gating and anticipating another Steeler victory Wellsville Councilwoman Diane Dinch calls a press conference in her own home. It happened yesterday on Sunday morning. She claims it was for altruistic reasons and that she did it as a public service for the residents of the ville.

Dinch is in the last few months "serving" as a council representative. She lost her bid for re-election in the primaries this past spring.

Read the articles. Draw you own conclusions. Both local newspapers had their write-ups on the front page. The stories are on-line at &

See if you think the real story is untold and hidden between the printed lines. Do you think Ms. Dinch had the best interest of Wellsville in mind? Do you really think she was doing this as a public service?

ole nib

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not Amused With The Muse Brothers

At the last council meeting ville resident Tim Long brought up the coal dust problem. I guess this problem just won't go away. Mr. Long indicated he had some testing done and the results over whelmingly shows that the pollutant the folks in the lower part of the ville are seeing is coal.

We first wrote about the coal dust problem this past March in the Baffled With B.S. post and then there were two subsequent posts following up. Since the report on the council meeting James & Chip Muse have been going on the defensive in our local papers trying to misdirect the drag out problem as being our village's fault. There was an article in the Review on the 23rd and a Letter-To-The-Editor on the 24th in the MJ. They indicated that the pollution continues mainly due to the proposed road not being built. No where did they mention that the building of a new street is costly and involved. There are right of ways to be negotiated and a source of funding to be found for such a major expenditure for our limited finances. As Village Fiscal Officer Dale Davis said this ain't going to happen overnight.

With all the blustering of the Muse brothers going on there appears an article by Jeremy Lydic in yesterday's Review. In it Mr. Lydic reports that the Ohio EPA will be issuing another Notification of Violation to the Wellsville Terminals for the ongoing problem with coal dust drag out from the terminals. Evidently the folks operating the business there haven't been following up with their agreements. Now they have to deal with the EPA once again.

Instead of wasting all that ink the Muse brothers would be more productive in keeping their word with their proposed solutions. The problem originates at the terminal. It's nice to have them here and I hope they continue to enjoy a profitable business. Instead of pointing fingers they would be much better off taking care of doing business in compliance with their agreements and regulations they have to abide by. It may bite into the bottom line a bit but it would go a long way to proving to be good neighbors.

ole nib

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kudos To The Future Voters of Wellsville

I feel I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate the Future Voters of Wellsville Club before calling it a day. I must first apologize. Like Joe Surace I couldn't be there but I wanted to be. I'm sure Joe wanted to be too. He knows our future is in your hands. Also like Joe I asked someone to attend in my place. I wanted to get an impartial take on the proceedings.

From what I hear you members of the FVW Club can stand proud. You did something that none of us could convince anyone else in the ville to do. No one but you all took the opportunity to host this event. I previously suggested the Chamber-of-Commerce, the organized political parties or even the Alumni Committee do something like this. My buddy told me everything went smooth as silk and instead of being a first time venture it went off as if you guys have been doing this for years. I hope it was a learning experience for you. I don't care who your candidate is it was a learning opportunity for us all just for the fact that we got a chance for the different candidates to let us in on their platforms and visions.

I heard that the mayor couldn't be there because he was up in the "pool" rubbing elbows with the big shot from Baard. I hope you don't berate him for that. At this point in our village history Baard Ind. is a very hopeful and promising figure in our future. For quite sometime now Wellsville has been dying on the vine with the decline of first one industry after another drying up and closing shop. The prospect of Baard locating just outside our village is a dream coming about to give the ville a shot at survival.

I've been told that the mayor twisted his daughter Carrie's arm to attend your event in his place. I'm sure that took some serious convincing. I don't think I would have allowed to be put on the spot like that for my father if I were in her shoes. My buddy said she did an admirable job and was very honest with her responses. In my opinion she should be given an "attagirl" just for showing up.

From reading the article about your event in The Review a lot of the candidates spoke of the appearance of our village. Tony Cataldo said it could be possible to appropriate money for a demolition fund. Randy Allmon said fines need to be written into the Dangerous Homes ordinances. John McMahon wants to get as many streets as possible paved. Joe Soldano said the first thing people look at in our village is the buildings and the streets. None of them offered an idea on how they would finance anything. You can have ideas galore but when it is all said and done you still have to have a way to pay for it. That's part of politics that most candidates like to skim over. They don't want to tell us it's either going to be a tax increase, a grant application for "free" money or some hard budget crunching. However, that's all part of this thing they call politics. It goes on in all levels of government. You folks probably already realized all this without my bringing it up. Sorry to prattle on.

Again I would like to say the members of the FVW Club should be proud of themselves for undertaking this event. It gives us old timers hope for the future. Congratulations. Great job.

ole nib

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lonesome Lloyd

The MJ/Channel 27 Candidates' Forum went off last night in Lisbon. There was really no surprises as far as Wellsville is concerned. Independent Mayoral Candidate Dave Lloyd was there all by his lonesome resplendent in coat and tie. Mayor Joe Surace did not get over there. From the couple of pictures in the MJ today Dave looks about as comfortable as I do wearing a tie.

To keep Dave company they seated him between New Waterford candidates Dennis Lappert and Mayor Sherry Felger. As a side note New Waterford's Mayor Felger was quoted in the MJ saying her "village infrastructure would not be able to handle a large number of new businesses and proposed making do with the businesses the village currently has". Loser. If I was a resident of that village she would have lost my vote right there and then. At least our candidates in the ville both offer some progressive thinking in attracting businesses to the community.

According to Casey Barto in his write-up, Dave Lloyd addressed the issue of attracting new business in his opening statement. Then he went on to give his thoughts on Ed Wilson going back to work and what he thought of the WPD investigation. Nothing new there if you have been following his comments in the past. I'm sure he knew he would be questioned on his not voting record. He "confirmed that he had not voted since 2001..." Then he went on that he would set up guide lines for all village employees and try to get those guidelines passed into a village ordinance. Again nothing new.

What did get my attention was his stated concern of "providing adequate housing for future residents who may relocate" here. He said he had several ideas on this but then gave an old political cliche that he "was not at liberty to elaborate". Is Mr. Lloyd going to propose that Wellsville get into the real estate & housing rental business? I really wish he would elaborate and explain just what he has in mind. Off the top of my head I can only see a financial nightmare for our village if that be the case. I think it best to leave that line of business with the private entrepreneurs who are quite adept to handle the responsibilities and risks involved with such ventures. The village government would better off concentrating on enforcing the building codes and ordinances and revamping them where necessary. We've been weak in that area. Tax incentives would be an enticement for those business people. There's lots of room for improvement and lots to do to get it accomplished. So Dave do us a favor. Tell us what you have in mind. You can't leave that carrot dangling there.

ole nib

Halloween Treats

Someone calling them self "Spooky" mentioned it on the last post but I thought it would be worth while to bring it up again. As announced at the boardwalk dedication the Revitalization Committee will be sponsoring a Halloween Walk at the boardwalk this coming Saturday from 5-7 P.M. There will be treats and I think prizes. Take your goblins & gremlins up there and enjoy. This could be a warm up for the big night. Hopefully the weather will be favorable. A big "Thank You" to the committee for all their work and efforts to provide this activity for our youth.

While we're on the subject it has been announced that Trick or Treat here in the ville will be Halloween Night which is next Wednesday, the 31st, from 5:30-7 P.M. Turn on your porch lights if you are passing out treats. Although it's getting to be more and more expensive it is very entertaining to witness the array of costumes and the excitement in the young ones. It always brings back memories of times long gone for yours truly. My favorite place to get to back in my youth was the couple in the neighborhood that gave out store bought candy bars and a quarter in each and every bag.

ole nib

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wilson Was Used

I was rather shocked and surprised with the blatant parading on four local web sites of Wilson's return to work. What should have been a quiet readjusting re-entry back into the work place was orchestrated into a shoddy political event in the early morning hours yesterday. A small group of supporters was pictured on the sites holding their morning coffee and quickly made posters welcoming Lt. Wilson in the presumption of being a Wellsville cop.

ORL blogger Matt Stewart has indicated all along that he is an ardent supporter of Dave Lloyd in Lloyd's bid for mayor. For quite some time now Mr. Stewart has been very biased in his postings in attempting to discredit and unseat the incumbent Mayor Joe Surace. Looking back to when the primaries were held he was pushing for anyone to run and oppose Surace, whether it was Lloyd or Don Brown. Since Lloyd doesn't bother to vote he got the nod to be an independent candidate for mayor without having to exert any effort in the primaries. Stewart jumped on his bandwagon from the get go.

In recent postings Stewart has shown he was willing to stoop to any depth of anti-social, inciting, mudslinging efforts in his support of Lloyd. This past Saturday in the wee hours of the day he chastised everyone that was involved when The Review published Surace's recent press release on his candidacy. He accused Surace of hiding even though press releases are a common and accepted practice in all levels of government, the business world and other entities. He blasted the newspaper as being unprofessional in publishing the release and indicated the reporter that presented it to the paper as being too new to realize his "errors".

In addition to trying to discredit the newspaper for that he took another swing at his former employer's professionalism for publishing Surace's late night statement that Wilson was invited to return to work. Although he is not the publisher, editor or even an employee of the paper Stewart even got on them for putting that notice on page 5A of that day's edition. Then in the same posting Stewart indicated that supposedly Surace supporters are stealing Lloyd-for-Mayor signs and sublimely encouraged that it was a contest to see who could collect the most signs.

So it is not surprising that Stewart would disregard the dignity of Wilson, the WPD or the Village of Wellsville. Nor is it surprising that Lloyd would stoop to the same level allowing his web site to be used in the same manner. Lloyd is obviously being coached in the same camp.

What is surprising is that Wilson himself would allow others to use him in a political arena. After refusing all along to do interviews or make any public comments he allows a group of misguiding supporters to malign his public esteem in a secretly staged political photo opportunity hiding in the parking lot behind Village Hall.

Also surprising is that the owners of would compromise their integrity as being an unbiased source of information for our village. Up until Sunday that site has been a business in support of Wellsville commerce without showing any favoritism. Although the owner has publicly stated her support for Lloyd elsewhere I'm surprised she got suckered into cheap political tricks to smear a previously unblemished and professional site.

Yea Ed, welcome back. Maybe when you wake up you'll realize just how much you were used. I'm not exactly sure what is on your agenda but you are certainly not helping yourself or the dignity of your profession or your career when you allow yourself to be paraded around like that. In this country any police officer is entitled to pursue their right to back any political candidate of their choosing. However that should be done as a citizen, not as a cop in uniform. Some of those people were there yesterday as friends and loved ones. Others were there to use you to make a point.

ole nib

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Next Move Is Ed's

According to yesterday's Review suspended WPD officer Lt. Ed Wilson has been "invited to return to the police force" by Wellsville's mayor. If you have been following this story you know that Wilson was suspended this past June. It was never specifically stated by Wellsville's Chief of Police for what reasons the suspension was issued. Mayor Joe Surace said it was for Wilson's failure to show up at the Yost murder scene when ordered. However, with what has been released we can't say if that was the only reason behind the paid suspension. Police Chief Joe Scarabino issued the suspension and he hasn't been very talkative.

Since the suspension Village Council authorized the mayor to engage an out-of-town law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the WPD. While this was going on Wilson filed a slander suit against the village and the mayor. It appears that the independent investigation is completed and the mayor is following the recommendations of the lawyers from Cleveland by notifying Wilson to return to work.

Now the next move is Ed's who, according to both the mayor & Review Reporter Rebekah Potter, has been unavailable for comment. There appears to me that there is some legal strategy being played out here. What happens to Wilson's frivolous law suit now? By no means am I an expert on legal matters but it looks like Ed is close to checkmate here.

You really can't pass judgement on the merits of Wilson's suspension. Other than rumors we don't have all the facts. It's painfully obvious that the village officials have tried to resolve the problems with the WPD for some time now. To me they have tried to keep it mostly in house and not drag their dirty laundry in the public eye. This is standard procedure when it comes to personnel matters. Even Ohio law permits closed door meetings when it comes to personnel meetings of government officials. You can't believe rumors and much to our chagrin we have to wait to find out all the particulars.

We will eventually learn all the details as is our right as taxpayers. I can only assume that Mayor Joe Surace is following the advice of the lawyers and at this point can not put all his cards on the table face up. Since this investigation is costing us a bundle of money I think that is in the best interest of the village. No, this is not a game. It's real life here. There's a lot at stake for both sides. We just have to bide our time to find out but at least this case is moving forward and something is being done.

It's up to Lt. Wilson now. It's his decision on whether he wants to presume his law enforcement career or pursue other avenues.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Relax & Enjoy

While Matt is ranting and raving & getting us all stirred up we should all take a moment to breath and appreciate what Ma Nature has to give us. While cruising through Racoon State Park today I was able to capture this chillin' photo of the splendor of a fall afternoon. Ain't it pretty? Now wasn't that relaxing....

ole nib

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What A Mess

What a mess Dave Smith has got himself into. I've been reading both papers and the comments on ORL. Again a lot of the comments range from one end of the spectrum to the other. There are folks that want to drag him out to the nearest tree & lynch him and at the other end there are people who think DUI is no big deal. Excrement happens.

The Sheriff lawyered up pretty quick and has got a continuation on his preliminary court appearance until the end of the month. I'm guessing they are praying fervently that the urine test results will give them a break. I've been told you can blow positive on as little as one beer if the barley and hops are still embedded on you taste buds. It's the blood alcohol level that is the best bet in cases like this. It takes longer for the alcohol to get into the blood stream.

At this point I'm kind of feeling a little sorry for the man. Tom Giambroni wrote the piece about the Sheriff driving a county vehicle when he got busted. To me that is a gray area. Networking is part of doing business and attending a state association meeting to learn the latest on the command communication vans made it a business meeting. I'm not familiar with what the county rules and regulations are about using county vehicles. The Commissioners are either not available or are "no commenting". If you're familiar with the I-70 route from Columbus you know that the Easton Mall is along the way. Having made that trip myself, once you start seeing the signs for Cambridge you know you don't have that much farther to go and all you want to do is get home.

The Buckeye State Sheriff's Association is back pedaling and distancing themselves from Smith as is folks around these parts. I imagine there is a lot of gruff going on with the trooper that busted a fellow lawman. It happens. However, that trooper's job is to look out for the safety of all of us. If Smith nearly hit a truck he needed to be taken off the highway. The trooper did cut him a break on the breathalyzer. My feeling is Smith knew exactly what he was doing when he inhaled.

My sort of feeling sorry for the guy stems from the fact that here is a man that probably put an end to his sheriff's career due to some bad judgement. He's being hung out in the media for all to see and is probably very despondent over what the future will hold. Lord knows if it wasn't for luck, my guardian angel or the grace of the Good Lord I could have been in his position more than once on the DUI charge. I'm still not the brightest star in the sky but back a few years ago I was stubborn about my ability to drink & drive. The Irish have a saying that the Lord takes care of old drunks and young children. Maybe my survival of those days was in my DNA. I'm not exonerating Dave Smith. I just feel a little sorry for him.

ole nib