Sunday, August 31, 2008

WHS Athletic Hall-of-Fame Brunch

Yesterday morning the HOF Committee wrapped up this year's ceremonies honoring the 2008 Class at a brunch and presentation of plagues. There were nine inductees from the Senior Era and nine from the Modern Era. They had the biggest turn-out in the history of this event. I estimated the crowd to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 people.

Reporter Jen Matsick of the ER has a very good write-up of the event in today's paper. They are doing a two part series to get all of the story done. Today's article was mostly covering the members of the Senior Era. The next will cover the Modern Era. So, I won't go into as much detail that Jen covered. It's available on-line and photographer Wayne Maris was there. There will probably a slew of pictures in their CU Gallery.

The oldest athlete honored was Georgia Weekley Kraus from the class of '25 for girl's basketball. The youngest honored were three members of the class of '96 which was Kelly Martin, Ryan Nightingale & Sean Wright. Georgia's scoring record of 240 points held until it was broken in 1983 by another girl.

This was the fourth class inducted into the HOF and I must say I was impressed with the event. It was a first for me to witness but it seemed that it was professionally organized and presented. The program was outstanding and the sign pictured above was top notch. Wonder if Jeff Campbell had anything to do with those banners? I know, or know of, most of the members of the committee and I don't think any of them had a career in setting up events like this. You folks certainly deserve a pat on the back and a "job well done" for your efforts. There's no doubt that a lot hard work and time went into getting it done.

Before closing I would like to mention the "best dressed" individual that I saw yesterday. I've seen the outfit before but it was the first time I've seen it up close & personal. John Henry, you certainly extol the virtues of school spirit. You were absolutely splendidious with that suit & shoes!

Thanks to the all that were responsible getting this event going. You proved once again that Wellsville is certainly a nice place to live. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge.

And thanks for having me...

ole nib

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alley Cat Aid Brigade

Last evening at Dalonzo's Restaurant the ladies of the Wellsville's Alley Cat Aid Brigade (ACAB) held a fund raiser for the program. For more information on the program you can go to their web cite at

Member Connie Carmichael said they have done about 40 feral cats so far. Nick Dalonzo told me they estimated they had about 55 people attend last night's dinner and Chinese auction. It was a nice turn out for this worthwhile project that helps make the ville a little nicer place to live'

Above are some pictures of the event we got.

ole nib

Bare Feet In The Park

While they were doctoring the new tree that got ran over not too long ago I caught this young lady attending to the task sans any thing on her feet yesterday. Turns out she didn't want to get her sandals wet while watering.

Pictured above is the ville's Susie Haugh, a newly appointed member of the Shade Tree Commission. Pictured with Susie is husband Jeff and Mary Ann & Sid Cannon.

Sorry Susie. Just couldn't resist!

ole nib

Getting Started

Yesterday they got started laying some block for the new Broadway Park stone walks. Pictured above is a couple of fellows from Monigold Landscaping of Steubenville leveling off the sand for the first one. There will be a walk on both sides of each fountain when they get it completed.

Also pictured above is one of the memorial stones that will be incorporated in the walks.

ole nib

War Zone

No, it's not a war zone but sure does look like a mine field gone awry. Actually it's Wellsville's Broadway Park. The mounds of dirt and debris shown in this picture is from digging for the new stone walks. The concrete is from older sidewalks that they found buried under the dirt. This is after they thought they had already removed the old walks. I was told they are going to use the dirt to level off some of the low spots in the park. For right now this is what Broadway looks like from one end to the other. It's a small price to pay for what it will look like after the work is completed. I think it will be a Wellsville show place and another plus for the ville.

ole nib

Friday, August 29, 2008

WHS Tigers Now 2 & 0

The Tigers opened tonight for the first home game of the '08 football season. The Tigers were battling the Toronto Red Knights. Everyone else in the stadium was fighting off the gnats. They were thick but you'll get that on a hot August night with high humidity.

The Tigers won the game. Think the final was 46-14 and that was impressive to me. Toronto is always a tough game. Being an arch rival you never know what is going to happen when they start butting heads. Since I didn't stick around too long I'll let you get a better account of the game from the morning papers tomorrow.

By the time I got home and dialed up WKMX Live on the 'puter the game was well in hand. The announcers did mention something about the Tigers regrouping at half time.

Prior to the game they had the induction of this years class to the WHS Atheletic Hall-of-Fame. Pictured above is this years honorees. That's young "Pick" Rolley standing in front. The next picture is of the Tigers getting ready to take the field. WKMX live was there and that's the announcers calling the game. Terry Brown said those guys are getting like old pros. Terry got the audio up to snuff and they sounded really good. That's Joe Surace, Roger Miller & Bud Ceniviva in the booth. The last picture is of the Tigers in action early in the 1st quarter.

It was a beautiful night for a game. Next time I'll lather down with bug-off before I leave home. Congratulations to the Tigers and the coaching staff on an impressive victory. Next Friday they travel to Lisbon. WKMX Live will be there if you can't make it.

Good luck guys. Keep up the good work. It don't get much better than this, winning football and all. Life is good...

ole nib

"Listen, my children and you shall hear..."

That's the part of the opening line of a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow entitled "Paul Revere's Ride". Some call it the Mid-night Ride of Paul Revere. For years it was used as a learning tool for students when they were studying the Revolutionary War. I don't know if it is still used today or not. Longfellow wrote that around 100 years after that event.

The poem is an account of the mid-night ride Paul Revere made from Boston to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming in force to arrest them on April 18,1775. The Brits wanted to arrest both Adams & Hancock for sedition for their activities leading up to the war. Revere was a member of the Sons of Liberty. He was sort of a secret agent back in colonial times.

While in Boston last week we visited Paul Revere's house and grave site. The house pictured above sits at 19 North Square in the North End of Boston. It was built c.1680 and Revere lived there with his family from 1770 to 1800. For a token fee you can tour the whole house and see furniture and other items on display from that era. You're not allowed to take pictures inside the house but if interested you can go to to see what it looked like.

After the Revere family moved out it was a rental unit for immigrant families and sometimes used as a shop. In the early 1900s they were making plans to tear it down but Revere's great-grandson bought it in 1902. It was restored to the original specifications and in 1908 was opened to the public. Back in the days it was built and when the Revers lived there it was considered quite a grand house. By today's standards it looks a bit small and cramped for a family with kids.

Revere was a silversmith by trade and was noted for his quality work in that line. He employed many laborers and other tradesmen in his shop. Having folks to look after things allowed him time to be a messenger to carry the news to outlying areas and was sometimes sent to New York City and Philadelphia. That is how he got the task of his famous mid-night ride. Back in those days newspapers were scant and it was before the time for any form of telecommunications. So Revere got the job as an "express rider" while he was secretly a member of the Sons of Liberty. That job served his covert activities quite well. In addition to silversmith Revere also ran a hardware store, had a foundry and after the Revolution built the first copper rolling mill in the United States. He did a little politicing also. He must of been a busy man.

Revere died in 1818 at the age of 84. His final resting place is in the Granary Burying Ground next to the Park St. Church on Tremont St. in Boston. I was curious why they would name a grave yard after a place to store grain but could not find any history to shed any light on that aspect of it. The Granary is the third oldest cemetery in Boston with graves dating back to the early 1600s. Revere's original tomb stone and a small monument is also pictured above. We'll probably have more on the Granary later on. Along with the house it was a unique place to see.

That ends today's history lesson. Wonder where Revere lived between 1800 until the time of his death?
Oh, that first stanza of the poem goes:
Listen my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteen of April in Seventy-five,
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

ole nib

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Caught Up

Well, I think I got caught up on stuff that I been putting off or missed while we were out of town. Here's some things that caught my eye.

The new, enhanced additions to the Election Board's web site is a handy tool. You can double check to see if you're registered to vote and where you go to vote plus a lot of other information that you might want to check on. It even tells you when the last time you voted.

Last council meeting was mostly about getting a good grip on handling finances in the village. That is an absolute must if we're going to keep out of the red. Running the village is not any different than running a business.

Coming September 6 is the fifth annual village yard sale to raise money for the Fix Up - Clean Up Committee. It has been growing steadily and they expect it to be even bigger this year. There are only two more work days scheduled for this year - Sept. 6 & 20.

Could someone explain to me what a "then & now" purchase order is for? It's a new term to me for business matters and no explanation was given in the newspapers. Council approved a "then & now" contract for Pusateri Excavating.

ODOT was suppose to start fixing the land slide this past Monday on the Route 45 hill just out of the ville's limits. This has been a continuous problem over the years in different spots on that hill. Ain't a whole lot there to stop the erosion of the hillside. The increase usage with the "coal bucket" trucks over the last several years has probably added to the instability of that hillside. Maybe ODOT should be thinking about weight restrictions on the portion between the ville and Hillcrest. Between Mother Nature & the trucks the problem with land slides isn't going to go away.

Did you see Tom Giambroni's story that the state is offering financial incentive to the county health board to reconsider their dropping out of the smoking band enforcement? Guess the state is finding they can't handle it either. The incentive package is for $4,200 max at $70 a pop. That's not much considering the number of complaints filed since the law went into effect. They got to do better than that if they want to put some teeth into that law.

There was an AP story in the MJ the other day saying that doctors are accusing health insurance companies of endangering patient care with their pre-approval requirements. The insurance companies are saying that doctors are driving them out of business with ordering excessive tests and medical procedures that are unnecessary among other things. In the middle of all this is the poor patient that just wants to find out what is ailing them and what they have to do to get better. I get the impression that there is a serious greed factor in all this.

Speaking of greed, they are telling us heating bills for this coming winter are going to sharply rise over what we paid last heating season. According to a story in the ER it doesn't matter what type of heat you have you're going to have to dig deeper to stay warm.

Kudos to Todd Lynch & his team from Wellsville's Stevenson foundry on the volunteer job they did repairing the 100 year old vase in the cemetery at the Longs Run Church out in Calcutta. The vase was destroyed by vandals and the guys at Stevenson took it upon themselves to restore it back to its original splendor. Stevenson foundry is the ville's oldest manufacturing plant that dates back to the 1800s and has been in the same location since it started.

While handing out plaudits thanks should also go out to the folks at Tommy Mackall VFW Post 5467 for donating to the ville's police and fire departments. Every little bit helps and the money is going to good use. The money to WFD is going to be used for a new chain for their ventilating saw. The money to the WPD is going to be put toward funds to start a juvenile fire-bug counseling program that Marsha Eisenhart is trying to get going.

The handicap ramp at the flood wall has been made usable. They used asphalt to build it up to the concrete portion and it looks like they cleaned up the gravel around the area. Was it something we said?

The county's 911 system is still looking good to get up and running on 9/11 this year according to reports in yesterday's newspapers.

Tomorrow night at the Tiger's home opener they are suppose to induct this years class into the WHS Athlete Hall-of-Fame. It's scheduled for half time and then they are going to have a brunch Saturday morning at the high school. Prior to that the Alleycat Brigade will be holding a fund raiser at Dalonzo's. Stop in and get a bite to eat before you go down to the game.

Ok, that catches me up...

ole nib

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sheriff To Resign

Today's papers brought us the headline news that CC Sheriff Dave Smith will resign his position by the end of the week. We all know the story of Smith's indiscretion with his arrest last fall for DUI.

His resignation should come as no surprise. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that it would probably come sometime before this fall's elections. He's got his 30 years which makes him eligible for a nice pension and another job lined up at Mountaineer. Overall he has served us well with a distinguished career in law enforcement.

This latest move is nothing more than playing politics. With Smith's early retirement as sheriff the County Republicans have the right to name someone to fill out the unexpired term. As the papers noted that will be Republican candidate for sheriff Ray Stone. That means Stone will be an incumbent candidate for the position when we go to the polls in November. Don't be surprised if you see "Sheriff Stone" mentioned in a lot of press releases and news stories in the next couple of months. There may even be some "Re-elect Sheriff Stone" political propaganda. That will get us - the voters - thinking "Sheriff Stone" by the time we go to vote. It's politics plain and simple.

That also means that the ville's John Soldano will face an even more uphill battle in his bid as the Democratic candidate for sheriff. It can be done but it will keep him and the Democrats hopping. Both candidates are well qualified for the job but I'm still pulling for the guy from the ville and this end of the county. I think John will serve the county well and that includes us down this way. I'm hoping that "Sheriff Stone's" career in that office is short lived, just to the end of December.

In the meantime thanks for a job well done Dave Smith. Good luck...

ole nib

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Police Brutality Or A Chance For An Easy Buck?

In a story on the back pages of yesterday's ER was the story of a Wellsville resident filing a law suit against the village in CC Common Pleas Court for alleged police brutality. Reporter Casey Barto only wrote about the complaint and what led up to it when that resident was arrested a year ago at Independence Square. There was no mention of trying to get comments from village officials, not even a "no comment".

Just reading the article one gets the impression that this young man was full of rage when busted a year ago. After being placed in the cruiser he proceeded to kick out a window and had to be shackled presumably to prevent additional damage or injury. He was charged with vandalism, inducing panic, possession of criminal tools and criminal damaging. Seems he was flashing a lighter that was shaped like a pistol at several people. Wonder what got him started in the first place? I don't get the impression he was being a model citizen that day. He doesn't like to pay income taxes. Court records shows Salineville took him to Small Claims Court for that in 2004. He spent 15 days in jail and was placed on probation for his actions last year.

Now he wants big bucks for the way he was treated at the time of his arrest. Can't say for sure but sounds like to me he brought it all on himself probably with verbal threats and his actions. We have to wait and see what comes out. It's too early with what little is known about this to make any judgements. However, after reading the article, my first impression is that young man has issues with seething rage and found himself a lawyer from Youngstown willing to take his money. So far it has cost him $250 for court fees plus whatever the attorney is charging him. That's money that could probably be better spent on counselling to deal with his issues. I just don't know.

As I said it's too early to make any calls one way or the other. Time will tell.

Oh, what tangled webs we weave...

ole nib

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Cradle of Liberty

Been wondering where I've been? Well, the missus & I took off to make a first time visit to Boston, Massachusetts, recently. It's a city nick named the "Cradle of Liberty" and some refer to it as the "Cradle of Freedom". It's where our country's forefathers drafted and wrote the Declaration of Independence which led up to the Revolutionary War, a war fought to gain American independence from England. It's a city founded in early colonial times nearly 200 years before Wellsville was even thought of. It was awesome.

As I said before I'm a lover of history but I certainly don't profess to be very knowledgable in colonial or Revolutionary War history. Touring some of the historical sites around Boston brought back a lot memories of things we were taught in grade school history lessons. Seeing some of the sites gave us a sense of perspective of some of our country's early history. The places we heard about and the events that took place actually happened there. The people really did exist that were part of those early times. We saw where some of them lived and where some of them are buried.

We found Boston to be a unique city with a lot of character. It is very tourist friendly and most of the historical sites are within easy walking distance. We were there only for a few days and found out you can't even come close to take in all that is available to see, even if you had a month's time to spend there. Just seeing some of the buildings with all the different architectural styles that date back over the centuries mixed in with modern sky scrapers is enthralling. To see some of the parks, especially Boston Gardens, was special. We would definitely recommend it and we hope to get back there ourselves someday. We saw quite a bit but there is still much more we would love to see.

Pictured above is Faneuil Hall (pronounced fan-yule) where John Hancock, George Washington, Samuel Adams and the fellows drafted and wrote the Declaration of Independence. The other picture is the old Massachusetts State House with the second floor balcony. It was from that balcony that the Declaration was first read to the public. See what I mean about being mixed in with modern sky scapers?

I'll be showing more pictures and a little of the history of some of the other places we saw from time to time. In the mean time I have to catch up with what's been happening in the ville. Did I miss anything exciting?

ole nib

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Calcutta Health Care Center Open House

Yesterday's event at CHCC on Bell School Road was written up big time in both our local papers this morning. It was an open house affair to show off their remodeling and to introduce the new owner. I'm putting my two cents in because there is a Wellsville connection to that facility.

One of the papers said they estimated that nearly 1,500 people trooped through there yesterday. The biggest attraction was retired boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and today's middle weight champion Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik. They were there signing autographs. Both of those gentlemen are from the Youngstown area. Getting to meet "Boom Boom" was what got me out there. I'm not a huge boxing fan but I remember Mancini was hugely popular when he was fighting and from what I saw yesterday he still is. He has been out of the fight game for nearly 20 years.

They tell me Mancini put in about five hours without a break signing autographs and greeting folks. There was about a two hour waiting in line to get that autograph. They had to drag him away so he would be able to get to another engagement yesterday evening. That's the kind of guy he is and he was that way twenty years ago. Always a gentleman and very considerate of other people and that's what made me one of his fans.

The open house was something else too. There was hot food, pasta salad, snacks, soft drinks, ice cream sundaes and a chocolate fountain. They had a whole list of give-away prizes you could sign up for and it was all free just for showing up. They had also demonstration booths set up for medical stuff which was largely ignored. From what I could see the folks where there mostly for the celebrity attractions and the food. The kids seemed to enjoy Froggy from radio station WELA.

That place was opened in 1995 by a fellow named Tom Nordquist from Columbiana. Now here comes part of the Wellsville connection. Prior to opening that place Nordquist owned the old Mansion Health Care that was here in town. It was in that old house that still sits on Main Street across from the Catholic church. When they opened CHCC they moved the patients out there and Nordquist sold that house.

CHCC is a long term care facility plus an intermediate care facility offering an array of physical therapy, occupation & speech therapy and rehabilitation for patients that have had an illness, been in accidents or had some kind of reconstructive surgery. It's not just a nursing home. That's just part of what they do out there. They also have two other similar facilities up in the Youngstown area.

Tom Nordquist recently sold his interest to Joe Cilone from East Liverpool. Joe started out in the business as a nurse. Now here comes the other ville connection. Mrs. Cilone, Joe's wife, is a Wellsville native. She is one of Tom & Marcia Gaulitier's daughters. So, along with patients from the ville and employees from the ville, Wellsville is well represented out there. I'm just guessing at the spelling of Tom & Marcia's last name. I probably butchered it. Please forgive.

Pictured above is "Boom Boom" signing autographs, some youngsters taking delight with Froggy from WELA and his honor, Wellsville Mayor Joe Surace with the Tom Nordquist.

If you missed that shindig yesterday you missed out on a good time. I can vouch for the fact that when Joey & Stephanie Cilone throw a party it's a whale of a party. Thanks for having me.

ole nib

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nicholson Stadium

Here's the newest of the floodwall murals that was just recently completed. It's all done except for the sponsor's name that is usually put on the bottom.

I couldn't find much history on Wellsville's Nicholson Stadium. It's always been there in my memory but that's not the case. In a book titled Life And Times In Wellsville, author Nathan Morrison mentions that football games were played in Central Park until the mid-twenties and then were moved up the Hammond's Park. Central Park is where the high school sits today and carnivals use to be held.

This mural is showing a game between the Tigers and the EL Potters. From the clothes I would guess this was from a photo dating back to the late forties or early fifties. Didn't WHS quit playing the Potters back in the mid-fifties?

That game was a big Thanksgiving Day rivalry and it didn't matter if you had a losing season. If you won the annual "Turkey Bowl" you had a successful year. Mr. Morrison said that back in the twenties when he was in school football was "the" sport at WHS always drawing big crowds compared to what they would see for basketball games. Of course back then he said the gym was in the basement of the old high school. I imagine seating was sparse in that gym. Mr. Morrison also said that the rivalry between the two towns was always intense and he suspects it goes back to when the railroad first came to the ville. Wellsville got the railroad first but that's a different story.

Who was Nicholson and why was the stadium named after him/her? When was the stadium built? Perhaps some of the ville's history buffs can fill us in. From the type of construction I'm guessing it was built back in FDR's Reconstruction Days following the Great Depression.

Incidentally, WHS opens their season August 22 at Strasburg. They'll be at home the 29th against Toronto.

Gina is now working on the other end wall facing the street. There was a notice in this morning's ER that Johnny Albaneso's family has set up an account at Central Federal for donations to sponsor a mural of Johnny's Lunch. They are hoping to get the panel next to this mural. Johnny was always an avid supporter of Wellsville athletics.

This month would have been the 70th anniversary of the opening of that resturant. My mouth still waters for a plate of his french fries smothered in gravy!

ole nib

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's A Wrap

There was dancing in the street as the popular & local Route 45 Band entertained the crowd and closed out the 12th Annual Italian Festival Saturday night. The band was started by Karen & Tim Kelly and have been performing publicly since 1998. They're good. They always draw a crowd, especially when they play in town.

It was a beautiful week-end for both the Italian Festival & the Down Memory Lane event. From what I could see a good time was had by all.

Pictured above is the band and some of the dancers gettin' their groove on.

This is for you "Spoon"...

ole nib

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thoughts Bouncing Off My Window VII

It's been awhile since I used that title but my clippings folder was getting full. It's time to clean it out.

It is with trepidation that I'm waiting to see what my gas budget will be for the coming heating season. In a piece in the Vindicator a couple of weeks ago it was said the price of natural gas is up 74% since last year. Ouch! The article was about drilling for new natural gas wells and said that with Ohio's 63,654 natural gas wells we may get some relief. Columbiana County has 1,900 active wells and drilling for new ones continues. Wasn't too long ago there was news of Buckeye Water District allowing some company to do some exploring on their land for gas.

Speaking a gas... Last Sunday's Post-Gazette had a chart of gasoline prices in 27 different countries. The prices were from June average prices and the US was ranked ninth as having the less expensive gas prices. The cheapest gas to be found was in Venezuela at $o.25/gallon with the most expensive in the Netherlands costing $10.05/gallon.

Gasoline prices have come down a bit lately. Isn't it funny we're jubilant when it comes down? We're happy to see it at $3.65 or so. Do you think it's a marketing strategy by the petroleum companies? Jack it up so high you have to starve your kids to be able to afford gas to get to work and then lower it a little so we'll quit complaining? Last month I had to spend $4.099/gallon and that's the highest price I've paid so far. A year ago in July I was paying $2.999/gallon. Now you see why I'm skeptical.

I enjoyed Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert's piece on "Staycations" in last Sunday's MJ. She told us about places in the county I would like to see someday. A "Staycation" is a vacation where you get away from the house but get back home every night. There are many interesting things to see in this county, too many to see all in one day. The best part is that they aren't that far away and don't cost you an arm and a leg on food, lodging and gasoline. Jo Bob said there were too many to see in a week's time.

There was a follow up piece about the threat of cell phone electromagnetic radiation possibly causing brain tumors last week in the Pittsburgh paper. It was written by Eric Swanson, an associate professor of nuclear physics at Pitt. In essence Professor Swanson says cell phones don't emit enough energy for the electromagnetic radiation to alter our DNA and consequently cause tumors. Incidentally the doctor I wrote about is initiating a study at UMPC Cancer Center along with another outfit to check out this possibility. It was interesting to note that the author of the rebuttal says he doesn't own a cell phone.

If ain't coal dust it's sewage stink causing problems in that part of the village. They think that the problem is that the liquid sludge holding tanks at the treatment plant haven't been cleaned out in over six years. It was reported from this week's Council meeting that they are working with the Village Solicitor to see if there is a way to get around the bidding process to hire someone to get the tanks cleaned. Sh, er stuff like this happens when you're strapped for cash. You neglect some basic needed house cleaning.

Also from Council meeting reports we were told that Council is looking into reducing the Wellsville's cost of health insurance for village employees. Tony Cataldo was reported as saying we are spending $240,000 a year on health insurance for 16 village employees. That works out to $15,000 per employee. That's steep and I would say that Wellsville is ten to 15 years behind most businesses in getting this cost under control. Of all the places I've worked since getting out of the service decades ago each one required a portion of each pay go to the cost of insurance. Just like gasoline prices it kept going up every year. For many it is prohibitive in today's times. Many small businesses don't even offer health insurance in their benefit packages. It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. It's a situation that needs to be addressed especially from the national level. The AMA & insurance companies don't want to hear it but the words are social medicine. It works in other countries. It's past time to consider it in the US.

Hootch2 got permission to block off Riverside in front of the Elks again. They are planning a Chili Festival on September 13 as a fund raiser for next year's Riverside Reunion. Along with the chili they are dragging out their big screen t.v. so we can enjoy a football game. Who's playing?

The lady that ran over one of the new trees on Broadway is balking about paying for a replacement. She says it is doing quite well. Dawn Johnson of the Shade Tree Committee is saying their tree expert tells them the tree will be dead by this time next year. According to Dawn tree killing insects will infest the tree where the bark got peeled off and it won't make it through the winter. That lady that ran over it is going to mess around, get dragged into to court, have to pay a fine & court costs plus pay for a new tree. Such drama!

The WHS Athletic Hall-of-Fame will be having an induction brunch on August 30 for the new honorees. Susie Haugh has all the particulars for that event on along with bios of this year's class. By the by, Susie H-A-U-G-H has accepted a seat on the Shade Tree Committee recently. Hey Erin Colella: note the spelling of the last name. It is not Hall.

In attempting to mainly concentrate on the ville on here I normally try to stay away from East Liverpool happenings. However, I can't resist Gary Bonnell, President of the EL Board of Education. He's on a mission and in the process is making a mockery of himself and dragging the board along with him. Seems with Gary there are no gray areas in life. He wants to hang some kids that corrected a wrong in a deal with the police and the school superintendent made to everyone's satisfaction, except Gary. Along with the scrapped school desks he was wrongly accusing someone with stealing culvert pipes. Now he has lost all credence with the board and members of the EL school district. Gary seems to be the Don Quixote up in that neck of the woods. The only difference is that Gary fights dirty.

Man! That Tom Giambroni from the MJ keeps right on top of things. In this morning's paper he reported that the OEPA has issued the second of three permits that the Baard people need to go ahead with the ORCF plant. This one is for the waste water discharge. That's two down and one to go. The third one has gotten tentatively approved and is awaiting the public hearing portion that is required. Wonder if Kanfer & Peya are sucking down the Rolaids today?

To wrap things up I can't help myself but I have to mention the lady from California that spent $50 grand to have her pet dog cloned in Korea. Is this a case of more money than brains or what? She got six pups out of the deal and after they wean from their surrogate mother she'll get to pay to transport them back to California. There are too many alternatives to replace a pet that would only cost a fraction of what her total bill will be.

What a country!

ole nib

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Big Weekend In The Ville

Last night was opening ceremonies for the Down Memory Lane home coming. They are off on a river cruise this evening. Hopefully I can get some pictures Saturday night at the Alumni Center.

This evening was opening ceremonies for the 12th Annual Italian Festival. Above are a few pictures of that event. In his remarks "Mr. Italian Festival" Nunzio Lombardozzi said the festival has been going on for 77 years. That's even older than Nunzi! The twelve years they are talking about is the festival as we know it. In the old days they use to get the statue of St. Rocco from the Catholic church and parade it around town. It's a custom from the old country.

At any event it is a beautiful balmy August evening for both events. Hopefully the weather will hold out through the week-end. Both events are a home coming of sorts with old friends getting together.


old nib

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hate To Tell You So

Finally some optimistic news about the proposed ORCF plant that Baard Industries is planning to build near Wellsville. A little over a week ago I was getting kind of down on the prospects since we haven't heard much lately but that has taken an upturn since this past Sunday.

In Sunday's ER there was story in which John Baardson himself was ensuring us that the plans are still very much alive. Once again he vouched that Baard intends to be a very responsible manufacturer and they find that the product - coal-to-liquid fuels (CTL) - will be a well worth the efforts and expense to produce. Again he emphasized that the area is ideal.

Then yesterday Tom Giambroni of the MJ gave us news that the Ohio EPA has issued an air pollution control permit and scheduled a public hearing at the high school on September 10. The permit issued is not an authorization to start building. According to what I read on the OPEA web site is that they find the plans acceptable and are now ready to proceed to the next step in the process. That would be the public hearing. The effective date on the permit won't be entered until after the hearing and the time period allowed for input of comments. It was interesting to note from what I saw on the EPA site is that they stated that the OPEA is more restricted on what they find permissible than the Federal EPA. The folks in Columbus find that Baard are well with-in those standards.

Then this morning Tom gave us another bit of news that the Sierra Club plans to target Baard and the ORCF. Tom said that in a news release from Nachy Kanfer members of the Sierra Club plan to "turn out in droves" at the next hearing. The news release must have been sent to selective recipients. I couldn't find it anywhere on-line. The only mention of it was in Tom's story. You would think the Sierra Club of Ohio would plaster that all over their web page and to other news sources.

From what I have read and heard so far is that the Sierra Club is more concerned with coal and the methods of mining it. That's a horse of a different color but I guess they are trying to get more news exposure with their intent to target the ORCF planned facility. Skimming through the pages of the OEPA permit I was very impressed with what Baard is willing to do and the restrictions that will be part of the permit. So far all I've heard from the ultra conservative environmental activists is vague threats. Tom quoted a lady from Wintersville that simply stated that the Ohio Valley has enough coal burning plants. She said we don't need any more. Then George Peya from their Salt Springs group is quoted as saying we have not educated ourselves about long term effects from this plant. He threatens us with doom and gloom predictions of being buried in soot and coal dust. Not one of that club's members have offered to back up their claims with any results from scientific data or comparative studies done anywhere in the world. All we heard so far is vague innuendos of problems I'm convinced will not take place. Sure there will be some changes on that hilltop but it will be progressive and beneficial for us tri-state residents. Believe me there have been very many that have educated themselves about this proposed plant and the effects on our region.

Matt Stewart made the comment that Baard doesn't care about us and with that I disagreed. If he were to say that the Sierra Club doesn't care about us I would be inclined to go along with that. Nachy Kanfer commented he is against the use of coal. I got the impression that they would like to see it left in the ground until the end of time. Coal in itself is not the culprit. It's the way it's been used over the course of history that has caused problems. However, as time moves on, man has found ways to use this God given natural resource with out harming us or our surroundings. With all the dust collectors, suppressant controls, covers, filters and screens proposed I have serious doubts that the conversion of coal to fuel will have any ill effects from our valley to anywhere across the world. You'll have to convince me otherwise with other than doom and gloom predictions. You'll have to prove that Baard's plans won't work with other than saying "listen to what I'm saying".

Baard has been warning us that the nay sayers will be coming every since that meet&greet dinner last fall at the EL Country Club. In a piece I wrote in June '07 I mentioned it too. That came from recalling the theatrics that went on with the WTI protesters. I was hoping it wouldn't happen here but it looks like it's gearing up to it.

One permit has been issued with a final ok. The second one is expected in the weeks ahead and the third one is approaching the final stages. It was reported that if they can break ground this year the plant should be operational by 2012. If you want to peruse the OEPA stuff you can find it at It's all there.

For those that want to oppose the plant I say bring it on. We may be a small river village community but you'll have to do better than what you've done so far to dim my optimism. The people at WTI years ago brought in actor Martin Sheen to help with their protests. I wonder if they got any entertainers lined up for this?

I hate to tell you "I told you so" but it looks like the next hearing will be interesting.

ole nib

Monday, August 4, 2008

Acme Pottery

Know that kiln that sits at 3rd & Wells here in the ville? Before the building was torn down it was part of Acme Craftware, Inc.

This picture of Acme hangs in the River Museum and from the looks of the cars it must have been taken sometime in the 1940s. Back when I was a kid you couldn't see that kiln. It was inside the building.

ole nib

Some Ville Pottery History

Yesterday at the River Museum the Wellsville Historical Society presented histories of two potteries that got their starts in the ville. One is still in existence but is now located in East Liverpool and the other is Sterling China.

Sterling China got its start in 1917 when three gentlemen by the name of Charles Pomeroy, A.B. Allen & William Wells bought the building from the Patterson Brothers which sat at 12th & Commerce Streets. The Patterson Brothers manufactured yellow ware. Nick Rettos & Chris Park were both engineers at Sterling until it's recent close and gave us the story of this once thriving business. During the war years of WWII Sterling was the main supplier of dinner ware to the U.S. military. Maybe that is how I found a Sterling plate in a restaurant in Hong Kong when I was there for R&R in 1968. The place had a hodge poge of dinner ware. No two plates were the same.

Sterling's main claim to fame was their under glaze procedure on their products. They would apply an under glaze, decorate it and then apply an over glaze. I think it was a patented process. Mr. Park said Sterling had over 1,000 colors available for their decorating. Restaurant ware was their bread and butter products but over the years with constantly innovated designing they seemed to try it all.

The decade of the 1950s was their big growth years. In 1951 they opened Caribe China in Puerto Rico. In 1954 they bought Lamberton-Scamell China in New Jersey. It was also in the late '50s that they remodeled adding the then new office space and expanded the plant.

Over the years they had a huge international market sales supplying china to Canadian, Mexican, Saudi Arabian and even Russian customers to name a few. For many years they were exclusive suppliers to many hotel chains across the nation. Before their demise they were the biggest employer in the village.

Toward the end labor costs, energy costs and foreign competition forced them to close their doors. I imagine paper and plastic dinner ware added a big dent in their business too. When I was growing up we didn't have much paper and plastic available. With us kids doing the washing of the dishes we contributed to a lot of repeat business to replace the ones we cracked, chipped or broke.

In 2003 Sterling's last big customer pulled out and that sounded the death knell for that business. Lost business and lack of cash on hand forced them to shut down.

Although no longer located in the ville W.C. Bunting is still in operation. That company got started up on Highland Avenue in the basement of Delmar & Janet O'Hara. W.C. Bunting was a business man in Wellsville and was considered fatherly to Delmar. Mr. Bunting operated a confectinary that was the "in place" at one time in the ville in the early part of the 20th century.

Following his discharge from the military after WWII Delmar went to law school. After graduation he returned to the ville and hung his shingle. Being from part of the "pottery capital of the world" as a favor for his fraternity brothers he arranged to get a memento made for the fraternity. That memento was a ceramic pig. It proved so popular that a chapter of that fraternity at Ohio State wrote Delmar asking if he could get some of those pigs for them. Click the light went off and before Janet knew it she was in the pottery business. I think Terry said this was in 1946. Just being out of school Delmar didn't have the kind of credit it takes to finance a start of a business. Searching around he found that Mr. Bunting had a good rating with Dunn & Bradstreet, a commercial finance rating company. Using that reference Delmar was able to get a bank loan for his start up money. Thus the W.C. Bunting company was born and is still going strong some sixty years later.

From Highland Avenue the business was moved to 331 Main Street, the site of the old Bunting store. With continued growth the company was moved to Clark Avenue and in 1957 they doubled the plant size to 10,000 square feet. That's the building that Buckeye water is in today. The popularity of their product line kept growing and in 1963 they moved to East End to allow for additional growth.

Today W.C. Bunting is run by brothers Terry, Tim & Patrick O'Hara. All three are children of the company's founders and they grew up in that house on Highland. Bunting is strictly a decorating company and use outside suppliers for their raw product. They have a varied array of customers from different businesses, colleges, government entities to entertainers like Josh Graban to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. You can see their product line at Once you do you will recognize many of the items they produce. At present they employ about 30 people.

The pottery business, just like in East Liverpool, was a very big part of the ville's history. It goes back practically to the start of Wellsville. Over the years there were over 30 different potteries that operated here. These companies were just two of them. The Historical Society has many different samples on display in the Pottery Room at the River Museum. Stop over some Sunday afternoon and check it out.
The picture above was sent to me from Sparky Miller many moons ago. It's from an ad in the WHS 1949 yearbook and I finally found a good place to use it. Thanks Sparky and thanks to the folks at Wellsville Historical Society for sponsoring this trip down memory lane.
ole nib

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Basketball Camp

Didn't see any mention of this in either of our local newspapers and I thought it should get some atttention, especially since it's for the kids. I stumbled across a flier at the store yesterday.

Coach Bill Long will be conducting a basketball camp at the 18th Street playground starting this Monday, August 4 through Friday, August 8. The camp is for "kids" entering 7th grade or younger. The camp will run each day from 10 A.M. until noon. If there are any questions the flier said you could call 330-532-4670.

Bill has been coaching youth basketball for some time now and I believe he volunteers his time doing it. He's one of the good guys that gives some of his time to our children.

Believe the camp is open to both boys and girls and the only cost is just showing up. It should be a fun activity for them as the summer break from school heads into its final few weeks.

Play ball...

ole nib

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wellsville Historical Society

Interested in some of the ville's pottery history? This coming Sunday, August 3, the Historical Society will be presenting three speakers giving the history of both the W.C. Bunting Co. and Sterling China. It begins at 2 P.M. at the Riverside Museum.

Most of us are very familiar with Sterling but some may not have heard about W.C. Bunting or remember much about it. That company got its' start in the ville. The name Bunting goes way back in Wellsville history.

The speakers are Terry O'Hara, Hugh Nile and Nick Rettos.

The museum will be open from 1 to 4:30 if you care to look around.
I don't recall where I got the picture above. I borrowed it from somewhere but I saved it. Thanks to whoever...

ole nib