Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nibbin' Around The Village

Well, we're home again and ready to get back at it. There were several things I was curious about since the last council meeting. So here is what I found out.

Here's a news flash: The first truck loads of sludge removed from the digesters at the Sewage Plant was shipped out today to an EPA approved land fill. That was somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty tons. It will probably be a week to 10 days before the job is completely finished. The village is considering buying the machine they brought in from CA for just in case measures. They are presently negotiating with Earth Tech in an attempt to get them to share some of the cost. I'm not pointing fingers but as I said before the ball was dropped somewhere along the line. It's a situation that should have never occurred. Machinery wears out with time but from what I saw in the pictures shown me a lot deterioration could have been prevented with a few coats of paint over the years. I don't know what is in the contract that pertains to that type of maintenance.

Speaking of the contract for the operation of the sewage plant I was told the bid is being revised and will be rebidded. It has already gone one round and that bid was rejected. With the latest problems they decided to do it over. I think the present contract expires next year.

Pictured above is the new jungle gym thing in the shape of the Mayflower that was put in at the 18th Street playground. It's kind of neat with slides, swings and things to climb on. If you don't want to play pirates there are lots of other things to entertain the young ones. The black surface all around the ship looks like recycled tires ground up. It is very spongy to soften any falls. Kudos to the folks at the Covenant church for undertaking this project. That's what being good neighbors is all about.

Someone asked a while back if Donald Hickman is still our dog catcher and the answer to that is yes. Although he has been charged he hasn't gone to trial yet. In this country a man is innocent until proven guilty. That even applies to us in the ville. Nothing will be done until the verdict comes in.

By the way, Mr. Hickman now has a cell phone you can call if you have any animal control problems. The number is 330-383-0225. Also, they are still working with the St. Francis Animal Shelter folks to work out some agreement. With everything else going on that is still to be resolved. I get the feeling both sides have the same goal in mind to settle that matter.

The Randy Martin law suit against the village & the WPD is still going through motions and from I could see no trial date has been set. Martin is the fellow that says he was mistreated by the police that I mentioned before. He was arrested for inducing panic pretending that he had a gun among other things. Hopefully that law suit will go away too. Seems like Mr. Martin was bad news in Salineville before he came to town.

One word comes to mind when considering Eric Dillard's motion to be allowed to go on a job interview in WV and that word is moxie. Mr. Dillard is under house arrest for the killing of Jamie Farley this past April and is awaiting trial. Now he wants to go out of state for a possible job. It was reported he wanted a job to support himself and his son. How did he support himself prior to the shooting? According to a report in this morning's ER the judge denied that motion.

In today's Morning Journal it was reported that visiting Prosecuting Attorney Grimshaw has filed a motion to have J.C. Amato's bail possibility taken away altogether. This is because of the latest charges of being caught recently with guns and pipe bombs in his bedroom at his parent's home. Mr. Amato is currently sitting in jail. Because of the latest charges the judge made his bond $100,000 cash or surety. He took away the 10% option for bail.

While I was nibbing around I ran into the mayor. He tells me he got a second opinion about his upcoming surgery and with that is getting more tests done. He said the village will be proud owners of the two new police cruisers previously mentioned and Goss' new truck probably within the next two weeks. We haven't gotten any road salt for winter yet but the village is dealing with the county & state and are waiting for them. They are suppose to give us a heads up if it will be prudent to start stock piling it. According to an AP report last week the cost of road salt has really gone up.

That's it for this go around...

ole nib

History Preserved

The school house bell from the old McDonald School on 9th Street has been moved and as previously reported it has been donated to the Wellsville Historical Society. This is the bell that sat in front of the present day structure that was recently sold by the B.O.E.

This bell pictured above was in the old Gothic looking building that was torn down when the new school was built in 1955. The big spoked wheel to the left of the bell was part of the system in the old building. It was attached to the bell so when the rope was pulled it would swing back and forth. The wheel is counter balanced and once the rope was pulled the bell would swing several times on the one pull ringing out.

Brassy Berresford told me his father was the custodian at the old building. The opening to get up in the bell tower was too small for him to fit through. So when it came time to grease the wheel he would give young Brassy a grease gun and send him up the ladder.

Brassy also told me they were caught unawares when the bell was delivered to the Riverside facility. Luckily it happened on a day when they had a work party going on and were there to receive it. Apparently the new owner of the McDonald building arranged to have it moved and no one in the Historical Society was told the specifics. Brassy said they are going to build a foundation for the bell to sit on. Thanks to the Logans for taking care of that.

Before closing I wanted to mention that "pipe" thing sitting to the left of the wheel is what they call a chimney topper. This particular one came off the Maclean Funeral Home here in town. Brassy told me it was made at a plant that use to be along the river between here and East Liverpool. That plant was long gone before my memory kicks in.

There's a lot of history sitting next to that wall behind the museum.

ole nib

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"I'm Busy Girl, I'm Busy"

That's a comment that Village Administrator Jim Saracco made to Councilwoman Rosie Goss in a Property Committee meeting yesterday according to the morning papers. The meeting was held mainly to resolve the Shelter Gate issue for the price tag on recent repairs and improvements to a couple of shelters in Hammonds Park. Originally the project started out to replace & repair some rotted wood. Somewhere along the line it was decided to add outlets to the shelters and this increased the costs by nearly $4,500. The additional work wasn't checked out with the Fiscal Officer beforehand. After all was said and done there was both shock & dismay when the bill came in.

Council tabled the bill originally to get an itemized statement from the contractor that did the work. Yesterday Goss held a meeting to determine what to do with it. Who would have thought that a Property Committee meeting would turn into a shouting match with tempers flaring? Saracco has admitted he made a mistake and apologized. Seems like politics beyween different factions is still running rampant in our village. The bill will be taken off the table at the next council meeting. Wonder if all will act like adults when it's discussed in Council Chambers?

As I said before it's beyond time to let go of the petty crap and devote more time to being responsible care takers of what is best for our village. With our limited funds available everyone in office should be working together for the common goal of moving our town forward. There's a lot of costly items being considered or presently being undertaken to maintain and improve our infrastructure. To move forward it's going to take everyone involved working together. That's hard to accomplish with back stabbing and name calling. Sometimes you just got to suck it up, grin and bear it. Did you elected folks see the article today about the increased cost of road salt?

In other village news the Lt. Governor and other dignitaries were visiting the Port Authority facilities last Friday. The visit was to tour the facilities. State Sen. Wilson & State Rep. Bolon have requested $5 million of the the $1.5 billion state stimulous package for property acquisitions and additional improvements down there. The property acquisitions is for the anticipated Baard plant. Even without the ORCF plant the port terminal is beginning to play an increasing role in receiving and shipping goods not only statewide but nationally too. NASA has already signed on to use the facilities to ship parts made up around Cleveland to Florida. That's just the beginning of what they can do down there. It's not only good for the Port Authority it'll be good for Wellsville too.

Oh, before wrapping this up I have to mention one more thing about the heated meeting yesterday. Wonder if Jim realizes that under federal guide lines that calling a female "girl" is considered sexual harassment?

Careful Jim, careful...

ole nib

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tribute to Frank Sinatra

Here's a fund raiser being put on by the Wellsville Revitalization Committee that I wanted to mention in case you missed it in the papers. It not only should be very entertaining, is cheap at twice the price, it's for a good cause. It's sponsored by Center Pharmacy & the Pete Amato Foundation. Proceeds will go to the maintenance & upkeep of the flood wall murals and the boardwalk.

Tomorrow, Saturday, from 7 - 10 P.M. Sinatra impersonator Dave Salera from the Pittsburgh area will be performing at the SOI. Salera has studied ol' blue eyes for many years and Connie Carmichael was quoted as saying she "was floored by how much he sounds and looks like Frank Sinatra". Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. There will be hors d'oeuvres and maybe door prizes and a raffle. According to the newspapers Salera has performed all over the country impersonating Sinatra. Carmichael is correct. He even looks like Frank in the picture they had in the MJ.

Sinatra was a singer that came from Hoboken, NJ, and was a teen idol in his early years. He made some beautiful music and became a super star in the entertainment industry the rest of his life. He was immensely popular and performed all over the world. I saw him live and in concert at the Civic Arena once. That was more years ago than I want to admit to. My all time favorite recording of his was his rendition of Johnny Mercer's Summer Wind. Sinatra died in 1998 but his music will live on for many years to come.

So, young or old, if you can make it to the SOI tomorrow evening I guarantee you won't be disappointed. It's also for a good cause. The picture is from Google Images.

ole nib

Amato Busted Again

According to a Tom Giambroni article in both this morning's newspapers J.C. Amato was arrested this past Wednesday for having guns in his possession while under a felony indictment. That's a no-no. Amato is currently under indictment for murder in the killing of his wife Tonia in their home on Commerce Street in July '07. He was out on bail with one of the conditions being he stayed at his parent's home in Yellow Creek Township. That trial recently got pushed back to February '09.

While searching on a new warrant for more evidence connected with that shooting deputy sheriffs and BCI people found a shot gun, a rifle and another hand gun in young Jack's bedroom. They also found some small pipe bombs in the house. J.C. was arrested again for having weapons while under disability. I think that was one of the charges against him in the '07 case. Bail was set at $100,000 and J.C. was sent to the county jail while he waits for his preliminary hearing on these latest charges. That is scheduled for 1:00 next Tuesday in CC Municipal Court. There may be additional charges filed in connection with the pipe bombs.

While J.C. digs his hole even deeper it makes you wonder. What is his state of mind? From how I'm reading it those guns they found could have been kept anywhere else in the house and there would have been a factor of deniability. His father is known to be an enthusiastic hunter and an avid gun collector. Is J.C. arrogant, naive or what? What is he thinking?

The pipe bombs they found make this even more scarier. Surely they are illegal to possess. Giambroni reported that several were found. What's going on there? Thankfully they were found and disposed of. Wonder what Sheriff Stone is going to figure out with this?

It's no only scary. It's sad. I'm sure there will be an abundance of theories and ideas about this latest development. I'm surprised it took two days to come out.

It definitely makes you wonder...

ole nib

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike Blows Through The Ville

Starting late yesterday afternoon and going into the evening the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through the area. There were wind gusts of up to 60 mph that sounded like a freight train going down the street. Ike was the hurricane that hit the Galveston, TX area late last week and then swung toward the northeast after making landfall.

Compared to other areas in the county Wellsville came through the wind storm relatively unscathed. Amazingly there were only trace amounts of rain while all that was going on. There were some trees blown over, some power lines down and tree limbs scattered all over but nothing major. The lights flickered at times but we never lost power in the village. There are some areas in the county that folks are saying will be without electricity for several days.

Cruising around the village this morning I really couldn't find any major damage. Pictured above is village crews cleaning up a tree that was blocking Commerce Street near 6th when it was uprooted. They cleared up enough of it late last night to open the street and were back at first light today to finish it up. The other picture is Riverside near the memorial. This tree looses a limb every time we have a stiff breeze.

We were indeed fortunate. Maybe it has something to do with those rainbows!

ole nib

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cleaning The Save Folder

Have you been on wellsvilleohio.net lately? This Jeff Haugh picture is on the home page and I thought it was just about the neatest picture I've seen in a long time. Jeff told me he was coming home from work one morning down 25th Street hill when he saw this and said "whoa". He backed up and got his camera out. It's rare to see a double rainbow and even rarer to catch the image. Thanks Jeff for letting me share it. There must be a pot of gold in the ville somewhere.

Since next week is going to be busy I wanted to clear the deck with a few things I've been saving to comment on.

We've all heard about the the machine they brought in to drain the sludge out of the digesters at the sewage plant. That's being accomplished and soon should be done. Since then other problems have surfaced and village officials are looking into possibly over hauling the plant. They are kicking around some big numbers dollar wise and are working with the G,G&J engineering firm, CC Engineer's office and the Ohio Public Works Dept. They are having a meeting tomorrow and we'll have to wait and see what develops. They are looking into if any grant money is available and at the very least may have to go with a zero interest loan.

Earth Tech not only bills us for our sewage they have a contract to operate and maintain the filtration plant at the tune of $16,000 a month. Somewhere along the line the ball got dropped with communications between them and village officials. Earth Tech recently got bought by United Water headquartered in Harrington Park, NJ. United Water is part of Suez Environnement which I believe are in France.

In other village news I've been told if they can work it into the budget they are looking at a couple of new cruisers for WPD. It's through the state and if things work out they are '08 cars with no mileage on them. They are also looking at a new pot hole patching machine. It uses hot patch but before applying the patch the machine cleans out and squares off the hole. Hot patch holds up better than the cold stuff and cleaning & squaring up the hole makes it adhere even better. Sure hope they can find a way to swing that.

The new sidewalks with the paving stones are done and the mounds of dirt have been leveled out in Broadway Park. Once the grass starts greening up those fresh patches of dirt it is truly going to be a beautiful spot in the village. With the fountains going and the new walks it is very attractive now. They hope to have something worked out for the big fountain for next year. It's still unsure how they are going to go. I was told yesterday that the Shade Tree Committee is working on getting benches not only for the park but for different areas in the village. It's not definite but they are working on it.

In court news this week the J C Amato trial has been pushed back until February. This last delay was still yet for more testing. It was assumed BCI would do the testing as part of what they did & BCI said they didn't know it was wanted. Ed Wilson and his legal team withdrew his slander/defamation lawsuit against the mayor from CC Common Pleas Court. It's possible they may refile through federal courts and drag the village back into it. Judge Tobin had previously found the village exempt in the suit. We'll have to wait and see what develops. I'm sure Tom G. is keeping an eye on it.

Our county wide 911 system finally got up and running this past Thursday. We started paying for it in 2003 through our phone bills. I think any calls from the ville will go to the East Liverpool center which is one of five answering centers. When a call comes in the center's computer not only shows the name & phone number but the address, listed occupants and the appropriate agency to contact. With a push of a button the call gets immediately transferred saving precious time in an emergency situation. Next up is a development for locating calls from cell phones. They're estimating 18-24 months for that and I imagine that will require tying in some sort of satellite technology.

The WHS Tiger football team got thumped by McDonald for their first loss of the season last Friday night. According to what Coach Skinner told the papers they just couldn't get things working after taking a 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Here's hoping they get back to their winning ways against Western Reserve Friday at Nicholson Stadium. Good luck guys.

The remnants of Hurricane Ike is starting to move in. Things are ablowing. Be safe...

ole nib

Chili Fest - OSU Tailgate Party

Yesterday afternoon & evening the Riverside Reunion Committee from the Wellsville Elks put on a heckuva of a party to raise funds for next year's reunion. Once again Hootch & the gang did an outstanding job getting things organized and giving us a very enjoyable time. Other than a few light sprinkles early it seemed that everything went without a hitch. They sold every last spoon full of chili and Mother Nature blessed the event by moving the rain out for most of the event.

The Generations Band - John & John Jr. Taylor - entertained us for the first half. It was the first time I heard them and they really have a good mixture of songs putting out a good sound. John plays a "mean" sax. During half time fellow Elks member Scott Taggart, his bride and their wedding party passed by on the Gateway Clipper Fleet party liner Empress. We all waved and got rewarded with a blast of the horn. Then there was a short tribute to three folks from the ville that have gone on ahead of us. After that they dropped the screen on the stage for the game. It was a 20 foot screen and the game was in HDTV. Made you feel like you were right there on the field out in L A land.

I'll let pictures tell the rest of the story. You can click on them to enlarge. If you didn't stop by you missed out.

Now you can breath a little Hootch but next time let's get a win, eh?

ole nib

Friday, September 12, 2008

"It's Not Rocket Science"

That's what CC Engineer Bert Dawson told those in attendance at Wednesday's OEPA hearing during the public comment portion. He was talking about Baard's proposed CTL plant in his impassioned plea to support this project, if not for us then at least, for future generations in our area. The ten time county engineer said the Baard proposal was the best thing to come along in a very long time. He remarked that the ville has been steadily declining since the rail roads left town. His remarks for the record hit home with a lot of people that were there and got a rousing round of applause. Here I thought engineers were sedate!

So it went for most of the evening with the third and final OEPA public hearing for permits for Baard's proposed ORCF plant. It was standing room only. The ER's Jen Matsick estimated there were 1,200 people there. That's a bit exaggerated by my calculations. I was counting ten rows of chairs with 16 chairs in each row. They were two deep on both sides and three to four deep standing in the back. I'm guestimating that the count was around half of what was reported.

Still in all it was an impressive amount of folks for an event in the ville. Also impressive was the number of boiler makers there. I think several locals were represented and I'd venture to say that they were close to half of the folks that came. Another impressive group was the politicians from the local level here in Wellsville, to those in the county level, state level and even national. Chris Gagin was there with a message from our U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson. The Sierra Club told us a few weeks ago that they would have "droves" of people there but I didn't see it. Newspaper reports said there were only five people that commented for the record against the proposed plant. If there was large numbers of opponents there they were very quiet. Wonder if the boiler makers had any influence with that? During the question & answer session one fellow in the back started talking about old CTL plants in Africa. One of the boiler makers up front reminded him that this is the USA and maybe that set the tone for speaking in opposition. I did notice that the lady from the National Resources Defense Council &Sierra Club's Nachy Kanfer seemed nervous when I got up close and personal with them.

Both of our local newspapers gave lengthy accounts on the proceedings but there were a few things that got my attention. At the JVS thing last Saturday someone brought up the question of coal dust. The OPEA announced that the coal for this plant will be transported by conveyor belt systems from the Port, up the hill and through out the plant. That will eliminate a lot of need for trucks which has cause us problems in the past from another operation in the village. I was told today that they are debating whether the conveyor will go over or under Route 7. Seems ODOT is not too much in favor of going over the highway. For cost considerations I'm in favor of going over the road. Whatever comes about a covered conveyor will mostly reduce any worry about coal dust. We won't have to be concerned about the dust being dragged out through that area of the village.

Carbon sequestion was huge on a lot of people's minds. Burning coal produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. The opponents say it is an unproven technology. The truth is this is not so. With tests and what Baard plans to use, they can capture 93% of the unregulated CO2 produced. I told you I can be slow at times but I didn't know that CO2, a gas, can be compressed into a liquid form until Wednesday night. That's exactly what Baard plans to do. It can be stored in tanks and sold for commercial purposes. They have been conducting tests up around Canton in some old oil fields. They are finding that residue oil in those old wells can be pumped out and when completed they can cap the well with cement to contain the CO2. Tests on surrounding wells have shown that the CO2 does not leak. The Canton area has very similar geology to what we have here. Many don't realize that in this area there are a lot of old oil & gas wells, old clay & coal mine tunnels long forgotten. Just look at the old mines they sealed off between here and East Liverpool on SR 7. That's just a minute example of what is available in this area for carbon sequestion. CO2 won't be a problem with the ORCF plant

As mentioned previously CO2 emissions is not a regulated pollutant. Opponents are questioning why Baard does not make a legal commitment to this aspect of the operation. How can you make a legal commitment to something that as yet is not regulated by any environmental legislation in the nation? Baard says they are going to deal with it and I have no reason to disbelieve them. Regulation may come about sometime down the road. If it does Baard will be ahead of the game and may even set industry standards dealing with this greenhouse gas.

Also brought out is that the OEPA says there are 78 emission monitors with 45 control devices that will be incorporated into the plans and operation of this plant. Now that is a legal committment on Baard's part. They have to make regular reports to the OEPA and if there is something in the permits that isn't being adhered to they won't be in business. Even though it's wasn't part of the air emissions permit that this hearing was concerned with I learned that there is a commercial opportunity for Baard to capture mercury and sell it. They won't be dumping it in the river. There's a market for it.

Having followed developments of this proposed plant since news first came out I was glad I was able to witness this final hearing. It was a learning experience for me and I'm sure for a lot of other people too. Someone commented on yesterday's post about the smell of naphthalene. With the location of this plant and our prevailing westerly winds even odors won't be very much in evidence. I made it to two out of the three hearings and I'm convinced that this plant will be nothing less than a golden opportunity for the whole tri-state area.

It's a normal human trait for folks to be apprehensive if not down right fearful of something new and different in what we're use to in our everyday lives. So far I have found there is nothing with this proposed plant to worry about. It will be a definite plus for our village and the whole area.

Wellsville should indeed welcome Baard. The deadline for submitting written comments to the OEPA for consideration is September 15. After that they will make a final decision on the air emissions permit which will be forwarded to the Director for a final determination. Spokesmen for the OEPA said this will probably take a month, maybe less. Once this permit is approved Baard will be permitted to break ground. As I said a year ago in June, bring it on.
Pictured above is Caroline Markworth from the OPEA's Public Interest Center and the other OEPA officials getting things started Wednesday night.

ole nib

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sierra Club's Town Hall Forum

Ok, modem's working fine, life is good...

This past Saturday the Sierra Club of Ohio held a town hall meeting over at JVS concerning Baard's proposed Ohio River Clean Fuel, LLC. It was touted as a "non-partisan informational event" with "several panelists". Come on, non-partisan, being sponsored by the Sierra Club?

The several panelists turned out to be three. There was a lawyer from the environmental activist Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and local residents Matt Stewart & Roxanne Burns. Stewart was chosen because he was a local reporter in the area and a blogger. Burns is also a local resident and a biologist. Both Stewart & Burns emphasized that they were there as representatives of the local community and not there speaking for KSU-EL. The Sierra Club's Nachy Kanfer was there as the event organizer. Baard folks declined on their invitation to join in.

It was a good time to hold such an event, late Saturday afternoon when not much is happening. It got them lengthy front page write-ups in both of Sunday editions in our local newspapers. Mike McElwain from the ER estimated there were around 36 people in attendance. Kanfer even got a whole column in Tuesday's MJ.

After reading the reports in both of our local papers it was pretty much as I suspected it would be. The word platitude stuck in my mind. I'm probably attributing an incorrect definition for that word. There were implied warnings of being doomed and being backward in our thinking if we support this proposed plant. From what I read we're condemned to regressing back to the Industrial Age if this plant is allowed to be built.

Attorney Shannon Fisk from NRDC was quoted as saying the proposed plant would be a "major new source of global warming pollution". On the whole he seemed to be casting aspersions on Baard's commitments from polluting to economic benefits and to their business acumen. Fisk commented on the poor air quality ratings that Jefferson County already has and scornfully asked if Baard thinks their polluting ways will stop at the county line. Does this man know that part of the plant will be in Jefferson County? Even with his refusal to take Baard for their word he failed to mention anything about the multi-million dollar renovations with new scrubbers at the Stratton electric plant. He failed to mention Baard's commitment to using the best and latest available technology in making this a clean fuel plant. That's a commitment that has to be adhered to and, in my opinion, will be. After last night I really believe the difference in our air quality will be negligible once this plant gets going. Yea, there's going to be a lot of tax payer money involved but in spite of what Fisk tells us Baard's financial commitment is huge on their part. They say you gotta spend money to make money. Our spending now will be returned in ways too numerous to mention. Once this plant gets going the benefits will not be all going to Baard.

Being a panelist I was surprised that Matt Stewart was not all over this on ORL. I guess he really means it when he said he "ambivalent about the project". He was quoted as saying that he sees "a plant like Baard being a step backward" in our post-industrial economy. Huh? We lost a lot of industry in this area over the years but this country is still largely industrial producing our goods and services. We've been slowly moving to a world economy but lessening our dependence on foreign sources is still very important. Nothing that I can think of hammers that point home more than oil. I see nothing backwards with that line of thinking. We're working on alternative sources of energy in this country but I seriously doubt I will live long enough to see our energy sources change that drastically. We just can't quit using one type of energy source while we're waiting for those alternatives to be developed and made feasible. The interim from one point to the other is still many, many years apart.

Matt mentioned growing up in East Liverpool he recalls not being able to see across the river to WV because of the pollution and I have to wonder about that. My memory goes back to the early fifties and I don't remember anything like that around here. Pittsburgh surely with their old soot days but not here. Maybe he was thinking about fog. That still happens in today's times especially now as we approach the fall season. If it's thick enough you can't see across the river. Was he confusing fog with smog in those early years?

Roxanne Burns offered us a cynical view point with her quoted as saying "it's all right to ruin the river because there is money to be made". She mentions deadly chemicals will be dumped into the Ohio but doesn't mention anything about quantities that the EPA finds permissible. She tells us that technology doesn't exist for the complete caption of carbon dioxide. True. The key word is complete. She failed to mention that CO2 is not a regulated pollutant. You exhale CO2 when you breath out. She didn't tell us that technology does exist to capture a large percentage of CO2 in what Baard proposes. Capturing CO2 and sequestering it is not a pipe dream that is being foisted upon us by Baard. The technology is there. It's real.

I introduced myself to Nachy Kanfer of the Sierra Club last night. As I mentioned he had a follow up column in Tuesday's MJ filled with vague ambiguities. I already commented on the nano grams of mercury he mentioned. He's still trying to convince us that the Air Force can't use the CTL fuels because of the section in the Energy Security & Independence Act not allowing them to use any fuel with a higher carbon emission than petroleum. He didn't tell us that it's already been proven that CTL fuel is equal to or less than petroleum fuels in carbon emissions thus not preventing the boys in blue to use without violating that section. He still naively proposes that the cost of coal is surely going to doom Baard's proposed plant before the first shovel of dirt is turned. With that line of thinking does he believe we'll all starve to death because of the cost of groceries? Give me a break.

Nachy seems like a nice young man. He graduated from Princeton with a music degree. After that he went to Palestine to help with their efforts in cleaning up their water supply. He told me he was there for two years with that endeavor. Now he is a full time employee of the Sierra Club. Shocking to me he's only been a member of that organization for four months. When he started working for them he said they gave him a membership. Previously I got the impression that he had been a long time member. He asked me how I knew who he was and I told him it was from his picture in the paper. I asked if I could take his picture and he was unsure. He mentioned something about not wanting to take anything away from local members of the club. I took his picture anyway but I'll keep my word to him and not put it on the blog. It's a good picture Nachy. If you want a copy for your folks let me know. I'll e-mail it to you. Nachy is a clean cut guy and is dedicated to his beliefs. Even though we may disagree I respect a fellow like him. He's a good man for his job.

Next up will be my thoughts on the EPA hearing last night. It was an extremely interesting evening for me before I had to leave. Talked to and saw a lot of folks. See ya tomorrow...

ole nib

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Duh.... Sometimes I'm kind of slow. Here I was blaming Google and today discovered I should have directed my wrath toward my ISP. My cable modem needed recycled. I could sign in to get my regular e-mail and surf the net all over the place but couldn't sign into anything with Google. This has been going on since last week-end.

Briefly there are a couple of things I wanted to mention:

Tonight is the EPA hearing for the air emissions part of Baard's plan for the proposed CTL plant. It is the third and final permit required by the OEPA. I'll share my thoughts on that and the Sierra Club activities in the next couple of days.

In a "guest columnist" article Sierra's Club Nachy Kanfer said that Baard will be discharging 1700 ng of mercury every day. This is just one example of the kind of information that came out with their dog & pony show held last Saturday and Mr. Kanfer's column.

A nano gram is 1 billionth of a gram. A gram is equivalent to 0.035 ounces. So 1700 ng is actually .000001700 grams. You would need a high powered microscope to see that amount and looking at it that way makes it insignificant. It was so insignificant that the OEPA has no problem with it.

To use an old football cliche the Sierra Club is employing a lot of misdirection plays to scare the devil out of us. I'll have more thoughts on their townhall meeting and Kanfer's article later on.

Also, wanted to remind you all of the Chili-Fest & Tail Gate party this coming Saturday being held by the Riverside Reunion Committee. It "kicks off" at 4 PM with the Generations Band playing until seven. Then there will be a "half time" intermission to get ready to watch the OSU Buckeyes take on #1 ranked Southern Cal on a giant tv screen. All activities are being held in front of the Wellsville Elks. All proceeds will go toward next year's reunion. Sounds like fun. Come on down. It will be a chance to show off some of your new fall fashions. Sure hope the rain holds off. If you want a seat bring something with you.

That's it for now...

ole nib

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Newest Mural

Pictured here is another outstanding effort by artist Gina Hampson. It's the old fire station that sits on Main Street in Wellsville and is dedicated to honor all firemen past, present and future.

That building started out as a Catholic church and when the Catholics moved to 11th Street I believe the building was given to the city for use as a fire house. It was the fire station for as far back as I can recall. Wonder if there are any pictures anywhere from when they converted that building from a church? They moved when the present day Village Hall & Fire Station was built.

Thanks to the Class of 1957 for sponsoring this mural. It's a nice addition to Gina's other paintings. Gina has already started another mural on the marina side. Anybody know what that one will be? Just being nibby... As always you can click on the picture to enlarge.

ole nib

Life Is Good

Since reading reports of Tuesday's Council Meeting in yesterday's papers I've been asking myself what's up with Councilman Don Brown? He never seemed like a fellow that would disregard the health & well being of others. I've always had a lot of respect for Don but he's taken himself down a couple of notches on my respectability scale with his "nay" vote a couple of weeks ago to by-pass the bidding process so they can get the digester tanks cleaned in a hurry.

From what I learned from reports in the papers and from others those tanks are regularly emptied to the tune of several thousand gallons a month. After being treated in the digesters the "stuff" is dried out and then shipped to an EPA approved landfill. However the tanks are not completely emptied. There is always some left in the bottom plus a residual build up on the inside walls of the tanks. It's this residue that needs to be cleaned out. That's what is causing the stench that is making life miserable for village residents, especially those folks that live close to the filtration plant. You get "stuff" like that and the hot weather we've been having and you got conditions that are quite offensive. It's evidently making some sick. For me that is reason enough to get something in motion to get the problem taken care of as soon as humanly possible. If it takes by-passing business as usual then that is what has to be done. People's health & well being has to come first.

Former Mayor Nunzio Lombardozzi questioned Councilman Brown on his negative vote on this at Tuesday's meeting. Brown was quoted as saying he "wanted the right people with the right equipment" in the MJ. In the ER he was quoted as saying "that he wanted to go through the bidding process in order to ensure a quality job was done for an appropriate price". Appropriate price my rosy cheeks! I'm getting the impression that Mr. Brown's callous attitude has more to do with politics than being worried about getting our money's worth. That ain't right when you have health issues at stake. It makes me wonder where Mr. Brown's interest really lay.

I've been told that the machine to get the digesters cleaned arrived in the ville today. It takes a special machine to get the job done. The machine came from Carson, California and it was being assembled this afternoon. Tomorrow they are going to get the electricity hooked up and hopefully will get started on the job. Wonder if they are going to use Saracco's new generator? At any rate the job should be accomplished within the next week or so. Relief is coming to those folks that are affected with this situation. If Mr. Brown had his way we'd still be waiting for getting the legislation drawn up, voted on and then maybe by Thanksgiving put it out for bid.

In other council news there seems to be some finger pointing going on about the shelter repair costs up in Hammond's Park. Here we go, another shelter incident. I have to wonder why the construction company that did the work is balking at providing an itemized bill. The cost increased somewhere around $4,500 from the original estimate because a generator had to be purchased. Maybe we went with the wrong construction company if they didn't have the tools to do the job. I'm sure we'll hear more about this. The bill was tabled until an itemized bill is received.

Thanks to the ladies that reported on the council meeting for writing up Fiscal Officer Dale Davis' explanation on what a "then and now purchase order" is. According to Mr. Davis that assures us that the funds were available when the purchase was made and are still available to pay the bill once council approves it. If the bill is under three grand it can be paid without a vote of council. If I'm reading it correctly it is similar to using a petty cash fund for things that need taken care of right away. Most businesses have a petty cash fund for fixing things that go awry like a plumbing problem.

Speaking of things going awry I'm hearing that a manufacturer's rep is coming in to check out our street sweeper. Hopefully the repairs won't be cost prohibited and they can get that thing running. I remember when General Lee Martin use to run a street sweeper years ago. He did a heckuva job and it made a remarkable difference in the appearance of our streets.

In closing I would like to say I've been hesitant to write my thoughts on our legislators and executives doings in the village lately. Just mention the name Joe Surace and the bashers come out. Although I think it is pretty much the same people all the time they don't give up. Lately it's been about the mayor not being in the office a whole lot. Some even think he should be there 24/7. They are the people that won't admit that the mayor is not required to be there at all times. I'm sure he is in contact via cell phone at the least if something arises. The last few months he's been doctoring to find out why he's been feeling punk. Now he has a surgical procedure coming up but like an old Timex watch he keeps ticking. The surgery is minor or so I've been told. The point is he'll probably be a target once again when that time comes.

My feeling is that once the elections are over the politics in a small village such as ours should be put aside. Everyone should be pitching in and working together to make our home the best it can be. I get weary of all the negative stuff. I'm not a quitter. I'll keep plugging away. This village we call home isn't perfect but it's still a darn nice place to live. Those that won't let go of things in the past are really missing out on a good thing. There will be other elections but in the meantime enjoy what we got. Life is too short to pass up the good things we got in this piece of God's country.

ole nib

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Schools Are Open

Been meaning to mention this but got side tracked. As everyone and their brother knows schools are now open and that means students will be all over the place. After a summer of not seeing a whole lot of kids crossing streets taking short cuts and such it's time to be extra aware of them and looking out while driving. In the morning a lot of them are still a little sleepy and only concentrating on getting to school. In the afternoon they're all excited about getting out of the classrooms and not thinking too much about being careful. It's an age old symptom of getting educated in the early years. I remember it well.

So it's up to us to be especially alert with watching out for those promising scholars. Slow down and use extreme caution especially during the time for the school day to begin and the time they let out. Saving a little time getting somewhere in a hurry is certainly not worth putting a child in danger.

The cartoon was found on Google Images from a web site called The Puzzle Mania.

Man! I can't believe summer is over for all intents & purposes.

ole nib