Issue 34 votes will be counted

Apparent discussions between Axiom and Beech Brook have resulted in the rezoning Issue 34 remaining on the ballot and votes will be counted, despite Axiom’s withdrawal from the project. Residents should vote no on this issue because they are being asked to vote into law new zoning language referred to as Chapter 1271 that, according to the mayor and most city officials, does not adequately protect the city or the residents of Pepper Pike. Axiom wrote the language of Chapter 1271 but has “decided to not move forward with the purchase.”

It is our opinion that Axiom and Beech Brook are leaving this on the ballot as a strategy to confuse voters into believing that they no longer have to vote on Issue 34. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Beech Brook has stated many times that their main focus is on maximizing their profits from the sale of their property. While we believe they have a good mission, they seem to have little or no interest in addressing the concerns of their neighbors and for environmental protection of the land that was gifted to them.

The rezoning vote is not about any conceptual presentation; it is about two simple questions: Do we want or need mixed-use in our bucolic community? The answer is no. Is the language in the proposed zoning ordinance adequate to protect the city? The answer is no. Please vote no on Issue 34, Willey Creek Mixed-Use Overlay District.

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

Support library levy

Cuyahoga County Public Library is an exceptional organization that we must protect.

As president of the Friends of the Orange Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how integral and indispensable our county libraries are to the community. CCPL is an exceptional organization that we simply must protect. That is why I’m voting “yes” on Issue 70.   

The Orange Branch is part of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the nation’s top public library system for the past decade. I’m proud to have a library of this caliber in my community. Over the years the CCPL has been forward-thinking and responsive to the changing needs of our residents. It is literally the library system that other libraries all over the country try to emulate because it has such great ideas and programs.

I spend time with the Orange Branch staff and I can tell you they are a fantastic group of people who truly care about the well-being of our community. Their commitment to excellent public service is real. I know the same can be said for the staff at the other county libraries. It is embedded in the culture of the organization.

 During the coronavirus crisis, the county libraries have been a critical lifeline for thousands of people who need the Internet, and for parents trying to juggle working from home with their kids’ remote learning needs. I know when we finally put coronavirus in the rearview mirror, the CCPL will be critical to our community’s recovery. We need to keep it strong.

 I want to point out that CCPL has the lowest property tax millage of any library system in the county and it has been 12 years since it has asked taxpayers for additional support. It has always done a great job of giving us excellent value for our support. I would hate to see the CCPL have to cut back hours and services that so many county residents rely on. Please, vote “yes” on Issue 70. 

Robert Blattner

Pepper Pike  

Hoping for win-win with Beech Brook

The residents of Pepper Pike understand that the sale of the Beech Brook property is important to increasing the endowment for the organization although, I hope that the CEO and board of directors also realize that Pepper Pike is our home.  Beech Brook has closed their residential operation and once they sell the property will be leaving the city, but we will continue to live here. This is our city.  This is our home. We moved here for the quiet rural-like atmosphere and don’t want a corporation, even one doing admirable work, to tell us we need to change the character of our home to suit its needs.

 The residents of Pepper Pike understand the important work that Beech Brook does and the positive impact it has on troubled youth.  We aren’t asking Beech Brook to abandon their fiduciary responsibility and give away the property for free. You are a nonprofit, you can’t take a charity write off, although if anyone knows of a large corporation or individual with a philanthropic leaning, please let us know.   What we are asking is that you play fair with us.  

Since Beech Brook opened its doors in Pepper Pike in 1926 on land donated by the Wade Family, the residents of Pepper Pike have supported you. Every time a client left the facility without permission, it was the Pepper Pike Police Department that looked for them.  Every time a client set off the fire alarm, it was the Pepper Pike Fire Department who answered the call. Anytime you had a problem, it was the Police and Fire Departments of Pepper Pike that investigated, searched or answered the phone call from Beech Brook, sometimes multiple times a day. As a non-profit, you don’t pay property taxes although you do use community services. For 90 years, it has been the taxpayers of Pepper Pike who paid for those numerous calls. 

Currently, there is a deed restriction that Beech Brook signed in 1972 and gave to the city that does not allow retail, office space and mixed-use on the property. These restrictions were put there for a reason.  In my opinion, Beech Brook should resolve the deed restrictions prior to marketing this property.

We ask that a fair and equitable per acre price be asked for the property.  We ask that the Beech Brook CEO and Board of Directors not try to change the character of Pepper Pike to suit their monetary goals.  We ask that you work with us to make it a win-win for everyone involved.

Lou Ann Graham

Pepper Pike

False claims against Rader

The false ads attacking Betsy Rader by the RSCC are reprehensible. I will not let a defamatory ad go without correcting the record.

The RSCC ad makes patently false claims regarding Ms. Rader’s work as an attorney more than 25 years ago. The ad misrepresents the facts of the case and the claims made in the ad are simply untrue. 

The facts are clear. Judge Aldrich dismissed the case referenced in the ad, noting that no allegations of improper conduct had been made since 1992. Please note the date, Betsy Rader was not hired by the company until 1994. Part of Ms. Rader’s role at the company was in fact to provide sexual harassment training and ensure the company provided a safe and non-discriminatory working environment for all its employees. None of the women making complaints worked at the company by the time Ms. Rader worked there. Judge Aldrich’s ruling makes very clear that once Ms. Rader worked at the company, women no longer complained of sexual harassment. 

Don’t be misled by these reprehensible ads. Betsy Rader has spent her life standing up for and representing victims of discrimination, abuse and domestic violence.

Kathy DiCristofaro

Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus

Rader best choice

We strongly support Betsy Rader for Ohio Senate District 18. We have known Betsy for many years.  She will find solutions for problems impacting all of us regardless of party affiliation. Betsy Rader is an intelligent, experienced, compassionate leader with new and enlightened ideas which will move our state forward during these challenging times. We hope you will support her too!

Pat and John Leech

Newbury Township

Invasion inappropriate use of park

This letter is in response to over 100 jeeps that were allowed to use the Maple Highland Trail on Oct. 11 for a “Geauga Jeep invasion” fundraiser for veterans’ services.

For those who do not know, the Maple Highland Trail was specifically made for hikers and bikers, plus the Amish in their buggies. It was never made for motorized vehicles, including Jeeps. This is the actual write-up in the Geauga Park District webpage for Maple Highlands Trail:

“The scenic 20-mile Maple Highlands Trail is ideal for walking, biking, running, cross country skiing and more! The trail connects to facilities and restrooms at Mountain Run Station, Claridon Woodlands, Headwaters Park and Swine Creek Reservation.”

Due to this “Jeep invasion” hikers, bikers and horses were not allowed to access the trail on a beautiful sunny Sunday which would normally have lots of use. And with more than 100 vehicles using the path, how much damage was done to the trail? Was the public notified of the closure ahead of time? Who made this decision to suddenly change the rules for the Maple Highland Trail for a Jeep rally? Was this one of many very irresponsible acts by Geauga Park Commissioners and/or Geauga County Probate Judge Timothy Grendell?

There are plenty of “trails” for motorized vehicles – they are called roads. Why would this rally not take a scenic tour using roads through Geauga County? If you want to honor veterans how about using the old Wicked Woods golf course that Geauga Park District bought and renamed Veterans Legacy Woods? I support veterans. But I am against the misuse of parkland.

Katherine Malmquist

Chagrin Falls

Fairness needed in cartoon

It is unfortunate that Ron Hill’s artistic talent no longer has any room for fairness.  His cartoon of Oct. 8 shows a glaring Trump saying “I won’t be wearing one!” (referencing a mask).  It should have been a two-panel cartoon also showing a maskless Nancy Pelosi at her hairdresser saying, “do as I say, not as I do.”

Frank Schultz

Russell Township

Real Americans care about others 

It is appalling that anyone would refuse to wear a mask to avoid catching or transmitting the terrifying COVID-19 virus. Why would anyone want to catch this deadly illness? And why would anyone intentionally want to transmit it? Do they not care about their own health? Do they not care about harming others? I’ve heard these people say that because they are Americans, they have the right to choose their own behaviors, citing the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Extremists this past week were arrested for plotting to kidnap, try, and kill the governor of Michigan because she put restrictive measures into place to protect citizens from catching and transmitting Covid-19. This is how some Americans think?

Certainly we all have the right to free speech, but when our behaviors are a danger to ourselves and others, that’s a different issue. If you object to wearing a mask, do you insist on smoking cigarettes in restaurants and other enclosed public spaces? Do you refuse to wear a seatbelt when you ride in a car or a pickup truck? Do you not buckle your little children into a seat restraint? Do you go barefoot into restaurants and other restricted public places? Or are you a menace everywhere you go because you feel it’s your right as an American to do whatever you please?

Real Americans care about the safety and health of others, as well as themselves. Wear a mask. 

Don Gallo


Restore sense of decency

President Trump, you have had almost four years to lead the United States and have failed us by your own choosing. Whether it be in foreign policy and domestic policy you have not protected the United States as Commander-in Chief.

Now comes the latest news about your complete disrespect for our militaryand total disregard for the COVID-19 virus. We the American people have finally borne witness to what happens when they place an incompetent business leader into the Oval Office.  Quality of life is not a business decision, sir, but rather it is a humane choice to be empathetic to those who cannot help themselves.

Joe Biden has that empathy and will return the United States to the era when we were respected internationally because of how we treat our citizens domestically.

This election is a clear choice between those who have never had it so good and those of us who know we can do better. Joe Biden will lead us there.

Fellow citizens, exercise your right to vote to preserve your sacred heritage, promote your children’s future and obtain the blessings of liberty we all cherish.

To restore a sense of decency to the United States rise and vote.

Joe Bialek


Check Trump’s record

This letter is in response to a column written by Barbara Christian.

Being willing to support President Trump is not something that requires recovery from, and for that matter it is not some sweet and enticing piper’s song that calls so many people to voice their support. On the contrary it takes work, hours every week to gather defense of the day to day goings on, despite every major “news” source screaming how wrong we surely are. At times it feels hopeless when, three years later, we still find ourselves contending with blatant lies on the presidential debate stage. How many times must it be said that if you look at the “very fine people” quote, it was a textbook lie through omission as both immediately before and after Trump made it clear he was talking about protestors, not white supremacists and antifa.

Your polite condescension is nothing new to Trump supporters, and while I appreciate it in place of overt violence, it’s still a method of shutting down any kind of debate by preemptively labeling the other side “shambling,” “indefensible,” and under a “spell.” Perhaps there’s value in your ideological opponents’ world view you have vehemently refused to see? If Kate was so bright, inquisitive, and kind can you truly only imagine she’s been seduced by the scum of humanity?

I can understand the frustration that leads to hyperboles about Joe Biden. Why is it he can definitively say he wants to end fossil fuels in the primary debates and then get away with saying he won’t go after fracking? The man who oversaw all modern wars as a senator and the invasion of seven Middle Eastern countries in his VP days can say Trump doesn’t care about our service members, despite the clear de-escalation, peace agreements and withdrawal.

The politician who helped write the modern tax laws attacking the real estate mogul who followed them to his advantage. The tough on crime author questioning the president who has made the most progress in freeing non-violent drug offenders.

The rewriting of history, when Trump banned travel in February to the talk of Democratic officials, now becomes “deadly inaction” on his part. Bill Gates even came out and declared that the travel bans worsened the spread, somehow, because there was no denying Trump acted swiftly and he cannot be given any accolades.

You should sit down with Kate and compare notes, you might find the strawmen Trump dummies the media sets up and knocks down aren’t even close to a researched steel woman like her.

Alex Lavrich


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