As the 75th anniversary of the heroic D-Day invasion draws near on June 6, remembering all of our military veterans, especially those who served in World War II, is most appropriate.
As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt aptly said: “Freedom is not free.”
Our freedom has been earned by the generosity of service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in our country’s military.
The number of World War II Veterans is dwindling, so it is especially important to say thank you if you see a World War II Veteran. Of course, every military veteran and all of those currently serving our country deserve our gratitude.
Judge Timothy J. Grendell
Honoring first responders
On Friday, we will once again celebrate the anniversary of Ohio House Bill 44 passage establishing an annual First Responder’s Appreciation Day in Ohio.
We hope that all will join us in showing our appreciation for all they do for us and their dedication to serving our communities 24/7/365.
We hope you will join us by displaying red and blue light bulbs for the week on your lamp posts or in your windows and take the opportunity each and every day, but especially on May 24, to say thank you when you see the first responders.
We , along with the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, will have a shared booth with the VFW at the Blossom Time celebration and be handing out First Responder’s Recognition Pins on Friday.
We should all remember that it is,“they who are running towards as we are running from” the emergencies of our lives.
“9-1-1. What is Your Emergency?”
Jo and Bob Royer
Newbury inspires students
The mission statement from Newbury Schools reads as follows: “As a community, we inspire a passion for learning so every student will achieve personal success and become responsible and productive citizens.”
I’d like to point out that education happens across environments. Our students are inspired to learn in the classroom, in the community, on the ballfields, tracks, basketball courts, gyms and beyond.
During the May 6 NewburyBoard of Education meeting, Maggie Zock, Terry Sedivy, and Kimya Matthews once again caused a disruption to Newbury’s learning process. The provided agenda was approved, but when it was time to vote to approve the section for paid and volunteer coaches, the board motioned to go into executive session. Upon their return to the meeting, a board member asked for a motion to table the vote.
How is it that three people can manipulate a community by turning down volunteers? Yes volunteers. People from our own community willing to volunteer to give both their time and service to our children.
For over two weeks, the board has stayed silent regarding the rumors that sports for Newbury will be cancelled.
These coaches have impacted our students in so many ways. Our students gained leadership skills, time management skills, how to win with grace and how to get up and try harder following a loss. This year, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Bond and Mr. Mohar had two students make it to the state level in wrestling. Mr. Chaffee had back-to-back volleyball championships. Mr. Orms and Mr. Arnold have had back-to-back winning basketball seasons. Our baseball team just won sectionals and is heading to district playoffs. Our soccer team advanced to the championship level as well. There is documented research that supports students engaged in clubs and activities including sports are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
A few comments from our community include a Newbury High School senior, “I wouldn’t be who I am today without those guys.” From a parent, “My son still talks about his coach and how he got him started with pitching.” Another Newbury parent, “Thank you so much for helping with my son’s growth. And also for the long hours and dedication.”
For the past two years, this board has only been interested in the fast track territory transfer. Our current students deserve the same level of programming that Maggie, Kimya and Terry had when they were students at Newbury. Yet, their actions are personal and unprofessional.
To our board members, school is still in session for the 2019-2020 school year. Follow your mission statement and allow Newbury students to learn life lessons across multiple environments. Provide the high level of education they deserve. To our board and to the community at large, stand for Newbury!
Joining West G wrong move
A recent letter in the Times stated, “Newbury Township residents have a long and proud history of supporting their local school system by approving tax levies for both renewals and additional revenue.” Seems odd to say that when the Newbury school board president said the exact opposite stating that they “do not feel that Newbury residents will pass any new levies to support the school,” and with “declining enrollment” (which they caused by encouraging parents to enroll in other districts for next year) “we don’t feel a renewal would be possible.” Wake up residents! I think you see both the politics that are being played here and the undermining way it was done (through territory transfer) to strip Newbury of the small town community school it has cherished for many years.
I love the way they keep using words like “merger” to describe this in hopes that the residents won’t realize that it is not a merger, it is a territory transfer which means the buildings, identity, etc. are all gone. When the West Geauga school board puts a bond levy on the ballot (after the territory transfer is voted on) which has been estimated between 50.7-55.1 mills, what do you think will happen to all of the “tax savings” that you were promised? Not surprisingly, both the superintendent and the Newbury school board members will not answer those questions because they already know the answer. I have asked several times, they will not answer. I also checked out the names of those that signed the editorial letter. Most do not have kids in the Newbury Local School District anyway. They have no vested interest in the kids of Newbury. Some had kids in this school many years ago (even during declining enrollment) and supported levies then but the minute their kids left, Newbury amazingly became a burden and a “sub-standard” school.
West Geauga school board members will be in for a rude awakening when Newbury residents vote “no” on future levies and bond issues. Why would we say yes to increasing our taxes after all of the “great tax savings come true” that we were promised by this school board? Why would those of us enrolling our students in Berkshire or other schools say yes to a bond issue? Why would senior citizens want to increase their taxes through a bond issue while on a fixed budget? More sad misdirection and tactics to further the agenda of the Newbury School Board members and their friends to keep the community in the dark about this territory transfer.
Phil Paradise Jr.
Needless felling of trees
Two months ago, 100-plus trees on a 0.8-mile section of Sperry Road in Chester Township were cut down by local trustees. Many were healthy old-growth oaks that sat high above the road and posed no threat to safety or passage. Officials cited shade as the main reason for cutting these magnificent trees.
As a homeowner I was dismayed at the way the entire process was handled, from the initial misleading letter stating the trees would be “trimmed,” to misinformation about a state agency’s tree removal requirements, the no-bid contract for $38,000 for their removal, and finally, conflicting information from homeowners and the township about whether residents were personally notified.
As for accountability, trustees pointed to road department and Geauga County engineer’s office personnel as the catalysts for the tree-removal.
In the last two weeks, the Chester road superintendent and township Trustee Bob Rogish resigned. Remaining trustees Joe Mazzurco and Ken Radtke Jr. are now deciding who to appoint. If they respect the will of the voters, then they will appoint Patricia Jarrett, candidate who came in third in the 2017 elections behind Mr. Mazzurco and Mr. Rogish.
As for the trees, I am confident the process that led to their removal will be clarified for all in the future. To read more, visit www.sperrytrees.com
Lisa M. Smith