Bainbridge Library thanks

Dear Editor,

The Friends of the Bainbridge Library (FOBL) has been a vital part of the community since its creation in August 1973. It has supported the Bainbridge branch of the Geauga County Public Library system through its initial phase as a small storefront in the Knowles plaza, to the building of its own building in 1986, to the new and improved building that was recently completed.

Throughout all these phases, the members of the Friends have provided financial and volunteer support to programs, fixtures, and staff, and advocating for the library to the general public.

Summer reading programs would not have had those fun prizes without the Friends. Exciting and informative speakers and programs would not have happened without the Friends.

In September 2020, the Geauga County Public Library Board made the decision to transition to district-wide centralized fundraising. The individual Friends groups would no longer be officially associated with the Library District or its facilities.

Instead, all fundraising will now be done by a new group, The Partners of the GCLF (Geauga County Library Foundation).

As of Jan. 1, 2021, the FOBL had approximately $23,000. Of these funds, more than $12,000 was donated to the Bainbridge Library for various uses, including the purchase of artwork, an interactive learning station, holiday decorations, items for the staff lounge, a popcorn machine and cart, and a rug for the children’s reading room.

A donation of $10,000 was also given to the Herb Society for the new gardens at the Bainbridge Library.

The remaining funds were donated to the Geauga County Library Foundation.

As the Treasurer of the Friends of the Bainbridge Library for over 20 years, I would like to personally thank all the people who supported our organization throughout the years, either by becoming members, volunteering or sending donations.

It was a privilege to serve the community in this modest capacity, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.

Leigh Miller

Auburn Township

Chesterland a cesspool of toxic politics – and has been for decades

Dear Editor,

Like many Chesterland residents, I read the news coverage about investigations into leadership at Chester Township’s fire department. Firefighters had complained that poor management practices were fueling high turnover and low morale, so last spring Chester trustees voted in unison to hire an outside firm to investigate.

Since then I’ve read a lot of incendiary rhetoric aimed at former trustee Skip Claypool that “blames” him for prompting those investigations that ultimately led to a new chief being sworn in and the assistant fire chief assigned to new duties and a new workspace in town hall.

If those changes were unwarranted, then I wanted to know why.

So I recently spent time reading all 1,000+ pages of the investigative reports.

In the summary report into the assistant fire chief Karen Moleterno, the investigation found substantiation for firefighters’ claims that Moleterno had engaged in an abusive management style; the investigations into Fire Chief John Wargelin and Moleterno found that some firefighter complaints were not pursued; and the investigation into Moleterno found substantiation that one firefighter suffered retaliation for complaining.

Those are serious findings that appear to back up the need for the actions taken. But instead of treating the issue seriously, a group of Chesterland’s political hacks turned it into a smear campaign against Claypool.

On social media, in ads run in local papers, and in fliers and campaign literature, they demonized Claypool and cast the chief and assistant chief as victims. Not the firefighters. Not the township, which is out $200k and counting in investigative, management, and legal fees.

Even though it takes two votes to do anything at the trustee level, this group wrote that Claypool had acted completely alone in hiring the investigative firm, and then coached the investigator to find and write bad stuff.

What Skip Claypool did was listen to firefighters’ concerns.

A press release written by Chester Township Firefighters Association – which rendered a unanimous vote of no-confidence in both Wargelin and Moleterno – sums up their grievances: “Mismanagement and turnover at the fire department has led to a dangerously low staffing level in the township,” the association wrote in a press release in October of 2021. “This compromises the department’s ability to handle simultaneous calls, fires, or serious calls. It is only a matter of time before a resident or a fireman is negatively affected by these low staffing levels.”

Chesterland is a cesspool of toxic politics and has been for decades. It can be almost impossible to get the facts. If you’re looking for the facts in this situation, I urge you to read the investigative reports for yourself and make up your own mind.

Lisa Smith

Chesterland

Don’t say hate

Dear Editor,

“I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community – especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill – to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are,” - President Joe Biden.

If I tell my children, “No dessert unless you’ve eaten your dinner first,” is that hateful? What if my son says, “Meat and vegetables don’t make me happy like cookies and cake do. Sweets are what I like”? Does my forcing him to eat what he doesn’t like mean I hate him?

In the parlance of the Left lately the answer would likely be Yes. Because to them, loving a child means affirming everything they say about themselves and granting them unhindered exposure to everything our perverted culture says about itself.

According to them, it’s “hateful” to protect young children from sex talk that would confuse and embarrass them and compromise their innocence. Not just unwise or misguided, but hateful.

When opposing a position you don’t like, and you don’t have a good argument for yours, you attack the person or persons holding it. That’s called an ad hominem argument. So the people in Florida who support what its detractors inaccurately smear as the “Don’t say gay” bill are charged with being motivated by hate for wanting to keep young children from harmful sex talk and protect parents’ rights.

They know they can’t rationally and reasonably support their opposition to the bill so they demean the people in favor of it.

These days, in the eyes of many, hate is behind every conservative position, opinion, and bill. If you don’t want children being taught that they’re racist then you hate black people.

If you want unborn children protected from abortion then you hate women.

If you want the freedom to state the obvious fact that there are only two genders and a person cannot change theirs, you must hate trans people.

Hateful used to be a pretty strong word reserved for those with genuine animosity toward others.

Today, it can describe someone with an “un-woke” opinion.

It used to be that if animosity drove someone to murder, it was reasonable to assume hate was a factor.

Today, we single out only certain murders and other misdeeds as “hate crimes” to magnify the perpetrator’s culpability if we believe he or she has violated accepted thought norms.

Are “thought crimes” not far down the road?

How much better our discourse, and our world, would be if instead of calling each other names we respectfully and rationally engaged with the arguments. If we presented our case with facts and logic, and considered the logical facts presented by our opponents. Crazy, right?

Don’t say hate. Say, I disagree with you. And here’s why.

Caroline Smith

South Russell

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