A special celebration

Vietnam Veteran and Chester Township Trustee Skip Claypool had to fight really hard to give us the opportunity and blessing to celebrate the birth of our Nation this Fourth of July. And he succeeded against all odds.

The most amazing people attended, and it was a great day.  Family after family said, ‘We have no voice in our own country anymore.’  It’s so nice to be able to celebrate our flag, our first responders and veterans. Repeatedly, residents stated, ‘We are the silent majority.’

I stood there and listened to many who thanked Chester Police Chief Mark Purchase for all that he and his staff have done for the township. 

And I’m proud of the speakers and parade participants who came and supported this celebration even though they were chastised and threatened for supporting the event.

A very special part of the day was when the Chester Township Fire Department passed out flags that previously honored the graves of our veterans.  I’m keeping mine forever.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Mask or ventilator, your choice

I hope my little questions make anyone reading this think.  I hope it makes you think about your own behavior and your attitude about your “rights” and the right of others – to live.

We are all made from the same frail, resilient matter.  Flesh and blood are not impervious to attack by forces seen and unseen.  We can be infected and survive or be wounded and heal.  There is a tiny virus out there proving more determined to kill us than many of us are determined to prevent it from succeeding. 

In the U.S., wearing a mask has become a political controversy.  What I don’t understand is what is so difficult about  this?  Is the right to bare arms and legs and tummies and faces more important than the humane act of wearing a face mask?

This is not mine but it is so cogent that it is terrifying:  

If you don’t like wearing a mask you will hate wearing a ventilator.  

What if your “rights” kill your mom or dad or son or daughter?

My long perspective gained by my 70 years on this earth has made me painfully aware that there is nothing harder to live with than regret.

Actions have consequences.  What actions are you willing to regret for the rest of your life?

Pray for peace and sanity and thoughtfulness.  Love to all, really.  Love one another enough to wear a mask.

Therese Juskiewicz


Baseball needs Cleveland Rox

I read that the Cleveland Indians are finally considering a team name change.  Here’s my suggestion:  Cleveland Rox!  Rocks, spelled Rox, already has a long-standing tradition in baseball, with both Boston & Chicago spelling socks, as Sox, so it’s traditional.  It should offend no one.

Rocks are solid and tough and formidable (remember the truck commercial?).  It rolls off the tongue easily, and think of the uses, instead of ‘home-run alley,’ we’d have ‘The Gravel Pit’, the cheap seats in right field could become “The Quarry.’  The marketing possibilities are endless, and I can envision a new logo that looks like something designed for the future, instead of clinging to the past.  Time to move forward, Cleveland.  Oh, and there’s also the Rock Hall thing.

Paul Kovac


Let’s work together

Recently, we have heard that if we don’t agree that black lives matter then we are racists.

Of course back lives matter. We are all children of God, no matter what our skin color is. That makes us all brothers and sisters.

We are not defined by our skin color, but rather defined by our actions.

Most people do not support “Black Lives Matter,” the organization, but do support each individual person of color.

If black lives really mattered to the organization, they would be building up communities, not tearing them down. They would protect the countless people getting shot in black communities by standing watch; they would protect the unborn black babies from the abortion instruments. They would not let the anarchists burn down businesses in their cities. They would work with the police, many of whom are indeed black themselves, to build a lasting peaceful joint venture of communications and trust in our communities. This worked well when President Carter began building homes for the needy with a cadre of citizens from all backgrounds and walks of lives.

Instead, they call for abolishing police departments. Does this make any sense?

It seems the wolves have convinced the sheep to abolish and abandon the sheep dogs that are there to defend them.

Tony Franceschini


Project promises traffic nightmare   

I am writing about the Pepper Pike proposal to rezone for mixed use of the Beech Brook property adjacent to Lander Road and Chagrin Boulevard. This would accommodate the sale of the property to Axiom Development who is proposing a large real estate project with over 150 single family units, three buildings of nearly 200,000 square feet of mixed commercial/retail/office space and two more buildings designed for retail/restaurant use.

It also includes a portion of land that is designated for future unspecified development.

This proposed project would create a traffic nightmare for the approaches to and the area around Lander Circle, and it would change the character and core of Pepper Pike as a community of single homes on modestly sized and nicely landscaped lots. This area has already suffered significantly increased traffic with the recent development of Pinecrest in Orange Village. Interestingly, the Pinecrest project was opposed by Pepper Pike Mayor Richard Bain because of his concern over more traffic on Lander Road and Chagrin Boulevard flowing into Lander Circle and adding to the congestion, which was already a concern to Pepper Pike residents.

In addition to the increased traffic loading, this mixed use development will mean: (1) the loss of an environmental green buffer to the adjacent Orange schools, (2) the financial risk of the development in what is now an economically challenging time and (3) the issue of a construction debacle while the project is being built. Furthermore, if the mixed use zoning changes were approved, two smaller properties that are adjacent to Beech Brook, which are also currently for sale, would likely be sold, developed and further aggravate the area’s traffic mess.

Mayor Kathy Mulcahy of Orange Village who was solidly behind the Pinecrest project, is opposed to the Pepper Pike rezoning effort and the Axiom development. Mayors seem to like “Legacy Projects” in their own communities, but they don’t want to be adversely impacted by projects in their neighboring communities.

In summary, I would urge Pepper Pike residents to carefully consider the changes and the impact to their fine community that will result from this request from Axiom to rezone the Beech Brook property. Pepper Pike already has a terrible traffic congestion problem with the flow through Lander Circle. It was bad before the Pinecrest project and it is worse now. The increased vehicular burden from the mixed use development by Axiom that is right on top of Lander Circle is almost inconceivable. Pepper Pike doesn’t need more commercial, retail and restaurant space, and it certainly doesn’t need more than 150 small housing units with parking for two cars each. And most of all, it doesn’t need more traffic congestion trying to get into and through Lander Circle. Vote no on rezoning for mixed use.

William Calfee

Orange Village

Voter fraud is fake news

In a recent article in the New York Times, Mike Baker wrote, “As states grapple with how to safely carry out elections during a pandemic, President Donald Trump has made an escalating series of fantastical — and false — accusations about the risks of embracing mail voting.”

Without evidence, the president has warned that mail elections would involve robbed mailboxes, forged signatures and illegally printed ballots. In a recent tweet, this one in all-caps, Mr. Trump warned of a “rigged 2020 election” and claimed, “Ballots will be printed by foreign countries, and others. It will be the scandal of our times!”

That claim about foreign-made ballots was the latest misleading statement from Mr. Trump: He offered no evidence, and the tampering of ballots is widely seen as a nearly impossible scenario because they are printed on very specific stock and often have specific tracking systems like bar codes.

After viewing the movie “Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook” with a group at the Federated Church, I learned, in fact, that voter fraud is miniscule. According to this highly successful playbook, one of the many ways to sabotage fair elections is to scare people about rampant voter fraud. This is a myth. The movie pointed out that in-person voter fraud, the type that voter ID laws purport to prevent, is as rare as being struck by lightning.

In the 2016 election, Ohio election officials found that of the 4,496,834 ballots cast in Ohio on Nov. 6, 2016, just 0.002 percent of them were illegal, according to CNN.

In addition, a 2014 cleveland.com analysis found most cases of voter fraud that are reviewed are rarely prosecuted. The majority of referrals made after the 2012 election involved elderly voters or confusion over changing election laws.

The real fact is voter fraud is extremely rare. Mr. Trump’s scare tactics need to be called out over and over again.

Judy Majcen

Chagrin Falls

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