George H.W. Bush man of grace

What a contrast.

In watching this weekend the revisiting of George H. W. Bush’s life and presidency, I could not avoid making a comparison with today.  Here was a man driven by service who successfully dealt with major global and national issues with wisdom, honesty, compassion, kindness and grace.  Without what his mother called “braggadocio.”

How things have changed!

The terrible irony is that we, the people, have allowed this deterioration to happen.  And we are the ones that can vote our way back. Perhaps it is now time for all of us to reaffirm the truism that character counts.  And to hold our leaders to that higher standard.  

Mike Carlton

Chagrin Falls

Jillian Barath local hero  

Geauga County residents pay high taxes and support a payroll for about 6,500 employees. Many employees are caring and dedicated, you just don’t hear about them. 

Jillian Barath of the Geauga County Job and Family Services program is a local hero.  She served intermittently for almost nine years on one of Geauga County’s most challenging and tragic child abuse cases in our county’s history.  She has been a champion and warrior for this child, his family and her counterparts.

Through Ms. Barath’s professional and highly skilled caring demeanor she was able to play a key role in configuring and coordinating a tremendous level of successful team support for this child.   

Imagine the fortitude of this young woman.  

I hope that Craig Swenson, director of Geauga County Job and Family Services and our county commissioners, along with our congressional and legislative representatives honor Jillian Barath for her commitment and life saving service and dedication to the children of our county.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Chester Township

No need for rail-trail in Solon

The cost of Solon Mayor Edward H. Kraus’ railroad tracks to walking/biking trails proposal has escalated from an estimated $1 million to $2.9 million. The proposal was driven by a desire to link Solon, Bentleyville and Chagrin Falls with these paths and also by a $500,000 grant “conditionally approved” by the state as well as $300,000 designated in the Ohio Budget Capital Program.

Residents in Wards 3 and 4 have genuine concerns about proximity to their properties including street parking, intrusiveness, lack of privacy, safety and effect on property values. As a Ward 4 resident, I am reassured by Councilman Marc Kotora’s loyal representation of his constituents.

There have been nothing more than “atta boys” from the Cleveland Metroparks, Bentleyville and Chagrin Falls. I must question even the need to spend $37,000 at this time for professional engineering design services.

Solon enviably, is traversed by the Cleveland Metroparks’ Emerald Necklace. We are benefited by three trails: Hawthorne Parkway, Solon Community Center and Pettibone/Liberty roads.

I have lived in Solon for 22 years and have yet to witness or hear of a pedestrian or bike back-up on any of these trails.

Sheila Collins


Honoring President Bush

I would like to remember and thank President George H.W. Bush.

Late one evening, when I was asked by the then Geauga County Republican chairman to run for office, I thought, who would ever want to be in politics? But, I told them I would think about it. Later that week, I received an invitation from the White House to have dinner with President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush. I was so honored that I accepted this amazing invitation. There were 25 of us at the dinner. We also had the extraordinary freedom to explore the entirety of the White House, except for their personal quarters.

After dinner, during coffee, President Bush came to me and gently put his hand on my back. I stood up and he said, “Wouldn’t you want to do something for your country? You have four degrees, you seem to care about people, and this is the year of the woman. Wouldn’t you like to run for office?” He was so very kind and thoughtful during our discussion that I soon said “yes.” When I got off the plane from my return trip home, I told my husband, Tim, (even though I knew nothing of politics) that I would be running for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. The rest is history. I loved serving the people as a state representative and, for the last 18 years as an appellate judge in the Ohio 11th District Court of Appeals. It has been a wonderful experience. I thank President George H.W. Bush for his foresight and kind encouragement. President George H.W. Bush was a charismatic gentleman.

Judge Diane V. Grendell

11th District Court of Appeals

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