Saving turtles good cause

My hats off to The Chagrin Valley Times and author Joan Demirjian for a really nice article on the efforts of some Geauga Park District folks and other collaborating organizations in trying to keep the endangered spotted turtles from “winking out,” that is becoming one more addition to the sad list of extinct species.   All over Geauga County populations of these turtles have been disappearing at an alarming rate. When I first moved to Parkman about 40 years ago I would commonly find spotted turtles especially in the spring when females were out roaming around looking for a place to lay their eggs. One actually walked right by me one day when I was in the backyard working on my vegetable garden, but no more.   It has been more than 20 years since I’ve seen one. The last one was an individual that was run over by a car.  

This brings me to the point of what was missing from the article likely because the park district officials did not wish it to be disclosed. A past park commissioner, Jeff Orndorf, both appointed and fired by Geauga County Probate Judge Timothy Grendell, was a past volunteer with the Geauga Park District and had/has a serious interest in natural history.    He mentioned at a park commissioners meeting that he had been long aware of the troubled situation with spotted turtles and had  inquired about ways to prevent the last turtles in the Park from being run over by cars on a park roadway near their critical habitat.

Mr. Orndorf proposed a solution that involved pathways under a critical section of park drive that would have cost only a minute fraction of the nearly $250,000 that the park district has budgeted for  yearly advertising.   For some reason, shortly after that meeting, Mr. Orndorf was fired as commissioner and the solution that could have prevented or reduced addition turtle deaths was never implemented.

Questions to park Director John Oros and the park commissioners on this issue were left unanswered.  Perhaps Co-directors Oros and Grendell felt the funds would be better spent on additional expensive television ads on the FOX network to bring hoards of out-of-county folks and traffic to our parks.  More heavy auto traffic on park roadways mean more squashed turtles.  But then maybe the highest priority really is television ads with the judge and his wife walking off into the sunset. The judge gets publicity benefiting his next election,  the taxpayers pick up the cost of the television ads and another species goes extinct. Am I cynical?  You bet!

So sad. 

John G. Augustine

Parkman Township

Celebrating nation’s birthday

On behalf of the Chagrin Falls Historical Society, I would like to thank everyone who helped make our Community Fourth of July a success with a lively bike parade, dog parade, ceremony, car show, and entertainment. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our nation’s birthday. This was the second year that the Chagrin Falls Historical Society planned the event.

We would like to thank the organizations and sponsors who made this event possible: The Molly Chittenden Chapter of the DAR, Molly Gebler and the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, Tod White, Chagrin Falls Mayor William Tomko, Lindajean Heller Western, Major, USMC, the Rev. Joyce Lawson Chagrin Falls United Methodist, Jo Royer, Eagle Scout Eddie Patton and Boy Scout Troop 150, Crooked River Fifes and Drums, Chief Amber Dacek and the Chagrin Falls Police Department, Safe Routes Chagrin, Chagrin Valley Jaycees, Aris Rentals, Frank Lanza Highway Garage, Pet People, Mark Simone and the Fevered Dreams Band, The Popcorn Shop, and FAB 4th Car Show participants.

We are so fortunate to live in a community that celebrates the spirit of the fourth in a true timeless fashion.

John Bourisseau,

President, Chagrin Falls Historical Society

Circle K would clean up corner

I’m all in favor of the Circle K renovation. The corner will be cleaned up. We go from three old unattractive buildings to one. However I think the rendering of the new building should be restyled to the flavor of the Town Hall across the street with more character.

The Shell station is tired looking and should be remodeled to tie into that same look. There will be more green space which is always welcome. Hopefully that will be the incentive to Edgewood Auto Body to clean up its place and remove the junk yard look from the crossroads of Russell Township. If all this could be achieved it would give the township a more friendly welcome balanced cohesive look.

If the entire intersection would be cleaned up to the same theme as Town Hall, it would be a refreshing nice look for the township.

Irv Bishko

Russell Township   

Upholding healthy democracy

Last week’s guest article was simply an infuriating comedy. Reading the same points we hear daily on mainstream news outlets isn’t shocking, stating incidents with the unforgiving venom of a spiteful ex-wife, but the kicker is it is supposedly from a representative of a group called PeaceVoice.

I’m far from the left, but of course I have no argument for President Trump’s Twitter feed. You win 110 percent when you talk about how our nation’s leader can speak like a child in a tantrum, but that’s not where you stop. Forgive me for finding it outrageous that a voice for peace calls half the nation brownshirts, attributing “dirty tricks” strictly to the hench people of the right wing. Were you seriously so unaware as to not see the mirroring of Nazi propaganda against conservatives?

Who are these “good” Americans “keeping their head down?” Passionate Second Amendment defenders, not because they hate children, but because they believe in the protection from a tyrannical government, and yet we beat the fascism drum zealously. The crowds who chant fake news aren’t against the free press, they’ve simply seen dozens of cases of cherry-picking, gatekeeping, and at times even lies by the supposedly reputable big news outlets. In a time where there have been hundreds of social media hate speech arrests in the UK, Canada, and EU you’re darn right sensible people will declare free speech an inalienable right, even if it means defending the minority of people who use it for hate.

What’s worth so much as to defend racists you may ask, and that answer is simple. Peace. The most basic component of a healthy democracy is civil dialogue, the ability to speak difficult ideas unhindered. The barring of words leaves few options other than violence, which should unsettle every single American today. Who is calling for harassment and deplatforming of ideological opponents? You like to claim Trump is targeting people’s identity, but he’s merely speaking the disgusting language of today, identity politics. The notion that people gain and lose power based on their various identities in a struggle against one another for dominance. All it’s been good for is drawing dozens of lines between neighbors and communities as we no longer become American, but black, white, straight, gay, rich, poor, he, she, ze (look it up). The unseen end game being individualism when you define someone by approximately seven categories, you finally reach the notion that each human being is unique and should be treated as a blank slate when approached, so let’s try skipping the divisiveness.

I’m not a big fan of sports or music, instead I love discussing social and political topics endlessly. I’m willing to put myself on the line in defense of civility, which is why I’d like to offer my email,, to absolutely anyone supportive, curious, frustrated, or angry with what I’ve said. Five hundred words is rather constricting on such vast topics and I promise I don’t own a brown shirt.

Alex Lavrich


Where are Solon’s priorities?

As one gets older, I am not sure if it is a matter of becoming more cynical or if certain issues make little sense except to some elected officials who are making them.

Solon, my former adopted hometown of over 30 years, has a very real threat of losing the corporate headquarters of Swagelok, its largest employer.  I would be camped at their front door to make certain they know how loved and important they are to Solon.  Instead there appears to be very little internal handwringing that this major international corporation may relocate elsewhere in a 30-mile radius.

 Conversely, the more pressing issues to some seem to be a proposed development of a fake winery, hotel and mega multi-family housing complex off two-lane Bainbridge Road in the middle of a neighborhood consisting of nothing but single family homes.

 Even more puzzling is Solon’s bullheaded mission to spend $1 million on a manmade trail that starts behind Carter Lumber and ends in the middle of a Solon residential neighborhood with no guarantee it would ever be extended beyond that.

 If this trail were ever connected to the edge of Bainbridge Township (not into downtown Chagrin Falls as hyped) it would take millions more to traverse watercourses, build a bridge, pave, maintain and patrol it.

 The Village of Chagrin Falls recently passed a resolution supporting this proposed trail with absolutely no commitment to contribute any funding to pay for any of the above. At the public hearing in Solon a supportive official from the Cleveland Metroparks stated it would take significant outside contributions in order to connect this trail from Carter Lumber to the county line in Bainbridge Township.  In other words, the Metroparks isn’t paying for it and no other public entity has offered to pay the costs either.

 The only thing that Solon has accomplished to date is to upset hundreds of residents (some whose backyards would be within 10 feet of this trail) with talk of a proposed path that goes no further than North Oval in the Deer Run subdivision.

 I am shocked over the priorities of some city officials as to what they envision what would be good for the future of Solon.  Watch those priorities quickly change if Swagelok ultimately decides to build a new corporate headquarters elsewhere.

Bob Paulson


Eyeing taxes for transportation

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency or NOACA has scheduled a meeting in Geauga County at Chardon Library at 6 p.m. tonight. The topic to be discussed is local transportation issues.  Since road and bridge gas taxes seem to disappear in the dark hole of this non-governmental agency, it should be of interest for concerned citizens to attend.

Of note should be the distribution of the taxes.  For example, of the $30 million collected by Washington, D.C. and Columbus, approximately $1 million is returned to Geauga County officials.  There needs to be an explanation.  Possibly NOACA can provide an answer.

We need to be prepared.

N.D. Howard

South Russell

Golly Molly!

Good Golly, Miss Molly (Gebler) you and the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce have done it again!  The Simple Summer Night concerts are so enjoyable, hearing our favorite groups from past summers and enjoying new ones.

Especially wonderful was the July 10 concert at South Russell Park. The University Heights Symphonic Band was wonderful and their selections were beautifully done in the gorgeous park setting, a truly lovely and enjoyable evening.  Thank you for all you do.

Everyone, come join us on Thursday evenings at Triangle Park in Chagrin Falls for a most enjoyable way to spend a summer evening.

Janice Hill

South Russell


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