There is one sign in my yard, and that sign reads “Steve Demetriou for Ohio House.” It’s not that I don’t support other candidates, but I know Steve.

Steve is a West Point Grad having served in the Afghanistan War, a caring father, husband and a man of faith. Steve, like many of us, would prefer to stay on the sidelines than step into the political ring.

However, Steve is worried and rightfully worried, that our great State of Ohio is heading in the wrong direction.

If left unchecked, he is worried that our next generation will inherit a burdensome tax rate, businesses leaving to seek shelter in a more business-friendly state, greater government intrusion and schools that don’t prioritize academic excellence and produce critical thinkers.

Whether you agree or disagree, I believe we can all agree that the world is changing. During this transformation, we need more people like Steve to serve and represent our value system.

Change is good, if led by good people. Steve will bring common sense guided by divine laws to combat the forces that oppose the good in America. Therefore, it is my pleasure to write this letter in support of Steve Demetriou in his race for the Ohio House of Representatives.

Joe DeBoth

Auburn Township


Thankful the Holly Hall Christmas Train display has a new home

Dear Editor,

Gratitude alone is insufficient to express our thanks to Give! Chagrin Valley Women’s League and the efforts of Therese Zdesar and Sara Giordano to find the Holly Hall Christmas Train Display a new home.

Thanks to their time and treasure the children served by Santa’s Hide-A-Way Hollow will experience the magic. And, as always the Chagrin Valley Jaycees came through to handle the logistics of the physical move.

Michael and Betty MacIver

Chagrin Falls


Geauga County residents should support Issue 3 on Nov. 8 ballot

Dear Editor,

The Geauga County community has supported mental health treatment through levies for many years; we greatly appreciate that support.

It has changed many lives for the better. The Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services has a 0.5 mill 5-year renewal levy on the No. 8 ballot. This levy, Issue 3, will not increase taxes.

Levy funds are used to provide much-needed mental health treatment to members of our community.

The Board contracts with local providers, such as Ravenwood Health, to provide counseling, psychiatry, community-based services, and much more to those residents who cannot afford needed treatment and support.

Ravenwood Health’s emergency services program responds to mental health and substance use crises twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week. About six months into the pandemic, the Ravenwood Health team saw a significant increase in requests for crisis intervention.

Last year, the program responded to 642 in-person crises and provided 2494 supportive interventions in Geauga County. Levy dollars are critical to sustaining this crisis response to our Geauga County residents.

As a member of the Ravenwood Health Board of Directors and a Mental Health Clinician in the community, I seek your continued support for Mental Health by voting yes on Issue 3.

Valerie Rutherford

Burton


Ryan and Vance are Catholics, yet they view abortion very differently

Dear Editor,

Both of Ohio’s candidates for U.S. Senate are Roman Catholics.

Tim Ryan was born into a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools. JD Vance became Catholic In 2019.

Vance supports Gov. DeWine’s “Heartbeat Law” that prohibits.an abortion as soon as a heartbeat can be detected. His position would require the 10-year-old Ohio child who was raped and became pregnant, give birth to the rapist’s child, even if it killed her.

Tim Ryan initially supported the Catholic anti-abortion position.

However, he gradually became convinced that a decision about abortion should be that of the mother.

He wrote “I have sat with women from Ohio and across the nation and heard them talk about their varying experiences: abusive relationships, financial hardship, health scares, rape, and incest...

“These women gave me a better understanding of how complex and difficult certain situations can become... one thing has become abundantly clear to me: the heavy hand of government must not make this decision for women and families.”

Democrats have consistently supported a woman’s right to choose. Republicans support the Catholic position in which unmarried men in Rome and politicians in Washington and Columbus decide what a woman can and cannot do.

Richard L. Hansler

Pepper Pike


Geauga Countians are still not on the agenda

Dear Editor,

What a disappointment and embarrassment for Geauga County. After the Geauga Park District said they would put a vote on public comment on the agenda it never appeared.

So, at the Oc. 17 meeting of the Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners, Dave Partington, a trustee of Protect Geauga Parks asked why. He waited until the end of the meeting when they were set to adjourn. That way he avoided disrupting any ongoing business.

Then he asked the Board this simple question.

“You said you would put public comment on the agenda for the meeting. It was not there. Why not?”

There was a stony silence from the Board.

Executive Director John Oros rebuked Partington, essentially saying that they could put any item on the agenda or remove it any time they wished.

After 7 years of no public comment at meetings, Geauga County Park District remains the only park district in Ohio that prohibits public comment. Further, the Park District appears to be the only public taxing entity in Geauga County that forbids it.

Park Director John Oros said that people could email the park commissioners with comments. That of course is not public comment. Sending an email to one commissioner is not public. Moreover, it isn’t part of the public record.

Geauga Park District expends millions of tax dollars each year without any input or consultation with the public. They buy land and construct buildings, locate access roads, all without consulting the public.

As we have said before, Geauga citizens have a wealth of knowledge and could provide valuable information.

But when the public is closed out, we all lose out.

As the now departed Park District fiscal officer recently said to the County Budget Commission, “We are not required to provide you with that information.” Perhaps that’s true, but if they are proud of what they are doing why wouldn’t they share the information. Oh, and just one more thing, have they forgotten whose money they are spending?

Protect Geuga Parks Executive Committee

President Barbara Partington

Vice President Gideon Johnson

Treasurer Pat Sommer

Secretary David Partington


What Chagrin Falls really needs

Dear Editor,

I have enjoyed my fifty year relationship with the beauty and people of our piece of heaven, which is Chagrin Falls. We have the best in so many categories, too numerous to mention. However, we are sorely lacking in at least one category, a safe, up- to- date pet exercise and interaction center.

I have worked with local friends and collected funds which financed a professional study. This study was conducted by an expert in this field. An expert is someone who comes from more than fifty miles away.

He/she found the tremendous need and found our current facilities lacking.

He/she laid out the basics, but substantially more funds would be needed to develop the complete design.

The following are the general suggestions to build on.A dog park with a large area for full size dogs to exercise and also have a quiet area for pet meditation. A place where Fido can get in touch with his/her inner self. A separate but absolutely equal area for ankle-biter dogs, to not be overwhelmed by the larger real dog canines.

We must be considerate of dogs in heat and have a separate bulletproof zone to prevent unwanted exhibitions.

It is abhorrent to me that we do not have a cat park for our feline companions like the ones in California.

Cats are totally forgotten by our village administration and this must stop now.

These basics are only a start. More, much more money is needed for a complete study and of course construction.

Additional ideas would be welcomed, please forward them to myself or Times columnist Barb Christian at: chagbarb@aol.com

Steve King

Chagrin Falls


Elect Democrat Chelsea Clark as Ohio’s next Secretary of State

Dear Editor,

Frank LaRose is running for re-election for Ohio Secretary of State.

He is a Republican member of the Ohio redistricting commission, the same commission that submitted five gerrymandered political maps favoring Republicans.

Those maps were rejected as unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court because they defied the will of Ohio’s people, who passed constitutional amendments designed to stop gerrymandering, in 2015 and 2018. LaRose defied both the Ohio Supreme Court, who charged the Republican commission with contempt.

He threw out the proposal of an independent mapmaker at the eleventh hour to run out the clock. And finally, in a bid to hold onto gerrymandered districts at all costs, he threatened to impeach the Chief Justice – the state’s highest judge, who was adhering to the Ohio constitution.

We need a moderate, non-partisan Secretary of State to shape our future – an individual who will respect the will of Ohioans, our freedoms, and the law, and who will not be duty-bound to extremist Republican politics.

Vote for Chelsea Clark, not Frank Larose. Ohioans have shown, in the clearest possible way, that they against gerrymandering, and want fair voting.

We need a Secretary of State who is committed to that goal.

Jane Birnkrant

Moreland Hills


Gov. DeWine’s dereliction of duty has cost Ohioans millions

Dear Editor,

Since Mike DeWine has again ignored a majority of Ohioans and refused to debate Nan Whaley, we think it’s important to highlight aspects of his record that demonstrate why he is a failed leader who is bad for Ohioans and the future of our state.

First, the HB6/First Energy bribery scandal was unlike anything this state has seen in recent history. DeWine was involved in negotiating the bill, and he signed it into law. Despite warnings from his staff about Sam Randazzo’s corruption, DeWine appointed him as head of PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio). Randazzo accepted millions from First Energy and was raided by the FBI.

While investigations are ongoing, Ohioans remain liable for millions in subsidies to Indiana coal plants because of DeWine’s mismanagement.

Second, DeWine has done nothing to respond to the 70 percent of Ohioans who voted to end gerrymandering in our state, and he has further ignored mandates from the Ohio Supreme Court to create constitutional maps.

In fact, he, himself, called our maps “unconstitutional,” but voted for them anyway, and he used them to create districts for Ohio’s State Board of Education.

This is a flagrant violation of his oath of office, yet such a tedious topic, we don’t blame most Ohioans for failing to pay attention.

But we must.

DeWine’s dereliction of duty cost Ohioans $20 million for an unnecessary August primary. Furthermore, the legislative extremism gerrymandering causes, like arming school staff with two hours of hands-on training (HB99); forced “internal genital examinations” for child athletes (HB151); and forced birth for victims of rape and incest (HB258) is destroying our state’s economic outlook.

Ohio ranks in the bottom quartile for GDP growth, and Ohio’s brain drain has accelerated as young people leave in droves. DeWine has demonstrated that he either agrees with these legislative extremists or that he is too weak to stand against them.

Luckily, there is an alternative. Nan Whaley is a strong, level-headed leader who believes in representing the majority of Ohioans who just want a return to normalcy.

Whaley, like most of us, supports economic policies that will entice new industries, help homeowners, make our schools and communities safer, and keep the government out of our private decisions.

We urge voters to support Nan Whaley and reject DeWine and his scandals.

Jackie Godic, Pepper Pike

Kelly Goshe, Moreland Hills

Leanne Corrigan, Orange Village

Ursula Freundlich, Moreland Hills

Marne Friendman, Pepper Pike

Lindsey Jezek, Pepper Pike

Bobbie Kammer Ross, Solon

Missy McGinnes, Pepper Pike

Erin Oakley, Orange Village

Allyson Schwartz, Pepper Pike

Jesse Sumers, Moreland Hills


Throw them all out and start fresh

Dear Editor,

Writers attack politicians, individually. I look at the big picture. I think our country is going in the wrong direction.

I like what Gov. DeWine has done and is supporting.

I think the best thing he continues to do for Ohio’s citizens is to bring in new jobs that focus on future technology.

The positive results of his work will benefit Ohio for Decades.

On a National Level I believe that there are only three things that drive 90 percent of incumbents: wealth, power, and re-election.

The issues supported aren’t because they are good for the majority.

They are supported to win over, or keep, elective support for themselves. Let’s look at a couple issues.

One writer wrote about programs the former Dayton Mayor (governor candidate) instituted and mentioned a needle exchange program.

While probably well intentioned , I’d guess that not too many drug addicted citizens went off of drugs because of this program.

Did the writer also know that JD Vance, Ohio Senate Candidate, started a program to help get addicts off of drugs and that he started that foundation with close to $100,000 of his own money? Which of these people do you think is more serious about drug problems?

Tim Ryan supported an $80 billion-dollar Congressional Act that included hiring an additional 80,000 IRS agents.

Wouldn’t it be better spent on drug addiction, mental health or the homeless?

I will avoid voting for any incumbent or candidate that is in office and running for the next office, if ever possible.

I say throw them all out and start fresh.

James Kadunc

Bainbridge


I wonder what Geaug Park District commissioners are so afraid of?

Dear Editor,

I recently attended the Geauga Park Board of Commissioners meeting on Oct.17 and was again disappointed that there has been no movement on reinstating public comment.

I wonder why they are so afraid to hear from the taxpayers?

Actually, if I was allowed to speak my first comment would be a positive one.

I love all the parks each with their unique characteristics and features and must pinch myself that I was fortunate to move here 22 years ago.

My husband and I walk the trails nearly every day and are amazed at the beauty. The benefits are not just physical but also mental and spiritual.

Sure, the Commissioners might hear some criticism from time to time. So what?

Since 87-out-of-88 counties in Ohio allow public comment at their Park Board meetings one must wonder what is happening here?

I am sure our Park Commissioners are tired of reading these letters to the editor over and over again but it seems this is our only avenue to comment publicly.

Jane Valvoda

Chesterland


Geauga County mental health providers urge support of tax levy

Dear Editor,

As many of you are probably aware, there is a significant increase in mental health/behavioral health needs in response to recent, difficult and stressful events across the world.

Therefore, the providers of behavioral health in Geauga County wanted to let the community know of our services and why it would be important to support the levy.

If you didn’t already know, this is not an additional tax.

Here are some of the ways, the levy funding helps us help you:

  • Ravenwood (ravenwoodhealth.org) provides a hotline called Copeline and 24/7 mental health and crisis intervention available to all Geauga County residents. Mental health and addiction counseling, psychiatry, and a wide range of other services are also available with a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay.
  • Family Pride (familyprideonline.org) is a community-based behavioral health organization that brings essential services such as counseling, therapeutic behavior support services, and parent education to individuals and families ages 3 and up where our clients need it the most such as in the home, work, school or even virtually. Family Pride utilizes levy dollars to provide access to care to our county’s most vulnerable populations who are unable to cover these costs on their own such as home-bound seniors and the working-poor or (A.L.I.C.E. population).
  • Lake Geauga Recovery Center (lgrc.us) provides life changing services to help those impacted by the disease of addiction to begin their journey in recovery and to restore healthy families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 100,300 Americans died of drug overdoses in a 12 month period, a never-before-seen milestone. Please support the levy which will ensure the continuation of these critical services for Geauga County residents.
  • WomenSafe (womensafe.org) is able to save and change lives of domestic violence survivors in Geauga County. With the support of mental health dollars, WomenSafe is able to provide free education, counseling and ultimately a safe place to sleep to victims of trauma that need and deserve this help.
  • Catholic Charities Geauga (ccdocle.org/counties/geauga) is able to provide mental health and substance abuse counseling at a sliding fee scale, Self Sufficiency case management and Early Childhood prevention programming for children as a result of levy.
  • NAMI Geauga County (namigeauga.org) provides non-clinical mental health support, education, and advocacy from the lived experience perspective to the community. NAMI supports the community by providing services free of charge and can only continue the work from funding received via, grants, donations, fundraisers, and funding from the county mental health authority. Please continue supporting this essential service to the community.
  • Signature Health (signaturehealthinc.org) provides educational programming that fosters the development of life skills, encouraging at-risk youth and adults to make decisions that keep them safe and healthy
  • Torchlight (torchlightyouthmentoring.org) is extremely grateful to the mental health board as they have provided funding to us to support our programs as well as be able to expand our foster care program into Geauga County.

On behalf of all of the providers of behavioral health services in Geauga County, I urge voters to support the mental health tax levy on Nov. 8.

Michelle Bertman

Chardon

Ms. Bertman is the director of Catholic Charities – Geauga.

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