Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jentes out at Twin City Hospital

It's always been my belief that the recession will hurt in waves. Banks, homeowners, manufacturers were hurt first. Up next are governments, including schools, and healthcare, including your local hospital.


Marge Jentes is out as CEO of Twin City Hospital. Here's the memo she sent to employees on Monday, May 17:

To: staff

Subject: American Healthcare Solutions

At a special Board meeting this evening, the decision was made to contract with American Healthcare Solutions for the day to day operations of the hospital. As part of this agreement, AHS will be providing all Administrative oversight. I want all of you to know that I fully support this decision. I know that all of us have been impressed with the insight and professionalism that the AHS team has demonstrated in their short time on sight here at TCH and I know that each and every one of you will continue to give them your full cooperation going forward.

While I am sorry to leave TCH, I am also thankful for the opportunity that I have had to work with all of you. Together, we have accomplished many things and now you will have the opportunity to work with a great group of people to ensure that what we have built together will be here for the community for many years to come.

My sincere thanks and best wishes to all of you!


Marge Jentes

American Healthcare Solutions troubleshoots failing and/or financially troubled hospitals and attempts to right the ship by examining all aspects of the budget, including staffing, salaries and pension payments, and then by making hard choices.

Read into that what you will.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Alan Sayre: Goodbye, Columbus

One of the truly good guys in politics -- Alan Sayre -- is stepping down as state representative of Ohio's 96th House District.

He has accepted a position -- chief deputy auditor -- with the Tuscarawas County Auditor's Office. Sayre, assistant majority floor leader, was on the November ballot and was to have faced Dover's Allen Landis, who won the Republican primary earlier this month.

Don't think for a minute that the race scared him. Sayre made the decision primarily because of his family. He has two children and Columbus has kept him from seeing them grow up. I can understand. Kids grow up fast and Sayre and his wife Stephanie have two school-age children, who are involved in activities that a parent doesn't want to miss.

And there's probably also that damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't thing going on, too. I've heard that a lot from frustrated politicians over the years.

Sayre said the Democratic Party chairmen from the three counties that comprise the 96th -- Tuscarawas, Harrison and Belmont - will meet and discuss successors. Presumably, whoever is chosen to fill in for Sayre also will be the November candidate.

Sayre, a moderate, served his district and the state with honesty and dignity. He'll be missed.

Big yuck: Bank customer shows gun to teller

What's up with the dude who showed a gun to a teller at the First National Bank of Dennison branch on the Boulevard while he cashed a check.

It was a joke, he said.


There are some things one shouldn't joke about. In a community that has had a dozen or so bank robberies in the last year, brandishing a weapon while one gets a check cashed IS NOT FUNNY.

What, you don't think tellers aren't a little nervous these days?


* * *
If you're a Cleveland sports fan as I am, the sad performance by the Cavs Tuesday night was another dagger in the heart. This team doesn't have the heart to win a championship. That was evident Tuesday as the Celtics clobbered them.

I'll leave in-depth analysis to the folks who cover the team on a daily basis, but methinks there is a chemistry problem. And maybe LeBron really does want to go to New York or Chicago. He vacations in Chicago, you know.

What do we call this episode? "The Elbow"? "The Rondo"? "The Choke"? What?

If LeBron leaves the Cavaliers this summer, move over Art Modell. James will become the most hated figure in Cleveland sports.

* * *
Hooray for Dover, which is poised to become a two Dollar-General-store town. The new Dollar General store on N. Wooster Ave. is set to open within the month and the old one -- in downtown Dover -- is going to stay in business!

How about that for retail dominance?

This is from Dollar General's corporate website: "Dollar General saves you time by staying focused on life's simple necessities: laundry detergent, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, socks and underwear...maybe a gadget or two that you just can't live without. The average Dollar General customer completes her shopping trip in less than 10 minutes."

And a gadget or two that you just can't live without. God help us.

* * *
State Sen. Bob Gibbs, whose farm is located in Holmes County, declared himself the winner in the eight-candidate race for the Republican nomination for the 18th District House seat.

Gibbs is leading Fred Dailey by more than 100 votes and that apparently is enough, at least in Gibbs' mind. If he's right, he'll face U.S. Rep. Zack Space of Dover in the November general election.

Here's Gibbs' mission statement:

"Federal spending and borrowing is so out of control that our national security and individual freedoms are at risk. I am committed as your Congressman to cut the spending and borrowing, and eliminate the practice of earmarks. Washington needs to send the pro-business signals that create confidence in our economy and ensure it is on solid ground so that businesses can confidently make investments and create jobs. The only way to restore confidence is to get spending under control, cut taxes and cut the red tape that is choking our economy."

A lot can happen between now and November but Space should take note of what happened in a West Virginia congressional race on Tuesday: A 14-term incumbent, Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, was tossed in the primary. In addition, an ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 57 percent of Americans will be looking at candidates other than the incumbent during this election season.

And if you don't know what cap-and-trade is now, you will.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Who are those guys (and gal)?

Republicans must think that U.S. Rep. Zack Space, D-Dover, is vulnerable. That's apparently why eight people are facing off in the Republican primary on Tuesday.

That's right -- eight people. You think they're smelling blood?

Here's the list:

Beau Bromberg, Newark;
Fred Dailey, Mount Vernon
Dave Daubenmire, Thornville
Bob Gibbs, Lakeville
Ron Hood, Ashville
Hombre Liggett, Dover
Jeanette Moll, Zanesville
Michael D. Royer, Malvern
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Moll is the favorite although Gibbs, a state senator, is the guy the party wants. The Dispatch says straw polls put Liggett in second place with Gibbs second from last.

Republicans should remember this when they go to the polls: More than anything else, Zack Space's residency -- Tuscarawas County -- will have a far larger impact on the results than his stand on cap-and-trade or healthcare reform. Tuscarawas County contains the largest pool of voters in the district and if Space runs well there, he will likely retain the seat if only breaking even everywhere else.

And voters traditionally have given passes to their congressmen while complaining at the same time how worthless Congress is.

That's not to say that Space will have an easy ride to re-election. He won't, but unless something unexpected happens between now and November, he should win re-election no matter whom Republicans nominate on Tuesday.

* * *
Here's an easy prediction: former Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher will defeat Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Brunner recently called out Fisher for referring to her as "Jennifer" during a recent debate. She said Fisher was not respecting her by referring to her by first name.

That,. folks, is ridiculous.

* * *
The state's voters are being called on to change the location of the Columbus casino (State Issue 2). That's what happens when we screw with the Constitution rather than legislating change. Should voters in Tuscarawas County care about where the folks in Franklin County put their casino?

No. Vote yes on Issue 2.

* * *
Prediction: The Tea Party phenomenon will fizzle as soon as people realize that it really offers nothing but anger at the way things are going.

I think the main premise of  the Tea Party is that the government ought not to be spending money it doesn't have. OK, so what does it think we ought to cut? Medicare? Social Security? Defense? What?

Therein lies the problem. As far as I can tell, there is no consensus.  Except the anger thing. And the fact that its members don't like President Barack Obama.