Friday, October 14, 2016

Saving Dairy Queen

Updated on Friday at 4:45 p.m. to reflect endorsements of the issue by two additional Dover councilmen.


OK, I missed the edition, but I’m told there was a photo in our daily newspaper this week that not only speaks to the Dover High bond issue, but also to our community’s love of fast food.

“Save Our Dairy Queen.”

That’s right, folks.

Dairy Queen.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Apparently lovers of Dover’s Dairy Queen franchise are appealing to voters to save their bricks-and-mortar fast food joint on N. Tuscarawas Ave. rather than build a new high school on and around DQ's relatively small piece of real estate.

I have some bad news.

In a survey I took of Dover High seniors a couple of years ago, Dairy Queen finished dead last in the list of nearby fast food outlets that students head to during their 39-minute lunch period.


Because DQ’s drive-through line is the slowest on the planet, that’s why.

Personally, Dairy Queen only comes into play for me during the cold months when our community’s beloved Softies is not in operation. But if you need a quick milk shake fix during the winter, Wendy’s and McDonald’s fill the bill.

Now if Softies was located in the footprint of the new Dover High, well, that would be different.
Sorry, Dairy Queen.

Apparently there is a small group of Dover citizens who will never see fit to replace our decrepit high school. Their members shall remain nameless, but I’m told they’re members of the same group that voiced displeasure with the last proposal.

One of the leaders of that Negative Nellie pack lent his artistic abilities to an anti-school proposal sign project. He made an estimated 15 rather ugly large signs – “Save DHS” -- that are now posted on like-minded individuals’ yards and properties throughout the community.

I have to believe he could have volunteered his time doing something worthwhile for the community – you know, like giving back – but, no, he was too busy with his signage project. I wonder how long it took him.

Like I mentioned the last time we visited, time was running short for Dover City Council to reach a consensus and endorse the new high school project.

It’s not going to happen.

There is good news, however. Mayor Richard Homrighausen actually donned a campaign t-shirt and posed with a few other city officials, including Auditor Nicole Stoldt, Council President Shane Gunnoe, and Ward 1 Councilman Greg Bair. In addition, Councilman Justin Perkowski penned a letter to the editor offering his support of the project.

Also, Councilmen John Correll and John McFadden and Clerk Julie Leggett have formally endorsed the project with signed letters to the issue's leadership committee.

I have no evidence that council members Don Maurer, Sandy Moss and Bob Mueller support the project.

If you have evidence to the contrary, let me know.

Mueller, if you remember, previously said he can’t afford it although he’s paid more than $7,000 annually for attending a few council meetings a month. In case you’re interested in running for a seat, their terms are up at the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, members of just about every other political subdivision have, in fact, endorsed the project. Good for them.

It’s partly my fault that “30 Seconds” lives on.

A little history: It was back in the ‘90s (before the Internet) that newspapers, including mine, were trying to connect better with readers and as a result features such as “30 Seconds” were born.

Initially, readers connected to a mechanical answering machine tucked away in a closet-like office and left all sorts of short messages. Callers weren’t really limited to 30 seconds. It was more of a suggestion; the machines actually listened for a minute.

Anyway, the better comments would make the cut and readers loved it. But whatever benefit it once offered, it now has degenerated into a vehicle for ignorance and intolerance.

Consider this recent entry:

“I am a senior citizen. Our children and grandchildren attended Dover schools, but we will not vote for a school levy until my great-grandchildren are taught how to write cursive and can add, subtract, multiply and divide. Some young people cannot even count your change back to you. A new building will not change this.”

Want to bet the caller doesn’t know how to use a computer?

“30 Seconds” needs to die.

Speaking of schools in need of repair and renovation…

Hello, New Philadelphia. You there?

Both East and South elementary schools appear to be in need of serious exterior work, if not interior renovations.

Here’s the deal.

It’s unlikely you would live in a house for 25 years without updating or renovating. The same should go for schools. New Philadelphia High, for example, was remodeled after a fire severely damaged it in the early 1990s. That was 25 years ago.

Is it time to put more money into the facility? Absolutely.

Citizens need to understand that maintaining and updating school facilities is their responsibility. It goes with living and working in a community.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Ahem, so where is the 'big splash'?

Sorry, it’s been awhile. I’ve been busy…

Rumor had it that Dover Mayor Richard Homirghausen and his City Council were going to make a “big splash” with an endorsement of the new high school proposal. I thought maybe there’d be the “big splash” at the caucus meeting the last Monday in September, but there was nothing.

Then I thought that maybe council was going to splash at its regular meeting last Monday.


I give up.

At this point, whatever council decides to do is rather moot. Absentee ballots are mailed out beginning Wednesday (Oct. 12), which means people can immediately vote. No longer is the general election date hard and fast. And I suspect most people have already made up their minds about all the high profile races and issues, including the Dover High proposal.

Evidence, however, suggests that at least three members of council – Justin Perkowski, Shane Gunnoe and Greg Bair – have publicly supported the project either by wearing a “We Are Dover” shirt or by writing a letter to the editor.

If any other readers have seen public evidence of support from other council members, please let me know and I will add their names to the above paragraph.

A friend of mine suffers from trigeminal neuralgia – severe facial pain – and depends on opioids for relief. He would like everyone to know that not everyone who uses opioids is abusing them. For him, using opioids allows him to function and survive.

Trigeminal neuralgia has been termed “the world’s worst pain.”

Medical marijuana might provide my friend some relief, so he was incredulous when both Dover and New Philadelphia city councils banned the sale of prescription marijuana well in advance of the actual implementation of the law.

For my friend’s sake as well as for other sufferers, I hope both councils will reconsider their decisions.

I was asked what I thought about plans to rejuvenate Dover’s downtown and restore the riverfront to some sort of turn of the 20th century glory.

Neither project will mean much if the community fails to approve a new high school facility. As soon as we’re on track for a new school, I’ll get excited. I might, however, go into a state of euphoria after the new traffic signals are turned on and synchronized.

“Synchronized” is the keyword.

There seems to be some confusion over why my commentaries no longer appear in the Bargain Hunter.

One of my readers said he called the publication and was told that I left on my own accord. Another reader heard I was fired.

OK, I was never an employee of the Bargain Hunter, so I couldn’t have been fired. Heck, I’ve never been inside one of its offices. I write at home, sometimes at the dining room table, or at the kitchen counter. No fancy office for me.

With a handshake five years ago, I agreed to allow the Bargain Hunter to publish my column on a weekly basis for a modest fee. The deal, at least as I understood, was that the BH would adhere to a hands-off policy and respect my ownership of the column, which for the most part it did – until recently.

As a result, our relationship soured, and I sought a divorce. There was an attempt at counseling, but in the end it didn’t work out. Sometimes you just have to move on.

Tell your friends who are missing me in the BH to Google “dick farrell blogspot” or “dick Farrell blog” and they’ll find me. For those folks who depend entirely on print for their news and opinion, well, they’re out of luck.