Friday, April 18, 2014

How to fold a fitted sheet — and other organization tips

The first in The News-Herald's three-part series "Clean, Green Spring" took place April 15. Kim Croyle, who writes the blog Get Organized With Kim, shared some tips on how to get your home organized as you embark on spring cleaning.

First, a video: Learn how to fold a fitted sheet in 1 minute:

Here are some of the tips Kim shared during her presentation:
  • If you're not wearing it or using it, get rid of it — no matter if you've never worn it or it's in good condition. Donate it to someone who will use it.
  • No one wants to be stuck inside the house cleaning when the weather is nice. Take advantage of the weather by tackling your outdoor projects.
  • Create a dumping ground for when you come in the house, but set a limit for it. Everyone needs a place to put whatever they have with them when they come in the house, but you cannot let it take over your space.
  • If it goes in the garage sale, it does not come back in the house. If it doesn't sell, donate it or throw it away.
  • Everything in your house should have a home. If you can't find a place for something, consider whether you really need it. If you do really need it, find a permanent place for it.
  • When you're organizing your space, find a method that works for you. If an organization scheme is not a part of you, it is not going to stick with you. 

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tweets from #HandwritingDay #mHDay

Friday, January 17, 2014

#Riccing with The News-Herald

We're having some fun on Friday and #Riccing around the building. Share your #Riccing photos by tweeting them to @newsheraldinoh, and we'll add them to our collection.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Motormouths need to listen

Conversational narcissism.

There had to be a name for it. I knew it was far too common of a phenomenon not to have been marked as an issue and addressed.

Conversational narcissism is typified by an extreme self-focusing in a conversation, to the exclusion of appropriate concerns for the other, according to Communication Monographs, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on human communication.

What prompted me to write this column is my unabashed incredulity when confronting a person guilty of self-yakkity-yak ad nauseum. 

I never fail to be stymied when finding myself relegated to the status of an info repository rather than a contributing entity within a conversation (i.e. exchange of ideas — emphasis on “exchange”).

When constantly “talked over” or tossed a quick, disinterested “uh-huh” after adding a verbal tidbit or two — only to be followed by more yada ... yada ... yada by the relentless rambler, I figure he or she just doesn’t get it.

Thus, my intense interest and cause for research on the subject. Basically, it bugs me and it’s just not polite.
What makes these yo-gabba-gabbers think their thoughts, opinions and life events entitle them to a talkathon rather than extending the courtesy of a two-way street? 

For goodness sake, it’s quite likely the other person has something interesting to interject. Wouldya believe it?

Thankfully, the Internet poured forth reams of insight on the subject that points to the fact that this is, indeed, an occurrence many deal with. Perhaps shedding some light on the topic will stir up some self-realization among the convo-hoggers — or not. One can only hope.

It’s my bet that those afflicted with verbal diarrhea won’t even recognize their awful ailment. But then again, it may spark a bit of soul searching and hopefully persuade these too often open-mouthed offenders to shut up and listen once in awhile. 

So what is it? What’s in the mix of creating such a trait?

In his book “Pursuit of Attention” sociology professor Charles Derber writes “During a conversation, each person makes initiatives. These initiatives can either be attention-giving or attention-getting. Conversational narcissists concentrate more on the latter because they are focused on gratifying their own needs …
“A good conversation is an interesting thing … It’s like a song where the rhythm is paramount, and each person in the group must contribute to keeping that rhythm going. One person who keeps on playing a sour note can throw the whole thing off.”

DO understand the meaning of the term narcissist. Narcissistic does not necessarily mean selfish or arrogant. A narcissist simply views the world and others in relation to himself. Everything is measured by the standard “How does this affect me?” Because of this, narcissists spend a lot of time talking about themselves.
DO change the conversation to neutral topics. This can be difficult because a narcissist will always try to find a way to steer the conversation back to himself. Make it obvious that your interest lies in a generic topic, like the weather. A narcissist will likely discuss the weather, even if only to attempt to impress you.
DO introduce topics of interest in the form of open-ended questions. For instance, don’t ask did you see the game last night? Instead, ask something along the lines of “What do you think of basketball? I heard the game last night was amazing.” This method of questioning gives the narcissist the chance to talk about his views on basketball, while you get to insert your own comments as well.
DO avoid the narcissistic person if all else fails. Keep in mind that, more likely than not, you will not change the narcissist in your life. His perception of everything is personal because he can’t detach himself from his surroundings. He perceives a dissenting opinion as a personal attack. He may even view therapy or counseling as bullying and disapproval.
DON’T take offensive comments personally. More likely than not, the narcissist did not intent to insult you. Again, a narcissistic person is unable to put herself in others’ shoes. Her comments are meant to boost her own self-worth, not hurt feelings.
DON’T try to argue or reason with a narcissist. Explaining to a narcissist that she is a narcissist is a lost cause. To understand the basis of your argument, she must see herself from your point of view, which is an impossible task for a narcissist.
DON’T allow a narcissistic person to go on long rants about herself. She may interpret silence from you as genuine interest. In the mind of a narcissist, why wouldn’t you want to hear about her day at the mall?

Bonchak is a Staff Writer for The News-Herald.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Painesville City Council Meeting - Oct. 21, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mentor construction projects wrapping up

A rash of vehicle break-ins, the status of several construction projects and a civil service test for the fire department — those items and more in the latest weekly Mentor city manager report to City Council:

Police Department
• On Oct. 9, three vehicles had their windows broken in the parking lot of the Mentor Ice Arena; nothing was stolen. Two vehicles’ windows were broken at Melt Restaurant; purses were stolen from each vehicle. One vehicle’s window was broken at TGI Fridays; nothing was stolen.

• Another incident involving a male and female team approaching an elderly resident on Bellflower asking about completing tree trimming services. The female suspect tried to lure the resident to the backyard, but was unsuccessful. The male suspect remained in the vehicle. The suspects left after the victim told them her son was coming home soon. The suspect vehicle was a grey or cream colored SUV. This matches the suspect vehicle description from the previous burglaries involving a male and female team.

• SR 306 Resurfacing (SR 84 to Kirtland Road) — Currently the project is approximately 40 percent complete. Placement of the asphalt surface course could be performed this week and may require daytime lane closures. Work remaining includes casting adjustments, curb work, loop detectors, guardrail and the asphalt surface course. The project remains on schedule for the Oct. 31 completion date.

• SR 306 Concrete Repairs (Bellflower to Adkins) — Work continues in the southbound curb lane. Currently the concrete work is over 35 percent complete. Once the southbound curb lane work is complete, work will continue in the second southbound lane. No work is scheduled for the northbound lanes. Traffic restrictions for northbound and southbound vehicles will continue throughout the project.

• Hoose Road Resurfacing and Culvert Replacement — Work is scheduled to begin this week. The contractor will first grind the asphalt surface to the required depth and then will perform full depth repair work at locations to be determined. Culvert work will occur while the remainder of the roadway is being resurfaced. Traffic will be maintained; however, delays are expected. Further updates will be provided as the project progresses.

• Beechwood Drive Storm Sewer — The storm sewer on the east side of the road has been installed. The contractor is working on road crossings for inlet basins on the west side of the road.

• The Munson Road Resurfacing Project — This is proceeding as scheduled. The Shelly Company is currently working on adjusting castings to grade, updating curb ramps to ADA standards and installing traffic loop detectors. The asphalt surface course is scheduled to be installed on Monday, Oct. 21, and Tuesday, Oct. 22. The project has a completion date of Oct. 26.

• Sanitary Backup Reduction Grant Program Update: 114 applications have been received to date; 81 applications have been reviewed; 53 applications have been approved; 22 applications are on hold until sufficient information from applicants is provided and 24 applicants have completed the work and have been approved for reimbursement.

Fire Department
• On Oct. 9 at 8:20 a.m., Squad 1142 was called to mutual-aid to assist Willoughby Fire with a motor vehicle accident on State Route 2 westbound. Mentor Paramedics treated and transported a male patient from the accident.

• On Oct. 9 at 10:27 p.m., the fire department responded to a rescue call where a male fell down the basement steps of a residence. He was treated and airlifted to Metro General Hospital.

• On Oct. 10 at 2:37 p.m., Mentor Fire was called to a business on Center Street to perform an elevated rescue of a person stuck in the bucket of a service truck approximately 30 ft. in the air. The worker was servicing exterior lights when the hydraulic controls failed on the truck.

• Oct. 6-12 is Fire Prevention week with this year’s safety message of “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” The department participated in several public educational visits over the past week to promote fire safety. The visits included a safety day at Home Depot and Kmart, as well as, several visits to schools and daycares where safety flyers were distributed to children to take home to their families.

• The Civil Service Commission is accepting applications through 4 p.m., Thursday for Career Firefighter/Paramedic for the upcoming candidate testing scheduled for Oct. 23.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman and Terry Botirus conducted an SBA 504 Loan closing with Parker Precision, Inc. on a $1.2 million equipment loan.

• The City, in cooperation with Lake1Stop, the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce and Laketran, sponsored a holiday job fair on Wednesday; 30 employers and approximately 170 job-seekers attended.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mentor may feel shutdown fallout

Some local impacts of the federal government shutdown are being felt in Mentor, firefighters are thinking pink, and the city is helping find a possible use for the dreaded phragmites - those items and more in the weekly Mentor city manager report to City Council:

Manager Comments
• Final preparations are being made for the Lake Health Northern Ohio Marathon scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 13. A majority of the race will be run through Mentor and currently about 900 people are signed up. Due to the current federal government shutdown, a marathon scheduled for the same day along the Cleveland towpath may not take place. Because this is used by many in the area as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, it is possible our event could see a huge influx of participants at the last minute.

• The recent Federal Government shutdown has resulted in all SBA loan programs being put on hold. Limited loan servicing actions are still being processed, but no new loan approvals or closings. In all other respects, no city services to this point have been impacted.

Fire Department
• Firefighters approached the administration for approval to wear pink T-shirts in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. After receiving approval, the firefighters’ union purchased T-shirts and members will be wearing them while on-duty during the month of October.

• On Sept. 28 at 9:27 a.m., the fire department was called to a car vs. utility pole and trees on Broadmoor Road. The driver refused treatment. The pole snapped nearly-in-half and fire crews remained on scene to secure the area until CEI crews were able to secure the power.

• On Sept. 28 at 3:25 p.m., the fire department was called to a car vs. motorcycle accident. One patient was extricated from underneath the car and the other motorcycle passenger was found injured sitting on the curb. Both were treated and transported to the hospital in stable condition.

• On Sept. 29 at 9:21 a.m., the fire department was called for smoke in a restaurant. Fire crews arrived to find a haze of smoke in the building due to a problem with a rooftop HVCA unit. The unit was shutdown and the building was ventilated. There were no injuries or loss of business. The unit was repaired.

• On Sept. 29 at 8:01 p.m., the fire department was called for a cooking fire at a house. Crews arrived to find the fire contained to the stove and there was no fire extension to the house.

• On Oct. 2 at 5:18 a.m., Mentor Fire Department responded to MABAS Box 2112 for an apartment in Painesville. The fire was quickly brought under control. There were no injuries.

Police Department
• On Sept. 30, at 3:50 p.m., officers responded to a burglary report on Forest Lane. The 81-year-old resident was approached by a female claiming to be from a tree service. While she went outside with the resident, a male accomplice entered the home and stole numerous valuables. On Oct. 1, at 5:20 p.m., officers responded to a home on Broadmoor Road near Johnnycake Ridge Road for a burglary involving another elderly victim. The description of events, suspect vehicle, and suspects are similar to the burglary on Forest Lane. Both cases are under investigation by the Detective Bureau.

• On Sept. 30, at 9:45 p.m., officers responded to a reported robbery at Discount Tobacco, 7359 Lakeshore Blvd. A male made his way into the stock room as an employee was counting money just before store closing. He demanded the money she was counting, as well as money from the safe. No one was injured and the case is being investigated.

• The city of Mentor has, once again, worked with the Kalahari Resort for a special group getaway rate, which includes overnight accommodations and four admissions to America’s largest water park. The special City rate is 40 percent off the regular rate. For more information or to make reservations, call the Kalahari Resort at 877-525-2427 and request the “City of Mentor Group Rate.”

• Letters have been sent to service groups, organizations and church groups looking for volunteers for the “Teens In Action” program to help the elderly with fall clean-up. If you know of a group looking for service hours, please have them contact Recreation Superintendent Paul Hegreness at 440-974-5720.

• The Heisley Road Bridge over SR 2 has reopened to traffic ahead of the October 15th completion date. Remaining work under the bridge, restoration work and punch list items are scheduled to be completed by the completion date. Temporary lane closures may be necessary to complete this work; however, traffic will be maintained for the remainder of the project.

• The City has been advised that daytime construction operations will be necessary Tuesday and Wednesday for roadway reconstruction and adjustment of utility castings. During this period lane closures are expected between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Traffic will be maintained by the use of flaggers. It is recommended that traffic avoid the intersection of SR 306 and SR 84 whenever possible during this work.

• Shown below is a summary of Building Division activity comparing July 2013 with August 2013:
Prior Month Month of
July 2013 August 2013
New Permits Issued 393 459
Valued at $12,874,453 $15,421,148

Building Permit Inspections 733 910
New Plan Review Cases 73 82
Engr./Bldg. Permit Plan Reviews 297 330
New Contractor Registrations 66 68

• Income tax collections for the month of September were down $36,000 when compared to September of last year. The current total year collections through September as compared to last year are up 2.3%.

Public Works Department
• Chipped Phragmites for the Natural History Museum compost experiment
• Jail renovations - complete
• Repaired gutters at Senior Center
• Removed dead trees at Civic Center Park
• Crack sealing - Acacia
• Full depth asphalt repairs - Hopkins @ Hendricks
• Tree trimming on Corduroy for signage visibility
• Harrison/Collins drainage project - underway
• Storm sewer cleaning - Lakeview, Elm, Brookside, Beechwood
• Storm sewer televising - various streets in Ward 1
• Re-profiling roadside ditch on Hendricks near Heisley

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy