Monday, September 19, 2011

Done too soon

The David Crowder Band made its second of 48 final appearances right here in Willoughby Hills. He announced earlier this year that this will be the band's final tour and yet-to-be-released last album together. They simply want to do other things, according to the website. The thousand-or-so concert-goers gave the Texas-based group a wholehearted welcome and exhuberant send off.

There was obviously a lot of love in the room. The band is extremely talented - gotta love the dueling guitars during the "rock opera" segment - and some of us feel we have come to know the congenial, fun-loving guys because of their clever YouTube skits. But it was clear that Crowder was the one that everyone wanted to see (despite his signature stand-on-end hair being stifled under a ball cap).

Ten of his final shows already have sold out. I am driving all the way to Cincinnati to see the actual "7 Tour," with the likewise talented Gungor, John Mark McMillan & Chris August. One of his fans quoted in my video (below) suspects a solo album may be on the horizon. I certainly hope so. If not, I will always remember the passion for God, joy and spiritual intimacy expressed in his music and lyrics, in a way I've never heard elsewhere.

-- Betsy Scott,

Monday, September 12, 2011

From bomb scares to jobs to rain-related news, Mentor's got it going on

Ever wonder how your public servants are investing their time and your tax dollars? Here are some tidbits I gleaned from Mentor City Manager Ken Filipiak's weekly memo to City Council (words in bold added by me):

Drainage woes being addressed
 •   As part of our ongoing efforts to alleviate potential flooding concerns in the city, the Lake County Department of Utilities is televising sanitary sewers east of SR 306 in the “President Streets” area. They recently installed a flow meter in the sanitary sewer on SR306, just south of Chestnut Commons. A device to measure sanitary sewer surcharges was installed in the sewer serving Bellflower Terrace. We will continue to communicate and coordinate efforts with the County and report the findings.

Heroin a growing problem
•    We continue to respond to calls related to heroin use. The most recent occurred on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 4:06 p.m. Paramedics responded to 6305 Meldon to treat a 28-year-old female, who was experiencing bad withdrawals from recent heavy use of the drug. She was treated and transported to Lake West Hospital.

Black Brook Golf Course is the bomb?
•    On Sept. 7 at about 1:20 p.m., officers responded to Black Brook Golf Course for a reported suspicious device located near the 10th green. The item was about the size of a cigar box, wrapped in duct tape, and had some sort of wick or fuse coming out one end. The Bomb Squad was called and determined the box contained fireworks. Due to the nature of the package, the fireworks likely would have caused no damage and minimal injury to anyone in the vicinity if set off. Two other firework devices were found nearby; one had been used, the other had a burned fuse, but had not functioned.

Weather delays Route 2 project
•    SR2 Widening Phase 3: ODOT’s contractor is approximately 30 days behind schedule due to weather delays and issues regarding the roadway subgrade. Subgrade issues have been worked out and mainline construction has resumed. The contractor is attempting to finish the mainline asphalt base paving from Newell Creek to Hendricks Road. When the asphalt paving has been completed, noise barrier foundations will begin to be installed. Ramp work at SR 615 continues. Upon completion of the ramp work, SR 615 widening will proceed.

Catching a vision for kick-starting economy
•    (Economic Development Director) Ron Traub and I attended a very informative presentation by Mark Kvamme, President and Chief Investment Officer of JobsOhio sponsored by the Ohio Venture Association. This organization is predominately made up of venture capitalists and Mr. Kvamme presented his Ohio vision and what it will take to jumpstart investment interest in the state. Ron and I represented the only city there, and we were fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Kvamme about Mentor. We also unexpectedly met up with Ray Kralovic (STERIS founder) and talked with him about his newest projects.

Wet weather didn't dampen pool season
•    The summer swimming season is over and all facilities are closed. We had an annual attendance of 84,240 swimmers, 15 percent above the five-year average. The revenue was $315,420, 2 percent above the five-year average. Considering the late start due to the rain, the numbers are good.

To read the entire memo, see below.

-- Betsy Scott,

Mentor City Council Memo Sept. 9

Friday, September 9, 2011

The horror. The hope.

I'm guessing  I wasn't the only one at Mentor City Council's Tuesday meeting who was surprised, when reminded afresh, just how far reaching the devastation was following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Council passed a resolution, complete with slideshow, calling for a moment of remembrance at 1 p.m., Sunday, in response to a nationwide request from the U.S. Senate. City officials are asking area churches to ring their bells at that time.

The lengthy resolution read by council Clerk Elizabeth Limestahl mentioned in detail the events and impacts of that infamous day a decade ago. The city's Public Information Office put together the accompanying slideshow. As always, the pictures were worth 1,000 words.

I read over the resolution prior to the meeting and the thought that came to my mind was: Why are we giving the enemy so much glory by spelling out in detail how much havoc was wrought?

I completely agree that it should not be forgotten, that it should be marked and commemorated. It is a historic fact, like it or not. We all remember where we were when it happened or we first learned of it. We must allow grief its process.

I realize that turning a blind eye to the details may be perceived as putting one's head in the sand. I like detail and it was interesting to see the numbers anew. But I hope it doesn't result in people's righteous indignation taking the form of bitterness - a strenuous emotional exercise that hurts us - and likely those around us (Heb. 12:15) - most.

I don't pretend to know what it was like to lose someone in the attacks or in the wars since. But I do know the "God of all comfort" (2 Cor. 1:3) who says, "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5). The heroic efforts of those emergency crews who responded, those of the courageous Flight 93 members and the military personnel who have died in the wars since were not die in vain. I rest assured that God sees, God cares and He has the final Word.

That is in the future. Might we make the most of the present? Might America band together once more - one nation under God - as it did in the days following 9/11/01?

-- Betsy Scott,


Sept. 11th Moment of Remembrance

Thursday, September 1, 2011

FISHing for good stories

This morning we had a breakfast for bloggers in our Community Media Lab. I had a good conversation with Chris Lambert, who writes Comics: Don't Get Me Started. He suggested his alternative to the give Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why.

His acronym is FISH:
F for facts.
I for insight.
S for speculation.
H for history.

This is another good way to make sure you're getting in everything you need to write a good story to keep your readers interested. I hope our writers can keep FISHing in mind while they're reporting so they can present their stories in an engaging manner.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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