Monday, October 19, 2009

VC This Monday--Visioning Next Week!

{ Once again, the Jafabrit artist provides an excellent pic!

Dear People! The big ash trees in front of the funeral home on Xenia Ave have been so beautiful this week, all yellowy purple...We need to love these trees, with our eyes, while we have them, since it's quite likely they will all be dead within a few years due to the emerald ash borer. (Puts me in mind of a Shakespeare sonnet about life and love and death, which I've quoted at the end of this email).

But on to more prosaic tasks: Village Council this Monday night, Visioning starts next week--click here for times and locations! (Monday 26th in Clifton, Tues & Wed at various times and places around YS), and a School Board Candidates' Forum, at the Presbyterian Church (sponsored by the Non-Stop Institute), next Sunday 2-4 pm.
(I have had word that the Men's Group may be sponsoring a forum for all candidates on Oct. 29th, but have not confirmed that yet.)

  • ORDINANCE: Budget re-appropriations, as an emergency. It looks like we've used less money on our streets than budgeted ($-104.3K variance), and considerably more on our electric fund ($250K variance). Sharon Potter should be on hand, with our manager, to explain these changes.
  • RESOLUTION: Wheeling Gaunt Flour and Sugar Distribution to YS Widows: An easy vote! Lovely YS tradition dating back to the bequest of a former slave, supporting widows. If you know any new widows in town, be sure to let the village know!
  • RESOLUTION: In support of Mental Health Levy (Issue #5.) No new taxes! These services, for mental health support, suicide prevention, and drug/alcohol addiction, are vital--and more necessary than ever during tough financial times.
  • RESOLUTION: In support of Greene County Council on Aging (Issue #6): Again, this replaces (with a slight increase) a current grant. It is critical for our village services to seniors.
  • RESOLUTION: NatureWorks Grant with Glen. We agreed some time ago to serve as the conduit for a grant (which required a government agency to officially apply for, receive and administer the funds) from the Ohio Dept of Natural Resources, to Glen Helen to make needed improvements to the Trailside Museum (water lines, etc.). This resolution authorizes our Village Mgr. to sign documents andfacilitate the funds transfer.
OLD BUSINESS will include:
  • A discussion with Community Resources about a joint meeting / facilitated discussion.
  • The possibility of an Economic Sustainability Board, as Judith has advocated (see earlier discussions on my website:
  • HRC plan to develop a website. (Additionally, I would point out that there was a letter from HRC member Don Wallis in our packet urging us to form a citizen's committee to look at the possiblity of making short street into a pedestrian mall. Thoughts?)
NEW BUSINESS will include:
  • We have two new hydroelectric projects to consider participating in, through our co-op energy provider, AMP. Meldahl and Greenup Projects--one to be created on an existing lock and dam on the Ohio River (Meldahl), and one owned and operated by the City of Hamilton Ohio (Greenup)
  • Repairs to the clarifier on our Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP): Est. cost of $35-40K. We have those funds in our current budget, and we can't operate the WWTP and meet permit levels without making these repairs.
  • King Street Sidewalk Extension: Based on concerns of residents, there's a suggestion of completing about 50 feet of sidewalk on King St., to Dayton, esp. important for the use of school children. Our manager proposesusing some of the unused $ in our street funds to complete this, and then later assessing those costs to the owner, so that the work can be completed. I like the idea, but am not sure how/whether we would be approaching this project differently from other sidewalk projects, so I'll be asking about that.
Then we'll have standing reports, and an executive session on pending litigation.

Don't forget to VISION next week! (Click here to see the locations and times!)

We'll give the bard the last word, however--

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang,
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Water Fluoridation Forum TONIGHT!

< The photo is by local photographer Nina Rios who has a fine gallery of photographs and digital pieces on her website!

Water Fluoridation Forum
TONIGHT! Thursday, October 15 7 PM
Bryan Community Center Rms A & B
Speakers: Dr. Paul Connett , Fluoride Action Network
Mark McDonell, Green County Health Commissioner

Fluoridating our water is a relatively small part of our budget, but, to me, it presents a relatively complex ethical question that in some ways goes to the heart of governance. Its use has been correlated with significantly lower levels of tooth decay--although, based on my reading of the research, scientific consensus seems pretty clear that this benefit is mostly likely achieved from the contact of fluoride with the surface of the tooth, rather than the ingestion of it. So many places around the world (including most of Europe) do not fluoridate. These other places approach dental health through other means (people can buy fluoridated salt, for instance, and can be encouraged to get regular fluoride treatments from dentists, and some people choose alternative approaches, altogether).

Perhaps most importantly, fluoridation is, actually, the only instance of mass medication of the public in the US by way of a public resource--our water supply--which is vital to life and therefore virtually impossible to opt out of.

For this reason, I believe we should take public concerns about fluoridation quite seriously. Please read on for all the details about our forum:

EcoBeat: Water Fluoridation

Since 1970, the Village of Yellow Springs has added fluoride to its drinking water. Is this a good practice? How does long-term fluoride exposure affect your health? How does it affect you and your children’s teeth? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? What is best for our community?

These questions and more will be answered when the Environmental Commission presents a forum on Water Fluoridation on Oct. 15 with speakers Dr. Paul Connett, retired professor of chemistry and founder of the Fluoride Action Network, and Green County Health Commissioner, Mark McDonell. These two health experts will each present their opposing views on the practice of water fluoridation, and the audience will then have ample opportunity to ask questions.

Fluoridation of drinking water has been a practice in the US since the 1950s because, at that time, it was believed to prevent dental cavities and tooth decay. More recently, this has become a controversial topic as many scientists report the toxicity of fluoride and the risk it poses to human health.

Recent scientific research has linked fluoride ingestion to hip fracture, cancer, thyroid disease, and kidney impairment. The American Dental Association and Center for Disease Control endorse fluoridation as safe, economical, and effective in reducing tooth decay by 20 to 40%.

In 1969, water fluoridation was mandated by the State of Ohio for all communities over 5000 residents. At that time, during a 240 day exemption period, both Springfield and Xenia chose not to fluoridate their drinking water.

Join us for this very important forum. Ask questions. Decide what is best for your community and the future of our village water. With a population under 5000, Yellow Springs still has a choice.

Water Fluoridation Forum
Thursday, October 15 7 PM
Bryan Community Center Rms A & B
Speakers: Dr. Paul Connett , Fluoride Action Network
Mark McDonell, Green County Health Commissioner

Sunday, October 11, 2009

PC tomorrow, VC Last week

2 Short posts, one (over last week's VC meeting) seriously delayed because I didn't realize that it didn't post--sorry!

Dear People: This will be just a short email, since it's late and I still have quite a bit of work to do tonight! (And, seriously, I've worked all day, but have just fallen behind.) Planning Commission tomorrow night, 7 pm, Bryan Center.

After our regular reports, we'll be discussing the possibility of historical preservation legislation. I was glad to read in this week's YS News that Antioch College had a preservationist look at the buildings, and that the recommendation was to raze probably only two buildings, rather than the much larger number that was feared. This is exactly the approach we'd like to see property owners take whenever possible--that they'd focus on trying to save older, and/or significant buildings, if possible, rather than tearing them down. Just as we don't pay the true cost of grocery store food, we don't pay the true cost of building supplies, when you attend to the full costs of all the oil/other energy used and pollution created to make or harvest the raw materials, process them, and transport them to us. Renovation is, in many ways, the greenest way to build. So what I'm hoping is that we'll be able to educate the citizenry, and strongly encourage them to seek to preserve buildings from our past if it is at all feasible, through helpful legislation.

Second, we'll be discussing our PUD subdivision regulations,
from chapter 1264 of our Charter. Woolpert's have analysed our current regulations and they find our procedure to be "a conventional two step PUD process." However, they note that there are two phases in our first step--both a concept plan and a detailed design plan phase are required. They say that "this two phase process is not necessary, and probably adds time to the process," and confusese the process unnecessarily. Second, they note that it's not normal for Planning Commission to have to return the final, approved plan back to Council. They made about 10 more recommendations, including several suggestions for strengthening open space requirements.


Dear People: I am sorry my note this week has to be short. I was out of town at a conference, until late last night, and have been scrambling to catch up on grading.

In brief, we're discussing resolutions to support beggar's night bonfires, and authorizing the RFP for energy efficient street lights.

Then we'll have special reports about the Youth Bench (from Tucker Malishenko) and the Mental Health levy renewal.

Next, for old business, we'll turn to the Levy Update from our special meeting last Monday, and the MVRPC plan I mentioned a few notes ago (we now have a hard copy of the executive summary of the plan). Then Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority has requested a tax exemption on some of their Title 8 housing.

Finally, we'll be discussing Kathryn's service on Community Resources, and the possibility of a joint meeting. Possibly this will include a discussion of the Economic Sustainability Committee that Judith has proposed, but I am not sure of that.

Thanks! Peace out!