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Restoration project to bring native coastal species to area

Projected area for restoration

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a detailed project report and environmental assessment for the Coastal Wetland Restoration Project for the City of Port Clinton. The project specifically details section 506, which is the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration (GLFER) Project. The restoration would produce wetland and shoreline habitat that would be better suited for native species than what is now in place in the area.

The affected area of the project is west of City Beach on Perry Street and east of Derby Pond at Waterworks Park. The project is also set to restore the shoreline in front of Waterworks Park that reaches to the pier. 

The need to protect and conserve Great Lakes coastal wetlands is an increasing concern. This is especially true in Ohio. Between 1780 and 1980 Ohio lost 90% of its wetlands. Natural and cultural practices have greatly altered the coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes and it is feared by federal agencies, state agencies and environmental groups that past and continued uses of the Great Lakes will lead to continued water quality problems and significant losses of rare habitats and biological diversity.

The coastal wetland in the projected area, which is a preserve, currently provides little quality habitat for coastal species, including migratory birds. The area now is characterized by an abundance of non-native and invasive plant species. The existing wetland is also cut off from external sources of surface water, such as upland lake connections, that would provide adequate water input or exchange. The preserve is bordered on three sides by large areas of maintained lawn that don’t provide suitable habitat. According to the report, the proposed restoration site on Perry Street along the lake provides very few of the required habitat qualities sought by coastal and migratory species.

The restoration and expansion of the coastal wetland will enhance ecological function and provide an additional high quality migratory bird stopover habitat. The projected restoration will result in the expansion of coastal wetland habitat, increased habitat quality and improved water quality.

The report states that the Preferred Action Alternative is Alternative 22, which consists of invasive species removal and revegetation, wetland expansion, creation of microtypography within wetlands and creation of a hydraulic connection between the wetlands. The total first cost for implementing the recommended plan is $2,047,800. The cost will be covered by the Army Corp of Engineers and the federal government. Any other costs will be covered in grants that the City of Port Clinton can earn. 

After the project is completed, the cost for maintenance, repair, replacement and rehabilitation of the area is to be taken care of by the city. The report states the cost of maintaining the project is projected to be $15,300 per year.

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Developing Waterworks Park is like casino gambling

On March 11 Port Clinton City Council was presented with an impossibly optimistic economic impact study for the proposed Waterworks Park development. The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation and FirstEnergy made a presentation based on a computer software program called IMPLAN®, data from the area and the project was fed into a computer and out popped the numbers. 

According to the numbers fed into the IMPLAN® software the city would collect, after time, $7.8 million dollars in property, sales, income and bed taxes per year. The State of Ohio, after time, would collect $4 million dollars in taxes. Now that seems like a lot of taxes, but they surely won’t be coming from the supposed 585 people making an average yearly income of $18,803 because they don’t pay very much in taxes, nor will they have any money to spend the new development. This sounds like the “rich get richer” from our Waterworks Park and to quote former Judge Moon “we are all the poorer for it”.

“You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment,” Alvin Toffler.

Mayor Vince Leone asked if the software was proven in other communities, if there were examples of other projects showing its reliability. Councilman Aukerman identified the “poverty level” incomes of the new jobs created and asked if the study could tell us what additional costs there will be to support our community. Councilman Snider unfortunately said the wrong thing,”earliest possible timeframe” which sounded like a rush to judgment. Our newest at-large councilman, Lisa Sarty, loved the “black and white” information. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy and we may all be seeing red if you make the wrong decision.   

In theory people are rational and they make complete calculations to reach the right and wise decision. In reality people make decisions with personal biases that find a way into the process of decision-making. City Council needs to recognize and avoid these personal biases--the selective search for evidence, the premature termination of search for evidence, source credibility bias, selective perception, prejudice, wishful thinking, optimism, choice-supportive bias, incremental decision making and escalating commitment, underestimating uncertainty, the illusion of control, group think and peer pressure.

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” Plato

According to the March 7 News-Herald article “Casino Revenues Fall Short”, during  Ohio’s first year with four operating casinos, revenues are $1 billion dollars short of campaign promises, leaving county and school officials with significantly smaller tax payouts. (Hope Port Clinton City Schools was not relying on that money to build a new school). Alan Silver, a gambling industry expert and Ohio University assistant professor, said there was nothing nefarious about casinos’ promises. Predicting revenue for a new industry is simply difficult to do, he said. “Anytime you do studies, you’re shooting in the sky,” Silver said. Rob Walgate, vice president of the anti-gambling American Policy Roundtable thinks what “we’ve seen is a lot of false promises here. They can’t hit the numbers that they promised. They lied.”

The State of Ohio in its desire for a better economy made decisions based on quantitative data to allow gambling in the State. According to the American Gaming Association, the gaming industry relies on the well-known and widely used IMPLAN® Model for economic impact studies.

So developing Waterworks Park is a lot like casino gambling if you’re betting on the numbers. The message to Port Clinton is the numbers don’t lie, they just fall short.  

Victoria Clemons
C.O.R.D. 
Citizens Organized for Responsible Development
www.savewaterworkspark.org

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PCHS Environmental Science Club wants old tennis shoes

The new Environmental Science Club at Port Clinton High School wants your old tennis shoes. The Environmental Science Club started collecting used tennis shoes earlier in March and will continue until the end of the school year. The collection is part of Nike’s “Reuse a Shoe” campaign. The shoes will be recycled to make to make something new, such as Frisbees or running tracks. Drop off areas are Port Clinton High School and Bataan Memorial Elementary.

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New opportunities for youth soccer are coming to Port Clinton

Redskins soccer coach Paco Romero, along with the High School assistant coaches, will be holding a one day soccer clinic for all interested soccer players on Saturday, March 29, at Bataan Elementary School. The cost of the clinic is $10. 

In order to give students the most one-on-one attention, times are divided by grade level.

Kindergarten–Grade 1: 9-10 a.m.
Grades 2 and 3: 10-11 a.m.
Grades 4 and 5:11-12 p.m.
Grades 6-8: 12-1 p.m.

Players can register the day of the clinic or call 419-797-0051 to have a registration form e-mailed.

In conjunction with the clinic, RAYOS Developmental League (RDL) will be having sign-ups for their spring session. The spring session begins April 26 and runs until May 31. The cost for the six week session is $35. This is a new opportunity for the kids in Port Clinton who are interested in learning the sport of soccer while advancing in skills at their own pace. 

Online registration is available at www.RAYOSSocceracademy.com or contact Kristen Gerwin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or to get a registration form.

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Community calendar March 20-26

March 20-22

JROTC National Championships
Where: CMP Civilian Marksmanship Center, Camp Perry, Port Clinton
Info: 419-635-2141 or thecmp.org/3P/JROTC.hml

Thursday March 20

Grief Support Group 
When: 5:30 p.m., third Thursdays 
Where: Magruder Hospital Conference Center, Port Clinton
Info: 419-732-3141 

Lighthouse Historical Society 
What: Monthly meeting
When: 7 p.m., third Thursdays
Where: Otterbein North Shore, 9400 North Shore Blvd., Marblehead

TOPS
What: Taking off pounds sensibly
When: 6:30-7:30 p.m., weigh in at 6 p.m.
Where: Port Clinton Senior Center
Info: 419-734-4102

Al-Anon/Alateen 
What: Twelve-step group for those affected by another’s drinking
When: 8 p.m. every Thursday
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church, 135 Adams St. Port Clinton

Art Class
When: 6-7:30 p.m. every Thursday
Where: Danbury Senior Center, Marblehead
Cost: $10 per class
Info: Call Lori at 419-798-0608.

Open Public Shooting
What: Shooters, including new shooters, are invited to do practice shooting. 
When: 5:30-8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Where: Camp Perry Training Site, Port Clinton
Info: Contact 419.635.2141 ext. 1101 or thecmp.org/3p/publicshooting.htm
Cost: $5/adult, $2/junior

Strength Training
When: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: Magruder Conference Center
Cost: $4 per session
Info: 419-732-4061

March 21-22

The Wedding Singer
What: Port Clinton High School drama club presentation
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: PCHS Performing Arts Center, 821 S. Jefferson
Cost: $8
Info: 419-734-2147

Friday March 21

Lenten fish fry
What: All you can eat, hand breaded
When: 5-7:30 p.m.
Where: Knights of Columbus, 109 E. Perry St., PC
Cost: $8 adult, $4 child
Info: 419-734-1858 or kofc1750.com

Lenten fish fry dinner
What: fish, macaroni and cheese, fries
When: 4-7 p.m.
Where: St. Boniface School, 215 Church St., Oak Harbor
Cost: $9 adults, $6 children 6-12, 5 and under free

RVI Spring Fling party
What: Party for employees and people who receive services from RVI
When: Doors at 10 a.m., lunch 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Where: Moose Lodge 1610, 1105 W. Lakeshore Dr., PC

Spring wine dinner
What: Wine from the portfolio of Trinchero Family Estates
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Waldo Pepper’s Bar & Grill, 4046 E. Harbor Rd., PC
Cost: $65
Info: 419-301-3700 or waldo-peppers.com

Al-Anon/Alateen 
What: Twelve-step group for those affected by another’s drinking
When: 7 p.m. every Friday
Where: St. John Lutheran Church, 122 Ottawa, Oak Harbor

Saturday March 22

Arianna String Quartet
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Firelands Church, 2626 E. Harbor Rd., PC
Cost: $15 adult, children and students free

United Way’s Pop Up Adventure Playground
What: Refreshments and materials provided
When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: St. John’s Church, Adams & Second, PC
Info: 419-734-6645

Craft beer tasting
What: Must be 21 or older to attend
When: 7-9 p.m.
Where: Slater’s Madison Street Pub, 111 Madison St., PC
Cost: $25
Info: 419-732-2030 or slatersmadisonstreetpub.com

Sunday March 23

Sunday live music
What: Steve Jad
When: 6-9 p.m.
Where: Canoe Club, 5831 E. Harbor Rd., Marblehead
Info:  419-960-7030

Monday March 24

Al-Anon/Alateen   
What: Twelve-step group for those affected by another’s drinking
When: 7 p.m.
Where: St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 214 E. Second St., Port Clinton

Sisters in Sobriety
What: Sisters in Sobriety, a women’s AA meeting, babysitter provided
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sutton Center, 1854 E. Perry, Port Clinton

Yoga
When: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays
Where: Danbury Schools library, Marblehead
Cost: $8 per class
Info: 419-798-5195 or www.danbury.k12.oh.us.

Tuesday March 25

Open Public Shooting
What: Shooters, including aspiring new shooters, are invited to do practice shooting.
When: 5:30-8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Where: Camp Perry Training Site, Port Clinton
Info: Contact 419.635.2141 ext. 1101 or thecmp.org/3p/publicshooting.htm
Cost: $5/adult, $2/junior

Pilates
What: Pilates with Laura Tyson, instructor
When: 9 a.m.
Where: The Ballet School, Madison St., Port Clinton
Cost: $5  
Info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Strength Training  
When: 5:30-6:30 p.m., every Tuesday and Thursday
Where: Magruder Conference Center
Cost: $4 per session
Info: 419-732-4061

TOPS
What: Take Off Pounds Sensibly; all are welcome
When: 6 p.m. every Tuesday
Where: Catawba Community Hall, 3307 NW Catawba Road

Yoga 
When: 6:30-8 p.m. every Tuesday
Where: Magruder Hospital Conference Center, Port Clinton
Cost: $8 per class for the whole month or $10 per class
Info: 419-635-2337

Wednesday March 26

Cancer Support
What: Monthly meeting, including complimentary light 
When: 12:30 p.m., fourth Wednesday of each month
Where: Magruder Hospital Conference Center, Port Clinton
Info: 419-734-3131, ext. 3370

Jazz Night
What: Wine, pasta, and live Jazz with The Bob Szmik Trio and special guests.
When: Wednesdays, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Slater's Madison Street Pub, 111 Madison St., Port Clinton
Info: 419-732-2030

TOPS
What: Take Off Pounds Sensibly. All are Welcome.
When: 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday
Where: Danbury Senior Center, Marblehead

TOPS 
What: Take Off Pounds Sensibly; all are welcome
When: 6 p.m. every Wednesday
Where: Oak Harbor Library, 147 W. Main St.
Info: 419-276-0304

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Cecil, Kontak earn All-Ohio honors

After being recognized with Division III District Honors two weeks ago, Oak Harbor's Tom Kontak and Andrea Cecil did one better last week, earning All-Ohio honors for girls basketball for their performance during the 2013-14 season.

Kontak, now in his second season with the Rockets, was named the Co-Coach of the Year, along with Andover Pymatuning Valley's Jeff Compan and New Lebanon Dixie's Jared Crowe, after leading Oak Harbor to a 20-5 record, an appearance in the district finals and a second-place finish in the Sandusky Bay Conference. He is 36-13 in two years with the Rockets after going 91-44 in six seasons at Genoa (2004-10).

"What I'd like to think, over time, is we've been doing this long enough for people to recognize (our accomplishments)," Kontak said. "You have to win, that's part of the equation. Hopefully, we've won (and) we've won the right way. We've won with great kids who compete hard and are grateful to compete for the opportunity (to compete) for their school. That's what I like about this group. We'll have to work hard to improve, and that commitment will be the x-factor." 

Alongside Emma Barney, Amanda Hetrick, Athena Eli and Maddy Rathbun, Cecil led Oak Harbor to an 18-4 record in the regular season before the Rockets defeated Margaretta (59-31) for its first sectional title in six years. The Rockets beat Bucyrus (54-48) in the district semifinal before falling, 40-37, to Bucyrus Wynford on a 25-foot shot at the buzzer.

Because Oak Harbor has played so well recently, they're starting to get recognition from other teams around the state. In fact, the Rockets will compete in the McDonald's Holiday Tournament at Lima Bath High School on Dec. 29-30 with some other great teams--Lima Bath, Lima Central Catholic and Minster; and later this summer, Oak Harbor will join some of the state's best teams in The Battle of Fort Stephenson, a tournament that will take place at the Fremont Rec Center on July 27-28. The 16-team tournament, which is being organized by Clyde head coach John Cahill, includes Clyde, Shaker Hts. Hathaway Brown, Whitmer and Central Catholic.

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The “Countdown to Kindergarten” begins with Open House at ICS

Immaculate Conception School is pleased to announce that it will hold a “Countdown to Kindergarten” Open House on Sunday, March 30, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. This is an opportunity for children and parents to spend some time and learn about Kindergarten at ICS. Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Susie Adams, looks forward meeting and greeting kindergarten families and answering any questions they many have about the upcoming school year. 

Immaculate Conception School offers full day kindergarten with the option of after school care. Busing is available to ICS from neighboring school districts. ICS is open to children of all faiths and scholarships are available.

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Oak Harbor teachers and administrators kiss a pig

Mrs. Scott, kissing the pig held by Ben Genzman, student at Oak Harbor High School.

Oak Harbor teachers and administrators kissed a pig to raise awareness and funds for those needing organ transplants. The event took place on Friday, Feb. 28, during two separate assemblies. Both the high school and middle school participated in the swine kissing. 

The kiss-a-pig contest was sponsored by the Penta Career Center, Oak Harbor DECA Chapter. Students at each school donated money in the name of their favorite teacher or administrator. The top five winners at each school had to pucker up to kiss the pig. The money will be donated to COTA, The Children's Organ Transplant Association, in the name of 2 year-old Camille Osborn, who needs funds for transplant related expenses. Camille and her family are from the Oak Harbor area. Her grandmother, Beth O’Shea, was a former employee at the middle school. 

Bryce Rubie, an Oak Harbor High School graduate, was a special guest and spoke to the students about his experience. He was in need of his second kidney transplant and recently found a match. Bryce will get his kidney later this year at the University of Michigan. He is the inspiration for the DECA members to help Camille. 

"It's very important because there are so many young kids and adults that need a transplant. They don't like being on dialysis like me for so long," Bryce said.

This event is part of a DECA community service project titled “Be Someone’s Miracle” which was developed to promote the need for organ donors as well as to raise funds to benefit Camille. Over $1900 has been raised so far and the chapter will continue to support the cause.

For questions or to make a donation, contact project leaders Ben Cochran, Dillon Pollard or Bryce Buderer at 419-898-6216, Ext. 351.

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Sen. Randy Gardner first recipient of Ohio History Leadership Award

 

The Ohio Historical Society and a consortium of other history-related organizations presented State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) with its first-ever Ohio History Leadership Award at the annual Statehood Day advocacy event on Thursday, February 27 at the Ohio Statehouse.

The Ohio History Leadership Award is intended to recognize annually at each Statehood Day event a member of the Ohio General Assembly who has distinguished him/herself in their public service by being an outspoken advocate for the promotion of Ohio history. 

Senator Gardner was the legislative sponsor in 2011 for the new Ohio Historical Society tax check-off that now appears on the state income tax forms. Ohioans receiving a refund on their state income taxes now have the option of donating a portion of their refund to the Ohio Historical Society. The Society then uses those donations as grants for local history-related projects through its History Fund grants program. More than $100,000 in grants was awarded to 10 organizations at the Feb. 27 Statehood Day event. 

“Senator Gardner is a former history and government teacher before he came to the Ohio General Assembly,” said Burt Logan, Ohio Historical Society executive director and CEO. “He has been a strong advocate for so many years promoting Ohio history, heritage tourism and educational issues to the benefit of Ohio. This award is a small token of our thanks to him for his leadership on these and other issues.”

Senator Gardner told the audience of approximately 200 people at the event that he was honored to receive the award and he thanked the directors, board members and volunteers at the local level that “really make a difference” in promoting and preserving Ohio history. 

About the Ohio Historical Society: Founded in 1885, the non-profit Ohio Historical Society (ohiohistory.org) provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history through its 58 sites and museums across Ohio, including its flagship museum, the Ohio History Center in Columbus. For information regarding OHS, contact Shannon Thomas, Assist. Director of Marketing & Communications, Ohio Historical Society: 614.297.2317, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Family honors life of lost loved one killed by a drunk driver

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports Annie’s Law which would require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders, with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater.  The legislation is named after Annie Rooney, who was killed by a drunk driver on July 4, 2013.

“Reducing drunk driving fatalities in Ohio begins with requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Enacting Annie’s Law is MADD’s number one priority in Ohio,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.  “MADD applauds Representative Terry Johnson for authoring this lifesaving proposal.”

Drunk driving deaths are 100 percent preventable.  In 2012, 385 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Ohio, representing 34 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. In addition to the extraordinary emotional burden for victims, drunk driving deaths are an unnecessary economic hardship for Ohio, costing the state and taxpayers over $1.8 billion.

"Annie's entire family is focused on preventing another family from going through this senseless, preventable, loss of life on our roads,” said Walt Rooney.  “Drunk drivers kill hundreds of Ohioans every year just like Annie, and we must do more to stop them.  Drunk driving is a public health crisis and we are focused on standing with our legislators to have Ohio join the over 20 states that have made ignition interlocks mandatory for first time offenders."

Ignition interlocks are small breathalyzers linked to a vehicle’s ignition system. The convicted drunk driver must blow into the device to start the car. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the preset level the car will not start. Currently 20 states including West Virginia require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. These laws typically require first-time offenders to use an interlock during the license suspension period.  In Ohio, interlocks are only required for repeat offenders.

Research shows that 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive even with a suspended driver’s license. Ignition interlocks are more effective than license suspension alone and a more practical way to deal with drunk drivers. Annie’s Law would allow a convicted drunk driver to continue driving, but in a way that will protect families and other motorists.

Additionally, ignition interlocks are effective in reducing drunk driving repeat offenses by 67 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  All-offender interlock laws are found to reduce repeat offenses significantly when effectively implemented. States that have passed all offender interlock laws have seen large reductions in drunk driving deaths.  Specifically, drunk driving fatalities have dropped by 43 and 42 percent in Arizona and Oregon respectively. In West Virginia, drunk driving deaths have dropped by 33 percent as a result of the 2008 all-offender interlock law.

“MADD calls on lawmakers to advance Annie’s Law. Ohio residents deserve to be protected from drunk drivers. Ignition interlocks will save lives,” added Withers.

For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org/interlock.

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