A bagpiper is helping people “Smile!”
Andrew Bova and his friends will benefit children with cleft lips and cleft palates by performing on Jan. 2.
“Smile! Andrew Bova and Friends in Concert” will take place at First Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m., in Maumee. The sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is majoring in bagpipe performance, according to a news release.
The concert he is organizing will benefit Operation Smile.
Bova was born with a palate and cleft lip which is why he chose Operation Smile as the beneficiary.
He will turn 20 on Jan. 2.
Operation Smile is a worldwide medical charity for children. More than 120,000 children and young adults with cleft palates, cleft lips and other facial deformities have been treated by volunteers and trained medical professionals since 1982.
His friends include Olivia King, flute; A.J. Bihn, guitar; Reil Becker, bagpipes; Andrea Darmahkasih, Andrew Darmahkasih, Kristen Thiel, and Lauren Oberle, violin; Elizabeth Kent, violin and organ; Isabella Adamiak, cello; Andrew Williams, bass, and Mark Blowers, trumpet.
Bagpipe music, both traditional and modern will be included, as well as arrangements of contemporary orchestra.
The concert is free, but donations will go to Operation Smile.
E-mail Bova for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Archive for December, 2008
A bagpiper is helping people “Smile!”
The cover of the new Chad & Jeremy disc, “Ark-eology,” shows a rabbit, squirrel, two frogs and a couple birds riding on a turtle.
“ ‘Ark-eology’ was named that because it’s the 40th anniversary of the release of ‘The Ark,’ which was the last album on Columbia,” Chad Stuart said. “The original ‘Ark’ cover was a painting by a wonderful artist named Charlie Bragg, who did a parody of the ark coming to rest on Mount Ararat and it gets stuck in a tree and it’s full of generals — it was the Vietnam War era.
“So that was a comment about the futility of Vietnam War, and lo and behold here we are again mired in Iraq.”
Stuart said it was déjà vu when he saw the new painting by Robert McCauley.
“There’s something vaguely apocalyptic about it; the turtle appears to be rescuing these rather petrified animals,” he said during a phone interview from his home in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Released in October, “Ark-eology” includes re-recorded versions of the British duo’s hits, including “A Summer Song” and “Yesterday’s Gone,” and some favorites from their earlier works.
“Bob of TBO [Records] … said, look, nobody can download any of your early work, none of it’s available except on these sort of tatty best of re-releases that are always just thrown together,” Stuart said of the label he and Jeremy Clyde started with business associate Bob Heinlein. “[Bob] said before you do a new album — lord knows we’ve got enough new material for several — he said you really ought to do the definitive retrospective that covers all of it.
“It’s something we wanted to do to lay the past to rest in a way; OK, been there, done that. Now we can move on and do original material,” Stuart said.
Chad & Jeremy will play old and new songs when they come to Tiffin’s Ritz Theatre for a 7:30 p.m. show Jan. 24. Tickets range from $15 to $45.
“We’ll play ‘Zanzibar Sunset,’ which I think is a worthy successor to ‘A Summer Song,’ which is better, actually, more sophisticated,” Stuart said, adding it’s the title track to the group’s new disc due out this summer.
“ ‘Some Small Town’ is another [new song] that’s kind of neat, ” he said. “It’s about Norman Rockwell’s America. It’s reflective. We’ve all reached a point in our lives where we’re not jumping up and down screaming anymore.”
Not that Stuart and Clyde don’t remember the British invasion.
“That was obviously completely insane. We didn’t belong there; we weren’t a rock ‘n’ roll band,” Stuart said. “It was basically they couldn’t have a Beatle, so they’d have the next best thing, which was anybody who had an English accent and had hair down to his collar.”
The singer-songwriter recalled meeting his musical mate in 1960 at Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
“There [Jeremy] was with his guitar on his back and he had a World War II bomber jacket and tailored jeans and cowboy boots, and he was very much a trendsetter. I mean, let’s face it: He was the grandson of the Duke of Wellington and he was a happening guy; he had a Vespa,” Stuart said. “He was equally impressed with me not because I had anything remotely resembling his style but because I could play [guitar].”
The two released seven albums during the ’60s before going their separate ways. They reunited now and then during the ’70s and ’80s.
“It was PBS that got us back together this time. It was 2003 when we did that show with Tommy James and The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots,” Stuart said. “And the reception was very warm and tearful, and we just looked at one another and said, hey, why aren’t we doing this?”
Reel Talk will continue Jan. 8 with “The Grapes of Wrath.” The 1940 film is based on of John Steinbeck’s classic American novel about the Great Depression. The story traces the life of the impoverished Joad family as they migrate from the desolation of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to find work in the orchards of California. Directed by John Ford, the film stars Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell.
Way Library’s monthly book discussion book is reading the Steinbeck novel for January to coincide with the film exhibition, and book club members will be joining the movie-going audience for the film.
A combined book and film discussion will take place after the screening. Sig Humanski, retired Toledo City School literature and English teacher will lead the discussion and take questions from the audience afterwards.
The film begins at 10:00 a.m. Admission and refreshments are free. The library is located at 101 E. Indiana Avenue. Call (419) 874-3135 for more information.
General Motors Corp. is days away from securing its first installment of federal aid, money desperately needed to continue operations and pay suppliers as it burns through millions daily and runs the risk of being unable to make a significant supplier payment in early January.
GM said Dec. 29 it is in the process of finalizing a loan agreement for $4 billion, the first portion of $9.4 billion in low-cost loans that GM is expected to receive this month and next from the government.
The cash-strapped Detroit company plans to use the money for continuing its operations, which employ thousands in Ohio.
“We remain confident that a timely signing of the federal loan agreement will occur prior to our needs,” said GM spokeswoman Carolyn Markey.
However the Treasury did not say when the payment would be added to GM’s coffers.
“We’re making good progress finalizing the automaker loans and are committed to closing them on a timeline that will meet their individual near term funding needs,” said Treasury Department spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin in an e-mail statement Monday.
GM is obligated to a make a large payment to a major supplier in early January, but has declined to offer details on the amount of money it owes or to which supplier.
The loans come from the $700 billion bank rescue plan, approved by Congress in September. President Bush said earlier this month that the ailing automakers could tap part of those funds in the form of low-interest loans.
GM is burning through approximately $33 million a day, based on spending $1 billion per month during the third quarter. That daily amount is likely lower for the fourth quarter as GM has reduced spending on operations, sponsorships, utilities and even office supplies.
GM previously said it might not make it through the end of the year before running out of cash. But GM board member Kent Kresa said earlier this month that the company might make it into the first quarter, depending on auto sales.
“Certainly it has been stated that we need the money quite soon,” Kresa told The Associated Press. “I can’t specifically state before the end of the year, but certainly in the first quarter and early in the first quarter.”
Ohio’s ties the auto industry are second only to Michigan. Nearly 100,000 people work in 20 Detroit Three assembly plants and parts plants around the state, producing the second most cars and trucks in the U.S. The biggest include a Chrysler LLC complex that makes Jeeps in Toledo and a GM factory in Lordstown that produces the Cobalt and Pontiac G5 fuel-efficient cars.
Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler is expecting $4 billion in cash as well, but company officials did not offer details on timing of the loan completion Monday.
Chrysler is nearing the minimum level of cash _ $2.5 billion. _ it needs to operate. Chrysler is already fending off angry parts suppliers and other vendors demanding cash payments on delivery. It generally pays suppliers $7 billion every 45 days.
“January, first quarter is a big problem for us,” Ron Kolka, Chrysler’s chief financial officer, said in an interview about the company’s finances earlier this month.
Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co. said it does not intend to use government money to fund operations, as it is in a better financial position than its competitors.
The Detroit automakers are trying to weather the biggest auto sales slump in more than 26 years.
An exploratory committee is being formed to create a Toledo Music Hall of Fame. Toledo Free Press editor in chief Michael S. Miller made the announcement Dec. 30 at a news conference in the main Toledo-Lucas County Public Library during the donation of the CD, “Legacy: Songs in the Key of Toledo.”
Miller and Robert Russ, who researched and collected music for the two-CD set, had discussed how they could take the project further with a display or something similar, Miller said after the news conference.
Miller heard musician Sam Tarsha talk about having a museum to recognize Toledo musicians, during a FOX Toledo interview Dec. 28, and that is when Miller and Russ started looking into a museum, Miller said. Russ is now working with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland o get the project started, Miller said.
“There are so many good musicians from Toledo who cannot be replaced,” Tarsha said after the news conference. “Toledo needs something to remember the past.”
During the news conference, Miller presented the two-CD set of “Legacy: Songs in the Key of Toledo,” to the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library with enough copies for each branch.
The CD also will be sent to UT, BGSU, Monroe County Community College and Owens Community College, Miller said.
Miller thanked all who had helped on the CD and recognized those who were in attendance.
Toledo City Councilman George Sarantou, spoke and gave a proclamation from City Council to Miller for his efforts.
Sarantou also thanked Columbia Gas of Ohio for donating the money for the CDs, the local musicians and Toledo Free Press for their efforts.
They have played “an instrumental role in preserving the music legacy of Toledo,” he said.
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop also presented a proclamation that declared, Dec. 30, 2008 as “Local Music Appreciation Day.”
The commissioners came to a unanimous vote on the proclamation, Konop said.
Konop also is looking for a facility for older Toledo musicians to have a “jam session” at the suggestion of Tarsha, he said. Konop thinks a Toledo Music Hall of Fame would be positive for the community giving Toledoans a “sense of place,” he said.
Sonja Paris, widow of musician Johnny Price from Johnny and Hurricanes, said that she thinks a Toledo Music Hall of Fame would be a good idea. After Johnny died, she donated most of his possessions from his music years to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I have nothing but his music,” she said.
She and Duane Thomas, a former bandmate of Johnny’s, are working on a biography of Johnny that he started before he died, she said. They hope to get it out in 2009 for the fiftieth anniversary of Johnny and Hurricanes, she said.
Bill Price, who was formerly in the BG Ramblers, played his guitar before and after the news conference.
Price thinks the idea of a Music Hall of Fame in Toledo is “wonderful,” he said, adding that Tarsha has been talking about it for a long time.
Nine related stories may be found here.
The Board of Lucas County Commissioners on Dec. 29 passed a 2009 budget on a 2-1 vote.
The Board acted on a 2009 general fund budget with total expenditures of approximately $141.8 million, with across the board reductions in each operating department and a 5.6% total reduction over the final 2008 budget. This is the second year in a row in which to overall budget was significantly reduced when compared to the prior year.
The Board is strongly committed to downsizing county government, reducing its own budget this year by over 17% and reducing its own staff by almost 27% over the last five years.
“Like state and local governments across the nation, Lucas County is facing significant revenue shortfalls,” said Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak. “As our local families and business cut back to make ends meet, we’ve had to take steps to reduce the size of county government and protect those services that our residents depend on first.”
The 2009 budget, as submitted by the county administration, assumes more than $9 million in revenue reductions over 2008. The largest decrease in revenue is in intergovernmental transfers, including a loss of approximately $3 in criminal justice revenue due to changes by the City of Toledo.
In addition, declines in the housing and construction industry and a steep drop in interest rates at the national level contributed to the overall revenue shortfall. Sales tax revenue, the largest revenue source for the county, remained essentially flat from 2007-2008.
As in past years, Lucas County will invest significant dollars in criminal justice and public safety. Lucas County is projected to spend over 70% of its 2009 operating budget on the courts and public safety.
In addition, under this proposed budget, the Commissioners anticipate that both non-bargaining and bargaining unit employees will see no raise during 2009. Earlier this month, Commissioners took action to layoff 20 county employees and abolish two other vacant positions.
“Like so many Lucas County families, our workers have stepped up to make sacrifices in this proposed budget,” said Commissioner Pete Gerken. “We’re thankful for their service and will do everything we can to avert further layoffs during this trying time.”
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop has released the following statement:
“This morning I will vote No on the $140 million, taxpayer-funded 2009 budget presented to me last week. My decision is based on proposals in this budget to potentially eliminate some road patrols by the Sheriff’s department and the exclusion of a new class of Sheriff’s deputies. Also, I object to allocating $1,000,000 to the under performing and mismanaged LCIC, $450,000 for new windows on a county building, arbitrary pay raises to select employees when we have laid off 20 employees, and the closing of the exhibit halls of the Lucas County Rec Center which would end, amongst other things, Children’s Wonderland.”
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Education has named the Lourdes College Life Lab’s project The Four-Season Natural Science Explorations…OHIO BIO-REGION an Outstanding Project.
The program trains 24 Northwest Ohio teachers to teach their students about Ohio’s Biome Communities and changing season through hands-on natural science field activities and classroom activities, according to the news release.
The Four-Season Natural Science Explorations…OHIO BIO-REGION exceeded the Ohio EPA’s standards for excellence and effectiveness in environmental education, according to the news release.
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop has released the following statement:
“This morning I will vote No on the $140 million, taxpayer-funded 2009 budget presented to me last week. My decision is based on proposals in this budget to potentially eliminate some road patrols by the Sheriff’s department and the exclusion of a new class of Sheriff’s deputies. Also, I object to allocating $1,000,000 to the under performing and mismanaged LCIC, $450,000 for new windows on a county building, arbitrary pay raises to select employees when we have laid off 20 employees, and the closing of the exhibit halls of the Lucas County Rec Center which would end, amongst other things, Children’s Wonderland.
Furthermore, I implore my fellow Commissioners to either join me in voting against this budget or to agree to table a vote to allow us more time to construct a budget that makes sense for Lucas County. While we have disagreed over many issues in the last year and will not agree on everything that goes into the budget, surely we can do better to insure that our citizens and our roads are safe and our taxpayers money is spent prudently at a time of economic hardship. Items I disagree with in the budget include:
- Reductions in the Sheriff’s road patrol; no new class of deputies. I appreciate the Sheriff’s willingness to be fiscally responsible in these economic conditions, and I know the potential cuts in public safety are not his prerogative, However, as Commissioner I would rather see dollars be allocated to hiring more sheriff’s deputies and providing for public safety than spent on other, less essential aspects of county government.
- Pay raises, in some cases of 5 percent, to select Lucas County employees.
- Handing the LCIC $1,000,000 with no implemented accountability standards and no governance structure.
- Allocating $450,000 to nonessential windows on a county building.
- Shutting down the exhibit areas of the Rec Center for community usage, including Children’s Wonderland, trade shows, and recreation opportunities.
- 300 page, $140,000,000 budget was distributed to Commissioners only 3 business days before this scheduled vote, leaving little time to study a budget that could potentially jeopardize public safety, allocates resources to non-essential services, and negatively impacts the community.”
A nuclear power plant near Toledo has been shut down after an oil leak was found in a non-nuclear area of the facility.
FirstEnergy Corp. says the Davis-Besse plant along Lake Erie likely will be generating power again early next week. Spokesman Todd Schneider says the leak was found Wednesday, operators began shutting down the reactor and inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission responded.
On Friday, engineers found that the leak was due to a clog in the lubrication system for the bearings of the plant’s turbine. Schneider says the system is being cleaned and plans are to test the turbine this weekend.
The plant was the site of the worst corrosion ever found at a U.S. reactor when inspectors in 2001 discovered an acid leak. It was closed for two years and underwent extensive repairs.
Ohio has seen a sharp drop in traffic accident deaths this year, in part because of stepped up highway enforcement in big cities and a drop in summer driving due to high gas prices, the State Highway Patrol said.
Car crashes killed 1,080 motorists in Ohio through Wednesday, and the state is on track for a record yearly low in 2008, said patrol spokesman Sgt. Darren Blosser. The previous low mark was 1,239 deaths in 2006.
“Motorists can breathe a little easier,” said AAA spokesman Brian Newbacher.
Ohio’s reduction of about 13 percent exceeded the national average of about nine percent, said Col. Richard Collins, the patrol superintendent.
Other factors included air bags, driver education programs and advancements in trauma care, such as medical helicopters quickly reaching crash scenes, Collins said.
Alcohol-related traffic deaths also fell – down 10 percent in 2008 from 280 fatalities last year. Troopers arrested more than 24,000 drivers who had been drinking this year, Collins said.
“Alcohol continues to be a problem,” Collins said. “It will still be a big focus.”
Seat belt campaigns also helped in Ohio in 2008, and a state law set to take effect in March requiring children younger than eight to ride inside booster seats will reduce deaths even further, Newbacher said.
Ohio had been one of just seven states that didn’t require booster seats for children older than three. Seat belts that don’t fit young children properly can do extensive damage in accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The patrol’s fatal crash figures in Ohio date back to 1933. The worst year for traffic deaths was 1969, when 2,778 motorists died.
The patrol’s partnership with police in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo in accident-prone areas had a huge impact, Collins said.
For example, troopers on special details on interstate highways in northeast Ohio issued more than 6,000 tickets for speeding and arrested 525 people for drugs in 2007 and 2008. The sweeps likely had the residual effect of causing drivers to regularly reduce their speeds in those areas, Collins said.