What I have learned from Top of Ohio Pet Shelter

I have been a volunteer for the shelter for over six years. I am heartbroken that our shelter is closing. I have worked through three different shelter administrations. I have seen mismanagement in the past but have stayed involved because of my love for the animals. Each time we got new management my hopes went up that this time we would get it right. Recently with our new director Barbara Faulkner, a new board and Randy Schmidt, I again had great hopes. I saw Barbara and Randy take on an enormous responsibility, trying to dig us out once again. I saw firsthand their commitment to turning our shelter around against insurmountable odds. The shelter struggles to overcome a reputation of mistrust and mismanagement in addition to a lack of funding.

I know our shelter has had many problems in the past. This time I saw us moving in a positive direction. Barbara took over a thankless job and worked full-time hours on a part-time salary to try to save our shelter. The staff and volunteers are the most amazing, generous, giving people I have ever known. They spend hours walking dogs to get them out of their kennels, loving them so that they would not fear  people and taking them on endless adoption events, giving up their weekends to do so.

I have learned that no matter how hard you try, when  your community does not support your efforts, you are doomed to fail. The shelter survives on a combination of dog license fees, fundraisers, income from bingo, help from some of our local businesses and donations.

  • Written by Becky Babyak, Bellefontaine

An act of kindness

Last Saturday as gloomy as the weather was, a gentleman brought a ray of sunshine to me.

I was eating lunch at Cassano’s at the lake. When I was ready to receive my check, the waitress told me the gentleman sitting close by paid my bill.

I was not aware who was sitting around me, whoever you are: “Thank You.”

  • Written by G.K. Camburn, Bellefontaine

25 years of ADA improve lives of America’s disabled

SaulBauer-DD

SAUL BAUER

Twenty-five years ago our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the signing into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA has done much to improve the quality of life for millions of people with disabilities by expanding participation in community life, improving infrastructure, and reducing communication barriers. The law’s protections have and will continue to shape and improve the lives of disabled Americans. 

This celebratory time offers an opportunity to reflect on the ADA’s history and its future potential. The ADA changed the way society views people with disabilities. We think about how a person can be accepted and integrated into our community rather than ways to accentuate their differences. 

The concept of home and community based living would not be making progress without the ADA. The Americans with Disability Act propelled the widespread availability of home and community-based services from a lofty goal, accessible only to those who could afford it, to an expectation. Most people strongly prefer to receive care and services in their homes and communities, as opposed to institutional settings. The ADA gives that preference the legal legs it needs to advance policy and become a reality. 

  • Written by Saul Bauer, Director of the Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities

City should not outsource tax collection

As the recently retired tax administrator of the city of Bellefontaine, but most importantly as a citizen of the city of Bellefontaine, I am writing this letter in opposition of the city administration’s efforts to have the city income taxes collected by an outside source.

There are two agencies that they are looking into, including Regional Income Tax Agency and Central Collection Agency. While both of these agencies are collecting income taxes for multiple cities in Ohio, I do not feel that this is the best route for our city to be taking. In my opinion, losing control of the city’s tax collection would not be beneficial financially and good customer service for the citizens of Bellefontaine would be jeopardized.

In a recent article in the Bellefontaine Examiner, Service Safety Director Jim Holycross stated that the city would be paying approximately two percent to three percent of their gross income tax collections to an outside source for the service. The total receipts for 2014 were roughly $5.9 million, so even at a conservative 2.5 percent, there would be close to $150,000 flowing out of our local economy into someone else’s. The total budget for 2015 for the tax department minus the refund appropriations is $150,283 so it would be about the same, except that it is staying local. Even if an outside source is collecting the taxes, Mr. Holycross did state that there would be someone locally to assist taxpayers with any questions so that position would have to be budgeted for also in addition to what is paid to the agency.

  • Written by Beth A. Christian, Bellefontaine

Admission of problem is first step to recovery

Bellefontaine is my hometown. For months now I have heard many stories about how the heroin epidemic is affecting this community. I have prayed about what I can do to help in cleaning this up. A couple days ago, my husband told me there was an article in the June 22 issue of Sports Illustrated I might want to read. A special report: “Smack epidemic: How painkillers are turning young athletes into heroin addicts.” I read it and realized one way I can help is to share this article.

Stories of young athletes who, due to sports injuries, were prescribed painkillers, became addicted to them and then the prescription ran out. The addiction, however, was in full force. So they resorted to the streets or “pill parties” looking for that high their body ached for. In doing so they discovered heroin was much cheaper and afforded them the same high. Several of the young people written about overdosed and died. Sadly, the article states, that families said they received  no warning from physicians about the addictive powers of painkillers.

Please read this informative article especially if you are  parent of a young person. Read it, then have them read it, then talk about it.

  • Written by Robin Barton, Hilliard