The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will extend its deadline to accept public comments on an application by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase open lake dumping of dredged sediment to Feb. 22. The original deadline was Jan. 21.

The Corps. of Buffalo, N.Y., annually dredges the Toledo Harbor navigational channel to keep the Toledo Harbor open to shipping. Most of the dredged material is then dumped in the open lake area of Lake Erie.

The Corps applied for a water quality certification for the project, which includes the Maumee River and lake approach channel. If approved by the Ohio EPA, the Corps would dredge approximately 2 million cubic yards of sediment annually between 2010-2012. About 1.9 million cubic yards of material would be dumped in the open lake area of Lake Erie, a practice that has long been opposed by the agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and local environmental activists. The remaining 100,000 cubic yards would be placed into a confined disposal facility in the lake.

Last year, the Corps was authorized to dump up to 900,000 cubic yards of sediment in the open lake.

The Toledo Harbor is the most heavily dredged of all harbors in the Great Lakes because it is the shallowest.

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An additional $48.8 million has been earmarked for 42 water quality improvement projects in Ohio from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding and loans from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The funding covers four area projects:
• Village of Gibsonburg received a $477,318 ARRA subsidy and an equal no-interest loan to construct storm sewers and expand the capacity of its treatment plant to handle additional stormwater, preventing overflow into the Portage River.
• Village of Helena received a $600,000 ARRA subsidy to combine with a $200,000 no-interest loan to replace failing home septic systems with a wastewater treatment plant and sanitary sewer system with a pump station to service properties in the village.
• Northwestern Water and Sewer District is receiving a $536,634 ARRA subsidy to re-structure a $1.1 million loan received in April, 2009.  The loan is through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund, which is administered by the Ohio EPA and offers assistance for private and public entities.

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A group that wants to beautify landscaping along State Route 2 and promote businesses on the busy commercial corridor sought ideas from business owners at a meeting last week.

Those who attended the Help State Route 2 meeting, held at the Oregon Public Library on Wednesday, focused on signage at the I-280 exit and decided on a theme for landscape development.

“People want to just pick up the feel and the image of going down Route 2,” said Councilman Sandy Bihn, who coordinated the meeting with Gary Thompson, president of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation.

The signage would highlight available restaurants, lodging, and other necessities for the weary and hungry motorist off the I-280 exit down State Route 2.

“It’s pretty limited on I-280 in terms of space, so there’s some issues as to how we can do it, so we have the city and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) looking into that to give us some options, if there are any,” said Bihn.

“We can do signage for the restaurants and lodgings fairly easily, though we probably will have to wait until after the Wheeling Street project, going north on I-280,” said Bihn. “The challenge is going south on I-280 with attention to the bridge, the distances, and the available space, which is very limited. We would like to see signs headed south on I-280 because a lot of traffic that goes to Lake Erie and Cedar Point, or goes birding, is headed south on Route 2.”

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What happens when an image of the Virgin Mary appears on the side of a bar in

pic-luckeyauthor

Tony Lane of Maumee wrote the
three-act play titled The Lucky
Lady based on his experiences
living in Luckey and his belief in
miracles. (Press photo by John
Pollock/www.pollock.smugmug/
photo courtesy of Maumee Mirror
newspaper)

Luckey, Ohio?

For Tony Lane it means the making of a comedic story – with a message.

Although the event didn’t actually occur, Lane, who lived in Luckey for 17 years, took his idea and turned it into a three-act play titled The Luckey Lady, which will be performed next month at Maumee United Methodist Church.

“The purpose of the play is to show that God is everywhere,” Lane said.

The story takes place in a bar owned by Harvey Waltrip, who has a difficult time keeping employees, Lane said.

His attempt to spruce up the exterior with a much-needed paint job becomes an image spectators claim is the Virgin Mary.

While Harvey tries to discredit the claim because he finds it absurd, miracles begin to mount there.

“It’s funny,” said Rob Curtis, a church parishioner who plays the role of Harvey Waltrip. “The idea of miracles is hinted just enough times that the audience will get it. It stands out on it’s own.”

In order to stage the play, Lane constructed a bar at the front of the church sanctuary, something he admits seemed a bit scary.

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Oregon students whose parents are employed in the Oregon City Schools District, but who live outside the city, will no longer be allowed to participate in the city recreation program after July 31.

The city agreed to enforce the policy late last year, but the recreation advisory board heard complaints about it at a meeting two weeks ago, Mayor Mike Seferian said at a committee of the whole meeting last week.

The recreation advisory board, he added, is not the appropriate body to be reviewing the policy.

“I’m not sure that’s an appropriate agenda for them. This is a policy decision that we currently use. I strongly back the decision that we had come to late last year,” said Seferian. “I believe it would take a legislative act for me to want to change and allow participation from others into the program. Being that it would take a legislative act, I wouldn’t think the recreation board is the proper body to make the decision. There’s a lot of political ramifications in changing the policy. When I suggested to the individual who contacted me about wanting his kids to continue to participate in the program, I said `No.’ “He said, `Does it end right here?’ I said `’No one is that powerful to make a decision and just puts an end to something.’”

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