The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Combined, Oregon Chief Richard Stager, Lt. Brian Andrzejewski, and Officer Michael Poddany have given nearly 100 years of service to the city’s police department.

Chief Stager, who started as a patrolman in June, 1978, will have served 32 years and eight months. Lt. Andrzejewski has served 33 years, and in February Officer Poddany will be approaching 34 years.

As all three approach retirement within the coming month, on January 11 an open house will be held in the city’s community room on Seaman Road from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. to honor them.

All three say the biggest change they have seen in the department is technology.

“That’s probably the most notable change I’ve seen in law enforcement,” Chief Stager said.

Chief Stager said people and the duties involved have changed, too.

Stager-Chief-Richard-H Andrzejewski-Lt Poddany-Ptlm.-Mike-hat
        Chief Richard Stager       Lt. Brian Andrzejewski       Officer Michael Poddany

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The Eastwood school board is asking the Ohio Department of Education for a waiver from being required to offer a full-time kindergarten program for the next school year.

Board members approved a resolution seeking the waiver at their regular meeting last week.

A requirement for districts to offer all-day kindergarten classes was included in the state’s biennium budget but district’s can seek a waiver in certain circumstances.

Noting the state’s operating budget cut state aid to schools, State Representative Randy Gardner last year sponsored a bill allowing districts to opt out of having to offer full-time kindergarten classes and what he said were other unfunded mandates.

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The City of Oregon took in considerably less revenue last year than the year before, according Administrator Mike Beazley, who gave an end of the year financial assessment to city council at a meeting on Jan. 10.

“Our revenues came in about $1.6 million under budget,” he said. “Last year, we took in $17 million. This year, we took in $15,496,000.”

Income tax revenue fluctuated between $17.4 million and $17.6 million each year in 2007, 2008, and 2009, he added. “There was an overpayment by a large corporate taxpayer that got refunded the following year. This year, on the income tax side, we took in $15.9 million. That’s a fairly significant downturn,” he said.

“We did manage to control the impact on our revenues by really curtailing expenditures this year by $800,000. We ended up this year with a hit to the reserve of about $780,000. We expected it to be something north of a million, and it ended up coming in a couple hundred thousand dollars short of that.”

After the meeting, Beazley said the city has about $11 million in reserve.

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Wichita, Kansas is a marketing superstar in an area of expertise all of the USA should be striving to reach: net exporting (exporting more goods than they are importing). Wichita’s model offers an example of what our own small and medium businesses could employ to restore the local economy throughout the communities of Northwest Ohio.

Wichita ranked first in export growth from 2003 – 2008 then suffered declines in 2009 and 2010. A Brookings Institution study of Wichita’s exports showed that those exports translated into jobs (22 jobs out of every 100 are export related) and more importantly these jobs paid 10 – 20 percent more than non exporting industries regardless of worker educational level. The area is now gearing up to resume its leadership role in net exporting by marshalling its communities, governments, banks, local colleges and various exporting organizations to work together toward increasing  area exports of goods and services.

Northwest Ohio should follow that example. Now is the time to consider exporting. We as Americans cannot ignore globalization and we cannot afford to continue to be net importers of goods and services. Government data predicts that half of all US businesses will be involved with International Trade by 2010. By that time 96 percent of all exports will be sold by small to medium businesses.

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Almost $1.5 billion changed hands at farmers' markets across the United States in 2010. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of markets rose by 16 percent last year--from 5,247 to 6,132. More than three million Americans regularly buy food from the more than 60,000 farmers  who sell at these markets each year.

Even though I'm a big fan of this kind of grocery shopping, I was pretty surprised by those numbers. This isn't the result of some multi-million dollar corporate advertising campaign. Farmers' markets succeed because more and more Americans prefer to eat food that's fresh, grown locally, and bought directly from the farmer who grew or produced it. Instead of popping open a can or grabbing something from a box, you can get a real feel for your food and how it was created.

From Windham, Maine, to Hanalai, Hawaii, consumers are finding that going to farmers' markets isn't just for foodies or health fanatics. It's about better quality, tastier food, purchased in a location where you get a sense of community amidst the crisp greens, fresh meats, and artisan cheeses. You get to know where your food comes from and who produces it. You'll never get that knowledge in a big box store.

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