The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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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Genoa’s former administrator may have left without a word but the village will be paying nearly $65,000 to him following his departure.

Garth Reynolds left his job of more than three years officially on Dec. 31. Mayor Mark Williams announced his resignation during a Jan. 3 meeting. Reynolds’ letter offered no explanation as to why he left and neither has the mayor. Other village officials spoken to say they also do not know why he resigned.

But according to a severance package agreement filed with the fiscal officer Charles Brinkman, he will leave with a hefty sum.

He will receive a lump sum of $45,000 to forgo any claims to the village in the aftermath of his departure, Brinkman said, reading from the agreement.

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New rules for the Ohio House of Representatives, written for the most part by Randy Gardner (R- Bowling Green), were approved by the House Tuesday.

Republicans gained control of the House – and the chance to set the body’s rules for the session that recently started -  in the November election. Rep. Gardner said the rules will “promote a more open and fair legislative process.”

He points to what he sees as three significant changes:
•The number of full standing committees is reduced from 27 to 17. Rep. Gardner and House Speaker William Batchelder (R- Medina) say fewer committees foster a “greater focus” on issues and will save taxpayers about $250,000 over the next two years.

• A two-day waiting and reading period has bee re-established for any final votes on bills containing appropriations. The rule requires two days following a conference committee vote before the House may consider the budget.

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A $1.5 million solar array project is underway at the Pilkington Research and Development Center in Northwood.

The project includes the installation of solar panels on a one-acre Brownfield site originating from the company’s former East Toledo float plant. Pilkington once used the area as a sand pond, which has gone through a clean-up process.

“In order to take advantage of recycling the Brownfield property, we’re installing the solar array to reuse the property and put it back into a beneficial use,” said Kara A. Allison, spokesperson for Hull & Associates, an engineering, energy and environmental consulting firm that has partnered with Pilkington to install the ground mounted solar panels.

The large-scale panels will be mounted on posts and built out in rows, according Allison.

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Northwood’s Economic Development Committee is looking into making an outparcel off Curtis Road more attractive for future economic development.

“It’s been there a long time,” said Councilman Dave Gallaher, chairman of the committee. He brought up the matter at a council meeting on Jan. 4.

“It’s a nice location. You have to ask why it isn’t being developed, in spite of the economy. Is there something we can do to help that process along?” said Gallaher after the meeting.

The parcel is between Appleby’s Restaurant and I-280 on Curtis Road.

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Trick or Treat

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