Friday, December 7, 2018

President Bush’s Accessibility Legacy Remains Partly Unrealized in Oxford

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was a bipartisan civil rights achievement. Although its effects are visible in the city’s and the university’s efforts to comply with the law, those who use wheelchairs still do not have full access to public spaces, especially businesses.

20 Rooms Flooded in Newly Renovated Dorm Are Still Not Fixed

A number of students have been moved from Hamilton Hall to temporary rooms across campus after faulty plumbing caused damage over the Thanksgiving break. An official said they will be repaired by the beginning of spring semester.

Inclusivity and Pride Light Hanukkah Celebration in Wake of Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Chabad organized the event and Miami President Greg Crawford offered some thoughts.

Students Build Accessible Boardwalk through Ruder Preserve Woods in Sustainability Class

An academic program at Miami partners students with community service organizations.

In Patrol Program, Citizens Help Keep the Peace

Members of the Citizens Observer Patrol stand ready to render aid and assistance.

’Tis the Season to Be Hairy? Police Fund-raiser Grows Longer

The Oxford Police Department extended “No-Shave November” into the Christmas season after the community-building, face-warming endeavor drew positive responses from officers and citizens.

Observer Publication to Break for Holiday

This issue caps a semester of local news coverage. The next issue will come out Jan. 11, our editor writes.

opinion

City Will Give the Gift of Free Holiday Parking

Local businesses and holiday shoppers appreciate it.

News Quiz

Take the Observer’s final news quiz of 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

Beech Street Building Is Total Loss after Fire

Firefighters prevented the flames from a suspected kitchen fire from spreading to the church and gas station on either side of Chunxi Kitchen. The person who owns the destroyed building, which has housed different restaurants over the years, has not yet been identified.

It took firefighters from Oxford, Reily Township and Milford Township more than three hours Wednesday afternoon to quench the fire that destroyed Chunxi Kitchen on Beech Street. Photo by Ben Corwin

Flames burst through the roof of the Chunxi Kitchen during Wednesday’s three-alarm fire that destroyed the restaurant on Beech Street. Photo by Ben Corwin

Firefighters direct water from several directions to put out the fire that destroyed the Chunxi Kitchen restaurant on Beech Street Wednesday. Photo by Ben Corwin

The fire that apparently started in the kitchen of the Chunxi Kitchen restaurant in Oxford, Wednesday, forced firefighters from three departments to contend with thick smoke as they fought the blaze for three hours. Photo by Ryan McSheffrey

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, to the south of the Chunxi Kitchen fire on Beech Street, was saved from damage in the Wednesday afternoon blaze. Photo by Ryan McSheffrey

Units from fire departments in Milford and Reily Townships helped Oxford Fire Department battle the blaze that destroyed Chunxi Kitchen on Beech Street in Oxford, Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Ryan McSheffrey

Fire hoses snake through the intersection of High and Beech Streets as firefighters battle the fire and billowing smoke from Chunxi Kitchen next to UDF, Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Halie Barger

The Chunxi Kitchen, 12 S. Beech Street, Oxford, the morning after it was destroyed by fire on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Halie Barger

Greek Drinking Culture Appears to Budge at Miami

Data show fraternities drew far fewer alcohol citations after banning hard liquor from their official events.

Miami Pays Female Coaches Less than Male Counterparts

The pay differential applies to coaches at the assistant level too, and those coaching women’s sports earn even less.

School District Might Lose Federal Funds

The federal program that had long provided access to internet service and technological infrastructure has not been renewed for next year.

University Farm Stocks Local Food Pantry

Fresh produce flows from the Institute for Food Farm to those whose access to healthy food is often limited.

News Quiz

Have you been keeping up with current events? Test yourself.

Friday, November 23, 2018

School Board Votes to Redact ‘s’ from Mascot Name; Call Team the ‘Talawanda Brave’

In a 3-2 vote, school board attempts middle-of-the-road answer to a question that riles local parents.

Oxford’s Recycling Rates Are Far Lower than National and Ohio Averages

Despite a series of initiatives to improve recycling among students, the city still puts what some say is too much of its trash into the landfill.

Scooters Might Be Less Available during Wintry Weather

Lime scooters were recalled for mechanical problems, and there seem to already be fewer Bird scooters around. Both companies, though, were pleased about what they said were high rates of scooter rental by local users.

Emerald Ash Borers Have Taken Heavy Toll in Oxford

Maintaining the afflicted trees is expensive and somewhat hopeless, given that they are expected to die eventually.

Local Businesses Plan Events to Entice Holiday Shoppers

Festivals and ‘shop small’ initiatives are part of seasonal efforts by the Chamber of Commerce and others.

They Say, ‘Hurray’

Notes from two more readers

letters

News Quiz

What has happened, besides the all-important turkey pardon?

A pair of bronze heron sculptures now graces the gardens of the Oxford Community Arts Center in honor of longtime Oxford philanthropists and residents Jack and Sally Southard, pictured here. The Southards have been residents of Oxford for more than 50 years. They are longtime members of the arts center and are sponsors of musical performances at the monthly Second Friday exhibition openings there. Sally was instrumental in creating the arts center’s yearly Arts Gala and Jack is a past president of the center’s board and currently serves on the finance committee. The sculptures were commissioned by a group of local citizens and are on view in the west garden of the arts center, 10 S. College Ave., Oxford. Photo provided by the Oxford Community Arts Center.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Uptown Vacancies Part of Larger Problem with Local Business Real Estate

A study of Oxford businesses showed very high turnover in retail spaces, while vacancies remain.

Talawanda Not Alone in Struggle for Student Proficiency

Many similar districts also cannot meet state standards.

City Seeks Revenue from Fines for Litter, Parking, Noise

A 2017 change in the citation of traffic violations resulted in lower revenues for Oxford and more money for the state.

Local Options Abound on National Take a Hike Day

Hueston Woods State Park will take hikers on a Saturday walk on one of its popular trails. Residents can also enjoy a stretch of Miami’s 17-mile Natural Areas Trail System.

Grocery to Sell Beer, Wine and Liquor by the Glass

An owner of Fridge & Pantry said there are no plans to convert the business into a late-night bar. The mayor said she was ‘disappointed’ the store had felt the need to obtain a liquor permit.

Observer is Useful Pleasure

We share two brief notes from readers who are pleased.

letters

Mascot Committee to Deliver Report Monday

The ad hoc group will present two options to the school board.

News Quiz

This week’s quiz will test your ability to stay current on local and national events.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Talawanda High School Football Coach Forced Out Following Losing Season

School athletics officials said the district would seek a new coach as Vonderheide resigned.

Campus Veterans’ Memorial Set for Sunday Dedication

Outside of Wells Hall, a new monument has been constructed to honor Miami University alumni who are also veterans of the U.S. armed forces. The opening of the monument is set for this Sunday, Nov. 11, and will be celebrated with a performance by the men’s glee club as well as a salute from veteran alumni.

Talawanda Sophomore to Compete in State Cross-Country Championships

Maddy Iden is the first individual runner at Talawanda to qualify for the state contest since 2000. She has already led the high school team to a stellar season.

Coupon Maven Racks up Good Deals and Passes Them on to Others through Food Pantry

Susan Hurst is a serious coupon hobbyist who enjoys a good bargain and helping others.

Oxford Continues to Collect Back Taxes

The Finance Department has sent two rounds of subpoenas to people who work or reside in the city.

On and around campus

In response to the increase in sexual assault reports this past semester at Miami University, a group of students has formed the Corner Crew. Members of this unaffiliated student organization wear bright yellow vests and carry large cardboard signs, offering to walk students home on weekend nights, in hopes to increase safety. Produced by Kierra Sondereker and Mackenzie Rossero
Ten to 15 percent of the trees on Miami University’s campus have been infected with the Asian emerald ash borer, a species of beetle that burrows into ash trees, leaving them with little chance of survival. While the number of ash trees on campus used to number in the hundreds, only about 20 have remained unaffected. The ash-borer crisis has reached epidemic proportions, with 33 U.S. states and all 88 Ohio counties affected. Produced by Ryan Terhune and Kenny Schierlinger
Figo is the MUPD’s bomb dog from Holland, so he is trained in Dutch. Figo’s partner Officer Hibbard has been with Figo for six years. Not only does Figo help search for explosives in popular public locations, but he also opens up avenues for interactions among students, the community and the police department. Produced by Emily Simanskis and Joe Gurnig
Friday, November 2, 2018

New Marshall Construction Delayed Three Months

Construction costs are projected to be several million dollars over the initial estimate, at least partly due to new tariffs on imported steel.

Amid Anti-Immigration Talk, Oxford Extends Welcome to Foreigners

As the city prints welcoming signs in multiple languages, the visitor’s bureau and some local churches seek ways to make those from foreign lands feel welcome.

Miami Scholarship Offers Outpace Changes in Tuition Prices

Among higher education institutions, the practice of offering merit aid to students has become an “arms race.”

Pyfrin Marks 43 Years as the Voice of Talawanda Football

The former teacher, coach and school administrator strives to mention as many people as he can by name.

Also: In 2-8 Season, a Dozen Talawanda Football Players Suffer Season-Ending Injuries

City Officials Will Meet with Rumpke to Discuss How to Increase Recycling

As the city’s contract with Rumpke expires at the end of 2019, the Environmental Commission seeks to reduce Oxford's trash production.

Council Members Ask City to Consider Higher Starting Wages

At least two members would like to increase Oxford’s starting wage of $8.50 for part-time workers.

Turkey Day Traditions

Thanksgiving is all about food and family, so for the next three weeks, we're inviting readers to share Thanksgiving recipes and traditions and explain how the two intertwine.

News Quiz

Have you been reading your way through the daily sludge of local and national news? Take our quiz to test your retention.

Friday, October 26, 2018
★★★ Election 2018 ★★★

Snafus Beset Early Voting in Butler County

A new envelope was adopted so the ballot could be more easily inserted, but it required more postage than a first-class stamp. A redesigned identification form left only six boxes for early voters to write in eight characters from their drivers’ licenses. Election Board officials have worked quickly to remedy both problems; meanwhile, voters should be aware of extra steps.
Ohio 8th Congressional District
democrat
Vanessa Enoch
Ohio House of Representatives
53rd District
republican
Candice Keller
Top 5 Campaign Donors
  1. Ohio Dental Association, $1,000
  2. Ohio Farm Bureau, $1,000
  3. Realtors PAC, $1,000
  4. Pfizer, $350
  5. Reynolds American, $350
Ohio House of Representatives
51st District
democrat
Susan Vaughn
Top 5 Campaign Donors
  1. IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund, Washington, D.C. Political arm of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $3,000
  2. Matriots, Columbus, Ohio, PAC focused on electing more women to public office in Ohio, $1,500
  3. William A. Groth of Hamilton, retired consultant, $1,000
  4. Diane F. Griesmer of Fairfield, retiree, $500
  5. Butler County Progressive PAC, $300
republican
Sara Carruthers
Top 5 Campaign Donors
  1. Nicola J. Lanni of Covington, Ky., president of Nicar Enterprises Inc. (Great Steak and Potato), $2,500
  2. Ohio Nurses Association PCE, Columbus, $1,000
  3. Realtors Political Action Committee, Columbus, $1,000
  4. Stephen S. Marcum of Hamilton, a lawyer, $1,000
  5. Thomas G. Stephenson of Hamilton, president and owner of Stephenson Oil Co., $1,000
democrat
Rebecca Howard
Top 5 Campaign Donors
  1. Construction & General Laborers Union Local #534, $1,500
  2. The Matriots, Columbus, PAC focused on electing more women to public office in Ohio, $1,500
  3. Butler County Progressive PAC, $700
  4. Rebecca Hekert, $500
  5. Thirteen Ten Pendleton Corp., $350
republican
Warren Davidson
Top Campaign Donors
  1. Numerous small donations through Democracy Engine, a website that allows donors to contribute to individual candidates.
  2. Numerous individual small donations.
Butler County Commission
Top 5 Campaign Donors
  1. National Automobile Dealers Association, $10,000
  2. National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, $6,500
  3. Marathon Petroleum Corporation Employees, $5,000
  4. Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, $5,000
  5. The Goldman Sachs Group, $4,500
republican
Cindy Carpenter
Ohio Issue 1
    Supporters say the amendment to the Ohio Constitution would alleviate racial disparities in sentencing for drug-related crimes and take a bite out of mass incarceration, saving the state money. Opponents in law enforcement say they need to retain the threat of harsher punishment in order to coerce offenders into treatment programs.
    democrat
    Dora Bronston

    Student Residences are Burglary Targets in Oxford

    One student returned after a break to find his home ransacked and valuable items stolen. A suspect was arrested.

    MOON Has Been a Steady Force in Local, Sustainable Food

    A new manager intends to continue the tradition of offering fresh organic produce.

    Voting: It Really Matters!

    Editor David Wells on the pending mid-term election.

    opinion

    News Quiz

    Have you been reading your way through the daily sludge of local and national news? Take our quiz to test your retention.

    On and around campus

    The MUPD is implementing a new piece of software that will allow officers to locate mobile phone callers. Produced by Danny Stent and Dylan Srocki
    See more videos
    Friday, October 19, 2018

    City Expects to Collect Parking Fines with New License Plate Scanner

    A boot will be applied when the device finds a car whose driver owes money.

    School Board Refuses to Record Its Meetings

    Advocates said city council’s system of recording and posting its proceedings is a model of government transparency that the school district could follow.

    Also: Meeting Attendees Ask Board to ‘Save’ Braves Mascot

    On and around campus

    Crossroads Church is renting the Kappa Sigma house, which had been empty. Produced by Ryan Terhune, Emily Simanskis and Kierra Sondereker
    A new women’s baseball club at Miami builds on a legacy of the sport among female students here. Produced by Houston Vick and Kenny Schierlinger
    Could the new electronic scooter rental services ease traffic congestion in town? Not unless students learn to use them properly, some said. Produced by  Mackenzie Rossero and Joseph Gurning
    See more videos

    City Reports Seasonal Uptick in Alcohol-Related Emergencies

    Miami has a policy of granting disciplinary lenience to students who report emergencies, and it seems to work.

    Citizens Petition to Bar Rental Housing from Neighborhood

    The Juniper Hill subdivision could become the 17th conservation overlay district if its application is approved.

    Three Firefighters Join Force and Department Gets New Engine

    The Oxford Fire Department now sports a full-time force of 12 and a half-million-dollar tanker pumper truck.

    Author: Women Pilots Were ‘True Radicals’

    Keith O’Brien gave a talk on “Fly Girls,” a book about defying conventional gender roles.

    Life Is a Poem, Not a Story

    Our columnist recalls being swept away by love and literature.

    Ohio's Poet

    News Quiz

    Did you read the news this week? Give the Observer news quiz the ol’ college try.

    THE VIEW FROM OXFORD, Ohio

    Get to know your neighbors through The View from Oxford video series. These interviews are produced by journalism majors in the Capstone for Politics, People and Public Transparency class at Miami University.
    Want to suggest a neighbor? Email editor@oxfordobserver.org
    Produced by Brady Easterling
    Produced by Tori Levy
    Produced by Tyler Pistor
    Friday, October 12, 2018

    Bumper Year for Soybeans, but Tariff Cuts Profits

    Excellent weather helped local farmers raise a record crop, but prices have tanked since China placed a retaliatory tariff on the staple.

    Crisis Center Workers Say Sexual Assault Services Are in Greater Demand Lately

    Women are both reporting more cases and seeking counseling and support for longer periods of time.

    School District’s ‘F’ Is Most Common Grade in Category

    Leaders at Talawanda said that Ohio’s methods of measuring whether students are “prepared for success” are flawed.

    Police Department Set to Move Into Renovated City Building This Winter

    Updates will more than double the indoor space and improve accessibility for visitors.

    A True Tale of Sexual Harrassment

    Our columnist recounts her frightful experience just in time for the Halloween season.

    opinion

    Questions Remain on New Pool Details

    At a public informational meeting on the new aquatic center, residents asked about transportation and summer camps.

    News Quiz

    Our editor offers a challenge sure to be handily met by those who have kept up with the week’s headlines.

    Apple Butter Festival Is a Seasonal Favorite

    Attendees and vendors at Hueston Woods enjoyed the warm autumn day.
    Friday, October 5, 2018

    Bird Scooters Alight in Oxford, but Wings Are Clipped

    University Police impounded some 20 percent of the fleet after users parked them on campus lawns and sidewalks. The scooters were impeding Miami’s groundskeeping staff.

    New $10.8 Million Marshall Elementary to Open in Fall of 2020

    Nearly 500 students attend Marshall. The construction will add three classrooms and major technology and flexible learning improvements for each grade level.

    Civil Rights Commission Might Discuss Race-Related School Bullying Incident

    A student was punished after a bullying incident at Talawanda Middle School. The school has responded in part by establishing twice-yearly Pride Days to encourage inclusiveness.

    Two Women Arrested for Climbing onto Police Station Roof

    Officials said the pair were intoxicated and broke terra cotta tiles in a closed construction site.

    Chinese Culture on Display at Uptown Fest

    The Confucius Institute staged the popular event, now in its fifth year.

    Testing Our Knowledge about the News

    A founding father lamented that citizens failed to read and understand the news. How, Editor David Wells asks, would Oxford residents do on a news quiz?

    opinion

    Oxford Residents Attend Opera Performance by Students from Taiwan

    A retired theater professor who now teaches at the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts brought the troupe to the Community Arts Center.

    Naming Committee Suggests Ordinary Name

    The choice reflects the most popular names submitted by the public.

    On and around campus

    Student groups aimed to register 75 percent of students to vote in anticipation of the upcoming midterm elections. Produced by Ryan Terhune and Joe Gurnig
    Excitement surrounds the construction of a new aquatic center despite the new location’s distance from town. A public meeting will be held Oct. 11. Produced by Kenny Schierlinger, Danny Stent and Mackenzie Rossero
    Some say Miami’s introduction of pregnancy tests to an on-campus market means the university is tuning in to women’s health issues. Produced by Emily Simanskis and Dylan Srocki
    International and domestic students come together at events such as the annual Chinese Festival. Produced by Kierra Sondereker and Houston Vick
    See more videos
    Friday, September 28, 2018

    School District Mulls E-cigarette Use

    The ubiquitous trend of teens using e-cigarettes raises new questions for local parents and school administrators. Juuls and other brands of the devices have rapidly become prevalent and FDA officials have threatened to ban them.

    Electric Scooters Approved for Uptown Use Despite Ban on Campus

    Oxford City Council approved a one-year trial of Bird electric scooters in town. Miami University did not approve their use on campus, citing safety concerns.

    Miami Freshman Crashes into Gateway

    Overextended with work and school obligations, the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. He was unharmed. One of the brick structure’s functions, a university spokesman said, is to slow incoming traffic.

    Rain Damages Some Local Crops, Boosts Others

    This September has seen twice the average amount of rainfall. The impact on farmers in this area was mixed.

    Ice-T Raps on Diversity, Opportunity, Race in Miami-Sponsored Talk

    The hip-hop pioneer suggested that not being racist was a simple matter. He proposed a mandatory class in ‘humanity’ for all college students.

    Why Are Men Screaming?

    Our columnist notices how tribal national politics influence her perception of public behavior close to home.

    opinion

    In Memoriam: Betty Hawley Brookbank, 94

    A native of College Corner, she retired as Miami University’s assistant director of continuing education.

    obituary

    Former Voice Professor Joan Marie Moynagh, 93, Has Died

    She was a professional opera singer who became a music teacher. She was also deeply involved in the work of St. Mary Catholic Church.

    obituary

    THE VIEW FROM OXFORD

    Get to know your neighbors through The View from Oxford video series. These interviews are produced by journalism majors in the Capstone for Politics, People and Public Transparency class at Miami University.
    Want to suggest a neighbor? Email editor@oxfordobserver.org
    Produced by Sherry Zhao
    Produced by Ryer Gardenswartz
    See more videos
    Friday, September 21, 2018

    City Council Rejects Plans for New Student Housing

    Oxford City Council voted this week to reject a zoning amendment that would have allowed developers to build new student housing along South Elm, West Collins and West Walnut streets. All six council members in attendance voted against it.

    City and Student Leaders Want to Bring Scooters to Campus

    Oxford City Council and Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) are united in support of bringing a bike- and scooter-sharing program to the city, despite a university policy prohibiting use of electric scooters on campus.

    Farmers’ Market Will Be Open Tuesday Evenings Starting This Week

    Oxford City Council unanimously approved the expansion, allowing the market to set up operations in the city-owned parking lot that it uses next to the park.

    From editor David Wells:

    The Oxford Observer encourages its readers to share their thoughts and opinions. Send letters to the editor to editor@oxfordobserver.org.  Letters should be approximately 300 words or less and must include the sender’s name and community. Please provide a telephone number or email so that we may contact you for verification purposes. Email addresses and telephone numbers will not be published. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

    The Observer Is a Welcome Addition to the Community

    A reader shared her delight in the new source of local news.

    letter

    Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry

    Poetry is found not only in poems, but all around us.

    column

    The Ohio Poet Laureate hosts public readings around the state to help students, community members and business and civic leaders understand the value and importance of poetry and creative expression. The Poet Laureate is selected by the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency that supports the arts as a way to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.

    Friday, September 14, 2018

    Teachers Talk about Educational Politics at Community Forum

    Dozens gathered to discuss topics including state testing and the district’s mediocre showing on its 2018 Ohio School Report Card.

    Council to Consider Regulatory Change for Airbnb-Style Rentals

    Zoning officials said modernizing the city’s policy would clarify and simplify rules for homeowners who want to use vacation rental sites to rent out their spare rooms.

    Talawanda Schools to Implement New Safety Measures

    Training would inform teachers and students about how to respond to an active shooter in the school.

    Revamped Disc Golf Course Has a Different, Still Great, Personality

    Miami preserved a well loved recreation site on Western Campus in spite of new construction.

    opinion

    First Talawanda Branding Committee Meeting ‘Productive’

    The 16-member appointed committee will meet every two weeks until it settles on recommendations for the future of the school mascot.

    Robert Smith, 86, Remembered

    The longtime Oxford resident loved beagles and served his country as well as his high school alma mater.

    obituary

    On and around campus

    Recent heavy wind and rain forced the Miami sailing team to cancel a competition on Acton Lake at Hueston Woods. Produced by Ryan Terhune and Houston Vick.
    A new set of ratings by ESPN concluded Miami football fans are thoroughly displeased. Produced by Emily Simanskis and Kenny Schierlinger.
    See more videos

    Miami Alum Pegues Talks Russian Interference in U.S. Elections

    The CBS News correspondent wrote “Kompromat,” a book about hacking during the 2016 election.

    Fening Honored for Her Actions at Crash Site

    In June, the Oxford Police lieutenant rendered life-saving aid to a motorist who was trapped in a badly wrecked vehicle. The chief gave her an award for meritorious service, but she said it was all in the line of duty.
    Friday, September 7, 2018

    Schools Committee Charged with ‘Rebranding’ Longtime Mascot

    Some say the image disrespects Native Americans. Others insist that Talawanda should remain the “Home of the Braves.” An appointed group of concerned parties will meet for the first time on Monday to discuss the issue.

    Report Finds City’s Garbage Practices Unsustainable

    Low rates of recycling amount to more garbage. Rumpke might not be able to keep up with Oxford's trash indefinitely.

    Homecoming, an ‘Impact Weekend,’ Reverberates Countywide

    Homecoming weekend placed demands on local services and benefitted businesses inside an Oxford-centric radius.

    How to Be Interviewed by a Student Reporter

    Local reporting in Oxford has been largely left up to Miami students. Talking with them can be a useful pleasure if the aims and terms are mutually understood.

    opinion

    New Superintendent Faces Challenges in District, Relishes Working with Kids

    Ed Theroux said he will prioritize student safety and work to improve the district’s state report card. But for now, he wants to get to know everyone.

    Bike Boxes Meant to Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians

    The big green boxes at intersections give cyclists room to breathe in the most congested and high-traffic areas.

    Hundreds Cool Off on City Pool’s Last Day

    Record-tying heat sent the sweaty and the nostalgic alike diving into the city pool for a final Labor Day swim.

    Beautifying Emptiness

    Artists turn neglected storefronts into a colorful uptown backdrop
    Friday, August 31, 2018

    School Board Ends ‘Pay to Play’ for Talawanda Sports

    Officials said the district’s improved finances made it possible to end the practice of charging a fee to play on a sports team. The district had previously collected about $97,000 in fees, amounting to less than a sixth of the overall athletics budget.

    Welcome to the Oxford Observer

    Editor David Wells sets out his goals for covering the community, warts and all. The Observer seeks submissions from readers. (And it seeks readers.)

    opinion

    Miami Blocks Faculty Letter on Guns in Schools

    University officials said the letter to the Hamilton City School District, signed by a number of faculty, violated policy because it appeared to be endorsed by the university, which takes no position on arming educators.

    Bike Share Program Goes Off Track

    A San Francisco company that had planned to bring bicycles to Oxford insisted on adding electric scooters to the plan, putting a long-sought collaboration between the city of Oxford and Miami student leaders in jeopardy.

    Miami Gateway Project Reshapes Entrances into Oxford

    Newly constructed walls and pillars greet drivers at the two most-used points of entry into the city. The university’s decisions were based on a traffic study, but some residents felt left out of the process.

    Who Owns the Roads?

    Those that run through campus are claimed by the university but maintained by the city.

    New Aquatic Center Will Replace City Pool

    The city has broken ground on a new public swimming facility said to be 10 years in the making. Meanwhile, patrons can swim at the current pool one last time through Labor Day.
    Memories of the Oxford Pool
    “I worked at the pool from eighth grade through the summer after I graduated BGSU (1976-1984). I loved my job, loved guarding, teaching swim lessons, working swim meets. Most of us could swim two full lengths underwater without taking a breath— terribly dangerous; kids should never try it. One game was the greased watermelon in the deep end, and pennies pitched all over the main pool. I was the guard who always got in and played tunnel tag with the kids on my break and they loved me in the diving well because I allowed them the do can openers and drench me.” — Janet Holmes
    “It was my kids’ second home in the summer.”— Maxine Young
    “I had my first swimming lesson at the old old Oxford pool on Contreras Road at age 6. It was unheated and I promptly caught bronchitis, thus delaying my swimming lessons until the following year at the current pool (brand new and heated) at age 7.”
    — Mike Smith
    “I worked there for my first job as a lifeguard/swim instructor from 2005-2015. Over a third of my life! I like to claim I’m the longest serving lifeguard in TRI history but that might not be true. My first year was the last year there was a three meter high dive in between the two current diving boards. Someone fell off the ladder onto the concrete and the high dive was taken down. A little scary guarding three diving boards at a time. 4th of July parties were always fun. Lots of great friends and very interesting characters at the TRI.”
    — Dan Blomquist
    “I would go home for lunch and pick up my daughter and drop her off at the pool for the afternoon because I worked at Oxford View Nursing Home!”
    — Scarlett Kilgore
    “Four years ago we had a fantastic pool party for my older son’s bar mitzvah and this year [in August we had] another one for our other son. We have been in Oxford for 16 years and have some of our best memories of Oxford happening at that pool. We have made lifetime friendships by going there.”
    — Sylvia Rothschild