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Local Columns

Meeting just the start; do your own homework on the Devola sewer project

There was a moment during this week's informational meeting about the Devola sewer project that caught my attention–and not for the reason people may think. A resident asked a question about a potential increase in property taxes after sewering and Washington County Commissioner Ron ...

Estimates for Devola sewer project not pretty, but necessary

For those of you losing sleep over the upcoming sewering of Devola, you’re not alone. As a resident there, I’ve long felt that knowing some numbers and cost estimates associated with the project would make me feel better. I could prepare, mentally and financially. The opposite is true. I ...

Seeing the forest for the trees during the holiday season

People who whistle. People who hum. The line at the grocery store that says 10 items or less, when it should actually be 10 items or fewer. It’s safe to say I’m easily annoyed by the small stuff, all that stuff you’re not supposed to sweat at all. I once stopped dating a guy who ...

Veterans Day: Answering a new call by sharing their stories

"Off we go, into the wild, blue yonder. Climbing high into the sun." Wednesday, my voice caught as I sang along with the Harmar Elementary students serenading veteran servicemen and women gathered at Settlers Bank. I grew up moving from station to station, wherever the U.S. Air Force sent ...

What does ‘award winning’ look like?

Awards are great things! They are great because they give an organization external recognition for the hard work and effort that the team is doing day in and out. An award says that your peers are cognizant of the work you are doing and they are endorsing your efforts. Award presentations are ...

Discovering all that the Mid-Ohio Valley has to offer

As a reporter in the Mid-Ohio Valley for nearly a decade before I took a (mostly) desk job as an editor in 2011, I’d been to most festivals, fairs and attractions many times over, and some more than I can count. But I was reminded recently that even in your own backyard, there are always new ...

Blight is a disease that must be cured

If your neighborhood is plagued by a dog infected with rabies, do you mourn the condition of the animal? Do you feel sorry for it, throw it a bone every once in a while — but let it continue to roam? Or do you put it down, humanely — yes — but swiftly so that your children, your ...

The benefits of being a morning person

I’m one of those annoying people. When many of you may be dragging yourselves out of bed, stumbling to get that desperately needed first cup of coffee, I’m hopping up, putting on my walking shoes and heading out the door. I’m not only a morning person but I’m an ...

Holding leadership accountable for the betterment of society

Though his life concluded nearly three decades ago, the words of the journalist-turned 1978 Noble Prize winner in Literature still ring true today. “The bitter truth is that we know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions,” said Issac Bashevis Singer ...

Tossing aside preconceived notions for sake of progress

Culturally informed service was the focus of great discussions this week within the boundaries of Marietta. “We want you to pause that instinct to rush to plan a project and think about what is the issue you’re trying to address first,” said Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, to her students in ...

New campaign evokes anticipation, excitement

Do you remember the early morning, night before the first day of school, the nervous stomach feeling? I sure do! That feeling of jitters in the pit of my stomach. A hybrid of excitement and edgy anticipation. An eagerness to return, yet the slightly apprehensive feeling that you weren’t ...

The tale of the Armory’s preservation and revival

Editor’s note: The following is part one of a two-part guest column in which one of the players on the ground at the beginning gives his account of the effort to preserve and restore the Armory. Part two will appear next week. The following is accounting of the 30-year history/evolution of ...

Congressman, are you listening?

“You have 30 minutes, well really 25 because the Congressman ran late.” With these words we were ushered into a room with Rep. Bill Johnson and two staffers. Rep. Johnson interrupted me half way through my ten minute presentation on sensible gun legislation to remind me again of the time ...

Working together for community

In many circles, the topic of aligned interests and leveraging is brought up. It’s framed as a funding strategy in government meetings. In other arenas, it’s described as finding allies or wingmen. And the last two weeks have offered our community concrete examples of wins that come ...

Coming together in the midst of crisis

The saying goes that you are your brother­’s keeper. There is also an idiom about turning a blind eye. Out of sight out of mind. I experienced firsthand all of these things recently and the experience was shocking, scary, life-affirming, head-scratching, sad and eye-opening all at ...

United we stand, divided we fail

Recent city public hearings have left many scratching their heads. Some left disheartened after hearing the word “no.” Some left frustrated saying words like “should,” “would” and “could.” And some in the following days took heat for their delivery. But the wins from ...

An ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy policy

By David E. Ballantyne I have, in the recent past, heard many people express the phrase; “I believe in an all of the above approach to energy policy.” It is mostly those persons who self-identify as Conservatives who use this phrase. I fall into that group. I support the phase. It is ...

Climate change and the changing political climate

By George Banziger, Ph.D. Just as sea levels and global temperatures are rising, public opinion is rising in the direction of greater support for the idea of human-caused climate change. In 2016, 57% of Americans believed that climate change is real and that it is caused by human activity; ...

Collaboration is the foundation for success

Collaboration. What does that mean? Is it the same as cooperation? Is it a product? A process? A concept? A notion? Or just a buzzword? At United Way, we build our success on solid and positive collaborations. We know it’s something much bigger than an industry buzzword. We know it is both ...

Colorectal cancer is a preventable disease

As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, I want to share the following information as we observe National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. More than 145,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and an ...