All posts for the month February, 2013

Doomsday Preppie arrested

Published February 22, 2013 by justicewg

Photo from lasard's Flicker streamTwo cultural standards collided in Worthington last week, and resulted in the arrest and eventual commitment of a man to a state mental-health facility.

“Worthington Police Lt. Mike Dougherty said Velie is a “doomsday preppie,” which is someone who stockpiles weapons, food, batteries and other necessities. They are stocking up for the ‘big one,’”

“This guy had enough J. Press and Brooks Brothers clothing stored up to outfit a small army. He was found to be hording Argyle sweaters, chinos, madras, Nantucket Reds, button down Oxford cloth shirts, and boat shoes. I guess he though he would come out of his bunker after the apocalypse and start his own preppie school. We can’t have that sort of thing going on in our community, even after the big one. It would be better for humanity to die out. “

Police determined that the collision of the preppie culture and the Prepper survivalist memes had driven the man into mental shock, requiring his involuntary commitment. “He kept saying “Buffy and Biff need to be ready WTSHTF, OMG, LOL.” We didn’t understand him, so we sent him for treatment.”


The lighter side of lawsuits – (G.W.)

Published February 14, 2013 by justicewg
Photo by Gerry Dincher

Photo by Gerry Dincher CC Flickr

Back in 2003, a lawsuit against a city official was in the news, and it was a little ridiculous.

A relative of then mayor Sexton had been mentioned in an email between council members, and the word “shacked up” was used to describe a living arrangement. Somehow this email became public, and was the ignition point for a lawsuit against the council member. After the story of the lawsuit was printed in the This Week Grandview, I sent a letter to the editor, and made this post in my old blog.

(From 2003)

“To the Editor:

I read with great interest the story in This Week Grandview about the lawsuit that the Mayor’s brother has filed against council member Kelley Finan.

I have always been happy living in my shack, and I never realized that using the term “shacked up” could be thought of as an insult. I’m proud of my shack – it has an indoor outhouse, the roof only leaks a little, and when I finish painting the outside it will be the pride of the neighborhood (but that’s what I’ve been saying for the last ten years).

I take great offense that the Mayor’s brother would insult shacks like mine – I think I have suffered harm, mental distress, and if I had a job it could cause a potential loss of income. In the great tradition of Americans who deserve to sue for every insult, I am considering a lawsuit for a MILLION dollars. If that is not possible, I would take a set of tires for my pickup truck. It’s been up on blocks for a while, and if I can get some tires – even used ones with a little tread left on them – I will consider this matter closed.

(Suggested music to play while reading this letter – Love Shack, by the B-52s.)”

(From 2003)

Some points about this old post.

Yes, there really was a lawsuit because a council member used the words “shacked up”. Yes, the newpaper really did print my letter.

I’m not sure what the results of this lawsuit were. I know what the important result was, council members and school board members became paranoid about using their email to express any honest emotion, for fear of being sued. Most of them will not use email at all. That’s a loss for the community. There is taking a normal amount of care to be sensitive, and there is being terrified to say a word because you might get sued. We have gone way overboard with the lawsuits, and I don’t know what the solution to this is, but we have lost a lot in a litigation society.

I used to have a special icon for the funny posts on my old website. I thought it was needed, because no matter how ridiculous the topic of a post, there are always humor impaired people who need a big flashing sign that says “this is a joke”. You know what? The heck with those people. If you think I was serious when I suggested statues of Marx and Engels be placed in Grandview Yard, you just have a little fit over it.

This post is not a commentary of the lawsuit currently in litigation against superintendent O’Reilly. I’m sure all parties to that action are not seeing much to laugh about. Back in the old days, I think this sort of situation would have been resolved by people getting in each other’s faces and screaming for a while. Now we pay lawyers a lot of money and spend years in court.

Junctionview Studios closing

Published February 11, 2013 by justicewg

Junctionview_closedFrom the Junctionview website:

“Over the past several years, Junctionview Studios has been home to a multitude of creative individuals and host to dozens of great events. At the end of April 2013, Junctionview Studios will close its doors.

Since the purchase of the building by Nationwide Realty Investors in 2008, the tenants of the space have known that this site would eventually be redeveloped as part of the Grandview Yard Project. Nationwide has served as a very upfront, honest, and helpful landlord over the past several years. For the past years we have worked with them in a positive fashion and now it is time to move on.

While some may view this as a sad event, we would prefer to look at it as part of the road to progress. Tenants of the building will find new homes in other arts buildings and add to the momentum that is taking place in the greater Columbus arts scene.”

An article posted on interviews some of the artists.

An article in the Dispatch mentions 400 West Rich, an artist space on the west side that seems to be the successor to Junctionview.

School superintendent Ed O’Reilly is being sued by a parent

Published February 4, 2013 by justicewg

I keep an eye on the search terms that people use to find this blog, and over the past few weeks a number of searchers were using the words “lawsuit grandview heights schools” (or some variation of those terms). A little google-fu allowed me to find the documents online for this case, which was filed last year.

A parent was having issues with the school and there had been some conferences at which the parent expressed dissatisfaction with the educational plans for his child. At some point, personnel at the school heard things said that caused them to suspect the parent was engaged in child abuse, and they reported the parent to the Franklin County Children’s Services and the Grandview Heights Police Department. Each agency investigated, and found there was no child abuse.

The parent alleges that school officials falsely reported child abuse to those agencies, and has filed a lawsuit.

I have talked to a few experienced teachers about this case, and they think there is almost no chance this was caused by a teacher (or administrator) making up false charges. Parents come into the school and throw fits because they want changes to the educational plans quite often, and while the school officials might not like the histrionics some parents can express, they are nothing special. Getting even with a parent by false child abuse charges is not common. For the teachers, filing charges involves a good bit of paperwork and meetings, and puts them in the spotlight. They don’t do it for fun.

Even if the parent has good reason to suspect he was being harassed with the child abuse charges in order to keep him quiet, it makes little sense to go public with this sort of lawsuit. The classic “Streisand effect” will put the parents in the position of high publicity, and their names will be associated with the child abuse investigation longer than if they had kept quiet.

I’m not going to name the parents. The info is out there on the net. It is the kind of news that should be reported, because the school doesn’t get many lawsuits (I suspect the reason it hasn’t been in the TVN is because they do a poor job of reporting local news since the consolidation of the newspapers). I’ll keep an eye on the court proceedings, but unless other parents come forward with similar charges, I think this will end with no effect on the schools.

(later) In case there is anyone who wants to discuss the contents of this post, there is a contact form on the “About” section of the website. There is also comment section for the post for more public discussion.

More after the jump.

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Whatever happened to Grandview Station? – (G.W.)

Published February 4, 2013 by justicewg

Another repost from the old blog. The Kaplin tract was on the minds of the city council during the recent retreat , is it possible the property will be developed faster than the 2021 date that was projected?

(From Febuary 2008)

Back in early 2006 the big buzz was the proposal by the Bear Creek Capital developers to build a large shopping center at the corner of 33 and Grandview Ave. The project, called “Grandview Station”, was at first proposed to contain two “big box” retailers, with Home Depot and Wal-Mart mentioned as possible tenants. From the initial application:

The conditional uses proposed by the applicant are incorporated into a development plan for a large shopping center. The development plan includes two large retailing operations of approximately 200,000 +sq. ft. and 102,000 sq. ft., five (5) restaurant out parcels containing a combined building size of nearly 23,000 sq. ft. and a mixed use office/retail building of 49,000 sq. ft.

Opposition by Grandview residents was swift. Speakers at city council meetings said they didn’t think the massive stores fit into the Grandview tradition, would be good employers, or would be a good long term use of the land.

In March of 2006, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s dual-jurisdictional vision for a revitalized Grandview Avenue-Dublin Road was presented. Residents received copies of the study during the first meeting of the Dublin Pike Planning Area, an ad hoc committee of the city council. This plan called for a higher intensity, urban mixed use of the area, including office, retail, and residential. While the plan was viewed as a better use of the land, it was only a suggestion. Later the more formal Dublin Pike Resolution clarified the zoning intent for the area (which is for smaller development, not big box stores). This required the Bear Creek people to make substantial revisions.

A March 2006 recommendation by the city to the planning commission killed the first plan with the big box stores.

After the rejection of the first plan by the Grandview planning commission (the application was rejected because it was incomplete, but the above recomentation would have killed it anyway), Bear Creek was supposed to come back with a new plan. Here is a post I make in April of 2006, listing the players and current events.

As of this date (Feb 2008), although the website remains, (well, it did back when this post was put up, it is a 404 now) Bear Creek has not renewed its option on the land. The last mention of the project in the council meeting notes is in Nov. 2006, when some planning meetings were still under way. I asked Director of Administration Patrik Bowman if there had been any more word on the project:

The project is currently dead. Bear Creek has not renewed its option. The restaurant did change hands but I have not talked with the new owner. I’m afraid that given the cost of the restaurant and motel there may be pressure for surface user–gas stations/drive-thrus.

So which do you prefer, Grandview – watching a boarded up motel slowly rot away, or shall we allow a developer to build a gas station or drive-thru? My suggestion would be to tear it all down and build a park – with all that non-existent money that the city will never have.

Despite the loss of new development in Grandview, the council did a good job holding off a deep pockets proposal that simply was wrong for the city. Maybe NRI should be studying the history of this proposed development before they try to lean on the city council.

(Feb. 2008)