Category Archives: Columbus-Westside-Hilltop-Ohio

Some say myth of Hilltop

Was in a discussion thread yesterday and a prominent community person challenged by saying that “we keep maintaining the myth that the Hilltop is some sort of slum.” and that “we must limit ourselves to the actual truth.” We cannot continue to sugar coat issues that steadily occur on the Westside-Hilltop from entities that sit in ivory towers holding award ceremonies on accomplishments to our community and neighborhoods that perhaps would seem “mythical” to us. We cannot have members of our community continue to sit on prominent boards or lead in prominent entities when they themselves fester the problem with their own slumlord properties or properties that sit on prominent corridors of our Westside-Hilltop that have been decaying for decades with no improvements or plans to develop. Perhaps we can wonder why these people sit on such entities and ask businesses from outside of our community to develop here when they themselves have made no effort to make something viable of their properties?

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170319/income-inequality-despite-thriving-economy-many-in-central-ohio-struggle-in-low-wage-jobs

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Letterto the Editor: City is turning its back on Hilltop – Ruth Thurgood Mundy

In response to letter to the editor (see below):

I’ve said for three years now that the Hilltop is the no man’s land between 70W/W. Broad St and Wilson Rd. It’s even an embarrassment going west of Wilson Rd with the new sidewalks, lighting, and streets and the wonderful median strip that was beautifully filled with weeds this year. But let’s go further west on W. Broad St and see the wonderful developments going on in Lincoln Village. Their median strip was beautifully kept with sustainable plants that made a pleasure to go thru Lincoln Village. So why has the Hilltop failed and Franklinton and Lincoln Village have succeeded? Perhaps we are a lost cause. Perhaps we are the dumping ground of Section 8 vouchers from other areas of the city that had to move those populations out in order to revitalize. Perhaps we have land development banks that claim to be doing us good and patronize our community but really they are sectioning “poor” dollars to our neighborhoods in developments so that they can take the higher end dollars to better neighborhoods. Perhaps we are the new “project” place to be for homeless shelters, free medical facilities, and mental institutions after all that’s the people we have. Perhaps we are the famous place for out-of-state LLCs to buy up all our housing dirt cheap and then renting these properties unfixed, broken to people desperate for housing that will pay the high rent prices because they don’t qualify for other housing. And of course let’s thank and kiss the asses of our great Columbus City officials who walked our streets and talked the talk but still shy away from any tough stance on slumlords, tougher regulations from LLC’s buying up property, especially from out-of-state, and setting up slum housing right next to Hilltop residents who still give a damn but are damned for trying to get the city to do something. Let’s not even get into our new claim to fame of being the heroin place to be for the City of Columbus. Let’s continue to allow the city to dump clean needles and naloxone which we all get to view daily discarded in our alleys and sidewalks. Let’s continue to thank the City of Columbus for continually setting loose habitual drug sellers so that they continue to come back to our communities and continue our fame. Let’s continue to thank the city for turning a deaf ear on reported call-ins of known drug houses in our communities because resources can only be devoted to the “big gamers” while our small time drug dealers flourish on our streets and laugh and boldly sell in our streets because they know they are untouchable – they know the game. And finally let’s not begrudge the Hilltoppers that moved here and tried to do their best to make a better community but realize they are only one against many and are leaving in defeat because they only want a safe, clean, and sustainable, vibrant place to live.
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Letter to the Editor: City is turning its back on Hilltop
Saturday November 26, 2016 5:00 AM

In his 2016 State of the City address, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther stated, “We know there are other neighborhoods that could benefit from more city investment.” He then outlined plans for the Hilltop and Linden neighborhoods (Dispatch article, Feb. 25). However, it seems Ginther has quickly abandoned the Hilltop.
Since Ginther took office, Linden has emerged as the ostensible favorite child, with promised inclusion in the Smart City transportation program, offices for the new Department of Neighborhoods, and tax incentives for a new Huntington headquarters (“Huntington investing in Northland, Linden,” Dispatch article, Wednesday).
On the Hilltop, it is more of the same neglect: The city approved a tax credit to a major employer, Big Lots, to move offices out of the area (“Big Lots gets city tax break,” Dispatch article, July 19), and COTA is actually cutting bus service on some lines after voters in November renewed a sales tax for the transit system. The current administration takes credit for Hague Avenue improvements and sidewalk and sewer improvements, but these long-overdue Hilltop improvements were already set to be made under the administration of Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
Watching the promised investment go to Ginther’s pet project and not balancing the investment between the two neighborhoods is yet another signal to the West Side that City Hall is leaving the Hilltop further and further behind. How disappointing.
Ruth Thurgood Mundy
Columbus

Heroin Zombie Parade to Columbus City Council – 10/31/16

We could get a really cool zombie parade tomorrow in front of Columbus City Council if we just go out today or early tomorrow before the sun comes out and round up all the heroin junkies hanging in the alleys, bushes, vacant buildings, passed out in front of businesses or our school yards and parks. We could get tons of free needles provided by our outstanding city and can even get free Naloxone to keep these zombies stable while we put them in the tons of free grocery carts that clutter our alleys, parking lots, or recycling centers. We then just have to wheel them downtown just in time for council meeting. We’ll parade them around – all will be happy! Great community involvement round them up and leave them in the shopping carts in front of city hall. Yeah that’s the way. <Smiling smugly> Happy Halloween!

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Hope Over Heroin gathering brings hundreds for addiction help to Dodge Park

Obviously we need tougher initiatives stopping the dealers especially when you can realistically state on average at least two houses (mostly rentals) selling on each street thru out the Columbus Westside. We need tougher Judges in putting the dealers away. I understand we have overcrowded prisons but we need to think outside the box on handling these dealers. Heck, I’d ban them from living in the state. Ship them out. LOL, sarcasm aside, if you make the product harder to obtain, people addicted to these products will be forced to reevaluate what they are going to do and hopefully seek drug counseling services. Once here Counseling services need to step up and not focus so much on the stopping of the addiction but to find out what circumstances mental or otherwise have caused the addiction to begin with. This opens up a whole other door about providing adequate health and mental services for everyone as truthfully we all have been raised in an addictive society with doctors and the pharmaceutical industry pushing drugs down our throats from the day we are born. It takes a strong mind and character from the onset to maneuver around this constant bombardment from the doctors, pharmaceutical companies and especially the daily barrage of advertisements encouraging us to take pills for everything from gas, pain, too much hair to too little hair. Unfortunately, not everyone has this strong mind and character for a variety of reasons – Why? Perhaps if we find out, we can finally curb this and all drug epidemics!

Hope Over Heroin gathering brings hundreds for addiction help to Dodge Park
By Mike Huson
The Columbus Dispatch • Saturday August 20, 2016 5:08 AM

When Christina Littler learned last week that she nearly lost one of her legs due to an infection that had set in from repeatedly plunging syringes into the back of her right knee, she knew she had to make a change.
She knew she had to kick her heroin addiction. And she knew she would need help.
“I’ve been to rehab seven times,” Littler, 25, of the Hilltop, said. “But this time I have to. I’m going to die. And I need to be here for my 2-year-old daughter.”
She joined several hundred Ohioans Friday at Dodge Park in Franklinton for the first of a two-day “Hope Over Heroin” event, a faith-based gathering that offers freeheroin-addiction support to the public, along with food and live music.
Hope Over Heroin launched in summer 2014, after more than 14 deaths from heroin overdoses in a single week in Hamilton County in southwest Ohio, according to the group’s’ website.
That year, 2,531 Ohio residents died from unintentional drug overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before, according to an Ohio Department of Health report. Heroin accounted for about 47 percent of those deaths.
Since then, the Cincinnati-based movement has gone mobile, bringing its mission to end heroin addiction to cities throughout Ohio, as well as parts of Kentucky and Indiana.
The Rev. Jeff Leslie, of Judah Tabernacle on the South Side, joined other pastors and volunteers onstage Friday to offer hope and motivation to the crowd.
“We want the community to come to the awareness of the epidemic of heroin that is here, and offer the opportunity to get freedom from that and not have to stay in that condition,” he said.
To Leslie, faith in a higher power offers a powerful partner on the road to recovery.
About 30 churches participated in the Dodge Park event, helping connect addicts with on-hand representatives from 35 rehab and detoxification services.
Access to resources, however, wasn’t restricted based on spirituality or religion.
Ohio Addiction Recovery Center CEO Josh Butcher was there, offering his organization’s non-faith-based services to recovering addicts.
After eight years of sobriety from heroin, Butcher said he appreciates the importance of assistance in recovery, regardless of its connection with spirituality.
“In recovery, it’s about helping another addict, so if I see someone struggling, I’m going to give them the tools for the knowledge that I have,” he said. “Whether they decide to use it is up to them.”
Littler, who is not religious, huddled with volunteers for a group prayer after being blessed near one of the four large baptismal pools by the stage.
She said she plans to again attempt to detoxify and rehabilitate at a center in Gahanna starting Monday, this time, with the Lord watching over her.
Hope Over Heroin will continue Saturday at Dodge Park, 667 Sullivant Ave. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will be preceded by a prayer march and memorial at 5:30 p.m.
mhuson@dispatch.com
@Mike_Huson

The Columbus Health Department is targeting the Hilltop for its rat control program this spring.

The Columbus Health Department is targeting the Hilltop for its rat control program this spring.

Health department spokesman Scott Whittaker told the Greater Hilltop Area Commission at its Feb. 2 meeting that the aim of the program is to determine if there is a problem, what is causing it, and how to get rid of it. He explained that the rat control project began in 2012 in Clintonville and has spread to different neighborhoods, with success.

Rodent control program discussed at Hilltop Commission

Will the West Side Ever Cash in on the Casino?

There is no doubt that the Hollywood Casino has been an improvement to the Westside-Hilltop community. The Casino has many times given money to community causes. Of course the amount is impacted by how much business the casino itself brings in. I have seen many improvements on W. Broad St – of course west of Wilson Rd but nonetheless, improvements. Our problem is (On the Hilltop) and will continue to be a problem because of housing overstock, housing decay, slumlord investors praying and renting to less fortunate populations. This will continue to be unless communities/associations/leaders start working together to force the city to put tough ordinances in place to require that properties be maintained to a standard (and enforced) and to strongly regulate investors renting properties. There needs to be high standard requirements when an investor, especially absentee comes in and starts renting properties that wouldn’t be fit to live in for most of us, but rather geared to a desperate population willing to pay for inefficient housing because they may not qualify elsewhere. We as community citizens need to stop being complacent and stop allowing the trash dumping, drug houses, prostitution, and especially crime to person and property to move in to our streets and communities. We need to start working together with one voice in bringing suggestions, solutions to the city for implementation. If current commissions or associations are not stepping up to this task then we need to have them disbanded and form new ones. In short we can’t be blaming the Hollywood Casino because first they are not in our community they are in Franklin Township who benefits from a percentage of their income taxes. The Casino generously donates money to community causes for the Hilltop, however they are not responsible for the issues facing us. We are. Get out and contribute. Amazingly enough, it starts by just taking care of your own property, picking up the trash on your own street, observing what goes on around you and document it, report it and to FOLLOW-UP. In today’s world nothing is ever resolved by addressing it one time, it is a continual process. It is demanding, draining, and can be time-consuming but if you want a better community you have no choice but to contribute and not be complacent to what is going on around you. Let’s all start today by going out and daily picking up the trash in front of your house, yard and back ways. You will be amazed what you will see in one month of doing this.

Big Boxes next to trash receptacles

Just a friendly reminder that those big boxes or packages should not just be left sitting beside the alley 300 gallon trash receptacles or left sitting next to your 75 gallon individual family receptacles, please break them down appropriately and if possible place inside the trash receptacle. Additionally they are not to be used as additional trash holdings next to the receptacles.

Ideally since these boxes are cardboard, why not break them down and include them in your bi-weekly recyclables.

Finally leaving these big boxes or packages that identify expensive items received or given for Christmas, makes our community homes a potential target for burglary regardless if the item was from your home or not. Please be responsible.

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