Category Archives: Community

Confederate Monuments

Jeez, rename schools, tear down monuments, and now consider Camp Chase which by the way was only a training camp for Ohio volunteer army soldiers, a parole camp, a muster outpost, and later a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederates and civilians suspected of actively supporting secession and now a cemetery that does annually hold a ceremony to commemorate the Confederate soldiers who had been held and died there. Guess The Hilltop Historical Society better stop placing those Confederate flags on the graves every year!

Next we will redact our history books as we all shouldn’t be reminded of the evil things that we as Americans have done in our past. So it’s ok to protest today with hateful pointless violence and killing activities that we as a civilized society continue today all in the name of claiming that indicators of our evil history should be erased.

In my long years and many places that I have visited, some very horrific, I many times questioned why we memorialized such tragic events in our history. Each time I was pointed to the following saying:

        ’Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ – George Santayana

So today when I look at a monument especially the many in the south I don’t see a monument of hate, I look at the history behind the person or moment in history being memorialized, I look, I learn and realize that for every bad, evil, embarrassing moments in our history there has always been good, growth, and triumphs associated with it. We as a nation, as a country, as a melting pot of people, would not be where we are today if not for the combination of the both. I by no means say this is a favorable model but we has human beings have struggled and will continue to struggle with good and evil.

In an age where our entire history is available in the palm of our hand and current events is shared in a fraction of a second, perhaps we can take a minute or two and use our smartphone to snap a picture of that monument and read the history behind that memorialization instead of snapping a picture of it’s destruction and the hate and violence that went with the process. At least the monument for the decades it’s been there didn’t hurt anyone; it only stirred up feelings that perhaps could have been better guided if the history behind it was understood CLEARLY first and realize the monument is merely referencing a point in time in history and not a point in time of the present.

Monument:

  • a statue, building, or other structure erected to commemorate a famous or notable person or event.
  • a statue or other structure placed by or over a grave in memory of the dead.
  • a building, structure, or site that is of historical importance or interest.

In my research I came across this article with interest: http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/20/erasing-history-makes-us-likely-repeat-mistakes/

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“Summer Jam West brightens Hilltop”

“Summer Jam West brightens Hilltop”

True leadership is not about being a part of an organization or becoming involved with the status quo. Patti Von Niessen​ is a true inspiration and a much needed visionary in bringing quality events to the Columbus Westside Hilltop. She accomplished this without affiliation but rather taking her vision in bringing art to our community. In doing so she brought people from all cultures together, to mingle, eat, enjoy art, enjoy music, and make new friends. She has accomplished more in bringing people together with a solid theme of activities, events, and learning in the past 4 years than any organization here on the Columbus Westside Hilltop has attempted to do in the past 25 years. This in my opinion makes for a true leader, an inspiration for us all!

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By Andrew Keiper
The Columbus Dispatch

Posted Jul 8, 2017 at 9:01 PM
Updated Jul 8, 2017 at 9:01 PM

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170708/summer-jam-west-brightens-hilltop

Laughter rises from the mingling crowd, mixing with music booming across Westgate Park and the smoke from the eclectic array of food trucks. For an afternoon, all is right on the Hilltop.
The fourth annual Summer Jam West arts and culture festival kicked off early Saturday afternoon, bringing in a diverse group of community members, artists and vendors. From a children’s face-painting tent and a local ice cream shop to a broad display of area bands, the festival hosted a bevy of Columbus offerings.
The festival is an attempt to break down the formal cultural and physical distance that make Downtown galleries often inaccessible to Hilltop residents, said Patti Von Niessen, the executive director of the Summer Jam West nonprofit.
“Being able to have art brought to them is huge,” Von Niessen said. “We’re an art desert out here. There’s virtually no public art.”
This year’s theme is “Moving and Grooving,” and, per tradition, a huge mural was painted to commemorate it. Local artist Roger Williams donated his time and talents to complete the massive 95-foot-long painting along the nearby Camp Chase Trail. Murals from years past can be found dotting Westgate Park.
Von Niessen has been a neighborhood resident since 2009, and began the organization in 2012. What started as a modest 1,000-attendee festival has blossomed to attract an estimated 6,000 this year, taking up most of Westgate Park’s 43 acres.
Brian Marcus, Hilltop resident and local artist, has witnessed the growth and positive effects of the festival over the years. His hand-drawn, psychedelic artwork decorated his vendor’s tent, which he said was meant to help showcase the creativity of the community rather than turn a profit.
Marcus was commissioned by Von Niessen’s organization to paint a panel that was awarded to a local business for quality work in the community. Such initiatives aren’t uncommon for Summer Jam West, which Von Niessen said tries to proliferate permanent art installations throughout the neighborhood.
“We keep as much of our money on the Hilltop as possible,” she said. “We try and live up to our socialist attitude, you know?”

Her hyperlocal commitment is recognized by a wide coalition of sponsors from across Columbus. The $30,000 festival is made possible by donations from Heartland Bank, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, Hollywood Casino and Puffin Foundation West, to name a few.
Summer Jam West is a welcome change of pace for community members and local police officers alike.
Horse-mounted and K-9 officers watched as children played with the animals, a cruiser was open for kids to inspect and take photographs, and patrol officers roamed the park grounds with ice cream or fried chicken in their hands.
Brian Newsome, a community liaison officer for the Hilltop precinct, has worked at the festival for the past several years. He’s noticed the benefits brought on by the artistic initiatives of Summer Jam West.
The event, which he said has remained peaceful in years past, helps to revitalize and bond the neighborhood.
“Just trying to bring back that neighborhood feel of community, to know your neighbor,” Newsome said. “I just think all around, it makes it more of a community event.”
akeiper@dispatch.com
@keiperjourno

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Gearhearts Property Petition for no liquor license

I myself am not in favor of a drive-thru at this location as the layout will only cause traffic chaos. I’m not too concerned about liquor as it is accessible everywhere around the school and Buckeye Ranch that the petition’s author appears to highlight. The issue really is the traffic congestion that will be caused. The W. Broad St first block corridor has become and will continue to become business preferred real estate especially if a community wants to promote and bring business to the area; after all where are you going to put it otherwise?

Personally if one community is so concerned about liquor in their neighborhood then they should just petition for the entire area to be “dry”. I would like to see all of W. Broad become dry especially extending east of Hague. Personally living north of W. Broad St, I’m sure the business would be up and running with no concern whatsoever because that is how things are done between Hague and Wilson. As a side note I especially love how the signers won’t display their name. If you don’t want to have something then back it up with your name.

Well, what’s one more liquor carryout? Stating that this establishment is too close to the school or Buckeye ranch is no different than the gas station on the corner or the carryout on N. Hague and Steel or the Julian Foods carryout further west or the two gas stations on Sullivant and S. Hague Ave. Not to mention liquor access on just about every 3 blocks east of Hague Ave. The petition is flawed for this reason and will never carry. It should have been written to make the area dry.

I post the petition link here anyway to promote their cause but again just make the area “dry” already to stop all future concerns that the primary issue of this petition seems to focus on.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/818/457/932/please-reject-the-carryoutdrive-thru-licenses-for-the-old-gearhearts-property/?taf_id=36379005&cid=fb_na#bbfb=455772643

I post the petition link here anyway to promote their cause but again just make the area “dry” already to stop all future concerns that the primary issue of this petition seems to focus on.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/818/457/932/please-reject-the-carryoutdrive-thru-licenses-for-the-old-gearhearts-property/?taf_id=36379005&cid=fb_na#bbfb=455772643

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Opiate Addiction License to do Crime

Opiate Addiction License to do Crime

Ok, call me insensitive but we’ve been dealing with this opiate addiction in whatever form for decades now. As a community we’ve demanded ways to remove drug dealing from our streets. We’ve asked for tools and followed thru with those tools to assist law enforcement in tackling this menacing problem. We’ve taken pictures, we’ve created logs, we’ve created online forums and community pages, and documented the trafficking by people and by vehicle. We’ve set up networks to advise neighbors near and nearer and we are still dealing with this problem. We diligently take time to do this so that our police can do their part just to have these criminals face our criminal system just to be put back in our communities doing business as usual.

So now we have made this big humane issue of these poor addicts that need all the help we can provide them so that they can overcome their addiction as defined as a disease. So now we are saying that since they have a disease it’s okay that they robbed 5 houses on the street so they can walk to the corner drug house to get their “next fix”. It’s ok that since they have a disease it’s ok that they killed two people in an automobile accident. Perhaps it’s finally been identified along the way somewhere that you can’t incarcerate an addict in hopes of “rehabilitating” them to not be an addict when they return to our neighborhoods.

In short I see leniency towards the drug dealers so that they can continue the cycle of selling to addicts; I see empathy and compassion towards the drug users that are not responsible for their actions and therefore should not be held accountable for their crimes. So now that we’ve established that no-one is to blame, perhaps we need to look towards our doctors and pharmaceutical industry for creating three generations of people addicted to opiates, pain pills, antacids, OTC pain, and everything from staying hard to keeping pimples off your ass.

Meanwhile our communities, the victims, continually absorb the ever increasing drug trade, drug users, crime, vandalism, decay, prostitution, stealing, and finally being the absolute victims of being stuck in all this because even though with all our efforts to make a better community, we’ve condemned ourselves to living in the continual squalor, the squalor intensified by the many used needles on our streets (of course provided for by our city), the freely available naloxone (of course provided for by our city), to assist our drug addict friends, and now discussions of non-criminal offenses for this disease.

I have a disease myself, I believe you’d all call it unempathetic or non-humane. Perhaps someone can help me and my community friends by finding ways to cure this disease. I think the treatment is realizing that we are victims too, we tend to be the ones fighting up front to get help in combating this drug epidemic and although we aren’t the ones reported dead in the media, shown strung out in the streets, or showing pictures of the drug addicts families trying to recover from the loss of an addict; we seem to be the ones that are pushed aside, neglected and although thanked for our dedicated endeavors in bringing a drug dealer to trial we are rewarded by seeing them back on our streets continuing where they left off and now we feel the progression of the disease by now being afraid to walk in our own neighborhoods because that drug dealer knows who we are and although the courts had mercy on them with lenient sentences, those dealers sure won’t have leniency on us!

So pish for posh, I really don’t want to hear about those “poor” addicts who cannot control their actions without equally hearing about how we can combat the drug selling and discussing how a community can protect itself from both the addicts and the dealers.

http://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/franklin-co-coroners-office-hosting-opiate-crisis-summit

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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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Police did just cause by taking down a person with intent/success to harm others at OSU on 11/28/16

Radicalized, ISIS inspired, disgruntled, prejudiced against, it doesn’t matter and who cares. Police did just cause by taking down a person with intent/success to harm others.

We are no longer in a realm where we can sit down and psycho analyze whether a person who is demonstrating intent to harm others is going to follow thru or not.

The person is dead and I have no desire to listen to endless discussions as to the conditions that lead that person to do what he did. Do I sound cold and un-empathetic? Perhaps, all I know is that I stand behind the police officer’s actions as just and quick acting appropriate to the situation.

I watch daily in my own neighborhood gunshots being fired out of vehicles, gangs of men beating up and robbing women, drugs being sold, break-ins and vandalism. Our real issue is what is going on in our own neighborhoods. This person’s actions at OSU is no different than the actions I just mentioned as going on in our own neighborhoods. Both involve intent to harm others or property with no regard as to that harm.


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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