Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Breaking News - HSUS Off Ballot this Fall

HSUS won’t be on the ballot this November with an initiative that could cause chaos in Ohio’s, and Darke County’s, agriculture industry, as it has in California, Michigan, Florida and other states. The agreement was reached at 3 p.m. today, and did not include participation from the Farm & Dairy industry. What do you think?

Compromise reached: HSUS off the ballot in November
by Kristy Foster

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Battery cages, gestation crates and veal crates will be phased out changing production practices on many farms in the years to come.

Compromise reached

The Humane Society of the United States, Gov. Ted Strickland and Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, announce a compromise has been reached between the organizations. There will be no ballot initiative regarding livestock on the November ballot.

Opinion - Special Edition, School Bond Part 2

What’s right
That’s My Opinion – Special Edition
By Bob Robinson

“Lies, lies and more lies.”
“My Dad would have beat me if I even looked like I was lying…” said Bill Funderburg, GSD Board Member and chair of the final bond campaign for this option. He had asked if he could clear up a few things from my Monday opinion. We did that and more.
The story was posted Tuesday. If you haven’t already checked it out, do so.
I have often heard… “I’m not voting for anything in this district because…” The reasons are numerous. They go back a lot further than I’ve been here to remember, and I can remember a bunch in my eight years in Darke County.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guest Opinion - Stegall on Jobs

Mike Stegall on Jobs

Every politician this time of year starts telling us what they are going to do for us (or to us in some cases) if elected.  It is part and parcel to the election process.  It is always the same, too.  Lower taxes, cut in government spending, more this, more that, and last but not least, jobs.  All politicians know that jobs are what drive our economy, and without them, they cannot give some of our money back to us.  They realize that jobs create tax money, and tax money allows them to spend it the way they think we want.  Not necessarily spent wisely, but spent none the less.

Report - Funderberg on the GSD Bond Issue

Funderberg: Don’t vote against the kids
By Bob Robinson

“I’m not in an easy position,” said Bill Funderberg. “We’re down 0-2.”
Funderberg was referring to the recently announced campaign to get the Greenville School District’s $24.7 million bond issue passed by district voters. He will be heading the third and final attempt to get voter approval for a new 5-8 school on Ohio Street.
“The question I keep asking myself is what are we going to do with our kids 20 years from now if we don’t get this passed?” he said.
He added that the District doesn’t have many options.

Opinion - It's your money

It’s your money
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson

It must be a personality defect.
As long as I keep my mouth shut, or ask mundane questions, I’m okay. But when I start to dig… try to understand or get to the meat of something, red flags go up and tempers flair.
It happened a few weeks ago with Darke County Commissioner Terry Haworth, and Wednesday with Commissioner Mike Rhoades. The trials and tribulations of wanting to understand the functions of our local government? Or I’m just too “in your face?” I don’t know.
Either way, I’m too old to change. I’ll have to live with it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Opinion - Special Edition on School Levy

It just might work
That’s My Opinion – Special Edition
By Bob Robinson

“Lies, lies and more lies,” said one angry taxpayer.
“I’m concerned about the approach they’ve taken,” said a levy supporter.
“It’s out-and-out bribery,” said another, also a supporter.
“When will they understand that ‘no’ means ‘no’?” said yet another. He was against it then, still is.
There have been many comments about Greenville School District’s third campaign to get a new 5-8 building bond passed in August for the Ohio Avenue property. So far, all of them negative… even from their supporters.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Report - Economic Development

My interest in jobs and economic development in Darke County remains strong. Economic Development Director Marc Salek, despite his busy schedule, has been kind enough to meet with me on occasion and share what information he was in a position to divulge.
For years, there were questions regarding what Partners for Progress was doing and the lack of any real coordinated efforts to improve the economic outlook for the county.
All that changed last November. Salek was appointed EDD and he hit the ground running.

Bits & Pieces - Jordan calls from Europe

Bits ‘n Pieces - Jordan calls from Europe

I’ve lived too long.
As a young man, I watched with fascination as news clips were broadcast of the time that newsreels were shown in movie theaters.
“Wow. Talk about ancient,” I thought. By this time I was watching similar newsreels on the six o’clock news.
A few years later, I was typing out press releases on a manual typewriter, using this new-fangled thing called a Xerox copier to send copies all over Texas and the country by snail mail.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Opinion - Thank Your Military

Susan sent this to me. If you haven't seen it, it is ABSOLUTELY worth three minutes of your time to thank those who give so much...

Balderdash - PC or Mac, Mac?

“Verity - the quality or state of being true or real; Balderdash – nonsense.”
Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary

PC or Mac, Mac?
Verities & Balderdash
By Bob Robinson

We’ll slam PC’s in a moment. First, a few fond memories from my Texas days…
A cowboy walks into a bar and
orders three mugs of beer. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a
sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to
the bar and orders three more.
The bartender tells the cowboy, “You know, a mug can go
flat. It would taste better if you bought one at a
The cowboy replies, “Well, I have two brothers. One is in
 Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When they left home, we promised that we'd do this to remember 
the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of
 my brothers and one for myself.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Opinion Special Edition - The True Liberal?

The true liberal?
That’s My Opinion – Special Edition
By Bob Robinson

I’ve been ‘outed.’
John Graham called, said he wanted to meet. We talked. He patiently answered my questions. Then I said… “and why did you want to meet?”
He tossed a sheet of paper in front of me.
It was an “offender details” sheet posted on the Pickaway County Sheriff’s web site, Circleville, Ohio.
I looked at him questioningly.
“You said sex offenders should be drawn and quartered…”
“Sex predators. There’s a difference…”
“Predators, then. That sheet tells me you don’t really mean that.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Graham responds to concerns

Graham responds to concerns
By Bob Robinson

“There was only one allegation in the past that I’m aware of that was reported to the police,” John Graham said. “We could find nothing to substantiate it, but the individual’s parole officer still made him wear an ankle bracelet for four months… just to be safe.
“Accusations like that are taken seriously,” he added.
Graham has been under fire in his community – the East Main, Ludlow and Third Street area of Greenville – for his Good Samaritan Program, in which sex offenders are being housed and mentored. A number of individuals made allegations of misconduct by residents at a recent Citizens4Change meeting. They included his residents watching or talking to children and, in one case, whistling at a female neighbor.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guest Opinion - Mike Stegall, Packing our Bag

Packing our Bag
By Mike Stegall
Republican Candidate for Darke County Commissioner

     For 27 years I refereed High School football games.  I had a great crew, all from Greenville, and we stayed together without much change that whole time.  We were pretty good, not by just my account, but also according to our assigning agents.  We worked hard, studied, prepared and always were where we were supposed to be.  In all those years, I did a lot of things right, and pretty well.  Now, thinking back on those years, I realize I did one thing perfect every time, and never missed anything.  The best thing I did, and most officials do, is pack their bag. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Independence Day Celebration

Independence Day at Shade

Ready for a great time over Independence Day weekend? The Greenville Eagles are ready to give it to you at Shade Road on July 3.
The Shade Road Independence Day Celebration will be bigger than ever this year thanks to the return of Darke County’s largest fireworks display. The event starts at noon and culminates “whenever!”

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Citizens 4 Change

By Bob Robinson

“We intend to be proactive, not reactive,” said Citizens4Change co-organizer Kathy Beam at their Town Hall meeting Saturday morning at Greenville Park. Over 100 people attended.

The group met over the homes John Graham is using to house released sex offenders in the concentrated residential area of East Main, 3rd Street and Ludlow.
She said the group had four goals: an action plan for change, inform residents of the needs of the community, become big enough to bring about change and to celebrate change when it has been accomplished.
“I’m not against sex offenders,” she said. “I’m against them being in a residential community around our children.”
She added that the group was not just about the current controversy but would also be addressing other problems in their community. The drug problem was noted as an area of concern.
The action plan was detailed by co-organizer John Baumgardner. It included making sure that local ordinances were enforced, writing letters to media outlets and representatives, letting those who support Graham’s program know that there are better ways to help the community, and seek donations so an attorney could be hired to challenge the program.
“We need to make the community a place where people want to live,” he said, adding that they are losing good people and replacing them with bad people.

Verity - Angels

“Verity - the quality or state of being true or real; Balderdash – nonsense.”
Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Verities & Balderdash
By Bob Robinson

This was sent by a friend who usually sends me stuff I can’t print. This time he surprised me. I don’t usually pass these on because I get a ton of them… but none with quite the punch this one has.
If you can survive it without a box of Kleenex, you’re a better person than I am.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guest Column - Citizens for change?

Jim Foutz and I have been on the opposite sides of the fence for years. He was vocal when I was at The Advocate… he remains vocal today. I don’t agree with all of his points, but I strongly suggest you get all sides of the issue in coming to your conclusions. He has done his research and is willing to take responsibility for his opinions. By the way, his comment about my comment is true… but I stand by it.

Citizens for change?
James Foutz, Greenville

What burns me is people sitting in their ivory towers on their thrones passing judgments on others who speak about those that after being released from prison have not re-offended or done anything criminally wrong. The uneducated fears and smears spread by those like Councilmen Baumgardner and gang, who proudly state “we need the city to run them out of town and close all of John Grahams’ residential “facilities” are due to fear and what may happen.

Opinion - Where are the Opponents?

Where are the opponents?
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson

It’s been an interesting and challenging week.
There were a number of primaries across the nation last week. Unless you watched Fox News you probably didn’t hear much about them. The “Good Guys” didn’t do so well, so I guess the major networks weren’t interested.
However, they have an excuse. The oil spill is about the only thing pulling in the viewers these days. Ratings sell advertising; and images of oil gushing, dark globs on the sand and wildlife covered in brown goo gets the viewers.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don Wright... at it again!

Don Wright’s at it again

If you happen to be driving south on State Hwy 127, at the intersection of 36 West, you might want to glance at the pasture (southwest corner) where horses are grazing peacefully, but be sure to maintain your composure and control over your vehicle.
The last thing Don wants is to cause an accident… but he’ll sure catch your attention. Whether you agree with him or not!
Don’t be too surprised if this doesn’t catch on like the billboards that say, “It’s the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlement!”, or “Would you let Congress run your Family Budget?”, or the famous picture of GW asking: “Do you miss me yet?”
If it does, you’ll have been one of the first to see it…

Bits & Pieces - ObamAWOL

Bits ‘n Pieces
By Bob Robinson

President Barack Obama goes on national television to cover his (censored) on the BP oil crisis but it doesn’t help his Rasmussen approval rating. It remains at I believe an all-time low of -20 for the third day in a row. That translates to a 24 percent strong approval rating and a 44 percent strong disapproval rating.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bits & Pieces - Who will sit there in January?

Who will sit there in January?
Bits ‘n Pieces
By Bob Robinson

The power of the pen. No sooner had I posted my earlier blog than I had the photo. However, Advocate reporter Tony MacKenzy said I was supposed to give him my email address, which I thought he had but evidently he didn’t. He got it from Tina Chalmers, his Editor. The caption on the email was “That wasn’t the deal, Bob.”
I was also told I can “use it for whatever sundry purposes you might have in mind.”
I’ll take your word for it, Tony, and I apologize. I also thank you. The only sundry purpose I have in mind for the moment is this blog, but I’ll file the offer for future reference. The photo is a kick. Here it is, folks… 

So who WILL sit there in January? Only one of them, but they got a taste of the furnishings – if only briefly – on Monday afternoon. Left to right, Republican Candidate Mike Stegall, Independent Candidate Keith Smith and Democrat Candidate David Niley. Think they’re having fun? Note who is holding the paperwork… ready to get down to business.
I had a great time campaigning to be one of those individuals… but I’ve got to be honest. I’m having more fun as a Watchdog and Citizen Activist than I ever did as a candidate.
Who said retirement was for rocking chairs?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to be notified when a blog is posted, send your email address to: You may also request to receive his That’s My Opinion and Verities or Balderdash columns by direct email.

Bits & Pieces - Sex Offenders & More

Sex Offenders, Fun and some Positives
Bits ‘n Pieces
By Bob Robinson

We had some fun and games at the commissioners meeting Monday. They were late… 1:30… 1:33… finally at 1:35 (plus or minus) I looked around and saw that three commissioner candidates were there: Keith Smith, David Niley and Mike Stegall.
So I said that since our commissioners were no-shows (so far), the three of you might as well take their places.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guest Opinion - Mike Stegall, Planning for the Future

I’m posting the following at the request of a campaign committee member for Mike Stegall. He is the Republican candidate for Darke County Commissioner. It should be noted that there are three other candidates for this position. I have extended an offer to use this blog to the Democrat candidate for commissioner, David Niley, and Independent candidate, Keith Smith. Neither has chosen yet to avail himself of it. The other Independent candidate is reportedly not sure he is going to stay in the race. If he chooses to stay, I’ll make the same offer to him.
It is the responsibility of voters to know who they are voting for and their stand on the issues. It is the responsibility of the candidates to make this information available to voters.

Planning for the Future
By Mike Stegall
Republican Candidate for Darke County Commissioner

Everybody makes plans.  We plan for college. We plan for a new car. We plan for a new house. We plan for retirement. We even make plans for dinner.  We all make these plans hoping that they will come true.  Sometimes, however, we have to change our plans. Maybe the timing is wrong, or maybe that raise in salary we were planning on didn’t happen.  Possibly, someone became ill, or changed jobs and moved.  Whatever the reason, plans are made, and plans change.  No plan should be totally rigid without some wiggle room in case things change. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Guest Column - I'm Back

I’m back
By Jordan Pridemore

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this (written something to be read by someone other than a professor) and I feel like I’m a bit out of practice. Sure, I can slap a subject and predicate together without batting an eyelash or whip out an MLA formatted research paper in the wee hours of the morning; but this is different.
Even though it’s been a while, I think my hiatus was a necessity. I got a chance to step back and just read, just learn. Something I’ve learned in college (not explicitly, but in more of a between-the-lines kind of way) is that anyone can write. They can use fancy words and unique sentence structure that are fun to read; but that’s not what makes a good writer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Opinion, Special Edition - Importing Felons

Importing felons
That’s My Opinion – Special Edition
By Bob Robinson

If there was ever justification for capital punishment, it would be for the sexual predator. Rape is unforgivable, as is any crime – sexual or otherwise – against a child.
There. You have it. That is my “black & white” opinion about the growing controversy over John Graham’s Good Samaritan homes. If I was calling the shots, none of his homes would have sexual predators in them because they would – at best – be thrown into a black hole to live out the rest of their sorry lives.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Balderdash - Chutzpah

“Verity - the quality or state of being true or real; Balderdash – nonsense.”
Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Verities & Balderdash
By Bob Robinson

A few weeks ago, my lead balderdash was kind of tough on the ladies. I heard about it. Good natured, of course, but I got the message. So I figured I should give the other half their due. If you’ve ever thought of dumping your lady for a new model, you’d better think again…
Veronica spent the first day of her new-found freedom packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases. On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things. On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table, put on some soft background music and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar and a bottle of spring water. When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Opinion - The Selfish Generation

The selfish generation
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson

“Kathy I’m lost I said though I knew she was sleeping… I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why…”
One of the things us “oldsters” sometimes do is listen to the music that defined our youth. For me, it was Simon & Garfunkle.
While not as famous as “Bridge over Troubled Waters” or “Sounds of Silence,” S&G’s “America” was almost a theme song for my adolescence.
We were the generation that didn’t trust anyone over 30. Some were involved in the peace and “make love not war” movements, although I wasn’t. In fact, I was ashamed by many of the things I saw in the news. I had friends on the other side of the ocean fighting on our behalf.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bits & Pieces - Darke County Commissioners

Commissioners June 9, 2010
Bits ‘n Pieces
By Bob Robinson

Wednesday’s session of the Darke County Commissioners was interesting. There were the usual fund transfers, a couple of other routine items, and two bidding notices.
The hoops county officials have to jump through in order to satisfy state and federal requirements are ridiculous. One appropriations transfer actually required SIX steps to complete.
When it came time to take public comments and questions, I had two.