has unanswered questions
Former Community Development Director Jennifer Hanlon, with assistance from Main Street Portsmouth Director Zoe Richards and many citizen volunteers, expended much time and effort guiding Portsmouth to a position of receiving future grant monies for the downtown areas, and especially the Downtown Revitalization Grant. One step toward this was getting Portsmouth declared eligible for Community Development Block Grant funds available from Ohio Department of Development. Another step involved acquiring grant monies to do a building inventory and compilation of similar data on the downtown area.
Jacobs, Kelsey, Edwards Design Company of Cincinnati was next hired by the city to come into the city to create an overall strategic plan for improving the appearance of the downtown area. Copies of their study were made easily available to the public; public meetings held for citizen input. All this work required planning and action to be in position to receive this $400,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant from the Community Development Block Grant program. Necessary local matching funds were built into the 2009 city budget by Hanlon. There has been extensive investigation into how other communities provided oversight of this grant, and the monies spent.
This has been at least a three-year effort involving city government, Main Street Portsmouth, citizen volunteers and state officials. There are indeed state level people who want to help Portsmouth help itself. When Jennifer Hanlon departed Portsmouth this summer for a new job in her home state of Texas, all that was left was the final application process for the grant.
There would be three Ohio cities applying for two grants. Main Street Portsmouth and the city were being told by folks in the Ohio Department of Development that Portsmouth was “guaranteed” to receive these monies. Alas and alack, for whatever reason, when it came to the final step of completing and submitting the application, Main Street Portsmouth was told by City Development officials the application would not be submitted this year.
This is a sad moment in Portsmouth’s history. We have been told by city development officials the application will be made in 2010. It is a shame such extensive labors have been set aside. The state and federal economies are in a sad state. There may not be monies available in 2010 for this purpose.
Our city has lost a prime economic development opportunity for nothing more than “politics as usual” and useless finger pointing.
Yes, I am an ardent supporter of Main Street Portsmouth, but cannot and do not speak here for that organization. I speak as a life-long resident of the city of Portsmouth who is tired of seeing it stumble along due to “politics,” self-centeredness and twisted grammar. I submit there is more to this story than is being clearly explained in our media.
Linda K. Donaldson
There are absolutes in this world
After reading Gary E. Coburn’s response on Oct. 22, 2009, to Eddie Combs’ previous Letter to Editor, Mr. Coburn would have us believe that up is down, down is up, day is night, night is day, black is white, white is black, a Chevrolet is a Ford, a Pontiac is a Dodge. It just all depends on what your opinion is, and what you think, and what you believe.
The type of thinking that “All truth is relative and there is no absolute authority of right and wrong” reminds me of a man in the Bible named Pilate. After Jesus Christ spoke some facts about truth to Pilate he responded and said, “What is truth?” in John 18:38. Pilate didn’t ask with a sincere interest and desire for the truth, he simply said, “What is truth?” And then walked away from Jesus Christ. There is no record in the Bible that Pilate ever was saved. Pilate believed that all truth is relative and “that what God says in his Word contributes nothing to a serious public debate about the actions, policies, or governing or President Obama” to quote Mr. Coburn in his letter. Mr. Coburn says, “Beliefs are not facts.” They are if they are base on absolute authority. If you don’t believe that then ask any police officer if he believes it is a fact that he has the authority to arrest someone who breaks the law. Ask any school principal in America if he or she believes it it a fact that they have authority in the school. Ask a referee or umpire in a basketball, baseball or football game if he believes it is a fact that he has authority to call traveling, a strike, or a personal foul. The players opinion, belief or “side” of the story doesn’t amount to a “hill of beans,” because the player doesn’t have the authority to make the call. The player has a higher authority that is watching and judging his or her performance.
Mr. Coburn says, “What is the Word of God, where is it to be found, what does it mean, etc.”
His whole letter was to try and prove that we don’t really have the Word of God and there are many interpretations and opinions about the Bible and there so many different churches, religions, and dogma, so therefore we should totally disregard the Bible because anyone’s opinion and belief is just as good as another person’s. This reasoning is one of the main reasons why society is in a confused chaotic mess today is because there is a breakdown of authority in the homes, schools, and churches, and God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). The serpent (devil) said to Eve in Genesis 3:1, “Yea, hath God said?” We have had many people in the past 6,000 years that are members of the “Yea, Hath God Said” Society who question God’s Word or whether we even have the Word of God today. Jesus Christ said, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me” in John 14:6, and he doesn’t care what anybody’s opinion or belief is concerning that statement. The Pharisees asked Jesus Christ in Matthew 21:23 “By what authority doest thou these things and who gave thee this authority?” They were jealous of his authority and power. I would suggest to Mr. Coburn that he read the Kind James 1611 Authorized Bible which is written in third-grade English and believe every word of it. There are many things I could say in response to Mr. Coburn’s letter but with all due respect I think he, like many others, have a “pilate problem.”
On Sept. 30, the Valley Legacy Scholarship Endowment committee held its second 5K Run and Walk event. The event featured a 5K Run, a Two-mile Walk, and a One-mile Kids’ Fun Run. This year, more than 70 participants from the Lucasville and surrounding communities were on hand to support the fund, which was started to provide college money to Valley graduates.
The Scioto Area Foundation has partnered with area schools through its University College Access Network (UCAN) to provide matching funds monies up to $10,000 per year for the next four years. The goal of growing the fund is to increase available interest revenue to provide money to as many graduates each year as possible.
The Valley Legacy Scholarship Endowment committee would like to thank all of the participants in the Run/Walk, and the sponsors for their donations of products or money.
The event was a great success, and the Endowment Fund was able to give nearly $1,100 to the Scioto Foundation for the Valley Legacy Scholarship Endowment Fund.
If you are interested in hearing more about the UCAN program or the Valley Legacy Scholarship, or to make a donation, contact the Scioto Area Foundation or Ellen Shope, guidance counselor at Valley High School.
Thank you again to all of our participants and sponsors.
The Valley Legacy Scholarship Endowment Fund