Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Movement at the old KFC

Don Bowling, owner of the building, and his son Josh are painting the roof on the former KFC at the south end of town.
(Click on image to enlarge.)

Don Bowling owned and operated the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) on US 68 at the south end of town for twenty years before he decided to shut it down due to problems with the KFC parent corporation.

"This place was a goldmine," Bowling said in a recent interview. "People think I shut it down because it was losing money. That couldn't be farther from the truth."

According to Bowling, who owns six other KFCs around the region, the corporation wanted him to make $250,000 in improvements to continue operating the restaurant. He just didn't want to do it, he said. So he shut down and, for more than a year, has been trying to rent the building as something other than a restaurant with no success.

When the Blog caught up with Bowling, he and his son Josh were painting the roof, covering the corporate red with earth tones, "so it doesn't look like a KFC anymore."

For one year, Bowling was legally bound by his contract with KFC not to operate on the premises as a restaurant. Now that the year is up, he can lease or sell it for that purpose or, if he chooses, operate it as a restaurant himself. So he has been cleaning up the property, making repairs, painting and will soon install kitchen equipment he has had in storage from other restaurants he has owned.

If someone wants to operate the building as a restaurant, he will throw in the kitchen equipment as part of the deal, he said. If no one takes him up on the offer, he will open another restaurant there himself.

"It's a shame to have it sitting here vacant," he said.

Street Fair - Oct. 10

Click on image to enlarge.

Yellow Springs Street Fair offers the best of both worlds; a unique variety of arts, crafts and food vendors in a town that offers it’s own great brand of shopping and dining choices. And it’s just around the corner on October 10 from 9 am to 5 pm.

In between shopping, entertainment abounds at Street Fair. First at the Jackson Lytle Williams Stage adjacent to the Food Tent, musical performances are on the hour starting at 9 am with The Bucket Band, followed by Jerome Freeman and Les Groby. Crowd favorite, Egyptian Breeze Belly Dancers perform at 12 pm and 2 pm; with Sammi Jo at 1; Brandon North at 3 and Matt Housh and The Show closing things down starting at 4.

You’ll find street performers throughout Street Fair as you check out all the great arts and crafts. The featured Bryan Center Music Festival starts at noon with Yazoo Street Scandal, followed by The Hoppers, Slipstream, Ryan Judy, Rob Heiliger, Maya Cabellero and ending with The Ark Band at 7. At the Beer Garden, Peach’s Grill will be serving some great seasonal imports like Pumpkin Ale and Paulander Oktoberfest along with favorites Bud and Bud Light.

To make getting to Street Fair easier we’re providing a free shuttle service. You can park north at Young’s Dairy at 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd. or west of town at Yellow Springs High School at 420 E. Enon Rd. The shuttle service is available from 9 am to 7 pm.

An important change for all Street Fair attendees to note is that PETS will not be allowed at Street Fair by ordinance and owners will be ticketed.

The event is free, open to the public and handicapped accessible. Handicapped parking is available at the Municipal Lot on Corry St. Street Fair is sponsored by the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce. For more information contact the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce at (937) 767-2686 or visit

Have you supported WYSO?

Well, there's no time like the present...

You can support WYSO right now!

Click here to make a difference.

And...If you make a contribution before midnight, this Friday, October 2nd, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a Miami Valley Arts Package including tickets from:

Victoria Theatre
Springfield Arts Council
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Human Race Theatre
Dayton Ballet
Bach Society of Dayton
Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
University of Dayton Arts Series
Clark State Community College

You don't have to make a contribution to be entered, but we hope you place a value on the service WYSO provides to the Miami Valley.

Click here to support WYSO!

Jacki Mayer
WYSO Public Radio

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One thing goes up, another comes down

Beth Holyoke's piece of public art on the corner of Limestone and Dayton is coming along nicely.

While the building that used to house Wright State Physicians is soon to be in pieces.

Rocky & Pee Wee: Reinventing the coop

Monday, September 28, 2009

Updated: Free car seat safety inspections at MTFR

Miami Township Fire and Rescue will offer free car seat safety inspections on Thursday, October 1st and Thursday, October 15th from 5 pm to 7 pm. Inspections will take place at Fire Station 81 located on Corry Street in Yellow Springs. To have an inspection, bring your car, the car seat, and your child or grandchild; an inspection takes approximately 30 minutes. MTFR’s Nationally Certified child passenger safety technician will check your installation and answer questions. For more information, please contact Fire Inspector Chris Kitts at 767-7842.

A new state law that goes into effect on Wednesday, Oct. 7, will require children ages 4 through 7 to ride in a booster seat or other appropriate child safety seat unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches or taller. Current law requires only that children younger than 4 years old or less than 40 pounds ride in a car seat.

Dayton Daily News: New booster seat law takes effect next week

Gas main work along US 68

In response to a question from a reader, I asked Village Zoning Guru Ed Amrhein what is all that work going on alongside US 68 in the south end of town.

Ed's response: A contractor for Vectren is replacing an old gas main. It’s being done at their expense, and should not entail any interruption of service to Village subscribers. They will begin just north of Hyde Rd., where they left off last year, and replace pipe as far north as Allen St. It should all take about two months.

Suggestion: If you're headed north on 68 bound for Allen Street or parts south thereof and the flag person is out, make a right on Kahoe Lane (by Dollar General) and complete your trip on Spillan Road.

Property tax levy on Village Council agenda tonight

Tonight (Monday) at 7:00 p.m., there will be a special council meeting to discuss a possible future renewal or replacement of the current property tax levy. Documents in advance of the meeting can be had here at the yellowsprings45387 site.

Matt Derr on WYSO

Here is a link to Emily McCord's interview with Antioch College Chief Transition Officer Matt Derr this past Sunday on WYSO.

WYSO: WYSO Weekend Sept. 27, 2009

More travels with Honey: Chicago - the saga continues

When I last reported on our travels with Honey, our GPS navigator, we were attending a wedding in Cincinnati. It was a true adventure, because the place where the wedding was to be held was new turf to us. Honey did some strange things on that occasion, but she did manage to get us to the wedding and home again safe and sound. This time, we were headed to Chinatown in Chicago, a place we had been a dozen times before and, although it is a 300 mile, five-hour drive from our home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, to which I could probably make the whole trip blindfolded. So, once again, this was more of a test for Honey than it was actual navigation. I am sorry to report that she failed miserably.

With the exception of a couple stops on our way out of town at the ATM and my office to pick up something I forgot, there were no wrenches tossed Honey’s way to cause her to inform us that she was “recalculating.” In fact, her route west on I-70 and around Indianapolis via I-465 and 865 was exactly as I would have done it. She was silent for the next hundred-plus miles north on I-65 through Indiana until we approached the dreaded I-80/94, I-90 split-off near Gary. As I expected, she pointed us toward I-90, not the way I usually go, but the route preferred by most drivers who want to avoid the truck laden I-80, which is perennially under construction. I acceded to her wisdom when I saw the line of cars and trucks backed up at the I-80 exit. I prefer I-80/94 West, because there are no tolls.

It was at this point, as we were headed in the direction of the signs for I-90 West, that the unexpected entered into the equation. She was telling me to proceed to Dunes Highway and then to I-90. As it turned out, traffic at the I-90 turn-off was also starting to backup. If I bore to the left as she was suggesting, I would avoid that.

“Smart girl!” I congratulated her.

“Pay attention to the road,” my wife said.

Soon we were in the streets of Gary, Indiana, hometown of the recently departed Michael Jackson. I looked for signs that he had passed this way. Nothing… Nothing but the telltale signs of urban poverty – dirty streets, decaying houses, a woman standing by the curb hailing cars, whom we would pass twice as we drove around lost.

“She must be waiting for someone,” Amy said the first time we passed.

I snickered.

“I think she’s hitchhiking,” she said when we discovered that she was still there as we passed again.

“I don’t think so,” I said.


How is it that we passed this woman twice? This is the part where I recount how Honey went bananas and dumped us in the middle of an industrial zone the steel town of Gary, Indiana miles from our destination of Chicago, Illinois.

But, permit me to digress a bit first.

When I was a kid, I took piano lessons from a German woman who thought I had talent, but was dismayed by the fact that I never practiced. She would tell me that I was a good sight-reader, intimating that I really needed to practice more. The sarcasm was lost on the ten-year-old me. Finally, she asked me what she had to do to make me practice. I told her that I wanted to play Broadway show tunes, instead of the Czerny exercises she always assigned. She agreed to give it a try. Soon I was happily playing songs from the “Music Man.”

One of the pieces I especially liked was titled “Gary, Indiana.” I played it exceptionally well.

“You like this?” Mrs. Friedenberg asked.

“Yeah, I like it,” I said.

“Have you ever been to Gary, Indiana?”


“Well I have. And I can’t imagine why anyone would write a song about such a dreadful place.”

I chalked that remark up to jealousy over the fact that I preferred Meredith Wilson over Czerny. 55 years later, I would come to understand that she wasn’t kidding.

As we approached Dunes Highway, we were instructed to turn left, and then in a few blocks, turn right on Broadway. Almost immediately, I discovered that we were going to have trouble. There were orange signs everywhere advising us that we were on a detour. Shortly after we turned right, Honey was telling us to take the ramp onto I-90 West. The problem was that the ramp was closed due to construction. In fact, I never should have turned right, but instead, I should have stayed on the detour.

“Recalculating,” Honey announced.

At this point, I should have turned my little computerized friend off, turned around, and followed the detour. Instead, I decided to give Honey her head. Big mistake. Soon we were behind a hulking, smoke-spewing flatbed truck going about five miles-per-hour on a narrow road in the middle of a wasteland of dusty truck yards and factory buildings belonging to U.S. Steel.

“Go 0.6 miles and turn left on Route 20,” Honey said.

“This will be okay,” I told Amy. “Route 20 is a major East-West route that we can take until we can find an open ramp to I-90.”

But when we got to the point where Route 20 was supposed to be, the place where Honey kept insisting we should turn left, there was nothing. Nothing! Not road, a lane, an alley or a foot path. Nothing! She had failed. She was having a nervous breakdown.

“Shut that thing off,” Amy said. “Turn around and go back.”

I let Honey continue to recalculate, which she did over-and-over, and turned back for the last detour sign that I had apparently missed. After a few one-way streets in the wrong direction and our second drive-by of the woman hailing strangers from the curb, I finally found the place where we had gone wrong because we were behind that big truck and couldn’t see the detour sign.

We made our way onto I-90.

“Recalculating,” Honey said.

“Indeed,” I said.

“Oh, shut up!” Amy said.

As we approached Chinatown at the south end of downtown Chicago, Honey was advising us to do something that didn’t fit with my sense of how to get where we wanted to go. But getting to Chinatown is always confusing to me. And I had always suspected that the way I had finally settled on, the safe way, was not the best way. I decided to let Honey have her head again. Miraculously, she had found a better way, a much better way.

“She has redeemed herself,” I told Amy.

“Yes, but has she repented?” Amy said.

“In this case, I will settle for redemption,” I said.

Screen Peace 2009 commences next weekend

The third annual Screen Peace Film Festival with ScreenPeace 2009 will again offer 35mm prints of famous and favorite major motion pictures on the big screen at 12:30pm at Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs and again at 7:00pm at The Neon in downtown Dayton.

If you haven’t seen these motion pictures on the big screen, you
haven’t really seen them…

Sunday 04 October: CRY FREEDOM
The inspirational tale of the black activist, the white journalist and their historic struggle
for a peaceful end to apartheid.

Sunday 11 October: EMERALD FOREST
Based on a true story, when cultures collide and environmental degradation ensues, peace
is the first casualty in the majestic rain forest.

Sunday 18 October: DAVID AND FATIMA
REGIONAL PREMIERE: An Israeli boy and Palestinian girl risk everything for their
forbidden love in volatile present-day Jerusalem.

Sunday 25 October: TO END ALL WARS
The true story a Bridge on the River Kwai brutal POW camp, with an unexpected
message of forgiveness.

Sunday 01 November: HAIR
Broadway’s all singing, all dancing paean to the 1960’s vision of peace, love and joy.

Sunday 08 November: ScreenPeace Student Film/Video Contest winners
See how Miami Valley students— elementary, high school, and college— creatively
portray their own concepts of “peace.”

All revenues from ScreenPeace support our region’s celebrated 501(c)3 nonprofit Dayton International Peace Museum. Located in the historic Pollack House in downtown Dayton, the DIPM displays permanent and traveling exhibits, houses a library and research center, and includes both a Children’s Room and a Dayton Room. The museum delivers conflict resolution and peace education programs for public and private schools, and features special educational, artistic, environmental, relational, and spiritual events on the many ways to effect peace.

ScreenPeace is a true community endeavor. Though our costs continue to increase, we have held the price on advertising opportunities to permit everyone to continue to participate. Details are contained on the back of this letter; your support for this meaningful (and entertaining!) project is vital. You can help inspire a culture of peace by being an integral part of ScreenPeace 2009. Please visit for further details.

Library renewal levy on ballot Nov. 3

This from the Greene County Public Library:

On November 3, the Greene County Public Library will have a renewal of its levy on the ballot as Issue 7. Without raising taxes, patrons will be able to continue using library services.

The Greene County Public Library is more than just another community resource: we were recognized as one of the Top Ten Libraries in the United States serving a community our size by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. Every day, the Library:

- Helps establish early literacy in children
- Promotes lifelong learning for the entire community
- Provides after school programs
- Provides outreach services to homebound patrons
- Provides computer resources for writing resumes, applying for jobs, and staying connected with family and friends

If you would like to learn more about the Greene County Public Library levy please visit:

Thanks for your time and attention, and for making us A Great American Library again in 2009.

Expect Clevelanders to be flooding into town after this article

A yoga teacher from Cleveland discovers our little burg and sings its praises in the Northeast Travel News section of Cleveland.Com.

Cleveland.Com: From nature to nurture, Yellow Springs is golden

Dwindling numbers in HS football not just a YS problem

Yellow Springs High School was mentioned in an interesting article in the Springfield paper on the dwindling number of kids going out for high school football. It seems that this is a more widespread problem than folks in town might have realized.

Springfield News-Sun: Lack of numbers in high school football troubling

Bench to Nowhere: Yellow Springs as a Womyn's Center

A Cool Town Toon

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You think we got it bad..?

We were over in Fairborn last night around 9:00 o'clock. They were doing touch-and-goes at Wright-Patt with something large and noisy. It was dark and overcast, so we couldn't see the aircraft very well, but it sounded much louder than the cargo planes that ususally fly over Yellow Springs from the base, even louder than the F-16's from Springfield - like ten limes louder. If they were cargo planes, maybe it was just that they were a lot lower over in Fairborn. It apparently went on for quite some time as I could still hear them in the distance after we came home.

A lady with a drink in her hand wandered over in the dark from a house across the street from our daughter's place on South Pleasant Street as we were unpacking some of the booty from our Chicago trip.

"This is the first time it's ever been this bad," she said, "and I've lived here ten years."

We keep talking about getting the Air National Guard to cut down on the noise. Imagine telling the Air Force, "Hey, cut that out!"

Day tripping: Chicago

Sears tower and John Hancock building from Chinatown

Okay, maybe a five hour, 300 mile drive is a bit more than a day trip, but one time we drove up to Chicago planning on staying over night and it was so windy and cold that we had lunch and drove right back to the more temperate environs of Ohio. Normally, we do stay overnight as we did this past Friday night.

Once in awhile, if we are taking someone along for the ride, we will do some sightseeing. The Navy Pier and the architectural boat tour on the Chicago River are favorites. Many Springers drive up for the weekend to visit the museums. But mostly, we eat and shop, Chinese food and Chinese groceries.

In Chinatown our favorite dim sum joints are Happy Chef and the Phoenix. We had a wonderful lunch Saturday at Pho 777 on Argyle Street. The Argyle - N. Broadway area has become known as Little Viet Nam. It's a few blocks west of Lake Shore and about a mile or two north of Wrigley Field, about seven miles north of Chinatown. Chinatown is at the South End of Downtown Chicago not far from US Cellular Field, the home of the White Sox. Headed west on I-90/94, exit from the express lanes at 22nd Street.

WYSO's Fall Membership Drive is around the bend

WYSO Needs Your Support During Our Fall Membership Campaign.

Support Your Public Radio Station!

WYSO's Fall Membership Campaign
Saturday, October 3rd through Sunday, October 11th

Make your pledge of support by midnight October 2nd & you'll be entered to win a Miami Valley Arts Package that includes 10 pairs of tickets to live art events around the area.

Make Your Pledge Online!

Matching Grants

If you are interested in helping WYSO turn Listeners into Members, perhaps you might consider having your contribution of $250 or more used as a Matching Grant.

You can even pool money with your family, friends or co-workers.

Matching Grants are one of the most effective way to help WYSO meet our goal of $165,000.

For more info contact Jacki at 937-769-1388 or


We need help during the Campaign. How about coming to WYSO & answering the phones. Members will be calling in their support of WYSO.

You'll get to make new friends, eat great food donated to WYSO from some of the ares best restaurants & have the satisfaction of helping you favorite Public Radio Station!

Shifts are filling up so contact Jacki at 937-769-1388 or

Wait... There's more!

Howl-O-Ween Dog Pawty!!!

Saturday, October 31st 10am-2pm

Presented by WYSO & Greene County Parks
at the Fairgrounds Rec Center in Xenia

Most Creative General

"Tricks For Treats"
(Talent Contest)

Best Radio Voice

Hot Dog Bobbing Contest

Pet-related Exibitors

Free Admission for People
$1 Per Dog

Proceeds benefit the Scout Burnell-Garbrecht Dog Park & WYSO

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rally for Action on Global Warming

Rally for Action on Global Warming
1:30 PM on Saturday, October 24th
Main Picnic Area, John Bryan State Park
Contact: Sehvilla Mann, or 767-1370
Bring your friends and family!

The plan is to rally at the Main Picnic Area of John Bryan State Park (there's a handy map at, introduce ourselves and say something about what brought us to the event, then form the number "350" with ourselves and have a picture taken. I'm hoping that, the event being on a Saturday afternoon, people will be able to bring their friends and families so we'll have the sort of large, vibrant and diverse group that reflects our community. The beautiful surroundings of the Park will showcase an important environmental resource for our area. We'll send it in to join the other pictures at, which will be compiled for the world leaders who will meet in Copenhagen in December to decide the future of climate policy: they will see that global citizens, working from the grassroots up, are serious about stopping catastrophic global warming before it is too late.

Click on image to enlarge

Flu Shot Clinic rescheduled for 10/6

The flu shot clinic to be held at the Senior Center on October 1 that was canceled a few weeks ago has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 6 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in the Great Room at the Senior Center.

The clinic is offered by the Greene County Health Department and is available to people aged 6 months and older in managed care programs. Clinic participants are asked to bring a Medicare A & B card, Medicaid B, or managed care (Molina, Amerigroup, or Ohio CareSource) card. Those not in one of these programs should seek flu shots directly from their doctors.

Related post: Oct. 1 flu shots cancelled

On compact flourescent lights (CFLs)

This from a reader:

Ok, these things are supposed to last a zillion years or something like that. Here’s one that didn’t make it – now what? Of course, just go to Google and get the latest information on how to safely dispose of them. A few clicks later I’m on an EPA page reading about Superfund sites that contain mercury – maybe that doesn’t apply in this case.

The next article explains that if you happen to break a CFL, immediately open the windows, leave the room for at least 15 minutes, shut off the furnace and a/c so the contaminates don’t spread and see the guidance on Superfund sites…..

Now I’m worried. I have the burnt out bulb in 4 layers of bubble wrap, in a padded box 50 feet from the house. I’m fairly proud of myself for not panicking over the situation when “the one who must be obeyed” comes home.

“What are you doing in the garden?” I very calmly explain the situation – no reason to get excited now that I have everything under control.

“Living Green on Xenia Ave, recycles CFLs – no charge.” They do?

“Get rid of the face mask and take the bulb to the store. And while you’re in town, we’re out of bananas.”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Horseweed running rampant

If you’ve traveled through the countryside lately, you’ve probably noticed a weed standing tall above the soybean fields that is in bloom right now. In fact, you may also have noticed it in your own gardens. This weed is horseweed (Erigeron candensis). It is also called mare’s tail, fleabane, or hog-weed and is in the aster family. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Horseweed is one of the first plants that has become “glyphosate resistant” which means that when GM soybeans are sprayed with glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup), the horseweed is not killed. With no competition this weed flourishes. In fact, the plants can each have up to 1000 seeds that will soon be airborne landing mostly back in the fields but occasionally floating into your garden.

Horseweed is not yet listed on the Ohio noxious plant list, but this weed is already a major concern for Tennessee farmers. The glyphosate resistant horseweed was first noted in Ohio in 2002, and its spread is quite noticeable this year. The best way to control it is to pull it out as soon as you see it and definitely before it produces viable seeds.

-Macy Reynolds

Blog comments now being moderated

Recent anonymous drive-by comments on some posts such as "lame" and "who cares?" apparently by one immature individual, have forced me to start moderating comments. This will only result in a minor inconvenience that will allow me to continue to accept anonymous comments from responsible individuals who might offer criticism of a more constructive nature. That the Blog had managed to operate for more than a year without moderation had given me hope that I would never have to resort to it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Christmas card sales to benefit YSHS students, others

Urban Handmade on Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs is one of several area stores carrying flight-themed Christmas cards for sale by the American Association of University Women, Xenia Branch. Proceeds from the sale of the cards will go toward scholarships for Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Cedarville, Fairborn, Greeneview, Xenia and Yellow Springs High School students.

The cards, which depict Huffman Prairie in Fairborn in the period 1904-05 and feature the caption: “The Wright brothers develop the world’s first practical airplane,” are priced at $14 for a pack of 20.

YS Soccer Player in Rwanda

Yellow Springs senior soccer player Alexis Onfroy was in Rwanda earlier this year where he taught English and played soccer at a new level.

Dayton Daily News: Yellow Springs senior gets soccer education

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bench to Nowhere: Bugs in the Belfry

A Cool Town Toon

Day Tripping follow up: Freshwater Farms Shrimp and Fish Festival

The Gunches made it up to Urbana on Saturday, but as anticipated, because Mona Gunch had to work at the Bank until 1:30, by the time they arrived all the freshwater Malaysian shrimp were gone, at least those that were to be sold for home consumption. All was not lost, however, as a fine little festival was underway with good food and music, and those Southeast Asian sweeties offered up both grilled and encrusted with coconut. Grilled trout, fried catfish and homemade potato chips washed down with crushed-berry lemonade were among the other treats offered. After lunch, they toured the premises, bought a couple pounds of live craw daddies and pet the sturgeon. To top off a lovely afternoon, Springer Holly Hudson was spotted in the crowd.

They will definitely be going back again next year. Mona thinks they should get up there the day before and camp out.

Related post: Day Tripping: Urbana & West Liberty

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God save the insurance companies

I don't really care for Ferrell, but this is well done.

Yoga Springs Studio Grand RE-OPENING and Autumn Sampler

This Saturday, September 26, 2009, 1-4 pm

Yoga Springs Studio is having a Grand Re-opening to celebrate their expansion and renovation. We increased the size of our back studio and have a new Lotus Lounge where you can hang out between classes. 20% off the purchase of one class package, special focus series or workshop will be given this day only from 1-4pm.

Please come see our beautiful new space, stop up for a snack and tea anytime between 1-4pm or stay for a class. We now have plenty of room to hang out.

30-minute free sampler classes will be offered on the hour at 1, 2 & 3pm.


1pm Restorative Yoga with Monica (all levels)
1pm Beginner Belly Dancing with Janet

2pm Intro to Ashtanga with Molly (an active class)
2pm Healthy Posture Clinic with Joyce (all levels)

3pm Yoga for Sleep with Carmen (all levels)
3pm Yoga for Stress with Becky (all levels)

Yoga Springs Studio, 108 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, OH

Please spread the word!

Monica & Bob Hasek

Local teacher beats cancer and more

Yellow Springs High School Special Ed Teacher and Assistant Track Coach Dave Johnston approached this year’s Air Force Marathon with cautious optimism. Having finished fourth in the race a couple years before, he knew he had a shot to win it.

“That was the game plan,” he said in an interview at the high school on the Monday after Saturday’s race, “to position myself to be able to win.”

But early in the contest he was faced with a serious tactical decision. Another runner was pushing the pace. Johnston thought he might be taking it out too fast.

“I had to decide if I should let him go and try to reel him in later.”

And that was what he did. About midway through the race the leader drifted back to him. As Johnston pulled alongside him, the spent runner confirmed his earlier decision. “I don’t know what I was thinking,” he muttered as Johnston passed him. The man would finish in third place, ten minutes behind Johnston’s winning time of 2:30.41, a new PR in just his fourth marathon.

A 1992 graduate of Yellow Springs High School, Johnston had a great deal of success on the track for his Alma Mater, running the mile, two mile and a leg on the 4 x 800. He also ran cross country. He was a six time state qualifier and made all-state twice in track and once in cross country. That earned him a scholarship to Ashland University where he competed in cross country and the steeple chase.

“He ran everywhere he went,” retired Antioch School teacher Bill Mullins recently recalled of Johnston in the fourth through sixth grades. “No one could keep up with him.”

But Johnston learned how to be patient, fight through the pain and exhaustion, and persevere to defeat his opponent in a different arena. His senior year at Ashland, at the end of a college career that was marked by injury and illness, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. For six months, every-other-week, he would return home on Friday to receive chemotherapy and return to school on Sunday night. The running was curtailed for awhile.

“My running experience made going through the treatments easier,” he said. “My body was able to focus on getting well.”

Johnston started running again just one week after his last treatment and ran in his first marathon less than a year later.

As for the patience he exhibited in his most recent race, “I had faith in my training,” he said. (He ran 402 miles during the month of July.) “My race plan worked,”

According to Johnston, much of that training is a family affair. His wife Christina, whom he met at a race, is also a distance runner. They have been married for three years. They train together once a day, and take turns watching the kids while each does a long run on their own. When they run together, Johnston pushes the couple’s 16-month-old son Kyle in a running stroller and seven-year-old stepson Cobi follows on his bike. Christina competed in the half-marathon division of Saturday’s Air Force Marathon.

They live in Xenia, about a mile from the bike path where most of their training is done. While Johnston’s family moved to Yellow Springs when he was twelve and he would prefer to live here now, affordability on a teacher’s salary is an issue.

In a newspaper interview a few years ago, YSHS Track Coach Vince Peters credited Johnston with helping then state high school mile champion Sam Borchers reach that achievement. Indeed, it is rare that a coach can push such a talented runner on the track.

“I never thought I would be a teacher,” Johnston said. “If it hadn’t been for the running, I probably never would have graduated from high school.”

He says fell into to teaching when he was looking for work and applied for a position at Mills Lawn School. He was actually a licensed massage therapist at the time. He found he liked working with kids. So he got his Masters in Teaching from Antioch McGregor and moved up to the high school.

“My IEP kids from Mills Lawn are starting to graduate to the high school,” he said with pride.

As if beating cancer was not motivation enough, Johnson said he drew inspiration for his achievement from several tragedies that have befallen his friends and neighbors. One neighbor, who is stationed in Iraq, just lost his three-year-old daughter after having his father pass away; a fellow local runner was struck and killed by a car while training for the marathon; and Johnston’s own father, who was in the hospital before the race, had one wish – to get out in time to see his son run. He did.

At age 35, Johnston thinks he is just reaching his peak. “I know I can go faster,” Johnston said of his winning time. “I was just trying to win this race."

He has no specific goal in mind for a next race. Boston, New York..? Maybe Chicago, he said. “I might be ranked in the top 25 in Chicago.”

While most runners would have taken at least a day or two off to recover from the grueling ordeal of a 26.2 mile race, Johnston ran in a 5k race the next day. He won.

“It was just a small race,” he said.

Related post: YSHS Teacher Wins Air Force Marathon

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day Tripping follow-up: The Mothman Festival

Admittedly, this is not for everyone. But since I'd been thinking about making a Mothman pilgrimage for sometime, Jean Payne's Day Tripping contribution was enough to tip me over the edge. It looks like the rain yesterday kept the crowds down. But somehow, I suspect there never are any crowds. The Mothman Museum ($3.00 for adults) and the Point Pleasant River Museum ($4.00 for adults) were a bargain. The $20 tee-shirts..? Well, I guess that depends on what kind of a nut you are. You will probably see me around town in mine.

More pics here.

Related Post: Day Tripping: The Mothman Festival, Point Pleasant, WV

The Mothman myth in a nutshell: There are four aspects to the Mothman myth: the Mothman, UFOs, men-in-black, and a tragic bridge collapse. It started one night in 1966 with the sighting of a large birdlike creature at an abandoned munitions factory near Point Pleasant, WV. This was followed by a number of sightings, all by credible witnesses. Thereafter, there were a number of UFO sightings in and around the town. Soon there were men in black suits combing the town, trying to disuade the witnesses. 13 months after the first Mothman sighting, the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River from Point Pleasant to the Ohio side, collapsed killing 41 people. In the minds of many residents the events were connected. Before the bridge tragedy, there were phonecalls from an eerie voice warning some people that there was going to be a disaster. The day before the collapse, witnesses saw the men-in-black climbing around the bridge, as if they were looking for something. There were no further Mothman sightings after the disaster.

Bench to Nowhere: Ocean Depths

A Cool Town Toon

Sunday, September 20, 2009

YSHS teacher wins Air Force Marathon

Dave Johnston, a 1992 graduate of Yellow Springs High School who returned after college as a special education teacher and assistant coach of the track team, has won the 2009 Air Force Marathon. The race, which attracted 2,400 runners from all over the world, was run yesterday at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. 35-year-old Johnston finished the 26.2 mile course in 2:30.41 about 3 1/2 minutes faster than the second place finisher. He resides in Xenia.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

One family’s experience with the U.S. healthcare system: An argument for a single-payer

I sometimes think that if I had never answered the phone that morning, none of this would have happened. If only I hadn’t been able to get my key out and get the door to my office opened fast enough to grab the phone on what was probably its last ring, maybe the accident in Italy that claimed my father’s life and left my mother in a coma for several months would never have been a reality. But I did answer the phone and I did get the news that the rented car my father was driving had skidded into a guard rail on a highway outside Turin and both my parents were in hospitals in that industrial city in the north of Italy. And so the nightmare began.

I have often written about this accident, but my focus was always on what happened in Italy, how my father died of a heart attack after weeks in a cardiac hospital, how we brought my mother home in a coma, on a stretcher, on an Alitalia 747, accompanied by an Italian neurosurgeon. But I have never specifically written about how we were treated by their medical insurer. I feel compelled to do so now because of the debate that is going on about the President’s proposed national health care system. My experiences dealing with my mother’s insurance company have convinced me that a single-payer system is the only way to go.

At the time of the accident, my parents were living in Hollywood, Fla. So when I brought Mom home my sisters had arranged to have an ambulance meet us at Miami International Airport and take her to a hospital in Hollywood. Shortly before leaving Italy, she had shown signs of coming out of the coma that had been induced by her doctors to spare her the pain of multiple fractures over her head and body. It wasn’t long after she was admitted to the hospital in Florida, that she started to come out of it completely.

We were faced with a terrible dilemma – how to tell my mother that my father was dead. She had no recollection of the accident. The last thing she remembered was leaving the wedding of a cousin the day before. Fortunately, she wasn’t asking questions. But we knew it would only be a matter of time. The hospital provided her with a psychologist, who advised us that it would be some time before my mother would be able to handle the news. The best thing for the time being, she told us, was to wait for her to ask. The problem was that she wasn’t asking. She was hallucinating visits from my father in the evenings when we weren’t there. This went on for a couple weeks. The psychologist told us that, even if she had completed her physical therapy, my mother should not be released from the hospital until she had come to the realization that when she went home my father would not be there.

At the time, one of my sisters and I were living in New York. My other sister lived in Chicago. We had taken turns attending to my parents for more than a month while they were in the hospital in Italy, now we were doing the same in Florida. We all had families and jobs. The situation was taking its toll on us emotionally and financially. We enlisted other family members to help out. At one point my daughter flew in from Seattle and my ex-wife flew down from New York to relieve us. I was in New York when they called to tell us that the insurance company had informed the hospital that they wanted my mother discharged the next day, that they would no longer pay to keep her in the hospital. My mother still did not know about my father.

I telephoned the psychologist. She was appalled, but there was nothing she could do to intervene. Her advice was to tell my mother about my father before she left the hospital. I told her that I could not ask my ex-wife or my daughter to do that. She agreed that, as her son, it would be best coming from me, even if I had to do it over the phone. What ensued was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. And I have no doubt that it permanently scarred me as well as my mother. To this day, ten years later, and three years after my mother’s death from cancer, I am still second guessing myself on how I handled it.

That having been done, my ex and my daughter took my mother back to her home in Hollywood in a wheelchair and tended to her there. She was still unable to walk when a few days later someone from the insurance company called and said they were sending someone to pick up the wheelchair. My ex told them they better come with the police, because she wasn’t opening the door. That settled that until another wheelchair could be obtained.

For weeks, we took turns staying with Mom. Other family members and friends graciously lent a hand. She had a home health aide, provided by the insurance company, who we had to fire because she was taking advantage of my mother when we weren’t around. When she would drive my mother to the store, she would stop by the racetrack. She convinced my mother to give her many of my father’s belongings that she had been planning to give to me. Eventually, my sister moved from Chicago to the west coast of Florida and arranged for my mother to move to her own place nearby. She lived there for several years until she died of cancer.

Thinking back on this as the healthcare debate heats up, I have concluded that the last thing one needs to go through at a time like that is dealing with a for-profit health insurance company. The alarmists are warning us about government bureaucracy. There was a time that I might have agreed. But after my family’s experience, I am convinced no system could be worse than what we have now.

Whole cottage industries have grown up around the medical insurance business. Hundreds of software companies are in business solely to write medical billing software to facilitate communications between doctors and insurers. There are companies that do nothing else that can be contracted to do that for doctors. A medical practice consisting of one or two doctors, who choose to handle it in house, will have a half-dozen employees whose sole task is to deal with the insurance company bureaucracy. All of this is terribly inefficient and an added expense. And, in most cases, you have to see a doctor that is on the insurance companies list.

A single-payer system, where the patient could choose their own doctor, would eliminate a tremendous amount of waste and might even free up doctors to go to bat for their patients in a situation like we had with my mother. We need to get the insurance companies out of the healthcare business completely. It is in their best interest to raise premiums and deny claims. Time-after-time, as they did in the case of my mother, they have shown heartlessness in the pursuit of profit.

Antioch extends registration deadline for reunion

The Antioch College Alumni Association announced yesterday that it has extended registration for it's Reunion 2009 (Oct. 2-4) until Midnight Thursday, September 24. While organizers had said they were expecting over 500 to attend, according to an article in the Yellow Springs News asking villagers to open their homes to house the visitors, as of last week only 100 had registered.

More information about registration and planned events can be had at the Reunion Webpage.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bench to Nowhere: Not quite out to pasture

A Cool Town Toon

Gone fishin'

It's another Third Friday

Third Friday Fling in the Springs Tonight (Sept. 18)

Opening Reception Radical Craft Show at The Art Space at 108 Dayton Street - The art of crafting beyond tradition

JuJu's Dance Piazza at 100 Corry St. Latin Dance Lessons at 6:30; DJ JuJu spins World Dance Mix at 7:30

Ceramic Artist at Art Happens in King's Yard. Ron Korczynski demonstrates his painted ceramics

The Emporium wine tasting and live music at 6:30

Movies at the Little Art Theatre at 7 pm & 9 pm

Sunrise Café Martini Bar & Tapas from 9:30 pm - 2:30 am

Beer Making Demo at Main Squeeze, 7:30 - 9:30 pm

Live Music at Peach's Grill starting at 10 pm with a modest cover charge

MTFR will be doing fire truck rides and selling hot dogs at the BP. They will also doing their car wash again at the firehouse.

Day Tripping: Hocking Hills

This from a reader:

Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve (Sept 2009)

Leave the Village in almost any direction and you’ll see the color starting to change in both the soy bean and corn fields, and maybe, even in a few trees. It won’t be long and folks will begin thinking about taking the annual drive to see the fall foliage. Load the family in the car, maybe pack a few sandwiches, and head out to see who can find the brightest reds and the purest golds.

We’re fortunate to have lots of places around Yellow Springs to walk, bike or drive to enjoy the gradual change of seasons. But something inside us seems to say that we have to go some place else because the colors might be just a little bit better – probably some sort of latent migratory gene.

Hocking Hills is one of the usual destinations – not my favorite place and way too crowded at the big name spots like Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave and Cedar Falls to name just a few. However, we found a book (Wild Ohio by Jim McCormac) that talks about the 40 best remaining natural areas in Ohio. Three of those sites are in the Hocking Hills and well worth the drive if you enjoy hiking what seemed to us during a recent visit, “the roads not taken”.

Clear Creek Metropark is actually part of the City of Columbus park system. Conkles Hollow State Park – probably the most well known of these three and maybe the best views of the fall color if you hike the upper trails – a little over 2 miles. And finally, the very pristine, Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve (see picture) located just outside of Jackson. Lake Katharine is noted for the rare umbrella magnolias and the endangered bigleaf magnolias – sometimes over two feet long.

You can find lots of additional information about these three places on the web. By the way, Clifton Gorge and Cedar Bog are both mentioned in the book. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rocky & Pee Wee: Street Legal

Yellow Springs, It's Where You Live

In the week leading up to Street Fair, FOX/ABC (Channel 45) will be featuring Yellow Springs in its "It's Where You Live" series. Yellow Springs week begins on October 5, but according to the Chamber of Commerce, a camera crew should be shooting in the village the week before. Chamber Director Karen Wintrow reports that, as a part of the joint Chamber Marketing Plan, they will be purchasing "at least 100 30-second ads to run morning, early evening and prime time that will include a 15 second general segment about Yellow Springs and three 5-second features for each participant."

Local Pawpaw grower in the news

Yellow Springs man George Bieri was interviewed about his pawpaw orchard for a Dayton Daily News article about the local fruit. As pawpaws come into season, their resurgence in popularity is attributed in part to the local food movement. According to the article, which appears in today's edition of the paper, Bieri has 45-50 trees.

Dayton Daily News: Ohio pawpaws are ripe for the picking

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jim's Group to reprise Financial Freedrom Now series

The James A. McKee Association will be hosting for a second time its personal money management workshop series called Financial Freedom Now. This workshop series was developed to help community members cope with both current and long term economic pressures by providing education, information and through the sharing of experiences by the participants. Further details on Financial Freedom Now can be found on our website at and in brochures and flyers.

Long-term economic factors have been aggravated by a current global economic crisis and people everywhere are being affected by reduced circumstances and growing financial pressure. It seems likely that things will get worse before they get better so the James A. Mckee Association members have resolved to try to offer assistance locally by providing this workshop series to help local residents but especially young adults to develop their money management skills through dialogue with each other and with expert leaders.

The fall workshop will be offered on Thursday evenings starting October 1 and ending on November 4. Sessions will be held in a very comfortable setting at the Antioch University McGregor building at the corner of East Enon Road and Dayton Street. There will be five sessions held over a six week period, each lasting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Refreshments and all materials will be provided. This workshop will deal with basic money management skills like cash management, credit card management, debt management, real costs, cost-conscious shopping and budget management in a general overview with simple but effective tips and rules for guidance.

Planning and execution of the project is being done entirely by community volunteer personnel including many from the James A. McKee Association. Primary funding for the project is being provided by local contributions including a grant from The Yellow Springs Community Foundation. We have also arranged for the donation of professional time by experts in various related professional fields to assist with the planning and implementation of the workshops. Participants only pay a $10 fee for part of the materials provided.

Each workshop will be limited to 30 participants in order to provide the best atmosphere for interactive communication. Limited attendance will require registration so interested villagers should register as soon as they can.

More information, including the registration form, is available from the website or by calling Rick Kristensen (767-9900), Kent Bristol (767-7773) or Sam Jackson (767-1112) or by sending an e-mail inquiry to

Updated: Truck takes out tree in front of Emporium

A reader took these cell phone pics this morning of a truck crashing into a tree in front of the Emporium. Unfortunately, it appears to have been the world famous knit-knot tree. Quick, someone knit it a blanket!

Good news! According to one of the knit-knot girls, this was not the knit-knot tree, it was the one next to it. (It's hard to tell them apart when they are naked.)

A Yellow Springs couple reminisces about being in Europe on 9/11

Jim and Betty Felder in Venice in Sept. 2001

Most Americans will never forget where they were around 9:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001 when the first of two airliners slammed into the side of one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City. Nor will they ever forget how the event first came to their attention and the hours they spent thereafter watching the real-life horror story unfold. Jim and Betty Felder of Yellow Springs were just six days into a three-week long vacation in Europe, in the town of Ulm, Germany, birthplace of Albert Einstein, when an Australian woman on their tour received a cell phone call from her daughter.

Ashen-faced, she approached Jim Felder, whom she knew to be one of the handful of Americans in their party of mostly Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians. "Jim, New York´s on fire!" she said.

Felder couldn´t picture that, he said in a recent interview. One of a couple of female school teachers traveling alone from Massachusetts asked, "Jim, what are we going to do." Felder, not realizing the full extent of the tragedy, made light of the situation to calm the woman. But as the cacophony of cell phone rings grew, the reality began to set in.

What was there to do..? They were a world away from home, information was sparse and they were aboard a boat traveling down the Rhine. All there was to do was to make the best of it and get more information when they could. The mountains and the false front castles, built by the Nazis in WWII so the allies wouldn´t bomb their railroad tunnels were so spectacular that it was easy to shove the shocking news to the side.

They rejoined their bus after the river tour and passed through the Dolomites into Italy, where they stopped at a chalet for lunch. The owner rushed out to greet them as the bus pulled up to the front of the building. He knew there would be Americans in the tour. He offered his sympathy as they disembarked from the bus.

"We are all Americans," he told them.

That night, when they arrived at their hotel in Sorrento, they had their first chance to find out the scope of the horror that had befallen their country. A crowd was gathered around a television in the lobby that was tuned to CNN. All the pay phones had long lines.

On the hotel bulletin board was a letter from the Mayor of Rome. It began: "Let me first of all express to you, in this day of sorrow, my heart-felt sympathy and that of the city of Rome for a tragedy that has struck the heart of the U.S.A. One of the oldest and strongest democracies has been violated, a most painful wound in American history has been inflicted, a history that was often interwoven with that of Europe and of our country. We reject this dreadful violence…" He went on to tell the Americans that they could consider Rome as their home and promised them a safe haven.

Every night, for the rest of the trip, they would turn on CNN as soon as they got to their hotel room. They would leave it on all night. They were concerned for their family, one of whom flew regularly as a part of her job with an airline, another who lived just a few blocks from ground zero. On CNN they were warning Americans abroad to keep a low profile. They considered cutting their trip short, but there were problems with that.

"Nothing was flying to the U.S. for the next four days," Betty Felder said. "We felt so isolated."

By the time the no-fly period was over, they had confirmed by telephone that everyone in their family had been accounted for. They decided to finish the trip. But there was a decidedly different flavor to it.

"The Australians stopped teasing us about Bush," Jim Felder recalled.

"It was like a page had been turned," Betty said. "Wherever we went, when they found out we were Americans, we were treated with kindness."

As the trip began to wind down, they became concerned about how they would get home. In Amsterdam, Jim decided to call their airline to be sure they were still booked on their flight from Paris to Detroit. The phone booth posed a problem. Unable to deal with the payphone, he asked for help from a man in the booth next to his.

"The guy turned out to be a Texan," Felder laughed. "He was glad to help a fellow American."

When they got to Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris, they were greeted by a scene from a suspense thriller.

"There were French Soldiers with dogs everywhere," Betty said. "They had automatic weapons slung over their shoulders."

As luck would have it, the KLM counter was situated between two Arab airlines. Jim was nervous. It appeared that the only other Americans in line were a couple from Minnesota. It seemed to Felder that the rest of the passengers on the almost empty flight to Detroit were Muslims. The fact that the baggage screeners were paying little attention to what they were doing added to Felder´s paranoia. By the time they made it back to the safety and comfort of their home in Yellow Springs, it was late at night. Catching up with relatives would have to wait until morning.

Going through the photos of their trip and reminiscing about the wonderful sights and the caring people they met on the trip, Betty Felder recalled the emotion of crossing the English Channel by boat, leaving the white cliffs of Dover and approaching the beaches and cliffs of France. At the time, she said, she thought about the Americans who sacrificed their lives for our country during the D-day invasion.

"We are all Americans," she recalled the Italian chalet owner saying. Then she talked about the political divisions at home and how they are keeping us from having health care for every American, how modern day wounded veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to a country that is not providing them with adequate medical care.

"We give lip-service to so much and do so little," she said. "We dishonor the sacrifice of those men on the beaches of Normandy."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

National Preparedness Month - Be truly ready!

This from MTFR Chief Colin Altman:

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), a nationwide effort encouraging people to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools. While this year is the sixth NPM, it is the first time that Miami Township Fire-Rescue is joining the campaign.

NPM 2009 is focusing on changing perceptions about emergencies and helping people understand what it truly means to be ready. Being ready goes beyond smoke detectors, fire alarms and extra food in the pantry. Being ready means knowing what specific items to include in disaster preparedness kits. Being ready means meeting with household or business members and writing emergency plans for the different types of incidents that can affect your home or community.

Last September’s wind storm demonstrated how critical being ready is. Many Village and Township residents were ill-prepared to spend several days without power and deal with the issues the storm brought. “Being prepared in your home or business is critical,” states MTFR Fire Chief Colin Altman. “To be prepared, get a kit, make a plan, and be informed.”

To help residents and businesses to be ready, MTFR has recently released its Emergency Preparedness Guide. This free guide, developed by the fire department, provides information on developing a disaster plan, making an emergency supply kit, and preparing for different types of emergencies. The guide is available for download from MTFR’s website and from the Yellow Springs Police Department’s website at Residents and businesses can visit for additional preparedness information and resources.

For more information, contact Chief Colin Altman at 767-7842.

Little Art all-night horror marathon to feature seven films

The Little Art Theatre is pleased to announce its third annual all-night Halloween horror movie marathon. The marathon begins at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, October 24, 2009. (Doors open at 9 p.m.)

This year's horror marathon will showcase seven feature films, including rare 35mm screenings of Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS, Roman Polanski's REPULSION, and the '80s cult classic NIGHT OF THE CREEPS.

Also in the lineup is the area premiere of Ti West's much-anticipated THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (also from 35mm), the contemporary favorite SHAUN OF THE DEAD, Sean Cunningham's original FRIDAY THE 13TH, and George Romero's masterpiece NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

There will be a costume contest at about 1:30 a.m. where the winner will be determined by audience applause. Contest prizes include posters and DVDs. A variety of classic and contemporary trailers will also be shown throughout the evening.

Tickets for the marathon are $20 each, and are on sale now at Beginning October 2, tickets can also be purchased in person at the Little Art box office.

Day Tripping: Jungle Jim's & Uncle Yip's

We drive down I-75 to Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield so often (at least once-a-month), it took awhile for me to realize that the ride really qualifies as a day trip. If you like Trader Joe's, multiply it 100 fold and you still don't have Jungle Jim's. This place may be unique in all the world. It's the Disney Land of food - well worth the hour drive just to experience it, even if you don't buy a thing. Even the restrooms are special.

As you enter through the main entrance, you find a sushi bar, a make-your-own antipasto bar and a deli section with items from all over the world. Don't eat before coming, you are going to want to try the dozens of generous free samples.

Moving on past the cheese section, ice cream shop and Starbucks, you arrive at the liquor store and wine and beer department. There are so many fine wines and beers from all over the world that I get dizzy trying to decide what to get.

Next is the on-premises bakery with breads you probably can't find anywhere around here and the meat department with whole hogs heads and duck feet. Then comes the fresh produce department. Once again, the fruit and vegetables are from all over the globe.

Produce spills into seafood and the international market section, with aisles marked by countries. The seafood section features, live trout, bass, talapia and shell fish. Can you think of anywhere else around here where you can buy frogs legs?

There is a pharmacy, a bank and a post office. Everywhere you go, there are life-size curios, fire engines, buggies, boats, mechanical rock bands - way too much kitsch to remember. It seems like every time we go there, there is something new. The place, which is already the size of several football fields, keeps getting bigger.

For more information and driving directions visit Jungle Jim's Website.

We usually, stop for dim sum a few miles away at Uncle Yip's Chinese restaurant, 10736 Reading Rd, in Evandale, off exit 14 on I-75, just two exits south of I-275 where you get off for Jungle Jim's. We have been eating at Uncle Yip's for nine years, following him around through three locations. If you like New York Chinatown type food, you will like Uncle Yip's. Read about Uncle Yip's on Yelp.

In a strip mall at the corner of Reading Road and Evandale is CAM, a large Asian super market that is another regular stop for us on this trip. The few things that Jungle Jim's does not carry can be picked up here.

Antioch in the news

Chief Transition Officer Matt Derr has been busy with public relations lately as the newly revived and independent Antioch College meets the world.

Dayton Daily News: Antioch officials consider offering three-year degree

WHIO-TV: Antioch College Restoration to Begin

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bench to Nowhere: Be careful where you sleep!

A Cool Town Toon

John Bryan Community Pottery announces fall classes for teens & kids

Kids Creative Clay for Sharing
A heartfelt course in handbuilding. Children will create useful items that say…“would you like a cookie with your tea?” or “pass the salt and pepper, please.”

Grades K thru 3, Tuesdays, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, Sept. 22 – Nov. 10
Grades 4 thru 6, Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, Sept. 24 – Nov. 12

Instructor, Eve Sturm, is a mother of two and a self-taught artist. With a degree in child development, she has been teaching school aged children for nearly fifteen years. Currently she is playing in the clay with the children who attend her classes at JBCP.

Clay for Teens
A funky, fun class for students to become familiar with clay and experience techniques such as coil construction, pinching, slabwork, wheel-throwing, as well as glazing.

Ages 12 – 16, Saturdays, 10:00 – 12:00, Oct. 3 – Nov. 21

Instructor, Dale Boydston, studied fine art with an emphasis on ceramic arts at the College of the Dayton Art Institute and Sinclair Community College leading him to a career in graphic art in the corporate world for 28 years. He is currently devoting his time to studio ceramic design, art photography, and teaching.

Cost of all classes: $125 + $25 materials fee [ includes first bag of clay and firings ]

To register, call Lisa Wolters, 767-9908, John Bryan Community Pottery | 100 Dayton Street | Yellow Springs

Blog goes over 20,000 hits!

The Blog's hit counter has rolled past the 20,000 view mark. Thanks! Just a few months ago, when the counter passed 10,000, I promised a party when we hit the 20k mark. While we have reached a significant milestone in receiving so many views in such a small market, I have decided that 25,000 has a nicer ring to it. So the party will occur when the Blog hits reach 25,000. At the rate we are going, that should only take about a month. Check this space for details!

Baha'i youth donate to Library Association

The Baha'i Youth Service Group (ages 11-14) held a bake sale held on Sunday, September 6, and Monday, September 7 and raised over $300 to support the Yellow Springs Library. They are seen here at the Baha'i center at 502 Dayton Street Sunday donating the money to the Yellow Springs Library Association (President Becky Eschliman is in the rear - the kids are (L-R) Alex Strolger, Nadia Mulhall, Ursula Kremer, Anisa Kastle, Miles Weimer, Ceilidh Conway, Madeline Nielsen and the group's advisor Anisa Qualls).

According to Eschliman, when asked why they selected the library as the recipient for their service project, they said it was because it was one thing they all had in common, and it was gratifying how aware they were of the funding circumstances; when asked what they best liked about the library, several said the programs, one said the movies (both the ones shown there and the ones to check out), and nearly all chimed in "the books!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Soccer Inc. - Morgan Soccer Fields Dedication

Elliot Wiggins showed what it's really all about in one of the games that preceded the dedication of the newly renovated soccer fields Saturday morning.

Bob Curley (right) thanks the many folks, organizations and businesses who made the renovation, new equiment and uniforms possible as fellow Yellow Springs Soccer, Inc. board members (L to R) Lauren Miller, Sarah Wallis, Jocelyn Hardman and Karen Crist look on.

Jocelyn Hardman says a few words.

Lee Morgan (representing Lee and Vicki Morgan) School Board President Aida Merhemic, and Yellow Springs Community Foundation President Bruce Bradtmiller were presented with certificates of appreciation. The Morgans and YSCF provided funding for the project and, according to Curley, the Schools have allowed "unprecendented access to the fields."

More photographs here.

Related post: Soccer field renovation celebration Saturday

Julia Child Fake-Off

On Friday, September 4, Winds Cafe and Little Art Theatre teamed up to present a Julia Child "Fake-Off" Contest followed by the Yellow Springs premiere screening of the movie "Julie & Julia." Contestant Jon Prater is pictured above with master of ceremonies and actress, Rani Crowe. Contestants were encouraged to dress as Julia Child and offer a favorite Julia quote, cooking tip, or short skit with the screening audience serving as judge. The $20 event included "Cocktails with Julia" at the Winds Cafe with Julia Child-inspired hors d'oeuvres, contest, and screening. Contest winners received food-related gift prizes.

September 2009
photo by Susan Gartner

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On optimism in Yellow Springs

What keeps the tourists coming to this town 20 miles from Dayton that Rolling Stone magazine once referred to in a published interview with celebrity resident Dave Chappelle as a bohemian enclave? For starters, it has something for everyone. In addition to Chappelle, who has been quoted as saying he will never move away from the village, Rod Serling, John Lithgow, Virginia Hamilton and a dozen other celebrities have called Yellow Springs home. There are two state parks, a thousand acre glen that is part of the Antioch campus, and a pristine bike path that stretches for a hundred miles to the north and south. There are galleries, shops, noted restaurants, coffeehouses, street musicians, and benches every few feet. And there are the residents…

An article I wrote for the online magazine American Chronicle: Things are looking up for one Ohio Village

Raspberries are ripe for picking at Peifer's

Macy Reynolds picking raspberries at Peifer Orchards

The final product

(Photos by Roger Reynolds)

U-pick 'em at Peifer's: The bushes are loaded with red raspberries. Macy Reynolds picked 12 pints in 45 minutes. For more information about Peifer Orchards visit

A couple of Springers talk to WHIO-TV about deer in YS

“I saw a group of five of them running down the street on Dayton Yellow Springs Road,” Nick Long of Yellow Springs told WHIO-TV Meteorologist Kimberly Thomson about our local deer problem. “They were running along side of our car and then kind of crossed the street and jumped through a field.”

The article goes on to give advice on how to avoid hitting deer. One thing it does not say, and this is my personal advice, is that you should not swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Most fatal accidents (fatal to humans that is) occur when a driver jerks the wheel to avoid hitting an animal. Most roads in our area provide no room for error and have a steep drop off or are lined with trees and utility poles. If a deer crosses in front of you, hit your brakes, but do not swerve. Chances are the deer will be gone by the time you reach its location. If you swerve, you are likely to run off the road and flip over or hit a tree or pole. As sad as it is, it is better to hit the movable object.

WHIO-TV: Deer Pose Dangers for Drivers

Third Friday Fling this Friday

You’ll Fall for the Springs at the 3rd Friday Fling on September 18. Many shops will be open later and special events and entertainment will be found all around this great walk-able downtown.

Visit the Art Space at 108 Dayton St. for the Opening of the Radical Craft Show a featuring the art of crafting beyond tradition. Down the street you’ll find open mic night at Brother Bear’s Café where you can enjoy a delicious cappuccino and dessert.

Across the street at 100 Corry, take a Latin Dance lesson at 6:30 and then put that lesson to use dancing to DJ JuJu’s World Dance Mix at 7:30.

Continue your stroll around to Xenia Avenue where you’ll find ceramic artist Ron Korczynski demonstrating his painted ceramics at Art Happens our newest gallery in King’s Yard.

On the east side of Xenia Ave. stop in at The Emporium for wine tasting and the sounds of Kent Burnside starting at 6:30. For a delicious snack, Current Cuisine will be serving their Black Bean Nachos, the popularity of which is responsible for the longest lines at Street Fair. Always popular is the beer making demo at Main Squeeze from 7:30 - 9:30 pm.

For a quieter experience, see a movie at the Little Art Theatre at 7 pm & 9 pm. End the evening quietly sipping a drink at the Sunrise Café Martini Bar & Tapas from 9:30 pm - 2:30 am or dancing to the Alternative Rock sounds of Bump at Peach's Grill starting at 10 pm with a modest cover charge.

For more information, please contact the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce at 937-767-2686 or visit

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soccer field renovation celebration Saturday

This Saturday, 9/12/09, marks not just the beginning of the fall season for the YS Recreational Youth Soccer League, but also the grand opening of the completely renovated Morgan soccer fields. Hundreds of local individuals and many organizations worked together over the past five years to accomplish this major field improvement project, so please join us in celebrating and acknowledging the work of those involved at 10:00 am, Saturday 9/12/09, behind the Morgan Building.

Five years ago, when Sarah Wallis was helping coach the girls’ high school soccer team, the holes in the turf of the girls’ practice field were leading to injuries among her players and she decided to do something about it. With a little help from her friends, Bob Curley, Karen Crist, Emily Fine, Jocelyn Hardman, Bill Hardman, and Lauren Miller, the Board of Trustees for the local nonprofit youth soccer organization, YS Soccer, Inc. (YSSI), was created. The YS Community Foundation supported the new group in obtaining federal 501(c)3 status, and Lee and Vicki Morgan agreed to a $20,000 leadership grant toward the field improvement project. The YS Community Foundation donated $15,000, YS Schools contributed $1,000 and full access to the land, which they own and generously allow the community to use for the Recreational Youth Soccer League each year. Finally, many individual donors have contributed each year, as well as to the Saul Young Memorial Fund, which totaled nearly $10,000.

The beautiful work on the field grading, seeding, and improved drainage was completed by Mercer Group, Inc., which specializes in athletic field installation. The Yellow Springs Tree Committee and Roger Beal have also generously contributed time, landscape planning, and plantings, which will continue to be filled in over the years to help protect the fields with a natural green border. Furthermore, each year many local residents contribute hours of their time as coaches, referees, parent coordinators, and players, and those numbers grow every year. According to the last census and YSSI participation counts, more than one third of all local children participated in youth soccer, and the numbers have grown every year for the last five years. Although the Recreational Youth Soccer program is not free to provide, individual donations and YS Community Foundation support allow us to continue to keep the program free and open to all.

So, thank you, Yellow Springs! The Morgan soccer field improvement project is just another example of what a whole community working together can achieve. We ask only that you respect the community investment by no longer parking on the new fields, as we used to do in the past. Please use the high school parking lot for overflow parking during Recreational League games and practices. We look forward to seeing you Saturday morning to celebrate the beautiful game – and another YS success in thinking globally and acting locally. ¡Olé!

Jocelyn Hardman, Secretary
Yellow Springs Soccer, Inc.