Posts Tagged ‘Local’


June 5, 2017

Mention the name Kirkersville today around central Ohio and the response is similar to the mention of other names in other parts of the country, like Waco, Orlando, or Virginia Tech. For readers unfamiliar with Kirkersville, an individual with a history of violence related offenses (and incarceration) shot and killed two unrelated women co workers of a nursing home as well as the village police chief. The shooter was likewise shot and killed in the calamity. A search of  the perpetrator’s home in Utica turned up a veritable arsenal of firearms and ammunition. The tragedy that unfolded in Kirkersville has been reported, updated, re-reported and analyzed, all in hopes that “it will never happen again.” Laws are being “introduced” to facilitate this. This past weekend, in addition to more post-event investigative reporting, the Newark Advocate dedicated another Sunday editorial to Kirkersville. Newark News Analysis dares to call attention to a regular daily Advocate feature from June 2, 2017 (prior to the editorial but after the tragedy in Kirkersville). The Local News Briefs calls attention to local events, announcements, news items that are published in the public interest. The following appeared on the same day, sharing the same column space, separated only by two sundry announcements (a street closing and a summer reading series):

Chipotle having Kirkersville shooting fundraiser

NEWARK – A benefit day for the families of the three victims of the Kirkersville nursing home shooting will be Tuedsay, June 6, at the Chipotle Restaurants in Heath, Newark, Reynoldsburg and Blacklick.

Customers who tell the cashier they are supporting the fundraiser will have 50 percent of their purchase divided between the families of Eric DiSario, Marlina Medrano and Cindy Krantz.

Gun raffle supports Utica K-9 Unit

UTICA – A gun raffle and fundraiser to support the Utica Police Department K-9 Unit will have a drawing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Utica Fire Department.

First prize is a SAI Saint Tactical AR-15, second prize is a RFM-870 Combo, third prize is a Ruger American 9mm and fourth prize is a Glock 26 CGW. Other door prizes will also be given.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the police department and Utica Mill and Hardware Store.


Newark News Analysis finds the Newark Advocate’s de facto editorial stance to be no stance at all. Cosmetic tweaks are demanded while the status quo remains unchallenged. Who does the Advocate advocate for?

El SID And The Poppies

June 1, 2017

The current imbroglio obsessing Newark’s City Council is the future of marijuana in Nerk (whatever became of affordable housing? public transportation? drug addiction rehabilitation? Let alone street paving?). After dissing the local voters’ initiative to “decriminalize” its possession, the council now must wrestle with what to do with a medical legalization of this substance by the legislature (meant, at the time, to stave off a statewide citizen’s initiative). Having hemmed and hawed as long as they could, the good folks in the state’s executive branch need to finally implement the medical marijuana legalization. Ditto for Newark’s City administration. Analysis has already posted about the head slapping irony of citizens wanting something, voting for it (going through the democratic process of self governance) only to find their elected officials deciding something else is in the constituents’ best interest (another episode of Father Knows Best). Stealthily lurking behind all this is the gentrification of downtown Newark. This ongoing epic saga has unfolded over the past 10 years with nary a citizen vote. Conservative blame was needed as “conservative” by definition means “disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc. or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change” (none of which are found with roundabouts or a covered, block long outdoor entertainment loading dock). That nasty old federal EPA fit the bill marvelously, serving as a catalyst for all this “Federally mandated” change (kinda like “America First” being “printed in China”). So downtown Newark was, by hook or crook, going to be changed, gentrified. No one would vote on it. Everyone (who didn’t get to vote) would pay for it. The latest is the SID (Special Improvement District). This is a plan or rather, a gentrification technique whereby “property owners would pay 7.5 percent of the tax rate applied to the 2016 real property taxable value, providing the district about $110,000 annually. The assessment would first appear on their 2018 property tax bill. The tax would last five years, but could be renewed for an additional five years.” “Property owners must petition city council to create the district. The petition must be signed by the owners of 60 percent of the frontage feet along public rights of way in the district, or 75 percent of the square footage of real property in the district.” (Downtown property owners asked to join new taxing district, The Newark Advocate, Kent Mallett , 5-22-17) “The goal is to use property tax assessments from those within the district to pay for services such as parking maintenance, safety and security, litter control, graffiti removal, visitor ambassadors, special projects and marketing.” One of this blog’s first entries was in March of 2013, Ownership Of Downtown Newark. That research covered the area of this Newark SID. It revealed that close to 24% of the “property owners” within the area were either government entities or religious ones (neither of which would be assessed). At that time Park National Bank owned nearly 10% of all this area property (banks in total about 13%). Which leaves less than two thirds of the property owners to pay the SID. Why is a SID an integral part of gentrification? To increase property values (for the non voting property owners of the district – in 2013 Analysis also found that of the remaining not government, religious, or bank property owners, few were individually named, most were corporate legal entities) rents need to be higher across the board (like the neglected house on the block determining neighborhood value). A SID does specifically that. As a tax, it increases the property owner’s costs which in turn increases the operating expense for any business located there. Marginally profitable businesses will exit as they did prior to the large scale construction of downtown several years ago. Ditto for any other renters (i.e. residential tenants). Upscale enterprises (with capital backing) move in and, Voila! The SID has functioned perfectly as planned. In the meantime Newark’s City Council will wrestle with the tsunami of legalized marijuana while this disenfranchised mandate will pass like shit through a duck.


April 4, 2017

Analysis goes short. The Abra Cadabra of headline juxtaposition on the front page of the 4-4-17 Newark Advocate was irresistible. The large cap “Kasich, Others Tout New Amazon Center” directly over the smaller cap “Licking Co. files foreclosure on Longaberger Basket” invites “Now you see it. Now you don’t.” Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Advocate’s new editor came out this past week. No big surprise in that it was the interim news editor, Ben Lanka. He even took the time to pen a personal column to introduce himself. Unnoticed (or should we say Un-edited) was the disappearance of the editorial/opinion section from the everyday, week day paper. Great for Gannett’s bottom line. Terrible for Newark’s readers’ need to know (you know, “Inquiring minds” and all). Gone are divergent points of view columns. Also the editorial cartoons (another reason for why “editorial cartoonist” has vanished from high school career day). And finally, absent and forever gone is the editorial itself, once a point of pride for most publications, expressive of the local news outlet’s leadership role in the community. But hey, Newark now has a new editor for its paper. As he puts it, “I’ve always believed as a journalist my most important role is to give a voice to the voiceless and to hold those in power accountable.” Analysis indicates that, without an everyday editorial/opinion page, this has the potential of being more magical than Penn and Teller!

Local Market Place

November 16, 2016

Kroger, the world’s largest food retailer, recently reopened at a new location in Newark. The previous site of Meijer is now the Kroger test model for a revamped experiment in food retailing. It is no coincidence that the store name is “Kroger Market Place.” The geographic relocation was not far from its previous address, just down the road actually. It also did not mark a rehab for better competition with the world’s number 2 food retailer, Walmart, as that store is still its neighbor on the city’s north side. It does, however, mark a definite strategic move by Kroger to go head to head with the local farmers markets, The Canal Market District Farmers Market and the Granville Farmers Market. The interior design and lay out of the new store reveals Kroger’s intent. The similarity to a farmers market is uncanny. The visual focus and “inviting” center of attention is on the southern third of the interior. Gawking listless shoppers are immediately drawn to the brightly colored flowers on one side and fruits/vegetables on the other. This is surrounded by satellite nooks of Starbucks, “Pan Asian” offerings (Asia is a continent. Would you say “Pan North American”?), a bar (with entertainment), baked goods, deli, seafood, etc. etc. etc. The grocery part of the grocery store is rather nondescript, along narrow aisles in the middle section. It is not as roomy or airy, cheery or festive. This is the land of day to day hard core canned good necessities (better check the price). The north part holds Kroger’s recent expansion into retailing as well as its grip on healthcare and a bank to pay for it all. Along with the Canal Market District Farmers Market, Granville Farmers Market and the plethora of Ohio Proud farmers markets in city’s and small towns across Ohio (and the US) Kroger’s Market Place offers immediate on-site consumables (bakery, coffee, etc.), boutique foods, entertainment, and variety. And, of course, the emphasis is on “local.” Being indoors under one roof creates the competitive edge that ultimately makes Kroger’s Market Place, like the North Market in Columbus, so attractive. Eventually it will win out (besides, you can score the hard core day to day stuff without an added detour). Sure, on a nice day, it is quaint to “be like New England” and jostle through the crowds at an out of doors market. But on a rainy day or windy, unpleasant one….? Same “local” offerings! Besides, you get a cart to push around while you go from stand to stand instead of lugging it with you like airport luggage. Analysis finds it is the “local” moniker that dilutes the difference. The very trait meant to distinguish the small from the mighty now allows for the mega food marketer to do what Walmart has already done. For last century’s unsuspecting country bumpkin without a brand to his name, “local” meant being within the vicinity where one’s children compete against each other at “local” school athletic events, where the churches are within a reasonable Sunday morning commute (“Hurry up or we’ll be late”), and where one votes for a “local” politician to govern (what else?) “locally”. But buying Zanesville baked goods only available in Licking County at The Canal Market District Farmers Market or Granville Farmers Market (but not at the Zanesville Farmers Market, or the bakery itself) doesn’t differentiate those markets’ “local” much from the Kroger Market Place’s “local”. High school sports and politicians in Brinkhaven articulate little, if at all, with central Licking County. And attending church in Louisville would be an all day Sunday drive for Newark’s devout. Analysis finds that “local” has gone from (Webster’s) “pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country” to just another quality of brand identity in the marketplace. Analysis finds little difference in whether Kroger or the Market Master makes the “local” designation.