Posts Tagged ‘Park National Bank’

Attention To The Community

March 22, 2019

“By most accounts structures and institutions are what define community in Newark” (This blog, 2-19-19 posting). The Newark Advocate’s 3-21-19 headline news seems to bear this out (OSU-N, COTC to build science, technology center on campus, Kent Mallett). The story line goes that the big news of upcoming development is “The John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology will be more than just a new building on the Newark campus of Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College when it opens in 2021. The $32 million, three-story, 60,000-square-foot facility will allow OSU to begin offering a bachelor’s degree in engineering that can be completed at the Newark campus. It will be the 11th major students can complete in Newark.” Other uses for the projected structure are listed as well as the organization and sources of funding. An impressive story by any standards given the paucity of infrastructure development in Newark. For sure, for sure, keeping in time with the drum beat, “Berry, who became COTC president on Jan. 1, said the building will help meet the needs of local employers searching for workers to fill jobs in engineering, manufacturing, information technology and health care fields. “This building will be a long-term investment in our region’s economy,” Berry said. “And, it’s a great attraction as we try to bring prospective students into it.”” Given that over 45% of local residences are non-owner occupant, Newark’s kids will be able to find jobs near home, maybe even make a “a long-term investment in our region’s economy” and own one themselves instead of rent. But as we all know, “all stories are true stories.” And that includes this one. The origin grand narrative appears somewhere around the middle. “Ronald Alford, son of longtime Newark campus supporters John and Mary Alford, said, “We believe this building will change lives for generations to come. Our parents were steadfast in their support of OSU and COTC.” Alford said he and his sister viewed DeLawder as the appropriate person to lead the campaign, and not just because of his career at Park National Bank, where John Alford also served as bank president. “Dan reminded us of our dad,” Alford said. “It was more about his demeanor, his humbleness, and his attention not only to his family and the bank, but to the community.” DeLawder said Thursday was a special day in his life, making the announcement even more meaningful. “On this day, 48 years ago, I started my career at Park National Bank,” DeLawder said. “Since Mr. Alford hired me 48 years ago, I could hardly say no (to leading the campaign).”” And who would want to? Average interest rates on student loans run between 5 and 7.5% and debt obligation remains unchanged with any declaration of bankruptcy. Average interest rates for a home mortgage is 4.6%, with car loans showing just a little less at 4.3%, and both are subject to bankruptcy filing. Only sub prime and pay day lending yields a greater return than a student loan. And, as we all know, loans are a bank’s primary assets. Considering that Park National Bank is an institution with $7.8 billion in assets, this certainly is “a long-term investment in our region’s economy.”

The Bubble

January 30, 2019

Harry Shearer’s weekly radio broadcast, Le Show, has a segment entitled “News from Outside the Bubble” where he reads accounts of the news from overseas publications. For American devotees of U.S. politics, the equally polarized politics of a country like Poland would be puzzling, to say the least. Accounts of “liberals” would include the U.S. pro-choice position, but also embrace free market capitalism while “conservative” would agree with pro-life positions while promoting the welfare state (universal health care, state funded retirement, etc.). The existing polarization is even more vicious than here in the U.S. with the recent public and real time publicly broadcast murder of the mayor of Gdansk. A recent article in the NY Times by Tina Rosenberg (1-29-19) spoke of steps to remediate the insanity. Entitled: The Magazines Publishing One Another’s Work, “Polarization is everywhere. But it’s being challenged in Poland by a handful of magazines across the political spectrum. They’ve begun sharing articles, to show readers a variety of viewpoints.” In a nutshell, every few weeks the editors of 5 magazines from both ends of the political spectrum have agreed to publish one magazine’s essay on an issue of national concern in conjunction with the other 4’s responses to that featured essay. All 5 publications would run not only the main essay, but all the responses. Readers of the magazines would get out of their bubble by finding the alternative views presented alongside their preferred journalism. Not as radical as Sinclair’s Fox 28 and ABC 6 appearing on CBS 10, NBC 4 and WOSU 34 but more like The Atlantic, National Review and Newsweek, etc. agreeing to publish each other’s articles of faith. Newark News Analysis wondered how this would look locally. The problem is not as much one of “the bubble” being the published outlook of choice (with regard to political affinity) but more like “the bubble” being the inaccessibility to outlooks of difference, period. Recent news brings that situation to the fore. Tristan Navera headlined Park National Bank names new president (1-28-19) for Columbus Business First. “The Newark-based bank said in a release that its board will vote at its April meeting to make Matthew Miller president effective May 1.” Not news for Newark’s hometown paper, The Advocate. Also not news was the account that “The bank also reported its net income rose by 15 percent to $26.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the same period the year before. Its profit for the full year rose 31 percent to $110.4 million.” As well as the final “As of December, the bank had 11 community banking divisions, totaling $7.8 billion in assets.” (In the banking industry, assets are primarily comprised of money loaned to, and owed by customers) Polarization is eroded by shared pertinent facts. An Advocate published news article, Knights Inn hotel closes 6 months after numerous violations found, by Kent Mallet (1-24-19) appears to disclose important local activity addressing public concern. The onus of this concern was categorically “The mayor [Mark Johns] said the property has already attracted interest for another use. “There is a developer exploring the prospect of re-developing the property,” Johns said. “That property would not be operated as a hotel if these plans go through.” The closing of Knights Inn, combined with construction delays at two other hotels, leaves the Newark-Heath area lacking in available lodging, according to Dan Moder, executive director of Explore Licking County.” The same paper headlined  Knights Inn problems top Advocate’s August stories (9-4-18). That story extensively covered the low income people trapped in a form of indentured servitude requiring full time work to pay off the rent for living there. The Knights Inn closes in the middle of winter and Mallett can’t say what became of the tenants!? In past postings this blog has excoriated the Newark city administration (as well as The Advocate) over the citizens initiative that passed regarding the decriminalization and (de)prosecution of small amounts of marijuana possession. The “one size fits all” approach spilled over into the legalized medical marijuana zoning provisions. A Growing Chorus of Big City Prosecutors Say No to Marijuana Convictions headlines Shaila Dewan for the NY Times (1-29-19). ““If you ask that mom whose son was killed where she would rather us spend our time and our attention — on solving that murder, or prosecuting marijuana laws — it’s a no-brainer,” said Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore. She vowed at a news conference to no longer prosecute marijuana possession, regardless of quantity or prior criminal record, and said she would seek to vacate almost 5,000 convictions. Ms. Mosby’s move places her in a vanguard of big-city prosecutors, including Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in Manhattan and Eric Gonzalez in Brooklyn, who are moving away from marijuana cases, declaring them largely off limits and in some cases going so far as to clear old warrants or convictions off the books.” ““How are we going to expect folks to want to cooperate with us,” Ms. Mosby said in an interview in her office on Monday, “when you’re stopping, you’re frisking, you’re arresting folks for marijuana possession?”” In the 1-29-19 Advocate that headlines United Way officials: Billions needed for opioid fight; meth abuse rising, Craig McDonald writes “Dingus [Deb Dingus, executive director of LC United Way] agreed about meth abuse: “We see it here, too.” She added, “By the time we federally address the drug of choice, the drug of choice has changed on the street.”” How are we going to expect folks to want to cooperate with us if we’re criminalizing marijuana possession? The news from outside the bubble is that, locally, the bubble is manufactured for local residents to reside in unquestioningly. It is not a bubble of choice or preference, rather it is one of learned resignation.