Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Portsmouth--Ohio's Opioid capital

Here is a link to a Canadian perspective  on opioid addiction in Portsmouth:


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Derek Allen Fired Again!

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Carpetbagger: from Piqua to Portsmouth

     [A reposting of a 2015 post on the occasion of the firing of Derek Allen as Portsmouth's city manager on Monday, November 18, 2017.]


       The opening sentence of a report in the Portsmouth Daily Times (PDT) by Frank Lewis posted online on 6 November 2015 states, “Portsmouth City Council will take action to authorize Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen to begin to advertise for bids and to enter into contracts with the lowest and/or best bidder for required supplies, materials and services for 2016.” According to the report by Lewis, “Yearly requirements include such items as manhole rings and covers, asphaltic concrete, uniforms for police and fire departments, chemicals for water filtration, police department radio maintenance and other equipment and services.” Lewis then details the costs of the new breathing apparatus the Fire Department needs. “The estimate from Breathing Air Systems lists the original price of $11,842, showing a 16 percent discount, bringing the cost to $9,947.28, less $1,000 for the trade-in of their existing unit, the new price is $8,947.28. Allen said there is an additional cost for shipping and installation of $819 and he is requesting an additional $1,000 for contingency.” Lewis then explains why the present breathing equipment is obsolete, an explanation which is even more complicated than the financial breakdown, so I won’t reproduce it here. 

       What I will emphasize here is that  one of the important details Lewis failed to mention, even in passing in his report, is that our carpetbagging city manager  who will put out for  bidding all services and materials that cost $50,000 or more, as required by state law, was himself guilty of violating state law regulating the purchase of materials when he was the assistant city manager in Piqua, Ohio, where he continues to  make his home, though his high paying job is in Portsmouth, which is why I call him a carpetbagger. Not only did Allen ten years ago break the law in purchasing $160,000 worth of gravel for a bike path without putting it out for bid, but he compounded his crime by lying under oath when he testified about the gravel purchase. (See the Celina Daily Standard report at the end of this post.) On the basis of his testimony, Allen was convicted of perjury and received a fine and a suspended jail sentence. Shouldn’t Lewis in his story on contract bidding at least have alluded, if only in passing, to Allen’s failure to follow state law about the bidding process in Piqua, where they probably would not hire him now as dogcatcher.  Because of the PDT's soft pedaling  of Allen's controversial career, as many as nine out of ten Portsmouth residents may have no knowledge of his criminal record, nor of his  inability to hold on to a job. Unlike honest investigative PDT reporters who lost their jobs when they reported something they shouldn’t have, Frank Lewis is a master not only of omission but also of innuendo. He knows not only whose toes should not be stepped on but also whose toes should be on behalf of the crooked clique. 

       For example, on November 4, in reporting on the results of the Portsmouth elections the day before, Lewis did not limit himself to reporting on Tom Lowe’s decisive victory in the Sixth Ward city council race; Lewis also alluded, as he had in the past,  to the alleged ganging up by Lowe and Shawn Stratton on the Sixth Ward incumbent Jeff Kleha in the primary election. “Stratton and Lowe were at the center of a controversy in the May Primary,” Lewis wrote, “when they seemingly teamed up to defeat incumbent councilman Portsmouth attorney Jeff Kleha, leaving him as the odd man out. It was that election in which the Scioto County Board of Elections allowed Sixth Ward voters to vote for two instead of one as had always been the practice of the city in previous elections.” The so-called “controversy” arose primarily not because of past election practices but because Kleha had been a political rubber stamp for  city manager Allen, who hated to lose him. Because Allen has a history of not being able to hold a job, he needs every city council member in his corner. It was not Stratton and Lowe but the voters in the Sixth Ward who made Kleha “the odd man out,” but Lewis does not see it that way. In reaction to Kleha being voted off city council, there will be an amendment on the March 2016 ballot to outlaw elections in which electors  can vote for more than one candidate. That amendment has Allen’s fingerprints all over it. The amendment serves  the purpose of further calling into question the legitimacy of Lowe sitting on the city council. The politics of Portsmouth are even dirtier under the city manager form of government than they were under the mayoral form of government. If only there was a Breathing Air System for readers of the Portsmouth Daily Times whose use of smoke and mirrors to mislead Portsmouth residents about the political corruption in one of the dirtiest drug-addicted cities in America.
       Tim Loper was elected to city council as a candidate who was strongly opposed to the city’s costly plan to renovate the decrepit Marting building into the new city hall, but once elected  as reformer, Loper became a tool of the corrupt clique that controls Portsmouth. The corrupt clique valued Loper so much that they provided him with a sham address in Ward One to allow him to continue on council even after he and his wife moved to another ward. Allen is a far more valuable tool to the corrupt clique than Loper ever was, and the PDT and Frank Lewis in particular will be careful not to step on Allen’s toes at the same time that they will be reminding residents that Lowe, should he continue to act  like a trouble-making reformer, had "seemingly" resorted to electoral chicanery to get on city council. If Lowe for any reason does not finish his four-year term, Kleha will be waiting in the wings to be appointed to the city council by the city council, which is how he got on council in the first place. Those foolish four-year terms  for city council are what enable the game of musical chairs to be played over and over again. Will we ever have a city council that will allow for the return of two-year terms, which will make recalls and musical chairs a thing of the past? Not when we have the likes of Jim Kalb and Jo Anne Aeh and the convicted perjurer like Derek Allen as city manager. I will end this post by reproducing a story from an Ohio newspaper that, unlike the PDT, does not use smoke and mirrors to protect convicted carpetbaggers.

From the Celina Daily Standard

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Elegy for Christine Keeler

         Christine Keeler (1942-2017)

Rest in peace, Christine Keeler,
far from the razor and potato peeler,

far from the drugged drug dealer
far from the groper and feeler.

You deserve a Shelley or Keats,
not  a yours truly who bleats

like some sore shallow throat 
who only gets one’s  goat.

Always a bridesmaid, always confetti,
always a male Christina Rossetti,

I dearly wish I had known you
and in the crisis could have phoned you.

I wish that I had been your friend,
and had been there at the end

to tell you what I wanted to say:
“Christine, have a great day!”


Rest in peace, Christine Keeler,
far from the weasel wheeler-dealer,

far from males who cheat,
far from gigolos in heat,

a poor, pretty party girl
caught up in the  social swirl

of London’s libertine  nightlife—
the bane of the pimp Profumo’s  wife,

an uncut diamond in the rough,
no lipstick, no powder puff,

no glutinous make-up
to get dry and cake-up,

no stiletto heels to kick up,
no husband after whom to pick up.

Your complexion was as clear
as a baby’s pampered rear,

as white a heavenly cloud 
as the drab London sky allowed.

  Keeler striding chair, c. 1963         

Friday, November 03, 2017


The main reason I an not voting for Kevin W. Johnson for First Ward council is that he has HIV/AIDs. His partner  died apparently from complications from that disease, and it is possible Johnson himself may die or at least be incapacitated by it.  If that happens the City Council will choose someone to complete his four-year term.

Too often council members for one reason or another do not complete their terms. If terms were for two years, instead of four, voters would have more electoral control. Having council members with HIV/AIDS gives the  council rather than voters the decisive voice in city government. HIV/AIDS is a threat not only to individuals but to democratic local government. Electing those with HIV/AIDS to city council borders on political suicide.

Friday, October 06, 2017


It's an apt symbol for our civilization.
It spins round in circles forever,
like the earth about the sun. 
Not only patriotic, it’s clever. 
And not only that, it’s metal,
hard, irresistible and glistening,
as bullets are frequently fatal
and ears are designed for listening.
Listen, listen closely, can’t you hear
it spinning, spinning, spinning?
"In God We Trust, have no fear.
We’re  winning, winning, winning."
Our deliverance is heaven sent.

It’s the Second Amendment.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Vote Against Property Tax Levy

Below is a copy of a letter Jane Murray sent to the Portsmouth Daily Times with her recommendation to vote against the proposed property tax levy on the November ballot.  I heartily endorse her recommendation.
                                                               Robert Forrey

October 06, 2017

Letter to the Editor
Portsmouth Daily Times

I urge all voters to vote AGAINST the proposed property tax levy on the November ballot. It is to fund the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Adams, Lawrence and Scioto Counties.

Why should we property owners pay for this? As far as I can determine, this Board merely contracts with other organizations to provide services. Those agencies are able to write grant proposals for drug addiction. The funds available are ever growing. The function of this board has been superseded by the Counseling Center and others so ADAMH should cease to exist – not ask for funds from property taxes.

We property owners who pay our taxes in Scioto County should not be asked to pay for drug addiction services. The former Executive Director of the Counseling Center, Ed Hughes, stated in a public meeting that his agency brings drug addicted people from around the state to our little community.

Vote AGAINST the proposed property taxes that will cost $100 on $100,000 assessed value per year.

Jane Murray

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The White House

The Elden House, built 1853

                                      The house has a secret
                                      that it cannot tell,
                                      a secret that, if revealed,
                                      would break the spell
                                      cast when it was built 
                                      in eighteen fifty-three,
                                      north of the Mason-Dixon,
                                      in the era of slavery.
                                      The dark secret skulks 
                                      behind a white exterior, 
                                      a secret that’s never
                                      been revealed before,
                                      and never will as long
                                      as the color line persists
                                      and as long as this historical
                                      white house poetically exists.