Monday, December 31, 2012

Sh*t Heel Jim Kalb

Depicted above in a Portsmouth sewer is the then redneck  mayor Kalb who in a 2AM  email to me in 2009 wrote that, “I think you're a worthless  piece of s**t and I wouldn't p**s on you if you were on fire.” 

As Eskimos have many words for snow,
River rats have even more for sh*t.
In sewers, rats prefer to go with the flow
Like the politician Kalb, the nitwit, 
Who leads excrementally, from behind,
Which puts him, linguistically, in a bind.
Whenever  hes at a loss  for words,
The dope has to resort to p*ss and t*rds.
To piss or not to piss, what in tarnation!
Verbal diarrhea or constipation?
Among the rats  hes a really big deal
But excrementally only a shit heel.

                               Robert Forrey, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Ten Posts of 2012

The canned party animal Randy Yohe (first on left) kicking up his heels as a can-can dancer.
 The Can-Can post had more hits than any other post in 2012. Happy New Year, Randy!

Top Ten Posts of 2012

(Listed according to the number of hits posts received. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snuffy and the Incredible Shrinking Daily Times

Snuffy is happy to see the incredibly shrinking Portsmouth Daily Times
in 2013 will be only four pages two days a week and will feature
him in  front page cartoons along with the customary cover-up of corruption.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


On-line billboard with names of kids killed in Newtown, Conn.

Who Kills Kids?

“Death toll in Connecticut shooting up to 27”
“The husband of a Notre Dame schoolteacher walked into his wife’s fifth grade classroom
 where he shot  her, later killing himself after a stand-off with police.”  Portsmouth, Ohio 2008
                                                                                   News reports

We think we’ve guns sort of under control
But we most definitely don’t.
We think we’ll remember the Newtown toll,
But pretty  soon we probably won’t.
Who recalls that day in 1927, when
A  school board member killed  forty-five children,
Blasted  everyone of them to heaven
In a grade school bloodbath in Michigan?
What no nun could possibly teach her—
Or prophetic priest at a high Mass—
The husband of a parochial teacher
Shot her in front of her fifth grade class.
But don’t blame psychos or the handcuffed fuzz:
Guns don’t kill kids—the NRA does.

                                         Robert Forrey


I sent my post “What Kills Kids?” to a dozen or so friends, and this is the response from one of them.  Since Ray’s thinking or non-thinking  on the gun issue is probably shared by a number of other friends, as well as millions of Americans, I am adding his response here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thick as Thieves

 Thick as Thieves

The appointment by the Portsmouth City Council of fellow council member John Haas to replace Michael Jones as Portsmouth City Solicitor is a reminder not only that city officials continue thick as thieves as they play the political game of musical chairs, but also that they steadfastly maintain the incomparable tradition of incompetence  for which they are notorious throughout Scioto County.  They perform as public officials as they did as private citizens, which is to say ineptly, especially in the handling of money, their own as well as the public’s. Three members of city government—former-mayor-now-councilman Jim Kalb; former-councilman-now-appointed-mayor David Malone; and former councilman-now-city solicitor Haas—have gone bankrupt. Two other members of city government—councilman Kevin Johnson and former city-solicitor-now-assistant-Domestic Relations-judge Michael Jones, might have gone bankrupt if Michael Gamp, of American Savings Bank, consigliere Clay Johnson’s heir apparent, had not bailed them out financially.
One puzzling aspect of the search for someone to replace Haas as city solicitor was that one of  the candidates who applied for the position, the lawyer Steven C. Rodeheffer, is  apparently a success professionally, having a thriving law practice with a top-notch female partner.  Haas told the PDT that now that he’s solicitor “he plans to scale his private law practice back so he can focus on this new responsibilities.” How do you scale back on virtually nothing? It’s widely rumored  Haas was a flop as an attorney, which is why he was so desperate for the solicitor’s high paying job. Personal failures have the inside track on public jobs.
Rodeheffer, by contrast, has not falsified his residence for purposes of serving on the city council; Rodeheffer has never been a drug dealing pimp; Rodeheffer, in fact, appears to have no criminal connections; he has never declared bankruptcy; he has not been taken into court for nonpayment of child support; he has not had his wife take out a restraining order against him; he has not had his license suspended for speeding and DUI, all of which misdemeanors and felonies, city officials have at one time or other been guilty of. How could a man without a record of incompetence, bankruptcy, recklessness, cronyism, and criminality hope to be appointed to  public office in Portsmouth? What was Rodeheffer thinking? Who put the crazy idea into his head? When Haas filed for bankruptcy, he had the shyster Mike Mearan as his lawyer. Which lawyer did Rodeheffer consult before he applied for the office of solicitor? Doesn’t he know a crooked lawyer who might have set him straight about the qualifications needed to qualify for appointment to public office in Portsmouth? The fact that Rodeheffer, with his clean record and good credentials,  did apply for city solicitor, in and of itself,  shows such poor judgment that Mr. Rodeheffer should be barred from ever trying to be appointed to public office in Portsmouth again. No felonies and certainly no misdemeanors he might be convicted of in the future could possibly make up for the crimes he has not committed in the past. Even if he were to someday fail as miserably and hilariously in court as Mike Jones did in his attempt to convict Harald Daub of shoplifting a shopping bag from Aldi’s, Rodeheffer  will never live down the shame of having the city council choose a deadbeat dad and bankrupt dodo instead of him.
In explaining why he was chosen, Haas told the PDT, “I’ve been dealing with these guys for several years during my time on council. They know me . . .” Yeah, these guys  know Haas and Haas knows these guys. What more is there to say? They’re not just thick, they’re thick as thieves.

When Haas filed for bankruptcy, he had the shyster Mike Mearan as his lawyer. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A-Marting We Will Go, Again!

a twinkle in his shifty eyes and a few tricks up his sleeve. . .

A-Marting We Will Go, Again!

Ho! Ho! Ho!  Santa’s eyes are twinkling.
And reindeer bells are tinkling.
It’s that time of year again, the time of mistletoe and holly,
The  time of Marting’s madness and Albrecht’s folly.

   Like others, when I read  in the Portsmouth Daily Times (26 Nov. 2012: click here) that the Building (or Bilking) Committee is recommending tearing down both the Marting building and the former Adelphia building, and replacing them with a new Municipal Building and a new Justice Center, I thought they’ve got to be kidding.  Has the Daily Times become the Daily Show of the print medium? Is Frank Lewis Stephen Colbert, reporting  preposterous stories  with a straight face? How in the world is Portsmouth going to come up with the money? Isn’t this the city that’s under fiscal watch and isn’t it the seat of Scioto County, the first county that the State of Ohio ever put on fiscal watch?
   Perhaps fearing  sticker shock, the PDT article apparently didn’t dare print the estimated total cost of the two building projects,  but if you do the math on the basis of the figures provided—$200 a square foot for each of the proposed 75,000 square feet, that comes out to $15 million dollars, but I’ve been told the $200 a foot is not an estimate but a fantasy. The two existing buildings, for those who might not know their sordid histories, were virtually empty worthless properties that were unloaded on the city and its taxpayers with the  connivance of two crooked city officials: Mayor Greg Bauer in the case of the Marting building and appointed First Ward councilman shyster Mike Mearan in the case of the Adelphia building. The city foolishly paid almost $2 million for the Marting building and in the case of the freaking, leaking, black-molded Adelphia building, the city acquired,  or got stuck with, the  property by doing no more than excusing the delinquent  back taxes and allowing the Los Angeles absentee landlord to claim it was a charitable gift to the city, providing  him a  write off on his income taxes.

   I believe that what has long indirectly driven the downtown Marting nuttiness is Jeffrey Albrecht’s determination to get control, directly or indirectly, of the land on which the Municipal Building sits, right across from his new Holiday Inn.  He has doubled down on his original investment mistake, the Ramada Inn, the Queen of the Rust Belt,  and before the Holiday Inn too proves a financial failure,  he is going to do everything he can to convince the na├»ve and gullible that the Municipal Building has got to come down, no matter what the cost to taxpayers. The Municipal Building is about the same age as the U.S. Post Office, just up the street, and is of the same design and constructed of the same materials, so why is the one supposed to be at death’s door while the other is an architectural treasure of the city? Because corrupt city officials and greedy developers have been trying  for some time to kill the eighty-year-old gal to get the valuable ground on which she rests. Thats why.

   The history of Portsmouth real estate is replete with examples of well-to-do well-connected owners  unloading overvalued but nearly worthless property on the taxpayers. It goes with the territory.  The Bilking  Committee recommends that all unoccupied, unessential property “be sold absolutely at auction.” Absolutely? At auction? Presumably that  means all unused city property deemed unessential will be sold at auction, positively, post-haste, without question. I think this is  the Jeffrey Albrecht provision in the Bilking Committee’s recommendations. In a  recent article in the PDT, he predicted property would soon be bought and sold in downtown Portsmouth (i.e., in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn), and he said he hoped that property owners would not be greedy and ask too much of buyers. He obviously had not only heard but probably had something to do with the  recommendations the Bilking Committee came up with. Buy  cheap and sell dear is the first law of real estate, but Albrecht wants that law suspended, or reversed,  because he or his  accomplices will be the ones doing the buying. As long as something is built on the Municipal Building site that will create more business for the Holiday Inn, he will be for it, no matter what it is or what it will cost taxpayers. And of course, he wants the Municipal Building to be auctioned off. We know how adept he is reputed to be at rigging auctions because the state attorney general came close to taking legal action against him after shenanigans that took place at a controversial auction in Athens.

   Yes, Santa’s got a twinkle in his shifty eyes and a few tricks up his sleeve, for this is the season of Marting’s madness and Albrecht’s folly.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paula and the Peacock

Paula and the Peacock

Like Jay Gatsby (born Gatz), Paula Broadwell
(born Krantz), an upwardly mobile Dakotan,
raced to the tiptop and tragically fell
 for a peacock, for a military man
whose colorful medals cast quite a spell.
Her narcissistic Daisy Buchanan,
her rapidly racing heartthrob from hell,
her jogging partner in Afghanistan
she loved him not wisely, but too well.
Life for her became a marathon
that she ran  like a bat out of hell,
from North Dakota to the Pentagon.
Like Jay Gatz, Paula Kranz got nowhere fast:
Love-sick gals, like love-sick guys, finish last.

                           Robert Forrey, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

City Manager Search


                 City Manager Search         

The search was thorough as can be,
They searched ev’rywheres in the county,
Considered ev’ry livin’ kin and kith
‘fore choosin’ ole Snuffy Smith.

*For the unhappy history of a past Portsmouth city manager, click here.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Portsmouth, Ohio, home of the bankrupt politicians

Having failed at handling their own finances, bankrupt Portsmouth city officials then went on and mishandled the city’s finances, misallocating funds intended for roads, public buildings, etc., to increase their salaries and benefits and the salaries and benefits of other city employees, especially the fire department. 

The current unelected mayor Malone, who likes to gamble, lived beyond his wife’s public sector salary and went bankrupt:

Former mayor Kalb lived beyond his grocery clerk salary and went bankrupt:

The deadbeat president of city council Haas lived beyond his means and went bankrupt:

City solicitor Jones lived beyond his means, is now insolvent, unable to repay his donut loan to the SOGP, and may go bankrupt if  he is not bailed out by his enabler, American Savings Bank:

In Portsmouth, the also-rans of life, the financial and moral bankrupts, with the support of the crooks who control the city, run unopposed for public office and pocket the difference.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Presidential Election, 2012

“Politics is the systematic organization of hatreds.”
                                                   Henry Adams

                     Presidential Election, 2012

The last ballot’s been cast, the last poll’s closed.
It’s been vitriol without precedent.
The querulous questions have been posed:
Who will be elected president—
The foreign-born Muslim filled with hate,
Or the greedy Mormon who lies like a rug?
The perpetrator of Benghazi-gate,
Or the goof who strapped his dog to the roof? Ugh!
The black who expanded the welfare state,
Or the white who thinks that blacks are moochers?
The Saint who wears the magic underwear,
Or the kin of Kenyan hootchy-koochers?
Politics proliferates hatred:
Elections bring it virally to a head.

                    Robert Forrey, November 6, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Canning the Can-Can Man

The canned party animal Randy Yohe (first on left)
 kicking up his heels as a can-can dancer

The kid glove treatment of law enforcement of WSAZ’s Randy Yohe suggests that the protected class of criminals in Appalachian Ohio includes not just the drug-dealing sons of  police chiefs, as was the case in Portsmouth, but of “on-air personalities” as well. At 12:30 a.m., Saturday evening, October 21, 2012, according to the story in the Ironton Tribune, Yohe drove through a stop sign in Coal Grove and also went over the centerline and a concrete lane divider. The arresting officer found an open container of alcohol in Yohe’s silver Ford F-150, a violation of Ohio law, as well as illegal drugs (marijuana) and drug paraphernalia. Yohe was taken to the Ironton Police Department where his blood alcohol level was recorded as .12, well above the legal limit .08. Since no mention was made of marijuana showing up in the blood work, I am assuming Yohe was drunk but not stoned.
Yohe claimed that the pot and the paraphernalia were left in his car by a friend he had given a lift to. This sounds suspiciously like the kind of hot air one can expect from an on-air personality. Should there be some kind of recognition (call it the Yohe Prize) for drunk drivers who don’t let friends drive stoned? Did the Coal Grove police ask Yohe for the name of the  alleged passenger so that they could check out Yohe’s claim that the drugs were not his? The Tribune story doesn’t say, but I doubt that the police even asked for the name. On the following Monday, Coal Grove Police Chief Eric Spurlock reduced the DUI charge to “aggravated reckless driving.” There’s no mistaking Spurlock for Sherlock. The sweeping under the rug has begun. The DUI charge could have led to Yohe losing his license for six months. The police and the media in many communities are in a symbiotic, you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours, relationship, as we learned only too well in Portsmouth when Charles Horner was the chief and  the Portsmouth Daily Times turned a blind eye for years to the criminal behavior of his drug dealing son.
Instead of being locked up for the night, Yohe was released on his own recognizance and allowed to call a taxi to take him home. The hung-over  Yohe  publicly apologized to his employer (WSAZ) and his wife, but not to the viewers of WSAZ, whose trust as a reporter he had violated, or to the public, whose safety he had jeopardized by driving drunk. A Tribune reader asked, “What if he had of hit my mother, sister, brother or grandchild while driving intoxicated?” Another reader, commenting on what he or she considered the kid-glove treatment of Yohe, protested. “This is not right. Shame on you Chief Spurlock.” Another reader with the moniker “stupid redneck” wrote, “It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. I have watched him report on pot busts and know for a fact that he showed damaging footage in the report that had nothing to do with the people involved. I hope he gets fired and never works again.” Another reader wrote, “I am beginning to see how the news works now . . . we will see how long this will run until it is swept under a rug.” Someone on Topix reported Yohe appeared to have been under the influence of something on WSAZ a few weeks ago when he lost his train of thought and said nothing for thirty seconds, an eternity in on-air time. Time has run out for this on-air personality, for the Can-Can man has been canned so he no longer can. I guess Steve Hayes wont be doing any more   “Rapping with Randy” interviews on  WNXT, interviews in which  Hayes deferred  to the West Virginian Yohe as the on-air authority on crime in Appalachia.
I think it was the arrogance Yohe displayed as an on-air personality that makes the apparent pampering of him by Chief Spurlock so hard to take. Called YoYo unaffectionately by one of his critics, Yohe used to blow in and out of Portsmouth like the city mouse, the big cheese from the metropolis (Charleston-Huntington!), deigning to report on the doings of the country mice of Scioto County. I recall him coming in noisily about fifteen minutes late, blaming the traffic, and interrupting a public meeting Portsmouth mayor Jane Murray was conducting. He had the attitude that Murray, having started the meeting without him, was obliged to fill him in on what had taken place in his absence before the meeting could resume. Along with his buddy, our local  on-air personality at WNXT (someone on Topix wondered if Yohe had been driving home drunk “from his buddy Steve’s house”), Yohe played a prominent part in the demonizing of Mayor Murray by the media. One can easily imagine how Yohe would have covered the story if it was she who had been arrested for drunk driving with an open container and drugs in her possession. But on-air personalities and the drug-dealing sons of police chiefs are not to be SLAPPed around. That kind of treatment is reserved for uppity women.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who's Mentally Unfit for Sheriff?

Little Chuck Horner
Sat in a corner
Talking like a tough guy.
“Fee, fi, fo, fum—
That day  will  surely come
When Sheriff Matt Dillon am I.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Building Trouble: 2837 Scioto Trail

2837 Scioto Trail, on Horners Architectural Trail of Tears

       A recent post by Jane Murray on her lively website wegottroublerighthereinrivercity calls attention to the checkered history of 2837 Scioto Trail, a building now being occupied by the SOLACE group, which, in my opinion, started out with the praiseworthy purpose of consoling the families and friends of deceased drug addicts, but was hijacked by former Portsmouth police chief Charles Horner for his own political purposes. Horner has been building trouble his entire phony drug-busting career. Having failed miserably as a drug-busting police chief, Horner was already planning to abandon ship, the ship from which he had frequently been AWOL for physical and mental problems, and run for sheriff. 

       It was ironic that SOLACE should end up in the singularly ugly building that had last been occupied, briefly, by a pill mill. That its occupancy was brief was owing not to Chief Horner, whose failures as a drug-buster are legendary, but rather to former Mayor Murray, whose recall from office, with additional irony, Horner and the landlord of 2837 Scioto Trail, Ronald Cole, were instrumental in bringing about. Cole circulated petitions to recall Murray, and Horner, in a typical treacherous betrayal of whomever the mayor (his boss) happened to be, was first to sign a recall petition for Murray. Did Horner’s slowness in dealing with the pill mill on the trail have anything to do with the camaraderie that he and Cole might have shared as a result of their cooperating in the campaign to recall Murray? And did SOLACE’s moving into 2837 Scioto Trail having anything to do with the image problems the Coles had created as a result of hosting pill millers in the building? Who better to help take the pill-mill stigma off the ugly building than SOLACE? Just as Horner had used SOLACE to cover up his notorious ineffectiveness in fighting the drug epidemic, did Cole use SOLACE to rehabilitate 2837 Scioto Trail? Murray wrote in her post, “[T]hough the committed people in the local prescription drug fighting organization SOLACE are no doubt unaware, the very building in which they have located in Portsmouth is at none other than 2837 Scioto Trail.” Is it possible the SOLACE folk were that gullible and unaware of what they were getting into when they moved into that building?

The Ladies of Solace not saying no to Horner
       Along with a number of other buildings in Portsmouth (think of the police station in the Municipal Building, the Marting building, the Marting’s Annex, the Adelphia building, the gas company building on Clair Street), 2837 Scioto Trail has become part of an architectural trail of tears that Horner created in his sorry political career. Now he covets the County Sheriff complex, and if with the help of SOLACE members he is elected, that edifice too will be haunted by his controversial presence, for wherever Horner goes he builds trouble.

Adelphia building, on Horner's architectural trail of tears

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Say No to Horner, #3

“Psst! Psst! Hey, Marshall Dillon. It’s me, your buddy Chuck, up here on the billboard.”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Just Say No to Horner #2

Even a beautiful sixty-nine year old senior Just Says No to Horner

Letter circulating among Scioto seniors

“I said have you ordered your Just Say No to Horner t-shirt?”

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Horner’s Son

 "Comments from the Web" in the  Portsmouth Daily Times (2/12/2012)

Horner’s Son: People Who Live in Crack Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

David Horner, son of the former Portsmouth police chief, has injected himself into his father’s campaign for sheriff of Scioto County, thereby making himself a campaign issue. Presumably it was Horner’s son who earlier this year signed a post in an online chatroom  as DavidHorner2, responding to previous anonymous responders who identified themselves as Pepprkorn, firstresponder1, and ramz711.  Criticizing the three, who didn’t have anything good to say about his father, DavidHorner2 began, “People like you kill me.”  Then he turns in particular to firstresponder1, who had asked “how in the heck does this guy run for sheriff when he is on worker’s compensation????” Horner1 responded snidely, “So your [sic] telling me if you had P.T.O. [paid or personal time off, i.e. workman’s comp] you wouldn’t take it?” [F]irstresponder1 had also written, “also i think the next sheriff will be the current one [Donini] we have right now.” Horner2 replied to firstresponder1, “As to the Sheriff part, The only reason I could think you don’t want [Charles] Horner in there and the current one [Donini] to stay is because Horner actually does something besides sit at a desk all day. Are you afraid he is going to make it hard for you to score your drugs or is it that he already has and your [sic] mad?” (Quoted in  Comments from the Web, in the  Portsmouth Daily Times [2/12/2012].)
The chutzpah of David Horner lecturing anybody about drugs  might escape you if you didn’t know that the police chief’s son had not only been using drugs but had been dealing them  from high school onwards. That adolescent  stage of David Horner’s drug career culminated on June 25, 2000, according to Shawnee Sentinel writer John Welton, when he was arrested at the age of nineteen and subsequently found guilty  of   possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. I looked in  the  Portsmouth Daily Times  archives for the whole month of  June, 2000, but found no  mention of David Horner’s arrest. I looked also at court records, but found no mention of his arrest there either. Does this mean Horner’s son was not arrested? Hardly, because the PDT has a long tradition of not reporting embarrassing news about anyone connected with the wealthy and influential crooks who control the city politically and economically. When Jeff Barron made the mistake of reporting that a drug dealer who was arrested worked as a mechanic at Glockner Motors, he was fired not long afterwards. There was a report on the arrest of Horner’s son in court records, according to John Welton, but it had been expunged. “The criminal records of the Chief’s son had been hidden by court order in March 2003 by judge Richard Schisler,” Welton reported in The Sentinel on July 18, 2003. Welton, whose handle was Doug Deep, had dug deep and found that David Horner’s   arrest for drugs record had not been completely expunged.
 David Horner continued selling drugs  after his 2000 conviction. A person in a position to know told me that Horner’s son  had brazenly sold drugs in Damon’s Restaurant, directly across from the Portsmouth police station. I learned from published sources that he was also selling drugs in New Boston, where  an ambitious New Boston sergeant, Matt Powell, was  making a name for himself as a drug-buster. Powell claimed he was close to arresting David Horner for dealing drugs in New Boston, but Chief Horner,  in an effort to prevent his son  from being arrested, began putting obstacles in Powell’s way. According to a timeline John Welton assembled for these events, during January, 2003, David Horner was “under surveillance by Sgt. Matt Powell for possible criminal activity in the Village of New Boston. Drug dealers claim that they tipped off Chief Horner that his son was being investigated by Sgt. Matt Powell.”
Even after his conviction in 2000 David Horner as a twenty-something continued to receive preferential treatment when he got in trouble with the law. A very reliable person told me of hearing on a police scanner that a David Horner had been found to have drugs and paraphernalia in his car when he was stopped by police in West Portsmouth. No  report of this incident appeared in the local media nor is there any reference to it in David Horner’s rap sheet. Another person told me of  hearing on another occasion that Horner’s son had been stopped in Sciotoville and found to be in possession of  drugs. A senior citizen couple told me they were near Andy’s Glass shop on 8th Street when David Horner drove into the back of a truck. Obviously in a drugged state, Horner was detained by two Portsmouth police officers until Chief Horner arrived and drove him away. That accident was not reported in the media, nor is there any record of it on David Horner’s rap sheet. These unreported incidents took place about ten years ago. But as recently as two years ago, while Horner was still  chief, a Portsmouth police officer told me Horner was still protecting his son. That’s all he would tell me, and I think he regretted telling me that much, because he was taking a chance telling me anything. 
Being father of a  son,  but one who fortunately has never had a drug problem, I can sympathize with Horner’s father doing everything he could  to prevent his son from being arrested and sent to prison, but I cannot condone his failure to uphold the law, which as a police officer,  he was sworn to do.  Horner elbowed his way up the ranks of the Portsmouth police force, from Sergeant Screw-up, to Captain Incompetent, to Chief Enabler, finding it easier to ignore and cover up than confront his son’s drug problems.

Did an automobile accident in front of Andy's Glass go unreported?

I began this piece by quoting Horner’s son boasting that his father “actually does something beside sit at a desk all day,” the implication being that that’s all Donini does, sit at his desk all day.   But John Welton thought that  that was just what the father was guilty of,  as far as his addicted son was concerned—he sat on  his rear. “I have an agenda for you Chief Horner, Welton wrote in The Sentinel. “Get off your butt  and do your job. Why don’t you go to the Sciotoville crack house where you have admitted to Sentinel  staff members that you were aware your son is buying his crack. Call me a liar Chief Horner. We notified you of the drug house, as we have done on many of your local busts, and your words were, ‘I know he’s there but what can I do? If he doesn’t buy it there, he will buy it somewhere else.’ Well heck, Chuck, if you shut off his supply then he might have to leave town with the other drug users and our town would be safe. That is a terrible reason for not busting a dope house you know exists.” Yes,  Welton is an ex-felon, but in my experience in Portsmouth the indicted felons are far more truthful than the unindicted felons who control the city poitically and economically. If the scales of justice had been balanced,  David Horner himself would probably be an ex-felon.
It would have been better for his father, for his mother and for himself, if  Horner’s son had not gotten involved at all in his father’s campaign because in doing so he calls attention not only to his own history of drug abuse but to his father’s  helping to cover it up.  In fact, it would have been better for everybody in Scioto County if Horner had not chosen to run for sheriff because if he is elected, the same cycle will probably begin again. Horner cannot help being Horner. And now there is someone else who could end up paying for the sins not only of the father but also of the grandfather. There is in David Horner’s rap sheet,  if it too hasn’t been expunged, a record of his paternity case against a woman who bore two children while she consorted with him during his drug daze. David legally challenged  that he was the biological father of one of the two children, and DNA tests proved he was right. He therefore was not legally obligated to provide financial support for the unrelated child. For the sake of the child whom he did accept as his, it would be better if that child did not have a grandfather who might become the despised sheriff of Scioto County, just as it would have been better for David if he had not had to grow up as the son of the despised Portsmouth police chief.
In view of David Horner’s past drug-dealing, and in view of his father’s reported covering up for him, it is ironic that members of the SOLACE group are backing his father for sheriff. I believe some members of  SOLACE have been bamboozled by Horner, but those who know him best—and who knows Horner better than members of the Portsmouth police force?—want no part of him. In a straw vote conducted by the Portsmouth police union, Horner got not a single vote favoring him for sheriff.
I would not have written this particular post about Horner’s son if he  hadn’t implied firstresponder1 was a druggie just because firstresponder1 predicted Horner’s father would not be elected sheriff.  “Are you afraid he is going to make it hard for you to score your drugs or is it that he already has and your [sic] mad?” Horner’s son asked responder1. Apparently Horner’s son  has not learned that people who live in crack houses should not throw stones. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Shawnee State University's Academic Reputation

Billboard near Shawnee State U.

The report yesterday (1 Nov. 2012) from CBS news that Shawnee State U. is among the worst American universities in terms of retention of students is hardly news to those familiar with the history of S.S.U. Just as Central State U., has a mission to serve poor black students, S.S.U. has one to serve poor white  students in the Appalachian region of south central Ohio. Retention rates, given this constituency, are not going to be good. Could the rates be better? Certainly,  in the case of S.S.U. At least some students used to stay at S.S.U. only long enough to pick up their first  financial aid check, but former President James Chapman stopped the worst of that racket.  But the  Board of Trustees have historically made what is bad at S.S.U. worse. Still, the rates would  have been bad even if the trustees were better and if the administration had been better at retention.
In terms of retention, at least, the switch from quarters to semesters was the single worse thing that has happened in the last ten years  at S.S.U. The quarter academic calendar is better for disadvantaged students in a number of ways, including retention. But semesters work better for advantaged students, who are much better prepared financially and academically than disadvantaged students, sothe powers that be, most of whom were educated at semester colleges and universities, decided  higher education in Ohio could not exist half slave and half free—oops I mean half quarters and half semesters. Uniformity in calendar was pushed even if public colleges and universities  of  Ohio  were very different in character and student body.  If Ohio University could not stop the semester juggernaut, S.S.U. had no choice but to go along.

Two postings I made on the academic reputation at S.S.U. can be found by clicking on the two links below. Much of the documentation in them is missing because the damnable fee Flickr photo service summarily deleted my charts and illustrations  once I switched to the free photo service provided by Google.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Party’s Over

Nick Basham, the poster boy for everything
 that is wrong with pawnish Portsmouth politicians

The Party’s Over

The death yesterday of singer Andy Williams and an article that appeared in the Portsmouth Daily Times today (9/27/2012) titled “Layoffs Possible After State Reviews Budget Plan,” made me think of the lyrics of the  popular song:

The partys over
s time to call it a day
ve burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
s time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

     Yes,  the party appears to be over as far as the illegal budgetary transfer of public funds, which the City Auditor and PDT  reporter Frank Lewis continue misleadingly to refer to as “charge-offs.” Instead of calling an illegal transfer of funds an illegal transfer of funds, or an  unwarranted allocation,  to use the state auditors phrase, the city auditor has been calling  it a “charge-off” to dupe the public, and the Portsmouth Daily Times has played along with the duping, for duping helps make the party possible. According to state statutes, monies must be used for the purposes for which they were  appropriated. Charles F. Barga, Chief Auditor for the Athens Region, informed  City Auditor Trent Williams that  “Ohio Revised Code Section 5705.10(H) states that monies paid into a fund must be used only for the purposes for which such fund has been established.” Barga, incidentally,  is a Certified Public Accountant. Portsmouth City Auditor Williams is not.
What the city government has been illegally doing for years is partying on public money, using funds that were appropriated for roads, sewers,  public buildings, etc., using those largely for salaries  and benefits for themselves and other city employees. To stay in office, Portsmouth politicians have been buying off public employees by  illegally  transferring funds. Most of our elected and unelected office holders are the bankrupt pawns of local plutocrats. The denigrated  Municipal Building, a photo of which accompanied the Times article, is a dingy  monument to “charge-offs,” that is to illegal budgetary transfers. Instead of maintaining the building, the politicians for a long time  have been neglecting it.  The city council recently appropriated some six thousand dollars for engineers to make yet another study of whether or not the building is a hopeless wreck. If it is, it is a result more than anything of “charge-offs”  and recurring costs of these engineering studies of the building’s structure.
Party Pooper
The party pooper, the person who helped bring the illegal transfer of funds to the attention of  the public and state officials, is former mayor Jane Murray. Because she would not party along with the boys, because she was not a party girl, she was vilified as a witch and recalled from office. Any elected official who shows signs of fiscal sanity, and doesn’t indulge in the “charge-off” double talk,  is labeled as a head case or malcontent and is soon  out of office. Bob Mollette, who I believe may have been the most conscientious and capable city council member in the last half century, was replaced by one of the most unqualified council members in the last half century, Nick Basham, an obstreperous, bumptious, arrested adolescent who was known for throwing chairs around when he was a temper tantrum teacher and later served as the taunter-in-chief of Mayor Murray when she was in office. Now he is a budget basher.  “It really bothers me as a local elected official that first we had one plan of CIP money a local judge didn’t find palatable,” Basham is quoted in the PDT article as saying. “So we came up with another plan, and we thought this out. We worked the budget out. We came up with numbers that within years we could be back at least to a level. And now it’s almost like having the rug pulled out from under you. It’s the state telling the local government basically what you can and can’t do and at the same time telling us we can’t have a deficit. So what if we just don’t do anything with this? If we leave it the way it is, what is the State Auditor going to do?” Instead of chairs, Basham is  now throwing budgets around. How dare anyone tell us we cant continue to do charge-offs and run deficits!
What Basham reflects is the deeply rooted distrust and dislike of outsiders and the defiance of authority that is ingrained in hill culture. Steve Hayes on WNXT and Frank Lewis on the PDT help fan this incestuous Appalachian paranoia, a paranoia that our local plutocrats profit from. They don’t want anyone restricting them in their greedy accumulation of millions.  Just as states’ rights were  used historically to perpetuate slavery,  the city charter has been used to perpetuate “charge-offs” and corruption.  Budget basher Basham is the poster boy for everything that is wrong with pawnish Portsmouth politicians, and  he is the best argument for getting rid of the city charter. He’s no longer throwing half-price drink parties for disgruntled city employees in his bar, but he continues to act as if the drinks are on the taxpayers. The party’s over my paunchy friend and the piper must be paid. 

The Municipal Building, a dingy  monument to “charge-offs”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just Say No to Horner!

By the 2010 census, Scioto County, which covers about 616 sq. miles, has a population of 79,499. The  city of Portsmouth, on the other hand covers only about 12 sq. miles and has a population of only about 20,226. Which do you think is the more challenging job, being the sheriff of Scioto County or the captain of the Portsmouth Police Department? If Horner couldn’t handle the job of police chief, how is he ever going to handle the job of sheriff?

Scene of botched drug bust. Sergeant Horner didn't sleep here.

For some time  Horner has screwed up royally as the Portsmouth police chief. In fact, he was a screw-up even before he was chief. He was screwing up royally back in 1992, when he was only a sergeant.  In that year  plainclothes officers under  Sergeant Horner’s command mistakenly broke into the home of an elderly couple in Portsmouth who had just returned from evening church services. Had Sergeant Horner been on the scene he might have been able to point out the house where the bust should have been made, but for some reason he wasn’t there. Was the reason he wasn’t there because he didn’t want to put himself in the line of fire? Once he was told  that the wrong house had been broken into, the incompetent Horner, in an attempt to cover his own ass,  rushed over to the house his men had broken into and practically got down on his knees to beg forgiveness from the traumatized couple. Would they sue him? Would they cost him his job? Thats what he was obviously worried about. He offered to sleep overnight on their living room couch if it would make them feel safer. They declined his offer. Would it help them to sleep knowing the incompetent sergeant was sleeping on their couch, the same sergeant whose men, even after they had broken in the door and saw they were an elderly couple, continued to treat them like drug dealers? (For more on the botched drug bust, click here.)

Horner has been masquerading  lately as a sheriff, as sheriff Matt Dillon of Dodge, Kansas, but back in 1992, he did a much better imitation of Inspector Clouseau. As police chief, Horner was asleep on the job as Portsmouth gained notoriety as one of the ten most dangerous American cities to live in and as the Oxycontin capital of America. He has been figuratively sleeping on the couch as the city has gone to hell. Now he wants to sleep on the couch of the county. Neither the city nor the county should be burdened any longer by this man and his physical and psychiatric ailments. He is offering his services to the county, but like the couple in Sciotoville, the voters should, to coin a phrase, “Just say no to Horner.”

Just say no to Horner masquerading as Matt Dillon