Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Representative Jim McGregor discusses legislative matters with WCRX-LP host Joe Contino

Ohio House Representative Jim McGregor was today’s guest on the Joe Contino Show. Representative McGregor gave an overview of legislative matters for WCRX-LP listeners.

The discussion began with comments on how wildlife is flourishing in Ohio. Wildlife such as bobcats, deer, geese, black bear, wild turkey, pheasant, otter and beaver are seen sometimes in abundance throughout the state. Some of these animals were only seldom seen two decades ago. McGregor said that his father was a trapper and spent many recreational hours outdoors but fifty years ago his father had not seen wild turkey or otter in the state.

There was a brief discussion of the Gahanna mystery lion of a few years ago. Representative McGregor said that the mystery lion was first seen by a Columbus police officer so there was some credibility to the first reported sighting.

McGregor’s father was a trapper but never saw turkey, deer or otters in the wild.

Contino then asked about educational funding. McGregor said that Ohio is going through an experimental period. He said there is a spirit of innovation and a willingness to try new arrangements in education. McGregor said that he saw value in small private innovations that address local needs. He said that there is recognizable benefit when top down, one size fits all arrangements are abandoned. Charter schools are providing valuable lessons in innovation.

Representative McGregor said that an important part of the answer is protecting the freedom of people to do things, and to do things differently if they want to try to solve their own problems. He said that not all of the experiments will be successful but freedom is not about always succeeding.

Contino and McGregor then discussed a Groveport Madison Local School District disagreement. Groveport Village wanted to separate itself from Madison Township. The result would have been each unit having its own school district. The demographics of both units were essentially identical. And the infrastructure division would have benefited Madison Township with newer larger facilities. The Village of Groveport basically wanted to run their own community schools. The separation was not approved and the combined system remained and has not flourished since the dispute.

Representative McGregor then offered a comment that “small systems work.” He described his own experience as a youth growing up in Gahanna where people knew their local officials. He said that in large cities, citizens are less likely to know the police officer, city councilman and water department manager

McGregor and Contino then traded remarks that “Big doesn’t work” and “Big works differently.”

They then discussed the kinds of choices that expanded liberty permits. Vouchers, special education, full day and half day pre-school, publicly funded or special program assessments, corporal punishment permitted or corporal punishment banned, charter schools. The greater freedom, the more individual solutions.

Producer Troy Patton commented that a wild card is parental involvement. McGregor and Contino both offered comments that parents are part of the mix, but that adult mentors, neighbors and others can be important parts of any child’s education.

Contino and McGregor then traded stories about Ohio history. Contino offered a comment on Admiral Perry’s defeat of the British on Lake Erie. McGregor recalled a battle at Fort Stephenson near Sandusky where American soldiers defeated British troops, including British marines and sailors. This battle was an important precursor to Perry’s victory on Lake Erie. Tecumseh attended the British during their unsuccessful fight at Fort Stephenson.

Representative McGregor then discussed the results of his recent constituent survey. He said the most common areas of concern are education and alternative energy.

Contino noted that McGregor is chairman of the House alternative energy committee. McGregor then described a study that estimated that 3,000 windmills could be built on Lake Erie. He said that the economics of wind energy are fast approaching parity with the cost of energy produced by coal.

McGregor also commented that the East Coast needs clean energy. Ohio can be on the leading edge of supplying clean energy to the East Coast or it can not try to be in the clean energy business and let a deep Midwest state like Iowa supply clean energy to the coast. In the first scenario Ohio will profit. In the other, Ohioans will subsidize the cost of energy supplied by other states to the East Coast.

McGregor said that his judgments are guided by the principle that alternative energy markets should be opened up so individual consumers have the freedom to choose the technology that they find useful.

McGregor offered Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio as an example of where an open market is needed. SWACO has a $30,000 annual energy bill. SWACO had an engineering proposal to utilize natural gas by-product of the SWACO landfills. SWACO proposed to American Electric Power that the energy produced be applied to its energy needs. AEP offered a “standby energy contract” for $60,000 per year. For SWACO to use its own by-product for energy would double its energy bill. Free markets eliminate the kind of irrationality AEP proposed to SWACO.

Representative McGregor is a four-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives from the 20th House District which includes Bexley and Gahanna.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Paul Peltier culture correspondent files dispatch with WCRX-LP

WCRX-LP received its first culture report from New Hampshire. Amy Maurer and John Manning were the morning hosts at the station.

Paul Peltier phoned in his dispatch from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

He described the arrival of autumn in New Hampshire.

He mentioned whale-watching in the area. Amy Maurer recounted her own autumn whale-watching experience. She advised warm clothes.

Paul then said that the night before he and his wife watched the full moon, a bright golden circle, rise over the harbor in the Piscataqua River.

Quickly changing the topic away from romance, he commented on a noticeable presence of Ohio State University and University of Michigan alumni in the Portsmouth area.

Paul said that travelers in New Hampshire can expect increase in tolls on the New Hampshire turnpike system. He said that the New Hampshire transportation commission was proposing toll increases on some roads from 50 cents to 75 cents and on other roads from fifty cents to a dollar. The higher tolls will be used to finance the repair and replacement of “red-listed” bridges on the New Hampshire turnpikes. Gov. John Lynch backs the planned increases.
Paul also described the local discussion about the presidential primaries.

States are jockeying for first position to capture the perceived advantages of being the earliest primary.

New Hampshire law authorizes the secretary of state to adjust the date of the New Hampshire primary to compete with other states that want to be the first primary.

Paul said that the advantages of an early primary can be seen from his office window,

Across the street from his office is a Barack Obama campaign office and up the street is the Hilary Clinton campaign headquarters.

Paul and his wife were greeted at a recent lunch by campaigning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The advantages of a small state. If shaking a candidate’s hand is an advantage. If not, then it was just having your lunch interrupted by a politician.

Paul also reported on a local controversy about a public dock built on private land. An easement was missed. Paul said that it as a situation best described as “my kingdom for a good surveyor.”

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Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
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Bexley, Ohio. Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder speaks at Capital University.

Pulitzer prize-winning author Tracy Kidder discussed his book Mountains Beyond Mountains at Capital University’s Mees Hall auditorium Monday night. The book was this year’s common reader for the Capital University community.

Mountains Beyond Mountains is the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, a physician who works with the poor and sick in Haiti and war-torn nations in Africa. He is also the founder of Partners in Health that builds medical clinics and housing in Haiti and Africa.

Mees Hall held a crowd of about three hundred and fifty at the beginning of the lecture which started a few minutes late. A dozen and a half students arrived after the speech had begun so the total audience size grew to about three hundred and eighty.

Before the lecture began, standing in the entrance foyer and eavesdropping on conversations, the mix seemed about fifty-fifty community and university. Once inside the Mees Hall auditorium, the mix of students, faculty and community guests seemed about two thirds faculty and students and one third guests from the community.

A welcoming statement was presented by Dr. Kay Slocum, Gerhold Chairholder and Professor of History at Capital University. It was a brisk and friendly welcome. In only a few words, she contextualized the event as to time, occasion, finance and current affairs.

She noted the contrast between the remarks Capital University president Denvy Bowman is able to make welcoming Tracy Kidder with the hectoring remarks Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia, offered to his guest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. the president of Iran.

As ever, good manners and good judgment are more evident in the Midwest when compared to the East Coast.

In his remarks, President Denvy Bowman acknowledged the value of spending the day with Tracy Kidder and the importance of Kidder’s writings. Brief remarks that helped move the event to its feature.

Professor David Summers, Department Chairman and Professor of English gave a helpful conspectus of Kidder’s writings and insight into the significance of Mountains Beyond Mountains in the academic community. Not too much of an introduction. Nor too little.

And then to the featured speaker. Tracy Kidder offered anecdotes about Dr. Paul Farmer that were omitted from Mountains Beyond Mountains. Some were phrases from Kidder about the process of writing the book about Dr. Farmer. But most were memorable lines that captured Dr. Farmer’s character and his background.

“Someday this will all be yours.” Self-awareness and the joy of making progeny cringe.

“Free readers from irritating self-reflection.” Arrogance; perhaps self-deprecation. Ambiguity is always artful.

“Insultingly small bribe to return to an African project.” Corruption and vanity.

“The problem of good.” (Ironic allusion to Leibnitz’s Problem of evil…why would a loving god permit evil in His creation.) Realization that at some point Dr. Farmer might become a pest or a prig.

Reference to profanity in an anecdote. Acceptable to East Coast audience but avoided in the Midwest.

A second geographic demarcation of Midwest culture compared to East Coast stress.

Then to photos.

Photos. Emaciated Avante. Tuberculosis. Before and after. Avante now a worker with Partners in Health.

Photos. Josef. Tuberculosis and AIDS. Emaciated. Now TB cured and AIDS inactive. Last photo. Josef is smiling and holding a child.

Kidder offers the ironic comment that he tries to use photos very sparingly. Photos are too effective as competition for the written word.

A student’s question: “How did meeting and writing about Dr. Paul Farmer change you.”

“It didn’t.”

Kidder goes on: “I thought for a moment that I could give up my comfort and luxury and do what Dr. Farmer was doing. Then I thought I could live with only a third of what I have. And then I just gave up the thought. I don’t want to give up comfort and luxury.”

The book about Dr. Farmer. It is just a story.

Politics. A few brief references. Kidder satisfies the stereotype. One of his comments though surprises: “Pervasive cynicism but politics is how we arrange our lives.” Do people really think that politics arrange lives?

Stereotypes are satisfied. Kidder makes a reference to Rwanda and Kellogg Brown and Root of Texas, owned by Halliburton. A scattering of knowing laughs from one pack of faculty seats.

Kidder talks about a Boston contractor who makes major financial donations to Dr. Farmer’s projects and Partners in Health. The contractor is quoted: “ Sometimes I think about how much money I had before I met Dr. Farmer” and “In heaven I’ll have a credit card.”

Two student questions had the subtext “should I drop out of school and do volunteer work to help the sick in Haiti and Africa?” I wonder if anyone from the Capital University provost office cringed at those questions.

Another question was what is literature and why does your non-fiction feel like it is literature.

Afterwards there were refreshments in the Mees Hall entrance foyer. Punch, cookies and other sweets. The mix of university and community seemed ninety percent students and ten percent faculty and community guests. Students always appear where there is free food. Faculty are always ready to loiter. Nothing changes.

Kidder’s lecture was the premiere Gerhold Lecture at Captial University. Edward L. And Mary Catherine Gerhold established the Mary Catherine Gerhold Annual Lecture in the Humanities at Capital University. The purpose of the lecture is to promote peace and human understanding through higher education.

Donations and requests for additional information about the work of Dr. Farmer can be directed to

Partners in Health
641 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

Partners in Health website is

Mountains Beyond Mountains, It is just a story. And the Gerhold Lecture was just a lecture. But the lecture highlighted the problem of Christian institutions in a secular culture.

The lecture can be understood as a speech about the problem of Christian impulses in a secular world. Christianity without the Scriptures.

Professor Summers’ introduction observed that Capital University is a university following the Lutheran tradition. Was this a hint of a context to understand the lecture.

Was the purpose to offer students an appreciation of Christian service in the life of Dr. Farmer? Nothing in the lecture informed us whether Dr, Farmer is a man of faith, let alone a Christian.

Yet, the story of Dr. Paul Farmer is a story of service to the sick, the needy, the poor. It is a story about helping foreigners, strangers.

Are those themes familiar? Are they the story of countless religious on missions throughout the world.

Are they themes about religious orders, hospitals and clinics supported throughout the world by Christian communities and organizations?

The Good Samaritan was not mentioned. But Kidder and one student questioner talked about the common impulse most of us experience when we see a beggar sitting in a dark doorway. Our impulse is to walk to the other side of the sidewalk to avoid contact, to avoid the request for money. The Good Samaritan did just the opposite of our selfish impulse. Dr. Farmer too did just the opposite.

Kidder’s described some of his work for Partners in Health as proselytizing.

Kidder considered giving up all his worldly goods to help Dr. Farmer. Perhaps not a serious consideration but a thought he had. Did the phrase “and follow me” come to anyone’s mind?

Christianity wasn’t mentioned in the premiere Gerhold Lecture. Perhaps that makes a good deal of sense: the Gerhold Lecture is afterall a lecture in the Humanities. And Capital University follows the Lutheran tradition.

Still at a university that ”follows the Lutheran tradition” you might expect one public reference to faith.

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WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Monday, September 24, 2007

Central Ohio. Items of interest in auctions this week.

Items of interest in the WCRX-LP central Ohio auction market report are:

Two-day garage sale to benefit Childrens Hospital.

Friday, September 28, 2007 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 29, 2007 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
215 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley

Auctions with coins.

Monday September 24, 2007 6:00 p.m.
Sharp’s Grove City Auction Gallery
4014 Broadway, Grove City

Thursday September 27, 2007 5:30 p.m.
Coin preview Thursday 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Plain City Auction
145 E. Main St., Plain City

Saturday September 29, 2007 10:00 a.m.
4775 McBane Ct., Columbus

Saturday September 29, 2007 10:30 a.m.
Days Inn, 1212 E. Dublin-Granville Road (I-71 and SR 161), Columbus
(This is an all coin auction)


A private collection of 150 guns.

Saturday September 29, 2007 10:00 a.m.
3504 U.S. Route 50, Bainbridge
Ross County

Guitar collection

Friday September 28, 2007 6:30 p.m.
Plain City Auction
145 E. Main St., Plain City

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Monte Carlo, Monaco. WCRX-LP covers charity auction to benefit muscular dystrophy research.

The Auction Market Report featured a charity auction scheduled for this Thursday. The sale is named the Only Watch 2007 and benefits the Monagasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy.

The charity auction is becoming an annual event held in Monte Carlo at the Monaco Yacht Club. The auction begins this Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

Preview receptions for the thirty-five watches being auctioned were held in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva and Monoco beginning in late August.

The first Only Watch was held two years ago. And the name of the auction signifies exactly what is auctioned off for charity. Watches. Very high quality watches.

Prior to this charity sale becoming a specialized watch auction, it existed for three years as a charity auction called Only One. Items offered for sale to benefit the charity were either one of a kind items or the first in a small series of luxury items. In the first Only One auction during 2003, items such as Baccarat crystal decanters and handmade silk neckties were sold for the charity.

The sale began to limit its offerings to exceptional watches when the auction house Antiquorum became involved. Antiquorum specializes in the sale of watches at auction.
Antiquorum’s relationships with Switzerland manufacturers have also enabled the sale to have unique items for sale.

The highest pre-auction estimates for an individual watch is 400,000 EURO. This estimate is for Lot 9, a watch by DeWitt and Jean-Michel Wilmotte called “Incognito 2008.” The watch is a one-of-a-kind model. The watch with the lowest pre-auction estimate is Lot 31 at 4,500 EURO. This item is manufactured by Swatch. It is a uniques piece identified as “Pearly Pink.” It is also a uniques piece.

Among other items being offered for sale are a Joaillerie 101 Etrier manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre. The watch has the world’s smallest mechanical movement.

Also being offered for sale is a Starck-designed flyback chronograph. This watch has a cuff-style bracelet that forms part of the watch’s titanium case.

A Piaget Altiplano dress watch is also offered on the auction block. The dial of the watch is set with 316 diamonds in the form of an enlarged finger-print of Monaco’s Prince Albert II. An incidental note is that the charity auction is conducted under the patronage of the Prince.

Louis Vitton has donated a watch called the Tambour 18 Mandarine. The watch has a yellow gold case set with ninety-two diamonds. The dial is made of mother-of-pearl and is bright orange. The watch is encased in a miniature LV trunk decorated by a design created by eleven year old Paul Pettavino who has muscular dystrophy.

Last year thirty-four watches were offered for sale at a black tie dinner with three hundred guests. The sale raised 1.9 million Euros for the Monagasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy.

Any one can bid at this charity auction through the Antiquorum real-time interactive bidding system. Photographs of the Piaget Altiplano and the Vuitton Tambour 18 Mandarine can be seen in the last weekend Financial Times Life & Arts Section. An on-line catalog of all of the items offered for sale can be viewed at This note is based on these sources. U.S. taxpayers should note that Monagasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy is not listed as an exempt organization for purposes of IRC Section 501(c)(3).

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WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Bexley, Ohio. Galloway reports on Jewish Community Center activities

Kriss Galloway, manager of marketing and communications for Jewish Community Center of Columbus was the morning guest with John Manning on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio.

Galloway began by reminding listeners that JCC will be closed on Thursday and Friday for Sukkot, and will reopen on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Sukkot is a thanksgiving holiday, held at the time of the full moon, when the crops have been harvested. It also is known as the “Festival of Tabernacles” or booths, and is celebrated for seven-eight days.

Throughout the week, an observant family will eat its meals in a “succah” or booth that is set up outside, roofed with branches (the stars must be visible from inside), and decorated inside with flowers and fruit. The booth is intended to look temporary, as it represents the hastily set-up dwellings Jews used during their 40 years of wandering. Proper greeting is “Have a happy Sukkot.”

Galloway also reported that almost fifty entries were made for the premiere of the JCC Juried Member Art Exhibit.

Columbus artist Hani Hara is the JCC’s Visual Arts Committee chairman. He said about 20 pieces will be selected for the exhibit, which will be in the JCC lobby from Sunday, October 7 through Sunday, November 4.

Galloway also reported on the preparations for the Gallery Players’ production of “Jerry’s Girls,” a musical review based on the songs of composer Jerry Herman.

The show will open in three weeks on Saturday, October 13 at 8 p.m., and will run for two consecutive weekends, closing on Sunday, October 28 at 2:30 p.m.

Jerry Herman is best known for his productions of Hello, Dolly (songs: “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes and “It Only Takes a Moment”), Mame (“It’s Today!” “If He Walked into My Life,” “Open a New Window” and “Bosom Buddies”), and La Cage Aux Folles (“I Am What I Am”), as well as Mack and Mabel and Milk and Honey.

In other activities at the JCC, Galloway reported on some programs for teens that have just begun. One of these is the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO). Weekly meetings for this group are scheduled each Tuesday at the JCC beginning on October 2.

BBYO also is sponsoring SAT and ACT preparations at the JCC. The preparations will be conducted by Kaplan, beginning Wednesday, September 26.

Galloway also discussed some activities for seniors. She reminded listeners that JCC provides transportation within a 10 mile radius, and that there is no requirement that seniors be Jewish to participate in the programs.

Opera Columbus performers will help celebrate the seniors who have September birthdays. The opera stars will sing Happy Birthday on Wednesday, September 26 for seniors who have birthdays in September.

JCC also offers Kosher lunches every weekday at noon by Life Care Alliance. Suggested donation is $1.25, and registrations should be made a day prior. Galloway said the menu for today is BBQ chicken, sweet potatoes, spinach, mixed fruit, and since it’s Shabbat, challah bread.

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. No Thursday or Friday broadcast.

Engineering trouble Thursday and Friday. No broadcasts. The engineers had no solution as of a little before noon on Friday. In studio guest Kevin Kale of Manning and Napier was polite but disappointed. He'll rejoin us for next Friday. Call in guest Kriss Galloway from Jewish Community Center of Columbus has experienced this before with us. She is a trooper. She is an old hand at it. Gets up brushes herself off and gets ready for Monday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Residential tax abatements for restorations using authentic materials

One of the charms of Bexley is the residential architecture of the community. Design, materials and construction work together with superior landscaping to present pleasant vistas in the twenty seven neighborhoods of Bexley.

Small pleasant cottages grace many Bexley streets and neighborhoods.

Other Bexley neighborhoods have houses that look large and comfortable, timeless with quiet, unobtrusive architectural fittings of bygone eras.

Then there are austere Bexley mansions that amaze our eyes with architectural elegance, craftsmanship and fine materials.

An important component of these pleasing domestic buildings is the materials used in the original construction. Slate roofs, copper gutters and down spouts, quarried stones, bronze fittings, wrought iron fittings and hinges. All of these are subtle attributes that compliment the architectural features and landscaping of the homes of Bexley.

Sometime on a walk, focus only on the materials used to construct Bexley residences. You will soon recognize the houses with authentic materials. These are not loud pronouncements. They are quiet nuanced fittings that whisper “quality, skill, excellence."

Many of the materials used in contemporary additions and restorations are not authentic. Brass-plated steel replaces solid brass hinges; asphalt shingles replace slate and so on.

In small increments, perhaps only infinitesimal increments, the charm of Bexley residential architecture is being eroded.

A brass-plated steel hinge is substituted for a solid brass hinge. It’s not a major change. But the substitute is a small erosion of excellence. One hinge this year, one next year and then a plastic mail box replaces the wrought iron mail box.

Does anyone care that authentic materials are disappearing?

Of course practical household finance determines some of this erosion. Authentic materials are expensive, and sometimes not available. Sometimes, repairs are practical problems that surprise a budget. More often repairs are not ocassions for aesthetic reflections and so we choose the practical solutions.

As a community, should we encourage decisions that favor authenticity? How can we encourage the use of original materials in new construction, restorations and repairs?

Should the municipality take some action to encourage a market in Bexley for authentic materials?

In Bexley, real estate tax abatements have been granted for commercial, mixed retail and multi-family residential structures. Some of the tax abatements have been granted to buildings that imitate period architecture.

These same buildings use modern materials that give the impression of authentic period materials. But a moment’s glance tells the sad story of deception that these fake materials express.

The public tax abatements did not purchase something authentic for this community.

There are advantages to the modern building materials. Obviously.

But the advantages, whatever they might be, have nothing to do with aesthetics.

And living in Bexley is all about the aesthetics of daily life. Beauty in all that is quotidian.

Is it time to to subsidize things that bring beauty to our community life each day?

When families improve their houses and pick up the expense of authentic materials, should the community offer those families real estate tax abatements for their choice to preserve the beauty and the authenticity of their repairs and restorations?

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Pulitzer Prize winning writer Tracy Kidder to speak at Capital University

Tracy Kidder will present the Gerhold lecture at Capital University on the evening of Monday September 25. The lecture series is held at Capital University to promote peace and human understanding through higher education.

Professor Reginald B. Dyck of Capital University discussed the work of Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder this morning on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio. Professor Dyck was the guest on the morning segment of WCRX-LP, the radio service of Bexley Public Radio Foundation. The morning show was hosted by John Manning.

Kidder will present his lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Mees Hall. Professor Dyck said that the lecture is open to the public and Bexley residents are welcome. There is no admission charge and no reservations are necessary to attend.

Author Tracy Kidder was born in New York City in 1945. He is an American writer and Vietnam War veteran.
In 2003, Kidder’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure The World was published to critical acclaim. Kidder met Dr. Farmer at a chance encounter. The book became a New York Times bestseller and has been selected by a number of colleges and universities as the common reading book.

Kidder received a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Soul of a New Machine. This book is an account of the engineers who developed Data General's Eclipse/MV minicomputer. His next book was House, where he records the story of people who built the award-winning Souweine House in Amherst, Massachusetts. Critics compare House to a novel rather than a non-fiction book.

Professor Dyck has taught at Capital University for fifteen years where he is a member of the English Department. His current academic interests include the modern writings of Native Americans.

The Mary Catherine Gerhold Annual Lecture in the Humanities was established by Edward L. and Mary Catherine Gerhold. It is an endowed lecture series.

The Gerhold lecture is held at Capital University to promote peace and human understanding through higher education.

Funds from the Gerhold endowment also support symposia, conferences, study projects and other scholarly activities.

The couple also established an endowed chair in the humanities at Capital. Edward L. and Mary Catherine Gerhold were longtime Bexley residents. Edward Gerhold was a lifelong Lutheran. The Gerholds were awarded honorary alumni status in 1996.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Bexley girls soccer team wins over Lakewood.

The scoreboard lights malfunctioned in part. Neither the home nor visitor score lights worked. The clock and first half, second half lights worked.

Since the score board didn't register, the score will not appear here either. Needless to say, the Bexley girls team won.

The crowd was small, both home and visitors. There was little excitement in the game. There was little excitement in the stands.

Calm event and quiet night.

Temperature was perfect.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Upper Arlington, Ohio. Cynthia Rosi reports on 15th annual writers conference.

Today’s featured segment on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio was a report on the 15th annual writer’s conference at Fawcett Center just west of the Ohio State University campus. The report was made by Cynthia Rosi, senior reporter for WCRX-LP.

Rosi interviewed the conference keynote speaker Karen Harper about the work of a successful writer. Harper’s 2002 novel The Falls was a New York Times list book. Her most recent book is the 2006 Inferno published by MIRA Books. Her presentation was called “The Possible Dream: Veteran Advice from the Trenches.” Harper was first published in 1982. She has written more than 50 novels in four genres. She has worked with three literary agents, eight publishers, and many editors.

Harper’s presentation was both inspirational and informative. She discussed the practical realities of publishing and practical tips about achieving the dream of becoming and surviving as a published author. The core of Harper’s presentation is that the dream of being a published writer is a realistic dream, a dream that is possible.

Karen Harper is a former Ohio State University and high school English instructor. She is a The New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author of contemporary suspense, historical mystery and historical novels.

Published since 1982, she currently has books listed by MIRA Books, Random House, and St. Martin's Press. Her books have appeared in many foreign, large print, audio, and e-book versions, and two of her novels have appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine.

In 2006 Harper won The Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2006 for Dark Angel, her suspense novel set in Ohio Amish country. Her most recent suspense novels are Hurricane and Inferno. Her historical novels The Last Boleyn and The First Princess of Wales have been included in the Borders summer reading program.

WCRX-LP’s correspondent Rosi also interviewed Lee K. Abbott about the market for short stories. Abbott’s presentation at the conference was called “Beginnings and Stuff, a Two-Part Workshop.” The first part of Abbott’s presentation focused on crafting effective beginnings. The discussion gave attention to the emotion that permeates the action of a story. The second part of Abbott’s presentation offered insight into the writer’s techniques that add the “stuff” that gives texture, depth and weight to the text.

Lee K. Abbott is the author of seven collections of stories, most recently All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories (2006, W.W. Norton). In addition, his work has been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and the Pushcart Prize series. His stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper's Magazine.

Rosi also interviewed some participants in the audience. Tijuana Canders and Lisa Dixon are writers who attended the annual conference and were interviewed by Rosi.

The two women’s writings are in the category of memoirs. Tijuana’s literary efforts are about the successes and achievements of her life and the importance of her Christian faith to what she has accomplished. Lisa spoke about her experience as a child in foster-care and how she has become active in efforts to improve the American foster care system.

The feature concluded with Rosi interviewing Antoinette Cross, who together with her husband John, are the proprietors of a Westerville, Ohio bookstore. The bookseller offers mysteries and detective fiction to customers at the shop appropriately named Foul Play Mystery Bookshop. Her presentation at the writers conference discussed the pitfalls and benefits of author readings and author signings at retail bookstores.

Foul Play Mystery Bookshop is Ohio's only bookstore devoted to the celebration of crime fiction. The retail shop is 18 years old. During that time, Cross and her husband have hosted more than a hundred author events.

Antoinette holds both a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Early and Middle Childhood Education, both from The Ohio State University. She taught primary education for over 35 years. She is also a long-time substitute teacher in the Bexley public schools system.

Cross and the keynote speaker Karen Harper were also on a Panel discussion on “How to Win Friends and Influence Booksellers.” The panel also included Alexa Reck and Diane Spink. The panel discussion covered how booksellers can help authors sell their books.

Rosi’s feature will be repeated on WCRX-LP broadcasts this coming Wednesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Comments are welcome at:

2700 E. MAIN ST., SUITE 208
VOICE (614) 235 2929
FAX (614) 235 3008

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. An open letter to the community of mayoral candidates.

To the eight candidates seeking the solitary mayor’s desk.

Help preserve the secret ballot.

No yard signs this election. Please.

Don’t ask us to put your signs in our front yards. Help preserve the secret ballot.

One of the many benefits to the long and frequently unopposed tenure of Mayor David Madison was that we didn’t have to choose sides in a very public way in our neighborhoods.

For the mayor’s race at least, we didn’t have to display partisan posters because there was no opposition.

In the current election, it’s almost as if at least one candidate lives down the block from everybody in this little town.

With so many names in the race for mayor, every resident of Bexley knows at least two of the candidates. Many probably know five or six of the candidates. The school-age daughter of one of the editorial collective members even knows one of the candidates. Some members of the WCRX-LP editorial collective have been approached by three candidates with requests to display campaign signs in their yards.

How do you choose which yard sign to display?

That is a choice Bexley residents don’t need this election.

The candidates should let us make our choice in secrecy at the voting machine not in our front yards.

Candidates for mayor, don’t ask us to put your sign in our front yards.

Comments are welcome at:

2700 E. MAIN ST., SUITE 208
VOICE (614) 235 2929
FAX (614) 235 3008

Bexley, Ohio. Bexley Centennial Stakes, Bexley Centennial Lottery and the Bexley Centennial Casino

The Bexley Centennial is being celebrated in calendar year 2008.

The WCRX-LP Editorial Collective proposes three projects as appropriate commemorations of the Bexley Centennial.

o Establish a commemorative horse race and prize (say $100,000) for the winning stable. The race will be run at one of the local Bexley parks or nearby City of Columbus parks. There will be parimutuel betting.

o Work with the Ohio Lottery Commission to establish a commemorative lottery game. Most of the proceeds will be paid to the Bexley public school system. The game will be a model for the lottery commission to market to other school systems to use on appropriate centennial celebrations.

o Do the ground work to establish eligibility for an Indian gambling casino along the western banks of Alum Creek. Seek the assistance of state and local historical societies to locate tribal lands along Alum Creek. The Algonquin, Adena and Delaware tribes all have well-documented associations with lands on the banks of Alum Creek.

The concepts really are appropriate for a municipal centennial commemoration. The lottery is a revenue source for public schools and the Bexley Public Schools are central to life in Bexley. A horse race is appropriate because it reflects the agricultural beginnings of the organized Bexley community. There are several Bexley houses that are farm houses from the time period when the neighborhood was farmland.

There were horse races in a park in Eastmoor in the early part of the twentieth century. And nearby Driving Park has some association with horses.

Finally, the proposal for an Indian casino is evocative of the early inhabitants, the early history and pre-history of this geographic territory. All of these allusions are appropriate for a centennial commemoration.

Looking at some of the specifics:

o Offer $100,000 stakes for a horse race (thoroughbred or harness) to celebrate the centennial of the City of Bexley. The race will be called “The City of Bexley Stakes” or “City of Bexley Centennial Stakes” or some similar name.

o Location of the race will be Jeffrey Mansion park (A City of Bexley park) or Driving Park (a City of Columbus park), Franklin Park Conservatory (a City of Columbus park) or Wolf Park (a City of Columbus park).

o Parimutuel gambling permitted at the park.

o Number of horses limited.

o Entry fee for each horse of $5,000 for the main race.

o One, two or three preliminary races with lower entry fees and lower stakes.

o Race might be run once every three or five years.

General note: There might have been racing at a field in Eastmoor. Same as to Driving Park.

General note: Harness racing used to be a state fair event. The grand stand now used for entertainment shows at the state fair was the location for the harness racing. These races continue but the venue is now at Scioto Downs. The races are identified as state fair events. A representative of the Ohio governor attends the races. The representative is usually an assistant director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Lottery commemorative game, portion of proceeds benefit Bexley schools

o Ticket named “Bexley Spot One Hundred” or perhaps the "Bexley Literacy One Hundred" to emphasize the educational purpose served by the tickets.

o Sold for a full year with instant prizes of $100.

o Annual drawing promises up to $100 million. It is a centennial after all.

o Large portion of proceeds go to Bexley public schools.

o Lottery commission gets to use the product concept for other school districts on appropriate anniversaries.

The proposal for indian casino gambling cannot be achieved in a year. Nonetheless major pieces of the project can be accomplished as a centennial event.

The lands around Alum Creek are associated with the Adena, Delaware and Agonquin tribes. Contact should be made with real estate developers, appropriate Native American tribe representatives and other casino operators who might be interested bringing casino gambling to the banks of Alum Creek.

Comments are welcome at:

2700 E. MAIN ST., SUITE 208
VOICE (614) 235 2929
FAX (614) 235 3008

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Sotheby's auction to benefit International Crane Foundation covered by WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio

In its weekly auction market report, WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM Local Power Radio gave attention to the charity auction sale of The Brooks McCormick Collection of Ornithology. WCRX-LP is the radio service of Bexley Public Radio Foundation.

The auction sale will be conducted on Friday afternoon October 5, 2007 at Sotheby’s auction rooms at 1334 York Avenue and 72nd Street, New York City. Bidding at this charity event will begin at 2:00 p.m.

The WCRX-LP coverage of the sale included descriptions from the Sotheby’s sale catalogue. Items to be sold on October 5 are books and prints that are important parts of the history of ornithology. Core items of John James Audubon, Mark Catesby, Fran├žois Levaillant, F. N. Martinet, Charles Darwin and others will be presented for sale.

The late Chicago businessman and philanthropist, Brooks McCormick assembled the collection. McCormick was a strongly committed conservationist.

The proceeds from the Sotheby’s sale will benefit the International Crane Foundation. During his life, McCormick was a supporter of the International Crane Foundation.

Highlights from the collection will be on view at Sotheby’s Chicago auction rooms at 188 East Walton Place on September 20 and 21, 2007.

The collection will also be on show to the public in New York from September 29 to October 4, 2007. The New York show is at Sotheby’s location at 1334 York Avenue and 72nd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Ninety nine lots will be offered at the October 5 sale.

The lots included Mark Catesby's “Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands,” London, 1731-1743. The pre-sale estimate for Cateby’s work is $400, 000 to $600,000.

Brooks McCormick (1917-2006) was the grand-nephew of Cyrus McCormick (1809–1884), the inventor of the first commercially successful reaper and founder of the International Harvester Company. Brooks was the last member of the McCormick family to be active in International Harvester.

In 1972, Brooks McCormick founded The Conservation Foundation, which has preserved more than a thousand acres in the counties surrounding Chicago.

McCormick also arranged that after his death, his 620-acre St. James Farm near Warrenville would be sold to the Forest Preserve, ensuring that it would remain open space.

In the 1980s, McCormick, who with his late wife Hope Baldwin McCormick had long supported the Art Institute of Chicago and many other Chicago cultural institutions, began to collect books and prints about the history of ornithology.

During this period, McCormick began to support the International Crane Foundation, which was founded in 1973 by George Archibald and Ron Sauey in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Beside the Marc Catesby's “Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands,” other important works offered at the charity auction are nearly ninety hand-colored aquatints from John James Audubon’s monumental double-elephant folio “The Birds of America” (1827–38). Such recognizable classics as Hooping Crane (Plate CCLXI) and Purple Heron (Plate CCLVI) will be offered at the Sotheby’s sale on October 5.

A set of Fran├žois Levaillant’s studies of exotic birds, “Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers” (1801–06) and “Histoire naturelle des Promerops et des Guepiers” (1807) will be sold to benefit the International Crane Foundation. Pre-sale estimates for these as a single lot are $150,000 to $250,000. Another French work being offered for auction sale the auction is Comte de Buffon’s encyclopedic “Histoire naturelle des oiseaux” (1770–86). This book includes 973 fine hand-colored etched plates by F. N. Martinet.

Another notable item for sale from the McCormick collection is a copy of the first edition of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Specie” (1859). The price estimate for this work is $60,000 to $80,000. The author makes frequent references to birds in support of his thesis about evolution.

The International Crane Foundation has worldwide activities to conserve cranes and the wetland and grassland ecosystems on which they depend. The foundation has programs in endangered species management, wetland ecology and habitat restoration. It is also active in creating areas of international cooperation for protecting cranes and their habitats.

The regular auction market coverage on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio will report on prices realized at this auction as soon as the prices are available.

Contact WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. JCC schedule of events.

Kriss Galloway, director of communications for the Jewish Community Center was the morning guest with John Manning on WCRX-LP. Kriss began by answering a question that was discussed the previous week, namely “What is ‘bingo’ in Yiddish?” Kriss said she contacted a Yiddish expert and that the answer is “BINGO.”

Listeners who are interested in speaking Yiddish with others who grew up speaking it, are invited to a meeting of the Yiddish Club. The next meeting is Wednesday, September 19 at 1:30 p.m. at Creekside. Ann Rubin is the Yiddish Club contact at 231-5838.

Kriss also reported on the Pooch Pond held at JCC last Sunday. Twenty dogs and their owners participated. The event marked the closing of the outdoor pool for the season. The JCC indoor pool remains open and is available for individual exercise, aquatics fitness classes, swim lessons

Final preparations are being made for the premiere of the JCC Juried Member Art Exhibit. A juror for the show has been selected by the committee from outside the JCC membership.

JCC members may submit up to two pieces of art to be considered for the exhibit. Artwork may be dropped off at the JCC front desk on Tuesday, September 18 and Wednesday, September 19, from 4 to 8 p.m.

All types of artistic media are welcome, and must be ready for display. The artwork selected will be placed on exhibit in the JCC lobby from Sunday, October 7 through Sunday, November 4. Tim Kauffman, JCC assistant executive director is the contact for more information at 559-6223.

Kriss also noted that Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Wednesday, September 12. The JCC will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday and remain closed for the Jewish New Year on Thursday and Friday. JCC will reopen on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Kriss also discussed Rosh Hashanah. She said that it is widely understood as the Jewish New Year Day. She said that the holiday has a fourfold meaning. First. It is the Jewish New Year, celebrated with holiday greeting cards, special prayers, and festive and sweet foods (such as apples and honey) to ensure sweetness in the New Year. Second. It is also the Day of Judgment, a day when Jews worldwide examine their past deeds and ask for forgiveness of their sins. Third. It is a Day of Remembrance when Jews review the history of their people and pray for Israel. Finally. It is the Day of Shofar Blowing. The Shofar is blown in the synagogue to herald the beginning of the 10-day period known as the High Holy Days. The Jewish High Holy Days are observed during the 10-day period between the first day (Rosh Hashanah) and the 10th day (Yom Kippur) of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar.

Kriss said that a free concert by Mark Wilder will take place Sunday September 23 as part of the dedication of a new mural in the JCC College Avenue Preschool Multi-purpose room. The mural, which depicts the Creation and other stories from the Torah, is being dedicated to Mim Chenfeld in honor of her 37 years of service to the Early Childhood program at the JCC. The event will begin at 4 p.m.

In November, Holiday Bazaars are scheduled at the College Avenue and New Albany JCC locations. The Holiday Bazaars showcas the work of artisans from across Central Ohio. Currently, the committees are looking for vendors. Each vendor has the opportunity to display and sell their goods during the Bazaar, which is free and open to the community.

Kriss also reported on activities for seniors. She noted that the JCC provides transportation to seniors within a 10 mile radius, and that participants do not have to be Jewish to participate in programs. She said that the programs currently scheduled are a Senior Camp Out, Wednesday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Blacklick Woods.

Another interesting program coming up is “Get to know your voting machine,” presented by Howard Heard of the Franklin County Board of Elections, on Monday, September 24 at 11:15 a.m. This program also is free and open to everyone.

Another monthly event is the regular birthday celebration. For seniors with September birth dates, members of Opera Columbus will sing Happy Birthday to seniors on Wednesday, September 26.

Kosher lunches are provided at noon every weekday at the JCC by Life Care Alliance. Suggested donation is $1.25, and registrations should be made a day prior. Kriss said that the menu for today, included Kosher egg salad on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato, macaroni salad, and melon. Since the JCC is closed for the holidays on Thursday and Friday, there will be no lunches those days. The regular lunches will resume on Monday, when Chef Tony makes his Kosher bologna sandwiches.

Kriss said that more information on any of the New Horizons programs for seniors is available from Debbie Vinocur at 559-6214.

Contact WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Heath, Ohio. Bexley girls soccer team defeats Heath girls.

The final score was Bexley girls 10, Heath 0.

The Heath girls were good individual players but did not coalesce as a team.

Both teams showed good sportsmanship.

The soccer field was in a low area, on an irregular shaped lot surrounded by tree-covered hills. Beautiful setting for a soccer match. When autumn colors come in another month, the setting will be even more beautiful.

The Heath girls team colors were orange and white. The boys teams played after the girls teams. The Heath boys soccer uniforms were orange, black and white.

More Bexley parents attended the girls game than the boys game. More Bexley parents attended both the girls and boys matches than Heath parents.

Contact WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Cleveland, Ohio. CMOs. Toxic waste or the green fields of summer?

My impressions of Wall Street trading activity and financial reporting this summer.

Wall Street journalists described a choppy financial August for banks, lenders and sophisticated investors.

Sub-prime lenders and sub-prime paper were painted as villains and by innuendo the paper became over -valued.

Derivatives, hedge funds, real estate lenders, banks and insurance companies were described, particularly in August, as facing tough times. Some journalists even suggested some investment paper was “damaged without chance of repair.”

The holders of sub-prime paper responded by pointing fingers of blame at the sub-prime lenders.

Class action litigators were licking their lips with anticipation.

In early June someone gave me a policy discussion paper from the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank. It had a catchy title that seemed interesting so I put the paper aside to read later. I didn’t pick it up until Labor Day weekend. The title was “Who holds the toxic waste? An investigation of CMO holdings.”

CMOs are Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. This is the very paper that, according to journalists, was roiling the August financial markets.

“Toxic waste” seems a bit edgy way to describe the financial instruments that banks, insurance companies and mutual funds were buying.

The two researchers at the Cleveland Fed described their research undertaking as using simulations to predict how the risk from Collateralized Mortgage Obligations would “manifest itself” in various interest rate environments. “Manifest itself?” “Toxic waste?” These economists began to sound like evangelical preachers or a couple Al Gores on the stump.

The researchers said they also were looking for evidence of how much of this paper was held and by whom. The researchers said that very limited public information is available except for the reports that commercial banks are required to file.

Accordingly, the researchers concentrated their efforts on the commercial banks sector.

Much of the report concerns common types of mortgage derivatives traded on Wall Street namely Z values, IO values and PO values. (Z’s are security holders who are last in line. IOs are security holders who get interest payments and POs are security holders who get principal payments.)

Obviously the researchers compute the mean reversions for each of these mortgage derivatives. Not surprisingly, they use a Monte Carlo model of stochastic interest rates and mortgage cash flows.

Their principal assumption in computations is that interest rates will follow a discretized Cox Ingersoll and Ross (1985) process with monthly shocks to annual interest rates being decribed by the Cox Ingersoll and Ross formula.

The other assumptions are pretty normal: an assumed upper interest rate boundary of thirty percent and an assumed interest rate volatility based on a fourteen year data base. (fourteen years seems a paltry number of years, but given the similar short existance of CMOs I can understand a rationale for the short span of interest rate data).

A final noteworthy assumption was based on some investment bank estimates. The researchers assumed that there is a nonlinear relationship between prepayment rates and interest rates, that is, just because interest rates rise, prepayment rates will not necessarily rise at the same rate.

From all of these assumptions and some math, the researchers offer their first conclusion: “…[W]e find that under conditions of typical interest rate volatility, the value of these derivatives is highly volatile.”

Good heavens.

It is a banal conclusion but that does sound like the Wall Street that journalists were describing in August.

The general conclusions of these researchers is consistent with their labeling CMO paper as toxic waste: “…CMO contructs can be dangerous.”

For the danger, they cite as examples the 1994 “multimillion-dollar losses” at Akin Capital Management, Piper Jaffray, the Louisiana State Retirement Fund and Yamachi Securities.

Another conclusion: “Unfortunately, the institutions that have assumed the risk in recent years are opaque and it is impossible to determine whether and where there are concentrated exposures.”

So these researchers tell us that CMOs are dangerous papers and that we don’t know who holds this toxic paper except for banks which are required to report their holdings of “toxic waste.”

In the full report, the researchers give the names of ten banks that they think held this “toxic waste” in 2005. For these ten banks, they list the amount of the CMO holdings as a percentage of assets and as percentage of capital.

All of the banks listed are owned by publicly traded financial holding companies.

The information is displayed in Table 4 in the paper.

The information is easy to find, easy to understand and it really seemed to me that the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank was inviting investors to sell these stocks to avoid the risk of the toxic waste that these researchers said the banks held.

CMOs (thousands of dollars)
Percentage of total assets
Percentage of capital

Commerce Bank, NA
41.89% assets
724.96% capital

Merrill Lynch Bank
13.14% assets
133.34% capital

Countrywide Bank, NA
6.76% assets
92.56% capital

Merrill Lynch B&T
42.47% assets
583.85% capital

Fifth Third Bank
7.77% assets
75.17% capital

Charles Schwab Bank, NA
50.13% assets
619.49% capital

New York Community Bank
10.48% assets
132.87% capital

Branch B&T, Virginia
11.45% assets
162.71% capital

1.66% assets
24.03% capital

Associated Bank, NA
10.31% assets
150.99% capital

Did investors take the bait offered? Did investors dump the stocks of the banks that these two researchers said held this toxic waste? Admittedly, their list was for banks that held CMOs in 2005.

First a couple observations on Table 4. The CMOs cause noticeable distortions of financial measures for three of the banks. Commerce Bank, Merrill Lynch B&T, and Charles Schwab Bank. These three banks are in first, fourth and fifth positions as to total amount of CMOs held. They are also the top three when it comes to CMOs as a percentage of total assets and percentage of capital.

These are the kinds of distortions that catch the attention of investors and analysts. Also they are the kinds of distortions that give class action plaintiff attorneys whiffs of fresh red meat.

By these three ordinary measures, the three banks Commerce, Merrill Lynch B&T and Charles Schwab appear to be toxic waste dumps.

The Cleveland Fed policy paper is dated June, 2007. I received it sometime in July. Who knows if anyone on Wall Street received the policy paper or even read it.

I decided to make an estimate of whether the policy discussion paper might have had an effect on trading in the stocks related to the banks listed in Table 4.

I could have used trading volume in these stocks. Instead I chose approximate average closing price for the period April, 2007 through August, 2007.

The six months worth of monthly average closing price for the financial holding companies that own the banks in Table 4:

Name of bank and ticker
symbol for parent holding company Month Approximate average closing price for month, in US dollars

Commerce Bank, NA . CBC
April $33
May $34
June $36
July $38
August $37

Merrill Lynch Bank. MER
April $80
May $92
June $85
July $76
August $72

Countrywide Bank, NA. CFC
April $35
May $40
June $38
July $35
August $21

Merrill Lynch B&T. MER
April $80
May $92
June $85
July $76
August $72

Fifth Third Bank. FITB
April $38
May $41
June $43
July $37
August $36

Charles Schwab Bank, NA. SCHW
April $19
May $20
June $22
July $22
August $19

New York Community Bank. NYB April $17
May $17
June $18
July $17
August $17

Branch B&T, Virginia. BBT
April $40
May $42
June $42
July $40
August $39

April $86
May $93
June $93
July $90
August $90

Associated Bank, NA . ASBC
April $34
May $33
June $33
July $29
August $28

The parent of Commerce Bank begins the period with a stock price of $33 and ends the period with a stock price of $37.

Charles Schwab begins the period with a stock price of $19 and ends the period with a stock price of $19.

Merrill Lynch is the only one with a noticeable decline from $80 to $72.

Similar varieties of trading results appear for the other seven banks.

My common sense conclusion is that the Cleveland Federal Reserve report had no effect on Wall Street trading in the stocks of the parent companies of these ten banks.

Whatever happened on Wall Street during the month of August was not related to the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank policy paper.

Contact WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Friday, September 7, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Solar Schools. Foundation for Environmental Education interviewed by WCRX-LP host Joe Contino.

WCRX-LP afternoon host Joe Contino interviewed the executive director of Foundation for Environmental Education, Glen Kizer.

Glen Kizer described a Solar Schools project that helps school districts in Ohio install solar panels on individual school buildings.

The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Ohio Department of Development and private funding sources.

Besides the foundation’s activities in Ohio, Kizer also described the foundation’s projects in California.

He said that the largest concentration of solar panels in the United States is in Northern California.

Kizer said that in Northern California there is a fortunate conjunction of all of the elements necessary for solar energy to become practical. He said the utilities in the area are familiar with the engineering requirements and support the development of solar power.

In Northern California, retail stores supply solar equipment. Banks and other lenders are familiar with the installations. There are skilled tradesmen and contractors who can efficiently install solar equipment.

And most importantly, consumers and local business executives in Northern California are knowledgeable about solar power.

The executive director of Foundation for Environmental Education said that Ohio is making progress in developing solar power but that the solar power infrastructure is in its infancy here.

Ohio utilities are generally supportive; banks are making progress in understanding about the solar industry and there is growing consumer interest. There are solar installation contractors and governmental support local and state agencies.

Program host Joe Contino described his own consideration of residential solar power.
Although he chose not to install solar power equipment at his residence, he is still interested in solar power and as the market develops said that he would continue to see it as an option.

Foundation for Environmental Education is an Ohio non-profit organization exempt from federal taxes under IRC 501(c)(3). Contributions to Foundation for Environmental Education are deductible from federal income tax for individuals who itemize their deductions.

The foundation has a blog at and a website at Email to the executive director at

Contact WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Kriss Galloway discusses scheduled events at Jewish Community Center.

Communications Director Kriss Galloway of the Jewish Community Center of Columbus, Ohio was interviewed by WCRX-LP station manager John Manning. The interview included descriptions of two premiere events, a number of events for senior citizens and other events for teenagers.

The first event discussed by Kriss Galloway was the JCC Juried Member Art Exhibit.

Amateur and professional artists have the opportunity to showcase their talents this fall at the JCC Juried Member Art Exhibit. This is the first juried art exhibit at the JCC.

An independent juror is being selected by the JCC art committee. The juror will be a recognized arts community figure who is not a JCC member. The juror will select the individual art works for display.

JCC members may submit up to two pieces of their artwork for consideration.

Artwork may be dropped off at the JCC’s front desk for consideration for the exhibit on Tuesday, September 18 and Wednesday, September 19, from 4 to 8 p.m.

All types of artistic media are welcome, and must be ready for display.

The artwork selected will be placed on exhibit in the JCC lobby from Sunday, October 7 through Sunday, November 4.

Galloway then discussed another new event at the JCC. Next Sunday, September 9, the inaugural “Pooch Pond” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the JCC’s outdoor pool.

After the JCC’s outdoor pool is closed for the day, canine friends of JCC members will have a chance to have the run of the place for an afternoon.

Admission is $5 per dog.

Galloway reminded listeners that Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown, Wednesday, September 12 and that the JCC building will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and remain closed for the Jewish New Year on Thursday and Friday, September 13 and 14. The JCC will reopen on Saturday, September 15, at 1:30 p.m.

During the holiday, JCC Chef Tony can prepare a meal of Va’ad supervised kosher poached salmon, brisket, chicken or a salad for members. Contact to order kosher meals is Tina Rice at (614) 559-6276.

Galloway also discussed Communiteen High School and the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School.

Communiteen allows teens in grades 9 through 12 to explore faith, values, ethics and Jewish history through current events and contemporary thinking. Classes for both programs begin on Sunday, September 16.

The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School is a two-year program that presents a comprehensive Judaic curriculum ranges from the Jewish life cycle to Jewish ethics and history.

The views of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism are presented in a comfortable setting that encourages discussions, questions and exploration.

“Jerry’s Girls,” is the opening production of the 2007-2008 Gallery Players’ season. The musical has been cast and rehearsals are underway.

Cast members include Gallery Players’ veterans Susan Bunsold, Wendy Cohen, Eileen Howard and Julie Russell. Making their Gallery Players’ debut will be Dawn Farrell and Danielle Mann, as well as newcomers Octavia Bogan and Ashley Parizek.

A brief review of events for senior was also provided by Galloway. She began by noting that JCC provides transportation for events within a 10 mile radius, and that events are open to participants who are not Jewish.

The Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans will give a presentation Friday, September 7. The program is free and open to everyone age 60 and older.

The New Horizons 60+ seniors group will tour the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden on Tuesday, September 11. The tour bus will depart the JCC at 9:30 a.m., and the docent-guided walking tour will take a little over an hour. There is a fee of $5 for JCC members and $6 for non-members.

Tuesday – and every Tuesday during the school year – line dancing, taught by Mary Bova-Ervin, takes place at the JCC from 1 to 2 p.m.

Galloway also discussed “Get to know your voting machine,” a presentation by Howard Heard of the Franklin County Board of Elections, on Monday, September 24 at 11:15 a.m. This program also is free and open to everyone.

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Clintonville, Ohio. Green programing topics from Simply Living.

A commentator proposed the following guests to Simply Living for its radio programs. The suggestions were made in March, 2007 on Green Radio, the Simply Living blog.

1) Meera Parthasarathy to speak about the Columbus Green Building Forum

2) Mayor Michael Coleman to discuss his Get Green Columbus initiative

3) Representatives of Mayor Coleman's five "Green Team" subcommittees

4) A representative of MidOhioBio to talk about the biofuel cooperative proposed for Central Ohio

5) Dr. Fiksel to discuss the OSU Center for Resilience

The WCRX-LP Editorial collective has referred these suggestions on to its program host Amy Maurer for her Lunchtime Gardener program on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio.

The speakers and topics are much more general than usually recommended to WCRX-LP program staff. With skillful direction, the topics might be adapted for Bexley area audiences.

Amy Maurer's Lunchtime Gardener is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Homer, Alaska. Joanna Tornes signs on as WCRX-LP culture correspondent.

September Alaska culture dispatch from Homer, Alaska.

WCRX-LP programming for today included a live dispatch from WCRX-LP Alaska culture correspondent Joanna Tornes.

Joanna Tornes discussed a local sustainability conference in Homer, Alaska and the art gallery walk scheduled for this weekend.

She also discussed the need for local passenger rail service to smaller Alaska communities such as Homer.

The Alaska culture correspondent was interviewed by WCRX-LP program host Joe Contino and Troy Paton.

Joanna Tornes is a Bexley native who has migrated to Alaska. She returns to Bexley regularly where she is a welcomed raconteur and chanteuse in many Bexley cultural salons.

Joanna Tornes is under contract with WCRX-LP 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio to provide regular monthly culture reports on cultural affairs and civic events in Homer, Alaska.

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Monday, September 3, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Labor unions in central Ohio

Labor Day programming on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio.

Host Katy Taylor and MC John Manning.

Guests were Dorsey Hager, business agent of Local 44 of Asbestos Workers and Richard Shack, business agent of Stagehands Local 12.

Because of the health hazards related to asbestos, Local 44 workers are now generally employed on heating, cooling and refrigeration projects. They are also active on projects involving various utilities, major private construction projects and governmental construction projects. Asbestos work is now limited to remediation work such as encapsulating asbestos at a site or removing asbestos from buildings.

Stagehands are active in work at the major Columbus theatrical venues such as Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre and Southern Theatre. Examples of stagehand work projects are Broadway road shows and other musical events. Conventions at Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Columbus Convention Center also provide work.

Despite the wide differences in their respective skilled trades, Hager and Shack shared some values that are basic to the union movement. They both talked about the dignity of labor, the importance of fringe benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. Both Hager and Shack spoke of the value of collective bargaining.

Both men described a core benefit of a union work as providing dependable results and high quality performance to employers. Both union local business agents expressed loyalty to their members and the importance of contract bargaining for results.

Hager and Shack also expressed the importance of keeping jobs available to their members. When bargaining with employers, making projects succeed is important to the union members as much as it is to the employer.

They also described Columbus as not a union-friendly town.

They discussed apprentice programs and their approaches to recruiting new members.

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008