Citizens For A Better Norwood

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Norwood missionary on extended South American journey

Matt Hursh, 2008 graduate of Norwood High School, left Saturday, September 18 for a five month mission trip to South America. He will spend the first three months in Puerto Madryn, Argentina participating in Discipleship Training School under the direction of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), then is tentatively scheduled to go to Peru for the next two months. This will be his fourth international mission trip - during his last trip in January, Matt was in Haiti when the devastating earthquake struck. Matt is actively involved at Grace United Methodist Church on Slane Avenue where he serves with the youth program, praise team, and administrative council.

The funding for this trip was provided by donations from Grace United Methodist Church, Zion United Church of Christ, friends and family. Click here to follow Matt on his journey at his web page and blog site.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

August 2010 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

Individual……………....$ 36,696.61
Business…………….....$ 48,886.91
Withholding………...$ 1,007,716.36
TOTAL……………......$ 1,093,299.88

Collections thru August 2010….……….....…...........$9.784,392.75
Collections thru August 2009.............................$11,554,180.08
15.31% decrease in collections over 2009.…………..(1,769,787,33)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Holiday cards for soldiers

Guest blog by Andrew Clark

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and the holidays will be here before we know it. You may have read an article in the Norwood Star about “Cards for Soldiers.” This holiday season, our goal is to have Norwood Soldiers receive cards and letters of encouragement and gratitude around the holidays.

In next month’s issue of the Norwood Star, we will publish a list of soldiers who will probably not be home for the holidays. We want everyone who is able to send a card or letter to one or all of these soldiers to do so. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just thank them and let them know you are thinking of them. If you prepare cards every year, you can simply add them to your list. We are publishing the list in the November issue because sometimes delivery of mail to soldiers can take up to a month so we recommend that you send by the end of November or early December.

I know the holidays are a special time for our family. I love spending time with my family over our holiday meals and just sitting and enjoying each others company. You may enjoy this time too. Many of our soldiers will not have this opportunity this year, as they will be away from home fighting to keep our country safe. I know from talking to soldiers and their families that they will enjoy this.

If you know someone in the military that may not be home for the holidays and would love to receive cards, please send their name and address to or give me a call at 706-6893. I appreciate those of you who have already called to say you will be sending cards. The soldiers will greatly appreciate it.

Andrew Clark
Norwood Star

Monday, September 27, 2010

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Tuesday, September 28th
Family Storytime
6:30 p.m., Families

Wednesday, September 29th
Toddler Jam Time
10 a.m., Ages 1-4

Preschool Storytime
10:30 a.m., Ages 3-6

For more information, call 369-6037.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reminder: Medication disposal/flu shots/booster seats at NHD tomorrow

Following are excerpts from Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer’s 9/2/10 guest blog:

"In a collaborative effort to combat prescription drug abuse, the Norwood Police Department and the Norwood Health Department will host a “Medication Disposal Day” on Saturday, September 25, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Members of the community are encouraged to bring expired, unneeded and unused prescriptions, as well as over-the-counter medications to the Norwood Health Department located at 2059 Sherman Avenue (across from the Norwood Middle School).

The event is held in conjunction with the Norwood Health Department’ Annual Saturday Flu Vaccination Clinic. The cost of the flu vaccine is $18.00. Plenty of vaccine is available; however, citizens are asked to contact the Norwood Health Department to make an appointment in order to ensure proper staffing...Flu shots are also available by appointment on other days.

Saturday, September 25 is “National Car Seat Check Saturday.” In recognition of this event, free Booster Seats will be available by appointment to those who are eligible. Contact the Norwood Health Department to determine eligibility and to schedule an appointment.

Anyone bringing in medication, receiving a flu shot and/or receiving a Booster seat, will receive some special items. Contact the Norwood Health Department at 458-4600 to schedule your appointment or for questions."

Stith promises to be a “true citizen legislator” if elected State Rep

This Enquirer article highlights Norwood City Auditor Jim Stith’s campaign for the 33rd Ohio House District seat currently held by incumbent Alicia Reese. It states that the city won a certificate of excellence in financial reporting from The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its 2008 comprehensive annual financial report, the first to be published in Norwood since 2003. Jim Stith told the Enquirer he promises to be a "true citizen legislator, a working man from our community who is sent to Columbus to represent the people and will return to work and live in our community."

Norwood women invited to Community Reception at Xavier

The Xavier University Women’s Center, in collaboration with the Community Building Institute, invites the women of the Evanston and Norwood communities to a Community Reception.

Thursday, September 30th from 5:30-7:oo p.m.

· Enjoy our 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe exhibit

· Meet and network with Women’s Center and Community Building Institute staff and students as well as your neighbors

· Learn about the variety of resources Xavier extends to you, our neighbors!

Light refreshments will be served!
We appreciate your sharing this invitation with your neighbors!

Please RSVP to 745-3940 or for parking information.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

City Auditor’s Report for August now online

Click here to view the Auditor’s Report for the City of Norwood for the month ending August 31, 2010. Printed copies are available in the Auditor’s office and the Clerk of Council’s office.

“Sweet Spots on State Routes” photo exhibit at Cintas Center

Photographers Mark Bealer and Vickie Daniels have an exhibit in Xavier University’s Cintas Center Gallery in the Schiff Conference Center. “Sweet Spots on State Routes” is up now and will stay on display through December. The Cintas Center is open 8 am to 8 pm. The exhibit is free, but all photos displayed are available for purchase.

‘Sweet Spots on State Routes” is a collection of photos using antique cameras which showcase the places left behind when the interstates replaced the State Route.

“On State Routes you can drive with the windows down, breathe in fresh air and cruise at your own pace, tracing your path in a worn and tattered atlas,”says the artist statement.

Mark Bealer and Vickie Daniels are co-owners of Studio 66 LLC, a wedding and studio photography business. Daniels has an associate's degree in photography and has worked as a professional photographer since 2005. Bealer has been a professional photographer since 1989. Click here to visit their website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Norwood in the news for 100 Best Communities for Young People award

Check out the media stories about our big win:

2. Enquirer
3. Cincinnati Business Courier
4. Fox 19
5. WKRC Channel 12
6. WLWT Channel 5

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just in: Pic of Norwood Coalition members on their way to D.C.

Glenna Edwards just sent us this photo of some of the Norwood Community Coalition members just before they left for Washington, D.C. The group is attending this morning’s 100 Best Communities for Young People awards ceremony in front of the Washington Monument on the National Mall.

From left to right: Vicki Gabbard, Jamie Belty, Deb Robison, Laura Ferguson, JoAnn Payne, Glenna Edwards, and Cherie Brittain.

Norwood named one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People!

Citizens for a Better Norwood has just been given permission to publish this great news for our community several hours earlier than we announced yesterday:

The efforts of Norwood civic and community leaders are being honored today when America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance), the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to youth and children, announces the city had been named a winner of the Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best) competition presented by ING, a global financial services company and leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers. Its 2010 recognition marks the first win for Norwood in the competition.

The 100 Best designation recognizes those communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school and prepare them for college and the 21st century workforce. The competition is open to all communities that make children and youth a priority, including small towns, large cities, counties and school districts. In addition to enhancing local educational opportunities, most winning communities have taken steps to facilitate improved access to health care for its young people, encourage youth civic engagement and supply developmental resources that create better places for young people to live and grow. The entire 2010 list of 100 Best Communities for Young People and their accomplishments can be found at

“Through its innovative and far-reaching programs, Norwood is taking bold and effective steps to help their young people graduate and lead healthy, productive lives,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Norwood serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children, and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life.”

Norwood was named one of the nation’s 100 Best because of the community’s commitment to provide every young person with a healthy start. From community health and dental programs that provide services to low-income residents, to helping high school students short of credits complete their education, Norwood’s collaborative efforts help provide a foundation for each child upon which to build their future. As the city’s primary youth-focused coalition, the Norwood Community Coalition brings together local churches, libraries, educators and the health community to provide youth services and safe places to grow and explore.

Creating a pipeline to college is a primary focus of the Norwood Community Schools system. In 2006, the Freshman Academy was developed to provide special guidance and support to help freshman succeed in their transition from middle to high school. The program encourages teachers to know each student personally and provide closer guidance. The school system also developed Credit Recovery to help under-credited juniors and seniors get back on track to graduate on time. These dropout prevention efforts are further supported by the Norwood Scholarship Fund that distributes over $100,000 each year for high school graduates to continue their education.

“We are thrilled to receive this award. It highlights the hard work of many families, programs and organizations that care deeply about positive outcomes for young people in Norwood,” said Deb Robison of the Family and Children First Council, who coordinates the Norwood Community Coalition.

This morning, Norwood and the other winners spanning 37 states are being recognized at a ceremony in front of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Each of the winning communities is being formally recognized with a designation on a map of the U.S., illustrating the geographic and demographic diversity of the winning 100 communities. In addition to the 100 Best distinction, Norwood and the other top communities will receive two road signs identifying the city as one of 100 Best, as well as a trophy to be presented to local officials later this year.

Alliance Chair Alma Powell and President and CEO Marguerite W. Kondracke revealed the list of winners during the national celebration. They were joined by Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, ING’s Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs and Twilight’s Kellan Lutz, who both share a passion for the development of young people.

“ING is committed to children’s education and to the advancement of education initiatives that prepare them for successful futures,” said Mims. ”Our support for 100 Best demonstrates our goal of honoring communities like Norwood that produce real, measurable results for improving the lives of young people.”

The competition is one element of the Alliance’s Grad Nation campaign, a 10-year initiative to mobilize all Americans to take action in their communities to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. More than 7,000 students drop out each school day in the U.S., resulting in 1.3 million young people a year. To help decrease these numbers, the Alliance is more committed than ever to recognizing communities – regardless of size, location or history – that are taking real action to help more young people stay in school and graduate on time.

“100 Best is an essential building block of an inspiring national movement that gives everyone a chance to ensure every young person graduates,” said Powell. “These winning communities refuse to let the challenges they face be the determining factor in the lives of their children and youth. Instead, they are helping to build an infrastructure of assertive, successful and dynamic young people that are the future of this country.”

For more information, contact:
Deb Robison
Family and Children First Coordinator
Norwood Community Coalition
Office: 924-2768

Monday, September 20, 2010

Developing…excellent news about Norwood tomorrow morning

Read all about it here shortly after 10:30 a.m. Local/national media coverage expected later in the day Tuesday.

October Computer & TV recycling for Hamilton Co. residents

The Hamilton County Solid Waste Management District's 2010 Computer & TV Recycling Event is for Hamilton County residents only:

October 1 through October 29, 2010
Monday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm

Open one Saturday only: Saturday, October 30, 9 am - 2 pm

Drop-Off Location:
11085 Kenwood Road
Blue Ash, Ohio 45242

Items accepted at no charge: TVs, CPU's, hard drives, personal copiers, docking stations, monitors, scanners, printers, cellular telephones, tape and disk drives, VCR and DVD players, circuit boards, cables, mainframes, servers, terminals, fax machines, PDAs, back up batteries, chips, keyboards, mice, modems, computer speakers, CD Rom drives, and laptops.

I-71 N to Pfeiffer Road
Left on Pfeiffer Road
Right on Kenwood Road
1.5 miles on left (across from Matthew 25 Ministries)

Finance and Audit Committee meeting tomorrow

Norwood City Council’s Finance and Audit Committee will meet in Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, September 21, to discuss 1 agenda item: City Finances.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Tuesday, September 21st
Family Storytime
6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 22nd
Toddler Jam Time
10 a.m., Ages 1-4

Preschool Storytime
10:30 a.m., Ages 3-6

For more information, call 369-6037.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Invitation to “Beers with Jim” campaign event

Join us for

Beers with Jim Stith

at the

Pleasant Hour Cafe

6083 Montgomery Rd
Pleasant Ridge, OH 45213
(513) 731-7474

Monday, September 20th
6:30-8:00 PM

Join Jim for drinks and conversation in a
relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Click here if you would like to donate to Jim Stith’s campaign for Ohio State Representative.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

August 2010 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of August = 376

Medic Runs = 265
Fire Runs = 20 (Building, Brush, etc.)
Average Response Time on Runs = 4 minutes, 30 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 20 - (Building, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 51 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) -9 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call - 10 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent - 6 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 15 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Severe Weather - 0
Special Incident - 0

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
July 2010 - Recorded & flow tested 115 hydrants
August 2010 - No hydrant activity

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 883
Total Inspections – 142 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 273
Total Violations – corrected 342
Total Block Inspection - Unit #’s 1, 2, 3 - Rental & multi-family: 13
Referrals to Health and Building Depts. - 25

Enquirer: Bill Graff was Norwood civic leader

This Enquirer article has quite a bit of detail about Bill’s many interests and contributions to Norwood, including the story about Bill’s and Vivian’s 3-tiered, heart-shaped wedding cake you won’t want to miss.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Leann Rimes’ Friday concert at Xavier postponed

SPCA Cincinnati is merging two exciting events. The Bow and Wow Tour starring LeAnn Rimes, originally scheduled for Friday, September 17, is postponed and will now be part of SPCA’s annual fund raiser known as The Furball in the spring of 2011.

Present economic realities made it challenging for SPCA Cincinnati to move forward with two major fund raising events. After careful consideration, SPCA decided a merger would create one grand event which will provide SPCA Cincinnati with the resources needed to support the ongoing mission of humane care for unwanted and abandoned pets and animals in our community.

Expect an announcement in the near future for a date for this exciting event.

SPCA supporters who purchased tickets to the LeAnn Rimes concert scheduled for Friday, September 17 should contact the organization/place where they purchased the tickets for a refund.

Help pave a brick path to a cure for breast cancer

The 9th annual Breast Cancer Brick Auction will be held at the centrally-located Cintas Center at Xavier University on Sunday, October 10 from 2 to 5 pm. Bricks painted by local artists and celebrities are auctioned to benefit breast cancer research, advocacy and patient support in the area. Admission and parking are free.

'Bricks Along the Journey' was started by Ellen B. Ganson. When diagnosed with breast cancer, she said it felt like she had been hit with a ton of bricks. Instead of giving in to that defeated feeling, she decided to use the image of bricks in a positive way to symbolize laying a path of hope.

Ganson devised the idea of asking local artists to transform bricks into beautiful objects of art. This symbolizes the journey women and men with breast cancer experience as they struggle with the debilitating nature of this disease and yet commit themselves to rejuvenate, rebuild and beautify life.

Breast cancer is so prevalent that the inspirations artists write for their brick art often reflects their own personal experiences or those of friends and relatives. More than 300 artists from over a dozen states donate their time and talents for the Breast Cancer Silent Brick Auction.

Hundreds of brick art will be available at the auction. Glass, mosaic, oil, tile, ceramic, fiber, collage, and many other media are represented. Beginning bids range in price, some at $25. The average brick may go for around $75, but be warned - there are not many average bricks in the auction! The brick art makes lovely gifts for home display and gardens. Click here to see samples and for more information about the Ellen B. Ganson Foundation.

Proceeds have benefitted breast cancer research projects, education, advocacy groups and improving the quality of life of breast cancer patients in Greater Cincinnati. The 2010 beneficiaries include: The Mary Jo Cropper Breast Care Center at Bethesda North Hospital, Cancer Family Care, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Hereditary Cancer Program, FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, Mercy Hospital Anderson Women's Center, The Wellness Community of Greater Cincinnati and the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati’s Great Beginnings Teen Breast Health Program.

Marching Band fundraiser at CiCi’s Pizza tomorrow

Anna Smith sent us the following announcement:

Thursday, September 16 is the Norwood Indians Marching Band fundraiser at CiCi’s Pizza. Help raise money for the group by eating pizza! Come in to CiCi’s at Surrey Square and mention the marching band and they will donate 10% to thegroup. So bring a friend and spread the word!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bill Graff’s volunteerism at the Norwood Health Dept.

A tribute by Pamela Walker-Bauer

Prior to becoming the Norwood Health Commissioner in June of 2009, I was the Public Health Preparedness Division Head and Epidemiologist for the Butler County for 7 years. That is where I first learned of these two amazing Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, Bill and Vivian Graff. Mr. and Mrs. Graff volunteered for and participated in every public health emergency exercise that they could. Their efforts were not limited to Norwood as they often volunteered in various health jurisdictions throughout the Tri-State area. I remember thinking, “Wow, I wish I had a whole bunch of Bill and Vivian Graffs to work with in the Butler County Medical Reserve Corps during an emergency.”

As fate would have it, I would indeed respond to a major public health event alongside Mr. and Mrs. Graff. However, it wasn’t in Butler County but rather it was in Bill and Vivian’s beloved Norwood. How fortunate I was and I soon became the envy of many of my colleagues in other local health departments; Bill and Vivian’s first priority was to the citizens of Norwood.

Prior to Norwood’s implementation of a mass vaccination campaign against H1N1 influenza, I asked if Mr. and Mrs. Graff would sit down in a meeting with me. In this meeting, Mr. Graff quickly laid down his first and only ground rule with me as he said, “You call us ‘Bill’ and ‘Vivian’.” This was followed with Bill saying “Pam, we will help you with whatever you need.” And indeed they did.

Bill and Vivian worked alongside the staff of the Norwood Health Department at every single vaccination clinic we held at our office location. Responding to H1N1 was a marathon not a sprint. We grew fatigued, and when Bill and Vivian walked in the door, we knew that the Calvary was there.

As time progressed, Bill took on a fatherly persona with me. He was my cheerleader and would say, “You are doing a great job, kiddo!” and “Don’t worry, I am here for you.” And he truly was. Bill even celebrated his 65th birthday at an H1N1 clinic at the Norwood Health Department. I only had time to make him a box cake but of course, he told me in true gentleman fashion, that it was delicious! He was ever so gracious.

H1N1 slowed down and I did not get to see as much of Bill and Vivian. However, Bill and I became “facebook friends,” so we stayed in touch. Our friendship grew, and he always had something positive or funny to say to me when I was blue. His last comment to me came on my birthday on Friday, September 10, 2010, and I was not really in the celebrating mood. Bill said something like this, “look at it this way, you are 19 with 20 years of experience!” Classic Bill Graff!

Bill, I really am going to miss you! I know that God is saying to you, " Well done, good and faithful servant."

Pamela Walker-Bauer
Health Commissioner
Norwood City Health Department

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Funeral arrangements for Bill Graff

The following announcement will appear in the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Detroit News this week. Also, the Enquirer plans to publish an expanded story about Bill Graff's remarkable volunteerism and contributions to our community.

William A. Graff, beloved husband of Vivian Furman Graff, devoted father of Jodie (Scott) Rector, Sandy (Bruce) Preston and Dale Graff; dear uncle of Kirk Graff; and loving grandfather of Jessica Graff, Shaina Price, Bruce Preston, Jr., Tina Preston, Michael Preston; and also survived by 6 great grandchildren. Passed away Saturday, September 11, 2010. Residence Norwood, Ohio. Age 65. Mass of Christian Burial, Holy Trinity Church on Friday, September 17, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. **

Friends may call at the Naegele, Kleb & Ihlendorf Funeral Home at 3900 Montgomery Rd., Norwood, Thursday, September 16 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. If desired, memorials may be directed to the Norwood Service League, 2071 Lawrence Ave., Norwood, OH 45212 or

**12:45 p.m., 9/13/10 ADDENDUM: We were just notified that the Friday, September 17 Mass has been changed from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. as indicated above.

RIP, Bill Graff. What a legacy.

It is with great sadness that we share with our readers that beloved friend and community member Bill Graff passed away at approximately 5:15 p.m. yesterday following a heart attack. Vivian, his wife of 45 years, was at his side. Late last night, her sister arrived from northern Ohio, as well as their daughter from Tennessee and their other daughter from Michigan. Their son will arrive tomorrow from Utah. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Vivian and to her and Bill’s entire family and countless friends. We will publish the funeral arrangements as soon as they are available.

Bill and Vivian moved from Tennessee to Norwood 9 years ago after he retired from the auto industry. They purchased a home on Delaware Avenue and immediately set about returning it to its former Victorian glory. Bill, of course, did most of the work, much of it quite detailed. As his new Norwood friends would find out, there really wasn’t anything Bill couldn’t do… and wouldn’t do when he saw it would add value to our community. The notion that he and Vivian were actually living a life of ease in their retirement was quickly put to rest by everyone who got to know them.

It wasn’t long before both Vivian and Bill began to immerse themselves in many aspects of Norwood community life and in worthwhile projects that benefited both people and organizations. After they joined the Norwood Historical Society, Bill began quietly building an exquisite Victorian doll house that closely resembled his Delaware Ave. home. When it was completed, he donated his masterpiece to the society, and it appeared in the Norwood Day Parade that year as the Norwood Society’s float entry. As a fundraiser, it was raffled off at the society’s annual Holiday Open House a few months later.

Another of Bill and Vivian’s early stops was the West Norwood Neighborhood Association. In 2005 when WNNA partnered with Xavier University’s Building Institute via a grant that provided leadership training for community leaders, Bill enrolled in the first class offered. The benefit of Bill’s training to our community simply cannot be calculated. Soon he participated in helping promote and execute the Neighborhood of Choice Program on which WNNA and the Building Institute also partnered. The program was designed to help restore West Norwood.

When Norwood’s financial difficulties forced the closing of the Norwood Police Substation at the corner of Mills and Carter Avenues, WNNA was determined not to allow that part of Norwood to go without a substation. Bill spearheaded the successful effort of WNNA members to relocate the substation on the 2nd floor of the Community Center at 1810 Courtland Avenue. But first, he would donate many hours along with other WNNAers completely renovating the designated room for the station. And while he was at it, he volunteered even more time painting walls and doing other needed general maintenance at the Community Center. That was our Bill.

Many of us know that Bill also worked tirelessly to acquire 800 MHz radios after he became aware that the City could not afford to purchase them. They were necessary for our police and fire departments to communicate internally as well as with other area fire and police departments. Former WNNA President Marilyn Hanrahan recalls how instrumental Bill was in their team effort to draw public attention to the crisis. They were able to get the Enquirer to do a story about the issue. After Norwood native and financier Carl Lindner saw the piece, he donated the needed $300,000 to purchase the radios. Another problem solved with Bill’s help.

With his intense interest in community policing, Bill played a crucial part in helping WNNA establish the Citizens on Patrol Program, which the group had long wanted to implement. Today COP has 16 trained volunteers who not only regularly do walking patrols of our neighborhoods, but also helped the NPD yesterday for the 4th year in a row with traffic control for the Urology Group’s Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, provided traffic control assistance for the 2009 and the 2010 Forget-Me-Knot-Walk, assisted in the recent National Police Night Out at the Community Center, and the group also hands out free child finger-printing kits for kids on a regular basis at Kroger at Surrey Square.

It was just a little over 2 weeks ago, that Bill submitted this 2nd quarter 2010 COP report for us to publish. Bill was dedicated to tracking down and removing every graffiti tag in Norwood. The report states that over 925 tags were removed by COP volunteers, with Bill leading the charge, of course.

This morning, we asked former Health Commissioner Donna Laake to contribute a brief account of Bill’s and Vivian’s involvement in disaster preparedness, another of their keen interests. Following is what Donna emailed us:

“Anyone who knew Bill knew that when he saw a need, he tried to fulfill that need. So when local health departments in greater Cincinnati were organizing a response to potential outbreaks, the TriState Medical Reserve Corps was born. And one of the very first people to sign up were Bill and Vivian Graff. Both attended classes to learn how to run a "Point of Dispensing" or "POD" and how to effectively assist in response to emergencies. They practiced their skills throughout the area, volunteering at exercises and flu clinics, cheerfully and efficiently organizing and helping out wherever needed. Bill and Vivian were invaluable last year at the Norwood Health Department when H1N1 flu clinics were held. The TriState Medical Reserve Corps will truly miss Bill's enthusiasm and passion for helping those in need.”

Casey Brown tells us she and Bill and Vivian joined the Norwood Service League’s executive board at the same time when NSL was located in a Norwood School District building on Smith Road. Casey became the board’s chair and Bill the vice chair. NSL needed to move, and Bill was very involved in helping locate their new home on Lawrence Avenue, which needed major repairs and renovation. He chaired NSL’s facility committee which was charged with planning the renovation. He essentially served as the general contractor, overseeing other contractors’ work. In many instances, local contractors donated time/and or materials. Once again, Bill, of course, also performed as much of the actual work on the building as was possible.

When the building renovation was complete, NSL’s Executive Director Lupe Gonzales-Hoyt asked the executive board to name the building the Graff Building to memorialize both Bill’s and Vivian’s major contributions to the successful project, and a dedication ceremony was held in the spring of 2008. Casey told us that this past July, Bill succeeded her as chair of the executive board.

We were aware that Bill recently joined the local Masonic Lodge, so we asked member Tom Brown to tell us about his joining the organization:

“Bill Graff joined the Norwood – Carthage – Winton Masonic Lodge #576 with me and Jim Stith just this past year. Bill threw himself into his studies and rose to the rank of a Master Mason earlier this year. Bill came to represent what I would consider the ideal Masonic brother and a true friend. H was always willing to help out others both in and outside the Masonic community.

Recently, after his recent surgery and discovered heart condition, Bill was unable to leave his house. However, just this past Friday, Bill attended the most recent Norwood Masonic Lodge meeting and was in good spirits and was talking about continuing his Masonic studies.

After the meeting, he insisted that he come over to my house the next day to help me in repairing a refrigerator. He said he would enjoy getting out of the house and beside “I have all the equipment anyway”.

So this past Saturday, Bill came over and helped me do the repairs. He was in great spirits and talked about how he hasn’t felt this good in weeks. We talked about his upcoming surgery, his excitement about attending Masonic Lodge events and planning to visit his son out West after he recovers.

While we were talking out on our front porch, we saw the Stealth B-2 bomber fly over Norwood. After seeing the plane fly away, Bill exclaimed that seeing the B-2 was “another thing to check off the Bucket List”.

We talked about next week’s Masonic events and all the other things he could not wait to start doing again (Citizens on Patrol, Norwood Service League, etc…).

Bill represented the best of what it was to be a Mason and a friend.”

We readily acknowledge that our blog touches on only the most public contributions Bill and Vivian have made to our community. There have also been countless private acts of help and assistance they made to many community members. In fact, one of us was on the receiving end of their acts of kindness during a critical time, and in several instances they helped avert full-blown crises. We invite our readers to share their own experiences with Bill and Vivian in the comment box and add anything else we have overlooked.

In closing, we want to share a poignant comment Donna Laake sent us:

“Just one final thought as I was sitting here: My grandmother always told me that if we all left this world a little better place than when we found it, our lives would be full and our legacy great. The world is just so much better than when Bill found it! What a legacy.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two accused of mistreating 6-year-old after football practice

Following a football practice in which her 6-year-old son didn’t perform well, Chellie Bowden allegedly asked Charles Robinson to punish him and then stood by while Robinson took it too far, according to Norwood police. The child was forced to run more than 1 ½ miles from the practice to Indian Mound Thursday night. It was there that a Norwood police officer reportedly saw Robinson grab the boy by his football helmet and drag him.

According to Sgt. Michael Spille, the child was in trouble because he hadn’t paid attention during a football practice. He told the Enquirer, “It was awfully harsh for them to be punishing a 6-year-old for not paying attention. Very seldom do they pay attention.“

Both Bowden and Robinson were booked into the Hamilton County Justice Center at about 11:30 p.m. on child endangering charges.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

August report for Norwood KOPS (Keep Our Property Safe) Program

A new monthly feature

Last month, Mayor Tom Williams explained Norwood’s Keep our Property Safe (KOPS) Program in this blog. The program, which started in April, 2009, is a cooperative effort between the Norwood Police, Fire, Health, and Building Departments. Personnel from these departments perform once-a-month field trips to properties in the community that are candidates for blight, along with properties that have had an abnormally high number of police incidents and possible crime activities. The program is open to nominations, so if you have a property in mind that you would like to receive a visit, please contact the Building Department at 458-4510.

Building Commissioner Gerry Stoker tells us he will be sending us the KOPS reports on a monthly basis for publication. Personnel from the various City Departments visit habitual problem properties on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Following is the August report:

In August the KOPS (Police, Building & Property Maintenance, Fire and Health Departments visited the following thirteen problem properties that were selected by the Norwood Police Department as habitual offenders:

5206 Montgomery Rd......... 5210 Montgomery Rd.
2111 Lawn Ave.................. ..2000 Mills Ave. #2
2000 Maple....................... ..2209 Slane Ave.
2209 Slane Ave.................... 2000 Maple Ave.
4530 Carter Ave.................. 1904 Sherman Ave.
5127 Hunter Ave..................2125 Cathedral

These inspections resulted in all properties being issued orders, with two of the thirteen being vacated until serious issues are resolve.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gerry Stoker, Building Commissioner
City of Norwood

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Steve Chabot to attend the Sept.11th Event for Jim Stith

Steve Chabot, former US Congressman and current candidate for Congress, has announced he will be attending the fundraiser hosted by Bob and Donna Laake for my campaign for State Representative for the 33rd District. The Patriot Day Event will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 11th at 5407 Moundcrest Drive. While this is a fundraiser, I do not want to exclude anyone from meeting with me or Mr. Chabot. If you cannot afford or do not wish to contribute the suggested donation of $25, please feel free to stop by and say hello. We are looking forward to meeting you. Please RSVP by calling 828-8449.

-Jim Stith

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Supt. Amodio on State Report Card: We will not rest until we are EXCELLENT

Guest blog by Rob Amodio

Each year in August the Ohio Department of Education releases a School District Report card which rates public school districts in Ohio in one of the following categories; Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch or Academic Emergency. There are four components to Ohio’s accountability system. They are State Indicators, Performance index score, Value-added and AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). Our district and building ratings are calculated based on those four components. The entire district, as well as each school building in the district, receives one of the above ratings.
For the 2009-10 school year, four of the five schools in our district received the rating of Effective! This is the first time that four of our schools in the Norwood City School District have achieved the Effective designation. We are extremely proud of the work that our staff, students and families put in to the school year as the fruits of this labor are evident with this rating!!

Our district rating did not achieve this same designation. We received the Continuous Improvement Rating. The following may seem to be a complex explanation of how this can be, yet it is the regulations established by the No Child Left Behind federal legislation. Norwood City Schools, as a district, did not meet the minimum standards for Adequate Yearly Progress within various groups of students. Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, is a federally-required measure. Every school and district must meet AYP goals for reading and mathematics proficiency along with test participation, attendance rate and graduation rate. There are 10 groups evaluated for AYP goals in reading and mathematics. We met all the participation goals for all groups and met attendance and graduation AYP goals. As a district, we meet AYP goals for all but two groups in the area of proficiency. We will continue to work hard with each and all students and student groups.

In terms of meeting state indicators, the district and schools earn credit for performance in reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 and OGT, science in grades 5 and 8 and attendance and graduation rates. You earn credit when you achieve 75% or higher for all students combined.

Our Performance Index score is 92.7. Anything over 90.0 is considered Effective. This measure rewards levels of achievement of each student. As a district we earn points based on how well each student does. The higher the performance level, the higher the point value.

Value-added is another measure in the accountability system. Our overall composite rating for Value-added is above growth, which means that we achieved more than one year of expected growth for students over the past year. This is what we will continue to strive to do each year.

We are extremely proud of the achievements of our staff and students who have led all but one of our buildings to the Effective rating. Our goal is and always will be to achieve the rating of Excellent in all areas of the state report card. We are working diligently each day, as a district to achieve this goal. We have spent countless hours analyzing data drawn from our test results to create and implement our plans to improve instruction and achievement in all areas. Please trust that the Norwood City Schools, your school district, will not rest until we are EXCELLENT. Our students, parents and community members are counting on us. We will do everything in our power not to let them down.

Rob Amodio
Norwood City Schools

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Tuesday, Sept 7th
Family Storytime
6:30 p.m., Families

Wednesday, Sept 8th
Toddler Jam Time
10 a.m., Ages 1-4
Preschool Storytime
10:30 a.m., Ages 3-6

Saturday, Sept 11th
Lego Club
3-4 p.m., Ages 6-12

For more information, call 369-6037.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Norwood hosts Medication Disposal Day—offers flu shots and free booster seats

Guest blog by Pamela Walker-Bauer

In a collaborative effort to combat prescription drug abuse, the Norwood Police Department and the Norwood Health Department will host a “Medication Disposal Day” on September 25, 2010 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Members of the community are encouraged to bring expired, unneeded and unused prescriptions, as well as over-the-counter medications to the Norwood Health Department located at 2059 Sherman Avenue (across from the Norwood Middle School).

The event is held in conjunction with the Norwood Health Department’s Annual Saturday Flu Vaccination Clinic. The cost of the flu vaccine is $18.00. Plenty of vaccine is available however citizens are asked to contact the Norwood Health Department to make an appointment in order to ensure proper staffing. The Norwood Health Department is also holding a Walk-In Flu Shot Clinic on Thursday, September 9, 2010 from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. Flu shots are also available by appointment on other days.

Saturday, September 25, 2010 is also “National Car Seat Check Saturday”. In recognition of this event, free Booster Seats will be available by appointment to those who are eligible. Contact the Norwood Health Department to determine eligibility and to schedule an appointment.

Anyone bringing in medication, receiving a flu shot and/or receiving a Booster seat, will receive some special items. Contact the Norwood Health Department at 513-458-4600 to schedule your appointment or for questions.

We are excited to work with the Norwood Police Department to provide a safe manner in which to dispose of prescription medications. This not only helps combat prescription drug abuse, but also safeguards our water supply.

Pamela Walker-Bauer
Health Commissioner
Norwood Health Dept.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Patriot Day Event for Jim Stith

Bob and Donna Laake are hosting a fundraiser for Jim Stith’s campaign for State Representative for the 33rd District. The Patriot Day Event will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 11th at 5407 Moundcrest Drive. Tickets can be purchased for a suggested donation of $25 either online or at the door. RSVP by calling 828-8449.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Take the Teen Safe Driver Pledge to benefit NHS

Guest blog by Vicki Clark

Help Norwood High School as they compete for cash prizes by encouraging parents and teen drivers to pledge their commitment to safe driving. NHS is participating in the Teen Safe Driver Pledge program sponsored by American Family Insurance. Norwood High School is one of more than 375 schools throughout American Family’s 19-state operating territory participating in the Teen Safe Driver Pledge, an online pledge by teen drivers, parents or other community members that establishes safe driving expectations. By participating in the program, NHS earns an automatic cash prize from program sponsor American Family Insurance and is in the running for larger cash prizes based on the school’s number of pledges.

Norwood families and other members of the community who wish to express their commitment to safe driving can learn more about the program and enroll at Terry Long of American Family Insurance will present Norwood High School with a check for $900 on Thursday, September 3, at a football game. Participating schools also can earn $15,000 if they are the top school in one of three enrollment tiers based on the number of pledges received.

Vicki Clark
Norwood Star