Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010


In 1908, the grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Joseph Bonaparte, created the Bureau of Investigation, which would later become known as the FBI.

History of the FBI
Origins: 1908 - 1910

The FBI originated from a force of Special Agents created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The two men first met when they both spoke at a meeting of the Baltimore Civil Service Reform Association. Roosevelt, then Civil Service Commissioner, boasted of his reforms in federal law enforcement. It was 1892, a time when law enforcement was often political rather than professional. Roosevelt spoke with pride of his insistence that Border Patrol applicants pass marksmanship tests, with the most accurate getting the jobs. Following Roosevelt on the program, Bonaparte countered, tongue in cheek, that target shooting was not the way to get the best men. "Roosevelt should have had the men shoot at each other, and given the jobs to the survivors."

Roosevelt and Bonaparte both were "Progressives." They shared the conviction that efficiency and expertise, not political connections, should determine who could best serve in government. Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1901; four years later, he appointed Bonaparte to be Attorney General. In 1908, Bonaparte applied that Progressive philosophy to the Department of Justice by creating a corps of Special Agents. It had neither a name nor an officially designated leader other than the Attorney General. Yet, these former detectives and Secret Service men were the forerunners of the FBI.

Today, most Americans take for granted that our country needs a federal investigative service, but in 1908, the establishment of this kind of agency at a national level was highly controversial. The U.S. Constitution is based on "federalism:" a national government with jurisdiction over matters that crossed boundaries, like interstate commerce and foreign affairs, with all other powers reserved to the states. Through the 1800s, Americans usually looked to cities, counties, and states to fulfill most government responsibilities. However, by the 20th century, easier transportation and communications had created a climate of opinion favorable to the federal government establishing a strong investigative tradition.

The impulse among the American people toward a responsive federal government, coupled with an idealistic, reformist spirit, characterized what is known as the Progressive Era, from approximately 1900 to 1918. The Progressive generation believed that government intervention was necessary to produce justice in an industrial society. Moreover, it looked to "experts" in all phases of industry and government to produce that just society.

President Roosevelt personified Progressivism at the national level. A federal investigative force consisting of well-disciplined experts and designed to fight corruption and crime fit Roosevelt's Progressive scheme of government. Attorney General Bonaparte shared his President's Progressive philosophy. However, the Department of Justice under Bonaparte had no investigators of its own except for a few Special Agents who carried out specific assignments for the Attorney General, and a force of Examiners (trained as accountants) who reviewed the financial transactions of the federal courts. Since its beginning in 1870, the Department of Justice used funds appropriated to investigate federal crimes to hire private detectives first, and later investigators from other federal agencies. (Federal crimes are those that were considered interstate or occurred on federal government reservations.)

By 1907, the Department of Justice most frequently called upon Secret Service "operatives" to conduct investigations. These men were well-trained, dedicated -- and expensive. Moreover, they reported not to the Attorney General, but to the Chief of the Secret Service. This situation frustrated Bonaparte, who wanted complete control of investigations under his jurisdiction. Congress provided the impetus for Bonaparte to acquire his own force. On May 27, 1908, it enacted a law preventing the Department of Justice from engaging Secret Service operatives.

The following month, Attorney General Bonaparte appointed a force of Special Agents within the Department of Justice. Accordingly, ten former Secret Service employees and a number of Department of Justice peonage (i.e., compulsory servitude) investigators became Special Agents of the Department of Justice. On July 26, 1908, Bonaparte ordered them to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch. This action is celebrated as the beginning of the FBI.

Both Attorney General Bonaparte and President Theodore Roosevelt, who completed their terms in March 1909, recommended that the force of 34 Agents become a permanent part of the Department of Justice. Attorney General George Wickersham, Bonaparte's successor, named the force the Bureau of Investigation (pictured left) on March 16, 1909. At that time, the title of Chief Examiner was changed to Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Below is the train clock, light motion activated, that ran around the track as we entered the library. Then the Elvis quilt, the Coke tree, the village scene, the shelves filled with Coke memoribilia; Elvis memories, a sleigh in the dining room, the Santa tree in the den, and finally more sleighs in the living room. Each room takes you into collectibles heaven, a joy to behold.


My friend Sue and I were going to Columbus one day this week, and when I stopped to pick her up, she had a surprise for me. We were going to stop and get subs on the way home, but she had to show me the dessert in her refrigerator. When she opened the door, I took one look and burst into pure joy and excitement. There sat my very favorite - Boston Creme Pie. I was full of anticipation all day.

After we got back to town, and ate, I slowly savored each and every bite of my favorite pie and was thrilled that she remembered that about me.

Then she took me on a tour of her Christmas House. Each room has a theme and is filled with decorations. It looked like a huge job that would take many days to complete. It must be an enormous task of repacking it all and returning the boxes to the attic. But I'm sure it is all worth it, because it was beautiful.

The living room is filled with angels, a huge tree, and her vast collection of sleighs of all shapes and sizes.(More photos below)

The dining room has wreaths and a collection of winter plates on display.

The kitchen shelf is full of collectible tins and even the bathroom had a theme with a small lighted tree.

The laundry room is the Nutcracker room as her collection fills the window sill, and cupboard.

The den is the Santa room. There were so many Santa's, I could not count them. Even the tree in there was decorated with Santa's. As we looked at the Santa's on the mantle over the fireplace, Sue told me the story of where some of them came from over the years. I think she's been collecting Christmas items since she was very young.

The most fascinating room was the library. That was the train room, filled with little trains, her Elvis tree and mementos, and her Coca Cola collection. (More photos below)

It was a journey through time, and like a mini-museum. So much work goes into getting it ready and I'm sure visitors are amazed, as I was. The Christmas House is one-of-a-kind, like my friend Sue!

More pictures to follow in the next blog item.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I love the original lyrics of this song, but with the latest news events, this is the funniest thing this season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


During this holiday season, there are many drains on public assistance programs, the need for Toys for Tots, and many church programs that help the needy. On the news we hear about cars and homes being burglarized and gifts and belongings being stolen. As the homeless huddle in the cold or sleep in shelters during the night, I find the following news item I read to be appalling. Think of how many poor could be helped instead!

"Bonus season is fast approaching on Wall Street, but this year the talk does not center just on multimillion-dollar paydays. It’s about a new club that no one wants to join: the Zeros.

Drawn from a broad swath of back-office employees and middle-level traders, bankers and brokers, the Zeros, as they have come to be called, are facing a once-unthinkable prospect: an annual bonus of ... nothing.

“It’s going to a cause a lot of panic on Wall Street,” said Richard Stein of Global Sage, an executive search firm. “Everybody is talking about it, but they’re actually concerned about it becoming public. I would not want to be head of compensation at a Wall Street firm right now.”

In some ways, a zero bonus should not come as a surprise to many bankers. As a result of the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and banks like Citigroup raised base pay substantially in 2009 and 2010. They were seeking to placate regulators who had argued that bonuses based on performance encouraged excessive risk.

At Goldman, for instance, the base salary for managing directors rose to $500,000 from $300,000, while at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse it jumped to $400,000 from $200,000.

Even though employees will receive roughly the same amount of money, the psychological blow of not getting a bonus is substantial, especially in a Wall Street culture that has long equated success and prestige with bonus size. So there are sure to be plenty of long faces on employees across the financial sector who have come to expect a bonus on top of their base pay. Wall Streeters typically find out what their bonuses will be in January, with the payout coming in February.

One executive, whose firm prohibited discussing the topic with the news media, said the bump in base salaries had confused people, even though their overall compensation was the same. “People expect a big bonus,” this person said. “It is as if they don’t even see their base doubled last year.”

Dealing with the Zeros can be complicated. “It’s a real headache,” said another senior banker, who asked not to be identified because the topic is so volatile at his company. There has been so much grousing that in some cases, he said, “we’ll throw $20,000 or $25,000 at each of the Zeros so they’re not discouraged.”

“No matter what we pay people, it is never enough and they always find something to complain about,” this banker said.

While Zeros are turning up in the ranks of back-office employees and midtier bankers and traders who typically earn $250,000 to $500,000, their bosses way up the compensation ladder are still expected to notch handsome paydays in the millions.

In terms of overall profit, Wall Street is on track for one of its best years ever, although it will trail 2009, which was pumped up by federal bailout money and the rebound from the financial crisis.

In the first three quarters of the year, Wall Street earned $21.4 billion, putting it on track to easily outpace 2006, when the economy was booming, and well ahead of the New York City government’s initial estimate of $20.6 billion for profit in all of 2010.

This year, Wall Street’s five biggest firms have put aside nearly $90 billion for bonuses.

But bankers and compensation experts say that bonus payouts will vary widely this year, much more than in the past when a rising tide lifted all boats. And just as junior and senior bankers face varying fates, so some departments are expected to fare better than others.

At JPMorgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for example, the leveraged finance group could receive a 10 to 20 percent bump from last year, because of record issuance of junk bonds. Equity traders, on the other hand, are looking at a 10 to 20 percent drop because stock trading tailed off during the second half of the year.

At Morgan Stanley, equity trading was stronger, but bond traders are most likely looking at smaller pay packages.

To be sure, the best performers on the most profitable desks will still receive substantial bonuses. At Bank of America, top directors might earn a $1 million bonus while top vice presidents could net $600,000, according to one banker there.

What’s more, echoing trends in the broader economy, Wall Street chief executives are almost certain to escape the fate of the Zeros, with bonuses climbing into the stratosphere as the shock of the financial crisis fades and pay for the top tier climbs back toward historical averages.

Morgan Stanley is perhaps feeling the most pressure. In 2009, it paid out a record 62 percent of its net revenue in compensation and benefits; its chief executive, James P. Gorman, vowed to bring that down to bolster profits. But early this year, the firm’s board decided to start hiring in an effort to rebuild businesses in the wake of the financial crisis.

Now, having added 2,000 people in 2010 yet lacking any growth in revenue, the firm has little choice but to scale back on bonuses. Compensation will be lowered across the board, but there will still be plenty of Zeros, said one person familiar with Morgan Stanley’s compensation process.

Recently, Mr. Gorman has been telling employees that the selective, short-term pain on compensation will give the firm credibility with shareholders and help Morgan Stanley over the long haul, calling 2010 “the year of differentiation,” several employees said.

Even if overall salaries for Wall Streeters remain generous, the new zero-bonus culture is likely to change spending habits, said Robert J. Gordon, a professor of economics at Northwestern. Bonuses are spent differently than more predictable income, he said, citing “impulsive purchases, like jewelry from Tiffany’s for a girlfriend.”

Zero bonuses are likely to have a bigger impact on New York’s economy, which has grown dependent on the largess of Wall Street firms. Whether it’s for jewelry, high-end clothing or apartments, bonus spending has long fed a postholiday boom in January and February, especially in Manhattan and expensive suburbs like Greenwich.

“I suspect there will be some pain in the short-term,” said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, an independent research group in Manhattan.

“We’ve all heard the stories of someone showing up in Greenwich to buy a $10 million house and paying cash on the spot,” he added. “But in the long term, this is probably healthier for Wall Street and the regional economy. Wall Street shouldn’t be a casino.”"

I'm sure the many homeless, because of foreclosures and retired persons who lost their savings during the banks financial crisis are going to have sympathy for these POOR LITTLE GUYS. NOT NOT NOT

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I received an email today and when I read it, I was shocked. Many tried to tell the truth, but people would not listen to the truth. They wanted it THEIR WAY. The wrong way. Here's what I read:

"For the last two years, John Kasich has hidden a lot from the people of Ohio. He avoided reporters. He covered up his record at Lehman Brothers. And he refused to answer basic questions about what he would do if he were elected Governor. {Like giving away Ohio jobs to other states by stopping the rail project.}

Now, John Kasich has made clear that he wants to run Ohio’s government in secret.

Late last week, Kasich held a press conference to announce his appointment of Tom Charles as Director of the Department of Public Safety – essentially rewarding Charles for using the Inspector General’s office to damage Governor Strickland.

A reporter at the press conference asked about a conflict of interest in the appointment, and rather than addressing the question, Kasich launched into a long rant, saying that he shouldn’t be forced to answer questions about transparency. He blamed the media for asking about “all this ‘transparency’ and ‘conflicts’ and all this other stuff.” He even said that those who want open government are “hurting our kids.”

Make no mistake: Over the next four years, John Kasich will try to hide the actions of his administration from the people of Ohio. The ...people... need ... to hold John Kasich accountable. ...

Kasich also decided to hide applications for taxpayer-funded jobs, depriving the people of Ohio from knowing if he is using our tax dollars to hire a bunch of his cronies rather than the most qualified candidates. In addition, Kasich is going to move the Governor’s office out of public view – from the Statehouse to the 30th floor of an office building.

This type of secrecy might have worked for John Kasich on Wall Street, but it won’t work for the people of Ohio."

Transparency in government is what the people want. The people want to know that their elected officials are not making underhanded deals against the taxpayers. For the next four years, this will all change and the secrets will be kept against the will and the law of the people. We still have open-records laws in this state. Keep then open to the public and the media!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Today was an energetic day. I cleaned and rearranged some things in the living room. It's been an old tradition in my family to put up the tree a week before Christmas.

Last year I didn't put up a tree. The season was just not jolly for me. As for this year, I've had a generally rough year for many reasons. But this December, I seem to feel a little more in the spirit of the holidays.

I turned on the radio and listened to Christmas music all afternoon. After moving a few things around, I put up my little Charlie Brown Tree. I love the story of Charlie Brown and his Christmas play and going out to find that little sad looking tree. I found my little tree a couple years ago. It just suits me.

I put one strand of lights on it, to brighten it up. Then got out the package of small items my aunt made me over the years. My aunt does a lot of needle-work and handmade all the ornaments I put up today. I dressed my little goose under the tree and then began wrapping gifts. I don't have a long list this year, but for about half a dozen people it's the thought that counts.

To everyone out there, have a very happy holiday season, Merry Christmas, and I hope all your wishes come true. One of mine did this month - maybe that's what put me in the "spirit."

Thursday, December 16, 2010


All policemen, firefighters, teachers, correction officers and others better prepare, because our newly elected Governor wants to derail Ohio and many years of hard work and history. This state will be destroyed in the next four years and it will take a lot of work to restore it after we vote him OUT in the next election. He doesn't care about Ohioans, he just wants to ruin Ohio's history and good programs. He already gave away many Ohio jobs by rejecting the Ohio rail money (it went to other states for their jobs programs). This item was in the news:

Chairman Chris Redfern Statement on Gov.-elect Kasich’s Plans to Dismantle Collective Bargaining

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement in response to Gov.-elect John Kasich’s announced plans to dismantle collective bargaining for public sector unions:

“By attacking collective bargaining, Gov.-elect Kasich wants to turn back the clock twenty-five years on working people in Ohio. His plans are devastating to the hardworking men and women who teach our children, keep us safe and provide other vital services to our communities throughout the state. John Kasich of all people should understand the consequences of his anti-working families agenda, since he grew up as the son of a public sector union member who benefited from collective bargaining.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today, “Kasich has made it clear that dismantling Ohio's collective bargaining law will be a top priority of his administration.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today, December 15, 2010, marks 17 years since Proclamation 6639 was signed by President William Jefferson Clinton. The Proclamation makes each December 15th National Firefighters Day, a day to honor ALL firefighters for their service to our cities, towns, and country.

If you have a firefighter in your family, or if you know a firefighter, please say thank you to them for their dedication to their job. If you don't know a firefighter, call your local department and tell them you appreciate their service. Remember, if your home is burning, they are the ones who will come to rescue you and/or your pets. They risk their lives to save others.

On this day, I will say my personal thank you to a great guy and friend, a man who has spent the last 18 years leading his men and department through trying times and many fires. After many years in fire service, the last 18 as Chief, he will be greatly missed next February when he retires. He may be replaced in the job, but his shoes will never be filled. He is admired as "one of a kind." Several years ago, I had been on fire scenes and seen his leadership in action. He is truly dedicated to his profession. I salute you Dan for all you have done for this community for so many years. (Also, thanks to my special friends Roger W., Martin R., and John L. for all you do.)

Here's a copy of 6639:

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

This year our Nation's firefighters will respond to more than 2,300,000 fires and 8,700,000 additional emergencies. They will, as they do every year, save thousands of lives and millions of dollars worth of property through their dedicated efforts. Their job is, by far, one of the Nation's most dangerous, and their sacrifices are many.

In an average year, 110 firefighters are killed in the line of duty. Fully 50 percent of all firefighters are injured in valiant service each year. Although the work of these brave men and women is not often adequately recognized, they are quite often the very first people we can expect to respond--day or night--when the safety of our lives or our homes is in jeopardy.

At a time when our Nation is rededicating itself to the idea of caring for others, it is important that we recognize those who daily risk---and sometimes forfeit--their lives to help their fellow Americans. Our Nation offers special thanks to its firefighters on December 15th, "National Firefighters Day." Let this be a day to remember the men and women who protect us and who have given their lives in the line of duty. They all are heroes. By honoring them, we pay special tribute to the spirit of community and unselfishness that is such an integral part of their character. Firefighters are inspirational examples for all of us and are worthy of our highest praise for their tireless devotion to fulfilling their sacred responsibilities to society.

Let us also thank the generous members of the many organizations that constantly work toward the mutual goals of firefighter health and safety.

To enhance public awareness of the courage and supreme devotion of our Nation's firefighters, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 272, has designated December 15, 1993, as National Firefighters Day, and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 15, 1993, as National Firefighters Day. I call upon all public officials and the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I must say today was a most unusual day. Somewhere I read that the day you were born is suppose to be your best day of a week. Being born on a Monday, I have never been afraid to start a new week on the "back to work" day. It might be because the two jobs I've had in the past 15 years were not typical Monday through Friday jobs. I usually worked weekends.

Around noon today, someone rang my door bell and said he was going to shovel my driveway, at no charge. I watched as it quickly got cleared of snow and thanked him. My doctor sure wouldn't want me to do it. My first thought was a "miracle" to start my day. (Now I won't have to call John to do it, so I can get out for my appointment tomorrow.)

My second "miracle" and bigger shock of the day was from the mailman. Our regular guy was on vacation today, so I saw an unfamiliar mailman come up on my porch. I decided to meet him at the door about 2:30 pm. He handed me two packages. I knew I was expecting a couple things ordered for the holidays, so I sat on the couch to check them out.

As I read the return label of the first package, the address was all too familiar and quite surprising. It was the return address of my deceased brother, who died in July of this year. I must admit I sat quite stunned just looking at the box for a few minutes before I could open it. What was it and why was I receiving it? Many thoughts were floating about in my mind as I reached for the scissors to cut the tape.

One of the reasons I was stunned is because I didn't learn of my brother's death until about three months after the event. I had written to him earlier in the year, and received a letter in response, but the letter did not mention his frail health. His friend had written the letter for him at the time. My brother's friend wrote a generic letter to all the family members regarding the death, and we received them about the same time. Subsequently, several phone calls were exchanged by the recipients as to why it took three months to let us know.

My oldest brother left home six months before I was born and headed off to live the rest of his life in California. The only time I have ever visited California, when I saw him, was 1964. My mother and I visited him during our week out there. He took us to a Japanese restaurant for dinner, and I still have the photos of the evening.

The first thing I saw after opening the box was a Christmas card with a letter enclosed. The letter was the explanation as to why I was receiving it. It was an item formerly belonging to my paternal grandmother. The reason I was getting it was because I was the last of my father's living children. All three of my brothers are now deceased. I have 5 nieces/nephews as a result of two brothers.

The item was a glass pitcher signed and dated by my grandmother in the year of my father's birth (1896). She liked arts and crafts. She had given the item to my brother as he left for California to keep as a remembrance of her. I will now put it in my curio cabinet and treasure it always. My mother told me a lot about my grandmother, since she died just after my brother left Ohio. I never knew her personally, but I have many family photos from the olden days to keep her memory alive. One photo has always been in my bedroom on display, along with a photo of my parents, both deceased. I'm sure I will do as requested in the note and keep this treasured item in the family for future generations to cherish.

I believe miracles DO happen, when you are least expecting them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I like Christmas music, but NOT before Thanksgiving. Most all the radio stations play Christmas music almost all day long during December.

I have a fancy for non-traditional type Christmas music ever since I heard the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I love their music. They appeared on Goodmorning America and they compared their Wizards in Winter song (which IS my favorite) to "Pink Floyd meets A White Christmas."

The first time (a few years ago) the news covered a holiday lighting display that was set to computer generated music/lights was set to this song. That song was what made the band a favorite of mine. It's engaging and delights the senses. I can't help but close my eyes and feel like I'm directing a large orchestra of instruments as the melody flows. I must share it with you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


The following news item proves that struggling seniors don't count in this current Republican congressional makeup of obstructionism. The Republicans are more interested in helping their rich friends so they can get huge campaign contributions in order to buy more elections. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer with Republican ideals. It's time they faced reality and lived in our world, instead of the world of the rich and luxuries. Three cheers for our Senator Sherrod Brown who UNDERSTANDS!

"Legislation that would provide a one-time payment of $250 to nearly 1.5 million Ohio seniors and nearly 4,000 Fayette County seniors was voted down Wednesday due to "concern about the deficit."

The legislation, the Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010 - co-sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) - would have provided a one-time, $250 check to senior citizens to offset the rising costs of prescription drugs and other necessities. In October, the Social Security Administration announced that there would be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for Social Security recipients for the coming year.

The bill failed Wednesday in both the House and the Senate.

"While many seniors are hurting, so too are American working families. Increasing our nation's crushing deficit is on the backs of our children by an additional $14 billion is wrong," said Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas).

The measure would have cost approximately $13 billion.

Sen. Brown, who held a teleconference earlier in the day attended by the Record-Herald about the legislation, took to the Senate floor after the vote and ripped Republicans for their vote.

"With today's vote, Senate Republicans have sent a clear message to Americans," he said. "They want to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires that already have plenty in their pockets, but they can't be bothered to help senior citizens afford prescription drugs or pay their home heating bills. Given that times continue to be so difficult for many middle-class American families, it seems like Republicans are living in some alternate universe where people aren't having trouble making ends meet or finding it hard to put food on the table every night."

Earlier Wednesday, Brown released a county-by-county analysis showing the number of senior citizens that would have benefited from the $250 payment. The release said that 3,940 Fayette Countians would have received relief."

I hope they defeat this current compromise on the tax bill. The rich should NOT get any more favors or gifts. They don't create jobs or we would not have the unemployment rates we do now. They invest in jewels, furs, real estate, and other luxuries, NOT our jobs. The rich have enough, it's time for the poor and middle class to be recognized. It's time for them to pay their debt for all their fancy living. The middle class people are the ones who spend regularly to feed their families, clothe their children, and buy necessities which keep the manufacturers of these goods in business. Reality is what it is and Congress is NOT seeing it. They are too greedy and power hungry.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


The new theme in the United States Senate:

The poor need their unemployment benefits; Don't Ask Don't Tell is outdated and wrong; we need a Treaty with Russia - we don't need another conflict; and the rich can take care of themselves. They aren't going to take care of us. Their jewelry, furs and cars are their passion - and donating to political campaigns to buy elections is their game. It's time the Senate got to work for the people instead of padding their pockets.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Hanukkah (sometimes spelled "Chanukah") is known as the Festival of Lights, a Jewish holiday that commemorates Israel's freedom from the oppressive Syrian-Greek rule and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Most Hanukkah traditions take place at home. Each night we light a special lamp called called a menorah or hanukkiah, we play dreidel, and we sing songs. In recent times, under the influence of Christmas, Hanukkah has also become a popular gift-giving holiday.

It is customary to eat deep-fried foods to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah, in which a cruse of oil lasted for eight days instead of one. Some of these foods include:

• Latkes
• Jelly donuts
• Fried torzellio
• Spiced hot chocolate
• Bimuelos

I graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and when I was in school many years ago, my high school had a 65% Jewish population. I remember going to school while many students were off on religious holiday. At Christmas time, schools were closed for the religious holiday. I was always very understanding of that fact of life. During my four years in high school, I also learned from my fellow classmates - acceptance, tolerance, and many facts concerning different cultures and religions. I believe that was my youthful introduction to acceptance of the differences in mankind and the fact that my home-life taught me not to have prejudices for race, religion, or orientation.

Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate this holiday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I am part of a dream. Fr/Dr. Frank X. Klamet saw the need for a residential maternity home for homeless pregnant women in this county (and surrounding counties). Angels Awaiting Maternity Home was formed earlier this year in an effort to meet this need, in honor of Dr. Klamet's dream. It is now an Ohio non-profit 501C(3) organization, with all donations being tax deductible.

My Angels Awaiting group is involved in a fundraising effort. We are working to get a home built, furnished and opened in the Spring of 2011. Toward that effort, we have sent letters to most all business and community entities in the county. To reach other areas, we have little yellow and red houses (built and generously donated by Home Depot)for collection of monetary donations.

A county resident, knowing of our efforts, asked that a donation box be brought to his place of business, with the bosses approval, so that he and his fellow employees might participate. Each donation box is usually placed at a location for two weeks, then moved to another entity. We are hoping that all local people will support our effort.

The box was placed, pursuant to the request, and picked up two weeks later. To the amazement of our group, when the box was checked, not one dime or dollar was there. Empty. Not one employee participated in our fundraising effort - even after being requested. We are all in economic hard times, but that place is a well-paying entity.

I am saddened by this lack of empathy, and especially for the lack of help from the requester himself. It just goes to show that they want compensation and city benefits for themselves, but when asked to give back - ????

Wednesday, December 1, 2010