ALONG THE WAY: David Dix

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Liz Sidoti, who has been national political editor for Associated Press, has changed career paths and accepted a position with British Petroleum as head of communications for its U.S. operations, based in Washington.

Liz is the daughter of educator Roger Sidoti, the retired Roosevelt High School principal, and his wife, Mary. We are proud to claim that she interned at the Record-Courier when she attended the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Since graduation, she's had a meteoric rise in the world of journalism.

Her father said Liz was looking for a new challenge and the opportunity with BP arose.

A British Petroleum memo says her "deep understanding of the way the news media operate on a national and local basis, her first-hand knowledge of digital and social media and her innate understanding of the way successful campaigns operate will serve her and all of C&EA well."

When Roger and I spoke last week, he said Liz was in Houston getting to know some of her team. A London visit to BP's word headquarters is probably in the works.

Full circle for Kent number

When architect Doug Fuller recently joined the firm of David Sommers & Associates, LLC on the second floor of the Hometown Bank building on Kent's North Water Street, it meant the return of the telephone number that was once used by Charles Kistler, the architect who in the first half of the 20th Century designed buildings that continue to stand throughout Portage County.

Kistler, architect Jeff Myers told me, had his offices where the Sommers offices are now located. Architect Ray Steuber succeeded Kistler and took that telephone number. His firm was bought by architect Prentiss Brown, who then got the telephone number. Doug Fuller bought Prentiss Brown's architectural firm and took the number. Now, the Sommers firm has it and it has traveled back to the building where it first was used. The number is 673-4818 with the 330 prefix.

Doug said he discovered the telephone number had belonged to Kistler several years ago when he was rummaging through some records at the Portage County Historical Society in Ravenna.

He said that the State of Ohio registration number for Kistler was 170, meaning he was the 170th licensed architect in the state. By contrast, Doug's number is 6,298, Dave Sommers' number is 6,340 and Jeff Myers' number is 14,903.

Kent meter plan gets support

At his monthly Kent Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored breakfast, City Manager Dave Ruller said his administrative staff will split up the duties of recently retired Safety Director Bill Lillich and see if some operational savings can be made that way.

"We'll give it six to nine months and we should know by then," he told a record number of attendees. The city manager's breakfast is held monthly Wednesdays at Mike's Place, although the Chamber also holds weekly breakfasts there on the other Wednesdays.

Ruller also characterized the coming parking meter reinstallation in the downtown as an overall parking plan to improve commerce by encouraging those who work in the downtown to find places to long-term park other than right in front of the downtown retail establishments. Downtown businesses have been supportive, he said, and parking meter technology has become so computerized that the meters will compile information to let the city strategize with those whose businesses are in the downtown to promote commerce.

Anne Moneypenny's new job

Chamber executive director Lori Wemhoff at the City Manager breakfast announced a real coup when she introduced Anne Moneypenny as her new administrative assistant.

Anne knows Kent like the back of her hand, having helped her late husband, Rillis Moneypenney, manage hundreds of rental properties in the community, most of them for students. She'll continue to work part-time in that businesss, which was absorbed by Jack Kohl after Mr. Moneypenney died a few years back.

"With the computer, it does not take as much time," Anne said.

As if she didn't have enough to do, Anne works some evenings as the hostess at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center and she's a good one, too.

Open door policy

Youngstown's new mayor, John McNally, on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. gives anyone five minutes to speak directly to the mayor. He started that this past Tuesday and 25 showed up for their five minutes with the city's chief executive. That's more than two hours of listening time for the first session.

According to the Youngstown Vindicator, the talk ranged from potholes to neighborhood blight to ward redistricting and fracking.

The citizen gets the chance to go right to the top. It'll probably catch on. Wonder if the mayor has bitten off too much?

Assembled in China

Al Green, president of Kent Displays, the company that makes the Boogie Board, said that my column item last Sunday needs clarification. The company is a spinoff from the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State. All of the intellectual property and the liquid crystal display material in the device are made here at the plant in Brimfield Township on Portage Road off Mogadore Road.

The liquid crystal paneling is shipped to China to be inserted into the frame. This part of the operation is a commodity that can be done anywhere, Al said. The back of the Boogie Board says "assembled" not "made" in China.

'Ravenna Record' reading today

"The Ravenna Record," the compilation of R-C Editor Roger DiPaolo's columns about Ravenna, remains on sale at all locations of Portage Community Bank and Hometown Bank, in Ravenna at House of Holiday Ornaments, Triangle Pharmacy and Copper Kettle Antiques, and in Kent at McKay Bricker Gallery, the Kent Historical Society and the Record-Courier. All proceeds go to Friends of the Flagpole, the group getting ready to restore the historic flagpole in front of the Portage County Courthouse.

Roger is doing a reading today at 2 p.m. at Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna, where he will sign books, too.

Record-Courier receptionist Diane Reynolds shared a very nice letter from Betty Carter, a Riddle family member, who purchased the book from her home in Hebron, Ky. Mrs. Carter wrote she enjoys the book and remembers many of the places and events in it from her growing up years. She'll be 99 in April.

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