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How to coordinate the war on drugs in Portage County and get more bang for the buck?
That topic came up in a Ravenna Community Improvement Corporation meeting I attended Wednesday and Dominic Bellino, the banker, sensibly suggested the commissioners designate an agency with expertise to coordinate the war.
The gist of the discussion was that many capable organizations are stepping up to help deal with the problem: the University Hospitals Portage County Medical Center, Coleman, the Portage County Health Department, Family & Community Services, Catholic Charities, and the Portage County Sheriff's Department to name, but a few.
All are excellent organizations that bring professionalism to the war on drugs, but the money available to tackle the crisis is limited. To maximize the effectiveness of the money available, naming a lead organization might help.
The money raised by the sales tax increase to expand the county jail flows through the Portage County Commissioners so they by necessity would be the ones to designate the coordinator.
Golfing great Ben Curtis, keynoter at Leadership Portage County's Leadership Conference & Showcase April 6th at NEOMED, personifies community leadership and in that respect was an excellent choice to set the tone for the conference.
In 2013, Curtis and his wife, Candace, founded The Ben Curtis Family Foundation to help alleviate childhood hunger. Ben, who prior to the PGA was a top student golfer for Kent State in the MAC, and Candace, a Kent native, have made Kent their home and the focus is local.
Ben described the Birdie Bag concept. The bags go home with students in need on each of the 10 long weekends throughout the school year and each bag contains nine meals and six snacks. More than 900 children in six schools benefit from the program which continues to grow.
Ben told those of us in the audience that nearly half the students in the participating schools lack sufficient nutritious food in their diets, an appalling figure for a country that is the wealthiest on earth.
Benjamin Thomas Wolf may not be a household name in Portage County, but if he wins his bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives next year, the Roosevelt High School alumnus may be well on the way to becoming one.
Benjamin is the son of educator Bob Wolf and the late Kathy Wolf, a math teacher at Kent State. Bob is a former superintendent of Waterloo, who served briefly as interim superintendent at Streetsboro Schools. He is currently with the Summit County Educational Service Center.
Benjamin has had a career with the FBI where he worked for years in its National Security Division on the highest priority terrorism, intelligence and international security matters. He eventually transferred to the U.S. State Department as an executive advisor and earned a commission as a Foreign Service Officer.
In that capacity, he served four U.S. secretaries of state and advised dozens of U.S. ambassadors. His service in the Foreign Service included five tours of duties in Iraq plus assignments in other nations, several of which are dangerous spots if you're an American.
Benjamin's interest in seeking a seat in the House of Representatives was whetted last year by a notice by the Chicago Tribune that it would make no endorsement for the congressman in the Chicago district where he lives.
"It made me recognize how badly the government had failed the people of Chicago," he said. A Democrat inspired by Bernie Sanders, Benjamin's platform is heavy on social concerns: lowering the rate on education loans, a national agenda to address mental health issues, advocacy for people with disabilities, a reduction in the American military agenda, plus closing Guantanamo, where the right to a speedy trial, guaranteed to American citizens, does not apply.
Benjamin graduated from Roosevelt in 1993 and Kent State in 1998. He is completing his doctorate in pychology. So far, his campaign accepts no corporate donations and relies on small donations from individuals.
Former Kent Councilman Chris Myers chose the "La Marseillaise" for his stint as guest conductor of the KSU Orchestra at its gala fund-raiser last week and said he did so out of memories of World War II and the French resistance.
A retiree who owns a student rental on South Willow Street, Chris said he learned to love classical music as a youngster because of an uncle who had a good collection of classical music on 78-rpm records.
The Kent native said he and his brother and sister would spend Sundays at their grandfather's where his uncle, Jay W. Warner, also lived. He would play his classical music for them, Chris said.
An avid fan of the Kent State Orchestra, who regularly attends their concerts, Chris called the Orchestra one of the area's best-kept secrets.
"We've got to do something about that," he said.
Guest conductors win the right to conduct by bidding in an auction the night of the Orchestra Society's big fund-raiser. Auction proceeds support scholarships for student musicians.
No final statistics yet, but we keep hearing colleges and universities, including Kent State, are not attracting as many international students, an unfortunate effect of all the anti-foreign rhetoric that arose during the presidential campaign and its aftermath.
The internationals pay out-of-state fees to institutions so a decrease could impoverish those schools that enroll them. From World War II until this past year, America has welcomed internationals who bring their talents, brains, and strong work ethic and enrich our country. If our nativists prevail and the internationals no longer feel welcome, they will not come. The USA may end up the poorer for it.
From above:..How to coordinate the war on drugs in Portage County and get more bang for the buck?...
*** That is all they want...(the buck) TAX MONEY...$$$
Mr. Dix and the Professionals are living in Fantasy Land...
The organizations mentioned above just want more cash, their slice of the "IMPOSED TAX" pie...$$$$$...
Coordinate the War on Drugs..???
Don't give these professional pin-heads a nickel more of tax money, for a Portage County War on Drugs.....
The Professionals cannot keep drugs out of the PRISONS...
Read todays Local News RC article:..Inmates abusing opioid meant to help addicts Suboxone strips easy to sneak into prisons...By ALAN JOHNSON The Columbus Dispatch Published: April 16, 2017 4:00 AM...
*** If a secured, controlled area, such as a prison, armed with guards, guns, barb-wire, scanners, cameras, and cavity searches, can't stop drugs from getting into PRISON,...
What makes the Professionals think they can Coordinate a War on Drugs, in Portage County, and win..???
That is Good Spin and Talking Points;...but,...
The Pin-Heads/Shrinks/Judges with their AGENDA, just want your tax dollars... $$$$......
All the money in the world will not solve the drug problem...It only treats the Effects....
To solve the drug problem, you have to fix the cause, Human Nature....
The REAL WAR in Portage County, is the War on the County Taxpayer...