Category Archives: Kevin


2018 Election Tools

With the change to fall and the start of October, it’s time to start looking at the upcoming election in November. Seeing as how this is a mid-term election, not to mention the non-stop controversies which seem to afflict every  branch of the government right now, it is safe to say that this year’s election is very important. What is also important is making sure that I am an informed voter and not just voting a straight party ticket or making random selections on the ballot when I don’t know anything about the candidates. To that end, here are some of the tools I am using to research the candidates and issues on the ballot for Ohio and Medina County next month.

  • Ohio Secretary of State Elections page – This resource provides information on statewide elections (results and calendar), Ohio election candidates, and important information for voters.
  • Medina County Board of Elections website – This is where I go to check out what the ballot will be for the upcoming election. I can also verify my voting status and arrange to vote early or via absentee ballot from here. Your county elections board site will have similar resources for you.
  • Ballotpedia – This is one of two sites dedicated to gathering information about what will be on the ballot across the country. Since the site is a wiki, information about who or what is on the ballot is updated as it is discovered and vetted. The site is non-partisan and non-profit, making it an excellent source of information for voters all over the country.
  • Vote Smart – This site is very unique while also very resourceful. Another site which is non-profit, Vote Smart depends on many volunteers and workers who research each and every candidate gathering a comprehensive snapshot of the candidates based on their biographical data, voting record, finances, and public statements. The organization is as independent and balanced as possible, which you can read about on their About page.

What do you use to inform yourself about upcoming elections?

UPDATED 5/26 – Kevin’s 2018 Baseball Tour


There are two activities I love to follow in the summer – drum corps and baseball.  I’m sure you’re already aware of my drum corps fixation, so let’s talk about baseball for a bit.

I am very fortunate to have a lot of baseball within a couple hours driving of my home. All but one of the Cleveland Indians’ minor league teams are in Ohio. Why they didn’t have their farm system set up this way in the past, I don’t know, but I can see so much of the Cleveland baseball organization so easily now, so I’m not complaining! Continue reading UPDATED 5/26 — Kevin’s 2018 Baseball Tour

2017 Ashland Tubachristmas

I will be playing at the Ashland Tubachristmas this Saturday. For those of you who don’t know, Tubachristmas is pretty much what it sounds like – A bunch of low brass players getting together and playing Christmas carols. We even invite audience participation by singing along! The concert is free to the audience so you don’t have an excuse to come and join in on the festive holiday fun!

Ashland Tubachristmas:
Saturday, December 2nd
Ashland University Hugo Young Theater
Concert starts at 12 Noon
Performer registration at 10 AM ($10 registration fee)
Performer rehearsal at 10:20 AM

See you there!

Joe Deninzon Stratospheerius CD Release Party This Saturday!

While there won’t be explosions like you see in the video of this incredible cover of Muse’s Hysteria (we hope), you WILL experience your mind blowing over the raw power and skill of Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius performing this and many other songs at their Guilty of Innocence CD release party this Saturday at Wilbert’s in downtown Cleveland!

May 2nd, 2017 Medina County Primary/Special Election

Those of you who live in Medina County have a special election coming up in the next couple weeks. For the county, there is an issue on the ballot regarding a proposed renewal and increase of a tax levy for the Medina County Library District. For Republicans, there are also votes on selecting candidates for Judge of the Municipal Court (term commencing on 1/1/18) and Clerk of the Municipal Court.

Here is the description of the proposed tax levy from the ballot, which you can find on the Medina County Board of Elections website:

A renewal of one and one-quarter (1.25) mills and an increase of one quarter (0.25) mill to constitute a tax for the benefit of Medina County Library District for the purpose of current expenses at a rate not exceeding one and one-half (1.5) mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to fifteen cents ($0.15) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a period of ten (10) years, commencing in 2017, first due in calendar year 2018.

Considering the public good which our library system provides us, my opinion is that voting in favor of this issue is a no-brainer.

Norman, Ann. “Medina County District Library seeks to strengthen services with 1.5-mill levy on May ballot.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 14 Apr. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

There are three names on the ballot for the Judge of the Municipal Court position: Gary F. Werner, Frederick C. Bougher, and Joe Salzgeber. There isn’t much about any of these options from my searching online outside of the generic coverage in the local newspapers. Salzgeber did get an endorsement in a letter to the editor, so he is currently my selection on the ballot as well unless I discover something new.

“Medina municipal judge race expands.” Medina Gazette. Medina Gazette, 01 Feb. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

“Brunswick councilman to run for Medina Municipal Court judge.” The Post Newspapers. The Post Newspapers, 18 Feb. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

Rumes, Kevin Wayne. “Joe Salzgeber is a great choice for Medina Municipal Court judge.” The Post Newspapers. The Post Newspapers, 25 Mar. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

Norman, Ann. “May 2 primary to set race for Medina Municipal Court judge.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 14 Apr. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

For the Clerk of the Municipal Court position, incumbent Nancy L. Abbott faces off against challenger Thomas C. Decker. Outside of the Medina Clerk of Court website and a re-election website for Abbott, there is nothing I’ve found regarding either candidate. Abbott is the first elected Clerk of the Municipal Court in Medina County. My personal rule is to vote against the incumbent to ensure there are fresh ideas in the position, especially when the term is for six years, so I am currently voting for Decker on May 2nd.

Be sure to visit the Medina County Board of Elections’ Current Election web page to look up your voter registration information, including your polling place and a sample ballot.

Why Betsy DeVos is NOT Good For America’s Education System

Earlier today, Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Secretary of Education in President Trump’s cabinet. Despite overwhelming public opposition, a hearing in which DeVos showed multiple times her lack of educational experience and knowledge, and two Republican senators who stood up and voted against her appointment, Vice President Pence cast the deciding vote, breaking the tie and pushing the confirmation through.

Betsy DeVos is an ardent supporter of charter schools and vouchers over the existing public school system. This is most evident in her leadership of the American Federation for Children, a nonprofit group which pushes these same agendas. DeVos, however, has no formal education experience or qualifications, as stated earlier. I, as a former elementary school teacher and holder of a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, have both the experience and qualifications to speak first hand as to why charter schools are rarely a good idea for our children’s’ education. Continue reading Why Betsy DeVos is NOT Good For America’s Education System

The “Muslim Ban” and False Equivalence

False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which two opposing arguments appear to be logically equivalent when in fact they are not. This fallacy is categorized as a fallacy of inconsistency.

— “False equivalence.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

On Friday, January 27, at 4:42 PM, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”. The full body of the executive order can be found here.

The backlash was almost immediate. Protests are taking place in cities and airports across the country. Governors and legislators on both sides of the aisle have spoken out opposing the executive order on multiple grounds. This is now the second weekend since President Trump took office in which protests took place.

One of the main reasons for protest comes from section 5(b) of the executive order, which states:

Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.(Emphasis added)

Many have taken that section of the order as proof that the ban is focused on preventing Muslims from entering the United States of America and is religious discrimination. White House cyber security advisor Rudy Guliani comments on the Fox News Channel appear to reinforce that concept:

“I’ll tell you the whole history. When [Mr Trump] first announced it he said ‘Muslim ban’. He called me up, he said, ‘put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally’.

— Eleftheriou-Smith , Loulla-Mae. “Donald Trump asked Rudy Giuliani how to ‘legally’ create ‘Muslim ban’, claims former New York mayor.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 30 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

Some of my friends on social media are calling out the protesters and opponents to the order using two examples of previous presidents who placed bans on refugees and/or revoked visas for foreign nationals. Their point is that there were no protests when these events occurred, so why should there be protests now. I have reviewed these two incidents since one took place when I was only 5 years old and the other I was not aware of, and I’ve found that both of these incidents are false equivalencies. Read on to learn why.

Continue reading The “Muslim Ban” and False Equivalence

2017 San Francisco Renegades Chinese New Year Parade

In 2008, I got to be a Renegade.

No, not that kind of Renegade.

THIS kind:

That’s me in the honor guard of the San Francisco Renegades all-age drum and bugle corps. During the 2008 DCA World Championships, the Renegades put out a call to anybody interested in participating in their honor guard. Notice how smart they were not to give me a weapon. Ironically, I was carrying the Renegades flag in my very first participation of the corps, but it made more sense than carrying the California state flag since I’m an Ohioan, don’t you think?

Now, almost a decade later, I’m going to be a Renegade once again, at least for a day.

On February 11, the Renegades will take part in the 2017 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade. Taking place in downtown San Francisco, the corps will march past over one million spectators with many more people viewing the corps in action on television. As with their 2008 honor guard, the Renegades have put the call out to anybody interested in performing with them in the parade. I’ve been wanting to join in for years but schedules and budgets have not always lined up. What’s more, the 2016 parade looked like the last time the Renegades would take part, so I’m definitely not going to throw away my shot this year!

If you’ll be in San Francsico from February 10-13, let me know. I’ll be in the parade on the 11th, of course, and I’m flying on the 10th and 13th, but I made sure I had the 12th to enjoy my first visit to The City By The Bay. I’ll also be visiting my sister and her family, but would love to see people I normally don’t get to see because we’re in different parts of the country.