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.

2017 WGI Percussion/Winds Championships Schedule

I have the honor of joining the WGI Social Media team this week in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, helping to cover the events of the 2017 WGI Percussion and Winds Championships taking place from Thursday, April 20, through Sunday, April 23. If you and/or your performing unit will be at WGI this week, take a look below and see if we’ll be in the same place. If so, say hi! You might get a little famous. 😀

If you are going, here are the Facebook and Google+ event pages. Check in so I’ll know you’ll be there!

WGI Percussion Championships
WGI Winds Championships

WGI Percussion Independent Open Prelims
WGI Percussion Independent Open Semis
WGI Winds Prelims
WGI Winds Finals

Thursday, April 20
Percussion Independent Open Prelims
John D. Millett Hall, Miami University

Friday, April 21
Percussion Independent Open Semis
John D. Millett Hall, Miami University

Saturday, April 22
Winds Prelims
Wright State University Nutter Center

Sunday, April 23
Winds Finals
University of Dayton Arena

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.

2017 Ohio Indoor Performance Association Tour Premier – UPDATED 2/9/17

It’s a new year and, in just two weeks, it’s the start of the 2017 indoor guard, percussion, and winds season!

The Ohio Indoor Performance Association celebrates their 10th anniversary this year and the party begins on Sunday, January 22nd, at the annual Tour Premier. Come join the fun at Marion Harding High School as 37 scholastic and independent performing groups make their 2017 debut.

Continue reading 2017 Ohio Indoor Performance Association Tour Premier — UPDATED 2/9/17

2016 TubaChristmas

There are those of you who can’t wait for your favorite radio station to start playing Christmas carols 24/7 and to start celebrating the Christmas season.

I’m not one of those people, BUT I do enjoy playing Christmas carols!

It’s Tubachristmas time again! For those of you who don’t know what this magical event is, imagine hundreds of low brass players (tuba, baritone, euphonium, and even some helicons, serpents, and other low brass instruments no longer in general use) gathering to play your favorite carols while you sing along. The best part is that it’s free for the audience! Continue reading 2016 TubaChristmas

Drum Corps On The Big And Small Screens

We’ve been pretty fortunate over the past few years to have some great exposure for the drum corps activity. In 2013, we saw the release of Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood, a documentary featuring the Madison Scouts. This year, the Fuse Network is broadcasting Clash of the Corps, a reality show following the Blue Devils and the Cadets during this past season, produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Continue reading Drum Corps On The Big And Small Screens

2016 Drum Corps Season Coverage Recap

With the completion of the 2016 drum corps season in North America and Europe, the withdrawal symptoms are starting to set in. I may or may not have searched for videos of corps performances on YouTube and I’m sure you may or may not have, also.

In order to tide you over for a little while, here are the various reviews I wrote for Drum Corps World, the LIVE! From the Stands coverage I performed for Drum Corps Planet, and the photos I took at many of the shows I attended this season. Please feel free to enjoy and share these as we count the days until the 2017 season is upon us.

Continue reading 2016 Drum Corps Season Coverage Recap

2016 Drum Corps Associates World Championships Finals Competition – DCP/DCW Coverage

Whether you are on the field, in the stands, or following the action from home, be sure to join me LIVE From the Stands! for the 2016 Drum Corps Associates Championships Finals Competition! I will be live from the Sahlen’s Stadium press box, giving you live coverage of each performing unit from the first step off to the last note in the Drum Corps Planet discussion forums.

Joining me in the press box will be:

Todd Tanji (Blue Devils, System Blue, Minnesota Brass)
Brent Turner (Stanbury Uniforms, Youth in Music, Minnesota Brass)
Key Poulan (Mandarins, Key Poulan Music)

Joining us from the field and giving us incredible performance photos will once again be Charlie Groh. Charlie will also provide commentary from the press box, adding his experience and wit to an already stacked coverage team.

Once Finals is over, watch for my review of the show in Drum Corps World!

If you’re going to Finals, be sure to check in on the event’s Facebook page!