Amherst News-Times, 2002-02-20
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Nord singers score — Page 5 Three wrestlers go to districts — Pag< Amherst News-Time O H» o o O VO I X I— 00 M M c u* o o X X CO < X M c m m (/) — (/)«*» X H M 3> O *^. ~ 9 > H M < n •». r- W WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 20(12 AMHERST, OHIO IS) m Water rates have questions, ire risinc 10 ro by AMY PERSINQER News-Times reporter The ire of some members of council is going up along with the water rates in the city of Amherst Mayor John Higgins announced to council Feb. 11 that he had sent out letters to members of the community informing them of an upcoming water rate increase. The increase, which will take effect March 1, will be between 84 cents and $1.13 per cubic foot Higgins said that the city had put off raising the rates for about a year after both of the cities that Amherst gets it's water from, Lorain and Elyria, raised the rates they charge for water. Higgins told the council that the water department would be bankrupt in about four months if they didn't increase the rates the residents paid for their water. The Safety Service director Sherrill McLoda, can raise water rates without council's approval. The interest the water department fund collects goes into the general fund and some council members indicated that they felt the city would be better served if the money stayed in the water department's fund. Councilman Steve P'Simer asked the Law Director, Kenneth Stumphauzer, to prepare an opinion indicating the legality of the interest not following the fund. Council agreed 4-2 to ask for the opinion. P'Simer speculated that a rate increase might be unnecessary if the interest had stayed with the fund. Higgins responded that the money was needed in the general fund and that the interest from other funds the city holds go into the general fund, as well. In a telephone interview Councilwoman Jennifer Wasilk said that she doesn't think it's wise for a city to depend on the interest from it's peripheral funds to support the general fund. She said the interest rate plunge of recent months is a good indication why. She also said services are expanded based on the income of interest and when those rates drop significantly, as they have recently, then the city faces a tremendous shortfall. "You never hire or purch ase based on interest rates," she said. "Or you're going to have to make tough decisions." At the council meeting Wasilk asked Higgins about the line loss the city faces every month. She said Higgins had told them previously that the loss was 60 percent but the mayor said it was about 33 percent Wasilk wondered if the line loss was lowered if the city could avoid raising rates. Utilities Superintendent Ron Murphy said in a telephone interview that the term "line loss" causes some confusion when discussing the amount of water that goes through the water department He said often it isn't a loss, it's just unbilled usage. "Water 'loss' is not accu rate," he said, "fires, flushing hydrants when a resident complains of the water color, et cetera, all of that is covered by the general rate." Murphy said there were other reasons the "line loss" doesn't indicate inefficiency. The city experiences several breaks each year, depending on how cold it is, with thousands of gallons of water pouring out, Murphy said. Murphy said the 60 percent figure was an internal number indicating how much water was not accounted for in an individual month. He said that the number was inflated because there is a fifteen day period when the meters are being read. He said that water is later accounted for and over the course of the year the average unbilled usage was 28 percent. Murphy also said the American Water Works Association estimates a national unbilled usage of 15-20 percent "Our goal is 20 percent There are cities with less," he said, "and cities with a lot more." Murphy also said slow meters is a large part of loss. Meters are very costly to replace. He said they are changed as they are damaged or need repair, but to replace them all at $100 a piece plus labor costs would cost the city over a half million dollars. its. Religions unite locally to help and to educate by AMY PERSINGER News-Times reporter In a year full of terrorist bombings, anthrax deaths and war, there is little wonder that fear is sneaking in through the cracks of the American veneer. But one local Muslim woman and a local Christian church aren't going to let those disasters aad that fear further polarize tne members of the two faiths who, along with Judaism, were the religious foundations of the west- em world, if they can help it Twenty-seven-year-old Yvonne Maffci was raised Catholic by Sicilian and Puerto Rican parents. She is a graduate of Marion Steele High School and Ohio University with a degree in International Studies and now teaches Spanish at Lake Ridge Academy. Stephanie Bikel has been the pastor of the Brownhelm Church of Christ for six-and- a-half years. Toward the end of last year she put the word out that she'd like to have someone come to her church and discuss the religion of Islam with them. Eventually, someone gave Maffci's name and phone number to Bikel and Bikel's name and phone number to Maffci. Maffci called Bikel and they planned her first visit to the church in .December. They asked her to come back and give another presentation Feb. 11. Maflei said that some of the most serious problems non-Muslim Americans are having about Islam really don't have anything to do with Islam at all. She said many things that are perceived as Muslim are actually cultural, not religious. Two of the most glaring examples are violence and hatred for the west and mistreatment of women. Maflei said that Islam is not teaching people to be violent or to hate non-Muslims. She said that terrorism is not condoned in any way by the teaching of Islam. She said the violence of those purporting to be killing for .Allah is preceded by a complex layer of factors. "Muslims do not think what happened on Sept 11 is justified," Muflei said in an interview, "There was even a Mosque in the World Trade Center. We want to get to the bottom of this." She said that the issues that lead to violence are imbedded in politics, not religion. The regions where violence is becoming commonplace are mired in political and economic strife. The people there are hungry, frustrated and suffering, she said. "But that doesn't mean there is a justification for violence," she said, "Islam forbids suicide. Murder is forbidden." She also said that those who arc *advocating violence have a distorted understanding of Islam. She said that those people who are frustrated and hungry and suffering are being manipulated by people serving their own end. The mistreatment of women is not based on the true Islam, either, Maflei said. That too, is based in the culture not the Koran "Oppression is cultural. Patriarchal societies have lost the concept of Islam. It liberated CONTINUED on page 8 Riding in sunshine This family is taking advantage of a slightly warm, sunny day recently as they donned their helmets and went for a ride on their bikes. Dad, Nathan Arlington, is joined by his son, Nicholas and daughter, Emily, on the ride. Amherst mother's video helps prepare children by AMY PER8MOER News-Times reporter The old adage is that practice makes perfect What better time to start practicing for that first trip to the dentist than in February — National Children's Dental Health Month? It was the idea practice makes perfect that motivated Amherst resident Claudia Miller-Snyder to create a children's video about a kid's first trip to the dentist just over a year ago. Miller-Snyder co-founded Boggle Goggle Enterprises with Martha Seely and together they produced the video 'Pinatta's view — A Trip to the Dentist*. The video depicts a young girl's first trip to the dentist with her mother. What is unusual is that it's portrayed from a 40-inch-high angle — the perspective of a young child. Miller-Snyder shows how big and different things seem to young children. Miller-Snyder advocates play acting with children to prepare them for those things that seem scary because they're big and different She said that is how she prepared her daughter to go to the dentist for the first time and the video helps other parents to do the same for their children. In the video, the little girl and her mother have been practicing going to the dentist, too, and though she is nervous the practice had made her ready. Again, the whole time she is in the dentist's office, the camera's view is that of a little child. The video won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award for 2002 and when it was first released won the Aegis Award and the Inter- CONTINUED on page 11 Breakfast of champs Members of the winters sports teams at Ma- on L. Steele are treated with an early morning reakfast recently at the high school. According > Erich Frombach, the new Dean of Students, N is a tradition the school is hoping to start to thank them for their hard work and to with them good luck on their upooming tournaments. ADBA has plans for wall by AMY PERSINQER News-Timee reporter Some business owners downtown hope to see mare shoppers downtown eqjoying open air markets and a beautified Tenney St wall. At the Feb. 7 meeting of the Amhem Downtown and Betterment Association. Lesia Boytchuk-Schneider. ihe city's Main Street director reported plans to host a silent auction at the old Post Office widi the protests jofaf toward the revfcattzafai of the Teoaey St wad. The proposed alteration of the wall would include false storefronts along the length of the wall. The facades would be extended away from the wall, not simply painted on, providing an area for an open air nunfcet in the summer. There would also be a .ADBA president Dave Fox said that there might be some volunteers available to do die work once plans have been drawn up. Judy Rucknsfd of the Design Review Bored said the ADBA could conduct a available along the wall to continue to post city events. This nury be a protected area, m____ — — -- — —— -A\ _u*l__t ■ * ■ - * — mm covered wan ptarroc, Also included on the Tenney wan would be Ohio's Biceuiounial tone. «aa»"aamaammmamawammmmma done by the dty for the Safety City. The buildups represented ia Safety City ware purchased by city businesses with the money going to the ronaroction of the children's area. The auction win be called CONTINUiOunpafe11 '■ I II ■ ? T
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 2002-02-20|
|Date of Original||20-FEB-2002|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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