Amherst News-Times, 2002-09-11
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I Cancer survivor helps others — Page 2 | Legion to honor victims today Pa< Amherst News-Time « f W I I)\l SHAY, Si nr 1 I. 2(102 AMHIRS I , OHIO Residents say bridge design dangerou O M o o Olfill r~ OD M M c tn o o 2 X B< I H c n t-i <S> r- i--, si 3 -H M X« O -. 73 <s> 3> (-< r < o -.. m j> is r- W W O o l-t m -t -< o X 1 •-* by JASON HAWK News-Times reporter The Jackson Street Bridge issue came to a head last Tuesday night when 28 troubled residents made a show of force at a special meeting to address the project's flagging progress. Residents filled council chambers and spilled out into the corridor at City Hall, sitting in an assortment of chairs pulled from city offices. Alvin Miller, 638 Jackson St. pointed a finger at project planners. "Anyone who had anything to do with the construction of the Jackson Street Bridge as it is right now is to blame for its condition," he said. "This includes the contractors, subcontractors, engineer, administration, and city council." He also claimed that the problem was not limited to Jackson Street "Every citizen of Amherst has paid taxes for the construction of this bridgc.if this is any indication of the use of tax dollars, I hope we all remember this bridge when casting votes for city government" he said. City engineer Milt Pommeranz claimed that the major delays in construction are the direct results of the railroad over which the bridge is built Because the city has an easement over the railway, permission to build must be obtained and building specifications must be approved by the railroad company. Railroad representatives and federal law, said Pommeranz, demanded that the bridge be raised two feet to give proper clearance for passing trains. "Yes, it's taking a long time," he said "But dealing with the railroad is not an easy thing...a lot of times they're hard to get a hold of. We have records and certified letters from five or six occasions where we got our receipts back, but the railroad didn't reply to our requests to cooperate," he said. Citizens also voiced safety concerns, stating that they don't believe the retaining wall will be sufficient to stop accidents from damaging neighboring property or endanger- CONTINUED on page 10 I Cops cruise the night with power, goals by JASON HAWK 1 i News-Times reporter 2:52 p.m.: I was astounded at my own cleverness when I waltzed into the Amherst Police Department with a Dunkin Donuts box in my hand. I'm not one to push a stereotype; I just wanted to bring the boys in blue a thank you for letting me ride along in a police cruiser for the evening. Honest Sargent Brian Brancatelli just shook his head when he saw me standing there, grinning like a fool and proffering an assortment of jelly-filled and glazed pastries. 3:10 p.m.: I found out just how much firepower a police officer packs when Brancatelli ran through his shift checklist While he started up his police cruiser and checked his equipment he showed me the virtual arsenal he keeps in car 108. Brancatelli checked the ammunition in his standard issue 12-gauge shotgun that he keeps in the car. "You don't want to go out on duty without knowing that everything's loaded up the way it's supposed to be," he said. "In this case, it could mean the difference between life and death if I didn't have the shotgun loaded and ready to go. I had to look twice at the semiautomatic weapon that he checked next "Since Columbine and 9-11, more officers are choosing to aim themselves with long range weapons," he said, showing me the finer points of his high-point 9mm car- . bine rifle. "If officers at Columbine had been able to get f: closer, they might have been able to disable suspects before all those kids got killed," he said. . I wouldn't want to mess with Sgt Brancatelli when he just had his 9mm pistol bolstered on his hip. Knowing what was * in his cruiser made me swear off any future illegal activity. 3:25 p.m.: I decided that there was another good reason to avoid getting on the law's bad side as Brancatelli gave me a thorough tour of the police station and its jail facilities. Some might make cracks about Club Fed, but I sure aim to stay out of those cells. For one thing, I doubt that the room service in the detoxification cell is very good. 3:45 p.m.: I mulled over calling my wife to tell her I was in a police car, but thought better of it Brancatelli and I hit ;. the road as he started his patrol shift While waiting for service calls to come in from the dispatcher, Brancatelli kept his eyes open for traffic violations. We took a meandering, unplotted route through town. "We're keeping visible," Brancatelli told me. "That's a big part of my job. The more visible we are, the less likely people are to commit a crime." I took the opportunity to ask him about some urban legends. "No, there's no such thing as police quotas," he laughed at me, although he added that there are some things that bother Sgt. Brian Brancatelli and Fire Chief Ralph Zilch talk over the situation on Park St., where emergency personnel responded to a him more than others. "My pet peeve is excessive noise," he said. "The entire department also has a zero-tolerance policy about seat belt use. If we pull you over and you're not wearing your seat belt you will be cited." 4:30 p.m.: Our first stop of the afternoon was in the Giant Eagle parking lot on Cooper Foster Park Road, where Brancatelli confronted a female juvenile who reportedly was involved in an incident of road rage on Route 2. She was advised about her behavior. 4:39 p.m.: Minutes later, we pulled around the back of the old Ames building on Cooper Foster Park Road, where two call of smoke in the basement. Firefighters cleared the area and, after an investigation, declared the residence safe. juveniles in a red Cougar were parked. Brancatelli told the two obviously embarrassed juveniles that they were trespassing and warned them to leave the property. They insisted that they "were just talking." 5:15 p.m.: We answered a call to a Park Street residence that reported smoke in the basement Firefighters cleared the area without problem, though Brancatelli warned the house's inhabitants to clean up the inside of the residence to avoid future problems with other government agencies. The head of household thanked city personnel CONTINUED on page 12 fl 56th District candidates spar during cable TV debates here \ i ■ Candidates for the 56th District State House of Representatives squared off last Wednesday night in the first of five debates that are part of the WACC Cable Television series, "Your Choice, Your Voice: The Amherst Election Debates." Republican candidate Dan Williamson challenged Democratic incumbent Joseph Koziuraat the moderated debate's taping at Marion L. Steele High School, where repor- ten. iiicluding Jason Hawk of the aVa-aberst News-Tunes, Angela Inge ion the C*ronkle-Teaegram, and Ism Sullivan from the Lorain Morning Journal, served as panel members. The reporters posed questions to the two candidates, ranging in sub- fact from fiscal policy aad school i-nding to tax abatement proposals. Williamson, an Amherst Town- who works for the Motor Company and is a mem- of the united AinoWorkors.de- Ui oDenfcK ttsatfaents fiat stating that he believes Ohio is facing a crisis. "First and foremost is the state budget crunch that we have been experiencing,*' he said. "We are also facing a steady loss of jobs in our communities...we've got problems with abandoned industrial sites and pollution. We have problems preparing our work force for the.21st century. These are all problems that I wish to address." Williamson claimed that he would be able to address the problems of the constituency because he has extensive experience in customer service. Koziun, a Lorain resident with extensive experience in gcvernment began his opening statement by i ing that the state is at a The next few years win deter or iw Ohio oacea^awafirrt-ratr>ds*Jata%crsoes back to being a second or third me CONT***UfDonpage12 Putting spare time to use who Is painting taftposts County. Thty art otonating hwira to cto trae vokintaar -yofscttafout-rflxfa-an that Fore* plant Is r*iMtsdtobuAdanswmr)det.
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 2002-09-11|
|Date of Original||11-SEP-2002|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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