September 2, 2014

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Example of Category Blog layout (FAQs/General category)
Jehovah may be frowning
Written by Joe Awad   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:08 PM

They did it.
I had great hope the Jehovah’s Witnesses would not play dirty, but they did. A lawsuit against Harrison was inevitable over conflicting philosophies regarding the purpose of the Joint Economic Development District.
The JWs, backed by county commissioners, contend they have a legal right to build an assembly hall in the JEDD. The city contends they don’t because the JEDD’s purpose is to house industry and commercial enterprises that produce income tax and property tax revenue.
The hall is exempt from property tax because it is a church. And there would be no income tax to speak of because a lone groundskeeper, and perhaps his family, would live on the property.

All chips in

But they did it. The JWs played the religious discrimination card.
General allegation No. 25 reads: Upon information and belief, the respondents have colluded to block the development of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Assembly Hall because of religious discrimination.
In all the arguments before various county boards, during council meetings, economic development meetings, and JEDD meetings, city officials demonstrably stated the objection to a house of prayer in the JEDD is based totally on economic reasoning and has nothing to do with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ faith.
If Mayor Joel McGuire said it once, he said it 50 times, that religious beliefs have nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with the objection.

Follow the money
As most things in life, this battle is about money. Property owner Dry Fork Farms is anxious to sell its property inside the JEDD to profit, and the JWs are anxious to own valuable land in an economic district.
Meanwhile, the city wants businesses that yield tax income. City officials also want businesses that attract other tax-yielding businesses. A worship hall is counterintuitive to that position.
The JWs have a track record of buying and eventually selling prime property for profit. Nothing wrong with that, but building a worship center in an industrial park is obnoxious.
Yet, interpretation of a federal law, called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, falls on the side of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Absurd law
Through RLUIPA, enacted in 2000, Congress has expanded religious accommodations to restricting the zoning power of municipalities.
RLUIPA, as it is grossly applied, gives religious landowners special rights to challenge land use laws that secular organizations do not have.
Even if a zoning law is void of discrimination, courts scrutinize municipal regulations throughout the country. That, too, is odious, and represents the overreach of federal government into the affairs of municipalities.
The JWs contend they are being discriminated against because the city won’t provide sewer services for the planned assembly hall.
The JW brass obviously knew the issue would not be resolved without a legal battle, but it must prove that turning down a potential customer is a zoning issue.
There is nothing preventing the faith-based organization from installing a septic system.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ other arguments may be tenable. The demand for a yes or no answer regarding their filed petition for sewer makes sense.
No doubt, the city is biding its time. Officials are in no hurry to accommodate what they don’t want.
But the religious discrimination card - really?

Joe Awad is editor of The Harrison Press.

GoPro captures life on the move
Written by Jack Dominic   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:07 PM

I recently returned from a week of bicycle riding.  This was my 11th RAGBRAI ride, one of the most popular group rides in the world.

Over the years, it has been interesting to see how digital technology has found its way into an event that is based on the bicycle, a device that requires neither bits nor bytes.

When I first participated in this ride, our team used hand-held walkie-talkies to stay in touch with one another.

Over the years, mobile phones have made keeping tabs on fellow team members, dispersed among the 15,000 other riders, much easier. And of course the smartphone, Facebook and Twitter have made sharing the experience with family and friends easy.

This year a new device found its way into this event and into other similar events. It allows participants to share their experiences in a way never before possible. The new device is the GoPro.

The GoPro is a wearable compact digital video camera which has become one of the most successful new electronic gadgets ever. Developed by a small startup only a few years ago, the company is now valued at more than $3.5 billion.  Sales revenue doubled for 2013 from the previous year. You may have seen one attached to a head band, helmet, handlebars or a surf board.

The basic GoPro retails for about 200 bucks and can record, store and playback exceptional quality high definition video and stereo sound. Because the camera is smaller than a pack of cigarettes it can go anywhere.

With several different mounting brackets available, the GoPro can be attached to the user’s body or bike and capture, up close and personal, all the action. is replete with extraordinary videos shot using the GoPro. You can vicariously participate in climbing a mountain, skydive over the Grand Canyon and of course ride a bike through the heartland of America.  There is available a waterproof case that allows the user to take GoPro underwater.

GoPro has changed forever the “wish you were here” vacation mantra on postcards of years gone by. It allows you to “be there.” The images are clear and crisp and rival a quality once only possible with cameras costing thousands of dollars.

As the GoPro and other small cameras become commonplace, they, along with the smartphone cameras, chronicle most every aspect of our lives no matter how mundane.

While sharing extraordinary experiences with those unable to be with you is laudable, the proliferation of these cameras will make it more difficult to maintain privacy.

Models of the GoPro start at $199 for the entry version.  Top of the line models with fancy waterproof cases, special mounting brackets and lenses can cost upwards to $500.  For the money there is no better way to capture the excitement and action of sports and other outdoor activities.

Jack Dominic, a Harrison Township resident is Executive Director of the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting and an adjunct professor at UC. You can read previously published articles at

Relic digging proves worthwhile
Written by Bob Hyle   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:03 PM

Last week, I was dusting off relics from my son’s childhood, some autographed baseballs of famous and near-famous players.

I noticed that three of the balls were autographed by Ken Griffey Jr., Dave Parker, and Ron Oester, who coincidentally were inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

It was perfect that all three went in together because of their shared past as natives of Cincinnati.

I never got to see Oester play while he attended Withrow High School, but I did see Parker play once while I was in high school and he played for the old Courter Tech.

Later, as an intrepid sports reporter for The Record, I got to witness the magic of Junior Griffey as he laced a triple for Moeller against the Harrison Wildcats in a game played at Western Hills High School.

I did not attend any of the hall of fame ceremonies over the weekend, but it was fun to watch on TV, particularly following Friday night’s game when a couple dozen former Reds were introduced and brought onto the field.

I especially was excited to see pitchers Jim Maloney, Jim O’Toole, and Gary Nolan. Nolan wasn’t much older than me when he made his debut for the Reds in 1967.

I also enjoyed seeing three great centerfielders - Cesar Geronimo, Eric Davis, and Griffey Jr. - standing side-by-side.

If only Vada Pinson could have been there, too, what a foursome that would have made.

Time to display them

Now that I’ve converted an old bedroom into an office, I felt it was time to get out my autographed baseballs and work on a proper way to display them.

I have several members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in my collection, including Reds Johnny Bench and Barry Larkin.

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on baseballs signed by hall-of- famers Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, and Gary Carter.

When Griffey joins them in Cooperstown, that will bring my total to six, although, without apology, my Pete Rose autographed ball sits right alongside them.

My favorite is the only autographed ball I ever purchased: one signed by the great Roger Maris.

Maris is not in the Hall of Fame and likely never will get there, but his great performance alongside Mickey Mantle in 1961, documented by the wonderful film 61, despite public opinion being against him, is one of the great baseball stories of all time.

Mementos like mine are wonderful because they trigger great memories. For me it’s baseball, but it doesn’t have to be baseball for everyone.

Today’s generation feels much stronger about football and, to a lesser extent, basketball.

For most Baby Boomers, though, it was baseball. The NFL and the NBA weren’t nearly as important in the 1950s and 1960s as they are today.

Baseball was the National Pastime. It’s a bit of a hollow title today, which is fine, but as long as I have my memories and the opportunity to preserve them, it always will be tops for me.

Bob Hyle covers sports and writes a weekly column for The Harrison Press. He lives in Bright.

Marching in step
Written by Jean Wilson   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:02 PM

The Harrison Recreation Committee thanks everyone who participated in the Harrison July 4th Parade. We had over 50 entries, and many more people marching down the streets of Harrison to help celebrate our nation’s birthday.
The committee congratulates the Coffee Peddler, awarded the Grand Marshall’s Awards, 4-H received the Mayor’s Choice, and Franklin County Antique Tractor was awarded the Harrison Recreation Committee Award.
Many people visited the Harrison Community Center later to enjoy many events from clowns to the magician, and had lots of great choices from many food and drinks vendors.
Music filled the air by Gen-X, who did a great job keeping everyone entertained until the fireworks by Rozzi topped off our evening.
I thank everyone who participated in our activities, and I especially thank the members of the recreation commission: Tom Pack, Mary Faith Roell, Kim Vogelgesang, Kandi Jaeger, Sally Kerr, Patty VanCleve, Kenny VanCleve, Ryan Grubbs and Jim Robertson.
Time after time, they give everything they got to make sure quality fun events come to our community.
I hope everyone had a great time, and here is a tidbit for the Christmas Parade: the theme this year will be The Sounds of the Season. The parade will be Saturday Dec. 6.

Jean Wilson,
Harrison Recreation
Committee Director

Summer Fun program takes many people and supporters
Written by Submitted   
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 12:06 PM

Another Summer Fun session of Harrison Recreation has ended. It was a lot of work to put together six weeks of fun for so many children.

We had more than 100 children, from 5 to 10 years old, sign up this year.
I try hard to make it fun and interesting, and for the children to learn something while on summer


This year, I had much help from 14 councilors and four volunteers who came each day to see that everyone had fun, did interesting things and make new friends and memories.

I have many people to thank who contributed to the success of the program. Among them: Harrison Police Chief Chuck Lindsey, Dare Officer Joe Willing, Beth Siebert and Debbie of Franklin County National Bank, Niki Marengo of Hamilton County Soil and Conservation, City Councilman, Jim Robertson,  Ron Lindsey of Lindsey Shaved Ice, Anna Gray and Binny of Rumpke Recycling, Lisa Soper of the Harrison Branch Library, Harrison City Council, Harrison Township trustees, and Harrison Mayor Joel McGuire.

Jean Wilson
Harrison Recreation