Westside Messenger - January 24th, 2021




January 24 - February 6, 2021 www.columbusmessenger.com Vol. XLVII, No. 15

Coats for the


Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle

The Immanuel Baptist Church on the westside

was a recent recipient of a grant that provides

free coats to low-income families through the

national non-profit Operation Warm. Becky

Rickard, the event coordinator, said the church

received more than 72 coats to distribute to children

and young adults. “We applied for this grant

because we wanted to bring something positive

to this community,” she said. More than 30 families

signed up to receive a free coat and the

church will continue to distribute them through

their Maternity Resource Center and through

inquires made by phone. Rickard said residents

can contact the church at 614-274-2687 to check

for availability. Shown in this photo (right) at a

distribution event on Jan. 17 is Paula Minerd

(left), a member of the church, and Ellie Bigelow,

9, who gushed over some of the colors and

styles available. Below, Kathleen McGinnis,

(right) tries to find the perfect coat for her son

with the assistance of Cindy Coontz, a member

of the church who was also volunteering at the

event. McGinnis, a resident of Galloway, said she

was grateful for the non-profit organization that

provided the coats and for the church for applying

for the grant.








Police levy likely

in local township

By Amanda Ensinger

Staff Writer

Residents will once again be asked to

support first responders at the polls this

year as a local township seeks a levy. The

Franklin Township Police Department has

a levy that will be expiring and needs at

least a renewal to continue current operations.

The township has a five-year timed levy

for the police department that will expire

at the end of 2022, according to Franklin

See POLICE LEVY page 2

Pets of the Week ................... 6

The Reel Deal ........................ 12

Township News

Residents and township officials are

concerned about water rates Page 3

Tunnels of Love

Darby Park builds tunnels so creatures

can safely cross the road Page 8



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PAGE 2 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021


New commission chair sees opportunity for Hilltop

By Josephine Birdsell

Staff Writer

The Greater Hilltop Area Commission

elected commission officers at its January


Rachel Wenning was elected chair of the

commission. Wenning has served on the

commission for two years. She served as

vice-chair in 2020.

“We’ve had so many challenges this

year,” Wenning said. “I think when there’s

times of change and times of challenge,

there’s also a lot of opportunity. So, I think

we have a lot of freedom to try new and different

things this year, which is great. And

I’m excited about that.”

“Wenning’s got a lot of great connections

around the community. She stands up for

people who cannot stand up for themselves,”

said Patrick Barnacle, commissioner.

Dan Fagan was elected vice-chair of the

commission. Fagan has served on the commission

for two years. He served as treasurer

in 2020.

“I’m in this whole-heartedly. I want to

devote my personal free time to this. I have

no greater agenda than to help this commission

function at its optimal level,”

Fagan said.

“He is incredibly passionate about the

Hilltop and the people in it. If there’s a volunteer

opportunity in the Hilltop he is

there. If he isn’t there, it’s because he’s taking

care of somebody,” said Jennie Keplar,

commissioner, “His heart is in helping others.”

James White was elected secretary,

marking the start of

his second consecutive

term. Sean

Maddox was elected


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GHAC committee meetings

The Greater Hilltop Area Commission’s liquor permit

committee will meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25. The

meeting will be streamed live on Facebook. The commission’s

community relations committee will meet at

7 p.m. on Jan. 28, also streamed live on Facebook.

Hilltop Art Hop

The Hilltop Art Hop, presented by 3060 Artworks,

will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 6 at 3060 West Broad

St. The community is invited for an evening of live


Continued from page 1

Township Police Chief Byron Smith. The township is

looking at adding a levy to the ballot in 2021.

Smith said the department needs the funds to continue

to keep the staffing at current levels. He said

prior to this levy being approved, the department only

had four full-time staff and were operating limited

hours and shifts.

The department is working with township trustees

to determine if they will be asking for another timed

levy or combining all their current levies into one.

The police department operates with two permanent

levies and one temporary or timed levy. The

timed levy brings in approximately $600,000 a year

and combined the two permanent levies bring in

approximately $750,000 a year.

“If we combine everything into one, it could save

taxpayers money,” Smith said. “However, if combining

them into one doesn’t save the residents money, we

will probably just do another timed levy.”

The township has asked the auditor to pull various

numbers to see what the best course of action is and

then will determine which levy they will ask voters to


However, Smith said if they did have one permanent

levy, it would help with planning for the future.

“When you have a temporary levy, you don’t have

stability and it is hard to retain officers because they

leave due to fears of job loss,” Smith said. “We have

already lost two full-time officers because of fears of

being laid off.”

Smith added it is frustrating to train officers and

then have them leave for another department because

they are concerned about job security. He said they

invest in officers and then they take the skills they

have learned and leave.

“It makes it difficult from a management standpoint

to run a department and plan for the future,” he

around the westside

announced its free home weatherization

service in the Hilltop.

MORPC will visit Hilltop residents who

choose to participate in the program and

inspect their home’s energy efficiency,

including their gas appliances, hot water

tank, furnace and home installation.

MORPC will then address any significant

energy waste they find, free of cost, potentially

by installing new home and attic

insulation, furnaces or lightbulbs in resident’s

homes. The project is funded by

Columbia Gas of Ohio and the Ohio

Development Services Agency.

The program aims for “long-term reductions

of energy costs for low to medium

income households,” said Robert Williams,

MORPC representative.

The program is available for individuals

and families who own or rent single family

homes, duplexes or other buildings with up

to four units. Residents living in homes

with multiple units must have consent

from all building tenants to participate.

And residents who rent their homes must

have landlord approval before MORPC can

make any home modifications.

To participate in the program, residents

can contact MORPC at (614) 621-1171 or

visit their website at morpc.org.

music and new art. The event will feature artists

Edward Corbin and Luke Boyd, with music by Nathan

Bell. The gallery will also be celebrating its third

anniversary. For more information, visit


Produce giveaway at YMCA

The Hilltop YMCA hosts a fresh produce giveaway

the third Wednesday of each month from 4 to 6 p.m. at

2879 Valleyview Drive in Columbus. For more information,

call the YMCA at 614-276-8224.


Currently, including Smith, the department has 12

full-time staff and two part-time officers.

Leadership would like to see the levy on the ballot

in 2021 in case it fails so they have another chance to

run it before the current levy expires.

“We like to get ahead of these things and ask for a

levy significantly ahead of when it will expire so if voters

don’t pass it, we have time to ask again before it

expires,” said Mark Potts, township administrator.

“We like to have several opportunities to get a levy

passed and have plenty of time to plan for the future,

so asking for these levies before they expire gives us an

opportunity to do that.”

According to Potts, the township does have a history

of levies failing at least once before they are approved

by voters.

The township has seen an increase in crime over the

past few years, including issues with robbery, drugs

and other felony offenses. Smith said this levy would

help them continues to tackle these issues, as well as

have the budget to keep officers on the streets.

Some of the additional services this levy could fund

include hiring an investigator, providing more attention

to drug houses and continuing to fight to opioid

epidemic. Smith said if the levy does not pass, not only

would they not be able to proactively investigate these

issues, they also would lose about half of their current


“We will lose a minimum of five officers,” he said.

“We also will only be able to take priority runs and

won’t be able to focus on the drug houses or other crime

in the region.”

In the coming months, the township plans to

announce what type of levy it will asking voters for, as

well as when voters can expect to see this on the ballot.


Township Focus

Residents frustrated with water rates

By Amanda Ensinger

Staff Writer

Local officials continue to voice frustration over water rate

increases as residents contact them voicing concerns about how

they are going to pay their bills.

At a recent Prairie Township meeting, board chairwoman

Cathy Schmelzer addressed the matter.

“Over this past week, I have heard from any number of Prairie

Township residents who have expressed their anger and frustration

about the Franklin County Department of Sanitary

Engineering’s anticipated rate increase for water and sewer service,”

she said. “I am frustrated that this increase comes without

input from residents or township elected officials. Times are tough

right now for many in the township. The last thing residents need

is for another increase in the already high cost of utility services.

I want the residents to know that I share in your anger and frustration.

I have the honor of serving as an elected official in Prairie

Township, but I am also a township resident and when the township

gets hit with these increases, I also get hit.”

At the start of 2021, residents saw a 2 percent increase for

water service and a 3 percent increase for sewer service, according

to Franklin County Department of Sanitary Engineers Director

Stephen Renner. The reason for the increase is attributed to

increases the county received from Columbus. According to

Renner, they are simply passing these increases along to customers.

However, this rate increase is causing major concern for Prairie

Township residents who already say they pay some of the highest

rates in the county.

“I want to undeniably state that the township has absolutely no

authority to dictate what the county does; how it operates its system;

what rates the county charges; or how the county moves forward,”

Schmelzer said. “Even though the township has no control

over the county’s system, for over a decade, the township has consistently

worked on behalf of its residents to attempt to find solutions

to address the ever-increasing water and sewer rates set by

the county. The township continues to remain committed to doing

whatever it can to assist the county and its representatives in

accomplishing our mutual goal of reducing rates for residents.”

According to township leadership, a family of four pays anywhere

between $500 to $800 a quarter for water and sewer service.

They also said that if someone uses no water, they will still pay

$110 just in connection fees. If they had water from Columbus,

this fee would be around $30. Neighboring communities who get

their water from Columbus pay about half of what township residents


Renner said there are a variety of reasons why Franklin

County’s water and sewer service are more expensive than


“There are 26 noncontiguous service areas in the county that

Franklin County provides water for,” Renner said. “We have an

aging system and a fleet of service trucks that have to service

these areas on any given day, these all contribute to these costs.”

“Rates are high because the county system is outdated, mismanaged,

in debt, and with a relatively small customer base to pay

for necessary costs,” Schmelzer said. “The county has offered these

same explanations week after week, month after month, and year

after year.”

Renner said the county is looking at having Columbus take over

these services to reduce residents’ rates but says the coronavirus

pandemic has slowed this process down.

However, the trustees argue that this has been an issue for 10

years and blaming the delay on the pandemic will not cut it.

“The outrageous increases in the cost of

utility services are not sustainable for residents,”

Schmelzer said. “It is shameful that

a utility bill for a two-person household

should be as much as a car or mortgage

payment. I plan on contacting the Franklin

County Commissioners and Department of

Sanitary Engineering to convey the

urgency of this situation, and demand

progress. I would be happy to sit down with

any county commissioner or official at any

time so that we can work as a team to keep

residents updated on the county’s progress.

I encourage every resident of Prairie

Township to also reach out to and follow up

with the county. The county deserves to

hear what these increases mean to those

who will be responsible for paying it and

provide updates to its constituents.”

Renner said when the city does take over

the systems, they will only accept homes

who are already directly connected to them.

Previously the county thought the city

would accept all homes.

While no timetable has been determined,

Renner said they already have

another meeting with the city planned and

are making progress.

The county does offer financial assistance

for water and sewer bills for those in

need. For more information on financial

assistance options, visit


Public input discussed in Prairie Township

By Amanda Ensinger

Staff Writer

Residents will be able to comment during the live

Facebook streaming of board meetings, despite township

leaders asking that comments be turned off.

Prairie Township Administrator Rob Peters asked the

board to turn off Facebook comments during the livestreamed


“This takes out the negativity and negative tone,”

Peters said during a recent meeting.

However, according to Peters, the township was not

able to do this because of technology challenges.

“Comments were never disabled on the township

Facebook page,” he said. “With the type of page we

have, it is not an option to disable comments.”

The manner public comments are currently handled

with the Prairie Township board meetings has been

controversial with residents. Many residents have

voiced frustration over the lack of public interaction

during the meetings. Currently, questions cannot be

asked during the meetings and instead must be submitted

prior to the meetings.

Peters has said he cannot moderate comments and

run the meetings. However, the township has been

working on new software to make the meetings more

interactive and will be introducing new software this

month where residents can virtually ask questions live

during meetings.

“I anticipated in June or July that we were going to

be getting guidelines from the state of Ohio to be able

to conduct public meetings with proper spacing like

retail and restaurant operations,” Peters said. “This

did not happen. We purchased a web camera and

upgraded from Webex meetings to Webex events which

was put into use on Jan. 12.”

January 24, 2021 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - PAGE 3

club meetings - DAV

The Disabled American Veterans

Chapter 144 meets at 6 p.m. on the fourth

Tuesday of every month at The American

Legion Post 532, 1571 Demorest Road. Call

Will Davis at 614-309-0171.



General Practice

Personal Injury • Domestic

Probate • Wills

Power of Attorney

Healthcare Documents


614-875-7233 Fax: 929-474-9475

1665 London-Groveport Rd., Grove City


Email: jcompton@jeffreypcompton.com

Carolyn (Slone) Sapp, age 77,

went home in the arms of Jesus on

January 11, 2021 unexpectedly at

her home. Preceded in death by

parents, Robert and Willa Slone;

husband, Roger Sapp; son, Richard

(Ritchie) Sapp and brother, Doug

Slone. Survived by brother, Bobbie

Slone; sister, Delores (Dee) Storts; several nieces and

nephews and friends, along with special friends who she

worked with at the Columbus Messenger, Phil - Publisher,

Kathy, Paulette, Andrea, Rick, Doug, Greg, Theresa,

Ashlee, Chuck and Mike (Madison Messenger) Grant,

Becky, Kristy and Jim Durban for 34 years.

Arrangements by Jerry Spears Funeral Home with

Crematory, 2693 W. Broad St, Columbus OH. Memorial

service will be at Sunset Cemetery, Galloway, Ohio at the

convenience of the family. No visitation will be observed.

PAGE 4 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021

You’ll never hear me professing to be a

speed reader. I’m like that racehorse handicappers

refer to as “runs evenly” and then

picked to finish far back. True to form I

start slow, continue slow and limp across

the finish line. But I somehow finish. I’m

Opinion Page

like a snake that’s devoured a rodent after

I finish a chapter. I like to just sit there and

digest it for some time before I’m ready for

more. I enjoy dozing off at night thinking

about what I read so I get the full meaning

and intent of the author. Then, when I

wake up, I’m eager and ready for more. I

try to squeeze everything I can out of a

book, much as I always made sure I got my

money’s worth in my golfing days when I

toured every square inch of the fairways

trying to find my errant shots as I sent others

scurrying for cover.

I just finished reading, “The Answer is…

Reflections of My Life.” It’s an autobiography

written by longtime Jeopardy host

Alex Trebek. I was on the long waiting list

at the library but sadly got it just a few

weeks after his passing at the age of 80.

His last Jeopardy show taping was Oct 29,

which was to air on Jan. 8. He had

announced his stage four pancreatic ensuing

cancer battle back in March 2019 and

then passed away Nov. 8, 2020.

I’d hoped to get it sooner, before we lost

a friend many of us invited into our homes

for 36 years around the dinner hour, but it

wasn’t meant to be. It was always a soothing

way to wind down the day. My lofty

goal was always to get one correct answer

and I often failed at that. I was equally

dumb in all categories. But it didn’t matter,

the fun challenge was always there, along

with a friend I looked forward to seeing and

ending the day with.

I had to adjust

and found myself

reading the book

even slower than

usual as my

thoughts kept spinning

with his now

departed words that

took on even more

special meaning.

The chapters were

short, I could have

quickly finished it,

but I didn’t want to.

When I finally finished,

I was sad but

also happy. He’d

obviously come to

grips with the harsh

reality he was facing.

I’m sure he had

some things on his

bucket list he failed

to get done but he

was appreciative

and content with

the full life he’d

been given and his


As I reflected on

the book, I found

myself pondering

how I would react if

given such devastating news. I doubt I

could handle such news with the grace and

ongoing optimism and dignity he maintained.

I thought about my own bucket list and

recalled that movie, “The Bucket List,”

with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson,

both facing a terminal illness and deciding

to set out together on a grand finale vacation

to the French Riviera, the Pyramids,

Taj Mahal, Himalayas, Hong Kong. No

thanks, not for me. But there are some

things and places I’d still like to do and see.

After reading his book, one thing I’d put

on my bucket list was easy to come up with.

I’d love to attend a TV game show as it’s

being taped. It’s like jury duty, until you

serve on one, you just can’t appreciate how

the system works, or in some cases these

days in the judicial system, doesn’t work.

I’d love to see how the game show all comes

together to the final product we sit in our

homes and watch as we proudly blurt out

the wrong answers.

But I’ll set a strict guideline. Under no

circumstances would I want to be randomly

chosen out of the audience to “come on

down” and be a contestant on any of the

quiz or game shows. I can act like a space

cadet all on my own, as anyone who knows

me will attest, without being on television

in front of millions to prove it. They sure

get some very strange contestants on those

shows, contestants who aren’t afraid to

look like an escaped patient out of “One

Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

I still remember years ago when I went

to see The Letterman concert in downtown

Columbus. They came out into the audience

while singing a song. They kept randomly

stopping and jamming the microphone

up to some poor unsuspecting fan’s

face and motioned for him or her to sing

along. I aged a few years when they came

along my aisle and picked the poor soul a

few seats down from me, although I would

have sounded better than his bull moose

during the rutting season impersonation.

I have no burning desire to travel anymore.

It’s not on my bucket list. My get up

and go got up and left a long time ago. I’ve

been to many places and seen a lot of

things in my lifetime. My dreams and the

memories of places I’ve been are enough for

me now and fulfill my simple needs.

However, I wouldn’t mind going to Hawaii

or Alaska if I won a trip on a quiz show.

There are many National Parks I’d still

like to explore and see. I’d love to take one

of those scenic Trans-Canada train trips

from Toronto to Vancouver. Overseas?

Maybe Australia, Scotland and Ireland. I

love Irish music and its beer, but I don’t

need to go overseas to find them. Ralph

Kramden of “Honeymooners” fame used to

say to his wife when he got upset with her,

“Bang Zoom! To The Moon Alice!” Nope, no

desire to go to the moon either, just doesn’t


Alex Trebek’s book made me ponder my own bucket list




Say it with an announcement ad in

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Guest Column

Dave Burton

look like a fun place

and there’s no horse

racing. However, I

would jump at the

opportunity to go up

in an F-16. I doubt

I’d be able to hold

my cookies in and

probably pass out,

but the experience

would be phenomenal.

It would be fun to write a book, maybe

title it, ‘My Dogs, My Best Friends, My

Life.’ I’d need to have a box of tissues nearby

as I’d detail each of the many fourlegged

buddies I’ve had in my lifetime, from

my first as a boy, to my present puppy in

my senior years. Each was unique and had

their own story to tell as they filled specific

years of my lifetime in their own way, while

I drew strength and support from their

friendship and the bonds we shared.

I’d love to own another racehorse. It was

often frustrating, always expensive and

sometimes sad. But most of the time it was

pure excitement going to watch them race

at the county fairs and Scioto Downs and

every now and then seeing them win and

stand in the winner’s circle with them. I’d

like to go see the Browns in a Super Bowl

and Cleveland in the World Series. But

let’s be realistic, that belongs on a separate

‘only in your wildest dreams’ fantasy list,

not a reasonable bucket list.

I’ve always wanted to visit Aspen,

Colorado in the beautiful fall month of

October for the annual John Denver

Celebration of Life. It’s a big five day happening

for the community since Denver’s

death in 1997, with many concerts and

events and dedicated fans coming in from

all over the globe along with some of his

past musicians. I’d love to stand for a photo

next to the John Denver Sanctuary

Memorial that stands in the park along the

Roaring Rock River in the heart of Aspen in

a serene, beautiful perennial flower setting.

There are huge stones engraved with

listings of his famous songs.

So, there’s my short bucket list. How

many will I accomplish? Probably none, it’s

just fun thinking about them. But life’s

future is full of the unknown and as Ralph

Waldo Emerson said, “Dare to live the life

you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward

and make your dreams come true.”

Dave Burton is a guest columnist for the

Columbus Messenger Newspapers. He

lives in Grove City.

www.columbusmessenger.com January 24, 2021 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - PAGE 5

In Education

Using her voice

By Dedra Cordle

Staff Writer

For the musically inclined high school student, it is all about

the All-National Honor Ensembles.

Established by the National Association of Music Education as

a way to celebrate and honor the nation’s top instrumentalists,

performers and vocalists, a selection into any one of the six musical

categories is seen as the pinnacle of success.

“It basically means that they have achieved elite status in their

area of expertise at the high school level,” said Brandon Moss, a

member of the association.

Having joined NAfME more than two decades ago, Moss has

heard the stories of heartbreak when student musicians are not

accepted into the honor ensembles but he never had to see it up

close — until a few years ago, that is.

In 2013, when Moss became the choir director at Central

Crossing High School, he made it a mission to tap into the vocal

potential of every student who joined his program. He said

throughout the years, he has taught some excellent vocalists but

none of whom were ever accepted into NAfME’s All-National

Mixed Choir.

“We have had many students who were selected into their district’s

honor choir or the state honor choir but never into the

national honor choir,” he said.

He remarked that their rejection was often as upsetting for him

as it was for the students who were informed their application had

not been selected.

“I know how much this recognition means to these student

musicians,” he said. “Not only are they chosen by the most

renowned conductors and educators in the field, but they are given

the opportunity to have workshops with these conductors and educators,

to create a public performance under their tutelage and to

form friendships with their peers across the country who are on

the same trajectory.”

He said despite the witnessed disappointments and heartbreak,

he wanted to continue to encourage his students to be the

best that they could be, to aim high in all aspects of their field and

see what happens regardless of any public acknowledgement.

And that is exactly what one of his current students decided to


Moss has been teaching Sadie Storts for three years now but he

knew of her long before she became a student at Central Crossing.

“People have been talking about her vocal abilities for years,”

he said. “It started with her sister and brother and then their

mother but I thought it was maybe just a family being really nice.”

Then he heard from Mollie Quick, who was Storts’s choir director

at Pleasant View Middle School, who told him that she was the

“real deal.”

He quickly determined during her freshman year that she really


“Sadie has a mature vocal tone and color and a great ear, which

allows her to sing with excellent intonation and enables her to

adapt easily to most any style of music,” he said.

He added that he did not have to tell her about the All-National

Honor Ensembles.

“I already knew about it well before I became his student,” said

Storts, a junior.

WNA accepting applications for scholarship

The Westgate Neighbors Association (WNA) is accepting

applications for its annual education scholarship. The

$500 award is provided to a student pursuing college or

Sadie Storts, a junior at Central Crossing High School, recently became the first choral student in the

school’s history to be accepted into the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honor

Ensembles. As a participant in the 2020 All-National Mixed Choir, Storts will record a performance alongside

the country’s top high school vocalists that will be premiered online in March for Music in Our Schools Month.

To see the performance when it airs, visit the association’s social media pages or their website at

www.nafme.org for official dates and times.

Storts said she has never been one to seek out or

need public recognition for her vocal abilities but she

desperately wanted to be selected into this association’s

honor choir.

“I made it a goal to try to achieve this a long time

ago,” she said. “I didn’t so much want it for myself but

I wanted it for the school.

“While I did think it would be nice to be the first, I

really wanted to be selected in order to show the

underclassmen and the future students in this program

that it can be done, that this is achievable.”

Still, she knew it would be a challenge to be accepted

despite her abilities.

“Every person who wants to be a performer, instrumentalist

or a vocalist knows that rejection is a part of

what we do,” she said. “And when that happens we

learn from it and grow and hopefully become better for


During her sophomore year, after being accepted

into the Ohio Music Education Association’s Honor

Choir, she decided to apply for NAfME’s; she recorded

a piece chosen by the association, performed a selected

piece in French, received a recommendation from

Moss, sent everything off to the committee and crossed

her fingers.

A few months later, she was informed that she had

around the westside

vocational education. Eligible students may complete and

submit their application online at www.westgateneighbors.org.

Applications are due by March 31. This scholarship

is funded by a portion of the proceeds from the annual

Westgate Home & Garden Tour. It is awarded to a resident

been accepted into the NAfME’s All-National Honor

Ensemble in the mixed choir category, making her the

first choral student at the school to be selected.

“I was so surprised and so excited to be a part of

this,” she said. “One of the first things I did was email

Mr. Moss and thank him for the encouragement and


Moss said he was so proud of her accomplishment

and that he hopes the school and the community will

be able to take pride in it as well.

“This is definitely very prestigious for our school,

our program and our district,” said Moss. “But really, I

am so just so happy for Sadie and for all of the students

who look up to her.”

Due to the pandemic, the in-person workshops, clinics,

gatherings, practices, and performances were or

will be held virtually. Storts said she is currently

recording the two pieces required for the mixed choir

(the 200 plus participants in this category are being

directed by Frances Fonza) and looks forward to seeing

how the performance comes together virtually in


“It’s been a little different recording individually

but I think it is going to be great,” she said. “I hope the

community will be able to enjoy watching the performance

just as much as I have enjoyed being a part of it.”

of Westgate who contributes to the betterment of their

community through demonstrated service and leadership

activities. For more information, visit the scholarship tab

at www.westgateneighbors.org.

PAGE 6 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021

Community Focus

Recycling expanded in Franklin County

With the new year, comes some good

news from the Solid Waste Authority of

Central Ohio and its partners at Rumpke

Waste and Recycling. Rumpke announced

that they would be expanding their plastics

recycling program to include polypropylene

tubs and yogurt containers.

In recent years, central Ohio’s residential

plastics recycling program has only

allowed for the recycling of plastic bottles

and jugs which feature a neck smaller than

their base. This recent announcement

expands the existing recycling program to

include a wide variety of plastic tubs such

as butter, cottage cheese, and sour cream

tubs, fruit, pudding, and applesauce cups

and all yogurt containers.

These items need to be empty and clean

before being they’re put in the recycling

cart. Lids and labels can be left on but the

foil tops that sometimes come on yogurt

containers should be removed and not recycled.

Like most businesses, recycling is commodities-based.

Taking care to recycle correctly

is an important act we can each

make to support the businesses which

make it possible for us to recycle our

unwanted materials. In order to expand

the plastics recycling program, Rumpke

has secured several long-term buyers and

Pet Corner

Pets of the week

users of recycled plastics. In addition to

securing end users, Rumpke is also investing

in new equipment and the necessary

workforce to separate and sort these materials

at its Material Recovery Facilities

(MRF). Once separated at the MRF, these

materials are baled and shipped to businesses,

many of which are in Ohio, to

become new products — like water bottles

and plastic lumber.

What’s Not Accepted

In order to recycle right, it’s important

to know which items are still not accepted

for recycling in Franklin County’s curbside

and drop-off recycling programs. Items on

the ‘no-no’ list include disposable plastic

cups such as party cups, and plastic take

out and clamshell containers like those

used for strawberries and blueberries.

If you aren’t able to avoid using these

items, the only current options for disposing

them are to either reuse them (look for

someone in your local Facebook Freebies

group who may use them for a craft, to

organize art supplies or a school project) or

put them in the trash where they’ll be safely

disposed at the landfill.

To learn more about all of the materials

accepted as part of Franklin County’s recycling

program, visit RecycleRight.org.

These furry friends are available

for adoption at local

rescues and shelters




A bi-monthly feature celebrating the wisdom, experience

and contributions of our community’s senior citizens

Exercise can be very helpful

for those suffering from arthritis

Exercise can be beneficial in the treatment

of arthritis, say many doctors.

Physical activity can reduce stiffness and

increase muscle strength and flexibility. It also

has overall health benefits, such as improving

cardiac fitness and physical endurance. Three

types of exercise are most appropriate for

those who have arthritis:

•Strength training: Strong muscles help

support and protect joints affected by arthritis.

Lifting weights can provide this.

•Range of motion exercises: Dancing,

tai chi, Pilates, swimming, and other activities

that push the body to stretch and move help

maintain normal joint motion and relieve stiffness.

•Aerobic activities: Activities such as

brisk walking, bicycle riding, skating and more

are good for the heart. They also moderate

weight, which in turn puts less strain on joints,

particularly the knees. Some studies show

that aerobic exercise can reduce inflammation

in some joints.

Before beginning an exercise program,

discuss with your doctor what activities might

be right for you.

Capricorn is a 2-

year-old Lab mix. He

is high energy and

loves to play fetch

and tug of war. He

knows how to sit, lay

down, paw, beg, and

take treats. Capricorn

would do best

in a home without

small children as he could knock them down

with all his energy. He is okay with other dogs

but will require a slow introduction. Capricorn

is up for adoption through Colony Cats and


FYI: www.colonycats.org

Bluegrass is affectionate

and just very

loving. He came in as

a stray and you may

notice his cauliflower

ear from a previous

injury, which just

adds to his sweet

charm. Bluegrass is

eager to find his forever

home and would make a great addition

to any household.

FYI: www.colonycats.org

Manchas was surrendered

to the county

shelter because his

family was moving.

He will need a special

human to help him as

he has issues with

fear and anxiety. He

does enjoy playing

with the tennis ball,

digging, and car rides. Manchas will need a

patient owner who is willing to help him come

out of his shell and work with him on basic

manners. To meet Manchas, schedule an

appointment or email rescue@franklincountyohio.gov.

FYI: www.franklincountydogs.com

Elsa is a 5-year-old

pit bull mix who is a

bit of a wallflower.

She is a shy, yet

charming lady

searching for a

patient owner with a

relaxed lifestyle. Elsa

will need gentle guidance

to help her

come out of her shell. Treat her sweet and

kind and she’s sure to blossom. Adopt her

from the Franklin County Dog Shelter.

FYI: www.franklincountydogs.com


Active Lifestyles

January 24, 2021 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - PAGE 7

Franklin County Board of Commissioners: Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce, President • Commissioner Marilyn Brown • Commissioner John O’Grady

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners and The Franklin County Office on Aging join with the Messenger Newspaper in providing this update on aging issues in Franklin County.


What are the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Wearing masks and social distancing helps reduce your chance of being

exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not

enough. Vaccines work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the

virus if you are exposed. The combination of getting vaccinated and following

the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best

protection from COVID-19.

The vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19.

• All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been

shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19.

• All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated

in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it

substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Currently, two vaccines are authorized

and recommended to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19

vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Four other vaccines are in the

testing stages.

• The CDC says the timing between your first and second shot depends on

which vaccine you received. You should get your second shot: for the Pfizer-

BioNTech 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first shot; for the Moderna, 1 month

(or 28 days) after your first shot. You should get your second shot as close to the

recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no

maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You

should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

• COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you

do get COVID-19.

• Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you

• COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection. It may offer some

natural protection, known as immunity and help protect you by creating an

antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.

• COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic.

Concerns about the virus

So far, none of the vaccine trials have reported any serious safety concerns. Side

effects such as fever and soreness at the injection site have been reported,

particularly after the second injection (both vaccines require a second injection

three to four weeks later), but the side effects in the trials are not as severe or


In the past, vaccines have taken many years to develop. However, the relatively

quick development of this vaccine does not mean safety measures were

skipped. The type of vaccine developed for COVID-19 by Pfizer/BioNTech has

been years in development for other infectious viruses. Thus, the manufacturing

process was ready very early in the pandemic.

Is it safe?

The United States currently has the safest vaccine supply in its history. The

nation’s long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as

possible. The CDC’s Immunization Safety Office works to communicate timely

and transparent information about the safety of vaccines to public health

officials, healthcare providers, and the public. The office conducts vaccine safety

monitoring and clinical research to help keep vaccines safe.

You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines created by

Pfizer and Moderna do not have any virus or other infectious material in them.

They are designed to cause your body to make copies of a harmless piece of the

coronavirus, so you will not get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Those with a history of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to injectables or

other vaccines should discuss the vaccination with their doctor.

Process for distributing the vaccine

Beginning January 19, vaccination of those in Phase 1B will begin. Those 80

years of age are priority in this next phase. Vaccines for Ohioans 80 years of age

and older will be administered by physicians, local health departments, hospitals,

federally qualified health centers, in-home health service providers and

some retail pharmacies.

Vaccinations will be available to Ohioans 75 years of age and older beginning

January 25. The following week, vaccinations will be available to those 65 years

of age and older. The week of January 25 will also include vaccinations for Ohioans

with severe congenital, developmental, or early onset medical disorders.

During the week of February 1, vaccinations will be available for Ohioans 70

years of age and older and personnel in Ohio schools. The week of February 8,

vaccinations will be available for Ohioans 65 years of age and older.

You are encouraged to help those individuals in your life who qualify and may

be confused about the sign-up process. Check and see if their primary care

provider, hospital system, or pharmacy have vaccine and sign up for the most

convenient option. For current information on COVID-19 and vaccination

provider locations visit the Ohio Department of Health at


PAGE 8 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021


Photos courtesy of Metro Parks

Spotted salamanders are among the best indicators of healthy vernal pool/woodland ecosystems. This photo

was shot by David Celebrezze.

Tunnels for safe travel

Mating season for eastern tiger salamanders and

spotted salamanders at Battelle Darby Creek Metro

Park can get a bit dicey as these determined creatures

surface from their underground burrows and march en

masse, by the hundreds, across the roadways to vernal

pools to mate and lay eggs.

Road crossing mortality is high for salamanders as

they move quite slowly on their stubby little legs. Their

breeding success can be variable depending on the success

of this migration. They are sometimes joined by

other vernal pool breeders like frogs and spring peepers.

Migration usually occurs during the first warm

seasonal rains, in late February or early March, after

dark and with temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit

or above.

To protect migrating amphibians from squishy

deaths and reduce the effects of road mortality by cars,

Metro Parks built two experimental tunnels across the

road into the nature center. Tunnels are less expensive

than going over the road. Since salamanders don’t like

dark enclosed spaces where they cannot see the other

end, staff came up with overhead grates to let in some

natural light. The grates are strong enough to withstand

the weight of vehicles. Exclusion fencing was put

at the end of each tunnel to help funnel the amphibians

into the trenches.

If the project is successful, Metro Parks hope to

work with other agencies to put tunnels across Battelle

Darby Creek Drive. Hopefully, the 2021 breeding season

will prove to be a light at the end of the tunnel for

the eastern tiger salamander and other creatures as

they make their annual trek to their seasonal breeding


- Peg Hanley, Metro Parks

The Metro Parks salamander underpass system will hopefully facilitate safe passage for these critters on

their journey from woodlands to wetlands.



Hilltop History & Heritage

This photo depicts John Philip Sousa, the famous

band director and march composer with the

Sousa Band when it performed in Columbus in

1910. The 55-member ensemble provided more

than 15,000 concerts in the U.S. and Europe during

its 40-year existence. Sousa (1854-1932),

known was America’s finest composer of the

genre. His works included such classic as “The

Washington Post,” “The Liberty Bell,” “Semper

Fidelis” (which became the theme march of the

United States Marine Corps), and the ever-popular

“Stars and Stripes Forever.” Sousa began to

play the violin when he was 7 years old and joined

the United States Marine Band when he was 13,

ultimately becoming its conductor in 1880.

Composing all his life, he started the Sousa Band

in 1892, touring the country as one of our most

popular musical ensembles for well over a generation.

This photo is from a collection of long-time

Hilltop resident Ralph Hunter, father of Hilltop

community activist and historian Lois Hunter Neff.

If you have an interesting photo to share, contact

Stacy Berndsen-Campbell at

stacyberndsen12@gmail.com. Photos and information

in this feature are provided by the Hilltop

Historical Society.


WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021 PAGE 9


Deadlines: Groveport and West editions, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., • South/Canal Winchester, Grove City, Madison editions, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

All editions by phone, Tuesdays at 5 p.m. • Service Directory, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

xMisc. for Sale


Cemetery Plots for sale.

Have 2 dbl. plots (total of

4) opening & closing incl,

in the Sunset Cemetery.

$10,000 for all. If interested

call 386-205-3775

Misc. for Sale


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The National Trade Association

we belong to has

purchased the following

classifieds. Determining

the value of their service

or product is advised by

this publication. In order

to avoid misunderstandings,

some advertisers do

not offer “employment”

but rather supply the

readers with manuals, directories

and other materials

designed to help

their clients establish mail

order selling and other

businesses at home. Under

NO circumstance

should you send any

money in advance or give

the client your checking,

license ID or credit card

numbers. Also beware of

ads that claim to guarantee

loans regardless of

credit and note that if a

credit repair company

does business only over

the phone it’s illegal to request

any money before

delivering its service. All

funds are based in US

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check with the Better

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PAGE 10 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021



Deadlines: Groveport and West editions, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., • South/Canal Winchester, Grove City, Madison editions, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

All editions by phone, Tuesdays at 5 p.m. • Service Directory, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.


• Full-Time Warehouse Associates - All Shifts

$15/Hr & Shift Diff.

• Maintenance Technician, 2nd Shift

• Inbound Supervisor, 2nd Shift


• Weekends off and paid holidays

• Incentive bonuses and shift differential





• Medical, dental, vision, and company-matched 401(K)

• Tuition reimbursement

Due to current safety guidelines,

ALL candidates are encouraged to apply on-line at:


Applicants must successfully pass a background check and drug screen.

Equal Opportunity Employer: minority, female, veteran, individuals with disabilities, sexual orientation/gender identity.


The South-Western City School District announces a

competitive exam for a MECHANIC II. Nature of work is to

assist in the repair, servicing and maintenance of school buses

and other motor vechicles. Qualifications include: a high school

diploma or equivalent, hold or obtain current Ohio Commercial Driver’s

License marked “S” endorsement and two years’ experience as an

automotive mechanic is preferred. This is a twelve-month position

working 40 hours per week. Position starts at $22.08 per hour.

Applicants are required to request a SWCSD-Grove City Civil Service

applicant by emailing kim.snyder@swcsd.us starting January 25th. The

fully completed application must be returned via fax, email

or postal mail by February 5th. A competitive written exam

will be given on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 8:30 AM.

Full benefits - Retirement - Good working conditions.





The South-Western City School

District is currently hiring drivers

for the 2020-2021 school year


Available positions are for substitute drivers

that can develop into “Regular” positions with

benefits. Interested individuals should submit

an application on our website at swcsd.us.

Follow the employment link. Applicants should

have an excellent driving record and must

submit to drug, alcohol, and background

screening. A high school diploma or equivalent

is required.



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The Prairie Township Board of Trustees is accepting applications for

a permanent part-time position in the Commercial Building and Zoning

Department. This position will primarily be assisting the Field Inspectors

with daily office duties including data entry, drafting letters, organizing

and labeling photos, answering phones, and assisting residents with

complaints. Some field work will be required. Salary $13.00 - $15.00 per hour.


• High School Diploma

• Must possess a valid Ohio driver’s license and maintain insurability as

prescribed by the Township’s current insurance carrier

• Strong computer skills including a working knowledge of Microsoft Office

and data entry capabilities are a must

• The desired candidate will have strong communication skills, both verbal

and written

• Must be dependable and punctual

Send resume to Randi Good, 23 Maple Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43228 or apply

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Let us help you recruit the qualified employees you need to make

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xFocus on Rentals

January 24, 2021 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - PAGE 11

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PAGE 12 - WESTSIDE MESSENGER - January 24, 2021

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Apart...but together in worship!

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2833 Valleyview Dr.

(Corner of Valleyview & Hague Ave.)

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Pastor Leo A. Cunningham

Join us for Online Worship at

Glenwood UMC YouTube


And be inspired every Monday at 10:00 am

when “Chapel Guy” (Pastor Leo) shares

stories for the Children.

When you are the youngest child, it can

feel like a blessing when your older sibling

swears you to secrecy. In your mind, this

act is seen as a sign of maturity, a true

indicator that they no longer view you as

an obstacle to their happiness but as a confidant

in their grown-up world.

On the other hand, when you are the

youngest child, it can feel like a curse when

your older sibling swears you to secrecy. In

your mind, this act comes with a sense of

obligation to zip thy lip, no matter how

serious or comical the event that precipitated

this solemn vow. It is only natural

that resentment can grow through not

being able to tell, especially when it can



2930 W. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43204

Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

In Person Worship

Live Streaming Sunday Worship Service

at 10:30 a.m. on Hoge Facebook Page

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of your choice.

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614.272.5422 • kathy@columbusmessenger.com



put you into a more favorable light with

your parents.

Knowing a secret of an equally loved

and despised sibling can bring you closer

together or tear you apart, or it can even be

seen as something to hold above the other’s

head for the rest of your time on Earth.

With so much variety and emotion to be

had with the sibling secret, it is no wonder

the topic has been mined over and over

again through music, movies, and literature

— nary a genre is spared and rarely are

they seen as boring or unoriginal as most of

us can relate to this strange and awesome


The latest piece of entertainment to feature

this battle of wills between the

younger and elder is the film “Don’t Tell a

Soul,” as apt a name as ever to describe the

intrigue and dread of those words.

As the film opens, we are introduced to

Joey (Jack Dylan Grazer), a quiet 14-year

old who provides emotional support to his

widowed mother Carol (Mena Suvari), who

is battling lung cancer. Though he always

tries to keep up a reserve of endless

strength, he crumbles whenever he is

under the watchful and wrathful eye of his

17-year-old brother Matt (Fionn

Whitehead), who is well on his way to

becoming a psychopath.

Feeling as if he is the “man of the house”

now that their father is gone, Matt takes

joy in getting Joey to do his bidding, and he

knows just the right words to say and all

the right buttons to push when he wants to

bring him into his unlawful adventures.

Through the criminal grapevine, Matt

learns that a neighbor of theirs who has

been squirreling away money in their home

has left their property due to an unplanned

fumigation. Needing (and wanting) the

money, Matt hatches a plan for them to

break in and take it. At first, Joey wants

nothing to do with the B&E and theft, but

he is soon reminded that their mother

needs it to pay for her treatment and outstanding

hospital bills.

After successfully pulling off the heist,

they are spotted by a hired security guard

who gives chase. During the run-around,

the guard falls into a hidden well and the

brothers write him off as dead.

The following day, Joey goes back to the

scene to determine whether the guard is

really dead or not. He quickly discovers

that he is injured but still among the living.

Because he is inquisitive and lonely, he

strikes up a conversation with Hamby

(Rainn Wilson) and quickly takes a liking

to the sarcastic yet affable man. But with

the threat of jail in his future (Matt told

him he would take the fall for the theft and

go to prison for the rest of his life), Joey

waffles about whether he really wants to

see him out of the 20-foot well.

Over the course of a few days, Joey

brings Hamby food,

water, blankets, and

a radio so they can

converse at night,

but as he makes

more and more forays

into the forest

(and becomes more

bonded to Hamby), the more his brother

becomes increasingly belligerent and

unpredictable. Knowing that his “soft”

brother is going to get them in trouble,

Matt determines that the only way to end

this problem is to end Hamby’s life for real

this time — and that of his brothers should

he break their promise to not tell a soul.

Written with dark humor and featuring

plenty of twists and turns (some predictable,

others not so much), “Don’t Tell a

Soul” is an entertaining movie about sibling

dynamics and a different kind of sibling

secret, one of which the conscious of

one is in direct conflict with the unconscionable

other. But what makes it so is not

just the material but the acting of the two

young leads. Had Joey and Matt been

played by anyone other than Dylan Grazer

or Whitehead, I doubt it would have

worked as efficiently as it does — both play

their roles with equal parts gravity, love,

levity, and menace, particularly as their

plans go vasty astray.

With so many films not being advertised

as abundantly as before, it will be easy to

overlook “Don’t Tell a Soul.” But if you’re a

fan of strange sibling dynamics and a fan of

strange humor, you should give this one a

look should you come across it on demand

(where it is currently available for rent) or

whenever it hits the streaming platform.

Grade: B-


In Entertainment

Sibling dynamics explored in “Don’t Tell a Soul”

The Reel Deal

Dedra Cordle

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer

and columnist.



(Distribution: 14,998)

Andrea Cordle...................................Westside Editor

westside@ columbusmessenger.com

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