Grove City Messenger - December 25th, 2022
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December 25, 2022 - January 14, 2023 www.columbusmessenger.com Vol. XLII, No. 6
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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Residents of the southwest and westside
communities gathered at Concord
Cemetery in Grove City on Dec. 17 to
participate in Wreaths Across America, a
nationwide commemorative event
whose mission is to remember the country’s
fallen veterans, honor those who
currently serve, and teach the next generation
the value of freedom. Among
those who laid wreaths at the final resting
place of local members of the armed
forces was Trenton McCall, (top right) a
freshman at Central Crossing High
School. McCall is a cadet with the
school’s NJROTC program which has
sponsored the ceremony at the cemetery
for the past two years. He is pictured
here placing a wreath at the
gravesite of Oliver Jones, a member of
the Army who served in World War II.
Grove City resident Millie Siers (bottom
right) brushes a bit of snow off the headstone
of veteran Vernon A. Young before
placing the wreath near his name. She
said she and her husband, Matt, wanted
to attend the ceremony to pay their
respects to deceased veterans and “do
something good” for the community.
City to demolish
By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
Grove City officials plan to demolish the
barn that has been a fixture at Gantz Park
According to William Vedra, deputy city
administrator for the city, a colony of bats
caused extensive damage to the barn. He
said bat waste has been found in the wood,
dry wall, ceiling tiles, duct work, and into
the concrete block walls.
“We are not confident that we can make
the structure safe for people, especially for
young kids,” said Vedra. “Economically, it
makes more sense to demolish the building.
There is just so much contamination.”
Prior to the discovery of the bats, the
barn housed the city’s popular RecSchool
program for pre-school aged children.
Earlier this year, a facility maintenance
employee found bat droppings inside the
structure. City officials then contacted an
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exterminator, who found evidence of bat bugs inside
the barn. A consultant also observed the barn in the
evening and confirmed that a colony of bats were living
inside the structure. A colony can include hundreds of
The city had the roof of the barn removed so the
bats would fly out. The roof was then covered to prevent
the flying mammals from reentry, though it has
been reported that some have found a way back in.
According to city officials, the damaged barn is not
covered under the city’s insurance policy.
Vedra said the city plans to have a contractor examine
the structure to give a price for demolition. He also
said the city will work with the EPA, the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources, and other state
agencies to complete all the necessary permits before
demolishing the barn.
“Most bat species are protected in Ohio, so we want
The City Beat
Officials discuss fireworks retail store
By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
At a recent council meeting, Grove City officials
addressed a hot topic in the social media realm —
Phantom Fireworks and its interest in operating a
retail store in the city.
According to Deputy City Administrator William
Vedra, city leaders learned of the company’s interest in
the facility at 1700 Buckeye Place this past summer.
The location is where the old HH Gregg store was
“Since that time, we have been trying to get our
head around the complex process of permitting and
licensing a fireworks retail establishment,” said
Council members said they have been contacted by
citizens who are concerned about this type of establishment
in the city.
“We’ve had calls and emails from residents asking
how the city could allow this,” said Roby Schottke. “We
do not approve leases for commercial spaces.”
According to Stephen Smith, the city’s law director,
Grove City is not permitted by law to get involved in
“We don’t have the ability to impair the contract
between two parties,” said Smith. “All we do is set the
zoning in terms of what uses are allowed at this property.”
City officials said they rarely know when property
changes hands unless it requires a building permit.
Vedra said licensing a fireworks retail store
involves the state fire marshal and the office on industrial
compliance. The Jackson Township Fire
Department would perform ongoing inspections.
Blood drives in Grove City
The American Red Cross will host a blood drive
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 29 at Mount Carmel Grove
City, 5300 North Meadows Drive and from 10:30 a.m.
to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Grove City Library, 3959
Broadway. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-
448-3543 or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Continued from page 1
Vedra believes the change in the state law has
increased demand in the market and made it more
attractive for businesses like Phantom Fireworks to
find additional locations.
The new Ohio law, which went into effect in July,
allows individuals to possess consumer grade fireworks
and to discharge them on their own property on
the following days: New Year’s Day, Chinese New
Year, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day weekend,
Juneteenth, July 3-5, and the Fridays, Saturdays, and
Sundays preceding Labor Day weekend, Diwali, and
New Year’s Eve.
However, the state law enables local governments
to restrict the dates and times when an individual may
discharge fireworks or to impose a complete ban on the
use of consumer-grade fireworks.
“Local governments can determine if they want fireworks
to go off. A lot of cities allow it on certain days,
like July 4,” said Smith.
Fireworks are still prohibited in Grove City.
Council president Ted Berry asked if the city could
require the fireworks establishment to hand out literature
with the sale of the products that would let customers
know that they are not permitted to set off the
explosives in the city of Grove City.
Smith said that is something that has been brought
up and that they are exploring. The law director said
the city does intend to work with Phantom Fireworks
and the surrounding businesses to inform them of
what is and what is not permitted.
The Messenger reached out to Phantom Fireworks
for comment, but as of press time has not heard back.
Vedra said there is no word yet on when the company
will move into the city. He said they are still in the
inspection process and have yet to file an occupancy
S.A.L.T. at Evans Center
The Grove City Division of Police host Seniors and
Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.) meetings at 1
p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Evans
Center, 4330 Dudley Ave. Adults of all ages are welcome
to attend. If you would like additional information
on other crime prevention programs visit
police.grovecityohio.gov or call 614-277-1765.
to make sure we are not endangering anything,” said
The demolition date has yet to be determined.
RecSchool, the nature-based preschool program
operated by the city’s parks and recreation department,
was cancelled when city officials learned about
the bat colony. RecSchool operated from September
through May and could accommodate more than 100
According to Vedra, the city has had a modified
hybrid program to replace the RecSchool offering. He
said it has been more of a program that is not tied to
the school year. The city has had a small group of kids
at the Kingston Center that take field trips to the local
As far as a permanent plan to replace RecSchool,
Vedra said, “We are exploring options.”
Financial outlook remains
stable in South-Western
By Dedra Cordle
The South-Western City School
District’s annual financial review was presented
at the December board of education
Although the district saw a decline in its
general fund revenues and an increase in
its general fund expenditures, officials say
the financial outlook of the district continues
to be strong.
According to Treasurer Hugh Garside,
fiscal year 2021-22 saw the overall revenue
decrease by almost 2 percent. He said the
panic button need not be hit by that news.
“Now, before you get shocked by our revenues
decreasing, overall in the state of
Ohio there was a pretty significant change
that happened in the state’s biennial budget,”
Garside explained that the state will no
longer provide funds for districts to account
for students who are categorized as community
school students or scholarship students.
Instead, he said the state will cover
the cost rather than provide funds for the
districts as they have done in previous fiscal
He added that the district received
roughly $15 million through the state for
its community school and scholarship students.
Garside said that while the state’s decision
to fund the programs could have been
a big financial hit, the move will ultimately
be considered a wash as the district will no
longer have to include those programs in
Some of the positive items of note in the
district’s overall revenues, said Garside, is
that they have received a number of
Medicaid reconciliation payments to the
tune of $1 million each, they have received
a number of payment in lieu of taxes from
settlements with commercial properties,
and they have a healthy residential and
commercial tax base.
“Fifty-five percent of our property tax
revenues come from our residential and
agricultural tax base, but this district also
has a pretty strong commercial industrial
tax base as well,” he said, noting that 45
percent of the district’s revenue funds is
attributed to commercial and industrial
According to Garside, the district’s total
general fund revenue for fiscal year 2021-
22 was $288 million, down $5 million from
the previous fiscal year.
On the expenditure side, the district
saw a slight increase of roughly 1.5 percent;
the total general fund expenditures
for the 2021-22 fiscal year was $277.37 million.
Garside said some of the rise in expenditures
can be attributed to an increase of
salaries and benefits for the district’s certificated
and classified employees, the
“final push” of the Ohio Facilities
Construction Commission middle school
build project, and an overall rise in the cost
of materials and supplies.
He said he anticipates that the Capital
Projects Fund will go down in the next fiscal
year as the district has completed the
middle school build project. The 2021-22
fiscal year saw the district spend $86.54
million to cover the cost of its permanent
Despite the slight decrease in the revenue
and the slight increase in expenditures,
Garside said the district’s finances
are stable and he sees no need for the board
to request an operating levy at this time.
He added that the district has maintained,
and will continue to maintain, a positive
cash balance of roughly 5 to 10 months
throughout the next five-years, if not
beyond that duration of time.
Messenger holiday publication schedule
The Messenger will alter its print publication
schedule for the upcoming holiday
season. The Messenger print publication
and delivery date for the remainder of 2022
will be Dec. 25. After that, print publication
will resume following the holidays on
Jan. 15 and then every other week after.
Thank you for reading the Messenger!
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 3
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The “Signs” of Christmas were seen and heard at the Southwest Public Libraries. On
Dec. 11, the Grove City Library and the Westland Area Library were visited by the
Signs of Christmas, an all-volunteer group that spreads holiday cheer and awareness
of the deaf and hard of hearing communities through American Sign Language.
For more than a-half-an-hour, the performers from across the region entertained the
crowds with their own renditions of holiday classics such as “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph
the Red-Nose Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ (In a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo
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Livestock could be back
on the table in Urbancrest
By Dedra Cordle
The village of Urbancrest could allow
eggs and poultry to come back to the table
At its meeting in December, the village
council discussed the merits of revisiting
legislation that prohibits the raising of
farm animals and livestock on residential
The call to reconsider the legislation
that was passed in 2021 was introduced by
councilman Lacy Wallace Jr., who also
serves on the health and safety committee.
According to Wallace Jr., a number of
residents have addressed the committee
seeking allowance to raise chickens in their
backyards. Wallace Jr. was not on the
council when the legislation was passed
last spring, but he said he did research
after hearing from the residents and
believes the topic should be revisited by the
“I think there are several benefits to
having backyard chickens,” he said. “One is
it helps kid get involved, socializing with
others, and it gets them off the gaming
An additional reason the legislation
should be reconsidered, he said, is the current
state of the country’s economy and the
soaring cost of groceries caused by inflation.
“Eggs and poultry are expensive,” he
said in an interview after the meeting. “I
feel a family could go broke buying poultry
and eggs for their families because it is so
expensive right now.
“It is an economic issue for our constituents
and raising poultry and having
hens that lay eggs could be beneficial to
their financial situation.”
When Wallace Jr. brought up the topic
to the full council, many who were active
members at that time expressed concern
over revising the legislation.
“It was a lot,” said councilman Steven
Larkins. “A lot of time, a lot of back-andforth,
a lot of fighting over what was in the
Councilwoman Shawn Moore said she
was hesitant to express support for the
idea because she has doubts that roosters
would not find their way back to the village.
Wallace Jr. said the council could still
Volunteers sought at food pantry
The Grove City Food Pantry is looking
for volunteers. The pantry is located at
2710 Columbus St. in Grove City. It serves
about 250 families each month in Grove
news and notes
prohibit roosters or any other farm animals
and livestock from being raised on residential
“I don’t want to see or hear any of that
either,” he said.
The council did not act on the request at
its regular meeting, primarily because
Wallace Jr. stated the committee would
ask the full legislative body to formally
reconsider the farm animal and livestock
prohibition legislation early next year.
Village code enforcement officer Randall
Bogue said in an interview after the meeting
that he did not have an issue with
Wallace Jr. calling for the reconsideration
of the farm animal and livestock prohibition
“He is not asking that the council allow
residents to raise any and all livestock, just
backyard chickens,” he said.
Bogue added that the council could
include new rules should residents be
allowed to raise chickens on their property,
such as a maximum allowance of poultry
on the lot, structural guidelines for the
coop, sanitary guidelines for the health and
safety of the community, and even a permit
“We’ll see what the council wants to do
with Mr. Wallace’s request in the coming
year and then go from there,” he said.
The farm animal prohibition legislation
was passed in May 2021 after months of
debate. The action came on the heels of residential
complaints that roosters were
“waking them up in the early morning
hours” and that there were pigs walking
throughout the community, leaving waste
behind and posing health hazards to
humans and their pets.
According to a door-to-door survey conducted
by members of the health and safety
committee at that time, a majority of
residents approved of the move to ban farm
animals and livestock within the village.
Under the ordinance, farm animals
include, but are not limited to, bison,
camels, chickens, donkeys, ducks, emus,
fox, geese, miniature donkeys, miniature
horses, mink, mules, ostrich, pheasant,
pigs, and turkeys.
Under the ordinance, livestock is
defined as alpacas, cattle, goats, captive
white-tail deer, goats, horses, llamas,
mules, poultry, and any other animal that
is raised or maintained domestically for
food or fiber.
City, Orient, Harrisburg and Galloway.
Food donations are also needed. Those
interested in volunteering for the Grove
City Food Pantry or making a food or monetary
donation can email
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 5
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PAGE 6 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - December 25, 2022
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Grove City resident Brenda Mocarski has published the children’s book, “Daddy Still
Loves Me.” This book helps children process their feelings when dealing with divorce
Helping kids cope with divorce
By Sarah Slayman
Brenda Mocarski, of Grove City, has
self-published a book that aims to help
children cope with divorce and alcohol
Mocarski, author of “Daddy Still Loves
Me,” is a retired pediatric nurse with a
degree in psychology. She is a child of
divorce herself, which she says, gives her a
unique perspective on just how wounding
the experience can be.
Mocarski didn’t write the children’s
book until her own grandchildren went
through a divorce. She said she struggled
to find the resources that would help them
cope with the family break-up. Her goal in
writing was to assure children that they
were not responsible for the divorce, the
parents did not divorce them, and they are
still loved. With encouragement from professional
counselors, she began to move
forward with publishing.
“Children rarely voice their fears or concerns,”
said Mocarski. “Reading this book
with the child opens the door for expressing
the feelings the child is experiencing
and assuring them they are still loved by
Because divorce is traumatic for the
parents as well, often they don’t see what
their kids are going through, said
Mocarski. She said they are usually too
young to verbalize emotions, or have not
been given the opportunity to do so.
The book is shared from a young child’s
perspective of divorce, and the pages walk
through statements of their emotions, perhaps
sadness or anger, and transition into
breaking down why it could be dangerous
to trust an alcoholic parent to be your caretaker.
Real-life examples are shared
throughout the book.
“Daddy Still Loves Me” is available
through Amazon, Kindle online, and
Barnes and Noble for $16.95. Mocarski
also sells copies for $15 via inquiries at
Energy assistance available
The Ohio Department of Development
and The Central Ohio Area Agency on
Aging want to remind senior citizens in
Ohio that assistance is available to help
with their home energy bills. The Home
Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps
Ohioans at or below 175 percent of the federal
poverty guidelines pay their heating
Applied directly to the customer’s utility
or bulk fuel bill, the benefit can help manage
heating costs. Senior citizens may go to
their local Area Agency on Aging office for
help with assembling the required documents
and completing their HEAP application.
Senior citizens may also visit
www.energyhelp.ohio.gov to apply online
or to download a copy of the application.
When applying, individuals need to
have copies of the following documents:
• Most recent utility bills
Tax-Aide volunteers needed
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, which had
to scale back operations at the Grove City
Church of the Nazarene because of the
pandemic, hopes to return to full strength
next tax season and is looking for volunteers.
The all-volunteer program provides free
income tax preparation to all comers, but
places a special emphasis on serving senior
news and notes
• A list of all household members
(including birth dates and social security
• Proof of income for the past 30 days for
all household members (12 months for certain
• Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
for all household members
• Proof of disability (if applicable)
HEAP benefits are applied to an individual’s
energy bill after Jan. 1.
Applications for the HEAP program must
be received by May 31, 2023.
For more information or assistance with
applying for a HEAP benefit, contact Andy
Haggard at 614-645-7186. To be connected
to your local energy assistance provider,
call (800) 282-0880 (hearing impaired
clients may dial 711 for assistance) or visit
citizens. Before the pandemic, tax-aide volunteers
prepared tax returns for more than
800 Grove City area residents each year.
Volunteers come from all walks of life,
from accountants to warehouse workers.
No experience is required. Tax-Aide provides
training, a computer to work on and
mentorship throughout the tax season.
For more information, go to aarpfoundation.org/taxaidevolunteer
or call 1-888-227-
Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP) is over for
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On December 2, 2022, Grove City Police
were dispatched to the 3400 block of
Broadway. on a report of a disturbance
in the drive-through. The employee
stated the customer said they were done
with this, and they heard a firearm
being racked. Officers arrived and contacted
the vehicle and noticed open containers
in the car and a bullet on the
passenger floorboard. The passenger
then ran from the police for a short distance
before being caught. A search of
the vehicle discovered two firearms in
the vehicle. Charges were filed against
In other police news:
On December 2, 2022, Grove City Police
were contacted about the caller’s father
being scammed over the phone. The father
received a phone call from a suspect
stating they were with the “federal reserve”
and he owed them $70,000. The
father made two withdrawals over two
days totaling $53,000 with instructions
to deposit the funds in the bitcoin atm
with a QR code that was provided.
On November 28, 2022, Grove City
Police were dispatched to the 2800 block
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 7
Grove City Police News
of London Groveport Rd on a report of
shoplifting. Upon arrival officers were
informed the suspect concealed items in
her purse and left without paying. The
total value of the items was $1,256.31.
The suspect was charged with theft.
On December 3, 2022, Grove City Police
were dispatched to the 4100 block of
Buckeye Pkwy on a report of shoplifting.
The caller stated the two suspects were
concealing jewelry in pockets and a
backpack. Officers stopped the suspects
as they left the store without paying. A
total of $616.56 in jewelry was recovered.
Both suspects were arrested for
On December 4, 2022, Grove City Police
were dispatched to a business in the
3000 block of London Groveport Rd on a
report of a robbery. The victim stated a
male entered the business brandishing
a silver handgun and demanding money.
The suspect was a white male wearing
black pants and a black hoodie. He wore
purple latex gloves and a blue medical
mask. The suspect left in an unknown
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PAGE 8 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - December 25, 2022
Drainage and sewage issues
discussed in Pleasant Township
8000 Factory Shops Blvd.
Jeffersonville, OH 43128
By Hannah Poling
Residents from the Community
Gardens Mobile Home Park attended a
recent Pleasant Township board meeting
to address concerns about water and
According to the residents, this is a reoccurring
problem that affects everyone who
lives in the community. The problem has
been going on for the last several years,
first gaining attention when the park was
accused of dumping raw sewage into the
Darby River. The residents said now their
sewage problems are worse than ever.
Residents reported problems that
include pink water coming out of their
faucets, sewage backing up under mobile
homes, and a lack of water pressure. Some
residents reported that last year, they
went an entire week without water and
others said the sewer pumps do not support
the number of mobile homes in the
Residents have reported the issues to
the park’s manager and maintenance staff,
but they said no one has been able to find
“We don’t know who to report it to.
There is no one to call except the park
manager. Everyone drops off money somewhere
else. We already called the city and
the county,” one resident said.
Other residents shared concern for their
children’s safety with large sewer trenches
running through their backyards.
“We have tried to find the proper routes
to remedy this but the trailer park we stay
at is refusing to do anything,” another concerned
The trustees said that they would help
the community get some answers.
“We will start making phone calls
tomorrow and track down somebody higher
to deal with. There has to be someone to
get a hold of,” board chairwoman Nancy
The residents in the community wished
to keep their names out of print for fear of
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3220 Columbus St., Grove City, OH 43123
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4:00, 6:00 & 8:00 p.m.
Christmas Day Service 10 a.m.
Sat. 4 p.m., Sun. 8:15 a.m. & 11 a.m.
Contemporary Service Sun. 11 a.m.
Be a Part of Our Local Worship Guide
Our Worship Guide is geared toward celebrating faith and helping reader connect with religious
resources in our community. Make sure these readers know how you can help with a presence in
this very special section distributed to more than 22,000 households in the Southwest area.
Contact us today to secure your spot in our Worship Guide.
614.272.5422 • email@example.com
Please visit the
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List your Worship
For info. call 614-272-5422
Arctic is a 4-monthold
kitty who is looking
to start the year
off with a forever
home, however he
wants to stay with his
Glacier. Arctic is very
sweet and cuddly. He
is neutered, vaccinated,
and up for adoption through Colony Cats.
Glacier is a sweet
kitty, who needs to be
with his sibling Arctic.
The bonded pair of
needs a home
together for the holidays.
Glacier likes to
cuddle but may need
a little time to adjust
to a new home. The
pair will bring someone
a lot of love and happiness. You can meet
them at the Colony Cats cage-free adoption
Betsy is a 4-monthold
puppy who is a
sweet and loyal girl
that just wants to be
with her person. She
does great with other
dogs and is respectful
of cats. Betsy is
current on vaccines.
She is doing great on
house training but not quite at 100 percent.
She is spayed, microchipped and ready to
find her forever home. Adopt Betsy from
Colony Cats and Dogs.
Georgio is a 10-yearold
pit bull mix who is
a little bit shy. He has
been quiet and
reserved at the shelter
and may need
time to adjust to a
new home, or he may
and become more
needs a person who is willing to let him come
out of his shell at his own time. He has been at
the county dog shelter for a while and is eager
to find a loving home.
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 9
PAGE 10 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - December 25, 2022
The committee structure of the Ohio House of
Representatives is where the bulk of the legislative
work gets completed. When a bill is introduced,
it is referred to the committee that deals
with its particular subject matter. It is discussed
publicly by House members. Interested parties
will testify about the pros and cons of the proposal
so that House members understand better
its effects and ramifications. Often times, it will be
modified to accommodate the concerns brought
forward in the hearings. If it is voted out of committee,
it then can be considered by the entire
House chamber. Should it get approved by the
House, it is then referred to the Ohio Senate,
where it undergoes a similar process. Only once
a bill gains the approval of both legislative chambers
can it get considered by the Governor for his
There will be 24 committees in the House in the
135th General Assembly. The committees are as
Agriculture & Conservation
Armed Services & Veterans Affairs
Behavioral Health & Recovery Supports
Economic & Workforce Development
Elections & Apportionment
Energy & Natural Resources
Families, Aging, & Human Services
Higher Education & Career Readiness
Infrastructure & Rural Development
Labor, Commerce, & Pensions
Primary & Secondary Education
Public Safety, Corrections, & State Security
State & Local Government
Technology & Innovation
Ways & Means
House members will get assigned to committees
at the beginning of the General Assembly in early
January. Members are designating their preferences
to the new House leadership. I have identified
three House committees that I feel will enable
me to contribute the most for our district: Finance,
Technology & Innovation, and Primary &
Secondary Education. Alternatively, there are
three additional committees with which I feel I
can be helpful: Economic & Workforce Development,
Higher Education & Career Readiness, and
Ways & Means. The Speaker determines, based on
his assessment of a member’s expertise, experience,
and priorities and the needs of the entire
chamber, who will serve on each committee.
(Dave Dobos represents the new Ohio House of
Representatives 10th District, which consists of
most of the west and southwest sides of Columbus,
parts of the south side of Columbus, Grove
City, Urbancrest, and Franklin Township. He reports
to us regularly via this column, which is paid
for by Dobos for Ohio.)
It has been more than a decade since
director James Cameron released his science
fiction epic “Avatar” and the question
that has most often arisen throughout this
duration of time is whether it has any relevance
within the public sphere. Despite
fact-based evidence that it became the
highest-grossing box office hit of all time,
revolutionized the way computer graphic
imagery was used within the entertainment
industry, and somehow made people
believe that 3D television was the way of
the future, film critics and pop culture commentators
alike came to the consensus that
“Avatar” was but a blip on the radar of the
zeitgeist, having little to no cultural impact
on the hearts and minds of the masses.
As this entertaining, albeit rather pointless,
debate was taking place, Cameron
was steadily toiling away, stating his
intention to make not just one sequel to
“Avatar” but four additional movies within
this universe as well. The caveat, however,
was that none of them would be filmed
until he believed that visual effect technology
had caught up to the vision he had in
his head for the world of his creation.
When the announcement came nearly
five years ago that he would officially
return to Pandora, film critics and pop culture
commentators across the country
began to once again question whether anyone
would even care to revisit the lush
world that featured nine-foot tall blue catlike
natives clashing with humans as they
tried to strip mine their planet for
resources. Most believed that no one would
care to revisit that place, that it was a
waste of money, and that the public had
moved far away from this world and turned
to things such as the Marvel Cinematic
Universe, the streaming revolution, and all
other kinds of entertainment gamechanges.
What they seemed to have forgotten,
along with all that fact-based evidence presented
in the first paragraph, was that
“Avatar” created a quiet yet hardcore fanbase
that had people trying to learn the fictionalized
language of the native Pandoran
tribe, making hundreds of trips down to
Disney World to experience the related
attraction, and plunking down even more
money in this economy to see the original
film when it came back to theaters earlier
this fall. (Note: it even beat new theatrical
releases.) But perhaps the most egregious
oversight from those wondering whether
people would pay to see this sequel, or any
sequel thereafter, was that it was helmed
by Cameron. Say what you want about
him, but there is no questioning the sheer
spectacle of his movies. And if there is anything
the public wants to see, it is a visual
spectacle to the likes of which they have
not seen before on the silver screen.
Ultimately, this is what “Avatar: The
Way of Water” offers to the public: A
chance to be immersed in a lush new world
that is full of wonder, danger, and unimaginable
beauty. Describing this film can
sometimes come across like you are blowing
smoke up the tush, but in its 3D state
it is one of the most visually dazzling
movies to ever come on the big screen. The
picture is crisper, the technology more
advanced, and the motion-capture aspect
has improved by leaps and bounds from the
With all of that said, however, this film
also displays some of Cameron’s worse
traits, such as his flair for reminding people
that he is responsible for some of the
greatest movies of all time, his propensity
to use the same words repeatedly, and his
lack of detail to the story that is currently
being told. He seems to forget that the
audience wants answers to the questions
that was raised in the first film, that they
want answers to some of the questions that
are bubbling forth in the second, and that
they do not necessarily want to wait for all
the answers to be given to them in the slow
roll out of this franchise. My theory is that
either he does not care about answering
them as some threads left in the first film
were cut completely out of the second or he
feels secure in the relevancy of his world,
positive that the masses will come out to
see his vision regardless of his fast and
loose approach with the storylines. Sadly,
he is not mistaken as I know I am a part of
that segment that will come out and see it
because I do love this world that this maddening
man has created.
The sequel is set nearly two decades
after the events of the first film where we
find former Marine Jake Sully (Sam
Worthington), now fully transported into
his Na’vi avatar, living his best life with
his fierce warrior wife Neytiri (Zoe
Saldana) by his side. Over the years, the
pair has welcomed three biological children
— eldest son Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), second-oldest
son Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), and
youngest daughter Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li
Bliss) — and have helped raised two other
children, the Na’vi-human hybrid Kiri
(Sigourney Weaver) and the humanhuman
Miles (Jack Champion) who was
left behind when Jake and the Na’vi banded
together to boot the humans back to
whatever remained of the world they had
mined to near death.
Content with their growing family —
although the attitudes now coursing
through their teenagers are causing some
strife — their happiness abruptly ends
when the humans (aka Sky People) come
back with a vengeance with several ninefoot
tall Na’vi clones who were implanted
with the memories of the military men and
women who were killed near the end of the
first feature in tow.
Uninspiring twist aside, these scenes
are particularly affecting as it showcases
the harm humans can do to other worlds in
the name of advancement. It also serves to
propel the story to another part of Pandora
as Jake and the Sully clan flee from the
Welcome to the wonderful world of James Cameron
The Reel Deal
clones now hell-bent
on their destruction.
And what a new
world the place they
refuge with the
Matkayina, a water
tribe, the Sully family set out to explore
their new home nestled on the shores of the
ocean, meeting all sorts of fantastic beasts
along the way. Cameron spends much of
the 192-minute run time playing within
these surroundings, letting the audience
get to know the new generation of the Sully
children as they bond with majestic ocean
animals and members of the new clan.
Although it can seem indulgent at times,
as if we are playing in his own personal
bathtub full of his toys, the underwater
scenes are quite breathtaking to experience.
Less thrilling, however, is the written
story within this film, which is really just a
retread of the previous film minus the mineral
that could have saved Earth. While
the sequel certainly has more depth than
its predecessor as the stakes are higher
with children at play now, some of the justifications
for the military Na’vi clones setting
off around the Pandoran world just to
fight Jake and his family is nonsensical at
times. But that is the risk one takes when
it comes to movies that are directed and
written by Cameron — more attention is
paid to the visual details rather than the
spoken word and its story. Individually,
they can be a powerful way to move a story,
to move an audience, but if they are created
together in harmony within a film it can
be even more affecting to the mind and
heart of the masses. That unfortunately is
not the case with “Avatar: The Way of
Water,” raising questions once again about
its cultural relevance but it will still leave
quite an impression with its ability to captivate
the senses through its visual storytelling
Visually: A+, Story: B-
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff
writer and columnist.
Andrea Cordle...................................Grove City Editor
Published every other Sunday by the
The Columbus Messenger Co.
3500 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43204
The Franklin County Commissioners approved the
county’s more-than $2 billion annual budget for 2023. As
the administrative division of county government, the
commissioners directly oversee 14 county agencies and set
the budget for all of county government, including agencies
that report to other elected officials. They held three
days of budget hearings in November at which agencies
presented highlights from 2022 and their budget requests
for next year.
“There is a saying in government, ‘show me your budget,
and I’ll tell you your priorities,’” said board of commissioners
president, Erica Crawley. “Our annual budget is
the best possible example of the board’s values to support
and reflect our community’s priorities. Everything we do
as county commissioners is centered around helping and
ensuring all of our neighbors in Franklin County have the
same opportunities to thrive, not just survive.”
The 2023 budget includes continued funding for the
commissioners’ RISE childcare initiative that provides $23
million to make high-quality child care available to more
Franklin County families, and to strengthen the commissioners’
ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
This year’s budget fully funds a new 24/7 Rapid Resource
Center at the county’s new jail to provide support,
resources, and referrals to residents exiting custody in
order to help them succeed and avoid further contact with
the criminal justice system, and it includes increased funding
for Franklin County Public Health, Children Services,
ADAMH, the Office on Aging, the Board of Developmental
Disabilities, and the Veterans Service Commission.
“We’re pleased to be able to say that the county is in a
strong financial position again this year because of smart
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 11
County commissioners approve $2 billion budget for 2023
planning in years past,” said commissioner John O’Grady.
“We pride ourselves on long-term planning and responsible
budgeting so that we’re able to weather tough times
and support our residents when they need it most.”
The 2023 budget includes general fund expenditures
of nearly $600 million and all-funds expenditures
of more than $2 billion. General fund revenue
comes mostly from sales tax and funds local justice
and public safety agencies, including the sheriff’s
office, jail, and court system. The all-funds budget
includes state and federal passthroughs, and largely
funds social and human services, economic
development, and additional public safety initiatives.
The budget also includes nearly $82 million
in the county’s “rainy day” fund and approximately
five months’ worth of general fund cash reserves.
“This year’s budget includes not only the basic
funding that county government needs to provide
the services upon which our residents rely, but
increases to help ensure that all Franklin Count
families are able to share in the success that our
community enjoys,” said commissioner Kevin
Boyce. “Budgeting is among the commissioners’
most important responsibilities and the way in
which we can best support our residents throughout
In 2022, the commissioners made historic
investments in workforce development programs
and nutritional support via the Mid-Ohio Food
Collective as well as providing millions in grants to
small businesses and local non-profit agencies.
They funded an unprecedented number of affordable
housing units and strengthened the county’s public
For more information about the budget, visit
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Village Municipal Building
3492 1st Ave. Urbancrest
Sheetz Gas Station - Broadway & Centerpoint
Turkey Hill - Broadway & Centerpoint
Speedway Gas Stateion - Boardway & I-270
Shell Gas Station - Broadway & I-270
United Dairy Farmers - Broadway & Southwest
CVS Pharmacy - Broadway & Southwest
Speedway Gas Station - Broadway & Southwest
Grove City Library - 3959 Broadway
Planks on Broadway - Broadway & Park St.
Mobile Gas Station - Broadway & Paul St.
Ernies Carry-Out - Broadway & Paul St.
BP Gas Station - Stringtown & Hoover
We are the BEST COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER in Grove City
Pick-Up At These Locations:
Krogers - Stringtown & Hoover
Walgreen’s - Stringtown & McDowell
CVS Pharmacy - Stringtown & McDowell
Drug Mart - Stringtown & McDowell
Speedway Gas Station - Stringtown & I-71
Dollar General - 3065 Broadway
Southwest Community Center
3500 1st Ave. Urbancrest
Kroger - Hoover & Route 665
Meijer - 665 & Hoover
Circle K - 665 & I-71
CVS Pharmacy - 665 & Hoover
Dollar General - 665 & Hoover
READ US ONLINE: www.columbusmessenger.com
PAGE 12 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - December 25, 2022
Traditional decorations connect to the past
I am a hard-core, tradition-driven holiday decorator.
My love of Christmas dates back decades and many
of the knick-knacks and baubles that hung on my tree
as a child made the journey through time and space to
today and the house I call home.
A partially burnt candle in the shape of a fireplace
and chimney, adorned with a single strand of greenery
and a tiny Merry Christmas banner, has a special
place in a hutch once owned by my grandparents. The
red brick is now faded to a light pink, but a diminutive
faux fire decal still shines bright.
Next to the candle is a jumbo pine cone adorned
with a face crafted out of cotton and smaller pine cone
arms that hold a tiny, decorated candle. It was lovingly
given to me when I was six years old and spent a summer
visiting Vienna with my mother.
The pine cone was plucked from a forest in Austria
and, in the early 1960s when I received it, was already
On top of my tree is a celluloid Santa face mounted
on an eight inch round pleated aluminum circle. It
crowned my childhood Christmas trees and when I got
married in the mid-1970s, my beloved tree topper was
passed on to me by my parents.
Santa once had a full curly beard, but over the
years the glue holding him to the metal circle dried
and his fiberglass curls fell off. Last year, the topper
got a makeover, but with modern materials, the beard
is not as curly and shiny as it once was.
Perched atop a hutch in another room is a sad little
18-inch tree that most people–but not me–would
have tossed in the trash years ago. Its 20 branches of
a green, cellophane-like material function as needles
mounted on thin wire branches, albeit noticeably thinner
as the years move on.
The high school Duck Pin League met
every Wednesday afternoon after
school at the Grove City Bowling Alley,
located in a two story building on the
south of Broadway. Under the supervision
of girls’ gym teacher, Mrs. Betty
Trego, students participating could
earn a gym credit. Pictured are Bonnie
Schwarz, Eilene Trapp, Virginia Haag,
Mariam Weidenbein, Janice
Breckenridge, Maribel Breckenridge,
and Kathleen Trapp. Leanne Watkins,
from the Grove City Welcome Center
and Museum, provided the photo and
A plain block of
green painted wood
serves as the base and
still bears the original
Grants (a long gone
South High Street store in the
Great Southern Shopping
Center) $1 price sticker. The
sticker is a reminder of my
seven-year-old self saving up
my chore money to buy the little
tree, which has since traveled
across America and the Pacific
Ocean to Japan before making
it back home to Ohio for good.
Gold garland is draped
around the tree in our den–one that stands guard
over our presents until Christmas Day–and is another
childhood holdover. The garland, like the little tree
from Grants, has lost a lot of its original luster.
Sporting the patina of aged gold, it’s been cobbled
back together over the decades as portions of the string
holding it in one piece become weak and break. It now
sheds more than our dog, but I would never replace the
garland (neither the dog). It is too precious and, even
in its state of disrepair, I continue to see its beauty.
Shiny new ornaments, sturdy modern faux trees,
tree toppers and garlands that don’t shed are nice, but
there is nothing like looking at their older, aging counterparts
and taking comfort in knowing that they are
a link to the past and a keeper of memories for the
Linda Dillman is a Messenger staff writer.
Showing appreciation for the Grove City
holiday displays and for local news
Linda and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas lights in
and around Grove City this holiday season. The Town Center decorations
are spectacular and the best ever. Every time I drive by
the new downtown park, I slow down for a longer second look.
In years past, we often drove to other central Ohio communities
but last year we decided the best decorations could be seen in
our own town.
Even though there is so much turmoil in the world and societal
dysfunction, Grove City residents are looking to the bright side
and celebrate a season of inclusion. That’s motivation to anticipate
better days in 2023.
I also want to express my appreciation for our local newspaper,
The Grove City Messenger. I miss it being a weekly publication
but look forward to its community articles when it arrives in my
driveway every other week.
Weekly newspapers are not out of date; they still play a critical
role in our everyday life. The Messenger editor and staff do a good
job providing accurate and informative information for local residents.
It’s difficult to accept the fact that more than 2,500 newspapers
have ceased operation in the United States since 2005. I hope the
Messenger continues to represent both the residents and the business
community well into the future.
James F. Hale
letter to the editor
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 13
Deadlines: Grove City, Groveport & All editions - Mondays at Noon.
West, Canal Winchester, South & Madison editions -Tuesdays at 5 p.m.
YOUR DAY CARE OR PRESCHOOL
in the West and Grove City Messengers
and reach over 23,000 homes
Call Kathy For More Info
The Urbancrest Community
Improvement Corporation (UCIC)
is holding a Public Meeting on
January 18, 2023 at 6:00 pm
This meeting will be held at
Union Baptist Church
3452 First Ave., Urbancrest 43123
for more information.
Class Action against The
City of Grove City (2.5
miliion) & Grove City
Police (2.5 million) for
bodily harm & abuse of
power. Free to join. 614-
Class Action against
Grant Hospital for
malpractice & negligence.
Free to join. 614-278-9498
Double Lot - Sunset
Cemetery, Section 6. Value
$5,190, asking $4,000
OBO. Text 614-361-3803
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The National Trade Association
we belong to has
purchased the following
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
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
dollars. Toll Free numbers
may or may not
reach Canada. Please
check with the Better
Business Bureau 614-
486-6336 or the Ohio Attorney
614-466-4986 for more
information on the company
you are seeking to
do business with.
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xCome & Get It!
December 25, 2022 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - PAGE 15
COME AND GET IT!
Need to Get Rid of Something Fast - Advertise It Here For FREE!
Deadlines are Mondays by Noon
Call For Publication Schedule 614-272-5422
FREE Garden Straw for gardens or bedding. Call for appointment for pickup.
Circle S Farms, 9015 London-Groveport Road, Grove City, 43123
Grove City - 614-878-7980
FREE - Metal from old camper frame, Need a truck to pickup..
CC - Obetz - 614-632-1013
FREE - Children’s Wooden Play Set - Good Condition w/Sand Box under it, Step Ladder up
Slide to go down & a rope swing. Also separate Swing Set w/4 swings.
190 Inah Ave., Cols, 43228 near the Fire Dept.
West Columbus - 614-878-1930, ask for Linda
FREE - Firewood - All you want! U cut U Haul. Text me if you want it.
Obetz - 614-519-7986
Come and Get It! is a bi-weekly column that offers readers an opportunity to pass
along surplus building materials, furniture, electronic equipment, crafts, supplies,
appliances, plants or household goods to anybody who will come and get them - as
long as they’re FREE. NO PETS! Just send us a brief note describing what you want to
get rid of, along with your name, address and phone number. Nonprofit organizations
are welcome to submit requests for donations of items.
Send information to The Columbus Messenger, Attention: Come and Get It, 3500
Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH43204. Deadline is Mondays at NOON for following
Sunday’s publication. Messenger Newspapers is not responsible for any complications
that may occur. Please contact us when items are gone. 272-5422
Come & Get It!
xFocus on Rentals
1, 2 and 3 BR Apts.
Rent Based on Income.
Call 614-272-2800 or visit us
at 777 Wedgewood Dr.
EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
BATH & SHOWER UP-
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prices - No payments for
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Senior & Military
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The Generac PWRcell, a
solar plus battery storage
system. SAVE money,
reduce your reliance on
the grid, prepare for power
outages and power
your home. Full installation
services available. $0
Down Financing Option.
Request a FREE, no obligation,
quote today. Call
NEED IRS RELIEF
$10K-$125K+ Get Fresh
Start or Forgiveness.
Monday through Friday
The following states: CA,
CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, KY,
LA, MD, ME, MI, MN,
NE, NC, NH, OH, OK,
SC, SD, TX, VT and WA
requires seller of certain
business opportunities to
register with each state
before selling. Call to
verify lawful registration
before you buy.
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playroom, fncd yd. Reas.
rates. Laurie at 853-2472
For Info. &
Kings Kids Daycare
in Grove City is hiring Fun,
Loving Teachers for PT &
FT shifts. Please email
Licensed Barber Needed
to take over for retiring
barber. Full or Parttime.
located in Great Southern
Shopping Center. Call
Cindy for more info
WANT TO BUY
WE BUY JUNK CARS
Call anytime 614-774-6797
BUYING OSU & old sports
items, records, postcards,
old photos, jewelry & more
We Buy Cars & Trucks
We Buy Junk Cars &
Trucks. Highest Prices
CARTRIDGES FOR SALE
HP 901 Color Cartridges (3);
HP 901XL and 901 Color
Multi Pack (1);
HP 901XL Black(1).
3500 Sullivant Ave.
Call Office 614-272-5422
Bedroom Suite - Bed frame,
dresser w/attached mirror.
All wood. Good cond.
$1900 OBO. 614-571-1997
OUT OF TOWN
5.02 Wooded Acres for
sale near S. Pittsburg. TN.
No utilities. $40K. Can be
seen on Zillow.com.
1991 Cadillac - runs good
305 Chevy motor ?
Any 5 areas ONLY $75
Specializing in Pet Odors
DEEP CLEANING &
Call Judy 614-746-0273
Driveways & Extensions
Patio & Walkways,
Porches & Steps,
Hot Tub/Shed Pads,
Sealing of new &
Good Work - Fair Prices
Driveways • Sidewalks
Bonded-Ins. • Free Ests.
Chain Link - Wood
No Job Too Big or Small
All Repairs ~ Free Est.
$1.50 per sq ft
also available for
Special Expires 1/31/23
4 Days - $275 & Up
No Hazardous Materials
Tires - $10.00 each
AND MORE LLC
• Junk Removal
10% OFF FOR
SENIORS & VETERANS
HEATING & COOLING
HEATING & A/C
Fast Service - Licensed
For This Ad In Our
West & Grove City
For Info Call
Plumbing and Electrical.
All your Handyman needs
No Job too Big or Small
Over 30 Yrs. Exp. Lic.-Bond-Ins.
Handyman Services LLC
“See The Difference”
& Electrical Work
Handyman - outdoor &
indoor. Reasonable Rates
Earn FREE Seamless
Gutters with Siding Over
1000 Sq. Ft.
FREE Shutters with
Soffit & Trim
Member of BBB
Over 20 yrs exp. • Free Est.
Owner & Operator
Minor Plumbing & Electric
Install Hot Water Tanks,
Dishwashers & Disposals
All Interior Remodels
Also Fencing &
Free Est. ~ 18 Yrs. Exp.
CDC/EPA Approved Guidelines
Phil Bolon Contr.
Windows & Siding
Decks, Kitchens, Baths
Deal With Small Non-Pressure Co.
47 Yrs. Exp. - Refs. Avail.
Free Est. - Financing Avail.
Member BBB Of Cent. OH
O.C.I.E.B. ID #24273
LET US MAINTAIN
YOUR LAWN & GARDEN
Winter or Fall
WE DO IT ALL!!!!
Lawn Cuts, Edging,
Trees & Shrubs, Garden,
Garden Pond &
Free Ests. Low Rates
$20 & Up
Kevin - 614-905-3117
Over 40 yrs. exp.
Hot Water Tanks
Roofmg * Siding
Porches & Decks
& Handyman Services
All Types Handyman Services:
All Types of Flooring
Full Service Lawn Care
Start With Trust!!
Painter Over 30 Yrs. Exp.
Free Est. Reas. Rates
Daniel - 614-226-4221
All About Drains & Plumb.
Will snake any small drain
Exp Expert Plumbing
New Const. & Fast Repairs
Lic. - Permit AVailable
Water * Sewer * Gas
“Plumbing & Drain Professional
That You Can Count On”
24 Hrs., 7 Days/Week
No Overtime Charges
24 Yrs. Exp. in Plumbing &
Drain Cleaning Field
Call For A Free Phone Estimate
$100.00 For Any Small Drain
30% OFF with AD
K&L Spa Cleaning
Hot Tub Cleaning and
BBB “A+” Rating
All Types of Roof Repairs
• New Roof Installation
• Chimneys Rebuilt
• Flat Roof Specialist
• Roof Replacement
avail. upon request
All Work Guaranteed
REPAIR all makes 24 hr.
service. Clean, oil, adjust
in your home. $49.95 all
work gtd. 614-890-5296
BURNS TREE SERVICE
Trimming, Removal &
Warren Brewer Tree Service
• Tree Removal
• Tree Trimming
• Stump Grinding
• Bucket Truck Services
Best Prices • Same Day Service
PAGE 16 - GROVE CITY MESSENGER - December 25, 2022
IMMACULATE LIKE NEW CONDO
Welcome to 1420 Cascade Drive. This immaculate condo is the rare one with the fully conditioned Sunroom. Almost totally
hard surface flooring the only carpet is in the master bedroom. New HVAC and water tank this home is well loved. Open floor
plan which offers a granite and stainless kitchen with an abundance of counter space and cabinetry. The open kitchen looks
directly into the vaulted Great Room with a gas log fireplace as well as the dining area. Large Owners Suite with a dual sink
bath and walk in closet featuring a handy closet organizer system. Second bedroom is also large with its own walk in closet.
If you are looking for a condo that is move in ready, you just found your new home! Fountainview is close to shopping, medical,
parks and transportation. Don't miss out! $299,900 MLS #222044729
Evan & Greg Skinner, Realtors
Discount Commissions Everytime!
COMMERCIAL - INDUSTRIAL - HIGH QUALITY RESIDENTAL firstname.lastname@example.org