Woods are Calling
We are wealthy. We are lucky. We are blessed.
We are all of these for a variety of reasons specific to each one of us; together we are all fortunate to have a treasure in our own neighborhoods and back yards: Geauga County Parks.
My experiences in the park have been as diverse as the many parks themselves.
Our family has enjoyed the parks through the Boy Scout program. From Cub Scout meetings 12 years ago at Beartown Lakes to campouts at Big Creek and finally service projects at Orchard Hills, the parks have offered an ideal setting.
Both of my sons completed their Eagle Scout requirements by helping to re-naturalize the former golf course at Orchard Hills by removing decaying buildings and planting native trees. They have developed a love of nature and sense of community by giving back to the parks that supported their activities while growing up.
The parks have also offered us a beautiful setting to enjoy nature and physical activity. Whether we are walking our dogs at Frohring Meadows, biking the Headwaters Trail or enjoying the many programs at The West Woods, we always have an enjoyable time at the park.
The knowledgeable park staff runs quality events for every age and interest. I never thought I would find myself creating temporary art in nature, but that is just what I did at this year’s Nature Arts Festival, as a park employee guided me to not just see the beauty, but to create beauty. The staff keeps the trails clear and well-marked for both the experienced naturalist and beginner.
Our recent favorite is to hike to a bench on Hemlock Trail at Big Creek to sit quietly and enjoy the surroundings. Bird identification, owl sightings, wild flowers, salamanders and stars; there is a park and an activity for everyone.
In the 12 years we have lived in Geauga County, my family has enjoyed year-round activities in the parks and yet there are still places we have never explored. What’s next? Observatory Park and Bass Lake are calling me to visit.
John Muir says, “Going to the woods is going home.” The woods are calling; won’t you come home?
Power of Education
Tim Grendell’s letter in last week’s Maple Leaf moved me. I was so moved in fact that I took my letter titled “First Amendment” in the March 3 issue and had not one but two professors of English read it and then read Tim’s response.
The issue that both PhD’s in English noticed, as I am sure many readers of the Maple Leaf did, is that at no time when I addressed Mr. Spidalieri did I say he did not have the right to speak. In fact, I never question his or anyone’s right to free speech at all, as Tim would have you believe in his response.
Nor did I or anyone shout “fire” in a crowded theater. That is just more of the typical rhetoric and obfuscation that Tim uses to deflect attention when he or one of his minions are in trouble.
What I did in fact ask him, Tim, was to address why he felt my employer had a right to prevent me from exercising my First Amendment rights when I am off the clock, in my own home, per his earlier statements.
I am asking him to explain his statement and I am inviting him to speak, not trying to take away his right to. That you spoke for Mr. Spidalieri, however, speaks volumes about Ralph and his connections to you, your court and who really pulls his strings.
I will point out again that I asked Mr. Spidalieri to respond, as he was the one that stated that my employer has the right to censor my freedom of speech when I am in my own home, and to date, he has ignored, ducked, dodged and now hidden behind the robes of the judge and refuses to answer.
Boy did I have a crazy dream last night.
Here’s what happened. I was getting ready for bed and I decided to have a bedtime snack, so I heated up a microwave burrito. While it was heating up, I sat down and started reading the letters to the editor in the local newspaper.
There was the Honorable Judge Timothy J Grendell doing his usual maligning. This time he went after two citizens who disagreed with him. Then, he told everyone about the limits of their First Amendment constitutional rights. He repeated his often made admonition that you couldn’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater.
Well, about that time the Burrito was ready. I ate it and went to bed and boy did I have the worst dream of my life.
I dreamt I was sitting in a crowded theater. All around me the people were laughing and applauding. Up on the screen was a copy of the United States Constitution, except it wasn’t really the Constitution, it was Judge Grendell’s letter to the editor.
Then I began to smell something burning. I looked down on the floor beside me and there was a pile of smoldering garbage. I didn’t know what to do. I looked back up. The people were still laughing and applauding. I looked back down on the floor. The smoldering garbage was about to burst into flames.
I was paralyzed by the judge’s warning. What could I do? Then it came to me. I did the only thing I could do. I jumped up and yelled at the top of my lungs, “Garbage ! Garbage! Garbage!”
All I can say is no more burritos at bedtime.
David J Partington
And then this:
John Oros Qualifications
Ms. Buckles’ editorial last week was entertaining fiction and a libelous assault on the character of a truly honorable man.
I am proud to have nominated, and the county commissioners approved, John Oros for the position of conservationist on the NOACA rural council representing Geauga County. It is interesting that a person with a biology degree and a couple of volunteer certificates can proclaim to be more of an expert than John who has served Geauga for over 22 years doing conservation. You be the judge.
John Oros is a family man, veteran and he is the director of the Geauga County Parks. He has responsibility for protecting and conserving some 10,000 acres of Geauga County park lands.
He has a degree in Applied Science, Recreation and Wildlife. He was chosen to be Director by the Park Board based on his managerial skills, his background, expertise and his 22 years of experience.
His resume includes, but is not limited to, the following positions: a seasonal land steward, park technician, land steward and a natural resource manager. He led a youth group that was recognized by President Bush for their conservation activities. Unlike his detractors, he is accountable to the board and some 93,000 thousand citizens who pay for the parks.
Geauga County has a diverse population. Many Geauga County citizens think that we should be able hunt, trap, ride horses, tap maple trees and to recreate in the parks we pay for. John and the Park board have worked hard to create a balanced and responsible conservation plan that considers all the citizens and their view points. They should be applauded.
To see evidence of their good works, simply visit and enjoy the Parks; they are healthy and vibrant.
As to the many false and fallacious claims, let me offer this. The board is accountable for decisions being made regarding the parks, period. John is accountable to the board. John and the board make decisions based on best practice and the input from the citizens from across the county. John and the board are responsible to all of the public, not just a small minority of vocal citizens.
I can think of no one better qualified than John Oros to represent the citizens of Geauga County on the NOACA rural council because he hears from and is responsible to all the citizens of our county. Who better understands what conservation is about than someone “doing” conservation, while
balancing competing interests?
Here is a fun fact. The ATF does not categorize black powder rifles as “firearms,” as was claimed.
Exposing children to patriotic events such as the one referenced should be applauded and celebrated. I am wondering if there would be an objection to a 21-gun salute to our fallen heroes. Something often done in parks across the nation, which is touching and inspiring for many of us.
Please support John and the Park Board. Thank them for the great job they do every day.
Walter “Skip” Claypool
Geauga County Commissioner