Monthly Archives: April 2017

Congratulations Sharon Woods

On Wednesday evening at the Northland Community Council’s annual awards dinner, Bob Poling,  and Pastor Don Wallick both received an award from SWCA for their involvement and support of our Civic Association.  We want to thank them again for all they do for our community.

Also Sharon Woods Block Watch received the “Best Block Watch of the Year” award in the Northland area.

CONGRATULATIONS

161 Safety Study – You Can View on Line & Make Your Comments

For those of you who couldn’t make the meeting last week, or wanted to spend more time looking over the proposals, below is the website link to see materials presented and submit your thoughts on their survey.  They will take feedback until May 31st.

YOU WILL NEED TO COPY & PASTE THIS WEB SITE IN ORDER TO GET TO IT:

https://www.columbus.gov/Templates/Detail.aspx?id=2147496387

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You are cordially invited to an open house for the community on the
State Route 161 Safety Study between Interstate 71 and Cleveland Avenue

April 27, 2017;  DLZ Corporation, 6121 Huntley Road;
presentation 5:30;  open house 5 – 5:30, 6 – 7 p.m.

The city of Columbus and the Ohio Department of Transportation District 6 (ODOT) collaborated to study possible safety improvements to State Route 161 between Interstate 71 and Cleveland Avenue and adjoining service roads. The study focused on identifying specific crash patterns and generating potential countermeasures to increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Four intersections in the project limits have been on the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s Top 40 crash list over the last ten years.

This public meeting is to share study results and recommendations with constituents and gather comments and suggestions.

Representatives from the city of Columbus, Ohio Department of Transportation and consultant DLZ Ohio, Inc., will be on-hand to give a presentation and answer questions in an open-house format. Exhibits illustrating conceptual alternatives from the study will be on display.

Questions regarding project information may be directed to City of Columbus design project manager Steven Schmidt, tel. (614) 645-3966.

Property owners with rental units:  Please share this invitation with tenants.

Solicitation

It’s that time of the year again.  Let me remind you of the following:

  1.  If you do not want solicitation then put a sign on your front door.
  2. If you do get a knock on your door,& you are home be sure to answer your door, as you don’t want a stranger to think no one is home.    You can answer the knock without opening your door.  Either talk through the door or a window.  Tell them that you are not interested and anytime you feel threatened call the Police.
  3. Solicitors (except for students in school, Scouts, Churches are exempt) from having a license issued by the city.  Solicitors are to have their name tags clearly displayed. They can solicit up until 8pm.

The following happened on April 5th in Sharon Woods and is not a legitimate solicitation.

Young African American male about 5*10 age 20-25, wearing tshirt, blue jeans and red jacket knocked on my door about 8pm.  He rang the doorbell and then tried to open my storm door.  He started his spiel when I came to the door…said he was a mentor to young boys in Reynoldsburg and was helping them with sports uniforms. Said he was a student at Columbus State and was working on his 2nd degree.  Male was holding a clear, plastic, rectangular tote with a few papers and water bottles in it.  Starting to storm and I told him I wasn’t interested and he needed to get out of the storm.  He said his car was up the street and he left.  I closed my door.

Drug Deals

As you know drugs are a huge problem all over the country.  Your assistance is needed in keeping drug deals out of our community.

Mobile drug deals:

A vehicle may be sitting on the street & you know that vehicle does not belong on your street. Then another vehicle pulls in behind. Someone gets out and gets into the other vehicle.  Both vehicles leave.   This is a mobile drug deal.   Another one is activity – lots of people/vehicles coming and going to and from a house/apartment in a short time period.

What you can do:

  1.  Begin a list and keep it for maybe a week and then contact, me Pat Wood, and I will get to our Police Liaison.
  2. On that list you want:
    1. Date/time/location/description of person(s) and vehicles.  If you can get license numbers that is great.

If you just call CPD the dealers will be gone before police can get there. Your information helps police put all the information together and hopefully see a pattern.      You also want to remember that these deals are just not occurring in our neighborhood, they go from area to area and there is a possibility that undercover police can get involved.

Mental-health court: Tough love sometimes only option

This article appeared in This Week, Northland Edition recently – important information for families facing tough situations.

Mental-health court: Tough love sometimes only option

Pat Wood, the longtime coordinator of the Block Watch in her Sharon Woods subdivision, knows and cares about her neighbors, especially when they find themselves in troubling situations.

So when Wood attended a meeting of the Northland-area Block Watch coordinators last week at which Franklin County Municipal Judge Cindi Morehart was the guest speaker, she spoke openly about how substance abuse and possibly mental illness are wreaking havoc on a family she knows.

Morehart handles one of the five specialty dockets for municipal court, the one that focuses on defendants with mental health problems.

“It seems cruel to file charges against your own child,” she said. “I’m a parent. But sometimes it’s the only way we can get our hands on them.”

Two days after the March 22 meeting, Wood said she appreciated the judge’s advice regarding the situation being faced by her neighbors.

“I understand what you have to do, but it is very difficult for a parent to do that,” Wood said. “You think you’re doing harm. You’re sort of on the fence.

“It’s just the fear of it. You feel kind of bad but you know you’ve got to do that.”

Morehart, who was a juvenile court magistrate for 13 years before being elected to the Municipal Court bench in 2015, said she and the other judges see plenty of people who deserve to be punished for their actions, either with fines or jail time. But specialty-docket jurists deal with people who have “serious underlying issues” that fines and incarceration won’t fix, she said.

Franklin County Municipal Court has two dockets that focus on drug addicts, one for adults and one for juveniles. In addition to Morehart’s mental-health court, other judges handle cases involving veterans and victims of human trafficking.

Participants in mental-health court must sign an eight-page contract and make a two-year commitment, during which time they promise not to take any drugs they are not prescribed, Morehart said.

“Sometimes it is a real struggle to get them to understand that this has to happen or they cannot function,” she told the Block Watch leaders. “Our people come from everywhere. I’ve got one young man who lived under a bridge … totally not cognizant of reality.”

The attorney for the defendant fortunately recognized his client’s mental illness and got him onto Morehart’s docket. She said he is currently staying in a shelter, is completely sober and receiving benefits.

“He’s still homeless because he lives in a shelter, but we’re getting him there,” the judge said.

Morehart estimated that about 75 percent of the defendants in her court have a “dual diagnosis” – meaning that in addition to mental health problems, they also abuse drugs or alcohol.

“These are my folks,” she said.

Morehart has 58 people currently on her mental-health docket, many of them facing theft charges for stealing from parents and grandparents.

At the end of the two-year program, during a graduation ceremony held in August, Morehart said the participants have their pleas vacated, the cases dismissed and their criminal records sealed.

“Employers don’t like people with criminal records,” she added.

Mental-health court graduates receive help finding jobs so they can pay rent and “become productive members of the community,” Morehart said.

“We want them to be able to understand the society we all live in,” she added. “We work really hard to integrate them, get them to function on a daily basis without being arrested.”

“We really appreciate what she does for us,” said Columbus police officer Scott Clinger, the community liaison to one of the precincts in the Northland area.

kparks@thisweeknews.com