Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Positive signs in Ohio

Secessionism can be a gloomy business, stressing as we all do, the reasons that the Feds are no longer fit to live with. However, the Columbus Dispatch reports two very positive developments that are well worth reporting here.

The first story (actually a pair of stories) by Alayna DeMartini and Dean Narciso in the Metro and State section, reports the growth of environmental activism in the Clintonville neighborhood, and in the suburbs of Dublin, Upper Arlington, Westerville, and Worthington. The groups, known as Sustainable [area name], exist to educate their members and the general public on how we can minimize the waste of natural resources. Their approaches are all common-sense, and often take advantage of new technologies (such as porous driveways, to minimize runoff during rains). They also engage in activism to advocate the use of recycled materials where available.

The second, on the Business page, reports of a visit to Columbus by John Ratzenberger, best known as an actor in the television series “Cheers”; but who has recently become a vocal advocate for American manufacturing. He stresses that American manufacturing is essential, not only to our economic health as a nation, but to maintain quality and integrity in the global markets. He is looking forward to the day when we will be proud to tell others that our son will be a machinist, or our daughter a welder; because that will be a sign that our middle class is healthy and strong. The alternative, he fears, is that America will become a “slave nation” to China and India.

Mr. Ratzenberger will give a presentation at the Columbus Athenæum, 32 N. 4th St., Columbus, Thursday, November 8, at 6:30 pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

On the cultural front, I had some free time this afternoon and paid a visit to the Ohioana Library. The Ohioana is a unique cultural treasure, consisting of 45,000 books and pieces of sheet music, all written and composed by Ohioans or persons with Ohio connections. The institution is thriving, despite years of operating on a shoestring from limited state government funding. They hold two major events each year, the Ohioana awards ceremony recognizing Ohioans who have excelled in art, literature, and music; and a spring book fair, providing a collective opportunity for Ohio authors to promote current works. One of the roads to independence will be taken when we begin to appreciate and participate in the culture of our own state.

The Ohioana is a little hard to find -- it is at 274 First Avenue, Suite 300, behind the State Library in Columbus -- but then, treasures often are hard to find.

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