• Vandalism Drains Resources from Parks

    by Lauren Dake July 2016

    Julie Hannon, director of Vancouver's park department, has an idea of how to improve the city's parks without costing taxpayers a dime: Stop the vandalism.On a recent afternoon, Hannon pointed to trouble spots at Marine Park on the Columbia River.She was barely out of her car before she spotted black circles from hot-rodders all over the parking lot. She took a couple of more steps and noted an empty wine bottle in the brush and crumpled trash on the ground. Hannon walked down to the beach and looked frustrated when she noticed remnants of a wooden dresser that appeared to have helped someone start an illegal fire on the beach."Who brings a dresser down to the beach to burn it?"

  • Zoning Board Denies YMCA's Outdoor Activities Request

    by Kate Ramunni July 2016

    For neighbors living near the Hamden-North Haven YMCA, it's been a harrowing last few years, dealing with the intrusion into their properties of the outdoor activities going on next to them. For the YMCA, their playground, basketball court and other programs taking place on the land is a natural extension of the organization's mission to provide activities for children. It was the Planning and Zoning Commission's task Tuesday night to decide whether to allow those activities to continue despite a condition of the 1967 approval that led to the construction of the facility that prohibited outside activities. No one is really sure that condition was included in the approval, but it may have had to do with the fact that the YMCA also operates an outdoor facility on Downs Road.

  • Politician Responsible for Braves Move Voted Out

    by David Wickert and Meris Lutz July 2016

    Cobb County voters handed commission Chairman Tim Lee a dramatic defeat Tuesday in what some say is a referendum on his handling of the Atlanta Braves move to the suburbs. With all precincts reporting, in unofficial returns, challenger Mike Boyce won 64 percent of the vote. Lee conceded defeat in the election less than three years after he triumphantly announced the deal that lured the Braves to Cobb County. In other races, Drew Ferguson beat Mike Crane in the runoff for the 3rd Congressional District, while Vernon Jones led Rhonda Taylor in the Democratic race for state House District 91. DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton lost her bid for re-election. Cobb County

  • Plan for $58.4M HS Facilities Put to Vote

    by Bob Dohr July 2016

    A new pool is in. So is a new auditorium. And a revamped base plan to address facility and maintenance needs. All are planned to be part of a single, $58.4 million referendum question the Arrowhead School District will put in front of voters in November. The Arrowhead School Board didn't take official action, but at a special meeting Wednesday, July 20, members agreed the three items should be wrapped up into a single question on the November ballot. A second question would ask voters to support yearly operational costs of both a new pool and new auditorium, the combined cost of which is estimated to be $135,000 per year.

  • Community Works Toward Natural-Themed Playground

    by Denisse Salazar July 2016

    Vista Del Verde I Park on Lakeview Avenue has been constructed in phases. The final phase, which was approved for $508,000, includes construction of a playground and landscaping next to the existing restroom building.

  • County Again Delays Contract Talks with Hockey Team

    by Luke Ranker July 2016

    Shawnee County again on Thursday delayed discussion and action on its embattled contract with junior hockey team the Topeka RoadRunners. Rich Eckert, county counselor, requested an unspecified amount of time to continue negotiations with legal staff representing team owner Don Stone. The commission agreed, delaying action on the three-year contract for a third time. The financial dispute between the county and team first came to light in June after The Topeka Capital-Journal reviewed documents that revealed a months-long conflict. "This is a very important issue; it's important to the fans," Eckert said. "I want to make sure we do this right."

  • Legal Challenge Offers Lessons in Parking Lot Siting

    by John Wolohan July 2016

    This article appeared in the June issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.

  • Report: Paterno Knew of Sandusky Allegation in 1976

    by Paul Steinbach July 2016

    A report unsealed by a Philadelphia judge Tuesday indicates that Penn State University officials — including former longtime football coach Joe Paterno — knew of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual misconduct with minors for decades, with Paterno directly informed of one allegation as far back as 1976.

    According to, Raymond Williams was asked by the university’s liability insurance provider to assess when key PSU officials should have known about child sex-assault charges against Sandusky. Williams identified six cases, all of which resulted in settlement payments by the university and two of led to criminal convictions against Sandusky, who is serving a 60-year prison sentence.

    Williams made his assessment based on reports of Penn State’s history of annual policy renewals with Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co., as well as on settlement documents. PMA has tried to deny reimbursement of millions of dollars in Sandusky settlement payments, claiming that Penn State had a duty to inform it of incidents that could result in liability exposure — “both to give notice of the potential for claims and to work together to take corrective actions for the future,” according to’s coverage.

    “Penn State should have notified PMA of the incidents involving Sandusky on a timely basis. Penn State did not do that,” Williams said, adding the incidents were never reported internally to the university's risk management office.

  • Arena Worth Debate Could Impact Tax Status

    by Bill Bush July 2016

    In December 2007, the Columbus Board of Education ended a long battle over the value of Nationwide Arena when it signed a deal to take a flat $1 million a year that wasn't based on the arena's value.

  • State Parks Dept. Feels 'Ambushed' By Developer

    by Emily Bregel July 2016

    The proposed master planned community could bring 28,000 homes and 70,000 people to Benson. Opponents worry the project's groundwater pumping could harm precarious ecosystems in and around the federally protected San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.