Monday, October 31, 2005

Out-of-Date Rape

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Convicted sexual predator Zane Loper


In a brief report on the trail of tears of a child who was raped by Zane Douglas Loper, a Scioto County Board Mental Retardation Developmental Disabilities (SCBMRDD) employee, Teresa Mollette wrote with an understandable sense of outrage, “It appears this child who was first raped while in the care of MRDD is now being raped for a second time by her own lawyer, Stan Bender, and the legal system . . .”

The SCBMR/DD is the Portsmouth-based satellite of the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation Developmental Disabilities, a state agency that has the following mission statement: “The mission of the Ohio Department of MR/DD is continuous improvement of the quality of life for Ohio's citizens with developmental disabilities and their families.” The current PR slogan of the Portsmouth MRDD is “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.” Given SCBMR/DD’s recent nightmarish history, I think such a slogan is at best premature and at worst offensive. If a slogan is necessary, I suggest “MRDD Care Makes the Nightmare.”

Having talked to the child’s mother, Denise Yates, and having read disturbing and depressing legal material related to the rape case, I want to provide some background information to substantiate Teresa Mollette’s charge of a sexual rape being followed by a legal rape. The text of her charge and a distorted photo of the child in question can be found at (http://portsmouthcitizens.info/blog/?page_id=29).

The raped child, Denise Yates’ daughter, was born on April 16, 1991. When she was about three years old, she was diagnosed as being retarded. In 1997, her mother enrolled her in SCBMR/DD’s Vern Riffe School. It was a fateful enrollment, for in 1993 SCBMR/DD had hired Zane Douglas Loper as a teacher’s aide at the Verne Riffe school even though Loper was already known to have been sexually abusing children. Prosecutors would later charge that Loper’s sexual abuse of children had begun as early as 1984, almost ten years before he was hired at the Vern Riffe School. Denise Yates’ attorneys later formally charged that the “Defendants [SCBMR/DD, Superintendent Oakley, and Riffe School Principal Miller] actually and constructively knew of information which indicated that Loper had engaged in prior unlawful sexual activity with children placed under his care and Defendents knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known that if that information was not investigated Loper would continue to molest children in his position at the Vern Riffe School.”

Unlike other mothers of retarded Riffe School children who had been Loper’s victims, Denise Yates dared to accuse Loper of preying upon children while he was employed by MRDD at the Riffe School. She would pay a price for being so outspoken about the crime committed against her daughter. But if she had not publicly protested about Loper and if John Welton had not reported on the scandalous mismanagement at MRDD in the Shawnee Sentinel, possibly nothing would have come to light. Certainly if we waited for the Portsmouth Daily Times to do the kind of investigative journalism John Welton did, we would be waiting from here to eternity.

Welton reported that Superintendent Oakley knew, or should have known, that Loper, a former Shawnee State student, was a deeply troubled young man whose molestation of children at other venues was no secret in Portsmouth and West Portsmouth. In an online Sentinel story dated 15 July 2003, Welton wrote, “Portsmouth Police Officers met with the Sentinel last night and stated that rumors continue that the Superintendent of MRDD, John Oakley, had been made aware of Loper’s prior allegations of molestation of children in the care of numerous county agencies, including Scioto County Children’s Services and Shawnee Mental Health. Oakley still hired Loper after being warned that Loper posed a danger to the children at MRDD.”

Welton believed Loper’s family and political connections got him the job, because Oakely hired Loper as a favor to Loper’s stepfather, Todd Miller, a captain in the Scioto County sheriff’s office. If true, that would not be surprising, for at least some hires at public agencies in city and county agencies are based more on who those hired are related to or friends with rather than on their qualifications.

Oakley later claimed that MRDD had investigated Yates’ charges and found them to be without merit. But, under pressure, Loper resigned from MRDD in August 1998. That he was forced to resign was apparent when he took legal action against MRDD for his severance. Then, surprisingly, in spite of the troubles he had had at MRDD, and in spite of his reputation as a pedophile, Loper was hired as a part-time policeman in Peebles, Ohio, a small town in Adams Country. Was this another instance of a criminally inclined individual benefiting from political connections? If so, those connections could only do so much. Loper was subsequently arrested on 16 counts, including raping a child under 13 and possessing child pornography. He was charged with having raped Yates’ daughter a number of times in 1998, when she was seven. If convicted, Loper would have faced life imprisonment, but through plea bargaining he was allowed, on 7 May 2002 to plead guilty to the lesser charge of 5 counts of Gross Sexual Imposition. He received an 18 years-6 months sentence. Because he was classified as a sexual predator, he had to serve his terms consecutively.

In a public statement dated 1 August 2003, Superintendent Oakley wrote that though Loper had been convicted, it had not been proven that his “wrongdoing,” one of several euphemisms Oakley used to refer to Loper’s heinous crimes, “that no such wrongdoing occurred during his work time as an employee of the Board.” Since there was no trial, all that Loper did and when and where he did it will probably never be known. But by “during his work time,” Oakley implied Loper’s crimes were extracurricular, that none of them of had occurred during the work day at the Riffe School. Loper worked at the school from 1993 to 1998, and in all those years, Oakley implied, he had not molested children while at the school. If Loper had molested Yates’ daughter, Oakley suggested, it was only when he was “babysitting” her for her mother.

In a 2004 deposition, Denise Yates made it clear, under oath, that Loper had never babysat for her, and Loper and she had never dated, which was another of the rumors that were circulating, possibly to try to discredit her testimony and make her appear an unfit mother. Denise Yates said, under oath, that her daughter described two molestations by Loper when they were alone in the Riffe School bathroom. Denise Yates said in sworn testimony, “She [Yates’ six-year-old daughter] had talked about him [Loper] taking her in the bathroom another time and making him perform – making her perform – oral sex on him and making her eat what came out of – as a result” (Page 98 of deposition). On a Riffe School overnight camp-out, Loper, according to more than one observer, had slept alone in a tent with Yates’ daughter and another little girl. During the night, Yates’ daughter had gone out with Loper to use the bathroom, but afterwards, she said, “he wouldn’t let her put her pants back on and he made her lay on the ground and he rubbed himself on her private and he took his hand and rubbed her private and then used his mouth and told her not to tell anybody, that it was their secret, that some day he was going to marry her and she would be his wife, and that’s what husbands and wives do” (Page 92). On another occasion in another location, Loper was alleged to have instructed those same two little girls how to have lesbian sex with each other.

Denise Yates later decided to file suit against MRDD and Superintendent John Oakley and Principal Tony Miller, but based on what she knew about Portsmouth politics, she had decided it would be unwise to hire any Portsmouth lawyer to represent her. She knew that because of politics in Portsmouth, local lawyers are not likely to even want to take a case if it meant having to take on any of the over-privileged of Portsmouth or of suing any of the public agencies on which Portsmouth’s pork-supported economy are dependent. Yates engaged a Chillicothe attorney, but he turned around and engaged a Portsmouth attorney, Stanley Bender, who represents Clayton Johnson in the Marting mess, as his associate. What she feared about Portsmouth lawyers came to pass. Bender and her Chillicothe attorney, her own lawyers, succeeded in taking away her rights as her daughter’s legal guardian, claiming she is too emotional and cannot be “objective.” In a letter to Yates (30 Aug. 2005), Bender wrote, “Your obvious disgust with MRDD and its employees over the way your daughter and you were treated is understandable. However, Tom [Spetnagel] and I believe you are allowing this to cloud your objectivity.” If it was a father, a male, who was refusing to settle, would he be accused of having his objectivity clouded, of his being too emotional? Denise Yates is a professional, with a career in law enforcement herself and a mind of her own. She doesn’t need to be patronized by those in suits and robes at the County Courthouse. In any event, Probate judge Kirsch appointed a third Portsmouth lawyer to be the child’s ad litem legal guardian.

What is behind all this legal maneuvering? Ms. Yates declined to accept an offer from the other side to settle. Yates made the judgment that the offer was insufficient considering how much of it would be taken by lawyers in contingency fees. It is not a question of how much Denise Yates herself will get, because she will get nothing. The statute of limitations ran out for her some time ago. Whatever money her daughter is awarded would be put in a trust fund.

Ms. Yates’ lawyers want to settle now. One of the reasons Bender gave for settling now was that as more time goes by the heinousness of Loper’s crimes and of the criminality of MRDD’s neglect are being forgotten. “The longer this [case] continues,” he argued in his letter to her, “the more the notoriety of these events subsides. In other words, our claim loses value” (30 Aug. 2005). Portsmouth’s only daily newspaper has priorities that place support of Clayton Johnson and the Marting Foundation and the denigration of the reform movement much higher than justice for a mother and her raped child. With cover-up/kiss-ass journalism, the shelf-life of a story that justifies the Marting’s sale lasts as long as is necessary and a story that protects the over-privileged of Portsmouth never “loses value,” but the story of the sexual and legal rape of a child is out-of-date rape.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

SSU's Perfect Storm

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Hurricane Klara

As if SSU needed any further dumbing down, Governor Robert Taft has appointed Kay “Hurricane Klara” Reynolds as chair of the Shawnee State Board of Trustees. It is the kind of stupid political move that has sent Taft’s poll numbers plummeting and almost guarantees that Ohio Republicans will be made to pay by voters in the next election.

Taft has already pleaded no contest to ethic violations. If only he could be put on trial for acting like a dodo, which is what he was in appointing Reynolds chair of the trustees. If anyone in the governor’s office could remember that far back, or cared, Klara Kay Reynolds was one of those trustees who conspired with university lawyer Stephen P. Donohue to remove the most popular and effective president Shawnee State has ever had, James P. Chapman, causing an uproar on campus and reinforcing SSU’s abysmal reputation in the academic world.

Reynold’s appointment caps a trend at SSU, which more than any other institution of higher education I know of shows the validity of the “Peter Principle,” which is “The theory that employees [and trustees] within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent” (American Heritage Dictionary). With Hurricane Klara as chair of the trustees, Stephen P. Donohue as de facto president, Rita Rice Morris as nominal president, Michael Field as provost, and John Kelley as interim dean, we are faced with the equivalent of a perfect storm of incompetence and questionable ethics.

Rita Rice Morris has made a name for herself by jumping out of airplanes and joining in the beatification of real estate developer Neal Hatcher but not for being a strong leader. She lives in the infamous house on the hill, that distressed piece of property on Camelot Drive, that money pit that the trustees purchased at an inflated price from a doctor in distress, just as they had previously bought from local lawyer and politician John Thatcher at an inflated price a temporary president’s house, i.e., a piece of distressed property, on Franklin Blvd, which the trustees then took a $50 thousand loss on when they sold it to another doctor. Doctors and lawyers are among Portsmouth’s over-privileged who profit from public treasuries.

Donohue, the over-privileged’s defacto president at SSU, handled the Franklin Blvd. fiasco from start to finish. As an Asst. Attorney General for the State of Ohio, Donohue would of course have known whether the purchase of the Thatcher house violated state law, wouldn’t he? Hired in a stealth search and on the basis of a resume that would not have got him even an interview at an ethical institution, he then declined, once hired, to discuss his past history with a Daily Times reporter. Since he is rumored to have been fired from his previous job, we can begin to understand his doctored resume and his reluctance to be interviewed about his past job experience.

Provost Field, acting as interim president, was just the kind of obliging bureaucrat whom the over-privileged of Portsmouth and several trustees and Donohue wanted as the next permanent president of SSU, but Field’s performance as provost and then as interim president was rated very poorly by the faculty, and then the campaign to make him the new president was handled so incompetently by his handlers that he was not even among the three finalists chosen by the presidential search committee. There has usually been at least one trustee of integrity, and that is another reason why Field did not become the new president. Field ended up, with a hefty raise, back in the provost’s office, at the job at which he never should have been temporarily promoted from, according to the Peter Principle. As provost, he had clearly reached his level of incompetence, and there he will probably remain until he retires, for who else, given his track record at SSU, would hire him, and who given his willingness to play ball no matter how sleazy the game, would dare fire him?

John Kelley completes the perfect storm at SSU. Shortly before Kelley was appointed interim provost, when speculation was rife about who would replace Field as interim provost, the word was that the trustees were going to appoint “a faculty friendly” person to the position. Kelley may have been a trustee favorite, but he was not a faculty favorite. Kelley is liked by the faculty, considerably more than the provost is. But it is sometimes the case that a person can be liked but not respected. Kelley could be described as bi-institutional, which gives him advantages that he does not fail to take advantage of, but it is also a quality that makes him look at times as if he is working both sides of the street. It is the administration and the trustees, not the faculty, who appoint Kelley to his interim administrative positions, and they appoint him because he can be counted on to do the questionable things administrators and trustees want him to do, which is what he can be expected to continue to do as interim dean.

But who makes the impending storm at SSU frightening is, above all, Hurricane Klara. While President Chapman was working a miracle at SSU and making improvements and building remarkable bridges to faculty, students, and community, Klara Kay Reynolds and several other trustees were working to undermine and remove him. Hurricane Klara, with her undergraduate major in Home Economics at Ohio State, this political hack, considers herself pretty smart, as is evident in her pretentious but poorly written evaluation of President Chapman that was leaked back in July 2001.

While Chapman was initiating Interest Based Bargain negotiations that were unprecedented at SSU in their amity and progress, Hurricane Klara was leaking her evaluation on Chapman’s presidency from her offices at Scioto Rental Management. Her evaluation was passed on to me. I was told George Clayton, trustee chair, was one of the intermediaries. Only vanity can explain why she leaked this document when she did, for it threatened to alert me, as union president, among others, that we were about to be screwed, that the trustees and the administration were going along with Interest Based Bargaining in bad faith, that they planned to get rid of Chapman just as soon as they had milked him and Interest Based Bargaining for everything they were worth.

Reynolds had closed her evaluation of Chapman with a quote from Galileo. “You cannot teach people anything. You can only help them discover it within themselves.” I too can easily look up famous quotes, but I find another more appropriate Galileo quote, the gender of which I will change to suit my purposes. “I have never met a woman so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from her.”

I had been warned by faculty with more experience than I had, that I and the union were making a mistake in trusting trustees like Reynolds by entering into Interest Based Bargaining. Because I had faith in the honesty and ability of Chapman, I went along, and lived to regret it. I even wrote a very positive account of our bargaining experience in the NEA journal Thought & Action ( http://www2.nea.org/he/heta99/s99p139.pdf ), but that was before I had discovered the depths of dishonesty and incompetence, combined, that characterizes the people in control of Portsmouth and SSU.

Below is the cover letter that accompanied Reynolds’ evaluation of Chapman. Notice the line, “We are in the mist [sic] of union negotiation [sic] and should present a united front.” She was in a mist, all right, the mist of ignorance and prejudice that political hacks operate in and that SSU has been cursed with from its beginning. Something Professor Kathleen Simon wrote (June 3, 2001) in response to a letter from Reynolds has relevance. “I don’t know what your intention was when you wrote your letter,” Simon wrote Reynolds, “but after reading it, I am even more fully entrenched in my belief that letting political appointees run a university is a really bad idea.” With a political appointee as chair of the trustees, and with negotiations looming, I forecast a perfect storm, with Hurricane Klara right at the eye of it.

Reynolds let

Monday, October 17, 2005

Downtown

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Chillicothe St. at rush hour, 2005

Though it would be a challenge to say exactly what its boundaries are, where it begins and where it ends, there is a downtown Portsmouth. But the downtown Portsmouth of today is not the downtown Portsmouth of a hundred or even fifty years ago. The downtown Portsmouth of a hundred years ago is dead. Fifty years ago, in downtown Portsmouth, arteriosclerosis was already beginning to set in. Twenty-five years ago, at the time of the shopping mall scam, it was more like rigor mortis. The Glockners got out of the hardware business and got out of downtown and into the outskirts years ago, which was why their auto dealership became one of the few success stories in Portsmouth. If only Marting's had done the same. How many more antiques/junk shops can downtown accommodate? Chillicothe street, which has trouble handling what little traffic there is now, will be constipated with the additional traffic brought by the new bridge – it won’t take much traffic to do that – and there is little parking space to provide relief.

Certain people, some in good faith, others in bad, are claiming that downtown Portsmouth can be resuscitated, if not born again, as a shopping and business center. That is a very doubtful proposition. In the last half century, drastic changes have taken place in where and in the way people shop, including on the internet, as well as the way in which they get around, changes that almost guarantee that the bustling prosperous downtown Portsmouth of the past is going to remain a thing of the past. If anything is going to revive downtown Portsmouth, it is not going to be nostalgia.

I have nothing against downtowns. On the contrary. I am of a generation and from a class (blue-collar) for whom downtown was a wonderfully defining experience. I love downtowns and feel lucky for having been too old to have been part of a later mall generation. How hard it must be for anyone to outgrow the experience of having been a mall rat. My favorite floodwall mural is the one of Chillicothe St. on a Saturday night in the mid-1940s. I would like to be able to step into that mural and go back in time. “Downtown” is one of my favorite ballads, especially when belted out by Petula Clark. But I know the difference between fantasy and reality, between the past and the present.

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Mural of Chillicothe Street, Saturday night, 1940s

The long delayed grand new U. S. Grant bridge replacement is not going to change the obsolescence of downtown Portsmouth anymore than the picturesque old U.S. Grant Bridge did. The new bridge is a striking structure, a triumph of engineering, but it is a bridge to the past, which is to say it is a bridge to Portsmouth’s downtown. The new bridge is not nearly as questionable as that so-called “bridge to nowhere,” the $941 million bridge from the Alaskan mainland to Ketchican (pop. 8000) on the island of Gravina, but the $38 million (and counting) Portsmouth bridge is another expensive link in the chain of American transportation pork. The Carl Perkins Bridge, about two miles down the Ohio River, enables cars and trucks to avoid downtown Portsmouth. What drivers wanting to go north on Route 23 will take the new Portsmouth bridge and negotiate the ten or so traffic lights on the short stretch of Chillicothe Street, when they can go two miles south to the Carl Perkins Bridge and avoid downtown Portsmouth?

bridge
$38 Million Bridge to the Past

It was hoped that a new university would revive downtown Portsmouth. Shawnee State has been downtown for almost twenty years, but it has not revived downtown Portsmouth. There are those who say gambling casinos could revive downtown Portsmouth, but that would not be the downtown of the past. Portsmouth may already have more prostitutes per capita than any city in Ohio, and gambling would only increase their numbers. Downtown gambling casinos would create a hooker’s heaven. And as for political prostitutes, Portsmouth already has enough of those, and gambling gravy would only increase their numbers.

The “downtown” mentality, the view that the city’s recovery must be focused on and begin in downtown, is one of the things holding the city back. The “downtown” mentality and, specifically, treating the Marting’s as a sacred cow is one of the things that led to the Marting’s scandal. Do our over-privileged know the difference between a sacred cow and mad cow? Portsmouth’s downtown is decrepit, and trying to recycle century-old commercial structures like Marting’s as public buildings while destroying the historically significant public-use buildings, such as the N&W railroad terminal and the Municipal Building, reflects Portsmouth’s lack not just of architectural conscience but of architectural consciousness. Patriotism, Samuel Johnson said, is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but in Portsmouth downtown is. The Marting building is the crown jewel of the downtown con.

What is to be done? I say let the police and the courts defend the constitutional rights of prostitutes to operate downtown as they do their right to operate in the John St. area, and I say let Neal Hatcher do his eminent domaining in downtown Portsmouth, and together, the prostitutes and the developer, might do for downtown Portsmouth what they did for the John St. area, which is to say level it. That is not the worst thing that could happen.

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Postscript: A blogger in Cincinnati has been tracking pork in Portsmouth in a special series. I recommend the series, and in particular the most recent installment. Click on
http://porkopolis.blogspot.com/2005/04/pork-in-portsmouth-part-5.html

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Prostitution Culture

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Naked Truths

Perhaps reacting to criticism that it does not do investigative reporting, that it leaves that to the Shawnee Sentinel while it masters the art of cover-up journalism, the Portsmouth Daily Times ran a four-part series on prostitution in Portsmouth by staff writer Phyllis Noah. The title of the series was “Naked Truths: the Story Behind Portsmouth’s Prostitution Culture.” Wow!

Let the hooker who is without sin write the first 4-part series on Portsmouth’s prostitution culture. For a reporter on the Daily Times to write an expose of Portsmouth’s prostitution culture is like Winona Ryder writing on the sins of shoplifting or Monica Lewinsky on the evils of oral sex.

There is a limited definition of prostitution, which is selling one’s body for money, and a general meaning, which is selling one’s soul for an unworthy cause or corrupt group. The phrase “prostitution culture” suggests something more than hookers on John St. It suggests the more general definition of prostitution. Given its notoriety and conspicuousness, prostitution is the best metaphor for the political culture of Portsmouth, and I have used that metaphor a number of times in this blog.

Perhaps to bolster flagging circulation, the Daily Times marketed the 4-part series by calling it in a touch of tabloid titillation “The Naked Truth.” It sounds like the front page not of the Portsmouth Daily Times but of the New York Daily News. Naked? You would no more want to see the prostitutes of Portsmouth naked than you would want to see former councilwoman Carol Caudill, the Sassy Lassie of the Internet, as the centerfold in Playboy Magazine. Truth? The Daily Times will do everything it can to increase its sclerotic circulation except tell the truth about Portsmouth’s “prostitution culture.” The prostitute culture of Portsmouth consists of far more than the hookers of John St. The Daily Times fears the truth the way Dracula does the cross because telling the truth about Portsmouth’s prostitute culture would mean ending its role as the prostitute to the over-privileged Johns who control the city. The over-privileged of Portsmouth turn as many tricks as the prostitutes on John St., but they do it in the name of philanthropy and public service.

The Master Plan: The Worse the Better

The way the master plan for Portsmouth works, the worse things get in the city and the more blighted it becomes, the better it is for the over-privileged who profit from the pork that the city becomes eligible for. As shown on 3rd St., where Hatcher’s abated student dormitories were built, the temptation to declare healthy streets and neighborhoods blighted is too hard to resist when millions of dollars of pork and profits can be accumulated. One of the economic side benefits of prostitution in Portsmouth is that it provides public sector employment for those whose jobs are to deal with the many streetwalkers. It is another illustration of the rule that where Portsmouth is concerned, the worse things get the more public funds will be pumped into the city. The economy of Portsmouth relies heavily on the public funds that can be appropriated to incarcerate criminals, house addicted prostitutes and their children, house the aged and college students, and welcome tourists and, possibly, gamblers.

There is precious little about prostitutes in the series “The Naked Truth” and a lot about drugs and drug counselors and drug authorities. The message of the series is that Portsmouth’s prostitution problem is really a drug problem. Of the dozen people Noah interviewed, few of them were prostitutes, and those few were discussed in relation to drugs. Honesty in advertising requires that if you are going to run a 4-part series on drugs that you call it a four-part series on drugs, and not try to pruriently imply it has anything to do with nakedness.

Going in Circles

If you explain the prevalence of prostitution in Portsmouth by drugs, how do you explain the prevalence of drugs in Portsmouth? Noah’s explanation is that prostitution is a serious problem because of drugs. What Noah offers is not an explanation but an excuse of why there is so much prostitution in Portsmouth. But as Municipal Judge Schisler told Noah, the drug problem is no worse in Portsmouth than elsewhere. If that’s the case, then why is there so much more prostitution in Portsmouth? Drugs do not explain why Portsmouth is, per capita, the prostitution capital of Ohio. To explain Portsmouth prostitution by drugs and Portsmouth drugs by prostitution is to go in circles.

Prostitution is called the world’s oldest profession because it has been around for thousands of years, thousands of years before there was a drug culture. The economic, social and psychological reasons for prostitution – the sexist attitude toward women, the chronic lack of employment in this area, the failures of the public education system, the breakdown of the family, the salaciousness of popular culture – the Daily Times does not consider these among the causes of prostitution. Everything is attributed to drugs, a neat and simple explanation that implies drug dealers are the cause of prostitution.

Are there no other culprits than shadowy drug dealers? What about real estate developers? Prostitutes play an important role in Portsmouth “redevelopment.” They accelerate the deterioration of declining neighborhoods. Along with eminent domain, they spell doom for neighborhoods in which they are allowed to exercise their constitutional rights. They are already beginning to drift away from the bulldozed John St., which no longer offers much cover for johns or prostitutes. A lonely tree is all that is left for them for soliciting. How many hookers can one tree provide shade for? Hookers are drifting further and further into surrounding neighborhoods, neighborhoods where their constitutional rights are not likely to be as protected as they were on John St. About all that’s left standing on John St. is that tree under which smoking prostitutes wait for Johns. Tobacco dwarfs all other drug problems in the U.S., but because it is legal and highly profitable the news media focus on other drugs.

I first began talking to people in the John St. area several years ago. They were reluctant to talk to a stranger, because they feared that they would be targeted for retaliation by the police and the powers-that-be. Many residents had moved out of the area by that time because prostitutes and drug-dealers had moved in, making life impossible for ordinary families. Count on it, there will be near zero tolerance for prostitution and zero support for constitutional rights in the John St. area once ground is broken there for Neal Hatcher’s shopping mall.

One resident of John St. told me several years ago that it appeared to him the police and city officials were turning a blind eye to the prostitution and drug-dealing in that neighborhood because it served developer Neal Hatcher’s purposes. Drugs and prostitutes were being ignored, this resident suspected, because their activities supported Hatcher by driving down property values and driving out residents. If this resident had expressed his views to a Daily Times reporter, I doubt they would have gotten into its pages. When it comes to these kinds of “naked truths” about the over-privileged of Portsmouth, or about the shenanigans of the SOGP, or SSU, or the SOMC, or its other clients, the Daily Times prefers a cover-up, or at best one side of the story.

Exploiting Prostitutes by Protecting Them

The respect that law enforcement officials have for the constitutional rights of the prostitutes of Portsmouth, as reported in the 4-part series, is nothing short of astonishing. Who would have thought that the Portsmouth police department and the local courts were such hotbeds of civil libertarians? If only the police and city officials were as determined to protect the constitutional rights of those who attempt to exercise the right of free speech at city council meetings where citizens are ejected by the dictatorial president of the city council if they so much as mention the name of a particular councilman or a particular developer or a particular lawyer. If only they were as determined to protect the rights of those who attempt to exercise their right to recall elected officials, and of those who offer themselves as candidates in recall elections, as they do to felons who are advised of their right to run for and hold public office by the city clerk and the city solicitor, even when those rights are reportedly misrepresented and misinterpreted.

If there were a Pulitzer prize for cover-up journalism, for not unearthing local corruption and incompetence, for not exposing Portsmouth's prostitution culture, the Daily Times should have won one by now for reporting like that in “Naked Truth.”

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Improper Nouns

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Dummy on the City Council




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Aeh, JoAnn

Aeh began her political career campaigning for the recall of three honest councilmen back in 1980, and as long-time city clerk she has been obstructing justice and the recall of anybody ever since. She reportedly advised ex-felon Michael Malone (see below) he could run for and hold public office, and she may have been, along with her husband, a member of Ku Klux Klan.


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Adelphia Building:

Originally the home of an American Motor Corporation dealer until AMC went out of business. The building was next the rented home of Adelphia Communications until the president and founder of Adelphia was convicted of massive fraud and imprisoned. After Adelphia went bankrupt and reorganized, it moved its Portsmouth office away from the sacred Downtown (see below) to the wrong side of the tracks of the 15th Street Viaduct area (see below). The Marting Foundation (see below) has dictated that the Adelphia Building should be the home of the Portsmouth Police Dept.



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Bauer, Gregory:

Mayor of Portsmouth (1998-2004). A failed Portsmouth businessman who began a second career as a Political Prostitute (see below) serving the interests of the over-privileged (see below), Bauer, along with councilwomen Carol Caudill and Ann Sydnor, was recalled from office in June 2004 as a result of the Marting scandal.


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Bauer Graphics:

A now defunct business on lower Chillicothe St., in the heart of Portsmouth's dead Downtown (see below), it is owned by former mayor Greg Bauer (see above), who lived high in the loft above Bauer Graphics, behind whose unwashed windows were unwatered potted ferns and an Easter Island-like carved head. When he was recalled in June 2004, Bauer told a reporter Bauer Graphics would reopen, but it has not yet.


bauman
Baughman, Howard:

The smarmy president of the Portsmouth City Council and relative of Clayton Johnson, Portsmouth’s Boss Tweedy (see below). Employed at Covert Funiture, Baughman is the chief advocate on the City Council for reviving Portsmouth’s dead Downtown district by moving city employees into a decrepit department store.

Bender, Stanley:

A Portsmouth attorney who is representing the Marting Foundation in its attempt to dictate what the city will do with the money it obtained illegally from the city before it will return any part of that money to the city. Bender is also the lawyer who is attempting to legally deprive one of his own clients, the mother of a child who was raped at the MRDD, of her right to decide what is best for that child.

Boss Tweedy:

One of the nicknames of local lawyer and Portsmouth’s leading deal-maker Clayton Johnson, head of the Marting Foundation.

Building:

Any Portsmouth structure made of wood, brick, or cinderblock that Portsmouth’s over-privileged males feel should be torn down as quickly as possible to the profit of everybody except the owner of the building if he happens to be an African-American.



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Caudill, Carol:

The former Ward 3 representative on the Portsmouth City Council who went by the handle “Sassy Lassie” on the Internet, where she advertized herself as a politically conservative 63-year-old divorced "Woman seeking a Man" between the ages of 53-73 and who was at least 5'9" in height, but who could be either married or unmarried. Caudill was recalled from office in 2004 for her role in the Marting scandal and reportedly supported ex-felon Michael Malone as her replacement on the City Council.

Chaos:

What Mayor Bauer and Ward 3 councilwoman Caudill predicted would follow their recall from office.


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Downtown Portsmouth:

Pictured above are empty storefronts and an empty Chillicothe St. at 4 PM on a sunny October Tuesday afternoon. The dead Downtown area of Portsmouth is sacred to Portsmouth’s over-privileged because that is where they used to do their Christmas and Easter shopping. The over-privileged and the Political Prostitutes (see below) in the Municipal Building (see below) think no sacrifice is too great and no scam too outrageous to perpetrate on behalf of the Downtown area. The holiest site Downtown is not the Municipal building, the seat of the city government, but the Marting building (see below), the cynosure of shopping and consumerism.


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Fifteenth-Street Viaduct:

Also known informally as Shady Plaza, the Fifteenth-Street Viaduct area is the site of one of the scams of the Bauer era. After the Daily Times helped circulate the rumor that it would cost a fortune to clean up toxic contamination on the viaduct site, no one was willing to buy it. According to acting Mayor Kalb, the city could not give it away. Then the property was miraculously decontaminated and the city sold the property for a song to a local developer, who made a bundle by dividing it up and selling lots to others who built movie theaters and eateries on the once supposedly toxic site.


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Hatchered House:

Through the threat and occasional use of eminent domain, or “imminent doom”(see below), hatchering is the systematic running down and neglect of property (such as the John St. house above) and the eventual bulldozing of neighborhoods by local developer Neal Hatcher. The most recent example of hatchering is the eminent domaining of the property of Joe Perry, the enterprising young African-American businessman whose rental properties in Hatcherville (see below) will soon bite the dust.


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Hatcherville:

A name given by former residents to the 3rd St. area that Neal Hatcher acquired by threats of eminent domain and then bulldozed to build Campus View student dormitories in a sweetheart deal with Shawnee State University in which the university takes most of the risks and Hatcher most of the profits.


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Imminent Doom:

"Imminent doom" is the Hatcher variety of “eminent domain.”



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John Street:

The bulldozed bombed-out looking Portsmouth neighborhood that is within streetwalking distance of the Municipal building. John Street is where the sexual, as distinct from the political, prostitutes of Portsmouth practice the world’s oldest profession. John Street is the proposed site of a Neal Hatcher shopping center to be called “Hooker Haven.”


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Loper, Tim

Dummies used to fill the display windows of Marting’s Department Store. That's what Ward 1 councilman Tim Loper said he had been, a dummy, for supporting the purchase of the Marting building. He had been elected last year because of his stand against the purchase of the Marting building, but then somebody had persuaded him to support the purchase, someone who had played him for a dummy. Loper, whose home was recently sold at a sheriff’s auction and who is rumored to be living outside of Ward 1, has flip-flopped and is again backing the purchase of the Marting building. He is again being played for a dummy.


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Marting Building

A one-hundred-year-old leaking decrepit department store that the Political Prostitutes in the Municipal Building have declared the holiest shrine in Portsmouth’s dead “Downtown” district (see entry above). The Marting building is covered by a phony 1950-ish façade, or what architects call a “slip cover,” which is what clever property owners use to hide the run-down condition of an old building.


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Marting display window:

In keeping with Marting’s status as a temple of commerce in Portsmouth’s sacred but dead Downtown shopping area, the display windows at Marting’s no longer feature dummies but flags, religious symbols, Hospice, Missing Children, MIA/POW, Ohio Daughters of the Revolution, and every other worthy cause that the Marting Foundation can sanctify the building with. The window displays, along with the phony façade, are an attempt to disguise the fact that the building is an unholy mess and "ain't worth anything," to quote Marty Mohr (see below), and should have been torn down years ago.

Marting Foundation:

A front group whose original mission was to unload the otherwise worthless downtown building off on the public for $2 million. The Foundation’s revised mission is to return to the city part of the $2 milliion that the courts have ruled it obtained illegally from the city. The Marting Foundation has agreed to return part of the original loot, but only if the city uses the building for a public purpose, such as a municipal building, which will enable the Foundation to obtain a tax write-off.


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Malone, Michael:

Brother of “praying” Councilman David A. Malone, Michael A. Malone spent terms in jail and prison for passing bad checks, theft, forgery, DUI, and possessing drug paraphernalia before realizing he was in the wrong racket and decided to get into politics.


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Mohr, Marty:

Noise pollution enthusiast and councilmaniac of Ward Six, Mohr avoided being recalled last year by denouncing the purchase of the Marting building, which he told a Columbus Dispatch reporter “ain’t worth anything.” This year Mohr became the biggest supporter of the Marting purchase, prompting the slogan of the current campaign to recall him: “Mohr is Less."


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Municipal Building:

A Portsmouth house of ill-repute that has been deliberately and systematically allowed to slide into disrepair and where for several generations Political Prostitutes have practiced the world’s second oldest profession: screwing the public. To obliterate the scene of their crimes and accommodate a developer who reportedly has designs on the site, the Political Prostitutes are campaigning feverishly to hatcher the building.


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Portsmouth, City of Prosperity:

The slogan and bumper sticker promoted by "praying councilman" David Malone (that's his car above) and his ex-felon brother Michael (see above), the phrase "City of Prosperity" was coined by a minister of the Deeper Life movement who preached at a 2004 tent revival sponsored by David Malone’s church. The Deeper Life minister prophesied Portsmouth would undergo a divinely inspired economic recovery. The Deeper Life movement was exposed by the Tampa Times in 2003 as a scam for raising money and keeping members in line by forbidding them to criticize their leaders.


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Political Prostitutes:

In addition to being known for its sexual prostitutes, Portsmouth is also home to Political Prostitutes who do the bidding of the over-privileged of Portsmouth. The Political Prostitutes can be found publicly suffering like martyrs in the Municipal building when they are not privately performing their dirty tricks.


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Porksmouth:

What author Jesse Stuart thought Portsmouth was turning into, as is evident in his novel about Portsmouth and porkbarreling, The Land Beyond the River.



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Portsmouth Daily Times:

The incredibly shrinking local daily newspaper that has been screwing the public and covering up for the over-privileged of Portsmouth since 1852.



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Running Sores

Beggars in the Middle East, seeking sympathy and handouts from tourists, used to expose their lesions to tourists. Portsmouth city officials flaunt festering leaks in the Municipal Building, such as the one in the corner ceiling of the council chamber, which they deliberately allow to get worse so that they can gain sympathy from taxpayers before they bulldoze the building and turn the land over to a developer.


Singer, Dr. Herbert:

The absentee landlord of the now empty so-called Adelphia building, in Portsmouth. Singer, who lives in Los Angeles, was delinquent in paying taxes on the Adelphia building, but he generously agreed to give it to the city if the city will forgive him his taxes and use the building for some public purpose, such as a police station, so that he can get a tax write-off.

SOGP:

The acronym of the Society for Obtaining Government Pork. Known locally as “Soggy Pee,” the SOGP is the agency that launders public funds and distributes abatements for the over-privileged of Portsmouth.

Tax Write-off:

What you settle for when your downtown building is worthless commercially but which you can still collect something on but only if the building can be converted at great public expense to some public use, such as a municipal building, a police station, a welcome center, or a comfort station.


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Travel World Agency:

A fly-by-night travel agency formed by three of Portsmouth’s over-privileged, one of whom was in dentistry, another in furniture, and a third, in crushed rock. World became a favorite travel agency at Shawnee State., where the rock man was chair of the Board of Trustees and the furniture man’s wife was Director of Development. When World Travel crashed after 9/11, Clayton Johnson engineered a deal whereby the agency got a tax-write off by donating its dubious assets to a public entity, the Ohio University branch in Ironton.