Remembering the Lake Erie Drive-In

By Rich Tarrant

Several weeks ago the owner of the Vermilion Martino’s restaurant asked someone if they knew of any pix of the old Lake Erie Drive-In when previous owner (Phil Provenzano of the Philbo House) owned it. As a result the question eventually came to me and…well this is what followed:

Well, someone may have some photos of it during that particular period, but I currently know of none. However, this brought up another question. It occurred to me that there was a couple that owned the place before Provenzano and after Harold Neiding. But I was unable to remember their name. All I could remember is that one of the owners was of German descent. And I only remembered that because my late friend, Tom Boone, was smitten by one (or both) the owners’ daughters and kept saying things like “Danke” to them all the time. [To my knowledge Tom couldn’t speak a word of German beyond that.]

Anyway, I started asking around to see if anyone remembered the names. Finally Vermilionite Larry Howell called me with the answer. It seems that he’d been asking persons for me, and Vermilionite Ron Millis had the answer. Their names were Dick and Sally Loydall. And their daughters’ names were Connie and Evelyn (inset pictures). This was a good deal more than I asked for and, happily, more than I needed for further research.

The proper names of the couple were Richard and Selma Dreger-Loydall. Mr. Loydall was a “Brit” born in Rugby, England on 14 April 1926. Sally was born in Prussia (she was actually of Polish descent) on August 24, 1924. She later told a reporter from the Elyria Chronicle that they had met in the Officer’s Mess when he was in the British Army in which he served for four and a half years. It seems that he, half in jest, made some wisecrack to her while they were working at the mess hall and she proceeded to reward him by tossing an apple pie at him. [Who knew that Cupid sometimes throws apple pies instead of arrows?] They were married on 14 April in 1948 and migrated to the U.S. together the following year.

By 1955 they owned and operated the Lake Avenue Coffee Shop in Elyria. Incidentally, she was became an American citizen that same year. Her husband was scheduled to become a citizen soon after. While I don’t know the definite date, I’d guestimate that the couple must have purchased the Drive-In from Vermilionite Harold Nieding sometime in the mid-1960s.

Dick died prematurely on 23 March in 1969 at the age of 42. Sally died, rather recently, on 22 August 2018 in Batavia, Illinois where she apparently had gone to live with her daughter Evelyn (Paul) Little. She was 93. Their daughter, Constance had preceded her to the Great Beyond. Sally is interred at the Ridge Hill Memorial Park in Amherst, Ohio. And thus, “my question” was answered. And, as is obvious I also found a photo of the restaurant when Loydall’s owned it.

But to return to the question that started this search: I still didn’t find a picture of the place when Phil Provenzano and his wife, Eleonor owned it, and I don’t know anyone that does. At that time the place was known as “Ellie’s” restaurant and my wife, myself and our daughter used to eat there on occasion. I’m guessing that was back in the late 1970s or early 80s. I recall the fare being reasonably priced and good. I also recall that one of the items on the menu was a very tasty serving of beef tips over noodles.

The restaurant didn’t really seem to change a great deal following the Harold Neiding Lake Erie Drive-In days until Mr. Trinter opened his initial International Café at that site. Thereafter the building was gradually renovated, eventually adding, among other things, a well-appointed bar. Overall it seemed to be as well received by the Vermilion public as all its predecessors. And though the old Lake Erie Drive-In that played a vital part of the “happy days” of more than a few Vermilionites is long gone memories of it, however faded they may be, linger on refusing to disappear altogether.

Ref: VHS Log Books – 1969/74; Elyria Chronicle Telegram 1955; Ancestry.com.

Vermilion resident Rich Tarrant is Curator of the Vermilion History Museum and a son and a grandson of the late proprietors of The Vermilion News (1897-1964). Readers may email him at: rnt@twc.com

Mayor’s Notes

By Mayor Jim Forthofer

You and I may love Vermilion. But the past couple weeks of coping with winter have stressed out residents and city workers alike.

VPD

Police Chief Hartung appreciates the cooperation of the citizens who respected the emergency warnings during the Level 3 snow storm the weekend of the 19th& 20th. Community cooperation helped make the situation manageable. The VPD kept everyone safe and calm during one of the worst snow storms we’ve had in years.

VFD

Fire Chief Stempowski is grateful that no one was seriously injured in the flooding on Riverside Drive January 23rd. As Mayor, I can’t say enough about the Vermilion Fire Department’s response to the Riverside Drive evacuation. These volunteers insured the safety of Vermilion residents during a fast developing and life-threatening situation. I observed firefighters work all night to rescue 13 people two dogs and two cats. Then, some of these volunteers went home to prepare for their day jobs as morning arrived. We are lucky to have such dedicated volunteers.

I might also add that several contractors came to the aid of Riverside residents by assisting in ice clearing for no or little cost.

Service Department…86 miles of snow.

I wish all residents could witness the round the clock efforts of the city’s Services Director and service departments during the level 3 snow storm. Drivers from both distribution and streets departments worked through the blizzard to keep main streets passable for emergency vehicles. Some were pulled away for main breaks or sewer blockage. They then went back to plowing 86 miles of street. It is a critical job that is seldom done to everyone’s satisfaction. Winter isn’t over yet.

What’s up with my bills?

City Finance Director Amy Hendricks wants to pass along a heads up for Vermilion residents regarding activity they may see on their current tax and utility bills. Here is Ms. Hendrick’s message to you.

Utility Bills

The Utility Bills sent in January included an extra week of usage due to the timing of meter readings on the 1st Monday of the month. That, plus the $1 per unit increase to help replace water mains may cause you to see an increase with the most recent bill. The Utility Department replaced our 20 year old credit card machine this month to meet industry standards. This technology allows payments at the window to be processed more quickly and adds ApplePay and GooglePay. New receipt options are also available with the text to phone version becoming very popular with residents.

Property Taxes

Property owners in Vermilion may notice an increase in the amount of taxes coming to the City of Vermilion on the recent bill from the County. This 1 mill levy was approved by voters in November 2017. The cost is just over $13 for $100,000 market value of your home. The purpose of this approved levy is to provide an estimated $275,646 to support operation of the Parks and Recreation Board.

Local Income Tax

Local income tax for the City of Vermilion is paid through the Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA) by April 15th. If you live and work in Vermilion, your taxes are withheld by your employer, but you still need to file an annual return with RITA. If you live in Vermilion but work outside the City, your employer may, but is not required, to withhold income taxes due to the City of Vermilion. You will need to file a return and pay any amount due to RITA each year. You may also need to file quarterly payments to RITA based on your estimated income. Please DO NOT SEND YOUR RITA TAX TO THE CITY OFFICES. Filing your return at www.ritaohio.com is easy and FREE. You may also contact RITA at 1-800-860-7482 for assistance with your return.

Are the City’s finances any better?

Finance Director Hendricks’ reports the following to residents of Vermilion…

This time last year, we were just beginning to discover the City’s cash available for daily operations was dangerously low. In response, 2018 was spent looking for ways to increase income and reduce expenses with the focus on maintaining core city services. The results are paying off. As we closed 2018, the balance in our operating fund is up over $375,000 compared to 2017. The proposed operating budget for 2019 sits at $5.6 million which represents a reduction from $5.8 million last year due to savings generated by competitively shopping for our health care plan. We still must be very cautious and continue to look for ways to reduce expenses and grow revenue as our needs still exceed our available cash. But, the good news is that we are definitely headed in the right direction with the tax payer’s money!

City celebrates the grand opening of the new Highbridge Road bridge

By Melanie Williamson

On Tuesday, October 30, city and state officers, residents, and project participants gathered on Highbridge Road for the grand opening of the new bridge that now connects the southern and northern portions of the road allowing for quicker access.

The Highbridge Road bridge has been a focus and point of discussion in Vermilion for many years. The original Highbridge Road bridge was built over the Norfolk and Southern rail line in 1990. The structure was a “pony truss bridge” made of wood and designed for horse drawn traffic. The original bridge was

With the bridge, Highbridge Road served as a route between Vermilion Road and Liberty Avenue. However, the original bridge was considered unsafe and taken down in the 1980s. The absence of the bridge has prevented residents on the south side from getting quickly to town and significantly increased emergency response times.

The serious discussion of building a new bridge began in March of 2015 when the administration at that time held a public meeting to explore the possibility. The new bridge was estimated to cost $2.02 million. As the city decided to move forward with the project, the Ohio Department of Transportation awarded Vermilion $1.44 million through the ODOT Municipal Bridge Program.

In early 2018, Mosser Construction was awarded the contract to build the new bridge, which was to be 40 feet wide and 115 feet long. Work began on the project shortly after the contract was awarded, and it was just recently finished.

One of the primary concerns in wanting the bridge rebuilt has been the safety factor. Without the bridge, it took several minutes for emergency teams to get from Fire Station to the south side of Highbridge and the areas beyond there. With the ongoing discussion of a new fire station and possible locations, the opening of the bridge will make it easier to choose a location that will allow for fast response to all areas of the city.

Below is an excerpt of the speech Mayor James Forthofer gave at the opening of the bridge.

This bridge is 115 feet long. Not big by bridge standards. But its impact is significant in city development and emergency response time.

This bridge serves a different Vermilion than of the early part of last century.

Economically, Highbridge unites the area near State Route 2 in the South with State Route 6 in the North, our newly developing commercial corridor.

But most importantly, this bridge that we are opening can literally be the difference in life or death to our growing population in the south of Vermilion. In emergencies seconds count. This bridge can improve response time by minutes.

Before this bridge it took Vermilion’s first responders 6 minutes and 45 seconds to reach the other side by using detours. With this bridge, an emergency responder leaving Vermilion’s Fire Station 2 is 2.5 minutes from the residents on the south side of this bridge. A 4 minute 40 second improvement in response time.

That’s at least 4 minutes and 40 seconds that:

a resident’s heart remains stopped,

4 minutes and 40 seconds that a baby remains unable to breath,

a house continues to burn,

or 4 minutes and 40 seconds that an accident victim continues to bleed.

A lot of people have been waiting a long time for this bridge to be replaced. 30 years. Some of them are here today. Mrs. Sharon Stempowski is one of them.

Many of you know Ms. Stempowski. She served on Vermilion Council. She is the mother of our Fire Chief Chris Stempowski. Mrs. Stempowski lives on Vermilion Road. Her friends call her Sue. She had surgery some years ago. Unfortunately, Sue’s health is not good.

After the bridge was taken down in the 80’s, one of Sue’s neighbors suddenly become ill. He died at home. Sue firmly believes that that neighbor would have lived had the bridge been in place and the response time quicker.

Mrs. Stempowski has had many a worried night, when her health was especially bad, thinking of that neighbor and worried for her own survival if things took a turn for the worse. Could she get help in time?

This bridge opening today means a lot to many people. It is very personal to Mrs. Stempowski. She was here when it was taken down. She is here at its replacement. And she will sleep easier because of it.  I can guarantee you that there is no happier person today at this bridge opening than Sharon Stempowski.

 

Residents once again gather together for community prayer breakfast

By Melanie Williamson

The Community Prayer Breakfast held Thursday, October 18, has been going on for over 30 years providing several local churches the opportunity to come together along with residents and other community stake holders to discuss issues pertinent to the community, as well as simply come together in fellowship to strengthen community bonds. The event is hosted by the Vermilion chamber of Commerce and the Vermilion Ministerial Association and is held twice a year at German’s Villa.

According to Vermilion Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Coe, “The Community Prayer Breakfast is a tremendous asset to the community and the surrounding area as it brings people together for amazing fellowship, good food and a wonderful positive way to start your day.”

The theme throughout the October breakfast was “Safety in Our Lives.” Nick Cacciatore, pastor of the Vermilion E&R Church offered the opening and closing prayers. Vermilion Local Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin spoke on “safety in our schools.” Harbourtown Community Foursquare Church pastor and Vermilion Police Department Chaplain Jim Cooper spoke on “safety in our community,” and Grace United Methodist pastor Allison LeBrun spoke on “safety in our homes.” LeBrun recently led Grace United Methodist in a week of activities intended to raise awareness about domestic violence and help individuals being impacted by domestic violence.

Other community pastors including David Zerby, Heidi Strickler, Todd Hathaway, and Cliff Morris participated by offering prayers for the community, local government leaders, the schools, and the nation.

The story of Vermilion Fire Department Chief “Dad” Tischer

By Rich Tarrant

I have often thought of making a list of persons that in my view were the “Most Influential Vermilionites of the 20th Century”. It’s a novel idea but, in truth, there are so many persons from which to choose the task is practically, and realistically speaking, impossible. For instance, a list might include the industrialist-inventor F.W. Wakefield, local insurance-real estate executive C.A. “Charlie” Trinter, attorney – Mayor H.R. “Squire” Williams, the banker E.L. Coen, pharmacist – businessman A.D. Baumhart, Lester Kishman, Nelson Parsons, barber-photographer Jake Abell, school superintendent C.K. DeWitt, newspaper publishers Pearl and Elizabeth “Bessie” Roscoe – and the potential list goes on ad infinitum. I have in the past researched and written about many of these persons. But among all the personalities of yesteryear there is one person who should never be forgot. His name is William Adam Tischer. Most folks about town just called him “Dad”.

“Dad” was the son of Conrad (1826-1883) and Wilhelmina (1831-1917) Tischer. Both parents had migrated from Hessen, Germany to Vermilion sometime during the first decades of the 19th century. There was an influx of persons of German descent to America during those years as a result of extreme political turmoil in their homeland. I have been told that the reason many of these families came to Ohio and then on to Vermilion was because both the climate and landscape were reminiscent of the homelands they had fled.

Conrad, by the way, later served as a private with Co. B. 125th O.V.I. during the American Civil War. The regiment was organized at Columbus, Johnson’s Island and Camp Cleveland from Dec. 7, 1861 to Jan. 8, 1864, to serve for three years. The regiment was principally engaged in guarding Confederate prisoners at Ohio’s Johnson’s Island. But back to “Dad”:

“Dad” was born December 7, 1860 in Vermilion.  He had an older sister, Catherine (b.1853), who married a local carpenter-contractor named Jacob Schade (1850-1932). Unlike his father who had worked as a farmer and sailor during this lifetime “Dad” followed in his brother-in-law’s footsteps and distinguished himself as both a local carpenter and a contractor during his lifetime. His work is contained in numerous homes and buildings about our community. The former First Congregational Church on Main Street next to the old Vermilion Town Hall, currently known as the Millet Auction House, as well as the former Vermilion Library building on Grand Street, currently the home of The Old Vermilion Jail Bed and Breakfast are two great examples of “Dad’s” professional expertise. But these things were only a part of his life’s labors.

On the 22nd day of October in 1885 “Dad” married a girl named Alice Moulton (1866-1941) of Rugby. The couple had a daughter, Floy (Parsons), and four sons, Lee, Frank, Harold and Lyle. Lee died as a child. The rest of the children (and their children) became rather well known Vermilionites during their lifetimes. Lyle’s son Earl, for instance, was a member of city council for a number of years. And like his father and grandfather he was a very good carpenter. But, again, back to “Dad”:

For fifty-four years “Dad” served as a faithful member of the Vermilion Volunteer Fire Department. For forty-nine of those years he served as Chief. During his lengthy tenure he oversaw the departments growth from “bucket brigade”, to horse drawn steam pumper, to a highly trained motorized department. Vermilion trivia buffs might take note that “Dad” Tischer was singularly responsible for bringing the department into the 20th century by actively seeking and acquiring their very first motorized fire engine.

“Dad” died on the 12th day of May in 1945. He was 84 years, 5 months and 5 days old. For the last four years of his life he had served the town as “Honorary Chief” of the VFD. For most his life he’d lived on Exchange Street just a block or so away from the firehouse. He’d fought large fires that unchecked might have decimated Linwood Park and, several times, the town’s business section. And he’d fought small ones that nobody remembers. But one thing for sure whenever the fire alarm is sounded you can bet that the very spirit of “Dad” Tischer is there and ready to go.

 

Ref: The Sandusky Star-Journal 04/30/1941; The Sandusky Star-Register News 05/12/1945; Vermilion History Museum Photo archives.

Vermilion resident Rich Tarrant is Curator of the Vermilion History Museum and a son and a grandson of the late proprietors of The Vermilion News (1897-1964). Readers may email him at: rnt@twc.com

Administrators and SRO respond quickly to threat of violence at Sailorway

By Melanie Williamson

On Tuesday, October 23, Sailorway Middle School students, teachers, and administrators were preparing to participate in a district-wide evacuation drill, which involved every student leaving the school and walking to a secondary location. This type of drill requires a great deal of preparation and practice to ensure that in the event of a real emergency, all students can be safely moved away from the campus.

In the midst of this, three students reported to Sailorway Middle School Assistant Principal Robert Figuly that they heard another student stating that he was going to “shoot up the school.” According the police report of the incident, the student in question was immediately removed from the school.

Meanwhile, an investigation was conducted interviewing the students that made the initial complaint as well as other students that were in the classroom at the time.  According to the police report, multiple students stated they heard him say he was going to shoot up the school and kill himself. He then allegedly walked around his classroom telling students not to come to school the next day and listing the names of students he planned to kill. The parents of each student named was informed of the incident. Other students stated that at times he seemed upset, but other times seemed to be laughing about the whole thing.

When SRO Brian Beckwith spoke to the student about the incident, he reported said that he stated he was going to kill himself but never said he was going to shoot anyone. Officer Beckwith reported that the student went on to say he was angry because the girl he liked turned him down stating “that’s why I said that.” When Beckwith asked him what he said, he responded that he didn’t say anything. It was reported to Officer Beckwith that the student was emotionally disturbed.

Officer Beckwith contacted the Erie County Prosecutor’s Office to discuss the situation and it was recommended that the student be charged with Aggravated Menacing and Inducing Panic. Officer Beckwith filed both charges and transported the young man to the Erie County Detention Center. According to Section 2903.21 of the Ohio Revised Code, aggravated menacing is defined as when “an accused person knowingly causes an alleged victim to believe that the accused will cause serious physical harm to the alleged victim or to his or her property.” Section 2917.31 of the Ohio Revised Code defines inducing panic as “threatening to commit any offense of violence.”

Superintendent Phil Pempin stated that in this type of situation, a fast response to ensure the safety of all students is the first priority, which is why immediately after the initial complaint was made, the student was removed from the school and SRO Beckwith was contacted. School administrators worked with Officer Beckwith to ensure that every student in the classroom at the time of the alleged threat was interviewed and parents were contacted. Pempin also stated that all threats are taken seriously, and the police are involved in every investigation.

City receives much needed good news for the debt restructuring plan

By Melanie Williamson

Since Amy Hendricks took the position of finance director for the city of Vermilion in early 2018, she has faced an uphill battle sorting out the city’s complicated financial situation. One of the many steps she has taken is to look at options in restructure the city’s debt in order to pay down the debt while also freeing up money on the city’s budget for needed projects.

An important step in debt restructuring for a city is the Moody’s Investors Service rating. This rating is based on many factors and is used to determine the risk for investors and lenders in restructuring plans. Henricks explained, “Just like your credit score at home, the rating from a credit agency is what determines the City’s ability to borrow money, refinance existing debt at better terms as well as making purchasing of our bonds more attractive to investors in the market.”

According to the Moody’s report delivered to the city following their evaluation, “Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the City of Vermilion, OH’s issuer rating and rating on outstanding general obligation limited tax (GOLT) debt to A1 from A2. Concurrently, Moody’s assigns an A1 rating to the city’s $4.1 million General Obligation (Limited Tax) Various Purpose Improvement and Refunding Bonds, Series 2018. The city’s issuer rating is equivalent to the rating we would assign to bonds secured by the city’s general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) pledge and is used as a reference rating for the GOLT debt. This rating action affects $12 million of debt.”

The report goes on to explain, “The upgrade of the city’s issuer rating to A1 reflects its modestly sized though largely stable tax base with average resident income levels, maintenance of healthy fund balance and a moderating debt burden. The rating also incorporates the city’s elevated pension burden and historically weak though improving enterprise operations. The lack of rating distinction between the city’s issuer and GOLT ratings reflects the city’s full faith and credit pledge on the payment of GOLT debt.”

In response to the report, Hendricks made the following statement, ““After receiving rating downgrades from Moody’ Investors Services in 2010 and 2012, we all knew this review was a critical piece in the City’s long term financial planning…To receive an upgrade to A1 at this  time is solid recognition of the hard work that has been done in 2018 by the administrative team.  However, this doesn’t mean that we are done!  We are continuing to evaluate what we do every day to strengthen Vermilion’s financial outlook.” With the Moody rating completed, Hendricks will move forward with the administration’s plans for restructuring.

Port discusses end of year finances and possibility of an ADA restroom

The Vermilion Port authority met on Thursday, October 11, for a regular monthly meeting. All members were in attendance as well as port operations manager Bill Yancar and city council representative Frank Loucka.

The port authority received correspondence from a Gary Pildner of Rocky River complimenting them on the installation of the kayak launching facility. He stated that he wished there were more facilities like it around Northeast Ohio. Peter Corogin responded to Pildner in writing to thank him for his feedback.

Financial update

Yancar reported that as of the meeting they had not yet closed the month of September, but it would be finished shortly. Despite that, he reported that the port was likely to end up with approximately $172,000 in revenue with an ending balance of between $28,000 and $30,000 in addition to that, excluding expenses. The 411 account should end up with roughly $3,000.

Pursuant to the Deposit Recap Sheet, Yancar noted this month’s deposits which include all marinas and events, miscellaneous revenue and Sandusky Bay rent, contributed another $26,205.81 bringing the total year-to-date to $150,740.14. The official gross revenues for the Duck Dash totaled $11,018 and the parking totaled $1,121.

The monthly recap of lease deposits year-to-date totaled $21,290.  Yancar sent out the Clarion leases on September 21 and they are due back by October 31. He will enforce the fact that half the payment is due this year.  He is anticipating $10,000 in revenue if they get half paid up front.  The balance is due by May 1, 2019.  Street end leases go out for collection in January/February.   Year-to-date revenue as of October 1, 2018, including lease payments of $21,290 and ‘all other’ of $150,740.14 total $172,030.14.  The current budget with the city is $181,000 and the Port proposed budget was $187,000.

Yancar reported on the following dock revenue for 2018 compared to three-year averages and last year’s revenue for the following: Water Works Marina dock revenue year to date totals $46,127.05. With a three-year average of $47,953.31, they are down 3.81%. The McGarvey’s Landing dock revenue year to date totals $16,394.50.  With a three-year average of $19,403.67, they are down about 15.51%. The South Street Launch Ramp dock total revenue year to date is $29,771.00. With a three-year average of $25,598.67, they are up 16.30%.  They are down for all three locations about $2,600 or 3%.

Port Operations Report

Yancar reported he has been updating the revenue side of the budget and is getting good indication that the lessees will be coming back next year.  Sommer asked when the last time the port has proposed an increase and Yancar said they have never done an increase.  Sommer responded that this is the only way they are going to get revenue.

Yancar noted the lessee at Exchange asked if the port would allow him to extend the dock by 10’ to make it more accessible and convenient. Essentially, he was told he couldn’t do this because it goes with the property line.  However, he received the property line from the city and it looks as though if they moved the dock over by 2’ then they could extend it by 10’.  The boat is still the same length, so it won’t encroach into the channel. If they find out they can do this, then he will put together a proposal.  Further discussion ensued and Yancar was directed by Corogin to do his homework on this matter to see if they can enhance this dock and to determine the costs involved, so they can review it at the November meeting.

ADA Restroom

Yancar said he talked with DiFucci and he should be passing on all their results tomorrow which includes the issue of it being in a floodplain and anything the city has from a building department standpoint.  Corogin said they need to rule out whether it would be practical to add on to the existing restroom.  Carrick said he spoke with DiFucci and Howard in the spring and it didn’t seem like an issue.

Corogin said Eileen Bulan has agreed to help the port authority look for grants.  There could be a smaller grant through the Erie County Community Foundation, which they could get possibly if they want to add onto the existing restroom at the ramp location.  They will look at bigger dollars if they look at doing something at Water Works.  He said the purpose of this exercise is to start gathering information on restrooms costs and grants. Yancar noted he had positive feedback of having the handicap Porta John at the ramp.

In conclusion, Corogin said they need to determine funding and a site for a restroom.  He feels they will have some money to work with next year as they will be eliminating a financial obligation. He said ODNR grants usually have a matching component and he thought they could convince somebody in Erie County to help them.

Corogin scheduled an unofficial onsite gathering at the Water Works restroom on Saturday, October 13 at 1:00pm with those port members who were able to meet to ponder a possible layout, a wish list, and to eventually look at funding methods to support a restroom project.

Future Meeting

The next port authority meeting with be Thursday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the ramp office, 777 West River Road.

Blotter

October 22, 2018

06:20- Liberty: Minor Car Vs. Deer accident.

15:39- 1800 block of Liberty: Warrant arrest.

16:42- West River: Juvenile Complaint.

17:32- 3000 block of Liberty: Warrant arrest.

 

October 23, 2018

07:42- 5000 Liberty: Criminal mischief complaint.

16:01- 5300 Sailorway: Menacing complaint resulting in charges for Menacing and Inducing Panic.

20:59- 5100 Liberty: Traffic stop resulting in a citation for DUS.

 

October 24, 2018

12:48- 1200 block of Sanford: Theft complaint.

13:43- 600 block of Decatur: Warrant arrest.

 

October 25, 2018

08:39- 1100 block of Douglas: Domestic Violence complaint resulting in citations for Domestic Violence and Violation of a Protection.

11:31- 300 block of Helen: Theft complaint.

17:34- 600 block of Decatur: Warrant arrest.

 

October 26, 2018

14:02- 300 block of Cummings: Traffic stop resulting in a DUS citation.

15:58- US6: Minor 2 vehicle accident.

 

October 27, 2018

02:48- 800 block of Vermilion Rd.: Disturbance complaint resulting in no arrest.

16:07- 3700 block of Liberty: Traffic stop resulting in citations for DUS and OVI.

 

October 28, 2018

02:05- Sailorway/ Sanford: Warrant arrest.

2139- 500 block of Highbridge: Traffic stop resulting in citations for DUS and Wrongful Entrustment.

Letters to the Editor – Santa by Fire Truck

Below is the first letter to the editor announcing the change, and the second is a resident’s letter in response to the change. Our understanding of the decision is that it was made in response to complaints from residents in areas outside the traditional Santa by Fire Truck neighborhoods that the social club should not be utilizing department vehicles for this event if they are not going to do it throughout the entire city.

Support Santa on the fire truck

To the Editor:

The Vermilion Fire Company, Inc. is a social club of the men and women of the Vermilion Fire Department. As a club, we hold many different fund raising events to help support the personnel with-in our department and other departments, too. Throughout the year we raise money to donate to local charities and events, as well as, giving numerous scholarships to graduating seniors. It has always been the purpose of our membership and club to support the families of our firefighters’ and the residents of our community through the many events we hold each year.

One of the big events done annually by the Vermilion Fire Company is Santa on the fire truck, a time when Santa would ride up and down the streets of VOL passing out candy and Christmas cheer to the children who waited outside to see him. This event has been taking place for the last 48 years, originating in the neighborhoods of Vermilion on the Lake Firefighters’ Inc. Over the years it has grown to include the Edison Estates, Elberta, The Woodlands, High Bridge Rd., and the neighborhoods off Sunnyside Road. Santa on the fire truck is all funded by door-to-door donations collected in those neighborhoods. It tales approximately two days and about 20 hours to walk these areas collecting and about 8-10 hours on the day that Santa arrives and delivers treat bags to the children.

As a club and department, we just don’t have the manpower to be able to do this for our entire jurisdictional area. for this reason, it has been decided that this year Santa will arrive by fire truck on Sunday, December 16, at Sailorway Middle School and be there to greet children from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children will have an opportunity to meet Santa and get a treat bag.

Also this year, the members of the department and social club will be collecting money at Station 1 and Station 2 on Saturday, October 27, and Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be in place of our members going door-to-door. Again, Santa on the fire truck is solely funded each year by your donations. If you would like to send a donation to support Santa on the fire truck, please send your donations to Vermilion Fire Company – Santa, 5467 Ohio Street, Vermilion Ohio 44089

We want to thank you for your support and hope to see everyone on Sunday, December 16.

The Vermilion Fire Company, Inc

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Ruining tradition

To the Editor:

I’ve been a Vermilion on the Lake resident my entire life. My family has lived here for 60 years. I won’t presume that I speak on behalf of VOL, but I believe there are not many VOL residents who will disagree with me. This is the first holiday season that “A Year Without A Santa Claus” will have personal meaning.

The decision to end the nearly 50 year tradition of Santa on a Fire Truck and move the event to Sailorway is a truly tragic. It speaks to the short-sightedness and loss of purpose of the decision makers in Vermilion. The purpose of the event was never to make sure every neighborhood in the city was serviced. In effect, what it did was provide the less prosperous section of the town with holiday joy. Should we ask that that the fire department stop distributing Thanksgiving Baskets to low-income families because every family in Vermilion doesn’t get a free Thanksgiving Basket? Are the people in this town really this selfish?

Throughout the year, there are many city events that don’t take place in VOL. I’ve never heard a resident from VOL complain that Santa docks at the park by the comfort station, and doesn’t come to Tiki Beach. I’ve never heard anyone from VOL complain that the Easter Egg hunt is in Victory Park and not Showse Field. I’ve never complained that the Ice-A-Fair is uptown and there are no sculptures at Drug Mart or the YMCA. If the idea is to have an inclusive town where everyone has access to all of the festivities, we need to open up a bigger discussion about how residents of VOL can have access to events like these in their neighborhood.

Think about what the fire department’s effort in VOL means to the people here, not about how it affects you. Pictures with Santa at the mall are $30. For a family struggling to buy gifts, the fire department might be the only opportunity for a kid to see Santa. The memories created by Santa coming to your house are very different than standing with 50 other people for a 60 second interaction, which is why the people in VOL are so upset about this decision. There are plenty of options in our city and throughout our counties to have breakfast with Santa and pictures with Santa. This is one singular event that brought something special to a part of the city that has traditionally been largely ignored by our leaders.

It is hard not to see this decision as just the latest blow to a neighborhood that is neglected by our leaders. Our tax money is spent yearly and our leadership spends time seeking grants that make the city more pleasing to tourists, to keep the businesses that depend on tourism attractive. You have your beautiful downtown. You have your docks. You have your restaurants. You have decent roads for tourists to travel on. You have your farmers markets. You have your festivals. You have Santa on the barge and by the comfort station. You have your Easter egg hunt and your fireworks. You have your Woollybear and your Ice-A-Fair. You have your Third Thursdays. Here on the Lorain County side, we have empty businesses, abandoned houses, undriveable streets, the Little Store, and the Clubhouse. And we had Santa. For the love of God, let VOL have something. Let the VOL Fire Department do this for VOL, and the other department can go to Sailorway.

If it’s a problem with donations or volunteers, tell the community that. In all my years of donating, I’ve never been asked to volunteer. If the goal is to make this event more accessible for the whole city, you have not accomplished this. You have in effect excluded residents of VOL from it. We don’t go to your tourist-geared businesses; we can’t afford to. We don’t go to your fireworks; we go to Tiki Beach and watch Lorain’s. The majority of the people who benefited from this will not go to Sailorway and they won’t donate to make this happen. You have forgotten the purpose of the event and what it means to the people. Shame on you.
Marsha Woods