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The Dayton Women's Club

The Centennial Book’s true heroes

As a result of a letter from Mayor Cook – and an additional article – about the Centennial Book in last week’s Oakwood Register, I need to set the record straight. Although I am not known for great modesty and humility, I have been almost embarrassed by the kind comments and ”kudos” coming my way regarding the book. Although ideas count, the real payoff in any venture like the Centennial Book is creativity and execution.

Each of the six members of the team went “about and beyond” in their individual and collaborative effort. The end product truly is a “salute to volunteerism” for everyone involved. Without reciting the specific contributions of each person, I can strongly state that the compliments I have been receiving truly reflect their combined efforts.

Obviously, I am very pleased that the Centennial Book has been so warmly received. However, please go out of your way to thank the following six people the next time you see them:

Nancy Chifala
Joanne McPortland
Leon Chuck
Anne Rasmussen
Perry Martin
Lisa Dodds Reeder

P.S. Anyone can obtain additional books (at the City Hall) for a contribution of $25.

Dick Good
Co-Chair, Oakwood Centennial Committee

Re: Appeal to save remaining Sugar Camp trees May 13 letter to editor from Pam and George Houk

Shame on you, Mayor Judy Cook, City Manager Norbert Klopsch, Ass’t City Manager Jay Weiskircher, Council members: Carlo McGinnis, Steven Byington, William D. Duncan, Stanley Castleman; and all Planning Commission members, current and past, who enthusiastically supported this development plan for Sugar Camp!

You now have a small window of an opportunity to give to Oakwood, and to the generations that follow, a gift… by taking the sage and passionate advice of Pam and George Houk. How deep is your feeling of pride as you drive by Far Hills and Schantz Avenues?

Please READ and RE-READ the provocative letter from Mr. and Mrs. Houk!

Please show some courage at last!

Kathy and Biff Backus

Brian Beck

Jane and Ed Kuntz

Elisabeth and Grady Larkins

Celine Maney

Catharine Bieser Black

Maggie Mantia

Stacey MacDonald

Lewis Clark

Barbara and John Rion

Lindsey Clark

Jon Paul Rion

Heidi and Tom Donnelly

Debbie and Jack Proud

Laura Folkerth

K.C. and Dan Stack

Stephanie and Sean Geehan

Gracey and Al Weisbrod

Pam Thomas

Joanne H. Granzo

Jean Verity Woodhull

Penny and John Haddick

Sara E. Woodhull

Pokey and Tony Huffman

Susan Kettering

Susanne Scherette King

Celine Maney

Susan Kettering

Brian Beck

Kristin and Lee Carpenter

Thank You’ - E.D. Smith Spring Festival a success

A huge thanks to all of the volunteers that made the E.D. Smith "Step Back in Time" festival a success on Saturday.  Thanks to the teachers & staff who at a very busy time academically, were very enthusiastic & gave their personal time and to the custodial staff who went above & beyond.  

We were blessed with beautiful weather and many hard workers that gave their time and put smiles on a lot of kids' faces!  Everyone enjoyed the pie eating contest (with pies made & donated by a Smith School family), cake walk (with cakes donated by many Smith School parents), creative crafts, goldfish toss, and too much more to list.  

Many festival goers donned their Centennial T-shirts with creative artwork designed by a local artist who just happens to be a Smith School parent.  Many thanks also go out to students from Oakwood High School who gave their time, including a very dynamic auctioneer, talented art students that painted faces & created a photo backdrop, and many other students who worked areas where they met their tasks with great enthusiasm.  The volunteers did not end with adults & high school students.  

Our own Smith School has quite a few mature students that stepped right up when it came to helping out & making it fun!  A special thanks to the Oakwood Safety Department for being a part of the festivities, the Oakwood Register for the PR and thank you to local businesses who went that "extra step" to provide supplies, including Dorothy Lane Market of Oakwood, Ashley's Pastry Shop, Graeters of Oakwood, Pine Club of Dayton & Complete Petmart of Oakwood.

E.D. Smith Teachers and Staff

Oakwood Band thanks community

Dear Oakwood Community:

As I write this, the 2007-08 Oakwood Band season is coming to a close. What a year it has been! We are still celebrating our Superior rating awarded to the band just last week at the State Ohio Music Educator’s Association Contest.  Also, this year we had a record number of students participating in OMEA’s solo and ensemble contest.

The Oakwood Band Parents Association is a group of hardworking volunteers who raise funds throughout the year to support all Oakwood Band programs. You may not realize that there are band programs at the elementary schools, junior high, and the high school.  We fund instrument purchases, uniforms, music purchases, contest fees, clinician fees, and educational trips and experiences for students at all grade levels.  We also annually award one or more $1000 scholarships to band seniors whose essays best reflect how the Oakwood Band experience has shaped their lives.  

Parent volunteers help out not only with fund-raising activities, but by managing the uniforms, transporting students and instruments, organizing and chaperoning events, and even assisting Director Ron Nelson in the classroom and in the pit for Oakwood’s spring musical production.

Our high school band has doubled in size over the last few years; and the Band Parents Association set some pretty lofty financial goals. Our biggest problem has been that our larger, more expensive instruments are very old and need to be replaced.

We are thrilled to report that our community has embraced the Oakwood Band, and has assisted us tremendously this year to achieve our goals. With your help, we have been able to purchase a number of new instruments, including tubas, a sousaphone, and a new set of timpani (kettle drums). Additionally, we were able to pay contest fees and contribute to the cost of each student’s trip to perform for our Canadian sister city in June to celebrate Oakwood’s Centennial.

Thank you to every Oakwood citizen who purchased food at the concession stands, bought our band fruit, ate our pulled pork sandwiches and our caramel apples, and hired our traveling bands to play at your private parties. A special thank you goes to all who contributed to and attended our band benefit concert in March, which featured the professional-level Ohio Valley British Brass Band.

We especially would like to thank John Gray, The Oakwood Rotary, and Bob Hitchcock of the Kettering-Oakwood Sister Cities Organization.

Mr. Gray has been an ardent supporter of our band. He opens his home each year for our summer band concert, and was instrumental in developing the Frederick R. Walker Foundation to support band needs. Additionally, he promotes enthusiasm among the students for band by exposing the students to the excellence of The Ohio State University marching and alumni bands.

The Oakwood Rotary always supports students and the band is no exception. This year the Rotary held a huge tailgate party and hired the entire blue and gold bedecked Oakwood marching band to play. Substantial donations were collected at this event. Later in the season, the Rotary invited the jazz band to play a holiday concert, and presented the band with a $1,000 check that finally allowed us to purchase our new sousaphone.

Bob Hitchcock has been a wonderful resource in helping our organization plan for the band trip to Outremont, Canada in June. He surprised us all when he presented us with $7,500 from the Kettering Oakwood Sister Cities Organization to assist students in paying for their trip to Canada.

Our band wouldn’t exist without the support of the school district, the dedication of our wonderful director Ron Nelson, the help of our volunteers, and the generosity of our community.  To borrow from George M. Cohan: The school thanks you, Mr. Nelson thanks you, the students thank you, and for me, that goes without saying!

Debbie Hershey
President Oakwood Band Parents Association

Critical thinking needed regarding Gitmo

In light of the recent emails regarding Gitmo, I’ve suddenly realized why my undergraduate students can no longer think in a critical manner.  Apparently all one needs to do to make an argument in our culture—good or bad—is to spout off sound bytes, attack another person’s character, and then act like a you know what (Modern Israelis would call it a chamor) by yelling the loudest and somehow figuring out how to yell the loudest in print!  Which is an amazing feat I assure you.  (O, wait a minute, I’m doing it right it’s not that amazing after all).  Anyway...

I will never forget what a former professor told me when I was doing research for a degree in Jewish Studies at the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College. He told me that at Yeshiva University professors make their students take a book and look up all of the footnotes in that book to see if the author of the book quoted her/his sources accurately.  I’ve never forgotten this lesson and took it with me all the way through my doctoral studies in Religion.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but quoting snippets from the internet is always a bad idea!  I constantly remind 19 year olds to forgo because anyone can lie on the internet just like they can lie in books.  Even in our digital age the academic rule of thumb is to find what you’re looking for in old-fashioned print!  There are—thank God—still some standards, soft as they may be, in academic publishing.  

Thus, books with facts should be read to talk about Gitmo, because publishers usually employ people called “fact checkers,” biased as they may be.  Let me try to put some of this into perspective.

There is a wonderful project whose works should be taught alongside any normal course readings in high school American History.  I can only hope Oakwood High School has heard of this project and is implementing it into their curriculum.  The project is known as the American Empire Project Before one erroneously jumps to, “Leftist Commie (fill-in-the-blank)!!!” rhetoric, hear me out!  I mean, I did say this material should be read alongside of standard textbooks in American History courses.

The American Empire project features a book by Alfred W. McCoy, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, entitled A Question of Torture:  CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror.  As a vast intellectual exercise, one should read McCoy’s book and then take on his 75 pages of notes and bibliography following the Yeshiva University model described above.  “Why?” you ask.  Because one would be “critically thinking” about torture as opposed to dropping puerile expedients by yelling the loudest at a person, which only tells our youth in Oakwood that the best way to win an argument is to be cruel and to ignore the facts!

Next, a true patriot should sit down with Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States followed by its more conservative counterpart A Patriot’s History of the United States, written by a local UD professor.  At that point, one is really in a position to make an informed argument, because they’ve at least read the thoughts of the left and the thoughts of the right.  This would be “critical thinking,” which is a lost art form in our culture!  And, after your done with that, check out the various works recommended by those who call themselves, “The Radical Middle.”  Then you’ll have almost all of the perspectives you need to make an informed choice.

Furthermore, this absurd rhetoric of “leftist-rightist” just needs to stop!  What does that even mean?  Do neocons deserve to be called part of the same right as John McCain and company?  Do socialists and Clinton supporters deserve to be lumped into the category of “leftists?”  What about that “Radical Middle” group?  And what about that guy in Key West, FL called “Love-22” who runs every Presidential election (seriously)?  If anyone’s politics neatly fit into these artificially created “left versus right” boxes then I’d like to meet them.  They are either the most sane individual on the planet or someone that I seriously need to avoid!

Finally, it is the job of any educator to teach “skepticism” and “doubt.”  It’s just how the system works, because that’s how you teach people to think!  So, with that in mind, I also recall something my dad told me when I was very young.  “Son,” he said, “believe nothing that you hear and only a 1/3 of what you read.”  If you want to critically think, my dad’s advice is worth following.

Now... bring on the “You’re an idiot Reed... and clearly a traitor... and clearly a leftist-Marxist...” You’d no idea how wrong you’d be, but I’d find it entertaining!

Dr. David A. Reed



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May 20, 2008
Volume 17, No. 21

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