Amherst News-Times, 1999-06-23
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Cops to target trespassers — Page 5 City to compete for grant — Paj Amherst News-Tim 3 Wednesday. Juno 23. 1999 Amherst. Ohio 0 cents the Gardeners find refuge in their yards Work of two enthusiasts featured on agency's fundraising tour by QLEN MILLER morrt Gror' nee News-Times reporter When mayor John Higgins goes home to escape politics and the rigors of city hall, he jumps into what his wife Marilyn calls his big "adult sandbox." He doesn't build sand castles. The sandbox is his wife's terminology for the huge garden of flowers, shrubs, water fountains and a waterfall he has built into his own haven over the last 26 years. The mayor's garden and six gardens surrounding the house of Jack and Dorothy Lehman, of 1903 Laurel Lane, are two Amherst gardens chosen for Lorain County's fourth annual Garden Tour May 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Until this year, the mayor has been a volunteer who has helped plan the tour. This fear he agreed to be part of "the scenery" at the urging of other volunteers. "I thought, 'why not?' It's been part of my life, my method of relaxation and of being creative even since I was a child," he explained. His growth as a garden started as a child as he watched his late Irish father, Thomas Higgins, plant flowers. He was a farmer who taught the magic of gardening to him. His garden is a conglomeration of 80 perennials, 40 flats of annuals and more than 100 different kinds of shrubs. The garden has been Amherst Township resident Dorothy Lehman waters one of her six gardens, a regular duty she performs to help keep things completely landscaped by him. It also has a waterfall, several water fountains and a set of steps that wind up and through the garden. "If other people couldn't enjoy it, I wouldn't enjoy it," he added. "I like it because I see other people get enjoy ment out of it." His wife is the chief waterer and weeder. He is the planter aflttTSaifWcer, often working on fertilizing or pruning plants until 10 p<m. • It was all bare land when they moved into 618 S. Lake St. nearly three decades ago. green and beautiful. Today, it is a showplace of beauty and tranquility. Every section of the one-acre garden is special to them and has Its own mealing**-*-' Higgins used to be able to devote more time to the garden prior to becoming mayor. These days, he works on it whenever he has time. "But it's not work for me; it's my relaxation, my therapy. It's definitely cheaper and better than a shrink," he added. "I just putter around doing this and that, sometimes CONTINUED on page 3 Tenney may be widened for parking slots Pending city council approval, the city is prepared to spend an estimated $140,000 to create as many as 40 new parking spaces on Tenney •Avenue this summer. I -, Under a plan proposed by city engineer Milt Pommeranz, Tenney will be widened eight feet and converted to a one-way street between •Church Street and Mill Avenue. The street will be widened by re moving and replacing the sidewalk on the north side of the street, where as many as 40 diagonal parking spaces will be built. Parallel parking on the south side of the street, where six spaces now exist, will be prohibited. Critical to the plan is a revitalization grant for downtown Amherst to be made by the city. The cost of the widening project can be used as the city's share of the grant if it coincides with the revitalization grant, according to mayor John Higgins. "The timing has to be just right so what we're planning can be used as the city's matching share by the state (department of community development)," he explained. "If it's done right, it wiU accomplish two things and save us a lot of money." Higgins said he hopes the plan can be initiated and enacted by council before its August recess. The grant will be part of the city's effort to became affiliated with Main Street Ohio, a program that could assist in downtown revitalization over the next several years. The city is seeking funding from area foundations to help hire a director for the Main Street Ohio Program. Additional parking in the down town area has long been sought after as part of revitalization. Earlier this year, the city built eight diagonal parking spaces along side the new Veterans Park at Tenney Avenue and Church Street. The portion of Tenney between South Main Street and Mill Avenue is expected to become a eastbound one-way street once the widening project is completed. Fourth, sixth graders tally top scores, too by PAUL MORTON Rl Sj News-Times reporter Results of the state proficiency tests released last week by the state department of education show that Amhent fourth and sixth graders are voiding their own on the exams, according io assistant superintendent Timothy Logar. .According to the results of the f-"r tof*— by fourth and sixth grad- irs in March, the percentage of Am- lent fourth graders who passed the eata declined in four of the five letted. But Logar said the io which the percentage corresponded with the In which the state proficiency rtandard had been raised. Although they're down, it's be- they raised the bar," Logar Mid. j Io ihe writing portion of the test, (the fourth graden improved four percentage points over last year, wilh 84 percent pasting this year. Writing wet the only aree in which ihe paatii-g grade was not raised this rear. Even with the declines, Logar said ihe fourth graden ttill met or the awe standard of 73 in few sections of 4m Grade Advanced Amherst 1999 1998 1997 1996 State Totals Local % State % Writing 84 80 89 93 65 27 16 Reading 82 88 79 96 60 5 4 Math 70 71 63 81 51 17 12 Citizen 89 96 89 98 71 41 25 Science 75 77 66 79 53 23 15 All 51 58 48 70 32 2 1 6* Grade Advanced Amherst 1999 1998 1997 1996 State Totals Local% State'/* Writing 90 94 88 82 80 37 23 Reading 62 85 83 88 53 24 18 Math 75 69 60 58 52 8 7 Citizen 88 84 74 79 72 10 7 Science 62 74 57 S3 47 1 2 All 43 4° 45 41 33 0 0 Rezoning angers property- owners The rezoning of 42 acres of land which extendi from Rt 58 west to the former American Legion property, was delayed by city council June 14 until changes sought by the ownen can be re* viewed by the planning commission. At question is the amount of land abutting the highway that will be commercially zoned and how much will be zoned R-l for residential development Plans previously recommended by planning officials call for the commercial segment to be 476 feet deep with about 1,200 feet fronting Leavitt Road. The ownen, Elyria car dealer Nick Abraham and David and Rose George, told council they were not contacted by the commission about their plans, which call for the commercial segment to be about 300 feet deeper. At the suggestion of the partners' attorney, Garrett Murray, council sent a rezoning ordinance back to the planning commission tor reconsideration. A factor in the request for the additional 300 feet it the city's requirement for construction of a marginal road, parts of which already exist on other nearby land. "When you consider the space needed for that we wanted more room in the rear so there it sufficient room for commercial enterprises," Abraham explained. Under the ownen' suggested change, the general business section would be zoned C-l and be more than 700 feet deep. The change still would leave land about 1,200 long by 900 feet deep for residential development in the rear portion of the property. The land was annexed into the city from Amhent Township about 12 yean ago but retains township zoning. The frontage ia zoned general business and the rear portion township residential, or R-l-1. The Georges own a separate 21 acres to the north that runs behind Middle Ridge Road residents from the former American Legion property to near Rt 38. To the south it more former township general business land owned by a third party. It abuts the turnpike. Together, the three commercially owned lands create a U-shaped commercial area. Under Abraham and die Georges' plans. Murray said the buffer between the commercial and retidentially zoned areas could os a creek that is a tributary of the Beaver Creek., a-> ea a. - _t_m^_ unacuffleeneer nancy Brown arid aay A| wpassedthei r\ Hw lest Paly 7 ^t^eaPSaW mtrameM a^*f m^a^aamaMm**a tM~m mwmmmw mWaat* iP ^mammaas*mmW ^atotr a^ammmma WMmWmm*mm mm wmmw The proficiency tests are composed of tests in the areas of writing, reading, math, citizenship, and science. They are administered to studenu at the fourth, sixth, ninth, and 12th grade levels. Students are also given ihe ninth grade proficiency tests starting ia the eighth grade and are given die opportunity to intake she foiled tec- tioni twice a year until all five sections mb pasted. Studenta must past all rett-one of lha ntoth grade teat hi to addition, starting ia the ihe largest declines fines last year. fcU> 2001-2002 school year, achooit wiU "to the tixth grade, although we leadtoi be required to hold back studenti wade tome improve-nenu we didn't Logar who have not pasted die reading portion of lha fourth grade proficiency test Bighty-two percent of hit the -nark in science and reading, iwe'O ia fos area taat to flooded tjaataaaaaj. M Cowger Si ■ r«-K'^%:a!*-J6r -.x-^TT- ?\*l!t (*•,-* ™ %* i.
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 1999-06-23|
|Date of Original||23-JUN-1999|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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