Amherst News-Times, 2002-03-27
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Fire ordinance needs more bite — Page 12 St. Joe's picks top teacher — Page 8 Amherst News-Time WIDNISDAY, MARCH 27, 2002 AMHI RSI , OHIO Easter bunny visits Satu <~> «-" o o o •_ x x i- 00 t-> KJ c y o c 3 X 05 < X m c m — CO — c/) es ~ —I t* 3> O «--> 3> M N < o -^ .TI 3> _ CO O O y City fails ADA test by AMY PERSINQER News-Times reporter Amherst is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and is at risk for lawsuits if the city doesn't address some of the violations, according to a report presented by councilmember David Williams. Mayor John Higgins said at the March 18 council ordinance committee meeting that the city has been very conscientious about complying with the 1990 law, spending neatly $1 million to make public property accessible to people covered under the ADA. He agreed, though, that there continues to be work to do. Williams was on a task force chattered by congress that he said identified issues and suggested solutions that became a part of the Americans with Disabilities Act In his report, Williams said that a cursory examination of the facts leads to the conclusion that Amherst is not in compliance with the ADA and that is in legal jeopardy should a complaint be filed with the Department of Justice, which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the ADA. He also told council that one of the requirements of the ADA is for municipal governments to have completed a self-evaluation by July 26, 1992. If Amherst ever completed a self-evaluation, there is no record of it, or of it having been reviewed in ensuing yean. The law also requires that governments notify the public of their rights and the city's obligations under the act. The city is also required to have a 'responsible employee'' serve as its ADA coordinator. The coordinator would be responsible for the self-evaluation, recording complaints and making recommendations to the administration and legislative body, according to Williams. When the ADA became law, it required cities to be in full compliance by January 26, 199S. Amherst is clearly not in ful) compliance. Some obvious violations, according to Williams, include marginal accessibility into city hall and sidewalks on city controlled property which do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines. There are no signs indicating accessible entrances of public buildings. He also said there is no central listing for telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD.) Williams recommended to coun- cil an ordinance that would establish an ADA compliance and oversight board for the city. The proposed ordinance calls for the board to have a president appointed by Ihe president of council who would be responsible for conducting the meetings of the board. A vice chairman, appointed by the mayor, would act in the chairman's place in case of his CONTINUED on page • The Easter bunny is coming to town, thanks to the efforts of the Steele High School Leo Club and the Amherst Lions Club, who will cosponsor the annual community Easter egg hunt The egg hunt will be held Saturday, March 30 at Maude Neiding Park. Lions Club president Dave Rice said members of the two service are busy preparing for the event. "Leo Club members have more than 150 pounds of candy to stuff into nearly 10,000 plastic eggs," Rice said. A few hours before the hunt begins, Leos and Lions will be scattering the filled eggs over three designated hunt areas in the park: for infants to three years old, four to six year olds, and seven to 10 year olds. There will also be specially- marked prize eggs hidden, which can be redeemed for gifts following the Easter egg hunt- Children should bring their own baskets or containers in which to gather eggs. The Easter bunny will again be on hand to greet youngsters. Leo Club president Mary Fisher said the Easter bunny is photogenic and offers parents with their own cameras picture opportunities. Or, for a donation, the Leo Club will take a Polaroid snapshot of kids with the Easter bunny. The hunt sums promptly at 11 Captain Dennis Soger, Chief J_f_ta-QMpn and Lt. Joe Kucirek. Patrolman Troy Donaldson and Bilaii BiacateUi pose at the swear <* city hall on Friday. Cop added; veterans promoted __ ri_ by AMY PERSINQER News-Times reporter Police chief Lonnie Dillon has made some changes in die city's police department that he hopes will make his department more efficient The department's new captain, Dennis Seger, said the chief wants the department to be more in keeping with modem police department policies. The department has been without a captain since captain Barbara Cowger-Vilagi retired last fall. Early last month Seger took the captain's lest; Joe Kucirek, who was a sergeant, took the lieutenant's test and Brian Brancatelli took the sergeant's test All three men were promoted Friday in a ceremony at City Hall. A new patrolman, Troy Donaldson, was sworn in as well. He will begin his field officer training immediately. One of the dispatchers, Theresa Antonopoulos, was promoted to the position of dispatcher/computer operator. She will continue with the responsibilities she took over when the former captain retired, including payroll and scheduling. She said she worked with the captain on those tilings before Cowger- Vilagi retired. She will also maintain the files for the police network, process invoices and install software upgrades. CONTINUED on page 12 Injuries, Sept. 11 take a toll on police roster Even with the addition of new patrolman Troy Donaldson during a swearing-in ceremony held last week, the Amherst Police Department is seriously understaffed. Captain Dennis Seger said that one officer has left the department, and several are injured. Seger said that patrolman Gary Fernandez left the department last month for the Federal Bureau of Investigations amid the bureau's post Sept 11 hiring blitz. School resource officer John Balog said that Sgt Dan Makruski was called to active duty by the Ohio National Guard after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in September. Balog was injured playing a pick up game of basketball CONTINUED on page 12 a.m., rain c only a few minute; lunten to sweep tht _ _ -erSOO people are expected, so parents should arrive in plenty of time. Parking is limited at Maude Neiding Park, so parents may have to park on a neighboring street and walk to the park. In addition, the Lions Club will be collecting used eye glasses, which are then recycled and distributed to people in Third World countries. Parents to help with bus routing by KATHLEEN WILLBOND News-Times editor With the addition of school buildings and space to alleviate overcrowding in the local schools will come other problems related to reor- ganization and, in particular, transportation. School officials are asking parents what they think is the best solution to a transportation crunch that will develop once a new junior high school opens. The next step in alleviating overcrowding will be a realignment of the elementary school buildings when the present Nord Junior High School becomes an elementary school. According to a letter sent to all parents of students in the school district from superintendent Robert W. Boynton on March 14, the elemental schools wiU increase from three to four in August, 2003. As a result, the fifth and sixth grades will move from Shupe to Nord, the kindergarten and first grades will move from Powers Elementary School to the Shupe school building and the third grade will move from Harris to Powers. The fourth grade classes will remain at Harris, and the second grade classes will remain at Powers. In his letter, Boynton notes that "having more buildings to service requires changes in school transportation.'' Remaining on the current time schedule, he reported, while maintaining the one-mile transportation limit would require the purchase of six additional buses and the employment of six additional drivers. Boynton figures the cost to dm district for the buses would be about $312,000. The additional driven and fuel would increaae transportation costs an additional $120,000 per year. "Because of our commitment lo the taxpayers to not request additional operating funds until 2005 or later, we have rejected this option," Boynton wrote. As a result, the schools are considering three options: • Remain on the current schedule, maintain the one-mile transportation limit and eliminate high achooi busing. Stale law requires busing for children in grades kindergarten through eight only. • Remain oo the current schedule, i busing to aU buildings, snd who live two miles or more from their school State law requires transportation of children who live two miles or mare OTOO UMtf 9CoOOIft> •aaMbuikhngs, t 'Ji'itrkrfjA.' - ar•' V_3P*£*2*ir __» :V/**-:-W'^>.>..'yft Hard at Work limit, move from three bus rans to four bus runs, and change the school schedule lo the foBowJag: Grades 7-12: 7:25 ajn. to 2:30 pas.; Grade 1: 7:30 tun. to 2:10 to 10:30 am-; tdhsnooa Ub- 11:30 ul to 2:10 pja4 grades 24 afoag wftfc St Schoc*t:40a-,toS:10] Members of Marlon L Stasia High School's TV production dass prepare a skk outside of tht school last waa* whin f MO* tljQp*. CONTMUIDan Ii J %
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 2002-03-27|
|Date of Original||27-MAR-2002|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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