Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Butler County Fair Post-Mortem

The Middletown Journal has this update from the Butler County Fair which ended on Saturday:
Rep. Courtney Combs bought Hoerst's entry for $4,250, according to Hoerst. Bear weighs in at 1,430 pounds.

Samantha Darner, 14, of Hamilton offered up the reserve grand champion, Sunny. Darner is a member of the Butler County Beef Club.

Richard's Pizza bought Sunny for about $3,000, according to Darner. He weighed in at about 1,290 pounds.
If you order up beef on your pizza, you just might be getting a piece of that $3000 Sunny...

Rep. Combs Wants Salvia Classified as a Controlled Substance

Salvia is sometimes called the legal LSD and it causes some pretty intense hallucinations as evidenced by a number of videos on YouTube.

State Rep. Courtney Combs (R-Fairfield) wants to see the drug classified as a controlled substance in Ohio.
"I don't understand why people want to do that, why do you want to feel that way, why do you want to be out of control."
That is why he, like many other politicians in Columbus, is putting his name on the bill. Six other states have already banned the use of salvia.

WKRC has more here.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Butler County Fair Update

Here is what's happening at the Fair today:
Livestock Sale-9:00 A.M. - Open Class Sheep Barn

Frisch Marionettes - 1:00 P.M. & 6:00 P.M. - Farm Zone

Wolf Bros. Racing -

ATV - Motorcycle Dirt Drags - 1:00 P.M.

Butler County Children Services Exec to be Named on Thursday

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the new executive director of the Butler County Children Services will be announced on Thursday according to County Commissioner Greg Jolivette. There are three candidates; two experienced professionals from other childrens services boards and former Commissioner Mike Fox.

Chasing Aaron Update

AP News Alert from last night:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Barry Bonds has hit his 754th home run to pull within one of Hank Aaron's career record
Nobody likes a cheater. Is having a steroid filled slugger as the lifetime home run champion good for baseball? Give us your answer in the Calls...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Butler County Fair Update

Today's events at the Butler County Fair:
Sponsor of The Day - Journal News

Fair Parade - 11:00 A.M.

Frisch Marionettes-1:00 P.M. & 6:00 P.M. - Farm Zone

Farm Bureau Fun Day-1:30 P.M.

Demolition Derby-7:00 P.M.

Boehner Offers Farm Subsidy Reform Amendment to Save Taxpayers $3 Billion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today introduced an amendment to the 2007 Farm Bill to save taxpayers $3 billion by fixing a loophole in current disaster relief law that some producers have been able to exploit to obtain large government subsidies.

Because of the loophole, Boehner noted, some producers have been able to take advantage of low crop prices early in the harvest to obtain large government subsidies while retaining the ability to sell their crops later at much higher prices – “gaming the system” to obtain farm subsidies at the expense of both taxpayers and farmers who are truly in need of assistance.

“No one should be able to exploit natural disasters to get subsidies from the federal government. Turning our back on this problem cheats both taxpayers and farmers who are truly in need of emergency aid,” Boehner said.

The amendment would replace the current daily posted county price (PCP) with a monthly PCP for each crop. PCPs are used to establish loan repayment rates, which determine loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains under marketing assistance loan programs. Boehner’s amendment would eliminate the excessive cost of loan deficiency payments (LDPs) and marketing loan gains. If a similar provision had been in effect for the 2005 crop year, government outlays would have been nearly $3 billion lower.

“The issues in the Farm Bill are not abstract issues for my constituents,” Boehner said. “My amendment aims to fix a problem that has not been addressed in the bill we’re currently considering. If we are going to continue Loan Deficiency Payments, we need to address the situation that allows farmers to lock in an LDP when prices are low and then sell their crop when prices are high. LDPs are a valuable for farmers and to preserve them, we need to fix this problem.”

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns included this provision in his Farm Bill recommendations. The problems with calculating LDPs based on the daily posted county price were highlighted in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The storm halted grain transport on the Mississippi River for several days, causing a short-term decline in market prices, which then triggered a large volume of LDP requests at a high LDP rate that did not reflect the longer-term or underlying market conditions. The farmers who locked in these artificially low LDPs were simply using the program to increase the payments that they received from the government.

“If we allow the marketing loan program and LDPs to continue to be used in this manner we will undermine their integrity by allowing them to game a pricing system that reacts to daily to natural disasters,” Boehner said. “Supporting a good farm policy is important but exploiting catastrophic natural disasters cannot stand. We need to make this change if we are going to preserve LDPs and the integrity of our farm policy.”

Ohio’s 8th District is on the eastern edge of the cornbelt and is home to some of the richest soil and most productive farms in the country. The district includes all of Darke, Miami and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1990.

Defense Contractor Armor Holdings Expands in Butler County Ohio

HAMILTON, Ohio, July 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Butler County Board of Commissioners today approved an Enterprise Zone tax abatement agreement for Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group. The West Chester Township Board of Trustees approved the agreement earlier this week.

"We are very pleased that Armor has decided to stay and expand their operations in Butler County," said Commission president Greg Jolivette.

The company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of military vehicles, vehicle armor systems, and life safety and survivability systems. Armor's Butler County operation is focused on military vehicle armoring programs including the up-armored HMMWV ("Humvee"), various military trucks, and the armored cabs for more than 1,100 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, which are part of a $518 million contract recently announced by the company.

Commission vice president Chuck Furmon said that he was heartened that another manufacturer was expanding in the County. "Ohio has experienced an erosion in manufacturing jobs but here in Butler County we are seeing growth in that segment of the economy," Furmon said.

The $75 million project will include the construction of a new 60,000 sq. ft. ballistic glass plant, office space remodeling, and the addition of a larger lobby and customer reception area. Armor will add 300 new jobs to its current workforce of 742.

Armor Holdings has revalidated Butler County as a good place to do business that is very attractive to manufacturers," said Commissioner Don Dixon.

Train Derailment in Hamilton

This is ONN:
HAMILTON, Ohio - Police were responding to a report of a train derailment in the city of Hamilton on Friday morning.

ONN affiliate WKRC reported that 20 Norfolk Southern Railroad cars were off the tracks on the west side of Erie Boulevard.

Three cross streets between Maple and Grand were closed.

Hazmat crews had not been called to the scene, but officials said it would take a long time to clean up.

There was no immediate word on injuries.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Democrat Job-Killing Tax Could Eliminate 1,200 8th District Jobs

From the mailbox:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 1,200 workers in Ohio ’s 8th District could get the pink slip because of a job-killing tax hike slipped into the Farm Bill at the last minute by Democrats. Throughout Ohio, more than 200,000 jobs could be lost if Democrats succeed in raising taxes on international companies that “insource” to the U.S., according to date compiled by the Ohio Department of Development and the Organization of International Investment.

Nearly another 4,000 jobs in counties surrounding the 8th District could also be imperiled because of this tax hike while nationwide, “insourcing” companies employ more than 5.1 million Americans. These jobs have an average compensation per worker of $63,428 – 32 percent higher than typical U.S.-based jobs.

“The tax increases just keep coming,” Boehner said. “This latest tax-raising scheme threatens millions of jobs and was sprung on the American public at the last possible moment, with Democrats hoping that its inclusion in legislation as important as the Farm Bill would force its passage. But you cannot increase the security of American farmers by destroying millions of American jobs, endangering the economic freedom and security of millions of working families. This is completely unacceptable, and we’re going to fight it.”

The “insourced” jobs comprise 4 percent of the private-sector workforce in Ohio and maintain a heavy concentration in manufacturing – fully 45 percent of the jobs at these companies are in manufacturing industries, according to the OFII. Companies like BASF Corp. in Darke County , which employs about 150 people, Miller Brewing Co. in Butler County , with 600 workers, and American Honda Motor Co. choose to locate their subsidiaries in the 8th District. Other companies, such as Reed Elsevier in Montgomery County with 3,100 workers and Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc., which employs about 800 people in Warren County, are U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies.

“The State of Ohio, in general, and the city of Troy, in particular, have relied on the recruiting of International companies to offset the significant job looses we have experienced over the last two decades,” said Chuck Cochran, president of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. “And as globalization of our economy continues, we will need to rely on international investment and in-sourcing of jobs even further. Haphazard amendments such as the one proposed by the Democrats is simply out of touch with how the world’s economy functions today.”

Ohio companies that could be affected by the Democrats’ tax on foreign companies that “insource” jobs to the U.S.:
Akzo Nobel; Alcon; BASF; Boehringer Ingelheim; BP; Bridgestone Americas; Cadbury Schweppes; DaimlerChrysler; Deutsche Telekom; GlaxoSmithKline; Honda; HSBC; Huhtamaki; Lafarge North America, Inc.; L'Oreal USA; Miller Brewing Co.; Mitsubishi Electric; Nestlé USA, Inc.; Novelis Corp.; Oldcastle Inc. Philips; Protec-Pac; Reed Elsevier; Rexam; Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.; Saint Gobain; Sanofi-aventis SAP; Shell Oil Company; Siemens; Sodexho; Square D; Sumitomo Corp.;Toyota; Tyco; Voith; and Volvo

Butler County Fair

The Butler County Fair continues today with today's events as follows:
Sponsor of The Day - Butler Tech

Open Class Market Goats - 8:30 A.M.

Open Class Beef Breeding -9:00 A.M.

Cookie Judging-10:30 A.M.

Men's Bake-Off-11:30 A.M.

Tractor Pull- OSTPA Pull (7:00 P.M.)

Frisch Marionettes-1:00 P.M. & 6:00 P.M. - Farm Zone

Junior Talent Contest-Youth Building-7:30 P.M.
Be sure to check it out...

UPDATE: The Fairfield Echo has excellent Fair coverage.

Scumbag from Hamilton Caught on 15th DUI

The Hamilton Journal-News' Eric Schwartzberg has this unbelievable story:
FAIRFIELD TWP. — A man suspected in a hit-and-run incident was reportedly intoxicated more than twice the legal limit and is facing his 15th conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Stephen W. Wolf, 50, of Hamilton was driving his 1994 Ford F-350 on Tylersville Road near Jessies Way at 5:47 p.m. July 13 when witnesses say he attempted to pass in a no-passing zone, striking an oncoming 2003 Ford Explorer head-on, according to police reports.

Wolf then allegedly fled the scene, but was apprehended a short time later at Hideaway Lounge and Reef Tavern in Fairfield. His blood-alcohol content was .203 percent, more than twice Ohio's driving limit of .08 percent, authorities said. "We don't see many (blood alcohol contents) that high anymore," said Fairfield Twp. police Chief Richard St. John.

Wolf's driving record shows he has been convicted of OVI 14 times, according to police reports. Eight of those convictions occurred during the past 20 years.

Wolf was also charged with driving with a suspended license, failing to stop after an accident and passing in a no-pass zone.

The Ford's driver, David J. McMillan, 47, was injured but did not require hospitalization, St. John said.

New OVI laws, including lowering the legal blood alcohol limit and increasing penalties, work well and get most people's attention, said state Sen. Gary Cates of West Chester Twp. However, repeat OVI offenders will continue to break the law even when their license or car is taken away, Cates said.

"They don't seem to have any respect or concern what the law is," he said. "The only solution is to lock them up until they can get their problem cured."
Dirtbags like this need to be kept off the streets for everybody's safety.

Rep. Boehner: "Lessons Learned: Republicans Returning to Our Core Principles"

Rep. John Boehner (OH-08) has an op-ed published in The Hill today. Two exccerpts are provided below, but read the whole thing here.
In January I wrote in The Hill that after our losses last November, House Republicans “must recommit to the principles of limited and accountable government.” Here we are, seven months into the 110th Congress, and I’m pleased to report we’re doing just that.
Republicans have a long way to go in our effort to earn back the majority, but the last several months have shown we are united and proving our commitment to delivering a federal government that will guarantee the freedom and security Americans expect; a government that is smaller, less costly and more accountable — one that will secure our borders and protect Americans from attack by radical jihadists. The American people sent Republicans a message last fall. We’ve listened. Seven months into the 110th Congress, Republicans are keeping their promises to the American people; it’s fair to say the majority can’t say the same.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

State Sen. Gary Cates (West Chester) Wants a Smoking Ban Exemption for Cigar Bars

State Senator Gary Cates of West Chester has SB No. 195 on the table asking for an exemption to the smoking ban to "allow smoking in cigar bars and in outdoor seating areas of restaurants that are at least 20 feet away from an entrance, exit, or window of the restaurant."

It looks to be a rather reasonable compromise. The Cincinnati Enquirer had an article about Anthony's Cigar Bar and how this legislation might save that business from going under.

WCPO calls the exemption "unlikely" in the headline, but offers no evidence in the actual article. The piece ends with this:
Both Cates as well as Varacalli say they receive plenty of positive feedback on their attempt for an exemption.

They claim it comes from both smokers and non-smokers alike.

Some people feel the issue goes beyond smoking, to an issue of civil liberties, especially at an establishment which patrons know features tobacco, even before they walk through the doors.
While I am not a smoker, I do view this ban as a violation of your right to choose how to live your life. The nanny-state has plenty of adherents though, and it will be interesting to see how this legislation fares. At least we'll get a real debate...

Butler County Offers Basic Health Care Coverage

Butler County Commissioner Greg Jolivette says he feels like a proud father seeing this program finally come to fruition as the county offers basic health insurance to those making less than $30,000.

WCPO reports:
HealthShare Select is meant to cover people who are working and haven't had any health insurance for at least six months.

Employers don't have to make any contributions to the health plan, except for being willing to set up a payroll deduction for their employees.

For payments of $76 a month for individuals and $187 a month for families, it would offer basic health insurance that would cover routine medical costs like doctor and emergency room visits. All with little or no money to pay out of pocket.
When someone covered by the plan goes to the doctor and is charged more than $55, the patient is expected to pick up the slack. The whole goal is to reduce the number of uninsured patients at area emergency rooms and doctor's offices.

The plan was designed to pay for itself using no taxpayer dollars and will be managed by Horan Associates. Employers are also not required to contribute.

If no subsidies are required, I'm excited about the service; but if this program ultimately becomes yet another government handout, I will not be pleased. I have yet to see where exactly the funds are coming from...I assume that the plan's fee is expected to foot the bill.

WLWT covers what isn't covered:
The program, which goes into effect Sept. 1, covers only basic medical care, such as doctor’s visits and checkups.

Major medical emergencies are not covered under the plan, which is available to workers who earn less than $30,000, even those who have pre-existing medical conditions.
It looks like an interesting program...and no, I don't qualify...

UPDATE: The Enquirer picks up the story and has this quote in it:
"If a doctor's visit costs $75 and the plan's limit is $55, we'd like the doctor to agree not to bill the patient for the remaining $20," Jolivette said.
Uhh...why not? Isn't the doctor entitled to that money? It is what the cost of the visit actually is...

It is precisely this sort of back-door negotiating that is causing inflated prices in the first place... And if the doctor would agree to this, why isn't his cost $55 to everybody?

Welcome to the Butler County Bugle

Introduction: Your editor is Matt Hurley, who also blogs at Weapons of Mass Discussion, and Gem City Journal. He is the founding member of the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance and a contributer to the Miami Valley Conservative Alliance Commentary and Journal. Matt also is the Owner, Programming Director and a host on TIB Radio, an internet radio station with the talk format.

What the site is about: BCB will feature stories about the people and happenings in and of Butler County, Ohio.

Want to contribute? Email Matt at wmdtvmatt - at - yahoo - dot - com if you have tips, comments or want to be staff blogger.

Much more to come...