A Night Out in the Violet City
Pickerington residents can enjoy a free night out on the town as the city celebrates National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Victory Park.
Pastor Adam Babcock of Eastside Vineyard Church, organizer of the event, and committee members are hoping residents can get to know their neighbors and learn what the community has to offer to keep them safe.
National Night Out, which was started by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, is a community safety and awareness event that is held the first Tuesday in August. Pickerington’s two-hour Night Out begins at 7 p.m.
“Our small mission statement is building our community … (and) strengthening our future,” said Babcock, the new president of the Pickerington Christian Ministerial Association. “The hope is just to bring the community together to talk about what has been going well and
what areas we can really focus in on.”
As part of the event, city, township and safety service representatives will briefly discuss opportunities within the community as well as some of the challenges Pickerington faces.
Community resource organizations such as the PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington Police Department and Violet Township Fire Department will have stations set up for the community to stop by and learn about the services they offer.
“The city, on a smaller scale, has been supported by and involved with the National Night Out over the past few years. This year, more city officials have gotten involved and are working with Pastor Babcock and our friends at Eastside Vineyard Church to expand upon the community-building effects this positive event can have on our city and township residents,” said Pickerington City Manager Bill Vance. “Strengthening individual relationships, as well as the collective relationships between our community’s neighborhoods and their local and county emergency services personnel, is also a key priority.”
To add to the festivities, two local bands – Cornerstone Reject and Yours for the Taking – will provide free entertainment. Hot dogs, water,and soft drinks will also be served at no cost to the public.
Committee member and Pickerington resident Frank Sclafani started a neighborhood watch group in his subdivision and set up community meetings in 2009 shortly after his home was hit by a van. As a result of the traumatic event, Sclafani got to know his neighbors even better and meet some that he did not know.
It is his hope that the Night Out will prompt other neighborhoods to form their own watch groups and hold meetings to help one another.
“If we are all standing together, it’s more of a deterrent to crime. We’re the eyes and the ears of the community,” said Sclafani, a Columbus police officer.
In addition to providing another set of eyes for the police department and Fairfield County Sheriff’s office, the Night Out is about getting to know your neighbors and helping those in need of assistance.
“Our hope is, as we get outside of our homes, to get to know our neighbors better, just engage with them better, have some more freedom to do that as a community, and we’ll see some of these things being resolved,” Babcock said.
The Pickerington Night Out committee hopes the first Night on the town in the Violet City becomes the spark that ignites neighborhoods so that next year, each subdivision will hold its own block party to get residents out to truly know their neighbors.
City Profile: Scott Tourville, City Engineer
Scott Tourville has been designing roadways and managing construction, traffic and private utility work throughout Ohio for eight years.
On May 15, his career path led him to Pickerington as the new city engineer.
Tourville, who had served as a civil engineer for Westerville since 2007, was not looking to leave his position, but could not resist the opportunity to challenge himself and advance his career in “an awesome central Ohio community.”
“So far, it has been everything I could have hoped for and more. The staff here is awesome to work with and have been very helpful in getting me up to speed. It’s been very exciting getting up to speed on all the projects and opportunities for improvements that are ongoing,” Tourville said.
In addition to working for the city of Westerville, Tourville was a staff engineer for American Structurepoint, which designs roadways for clients throughout Ohio.
The Westerville native since age 4 earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and his master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.
“Scott Tourville was hired as the city engineer to bring his progressive and extensive local government engineering skills and experiences to Pickerington’s fast-moving local government organization,” said City Manager Bill Vance. “Since his arrival, I have witnessed his strong dedication to professionalism and maintaining high levels of customer service while actively contributing to the success of the team philosophy already in existence between Pickerington’s mayor, council and the city’s responsible development and utility supporting departments.”
Tourville indicated that Pickerington has a “solid foundation” and he plans to keep the city on the right path for residents and businesses.
“I hope to provide the necessary leadership and engineering skills to help foster improvements in the community and keep it a wonderful place for people to live and work,” Tourville said.
Though summer is winding down, there are still plenty of red hot events in the city of Pickerington for the young and the young at heart.
For music lovers, the 2013 Summer Concert Series offers three final free rockin’ programs. On Sunday, Aug. 4, Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers takes the stage of the Sycamore Park Amphitheater at 7 p.m. with its “brand of low down gutsy blues and red hot rock ‘n’ roll.” It is paradise in the park on Sunday, Aug. 11 when Paradise Island plays and sings rock classics, Motown, blues and current hits. The British invade the concert series on Sunday, Aug. 18 with the “ultimate tribute to 1960s British rock” when the British Invasion takes over the stage.
Boys and girls will be swapping fish stories at the Youth Fishing Derby on Saturday, Aug. 10.
The derby, which is held at the Sycamore Park Pond for children ages 14 and under, begins at 9:30 a.m. Registration for the event is required by Aug. 8 and can be completed online at www.pickerington.net or by calling the Parks and Recreation department at 614-833-2111.
Awards for the most fish and the biggest fish caught will be presented in each of the four age divisions. Participants must bring their own equipment and secret bait.
Pickerington residents and their friends are able to take a plunge into the Pickerington Community Pool through Monday, Sept. 2, but when school is in session, the pool will only be open on weekends.
Two special events will end the season with a splash. On Friday, Aug. 16, a family luau is planned from 6-9 p.m. The event is free to pool pass holders and $8 per person for non-holders. Children 3 and under are free. For the dog days of summer, a pool pooch party is planned for Sept. 2. Bring your dog’s rabies and current shot records and $5 per pooch, and your favorite canine can woof it up from noon to 5 p.m.
Friday Night Flicks, sponsored by Fairfield Federal, will feature National Treasure on Aug. 2, Hook on Aug. 9 and The Odd Life of Timothy Green on Aug. 16. Bring your own blanket and lawn chair to the Sycamore Park Amphitheater and enjoy the big screen on the barn under the stars at dark.
Even though summer is coming to end, don’t worry, be happy. The Parks and Recreation Department Fall Program Guide is scheduled to be delivered on Aug. 14 with many fun-filled activities for fall.
Waterway and Stream Maintenance
By Chad Lucht, CPESC, Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District
Our community takes great pride in the overall quality of its waterways. Having healthy streams allows us to use them for fishing, exploration by our children and even joyful fun on a hot summer day.
In an ongoing effort to maintain and to sustain our natural environment and, more importantly, prevent flooding, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all property owners whose property contains or borders a waterway – creek, stream, river, floodplain, etc. – of their civic duty to see that these areas remain free and clear of debris.
The Township and City continue to be very concerned about the health, safety and property damage risks that occur when waterways are not properly maintained. However, we cannot do this alone.
The Township and City take care of all waterways within public spaces and rights-of-way. In return, we recommend that each resident take the following steps to help ensure the overall quality of the community and our waterways.
- Refrain from dumping yard waste such as grass clippings, raked leaves and cut limbs into a floodplain, on a stream bank or within a channel. Yard waste reduces the capacity of a waterway, which eventually leads to flooding. It also reduces the available oxygen for fish and other aquatic life by depleting the oxygen in the stream as it decays.
- Landowners whose property comes in contact with streams, creeks or rivers should conduct routine inspections each year to identify any fallen trees or other debris on their property that should be removed from their section of waterway or floodplain.
- Special inspections should be made following large storm events, during which a large amount of debris is commonly deposited.
- Small debris – any material that can be removed without the use of equipment – should be removed from the waterway immediately.
- Fallen trees and other large debris in a floodplain should be removed or secured as soon as possible. Fallen trees or large debris within a stream should only be removed during low flow periods, which typically occur during late summer, autumn and winter. Extremely large logs and/or trees should be cut into manageable pieces and dragged out of the stream and above the floodplain.
- Do not backfill a floodplain or modify a waterway prior to consulting with the floodplain coordinator for your area, Ohio EPA and/or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Even the smallest of modifications can have a significant impact on property owners both upstream and downstream.
We hope that everyone will follow these steps so that we may continue to enjoy the natural beauty of our waterways now and for many years to come.
Drug and Electronic Event is a Success!
By Joy Davis, CEcD, Violet Township Economic Development Specialist
The drug and electronic collection event held April 27 at the Violet Township Service Center saw more than 200 vehicles during the three-hour collection period.
Our residents dropped off 13,074 pounds of electronic equipment for recycling and contributed to the national prescription drug total of 371 tons. Nationally, this is considered a substantial increase of 127 tons over the previous event.
Our residents have once again stepped up and taken a proactive approach toward protecting our environment and our community. The event is important because it provides a way to dispose of materials that would negatively impact the environment if flushed down the toilet or sent to the landfill without first removing certain components. This event also removes a temptation to abuse prescription drugs from our medicine cabinets.
Playing Hard and Living the Dream
By Jim Paxton, Violet Township Fire Battalion Chief
As the “apple of your eye” – or the source of concern and frustration – kids are incredible creations. Both fragile and naïve, brilliant and resilient, children enhance our lives every day.
As a father of two, I must say the “Parenting Brochure” may have omitted a few details. As parents, we often develop a newfound respect of our own parents or other adults who aided in our growth and development. Parenthood exposes us to new experiences, emotions and smells.
Children require us to grow as adults. This can be challenging for those of us who are perpetually kids ourselves.
I am a fortunate soul. I grew up playing and dreaming about being a firefighter, and have had the great opportunity to live that dream every time I go to work. In some ways, I still feel like that same boy who was playing “emergency” with the neighbor kids. Unfortunately, we all change with time and age.
I can vividly remember thinking that the school year would never end. I was anxious for time to accelerate; I couldn’t wait to grow up! Now that I am well into my 40s, I can’t seem to find time, let alone slow it down! Life can be fickle that way.
This summer has illustrated how time can fly by. It seemed that we were just celebrating the graduation of the class of 2013, and now we are preparing for the start of camps and conditioning for fall sports. It is a busy time of year, with high hopes and increasing anticipation of the upcoming school year.
Although summer is a great time to be a kid, it can also be dangerous and challenging at times. Children may enjoy more freedom during the summer months. As the approaching school year draws near, often there is an urge to squeeze in just a little more fun and excitement.
Caution may be cast aside. Kids of all ages often don’t see, feel or report the signs and symptoms of environmental emergencies while attempting to enjoy every adventurous and fleeting moment of summer.
One of the few predictable occurrences in Ohio weather is a hot and humid end to summer. The “dog days of summer” can challenge both young and old. Elevated heat indexes pose health threats to the elderly and can be especially dangerous to those (of all ages) engaged in outdoor activities.
Kids on the go need to hydrate! Time and experience teach us to slow down, seek shade and drink plenty of fluids when we are hot. Science tells us to pre-hydrate the day before expected athletic or strenuous activities.
Don’t let dehydration dampen the fun or weaken the game. Talk to your kids about their fluid needs. Explain that drinking enough of the right beverages affects both their health and their activities. In addition to water, sports drinks can replenish some of the electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during activities.
Talk to your coaches, trainers or physician for their recommendations. Send the kids off knowing how to stay cooled and energized, on and off the playing field.
Hopefully, we all find the time to safely share and enjoy the waning days of summer. Who knows what dreams have been inspired and which have come to fulfillment?
Heat Related Emergencies
Heat cramp – symptoms include:
- Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet.
Heat exhaustion – symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Confusion or anxiety
- Drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin
- Slowed or weakened heartbeat
- Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention but is not usually life-threatening.
Heat stroke – symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Hot, flushed, dry skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Decreased sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased urination
- Increased body temperature (104-106 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Confusion, delirium or loss of consciousness
Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. If a person is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, get medical care immediately. Any delay could be fatal. Seek emergency medical care for anyone who has been in the heat and who has the following symptoms:
- Confusion, anxiety or loss of consciousness
- Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat
- Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104-106 degrees Fahrenheit
- Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion) or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin (which may indicate heat stroke)
- Any other heat-related symptom that is not alleviated by moving to a shady or air-conditioned area and administering fluids