WHY is our Council even considering ANNEXING more land for them??  WHY???

CEMEX Fairborn Plant Clean Air Act Settlement

(Washington, DC - February 10, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department announced today that Cemex, Inc., one of the largest producers of Portland cement in the United States, has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio. In addition to the penalty, Cemex will spend an estimated $2 million on pollution controls that will reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), pollutants that can lead to childhood asthma, acid rain, and smog.

“My Sidewalk” -A few potholes....

Creating the Appearance of Public Participation While Merely Controlling the Debate?


What’s wrong with “My Sidewalk”?  The City of Fairborn has started a new social media “tool” called “My Sidewalk.”  The purported purpose is to “see how citizens feels about issues.”  They do this by asking poll questions and tallying participants’ “votes.”  Sound good so far?  Not so fast. There may be some serious problems with this program. Consider this before you enroll....

1)  Skewed questions.  The City of Fairborn is famous for their “purpose-driven polls.”  They want a new parks levy?  Ask “would you like better parks?”  Ummm…..DUH!  Then they will do what - race in and announce “100% of respondents want better parks!  We need a levy!”  What they WON’T do is ask the key follow-up…”Should we improve parks by additional taxes OR by eliminating rarely-used parks and improving heavily-used ones?”  Yeah, pollsters know that how you design the question is two-thirds of the battle.

As one critic of such programs opined, “selection from multiple bad choices is anything but “democracy” and it is not a “dialogue.”  Amen.

2)  ZERO credibility of results.  You enroll simply by using a Facebook or Twitter account.  So, you can live in Poughkeepsie and participate in polls about Fairborn!  And - reliable?  Well, give me a few hours and I can create a dozen fake profiles.  Not that I ever would.  Clearly, I’m fine signing my own opinions.  But sycophants are often COWARDS.  We proved that on the old Fairbornspeaks message board.  So face it - anyone who can create a REAL profile can create a FAKE one.  One California community used a similar program and a citizens’ group tried to “verify” the users.  MOST were found to be fictional - named after TV characters! 

Gee, do you think it‘s really possible the City “leaders” would get all their buddies on here, voting under fake profiles and whether or not they live in Fairborn?  Well, they trot them out to bully their critics at public meetings and on social media, so it’s not too much of a stretch, is it?

Finally,  I would point out that a few years ago, fairbornspeaks did an electronic petition calling for the City Manager’s ouster.  We got TONS of signatures.  And, unlike “My Sidewalk,” we required a physical address in Fairborn.  When we presented the results to the City Council, guess what they said?  “An online petition is unreliable”!!  So remember that when they try to use these MORE UNRELIABLE results to justify their positions!!

3)  Abuse of power.  Anyone who has been on the City’s Facebook page knows how they ABUSE the power to ostracize participants.  At their slightest whim, they can ban you.  They even report people to Facebook --WITHOUT EVER PROVING ANY MALICIOUS POST - and cause them to be denied posting ability for weeks.  Well, the same applies with “My Sidewalk.”  Read the terms of use.  Wonder how many polls you would have to answer against their agenda for you to become persona non-grata?  One?  Two?

We see how this City “leadership” operates.  They can’t stand criticism.  Do you think they will allow it on “My Sidewalk”?   

And what do they do with your registration information?  Who knows!  Just ask yourself this - do you trust them?  

4)  Cost.  According to a public records request, it cost $2,125 to “create” the program.  I don’t have an answer back yet about an annual fee.  The California town paid $9,000 annually (again, a similar program, but not from the same company).  When they realized how unreliable and flawed it was, they ultimately cancelled the program entirely while still under a 30-day trial.  Saved some money.    

5)  Silly.  Yes, it’s plain silly to have a Public Relations Director who rarely attends public meetings sit in her office and read false poll data to get a sense of what the community wants!  Hey, Katie, come join us sometime!  We’re the PUBLIC in Public Relations!  Lol.  Silly.



Text of Karen Combs' speech to council, 6/1/15

Tonight, I am not here to discuss city government issues.  I am here for a very different reason.  I hope to end an injustice and to clear something which has hung like a cloud over the collective conscience of this city for over 30 years.

At the last citizen’s forum, I mentioned the lack of a proper memorial for a young Fairborn man who died in service to our great nation.  When his sister, Diane, learned of this, she gave me her permission to pursue it further.  I am humbled to do so this evening.  Although she still lives in Fairborn, she cannot bear to be here under the circumstances, which brought her family great distress.   

Council, this is Lance Corporal Bruce Alan Hollingshead.  Although we graduated high school the same year, I did not have the honor of knowing him.  But thanks to Diane, who graciously allowed me to review the articles and keepsakes from the time, I feel I have come to know so much more about him.  And I’d like to share a little of what I’ve learned with you.

Bruce was a strong and capable young man.  He was known for his unique laugh, which they say could be heard even in a crowd.  He was an athlete - a varsity wrestler and a discus thrower on the track team.  He loved his country so much that he joined the Marines right out of high school.  Then he married his high school sweetheart in April of 1983.  Three weeks later, he was sent on a 6-month deployment as an Administrative Assistant in Beirut, Lebanon, serving as part of a multinational peace-keeping force.

In his letters home, Bruce spoke of the brotherhood he shared with his fellow Marines.  He admitted the serious dangers they faced - for although this was a peace-keeping mission, Beirut was not a peaceful place.  He spoke of his deep love for his family and the excitement he felt about returning to Fairborn to begin life in a new home with his new bride.  He was just days away from reaching that goal. 

Well, Bruce did come home to Fairborn, but not as hoped.  Instead, he came home in a flag-draped coffin with a Marine honor guard.  Bruce had probably been asleep when the suicide bomber struck the four-story Marine barracks.   241 Americans were killed.  128 wounded.  At the time, it was the highest casualty attack on U.S. troops since Vietnam.  So Bruce didn’t get to go to his new home with his young wife.  Instead, he was buried at Byron cemetery and taken home with God. He was just 19 years-old, his whole adult life ahead of him.

And Fairborn did, as this military town always does, turn out to welcome our hero home.  Hundreds lined the sidewalks outside the Baptist church where services were held.  Air Force members in dress uniform; police too; students stood silently on the lawn of the school.  The procession was so long that as the first cars turned onto Trebein, cars were still passing the high school. It was a fitting tribute for this hero. 

But what happened next was not.  And that is why I am here this evening.  Two previous councils have really blundered this.  Please don’t be the third. 

Back in 1984, the City Council passed plans for a new apartment development off Zink Road.  Among the approved street names was Raider Drive, a nod to the Wright State mascot - and Hollingshead Drive -in honor of Bruce.  Raider Drive exists.  But Hollingshead Drive never came to pass.  Bruce’s father was such a proud man, he told his family he would not beg for an honor for his son. And so the issue went dormant.  When Bruce’s father passed away, Diane took it to the Council once more.  She wrote then-Mayor Tom Nagle.  She even offered to buy the sign herself if only a street could be named for her brother.  She wanted her mother - Bruce’s mother - to see that happen.  But Mayor Nagle replied that the project would also require a “sizable donation.”  Really?  Hadn’t the Hollingshead family given enough?  Once again, they gave up in disgust.  And sadly, Bruce’s mother has since passed away.

Fairborn now has streets named after doctors and politicians.  Surely Bruce deserves this recognition too.  Sadly, it is is too late for his parents to see it.  But it would still mean the world to his sister, to the rest of his family, to his friends.  It is long overdue.  And quite simply put, it is the right thing to do. 

Frankly, I have not come to expect that from this Council.  I hope you prove me wrong this time.

In the meantime, God Bless this young man, Bruce Hollingshead, and his family for their enormous sacrifice for us all.  Thank you.          




Brand New!  Update to Calamityville report.  Just days after reopening this website and posting the Calamityville report, WSU contacted me.  They claim to own the LLC which owns the property, but refused to provide additional records!  A public records request has been filed through both the University and the City of Fairborn.  Seems simple enough for them to provide the info to back up what they say!  My correspondence is at the link below.  As always, I strive for accuracy - read the correspondence - judge for yourself.

Correspondence between WSU's Gregory Sample and Fairbornspeaks' Karen Combs concerning the ownership of the property known as Calamityville.
Microsoft Word Document [32.3 KB]