CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 I N T H I S I S S U E : CALENDAR; SPIRITUAL EVENTS .................... 2 IN AND AROUND YELLOW SPRINGS .............. 3 COMMUNITY FORUM ............................... 4 MEMORIAL; ART AROUNT TOWN, MUSIC EVENTS .................................... 5 LIBRARY EVENTS .................................... 6 SENIOR EVENTS ...................................... 7 GLEN HELEN EVENTS ................................ 8 CLASSIFIEDS ........................................ 10 POLICE REPORT, MAYOR’S COURT; BUSINESS DIRECTORY ........................... 11 BULLDOG SPORTS ................................. 12 ysnews.com Y E L L OW S P R I N G S , O H I O T H U R S DAY, J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 02 0 VO L . 14 1 , N O. 2 , 12 PA G E S P R I C E : $1.5 0 An INDEPENDENT JOURNAL of NEWS and OPINION SINCE 1880 Recipient of the Ohio News Media Association BEST NEWSPAPER in its size class, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 PHOTO BY AUDREY HACKETT Suns past and present Summer’s long gone, but the seed head of a large sunflower was still beautifully intact — and observing its own shadow — at Agraria this week. Mild January weather with highs in the low 40s and a couple of days of perfect blue sky set off the resting gardens and quiet fields at Community Solutions’ center for regenerative land use. A corner of the property’s historic barn, built circa 1907, can be seen to the right. The barn, too, seemed to be contemplating its shadow, long and handsome in the low winter sun. By Audrey Hackett A new trail will connect Yellow Springs and Agraria, Community Solutions’ center for regenerative land use located west of the village. The local nonprofit learned late in December that it had been awarded $500,000 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund toward the construction of a paved, multi- use trail that will start at East Enon Road just south of Yellow Springs High School and travel about a mile through wooded areas and past wetlands and farm fields to end up at Agraria’s historic barn. “We’ll be able to welcome people to Agraria in a new way,” Community Solu- tions Media and Education Coordinator David Diamond, who headed up the writ- ing of the grant proposal, said in a recent interview. Construction is expected to begin in July 2020, with the trail opening as early as the summer of 2021. The new trail will be named “Mary’s Way,” after the late Mary Donahoe, who with her husband, Rick, donated 10 acres adjacent to Agraria and was supportive of Community Solutions’ plans for the prop- erty from the start. Rick Donahoe said in a written reflec- tion on the land donation that “Mary felt strongly that the time to support something you care about and believe in is not waiting until it becomes established, but helping it become established.” Donating 10 acres from the couple’s 40-acre holdings west of the village was “one small thing” Mary wanted to do to help Agraria take root, he added. Mary’s Way will traverse the property donated by the Donahoes, as well as A fundraiser to protect area waters By Audrey Hackett An “unnamed tributary” to Mud Run Creek recently got a name. Yellow Springs, meet “Coyote Run,” an area waterway that bubbles up from the ground near Springfield Airpark, meanders for 4.1 miles through farm fields to join the Mud Run not far from the intersection of Garrison Road and Fairfield Pike, about three miles northwest of Yellow Springs. “It’s large, but people don’t know it’s there,” area resident Kathleen Mathews, who helped the creek get its name, observed. As it winds westward through Mad River Township, the creek flows under Little Miami Scenic Trail, South Tecumseh Road and Fairfield Pike. In each of these loca- tions, there are new blue signs proclaiming the creek’s name. Naming Coyote Run was one of the recent projects undertaken by Mud Run Conservancy, or MRC, an area nonprofit dedicated to “preserving, conserving, pro- tecting and restoring the land and water resources in the upper watershed of Mud Run,” according to MRC’s mission state- ment. To raise money for education and conser- vation projects related to Mud Run water- ways, MRC is hosting two upcoming events at the Bryan Center in Yellow Springs. On Friday, Jan. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., there will be a benefit concert and square dance featuring old-time and traditional country music band the Corndrinkers. And next month, on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 2 to 10 Pharmacy addresses retail issues By Carol Simmons The shelves at Benzer Pharmacy, for- merly Town Drug, are being restocked, and medication is reportedly coming in daily, after dwindling merchandise and delays in drug orders raised concerns about the drug store’s health and prompted the resignation of some key employees this past fall. The local pharmacy has turned a corner toward renewed stability, according to Christopher Lenz, Benzer’s Ohio-based regional manager. “The issue’s fixed; we’re up and run- ning,” Lenz said in a recent interview. Problems at the pharmacy came to a head in October, when the shop’s full-time pharmacist-manager, Sharon Emery, and part-time pharmacist, Emma Robinow, both quit. While Emery declined to speak publicly about her resignation, Robinow, a Yellow Springs native who had been with the pharmacy for five years, said she left because she didn’t feel she had the neces- sary resources to meet the prescription needs of the drug store’s customers. At the same time, some local customers began sharing stories on social media about dif- ficulties getting their prescriptions filled there. Lenz pointed to a conflict with Benzer’s contracted wholesaler as the source of the problems, which he said have abated with the end of the company’s contract Nov. 29 and the subsequent switch to a new whole- saler. The conflict arose, he said, after a growth- focused Benzer, a privately owned company based in Tampa, Fla, purchased 11 addi- tional drug stores in Ohio last year, essen- tially “growing from 71 to 82 overnight.” In addition to the 82 corporate-owned stores, the company has 34 franchise locations, all across 29 states, according to its website. The chain, founded in 2009, acquired the former Town Drug, at the corner of Xenia Avenue and Glen Street, in January, and changed the pharmacy’s signs to the Benzer logo this past summer. A drug store has been in operation at the downtown loca- tion nearly continuously for about 90 years. Lenz said that Benzer’s new acquisitions “caused an issue with our primary whole- saler,” which he declined to name. He said Benzer sought a higher line of credit to cover the increased number of drug orders from the new stores, and the wholesaler denied the request. “It was just a matter of credit lines and cash flows,” Lenz said. “We were a young company with too much growth.” Benzer is now contracted with the Ameri- source Bergen Corp., or ABC, for its non- generic drugs and over-the-counter health care products. “They’ve been wonderful to us,” Lenz said. “Generic drugs were never an issue,” Lenz added, because they’re supplied by a secondary wholesaler that Benzer owns. The regional manager said he under- stands the frustration that the store’s former pharmacists, Emery and Robinow, felt. “Sharon (as manager) was thrown into a difficult situation,” he said. Benzer may be a chain with an eye to additional growth, but its focus is on com- munity pharmacy, Lenz asserted. Its goal, he said, is to enable local phar- macies to act as independently as possible and respond to the unique needs of their By Megan Bachman A citizen group investigating a Yellow Springs Police Department disciplinary matter has completed its work, according to the Village last month. The process ended with two local officers being dis- ciplined for their actions when responding to a domes- tic violence call in the village in August 2019. The disciplines followed a review of the case by three citizens and one Council member, who met three times in November. The group then submitted its find- ings to Village Manager Josué Salmerón, who decided on the final discipline. An initiative of Council, the ad hoc citizen committee engaged in a fact-finding process that diverged from the way discipline has been previously handled at the YSPD. It was referred to by Village leaders as a pilot. “This was an alternative to the typical project, which would have been to engage an external entity, but instead involved community members,” explained Council Member Lisa Kreeger at Council’s Dec. 16 meeting. Participating in the committee were citizens John Gudgel, Kate Hamilton and Jeff “Pan” Reich, along with Kreeger. The citizens’ names were originally withheld to protect their identities during the course of the pilot. In the end, Cpl. Mark Charles was verbally repri- Open house set— Planning the future of Yellow Springs By Megan Bachman What do you want Yellow Springs to look like in 2035? Villagers can help shape the future of town by contributing to the comprehensive land use plan now being developed by the Village of Yellow Springs. The next chance to weigh in is at a public open house on Thursday, Jan. 23, 6:30–8 p.m., in the Mills Lawn gym. At the drop-in event, attendees will be invited to share their thoughts on how — and where — they would like Yellow Springs to grow and change. According to Aaron Sorrell, a Dayton- based consultant leading the process, public feedback is essential to coming up with a plan that reflects the desires of the community. “Public input is very important,” Sorrell said in a recent interview. “It helps us drill down to the details of what will be acceptable for village residents in terms of the type of development they want to see,” he said. The 15-year plan will include overarching goals and priorities for development as well as specific graphic renderings like a down- town parking plan and possible housing layouts for the Village-owned Glass Farm, Sorrell said. The plan is on track to be com- plete by March or April. The Village’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 2010 and drew largely from a year-long visioning process under- taken in collaboration with Miami Town- ship. But whereas a vision “scans at a very high altitude,” a comprehensive plan “drills down on specific areas and parcels,” Sorrell explained. “It sets the legal framework for rezoning or annexing certain parcels,” he said. Village Planning and Zoning Administra- tor Denise Swinger, one of the municipal employees who will implement the plan, sees zoning as where the rubber meets the road. “The comprehensive plan is the over- arching goals, and the zoning is really how we can do it,” she said in a phone interview. Swinger said she looks forward to some public guidance about “where we want to grow and where we don’t” and how specific parcels should be used. The plan will also help the Village better plan for future public works projects and financial investments in local infrastruc- ture such as streets and utilities, Swinger explained. “This gives us a roadmap of where we’re going,” Swinger said. A comprehensive plan is just that — comprehensive. Covered by the plan are community character, housing, economic development, transportation, education, sustainability, parks and recreation, arts and culture, public utilities and infrastruc- ture, future growth and quality of life, Sor- rell explained at a kick-off meeting for the plan last September. Council President Brian Housh said at that meeting that having a plan is important in the context of change. “If we want to maintain the excellent, wel- coming community that we have, we can’t just stand still,” he said. “We have to think about moving things forward. Change is never easy, but there are a lot of … oppor- DETAIL, ILLUSTRATION BY BOB HUSTON A detail from a rendering by home- steader and local artist Bob Huston shows how a new trail connecting Yellow Springs and Agraria might look. Con- struction is expected to begin on the one- mile paved trail this summer, thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund awarded to Community Solu- tions last month. Mary’s Way— A new trail to Agraria Citizen review complete, police officers disciplined manded and Officer David Meister given an eight- week training requirement in lieu of his regular duties for not following state and local policy on the call, according to a December 2019 memo from Salmerón. The officers had failed to arrest the suspected perpe- trator and to offer various resources to the victim, Sgt. Naomi Watson found in an initial disciplinary review. In a written “debrief” of the process, group members agreed it was a positive step for the Village, according to Kreeger. “The participants agreed that this was a process that did seem to be headed in the direction of restorative justice,” she said. At the same time, the group struggled to complete the task in a timely manner due to scheduling conflicts, Kreeger added. “We wanted to give everyone who participated the time to tell their stories,” she said, noting that it took three to four times longer than the group anticipated. Testifying to the group were both officers and Sgt. Watson. Also present during the process were Village Solicitor Chris Conard and Village HR Director Ruthe Ann Lilich. The officers agreed to the pilot, and did not waive their rights to the existing disciplinary policy. At Council, Salmerón expressed his gratitude to the committee, noting that the group helped with what was PHOTO BY MEGAN BACHMAN Swearing in public New Village Council member Laura Curliss was sworn in at Council’s first meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 6, by Yellow Springs Mayor Pam Conine. Curliss will serve a two-year term on Council, joining recently re-elected members Lisa Kreeger and Marianne MacQueen, and Kevin Stokes and Brian Housh, who each have two years left on their terms. AT the meeting, Council returned Housh and MacQueen to their respec- tive offices of Council president and vice president,