The Oberlin Review

Lorain Libertarians Sue to Stop Forced Tax Increase

Brandon Michael Bobbitt, Oberlin resident

April 7, 2017

To the Editors: On Wednesday, April 5, myself and a group of fellow Lorain County residents laid out our objections and plan to halt the recently imposed sales tax increase. The lawsuit being brought by Gerald Phillips, to which I am a plaintiff, contends that not only did the commissioners violate procedural rule but also Ohio’s public meeting laws. The people emphatically denied the request for increased revenue at the ballot box in November by a 74–26 percent margin. As a Libertarian, I have many practical and ideological objections to the tax increase. As a matter of principle, I am opposed to any group of people using force to claim another’s property. In this case, we have public servants purposefully...

Technology Breaks Barriers to Music

Robert N. Roth, Oberlin Resident

April 7, 2017

To the Editors: I’ve said it before, and I say it again: Many thanks to those who make the Conservatory webcasts possible. For those of us who have difficulty getting out to all the wonderful concerts in person, these webcasts make it possible to enjoy many events which would otherwise pass us by. Kudos to those who are so faithfully behind the cameras. – Robert N. Roth Oberlin resident

Fundraiser Jazzes Up First Church

Carol Longsworth, Nicki Memmott, Concert Planning Committee

March 31, 2017

To the Editors: Your readers will surely be interested in the Afternoon of Jazz event being offered on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, located at the corner of Main Street and Lorain Street in Oberlin. Jazz professionals Bobby Ferrazza, guitar; Dan Wall, piano; and Paul Samuels, drums; all members of the Oberlin Conservatory Jazz Department, will be joined by accomplished bassist Aidan Plank. All these musicians are highly regarded professionals, known throughout the Cleveland area and well beyond. Admission is free. Donations are strongly encouraged and needed for homeless families served by Family Promise of Lorain County. For more information, see familypromiselorai...

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Welcomes Students

John Sabin, Oberlin Resident

March 31, 2017

To the Editors: Thank you for your story on the accomplishments of the Oberlin Project (“Oberlin Project Ends Eight-Year Run,” March 10, 2017). Executive Director Sean Hayes is quoted as saying the Oberlin Project “‘does not need to exist’ for Oberlin students to get involved in local environmental work.” Indeed, for students who wish to be involved in ongoing environmental work, one option to consider is Citizens’ Climate Lobby. A new Oberlin chapter of this international, nonpartisan, volunteer organization meets every second Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Oberlin Public Library. Our next meeting is April 8. The organization aims to train volunteers to “create the political will for a liva...

ALC Reconnects with Campus

Bálint Gergely, Secretary, Oberlin Alumni Association

March 31, 2017

To the Editors: You guessed it right, all those eerily Obie-like older people walking around campus the weekend of March 3–5 were in fact Obies. The ALC — Alumni Leadership Council of the Oberlin Alumni Association — was here for its spring meetings. Reconnecting with life on campus to try to see what it's really like beyond social media and news articles was one of our top goals. Dining with students at Pyle co-op, hearing the Obertones, chatting with students who helped cater our meetings and listening to professors was a great way to get a little taste of all that. But it's never enough. We can't help it — we love Oberlin! Some key ALC discussion topics were how to build a relationship of trust and good c...

Petititions Circulate to Preserve REC Fund

John Elder, OC '53

March 10, 2017

To the Editors: In May 2007, the Oberlin City Council voted unanimously to establish a Sustainable Reserve Program funded by the revenue from selling renewable energy credits. This week, former Oberlin City Councilors, business owners and other respected Oberlinians are starting to circulate a pair of petitions that, together, will enable the voters to preserve funding for that program. I urge students, staff and faculty who vote in Oberlin to sign these two petitions. Why do this now? The Ohio legislature has been cutting income for the city’s general fund. The Trump administration is slashing the EPA budget. We can’t expect any federal or state support for local sustainability efforts, but thanks to 2007’s...

Class Trustees Must Consider Student Needs

Cory Ventresca, College senior

March 3, 2017

To the Editors: Executive Assistant to the General Counsel and Secretary Pam Pierron’s email sent Saturday, Feb. 25 stating the “regularly scheduled forum time will be used for a trustee–Student Senate mini-retreat” was incredibly disappointing to me as a former student senator. While it is important for Student Senate and the Board of Trustees to develop a strong working relationship so that Senate may better leverage its power, the development of that relationship should not preclude meeting with the student body. The idea that Student Senate can take on the Sisyphean task of representing all students to the board is absurd. In order for students to be fully represented, we need truly open fora. The clas...

“African American” Best Term for Black Populace

Mauris Emeka, Oberlin Resident

March 3, 2017

To the Editors: By way of history, until the mid 1960s, the acceptable and respectful way to refer to African Americans (or Black people) was as “colored” or “negro.” For the most part, those designations began fading away around 1965 when the Black awareness movement emerged. Careful study of our history as a people helped us all understand that instead of negroes (or colored), we were simply people of African descent — that is, African Americans. This designation (African American) has now been commonly used for just over 50 years, and without question, it increases the overall understanding of who we are as a people. – Mauris Emeka Oberlin resident   ...

OCOPE Clarifies Facts

Tracy Tucker and OCOPE Executive Board

March 3, 2017

To the Editors: It has come to our attention that incorrect information about Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees continues to spread across campus. We know the source of much of this misinformation and have requested that the College correct the errors, but since that is not happening, we believe it is important to share the truth. The College’s continued refusal to provide requested information or adhere to the collective bargaining agreement has forced OCOPE to take extraordinary action. An unfair labor practice charge was filed with the National Labor Relations Board Monday, Feb. 20. We will continue to defend the rights of our members and our contract both by continuing our effort to work with the Co...

RECs Best Invested in Community Programs

John D. Elder, Oberlin Resident

February 24, 2017

To the Editors: The Oberlin City Council wants to establish a Community Choice Fund to receive donations from credits it would begin giving on electric bills in July. The credits would come from 85 percent of the proceeds of the sale of Renewable Energy Certificates, as voted 4–2 by council in a surprise move on June 20 of last year. However, to credit ratepayers and then hire a PR firm to try to convince them to donate the credits back makes no sense. And it’s not fair! The credits would be issued to rate payers on the basis of how much electricity they use. For the typical homeowner this would be about $9 a month. But for the large users it could be well over $100,000 a year. A homeowner can’t do much with...

Master’s Programs Would Damage Oberlin

David Arnow, OC ’73

February 24, 2017

To the Editors: Be careful what you wish for — you may get it. Among the top reasons I went to Oberlin was that it did not follow the university model. Master’s programs were few and almost every class I took was taught by a full-time, experienced professor with the highest degree available in the discipline. This remains the top reason I advise students I know to apply to Oberlin. Be wary of Master’s programs. It is all too tempting for scholars and researchers to focus on their graduate students to the detriment of their undergraduate teaching. Since 1981, I’ve been a professor at the City University of New York and have witnessed this in my university and others. John Ciardi’s famous quote, “A univer...

Immigration Ban Undermines Urban Values

Joe Bialek, Cleveland resident

February 17, 2017

To the Editors: My grandfather, Albert Joseph Bialek, came to the United States from Poland in 1910. According to the Ellis Island website, he boarded the ship Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse in Bremen, Germany. He had just completed his service in the Austrian Army. Poland, at that time, was divided into three spheres of influence by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Upon being discharged, he returned to his father’s farm. Officers from the Austrian Army made an attempt to re-enlist him, but tradition dictated that he could remain at home so long as he was sorely needed on the farm. Immediately after the officers departed, Albert’s father gave him his brother’s travel documents and instructed him to immigrate to the Uni...

Established 1874.