Monday, October 28, 2002

Community Booster East
Nov. 3 cover

Hebron’s Future Is Now
by Jeff Gill
Contributing Writer

“It’s amazing,” muses Mindy Kester, village tax administrator, “but I really don’t think people realize what’s happening in Hebron.”
“You have to get out and around and see for yourself.”

Kester has lived her whole life in Hebron, but worked outside of the village until six months ago when she was hired to replace Mike McFarland, who became village administrator.

“I had to work here to realize just how much is in the works for Hebron,” says Kester, who adds, “and the really amazing thing is how much room there is to still grow and yet keep that small town feeling we all love about our home here.”

A small town with new sidewalks and an improved water system, that is. Kester and McFarland were happy to share all the news that was already apparent with the concrete forms for curb cuts and new walks along Main St. in evidence from downtown out to Ninth St., linking with those already installed for Evans Park on Refugee Rd. and the Municipal Complex and Library.

Less obvious, but with larger implications for economic growth in the Hebron area, is work going on at the Water Works on S. High St. just past the entrance to Lake Forest, the Dominion Homes subdivision with its own expanses of new pavement and freshly turned earth.
“We were getting close to maxing out our water pumping capacity at one million gallons a day,” reports McFarland, “so we’re glad to start this expansion that will double our capacity.” The Waste Treatment plant on N. High St. is slated for work planned in another six months to double the capacity there, too. Work has already begun, though, to reduce the “infiltration” through storm drains of run-off water, which increases waste treatment capacity even further at minimal cost. Major excavations along Cully St., paralleling Main to the north, are one example of this work.

“All of this kind of municipal investment is what developers and investors want to see as they decide where to put their money,” says McFarland.

One of the obvious results of this longer-range view towards economic development is the east side of Hebron, where on the further side of the Rt. 79 bypass from Dominion Homes is the peaked roof of Buckeye Outdoors’ new 43,000 square foot retail center, and an even newer peak east of their store marking the site of the Kroger Corporation’s latest investment in Ohio.

After a rousing grand opening a few weeks ago (see Hebron Crossroads from last week - jbg), followed by a number of promotions including a visit from Buckeye great Archie Griffin, store manager Jill Graham feels ready for the long haul.

“Our first week, I was just thrilled,” says Graham, who has helped open a number of new stores for Kroger. She opened the first Kroger fuel station for the company, and says “fuel sales here are good, very strong for a new store.” They expect to draw on a range of customers that extends both west, north, south, and well to the east.

That “well to the east” business model must be true, because clerks at the Duke & Duchess gas station and convenience store in downtown Hebron report that “business is about the same now as it was before Kroger opened.”

Across Arrowhead Drive from Kroger, Buckeye Outdoors personnel said that “fall is always a good time for us, regardless. Even when the economy drops, you can always hunt.” Most of the major bow, blackpowder, and rifle seasons start around Autumn.

Maurice and Sharon Potvin have built their outdoor sporting business on a client base from Wheeling to northwest Ohio, and having a reputation for good stock and reasonable prices gives a whole new meaning to an employee’s comment, “People want to hunt, and they’ll hunt.” Hunting for bargains, it seems, is always in season.

News of the merger with Vance’s in Columbus opens up new markets even beyond the store’s walls, and those walls go quite a ways out, with trophy mounts and displays of gear, clothing, and hunting or fishing accessories as far as the eye can see.

Staff said it was too early to tell if the Kroger opening would increase their business, but “it was pretty good already.” One clerk pointed out that “people love to bring their kids here, and make it a family thing, because children love seeing what’s on display.” The full-size stuffed rhinoceros in the middle of the sales floor appeared to agree.

Next door at the Amerihost, brand-new manager Kris Moore was of much the same opinion, telling of steady, good business at their location, but with nothing new to add to the ongoing rumors about potential occupants of the lot in front of their motel. “We’ll all know about the same time when someone decides to break ground there, but it’ll be a help.” Moore was very upbeat about the “pool memberships” Amerihost offers for $40 a month to local residents to use the recreational facilities between 8 am and 10 pm.

Just north off of 79 is the new McDonalds in Hebron. Store manager Lee Freeman has been preparing new employees since last July, and while job applicants have been steady, the training has surprised some.

“This store has a number of prototype pieces of equipment,” points out Freeman, “and it isn’t all just dunk fries and flip burgers anymore.” So the training continues, with even MickeyD’s becoming a high-tech employer. “But business has been good, and we just want to keep up with it, and maintain a good customer experience.”

New business and economic activity in Hebron isn’t limited to big name brands. Small business growth includes the arrival of PAL Printing next to the Duke station, Cheapskate Music next to JT Computers and Video just down Main, Unique Boutique behind the Shopper Cleaners on N. High, just across from one of the newer professional additions to Hebron, Mantonya Chiropractic Clinic.

At the crossroads of Main and High, Park National Bank’s Rob Springer says, “we’ve refinanced pretty much everyone who’s going to refinance.” He and Betty Green have been kept busy with the sheer volume of refinancing through this recent period of low interest rates, but expect rates to start to increase in the near future.

Back at the municipal building, Kester and McFarland point out that, along with the Lakewood levy for increasing resources to the local school district, there will be a 2 mil continuing levy for the village to maintain and improve basic infrastructure. This will replace the current 2 mil levy which expires next year. They hope area voters will approve both this Nov. 5 Election Day.

“I think we’ll be amazed at where we’ll be just a very few years from now,” says Kester, as she orders the village’s second set of “Hebron thank you” note cards, which will go out even faster than the first box did according to village staff. “We want to be thankful right now for what people are doing for the quality of life here today,” adds McFarland.

Or as Carly Simon sings, “these are the good old days!”

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Hebron Crossroads 11-03
by Jeff Gill

If you attended the last Lakewood home football game for Senior Night, you’re probably still drying out as I am.

I’ve seen harder rain, and I’ve sat through colder rain, but I’ve never seen harder rain go on for longer and generate a more lastingly miserable climate than we had for the Licking Valley game. (Cue reminiscences of legendary bad weather long ago, fade to black under swelling music and closing credits…)

With a night like that, you just have to salute the kids on the field, including football players, band members, and cheerleaders, for putting up with it all in generally good cheer and keeping up doing whatever it was their job to do, right down to the water bottle gang who, quite frankly, seemed kind of redundant under the circumstances.

Along with all the football and band seniors recognized, a great big Lakewood salute has to go to the retiring David Wolford, who will no doubt long remember (for many reasons!) his 310th marching band performance before a still appreciative if soggy crowd.

It’s too soon to say goodbye, but congratulations on a job well done, Mr. Wolford. Some in the crowd, now lawyers, business owners, moms and dads themselves, were part of that number one performance, and considered it an honor to be present for number 310.

Drew Daubenmire gave us what we hope is a preview of coming attractions for the Lancer football program with those last two touchdowns. Anyhow, congrats to LV and good luck in the playoffs.

Some other youth interests are getting attention in Hebron these days, even as flag football and soccer wind their way to a close for the season. Beyond the new parking area at the northwest edge of Evans Park on Refugee Rd., a few loads of dirt were brought in for a “bike park” as part of the activities out at our ever-growing recreational facility.

Mike McFarland says that, when the earth was scheduled to be dumped, a crew of 15 youths with shovels, rakes, and some turning-to with bare hands went right to work shaping lumps, bumps, and jumps. They were happy to do their part in creating their own fun, and were appreciative of the village support they got. Another tip of the Big L cap to those who did the work and will no doubt enjoy their dirt biking all the more for knowing they made it happen!

If you get this by Friday, Nov. 1, the village will sponsor another Red Cross Blood Drive from 1 pm to 6 pm in the Municipal Complex. Your correspondent will be checking folks in, and giving a pint himself which makes 8 gallons. If I can donate 48 times, you can drop by and give it a try, can’t you? Takes 30 to 45 minutes, and you get a quick health profile to boot, not to mention the cookies.

Don’t forget that Tuesday, Nov. 5 is Election Day; the fine folks who serve as poll workers are set up and ready at 6:30 am, which takes care of me, Ken George, and Mayor Mason. They’re ready for you when you get done with work, too, right down into the evening at 7:30 pm. The Lakewood levy for operating expenses and new heating for Hebron Elementary, the Hebron continuing levy for streets and services, and a variety of state officials will be up on the ballot.

Please make sure to vote, swipe off the back of your ballot for hanging chads, and thank a poll worker as you head out…they’ll be glad you noticed!

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and someone who even votes in uncontested primaries; if you have Hebron area news to share, call 928-4066 or e-mail
The Church Window -- Hebron Christian Church
Nov. 2002 print newsletter
(pastor's text material; send me an e-mail to go on mailing list! - jbg)

Notes From My Knapsack

We’ve got a variety of interesting articles for you to read this month. But I would like to encourage everyone to think about something coming up next month. . .sooner than we might like to think: namely, Christmas.

We traditionally give gifts for this holiday, and to the degree that we’re echoing the Magi in their joy and sharing with the Christ child, when we’re giving of ourselves for the happiness of others, gifts can be a great part of the holiday season. Yet we got an interesting hint recently of just how this tradition gets mangled.

You may have heard news coverage of the recent longshoreman’s strike on the West Coast, and seen pictures of idle container-loading docks and schools of cargo ships bobbing in the waters off Long Beach, San Diego, or Seattle. But did you notice that the big fear for the wholesalers and retailers was that the big toy sellers, the likely "craze sales" like Cabbage Patch dolls or Tickle Me Elmos of years past, were stuck out at sea, and might not make it to store shelves in time for Christmas.

Just think about that for a moment: we don’t even know what those products are yet (trade secrets, y’know), but the makers are so sure of their ability to make us crave and covet these yet-unkown products that they’ve already had made in China and are in the middle of shipping to us that, if they don’t get ‘em here by mid-December, they’ll go broke. The whole business is dependent on getting us to want, on demand and with precision timing, what they want to sell us even when we have no idea we want it.

Remember that as you start to browse the shelves and ads for your Christmas shopping this year; is that what someone really desires for themselves, or are we just "wanting" on cue for the benefit of someone else? Give gifts this Christmas, not products. That helps the giver and the receiver get a little closer to the reason for the season!

In Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jeff

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For more information on the recent Regional Assembly of the Christian Church in Ohio, see "What’s New" at for a rundown of development with Basic Mission Finance (BMF), soon to be renamed Disciples Mission Fund, or (you guessed it!) DMF. The special day offerings (inserts & envelopes) will change in their purpose as well to reflect the new priorities built into the DMF system. Talk to Pastor Jeff for more details.

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Pastor Jeff will join his wife Joyce at the National Association of Interpretation (her professional assoc.) annual meeting in Virginia Beach, VA Nov. 12-17; so they and Chris can take some vacation time this year, Jeff will be off from Nov. 11 to the 19th. The elders will be available for pastoral needs and to preside over worship on the 17th. The elders will be able to contact the pastor if necessary, but will take care of most congregational needs through this time.

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Program Planning Retreat
Sat., Nov. 9, 9 am to Noon

"Open Wide The Door"
Theme - Organizational Evangelism
Leadership study – John 10:1-18 & Rev. 3:7-8, 20-22

Open to all members; elders, the diaconate, and officers of the church are expected!

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Community Thanksgiving Service

Sun., Nov. 24, 7 pm

Lakewood High School auditorium

Please bring a friend or neighbor to this ecumenical service of thanksgiving

Sunday, October 27, 2002

The Church Window -- news special for Sunday, 27 Oct 2002
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Hey everyone out there in cyberspace -- I was waiting to get past the Regional Assembly
to send the e-version of "The Church Window" out, and then. . .anyhow, the print version
will go out shortly. (See saved text at

You'll get an early November e-letter with Thanksgiving info, but i'm slapping this one
out because i thought you might want to know something i just heard (well, read, at that Rev. Cynthia Hale and her Disciples' congregation in Georgia,
New Hope Christian Church, will be part of a 60 Minutes piece on "Black migration back
to the South" tonight at 7 pm or when football ends. THAT'S TONIGHT!!!

And just to make it all worthwhile, here's a few more links to sink you teeth into,
first, one on Bible translation and one of the great Christians of the last century:

An amazing new discovery in Israel that i wasn't ready to focus on in a sermon yet:

Finally, one i couldn't resist ('cause if i don't point it out, who would?), esp. #2:

In Grace & Peace,