2011-07-02 / Editorials & Letters

Changes in the air for BLASST

Editor:

This is my last letter before the greatest show on earth...lol in my mind and heart anyway. Please let me remind everybody to obey the rules. Have a designated driver on your boat or in your car. Please act like you have some sense and respect for the people who serve this country that have given us all the right to be free to do what you’re doing on this weekend of all weekends.

If you live on the beach or in Buckeye Lake Village please stand up for your parks and demand that our visitors properly dispose their trash. I am also asking residents to go an extra mile as a donation and help clean their parks that night as you are heading home. I’m told sparklers are popular in these parks but when they do out they are often just tossed on the ground without a thought. I could write a booklet on the dangers of those spent wires.

I want to thank again the team that Regional Park Manager Tim Waln has assembled. BLASST won’t be possible without the support of our local fire and police departments, the Fairfield and Licking county sheriff’s offices, county emergency management agencies, and ODNR Divisions of Parks and Watercraft. A special thanks to the unsung cleanup crew. Please try to make their job a little easier by cleaning up after yourself. How lucky we are to have things the way they are. However, change is in the air.

Showing appreciation is everything sometimes. Will you do me a favor? When the fireworks are over blink your lights at the Hamburg workers to show them what you thought of their show. They will still have their earplugs in and can’t hear your horns, screams or whistles most of the time. But if you shine a light at them or blink your lights they will know what it’s for. Better yet, drive by close to shore and yell “thank you” to the Hamburg workers as you float home. They love hearing from you.

Through BLASST I’ve met a new acquaintance who coined a phrase for me. He said he wears many hats in his job; thank you Seth for giving me the words I was looking for. It seems I have been wearing too many hats for too long while volunteering for BLASST. My doctors say “NO MORE!” Each year I become more and more emotionally invested and it’s taken its toll on my health.

Some of you think there is a huge team of people working for me or around me, but that has not been the case until later this year. Over the summer BLASST will transition from what you may have thought of as a Wolfe family tradition to a Tri-County Community event. This is as it should be because it has grown from a little family party to an almost uncontrollable nightmare for the people I just thanked above.

Try to put into perspective that RED, WHITE & BOOM is a FOR PROFIT event. I can’t imagine what he pays for security while what we get is virtually for free. But he is making a fortune on top of everything after he pays the bills. Yet RW&B spends about as much money as we do on the display. We have about 400- 500 donors that pay for a show that draws some 60,000 people plus. Neighborhoods and municipalities all over the state are no longer funding firework shows. Our crowds are likely to get bigger and the funding... I just don’t know. Most of our donations are in the $25 - $100 range. We do have a few big guns, some present, some in the past like the Buckeye Lake Eagles, Buckeye Lake Moose Lodge 2434 , Buckeye Lake VFW, Bill Shottenstein, Burt Lindsay, Dave Pennington, Buckeye Lake Marina, Fishers Marina and a few others that my aging brain can’t immediately recall. Please forgive me. Yes, I kicked in more than my fair share but that is going to stop after this year.

In the past, there have been golf outings, poker runs, door-to-door solicitation, t-shirt sales, Redneck Women cookbook sales, flashing glasses, candles, whistles etc. – whatever it took to raise funds for this event. It was hard work by volunteers for little gain. You have three major players working for your enjoyment right now, one ... (me) who is stepping back. The other two are Charlie Prince and his Buckeye Lake Beacon and Regional Park Manager Tim Waln. If we lose Tim, God help us all. If we lose Charlie & The Beacon I’m moving to Florida for good.

We have a great thing going here. Again I know some 400-500 donors who think so. Please read the rest of this letter on blasst.org. In the meantime, it’s been my pleasure serving you for the last time in this capacity. Have a safe and happy holiday; please don’t forget to say a prayer for our service people when it comes time as you listen to our simulcast on WNKO, Kool 101.7 FM. online LTWP trustee meeting minutes have only been updated through May of 2010. And, to make matters worse, after a great deal of “double talking” and “ lack of commitment”, the trustees decide to “sandwich” this topic between a “zoning hearing” and a “regular meeting” on July 5th.

I have taken the liberty to talk with trustees and residents from the other townships and they have nothing but “glaring positives” for their programs. Here is a list of some (but not all) of the benefits to both the township and its residents:

* Guaranteed rates for a three year period;

* Reduced monthly/annual rates in most case of 45% - 60%;

* Opportunity for recycling at your residence;

* Reduction of the number of trash trucks in each neighborhood;

* Less wear and tear on our township roads;

* Less air & noise pollution; and

* The ability to regulate pickup times in or around high traffic areas such as schools, businesses, etc.

I would be remiss if I did not mention some initial “startup” road bumps, but the positives far outweigh the negatives, and to paraphrase one person when asked of the overall significance of their program, “it is a no-brainer”. Although these programs required some extra effort, sound negotiating, and constructive dialogue between the trustees and the residents, it resulted in them ultimately making a decision that would positively impact everyone in the township.

I urge every resident to call or email your trustees, attend the meeting on July 5, watch for a possible second meeting to be announced at a later date, write letters to your editor, and most importantly, please make your thoughts known. Perhaps it will help get our elected officials to move beyond their personal biases and pure lack of interest to finally make a decision that could help save everyone some money in this period of financial pressure, help protect our environment, and maybe even help to propel our township into the 21st century!!

John Holman
Licking Township

Return to top