It was with a heavy heart and great sadness when I heard of former City Councilwoman Dede Hall’s recent passing. I knew Dede as a tireless advocate of neighborhoods as I was an association leader in two 5th District neighborhoods during her four years on City Council.
Dede was always aware that a good majority of the 5th District was underserved, and she always took special care that all of her residents were treated equally and fairly. I remember being invited to Dede’s 50th birthday celebration, which was held in the Hall home, hitching a ride back from the Regional Neighborhood Networking Conference in Toledo with her and walking through the neighborhood pointing out our concerns.
Her generosity for the neighborhoods was something I’ve never encountered since – the donated facilities, chicken dinners, ice cream for socials, and drinks and cookies for block parties to name a few.
Once, she even purchased an entire table so that her Creighton-Home Neighborhood residents could participate at former Mayor Helmke’s farewell party.
It seems to me that whatever we asked Dede for she just made happen with no fanfare; she made it all seem so effortless. The single time I declared myself a Republican in a primary election was to vote for Dede when she was running against an unknown “David Hall.” She inspired me that much! Dede was gracious and caring with a laugh that many won’t soon forget. Her 5th District neighborhood associations will not forget the lasting inspiration, dedication, and memories of wonderful times spent together with our councilwoman and friend. God bless Dede and the Hall family.
Michael J. Vorndran
Attending my daughter’s high school graduation (recently) at the coliseum was supposed to be a cause for celebration. Twelve years of school, culminating in one final salute to the seniors of the Class of 2012 and acknowledgement of all they have achieved.
I had heard news reports in the weeks past of disruptions to such ceremonies by attendees, presumably family members or friends of some of the seniors, and the punishments meted out by the school administrations. Some of these punishments, in my opinion, were quite absurd, like the student forced to do 20 hours of community service by a high school in Cincinnati before he can get his diploma because family members were cheering him from the stands.
However, now I have perspective. There’s a good reason why schools across the country ask that attendees refrain from making noise during the ceremony, and I was witness to it first-hand. As the ceremony progressed and students, one by one, went up onto the stage to receive their diplomas, periodically there would be yelling heard across the stands, some of it would be simply somebody yelling the name of the graduate, others, were screaming ear-piercingly at the top of their lungs.
It was clear some elements were in attendance for a single purpose, to be disruptive and bring attention to them. Each time one of these incidents occurred, the offenders would be escorted out of the building, and that was it, go on their merry way. The result, the crowd gets distracted and loses track of the next few students whose names are being announced.
I think it’s unfair to punish the senior. Incidents like the one in Cincinnati send the wrong message, enabling people to get students punished if, perhaps, they have a grudge against the student. I’m not sure, but escorting them out of the building is not the sole answer.
To those of you who think you have the selfish and immature right to disrupt the ceremonies, you don’t. Your child or friend is no more special outside of your immediate circle than any of the other students who are receiving their diplomas. Shame on you.