Mike's Newspaper Column

Mike's Newspaper Column
Read Mike's column weekly in the Times Community Newspaper Family, including the legendary Kettering-Oakwood Times, and posted here the following week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Remembered


I won't list movie after movie but will simply say, while Newman's liberal politics were 180 degrees from mine, his acting in "Cool Hand Luke", "The Sting" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" made you believe each of those characters lived inside him........the sign of a great thespian. He will be missed!

This Past Week In a Nutshell


This past week has flown by. Of course, it all flies by any more!

Carly went back to school.....and did fine! It's still a long road back but it's moving smoothly now.....or seems to be. She is doing well with her G-Tube and is eating okay anyway for her teachers.

Zak had his best first month-plus at school of his high school years. I hope I didn't jinx that! He celebrated 6 months with his girlfriend Taylor and they seem to complement each other very well...she's a nice girl.

My Mom has continued to have health issues and has been in and out of the hospital this week and as of this writing is being assessed for a broken elbow and dislocated hip (falling while in the hospital) and her ability to live unassisted in her apartment.

We had our first dinner out in a while with Pat and Pamela Hale and it was fun. Later that night we watched Tipp High School continue its undefeated season beating Bellefontaine in a close, well-fought game.

Saturday morning Pat Hale and I announced the 50th annual Mum Festival in Tipp City (pictured above). Kathy and I, Zak and Taylor then took in the Festival. It was a full day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Soccer Mom Melanie Haim had her concelaed carry permit yanked for this. Another violation of our Second Ammendment rights!

Programming for Friday, September 26, 2008

From the desk of Mike Scinto, Talk Show Host/Newspaper Columnist

** Programming Information **




Personal Line 937-506-4288

Fax: 1-866-375-6934 Toll Free-THE BEST Internet fax service available myfax.com

For the show Friday September 26, 2008

Today on Expressions II with Mike Scinto:

**Giving teachers a bonus for passing excellent students; sounds like a great idea, right? Mike Scinto says “Find out who says it’s a bad idea……and I’ll give you a hint. It’s spelled U-N-I-O-N.


**Arnold signs a bill in California that says you’d better not be texting while driving.


**Scientists are back with stats that say the kids who use cell phones regularly are 5 times more likely to develop brain tumors. Scinto asks “Do you buy it and are you going to back off cell phone use or make your kids or grandkids”?


**As of yesterday in Nebraska you can dump your kids, up to age 19, at a hospital emergency room and you’re no longer responsible for them. “Can you think of a more disgusting program for losers and quitters?” Scinto asks.


**Scinto’s here. Don’t miss a minute of it Friday (today) at Noon exclusively on

1210 AM WDAO.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A View From Inside Hurricane Ike


Mike Scinto

To say this past week was interesting would be a huge understatement. Our family had to deal with hospitalization and surgery for our daughter, while adjusting to our three-plus days without power. And the power issue is where we’ll journey this week.

Numerous thoughts come to mind about the power situation. First of all, it gives new meaning to the old saying “if you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait fifteen minutes and it will change.” I lived that on a soccer field in Piqua coaching our team watching things deteriorate from a little wind into swirling dark clouds and finally Hurricane Ike.

In reality, a category one hurricane must have sustained winds of 75 MPH or greater. We hit gusts of 78 MPH and very high sustained winds, but for most area residents, it WAS a hurricane! Just ask people who lived without power, removed centuries old trees from their driveways or picked up branches for two days.

Okay, so local power companies have never (as far as my meteorologist buddies can tell) had to deal with anything like this. My family has lived in Ohio since 1964, and aside from the few hours Kathy and I were without power while living out in the middle of nowhere (in Clark County) during the blizzard of 1978, we’ve never seen been without power. It is quite a humbling experience.

I’m a “fixer”. I can pull strings, threaten, beg, negotiate or cajole my family’s way out of just about anything. I was unable to do any of the above to get our power back on; and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I really believe relief efforts showed no favoritism. It was “hurry up and wait” whether you were a bank president or the neighborhood mechanic. I felt neutered.

I’ve never been quite as thrilled as I was when Zak called me and said he was standing in front of the refrigerator at home, with the door open, and it was blowing cold air in his face. We had POWER!

Alright, the fun stuff is over. Now let’s get to the critiques and praise.

There is no way Tipp City Schools should have been in session at all on Monday. Even if the city proper had lights and power, many families in the district didn’t. Many streets with fallen branches, inactive street lights and downed power lines were downright dangerous…..and trees continued to topple over onto roadways. l know at the time classes got their late start power was still out for nearly everybody from Evanston Road to the south, including all of the Deercliff Run subdivision. And, as I said there were still pockets in town, and traffic lights out. Just getting moving in the dark house, with no water, can be a challenge for a family and takes quite a bit of adjustment. A day off would have helped at least.

Local power companies and cooperatives dropped the ball. We pay plenty for our power and there’s no excuse for the amount of time it took to get us back up and running. It was a disgrace. Tipp City Electric was, as I saw it, one of the only bright spots in getting folks back up. I just wish they could have wandered out into the township and helped us out here. My criticism isn’t for the workers who put in long hours and worked very hard, it’s with poor management decisions and not keeping the public informed at all. You were almost afraid to call the utility because you might be bothering them. I had an unbelievably rude response after waiting on hold for 45 minutes. I had a number of others share similar experiences with me. In my call when I said I was just trying to get some ballpark idea on when power in our area MIGHT be up because our daughter was coming home with a pump to feed her, I was told he’s heard “sob stories like that” from the last ten calls he’d received. Before slamming the phone down in his ear I explained how lucky he was that he hadn’t given me his full name or he’d be getting what we referred to “back in the day” as a butt-whoopin’ from me. I had a neighbor who called in to report lines down in an area where there are children playing, only to be told there were hundreds of those calls coming in. I don’t care if these customer “no-service” reps were dealing with irate callers, when I’m sitting in the dark, two days into the event; I deserve some tidbit of information, even if it’s just some slight sound of compassion in their intonation. At least I can come away THINKING somebody cares.

This is a shining example of why we need competition in the field of providing electric service. Companies can provide the power to DP&L to distribute, but DP&L owns the transmission lines over which it’s carried. I can’t start Mike’s Power and Light Company, put up some poles, hire a couple of local school board members to ride a stationary bike hooked to a generator, string wire, buy a couple of trucks and sell you electricity promising superior service. The local power monopolies have that exclusivity. And that’s a huge part of the problem; no consumer choice. Now that I think about it, I’m not too sure those board members could be talked into pedaling that stationary bike if I couldn’t guarantee them a few votes in exchange.....and some of them might need instructions on how to pedal. (No offense intended to ALL the board members….I have one PARTICULAR member in mind)

Several good things came from this experience. In the years of living on our road, I’ve never really ventured down to the “other end” to talk to those folks. I felt like I was in an old black and white Twilight Zone episode as I met some of them as we all chased after power trucks like country dogs running after a passing car. There are actually some nice people living “down there”.

We renewed friendships with closer neighbors, really great neighbors, from whom we’ve been strangers because of today’s hectic schedules and “busy time”. We also found out they’re the ones who’ve been stealing our apples!

We found out we have survival skills we never realized we had. It was Zak who decided to bring in some of those solar lamps from the front walk to give shed a little light in the total darkness of the house.

But I think the thing I realized most of all was just how puny our discomforts were compared to people in the Katrina and Ike paths in Louisiana and Galveston, Texas. They have no homes left, or bail water and sludge for weeks just to get back into their homes. It puts what we went through in real perspective. Sitting in the dark can also give you some introspection time and a time to renew that other friendship that may have been put on a back burner because of our busyness……our friendship with God. In my Faith, it really was talking with Jesus that kept me sane and opened my eyes to what’s important.

Let’s hope when we look back on this we come away with more good memories than bad.


Mike Scinto is a Radio Talk Show Host and hosts the longest running talk show in Southwestern Ohio. You can catch him weekdays from 12:00 noon until 2:00 PM on 1210-AM. Mike is a regular guest host on the national Mike Gallagher Show and is a contributor to cable’s Fox News Channel. You can visit http://myspace.com/mikescintoshow or email mike@themikescintoshow.com. You can also reach Mike by calling 937-506-4288 and visit his blog at http://mikescinto.blogspot.com .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oppose School Levies; Oppose Our Kids


Mike Scinto

Voters in the Tipp City School District will be asked to approve two levies in November. The Board of Education voted unanimously to seek renewal of a permanent improvement levy and the renewal and increase of an emergency operating levy. The permanent improvement levy would be for 2 mills for five years, generating around $680,000 a year. The three-year emergency operating levy would be 9.95 mills, renewing, 7.57 average millage for $2.7 million already being collected annually plus an increase to generate another $1,015,280 annually. District officials agreed in July to pursue the levies package instead of splitting them into separate requests proposed for November and next spring.

Some brave souls who read my columns have even snuck by my home and crammed anti-levy propaganda in my mailbox and front door. It talks about everything from Dr. Kronour’s management to how moneys haven’t been spent in the most efficient manner. It’s really the typical anti-levy assault every district encounters when the school board asks for money.

If you are one of the folks who dropped it off, please know that it went straight into the large receptacle that’s emptied into that big truck on Monday mornings and then crushed. I don’t even read them. Save your paper.

You see, I have a policy; I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vote against a school levy. I believe that those who do are tantamount to child abusers. If I had the power, those who campaigned against them would be flogged on the town square. Lucky for you we don’t have a town square. When levies fail, the students are the ones who suffer. And they had nothing to do with the problem, or perceived problem.

I have covered school boards as a journalist and a talk show host, volunteered for school boards, known school board members as friends and interviewed those representatives over the years. Some are excellent leaders, some are power-hungry citizens, some are very open to public input and some, quite frankly, don’t want to be bothered by citizens. But you know what? They all had one thing in common; they were all elected to office and could all be voted out of office……and some were. None that I am aware of had a lifetime appointment to that board seat.

In virtually every district I’ve encountered, monthly school board meetings are attended by the board members, individuals receiving awards or contract extensions, local newspaper reporters and a couple of community activists. You could fit everybody in the meeting room in a mini-van. If there is such a concern about how money is spent and programs are handled, why aren’t the parents and citizens in the audience to watch, listen and ask questions? And the last time I checked, the law said (as did board policy) that you can see the books any time you want during regular business hours. But how many whiners bother?

Every time a levy or bond issue shows up, the anti-levy crowd crawls out from under its “No New Tax” billboard. It actually gives them meaning in their lives. I wish they’d get real hobbies……or real lives!

If I sound a bit harsh it’s because I feel that way. As I said, I believe a thumbs-down vote is an attack on our kids who are merely innocent victims. If you are really bothered by the school system spending, give up a day a month and attend board meetings and speak up. Take some time to look over the books. If you are at odds with the Superintendent, who serves at the Board’s pleasure, or board members themselves, deal with it from that angle. Let the members hear from you. They’ll listen. And if you still aren’t satisfied, campaign to put in a board that will think and act like you……or run for a seat yourself. That’s the sensible, responsible way to do it. Don’t deprive our students when all they’re trying to do is get a top-notch education.


Mike Scinto is a Radio Talk Show Host and hosts the longest running show in Southwestern Ohio. You can catch him weekdays from 12:00 noon until 2:00 PM on 1210-AM. Mike is a regular guest host on the national Mike Gallagher Show and is a contributor to cable’s Fox News Channel. You can visit http://myspace.com/mikescintoshow or email mike@themikescintoshow.com. You can also reach Mike by calling 937-506-4288 and visit his blog at http://mikescinto.blogspot.com .