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Monday, January 16, 2006

Police say dispute at Sikh temple remained peaceful

City may charge temple for police overtime if calls persist

by Emily Canning-Dean

Bedford Times Register Reporter

Bedford Ñ Police say that although previous arguments between members of the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh temple on Tarbell Avenue erupted into fighting, a dispute that occurred at the temple on New Year’s Day did not result in violence.

Police Chief Greg Duber said someone at the temple called police to settle a disagreement between temple members during an evening service. Although both sides traded words, he said, no fighting took place, and the service resumed after police arrived.

“We didn’t make any arrests,” Duber said. “We were just there to keep the peace.”

Police have been called to temple services several times since late 2004. During reported disturbances at the temple in 2005, members reported being struck on the head and having cameras and other items stolen from them according to police.

Several arrests were made during one incident in September, and one member of the temple was convicted of unauthorized use of equipment over the stolen camera, police said.

City Manager Bob Reid said Monday the city will start charging the temple for police overtime when police are called to keep the peace.

He said Council passed an ordinance a few months ago that allows the city to charge for police overtime if police are called to the same address for a public disturbance more than twice.

“We’ve already spent about 16 hours in overtime at the temple and the cost is roughly $700,” Reid said. “It’s just something we have to do with our tight budget. We have to watch every nickel.”

The ongoing dispute, police have said, began in 2004 over membership issues within the temple.

According to previous Bedford Times-Register article, one group of members accused the temple leadership of unfairly restricting membership and wanted to elect a new five-member executive committee to replace a group the leadership had elected. However, temple leaders said only founding members of the temple can vote to form an executive committee.

There are about 25 temple members in the leadership group and at least 300 in the group opposing the leadership, according to Azaad Khaira, a member of the larger group.

Taking it to the courts

In early 2005, the leadership group filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court asking the court to uphold the temple’s constitution, which allows only the founding temple members to vote, said Gursharan Gill, a member of the leadership group.

In September, Judge Richard McMonagle called the constitution “invalid” and ruled that “all members of the temple are given the status of founding members and are eligible to vote for executive committee members.”

The leadership group filed an appeal of McMonagle’s ruling in September with the District 8 Court of Appeals. No hearings have been scheduled.

Khaira said in light of the judge’s ruling, members held an election at the temple Dec. 18 to form the new executive committee.

According to Khaira, the new elected officials are now carrying out their duties and have replaced the group elected by the leadership.

Gill disagrees. He said he does not believe the executive committee can take action until the court appeal process is finished.

“We will abide by the [appeal] decision, whatever it is,” he said.


Phone: 440-232-4055 ext. 4110
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New device monitors speeding drivers

This device really helped curb speeding problems when deployed in problem areas.  I had it placed a few times last year and it seemed to make drivers more aware of speed restrictions---
Ron Lisy
Staff Writer

Jan. 5, 2006

BEDFORD —  It plugs into an electrical socket like an alarm clock, a coffee maker or a toaster. But its job isn't to wake people up. It is to slow them down.

The portable box, which is about as big as a speed limit sign, registers how fast motorists are traveling here.

"Any time we get a request to monitor traffic on a street, we can put it up and have the results in a few days," Police Chief Greg Duber said.

The device counts the number of vehicles on a road, their speed and the time of day. When motorists spot the device, they can see the speed limit, their speed, or no numbers at all, depending on how it is set up.

"If there is a problem with speeders on the street, we can identify the specific time periods to put our patrol cars there to use radar and issue citations," Duber said.

"To use an officer specifically for radar or to monitor the traffic flow is a waste of resources," he said. "It's just taking an officer out of commission."


For the rest of the story, see your local Sun newspaper.

© 2006 Sun Newspapers
Go to Sun Newspapers home page

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Dept. of ED: Bedford Schools to lose $5.8mil without Walton Hills

 A bigger hit projected

State report says schools would lose $5.8 million if Walton Hills exits

Staff Writer

Jan. 12, 2006

BEDFORD —  Bedford Schools would lose almost $2 million more than previously anticipated if Walton Hills left the district, according to a new report from the Ohio Department of Education.

The O.D.E. projected the loss at about $5.8 million a year. A year ago, Bedford school officials estimated the potential annual loss at just under $4 million.

"The results of the projection demonstrate even more strongly that if Walton Hills left, it would devastate the 3,800 students who attend school here every day," Superintendent Martha Motsco said.

Motsco said the loss could not be made up "without significantly impacting our schools in a negative way."

"It would mean drastically cutting programs and services for the students in the other three communities," she said.

The district serves Bedford, Bedford Heights, Oakwood and Walton Hills.

Walton Hills leaders want to see the village move to Cuyahoga Heights Local Schools.

For the rest of the story, see your local Sun newspaper.

© 2006 Sun Newspapers
Go to Sun Newspapers home page

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Downtown business project

The following is from a post on the "Truth in Bedford" blog posted Dec. 29th, 2005
Recently I wrote to several businesses which I would love to see move into Downtown Bedford. There are many sore sights in Bedford as vacancies are created where strong stores once stood. Romito's, Neinal Shoes, and others are closing down and the only businesses that have invested in Downtown Bedford are hair and beauty salons, chiropractors, and small shops which open and close for months at a time.

There are a few stores which receive steady business and are thriving in the dieing center.

Residents are concerned that downtown may someday be considered blighted. At 5:00PM on weekdays downtown Bedford seems to transform into a ghost town. The tumbleweeds would roll, if they existed.

We need to bring in businesses that can bring more people to the area. The community is only as strong as the downtown. Every sector of the community is equally important to the others. The residential, industrial, and commercial demands should match for the best growth oppurtunities.

There has been a group that has formed to discuss and recruit businesses for Bedford. We mainly write letters to companies that may be interested in opening businesses in downtown Bedford or other parts. Many companies have responded and have said to be looking into it and sending representatives and surveyors to weigh their options.
If you are interested in joining this group dedicated to bringing businesses to downtown bedford please comment on this blog.... Its painless. Just click on the underlined word "comment" and leave your e-mail address that I can reach you or e-mail me through my profile when you click on the underlined "truth in bedford." Your support is greatly appreciated, by myself, and others like yourself who want to see Bedford continue to strive for excellent services for it's citizens.
Let me know if you are interested in taking part and I'll will get you the pertinent info.
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