Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Forum to sharpen Anderson identity




BY ALLEN HOWARD
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TWP. — Officials fear that events over the past year have tarnished this community's image and want to work to clean it up.

        From hate literature dumped in neighborhoods to a billboard some considered disgusting, township officials think its rapid growth has attracted problems to this eastern Cincinnati suburb of 50,000 residents.

        “We are stuck with this image of being a bedroom community where people just sleep and eat here but don't care about what happens here,” said Russ Jackson, a township trustee.

        He has planned a round-table meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Mercy Healthplex, 7495 State Road.

        “I want organized groups to come together to address the many issues we face in the township — hate literature being a main one,” Mr. Jackson said. “We never get more than 200 people together unless they want to complain about something.”

        Among the concerns the round table will address:

        • Twice last year, hate literature was distributed on several streets.

        • Township officials had a running battle with a radio station that put up a distasteful billboard sign. The township eventually passed a resolution, regulating billboards.

        • Officials accused two cell tower companies of ignoring township zoning laws in building towers in an area zoned residential. The township lost the battle in court.

        • The township has a cemetery nobody wants that has fallen into disrepair.

        Mr. Jackson said he hopes a round table can be a forum for discussions and planning among service organizations, ecumenical councils, business interests, and governmental entities. t.

        Hate literature has not appeared since November, when an eight-page document was distributed by the World Church of the Creator extolling white supremacy, criticizing Jews and blacks, and seeking members. Similar documents were distributed in August.

        The hate literature led to the formation of Greater Anderson Promotes Peace, a group that made a statement against hate literature. “I guess we were able to chase out the people distributing the hate literature, but I think they just went to another community,” Mr. Jackson said.

        The Greater Anderson Promotes Peace group is planning for a peace pole to be erected in Veterans Park on Forest Road, near Eight Mile Road.

        “I think a round table will be a good idea to bring more people together on a variety of issues,” said Louise Lawarre, one of the organizers of the peace group.

       



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