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Letter: A direct attack on Democracy

Letter to the editor from Holly Norton, President of the League of Women Voters of the Lima Area.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to protect and expand voting rights and ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. Issue 1 is a direct attack on voting rights and equal representation. That is why we are urging voters to vote NO on this issue. 


Letter: Please consider voting “NO” on Issue 1

A letter from Bluffton residents John and Jenny Pilarowski.

Our legislators in Columbus are spending our tax dollars to hold a special election on August 8, 2023 to vote on Issue 1 – to change the Constitution of Ohio.

Issue 1 would make it more difficult – nearly impossible – to bring any citizen initiative to a vote of the people. It would require signatures from 5% of all who voted in the last gubernatorial election from all 88 Ohio counties to get an initiative on the ballot and then require there to be 60% approval of all ballots cast to pass the initiative. Currently signatures from 44 counties are required plus a yes vote from 50% of all ballots voted plus one more yes ballot – a simple majority!


Letter: BVHS President-CEO asks community members to write to legislators

We at Blanchard Valley Health System are grateful to each and every one of you who showed your support for us during National Healthcare Week. We are honored to be entrusted with your care and to be so deeply woven into this community, which means so much to all of us. 

Moving forward, we continue to ask for your support. As we emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as health care nationwide faces significant challenges, we urge community members to support local hospitals – and to let their legislators know that they offer that support. 


Letter: S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club thank you to donors

From the S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club of Bluffton

As you have seen, the American Flags are again flying in the breeze on the Main Street of Bluffton. For the past 16 years, the S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club of Bluffton has solicited sponsorship of those flags, and the Bluffton American Legion has installed and maintained them. 

This year 2023 the American Legion has again installed those flags.  The S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club thanks Jerry Cupples and the American Legion for all their wonderful help throughout the years. 

The S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club (Sharing Hopes And Nourishing Needs Of Neighbors) also wishes to gratefully thank all the many, many wonderful sponsors of the flags throughout these 16 years. Your donations have been received each summer by the SHANNON CLUB and also by the community of Bluffton with great gratitude. 

To show our sincere thankfulness to all of you, the S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club wishes to give back to the community by donating the flags this summer and will NOT be soliciting sponsorship of the flags.  We have truly valued your wonderful support.

Duane Bollenbacher


Letter: National Healthcare Week, May 7-13

Letter from William Kose, MD, JD, Vice President of Special Projects, Blanchard Valley Health System

The week of May 7-13 has been designated as National Healthcare Week. Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) is partnering with the American Hospital Association to celebrate the recognition of the healthcare workforce and encourage community members to do the same.


Letter: Searching for Bluffton's basement barbers

A letter to Icon readers from Liz Gordon-Hancock:

I’ve been told that the basement barber shop at 125 N. Main St. Lower (currently Stoney’s Barber Shop) has been a barber shop in continuous operation for over 100 years. I’ve also heard rumors that this is one of the few remaining basement barber shops in the state of Ohio. 

Ever since I purchased this building (125 N. Main St and down the right side of Vine St.) from Richard Boehr in 2020, I’ve been trying to piece together all the different barbers which have used the basement premises, as a way of confirming its 100-year tenure and preserving the history of the place.

But I’ve found a lot of holes in my information, and wondered whether the community could help me fill in the gaps in my knowledge.  

According to the inimitable fount of knowledge Richard Boehr, the first barber at this location was "Curly" Basinger's great-grandfather. According to a quote in the Bluffton Icon, “The shop was later headquarters for a Mr. Day, Bob Lewis, Dick Smith and later Jerry Marshall.” I’ve been able to confirm some, but not all, of this. My research doesn’t seem to stretch much before 1921, and I still have a few gaps between then and 2011.