The Old Newark Advocate Building Demolished

In January 2017, the old Newark Advocate News building was demolished.

Old Newark Advocate Newspaper Building

The Old Newark Advocate Newspaper Building Entrance

As Of 11 January, 2017, crews were working on filling in the basement.

Old Newark Advocate Building is demolished.

The old Newark Advocate Newspaper Building is demolished in January 2017.

Thirty-One West Opens In Newark, Ohio

Thirty-One West Newark, Ohio.

Thirty-One West Newark, Ohio.

Thirty-One West in Downtown Newark, Ohio is a new entertainment venue with a bar It is located in The Arcade and utilizes the old Crystal Ballroom.

Newark, Ohio Links website owners have not visited yet, but plan to soon! For now, you can find more information by following the link the Newark, Ohio bar listings.

Newark, Ohio Courthouse Repairs And Canal District Farmers Market Opening

Licking County Courthouse renovation and construction.

Licking County Courthouse undergoes renovation.

Construction began this week on the Licking County Courthouse. There are  many other improvements being done in downtown Newark, Ohio.

The first fully completed project will be the Canal District Farmers Market, a big win for EBT card holders as so much of the farmer’s market has been dedicated to their needs. This will be a welcome addition to an area with so many on the EBT system looking for ways to convert their taxpayer provided EBT food budgets into more than just what local grocers offer. There will be a token system in place that will allow EBT credit to be freely traded in creative ways at the market.

The market will provide an easy way for Canal Market District vendors to collect on the EBT system without the usual accountability procedures that restrict purchases at common retail outlets. The simple application process described on the Canal District website will be helpful for any vendor looking for an added revenue stream.

The community continues to look with wonder as each new phase of the downtown projects are revealed.

New Subway In Newark, Ohio

New subway in Newark, Ohio.

Subway restaurant in downtown Newark, Ohio.

The new Subway restaurant on the square in downtown Newark, Ohio is the nicest I’ve ever been in. They’ve kept the old metal ceiling. 

2015 Newark, Ohio Reconstruction Starts

Newark Ohio Downtown Construction 2015

2015 Newark, Ohio Construction Starts. Phase 1 – South Second Street.

A long project to reconstruct Newark, Ohio’s downtown has begun. I give up following this much because it’s convoluted at best. I think it’s designed to be that way. 

The apparent leader of the project is ReNewark. It’s a legal organization called a Community Improvement Corporation. I think they used to call similar illegal partnerships something else. It’s where wealthy private individuals and organizations work in concert with public officials to get things done in ways that favor the private entities and the politicians, but not necessarily the public. The public’s part is just to pay for the majority of the work. 

I researched ReNewark the best I could and I came up pretty empty handed. I can’t find any legal documents for the partnership. I’ve e-mailed to ask exactly who they are, but no reply. All that you get is a website. If you want to know who is redesigning Newark, Ohio, this is all that they tell you about who “they” are. “Newark Development Partners is a collaborative venture engaging the public and private sectors…”. 

Property owners in the downtown area are really enthusiastic with the gift that every other taxpayer is bestowing on them. Imagine buying a run down house in an area, then the government comes in and improves not only your property, but every property around you. Who wouldn’t be enthusiastic about that? Some have described it as a dream coming true. 

Will it be successful? Will the costs be so harmful that the taxpayers won’t be able to spend money in the newly renovated area? It’s a fine line. Since the taxpayer has been removed from the decision making process on this, I’ll just sit back, watch, and enjoy. 

Newark, Ohio Downtown Project

There’s a new $4,000,000 project in the works for Downtown Newark, Ohio. The plan is for a farmer’s market, public restrooms, and a park-like area. This plan rendering was passed out by Wachtel & McAnally

Newark, Ohio future farmer's market plans.

Plan rendering for downtown Newark, Ohio farmer’s market and park.

I went and listened to the speech where the speakers thoroughly discussed the history of canal street and explained that they wanted to bring the area back to it’s place of prominence. They feel that these plans for a farmer’s market and “green space” will do the trick. The new Canal District Market plan was shrouded in secrecy(with numerous leaks of course) and it was announced that it would be a public/private agreement with the TJ Evans Foundation. It’s easy to get lost in the details from that point, at least it was for me. 

I’d like to say this will be nice. It probably will be. The problem is that much of it makes no sense. There has been a constant complaint about parking in downtown Newark, Ohio. Many like myself just don’t get it. There is plenty of parking right where this project is going to take place. That does not stop The Downtown Newark Association, every new round of politicians, and government employees from constantly spending money on studies to show that Newark needs grants and other forms of tax dollars to improve the parking. Along comes this project that detracts from the amount of parking and I see these groups applauding the effort. It makes the claim of lack of parking as the primary reason for the decline of Newark’s downtown seem like even more of a fallacy. 

It will be interesting to see the project happen regardless of the confusion and questionable spending surrounding it. I also await the outcome of what the effect of a project like this really does for the area. 

 

And The Real Name Of State Route 13 Is…

This is just annoying. Everyone is used to referring to State Route 13 as 4th Street, but now they’ve added another name, “Reese-LeFevre Parkway”. It’s sure to add confusion to any visitor not familiar with Newark, Ohio. 

Confusing Newark, Ohio Main Street Intersection.

Intersection of 4th and Main, or is it Reese-LeFevre Parkway and Main, or State Route 13 and Main?

Right now, it is easy to point out craziness in Newark, Ohio and this is just another more recent change to the downtown. The added signage really doesn’t add any value, but does add confusion. 

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Federal Fountain – Cracked!

A new fountain was installed on the Licking County Courthouse lawn in downtown Newark, Ohio this winter. The old was aging and in need of removal or replacement and I would like to commend those that donated much time and money to the project. Many businesses and individuals freely gave out of their own pockets. The reports I read stated $100,000! That’s only slightly less than the median price of a home in Newark, Ohio. 

What I find to be a big problem with this fountain is that $100,000 didn’t do it. The project dipped into the federal coffers for another $20,000 for a beautification grant. The fountain was installed at the same time that the federal government was shutting down. They were claiming they were broke, but obviously  the were not. All across American this little grant and that little grant goes to appease the locals for their political support. 

I hope that extra $20,000 included a warranty for the fountain. Not long after cold hit, it cracked. Just like the system that partially funded it, it cracked. The town will probably be staring at this tarp until warm weather or until another federal fix-it-up grant comes their way. 

Cracked federally funded fountain in Newark, Ohio.

Cracked fountain that was partially funded by federal beautification grants.

It seems so many time that these federal grants come back to bite the city. Right now there are people being question for real estate transactions were used to purchase building that were never used, aren’t being used now, and cannot be sold. So many of the grants turn out to be nothing but a waste. Democrats and Republicans fall for them. It’s easy money. Fill out the forms, answer the questions in the right way, and money arrives to make it look like you as a politician actually did something positive during your tenure.

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The Sunset Inn In Hebron, Ohio.

Just west of Hebron, Ohio on Route 40, The National Road, there is a great little family owned restaurant. I found this restaurant when I stopped with a friend returning home from a trip from Columbus. After being in Columbus, we thought it be nice to go somewhere a little less crowded than usual and thought that there may be a chance that there was real food here. We were right! Real food and real people. We had interrupted the beginning of their private Christmas party, but they welcomed us in to eat anyhow. 

The Sunset Inn restaurant in Hebron, Ohio.

The Sunset Inn On Route 40 west of Hebron, Ohio.

The first thing that they did was find out our names and where we were from. They were extremely friendly. The food was home-cooked and delicious. I’m not sure how I missed this place in the past. It is a little out of the way and in an unassuming building, but don’t let it fool you. This place is well worth a stop.

I’m not one for the finer details of restaurants. I simply tell it like I see it and make sure that readers know that I am not a food critic. Gardenwife.com has a much more thorough article on The Sunset Inn. She enjoyed their frog leg dinner and provides some photos. 

The Sunset Inn is a family owned operation and that makes me want to support them even more. In the hyper-competitive business of restaurants, they keep their prices very reasonable. Give them a try. 

Butcher Family Maple Products. Local And Family Owned Business

Being the first somewhat warm day in March and anxious to find something to do and found a maple syrup tour where all the major maple product producers in Ohio were offering tours. I’ve been to Dawes Arboretum before and seen their old fashioned process. It’s interesting, but I also noticed a family owned operation located between Mount Vernon and Granville called Butcher Family Maple Products.  After a nice country ride, we were greeted by members of the Butcher family and given a full tour.

Maple syrup production facility.

The maple syrup processing facility at Butcher Family Maple Products.

They were collecting syrup from every maple tree on their farm and from across the road. There is even a line running under the road to pump sap to the facility from area across the road. This photo shows the huge network of lines in the woods.

Lines connecting maple trees.

Lines connect every maple tree tap on the property.

Maple tree taps connected to bring in the sap to the facility.

Lines cross everywhere around the property and converge at a pump going to the processing facility.

 

Maple syrup evaporation equipment.

Evaporating equipment that removes the water from the sap and leaves only the syrup.

As you can see from the photo, this place is CLEAN! Before the sap reaches the evaporator there is a reverse osmosis process that removes much of the water. The remaining water is boiled off at this wood powered evaporator and goes into the white barrel. From the barrel, it goes through a filter for final output as maple syrup.

Real maple syrup products are not cheap, but I found Butcher’s prices to be lower than many that I’ve seen in stores. You can buy direct from the Butchers by purchasing online or using the contact information on their website.

Mr. Butcher is a resident of Newark, Ohio, a part-time firefighter in Alexandria, and a retired Columbus, Ohio fireman. All of the family were happy to answer questions and explain the process. The best part though was that they gave free samples and they were awesome. Try the samples and you’ll be hooked.

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