Some letters-to-the-editor by George Bliss
NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-27-04, By JENNIFER HICKIN, Morning Journal Writer
``Speaking up with Avon's George Bliss
AVON -- Speaking up for what he believes in comes naturally to George Bliss.
Whether it's writing a letter to the editor or voicing his opinion at a city council meeting, the 79-year-old Avon resident tries to be an active participant in shaping his community.
''When there's things going on I like to be involved,'' said Bliss, a retired mechanical engineer.
Over the years, Bliss has spoken out on a variety of issues including separation of church and state, gay rights and the importance of smoke-free environments.
He believes in the separation of church and state, thinks homosexuality is genetically predisposed and likes smoke-free environments.
When Bliss had a letter to the editor he wrote published in a local newspaper, U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, took notice and sent Bliss a note encouraging him to continue voicing his opinion.
And that is just what he has done.
When Avon city officials proposed a new Interstate 90 interchange near his Detroit Road property not long ago, Bliss attended City Council meetings to express his concerns and suggest improvements be made to existing roadways. And now that the city has hired an outside company to look at the interchange idea, Bliss joined the company's local stakeholder's committee.
As part of the committee made up of Avon residents, business leaders and others that could be impacted by a new interchange, the group is working to determine all the possible locations for building an interchange within the city while also considering the option of not building one ...
In 1903, Bliss's grandfather bought 94 acres of land on Detroit Road, a road paved with sand at the time, that he turned into a farm where he grew produce and grain, Bliss said. The farm also had horses and three or four chicken houses.
There are about 17 acres of land on the south side of Detroit Road where Bliss's home is now located and the remaining land is on the north side of the road, according to Bliss.
By the time Bliss was born in 1924, his grandfather had stopped working on the farm for the most part with Bliss's dad, an only child, doing the farming.
''We helped some,'' Bliss said about growing up on the farm with his brothers. ''We didn't have rigorous farm chores like some of the kids in Avon.''
Growing up in Avon, Bliss said he can remember when the city was made up of approximately 2,500 people and the pranks people played on others included tipping over outhouses.
''I remember when someone took a buggy and put it on top of City Hall,'' Bliss said.
When Bliss married for the second time in 1962, he and his bride, Liane, and his son and her daughter lived in Lakewood until 1979, before moving back to the land he grew up on.
''I always figured I'd end up on the farm,'' said Bliss, who points out that he has never actively farmed the land that was left to him by his father. In 1983, when Bliss's father died at the age of 89, the 94 acres of land were divided up among Bliss and his two brothers.
''I don't mean to make it sound like I'm married to the land,'' he said.
Although Bliss has never made a career out of farming, he does grow pumpkins and cornstalks in three different plots of land each year.
''I'm not into this big,'' said Bliss, walking around his property recently, pointing out a small plot of land where his wife and a friend garden. ''I'm just kind of playing around.''
Looking to the future, Bliss jokingly said he will have to live to be 120 years old to finish half of the items he has on his ''to do'' list, a list that includes one day hopefully passing down his property to his children.''
LETTER to the Editor of THE PRESS, 12-15-99, By George Bliss
"I can somewhat sympathize with those folks on Walker Road in Bay Village. It must have appeared to be a quiet residential street for a number of previous years. However, no matter how you doctor up a ridiculously low speed limit, the fact remains that it is a main artery in and out of Avon Lake.
The only factual thing I can suggest is doing everything we all can to push for connecting Chester Road (a.k.a..Just Imagine Drive) past Manco to Clemens Road in Westlake. Admittedly, it will probably only help Walker Road a little, but I can see great benefits for the rest of us in both Avon and Avon Lake.
The part of your Bay/Walker Road committee that can see the futility of letting Jacobs put in his interchange at Lear Nagle and I-90 are right on target. He will automatically get commercial zoning in an area which should stay industrial. Commercial zoning and other development of 500 acres or more will literally destroy all that we all love about Avon and Avon Lake east of SR 83, including Bay Village ..."
George Bliss, Avon
LETTER TO THE EDITOR of The Press, 6-11-03, By George Bliss
``How can we even think of an interchange east of Nagel Road or even at Nagel Road without having an east/west access into Cuyahoga County? It does not make any sense to have Detroit Road/Nagel Road as the only access to this proprosed interchange. It will also increase Westlake's Detroit Road traffic in the developing Bradley Road area.
However, making a connection from Chester Road [Just Imagine] to Clemens Road could alleviate the need for this interchange for years to come ...''
George O. Bliss, Avon
LETTER TO THE EDITOR of The Press, 4-14-04, by George O. Bliss
``First of all, it seems fairly obvious that if Chester Road/Just Imagine Drive were extended a few more feet to Clemens Road, a new interchange would not be necessary for years to come ...
It is even my understanding that Westlake applied for and won ownership of the county road (Avon Road) from the Cuyahoga County Commissioners so the city administration can close it at will! Admittedly, Crocker north appears to suffer some overload at present, however, realize that it is still all single lane in each direction, and in most cases not even one turning lane!
At present, no serious effort has been made by the city of Westlake to alleviate any of the Detroit Road traffic by providing alternate passage into Westlake by a connection to a widened Clemens Road with adequate turning lanes, [ connecting Clemens to Chester Road (Just Imagine Drive) ]. which by the way, impacts zero houses in Westlake. Also, the cities of Westlake and Avon could cooperate to soften the sharp jog on Schwartz Road at the county line.
Now if all of the above suggestions are ignored, and the city, county and state powers that be still want to spend taxpayers' dollars on an unnecessary interchange between two existing interchanges five miles apart, some neighbors and I feel that the ideal location has to be at the county line. This location will provide access toward the west for Bay Village and northwest Westlake as well as for those going east from Avon and Avon Lake ...
Very truly yours, George O. Bliss Avon, OH