Saturday, September 3, 2011


The expression "fight[ing] like a girl" used to be exclusively as an insult.  Men have used it among themselves to describe other men whom the utterer of the phrase wanted put down as being weak.

One of the biggest changes in the American political landscape has been the power demonstrated by American women as they have increasingly taken on leadership in fighting for the causes of political, economic and social justice.

Names of extraordinarily courageous and effective women who dot the ongoing march of women in the annals of American history into a role of powerful leadership include National Women's Hall of Fame inductees Bella Abzug, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jeannette Rankin, Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Susan Kelly-Dreiss from among 236 of such inductees.

While she may not make it into the National Women's Hall of Fame, Stark County's Christine  "Chris" Borello carries on the fight of contemporary and archival American women for the causes they have and continue to believe in.

Chris's fight is for the health, safety and well-being of Stark Countians.  Moreover, though, her work spills out to benefit people across the nation.

Whether or not one agrees with Borello's position on issues she takes on, a fair minded person absolutely has to admire her grit, guts and determination which translates into "never giving up!"

Because of the work of the 236 women in the National Women's Hall of Fame and countless other anonymous American women who fight, fight, fight for the causes they believe in on a day-in, day-out basis, the SCPR believes the expression of "fight like a girl" has taken on new meaning in modern parlance and is submerging the sexist expression of macho men.

Yours truly has known Chris Borello for about 30 years.  In fact, we have children who attended school together in the Lake school system.

She now lives in Plain Township, but she has been (since the early 1980s) been battling to get a complete cleanup of the Uniontown Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) located in Lake Township.  IEL is a dump which was - in the main - used by Akron-based rubber companies to dump toxic industrial waste in a former Uniontown quarry.

Of late, she has taken up - in addition to her continuing IEL fight - the cause of anti-fracking.
Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Vertical hydrofracking is used to extend the life of an existing well once its productivity starts to run out, sort of a last resort. Horizontal fracking differs in that it uses a mixture of 596 chemicals, many of them proprietary, and millions of gallons of water per frack. This water then becomes contaminated and must be cleaned and disposed of.

In an exchange with local self-described super attorney William G. Williams of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A. so quintessentially shows the fire of Chris Borello:

One of Borello's chief frustrations has to be dealing with politicians.

There is not one Stark County politician who Borello thinks might help her in her quest to make the Stark County environment safe for all of us who has not been lobbied by her to join her cause.

The closest that she ever got (in the opinion of the SCPR) to getting a politician to go all out in joining her in the fight to clean up IEL was Robert Horowitz (deceased November 14, 2003) who served as Stark County prosecutor from 1985 through 2003.

Bob did a lot of sincere, effective work to help Chris, but in the end he seemed to have yielded to political pressure to back off.

Yours truly has always told Borello that her drive to prove on the "merits of the case" her cause, while admirable, will not get the job done for her.  The Report believes that the solutions come from the political realm.

But there is one major problem with politicians.

They have to get elected and if they think that an issue will cause them a problem getting elected (or, re-elected, as the case may be), they scatter to the four winds and abandon what appeared to be a commitment "in a heartbeat."

A notable Stark County politician who seemingly has embraced whole-heartedly the fight to ban horizontal hydraulic fracking is Demcrat Plain Township Trustee Louis Giavasis.  Another stalwart appears to be Democratic Canton Councilwoman Mary Cirelli.

In December, 2010 Giavasis caused quite a stir among the oil and gas interests in Stark County (most notably Attorney William G. Williams - a Republican), when he proposed a ban of such fracking in Plain Township.

Williams responded with what many believe to be a letter designed (followed up later onwith a second letter) to intimidate Giavasis.  However, as politicians go, Giavasis so far is proving steadfast in his commitment to fight fracking in Plain and has moreover tried to get other Stark County political jurisdictions to follow his lead.  One such entity has been North Canton City Council through Republican Councilman Jeff Davies (Ward 3).

Giavasis has been successful in getting fellow Democratic Plain Township Al Leno to join him on passing resolutions to ask Ohio to place a moratorium on fracking and banning fracking on and under township park lands, and other township owned land as well has under township roadways.  Republican Trustee Scott Haws has refused to support the Giavasis effort.

Chris Borello and a bevy of northeast Ohio environmentalist have been at his side each step of the way.

But, like so many politicians before him, Davies appears to be bailing out - at least until he gets re-elected.  Witness this e-mail between Davies and Giavasis:

A former North Canton politician tells the SCPR that he thinks there is a good chance that Davies will lose his 3rd Ward seat on November 8th.

Other Stark politicians who have shown some interest in joining the anti-fracking fight include Alliance Councilman Steve Okey (Democrat running for mayor of Alliance) and Councilman Tony Townsend of Massillon (a Democrat).  However, lame duck Massillon Mayor Frank Cicchinelli (Democrat) may be the foremost example of a Stark politician who favors fracking.  He is trying to negate the Townsend -led effort by suggesting that a council anti-fracking stance may cost Massillon about 500 new oil and gas industry jobs.

Also a word about Canton City Council President Allen Schulman (a Democrat).  Initially, he seemed to be on board with Giavasis and Cirelli, but his stance seems to have changed.  Wonder what has ben behind that?

Giavasis' most important ally in the judgment of the SCPR is Borello.

Most of her work is done "behind the scenes" as she constantly reminds yours truly that her causes are not about her, BUT ABOUT THE CAUSE.

Undoubtedly, between IEL and the anti-fracking issues, Borello is used to politicians like Davies who very typically "goes a runnin" when the political heat gets applied.

The Report thinks that Giavasis will stick with Borello through "thick and thin," but who knows.

One thing about Chris Borello, she is part and parcel of giving new meaning to "fighting like a girl" and one can be sure that:


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