Thank you for visiting the madeiramessenger, the “new” messenger installed using Word Press technology. The publisher of this site is 52 year Madeira resident Douglas Oppenheimer. My history includes three two year terms as a member of Madeira City Council, membership in the Madeira Jaycees, and the last living member of the Madeira Historical Society from 1972, the year that the society was founded. I also became a member of St. Gertrude Catholic Church in 1970. I never lost my interest in Madeira politics, and founded the messenger website and the messenger on Facebook. The purpose of the two “news sites” is to educate and bring community news to the forefront of our community, as other news sites become fewer and fewer. Understanding what your local Madeira government is doing and at what cost is another important aspect of the messenger. Older Madeira news content has been left on what was the original Website and can be accessed with the link at the top of the home page.
August 23, 2022, How important is history? It was just three years ago when Madeira City Council members decided that the July fourth celebration should be relocated from Sellman Park to McDonalds Commons. The community 4th of July celebration and fire works had been held at Sellman for at least 60 years never with any concerns or issues, until council members made alcohol the the issue. There could have been many legitimate reasons for relocating the celebration to McDonald Commons, the city owns McDonald Commons, but shares ownership at Sellman with the school district, meaning that the city and school district share responsibilities and decisions at Sellman. The primary reason, moving to the Dawson Road Park was the ability of city officials to make a few extra bucks by selling alcoholic beverages. But next year is a challenge, it is expected that McDonald Commons will be under reconstruction and unavailable on the 4th of July.
Looked like a no brainer, move the 4th of July celebration in 2023 back to Sellman Park, but then alcohol crept back into the equation. It was suggested by Councilman Moormann that Railroad Avenue would be the ideal location, “insanity”, the city is also expected to be digging up Miami Avenue for “Traffic Calming” in 2023. Moormann’s suggestion was all about the sale of beer supporting over priced entertainment. The city agreed to hire a band costing $5,900, and the sale of beer would be needed to defray the cost of the over priced band. So, while the road is under construction, we will have the 4th of July parade marching up Miami Avenue, and council thinks that Railroad Avenue can support thousands of people celebrating the 4th, including a fire works display. Common sense says celebrate the 4th at Sellman Park. There was some good news when council decided to celebrate the 4th on July 3rd. Even this decision was not without some controversy, when Council Woman Camper, complained that celebrating on July 3rd would be an inconvenience for her and she promptly voted against July 3rd. Celebrating the 4th on July 3rd became a Madeira tradition decades ago. Current city officials should learn about Madeira traditions (History) and show more respect for our Madeira traditions.
Doris Burton Lifelong Resident of Madeira and Member of The Greatest Generation…
August 15, 2022
Lifelong Madeira resident, Doris D. (née Zimmerer) Burton, 92, passed away July 30, 2022, at SEM Haven. She was the beloved wife of the late Dallas E. Burton; devoted mother of Dawn (Steve) Kincaid, Dana (Dennis Dix) Burton, and Daryl (Greg) Lang; cherished grandmother of Sean and Travis Lang; and dear sister of Roger E. Zimmerer. Also survived by loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Funeral Services were held privately. Because Doris was a life member of the Madeira Historical Society and was recently cared for by Hospice of Cincinnati, family suggests memorial contributions be sent to one of these organizations in lieu of flowers.
Her father Ed was a civil engineer who worked for Hamilton County. Her mother Julia was a “flapper” according to Doris. Julia was then a stay-at-home mom who worked at a five and dime store in Madeira. Julia was very artistic and won many awards for creative Halloween costumes and made her own clothing. She also loved tending her floral garden and shrubbery and red raspberries. Doris has a brother, Roger, formerly a chemist for Procter & Gamble. Doris graduated from Madeira High School in 1947.
She married Dallas Burton in 1950. He was in the Navy during WW II, serving aboard the aircraft carrier San Jacinto, in the South Pacific theatre. After the war he and his brothers helped their father with day-to-day operation of Burton’s Gulf Station at Columbia Parkway and Stanley Avenue in Cincinnati. Doris and Dallas had three daughters. The eldest, Dawn, married Steve, Dana married Dennis, and the youngest Daryl married Greg. Daryl and Greg have two sons, Sean and Travis.
Doris worked as a “Soda Jerk” at Braun’s Pharmacy in Madeira part-time while in high school. After graduation, she went to work for Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company. When she got married the phone company let her go because at that time, they would not allow married women to work for them.
As a child, Doris loved to draw and her mother encouraged studies at the Cincinnati Art Academy, later taking classes at the art museum, using live models. Her artwork became recognized for expressive faces. Later she moved onto landscapes and still life acrylics. She won a Blue Ribbon at the Madeira Art Fair. She also enjoyed working in watercolors and captured her extensive blooming orchid and bromeliad collections on paper. She enjoyed sketching and painting en plein air. Many paintings were done of the natural surroundings in southern Florida winters which were so different from home.
In the 70’s, she collaborated with Marion Rombauer Becker who wrote the “Joy of Cooking”, making beautiful sketches in pencil and pen for an unpublished book on flower arranging. Mrs. Becker passed before the book was completed.
Doris was a self- taught ceramicist, using terra-cotta, stoneware, and porcelain. She worked for a time with Wiebold Studios, restoring artwork. She created wind chimes, ornaments, and jewelry which she sold at craft shows, the Cincinnati Nature Center, Cincinnati Zoo, and museum shops in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
She was self-taught in natural sciences. Dallas shared in hobbies such as amateur archaeology and paleontology. She was a member of Madeira Historical Society, Archaeological Society of Ohio, Dry Dredgers, and Cincinnati Nature Center. In the 80’s, she taught kids classes at the Natural History Museum. She taught them about dinosaurs, fossils, trees and local wildlife.
After high school Doris joined the ladies volleyball group her mother was a member of. They both attended weekly “gym class” for many years. It was pure fun. Dallas and Doris followed the Reds. Dallas serviced Johnny Bench’s Ford Bronco and she and Dallas became good friends of the Bench family.
Vacation travels were always learning experiences since she seldom strayed far from home. A western road trip for the newlyweds provided Dallas an opportunity to repair their car on Pike’s Peak! Family vacations included camping at Lake Barkley and the Wisconsin Dells. For their 50th wedding anniversary, they traveled west again, this time to the Four Corners region which was memorable too, fortunately not including any car repairs.
After Dallas passed away, she joined the Dry Dredgers, a group of amateur paleontologists (AKA fossil hunters!) This group was a perfect fit for Doris who loved the people and the old rocks. She attended many of their field trips and climbed road cuts searching for fossils alongside much younger members.
Doris always called Madeira home, even though her last few years were spent in Milford. She yearned to go home to the Burton family home on Camargo Road. She was a life member of the Madeira Historical Society and was a living encyclopedia on life in Madeira. Her dear friend Cleo Hosbrook, also a lifelong resident, passed along some artifacts and history of an even younger Madeira.
Doris was “working off” her cookie calories by taking care of her property, mowing and weeding, raking fall leaves, creating perennial rock gardens, shoveling or sweeping away snow from her steps, driveway, and at bird feeding stations.
She loved watching the birds. Squirrels amused her and she wasn’t happy when a squirrel or flock of starlings gobbled up the birdseed. Dallas would remind her that “they’ve got to eat too.” Her naturalized backyard was an oasis for wildlife in the heart of Madeira. She’d have water and food for the birds and tolerated the deer and other critters that nibbled.
Doris will be remembered as an energetic woman, an athlete in high school, and always staying active. She was known to spike the beach ball in chair volleyball at SEM. Her family offered to mow the uphill backyard for her or to shovel the snow. She usually declined, saying she just enjoyed the exercise.
Madeira Park History
Lets begin with the history of land purchased back in 1975 and the vision Madeira Council members had, I was the youngest member of that council serving my second two year term. In 1975 Madeira only had one public park in Madeira, Sellman. Sellman Park was the hub of recreation including one fully lighted Baseball field, Tennis Courts, a Shelter House with storage space, a playground, restrooms and a drinking fountain. Situated further back was a woods, and a creek that children could play in. But the community was changing, soccer was a newer sport, and the needs for additional fields was increasing. Sellman also was where we celebrated various times like the fourth of July, watched fireworks, and reserved the shelter house for family and other purposes. During my first term as a member of council and continuing on in the second term, we began the acquisition of properties on Dawson Road, that would become McDonalds Commons. The area chosen for a new park was between Dawson Road and stretched all the way to Camargo Road. I learned that much of the land was owned by Black Families and that the families were in the trash collection business. In fact nearly all of their property served as a trash dump and a landfill. I did not know anything specific about what might have been put in their landfill or about the history of the dump. One Black family whose property would be bought by the city was the Spaulding Family. Plans were developed for a new park while I still served on council, I served a third term that included 1977 thru 1979. The original plans for the new park included an open creek that was already in place, football, soccer, two baseball fields and tennis courts. The original park drawing is posted below. June 10, 2022
Madeira Park on Dawson Road Concerns…
There have been some concerns regarding the safety of our park that included an EPA Lawsuit and long term monitoring of the water table beneath the park surface. Current soil reports and historical soil reports should be reviewed, prior to spending 14-16 million dollars. More about this later. June 10, 2022
Beginning last year Madeira Council members began planning for redeveloping McDonald Commons Park located on Dawson Road. They hired The Kleingers Group to provide much of the planning, engineering, and design, and the Prus Company as Project Managers. Council has revised several plan Renderings, and the current plan is posted following this paragraph. The estimated redevelopment cost was 10 million, but that has changed upwards of 17 million following more accurate cost estimates being reviewed. The City has already sold construction bonds totaling the 10 million dollars. See the following rendering attached and the current cost estimates. Council members have been concerned about the increased cost of this project, 50% or more over the expected project cost. One question asked is why is artificial turf costing two and a half million still in the proposal. A survey of neighboring communities, found that no other community has artificial turf, all are using real grass. The communities surveyed included Milford, Montgomery, Loveland, and Sycamore Township. There has not been an explanation for spending this amount of money for artificial turf and in fact it gets worse because council members have stated that they are preparing in ten years from now Madeira will replace the turf in the redevelopment plan. The proposed turf is the least expensive but the replacement turf ten years from now would be the highest quality turf. So it seems that possibly there are other reasons for artificial turf, is there something wrong with the existing soil / turf that requires that it needs to be covered? June 10, 2022
Budget Update, McDonald Commons..
June 10, 2022,Council members continue looking for areas in the budget where cost can be reduced. Artificial turf appears to be untouchable with no explanation provided. June 10, 2022.
September 12, 2022, As of this date the artificial turf has been reduced by half and the total park redevelopment cost has been capped at $12 million 600 thousand. Council has met with all of the persons responsible for the various sports activities including Soccer, Baseball, Football, Tennis, Basketball, Pickleball and Lacrosse. There will be times when the new fields will be very crowded. and space will be scarce.
Photos below were taken on October 24, 2022. This area in the redeveloped park will include the new parking area, the tennis courts, the Pickleball Courts, the new playground, the relocated veterans memorial and the new park entrance. The existing creek will be buried after installation of a large capacity pipe.