Community Voices Articles

The Community Voices component of Environmental Dashboard is designed to celebrate and promote thought and action that build stronger, more sustainable and more resilient communities. Community members representing the diversity of this community are being interviewed to share their perspectives. Click below to view recent interviews or search by subject name, interviewer or any keyword or topic to view associated stories. Many of the quotes used for Community Voices slides are taken from these interviews.


Sal Talarico

Mr. Sal Talarico is the Finance Director for the City of Oberlin and manages the city’s finance department. He has served the City of Oberlin for 15 years, and a total of 20 years in the public sector. The finance department is responsible for financial reporting, liability, property and health insurances, utility billing, revenue collections, accounts payable, payroll, treasury and investment management, income tax collections and administration, and debt management.

Mark Fahringer

Mark Fahringer is a Coordinator at The Salvation Army Oberlin Service Unit. He also has volunteered as a Board Member and Board Chair for the Catholic Action Commission of Lorain County. In March 2009, he was awarded the Bishop A.J. Quinn Peace and Justice Award for efforts in immigration reform.

Krista Long

Krista Long is the owner of the Ben Franklin in town and was born and raised in Oberlin. She has worked as a bookseller for most of her life before becoming the Ben Franklin owner. She brought an interest in used selling used books to the store, which now includes Mindfair Books.

Alan Mitchell

Alan Mitchell is Oberlin Community Services’ Food Coordinator and an active Oberlin resident, exemplary in his care for others. Alan grew up in Oberlin and after being away for a decade, during which time he attended college and serving in the Navy, he returned to raise his family in an environment he feels can teach his kids essential values.

Jerry Anderson

Jerry Anderson Interview by: Jack Poyle Jerry Anderson is the owner of Watson’s Hardware, located at 26 South Main Street in Oberlin. He believes in making full use of available materials. Q: What word or image would you use to describe Oberlin? A: Coming from your point of view, zero carbon. I don’t know of any town that is trying […]

Carol Lasser

Carol Lasser Interview by: Evan Holiday Carol Lasser is a Professor of History at Oberlin College and has lived and worked in Oberlin for 36 years. She has a long history with the Ben Franklin and the owner, Krista Long, and serves as a member of the board of the Bill Long Foundation. Q: What are some words or images […]

Gregory Jones

Gregory Jones is Oberlin’s Energy Advocate, part of POWER’s initiative to help homeowners improve their energy efficiency. In his free time, Greg enjoys fishing and is a self-proclaimed ‘sports nut.’ Cleveland teams, all the way.

Alison Ricker

Alison Ricker is a Science Librarian at Oberlin College. She has held this position for thirty-one years. She has also collaborated with other science librarians in Ohio to present a poster at the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting, on digitization projects in the sciences among the Five Colleges of Ohio.

Charles Horton

Charles Horton Interview by: Brooke Ortel Mr. Charles Horton, Oberlin resident and entrepreneur, is the proprietor of Custom Cleaning Services located in the Industrial Parkway. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Horton came to Oberlin more than 30 years ago “with the intent of starting a business.” Q: What words or images would you use to describe Oberlin? A: Nice, small, […]