Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New type of Ohio Criminals

Smoking in Ohio
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006

I am sitting in the bar smoking my cigar which I purchased online to avoid sales taxes. I am being asked by the smoking police for I.D. because I am sitting in an unauthorized smoking area.
"Damn, I left my wallet and I.D. at home!" "Really", I plead!"
Assume the Position" I am told.Oh crap I thougt as I realized I had stuffed the bottle of Sudafed in my pocket before leaving. Surely they will find it.
"My damn hayfever was acting up and I needed relief". "Really," I plead!"
Do you have a reciept for that cigar?".
"Yes I do. But it's a stored file on my computer. You see, I bought this from some vendor online." "Really," I plead!"

Unit 69 to Headquarters...We have a real hot one we are bringing in.This guy is a major threat to our health, cannot prove who he is, a drug addict, a tax evader, and quite possibly a terrorist."

I wonder if they allow smoking in prision?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Toledo Zoo Polar Bear population doubles

The Toledo Zoo's Polar Bears deliver three cubs. From the Zoo's Press release...

Toledo, OH—They say great things happen in threes, and The Toledo Zoo can attest to that as they celebrate the birth of three polar bear cubs! 11-year-old Nan gave birth to a cub on November 22, followed closely by 8-year-old Crystal, who gave birth to two cubs on November 25. Both mothers are nursing their cubs and demonstrating good maternal behaviors, and Zoo officials have good reason to be cautiously optimistic about the future well-being of the cubs.

Crystals Cubs...........................Nans Cub

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Day

Boy how thing have changed since I was a kid. No longer can I cherish that smell of the Turkey cooking in the oven or the sweet aroma of Pumpkin pie cooling on the stove. Football games are a hit/miss sequence hoping to catch a play or two in-between being interupted with conversation about politics or stepping outside to have a smoke. Missing is the tradition of dining room table all set with linen table cover and using the good china. Now it more like a buffet on the counter, grab a plate and find a seat where you may.
Now don't get me wrong. I still enjoyed a feast of all your tradditional Thanksgiving staples like Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Cranberries,and sweets galore. I am very thankfull and apprecitive of all the effort and hospitality of hosting this annual event by my Brother and Sister-in-law. A lot of energy and hard work were expended in the preperation of this feast; but still, I miss the "Good Old Days"
I am reminded of this poem:

The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
(Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)

It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-day
We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of "Hello, daddy!" as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we'd gone through;
We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly--
It seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye.
Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true.

Monday, September 04, 2006

'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin dead

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Steve Irwin, the enthusiastic "Crocodile Hunter" who enthralled audiences around the world with his wildlife adventures, died Monday after being stung by a stingray while shooting a TV program off Australia's north coast.

Read full article at CNN

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A few malicious union members at The Blade

Apparently, things are heating up in The Blade's newsroom as the union feels the pressure.

On Friday, August 25th Blade worker Paul Hem, a systems analyst, posted a notice informing other employees in the newsroom and prepress area that Blade employees had a choice whether or not to be unionized. Minutes later, his notices were ripped down by a union member. Mr. Hem claims that while he did not personally observe the activity, people who requested anonymity informed him of the details of the offense. Mr. Hem also claims that he knows who the person(s) was(were), but hopes that they will "come to their senses" and allow employees a choice as to whether or not they wish to be represented by a union.

Let's see what heppens next.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Unseen Visitor

I recently returned from a trip to Gatlinburg and the Great Smokey Mountains. I was on vacation while the Great Flood of 2006 occured in Toledo. Imagine my suprise when I returned to find that I had to extend my vacation to clean up a wet basement! Anyhow...that's another story being throughly debated on all the other blogs.
While in the Smokey's I never seen a Black bear even though I went hiking one night with flashlight in hand hoping to run across one. Just to prove their existence, an unseen visitor left this souvenier on the bumper of my van which I discovered as I was packing up to leave.

I'm Baaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!

Events in my life required that I take a reprieve from blogging for the past few month. Boy...I missed alot! So many things have transpired since my last post that it has taken the better part of a week just to catch up on all the postings on Toledo Talk and the other local blogs including Lisa Renee's, History Mike's and Progressive Toledo.

I promise I have much to say and will be back to posting regularly. But right now I am steaming in the heat and plan on going swimmimg. So please check back for my next post.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

President Bush says the English language is an important part of the American identity.

"I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English,"

While I never claim to be an expert on the English language, I found it quite amusing that President Bush was lecturing people on learning how to speak it. Highlighted by his quote above, maybe he should adhere to his own advice and enroll in a remedial English course. Below are five examples of his mispronunciations of the English language. How many more can you come up with?

5 Mispronunciations by President Bush
President Bush's pronunciation................Correct Pronunciation
1. a-MERR-ca..............................................a-MER-i-ca (America)
2. NEW-cue-ler...........................................NEW-clee-er (nuclear)
3. JU-ler-ee.................................................JU-wel-ree (jewelry)
4. Anzar.....................................................Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
5. Ne-VAH-duh...........................................Ne-VAE-duh) (Nevada)

Friday, April 21, 2006

FLASH!!! Toledo Blade loses Pulitzer due to inside job.

According to the story a person INSIDE the newsroom sent a letter to the Pulitzer committee!

The letter claimed that Blade editors "covered up" details of Noe's coingate over a year before they published! Bill Frogameni would be proud! Or was he involved? Perhaps the outside security firm that The Blade hired will find that he was!

Way to go union! Shoot yourselves in the foot!

What a coincidence that labor negotiations are going badly at the same time!

Unions will kill themselves off by destroying their own employers.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Slick and Slack on Podcasting

I know a few Bloggers who are experimenting into the frey of Podcasting. With that in mind I offer this light hearted look at podcasting through the eyes of Michael Swaine at Dr. Dobb's Journal

Slick: Welcome to Yet Another Program — or YAP, as we like to call it, from Slick, that’s me, the charming one, and my grumpy partner, Slack–
Slack: that would be me
Slick: Well at least you admit it. Our topic for today is Apple’s sweet move to support podcasting in a major way in iTunes.
Slack: And I just want to say thanks, Apple. Thanks for once again empowering The Rest Of Us. Or as I prefer to put it, for arming nutcases.
Slick: Wow. Not pulling any punches, eh Slack?
Slack: Thank about it: There are probably a million L. Ron Hubbards out there –
Slick: Now that’s a sobering thought…
Slack: And each one has a 500-page Dianetics inside him
Slick: And what a great place to keep it
Slack: Slick, the only thing keeping those manifestos inside those egotists is the effort of typing. And now Apple has removed that barrier.
Slick: Well it’s not just Apple. Apple didn’t invent podcasting. Although I have to say, the iTMS implementation is now the game to beat.
Slack: Slick, I’m old enough to remember the early days of the Desktop Publishing Revolution.
Slick: For our younger readers, that would be the mid-1980s, right after the invention of paper.
Slack: Right, when term papers started looking like magazine ads and business letters started looking like ransom notes.
Slick: Let me cut to the chase, because I think I get where you ‘re going with this. You fear the unleashing of a million podcasters, all with the egos of Matt Drudge but lacking his typing skills.
Slack: Like I used to fear cooties…
Slick; Fear not, querulous one. I have a different take on the phenomenon. Podcasting is just radio. Get it? It’s Radio Done Right.
Slack: I don’t listen to radio.
Slick: What do you mean you don’t listen to radio?
Slack: I can’t help it. It’s a poor medium for transmitting information.
Slick: But what about music, entertainment, humor?
Slack: Oh, that’s good. Radio is good for those things. Just not news or opinion.
Slick: And didn’t you tell me you wake up to the BBC?
Slack: Yes, but…
Slick: There you go. Talk radio.
Slack: But only because I can’t understand what they’re saying at 5:00 am with those british accents. I just hear soothing noises, like geese in the fog. It’s pleasant to wake up to.
Slick: The idea of waking up at 5:00 am is making my head hurt.
Slack: Here is what I think sound is good for: music and entertainment and alarms. But text is a much better medium for news and opinions. It’s efficient, you can search it and index it and edit it…
Slick: You’re not listening in the right spirit. The people who listen to talk radio are basically using it as an alarm. Whole radio programs that are built on that premise, that everything the host thinks is the information equivalent of a burglar alarm. That’s why the jocks shout. It’s like Paul Revere: the British are coming. Only today, it’s the treasonous liberals are coming, or the fascist wingnuts.
Slack: Yes, and I hate that. I think America should turn down the volume.
Slick: Let me give you another analogy. Podcasting is like TiVo for audio. Radio when you want it. You use TiVo, right?
Slack: No, I don’t like TV enough to worry about what I missed. Besides, that’s why God created reruns.
Slick: Well if you’re so down on podcasting, then I guess you wouldn’t be interested in this. But you know, what’s slipped below the radar on this announcement is that Apple has become a content provider.
Slack: You’re heading somewhere with this, I just know it.
Slick: Well Apple’s 3000 podcast feeds have an interesting slant. Lots of NPR and ABC News, and nothing remotely like Rush Limbaugh.
Slack: ABC News? Are you serious? Cripes. With a liberal bias like that, they’re going to have the FCC at the door.
Slick: Hannity and O’Reilly on their case.
Slack: Black Helicopters over One Infinite Loop.
Slick: And on top of that, the Beatles will probably sue them again.
Slack: Oh Apple, what have you done?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How much does Toledo love its zoo?

Following is a letter I wrote to the Toledo FreePress in response to the above linked article:

I will absolutely vote for both levies. It appears the Zoo is on the right track to correcting the misfortunes be felled last year and it would be unfortunate if the citizens of this community let one of our treasured icons follow a path to failure.

I believe the zoo has made real progress towards correcting many of the issues brought about by last years controversies and to continue to hold those same issues against the zoo because of personal grudges or misinformation would be a real shame. For a group like Citizen's for a Responsible Toledo Zoo to question the Zoo's sincerity and advancements in correcting these issues by way of their February 11 press release shows to which extent they will go to complete their attempted coup d'├ętat of Zoo operations. For Debra Reichard Klein, the sister of Dr. Tim Reichard, who was fired in February as the zoo's chief veterinarian to be named as the spokesman of Citizens for a Responsible Zoo only goes to solidify my suspicions that this groups actions are more of a personal nature than actually looking out for the welfare of the citizens of Lucas County.

The citizens of Lucas County should look beyond the fact these levies will support the Zoo and also realize that they are an "investment" in their own community. A rate of return that generates $6.50 in LOCAL economic activity for each dollar that is received in levy funds is reason enough to vote YES.

For anyone to suggest that they should seek Corporate Sponsors for support (in belief that this does not happen already) are purely basing their theory on lack of-or misinformation to the facts. The ZOO is always soliciting Corporate Sponsors in addition to any levy request as evidence by their programs such as Pumpkin Path, Music Under The Stars and Lights Before Christmas to name a few.

The idea that COSI be incorporated into the ZOO is an idea with no merit. Where exactly could COSI be located at the Zoo? In the Museum of Science? I guess the Zoo (err....COSI) could build a new museum on land the Zoo owns on the River Side of Broadway, but the cost of acquisition and the cost of construction would not be financially feasible. If thinking that the Zoo could incorporate COSI into their institution, why would they want to do that? Why diminish the reputation of a long held locally established icon like the ZOO by bringing in a quasi franchised institution like the COSI? I equate that to attaching a McDonalds Drive-thru window to the side of Tony Packos.

"I Love My ZOO" and as with anything I love I am very protective of it. That is why I have and always will continue to Support the Zoo in their efforts in keeping it a 1st rate institution; not only locally but nationally recognized as well

Monday, March 20, 2006

Toledo Speaks Out Profiles

In response to Lisa Renee's challange at Glass City Jungle, TSO has finally got the Toledo Profiles page up and running. This new page will showcase business, organization or person who makes the city what it is. I will focus on small businesses and regular people. Those whom you may never have heard of but who play a vital role in establishing the Toledo Culture for what it is today.

My first installment profiles the two restaraunts owned by local restraunteers Mustafa and Candi Ilgin. The Glendale Garden Cafe and Reynold Garden Cafe are establshments which I frequent often and were a natural fit to kick off this new feature of Toledo Speaks Out.

I look forward to offering you new profiles every week or so. If any one has suggestions of who you would like to see profiled, please feel free to send me an email with "Toledo Profiles" in the subject line.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Konop paying students to aid campaign effort

As a visiting professor at the University of Toledo's law school, I wonder if there may be some conflict of interest by Mr. Konop in recruiting college students from the University of Toledo's College Democrats?

Are these College Democrats being recruited enrolled in law courses that Mr. Konop is teaching at the university? Are there non-democrat students (or even democrat students who do not support Ben Konop) enrolled in his courses as well? If so, is impartial and objective grading occurring or are students who may take a different view point then that of Mr. Konop receiving a lesser grade?

Before everyone goes off on me, I am not suggesting that Mr. Konop is intentionally or with malice skewing grades, merely pointing out that there may be a perception of conflict of interest. For instance, any college professor who is able to persuade a student to support his ideas may percieve that support as a demostration (to a degree) that they understand his beliefs and therefore have learned from his professes. There may then be a subconscious inclination on the part of the professor to grade these students based on those understandings . Conversely, a student who fails to jump on the professors bandwagon may reflect in the mind of the professor a misunderstanding or non-comprehension of his teachings and therefore results in a lesser grade, warranted or not.

I can imagine a "C" student thinking that he can bump his grade to a "B" just by showing support for their teacher in a political campaign and get $8.00 an hour to boot. Party Money!

It is not my intention in this posting to question Mr. Konops qualifications for a seat on the LCC. I have read some of his positions and even agree with some of them to an extent. Nor am I questioning the rights of a candidate to pay canvassers for campaign expenses they may accumulate; I am questioning the pool of recruits any College Professor who is running for public office may pull from. In this case I do not think it appropraite to solicite canvassers from a student body which may be enrolled in one of his classes.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Feds probe union led by councilman

Another scandal of corruption appears to be surfacing in Toledo politics. This time involving Toledo City Councilman and LCC candidate Phil Copeland. According to the Blade article, the Fed's are looking into allegations that Local 500 has allocated monies to their members including Phil Copeland for use in entertainment venues such as Strip Clubs and rafting trips. Also under investigation are large distributions of cash to Mr. Copeland for what he refers to as "deferred salary".

Before I jump to conclusions and determine that Mr. Copeland is guilty until proven innocent, some of his statements appear to be conflicting and smell of misdeeds and underhandedness of Union funds which he controlled as Secretary-Treasurer of the union.

It is mentioned that he "did not take member-approved raises when "work was down" from November, 2002, to July, 2004". This gives the appearance that he declined raises to salary due to a work shortage which was effecting Union revenues generated by dues owed by their members. I wonder if Mr. Copeland was up for re-election to Local 500 in 2002 and whether he fully disclosed to the members that his refusal of a raise was merely a deferral, not an out-right rejection of salary increase.

Laborers’ International Union of North America Local No. 500 stated his annual salary of 2004 at $113,675, a 69 percent increase from 2000. It would be interesting to discover what his declared salaries for 2002 thru 2004 were and whether his W-2 statements from the Union for 2002-2004 reflected no increase for those three years? Anything else would suggest that he misled his union constituents in declaring that he was rejecting a salary increase. Also, did he declare the "large payment" referred to as a salary deferment to his 2005 taxes or file an amended tax return for 2002-2004?

Then comes the question of his settlement of a $62,000 in unpaid state and federal tax bills linked to a failed business venture. I wonder if any Union monies were used for either the settlement or invested in the failed venture.

A lot of questions need to be answered and I guess we will have to wait until the investigation is completed before any conclusions can be made. However, with suspicion in the air, one has to wonder if this is the type of fiscal responsibility Mr. Copeland would bring to the Lucas County commissioners. I hope we have a clearer picture of incident before we take to the voting booth on May 2nd.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

TAGGED by LISA...I'm IT. Geeeeez.

Lisa Renee over at liberalcommonsense has tagged me in the game of BloggerTag. So without further ado, here are my responses...

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18 and find line 4.
A dedicated server is one that functions only as a server and not as a workstation or client
2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, what do you find?
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Jimmy Kimmel Live
4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
12:10 p.m.
5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
12:20 p.m.
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Birds and a Train whistle
7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
This morning to retrieve the newspaper. I don't know why
8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
Toldeo Talk
9. What are you wearing?
Jeans and a thermal t-shirt
10. Did you dream last night?
Ummmm... Let me think. If I did it wasn't all that good since I can't remember.
11. When did you last laugh?
Last night watching Jimmy Kimmel Live
12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Nothing. I am a minamalist.
13. Seen anything weird lately?
UGLY KIDS billboard
14. What do you think of this quiz?
Easier than my Algerbra quiz in HS.
15. What is the last film you saw?
War of the World on DVD. I don't get out much.
16. If you turned into a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
A ticket to ride on Starship One. I would love to travel to space
17. Tell me something about you that I don't know.
I almost got married once
18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt and politics, what would you do?
Eliminate the need to work.
19. Do you like to Dance?
Depends on how much I drink
20. George Bush.
Extrodinarily.... ( fill in the blank)
21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Iwanna...as in I wanna this and I wanna that
22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what would you call him?
Getme...as in Get me this and Get me that
23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Is Canada considered abroad?
24. What would you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
"Please have your I.D. ready and be prepared to pass through the Metal Detector"
25. 4 people who must also do this theme in their journal.
History Mike, Hooda, Subcomandate Bob, Lloyd

Friday, March 10, 2006

Rat-squirrel back after 11-million-year absence

I know this story has nothing to do with Toledo but I found it interesting just the same. So I thought I would share it with you.

After an 11 million year absence, the Laotian Rat-Squirrel has reappeared. The nocturnal rodent living deep within the Laotian Forrest was previously thought to be extinct and identified only through fossilzed records in China and other Asian nations. Biologist discovered the rodent last spring and thinking they had discovered a new species of mammal nicknamed the creature the Laotian Rock Rat.

Upon seeing reports of the rodent, Mary Dawson of the Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History immediately recognized it from fossilized records and broke the news that it was not a new species at all but one that was 11 million years old. The animal is neither a Rat nor a Squirrel but a species called Diatomyidae.

Now if Mary can identify the Rat-Monkey from the infamous movie Dead Alive!
Wipikedia reports :

The Sumatran Rat-Monkey is a hideous fictional creature created by director Peter Jackson for his 1992 horror film/ comedy film, Braindead (also known as Dead-Alive). As seen in the film, the animal is found only on Skull Island, a fictional island first conceived of in the 1933 film, King Kong.

The Sumatran Rat Monkey, (least according to a zoo custodian in the film) is the offspring of small tree monkeys and giant plague rats that scurried off passing ocean liners, swam to shore, and began raping the monkeys.

The hideous offspring(s) of these unions is only shown once.

It is a nearly hairless creature with vacant, wide eyes. It appears to resemble a rat far more than a monkey. It is a carnivore and bites at nearly anything it can fit within its mouth.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Burning Down the House....

As I write this, another major fire has broken out in the city. This time the victim is the Miracle Manor Apartment complex on Laskey at Jaminson Drive in West Toledo. Just yesterday (3/8/06) we suffered two residential fires in the city which destroyed at least 3 properties. One in the 1500 block of Airline and another in the 300 block of Bronson.

On Sunday (3/5/06) a 2 alarm blaze destroyed a Westgate office complex which housed several doctor and lawyer offices. In addition the area has seen a rash of devastating fires since the first of the year including...

While all these fires may seem independent and coincidental from each other, one has to start to wonder if something more sinister might be at work. Does Toledo have a "Firebug" on the loose or maybe terrorist are using the area as a training ground. It is interesting to note that several structures involved in the major fires including one last year in Downtown Toledo had to be demolished before Fire Investigators could make a certain determination on the cause.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Katie Holmes Dad to Tom Cruise: Marry My Daughter Before the Baby

Fact or Rumor...
It has been reported by Us that Katie Holmes dad insisted that Tom Criuse marry Katie before the baby is born and that Catholicism be part of the ceremony. Way to go Dad! No word from Tom.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

George W. Bush as a 3 Term President?

In a Letter to the Editors of the March 5th, 2006 edition of the Toledo Blade, a Maumee resident poised the question...

Third term of office for George W. Bush?

It has been suggested that President George W. Bush run for a
third term on the premise that his first term does not count in asmuch as he was appointed by the Supreme Court, not elected.

In my view, there is a basis for this in the Constitution. If a vice president succeeds to the presidency because of the death of the president, the term of office thereby filled by the vice president does not count as his or her allotted two terms.

Since this would require an interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court, recently enhanced by two new appointees, the idea has some validity.

While this may be wishful thinking on the writers part, I believe his premise for the question is somewhat askew. The writer states...

"his first term does not count in asmuch as he was appointed by the Supreme Court"

The Supreme Court did not appoint the President to the Office. According to Wikipedia On December 9, the United States Supreme Court unanimously granted Bush's emergency plea for a stay of the Florida Supreme Court recount ruling, stopping the incomplete recount. On December 12, the United States Supreme Court handed down its ruling in favor of Bush by a 5-4 vote, effectively ending the legal review of the vote count with Bush in the lead. Seven of the nine justices cited differing vote-counting standards from county to county and the lack of a single judicial officer to oversee the recount, both of which, they ruled, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The crucial 5 to 4 decision held that insufficient time remained to implement a unified standard and therefore all recounts must stop.

In a nutshell...The Supreme Court only stopped the recount and let the election results stand. Not appoint G.W. Bush to the presidency.

I believe his interpretation of the constitution is also somewhat askew. The Twenty Second amendment reads:

Section 1
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

Now lets assume for a moment and by some stretch of the imagination that the writer is correct in his belief that the President was appointed. He believes that...

"If a vice president succeeds to the presidency because of the death of the president, the term of office thereby filled by the vice president does not count as his or her allotted two terms. "

Section One of the amendment clearly states

"no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once."

Therefore, the fact that President Bush served for a full 4 years in his first term would prevent him from running for a third term. His re-election in 2004 would be counted as his allotted one term of being elected to the office.

Tax Abatements Spawn Development

After the arguments by residents which challenged the city's right to seize their homes for the benefit of a private company ( Jeep manufacturer Daimler Chrysler AG ) were rejected by the the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, a new case was heard last week involving tax incentives to the tune of $300 million.

The case involves claims that Toledo residents should not pay for expenses of a private firms wanting to expand or move into the area. Their case cited a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that granting of tax incentives was unconstituional because it hinderd interstate commerce due to the fact that the incentives were only available to businesses that wanted to invest in Ohio.

I don't understand the reasoning in that decision. Was the court saying that Ohio should also offer incentives to companies which wish to expand outside the borders of Ohio? Justice David Souter who was skeptical about taxpayers' claims that Ohio's investment tax credit discriminates against Ohio companies that do business outside the state, stated if a company decides not to take advantage of the credit and expands elsewhere, "That's not discrimination. That's a free choice."

Recently the city offered tax incentives for the Westgate Development ($2.5 million), GM Powertrain ($34.3 million), and most recently Pro Bass Shops which included tax incentives as part of a $30 million package to build a new store in the Marina district.

I believe that tax incentives have become a neccessary and instrumental tool in luring business to locate in our cities and state. That being said, we have to be careful that these practices do not become a vicious competitive cycle that yield minimal economic benefit and leave taxpayers footing the bill.

It is my opinion that tax incentivs should not be painted with a broad brush giving the business which seek them a carte blanc to avoid all tax assesments. Rather they should be structured in such a fashion that excludes tax abatement for such services as Schools and other levys which suppport the community and which the taxpayers have voted and agreed upon. This could include "direct contributions" ( equal to the amounts which would have been generated by taxes ) by the company seeking tax abatements to those institutions supported by the levies. This would still allow those business to realize a substantial savings in taxes without jepordizing the revenues to be realized by those instituions dependent on the approved levies.

If the Toledo residents' argument is upheld, not only will it hurt economic development throughout the nation, but it will put U.S. manufacturing in an even tougher position against foreign competitors.

I hope the Supreme Court justices agree and don't buy into what is a pretty flimsy argument.

ref: Battle Creek Enquirer

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Is there a Blogger Medic in the house?

I must admit to my bad! Last night I was trying to be creative and hack the Blogger template to create a "read more" link for the long post I am sometimes known to write. Unfortunatly....I only succeeded in screwing things up. The results were that the site woud not load up for about 4 hrs. The site would freeze up and make me ready to throw the damn computer straight through the window.

Because I started out to hack the site with great confidence, I forgot to follow the Cardinal Rule when making changes to your template. I did not create a current backup to restore from. What this meant was I had to go back through my template line by line and hopefully delete all modifications. As you can guess this took awhile.

So for those who may have visted the site last nite and found your Internet Explorer slow to a crawl when my page was attempting to load...I apologize. My Bad!

I thank you for your patience and hope that this issue don't turn you off from returning for future vists.

KraZyKaT. :(

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A clean, fit mayor or a sweaty, and smelly mayor, or a fat, dead mayor?

Roberta deBoer calls Carty the "Fitness Mayor."

She's right with:

"As Chief of Staff Bob Reinbolt noted, exercise equipment that's going into a new work-out room was donated by an employee"

"Can't you just see the e-mail that must have circulated to city hall in-boxes?"

"'Looking to get rid of that unused treadmill or Nordictrack? Did your Suzanne Sommers Thigh-Master not work out so well? DO WE HAVE THE SOLUTION FOR YOU - AND IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!'"

"Sorry, but I think a shower is a reasonable perk for a mayor, especially one who's a slave to long work hours and daily exercise."

Right on, Roberta!

I hope that Carty will exercise and maintain his health. If it costs 10 grand to give him a showever, then so be it.

After Carty has had his next 2 terms, then we'll need him again in 2014. So, if you want Carty to bail our pathetic butts out of trouble when he's gets to middle age in 2014, then let's all play nice with him, OK?

Oh, and if Carty decides that he doesn't like the architecture or engineering of a project, then ya'll better listen. It's not often that you get a mayor brought up with one of the foremost architectural and engineering firms in the country. Can anyone name the firm?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Zoo Board Reports Progress Meeting Task Force's Recommendations

From WTOL News:

TOLEDO -- The board of directors at the Toledo Zoo say positive changes continue to be made -- with improvements affecting everything from animal care to personnel.
Board members told the Lucas County commissioners Friday that, of 115 recommendations made by a citizens task force, 67% have been implemented. The rest are in the process of being completed.
Marty Skeldon, Toledo Zoo Citizens Task Force, told News 11, "I believe they're working as hard as they possibly can to get these recommendations implemented, and to have a better culture at the Toledo Zoo. When you have a change of culture in any organization, it takes time."
The task force was formed after the Zoo's chief vet was fired and executive director resigned.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Local Firm ranks second on Fortune Magazine Most Admired List

While the news about Dana stock is not good, and the jobs growth figures dispariging, I would like to report that one area company is prospering and has earned a 2nd place finish in their industry for the Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine.

HCR Manorcare continues to be a leader of health care in the nation. According to their Corporate Profile on their website "Manor Care, Inc., through its operating group HCR Manor Care, is the leading owner and operator of long-term care centers in the United States. Our nearly 60,000 employees have made us the preeminent care provider in the industry."

This news along with other recent announcements:

I think the future of the Toledo Business Market looks bright and hopefully will be able to create more jobs for our residents in the not to distant future.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Calculating You Gasoline Bill...Is it far off?

As most everyone else, I was shocked and awed when I opened my January Columbia Gas bill and discovered that it was over $100 more then what my December bill was. How could this be I asked myself? January was unseasonably warm, I only lived at home for half the month, and I had my furnace turned way down to the point where I was wearing my jacket inside. Then I seen "the" word....CALCULATED. I immediately ran down to my basement to compare my meter reading to that listed on my bill. Whoa....Something not right here. After discussions with CG, It was explained to me that the calculations were based on what was reasonably expected use for the time of year and past usage from the previous time period last year. Well I got the adjustments to my bill after a long struggle but it got me to thinking, What if the Gas Stations used this same method of calculation for the amount of gas you used in your car?

(just a story)
Driving down the road while trying to avoid the potholes which would surely send me straight to Hell if ever I was unfortunate enough to fall into one, I heard that sound that makes me cringe every time. The "DING" of my low fuel alarm.

As I retrieved my wallet I noticed that it was looking a little slim. (No wonder it felt more comfortable in my back pocket.) I had just paid my Columbia Gas bill and found that I only had a single $20.00 bill left in it. While not enough to fill my tank I knew that $20.00 would give me almost 10 gallons of gas. That surely would be enough to make it back and forth to work through the rest of the week till payday.

Confidently I pulled up to the pump, removed the nozzle and attempted to dispense $20.00 worth of gasoline into my tank. Then another one of those annoying noises rang through my brain. "Pump #3, You have to pay first before pumping" coming through the loud speaker sounding like the WHA...WHA...WHA...WHA ...WHA from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

Begrudgingly I treaded my way inside hoping to slip the clerk a $20.00 bill and be on my way.
"I'll take 20 on #3" I told her.
"Ok sir, that will be $30.00" she replied
Thinking she misunderstood me, I gave her the $20 bill and reaffirmed that I only wanted $20.00 worth of gasoline.
"ok sir, I understand but you still owe me $10.00 more dollars" as she pointed to a sign posted next to the register.
There in bold red letters I read...

Effective immediately all gas purchases will be Calculated. We feel that if the Public Utilities can make windfall profits on this method of payment, why shouldn't we!

Needles to say I was furious. I asked the clerk how they were able to calculate my gasoline bill when I could simply read her the pump total for what I actually owed. Looking like an IRS audit agent with her pen stuffed behind her ear, she took out her calculator and started punching numbers feverishly.

"A 2000 model SUV with a v-8 motor averaging 13 mpg...
x 28 days of February weather when there is snow in the forecast...
x the number of days my vehicle may be engaged in 4 wheel drive...
x 62 Jack-rabbit-starts due to the aggressive nature of the American Male...
plus a fuel surcharge for the paper towels I used to clean my windows...

Equals $40.00" she said. "But your in luck today because we are offering an instant $10.00 rebate. That brings your calculated bill down to only $30.00" she said with a smile that was more like a "what a sucker" grin then a display of courtesy.
"Not to worry" she explained. "We will notate your actual mileage and compare it to your mileage when you stop back in sometime in March" If our calculations are wrong we will gladly issue a credit towards your next fuel purchase"

Being that I was already late, had no time to argue, and a car that was running on fumes, I handed her my credit card which she charged $30.00 against and set the pump to dispense exactly $20.00 worth of gasoline.

Damn, I thought to myself as I made my way out of the station. I wonder if I could charge my employer "Calculated" wages for the upcoming week based upon the amount of work that I think I will do. Nah...He would re-calculate and determine that the work I performed was only worth 75% of my current salary, but not to worry...If I put in OT they would give me a wage credit on my next paycheck. Swerving to miss one of those potholes I wonder if the City miscalculated on the number of potholes the average winter causes on our local streets.

BREAKING NEWS! Toledo-Area Men Arrested In Alleged Terrorist Plot

A federal grand jury has indicted three Toledo-area men on terrorism charges, alleging that they plotted to kill US military personnel in Iraq and other countries. Please visit Historymike's Musing and Toledo Talk for more info.

historymike's musings: Toledo-Area Men Arrested In Alleged Terrorist Plot
Toledo Talk -Toledo-Area Men Arrested for Terrorist Activity

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In support of Toledo Zoo Levies

The Toledo Zoological Society has been given the OK by the Lucas County commissioners to put 2 tax levies on the May ballot. While some may question the need for these levies or if the Zoo has earned the respect and support of Lucas County Taxpayers (see earlier posting) to warrant such levies, I feel that not to endorse these levies would be a mistake by the citizens of this community.

The cost of the new levies will reportily cost the owner of a $100,000.00 home an average of $56.65 a year. For those who may claim that they already pay too much in taxes or cannot afford to pay anymore, here is some perspective:

  • A pack of cigarettes a day = $1460.00 per year @$4.00 a pack
    14 less packs a year will pay for the levy
  • One MickyD Value Meal a week = $234.00 per year @ $4.50 ea.
    13 less Value Meals a year will pay for the levy
  • A six-pack of Budweiser a week = $208.00 per year @ $4.00 a pack
    14 less 6-packs a year will pay for the levy
While I realize that there is a segment of the population who would be burden by any additional taxes, you can see by my examples that it doesn't take much of a sacrifice to offset the cost increase in these levies.

According to an Economic Impact Study conducted by the Center for Policy Analysis and Public Service at Bowling Green State University released in 2004, indicated that
"the Toledo Zoo makes a nearly $70 million annual economic impact on the local economy and for each $1.00 the Zoo receives in tax levy funds, it generates $7.90 in local economic activity. This economic impact benefits local small businesses and corporations by way of increased revenues and benefits the citizens of Northwest Ohio by creating annually 1,385 fulltime-equivalent jobs."

I find it curious that a community (for the most part) who supports giving tax abatements to the tune of 2.5 million dollars to lure Costco into Westgate because of the possibility (no guarantees) of 180 or so good paying jobs, would snub their nose at a relatively small tax increase to support the Zoo. It would be a shame if these levies did not pass because of notions instilled in the taxpayers by bias media reporting and anti-zoo organizations who have a "grudge" to settle. It is time, we as a community, put all the petty bickering and self righteousness behind us and forge ahead in our continued support of this fine institution and restore it to the glamour for which it became known for.

The Zoo has made great strides to fixing the ills that befell them last spring. They have listen to the Task Force and implemented 115 of 123 recommended changes. They have removed or forced into retirement the parties involved with all the controversies. They have hired a new director in Anne Baker who has an optimistic vision of where and how the Zoo should proceed into the future, and judging by her resume the skills and education to get it there.

Image hosting by Photobucket

For a return on investment which results in job creation outside the zoo and job security for current Zoo staff, an economics boost for the community, expansion and maintenance of one of our few local treasures, environmental and wildlife education, and recognition as one of the top 10 Zoological Parks in the nation, I believe $50.00 +/- dollars a year is a small price to pay.

(less I forget....brrreeeport)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Brrreeeport.....Pickles in Politics

Posts that contain Brrreeeport per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

This is my little contribution to the Brrreeeport experiment.

I saw this report listed in my company's newsletter and it suddenly occurred to me ...
Recently our local politicians seem to be getting themselves in quite a few pickles! This may not be their fault and just a consequence of eating pickles. Maybe the city should enact a Public Pickle Ban in conjunction with the Smoking Ban. Although eating pickles for politician was not included in the study listed below, I would bet that they all have eaten pickles shortly before their woes began.

Look at the Pickle that the pickle people have put you in!
Pickles will kill you. Every pickle you eat brings you nearer to death. Amazingly, the thinking man has failed to grasp the significance of the term "in a pickle". Although leading horticulturists have long said that Cucamis Sativus possesses Indehiscent Pepto, the pickle industry continues to expand.
Pickles are associated with all the major diseases of the body. Eating them breeds wars and Communism. They can be related to most airline tragedies. Auto accidents are caused by pickles. There exists a positive relationship between crime waves and consumption of this fruit of the curcubit family. For example:

Nearly all sick people have eaten pickles; therefore, the effects are obviously cumulative.

  • Of all the people who die from cancer, 99% have eaten pickles.
  • 100% of all soldiers have eaten pickles; therefore, pickles must be related to wars.
  • 98.8% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten pickles.
  • 99.7% of all the people involved in the air and auto accidents ate pickles within 14 days preceding the tragedy.
  • 93.1% of all juvenile delinquents come from homes where pickles are served frequently.

Evidence points to some startling long term effects of pickle eating:
Of all the people born in 1865 who later dined on pickles, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
All pickle eaters born between 1890 and 1900 have wrinkled skin, brittle bones, have lost most of their teeth and are afflicted by failing eyesight... If the ills that come from eating pickles have not already resulted in their death.
Even more convincing is the report from a noted team of medical specialists. They found that rats which were force-fed with 20 pounds of pickles per day developed bulging abdomens. It was further noted that the rat's appetites for wholesome food was completely destroyed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Very nice and well written article on TheToledo Zoo that you posted


Monday, February 13, 2006

Have you ever noticed....

Everyone of us living in the City of Toledo has at some point seen something that made you scratch your head in bewilderment. I know I have. To that end I have decided to share a few of my observations of strange or baffling occurrences which caused me to pause and say...."HUH".

Have you ever noticed that right after a road has been freshly repaved that the DPU is out within days to tear parts back up to repair water lines. You would think that these water line repairs could be made before or during the actual road repairs. Then, after the DPU finishes, they leave hugh speed-bumps of cold patch to fill in the hole they dug. Maybe they are getting kickbacks from the auto-repair shops from endless front wheel alignments.

Why is it that the previous Carty Finkbeinber administration seen to it that all of the city's fire hydrants were painted green? Maybe it was so that they were more visible on snowy days. It didn't do much when they blended with the green of summer making it harder for the fire dept. to locate quickly. Now they are once again all rusted, chipped and ugly looking. I wonder if the new Carty administration has a few (hundred) gallons of left over green paint to redo them. Maybe we can get Mike Ferner to paint them as part of his community service, and while he is at it, give him a can of spray paint. He can graffiti the house numbers to the curb on his walks in between hydrants. As long as it's green.

Why are the restaurants on the east side called "The Docks" ? All I can see is that they have a breaker wall that boats tie up to. No Docks. Maybe we should just call them "The Wall" or the "Breakers", but not the docks. Save that for the west side of the river at Promenade Park where all the docks really are during the summer time.

Does Carty Finkbeiner really need a new car as mayor? Did Jack Ford destroy the Liberty he was driving while mayor? Or is it that Carty cannot bear the thought of driving the same vehicle as the "A" team? Seems like a waste when I see numerous city vehicles sitting idle for days on end in the downtown parking garage where I park everyday for work. Can't we save a few taxpayers dollars and let Carty drive one of those vehicles?

Why is 5/3 bank called Fifth-Third? Does not 5/3 = 1 2/3 0r 1.666? Maybe it should be called 1 2/3 Bank or 1.666 Bank. Of course that doesn't have the ring that 5/3 Field has. It's a lovely night at the ball park here at 1 2/3 Field.

Why does TARTA insist on driving these hugh gas guzzling busses with only a half a dozen patrons on board then complain about the cost of fuel to run these monsters? Wouldn't a mini-van be a better choice for the routes where they haven't enough riders to fill the empty seats. Maybe it's a status thing.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Toledo...Just the facts

Here is a reprint of Toledo's History from Toledo Explorer I found when researching the history of our city. I found it an interesting read and hope you do too.

In 1833, Port Lawence and Vistula decided to unite in order to take advantage of a canal that would bypass the Maumee rapids. When they did this, Toledo was born. The land that is now known as Toledo, was actually once known as the Black Swamp.

Toledo is the County Seat, or capital of Lucas County, meaning that countywide government and political events are conducted here. It also lies on the Western end of Lake Erie and the Northern border between Ohio and Michigan.

Between 1835 and 1836, Michigan and Ohio fought over ownership of Toledo. Although both sides sent militias to fight, they never engaged in a true battle. There was, however, one casualty in the war. As Ohio's Major Stickney and his two sons were being taken to jail, his youngest son stabbed and killed Joseph Wood.

Toledo's nickname, The Glass City, comes from its history in the glass industry. Since it's founding, Toledo has been involved in the making of windows, bottles, windshields and other glass construction materials. On January 15, 1936, The first building to ever be completely covered in glass was constructed in Toledo. This was the Owens Illinois Glass Company. The building then lead to inspire a new international style of architecture.

The Toledo Museum of Art, housed in a Greek revival building, contains over 30,000 different artistic exhibits. The Toledo Zoo is well known for being the first zoo to have a hippoquarium exhibit.

A part of Toledo known as the Old West End, is a neighborhood full of Victorian style houses. This part of town is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

The famous Jeep automobile has also been manufactured in Toledo since 1941.

There are two major universities in Toledo, the University of Toledo, and the well known Medical University of Ohio.

Toledo is the home of one of the nations oldest minor league baseball teams, the Toledo Mud Hens. They have been playing continuously since 1896. Fifth Third Field, recently constructed in 2002, is their home.

The first library was established in Toledo in 1838 by the Toledo Young Men's Association. The first tax-supported library was established in 1873, however, the building itself did not open until 1890. This original library building stood on the corner of Madison and Ontario for 50 years. In 1940, it was replaced by today's main branch library at 325 Michigan.

Toledo is located at 41°39'56" North, 83°34'31" West (41.665682, -83.575337)1. It lies on the Maumee River at the western end of Lake Erie. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 217.8 km² (84.1 mi²). 208.8 km² (80.6 mi²) of it is land and 8.9 km² (3.5 mi²) of it is water. Toledo's total area is 4.10% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 313,619 citizens. The estimated census in 2002, however, reported a decrease in population. This estimate showed that Toledo had only 309,106 citizens. Toledo is said to have 128,925 households, and 77,355 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,502.0/km² (3,890.0/mi²). There are 139,871 housing units at an average density of 669.9/km² (1,734.9/mi²). Toledo has a very diverse population. The racial makeup of the city is 70.23% White, 23.55% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.03% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. 5.47% of the population are either Hispanic or Latino.
General Population Info:
There are 128,925 households out of which 29.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% are married couples living together, 17.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% are non-families. 32.8% of all Toledo households are made up of individuals and 11.0% have someone age 65 or older living alone. The average household size is 2.38 and the average family size is 3.04.
Population Layout:
In the city the population is spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.7 males.
Toledo Income:
The median income for a household in the city is $32,546, and the median income for a family is $41,175. Males have a median income of $35,407 while the median income for females is $25,023. The per capita income for the city is $17,388. 17.9% of the population and 14.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 25.9% are under the age of 18 and 10.4%

Friday, February 10, 2006

Toledo Baby Boomer

After reading Lisa Renee's posting at Liberal Common Sense it got me to thinking. So I have decided to go back in time and share with you some of my fond memories of what is was like to be a Baby Boomer in Toledo, Ohio.

You know you are a Baby Boomer from Toledo if you remember....
-the Jesse James and Maumee Drive-in theaters instead of Super Cinemas,
-Bargain City and Ontarios instead of Walmart and Costco,
-Walk-up windows at McDonalds instead of Drive-Up windows,
-Lane Drug Store instead of Walgreen's and CSV,
-Franklin Ice Cream instead of Franklin Park Mall..errr... Westfield Shopping Center (I use to love watching the airplane shows on Sunday afternoons),
-when Blackberries were something you put in a pie not something to read your email,
-the Toledo Blades and Goldiggers instead of the Toledo Storm,
-when Toledo had 2 daily newspapers...The Times and Blade,
-riding in the backseat of the family stationwagon and facing the traffic coming up from behind,
-"It's 11:00, do you know where your children are?",
-3 full pillowcases of Halloween candy that you could eat without being x-rayed first,
-when you heard the word "GREEN" you thought of Mr. Greenjeans, not Greenday or hybrid cars,
-an Ice Cold 16oz. bottle of Coca-Cola in real glass bottles,
-when for a quarter you could get a souvineer wax lion at the Toledo Zoo and watch it being made to boot,
-that rookie Nolan Ryan card in the spokes of your bicycle,
-400 C.I.D. instead of 2.3 litre V-6,
-riding your Schwinn fastback with Banana seat and not wearing a helment and knee pads,
-the giant cheese wheel at Tidkies,
-Community Traction instead of TARTA,
-not knowing what snowdays were or ever dream of Air-Conditioning in the classroom,
-it took like 2 hrs to get to the Toledo Airport,
-Holland and Oregon were little hick towns in the country,...

I hope I have been able to help you remember!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Sports Arena...Build Downtown or on the East Side?

It appears that the City Leaders have pretty well determined that the new Sports Arena will be built in Downtown Toledo. However the County commissioners seek to take the lead

"because of so-called Section 79, which is a city referendum approved by Toledo voters on Sept. 11, 2001, that approved funding an arena in the Marina District. East Toledoans and others have said that means the city cannot use city money to
build it elsewhere."

Below is the actual referendum from the City Charter that the commissioners speak of:

Section 79. Compulsory referendum of certain measures - franchises.
No ordinance or resolution for a public improvement requiring or authorizing the expenditure of more than fifteen percent (15%) of the average gross annual current operating expenditures by the City for the five (5) fiscal years immediately preceding, or for the granting of a general public utility franchise, shall be effective until the same shall be approved by a majority vote of the electors voting thereon; provided, however, no convention center, exhibit hall, sports arena, or municipal theater, other than a sports arena located in the City's Marina District, being the area bounded by the Maumee River, Interstate Highway 280, Front Street and Main Street, shall be constructed, acquired, or leased unless the ordinance or resolution authorizing construction bidding, acquisition, or leasing shall have been approved by a majority vote of the electors voting thereon, whether or not such ordinance or resolution requires or authorizes the expenditure of more or less than fifteen percent (15%) of the average gross annual current operating expenditures by the City for the five (5) fiscal years immediately preceding. A general public utility is one in which all the people of the City may have an interest.
(Amended by electors 9-11-01)

So read correctly, This referendum does not prohibit the city from selecting a location outside the Marina District on the East Side for the new Arena. All it does is state that other than the construction of a Sports Arena in the Marina District, all expenditures which exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the average gross annual current operating expenditures by the City for the five (5) fiscal years must be approved by the majority vote of the electors voting thereon.

Therefore, if the City wants to build an Arena outside the Marina District, it is perfectly within their rights to do so but they would have to go back to the voters of Lucas County for approval because it would exceed the 15% stated.

Given only the two choices of Downtown or the East Side (has anyone thought of Southwyck?); I personally think that Downtown Toledo is the best spot for the new Arena. It is time for the aging Sports Arena to come down. We have been beating this Dead Horse for too many years now. Just build the damn thing! As it was said..."If you build it they will come". It is equally important that we do not forget about the East side and that an aggressive development plan be finalized for the Marina District.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dodge gearing up for Nitro in Toledo

I welcome the addition of the Nitro to the Jeep production line. I had considered buying a Liberty a couple of years back but after driving a Cherokee for 10 years, I just could not get use to the "cutesy" design. The Liberty lacked the rugged appearance and praticality that I came to appreciate in the Jeep name. It was designed to attract the female buyer and looked more at home on the Asphalt Urban Trail then the Rubicon Trail. A vehicle for ex-soccer moms who needed a little more spice in their daily travel adventures then they received in their trustworthy mini vans. Evidenced by my own observations, it seems that 8 out of 10 people behind the wheel of the Liberty are of the female gender carefully applying their makeup in the vanity mirrors. With the Liberty I defiently did not get the feeling "It's a Jeep thing...You wouldn't understand".

Along comes the Nitro with it's more truck like appearance, larger cargo area and 4.0 liter V-6. All the ingredients to appeal to a more masculine audience seem to be in place. I am a little disappointed that it doesn't carry the JEEP badge and have the 8 slot grille in front but this may be a small price to pay if it gives me the same endurance and performance that I have become accustomed to in my Old Jeep Cherokee. The lack of all that Chrome up front is a plus too. The fact that it only is estimated at 18 miles to a gallon in the city and 23 on the highway with the 3.7-liter V-6, while the 4.0-liter V-6 will get 17 miles to a gallon in the city and 21 on the highway gives me pause. I was hoping for a little better mileage after getting used to near 30 mpg in my current vehicle. Twice a week fill ups at $2.30 a gallon doesn't bold well for my starving wallet.

Overall I think the Nitro will be welcome addition to the Chrysler line-up and the Toledo Jeep assembly plant. It will help our local work force in securing good paying jobs for a few more years and hopefully be the impetus for future production of Chrysler vehicles here.

News has it that a major participant in Chrysler efforts to secure 3rd party suppliers and manufacturing locate directly on their assembly grounds has pulled out. Michigan's Haden International Inc., which built and was to operate a paint shop under a ground-breaking agreement with DaimlerChrysler AG, is out effective immediately, union officials were told yesterday. (See article from the Blade). Maybe we will only be able to get the Nitro in an unpainted steel grey. If only they paint it in any other color then RED!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Carty on Westgate

Mayor Carty released his position on Westgate yesterday in a written statement to the Op-Ed section of the Blade. His position seems to be in protecting this city from Urban Blight 10-15 years down the road by evidence here:

"Most of the nation's mayors have learned the hard way that suburban retailers tend to be predatory by definition. The vast majority of big-box outlets, warehouses, and other shopping centers are built not to meet unmet demand, but to steal shoppers from existing retailers.

Thus, the owners of the mall, or shopping center, know that it will not be open for all that long,as it is being built. In other words, the lifetime of big-box stores, like Costco, is about 10 to 15 years. Then you have an abandoned warehouse and a large vacant parking lot. Travel the short distance to such sites in Toledo, and the proof of this statement is readily available."

While I am in agreement that empty Big Box stores are a blight on the city (see my Pet Peeve post) and dread the thought of more, can we afford not to have a major retailer like Costco and the 180 or so "living wage" jobs take roots in Toledo. Is the Mayor's concern really about the flight risk in 10 or so years as he indicated in the letter? Is it in his belief of the 20/20 plan(which he helped author in 2000)? Could it be that his belief in 20/20 is a clever muse to cover up his discontent with the Jack Ford Administration for trumping his vision of Westgate (as outlined in the 20/20 plan) when Ford negotiated with Liz Holland and Costco? Is Mayor Finkbeiner really just playing A Team vs. B Team politics?

According to some facts I have uncovered which were reported by the Blade back in 02/2000, despite spending $275,000 on 20/20, a group of City and University of Toledo officials (including the Mayor and then president of the Lucas County commissioners, Sandy Isenberg ) presented an alternative projection of what life might be like in northwest Ohio 25 years from now in a plan called Vision 2000 which was closely tied to 20/20 but contained potential conflicts with it as well. The result was that either plan was given little hope of succeeding.

If the mayor is really concerned about "Big Box Flight", maybe he should negotiate some type of penalty in the tune of $2.5 million assessed against Costco and the owners of Westgate ( equal to the amount of tax abatement) in the event that they pull out early in violation of any lease agreement. If that were to occur, the city could then use the settlement for luring other retailers into the city to fill the void left behind.

If it is determine that the current plan (as it stands) is in violation of the 20/20 plan by rule of law, then it is the Strong Mayors responsibility and obligation granted to him when he took the oath of office, to see that the plan is amended to resolve any conflicts. It is not the mayors responsibility or even in his forte to design a new architectural schema to fit his own personal taste. Leave that up to the professionals.

If the mayor [by his actions] feels slighted and is projecting a personal vendetta against the Ford administration and in the end wishes to receive full credit for a revitalized Westgate, SHAME ON HIM! He was elected to serve in the interest of his constituents, not his own personal ego trip.

Your thoughts......

Monday, January 30, 2006

Toledo Pet Peeves & Honorable Mentions

Do you have a pet peeve or an honorable mention about our city of Toledo, Ohio? If so, let it be known here! You never know, I just may expand upon it under a full post. Just use the comment section to let us know what you like or dislike about Toledo. To get you started, here are a few of my own:

Pet Peeves:
  • Pot Holes
  • Red Light Cameras
  • High utility Bills
  • Empty Big Box Stores (ie...Farmer Jacks and Basics)
  • A Dead Northtown
  • A Dying Southwyck
  • All those @#%!*& ads in the Sunday newspaper
  • Sports Arena
Honorable Mentions:
  • The MudHens
  • The Toledo Zoo
  • UT
  • Art Museum
  • 15 minutes to anywhere>
  • Toledo Bloggers!...ok so I am partial!
anyhow...you get the idea. So go ahead and let us hear from you.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Toledo Zoo on the right track?

After the controversies of the Toledo Zoo last spring, a Special Citizens Task Force was created to review and make recommended changes in the way Zoo operations were conducted. In October it was reported that the Toledo Zoo implemented 115 of the 123 (93%) of the recommended changes and won the praises of Lucas County Officials for their actions.(See Article). Most recently the Lucas County Citizens Tax Levy Review Committee supported the recommendation that county commissioners put two zoo levies before voters.
Has the Zoo earn the respect and confidence of the Lucas County taxpayers to be in a position to win passage of these levies? This writer thinks so; however, a new group of skeptics who call themselves Citizens for a Responsible Zoo don't and seem Hell Bent on disrailing the Zoo's efforts to get their levies approved.
It comes as no surprise that this group has chosen Debra Reichard Klein as their spokesperson. Who better to open old wounds and continue efforts to discredit our beloved Institution then the sister of fired veterinarian Dr. Tim Reichard. Can you say GRUDGE? Although this group has been reported to consist of about 10 members, I find it interesting that only Ms. Klein has been identified by name. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the other 9 might consist of some members of a group of disgruntled employees who did not get 100% in their failed coup attempt in wresting complete control of the Zoo.
According to the groups website, their mission is "Provide the community with updated information on concerns and recommendations for Zoo improvement through media releases, the Blade’s pages of opinion section, and a web site". Wow, relying on this type of one sided information gathering practice is sure to produce reliable and objective misinformation. I for one would much rather put my trust in the Task Force recommendations then in the bias reporting from a newspaper article.
I would remind this group that the last time I checked 93% constituted a grade of "A" and a GPA of 3.29. It is for that reason alone that I accept the fact that the Zoo is making the necessary changes to re-establish the trust of taxpayers and have earned their passage of the zoo levies soon to come before the voters. It disturbs me greatly that we continue to have a group of skeptics who continue to stir the kettle of discontent. I have three words for the Citizens for a Responsible Zoo..."GET OVER IT" If you really Love Your Zoo, drop your frivolouss complaints and let The Toledo Zoo regain its stature as One of America's greatest zoo's right here in our own backyard. Do not tarnish the reputation of this beloved institution more then you already have! I LOVE MY ZOO!