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August 26, 2004

Whatever happened to Willow Beach park? - I grew up in Toledo, in the 1940's. As kids, we used to go to Willow Beach Amusement Park, on Lake Erie. It was located on 105th Street. Recently, I visited that area. The beach has drastically changed! I am wondering if anyone has any information as to what happened to it, and when?
posted by Guest to other at 5:44 P.M. EST     3 comments

August 25, 2004

Going for the Greed - On Friday an editorial appeared in the Blade on what it calls “price gouging” in Florida in the aftermath of hurricane Charley. Several examples were given such as $10 for an otherwise $1 bag of ice and $3 for a gallon of gas, up from $1.78. - More>>
posted by babbleman to business at 8:59 P.M. EST     5 comments

August 18, 2004

Obesity in America - NPR had a two part series this week on obesity in America. To be sure that the left-manufactured line between the two Americas stays crystal clear, part one examined the correlation between obesity and one’s economic status. It turns out, according to the story, that the America with the least invested on Wall Street has cornered the market on obesity. - More>>
posted by babbleman to business at 10:02 P.M. EST     6 comments

August 9, 2004

Discussing the future of Toledo filmmakers - "ToledoFilmmakers.com cordially invites you to participate in the future of our organization. We will discuss goals, projects, film showcases, marketing, education, funding, and anything else related to the future of Toledo Filmmakers. Feel free to bring original drawings, notes, fliers, web design illustrations, or any other creative material to help us understand your vision of our future. We encourage you to bring any examples that you may have of other film organizations and their function, so that we may learn from them. Coffee and snacks at 6:30 P.M. Meeting at 7:00 P.M., August 11 at The Original Sub Shop & Deli, 402 Broadway, Toledo. Please RSVP TO: " - More>>
posted by jr to art at 12:02 A.M. EST     1 comment

August 8, 2004

New Urbanism - "If we can't cobble together a coalition for planning, growth will continue pretty much the way it has. We'll get more sprawl, a pattern of disconnected subdivisions and strip malls that clogs roads and turns unique landscapes into annexes of Anywhere, USA. The workable idea that counters this unworkable one is New Urbanism." - More>>
posted by jr to culture at 10:28 P.M. EST     3 comments

August 6, 2004

Findlay smoking ban update - "[Findlay City] Council is looking at two different ordinances. The first would ban smoking in all bars and restaurants in town. [The other] would allow smoking in bars and some restaurants." (There were two ammendments proposed for the first ordinance, and council approved both changes.) "The first amendment would allow smoking in restaurants only if there was a separate smoking room. The second amendment would allow restaurants which seat fewer than 70 people to permit smoking -- without providing a separate nonsmoking section -- regardless of whether they serve alcohol."
posted by jr to health at 10:49 A.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

527 committees and politics - "[George] Soros and other uberdonors are able to contribute huge amounts to politics this year because of a controversial new form of political organization. Called 527 committees, after the section of the tax code that permits them, the groups can accept virtually unlimited amounts from donors, so long as the groups are not directly related to an individual candidate or party. So far, 527 committees have raised $137.9 million for causes with strong ties to Democrats. That is more than Democrat Al Gore raised in his 2000 campaign for the White House. Republicans initially contested the legality of 527 committees, so Republican-related groups got a late start and have raised only $16.1 million so far. But at this rate, 527 committees could raise more money than both candidates spent on the presidential campaign the last time around." - More>>
posted by jr to politics at 10:35 A.M. EST     1 comment

August 5, 2004

War Protests Coming to an End - The good news is: Liberals' anti-war hysteria seems to have run its course. I base this conclusion on Al Gore's lunatic anti-war speech last week. Gore always comes out swinging just as an issue is about to go south. He's the stereotypical white guy always clapping on the wrong beat. Gore switched from being a pro-defense Democrat to a lefty peacenik – just before the 9-11 attack. He grew a beard – just in time for an attack on the nation by fundamentalist Muslims. He endorsed Howard Dean – just as the orange-capped Deaniacs were punching themselves out. Gore even went out and got really fat – just before America officially gave up carbs. This guy is always leaping into the mosh pit at the precise moment the crowd parts. Mark my words: Now that good old Al has come lunging in, the anti-war movement is dead.
posted by babbleman to politics at 7:58 P.M. EST     19 comments

Vietnam vets attack Kerry with TV ad - It's suppose to air in Toledo. "A group of Vietnam veterans has bought television time in three swing states for an advertisement that attacks Senator John Kerry, accusing him of lying about his war record, including the circumstances surrounding his medals, and betraying his comrades by later opposing the war." Kerry, not Bush, has made Vietnam an issue. "Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said he had not seen the advertisement and tried to distance the president from it. "The Bush-Cheney campaign has never and will never question John Kerry's service during Vietnam," Mr. Schmidt said. "The election will not be about the past, it will be about the future." " And now a new book titled "Unfit to Command' is coming out. "Written by the Swift Boat sailors who served with John Kerry in Vietnam offers a devastating critique of his military record."
posted by jr to politics at 12:48 A.M. EST     15 comments

Good news from Iraq - "For every foreigner taken hostage there are stories of hundreds of Iraqis who can now enjoy in many different ways their regained liberty. For every attack, with all its terror and bloodshed, there are countless stories of courage, determination and resourcefulness on the part of the Iraqi people. And for every intelligence failure by the government agencies then, there is an intelligence failure by the media now. Which is why you are likely to have recently missed some of the stories below." - More>>
posted by jr to news at 12:29 A.M. EST     1 comment

Positive view of U.S. security - "The security we've enjoyed since Sept. 11 isn't just a matter of dumb luck. The greatest blow to al-Qaida has come from the removal of its haven in Afghanistan and the disruption of the permissive environment it enjoyed in numerous countries in Europe and Asia. The leaders of the organization are under intense pressure, with killings and arrests commonplace. As a result, attacks that require meticulous planning and widespread coordination are far more difficult to carry out. Almost three years without an al-Qaida attack in the United States must be taken as a sign of progress, even if it is only a hiatus between Sept. 11 and another major strike."
posted by jr to news at 12:05 A.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

August 4, 2004

John Kerry on hunting - A Kerry ad has aired locally, describing all the things Kerry has done, such as playing hockey, hunting, and who knows what. When Kerry was in Wisconsin last week, someone asked him what his favorite type of hunting was. Kerry said, "I'd have to say deer. I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach... That's hunting." Deer hunters don't crawl around on their stomachs. I can't think of any kind of hunting in America where you crawl around on your stomach. Wild deer get scared off just by detecting human scent and definitely by the slightest noise. Crawling around on your stomach would scare away every deer in the county. And I'm pretty sure deer hunters don't use 12-gauge shotguns either. The article said, "If you're a 14-point buck and get shot in the toe this autumn, you'll know who to sue." Hire Edwards.
posted by jr to politics at 11:51 P.M. EST     5 comments

Saddam Hussein Poetry Contest - We learned last week that Saddam has been hanging out with Martha Stewart. "Saddam Hussein is spending his time in solitary confinement writing poetry, gardening, reading the Qur'an and snacking on American muffins and cookies. One of his poems is about his arch-enemy George Bush." I'm sure Saddam's poetry collection will garner him the Nobel prize for literature. In the meantime, The Command Post is allowing anyone to write their own Saddam-related poem. Some real clunkers out there.
posted by jr to art at 11:40 P.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

August 3, 2004

TPS admins return money - "The 17 Toledo Public Schools administrators who were each awarded $2,000 merit bonuses [in August 2003] all have returned the payment, four months after they promised to do so, the district announced yesterday. The administrators, most of whom make more than $100,000 annually, repaid the bonuses five months earlier than required. The bonuses nearly coincided with a vote on a 6.5-mill, three-year operating levy that voters at first rejected. The bonuses were handed out while the district was mired in a budget deficit that threatened potential layoffs, school closures, elimination of sports, and other cutbacks."
posted by jr to education at 3:12 P.M. EST     1 comment

Toledo budget woes - "With city revenues continuing to stagnate, attention is increasingly focusing on police, along with fire and trash collection, as unavoidable targets in the next round of budget-cutting. "With a $14 million problem in 2005, we are looking at each and every department," Tom Crothers, Mayor Jack Ford's acting finance director, said last week."
posted by jr to news at 3:09 P.M. EST     1 comment

Bar owners file petitions - "Opponents of Toledo's smoking ban presented 16,038 signatures yesterday to city council in a second attempt to convince voters to make the ban less restrictive. The initiative amendment would replace the ordinance with one that would permit smoking in bowling alleys, bingo halls, bars that receive less than 35 percent of their gross revenue from food, and restaurants with fewer than 10 employees. At least one city councilman said he intends to stand by the original ban and also would campaign against amending it. "I'm confident voters in Toledo will do the right thing, should they have the opportunity to vote on it," Frank Szollosi said. "I don't wish them [bar owners] any success with what they did today." " Real nice, Frank. Great attitude our elected officials have.
posted by jr to news at 3:00 P.M. EST     26 comments

Journalists for Kerry - "The New York Times conducted an informal poll of journalists at the recent Democratic convention that showed they favor John Kerry for president over President Bush by 3 to 1, while reporters based in Washington, D.C., support the Massachusetts senator by 12 to 1. Some surveys have found that more than 80 percent of the Beltway press corps votes Democratic."
posted by jr to politics at 2:55 P.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

Tobacco Taxes Drive Obesity - A wacky but intersting angle ... "People are getting fatter – and developing more diseases and health problems – because they don’t smoke. And government taxes on tobacco may be contributing to the weight problem. Fast food has been identified as especially contributing to Americans' increasing waistlines. But, according to a report in Canada's National Post newspaper, there is another culprit: High tobacco taxes. How so? It's because the taxes are doing exactly what they were designed to do—encourage people to quit smoking. And when they do, the appetites of ex-smokers tend to get healthier too." What about too much TV-watching?
posted by jr to health at 2:53 P.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

Illinois common sense consumption act - "Governor Blagojevich has signed a new law barring consumers from suing restaurants based on injury claims related to obesity. House Bill 3981 creates the Illinois Common Sense Consumption Act and is an effort to prevent frivolous lawsuits and encourage responsible dietary habits." But why has it been okay to have frivilous lawsuits against tobacco companies based upon a smoker's ignorance? Precedence has been set. If Big Tobacco can be sued, then consumers should be allowed to sue Big Fast Food. If the price of the Big Mac goes up to $4.00, well too bad.
posted by jr to health at 12:25 P.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

France junk food ban - Coming soon to the U.S.? "Starting in September 2005, vending machines will not be allowed in French schools. The French parliament took action on July 30 after reviewing the alarming statistics on youth obesity. Not only have they banned vending machines, but the new law also adds a tax on sugary alcoholic drinks and requires soft drink and junk food producers to choose between including a health warning on their televised advertisements and paying a tax equal to 1.5% of their advertising budget." France is also threatening to ban SUVs.
posted by jr to health at 12:11 P.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

August 2, 2004

Conservative American Muslims like Kerry - "This could spell trouble for Bush if there are tight races in battleground states like Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, where Zogby predicts a half-million Arab-Americans will vote. It is trouble because families like the Khan family of Toledo, Ohio, have personally felt the sting of Bush's post-9/11 policies, even though they [the Khan family] are the embodiment of the American dream. Kerry has angered Arab-Americans for agreeing with significant parts of Bush's Israel/Palestine policy and his vote authorizing Bush to invade Iraq."
posted by jr to politics at 1:08 A.M. EST     1 comment

Lawsuit against nonprofit hospitals - "The [Cleveland] Clinic in July became the one of the latest targets of a national class-action case against nonprofit health systems. The cases allege the systems failed to provide affordable medical care in exchange for the tax breaks as charitable organizations. A separate lawsuit making similar allegations has been filed in federal court in Toledo against ProMedica Health System, which operates seven northwest Ohio hospitals. Nonprofit hospitals routinely charge uninsured patients higher rates than the negotiated discounts that insurance companies pay for their members. When patients can't pay, hospitals try to collect using collection agencies, lawsuits, liens and garnishments of wages or bank accounts _ actions that could ruin a patient's credit."
posted by jr to health at 12:55 A.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

Crappy water - "Manure runoff from northwest Ohio's large-scale dairies is entering the state's waterways and poses a possible threat to the water supply. An unannounced inspection of 10 dairies in March revealed problems at nearly all of them. Ohio State University zoologist David Culver said it's possible that the manure is contributing to Lake Erie's 6,300-square-mile "dead zone," an oxygen-depleted area where fish cannot live. State Rep. John White, a suburban Dayton Republican, proposed a bill in May 2003 requiring the Ohio EPA to study the impact of megafarms and the land application of manure. The bill died in committee."
posted by jr to health at 12:48 A.M. EST     1 comment

Noah's ark for endangered species - "Scientists at Oxford University in the United Kingdom are using Noah's ark as inspiration to store the DNA of some of the world’s most endangered animals facing extinction. They call it 'Frozen Ark'. Tiny tissue samples from endangered species are frozen, keeping the genetic code alive, in case the animal species doesn't stay that way."
posted by jr to environment at 12:41 A.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

Vatican blasts feminism, - "The document, issued Saturday, said modern feminism's fight for power and gender equality was undermining the traditional concept of family and creating a climate where gay marriages are seen as acceptable. In a 37-page document "On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World," the Vatican said women should be respected and have equal rights in the workplace, but differences between the sexes must be recognized and exalted." Good to see the Vatican catching up to 1970. Hey man, just tell us when and where the next bingo and beer festival is.
posted by jr to religion at 12:26 A.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

ACLU will ignore terrorist watch list - "The American Civil Liberties Union has withdrawn from a federal donation program, refusing to follow U.S. Patriot Act rules requiring use of a government anti-terrorism watch list to check employees' names. The ACLU stands to lose about $500,000 by pulling out of the Combined Federal Campaign, which allows federal employees to donate to various nonprofit organizations through payroll deductions."
posted by jr to news at 12:09 A.M. EST     No comments     Post a comment

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