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Topics started by "GuestZero"

Ohio Makes #1 Again! - Ah, #1 in FORECLOSURES, of course. Along with Indiana and Michigan, Ohio helps round out 20% of the nation's foreclosures, whereas those states only have 6% of the nation's mortgages. I wonder if the foreclosure rate has anything to do with a LACK of prosperous and steady jobs for citizens, and of course another LACK of affordable home prices in light of the prevailing economic conditions? - More>>
posted by GuestZero to home improvement at 11:47 P.M. EST on Fri Jun 15, 2007     26 comments

Another hare-brained scheme! - The Blade article so linked, is titled "Toledo police roll out 'marked car' ad plan to raise funds". - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 11:49 P.M. EST on Sat Jun 09, 2007     17 comments

COSI Said It Couldn't Live Without a Levy, So Why Isn't It Dead Yet? - Sorry if this is slightly old news. COSI lied to the public about the need for a levy, and here it still is, operating, throwing a party, even. Not satisfied with outright fabrication before, the same lie is being promoted for yet another levy attempt. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 12:24 A.M. EST on Tue May 29, 2007     54 comments

Wi the Delays? - Well, the deep dust of time settles once again over well-announced and soon-dropped plans. Maybe Toledo's esteemed (cough) government cuddled up with the wrong WiFi company (MetroFi, which is mentioned in the AP article following). Although the Associated Press disagrees in principle, Michigan's Oakland County is supposedly and busily rolling out coverage, which is destined to cover its 910 square miles. Toledo itself can't be any more than 1/10th that size, and that's largely urban too -- hence well stocked with infrastructure to support a build-out of wireless nodes. So, what's the delay? If Michigan's Oakland County already has pilot areas in operation as of this writing, then what is up with shuffling the planning documents in One Government Center? - More>>
posted by GuestZero to technology at 02:12 A.M. EST on Wed May 23, 2007     18 comments

The Sojourner's Truth Demonizes Dissent - The SJ opinion piece is a considered one, yet it has fallen back upon a now-historical Toledo habit of demonizing dissent. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to education at 03:57 A.M. EST on Sat May 12, 2007     8 comments

Suburban School Taxation Curbed - The local school systems made the appropriate statement to the politicians. Can the people of Toledo send the same statement to the TPS? One TPS MOU (for deferred raises) will eat up an entire levy even if you DO vote for it. The interpretive message I'm getting is that times are tough for the workforce (which generates the revenue to run the schools) and the overpaid school administrators and teachers will have to feel the same pain. So, does a school need to repair a roof? Simple. Fire an administrator. Does a school need to replace a boiler? Fire an administrator. If more money is needed then it's time to start cutting teacher salaries. Toledo's $48K median salary is fairly fat and there's some space for cuts in it.
posted by GuestZero to education at 04:23 A.M. EST on Wed May 09, 2007     32 comments

COSI -- Triumph of Doublespeak - Orwell would have been depressingly proud of what this article said: "As of today, we certainly have enough money to survive based on the generosity of private individuals and foundations," Dr. Walsh told The Blade yesterday. "But you can't go back to the same people over and over again. There comes a point where they say, ‘Fix it or that's it,’ " he added. [...] David Waterman, a member of the COSI executive board, said the COSI board could place another 0.167-mill issue on the ballot as early as May. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 05:32 A.M. EST on Thu Dec 28, 2006     43 comments

Toledo Standard -- Complain About Elitism and Get Fired! - Roberta deBoer writes: "Last Sunday I wrote about "Ed," a pseudonym I gave a young limo driver. [...] The company's board, he said, was "flying in to discuss bankruptcy, and here they are with cars waiting for hours on end, essentially so they won't have to wait. So they can get into their elevator and have a car waiting to take them a few hundred yards to dinner." Are you surprised that when the phone rang at Ed's Sylvania home the day those remarks were published, it was his boss?" - More>>
posted by GuestZero to business at 01:19 P.M. EST on Tue Dec 26, 2006     26 comments

If the Truth is Bad -- Hide it! - "A barometer of local manufacturing activity, produced for more than a decade by Toledo's Regional Growth Partnership, is no more. Citing a need to prioritize its resources to create jobs, rather than "just measuring stuff," the partnership has halted its monthly manufacturing index. It surveyed factories in northwest Ohio to measure whether production was growing or contracting. [...] [T]he index was the only local benchmark of the manufacturing community. Other economic figures that are available include unemployment, home sales, car sales, and bankruptcies. But none measures production, inventory, raw-material prices, vendor deliveries, and new orders at local factories. The last factory index generated, in September, produced a reading that was second lowest in a decade, trailing only a measure found right after the terrorists attacks in September, 2001."
posted by GuestZero to politics at 12:54 P.M. EST on Tue Dec 26, 2006     8 comments

Home Rule on Guns is Shot Down - Somebody has to tell Mr Taft that when he held up his right hand and took an oath, it was necessary for him to have understood the oath he was taking -- and as well, the law of the land he purported to defend. To wit: It's simply not constitutional to bar or ban citizens from owning and bearing firearms. The US Constitution positively PROHIBITS such bans. The language of the Second Amendment is extraordinarily clear. Like with many states, Ohio's constitution affirms the right and even expands upon it, citing self-protection. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 11:46 A.M. EST on Wed Dec 13, 2006     44 comments

Strickland Shy in School-Funding Equalization? - I voted for the man, but it still sent shudders down my spine to see him speaking before "more than 1,000 cheering teacher union representatives". Whatever makes that unionized labor force happy simply can't be good for Ohio's taxpayers and parents. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to education at 03:37 P.M. EST on Wed Dec 06, 2006     10 comments

Exxon Mobil CEO Admits He's a Socialist - The AP article (also here) titled "Exxon Mobil CEO Warns Ending Tax Breaks" and "Exxon Mobil CEO warns against congressional Democrats' plan to end industry tax breaks" said: "Proposals by congressional Democrats to eliminate oil industry tax breaks and subsidies would set a bad example overseas and discourage new industry investments, Exxon Mobil's top executive said Thursday. Rex W. Tillerson said moves suggested by leaders of the incoming Democratic congressional majority would encourage similar steps by governments abroad, where Exxon Mobil Corp. generates the bulk of its profit." Poor bastards. Only $10.49 billion in profit last quarter? How ever does Tillerson keep the lights on at Exxon Mobil? - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 06:41 A.M. EST on Fri Dec 01, 2006     8 comments

TPS Levy Propaganda Begins - Well, it looks like the Blade is starting the propaganda campaign for the next TPS levy. Sure, we can give the Blade credit for mentioning technical truths ... for example, that any qualifying levy that's passed will immediately lose $11+ million to cover the retroactive-raises program. However, there are other truths here that weren't mentioned, in that Toledo is dying economically and that it's farcical to expect to get a raise of any kind around here. In comparison to the working class, TPS teachers make very good wages -- $32K starting, $48K average. (For a single person trying to live modestly on such wages, they can easily service their school debts and then go on to live quite comfortably post-debt ... sliding frictionlessly into forming a prosperous family.) So, as the working class is being progressively told to accept lesser wages and/or to accept higher costs, so should government employees ... - More>>
posted by GuestZero to education at 01:37 P.M. EST on Mon Nov 27, 2006     108 comments

COSI: Levy ... or Simple Theft? - From the link, COSI not only claims that they get 250000 visitors each year (although the recent green/black flyer claims 300000 -- no problem-o! ... I'll use THAT number instead), but that the levy will provide $1.25 million for "operational funds". - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 11:53 A.M. EST on Sat Oct 21, 2006     18 comments

Surprise, Konop & Sarantou Approve of $80M Arena - This is actually not a shock to anyone, but according to the Blade both Konop and Sarantou approve of the $80M farce called the Arena project. Firstly, everyone knows it will not be accomplished on- or under-budget. Secondly, saying a hotel/motel tax and arena revenue share will pay off bonds is a pure lie since the city of Toledo has too often taken over bond payments in the past for similar broken promises of "economic development". As soon as the hotels encounter their drop in revenue (especially from the deep national recession coming in 2007), they will whine and cry about it, and the city and/or county will simply pick up the bond payments in order to avoid losing face. As soon as the arena can't make similar required payments, the same bailout will happen. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 05:50 P.M. EST on Sat Oct 14, 2006     26 comments

Ben Konop's Lawsuit Against Convergys Was Dismissed - One of the biggest troubles with the news media is its constant inability to followup on a story. So, I followed up on one myself. Ben Konop took Convergys Corporation to court for 2 clients over various issues involving compensation from the state of Ohio (as a $200,000 Ohio Industrial Training Program incentive grant) and the city of Toledo (through tax abatement) that the company received for its Toledo call center (which opened in 2000 in Glenbyrne Plaza, but then closed in early 2004). This issue received a boost from Mr Konop personally on ToledoTalk. The 8/10/2005 lawsuit filing was covered in the Toledo Blade, in the Cincinnati Business Courier and at WTOL. (Mr Konop's own website lists some of these links and more, yet fails to mention what I found out below.) - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 02:34 A.M. EST on Thu Sep 28, 2006     3 comments

Health Insurance Costs Lead to Heart Attacks - Well, I'm jokin' about the heart attacks, but the costs have risen so much that they are probably leading to panic attacks in consumers, small businessmen, corporate benefits executives, and finally public treasurers. The article has some great stats to help understand that perhaps there's something deeper to blame than, say, unionized workers for the health-care costs attached to an "American" car: - More>>
posted by GuestZero to health at 01:18 P.M. EST on Tue Sep 26, 2006     14 comments

Sex Offenders a Legal Nuisance? - The Blade's Ms. Robin Erb (disclosure: I've spoken to her directly about the topic before) is reporting that city prosecutors are trying another tactic to force registered sex offenders to move out of restricted zones (most famously, if living within 1000ft of a school). The tactic involves declaring the non-move of the offender to be a nuisance under the "nuisance abatement" laws. This would place the legal action within the criminal courts instead of the civil ones, giving prosecutors and police more power.
posted by GuestZero to culture at 12:32 P.M. EST on Thu Sep 21, 2006     11 comments

ToledoTalk Grab-n-Gab - We could stand for another face-to-face to see who those scoundrels are behind those silly nicknames on the site. I mean, c'mon, "GuestZero"? What kind of goof picks a name like that? Satisfy any lingering curiosity you have, and enjoy the blessed produce of the divine bean. I'm proposing Saturday night, say 6-8pm, at a suitable cafe that isn't closet sized (hence, Downtown Latte is RIGHT OUT!). Let's pick a venue, pick a time, and let's grab a coffee and gab.
posted by GuestZero to T2-related at 12:01 A.M. EST on Thu Sep 14, 2006     40 comments

J'Accuse! (And That's Enough.) - Apparently, Ohio now needs to feel even more safe -- so safe that the standards of legal proof against accused sex offenders could be lowered so that they will fall outside what was before considered, er, legal ... to wit: "An Ohio legislative panel yesterday rubber-stamped an unprecedented process that would allow sex offenders to be publicly identified and tracked even if they've never been charged with a crime. [...] The person's name, address, and photograph would be placed on a new Internet database and the person would be subjected to the same registration and community notification requirements and restrictions on where he could live." Who needs trials, anyway? They're so messy, expensive, and most of all -- uncertain!
posted by GuestZero to politics at 02:00 A.M. EST on Mon Sep 04, 2006     32 comments

Blackwell Makes Me Ill - As a part of his so-called "Health Policy" Blackwell has showed that once again, he is a strong representative of his "base" -- the elite who run insurance companies, to wit: - More>>
posted by GuestZero to health at 12:29 A.M. EST on Fri Sep 01, 2006     24 comments

The Project is a Lem(m)on - Blade columnist Russ Lemmon says that the "Arena delays waste millions" in his article, based upon a $31 million increase in estimated costs between plans. Then he asks "Can we really afford to keep putting it off?" -- yet one wonders who is the "we" in that statement, since there's literally nothing stopping private investors from spending their own money on a sports arena. He then uses the now-standard line of fear by proposing that the arena will only get more expensive when it (allegedly) needs to get built, and then names a few cities with enormous arena price tags in the hundreds of millions. Lemmon is only pushing the also-now-standard line of intensive corporate welfare, sourly using the term "naysayers" to deride anyone who thinks otherwise. Too bad for him that it's even more in the public interest to ask: How long before all these projects go bust on ... - More>>
posted by GuestZero to business at 12:04 P.M. EST on Thu Aug 10, 2006     51 comments

Playing the Anti-Gambling Card - Hmm, Bi-Partisan Republicanism ... sorry about the cheap shot, but it looks like private organized gambling will continue to be illegal in Ohio for a long time. '' Voinovich, Strickland show off new unity; pair forge alliance against gambling[.] [A] similar event is planned later this year with Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the Republican nominee for governor, who opposes the gambling measure[.] Mr. Blackwell's spokesman, Carlo LoParo, said the campaign took no offense at the Voinovich-Strickland appearance. "Opposition to gambling is a bipartisan issue," Mr. LoParo said. '' Both Strickland and Blackwell seem to be betting that a popular sentiment has any moral validity in politics when it is an affront to personal liberty. Oh, well, there may be a fallback to Ohio's Native American tribes, who can follow other tribes to ante up with a casino or three. The Governor's office and legislature don't hold all the cards ... - More>>
posted by GuestZero to culture at 12:38 P.M. EST on Tue Aug 08, 2006     9 comments

Toledo Made Light II - It can't be all bad in Toledo. At least we have our sense of humor. Allow me to introduce the second "Toledo Made Light" event. Post a joke that some Toledoan had told you recently. Here's mine: - More>>
posted by GuestZero to culture at 03:52 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 08, 2006     25 comments

Toledo Flooded ... With Questions - After 5+ years of paying for upgrades to the storm-sewer system (after decades of intentional neglect of an original system about a century old), West Toledoans are once again flooded out of their basements. Deja vu! Doesn't anyone remember the floods in 2000/1? Doesn't anyone remember getting socked with vastly increased sewer fees that promised to stop flooding? Of course, people DO remember, and now Toledo is flooding again -- with questions. Will the mayor and city council stack sandbags of b*llshit to stem such a tide? The article says that Rob Ludeman (who presided over the issue in 1999) was "stunned at how much damage the storm did last week". I think instead that he was stunned at how easily their sewer-fee scam was exposed -- TWICE -- in just 6 years.
posted by GuestZero to environment at 01:39 P.M. EST on Mon Jun 26, 2006     27 comments

Toledo & Ohio Shrink; When Will Our Government? - After dropping 1.1% last year, Toledo nearly dipped below 300000 people ... after a 30-year-long drop. So, what is the dominant thinking in the mayor's office, the LCC race, the Toledo Zoo, the city council (the "Other Toledo Zoo"), the Toledo Bored-- er, Board of Education, and the TPD/TFD? Why, they are all thinking about more taxes, new or higher fees, contracts with hefty COLAs, and of course a plethora of levies. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to culture at 09:59 A.M. EST on Wed Jun 21, 2006     56 comments

Black-owned firms facing slow growth in Toledo area - What does this mean? I read the article many times and I'm still confused about what it implies. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to business at 01:05 A.M. EST on Fri Apr 21, 2006     21 comments

Toledo Made Light - Things are getting pretty dark around here. Illuminate us with a joke that you heard from a Toledoan in the last week. Here's mine: - More>>
posted by GuestZero to entertainment at 09:59 P.M. EST on Tue Apr 18, 2006     48 comments

Mixed Message on Home Rule - It appears we're going to be waiting longer for the trains at crossings around Toledo, since the penalty for blocking intersections is now precisely ZERO. I find it odd that judges would feel that via "home rule", a city can nearly ban the 2nd Amendment (Toledo has a gun ban, and also bans open carry -- whereas Ohio's SC has affirmed that right), but when it comes to something like penalizing a train for blocking a crossing for 5 minutes or more, a judge starts squawking about how federal law overrules local codes. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 11:04 A.M. EST on Wed Apr 12, 2006     7 comments

Making Unigov Lemonade From Toledo Lem(m)on - Russ Lemmon sourly spanked Toledo for its "petty provincialism", and applauded Fort Wayne IN for embracing Unigov. Somebody's gotta tell Russ that what he thinks is provincialism is actually sound enforcement of government jurisdiction. People are moving to the outside of Toledo to GET AWAY from the disgusting City of Toledo politician class, excessive taxation and all the problems that accompany deep poverty. Effectively, they've voted with their feet, yet the "shock and awe" of that pedestrian election has still not impressed Toledo's politicians and columnists with the truth. Instead, the pols and cols have hammered upon the idea of Unigov. - More>>
posted by GuestZero to politics at 12:22 P.M. EST on Mon Apr 10, 2006     17 comments

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