Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
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Opinion

The many districts of downtown

Some items while trying to figure out if I should be proud of or embarrassed by Marcy Kaptur's out-of-nowhere bid for House minority leader:

WHAT'S IN A NAME?: Continuing with last week's theme, I contend that the Toledo metropolitan area is way too territorial and, as a result, the big picture continually suffers.

Our territorial tendencies border on the ridiculous. I had no idea, for example, that downtown Toledo had so many “districts.”

Oh, there's more than just the Warehouse District and the Marina District. There's also the Rally District and the Stadium District.

Rally District? That's what a tent card on a restaurant table said.

Stadium District? That's what an employment ad said.

Apparently, the lines of the Warehouse District, Rally District, and Stadium District converge somewhere inside Erie Street Market.

The tent card promoting the Rally District was found in a Erie Street Market restaurant. (I didn't ask, but I assume “Rally” is short for “Rally by the River.”)

The employment ad, which touted the Stadium District, was seeking a new executive director for Erie Street Market.

So if all this time you thought “Toledo's premier urban retail project” (that's how the employment ad described it, anyway) was part of the Warehouse District, you'd only be partially correct. It is one-third Warehouse District, one-third Rally District, and one-third Stadium District. Or thereabouts.

Which brings me to an e-mail that I received from a former Toledoan who lives in Alexandria, Va. (Mike agreed with the stance I took in last week's column -- that Toledo should follow Louisville's lead and merge city and county governments.)

“Until the county and city begin reading off the same sheet of music, Lucas County and the City of Toledo will continue to decline in population and tax base,” Mike said. “As long as out-of-state development interests and local real-estate hustlers decide what the community will look like, there is not likely to be any hope of turning the situation around.”

Bingo, Mike. Let's start by taking some baby steps. How about it, Erie Street Market? Would you mind reading off the same sheet of music?

Pick a district and go with it.

TWIN PACK: Two slanted questions this week. To commemorate the number of hours Ms. Kaptur stayed in the race for House minority leader, I'm offering 25 points for each correct answer. (Note: Click on the link below and check out reader response to last week's questions.)

1) Given that it's been 427 days since President Bush said he wanted the still-unaccounted-for Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” (he said it on Sept. 17, 2001), wouldn't Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other conservative “extremists” be vilifying Bill Clinton if he still resided in the White House and this much time had passed? (Disclaimer: I'm not blaming Mr. Bush, folks, just pointing out an obvious double standard.)

2) Speaking of the great political grudge match: Just to settle things once and for all, wouldn't it be great if Democrats and Republicans agreed to a “one-time exemption” to the Constitution that allowed Bill Clinton to run for president against George W. Bush in 2004? (Hey, I would gladly sign a petition - as long as “extremist” supporters of the losing candidate agreed to eat a big plate of crow and, most importantly, permanently cease with the partisan snipping.)

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