Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Hello, Ohio schools: It snows at the mall too

Some items while thinking you might want to check your pulse if you walk out of Mamma Mia! without a smile on your face:

SNOW DAZE: From what I understand, many of you walked to school in knee-deep snow. Uphill. Both ways.

Not me. When we had knee-deep snow, school was canceled.

The bar is a little lower these days.

This should be the rule of thumb for “snow days” in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan: If students can make it to the mall, then they can make it to school.

A trip to Westfield Shoppingtown Franklin Park on Wednesday prompted reader Jennifer to “vent” about school closings in an e-mail. She spotted school-age kids throughout the mall.

“Funny, they had no problem getting there today!” she wrote. “I just want to say, Hello, this is Ohio! It is winter! It will snow! ”

So many exclamation points, so little precipitation.

Closing school on a day when it fails the “mall test” solidifies my belief that our education system does a poor job of preparing students for the “real world.” If nothing else, making it to school when the streets are covered with ice and snow is a lesson in perseverance.

Oh, well. I suppose making it to the mall on a “snow day” teaches the same lesson.

A-RAY-NA: Why do I have this nagging feeling that a new arena will be an afterthought for the Marina District? At least in the $330 million version proposed by Larry Dillin, president of Dillin Development Corp. of Perrysburg.

Mr. Dillin has indicated the project is viable, with or without an arena.

The proposed “Esplanade at River East” includes $115 million in residential development and $120 million in commercial development. Take away the $60 million arena, and it s still a $270 million project, or $95 million more than the one proposed by Frank Kass in 2000. (Mr. Kass insisted that an arena be a part of his project.)

It s not too late to revisit Ray Kest s arena plan. The Lucas County treasurer s proposal, unveiled in 2003, calls for a 14,000-seat facility to be built in the Warehouse District, just a block from Fifth Third Field.

Here s what I like best about Mr. Kest s plan: Lucas County would be in charge of the $51 million project, as was the case with the $39 million baseball stadium. The county had a commitment to quality with Fifth Third Field, and an arena deserves the same.

Waterfront housing, not an arena, is the centerpiece of Mr. Dillin s proposal. Quick, name a city where an arena is located adjacent to a residential area.

TWIN PACK: Two slanted questions this week. To commemorate the average cost, in millions, for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl, I m offering 2.25 points for each correct answer.

1) If the situation was reversed, and another country invaded the United States -- for what it believed was a just cause -- and killed more than 10,000 of our citizens, isn t it unfathomable that we would accept “intelligence failure” as an excuse if it turned out the aggressor s No. 1 reason for invading us was bogus? (Background: Two days before we invaded Iraq, President Bush said there was “no doubt that the Iraqi regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”)

2) Isn t Dennis Kucinich, the Cleveland congressman, doing his constituents a disservice by staying in the Democratic race for president?

E-mail Russ Lemmon at

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