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Published: Sunday, 6/20/2004

Toledo would pay a price for undersized arena

Eight bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 to make its way to Toledo:

  • A Phoenix developer proposes building an 8,100-seat arena on the East Side? What a mistake that would be.

    I'm talking about the number of seats, not the location. If Toledo wants to be the site for tourist-drawing events, such as NCAA basketball or hockey tournaments, a four-digit seating capacity isn't going to cut it.

    An undersized arena would be the ticket to decades of continued underachievement for Toledo.

  • The University of Toledo needs a reality check. Recommending substantial pay increases for two top administrators after asking students to pay 9.9 percent more in tuition and fees this fall has an air of arrogance about it.

    Provost Alan Goodridge already makes $188,550 a year. William Decatur, a senior vice president, is at $171,159.

    Their proposed raises -- $21,683 for Mr. Goodridge; $25,341 for Mr. Decatur -- are more than many people make in a year. (Mr. Decatur's annual pay boost, for example, equates to a full-time job that pays $12.18 per hour.)

    UT's spring enrollment was down 4.2 percent, so it's not like it's time to break out the champagne.

    Budgetary belt-tightening requires sacrifice. Apparently, UT's belt still has a few notches to go before school administrators cross the discomfort threshold.

  • Well, what do you know? It's June 20, the deadline for the site of the former Brenda's Body Shop -- you know, the major-league eyesore adjacent to Fifth Third Field -- to be "presentable" to the public.

  • If Native American tribes are allowed to build casino resorts in Ohio, is there any doubt that state-regulated casinos would follow? (That's what happened in Michigan: Indian casinos opened in 1993; gambling halls came to Detroit in 1999.)

    It's inevitable state legislators are going to have to deal with the issue of state-regulated casinos. It's just a matter of whether they are proactive or reactive.

  • In this space on Dec. 29, 2002, I asked: "Knowing that I will be keeping a copy of your e-mail for verification purposes, what is your boldest prediction for 2003?"

    Well, much to my surprise, reader Len kept a copy of his reply -- and he sent it to me last month after Dillard's announced that it will be leaving Southwyck Shopping Center for The Shops at Fallen Timbers, a development that is expected to open late next year.

    An excerpt from his original e-mail: "Dillard's will announce that [it is] pulling out of Southwyck and will anchor one of the new stores at Fallen Timbers; this will be the final death blow for Southwyck."

    I suppose I could be a stickler and reject Len's prediction because this happened in 2004, not 2003, but I won't.

  • Timing wasn't on the side of the Maumee City Council of the Arts, which, on the day of Ronald Reagan's funeral, kicked off its "Summer in the City" rock concert series with The Menus as the featured act. The headliner for July 17? Reaganomics.

  • Speaking of concerts, I'm thinking a "perfect storm" of twisted band names will hit Toledo on Aug. 4. That's when Cattle Decapitation, Decapitated, Goatwhore, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Watch Them Die are scheduled to perform at the former West Masonic Temple, 1910 Phillips Ave., according to the Web site pollstar.com.

  • Last call for those still whining about Toledo's smoking ban: You have until July 9 to gather 9,479 valid signatures and put a measure to repeal it on the November ballot.



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