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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 8/8/2004

Of Wal-Mart, trash collection fees, and 'retired' teachers

Eleven bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for the winner of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic to collect her $165,000 check:

  • Every workday I drive past the Toledo Commons shopping center on Glendale Avenue and marvel at the transformation of what used to be an ugly, abandoned industrial site. Another restaurant is on the way, and so are more small shops.

    Wal-Mart brought this 50-acre site back to life.

    I'm thinking we're almost to the point where we should ask Wal-Mart if it has any interest in a 50-acre parcel in downtown Toledo.

  • If I'm Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, I stop with the budget hand-wringing and do something that now seems inevitable: impose a $5 monthly trash collection fee. Some suburban residents pay more than three times that.

  • Call it a hunch: If the measure to modify Toledo's smoking ban makes the November ballot, it will result in a net gain for President Bush. (By the way, I've got to give the city's bar owners credit. A measure to rescind the ban would have had no chance of passing.)

  • Each time I receive an e-mail from a right-winger trying to demonize Teresa Heinz Kerry, I am reminded of what her husband said about her in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention -- that is, she has the strongest moral compass of anyone he knows.

  • A note to those who believe that "no one" rides TARTA buses: I counted 33 passengers on the one I took home Tuesday. (That broke the previous "record" of 32.)

  • The Anthony Wayne Board of Education voted last week to rehire three teachers who retired at the end of last school year. The teachers will be double-dipping - collecting a pension and drawing a salary from the school. (Yes, I know their salaries will be substantially lower than before.) Given how many teachers in the area have been laid off because of budget cuts, shouldn't those who "retire" step aside and allow younger teachers to gain experience?

  • Memo to the 17 Toledo Public Schools administrators who returned their $2,000 merit bonuses: It was the right thing to do. Thanks for keeping your word.

  • Some readers would say it's no coincidence that my three favorite singers -- John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Springsteen -- are taking part in Vote for Change, a series of concerts to be held in October to raise money for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

  • Oh, the irony. A local radio talk-show host, who unabashedly supports the President, mockingly told listeners that he changed his mind about Mr. Bush after Mr. Springsteen "endorsed" Mr. Kerry. (As if anyone cares what celebrities say, he clearly insinuated.) About a half-hour later, in a commercial, the host used his own celebrity status to endorse a product.

  • In this space last week I suggested that it will take an economic miracle to save the Erie Street Market. While that was the consensus of the readers who responded too, Reynold had an idea that's worth considering. He said the Farmers' Market area should be redesigned so that there is a closer tie to ESM. He said to make it so visitors have to go through ESM to get to the Farmers' Market, or that they have to go inside ESM to pick up an admission ticket for the Farmers' Market. "Even if the ticket is free," he said. "You know, just to get them in there."

  • Could it be that we'll make it through 2004 without an Ozone Action Day? While that would be a good thing, I kind of look forward to riding the bus for free a few days each summer.



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