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Published: Sunday, 11/21/2004

Arena key for Toledo to move up on economic list

Ten molasses-coated Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Colin Powell's tell-all book:

  • For the second consecutive year, our regional economy ranks 195th among the nation's 200 biggest metro areas. I'm thinking the Milken Institute, which conducts the annual study, would be safe in penciling us in for a spot in the 190s every year until construction begins on a new arena.

  • Given Toledo's current budget crisis, the decision in 2001 to raise the mayor's salary by $61,000 (from $75,000 to $136,000) and increase the money paid annually to City Council members by $108,000 (all 12 members received a $9,000 raise, to $27,500) seems as foolhardy now as it did then.

  • Comedian Bill Maher calls it "fake outrage." There is no better example of what he means than the public uproar over last week's Desperate Housewives / Monday Night Football stunt.

    It's November sweeps, people. It's about generating buzz for a new show. And the network used playful seduction and lust to do it. Gee, does anyone doubt that tonight's episode of Desperate Housewives will attract more viewers than the show has ever had?

    CNN anchor Aaron Brown spoke for those still suffering from Janet Jackson fatigue when he asked this question: "Have we turned into a nation of complainers?"

  • A Drop with a "born on" date of Aug. 8: "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."

    So much for being a day late and a dollar short. With City Council considering a $7-a-month fee, Mr. Ford is three months late, and I was two dollars short.

  • The price of a cup of chili at Wendy's: 99 cents in 2001, 99 cents in 2002, 99 cents in 2003, and 99 cents in 2004.

    The price of an adult ticket to see the Mud Hens play at Fifth Third Field: $8 in 2002, $8 in 2003, $8 in 2004, and $8 in 2005.

    The price of tuition for a full-time student at Owens Community College: $2,428 in 2003, $2,660 in 2004, and, as proposed by school trustees, $2,900 in 2005.

  • Since when does 53 percent of the electoral vote constitute a mandate? President Bush barely survived his re-election bid, unlike Bill Clinton (70 percent of the electoral vote in 1996), Ronald Reagan (98 percent in 1984), Richard Nixon (97 percent in 1972), and Dwight Eisenhower (86 percent in 1956).

  • Take note, Republicans, of this report from loyal reader Harvey, a staunch Democrat, on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent appearance on Larry King Live: "He is very impressive."

    If we amend the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens to be elected president, there is potential for a landslide in 2008.

  • A $250 bar bill while attending a convention in Columbus? If you're looking for ways to liven up your holiday party, you may want to invite the trustees and clerk of Defiance County's Washington Township.

  • If you ask me, there can't be too many roundups of deadbeat parents. Last week, Lucas County law-enforcement officers arrested 47 people who owe more than $1 million combined in child support.

  • "This is a moral country! You have none." (It came as no surprise that this postelection nose-rub, which arrived in Wednesday's mail, had neither a return address nor a signature.)



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