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Monday, July 28, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 6/19/2005

Peoria slurs seem so dated now that Toledo readily bashed

Seven molasses-coated Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Jennifer Wilbanks' 15 minutes of fame to end:

  • Gregg Easterbrook, writing in last Sunday's New York Times, had his pick of cities to make a point about the decline of General Motors. But he chose Toledo.

    "Toyota, Honda and others have long focused their marketing research on California, to be close to the pulse of the car culture. G.M. does its big thinking in Michigan, which is a little like studying fashion in Toledo."

    Ouch.

    We've been sucker punched. Again.

    I called Mr. Easterbrook, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, and asked why Toledo got the nod over, say, Milwaukee or Omaha. He said he wanted to use a Midwestern city, and Toledo came to mind. It was that simple, he said.

    Mr. Easterbrook said he has never been to Toledo, making his out-of-the-blue reference even more perplexing. (At least Washington attorney Brendan Sullivan had been here when, in a federal courtroom in 1999, he mocked us for being "the only place where the McDonald's closes at 5 o'clock.") I'm thinking if Carty Finkbeiner were still mayor, Mr. Easterbrook would have some explaining to do.

    Perhaps we should be flattered that he chose Toledo. He said decades ago Peoria, Ill., was considered "the ultimate Midwest town" - and Toledo fits that profile today.

    "G.M. does its big thinking in Michigan, which is a little like studying fashion in Peoria."

    Doesn't have quite the same oomph, does it? When it comes to being the butt of jokes, Peoria is so yesterday.

  • A five-day suspension was an appropriate punishment for Jay Black, Jr., who called a local television program and used a false name on the air. To resign as Toledo Mayor Jack Ford's chief of staff - a job that pays $92,500 a year - was a bizarre twist to a story that would have been forgotten within a month.

    Have at it, conspiracy theorists.

  • Go, Ahmed Dia, go. His company, CBD Entertainment, is quickly becoming a major downtown player. By opening two clubs on Friday, CBD now owns five bars in the heart of downtown. A sixth is set to open next month.

    Fifth Third Field is starting to pay some meaningful dividends.

  • Memo to those who are adamant that the arena be built on the east side: Please re-read the above paragraph. A downtown arena would spur even more development. The Marina District will be one of the city's jewels, with or without an arena.

  • Because I tend to associate "false sincerity" with politicians who wear religion on their sleeves, I read with a skeptical eye the story about Swanton Village Council voting to begin its meetings with a prayer.

  • An autospy concluded that Terri Schiavo had no chance of recovering from her vegetative state. A jury determined that Michael Jackson was not guilty of child-molestation charges. Tom Noe's attorney admitted $10 million to $12 million of assets linked to the state's rare-coin investment are "unaccounted for."

    I can think of two WSPD-AM (1370) talk-show hosts who, based on their original stances, were 0-for-3. To their credit, they no longer blindly defend Mr. Noe, using words like "duped" and "betrayed" to explain their turnarounds.

  • A clip-and-save prediction: Keith Wilkowski will be elected mayor of Toledo in November.



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