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Published: Sunday, 10/30/2005

City must find way out of Nazi minefield

Seven bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while adjusting to those dreary pre-6 p.m. sunsets:

  • How did we ever get ourselves in this position?

    The National Socialist Movement a group that most of us hadn't even heard of a month ago seems intent on turning our lives upside down. It is planning to return to Toledo before the end of the year.

    Not that the neo-Nazis sought our consent for either visit.

    About 15 white supremists came here Oct. 15 to supposedly challenge two local black gangs. Toledo Police canceled the march, but the supremists' presence helped to ignite a riot that drew national media coverage. It was one of the ugliest days in Toledo history.

    Not that the neo-Nazis care about wrongly painting Toledo as a racially divided city.

    If rhetoric on the Web site overthrow.com is any indication, they will be more organized next time. And a "mandatory" training session which includes "riot/protest scenario wargaming" suggests they will be more aggressive.

    Not that the neo-Nazis will help offset the law-enforcement expenses for either visit.

    We are being used by an organization that promotes hate. All because we couldn't keep our emotions in check 15 days ago.

    Shame on us for being outsmarted by bigots. Now, our city is playing a central role in their "divide and conquer" strategy.

    It's going to take extraordinary political leadership to navigate this minefield.

  • By unleashing an "attack ad" against Carty Finkbeiner, it's obvious that Toledo Mayor Jack Ford's campaign is desperate. But it's also obvious that "Bad Carty" whose appearance could still sway the election isn't going to come out of his shell unless he's prodded.

  • While I've never warmed to calling it the Buckeye Basin Greenbelt Parkway, there are better options than "Cesar E. Chavez Greenbelt Parkway." The proposal by Louis Escobar, president of Toledo City Council, to rename the 1 1/2-mile divided highway in honor of the legendary California union leader reeks of politics.

    How about honoring someone with local ties, such as Art Tatum or Jamie Farr?

  • Based on his pledge to try to reduce the number of City Council seats from 12 to nine, council candidate Dave Schulz had me at "hello."

  • Last weekend, about 700 people went to see the three screenings of Twist of Faith at the University of Toledo. At the Maumee Indoor Theater, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith attracted 687 for its 14-day run in August.

    The Star Wars film ranks No. 7 on the theater's list of top box-office draws this year.

    Raise your hand if you're still buying the "business decision" reason for the theater rejecting a week-long screening of Twist of Faith.

  • Loyal reader Norm sent an e-mail pointing out something interesting from the lengthy list of restaurant inspections in Monday's paper.

    "Isn't it a little bit ironic that Jim and Lou's bar had a violation-free inspection on Oct. 3?" he wrote. "Looks like it's too late for a green stamp from [WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and its Restaurant Report Card]."

    (Background: Jim and Lou's bar was destroyed by fire during the riot.)

  • Even though I have no intention of forking over the $2 to play, I find myself singing the bouncy jingle for the Ohio Lottery's new game, Lot 'O Play, a few times each day.

    Ah, the power of advertising.

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