Toledo needs three words: vision, vision, more vision
Nine bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Ann Coulter to ask the Wizard of Oz to give her a heart:
As regular readers know, I believe Toledo could have grown up to be just as vibrant as Indianapolis.
More than three decades ago, when its downtown was as dead as Toledo's is today, Indianapolis adopted a uni-gov system. Two arenas, a domed stadium, a baseball stadium, a mall, and a zoo later, downtown Indianapolis is as good as it gets in the Midwest.
Well, it's 2006 and another forward-thinking Indianapolis vs. resistant-to-change Toledo scenario is playing out. Actually, this time it involves each city's suburban communities.
In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, nine local governments have adopted smoke-free ordinances this year.
Talk about a spirit of regional cooperation.
Toledo adopted a smoking ban in 2003. Not one suburban community, I'm embarrassed to say, has followed Toledo's lead.
Which leads me to this posting found on skyscrapercity.com:
After my first visit to downtown Toledo a few weeks ago, the one thing that stood out to me was its amazing potential for rebirth. I mean, there's a river, the historic architecture, and not to mention the beautiful Fifth Third [Field] situated in what appeared to be a trendy urban neighborhood. What's holding this city back?
In a word, apathy.
In two words, petty provincialism.
In three words, lack of vision.
I had a weird dream the other night. The bus that is the Toledo Board of Education was on the verge of driving off a cliff, and then, out of nowhere, the Man of Steel came to the rescue.
Memo to Steve Steel, member of the Toledo school board: Aligning yourself with Deborah Barnett and Larry Sykes in such a public way was a truly courageous move. The board has been rudderless for the past six months, and you chose to publicly distance yourself from the ineffective "3 for Change" faction (Darlene Fisher and Robert Torres).
Because there are three houses for sale in my neighborhood (that's the most we've had at one time), I've had a heightened awareness of signs in front yards lately. Those living on Heatherdowns Boulevard, east of Byrne, can probably relate. Along that 0.8-mile stretch of two-lane road, 11 homes are on the market.
Some might claim the reason for the real-estate glut on that 0.8-mile stretch of Heatherdowns is because it's behind the Wal-Mart store on Glendale Avenue. (Incidentally, the retailer got the OK Thursday to add 62,337 square feet to the building, which will allow it to sell groceries, thereby creating the first Wal-Mart Supercenter in Toledo.) I question whether such a claim would pass the logic test, however.
Is Maumee on a roll, or what? First, it was listed in Best Places To Raise a Family: the Top 100 Affordable Communities in the U.S., published by Frommer's, which is best known for its travel guides. Today, the city will find out how it fared in the National Civic League's All-America City competition.
Please, Lucas County commissioners Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak, don't make the same mistake with the downtown arena as former Toledo mayor Jack Ford did with the Marina District. That is, any update is better than no update.
Speaking of Mr. Ford, I'm thinking he'd receive more than 38 percent of the vote if he had a rematch with Carty Finkbeiner.