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Published: Sunday, 7/30/2006

Let's vote on casinos, not just slots

Nine molasses-coated Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Ashlee Simpson's next visit to Toledo:

  • The "slippery slope" argument doesn't have a very good track record.

    Be it gay marriage, gun control, or smoking bans, the rabid oppositionists some might call them fear-mongers describe a "slippery slope" scenario that never seems to pan out.

    In November, Ohioans are likely to vote on an issue whether to allow slot machines at the state's seven racetracks where the "slippery slope" argument is valid. The thinking, of course, is that slot machines will lead to casino gambling.

    Let's slide down the slope right now, I say. Forget the vote on slot machines and go straight to a ballot initiative regarding casinos.

    Allowing slot machines, but not table games, would be the gambling equivalent of 3.2 beer.

  • Passenger traffic at Toledo Express Airport is running about 25 percent below the 15-year average.

    Last year, despite a 23.6 percent drop in passenger volume at the airport, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority President James Hartung received a 6 percent raise, bringing his salary to $164,724 annually.

    With passenger volume off 15.8 percent during the first half of 2006, the port authority's board of directors might want to consider a pay freeze for Mr. Hartung in 2007.

  • A peek into Toledo's downtown economic-development kitchen:

    Marina District? Front burner. Low temperature. (Hey, at least it's on the front burner again the first time since late 2001.)

    Arena? Front burner. Temperature off. (The momentum for this project has all but evaporated.)

    Steam plant? Back burner. Temperature off. (Paging Jim Jackson.)

  • Say what you will about former Toledo City Councilman Bob McCloskey, but at least he was contrite before being sentenced to 27 months in a federal prison for his conviction on bribery charges.

    "I have no one to blame but myself," he told a federal judge. "I have let a lot of people down."

    I almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.

  • Toledo is a Triple-A city for baseball, a Double-A city for hockey, and a Single-A city for concerts.

    Cheap Trick at the Lucas County Fair? Grand Funk Railroad at the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off? It's like we enter the time-warp zone every summer, when so many past-their-prime musical acts stop here.

  • Maumee-based Hickory Farms is planning to build a 250,000-square-foot distribution center in Joliet, Ill. Even though the company's headquarters will remain in Arrowhead Park, I felt a certain amount of sadness after reading the story - similar to the way I felt when Owens-Illinois announced it was moving from Toledo to Perrysburg.

  • Because I've always felt that Danny Thomas is underappreciated in Toledo, I'm OK with naming the airport after him. But if that doesn't happen, then at least name something besides a park in his honor. The Greenbelt Parkway would be a good choice.

  • A double thumbs-up to Bob Joseph, 81, for trying to get some positive energy flowing with a "Thumbs Up" campaign.

  • Pride squared.

    First, Sam Hornish, Jr., did northwest Ohio proud by winning the Indianapolis 500. Then, Defiance does the region proud by honoring him with a parade - the city's first event of this kind since 1954.

    Well done, Defiance.



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