Saturday, May 26, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Massive eyesore just won't go away

Seven bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on waiting for the recent flare-up in 9/11 finger-pointing to subside:

  • On behalf of the people living near the closed Doehler-Jarvis factory, I would like to present Toledo's mayor with a "Carty Gets Results" challenge.

    Actually, I'm just the middleman loyal reader Harvey, whose job takes him past the site (along Smead Avenue, between Dorr and Bancroft streets) most days, described the mammoth eyesore in an e-mail.

    "It has undergone at least three attempts at demolition over the last 15 years," he said. "Each attempt consists of a week or two of full-scale activity, and then nothing. Now we have littered landscape with the highlight being a partial building with no wall on the residential side, leaving the second-floor men's room exposed. It has been like that for years, really.

    "Imagine people enjoying a day in the yard with their family looking at that."

    In fairness to Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, the spirit of his "results" pledge from the 2005 campaign would not include something this big. It's going to take the help of state and federal taxpayers, in the form of grants, to get the site ready for its next life.

    In 2005, the city applied for a $1.9 million state environmental cleanup grant.

    "There were 10 recipients," said E. Michelle Mickens, executive director of the Toledo Community Development Corp., "and we were No. 11."

    Her organization is a partner with the Ottawa Community Development Corp. in a proposal to redevelop the site.

    On Oct. 16, they're going to try again. They will make a presentation before the Ohio Department of Development board, seeking a $2.2 million grant.

    I wonder if a photo of a family enjoying a day in their yard with the exposed second-floor men's room in the background will be a part of the presentation.

  • In the past 10 days we've seen can-do developer Larry Dillin unveil his "wish list" of tenants for The Village at Southwyck; the official groundbreaking for The Shops at Fallen Timbers, and the first in a series of public meetings for a new downtown arena.

    These baby steps are starting to add up, folks.

  • I'm not a fan of Mr. Finkbeiner's "Toledo Pride" campaign which includes a new sign attached to the pedestrian fencing across a walkway on I-75 because it seems manufactured.

  • A "Toledo Pride" story that wasn't manufactured: I'm walking by the Valentine Theatre, and two Russian immigrants one of whom lives in the area ask me to take a photo of them in front of the eye-catching entrance.

  • Normally by this time of the campaign season I've had my fill of political ads on TV. But the back-and-forth jousting between the U.S. Senate candidates, Mike DeWine and Sherrod Brown, has kept my interest. They have shown that you can go negative without being nasty.

  • Last weekend I ventured into Canada to meet two friends from Indiana who were enticed by the new sports-betting opportunities provided by Casino Windsor. We agreed that Windsor is no Las Vegas, but its smoke-free environment should be the model for casinos of the future. Like one in Toledo, perhaps?

  • If you are confused about the competing smoking-ban proposals on the Nov. 7 ballot, the upcoming onslaught of radio and TV ads should clear things up for you. (Yeah, right.)

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