Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Calling the RINO on the carpet.

Brian over at One Oar in the Water has a great idea - call Senator V (I guess it really is for Vendetta) to the statehouse carpet to explain his vote. Read more here.

Talking Trash

Lisa Marie over at Glass City Jungle has an interesting article regarding holiday trash pickup. My response to the issue can be seen there.

The New Portside

Today's Blade poses the question, "can the market make it?" With the eleventh manager in ten years, one wonders if we would do any worse if Paris Hilton was driving the bus. While the savior has changed names from 5/3rd Field to the new arena, the idea is the same - the masses generated by the new entertainment will flock to the market. Let's face it, when people are done with a hockey game, they're not going to walk to the market to do some shopping at 10:30 at night.

To the paper's credit, they make the point that the market must draw folks away from the "strip malls or suburban markets." While it's true that you can't offer the same thing as a supermarket, or a strip mall, and expect people to come downtown, that's the very reason the market is doomed to fail.

Once upon a time, shopping malls were a prospering entity across the nation. Record stores, pharmacies, curio shops, and the inevitable Spencer's were ready to serve people from all walks of life, offering in one convenient place most everything outside of groceries and durable goods. Then, along came a little invention we'll call "W-cubed." Withing a few years, the speciality markets that made up so much of the mall were gone, marketing their goods on-line and reducing their overhead at the same time. As more demands were made on people's time, driving to a mall, finding parking, and walking around to get that new cassette (what came before CD's for all you children out there) just wasn't possible. As a result, stores pulled out, and malls went under. The only malls that are succeeding today are those catering to an upscale market - with convenient parking and proactive security. Only those with the time and money to browse are going to make a fiscal success possible. That demographic doesn't want to surf online to find their goods, and are unconcerned about the price tag, so a high overhead is not such a great concern.

Such was the atmosphere Portside entered into. While attempting to bank on "unique" items, the fiscal reality was that the rent per square foot was beyond the ability of any store to pay. The reason everyone expected Portside to succeed? The convention center was going to bring hordes of people downtown. Did it happen? Well, even COSI is failing fiscally there - and this is a genuine "family" attraction. Portside lacked convenient parking, and the upscale lady of the home didn't feel safe going downtown.

The Erie Street Market will not succeed unless there is a residential foundation in the vicinity. Poor parking will not allow for the numbers needed to succeed there marketing in a strip-mall fashion. Trying to thrive on "unique" items will lead the market down the path of Portside - stores will be competing with on-line companies to sell to the masses, and the elite don't want to fight the traffic, parking, and hassle of downtown, not when there are other options.

The only thing that the Erie Street Market has going for it are good intentions, and the wallets of Toledo. While good intentions are nice, they don't pay the bills. Sadly, until the leaders of Toledo are willing to shoot the horse with the broken leg, the citizens will have to saddle up and pay the vet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Thompson T-Shirt

I have to give kudos to the new Fred Thompson T-shirt over at Those Shirts.

Makes me wish I had thought of that one first.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Quote 06-22-07

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it."

- Marge Simpson

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blade Editor Donates to Dem Campaigns

The copy editor at the Blade, James Bradley, donated money to both the Kerry campaign and the DNC in '04. When asked about his contribution, he stated that he didn't know if the newspaper had a policy on political activity.

Hmmm. Bradley edits the news portion of the paper - and if I remember correctly, the Blade took a very pro-Kerry stance in both news and editorial coverage. When an editor is taking the step of a political donation, you might well call his objectivity into question. And we all know that the local piddle-paper has never had a problem with objectivity.

Perhaps we should extend the fairness doctrine to newspaper editors' political donations.