The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Almost $1.5 billion changed hands at farmers' markets across the United States in 2010. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of markets rose by 16 percent last year--from 5,247 to 6,132. More than three million Americans regularly buy food from the more than 60,000 farmers  who sell at these markets each year.

Even though I'm a big fan of this kind of grocery shopping, I was pretty surprised by those numbers. This isn't the result of some multi-million dollar corporate advertising campaign. Farmers' markets succeed because more and more Americans prefer to eat food that's fresh, grown locally, and bought directly from the farmer who grew or produced it. Instead of popping open a can or grabbing something from a box, you can get a real feel for your food and how it was created.

From Windham, Maine, to Hanalai, Hawaii, consumers are finding that going to farmers' markets isn't just for foodies or health fanatics. It's about better quality, tastier food, purchased in a location where you get a sense of community amidst the crisp greens, fresh meats, and artisan cheeses. You get to know where your food comes from and who produces it. You'll never get that knowledge in a big box store.

Oregon may be revising part of the city’s sign code to allow electronic changeable copy for businesses.

Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said at a recent council meeting that he’s received many requests from businesses seeking changes in the sign code dealing with changeable copy.

“The trend nowadays is that signs are LED enhanced, or lit with LED lights,” said Seferian. “We want a starting point to get this into action, so we would actually look forward to seeing council put this into committee so it could be discussed thoroughly so people could be comfortable with the final product. But we do think it’s something needed for our sign code because it seems to be a little antiquated without it.”

New rules for the Ohio House of Representatives, written for the most part by Randy Gardner (R- Bowling Green), were approved by the House Tuesday.

Republicans gained control of the House – and the chance to set the body’s rules for the session that recently started -  in the November election. Rep. Gardner said the rules will “promote a more open and fair legislative process.”

He points to what he sees as three significant changes:
•The number of full standing committees is reduced from 27 to 17. Rep. Gardner and House Speaker William Batchelder (R- Medina) say fewer committees foster a “greater focus” on issues and will save taxpayers about $250,000 over the next two years.

• A two-day waiting and reading period has bee re-established for any final votes on bills containing appropriations. The rule requires two days following a conference committee vote before the House may consider the budget.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has found a third site in Toledo where someone illegally dumped asbestos.

On December 14, the OEPA announced it was seeking information to help nab those responsible for dumping 60 bags of regulated asbestos waste in two Toledo neighborhoods. Thirty-seven bags were dumped at a vacant house in LaGrange Street in North Toledo, and 23 bags were left in an alley near a garage on St. Louis Street in East Toledo. Combined, there was approximately 100 cubic feet of asbestos.

Last week, Dina Pierce, northwest district media coordinator for the Ohio EPA, said a third site was recently discovered on Champlain Street in Toledo.

Northwood’s Economic Development Committee is looking into making an outparcel off Curtis Road more attractive for future economic development.

“It’s been there a long time,” said Councilman Dave Gallaher, chairman of the committee. He brought up the matter at a council meeting on Jan. 4.

“It’s a nice location. You have to ask why it isn’t being developed, in spite of the economy. Is there something we can do to help that process along?” said Gallaher after the meeting.

The parcel is between Appleby’s Restaurant and I-280 on Curtis Road.

Gay Marriage

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