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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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I recently perused my column files for the annual Press Clutter Olympics and sent these dog-eared, yellowed clippings to the recycle bin.
 
A 1988 editorial from USA Today titled “Keep up the fight in the war on drugs.” The paper argued legalizing drugs would increase abuse because they would be cheaper and, while we’d save $8 billion annually on law enforcement costs, we’d pay $60 billion in lost productivity, medical costs and drug-related crime caused by junkies who can’t afford the legal price or who go ballistic on hallucinogens like PCP.

Today, California and Colorado are experimenting with decriminalizing marijuana, which could be the first step in legalizing, regulating and taxing it to help pay for government services. Legalization won’t be a panacea, however. Home growers will undercut corporate growers in price, thieves will break into homes to steal the crop and many tokers will avoid paying the tax by buying on the black market. Given all that, the experiment is welcome as it gives states more solid information on which to base modern drug policy.

A 1984 column in Advertising Age stating the American household averaged under three persons for the first time in history. The decline continues 26 years later. The U.S. Census Bureau now pegs it at 2.53. The average household consists of less than one child. We already know one result of this demographic shift. Painful change is here for school districts who will find it increasingly harder to downsize their systems and pass levies.


A 1987 survey conducted for the Woodville Mall. The survey estimated a 1986 population for Lucas County  and Wood County of 571,839. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates current population for both counties at 565,836.

This population loss, a moribund economy, an expanded Westfield Mall at Franklin Park and two new lifestyle shopping centers at Levis Commons and Fallen Timbers have made the Woodville Mall irrelevant for many shoppers.


A 1994 column on sub-regionalism. I wrote on this concept whose off-shoot was the Prism Awards, an initiative to recognize excellence in businesses, now in its 17th year. Dan Hiskey, then Northwood’s administrator, proposed that the cities and villages east of Toledo cooperate to attract economic development and share information and services.

Toledo was pushing regionalism at the time, citing the advantages Indianapolis had by consolidating government. However, Oregon and Northwood distrusted Toledo, the bully that once attempted to annex their industrial areas and take their tax revenue. The distrust in still here, but sub-regionalism has had some success. Oregon and Northwood have cooperated on the Meijer and Menards projects. Meanwhile, Toledo has formed joint economic development zones with Oregon, Lake Township and Troy Township. Trust takes time.


A 1985 Press story in which Toledo Mayor Donna Owens was scheduled to tour the historic Weber Block in East Toledo. A small group of preservationists led by Jeff Eversman and Don Monroe, then president of River East Economic Revitalization Corporation, invited the mayor to see the 1888 landmark they hoped to save from the wrecking ball. The group was successful and 25 years later new owners have invested $81,000 into the landmark in an effort to attract more tenants.

A compilation of national stories about the O J Simpson case. The stories raised questions about the black-white divide in racial relations in 1994. Black America believed The Juice was innocent of murdering his ex-wife and her friend; white America not so much. Thirteen years later, neither black nor white America believed The Juice was innocent when he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in another matter. He’s currently behind bars, leaving no one to search the golf courses for the murderer of Nicole Brown Simpson


A 2007 column I wrote about politicians Randy Gardner and Tim Greenwood. Both Republicans gave up higher office to play a more active role in raising their children. Gardner said at the time, “You’re not allowed any mulligans when it comes to being a Dad. I don’t want to look back in regret that I could have been there a lot more often. That’s the one thing I’ve vowed to myself.”

I vowed the same. You can’t profess to support family values unless you commit the time.


A column that appeared in The Blade in the late 1980s written by one of my favorite authors about two of my favorite subjects—Henry David Thoreau and hiking. Dr. George Sheehan’s column addresses the joys, self-discovery and enlightenment that come from moving through nature while letting your senses wander.

I think I’ll put this one back in the file until the next Clutter Olympics.


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