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New attorney overcomes obstacles on his way to the courtroom
Written by John Szozda   
Friday, 18 December 2009 10:10

Tarik Kadri begins his work day by bumming a ride from his Oregon home to his law office on Adams Street in downtown Toledo.
Few professions generate as much paperwork as law, so, as you might expect, a typical day can be full of reading briefs and doing research. The ability to skim a document and pull out relevant information is important to an attorney. But, Tarik doesn’t have that ability. He was born with juvenile macular degeneration, a condition in which a clouded retina results in a reduction in central vision. Tarik uses a reading magnifier with 35 times magnification. He passes the printed page under the scanner and places his eyes a few inches from the monitor. The monitor displays up to three words at a time, depending on word length.
Because he can only see a few words, skimming irrelevant copy is not possible. Tarik also must keep a steady hand as small movements will cause the page to jump and him to lose his place.
Tarik also has custom made glasses with eight times magnification. To use them, however, he must hunch over the page with his eyes just a few inches above the words. The strain on his eyes, shoulders, back and neck require him to take frequent breaks.

“Refine, baby, refine:” Sunoco, BP help fuel region’s economy
Written by John Szozda   
Friday, 04 December 2009 11:39

When you realize the economic impact of our two refineries you may find yourself saying “Refine, baby, refine.”
The Regional Growth Partnership in October studied the economic impact of one of them--the Sunoco Refinery on the Toledo-Oregon border. Blake Culver, project manager, concluded it contributes $7.8 billion to Northwest Ohio’s economy while supporting 1,602 full-time equivalent jobs and a payroll of more than $95 million.
Sunoco itself employs 500, averages 400 contractors on site and has a capacity of 170,000 barrels a day.
You could probably double this impact if you take into consideration Oregon’s BP-Husky Refinery. BP has 600 full-time employees, 600 contractors on site and a capacity of 160,000 barrels a day.
That’s more than $15 billion.
The two refineries also mean millions in tax revenue to the City of Oregon. According to city tax commissioner Pat Wast, employees at both refineries and three large contractors who worked on their sites in 2008 paid the city $3.9 million in withholding tax alone. 

Midnight Ponderings: From Sarah Palin to Tom Skeldon to obesity
Written by John Szozda   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 16:44

I have been sleeping better lately, however, on one recent night when truck traffic was heavy and trains loud I tossed and turned while these midnight ponderings ran through my head.

Cover up Sarah
Newsweek was leaning so far left when it published its Sarah Palin cover, the editors fell into the gutter, mesmerized by a pair of good-looking legs.

If you haven’t seen the cover, it depicts Palin in a pair of short running shorts leaning on an American flag. The caption says, “How do you solve a problem like Sarah?; She’s bad news for the GOP—and for everybody else, too.”

Palin has called the cover sexist.

If not sexist, at least inappropriate. A photo should jive with the article it illustrates. Consider in a 2007 cover, Newsweek chose another hunk—a male one—California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to illustrate his leadership in saving the environment. The editors dressed him in a suit and tie and had him balancing the globe on one finger. The caption read “Save the planet—Or Else.”

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