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Community forum more like a rowdy bar than a coffeehouse
Written by John Szozda   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 17:44

It’s a bawdy, raucous and, at times, a repulsive place. People talk trash, call each other names like ‘retard’ and ‘liberal puke’, dish sarcasm, spread rumors and spew hate.

It was supposed to be more like a coffee shoppe than a neighborhood bar, more a place for erudite discussion, than a place to vent the dregs of a dark mind.

But, that has not been the case with Shout, the community forum on The Press Web site.

Shout is a popular place to see comments from the neighborhood. In the last three months, 2,153 visitors followed two popular ‘threads’, blog slang for topics, and left 174 comments. Oregon politics was the hottest topic.

That’s nothing new. Oregon is a city with a rich history of mud slinging. In the nasty 1991 election, the Democratic party ousted four of its members for their refusal to snap to. Two of them, Marge Brown and Mike Seferian, ran for mayor this election. Brown made amends with the party long ago and has been the endorsed candidate the last three mayoral elections. Seferian never sought to rejoin the fold and last week won the race as an Independent.

 
Midnight ponderings Waite effective, Chrysler rams dealership, author writes sequel
Written by John Szozda   
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:20

Convalescing from a minor surgery, I found myself tossing and turning unable to sleep at night. These midnight ponderings were running through my head and sent me to my computer to write:

Waite hits effective
Waite principal Dave Yenrick is understandably proud of his students and teachers for their performance on last year’s statewide proficiency tests. The results, which were released earlier this fall, show that only Start ranked higher than Waite among the seven comprehensive high schools in the Toledo Public School System.

Start achieved a designation of Excellent with a performance index of 102.2; Waite rated Effective with a performance index of 91.2. Yenrick said performance was up 10 percent from the previous year’s index of 83.

 
Pondering three difficult decisions at election time
Written by John Szozda   
Monday, 26 October 2009 13:37

Some ballot issues are no-brainers, others like these three, have me wide-eyed staring at the ceiling as my midnight ponderings race through my head.


Casino gambling
I’ve come one step closer to voting for casino gambling, but I’m not quite there yet.

I voted against the 2008 ballot issue which called for only one casino in Wilmington. This new proposal, Issue 3, is better. It calls for casinos in Toledo, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, locations that are Ohio’s best bet to reduce the amount of Ohio money being spent in casinos in Detroit, Windsor, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

By building close to our borders we can also reap more out-of-state dollars.

So, what’s wrong with Issue 3?

First, once again, it’s a constitutional amendment, not appropriate for a measure that will give two businesses exclusive rights to control gambling.

Two, it is weighed heavily in favor of the owners and there are no guarantees that a Toledo casino would be built. The issue also calls for a one-time $50 million license fee and a 33 percent tax rate. In some states, the license fee is between $300 to $500 and the tax rate is higher, according to some experts.

 
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