Thursday, May 27, 2010

VIDEO D-Day for Cleveland

D as in Drew. Mr. Carey comes home to Cleveland, with a meeting scheduled with City Council members who may not exactly be very welcoming of one of it's native sons and his libertarian ideas on how to fix the city.

He's noted the failure of education systems, how private enterprise running some public facilities might make more sense, and how Cleveland fell in a generation from the sixth largest city in America to a national joke.

As Drew chats up the city fathers and mothers (add other adjectives at your own risk) here's another installment in his series of videos aimed at saving Cleveland.

Warning: the one-on-one with Council rep Joe Cimperman may be a preview of things to come for a warm welcome for Carey.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

VIDEO Pre-Drew Day in Cleveland

Cleveland City Council tomorrow hears from native son Drew Carey, who's been pushing a series of libertarian viewpoints on how to fix Cleveland on www. with some fresh, well-produced videos.

The naysayers who believe the elite bureaucracy knows better will likely be packing some serious "trust us, we will manage you better than you would" spin, but I think Carey will be prepped and loaded -- after all, when you've made a living where hecklers openly challenge you in public on the comedy stage what could politicians do that could be worse?

Carey set the stage, raised questions on the state of education (abysmal) and even took on some sacred cows, namely asking why the City that doesn't seem to work owns and manages businesses that should be able to work better. Golf courses come to mind, also the West Side Market.

The Market, in particular, is a great example. If you've never crossed the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge (or the Hope Bridge, named after Bob Hope) from downtown to Ohio City, make a point to do so on a Saturday after noon. There's still plenty of bargains galore, especially from the produce vendors who know getting rid of inventory as the day wears on means great bargains. If you aren't upset some of the best stuff is already gone, after being picked over by the thousands who got to W. 25th and Lorain earlier.

It's a great taste of Cleveland moment and place to visit, full of history. Full of ethnic flavor. Full of seeing how small business is vibrant and customer-oriented. Also a nice example of how it might be made better with investment.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

VIDEO Drew Gets The Ear

Now they've gone and done it; Cleveland City Council finally must have learned how to access YouTube and actually watched the Drew Carey and series on breathing new life into what used to be the Best Location in the Nation.

It's a good step, actually -- coming on the heels of major layoffs and projected labor unrest in the heart of it all, at least as far as northeast Ohio is concerned.

The City Council there wants hometown hero Carey to meet with them and talk more about his libertarian viewpoints. My guess is they'll try to satisfy the ostrich wing of Cleveland's elite and burn him at the stake for daring to note there are some really, REALLY big problems facing Cleveland; I'm hoping they'll prove me wrong.

In the meantime, Part 2 of Carey's take on what's wrong and what needs to be fixed in the city that used to be a leader instead of a national joke. This time: education.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

VIDEO Jimi Without The Guitar

Got to love someone who really knows how to use his instrument -- and no, this blog isn't a porn post.

The human instrument is teeth, tongue, and lips -- and some amazing breath power. Michael Winslow is scheduled to appear June 10, 2010 at the East Akron YMCA 2nd Annual Minority Achievers Banquet and iN Education fundraiser. This 2007 clip from his performance as Jimi Hendrix is electric!

Information on tickets: DeAndre Nixon, Founder & President, iN Education at 330-329-4784.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

VIDEO Thanks, Drew for Reason

It's been a couple months now (mid-March) since and Cleveland's own Drew Carey took a video shot across Cleveland's bow. Interesting series of reports, including Part One (I'll post the remaining segments in the weeks to come) that not only highlight how America's sixth biggest city 50 years ago managed to sink so low in a couple generations.

Any lessons here for northeast Ohio overall? With all the "NEO-boosterism" one reads and hears these days on the joys of regionalism, one wonders if the "region" pays attention to lessons learned by the failure of Cleveland and the loss of Youngstown. If seeing these once-great cities sink to their present-depressing status doesn't stimulate new thinking, is it any wonder young people find it easier to vote with their feet?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fun With Video

Lindsay McCoy is the person who cracks on all of us for video, video, video -- and of course that resonates with us even as Lindsay vacations on a beach somewhere this week. Which means someone has to sit in the anchor chair, even without the phone books to add some height...

Freedom Means Saying No, Too

t's just astounding watching the vitriol pour out of some people when it comes to someone else making a decision -- and this decision doesn't even really strike home.

It is more than amazing the percentage of college students planning to leave Ohio upon graduation -- 60%, according to some reports -- doesn't make our sluggish vox populi move an inch, but a 25-year old who skipped college and went right to work after graduating from high school? One daring to consider leaving Ohio for potentially greener pastures, leading to so much hate and hurt feelings?

It's pathetic.

The harshest critics of today's LeBron James -- as opposed to last month's LeBron James, who led the Cavaliers to their NBA-best record and what seemed to be a lock for the title so desperately desired by Cleveland sports fans -- owe it to themselves to take a really deep look in the mirror.

What really matters here?

Ohio's had James for seven years as a pro, ten years overall. The basketball world spun around Akron's Chosen One, even when the Cavaliers weren't contending for the title. It was a replay of what Browns fans saw when another young man from Boardman took up the weight of northeast Ohio on his shoulders, to lead the team to Super Bowl glory only to see The Drive and The Fumble dash those prayers on the rocks of Red Right 88.

Bernie Kosar would later get his Super Bowl ring with the Dallas Cowboys, "America's Team." All the love and admiration, in the long run, meant nothing when it came to a now-despised owner and now-admired coach decided it was time to cut their losses over "diminished skills." I remember when Bernie got that ring; fans here were happy for him, knowing it just wasn't going to happen otherwise.

I don't remember 1954, but I wonder if there was a similar outcry when Bob Feller and company stumbled badly against Willie Mays and the Giants and coughed up what should have been a certain World Series victory from the then-most-ever winning team in baseball. Was Feller a traitor, a bum, a guy who took a fall? Nobody in their right mind would ever say that to Rapid Robert's face, much less behind his back. Here's a guy who came out of the cornfields, made Cleveland his home, went to war for us at the peak of his performance for God's sake.

Feller still wears that uniform with pride and accomplishment, and fans still line up and shell out their money to grab a photo or signed baseball. They properly pay tribute to greatness, and effort, and heart.

LeBron James had a 77% chance of playing somewhere else when the 2003 lottery fell Cleveland's way. For once, northeast Ohio had fortune smiling upon our undeveloped, grim shores: the Chosen One would play for us. Home would remain home. But that deal didn't have "forever" written in the fine print.

As King James weighs his options, I can't imagine another case where we would encourage a favorite son or daughter to not seek the best arrangement possible to be the best they could be. If your children were actors, wouldn't you want them on the world's biggest stage? If they were lawyers, wouldn't you want their advocacy in the most important cases? If they could play an instrument or sing like a bird, wouldn't you want them to fly high rather than perform their song in a cage for a select local few?

One of the ugly sides of being a Cleveland sports fan is this recent vicious, personal reaction when we don't get our way. That's ironic, considering we really haven't gotten our way since 1964 -- even counting coming close with Kosar, or nibbling at the dream in 1995 and 1997 in the house Akron's Dick Jacobs built.

Now Bernie's bankrupt and the field we once called "the Jake" isn't even named after the local boy who rescued the hometown team.

It is the way things are; former ballplayers don't get another chance for fame and riches once the carousel takes them farther away from the brass ring. Owners only stand tall when they continue to pay the freight for naming rights.

Current players know all too well that winning isn't guaranteed just because they have talent and work hard, or even enjoy a streak of good luck now and then. Too many variables still make being a winner a crapshoot, especially when the only definition of winner is found in the rings on their fingers.

If the Cavaliers are a place where LeBron James continues to prosper and win a championship -- or two, or three -- then it's where he should be, and my guess is a place where he will want to be. If, however, it's the kind of place where fans so quickly put the entire weight of their dreams and aspirations on a 25-year old's shoulders and then bitterly denounce him when the effort falls short, maybe it's time to take another view: one from a rear-view mirror.

Cleveland fans, keep barking, crying and reaching out to tear down one of the best examples of success we've seen brewed here at home in generations. It'll lead to another drive, and this one will be just what you really deserve.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The worst that could happen is LeBron could leave? C'mon, man up here...
West Akron neighborhoods trying to figure out how to put a stop to burglary spree. Meeting this Sunday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whoa! When's the last time the U.S. Senate passed ANYTHING without a no vote, and from Bernie Sanders to boot.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Only in Cleveland: GE Lighting headquartered here but City plans exclusive light deal with Chinese company. Was Noah right?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Worth noting: @AkronNewsNow with election results online, streaming and on WAKR, WONE and WQMX. We've got you covered -- ANN mobile, too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Owner of Akron Beacon Journal now has Honolulu paper biz all to himself.
For anyone wondering how cynics are born in the media industry: 2009 was awful but not for everyone.