Saturday, July 31, 2010

Audio with Jake Westbrook on going to the Cards and leaving the Indians after a decade. http://ping.fm/gHhZt
Jake Westbrook heads to St. Louis, part of 3-team trade with Cards & Padres. http://ping.fm/fIFuX
LOVE the video from Hall of Fame balloon fest! http://ping.fm/X26Mj

Friday, July 30, 2010

WATCH AkronNewsNow.com's Lindsay McCoy go way up high in a hot air balloon! http://ping.fm/UAF8f

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Local Band Makes Mark on "America's Got Talent"


http://ping.fm/zCseL
AkronNewsNow.com VIDEO Update: AGMC In Green & A New Dinner Theater! http://ping.fm/CQPlT
We have exclusive interviews with the actors who make up the cast in Corbin Bernsen's movie "25 Hill". Listen on 1590 WAKR at 9:05 a.m. http://ping.fm/erONB

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Akron Public Schools cut 7 administrator positions as they move forward to cut budget. Details coming soon on AkronNewsNow.com...
You can detour via Goodyear Blvd., Brittain Rd. and Newton St. to North Case Ave. back to East Market St., or other local routes.
Akron police have closed down East Market Street between Goodyear and Willard due to a water main break.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Akron police have closed a number of lanes on East Market Street near Case Avenue due to a reported water main break.
The Indians are celebrating Slider's birthday today, but technically it's four days early... http://ping.fm/yx6pG
Like seeing the PlainDealer PolitiFact Ohio coverage. http://ping.fm/WTLab
Watching Carole Simpson on CNN Reliable Sources on disturbing lack of African-American anchors on the networks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

And here is the non-mobile link to ANN's Soap Box Derby winners story: http://bit.ly/9midq9
12 year-old Megan Gongaware becomes Akron's 16th All-American Soap Box Derby champ! Winners here: http://bit.ly/cQhu5F

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kenmore leg back open again after day-long cleanup following semi-truck wreck.
Angelina Jolie is back in Salt out this week- more on movies in our review show! http://ping.fm/cAdgg
This is HUGE for Ohio; Brown fills Byrd seat on Senate Appropriations. Time to love pork? Senatus: http://ping.fm/c42Eg
Is the drought over? NYTimes Profit: http://ping.fm/3gvWf
Where's Ohio? National Review says local House members missing on Dem support list. http://ping.fm/iDRPg
Interesting program on WCPN Sound of Ideas -- fighting City Hall. Listen live link: http://ping.fm/OhKIO
Big kudos to Ohio's public media Statehouse News Bureau on 30 years of great reporting. http://ping.fm/Xkez8

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Digital, broadcast and ethics oh my! RTDNF workshop in Cincinnati 8/6-7 has answers. http://ping.fm/wgCh5

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hmmm...feds sue AZ over immigration but five states sue feds over Asian Carp. http://ping.fm/9vCFX
Unemployment insurance, political spin and "The Quote" in Letters From The Editor: http://ping.fm/lvwMp

The Quote

Scrolling comments can be time-consuming and sometimes unpleasant -- there's a reason why scrolling can also be called trolling -- but occasionally it leads to an enlightening moment.

Tuesday's Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece weighing the pros and cons of extending unemployment insurance. Beyond the political of helping those in need matched by finding the money rather than just printing it, the piece challenges jobless benefits as actually extending and growing unemployment.

You'll decide on your own if the argument makes sense, but in the list of comments on the story there's a quote attributed to "18th century historian Alexander Tytler"; for those dismissive of Wikipedia as a source, the Wiki does include some of blogger Loren Collins' more extensive challenge.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

"From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

"Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."

Sounds real enough, doesn't it? But there's a great piece by Loren Collins -- a Georgia attorney and political hopeful running as a member of the Bull Moose Party -- first posted in 2004, now updated. He challenges the source of the quote, and debunking the "18th century historian" view of Tytler.

It's a nice reminder of how words can ring true whether or not there's truth behind them. At the very least it is thought provoking beyond the smoke and mirrors we're hearing from both sides in Washington these days.
The other side of the unemployment spin; WSJ.com says it's a failure to create jobs... http://ping.fm/g8a5j

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well, at least this'll give those of us in the media plenty of stories to write next year... WSJ: http://ping.fm/1dMMC

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Excellent post from Poynter with behind-the-scenes of PD's best front page ever. LeBron http://ping.fm/q4BLO
Interesting numbers crunch on what's really responsible for the choking deficit. WSJ.com: http://ping.fm/lvcNA

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Excellent column from Regina Brett on survival. LeBron @KingJames http://ping.fm/cPtbU
What really matters, and why LeBron has alot in common with Rockefeller. http://ping.fm/gOPCT

VIDEO Why They Leave

Nothing like the voice of reason from out-of-town friends to help spur the thinking post-Decision. With all the outrage over LeBron's call to go MIA to play with his friends and win some titles, where's the angst over every other 20-something viewing northeast Ohio in a rear-view mirror?

I'm just as PO'd as the next Cavaliers fan. Not at The Decision itself -- LeBron's got every right to decide where he wants to play. That's what "free agent" means. More on that in a moment.

It was the set up, the way it was done -- breaking away on national television with the entire world watching, relegating "always home" to the same status we've become accustomed to watching "The Bachelor" make up his mind on true love. Didn't expect him to stay, but didn't expect him to be so manipulative about it.

That said, the more I hear the hate talk the more I wonder just where that passion is when talking about the hundreds of thousands of young people who've left Ohio in droves, especially northeast Ohio, the past decades. Between 2000 and 2007, Ohio's own Department of Development reports Ohio added only 114,000 people. Our population grew 1%; the national population grew 7.2%, and it shows as school systems (such as those in Akron) scramble to figure out how to keep the doors open for fewer and fewer students.

This is the free market, folks. We Americans vote with our feet. Ohio's future has been voting no.

We've seen Cleveland continue to fall from a titan of industry and prime example of American manufacturing might to a national joke, the lowest of the worst, almost a third-world country within the most powerful nation on earth. Like Detroit, we used to make what everyone bought; now it seems we can't even buy into ourselves enough to provide opportunity to keep our kids here at home. This video from Reason.tv spells it out in plain English: we're not sick anymore, we're dying.




The same public debate so obsessed with where LeBron went, driving hours upon hours serving up LeBron fare for consumption, won't get the same time or attention targeting northeast Ohio's brain drain. So much talk on things that matter so little, because it distracts us from the reality. Karl Marx described religion as "the opiate of the people," but today's environment proves him wrong. It's sports.

The 2010 Census figures are likely to show what all of us know: Ohio's great cities aren't so great anymore, our beautiful suburbs are just a little tarnished, rural Ohio has no hold on it's people. We act powerless to halt the outflow of talented, resourceful and energetic young people seeking opportunity outside the state's borders.

The answers from our political leadership, both sides of the aisle? Bet on it.

It is ironic the same owner of the team LeBron left -- the same owner who flames the player he so desired to keep in the fold -- sees Ohio salvation in the form of slot machines and casino games designed to take, not make. More attention, time and money spent convincing voters to be like Erie, or Wheeling, or even Detroit and build our future on fleecing those desperate enough to turn dreams into cash fed into machines earning the title "one-armed bandits."

Where's today's John D. Rockefeller wanna-be who built the first billion-dollar fortune? Reading Ron Chernow's Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. offers a lesson; it isn't the titan who built an empire, but the industrialist who also left Cleveland because it just wasn't big enough to handle his business anymore. He left in 1914 dogged by tax collectors who went after this son of Cleveland, challenging his residency in New York, because his wife lay dying over the deadline.

What a great irony; Rockefeller was, in part, hounded for taxes from an opportunistic city and LeBron will benefit from tax advantages from an opportunistic team. Both leave behind where it all started because it just isn't big enough to handle their dreams. They see legacy and dollars; we see moments and pennies.

An economy that once made and exported prosperity now stands in line to be made poorer one spin at a time. This is hope for our future? Colleges and universities willing to make tuition more expensive while bemoaning low college graduation rates? Industry seeing the other side of the fence really is greener? Workers and families going mobile, trading comforts of home for chances to grow?

LeBron James leaving isn't the problem we think it is; it's the template we've built. Sports is a mirror that should make us take a hard look at the story line we're really living.

Northeast Ohio sports fans continue to cry about the Sabathia, Thome, Lee and Ramirez's who leave but don't seem to grasp the loss of businesses who buy those suites and stadium ads means team owners don't have money to land top talent, much less keep them here. Browns fans still hate Art Modell for moving the team, even though public policy (and his own miscalculations) left him isolated to the point where there was no hope at home.

It's ridiculous to think one of the poorest cities in America, where the easiest thing to do is find a view defining us as "rust belt", can afford to attract the kind of talent to build something great again. We can't even do that with our own children much less someone like LeBron. He was a two-time MVP on a team that led the league in wins but still couldn't convince his BFF Chris Bosh to sign and play here. We landed Shaq because of the chance to win a ring for the King; will other world-class players look at Cleveland as opportunity now, or will they take the view the rest of the nation has: poor, poor Cleveland. Great fans, great facilities, but...always but not enough to sign if there's a better deal in a place that dreams big.

It's past time to blame the weather, or some sports curse, or supposedly selfish athletes for our woes. Ask your sons, daughters, nieces and nephews if the plus is really worth missing out on the opportunities elsewhere. Remember for thousands of Ohio families that simple conversation comes with a one in front of the area code because that chat won't be held in their living rooms. They'll be talking on long-distance using the family plan in Texas, and Atlanta, and Carolina because that's where the jobs went.

The future has already left the building.

On the subject of LeBron's decision:

In few other occupations do workers have to start their careers in a city not of their choice, but the choice of others based on the drop of a lottery ball. What other professions have workers prohibited from looking for work with the company they choose? The "free agent" window was opened when Curt Flood argued that athletes were not slaves.

LeBron, Wade, Bosh and the rest of last week's NBA crop exercised this most basic of America values; to work for those we want to work for, to grab the best opportunity we can find, to control our own destiny. This was a schooling in the free market, the American way. The NBA owners built a system where their control lasted only as long as the contract, and these players were smart enough to play the system as well as the game on the court.

The method of the move leaves a bad taste, and will for a long time. But The Chosen One did just that -- choose -- when he had the chance.

As a fan of LeBron, I'd like to see him win his rings, but as a Cavs fan not before we get ours. I'd like him to do well and be happy, but think at some point he'll wish he'd stayed and accomplished his dream here at home. I'd like this experience to serve as a teachable moment to a truly talented guy in his mid-20s as well as the posse of friends he keeps around him that there are better ways to realize a goal than the way this played out.

Most importantly, though, I'd like to see us refocus our energies on the things that truly matter: rebuilding this place we call home into a place where people want to live, work and prosper by their choice and not just because of the way a lottery ball falls.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wow. PD's Brian Windhorst is the only reporter I'd trust to do this. Inside 'The Decision': http://ping.fm/n2QoG
Want to figure out what the true hometown (Akron) folks think about LeBron? Sue me! http://ping.fm/kfFkq
Looking for a little reason on LeLeft: Reason.com's take on what should really honk us off. http://ping.fm/QyV36

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First: Thank God it wasn't New York. Second: Lovin' Dan Gilbert right about now. http://ping.fm/HkTMC

LeBron: The Media King

Watching all the screaming and kvetching going on over LeBron's State of the LBJ tonight on ESPN would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous. Especially since this isn't the first -- nor last -- time to see something like this.

I read the Advertising Age piece this morning on the horrors of ESPN giving up editorial (and more importantly advertising) control for "The Decision" airing this evening at 9:00 p.m. while watching and listening to the Emmy Award nominations.

Funny how there isn't the hand-wringing over CNN, the major networks, and radio stations coast to coast breaking into their programming at 8:40 a.m. to give a seven minute plug to the Emmy Awards.

A moment of honesty would be nice.

In LeBron's case, critics say it is an example of his selfishness that he would dare to negotiate the ground rules for his announcement. How dare he push this circus act even further into a prime-time TV show? How could ESPN agree to give up their editorial integrity and their control over their own ad inventory?

Easy. It's done all the time.

The networks vie for sports rights all the time. Broadcast and cable interests shell out billions of dollars each year to bring the Olympics, professional and college sports into your living room, cars, and mobile devices. The networks pay big money because they make big money, and all of those deals include editorial handcuffs. Every sports group -- including the NBA -- rightfully guards it's own rights when it comes to rebroadcast of their games. When you're listening to or watching that play-by-play team, consider the odds the announcers are hired by and answer to the teams they are covering.

LeBron's had good teachers by example to show him the way when it comes to marketing himself. At least he's making sure the proceeds from what is likely to be one of the highest-watched cable sports programs ever go to charity instead of a sports league or publicly-traded corporation.

On WAKR this morning, Terry Pluto sounded defeated, dejected, disappointed and disgusted with the way the LeBron Free Agency has been going on. He's right, at least on point of it leaving a bad taste in our mouths. But is it really any different than the way the NBA and NFL control Draft Day? Much different than the hype surrounding the Super Bowl? For that matter, comparable to the national soap opera played out for political junkies every four years?

This isn't LeBron's fault, he's just following the lead. It isn't the sports teams and leagues, they're just smart business people maximizing their product's brand. It isn't the fault of the media, even as we lap up every rumor and push every item into the public consciousness. We've got a role to play in this because we're the audience and ultimately we control the on/off and channel buttons.

This process is like a car wreck up ahead on the interstate; when we're behind the wheel waiting for traffic to move we just want to move on, and we decry the rubber-necking tying up our progress. But when it's time for us to pass the carnage, are you moving forward without a peek or do you slow down yourself to catch a peek of what might be under the sheet?

Want to stop all of this? Stop buying overpriced tickets. Don't spend your money on memorabilia and clothes. Check yourself out of the pack of sheep following others rather than forging their own lead. None of this is necessary to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness; it's a want, not a need.

As for LeBron? More power to Akron's own for figuring this out long ago when the line of people wanting to make fortunes off his talent extended far beyond the St. Vincent St. Mary's gymnasium. As a fan, I'd love to see him stay; as a northeast Ohioan choosing to live here, I'd love to see him turn down the arrogance of New York, living in the Michael Jordan shadow of Chicago or joining the Madonna wanna-be crowd on South Beach. Life's still real here despite Cleveland's sometimes-deserved status as a national punchline.

But if he leaves, I hope he gets a ton of money. I hope he grows his brand even further worldwide and surpasses Tiger as a billion-dollar athlete. I hope he wins more rings than Kobe. He'll always be from Akron, and seeing a native son do good is enough for me.

Not enough to shell out to get pay-per-view, though.