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Thread: No Need To GTC: It's Toledo

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ICT/316
    Bear, A few questions about T-Town. Does the city limits cross the Maumee River to the east? If so, is the CBD on both sides of the river or mainly on the west side? Also, do you have link that shows a map of the city limits (not Mapquest, it does seperate other cities!).
    ICT/316 .....yes, the city limits include areas on the east side of the Maumee River. That side of the river includes The Docks (nice restaurants or bars all lined-up facing the skyline across the river), The Marina District (on the planning board forever, with our without a new arena at that location), some grain elevators, famous Tony Packo's restaurant (of MASH fame), and rows and rows of small houses. The big oil refineries are on the border between suburban Oregon, OH, and the east side of Toledo. The Port of Toledo's General Cargo facilities, including one (1) of the largest port cranes in on the Great Lakes ("Big Lucas") is also located here. I don't have the exact figures but I would guess the east side population to be about 50,000 (of Toledo's 325,000).

    The central business district is indeed on the west side of the river. When you cross to the east on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge (Cherry Street) you are then on Main Street. Some of the buildings along Main are pretty interesting, although many have seen better days. There used to be a couple great bars along Main Street. This Bear dated an east side woman who lived just off of Main, in a basement apartment. Richard Nixon was president when that was going on.

    Sorry, I am not aware of a map that shows city limits.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Westgate Shopping Center & Costco

    Westgate Shopping Center, once Toledo's most prestigious address, is going bye-bye. For a number of years this west Toledo center has been dying. The large department store that anchored the center has closed. Many popular stores have moved or closed.

    This Bear grew-up a few blocks from Westgate. This center, built in the late 1950's, was part of my life for a long time, as were the strip centers and stores surrounding Westgate. We even played in the woods in an area right next to the present-day Sears. Bike paths, berry patches, a wooden fort.....the kind of stuff that young boys dream of.

    The Chicago owners are finalizing a deal with Costco. Westgate will be torn down and the new Costco, and some other stores in adjacent strips, will go up. This will be Toledo's first Costco.

    The local newspaper, The (Toledo) Blade, published an article about Costco. I have to say, I am impressed. With less stores than Wallyworld's warehouse arm, Sam's Club, Costco is a big leader in sales dollars $. And they do it by buying into a philosophy of paying very-decent wages and benefits.

    Their average wage is $17 an hour. For health care they pay all but 8%. A worker with some overtime will make more than $40,000 in a year. Their CEO, who started the Washington state company in the mid-1980's, pays himself about $300,000 annually. In these days of high CEO pay and very little respect for many CEO's, that is very unusual. And refreshing!

    Wall Street keeps telling Costco that they pay too much. But Costco's share value keeps climbing and climbing. Imagine that.....a big box that actually believes in paying full-time high wages.

    Anybody have any thoughts or contrary opinions on Costco? Have you lost a traditional shopping center in your burg?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  3. #28
    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
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    Toledo needs to annex every thing out west to the airport. It doesn't look like there is any thing in the way of stopping it. Maybe politics or law.
    Where is the West gate Shopping Center located in the city? What mall is at the NW corner of I- 475 and State 2?

    Bill

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  4. #29
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    The Chicago owners are finalizing a deal with Costco. Westgate will be torn down and the new Costco, and some other stores in adjacent strips, will go up. This will be Toledo's first Costco.
    The local newspaper, The (Toledo) Blade, published an article about Costco. I have to say, I am impressed. With less stores than Wallyworld's warehouse arm, Sam's Club, Costco is a big leader in sales dollars $. And they do it by buying into a philosophy of paying very-decent wages and benefits.
    Their average wage is $17 an hour. For health care they pay all but 8%. A worker with some overtime will make more than $40,000 in a year. Their CEO, who started the Washington state company in the mid-1980's, pays himself about $300,000 annually. In these days of high CEO pay and very little respect for many CEO's, that is very unusual. And refreshing!
    Wall Street keeps telling Costco that they pay too much. But Costco's share value keeps climbing and climbing. Imagine that.....a big box that actually believes in paying full-time high wages.
    Anybody have any thoughts or contrary opinions on Costco? Have you lost a traditional shopping center in your burg?
    Bear
    I looked up Wal-Mart and Costco on my systems. They have comparable P/E ratios and sales growth. However, while Costco has a return on equity of 8-13% over the apst few years, Wal-Mart shopwed 21-22%. Partly this is due to Costco being less leveraged (equity is 80% of capital, as opposed to Wal-Mart's 60%) but finrancially, yes, Wal-Mart looks the better bet. One objection to their business model is that if they piss enoough people off they could end up getting 'lynched' ( a bit like Standard Oil or Microsoft). I must say 17$ to stack shelves sounds high. I'm not sure there is somethign wrong with the world if someone whose skill level is to stack shelves should be able to afford a middle-class lifestyle. I'm also nto sure if you can get a really good CEO, reliably, on 300K. That said, msot multi-million CEOs are grossly overpaid relative to results. But 300K.....? I bet eh gets other comp???
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Anybody have any thoughts or contrary opinions on Costco? Have you lost a traditional shopping center in your burg?
    I have not been following this thread but I have some thoughts on Costco :

    With throwing away so much of what I own due to my allergies and respiratory problems, in recent weeks I have begun taking my 18 year old shopping with me. He has the same respiratory problems and a keener sense of smell and other assets. Costco is one of a handful of stores he has pre-approved for me to shop in regularly. Most stores have been pronounced "too contaminated" for me to go to regularly. He announced that "even the FLOORS are clean!" and noted how amazing that was. He says it is cleaner than the base exchange, which previously had been one of the stores he approved of the most (but now I am being encouraged to shop elsewhere -- like Costco).

    As for Luca's comments about paying someone big money to stack shelves, well, I tip baggers a lot better since I was so sick. I used to have no problem carrying my groceries to the car myself but that often isn't true these days. An awful lot of people do not have the strength and stamina to perform hard physical labor. I recently bought a heavy shelf at Costco. A male employee there loaded it onto a pallet for me and a different male employee put it in my car. I didn't have the strength for it -- and I am not a petite woman, nor particularly weak (even though I am a lot weaker than I used to be -- but I used to lift weights and do gymnastics). I think if you are in that minority of folks who is physically capable of performing hard physical labor 8 hours a day, 40+ hours a week, you ought to be making a comfortable middle-class wage.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally posted by ICT/316
    Toledo needs to annex every thing out west to the airport. It doesn't look like there is any thing in the way of stopping it. Maybe politics or law.
    Where is the West gate Shopping Center located in the city? What mall is at the NW corner of I- 475 and State 2?

    Bill
    Bill,
    Westgate is located at the corner of Central Avenue and Secor Road in west Toledo.

    The "mall" at the nw corner of 475 and 2 is Spring Meadows. It's just a strip mall (with target, kroger, tjmaxx, fashion bug, big lots, guitar center, sam's club, media play, etc) in the undifferentiated soulless sprawl of Springfield Twp. I know it all too well, living there for the past year. *sigh* On a side note, the new-ish Farmer Jack southwest of Spring Meadows also on 2 is closing this week I think. Next door there's a newly constructed Menard's. It's no surprise, that Farmer Jack was always overpriced and empty, and couldn't compete with kroger diagonally across the street.

    -Bill
    (clevelander living in toledo but working in cleveland at the moment)

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I have not been following this thread but I have some thoughts on Costco :

    With throwing away so much of what I own due to my allergies and respiratory problems, in recent weeks I have begun taking my 18 year old shopping with me. He has the same respiratory problems and a keener sense of smell and other assets. Costco is one of a handful of stores he has pre-approved for me to shop in regularly. Most stores have been pronounced "too contaminated" for me to go to regularly. He announced that "even the FLOORS are clean!" and noted how amazing that was. He says it is cleaner than the base exchange, which previously had been one of the stores he approved of the most (but now I am being encouraged to shop elsewhere -- like Costco).

    As for Luca's comments about paying someone big money to stack shelves, well, I tip baggers a lot better since I was so sick. I used to have no problem carrying my groceries to the car myself but that often isn't true these days. An awful lot of people do not have the strength and stamina to perform hard physical labor. I recently bought a heavy shelf at Costco. A male employee there loaded it onto a pallet for me and a different male employee put it in my car. I didn't have the strength for it -- and I am not a petite woman, nor particularly weak (even though I am a lot weaker than I used to be -- but I used to lift weights and do gymnastics). I think if you are in that minority of folks who is physically capable of performing hard physical labor 8 hours a day, 40+ hours a week, you ought to be making a comfortable middle-class wage.
    Off-topic:
    Thank You, Michelle.

    Too many comfortable, educated middle class professionals assume that they "deserve" so much more than the "working class." They forget how draining working in a more physical job can be-especialy given the noise, dirt, often nasty and overbearing bosses, lack of air conditioning, etc..

    Given how much waste is spent on the white collar side of things, I cannot accept the argument that the guys working the shelves need to live in poverty in order for parasitical white collar executives to earn yet more money. This is the naive side of me, and I understand "the market" does force a degree of discipline. But, how much do the overeducated and pampered folks-and I include myself in this class-really contribute that much more to society or even their employer? Much of modern professionalis seem to be engaged in suing each other, inventing justifications for salary and benefit increases, manipulating rules, colluding with "competitors" and manipulating financial instruments in ever more arcane towers of fantastically spun fantasy for the coupon clipping investment class (and our own retirement mutual fund managers, of course )

    Plus, one can argue that the boom era saw much less gap between the top and the bottom, and the economy as a whole, one could argue, worked better, Of course, there werfe other reasons for this (WWII destruction of competitors, but) So....if Costco can afford to pay reasonable wages, more power to 'em. You won;t catch me in WallyWorld if I can avoid it.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Off-topic:
    Thank You, Michelle.

    Too many comfortable, educated middle class professionals assume that they "deserve" so much more than the "working class." They forget how draining working in a more physical job can be-especialy given the noise, dirt, often nasty and overbearing bosses, lack of air conditioning, etc..
    You are welcome/my pleasure.

    When I was in my twenties, I lived in a third floor walk up in Germany. I had an infant and a toddler. The infant was 9 1/2 pounds at birth (and almost 27 pounds on his first birthday -- and didn't walk until he was 14 months old, so I was still carrying him). I walked to the grocery store with the infant strapped to my chest, an empty back-pack for the groceries, and my toddler holding my hand. Because I had small kids and it was a third floor walk up, I generally carried the trash out on my way to the store, for efficiency. By the time we were done shopping, my toddler usually did not feel up to walking home. So, with an infant strapped to my chest and backpack now full of groceries and often carrying a bag of groceries in one hand as well, the toddler rode home on mommy's shoulders. The infantrymen who knew what it was like to carry a 60 pound ruck sack respected me. Now, on a good day I can carry my groceries to my car parked out front of the store and on a bad day I am so grateful for baggers taking it out for me.

    So, IMO, folks who think that hard physical labor does not deserve to be paid well just don't understand what that is really worth. Having had that kind of strength and stamina and lost it, I have no delusions: I know that such physical ability is worth as much as white collar labor. I didn't need a college education to live well when I was younger because I had boundless energy and could get by on 6 hours sleep a night, 6 days a week (as long as I slept until noon on Saturday). Now, I have no choice but to figure out how to do things with more brains than brawn because the brawn is gone. For most folks, if they live long enough, that becomes true at some point -- just usually not as dramatically and obviously as for me. (As I have said before: I was walking 6 miles in the desert 2 - 3 times per week less than 6 months before ending up bedridden.)

  9. #34
    Off-Topic.

    Thanks Michelle and BKM. My step-sister and I had this same discussion last night while I was reading Rand's "Atlas Shrugged".... Why shouldn't someone be able to be a waiter or a shelf-stocker and support a family, vacation, have a decent standard of living. Does sitting on one's ass in H.R. or mid-level management entitle one to feel elite?

  10. #35
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Continuing the off-topic discussion, I firmly belive that if we are to continue to export the labor intensive, blue-collar jobs, substitutes need to be provided. I believe that retail and the associated functions of retail are the "new blue-collar" job and that a union revolution is pending. These people in low-paying retail jobs need to unionize and get better wages..something comparable to the guy earning $15-20/hr on the assembley line pushing a button and inspecting parts. I realize that there was more to the union revolution of the late 1800s early 1900s in America than pay, but as time change, so do the terms. Costco should be commended for providing appropriately priced goods, and properly compensated execs and staff.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Welcome to lopsidedfrog, from a Bear that was born and raised in "Frogtown". Nice to see you posting on this thread.

    The frog is correct about Westgate being at the corner of Secor Road and Central Avenue. My family moved to a new ranch house in 1955, on Isha Laye Way, six (6) blocks west of Westgate. The center was just being built, and as I said, we played on the construction site. The original center was L-shaped, with a 2-story anchor at the corner of the "L". That anchor was Lion Store, which my mother single-handedly kept in business all through the 1950-1970 time period.

    I don't recall what year that they added a third story to the Lion Store. And the consolidation that hit all retail in the 1980's and 1990's took away The Lion Store, as they were purchased by Dillards. Eventually this building became a Dillards For The Home, but soon closed. Everybody was shopping at the huge regional mall, Franklin Park Westfield Shoppingtown Something Or Other. Franklin Park was only a few miles northwest of Westgate.

    Westgate was very popular as the premier shopping location for Toledo all through the 1960's and on in to the 1970's. Then, shopping malls started to move the retail trade away from Westgate.

    In the early 1960's the entire area around Westgate filled with stand-alone department stores (Sears, Lasalles), numerous strip centers, an office park complete with 4-lane main highway, large movie complexes, motels, restaurants, medical centers. It was as if downtown Toledo decided to move to the Westgate area......Westgate became the vital business district.

    The actual shopping center portion originally had a couple grocery stores, numerous shoe stores, a candy store (yum), and a Kresge's 5 & 10 (parent of K-Mart). This Bear broke an ankle on the small hill behind Westgate. This Bear worked part-time while going to college at the Little Ceaser's Pizza, at the strip center near Westgate. This Bear was stopped by the police for drag racing, across from Westgate. (I wasn't drag racing. How could you drag race in an old pink Plymouth Valiant?)
    _____

    As for Costco, and the comment from [B]luca/B] about just "stacking shelves" may not give full credit to the detail involved in the work that many people have to do. Sure, a lot of the traditional "labor" jobs that just involve some physical work and not a lot of skills will be part of their environment. But progressive companies will get their employees involved in developing effective procedures, utilizing state-of-the-art warehouse management systems, train and lead lower-level employees, organize a very visible workplace so it doesn't deter from the shopping experience, and adhere to safety regulations and procedures that are unique when you place patrons and product in warehouse aisles, together. Believe me, they don't just stack shelves.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #37
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    East SIIDE

    Bear-

    I'm a proud eastern Toledo suburbanite who grew up in (where's) Northwoood & now lives in Oregon. I'm a letter carrier who delivers on the East Side. Suffice it to say, the eastern end of T-Town hardly gets any decent residential/commercial development due to its reputation. Oregon is perhaps the leader in current development, but at the expense of precious farmland. In fact, "The Ball Works" driving range on Navarre Ave. has the Grim Reaper's shadow approaching it. I've found out that a new National Amusements Theater complex will be replacing it. RIGHT NEXT to historic Sundance Drive-In, one of the few left in the country. What a shame. Maybe if these developments were to occur INSIDE of Toledo's limits, it could spur more. Nah. The east side is too run-down for that to even occur. Only the Marina District project could save it. If it ever happens.

    My two cents...

  13. #38
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Is the sundance on Highway 2? I passed it last weekend on my way to put-in-bay!

    I'd propose that givent that the east side is much smaller in population than the west side there is not much you can do about this. It is tough to go from one side of the river to the other. I'm sure east siders cross the Maumee bridges more the west siders do.

  14. #39

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    Have to admit I really enjoyed my drive two weeks ago up the Maumee from Fort Wayne to Toledo with mom. Beautiful towns along the river-Perrysburg is quite nice (I prefer the pre-war neighborhood along the grid streets near downtown over the newer McMansions, myself).

    Was shocked, despite Bear's comments, about how DESOLATE downtown Toledo remains. Downtown Fort Wayne is also very torpid, but the physical decay is not quite as evident (partly because much of the fabric has been removed).

    Toledo Art Museum-awesome!! Got there too late, so barely tapped the galleries. Loved the Ancient art room-the Greek painted pottery is amazing (makes the Acoma stuff I collect seem simple!)

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    As BKM mentioned, downtown Toledo can appear pretty dang desolate. Having grown-up in the 1950's, I can remember going downtown on the bus, with Mom and my younger brother. All of the stores were downtown, so that's where we shopped.

    Downtown Toledo had about six (6) major department stores, about ten (10) movie theaters, numerous resturants and cafeterias. All gone now.

    There are some signs of life. There are a number of warehouses that have been converted to lofts, and some of these places have waiting lists for young professionals who want to move into them. Everytime an older tavern closes, another seems to open to take its' place.

    The area around the new baseball stadium is vibrant in warmer weather. Not so much when it is cold and the baseballs are put away. There are a lot of commercial vacancies in downtown. Many of the former downtown tenants stayed in the Toledo metro.....they all moved to office parks in the suburbs.

    My favorite Chinese restaurant is still hanging on.....The Golden Lily.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  16. #41
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Is it Detroit, MI?
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  17. #42
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    Is it Detroit, MI?
    Personally, I would say there are a lot of paralels between the two cities, though Detroit in unquestionably bigger, with a lot more people working downtown. Downtown Detroit though is less avoidable by suburbanites than downtown Toledo. It is still the entertainment center for the region (3 Casinos, Ford Field, Tiger Stadium ... err Comerica Park, and Joe Louis, the major live theatres are all downtown, as well as symphony hall and the opera house, many restraunts are downtown too including the obitquous (sp) Hard Rock Cafe, as well as blocks of restraunts in Greektown), our major bank is Headquarted downtown (Comerica) as well as General Motors, and Compuware, it is also the home of OnStar and has a huge EDS presence.

    Yet there are parts of downtown Detroit that are undoubably empty, yet there are also parts like Toledo that are seeing quite a bit of development (Riverfronts, Lofts in warehouses, stadiums).

    Both Cities have great market areas (Erie Street in Toledo, and Eastern in Detroit). Both also have metropark systems, ports, world class Art Muesums, and world class Zoos (legacies from the past that we cherish)).

    Too often in our quest for the newest we neglect our past. I think one of the things that frustrates people most about places like Detroit and Toledo is that they remember they were once truely impressive spaces. Now with suburbanization of the populace, they are seen as the economic drags instead of the centers they once were.

  18. #43

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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner

    Too often in our quest for the newest we neglect our past. I think one of the things that frustrates people most about places like Detroit and Toledo is that they remember they were once truely impressive spaces. Now with suburbanization of the populace, they are seen as the economic drags instead of the centers they once were.
    "Neglecting the past" wouldn't be so bad if we were building something worthwhile today to "replace" it. We are not-at all. Very few midwestern cities' commercial districts today exhibit nearly the quality of the pre-war peak. I mean, come on, is Southfield anywhere near as well-built, urbane, and high quality as downtown Detroit near its peak? That's certainly true of my hometown (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Fort Wayne had a wonderful downtown. Coliseum Boulevard and the miles of awful strip malls are what inspired me to be a planner (before middle aged cynicism set in to make me realize that fighting the strip mall/build it cheap culture is a lifelong, probably "hopeless" battle )

  19. #44
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Personally, I would say there are a lot of paralels between the two cities, though Detroit in unquestionably bigger, with a lot more people working .................
    Umm, I was just messing with the Bear about the GTC thread relation. Settle down there
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  20. #45
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    dear everyone

    i'm moving within the toledo city limits on thursday, off central avenue in the old orchard neighborhood, near the above-mentioned Westgate shopping center. goodbye springfield township, i'm never looking back!

    here is a picture of the house, c/o the lucas county auditor's website:


  21. #46
    Welcome to Toledo, Lopsided, and welcome to Cyburbia as well! I live in South Toledo now, but used to live in West Toledo, near Monroe & Douglas.

    We have had quite a few people post here from the Toledo area, but only the Bear and I seem to be regulars. Here's hoping that you will be one too.

    Check out all my postcards of Toledo on my Cyburbian postcard site (in my sig)

  22. #47

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    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    Welcome to Toledo, Lopsided, and welcome to Cyburbia as well! I live in South Toledo now, but used to live in West Toledo, near Monroe & Douglas.

    We have had quite a few people post here from the Toledo area, but only the Bear and I seem to be regulars. Here's hoping that you will be one too.

    Check out all my postcards of Toledo on my Cyburbian postcard site (in my sig)
    Do you live near the zoo, SAC? That's a nice neighborhood!

  23. #48
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Do you live near the zoo, SAC? That's a nice neighborhood!
    No, that's about three miles away. I live in the far southwest part of the city, near Southwyck Mall.

    The neighborhood you mention is probably Harvard Terrace, one of the best areas of South Toledo to live.

  24. #49
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    hey everyone

    i'm a regular lurker here.

    i chose medicine over planning (biology and chemistry undergrad). i go to Medical University of Ohio. before i was accepted there i got accepted to Cleveland State's master's of urban planning, design, and development program. i think i'm still "enrolled" there, i get their mailings once in a while at my mom's house, and if i decide to quit med school i have a school to fall back on.

    i'm living on Garden Rd. at the Whispering Timbers apartment complex until tomorrow. pretty close to you, SAC.

    most of toledo's western edge bums me out (near springfield twp), but i can pretty much get behind the area where i'm going now. it's closer to the core. there are also SIDEWALKS which seem to be few and far between in the area around Heatherdowns.

  25. #50
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    More Bad News For Downtown Toledo

    This week the downtown Toledo area was administered another in a series of "hard jabs". The big "Rib-Off" event, held for years and years in downtown Toledo, along the shores of the Maumee River, is moving to the suburbs.

    The event is moving to the Lucas County Fairgrounds, in suburban Maumee, OH.

    The group that sponsors the Rib-Off indicates that space, convienence (central location for the metro), and parking all are reasons for the move. The two (2) candidates for Mayor of Toledo are both expressing anger and sadness over the move. One (1) candidate is also blaming the other candidate (who is the incumbent) for the move.

    This event's move is not unlike moves of offices and retail to the suburbs. Parking, space, and......this is the "biggie".....your "audience" lives in the 'burbs.

    BTW.....maybe turnabout is fair play. Maumee was the home of the Toledo Mud Hens baseball team for many years. Five (5) years ago the Hens moved to a neat new stadium in downtown Toledo. The Hens used to play at Ned Skeldon Stadium, an ugly olde ballpark that is next to the Fairgrounds complex.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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    Last post: 17 Oct 2005, 4:09 PM