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Thread: No Need To GTC: It's Toledo

  1. #151
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Fights At The Mall

    Metro Toledo has only one giant regional indoor shopping mall. All the other malls died (except a single mall in suburban Northwood, and that mall is dying). What was originally called Franklin Park Mall, now called Westfield Franklin Park, is one of the larger malls in the midwest.

    Over the past couple years, some fairly large fights and disturbances have occured at Westfield. Last Saturday night the mall was locked-down as police tried to break-up a fight that involved hundreds of teenagers.

    Cue John Mellencamp....."Ain't that America....."

    The big fight has been the lead story in this area all week, except for some golfer who had an affair. Now, the mall is being patrolled by Toledo Police officers and private security guards. There is talk about not allowing teens at the mall unless with a parent.

    Gimme a break.

    Of course, that's easy for me to say. I haven't been to the mall in two years. But still, not allowing access for teens? They will just go hang out behind the Kroger store and smoke dope.



    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #152
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Big Budget Problems

    Update: Toledo, probably like so many cities across the land, has a double-whammy problem.....

    The City of Toledo has a budget deficit of about 45 million dollars. The new mayor (Mike Bell) is giving straightforward alternatives. Those cuts include personnel, pay, benefits (especially union-contract bennies), services. The new mayor says that raising the tax rate would be an alternative to the cuts.

    Toledo Public Schools has a deficit somewhere in the 20 million dollar range. Cuts being looked at include an end to sports......and that has created a firestorm. Again, the alternate plan would be to tack on a "school district tax", a very common source of revenue for Ohio's school districts.

    We live in tough times.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  3. #153
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Unintended Consequences

    Toledo has a problem. That problem has unintended consequences that will have some silver-lining for those affected. A Brookings Institution study of the Top 100 Metros in the USA place Toledo at No. 1. The study? Higher education students staying in school, primarily because of the dismal job market for graduates. Toledo's stay-in-school percentage is 60%.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  4. #154
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Toledo News

    Here are some tidbits from and about the Toledo area, to keep you Cyburbians "in the know".....

    Bitumen
    The large BP Oil Refinery in suburban Oregon, OH, has a major construction project taking place. Facilities are being built that will enable processing and refining of Alberta tar sand oil, bitumen. The pipeline is being built, the refining complex is under construction. BP has a partnership with Husky Petroleum.

    Tusk Tusk, Louie
    Louie the elephant, a large and popular fixture at the Toledo Zoo for a number of years, was startled by one of the trainers and hit the trainer with a tusk. The trainer is in satisfactory condition. Preliminary indication, grabbed from video cams, shows the trainer violated zoo policy by entering the elephant enclosure without a second person.

    Polar Bar Cub
    Speaking of the great Toledo Zoo, the only polar bear cub at an American zoo at this time is right here in the Glass City. A cute and cuddly little thing, the cub scampers and plays and swims and jumps and rolls over. As an adult the polar bear will be a killing machine.

    Solar Energy Hub
    Ohio's governor has formally announced that Toledo is Ohio's "Solar Energy Hub". The Glass City joins a couple other Ohio locales.....Cleveland is a "Medical Hub" and Dayton is an "Aviation Hub". Special tax breaks, routing of specific discipline-related projects, and other "goodies" will help these hubs. Toledo already has at least three companies, employing over 1000, that build solar panels and are engaged in solar technologies. The University of Toledo is also active in the alternative energy field and Bowling Green State University will bring their specific talents to the hub table.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  5. #155
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    Point Place the best place any place

    Wow I am in heaven. I am a practicing planner of nearly 40 years and moved reluctantly away from Toledo and more significantly Point Place when I was 17.I today stumbled on to Cyburia Forms and promptly joined only to find the "Bear" Kindly note that I was a real bear _Woodward Polar Bear !! I am concerned that I will do nothing but read this blog,hook-up to Pandora and listen to all the doo wop played at the Miracle Mile Ballroom and dream of my old girl friends. Wow,I am in heaven
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    This old Bear is not an official planner, but I can tell you things about Ohio's 4th largest city (6th largest metro).....

    In the early part of the 20th Century Toledo was in the Top 20 in population. It was growing fast. Automobile manufacturing and automobile parts manufacturing were natural follow-ups to Toledo's 19th Century position of "Wagon Capitol Of The World".

    But, something happened. A lot of the jobs.....and the people.....flocked to Detroit or Chicago. Toledo stopped growing.

    In the 1960's T-Town took on an aggressive annexation policy. Township after township was grabbed and Toledo's population started to shoot toward the 400,000 mark. The 1970's started a long demise in manufacturing jobs, which continues today.

    Toledo was the smallest city with the most Fortune 500 Headquarters. It had about seven (7).....but most of those are gone. Champion Spark Plug, gobbled by Cooper Industries. Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company grabbed by England's Pilkington. Owens-Illinois grabbed by KKR, then sold back. Questor Corp. bought by who-the-heck remembers.

    Owens-Corning is still here, bankrupt filings and all. Toledo Scale is now in Columbus. Toledo still makes Jeeps.....for the Germans.

    Many Toledo residents moved on, mostly to those places that a lot of "rust belt America" moved to.....south and southwest.

    Those that stayed enjoyed the best and put-up-with the worst that a small metro can provide:

    Toledo residents have very little sprawl to deal with. Central Avenue in west Toledo (and Sylvania Township), the south suburb of Perrysburg, Monroe Street at the area's only super regional mall. Thus, getting around is pretty quick and easy.
    (Toledo has it's share of expressways that allow the residents relatively easy movement. Of course, they were designed with 1960's traffic projections and even a non-growing town has increasing vehicle traffic.)

    There actually are some interesting things to do in T-Town, including one (1) of the Top 10 at museums in the U.S., the most-complete zoo in America, visiting Tony Packo's restaurant (you had to watch multiple episodes of Mash to understand).

    Crime is consistent with a city of this size. A high percentage of folks own their own homes. Many areas of the actual city are very nice residential areas.

    Probably the toughest issue that Toledo folks deal with is the image of the city: Nowhere-Ville. And people like me perpetuate that line with long, rambling internet posts.

    More later about the (heh heh) "Glass Capitol Of The World".

    Bear

  6. #156
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by lawrence lahr View post
    Wow I am in heaven. I am a practicing planner of nearly 40 years and moved reluctantly away from Toledo and more significantly Point Place when I was 17.I today stumbled on to Cyburia Forms and promptly joined only to find the "Bear" Kindly note that I was a real bear _Woodward Polar Bear !! I am concerned that I will do nothing but read this blog,hook-up to Pandora and listen to all the doo wop played at the Miracle Mile Ballroom and dream of my old girl friends. Wow,I am in heaven
    Welcome to Cyburbia. Unlike Toledo, Cyburbia does not roll-up its' sidewalks as the sun sets in the western sky. So post often, I would love to hear your Toledo stories and memories. This Bear lived in Shoreland, across the Ottawa River from Point Place. During the winter we would walk across the frozen river and slide over to Rexall Drugs or the Red & White. Or even King's Taste! Great memories.....and the girls? Woozie!

    Glad you are here!

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  7. #157
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    Hey Woozie

    Shoreland to was to me growing a part of the Point Place community (1955 -1962).
    We played basketball at the Shoreland Elementary Playground because it had chain nets that were always up.

    We referred to Rexall Drugs as Dufendack's (sic) and probably we 're in the store twice daily with our paper route money. If one person had money, we all had money.
    How about those St. Johns girls across the street?

  8. #158
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Well, my "best place anyplace, Point Place" friend, my home was at the corner of Brophy and Torgler, a ranch home that was raffled-off by St. Clements Catholic Church. We did not win the raffle, we bought the home from the church, when the winner took the cash instead of the house. The house had a garden room in the center, with a glass roof and all kinds of exotic plants.

    Yes, I remember the girls from St. Johns. And cruisin' thru Big Boy or the A & W. My neighbors owned the A & W. Great memories of a neat Toledo location, situated along the Ottawa River and the Maumee Bay shores of Lake Erie.



    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  9. #159
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    High Ranking For Toledo

    Interesting news.....Toledo ranks among the Top 10 metro areas nationwide in the share of its' products and services sent abroad. A Brookings Institution report looked at the nation's 100 largest metros. Categories that helped Toledo's export business included transportation equipment (Jeeps), mining (shipping bulk products to Canadian ports), petroleum products (2 refineries), and plastics manufacturing.

    Unfortunately, the same report ranks Toledo quite low in growing export traffic, export wages paid, and the percentage of locals goods going to the world's fastest-growing economies.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  10. #160
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    China Buys A Part Of Toledo

    Toledo's downtown is located a few miles southwest of the mouth of the Maumee River. When you are standing on the opposite side of the CBD you look across the river and see Toledo's relatively small skyline. The best viewing is from a city-owned property of considerable size.....known as "The Docks".

    The Docks are a row of restaurant/night clubs with outdoor decks and patios. Business visitors to Toledo will oft be taken to one of these establishments, especially in warmer weather so the outside tables can be taken. It is quite nice on a warm summer night. Boats on the river, some boats tied-up at The Docks, the skyline, off to the right the old Martin Luther King Bridge (formerly called the Cherry Street Bridge). Off to the left the Anthony Wayne Bridge, a moderate-sized suspension bridge (lit up every night with thousands of lights). Turn back to the right and about a mile away you can see the tall LED lights (often different colors) of the new Veteran's Skyway Bridge (Ohio's largest single road construction project).

    Last year some of the restaurants/night clubs at The Docks started to experience financial trouble. The King Bridge was closed to traffic (major refurbish project) for a long period, eliminating The Docks as an easy choice for CBD office workers (lunch or after hours). The new arena in the CBD, adjacent to Seagate Convention Centre and Fifth Third Field (baseball), attracted a number of new venues in that area. Folks stopped going to The Docks and took their business and their $$$ to the new CBD restaurants and clubs. And the recession certainly changed the spending habits of many, even if they remained employed. A few of the restaurants and clubs at The Docks closed their doors.

    Toledo's budget is in woeful condition. Toledo's mayor, Mike Bell, visited China with a trade delegation. Last week a pair of businessmen from China offered to purchase The Docks. Toledo will unload an investment that is no longer paying the dividiends it formerly was. New owners will bring in new investors.....and new restaurants and clubs. Many are optimistic.

    And some just don't like the idea of selling The Docks to foreign investors. We shall see how all of this shakes out.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  11. #161
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    More Toledo News

    Forbes List
    Toledo was ranked 12th on the latest Forbe's list of most depressing cities (over 240,000) to live. As a former Toledo resident.....and still living in a bedroom suburb (Swanton).....this Bear has a tad bit of a problem with the ranking. Most folks in Toledo are OK with where they are. We complain about the weather, but appreciate warm sunny days so much more because they are just an occasional treat. The economy is not all that great.....but 9 out of 10 people who want to be employed are employed. We have a couple fun minor league sports teams.....the Walleye (hockey) and the world-famous Mud Hens. The city limits actually incorporate many fine and economically stable neighborhoods, caused primarily by few suburbs......Toledo folks just moved farther out in the city when the CBD and central core lost its' original glow. Housing prices (for buyers) are very reasonable. Not so good for sellers, though. The Toledo Museum of Art is considered one of the 10 best in the country. The Toledo Zoo is considered the "most complete" zoo in the world. Western Lake Erie is filled with powerboaters and sailboaters all summer long......especially fishermen. The frozen lake brings out hundreds to thousands of those who fish through the ice.....walleye and perch. Almost the entire metro, when viewed from the air, exhibits a green canopy of trees. Even a suburb, Sylvania, references all those trees.

    Note: Toledo is probably a depressing place for a person, usually younger, who is looking for a string of dance clubs, events that enable mingling with the same age, yadda.

    Hungtington Center
    A little more than a year ago, Lucas County Arena opened. It is home to the minor league Toledo Walleyes hockey club. They enjoyed a very successful (turnstile spinning) first year and their second year looks just as good. Corporate sponsorship jumped on board after about a year.....it is now Huntington Center.

    Entertainers who shunned Toledo in the past, for lack of a decent venue, are now doing quite well when playing at Huntington Center (about 8000 seats, almost all close to the stage). In the last year some of those entertainers included The Eagles, Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock.....and the just-announced Bob Seger concert sold out in 6 minutes, prompting the addition of a second concert, now almost sold out.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #162
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I don't think Kid Rock is shunning Toledo as much as he is selling out arenas in Detroit several times per year. Its simple geography.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  13. #163
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    I still don't see how any city can compete with El Centro, CA for being the most miserable city in America (but the El Centro metro - pop 170,000. - didn't even make the list.. I guess because Forbes couldn't convince its editorial team to go there) How can you beat 30% official unemployment, 80%+ of your households dependent on a charity food pantry at least once a year, prisons being virtually the sole source of employment growth, frequent suffocating dust storms, the San Andreas fault running right through town, the occasional locust plague (seriously), and average summer temperature highs of 125 degrees F or so? Toledo has nothing on this...

  14. #164
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cismontane View post
    and average summer temperature highs of 125 degrees F or so? Toledo has nothing on this...
    Obviously you've not been to the glass pavillion of the art museum in august!

    http://www.toledomuseum.org/glass-pavilion

    You're also not factoring the fact that most Toledoans are Lion's fans.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  15. #165
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    Interestingly, Bully Magazine has rated Cleveland the worst city in America on the basis that it has 90% of Toledo's disabilities but refuses to admit any of 'em.

    Some other viewpoints:

    Hip Hop magazine rates Camden NJ the worst city in America... It may have a point.

    AOL actually found El Centro and awarded it it's worst city in America award. Kudos to AOL.

    Free Republic - a right wing blog - finds Seattle to be the worst city in America, followed by San Fran and Portland. No idea why ;-P

    There are several websites up dedicated to promoting Laredo TX as the worst city in America. I think they're all owned by Laredoans though.

    Washington Post rates Battle Mountain NV as the worst town in America.

  16. #166
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    More Toledo News

    A few more tidbits from "The Glass City".....

    Raceway Park
    Toledo has had horse racing (and betting on the horses) for many years. Suburban Maumee had a track, Maumee Downs (if I remember correctly). Northwest Toledo has always (seemingly) had Raceway Park. For years it was the home of thoroughbred racing but eventually switched to harness racing (for a longer season in a snowy city).

    A couple years ago, Ohio voters approved casino gambling. Casinos are going up in the four major cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo. The organization that will be operating the Toledo casino also operates Raceway Park. Because they expect bettors to most likely pull handles at the casino rather than stand at para-mutual windows at Raceway Park they are going to shutter RP. It looks like the operation will be moved to a track in the Youngstown area.

    Solar Panel Manufacturing
    Toledo, long known as "The Glass City", has evolved into a center of research and manufacturing for solar panels. The countries largest solar panel plant is located in suburban Perrysburg. Another large plant is close-by.

    A study for the State of Oregon, conducted by a private consulting group, rated Ohio as the best place to locate a solar panel plant. Of course, when the study said "Ohio" we all know it really is discussing Toledo.....the only place in Ohio that is making these panels for a future world.

    Good for Toledo!

    Sustainable Water Treatment
    The Bayview Water Treatment Plant, in Toledo's Point Place neighborhood, as won three separate awards, relating to water treatment projects or process changes. These awards are related to sustainability issues and one of the awarding groups actually mentioned "reduction in carbon footprint" in their award announcement.

    Good for Toledo!

    Bear
    Not afraid to present the bad.....pleased to report the good.
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  17. #167
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Bear, Windsor Ontario has two Casinos. The big one downtown is Caeser's Palace. The other? Its at the Windsor Raceway!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  18. #168
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Toledo Symphony

    The Toledo Symphony will be one of four orchestras invited to perform at prestigious Carnegie Hall in NYC. The Toledo Symphony has long been recognized as a top-notch orchestra. Nice to see this invite!

    Attachment lists their program.

    http://www.dotoledo.org/gtcvb/news/display.asp?id=1307

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  19. #169
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Will It Play In Toledo?

    Remember when advertisers asked this question? "Willl it play in Peoria?" They used the mid-sized Illinois city to test market new products, product updates, consumer reactions, yadda. It appears that Toledo is becoming the "new Peoria".

    Taco Bell is playing local-only commercials, advertising a new item made with a big Dorito shell instead of the usual corn shell. This item is only available for a short time in the Toledo market. The commercials are interesting: They "slam" Columbus, for not being good enough to be the test market.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  20. #170
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    The Toledo Symphony will be one of four orchestras invited to perform at prestigious Carnegie Hall in NYC. The Toledo Symphony has long been recognized as a top-notch orchestra. Nice to see this invite!

    Attachment lists their program.

    http://www.dotoledo.org/gtcvb/news/display.asp?id=1307

    Bear
    Here is the review from the New York Times. Awesome!

    http://toledoblade.com/Music-Theater...ymphony-2.html
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  21. #171
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    What is the deal with Ohio having all the great symphonies and orchestras I wish they would share the wealth, even I like to attend this type of cultural event once in a while Back in the day it was the Cleveland Orchestra.....now Toledo is famous? All we have here in Arizona is the legislative Tea Party Choir
    Skilled Adoxographer

  22. #172
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    What is the deal with Ohio having all the great symphonies and orchestras I wish they would share the wealth, even I like to attend this type of cultural event once in a while Back in the day it was the Cleveland Orchestra.....now Toledo is famous? All we have here in Arizona is the legislative Tea Party Choir
    George Szell was truly a genius. After the Cleveland Orchestra rose the ranks of standard repertoire to become the 5th member of the Big Five, the Cincinnati Pops hit the scene in the late 70's and early 80's and became one of the most recorded pops orchestras ever. They were the only American orchestra invited to play at the 2008 Olympics opening night in Beijing...

    ...And now the Toledo Symphony seems to be climbing the ranks. I'm with TO - share the cultural wealth, man!

  23. #173
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    What is the deal with Ohio having all the great symphonies and orchestras I wish they would share the wealth, even I like to attend this type of cultural event once in a while Back in the day it was the Cleveland Orchestra.....now Toledo is famous? All we have here in Arizona is the legislative Tea Party Choir
    My suggestion is to move. When these great cultural things were developing the money was in places like Toledo, Detroit, Chicago they built the infastructure and facilities for world class symphonies, operas, and art museums. Dollars flowed into these from families like Libbey, Dodge, and Field. You don't get that today when the money is centered in places like Bentonville.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #174
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Marathon Petroleum Company

    Here in NW Ohio, just down I-75 about 30 miles from Metro Toledo, lies Findlay, OH. During these tough economic times the Findlay area was not hit as hard as some of the other NW OH burgs. The city is home to Cooper Tire & Rubber.....they have a large factory in town, recently given news that they will continue to manufacture their products in that facility (beating out some southern cities that the biz could have moved to). And Findlay has been home to some sort of Marathon Oil office for many years.

    Marathon Oil was headquartered in Findlay until 1982. At that time the company was purchased by U.S. Steel and HQ was moved to Houston, TX. Eventually U.S. Steel spun-off Marathon but the main offices remained in Texas. The iconic Findlay headquarters building remained a division headquarters.

    Effective tomorrow, Marathon Petroleum Company will be back in Findlay, spinning-off from Marathon Oil Company. It will be the 5th-largest oil refiner in the United States, a Fortune 50 company (bigger than Microsoft!), and officially headquartered in Findlay. Great news for the Findlay area!

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  25. #175
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Wow! That is interesting news Bear! Are they opening a refinery there as well? Or just the company headquarters?

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