Brand New CalendarOkay, we have a whole new calendar online. The previous events calendar sucked and it was hard to submit events to. Now you can do it without a problem. I'll be moving the old events to the new calendar in the next few days. Check it out and add some events.
(joe :: Brand New Calendar)
Cleveland.com, Here We ComeI didn't know RubberBuzz was in the Cleveland Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com. My buddy Peppermint sent me an e-mail today letting me know that she saw me in the PDQ section last Sunday. Being the ego maniac that I am, I had to hunt down the quote to make sure it was a good one. So here's my big quote:
I never thought I'd be happy to buy gas for $2.49 a gallon, but I am.That was a boring-ass quote. People need to give me, like, two days notice before they're going to quote me so I can obsess over what I'm going to write. That way I can re-write it 49 times until it is perfect. It has to be a grammatically perfect play on words expressing biting sarcasm so sharp that it leaves marks. It needs to leave my readers speechless for days, and when they finally are able to talk again, all they can say is "Wow! That quote was flawless." Or I can do what I normally do and B.S. something, and that's when I end up talking about gas.
Speaking of gas, I'm totally obsessed with AkronGasPrices.com. I'm getting really bad about watching gas prices fluctuate. I'm starting to plan activities around were I can get cheap gas. A few days ago I wanted to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again, so I looked to saw that gas was cheapest on Arlington Road, so I went to the theater out there. I know it's a little OCD and I'm pretty sure I've lost money by driving out of my way to save a few cents per gallon, but I guess I could have worse habits.
Cleveland.com :: Blogosphere Cleveland
(joe :: Cleveland.com, Here We Come)
Karaoke NightIf you've ever been to Frank's Place on West Market Street, you know all about the good times that can be had while watching the drunk people sing karaoke. We had a good time; check out our review of Frank's Place.
(joe :: Karaoke Night)
An Open Letter to Canton
Really? You hired Rebecca Ryan too? Great! Maybe we can have our Come Home to Akron party together with your Come Home to Canton party! It would be super fun. We could eat pizza, have makeovers and stay up all night talking about dreamy we think Madison, Wisconsin, is; it would be the best time ever.
I'm so glad we don't have to worry about economic development, business incentives or other boring stuff like that. Instead we get to focus on alfresco dining! I bet we're going to get a restaurant that gives away free stocking hats with every meal - it'll be great kitschy fun! Maybe it'll franchise and there can be one by the Hall of Fame.
That crazy Joe from RubberBuzz, he stirred up some controversy up here, but he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's just a 24 year old with a college degree who was raised in the area, left and then came back because he was offered a job here and seems to be the member of the target audience we're after. What would he know about making a city attractive to young professionals? Rebecca Ryan has a study; how can you argue with that?
(joe :: An Open Letter to Canton)
UpdatesBig thanks go out to Dana and Ken who are out there helping make the Ethnic Grocery Stores Directory and the Akron Sushi User's Guide more complete. Be sure to check out both sections to see what's new!
(joe :: Updates)
Missing Cafe PiscitelliOh man, I wish I would have known about this, Cafe Piscitelli closed its doors for good on Friday. I used to love there. I went there for the first time when I was in Middle School. It was a really uncomfortable dinner with my grandparents, but I remember I liked the food. At least once a year when I come home from college, my family would hang out there. It was great place and it'll truly be missed from the Akron food landscape.
The BJ :: Cafe Piscitelli bids arrivederci
(joe :: Missing Cafe Piscitelli)
Finally, a LinkThis is the third time that RubberBuzz has been mentioned in The BJ, but this time we finally got a direct link. Before they just wrote out the name on Ohio.com, but this time it's an honest-to-god link. I can feel the power.
Our latest mention in The BJ puts us and Rebecca Ryan in the same article yet again. This time Davie G. quotes me from an e-mail conversation we'd been having about the so-called "Gen-X Expert."
Even one of Ryan's most persistent critics, a young man named Joe (he didn't give his last name) who launched his own Web site last year (www.rubberbuzz.com), acknowledged Thursday that Ryan has created new connections.Before everyone thinks I'm going soft, let me explain. If the future recipient of a giant bowl of Jell-O hadn't come to town, I might not have met the RCCC people, the owners of Revival, the owner of Square Records and Lisa Hofmann from HSNA. These are amazing Akron-positive people who have come into my life because we all give a damn about our city.
The rest of Capital G's article goes on to talk about the retiring Baby-Boomers and the coming shift in American demographics. He also talks about some of the great point of Akron that Rebecca Ryan never harped on, a big one being the cost of living.
This goes right along with an interesting conversation I've gotten into with a Gen-Xer who had to leave Akron 15-ish years ago to find a job, his name is also Joe so this might get a bit confusing. One thing he brought up was housing costs. Akron is very affordable when it come to real estate and yet that was never mentioned.
Joe is what Rebecca Ryan would refer to a potential "boomeranger," someone who left town who has potential to move back; he brings up valid points that I'm sure other potential "boomerangers" can relate to. Here are some of my favorites:
- Akron needs to create a business garden environment. Jobs retain people - so make it easy to do business. Subsidize local business loans/consulting services so existing companies can grow.It all comes back to jobs. In Rebecca Ryan's final report, she made the assumption that jobs would just appear as the economy improved, but what would set Akron apart to attract new business? We need incentives like other cities; we can just be stagnant. Otherwise I fear E-mail Joe's prediction might come true--
So, a boomerang person would have lots of fun showing up in his/her hometown - only to find that unemployment is really, really overrated, even if you do have a nice Canal Lock to visit...The BJ :: Discussions about `cool' not ending
(joe :: Finally, a Link)
Workin' Out at the RecNeat! The University is now letting non-university peeps join their Rec Center. The UA Rec is loaded with equipment and two pools, more then enough to make the average Akronite sweat like a pig.
Until now, the University of Akron's modern and trendy recreation center has been used almost exclusively by its students, faculty and staff.$735!??!?!?! Really? You could join the JCC for a lot less.
Plus, everyone knows that the more you pay for a gym membership, the less you actually workout.
The BJ :: UA opening its rec center to public use
(joe :: Workin' Out at the Rec)
"Free" TreesI came across this in the West Side Leader. I thought all you future garden club members might like it.
Ten free white flowering dogwood trees will be given to each person who joins The National Arbor Day Foundation during August.West Side Leader :: Free trees offered
(joe :: "Free" Trees)
Pros and ConsHey, guess what I did last Friday? No, I didn't landscape a park. No, I didn't go house hunting. Oh wait, I think I heard it. That's right, I left the state so I could gamble! I went to Wheeling Downs so I could bet on the puppy races and play video poker. Ohioans didn't get my money; West Virginians did.
With Ohio looking at the possibility of allowing gambling, it's important to look at the both sides of the issues. Here's what The BJ's got to say...
Casinos in Ohio could generate $12 billion in revenue from gaming and other industry annually while causing a 43 percent increase in the number of Ohioans who develop gambling problems, according to two studies released Wednesday.I can definitely see both sides of this issue. If gambling is allowed, people will get addicted to it; there is no question in my mind. There is also a question of how the state will be viewed by others, how could it effect the state's reputation? At the same time there would also be new jobs created, tax money flowing in and tourist money from visitors. Hopefully, it'll get on the ballot and we, the people of the state, can decide for ourselves.
The BJ :: Casino pros, cons outlined
(joe :: Pros and Cons)
If Davie G. Can Do It, So Can IIf figure if David Giffels can comment of Rebecca Ryan's suggestions, so can I.
1. Develop a true Web-based portal for all of greater Akron's ``after hours'' activities.
Okay, so she started off good. For the kind of cash she wants to devote to this project, I could do some killer things with RubberBuzz!2. Design a compelling ``Come Home to Akron'' message and campaign to bring back people who grew up here or went to school/college here and then moved elsewhere.
Hey, you know why these people left? They found jobs. It's sad but true. If we want to lure people back, we have to do it with jobs not with campaigns.3. Throw ``Come Home to Akron'' events in three to five cities with the highest concentration of Akron-area alumni.
Well, I guess throwing these events would create a few jobs.4. Host ``Come Home to Akron'' events.
Again, it's a few more jobs.5. Connect every resident of greater Akron to a public park, trail or recreation area.
Sure, why not? Again, where are the jobs?6. Create protected bike and blade lanes in downtown Akron.
I've seen exactly one person on a bike on my way into work in the morning in the time that I've been working downtown. I'm sure she'd appreciate the bike lane.7. Outfit city buses with bike racks so that commuters can ``bus and bike.''
I'll defer to Davie G.8. Staff a full-time executive director to serve greater Akron's young professionals groups.Couldn't hurt. But I have a funny feeling it'll never catch on. Ohioans drive everywhere, even if it's half a block. Remember the downtown trolleys? They were really cool -- and perpetually empty.
If you do this, you gotta raise dues. If dues are too high, then no one's going to join. This could effectively kill the groups.9. Develop multimedia tools that greater Akron's employers can customize for their talent attraction efforts.
Hey, Rebecca, have you ever been to Ohio? We have two seasons, Hella Hot and 8 Feet of Snow. For about one month out of the year this would be great, but aren't there more important things to focus on? *cough* jobs *cough*11. Develop Lock 3 to get best use of the space.
Alright, I won't complain about this one.12. Complete the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath trail.
This would actually be a nice tourist attraction for the history buffs that are out there. I won't say anything bad.13. Convene employer roundtables in the industries (utilities, health care, etc.) in which talent needs are greatest.
Sure. This is a good idea, but it's tough logistically to get a group of business owners together.14. Support the development of ``stroll districts'' in neighborhoods with high densities of young ``knowledge workers.''
Highland Square.15. Support zoning and licensing for ``controversial'' tenants -- such as tattoo artists -- and/or applicants.
If tattoo is controversial, I'm not going to say the first things that popped into my head...16. Build a ``stacked loop'' system -- adding new, challenging trails -- onto the current flat bike and hike trail.
This would be really nice. The current trails are great, but you get sick of doing the same few over and over again, and the extra challenge would be welcomed. But I don't think new trails are going to get young people to move back.17. Start an annual U.S. or world golf championship for children.
It'd be fun for the kids and I'm sure ESPN2 would cover it.18. Attract nationally televised outdoor events.
That'd be great, but how? We don't have a stadium; we don't have an arena. We've got facilities for golf, soap box racing, and women's pro softball. Two of those already get national attention. I think we're doing pretty good in this area.Alright, I actually think numbers 1, 11, 12, 13, 16 and 17 would be good to implement. That's 6 out of 18, 33%. More then I thought I'd like, but I still don't think this can justify the amount of cash that was spent to bring Rebecca to town. She didn't address small business concern, she didn't address how to keep young people who are already in the city here. We've got two huge universities in the area, we should focus on keeping those people here. They've lived here, they've learned here, now we just need them to work here.
The BJ :: Rebecca Ryan's top 18 recommendations for the five-county greater Akron...
(joe :: If Davie G. Can Do It, So Can I)
85kOur "dear friend" Rebecca Ryan has finally unveiled her suggestions for Akron. One of them has caught my eye
- $85,000: Develop a web-based portal for all of Greater Akron's after-hours activities. A survey shows young professionals find lots to do here, but they also don't have one single source to go to for comprehensive information, particularly online.Here's Davie G.'sresponsee to that...
Recommendation: Develop a true Web-based portal for all of Greater Akron's ``after hours'' activities.For $85,000 this site would be a lot more comprehensive, so just give me the cash and we can mark a suggestion off the list. No really; don't laugh.
The BJ :: New angles on plugging brain drain
The BJ :: Consultant bets on boomerangs
(joe :: 85k)
(joe :: Ryan Humbert)
Friday Night LightsThe past few days have been amazing. There is a hint of fall in the air and that makes me think High School Football! I've scrounged together the high school football schedules for the area schools and I've posted them here: 2005 Akron High School Football Schedules.
(joe :: Friday Night Lights)
Not all Evil in NortonI know I've been focusing a lot on this English-only ordinance in Norton, but it really pisses me off when people pass blatantly discriminatory legislation. There is still one final road block for this ordinance: Joe Kernan, Norton's Mayor.
I've known Joe for years and he's a very nice guy. He loves the city where he lives and really wants to do what's best for the city. In the past few years, Norton's tried hard to not be the butt of jokes in surrounding communities. Their school system has been receiving top rankings from the state, the sports and music programs have obtained attention thanks to hard working staff and dedicated students and new developers are building as fast as they can in the city. But something like this takes Norton back a few steps and Mayor Kernan realizes this.
Kernan said his main concern about the English-only measure was that it would damage Norton's reputation.Hopefully, Kernan will do what's right and veto this. It is ludicrous to think that in 2005 we're passing bigoted legislation. I just hope, Norton's Mayor sees things the same way, not just for the 123 Norton people who have difficulties with English, but also for all people who are out to protect civil rights.
The BJ :: English-only push faces potential veto
(joe :: Not all Evil in Norton)
The Big ProjectSo, I just launched a huge new section to the site: The Akron Business Directory. This thing was a pain in the ass to make, but now we can start linking to other Akron businesses that are out there. We never linked out before because we it was too hard to update, now we can do it quickly and easily.
I'm going to be like Google right now and say that the new directory is in "Beta." I'm still trying to work some bugs out and add some new categories (like a homepages category for all my fellow bloggers out there). It works decently right now, but it'll be better in the near future. Keep checking back to see what's been added and don't forget to submit your links!
(joe :: The Big Project)
Go Go Girls!
These Ladies will be spinning everything from 60's garage & psych, jangly pop, motown, stax, glam, 80's hip hop, britpop, cheesy dance music and whatever else they feel like playing...so get out and support the ladies!The Lime Spider
(joe :: Go Go Girls!)
UpdatesWow! I'm never going to go that long without updating the Akron Events Calendar agian. That was a serious project, but it feels good to be done with it.
(joe :: Updates)
It's OfficialI'm ashamed to say that I was born and raised in Norton.
English is now the official language of the city of Norton.If you want "to honor those serving to protect the civil rights of Americans" why would you intentionally infringe upon those rights we fight so hard to keep? It is a true contradiction. Maybe it has something to do with George Tomko, the man who for years has pushed for this type of legislation.
George Tomko, a Norton resident, dismissed those who may have criticized the legislation.I guess he means that honoring America means losing our past, refuting our heritage, and forgetting that many of our ancestors came here with little to no knowledge of English.
The BJ :: English Norton's official language
(joe :: It's Official)
Mike NeedsHere's a post from my friend Sage's blog.
Mike Needs, the Public Editor of the Akron Beacon Journal finally compelled me to write today. I make a point to read his article every Sunday. He often shows me a perspective that I hadn't thought of before.I, too, am a fan of Mike Needs, but I think Sage brings up some interesting points. These stories are very different: one could directly effect Joe Average and the other, while it does question freedom of speech, effects only a small population. In my heart I think the Judith Miller story is more important in terms of Freedom of Speech, but a pubilc official taking someone's job is universal. That's why Mike is getting so much mail. Alright, enough ranting. There's some food for thought for you.
SageLewis.com :: Mike Needs on Don Plusquellic & Judith Miller in Akron Beacon Journal
The BJ :: Readers care about parking, not press
(joe :: Mike Needs)
Fun Things for CharityI was poking around The BJ this morning and I came across this fun list of charities that will be holding events in the near future. I'm particularly interested in the first event listed: Coming Together Akron's Unity Walk.
Coming Together Akron -- a courageous and diverse gathering of men, women and children promoting racial harmony -- is again seeking foot soldiers for its annual Unity Walk on Sept. 10.Next up is a spaghetti dinner benefit for Maggie Stewart who donated a kidney to a friend. Complication have left her on liquid food. This benefit will help defray costs.
Johnson United Methodist Church, 3409 Johnson Road, Norton, is sponsoring a benefit spaghetti dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 for long-time Barberton Citizens Hospital nurse and friend to all, Maggie Stewart.Finally, we got a charity garage sale. This one helps out Ohio WINGS, which helps people with breast cancer.
Eight-year-old Molly Patterson will be selling some of her toys at a garage sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 3 with proceeds going to Ohio WINGS (Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving, Sharing Inc.), an organization that helps breast-cancer patients.Wouldn't it be awesome if I put these on the Events page? Hopefully, I'll get around to that later today.
The BJ :: Unity Walk will mark a milestone
(joe :: Fun Things for Charity)
Strange Things are afoot at The BJHas anyone checked the core temperature of the Earth lately? I think hell might have frozen over. Or maybe I'm in some kind of time warp where Wednesdays don't exist and I've been transported directly to Thursday. It could be that all the clocks that I've come in contact with and I were hit by some sort of sleeping potion that allows us to sleep for exactly 32 hours, wake up and think that only a night has passed. In any case, it's a Wednesday (at least in my mind) and there is a David Giffels article in The BJ.
Idella Butts can tell you a lot of things about the care and feeding of golfers. The 73-year-old has been cooking in the clubhouse kitchen for 45 years, nearly as long as championship golf has been played at Firestone Country Club.For the record, potato pancakes sound really good. I'm really digging on the Irish version called boxty. Boxty are a lot bigger then the potato pancakes we're used to; they are also stuffed with sauted veggies and whatnot. Anyway back to the story...
Butts became an icon among the golf stars thanks in part to a large opening between the kitchen and dining room, where diners could see her working at the grill. She used to sing there, mostly church songs, and her voice and warm smile became part of the Firestone experience for the pros.If I were cooking at the club, they would have bricked up the window. Between me dropping things and swearing at inanimate objects, it would not be a pleasant experience for the diners... or for anyone else on staff... or for the pan that I'd inevitably throw across the room when it caught on fire. Moral of the story: Don't let me in your kitchen.
The BJ :: Mama's main course
(joe :: Strange Things are afoot at The BJ)
Sushi GuideSushi is one of my favorite foods of all time. It can be a little on the expensive side, so I don't get to have it all that often. If you're like me you want to make sure you're getting the most bang for your sushi buck, so here it is, our Akron Sushi User's Guide.
(joe :: Sushi Guide)
Ethnic EatsI've been trying to assemble a good solid list of ethnic grocery stores, but the problem is I either don't know the names of them or I don't know what street they're on. I've assembled the beginnings of a good list, but I'm going to keep adding to it. If you can think of any I've left off, just e-mail me. In the meantime, here are some Akron ethnic grocery stores.
(joe :: Ethnic Eats)
Art in the Square!
This weekend is Art in the Square! I'm so excited!
It'll be this Sunday, August 21st from 11 am until 6 pm in Highland Square at the corner of West Market Street and Portage Path. There will be all kinds of artists presenting and selling their art. Along side the artists will be Highland Square small businesses and other fun local stuff. This is going to be hyper-hot; I can't wait.
(joe :: Art in the Square!)
$2.69When I came into work this morning gas was $2.69 a gallon. Luckily, I filled up yesterday when it was only $2.49 a gallon. I never thought I'd be happpy to buy gas for $2.49 a gallon, but I am. With no end in sight for inflation of gas prices, I'm becoming more and more interested in trading in my car and snagging a hybrid. I know gas has to be like five bucks a gallon for it to really be worth it, but I'm sure that day is coming.
Speaking of hybrids, a hydrogen hybrid debuted in The 'Kron yesterday.
A prototype hydrogen-fueled car gets a definite thumbs up from Ted Curtis.Hydrogen can be harvested from water. Three gallons of water can produce a kilogram of Hydrogen. This is great technology, but I also see it as a slippery slope. If we turn to water for power, what's going to stop up from destroying our water supply? We obviously can't conserve our limited supply of fossil fuel, so what's going to stop us from destroying our limited supply of water? But in the meantime, sign me up for one of those Hydrogen car, I mean we can't use up all the water in my lifetime, right?
The BJ :: Hydrogen car wins fast approval
(joe :: $2.69)
New Review!I got off my lazy ass and did some work today! That's right I reviewed a bar. Arnie's SRO to be precise. This was a unique experience for me, read all about in the review.
(joe :: New Review!)
How It All WorksA few of my friends teach in public school systems throughout Ohio, so I've been hearing about state report cards a lot over the past few weeks. But what do they mean and how are grades given?
Well the grades aren't really grades. There are 5 ratings that schools can get: Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch or Academic Emergency. Like in real life, if your grades suck someone steps in to tutor you on how to run your school; in the case of the school districts, the state is the acting tutor.
The "grades" are based on the following:
Indicators. Grades are given based on how well districts and schools perform on standardized tests, and attendance and graduation rates. This will be the first year the Ohio Graduation Test -- a new, 10th-grade exam -- counts.Sounds confusing? Imagine being a teacher or administrator. These five simple phrases determine if you're doing your job well or not. Not to mention that AYP is based on "No Child Left Behind," which in the opinions of the teachers I've talked to is doing more harm then good. If you don't reach AYP, the penalty ranges from offering tutors to grade dropping to conversion to a charter school.
The BJ :: Schools await report cards
(joe :: How It All Works)
SquirrelsI have a deep fear of squirrels. It all started back in college. I went to Baldwin-Wallace up in Berea and there were herds of squirrels that roamed campus. The campus was home tons of trees and tons of acorns, so the squirrels were able to multiply like rabbits. Some of the evil little beasts decided they didn't like having human on their campus, so they formed a little militia. They'd hang out in the trees, guerrilla style, and drop an acorn from above.
The first time I heard about the acorn dropping squirrels I giggled, but then I was hit by one of the vicious beasts. Luckily, it was my senior year and I soon graduated; avoiding future attacks. Because of my experiences, I think this guy is nuts.
Ric Wallace drove all the way from London, Ontario, to spend a week chasing black squirrels in Kent.[...]The BJ :: Ontario man visits KSU in search of his lucky charm: black squirrels
(joe :: Squirrels)
Ohio State FairThursday, August 11, 1:27 AM:
Wow! So tonight I went to the Ohio State Fair. Big fucking mistake. I thought "Oh! I'll get to see some animal shows, see the largest zucchini in Ohio, taste the best apple pie ever made in the state and have a funnel cake!" But instead there were, like, a thousand animals caged in tiny little pens. There were no best apple pie in Ohio booths, there were only future-leather-belt booths. I was really upset. As a 8 month and 11 day vegetarian, I felt like I was letting my friends down by letting those little creatures stay in their cage. I'm glad I had my PETA shirt on. That'll show those red-county peeps who they're dealing with!
After I escaped the evil fair, I found myself at my friend Craig's townhouse near the Short North district. My best friends Eric and Craig, Craig's roomate Tyler and I went to the Columbus equivalent of Annabell's; it's called The Bier Strube. There I befriended Tyler, along with several other locals. Eventually, I even got to lick Tyler! He was a little sweaty, but that's alright by me. All in all, I'd say it was a good night.
Next stop: Dublin, Ohio, for an evening of fun with my friends Eric, Megan and Craig (a totally different Craig then the one in Columbus).
(joe :: Ohio State Fair)
Live from Columbus, It's Akron!I'm in Columbus for a few days, and last night I heard a bunch of cop cars drive by where I'm staying. So in honor of the men in blue here are some stupid criminals!
BATH: On Aug. 1, police investigated a report of an attempted entry into a Ghentwood Drive residence. A suspect used a key, but failed to gain entry because the key broke off in the lock.The West Side Leader :: Neighborhood Watch
(joe :: Live from Columbus, It's Akron!)
Back HomeYay! We're back in space and we're back from space!
Discovery and its crew of seven glided safely back to Earth on Tuesday, ending a riveting, at times agonizing, 14-day test of space shuttle safety that was shadowed by the ghosts of Columbia.The BJ :: Discovery lands safely in California
(joe :: Back Home)
Square TroublesI was out in the Square last night and a car was broken into in the Walgreens parking lot. The window was smashed and CDs were stolen. I heard that this was the second burglary like this in the past week. The last break in happened in the Sparkle parking lot. Both have happened late at night and well off the street.
Just as a precaution, I'm going to start putting my CDs in the trunk and parking on the street whenever possible. It's not that the Square's going to hell, I just really like my CDs.
(joe :: Square Troubles)
VacationAhhh... The Go-Gos. Well I'm on vacation this week so RubberBuzz might not be updated as much as usual. I'm going to try to brainstorm some new ideas for the site while I'm out. I know I haven't done a lot to the site lately, so I think it's time for a bunch of new stuff...
(joe :: Vacation!)
Movie of the WeekI normally don't have an excuse to write a movie post on RubberBuzz but I feel this one is relevant... or something. No, not the movie that the BJ is telling you to avoid while simultaniously promoting with a giant picture of Jessica Simpson and her ass in today's Living section. The movie I'm talking about is Broken Flowers (Plot summary from IMDB):
...Bill Murray stars as Don Johnston. The resolutely single Don has just been dumped by his latest lover, Sherry (Julie Delpy). Don yet again resigns himself to being alone and left to his own devices. Instead, he is compelled to reflect on his past when he receives by mail a mysterious pink letter. It is from an anonymous former lover and informs him that he has a 19-year-old son who may now be looking for his father. Don is urged to investigate this "mystery" by his closest friend and neighbor, Winston (Jeffrey Wright), an amateur sleuth and family man. Hesitant to travel at all, Don nonetheless embarks on a cross-country trek in search of clues from four former flames (Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, and Tilda Swinton). Unannounced visits to each of these unique women hold new surprises for Don as he haphazardly confronts both his past and, consequently, his present.How is this relevant to Akron? Because the movie is written and directed by Jim Jarmusch... an Akron native. A fact I just randomly came about today while reading about Akron in the Wikipedia. The movie is getting good reviews and is the winner of the Grand Prix at 2005 Cannes Film Festival. As if those weren't reasons enough to see the film, did you notice it has Bill Murray in it? And, I'm sure I don't have to tell you this but Bill Murray rocks. Of course, it being an independent film, Broken Flowers is in limited release right now. But it's slated to hit the Cedar Lee next weekend and will hopefully show up in Montrose soon after. In the meantime, I'm sure your local Blockbuster has one whole copy of Jarmusch's last film, Coffee and Cigarettes. Maybe someday he'll return to Akron and make a movie about blimps... with Bill Murray.
Jim Jarmusch :: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Mia :: Movie of the Week)
Rubber ReboundYea for Goodyear! The tiremaker is on the rebound financially and the blimp hasn't crashed in well over a month!
Halfway to its 2005 fiscal finish line, Goodyear on Thursday reported it is well ahead of last year's pace, when it reported an annual profit for the first time in four years.The BJ :: Goodyear's earnings surge past estimates
(joe :: Rubber Rebound)
Reasons to Give Schools MoneyIn case you can't tell, I'm a little bitter about state/city funding for area schools. I don't think it's right that these schools be stripped of creative programs because we can't pass a levy. If you need an incentive to vote for a levy here's one:
For the second straight year, Akron may move up a grade on the annual state report card.More? Okay:
In addition to the better grade, Akron is expected to reach a tough federal requirement called ``adequate yearly progress,'' or AYP. This would be the first year the district attains this threshold, which requires districts to show a certain amount of progress among all students and various groups, such as disabled and nondisabled.One more for good measure:
School leaders say Akron is expected to outperform other urban districts in the state in 12 standardized test subjects on the report cards. They say the district also had a higher percentage of students pass the Ohio Graduation Test, the new 10th-grade test required for graduation, than the other urbans did.Sure, it's no where near perfect, but improvements are being made. Give the kids (and the schools) a chance to improve and make this city better.
Oh and remember, better schools attract people to the area. We don't want to have Rebecca Ryan come back and tell us that now do we? Oh, wait, she wouldn't point out a relavant way to attract people to Akron. Nevermind. I guess you'll just have to keep listening to me and Mia for brilliant ways to save the city.
The BJ :: Akron schools expect better rating
(joe :: Reasons to Give Schools Money)
Akron! Great at being... old?Looks like Akron's might have two new places to register with the National Register of Historic Places. That's right two more locations in our area, might prove to be just historic enough!
The Selle Gear Co. plant at 451 S. High St. and the Edward P. Werner House at 258 W. Market St. will be up for inclusion when the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board meets today.The BJ :: Register may add local sites
(joe :: Akron! Great at being... old?)
War Hits HomeWar seems so distant to me. I'm so set in my ways, in my routine, that the concept blows my mind; it's more foreign then the nations we're fighting in. I can be as anti-war as I want, but it's not going to change the fact that our soldiers are there.
For the first time in this war with the insurgents in Iraq, death struck close to home. The godson of a person I work for was lost in one of the recent car bombs. The war didn't seem real until then.
The war has forever influenced our culture, too. It's in our movies, television, books, and music. About a week ago I got the latest Dropkick Murphys cd: The Warrior's Code. There's a song on there that I've been listening to quite a bit today, it's called "Last Letter Home." It's about a soldier last letters home to his family. The letters were sent to them from a the family of fallen soldier. They played his favorite song at his funeral.
Hopefully, the fighting will end soon and The BJ won't have to report the ever increasing number of people lost from this area. So, if any soldiers are reading this, know that we hope you come home safe and come home soon. The war may be getting bad press, but you're our heroes.
(joe :: War Hits Home)
For the Fallen
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:This excerpt of the World War I poem For the Fallen was read in space today as a tribute to the crew of the space shuttle Columbia. I found it quite significant given this week's local news...
Beacon Journal :: Ohio unit hit again; 14 dead
Beacon Journal :: Tallmadge family gets heartbreaking news
Beacon Journal :: Waiting for knock, local families agonize
AP Wire :: Ohio families cope with deaths of 19 Marines this week
(Mia :: For the Fallen)
For the KidsYesterday was a special election with a lot of school levies on the ballot. With the state not doing as much for the schools as they used to, local schools are depending more and more on local tax dollars. But people realize this and are going to support the kids in their community, right?
It took nine tries and the imminent threat of a state takeover for Cloverleaf voters to approve more taxes for school operations.So I'm a little wrong. People aren't passing these; kids are getting screwed. Levies didn't pass in Revere, Manchester, Brunswick, Southeast and Rittman.
If people can't support schools, maybe they can support injured kids...
Doesn't matter if you're buying or selling gently used children's clothing -- Lil' Lamb's Closet is the venue for you.The BJ :: 2 school districts get levies approved
The BJ :: Two-day sale offers bargains
(joe :: For the Kids)
Tax BreakYou'd think that the county would really want to get an initiative on the ballot that would get them an extra $36 million to be divvied up among law enforcement and economic development initiatives; two things this area really needs. But after a question was proposed as to how the money would be divided among these groups, the issue might not be prepared to make it to the polls.
A 1/2 percent sales tax proposed by Summit County mayors and law enforcement may not make it to the voters after it ended up back in a Summit County Council committee July 25.West Side Leader :: County Council stalls on proposed sales tax
(joe :: Tax Break)
Planet Buzz2003UB313. Surprisingly it's not a UB40 cover band, but rather it's the name for what could be the solar system's 10th planet.
The object -- 96 times as far from the Earth as the Earth is from the sun, or nearly 9 billion miles away -- was first photographed in October 2003 by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory, north of San Diego.The astronomers who found our little buddy 2003UB313 have already submitted a potential name for the planet-like object, but I really think it should be named after RubberBuzz. I like Planet Buzz or Rubber World. So if you ever have the chance to name a planet, keep those names in mind.
CNN :: Astronomers claim discovery of solar system's 10th planet
(joe :: Planet Buzz)
Legal BeagleMy weekend was long and full of dog hair. I've been puppy sitting three monster dogs, so Monday morning was a exciting reprieve from those poochers. I even got a little shocker this morning in The BJ. In amongst the stories of death and murder was a story that evoked a laugh. Mark Price did a piece on the old laws of Akron and its crazy to hear how people lived 100 years ago. Here are my favorites:
Do not reveal too much skin.I guess those would make The Interbelt illegal.
Do not allow horses to copulate in public.That one just makes me chuckle.
The BJ :: Against the law
(joe :: Legal Beagle)