Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Finally warming up! Got the yard raked & cleaned. Had to level out a huge gash in the front lawn from a midwinter snow plow. Did a little kayaking with my son. We saw 2 turtles, 2 ducks, 2 geese and 2 deer as we plied a section in Swan Creek Preserve Metropark located here in Toledo. Downloaded Springsteen's new single "Devils & Dust" from iTunes - a rootsy, searching song that reminds me of "Blood Brothers" and "Youngstown" - its an excellent piece from his new work to be released April 26 - with a summer tour to follow!! And Opening Day is less than a week out.

Tonight my imagination got "spring cleaning" at a great ideas meeting led by John Henry Fullen, a young downtown developer. Dozens of young people & progressives got together to debate how to put into practice the principles of New Urbanism - how can we lure more arts & culture, more housing, more pedestrians downtown? if we can, jobs will come with them. How do we provide incentives for urbanist development, thereby creating jobs, attracting people, and revitalizing our core? Then there was this exchange on the spirit of community and what that meant for public art and cleaning up our streets and neighborhoods and creeks. How do we get Toledoans to buy local & support local economic development, with an emphasis on entreprenuers & small business. Some of this work is being done statewide at Greater Ohio. A local web site is being developed with all this and more - I'll link when its ready.

I can link now the Communitarian Platform. Although it has a 1991 ring to it (when it was first drafted & I first read it as a student at GW), balancing individual rights and social responsibility is as pertinent this spring as ever.


Blogger Reptiliana said...

I love that you and the family were enjoying the early spring nature. If you see any spotte turtles let me know. My friend is studying them for her masters.

About improving Toledo to attract people, I really think that appearance is a big part of it. I grew up in Toledo. I never remember downtown being as dirty and run-down as it is now. I hear lots of comments from friends (out-of-towners) about how they don't want to go downtown because it looks like a ghetto or a trash dump. I think that as sprawl happens, the parts of town that were once nice, are now being neglected so that the "richies" in the newer neighborhoods can have their Starbucks and what-not. I miss downtown the way it used to be. Where I grew up used to be a nice neighborhood (down near Northtowne mall). Now it is an armpit. The roads are all choppy and covered with trash. There is either a strip club or an adult book store on every corner of that area now. I remember when the most controversial thing in that area was "The Shed". I get upset when I hear about all of the new developments happening all around the city.The Franklin Park Mall (I will never call it by any other name) area is constantly being updated and added-to, while the rest of the city goes straight to pot.

There are some cities that, when you drive through them, you comment on the beautiful architecture, the cleanliness, and a nice view. When you drive through Toledo, you can comment on the crappy roads, the tons and tons of garbage on the streets, and the beat-up, falling-down, should be condemned buildings. Downtown Toledo was my favorite place to be as a kid. Now, I avoid it at all costs. I only go there if it is absolutely necessary.

Aesthetics are important to travelers and perspective employers. Just my $0.02.

By the way, you have a very nice blog.

7:58 AM  

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