Archive for September, 2005
I spent much of Tuesday waiting for a call. Rather than sitting idly in front of a TV, I decided to go exploring along the Maumee River at Sidecut Metropark. Along the way I was fascinated by this solitary creature. A common miracle, the water strider takes advantage of physics to walk across the water’s surface in search of its next meal. It relies on its slender legs and the surface tension between water molecules to keep from getting wet.
Technical information: this photo was taken at 1/200 sec., ISO 1600, f/ 2.8 and 70mm.
When Bill Quinlan moved with his wife and mother-in-law to Toledo from the East Coast last October, they increased the local membership in Actor’s Equity (the professional stage actors’ union) by 50 percent.
Quinlan, a San Francisco native and a veteran of more than 150 productions as an actor (plus 30 as a director) founded Toledo’s new Harvest Theatre with the goal of bringing professional regional theatre to the area. He said many smaller cities and towns have theatres with national reputations.
The new theatre’s inaugural season opens Oct. 6 with “Night by Michelangelo” by up-and-coming playwright Gary Giovannetti. Michelangelo is a story of a breast cancer patient’s cross-country journey in search of friendship, family, and meaning. The play is being staged in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I knew I wanted to do plays which are interesting, challenging, and not what you normally see around here,” Quinlan said. “This first play is by a friend of mine. It’s very funny, very emotional.”
“Michelangelo features” local actors Stephanie Stephan and her husband Joe Dennehy as the leads, and Thom Eric Sinn, Cheryl Walker, Michael L. Portteus and high school student Megan McGarry. Quinlan is directing.
Other shows scheduled are “Inspecting Carol” (a comedy about a community theater’s misguided attempt to stage yet another production of “A Christmas Carol”), the Tennessee Williams classic “The Glass Menagerie,” and “Bed and Sofa,” a three-character musical set in Stalinist Russia.
The plays will be performed in the newly renovated Lois M. Nelson Theatre in the Collingwood Arts Center — a former convent built in 1906. The theater’s new seats were donated by National Amusements, recycled from the defunct Franklin Park Cinema and installed by volunteers from the Perrysburg Jeep plant.
Quinlan is enthusiastic about the space, known for its excellent acoustics and vintage chandelier, and considers the resident ghost a plus (though he hasn’t actually met her yet).
“Apparently she’s a nun and she’s pretty friendly. I went to Catholic school so I know she’s on my side,” he said.
Quinlan has a five-year plan “that’ll knock your socks off,” featuring a mix of new and classic plays, which will eventually include a summer Shakespearean festival and possibly theater classes for children and adults. He has also been approached by a local playwright about hosting a workshop and reading environment for new works.
“We’re interested in who the next great writers are going to be. One thing I learned in New York is that it’s the writers, more than the actors, who make or break this industry.”
All of the theater’s creative staff, many recent university graduates, are paid, “although it may not be much more than gas money.”
Quinlan said he feels that using professionals “is a sign of status, growth, maturity as a theater company. Big name writers and actors will look at us more seriously if we’re professional.” So far, the theater’s administrative positions are all-volunteer. “I’d love to have a full-time staff and pay actors what they’re worth,” Quinlan said.
Performances are at the Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets are normally $17-$20, but Wednesday performances are “pay what you can” nights (tickets available at the door, $1 minimum) and Thursdays are “buy one, get the second ticket at half off” nights.
In 1999, Trapt guitarist Simon Ormandy was majoring in biochemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
“We grew up in a suburban kind of town, Los Gatos, California It’s the kind of place where your path is predestined — you go to college, do what your parents want you to do,” Ormandy said.
He and Chris Brown, vocalist and guitarist, and Peter Charell, bass, chose their band’s name to reflect their feeling while in Los Gatos High School.
“For me, staying on that path, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I wanted to do,” Ormandy said last week from a tour stop in Chico, Calif. “We didn’t expect the music to get serious until we dropped out of college, and that’s when we really focused on it.”
That was in 2000. Two years later, drummer Aaron “Monty” Montgomery joined Trapt and the band released its self-titled debut. The single “Headstrong” earned two Billboard Awards for best modern rock track and best rock track in 2003. Sales of the disc topped 2 million.
Trapt’s follow-up, Someone in Control, was released Sept. 13. The group co-produced the disc with Don Gilmore, who has worked with Linkin Park, Pearl Jam and Dashboard Confessional.
“Don is a very interesting cat. He’s totally a funny guy, definitely good to work with,” Ormandy said. “We had the songs before we made the record, so we just had minimal tweaks. We worked most with lyrics.”
The quartet is known for its intense lyrics, driving guitar riffs and Brown’s sweet and explosive vocals. That recipe is evident in the new single “Stand Up.”
“I describe our music as heavy, alternative melodic rock,” Ormandy said.
Trapt will be at Club Bijou, 209 N. Superior St., Oct. 5 with Aphasia and Blindside. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22.50 the day of the show.
— Vicki L. Kroll
Ottawa Hills quarterback Sam Miller has been mulling over potential opportunities for college after graduating in the spring. Should he play football at a Division III school or hang up his helmet and concentrate on business?
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior said he is considering a career in business or real estate, but on the gridiron, it’s all about chemistry. Miller connects regularly with his No. 1 receiver, Aaron Crooks, his childhood friend and long-time teammate.
“I’ve grown up with Aaron since first grade; we’ve been playing catch since first grade,” Miller said. “That chemistry has always been there.”
Seven seniors form the team’s nucleus — all in their third year as starters — and the reaction could be explosive. Ottawa Hills won two of its first three games this season, a feat Miller said hasn’t happened for years.
The Green Bears tied for first in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference last year and placed second in the league in 2003.
With multiple offensive sets, some in spread formations, opponents will have to guard against perimeter passes. Three to four wideouts could put defenses on their heels with every snap of the ball as the receiver core features at least a couple of players with outstanding speed and ball control.
“There’s always a main receiver in every package, but if I need a go-to guy on third down and short, I’m going to go to Aaron. He has the best hands on the team,” Miller said. “We also have a great receiver in Ken Valuska. I grew up with him, too; he’s the fastest guy on the team.”
Head Coach Chris Hardman said by the time the Green Bears wrap this season, Miller, a three-year letter winner, will hold every quarterback record in school history, including passing yards, completions, touchdowns and career passing percentage.
If there existed a way to measure finesse, Miller would own that record, too.
“Not only is his arm strong — he can make all the hard throws — but what I think is attractive is that he can make all of the touch throws,” Hardman said. “I really believe he’s the complete package when it comes to throwing the football.”
During the summer, Miller attended the invitation-only Purdue University’s elite quarterback school, where college coaches worked with top prep prospects from around the country. The three-day camp allowed quarterbacks to analyze and perfect their technique.
“They would have you do a three-step drop and then your five-step drop — all being videotaped,” Miller said. “And then they’d take you up to the film room, and the quarterback coach would break it down for every individual.”
Speed may be the only element limiting Miller’s future in collegiate play, where coaches often like a quarterback who can run options and draws. Hardman said Miller functions best in a system where the quarterback throws from the pocket, which may lead him to any of Ohio’s hotbed of top Division II or Division III schools.
“If he ran a tad bit faster, I think he’d be recruited by a lot of people,” Hardman said. “But we don’t ask him to run the ball very much. In today’s college offense, many of them do.”
The Toledo Mud Hens and its fans are savoring a storybook season that culminated in the team’s first IL Governor’s Cup crown since 1967. A franchise-record 556,995 fans witnessed the Hens go from worst to first while amassing a league- and AAA-best record of 89-55 during the regular season before grabbing the Cup by sweeping the Indianapolis Indians.
Larry Parrish has been named the Sporting News’ 2005 Minor League Manager of the year in addition to winning International League Manager of the Year.
“In ‘Field of Dreams’ someone said something along the lines of ‘the cosmic tumblers clicking into place.’ That happened here this summer. Toledo got to enjoy that where everything just fell into place,” General Manager Joe Napoli said.
Top Hens players Chris Shelton and Curtis Granderson departed permanently for Motown in the middle of the Hens’ season to assist the Tigers, but Napoli said their absence was overcome by those “cosmic tumblers.”
“It’s so easy to overstate the chemistry after you win but the fact of the matter was, if you were looking to epitomize chemistry this was the club to perform a case study on,” he said.
How does Toledo’s pride and joy follow up? Napoli said not since the winter prior to Fifth Third Field’s inaugural season has he and his staff been so excited and busy planning for the following year. The reigning IL champions are set to host the 2006 AAA All Star game during the second full week of July.
It will give the franchise the opportunity to showcase what is already widely acknowledged as the premier minor league baseball facility.
“The fans now have a ballpark they can brag about. And it’s a regular block party every day we have a game. I can’t tell you how many times throughout the park fans have introduced us to friends and family they’ve brought in from out of town to show off Fifth Third Field,” Napoli said.
The block party is set to become minor ball’s Mardi Gras when fans, players and media from all over the nation descend on Downtown next July to enjoy the nationally televised game and accompanying festivities.
Napoli said festivities will run July 10 to July 12, when the game is played.
The annual All Star Home Run Derby will be at Fifth Third the evening of July 10.
“We have a lot of unique twists during the derby that we will be announcing soon,” Napoli said.
During all three days there will be a fan festival in a joint gala with the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, which will begin its annual LPGA tournament July 13. Featured golfers to play the Farr will be on-hand to greet Toledo’s sports fans.
The festival will consist of baseball interactive games and clinics, autograph sessions, live music and behind-the-scenes tours, along with other activities.
Napoli said as part of the gala festivities on July 11. There will be a free, massive fireworks show launched off of the High Level Bridge spanning the Maumee River Downtown.
“We’re looking forward to filling up both banks of the Maumee,” Napoli said.
Napoli said there will be a ceremony for the fans to have that opportunity when the club opens its home schedule next spring.
“We won on the road so we didn’t have the appropriate party to celebrate. That’s going to take place Opening Day in 2006,” he said.
The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government will host the annual transportation summit from 1 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at
Owens Community College.
The opening session will focus on TMACOG’s long-range plan, “On The Move: 2007-2035 Transportation Plan.” Those gathering at the summit will begin to identify specific transportation problems and opportunities during a “needs input” session. Public input also is being solicited for On the Move at area libraries this fall.
“Citizen input is vital to our efforts to improve the region’s transportation infrastructure,” said James Hartung, president of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and chair of the TMACOG Transportation Council. “Transportation continues to be the cornerstone of our economy and we must meet the needs of the future to have a role in the global economy.”
There will be a dinner and a keynote speech from Rohan E. Champion, former vice president of corporate strategy and worldwide business development at Federal Express.
At Federal Express, his organizations were responsible for the formulation and execution of FedEx’s global electronic commerce and logistics initiatives.
To register, call (419) 241-155 ext. 117, or complete an online registration at www.tmacog.org. Cost for members is $28, non-members $42, students $22.
The friend who served as best man for Jim Karahalios’ wedding in 1970 earned the title. He gave Karahalios an original pizza recipe that helped launch a legacy one year later when he founded J & G Pizza Palace in Sylvania.
Three-and-a-half decades, a dozen or so cities, a few states, several pizza joints and many thousands of house specials later, the old recipe has reappeared at Pappouli’s Pizza in Sylvania, where Karahalios’ children started the business to keep him active.
The recipe has followed the Karahalios as they moved from Illinois to Tennessee, Ohio, back to Tennessee and back to Ohio, starting pizzerias along the way. In the latest move, he left his 65-acre farm, which he still visits occasionally, on the urging of his wife, Georgia; their children decided to plant stakes in the Buckeye State.
“My kids, they like Ohio; they all moved here,” Karahalios said. “My wife, she likes to be with the kids, and she said, ‘We have to go there.’ ”
Business startups have become a matter of tradition in a family where one of two daughters co-owns an Italian restaurant and the son owns a gas station and supermarket. The Karahalios family has opened stores in Missouri and Kentucky as well.
He recounted the variety of consumer markets where he has done business, including a military base near Nashville. The base closed years ago, and he tucked the recipe away, converting the plaza to a shopping center and renting space.
Most of the pizza places Karahalios established still exist and use the same ingredients prepared the same way. Pappouli’s and J & G operate on Main Street in Sylvania, separated by less than a mile of pavement and a good chunk of a customer base. Karahalios said the city has a big enough market, especially considering its growth since he left a couple decades ago.
“When I came here to Sylvania, it wasn’t a big city like it is now,” he said. “I think there are plenty of people here for both of us.”
Meanwhile, he said, he’ll enjoy his time with local friends, serving Greek food and waiting for a liquor license so he can add beer and wine to his menu.
“If my kids decide to open something up then fine,” Karahalios said. “If I was 30 years old, I’d do it.”
Movie theaters traditionally mean a night out to see a big screen with big sound, but new products can bring a bit of that experience into dens and living rooms.
A home theater mixes a TV, DVD player, stereo receiver and speakers into a compelling whole. And an entry-level system doesn’t have to break the bank, said Steve Koenig, of the Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington, Va.
Buying a high-quality traditional 32-inch television and pairing it with a home-theater-in-a-box, complete with a DVD player and five speakers, can cost less than $1,000, Koenig said.
“One of things we do most often — and we do everything electronic — is home theater. Everyone aspired to have this 10 years ago, but did not want to spend $25,000. Now, with ceiling-mounted, 10 ft. diagonal screen, 7-channel surround sound, new format DVD, HDTV satellite, the entire, complete system is around $8,500,” said Craig Weide, systems specialist for securities and technology at Transtar Electric Security and Technologies on 767 Warehouse Rd. in South Toledo. “That price makes it attractive. The people in Toledo are practical, and they want to be able to justify the price.”
Weide said aesthetic choices are driving the market.
“People want the system to fit their home, without the big boxes and wires,” he said. “We give people ideas to fit their existing rooms.”
While the starting point may bring less than a four-figure price, home theater systems are often far more expensive.
Flat-panel TVs, higher-end sound systems and installations that hide speakers and wires are expensive investments that can cost thousands of dollars.
While a home theater can begin with as little as a TV attached to two external speakers, the price of sophisticated systems can climb as high as $50,000 or even $500,000, said Mark Richardson, chief brand officer of Tweeter, an electronics company based in Canton, Mass.
Fans of home theater systems can thank the rise of the DVD in the late 1990s, Koenig said. DVDs allowed high-quality video and audio, which can make older TVs and stereos sound better.
Newer gear meant to take advantage of every nuance only broadens the experience, often dramatically.
The key to a successful system is planning, Richardson said. First, decide on the type of experience that’s desired for a guide to price and components.
One person might want a system to double as a home stereo, putting the emphasis on sound. Someone else might desire a system to watch the big game with friends, putting the emphasis on a big, bold TV screen, Richardson said.
Deciphering the various components and standards can be confusing. Koenig suggested visiting a retailer specializing in home theaters and quality audio for a primer.
The kitchen is the busiest room in the home. From food preparation and dining to balancing the family checkbook and socializing, the kitchen is the center of activity for today’s busy family.
What does it take to create a dream kitchen, one that’s beautifully designed, functional and, best of all, accessible for every cook and family member?
The Art Institutes recently posed this scenario to several of its top interior design faculty and chef instructors, challenging each group to develop a list of must-haves for a new or renovated kitchen.
According to Chris Lauderdale, a chef with The Art Institute of California-Orange County, the key isn’t the money a homeowner spends on a renovation or a new kitchen. It’s the thought and planning that goes on before.
“One evening, I was catering a party at a home where the host kept asking me what I thought of his kitchen. He had just spent $30,000 on a complete remodel. Everything looked great, very high design, but we were having a terrible time cooking because it had been designed for style, not functionality,” Lauderdale said.
Keep in mind the real-life use of your kitchen, said Gerald Brennan of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.
“Everybody these days loves stainless steel, but it’s hard to clean and really high maintenance,” Brennan said. “If you have kids, you’ll see every fingerprint.” Instead, Brennan recommends black appliances to his clients.
And what about those professional ranges? For Scott Swartz, chef instructor at The Art Institute of New York City, they aren’t worth it unless the cook can use them to their potential. Swartz recommended a commercial grade stove that’s up to the task.
Cabinets are one of the biggest investments in a new or renovated kitchen. When making that decision, Sofeeka Hasiuk, interior design instructor with The Art Institute of Philadelphia, warns against many gimmicks. For example, a wine storage cabinet isn’t the greatest idea because a kitchen is a little warm for that.
“Quality cabinetry and countertops will last longer, and make your kitchen function better over the long haul, not to mention be more pleasing to work in,” said William Niemer, a chef with The Art Institutes International Minnesota. Good lighting, counter space and placement of waste containers are important as well, he said.
The chefs and interior designers agreed on the most important attribute for a new or renovated kitchen: “work triangulation,” or the functionality and flow between the sink, refrigerator and stove.