Archive for February, 2007
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop, in
conjunction with the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio and the Kroger
Company, was scheduled to announce the “911 Cell Phones for Seniors” program
Feb. 20. According to a news release, the program will enable senior citizens
in Lucas County to receive a free cell phone equipped with 911 capabilities for
emergencies. The phones will be distributed at senior centers throughout Lucas
County. Citizens wishing to donate to the program can drop off used cell phones
at area Kroger locations in designated receptacles, the release said.
Steven L. Mickus, president and chief executive officer of
Mercy Health Partners, on Feb. 20 announced three new senior leader
appointments: Michael L. McEachern has been named president and CEO of St.
Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Carol Whittaker has been named president and CEO
of St. Charles Mercy Hospital and Dennis Sherry has been promoted to Senior
Vice President of Mercy Health Partners.
In his new role, according to a news release, McEachern is
responsible for leading the strategy and operations of St. Vincent, a level-one
trauma center and regional referral center serving 22 counties in Northwest
McEachern comes to St. Vincent from Sisters of Charity
Providence Hospitals in Columbia, S.C., where he was executive vice president
and chief operating officer.
Whittaker has been a member of Mercy Health Partners for
more than 30 years serving in various roles, most recently as regional vice
president of patient care services, the release said. In her new role as
president and CEO, Whittaker will be responsible for leading the operations of
St. Charles, a comprehensive, community-focused hospital located in Oregon with
more than 1,450 employees.
Sherry has been named senior vice president, office of
strategic management, an expansion of his previous role as vice president of
business development. With his expanded responsibilities, he will serve in a chief
of staff role for Mickus and will continue to ensure the development and
implementation of Mercy’s strategic initiatives, the release said.
The Toledo-Lucas County Public
Library’s 2007 Board of Trustees and Officers are, according to a news release, as follows:
R. Tucker, President
(Chief Financial Officer and top elected official of the
M. Savage, Vice President
(Longtime community activist)
James E.A. Black II, Secretary
(Secretary-treasurer of the Waterville Gas Company)
A. Randy Clay
(Business-owner of Chem Sales, Inc.)
Michael P. Dansack, Jr.
(Law partner at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer
Dennis G. Johnson
(President of Brooks Insurance Agency)
Steven T. Thomas
(Former business manager of Laborers International Union of
North America Local 500)
2007 Library Board meetings: Feb.22, March 22,
April 26, May 24, June 28, July 26, August (No Meeting), Sept.27, Oct.
25, Nov. 29 and Dec. 20.
The Anthony Wayne Community YMCA opened its new express
fitness facility in Waterville’s former fire station Feb. 8. The new YMCA
recently received its official branch status.
Melanie Grohowski, executive director of the Anthony Wayne
Community YMCA, said the Waterville facility, located at 808 Michigan Ave.,
developed in response to area demand.
“Members of the community came to us asking for it,” she
YMCA officials are calling the Waterville location an
Express YMCA because it includes a fitness center and an aerobics studio but
not other facilities commonly associated with the organization. Grohowski said
the Anthony Wayne YMCA plans to begin building a full facility with a gym and
pool by August 2009. It will be located on Dutch Road in Whitehouse.
The fitness center at the Waterville facility features
Precor treadmills, EFX cross trainers, upright and recumbent bikes and Cybex
strength training equipment. The aerobics studio will host
a variety of fitness classes.
The Anthony Wayne YMCA offers a single branch membership
plan unique among greater-Toledo YMCAs as well as a max membership option. The
single branch membership provides access to equipment at the Waterville
location and reduced prices on classes there. Max membership allows access to
all branches of the YMCA and Jewish Community Center of Greater Toledo, as well
as discounts on any of the associations’ area classes.
A single branch membership costs families $42 a month and
individual adults $28 a month. Those memberships require a joiner fee of $120
for families and $90 for individuals. Continued max
membership costs families $61.50 and individuals $42.50 a month.
New eight-week sessions of step aerobics, boot camp, cardio
kickboxing and body sculpting classes begin at the Waterville facility the week
of Feb. 26. Each class costs members $15 to attend unlimited meetings during
the session. Non-members can pay $25 to attend a class once per week, $50 to
attend twice and $75 to attend three times.
Yoga I and Pilates Mat I classes start Feb. 27 and March 1.
The Yoga class costs members $16 and non-members $32, while the Pilates class
costs members $64 and non-members $84.
A free trial week of the six classes begins Feb. 19. More
information can be obtained by calling (419) 441-0013.
The Anthony Wayne Community YMCA is open 6 a.m. to 9
p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on
Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Chapter 5: 12:13 a.m.
Someone is in the building.
Something just woke me from a sound sleep. Not a noise, exactly. What? A feeling? I think I went to bed around ten. Maybe I’m not really awake at all. Maybe I’m dreaming. Lord knows I’ve been having some weird ones since I moved in here. Maybe I’m just creeped out by some of those urban legends my new photographer has been telling me. Armando’s obsessed with all that Weekly World News kind of stuff. His stories seem downright goofy when we’re together, but now that I’m alone I’m not so sure. One of these books I’ve been reading about dreams says to frequently ask yourself if you’re dreaming. Okay. Is this a dream?
No, dammit! I did hear a sound that time. Now I wish I’d gone to Murphy’s Place with Aunt Alice to hear that piano player she kept harping about. I didn’t think she should even be going out in this weather. I should have waited up for her. I know she’s not back because I can’t hear her snoring. That woman can snore with the best of them.
There it is again! Could it be one of the cats? Okay. This is an old building. It’s probably just contracting with the cold. Anyway, I’ve got this floor locked off. No one can get up here. Just like no one got into the building, right?
Where’s my phone? Where’s my pack? Downstairs. I don’t believe this. I don’t believe I just heard a footfall on the bottom step, either.
Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish to hell he’d go away.
C’mon, McDonald. This is ridiculous. There is no one in the building but you.
Okay. How about some music? Something cheerful. Something loud. Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band. Perfect. Or how about I just crawl under the bed and hide until Aunt Alice comes home? Forget it, kid. Play the disc.
Now we’re cookin’! How can these tunes be so lonesome and so not-lonesome? So content and so restless at the same time?
There is something banging on my door. Is this a dream? Wake up, wake up, wake up.
Aunt Alice, where are you?
Chapter 4: The Stiff in the Stacks
“An invitation,” the woman repeated, eyes contracting to beads behind the lenses of her cat’s eyes glasses. Her hair was burgundy, and looked stiff.
“Uhhh … invitation?” I said.
Across the room, the tall blonde was repeatedly poking her finger into the chest of the man in the rumpled brown suit. On a hunch and maybe a fool’s errand, Tania and I were at Space 237 Downtown. The hunch had proven correct so far, in that the blonde and the man were here (we had sort of followed them from Beaner’s), but now what?
Tania attacked the immediate problem head-on. She did a bad Annie Hall imitation, following it with, “Ohhh, I think I left the invitation in the car.”
“The car … ?” The woman said.
“Yeah,” I said. “Four wheels, drinks gas, chrome.” The woman’s chin
retreated into her neck, and Tania gave me that look with the eyebrow; a chorus of disapproval.
“We parked so far away,” Tania said.
“Too bad,” the woman said.
Across the room, the blonde had a hold on the man’s brown lapels, but it clearly wasn’t a gesture of affection. She pulled him very close, pushed him away, and made for an exit, just under a painting of a skull with flowers growing out of it.
“Listen,” I said, “Why don’t I go back to the car and get the invitation and you stay here and look at the art.” Tania didn’t get it until I told to take a closer look at the brown piece.
The last thing I heard before I left was Tania telling the woman, sotto voce, “I wasn’t supposed to tell you this, but … we’re from the committee. You know, the committee.”
I walked to the corner of Madison, and popped a piece of gum. The blonde could be anywhere, and there was no sign of her electric blue PT Cruiser. Then I spotted her, sitting on the bench at the bus stop in the middle of the block, on the side of the library. Sunglasses covered her eyes, so I couldn’t tell if she was looking at me. I moved behind a pillar in front of the unoccupied commercial building on the corner, and peeked out every few seconds.
“See anything you like?”
I jumped back about a foot, feeling like a fool when I saw that it was Tania. “Shhh,” she said. “What happened?”
“I was watching our … blonde.”
“Crap, I lost her.”
“That’s okay,” she said, “I lost the guy, too. But my new best friend, Ms. Cat’s Eyes, gave me an application for the junior league.”
“Some sleuthing duo we make.”
“It was fun at least,” Tania offered.
“Wait! There she is, just about to go into the library.”
“Do you wanna follow her?”
“Is Mel Gibson a Catholic?”
The blonde was asking a question at the Information Desk. Tania and I hung back, near that security walk-through thing. When the blonde made a move towards the exit, Tania followed her and I went to the desk. The two women there were talking animatedly.
“No!” One of them said. “It was what’s-her-name from Channel 11 … Chrys.”
“With a ‘y’?” said the other.
“Mm; what’s that noise?”
It was coming from deeper in the library. I went to take a look. The two women followed. The man in the brown suit was lying face up on the floor. A crowd was gathering around him.
One of the women said, “He looks kind of dead.”
“Every performer wants attention,” said Brent Bly, drummer and vocalist of the local Toledo rock group Money Shot. “Sometimes it’s hard to get attention behind the drums. Everyone keeps saying, ‘Who’s singing?’ Then they look behind the drums and say, ‘Oh, he’s singing.’ Yeah, there’s a little center-of-attention disorder.”
No longer fighting for the limelight, Bly recently moved to the front of the stage with a guitar en tow. His new solo CD, “Naked to the World,” spotlights the drummer’s songwriting ability and acoustic guitar talents. Bly’s debut public solo performance highlights his CD release party on Feb. 25 at Mickey Finn’s Pub.
“I’m looking forward to coming out front,” Bly said. “It’s actually kind of scary because you don’t have your drums to hide behind. It reminds me of the story of Karen Carpenter, who was an awesome drummer. She sang by a drum kit and when she got so big, they moved her out front. She always talked about being nervous. You don’t have that wall in front of you. I’m sure I’ll have a little bit of the nerves.”
Since his earliest memories of his mother playing Beatles’ records, music has been in the veins of the 1991 Libbey High School graduate. However, Bly’s path to becoming a songwriter would be difficult.
“When I was in school, I didn’t have much of an outlet to be creative,” he said. “I just wanted to speak my peace as a writer. But there it was too much like book reports. I didn’t see myself writing a whole novel. I’m very much a poet for the short-attention spanned. I love to write, but I kind of go off on tangents. So I took my music world and writing ability and combined them. My music also has to have some sort of personal tie or something to say. I’ve tried to write pop commercial songs, but for me it just didn’t work. Like with John Lennon and Bob Dylan, what they said wasn’t always popular. But it had to be said.”
Bly said he is taking his musical journey one step at a time.
“It’s been an evolution,” Bly said. “A step here. A step there. I wanted to do an acoustic record just to strip it to the bare minimum. Everything starts with a vocal melody and a chord structure. Everything else is just embellishment. That’s been my journey.”
On the web visit www.brentbly.com.
There are two ways to play the blues, according to David “Honeyboy” Edwards.
“You can play the blues as sad and lonesome blues, make you think, or you take that blues and turn it around and make it a shuffle, the shuffle blues,” said the guitarist. “The shuffle blues is uptempo blues, the boogie-woogie blues.”
Edwards should know. He’s been playing delta blues for 80 years.
The Shaw, Miss., native said he started playing guitar when he was 8 or 10.
“My father played guitar and violin, too, so every time he put one down, I’d pick it up and I learned how to play,” he said during a recent telephone interview from his Chicago home. “I played a dance in the country when I was 13. Folks danced all night. They would give me white whiskey to keep me woke up because I’d be ready to go to sleep.”
The 91-year-old legend will take the stage of the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall on UT’s Main Campus at 7 p.m. Feb. 23. He will perform, take questions and sign autographs.
“A lot of people wants to know about Robert Johnson,” Edwards said. “Robert Johnson and I played together the whole of 1937. We started playing in 1938 together until he passed — he got poisoned … I was there. I can talk about it like it was just done today.”
Edwards’ storied career has crossed paths with Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams, Rice “Sonny Boy Williamson” Miller, Howlin’ Wolf, Sunnyland Slim, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Magic Sam, to name just a few blues legends.
In 1942, folklorist Alan Lomax recorded Edwards in Clarksdale, Miss., for the Library of Congress. Some of these recordings were released with new material on Delta Bluesman in 1992.
While Edwards didn’t record much while traveling and playing juke joints and nightclubs, he eventually settled in Chicago in the early 1950s. He played small clubs and street corners with Floyd Jones, Johnny Temple and Kansas City Red. And he recorded several records for various labels over the years; releases include “Build a Cave” (1951), “Drop Down Mama” (1953), “Old Friends” (1979), “I’ve Been Around” (1995), “Crawling Kingsnake” (1997), “Don’t Mistreat a Fool” (1999) and “Mississippi Delta Bluesman” (2001).
In 1997, his autobiography, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothin’” was published and a CD with the same title was released.
He said he believes the blues have remained popular because they are universal.
“Blues is something that you have a verse in every song that somebody who don’t even play the blues can identify with,” Edwards said. “Most every time you sang somebody the blues, somebody said something about a woman — this woman she’s leaving, she put him down, you know what I mean? There’s just something about it people like.”
In addition to his performance at UT, Edwards will play at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at Culture Clash, 4020 Secor Road.
The events are part of “Blues All Around Me” to celebrate Black History Month and are sponsored by the African-American Student Enrichment Initiatives Office, First-Year Experience Office, History Department, Honors Program, Music Department, Theatre and Film Department, Bluesuit Records and Culture Clash.
For more information on the free, public events, contact Jennifer Rockwood, director of the First-Year Experience Program, at (419) 530-2330.
Can art be seen as a second language? Local artist Terry A. Burton has always seen artistic expression as the ultimate form of communication. It is this social aspect to the arts that Burton’s latest group show highlights.
The exhibit “Mind Over Social Matters” will be on display at Club Vamps for one night only on Feb. 23. Advertised as an “Art Happening” and a “Raw Art Hustlers Convention,” this mixed-media event will showcase work by various midwestern artists, who for whatever reason, be it age, race, or practical experience, might be viewed as “outsiders” in more traditional circles.
Featured will be original works by Patrice Davis, Megan Bremer, Corey Crammond, Nate Masternak, Dave the Sign Guy, Andrea Baker, Yusuf Lateef, Webs, J’Vann Agnes Winfield, Jack Johnson, Wade Harrison and Burton. The show will also include performances by Alma Drum & Dance, Kelly Jean Caldwell, We Are The Magi, KBD, Siddhartha and The Press Gang.
Burton, a 1998 graduate of Springfield High School, has built a solid reputation in Toledo’s arts scene showing at Space237, Orbs Fine Art, Diva and The Collingwood Arts Center, as well as, on occasion, writing for Sojourners’ Truth. He has spent the last few years primarily exhibiting and organizing shows at Detroit’s 555 Studio Gallery and The Zeitgeist Gallery.
“The focus of this art happening is simply to share our creative experiences in one space,” Burton said. “This is not a new idea in the scope of art history, but creating a synergistic creative relationship by being an individual working with, or through a group of people is in my humble opinion a worthy goal. By working together we can have fun, create art, sell art and serve our community.”
In celebration of Black History Month, Burton said he plans to donate a portion of all door proceeds to help support the Stickney Arts and Entertainment Center in North Toledo, which houses the Jean Overton Gallery. It was the Overton Gallery that recently hosted the unveiling of the North Toledo mural painted by Yusuf Lateef.
“It’s important we remember the riots that took place in North Toledo, and that we ask ourselves how we can turn a large negative into a positive,” Burton said.
Doors open at 8 pm. Admission is $5. Club Vamps is located at 910 Phillips Ave. Call (419) 345-7839 for more information.