Archive for July, 2007
done what they call the “Ohio Influence Index”. They use a formula of visitor numbers, comments, and other
factors to come up with the top 20 Blogs in Ohio each week. During that same eleven week time period,
one Toledo Blog has managed to make that list every week, including being in
first place more than once. That blog
I’m proud to say is Glass City
Jungle, being ranked that high among so many great Ohio blogs is
quite an honor and I thought with Glass City Jungle in first place again that
I’d share with you some of the other top blogs.
In the number two spot this week, is Have Coffee Will Write by
Jeff Hess who has lived in the Cleveland area for 20 years and is a exceptional
Daily Bellwether is up next, it’s where Bill Sloat shares his
political thoughts and information on many subjects, even including Bigfoot
sightings in Ohio.
This next blogger, from North Eastern Ohio, Jill Miller
Zimon of Writes Like She
Talks I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in person and talk with on
the phone, so I can attest that she truly “writes like she talks”. Jill’s blog has been a regular in the top
Ohio is not an individual blog rather an online community that contains
the work of many Ohioans and is a hotspot of activity. They ranked 5 in this weeks BNN Index.
George Nemeth is the man behind Brewed Fresh Daily. a great
blog in the number 6 spot this week that provides conversation and some
Cincinnati Beacon comes in at 7 and they truly are the place where
“Divergent Views Collide” as well as some great stories that I’ve enjoyed
Scott Bakalar is the original founder of Word of Mouth. He’s since added some other voices to his
blog which if it was possible to make it better than the original WOM? He succeeded.
In the 9th spot is the Openers
blog of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Rounding up the top ten spot this week is none other than Buckeye State Blog
which is a community type forum where more than one person blogs their
thoughts. The administrator of BSB,
Jerid, is currently reporting the happenings of the New Hampshire Primary to
keep Ohioans up to date and recently made the national news.
While it’s impossible for me to guess what my future
rankings will be, Ohio has many fantastic political blogs and I’m happy to be a
part of the Ohio blogosphere. As always
if you’d like to share with me your blog or a blog you’ve come across that you
think should be featured, email me at email@example.com.
Hallelujah, praise the (insert personal religious beliefs
here). President Bush has a clean
colon! Most of you may not realize
this, but it’s been 5 long years since his last colonoscopy and I for one have
been on the edge of my seat (excuse the pun) waiting for this thing to
Sure, Bush’s approval rating is down, but on the bright
side, his colon’s up…and running for another 3 years. For me, that’s 3 long years that I’ll have to wait until his next
big exam (I can feel the excitement mounting already!) A more jealous man would ask, “Hey, why
weren’t my colonoscopy results pasted all over the front page of the
news?” But I’m above that. Instead,
I’ll just sit here like the bridesmaid I am and relish in the joy that no
weapons of mass destruction were found in our President’s colon. After all, this was his day not mine, and I
just want to congratulate him on his clean bill of health.
I am however, a little curious as to Bush’s immediate
“normal activities” that ensued upon returning from his exam. Reports have indicated that he spent the
next few hours frolicking around the presidential compound in the mountains of
western Maryland playing with his dogs and riding bikes…all this after a
colonoscopy. This report has led me to
two very important conclusions:
- He was
riding bikes and playing with his dogs just hours after his
colonoscopy. Of course he has
nothing wrong with his colon…anyone who can ride a bike just hours after a
colonoscopy must have a Presidential bunker made of iron.
- He was
riding bikes and playing with his dogs just hours after his
colonoscopy. Of course he has a
low approval rating…he spends his time riding bikes and playing with
Now, I’m just some lowly taxpayer/voter/citizen, but I’m
pretty sure that there are more important things for our president to do than
ride bikes around the neighborhood with his cronies bragging about an iron
colon. How about tackling some real
issues like Iraq, government spending or illegal immigration? Why you gotta spend all your time chasing
the dog around on you new Huffy? Are
you kidding me? This guy’s a lemonade
stand away from the 4th grade.
Well, I don’t have any answers for you but I do have an idea. I’m going to start selling wristbands that
have the inscription W.W.I.C.B.D? Which
stands for ‘What Would Iron Colon Bush Do?’ That way the next time I’m faced with some daunting task, late deadline
or situation that makes me feel uncomfortable, I can turn to my wristband,
channel the strength of President Bush’s iron colon, and deal with the
situation by riding bikes with my friends or throwing the ball for my dog.
I have a new motto in life: “If it’s good enough for the president, it’s good enough for me.” He’s our nations leader and as long as I’m
wearing my wristband as a reminder of his steel butt, I have the empowerment to
blow off responsibility and ride bikes with my friends just like him.
I can see it now. This weekend when my wife yells out the window at me: “Are you finished painting the garage yet
I can reply with, “Not yet dear, I’m playing cops and
robbers with Tom, from down the street, on our bikes.”
“But you promised it would be done today…you and that STUPID
bracelet!” she’ll say angrily.
“Puddin” I’ll say to her in a stern and disciplinary tone,
“Don’t talk down to the iron colon…he’s our President and he deserves your
respect. Oh, and don’t look for the
garage to get done today either, cause once Tom and I are done playing here,
his wife said we could ride bikes at his house.”
That’s right people, this is the new me. I’ve redefined myself as a bike ridin’,
bracelet wearin’, iron colon havin’ rebel and there’s nothing anybody can do
about it. I have to admit, it feels
great and I owe it all to the 43rd President of The United
He’s the greatest! While he may not go down in history as the best President this country
ever had, he will be remembered as the only one with an iron colon…that I know
of anyhow. I just wish he could run
again so the fun would last forever.
To leave Aaron a note, give him advice or an idea to
write about visit him at http://www.myspace.com/humpdayreview.
Michael Temple has ideas for Toledo’s future, but he’s already in it.
Temple, a Toledo-native, graduated from UT with a focus in internet marketing before choosing to go into international banking. But after months of negotiating letters of credit and wiring money, he decided it wasn’t the business for him, he said.
“I don’t know if it was so much the banking,” Temple said. “I just didn’t have the latitude to do what I wanted to do, plus I found the work boring.”
He returned to UT, gained his MBA and began working in the marketing and technology sector in a major petroleum company. For two years he worked for them before jumping onto a major dot-com project, he said.
Temple engaged in guerilla marketing, where he had to brainstorm effective ways to advertise without spending much money, he said. But before long the project withered in the face of competition, Temple said.
“It was an awesome experience and a neat company,” he said “It just didn’t have a lot of money to work with.”
Today he is the president of his own business, Temple Development Company, and claims clients not only from the region, but across the nation, he said.
“I would rate this as the last job I’ll ever have,” he said, saying he enjoys being his own boss.
Temple is glad to be living in Toledo, but the city needs to change from a manufacturing-based economy to a technology-based economy, he said.
“From a political standpoint I feel like the politicians have to go back to what they felt worked in the past,” he said. “And that is manufacturing.”
Temple said he feels the new Jeep plant is great for the community, but at the end of the day will only break even rather than help the community.
Despite the problems he finds with Toledo, he enjoys raising his family in a city with so many great museums and metro parks, he said.
“I want the kids to be raised like I was,” Temple said. “I was raised outside and I want them to be as well.”
Michael S. Miller, Editor in Chief, Toledo Free Press
1. “22 Short Films About Springfield” (Season 7)
Bart and Milhouse wonder if anything interesting happens to Springfield residents, and so begins a look at the lives of the parents, lovers, friends, relatives, businessmen and children.
2. “Homer’s Enemy” (Season 8)
Frank Grimes is hired at the Power Plant and instantly dislikes Homer’s poor attitude. Bart buys an abandoned factory for a dollar.
3. “Bart Sells His Soul” (Season 7)
Bart sells his soul for $5. Moe opens a new restaurant.
4. “Two Bad Neighbors” (Season 7)
President George Bush Sr. moves in across the street.
5. “Last Exit to Springfield” (Season 4)
Union employees are without a leader to renegotiate their contract. Mr. Burns removes the dental plan from his employee benefits package, offering free beer. Everybody including Homer agrees, until Lisa needs braces.
Justin R. Kalmes, Metro Editor, Toledo Free Press
1. “Homer’s Phobia” (Season 8)
The family meets John, the owner of a collectibles store. Homer takes a liking to him, but Marge informs him John is gay. Homer tries to make Bart more “manly,” but in the process, takes him to a gay steel mill.
2. “King Size Homer” (Season 7)
Homer decides he wants to work at home and discovers he can qualify as disabled if he weighs 300 pounds.
3. “Flaming Moe’s” (Season 3)
When business gets slow at Moe’s Tavern, Homer shows him the “Flaming Homer,” a concoction of various liquors mixed with Krusty’s Kough Syrup, and then sets it on fire. Moe renames it the “Flaming Moe” and takes all credit.
4. “A Star is Burns” (Season 6)
Marge suggests Springfield boost its image with a film festival.
5. “Bart vs. Australia” (Season 6)
Lisa tells Bart that water drains counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and clockwise in Australia. In an effort to prove her wrong, he calls Australia and discovers that she is right. The father of the boy in Australia receives a bill for 900 dollary-doos and Bart receives a letter telling him he has been indicted for fraud.
Casey Fischer, Advertising Sales, Toledo Free Press
1. “E-I-E-I-D’oh!” (Season 11)
Homer and family move to the old farm where he and his father grew up. Here, Homer and Bart conjure up “Tomacco,” an incredibly addictive cross between tobacco and tomatoes.
2. “The Trouble With Trillions” (Season 9)
Homer realizes too late that taxes are due, so he cheats on his taxes. Mr. Burns has a trillion dollar bill that he stole from the government long ago.
3. “Girly Edition” (Season 9)
Homer gets a helper monkey named Mojo. The monkey gets lazy after hanging out with Homer.
4. “Trash of the Titans” (Season 9)
Homer gets into a confrontation with the garbage men.
5. “A Fish Called Selma” (Season 7)
Troy McClure talks Selma into letting him pass his driver’s license test in exchange for a dinner date.
It’s time to lace up your Assassins, hop into your Canyonero and drive to the nearest movie theater. “The Simpsons Movie,” 18 years in the making, has fans hoping for the “Best. Movie. Ever.”
Don’t have a cow, man, but America’s favorite four-fingered family has finally made the jump from the boob tube to the silver screen. But jiminy jillikers, Radioactive Man, this isn’t just a cartoon. In fact, Entertainment Weekly rated the release of “The Simpsons Movie” as its No. 1 “Top 20 Events of 2007.”
“It’s raised the bar for comedy,” said Dan Snierson, a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, who wrote about how the movie came to fruition in the magazine’s July 27 issue. “It’s showed you that you can make a show that hits on many levels.”
Snierson met with the movie’s production team about a half dozen times for his piece on the film. A longtime fan of the television series, Snierson said he enjoyed talking to the movie’s writer-producers — James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean and Mike Scully.
“It was sort of like going into the Willy Wonka chocolate factory in a lot of ways,” Snierson said. “It was fun to work your way into the inner circle and just get a peek of what was bubbling in the pot.”
Though his behind-the-scenes work granted him access to a world many Simpsons fans would sell their soul for, Snierson said those who worked on the movie remained “pretty secretive around the operation.”
“I think they liked the idea that people were sort of wondering what these mad chemists were cooking up,” he said.
Pop culture phenomenon
For Charles Coletta, an instructor in the BGSU Department of Popular Culture, “The Simpsons” is one of the few things he talks about in class that all of his students have some sort of familiarity with. He said few television shows have been able to make as significant an impact as “The Simpsons.”
“The longevity is probably the most astounding thing,” Coletta said. “I’m sure [the show’s creators] never in a million years believed that this thing would be going strong almost 20 years later.”
Most shows, Coletta said, are lucky to make it to 100 episodes. “The Simpsons” has 400 episodes to its credit, making it the longest-running animated or live action sitcom in the United States. Only “Gunsmoke” has produced more seasons (20) than “The Simpsons.”
That the series has survived nearly two decades can be credited to the show’s number of characters and their depth, Coletta said.
“It’s more than just the Simpsons themselves; it’s all of Springfield,” he said. “They have a character that will fit every type of story requirement.”
Betsy Russell, creative services director for FOX Toledo, WUPW-TV 36, said “The Simpsons” is one of the station’s top-rated syndicated programs. The show airs at 6 and 7:30 p.m. every weekday in the Toledo market.
“It has always just been a rock-solid anchor for our comedy block,” Russell said. “Simpsons fans will watch it every single day no matter how many times they see an episode.”
Though she declined to give specific sales figures, Russell said the two half-hour blocks during which “The Simpsons” air are prime territory for local advertisers.
“It’s a very popular show with viewers, so it makes it a very popular show with advertisers,” she said.
It’s that popularity that has led box office projectors to estimate “The Simpsons Movie” could make in excess of $50 million in its opening weekend.
“I think America will all be flocking to Springfield this weekend. I’m projecting that the film could open near the $50 million mark with a shot at going even higher,” said Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com, a Web site dedicated to tracking move box office sales.
Nikki Finke, a columnist who writes “Deadline Hollywood” for LA Weekly and the blog site www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com predicted a similar number of the film’s opening weekend.
“I don’t see a single misstep by Fox when it comes to marketing this toon so far …” Finke wrote in an online posting. “’Huge hit’ is everyone’s analysis, and the foreign gross receipts will be massive.”
Marketing for the film appears to have been successful, with Burger King and 7-Eleven offering major promotions to coincide with the film’s release.
Burger King’s promotions have included giving away talking Simpsons figurines with children’s meals and an interactive Web site that allows visitors to convert a digital photo of themselves into an image of how they would look if animated on the show. As of July 24, the site had received more than 166 million hits and more than 4.3 million photo uploads, a company spokesperson said.
Cynthia Baker, a spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, said her company’s promotions for “The Simpsons Movie” have far exceeded expectations.
For the film’s release, 7-Eleven stores have sold KrustyO’s cereal, Buzz Cola, Squishees and a special edition Radioactive Man comic book — all products sold in the show’s mythical convenience store, the Kwik-E-Mart.
The company even went so far as to convert 12 of its stores in major markets into caricatures of the Kwik-E-Mart.
“The Kwik-E-Mart launch that happened on July 1 was very exciting. A number of our customers were lined up to enter our stores,” Baker said.
No end in sight
Though it isn’t the comic force it was in its heyday of the early 1990s, Snierson said, “The Simpsons” is still funny and clever enough to succeed for a number of years.
“They have a formula, they have a groove and there’s still going to be that dedicated audience,” he said. “I still think there’s something there. I think to write it off would be unfair.”
“I would say there’s no immediate plans to end the show,” Snierson said. “As long as the audience stays there, they could stay on for several more seasons.”
Coletta said he wouldn’t be surprised if the series is still making new episodes five years from now. And even when the show does come to an end, he said it will live on in syndication.
“The Simpsons are going to be around forever,” he said. “They’re going to be around just like Mickey Mouse is around and Bugs Bunny is around.”
The wave of media industry buyouts that has put many leading U.S. newspaper publishers and radio broadcasters into private hands has touched the banks of the Maumee.
Cumulus Media, the nation’s ninth largest radio group that has its roots in Toledo said that it agreed to a $1.3 billion buyout by investors led by its chief executive, former Toledoan Lew Dickey, and Merrill Lynch.
It’s reported stockholders will be given $11.75 per share, and a closing date is expected early next year.
Cumulus, based in Atlanta, owns or operates 344 radio stations in 67 U.S. Media markets, pending the purchase or sale of certain assets.
Dickey will remain the company’s chairman, president and CEO after the deal closes. His brother John Dickey, the company’s co-chief operating officer, and other family members are other investors in the buyout.
Skip Schmidt, market manager for Cumulus in Toledo, said, “This is a great opportunity for all Cumulus employees. Going private will allow an already acquisitive company to continue to grow, giving its loyal employees advancement opportunities.”
■ Pat Livingston, news director at NBC24, WNWO, reports that Shenikwa Stratford, weekday news anchor, returns from maternity leave on July 30.
■ Clyde Hughes, the former Blade Urban Affairs reporter and the subject of a story in last week’s Media Watch column is a rightfully proud papa these days. His daughter, Ashley Futrell, also mentioned in last week’s column, was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill” by The Hill newspaper. Clyde reports, “They do this thing once every year. She is the only Toledoan in the group.” Hughes recently left Toledo to take a writing job at Purdue University in Indiana.
■ The Spring Arbitron Ratings for the Toledo market were announced July 25. Toledo’s overall top station and their ratings share of persons
12 years and older are:
1. Cumulus’ K-100 13.9, down from a 15.1 last winter.
2. Clear Channel’s 101.5, The River, 7.7, down from an 8.7
3. Cumulus’ 93.5 WRQN 7.1 up from a 6.0
4. Clear Channel’s WSPD 6.3, down from a 6.6
5. Clear Channel’s WIOT 104.7 6.1, down from 7.0
6. Clear Channel’s 92.5 KISS-FM 6.1, up from a 4.8
7. URBan Radio’s WIMX-FM 4.7, down from a 4.6
8. Cumulus’ Star 105.5 4.3, up from a 3.4
9. Cumulus’ WRWK, The Zone 106.5 3.4, up from a 2.6
10. Cumulus’ WXKR 94.5, 3.4, down from a 4.0
In the different dayparts, the top five in each were as follows:
Mornings 6-10 a.m.:
Gary Shore and Harvey J. Steele, K-100, 14.1, down from a 14.7 from the Winter Ratings.
1. Bob and Tom, the syndicated show aired on WIOT, 104.7 9.0, up from 8.8
2. Bob Kelly and Becky Shock, 93.5 WRQN 8.1, up from 6.5
3. The Morning News with Fred Lefebrve on 1370 WSPD, 7.5, down from a 7.9 and
4. Mary Beth and Rick, 101.5 The River 7.4, down from a 9.9
In Middays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
1. Amy Davis (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Bill Manders (1-3 p.m.) 15.3, down from a 15.5
2. Tom Cook 101.5 The River 10.0, down from 10.5
3. The syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show on NewsTalk 1370 WSPD 8.6, up from 7.9
4. Ron Finn 93.5 WRQN 6.8, up from 6.4 and
5. Timm Morrison Star 105.5 5.9, up from 4.2
In Afternoon Drive, measured from 3 to 7 p.m., the top five were:
1. Cliff Smithers K-100 13.4, down from 15.4
2. 101.5 The River (formerly Tom Kennedy who left the station during the ratings period and now KC Palmer) 7.8, up from 7.7
3. Jim Brady 93.5 WRQN 7.0, up from 5.6
4. Mookie, 92.5 WVKS 6.9, up from 5.5 and
5. Brian Wilson, NewsTalk 1370 WSPD 6.1, down from 6.6
At night, from 7-Midnight, the top five consisted of:
1. Craig Snyder, K-100 10.4, down from 12.3
2. Boomer, 92.5 WVKS 7.5, up from 7.0
3. The nationally syndicated John Tesh show on 101.5 The River 7.5, up from a 6.0
4. DJ One Time WJUC 6.7, up from 5.7 and
5. Mix 95.7 WIMX 6.4, up from 4.4
Ron Finn, program director of Cumulus’ Oldies 93.5 and Star 105.5, said he was pleased with the increased ratings of those two stations.
Chuck Matthews, program director of SuperTalk 1560 WTOD observed that the station’s evening syndicated talk show host Michael Savage “had a nice bump up in the ratings.”
Over at Clear Channel, Operation’s Director Bill Michaels said, “Great spring book for the CC cluster. WIOT is No. 1 Men 18-34 with a 17.9 share. River is No. 2 12 plus and No. 2 women 25-54. WSPD is No. 3 Men 18-49. Great numbers to hand off to the sales staff. We’re very happy.”
Kaylee Halko has been busy this summer. She:
- Celebrated her fourth birthday July 21;
- Led thousands of fans singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch at a Toledo Mud Hens game at Fifth Third Field last month;
- Traveled to Children’s Hospital Boston in June to begin the first clinical drug trial for progeria — a rare, fatal disease characterized by accelerated aging caused by a gene mutation; and
- Attended the 2007 progeria reunion in Orlando, Fla., for one week last month with her mom, Marla. Fourteen children were treated to trips to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Universal Studios thanks to the Sunshine Foundation, a charitable organization that helps seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children 3 to 18.
“Our family is optimistic about the drug trial and excited to be part of it,” said Tim Halko, Kaylee’s dad and UT accountant in the Accounting Department on the Health Science Campus.
Kaylee is one of about 25 children from around the world who will be treated with farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTI) during the next two years. She takes two pills daily.
Researchers hope FTI will act as a bodyguard, blocking a molecule known as the farnseyl group from attaching to the progerin protein, thereby improving or stopping the disease, according to the Progeria Research Foundation. UCLA investigators found that FTI improved bone density, reduced bone fractures, delayed the onset of the disease, and helped with weight gain in a mouse model of progeria.
There are 45 children in the world with the disease, which has a reported incidence of about one in four million to eight million newborns, according to the Progeria Research Foundation. Signs of progeria include growth failure, loss of body fat and hair, stiff joints, aged-looking skin, hip dislocation, generalized atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. Children with progeria die of heart disease at an average age of 13.
So far $1.4 million has been raised for the Progeria Research Foundation to fund the clinical drug trial. Last year, the Halkos raised nearly $40,000 at the Race for Progeria — Kaylee’s Course — and silent auction. It’s anticipated $2 million is needed to fund the study.
The second annual Race for Progeria will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 4 at Monclova Primary School located at the corner of Monclova and Waterville roads. Cost is $15 for the 5K run/2-mile walk; children 10 and younger are free. Another silent auction will be held.
All proceeds from Kaylee’s Course will go to the Progeria Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering treatments and a cure for the disease.
To sign up for the Race for Progeria or to make a donation to the Progeria Research Foundation, go to www.sweetkaylee.com. To volunteer at the event, contact Halko at (419)383-5179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.