Archive for February, 2008
A city employee suspended for using language deemed unprofessional during a conversation with a Detroit-area talk radio show producer last month has hired an attorney to investigate possible rights violations against him by Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and Chief of Staff Bob Reinbolt.
Brian Schwartz, the mayor’s spokesman who was put on unpaid suspension for 15 days Feb. 13 as result of WJR-AM 760 producer Kevin Collard’s accusation Schwartz met a request to interview Finkbeiner with a profanity-laced response, has hired Toledo attorney R. Kevin Greenfield to investigate past incidents of possible rights violations against him during his employment with the city, which dates back nearly two years, by Finkbeiner and Reinbolt, Greenfield confirmed Feb. 27. Schwartz deferred all questions to Greenfield.
Schwartz’s suspension was part of the latest controversy to surround the Finkbeiner administration, which involved the mayor ordering a company of Marine Corps Reservists to refrain from conducting a scheduled training exercise Feb. 8 in Downtown Toledo.
Calls made to Finkbeiner’s interim spokeswoman, Katerina Bekyarska, were not returned at press time.
Collard, who contacted Schwartz to request an on-air interview with Finkbeiner, said Schwartz responded to his inquiry with obscene language during their off-air conversation.
Schwartz deferred all questions to Greenfield, who said the investigation was in its “infancy stages” and that he could not give further comment.
Reinbolt, when asked Feb. 14 if Schwartz’s employment with the city was in jeopardy, said, “That’s between Brian and the city.”
Area residents are invited to jump to “warp drive” as nationally recognized musical group Klingon Klez brings its music to Owens Community College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Feb. 29. Klingon Klez’s music is known as Klezmer, a form of Jewish celebratory music that dates back 500 years. Klezmer combines the varied sounds of jazz, dixieland, funk and rock into a sound that features a strong Jewish influence. The band features eight accomplished Jewish musicians who utilize a wide variety of instruments in their musical performances. Instruments include reeds, trumpet, flute, violin, keyboard, clarinet, Middle-Eastern percussion and drums. Tickets for Klingon Klez are $20 for the general public, $18 for senior citizens, and $16 for Owens students and employees. To purchase tickets, visit www.owens.edu or contact the college’s box office. For more information about this event, contact the Owens Center for Fine and Performing Arts at (567) 661-2787.
Look in your copy of this weekend’s Toledo Free Press for a poster showing Toledo’s support for the U.S. Marine Corps.
For Captain America the times they are a’changin’, as well as his costume and equipment. The famous flag-wearing super-hero, created in 1940, will once again grace the pages of Marvel Comics albeit with a new identity, a new set of fighting togs, and will now carry a gun and knife in addition to his famous shield.
Earlier this year, Steve Rogers, who became Captain America at the beginning of World War II, was killed off by Marvel. Since that time, his comic series has detailed a world without his heroism and patriotism and his friends’ struggle with Steve’s legacy. Marvel has just unveiled artwork and plans for another character to take up the mantle of Captain America and fill the gap left by his legendary predecessor.
Mega-popular illustrator Alex Ross has designed a new look for Cap that echoes the original costume yet also makes a clear distinction that this is a different individual with his own distinctive take on what an American hero should be. Gone is much of the original outfit’s blue (replaced by black), and evident is a utility belt –with a controversial pistol and knife. Reaction to the new armament has been strong throughout comic fans but Marvel insists the look is reverent to the original and that the gun and knife are nothing new to the character. A quick perusal of WWII-era stories will show that Cap often toted a gun to deal with Nazis and other dangers to American soil.
Ed Brubaker, current writer of the series and the architect of the ongoing death-and-resurrection storyline, is quick to point out that the entire event is not a gimmick and has been part of Marvel’s long-range plans all along. The author also swings people’s attention to the new costume’s chest plate, an obvious homage to Cap’s original pointed shield from WWII. Ross himself admits there isn’t anything that’s utterly “new” about the design and feels its more “timeless” than “modern”. Both men are proud of the effect and look forward to reader reaction to the new Captain America and uniform in action.
The updated hero and outfit will debut in “Captain America” #34, slated for release on January 16th. A large-size poster of the Alex Ross painting is also available separately.
With the time of year upon us that the House and Home show was happening, visions of home remodeling could not be resisted. As with every topic, there are blogs that can help you or entertain you when it comes to the topic of homes. The subtitle of this blog "Home improvement stories for the dwelling obsessed" was the first blog that caught my attention, HouseBlog.net is a place where many gather to share their stories of the successes and the failures involved in their home projects.
The man that interested me in home remodeling projects has his name on a blog too! Bob Villa as a part of his website, has a blog component, the title of the blog is “On the Level”. It does not appear however that Bob blogs often but he has a crew of people blogging some interesting topics on real estate and home repair/remodeling.
Charles and Hudson want you to “Make it Your Home” by sharing home project and reviewing items to purchase for your home. I was impressed with some of the ideas shared there, especially the one for the urban scene on a window blind. I’m imagining how cool it would be to have the skyline of the Glass City in my living room windows…
Want to make sure when home remodeling that you are thinking Green? Green Remodeling does exist and this blog is a great place to get tips and information on how to make sure you are making the most not only being energy efficient but thinking of the environment.
The title of this blog, Contractors From Hell lured me in. Unfortunately, beyond the first post not much else happened. So they have the concept, just not much more than the framing at this point.
One of my favorite blogs to read tales of home remodeling daring do is creatively titled, This Old Crack House. Gary has been sharing his experiences in restoring an older home in Dayton, Ohio on his blog since March of 2005. He not only shares tips but has many tales of entertaining stories as he’s tried to accomplish a huge variety of projects.
If you are looking for inspiration or are more like me and you like to look a the work others do and put that on your to do list for some future yet to be determined date, there are many blogs out there just waiting to tell you what to do and what to avoid when home remodeling.
Having put off repainting the living room for another day, Lisa Renee can be found at Glass City Jungle. If you’d like to share with her a blog that you’ve come across, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh boy, the Bracket Buster is almost here. Mediocre NCAA basketball teams playing other mediocre teams. What a way to break the rhythm of conference play! I’m so glad they do this every year!
Actually, there was a time when the Bracket Buster was meaningful and somewhat anticipated. It began with a simple premise: those mid-major teams like Toledo, Bowling Green and others in the MAC that had a puncher’s chance of kicking in the door to March Madness would prove themselves to the tournament’s selection committee weeks before they adjourned by playing another mid-major team in the same boat. And it worked, until the amount of mid-major teams playing increased. So now we have every single MAC team playing such a game, meaning cellar-dwelling UT and BGSU get involved.
On Feb. 23, UT plays Delaware, a sub-.500 team in the Colonial Athletic Association. Meanwhile, BGSU, which ranks somewhere in the middle this year in the MAC, plays at the University of Detroit Mercy, a team that’s dead last in the Horizon League. Whether the pairings make any sense is irrelevant because none of these four teams will likely make dent marks in this year’s postseason brackets.
Granted, many of the Bracket Buster games will be very good, like Kent State’s trek to play the ranked St. Mary’s Gaels of the West Coast Conference. Other quality MAC-involved Bracket Buster games include Miami at Valparaiso, Ohio University hosting George Mason and Akron welcoming Virginia Commonwealth. These four games will be broadcast on national television. (Although it might be a little presumptuous to air Miami-Valpo on ESPN Classic. Let us, the fans, decide what is and isn’t a classic game.)
UT/Delaware and BGSU/Detroit on the other hand, well, they’ll be on local radio, as always.
The Bracket Buster is a good concept, but like the college bowl system, it’s gotten a little out of hand. And unlike the bowl system, which is deeply embedded in corporate sponsorship, the Bracket Buster games have very little marketing tie-ins, save for some decals on the court.
With 14 games on television and the other 36 just sort of “there,” perhaps there’s a better way to organize these mid-major teams into playing each other.
Can you say another NCAA postseason tournament?
In November, the Gazelle Group announced a third postseason tourney to be conducted starting next month. This means that after 65 teams are picked for the national championship bracket and 32 more play in the National Invitation Tournament, 16 more will play in the blandly titled College Basketball Invitational (CBI). So if you thought the NIT was filled with underperforming teams, just wait’ll you see what the CBI drags in!
If we can assume a tournament involving no team in the top 97 will have substandard ratings, let’s at least use those expectations to create an all mid-major tournament. Since the CBI invites 16 teams, it’s only fitting that with 16 conferences tethered to the Bracket Buster games, each conference gets one delegate in this proposed mid-major tournament.
Were this plan in motion this year, teams like the Rockets and Falcons would likely not be included. But in all fairness, given their records they really didn’t earn the right to play additional games. Perhaps their punishment for lousy seasons should be to play each other. Anything, anything to bring that second UT-BGSU basketball game back to the season.
Visit Matt Sussman’s sports blog at futonreport.net.