One hundred to 0. Mercy, mercy. The big winner was Covenant School in a recent girls’ high school basketball game against Dallas Academy.
The big loser was Covenant School.
Mercy? Mercy? There’s no mercy in girls’ high school basketball!” to slightly rephrase actor Tom Hanks’ great line from the movie “A League of Their Own.”
We leave items such as benevolence, compassion, respect and honor to the control of coaches, administrators and parents. They often leave such items by the wayside in pursuit of the imperative goal, winning at all costs; the margin of such victories a measure of superior competence with accompanying ego stimulation.
All Covenant School had to do was show up, and victory was theirs against the Dallas Academy, which consists of 20 female students, eight of whom were on the basketball team.
It’s a team that had not won in more than four years, a team with no seniors, a team that found a small measure of solace in just hitting the backboard and took a total of only seven shots in the game.
Pushing all of that aside, as Covenant was more than willing to do, its girls shot 3-pointers and pressed at times with an assistant coach reportedly joining spectators in cheering wildly as their glorious girls approached 100, the ultimate completion of the carnage.
For the winners, will it be something to brag about for years to come or will it be a source of embarrassment, something not worth even mentioning for fear of reprisal from those who believe in sportsmanship, fair play and integrity?
The latter holds precedence.
Covenant apologized with a statement on its school Web site that used such words as “shameful” and “embarrassment,” along with a reference to it not being “Christ-like.”
The school’s head coach, Micah Grimes, disagreed and was fired.
In an e-mail posting, Grimes stated, “We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on an opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin of victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.
“I believe in the lessons that sports teach us. Competition builds character and teaches us to value selflessness, hard work and perseverance. As a coach, I have instilled in my girls these values. So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity.”
Character? Values? Integrity? Is that what Covenant and its coach took from this slaughter? Most certainly not.
Grimes later posted this message: “It just happened. Please know Covenant intended no harm against them. I see this as a real learning opportunity, so we can prevent this from happening in the future.”
This is an admission of guilt and it could have easily been prevented. It didn’t “just happen.” Passive restraint could have been the order of the day, but these were children again guided by misguided adults. How about no 3-pointers, no press, no fast break, more passes and longer possessions. Those restrictions could have easily been imposed after halftime when the score was 59-0.
Granted, shifting into a submissive posture can be difficult at times. Telling kids not to play their hardest, to back off on defense and play keep-away is a hard sell. It’s a submission to shaping such things as class, respect and moral fiber.
Yuck! Right, coach Grimes?
I witnessed the same thing at a recent soccer game. One team was superior. The coach of the runaway leader told his players not to shoot, to control the ball, but not embarrass the opponent. A soccer mom representing the opposing team who was intent on displaying her hearty lungs and lack of astuteness, screeched that the other team was “just playing around” with her son’s team and was “embarrassing” said team when the opposite was true.
There’s the argument that Covenant School should not have had to apologize, that its girls played hard, deserved to rack up 100 points and that Dallas Academy knew they were pitted against superior talent and if they didn’t want to accept that, they shouldn’t have scheduled Covenant School.
The lessons in sports stretch far beyond just winning and losing. There are also very noble lessons in humanity to be learned, as long as they don’t get in the way of winning, of course.
Archive for January, 2009
One hundred to 0. Mercy, mercy. The big winner was Covenant School in a recent girls’ high school basketball game against Dallas Academy.
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop has reaffirmed for the residents of Toledo that he is seriously pondering whether he should join the race for Toledo’s highest office. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is up for re-election, and the field appears to be wide open with a great opportunity presenting itself to Konop and other mayoral candidates.
“Eschewing the good ol’ boys network and the old way of doing things,” Ben Konop is holding nine meetings with the citizens of Lucas County to give them a voice as he considers a run for mayor.
I support anybody 100 percent who wants to get involved in politics on any level. Toledo and Lucas County need more people willing to take a stand for what they believe in and not afraid to take the step out into the political arena. However, honor, integrity and character still matter in Northwest Ohio.
Among other promises, Konop made two ethics pledges that included serving his full term as Lucas county commissioner. In 2006, Konop promised twice that he would serve the entire four-year term. Unfortunately for Konop’s political aspirations, to keep the promise he made twice, he would not be able to throw his hat into the mayoral race. Konop would have to break his word to the electorate in order to run for the Toledo office.
Konop is well aware of the pledge he made, and it is shameful that he is brazenly marching forward despite ethical questions. In the unlikely event that Konop had forgotten what pledge he signed in 2006, he was reminded of his pledge in September 2008 when he hinted at a run for mayor.
A reporter even asked Konop about the pledge he signed twice and the online petition launched at www.onetermis.notlong.com urging Konop to do the honorable and ethical thing in keeping his word by serving his full term as commissioner. Konop practically shrugged off the importance of keeping his word as he stumbled for an excuse.
What is even more despicable than breaking a pledge he has signed twice is that two of the nine venues Konop is holding events at are senior centers. If any generation understands what old-fashioned values are, such as keeping one’s word, it is the “Greatest Generation” — America’s senior citizens.
With a disgusting level of audacity in demanding ethics for others except himself, Konop is moving forward with his unethical mayoral considerations, advancing his unethical agenda at senior centers. America’s senior citizens have seen it all, and to act as if Toledo’s senior citizens, or any age group in Toledo, do not care about ethics is ignorant, repulsive and disrespectful.
During his campaign for the commissioner’s seat, Konop used the pledges he signed twice to accuse his opponent, George Sarantou, of planning to use the office of commissioner as a springboard to the mayoral office.
Konop issued a press release in May 2006, challenging Sarantou to sign the ethics pledge quoting Edmund Burke in that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, while citing various scandals and corruption.
In 2006, Konop clearly felt that Sarantou did not want the office of commissioner solely to serve the residents of Lucas County, and he thought Sarantou would use the office of commissioner to become Toledo Mayor. Now Konop is participating in the same act he saw as utterly deplorable in 2006. Konop’s actions are the epitome of hypocrisy.
Konop’s actions are more than just small ethics violations. While Konop has not committed any crime in breaking his word to the voters, the fact that he is violating his own ethics pledge is unforgivable. There are no such things as small ethics violations, for it is through one’s performance in the little things character and integrity is built. If Konop cannot be trusted to keep his word and finish his term, what can he be trusted with? He certainly cannot be trusted with Toledo’s highest elected office.
If Konop ultimately ends up running for mayor of Toledo and ignores his ethical breach, his actions will be screaming to voters, “I am in this for myself. Broken promises to the electorate do not matter to me.”
Please visit www.onetermis.notlong.com to sign the online petition to urge Ben Konop to honor his word.
Tom Morrissey is a Lucas County resident and lifelong Toledoan.
Cutting expenses is a high priority during these tough economic times. When it comes to our cars and trucks, we have to spend money in order to save money. Waiting for your vehicle to break down will usually take a large bite out of your vehicle budget. Having scheduled maintenance performed at regular intervals is always cheaper than following a breakdown maintenance plan.
It will cost you much less to have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis than it would to wait for your car to break down. A good example is brake-system maintenance. Servicing our vehicles’ brakes on a regular basis can save us hundreds of dollars in a short period of time. Waiting for our brake systems to fail can cost us three or even four times as much money in additional parts and labor.
It is true for virtually every system on our vehicles. From our vehicles heating and cooling systems to the transmission and differentials, a regular maintenance plan will save us big bucks in the long run. Our car will last longer and perform better as well. The single greatest way to save money on our vehicle expenses is to perform regular scheduled maintenance upon them.
Hire a professional
I am sure your neighbor’s son is a fine young man. I doubt, however, he is qualified to work on your car. The money you think you are saving most likely will be absorbed in system-related failures. These failures are most likely brought on by technician error. Here’s an example: Removing bolts from some modern-day engines in the incorrect order can destroy or seriously damage the engine. The damage to the engine can cost thousands of dollars to repair. You heard me right: Tearing one or two bolts off a modern engine in the incorrect sequence can destroy it. This is only one example of the many things an unqualified person can do to damage our vehicles. Do you really have that much trust in your neighbor? A professional is also unlikely to call you and say, “I replaced the part we agreed on and now I have found another part that needs replacing.” What that shade-tree-mechanic is really saying is; “I really don’t have an idea what’s wrong with your vehicle, but I intend to keep hanging parts on it till it’s fixed or until you run out of money.”
A professional technician does not need to use the hit-and-miss approach to diagnosis. It is true that a professional may cost you more per hour in labor expenses; however, you will find that he or she is well worth that expense, and the overall repair bill will most likely cost less.
Economy priced parts are a waste of valuable money
Discount oils and filters and even replacement parts are often a waste of money. Those items are usually poorly engineered and don’t meet minimum standards. Sometimes they are rejected by manufacturers and repackaged and then sold to the general public under a different label or brand name. Beware of these parts.
Properly inflate tires
Not only will maintaining our tires at the proper air pressure get us better fuel mileage, but it will also help our tires to last longer.
Keep your vehicle clean
Yes, a clean vehicle lasts longer and is less likely to break down. Vehicle owners who keep their vehicles clean are more conscientious and, thus, more likely to maintain the entire vehicle.
Extended idling uses fuel
A vehicle needs to develop oil pressure when first started in order to operate properly and prevent engine damage. This occurs almost immediately after it is started. Even on a cold morning, your engine develops proper oil pressure in just a few moments. It is not necessary to have the interior of our vehicles at 80 degrees before we begin to drive them.
A normal engine idles at about 800 to 1,000 revolutions in a minute when warm. It may idle slightly higher when cold. It takes a significant amount of fuel to allow our interior temperature to reach a comfortable level. Perhaps as much as 10 minutes of idle time is required. Our vehicles’ air-conditioning system requires much more fuel to operate then most folks can imagine. It can take up to 20 horsepower to operate our vehicle’s air conditioning system. As much as a 10 percent loss in fuel economy can be noticed. Even the latest A/C systems use power. I operate the A/C on my vehicle only when absolutely necessary. That usually means whenever the wife is with me.
A few more savers
Use the manufacturers recommended oil viscosity for the temperature at which your vehicle is operating. Most manufacturers recommend a different oil viscosity in the winter than in the summer. Using the correct oil viscosity can save fuel and money.
Also, replace or repair safety-related components as they fail. This includes all lights and wipers. Our vehicles safety-related components and devices are meant to keep us safe. They were also designed to make others aware of our presence and intentions. We all can share stories of people driving without their headlights on or failing to use blinkers when changing lanes or turning corners. An accident eats up the auto budget quickly regardless who was at fault. Good common sense and good auto sense most often are one in the same. When we exercise either, we begin to save money.
Nick Shultz is an instructor of Automotive Technologies at Owens Community College. He is an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau who specializes in cases involving the Ohio and Michigan Lemon laws. He is a certified master automotive technician by ASE, General Motors and Ford Motor Company. Schultz will take automotive technical questions from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, this whole recession thing has put a kibosh on you plans to escape all of this January snow by jetting off to a sunny shore? I feel your pain. Luckily, I have come up with Heather’s handy-dandy list of nearly free things to do to make it through the winter months.
1) Caves. I’m sure I have you scratching you head by now, however, hear me out. Ohio is home to six of these natural wonders. AND, no matter what to temperature is above ground, it is always a constant temperature underground. If my memory serves me correct, it is around 54 degree. That sounds a whole lot better than the below freezing temps we have experienced for the last month.
Two of the caves are on South Bass Island. So, I don’t recommend visiting them until at least May. However, the others are all are within a couple hours of driving distance. And, since gas is no longer $4.00 per gallon, you can actually afford to go there. The closest cave is Seneca Caverns in Belleview. However, the Ohio history nerd in me strongly recommends Ohio Caverns in West Liberty.
2) The Toledo Art Museum. In my humble opinion, this is one of the most over-looked
gems in the Glass City. Folks, we have a world class museum here. And admission is always FREE!
According to the museums website, its collection includes 30,000 works or art in 35 galleries. Now, I can’t paint a lick, but I can appreciate the work of the masters and TMA has them all. Degas, van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and all of the other you were forced to learn about in elementary school art class are represented. There are also some extremely impressive Egyptian artifacts. I have to stop wiring about the Toledo Museum of Art now though for fear of sounding like a TMA promotion piece. But the bottom line is, I love the museum and you should, too. The downside though, it is closed on Mondays.
3) Frozentozen at the Toledo Zoo. This is for those of you who actually don’t mind bone-chilling temperatures and snow crunching under your feet. The Toledo Zoo’s annual Frozentozen really is a lot of fun, no matter how old you are.
There are ice carving on Saturdays, and animal feeding demonstrations and Saturdays and Sunday. Don’t worry, there are inside activities, too. These include puppet shows, musical performances, and one of those blow up things to jump in. Plus, the polar bears are in rare form. This is there kind of weather after all. Best of all, admission right now is half price. There is also a free admission weekend coming up for Lucas County residents Saturday, February 14th through Monday, February 16th.
4) Hibernate. This is actually my favorite suggestion. And it is probably the most cost effective. You don’t even need to leave your house. If you have no idea what I am talking about, I’ll give you a quick rundown. First, throw on your biggest, baggiest sweatshirt. Next, plop yourself down on the couch. Then, order a pizza, or wings, or some Chinese take-out (whatever can be delivered and prevent your from actually leaving your house.) Finally, order some movies on Pay-Per-View. Yes, this will actually save you money once you factor in the rental fee along with all of the late fees you will accrue because you don’t want to go out in the snow. Now, just say there until spring. This, depending on what the groundhog says Monday, could be right around the corner.
Heather Miller is a reporter for FOX Toledo.
For as long as people have been setting out to explore the world, they have been subjected to all manner of disruptions, delays, deviations, distractions … and plain old disasters!
Think about Icarus and the melting wax thing. The Pilgrims who came so close to getting mushed off Plymouth Rock. Those broken wagon wheels on rutted trails across the prairie. Stage coach holdups. Railway banditos. Sinking Great Lakes paddle steamers.
Well, sad to say, today’s traveler isn’t much better off in the disruption department than he ever was, despite all our technical advances and sophistication. There are simply too many of us on the move, too many people chasing too many places in too many devices … be they trains, planes or automobiles.
Statistics would probably show that travel disruptions are no greater or lesser than they ever were. It just seems that way because of 24/7 news, rapid-fire lifestyles … and our insatiable desire to move, ASAP.
The bottom line is that getting there is no longer “half the fun” — if it ever was. And we share your pain.
We have learned a thing or two about mitigating, and even avoiding, some of those aggravations.
The basic concept is to be prepared for anything and keep things simple.
Begin by putting together a simple flight plan. Multiple connections for the sole purpose of saving a few dollars are usually a recipe for disaster. One tiny hiccup and the whole thing falls apart. On international trips, keep it simple by flying directly to your destination or to an international hub like London or Amsterdam, where there are many more options should delays occur due to weather, mechanical misadventure or industrial-action.
Also avoid making overly tight connections. Thirty minutes may indeed be the “legal minimum connect time” at a particular airport, but you can be sure that there are at least a thousand fates conspiring to guarantee that you’ll never make that connection. It’s much better to chill out for an hour — or four — than worry yourself silly about missing a flight or a train. And, of course, actually missing it is even worse!
Practice flexibility. Include an extra day or two in the itinerary so that one mishap doesn’t throw everything out of kilter.
And, by all means, use our favored “base-city-approach” rather than moving to a new destination every day. Every switch wastes time, energy and money. Instead, spend several nights in one place and make day trips around the area. Then it’s easy to add or subtract a day without messing up everything else.
Travel with a single piece of light luggage, something that allows you to easily move from gate or platform. Walk a mile or more to a hotel, absent other transportation. Move your stuff easily onto overhead racks, into trunks of cars, up flights of stairs or along cobbled streets, and still have a hand free to read a map or ward off any bad guys.
Also, acknowledge that disruptions are sometimes inevitable. And plan for how to spend those potentially long, inactive hours stuck in an airline terminal.
You could, for instance, initiate a brand-new daily personal fitness program by speed-walking the terminal.
Make time for a proper sit-down meal and entertain yourself by complaining about the cost. Find a tranquil spot away from the gate, but within range of announcements, and read, listen to music, play games or just doze.
Today’s amazing array of electronic gizmos means that travelers need never be bored or carry pounds of extra weight.
And finally, even if all your careful preparations fail to avert catastrophe, never ever lose your cool or sense of humor, even when those about you are losing theirs — because smiles beat bluster every day.
E-mail columnists Roger Holliday and Claudia Fischer at RogerHolliday@wcnet.org.
I sometimes wonder how much it actually costs my husband and me to raise our children. I see a child-rearing cost estimate floating around the news from time to time, but it is never quite close enough to my family’s own situation to give me a clear idea. The clothing estimates alone are a far cry from the amount we have had to spend on our children’s apparel thus far.
The cost of our children’s wardrobe to this point could mainly be measured in hours of toil instead of dollars and cents. For the most part, we have been lucky enough to clothe our children in gifts and hand-me-downs since birth. The toiling comes in sorting, organizing and storing second-hand garments from multiple sources. The financial burden lies only in the cost of the plastic storage containers.
We seem to be on the discount family plan. We have managed to knock the high child food and day care estimates seen on morning shows down to almost nothing for our children’s first few years at least. The amusing remarks I had heard prior to parenthood about children being “little tax deductions,” as if producing a child is almost some sort of tiny financial windfall, has been fairly close to true for us up until this point.
The 2008 tax year has been it, though. I think it may have been the year that our children started to cost way beyond any financial benefits we may be seeing on our tax return.
This is the year that one shared kid’s meal simply was no longer enough to satiate the growing appetites of a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. Our son has also figured out that our once-coveted half juice/half water cocktail isn’t quite as special as he once believed. His reminders not to forget to add the water have turned into requests for no water added at all. It is only a matter of time before his sister catches on to the fact that adding the water doesn’t make the juice any tastier.
This is also the year that our daughter’s inheriting of my rather large feet became quite obvious. The much-appreciated cousin hand-me-down shoe store has closed due to lack of appropriate sizes. As for our son, boys’ gently worn jeans and shoes seem to be much harder to come by in the elementary school age bracket than they did back in the not-so-rough-and-tumble toddler days.
It is not just the common expenses, however. As this year has proven, we must learn to expect quite a few unexpected child-related incidentals for years to come. Take a broken arm, for example. The medical bills that start rolling in once the healing has fully commenced suddenly seemed a lot more significant than they did the night all we cared about was getting our child put back together. What feels more financially strapping, however, are all of the ancillary costs we just never considered, such as having to purchase another new coat to replace the just-purchased one that doesn’t quite fit over the cast.
I do sometimes wonder how much our children actually cost us, but I’m far too busy chasing them around to ever come up with an exact number. And, honestly, I really don’t care.
My husband and I certainly do not associate their little faces with a line on a tax form until Turbo Tax asks us to. Tax deductions and child tax credits just don’t play much of a role in our family financial equation more than one or two days a year. Even though this may be the year that tax deductions and child tax credits pale in comparison to our actual child expenses, we likely won’t give it a second thought.
Don’t get me wrong, though. We’ll take what we can get.
Shannon Szyperski and her husband Michael are raising two children in Sylvania. E-mail her at email@example.com.
In the wake of recent turmoil in financial markets, many investors are looking for professionals to help manage their finances. Many have never worked with a professional before, and many have decided to change because of the way their previous adviser handled this latest crisis, be it a lack of personal attention, lack of communication, poor returns, etc. We feel it is important that the public is aware of some particulars of the financial industry to aid in the process of choosing a financial adviser. After all, this choice will have a greater impact on a person’s long-term well-being than almost any other professional.
In the field of finance, many professionals refer to themselves as “financial advisers.” This is, in many cases, a misnomer. Many, in fact, are more salesmen than investment advisers. They look at the particulars of a potential client (age, income, number of dependents, etc.) and develop a portfolio that is meant to be in line with that individual’s risk tolerance. After a portfolio is established, the adviser will periodically (typically quarterly, semi-annually or annually) sit down with the client and see if there are any changes in the risk profile that need to be reflected in the portfolio. These advisers typically receive most of their income in the form of commissions made on a sale. They do not conduct extensive research to see where the economy and stock market are going in the future. Instead, they rely on investments that are sellable; those with good back stories, impressive numbers and glossy paper. And while history can be helpful in choosing an investment, remember that investments react to economic conditions. Since the conditions rarely repeat, neither will the returns.
There is another class of financial professional that consists of people (us included) who refer to themselves as “investment advisers” or, more simply, as “money managers.” These individuals have an entirely different, more hands-on approach. They spend considerable time researching current market conditions and thinking about how they will play out in the future. They then try to gauge what investments will have the best potential for returns in the environment they see going forward, and position client funds accordingly. They do not sell any particular investment, but instead they market their own experience, knowledge and expertise that should (hopefully) be beneficial to a client, who most likely doesn’t have the time or ability to spend such extensive time and effort managing their own money. While these professionals may also earn compensation from commissions, typically a greater degree of their income is derived from management or investment advisory fees. Because of their money management style, some can be criticized for a lack of diversification. In reality, however, their clients’ accounts typically receive more attention because they are relatively similar.
There are many questions that can be asked when interviewing a financial professional to determine how they manage money. And it is important to think of this as a process. When an investor begins their search for an adviser, we hope they don’t simply crack open the yellow pages, call the first number they find and walk in with a check. Think of it as a job interview, since that’s what it really is. Financial professionals are interviewing for the opportunity to work for you. And, as is the case with any job hiring, you as the interviewer should know what kinds of questions to ask so that you can decide with which manager you are most comfortable working. The following are some examples:
1. How much experience does the adviser have in the financial industry? Have they held any related positions, and if so for how long?
2. What is their money management system? Ask them to describe their approach to managing clients’ money. You might also want to ask if this is substantially different from how they handle their own money. While this subject would be taboo at a cocktail party, it shouldn’t be here.
3. How much personal attention can each client expect? How often is each portfolio monitored?
4. Ask about communication. If you call the office, are you going to talk directly with the person watching your money or with a call center in India? Do they send out newsletters? If so, do they write their own or subscribe to a newsletter service and just put their name on them?
5. How has their long-term performance been? While short-term results can throw off averages (especially this past year), advisors should still have a decent long-term track record.
6. How are their fees structured?
7. What safeguards do they have in place against fraud? With all the recent fraud cases, you want to feel secure, even if you have an investment that loses money. But what you don’t want is to find yourself in a situation where your advisor disappears with all your money.
If you’ve been losing sleep at night over your investments, we urge you to go out and look for a professional. Whether it’s your first time working with an adviser or you just need a change, it is important to find an arrangement you are comfortable with. Interview several potential advisors, and resist the urge to make a decision on the spot. Instead, go home and think it over before making your final selection.
Dock David Treece is a stockbroker licensed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He works for Treece Financial Services Corp., www.TreeceInvestments.com. The above information is the express opinion of Dock David Treece and should not be used without outside verification.
EPIC Toledo will celebrate its second annual Birthday Bash at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Fifth Third Center Concourse at One SeaGate.
EPIC stands for “Engaging People, Inspiring Change,” and is a program of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce formed in 2007 to involve younger business people in the community.
“EPIC was formed to answer the brain drain, to show the community there is a lot of diverse young talent here and to create a medium for them,” said EPIC Director Paulette Cousino.
Today with more than 1,050 members representing its 50 corporate sponsors and other local firms, EPIC keeps growing in Toledo, Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. The organization is split evenly between male and female members, most between the ages of 24 and 36, but up to 60 with no age limit for membership.
“Membership is based on attitude, not age,” Cousino said.
“We’ve just scratched the surface. We’re opening EPIC to anyone who wants to become involved in being positive and moving forward with the next generation of business leaders,” said Jake Cox, a client executive with The Hylant Group.
Cox is chairman of EPIC’s advisory council for 2009. The group is comprised of action teams in the areas of community involvement, cultural arts, economic development, marketing, membership, leadership and professional development, networking and public affairs.
“It’s really about the membership telling us what they want and what direction to take in the community,” said Matthew Yarder of The Yarder Manufacturing Co., a fourth-generation family-owned business. “Involvement is based on individual members’ desires and interests.”
EPIC is a structure for developing young leadership for the future, created and supported by the chamber of commerce and its corporate sponsors.
“We all make up the community and care about its future. We work with people who are self-motivated to do things beyond their self-interest,” said Julia Habrecht, director of philanthropy for Leadership Toledo, a nonprofit group that fosters regional community involvement.
“We want to bring more positive people together who care about what happens to the community,” Cox said. “We want to make it here, and there’s no reason why we can’t. The excitement for Toledo is contagious.”
EPIC is cooperating with the chamber, the Regional Growth Partnership and nonprofits working in the community to make a difference, according to Cousino.
These members agreed that EPIC tries to remain a bipartisan organization that educates and informs its members about local candidates and issues. They have had some discussions with the Take Back Toledo group, but EPIC has not taken any position on that campaign.
“We expect more for the future of Toledo and we want to be part of the new direction,” Cox said.
“We’re an information pool for our membership,” said Samantha Scott, communications coordinator for EPIC. EPIC brought the Young Democrats and Young Republicans together to conduct a political discussion and straw poll for the 2008 election.
“We have to represent the diversity of our membership and maintain our responsibility to our corporate sponsors,” Habrecht said.
Habrecht said EPIC and Leadership Toledo are working with students in 34 area high schools to get them more involved in their community.
“We have a great group of teenagers who are interested in making Toledo better,” she said.
Earlier this month, EPIC held its annual meeting where the advisory council discussed its goals and aspirations for the year. The group wants to encourage further development of local businesses through education and community involvement.
“Our corporate membership in EPIC Toledo reflects our commitment to the growth and stability of our community,” said Bob LaClair, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank in Northwestern Ohio. “We realize our strength as a company and community partner is in getting our employees engaged and involved. They are the future leaders of both.”
EPIC invites the community to join its Birthday Bash that will include a band, food, cash bar, fun and games. The cost is $5 for EPIC members and $10 for nonmembers. Register online at www.epictoledo.com.
When I was in business school getting my MBA, one of my economics professors said, with absolute certainty, that any recession, no matter how bad, could be ended almost immediately if everyone in America would simply go out on the same day and buy a doughnut.
Once you’ve stopped rolling your eyes or chuckling about that, consider my professor’s fairly sound reasoning. If 300 million people went out on the same day and spent a few dollars, it would be an enormous cash infusion into the economy. It would cause a lot of money to change hands, and that is what the economy needs in a recession.
All the experts talk about loosening credit markets, juggling interest rates, cutting taxes and buying “toxic assets,” and they are all really trying to find ways to make more money shift back and forth between us all. That is a hallmark of a healthy economy, but there is a much easier way to get there than what Washington is attempting.
Of course we need to prop up some of our largest banks, because allowing them to fail would have catastrophic consequences, but we shouldn’t also be giving them part of this $825 billion bailout package to stimulate the economy, because it’s only going to have an indirect impact, at best, on spending.
It didn’t work with the first round of funds because the banks just used it to buy other banks and shore up their cash reserves, so why would we possibly think it is going to work this time? What the government needs to do to directly stimulate the economy is give a large portion of that money to us.
I can hear you saying “that wouldn’t work.” It didn’t work before when the Bush administration tried it by sending $600 rebate checks to millions of taxpayers.
Why didn’t that work to stimulate the economy? Those people (I didn’t get one of those checks) didn’t spend the money. It was too much money per person. If I got a $600 rebate check today, I would pay off some debt for the inevitable rainy day, just like the people who actually got that money did. If we want to be sure that the money we spread around gets spent, then it has to be the right amount.
My proposal is that everyone in America get money. Rich, poor and middle class alike, the government should send money to every single one of us. However (and here comes the important part), they should only send us $27 each.
Think about it: $27 isn’t enough to pay a credit card payment or the finance charges on that plasma TV you bought. Heck, right now it doesn’t even put a dent in your monthly gas bill. So what are we going to do with that money? We are going to spend it. How do we know, you may ask, that people won’t just deposit the checks in their bank accounts, mix this with all their other money and still pay off debts rather than spend? Well (here is the really beautiful part of my plan), we don’t send them checks.
That’s right — we send cash. Everyone in America, or at least everyone 16 and older, would get $27 cash in the mail from Uncle Sam. It would be in small bills, too, so it doesn’t seem like anything but pocket money. We should get three 5-dollar bills and 12 singles, or some combination like that. Think about it, what would you do with that money except slide it in your pocket or wallet to spend the next time you go out and need cash.
To really drive the point home, we shouldn’t send out any new bills. Give everybody $27 in wrinkled, old fives and ones, and I guarantee that money will get spent. It will buy gas, dinner, coffee and groceries. It may, for those of you who pay attention, pay your turnpike toll, and yes, it may even get spent on a doughnut or two.
Say there are 250 million Americans age 16 and older. If we send them all $27 dollars, we’re only going to be spending $6.75 billion. That is less than 1 percent of the total amount of the bailout package ($825 billion) that the Obama administration is proposing. But nothing they will do would have a more immediate impact on the economy than our $27.
Laugh if you must, mock if you want, but I defy anyone to come up with a more effective and efficient way of infusing a large amount of cash into the system to stimulate our economy.
Now, where is my $27?
Steve Hartman is an attorney in the Toledo firm of Kerger and Hartman.
While some in Ohio have put up their keyboards, others are still pounding out the regular posts. A few are new to blogging, others had escaped my notice with a few making me wonder, how did I not find them before. One example in this last description is American Heartland Bar and Grill where it’s political discussion but a different take from the five who work to make that blog happen. Their goal is to have a place where “ordinary men and women from different viewpoints and ideologies” can debate the stories of the day. It’s one of my new favorite blogs to visit.
Can Politics and Professional Wrestling mix? They do over on Political Championship Wrestling where this satire site stands for; “PCW is Political, Hardcore, Extreme, Wrestling or PHEW!- accurately describing the current state of American politics.” I have to say though, I’ll never look at beer the same after their recent cartoon…
Another blog on my regular visit list is The Rowsey Blog where Jason Rowsey focuses on whatever political story of the moment catches his attention. He’s just done a complete site redesign and has done a great job at creating a very welcoming space for those who want to read and those who want to jump into discussion.
Spinelli on Assignment has been out there but is one that deserves a bit more attention. It’s where John Michael Spinelli posts some of his essays and opinion pieces, like a recent one entitled, “Hunting Black Swan Will Be GOP Swan Song” that is a recommended read. For those of you reading this archived piece, Spinelli can now be found on the Toledo Free Press and at Examiner.com.
Anthony Fossaceca has stepped in over at Ohio Daily Blog and it’s sporting a new look. Head over and read what Anthony as well as a few others, like one of my favorite horsemen, are sharing their thoughts.
Free Market Politics is one of my new “must visits” because of the “Recommended reading” posts that are shared there, thanks to Jeff, I get a quick fix of a nice variety of posts. There’s much more to his blog site though as far as content that is also well worth making this blog a regular read.
A Ohio blogger has launched a new site Applesassy where she is covering social media under an interesting persona, “Hellena B. Heavens is the pseudonym of a Social Media Socialite and Purveyor of Netiquette Charm.” It’s an enjoying read and I certainly hope I don’t get on her bad side as far as netiquette…
Whether you are interested in politics, satire or the skills needed to properly navigate the world of social networking, chances are there is a blog out there that can either inform or entertain you. If you have a favorite blog you’d like to see featured, email Lisa Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in more from Lisa Renee? That’s as easy as a click over to Glass City Jungle.