Future live chat events:
*Read archived chat here. New site location here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

PPD Chief Down To Three

If you could ask the police chief candidates a few questions during their interviews with the trustees on March 7th, what would it be?

I'd ask them their views on fiscal responsibility. i.e. Do you think it's wise to spend $45,000 on police training ammunition? I'd grill them on this topic because the Police Department is one of the biggest - if not the biggest expenditure in Perkins.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Commissioners Host Saturday Coffee Hour

I hope to be there taking notes:

The city commissioners invite you to come in from the cold. Dave Waddington, Dan Kaman and Bob Warner will host their 8 a.m. Saturday coffee hour amongst the palm trees and balmy weather inside the Sandusky City Greenhouse. Mike Pisarsky, horticulture services superintendent, will speak for 30 minutes about the city’s ongoing battle with the emerald ash borer, an invasive Asian beetle. The next 30 minutes will be open for discussion about any topics ongoing in the city. The greenhouse is located at 620 Elm St., and the public is encouraged to attend.

Parking Tax On Ballot?

I have no idea. How about some background? Where did you hear it? If it's on your mind, it's probably on the minds of other city residents too. Give us some background and debate it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Op-Ed: Downtown Revitalization

Does anybody remember the op-ed written by a former Sandusky resident which described numerous ways to create downtown development? The author gave about 15 examples/ways to develop the waterfront. I can't remember the author's name and no searches I've tried are turning up results in the Sandusky Register archives. Anybody remember his name or have the link to the article?

Update: Not a single person who reads this site can remember that op-ed? It was a detailed list of things that the city could do to bring business to downtown and revitalize the local economy. Nobody remembers it?
A couple of viral videos for you:

Information technology in today's world.

Glenn Beck on the devaluation of the US Dollar. Scary stuff. Beck put this out on the internet for circulation. This is what happens when we monetize debt or create money to "stimulate" the economy. Where is this country headed?

Bumped For Discussion: Unscientific Poll

Not a scientific poll, obviously, but why is there such disparity here? Is this an accurate portrayal of public perception? If so, what is Mr. Stahl and Co. doing wrong and where can they improve? Do not turn this into a hate fest. We haven't had a problem on this site so far. Thanks for keeping the comments constructive.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New comic on the 'Gurg.

The Infamous Parking Ticket

Transcription of Nuesse civil service hearing pertaining to the parking ticket:

Bailey: Who owned the car you were driving?

Nuesse: The city of Sandusky Police Department.

Bailey: Was it a marked car or unmarked car?

Nuesse: It was an unmarked police car.

Bailey: Did you offer to pay the ticket?

Nuesse: Yes I did.

Bailey: Who did you tell that you would pay the ticket?

Nuesse: I asked Captain Frankowski where the ticket - where I should pay the ticket.

Bailey: And what was his response?

Nuesse: His response was, "Chief you shouldn't pay the ticket. You're not in violation."

Read more

Facing The Budget Deficit

I'm not saying this is a good idea or not, because it would take research and I'm not equipped with the time. I'm only re-posting it because it might be worth looking into. (I'm sure the law director won't like the idea - but nobody likes the idea of making budget cuts.)

While we're at it, take this suggestion for other staff positions: Look at what other city's are doing to trim their budgets and see if Sandusky can do the same.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Updated With More Pics: Kline's Parking Warning

This pic was just sent to me.

You be the judge: Click on the image for full size.

Eh. I don't know. I suppose it's not clearly marked, but given the fact that he's the city manager, and nobody else parked there because it actually is marked, you start to wonder why he seems to be the only person unaware that it was a handicapped spot. But then again the only way you'd notice the handicapped marking was if you're looking for it. It's a fine line I guess. Defendable I suppose, but it's indicative of the kind of guy who pulls up and parks next to the door - because well - he's the city manager. On the other hand because he's city manager you'd think that he'd know it was a handicapped spot.

Splitting hairs? Perhaps. But this guy fired the city's Police Chief over the same type of pettiness.
UPDATE: I was just sent a few more shots. Different angles:

Monday, February 23, 2009

City Commission Meeting 2-23-09

Here's a brief recounting:

They talked about a whole bunch of budget issues. They bickered a little. They joked a little. They made a big deal out of $50,000 that would be spent on cleaning up the G&C Foundry property because that amount of money was comparable to an "FTE" (Stahl's acronym for what it costs to pay a full time employee.) The commission is coming to grips with the fact that the city is facing nearly a million dollar budget deficit and cuts will have to be made in some way or another.

The idea of teaming up with Erie Metroparks to clean up Lions Park came up. Great idea, but I don't see how they're going to help Sandusky clean up the park without benefiting in some way. Are they going to ask to slap EMP signs up or something? Why would they want to help? Where's the catch?

Like I said, this is going to be brief because posting the minutes would be an easier way to carry out discussions about city budget issues. I think I'll check on how to do just that...

Then the audience participation started. Nuesse's federal suit was on everyone's minds...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bulletin: Regularly Scheduled City Commission Meeting

The city website has an online calendar to inform citizens of all commission meetings and any other meetings of public interest.

The next city commissioner meeting is Monday night at 5:00 pm.

A new era for the Sandusky Register?

Nuesse Testimony: City Derailed Joint Dispatch

The city better have a good defense on these points. The egg is all over Kline's face. But like Kline said at the state of the city address: These issues aren't important because he says so.*

[You have to click on the "City Derailed Joint Dispatch" video in the sidebar. The SR still doesn't permalink each video.]

*Reference the state of the city address right after Kline makes a token denial about the sexual harassment charges, defends his statement by saying the city has conducted it's own investigation, and then indirectly stated that budget issues are more important than personal integrity and professionalism.

Friday, February 20, 2009

SR Top Comment Of Day

Under SMCC Teacher Thread:

Internal Investigation Flip Flops

This will be an ongoing feature meant to catalogue the flip flopping by city officials on the idea of internal investigations. It's meant to illustrate the fact that when local officials want to be exonerated of certain charges - it's okay to order an internal investigation (investigate themselves) and then use their own investigation to defend themselves.

The most glaring examples of the double standard was when full time police officer Jim Fitzpatrick was investigated. The SPD would not bring in outside investigators. But when that reserve officer (what's his name?) was charged for importuning, acting Chief Sams brought in an outside investigator to "avoid the appearance of impropriety."

It'd be nice to have the SR articles for this feature - but I can't remember the name of that reserve officer or how to find the article. Does anybody remember his name?

Updated: "Innocent" or "Not Guilty?"

The Register's legal reporting faux pas:

SR reader Bill T. corrected them:

The Massachussetts Bar Association explains why "innocent" and "not guilty" are not interchangeable terms:

All too often when I listen to the radio or read the newspapers, I hear or see "at arraignment, the defendant pled innocent" or "the defendant was found innocent by the jury." The word "innocent" is being misused. "Innocent" cannot and should not be substituted for "not guilty."
Technically, only three pleas can be entered by a defendant who is brought before the court to answer the charges against him. Under the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant may plead not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere to any crime with which he is charged and over which the court has jurisdiction. The rules that are applicable to the criminal sessions of the trial court do not provide the defendant with the option of pleading innocent. There is no such plea available.

Similarly, the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure provide for only two possible verdicts that can be returned by a jury: guilty or not guilty. There is no verdict of innocent. And, not guilty does not mean innocent.

When a jury returns a verdict of not guilty, that means that the state has not convinced the jury beyond a reasonable doubt as to all the elements of the crime with which the defendant has been charged. For example, in a first degree murder case, the state must prove that the defendant deliberately and with malice unlawfully caused the death of another human being. If the defendant presents a valid defense that he killed the victim in self-defense, then the defendant is not innocent of homicide -- he did in fact kill another human being -- but he is "not guilty" of homicide because the state did not convince the jury that the defendant acted with premeditated malice aforethought.

Update: The Register corrected the mistake! Must respect:

Meigs Street Messenger February Edition

The Meigs Street Messenger (Feb edition) is online. The state of the city address was advertised in there. Lots of other good information too.

Do you think this service will get used?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kline's State Of The City


Kline touched on a wide range of issues, from Kim Nuesse to the Marina District, the Paper District and future development.

I wonder if Kline mentioned that his own job is currently in jeopardy?

The event was publicized on the City's website (on their events calendar.) That's where the SR gets their information about city events too, I'd imagine.

From the city's website: (Notice the air times on Channel 81)

Regarding The SMCC Teacher Incident

Why are so many people quick to condemn Smith before the case even goes to court? He'll undoubtedly lose his license to teach, and he'll probably never coach again. The relationship was admittedly consensual, and he's already been fired from his job. Isn't that enough?

If you wade past the steady torrent of bickering and claims that Smith's bad decisions somehow reflect poorly on our local school systems, there are few comments on the SR that interest:

Don't know about that particularly, but Smith did have a girlfriend who died in a car accident with several of her friends a few years back. If I remember correctly it was a high speed crash on the interstate and four young ladies lost their lives. Anybody who remembers the details, feel free to add them in the comments.

I also have it from several sources that Smith's mother passed away recently (last year?) from cancer. She was in her 50's. My point being that Smith is no stranger to tragedy. One can't help but wonder how the different events wore on him which may have brought him to making a bad decision or two.

I'm not defending his actions, but these facts should be considered before casting stones from the safety of our anonymous glass houses...
Your words weigh heavy and they affect lives whether you're around to witness it or not. (Listen to the audio.)
The Morning Journal has another article on the SMCC coach who had a relationship with a student.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Elsebeth Baumgartner Conviction Upheld

By the 8th District Court of Appeals. If you're interested in the case, you're probably familiar with the background already. This is the Cuyahoga County case. This means she will have to serve the full 8 year sentence.

Full text of decision here.

The "opinionated" seem to come out of the woodwork for this case, so have at it. There's no better place to get your information than the source, so read the document.

SMCC Teacher Accused Of Sex With Student

There appears to be more to this story than reported in the Sandusky Register:

SANDUSKY, OHIO -- Police in Sandusky say a man attacked a high school gym teacher after accusing him of having sex with his stepdaughter.

The attack happened Sunday. Police say Charles Griggs was told by his 18-year-old stepdaughter that she had sex with 29-year-old Drew Smith at least twice in Smith's Huron home.

Smith is a gym teacher and football coach at St. Mary Central Catholic in Sandusky.
Reports indicate that Griggs kicked in the door to Smith's home on Sunday, Feb. 15. He allegedly verbally threatened Smith and jumped on top of him.
Smith's roommates pulled Griggs off and called police.

Griggs has been charged with burglary and aggravated menacing. Smith has been charged with two counts of sexual battery.

Both men have been released on bond

There are a few readable comments under the SR. Most notably the fact that males are treated differently when accused of these types of crimes. Somebody mentioned a recent local case that I don't recognize. Has there been any recently about female teachers having sex with male students? I wasn't aware of any...
Everybody remembers the Lafave case - and that was met more with fascination than disgust. At least by most guys anyway. Which is probably why there will always be a double standard: Male teachers get called "sick" while male students get called "lucky."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Obama Got Elected

I hate to turn this into a collection of video and links, but I found this to be pretty eye opening.

Whether you voted for him or not, it's pretty hard to deny that the media was in the tank.

Kinda related:

CM in the SR comments:

Most Americans simply aren’t paying attention. Most are [not?] up to speed on recent events to engage in an intelligent conversation about what is happening to our nation. When I mention the word socialism to most people I get one of the following responses:

1. “You’re crazy. Why can’t you just give Obama a chance?”
2. “What’s so bad about socialism?”
3. “What is socialism?”
4. “You just don’t like him because he’s black.”
5. “You must be a Republican.”
6. “Well George Bush was an idiot. At least Obama is articulate.”
7. “I don’t keep up with politics. Nothing I say will make a difference anyway.”

These are actually the most common responses I get. A few of the people I talk to are aware of the direction our country is heading in and I encourage those people to talk to everyone they know about it. They are just as frustrated as I am at the levels of ignorance and apathy out there. "

Even if Americans were paying attention, do you think they'd actually get it?

Local Ghostbusters

I don't even know what to say about this. It's funny though.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Curse Of Publicity

Karleen writes:

Thank You 411 for letting people know how the girls were not trying to beat the train, and that they were the unlucky ones. We have tried to live with everything that people say about my daughter and her best friend and they don't care how they hurt someone. Their sisters have to live with not having her around, and all the good things that would have happen if they were alive, so now all we have are the memories of the 16 years that we had with them. We also have the Kids Fest in the summer for kids to enjoy a good day of fun. Our Love will always be there and no one can change that. Thanks again! They were only 16 and were put in an adult situation. Everyone makes mistakes.

Being written about in the pages of our local paper is almost a curse. The internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people, and so having your name in the paper probably gives some people that queasy feeling because you just know somebody is going to make tasteless comments about you or a family member. I note on many threads the efforts that family members make to defend loves ones, but a good defense doesn't take away the fact that someone out there had the gall to make an unsympathetic comment about a situation they probably know little about. (i.e. "Bobaluey" who seems to think because his dad works for the railroad that he is somehow justified to make comments about the victims of an accident.)

The families turned a tragedy into something positive.

This is one of those commenting threads where you learn more about the accident from the comments than the article.

I remember the morning after the accident. It seemed like the entire city knew about it. But to this day, I didn't know the circumstances. I always assumed they drove around downed gates because they were in a hurry. (Which would tend to lower the sympathy one would have for these girls.) But according to the comments under the story, there was a train stopped at the Remington crossing, and dozens of other cars were driving around the gates. Michelle and Karie Ann were the unlucky motorists who crossed when another train was approaching on the other mainline. According to the commenters, the victims' view of the other main was obstructed by the stopped train. Seems to me that this point should be explained because it's a more important facet of the story than digging up the grief these families have suffered.

But still, it was a good video. (But what's up with the 'credits' at the end?)
There's only one thing more important than the viewer understanding the grief of these families: the audience must know who created this awesome video!!

There's a public service message hidden in this story: Just because you see a stopped train doesn't mean that that's the reason the crossing gates are activated. If there are two mains, another train could be approaching and even blowing their whistle - but pedestrians and motorists might not hear it because of the stopped locomotive's engine idle. Don't drive around activated gates - no matter what - unless a railroad official or law enforcement officer waves you around the gates. That's Ohio law, by the way.

Nuesse Sexual Harassment Federal Lawsuit

A commenter:

Where is the rest of the lawsuit? Can you put it up on line in its entirety?

The SR has it online here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

SR Comments: Nuesse Sexual Harassment

I'm sure the Register comments will be flooded on this story. In an effort to track popular opinion, let's summarize each comment with one line:

1. This keeps getting better and better.
2. No wonder Crandall bailed early on.
3. The Register didn't interpret the lawsuit correctly. City should hire within.
4. Kline's behavior is demeaning, paternalistic and harassing on it's face.
5. In any place but Sandusky, Kline would be on administrative leave.
6. Only in Sandusky could something like this happen.
7. Sandusky is a three ring circus.
8. Nuesse is attractive. This is no suprise.
9. [Difficult to read. Skip.]
10. Kline should be on administrative leave.
11. Nuesse should've reported this immediately, not months or years after the fact.
12. Cirigliano is biased for not admitting the allegations.
13. [Link to this site]
14. Nuesse is breaking up the Good Ole Boy system in Sandusky. Attagirl.
15. How much has this cost the taxpayers? Anyone involved in this mess should be fired.

Nuesse Alleges Sexual Harassment

This story just keeps getting clearer:

Bailey said he couldn’t bring up Kline’s sexual advances during Nuesse’s Civil Service hearing because Judge Joseph Cirigliano ruled they were “irrelevant.”

And you thought Judge Joseph Cirigliano was on the straight and narrow. I suppose the sexual advances were "irrelevent" in Cirigliano's view though.

“I obviously disagreed,” Bailey said. “If someone tries to be a little too friendly to someone of the opposite sex in a workplace, and she rejects those advances, how can that not have had an effect on (Kline’s) decision (to fire her)?”

Three city commissioners said they were “shocked” or “extremely surprised” by the sexual harassment allegations.

“I’ve heard the rumors, as everyone has,” ex-officio mayor Craig Stahl said. “But this is the first time I’ve seen them.”

You heard the rumors, as everyone has?! Did they concern you Mr. Stahl?!

16: "...slightly rubbing them while he addressed the supervisors." ?? Looks like Nuesse has plenty of witnesses to call. We'd have to see a list of the supervisors present, but as far as that conspiracy against her by the command structure - there has to be at least one supervisor who will tell the truth about what happened in that meeting.

And if this particular allegation is true, the Commissioners need to immediately place Kline on administrative leave pending the outcome of the federal suit. After all, isn't this the way Sandusky does it? Nuesse was placed on leave in order for Sandusky to make a case against her!

Kline didn’t return phone calls Friday.

Big shocker there.

This is a pretty ill-advised comment:

Most city officials declined to comment on the situation, but city commissioner Bob Warner offered a vote of confidence for city manager Kline.

“I still support Matt,” he said. “I’m in construction, and these things pop up from time to time. Sometimes they’re true; sometimes they’re not. You just have to wait and see how the investigation plays out.”

Does Bob Warner support Kline 'unconditionally?' Because that's what it sounds like he's saying. He admits that he doesn't know how the investigation is going to turn out - but he's going to publicly voice his support for Kline anyway?

Another city commissioner who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he now believes Nuesse is innocent.

“Her persistence is unwavering,” he said. “Why would she go down this path and keep going if she was lying? She could’ve just taken a settlement and walked away.”

Can you imagine coming to a town like Sandusky and having this happen to you? You're new in the area, and it's a beautiful area. You're expecting to work with a group of enlightened people - because after all, they've hired a female police chief! Sandusky must be ahead of it's time! A shining example of tolerance and progressive thought - certainly an atmosphere that wouldn't tolerate sexist bahavior or sexual harassment! These guys must really think outside the box. After all, they passed over several of their own to hire me!

[Bailey] didn’t file a suit immediately because he was hoping the city would drop the case or reach a settlement with his client.

“They really didn’t give us a choice,” he said. “I was hoping this would be over by now.”

Come on, Ron. You know better than that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

She's hot and I love her plan.

FOCA: Worth Fighting Or Red Herring?

The FOCA is a wretched piece of legislation, but I'm intrigued by this article which is written by a Catholic priest on why spending alot of money to oppose FOCA is a waste of time and money because it will never pass in Congress. (I found the link from the Democratic Underground - which is made up mostly of lunatics - so, no link.)

As a Catholic Priest, he obviously doesn't support abortion, but he seems to be giving a pass to Obama on the issue. I'm intrigued by the idea that if pro-lifers want to change society - the government is not the place to take the fight.
Hey, what happened to the SR's junior blogger Michelle Pletcher? I see that her blog has been deleted from the SR's pages. (Did the haters win?)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amphibious Vehicle Must Have for Port Clinton First Responders

Oh yeah, this sounds like a wise purchase. Because they desperately needed it for the ice rescue on Saturday and plus we're in an 'age-of-plenty' right now.


Coulda Been Perkins...

Credibility Problems of Murman Investigators

K. Hungus posted some text from a Register article concerning credibility problems in the Nuesse investigation. (Today's Register? I don't know - but it's a new thread, so I think it's from today)

"Did you call Ozie Jackson to see if he could produce those invoices?" Bailey asked, referring to the man who physically filled out the grant form for Nuesse."No," Foran answered."Why not?" Bailey asked. "He could have produced those invoices and cleared up the whole thing for you.""I didn't think he'd talk to me -- a non-governmental employee," Foran answered."Would it surprise you that he talked to me?" Bailey asked. Foran shrugged his shoulders. "I didn't think he would talk."

Good reason, dude. (Or could it be that Foran was only trying to find information that would lead to a certain pre-determined conclusion?)

This isn't the first time Foran's credibility has been brought up.

From this article in the Register:

The former F.B.I. special agents who conducted the interviews for the Murman report have worked together before, Darden noted in his report.

The Alliance referenced James Neff's "Mobbed up", published in 1989, and articles from the New York Times for some history on investigators Patrick J. Foran and Martin McCann Jr.

In a case relating to the Teamster's Union, federal prosecutors concluded that the statements of Foran ad McCann were not credible, Darden observed.

According to "Mobbed Up," McCann and Foran cannot give sworn testimony without being subject to perjury charges because they pleaded the Fifth Amendment, which protects them from self-incrimination.

"The city hired investigators who cannot testify, or if they do, there will be serious credibility problems," Darden wrote.

He went on to explain that more time is needed to investigate these assertions, since it's equally plausible that "Mobbed Up" or the New York Times published incorrect or incomplete information.

"This is just one aspect of the investigation that needs to be investigated," Darden wrote.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I've been working on a longer video that summarizes the Marina District project - not from the Sandusky Register viewpoint. No offense to the Register - but if you want the pro-marina district viewpoint you can read it there.

Video work takes a lot longer than writing, so bear with me. If you see no updates on the site for awhile, just check back. I hope to have the MD project up in a few days.

From discussions with the Save Our Shorelines folks, this site came up: EcoCityCleveland is a website that describes best waterfront development practices from people who have experience with such things. I thought it a good read about how to develop a waterfront that promotes sustainability and attracts folks instead of making them feel like unwanted neighbors.

Raw Video From Ice Rescue

Whoever is talking in the background makes some pretty funny comments. At one point she says, "Are we on Lake Erie?" "No, Lake Erie is not part of a public park" (or something like that.)

Also, watch this link for Bob Bratton (Ottawa County Sheriff) get really really really emotional about the whole thing. For as many years as he's been in law enforcement it's surprising to see him flip out like this. (Yes Sheriff, there are people who really like to ice fish out there.) The comments he makes about the bridge sound pretty anecdotal. He acts like all 134 of those ice fisherman crossed a makeshift wooden bridge - which is pretty doubtful) in order to put their lives in danger.

Exactly my point:

So why cry about it? The rescuers are doing their job and they're getting paid for it. It's almost like the Sheriff doesn't want to be bothered. In other words: These idiots justify your job. So be thankful for idiots.

On another note, ask your local lawman about whether or not he "likes" crime. If he says, "no" he's lying. Crime enables him to have a job. So in a way he's dependent on other people either being idiotic and endangering themselves or committing crimes so he can make a living.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So how did the ice festival go today? Did any readers attend?

People Stranded On Ice Flow In Lake Erie (Updated With Video)

Link here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nuesse Testimony Highlights

Nuesse categorically denies ever describing the dispatch as being on the verge of collapse.

She says that Lyons claimed that state law required him to run a county wide dispatch.

Nuesse states that Lyons made this claim to Dennis Murray, and that Don Icsman researched the law and showed that Lyons was not telling the truth about it.

Lyons was never disciplined for making untrue statements about county wide dispatch.

She hasn't been cross examined yet, but so far the Nuesse-haters claim that her "lying" about county dispatch was the most egregious offense. (So what if the claim isn't true?)

A great comment from the SR comments:

joecitizen1 is that guy who always responds to middle east-conflict discussions with: "For all I care we can nuke 'em all."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Is Your Economy?

How is your economy doing? Has this recession forced you to change anything in your life?

It has mine. For the first time, our family has gone to the "envelope" system promoted by Dave Ramsey. We've made a committment to get out and stay out of debt. We don't eat out as much. We group errands to save gas. We watch movies at home instead of going out. We pinch pennies and we hound the kids about turning off bedroom lights. Water doesn't run if you're not using it. We take shorter showers, if we take showers at all. (Just kidding.) Our way of life has changed for the better.

How has your life changed? Do you have any insight into financial conservatism that many people have adopted lately?

Marina District Fact Sheet

This "fact sheet" has been out for quite awhile, but it's interesting to read the city's perspective on the project.

We're at a crossroad. The situation is dire. This development of battery park is critical. It is essential that we get this right. It's one of the single most important issues that face Sandusky!

"I am convinced that this project is essential to Sandusky's future and that of our children."


Arctic Ice Festival Saturday, Sunday In Downtown Sandusky

(All organizations are invited to send promotional materials in for posting on this site.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Who Pays For The City's Mistakes?

A Commenter:

If this is all the city has they better be looking at ways to get more money into the general fund as Nuesse is going to clean their clocks. I at first thought the city had a case but after watching all this unfold I cannot believe we the tax payer are paying this judge $400 an hour to listen to the drivel the city is using as a case. If it wasn't for the judge getting paid by the hour he would have thrown this out long ago. We need to get rid of Kline and the city commissioners that allowed this to go on.

Whenever Kline and Co. opens the door for a lawsuit against the City - even if we want the defendant to prevail because we agree that he/she has been wronged by public servants - the tax payers end up paying for the settlement.

This is why I get angry about how they handled the Nuesse case. I don't know the ins and outs of the case. I only know the information that I have access to. This means that I don't know what it was like to work for Nuesse on a daily basis. Maybe Sams and Co. have a point when they say she was a bear to work for. Maybe she ignored them. Made them feel unappreciated (awww, sorry guys!) That's still no excuse for how they handled it. There's a way to get rid of nuisances - and this isn't the way to do it. You build a case against that person. You show a hardened and well established pattern. (If you can.) You make it full proof and you get the public behind you before you make a move.

They did none of this. They whined and acted like unprofessional weenies who didn't want to work for a woman.

And now we get to pay a settlement because of their behavior.

If you think I'm wrong, speak on it. I'm fair.

The Smoking Ban

Local bar owner wants to override the Ohio Smoking Ban.

All bickering in the comment section under this SR article can be neutralized with a single comment:

AngryWhiteDude wrote on Feb 4, 2009 1:55 PM:

Let a free market economy decide. The government, even voted on by the people, should not dictate how this group of business owners should run their businesses. If you don’t want smoking in bars, go to only those that don’t allow smoking. If you want to smoke or don’t mind it, go to those that allow smoking. If enough people don’t want smoking or vise a versa, those bars that do not offer what the bar going public want, will go out of business. This is the very essence of free market capitalism.

Amen, brother.

Kinda related: Am I the only person who skims the SR comments looking for something that resembles a structured paragraph, with correct punctuation and line breaks for easier reading? Am I the only person who ignores the rest of it?

Also annoying: When a comment appears to be a response to another commenter, as if arguing in the comments section is really going to change the viewpoint of somebody who feels strongly enough about given topic to leave a comment in the first place. Who has time to follow these confusing back and forths besides the people leaving the comments?

If you're going to bother leaving a comment, make it a single supported paragraph, several if you must, with readable sentences. Or a one-liner - but only if it's funny. Is that too much to ask?
I'm really only kidding about all of this. Do whatever you want. I can't stop you from creating an ubiquitous mass of meaningless text which nobody reads anyway.

Nuesse Live Feed?

Where's the Nuesse footage?! Was that a live feed? If so, hopefully the SR will upload some highlights.

If you were able to watch it, what happened? (Woops, maybe I should read the comments first before I start asking questions.)

A commenter:

I listened to this in the background today for about two hours. They spent alot of time talking about dispatch and how lousy some other officials are. I don't think they made a single dent in addressing the actual charges for which she was fired. I can only imagine that their strategy is to put political pressure on the Commission to get her rehired. I guess that is why she hired a showman attorney and not an employment attorney.

My wife concurs that it was kinda boring, unremarkable.

I imagine it's difficult to stay on task (talk about the actual charges, evidence in support of) when the actual charges are an embarassing example of pettiness. Also, I really don't think she'll go back to working for this city. I'd like to be proven wrong, but i think her main concern at this point is keeping her law enforcement career viable.

...And let's go through those charges that could potentially end her career:

1. The parking ticket.
2. Allegedly lying about status of dispatch - which was probably just a biased interpretation of what she said. Somebody prove me wrong.
3. Stopped beat cops from taking free coffee.
4. Wouldn't let Captain Sam have a new website.
5. Stopped everybody from parking in the big circle.

What did I forget?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Members of the CRG share their opinion on the Sandusky Bay Pavilion. Much more to come...

Clarification: CRG is now known as Save Our Shoreline Parks. They changed their name for legal reasons.
  • I met with the gentlemen from the CRG tonight. Stay tuned for the video story on the Marina District. Production takes some time. Click on link below to view their website

  • By the looks of the poll in the sidebar, readers want more local opinions. We'll post "letters to the editor." Send them to firelands411@yahoo.com

  • Web traffic is steadily increasing. I attribute that to word of mouth, emails to friends to spread the word. We appreciate it!

  • We'd like to turn this site into a news aggregate for local organizations and non-profits. If you have an event or announcement, please send it to us and we'll provide a link to your website for more information.

Nuesse Testimony

The Register says they'll have the testimony online tomorrow at 2 pm. I can't wait to see it. Big blog day tomorrow. Use this thread for your predictions...

Sandusky Snowzilla

I didn't have anyone to stand next to snowzilla for size comparison, but my estimation is between 18 - 22 ft. He's located on the 4700 block of Galloway Rd. The owner says that he frequently has people stopping by to admire...

Snowzilla's builders posted in the comments:
This shot does not show the side door leading to the igloo. This is where Jeff, Joe, Scott, Sherrie, Julie and little Chaz play. Rumor has it Big Chuck and Mary Joe have been seen going in late at night...

Don't be embarassed Big Chuck and Mary Joe! I would've gotten into it too - but I figured knocking on the door asking to take a picture was "weird" enough!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Am Not A Person That Is Big On Drama

Myspace page of Erie County Juvenile Court Employee who was recently accused of having sex with a teen under the court's control:

She's got some drama now.

Here's the Register article.

If only...

Marina District: Undiscovered Conflicts Of Interest

This is what makes me nervous about the Marina District:

A Commenter:

Can't we all agree that this Marina Disaster episode is all about making someone some money at the cost of public trust and loss of confidence in the city government? Who on the city commission (present or past commissioners) may know the identity of the land grabbing MD business associates behind the curtain who have yet to be exposed as the silent investors and members of the secret LLC? Could there be some additional conflicts of interest that have not yet come to light? How will we ever know if the city commission is not held accountable for any of their past misdeeds especially after abusing the city charter by circumventing the voter referendum petitions?

I don't know enough about the marina district - from the city you can only see what they give you. And we're all free to look at the propoganda right here. I don't know if I'm able to research it any more because all the information they want to give you, they've already given you. In reference to the above conflicts, I fear a certain [former] commissioner on this issue. I worried about it when he ran for office and I worry about it even after he's left. We'll never know what goes on behind the curtain and that's what bothers me the most.

How To Replace Surf's Up

Can you replace Surf's Up with a water front park that is more valuable to the citizens of Sandusky than the current property?

If you can, point out the location and explain how it would make more sense than to keep what we already have and utilize it better.

A commenter:

There is no comparison to the site we already have of which condos will be placed on the existing land. Nowhere can you replace such a site line. As far as the Cleveland Road land, that is not considered waterfront property. Deep Water and Gradel property have pollution problems that will cost millions of dollars to clean up and Tricor we already own and nothing can be developed of which we own the land. I can't see where ODNR is going to approve of any these sites. I don't want the city to stick us in a crappy piece of land with a couple of picnic tables and call it a park.

Public Hearing On Park Replacement

Just spoke with someone who attended the meeting for the relocation of the Surf's Up property.

He said he was dissapointed with the attitude of the commissioners toward the meeting. They looked "disdainful" and didn't seem to want to even be there. He said nothing got accomplished because it seemed like nobody wanted anything to get accomplished.

I'll let this guy expound, because I wasn't there. If you were there, what did you think of the meeting?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Michael Phelps Smoking Pot

Everybody's got an opinion on this. My opinion is that Phelps and the camera-phone photographer are no longer friends.

What say you?
Nick White says:

The fact that you now have to register is not censorship, everyone can still post all the same stuff. Only now the Register is going to have some idea of who you are -- but just the Register.

That's like somebody saying: "It's okay, say whatever you want." And then under their breath: "I know where you live."

We guard the identities and personal information of our online users with every shield available to us. So the venal public official you justly or unjustly criticize is never going to know who you are.

I feel so assured.

The Register knows who you are if you weren't smart enough (or cared in the first place) to use an anonymous email address and fake mailing address. Also, your identity is not "secure." A court subpoena by somebody who feels 'libeled' by an SR commenter could free up that information and there's nothing the Register can do about it.

I understand where Nick is coming from and agree that registration was a good idea, he just doesn't seem to be doing a very good job of convincing the naysayers. Remember pal, people around here have a reason for feeling paranoid about getting hit with speech crimes.
Paradigm: Shifted.

Don Lee asks: Can we now just have American history month?