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

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Site Location: Update Your Bookmarks

The Sandusky Register has 411 up and running - so if you like what you've been reading here, update your bookmarks to the new site location:


So far, we have the same site functionality as this site so we should be able to do all the same things there that we do here:

Videos, polls, text, pictures, it'll all be the same. The only major difference is the commenting system. You have to register - to that I say, "big deal." Register an anonymous email address with yahoo or gmail and create a pseudonym on the SR and stick with it. End of problem. But you all have your preferences and you can do whatcha like!

So: No more posts here unless something goes terribly wrong with the Register (they try to exert some kind of control on content which I don't forsee happening) or their servers are down and I'm just dying to post something which probably won't happen either. (I'll use that as an excuse to take a short vacation from blogging!)

So thanks for visiting here - and I'll see you over there.

City Commission Meeting 4/13/09 Live Chat

Chat window goes at active when Channel 81 starts broadcasting the commission meeting. (Probably about 8:30.)

City Commission live chat 4/13/09

I am currently trying to figure out where this live chat is going to take place: On the Register or here. They have 411 ready to go - but I still have to learn how to use the text editor.

Trying to figure it out...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bob Warner Letter To Editor April 12, 2009

A few weeks ago, Bob Warner attacked Bob and Ruth Haag during a city commission meeting. Warner claimed that the Haag's were going to "run the city into the ground." If you want a quick summary of what transpired watch the video here.

Warner must've been bothered by the reaction of some to his constituents after that meeting - and so he's responding with a letter to the editor of the Sandusky Register.

Thanks to Mr. Sandusky for pointing it out:

Note: Nobody in Sandusky voted for him. He was appointed. But if he runs for commission in November, he's giving us pretty good indications of how he thinks.

Bob Warner's letter to the editor:

Folks, I'm really confused by this letter. Bob and Ruth Haag's desire is to use grant money to do further testing to see if the coal tar is in the bedrock. They said this at the meeting several times. This is the purpose of the testing so that we're not reacting to the coal tar plume with hunches as Warner says. We want actual evidence of the problem so we know how to appropriately deal with it.

Further, if Bob Warner owns a boat it must be docked at Cedar Point because anyone who boats in that area knows about the thick oily substance which coats all marine vessels in that area. The coal tar problem is not new, as Warner says. Sandusky just wants to know how bad the problem is so they can come up with a plan to deal with it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Using Public Resources For Private Business Is A Long Standing Tradition Around Here

Perkins Township trustees will be re-examining a police cruiser policy that allows Perkins cops to use the cars when they're employed on private security details.

In defense of the long standing policy is acting Perkins police chief Robb Parthemore and Lt. Al Matthews. Lest you wonder why Parthemore and Matthews are not among the final three candidates for the position of Perkins police chief, take a look at their defense of the policy:

Is this guy serious?

Since the praetorian guards had one set of armor and a sword and presumably used them wherever and whoever they worked for, Al Matthews thinks that he should be able to use Perkins police cars when he's on a private security detail at Pat Catan's?

Can you imagine what would happen if everybody adopted Al "Praetorian" Matthews' philosophy?

"It's been a long standing tradition for me to use this company owned dump truck to deliver mulch to my house on the weekends."

"What do you mean I can't use the X-Ray machine when I'm not working? I have somebody here who needs to be X-Rayed and the cost will be minimal to the hospital. The film is pretty cheap."

Why can't I use this county-owned fax machine for my own private business ventures on the weekends? (Or during my lunch hour?)

If Matthews and Parthemore can't see why this is policy is wrong, what else is the PPD doing that it doesn't know is wrong?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Open Chat 4-8-09

Chat goes active around 8:30.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Updates On The Site

We've got some really cool things happening on Firelands 411 in the next few days. Tomorrow (tentatively) we're going to move this site from blogger over to Sanduskyregister.com. The content on this site won't be moved. It will stay here, as will the site itself. All new material will be posted on the SR's site. I will post a link to the new site once it's set up.

Now before you naysay, I just want everyone to know that the agreement is that the SR has no control over the site and that I can "pull the plug" at any time if the arrangement doesn't work out. It's still Firelands411 and will look similiar, and the content will be exactly what it would've been had I kept blogging at blogspot.

I think it will work out though. The SR has a pretty large readership in the area and it only makes sense to team up with them to deliver content without having the hassle of managing the business arrangement myself. I look at it as a win/win.

I don't know how the commenting system will work - but this is a major concern for me. To me, commenters are a major part of the site and we need to make sure we keep them happy. We'll see how that plays out and what can be done to keep the commenting system as open as it is currently on this site.

What I'm most excited about is the fact that Kim Nuesse has accepted an invitation to livechat with 411 readers. We have the chat scheduled for next Wednesday and I hope you're able to log in to ask her a question or two about her future plans in Sandusky. I'm excited about what her presence on the city commission (if she chooses to run) could mean for Sandusky. If you haven't seen her 30 minute video interview on the Sandusky Register, check it out here. (Click on the Nuesse interview in the sidebar.)

Another feature that's coming soon will be podcasting. We're working on that and would like to branch out on different types of content.


Hope to see you next Wednesday on the live chat!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stimulus Money Projects

Run a search on Erie County and Sandusky here for a summary of projects local government is seeking stimulus money.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tim Schwanger Letter To Editor (Plus Video)

This is a letter to the editor from Tim Schwanger regarding the Marina District:

We tossed away our rose colored glasses long ago regarding the Marina District Project at Battery Park and we suggest Mr. Bedee do the same by first digging into the details of the project.

We prefer to compare the Marina District Project with the Paper District Project as we City leaders never learn from history.

While the Paper District, specifically the Chesapeake Lofts Phase I, was a noble effort to bring development to Sandusky on PRIVATE property, the project has not come close to living up to its billing of "191 owner occupied residents and 70 to 100 permanent jobs" (see Erie County Auditor Web-page for sales). The year-round residents now at Chesapeake Lofts are to be commended for their dedication in sticking with the project.

If we cannot rely on a time tested, reputable developer like Mid States Development Corporation to follow through on their development plans at the Paper District, how can we expect an untested architect turned developer to follow through with development plans. It's been 5 years and at least 4 extentions since Mr. Eymann and Mr. Hanner first presented their proposal to City Commissioners. If the City had directed the pair to vacant, private waterfront sites, their project would have been well under way.

Let me interrupt you right there Tim, because this whole idea never sat well with me: The city wants to sell off public property at well under market value (in other words sell our property for much less than it's worth) - instead of encouraging a developer to acquire private property in a much more suitable location. I mean, come on. How hard is it to drive down First Street and find waterfront property in a near perfect location that's already located between the entertainment and transient marina amenities that the MD project promises?

I bet even Maxwell Smart could find some property on First Street that fits this description...

That last graphic was an overhead shot of the Apex Property. (Oh, but that building! Who wants to deal with that unsightly building!)

Okay, sorry Tim. You were saying...

Both the City and Sandusky Marina District Development, LLC admit what makes the Battery Park and Sandusky Bay Pavilion attractive for private development is the property is cheaper and easier {for the developer} to do the project vs having to negotiate for private land. The appraisal for the Sandusky Bay Pavilion site was based on similar property sales in Ottawa County from 2002 and 2003 making the appraisal outdated.

The original 11 acre City Hall relocation portion of the project began as "no cost to taxpayers" to "we'll borrow money to finance" and now relies on a request for $12 million in Stimulus Program funding.

Likewise, the Developer, through Strnisha Development Advisors from Cleveland, is requesting $12.4 million in Stimulus Program funding (toledoblade.com).

We agree with Mr. Bedee. The Marina District does impact the whole area. The entire country will pay for the private Marina District Project on public park property. We encourage people who don't live in Sandusky to call City Commissioners and let them know you do not agree with this type of "pork barrel" spending and they should be requesting Stimulus Program funding to create permanent, living wage jobs for Sandusky.

Tim Schwanger

Responding To A Nuesse Hater

Have you ever read something in the SR comments that irritates you? Of course you have. That's what makes them the SR comments!

This morning I read a comment from Joecitizen that made me roll my eyes. However, it was actually readable. (Mostly because I really am curious about why they hate her so much.) Since Kim Nuesse haters have been hard to find as of late, I'm jumping on this chance to respond to one of them.

Here's Joecitizen's post in it's entirety:

If Joecitizen's viewpoint irritates you, go here to see a line-by-line education.

Nuesse For Commission?

The SR has an article in today's paper about Kim Nuesse possibly candidacy for city commission. What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Coffee With Mr. Stahl Afterthoughts

I went to the meeting this morning. Stahl fielded some tough questions - some of which went unanswered because they dealt with the Nuesse case. I'm low on time again - so let's have an open thread here. If you went this morning, what feelings, observations would you share?

If I had to share one feeling I came away with it would be this: The push for reform is gaining momentum.

My two cents would be: People to need to organize and the ideas shared in the meeting need to be articulated in public so the ideas can crystallize among a greater portion of the citizenry. The voices in Sandusky need to be amplified.

"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." --Abraham Lincoln.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meeting On Changing Form Of Government

A commenter:

Don't forget to announce the Mr. Smith's coffee house meeting on Friday at 5pm to start the ball rolling on a change of rule in town.

Erie County Prosecutor Sues Sandusky Register

Here's the 22 page lawsuit.


Note: Because he's a public official, Mr. Baxter will have to prove "actual malice" in a jury trial.

The suit was assigned to Judge Tone. I'm curious about how this is going to play out. Will they bring in a retired visiting judge?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coffee With Mr. Stahl

At Mr. Smith's Coffee House this Saturday from 8am-9am.

Commissioners Waddington, Warner and Kaman will be hosting morning coffee at Mr. Smiths.

Discuss all questions Sandusky. Special guest will be Mayor Stahl.