Change…
    Change…
        Change…
by John Herrington

WMV Web News Cleveland
Story filed May 3, 2007

Kin Hubbard (Frank McKinney Hubbard) was born back in 1868 in Bellefontaine, Ohio. He was a noted journalist, cartoonist and humorist. Will Rogers once called him, “America’s greatest humorist.”

So, Kin Hubbard may have been thinking of Ohio weather when he wrote,

	       “Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while,
	       nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.”

With that in mind, the ramblings of this conversation were going to begin with the heavy snowfalls of January, 2005, that added up to a whopping 32.8-inches, the third snowiest January on record then.

Things changed.

Perhaps the conversation should start with the torrential rains and hot temperatures of July and August of ’06.       
(They—the weather types--called it “an odd weather pattern.” The result was a soaking of the area, particularly Lake County.)

Things changed.

Quickly.

So, this conversation could quickly move to November of ’06 when Lake and Geauga Counties “welcomed” what they—yep; the same weather types--called “a classic lake effect storm.”       (No “odd weather pattern” here; this was classic…the same kind of storm that left Buffalo digging out from nearly two feet of the white stuff in late October.)

Good enough for the beginning of a conversation?

Perhaps.

Or maybe it would be better to begin with those frigid (wind chills of minus 25, remember?) days of February.

Or maybe just ignore the whole weather thing, entirely and reflect on that early start of spring this year…three weeks earlier than usual (the second Sunday in March) so we, thanks to federal government types could have more evening daylight. The idea was to save electricity.

We’re not sure whether that energy-saving thing worked, but we did have an early springtime. And, with it, we had the beginning of baseball season…sort of: with four Cleveland opening days snowed out, the opening “home” game for the Tribe was in Milwaukee, if you recall.

So, Kin Hubbard is right: change gives nine out of ten of us a way to start a conversation. You pick the place to start.


          (Item: last November, some holiday postage stamps
          went on sale (39-cents) featuring photos of snowflakes.
          Did you know (Newsday reported this) that “a snowflake
          takes from 15 minutes to an hour to make the 10,000-foot
          zigzag journey from a cloud to the ground?”)

          (Item: If you want to know about snowflakes, check
          “The Snowflake Bentley collection.” It’s on the Web at
          www.vermontsnowflakes.com and you can get the whole
          story on those beauties and how a Vermont farmer,
          Wilson Bentley, made them his life’s work.)

If you’re not into snowflakes, then just bask under the Maypole in the mild days (at least of the moment this is written) of this merry, merry month of May.

And start a conversation about how nice the weather is…at least today.

Such a beginning gets us into this compilation of news, notes and nonsense about Cleveland (and environs) for Clevelanders (past, present and future) and anyone else who might be visiting our town or have some interest in it…or who just happens to stumble in on this collection of comments. By all means, Welcome!

A note for Clevelanders who haven’t been back for a while and/or for visitors: one of our main drags—Euclid Avenue—is a bit of a mess these days. They’re rebuilding what they’re now calling the Euclid Corridor. It’s a $200-million job and they say it’ll be great when it’s finished…if it ever is.

Our colleague, Tom Reed, has an almost-up-to-date fill-in on the project in the item he wrote a few weeks ago for this page called, “Euclid Corridor Project: Looking Forward and Back.” Go to www.cleveland.oh.us for his report.


			“Check out what’s going down
			change with the times
			Forget what used to be
			Change with the times.”
				From “Change With The Times”
				Van McCoy
In many ways, things have not been too great around here, but they say improvements are coming.


                       (Item: Remember the flap in July, 2006,
                       when the people who make Fiji Water
                       picked on Cleveland in an ad campaign?
                       The bottled types insulted Cleveland’s
                       water. The city did a test of local tap and
                       bottled stuff. It showed Fiji with a lot of
                       contaminants. Fiji pulled its ad. Nyah…
                       nyah…nyah.) 
In late 2005, the town launched a campaign of good talk about the city. It was called, “Believe in Cleveland.”

Now, there’s a new slogan. It’s not just for Cleveland. It covers a 16-county area and is called Cleveland +. That’s “Cleveland” with the “plus” sign after it. It’s the “branding” of a new regional advertising campaign that targets just about everybody: tourists, businesses, convention planners, etc.

More information is at www.clevelandplus.com.

These are heady days for local sports fans: a “good” (so say the “experts”) draft by the Cleveland Browns…a good, if somewhat strange (what with the weather) start for the Indians season…a good beginning in the playoffs for the Cavaliers.

Now, by the time you read this, all that may have changed…but keep the faith.


		(Item: How the town’s newest pro franchise
		will do is still a question. The Lake Erie Monsters
		are scheduled to begin play in October at the Q—
		Quicken Loans Arena—downtown. LEM is an
		American Hockey League team, an affiliate of
		The Colorado Avalanche of the NHL.)

		(Item 2: Yes: “Monsters” refers to “Bessie,” that
		friendly beast that reportedly swims around in
		Lake Erie.)

There still is good stuff coming from the several theatre venues, including Playhouse Square (“The Lion King” returns August 2; tickets are on sale; information is at www.playhousesquare.com.)

A series of events are planned at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for that respected establishment’s 125th anniversary. Attendance last year moved up to 1.2-million from the 1.14-million in 2005. (www.clemetzoo.com.)



Change…
     Change…
          Change…

There are big changes, of course, in D.C., in Columbus, at City Hall and the Board of Education and the Board of Elections: new or relatively new faces of leadership—at least, one can hope--all over the place.

There are new local and Ohio laws:

On smoking…you pay more a pack in Cuyahoga County and puffin’ places are drastically limited…

On the minimum wage…it went up…

On the number of passengers who can ride in cars driven by some teenagers…one non-family member in a car with a 16-year-old driver…

On concealed weapons…it’s still legal; the former governor vetoed the bill allowing concealed-carry, but the legislature overturned the veto.

		“…the present now will later be past.
		The order is rapidly fadin’.
		And the first one now will later be last
		For the times they are a-changin’.”
			“The Times They Are A-Changin”
				Bob Dylan

What has not changed, of course, is politicking.

There are months to go before the reallllllyyy-biiiiggg election and the pols already are at it, moved along, of course, by the media.

So, we review for you this headline from The Cleveland Plain Dealer of not too many weeks ago:

			
			2008 candidates
			begin courtship
			of voters in Iowa.

Folks, we knew there were a lot of candidates…but…”2008”?

Peace.


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