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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #1041
Pilliod Njaim
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^well, Toledo won't get A-Rod, that's for sure. The offer was meant as a joke and a way to bring national publicity to the Mud Hens and Toledo. I'm glad they did it, because all the national media outlets picked it up. It just adds to the Mud Hens popularity. They are the most recognized of any minor league sports franchise (thank you "MASH"), so that's probably why the Yankees brought them up in the first place. It's always cool to see the Mud Hens and Toledo in a national news story.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:04 AM   #1042
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I'm sure this will do good for Toledo with all of our forclosed houses here in the city... Revitalization is key in this new project.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #1043
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An Eye Opener (Kick-off to Arts District)

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner speaks during a news conference yesterday to unveil the Downtown Windows Public Art Project, which is designed to increase art in public
places in downtown Toledo. The first public artwork is at the Madison Building, behind the mayor, at Madison Avenue and Huron Street. The project is funded through the city’s One Percent for the Arts program and has as its ultimate goal to have art that has been produced by local artists on display in windows throughout downtown Toledo.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #1044
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Botanical Garden to unveil plan for enhanced facility

By JENNI LAIDMAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER


The Toledo Botanical Garden may add a conference center and banquet facilities as a way to help support the 60 acres of gardens on the park's south side, the organization's leader said.

A master plan to be unveiled for public comment at the end of the month includes not only those additions, but new plantings that enhance the botanical garden's successful features, said Janet Schroeder, executive director since 2005.

"We are trying to elevate this entire facility, the entire programming. We want to be a world-class botanical garden, so everything we do we are thinking quality," Ms. Schroeder said.

The garden - affiliated with Metroparks of the Toledo Area since last year - began soliciting public comment about the facility's future in January, Ms. Schroeder said.


New brick walkways connect with the bridge at the Toledo Botanical Garden, which also has new lighting.

The answers, solicited from Toledo Botanical Garden members as well as people who filled out questionnaires at garden events, indicated that people wanted the park to continue to be a leafy green refuge, as well as continue to work with the arts.

Melissa Shaner, spokesman for the botanical garden, said officials plan to break ground for a new children's garden next year as part of that mission.

About half the money for a children's garden has been raised, Ms. Schroeder said.

In addition, the master plan includes a new visitor's center and a conservatory - a sort of year-round greenhouse. "This will allow visitors in all kinds of weather to enjoy the restorative power of plants and fragrances," Ms. Schroeder said.

What Ms. Schroeder calls the "world class" herb and shade gardens would become the foundations for garden expansion. Plans include changes in paths and landscaping to draw visitors through the park's many gardens.


Improvements at the Toledo Botanical Garden include a new walkway to the gazebo and construction of a stage as well as new plantings to make the park more cohesive.

"We've had certain areas of strength on this site, but they've not been actually linked very well. They've been kind of little islands out here on the 60 acres," Ms. Schroeder said.

The botanical garden long has been associated with the arts, not only via the many sculptures on the property, but also as host to the annual Crosby Festival of the Arts.

It is also home to a 10-building "Artist Village," which will be enhanced with more plantings, more demonstration areas, and even water features under the master plan.

"Currently, it's not cohesive," Ms. Schroeder said. "We want it looking more like a village green, with pedestrian-friendly pathways, and getting the parking out from the area."

There are also plans for a "Learning Village," near Hawkins Elementary School, near the garden's Bancroft Road entrance.

The learning village would include classrooms, little greenhouses for children, and perhaps a library. This year, some 6,200 children participated in Toledo Botanical Garden's education programs, representing major growth in education efforts over the past two years.

The Toledo Botanical Garden is largely self-supporting. Admission to the garden is free, but special-event fees, rental income, membership dues, donations, and grants provide nearly 60 percent of the facility's $1.5 million in revenue.

The remainder comes from in-kind services from the city of Toledo, such as the provision of utilities, and via Metroparks funding.

The garden last week celebrated some major sprucing up, which included new lighting, the new Bancroft Road entry, and the installation of a new pedestrian bridge near the conference center. That $350,000 project represented the efforts of The Andersons Fund, the city, Metroparks, the Stranahan Foundation, the Toledo Community Foundation, and Toledo Edison.

The botanical garden hired Mesa Design Group, a landscape design firm out of Texas, to create the master plan. The $115,000 price tag for planning was paid for via private donations.

The master plan will be presented to the public from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at the garden's Conference Center.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #1045
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good bye cosi...
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Old November 8th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #1046
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Very sad news about COSi. I hope they find private investors to contribute/donate the money *ahem*katieholmes*ahem* maybe larry dillin will pony up an investment/donation to save this place from closing it's doors.

However i think why this didnt pass is they do not reach out to Toledo Public shools at all, so parents/kids don't know the importance if they havent gone. Kids that age need to be inspired by science in order to get interested in it and pursue it as they get older, between the ages of like 7-12 if they arent inspired by science they typically won't explore it in the future.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 09:36 PM   #1047
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I think it didn't pass because of its limited appeal. It's not like the metroparks or library where there is a good mix of age groups. COSI is mainly kids, and parents with kids (sort of the reason some people don't vote for schools). And Ohioans already have the highest tax burdens in the country. If I were in Toledo, though, I would have voted for it.

COSI Columbus has similar financial problems, though they haven't threatened to shut down yet.

Kids that age need to be inspired by science in order to get interested in it and pursue it as they get older, between the ages of like 7-12 if they arent inspired by science they typically won't explore it in the future.

I agree early exposure is important, plus COSI does bring in tourists and schools far away from Toledo. It helps downtown establishments in general.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #1048
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Pilliod, where did you get the statistic about Ohians being the highest taxed people in the nation? I'm not questioning you but I have not heard that before.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 01:25 AM   #1049
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Here is/was the problem with COSI:

- private 501 (c)(3) organization (tax-exempt)
- $1 rent per month (courtesy of the City of Toledo, which I don't have an issue with per se)
- Deferred and/or fully-subsidized utility fees (again, no big issue here)

Now, if I ran my business on this business model, and still had to ask property owners to subsidize my operation, I think most would suspect poor business management skills on my part -- that, or one heck of a poorly drafted, overly-ambitious business plan.

I'm saddened that COSI will be leaving downtown Toledo. The city needs destinations such as COSI, jsut like the cit of Baltimore needs its Inner Harbor Aquarium. But, at some point, when do we say, "Tourist destination: Great! Not able to make a profit, despite a significantly subsidized operating budget: Bad."

Maybe the Mud Hens operation should take it over. They seem to know what they're doing in terms of operating a destination, and making a profit -- all without operating levies.

Geez. Operate within your means, COSI. Remove half the exhibits, humbly start over with a new business plan, and slowly but surely work in the black, without expanding to the point where you place yourself in the red. How logical.

That $12 million they spent for build-out should have been $6 million, with the other 6 put away for gloomy days such as the one Toledo is seeing right now.

Simple business admin 101, I tell ya. The Board should be embarrassed that it's come to this.

Just my opinion. Sorry this post is slightly of-topic. I want COSI to survive, but not unless it's able to be profitable on its own. Let's hope for better management of the Arena and Marina District.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #1050
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickw311 View Post
Pilliod, where did you get the statistic about Ohians being the highest taxed people in the nation? I'm not questioning you but I have not heard that before.

According to the Tax Foundation, Ohio has the 5th highest State/Local tax burden; Ohio falls to 18th when federal taxes are included.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/335.html
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Old November 10th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #1051
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COSi Development Update

I am alive after a long week of campaigning for one of the levies (not COSi). I am disappointed that COSi did not pass, but however, I do believe if one door closes another door will open.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #1052
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Downtown Arena Development Update

I am so stoked to see this news especially knowing that an arena football team will be coming and I will be definetly going perhaps a season-tickets holder. I am huge football fan in general (Go Rockets!) and I cannot wait for Toledo to have an arena football team. Go Peckers!
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #1053
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Regionalism/Public Transit Update

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #1054
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COSi Development Update

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #1055
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Historic St. Patrick's Development Update

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:12 PM   #1056
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Titan Tire Expansion Development Update

$100M Titan Tire expansion includes facility and equipment
Posted on Toledo Business Journal website November Edition


Bryan firm is third in the world to manufacture 63-inch tire

Titan International Inc. plans to increase its mining tire production capacity to include 57-inch and 63-inch giant radial tires at its Bryan, Ohio Titan Tire Corporation facility; the tires will weigh up to 12,000 pounds and be used primarily in the mining industry.

“All the major mining companies around the world are interested in these tires,” stated Keith Tarnovich, Titan Tire controller. “There is a shortage.”

In August 2006, Titan Tire Corporation of Bryan acquired the off-the-road (OTR) tire assets of Bryan’s Continental Tire North America, Inc. According to the company, the acquisition expanded Titan's product offering into larger earthmoving, construction, and mining tires; it also increased the manufacturing capacity of the Bryan facility.

The new bay building will be approximately 220,000 square feet. Internal Titan funding for the project is expected to allow the firm to produce up to an estimated 6,000 giant radial tires per year.

“We are very excited about this newest venture [because] there are only two manufacturers in the world that produce 63-inch radial tires – Michelin and Bridgestone,” added Titan chairman and CEO Maurice M. Taylor, Jr. “This is what it’s all about; a small American company going up against two powerhouse foreign companies, one French the other Japanese.”

According to Tarnovich, the new tire line is designed to meet worldwide demand for a rare product.

“This is a complement to our existing product line,” he stated. “It’s just an extension of the product line that we already manufacture here.”

“The plant that we have here now is quite good and has done well for [Titan],” Bryan Mayor Doug Johnson added.

The estimated $100 million project includes $15 million for the new building and $85 million for new machinery and equipment. Sterling Management, Co. is the general contractor. Titan expects to add approximately 125 to 150 new jobs to the company’s existing staff of 350.

Titan is financing the project by itself, but the City of Bryan will give it a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on tax exemption once it is up and running for a period of time.

“When you add that many more people, it gives jobs to [help lower the] unemployment rate,” explained Johnson. “With Menards coming in at the turnpike and with Titan Tire, a lot of jobs will certainly be filled. There are a lot of homes on the market all over [Williams] County that [the projects] will help to sell as these people locate here.”

“Titan has assembled a great team, and we believe that we have a better way to produce these giant tires.” Taylor added. “We believe radial tires perform better on 15-degree wheels, which is what cars and trucks now utilize. Titan has developed these wheels, and we plan to produce our new tires on a 72.5-inch, 15-degree wheel at the same time as we produce 63-inch radial tires.”

The ability to produce 6,000 giant radial tires may increase sales as much as $240 million, according to Titan; the tires are expected to be higher margin products for the company. Titan expects to produce its first 63-inch radial tire in the first quarter of 2008 and be in start-up production by the end of the second quarter.

“There’s still a lot of testing that has to go on, and we don’t know the exact schedule yet,” Tarnovich explained.

According to the company, its internal funding will also allow Titan to build the world’s largest 24-foot bull wheel, a specialized wheel used to test tires. The bull wheel will have the capacity to load tires up to 300,000 pounds and run tires up to 42 miles per hour.

Titan Tire Corporation, a subsidiary of Titan International, Inc., is a manufacturer of off-highway tires. Titan Tire has two other tire manufacturing facilities and two wheel manufacturing facilities in the United States. Its tire production facilities are located in Bryan, Ohio; Freeport, Illinois; and Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa facility also serves as the headquarters for the tire group.

Some of Titan’s customers include John Deere, AGCO, New Holland, and Shoreland. Additionally, Titan has a network of 1,700 independent tire dealers that service the aftermarket.

Titan plants are equipped to produce tires in sizes ranging in wheel diameter from six to 42 inches, according to the company. Applications include agricultural, construction, industrial, and all-terrain vehicles.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #1057
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St. Joseph Parish Development

St. Joseph Parish plans $20M Monclova project
Posted on Toledo Business Journal website November Edition




The Diocese of Toledo has purchased approximately 57 acres of land on the north side of Stitt Road in Monclova, Ohio; the land was purchased from Stitt Road Investors, LLC. St. Joseph Parish plans to use 37 acres of this lot for its new $20 million campus, which is expected to break ground late 2008. The Diocese will use the rest of the land for a separate project.

“We’ve had the site for over a year now,” stated Father Frank Murd, St. Joseph pastor. “The purpose is to build a new church, a new community center, and a new school. It will also have parking and athletic fields in the back. [They will be] practice fields, not competition fields.”

According to Murd, the existing St. Joseph church will remain in Maumee and will continue to be used for masses, weddings, and funerals. The community center will also be used for parish and community activities. The school and office building will eventually be leveled.

“The plan is that we’re going to build this in phases,” Murd added. “The first phase is part of the school; it will be [a building for] pre-school through 4th grade. So, the [existing] church is going to be very much used, and the school is going to continue to be used as well as the community center.”

The overall project will include four stages and will likely take more than ten years to complete. According to Murd, the project is expected to cost just under $20 million. As he discussed, Phase I will include a school for the preschool through 4th grade students as well as a cafeteria / multi-purpose room. Completion of the $4.8 million phase is expected approximately 12 to 14 months from the time of the groundbreaking.

For now, students in grades 5 through 8 will remain at the present site. Phase II of the new campus, to cost slightly less than Phase I, will include a school for those students and a gymnasium. Phase III will be a new community center and Phase IV will be a new church.

“The reason we wanted to build out in [Monclova] is that 60% of our congregation comes from that area,” Murd stated. “It’s also one of the fastest growing areas in greater Toledo. So, it’s a place where things are happening as far as buildings and families moving in that area. If we look at parish boundaries, [the new campus] is actually in the center… It’s exactly five miles from our front door to the new site.”

The construction manager for the project is Bostleman Corporation. SSOE, Inc. is the architect and The Lathrop Company is the construction manager in charge of leveling parts of the existing site, refurbishing the existing church, and doing landscape work on the property.

Following a directive from Bishop Leonard Blair, Murd formed a steering committee to develop plans for the new campus. The committee aimed to gather input from parishioners and to hold public meetings to keep the parish informed about the process. Those meetings were held in late 2005 and early 2006. The steering committee also worked with SSOE to develop an initial campus plan based on parish need and parishioner input.

According to Murd, the parish has been working with Lucas County and Monclova Township for the project as well. “I’m very proud of the people we worked with,” he stated. “The County and the Township were extremely cooperative.”

Murd added, “As far as the design, we wanted something that wasn’t extremely modern and wouldn’t go out of style within the next few years. We wanted something that would be more traditional…something that would be simple yet very elegant. The design that was chosen is a mission style… From the parish meetings, certain things came out loud and clear. [Members of the congregation want] the church to look like a church, not a barn or a gymnasium. We certainly have tried to fulfill that [request] with our designs.”

St. Joseph’s current staff of teachers plans to move to the new school once it is completed. Murd also expects an influx of students as a result of the project, which will create a need for additional staff.

“That’s a good problem to have, if you have the space,” he explained. “One of the things that I’ve said all along is that we’re going to be positive, and we’re going to make this a fun project. It’s going to be a long project, and we can’t do it in a year. But, we’re going to have fun doing it.”
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Old November 10th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #1058
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Pilliod, where did you get the statistic about Ohians being the highest taxed people in the nation? I'm not questioning you but I have not heard that before.

We've always ranked high in state tax burden. It's nothing new, and it's important to keep in mind that there are a lot of states that rank close to each other at the top. I've heard many Ohioans (Republicans and Democrats) complain about the state tax burden before, but local taxes vary quite a bit within the state. Some are amongst the highest in the nation, others are much lower. I have no idea if Toledo is near the top, bottom, or middle of the list. I don't think that's why COSI failed, though. COSI failed for the three reasons stated before:

- private 501 (c)(3) organization (tax-exempt)
- $1 rent per month (courtesy of the City of Toledo, which I don't have an issue with per se)
- Deferred and/or fully-subsidized utility fees (again, no big issue here)


You can only ask so much of people. COSI, both in Columbus and Toledo, is largely subsidized by the public, and they have a failing business model in both cities. Toledo will close first, and then Columbus within a few years I think. The public is not going to keep handing out money to these things. They have other institutions that need to be taken care of first (libraries, parks, schools, fire/police, etc.). I loved COSI, and it sucks to see it go, but I think they were just asking too much of Toledoans. Most voters knew it was already subsidized by them, so asking for money just wasn't going to fly. Hopefully it will return in the near future with a tighter business plan.

Last edited by Pilliod Njaim; November 10th, 2007 at 11:49 PM.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #1059
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In a few years, area sports fans could be heading to the downtown arena to watch the Walleye play hockey and the Woodpeckers play football.

Awesome! Way to go Toledo! With Mud Hens, Walleye, and Peckers, Toledo will be the king of quirky and original sports names.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #1060
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St. Joseph Parish plans $20M Monclova project
Posted on Toledo Business Journal website November Edition


This is a HUGE waste of money. St. Joe's in Maumee (not some fancy Sylvania "Joseph") is more than suitable and moving to Anthony Wayne won't help their school enrollment (Anthony Wayne has good public schools). I went to the old school and while it was poorly-ran and gave me a terrible education compared to the public schools, the building was awesome. I can't believe they want to tear it down for some suburban trash in Monclova. This is a travesty and it seems ridiculous for any Catholic Diocese to fund a project like this in the face of declining attendance.

St. Joseph’s current staff of teachers plans to move to the new school once it is completed. Murd also expects an influx of students as a result of the project, which will create a need for additional staff.

They'll lose even more students since Anthony Wayne ranks so high. No one is going to send their kids to a private school when the public ones are superior.

The school and office building will eventually be leveled.

Keep it open. Do CCD, after-school activities, Maumee socials, etc.

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