Toledo Talk

Toledo Blade Editorials

First off, I am not a Blade Basher. I realize that the Blade has gotten thinner and offers less coverage than it did in the past, but that is not the Blade's fault, but rather the forces of the internet at work.

Lately, I have noticed an editorial shift at the Blade. I am not sure if Keith Burris is still with the Blade. However, his columns to me seemed seated in common sense and I found that although I sense that he and I are of different parties at the national level, at the local level we have much in common.

I am unsure if it is his influence or someone else's, but lately the Blade's Editorials have been spot on, including the one today that called for criminal charges to be brought against Children's Services for their gross negligence in the Aliyiah Smith case.

If you are unfamiliar with this case, I will say that despite my tough guy exterior, it brings tears to my eyes every time I read about it. The Blade investigated the case and their editorial correctly castigated Children's Services. I hope that the Blade continues their pressure on Children's Servcies...especially as they seem to continually want more levy money.

Other Blade editorials about incompetence in the Mayor's office, the shuffling of city workers to purgatory in the water department, the "missing $8 million", lack of communication, lack of vision, etc. have been excellent.

Thus, if the Blade Editorial writers are out there, kudos to you. Keep up the good work as a newspapers job is to be a watchdog. This is especially important in a one party town like Toledo that doesn't have a (credible) opposition party.

My final request is that they PLEASE call for an outside, independent audit of the water department!

created by Dappling2 on Sep 03, 2017 at 09:09:45 pm     Comments: 31

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I am a former Blade basher and have noticed the same shift in editorial posturing. It is refreshing to see pressure being put on the city administration. Blade is doing a good job reminding people of how poorly the city is being run.

posted by jimavolt on Sep 04, 2017 at 07:53:06 am     #   6 people liked this

Yep. In spite of current perceptions about paper media vs. the internet, people online can yammer 24/7 about "he outta be arrested" or "lock them up." It might make them feel good about their position but nothing actually changes.

By supplying a thoughtful editorial for a printed paper in a town that's used to having a good newspaper, editorial writers actually have some power to put things in motion.

posted by viola on Sep 04, 2017 at 01:06:00 pm     #  

Burris' man crush on Trump annoys me but I think hope a good part of that might be kowtowing to JRB. But his editorials re: local affairs are usually pretty spot on.

posted by Ace_Face on Sep 04, 2017 at 01:35:10 pm     #  

Ace_Face posted at 01:35:10 PM on Sep 04, 2017:

Burris' man crush on Trump annoys me but I think hope a good part of that might be kowtowing to JRB. But his editorials re: local affairs are usually pretty spot on.

I get the sense he's more center right and the "give him the benefit of the doubt". I disagree, but I can live with that opinion. Local affairs-mostly spot on. Likes progressive and "outside the box" leaders.

posted by ahmahler on Sep 04, 2017 at 03:54:15 pm     #  

My take on the Blade's "move to the right" was that it was a conscious decision to undo their reputation as a left-leaning newspaper in order to sell more papers and increase their bottom line and their longevity.

But, I'm a little more cynical than most.

posted by JohnnyMac on Sep 04, 2017 at 04:18:37 pm     #  

ahmahler posted at 03:54:15 PM on Sep 04, 2017:
Ace_Face posted at 01:35:10 PM on Sep 04, 2017:

Burris' man crush on Trump annoys me but I think hope a good part of that might be kowtowing to JRB. But his editorials re: local affairs are usually pretty spot on.

I get the sense he's more center right and the "give him the benefit of the doubt". I disagree, but I can live with that opinion. Local affairs-mostly spot on. Likes progressive and "outside the box" leaders.

I believe he is center right as well.

posted by justread on Sep 04, 2017 at 06:20:09 pm     #  

Me thinks Burris writes what JRB tells him what to write.

I know a few people that attend Trinity church downtown and he has a high up position on their church board. Everyone I know that attends that church despises Trump and they told me that most of the church membership shares their views and they have a lesbian minister so I would be very surprised if a church that liberal would elect him to that high of a position if his personal views are similar to his editorial views

posted by classylady on Sep 04, 2017 at 08:48:56 pm     #  

I think Keith has been writing with what I would identify as reasoned logic for some time now. I've found myself seeking out his columns and also David Shribman's columns for that reason.

Always amused at how labels (center right for example) are quick to be assigned...what does that actually mean?

Both writers posted columns in last Sunday's paper. Both offered facts and opinions. I didn't see a "left" or "right" in either one.

I think the Blade is finally striving to be viewed as a relevant voice in the community and can no longer ignore or justify obvious faults with Toledo City Government. No proof, but I think people like Randy Oostra and Joe Napoli who are actually making positive things happen in this town are likely having some influence on JRB and how the paper is approaching local issues.

posted by ThePolishFalcon on Sep 04, 2017 at 10:01:32 pm     #   1 person liked this

"I think people like Randy Oostra and Joe Napoli who are actually making positive things happen in this town are likely having some influence on JRB and how the paper is approaching local issues."

If true, that's disturbing.

In theory, a newspaper should be independent. What it reports and does not report as news, and what it states as opinion should not be influenced by outsiders. Otherwise the newspaper becomes a propaganda tool.

ProMedica and the Hens related entities should never get free passes from possible future warranted investigations because of their past good deeds. Constructing or renovating a building today should not buy a newspaper's turned blind eye in the future.

A problem could occur when someone has the audacity to criticize one of the hallowed gems of this area, even when the criticism is justified, causing a fierce public mob to respond with accusations of negativity, which could pressure someone or some org into squashing an investigation.

A newspaper should be staunchly independent, but that might be impossible when it relies on advertising from businesses.

It seems strange to me when newspaper editors and newspaper higher-ups schmooze amicably with business owners, developers, and politicians who are the people that the newspaper should investigate some day.

Even if this quote still applied today, someone higher up in the chain could kill the story, which would be unfortunate.

"When a reporter sits down at the typewriter, he's nobody's friend."

posted by jr on Sep 04, 2017 at 11:02:34 pm     #   5 people liked this

Did anyone read the Blade editorial about TPS needing to "Move the Needle?" Excellent editorial.

In my opinion, TPS completely dropped the ball when they basically rebuilt all of their old schools in the same neighborhood with the same model.

Has anyone driven by the Penta County Career Center on I-75? Why TPS did not consider a centrally located vocational school is beyond me. I know that they have various vocational programs, but they are sprinkled throughout the various high schools.

Why didn't TPS (like other urban districts like Indianapolis and Boston) have a magnet academic school...possibly where students have to test to get in? All AP classes under one roof. The economic term for the above is "economy of scale."

Great editorial. Makes me wonder why TPS stuck with basically the same policies that they always have had.

posted by Dappling2 on Oct 06, 2017 at 09:52:05 am     #   1 person liked this

Why didn't TPS (like other urban districts like Indianapolis and Boston) have a magnet academic school...possibly where students have to test to get in? All AP classes under one roof. The economic term for the above is "economy of scale."

That would be Toledo Early College, a TPS school on the campus of UT at Scott Park. They opened to 7th and 8th graders for the first time this year. High school students do have to test to get in, and prior grades are reviewed.

Academically, it's tough. My daughter attends there as an 8th grader and she is expected to do college-level work. For her junior and senior years of high school, nearly all her classes will be on the main campus, and she will receive both high school and college credit, graduating with an associate's degree or more.

posted by Anniecski on Oct 06, 2017 at 10:17:12 am     #  

That's a great program for those academically suited and able to keep up the pace. Beats the heck outa the thousands and thousands most older folks shelled out for advanced education. Ancient history so enough of the sour grapes. We do need an educated population. Speaking of that what about the trades? Are the doors fully open to those more willing to have careers which fall into the skilled trade genre? Oh yeah I forgot the unions control who and how many get into the club(which all educators are members of) so it makes no sense to train too many young people who can then have the ability to make their way in life without the "benefit" of the brotherhood. When those in the country struggle with employment they should realize who it was that had a jackboot standing on their neck and held them in deep poverty.

posted by Mariner on Oct 06, 2017 at 11:14:23 am     #  

JohnnyMac posted at 04:18:37 PM on Sep 04, 2017:

My take on the Blade's "move to the right" was that it was a conscious decision to undo their reputation as a left-leaning newspaper in order to sell more papers and increase their bottom line and their longevity.

But, I'm a little more cynical than most.

In THIS town? Odd strategy.

posted by justread on Oct 06, 2017 at 11:37:15 am     #  

"When a reporter sits down at the typewriter, he's nobody's friend."

When I text my reporter at midnight, I feel like they are my friend.

posted by justread on Oct 06, 2017 at 11:40:38 am     #  

justread posted at 11:37:15 AM on Oct 06, 2017:
JohnnyMac posted at 04:18:37 PM on Sep 04, 2017:

My take on the Blade's "move to the right" was that it was a conscious decision to undo their reputation as a left-leaning newspaper in order to sell more papers and increase their bottom line and their longevity.

But, I'm a little more cynical than most.

In THIS town? Odd strategy.

I've got to believe that the population that pays for a subscription to the Blade is more conservative than liberal, so it's not that crazy of a theory.

posted by Ace_Face on Oct 06, 2017 at 12:57:48 pm     #  

I believe it was all state money and had to be used that way or no way, but I'd have to get off my lazy butt and go check. That's what registers in the ole memory banks though.

posted by westsidebob on Oct 06, 2017 at 01:13:44 pm     #  

Ace_Face posted at 12:57:48 PM on Oct 06, 2017:
justread posted at 11:37:15 AM on Oct 06, 2017:
JohnnyMac posted at 04:18:37 PM on Sep 04, 2017:

My take on the Blade's "move to the right" was that it was a conscious decision to undo their reputation as a left-leaning newspaper in order to sell more papers and increase their bottom line and their longevity.

But, I'm a little more cynical than most.

In THIS town? Odd strategy.

I've got to believe that the population that pays for a subscription to the Blade is more conservative than liberal, so it's not that crazy of a theory.

If we were in a bar, I would listen to you explain why for a full beer without interrupting. Some kind of inverse proportion magic going on here. :)

posted by justread on Oct 06, 2017 at 01:23:04 pm     #  

Wow.

A business taking the temperature of their customers (the ones that spend money on subscriptions) and choosing not to always piss them off.

"It's a bold move, Cotton...".

posted by oldhometown on Oct 06, 2017 at 01:29:16 pm     #  

The Blocks fell in love with Trump and AB has been a Republican for a long time and he now has more influence over the paper than he ever has. Both have women in power issues so no to Hillary and no to Paula in their twin brains.

posted by westsidebob on Oct 06, 2017 at 01:29:50 pm     #  

"In my opinion, TPS completely dropped the ball when they basically rebuilt all of their old schools in the same neighborhood with the same model."

That whole sham was primarily a union make-work bonanza too good for the pols to resist because there was a crapload of gum't (taxpayer - your $$ and my $$) that was being offered as a one time vote buying payoff.

posted by Foodie on Oct 06, 2017 at 02:20:27 pm     #   1 person liked this

Wasn't all the school rebuilds from settlement money from Tobacco companies? Or am I completely making that up.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Oct 06, 2017 at 02:25:43 pm     #  

75% came from the the tobacco settlement or as then superintendent Doctor (don't call me anything less) Eugene Sanders put it, "other peoples money." He would listen to nothing short of the full $800 million possible which of course meant the taxpayer pay the rest on your property tax duplicate if you are fortunate enough to own property. Those who don't got brand new schools and a free pass for the improvement. The benefit was to be better educated students and lower operating cost for the school district with brand new buildings. Neither one developed. One more pig in the poke for the taxpayer. Lathrop did the construction which was touted as local jobs and tax payroll. Lathrup is owned by Turner Construction an out of state corporation so your tax dollars walked out of the area with very fast legs. We got shiny new buildings just in time for charter schools to fill in the quality gap of our union led teachers. Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Now drop the population down a few tens of thousands and there is your immediate future.

posted by Mariner on Oct 06, 2017 at 04:04:14 pm     #   2 people liked this

To round out the saga 'lead paint' Larry Sykes was on the board at the time the same councilman who chairs the finance committee where we have had all the mystery money problems. David Welch was also on the board who has been in charge of the condition of your city streets lately. He has since moved to a less targeted job but clearly leaves his imprint behind. You be the judge how we retain bumbling incompetence election after election.

posted by Mariner on Oct 06, 2017 at 04:31:17 pm     #   1 person liked this

Back to the Blade and K. Burris. Sorry for the hijack.

posted by Mariner on Oct 06, 2017 at 04:33:27 pm     #  

justread posted at 01:23:04 PM on Oct 06, 2017:
Ace_Face posted at 12:57:48 PM on Oct 06, 2017:
justread posted at 11:37:15 AM on Oct 06, 2017:
JohnnyMac posted at 04:18:37 PM on Sep 04, 2017:

My take on the Blade's "move to the right" was that it was a conscious decision to undo their reputation as a left-leaning newspaper in order to sell more papers and increase their bottom line and their longevity.

But, I'm a little more cynical than most.

In THIS town? Odd strategy.

I've got to believe that the population that pays for a subscription to the Blade is more conservative than liberal, so it's not that crazy of a theory.

If we were in a bar, I would listen to you explain why for a full beer without interrupting. Some kind of inverse proportion magic going on here. :)

Here's my random thoughts to support the theory (warning, plenty of conjecture and assumptions ahead).

- Blade subscribers are not all in the city of Toledo.
- Suburban residents are more likely to be conservative than city residents.
- City residents that vote reliably Democratic at the local level are not necessarily liberals. Your uncle who works at Jeep and is big into hunting and fishing: think he voted for Hillary?
- Those that can afford a subscription to the newspaper usually have more disposable income and are more likely to be more financially secure and thus conservative.
- Newspaper subscriptions are more popular among older residents and older voters tend to skew conservative.

posted by Ace_Face on Oct 08, 2017 at 12:02:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

No argument there Ace.

posted by Mariner on Oct 08, 2017 at 12:12:23 pm     #  

No argument here either. Interesting to think about. Tough to know.

Cheers.

posted by justread on Oct 08, 2017 at 04:07:39 pm     #  

And hence as the twins have gotten older, they too have gotten more conservative.

posted by westsidebob on Oct 09, 2017 at 01:29:03 pm     #  

westsidebob posted at 01:29:03 PM on Oct 09, 2017:

And hence as the twins have gotten older, they too have gotten more conservative.

I think Allan has always been a conservative. Not sure if JRB is really getting conservative or just has a crush on Trump.

posted by Ace_Face on Oct 09, 2017 at 03:53:23 pm     #  

Maybe there is less local political pressure on JRB these days.

After all, we went from a "Strong Publisher" form of government to a "Strong Healthcare System" form of government recently.

posted by justread on Oct 09, 2017 at 04:22:16 pm     #   2 people liked this

Ha! Yes we did...

posted by Molsonator on Oct 09, 2017 at 06:04:18 pm     #