Archive for August, 2008

It’s Sarah

August 29, 2008

Yikes! After Barack Obama’s safe and predictable pick of Joe Biden, everyone’s been expecting John McCain to do the same with Mitt Romney or Tim Whatshisname. Give the old man credit for being bold and unpredictable:

DENVER – John McCain tapped little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate on Friday in a startling selection on the eve of the Republican National Convention

Two senior campaign officials disclosed Mccain’s decision a few hours before the Republican presidential nominee-to-be and his newly-minted running mate appeared at a rally in swing-state Ohio.

Palin is a self-styled hockey mom and political reformer who has been governor of her state less than two years.

Palin’s selection shocked numerous Republican officials.

Shocked? I guess. Don’t know how much this changes my thinking about the election, but at least he picked someone who can reinforce his most libertarian insticnts instead of his most maverick (i,e., liberal) ones. Now, let’s hear more about that ethics complaint she’s being investigated for.

UPDATE: Here’s some stuff on her from Wikipedia, including:

The Heaths were avid outdoors enthusiasts; Sarah and her father would sometimes wake at 3 a.m. to hunt moose before school, and the family would regularly run 5k and 10k races.

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Sorry, nodded off for a moment

August 29, 2008

Cathy Dee at Common Sensibilities calls The Journal Gazette on its lapse into headlinese:

I ran out the door this morning to grab the Journal-Gazette from the newspaper tube and scan the headlines. What a lame headline I had to scan: “Obama accepts party nod.”

I mean, come on!? A historic occasion, a speech before 85,000 people, the first African-American president, and the strongest description the headline writer can come up includes the word “nod”?

Cathy probably wouldn’t be happy with anything less than “Chosen One begins mission to save America,” but I get her point. That’s lame and lazy.

I quickly called up the Page 1 we’ll have today, and our headline says, “Home stretch starts with historic speech.” That’s a little better. Then I thought I’d go check out Page 1 headlines from other papers today. From the Birmingham News: “Obama seals deal in front of 80,000.” Seals deal? That’s worse than “accepts nod.” From the Arizona Republic: “Obama: Keep alive ‘American Promise.’ ” That doesn’t exactly zero in on the historic nature of the occasion, does it? That’s what every presidential candidate says, especially the Democrats. (Parse that sentence; I dare you.)

“Obama’s historic night,” says the Fresno Bee, with the subhead “Nominee touts his plans, slams McCain before a cheering audience of 84,000.” That’s not bad, but it loses points for “touts,” a word that barely exists outside of headlines. The Cincinnati Enquirer: “Obama fulfilling MLK’s dream” with the subhead “45 years later, senator accepts place in history.” Pretty darn good — would have been perfect if they could have snuck in the presidency somewhere. Let’s go right to the Big Boys. New York Times: “Framing Goals, Obama Takes the Fight to McCain.” “Framing goals?” How utterly boring. Below that is another story about the speech with a headline that starts — not making thisup — “He accepts nod . . .” Wall Street Journal “Obama Frames Campaign As Vote on Economy, Bush.” Did they have a secret meeting with the Times’ editors or something?

Too soon?

August 29, 2008

The trucker who fell asleep at the wheel and killed five, including the two in the famous mixed-up identity case, could have gotten 24 years. He ended up serving two. What do you think? Was that enough?

Spencer pleaded guilty last year and was given an eight-year prison sentence with four years suspended. Jay Circuit Judge Brian Hutchison could have sentenced Spencer to as long as 24 years in prison under a deal with prosecutors, but he noted Spencer’s remorse and cooperation. Spencer then received credit for good behavior and nearly a year already served before he was sentenced in August.

[. . .]

The judge also ordered the high school dropout, as conditions of his probation, to earn his GED within a year of his release from prison, to pay a $5,000 fine and to serve 100 hours of community service for each of the five lives he took. He also cannot drive professionally while on probation.

“I know I’ll have to deal with this the rest of my life,” Spencer said at his sentencing hearing.

Yes, he will. Would keeping him in prison longer serve any purpose except to make the victims’ families feel better? OK, if I knew one of the victims, I’d probably feel the same way some of the quoted people feel. No amount of time will bring anybody back, but this just seems too little time. But the point has been made by incarcerating him — the rules are different for truckers from what they are for ordinary motorists.

Eating alone

August 29, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has a new “paper to paint” exhibit of my favorite artist, Edward Hopper, showing how many sketches he made before actually doing the final work:

It makes it clear that despite his growing reputation, the iconic Hopper — creator of the 1942 classic “Nighthawks,” depicting a diner — didn’t just turn out his explorations of urban isolation with ease.

“Hopper used to stand in front of his (blank) canvases…and he’d think he’s never going to be able to do another work,” says Harriet Warkel, the IMA’s curator of American art. “And this is an artist who’s already famous, who already has gotten lots of awards, but he’s still worried. …So you know, artists are insecure too, even when they’re famous.”

It is always said that Hopper depicts isolation, but I’m not so sure. His subjects are often alone, or lost in themselves when around other people. But I would call that self-contained. The isolation comes from the point of view adopted by the artist. Just look at “Nighthawks,” his most famous work. He creates the sense of isolation by standing far away from the activity. You can’t even tell where the entrance of the diner is. That’s almost journalistic distancing.

Ain’t funny

August 29, 2008

Make a dumb joke, go directly to jail for three days:

HARLAN, Ky. —  Politicians are known for lame jokes. But when Otis “Bullman” Hensley tried a generations-old Appalachian jest on a woman and two girls at the grocery store, the family thought it was downright criminal.

[. . .]

“Jay Leno makes jokes every night and makes millions,” Hensley said in his thick Appalachian accent. “I make one joke and go to jail.”

He could have faced as many as 10 years in prison, but a charge of attempted unlawful transaction with a minor was dismissed on Monday.

The ordeal began last week when Hensley’s wife sent him to a local grocery store to buy ground beef. While there, Hensley encountered a woman with her two nieces, ages 11 and 13. “I offered to trade her a fattening hog for those girls,” Hensley said. “I meant it as a joke. I’ve said it a million times. Most people get a kick out of it.”

[. . .]

Appalachian scholar Loyal Jones said the jest Hensley made has been around for generations and actually is intended as a compliment.

“I’ve heard many variations of that,” said Jones, retired director of Berea College’s Appalachian Center. “You might hear ‘That’s a good looking boy; I’d trade you a pocket knife for him’ … Political correctness has ruined country humor.”

I almost hate to laugh at the poor guy’s plight, since it’s my own heritage we’re talking about; Harlan is just down the road a piece from my old Hazard-area stomping grounds. But, jeez, he does sound a little clueless. And what has fear of predators have to do with political correctness?

Good job

August 29, 2008

We should try to get as much out of Ivy Tech’s uniqueness while we can. As soon as other states figure out what we’re doing, they’ll start imitating us:

Ivy Tech’s plan to reinvent itself as more than a single-minded technical school is starting to pay off with big numbers.

The state’s community college system announced Wednesday that enrollment has shot up by nearly 12 percent over last year, fueled in great part by a growing number of academically inclined students whose goal is to transfer to four-year universities.

I think we’re going to realize in a few years that turning Ivy Tech into a true community college was one of the smartest things we ever did. People keep wondering how we should rework higher education to integrate it into the 21st century economy; the secret is that we may have already done the most important thing. Because it is so cheap, many more people can afford Ivy Tech. Because there are so many campuses, it is attrative both to stay-at-home graduating seniors and dislocated workers who need new training. Because most of its credits are transferrable to other public universities, it will draw those not sure if they’re college material but want to give it a try.

45 years ago

August 28, 2008

Good lord, where does the time go? It was 45 years ago today that Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most memorable and famous speeches in modern history.

A few of us were talking today about how good Bill Clinton sounded last night after all the pretty awful speechmaking that had come before; whether or not we agree with everything he says, he is one hell of an orator. Can that be learned? someone wondered. Or do the best speakers have an innate gift? As someone who struggled in Toastmasters for a few years (and I do mean struggled), I think the best speakers are born, not made. They might have had some experience that helped them hone their skills — like Ronald Reagan’s acting or King’s preaching — but people are either comfortable speaking to large numbers of people, or they aren’t.

Cell flipping

August 28, 2008

Is that sudden silence the disappearance of the stem-cell controversy?

Injecting a cocktail of proteins directly into the bodies of diabetic mice, researchers have converted normal pancreas cells into insulin-producing cells — a genetic transformation that could pave the way for treating intractable diseases and injuries using a patient’s own supply of healthy tissue.

The Harvard University scientists activated a trio of dormant genes that commanded the cells to transform themselves, much as a person might upload a new operating system onto a computer to change a PC into a Mac.

[. . .]

Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the study’s senior author, said the same approach could be used to generate motor neurons for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, to make cardiac muscle cells for heart attack victims or to create other crucial cells that can repair damage wrought by a range of illnesses.

“We were able to flip the cell from one state into another,” Melton said, adding that the approach should be useful in treating disorders in “any case where there’s a cell type missing and there are neighboring cells that are still healthy.”

I think we all may get tired of reading words like “startling” and “unprecedented” and “completely unexpected” in the next few years.

Quick, after those goats!

August 28, 2008

Words from the not so wise:

Among the gems from this year’s undergraduate exams are an economics student at City University in London student who attributed Northern Rock’s downfall to the “laxative enforcement policies”.

In literature, a student from Bath Spa University wrote of Margaret Atwood’s book: “The Handmaid’s Tale shows how patriarchy treats women as escape goats.”

A University of Southampton student concerned by global warming wrote that: “Tackling climate change will require an unpresidented response.”

And a fellow undergraduate concerned by the threat of diseases, wrote: “Control of infectious diseases is very important in case an academic breaks out.”

They have all been entered in the Truer than Intended section of the Times Higher Education’s revived “exam howlers” competition.

We can shrug off the others, but I think we’d be foolish not to be concerned about academics breaking out.

Punk rocked

August 28, 2008

Nice to see that Raul is being so much more tolerant than Fidel was:

Cuba has ordered jailed punk rocker Gorki Aguila, an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro and the communist government, to stand trial on Friday for “social dangerousness,” a charge that could carry up to four years in prison.

Authorities arrested the 39-year-old lead singer of Porno para Ricardo at his Havana home on Monday, shortly after the band had completed work on a new album. Cuban law defines “social dangerousness” as behavior contrary to “communist morality,” and police use it to detain offenders before they have a chance to commit a crime.

The story says the arrest has touched off an avalanche of criticism on blogs in Cuba and here and that musicians “also sent e-mails decrying the case.” That’ll show ’em. Digitally stand up to those tanks.

Smellavision

August 28, 2008

Just too strange for words:

An advertising world first has been launched in London – pitvertising.

The innovative new concept uses digital TV screens built into the armpits of shirts.

It was developed by deodorant manufacturer Right Guard as the ideal way to market its products.

And yes, there is — yeech! — a photo.

Another rat jumps ship

August 28, 2008

And the band kept playing “Nearer My God To Thee”:

In a bombshell announcement in the world of sports journalism, star columnist Jay Mariotti has abruptly resigned from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Only after taping his last ESPN TV from the Sun-Times newsroom today did Mariotti open up.

Mariotti told CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker that he decided to quit after covering the Olympics in Beijing because newspapers are in serious trouble, and he did not want to go down with the ship.

“It’s been a tremendous experience, but I’m going to be honest with you, the profession is dying,” Mariotti said, “I don’t think either paper [Sun-Times or Chicago Tribune] is going to survive.

Sigh. When we talk in terms of print being “a dying industry,” I always think of specific newspapers I’ve liked (not to mention ones I’ve worked at). Reading the Trib and the Sun-Times to see how they each covered specific events differently was one of the great joys I had in the eight years I lived in Michigan City.

Conventional wisdom

August 28, 2008

Can’t send those poor Democratic Hoosiers off to Denver with nothing to say:

United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard spoke this morning to the Indiana delegation, urging them to help elect Sen. Barack Obama to the White House, and more Democrats to Congress. But he also praised the Indiana delegation, saying that of the several delegations he’s spoken to here at the Democratic National Convention, only Indiana has handed out “talking points” to the delegates.

So what kind of things are delegates being told to keep in mind when talking to the public?

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden offer a new tough foreign policy that is neither Republican nor Democratic, but is a strong, smart American foreign policy that makes us more secure at home and advances our interests in the world.”

And: “Last night, Hillary Clinton made a strong heartfelt case to her supporters and all Americans for why they should join her in supporting Barack Obama for president.”

I just take it for granted that anything coming out of anybody’s mouth at the convention is preprogrammed Democratic crap, and that whatever anybody says in St. Paul next week will be preprogrammed Republican crap. Who can possibly take any of it seriously? Change, hope, fairness, blah, blah, blah. God, country, values, blah, blah, blah.

Just to get some level of skepticism, I’ve tended to focus on Fox’s coverage of the convention — at least their correspondents don’t swoon over how historic and wonderful this all is. Next week, I’ll watch MSNBC’s spin on the Republicans, for the same reason.

Who’s in charge here?

August 28, 2008

I wonder if whoever came up with the saying “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” could have been thinking of government. That condition so often seems the case way with state and federal bureaucrats. Under both the federal No Child Left Behind act and Indiana Public Law 221, schools that underperform for a certain amount of time can face severe penalties, up to and including being taken over by the state. But the state and federal laws set different standards, so it’s not exactly clear when the state needs to step in. Still, the state is thinking about the situation:

And it’s not completely clear who would take over an underperforming school — the governor’s office or the state education superintendent, Bearce said.

“It’s somewhat nebulous at this point,” Bearce said. “It’s not something that’s easy to figure out, especially in Indiana, which is a local control state.”

Nebulous. Right. Since there are plenty of public schools that are on probation and not getting any better, maybe it’s time to start considering some concrete plans.

Square off

August 28, 2008

Harrison Square developers are having trouble selling their condominiums, so they’re rolling out a new marketing plan. Indiana’s NewsCenter went out looking for the kind of condos Fort Wayne folks do buy and, surprise, surprise, discovered a fondness for peace and quiet, woods, tennis courts and swimming pools. Then there is Harrison Square:

The price range on the Harrison Square condos is much higher, in the 175 to 350-thousand dollar amounts.

But they are being targeted to a higher income group, folks who love baseball and being close to the Embassy Theater and other downtown attractions.

So, rich folks who love baseball and being near the Embassy. A limited pool, I would think.

Wounded walking

August 27, 2008

Technological advances just get more and more amazing:

HAIFA, Israel (Reuters) – paralyzed for the past 20 years, former Israeli paratrooper Radi Kaiof now walks down the street with a dim mechanical hum.

 That is the sound of an electronic exoskeleton moving the 41-year-old’s legs and propelling him forward — with a proud expression on his face — as passersby stare in surprise.

 “I never dreamed I would walk again. After I was wounded, I forgot what it’s like,” said Kaiof, who was injured while serving in the Israeli military in 1988.

 “Only when standing up can I feel how tall I really am and speak to people eye to eye, not from below.”

 The device, called ReWalk, is the brainchild of engineer Amit Goffer, founder of Argo Medical Technologies, a small Israeli high-tech company.

 Something of a mix between the exoskeleton of a crustacean and the suit worn by comic hero Iron Man, ReWalk helps paraplegics — people paralyzed below the waist — to stand, walk and climb stairs.

Asthma would have killed me in childhood except for the treatments that were avaialable because of drug-company research and development. I had a gum infection a few years ago that swelled one of my cheeks up about 300 percent; without the antibiotics that had been developed in my lifetime, I would have been disfigured for life.

Today, we’re making the unwalking wounded ambulatory. Who knows what we can do tomorrow, especially with nanotechnology and all the genome research going on? The biggest danger many people now alive face is that they might die just months or a few years before the cure that would have saved them.

Work local, live local?

August 27, 2008

Nobody wants to live in Anderson, even Anderson government employees. So the city wants to require new hires to live in town, and even ask the General Assembly to remove the state-mandated exemption for police and firefighters. But what about those pesky private companies?

Many Anderson private businesses also are not doing their part in making sure they hire locally, council members said.

“We sold our soul to Nestlé, and we’re not getting our bang for our buck,” Councilman Rodney Chamberlain said.

Many employees and executives from Anderson’s new Nestlé plant will live in high-income areas like Fishers, council members said.

Board of Public Works Chairman Greg Graham questioned whether it would be wise for Anderson to make new businesses hire locally as a condition of their incentive package.

Oh, yeah, that’ll make Anderson really attractive to a prospective employer.

Clash of the Titans

August 27, 2008

OK, I take back the crack about the Clintons. This is what’s really fun:

ANIMOSITY among MSNBC anchors has reached a mile-high peak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, with on-air squabbling between such big egos as Joe Scarborough, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and David Shuster.

[. . .]

Scarborough declined to talk to Page Six, but sources say he and NBC anchor Tom Brokaw disagree with MSNBC’s decision to position itself as the channel for George W. Bush-haters.

[. . .]

Insiders say Olbermann is pushing to have Brokaw banned from the network and is also refusing to have centrist Time magazine columnist Mike Murphy on his show.

This might be high drama instead of low comedy if the network had any actual viewers. I wonder if somebody’s Bush-hating head will explode during the GOP convention next week?

Less than blissful

August 27, 2008

You only need to see the headline — “She’s happily married, dreaming of divorce” — to know you’re going to be treated to a wonderfully entertaining descent into self-indulgent whining: 

Don’t misunderstand: I would not, could not disparage my marriage (not on a train, not in the rain, not in a house, not with a mouse). After 192 months, Will and I remain if not happily married, then steadily so. Our marital state is Indiana, say, or Connecticut — some red areas, more blue. Less than bliss, better than disaster. We are arguably, to my wide-ish range of reference, Everycouple.

Nor is Will the Very Bad Man that I’ve made him out to be. Rather, like every other male I know, he is merely a Moderately Bad Man, the kind of man who will leave his longboat-sized shoes directly in the flow of our home’s traffic so that one day I’ll trip over them, break my neck, and die, after which he’ll walk home from the morgue, grief-stricken, take off his shoes with a heavy heart, and leave them in the center of the room until they kill the housekeeper. Everyman.

If only she can find the courage to leave this Moderately Bad Everyman and find the self-fulfillment to which she is so entitled! Or maybe she just needs to get rid of her delusions: “This is not to say that dismantling one’s marriage will automatically bring happiness; it’s the idealization of marriage that needs to be shredded, along with its accompanying bumper sticker WIVES MAKE BETTER WOMEN.” Who still believes that, really?

Oh, for this longed-for day:

Maybe one day, marriage — like the human appendix, male nipples, or your pinky toes — will become a vestigial structure that will, in a millennium or two, be obsolete. Our great-great-great-grandchildren’s grandchildren will ask each other in passing, “Remember marriage? What was its function again? Was it that maladaptive organ that intermittently produced gastrointestinal antigens and sometimes got so inflamed that it painfully erupted?”

Yes. Yes it was.

What did we do for entertainment before OPRAH.com came along? Run away, Will, escape right now. This woman is sucking your soul out.

And stay out of the park

August 27, 2008

That Jeffersonville sex offender is still trying to get into a park to watch his son play ball:

The American Civil Liberties Union argued in court Monday that an ordinance prohibiting sex offenders from entering public property owned by Jeffersonville is unconstitutional.

Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, said it is not rational to ban someone from going to a park when he or she has not committed an offense there.

“The ban applies whether you’ve done anything wrong in the park or not,” Falk said.

I’ll leave it to the lawyers to argue whether there is a “fundamental right” to go to a certain park. But a park is a public facility, and we should be at least a little worried when they start banning whole groups of people. The Jeffersonville offender doesn’t seem like a nice guy — he’s had recent battery charges — but he doesn’t seem like a special threat to children. His sex offense was having sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 20. He isn’t required to be on the sex-offender registry.

I’d be much more worried about safety — everyone’s — with this guy around:

 A man who is fighting the city of South Bend’s efforts to ban him from city offices saw a judge today deny several motions he had filed in an unrelated criminal case against him.

Stephan Range, 25, formerly of South Bend, faces a Class C felony intimidation charge, along with misdemeanor trespassing and resisting law enforcement, in connection with a July 2 incident at the Portage Avenue Wal-Mart store.

[. . .]

Prosecutors say he threatened to harm a store security guard after the security guard had confronted him about openly carrying a handgun in a holster on his hip, a violation of store policy.

City officials say Range, who has argued with them over his rights to raise and breed pit bull dogs, should be limited to written contact with the city’s legal department because he has so intimidated staff and disrupted daily business.

Totally

August 27, 2008

Pay no attention to anything you hear when my lips are moving:

Bill Clinton appeared to undermine Sen. Barack Obama again Tuesday. 

The former president, speaking in Denver, posed a hypothetical question in which he seemed to suggest that that the Democratic Party was making a mistake in choosing Obama as its presidential nominee.

He said: “Suppose you’re a voter, and you’ve got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don’t think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?”

Then, perhaps mindful of how his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken, Clinton added after a pause: “This has nothing to do with what’s going on now.”

Watching the Democrats try to de-Clintonize the party is about the closest thing there is to actual fun in the political swamp these days. A former Clinton aide is quoted as saying that the former president is “solidly” behind Obama. Totally. Really. No, honest, no kidding. Saw Hillary’s speech last night. Yeah, she’s over it. Can’t wait for Bill tonight.

Bark Mitzvah

August 27, 2008

How do you know someone has more money than he knows what to do with? He spends $10,000 to have a religious ceremony for his dog:

David Best decided to throw a party for his dog named Elvis. He decided to make it a “Bark Mitzvah” and had guests like Dr. Ruth show up at Sammy’s Roumanian In Manhattan.

And, yes, there is video.

I spent $1,200 on my cat Pierre when he had a liver problem, but it bought him a few more years in pretty good health, so I consider it money well-spent. I’d spend that much or more on Dutch and Maggie, the two cats I have now, if their health were threatened. But I’d never make them wear silly hats or sweaters, behaving in the the way some dog owners are inclined to. It would offend their dignity just so I could make some kind of statement about myself to other humans. David Best is, if I may borrow a Yiddish expression, a putz.

Party lines

August 27, 2008

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants everybody in state government to just get along:

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce advocated bipartisanship Tuesday in the last of eight policy letters to the candidates for governor.

Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said working across party lines will be critical to achieving the education, energy, health care and tax issues to which the business group has sought to draw attention with its series of letters.

This all sounds very nice, but once those pesky party lines have been erased, then what?

At the state level, the chamber didn’t have many positives to say about the bipartisan efforts of the past two years during which a GOP-controlled Senate and Democrat-led House combined to pass a balanced budget, expand health care for the working poor and pass a homeowner-slanted property tax overhaul. The chamber instead cited 1999 education reforms and a 2002 tax restructuring that ended the levy on business inventories as recent feats of political cooperation.

Ah. It isn’t about bipartisanship at all, is it? It’s just about the Chamber getting what it wants done through the legislature. Or it wants what it doesn’t like to be stopped — in a bipartisan way, of course — such as any rules that might keep businesses from tapping into the pool of cheap illegal-immigrant labor. Me, I’m becoming a fan of gridlock. The more legislators “cross party lines,” the more it seems to cost me.

Walk this way, or that way

August 27, 2008

If you’re going to do something pedestrian-friendly, it won’t do to have drivers unclear on the concept:

Irene Stroh, 24, 1520 W. Ashland Ave., was walking across Riverside after the Scramble Light changed when she was hit by a 2002 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Brian A. Johnson, 37, Selma.

Remember the scramble light at Calhoun and Wayne? I was in high school then, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever invented. Walking through the intersection and seeing cars having to wait in all four directions, it felt like I was getting away with something I shouldn’t have been able to do.

UPDATE: An alert commenter (who just had to throw in a gratuitous remark about the time when dinosaurs oamed the Earth) remembered a Mitch Harper post about the scramble light (with pics) at Fort Wayne Observed in 2006.

Hangin’ in there!

August 27, 2008

Gee, I don’t know. Sounds kinda catchy to me:

“Not making the list of dying cities is not exactly the kind of thing economic development people dream about,” Young said. And he’s right, of course. “Fort Wayne: We’re Not Dead” isn’t much of a marketing slogan.

The column is about why Fort Wayne doesn’t seem to be stagnating while Forbes magazine identified Ohio and Michigan as the two states with the most cities on the 10-fastest-dying list (Canton, Youngstown, Dayton, Cleveland, Flint and Detroit). The points are made that our “growth” has come mostly from annexation, not universally popular, and that we may see the most potential from a private rather than public venture — the broadband connectivity possible because of Verizon’s $100 million fiber-optics network. I notice that James Carlini, one of the people quoted in the column, has already posted a comment to it to expand on the remarks he made. We no longer have the last word — that’s good for the readers but a little scary for us.