Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Expositions Inc. president has more barbs for I-X Center head

When I called Expositions Inc. President Chris Fassnacht and the I-X Center rivals in this article, I purposely underplayed that aspect of the Great Lakes Expo Center’s first half year.

Sometimes you do this as a reporter so you don’t take the focus away from where it should be. This is a good example because Fassnacht added to the verbal volleying between himself and I-X President Robert Peterson, even though the former’s purpose in meeting with me was to discuss ticket sales, previous shows and the future of his Euclid facility. I didn’t encourage him to do this or even mention Peterson’s name. It just sort of happened, and who am I, digital recorder in hand, to tell him to knock it off?

To read more, click here

-- Brandon C. Baker

Photo by Duncan Scott

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Friday, July 9, 2010

No change to LaBron name for Eastlake falcon

The Ohio Division of Wildlife and Akron-based FirstEnergy have no intention of stripping the name "LaBron" for the male peregrine falcon chick that was banded Tuesday.

FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin said this morning that LaBron (the falcon) will retain its name in spite of the outrage and uproar of his namesake's departure from Cleveland to Miami in a media circus and hype that consumed Northeast Ohio for weeks.

LaBron (the falcon) was tagged with two numbered bands on Tuesday when the Wildlife Division brought him and three siblings down from FirstEnergy's Eastlake coal-fired power plant. All of the birds were named, banded, had blood drawn for DNA use and then returned to their nesting box located high on the utility's imposing smoke stack.

Alas, however, LaBron (the falcon) will also likely skip town once he grows feathers and is taught to hunt.

Still, LaBron (the falcon) probably won't go as far as Miami like the other LaBron will do. In fact, LaBron (the falcon) may find a mate and take up residence locally, pleasing birding fans and in sharp contrast to that OTHER LaBron.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Is Smokey Bear's middle name "The?"

I know, I know, the real, official U.S. Forest Service name is "Smokey Bear" and without the word "the." In our lake Metroparks' story about Sunday's Smokey (The) Bear festivities we added the "the."

Fact is, however, for nearly 60 years many, many people have also added the "The" to the name. In fact, the hit 1950s song about the fire-fighting bruin included it because it helped the flow of the music. Us youngsters back then just picked up on it and haven't changed at all.

And an old Forest Service public service film has Eddie Arnold singing the song with the added "The" along with it being included in the opening credits.

As Wikipedia notes: "The campaign to remind the public of the correct version of the name is almost as old as the Smokey Bear campaign itself."

Sorry, purists, you aren't going to win this one.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn