Esrati.com mentioned in Dayton City Paper- as a source!

The June 28- July 4 issue of Dayton City Paper- with “CSI Downtown Dayton- where’s the crime” story on the cover- mentions esrati.com and DaytonPolitics.com in the cover story- as a place to “keep a good score on… (Oregon District debates) as well as other local issues, and are sources of some creative and refreshing perspectives on Dayton”

Read the whole article by picking up a copy- or following this link.

http://www.daytoncitypaper.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2803 

Our mention is in the third to last paragraph.

Slowly, big ideas will be heard.

What do you think?

Real American Hero’s have nothing to do with Bud light

I have an intern who is in love with the “Real American Hero’s” campaign for Bud Light. We had a discussion in my veterans group today about who is a war hero and who isn’t- after being invited to yet another seemingly pointless networking event for veteran owned businesses to “connect with government buyers” which is sponsored by Rep. Jean Schmidt (famous for making an idiot of herself right after she got John Boehner’s old seat).

As we approach yet another 4th of July, where our country is supposed to celebrate our independence and our freedom, in a country that is increasingly less of both, I thought I would point you to a post by another Daytonian about a true American Hero- a guy I’ve never met- named Steve Miller- who was born in my hometown, Celina, and went through hell to put an end to an evil dictator.

I have to admit, right now, while we have soliders dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m aghast at our so called leaders who are arguing about things like flag burning, gay marriage and abortion. With interest rates climbing again today, a middle class being squeezed out of existance and CEO’s making millions while they send jobs overseas- and government spending totally out of control, I’m not sure that this country still cares about the ideals that Steve Miller fought for- where all men are created equal.

Go read it: http://sawdust.eponym.com/blog/_archives/2006/6/28/2064306.html

Note to author Bob Higgins, I can’t comment on your site from a Mac.

What do you think?

Dayton wasn’t Dayton last night.

I went over to the Cannery for “The Sideshow”- a very cool collection of art, music, artists- doing one night of installations, music, performance art- and a little bit of drinking and dancing.

We have one person to thank for getting this all together- Laurrana Wong- who singlehadedly pulled off transforming Dayton into the center of coolness just for one night.
My only regret is that I hadn’t brought a camera- but there were many others documenting the show.

Here are a few links to visit:

http://www.myspace.com/thesideshowconnectsite

http://www.myspace.com/lauranawong

Dayton City Paper on The Sideshow

If anyone has any photo galleries to share- please comment and leave a link.

Kudo’s to Laurrana for making it great in Dayton.

The best politicians money can buy

Dayton Politics » Husted’s money politics

The first 5 times I ran for office, I tried to do it without accepting campaign contributions- and limited it to $1000- which seemed reasonable for a part time job- that paid $30K a year. I was an idiot.

The last time I ran- back in 1997- I accepted campaign money- even had yard signs (note to self- never put anything that would date your sign on a sign- like “please vote Nov. 2nd” so you can use them again).

The results were scary. I raised $6000 without an organization, or a party. Bootsie Neal raised $10,000, Dean Lovelace raised $12,000. It was a three way race for 2 seats- me against two incumbents. The results came in- I had 6000 votes, Bootsie had 10,000 votes, and Dean had 12,000. That was the wake up call that American politics isn’t about the power of ideas- but the power of money.

Read the link above to “Dayton Politics”- and then the link to the Columbus Dispatch. For a candidate to be donating 2.1 million in 3 years- is a terrifying prospect.

Considering Ohio State Representatives only make about $55K a year- you know it’s not his money he’s playing with. Should we still call the “representatives”- or should we just call them what they’ve become- puppets for sale?

What do you think?

Take me to your leader, please.

The other day I attended a meeting of Grassroots Greater Dayton (GGD)- a new(er) organization that is working on regional issues of sprawl and cooperation. I’m a firm believer in their platform, and would love to see the irrationally feared “uni-gov” come to Dayton. It’s sort of funny that to try to eliminate the redundant and numerous organizations targeting “development” that we have to form yet another organization.
Our problem isn’t talking about the issues- our problem is we can’t advance outspoken leaders in our community. It’s just not in our DNA.
Long ago, former City of Dayton Planning director, Paul Woodie told me “You need a herd to be heard” in this City- and that’s still true today. GGD had a room full of bright people, but no vocal front man- to lead the charge. Because its funding comes partly from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, it’s unlikely that GGD will back a political agenda- or candidates- at least not directly.
How can we move forward as a community without visionary leaders at the front? The answer is unfortunately, we can’t. Continue reading

CAVE people and other thoughts-

Do you know what a NIMBY is? It’s a person who protests- you can do this- as long as it’s Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY). Well they have a neighbor- the CAVE people- Citizens Against Virtually Everything- or that’s one of the things I learned at the meeting of “Grassroots Greater Dayton” which I mentioned in this old post.

Gene Krebs, State Director of Greater Ohio was the speaker- and he shared with us his ideas about sustainable growth and sprawl. There were about 30 people in attendance, including Stan Earley from the City of Dayton, and Mike Robinette from the MVRPC (the sponsor of Grassroots Greater Dayton). Unfortunately, we didn’t go around the room for introductions- but there were a few other familiar faces.

Greater Ohio is a lobbying organization- that seems to think that all change will come by getting politicians to buy into the forward thinking ideas of containing sprawl. While Krebs makes a great case for his briefing book- the fact is: we have the best politicians money can buy- and no reasoning will deter them from making bad short term decisions.

I didn’t say much at the meeting- but several people came up and asked me why I’m not stepping forward in a leadership role for this organization- and my answer was quite simply that it would be the kiss of death- thanks to my ability to tick off the “powers that be” in Dayton. I have no plans to run for office without either a party- or a team to support my candidacy. However, I hope that by being an active participant- and by reporting on this blog about the ideas discussed- I can help be an agent of change in our community.

Apparently, a few people do read this blog- because three of them were sitting next to me- and asked if I had a blog. They were from the Dayton Public Schools- and are working in the new uni-sex schools- the all boys “Dayton Prep Academy” and the all girls “Earley Academy for Girls.” So this blog is making a bit of a difference.

The meeting ran just over an hour- and was thought stimulating- but more from a standpoint of this is another group formed to talk about the issues- when what we really need is some leaders to face the issues. Maybe when we go to vote in November- sustainable growth can be one of the main issues- according to Gene Krebs’ poll numbers- sprawl isn’t scoring so well on the public popularity scale- yet our elected “leaders” seem to be turning a blind eye. Maybe because developers are such good sources for campaign donations.

If we really want progress- we have to start with campaign finance reform. Just remember where you heard it.

Arcade for sale on E-bay

Interior of Dayton ArcadeThe Dayton Arcade hit E-bay last Saturday- the starting bid is 4 million- but, hey, the city has put way more than that in it. Personally, I think high starting prices are always a mistake in an auction, I start all my auctions at $5. Either you believe in the free market- or you don’t.

See the auction here: Dayton Arcade
Ben Roethlisberger's Motorcycle helmet Anyway, this is probably another joke auction- just like the empty box auction of “Ben Roethlisberger Replica Motorcycle Helmet”

But, in case someone in NYC or LA or SF or one of the other real estate boom towns is frustrated with paying a million for 1000sq ft apartment- the arcade would be the ultimate loft apartment for your buck. And, considering the owner is a charity- you could probably negotiate on the price- and still be able to write some of this off.
Of course, if you were worried what to do with the rest of the building- it would make a great brothel, casino, or place to store your Porsche collection. Quite frankly, it’s an awesome building for someone with cash to play with. Donald Trump- here is a real challenge for your teams of apprentices for your next season- and it’s even a real estate deal.

note: Owner Tony Staub is facing foreclosure on the property- meaning the County will seize the Arcade- and hold it’s own auction to secure back taxes- making Staub’s opening bid a laugh.  If he was serious, he would have the opening bid be $100,000 plus back taxes- and he would clearly state what the taxes are. The only reason to start at $100,000 is to make sure bidders are serious.

Esrati.com mentioned in the Dayton Daily News

Welcome, if you are here from the Blogosopher seminar story in the Dayton Daily News welcome.

This isn’t really a “political site” per se- although my old site from my last run for office is still hidden away here. It’s more of a place to hold a discussion about local issues- and my take on them. This doesn’t mean I’m about to run again- at least not as an independent.

The beauty of this technology is that you can comment on my thoughts- and join in the conversation. You can also subscribe to this site using RSS- so that you can be instantly notified everytime I post.

Welcome!

Who is winning the war?

I’ve refrained from stepping outside the boundaries of what I can affect on this site.
Today- I felt like coloring outside the lines.
Times have changed. When Richard Nixon was connected to the attempt to wiretap the Democratic National Headquarters, he resigned the presidency in disgrace.
Now, we have President Bush circumventing a secret court, specifically created to allow him to wiretap at will, to hunt down terrorists and keep us “safe.”
Which brings me to ask- if they can’t find Osama Bin Laden, with a 25 million dollar bounty on his head-
And if they can’t catch and prosecute spammers-
What is the excuse for skipping the secret court to do it legally?
The most amazing part of this whole fighting the “Global war on terror” is that the most terrifying thing to me is that we Americans are losing the very liberties, checks and balances and common sense that make America the land that I love.
How the “leaders in Washington” can be discussing things like gay marriage while American men and women are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan makes me ill. Please note- I support our troops, I just don’t support our policies.
We can spend another 500 billion in Iraq and turn our country into a third world nation- or we can dump the idiots in office who are afraid to back out of a fight that isn’t ours to fight. The only problem with George W. Bush resigning is that the Vice President is even more dangerous.
Since when was it the American taxpayer’s responsibility to re-build another country while our people are suffering?
It’s time to make the hard decision on Iraq- and realize it is another Vietnam.
I’ve heard some stupid justifications for the war- but what people don’t understand is that terrorists don’t fight wars- they fight for a top-of-mind awareness- and by continuing to use them as justification for this 500 billion dollar war- our government has given them more power than they could ever exert on their own-
The terrorists are winning by losing- and we’re just losing.
What do you think?

How Dayton beats Atlanta- and Savannah

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference.
Like free Wi-Fi in the airport. Dayton International has it- Atlanta and Savannah want to charge their visitors an hourly charge. It’s things like this and the free WiFi network downtown that make Dayton look good.
The next thing our airport should consider- is making ac power readily available to the road warriors by the gates to charge their laptops. Kudos especially go to the business travelers center- with its comfortable chairs, desks conference areas and Internet access.