Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Highland Square update

People frequently ask me what's going on with Highland Square—especially as we await construction. So I thought I'd post what I know.

The Development
I asked Albrecht, Inc. about its progress on development and received the following reply: "Engineering on our buildings and on the parking lots is nearing completion. We expect to begin construction this summer."

The key word here is "expect." As happens with such projects, obstacles arise, impeding progress.

I would imagine some of the obstacles include making sure the city secures parking somewhere on the South side of Market Street—an idea that can come to fruition through the application of the Planning Department's Renewal Plan for Highland Square, which recently passed.

A prevalent concern about the impending development is the type of stores that will go in. There have been rumors of Trader Joe's, but, from what I hear, that's not going to happen. I have heard through a good source that Freshway—which operates a respectable store in the Valley—will be the much-needed grocery in the square.

Albrecht, Inc. replied to my question of what stores might go in the retail area: "We have a good number of interested prospects and are having various discussions regarding leasing space."

And what of the library?
In preparation for the new construction, the West Hill Library will apparently close on August 1. I don't know yet if it will temporarily re-locate and/or where.

Mark your calendars
For Friday, Aug. 18 and Saturday, Aug. 19. It's the third annual Art in the Square. Friday night will kick off the event with a showing of The Grizzled Wizard of Waste-not, Want-not. HS resident Josh Gippin made this documentary about "junk" arist PR Miller. Saturday will feature artists of all stripes, music and more interactive events than previous years. E-mail artinthesquare (at) for more info.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Chief Source Staff Investigates New Development

look Kyle and Terra of The Chief Source staff went to the Hickory Development open house on Sunday. It is at the bottom of the hill on Memorial Parkway.

We wrote a post on it too.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Post MeetUp Post

We had our first Akron Area Bloggers MeetUp last night at Momus. Most of us had met up before at MTB events. Redhorse, Kyle, Terra, McKee and I are MTB alums. McKee brought Mrs. Boring and we all met PeppermintLisa. An excellent core to be going on with, but we'd like more folks.

Once again I forgot that the facilitator shouldn't also be the notetaker, so the following summary is mostly from memory. Any participants are welcome to pile on in here and tell me what I get wrong.

We discussed a little about blogging and a lot about what a blogging group can bring to Akron. As to the latter, we talked about:

How to use GABB -- do we want to make it a blog about blogging or try to create a community portal? We agreed there is definite need for an interactive community website, especially now that RubberBuzz is no longer being updated. On the other hand, GABB also has potential as a way to communicate within the blogging community. We never really resolved the issue. For now, GABB is what you now see. What we really need to do is work on content here and let it evolve where it will.

Second, we talked about MTB and some MTB-like activities. As people with a platform, we have some pull and may be able to swing access where we otherwise wouldn't. Folks are working on their various connections to set things up. As people schedule things, they will go up here in posts and on the Upcoming badge.

We have some art of the event:

Redhorse, PeppermintLisa, Mrs. Boring

Mr. Boring, Kyle, Terra

All in all a good time. Hope to see more folks out next time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Akron Bloggers MeetUp

For the regulars here, its old news, but we've scheduled the first Akron Bloggers meetup this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Cafe Momus.

I've started an Akron Area Bloggers group at Upcoming and installed the badge on the sidebar. As more events -- MeetUps, MTBs, whatever, will be up there. Folks can join the group and, well, do stuff. I haven't fully explored the ins and outs of Upcoming.

So, Thursday. This is our first Meetup, so I'll let the group decide where it goes. We could do some interesting stuff together trying to build the community, assemble a group publicity effort, talk about what this blog will be about, come up with some visibility activities, or we can just hang. I'm good either way.

See you there.

Friday, May 19, 2006


About That Ad Thingy

New on the sidebar you will see the first ad from the MTB ad network. The bloggers in the network have for the most part agreed that for now the proceeds go to Meet the Bloggers to cover the cost of transcripts. The members of GABB have agreed to send proceeds from the ad here to MTB on a more or less a permanent basis. Since this is a community blog, its easier that way.

Meanwhile, if you happen to have or know of a business or other concern that might be interested in advertising online, check out MTB Ad Network info page. And as always, the MTB homepage has podcasts, transcripts and info on upcoming events.


A Hint of Sanity

Ken Blackwell has decided to abandon the TEL amendment under pressure from Republicans who fear his defeat in November. (story here) Blackwell's TEL amendment was so poorly written, and would cause so much damage to the Ohio economy that state Republicans have been trying to get the issue removed from November's ballot. It makes me wonder why they would support a candidate who can't even write a bill.

Certainly, the conditions under which Blackwell agreed to give up the TEL will be dreadful. It has the same basic spending limitation components as TEL, but it's not a Constitutional Amendment, which is good for Ohio. Blackwell is calling the new law a victory. I think not having the TEL on the ballot is a victory for Ohio.

Ted Strickland called Blackwell a "flip-flopper" on the issue. I can't stand that phrase. We have to give people the chance to consider the issues from all sides and change their mind if they are incorrect.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Tired of Politics and Rain in Akron?

Here’s a link to the top ten movie appearances by studio ‘rasslers. My personal fave, Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride. With all of the DaVinci Code Flapdoodle (Tom Hanks as Grima Wormtounge?), best look into aquiring these titles from the remainder bin at Sam's Club (50 pounds of Action Movie DVDs! only $19.95!)


Tuesday, May 16, 2006


What We Talk About When We Talk About Blog

An interesting article on Bloggers Blog about the nature of the thing. It starts out with much triteness and a huge pullquote from Mark Cuban (am I being redundant?) but goes into a discussion of newspaper-based blogs and why the Colbert speech got so much run. Not earthshattering, but a nice digest of what's going on and how blogging differs from traditional journalism.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Talk About the Weather

PICT0003PICT0002 Some frustrating pictures from my car on I-77.
I feel like it is never ever going to stop raining in Akron, OH.


The Beacon Journal's Long, Slow Slide

Last Tuesday, a day after a high-rise fire in Akron, the Beacon Journal ran the story on B1, the local section.

Okay, I'll grant an Akron apartment building fire is a local story. But I was curious, what was on top of A1?

Giffels was, writing about...discarded suggestions for the new blimp's name. This wasn't a bad column. In fact, it was humorous, it didn't deserve to be on A1, bumping a legitimate local news story to B1.

On Saturday, the day of the Cavaliers thrid game with Detroit, ABJ readers were treated to the moving chronicle of a fingernail biter named LeBron.

If this story had run in the Sports section, I'd write it off as a hometown newspaper's eccentric coverage of it's greatest sports hero. Yet, this ran in the middle column of...A1, just like bad blimp names.

I'm left without a defense to the question: why do you still subscribe? Honestly, I don't know.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


InstaPundit on Blogger Libel

In our world he is known as InstaPundit – pioneer blogger and hero to many on the Right side of the blogosphere. In my wife’s world, he is known as Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law at Tennessee (and to give you an idea of the differences, Prof. W. had heard of Glenn Reynolds, but hadn’t heard of InstaPundit.)

Occasionally, he lets the worlds collide, as with a recent law review article on libel in the blogosphere.

Normally posts here on GABB will be more along the blurb/link/let’s discuss! lines, rather than the windy pieces found on the Pages. Unfortunately, downloading the paper is a substantial pain in the tuckus, so I’ll try to summarize. He starts by noting that to date, essentially no significant libel cases involving blogs have been litigated. He notes a number of legal and “cultural” factors that account for this.

He recounts briefly basic libel law to discuss why bloggers are unlikely to run afoul of it. He talks a bit about how blogs are changing and veers into a blog-loving elegy. He then comes back to talk about how technology generally should change how courts approach libel cases. His conclusions:
First, I think that the threshold of harm should be fairly high. Since
defamation law is intended to remedy actual harm to people’s reputations, courts
should take cognizance of the reality that blogs are not generally relied on as
sole sources of information: A statement on a blog that a defendant has failed
multiple polygraph tests is likely to be seen by most readers as a jumping-off
point for further research, while a similar statement in The New York Times is
more likely to be regarded as conclusive. (This matters both as a threshold
question, and, should liability be found, again as to damages.)

Second, because of the nature of blogs and blog readership, a swift correction
should be seen as entirely remedying the problem. Unlike newspapers’
corrections, it will not appear in a separate “edition,” but at the same
URL, and thanks to search engines like Google and Technorati, it will be
readily available to future readers as well.

Third, courts should take into account the ease with which plaintiffs can get their
own story out, via blogs and other electronic media, too. Indeed, a plaintiff who
feels injured can start a blog, publish his/her response, and – via a link
to the offending post – be confident that his or her version will be readily
discoverable via Technorati. This sort of self-help might even be regarded
as necessary mitigation.

Finally, though I won’t go as far as John Perry Barlow’s “Declaration of
Independence” for cyberspace, I think that courts should recognize that the
blogosphere is a place with its own culture, norms, and readership, and that
charges of defamation should be interpreted in context:26 It’s a rough-and-tumble
world, not a place where Marqis of Queensbury rules apply.
That's a taste. The whole thing is worth the effort and quite accessible for the nonlawyer. For anyone interested who is also planning to attend the Akron MeetUp, let me know and I'll bring you a copy.

Friday, May 12, 2006


First non-Pho Post!

Thanks for having me. I just flew in from Akron, Ohio, and boy, are my arms tired!

But seriously, folks….

It will be interesting to see how this turns out – serious, high minded, political and philosophical discourse, or links to my dog’s website?


Thursday, May 11, 2006


A Sudden Run of BlogLove

Over the past couple of days, I've been fielding inquiries about my blog, then comparing notes with other bloggers who have gotten their own requests. We've gotten offers from not one, but two aggragators. If you've heard from these folks, feel free to start a conversation in Comments. Various other backchannel dealings are going on which will break out on home blogs soon.

And finally, I got a request from Team NEO looking for blog feedback on an online poll about Northeast Ohio. It was pretty much the usual -- like it, hate it, what's good, what's bad. Then without warning, it goes all bad metaphor:

If I could have written my own automotive metaphor, I'd call NEO an old pickup with a rebuilt engine, a bed riddled with bondo deposits and an incongruous after-market chrome kit. But that's just me.

UPDATE: You can take the poll here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Welcome to GABB

Welcome to the Greater Akron Bloggers Blog. A number of us Akron bloggers have been kicking around ideas for building the local community. We have gotten together at MTB events, commented on each other's blogs and communicated by email. We have talked about broader MeetUps of just us outside the MTB structure.

All of which we are working on. GABB is the first step. We envision this as a community blog for the blogging community. This is a place for bloggers of all stripes -- political, personal, technical, artistic, eclectic -- to come together and talk about blogging. Here we will blog links to articles of interest, run carnivals and announce meetups and MTB Akron events.

Anyone with an active Summit County area blog and an account on Blogger is welcome to join. If yours is not a Blogger blog, setting up an account is easy. Once you are ready to go, drop me an email -- pho197[at]hotmail[dot]com and I will add you to the members.

I look forward to a long happy collaboration.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?