Newsmaker: David Gilbert, president, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The city is making a bid to host the World Special Olympics in 2011. It’s an event that would bring thousands of participants and spectators to Cleveland who’d spend millions of dollars. Whether it happens depends on raising $40 million to stage the event and convincing the Special Olympics that Cleveland is the right place. The Sports Commission is at the center of the effort to attract the event.
Roundtable: Bill Livingston, sportswriter, The Plain Dealer; Joan Mazzolini, reporter, The Plain Dealer; TBD
Voting Machine Woes: Cuyahoga County officials are thinking about dumping millions of dollars worth of electronic touch-screen voting devices in favor of an optical scan system capable of accommodating a greater number of voters. The county commissioners might change systems despite the mostly smooth operation the 2006 general election.
Cleveland Browns Woes: The Cleveland Browns are struggling for team unity after a stultifying 30 - 0 shellacking at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. The game featured numerous on-field miscues and a sideline confrontation between teammates. Now new questions are being raised about the leadership qualities of the Browns coaching staff.
Panhandling Law: Cleveland City Council renewed a law designed to curb aggressive panhandling and keeps beggars away from bus stops, ATM’s and restaurant entrances. The law replaces one that had been on the books for about a year. A Plain Dealer review of arrests under the old law shows dozens of arrests, but few offenders fined. It also showed many of those arrested for aggressive panhandling were not homeless people.
Ford Buyout: An estimated 38,000 hourly employees took Ford Motor Company’s buyout offer. Roughly half the workers at Ford’s Brook Park facilities opted for the buyout and about a quarter of those at Ohio Assembly in Avon Lake. The buyout allows Ford to reduce operating costs by trimming approximately half its U.S. work force. Workers taking the buyout opted for packages ranging up to $140-thousand, some providing education benefits.