August 28, 2014

Elyria
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Off the beat: Sept. 1, 2007


You call this hot?

And we thought it was hot here last week when temperatures soared into the 90s?

Trust me, it’s all relative.

COURTESY OF JOHN WALLACE
John Wallace, an Elyria teacher stationed in Iraq, stands by a thermometer reading 130 degrees.

As proof, I offer this picture of Elyria High teacher John Wallace, who is serving his second tour in Iraq as an Army reservist — and is also my brother.

See that thermometer behind him? If it’s too tough to read, I’ll translate: 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

He’s based near Baghdad and, from what he says, the soldiers do get a break from the heat at night. That’s when the temperature drops to a cool 90 degrees or so.

See what I mean about it all being relative?

— Julie Wallace

A little problem in Little Rock

Borrowing a line from legendary “60 Minutes” curmudgeon Andy Rooney, we get a lot of phone calls at this paper from readers we’ve engaged, enraged or just plain perplexed.

Like the call that came earlier this week from a lady with a distinctly Southern drawl. She wanted to know why the CBS-TV affiliate was showing infomercials instead of the normal shows she enjoyed. After a few minutes of conversation, I asked what city she was in.

I expected Elyria, Grafton, Amherst — any city remotely within our coverage area.

“I’m in Little Rock,” she said.

“Arkansas?”

Yes, she assured me she was calling from the state that gave us Bill Clinton.

I finally was able to convince the poor woman she was talking with an Ohio newspaper. So how had she come to us? Courtesy of an 800 number listed in her newspaper’s TV guide.

No matter how all-seeing, all-knowing we want to appear, I told her we were clueless as to why Little Rock’s KTHV was having programming problems.

Callers are periodically irked over our inability to note last-minute changes in TV programming. Taken in the right light, it’s sort of a compliment. They think we’re the equivalent of a Delta Force team capable of keeping on top of these 11th-hour switcheroos.

I wish we were. That would cut down on the calls, maybe even the ones from Little Rock.

— Steve Fogarty

Running for some sort of office

Sometimes, not even running for public office can garner the respect it should.

Republican candidate for Council president Andrew Winemiller found that out firsthand Thursday night when the two preteen children of Lorain’s new mayor, John Romoser, had a question about why he was so important.

“Andy, what are you running for again?” the golden-haired youngsters inquired before the Republican Party Precinct Committee voted to select Romoser as the city’s 42nd mayor.

Winemiller didn’t mind the question. After all, he and Romoser have developed quite the relationship because of their unique positions of trying to battle heavily favored Democrats in a union town, and he had a rapport with Romoser’s daughters.

Winemiller knew he had told the girls dozens of times what he was running for, but he also knew that one more mention couldn’t hurt.

“President of Council,” Winemiller bent down and told the girls, while surrounded by several chuckling politicos.

— Adam Wright

Zoo auction nets a ‘cool’ $10K

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s “Animals Creating Art Silent Auction” on Thursday night raised more than $10,000 for nonprofit conservation groups.

The amount surpassed the previous year’s total of $8,000 and paves the way for the third annual auction next year.

Of the 60 animal paintings sold — which featured either a print or an actual painting done by the animal, along with its photo — the paw print of the zoo’s polar bear was once again the high seller, selling for $460.

The second highest-selling painting was another polar bear’s paw print and sold for $450.

The highest priced sales weren’t surprising, Zoo spokesman Tom O’Konowitz said, since visitors generally think the polar bears are among the coolest of zoo animals.

Indeed.

— Stephen Szucs