REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: No inflatables allowed unless it's a rat

SANDUSKY REGISTER Perkins Township bans all businesses from using any type of inflatable decoration
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Perkins Township bans all businesses from using any type of inflatable decoration to draw customers to their stores.

However, officials must make an exception if it's an inflatable rat, which is used many times by union workers to protest labor disputes.

A giant rat is an expression of opinion that is protected under the First Amendment.

-- Janet Nguyen

Musical Phones

I have a fear. My fear is that during an important meeting, in a crowded room, Lynyrd Skynard's "Free Bird" will play loudly and everyone will turn and look at me knowing it's my phone, and I have an incoming call.

After checking my phone three times to be sure it was on silent mode at the Sandusky Board of Education meeting, a phone started ringing. I felt my face flush, but luckily it wasn't mine. It was superintendent Bill Pahl's. Half an hour later, another phone started buzzing. This time it was board member Jeff Krabill's. Twenty minutes later another phone started ringing. This time it was treasurer Troy Bouts'.

"First it's Bill, now it's Troy's," said Krabill laughing.

"Yours rang too," said Pahl pointing his finger at Krabill.

"No, mine didn't ring. It's on vibrate; it was buzzing," Krabill said.

--Amanda Godfrey

Trading places

On the way to last week's late night fire at the Steuk property, I realized my city meeting attire was probably not going to cut it standing in the freezing cold.

I had some less-than-adequately insulated rain boots in my trunk but no gloves.

A Sandusky firefighter said he'd let me borrow his boots and gloves, but added that then I would have to fight the fire.

I told him that would be fine, as long as he could write the story.

-- Jennifer Grathwol

Commissioners want to slam door on using the parking garage for storage

Here's a public service announcement for folks in downtown Sandusky, courtesy of the Erie County Commissioners and famed English poet John Dunne:

If you keep a car parked in the same space in the county's downtown parking garage for weeks at a time and you notice a tow truck pulling into the garage, do not ask for whom the truck tows.

The truck tows for thee.

Commissioners are fed up with hearing reports about vehicles sitting for months at a time in the same space in the parking garage at Market Street and Columbus Avenue. They passed a resolution Thursday saying that cars parked in the same space for more than 48 hours will be towed away.

Tom Ferrell suggested the 48-hour limit, splitting the difference between Nancy McKeen, who favored 72 hours, and Bill Monaghan, who thought 24 hours was plenty.

McKeen asked if the person whose car is towed away will pay the cost.

"If he wants his car back, he will," Monaghan explained.

-- Tom Jackson

No money for me

I'm fairly young and trendy.

At least I'd like to think so.

So when Plato's Closet announced it was buying clothes to stock its store, I immediately rummaged through my closet to find some items.

Plato's Closet is a popular retail store that buys gently-used name-brand clothes and accessories and sells it back to the community.

It's been three years since I graduated from college, so I still owned a lot of casual name-brand attire from that time.

I brought my two bags filled with clothes to the store and was told my clothing items were "too old."

Not in the sense they were in bad condition. Rather, the style was too old.

Store associates politely rejected my items and presented me with a list of the latest trends and fashion.

I guess I'm not as young and trendy as I thought.

-- Janet Nguyen

Putting the "skinny" on the city budget

"Looks like we're going to be on Slim-Fast this year," Commissioner Dave Waddington said following a presentation on the city's 2008 budget at the most recent Sandusky City Commission meeting.

"Are you asking me if you should get Slim-Fast?" Al Nickles, finance committee member, responded.

-- Jennifer Grathwol