WESTERHOLD: Sweet old desk

Register managing editor I don't know how old this old desk is, but I store files in the left-hand s
Matt Westerhold
May 24, 2010

Register managing editor

I don't know how old this old desk is, but I store files in the left-hand side drawer. It's made that way, and the drawer is full of manila folders with scrawled out topics in alphabetical order.

The desk could be an original fixture here at the Register building, which would take it back to the 1920s. Not sure it dates back that far, but it's a big, sweet, old wooden desk. Very nice.

At least once a year I clean out the drawer and reluctantly throw away files that at one time were good enough to keep, with documents that seemed important. It's not an easy job because I'm a natural packrat, but if I don't clean it out the files don't fit in the drawer.

The space squeeze reminds me of the old small-screen dot Tandy computer I used to gather the local police blotter, way back when. It was freelance work and when that little Tandy was full I knew I'd earned about $250, a useful measure.

The desk drawer also suggests to me there are only so many things a person should think about at one time; two, maybe three. Only so much file space. I guess.

So here are two, or three things, I've been thinking about, just clearing out some files.

Good luck, Ted

Just how Gov. Ted Strickland will pay for the funding hike he's proposed for Ohio's public schools remains to be seen. At least he had the guts to put it on the table, however, and keep with the timeframe he established when he took office in January 2007.

One item that might be included in Strickland's budget is a reduction in the Local Government Fund tax distribution from the state to counties and local municipalities. It won't be nearly enough -- this rob Peter to pay Paul approach -- but it will be a hurt-smacking on local governments.

There's been talk for years about reducing or even eliminating the Local Government Fund, but in some parts of the state this revenue represents 10 percent of general fund money. Driving it down will mean even more layoffs on the county and local government level.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.

Singing in the rain

Maybe some people were just born with the ability to talk effectively to the media. If so, then Brian Vogt, a vice president at American Coating Specialists in Norwalk, is one of those people.

"The potential is huge," Vogt said. "The best way to avoid a recession is not to participate in it. We're an aggressive company, and other companies want to do business with aggressive companies that are well-managed."

Well-managed enough to announce last week that ACS plans to hire 30 new employees, increasing the size of its workforce by nearly 25 percent to 130. That was the banner headline, "ACS creating jobs," while the new data shows Huron County has the highest unemployment in the state at 13.5 percent.

"If it hits 10 percent across the country you're going to see bread lines like you never imagined," one reporter in the newsroom said after hearing the statistic.

One public servant at an aid agency in Erie County put it this way in an e-mail earlier that day: "My lobby is growing full of people who have never been poor before."