REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: Reporter confounded by text message during commission meeting

During the city commission meeting Tuesday, I received a cryptic text message from city commissioner Dan Kaman's phone.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


During the city commission meeting Tuesday, I received a cryptic text message from city commissioner Dan Kaman's phone.

"Are you still working?" it asked.

I had no idea what it meant. Was he accusing me of not paying attention?

"I don't understand," I responded. "What are you asking?"

The next text message just said, "Fine."

I was totally confused. I took his curt, one-word answer to mean he was angry with me. So after the meeting, I confronted him.

"What were all those cryptic text messages you were sending me?" I asked him.

He said he didn't have his phone with him. I didn't believe him. I thought he was playing a joke on me. He checked his pockets and paper stack, and again said he didn't have his phone with him.

In turns out, his wife had his phone.

On Tuesday evening, she was trying to text message her daughter, and accidentally sent the messages to me instead. She apologized when Dan told her what happened.

I told her it was no biggie and accepted her apology, but as a punishment, I would only eat at Toft's Dairy this summer, not the Kaman-owned Golly Gee.

-- Jason Singer

Cat Twitters about life at the shelter

Even cats have Twitter accounts these days.

Tori, a resident at the Humane Society of Erie County, has launched her own Twitter feed. Her messages are available at

Last week, she took time to plug the shelter’s Saturday garage sale. “Everyone’s getting ready for something called a garage sale,” she said. “Hopefully they sell a lot and improve the menu around here.”

Tori also has shown signs that she likes to have a good time. “Two more hours before my captors leave and the partying begins!” she wrote Thursday afternoon. — Tom Jackson

Piranha? Off Cedar Point?

The European rudd is not the first unusual fish commercial fisherman Jim Swartz has given to the Ohio Division of Wildlife for identification.

A few years ago, he claims he caught a fish that apparently escaped from an aquarium. “I caught a piranha about five years ago, and the state said don’t say nothing,” Swartz said. “I caught him right off Cedar Point.” Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries supervisor, didn’t mention anything about a piranha, but said Swartz often brings in unusual fish for them to identify.

“We really do appreciate that he brings them in to let us know what’s out there,” he said.

Tom Jackson

Fascist flag gives pause

After writing about all of the food and fun to be had at the Walleye Festival in Port Clinton last weekend, I couldn’t resist heading out to Water Works Park on my day off to check it out.

Sure enough, there were twirling rides, laughing kids, and a veritable smorgasbord of delectable foods.

I shared a bag of Great Lakes Popcorn Company’s finest and a mammoth-sized elephant ear with friends, and we decided to take a few laps around the fair to make ourselves feel better about the indulgence.

After browsing booths filled with crafts, purses and sunglasses, I was stopped in my tracks by a sight not often seen outside World War II movies.

A flag vendor displayed a large Nazi flag, hanging in the corner of his booth behind a big black and green marijuana flag.

Drug glorification, the skull and crossbones, and even the Confederate colors I’m used to seeing.

I just wasn’t aware people found it OK to display a flag under which millions of people were slaughtered. Do people actually buy those things? And if so, is it out of historical significance or agreement with the Nazis’ barbaric values? I guess I’d rather not know.

Sarah Weber