The other day I was struggling to get a handle on 260,000 cubic yards of rock and soil.

I mean “get a handle” figuratively, not literally. Let somebody else dig it out.

Anyway, that’s the amount of stuff that is expected to be excavated during construction of the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel, the massive Akron project to protect the Cuyahoga River from wastewater.

So … 260,000 yards. Sounds like a lot, but what could we compare it to?

Nobody better to put it in perspective than a retired civil engineer who designed the site development for the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium.

That would be Ron Reid, who lives in Uniontown.

“As a retired civil engineer,” he wrote, “I got a chuckle reading your column, ‘Here’s dirt on Big Dig Project.’

“Here is a visual math calculation: The 260,000 cubic yards of excavation would be enough to fill in the Browns’ stadium to a height of 60 feet.

“Probably not a bad idea after last season’s dismal performance!”

A funny math expert! What’s the world coming to?


Bob: Spoiler alert: The man in this story dies.

I read with great shock, awe and repulsion a story in the “In the World” section of my favorite local newspaper, dateline Indonesia, titled, “Python swallows man whole.”

It read: “A 25-year-old man has been swallowed whole by a 23-foot-long python on the island of Sulawesi, villagers and news reports said.”

He couldn’t see that thing coming?

Yet another image that will linger for a while. It makes the movie “Snakes on a Plane” seem tame by comparison.

James Diendl


James: Yeah, I saw that story. And we complain about having to deal with mosquitoes?


Our story last week about the sickly financial status of the decrepit Rubber Bowl triggered this one.

Bob: I enjoy reading your column and realize some are hysterical, so if you don’t think this is entertaining, please don’t poke fun at the author.

Some time ago I was at a hotel where you registered and then went down to your room. I believe the hotel was built in the side of a hill and each room had a view of the Caribbean.

So, why not build a hotel in the Rubber Bowl with the entrance at the top? Call it the “Top Side Hotel Resort.”

It could be used by the Soap Box Derby contestants and their families, as well as Goodyear and Firestone visiting dignitaries, Bridgestone golfers and anyone else wanting to stay in a new-style hotel.

I realize it would overlook the Shorty Fulton International Airport, but it would also have a good view of Stricklands Frozen Custard stand and even the big old blimp hangar.

Oh, and they even have the BMX thingy.

I don’t know if you knew that quite a while back there was also a ski jump where the top of the derby run is now. Maybe they could offer rides down the grassy hill ski jump in a cardboard box as we used to do when we were kids.

Parking would not be a problem if the tunnel under George Washington Boulevard is still usable from the upper parking lot. We neighborhood kids had some great times up there, and I sorta hate to see it all go to waste.

Ruth Vera


Ruth: You said not to poke fun at the author if I didn’t find the message entertaining. I found it entertaining. Not saying your plan is the least bit workable, but it’s definitely entertaining.


Bob: Just had to send this to you from the Wooster Daily Record.

Region Briefs: “Delayed Groundbreaking April 2.”

Quote: “There will be a delayed groundbreaking ceremony Sunday, April 2, for the new Chippewa Schools 7-12 building on South Portage Street.

“Those attending will celebrate the walls coming out of the groin.”

OUCH! Maybe “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” should be contacted.

Then an ad for The Oaks restaurant at Chippewa Lake caught my eye. The menu for the “Lakeside Buffet” on Easter includes “Shrimp and Crap-Stuffed Salmon.”

Doesn’t that sound yummy.

Roger E. Bucher


Roger: I think I’d rather be eaten by a python.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or He also is on Facebook at