The city of Cuyahoga Falls has posted a really cool video on YouTube.

This summer, as the city was removing two dams in the Cuyahoga River to improve water quality and clear the way for recreational activities, a camera set up at both sites fired off 15,000 time-lapse photographs.

Strung together in the video, you can watch two weeks of work completed in a mere 2 minutes, 20 seconds. (Could have saved a lot of labor costs that way.)

The first segment shows the demise of Mill Dam, the one right behind the Sheraton Suites. That 99-year-old structure, 10 feet high and 50 feet wide, was the first to be attacked, at the end of July.

The second segment follows the trashing of the Powerhouse Dam, next to the late, great LeFever’s restaurant. That beast, 11 feet high and 100 feet wide, was pounded into submission in mid-August.

Like the Mill Dam, the Powerhouse Dam was built in 1914, back in the days when water did a lot of our work for us.

In fast motion, the big yellow track hoes (as many as three at a time) look like enormous creatures from outer space having their way with the trivial man-made structures in their path.

Even the soundtrack is way cool: the William Tell Overture, punctuated by the sound of hammering jackhammers.

To find the video, go to YouTube and type “Cuyahoga Falls time lapse.”

Basic rights

When Kent State University prof Fran Collins gave her advertising/public relations law-class students a survey created by the First Amendment Center, some of the results were entertaining.

Two students asserted that one of the five basic freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment is:

“The right to bare arms.”

Nice to learn that Lady Gaga did not die in vain. And that the Second Amendment wasn’t necessary.

Bridge-sign fever

My buddy Mark DeCapua, a part-time, unpaid, unofficial investigative journalist, has detected an extremely troubling trend overtaking Ohio.

He emailed me two photographs of bridges that bear the names of their cities.

In days of old, the only thing we Ohio drivers had to contend with was the Easton bridge in northeast Columbus, a rather tasteful display in wrought iron above Interstate 270.

Then, of course, came 2001, when we were assaulted by the notorious AKRON AKRON AKRON bridge at the White Pond exit on Interstate 77.

Ten Akrons on each side. Ten Akrons, coming and going. One hundred brown, plastic letters, affixed to the gray concrete with anchors and stainless steel screws, at an estimated taxpayer cost just south of $10,000.

Then, perhaps as a result of the AKRON AKRON AKRON backlash, there was a great stillness upon the land.

Today, however, we are facing some troubling developments.

During recent journeys, DeCapua came across an ASHLAND ASHLAND ASHLAND bridge and a WOOSTER WOOSTER WOOSTER bridge.

The Ashland bridge is on U.S. 250 as it passes over I-71. The Wooster bridge is on Spruce Street as it passes over U.S. 30 (aka East Lincoln Way).

You’d think, with all the GPS devices in use these days, we’d have a pretty good idea which city we’re approaching. Apparently not.

Fortunately, both of the new signs are visually appealing. Both are made of metal, in attractive fonts, and there’s only one reference to the city on each side. A quantum leap, aesthetically speaking, above the AKRON AKRON AKRON bridge.


Miracle stat

Now here’s some news that’s really discouraging.

Allstate Insurance says Akron has some of the best drivers in America.

Are you kidding me? Can you imagine what the drivers must be like in other places?

The study ranked the 200 largest cities in terms of the frequency of car collisions. Akron came in 52nd.

Perhaps we’re also among the front-runners in crashes that go unreported.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or