My attention span is shorter than my list of enjoyable days in January 2014. So here’s a bunch of short stuff. Lightweight and meaningless. My specialty.

No, wait. Is that any way to talk about my favorite columnist? Let’s try this:

What follows is a delightful collection of wispy news items, as gracious and unexpected as the snow rollers that have appeared in area fields.

Yeah, that’s better.

Miracle cure

Reader Kristina Leach was amused by the headline on a recent news brief: “Mute swan chat.”

“I would think this feat is worthy of more coverage,” she wrote. “It’s not every day a mute species overcomes said trait to allow them to converse.”

Odd goal

The Ohio Department of Public Safety issued a news release with this headline:

“ODPS Announces Human Trafficking Partnership with Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.”

Well, here’s hoping your partnership is a rousing success. We need to do whatever we can to increase human trafficking. It’s a lost art.

Hey, it’s over!

Is that billboard near the Tangier going to stay up until the next election?

Towering above West Market Street in Akron is a photo of John Bryan, “Democrat for Ward 1 Akron City Council.”

The upper left-hand corner of the billboard says, “On Sept. 10 VOTE.”

That would be Sept. 10, 2013.

That would be 142 days ago.

Talk about an ineffective advertisement: Bryan finished dead last out of five candidates with 7 percent of the vote.

But his name recognition is growing by the day, so you never know.

Deer dilemmas

My Tuesday column about the policy of refusing to alert nearby residents to deer-culling dates in Metro Parks, Serving Summit County — not the case with Cleveland Metroparks — brought out some jokesters.

Bob: Probably the Cleveland Metroparks can afford to send notice of the deer hunts because they have lower printing costs. If they had letterhead that read, “METRO PARKS, SERVING CUYAHOGA COUNTY,” the cost to print the stationery would be much higher and they wouldn’t be so prolific.

Bill Garvey


Bill: Did you notice that when I wrote that column I referred to the park system as “Summit County’s Metro Parks”? I’m doing all I can to discourage the use of the worst name given to any park system since the death of Daniel Boone.

Bob: I can’t believe nobody realizes why no letters are sent out! It’s so simple!

What if the deer find out?

You think even ONE deer would go to that park once the word gets out that it is cull night?

Don’t insult the intelligence of the deer — even though the 10 or so who wander through the woods behind my house continue to walk right past the bale of hay I put out for them.

Eddie Vidmar


Right direction

Bobbie: I was relieved and pleased to learn [via a Beacon Journal story] an advisory council has been formed to steer the University of Akron’s Buchtelite into the future.

Even better, they’re going to “develop a plan going forward.”

Now, this is all well and good, but what I’m more concerned with is, will a corollary group hammer out a plan “going backward?”

Dave Russ

Cuyahoga Falls

Davie: Probably. On a college campus, you can never have too many committees.

Brain freeze

Why use a term everyone understands when you can create a new term just to call attention to yourself?

AccuWeather has trademarked the term RealFeel, a new spin on “wind chill.” Apparently, those folks are so cold their thumbs froze before they could hit the spacebar.

Worthless warning

One week ago, about 10:15 a.m., my ABJ colleague Edna Jakubowski was driving west on Interstate 76 from Kent to Akron.

On one of the overhead electronic message boards that now dot our freeways, she read, “W I-76 closed to S. Main St.”

When she got to the office, she asked me, “What would you think that means?”

I said, “I would think they’re saying I-76 westbound is closed from wherever you are to Main Street.”

That’s what she thought, too. Still, she kept going, figuring she would continue as far as she could before she was forced to exit.

She never was. What the sign was trying to say was, “The EXIT RAMP from I-76 to South Main Street is closed” (because of a water-main break).

About 7½ hours later, I was treated to a similar warning. But I was on I-76 West well beyond the Main Street exit.

I had plenty of time to look at the sign, because it took me 15 minutes to go one mile, thanks to a crash in the center lane.

Now, I’m not sure how many people heading west were planning to get off at the next exit and get back on I-76 East and get off at Main Street. I’m pretty sure westbound motorists would be more interested in figuring out why their own stretch of highway had turned into a parking lot.

This pricey messaging system continues to look good on paper but be incredibly lame in real life.

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