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A new view on Front Street

June 1, 2009 - Jim Bartholow
I like to write, really, I do. It might be tough to see that I do based on my blog entries. But the day-to-day rush of working in the newspaper business seems to take precedence sometimes. But here on June 1, I'll make a new year's resolution of sorts to write more often. You can either take that as a promise or a threat, depending on how you take my postings. First of all, I want to complement the city for the work on the revamped Front Street. the cutouts with benches and flowers really add a lot to what has been just another busy downtown Marietta street. Visitors to Marietta, and some local residents, too, like to take a stroll around town and Front Street is a popular destination. You can window shop, grab a bite to eat or gulp down some drinks. Front Street also is a hub for all sorts of night life, especially on the weekends. I also like the ersatz speed bumps disguised as brick pavement crosswalks. Even the parking space markings look nifty. It's hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that Front Street was known as a hangout for people down on their luck who often slept in vacant areas on the second and third floors of vacant buildings. Front Street also was dotted with seedy bars most people wouldn't go to by themselves, let alone take a date or their wife. And don't forget the pool hall/bar, the all-night pizzaria run by a Marietta legend (Pete Muscari). Now, there are antique shops and a variety of shops that actually look inviting to visitors. And the steady stream of events at the armory give people plenty of reasons to come downtown.

A word about LeBron As a native Clevelander, I was disappointed to see the Cavaliers fall in the NBA conference finals. I also was disappointed to see Cavs' superstar LeBron James sulk off the court after Orlando stunned the Clevelanders 4-2. LeBron, who always basks in the sunshine, of his own post-game press conference during the regular season and early rounds of the playoffs, chose to ignore the briefing after Game 6 in Orlando. Bad move, LeBron. Even apologizing after the fact is too little, too late. Sure, he's young. Sure, he was disappointed. Sure, he was angry at being manhandled by the Magic and not getting support from his teammates. But somebody in the Cavs organization has to be the one to tell LeBron "No! You can't skip this briefing." By not speaking, LeBron reignited the smoldering embers of the debate over where he will be staying in Cleveland or moving on to New York where those Yankee baseball hats he's so fond of wearing are actually appreciated.

Tribe update The first half of the season has been a real struggle. How's that for stating the obvious. The key to turning things around is the pitching, which has shown signs of coming around. I just hope there are enough healthy bodies around. Five of the seven Indians on the disabled list are pitchers. The Tribe has had to make lots of roster moves. Maybe they should start a Cleveland-to-Columbus or Columbus-to-Cleveland shuttle bus service to fill the team's roster needs. As for the offense, the Indians desperately need their Big 3 (DH Travis Hafner, catcher Victor Martinez, and centerfielder Grady Sizemore) in the lineup and producing. Otherwise, we're back to the summer of 2008, and that left a bad taste in the mouths of Indians fans, me included.

Fore!!!!!!!!!!! I'm looking forward with great excitement to seeing Friday's round of The Memorial golf tournament in Dublin. I remember seeing the PGA golfers at Firestone Country Club in the mid-'60s for the All-American Golf Classic. All I remember was watching legends of the game _ Nicklaus, Player, Palmer _ pulverize the golf ball with swings that seem to be free and easy. Now, Tiger's the one to see and I plan on getting an eyeful.


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