Filed Under (Shenanigans) by Casey Cooper on 01-02-2011

People may dislike my opinion on this subject as I sound like I’m insensitive. However, I personally believe that removing eyesores from cities and trying to renovate and renew the city is a great idea. I love the feel of cities and the urban environment, but I do not like the crime and other things of that nature that are often associated with cities. Having traveled to many different places including abroad I have a different perspective than that of others who haven’t had this opportunity. I stayed a week at the Victoria Thistle hotel in London with a view down one of the streets that meets up with the front of the hotel. The area was very wealthy and had plenty of shops and restaurants associated with a higher class. If I were in charge of developing an area or the mayor/governing body of an area this is the exact crowd I’d be after.

Being that we are a free market capitalist society I feel that this only makes sense. Why wouldn’t you want to attract business from individuals who spend money? Brooklyn hasn’t had a professional sports team since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles. Truth is sadly they would not be able to afford that type of thing in today’s market without bringing in outside help. I am not saying kick everyone out and tear it all down to start over from new. Those who live there should be given the opportunity to stay in Brooklyn at an affordable rate. However, the other spots are going to be pricey due to the type of people they want to attract. This also is a great way to create jobs for those looking for lower-mid range income levels and even high levels of income. If Brooklyn truly wants to keep the neighborhood feel they will need to understand that the income levels will always vary depending on the lines of work and education. Not everyone is able to make 100k+ a year. It is just not feasible to pay a fry cook at a fast food joint that amount of money due to the lack of skills needed for that position. Sure it is important in the process but it is not the most valuable.

With the slowing down in the economy and the legal battles it has killed a lot of the momentum and added to the costs of development. This is only going to cause more problems. I was always taught don’t count your chickens until the eggs hatch and also to finish the job. Well now that most of the proposed plans aren’t going to happen even though the new arena is being built it is only time until we see if the rest of the project collapses around it and being a huge waste of time and money or if it gets built but is haphazardly thrown together. How long will it take for the Nets to move out if they can’t get a consistent fan base to support them in Brooklyn? NBA teams take a lot of money to support them. It’s tough to charge big money and draw in a crowd when the surrounding area isn’t too pleasant to the eyes. Being from Cincinnati I have seen them try to do the same thing. Newport on the Levee across the river is always crowded and a great place for nightlife. Cincinnati has a few spots but nothing compares to on the river and in between the ball parks with that whole environment and crowd. That’s why I am a big supporter of The Banks project. A private company placed a museum in prime real estate next to the river where this project is being built. No problem with that until now they want state funding to keep their museum open. You don’t build a non-profit or struggling business in prime real estate and expect to get bailed out. The city needs to make money and attract visitors away from the competing areas. It’s tough to justify keeping a place like that when others are willing to spend big money to buy and develop that land for retail and housing that will generate far more in money for the area and also tax dollars. Cities compete against each other for money, that’s just a way of life, especially in the tourism industry. And for an added kick The Banks Project is being built by a bridge slightly older than that of the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe not as famous, but more important than most could ever imagine. Without the Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati there wouldn’t be a Brooklyn Bridge as it is seen today. It was designed by the same architect. Something most people are unaware of when they see the bridge in Brooklyn.



Filed Under (BGSU Facilities) by Casey Cooper on 01-02-2011

Facility Reflection

The Olympic size swimming pool was unique in most universities do not have one of this size available to the students. It had a cooler water temperature than that of the recreational pool due to swimming times being faster in the cooler water. Another great feature was the underwater viewing windows which can be used by coaches during practice and photographers for a unique view of swimmers and divers. Unfortunately we did not go over the guidelines or specs of the pool itself pertaining to depth. Although from what it appeared the starting blocks were positioned by the fold out bleachers giving them plenty of depth to safely enter from a diving start off the blocks. I am able to assume this as the diving platforms are positioned off to the left hand side when starting at the blocks. I grew up swimming competitively in the summer and also for my junior high team. I am very familiar with pools and would have to say that this is one of the nicer pools I’ve seen aside from certain places where the competition is much higher. Ann Arbor is home to one of the top collegiate teams and also has trained such athletes as Michael Phelps. As for high school pools Keating Natatorium at St. Xavier of Cincinnati is by far nicer than the pool here. They have a long history of winning state just about every year. The Keating family has also made large donations to the University of Cincinnati and a few years back one of the Keatings attended BGSU and was on our swim team. One feature that I have seen used is a temporary bridge splitting the pool in half so that it is only 25M on each end. This allows for coached to walk across the middle and help instruct the swimmers. It is not necessary but can be a helpful tool during practice.
I had never been to a racquetball club back home and so the tour was the first time I’d ever seen any indoor courts. I was very impressed with the amount and the quality of them. The window up above to instruct players seemed like a very useful tool. I also like the glass walled courts. It would be very interesting to watch a game being played from just behind that glass. I like how they have tried to transform some of them to be used in various other ways. I liked the idea of archery in the one and also the spinning and dance/aerobics. It seems that sound proofing them a little to cut down on echoing would be very helpful in the future if they wanted to use them more frequently. Also encouraging students to try new sports such as Wally ball, Squash, and Racquetball would possibly create a bit of a comeback for these activities. I understand that it might be tough but stirring up interest with curious students couldn’t hurt. I know that I would like to at least give some of them a try. I understand that the book has certain dimensions and court requirements for these facilities but we weren’t told if they were all regulation or not so I am going to assume that they indeed are. I highly doubt 14 courts that weren’t regulation would be constructed. I would like to see the Rec Center get updated and a bit of a facelift. They need to be able to compete with other schools and their construction. The onslaught of varsity athletics is nice, but when you don’t field a strong contending team it can go to waste. Not many students who choose to come to BGSU because of their storied sports program. As of late it has been somewhat lackluster. As for recruiting students, they need new facilities to house, feed, and entertain/occupy them. They are building two very nice new dorms, one new dining center, and now need to fill the void of recreation. The facilities now are adequate and nice, but they don’t draw the attention that others do. That is why I believe updating the current facilities would be highly beneficial.