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Hijacked history

TNS Regional News • May 9, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Here are a couple of new entries for the "You Can't Believe Everything You Read" ledger.

Hijacked history

All across the land, students in grades 8 through 12 are being fed a twisted version of the 1970 Kent State University shootings.

Get a load of this mangled account, printed in a publication called Upfront, distributed by the Scholastic Weekly Reader people under the umbrella of the New York Times:

"Five years into America's involvement in the Vietnam War, protests reached a fever pitch on college campuses, including Kent State University in Akron, Ohio.

"In early May, after the campus ROTC building was set ablaze (it's still unclear by whom), Akron's mayor sent in the Ohio National Guard.

"On May 4, 1970, guardsmen opened fire on protesters, killing four students (including at least one walking to class) and injuring nine. ..."

The mayor of Akron called in the National Guard?

Somewhere, the late John Ballard (Akron's mayor from 1966-79) is either howling with laughter or sobbing. Perhaps both.

For the record, kids, Kent State University is in Kent, Ohio. It's a real city. In 1970, it had a population of more than 28,000. Kent even had its very own mayor, a fellow named Leroy Satrom.

You should also know this, kids: The mayor of an Ohio city can't unilaterally summon the Ohio National Guard. That order came from the governor, Jim Rhodes.

Other than that, the account is flawless.

The demise of boredom

Raise the flag! We have been declared "not boring"!

An Internet real estate company called Movoto likes to put out lists ranking cities in various categories, probably to get people thinking about relocating.

The company recently posted this on its blog:

"There's this kind of constant misconception by the rest of the nation that Ohio is a boring place to live. Let's get this out of the way right now: It's not.

"There are zoos, water parks, scenery to discover and plenty of adventure if you know where to look.

"Besides, most astronauts come from Ohio, which means that state has got to have something going on that breeds the most extreme of thrill-seekers, right?"

Well, actually, the state of New York has had the most astronauts, with 31. California and Texas can each claim 23. Ohio is fourth, with 21. But why sweat the details? Any time we're being called "not boring," we should just play along.

We won't even address the aforementioned assertion that "the state has got to have something going on that breeds the most extreme thrill-seekers," because we just might reach the conclusion that a passion for thrill-seeking is spawned by boredom.

But we digress.

"We decided it was time to showcase not one but 10 of the most exciting places in the great state of Ohio," Movoto continues.

"So, we rounded up the numbers, analyzed them, and made ourselves a list of the most thrilling, chilling and fulfilling places in the Buckeye State."

Feast your eyes on the Top 10, which includes a couple of cities near and dear to our Akron-area hearts.

1. Lakewood

2. Oxford

3. Cleveland Heights

4. Sandusky

5. Kent (Yes, Virginia, there is a Kent, Ohio.)

6. Cleveland

7. Columbus

8. Cincinnati

9. Worthington

10. Akron

Cleveland Heights? The same city that was included in a travel advisory issued by the French government warning its citizens about dangerous places? Perhaps "gunfire per capita" is among the criteria.

Not so, says Movoto. Among its factors are "nightlife per capita" (defined as bars, clubs and comedy venues), parks, live music and the percentage of restaurants that are not fast food.

Here is Movoto's assessment of Akron:

"The City of Invention is so lively that you won't have to be inventive to find something to do."

Ah, yes -- the City of Invention. Why is it that nobody outside of Akron realizes the Inventors Hall of Fame went belly-up in 2008?

We are not the city of invention. We tried to be. We failed. The hall was moved to Alexandria, Va., six years ago.

But we're getting off-track again. The point is that Akron is NOT BORING. And here are some more reasons why:

"The place has a youthful feeling, due to over 25 percent of the population being between 18 and 34. It boasts the 10th best nightlife ranking and the 17th best music venue ranking, giving music and party lovers lots to choose from. ...

"Everyone is all about cozy in this city, shown by the population density ranking of No. 28 overall.

"In short, Akron puts up some seriously great numbers as far as excitement goes."

You betcha!

(Exclamation points always add to the excitement, don't they?)


By Bob Dyer - The Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)

©2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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