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Familiar names

By PA

Fort Wayne Reader

2011-03-20


Scanning over the list of new candidates for political office in Fort Wayne, a few names rang bells for us. There were the obvious ones, like former city council member Dr. John Crawford returning to run for an at-Large seat (as a Republican) on the council, and Ivan Hood, also Republican, also at-Large…

Then there was Kurt Gutman, making another run for city council after an effort a couple cycles ago; and Russ Jehl, a Marlin Stutzman look-alike with a name that might be familiar from a certain political campaign in 2007. Both Gutman and Jehl are Republicans, challenging Karen Goldner in the second district…

And then there was Nick Tash… Tash is a 19-year-old freshman at IPFW who is running as a Democrat for the at-Large seat on Fort Wayne City Council. When this paper’s editor said “hey, I think I know this guy…” PA thought that he was perhaps confusing Tash with former FWR music columnist Sean Smith — there is a certain resemblance, especially with the beard.

But no. A quick check of the dusty archives indicated that our editor had written about Tash just last October when he played vice-principal Douglas Panch in IPFW’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

According to Tash’s press release, Tash served as senior class president at South Side high school (he graduated in 2010). “I know that 19 sounds awfully young for someone to seek elected office, but as I saw at South Side, being involved is the best, most effective way to make a difference,” said Tash in the press release. “The decisions that are being made at the Council table, like sustainability and green initiatives plus job creation that will keep and my classmates in Indiana’s second-largest city and my hometown, are going to affect the next generation of Fort Wayne residents. Diversity of age in our decision makers is important.”

Age aside, it wouldn’t be the first time an actor has entered politics. City Councilman Tom Didier has been known to trod the boards, and weren’t there two governors of California who were actors earlier in their careers? We think one of them even went on to become president.


Square in the Baals

It was never really gonna happen, of course, but the property potentially known as the Harry Baals Center for Government has been officially named Citizens’ Square — a name which strikes PA as having a hint of the CCP about it, frankly, though we suppose that’s better than something that sounds like a throwaway gag on South Park.

Perhaps as a eulogy to the Harry Baals episode, Mayor Henry appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s show to talk about the new name. Kimmel, along with several other late night comedians, has referenced the story often, and upon telling the audience that the building was not going to be named after Mayor Baals, gave them permission to boo. They did.

The Mayor acquitted himself well; when asked by Kimmel if Fort Wayne citizens were “square,” the Mayor answered that we were one of the “hippest towns in the Midwest” — a true statement, especially if we’re talking about that section of the Midwest in between Bluffton and Auburn.

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