By George Held
Cuyahoga Falls, OH. (INS) Stung by the recent loss of its most famous citizens, the city of Cleveland is seeking to follow suit, leaving Ohio bereft of its second largest metropolis. The Municipal Council has appointed a delegation to negotiate with Sun Belt states to cut a deal to move this Rust Belt city to New Mexico or Arizona.
“We might have lost Lebron, Harvey Pekar, and George Steinbrenner,” said chief negotiator Walt Przybniec, “but at least the Cuyahoga River hasn’t caught fire for 40 years. Still, the weather sucks, no one comes to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame anymore, and even the cargo ships on Lake Erie are passing us by.”
On the other hand, Cleveland is rising on the list of most dangerous cities, ranking No. 7 in 2008. And Przybniec notes that white flight in the 1990s left only 38% of the city’s population made up of its former racial majority. “Let’s see if my relatives will stay in the suburbs or move to the Southwest with us,” he said.
The defection of Akron native LeBron James to the Miami Heat dimmed NBA title aspirations for the hometown Cavaliers in an otherwise dismal sports environment. The NFL Browns are perennial doormats and the Indians last won the World Series in 1948 and trail only the lowly Chicago Cubs for the longest drought since their last championship.
Asked how decaying Cleveland would appeal to the Sunbelt, Przybniec pointed to the Cleveland Clinic, a medical powerhouse, and Case Western Reserve University, ranked 37th in the nation. “We figure that Flagstaff AZ or Roswell NM could stand an infusion of Cleveland know-how,” he explained.
“Confidentially,” Przybniec added, “no one in C-town wants to live here anymore. That’s why Dennis Kucinich keeps running for Congress.”