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The Edge 

Policy Rides to Hounds
Nice digs! Browns President and GM Carmen Policy scored a honey of a house in Hunting Valley, on five-plus secluded acres off Fairmount Boulevard. The two-story Colonial, built in 1996, sports four bedrooms, four full baths, a finished basement, seven fireplaces, and a five-car garage. Price tag: a flat $3 million, with Policy and his wife signing for a $1.1 million mortgage. Not much chance of running into Dawgs in that neighborhood--property taxes alone run $25,600 a year.

Screams of horror echo up and down the Cuyahoga River, as panicked diners are caught in a burning restaurant . . . in the minds of Cleveland firefighters, anyway, who are unhappy about personnel cutbacks at Station House 21 in the Flats. Both a firetruck and a fireboat operate out of that station, but City Hall hopes to save $1.2 million annually by cutting the fireboat staff (eighteen people). Should fire erupt at a waterside venue, the plan is to respond with the truck then, if necessary, go back and retrieve the fireboat. That will add six to ten minutes of response time, according to Firefighters Local 93 Secretary Bob Fisher, who worries about trying to put out a blaze solely from the street side. "There's just not enough room," he says. Speaking off the record, another firefighter is more candid: "Can you imagine a fire at Shooters on a Friday? It would be a disaster. The problem is, nobody's going to believe us until twenty people die." Maybe then Shooters will stop charging for parking.

So you think the Academy Awards are an endurance contest? Try sitting through the local Women in Communications awards, handed out last week by no less a man of letters than John Lanigan. The fifty citations ran the gamut, from news stories to corporate brochures to ads, and included such worthies as "Shelf Talk Newsletter" (for Dow Chemical) and a "Media Day Invitation" for Geauga Lake. "I didn't count the awards," admits WIC President Gail Lynn Bialek. "But the more people who come to the luncheon, the more money we make to give scholarships." Any chance a genuine journalist will ever hand out the awards? "I'll be real blunt with you," confides Bialek. "Nobody likes to get an award from somebody who's not a [famous] name. We talked about having newspaper folks, but it's really hard to find somebody with a name, other than like Mary, Mary [Strassmeyer], who's deceased." And probably hoisting one with Don Robertson right now.

That lone voice defending Chief Wahoo in the wilderness of the Plain Dealer op-ed page last Friday was no innocent ballpark bystander. As the writer ID line noted, lawyer Louis Colombo shuffles papers at Baker & Hostetler. What the ID failed to mention is that Baker represents The PD, the Cleveland Indians, and Major League Baseball, the latter two obviously with a serious stake in the Chief's merchandising potential. Colombo says he hasn't worked on baseball-related legal matters for a good ten years, and that the genesis of the piece was "three friends sitting around bitching" about the beating the Chief is taking. No billable hours in that, though Colombo was pleasantly surprised at the number of calls he got in reaction to his cerebral defense. The tally: Keep the Chief, 20. Anti-Wahoo, 5.

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