Toledo endures spike in blazes at vacant structures

While Ms. Lothery, an area Block Watch captain, was relieved that the building burned, not everyone is happy about what has become a trend in Toledo.

Vacant-structure fires such as the one near Ms. Lothery's house on Oct. 5 have become increasingly common in the city this year, continuing an upward trend that began three years ago.

There have been 163 such fires reported this year, compared to 127 at this time last year, Assistant Fire Chief Luis Santiago said.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081019/NEWS16/81...

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continuing an upward trend that began three years ago........ What happened 3 years ago that would have started this trend I wonder?

I'll take "The Mayor Was Elected" for $1000, Alex!

DONGGUAN, China – Unemployed worker Wang Wenming was angry at his boss for shutting down a massive Chinese factory this week that made toys for Mattel Inc., Hasbro Inc. and other American companies.

But the assembly line worker was also furious at the United States.

"This financial crisis in America is going to kill us. It's already taking food out of our mouths," the 42-year-old laborer said Friday as he stood outside the shuttered Smart Union Group (Holdings) Ltd. factory in the southern city of Dongguan.

The company, which has struggled as global growth has slowed in recent months, employed 7,000 people in mainland China and Hong Kong. It wasn't immediately clear how many have lost their jobs.

Economic upheaval in the U.S. is already changing and shrinking China's vast manufacturing hub in the southern province of Guangdong, long regarded as the world's factory floor. However, factory closures won't just be a China problem — shoppers will feel the effect in malls and stores in the U.S. and Europe.

"When these companies go bust, the outcome is higher prices," said Andy Xie, an independent economist in Shanghai. "Labor costs have gone up 70 to 100 percent in the last three or four years. But these guys have not been able to raise their prices because Toys "R" Us, Home Depot and Wal-Mart are saying no price increase. How is that possible?"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081019/ap_on_re_as/as_china_factory_woes;_y...

NC

what happened here? Did you want to post this? E-mail me if something went wrong.

in my neighborhood today just a few hours ago.

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