Miss Maha and the headlines

Things you might read in 2015 … or not

by Maha Kashani

Photo: Downtown Dayton won’t be making the fastest dying cities list in 2015; photo: Laura Loges

The ball drop is merely hours away! As a new year approaches, I felt it would only be appropriate to shine some light on the stories that you may or may not read over the next 365 days.

Dayton Makes “America’s Fastest-Dying Cities” List, again

Back in 2008, the cyber bullies at Forbes Magazine performed an “analysis” that led to our city being named one of the nation’s fastest dying cities. Fleeing Population? Waves of unemployment? A barely growing economy? Geez. What did Dayton ever do to you, Forbes? Well, those days are gone. According to the Downtown Dayton Partnership, in recent years, downtown has added many new amenities, housing, employers, restaurants and retail. Public and private partners have invested more than $400 million in the Greater Downtown since 2010, with another $200 million of new projects in the pipeline. Dayton is making economic strides, and our revitalization is just getting started.

The Gem City gets an NBA Team

I guess having our own LeBron to love, disown and then love again could be fun. Then again, that just sounds expensive. Dayton might not be getting an NBA team anytime soon, but who cares? The Dayton region is the official epicenter of college basketball in America! It’s not because Flyer Faithfuls, the best fans in the nation, are unrivaled when it comes to team pride. It’s because the University of Dayton Arena has hosted more NCAA basketball tournament games than any other venue in America! Recently, the NCAA announced that Dayton will host the first four “March Madness” games through 2018. This should come as no surprise. “Dayton is home to America’s No. 1 host site and home to America’s most passionate college basketball fans, whose commitment to the NCAA Tournament has no equal,” said JP Nauseef, First Four Local Organizing Committee chairman. So who needs a 6-foot-8-inch, 250-pound, 30-year-old who is a two-time NBA Champion and four-time MVP All-Star when we’ve got a hot local team and a title envied by every other city within a 600-mile radius?

Dayton Region Adopts Regional Government, Eyes Daytonnati Next

Regionalism, lovingly referred to as “power grabbing,” is the consolidation of governments. In a time when local governments are being crunched fiscally, it only makes sense to create mutually beneficial plans for cost-efficient government. That said, we have 28 jurisdictions and more than 200 elected officials in Montgomery County alone. Adopting a regional government means the unemployment rate would go up! Don’t worry. We can just blame President Obama. Although regionalized government is doubtful in our near future, citizens should know Montgomery County is working with municipalities to streamline operations, increase synergies and succeed as a county-wide community through an initiative called MCO Future. On the next level, speculation is heating up regarding a potential merger of the Cincinnati and Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would rank the combined region as the 14th largest in the nation. Daytonnati? Maybe in 2020!

Daytonians Flock to New York and Los Angeles in Search of a Better Life

Sure, New York City is waiting, with arms wide open, to crush your idealistic hopes and dreams. And yeah, if earthquakes, floods and wildfires are your thing, then Los Angeles could be cool. But when it comes to cost of living, Dayton takes the cake. Let’s say you have a million dollars. Would you rather spend it on a less than 900-square-foot apartment in Manhattan, a quaint 1,500-square-foot townhouse featuring a 90210 zip code or a 12,000-square-foot estate featuring an entertainment center, personal gym and five acres of land? I take my cyber bully comment back. Our friends at Forbes made amends when they named Dayton as America’s No. 1 Most Affordable City. You just can’t beat the lifestyle afforded to residents of this city given the arts, culture, amenities and conveniences. Unless, of course, you’d prefer to work three jobs … or live in a box.

Miss Maha and the City

Although I’ve made a small fortune with my side career as a freelance writer for the Dayton City Paper, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the retirement of my column. Writing about all the exciting events, opportunities to explore and positive news around Dayton over the past four and a half years has been an honor. Alas, all good things must come to an end. I know the most pressing question on your mind must be, “What will you do now that you’re no longer Miss Maha and the City?” Well, I’ve thought long and hard about this. It only feels appropriate that I move back to the suburbs, become an introvert and commute everywhere I need to go. Oh my, that sounds horrible! All joking aside, I’m blessed to have had this opportunity and hope that you will all continue to stay entertained and explore all the great things Dayton has to offer. Don’t worry. I’m not giving up my condo. Rest assured, you will still see Miss Maha in and around the City.

Happy New Year! I sincerely wish each and every one of you the best of luck, happiness and prosperity in 2015 and beyond. The Dayton City Paper will always be your source for positive news and fun things to do around town. So keep reading and remember to be safe, have fun and stay entertained. This isn’t goodbye; it’s see you later. Khodafez, my friends.

Reach DCP freelance writer Maha Kashani at MissMaha@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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