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February 10th, 2011
Fort Wayne, Indiana Refuses To Name a Building After a Beloved Former Mayor . . .

From 1934 to 1954, Fort Wayne, Indiana had a fantastic mayor.  He was beloved in town.  He won four terms.  He was mayor longer than anyone else in Fort Wayne history.

But the city is now REFUSING to bend to popular demand and name a new government center after him.  Because his name was . . . HARRY BAALS.  (--Yes, it's pronounced like you think it is.)

That's "Harry" spelled "H-A-R-R-Y" and "Baals" spelled "B-A-A-L-S" . . . but it's the pronunciation, not the spelling, that's holding up the city leaders.

Harry died in 1954, while he was still in office.  His family today has changed the pronunciation of their last name to "Bales."

Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said that the city leaders are refusing to drop Harry Baals on the building because, quote, "We realize that while Harry Baals was a respected mayor, not everyone outside of Fort Wayne will know that."

There's only one problem.  This story BLEW UP LIKE CRAZY online yesterday . . . and the people have spoken.

The city has a website called FeedbackForFortWayne.org, where people initially voted on the name for the center.  Before yesterday, Harry Baals had a few hundred votes.  As of last night he was up to well over 10,000.

The next closest competitor, the Anthony Wayne Government Center, has fewer than 500 votes.  Even with this support as a testicl . . . err, testament . . . to the popularity of Harry Baals, the city isn't budging on the name. 

(Fort Wayne Journal Gazette) 


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