New Government Building Won't Be Named After Harry Baals

What outrage! After all his years in civil service as mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Harry Baals is denied the honor of having a government building named after him:

Harry Baals is the runaway favorite in online voting to name the new building in Fort Wayne, about 120 miles northeast of Indianapolis. But Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said that probably won't be enough to put the name of the city's longest-tenured mayor on the center.

The issue is pronunciation. The former mayor pronounced his last name "balls." His descendants have since changed it to "bales."

Supporters said it's unfair that the former mayor can't be recognized simply because his name makes some people snicker. But opponents fear that naming the center after Baals would make Fort Wayne the target of late-night television jokes.

Shocking, I know: Link


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I blame the parents. What kind of ego does it take to pass a name like that on? What is it like for the kids in school?

Yeah, when these parents named their child in the year 1886, they should have been able to predict the vulgar, clownish sensibilities of the people who would live almost 130 years later.
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I don't think the Government put up the entries. It was sponsored by a local newspaper. Anyone could submit a name and anyone could vote on any submission. So Harry Baals was first, Thunderdome was second, Chief Little Turtle Center was third. All of those are awesome.
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Why did the government put his name up among a list for a vote, and when the guy won by a landslide they then backed off? How patently undemocratic? Besides, a funny name like Harry Baals might be good for Fort Wayne to add some excitement to an otherwise dull town.
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