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Everyone in Cleveland has Irish roots (well they did yesterday)

Fiona Crack | 03:41 UK time, Monday, 19 March 2007

As we waited for the 19 bags of kit to come out at Cleveland’s airport yesterday, a man cheerfully told me that we’re lucky that it’s only minus four degrees outside, we narrowly missed the freezing fog, plummeting temperatures, a tornado, blizzards and even an earthquake of last week. It’s spring in London but it hasn’t made it across the Atlantic to Ohio.

What has made it over the Atlantic is the spirit of St Patrick’s Day. Spirit being the key word here – whilst trying to locate a place for dinner last night – we ran in to lots of Clevelanders dressed in green T-shirts and hats, Guinness, whiskey and dodgy green cocktails in their hands.

With everyone in the city adorned with shamrocks and Guinness memorabilia, there wasn’t a taxi to be found, so the three of us trudged two miles across the river to a recommended hotspot for beer and dinner. It was worth it. The boys had burgers, but I nodded to my Irish ancestry with some potato soup. Your recommendations always come in handy.

Just days after David said "Hello Cleveland"on our blog and told you all about the first programme of our week long trip to the US, we had a bit of a staffing crisis and as a senior member of the team he stepped in, and cancelled his trip, to bolster our London team. I miss him, not least because I’ve picked up his work as well as my own responsibilities for Portland on Thursday and Friday. Still I’m sure I’ll find time for souvenir shopping.

I’ve just been to see our friends at Ohio’s broadcaster – WCPN – who are helping us put together tomorrow’s programme. After some general shop talk, we’re straight on to the editorial agenda,

Not for the first time, Iraq is dominating the international news. The BBC website has been asking for your comments all week, as the Iraq War enters its fifth year. And BBC World Service is dedicating part of their output to the discussions around the issues. Will WHYS be part of that? As ever, you set the agenda, you decide.

I show our colleagues two messages sent in by our listeners wanting to discuss Chief Wahoo

Kristen explains in her email
“We Clevelanders want to discuss the racist name and mascot of Cleveland's baseball team: the Cleveland Indians and their Chief Wahoo.”

Well you can see him on the site (the BBC’s travelling laptops don’t cut photos do hopefully Richard will do the honours) so you can see what were talking about. What do you think?

A few more calls and it transpires that this is always a controversial topic and fair game for discussion. But it’s a long standing debate not a particular hot topic at the moment however, Opening Day of the baseball season comes up in April so it is likely to flare up again.

It seems that perhaps it’s one to throw to the audience, if they want to talk about it, we will. After all, it’s our listeners that set our agenda.

Which is exactly what you can do, by posting a message on our blog below.

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