Ups and downs

(Ups) to Ford Motor Co. The venerable automaker will build its new Escape SUV at Avon Lake’s Ohio Assembly Plant, bringing jobs back to 850 workers laid off when the company shuttered its minivan production last summer. Ford estimates 17,000 new Escapes will be built this year and 35,000 in 2004, which is not only good news for workers but a shot in Lorain County’s economic arm.

(Downs) to Mayor Jane Campbell. While on the surface, Cleveland’s decision to renege on its agreement with Brookpark homeowners near the airport makes sense economically due to a decline in air traffic at Hopkins after Sept. 11, on a larger scale the move is extremely short-sighted. There’s little doubt that in order to grow the region’s economy, an airport expansion — and purchase of those homes — should still be part of the city’s long-term plan.

(Downs) for Arter & Hadden. Any time you lose a venerable organization with as rich a tradition as Arter, you have to mourn. But bad lease contracts, high debts and overextension of resources is always a formula for disaster — no matter what the industry.