Ups and downs

(Ups) to Bill Sanford. Despite Steris’ recent struggles to make money amid weak spending by hospitals, Sanford leaves behind a strong legacy of leadership at the Mentor-based sterilization product manufacturer.

(Downs) to British Telecommunications. The telecom giant dusted off a 14-year-old patent and asserted ownership of hyperlinks, firing off missives to U.S. ISPs demanding royalties. What’s next? Claims of ownership by the British of the English language on computer keyboards?

(Ups) to East Ohio Gas. Northeast Ohio’s primary natural gas supplier has opened the spigots for consumers to choose their providers. It’s an outgrowth of a test program launched in 1998 in other parts of the state, and could save consumers up to 10 percent. It’s good for business and good for customers. Now if it could only do something about refined gas prices at the pump.

(Downs) to exorbitant gas prices. Business owners are feeling the crunch most of all. Delivery trucks, freight costs and travel expenses are adding up as unexpected lines in company budgets. With no true dearth of oil worldwide, it’s starting to look like collusion.

(Ups) to Microsoft. You’ve just got to love a company that thumbs its nose at the government in the face of overwhelming odds and a court decision against it. Rolling out its new Internet product three weeks after Judge Jackson’s decision was a brilliant stroke of rebellious genius. It almost makes you want to throw a tea party.

(Ups) to SBN magazine, named best business publication in Northeast Ohio and third in the state in the Excellence in Journalism competition. But we couldn’t do it without feedback from our readers about what they want. Keep it coming.