Over the past few weeks I have been thinking of the letters I have written, sent and unsent, and the letters I have received throughout my life. The reason for this reflection has been a memory book that my cousins and I compiled for our Aunts-Mick and Connie.
When we began planning the book, we immediately knew we would include memories of Grandpa John and Grandma Esther as well as the picnics and holidays we spent together as children. And then, the Workman cousins asked for memories of their sister Cynthia who we lost way too soon in our lives. I was 21 when she died of complications from pneumonia and kidney failure, so was she. They were much younger, the oldest 15 and the youngest, just 7 years old.
Their request made me realize that they too had lost someone way too soon. When I sat down to write that short essay I realized that one of the things I cherished most about my cousin Cynthia was her passion for writing letters to stay in touch. When she and her family moved farther away from us, and she didn’t see her cousins as often, she devised a “round robin” letter writing campaign, so that Peg, she and I could stay in touch by writing a letter a month. She would start the progression, send it to me because she knew I was the procrastinator in the group and then, I then would send it on to Peg, who would write her contribution and send it all back to Cynthia who would then write the next month’s beginning letter, include Peg’s. and send it all to me. How I looked forward to the mailman towards the end of the month when I knew a letter should be arriving soon.
Lo and behold, today, I received an email from her older brother who tells me he has a box of the letters she sent to him, and he will gladly share them with Peg and me. To dwell in the past is not a good thing to do, but to be able to travel back to another place and time when you were young opens a connection to people that were very special and important to you and that is a good thing.
How often, when I open a box of the cards and letters that I did keep. I wish that I had kept just a few more of the everyday missives that I received from friends and relatives. I kept many of the letters my best friend Beth wrote to me when I was in college because she always included them with a card that made me laugh or remembered some event that she and I had shared together. She on the other hand, had a mother who saved a box of “school notes” that she wrote to me and other friends. Of course, it again had that “round robin” effect.
The year I had my heart attack I went to spend a week with Beth and her family. She opened that box and we spent a joyous afternoon, laughing until we cried, crying until we laughed because there was some sadness included in the writing of those notes. In the end, she and I were amazed at what we saw then as being obstacles and incidents that had the possibility of changing our lives forever, were in the here and now, not so important after all.
I guess that my intention for writing this post is to warn those of you who have the tendency to purge the past out of your lives periodically to be sure that you ask the question “Will I wish I had kept this letter, note or card when I am sixty four?
To Mayor Jackson, Safety Director McGrath, Flask and Chief of Police Williams:
If your intent was to make the citizens of the Second Police District feel unsafe you achieved your goal.
Last night, I went to bed uneasy knowing that now when the drug dealing on both sides of my home becomes intolerable I no longer have Commander Sulzer to email to let him know about the increased activity both day and night. I am sure that replacement Tom Stancho is a fine and capable person, but you see it takes years to gain the trust of a community. We had a Commander who had the trust and confidence of his community built on years and years of serving us well. You don’t simply interchange that kind of person with another cog in the wheel.
Knowing that Commander Sulzer would use the information that I forwarded to him from myself and others so that we would again have a quieter, more peaceful existence was a constant reminder that we were safer and more secure with him at the helm. He used the information we gave him to deploy his officers effectively and efficiently
This morning, I woke up before dawn realizing that I wasn’t as safe as I was yesterday because Commander Sulzer no longer leads our team of police officers who protect and serve my community.
You have taken from us a man who was a true leader. He knew that being a policeman was much, much more than commanding his troops. He knew that enlisting the help of the community to be his eyes and ears was essential to our well-being as a community. He knew that working together was how we would all be safe and secure. He made sure by being visible in the community and being part of our social fabric that we would continue our daily lives with a surer step- a little bit more confident that our decision to make Cleveland our community of choice was a good one because hw was a member of the team..
Yesterday, I had hope in achieving our community’s goals because we had a very sturdy rudder to guide us through some, at times, pretty heavy seas. Today, my councilman Brian Cummins along with other leaders in my community are demanding some answers on why such a devastating decision was made that will harm our community. And, I no longer have the optimism and confidence I once had.
Unfortunately, in my heart I believe I know the answer to this devastating turn of events-politics. I have heard that the decision to demote a commander lies with the police chief. I have no reason to believe that this decision was made any differently. We will be given a rash of statistics and reasons as to why this demotion and disgrace of the best police commander I have ever known was a needed outcome of events in our community. But, I say to you that Commander Sulzer is the best commander to ever serve in the City of Cleveland because former Second District Commander Greg Baeppler ,who has always been my comparison when sizing up our police force, told me so. I have always believed that Commander Baeppler speaks the truth, and through the years, I have learned for myself that his statement is true.
I am saddened to think that this decision was probably made for a much more personal reason than “the good of the community” although I am sure that crime statistics will be the official reason. Looking at statistics can be misleading and are not a good way to evaluate the strength of a police force and its commander. Recently, I have seen reports of crime being “up” in the second district. Subtle hints in the media to show that we are not as “safe and secure” as we perceived, targeted specifically for us to doubt ourselves. Has anyone ever reasoned why this may be? Could it be that more people report crimes because they are confident that something will be done, that their complaints are taken seriously, that the new way to deploy officers is to strategically place them in areas with more reports of incidents of crime works but only because people report crime? Did the very rules devised to make us “safe” cause the one thing that will make us “unsafe”?
Reasoned decision making and good judgment are traits that any good leader should have but are especially crucial for a police chief or those who choose that leader. On the surface, the decision to force Commander Sulzer to resign and accept a demotion appears not to be seasoned, reasoned or based on sound judgment, so why was it made? Tell us.
The Second District community deserves answers and not only should one of our elected representatives ask, but all of our councilmembers should be asking this question in unison. If it is one thing I know about my friends and neighbors, we will write letters, we will make phone calls, we will stage protests until we get the answers we deserve regarding the untimely and ill- conceived demotion of Commander Keith Sulzer. We will demand answers.
I will not go so far as to suggest that this decision should be reversed because heaven knows that takes a true leader who knows it is better to reverse a decision than to ride it down to the end. Of course, when decisions are made by a “lame duck” administration it isn’t that administration that lives with them but the community that will be left to pick up the pieces.
Council leaders should certainly question why the Police Chief made this decision and demand concrete evidence to show why it was made. It is time for council to show true leadership and not allow a lame duck administration to continue to make decisions that will affect our lives long after it is gone.
Friends living in the 2nd District or anyone else who lives in Cleveland and cares about our relationship with our police force should call and express our thoughts about Commander Sulzer to the following people and numbers: Police Chief Calvin Williams 216-623-5005; Safety Director Michael McGrath 216-3716; and the Mayor’s Office 216-664-3990.
How strange that a few short months ago I worried that Commander Sulzer would be promoted to police chief and we would lose this fine man to the greater good. Never did I dream that we would lose him for reasons that are so very wrong.
I’ve always thought the term “war on drugs” set the wrong tone. It was a “war” set to fail. I dated a DEA officer in the 70′s shot in the back when he entered a known drug ring’s apartment. They never found the partner who did it, who decided the money on the other side was too hard to resist. He told me that he thought it was futile as long as there were people to buy there would people to harvest and sell.
So, depleting demand should change the need for supply in theory.
Mansfield is correct until there is a bed for every addict needing and wanting it with the help to find a job (usually a futile attempt since there is probably a felony record in the person’s past and when there are 5 people for every job available not much chance of it happening) and a reason for staying clean, usually reconnecting with a family worn down by years of promises broken, law enforcement will be asked to clean up the messes so they are kept out of sight, not eradicated.
And now, with the added, addiction caused by prescription painkillers, who wouldn’t go to the cheaper and more readily available heroin on the streets?
I think I finally get why the drug dealers in my neighborhood are so busy at 8 am and 5 pm- a steady stream of SUVs and late model cars pull up, a driver or passenger hops out, knocks on a door or talks to a kid on a bicycle, and 5 minutes later they pull away.
And, before you say that law enforcement does nothing, let me tell you that the battle rages on in my neighborhood and across the city. But, just like the potholes in Cleveland there are priorities, many cases just wouldn’t make it to court and if it did because of overcrowding of jails, treatment facilities, the penny ante dealer will soon be back on the streets.
Until we treat drug addiction as a SOCIAL ill instead of a criminal one, I don’t think much will change.
Recently, I told someone that I think we do not discuss the poverty rate and the day to day reality in our neighborhoods in a way that causes any real action on how to change it.
This comment was in response to yet again another discussion about the yearly “go around” when the City and the Cleveland City Council takes on the subject of Community Development Block Grant funds and how the ever shrinking pot will be dispensed. You might wonder why this would be a topic of conversation for me on a daily basis at this time of year. I serve as the Chair for the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Advisory Council, and that is the reason.
Disclaimer: This blog post is strictly my own thoughts and views on the subject and does not in any way represent an official viewpoint of said Council or anyone else for that matter.
Our economic strategy is based on scarcity rather than abundance. in essence “the haves and the have nots”. It doesn’t matter what commodity the discussion is about: food, oil and gas, money, transportation, water, land, you name it, and what it boils down to is who has it and who doesn’t. In the case of CDBG funds who holds the purse strings and how it is dispensed is the topic of discussion.
Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900’s built libraries instead of soup kitchens based on the premise that people’s minds should be fed as well as their bodies. Kind of a “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” philosophy. Cleveland Public Library’s “The People’s University” comes to mind.
Last year, I had the opportunity to hear Peter Block, one of the authors of “The Abundant Community” and Dr. Olivia Saunders, an economist from the Bahamas at an all day seminar hosted by River’s Edge. Since I was in college, I have always had an avid interest in economics, but their discussion about The Economics of Abundance turned everything I thought I knew upside down and has had me looking at things differently ever since that day. Dr. Saunders held up a tomato and asked this question “ How many seeds does this tomato have?” Then, in small groups, we were to figure out how many seeds were in that tomato. The answers varied from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Her answer: “enough”.
As long as we see “getting the money” as the end rather than the means, we will continue to believe “there is not enough”. Collaboration, partnering, and developing “new” ways of doing things is how we transform our ability to “do more good with fewer dollars” because we have the skill set to do it within each community in Cleveland. Peter Block voiced how we are taught that the answers are “out there” and “somewhere else” instead of right there within a community itself.
This article “Is It Taboo for You Too?” by Richard Wagner on www. worth living.com asks some good questions on how we could reframe the dialogue into some meaningful discussions . How we could ask some questions that could actually begin to change our mindset about money as the tool it is rather than the end goal. Put it all in perspective as it were.
When I stumbled on Robert Pearce’s recent blog post that referenced Capital Financial Group, it was hard for me to recognize the men and women that I have come to know over the years. Mr. Pearce’s broad stroke of the pen does the financial services and his profession a disservice.
In striving for his intent to raise fear, uncertainty and doubt in his readers, he has done a disservice not only to an independent producers’ brokerage but also to the dedicated men and women who have forged a relationship that works for them as well as their clients.
You see, I have met many of the people he supposedly describes in his article. You do not know me, just as many of you do not know Mr. Pearce, but I ask you to trust my statement that I didn’t meet people like the ones he describes.
Over the years, I have met a dedicated group of people who strive for professional knowledge by learning how to ask hard questions of people who are supposed to have the answers, all the time knowing that there are no crystal balls. I have participated in group discussions led by their peers. They do not take their obligation to themselves and their clients lightly.
I have interacted socially with their wives and husbands. There are those to whom I nod in a crowded room and there are others that I can’t wait to see again. When you interact with a group of people in a professional setting, and then later, break bread with them socially, you get a feeling about who those people are, what you have in common, and how you relate to each other.
I have come to know this company, their registered reps through themselves and their spouses and I don’t recognize the people Mr. Pearce describes. In any profession there are those who are better at what they do than others, there are the technical and analytical ones, there are the ones who are listeners, and the ones who map out a plan and help you stick to it; very seldom, are they like Mr. Pearce’s description. If yours is, by all means, consult someone who can help you, but do not succumb to fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Trust is a key in any relationship and whether you are choosing a financial advisor, an attorney, a friend, or a spouse, it should be at the top of your list of criteria. Through the years, you choose trusted advisors to guide you on your way. Chances are your trust is not misplaced.
I am a blogger. I read blogs. I post things to the internet. Would I choose a trusted advisor from what I read on the internet? No. Would I want someone to choose me as a trusted advisor based on what they found on the internet? No. Some things are still better done face to face. Trust is still a key component of good relationships whether they are professional or personal.
My father was one of my trusted advisors. Now, his sage advice only remains in my memory. He was an avid fisherman, preparing for each trip with anticipation. Sometimes, he would come home with a bucket filled with fish; other times there would not be many at all. I couldn’t understand his fascination with a sport that could yield so much or so little.
He said, “Cat, ask yourself this question: Would you rather catch a fish like Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams in a swift river, or a pond stocked with hungry fish fighting for food?
I know my answer. What’s yours?
Oh. Here is Robert Wayne Pearce’s posting from this past June:
By Robert W. Pearce of Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. posted in Capital Financial Group on Saturday, June 1, 2013.
Capital Financial Group Inc./H. Beck, Inc. (Capital Financial) is an independent broker-dealer headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland and reportedly has over 1000 registered representatives across the United States operating in one or two person offices. Its branch offices are largely comprised of small producers earning commissions at higher pay out rates than the major full-service brokerage firms, a recipe for disaster when it comes to protecting investors from churning and unsuitable investments and unsuitable investment strategies!
Churning is a violation of Federal and state securities statutes, industry rules and regulations and a breach of fiduciary duty to investors under common law. Churning can occur if a Capital Financial broker exercises control over the investment decisions in your account and purchases stocks or recommends that you purchase and sell stocks for his benefit, i.e., commissions not yours! These trades rarely, if ever, make the investor any money. In fact, the additional commissions raise the break-even point for the investor to the level where the stock must perform at an extremely high level in order for the investor to make any money.
In every broker-investor relationship, the broker must assess what the investor’s goals are as well as his or her risk tolerance. This assessment is based on a number of key factors, including the investor’s stated objectives, risk tolerance, financial condition and tax status. It is the broker’s responsibility to only pursue investments suitable for that investor based on these factors. A stockbroker is obligated to only recommend suitable investments and investment strategies. If a Capital Financial broker recommends unsuitable investments and unsuitable investment strategies, it can leave you vulnerable to unnecessary risk and losses.
Independent broker-dealers are notorious for their lax supervisory practices and procedures. The business model of these operations is to open many offices nationwide for steady growth of fixed monthly revenues without the costs attendant to a full-service branch office with on-site manager, compliance officer and operation personnel. The registered representatives of these independent broker-dealers generally operate as separately incorporated businesses. They are not employees of the broker-dealer and therefore not controlled in the same manner as full-service brokerage firm representatives. The registered representatives control their structure and costs to maximize profits and often leave the protection of investors’ rights and interests as their lowest priority.
The typical supervisory organization of independent broker-dealer operations is to have other independent contractors operate Offices of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJs) to monitor the registered representatives from geographically remote offices and then report to the main franchisor’s compliance office at national headquarters. The supervisors at the OSJs are not employees of the franchisor and often run their own brokerage, insurance and other businesses. They are not devoted full-time supervisors of the smaller branch offices. Consequently, OSJ managers cannot and do not supervise the day-to-day operations of the registered representatives of these Independent broker-dealers.
There is no immediate review of new accounts opened, securities transactions, business records, cash or securities receipts and deliveries, correspondence and business activities unrelated to the securities brokerage operation at these independent brokerage firms. The lax supervision leaves investors who have transferred their accounts to the smaller independent broker-dealer vulnerable to excessive purchases and sales of securities and securities that have not been reviewed or authorized by anyone other than the sales representative earning a commission. Generally, no manager is onsite to detect the placement of inaccurate information about a client’s investment objectives and financial condition to document the suitability of a particular investment recommendation. There is no daily review of sales literature and client correspondence to protect against misrepresentations and misleading statements being made to investors. In fact, there may be only one compliance audit visit per year at many of these offices. These Independent brokerage business operations are worrisome to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which has documented more instances of sales abuse and consequently investor losses at these firms.
Have you suffered losses in your Capital Financial brokerage account? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against Capital Financial stockbrokers who engaged in churning, recommended unsuitable investments and unsuitable investment strategies that caused investors losses.
The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 30 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889 FREE, or email Mr. Pearce at email@example.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.
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Capital Financial Investor Alert – Watch Out For Churning and Unsuitable Investments! | US and International Securities, Commodities and Investment Dispute Law Firm | Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, Boca Raton FL
Our meeting tonight, January 9, 2014, about the proposed utility work on Denison needs to address things that have been discussed here and legislated here for over 100 years. See this piece from 2007:
Saturday, June 23, 2007
FindLaw for Legal Professionals – Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code — Since prior to the First World War, in the times of Mayor Newton D. Baker, the City of Cleveland has had fairly intelligent ordinances on the books for the discreet handling of public utilities. This link speaks to electrical wires, and the same ideas should apply to telephone wires and fiber optical cable, and refrigerator-sized boxes on treelawns. I’d say that now we have SB117 rolling towards us, we need to revisit why it’s in the public interest to put utilities underground, out of the way, out of sight, out of mind, and secure against compromise by terrorists and nasty weather, and the occasional careening automobile.
Let’s start talking about making the utilities invisible. We’ve had the idea for about 100 years and, like the 1903 "Burnham and Root" plan, The Group Plan, we still haven’t fully executed it. That says something about our community, and about us.
We need to make sure the interests of the public are served first, and those of the utilities are served someplace after that. I wouldn’t want to build a business in a city where my lifeline, my electrical and fiber optic cable hookups, were exposed to as much risk as they are in Cleveland. Cities with thriving commerce like Dublin, Shanghai, London, and Paris realized this long ago; business goes where it’s generally welcome.
Here’s a writer’s recounting of the wireless renovation of Brugge that paid dividends, once it created community capital. Like Cleveland, Brugge was at one time one of the richest cities in the world:
The city fell on hard times and became such a backwater that neither side bothered to bomb it during the war. The place was poor for a long while, and only began to recover during the 70’s.
But then Brugge found that History had dealt it the same kind of weird backhanded favor it did when it made Ireland too poor to put chemical fertilizers on its fields and pastures (for which reason its grass-fed beef is now famous all over Europe, and its organic produce
is becoming that way). Brugge had been ignored… and hence all the great old buildings of its medieval inner city had been perfectly preserved.
The city began renovating itself and (in a very smart move) putting all its utilities underground. Phone, electric, cable, fiber, everything went under the paving stones. Satellite dishes are not permitted to be visible on the outsides of buildings: everybody in town has affordable thousand-channel cable and broadband, and if you want something more exotic, as long as you can hide the hardware from the tourists, you’re fine.
As a result, you can walk through the Markt and all the streets around it and see nothing that reminds you of this century…except the things inside the shop windows. A big problem, there, for this is one of the great shopping towns of northern Europe.
Dear Councilman/Councilwoman -
The Cleveland Browns needs to share revenue with the City of Cleveland to the extent that football is supported by the public purse.
I do not favor giving the Browns any more money for the stadium unless we the people become full and mutual partners in the revenue–not necessarily, just in the profits.
What the public has invested now needs to be calculated honestly, and what the owners have invested now needs to be stated transparently and completely. From that point on, further capital contributions can be tracked, and concessions and incentives can be tallied. Revenues should then be divided. Profits come after that.
Let them move the team if businesslike terms aren’t palatable. This extortion must end. Living with a lease negotiated while Mayor Jackson was President of Council, surely, does not mean we should continue to give and give more than necessary.
As one of our elected officials meant to counterbalance the City Administration, please do your due diligence and remember those who believe in your ability to stand up to bullies.
Also, I believe support of the team should be regional, not merely shouldered solely by the City of Cleveland.
Today, in a conversation Tim reminded me of this poem from my college days when he quoted “go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence”
I still have a tattered copy in my desk drawer that I pulled out periodically and read when college life was overwhelming. I am wondering today why I ever stopped. And yes, I still believe “it’s a beautiful world”.
desiderata – by max ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann c.1920
Friend Kathleen Nemeth on the West Coast toggled my awareness of Macy’s plan to feature a float featuring Shamu the Orca Whale that will promote SeaWorld. It started me thinking of what the Macy’s Parade means to me and how it became a ritual for my daughters to watch growing up while I fixed Thanksgiving Dinner. They would call to me so that I could share their glee at seeing their favorite characters travel down Fifth Avenue.
One year, my cousin Kathy had the pleasure to hold one of the tethers for one of the larger than life balloons. Later, she told us that it was very hard to do and would be a “once-in-a-lifetime’ event for her because it was much more enjoyable to watch the parade from the sidelines.
Personally, I decided that this “new float” sets a bad example for children. To take whales out of what is real” and placing the mammal into a fantasy realm does a disservice to all of us.
My email to Macy’s:
Why would Macy’s tarnish the image of the popular Macy’s Thanksgiving parade by portraying an Orca Whale as a cartoon character to promote Sea World? Children associate the large balloon floats with their favorite "animated" characters and fantasy. A whale is a living, breathing mammal. The more we learn about mammals we find that they grieve, suffer, experience joy, compassion and many other traits that humans felt made them a unique species. We now know that is not so. Therefore, I for one will not be turning on the Macy’s Day parade or purchasing items from your corporation.
Let it be known that these House Reps holding our country hostage are NOT I repeat NOT in any way shape or form the least bit like the revolutionaries that formed our country. Those men and women faced bankruptcy, ruin, homes destroyed by fire, loss of life and oh so much more. These yahoos continue to draw salary and reap benefits from special interest lobbyists for global corporations which have no loyalty to country only to shareholders.
I am appalled! For this man to compare himself and this Congress to the American Patriots of the American Revolution is the epitome of ego gone wild.
Virginia Representative Morgan Griffith and others of his ilk should be voted out of office as soon as possible.