Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for February, 2006

Meet The Bloggers, Salon Edition

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Please follow this link for more information on tomorrow afternoon’s MTB salon event.

Hope to see you there, not later than 5 minutes until 2:00 PM.

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 25th, 2006 at 5:20 pm

Posted in quality of life

Three Words that make my heart go pitter pat

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Yesterday was just a “very busy day” for the Ferris family with lots of business appointments starting at 7 a.m. and the day didn’t end for any of us until well after 6 p.m. So it was a “Let’s Eat Out!” night. Welcome words to a woman who had tumbled into bed the night before at 1 a.m. after attending a Meet The Bloggers interview with the Chairperson at ODP at Scottie MacBean’s in Clintonville. Those of you who know me may wonder why I don’t blog about political candidates on this site. I have two reasons for not blogging about political candidates. I have decided that for myself the issues are more important than the candidates and secondly, I believe in the democratic process and that informed voters should choose who they want to represent them.
Too many people today are influenced by forces outside themselves when choosing whom they vote. You many not agree with me but then leave a comment or if you have additional thoughts let me know. For a brief moment, I considered blogging about the ODP chair’s interview with MTB, but decided that Chris Redfern is just too much of a political animal so I won’t be doing that.

Hey, back to “Let’s Eat Out!” Sticking to our New Year’s resolution, we dined at a local establishment–Don Gi’s Pizzeria established in the Old Brooklyn area in 1996. For those of you who do not drive down Broadview on a regular basis, Don Gi’s is located at 2159 Broadview Road. Katie and I had a pizza that had the best crust I have eaten in awhile. It was perfectly browned and had a crunchy taste. Anyone will tell you that a good pizza starts with the crust. The crust is the foundation. I learned that from a neighbor of mine who worked at Mama Santa’s in the 70’s. I wonder what happened to him. He was one “cool” character.

Obviously, I am having a focusing problem this morning. Tim had a meatball sandwich and they toasted the bun! This touch is one of Tim’s criteria for sandwich rating. Katie thought the lights were way too bright for a restaurant and I tend to agree, but Tim said that it was kind of nice to be able to see what he was eating. So I guess it just individual comfort at work here. We sat in the window seats and looked out onto Broadview road as we talked and laughed and chomped on our pizza.

The staff was very efficient and friendly which is one of my criteria. Who ever taught this new crop of waitstaff that people reward abruptness and rudeness have done a great disservice to the hospitality business. The young girl who waited on us will continue to receive good tips and appreciative smiles as she climbs the ladder of life. She was a delight.

On our way out the door, Katie stopped us dead in our tracks with the comment “We’ll have to come back here soon! The pizza is great” This statement was welcome to her parents’ ears. She doesn’t often like to go out with Mom and Dad, but now we know if we wave the promise of Don Gi’s Pizza we just may get to have dinner conversation with our wonderful daughter.

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 18th, 2006 at 8:46 am

Cleveland’s “Golden Gate” Bridge

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The debate rages on about the innerbelt bridge. Will it be a signature bridge or will it be a mundane structure not worthy of its location? And what is this “trenching” and why does it benefit the city and surrounding areas? Cool Cleveland challenges us to “put up or shut up” at the Midtown public meeting on the ODOT innerbelt project to be held on Tuesday February 21 at 9 a.m. in the morning. The meeting will be held at Myers University Club at 3813 Euclid Avenue. If you can’t be at this critical meeting please visit Cool Cleveland and send emails to Gordon Proctor of ODOT and copy Cool Cleveland. Cool Cleveland suggests that a strong turnout is absolutely necessary to get the point across to ODOT. I would suggest that the meeting time will hinder a large turnout since many of the people who are rightfully concerned–Midtown businessmen and women, employees of those businesses, and residents of nearby affected neighborhoods will be working at that hour. I have received ODOT publications concerning this project since I attended the first of a series of public scoping meeting held at MetroHealth on a Saturday many years ago. As I recall, the subsequent “public” meetings were held with a reception starting at 4:30 or 5:30 p.m. with the meeting held after those open receptions. I wonder just how “public” a meeting held at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday will be. I am sure that the usual government employees will be in attendance not because they have a stake in what happens but because their jobs depend on their attendance. Tim and I can work around this kind of scheduling on the part of our “government”, and therefore, we intend to attend the meeting. Believe me, if there is not a strong presence of the community there I will be questioning the timing of the event. So if you can attend PLEASE PLEASE COME and if you can’t please do what Thomas and his staff suggest write an email to Gordon Proctor copying Cool Cleveland. I am hoping that someone from Cool Cleveland makes sure that all of your emails arrive at Myers University at 9 am next Tuesday because I doubt that Gordon Proctor will have the time available to read them all beforehand. Pages and pages of emails can serve as a “strong” community presence. If I sound a bit cynical today, I am. Too much has happened in the political world in the past few weeks for me not to feel that way.

Any of you who have travelled through major cities in our country know that creating superhighways through the centers of those cities have done more to destroy them than to help them. We must stand up for our city and make sure that not only do we get a “signature” bridge, but that the effects of the “trenching” and cutting off of exits are minimal. How do we get people to venture into the heart of the city if they can zoom through without ever touching down?

For some reason, I can’t get to Cool Cleveland to link to the site. I will try later. The website is I want to post this so I can get on with my day.

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 15th, 2006 at 10:00 am

Celebes and the Flying Monkey

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Today was just one of those days. My feet were cold; it looked dreary outside; and I just didn’t want to roll out of bed, but I did. Then I sat down at my desk to look at the list of “to do’s” and groaned. This list had grown way out of proportion and appears to have become the “put off until tomorrow” list. I stood up, stumbled over the dog at my feet, and wandered into the kitchen.
What to my wandering nose did appear but the smell of freshly roasted coffee brewing in my barista. Tim had put on the coffee before he closed himself in the office to take part in a three way conference call. I was so appreciateive that I tiptoed into the office with the first cup of coffee I poured. I am sitting down at my desk with a hot cup of Celebes from Civilization. Suddenly, my “put off until tomorrow” list again looks like a “to do” list that will not be there when we take off to the Flying Monkey for the Urban Repair Project brought to us by our friend, Frank Mills. If you are looking for something to do on a snowy day in Cleveland, this project might be the thing for you. Frank’s gatherings are always great fun and we accomplish things, too.

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 7th, 2006 at 9:57 am

Is It Ethical?

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I just read this post on Brewed Fresh Daily and I have a few questions regarding the latecomers to the party. For months we have been hearing how the blogging community takes itself too seriously, how we are not true ”journalists” and how “the power of the blog” is all in our own heads. Now, Doug Clifton is telling his political writers to blog. I have several questions concerning the blogging rights of PD journalists. If blogging does not add dimension to the dialogue, why do it? Will comments be allowed? If they are, will they be edited? If comments are not allowed, why blog?

When the Plain Dealer did the five part series on Forest City Enterprises, I was mystified by the lack of comment by the NEO bloggers. Then I realized what had happened. The printed material about Forest City was very laudatory and warned that if we didn’t watch out we would lose FCE because we don’t appreciate them. The added dimension of the blog gave a much more balanced report of FCE and the projects that they have ongoing around the United States. Since I know one of the players fighting Forest City Enterprises-NYC over the use of eminent domain to assemble the land needed for the Atlantic Yards project as well as some of the design elements that are unfriendly to the neighborhood I will restrict my comments to that article. My friend called me from Brooklyn asking me to save the articles for her. She said the PD writer, Chris Montgomery had spoken to her for over two hours, she had sent him almost two inches of documentation and she was really excited to see what would be printed. I was quite skeptical on whether it would be a balanced report, but she saw it as an opportunity for more exposure and support. She was greatly disappointed when the opening paragraphs in the printed article included the line “a rundown neighborhood in Brooklyn” and that there was very little mention of how this band of neighborhood activists have gone head to head with FCE and have had impact. The blog entry for that article was much more balanced, offered links to No Land Grab and other sites which enabled the article to seem much more balanced.

Herein lies the problem. How can the Plain Dealer in good conscience offer two different stories to their readers—the printed story and the enhanced story on a blog with links?
Reread the Forest City Series and then read the blog entries that enhanced those articles. Am I being hypercritical or is it a valid question?
Meet the Bloggers was formed to meet a need that the Plain Dealer was not filling—in depth interviews on the issues important to Clevelanders with the mayoral candidates. It is now filling a decided void when it comes to the discussion of policy issues on a statewide level. All candidates are welcome to participate and the citizen journalists try to include questions by those unable to attend. In fact, George, Tim, and Bill are constantly looking for ways to make the podcasts and transcripts more accessible to a wider audience. Unlike, the Associated Press who recently told Bryan Flannery that they would no longer include him in their reports on the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial primary race because they do not see him as a viable candidate, Meet The Bloggers strives to be inclusive and interview any and all candidates that would like to use the platform. Isn’t it the voter who should make the choice of the more viable candidate?

How will the Plain Dealer strive to make the blog entries accessible to a wider audience? Will they take a leadership role in demanding that an equitable and fair way of providing Internet access to all Clevelanders be found?

And, last but not least if and when paid Plain Dealer journalists attend Meet the Blogger interviews should they have the same access to the candidate as those participants who obtained the interview with the candidate, those who take personal time to attend the interview and those who produce the podcast without compensation in the name of citizen journalism and the voters right to know. The candidates tell us that they would like nothing better than to sit down with these paid journalists and have an in-depth interview but are unable to gain access. Should those interviews be conducted at the expense of a Meet the Bloggers interview? And why are political journalists not interviewing candidates for public office?

And as I asked at the beginning of my post, is it ethical?

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 3rd, 2006 at 11:33 pm

five weird habits

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Tina tagged me for this one. The meme is five weird habits. Rules are…

…The Rules: The first player of this game starts with the topic “five weird habits” and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says “You have been tagged” (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.

Here goes!

1. I love peanut butter and mayonnaise, really miracle whip sandwiches.
2. I never tell anyone about a dream I had the night before until I have eaten breakfast because if you retell dreams without eating breakfast they won’t come true. My aunt instilled this rule in my psyche and I have now instilled it in my daughters.
3. I can’t sleep with my blankets tucked in at the bottom of the bed because my feet can’t breathe.
4. I can’t sleep with a light on or open closet doors.
5. I have never reread a book in my life. I think this must be kind of weird because of the number of people who say that such and such is their favorite book and they have read it ___ times.

This is a work in progress. Living as I have these past 23 years, mother of two, spouse of whatever, I’m having trouble defining “weird.” My “customary” is most other peoples’ “bizarre” or “freaky.” I don’t want to think about it too much now. I may slide quickly into a clinical depresssion, and then, where are we?

I’ll tag some more people later. Trying to tag people may also start the slide into depression because I am not very good at this sort of thing.

Okay, here it goes. I tag Daniella, Jill,Steve,Roger, and Jeff.

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 1st, 2006 at 9:33 pm

no such thing as disposable people

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I sent the trusty Tim to scout a lecture at Gesu Tuesday night by Father Donald Dunson, recently returned from East Africa. Father Dunson is the hero of one of our most respected and venerable friends, so I sent Tim out to see why. He came back changed, and with Tim, that has the potential to be problematic and unpredictable. I’m glad I sent him.

Father Dunson speaks on behalf of a portion of humanity not usually in our newspapers or on our televisions and therefore not in our consciousness: The people of East Africa, terrorized these past 19 years by “The Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA) in Uganda and the Sudan. Father Dunson’s affirmation: “There is no such thing as ‘disposable people.'”

Snippets from an incredible, eye-opening 1-hour talk:

“food is reverenced here”…”largest neglected human catastrophe”…”no food security”…25,000 children abducted and pressed into the military service…”the dark story of gender bias”…girls used as sex slaves and given as trophies to commanders…89% of those who escape the LRA have HIV…the kids who know death intimately…TB and HIV rampant through the generations…a monstrous maldistribution of resources…Sam died because he was too poor to live…

We all need to hear more from Father Dunson and how he views the human connection and the need for global solidarity. He’s a local boy who’s gained a world perspective. He knows “we live in a complex web of realities.” He tries to bring them into balance and alignment. He tells us we have much to learn from East Africa–things just are not right, and we live in a troubled world. I agree. His stories help put things around here into perspective right quickly.

It’s only a question of scale.

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 1st, 2006 at 8:14 pm

Posted in Cleveland