Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for March, 2006

building community

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I have a new page, available also through the sidebar to the right. There are a number of ways we become members of a community, and one of them is by joining organizations and participating in events, or just by hanging out and talking. Some community-building opportunities we have available here in Ward 15, or near it, appear on the new page, in no special order as yet. If you think I should be including something else, let me know.

New Blog on the Block

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This weekend a new blog was born.  It’s name is Save Our Land.  Visit it here. Although it is named Save Our Land, we hope that it becomes a place of community collaboration.  The Fulton Road Bridge Project has opened an avenue for dialogue that we have not seen recently in our city.  There are so many issues to be discussed–historic preservation, eminent domain, public access to the Metroparks, stakeholder issues, environmental issues, to name just a few. Stop by: leave a comment, consider becoming a contributor.  Our “tech troll”promises to try to accommodate new contributors, but understand he is still in a learning mode.  Thankfully,  he knows a lot of  “techies” that are experts so there shouldn’t be a long delay in adding your name to the list.  Choose a topic near and dear to your heart and hop on board!

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 23rd, 2006 at 6:23 pm

Bravo on the Avenue

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Yesterday, Tim and I participated in another insightful Meet the Bloggers interview with local architect and historic preservationist Bob Gaede.  For those of you who don’t know Bob he has built his national reputation as an architect right here in our midst.  Gaede Serne Architects, Inc. will celebrate their fiftieth year in the profession on July 1, 2006. The podcast will be up soon on the MTB website and it will be worth a listen.  Bob related his beginnings here in Cleveland, hiis WWII experience in England as a meteorolgist, and the founding of the Cleveland Restoration Society, originally known as the Downtown Restoration Society.

This has become a rather long lead-in to the reason for my post,  Bob’s daughter Gretchen is one of the promoters of Bravo on the Avenue.  The event will be held at Tower City this Saturday, March 25th from 5-9 p.m. Lake Erie Artists are presenting this Fine Arts festival for the benefit of Circle of Friends–Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.  There will be free food, live music, art sale, raffles, and the first drink is on the house.  If you order tickets before Saturday, the price is $20, at the door, $25.  The phone number to call for tickets is 216-664-9920.

Tim and I plan on attending the event, and we hope to see many of you there.       

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 23rd, 2006 at 9:56 am

Posted in Cleveland

Quote of the Week

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One Man’s Theory

     “There are two races of people–men and women–no matter what women’s libbers would have you pretend.  The male is motivated by toys and science because men are born with no purpose in the universe except to procreate.  There is lots of time to kill beyond that….Women, however, are born with a center.  They can create the universe, mother it, teach it, nurture it.  Men read science fiction to build the future.  Women don’t need to read it.  They are the future.”

–Master of science fiction Ray Bradbury, 75, in a Playboy interview with Ken Kelley

 

  

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 21st, 2006 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Cleveland

Discovery on the Internet

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My friend George Nemeth told me about www.folkalley.com sponsored by WKSU a couple of days ago.  It is folk music all the time, but with a new twist.

Check it out here.  You will be glad you did.

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 18th, 2006 at 11:50 pm

RE: Whose City Is It?

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Denise Donaldson, our friend and neighbor, has written a great post questioning the recent Midtown corridor Innerbelt meeting and the Fulton Road Bridge Replacement project community meeting held here in our neighborhood last Saturday at Brewed Fresh Daily.  To read more, go there.

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 17th, 2006 at 6:18 am

Posted in Cleveland

Stand up, Speak Out, Demand Change

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We have people in our city, in our state, and in our country that are deciding at this very moment in time whether to stay warm (pay utility bills), stay well (buy medicine), and/or eat (buy food).  This set of circumstances is an appalling situation in the richest country in the world.

In the 1980’s, I worked for BP Oil in its home heating oil division.  We worked closely with the HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) and the one time emergency fund handled through the state.  The one time payment was $125 and the HEAP payment was $243 or $273 for heating oil customers.  I was astounded to find that the payments have remained relatively stagnant and that the dollars allocated have remained the same.  How can that be?  The utility costs have risen consistently over the past 25 years but the assistance programs are offering assistance at early ’80’s rates.  Things just don’t add up here.

We need to speak out loudly to government officials that THE HEATING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS cannot continue.  An opportunity awaits us. Thursday, March  16th,  Comsumers for Fair Utility Rates presents A Community Conversation with our Public Officials.  Those expected include: State Rep. John Hagan–Chair, Ohio house Public Utilities Committee: Jeanine Migden-Ostrander-Ohio Consumers’Counsel, Clarence Rogers-PUCO Commissioner, and other state and city of Cleveland officials.

The meeting is Thursday, March 16 at Sagrada Familia Church, 7719 Detroit Avenue, from 7 to 9 p.m.  Please try to attend. Bring your heating bills and make your voices heard. Estimated bills help no one but the utility companies. Switching costs from the cost of gas to delivery charges also does not help the consumer.

Public outrage will be the only factor that will get the attention of the ones who make the decisions.  We must make elected government officials understand that unless real action is taken to change the situation that we the voters will make a change at the ballot box.

 This rant brought to you by this, this, and this. Our neighbor, Bill Callahan wrote a great piece for the Free Times called “Heating Costs Suck” Unfortunately, I cannot link to the article, but it is worth a read. Also the New York Times had an article today giving this a national perspective.  

      

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 15th, 2006 at 2:32 pm

Our Brookside Park of Yesteryear

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Here it is s late at night and although I am tired I cannot sleep,  so I googled Brookside Park just to see what I could find.  Here are a few of the things I found. Brookside Park was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1902. Does that mean that the old stone wall along Fulton Road could be that old or maybe even older.  The Zoo was moved from Wade Park to Brookside Park.  I found a turn of the century postcard collection available from the Cleveland Public Library, and then I found this  And here is a print that can be purchased depicting an early baseball game  These postcards are an awesome display showing Brookside Park in its early years. And in 1972, there was a sighting of Bigfoot at Brookside Park.  Hmmm, 1972, sighting of Bigfoot, could something else have had an influence here? And one last postcard of the Brookside Zoo from yesteryear. 

Mrs. Ivey and her daughter Mary Esther told me of the great times that they spent with family and friends at Brookside Park.  Mary Esther told of ice skating parties in the winter, tennis matches whenever the weather was amenable, and the lake where there was boating and canoeing and swimming in the summer.

They told me of fireworks displays on the 4th of July and baseball games at the historic baseball field where the seats were nestled into the side of the hill.  There were old fashioned concerts and all sorts of events all year long.  Looking at these postcards, and remembering those conversations with two of my favorite people make me realize that a park can be a sense of place and community for a neighborhood.  With that, I will say good night.    

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 13th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

A Treasure in the heart of Brooklyn Centre

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Yesterday was a busy day in Brooklyn Centre and I wanted to make sure that we all knew that one of our shining stars has another award for her outstanding work in our neighborhood.  Sheryl Hoffman, executive director of Art House is featured in this Plain Dealer article. Sheryl has received one of three 2006 Arts Educator Awards presented by Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland.

We are very fortunate that Sheryl decided to put down her own roots here in Brooklyn Centre, and then, to plant her living sculpture here.  Thank you, Sheryl, you are certainly one of Brooklyn Centre’s treasures.  

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 12th, 2006 at 9:08 am

I’m a Believer

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Tim and I just got back from the “AIM HIGH:2006 First Robotics Competion”.  WOW!  What an amazing experience.  This competition is combination Soap Box Derby, NASCAR, basketball, computer technology, and engineering wrapped in team spirit with elements of Woodstock.

The teams all start with the same basic starter kit but that is where the resemblance ends.  They choose team colors, mascots, design websites, and build robots which compete on basketball teams.  The robots are 80% student-made with oversight by engineers from nationally known companies who make sure that design features have certain safety standards.  The kids choose sides just like on the playground but choose on the basis of how the robot can work into a game plan.

Pit crews work on finetuning the robots when they are off the floor so that the next time their robot is on the floor it will function to the best of its ability to help its team win.  It seems kind of wrong to be calling these robots “its” because so much of the kids’ hopes and dreams are inside of each and every one of those robots on the floor.  It almost seems like the robot is an extension of the human beings that created it.

Wolstein Center this weekend is a place for believers.  You walk into the place and you can almost see the sparks of positive energy whirling around in the air.  You can see it in the sparkling eyes and huge smiles on the participants’ faces as well as their friends and family in the audience.

One girl was overjoyed when I asked her if that was a network wheel behind her.  She said “why yes, yes it was!”  I believe that she may have been surprised that I knew what it was but that didn’t stop her from telling me that it was a wheel because it all started with a commanility but it didn’t end there.  Each team number and the team members were on the wheel and the threads of the connections between teams and people just seemed to be endless.  It was a beautiful web of rainbow colors.  Valdis, take heed you have an apprentice in training.

More on the nuts and bolts and circuitry of this event later. But if you have a few hours for a truly unique experience hurry on down to the Wolstein Center, enter by the east gate and stay for the awards ceremony at 1 p.m. and cheer these wonderful teenagers and their teachers and mentors.    

   

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 11th, 2006 at 11:26 am