Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for April, 2006

Please Remember to Vote Tuesday May 2nd

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This  quote

One result has been a rise in public cynicism and a retreat from political participation, which leaves government easy prey for the forces of private interest and concentrated wealth, which — in a vicious cycle — further erodes the trust that government needs to call its citizens to action.


 from this article in the New York Times may be the single reason that we should all vote on Tuesday.  We certainly need to reverse the trend of our government to cater to private interests and concentrated wealth and return it to the years of opportunity for all.

I began reading the NY Times article not knowing who the author was but relating to his constructive criticism of the Democratic Party and its lack of a coherent foreign policy platform.  Basically, I think that the Democratic Party  has faltered when it comes to having a coherent platform that  as a loyal everyday Democrat I can relate–a platform that I may not think goes far enough or maybe goes a bit too far, but one that I can overcome the nitpicking that all democrats do and climb on board.  I don’t think that I am alone with this corundrum.  I read other posts on other blogs calling for the same coherentness and coheviseness.

  We should listen to Peter Beinhart of the New Republic– how we should go back to ouir roots, find the tenets of a policy that spoke loudly and clearly to the American people and to the world, dust it off, and use it again.  I only hope that we will take the time to read, digest, and act. 

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 30th, 2006 at 10:36 am

Posted in Cleveland

Have a Cuppa Joe at The Ugly

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I know, I know. The Ugly Broad is where you go for a shot and a beer.  It’s also where friends gather to have Tacos on Wednesdays and Steaks on Thursday.Tim Ferris says it is the best steak dinner deal around, and he should know he is a meat and potatoes man that doesn’t order much of anything else but the steak on the menu.

 But Sherry has added something new to order at the bar, a cup of coffee.  Phoenix Coffee has partnered with the Ugly Broad to offer the newest item on the menu.  We hear a lot of talk about “third places” in neighborhoods.  Usually that is the locally owned coffee shop, but since we don’t have a coffee shop within walking distance, we now have a bar within walking distance that offers coffee.

I told Sherry that I intend to order at least one Irish Coffee this weekend. I’ll even bring my own whipped cream.  Anyone want to join me? 

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 28th, 2006 at 4:47 pm

Neighborhood Boy Scores Again

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County Treasurer, Jim Rokakis, a native of our great and wonderful land of Brooklyn Centre, has an Op-Ed article in the Plain Dealer today that is a great start to a dialogue that needs to be discussed in Cuyahoga County.

When 64% of the county’s residents and businesses pay real estate taxes that pay for services that 100% of  the county’s residents and businesses use, we need to discuss that fact.  Not in a way that places blame or points fingers, but in a way, that discusses the very real issues that face us today.  These issues face us today, but how we handled them “today” will benefit or hinder future generations of taxpayers.

Recently at a City Council Public Safety Committee hearing, Councilman Mike Polensek stated this grim fact–the City of Cleveland faces a substantial decrease in its revenue stream–$800,000 less in real estate tax revenues and the city income tax revunue was flat resulting in no increase in revenues.  I believe that Councilman Polensek said that the decrease in real estate tax revenues was a first time event in his years as a councilman.

County Treasurer Jim Rokakis is speaking to these stark facts and telling us and his fellow community leaders that something needs to be done.  Our county treasurer is doing what we elected him to do assessing problems, looking for alternative, innovative ways to solve those problems, and asking the business community, government officials and the community to come up with solutions that will allow our community to prosper in the future.

See my additional comments at Brewed Fresh Daily.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 25th, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Just a reminder! Earth Day Recognition of Brooklyn Centre Grove of Trees

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Trees to be Honored in Brooklyn Centre Historic District

On Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 3:30 p.m. Brooklyn Centre residents and the Northeast Ohio Buckeye Forest Council will gather to honor and recognize a grove of trees on the southeast corner of Fulton Rd. and Denison Ave.  The largest tree, an American Elm, forms the core of the grove that lends its shade and shelter to the neighborhood’s inhabitants, both human and animal. 
The American Elm, nearly extirpated by disease, supports a diverse community of animals, supplying Honey Bees and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Mourning Cloak butterflies, American Goldfinch, True Katydid, and white throated sparrow, among others, with food and shelter.  
Denise Donaldson, Brooklyn Centre resident said, “City trees are an irreplaceable resource in terms of environmental balance, cooling properties, and quality of life, but they are neglected, disregarded and needlessly destroyed.  We in the Brooklyn Centre neighborhood recognize the value of our trees and want to honor them in the face of the latest threat, the Fulton Road Bridge Replacement project.  The green ribbons throughout our neighborhood show that we care about our trees.”
Green ribbons have been appearing on Brooklyn Centre trees along Archwood and Denison Avenues, West 44th and 43rd and other streets, for the last two weeks.  Residents have placed the ribbons to inspire appreciation for the importance of trees in the context of historic neighborhoods.
Randy Cunningham, board member of the Buckeye Forest Council and founding member of the Northeast Ohio group said, “It will be a specific goal of our organization to identify and preserve important groves and individual trees in Cleveland and other Northeast Ohio urban environments.”

The Buckeye Forest Council
seeks to work with Ohioans
to preserve their valued trees, 
whether in forests, groves
or as individual specimens.
For information about
the Buckeye Forest Council
                    Buckeye Forest Council, Northeast Ohio
                    c/o Randy Cunningham
                    3623 West Blvd
                    Cleveland Ohio 44111




Written by Gloria Ferris

April 23rd, 2006 at 10:33 am

Ladder 42.1

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We hear that Ladder 42.1 will make an appearance at the regular Cleveland City Council meeting this coming Monday, which will be held off-site (outside City Hall) for a change, at Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Road, Cleveland 44144, at 7:00 PM.

Everything is just so incremental lately, as evidenced by the recent need to create a Ladder 42.1.

Stay tuned. Show up with a bucket. Galoshes will be optional.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 22nd, 2006 at 12:58 am

Enough with the Studies Already

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So another study tells us that Cuyahoga County is losing 15,700 residents a year beginning in the  year 2000.  Of that 15,700 approximately 12,000 resided in Cleveland before moving out of the county.  Of that number, many do not stay within the borders of Ohio but move to other states.  We needed another study to tell us this fact?.  We don’t even need a study to tell us why they are leaving, we know that too.  It is the lack of jobs.  We don’t need another “stinkin’ study we need some investment by the business community to create job opportunities right here in Cleveland.  How about a study that engages the existing businesses in the area ?  Ask them what they need to expand their operations.  Ask them how they could employ more people.  Ask them what types of employees and markets they need to exist and expand.  Ask new businesses what they need to prosper quickly.  Is it time for local production for local consumption?  Is there a way to capitalize on the high cost of fuel?  Is there a way to expand the trades industry since that is one industry that cannot be outsourced?  Is there a way to readapt what we have–schools, warehouses, hospitals?  Is it time to improve the existing housing stock rather than building new and allowing the old to lie fallow for years bringing down values all around the vacant eyesore.

For years, Tom Bier has been telling us that we are looking at the wrong indicators that we need to begin adapting and inventing new uses for old buildings so that we wouldn’t have what we have today. He has told us for years that we have a surplus of housing that would end up being a huge, huge problem.  But do we listen.  No, we stick our heads in the sand and continue on our merry way until today, today we are forced to stop, evaluate, and ask,  what now?

This rant brought to you by this article in the Plain Dealer.    


Written by Gloria Ferris

April 21st, 2006 at 11:40 pm

a page for the business community, too

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As we proceed to “build community” here in Cleveland, the business community begins to play a crucial role in the story of “local production for local consumption.” As it becomes more expensive to roam regionally in shopping and procuring services, we will focus more on professionals and businesspeople who are more proximate to where we ourselves work and live. Here is a list of area businesses, initially in the order in which we called on them. We are renewing our commitment to support our locally-owned-business neighbors first, whenever we can.

The new page appears in the column to the right.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 21st, 2006 at 11:32 pm

More on Ladder 42

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Ward 15 Councilman Brian Cummins has done a superb  job of defining the issues on why Ladder 42 should not be closed.  Access it here on Brewed Fresh Daily.

Well, the phones are ringing off the hooks today.  The decision on Ladder 42 has been postponed.  The suspense continues as we await the fate of Ladder Company 42.

We can only hope that the delay means that the city is looking for a way not to put a plan in place that has a detrimental effect on ANY Cleveland neighborhood.



Written by Gloria Ferris

April 13th, 2006 at 7:55 pm

We’ve Got It, Folks, So Why Do They Want To Take It Away?

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What we have is a sense of community.  We understand that what affects one of us affects us all.  We have shown that time and time again, as we have rallied to keep Ladder 42 in the heart of Old Brooklyn.  Those of us who live in Brooklyn Centre understood early on that if Old Brooklyn lost that ladder, our safety would be compromised.  We hopped on board early to band together with them to make a stronger community.

When we all started to do our research and started talking to each other, comparing notes as it were, we soon found out that this problem was much biggger than just our neighborhoods.  We found that the safety of the city is constantly being eroded, and not much more than handwringing gets done. 

But now, it appears that things might start getting done.  Councilman Cummins told us last night at Station 42 that he felt that progress is being made because substantive issues, problems, and solutions were discussed yesterday in the City Council Public Safety meeting.  Have we made them see that they need to do the job that they were elected to do?  Have we made the City Administration see that we are going to demand that we have a safe city?  Maybe, but we need to keep pressing for what we want–a safe city where we can live, work and play.  We’ve got it all right here.

We need to continue our community effort to make Safety a priority in the City of Cleveland.  After all, if people percieve a place to be unsafe, it really doesn’t matter if that is so.  Perception is reality.  Recently, a real estate developer friend of mine said that he introduced some investors from Los Angeles to the Broadway-Fleet area.  As soon as it was dusk, the Los Angeles contingent asked if they could leave  because they didn’t feel “safe”.

We need to build on what we have started here in Ward 15 and 16.  We need to bring more and more people into the fold.  We need to continue to build this community of All Clevelanders whose only agenda is quality of life.  Because when it is all said and done, all we have is each other and our neighborhoods.  It is in our best interest to build the BEST neighborhoods we can in the heart of Cleveland because then and only then will we generate the buzz needed to retain businesses and attract new businesses.  It is all in the perception that we will make a reality.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 13th, 2006 at 9:45 am

Tonight: Rally in front of Cleveland Fire Station #42

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I just pulled this notice our of our daily suspense file and wanted to share it with all of you, as a reminder. We picked it up at the demonstation this past Monday at Cleveland City Hall:

Rally in front of Fire Station #42

Wednesday, April 12

7:00 PM

4665 Pearl Road

Show your support for keeping safety services in your neighborhood by joining concerned residents of Ward 15 and 16, firefighters and their families, Councilman Brian Cummins (Ward 15), and representatives from Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp. on Wednesday, April 12

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 12th, 2006 at 3:01 pm