Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for June, 2006

And They Are Off And Running!

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We held our first meeting to discuss a WIFI neighborhood at The Ugly Broad on Sunday June 25th.  Many thanks to Bill Callahan, Steve Goldberg, Councilman Brian Cummins or as he referred to himself Resident Brian Cummins and the seven other people who attended this inaugral meeting to see and hear about the possiblity of creating a WIFI neighborhood here in Brooklyn Centre.

The bottom line is that it is doable.  The only question is how big will it become. From the information that we received from Steve and Bill, we decided that the best way to start this thing is to do it organically and see how it grows.  If and when it begins to grow larger and larger, then we will add the organizational piece to the plan.  At the end of the meeting, there were four of us interested in installing attennas that will enable us to share broadband with our neighbors.

Our next step is as follows. I will be scheduling a meeting with Steve Glodberg for these four “geeks” who will discuss the nuts and bolts of how to set up your internet base for sharing.We will then know the costs involved, the maintenance, and the other details needed to set one of these “spots” in motion.

So, when we hold  a more comprehensive meeting for the Brooklyn Centre WIFI Neighborhood on July 25th at the McDonald’s at the corner of Pearl and Denison at 7 p.m. we will have more concrete and definite steps including how to do it what it will cost, and how we can begin to form our web in the neighborhood.  McDonald’s has WIFI by the way for those of you interested in taking advantage of it.

I personally learned a lot by attending this meeting and I would suggest to anyone that it is worth your time and effort to attend one of these meetings just to see what could be available to all of us right here in our neighborhood.

One of the things I learned was that WIFI stands for Wireles Fidelity. Didn’t know that and now I do.  If anyone wants to attend the “nuts and bolts” meeting before the July 25th McDonald’s meeting, please let me know and I will send you the details.

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 26th, 2006 at 10:07 am

Who Looks Out for the Little Guy?

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Word of Mouth’s  Scott Bakalar posts Part 3 and Part 4 of Lorraine Ritchey’s recap of the Washington D.C. seminar on eminent domain for private development.

In part 3, I quote Lorraine who quotes

the words of Sandra Day O’Connor – prophetic words in her dissent ring clear “All private property is now vulnerable to be taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded. The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent(local government) from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”


She also cites someone who does not face eminent domain but says:

“I don’t have to be the one being mugged to see that someone who is being mugged –needs help!!!”


In part 4,  Lorraine Ritchey outlines the past year since the SCOTUS Kelo decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.  And, the facts are scary, folks. 

Those who look out for the little guy are the Scott Bakalars and Lorraine Ritcheys who post about the continuing quest for private land by developers who believe that everything is about money, the private individuals who take time out  of busy lives to attend seminars focusing on the growing problem in our country, and supreme court justices who dissent and in that dissention write opinions which spells out the ramifications of rampant eminent domain in the quest for more and more profit.  And last but not least, it is every one of us that realizes that we must stand up for each other on this issue because if we stand alone we will fail as a country.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 24th, 2006 at 9:51 pm

Is There a WiFi neighborhood in Brooklyn Centre’s Future?

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Sunday, June 25th at 2 p.m. you are all invited to The Ugly Broad at 3908 Denison Avenue to find out.  Bill Callahan of Brooklyn Centre and Steve Goldberg of Tremont will be on hand to explain the operation of wifi neighborhood and how a group of us committed to bringing it to our neighborhood can do that very thing. 

If any of you haven’t ever heard me speak on this issue, here is what I think. You may think differently, but please feel free to dream a bit and see where you think WIFI can take us.  We are entering an age of a knowledge economy where many of us will be left behind.  Specifically, young people in urban neighborhoods because they do not have the opportunities afforded to other young people.  CJ Prentiss in her interview with Meet The Bloggers talked intelligently and passionately about this very topic.  Those of you reading this post can now very easily click your mouse and go to that site and become better informed.  Knowledge is power.

Many of our community do not have that option.  By becoming involved in creating an environment of a connected community, you will gain something too.  Faster internet access, cheaper rates, and the ability to help others to gain accessibility are only a few of the advantages.  Come to our meeting and discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of becoming a connected community. Needless to say, I am having a hard time identifying

Once we set up our grid of charter members, we will then be able to widen the net of our grid and include more people.  I see elderly people who will feel more connected to each other and to us.  I see students with opportunities that they didn’t have before.  If any of you have ever seen the line of students waiting to use the computers at our local libraries, you know what I mean.  

Remember: A WiFi neighborhood gives a connected community the opportunity to be part of the knowledge economy.


Written by Gloria Ferris

June 24th, 2006 at 10:06 am

Happy Father’s Day, DAD, Where Ever You Are!

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Last night Tim and I watched the never before seen footage of Bruce Springsteen’s concert in London at the Hammersmith Odeon, 1975. As I watched Bruce Springsteen belt out those songs from Born To Run, it took me back to those days and how young I was, how those songs were played anywhere and everywhere, and how they exemplify that time in my life. And then, for some odd reason my thoughts turned to my dad; 1975 wasn’t really a great time in the relationship between my father and me. My mother and he were going through a contentious divorce and although I was “grown” and everyone thought I should handle it well, I wasn’t and I don’t. To this day, I contend that divorce tears the fabric of a family no matter the ages of the children. Should my parents have stayed married? Absolutely not! Too many words, too many things said better left unsaid, too many difficult memories, but nonetheless traumatic to me their only child.

But this isn’t about divorce, this is about Bruce Springsteen and my dad. The concert was almost over and I still hadn’t figured out why my thoughts kept turning to Dad, but then I dismissed it with the thought that today would be Father’s Day. And then, Tim blurts out “God, does this guy remind me of your dad!” Sleepily, I asked him “What, what do you mean?”

And Tim explained, “A cricket of a guy in a demin shirt and blue jeans with more energy than he knows how to handle and so focused on what he is doing at this moment. He even looks a bit like Harry.”

And that was it. I had grown up with people comparing my dad to Spencer Tracy because of the weathered face, and Bing Crosby because of those startling blue eyes. So it was not a stretch for me to compare my dad to Bruce Springsteen’s build and curly brown hair, but what really hit me was the energy factor and the focus, but Tim was right. My dad could tune out the world when he was building something or when he was completeing the last few pieces of a puzzle or even when he was just talking to his friends or me.

And today, today my dad will be fishing because that is what he and I did every Father’s Day until I became too old for such nonsense, but when I was ten I cherished the days that Dad and I took his boat out on the lake, found a cool, shady spot and sat motionless for hours listening to the sounds of the wildlife around and in the lake, never saying a word and never catching many fish because I never learned the patience of just letting the line troll through the water. But I did learn the necessity of silence and stillness for rejuvenation because to this day I look for a body of water or a small slice of woods
to sit in silence to recoup the energy needed to meet the demands of my world.

And now I know that that is what my dad did. He took time to back away from the world because with his energy and focus he needed it to survive. And in his later years after his heart surgery when he could no longer walk in the woods or sit for hours on a lake because someone would wonder where he was and if something had happened to him, he lost a part of himself that he couldn’t live without. And now, I know why he refused any more surgery and why he told me he was sorry but he just couldn’t face it anymore. It wasn’t the surgery and it wasn’t the pain. My dad couldn’t face not enjoying the silence and the stillness of the lake.

Twenty-six years later, I realize now why he made the choices he did, and no Dad I’m not angry with you, but I still miss you.

Happy Father’s Day wherever you are!

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 18th, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Posted in quality of life

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Turns Out We are Both from Earth

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According to Dr. Frank Farley of Temple University,

Exaggeration of the differences between men and women, boys and girls, has allowed both genders to be put into separate boxes, and be victimized by stereotypes and prejudice, treated as if they were from separate planets. However, it turns out they are both from Earth! Solid psychological research now shows there are few significant psychological differences between the genders. But we can expect it to take a few decades for that scientific fact to cut through the prejudices, and allow both genders a fair place in the sun.

The above quote is certainly food for thought and exemplifies what I have always suspected.  Maybe someday men and women will be able to work together to move humanity forward quickly. We should focus on  playing to our individual strengths rather than gender.

Click here, to see Dr Farley’s entire article about honoring fathers on Father’s Day.


Written by Gloria Ferris

June 16th, 2006 at 5:08 pm

It Was a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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Of course, I am biased, but after all, bloggers have the right to voice their opinion.  But I had a checklist that I made long before the day of the event that I have used to rate this year’s garden tour successful.

This checklist would base my assessment as to whether the event was successful or not.

How was the weather?  Beautiful.

Did everything come together so we started on time?  Yes

How was the publicity?  Brooklyn Sun News ran a feature on the tour 6/08/2006 and followed it with photos of the event today 6/15.  The front page photo above the fold featured Paul Kirk and his beautiful Moss Roses.  The Old Brooklyn News ran a beautiful ad for us and look for the feature article in the July issue.  Cool Cleveland had us listed on the event page.  Judge Ray Pianka and his videographer Sy filmed for over two hours in our neighborhood Sunday morning for a future segment on his cable TV show.  He has promised to give me advance notice so that we will all know when to watch.  Lots of publicity.

Comments from attendees:  Had no idea these beautiful gardens existed here.  How were the gardens chosen because we walked by many that we would have loved to see?  A tea party, what a great idea.  The hosts and hostesses were so gracious and willing to share their garden stories.  Do you have a sign-up sheet so we can be contacted about upcoming events in the neighborhood?

Comments from gardeners:  Next year we should…. If we have music we should be sure that it is at scheduled times…Should we choose the date now?  This was fun.  We are going to do it again next year, aren’t we?

And it only took me four days to recover. 

 Not only did we have the garden tour but OBCDC and Councilman Cummins and his Assistant, Johanna Hamm helped us organize a neighborhood clean-up along the tour route.  We had streets swept, vacant lots mowed, and a crew of eleven people picked up trash and swept up broken glass on Saturday morning.  

Thanks to all of you who helped make this year’s tour a success.  And yes, we will do it all again next year because it WAS a beautiful day in the neighborhood.


Written by Gloria Ferris

June 15th, 2006 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Cleveland

A Conflict of Interest revisited

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When I was reading the NYTimes today, I came across yet another article about voting irregularities in Ohio, but it was this paragraph that really hit home to me.

But there is one clear way that Ohio’s election system is corrupt. Decisions about who can vote are being made by a candidate for governor. Mr. Blackwell should hand over responsibility for elections to a decision maker whose only loyalty is to the voters and the law.

Exactly what I have been saying for MONTHS about Mr. Blackwell and his candidacy for governor while he is the sitting Secretary of State. If this man does not see the conflict of him overseeing an election where his name appears on the ballot for another office, what kind of judgment could we expect him to use if he should become governor of Ohio?. Aside: I shuddered as I wrote those last words. This article picks up on the impropriety of this whole mess as well and it is a mess, and mess leads to confusion, and confusion leads to voter reluctance and voter reluctance leads to people staying home on election day, and staying home on election day eases ballot spoilage. Kind of like The House That Jack Built, only The State that Ken Demolished. And if he would sit down with Meet The Bloggers, I would ask him questions based on this very topic.

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 7th, 2006 at 11:51 am

ViKtor Schreckengost National Centennial Exhibition

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In celebration of ViKtor Schreckengost’s 100th birthday his wife and stepson have asked art galleries nationwide to feature Mr. Schreckengost’s paintings, sculptures, and prototypes.  I just received an email from Lake Erie Artists informing of an upcoming event this weekend.  Visit the website and click on events for details.

Mr. Schreckengost’s own website offers more information on the nationwide celebration of his birthday June 26th.  Recently, I had coffee at Artefino Gallery recently and noticed that Mr. Schreckengost’s paintings were on the wall and one of his Jazz bowls were prominently displayed.  I think that is where I saw the Jazz Bowl I know I saw one in town recently.

I think it well worth noting that Mr. Schreckengost calls Cleveland home. 


Written by Gloria Ferris

June 6th, 2006 at 11:18 pm

Eulogy to Democracy Guy

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Alas! We thought we knew him well.  We thought that no matter what criticism was thrown at himk he would survive to fight for us another day.

Today, we find that we were wrong.  Democracy Guy is no more.
In the end, when those he warned became one with those he warned against, his spirit was finally broken and he could not muster the strength to carry on.
A fellow blogger said it best, when he said  “ I often thought that he was delusional, and sometimes downright crazy, only to find months later that he was spot on”–a statement often true of those destined to be visionaries, the seers of the world who warn us of what will befall us if our ways do not change.
Blogs are often compared to the local newspapers that rallied the colonists in the early days before the revolution. In today’s media, they are referred to, as “one subject rags” that were no longer needed after the Revolutionary War. Strangely enough, I would say that they were the birth of the newspaper industry in America. It is strange how history changes depending on who writes it.  And then, we have the comments such as these “bloggers will police themselves or we will have to police them”  Listen, and you will hear the thought police on parade.
The death of Democracy Guy should serve as a warning that unless we stand united, we will fall individually.  Freedom of speech and possibly, freedom of the press took a direct hit today, and depending on how those of us left decide to learn from this lesson, that will decide how and if democracy continues to live and breathe.
Too dramatic you say?  Too over the top?  Maybe, but if it gets you to stop, listen, and wonder what those sounds are, I will have eulogized my friend Democracy Guy in the only way I know how.  I will have tried to open eyes and ears to what is happening every day in this country.  Be careful, my friends, but continue to click on those keys and watch your backs because you are all we have–too many others have “sold out” or been erased because they dared to tell the truth.  
And the next time I see you at the Town Fryer, let’s raise a glass of vodka to our dear, departed friend Democracy Guy and plot the demise of those who do not believe in second chances, no matter who they are or who they know.   

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 6th, 2006 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Cleveland

Who Am I, Really?

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I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the lead headline in the Plain Dealer today”Politics’ new wild card: blogs”.  From my years of campaign experience, I knew that getting the headline above the fold is huge.  Doesn’t matter if it is good press or bad press.  You will be remembered.   So I skimmed the article until I saw what I wanted to see —, but then, I read what Mark Naymik had written:

“Many local and statewide candidates have given interviews to one loose group of left-leaning political junkies known as “” which later posts complete audio and sometimes full transcripts of these in-depth interviews.”

Left-leaning! Junkies! Now, I know why George Nemeth was so “honked” last week when someone told him that he was a “lefty”.  Those of you who know me are aware that I have been involved with this enterprise called Meet The Bloggers, and that George Nemeth, Tim Russo, and I have been working on a business plan.  I started doubting myself.  Am I a lefty?  What is a “lefty”?  Some would say I am a lefty hands down because I am left-handed, but I am pretty sure that that is not what we are talking about here.  Loose?  I haven’t been what you would call loose since I married my husband twenty-two years ago.  Needless to say, I was not feeling too good about this article any more, but I continued to read and saw many names of bloggers I know and read.  On the whole, I thought the article was good press so I was okay with it.  But I sure wished Mark Naymik had checked his facts on what Meet The Bloggers is and what we are trying to do here in Northeast Ohio.  But you can’t have everything, can you? Today, Tim and I had lunch with Cousin Ronnie from Delaware.  He had flown in to attend Aunt Gerri’s memorial service.  He is one of my favorite “in-laws” so I placed myself next to him because the conversation is always lively and thought-provoking.  So we eventually got around to the question of what have you been doing lately?  I told him about Meet The Bloggers and he asked “what is your mission statement?”  “Our mission statement? I replied.  Well, we have been working on that for our business plan.  I guess this is what it would be:  Meet The Bloggers provides a platform for civic, political, and community discourse.  We interview citizens, community activists, government officials, political candidates and other people of note about policies and issues that impact peoples’ lives.  Bloggers will write about the in-depth interviews, readers will comment and discuss the interviews with others in their community and then we will have created a community of better informed and educated voters and citizens who will be able to make informed decisions at the ballot box. He then said, “that is a great mission statement.  Put it everywhere–on your website, on your letterhead, tell everyone who asks that this is your mission. When you or one of your partners loses sight of where your business is going, point to that mission statement and you will get right back on track.” He was right. I came home, read our mission statement and saw that nowhere in our mission statement does it say that we will steer people to think one way or another.  It says that we will give the information and let people make up their own minds.  Granted, the bloggers who attend and write bring their own personalities to the table, but yet the comments we get from people range from complete agreement to you are so off-base where do you get these ideas. We would love to have more variety in the bloggers who come to the interviews and we would like to have more Republican candidates meet with us, but with comments in the Plain Dealer like “loose group of left leaning political junkies” our mission is more difficult to attain, but we will.  Our persistence wil pay off.  I know who I am.  I am a woman who wants to make sure that Ohio is a government by the people, for the people, and of the people. I want as many people as possible engaged in the political process watching the elected officials who work for us, not for special interests.  And I never, ever want to be the kind of person who slants a news story so that it reads more like an editorial than news.  And I never, ever want to be the person compromised by special interests or someone telling me I have to put things in a story that I don’t want there.   And if I forget, all I have to do is read our mission statement.

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 5th, 2006 at 11:46 pm

Posted in Cleveland,politics