Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for August, 2006

Cleveland Has Another Angel Watching Over Her

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I had the honor of working with Mary Connor during Bill Denihan’s run for Mayor of Cleveland. The Plain Dealer had a great synopsis of Mary’s quest to ensure that Cleveland’s schoolchildren had the opportunity to receive an education that would prepare them for the future.  She was a tiny bit of a woman that had ten times the grit of men three times her size.  In the article, The Plain Dealer cited the number of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in Mary’s life.  When we would encounter someone new, Mary would proudly recount the numbers to each new friend.  And she was especially proud that nine of her children graduated from college.

The first time that Mary and I worked together we had a certain affinity for each other.  The more we talked, the more we knew why.  Both of us believe that education is the key to the end of poverty as we know it.  She strived every day to make things better for the children of Cleveland.  Mary’s house was kid central.  I would pull up in front of her house and there she would be sitting like the queen she was surrounded by neighborhood children.  She would shoo them off home because she had work to do and we would take off in my car to another location.

Mary was a sensible woman that told it like it was,  and she didn’t care who you were she would let you know if she felt you were not “doing right” as she would phrase it.  After the campaign ended, she and I would talk occasionally and she would always ask me if “I was still fighting the good fight” because she said if we don’t continue, people will lose hope and we cannot allow people to not have “hope” because hope is what keeps us going another day.

Sadly as so often happens, the time between phone calls to and from Mary lengthened and eventually ended, but whenever I talk to people about the city schools and that the children of Cleveland are our future, she immediately comes to mind.  I regret that I did not have just one last chat with a dear friend.  But I do know this, that she will be watching over me as I continue to move forward and she will make sure that we all continue “the good fight”.

Her family is proud of their matriarch, and rightfully so.  And I am blessed as so many others in Cleveland whose lives were touched by this exceptional woman.


Written by Gloria Ferris

August 31st, 2006 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Cleveland

Change is Frightening, but Fear is Paralyzing

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I left the comment below on Psychobilly Democrat where my friend Redhorse posted this.  I too hope that people have HAD ENOUGH.  

I hope part of “had enough” for voters is the fact that telling us things are good when we can look around us and see that is not the case in our own respective neighborhood will be ENOUGH for people to say we need a change of leadership.My biggest complaint about the current crop in office is that they continually tell us things are better, like we are too stupid to know that they are not talking about us, but are talking about their campaign contributors.I took a leadership course once and the biggest obstacle to progress is people’s inability to change. People fear change.
It reminds me of FDR’s memorable quote “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”. I also remember his comment when people asked him “what if the new deal doesn’t work? He said then we will try something else, but by God, we have to do something”. And he did, many people forget that there were two New Deals.
Lately, I have been thinking of FDR and Winston Churchill a lot. I keep wondering what does that mean?
Could it mean that we are headed for another depression if we don’t change now? I hope we have the courage to change this November because by God people we have to do something.



Written by Gloria Ferris

August 28th, 2006 at 9:53 am

Way Cool!

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Have I just labeled myself a nerd?  Have I dated myself?  Frankly, I don’t care.  I just found something out that I didn’t know, and the first words that popped into my mind to describe it were “WAY COOL” .  In my capacity of main scheduler for Meet.The.Bloggers I am looking for a place in Grandview Heights where we can interview Ted Celeste, former Governor Dick Celeste’s brother.  Tim and I are particularly fond of Grandview Heights and I love a coffee shop there named Stauf’s.  It is a great place that has WiFi and is not only a favorite spot for OSU students, but for the neighborhood residents as well as having a  bit of tourist feel-one of those places where you take friends from out of town.

Well now back to the reason for this post. I did a google search.  Friends tell me to avoid “googled” something about copyright infringement or something like that.  Personally, I think that it should be an honor to enter into common vernacular.  Talk about market saturation and awareness.  Anyway, I searched the web for Stauf’s Grandview Ohio and it directed me to’s Yellow pages where I was able to click on “call this business now” . A pop-up window appeared and when I put in my phone number and clicked on “dial now”  My phone range, I picked it up and it was an automatic voice telling me to please hold while I was connected. It was incredibly cool.  I talked to a very helpful person at Stauf’s who said that the coffee shop was quieter than usual because OSU was not in session until the middle of September but they couldn’t guarantee quiet.

Since I wanted to be sure that I could stop at Stauf’s I asked if he could think of any other place close by where we could hold an interview in relative quiet circumstances.  He suggested Paul’s 5th Avenue.  When I located the information for this restaurant by browsing the Grandview Heights Yellow Pages,  I again clicked on the little phone and this time my phone number was still there.  All I had to do was click on “dial now”. 

I know, I know.  I am sure many of you already now about the little tricks of technology I learned today, but I didn’t, and it gave me one more reason for being grateful for being alive in this time and place.

So I have two recommendations for all of you. 

!. When you travel to Columbus check out Stauf’s

2. When you plan your trip, use’s yellow pages.

After I try the homemade pasta at Paul’s 5th Avenue, I will probably recommend that too.  If you can’t wait for my report, check them out too, and let me know what you think.    

In my continuing quest to buy local even when I am in another community,  Stauf’s is a locally owned company established in 1988 and Paul’s 5th Avenue is a local restaurant celebrating 35 years in Grandview.     


Written by Gloria Ferris

August 25th, 2006 at 6:37 pm

Sleepy trumps Clarence?

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77% of Americans surveyed were able to name at least 2 of Snow White’s 7 Dwarfs, compared to only 24% who could name at least 2 of th 9 Supreme Court Justices.  The most remember dwarf was Sleepy.  Clarence Thomas was the justice named most often.  (source:  Zogby Int’l.)

I laughed when Tim shared this statistic with me this morning.  If I hadn’t, I would have cried. 


Written by Gloria Ferris

August 23rd, 2006 at 5:33 pm

Posted in national news

Backache plus Reflexology equal Relief

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I apologize for the radio silence on my blog for the past week but for most of that time I have been experiencing excruciating back pain.  Once or twice a year, I throw my back out and I am down for the count for at least two weeks. 

This year I experienced something new and am up and moving within a week.    Last Thursday, when the pain became unbearable I walked through a red door three doors down from Spaces Gallery on the Superior Viaduct and my life changed.  Walking through that door and down a flight of stairs into Lipstick and Razorblades eventually took me to McKala’s Reflexology Studio.

The soft lighting adds to the soothing relief that I felt as she massaged my feet and found the source of my pain.  Our feet are connected to all the other parts of our body and are the answer to many of the aches and pains that we feel.  Since my visit, I have researched reflexology on line and it is truly fascinating.  When I reluctantly got up from the massage table, I felt balanced and even, actually I was balanced and even.  The twinges of back spasms that I had been experiencing for the past five days were gone.  A bit of soreness remained, but all and all I felt a sense of well being that I hadn’t experienced in a month.

Procrastination has always been my enemy. Mckala and I talked about reflexology at the Ingenuity Festival, and I mentioned then I wanted to come to her studio, but life got in the way.  Believe me, don’t let routine get in the way.  If you have a sore back, if you just feel out of synch, if your feet are constantly telling you to sit down and get off us, visit McKala at Lipstick and Razorblades.  You will be glad that you did.  Daniella of American Pink Collar describes the experience in this post and so does Jill of Writes Like She Talks in this post.

I have added McKala Everett’s Exploring Wellness to my Business Page.  She is another local business owner providing balance and relief to our community.  


Written by Gloria Ferris

August 19th, 2006 at 8:35 am

Another addition to: local business for local consumption

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Just got back from Lake Shore Feed and Seed located at  5112 Clark Avenue which is family-owned and operated.  When I was a kid,  Saturday morning was spent doing the weekly errands with my dad.  One of our stops was the local Gold Star Feed Store which had everything you could imagine for pets and farm animals.  Times change and the local Gold Star Feed Store in Wooster is now Emily Moorefield’s pottery shop, and right next door is her husband’s restaurant, South Market Bistro.

But who knew right in the heart of an urban neighborhood in Cleveland nestles a pet store that takes you back in time.  The owners stock food, toys, collars, over-the-counter medications and shampoos, and thousands of treats for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and probably other animals that I have failed to mention.  One of the owners waits on you behind the counter with a friendly smile and ready to help.  After she rings up the sale, a gentleman who works with her carries the fifty pound bag out to your car.  Buy in bulk, the savings are fantastic. 

There is easy access to the store from I-90 take the West 41-44th Street exit and go south turn right on to Clark and if you make it to 52nd street, you’ve missed it.  They have a large parking lot that is surrounded by a beautiful garden.  It is a great urban space.  Check it out!  

Written by Gloria Ferris

August 11th, 2006 at 12:27 pm

University Settlement School Fair Needs Help

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Remember the smell of that first box of crayons, using a protractor to create angles, or writing that first story on clean, fresh paper with a pencil with a sharp, sharp point.  Wouldn’t it be great to help other kids create those kinds of memories in their life?       

 Well, you can by helping make the Broadway Community School Fair a success.  Each year Sandy Charles and her crew at University Settlement have made the school year a little less stressful for parents at or below the poverty line in the Broadway area by providing school kits to schoolchildren ages 5 to 16.  In previous years, they have passed out 1500 boxes of school supplies to these children.

This year they plan to have a school fair on August 18th to pass out the boxes to the kids, but the boxes just might not be there.  Each year Ford Motor Company and their employees partnered with University Settlement and provided approximately 1000 boxes of the ones distributed.  Late last week, a Ford Motor representative called Sandy to tell her she will be receiving 300 boxes not the 1000 she had come to expect.  The reasons are many, the economy, early retirement, only one person left of a committee of several.  The reasons don’t really matter.  The bottom line is that University Settlement is approximately 700 boxes short of the goal.

Each school box contained a ream of paper, a binder, 2 or 3 folders, a pack of pencils,  all the things a student ready to learn needs at the beginning of a school year.  of course, the younger students need crayons, the older students need protractors and compasses.  The average cost of each school box averages out to around $15.  Do the math and you come up with a $10,000 figure.

i told Sandy that I would post her plight on the internet and ask for your help.  Checks help, but also donation of supplies would help.  If any of you know of a way to get donations of supplies to Sandy and her kids, or could get her supplies at wholesale prices rather than retail, or have some dollars to donate to a very good cause, please contact her using the information below.  I told her that many of us often talk about how to help in a meaningful way and this would be a very, very meaningful way.  I told her that many of us own businesses or belong to organizations that may be able to help.  So I have told you the problem, and know that many of you will help with a solution.  I know that this is a short fuse but she needs donations early next week (August 14th) so that she and her volunteers will have the time needed to buy supplies and make up the school boxes for the school fair next Saturday, August 18th. 

Here is Sandy’s contact information.  Sandy Charles, Director Hunger Programs and Volunteer Coordinator, 4800 Broadway, Cleveland, OH 44127.  Phone number 216-641-8948 ext. 236  FAX 216 641-7971.


Written by Gloria Ferris

August 10th, 2006 at 4:55 pm

Walk and Roll in Cleveland at Rockefeller Park

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A new FREE event will take place in Rockefeller Park thanks to the vision of one of our neighbors, Lois Moss.  Check out this week’s Cool Cleveland and watch the video where Lois explains her vision, how she convinced others to believe in her vision, and what will be taking place this weekend for the first time in Rockefeller Park and the Cultural Gardens, but not for the last time.

Last winter, Lois and I had a conversation about an idea she had, this very idea.  She knew it was going to take a lot of hard work and convincing to see it through, but she did and this week end we all will get to experience the result.  Many great ideas are born, but not all turn into action.  It is great that this idea has turned in to another wonderful event in Cleveland.  Lois Moss is another Cleveland treasure that lives right here in our neighborhood.  Thank you, Lois. 

Written by Gloria Ferris

August 3rd, 2006 at 8:22 am

Foreclosure Comment on BFD Becomes Full Fledged Post

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 I commented at George Nemeth’s Brewed Fresh Daily in response to comments made by others concerning the recent Policy Matters Ohio study that was recently released concerning foreclosure rates in Ohio.  I decided I wanted to post it here as well because whatever the reasons for the alarming increase in foreclosures we should all be concerned.  

Predatory lending has become a catch-all term to explain away the foreclosure problem in our state. It allows everyone to avoid the issue of the refinancing and the home equity loan frenzy that punctuated the 90’s and then, when the economy became weakened and their was massive job loss–LTV Steel comes to mind–borrowers could not keep up with the payments. It was at the same time that many established banks began to outsource their loan servicing departments to other lenders and/or companies. Borrowers would contact attorneys who would tell them the bank doesn’t want your property, call them make arrangements. Then, the endless loop begins. The servicing agent tells you the client will not accept the arrangement. If the borrower can get through to someone at the bank, the bank will say we have turned that over to our servicing agent. And on, and on. The borrower becomes frustrated, often gives up, ends up in foreclosure. Hires an attorney, tries to explain to the court that they have tried to work out a repayment plan. The court magistrate finds in favor of the lender. And then, the foreclosure loop begins.

Predatory lending has become the scapegoat term to explain away a very complex problem. There are no easy answers. Banks, servicing agents, the courts, consumers and more play a part in the problem and finding a solution is going to take everyone. County Treasurer Jim Rokakis and a committee of others have been working on this problem and have put some safeguards in place to try to alleviate the problem, but it is only the beginning.

Credit card debt has been growing by leaps and bounds but is it all overspending or are there excessive fees involved? Look at how the finance charges are calculated, look at the fees attached that have nothing to do with purchases. I do know this it would be wise to pay cash whenever possible, leave the credit cards at home, and do not borrow. Pay down debt as quickly as you can. Every day you are in debt is another day deeper in debt. Hmmm, reminds me of a song “another day older and deeper in debt”. Listen to that song, and take heed.

Written by Gloria Ferris

August 1st, 2006 at 8:52 am