Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for October, 2006

Where is truth in advertising when you need it?

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These Ohio “learn” and Earn ads are misleading to say the least.  Anyone, here in Northeast Ohio would believe that this Issue 3 is all about education and not about what it truly is.  Sadly, even our own newspaper, public officials, and bussinessmen have joined in this subterfuge of this issue being about education.

The truth is: it is about gambling, gambling, gambling. And remember, that if it is voted in to the constitution, it will be probably be there forever.

250 words spell out the scholarship portion that has more ifs than absolutes.  If appointed Board of Regents  establishs the criteria, it will move to the state legislature. If the state legislature votes it into law, the scholarship fund will begin.  If the gambling revenues meet expectations, the scholarship funds will begin for the  state’s children. If the brightest 5% of Ohio’s students want to stay in the state of ohio to go to school their tuition will be paid.  If those same students leave the state, they will probably receive FULL scholarships that include room and board, books, etc. If the revenues meet expectations, other students in Ohio will be able to tap their scholarship funds for tuition only.

Now for the 1950 other words in the constitution.  Licensing fees are a designated dollar amount.  Seven race tracks and their owners and two development families in Cleveland, The Jacobs and Ratner families will benefit.  Licensing fees are a designated dollar amount. No other taxes or fees may be levied on these slots parlors other than the ones specified.  The revenues exceed expectations and the racing industry that has been slowly dying is injected with Geritol for a few years.  The revenues exceed expectations and the Jacobs family and Ratner family development corporation receives more profit.  The revenues don’t exceed expectations, the race track owners just continue to have more losses that mount.  The Jacobs and Ratner Families offset the losses with the gains from the other development projects they have in the nation.

And now answer these questions for me:

Who pays for the increased safety forces needed to protect the patrons and the venues?  Is it the city of Cleveland whose safety forces are already stretched too thin?

Who controls the economic development dollars that our county gets?  Is it the three commissioners who think that this Issue is all about education?  Do you want our economic future decided by them?

Why did the NAACP and the ministers of our churches come out against this “education program”? 

Are any economic benefits outweighed by the social costs of gambling?

Why did the Ohio State Board of Trustees come out unanimously against the Issue when their institution would benefit from the “scholarship” program?

Why did the Columbus Chamber of Commerce come out against the measure?  And point of information, Beulah Park and Scioto Downs both are domiciled in the Columbus area so that whole idea of that they are upset because their region would not benefit while ours would is bunk.

Why does Louisiana now admit that the fascination with gambling in the Nineties has done more to hinder economic development in that state than to help?

Why is Detroit still struggling if gambling will solve all economic ills in an urban area?

What happens to our local merchants and small businesses that will close because of the competition of “get rich quick”  with your $50 of disposable income?

I will vote “NO” on Issue 3 not because I am morally against gambling I am not, but because there are too many unanswered questions. My mom and dad taught me years ago that when I asked questions and couldn’t get answers to walk away.  I am walking away from this one because I don’t see how this baby can fly and NO ONE has been able to explain to me how it will. 

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 16th, 2006 at 10:33 am

NEONI Awards Gala at The IX Center

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Last night, I had the good fortune to attend the legacy of Nursing Gala sponsored by The Center for Health Affairs and The Northeast Ohio Nursing Initiative (NEONI).  My friend, Kathryn Miracle of Miracle Resources, had an extra ticket available and asked me if I would like to attend.  Those of you who know me, know that I never miss the opportunity to attend a black tie affair, but it was oh so much more than that.  There was the obligatory two drink tickets, a wonderful silent auction and beautifully appointed tables with good food served and impeccable service, but what really impressed me was the Historical Display and Mobile Hospital.

This historical display showcased nursing in the 1940’s and included displays on the Cadet Nursing Corps and Army Nurses.There was a collection of nursing school pins and an amazing collection of dolls displayed courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic.  The walk through the Mobile Hospital was an incredible experience. I found out that the 256th Combat Support Hospital Unit is located in Brooklyn, OH and that these fine Army Reservists took the time to put up the replica and donated their time to talk to the attendees at the Gala.  What really impressed me about these soldiers was the respect they showed to the members of their unit who came before them.  They had scrapbooks showing the history of their unit.  They had current photos of where they have served and what they have done.  Soldiers proud of their heritage and proud of the work they do.  I thank them for their dedication to us Americans.

During the program, I learned something that sobered me.  Although we were at a Gala event to honor area leaders in the nursing profession and others, there was an underlying theme that needed to be addressed.  One of the honorees was The Frances Payne Bolton Family. I knew two things about Frances Payne Bolton, she was a U.S. Congressman and the School of Nursing, at CSU was named for her.  What I didn’t know was that during World War II, Representative Frances Payne Bolton introduced legislation to form the Cadet Nursing Corps that overcame a shortage of 125,000 nurses.  Her legislation formed the legacy of nurses that we honored last night. 

 The University Hospital spokesperson who introduced, Curtis Bolton, grandson of  Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton, mentioned almost in passing that our nation faces a shortage of 250,000 nurses in the very near future. Mr. Bolton spoke boldly to the issue of a nurse shortage in our future.  He quoted from a Harvard scholar who says that the stratification of our society will become more and more pronounced in the future.  Mr Bolton suggested that there would be no better bridge to overcome this stratification than a nurse.  I would agree, and this is why.  The two women honored, Jane Powell and Mary Lou Stricklin embodied all that is good and true in a nurse, the humor, the compassion, and the strength.  The U.S. Congressman David Hobson honored for his HIV proactive bill as a State Senator was also honored, and who did he say helped him craft the bill, a nurse who explained the need for protection of nurses so they could safely preform the duties of their profession–caring, comforting, and attending to those most vulnerable members of our society–the sick and the infirm.  My question is this: how will the bridge be made if there are no nurses to make that bridge?

We need to add this question to our list when we discuss health care issues in America–how will we overcome this shortage of nurses that is inevitable in our future unless we take action now as Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton did in 1943?  We hear a lot about the expenses that hospitals and doctors face, we hear a lot about the rising costs of medicines, but we haven’t heard much about what a shortage of 250,000 nurses will do to our quality of care and to the overall health of our communities.   

Those of us in Northeast Ohio are once again fortunate to have a group such as NEONI in our midst.  This organization has developed a sustainable program that will continue their role in this region.  I will use their own words in the Welcome letter of the program  to exemplify what that role is:

We feel our greatest impact on the future of nursing is to continue our role in the region; as an advocate to the students in the 105 high schools we partner with; as a spokesperson for the supply and demand of the regional nursing workforce and related issues; and as a catalyst to solve some of regional nursing workforce and related issues; and as a catalyst to solve some of the most complex issues facing nursing in terms of ducation retention, and workforce environment.

As a community, we should support this worthwhile organization and its mission to continue to promote the honorable profession of nursing.  We talk about economic development in our region, then shouldn’t we be talking about nursing education as an economic tool?  Should Northeast Ohio be the place to be to become the best nurse possible? Shouldn’t we be thinking of ways for our region to combat the shortage of 250,000 nurses?   And so what, if we train nurses to leave our region and go elsewhere, what better ambassador for our hospitals and our region than a professional trained to be the best she or he can be right here in Northeast Ohio. We have an organization that is an advocate of all of this and more.  We should support them in any way we can.   



Written by Gloria Ferris

October 8th, 2006 at 11:49 am

And So, I Opined.

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Read this thread over on Brewed Fresh Daily.  My comment appears below.  I decided it was more of a post than a comment, so I am reprising it here.  I truly believe that we need to define ourselves by how we treat our children and our elderly.  And more and more of what I see tells me we are failing miserably. 

Your comment to John is really beneath you or I would hope it is beneath you.

“Well, John, we’ll just have to differ about who is qualified to opine–those who have figured out how to be successful, or those who sit on the sidelines and criticize those who have figured out how to be successful.”

I daresay that there are people who would debate the term “successful”. But when “successful” people talk about the disappearing middle class and is it true or untrue, they are really failing to see the forest for the trees. When we are debating on BFD whether you can feed a family of four on $60 a week, we are talking about the “true” issues that are facing people in our region. When Bill Callahan talks about the increasing bite that utlities takes from everyone’s budget we are talking about the “true” issues that face the middle class. When we talk about companies going bankrupt and pension benefit decreases for the retired in our community, we are talking about the “true” issues of whether the middle class is shrinking, disappearing, or is the term we want becoming invisible?

Discussing governmental and economic definitions in a vacuum, really does not speak to the issue at hand. It absolves people who debate in abstracts to absolve themselves of any kind of responsibility to the state of neighbors and others that are not achieving the American Dream.

I have always said that when we begin talking about “people” as numbers and statistics, we lose part of our humanity. I think this thread speaks to that.

By the way, I consider myself successful. Many others would not, but their definition doesn’t apply to me my definition applies to me. We get to caught up in other people’s definitions.

And all of us should be very concerned about the education of our children because having been a teacher I don’t see critical thinking skills being taught with much success. And when, government statistics become the way we decide whether things are “good”, we will ALL be in deep trouble.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 5th, 2006 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Cleveland

A Public Meeting for Real

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The Fulton Road Bridge is scheduled to close as of 9:00 am on Thursday, October 5th.

Councilman Cummins sent out information on the meeting and asked everyone to further distribute the info to all interested members of the community.  Since it is hard to know who will want to attend please let all of your neighbors know that this opportunity exists to ask questions.  It remains to be seen if we will get answers.

11:00 am, Saturday October 7th

Main Auditorium of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo  3900 Wildlife Way.

 Presenters and officials expected to attend include:

 the Ohio Department of Transportation     Kokosing Construction Company

 Cuyahoga County Engineers’s office    various City of Cleveland Departments

 The Ward 15 & 16 City of Cleveland Council offices.

For more information contact :

 Ward 15 Councilman Brian Cummins,  216-459-8400 and,

 Ward 16 Councilman Kevin Kelley 216-351-7077

Many thanks to those of you who called the Mayor’s Action Line and the County Engineers Office and thank you Brian, for pushing and pulling to get this public meeting.I hope to see you all there on Saturday. Rember Mayor Jackson comes to our neighborhood on October 5.  He will be addressing concerns of residents and answering questions at Estabrook Recreation Center on Fulton Road between the hours of six p.m. and eight p.m.  


Written by Gloria Ferris

October 3rd, 2006 at 9:36 am