Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for June, 2008

Our Hope, Our Dream: Brooklyn Centre and Ward 15–A National Wildlife Federation Community

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People have been asking the intent of our Brooklyn Centre Garden Tour today.  One reason is because we firmly believe that understanding our past can help us in the present to shape our future.  Our theme this year is “Ideas, Innovation, and Industry.  Our great city was smack dab in the middle of that in the past and we believe that the time is right for that to happen all over again.

The other reason can be better explained by simply posting the flyer that will be at the event telling everyone what the funds we raise will be  used to do.

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that it is a great way for our community to get together on a project, have a bit of fun, and meet new and interesting people. 



MISSION: To create a sustainable neighborhood through gardening using environmentally sound practices.


To create a safe haven for people and wildlife

To enhance our community of choice by making it a park neighborhood

To reduce our carbon footprint

To share plants, ideas, suggestions, and innovations

To strengthen our assets while overcoming our challenges


We believe that we can achieve our goals quickly and efficiently by becoming a National Wildlife Federation Community. A Community Wildlife Habitat is a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the community—in individual backyards, on school grounds and in public areas such as parks, community gardens, place of worship and businesses. It is a place where the residents make it apriority to provide habitat for wildlife by providing the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young. The community also educates its residents about sustainable gardening practices such as reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water, planting native plants, removing invasive plants and composting. It hosts workshops about gardening for wildlife, and holds community events such as stream or trail cleanups to make the community healthier for wildlife and people alike. A community Wildlife habitat project creates a place where people, flora and fauna can all flourish.


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Questions Please Call: 216-351-0254 or email

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 22nd, 2008 at 7:33 am

Posted in Cleveland

2008 Garden Tour Comes To Brooklyn Centre Sunday June 22

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Each Spring our community association here in Brooklyn Centre has a garden tour.  This year we will again be featuring our beautiful Riverside Cemetery garden with its winding roads and beautiful landscaping.

Garden_Tour_Postcard_2008_FRONT This is a photo of the chapel that sits in the center of the cemetery.  This year general manager Mr. Bill Halley portraying the first superintendent James Curtiss, will be regaling the tour attendees with the history of this beautiful gem.  He will be joined by six other costumed narrators who will tell the stories of some of the interesting people who reside here.  The theme this year is “Ideas, Innovation, and Industry. Come and see why that theme is so very appropriate.

Here are the details of the event:Garden_Tour_Postcard_2008_BACK Click on the photo to enlarge it.    Besides musical entertainment and refreshments,  The Old Brooklyn Historical Society will be there with vintage photos.  They would really like help in identifying the places and people captured at various times throughout our history.  Friends of Big Creek will be there with a map display of the changes to the neighborhood over the years.  Come see how the Cuyahoga River was rerouted . Sit down and talk with a local genealogist and start your pedigree tree.

Stop by our souvenir stand and check out the array of books we have for sale-Vicki Blum Vigil’s Cemeteries of Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Afoot, our own Reflections of Brooklyn Centre and a few others.  There will be bookmarks and postcards and flowerpots as well.

Our group of volunteers have been working hard to make this another great event. We have a great time putting it together.  Sunday will be the icing on the cake. We’d love to see you Sunday afternoon.  It’s supposed to be a beautiful day in Cleveland. Perfect weather for an afternoon stroll.           

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 17th, 2008 at 7:33 am

Posted in Cleveland

For Members Only

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For the past two months, we have been promoting our Brooklyn Centre Garden Tour with a fabulous postcard that our friend and neighbor designed.

The front of the card is the chapel constructed in  1876 before the porte cochere was added.  This year Mr. Halley, the general superintendent will be portraying James Curtiss, the FIRST superintendent and sharing many stories about the history of the chapel.


the back of the card of course has the pertinent information with day, Garden_Tour_Postcard_2008_BACK date, and time.  We are very proud of this postcard and have been placing it strategically all over town.  Since I travel through downtown often, I said that I would place it in some of the hotels and at Positively Cleveland.  I gave some to the concierge at the Marriott and The Hyatt, and the desk clerk at the Hampton took some, too.  They all thanked me because they said weekend guests often were looking for different neighborhood things to do and this would fit in perfectly.

On my way back, I stopped at Positively Cleveland to drop some off.  The lady at the desk told me she didn’t think that she could accept them.  I assured her that  the Cleveland Convention and Visitors’ Bureau had displayed them for the past three years.  Could she please just make sure?  She said there was no one to ask at the time, but that she would see what she could do.  Confidently, I walked to the rapid.

Imagine my dejection, two days later when I received my bundle of postcards in the mail with a short note explaining that only members’ events could be displayed.  So I guess with name changes come other changes as well.  Later that day, I ran into a friend who had talked to the manager at a well-known Tremont restaurant who was glad to take our postcards because diners were always looking for something “different” to do on a Sunday.  He said that another friend who owns a small company that caters to executives took some as well because his travelers also want a “different” experience.  The names and identities will remain anonymous because I don’t know if they are “members”, but if they are maybe the other “members” might not be pleased that our little postcard was getting out and about in other ways.

My mood immediately elevated, but still there is just this nagging thought in the back of my head–a convention and visitors’ bureau that promotes “members only”.  What’s up with that?  How much taxpayer money do they get each year?  And, just who are they promoting and why?   And why wouldn’t they want to promote Cleveland Neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs as well?

There are. of course, some Cleveland neighborhood development corporations that are members because I saw their events’ postcards and I wondered why those postcards were there, but ours couldn’t be.   I thought long and hard before posting this because I didn’t want to sound like sour grapes, but I just don’t understand a city that continues to raise such barriers and arbitrary rules.  Promotion and tourism in Cleveland of all things ends with the bottom line.  Can someone please help me understand why this makes sense?   

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 12th, 2008 at 10:18 am

Posted in Cleveland

Blogging in Tongues Against HB 477 Recap

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Yesterday was quite a day here in the Ohio Blogosphere, and I was glad to be part of it.  Last week Jill Miller Zimon had one of those creative ideas that has made her quite famous or notorious in the Blog World.  She asked her fellow bloggers to take one day-Tuesday June 9th and write why they thought the latest ENGLISH ONLY bill that passed the Ohio house and is headed for a  Senate Committee  is a very bad idea.  Now, for a lot of people that would have been the end of the creativity, but not Jill.  She suggested that we choose a foreign language and write our post in that language.

As people signed on, the languages were flying fast and furiously-Vietnamese, Hungarian, Polish, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Urdu, and there I was with three years of high school Spanish taken 40 years ago.  I was obviously out of my league, and then, Jill told me it would be quite easy with google translator.  I immediately signed up.

Jill created a blog just for this effort and you can read all of the posts here in English.  But I would suggest, at least, checking out each blog for the  original post in a foreign language.  It will give you a feel for just how difficult and frustrating it is when there is a language barrier.  These bloggers not only did a stand up job with the task given them, but each and every blog on this list is worth a periodic visit if you are a person who wants to know what is going on in Ohio and beyond.

American Pink Collar (French)

Bad American  (Polish)

bitter-girl::musings (German)

blogesque   (Korean)

Blue Bexley  (Dutch)

Bring Ohio Home  (Czech)

Bring Ohio Home (German)

Buckeye State Blog (Italian)

Glass City Jungle (Hungarian)

Gloria Ferris  (Spanish)

Ohio Daily Blog  (Croatian)

Pho’s Akron Pages (Vietnamese)

Plunderbund (Redneck)

Rowsey Blog (Spanish)

The Chief Source (Spanish) at the point

The Daily Bellwether  (French) 

Tim Ferris  (French)

Writes Like She Talks (Portuguese)

One of the things I found truly amazing was the common threads that were woven through the posts.  Each of us wrote these independently and in our own style but we all came to the same conclusions that the bill is exclusionary, that it panders to a certain mindset, that it reflects badly on Ohio when it comes to the subject of immigration,  that it will be costly, that it appears to be nearly unenforceable, that technology advances are not taken into account,  that there are so many exceptions to the rule that it is essentially meaningless, and therefore, has the look and feel of politics at its worst.  If we truly want to have an English Only state why isn’t more done to see that English as a Second Language classes are a priority?

I can’t wait for Jill’s next great idea.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Oh, she gave you homework too.  She has asked that every reader write or contact their legislator to voice their opposition.  And for those of you, who are in favor you should contact your legislators too.  Of course, I doubt if you are reading my blog, but if you are I want to be democratic.  Hmm, with legislators passing this kind of legislation, I wonder how much longer we will be able to consider ourselves a democratic society.    

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 11th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Cleveland

English Translation: Ohio House Bill 477–Bad Legislation On So Many Levels

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Ohio House Bill 477–Bad Legislation On So Many Levels

In an era when we should be inclusive instead of exclusive, again, we in Ohio show ourselves to be on the wrong end of the spectrum.  We are a state losing population, and therefore, we should be embracing immigration. But, our state legislature in its collective wisdom has decided to show the world that we believe in isolationism.

This English Only bill is nothing more than a diversionary tactic.  Our state legislators continue to propose bills that really aren’t worth a hill of beans.  It is a known fact that immigrant families who come to America within three generations become acclimated to the English language, and it is the language of choice often to the chagrin of elders who worry about  the loss of ethnic culture. 

With the advent of technology is it truly so burdensome to translate into other languages?  Should we not embrace the learning of additional languages by our young people?  When we pass such restrictive legislation does it not send the wrong message?  Do we not have “English as Second Language” classes to promote the learning of English by people new to our country?

Why do we the electorate continue  to allow our legislators to continue to ignore the elephant in the room?  Which elephant you ask?  Pick one–the economy, the burden of taxes, the number of people leaving our state-young and old, the medicaid crisis, and on and on.  Instead we allow them to pass laws that are meaningless, albeit restrictive and exclusionary.  Convince me that we will be better with the passage of such a ridiculous notion.  This country was built by immigrants.  Cleveland is known as a melting pot.  We should all stand up and tell the state legislature that we want them to be better, to be bigger, and to envision a state where all are welcome to live, work, and play.   

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 11th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Cleveland

Ohio Casa Documento Cuarto Siete Siete–Mal Legislacion en tantos niveles

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En una época en que debe ser inclusivo en vez de exclusiva, de nuevo, en Ohio muestran que se nos mal en el extremo del espectro. Somos un estado perdiendo población, y por lo tanto, debe abrazar la inmigración. Sin embargo, nuestra legislatura estatal en su juicio colectivo, ha decidido mostrar al mundo que creemos en el aislacionismo.
Sólo Inglés Este proyecto de ley no es más que una táctica de diversión. Nuestros legisladores estatales siguen proponiendo proyectos de ley que son realmente no vale la pena una colina de frijoles. Es un hecho conocido que las familias inmigrantes que llegan a América dentro de tres generaciones aclimatadas a convertirse en el idioma Inglés, y es el idioma de su elección a menudo a pesar de los ancianos que preocuparse por la pérdida de cultura étnica.
Con el advenimiento de la tecnología ¿es realmente tan gravoso para traducir a otros idiomas? ¿No deberíamos adoptar el aprendizaje de otras lenguas de nuestros jóvenes? Cuando pasamos por ejemplo una legislación restrictiva no significa que enviar el mensaje equivocado? ¿Acaso no tienen “Inglés como Segunda Lengua” clases para promover el aprendizaje de Inglés por la gente nueva a nuestro país?
¿Por qué el electorado seguir permitiendo que nuestros legisladores a seguir ignorando el elefante en la habitación? Elefante que le pida? Elija una – la economía, la carga de impuestos, el número de personas que abandonan nuestro estado-jóvenes y viejos, la crisis de Medicaid, y en y en. En cambio, les permite aprobar leyes que no tienen sentido, aunque restrictiva y excluyente. Convencerme de que vamos a estar mejor con el paso de esa noción ridícula. Este país fue construido por inmigrantes. Cleveland es conocida como un crisol. Todos debemos defender y decir a la legislatura estatal que queremos que sea mejor, para ser más grande, y para imaginar un estado donde todos son bienvenidos para vivir, trabajar y jugar.

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 10th, 2008 at 8:40 am

Posted in Cleveland