Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for May, 2013

HERE WE GO AGAIN: EPA Public Hearing to Permit Incinerator

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I just received this notice from Nathan Rutz of Ohio Citizen Action  informing me that we are again being forced to defend ourselves against this abomination that Cleveland Public Power and the City of Cleveland promote. 

Dear Gloria —
In 2012, after facing widespread public opposition to their plans for a new garbage incinerator on Ridge Road, the City of Cleveland fired project developer Peter Tien for incompetence and claimed they were going back to the drawing board.

However, the City has continued to pursue this project behind the scenes, even thoughsome new consultants (Gershman, Brickner and Bratton) just told Cleveland City Council  last week that a new “gasification” plant would be far more expensive than other options.

The city has now asked Ohio EPA to issue an air pollution permit for the proposed garbage incinerator on Ridge Road.  The draft permit, which was issued on May 10, 2013, is very similar to the one proposed last year,  and can be found on the Ohio EPA’s website at:

The Ohio EPA and City of Cleveland Division of Air Quality have just announced that they will hold a public hearing on this permit on Wednesday, June 12th, at 6:00 p.m. at the Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Road.

Loud and clear, the citizens of Cleveland told Mayor Frank Jackson and city officials that we want a strong recycling and composting program, not a highly polluting and unnecessary garbage incinerator.  Apparently they didn’t get the message.

Please plan to come to this hearing, bring your “No Cleveland Incinerator” signs if you can, and be prepared to testify against this proposal.  We will be preparing some additional information for you to use, but wanted to get the word out about the date right away.

Also, please call Mayor Frank Jackson’s office, 216-664-3990, and tell the mayor that the city should withdraw this permit and go back to the drawing board.

With thanks,

Nathan Rutz

Cleveland Campaign Organizer
Ohio Citizen Action · 614 W Superior Ave, 1200, Cleveland, OH 44113, United States
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City of Cleveland :: Division of Park Maintenance and Properties: Destroying public property at will to lighten the maintenance workload

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We are posting this email here for the record with regard to the city’s arrogant and high-handed attempt to destroy mature, big trees in W. C. Reed Park. Portions of this communication are mine, and others are Laura McShane’s:

Hello all-

This kind of high handed “full steam ahead” without adequate community engagement is unacceptable.

Destroying trees that have a value of $192,973 per tree and replacing them with 2 in. saplings because they MAY BE toxic is unacceptable.

Trashing a neighborhood park in the name of “remediation” with funds from the EPA is unacceptable.

For years, residents near the park have asked for routine maintenance of the trees only to be told how long the maintenance list is, how small the Urban Forestry budget is, and how short handed they are is unacceptable.

In the light of the unwillingness for the City to provide the documentation that provides the FACTS concerning why the trees must be destroyed is unacceptable.

I find it exceedingly strange that when new housing was proposed along the park and on Denison Avenue, these environmental concerns were down[played as “having no effect” but when park improvements that are strictly discretionary and DO NOT have to be done, environmental issues that will allow EPA funds be used for a contract for remediation the landscape changes.  WHY???

Please provide the documents the residents requested posthaste and STOP the forward momentum until the community has answered.

Gloria Ferris



On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Laura McShane <> wrote:

Hello Ms. Roberson,

Please release all planning and informational documents pertaining to the renovation and   remediation of WC Reed Field.

Residents have not received materials as promised at public meeting held at St. Barbara’s Church in December 2012.  Commissioner Cox assured residents that these materials would be made available for review at the Cleveland Public Library Brooklyn Branch 3706 Pearl Rd. Cleveland OH 44109.

We are now being told that the City of Cleveland plans to proceed with contract under Ohio EPA for remediation that is to include removing all trees at the park.

For the record, residents have not been given adequate information or notice for this to proceed and residents are opposed to removal of mature oak trees in the park.


Laura McShane


City of Cleveland :: Division of Park Maintenance and Properties

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 9th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Old Brooklyn News, Brooklyn Centre Naturalists column: BC Naturalists plan spring activities

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by Gloria Ferris

“Trees give you a connection to the past, and a sense of continuity in a neighborhood.”

Benjamin Swett, New York City photographer of trees, gave the above quote during an interview with Ian Frazier in the March 4th, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. It is a fitting beginning to Brooklyn Centre Naturalists’ (BCN) annual Arbor Day article. (Arbor Day was observed on April 26th).

The history of trees in Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn is a rich one. When the neighborhoods were initially settled in the early 1800s, a forest of oak, beech and maple trees greeted the first pioneers.
In the 1850s, Cleveland became known as “The Forest City”. Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn certainly are part of that heritage. In the 1900s when these areas became bustling communities, planting trees along streets and boulevards was part of the strategic plan. The giant sycamores along South Hills
Blvd. in Old Brooklyn, for instance, remain as a bastion to this time of uniting nature with communities.

Sadly, the majestic trees of Archwood Ave. were decimated by the tornado which roared down city streets in 1953. More recently (last autumn) trees in both neighborhoods were hit by Hurricane Sandy.

In 1902, William Stinchcomb planned and oversaw the building of the bathhouse, tennis courts and main building at the new zoo at Brookside Park. Stinchcomb’s vision of the Emerald Necklace included Brooklyn north and south of the Park. Presently, our park neighborhoods are holding their own. Many
70 to 100 year old trees remain, but storms, updated street plans and age are destroying them regularly.

For years, City budget restraints have also taken a toll. Instead of the City automatically replacing a lost tree on a tree lawn, a home owner must request a replacement. When utility companies replace or make improvements to failing infrastructure, a disclaimer such as this one is often made: “Every effort to save
shrubbery and trees will be made. If necessary, they will be removed. They will not be replaced.”

Residents must act now or the neighborhood history of tree-lined streets will become only a memory of the past instead of a part of the future. Today, every resident can help to solidify Cleveland’s label of “the Forest City”. They can replace trees which have been removed because of storm damage, age and progress, instead of waiting for the City to do so. And they can plant new trees because trees contribute
to utility cost containment and storm water management. (Older homes were built with the intention of using trees for coolness in summer and warmth in winter.)

Planting a tree is a way to combine nature and progress. Join BCN in their effort to make sure that Cleveland — the Forest City — is a reality in the future and not just a memory. Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day 2013. And when it’s mature, it just might increase the value of your property by many thousands of dollars.

(This article also appears at

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 4th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Posted in general