Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for the ‘Cleveland’ Category

Chronic Illness Recovery-One Step At a Time

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Today I emptied the dishwasher and I filled it all at once. First time, in ten years that I did not take a 20 minute rest between the two tasks. It is now one task again. This is not to say that when the humidity is high or my back screams to me that I need to sit down, put up my feet and read a book I will not listen. I will and once gain feel like the slow tortoise I have become.

Still, I think I took a good step forward-no longer facing the task with dread, but with the knowledge I can do it.

Ten years ago, I had a massive heart attack and three strokes. I had no use of my left side. I could not walk. I could not feed myself. I could not negotiate going to the bathroom by myself. Before that point, my husband and daughters were told I had a negative 17% chance of living. I had been unconscious. I had not responded to light or to many other triggers used in assessment..

I don’t tell this for sympathy, empathy or anything else but simply to tell you that I understand the struggle people have when recovering from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Yes, cancer. During all of this, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Luckily, it was a very early detection so that learning to walk could come first. Then, I could wait the 90 days needed to recover from the heart attack and participate in cardio rehabilitation so that I would be stronger when the surgery happened.

All of this background leads me to today when I accomplished something that many of us take to be a given- unloading and loading the dishwasher.  It does us good to remember to be grateful and thankful for what we have every day of our lives because in a wink of an eye all that can change.

My point is not to be depressing but to let everyone know that should a chronic illness come your way it is not necessary to stop living or stop working toward goals. When you look back to yesterday, and believe me, look back one day.  Do not look to what “used to be”.

Your normal is a “new” normal and yours alone because each person’s backpack of a chronic illness is unique to themselves. For some people, recovery comes quickly up to a point and then, it seems to plateau. For others, the path is filled with rocks and tree roots and the time it takes is much longer.

I tell people that heart disease is customized and each person’s list of symptoms is unique. It is the same with strokes. I regained my ability to walk. I eat with my left hand once again. I type using every finger on my right hand and my pointer finger on my left.

Today, I used those six fingers to share that I can now do one more thing that has eluded me for ten years. I know it probably doesn’t seem like much, but in my world, it proves that I can still achieve more.     

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 9th, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Where is My French Roast Coffee?

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Don’t judge me on our taste in coffee, but Tim and I love Starbucks French Roast. For a month and a half we have been unable to procure it at any of our local Starbucks.

The answer to the question varies every time.  ‘We need to order more’.  ‘We are not selling French roast any more’.  ‘I don’t know why we don’t have it, we just don’t’.

Tim went to their website where it is still listed as available.

And then, yesterday I decided to persist in finding out more of an answer when I stopped in to buy Komodo Dragon since, of course, no French roast.

After the cashier finally caught the manager’s attention, she told me that they were downsizing on the kinds of coffee beans sold.

I replied the selection is still listed as available on Starbucks website. Her answer relayed through said cashier: “We shut down the on-line store before Christmas.” My reply: “Not the on-line store. The website”.  Again relayed by the cashier. “You would have to contact the website about that. I don’t know anything about the website.”

At this point, I asked her to stop multi-tasking and relaying everything through the poor cashier who I am sure felt like the pickle in the middle and just answer my question as to why French roast was chosen to be deleted from the offerings.

She then told me that the beans used for French roast had no consistent market for buying, and therefore, it was eliminated.

I thanked her and left with my purchases sans the steel straw my daughter asked me too buy.  The manager told me that the item had been discontinued two years prior  as too dangerous to sale.

After I left, I recall reading an article somewhere, sometime that the coffee market would become exceedingly unstable due to geopolitical reasons. I don’t recall where I read it, but it was probably The New Yorker, The Economist, or The week.

I wonder if others are finding it difficult to find their favorite bean from their favorite roaster because of geopolitical reasons.

Where should I go to find a comparable smooth taste of French roast? Or am I to continue my search for a “good” cup of morning coffee made at home?  My only consolation is the number of coffee shop selections within a mile of my home-Tremont: Civilization and The Loop, Old Brooklyn:  Coffee Coffee Coffee and Metropolitan Café and my all time favorite Gypsy Beans in Detroit Shoreway.

With all that goodness so close to home, why do I yearn for that home brewed cup of coffee?  

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 2nd, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Posted in quality of life

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Ward 14 Town Hall Meeting

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending the first town hall meeting hosted by Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, her assistant, Maranyeliz Miranda, and her volunteers.  It was an enjoyable, informative meeting. I hope,as Ms. Santana said,it will  be the first of many.

This town hall  was a community forum with many city officials as well as non-profit advocates discussing housing issues and solutions with the audience.  This first forum’s participants included:

Special Guest: MetroHealth

Chief of Staff. Jane Platten.  Walter Jones, Senior Vice President in charge of campus transformation accompanied her.

Cleveland Build and Housing:

Ayonna Donald, Interim director Cleveland Director B & H.

Housing Partnership Network, FKA Cleveland Housing Network

Kate Monter Durban, Assistant Director

Neighborhood Housing Services

Mahria Harris, Director of Homeowner Services

Christina Keegan, Land Trust Program Manager

Cleveland Housing Court

Heather Meljkovic, Magistrate

Peter Hotchkiss, Housing Court Specialist

Community Development Organizations.

Metro West Development Organization

Keisha Gonzalez, Managing Director

Tremont West Development Corporation

Cory Riordan, Executive Director

Pastor Gordon Martin, Prince of Peace Outreach presided as facilitator and fielded the written questions from the audience. Since the topic was housing, he informed us  that all the other questions would be handled on-line since people had failed to add contact info to the questions. 

As always, there were a few in the audience who refused to believe that the rules applied to them and they shouted their questions from the floor. When Pastor Martin was unable to get them to understand that the written questions served two purposes-the question topic would be housing and that all others would be handled in writing on- line,  the councilwoman and he handled the impromptu questions quickly and efficiently so that the discussion on housing issues could continue.

There was a lot of useful information exchanged. The housing court personnel handled eviction questions as well as what the procedure is if you end up in court. 

“Who is the code enforcer?” was handled by Metro West’s managing director, Keisha Gonzalez and Ms. Arnold of Building and  Housing  who has  over 20 years experience both in the field and in management.

Ms. Gonzalez shared that Metro West conducts four Code Enforcement Area (CEA) studies a year. When an area  is chosen  for closer scrutiny a house to house outside inspection is conducted. These inspections are to identify potential Building and Housing violations before they become a problem for the homeowner when code enforcement kicks in.

If you receive a letter, call Metro West. There are resources that can help home owners. any people accomplished home repairs which alleviates anxiety and enhances their own quality of life as well as their neighbors’.

Ms. Arnold made everyone understand Metro West, Tremont West or any other CDC does NOT have enforcement authority.

Many questions centered around affordable housing and what programs are available to residents as well as the deposition of the YMCA building on Pearl. An added plus was Jane Platten from MetroHospitals who addressed the new transformation plan for the hospital and how those plans do not call for the displacement of current residents near the hospital. Ms. Platten was glad to be able to dispel the rumors at a public forum.

Rebecca Kempton and I recorded the meeting on Facebook live. It is available in two sections. If you are interested please take the time to watch it. There are two sections I and II. Click on  Gloria Ferris. Scroll down.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who participated in last night’s meeting, but most of all, to thank Councilwoman Santana for using the calls to her office as her basis for the Town Hall topic.

I look forward to the next one.

Reply to Jasmin Santana’s Facebook Post

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Ms. Santana’s Facebook post appears at the bottom of my blog post. It was forwarded to me as an email. Just as she decided to reply publicly to my invitation I have decided to do the same.

On two things I agree with Ms Santana, we need to stay focused and continue to make Ward 14 the best it can be. This is why I try to stay out of the drivel that is so much of Facebook nowadays.

I, too, abhor rumors and accusations. Since I am upset by the lies and half-truths in her public reply I find it necessary to reply in public. Words that impugn my character, integrity and honesty need to be addressed.

Her reply implies that she did not receive an invitation until it was sent to her on August 8th. This is not true.

The invitation was sent by email July 31.  Here it is.

Dear________:

We would like to invite you to participate in the Ward 14 Community forums for council candidates. As in 2013, we have a plethora of qualified candidates running for the council seat. This council seat is very important to the voters in our ward. We feel offering two forums where candidates can answer questions asked by residents is an important part of community engagement.

We are a group of Ward 14 residents who believe in this process and because of that belief formed a rules of engagement and sponsored three community forums in 2014. We have been asked to again offer this service.   We have made some changes to the format, not many, but ones we feel will make the forums even more effective and enjoyable for participants and audience alike. 

We have changed the number of forums from three to two and have decided to have one on the east side of the ward and one on the west side. Archwood United Church of Christ has agreed to be our east side venue.   On the west side we are looking at three possible sites, Stockyards Community School, West 58th Street Church of God, and Clark Rec Center. Since our east side venue is difficult for some people to navigate it is imperative that our west side venue be accessible to all. 

Providing Spanish translation proved a challenge at the first forums. This time, we would like to engage your help in finding suitable translators. Therefore, if at all possible, we would like each candidate to engage someone to be their translator. If you would rather not or cannot, we will gladly help. 

We will again offer time for each candidate to speak at the beginning and closing of the forum. Usually, we try to keep those remarks to three minutes each. The questions are asked in round robin fashion so that no one individual has the advantage of being last or the disadvantage of being first. These are shared equally. 

I have sent a doodle poll for your convenience in sharing your availability. We have chosen two weeks and three dates each week in hopes of not needing to fine tune date selection too much. 

As soon as we have confirmed dates and times, we will notify you so that you can begin sharing the information with your workers, with people you meet and greet, and on social media. We will create a flyer by pdf for you to reproduce, share or use in any way you see fit. 

We will also send you a copy of our rules of engagement so that you will be able to ask questions or offer suggestions for its improvement. 

We look forward for the opportunity of holding these forums so that you and our residents can discuss the issues that are deemed most important to our community.

Sincerely,

 

Gloria Ferris                  Rebecca Kempton

2017 Ward 14 Community Forum Initiative

She did not reply to the invitation or Doodle poll. The Doodle poll was sent July 31. A Doodle poll is sent to participants giving them dates and times. The recipient simply adds her or his name to the list and clicks on the dates acceptable to him or her. That’s all it takes. The creator of the poll is notified when people reply.

Granted, the invitation did not go out until July 31, but we needed to secure the venues before asking the availability of candidates.

Candidates had until June 29th to submit petitions to run in the primary. Technically, anyone soliciting candidates for a forum or debate would not do so until that date passed.

I did not want to be part of sponsoring candidate debates this election cycle. Although residents kept asking me if we would have community forums again I continued to wait by the third week of July, none were scheduled and I knew people wanted them.

Since I believe in the right of community engagement in the election process not controlled by the parties, I began looking for venues.

Yes, maybe it is a bit of a short fuse, but I needed to make sure we had venues in line before contacting candidates for availability.

Hence, the Doodle Poll which gave six dates and two starting times for the forums. Three candidates replied quickly with availability and two did not. Since the three candidates who replied all indicated that August 17 and August 22 were good for them, and it turned out that West 58th Street Church of God could ONLY host on that date, those dates were chosen.

If Jasmin had contacted me directly to let me know the 17th and 22nd were not good dates for her, I would have continued looking for a second ADA-accessible venue. Archwood Church had indicated that any of the six dates worked for them.

So now, I know from Jasmin’s public reply to the flyer I sent or to the invitation she received and/or the doodle she did receive notice. She simply did not give me the courtesy of a reply.

Flier sent to ALL candidates on August 9.

[to be added later]

I am glad that Jasmin mentioned the League of Women Voters in her public reply so that I could share a bit of background with her and the public. Four years ago, the Cuyahoga County League of Women Voters was the first group I reached out to when we began to explore the possibility of community forums.

At that time, their representative informed me that as a rule they do not hold community forums for Ward candidates. She did steer me toward the California League of Women’s website where there were instructions on how to conduct such a forum. The format worked perfectly for our purposes. If she had contacted me with her concerns, this is what I would have told her.

I must admit this time I simply decided to use the League of Women Voters’ format that we previously used. I decided my time was better spent securing translation equipment from the Cleveland Municipal School District and looking for two simultaneous translators. I am still looking.

If anyone knows of translators with this skill set, I would greatly appreciate contact information. Mine is 216-351-0254 or gloria@gloriaferris.net.

I am not sure from where the information of me being “a strong Cummins supporter” originated, but I think that those who know me would find the statement a bit incongruous.

Throughout the years, people who know Brian and me know that we have had our differences of opinion. We often do not agree. In fact, I ran against Brian, Rick Nagin, and Emily Lipovan one year.

There is one thing I admire about Brian and that is his willingness as an incumbent to face his opposition in an open forum. I am also thankful for Nelson Cintron Jr who never steps away from the public engagement. I am grateful to newcomer Omar Medina who also stepped up to the plate. Sadly, I wish that the two candidates who did not reply to the invitation had.

Since all questions are submitted in writing by the audience and vetted by a committee chosen by the candidates and read by the moderator, I am not sure where “bias” enters into the conversation.

I beg to differ with the statement that this forum cannot be seen as a place for the public to hear from the candidates honestly and openly.

Over the years. I have heard from many people who attended and participated in community forums I have conducted. I am proud that two words “fair and impartial” are used when describing them.

I intend to continue to offer the best community-based forum for the candidates and the voters I can. I will not and cannot be sidetracked by a candidate who did not reply to an invitation, but waited to respond when it was indeed too late to accommodate her.

And yes, a primary season that is two months long followed by a general election two months later is not the public’s friend.

From Jasmin Santana:

My Response to the Invitation to Participate in the Biased, Cummins Supporters Sponsored Candidate Forum

Recently I received an invitation to participate in a candidate forum. I will not be attending the forum for several reasons.

I will be out of town for the first one with my family keeping the commitment I made to my husband and children to spend time with them before school starts. 

The second forum takes place at the same time as an event that I had already placed on my busy campaign calendar. 

To announce in the beginning of August a candidate forum and expect candidates to attend is truly unfair to dedicated candidates who are meeting with voters daily. 

This forum is also being hosted by two women who are strong Cummins supporters and are perceived as biased.  

One of them recently stated "Jasmin has about as much chance of getting elected as a snowball in hell has a chance of surviving.”  

A statement like this shows complete bias and therefore, this forum cannot be seen as an opportunity for the public to hear from the candidates honestly and openly. This has been the case in the past and now that his campaign is struggling, they have hastily put together this forum to help his campaign. 

I refuse to attend on that principle alone. If the forum were being conducted by the League of Women Voters, or an unbiased, non-partisan group, I would happily attend given enough notice.  

To all of my wonderful supporters, I know that there will be a lot of rumors and accusations, some people are going to be upset and might say things to try to hurt the campaign or us, so, let’s stay focused, and continue working to make Ward 14 the best it can be! 

Palante!! Seguimos enfocados en hacer lo mejor para nuestra comunidad

Written by Gloria Ferris

August 10th, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Please Bring Clarity to this “Class Divide” article

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Channel 19 shared Stephen Ohlemacher’s Associated Press article Report: SOcial Security overpaid nearly half on disability. citing a government study which says Social Security overpaid nearly half of those on disability.

The copyright says : Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.  Therefore, I am not sharing, but you can find it most anywhere-ABC NEWS, CNN, AOL just Google Stephen Ohlemeyer social security.

Here are my questions: Who was overpaid, why were they overpaid and how has this been corrected?  From personal experience I am flummoxed to see that these overpayments seem to be made year after year.  In my opinion, this kind of reporting does little else expect put fuel on the fire of “class divide” between those who fund and those who receive. Where is the outrage for those charged with administering these funds? Why are corrections not placed into the programming to “catch” these mistakes?

In my mind, this type of article does more to promote a "class divide" instead of shedding light on how a government agency with so much technology at its beck and call cannot figure out the "right" benefit to give. Making it so funders and recipients alike are left with inadequate data.

For a short time in 2009, I received disability payments. It took just 6 months to get approval on what I would receive, when I would receive it and how long I would receive it. The government wanted to divide it into 3 payments. I asked to have it in two since I had already waited six months. After submitting expenses for those six months, I received the first of two payments. It was cut and dried. I have a friend who receives payments as well. Each year adjustments are made- the first in January when her check is increased- this year it was $10. In July, her rent is recalculated-it will go up $2; therefore, she will be able to use the $8 to pay the increase in her phone bill because she is still forced to keep a land line for life line (the discount has expired because supposedly soon she will be able to have a cell phone instead). With this kind of micromanaging which is neither here nor there, I just want to know HOW the government has overpaid these people for supposedly years.

A study is cited but I have been unable to find a link to that specifically. The article says ”according to a government watchdog”.   The next sentence says “in all, Social Security overpaid beneficiaries by nearly $17 billion, according to a 10-year study be the agency’s inspector general.  Who is the government agency and who is the inspector general?  Lots of questions, few answers. 

 

This link is provided: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 7th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

PUBLIC MEETING: Aragon Ballroom

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PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE

ZONING APPEAL

Aragon Ballroom

3179 West 25th Street

Thursday, January 22nd at 6:00 pm

At Lincoln West High School 3202 West 30th Street

Park and enter from the NORTH parking lot

The owner of Aragon Ballroom (Ali Faraj) would like to renovate the historic building as an event/conference center. The use will be allowed if it doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhood.

 

I would suggest anyone living near the West 25th corridor, whether it is close to the Aragon Ballroom or not, should attend this IMPORTANT meeting. Since this will be the FIRST MAJOR renovation along a street where MANY upgrades and changes are planned, we need to do this right and the COMMUNITY should be included.

Among other things to be considered is a PARKING variance. Rumor has it that already an agreement with Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the owners has already been struck. My question why isn’t the vacant lot on West 25th Street very close to the venue considered for parking? When the corridor booms a well placed parking lot should be in the mix, correct? The area surrounding the ARAGON is VERY residential and how will on street parking be handled?

If the seminars and business activities do not meet expectations, what type of “entertainment” will the venue book? What type of liquor permits will be requested? A lot of questions need to be asked and answered. Solutions need to be found for the community’s concerns.

An historic preservation of a building is only ONE of things to be considered here and should not be used as a smoke screen for the very real impact on the surrounding community.

Please consider taking the time out of your very busy lives to attend.

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 21st, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Talking Points for First Energy PUCO Hearing January 20, 2015

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First Energy PUCO Hearings – Talking Points
• Roughly one in three Ohio households, 1.4 million in all, are considered cost burdened by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards, paying more than 30 percent of their annual income on housing and utilities combined. Ohio families can’t afford a monopoly power plant bailout.
• According to the 2013 Home Energy Affordability Gap Report, more than 300,000 Ohio households pay over 30 percent of their annual income just on their home energy bills alone.
• FirstEnergy is asking the PUCO to permit its subsidiaries, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, and Cleveland Illuminating Company, to buy from FirstEnergy’s own power plants, at a premium, instead of from the PJM wholesale market where they are required to buy – as part of the deregulation FirstEnergy itself petitioned for.
• If this bailout goes through, consumers will be on the hook for FirstEnergy’s bad business decisions – at a projected cost of over $3 billion over fifteen years.
• If the ESP is approved, FirstEnergy would realize a revenue surplus of around $2 billion over operating costs for the fifteen year arrangement.
• FirstEnergy is fudging the numbers. To get an Electric Security Plan instead of a Market Rate Offer, FirstEnergy has to show a cost savings for customers. But even though they’re asking for a three year ESP, they’re claiming customer savings not over three years, but over the life of the 15 year power purchase agreement bailout they want. And even those numbers are wild speculation.
• When FirstEnergy’s own projections are limited to the 3 year span of the actual ESP, instead of the 15 year extended rider they’re seeking, FirstEnergy’s own projections indicate a $400 million net ratepayer loss.
• FirstEnergy’s proposal is anticompetitive. Getting this bail out would mean that FirstEnergy can undercut more efficient producers in the wholesale electricity market. Driving out those producers will limit energy choice.
• FirstEnergy says efficiency upgrades are costly, but they want these subsidies because they are losing out in the wholesale market – to wind and natural gas.
• Because with this rider, FirstEnergy recovers its full “cost” of generation, the rider would create an incentive for FirstEnergy to inflate its costs, which are not totally transparent to the PUCO.
• FirstEnergy is saying this plan will save customers money in the long run – but if that’s true, why don’t they want to take the risk and realize those cost savings for themselves? They’re asking PUCO to force customers to take a risk they’re not willing to take themselves.
• FirstEnergy has successfully petitioned the PUCO not to release cost and revenue figures so the public can learn the full story. If this plan really will benefit consumers, then what do they have to hide?
• FirstEnergy is asking the government to enforce a monopoly. Even though customers may want to choose a different supplier, those served by FirstEnergy power lines would still have to pay the surcharge – even though this surcharge is for subsidizing unprofitable plants, not for grid maintenance.

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 6th, 2015 at 9:26 pm

Second District Commander Sulzer Steps Down WHY???

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To Mayor Jackson, Safety Director McGrath,  Flask and Chief of Police Williams:

If your intent was to make the citizens of the Second Police District feel unsafe you achieved your goal.

Last night, I went to bed uneasy knowing that now when the drug dealing on both sides of my home becomes intolerable I no longer have Commander Sulzer to email to let him know about the increased activity both day and night. I am sure that replacement Tom Stancho is a fine and capable person, but you see it takes years to gain the trust of a community. We had a Commander who had the trust and confidence of his community built on years and years of serving us well. You don’t simply interchange that kind of person with another cog in the wheel.

Knowing that Commander Sulzer would use the information that I forwarded to him from myself and others so that we would again have a quieter, more peaceful existence was a constant reminder that we were safer and more secure with him at the helm.  He used the information we gave him to deploy his officers effectively and efficiently

This morning, I woke up before dawn realizing that I wasn’t as safe as I was yesterday because Commander Sulzer no longer leads our team of police officers who protect and serve my community.

You have taken from us a man who was a true leader.  He knew that being a policeman was much, much more than commanding his troops. He knew that enlisting the help of the community to be his eyes and ears was essential to our well-being as a community. He knew that working together was how we would all be safe and secure.  He made sure by being visible in the community and being part of our social fabric that we would continue our daily lives with a surer step- a little bit more confident that our decision to make Cleveland our community of choice was a good one because hw was a member of the team..

Yesterday, I had hope in achieving our community’s  goals because we had a very sturdy rudder to guide us through some, at times, pretty heavy seas. Today, my councilman Brian Cummins along with other leaders in my community are demanding some answers on why such a devastating decision was made that will harm our community. And, I no longer have the optimism and confidence I once had.

Unfortunately, in my heart I believe I know the answer to this devastating turn of events-politics. I have heard that the decision to demote a commander lies with the police chief.  I have no reason to believe that this decision was made any differently.  We will be given a rash of statistics and reasons as to why this demotion and disgrace of the best police commander I have ever known was a needed outcome of events in our community.  But, I say to you that Commander Sulzer is the best commander to ever serve in the City of Cleveland because former Second District  Commander Greg Baeppler ,who has always been my comparison when sizing up our police force, told me so.  I have always believed that Commander Baeppler speaks the truth, and through the years, I have learned for myself that his statement is true.

I am saddened to think that this decision was probably made for a much more personal reason than “the good of the community” although I am sure that crime statistics will be the official reason. Looking at statistics can be misleading and are  not a good way to evaluate the strength of a police force and its commander. Recently, I have seen reports of crime being “up” in the second district. Subtle hints in the media to show that we are not as “safe and secure” as we perceived,   targeted specifically for us to doubt ourselves.  Has anyone ever reasoned why this may be?  Could it be that more people report crimes because they are confident that something will be done, that their complaints are taken seriously, that the new way to deploy officers is to strategically place them in areas with more reports of incidents of crime works but only because people report crime?  Did the very rules devised to make us “safe” cause the one thing that will make us “unsafe”?    

Reasoned decision making and good judgment are traits that any good leader should have but are especially crucial for a police chief or those who choose that leader.  On the surface, the decision to force Commander Sulzer to resign and accept a demotion appears not to be seasoned, reasoned or based on sound judgment, so why was it made? Tell us.

The Second District community deserves answers and not only should one of our elected representatives ask, but all of our councilmembers should be asking this question in unison.  If it is one thing I know about my friends and neighbors, we will write letters, we will make phone calls, we will stage protests until we get the answers we deserve regarding the untimely and ill- conceived demotion of Commander Keith Sulzer. We will demand answers.

I will not go so far as to suggest that this decision should be reversed because heaven knows that takes a true leader who knows it is better to reverse a decision than to ride it down to the end.  Of course, when decisions are made by a “lame duck” administration it isn’t that administration that lives with them but the community that will be left to pick up the pieces.

Council leaders should certainly question why the Police Chief made this decision and demand concrete evidence to show why it was made. It is time for council to show true leadership and not allow a lame duck administration to continue to make decisions that will affect our lives long after it is gone.

Friends living in the 2nd District or anyone else who lives in Cleveland and cares about our relationship with our police force should call and express our thoughts about Commander Sulzer to the following people and numbers: Police Chief Calvin Williams 216-623-5005; Safety Director Michael McGrath 216-3716; and the Mayor’s Office 216-664-3990.

How strange that a few short months ago I worried that Commander Sulzer would be promoted to police chief and we would lose this fine man to the greater good. Never did I dream that we would lose him for  reasons that are so very wrong.

 

Reframing the Money Dialogue

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Recently, I told someone that I think we do not discuss the poverty rate and the day to day reality in our neighborhoods in a way that causes any real action on how to change it.

This comment was in response to yet again another discussion about the yearly “go around” when the City and the Cleveland City Council takes on the subject of Community Development Block Grant funds and how the ever shrinking pot will be dispensed. You might wonder why this would be a topic of conversation for me on a daily basis at this time of year. I serve as the Chair for the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Advisory Council, and that is the reason.

Disclaimer:  This blog post is strictly my own thoughts and views on the subject and does not in any way represent an official viewpoint of said Council or anyone else for that matter.

Our economic strategy is based on scarcity rather than abundance. in essence “the haves and the have nots”. It doesn’t matter what commodity the discussion is about: food, oil and gas, money, transportation, water, land,  you name it,  and what it boils down to  is who has it and who doesn’t. In the case of CDBG funds who holds the purse strings and how it is dispensed is the topic of discussion.

Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900’s built libraries instead of soup kitchens based on the premise that people’s minds should be fed as well as their bodies. Kind of a “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” philosophy. Cleveland Public Library’s “The People’s University” comes to mind.

Last year, I had the opportunity to hear Peter Block, one of the authors of “The Abundant Community” and Dr. Olivia Saunders, an economist from the Bahamas at an all day seminar hosted by River’s Edge.  Since I was in college, I have always had an avid interest in economics, but their discussion about The Economics of Abundance turned everything I thought I knew  upside down and has had me looking at things differently ever since that day. Dr. Saunders held up a tomato and asked this question “ How many seeds does this tomato have?” Then, in small groups, we were to figure out how many seeds were in that tomato. The answers varied from the hundreds to the tens of thousands.  Her answer: “enough”.

As long as we see “getting the money” as the end rather than the means, we will continue to believe “there is not enough”.  Collaboration, partnering, and developing “new” ways of doing things is how we transform our ability to “do more good with fewer dollars” because we have the skill set to do it within each community in Cleveland.   Peter Block voiced how we are taught that the answers are “out there” and “somewhere else” instead of right there within a community itself.

This article “Is It Taboo for You Too?” by Richard Wagner on www. worth living.com  asks some good questions on how we could reframe the dialogue into some meaningful discussions . How we could ask some questions that could actually begin to change our mindset about money as the tool it is rather than the end goal. Put it all in perspective as it were.

Tim Ferris: putting wiring and cabling underground

without comments

Our meeting tonight, January 9, 2014, about the proposed utility work on Denison needs to address things that have been discussed here and legislated here for over 100 years. See this piece from 2007:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

putting wiring and cabling underground

FindLaw for Legal Professionals – Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code — Since prior to the First World War, in the times of Mayor Newton D. Baker, the City of Cleveland has had fairly intelligent ordinances on the books for the discreet handling of public utilities. This link speaks to electrical wires, and the same ideas should apply to telephone wires and fiber optical cable, and refrigerator-sized boxes on treelawns. I’d say that now we have SB117 rolling towards us, we need to revisit why it’s in the public interest to put utilities underground, out of the way, out of sight, out of mind, and secure against compromise by terrorists and nasty weather, and the occasional careening automobile.
Let’s start talking about making the utilities invisible. We’ve had the idea for about 100 years and, like the 1903 “Burnham and Root” plan, The Group Plan, we still haven’t fully executed it. That says something about our community, and about us.
We need to make sure the interests of the public are served first, and those of the utilities are served someplace after that. I wouldn’t want to build a business in a city where my lifeline, my electrical and fiber optic cable hookups, were exposed to as much risk as they are in Cleveland. Cities with thriving commerce like Dublin, Shanghai, London, and Paris realized this long ago; business goes where it’s generally welcome.
Here’s a writer’s recounting of the wireless renovation of Brugge that paid dividends, once it created community capital. Like Cleveland, Brugge was at one time one of the richest cities in the world:

The city fell on hard times and became such a backwater that neither side bothered to bomb it during the war. The place was poor for a long while, and only began to recover during the 70’s.

 

But then Brugge found that History had dealt it the same kind of weird backhanded favor it did when it made Ireland too poor to put chemical fertilizers on its fields and pastures (for which reason its grass-fed beef is now famous all over Europe, and its organic produce
is becoming that way). Brugge had been ignored… and hence all the great old buildings of its medieval inner city had been perfectly preserved.

The city began renovating itself and (in a very smart move) putting all its utilities underground. Phone, electric, cable, fiber, everything went under the paving stones. Satellite dishes are not permitted to be visible on the outsides of buildings: everybody in town has affordable thousand-channel cable and broadband, and if you want something more exotic, as long as you can hide the hardware from the tourists, you’re fine.

As a result, you can walk through the Markt and all the streets around it and see nothing that reminds you of this century…except the things inside the shop windows. A big problem, there, for this is one of the great shopping towns of northern Europe.

Posted by Tim Ferris at 6/23/2007 10:03:00 AM

Labels: undergound utilities, urban planning

Tim Ferris: putting wiring and cabling underground

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 9th, 2014 at 11:37 am