Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for the ‘developing community’ Category

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.

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

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

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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

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

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Here is a bit longer commentary by Larry Cornett, posted to Facebook late this afternoon, Friday, September 27th.

Larry Cornett

At last report US EPA plans to cap Reed Park and remove most of the trees. Reasons given at the public meeting on August 26, 2013 and subsequent conversations included:
* It would cost money to save them.
* If a tree blows down, exposing the roots, subsurface contamination would also be exposed
* The roots of trees only extend 8” below the surface, and putting two feet of fill above the roots of the trees to cap the soil would deprive them of oxygen and eventually kill them
* Only a few people at public meetings focused on saving the trees
* Many of the trees are old
* Some trees are sick or dead
* Some species of trees are undesirable
* Some of the trees are not structurally sound and could fall on children

Most of the above rationales could be applied to trees throughout the city, etc. As a result it looked like the government was going beyond what is reasonable to try to justify the removal of most trees from the park to try to make their removal as part of the proposed remedial action more acceptable. That approach backfired.

A previous brownfields study in the park showed concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) above those acceptable for direct human contact in the fill material sampled to depths of 2’ or 4’ in most of the park. Three to six inches of grassy topsoil has been covering most of the surface of the park and subsurface fill material for about 50 years or more. Portions of the park are also covered with concrete or sand (in the baseball diamond). The topsoil was never separately sampled and analyzed to determine if it presents a significant risk from direct contact. Fungus and other microorganisms in grassy topsoil are known to destroy PAHs at a rate of 0.2% to 17% per month. Microorganisms associated with tree roots can also destroy PAHs. For details, see

http://www.academia.edu/2908115/Comparison_of_Trees_and_Grasses_for_Rhizoremediation_of_Petroleum_Hydrocarbons

.

Given the amount of time that has passed and natural removal mechanisms, it is reasonable to assume that the current surface topsoil (0-3” to 0-6”) have PAH levels at equilibrium with contaminant transport mechanisms from subsurface soil due to natural bioremediation. Until the topsoil, etc. are sampled and analyzed, no significant risk from direct contact with the soil at the surface of the park has been proven. Under the circumstances, sampling the top 3” of topsoil is needed to determine if direct contact poses a threat to public health, as alleged.

Yesterday, I spoke with Partners Environmental—the contractor that did the Phase II investigation of Reed Park (upon which US EPA has been basing its planning for remediation of Reed Park). He told me that at meetings with the City of Cleveland, the health department, attorneys, etc. Partners Environmental, informed them that Reed Park presented no immediate danger to public health. (This is in sharp contrast to what the City has been telling US EPA based on the Phase II study results) However the Phase II investigation did show a need to remove and rebury or treat contaminated subsurface fill material if excavated, where and when the City does any construction in most of the park. Partners Environmental proposed to the City of Cleveland that it provide a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and to help with specifications and bidding for the development of the park. They were not selected. Partners Environmental still has the key staff who were responsible for the Phase II investigation, and their experience could help EPA and their contractors avoid re-inventing the wheel in the development of an appropriate remedial action plan for the Park if hired to help in this work.

Under the circumstances, it would be appropriate to consider the configuration, past use, and plans for Reed Park and nearby areas:
• Divide it into appropriate operable units (including separate units for the baseball diamond, clusters of trees and major single trees in the park, areas where the City is planning construction within the park, homes on W 15 St, etc.)
• Take and analyze composite surface (0-3:or 0-4” from the surface) soil samples within appropriate operable units within the park and in nearby neighborhoods (subsurface sampling in nearby neighborhoods would also be appropriate)
• Determine where surface soil contamination levels are acceptable for residential land use in the park and release those areas for renewed public access and recreational land use
• Use EPA emergency response funding to remediate in those operable units where there is a significant hazard if the land use remains as is
• Remediate contaminated subsurface soil only
o Where surface soil contamination presents a significant risk to public health and the subsurface soil is significantly contaminated
o When and where excavation takes place in contaminated soil
For more details, see:

http://freindsofwcreedfield.ning.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/218610251634716/permalink/218663454962729/

Sincerely,
Claude Lawrence Cornett, Jr.
http://cornettenv.org/resume.htm

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 27th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Proud of Ward 14 Voters for Supporting Their Candidates

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After an Election Day there is always a lot of “armchair” quarterbacking, and I have to say that in our ward it is no different.  Many are saying that 68% of voters voted against our sitting councilman.  I disagree.  The dedicated voters of Ward 14 chose the candidates they believe should make it to the general election.

We exercised our “right to vote” and now we have the two candidates who will face each other in November.  This is the American way.  There is a reason for the primary system.  I am proud of the candidates and the voters in the wards in our city where there were more than two candidates, and therefore, those voters had a “choice” to make. 

I strongly believe that the voters who cast a ballot on Tuesday or before did so not to vote AGAINST someone but FOR someone.  We need to remember why we have primaries and what they are meant to do.  They are meant to give us a choice of who we think will be the BEST candidate to represent us in a general election.

In this day and age of where we talk more about what we DON’T want rather than what we DO want, it is hard to focus on why primaries are a necessary and required part of our voting process. How else will we choose the two best candidates to represent us in the fall? In fact, I am appalled at the two major parties who choose an incumbent or one challenger while trying to discourage any other person from running because contested primaries are “costly”.  In my opinion, this control by the party system is killing our democracy.

It becomes ever harder to find young people who want to enter politics when all they see is the bickering and gridlock at the federal level in the august bodies of Congress. With partisan politics overshadowing the good work that happens daily, it is hard to get young people to vote let a lone run for office. At the state level, governance is hardly the profession young people would aspire to be part of  when the news stories continue to show that corporate and special interests are pulling the strings. At the local level, news media continue to choose those candidates they find newsworthy and the stories usually have a taint of “scandal” to them. Analysis pieces in the newspaper choose frontrunners early for what may be good reason, but how discouraging for voters to be told their vote means little if anything.  I wish journalists would stick with more  reporting and less analyzing.   

I said this a few weeks ago and I will say it again,  Ward 14 had four candidates who showed an eagerness to learn, an enthusiasm to run, and a passion to serve.  I only wish that more voters had turned out to choose.  The sad reality is if we do not “get out to the vote” and we do not exercise our right to vote then, some day we will look around and find we have lost that right.

I know in Ward 14 with candidates like Nelson Cintron, Jr., Brian Cummins, Janet Garcia, and Brian Kazy we will continue to move forward.  In this mix, we have two strong Latino voices as well as two other voices experienced in community organizing and development.  Together, these leaders can unite our community to be a force of transformation.

We have a community that wants leaders who move us forward and put the “old ways” behind us.  We have one thousand voters who made sure their voices were heard on Election Day.  Do we need more voters? Absolutely. Did we go out and vote against someone?.  Absolutely not. We went out and voted because we believed in our candidate. Many of us had a candidate who didn’t make it to the finals, but we should be proud of ourselves because we know what having “a right to vote” means.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 11th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Ward 14 Meet The Candidates Citizen’s Questions

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Recently we had two forums in Ward 14 with the candidates for Cleveland City Council.  Questions were submitted in writing by audience members.

 

I find it quite interesting the broad range of question asked by two different audience.  I will compare the topics again in a later post but right now, I am so proud of my friends and neighbors,  The are informed, knowledgeable and engaged in their neighborhoods and community.

We can learn a lot from them on how democracy works.

Ward 14 citizen questions focused on the following topics:

  • Attracting residents
  • Community development investment
  • Youth programs
  • Civility
  • Local organization collaboration
  • Senior citizen low-income assistance programs
  • "Green" sustainability program development
  • Hispanic Village development
  • Residency of government officials
  • Universal local representation
  • Clark Avenue strategic planning
  • Council and police collaboration

Ward 14 Citizen Questions Meet The Candidates Forum No. 2 by The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)

Meet The Candidates

Ward 14 citizen questions focused on the following topics:

  • Jobs
  • Neighborhood safety
  • Faith-based economic development
  • City Dumping
  • Recycling
  • Civic engagement to inform strategic planning
  • Code enforcement
  • Street maintenance
  • Senior citizen service programs
  • Thoroughfare improvements

Ward 14 Citizen Questions Meet The Candidates Forum No. 1 by The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 4th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Brooklyn Centre Bicentennial: I Love A Parade!

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Nothing gets my heart pumping faster than a parade and on Sunday August 12th there is going to be a great parade.

If you  would like to be part of the parade all you need to do is Join “Neighborhood on Wheels”. Joining is as easy as bringing your bicycle to Art House at 3119 Denison Avenue on Friday August 10th from 4 to  6 pm and decorate it.

All the materials and supplies things you need to make your bike sparkle, glitter, or just plain “cool” will be available free!

Then, all you need to do to be in the parade is to show up at Riverside Cemetery 3607 Pearl Road on Sunday between 11:30 am and noon to line up and be part of the celebration.

Step off time for the parade is Sunday August 12, at 1:30 pm.

The parade staging area will be in Riverside Cemetery.  The parade will go down Pearl Road turn right on Denison Avenue and proceed to W.C. Reed Park where the Community Picnic will begin at 3:30 pm. 

The picnic will have games and activities for the kids and lemonade and iced tea for the adults.

Be sure to let your friends and neighbors know about the parade so that the parade route will be full of spectators cheering the bands, antique cars, the marching units and they will see just how creative you and the kids can be.    

Written by Gloria Ferris

August 8th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I Gotta Crow About

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A group of neighbors, community volunteers, our community development staff and friends who did an awesome job last Saturday.  Yes, while many of use were dodging raindrops or simply stayed inside out of the weather, this group of volunteers took on the daunting task of clearing years of neglect from an 1880’s farmhouse on Woodbridge Avenue. Here is an email I received telling all about the team’s efforts.

The yard cleanup last Saturday at the vacant house and adjacent lot at 3105 Woodbridge in our newly minted Jones Home Historic District turned out to be a resounding success.

A ton of thanks is due to so many people for their participation and without whom the event could not have taken place:

  • Bob Gardin whose vision of 3105 Woodbridge as a model/demonstration project for our Jones Home Historic District is one of the driving forces.
  • Brian and Johanna, and Megan’s incredible SCFBC staff including:
  • Adam Stalder who pitched in with me before anyone got there;
  • Greg Baron (who moved heaven and earth to save the property from demo),
  • Joe Narkin and Adam Gifford who made sure crews got there for us;
  • and the great Dave Reuse who carted off the mountain of yard debris in multiple trips.
  • The CCS team of 4 terrific guys under Bob Shore’s efficient supervision.  They tore into the decades’ growth of unruly trees and bushes that had long hidden that side of the house providing cover for vandals, thieves and squatters; the cutting tools they brought were a big help.
  • The bus load of eager kids from the Church of the Saviour youth group in Cleveland Heights under the leadership of Curt Campbell their dynamic youth director.  They came down from Cleveland Heights and poured their energy and enthusiasm into pulling, raking, bagging, dragging yard debris etc. into piles by the sidewalk for Dave to load up. 
  • How does one even begin to thank such a wonderfully focused group for such an encouraging bestowal of grace upon our neighborhood?…
  • Chris Vacario who volunteered to mow the adjacent vacant lot which was still wet from drizzle.  He set a fine example of community spirit!

Thanks to all of you for making the day such a success.  It is another step toward reclaiming the viability of this property which can contribute to the strength of our community.

Thanks to you, Alan Forman for this wonderful recap!

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 1st, 2012 at 2:18 pm