Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for the ‘quality of life’ Category

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.

 

My letter to Councilman Cummins and others about the “State of the Art” Scoreboard

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Dear Councilman/Councilwoman –

The Cleveland Browns needs to share revenue with the City of Cleveland  to the extent that football is supported by the public purse.

I do not favor giving the Browns any more money for the stadium unless we the people become full and mutual partners in the revenue–not necessarily, just in the profits.

What the public has invested now needs to be calculated honestly, and what the owners have invested now needs to be stated transparently and completely. From that point on, further capital contributions can be tracked, and concessions and incentives can be tallied. Revenues should then be divided. Profits come after that.

Let them move the team if businesslike terms aren’t palatable. This extortion must end. Living with a lease negotiated while Mayor Jackson was President of Council, surely, does not mean we should continue to give and give more than necessary.

As one of our elected officials meant to counterbalance the City Administration, please do your due diligence and remember those who believe in your ability to stand up to bullies.

Also, I believe support of the team should be regional, not merely shouldered solely by the City of Cleveland.

Sincerely,

 

Gloria Ferris

Written by Gloria Ferris

November 25th, 2013 at 5:28 pm

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

economics – Is the value of a tree $193,250?

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Here is an interesting sign I first saw on Facebook. There will be much quibbling over the numbers, but one thing remains clear: Mature trees have great value for many reasons.

There is a sign, at the Eden Nature Park & Resort in City of Davao, Philippines, that says this:

Of concern to all! A tree is worth $193,250

According to Professor T.M.Das of the University of Calcutta. A tree living for 50 years will generate $31,250 worth of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, control soil erosion and increase soil fertility to the tune of $31,250, recycle $37,500 worth of water and provide a home for animals worth $31,250. This figure does not include the value of fruits, lumber or beauty derived from trees. Just another sensible reason to take care of our forests.

From Update Forestry Michigan State University

enter image description here

The figure, sometimes incorrectly quoted as $196,250, is cited at various green blogs, and sold on a bright red poster at Singapore Zoological Gardens, but i haven’t been able to find the study behind it.

So is a tree living for 50 years worth $193,250?

economics – Is the value of a tree $193,250? – Skeptics Stack Exchange

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 25th, 2013 at 8:52 am

(1) Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

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Here is some ancillary material Larry Cornett posted to this coming Saturday’s Facebook event. I present it here so that it will be available on the internet for a long, long time. I think the reasoning here is incredible. Whenever federal money shows up, common sense, individual rights, and intrinsic values fly out the window.

Larry Cornett

US EPA currently plans to cap Reed Park and remove most of the trees. Reasons given for removing the trees include:
* It would cost money to save them
* Only a few people at public meetings focused on saving the trees.
* 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
* 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
* If a tree blows down, exposing the roots, subsurface contamination would also be exposed
We need to have activists, ecologists, arborists, and others accompany the forester and EPA in the park on Saturday.
A previous brownfields study in the park showed concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) above those acceptable for direct 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 analyzed to determine if it presents a significant risk from direct contact. Fungus and other microorganisms in grassy topsoil have been found 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_Hydrocarbonsn.

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 ESTABLISHED, although there would be a need to rebury or treat contaminated fill material that would be excavated where and when the City does any construction in most of the park.
For more details, see:
http://freindsofwcreedfield.ning.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/218610251634716/permalink/218663454962729/See More

Comparison of Trees and Grasses for Rhizoremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons

www.academia.edu

“Rhizoremediation of petroleum contaminants is a phytoremediation process that depends on interactions among plants, microbes, and soils. Trees and grasses are commonly used for phytoremediation, with trees typically being chosen for remediation

(1) Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

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On Facebook, Larry Cornett has publicized an event that deserves the participation of everyone who believes in the preservation of our commonly held assets, such as mature trees.

And while I’m at it, here is an intelligent article for your delectation and delight about the effect of trees on market values in a neighborhood: http://www.naturewithin.info/Policy/Hedonics_Citations.pdf

Please come join the tree dialogue in Brooklyn Centre this weekend. This is an issue that affects not only our neighborhood but all of our urban areas.

  • Saturday, September 28, 2013
  • 1:00pm until 4:00pm
  • W.C. Reed Park 1700 Denison Avenue
  • Please come! We need your help!
    US EPA coordinator James Justice has scheduled a walk through the park with ODNR Urban Forester Alan Siewert.
    1. Mr. Justice thinks because we didn’t focus on the trees at the Public Meeting therefore, they are not an issue….
    2. Mr. Siewert is a FORESTER not an arborist. He sees trees from a timber perspective not an environmental and ecological perspective.
    3. Mr. Siewert has identified 8 trees worthy of saving of the 61 trees in the park.
    WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need people there who have an environmental and ecological perspective as well as people who understand the value of urban trees to the beauty of a neighborhood. If you can, please come Saturday. If you can’t please give us arguments and reasons WHY existing trees and soil are good remediators for PAHS toxins and should NOT be removed from the park.

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 25th, 2013 at 5:08 am

Cleveland residents concerned about future of contaminated neighborhood park

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Residents want input on park cleanup

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Posted: 07/29/2013
Last Updated: 3 hours and 33 minutes ago

CLEVELAND – Residents living around W.C. Reed Playfield in Cleveland are worried about the future their neighborhood park.

The park was closed by the city of Cleveland in November because of soil contamination. It’s a case now being handled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but residents said they’ve had very little input as to how the park will be cleaned up.

Members of the Southwest Citizens Council contacted NewsChannel5 hoping we could get them more answers as to how the park will be cleaned and renovated in the coming months.

Residents like John Baran, who’s family has lived near the park since 1924, are worried an overly aggressive cleanup will do more harm than good.

“They want to scorch the earth, remove the trees and remove all the vegetation in the neighborhood,” Baran said. “The vegetation and the trees cleanse the soil. Is that correct approach, should the city and the EPA handle it that way?”

Baran told NewsChannel5 residents are being left out of the loop and are being given very little information from the EPA on how the cleanup will be handled.

Ward 3 Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman agrees.

“The last meeting that was held and I wasn’t even told about it,” Cimperman said. “I really feel this should be a city-led project, and many of the trees at the park should be preserved and not removed.”

Residents report the 12.5 acre park was built on a landfill that was used for the dumping of industrial debris in the 1940s and 50s. Residents told NewsChannel5 the city was set to renovate the park, but discovered soil contamination when it took a series of core samples in 2012.

Cimperman confirmed the city has set aside $350,000 to renovate the park, but with a $2 million EPA cleanup looming, residents are wondering what will be taken out during the cleanup.

Baran is concerned opening up the landfill and moving tons of soil will create more health risks.

“It’s been capped, why open it? Why permit these toxins to become airborne, and possibly effect the health of these residents that live in these neighborhoods,” Baran said.

NewsChannel5 contacted the EPA Region 5 office in Chicago in the search for information. We asked if there will be yet another public meeting concerning the cleanup at W.C. Reed Playfield and whether residents would be allowed to have input into the clean-up process.

The US EPA responded, it told 5 On Your Side it will save several large trees on the park property, and it will not move forward with the project until it meets with the residents to discuss clean-up options.

Meanwhile, residents are hoping the park can be cleaned with minimal damage to the trees and landscape.

“We just want more information on the cleanup plan,” said resident Gloria Ferris. “We want them to save our trees. Fifty to 70-year-old trees that will be coming down and replaced with 2-inch saplings?”

Residents are so involved with the preservation of W.C. Reed Playfield, they have set-up this website on the subject.

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will keep you updated on this developing story as soon as information become s available.

Cleveland residents concerned about future of contaminated neighborhood park

Written by Gloria Ferris

July 29th, 2013 at 8:42 pm

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 <lmcshane23ATyahoo.com> 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.

Regards,

Laura McShane

216.739.1809

City of Cleveland :: Division of Park Maintenance and Properties

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 9th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

PUBLIC MEETING: December 17, 2012 About W.C. Reed Park

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Join your neighbors at St. Barbara’s  Church at 1505 Denison on December 17th at 6:30 pm to discuss the remediation and renovation of W.C. Reed Park. Previously, there had been series of meetings concerning the renovation and upgrading of the park.  Plans were made to create a walking trail, upgrade the playing fields, add a community garden for the Foster Point residents and the neighbors in close proximity, to move the baseball fields,and to eliminate the tennis courts although tennis is making a come back as a quality exercise.

Then, comes the environmental study which puts the brakes on the project.  Here is a photo of a letter that parents of Horizon Denison School received:      W.C. Reed Park 

Those of us who have lived in Brooklyn Centre are well aware that the park is landfill.  Many years ago, a ravine and stream were covered with debris from the Cleveland Transit System which owned the land.  I believe that resident’s of Barbarowa have said that when the Jennings freeway was constructed, the area was used for debris.

Lead and arsenic are mentioned as two substances found within four feet of the surface as are PAHs.  It turns out that all three are byproducts of the burning of fossil fuels-coal, tar, diesel fuel.

Certainly sounds to me that as a community we should be concerned with how this project and remediation will be handled since schoolchildren are in close proximity each day as are many of our neighbors plus we all know how the winds in this area pick up the dust so prevalent here and then,  swirl around us.

Please attend this important meeting.  Continue to show how we all care about the health of our community.

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 13th, 2012 at 9:43 am

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