Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Coloring Makes the World Go Round

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So glad that coloring is seen as acceptable for adults. I believe those of us who know what is important already had the advantage.

When I was blue as a kid or things just weren’t going right as a kid, my Aunt Dadie would say we need to get out the crayons and coloring books. After an hour of spending time coloring with her never saying a word, I usually forgot what had been making my world less than perfect.  I did the same for my daughters and now we all do it for my granddaughters. Coloring soothes the soul and rebalances the world.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/14/mandala-coloring-book_n_7057932.html

 

and consider buying this coloring book  “Coloring Flower Mandelas”

 

I am think there should be a coloring book of nautilus chambers soon.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 14th, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Posted in art,design

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

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

House, Building & Barn Movers – Heavy Hauling – Ohio & Western Pennsylvania – Stein House Movers

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Here’s a business that might come in handy. In our neighborhood, is demolition always the preferable alternative? What makes economic sense? What preserves value, conserves energy, and builds on the wealth bequeathed us by our forebearers? What can we do now to capitalize on land-bank lots?

Only a case-by-case working of the numbers will tell.

Shut your ears to all the macroeconomic platitudes you hear about how thriving communities will come about through wasting assets now. The promoters have no idea about values, or money, or communities, for that matter. The current demolition frenzy is covering up four decades of failure on the part of local leadership.

Work the numbers yourself. Call Stein for a price. You can’t build houses like these anymore for a reasonable cost.

 

Welcome to Stein House Movers Inc.!

House Movers

Stein House Movers Inc. is an established licensed and insured 3rd generation house moving company. Stein House Movers Inc. has been working in the heavy hauling and moving industry while proudly serving Ohio and Western Pennsylvania since 1945. We have proven to be a safe, reliable, professional house moving company with over 60 years of experience and the latest house moving equipment on the market. We can handle all jobs, big or small, residential or commercial. Call or e-mail us today to see on how we can assist you.

The following are some of services we can provide for you:

Moving or relocating of homes: We can provide the services of moving or relocating of residential homes. We have the knowledge and capability to move homes of all building styles and sizes. We have moved everything from brand new homes to century old historic homes, and everything in between. It can be “stick” built, prefabricated, steel framed, solid stone or brick, we can move it.

Moving or relocating of businesses or commercial properties: We have provided our services for moving convenience stores, town halls and school buildings.

Moving or relocating of barns, pole buildings and garages: We have had the pleasure of relocating century old barns, preserving their much appreciated craftsmanship for future generations to enjoy.

Basement replacement or repair: We also specialize in the replacing of basements or underpinning a new basement under existing homes.  We have replaced entire basements for hundreds of families, all while they continued to live upstairs with no hassle or inconvenience. We also specialize in the repair or replacement of single walls that have failed or have been damaged.

FEMA Projects: We are experienced working with FEMA in saving homes and other various structures in recognized flood zones by raising them and extending their foundations above the identified flood levels.

House, Building & Barn Movers – Heavy Hauling – Ohio & Western Pennsylvania – Stein House Movers

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 21st, 2013 at 1:01 pm

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

HERE WE GO AGAIN: EPA Public Hearing to Permit Incinerator

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

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

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

The city has now asked Ohio EPA to issue an air pollution permit for the proposed garbage incinerator on Ridge Road.  The draft permit, which was issued on May 10, 2013, is very similar to the one proposed last year,  and can be found on the Ohio EPA’s website at:http://wwwapp.epa.ohio.gov/dapc/permits_issued/1010783.pdf

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

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

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

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

With thanks,

Nathan Rutz

Cleveland Campaign Organizer

http://ohiocitizenaction.nationbuilder.com/
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Connections: John Rivera-Resto and Steve McQuillin

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When checking out John Rivera-Resto’s website today, I found this reference to friend, Steve McQuillin’s skylight in his office at Dover Farm.  When attending one of Steve’s many celebrations of the seasons, I admired this skylight.  I never knew the connection to talented artist John Rivera-Resto until today.

 

http://www.muralmaster.org/current/curr_09-2_steven_mcquillin/steven_mcquillin_mural.html

 

It’s a such small world, especially, in Cleveland.

 

Steve McQuillin’s latest project : Vermilion Institute in Hayesville.

http://www.vermillioninstituteohio.org/

 

John Rivera-Resto’s project with a Ward 14 connection.

http://www.muralmaster.org/current/curr_2012_mural_it’s_up_to_us/It’s%20up%20to%20us.html

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 12th, 2012 at 1:29 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

South Euclid Council says :Big Box Retail-It’s a Good Thing

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oakwood cfo image

may just have something to say about all that.

As more people opt for walkable bikeable communities with boutique commercial districts, South Euclid’s elected officials buy into an outmoded business model with the promise of it  “being green”.  You tell me how taking 144/54 acres of green space and replacing it with much less is  “being green”.  Obviously, someone is keeping South Euclid’s government occupied so they don’t see all the studies showing that those communities with parks for walking and biking are the ones where people are now settling.  I haven’t seen any studies lately on the hordes of people moving to be close to “big box retail”. I have seen a lot of news articles about the eyesores and blight left behind when “the big box” moves to the next community willing to sell its soul.

I am thankful for my friends Susan and Carla and so many others  willing to devote precious free time to combating Mitch Schneider’s latest venture to make his investors and himself rich and to make South Euclid/Cleveland Heights poorer.  Here is the link to their face book page:

 https://www.facebook.com/#!/citizensforoakwood

Here is an email I received from Susan earlier today.  I asked her if I could post it on my blog because I want her reasons for standing up against this development known.  Please sign her petition asking for sustainable land use and take the time to read what she has to say. It’s good stuff. Oh and those of you talking about “class warfare” shame on you.  We are into this together and when we allow what makes us all “rich”- the beauty of our land to be plundered- those “selling out”  for the short term are the ones who are waging class warfare. You are taking what made our area prosperous and selling us all into poverty.  

If you feel that we have enough big box retail in the Heights Hillcrest area and need not destroy precious green space to build more, you may wish to add your name to the petition linked here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-ripping-up-green-space-to-build-shopping-centers-support-sustainable-land-use?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email

Here’s the long story of why I’ve directed so much time and attention to this:

You may or may not know that I have been involved with a group called Citizens for Oakwood. We’re trying to save 144/54 acres of green space – the former Oakwood Country Club. We’d like to see it become a public park (and improve it’s ability to be a sponge for stormwater by allowing it to be a passive park). First Interstate/Legacy Capital Partners would like it to be big box retail. Of course, Jane Goodman, city council person in South Euclid where he’s begun the rezoning for big box process, promises that this will be a green infrastructure exemplar. Since South Euclid is in such a fiscally dire situation, it is clear to most that it is not a lack of retail, but rather downward (economic) pressure that is driving this. I think most adults know that we can’t buy our way to prosperity. Some are still fooled I guess. What was that Bush said about fool me once, keep right on foolin’ me – I’m feelin’ foolish?

It has raised three issues for me and for many of us.

1) Golf clubs are dying – Landerhaven was first, Oakwood is now, Acacia is next (now that it’s out of litigation). Then which golf/country club private course will fall to a developer? Seneca just sold to Metroparks. Hmmm… Which golf course will go next? While the focus will undoubtedly be on our poor relation, the City of Cleveland, you are aware, I’m sure, that poverty is creeping outward, just as population has. Now it’s also the inner ring that’s feeling the pressure. Please consider the golf courses and work with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy to help these clubs to stay green space. By the time all the planners have finished their studies and identified the "value" of green swathes to our Lake, big box retail may have ruled the day and the tiny municipal governments in South Euclid and Cleveland Heights despite our efforts. I have tried to make the argument that this is more valuable to South Euclid and Cleveland Heights as open green space from a water quality and quality of life standpoint, but I don’t have the metrics. Tacit knowledge is much harder to convey in a world where everything is a transaction. South Euclid just rewrote their entire comprehensive plan to accommodate this development. They did it in two weeks with two people. For golf courses, the WRLC exemplar is Orchard Hills – admittedly "out there", but still a good example of what could be "in here".

2) The downward pressure might be lessened if these balkanized municipalities had merged years ago. I’m going to keep exploring this for our future. It would be good to fold in the value of water absorbing green space when that muni mapping becomes a part of that discussion. The idea? What if Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, University Heights and South Euclid were one suburb? What white collar efficiencies might be gained? And could those efficiencies result in some greater resiliency and redundancy in our shared green space?

3) At a forum sponsored by Future Heights on land use and Oakwood, Terry Schwarz mentioned that the metric for jobs and parkland is 1 job per acre. I realized that agricultural land has no metric. Why is this important? Because, growing food, farming in the city has no value. It may not now, but it will shortly. The day will come (sooner than later in my estimation) when refrigerated trucks from the valleys of California will not arrive in NEO. We will need to be reliant on what can be grown and raised locally. We may tear down buildings just to be able to farm. Impending doom – energy crisis? Yes. It is upon us. We may look back and say, "Boy! We sure wish we’d saved this land for growing food!" 154 acres is a substantial bit-o-farmland. I’ll be meeting with farmland and farming experts to discuss how to discover per-acre metrics for ag land so that local food can enter these planning discussions.

In an article in Ecowatch Journal, it is noted that new project efforts at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens will include this issue: "Based on existing work being done in the region and success stories in other cities, identify barriers to implementation of green infrastructure as targets for future action and develop strategies to overcome them." Funny. I asked NEORSD if there might be a land use aspect to their big stormwater plan. You know like, residents of municipalities that have retained green space would get a tiny automatic  credit. They said – no, NEORSD doesn’t get into land use. I guess NEORSD will be in these discussions though. Land use and such best management practices as downspout disconnects where appropriate (most places in NEO) are the low hanging fruit of addressing our water quality issues. Mother earth is a filter. We have abused her mightily, no doubt, but she is still there, still willing like any mother to help her children.

It may be too late for Oakwood unless we all come together to stop this madness. We’re not giving up, but South Euclid’s government seems to have. They’re in a deep hole at Cedar Center – $19 million deep. What could be another piece of Ginny Aveni’s County Greenprint – the Emerald Lace that connects our Emerald Necklace, the Cuyahoga River Valley and Lake Erie, may be paved to put up a parking lot. No pink hotel, no boutique – big box retail. We don’t plan to stop our arguments now and we hope you’ll raise your voice as well and participate in this democratic practice. We need to do everything we can to keep the bulldozers from rolling over Oakwood. At rallies for SB5 I heard the now familiar chant, "This is what democracy looks like!" Letting our elected officials know how we feel is democracy. Democracy isn’t just voting; it’s a state of being, a way of life.

My son has graduated from college and moved away to Seattle for work. There he can take public transportation, ride his bike, pay his college loan instead of a car loan and visit the wonderful parks that the city has protected. How I hope that someday he can move back to Cleveland Heights and appreciate similar amenities here – NEO – the region that woke up and got busy turning what seemed like a burden into a blessing! This  would be an even better story of how Cleveland beat Wall Street. That’s the story I want to hear when I’m passing into another world.

Currently we’re all feeling the downward pressure. It’s palpable in Cleveland and the region, in the state, in the nation. We just want our fellow citizens to look farther, longer and with an eye to water quality, air quality, quality of life. We want them to see that there is a world water crisis that will not bypass the Great Lakes. We want them to think not so much about the hardship they’re enduring, which will increase in the near term, but to consider the outcomes in the long term, however difficult that may be. We’d like to make a gift to future generations. As Ellie Strong said speaking of the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" who saved the Shaker Lakes, "to each generation there is something to save."

Susan