Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

(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

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: More

Comparison of Trees and Grasses for Rhizoremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons

“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

Did You Know?

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Tim Just told me that Ohio didn’t have an income tax until the year 1971. It was to take the pressure off of real estate taxes. Tim found it on the History page of The Ohio Farm Bureau.

I told him I remembered that.  Governor Gilligan oversaw that and the induction of the State Lottery which he opposed. I believe both issues made him a one time governor.  

That tax really worked, didn’t it?


Written by Gloria Ferris

January 11th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I Couldn’t Help Myself!

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Forgive me, but I couldn’t let this Ohio misdirection stand without correction.  Got this today from Positively Cleveland.


“Erie” House of Horrors: Ghostly Manor

The castle that is Ghostly Manor. East of Cleveland, near the Lake Erie shores of Sandusky, there’s a supernatural sort of fun brewing. They call it Ghostly Manor and the spooky castle looms large off of U.S. Route 250, on Woodlawn Avenue near Oakland Cemetery…


I read it once. I read it twice. Since when is Sandusky, EAST of Cleveland, US Route 250 cut through my hometown on its way north to Lake Erie.  The place and the idea for a road trip this time of year sounds great, but if you leave Cleveland travelling east you will probably find an adventure you are not expecting.  LOST!!!

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 18th, 2009 at 10:57 am

ODOT Meetings On Sound Barriers on I-71 Between Pearl Road and West 47th Street

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There will be two community meetings for neighborhood residents to comment.

 The first: Wednesday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m.  at Applewood, 3518 W. 25th Street.

The second: Thursday, July 23. It will be on the Agenda of the BCCA meeting to be held at Brooklyn Memorial United Methodist Church, 2705 Archwood Ave. also at 6:30.

The Item to discuss:  Noise Barriers along I-71 in the Brooklyn Centre Neighborhood .  Here is where they would be placed.
Northside of I-71 from W. 25th Street/Pearl Road going west to Denison overpass, and
Southside of I-71 from W. 25th Street/Pearl Road going west to Fulton Road and also from Westside of Denison (other side of overpass) to the first railroad crossing overpass by the small residential section containing W. 46th and W. 47th and Denmark Avenue.

Here is the email that Councilman Brian Cummins sent out earlier about these impending meetings.

Please spread the word…
See message below regarding ODOT funding for mitigation of noise issues for I-71.  The map  can be found  here..  OBCDC and ODOT will be doing outreach and mailers to the immediate areas and we’re asking civic associations and block clubs to help spread the word.  Meetings will be forthcoming.  If you have any question please let me know. 
So far I have attended one preliminary meeting.  In discussions over the years about noise walls, most people have stated they do not want them and a few want them very much.  It was brought up in the meeting with ODOT what other alternatives could there be?  If walls are not put up, other mitigation actions could be taken nut only 15% of the total allocated funding could be used.
Another big issue is that the access roads to the freeway between Fulton and Pearl Roads were initially part of the innerbelt plan and then dropped.  ODOT confirmed that lowering the access roads, is no longer in their plans.  I think most of the comments about not wanting the barriers is that homes (other than on Smith and portions of Riverside and Mapledale) are fairly far off the freeway and that the options of barriers could impact the tree lines that are currently in place.  One suggestion was to see if ODOT could put up nicer privacy fencing or something else other than a barrier wall of 12 – 14 feet.  There will be a lot to discuss in the up coming meetings.
We’ll be getting a lot more information and will share it when it comes.

Written by Gloria Ferris

July 19th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Vote Early in Cuyahoga County Avoid HUGE Lines

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Believe me this is a must.  A few weeks ago on twitter blogesque said that he had just finished voting absentee-it took him about twenty minutes.  I thought “oh, it couldn’t have.”  It could have.  It just took me FIFTEEN MINUTES and I have been reading on the issues for the past three weeks to get up to speed. There are a LOT OF ISSUES, FOLKS.

There are five statewide Issues, seven charter amendments if you live in the city of Cleveland, the County Library Levy and any local issues that may be on your ballot.  These are all in addition to voting for the candidates-a lot of bubbles to be filled in COMPLETELY, a lot of STUFF to wade through before voting.

For illustration purposes, I am going to use the last Presidential general election figures from the precinct I worked.  Poll hours are 6:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m.  We had six voting stations.  Many of these polling places are not large and the number of voting stations are limited.  The final figure for my precinct at my polling station was 273 voters. I had a heavy voting precinct in my ward.  Predictions are that there will be even more voters this election cycle.  Based on that election, those polling stations could handle 234 voters if it took each voter 20 minutes to vote.  Based on a voter taking fifteen minutes to cast their ballot, 312 voters would vote. 

Granted, polling stations stay open until the last voter in line at 7:30 p.m. has voted.  Historically, voters drop off toward the end of a ballot.  Fewer people vote for judges than the president or governor and fewer people vote on issues as well.  Voting early in the day on election day should be a must if you just can’t bring yourself to vote early.  At the very least, go to the Cuyahoga County BOE website and check out a sample ballot for you. There will be LONG LINES on Election Day.  We will not know how we voted here in Cuyahoga County quickly.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 27th, 2008 at 9:47 am

FrankenFood Petition Arrives in Time for Halloween

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Below is an email that I received after I signed the petition to demand labeling of Gene-Altered Food. 

Dear  Friends,
I have just read and signed the petition: “Frankenfood? Demand Labeling of Gene-Altered Food!”.
Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 10000 signatures – please sign here:
Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.
Thank you! Gloria

Locally grown and locally produced food is one way that Tim and I avoid over processed and gene altered food.  I grew up in the country surrounded by farms and farmers.  My grandfather and his brother were dairy farmers.  My father kept his finger in the pie by buying equipment and working for farmers to supplement his income.  Believe me, as long as I can remember chemicals and genetics were a topic of conversation at the local feed mill, around the dinner table and after church.  The balancing act is only getting more tottery as the years pass.

All I know is that the local farmers I grew up were much closer to the overall environment than the agriculture conglomerates of today.  My father taught me how runoff from fields entered the water supply, how chemical dusting entered the atmosphere and settled downwind, how it was our responsibility to produce the best product possible so that we got the best prices for our wheat and corn and beef.  i wonder what drives agribusiness firms today. Are they as close to the interconnection of our ecology as the farmers of yesteryear or are they driven by return on investment?

Tim is fond of saying that fast food and processing have altered the stature and weight of younger generations.  In comparison to my generation, younger people have consumed more steroids, more antibiotics, more processed and more altered food in their lifetimes.  These alterations will probably become even more commonplace in the future.  Should we not know what we are consuming?  If genetically altering our food is an okay thing to do, why would there be resistance to labeling?  How difficult could it be to create an international symbol that could be stamped on such food?  If altered food is equal to unaltered food what is the problem?

If you believe in quality control of our food supply, take the 30 seconds to click thru and sign the petition.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 23rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Smith’s Dairy and a Walk Down Memory Lane

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Yesterday, I read the Plain Dealer article about Smith’s Dairy going “green” and remembered a field trip from my elementary school years.  Today, the same article shows up in the day’s roundup over on Crain’s so I took it as a sign to blog about that field trip. 

Every school had a few-the “special” kids.  In the 1950’s, there were no special education classes that separated anyone from the “mainstream”.  We were just all in it together.  Field trips were always a challenge for our teachers with ALL the  kids because we were a “rowdy” bunch.  The “buddy system” back then was a “must”.

For purposes of this story, “Jimmy” had not one buddy but two buddies.  Basically because two of the boys had a disagreement on whose turn it was to team up with Jimmy.  By now, you know the lead character’s name in this story is not really Jimmy, but the name is inconsequential, and,  it is better to protect the “innocent”. 

At our elementary school,  there was a traditional sequence of field trips.  Kindergarten was a walk through the picturesque town of Shreve and our first trip to the Town Library which was located in the Town Hall topped off with a picnic on school grounds.  First grade was a trip to the train depot, boarding a passenger train for our trip to picturesque Wooster  followed by a picnic and afternoon of play at Wooster Park. 

Second grade was one of the FAVORITES handed down from class to class-Smith’s Dairy in ORRVILLE followed by a picnic and an afternoon of play at Orrville Park.   Needless to say at seven years-old as fascinating as watching bottles being washed, placed on a conveyer belt system and filled with milk, capped, and then, boxed would be– the making of the ice cream was the piece d’ resistance. Each of us would be receiving an individual cup of ice cream to be consumed at the park with our brown bag lunches.  Before we received this treat, we were told that we would need to find our “buddies” and walk through the HUGE walk in freezer where the ice cream was stored for distribution of our ice cream treats

To this day, I believe that I remember How VERY, VERY cold that walk-in freezer was.  No one tarried in that place!  Later, as we sat at the picnic tables eating our lunches and ice cream.  Someone noticed that “Jimmy” was missing.  Everyone immediately looked at the two boys that were assigned to be his buddies.  Both of them thought the other one was responsible for being his buddy, and therefore, NO ONE had been his buddy.  Obviously, a classic example of miscommunication between teacher and student. 

The last time anyone remembered seeing him was right before we walked into that big freezer.   Miss Plantain (another alias) screamed and went to wake up the bus driver for the long drive back to the dairy.  Twenty minutes later,  they returned with a nearly frozen Jimmy in tow.  He had been found sitting on a tub of ice cream patiently waiting for rescue by one of  the Smith Dairy truck drivers.   

We all had to sit through a lecture on responsibility and how when given a task we should follow through.  To this day, I do not how our teachers thought we shouldered more responsibility than they did for Jimmy sitting on a block of frozen ice cream waiting for rescue.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 20th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Why Do We Demonize Poor People?

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Having read the comments on this Plain Dealer article and this one, I couldn’t help but wonder why the commenters attack the very people that need help more than any of us.  How do the borrowers who are victims of predatory lending become the cause of the problem?  I believe that the statistics show that at least 80% of the loans are being paid.  And are we ignoring the fact that at this point in time 10% of conventional loans are 60 days past due?  What are the causes of THAT statistic? How have the women, children, and chronically ill who rely on Medicaid become the reason that an HMO contract is seen by a hospital as too restrictive and not sustainable?

The poor in this country are our children who certainly are not perpatrators but victims and our elderly that live longer lives without resources.  I grant that there is a group of people who have made poor choices that end up the recipient of public assistance, but how large a percentage?  And when we focus on that segment do we diminish our ability to solve the social issues that cause extreme poverty?

For the majority of us, I think that the underlying emotion that fuels this animosity is fear.  After all, many of us in this country are just a heartbeat away from that which we fear.  And if not a heartbeat, just a phrase away.  Downsizing  will certainly start rolling off the lips of employers for many reasons.

Now is not the time to be fearful and attack the victims of what has occurred.  Now is the time to be bold, to invent new ways of dealing with runaway healthcare costs, to innovate new ways to create jobs and to educate our children so that they will be prepared to compete in the world.  A sure way of  losing what we have is to jealously guard it from unseen “foes”.

I believe that the opportunity here in NEO to reverse twenty years of poverty has never been better.  We have the talent, the resources and the capabilities to become very prosperous here if we don’t forget that inclusiveness serves a better purpose than exclusivity.   The possibilities for innovation are almost endless-new ways of educating our youth, creating jobs through new industries, approaching healthcare from the viewpoint of wellness instead of sickness, collaboration among businesses to create an enterprise mind set…. 

I believe that if we heed these words of Hubert Humphrey:

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.

when moving forward that we indeed will be prosperous.  We as a society–forget government– cannot forget the children, the elderly, the sick, the needy and the disabled.  We should not be looking elsewhere for the answers on how to transform our region.  It is not up to the government.  It is our task.  We must be fearless.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 17th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Am I Missing Something?

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How can a person commit voter fraud without actually voting? I could see where it might be REGISTRATION fraud.  But can it really be called VOTER fraud before you have actually attempted to vote?

I have always thought that GET OUT THE VOTE promotions where canvassers go to shopping centers, RTA bus stops, and other places where there are large numbers of people are problematic.  First of all, you haven’t identified a VOTER you have probably identified someone who cannot say “no” and they find it easier to fill out your form and let you go away thinking that you have just signed up a voter for an upcoming election.  NOT!!  7 times out of 10 these people have no intention of going to the polls to vote.   In my estimation, this type of GOTV effort is a waste of time.

On the other hand, a neighborhood canvas identifying people who have recently moved into the area as well as those who have lived there but never registered to vote is a step up.  I would still maintain that you have not identified someone who will VOTE.  You have simply added another registration to the rolls.

And so this brings me to my estimation of this Republican version of “the Sky is Falling”   that there will be rampant voter fraud on election day.  Poppycock!  Talk about much ado over nothing.  Should canvassers who submitted multiple cards with the same names and addresses be fired?   Yes!  Should organizations that clog the voter rolls with bogus registrations be reprimanded? Yes!  Should they be warned if the registrations that they submit continue to have problems that they will not be welcome to help in GOTV efforts? Yes!  In fact, there should be a way of not allowing these organizations to participate at all. Would this include the Republican Party that sent out faulty registration cards?  Hmmm!

Again, I assert that many of the people demanding satisfaction don’t have a clue as to what they are screaming to achieve.  Or maybe they do.  Voter suppression is a much more likely outcome than any voter fraud.  People may stay away from the polls because they don’t want to be harassed when trying to vote.  More likely, they will stay away because they fear long lines and waits to vote.  Neither a good reason to stay away from the polls.

Anyone who knows who they are and where they live will probably have acceptable identification to take with them so that any challenger would not do so.  So go vote!  And to those of you so willing to say that there will be rampant voter fraud I ask how many of you are working as a poll worker in your county?  It is imperative for Ohio and the nation that we have a smoothly run election this November.  I ask what are you doing to make it so?  How sad when our political parties find it more advantageous to spend precious time in a courtroom rather than working together to make our national election safe, efficient, and credible. 

Oh and those questionable registrations by new “voters”.  They aren’t going to show up at the polls anyway.  But, wow, haven’t they created a “tempest in a teapot”.        

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 16th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

With The Right To Vote Comes Great Responsibility

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A friend sent me this article from the Plain Dealer concerning voting, poll workers and not much else.  I have served as a poll worker for Cuyahoga County and I can agree that the biggest reason for a provisional vote not counting was probably because the person was in the wrong voting location.  I can say with great certainty that NO ONE at my voting location was “possibly just a table away”.  How insulting for the thousands of citizens who take the time to become poll workers to suggest that they would turn a voter away when the precinct needed was in THEIR voting location. Shame on Olivera Perkins, Plain Dealer reporter, for suggesting such a thing.

Before I begin, I will say this,  the training in Cuyahoga County is considerably better under director Jane Platten where actual people who have “been there, done that” teach the classes.   In fact, we went over the provisional ballot in depth.   The training provided under Michael Vu which consisted of “hired guns” from local universities and community colleges was woefully inadequate.  At that session, when I asked  my “trainer” about provisional ballots as he was concluding the class,  his answer to me was “oh don’t worry about that they will be the exception”.  Although Provisional Balloting was a line item on our training schedule, we did not have the “time” to treat it. 

My first case scenario:  A woman comes to the voting location insists that she is registered to vote and has been for years.  When asked the last time she voted, she has no idea.  When asked if she registered from where she lives now she has no idea.  She demands to vote.  She says she has the right to vote.  She is correct.  She is given a provisional ballot.  She votes.  Did her vote count?  I doubt it.

Second case scenario:  A man comes to the polling place which is his “old” polling place.  The BOE has changed his voting location.  We explain that he is in the wrong place.  Tell him his NEW polling location.  He insists he does not have the time to go anywhere else.  Says “I have the right to vote.  I want to vote here.  Give me a provisional ballot.”  We explain that he is in the wrong place, his precinct is no longer located here and his vote will not count because it will be rejected for being in “the wrong precinct”.  He insists.  He votes.  Did his vote count?  I doubt it.

Third case scenario:    A young couple comes to our voting location. They just moved into the area.  They registered to vote.  They didn’t receive the voter location card sent from the BOE or least they don’t think so.  A poll worker takes them out of line asks where do they live?  They tell her the street.  She takes them to the Ward map posted on the wall.  None of the three recognizes much of anything on the map.  The poll worker asks the presiding judge for help, that’s me.

I walk over to the map.  Look at it.  I’ve lived in this Ward for 25 years.  I don’t recognize the streets.  Then we notice that our map is part our Ward and part of a ward in Fairview Park.  I tell her that she needs to call the Board of Elections.  She does.  She is put on hold. She is disconnected. She calls again.  She is put on hold.  This time she gets the correct location for voting.  Twenty-five minutes later the young couple leaves to vote for the first time as a couple. Did their votes count?  Yes.       

I would say to people who register to vote that you have only taken the first step in your “right to vote”.  The second more important step is TO VOTE.  Voting regularly keeps the federal law of not voting in the past two federal elections a moot point.

VOTING EARLY at the Board of Elections  should be an option. IF you haven’t voted in years and you are not sure you are registered, it is worth a shot, but don’t be surprised if you are NOT on the pollbooks and you CANNOT vote.  The other reason for voting early would be TIME.  We are all pressed for time.  If you cannot afford the time to have a twenty minute wait to vote on election day, VOTE EARLY. And, DO NOT wait until the end of the day to vote on election if you are not sure WHERE you should vote.  You may not have enough time to travel to the right polling place before the polls close.

If you registered to vote for the first time, call the Board of Elections for your polling place BEFORE election day.  Be prepared.

If you moved and registered at a new location, be sure to call the Board of Elections and find out your NEW polling place.  Do not rely on snail mail to get your polling place to you before election day.

When the emphasis is placed on a pollworker to KNOW where each and every voter is to vote rather on the VOTER knowing where he or she should be to vote, we have contributed to long lines, inefficient elections, and undermined the trust of our election process. 

With our constitutional right of voting comes the responsibility for each voter to know where they should go to vote, to research the issues before going to the polls so that they can make their vote quickly and efficiently, and to be thankful that they have the opportunity to vote without fear of reprisal.             

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 9th, 2008 at 9:54 am