Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category
Here is a bit longer commentary by Larry Cornett, posted to Facebook late this afternoon, Friday, September 27th.
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
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:
Claude Lawrence Cornett, Jr.
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.
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Residents want input on park cleanup
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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.
Soon, we’ll hear the cry of the secular nonprofits, in one voice, shrieking, “What about us?”
To paraphrase Niehaus, is it fair to say, “A typical poor person is poor not because he is irresponsible, but because he was born in a ghetto in Cleveland”?
Perhaps it would be better to give directly. Certainly, it should be better than funneling funds through the city government, the city council, and the local councilperson.
Silicon Valley heavyweights like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Google have a new favorite charity: GiveDirectly, an organization that makes direct transfers (via M-Pesa) to poor people in the developing world. From Forbes:
“Instead of building hospitals, why don’t we just give poor people money? Research shows it’s effective,” [Hughes] said. Hughes, who purchased The New Republic magazine in early 2012 and serves as publisher, also joined the board of GiveDirectly.
Backing up Hughes’s point was Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Giving at Google. She told the crowd Thursday night that one of her superiors at Google was extremely skeptical when Fuller first suggested that Google back GiveDirectly. “I was told, ‘You must be smoking crack,’ ” Fuller recalled. But GiveDirectly had exactly what Google wanted: lots of data on how the recipients of cash used it to improve their nutrition, their health and their children’s education. After looking at the data, Google donated $2.5 million to GiveDirectly.
GiveDirectly stems from economist Paul Niehaus‘s research in India, where to limit corruption the government makes direct cash transfers via mobile phones. “A typical poor person is poor not because he is irresponsible, but because he was born in Africa,” says Niehaus, adding that GiveDirectly’s transfers have had positive impacts on nutrition, education, land, and livestock — and haven’t increased alcohol consumption. The charity is also No. 2 on Givewell’s list of recommended charities.
City of Cleveland :: Division of Park Maintenance and Properties: Destroying public property at will to lighten the maintenance workload
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:
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.
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.
by Gloria Ferris
“Trees give you a connection to the past, and a sense of continuity in a neighborhood.”
Benjamin Swett, New York City photographer of trees, gave the above quote during an interview with Ian Frazier in the March 4th, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. It is a fitting beginning to Brooklyn Centre Naturalists’ (BCN) annual Arbor Day article. (Arbor Day was observed on April 26th).
The history of trees in Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn is a rich one. When the neighborhoods were initially settled in the early 1800s, a forest of oak, beech and maple trees greeted the first pioneers.
In the 1850s, Cleveland became known as “The Forest City”. Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn certainly are part of that heritage. In the 1900s when these areas became bustling communities, planting trees along streets and boulevards was part of the strategic plan. The giant sycamores along South Hills
Blvd. in Old Brooklyn, for instance, remain as a bastion to this time of uniting nature with communities.
Sadly, the majestic trees of Archwood Ave. were decimated by the tornado which roared down city streets in 1953. More recently (last autumn) trees in both neighborhoods were hit by Hurricane Sandy.
In 1902, William Stinchcomb planned and oversaw the building of the bathhouse, tennis courts and main building at the new zoo at Brookside Park. Stinchcomb’s vision of the Emerald Necklace included Brooklyn north and south of the Park. Presently, our park neighborhoods are holding their own. Many
70 to 100 year old trees remain, but storms, updated street plans and age are destroying them regularly.
For years, City budget restraints have also taken a toll. Instead of the City automatically replacing a lost tree on a tree lawn, a home owner must request a replacement. When utility companies replace or make improvements to failing infrastructure, a disclaimer such as this one is often made: “Every effort to save
shrubbery and trees will be made. If necessary, they will be removed. They will not be replaced.”
Residents must act now or the neighborhood history of tree-lined streets will become only a memory of the past instead of a part of the future. Today, every resident can help to solidify Cleveland’s label of “the Forest City”. They can replace trees which have been removed because of storm damage, age and progress, instead of waiting for the City to do so. And they can plant new trees because trees contribute
to utility cost containment and storm water management. (Older homes were built with the intention of using trees for coolness in summer and warmth in winter.)
Planting a tree is a way to combine nature and progress. Join BCN in their effort to make sure that Cleveland — the Forest City — is a reality in the future and not just a memory. Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day 2013. And when it’s mature, it just might increase the value of your property by many thousands of dollars.
(This article also appears at http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/OBN/13MayOBN.pdf)
http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/OBN/12DecOBN.pdf is where you can see the *.PDF of this article. We got copies of the paper just yesterday. This is the text of the entire article.
Mention a community activity which
includes Brooklyn Centre, and it’s likely that
Gloria Ferris is/has been involved in it. The
Brooklyn Centre resident is active with Friends
of Big Creek; Brooklyn Centre Naturalists;
Stockyard Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre
Community Development Organization;
Garden Walk Cleveland; and Old Brooklyn
Community Development Corporation’s
Green Space Committee. She is also a regular
contributor to the Old Brooklyn News.
Originally from Shreve, Ohio (a rural
community outside of Wooster), Gloria arrived
in Cleveland in 1973 to teach junior high
school and work as librarian at West High
School (now Joseph M. Gallagher High
After that, Gloria became the Campaign
Administrator for State Senator Charlie Butts;
a later job was taking care of national railroad
accounts at BP America for twelve years.
Before settling in Brooklyn Centre in
1981, Gloria lived in several places in Greater
Cleveland — the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood,
Cleveland Heights and Lakewood.
When asked why she moved to Brooklyn
Centre and why she and Tim, her husband of
twenty-eight years, have stayed, Gloria replied,
“the people, convenience, transportation
options and amenities like the Zoo and
Brookside Reservation. And I love the small-town
feel we have here.”
Gloria’s involvement in all things green
started with creating a Backyard Habitat at her
own home. The goal of the National Wildlife
Federation (www.nwf.org) certification program
is to provide food, water and cover for
wildlife. Through it, Gloria connected with
people in Friends of Big Creek and the
Cleveland Metroparks who were already working
on similar initiatives.
As Gloria forged even stronger links with
like-minded residents in both the Brooklyn
Centre and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods,
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists was born. Among
other things, they have been working to make
the 44109 zip code a registered National
Wildlife Community since 2008.
In 2011, Gloria and the Brooklyn Centre
Naturalists collaborated with employees of
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and members of the
Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American
Association of Zoo Keepers to plant a Polar
Plot at the W. 36th Street Commons Park.
Polar Plots is a program in which participants
plant trees and native plants in local communities
to help educate the public about how the
presence of trees counteracts a warming climate.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists also received
a Neighborhood Connections grant for a children’s
educational program which took place
in 2009 at the former Brooklyn Memorial
United Methodist Church. The program looked
at community through nature, and included
courses on gardening, backyard retreats, and
arts and crafts.
In 2012 the Brooklyn Centre Naturalists
were the impetus for getting the Old Brooklyn
and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods included
in the second year of Garden Walk Cleveland.
Gloria’s current efforts include planting
herb and dye gardens at Art House, Inc., 3119
Denison Ave. Dye gardens incorporate plants
such as hibiscus (red, white and pink dyes),
coreopsis (yellow and orange dyes) and purple
basil because they make nice fabric and paper
dyes. She hopes to utilize the dye plants next
year for projects at Art House.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists are now
focusing on getting the last twenty-one of the
necessary one hundred backyard habitats needed
for the National Wildlife Community certification.
More information about how to create
backyard habitats can be found at
The Brooklyn Centre Naturalists have
also compiled a cookbook using recipes from
Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre residents
called A Taste for All Seasons. It will be for sale
for $10 at the Art House’s Short & Sweet
Holiday Shop, which will feature sixteen local
vendors The dates are November 30th to
December 2nd, and December 7th to
December 9th, and the hours are Fridays from
4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1
to 5 p.m. More information is can be found at
When asked how she stays so passionate
about Brooklyn Centre and the environment,
Gloria replied with a huge grin, “I don’t think
I could be anything else! I’ve always thought
that every day is an opportunity. And after my
heart attack and two-month hospital stay, I
wanted even more to keep on doing as much as
possible for as long as possible. My community
involvement has allowed me to meet so
many great people. My place now is to help
younger people find those connections and
continue this great work. At the end of the day,
it’s about people. We’re still here and change
Gloria and Tim have two daughters and
two granddaughters. Older daughter Maureen
and her husband, Geri, and granddaughters
Teagan and Maggie live in Knoxville,
Tennessee. Katie, their younger daughter, lives
outside of Philadelphia.
(Lynette Filips contributed to this article.)
My first encounter with money market funds was back in 1981 when I worked for BP Oil. One of the refinery guys would discuss stocks and bonds with me while we waited for his drivers to call in so that he could answer the question I had about fuel deliveries. One day, he told me about money market funds. He said the beauty of them was that they used Net Asset Value, and you always knew your dollar would be a dollar. He was right they are beautiful due to their stability and accessibility. This will no longer be the case if SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro has her way. Changing to a floating NAV and requiring “capital buffers” for money market quite likely will be the death knell for money market funds.
Not only is this an attack on money market funds but it is an attack on the middle class who use them as savings vehicles for rainy days and for sunny days.
Below is a letter sent by Federated investors, Inc. to financial professionals, investors, and other interested parties that informs the public of the attack on Money Markets Funds led by SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro. Please take the time to click on the link and tell the SEC just how bad an idea this regulation is.
Over the past 40 years, money market funds have become a staple of the US economy, used by millions of investors, businesses, state/local governments and non-profit organizations as a stable, efficient and liquid cash management vehicle. Unfortunately, if Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Schapiro has her way that may not be the case for much longer, as the SEC is poised to consider a set of proposals that would be the death knell for money market funds.
Federated has been very active in the battle to save money market funds and I am pleased to report that we are not alone. In addition to a host of financial services companies, hundreds of corporations, business groups, state/local governments and non-profits have written to the SEC to express their support for money market funds and to oppose Chairman Schapiro’s proposals. There are three proposals being promoted by Chairman Schapiro and other Washington regulators – a floating NAV, redemption restrictions and capital requirements – each of which would destroy the very foundations that make money market funds so effective and so popular.
· Replacing the stable $1.00 net asset value, which has been the hallmark of money funds, with a floating rate NAV would create accounting nightmares for all users, requiring the tracking and reporting of fractional changes in share price each time shares are bought or sold.
· Instituting redemption restrictions would prohibit money fund users from having full access to their investments when they want it or need it. Such a freeze would also cripple sweep accounts, check-writing and a number of others features that money market fund users depend on.
· Requiring money market funds to maintain “capital buffers” or reserves would further limit the attractiveness of money market funds, particularly in the current low interest rate environment. It is crunch time. The SEC is getting ready for a public meeting on these proposals. We need the help of everyone who knows the benefits of money market funds and their importance to the economy. Federated has developed a website that provides you the ability to contact the SEC and other officials to let your voice be heard in support of money market funds. You can visit www.savemoneymarketfunds.org to tell the Washington regulators not to destroy money market funds.
I truly appreciate our relationship and your consideration of helping Federated and money fund users everywhere in this important matter.
J. Christopher Donahue
President and Chief Executive Officer
Federated Investors, Inc.
A member of our household who no longer blogs sent this to me by email, and I decided to share it here. It’s about the proposed CREG Center, which seems not so much proposed as implemented without asking. At the links you will find dates, times, and places. We plan on attending.
Mulling over the effects of this incinerator proposal, I remembered that the Kiwanis Club of SE Cleveland had as one of its missions or objectives the mitigation or eradication of unnecessary causes of respiratory problems in humans. This gasification project will create problems with its incinerator itself; it will cause problems with the creation of diesel hot spots in areas affected by the 500+ additional trucks daily required to keep the plant at a break-even level; and it will also cause problems when the trash pellets it produces are burned again to produce electrical energy.
Not much attention has been paid to collateral costs to the community; this is not a green project, it will not create many jobs at all for the amount spent, and its an unproven technology promoted by an administration with no history of sensible undertakings.
There is a public hearing Monday on this issue, and it was mentioned in the PD just recently. I think that Kiwanis involvement is appropriate at this time, given the stated mission of the local chapter. The Ohio EPA is trying to sneak this one by the federal EPA; they are not acting in the best interests of the community, the way Gloria and I see it.
It affects the area in which your club operates; it is said that it should have an adverse impact up into the Cleveland Heights/Shaker Heights area.
Please see more about the hearing at the following links and if, after giving this stealth project a cursory inspection, you decide it might not be in the best interests of the people and businesses of the Cleveland area, please lend your support to efforts to promote health and wellness, which probably entails the scuttling of this gasification fiasco as soon as possible.
Note also that the PD editorial stance on this project is to be in full-cheerleader mode, as they sell full-page advertisements to this CREG group promoting the project. Conflicts of interest do not exist for the shameless. We hope to see as many of you as possible at the hearing, and later, in the fray. There are lives and property values in play here.