Gloria Ferris

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

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

Musings of an Old Hippie

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Today, in a conversation Tim reminded me of this poem from my college days when he quoted “go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence” 

I still have a tattered copy in my desk drawer that I pulled out periodically and read when college life was overwhelming. I am wondering today why I ever stopped.  And yes, I still believe “it’s a beautiful world”.

desiderata – by max ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

Written by Gloria Ferris

November 8th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Brooklyn Centre,poetry

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Speak Out: Orca Whales Are More Than Entertainment

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Friend Kathleen Nemeth on the West Coast toggled my awareness of Macy’s plan to feature a float featuring Shamu the Orca Whale  that will promote SeaWorld.  It started me thinking of what the Macy’s Parade means to me and how it became a ritual for my daughters to watch growing up while I fixed Thanksgiving Dinner.  They would call to me so that I could share their glee at seeing their favorite characters travel down Fifth Avenue.

One year, my cousin Kathy had the pleasure to hold one of the tethers for one of the larger than life balloons. Later, she told us that it was very hard to do and would be a “once-in-a-lifetime’ event for her because it was much more enjoyable to watch the parade from the sidelines.

Personally, I decided that this “new float” sets a bad example for children. To take whales out of what is real” and placing the mammal into a fantasy realm does a disservice to all of us.   

My email to Macy’s:

Why would Macy’s tarnish the image of the popular Macy’s Thanksgiving parade by portraying an Orca Whale as a cartoon character to promote Sea World? Children associate the large balloon floats with their favorite "animated" characters and fantasy. A whale is a living, breathing mammal. The more we learn about mammals we find that they grieve, suffer, experience joy, compassion and many other traits that humans felt made them a unique species. We now know that is not so. Therefore, I for one will not be turning on the Macy’s Day parade or purchasing items from your corporation.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 16th, 2013 at 10:58 am

Posted in Commerce,Nature

Tagged with , , ,

The Arrogance of Power is appalling.

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Let it be known that these House Reps holding our country hostage are NOT I repeat NOT in any way shape or form the least bit like the revolutionaries that formed our country. Those men and women faced bankruptcy, ruin, homes destroyed by fire, loss of life and oh so much more.  These yahoos continue to draw salary and reap benefits from special interest lobbyists for global corporations which have no loyalty to country only to shareholders.  

I am appalled! For this man to compare himself and this Congress to the American Patriots of the American Revolution is the epitome of ego gone wild.

Virginia Representative Morgan Griffith and others of his ilk should be voted out of office as soon as possible.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/328185-house-gop-powwows-as-debt-limit-looms


Written by Gloria Ferris

October 12th, 2013 at 5:14 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

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

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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

“Trash To Energy” Just Keeps on Giving

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But, not to the people of Cleveland. We just keep on paying.

Correct me if I am wrong. It is my understanding that Cleveland Public Power is owned by the public who buy electricity from the company. Therefore, Ms. Harper Hall ‘s assertion that taxpayer’s money is not used for the settlement may be technically correct, but the fact that Cleveland residents “own” the utility means that it is their money used to pay Mr. Tein. Just another pocket is used.

Tein agreed to a $250,000 settlement City Hall spokeswoman Maureen Harper Hall said. None of that money comes out of taxpayers pocket, she noted.  It is paid by revenue generated by Cleveland Public Power.”  Wednesday, 18 September 2013 Cleveland Plain Dealer Cleveland’s Settlement on trash plant stinks editorial Page E02

 

Read the whole editorial here.

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 18th, 2013 at 11:05 am