I will admit to being pretty naïve as to how government worked and the tools( aka “study/s”) needed by the City of Lorain. In the early 90’s. Charleston Village Society http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/ was pretty new as a 501C3 back then. You see CVSI did it backwards we became a neighborhood organization without anyone’s help or dollars. We did the ground work ourselves , tried to make a difference.
We were ridiculed (as the village idiots) and yes even Community Development for the City of Lorain tried thwarting us at every turn – “the middle class clique “ their term -Chuck Urindrisky and Sandy Prudoff possibly concerned about their ” HUD cash cow” . We became an organization over which Community Development had no control – we were the loose cannon.
Finally, we were recognized and our input was required. We were asked to attend a series of meeting with the “movers and shakers” ( I kid you not that was the term used) at the then Lorain High School on 6th.
We were , Rich Robbin and I, excited- maybe something would finally get going in this old neighborhood and Lorain.
We printed out our newsletter, at the time, with the facts and figures from government sources and handed out the newsletter to the movers and shakers – with the headline of 20 odd years ago FOR RENT ONE CITY – LORAIN. Our figures showed Lorain heading from an owner occupied city to 60 percent rental. Not much has changed over the ensuing decades except the “quality” of the rental market took a downward dive in the older neighborhoods(in my opinion) .
Back to our naivety . We duly attended the meetings , the flip charts , touting Lorain’s assets – the Palace , the Lake, the people , the parks , organizations, business opportunities, history etc. After the third such meeting back in the early 90’s I dared ask –
So what happens to this Plan and when do we start implementation?
Oh well we have the facilitator gather all our recommendations, ideas and issues they will make a report and take it to the Mayor’s Office and Community Development for them to find a way forward.
Oh so we won’t be actually “doing anything ” just telling he powers that be what we think- we won’t be implementing anything?????
No! this will just help determine the city’s way forward……….
Source Dave Brown
of the Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/us
A way forward???? that very term has haunted me and made me nauseous ever since. I don’t know what happened to the “PLAN” from the 90’s and then again the “Visioning Plans of the rest of the decades that we still kept attending. I have the county plan from 1991 ) Vision 20/20 ( total misnomer in my opinion)
We did attend the “plan for the port” and yes! in fact that was one of the very few “plans that have seen implementation in the past 15 years- but one has to wonder if that would’ve succeeded if the Lorain Port Authority had not been accountable directly to the Lorain taxpayer for operating revenue through levies etc.
I attended, on behalf of Charleston Village Society the “Big Idea ” session held at the Lorain Port Authority conference room. This latest study and its outcome apparently will focus on the “zoning ” requirements for this city and determine future zoning/planning based upon the study results . You can find the project schedule the time line – meetings etc. here
There were representatives from a few organizations at the table for this session with Senior Planner Justin Robbins AICP
there were the obligatory flip charts , not much has changed there and it was the “Opportunities ” Page that took me from
Oh well we were asked I will go and listen once more as we go through the motions to help with tools in the box
to the old curmudgeon !
As the people around the table, only one of whom I have ever seen attend any of these previous decades of “plans”, told of the strengths and the opportunities……. I was transported BACKKKKKKKKKKKK to a time of long ago and a plan far away…
OK! I admit all my good intentions of say nothing went west as I looked at the same “opportunities” being written down on yet another flip chart. The same damned things that were written down in the first planning / study strategy I attended those many years ago.
So I forgot my good intentions and said my say ( on the negative side ). Apparently after 20 odd years of Visions and Plans the positives remained the same so not much to ADD there .
I had my say about Lorain’s largest business – the Rental Business
( As a real estate agent and landlord painted a more than rosy scenario” and Yes there is a lucrative business in Lorain!
10 MILLION 800 THOUSAND A YEAR or 900,000 A MONTH coming from the voucher program alone into the coffers of the landlords , a majority of whom live outside Lorain.
I am sure those stats haven’t decreased probably increased since the post
“Right now ( 1991) you’re giving Lorain away a house at a time , a piece at a time and no one seems to care”
Ward Two the ward that has the Lake, the opportunities for development, itself glutted, decaying and home to even in worst shape now than when the “movers and shakers” held that round table at the Lorain High School cafeteria.( also gone and re planned)
One thing did change the plus side held Lorain City Schools but although the buildings are newer they now find they are in the negative. Back in the time that Lorain forgot ( along with her tangible history) Lorain Schools held many studies and discussions on their way forward – attended more than one – Ironically the last one I wrote about
5 Years ago the Goals for Lorain City Schools coming from http://www.ode.state.oh.us plan
1) Goal 1: By the end of the 2011-12 school year, 78% of all students will meet or exceed proficient level on the OAT and 90% on the OGT in the area of reading.
2) Goal 2: By the end of the 2011-12 school year, 78% of all students will meet or exceed proficient level on the OAT and 90% on the OGT in the area of mathematics.
3) Goal 3: By the end of the 2011-12 school year, the Lorain City School district will meet or exceed state minimum attendance standard of 93%.
4) Close the socioeconomic, ethnic and gender gaps in student achievement
5) Adult Basic and Literacy Education and EL/Civics
6) Expand college preparation course offering at the high school level
7) Career-Technical Education
8. FY 2010 Increase student achievement (Reading/Language Arts, mathematics, and science)
– Improving Teacher Quality, Title II-A
THE OUTCOME 2016 Sept.
We could say no more studies , no more plans but these are part of the government hoops and showing the money boys of government – a way forward and community buy in. I suppose it would be cheating to just update the old studies and plans???
Oh and that Lake it also has to go on the negative and plus ( which cancels it out somewhat) because 1/3 of the area that would normally draw in business is water and that water is usually frozen for 5-6 months of the year and rough for a least a couple of months as well – there goes your “boat” people .
Entertainment District/ Downtown and maybe see the area jumping on weekends for 3 months or so BUT will not support a thriving downtown area or gentrify the neighborhood in order to have foot traffic. It has to be part of a much “bigger idea” and I am not sure I have seen that yet….
So this latest “input from the public” is How do we want our community Zoned ?
Updating Lorain’s Zoning/Planning:
An Entertainment zone?( year round???)
Zoned Historical ( better get on that fast we have very little historical bricks and mortar left)-
Residential ( up market zone)( down market)
Recreational Zone – lawn parking of Rv’s
Light Industrial – street parking of construction vehicles ( note these can be grandfathered in as it happens every day)
Heavy Industrial – and so on and so forth……..
” EQUALITY/ACCOUNTABILITY ZONE- SUB ZONE NO ROLLED ROOFS On PITCHED ROOFS ZONE
Yes that is what I would like an equality/ accountability and no rolled roof Zone – where everyone has to follow the ordinances we already have! With “Zone inspections rather than complaint driven ”
But for right now……. I am completely ZONED OUT
We haven’t had many dogs in this old house, truth be told I am somewhat afraid of dogs, always have been. SHEENA came to us as a pup. Some cretin threw soap into the original fish pond killing all the fish . It was then I decided- time for a dog. Excitedly my two children accompanied me to the Rescue Shelter. Among the animals was a fairly large litter of mixed Shepherd and Labrador breed, they were tumbling and rough housing all over each other, nipping and yelping with joy and play.
Each of my children had their favorite. I noticed in the “getting to know” area a little two-year old being introduced to one of the pups. The little girl was pulling the pup’s ears, tail , screaming with delight and this pup just let her and was so calm .
“That is the pup ” I want
Sheena’s intelligence amazed me and there was a knowing look in her eyes you could see her very soul in those eyes . She remained patient with her family even when my mum’s little Tetley would visit. Although she had her ways of showing displeasure
MISTY was the designer dog ( Silver Lab), she was ten months old when she joined the family.
My daughter was trying to find a home for her as her family had to relocate without her. Stopping off here to visit on her way to show her to a prospective family ( I always wondered if this was by design as well) my son fell in love.
Trying poor Sheena’s patience once again Misty entered our lives.
Oh what a dog! She was more like Dino on the Flintstones except when it came to my son, a word or look from him and she became the world’s best trained animal. It was heartbreaking when Sheena succumbed to age and illness and poor Misty wandered the house looking for her friend. Life took a terrible turn and my son also succumbed to Cancer and left us, leaving Misty Morn to a house of grief.
It was Misty that pulled and demanded my husband leave his chair to look after her, it was Misty who insisted on walks, who didn’t leave him. Misty who spent hours sitting with him in the garden at all hours of the day , a nuzzle for comfort, her soft silky fur comforting to his hand, Misty who slept at his feet.
During this horrendous time of grief TETLEY
came to live here, in a house where laughter is now seldom heard, my mum having to give up her home and independence through no fault of hers –
Misty was not as patient as Sheena when it came to Tetley but they managed .
It was Misty who stopped the choking of grief in the night. But her heart too was broken and although she was only 5 it bled out. Oh! there is a technical term but she was Chris’ dog and her true master was no longer there to throw the balls, take her swimming or for runs. I think she stayed long enough to see us through, but once again we felt we had failed our son. We had gone to the Emergency Vet with Misty knowing something was not right And the consensus was she had to leave.
For two days I watched as grief and undeserved guilt once more took its terrible toll. My daughter said:
“We have to get Dad a dog to get him through and give him something to hold onto “
And so an internet search, a call to “Luv my Shepherd Pups” https://www.facebook.com/got2luvmyshepherdpups/ and the breeder Denise Cieslik. There was one pup available – the runt-. Nikki , Gavin and I went to be introduced.
This pup of life and love needed a name- there was great debate, none suggested suited everyone. Her name changed periodically through the ensuring days. I watched as this little bundle of energy, who seemed to know right from the outset that she was here to rescue my husband from his profound grief and bring life back into this house; she shadowed his every move and hence SHADOW , the name seemed to fit.
She has her ways and personality , she will bring the shoe of the person she wants to take notice of her to them , meets family with someone’s shoe or another gift when she likes you. She gives the mailman a heart attack if I have forgotten to close the main door before he arrives and barks around the property every morning to let the neighbors know she is on guard, her tail held high like waving a furry flag. No-one better enter the alley without her OK and she talks to every dog in the neighborhood. She definitely does not know her place- she reigns supreme .
She is my husband’s dog, it is for him she pines when goes out, for him she waits and it was his life she saved.
It has been hot here in Ohio, terrible damning days of unrelenting sun. The property next door needed a lot of work and to that end the summer days were spent getting it in order.
One July night, I was exhausted from daily life and routine and went to bed early , my husband downstairs with Shadow. It was 2:30 in the morning when I was rudely awakened by Shadow pawing at me and licking my face , not something she usually does unless there are fireworks or thunder. I told her
go away- downstairs
. I am selfish when I am asleep as there aren’t many such nights since my son passed.
Soon she was back again this time more insistent, I listened for thunder, fireworks nothing-
Go away Shadow go find Ritch
– she did .
However, he next thing I knew was she was literally thumping me with my husband’s shoe insistent once more I get up with her.
Grumbling, thinking he had fallen asleep in the chair and she wanted out I got up and went downstairs. Well he had fallen- but not asleep – he was stretched out- collapsed on the floor . Whilst I took in the sight before me, Shadow immediately went to him lay beside him and wouldn’t move – she stayed there whilst the rescue squad was called , it took two of us to get her outside – she wouldn’t leave him and the paramedics were leery of such an animal. Shadow barked and barked, waking the whole neighborhood as they put him on the gurney for the ambulance she tried jumping over the fence to follow . My mother told me she cried and whined the whole morning, pacing and off her food.
Had Shadow not woken me my husband would’ve died it was that serious! He passed out from severe dehydration and ended up with a condition called Rhabdomyolysis http://www.medicinenet.com/rhabdomyolysis/article.htm
In all their ways these dogs , including Tetley who brought comfort, companionship and love to my mum before he too passed this summer, give us their everything and unconditional love. Shadow though, is truly a rescue dog because she has rescued this family from so much and we owe her so much
I have some of your work from Cleveland Institute of Art http://www.cia.edu/
displayed appropriately in most rooms , even the bathroom.
One of your first tries at glass making- the glass frosted and slightly wonky but it holds the Daffodils of spring, red Roses and Lavender of summer and the Chrysanthemums of fall , reminders the seasons and years as they continue to pass.
Your work has brought me comfort, longing, as well as tears. I went through your portfolio in those first “tearing” weeks when we all were so fragmented – one didn’t know where we began and ended, lost in a maelstrom of disbelief and pain. I found the photographs , “another assignment” – A Day in the Life of a College Student. There you were in those photos brushing your teeth, making breakfast – such as it was- all the things that are so everyday- studying , taking care of the garbage ,
playing X- box –
working on projects, having a beer – all there . These simple acts of living archived and not meaning much of anything to anyone else but to us the world.
The wall of your apartment adorned with another photography assignment , and the subject Angela- http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display?DoctorID=16147 less the angelic person her name implies (in my opinion .)
The work showed another side to this young woman – one I came to know all too well during the dying days and afterwards. You captured in the lens of the camera something hidden to the eye. I remember saying to you
“there is a darkness in these photos- Chris and I don’t think her mother would be pleased so I wouldn’t show them to her .
There they are on the wall frozen in the camera lens and time . A part of your day and your life but one I would so like to forget.
I have a day in your life , the simple acts of living, stopped by the camera just as your life was stopped and now we are frozen in the loss of you. In amongst all the projects , drawing, design a very special piece of your work has given to us something that is always lost when someone dies – captured in the amber and gold glass – your breath. This work is cherished above all else because it contains the breath of your body locked in beauty.
We have such a lot of YOU but not enough to take away the pain, only YOU walking through the door once more could do that …. I love you
It has come around once again – your birthday- the day when I first held you outside of my heart- looked at your little screwed up face, smiled down at you in my arms and promised you the world , as much of it as I could give. Excited phone calls to the UK – a boy!!! Nana always wanted a boy – at last she had one.
Another hospital , another birthday , another invasive test – and hope and promises dissolving in our tears.
The trouble with cancer it ignores special days, it ignores a mother’s tears, it just does what it is good at doing ……….. and on your birthday – a day remembered with such hope it took that memory and took away hope.
I will look for your face and your spirit tomorrow – try to hear your voice in my memory and try not to dissolve completely…
Every time I read of accusations on facebook , social media etc I do so with a wariness. I wouldn’t have had a few years ago. In my last post
I mentioned our 11 months of hell caused by an elderly neighbor who truly believed her accusations. Before her dementia she had been a good neighbor, wanting to help with the community and did so , her talent as an artist used more than once with neighborhood events .
The family made no effort to help and so this neighbor literally took down her favorite tree, glass blocked her windows and put up fences . She was scared , frightened and alone in the fact she did not get the help she needed and that fact rippled through our lives. Due to her actions, we could not help – our attorney forbade any contact- so we had to leave her to her own terrifying nights until at last, after being found by another neighbor wandering the street in her night attire, something was finally done. The damage to our family was already done-
I wrote about that time on another blog The WoM Blog 10 years ago – I would like you to read this tale of accusation – 11 months of proving innocence- this could happen to you –and the years between have not erased the helplessness and yes anger at the family we felt.
J’Accuse- The Cost of Innocence
It is 6:00 am. in Lorain – Do you know where your attorney is?
John Paul Sartre got it right when he stated in his play – No Exit
”HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!”
The accuser and the accusations:
A neighbor, elderly and alone (who fully believed in her accusations) and since she wasn’t a known trouble maker or on anyone’s radar was totally believable- so the complaints made to the various authorities seemed reasonable.
1. a male neighbor throwing things at her house
2. male footprints in the freshly fallen snow leading to her front door from the neighbors
3. weapons being hidden between the houses
4. a male neighbor exposing himself through the fence
5. a neighbor opening the fire hydrants on the street
6. a male neighbor pointing a gun at her through the back door
7. a male neighbor hiding in the shrubs
8. intruders in her basement
9. intruders inside her house
10. up on her roof at night
11. neighbors cutting her phone lines
So I would ask you – you are the Lorain Police Department – you are getting these calls from an elderly woman, all alone- starting in June and carrying through to May of the next year. You send patrol cars -you check – you wake people from a sound sleep at all times of the night to make sure they are home and not harassing an elderly woman.
You respond when a citizen complains, it is documented. The elderly woman tells the rest of the neighborhood what it happening to her, enlisting their aid. The “family” of the accuser calls the accused family “perverts”-among other insulting remarks.
ARE YOU FEELING SYMPATHY AND OUTRAGE FOR THIS POOR WOMAN?
The REST of the story :
1. the things being thrown -tennis balls- coming across and into her yard as the kids in a neighboring home are playing ball.
2. footprints in the snow- the mail carrier coming from one house delivering to another
3. weapons ( supposedly being hidden to hit the neighbors on the head) – fallen tree limbs from her own tree
4. THE DE -FENCE NO. 4 -in the Accusations list
Oh! and the “exposing of a male part of the anatomy through the fence (from two properties away I might add)
It was the first accusation – I remember it so well another neighbor phoned,
NB. where is your husband?
ME: He is at the store –
NB: Oh good Sally phoned to say he was putting his penis through (another neighbors fence) ( two doors away)
ME: WHAT???? Is this some sort of a joke??
NB: No she is claiming your husband is sticking his penis through a knot hole in the fence….
AND SO IT BEGAN –
The elderly lady was fixated with the knothole and the penis and called out the police on another fine summer day. I asked the officer who was a little sharp with me at first to please come and look at the fence. He reluctantly did so – I showed him the knot hole and its position in the fence and then I said
“officer if you can put your penis through that hole I will personally put the handcuffs on my husband “
A little grin did flicker across his face as he remarked ”
” No thank you ma’am I am more endowed than to fit that opening.
I then took him to the other side of the fence where we have a pond. and where in order to expose oneself you would have to lay on your side half in the water.
The officer wrote up a report which was pretty laughable- the Chronicle Telegram and their reporter saw the police report, thankfully we were spared our names in the article – Shawn Foucher wrote the article : If The Fence Don’t Fit You Have To Acquit!
5. Opening Fire Hydrants – The fire dept. was called by the accuser, and the LFD were very irate, it was in fact the Lorain Water Dept. as they had a water line burst on Oberlin Avenue. So when the Fire Dept then turned off the gushing fire hydrant the water dept. guys from the Utilities Dept came running down the street waving their arms as they were now having to deal with gushing water .
6. The gun , after three such calls and reports it turns out, when questioned further, that the “gun” was actually a “RAY GUN” and this wonderful invention (invented apparently by the accused) could make her steel back door disappear for 8 seconds at a time and she had to blink to get it back!
7. The shrub – was an over 70 foot maple tree, which not only did the accused manage to climb, in the dark – but did so in a DRESS. (ouch!)
8. The intruders (now there were two) the accused and his wife- apparently getting in through the vent in the glass block window
9. Picture this if you will. The police are called the “intruders” (we now have two again) are in the house, armed . One officer arrives, he has called for back up however there is a serious problem elsewhere other officers are tied up on another call. With caution the officer calls to the intruders to come out of the closet. Nothing, silence- weapon at the ready he throws open the door to a closet???? no one
Ma’am are you sure they went in here?
What is the matter with you ? Can’t you see them- they are hiding under that lampshade!
Call for back up was cancelled!
10. Up on the roof (raccoons and squirrels using her roof as a route from one tree to another )
11. The phone lines were cut as a truck making deliveries to More for Less caught the overhead lines and ripped them down.
NOTE – pretty funny isn’t it??? but these plausible complaints were harrowing to us at the time and terrifying to her – AND WE HAD TO PROVE EVERYDAY – EVERY COMPLAINT THAT WE WERE INNOCENT!!!!
The EFFECT😦 Due to these accusations):
1. Hundreds of dollars were spent by the accused on lawyers letters, dealing with the accusations, building higher fences . Family members of the accuser making insulting and damning remarks (rather than seeing the problem- again lawyers letters)
2. Months of harassment, being woken from a sound sleep at all hours of the night with the police at the door responding to the accusations. Not being comfortable and able to relax in your OWN home.
3. Documenting your every move for over a year. Because when someone makes an accusation that you were doing something at a certain time you better have proof that you were elsewhere and have a reliable witness.
So you keep a daily/hourly diary, where you were, who was with you, if you go to the store alone -you keep the time stamped receipt. You cannot even go into your back yard without a witness or companion. Your reputation is shot! Your life becomes about PROVING YOUR INNOCENCE every day, just because “J’Accuse”.
4. The embarrassment is bad enough but the stress takes its toll, infact this living on the accusatory knife-edge ( and people will say – hmmmm where there is smoke…..) effects you emotionally and physically you become ill. You can’t sleep, you are on the defensive, your life is turned upside down and the lives of your family, you are angry, bewildered and hurt .
YOUR HOME, YOUR SANCTUARY BECOMES A PRISON
Everyday you have to prove innocence because someone made an accusation, that on the face of it, was believable. You spend your days “explaining” and your nights waiting for the next phone call or knock on the door wanting to know what you are doing and where you have been .
It is only when you look into the “rest of the story” that you realize that as ridiculous as these accusations really were the suffering, expense and the toll on a family -wasn’t funny.
AND NOW – the hedges are grown deliberately- so the daughter and husband who had their say as I was screamed at by the “construction king ” and ironically wanting MY HELP in their “estate court case” can no longer peer into my garden- let them inspect the alley–
You see the grandfather also had issues before he passed only at that time it was another neighbor who bore the brunt of his “visions” – those ” good ” neighbors eventually moved…… So before accusations are made – and believed remember sometimes all is not so cut and dried…………………………THIS PROVING OF INNOCENCE CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE ……….