When a Gorilla rocks your world


Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.
– Benjamin Disraeli

After Chris died I struggled to find a way for me to “be”-
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/to-be-or-not-to-be-why-and-wherefores/
I failed the “me” is no longer the “me” . I met with my personal Gorilla of Grief
and he is with me still

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/gorilla-in-the-midst/

Artwork Chris Ritchey  Face Book page

Artwork Chris Ritchey Face Book page


I have learned- learned how to traverse the mine fields of grief, learned how to exist, learned , like one who is blind, to navigate through , learned when to rest , when to fight. The gorilla has been “trained” over these many months , I know how to find respite , to hide in the smiles and games of my grandchildren as I feel his presence- knowing if I let my guard down he will attack with a pent-up ferocity which will cripple me . He is dangerous- he waits.

And he can find you – no matter how well you think you have him under control. You realize he has sapped your strength and there is very little left to deal with the illnesses and life issues that befall those of us who continue to age. We age differently too- another of his gifts- there is a greyness – an aging process that accelerates – he causes the body’s defenses to be spread too thin. You realize you cannot keep this voracious animal at bay without there being a cost. The cost is not only emotional it is physical. You see the ravages on the face of your husband , the marks of the struggle etched there for those that remember the time before the gorilla. Your face no longer recognizable to you when you deign to look in the mirror.

In order to add strength you find you can and have to delete- yes! delete from your life those people and situations that also sap your strength. You can no longer afford the luxury of tolerance, patience and those people and situations that take or are superfluous to your well-being. There is something freeing in realizing you don’t have to anymore. They will not help you control and cage the gorilla. You also learn truth and transparency is not what people really want , they want such things yes- but in small doses, metered out- not all at once. You gather strength to “be” by not expending wasted energy.

And then you find yourself sitting in the parking lot waiting for a loved one to run an errand- a song comes on the car radio, you aren’t quick enough to turn it off, the damage is done and “We will rock you”


takes you back instantly to a soccer field at a Lorain Catholic High School ( also now dead) when life was happy and where no gorillas just camaraderie fun and hope. Too late- the gorilla is free, he tears at your gut, your breathing stops , tears flow so fast and get trapped between the rim of your sun glasses and cheeks , blinding you , your hands clench, nails driving into your palms hoping to stop this vicious beast – but he is too strong, memories fill your mind, crashing in upon each other and finally the wracking sobs explode once more. Time has been negated and you are back in a hospital room locked into the worst moments of your life – once more – The gorilla is free to do what he will ……

chrissoccer7

March 26, 2015 at 10:51 am 1 comment

Charleston Village Society- clarification and report

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

One of the hats I wear is as Co- chairman of a non -profit organization called Charleston Village Society (CVSI) The organization came about as a “neighborhood preservation” organization – we are NOT the local “historians” of Lorain that particular job of work falls to the Lorain Historical Society http://www.lorainhistory.org/ . CVSI wanted to preserve the dignity of this – Lorain’s oldest neighborhood, preserve her housing , the quality of life, the stories of her past and the people who walked the same street as we who helped bring about “Lorain” .Personally, along with others, her stories appealed and sent some of us on searches of her history- a difficult task as much of Lorain’s earliest history and therefore, this oldest neighborhood, was unwritten, word of mouth and “buried “. Thanks to the estate of Peggy Gillmore -a direct descendent of one of Lorain’s founding fathers , we have found out a lot more of “yesteryear” from old newspapers etc.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/mayor-george-wickens-the-wrap-up-lorain/
During the past couple of decades we have tried to work on those goals of preserving this old neighborhood and adding to it . You can find back reports here http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/.
Unfortunately, our website does not allow for numerous photos and in segueing from the last post
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/pulse-magazine-treasure-town-a-blog-heartbeat/
I have reprinted our annual report here for 2014.

Charleston Village Annual Report 2014
Frank w hat and artist
The in-kind donations continue to help us thrive and survive with all the projects we have taken on in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. For every dollar in cash we receive three times the donations with in-kind support of materials labor and equipment. We could not attempt these projects or their upkeep without the partnerships and in kind donations. Such as the continuing sponsorship of our website https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/charleston-village/ a thanks to Emerge http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/
As in previous years 100% of all money collected goes toward the project for which it is designated.

We filed our IRS form for our non- profit for 2015 and were, I am pleased to say, accepted
E-File Postmark: Filed January 19th 2015- accepted January 19th-2015
charlsbal
The Charleston Pioneer Cemetery continues to be in the capable of hands of Diane Wargo Medina and she is developing a new blog page: ( still under construction) https://charlestoncemetery.wordpress.com/

Without Diane , her volunteers , tenacity and passion over the past three decades this old cemetery would be non-existent. She has been the driving force once more planting, clean-up and preserving the history of the people buried there still as well as fighting the ongoing battle of keeping the headstones from disintegrating . Although the cemetery is owned by the
city , Diane has been its keeper!
settlers watch
Settlers’ Watch: continues to bloom. We had a courageous band of volunteers who braved the terrible rain the day of Pride day 2014. We did weed and mulch but the rain and mud put paid to most projects that day. Many thanks to Lorain Rotary members and our own CVSI volunteers.
Digital Camera
The carvings from the tree lawn had to be removed and stabilized. The salt and weather etc has taken their toll, even though they were sealed every year.
GE DIGITAL CAMERA
Thanks to Carl Neilsen and the use of an indoor space, Ariel Vasquez, Frank Sipkovsky, Ernest Ritchey and Don Fugitt were able to work on the anchor carving. I am told it was a big job and the stabilization had to take place in stages. Thanks to Falbo Construction and new concrete plinths we moved the anchor to its new home along the Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.

The Lorain Lighthouse carving is due to be removed this spring to the Children’s Garden , the Portside Sign to the west of Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and the Heron will be at the entrance to the Marine’s Monument walk.

All the carvings are having to be stabilized and sealed once more . The Captain is still in need of a lot of work but hopefully, thanks to a donation from the Knights of Columbus we were able to purchase the very expensive chemicals needed.
admiral-king-tribute-space-yellow
The Admiral King Tribute Site
Many, many thanks once again to the Lorain Utilities Dept – under the direction of Ariel Vasquez and his crew. The donation and planting of the marigolds by Ariel Vasquez on Pride day brought a splash of colour in the much and mire of that day.

The Admiral King Site continues to draw interest on the internet and tourists. This year you could see the neighbors and community having picnics and waiting for the 4th of July Fireworks put on by the Port of Lorain. I am very pleased to say they were most respectful of the site and very little litter was to be found the next morning.

Chronicle Telegram

Chronicle Telegram

Eric Barnes’ Heroes Walk – This year saw another feature added to the walk- The United States Marine monument ( Lofton Henderson Post) has been added. This too is a work in progress. However, the Marines held a dedication and erected a flagpole, with the United States of America Flag and that of the Marine Corps. Ariel Vasquez designed the area and the garden surrounding the place where the monuments will be placed in phase two.

We would be remiss if we did not mention one of our special volunteers . Joe Artim. Joe has been a wonder – you will see him every day working along the Eric Barnes Heroes Walk tending the garden areas of the young men who gave their lives for this community.
Joe has grown, purchased and planted so many wonderful plants. I cannot begin to describe how the area has flourished under his gentle care.
Joe also has been weeding and watering during the most dreadfully hot days and in the fall cleaned cleared and prepared the area of Settlers Watch.

The Crime Watch program continues to quietly look out for the neighborhood especially Veteran’s Park.

Lorain 365

Lorain 365

Outreach and Promotions Committee
Once more the committee decorated for the Trains and Trees at Black river Landing – this year we not only had the Lilac Lorain tree but added another tree.
1939899_10152505208586179_2402613586549576216_n
This tree was all about the ship captains and maritime history of this neighborhood. Donations for the trees came for the most part from the committees own pockets. Many thanks to Renee Dore, Frank and Carolyn Sipkovsky ,Don and Marianne Fugitt and Lisa Miller

Poster Boards and other artifacts were displayed at various “historical gatherings” and talks to various community groups continued .
We also continued the Guided Tours of Charleston Village and once again Frank Sipkovsky was your tour guide.

2th and Hamiton
This year has not been all about successes. We continue to lose more of Lorain early history in her housing stock in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. Even there though there has been a bright spark , we lost the Gow House to demolition due to the fact it had been uncared for and empty for nearly 40 years.
1031res
Lorain County did however take another foreclosed home diagonally opposite ( the Coleman Home) and rehabbed the structure. Unfortunately it too had been bastardized of its original architecture by the “business of rentals” and chopping the home into two and three units.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/history-demoed-another-rehabbed-pt3/

Peggy Gillmore 2007

Peggy Gillmore 2007


We also lost one of staunchest and longest members – Peggy Gillmore- the last Lorain Gillmore descendent of one of the Founding Families of Lorain. I am pleased to say the heirs have rehabbed this over a century home but so much of Lorain’s history has once again been lost. 403 Oberlin

The items from Peggy’s home , papers and photos led us on a journey that continues to this day . I personally wrote a series on Peggy’s family when , what I believe to be an extremely important portrait was seemingly not wanted by those I believe should be in the business of preserving Lorain’s earliest heritage. The series can be found here
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Photo Laura Watilo Blake


The General Gillmore Portrait is still in my living room, we have found those that would appreciate the portrait, the print of “Storming of Fort Wagner”and the genealogy of the Gillmore family etc. that will go with the portrait, However, we have, not as a group, had a vote on this as yet . The General and some of Charleston Village Society’s accomplishments were written about in Lorain County’s Pulse Magazine.
Peggy  map
We were also able to give a framed original of a mid 19th century map of this old neighborhood to the City of Lorain.

The map was also part of Peggy’s memorabilia as well an original Bible which we believe to Alanson Gillmore’s church – Christian Temple Disciples of Christ. We believe this to be one of the pulpit bibles damaged due to the Lorain Tornado. We have returned the Bible to the church and they concur they too, believe it to be one of the pulpit bibles-.
The Chronicle Telegram, once again has also been very supportive when covering events over the past year.
roverfest2014_banner_1200px
CVSI contacted the city with regard to the parking overflow for the July Rover Fest event- there was and has been a lot of controversy of this event . Our main concern was the overflow parking being utilized by Eric Barnes Heroes Walk. I am pleased to say the security for the area was in place and in fact no problems arose from this event.
hattravels
We are hoping to get the “pass the hat’ campaign off the ground this spring because as you see our finances are non-existent for the most part. We use every dollar donated 100 % goes to the project designated – This is 100% a VOLUNTEER organization

Our financials for the year end (2014) as follows. However, once again for every dollar donated 100% of the donation went toward the project for which it was donated. This is an “ALL” Volunteer organization

CHARLESTON VILLAGE SOC. End of year financial report 2014
Main Account:
Starting Balance carry-over 2013 $101.01
Ending Balance $101.01

Cemetery Fund
Starting balance carry-over from 2013=$15.97
Donations 2014 = $275.00
Expenses 2014= $0.
ENDING BALANCE 2014 = $290.95
Raffle Account
Starting balance carry -over from 2013= $43.35
Donations 2012 = 0
Expenses 2012 = 0
ENDING BALANCE 2014= $43.35

Settlers’ Watch
Starting balance carry-over 2013 = $19.76
Donations 2014 (Cash/Checks)= $695.00
Expenses 2014 = $597.74
ENDING BALANCE 2014= $117.02

Admiral King Tribute Site
Starting Balance carry over 2013 -$ 68.46
Donations Cash 2014 = $250.00
Expenses 2014= $96.75
Ending Balance 2014= 221.71

Eric Barnes Heroes-Walk-
Carry over 2013 = 447.99
Donations for 2014= $250.00
Expenses for 2014= $558.28
Ending Balance 2014= $139.71

We had a total of cash donations (including Gift Cards) in 2014 of $1,470.00 and our cash expenses came to $1,254.77 for all projects. A full accounting is available upon request.
As you can see our volunteers and in kind donors are the power that keeps the projects running. Without the donations of plants, rope, wooden pilings, aggregate, recycled benches, trash receptacles, paint, sealer, publicity, photographs and “at cost” and manpower none of these projects could be accomplished and maintained. The in-kind donations from our supporters are, by my estimation, 3 times the monetary value and are priceless. However all cash donations are gratefully accepted and CVSI is a 501c3 – Thank You
Respectfully submitted March 4th 2nd 2014 by Co- Chair CVSI Loraine Ritchey

March 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm 3 comments

PULSE MAGAZINE- Treasure Town- A Blog Heartbeat

pulseres
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for Lorain County’s PULSE Magazine by Kristen Hampshire. The experience was one of sheer pleasure, the professionalism with which Kristen handled the interview, made very difficult because I tend to ramble and give the “back story” before answering the question. The fact checking by the editorial staff, the photographer- Laura Watilo Blake, who was constrained by my boundaries.

The article Buried History leads off with the General Gillmore Portrait – unwanted , and the story that led to the 12 part series on this blog.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

The cover , pronounced, Lorain’s little known identity of Treasure Town. I wonder how many in the county see Lorain and her buried treasure?

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Kristen asked: ( paraphrasing)

Why do I embark on the history of Lorain, why is it important to you and yet like the portrait
inconsequential to most in this community?

I had been thinking about that very fact for a few days before the interview. Why do I care along with a handful of others ( even those that should care were unimpressed , didn’t even find the portrait worthy of a 1st look)? Why do a very few people get excited when uncovering Lorain’s stories but the majority of her 64,000 residents really aren’t bothered?

I believe, in my case, my penchant for theatre and years spent acting out the written word, the stories told , the donning of the character , the “fleshing out ” of that character as you read the script- the cold reading tells you the way of portrayal is part of the reason.

Morning Journal article

Morning Journal article

Kristen wrote :

” As Ritchey passes neighbors’ homes, she thinks about the people who have lived there. She sees the original plat of Charleston Village, and when she walks through Lakeview Park
http://www.metroparks.cc/lakeview_park.php
she imagines the 21,000 grape vines once planted there……….”

( General Quartus Gillmore)
NEWS-OH-EL_IN_DE.1867_08_07_0003

The article continues but the gist of the piece will tell you – I imagine the way things were when I look at one of Lorain’s falling down and abuse of historical properties, the mega rental units in what once was a beautiful family home.
housecarwilford

I can see the life before , the characters flesh out in my mind . I can see and hear Captain Wilford , his arm around his wife that night as the huge pleasure craft the The Alberta, came at the John Osborne cutting through the fog that night and into the wooden three-masted steamer .

Fannie Wilford’s terror can only be imagined as she stood with her husband, her children asleep below decks, a cruel ending to such a lovely day as the steel-clad Alberta towering above the little freighter bore down upon the hapless couple ……

The Alberta according to The Cleveland News Leader July 30th 1884 said of the Alberta. ‘This huge steel monster, during the few months she has been afloat has become the terror of the lakes. Proud of her reputation as one of the fastest side-wheel steamers on fresh water, she (Alberta) has been run in an extraordinarily reckless manner. “

Osbourne/Alberta shipwreck photos Bob Epson

Osbourne/Alberta shipwreck photos Bob Epson

“Tom! That boats going right through us!”
Very Quietly Captain Wilford answered
“I KNOW IT”

Behind the Waterfront (Bertram B Lewis)

“ Steam rushed from the freighter’s crushed boilers, the air was filled with shouts of seaman and those screams from those who had been sprayed by scalding water.”(Lewis) ……The steward, Mr. Austin (the same man who just hours before has held Sunday school services) rescued Addie and rushed her through the scalding steam holding his arm across his face and keeping the little girls face close to him. He handed her up to the deck of the Alberta and went back through the steam for the mangled and scalded sailors below”(HFMC)

I read this and like so many other actresses and actors, I flesh them out in my mind – they become more than print on a yellowing page, they become real! I take on their fear, their pain , their story- how would I portray my part. Is that why, as I look at the portrait of General Gillmore , reading his reports during the Civil War, I see the characters, I see the times in which they lived- they become people once more not just faded photos? The letters written by the same Fanny Gillmore – ( Wilford) who stood on a deck with her husband that night- the letters of life….
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

I see Fannie on her front porch, waiting- for who what – everytime I pass her house porch
And I get angry at the lack of respect. What I do know is their stories are important to Lorain, a town that needs a buried treasure , heroes and romance.

You can access PULSE MAGAZINE on line
http://www.pulselorainmag.com/Main/Home.aspx

( unfortunately this issue- Winter 2014 is not yet uploaded to the site- but you can contact Lorain County Chamber of Commerce . It is free to subscribers.https://www.loraincountychamber.com/

Oh and the portrait of General Gillmore is still staring at me waiting for a decision as to where he will find his home, along with other artifacts from Peggy Gillmore’s home.
vethist

March 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm 4 comments

March 3rd- Earth Spring – Chris Ritchey

chrisdafThese days of winter still linger outside the den window- snow still falling in March. The ground frozen- unyielding and yet below a small little bulb struggles to break through the hard coldness surrounding it. The energy within fights the blackness to reach the surface. Soon the snows will melt in a warming sun turning ice to life, giving moisture, warming the dormant earth until at last the bulb senses a release from the prison. Tentatively, it will send out a small shoot to search for the sunlight- pushing through undaunted and finally celebrating its freedom with a glory of fragrance, colours reflective of passion and hope.

I wish my life was like that – it isn’t- the bulb has more of a chance than I. My world is still dark and frozen. The questions rage on in my mind- WHY? Why is my beautiful son locked in that terrible place- thanks to others.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/december-11th-the-beginning-of-the-beginning/

He had no chance to see the coming spring.

Why?? rings through the bleakness – why if there is as supreme being , whatever the beliefs does he/she allow the horrors perpetrated in their names and yet daily those of light and laughter die? Why???
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/helpless-in-barbarity-fiend-feind-or-friend-2015/

chrsnow
I don’t know of any answer! I have been reminded of those things this week and your last days. The mask, I had to wear when in your ICU room, caused an allergic reaction under my nose and around my mouth. It took many days for it to heal properly after you died. The scar is there, unseen for the most-part but every so often with a cold virus it will flair. It did this week, from a distance it could be mistaken for a “Hitler moustache. Another subhuman- Roman Catholic altar boy who visited such horror upon mankind.
http://www.seawaves.us/na/web4/concordat.html

WHY?

And yet there is a beauty in this grief so profound as to sap the energy of life and laughter – it is the love that your Nana, Dad and sister still feel – not diminishing- as the world turns once more around the sun – one day I will know the answers ……. as will we all in the meantime I will put my faith in the earth , the sky , the sun and rain to bring forth life………. boost

March 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm 1 comment

Helpless in Barbarity – Fiend – Feind or Friend- 2015

brain explosion

I write for me- for the most part- to get my thoughts out from my overworked brain. A brain that surges, boils , rolls and cascades with random thoughts all day long and through the night. Some I remember upon waking, but I have realized the dreams are just my brain’s way of trying to make sense of those thoughts- putting them into some sort of formation so they can be filed- to be made sense of – I haven’t been able to make sense of much lately!

There is now a helplessness and hopelessness in my thoughts and writing. Since the dying of my son, much changed in my world. I no longer feel anything I say or do makes a blind bit of difference- the words are there but they are without strength. I am on record as now realizing “one” does not make a difference when swimming against the tide of those of “like -minded” ocean .
crop2chris
The discovery of great hypocrisy as it pertained to the death and dying of my son.

The lack of respect for another beliefs- the selfishness and power of control by a church of another.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/ignorestance-and-the-roman-catholic-church-part-5/
Not a great big deal , in fact nothing really in the grand scheme of things. The attitude and actions of that family of deceit and control only effected this little family unit.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/
We die and it will be forgotten, if not forgotten already by those not directly part of Chris’ life and death. A lesson learned the hardest way possible .

As I remove myself for the outer world and the world of myths and gods, I am caged, dealing with the greater world, images so foreign and barbaric coming across the television and computer screen.

Source BBC News

Source BBC News

NOTE: I searched for images and there were plenty but I just couldn’t bring myself to even download any they were so horrific in their content.

I have written and studied medieval England, Kings and Queens , History of Crusades, the march of the Romans, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, the deluge of death of world wars. My brain not really understanding the atrocities of those times.
mumand dad
I didn’t experience World War two – my parents did – I wasn’t born.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-6/
Korea -I really didn’t know existed until I was well into my twenties, Vietnam the same thing- Oh I saw the images on television- same with Desert Storm etc. The images we were meant to see , stats digested with the evening meal. The media gave us an insight , but only visually with canned audio- not the smells the feel of war, the taste in your mouth kind of war those that fought remember.

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

Yes, there are newsreels and documentaries galore on the Holocaust and Nazi Germany and the thought what would I have done if I had been Jewish, gay , a gypsy or German. I had the luxury of knowing I wouldn’t be asked to make that decision.

Germany was England’s enemy ( feind) – they were tangible- you knew from whence they came and the county they called their homeland. The fiend was a man- there was a face to him – Hitler. There was a tangible “feind” and a “fiend”.

Now there is an enemy whose barbarism rivals those of civilizations of non- humanity . They have invaded my home, my life my thoughts with their bestial and fiendish culture.

They are an enemy, not of a country but of an ideology – their sadistic , bloodthirsty war on those who are not of their ilk has brought horror and havoc to the very streets and communities fought over in wars gone by. The difference being the ” feind” is intangible. Like evil spectres they wander though the streets unseen until the carnage they leave point them out - too late.

And the rest of us – not matter our beliefs in gods or non gods – wait – wait for something to be done – no cartoons of the enemy this time –

that too can spell disaster –
je suic

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237
This war is different – as bloody as all wars – this war has taken us back – back to centuries past when human kind supposedly knew no better – we have become supposedly civilized in western culture – no crucifixion of the Son of one God at least – but sons of man are still being crucified
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion
as modern technology fuels the weaponry of terror with “produced slick videos”

And seemingly the rest of us can do nothing to stop this army of cacodemonic human refuse. We are at war fighting yet another ideology without borders and we who hope for a better understanding of ” man “kind- can do nothing it seems.

We call upon our leaders “do something stop this – but what can they do ? the enemy is us pitting one’s beliefs against another’s – where do we start where do we stop? What difference can one God, Saviour , Prophet make and where is He, Her, where are they ?
west
So we sit as we watch civilization (as we believe it to be) bleeds into the earth, consumed in the fire of disgust and say “why aren’t they stopped” but our main fear is that this “feind” is of our own making. Today one of these “outside humankind ” has been identified
Mohammed Emwazi
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31637090
jihdijohn
This young man , walked the same London streets as me, my mother ,my father and millions of young men before him who fought for freedom of kind , freedom of expression, freedom of belief. He was someone who studied at the Westminster University

Westminster University

Westminster University


http://www.westminster.ac.uk/ He too would’ve smelled the roasting of chestnuts on a winter’s evening by the vendors on her city streets , the theatres, the displays of free speech at Speakers Corner , the beauty of an English summer day, a willow frond lazily trailing in the gentle flowing waters where Shakespeare wrote , the rights of man that survives the centuries written in her libraries , the culture, not just British, that can be found everywhere How did he end up being so devoid of anything human?

I won’t have an answer in this lifetime ………….

February 26, 2015 at 9:11 pm 3 comments

The weapon- City of Lorain- You decide- Trust negated

Flores col

I could write every day for a year and still not cover all the dilapidated buildings and homes in Lorain.
State Auditors report of 2004 – Lorain
http://www.cityoflorain.org/cms/files/File/2004/introduction.pdf

negative effect on the neighborhood stability and economic vitality of the city”
“By not administering its code enforcement, property maintenance and building programs, it is difficult for the city to preserve its housing stock,”

The Chronicle Telegram http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/ has written about the “state” of Lorain for many, many years and there are many reasons for the state in which we now we find ourselves years on. At least one Mayor – Craig Foltin -as reported in this article by Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher as far back as 2005 – pointing out the “broken homes”- See the artcle by clicking on ‘ “brokehomes” here
brokehomes
foltin

Beyond that, the new housing inspectors have gotten only a lukewarm endorsement from Mayor Craig Foltin, who defeated his predecessor in 1999 in part by making an issue of what he characterized as an overly aggressive Building Department.
“We feel that if they don’t have a successful plan and aren’t self-sufficient and nice to people, then we will not continue with them,” Foltin said recently of the inspectors……..

AND FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

…….Some Council members have said the new inspectors cannot succeed without Foltin’s full support.
“They’re not going to do any pushing because Foltin is a member of the landlords association,” Councilman David Wargo, D-1st Ward, said. “Foltin won’t let them do what they have to do.”
Wargo said the inspectors would find it difficult to force property owners to fix problems because Foltin “won’t let them be tough on people.”…..

foltin prope
Then there was the Chief Building Inspector Desvari Debacle
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2008/02/09/lorain-building-inspector-suspended/
http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/07/lorains_chief_building_officia.html
http://www.lorainlatino.com/articles/2010/07/09/noticias/doc4c373d355f040981109132.txt
it just goes on and on and on…. another Lorain legacy –
me

This blog, this writer , as stated, touched upon just a few examples ( well documented) to show how today’s elected officials are frustrated and thwarted by the process and the legacy left by those “go gently ” policies of yesteryear!.

I have written about multi-property owners in Lorain- that frustration- and especially when at least two of them die suddenly – George Schneider and Lewis Strnad leaving the city with a mess of dilapidated properties , probate wills and neighborhoods being effected by the lack of upkeep.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/george-schneider-a-property-legacy-what-now/
One such ongoing issue was that of Lewis Strnad who owned approximately 30 or more properties that have been left to fall in upon themselves’ In 2010- just before his death he purchased 2937, Elyria Ave. Lorain
lorainPhotos over the years of nothing being done this is 2937 today- 5 years after purchase- February 2015
2937 Collage
I did contact the county as to the status of Mr. Strnad’s properties on Friday the 13th-2015:

Strnad’s units have bulk processed into the court under tax delinquency as many of the estate’s holdings are in arrears. 2937 is specifically targeted for the current demo program and a case was filed some time around 12/09/14.

Well some movement on one multi- property owners legacy at least.
me
AND NOW!!!!
This series started with my outrage that a sitting member of the Lorain Design Review Board in my considered opinion – threatened, coerced and tried to intimidate elected officials into interceding on behalf of her son’s property. And used her position to use the City of Lorain Building Dept to visit vindictive behavior upon a citizen of Lorain- as she had threatened in at least two emails and states this also was her 2nd request.
Kathy  Dye emailresi
Kathy Dye wrote in the Subject line of her e-mail – this was DESIGN REVIEW BOARD issue
Here is the ordinance as it pertains to the Design Review Board Chapter 1185 Codified
I was very involved back in the day 1987 with the implementation of the Lorain Design review Board and once again in 2006 when Sandy Prudoff fought against having a “history” organization a Board member – Page 17
Hisotric Pres DRB
KATHY DYE EMAIL JANUARY 9TH-2015

From: Javalady53@XXXXX [mailto:Javalady53@XXXXX]
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2015 11:56 AM
To: Mason, Leon
Subject: Design review board
Getting pretty sick and tired of Loraine Ritchie running this city with her complaints. #1 if you and the mayor are going to harrass people you should look at everybody, not just a few chosen people. I can be a bigger bitch than Loraine Ritchie. I know of several things if I spill the beans will cause a huge uproar in this city as well as a large number of law suits. I was previously asked to keep my mouth shut about all of it but my patience is running thin. Just to also let you know the information I know has nothing to do with any previous city employees.

#2, Loraine Ritchie has a lot of “ordinance issues” on the outside of her property, what about the inside?

#3 Loraine Ritchie keeps saying that my son did not get approval for his Kharisma sign. Well when he came before the board, before you came aboard, We gave him a conditional approval if the sign fit the sign board. Well it fit and we sent pictures to Dave Gulden as we were told. Then the uproar came and community development was dissolved and Dave damaged his files, not our fault. So I sent pictures again to Rey Carrion. Whatever happened to them I do not know. So here we still are seeing Loraine running her flapping mouth that the sign was hung illegally and that he was told to remove it. Well that is not the case and I want a letter sent for the approval now. The Building Department was notified months ago that we were still waiting for it.

#4 I understand the mayor is planning to run again. Well after I start sending out my series of letters to all the tv stations, radio stations and newspapers I don’t think it will help his campaign. The ball is now in your hands. If things don’t straighten up immediately with my son and his building the letters will begin next week.

#5 Also I have a question, why did the ex-mayor and your father back in their day refuse to take the mast from Admiral King’s boat that sank and make a memorial here in Lorain?

mons meg

As most are aware, members of a government board, such as City Council, Design Review Boards etc. are protected with “qualified immunity” – not “absolute immunity” from law suits against the individual for decisions made as a body. BUT by the same token city government cannot be used as a weapon against an individual for “personal retribution”. There is a lot of legalese with this but that is the gist of it.

Kathy Dye, has made it abundantly clear in her comments on this blog – she was doing exactly that! She used position on the Lorain Design Review Board – see subject line of the offensive email) to also use threatening language to the Mayor of the City of Lorain and also to try intimidation with the Director of Building Housing and Planning

KATHY DYE WROTE

Well after I start sending out my series of letters to all the tv stations, radio stations and newspapers I don’t think it will help his campaign. The ball is now in your hands. If things don’t straighten up immediately with my son and his building the letters will begin next week.


Her emails continued, her family parked outside my house taking photos of my “ordinance issues”. Her statement to the fact on February 10th 2015 this was due to :

I started on you because you started on my son’s building and mine.

960 Broadway Schnitzler Block Dyes Appliance

note: BOTH STRUCTURES ARE DEEMED COMMERCIAL- Dyes’ Appliances has received a number of complaints due to the “outside showroom of appliances ” behind 960 Broadway building and the obvious concerns of health and safety at 418 Broadway-
bad bulding

This is the same son mentioned with threatening behavior in her email ( with the Design Review Board subject line) to Leon Mason
Kathy Dye:
Well after I start sending out my series of letters to all the tv stations, radio stations and newspapers I don’t think it will help his campaign. The ball is now in your hands. If things don’t straighten up immediately with my son and his building the letters will begin next week.

The son whose building 418 Broadway found the following inspection results as per the Morning Journal article:
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20150107/lorain-building-owner-accused-of-illegal-gas-tap
Click on to enlarge
alliga
filefennn
Dye affidavit This is not just about handbags at dawn and a neighbor vs neighbor situation

The same Kathy Dye who just two weeks ago hypocritically stood before Lorain City Council lamenting the state of building and storefronts on Broadway
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20150210/downtown-lorain-merchants-discuss-broadway-traffic-plans

Kathy Dye of Dye’s Appliance also noted on-street parking issues and lamented the empty storefronts of buildings that owners seemingly refuse to develop or sell.

My objections are this person- Kathy Dye -who is a sitting member of a city backed board- in this case the Design Review Board- used that platform to seek personal vengeance, retribution and vindictiveness using another city department in this case the Building Dept. of the City of Lorain as her weapon.
This usage of government should not be countenanced – today my downspout tomorrow your ???????!

A city department shown to be very slow and untimely in their inspection process ( see previous posts) literally responding to Mrs. Dye within 4 business days, citing a broken down spout in the mid winter in sub freezing temperatures and a garage that needs painting- whilst dozens and dozens of properties have been left in limbo for weeks months years and in some cases decades.

One has to ask the question WHY was that? .

Why would Kathy Dye get more attention than elected officials?
Does it come down to “spilling beans” You see one has to wonder just how does this process work for one and not for elected officials and something doesn’t smell right!

Secondly.
What makes Kathy Dye feel comfortable in putting her threats , as I perceive them to be, under the Design Review Board notation , in my opinion, bordering on blackmail in order to get her way?

Why would she feel comfortable doing that – has it been done before ? Is this how Lorain government works and worked?

Mrs. Dye, in my opinion, has in her position as sitting member of the Design Review Board to use that position to “punish” and the City of Lorain and especially the Lorain Building Dept has enabled that behavior.

Thirdly:Mrs. Dye has also used that position, once again in my considered opinion, to coerce, threaten and intimidate elected officials. Is this “allowed”- is this the way of city business?
Because it sure looks like it from my keyboard.

Fourth: Will this just go the way of so many things- yesterday’s news- is there no accountability for this behavior ?

And they wonder why trust in government and politicians is at an all time low in this community- same old same old?????

I did ask the City of Lorain various questions NONE of Which have been answered to date:

1.What is the general time citywide between a complaints made to the Building Dept. and the requested inspection taking place?

2. What is the average time line for the process?

3. Were any other properties inspected during the time 1127 W 4th Street and outbuildings such as garages, roofs, gutters etc. on the day 1227 W. 4th Street was inspected?

4. Were any other citations given during that time period the inspector was inspecting 1127, W 4th Street?

THE END ??????

February 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm 2 comments

Dye- abolical – goose /gander Inspection Process Pt. 4 – Lorain

marshalled 2
I have covered three of the three examples of the process of Inspections, the Building Dept. and the process so far. These complaints have been filed and commented upon by serving “elected officials” not Joe Blow citizen but people whose job of work is to make their city and ward a better place.
fail 1965 E 28th Street- Mayor Krasienko -2008-2012 documented from 2008 –
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/dye-abolical-goose-and-the-gander-inspection-process-lorain/
current state

 1965 28th Street January  2015

1965 28th Street January 2015

fail3620 Clifton Ave – Councilman Eddie Edwards documented since 2012 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/dye-abolical-goose-gander-inspection-process-pt-2-lorain/
current state
3620 Clifton res
fail 113 Hamilton Ave- Councilman Dennis Flores
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/dye-abolical-goose-gander-inspection-process-pt-3-lorain/
King rea

lucente%200046(1)
JULY-2014 found Council Person R. Lucente asking:

Jul 16, 2014
How did all the Houses and Buildings get in such poor condition? As I said
when the Point of sale issue came before Council, We did not need more tools
in our toolbox, We just needed to use the tools we already had in the box.

You might be interested to know Mr. Lucente, although I support Point of Sale – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-nuisance-and-point-of-sale-ordinance-lorain/
these same thoughts were stated at a meeting of a start up of a “block watch” in 2005 ( 10 years ago) by Lorain County Prosecutors Office George Koury and previous Safety Service Director 1996-1999koury – when asked about what laws could be passed because of the state of the buildings and homes in the 2nd Ward – He said:

There are ordinances already on the books – they just have to be enforced.


Note that was in the cafeteria room of the Old St. Joe’s Hospital and we know what is happening there today don’t we?
http://www.cleveland.com/avon-lake/index.ssf/2015/01/veterans_clinic_moving_from_cu.html

Ironically, at that meeting was Joe Smith who is also running for the position of 2nd Ward Councilman – Joeheadshot
Ward Two is and has been the dumping ground, by banks, RSO’s – poor and substandard rentals and abandoned building as well a ghost town of commerce along Broadway. wews5

It is a big job and so goes the 2nd ward so eventually goes the city!

Well, Councilman Lucente, this might give you an answer as this seems to be indicative of the tools in the box

source Amazon dot com

source Amazon dot com


As mentioned in part three, Mr. Flores, often ,in his emails expressed frustration and concerns as to the timely manner of response by the Building Dept. to his notifications:
One such property 1761 HAMILTON AVE.
On January 25th 2013 _ two years ago Mr. Flores wrote in an email:

“It seems to me that a lot of the work I report falls on deaf-ears…
I’m requesting that a letter be sent notifying the property owner of this nuisance, vacant building.”
Parcel Number: 02-01-006-134-008
Owner Name &
Address: MIHALICK DAVID R & JENNIFER L
6106 GLADYS AVE ELYRIA, OH 44035
Taxes owed : $4,617.23

1761 HAMILTON JANUARY 2013
front
rear


Since this blog did its own inspection this week February 9th 2015 - not much has changed, as you see , at the front- the shrubbery has grown in front of the windows and the rear of the property ????? – well more than a “don spout” needed here
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/
JANUARY 2015- Click on jpg to enlarge
front 1761 Hamilton

rear 1761 Hamilton
Not much in the way of timely intervention then BUT- The Building Dept. did inspect this property- Email: dated FRIDAY THE 13TH -2015 from the Building Dept to Mr. Flores .

ONE YEAR AGO-2014
1/24/2014 Requested for rental inspection.
11 MONTHS AGO
3/8/2014 Home is in foreclosure, not rental.

5/20/2014 Cited for high grass.
7/28/2014 Cited for high grass. (NOTE: high grass???? that is it??? will wonders ever cease!!!!)
I saw a note that it was cited on 3/9/2012 and it was sent to court on 3/20/2013. “NOTE” and what if any was the outcome of that ?????

Two years ago sent to court, and here we are TWO YEARS later – timely indeed- another time- another year passes fail
Is it any wonder why during a council meeting November 2013 discussing the housing in Lorain,Council at Large Dan Given stated:
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20131115/lorain-housing-study-draws-praise-but-citizens-frustrated
Given

I’m still going to spin this thing back; the way we’re doing it now is broken,” Given said. “Issuing citations to property owners now, we might as well be writing them on toilet paper.”

construction TP

And yet 4 working days after the complaint by Kathy Dye the Building Dept was on the job ??? Might want to save some of that toilet paper as “it” hits the fan!!!!!

Once again to be continued……….

February 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm 2 comments

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