Money Where Your Mouth is – Part 4

tree beforetreeres

The Tree Phase One of the Plan

Part One

Part Two
Part Three

It took a few weeks, after we were notified, we had been successful in our bid to purchase the lot at 1125 aka ( Highway 1125) for the property to transfer .

The first thing we did was to ask for bids to remove the gigantic tree close to our house. We had stated in our “plan” to the city this would be done. The tree almost 90 feet tall was failing, it was less than 10 feet away from our house and if it had fallen it certainly would’ve taken out at least two homes. Estimates came in from nearly $5,000 to the lowest at $2,500. We went with a local company Tree Pro.

tree collage

Since other trees in and around our original property had to be taken down in recent years due to decay and literally falling over, based on the holes left behind by their removal, I knew

the loss of this gentle, yet worrying, giant was also going to be missed. I knew we would no longer get the benefit of shade on our balcony and mum’s flowers would have to be changed out and air-conditioning would be cranked up come summer, the tree provided so much shade to our lot and home. I love trees, always have done, it breaks my heart to lose them.

What I hadn’t realized , this tree with its huge trunk and outstretched branches, some of which could be trees themselves, blocked from my view, through the den window, from all manner of issues in the neighborhood. How secure and serene my view whilst the maple had stood guard. The lifestyles of others hidden from me. I was lost in a world of bark, butterflies , leafy limbs, squirrels , birds and living things – my non human neighboring so much more pleasant than reality!

“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” D H Lawrence

All of a sudden – windows were opened to more than just sunlight and heat. Stark reality invaded my home, no longer could I sit at the desk in the den -protected from view and protected views- as fingers pounded the computer keyboard on a daily basis . The goldfish bowl of life opened me up to view, it was and is intrusive to my little world . The bamboo blinds helped but still there was a nakedness to the views which I hadn’t experienced in the 40 years of living here all because of the absence of the tree.

I knew the tree was a hazard, I knew it was dying slowly, I knew it had to go but I didn’t know how much that tree had added to my happiness and how desolate the outlook when it was gone. It softened and protected .

Tree and root

Tree and root

The wood hauled away the stump ground down leaving the “ashes” of what was once there.

But even in its death throes still it made its presence known, gigantic roots extending throughout the lot next door, reaching for the water source we knew was to be found beneath. The trunk and upper branches lost to the chipper and lumber yards but the roots would not give up so easily . The clearing of the lot and new landscaping would be compromised. My only hope to replicate the privacy , beauty and well-being that had been taken away by the chainsaw would be in some ” creative” plantings”. The tree was so large it will take many, many months if not years to retrieve the ambiance and peace of mind the old maple afforded us ……..

To be continued…………….

October 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm 1 comment

Oct. lock up your black cats and cemeteries

Sue Lombardi witch
October the month of ghosts, witches, goblins and ghouls . The fun time for most, a religious celebrations for some Samhain

The interest in ghostly happenings is at an all time high. Witches and superstitions, black cats with arched backs are everywhere

The problem is black cats can be at risk at Halloween or at least a spike in cruelty has been known to happen

And now thanks to the Ghost Hunters extraordinaire television shows etc. we have a plethora of “ghost tours” all around the world, the darkness becomes a “beacon” for those with cameras and phones hoping to catch a glimpse of the world beyond the veil ( the unknown state of being after death)
There are tours of houses, buildings, cemeteries you name it, participants expectant of meeting someone or something and capturing a glimpse of the unknown. There are thousands of them.

Recently Charleston Village Society was contacted re yet another Ghost Tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery. The cemetery is on city property but as readers know we have been the historical and figurative “keepers” of the cemetery. We declined to enable this event.
There are many reasons NOT to have one of these tours but mainly the headstones are in a very delicate state some are flat on the ground a misstep and another damaged headstone, the cost of replicating these headstones is around $700 to $800 dollars each. Money we don’t have. The ground is very uneven.

Who is responsible for damage done , who pays should someone fall in the dark , does the group have insurance? This cemetery is in the middle of a residential area do the neighbors want 30 or forty people under their windows all October late at night ? The concerns and lack of respect to those whose bones rest there does not sit well .
So unless someone wants a guided “historical” tour during daylight hours we are not in favor of “ghost hunters” traipsing over the graves of Lorain’s pioneers and founding families.

This little cemetery on 6th has suffered lack of respect through the centuries , Charleston Village Society is not keen on enabling any more disrespect.

There was yet another “ghostly tour” last week – and we strongly objected before that tour took place and afterwards. The upshot is the cemetery will now be signed “closed at dusk” along with the no pooping dogs.

The tour company said we would donate! No this isn’t about money – hard to believe since we are desperately needing donations to keep the cemetery stable- it is about respect. Respect that is long overdue to those who lay beneath the green trees.

So by all means grab your cameras , follow the guides to beyond the veil somewhere else – UNLESS you want a tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery and the stories of how a group of people loved, lived, sailed the inland seas, their contributions to this city and this land , then we would be most happy to oblige ( before dusk)

October 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm 4 comments

Money Where Your Mouth Is- Part 3.

4th street

Part One

Part Two

And then ,as I sat one day on the balcony trying to enjoy a summer morning, the vehicles were once again using the lot as their personal cut through, construction vehicles parked, dump truck full of debris, the noise and even more vehicles finding a place to park, peace shattered. I realized I did not want to spend my last remaining days looking at this situation? Since the city has very little accountability for those that do what ever they want – we had decided we at least needed some control over what was happening to “Highway 1125” . We started the paperwork……….

I could just imagine our life with vehicles and construction equipment parked under my windows – the continued “cut through” from the alley to 4th with other visitors too lazy to go to the alley entrance way. The situation would be untenable . The decision was made to try to purchase the lot next door as another vehicle used the lot as a cut through to 4th from the alley.
The City of Lorain can’t enforce any damned one of their ordinances IF the people cited just continue to break them. I don’t know why we bother with anything but new build inspections!!!!!!

The Broadway Building a case in point. 11 years of inspections on a building that sits and rots covered in tacky netting , a community angered by the deteriorating state of the place and the fine just $2,172 in 11 years just over 50 cents a day by my math. Not enough revenue to buy an inspector a cup of morning coffee!!!!!

According to Lorain Municipal Court records, Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd. has since paid the housing court fines totaling $2,172 for its building violations.

The lawn mowers on Jaeger still there and can be seen from space . Fines paid and the process starts all over again!!!!!!!

as seen from space

as seen from space

The tax payers KNOW piddly little ordinances such as vehicles on lawns, eyesores galore, a derelict house that takes 40 years before it is finally demolished are ignored through lack of accountability!

Lorain and her enforcement is a joke and the people laughing are the ones that pay the fines as a cost of doing business. It is the law- abiding that follow the rules or try to at least.

cityhall castle
“when all is said and done , there is always more SAID THAN DONE!!!”

It was obvious if we didn’t want to put up with the nuisance factor on 1125 we were going to have to have control over what would happen with that land.

The first item to start the process was the application :

On July 13th 2015 the City of Lorain land reutilization policy parcels of city-owned land offered vacant lots for sale .In the program, potential purchasers would apply to the city’s Department of Building, Housing Planning indicating which lots they want to buy and how they would redevelop the property.

The city will not sell land to anyone delinquent in real estate taxes or city income taxes, or anyone violating city zoning, building, health or property maintenance codes of Lorain. Buyers also may not be delinquent in on city utility bills and must not be in arrears on any payments owed to the city.

The Application PDF found here vacant_parcel_purchase_application_and_instructions

There were of course time lines and rules to follow- applications starting October 1st 2015 and then through the 1st to the 15 of the month. Applications were time stamped , fees to be met.
dye a tribed
And here is where thanks to the “Inspection of our property” by the Dye Tribe. Our donspout disconnect
and having to paint my garage by a certain date didn’t have the outcome Dye Inspections were looking for. The red door on the garage chosen to match the ever-present dump truck – a design by Lorain ….

Dye and her family did us a HUGE service. You see because of her “timely ” complaints this family had a lovely official abatement of letter from the Chief Building Inspector Klinar to add to our application package showing we were in fact in compliance with the codes . Thanks Mrs. Dye😉

That letter we included with our application along photos of nuisances associated with the property, the history of the lot from 1834 and the plan for bringing back 1125 fitting to the historic ambiance of this oldest neighborhood.

As soon as the 5th floor opened on that October 1st 2015 – our application containing all relevant paperwork was submitted and time stamped. There were only two other people in the waiting area and they were there for different parcels.

After a few weeks we were sent the letter our application had been accepted and so began the revitalization of “Highway 1125” to be continued …..

October 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm 1 comment

2006 – Lorain was dreaming lights on Broadway then and now



There has been much toing and froing ( even on this blog ) with the Broadway Building and a successful downtown.

I sat at Lorain City Council chambers last evening for the latest discussions as to what was going to happen at 642 Broadway ( United Way)
and the Broadway Building-

I have aged since Spitzer mothballed the Broadway Building 11 years ago BUT sitting there last night I lost 10 years because I was back in 2006. So here is a reprise of a post I wrote back then on the old WoM Blog when I said then Show me the Money….
Apologies the newspaper links from 2006 have disappeared from the web but at the time they were available – not written in stone apparently but they were there when the article was originally written

WoM Logo  by  Scott Baklar

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

Back in 2006……..
Loraine Ritchey: Vision to do = needs dosh
or Show Me the Money!

(** note concept drawings courtesy of City of Lorain)
Noun: dosh dósh [Brit] Informal term for money – boodle, bread, cabbage [US], clams [US], dinero [N. Amer], dough, gelt, kale [US], lettuce [US], lolly [Brit], lucre, loot, moolah [N. Amer], pelf, scratch, shekels, simoleons [US], sugar, wampum [N. Amer], moola [N. Amer]
We all have visions of what we would like to see happen in this city by the shore. We have a lakefront begging to be cherished by people with vision, expertise and cash to make it happen. The recent announcement of the Maritime Museum moving to the old Pellet site was a welcome vision.
but like everything in life the concept needs the cash needs to make it a reality.


BACK TO 2006
The Baseball stadium and field of dreams is also a vision of some of the community

It has taken by the last count $240,000 to reach the stage where CSU baseball will come and play for a couple or three seasons, once the field is prepared to certain specification, which of course will take more “dosh”. It is hoped by the proponents of the stadium/ field that the ripple effect of having a college team play in Lorain will eventually lead to bigger things – possibly a stadium – professional baseball. Dreams, assumptions , wonderful visions – we have had them all throughout the years.

NOTE 2016 from Ballpark Reviews
One has to wonder in 2016 how much this costs us to support in the last 10 years

pipeyardres The photos in the screen shot from Ball Park reviews were taken in 2007

Streets and Sidewalks Committee Meeting October 23rd,2006

GIVEN: We have not even advertised yet. We are hoping and basing our future on wishes assuming that will take place. We have had fifty years of assumptions that have not paid off in this town. We need to be very cautious otherwise we are mortgaging the residents’ future on a dream. It is one thing to look at things and make educated guesses but it is another to dream…

Then we also have the Heritage Trolley planned to loop around our downtown district

photo Heritage

“In order to implement the restoration of the streetcar system in Lorain, OH a Community Improvement Corporation (501-c3) has been formed. This Lorain Street Railway Inc. will be made up of members from the Lorain Port Authority, City of Lorain, Mainstreet Lorain, Chamber of Commerce, Lorain County Metroparks, Developers, Civic Leaders and other persons knowledgeable in the field. The wide range of membership is an indication of the community support behind this project.”

2016 – call it a Street car in Desire only – never happened …….

The Lorain Palace, the grand old lady of Lorain holds a special place in this community – saved from destruction by the vision of the “ladies who lunched”. The latest plans to annex her to the Eagles building with all the performance areas, classrooms for the arts, entertaining in conjunction with the Palace that could entail is definitely a vision close to my heart. The vision is there but very little money.

2016 We are still talking happy talk……


Friday October 13th 2006 (the timing of that announcement didn’t bode well for those of us who are superstitious) found us reading the article “Lorain looks for bright future on the lakefront” Kate Giammarise (Morning Journal)

“Altogether, it’s about two to two and a half miles of waterfront property, amounting to about 100 acres, said Don Romancak, a planner in the city’s Community Development Department. The city and Port Authority say they are partnering to have more land to offer developers”

The Pellet site was home of the “ore piles” and the coal docks – someone else’s “vision” of waterfront development.

”It’s wide open,” Foltin said, adding the development could include condominiums or other housing, retail, recreation, hotels, a conference center, a baseball stadium — or even casino gaming. ”(Having casinos in Lorain) still is near and dear to my heart,” Foltin said. ”Don’t think that door is closed”

2016 NOTE: I should have taken that bet ! because that door hit us in the wallet on his way out of town

The City of Lorain is proposing marketing and requesting RFP’s ( Requests for Proposals) from developers, some locally already have the information (see Agenda packet October 16th – Lorain City Council). Other options such as advertising our acreage nationwide and beyond are on going.
For some the coming together of a vibrant, bustling community can’t come soon enough Chronicle Telegram, October 25th-2006 by Joe Medici

LORAIN — With a Woolworth’s, a J.C. Penney’s, restaurants, movie theaters and dozens of small shops lining Broadway, Lorain’s downtown was once the jewel of the city.

Today, business owners on the city’s main corridor are just looking for ways to keep their doors open
2016 Well at least that still holds true
The people of Lorain may not agree on whose vision is the correct one but there isn’t a single solitary soul in this community that doesn’t want to see “Lorain Alive and Well” with people, housing, entertainment, jobs. That is the “vision” upon which we all agree.
Now we just have to get someone with the creativity, expertise and the financial backing to take our visions, show what is ”do-able with the dosh available” and make them reality. “Oh Say can you SEE??????”

2016 and there we sit 10 years later still polishing our rose coloured glasses and dreamin’ ………..

retownres Source

October 11, 2016 at 4:37 pm 1 comment

Oct. 3rd – the episode – Chris Ritchey

So many October 3rds have come and gone in real time but not in my time . The anniversary of those last photos of you with your family before heading back to MD Anderson and Texas for the trial of SGN 35 to save your life. The head and shoulders shot taken that day – apparently used at the funeral home.

Friday , your dad, was undergoing a procedure. I was once again in a hospital- and I so hate hospitals – I gear myself to go – I put on an armor of self-protection- walk through the pitfalls of triggers – knowing where they are in those places.

I prepared myself as I drove to the appointment for the laughter of those individuals working in these places as they go about their working day, white coats and scrubs , the sound of rubber soles squeaking on polished tiles, the smells, the sights of those who lay in various positions hooked up to life sustaining fluids that drip silently into their veins, the alarms going off when they don’t , those sitting in wheelchairs and those who wait in chairs that provide no comfort, the sound of curtains being drawn around a patients bed, the calls for doctors and needs over the speakers, technicians scurrying with vials of blood in handy little carrying cases,

All routine every day happenings in any hospital but for me a minefield. I have managed in this recent bout of illness and emergency rooms with your dad. I have walked myself through each day each diagnosis, each “episode” ( meaning) “a finite period in which someone is affected by a specified illness”. A throw away word which has much more meaning to some than others.

“Oh he had an episode” during the night……………..

I took a book with me to try to read , that didn’t work , I read the words but did not comprehend , my brain too busy trying to control, block and filter out unwanted sights, sounds and thoughts. I sat and waited.

The procedure was taking longer than they had said. My mind started racing and my blocking mechanism to such thoughts kicked in to hold down the doubts and thoughts which started to form.


A rushing of movement, a curtain being pulled once more across the entrance to the lab corridor, people flying past yet at the same time controlled, disturbing the air where I sat, carts arriving , staff with an intense look to their faces heeding the call. Then nothing just quiet efficiency from those that remained, no more laughter a deadly seriousness entered the area like a spectre waiting to gather in all hope.

I watched the curtain across the corridor, willing it to open , waiting for your dad to reappear from the place behind – nothing and then another “Code Blue Cath Lab” call— more people going through and behind the curtain.

Chris Ritchey  BFA- CIA

Chris Ritchey BFA- CIA

A nurse walked by and looked at me –

are you alright-


came the answer forced from my throat. She wasn’t to know I was no longer in St. John’s Westshore but in a waiting room all alone on a Thanksgiving Day at the Cleveland Clinic and another CODE BLUE continually ringing through the hall the Code Blue being called to your bedside.

White Coat of Death by  Chris Ritchey

White Coat of Death by Chris Ritchey

The armor crumbled, the blocking wall fell slow motion like into so much dust, intentions to stay in the present ripped away – leaving the raw and exposed wound of a scar of grief that never fully heals. I was undone and collapsed like the wall once again in two worlds…………

Although not involved with our case, the nurse checked and it wasn’t your dad. Some other loved one was sending shock waves of terror to their family .

The nurse came back held my hand – “I couldn’t help but notice your eyes – they were so full of fear…..”

I didn’t explain that the woman she had helped and was talking to was just a mere shell – the rest of her was elsewhere still trying to breathe………..

Depths of Despair by  Chris Ritchey

Depths of Despair by Chris Ritchey

October 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm 5 comments

A Maritime History – Lorain was not all steel-The Captains

I am a transplant from a sea faring nation. I always wondered why Lorain did not hold her “inland seas” connection dearer to their historical hearts.

Today’s Morning Journal http://www. morning covered the talk given by one of Charleston Village Society’s Co Chairs- Renee Dore

wilford collage

“One of the captains Dore shared information about was Capt. Thomas Wilford. She referred to him as the “steamboat master” and explained how he saved his family from a ship wreck on Lake Superior.
Dore said she learned about Wilford 10 years ago, and is in part how she became interested in the history of the Black River and those who helped establish Lorain, formerly known as Charleston Village.

As I read Rene’s remarks I remembered the night she introduced us to Captain Wilford
and his connection, how this led to a continuing journey through the seas of Lorain’s maritime history and her lights along the shore …

Words: Henry Burton, 1877.

lights-upon-the-shoreI have reprised the article from February 2008

in the pink
that woman by Loraine Ritchey
He has become “my” captain,from the moment Renee Dore came through my front door with his story, this man of the inland sea captivated my imagination and part of my heart.

It all started in frustration and anger -this romance. Charleston Village Executive Board were holding a meeting in my home- we were under threat of blight and had been told that the little park that had been a public green space for two centuries was to make way for “condos”. We were meeting to plan a course of action . What could we do , this small band of neighbors, to show the worthiness of Lorain’s history and this oldest neighborhood, from which Lorain eventually grew, to those that only saw limited revenue for the short term?
the park

As we sat there, Renee mentioned that she had received some papers from a contact at Bowling Green University. Renee, who loves this old neighborhood, played as a child on her streets, and has given back to her three fold, including building a “new” home – Renee's home

hoping to restart a community, had gone in search of a man- a ship’s captain. Her captain may have lived in the house where she lived as a “wee bairn” and in her search through the archives of the Black River Historical Society and the Lorain Public Library, in order to document the stories and the worth of Portside – before it went to the wrecking ball-
Portside sketch click to enlarge
had come across a story of a ship’s captain who had saved his wife, children and crew from a shipwreck.

I remember Renee coming in that evening, full of excitement, even though the meeting was going to be “dour”, as we started reading the old news paper accounts; I came to the overwhelming realization ,that inspite of what we were facing ,I had to chronicle this man’s tale. It is a tale of love, bravery, adventure and humanity, one that my grandfather would’ve described as a “cracking good yarn” .

I persuaded Renee to leave me the documents and started to piece the tale together, my theatrical background switched into overdrive, in my mind I saw the play , the movie that could be made from this…. my creative instincts saw so many possibilities.Charle's Aunt
I kept studying the old black and white photo copy of the man in question, Captain Wilford
I was experiencing deja vu – I know this face, his eyes -why? I am not even from here originally; he was originally from England , but nowhere near where I had lived. Why was this face amongst the old newsprint so familiar? I asked my mother who came over the next day as I was typing “Her Book

“Mum look at this picture what do you think?”

He certainly reminds me of someone but who? – well lets get on with “my memories” mumsince you have nagged me to do this for decades”

and the Captain stayed on the desk.
The days went by and the Captain’s face haunted me, as I typed my mum’s memories of her childhood and young life. I would take a break and look at the photo on top of the printer

“you know me- you know – you know me “

it seemed to accuse but I just couldn’t make the connection.
I eventually got lost in the problems facing Lorain, the root cause
when a phone call took me back to The Captain. It was my very good friend, fellow actor Dave Cotton. Dave and I have gone through the good times and the bad, we laugh and moan together. It was one of those dreary days –

“tell me something good”

he said
Dave, I have just been putting together a story about a sea captain , it would make a great play even a better movie- the visual , the romance , the tragedy, the bravery I just can’t get this guy out of my mind.
Dave hadn’t heard of such a significantly adventurous tale from Lorain’s past and he and his family had lived in the area for generations.
I then went rabbitting on about this Captain Wilford,

That’s funny

said Dave

my great grandmother’s name was Wilford

THE FACE – of course that face -it was David- the moustache , the hair was a little different but the eyes – it WAS DAVID!!!!!

Dave IT IS YOU!!!

David who has known my penchant for the dramatic, laughed and said

” I have never heard of this guy in our family stories or documents” Dave.this is just too coincidental ! You have to look and see

after a couple of days research it was confirmed the heretofore unknown Captain Thomas Wilford was Dave’s great,great uncle.
Dave had passed his home on his way to meetings at the Black River Historical Society , never knowing that he had a connection. Wilford Bartenfeld home
From there the tale continued to grow, in order to raise funds for the Charleston Village Cemetery, Dave, his theatrical talent blessing us, started telling the tale of the shipwreck, and in order to make sure his facts were correct embarked on a journey of his own discovery .
Dave as Captain Wilford

Not only was a remarkable piece of Lorain’s history found, more was uncovered , his wife-Fanny who had had his arms protectvely wrapped around her as the large Canadian ship came out of the fog to slice into their schooner) her own connection to the Civil War
Fanny  Gilmore
, her family and Lakeview Park , General  Gilmorethe worth of a rental, Wilford house
the people who laid this towns foundations, once again living and breathing as we celebrated the two hundred years .
The fact that the State of Michigan deems the story of the shipwreck and the preservation of the wreck as important to the history of the Inland Seas and the archiver of the Titanic- Ken Marschall has also archived the Osborne but Lorain knew not the worth of her people to the maritime history………
Note to access the photos of the Osborne as she rests at the bottom of Lake Superior – near White Fish Point click here and scroll down
to be continued……….proposed maritime museum

September 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm 2 comments

Study + Plan = money = blah blah = Lorain= ?


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 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.

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

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

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.

idearesSo after so many plans, way forward , comprehensive studies used for tools in the box and many, many thousands of dollars later

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

FROM 1991…..
federal bucks

“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 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……..

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

September 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm 4 comments

Older Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 177 other followers

October 2016
« Sep