Archive for June, 2008

Safety FIRST- Lorain’s Safety Forces- A Paula’s Perspective

ED NOTE: From time to time Paula will be writing about our “front line” of Lorain- Lorain’s Safety Forces – The Lorain Police Dept and Lorain Fire Dept. We are starting this week with the Lorain Police Dept.

By Paula Tobias

Police Presence

Word of Praise to Lorain’s Police Department for the work done at this weekend’s International Festival. I was impressed with their presence the two times I was there. I noticed when I returned Sunday afternoon that there was an officer at the admission table and a sign was up that individuals under the age of 18 must be escorted by an Adult. I wondered why the change and then found out they made three arrests:
1 for Obstructing Official Business

2 for assault and a purse theft Sunday.

They also “Removed” young adults and juveniles before issues could escalate. We aren’t the only community facing concerns with the increase in crime. I had read Cleveland had 400 officers (local and Highway Patrol) helping them with sweeps during one weekend.
I’d heard that things were pretty busy Saturday night/Sunday morning for LPD.

I have been very excited about the news of Grants that have been given to the Department.

“The Lorain Police Department is being awarded $500,000 in federal money to pay for equipment such as cameras in cruisers.
Police Chief Cel Rivera said the department applied for the grant. The funds, which are coming from the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for 2009, will be used to purchase new weapons, holsters and cruiser cameras.
”With the city’s financial situation, we can’t get the tools we need to do our jobs,” Rivera said, adding the department has obtained more than $1 million in grants this year. ”We’ve been pretty successful with grants.”

Please note the date is 2009.

They have also been able to use Grant monies to focus on “Hot Spots” in the city and beef up patrols.

Another instrument in the battle is the use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) that have just been acquired. Community Resource Officer (CRO) Les Palmer has been trained and will be training other officers. The ATVs and their equipment were paid for with police levy money. At a recent Council Meeting the “activity” in the woods near Ridgewood Cemetery was discussed and to address the problem the new ATVs would certainly help.

Last year I was privileged to experience a Drive Along with (CRO) Palmer. It was an eye opener. The lack of respect and disregard by the youth of Lorain was appalling. Example: Driving through one neighborhood an 8-10 year old male with friends yells at us, “Mr. PoPo get the F*** out of my neighborhood”. Young ladies walking a baby in the street were politely asked to move to the sidewalk, but gave the officer a look that would kill, while mumbling under their breath. So if that’s the way the Youth of Lorain treats our Safety Officers, where would that attitude possibly begin?

June 30, 2008 at 11:42 pm 2 comments

Happy Anniversary – Henery

June 30, 2008 at 12:17 pm 1 comment

Metro Parks/TruNorth looking for another Shakespeare

The Lorain County Metro Parks and TrueNorth Cultural Arts are looking for Playwrights.
Part of our vision is to encourage and empower playwrights, giving one the opportunity to professionally create and experience their art right here in Lorain County!

This past year we commissioned local playwright and actress Kimberly Ceja in writing Blooms of Steel, the Making of an International City. Director Jaqui Loewy worked with 11 adults and 12 youth bringing the show to life … receiving great community support through our 9 performances. Over 1500 people attended.
We vision more original productions, giving playwrights, directors, and actors / actresses the opportunities of originating scripts, shows and characters.

Another part of our vision is to unite art, nature and history. Each proposed play connects to at least one. Please contact Rick Fortney, Executive Director of TrueNorth Cultural Arts, at, or by calling 440.724.7189 for further information.

There will be an Open House on Monday, July 7th, 7:00 p.m. Please contact Rick if you plan on attending. This will be a time to visit our theatre, meet some of our staff, and brainstorm on concepts. You do not have to attend this meeting in-order to submit a proposal. This is only for those who have the time, feel it would assist them in the process, and would like to attend.

Proposals are due no later than Friday, July 18th. Proposal should include resume, references and a 2-page write-up on how you would connect with any one of the topics.

We plan on contracting 2-3 plays a year for the next 3 years, until all 8 plays are written. We plan on premiering one new show a year, each spring, creating a repertoire of original productions, which will be featured with additional repertoire each theatrical season.


This Wellington artist hangs his success and notoriety on one incredible painting – the Spirit of 76. In this detailed piece, he depicts the Colony’s independent spirit in the form of walking wounded of two drummers and a fife player. It is interesting to know that there are many originals of this piece as Willard painted this famous and popular scene repeatedly.

Although this is a Revolutionary War piece, it could take place in a narrative form of ‘backflash’: it needs connection to the present!


Dance Halls were the social hub of many communities along the lake shore. Avon Isle, Beach Park, Crystal Beach, and others provided not only great live music and a place to try out the latest dances, but also the perfect environment for young men and women to meet…and if the hands of fate were well aligned, to fall in love.

This script needs to capture the sounds, dances, and feelings of this great time in our history. It must contain period music, dances, and clothing. Romance, comedy, and memories must come out of this script.


Easter Seals is a great, and purposeful, American tradition. Few know, however, that this wonderful non-profit started in Elyria Ohio’s Gates Hospital for Crippled Children.

This script needs to tell the story of the reasons, struggles, and ultimate success that is the Today’s Easter Seals Society.


In the 1920s, Dr. Francis H. Herrick puttered his car from Cleveland, OH, to the wilderness of Brownhelm Township in search of nesting bald eagles. While he found many nesting eagles, it was one nest in particular that caught his imagination, and through his writings and lectures, that of the American public. This special nest was deemed ‘The Great Nest’ and it was bigger, and heavier, than Herrick’s car! It was also 80+ feet up in a tree and seeing into this immense nest created several obstacles, and an equal amount of ingenuity.

This script needs to capture the pioneer spirit of Herrick and how he overcame the incredible challenges of researching wildlife in their natural habitat. Certainly, one of the largest challenges had to have been the threat that Herrick posed to the well-entrenched beliefs of Americans, especially the ‘locals’, in regards to wildlife and tree-climbing scientists.


The electric street car line – the Interurban – allowed connection between people and places in a way, at a speed, never before experienced. The steps along the track varied from large cities and suburbs, to quaint country stations, to grand amusements along the Lake Erie Shoreline. But as fast as the Interurban was, its life span was even faster, and by the end of the 1930s it was gone.

This script must tell some of the overall, and local, history of the Interurban. It should be filled with stories of people, places, and connections.


The colors, texture, and ease of quarrying made the sandstone deposits in Amherst (and South Amherst) quite profitable. Despite this, working in the quarries must have been exhausting, dangerous, and not well paying. Through the years, the techniques and equipment for removing the stone must have changed considerably. Shipping the large blocks changed as well – from the ‘Pony Trail’ days to modern tractor-trailers. As the ability to remove the stone became easier, and shipping became more international, so did the list of famous clients (including Bill Gates).
This script needs to tell local stories – either as a family history, or as a community collage. Whether ending in success or failure, the final product must put a proud spin on this piece of Lorain County history.

The shipyards of Lorain built and launched an incredible number, and variety, of ships. A few of these ships carried the American flag into battle, but most carried goods and raw materials – including iron ore to Lorain’s own steel mill. The rise and fall of the shipyards mirrors the success of the city of Lorain. When the shipyards left, so did a large part of a thriving community. On the side, so did a young and hungry corporate leader. He went onto New York City where he became a shipping giant…and, of course, the owner of the New York Yankees.

This script must capture the rise and fall of Lorain’s shipbuilding history. It should connect with the community with references and a collage of real stories. While George Steinbrenner can be a part of the story, he doesn’t have to be.


It was a song, and not a map, that lead the slaves northward. Still, this song’s catchy melody contrasted greatly with the incomprehensible dangers that faced the slaves on their way north. “Who could be trusted?” was a constant concern along the line of the Underground Railroad. With great care, luck, and determination, the loose link of hiding places could bring the former slaves up to northern Ohio. As they came into communities like Lorain County they faced their last few choices before they reached their fate – that being true freedom, or revengeful capture. Lorain County Metro Parks’ Burrell Homestead is a well documented Underground Railroad stop.

This script must be true to the hardships and dangers of the Underground Railroad, and it must be accurate to the beliefs of the time.

June 30, 2008 at 11:44 am 6 comments


Buster’s Mom has some thoughts on “Presenting Lorain” found here

June 29, 2008 at 12:42 pm 1 comment

Fare thee well – Darlene

I am truly sad today, I have just read of the passing of Darlene Brown. photo Morning Journal
Darlene Brown’s life story ends at age 73
By The Morning Journal Staff

When I first came to Lorain I was introduced to Darlene by Lou Keppler and Jean Schaeffer and through the years Darlene was so helpful in publicizing the stories of the neighborhood.

Darlene took front and center stage at the the Black River Bicentennial last August.

She was very proud of the fact that her great uncle Milton Poet a runaway slave was an integral part of the success of the settlement that was Lorain

Then this week a conversation with Darlene Brown (longtime columnist for the Morning Journal) came the fascinating story of her Great Uncle – Milton C. Poet who died February 9th, 1918: Lorain Times Herald (front page)

Milton Carey Poet, 76 one of Lorain’s oldest and mostly wide known colored residents died at 3 am. today following an illness of two weeks.He had lived in Lorain for 50 years.

Born a slave at Richmond VA. on August 15, 1842, he fled north at the opening of the Civil War, and as a boy of 19 attached himself as an orderly to Major Boyington, Port Huron Michigan, widely known in Lorain, and served through the entire four years of the war.

At the close of the war he went to Detroit and four years later came to Lorain. At that time Lorain was but a country village without railroads and with a stage coach operating between here and Elyria. Later he cleared the land for the B&O round house and assisted in laying out many of the city’s present streets. For eight years he held the city contract for garbage collection.

He was the owner of four dwelling houses on 7th Street and six acres of land in Black River Township. He is survived by his wife, Celia Poet, two daughters, Ida Phenix, Scranton PA, Lillian Bond Cleveland and two sons, Joseph, Flint, Mich. and Charles, Lorain, eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild also survive. Funeral arrangements will be held at the residence 324, Seventh Street. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. at the Parkside Chapel, Rev Smith of the Second Baptist Church in charge, Burial in Elmwood Cemetery.

Note: Mr. Poet also owned the farmland upon which stands now the “old” Lorain High School until 1870 when a site at 602 Washington Avenue was purchased for $2000 and a four-room, two-story brick building was completed by Contractor Stanley Griffin at a cost of $15,000. This structure was part of what was known, until 1995, as Lorain High School …The History of Lorain High School

Darlene was a gentle and loving soul and we have lost so much in her passing.

June 29, 2008 at 11:13 am 3 comments

84 years ago today! Lorain- Guest Blogger

by Renee Dore

I am sure when the people woke up on June 28, 1924, they had plans for a typical summer day in June- shopping, swimming at Lakeview Park or Glen’s Beach, picnics and family gatherings, organ and choir rehearsals at church for Sunday services, going downtown to the theater to watch a Saturday afternoon show.

Unlike today,they had no weather channel to click on or TV or radio to check the day’s forcast. They just knew it was a perfect, warm summer day just right for summertime activities. Little did these people know what nature had in store for them and their beautiful city.

The sunny day turned to on and off rains for a few hours that fateful day until the skies began to darken to an ominous color and the rains became intense. Many hurried home or sought shelter. Some inside the theaters were oblivious to what was about to happen. Then it came-the horrendous “monster” blew in at 5:14-the monster known as the !924 Lorain Tornado.

As written in the Official Souvenir and Memorial Book,1924:

“In those merciless five minutes the work of a half hundred years was torn to earth; seventy human lives were snuffed out; and twelve hundred persons were injured, some of them nver to recover.”

The people who witnessed the storm, endured the living conditions afterwards , and spent countless hours repairing and rebuilding the city of Lorain were most likely those of the nationalities that are recognized and celebrated this weekend at the International Festival.

There is a Historical Marker across the street near the entrance to the festival site. It is the Historic Marker for the Lorain Tornado. So perhaps today people going to the festival might want to stop and take a look at the Marker and take a moment to remember those who helped to rebuild their lives and this city after that horrendous Saturday in 1924.

The buildings on Broadway and many of the churches that we see everyday were either altered or rebuilt after the tornado- there is one building on Broadway the has “Tornado” on the front facade. There are many online websites to learn more about the tornado by searching “1924 Tornado” and Historic Marker for Lorain Tornado” and there is information at the Moore House at 5th and Reid and at the Lorain Public Library. A video was produced a few years ago about the tornado also.

June 28, 2008 at 1:22 pm 5 comments

Lorain International by Paula Tobias

Paula Tobias
The Evening began with the skies blessing the Festival.

The Captain watched over

We saw a lot of friends

Old and Young were having fun

Entertainment was great

The Paparazzi was there

The LPD watched over

I encourage everyone to attend. It is the best of Lorain.

June 28, 2008 at 1:12 am 5 comments

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