Archive for June 30, 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



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June 2008