Archive for July, 2008

Accounting- Enron or Gov-enron

by Loraine Ritchey

I hated math, still do ! I was in the experimental class for “new math” in Canada. We were so cutting edge we didn’t even have proper textbooks and for 4 years I was taught differently from every other 7 grade class in the province. It was a disaster and I am still feeling the effects- don’t talk to me about fractions and percentages – I am absolutely useless!!!!

However in spite of my lack of mathmatical expertise I can still see when things don’t add up!

Over the years I have asked – through public records – for costs of certain “less than brilliant ideas” such as the Shawnee casino from the city ,

the Pipe Yard expenditures, and now the cost of the CRA from the county to the taxpayers
( note I started with the county expenses first since they started the whole situation “legal eagles” and all in the first place thus leading to the cost to city taxpayers! I will be checking on those costs as well

I have found that in all “records and accounting “ I am not getting the “real bottom line”. It seems that government ,at least in my experience, does not “account fully”.

I have run Charleston Village 501C3 for 17 years and I can tell you how much each project costs to the penny, both in kind, money wise and hours spent.

When I was the Interim Mainstreet Lorain Director ( now Lorain Growth Corp) for the 7 months it was the policy to break down for accounting purposes ALL costs incurred for each project , the monetary costs incurred, the man hours spent by the Director on that project, number of meetings , postage, phone , printing, office use etc. all were charged off to the different projects.

For example if the Director spent 4 hours on the “XYZ” project then his hourly salary would be booked against that project ( after all if he wasn’t doing that particular job of work in his 40 hour week he would be used elsewhere- it is a “cost”.- granted hidden but a “cost” nontheless Any mailings- even though using the bulk mailer- if he sent out 300 mailings that cost also was noted- same with telephone calls, lunches, travel time and costs. In fact you noted everything because in the long run it showed to the penny what project XYZ cost the organization to be involved.

The Shawnee Casino– Yes! I got the amount spent (the items that actually went through to Mr. Mantini ) but not the man hours used up by Community Development , the meetings, the travel expenses using city vehicles, gas, telephone charges long distance, overtime incurred ( or even if there were any charges) – postage- .the “gift echange” at the dog and pony press party …. Yes! as to our planners and city personnel it is part of their job to research and bring in developers but it is also part of their job to be looking at other projects and without these things being billed to each project we don’t get( in my opinion )a “true cost of what the Shawnee fiasco cost us”.

The announcement followed months of closely guarded negotiations orchestrated by a 37-year-old mayor, a man who was a boy when steel was strong and Lorain’s future was as bright as the flames in the mills.
Interviews and city records reveal a courtship between Foltin and the Shawnees spiced with secrecy, political loyalties and fears that the tribe was using Lorain to leverage the location it really coveted: Cleveland.

The Pipe Yard we have been told that it is breaking even and in fact making money – but is this a true accounting???-

The fields are being watered for instance – do we know how much water is flowing though the pipes. I understand that it is a city park and none of the parks apparently pay for water usage etc. and manpower is of course being used – there is an upkeep – is that reflected?.

However shouldn’t we “know” how much water is used at various parks, how much electricity , what the cost is to run the fountain etc at Veterans Park , Oakwood, and the other 54 parks ( 800 acres)? Shouldn’t that be available at a mouseclick? I would speculate that the expenses at Oakwood and the number of man hours to take care of that park would out distance the expenses and man hours at Veterans or how about Lakeview North??

To be successful and transparent ( in this writers humble opinion) you have to know and account for “all of the costs”. You wouldn’t budget your home account for instance and leave out water and electricity, because there is a cost to someone somewhere, whether it is more chemicals to treat the water etc.
To show the taxpayer just how much it takes to run this city hidden costs and all ,to me, would be a good thing!

The County CRA public records request– I did indeed get 62 pages of invoices and information ( which I will go through) at 10 cents a page – they didn’t charge me postage apparently ( although that was to me an expense incurred because of my request) but I guess that doesn’t count….

However I received the following from Mr. Stewart and I must say in record quick time- thank you !

Regarding your request for any and all expenses that Lorain County and taxpayers have incurred during the course of this CRA action” there are no additional public records responsive to your request”

Because the county too- seemingly only keep records of monies paid to Chandra and Co- not the driving to and from meetings ( although Chandra doeshe counts it in his invoices to us -the taxpayer- ( through the real estate account in the County coffers- He counts his hours and what it costs for him and what it cost for his assistant.) but apparently county government doesn’t. So I guess to get a true accounting of what it is costing I should ask Chandra he may have a better idea……
my  chum chandra
As mentioned in my response to the county-

It is my firm belief that the taxpayers of this county should be able to , at a glance , know how much time , monies, man hours are being used on any one given situation / project etc. Otherwise we are NOT getting a true accounting of monies spent

And I would add city government to that as well. You might be surprised how much time and effort and monies are being wasted and how a project may not be as succesful as you think!

July 31, 2008 at 12:03 am 16 comments

Play Balllllllll! It’s a hit – um batter batter um?

Henery has the conversation

July 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

Wednesday Wonders!


Help Support Local Artists! by Liz Tobias

On Saturday, August 2nd from 1 – 8 pm, Arts Colllinwood presents their 6th annual Waterloo Arts Festival. Located in Cleveland on Waterloo Road, the family friendly fest will have something for everyone!

The festival includes local art venders, Waterloo’s 3 art galleries, area shops and organizations. Activities for kids and grown-ups allow you to create your own art. There will be live music, street performers, skateboard demos, and a Rock-and-Roll Flea Market at the Beachland Ballroom. Stop by for some food and stay late for the after parties.

If you happen to visit the Waterloo Arts Festival, keep an eye out for one of Lorain’s artists. I’ve been asked to have my own booth! I will be selling a mish-mosh of arts and crafts, including paintings and amigurumi (crocheted stuffed animals).

Stop by this Saturday from 1-8.
The festival will be between East 156th and East 161st on Waterloo Rd.
To get to the festival, take I 90. Use the 152 St. exit if you’re coming from the west. Use the 156 St. exit if you’re coming from the east. – detailed directions and parking info


On July 27, 2008, Erin Isenberg of Charleston Village was chosen as the Most Valuable Player in the All-Star game for girl’s softball. Erin plays for the Rosewood team, pitching and playing first base. In the All-Star game, Erin hit two doubles, a single and a sacrifice hit; she also had 4 RBIs. She plans to sign up with a softball team for fall ball and to also play basketball, and she’ll be a sixth grader at Irving Elementary School this fall. Her parents are Jeff and Tracy Isenberg; her brother is Doug, a sophomore at Lorain Admiral King. Erin is the granddaughter of Tom and Jere Boyer and Bill and Joan Isenberg – and her proud aunt, Kelly Boyer Sagert, also lives in Charleston Village.


This event will be held with the help of sponsorships from the Lorain Port Authority,the Lorain International, Kuno Creative Group, Nielsen Jewelers and two anonymous sponsors. It will include the “Wine on the Water” and tentative plans for our annual antique show & may include arts & crafts. the event will be held at the Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane, Lorain from 12 to 9pm. Vendors please contact the museum at 440-245-2563. a Covered 12′ X 20′ booth space with concrete floor and electricity is available for $25. Vendors need to provide their own table and chairs. A Farmers Market will be held at the BRL depot from 9am to 2pm.


Lighthouse Tours leave from the Black River Landing dock every half hour during the Taste of History. Hours: Sat. 12:30 to 7:30. Cost – $20. Advance tickets available at the Moore House.


The Lorain County Metro Parks are bringing back this popular festival to be held at the newly renovated Lakeview Park. Contact for more details.


Lighthouse Tours leave from Riverside Dock every half hour. Hours: Sat. 11:00 to 4:00. Cost – $20. Advance tickets available at the Moore House.


Meet Tin Can Tilly at the Olmsted Falls Heritage Days Festival on Friday, August 15 at 1p.m. Alisa Riccardi will portray Trash Talking Tilly who will teach children about Recycling. She will be followed at 2p.m. by Foster Brown singing Nature Songs and Stories. The Festival is at Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Beaded Spirit at 440-427-0094.

Are you looking to book a special theatrical program that’s perfect for your group or organization? Or for an enchanting performance to entertain you and your friends?

EVE has an intriguing repertoire of time proven programs to tickle your fancy. Or, you can inquire about developing a special program to premier for your group. Ask us!

July 30, 2008 at 2:04 am 4 comments

Paula’s Perspective- Council July 28th

ED NOTE: Arrival for the 5:30 meetings- the agenda looked long enough already :

Court renovation presentation- Ct Consultants and the “project”- Red Light cameras ( you know that is going to be controversial) – Eagles Building presentation- and Wind Turbines- being the “highlights”- This was a lot of information to digest. My eyes glazed over and mind turned off half way through the “red light cameras presentation” – the chap did go a a bit ( well a lot) and on and on… too much information too quickly … as Paula states in her perspective you tend to get a bit slap happy after hours and hours – I started to think of Camelot and King Arthur – probably because of the Palace Theatre presentation to come later and all the wonderful shows that I was lucky enough to have been a part of – I started to cast the council members in respective parts- this guy though I am afraid became “Sir Jaws a lot” – now aren’t you glad I don’t run for office! I couldn’t handle even the meetings!

Paula stayed longer than I did 3 hours was enough for me- thankfully at least the people for the “wind turbines” who were “last on the list ” had the Chronicle reporters attention!
Council is on a break through August so my intrepid collegue Paula can rest up for what will probably be a marathon meeting in September. ( Rather you than me my friend- thank you for all your coverage!)
Paula Tobias by Paula Tobias

I try very hard to listen, think about what they’re saying, and write key points down. If I’ve missed something please let me know.

I left in the middle of the Committee Meetings almost 4 hours after I had arrived.

I understand this is the last meeting before August recess but my gosh…..!!!

Where shall I begin?

How about at the end while I was walking out.

Mr. Timko tried to answer the questions Council had been asking for the last hour about why Project 15 S for Street Replacement Sewer repair had a cost overrun. They were asking for more money and it eventually came out that there may be more than the $463,000 needed.

My perception of what he said was, “We need a full time City Project Manager to follow these projects from beginning to end, and the Engineer department couldn’t do it.” in so many words. It sounded to me like a commercial for more personnel.

My thought, what are you doing throwing the Engineering department under the bus and wasn’t CT Consultants our agent representing us? He also stated it was a confusing project, “We’ve been confused.” Well that explains everything!

I left.

Back to the beginning of the evening 4 hrs ago.
Nestor Traffic Systems gave a razzle dazzle 45 minute power point presentation on Traffic cameras. After their presentation the Chair said ..”Only questions regarding the product should be brought forth..” So I didn’t go to the microphone. I wondered:

1. Does the Lorain Police Department approve?
2. Which Officer is going to be paid (and with what) to view the videos after they send them. Don’t we need every able body out on the street?
3. What percentage of all violations are red light violations?
4. Is this considered a revenue stream?
5. How is this measured as a “Successful Program?”
6. It is touted as a “Violator Funded Program” (Nestor gets 1/3 of the ticket paid, oh yeah and how many traffic tickets are paid?)
7. Privacy issues? Isn’t Cleveland having some legal problems with theirs?
8. What are the criteria for establishing a red light district? 
a. They said 16 violations in a 24 hr. period. (Can you think of an intersection in the City that qualifies?)

The Mayor noted that this presentation was requested by Council. I heard,

“If the referendum fails….they may consider this due to a lack of police coverage.”

Morning Journal:

Mayor Anthony Krasienko said the city probably wouldn’t consider it unless the referendum petition to change the city’s income tax credit gets on the ballot and fails. If there are enough valid signatures to put it on the ballot and residents vote it down in the November election, the city could see a reduction in police overtime.


Mayor Tony Krasienko said he’d consider the cameras if voters shoot down his investment plan in November, but until then, he’d rather rely on the eyes of the Lorain police.

ED NOTE: Ironically – Joyce Early , one of the petitioners who worked to get petitions signed to put the Licence plate tax and the income tax on the November ballot also spoke out against the red light cameras. Ms. Early gave a packet to council members with concerns as to why no red light cameras and also mentioned a website: Ms. Early left before Paula could talk to her further.
Ah ! can we be in for another “joust”?

Additional information has been requested from the LPD and Ms. Maiorana regarding tickets, payment, and by Ward violations. (I like fact based decisions).

When you have such long meetings you some times get a little slap happy. That’s why Loraine and Muley were there. And I swear I heard someone say when describing coverage of half a street as “Half Wits” as opposed to “Half Widths”. (Are they the brothers: Half, Dim and Nit?)

So with that I feel it’s time for bed, gosh knows what I’ll dream about tonight?

UPDATE!!! Muley’s Cafe has a perspective here

July 29, 2008 at 11:11 am 3 comments

Henery – Candid with Camera interview- PT 5

July 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm 1 comment

THE PORTERS ( cont.) by Maureen Smith

In this part of the “Porters” Maureen has also mentioned the “Porter House steak” as referenced in Lea and Perrins advertisemt

Alexander Porter was born March 15, 1843 in Lorain, the 6th born child of Nathaniel and Clarissa Kneeland Porter. It was in Lorain where he attended the local schools, later, it is said, even spending a couple of summers at Oberlin College. Inspired by his three older brothers, all of whom were seamen, Alexander began his career of sailing at the age of 13. His first excursion on the Great Lakes was as a cook aboard the scow Orleans which was built in 1856 for G.W Jones and J Porter, and under the command of Capt. James Porter, brother of Alex. In 1859, he sailed as part of the crew of the bark “W. S. Pierson”, which made it’s maiden Atlantic Ocean voyage out of Cleveland to Liverpool, England with a stop over in Bristol carrying aboard, staves and timbers. The ship was under the command of Captain Aaron Root of Lorain a veteran commander of the lakes who came out of retirement to accompany this grand voyage. The return trip met with a challenge, that of being stranded in frozen waters in Ontario, Canada to which they had to wait until spring when the port was re-opened to continue the journey home.

Alexander enjoyed sailing very much and from the time of his return, he sailed the lakes every summer. He was employed by a big lake steamship company, and his many years of experience had led to his command of numerous boats, his first was as the skipper of the “Rescue” among others were the “Orleans”, Milan” “Winona”, “Thomas Gawn”, and the “David Wallace” just to name a few. He became the owner of many boats and conducted a prospering business in sailing.

Alexander married Susan Dorliska Freeman on December 12, 1871 in Lorain Co. She was born January, 1844 in Canada, the daughter of Stephen Van Rensselaer, and Laura (Wolcott) Freeman. Stephen came to Lorain County and settled in LaGrange in 1829.

Susan moved to Lorain in 1867 from La Grange. She was a school teacher in one of Lorain’s first school buildings located where the fire station #1 was located prior to her marriage. For years after her marriage, she sailed the Great Lakes with her husband. A story is reported that about 1879, while sailing with her husband aboard the J.U. Porter, as they loaded stone in what was known as Oak Point, a storm erupted and the boat became grounded. The two of them “walked all the way to Lorain attired in dripping clothes.” She was on of the last charter members of the Church of Christ. She died March 5, 1927 Lorain and is buried at Elmwood.

Alexander & Susan, had no children of their own, but when Alexander’s cousin’s son, William V.R. Porter, and his wife Sadie (McDonald) Porter, both died while their three children were young, Alex and Susan took on the duties of raising them. Susan’s sister was the wife of Marion. As it would be, two Freeman sisters, married two Porter cousins. They had resided at what had become known as the “Porter House ” 503 Washington Avenue in Lorain.Today, the house has a sign that says, “PORTERHOUSE, 1842″

I had always assumed that it was there, at 503 Washington Ave, that Nathaniel and Clarissa Porter had first purchased a lot in Black River Twp. and raised their family. I had wondered also about the year, 1842. That must’ve been the year it came into their possesion.? According to the land records, Nathaniel purchased land in Black River in 1836. So why did the house say 1842?

Porter House on tour BRB 2007

Porter House on tour BRB 2007

Photo Henery Hawk
Upon discovering the land deeds, Nathaniel purchased a lot north of there on what is now known as 224 Hamilton Ave. So who lived in the “Porterhouse”?

The first record I have of a Porter owning that lot was in 1879, two years after Nathaniel had died, when Alexander purchased the lot thru an auction that was ordered by the court of a Samuel Mapes, the owner, who’s case had a judgement brought against him in a dispute over financial troubles. He was ordered to list the house in the Elyria newspaper for five consecutive days, upon which then, it was to be auctioned off and sold to the highest bidder. Alexander Porter was the highest bidder with a bid of $334.00. The question still remained as to where the 1842 came from?

Another story associated with the “Porterhouse” was from a local newspaper advertisement for Lea & Perrin’s Steak Sauce asking the question;

“How did the Porterhouse Steak get its name?”
Answer: From the Porter House, a hotel in Lorain O., where Charles Dickens, touring the U.S. in 1842, was served an unusually delicious steak. Delighted, he spread its fame everywhere, always referring to it as the Porter House steak. Soon, leading hotels began to apply the name to their finest steaks. An appetizing tip for present day steak lovers. The flavor of any steak is wonderfully improved by a dash of Lea & Perrin’s Sauce, the perfect seasoning for all meats, fish, soups, gravies and seafoods.”

In 1842, Charles Dickens did tour the United States. He arrived in Boston and made his way westward as far as Pittsburgh, where he boarded a paddle wheeled boat and headed for Cincinnati. After traveling west, he returned to Cincinnati, then made his way up north, through Columbus, where he stayed the first night.

The following day, he arrived in Sandusky on Saturday, April 23, at 6:00 am, where he waited most of the day for the first boat out. He no sooner finished his dinner when the 400 ton steamship, the Constitution, arrived en route for Buffalo. It was a twenty four hour journey from Sandusky to Buffalo by steamship, and according to the book “The Life of Charles Dickens” by John Forster, he says; “We lay all Sunday night at a town (and a beautiful town too) called Cleveland; on Lake Erie”. He mentions people coming on board to meet him, but he never mentions getting off the steamship, until he reached Buffalo at 6:00 am on the 26th.

Sandusky is also claiming the story of the Porterhouse steak, as is Cleveland, Boston, and New York City.

Charles Dickens never stopped in Lorain, the Porter House Hotel was not in existence until some twenty years later, when Alexander’s brother James established it on the corner of what is now 9th Street & Broadway Ave. It was most likely an advertisement gimmick, but the story lives on to this day.

Alexander died on January 4, 1919, and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery. After he died, his wife Susan transferred the deed of the house to their niece, Kitty Porter Flewelling one of the children they had raised. Susan remained on in the house until her death in 1927. The house remained in the Porter family until 1945.

Ghost ships  of  Lake Erie

Ghost ships of Lake Erie

July 27, 2008 at 11:07 pm 7 comments

Adopt an Angel -Please

Buster’s Momma over at Buster’s House has an Angel and she needs a good home. Can you help?

July 27, 2008 at 8:32 pm Leave a comment

Kalin’s -Click Lorain -Calendar

You have no excuse now ” I didn’t know!” Everything and anything to do in Lorain on any given day

July 27, 2008 at 1:31 pm 2 comments


You can find the Mulemeister here

July 27, 2008 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Free Flow Information Act – by Kelly Sagert

Freedom of speech is crucial to maintaining a democracy and an unfettered press allows journalists to expose corruption and to maintain a free flow of information to the general public. In order to do their job effectively, journalists sometimes agree to protect the identity of their sources and some have even gone to jail rather than reveal a source. Nevertheless, just the fact that a journalist might be compelled to break a promise and name a source surely must stop some people with pertinent information from becoming whistleblowers. Under this system, corruption is more likely to flourish.

Because of this situation, a Congressional bill was introduced to create the Free Flow of Information Act, also called the federal media shield law.

A 2005 article in the Washington Post gave an excellent summary of what the bill would and would not do:

“Our bill works to solve this problem by setting national standards that must be met before federal officials may issue a subpoena to a member of the news media in any federal criminal or civil case. In the case of a confidential source, the bill provides that a reporter cannot be compelled to reveal the source. In the case of other information, it sets out certain tests that civil litigants or prosecutors must meet before they can force a journalist to turn over information.
Prosecutors must show, for instance, that they have tried unsuccessfully to get the information in other ways and that the information would be crucial to “an issue of substantial importance” in the case. If they were seeking confidential information in a criminal case, they would have to show that a crime had been committed and that the information being sought was essential to the investigation. These protections are enough to ensure that a whistle-blower’s identity would be protected when he or she comes forward with information about corporate or government misdeeds, but they would still allow the courts and other federal agencies to do their jobs.”

It is important to note what the bill does not do. It doesn’t give reporters a license to break the law in the name of gathering news. It doesn’t give them the right to interfere with police and prosecutors who are trying to prevent crimes. It leaves laws on classified information unchanged. It simply gives journalists certain rights and abilities to seek sources and report appropriate information without fear of intimidation or imprisonment, much as, in the public interest, we allow psychiatrists, clergy and social workers to maintain confidences.”

There have been four versions of this bill (with each of them found here), so the original language has not been perfectly preserved; nevertheless, the core intent of the bill remains and its passage is vital.
In the House of Representatives version, provisions were added to also protect bloggers from being coerced into divulging sources under specified circumstances.

“Instead of requiring journalists to be tied to a news organization, the bill now defines ‘journalism’ to focus more on the function of the job: ‘the gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.’”

In the Senate version, the following language is included on the subject of who would be protected under the act:

(2) COVERED PERSON- The term `covered person’–
(A) means a person who is engaged in journalism;
(B) includes a supervisor, employer, parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate of a person described in subparagraph (A); and
(C) does not include any person who is–
(i) a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, as those terms are defined in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801);
(ii) a foreign terrorist organization designated under section 219(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189(a));
(iii) designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the Department of the Treasury under Executive Order Number 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701);(iv) a specially designated terrorist, as that term is defined in section 595.311 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor thereto); or
(v) a terrorist organization, as that term is defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(II))

It is anticipated that the Senate version of the Free Flow of Information Act will be up for a vote on Monday, July 28, 2008. The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has circulated a list of senators who are either still undecided on the bill or who belong to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is included on this list; he is not named on the 2007-2008 list for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which means that he is undecided on how he will vote.

The leadership of SPJ is asking everyone to contact Voinovich to encourage him to vote “yes” on S. 2035. “It is critical this final push for Senate action has national support because a federal shield law will benefit the public as a whole,” SPJ President Clint Brewer said. “The passage of this bill in the Senate is the final step in protecting confidential sources in federal cases, and the public’s right to know.”SPJ has provided the following phone number for George Voinovich: (202) 224-3353, along with his contact form: George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

July 26, 2008 at 10:15 am 7 comments

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July 2008