Archive for December, 2008

-The Cold-The Browns- The Brave-The Past

by Loraine Ritchey
Part One

Eventually the “men of the munchers” returned( I really believe the attraction for these Brown’s fans is the tailgating -can’t be watching great football with this team) . I was glad and relieved to see them safe especially with the weather conditions and the conditions on the roads.

seastorm (Querini)

For a few fleeting moments as they tumbled into the door weighed down with jackets, boots and coolers I thought of my fellow CVSI Chairperson Renee. Renee, who in our talks on Charleston Village touches on the fact of how the women of this settlement waited for their men to return to port after battling the storms on the lakes. Women who kept the lights burning in the windows of the homes along the shoreline- those lights along the shore from the homes along with the lighthouses also showed the way home.

Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Trying now to make the harbor, some poor sailor may be lost

Hymn- Let the Lower Light Be Burning

sealights Image Source
Rick Mobbs

The Past– I have been thinking a lot about the past lately, especially since we are coming to the end of 2008. Personally I have no great love of this past year – it has been for the most part a year I wish to forget .

Oh! there have been some bright spots that have shone through the darkness of this year guiding the way but for the most part this year was annus horribilis for this househould.

It was a year of battling stormy seas month after month – just when you thought you were out of dangerous waters another wave swept in. The lights on the shore seem a long way away still but I am hoping that 2009 will bring calm seas to this household and to yours.
lighthouse-reflection Image Source Henery Hawk ( Mark Teleha)

ED Note : Since 2009 will be Lorain’s 175th anniversary of Incorporation I will be reprising some of her history on this site from time to time .
UPDATE: Like everything else in Lorain there is more to the story and the above statement isn’t exactly accurate- so off we go in search of Lorain and the who what where and when of this place we call home- Join us on Lorain’s Magical “HISTORY” Tour

December 29, 2008 at 1:57 pm 11 comments

Henery’s (Mark) Fame It Shame It

Is back !

December 29, 2008 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

The Cold – The Browns- The Brave

by Loraine Ritchey
The cold permeated the mind and numbed the soul as well as the hands and feet. Why the male segment of this family felt the need to don “arctic weather gear” to attend a Browns game was beyond me? “Must be a male bonding thing- to purposely brave the elements, to feel the wind burning and freezing the cheeks, whose breaths would fill the arena with a fog reminiscent of an old London mystery movie.”
But off they went happy in the fact that they were the “braves of the Browns”.shot5 Source

Meanwhile , Mum and I, wrapped in the warmth of central heating and a roaring log fire tuned into one of those old black and white British movies, cups of tea and sandwiches to hand.

Unfortunately, the logs laid in by the back door ran out. It meant if we wanted the fire I would have to traverse the dangers of the icy path to log pile by the garage. This was no mean feat as the icy rain that fell previously had left a treacherous way to go, the cold bit into your very breath and coming back was even worse with an arm load of wood. Even getting the wood pried away from the pile was a chore in and of itself; rain had found its way under the tarp and now locked the logs in an icy embrace. Frozen fingers pulled and pushed trying to pry loose the top layer,of logs to get to the dry ones underneath . These inevitably came crashing down in log chunks narrowly missing toes.

Of course we could have let the fire go out and turned up the thermostat, but there is something alive about a fire it brings with it more than warmth of body but of the soul. So I made my journeys back and forth to the end of the garden and retrieved what I could, hoping against hope that the males in the family would give up their quest of being the “last Brown’s fan standing in the stadium” and come home and continue being the manly men and with their “arctic gear” stack some more wood. Carefully we eked out the remaining wood hoping for the return of the braves before the fire went out.

to be continued……..

December 26, 2008 at 4:36 pm 4 comments

May Your Christmas be CRACKERS!!!

We Brits have some strange traditions, one is pulling Christmas Crackers, sitting around the table with funny paper hats , enthusiastically reading the awful jokes and delighting in the “rubbish” gifts that are to be found in the Christmas Crackers.
and OH ! those jokes are really soooooo bad
From the Sun article on this years worst Christmas Cracker jokes

Top 10 Worst Cracker Jokes

1. What is Santa’s favourite pizza? One that’s deep pan, crisp and even.
( think about it ( Good King Wencelas and deep and crisp and even) GROANNNNNNNN

2. On which side do chickens have the most feathers? The outside.

3. What kind of paper likes music? (W)rapping paper.

4. What’s white and goes up? A confused snowflake.

5. What do you call a woman who stands between two goal posts? Annette.

6. Did you hear about the man who bought a paper shop? It blew away.

7. What’s furry and minty? A polo bear.

8. How do snowmen get around? They ride an icicle.

9. Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy.

10. What do you call a penguin in the Sahara desert? Lost.

Note: some of these are defintely on the “English” spin and understood by the Brits not “all ” the Americans will get these but you get the idea. They are just awful!

So there we sit in this household eating our Christmas dinner – the crackers ( in this house) are pulled between the main course and the Christmas pudding whilst I am heating the brandy to pour over the pudding to set it alight

the rest of the family are literally going crackers. It is great fun ( even if they all moan to begin with – my sophisticated lot really love the silly hats , rubbish gifts and groaning.

In June for my son’s rehersal dinner I had special “wedding crackers” made to lighten the mood along with all the elegance and as you can see the majority were wearing their paper hats, had pulled their crackers and read their jokes- of course the paper hats had to be colour co-ordinated 🙂


So for those of you who are celebrating anything at this time of year – HAPPY CRACKERS!!!!

Ed note: During this holdiay season there will be no scheduled blog posts – they will appear when time permits.

December 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm 9 comments

Carolers for the Palace- Check out the rest of the story

Carolers Raise Money for Lorain Palace
“The Joe Skodny family, Lorain Growth Corporation’s Mike Challender, the Rev. Bradley J. Donahue of Christian Temple Disciples of Christ, downtown office workers and others gathered at noon in front of Lorain City Hall ……….
Lorain County dot Com has the rest of the story with Video …..

December 23, 2008 at 10:34 pm Leave a comment

Count Your Blessings- Blessing House – Lorain

I received the following from a reader and wanted to share at this time when we all should be counting our blessings
Blessing House – Lorain
“Just who are the children we serve?

Children between the ages of birth and 12 years old, who are at risk for abuse or neglect because of stress in the family or a family emergency.

Children with special needs who require extra care.

What services does Blessing House offer?

Children are given a safe place to stay, supervision, healthy meals, and loving care 24 hours a day. The family is directed to obtain material resources as needed and is directed to appropriate community services.”

and now the update of this years generosity of a community

Every Day Miracles
December 21, 2008

It has been an amazing Christmas season and the generosity of so many has been overwhelming. I have been trying to think of how to put it into words. . . to explain it so that others could understand and appreciate what has been happening. I’m not sure that I can, but I will try.

I’ll start with numbers.
This year, we received enough donations to provide Christmas for 69 families that included 240 children. For most of these children, we were able to provide several toys, games, stocking stuffers, and a new outfit. For some, we were also able to provide a new coat, pajamas and underwear.

40 of these families were sponsored by churches, individuals, or other groups who supplied the families with a wide variety of gifts. Some even provided Christmas trees and decorations. St. Clarence Church in North Olmsted sponsored 31 families and delivered all of their packages in an 8 van caravan.

In addition to the gifts that were distributed, we had a “shopping area” stocked with coats, boots, shoes, hats gloves, scarves, blankets, stuffed animals and other items that we have received. Families were able to select items they needed for their children. Over 200 coats were available.

We estimate over 3,000 gifts were distributed to our families during the last few days. Several van loads of food and household supplies were also received. Altogether, we estimate the value of items received as donations from the community to be over $20,000.

We have worked with several other agencies this year to coordinate our distributions. The stories have been the same for most of them – an overwhelming community response to help those in need. But the most amazing part of the story is this . . everything we received this year was offered to us. Nothing was solicited or asked for. Everything received was an outpouring of the generous spirit of folks who wanted to help.

The stories abound of families who are struggling. Parents who have never needed help before now find themselves unemployed or even homeless. Families are experiencing disasters, illness and injury without insurance or emergency resources. Everyone seems to know someone who needs help.

And therein lies the miracle as God has worked through so many to provide the help that is needed. Numbers don’t tell the story of the family that gave up their own Christmas to sponsor a family of 10 that needed help. Numbers don’t tell the story of the elementary school that collected 20 boxes of food. Numbers don’t tell the story of the businesses that made contributions in their employees names instead of having traditional Christmas celebrations.

As difficult as things have become, so many have told us of being thankful for what they have and wanting to share what they do have with others. They trust that we will get their gifts into the hands of those who need them. They just want to say thank you and help make a child smile or dry a mother’s tears.

The generosity of the human spirit is alive and well. I have heard people wonder if we, as a nation, will be able to learn to get by with less than we have in the past. I have heard people wonder if we can remember how to be selfless instead of selfish. I have heard people wonder if we will be able to go beyond the boundaries of our own little world to become a part of something bigger than ourselves.

The answer to all of these questions is yes we can, because we are.

To all of you who have answered God’s call to holiness, thank you for your gift of spirit.
May you and your loved ones have a joyous and blessed holiday season.

For further information contact: Sr. Mary Berigan – 440-240-1851

December 23, 2008 at 4:47 pm 1 comment

Paula’s Perspective- City Council- Dec 22nd

paula 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.
amolnar2008 ANNE MOLNAR- Council at Large

You never know what’s going to happen at Council.

As the meeting was to begin, Anne Molnar was speaking to a reporter, while walking back to her seat she tripped over a computer cord across the floor. I accompanied her in the Squad to Community Health Partners to have her shoulder checked. I wouldn’t have left except her son came up and I knew she was doing well when she was worried about canceling two appointments for Tuesday and she had cabbage rolls to cook out.

I arrived back at Council in the middle of discussion about the Sewer rate increase. Council asked for more detail as to what, where, when, why and how the revenue would be used. Mr. Given asked how the department is curbing costs.
Mr. Timko responded:
They’ve reduced the Billing Dept from 9 – 5 employees

They are going to consolidate to the PQM plant, tweak out jobs

Harped to the managers to purchase the lowest price.

10% cut for 2009

Outsource to other Departments

Change staffing to suit our needs

There were concerns about the Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) having recommended this back in 1998. We are past the recommended timeline but Mr. Timko answered, “EPA is giving us time to get our act together”.

Administration and the Utilities Department are going to get back to Council with more detail.

I left after the Streets and Sidewalk Committee as it was 8:30 PM and I wanted to be available if Anne’s son contacted me.

Thoughts and prayers are with you Anne.

December 23, 2008 at 2:32 am 6 comments

Is MARK STEWART- The New King of SPAM-A-LOT???

by Loraine Ritchey


As always the dealings of Mr. Stewart bring more questions than answers.

In this latest Lorain County Auditor’s 6 degrees of non separation

“Stewart, who sits on the Salvation Army countywide advisory board, has been using the auditor Web site’s e-mail address list to solicit contributions for his Salvation Army fund-raising page, sources told The Morning Journal.”

Mr Stewart’s Kettle Page

Well that IS a nice gesture BUT ( there it is that BUT (t) again ) – the questions raised would be –

Does a taxpayer who goes to the website to access county records or purchase such things as a dog license have an “expectation of privacy”?

“Blair said. “I realize he must feel he’s doing a good thing. This young lady certainly objected. She used the Web site to purchase her dog license and in turn her office e-mail was made known and that solicitation was sent there. I don’t think that’s right. I certainly wouldn’t do it.”

After all after accessing the site today I found no warning on any of the pages that

I question that receiving an unsolicted e-mail in this manner – would that not fit into the classification of SPAM?

Spam is an issue about CONSENT, NOT CONTENT. Whether the UBE message is an advert, a scam, porn, a begging letter or an offer of a free lunch, the content is irrelevant – if the message was sent unsolicited and in bulk then the message is spam.

and check out
And if according to Deputy Auditor Craig Snodgrass in the same article states:

Craig Snodgrass, deputy county auditor, said everything on the auditor’s Web site is a public record, including the e-mail addresses of registered users. He said the office does not have a non-solicitation policy, adding a reporter was once allowed to have e-mail lists of people who have registered their dogs through the site to obtain information.

I wonder if he would be so accommodating in letting me have the names of the persons who used the county computers to send ” Angry Taxpayer” emails to this site from a county computer adddress?

And then of course if “all” the county computers are public records maybe we could get a look at the “pictures on Phil Betleski’s computer- care to share ?
A letter from Special Prosecutor Brendan Sheehan to Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said that while Betleski was on vacation, one of Nedwick’s employees discovered several digital photos and home movies that were “personal in nature” on his county computer.

AND whilst we are at it – care to comment why Linda Keys was suspended
by her boss – Mark Stewart- for “actions unbecoming a deputy auditor.”.

Public record ?? Craig- should I be making a request?

All I know is that on the websites such as Charleston Village website that have the capacity to send out Group Emails I cannot submit anyones email address- they have to submit those themselves due to “spam” rules and regulations.

I now await the next group of solicitations from the IRS- ODOT- The City of Lorain and any other government entity with whom I have had to submit my email.

December 22, 2008 at 2:10 am 6 comments

OUR KELLY ( Sagert)- Extreme to the Max

ED NOTE: Within just a few houses I have Rich writing about his teaching experience in Africa and Kelly publishing another book Extreme Sports ( see below) – and an up coming E Book- Kelly tells me :

” it is published by, which is a company that publishes career guides for people wanting to break into a new and fabulous job. All of their guides are full of very specific, very practical advice to help people become successful in their newly chosen careers. A date of early 2009 would work for the publishing info and the title is How to Become a Fitness Club Owner.

AND Kelly has also been writing a play (more information to come so watch this space!) Freedom’s Run: A Stop On the Underground Railroad.

“It’s a play that focuses on real life heroes from 19th-century northern Ohio, Robbins and Eliza Burrell.

This married couple played a crucial role in helping slaves escape into Canada, and yet, they were never caught. Freedom’s Light shares one possible answer to the mystery of how they continued to be so successful in helping others create new lives for themselves

. The play will run during the first 3 weekends of May: May 1, 2 and 3; May 8, 9 and 10; and May 15, 16 and 17.


Lorain Author Publishes ‘Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports’
Kelly Boyer Sagert, Freelance Writer

As seen on Lorain County dot com

December 20, 2008 — Kelly Boyer Sagert’s newest book, “Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports” (Greenwood Publishing Group) will be released Dec. 30, 2008.

Greenwood describes the book in this way: “Difficult terrain, death-defying speeds, and daredevil stunts. All in a day’s work if you’re an extreme sports enthusiast. The Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports traces the evolution of the most adventurous – and adrenaline inducing – land, water and air sports … entries highlight the star athletes, extreme sport competitions, pro techniques, requisite equipment and clothing, and more.”

This is Sagert’s third book with Greenwood Publishing; previous books are “Joe Jackson: A Biography” (2004), which has been called “# 5 in the top ten White Sox books written,” and

Kelly Boyer Sagert
Book Code: GR4472
ISBN: 0-313-34472-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-313-34472-5
DOI: 10.1336/0313344728
312 pages, photos
Greenwood Press

Publication: 12/30/2008
List Price: $69.95 (UK Sterling Price: £39.95)
Availability: In Stock
Media Type: Hardcover
Trim Size: 7 x 10

December 20, 2008 at 11:57 pm 5 comments

Africa_ The People- Rich R

Parts One two threefour fivesix seven
ED NOTE: You can also access all the articles by clicking on Africa on the sidebar

I can’t believe my eyes and ears. I am standing there in front of Capetonians. A mix of people. A lot of them, I find out are Muslim. What an education this was going to become.

Our shift was 2:30 – 11:00. I wasn’t quite used to that time-frame for work as it had been a couple months since I worked evenings, let alone the time difference from the US to here! Six hours to be exact. I was tired from the trip, excited from my upcoming experience and awaiting to learn and experience as much as possible.

First on the agenda, of course, is they wanted to know all about me and my family.

Mentioning that my wife and I were going to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in late November, they applauded! Then, when I told them I had three children, a daughter married and 2 sons that were single; the questions started to fly. The majority of the girls in the class sat up straight in their chairs. Wanting to know everything I could tell them about my sons…the important things – age, what they looked like, and of course what kind of jobs they had! Me, not thinking at first, gave them as much information as they needed to know.

They applauded when they heard my daughter was a specialist in animal eye care, amazed that a woman could get that far. They really had no concept of where Ohio was, let alone other information about the US that I discussed when they asked me about traveling. All they wanted was to hear more and more about me, my family and my life.

When I told them I had taught high school for 35 years, again a round of applause.

Family and education seem to be very important to these young people. On the family part, I’m not sure because, the 2nd night of class, a lot of the girls came “dressed to the 9’s”…including dresses, heels and jewelry. Smiling from ear to ear. One up front even mentioned about a girl in the back of the class who was going to be my ‘future daughter-in-law”. Some of the agents and I laughed but some were serious.

Calling on their names to have them introduce and tell about themselves was quite difficult…especially trying to pronounce the “traditional” names….some were easy and then the list grew…..I will only mention first names for their sakes!
The easy ones? Renaldo, Felix, Amanda, Dudley, Samantha, Brenda, Fortunate and Linda.

Then the traditional names came through: Nadeema, Aneesah, Thandokazi, Nosiphiwo, Whafieka, Ruwayda, Zandile, Tembisa, Sisa, Sharrol and Bukeka. Those aren’t that difficult but…when I hit the last names; let’s put it this way, there was a lot of laughter.

I learned that they loved me laughing at my mistakes and understood my frustrations at times.

Class went very quickly that night. All in all, it was a good night and I knew that I would have a good experience with them. The driver, John, was ready to “zip” us home that night. When I say “zip” ….we flew at ground level. The lights of Cape Town were like diamonds in the sky. Cargo ships in the harbor, tall buildings, lights of the freeway.
Getting back to the hotel was a ‘blessing’. That night, I slept quite well.

December 19, 2008 at 9:56 pm 4 comments

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December 2008