Archive for February, 2009

Port of Lorain -salute to her people !

ED NOTE: Since much has been discussed about our Port and LPA I believe it is time to look back whilst we look forward.
This article was written by Renee Dore and was first published in July of last year.

Photo courtesy of LPA

Although their lives were lived long ago in a bygone era of Lorain’s history, the importance of their endeavors should never be forgotten.
early  ship building
A man who lived during that important time here in Lorain was William Wickens .We are all fortunate today for his insight in writing a descriptive book capturing what life was like during the 1800’s here. He must have been so proud of being a part of the transformations the city was undergoing that he wanted to preserve it on paper for generations to come.

He had a way of presenting his information that reading it today makes the reader seem like they are back in that time actually walking the streets and meeting the people whose stories he brings to life. One section of his book does just that- introduces the reader to some of the residents as it is written on pg. 105:

“Let us look in on the Lorain of 1893 and see some of the prominent men of other days as they walked the streets of the Village. There they are: lake captains, small merchants, a doctor or two. Some are living today, but most have passed on.”

The Lake Captains:
It’s a perfect time to spotlight some of these men and bring them out of the pages of this book and share what was so thoughtfully written about them. Also mentioned are the men who were involved with other port activities such as shipbuilding. There are many and each of their life stories could make for separate articles, but this article will mention a few-some with names familiar in Lorain’s history. Most lived in Charleston Village very near the harbor. They chose this area for convenience to the port, their ships and the harbor. Many homes are still here today.

Captain Henry Wallace: as written by Mr. Wickens

-“There is probably no more respected shipmaster on the lakes in”93 than Capt. Wallace. No honorary title: – he is a worthy master of his ship.” Captain Wallace immigrated to America in 1850 from the Emerald Isle arriving in Black River at the age of 22. He began working in the shipyards on the Black River. He sailed the lake for 28 consecutive years as captain and had the reputation for excellence and care in handling his vessels. He joined with Thomas Gawn and built the schoonerThomas Gawn in 1872 that served the lakes for 54 years. As he gathered wealth he became part owner in steel and steamer ships: “Robert Wallace”, sailing vessel “David Wallace named after his brother who farmed land just west of Lorain (at that time). He was mentioned as one of the best known mariners of the town.

Captain Wilford
Capt. Thomas Wilford: He was written to be a prominent member the maritime circle on “93 in Lorain. He had been sailing the lakes (inland seas) for 34 years at that point. He was an immigrant coming from Northamptonshire, England in 1841. His family moved to Amherst, but he became fascinated by the boats at the Black River. He began to sail and worked his way to captain. He married Fannie Gilmore: Fannie Gilmorethe daughter of Capt. Alanson Gilmore. In 1884 he was sailing the “John M Osborne” on Lake Superior with his wife and their 2 daughters, hauling ore and pulling to other ships one being the Thomas Gawn just mentioned above. The steamer “Alberta” collided with the Osborne in a fog. Captain Wilford commanded the Alberta to keep forward and not back up. It gave Captain Wilford precious minutes to gather his family and crew before the Osborne sank taking a few crew members with her. His family returned safely to Lorain within a week. The Captain continued to sail but eventually became part owner of larger ships.

Mr. Wickens referred to Capt. Wilford “as one of the prominent men of the town and worthy seaman”. His home is still located just south of the original Masonic Temple building on Washington Ave.wilford home

Capt. Alexander McPhail: he was born in Scotland in 1831 at Greenock. He began his life as a sailor at the age 14 following the path of his father who was also a sailor. Mr. Wickens write that Alex served on vessels for 7 years sailing from Liverpool, England and Glasgow to the West and East Indies. It said that his young career took him around the world “as a man before the mast. He was a real sailor of the briny deep”. After his ship docked in Montreal in 1851, he turned his desire to the commerce of the Great Lakes and preferred freshwater sailing. He came to the Black River in Charleston Village in 1852 and from then on it was his home.

Mr. Wickens writes that he was a Captain and had sailed from Buffalo to Chicago on his own vessel, eventually sailing the entire chain of the Great Lakes. 1893 found Capt. McPhail a widower of 2 years and being a well known man in the community.

Capt. Robert Cowley: per Mr. Wickens

:” Capt. Robert Cowley was another maritime personage whose name was a synonym of good seamanship”.
Capt. Cowley’s parents came from the Isle of Man to Cleveland in 1828 and he was born in 1839. His father was a shipbuilder and Robert also learned the trade. He learned to sail and did that primarily in the summer months.
He came to Charleston Village in 1861 having lived in St. Louis and New Orleans for a few years. In 1864 he enlisted in the Navy during the Civil War. He was involved in the blockade of the West Gulf with Admiral Farragut. Cowley was on a gunboat that was torpedoed during the attempt to capture Mobile, Alabama. Cowley escaped death while half of the crew had been killed.

Upon his return to the Village here he sailed the lakes in the summer and helped build ships in the winter. He married Celia Lyons, daughter of W.S. Lyons, the shipbuilder of Charleston Village.

In 1899 Capt. Cowley was sailing from Buffalo to Duluth in horrible weather conditions according to a report in the “The Times”. Capt. Cowley stood atop the Pilot House for 35 hours before reaching Duluth going without rest and little food. The Capt. And crew had experienced stormy weather for the entire trip with temps reading 8-10 degrees below zero with snow falling the entire time. The boat was completely covered in ice and Capt. Cowley’s coat and cap had to be broken with an iron bar to release him. He never made another trip in those conditions again. He was age near 60 years old when he made that journey.

He then retired from sailing and became a city inspector in Lorain and was a member of the county board of visitors. His son was an accomplished physician in Kentucky. He also made his home in Charleston Village/ Lorain.

Capt. Alex Porter: He was the son of Nathaniel Porter and was born in Charleston Village in 1843. He was one of 8 children- the Porter family being well known in this community. He first sailed when he was 14. In 1859 at the age of 16 he was a seaman on the barge “Pierson” and sailed from Cleveland to Liverpool, England. And back via the Welland Canal.

ED NOTE ( in coming days I will be re running the Porter History as written by Maureen Smith)
Porter House 503 Washington

How exciting and daring that must have been on a small ship at that age. By 1893 he had been a lake captain for 25 years and had sailed all of the great Lakes carrying wheat, ore, coal and timber for cargo. He and his 2 brothers owned and sailed a popular ship on the Great Lakes called “The Three Brothers”. The ship had been built by H. D. Root in Black River.

These are just a few of the men who risked their lives sailing on the Great Lakes from the small community along the Black River. Mr. Wickens writes” It is such characters as these that we have been describing who made Lorain such a famous harbor town”.

Other captains: Richard Thew who became the creator of the famous Thew Shovel and Plant.

Capt. Quartus Gillmore-son of the early settler Gillmore
Capt. Alanson Gilmore- came to Black River in 1812
Alanson Gilmore

Capt. Edmund Gillmore– brother of Quartus

H.D. Root—sailed the lakes for lake for 13 along with his brother Samuel, then began building ships in Lorain

Capt. James Connolly– began sailing early then became Lorain’s the keeper of the Lighthouse in 1871.
Lorain Lighthouse 1836 Lorain Lighhouse 1875

Capt. William Jones– sailor and prominent shipbuilder in Black River

Enjoy the festival and remember those who did so much to shape Lorain’s harbor and make it a place of industrial and commercial distinction on the Great Lakes.
Lorain Harbor 1894 Lorain Harbor 1894

steel 1927 Steel Docks 1927

Renee Dore, Portside
Charleston Village / Co Chair CVSI

February 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm 9 comments

GUEST BLOG-Nancy Smith by Denise Caruloff

I received this information from Denise- one of TWB readers There has been a change of venue for this fundraiser and Denise would like to make sure that everyone who already purchased tickets and potential participants are aware of the change:
We the Committee for Nancy Smith are having a fund raiser for her freedom and her health concerns. (Her dental situation primarily).

We invite you to please join us at the VFW at 4562 Oberlin Avenue Lorain.
, Lorain on Saturday March 7th.
We will be having spaghetti and meatballs/sausage along with dinner rolls, salad and beverage. Tickets for this fundraiser are $12.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 12 and under. You may purchase tickets at the door. Doors will be open at 5:00pm till 10:00pm. If you can not attend, you may send a donation to:
“Committee for Nancy Smith”
C/o Retired Judge Joe Zieba
814 Reid Ave.
Lorain, Ohio 44052

To Contact daughter (Amber Bronish) by phone
Please make all check payable to “Committee for Nancy Smith”

We urge you to bring in an item that is not of value to you as we will be auctioning off items to those who attend.

The monies from this auction will also go to the benefit for Nancy.
For those who are not familiar with this tragic injustice you might read below an outline for your understanding.

We thank you in advance for your support and we are hoping to see as many of you as possible. If ever there was a good cause to ask for money, this my friend is one that warrants the utmost support to bring Nancy home and to help her with her dental
work that she will need.

Story starts in May of 1993. This was the first of allegations made against Nancy.

Nancy was a school bus driver for Head Start. She and another man (Joseph Allen) were accused of molesting 4 of those children. In November 1994, Nancy was indicted on gross sexual imposition charges.

To catch you up to recent speed:

Recently in February 2009, Nancy is released from the county jail after the county Pleas
Judge James Burge finds that Nancy is entitled to a new sentence hearing because of a technical problem with the original hearing. Nancy is now free on $100.000 bond. Her friends put up 3 pieces of their property to get Nancy out of prison.

This injustice that was served to Nancy, goes beyond words. Nancy’s hair in now grey, and she has lost all her teeth. She now asks to leave a room. She has nightmares that someone will snatch her out of her bed, and put her behind those cold steel bars again…only to have a cot and a toilet to comfort her. There is no amount of money that could be offered to this family that could ever make this ordeal worthy. We ask that you read the story by Lona Manning, (Shame of Lorain). .

We are hoping for a new trail for Nancy as to clear her name.

A mother that was snatched under the cover of darkness from her children, her home, and her community. A single mother that had taken 3 jobs to take care of her children so they would not go without. Ironically, that is exactly what happened. Her children did go without. But it was their mother they went without!

See you then, and again Thank You!
Denise Caruloff

February 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm 1 comment

State of Lorain- Ownership

ED NOTE: Paula’s Perspective on the State of the City luncheon can be found following this “perspective” of the luncheon and Lorain

By Loraine Ritchey

I haven’t been able to be very involved lately with ” community” due to the health issues that are all consuming. However, I had a day off from travelling to the hospitals and attended the State of the City Address.The Morning Journal was there
mjstate Editors, Publisher and reporters Morning Journal table.

and was covering with a live feed whilst we were feeding

Paula was also taking notes and photos for this blog so I decided to just listen and catch up with all the people there I haven’t seen ( or told off) in a while .

Mayor Krasienko touched on a number of issues, however basically it came down to ownership in a community and pulling together. I thought of my journey through the side streets of Lorain to get to De Lucas’ – I thought on the way there, looking at all the deteriorating infrastructure and the bricks showing through the asphalt on 6th and elsewhere ” this is almost too overwhelming- where do you as an Administration or City Council even “start” to fix our problems and what with ??? – the money has dried and is drying up-

Who is important to the city – what jobs should be saved- can we do without police/fire protection cutting city services to the quick- only makes this city bleed?What is it going to take for Lorainites to approve a tax of any kind ?

We have seen and heard that people are experiencing their own economic problems, there isn’t much money to go around. But without ownership in this community _ I hate to think of the consequences. What does “ownership” in a community really mean?

I was thinking about what I could write about the State of the City Address luncheon when I drove past Veterans Park – it was a warmish day and children of the Academy of Arts and Sciences were in the park with an instructor.

I watched as the instructor allowed the children to climb and jump and run around the “Firefighters Memorial”. Surely, I thought he will stop them- I remembered a day not so long ago when volunteers came out and took “ownership “ and cleaned and planted and spruced up the little park
I watched and waited, finally I couldn’t stay quiet any longer the Scotch Broom planted so lovingly , the bushes , the plantings and the area all around the monument was being trampled and faced destruction from 20 little feet.
firemans-memoria photo Scott Bakalar
I got out of my car and walked toward the tiny culprits and their instructor and said :
“You do realize that the children are trampling and jumping all over a memorial- a memorial for the Lorain Firefighters!”

The young man said :
“Oh! I was stopping them”

“Not from what I have seen- I would like to talk to the children” – he looked a bit concerned – I said
“I just want to tell them a story”

“welllllll OK!” but he looked doubtful.

By this time the children had made their way over anyway so I started
“Do you know what a memorial means?” Some said yes some said no – I told them how they were damaging a very special place – how this little park had seen children for 200 years playing under the trees- the trees that were planted to remember the people who were killed in a tornado, the people who fought in the Civil War, and other wars – how the little park was the birthplace for the whole of Lorain and that the firefighters would be very sad to see them hurting their memorial to firefighters who had died.”

“Can you read to us what it says ?”

The questions came fast and furious- as children are want to do – I looked at their little upturned faces and told them the tale of the Roger Blough and other fires-
bloughonfire-rl SOURCE
I told them how this park belonged to them and all the children that had played before and how we should keep it for all the children who were coming to play in the future.

I suggested to the instructor he take the children to the Fire Dept to meet the Firefighters- ( I don’t think he was really happy with me) but as one little boy stepped back into the Scotch Broom bush his friend said don’t do that – its the Fireman’s special bush …..

Will those children the next time they play have a little more respect for their little part of Lorain – will they take ownership – WILL WE ?
firepark photo Scott Bakalar

February 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm 12 comments

State of the City Address- Paula’s Perspective

luncheonpaula by Paula Tobias

I’ve never been to a State of the City Address before. I liked it!

Unlike the State of the Union Address where they stand and applaud every 10 seconds they didn’t do that until the speech ended.
(Oh yeah, except for the round of applause for The Skodny family for decorating the City this year, maybe there were a couple of other times such as the Pipe Yard and Fire Dept.)

Many representatives from the City, Politicians, Media, Non Profits and Business Community were present, about 200 I believe.
revdon Rev. Donahue

The meeting began with Rev. Dr. Brad Donahue explaining the background of Rotary (our Hosts today).
He mentioned a Four Way Test the Rotary uses that I believe should pertain to Government as well.
1. Truth
2. Be Fair
3. Build Goodwill
4. And do what is beneficial to all concerned

As always I claim I don’t hear everything as it can be a challenge to write, listen, think, comprehend, hold back the questions that keep popping into your brain, not be distracted by the people surrounding you (Loraine!), etc etc but I try my best.

Here is last year’s transcript:

The Mayor began by noting the significant challenges/crisis faced by the Federal, State and Local governments today.
Mention of providing service to the citizens is their responsibility.

Back to the State of the City.
Key phrases and terms I noted were:
• Sound fiscal management is imperative
• Galvanize efforts
• Teamwork
• Sacrifices

Safety Services:
Mention of the reduction in crime rates and homicides and the opening of the jail with 2,400 customers last year. “Criminals know they have consequences.”

The Mayor said if you asked citizens and groups like the Neighborhood Watch Group they have noticed a difference.

Lorain Fire Department and their help with nonworking street lights and the ability to do 1,100 inspections with just two members and the glowing report the Department had in 2008. (side note: I told Chief Brown he should be happy as the Morning Journal told Elyria’s Fire Department to take note of the cost savings they’ve had).
Economic Development:
The Mayor said it is built on relationships, and partnerships. The businesses that have moved to Lorain and Emerson that has remained were noted. (Side note: just received a letter that M and M Mower is moving down the street to Sheffield Village, there goes more revenue for the city).

Housing issues:
They’re targeting impacted areas, rewriting rental laws and holding Landlords responsible.

Operates without tax assistance.

The City is working with.

Waste Water:
Possibility of our new Waste Water Treatment plant that would move up the river could be a Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant. Regionalism, the future of government.

Mayor Krasienko said the city is moving forward with Projects.

“We will remain resilient and make the difficult decisions”.

He wants everyone to renew their support for the City.
He asked the Media, Elected Officials, City Workers….. Young and Old….. Democrat or Republican …..
(( HEY !! What about us Independents !?!?))
To answer a call to serve our City and each other.
The Mayor likes this quote from Admiral King “We do all we can with what we have”. Here’s one I like better from Admiral King.
“If a ship has been sunk, I can’t bring it up. If it is going to be sunk, I can’t stop it.
I can use my time much better working on tomorrow’s problem than by fretting about yesterday’s. Besides, if I let those things get me, I wouldn’t last long.”


Also worth noting, during the meet and greet prior to the meeting Loraine was referred to as a “fixture”.
Oh My, the thoughts and pictures running through my mind on that one…….

Morning Journal

February 26, 2009 at 10:27 pm 7 comments

Twitters- the root being- Twit

by Loraine Ritchey

TWIT-A British slang word for an insignificant, foolish or annoying person

I admit it -I simply plod along in this cyber world- I really do. I ignore requests to be a facebook friend ( sorry) or reunion buddy – I have been accused of not being a true blogger- ( Oh! Dear I WAS chagrined but decided to ignore that too) after all my 7- maybe 10 (depending how you count) readers don’t seem to mind my “blog” too much! I decided to follow the format of writing that I was used to following in my other writing life -transparency , fact checking and trying to gain all pertinent background information before publishing and hopefully some source features. Sorry if that isn’t blogging to some, but I just can’t help myself.

It took me a long time and actually wearing my glasses to discover that Blog Roll wasn’t a “bog roll” (toilet paper for the non Brit.) Although then again, come to think of it , there are a couple of people I would and have likened to a “bog roll” (one ply at that ) 🙂

Now according to the Morning Journal Newspaper I can follow them on Twitter… and do something with Tweets……..

Not wishing to get involved with a bunch of “Twit-ters” and Tweets” I decided to take a break and I checked my blog roll and went to The Wondering Brit – I do enjoy his site and his “blog roll” has a blog which I am thoroughly enjoying!
“The informative & funny Richard Madeley

His tongue in cheek ( I didn’t say which one) take on “Twitters” and “Tweets’ is well worth the read ( even if you aren’t sure America who the celebrities are that are being discussed)
Excert from “The Richard Madeley Appreciation Society ” ??? Blog ??? ( see disclaimer at the bottom of the web page)

7. I left a space to let you regain your composure. I know it was a shock and it’s not something you want to think about when you’ve just eaten. But you should quickly follow as many ‘normal’ people as you can. Bite your lip and go click crazy. Get it over with because being ‘followed’ is the measure of your success on Twitter. Celebrities will not follow you (and, let’s face it, why should they?). You have to make up for this by following people you might normally cross the street to avoid.

Well I have enough of those types
people you might normally cross the street to avoid.”
already so I have decided I will not be a Twit -ter or Tweet – Sorry Morning Journal I think there are enough “TWITS” as it is in my world without inviting anymore.deadbird Photo Source –Get Satisfaction

February 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm 9 comments


lfd LFD
paula by Paula Tobias


During Monday night’s Committee Meeting Chief Brown was available to discuss the “State of the Fire Department” and answer any questions by Council and the Public.

One item he mentioned caught my attention. Pumper 2.

This vehicle is 29 years old.

How old is your car? Most don’t last more than 5 years and think of the wear and tear a fire truck endures.

I called The Chief this morning and asked if I might stop by and take some photos of her (Chief referred to the Pumper in a female way).

I had the opportunity to discuss the fire department, the state of the city and the budget they have with several of the firefighters and the Chief. I did the same thing two years ago when I was campaigning. I went to each station and saw the equipment and talked to the firefighters. It reinforced my thought of “Do not judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

They told me several times how much they appreciated that I came out to see for myself and wished more people would.

How many of you have ever had to call on our Safety Forces for service?
top_home_pic LPD
I remember the day I was coming home to see thick black smoke bellowing into the sky, the closer I came I noticed, it was near my home or it WAS my home!! The adrenaline started and I sped home. Jumped out of my car to find my neighbor’s home on fire; I watched the firefighters and tried to contact my neighbor to tell her about her home.

Your Fire Department, much like a parachute; you don’t know how good it is until you need it.

I also learned about their technique, I was told they don’t start the hoses until they’re in, causing less damage than starting to hose down before entering (unlike other cities).

Don’t forget the Fire Department is called on to assist with people who are in accidents, cars, close quarters etc. Their Jaws of Life is probably older than my children.

I told them I would have a Bake Sale for a new Jaws of Life. If you were stuck in a car, wrapped around a telephone pole would you want the best equipment and trained personnel?

I understand why the Chief referred to Pumper 2 as a “Her”. She’s dependable, protects the ones she carries, and is able to help in times of emergency.

firefighter-641x635 SOURCE UNKNOWN

February 25, 2009 at 12:01 am 8 comments

Paula’s Perspective- Lorain City Council Feb.23rd

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.


I took my computer, camera, packet of information, writing tablet, purse and cookies tonight. (I knew it would be a long evening; it was time to discuss the budget).

I expected a large crowd, employees of the city who would be affected and citizens too. Especially the citizens who hope to lead this city (council member wannabes). There were maybe 10 managers of the city and a dozen Union 6621 members. The only citizen who claimed their candidacy was the Democrat for Ward 2. The usual citizens that come on a regular basis were present, it was disappointing.

I set up everything, plugged in the computer and found the City is no longer Wi Fi friendly (they have a secret password now).Packet for this evening

We began the evening with an update on the Fire Department. I’m going to contact Chief Brown to find out more about Pumper 2, it is ready to retire, but we can’t afford to replace her.
At the break I offered Chief Brown one of my cookies and said I’d have a Bake Sale for a new Pumper and Jaws of Life, how much would I have to raise?
$350,000 and $35,000 = $385,000 wow, that’s a lot of oatmeal cookies……

Next on the Agenda: The Economic Development Fund

Ordinance for Economic Development Fund (Business Incentive and Job Retention). Mr. Given has been a champion of this for the past two years and had constructed the Ordinance. Several members of Council felt it was a good idea but not doable at this time due to the money constraints. Mr. Gilchrist felt it is necessary to market the city but said it was crappy the way it was written. Mr. Given suggested Mr. Gilchrist is in attendance at the work shops.

Mr. Edwards was unable to attend this evening so Mr. Given was the chairman. After review of the draft sent down by Mr. GilchristMr. Given asked for a Saturday 8 AM work session as this version was not going in the direction they wanted.

Next was a special call meeting and then they immediately adjourned into Executive Session regarding continuing negotiations (contracts?) When they returned they adjourned and then the Main Attraction: Discussion of the 2009 Budget. ED NOTE: THIS MEETING’S CHAIRMAN – MR. FALLIS

Before tonight’s meeting Mr. Mantini found that the City would be in the red an additional $284,000 since the last estimate.
Mr. Fallis wanted to go through the packet of numbers, 14 pages of revenue projections, 48 pages of expenses, 83 pages detailed expenses.

It was decided to not discuss Revenue as there was little or no control over that (Oh Really !?!)
And then on to individual expenses, with Mr. Renney explaining the cuts the Parks Department has taken as discussion of the Pools closing and other cuts. Mr. Schuster said several times, “A city without parks is a city without a soul”.

Thank goodness Mr. Given brought reality and logic to the conversation. In essence he said, “We can discuss all this until midnight, everyone has an issue/idea on where to cut and where it shouldn’t, they’d never agree. It is up to this Administration to take the numbers forecasted by the Auditor and make the Budget work. Administration should go back to the workforce and negotiate.

(I thought I heard Unions but I’m SURE they’ll negotiate with management as well…..won’t they?)

They turned the microphone over to the public. There were comments against union work, countered by the 6621 Union President Mary Ivan Garza asking Council to take a cut, give up their health insurance for a part time job and what a small percentage their union actually is responsible for out of the general fund.

Mike Matei, our Dog Warden reminded Council of the number of businesses supported by City workers, the three bars on Broadway for example.

By Law the City has to submit a balanced budget soon. What is submitted and what that Budget will look like at the end of 2009 is anyone’s guess.

I guess I better start baking more cookies; we’re going to need a marathon Bake Sale for this year.

Chronicle Telegram article

Morning Journal article

February 24, 2009 at 3:09 am 27 comments

Stress – Thanks Australia

Tasmania came through today for me!. After another sleepless night thinking ……. I finally gave up and came down to watch the sunrise ( I hope) opening my email I found the following- says it all…….
stress Sorry Source unknown

February 23, 2009 at 11:48 am 5 comments

“Staton Sports”- Open House

paula by Paula Tobias

I went to the Open House at Staton Sports today. I’ve been listening to their growth in Council and watching on Colorado Avenue. I introduced myself to a couple of gentleman who are trainers and was impressed with what I learned.

Besides the sports aspect they spoke of working with youth to help them in education and bettering themselves.

They currently are involved in several schools in Lorain; the faith based community is also involved, busing students to the programs. I’ve been in touch and have asked for more information and an interview with them. In the mean time, from their website :

Staton Sports Open House
3480 Colorado Avenue (formerly Janos Dodge)
Lorain, Ohio 44052
(440) 288-0004
Staton Sports is a new baseball/softball indoor training center located in Lorain, Ohio. The facility is conveniently located at the corner of Root Road and Colorado Avenue. For information, please contact: Mr. TJ Staton @ 440-670-5004.

T.J. Staton – President & CEO• Over 10 years of professional baseball experience
• Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round in 1993
• Professional team experience:
o Pittsburgh Pirates
o Montreal Expos
o Tampa Bay Devil Rays
• Helped to lead the Elyria West High School Baseball Team to the 1992 State Championship in Division II
• 1993 State of Ohio Baseball Player of the Year
• 1991-93 Plain Dealer Player of the Year


Tony Miller – Professional Hitting Instructor

As a 1998 graduate of Lorain Southview High School, Tony was an All-State and Honorable Mention High School All-American on the baseball diamond. He was also awarded All-County, All-District, and All-State honors in football and wrestling while in high school. He was a four year letter winner in football and a three year letter winner in baseball and wrestling.

Upon graduation, Tony attended the University of Toledo on a football scholarship and was also a member of the Rocket’s baseball team. He was a two year letter winner for the Rocket football team and a three year letter winner for the Rocket baseball team.

In June 2001, Tony was drafted in the 10th round, 304th overall pick by the Colorado Rockies in the Major Leagues first year player’s draft.
• 2001 (Rookie League): Pioneer League All-Star and Team MVP for the Casper Rockies (BA .310, 11 HR, 20 SB, 69 runs)
• 2002 (Single A): South Atlantic League All-Star and Team MVP for the Asheville Tourists (BA .286, 18 HR, 50 SB, 100 runs)
• 2003 (Advanced A): Visalia Oaks (injured)
• 2004 (Double A): Tulsa Drillers and was added to the Colorado Rockies Major League Roster (BA .275, 11 HR, 27 SB, 78 runs)
• 2005 (Double A): Tulsa Drillers team MVP (BA .280, 18 HR, 28 SB, 109 runs)
• 2006 (Triple A): Colorado Springs Sky Sox and then was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and played for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats
• 2007: Final season with Chicago Cubs

Bill Matthews – Amherst Steele HS – Head Coach

Coach Matthews just finished his 25th year as the Head Coach at Amherst Steele High School. Coach Matthews was the first (1981) fast pitch softball coach at Hamilton Ross High School.

A 1981 graduate of Miami University, he came to Amherst during the 1984-85 school year. Coach Matthews is the Past President of the Ohio High School Fast pitch Softball Coaches Association, the Lorain County Softball Coaches Association and the Northeast District Coaches Association. Currently, Coach Matthews serves as the OHSFSCA Coaches Clinic director, which is the largest softball Coaches Clinic in Ohio and surrounding states, with over 800 coaches attending.

Coach Matthews’ teams have won multiple Conference Championships, Sectional Championships, 4 trips to the District Finals and a trip to Regionals. 14 players have earned Division 1 ALL -OHIO honors and 36 have gone on to play College softball.

In January 2007 Coach Matthews was inducted into the OHSFSCA Coaches Hall of Fame. Coach Matthews is also the director for the various Sliman’s ASA/NSA/OGSO Travel teams and also assists with the “Queen of Diamonds” softball showcase.

Lacey Reichert- Amherst Steele HS- Varsity Assistant Coach
Coach Reichert is a 2000 graduate of Amherst Steele High School. While at Amherst, she was named First Team All-Ohio as a shortstop in 1999 and 2000, while being a second team All-Ohioan in 1998. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 Reichert was named 1st team All-SWC, 1st team All County and 1st Team All-District.

In 2000, she was named SWC MVP and earned the prestigious Lorain County’s “Miss Softball” award. In 1999, she was voted by World Fast pitch Magazine as a High School All-American. Coach Reichert went on to play softball at Division I Youngstown State.

While at YSU, she started at shortstop as a freshmen before being moved to third base as a sophomore. As a junior and senior, Reichert was voted team co-captain. She currently ranks 3rd on the USU All-Time doubles list and is the only player in YSU history to have started every game in four years! As a senior, Reichert committed just 7 errors in 206 chances while hitting .304. Also, as a senior, she was named to the National Fast pitch Coaches Association’s Div 1 All-Region team, only the third player in YSU history to earn the honor.

Reichert graduated from YSU in May 2005 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education.
Currently Coach Reichert is working towards her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and serves as the JV Coach/Varsity Ass’t. for the Girl’s Basketball team. A resident of Amherst, Coach Reichert is currently in her fourth year in the Amherst Schools and in her 2nd year teaching Physical Education at Amherst Jr. High.

Nandi Cruz-Professional Hitting/Fielding Instructor
As a 1987 graduate of Lorain Southview High School, Nandi was First team All-Ohio and Honorable High School All-American in baseball. Nandi was also First Team All-Ohio and Second Team All-American in basketball where he averaged 28 ppg.

He was a three varsity letter winner in football. First Team All-County all three years and All-Ohio his senior year. Nandi was voted to The North-South All Star game in all three sports his senior year. In June of 1987 Nandi was drafted in the 8th round by the Chicago White sox.
• 1987 (Rookie Ball) Hit safely in 19 of 24 games in which he batted. Moved up to Sarasota W. Sox (High A Ball) where he finished with a batting average of 289.
• 1988 (Single A) Led all Midwest league shortstops in fielding percentage (.948) and putouts (180). Selected to the Midwest League All-Star game. (Bat. 252, Hits 100, Runs 50, SB 62)
• 1989 (Double A) Helped South Bend to the Midwest League title, By batting .353 in 5 playoff games
• In 1990 Nandi was added to the 40 man roster. Nandi was injured that spring training and did not play.
In 1991 Nandi was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. His final season was 1993 with the Blue Jays.

Photos Paula Tobias

February 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm 7 comments

Is it a “hit”- depends on your “view”

This blog is a little over a year old- is it successful? I don’t know – I would like to think that sharing the information that is here , maybe entertaining at times, reaching out in times of need and sometimes just being able to meet others throughout the world , and having a place to write when I want -has been beneficial ( at least for me.)

Is it beneficial to others, if it disapeared tomorrow would it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? I hardly think so !

I have been using on this website another “visitor counter” than the one I was previously familiar with “site meter”. The reason I haven’t used site meter isn’t because I was concerned that even my own “views” on my website were counted which skewer the numbers – I tend to access this site a lot for any number of reasons 🙂 -there is no icon simply because I am going to have to go through a lot of rigamarole to get the little green icon on the site.

I will be honest, I am halfway through the process ( for a few months now) but haven’t had the guts to cut and paste and change the html- strange things happen when I play with the html.

I have a couple of websites apart from this one. One of the longest running is a Highland Dance site. I haven’t written for that site in yonks but according to the site meter on that webserver I still get approximately 3,000 “hits a day”. I can’t believe there is that much interest world wide daily in Highland Dance.

In 2000 I was bragging to a young man who ran a very successful marketing company about the amount of traffic I was receiving on a Highland Dance site – I was rather proud – although the magazines for which I penned a monthly column had nationally 264,000 readership and internationally the numbers were over that I was sharing the space with any number of excellent writers. I was chuffed to think that people were coming to my site just to read me! Just call me Big Head

Oh! dear the wind was soon taken out of my sails , hits , page views, returning hits 20 ip addresses all skewer the numbers apparently- so I slunk away ego given a boot in the bum and learned my lesson- never too old to learn …

So the little site meter icon may or may not come onto to this site – in the meantime some info from Open Tracker
Hits, visitors, visits, page views: what are the differences?
Technical definition of a hit
each file sent to a browser by a web server is an individual hit.

Technical definition of a page view

a page view is each time a visitor views a webpage on your site, irrespective of how many hits are generated. Pages are comprised of files. Every image in a page is a separate file. When a visitor looks at a page (i.e. a page view), they may see numerous images, graphics, pictures etc. and generate multiple hits.

For example, if you have a page with 10 pictures, then a request to a server to view that page generates 11 hits (10 for the pictures, and one for the html file). A page view can contain hundreds of hits. This is the reason that we measure page views and not hits.

Hits are not a reliable way to measure website traffic.

Additionally, there is a high potential for confusion here, because there are two types of ‘hits’. The hits we are discussing in this article are the hits recorded by log files, and interpreted by log analysis. A second type of ‘hits’ are counted and displayed by a simple hit counter. Hit counters record one hit for every time a webpage is viewed, also problematic because it does not distinguish unique visitors.
Here is an article discussing hit counters.

Technical definition of a visit
a visit happens when someone or something (robot) visits your site. It consists of one or more page views/ hits. One visitor can have many visits to your site.

Technical definition of a visitor
a visitor is the browser of a person who accepts a cookie. Opentracker tracks cookies through a javascript. By this definition, a visitor is a human being, and their actions are ‘human’ events, because only humans use javascript to navigate the internet. If a cookie is not accepted, then we use IP numbers to track visitors.
Don’t be fooled…
and under Buyer Beware…

It also tells you to not be fooled if someone is bragging about having 200,000 hits per month – that equals a significantly smaller number of page views per month. If purchasing advertising, always request page views per month, don’t rely on hits – particularly when some pages could have 30 or 40 advertising images on a page.

I will continue to write on my blogs etc and know that the only people who are probably reading this are Paula, Mark, Kelly, Rich, Brian, Denise ( if the article is not too long winded )- which means sometimes 🙂 and my mum ( if I print it out for her!)

February 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm 23 comments

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February 2009