Archive for April, 2009

In OLDEN DAYS a glimpse of shocking

by Loraine Ritchey
but now WHY should I care”

A little while ago this story
Lorain city officials looking at changes to way rental properties inspected by Alan Ingram

Dore said he thinks inspecting the interior of the units is “over regulation.” He added rental properties are people’s businesses.

“It’s the government’s purpose to make sure that your business does not negatively impact the community,” he said, adding problems with the outside of a structure — such as peeling paint and bad gutters — can have such an impact.

“That affects the community at large,” he said.

would have sent me rocketing off-
with statistics and just how maybe looking good on the outside with “hazzards” on the inside does actually effect the community at large-

I would have ripped this argument to shreds pictorially , anecdotally and statistically but……….

April 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm 1 comment

Why should I Care?- Play Ball

by Loraine Ritchey

In my dark and dour mood (and unfortunately I am not alone)…. I looked at the page last night that needed to be refreshed and thought

” Sod it ! I am going to read a book” –

and No! the book wasn’t very good ….I spent a miserable night – sitting in the garden I got too much sun…..OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHH it just goes on and on and I realized I feel like and sound like the complainers of the “Keyboard Kops” ilk.

Looking at Mark’s Blog and baseball
kidsbaseball PHOTO MARK TELEHA

reminded me that this time last year Kelly had an article about Rube Foster . Kelly, who has in the past year also written Freedom’s Light: A Stop Along The Underground Railroad certainly has a postive way with words as Mark has with his camera !



History of the Negro Leagues and the Role of Andrew “Rube” Foster

In February 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster organized the first successful Negro League – called the “Negro National League” – and Foster therefore became known as the “Father of Black Baseball.”

Foster’s triumph came after black baseball players had spent several challenging decades trying to just play ball. America’s original baseball league was the National Association of Base Ball Players (“base ball” was the original spelling of the sport). This league, formed in 1867, banned black players from participating.

By the late 1870s, however, several black players were on the rosters of minor league teams – and, in 1884, a black player was signed to a team in a professional major league. The league was the American Association – and the player was Moses “Fleetwood” Walker of Oberlin, Ohio.

After only a few years of integrated play for a handful of talented stars, though, black players were once again barred from participating in professional baseball. So, they formed all-black baseball teams and “barnstormed,” traveling from town to town, looking for another team to challenge to a game. They got paid by dividing the money that was collected by selling tickets to the game. More than one person tried to organize these teams into a league, but the financial and organizational burdens were too great.

Foster himself was a pitcher, beginning his career with the Chicago Union Giants in 1905, where he chalked up an amazing 51 wins. The following year, he had an astonishing 54-1 pitching record with the Cuban X-Giants. In 1907, he began pitching for the Philadelphia Giants, leaving that team when he accepted a job as the player-manager for the Leland Giants.

In 1910, Foster formed the Chicago American Giants, one of the best black baseball teams in history, sometimes pitching for his team; it is believed that this team won 11 championships.

Then, in 1920, Foster successfully formed a Negro League, the first person to do so. This league consisted of eight teams:

• Chicago American Giants
• Chicago Giants
• Dayton Marcos
• Detroit Stars
• Indianapolis ABC’s
• Kansas City Monarchs
• St. Louis Giants
• Cuban Stars

Rube’s league operated until his death in 1930; the league disbanded in 1931 but it served as a model for the Negro League that formed in 1933.

On April 18, 1946, Jackie Robinson signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League, playing a season on their minor league team and then joining the Dodgers in 1947; Robinson won the Rookie of the Year award.

Lary Doby became the first black star in the American League, first playing for the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1947.

April 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm 1 comment

One dead- ten dying and WHY? should I care

by Loraine Ritchey

I have been doing a lot of thinking this weekend – the heat has come in too quickly. It is too early to plant my baskets and pots – I know this place in 10 days we could have a killing frost or even snow! So apart from tidying up , cutting the grass and getting the fountains running ;I have sat under the umbrella ,feet up , with cold lemonade letting the warm breeze lull my tired old brain into a state of lethargy.

Try as I might to wallow in the stupor caused by an overdose of mother nature – little cold breezes of guilt creep in.

“I really should re type the article with regard to St. Mary’s – after all Connie Price from Toronto took the time to research it and send it on- I should document it on this blog

But then again Why? Why should I care about a Lorain church, a Lorain park, a neighborhood , her history none of it is mine !
Original Public Square/ Veterans Park

Is it the romantic in me, is it the actress who looks at every written word as a piece of dialogue? Why do I look out at a morning sky or a breakwall with icy waves destroying themselves on its breast and think of the Captains and seaman who sailed from this port, of the women who waited and nurtured?
Photo Mark Teleha

Why do I look at broken sidewalks and derelict homes and wonder what those that had gone before would have to say with what WE have let Lorain become. Photo Mark Teleha

Why do I wonder what they would say about US? And why should I continue to try ? It isn’t easy to put your money and your energy where your mouth is and it is for the most part a thankless task and I have more life behind me than in front of me-
Soon- who knows -this old house will be gone – the fountains and the fish pond covered in –
The computer keyboard in a trash dump in India somewhere BUT maybe just maybe a little boy will grow up in a Lorain that cares and Lorain will not be a metaphor for the pit!

“Three hundred Persons Precipitated Into an Excavation – A Child Trampled to Death- The Town in Mouring”

Although there were a thousand men ready to rush to the rescue , they could render little aid to the persons in the pit….. when assistance finally reached the unfortunate victims , several already had been trampled to death and others had been fatally injured.

This accident happened in 1895 during the dedication of St. Mary’s Church – the same church now slated for closure – the whole article can be found here

4 Years later Lorain lost her brightest and best and went into mourning once again- these are the people who cared about their home- can I do no less- will my conscience let me fall into apathy ?

Plaque in Veterans Park

April 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm 12 comments


Laura Kennelly ( Morning Journal) writes

“Not only original plays come to Northeast Ohio, but the latest inside hits of New York do too. This week sees a double dose of theatre originality with the premiere of a play commissioned by TrueNorth and the regional premiere of Broadway’s hippest theatre offering.

Important historical events aren’t always something that happens somewhere else. Kelly Boyer Sagert’s new play “Freedom’s Light: A Stop Along the Underground Railroad” offers a slice of history mixed with fiction about pre-Civil War times in Ohio.


April 26, 2009 at 10:29 am 1 comment

Up Up and Away- too nice a day


and weekend to be near a computer- so go enjoy ! I am am!!!

April 25, 2009 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

April and May EVENTS- Updated!

Our Pasta Paradise III will be held again at the Jackalope Restaurant from 3pm to 6pm. Price again this year is $18. Buffet of Chicken Alfredo with bow tie pasta, Pasta Bolognaise, mild Italian sausage with penne, along with garlic bread, tossed salad, dessert and one glass of wine or draft beer plus coffee or tea. Tickets are available from BRHS trustees or at the Museum.

Tickets for Gillian are going quickly
Get them NOW!!!
April 24 35 left
April 25 32 left
April 26 43 left

May 1 87 left
May 2 66 left
May 3 84 left
BOX OFFICE 440-988-5613


Lorain County Metro Parks and TrueNorth Cultural Arts are pleased to present the original play, Freedom’s Light: a Stop along the Underground Railroad at the French Creek Nature Center Thursdays through Sundays May 1 to 17. Shows begin at 7:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 3pm on Sundays. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-LCM-PARK or (440) 949-5200 or online at



Lorain High Open House

There will be an opportunity to visit Lorain High before it is torn down. That will be on Saturday, May 2nd from 12 until 4. There will be refreshments and raffles of Lorain High memorabilia. Spread the word to any Lorain High alumni!

Ohio Dance Theatre presents Silent Witness and SpindriftMay 7 – 10 Cleveland Public Theatre Gordon Square Theatre

Ohio Dance Theatre presents two exciting new works in DanceWorks 09 at CPT. Silent Witness, developed and choreographed by Artistic Director, Denise Gula, is a multimedia theatrical work revealing the darkness of the human soul. Inspired by the disturbing and poignant images of Genesis House’s Silent Witness exhibit, a display that identifies and honors victims of domestic violence, the work in progress serves as a moving tribute to the victims while bringing attention to this serious social problem.

Ohio Dance Theatre will also feature Spindrift, a contemporary ballet performed to the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The work reflects the beauty found in our natural world while expressing the serene calm and sudden power of an ever changing New England Coastline.

To view a 30 sec. promo for this event visit:
Visit for more information about the company!

Nancy Davis Conductor– Stocker Center Box Office 800-995-5222 Ext 4040
on line

Join us in May for these special events:

*Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 7p.m.: Hear the tales of boats and pirates on the Inland Seas and the stories of the rest of the characters who were involved in helping to quench the thirst of Americans during Prohibition when Bette Lou Higgins presents YO, HO, HO AND A BOTTLE OF RUM! at the Avon Historical Society at 36995 Detroit Rd; Avon, Ohio. This performance is FREE and open to the public.

*Saturday, May 2, 2009, 2p.m.: Meet Sara Comstock (portrayed by Bette Lou Higgins) as she visits the French Creek Nature Center, 4530 Colorado Ave. in Sheffield Village to talk about her book, NEXT STOP, FREEDOM! Set in 1899, this first person character program looks at the Underground Railroad in Ohio through the eyes of Sarah who grew up in a station in Sandusky. After Sarah’s talk, Meryl Johnson will present songs from the Underground Railroad. Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. For more information contact the Center at 440-949-5200.

* Monday, May 4, 2009, 6:30p.m.: GREAT LAKES LADIES will be presented at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky’s Annual Dinner at the Sandusky Yacht Club; 529 E. Water St. This storytelling program featuring some life saving women of the Inland Seas will be presented by Bette Lou Higgins. The event is open to the public. Tickets for the dinner and program are $25.00. For reservations and additional information contact the museum at 419-625-6567.

*Wednesday, May 20, 2009, noon: Find out WHAT’S HER STORY? when Bette Lou Higgins presents this storytelling program about some famous and not-so-famous women for Church Women United at the Parma Lutheran Church, 5280 Broadview Rd. This program is open to the public. Tickets for the show and luncheon are $3.00/person. For ticket information and reservations, call Betty Mackey at 440-885-3190 by May 17, 2009.

*Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 6p.m.: Hear the stories and the music of Ohio’s writers and composers when Bette Lou Higgins and Bryan Bird present FROM OHIO TO BROADWAY for the Annual Meeting of The Lorain County Historical Society at DeLuca’s Place; 6075 Middle Ridge Road, Lorain, OH 44053. Tickets for the dinner, the meeting and the program are $25 for LCHS members, $30 for non-members. Advance reservations are required. For more information contact (440) 322-3341.
To arrange for this or any of our programs to be presented for your group, contact Eden Valley directly by responding to this e-mail with your request.

For a complete schedule of Eden Valley Events check out our calendar page at
Ongoing Programs at Lakeview Park

Every Tuesday Coffee Hikes (9am-10am)
Get a free cup of coffee at the Rose Cafe’, then walk around Lakeview Park to start your morning off right! Participate in 10 and get a free coffee mug to fill up at the Cafe’.

Every Thursday Heart Hikes (9am-10am)

Join us for a walking workout with barbells. Gearted to gently flex and use every muscle. Dress for outdoor weather. Work up to a free water bottle after 10 walks and pedometer after 20.

Second Wednesday of Each Month
Preschool Beach Bunch

April 8th (10am-11am)

Program includes crafts and nature lessons. If weather permits we will go outside for an activity. Program also includes a snack.

April 24, 2009 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

Community Development -Part Eight







Part Seven- THE MONEY

Continuing Mark Teleha’s epic interview with the staff of Lorain’s Community Development

Note : Chris Bauer ( Chris) is no longer with Lorain’s Community Development Dept.


Don Romancak

The one thing that’s amazing is how much work has been gotten out on such tight budgets. Everyone is understaffed. Everyone has been understaffed for a looooong time.

Jan ( Makert) –

I might add that we’re a sophisticated staff and we have the education and other departments sometimes turn to us for assistance. Chris here has actually taught GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and helps with some grant requests that come to us.


So those are things that aren’t as obvious. I was going to add that so often what we do is a long time in doing and is hidden. We don’t broadcast it. That’s necessary at times. Because the type of work we do, sometimes we can’t be obvious. It has to be kept under wraps until the proper time for it to be advertised. There’s a lot of work being done, sort of under the surface, to make sure that it’s done correctly.

Don –

When a developer expresses interest in the City, we can’t say ‘Company XYZ is coming or has an interest.’


Jan –

But there’s an awful lot of work that has to be done behind the scenes in preparation.

Don –

There’s been a lot of other projects that we’ve gotten into, and we’ve spent a lot of time, but unfortunately, nothing comes to fruition.

You know, typical salesman, if you get one close for every 10 leads then you’re doing good. It’s not that here, but there’s times that we put a lot of work in, and then unfortunately, we don’t get this company or we can’t get this grant, and a lot of that does happen. It’s just a fact of life.


So there is a lot of work that’s going in, we just don’t always get the results we’d like to. I think we do a fairly good job of closing what we do work on.


I guess one example is we’ll serve sometimes as a consultant. Chris was very busy with the Soccer Academy. They received no funding from the City, but they were looking for sites, and they hit a wall on where they thought they would want to be, which was around Avon. They just could not locate a site that would fit their needs, their budgets and whatnot.


We served as an effective middleman. We were able to hook them up with a property owner that had a site that they were really interested in. Got them together in multiple meetings and kinda mediated. They were able, from those meetings, to find some common ground, and we were able to execute the deal.

They had some very specific criteria, and we came up with about 7 sites to show them around Lorain. The last site we showed them was Emerald Valley, and they loved it, because it’s flat and there’s hardly any trees.


But there was some resistance and how could you go, from some people in the organization, how could we go here, we have a golf course that’s operating. It took a little bit of convincing even though, in the end, it was the perfect site for them. Just because it was an ongoing business, it was a greenfield, but it wasn’t your typical greenfield.

Chris –

We were extremely fortunate that they decided to locate here. That is one of our premier developments.

Don –

It was fortunate, but we sort of made our own fortune. It was 7 sites, and Chris driving around with them, talking to them and calling the different property owners, and working on all of that. Unfortunately, they hit a little roadblock that, I don’t know why they weren’t able to overcome it in Avon, but we were more than…

Chris –

It was wet. Over 80% wet. Very wet and that was the problem. So this site has small pockets but definitely workable.


This whole department really functions…Team Approach. Everybody has their niche, so to speak, and we all draw upon each other on our specific projects. It’s nice to see everybody come together toward the common goal. That’s the really nice thing about the 5th Floor. Everybody works well together, and when we have an issue, when something comes up, we’re all there, ready to tackle it. It’s kind of a nice way to do business.

Don –

And it allows that creativity as well, because Chris will see a problem one way, or an issue, and Jan will see it another, I’ll be a third, and then there’s Doug…


He’s always out in left field anyway.


But everyone will come together, they bring their own expertise, their own ideas, and sometimes you have, sometimes there’s heated discussions and other times it’s simple 1-2-3.

But I think we get the answers right, or closer to right, much more often than not. That’s why when we do go down to Council, we typically do OK.

There haven’t been a lot of projects that we’ve brought down where Council has said, ‘Absolutely not.’ Part of it is, we try to communicate with the Administration and Council. They’ve given us an idea of where to go, or when an opportunity comes up we’ll let them know ‘Hey, here’s an opportunity, we’d like to take advantage of it.’


We talk it through with them; we kinda give them our best advice on how we think it will go. Very rarely will we make a guarantee. We’ll say, ‘It’s our understanding, it’s our belief for these reasons that it’s good, but here are the things to be concerned about.’

Council and administration has really appreciated that they go in with eyes partially open if not fully open, based on our ability to take a look at things. We do try to be creative because of the limitations that we do have on our funds, on putting things together.

To Be Continued……..

April 23, 2009 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Brian has a Beef!

April 22, 2009 at 11:07 pm Leave a comment


mistcom PHOTO Mark Teleha

I have been celebrating my 2nd anniversary here in this home- a lot has happened- somehow I ended up with HWTHSBO (he who thinks he should be obeyed) and SWMBO ( she who must be obeyed) – my buddy got married and moved out – which meant definite lifestyle changes for me – I hear he got a cat!

Can you believe it …. a cat!!!! Pesky damned things I am forever trying to rid the garden of these things and he gets one and calls it Dakota!!

Dakota if that isn’t a dogs name I don’t know what is- and to think ME the designer dog of noble ancestry gets called Misty – where is my “dog name”? I should have been called “Hunter” or Thor ( come to think of it I am a girl) but at least “Falcon”.

Humans they can be totally irresponsible at times- like a couple of days ago this person visiting the neighborhood ( helping to clear out a property) decided to reward me for letting my humans know there was something going on in the alley-

She tossed me something to chew on- unfortunately I spent all night throwing it up and my humans were very angry ( wouldn’t like to be her if SWMBO gets her teeth into her). I will let them know the next time she is in the alley !

Then there is the case of 10 dogs in one home-

Oh dear! don’t humans realize we need space, we like to be clean, we don’t like to eat where we poop and we don’t like sharing fleas.

It is bad enough I have to share when that “Tetley” comes over ( and he is called after tea bags -go figure)

AND I don’t have a larger place to run- it has gotten smaller since the pond and those squirrels are fenced off
but I do get to go for walks and swims. When my buddy comes home takes me for runs in the woods- ah ! the smogasborg of smells enough to make your nose over heat! At least he doesn’t bring the cat!

I heard SWMBO say that there was an ordinance and that 4 dogs or more needed a Commercial Kennel License and look seems humans in Lorain need to protect us animals ( even those cats!) – if we dogs have to have a dog license seems if you have 4 or more – then humans need a commercial kennel license

The term “commercial kennel”, as used in this chapter and all other sections of the Codified Ordinances of the City, including the Zoning Code, means any lots or premises on which four or more dogs, or cats, or both, at least four months of age are kept, boarded, or trained, whether in special structures or runways or not.(Ord. 87-79. Passed 5-7-79.)

April 22, 2009 at 11:54 am 3 comments



by Loraine Ritchey

This blog has had a huge amount of international traffic hitting this article ( post)
“BUYER BEWARE!!!!!- EUROPE-PLANE-TRAIN-BOATS- AUTOS- HOTELS in the past two weeks- thanks to being no 2 in a google search . Therefore now may be a good time to revisit “car rental”

I promised to continue with the observations on “car rentals” abroad. The “language barrier and terminology” was addressed in the first part of the article.

Lets talk “INSURANCE”

Part one of my car rental experience found me not only confused as to the type of vehicle I was renting but the difficulty in deciphering “access” and “excess”. Finallly I twigged it ( even though I was born and bred in England- I was confused) the Enterprise member of staff was actually talking deductible

I had decided to use Enterprise – One they were an American company ( so I know where they live)

Two they picked up and dropped off .

Anyone who has rented a car ( especially abroad ), knows there are hidden charges of insurance.


How many times have I stood at the counter stating My credit card company covers that”- . only to have the “counter cretin” blankly stare and say –

We are sorry Madam this isn’t America – you will need to purchase our insurance or pay full price for the any damages and we charge your credit card.

There have been times when I have taken my chances and not paid the extra charges and times I have .

One car rental garage in Seven Oaks, Kent ( booked through Avis) two years previously put the 500 pound ( around $780.00 at the time ) on the charge card but did not process it until I took the car back – any damage would have been charged !

However, I had gone over the car with a fine tooth comb and made them mark down every knick , dent or tiny scratch and took pictures.

When I returned the car they tried to charge me for a door dent and bumper scratch – but I had the pictures and signed paper stating they were on the car when I had picked it up.


This time however, I was a little more concerned with the driving in England -( as I have aged -I now pay the extra for an automatic – standard shift is cheaper by quite a lot in England) also I have become less confident with British driving) –

We would be doing a lot of miles and I would be parking on a very narrow side road. I didn’t want to take the chance of not having the “deductible” covered and the worry some clot would clip me!

I was informed the excess ( deductible) on this Mercedes A class 1,000 pounds or at the exchange rate at the time over $2,000 dollars.

Since I hadn’t ordered the Mercedes A class , Enterprise lowered the deductible to the Fusion “excess rate” of 600 pounds just over $1,200 .

This is the insurance that would have been covered under my Visa- but I got the old song and dance
“So sorry Madam……”
so I bit the money bullet ”

Ok give me YOUR insurance to cover the 600 pounds-

Oh! Madam our insurance only covers 500 pounds of the 600 pound excess- you will have to put the extra 100 pounds ( 200 dollars) on your card and also another 100 pounds deposit

So 400 dollars was then put on my card.

Still with me?????

Now things have also changed from previous rental agreements I have held – Enterprise not only charged the card for the “deposit” but charged all the charges separately so I ended up having the car rental charges, the insurance and the deductable and all the other add ons put through on my card as separate items.

For those unfamiliar with the way this works I was charged 5 different transaction fees ( due to the exchange rate)for one car rental .

Then when returning the car ( and yes some twit had opened their door in parking lot and dinged the door which then meant I lost my “deductible 100 pounds” ( 200 dollars)

They then credited my account for the other 100 pounds BUT the exchange rate had changed so I LOST MONEY cost me over 200 dollars but only got back $186.00 and I was charged another transaction fee.

A couple of weeks later I had to get the 2nd half of my rental – and went through the whole rigmarole again – no dings this time but since the dollar was falling in free fall I lost $50 dollars on the deposit and once again was charged separately on the card and all the damned transaction fees.
When I received the statement I called Visa who explained that they will give you a number internationally that the car rental companies can call collect to verify your “excess” coverage or they will give you a letter stating your coverage- BUT some car rental companies will still give you a hard time and if you accept their coverage you will not be covered under your “credit card coverage” . You could be charged up to the cost of the vehicle – and strange things do happen
carhorse SOURCE

Such was the case with my $200 ding from Enterprise. If I hadn’t paid it upfront they could have charged me whatever and I would have been stuck paying the repairs and trying to get the credit card to pay me.

I had visions of an estimated $3,000 dollar repair bill being the cynic that I am …… YUP sure is enterprising this car rental lark!

to be continued………

April 21, 2009 at 10:24 am 1 comment

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April 2009