Archive for August, 2009

I don’t believe in IF anymore


IF is for children——-I will no longer write about “doing the right thing” – promoting the arts- putting Mark Stewart in tights- having an opinion and all passion for caring has been taken from me in recent events.

So although the blog will remain – a headstone of times of trial, tribulation, information and sometimes joy – this writer and advocate remains buried under an avalanche of IFs……….

August 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm 4 comments

Crushed by the Calendar of Cancer

Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers – I still have the elephant on my chest – I don’t believe in statistics anymore- and to tell patients this is the curable cancer is cruel and inhumane- I still have the elephant on my chest to prove it…….

August 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm 2 comments

Life and Cancer has taken its toll

I am not sure when or if I will be blogging again – so for all of you who have been on this journey with me _ I wish I had some wit and wisdom to share instead I am plagued with despair and doubt……. I am spent…. Loraine

August 21, 2009 at 7:31 pm 3 comments

Not so good news

has hit this household so until I find myself again and know more about what tomorrow brings with it – I am taking a break- Please check out the blogs listed on the right hand side in the meantime – Loraine

August 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm 7 comments

Settlers’ Watch- The Blogs!

This morning finds me grateful for Lorain County ( blogs) first to Lorain County Photo Blog and Mark Teleha who has archived and uploaded a time line of the project

There were as you will see a great many people involved!

“I was immediately struck by the large gathering. This was a volunteer citizens group beautifying an area where trees needed to be cut down for power lines. “

And for the very nice post on Emerge by Ed Skimin ( also Lorain County dot com) Emerge, as you will read also hosts (at no cost ) to Charleston Village our website –

Thank you so much !!!!

August 10, 2009 at 10:57 am 2 comments

Rescinding the Raises- the time has come

by Loraine Ritchey



The Morning Journal has had front page articles this week written by

Workers take pay cuts; boss accepts $1,700 wage increase

City Hall drones cash in: Urbanek strikes gold

Everybody gets a raise: Lorain officials to get 3 percent pay increase from ’07 ordinance

and last night Channel 19 had an expose of Cuyahoga County workers being laid off whilst others get 200,000 in raises in their Shame on You segment
Some County Workers the Hook-Up While Others Get Laid Off

Lorain and Cleveland are not alone in this happenstance and although I am sure that justifications for those raises will come hot and heavy – from –

We are having to do more work due to less staff

We have to keep up with the private sector in order to get qualified people
( that one may fall a little flat now considering there are a hell of a lot of people in the private sector with plenty of experience looking for positions- there is a huge talent pool to choose from now) –

I am one of the lowest paid department heads!

And the arrogance of ” I am entitled under the city ordinances “

These types of justification just aren’t washing and are getting right up my nose- and I don’t believe I am alone in my thinking-

The citizens of Lorain continued to support her with the 1/4 income tax renewal – which I also publically supported and took a lot of flack for doing so –

but I CANNOT support raises for a department head of 28 percent.

I am sorry, apart from rubbing salt in the wounds of a bleeding taxpayer, this is flying in the face of the economic challenges we are dealing with , it is obscene actually – to my way of thinking.

The treasurer’s salary will leap up 28 percent from $57,000 to a little more than $71,000

This same treasurer who under his “Garbo” name also ( even if he was on break) used taxpayer paid time and presumably computers to tout the 1/4 percent renewal which according to his time stamped statements on
Lorain County dot com stated:

“Message: #10 was institued by the tax dept not the mayor

Written by: garbo on January 26, 2009 9:16 AM

Posted in: Lorain City Forum “

Mr. Urbanek under his Garbo identity – never once identifying himself as the Treasurer – continued to fight for the passage of the renewal –

Quite frankly I find that behaviour suspect since his department would directly benefit- are there not rules covering this type of behaviour?? I don’t honestly know but there is a little voice telling me something isn’t right about that.

I don’t know Mr. Urbanek personally – for all I know in his personal and rest of his professional life he may be brilliant -but he has, for me, become the poster child of “wrong way thinking” and the fact that when the voters don’t have a choice we can’t keep blaming the voters.

“if re-elected, and he is unopposed in November.

It seems we do have a political party ( almost) monopoly in this city>.

I am not a political animal in the sense I don’t get involved with the party politics- I vote as an Independent and only vote issues in Primary elections .

To my way of thinking , since the voters don’t have much of a choice lately when it comes to choosing a representative, I would ask the party (in Lorain’s case the Democrats) to please start being more circumspect when it comes to your backing ( if that is how it works) because ultimately the City of Lorain is in “YOUR” hands and is being guided down a path of “YOUR” choosing. Ultimately in Lorain the more powerful “Democratic Party” has an awesome responsibility –

And I know it is asking a lot of public officials and public servants to decline the raises and rescind the raises ( or at least put them in abeyance) but you have asked the citizens of Lorain to support you ( and there will be more asking in November.) We have all had to tighten our belts – time to lead by example- if we truly have the best interest of Lorain in mind.

I would ask all of you to gauge this situation in another way .


August 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm 8 comments

It is all over- my friend

Please check out Mark’s photos of Lorain High –
LHSchairs Photo Mark Teleha

I didn’t even attend that facility and they touch my heart-

August 7, 2009 at 11:02 am 6 comments

An August- August – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LAKE

lighthouse reflectionPhoto Mark Teleha

Lorain Lighthouse Tours
August 7th and 14th
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance. Call the Black River Historical Society at (440) 245-2563 M-F 10am-4:30p, or Sun 1-4:30pm.

Tours will depart from Riverside Park for regularly scheduled tours. During festivals, we’ll depart from both Riverside Park and Black River Landing. Ticket holders should arrive 15 minutes early. Those who need to purchase tickets the day of, please arrive 30 minutes prior to departure to check availability. Cash and checks are accepted.

Visit the Port of Lorain Foundation, Inc. for more information.
08-06-water-taxi photo Mike Challender

Black River Nature Tours – MORE DATES ADDED

Rick Novak, Executive Director, Lorain Port Authority

The Lorain Port Authority in partnership with the Lorain County Metro Parks announces the BLACK RIVER NATURE TOURS for 2009!
A variety of wildlife can be seen on the tours, including osprey, eagles, herons and deer. Lorain Port Authority staff and Lorain County MetroParks naturalists will provide information on wildlife, flora and fauna, and landmarks of interest during the cruises.

The shuttle departs Wednesdays and Thursdays in June, July and August at approximately 6:30pm from the Black River Landing dock located near the International Flagpoles. Please arrive 15 minutes early to ensure an on-time departure.

Friday evening tours will also be running – no naturalist will be available.

Parking is available throughout the festival site.

Please contact the Lorain Port Authority at (440) 204-2273 for $12 tickets and reservations. Passengers must be at least 30 lbs to come onboard.

Private tours may be booked by calling the Lorain Port Authority at (440) 204-2273.

Bring your cameras and binoculars to enjoy the sights!

Do the Right Thing: Back to School Picnic _ August 15th

Cel Rivera, Police Chief, City of Lorain

The Do the Right Thing: Back to School Picnic will be held on August 15, 2009 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Black River Landing.
There will be plenty of fun activities at the picnic including food, entertainment, and school supplies.

This event is sponsored by the following:
Lorain City Schools,
Lorain Police Department,
The Morning Journal,
Fligner’s Food Market,
Lorain County Community College,
Lorain Police Auxiliary, and
United Steelworkers of America Local 1104, 1104-1 and 2354.


August 22nd at 7:00 pm. CLEVELAND POPS

Cleveland Pops ConcertAugust 22, 7pm
Lakeview Park

Lorain County Metro Parks, the City of Lorain and the Morning Journal are excited to announce that the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Carl Topilow, are performing on Lakeview Beach August 22 at 7pm. The concert is free so bring a blanket or chair and end the summer on a high note!

The Cleveland Pops Orchestra has delighted audiences since 1995 with popular contemporary American music that appeals to all musical tastes. They recently made their debut on national television as they were featured in Smuckers Presents Hot Ice, Cool Sounds on NBC on Christmas Day. The Cleveland Pops Orchestra has a wide collection of songs that include Broadway show tunes, movie scores, jazz, big band and swing songs. It will be an entertaining and exciting concert for all ages to enjoy!

Enjoy a magical evening with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra on Lakeview Beach. The concert is free and isa fun and engaging experience for all ages! Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the music and the sunset. Call (440) 458-5121 for more information

port of  lorian foundat

August 6, 2009 at 9:21 pm Leave a comment

“I vant to be ( left) alone” – Garbo

Greta Garbo star of the silver screen – famous for her “I vant to be alone” quote
greta Garbo 1925
urbanek Garbo 2009

It seems we have a Garbo in Lorain- star of the Lorain County dot com -Lorain Forum- and it seems I have rubbed “HIM” the wrong way – according to our Garbo’s post he is in fact Thomas Urbanek – Yup!!!! that is right our City Treasurer- that I , and the Morning Journal , took to task over the past few days

So since Our Garbo has decided to come out of his other personna for the sake of fairness I will let him have his say on this blog:

Title: Re: Lorain City Income Tax question /1999

Message: Ms Ritchie, I do understand that will i have been the cities tresurer let me tell the kind of accomplishments have been completed in our office. I wrote a new employee manual for my office long before the city had one.Replaced very old furniture and carpeting wth grants at no cst to the city. Moved the tax dept into the21st century by installing a drop box and an efile system. Taken several hundred dead beat non payers to court to bring in almost a half million in revenue more than anyone before me. Instituted a first ever collection agency ( at no cost to the city) that has brought in over fifty thousand dollars just this year. We have supplemented the general fund by more than half a million dollars by prudent investing. So Do Not tell me to watch the money because I have and will continue to do so. I am still negotiating the issues that have been in the papers and since the journal jumped the gun for a hot story it has not been very easy but I am moving forward. Your comments about me as of late are based on yor being disgrunted about a comment I may have mad years ago that did not agree with train of thought, due me and every other person you write about and please be sure to write about todys issues not those in the past. Thank You Thomas c. Urbanek OH and by the way yes I am a hair stylist and also attended L.C.C.C. and have owned a very successful busines in Lorain for 40 years\that has give me more reall everyday working knowledge about money and businees than the average person

Written by: garbo on August 5, 2009 12:34 PM
View other posts from garbo

I explained my thought process to Garburbanek

But just to reiterate: I find Mr. Urbanek’s thinking somewhat lacking in now at least three areas:

1. Ore Piles ( Taconite) in the middle of a neighborhood and downtown are NOT an asset as he stated- and I think you will find that any developer or any study will agree with me on that.

2. Taking a raise whilst your department has to take unpaid days off is not something that is endearing but smacks of “self” ishness

3. And finally in the I can’t understand this man’s logic . Mr. Urbanek in his Garbo stage name has made 162 posts to Lorain County dot com – Lorain Forum on a great many subjects – all of them Monday through Friday from 9:02 in the morning through 3:58 pm. giving the excuse for not working at those times (and they run at different times all through the day ( check them out I did )

Written by: garbo on August 5, 2009 3:11 PM
View other posts from garbo

Well Garburbanek sorry but you just keep making me wonder about your thought processes-

Why is the City of Lorain Treasurer posting about – Bishops, Pot holes, City Government , Parks and Cheese Festivals – taking BAH to task for his employee manual stance ( when you deemed your employee manual important enough to mention in your post to me – ironic that) since May 2008 –

Wouldn’t your time in the department be better spent explaining taxes for instance? ( just a thought)

Mr. Urbanek what you choose to write and what opinions you express are a matter between you and your conscience.

However I take issue with the fact that your days are spent doing this on city time ( taxpayers time – how many coffee breaks and hours off for lunch do you get anyway ) and presumably on a city computer.

Note:If you are using your own I apologize up front but then I may have to make a public records request to have that validated.

So , unfortunately , instead of changing my thinking as to your thought process I find that you have indeed, only confirmed my original opinion of your “thinking” or lack thereof.

But it makes no never mind in the grand scheme of things since you are running unopposed- my not voting for you makes no difference. and my opinion doesn’t count for much then does it ?
money  urbanek


August 5, 2009 at 9:49 pm 13 comments

Mothers and Sons

By Loraine Ritchey

The old saying goes:
A son is a son til he takes him a wife
but a daughter is a daughter all of her life.


I am not sure I agree with that old adage. There is a bond between a mother and her child and that of a son that I defy anyone to dismiss lightly. Just like a father and daughter hold that precious relationship dear there is something about a mother and her son. I can’t explain it – I can’t tell you what it is but a mother knows just how her “sister” is feeling when another of her ilk is grieving, worrying , scared and also proud of her son, no matter his age.

We know what it is like to hold him close to our hearts after his birth , see his first smile , or to feel his first stirring of life within us. And now my own daughter knows what it is like to have that relationship with her own son –

During the ceremony at Settlers’ Watch on Saturday there was a group of mothers linked by that little greenspace- a sub story to that of the day – we have held our collective breath and recognized each others pain, worry and tears – these mothers of sons.

May we all have peace and happiness to hold in our hearts and respite from gut wrenching worry and pain.

August 4, 2009 at 11:35 pm 4 comments

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August 2009