Archive for July, 2011

Institute for Justice- Free Speech – notches up another win!

The Institute for Justice – (their website can also be found on the blogroll at on this blogs side bar). I have had the privilege of seeing Dana Berlina , Scott Bullock and Chip Mellor for the Institute up close and personal in the Ohio Supreme Court and meeting with them in Washington DC, on more than one occasion, they are truly remarkable in their passion.

I was also privileged to meet and share the story, through my blogs, of The Gore family who are mentioned in the following press release from the Institute for Justice

when the Gore family—owners of Western Seafood and the original victims of Royall’s eminent domain abuse effort in Freeport—complained against Royall’s actions, he sued them for defamation.

What is happening , and not just in Texas, are the frivolous lawsuits brought about by those with the money to spend to silence critics who typically cannot afford to “fight”- In my opinion, it is the new “bullying tactic” – BUT , at least in Texas, score one more for the “guys in the white hats”! The Institute of Justice doesn’t like bullies !

The mission statement of the Institute for Justice :

Through strategic litigation, training, communication, activism and research, the Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.

IJ litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech and other vital individual liberties, and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government.

In addition, IJ trains law students, lawyers and policy activists in the tactics of public interest litigation.

816 CONGRESS AVE SUITE 960 AUSTIN, TX 78701 (512) 480-5936 FAX (512) 480-5937

July 26, 2011

Appeals Court Rejects Dallas Developer’s Claim
That Book About Eminent Domain Defamed Him
Author and Publisher Protected by First Amendment

Dallas, Texas—In an important victory for the First Amendment, a unanimous Texas Fifth Court of Appeals has handed a major defeat to Dallas developer H. Walker Royall in his defamation lawsuit against the author and publisher of Bulldozed: “Kelo,” Eminent Domain, and the American Lust for Land.

In November 2009, a Dallas trial court issued a blanket denial of Carla Main and Encounter Books’ claims that the book is protected by the First Amendment, prompting the appeal.

Late yesterday, the Dallas appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgment and held that Royall failed to produce evidence that anything in Bulldozed defames him in any way. The opinion reaffirms that criticism of public projects is protected by the First Amendment, and that developers who are involved in those projects cannot hide behind defamation law to escape criticism over their role.

“Walker Royall has failed in his attempt to use this frivolous defamation lawsuit as a weapon to silence his critics,”

said Dana Berliner, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, the nonprofit public interest law firm that is defending Main and her publisher.

“The appeals court has exposed the frivolity of Royall’s lawsuit, holding that Royall failed to prove that a single word of Bulldozed defames him.”

Published in 2007, Bulldozed chronicles events in Freeport, Texas, where Royall signed a development agreement to have the city take land owned by Western Seafood—a generations-old shrimping business—and give that land to Royall’s development company for a luxury yacht marina. Royall sued the book’s author, Carla Main, and its publisher, Encounter Books, in October 2008, seeking monetary damages and a permanent prohibition on further printing or distribution of the book.

Like many works of non-fiction, Bulldozed chronicles the events in Freeport in dramatic fashion, but Royall was unable to identify a single false and defamatory statement about him in the entire book.

The Court found that Royall was not defamed on any page of the book, nor by the gist of the book. It found that Main’s description of his role in the project and eminent domain was not defamatory; nor was describing the contract between Freeport and Royall as a “sweetheart deal.” The opinion also found that descriptions of the book on Main’s and Encounter’s websites and in a book review were entirely non-defamatory.

Main is a veteran journalist who was an associate editor of The National Law Journal, where she edited the opinion page and wrote a column on law and society. She wrote for The Wall Street Journal, Policy Review, National Review, The American Lawyer and The New York Sun, among other publications.

Before becoming a journalist, Main practiced as an attorney in New York City for ten years. Bulldozed was reviewed in many newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, was considered for the Texas Historical Commission’s annual T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award and won a highly competitive independent press award for political science writing.

“This is a great day for the First Amendment and obviously, a great day in my life,”

said Main.

“I am deeply grateful to my outstanding lawyers at the Institute for Justice, who never wavered in their passion about this case. And I am equally proud of my editor and publisher, who have stood by me and shown unfailing kindness, loyalty and integrity. No author could ask for more.”

“In dismissing this preposterous assault on the First Amendment, the Court has affirmed the sacrosanct principle that a free society requires a free press,”

said Roger Kimball, publisher of Encounter Books.

“This decision is thus important not only for the several defendants, it is equally important for anyone who believes that free speech is the prerogative of all citizens, not just the wealthy and well connected.”

Royall’s lawsuit is part of a national trend of developers and government officials using defamation lawsuits to silence their opponents. Similar suits have been filed in Tennessee, Missouri, Washington and elsewhere by developers and government officials looking to silence critics of eminent domain for private gain.

Wright Gore

Earlier, when the Gore family—owners of Western Seafood and the original victims of Royall’s eminent domain abuse effort in Freeport—complained against Royall’s actions, he sued them for defamation.

In the present lawsuit, Royall has also sued the Galveston newspaper that reviewed the book, along with the book reviewer. Law Professor Richard Epstein, whom Royall also sued, was dismissed from the lawsuit in March 2009.

“Books that criticize the government are the very essence of protected speech,”

said Matt Miller, executive director of the Institute for Justice Texas Chapter.

“This decision upholds the right of everyone to discuss and criticize public projects, and the people—like Royall— who are involved with them.”

The ruling also establishes that book publishers are entitled to speedy access to appellate courts when their First Amendment claims are rejected by a trial court. Royall tried to argue that book publishers are not members of the “print media” under the relevant statute, an argument the appeals court squarely rejected.

Since Royall filed his suit in 2008, the Texas legislature has enacted additional safeguards to protect people who speak about public affairs.

This past session, Texas passed a law (known as “anti-SLAPP” which stands for “strategic lawsuits against public participation”) that allows defamation defendants to quickly get rid of suits, like Royall’s, that are brought to silence critics of public projects.

Defendants can also recover attorney’s fees and costs when the suit is dismissed. That law becomes effective September 1. Main’s testimony helped pass the anti-SLAPP law after she testified about her experience during the past legislative session

July 30, 2011 at 10:22 am 5 comments

The Biber/ Gilchrist Chronicle (S)tirring the pot!

Our trip through “wonder” land continues and this Alice really feels like the tea has been spiked!

Tea Blend ONE:

Today we have the NAACP crying “foul” with regard to Gilchrist complaint of voter fraud – calling the BOE the KKK

Paul Hill, one of Gilchrist’s supporters, said the elections board looked like a Ku Klux Klan meeting as the board prepared to begin the meeting. The members of the elections board are all white, while Hill is black

High priced attorneys into the blend ( told you they are the only ones that benefit 🙂
Robert Gilchrist’s hearing on voter residency postponed by Brad Dicken

Tea Blend Two LCCAA

Dismissed employee files lawsuit against LCCAA head by Evan Goodenow

•Incoming executive director Robert Gilchrist, who takes over for Locke next month, has been accused of voter fraud.
•Vince Urbin, former agency community service director, quit July 12 after pleading no contest to charges of soliciting a prostitute.
•In 2008, Elizabeth Young, former agency assistant director of housing, was sentenced to three years probation related to her stealing federal taxpayer money slated to help poor people pay their heating bills. Young used the money to pay her utility bills.
•In 2006, agency department heads were accused of cronyism, nepotism, misuse of money and inflating Head Start enrollment figures

Tea Blend Three

We seek him here we seek him there we seek that Biber everywhere – Is he in Lorain or Sheffield Lake voter fraud may be at stake????

Lorain school board member’s residency questioned again by Brad Dicken

Anthony Giardini, an elections board member who also serves as an attorney for Lorain Schools, said he doesn’t see an issue with Biber having more than one residence. The one that counts, he said, is the Lorain house because that’s where Biber has declared he will live and vote.

That’s enough, Giardini said, to make the Lorain house Biber’s primary residence.

Curiouser and curioser cried Alice the taxpayer……. and the all knowing Chesire Cat replied:

Those who say there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea for calming the nerves never had *real* tea. It’s like a syringe of adrenaline straight to the heart!

July 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm 32 comments

“A very civilized affair” ( well that is meeting )

I attended the meeting in the police training room at Lorain City Hall on July 27th- I attended as a representative of Charleston Village Society .You can find the media accounts as follows:

Chronicle Telegram
Lorain business owners say shelter clients are driving people from downtown

Morning Journal
Downtown Lorain needs more security, representatives say (with videos)

Channel 8 News with text and video,0,4315247.story

There were no fisty -cuffs, no shouting, just businesses and their representatives , social service agencies and their representatives, the Lorain office of Sherrod Brown , ( funding?? of those agencies )representatives from the Lorain clergy, a number of non-profits, and of course the City of Lorain and the council member for the 2nd ward. It was quite a large crowd and they were so polite.

There is an issue with the clients of Catholic Charities of 8th Street and they were there to “listen” to the surrounding businesses as to the concerns as to how “some” of their clientele are causing problems to those in the area.

There was some anecdotal discussion, and “stepping lightly”.

It seemed to me that really nobody wanted to appear to be the “mean’ and unfeeling; everyone was very cognizant of not degrading those that have less than ourselves. In fact to the point of almost “hey my best friend is homeless” scenario

The end result was “let us meet again” explore more fully … yadyada yada …..and I agree , there has to be a coming together, there has to be talk and action but we also have to be honest and frank. Maybe if the media hadn’t been there I don’t know if the dialogue would have been more open. Talking is good BUT a major problem was not addressed: Maybe the next meeting!

Now here I am taking off my Charleston Village Society hat and I am now being ”

We can’t pussyfoot around an issue here BECAUSE IT IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!

This is how I see it from a resident of Lorain’s oldest neighborhood who has been in touch with the downtown more than most and also runs a non -profit ( without salary I might add) .

Social Service Agencies are BIG BUSINESS– they have a lot of dollars ( millions upon millions) given to them to run their programs. Their directors earn very substantial salaries . Their clients ( and that is what they are) bring in that funding- the more clients and programs the more money .

But Lorain businesses those NOT in the social service industry want me and others like myself to come downtown to be their clientele.

The realtors want young families to move into these affordable neighborhoods to support our schools, use our library , go to the theatre.

How do they do that?

You do that by making the neighborhood and downtown a place you want to be, to walk to enjoy, to feel safe and comfortable with those that are sharing those sidewalks and areas. You provide a service or product that is of a “positive ilk”

So let us get on the same page and see about taking care of the miscreants that make our downtown unattractive.

We have a lot of social service agencies in this area and therefore we are attractive to their clientele ( even if for the most part their clientele aren’t so attractive to us )

We also have a lot of bars that are attractive to some of the “clients” and newer residents ( said sarcastically) . Sorry but we are hardly “upmarket” in our bar scene and the one or two that try wellllllllll

I tried on more than one occasion to bring the elephant to the table :

the figures of trackable less than honorable gentlemen in our 1 mile and to get the point across we aren’t just taking care of the homeless – infact I believe the people at the discussion were giving the true “homeless” a bad wrap.

I was met polite smiles and Oh yes we know look and let us move on. So I will have my say here ( because I can) 🙂

So to those Social Service agency people in particular – as you leave my neighborhood in the evening I ask you :

Do you really KNOW about the area in my neighborhood and the downtown corridor and who lives there?

BECAUSE THESE AREN’T THE HOMELESS EVERYONE WAS MENTIONING– these “clients” of the Adult Parole Authority and also the plethora of RSO’s for the most part HAVE HOMES except for the “13 unmappable that sometimes give Catholic Charities on 8th street as their address.

They come here for the cheap housing , the cluster housing where they can be with people they have things in common and the welcome wagon of available services as they are informed as to where they will find acceptance and services upon leaving prison and where they won’t find that help.

I am glad that people volunteer at the shelters I am glad they are looking out for their fellow man- but hey over here – we who are trying to make a living – trying to live we would like a little compassion too!

Source Family Watchdog July 28th 2011
You see Lorain has a residential area that literally abuts the business corridor all long Broadway not just the area to the underpass – we were the foot traffic, the clients- when that neighbohood was healthy the businesses that relied upon that community were also healthy when people felt safe driving through those neighborhoods they came to those banks, churches, theatres, they parked and went about the their “business”. NOT NOW!

You can put up all the cameras you want in a long Broadway to underpass, you can make the Broadway business district welcoming

BUT YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER WHAT IS IN OUR NOT SO HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD thanks to affordable housing and a plethora of social services and mega funding ( good business) and it has to be said “lack of code enforcement and deteriorating structures.

BECAUSE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD OF 44052 that abuts that Broadway corridor and that self same business district we have :

We, who LIVE” here enjoy( sarcasm) the special talents contributions of 83 adults on parole ….. these men have records of kidnapping, drug dealing, murder, manslaughter, armed robbery , burglary , prostitution, menacing, victim witness retaliation etc. See for yourself go to the Ohio Government website type in Lorain -Lorain and 44052
read it and weep-

We also have in that mile along the corridor 63 RSO’s in 47 locations and some that are unmappable but give Catholic Charities as their address.

THESE CLIENTS are in my neighborhood, they are walking my neighborhood streets they are sitting in my park and getting coffee and donuts from those that care. I have a right to complain because I LIVE here I spend 24 hours a day with the CLIENTS!

THEY too are being “serviced” by the number of social service agencies and their millions in funding .

You can talk about poor “old Joe” who isn’t all there but harmless as he wanders around the park where I LIVE and urinates in the fountain as he says good day to another neighbor whose claim to fame is
“burglary, GSI, Attempted rape, conspiracy AGG Robbery, weapons and unlawful dangerous ordinance”.

He too, is out for his nightly airing with his a bottle of wine / drugs to share with the lady ( of the evening and day ) who uses the pine tree for her absolutions as she plies her trade.

Do you honestly think I am going to take a stroll with my grandchild along that pathway in my little park on a summer’s evening?

Do you think I am going to wander down to the theatre?

Do you think I am going to take my grandchild to the library 2 streets away ?

NO! I am going to drive OUT of 44052 with him.

I wanted to laugh as the lady one social service agency said

YOU need to get to know these people

but that wouldn’t have been polite!!!!

_ I will politely decline and I wonder where she lays her head – come to think of it – I don’t recognize her from my neighborhood. But I do know some of her clients .

July 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm 12 comments

“Wonder”-land- Residence of CHOICE- Paul Biber

In our WONDER -land that is Lorain only the Cheshire Cat knows all

“Is our situation not dismal? Wonderland is so discombobulated that lady bugs have turned belligerent and enlisted in the queen’s army! PUNISH THEIR CONVERSION!”

Or where does Mr. Biber lay his weary head – votes – gets tax credit and how he does it – your guess is as good as mine- this is a confusing as Lorain City School finances 😉

According to the Lorain County Auditor’s site after searching for owner Paul Biber this is what comes up
Search Search Results: (3)Parcel Result

Parcel Number Owner
03-00-037-101-001 BIBER PAUL JOAN PERCH-BIBER 315 HARRIS RD 8/5/1993 $277,500

03-00-037-101-002 BIBER PAUL & JOAN PERCH-BIBER 4709 LAKE RD 8/5/1993 $277,500

03-00-094-105-011 BIBER PAUL J & PERCH JOAN 2128 E 29TH ST 6/13/2008 $35,000

Also according to the facts on that site Paul and Joan receive a 2 1/2 percent reduction on
315, Harris Road and 4709 Lake Road both in Sheffield Lake. They both have the same transfer date of 1993 .

I called the Lorain County Auditors office and I was told you can only receive the 2 1/2 percent reduction on your ‘PRIMARY RESIDENCE”- SO ONE OR THE OTHER RESIDENCE HAS TO BE MR. PAUL BIBERS to get that 2 1/2 percent right??????? I am asking here readers.

The tax mailings for 315 Harris Road are sent to 4709 Lake Road.

ED NOTE: I don’t know Mr. Biber’s personal situation whether he is separated and living apart-although they seem pretty together in their property acquisitions- – but just where does he lay his weary head – and would where you return to at night to lay that head be classified as your “residence”???? – Anyone in wonderland know?????

All I have on the subject are –just the facts– as per the record on the Lorain County Auditors site are all I have .

Mr. Biber also owns 2128 E 29th Street – tax records are mailed to that address and he has NOT applied for the 2 1/2 percent reduction on that property .

A reverse look up on the addresses on two different sites shows Mr. Biber as the resident on Lake Road and also on E 29th
Who says you can’t be in two places at one time 😉

And on his Sheffield Lake 315 Harris Road property ( upon which does receive the 2 1/2 reduction) a Mr. J Branson is listed as the resident .

Questions have been brought up off the blog as to where then does Mr. Biber vote and Denise stated in the comments on this post

“ for Biber…i requested record for his voting..he is listed at 2128 E 29th street 44055..6D (public record).

and Susie stated

In order to run for the board, you must be:
• a U.S. citizen,
• at least 18 years old,
• a resident of the state for at least 30 days preceding the election,
• a resident of the school district for at least 30 days preceding the election,
• registered to vote in the school district for at least 30 days preceding the election.

The questions just keep coming In WONDER land that is Lorain we continue to wonder:

Is this a loophole to be fixed from the 2 1/2 reduction , voting rights , the right to run who is circumventing whom here……….
the mind boggles ……… or when is a resident not a resident

Who knows NOT ME!!!!
NEEDED another Literary License PULLLEEEEEEEEZE

And the Cheshire Cat just keeps smiling………….

I’ve never trusted toadstools, but I suppose some must have their good points.

July 27, 2011 at 12:12 am 6 comments

Auditor Mantini responds to Mayor Krasienko


Last week Mayor Krasienko used the press and a public forum ( Lorain City Council meeting) to accuse Auditor Mantini and Councilman Given of misappropriation of funds , tampering and conspiring to cover up.

“It’s come to my attention that a misappropriation of funds by the auditor MAY HAVE occurred, along with tampering with public documents,” Krasienko said. “This legislation is an attempt to cover up a conspired action by Auditor Mantini and Councilman Given. I am publicly requesting the law director to begin a formal criminal inquiry and forward his findings.”

The Mayor’s chair from which he made his accusations a week ago was empty last night – Mayor Krasienko was not there to face those he accused .

Whether or not the Mayor was there Mr. Mantini addressed the accusations
Morning Journal with video can be found here

Mantini says Krasienko’s accusations were ‘charade’ (with video)

Chronicle Telegram article can be found here

Lorain auditor says mayor’s accusations are payback
Mr. Mantini’s full statement to Lorain City Council is as follows

At last Monday’s council meeting, the mayor made some very serious accusations against me and Councilman Given. He accused me of the following:
• Misappropriation of funds
• Tampering with public documents
• Attempt to cover up a conspired action along with Mr. Given

I am here tonight to respond to these allegations and set the record straight in the same public forum the mayor chose to make these accusations.

The 1st accusation of Misappropriation of Funds

First of all, council passed ordinance #023-11 appropriating $311,558of expenses into the Economic Development Fund. Council then passed ordinance #070-11 de-appropriating the money from the Economic Development Fund. As a result of this de-appropriation, I reviewed all purchase orders already issued and payments already made from the Economic Development Fund in order to determine what changes needed to be made. The result of this review was the June 29, 2011 submission of the two ordinances for council’s approval.

ORC 733.12 states, “the auditor shall prescribe the form of accounts, the form and method of keeping accounts and shall have the inspection and revision thereof “. My office does this on a regular basis without council approval – two examples are:

1. A purchase order has the wrong account number put on it when it was issued and we subsequently make the correction to the PO and issue journal entries to correct invoices already paid.
2. A pay check was issued for an employee and was coded to the wrong Fund or account – we do a journal entry to correct it. This happens often between General Fund police & Levy police and also Community Development employees.

The 2nd accusation of Tampering with public documents

I consider this the most serious of the accusations. I am here to tell you that this is absolutely not true. I have not altered one purchase order, one payment voucher or any other document and I have here the proof for all to review. Here is a copy for the mayor, the State Auditor, Council, the Police, the Journal and the Chronicle. I have not made any changes because council has not yet passed the two ordinances submitted on 6/29/11. If and when these ordinances are passed, I will then make the appropriate changes to the PO’s through a PO Change Request Form and invoice documents through either an invoice distribution voucher or a journal entry.

The 3rd accusation of an Attempt to cover up a Conspired Action

I would like to know how I am covering up anything when all matters concerning these items have been publicly submitted to council for their agenda and approval. I would also like to know how Mr. Given was singled out in this “cover up” when the de-appropriation legislation was passed by a unanimous vote of all council members at a public meeting.

In conclusion, it is my belief mayor Krasienko’s accusations and request for a police investigation were the result of my support for the winning candidate in the Mayor’s race in the May primary. These accusations are entirely unfounded and merely an attempt by mayor Krasienko to discredit me, my family, my staff in the Auditor’s office, my friends and my reputation in this community where I have lived my entire life.

It is my hope that council will see through these false accusations and pass the two ordinances before them tonight in order for me to process payments to our vendors for the work performed. In addition, I hope this will end this charade by mayor Krasienko to defame my character and my integrity.

I thank council for allowing me to speak on this issue tonight.

If there are any questions on these two ordinances, I will be glad to answer them.

July 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm 4 comments

“WE”- Allowed the Biber Circumvention! Shame on Us

I have taken a couple of pot shots on this blog lately with regard to Paul Biber of the Lorain Board of Education.

Mr. Biber ran for Lorain City School Board in November 2007 – the results as follows
Lorain City School District
Elect 2
100 % reporting

Paul Joseph Biber 3,557
Tony Dimacchia 3,149
Dina Ferrer 2,346
Frank A. Graziano 1,901
Bill Sturgill 3,028
Lorain City School District
Unexpired term ending 12/31/09
100 % reporting Terrance N. Bivins 330
James J. Smith 5,686

Mr. Biber was the candidate with the most votes in that section. 3, 557 of us enabled him to circumvent the intent of the election laws.

It is our fault you see we were TOLD by Mr. Biber exactly what he was doing. Mr. Biber wrote a guest post on WoM October 2007

The current parents and students of the district deserve the same quality of education that my family has recieved. For this to happen we need change at the top. Attitudes must change, spending decisions need to be more informed and realistic, student behavior must improve, and the district image must be enhanced. To that end, in August I began renting from a friend in Lorain in order to establish a legal residence in the District. After doing so, I gathered the required signatures and am now a candidate for the board

We at WoM who were so proud of ourselves for accountability etc. YET NOT ONE OF US QUESTIONED the “ethics of this circumvention”

Were we so desperate to have a change in Lorain City Schools that we didn’t say :

“wait a minute”- this guy lives elsewhere not in our school district, has been paid by our school district and had kids in our school district, but sleeps and cuts the grass elsewhere”

That is OK! we will just overlook that and we gave him a plethora of votes.

Why??? because he was “willing” to run and we are so desperate that in the grand scheme of things IN 2007 we turned a blind eye to something that was not exactly “kosher” in our need for change????????? –

And we wonder why politicians do what they do- it is because WE ALLOW THEM TO DO IT – HECK IN THIS CASE WE ENCOURAGED IT!

And we were desperate it was the “summer of our discontent” in 2007 I wish I could link back to all the WoM archives – I can’t – but I have quite of few of them and the comments at the time. But we “didn’t question Mr. Biber’s circumvention at the time!

In this election year 2011 – Mr. Biber’s domicile it will probably become an issue, in fact it already has on Lorain County dot com forum and on this blog.

You see I just wonder what the reaction would be from the BOE candidates and Lorain City Schools if I purchased an apartment building/ rooming house in the Amherst or Avon school district and rented out rooms to parents/students so they could be a part of “that school district”- knowing they were laying their heads elsewhere. It does come down to the principle of the thing and the “circumvention of the intent of a law” .

Are we teaching our youth how to bend the law and act surprised when they do – and I say WE because all those that were part of that 3,557 votes said after reading his words “THAT IS OK PAUL- YOU GO RIGHT AHEAD”

It was WE the voter that allowed and enabled such behaviours. So don’t blame Mr. Biber we must blame ourselves the VOTER for being a VOTING MUPPET (Noun. idiot an objectionable person, an inept person.)

Note The full Biber post from 2007: UNEDITED

scott bakalar on 15 Oct 2007
Election 2007: WoM Candidate Forum: Paul Biber (Lorain BOE)
My name is Paul Biber, a graduate of the Lorain School System, a teacher/coach in it for 36 years, and a parent of 2 children in the system( one a 2005 LAK grad and one now at SHS). When my children began school in the 1990’s Lorain was best the system in the county. We had many choices for our children’s education and Lorain offered top quality programs, excellent staff, diversity, and a variety of quality extracurriculars. Over the years our children were well served in Lorain as were other children.( In 2005 Lorain grads entered Oberlin, MIT, Case, and Dartmouth; something no other district in the county can match). However, over the last 10 years administrative policies and decisions have led to a steady decline in services, culminating in the dabacle of this past summer.

The current problems are a result of many things, but mostly bad spending choices, poor public image, and adversarial administrative attitudes. As a member of a family that has been well served by this distrct almost 90 years this is heartbreaking. The current parents and students of the district deserve the same quality of education that my family has recieved. For this to happen we need change at the top. Attitudes must change, spending decisions need to be more informed and realistic, student behavior must improve, and the district image must be enhanced. To that end, in August I began renting from a friend in Lorain in order to establish a legal residence in the District. After doing so, I gathered the required signatures and am now a candidate for the board. Just for clarification, my children were out of district transfers INTO the system, incidently bringing over $130,000 in funding with them. This is something a quality system does for a district; it brings people in, not drive them away!

Step one in the process of improvement is to do a full and complete audit and share the results with the citizens of the District. The process must be completely transparent, mistakes recognized and corrected, and a new more productive direction undertaken. Much of what can be done will be somewhat constrained until the finances are in order.
Step two, however, will not cost a penny. Student behavior must improve! It doesn’t cost anything to teach children to behave in a socially acceptable manner. However, it does take time and effort along with the skill and the will to do so. One of the reasons for the Disrict’s poor image has been its refusal to make unruly students accountable for their behavior. Young people do not automatically follow society’s rules, they must be taught to do so. For some, this is more difficult than others, but a failure to be socialized leads to a lifetime of trouble, frustration,and unemployment. A failure to make young people accountable for ther actions cripples them for life. My number one criterion for evaluating any employee from teacher to superintendant will be the fair, firm, and consistent enforcement of the Distrct’s discipline code. Students must learn to behave before their test scores will rise.
Step three will be a commitment to return the district to its previous standards of excellence. This would include a return of the art, music, and gym classes at the elementary levels and a return of programs that meet the educational needs of students with a wide range of abilities and goals. This would include voed, special needs, and college prep students. We have done this in the past, we must do it now. The most difficult part here will be the financial issues, but with better spending choices and a decrease in expensive confrontations we can begin moving forward.
Finally, extracurriculars must be buttressed and improved. While this does have a dollar cost it is by law a very small part of the budget. However, it is a very big part of the perception of your school system. Quality extracurriculars are equated with good schools and poor extracurriculars mean poor schools in the eyes of many.
In short our children to have the tools and oportunities they will need to compete in an increasingly difficult economic environment. It is our job to provide it for them. Furthermore it is in our economic best interest to do so. Homes in Lorain’s new west side deveopments that are in the Amherst District sell for more than the same home in the Lorain District. If we fix the schools, it will pay off in increased property values and image of the city.
Thank you,
Paul Biber

July 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm 16 comments

What Price Publicity- Lorain?????

([intransitive] informal to behave in an angry, excited, or emotional way)

English readers will remember the old Carry On films ( movies) I feel like I am in the middle of one of those

Carry On Media !

We have the News of the World in bed with politicians and the police and “carrying on” until they reached a tipping point of going beyond the pale –
now a media empire is under attack What a CARRY ON!

Games have been played in the media and using the media probably since the first “news” was published by Carolus

The German-language Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, printed from 1605 onwards by Johann Carolus in Strasbourg, is often recognized as the first newspaper.

We have newspapers routinely in this country being used in court cases by attorneys because the “printed word” carries weight .

On-line not so much- as I have experienced with then Lorain Mayor Foltin and the Ford issue as he wrote for “Open Mic” in the Plain Dealer words can be can be changed -(decidedly had to rethink trust in the “word” on-line after that happenstance )

Readers rely upon the integrity of the hosting news media – trust in integrity. Integrity a powerful word and it works both ways both in reporting the news and also by those that “source the news”.

Locally our news media has been used to get the word out on many things some positive some not so positive. But I worry, they too may have been used in the cart before the horse aspect of the Administration that is the government of Lorain of late –

Is the Administration of Lorain using the media and putting the cart before the horse to further their platform? Are they letting the situation first play out in the local media –

.Lorain utility director suspended over cloudy drinking water, vows fight

The accusation of wrong doing was in the media quicker than you could say “stop presses’ . ( well now they just “break the news” on-line but you get my point.

People left, lost their jobs, had their professional reputations besmirched only to have weeks later the same accusatory people say:

Lorain utilities chief Corey Timko will not be punished
Three people had their names AND professional ability called into question in many forums and on-line articles that picked up the story. And then………

Lorain Service Director Robert Gilchrist rescinded and expunged disciplinary action against Utilities Director Corey Timko, who earlier this year had a 30-day suspension due to water turbidity in April

Gilchrist acted reasonably to discipline Timko when it appeared the sludge levels were the cause of the turbidity, Riley said.

However, WHEN MORE INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE, it became clear the sludge was not related to the water cloudiness,

(Note: emphasis mine) -WHEN MORE INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE.. errrrr shouldn’t decisions like this be made after all information pertaining to the situation is gathered- before someone else loses their job or quits and has their abilities called into question … just a thought)

How do you expunge the damage done because they didn’t have ALL the information? Mr. Gilchrist, as he leaves for a more lucrative position with Lorain County Community Action Agency can walk away but he has his own media baggage to “carry on” Complaint alleges Gilchrist of voter fraud

And now the next “CARRY ON LORAIN “ is the Administration “using the power of the press ” to further cause turbidity on the political waters?

original art work source ““This legislation is an attempt to cover up Mayor Krasienko

Much has been written with regard to Mayor Krasienko’s accusation concerning Auditor Mantini

“It’s come to my attention that a misappropriation of funds by the auditor MAY HAVE occurred, along with tampering with public documents,” Krasienko said. “This legislation is an attempt to cover up a conspired action by Auditor Mantini and Councilman Given. I am publicly requesting the law director to begin a formal criminal inquiry and forward his findings.”

Note emphasis mine. MAY HAVE
not – HE DID but MAY HAVE- and for this we have people’s integrity and professional capabilities besmirched on a MAY HAVE-

There have been a plethora of reports – back story- seems Mayor Krasienko had already gone to the Law Director Riley and discussed this situation , there had already been a meeting with this regard.

Given noted Krasienko had gone to Riley with the accusations about THREE WEEKS AGO and questioned why Krasienko hadn’t gone to police. Riley acknowledged after the meeting that he had spoken with Krasienko and Mantini about the matter and said his office would not investigate the allegations. Riley said Krasienko should go to police if he wants to pursue the matter

This was no “surprise” – one avenue didn’t pan out for the Administration so another avenue to discredit it seems on a MAY HAVE

This is seemingly a political press power play in my opinion and not worthy of the Office of the Mayor of Lorain.

We elect and hire professionals “supposedly” – the tax payers ( as with the CRA fiasco – which should have been handled by those same professionals ( a stance I maintained from the very beginning) before it cost resputations and millions of dollars.
Handling these situations is what you are paid to do- grandstanding in the media and putting the cart before the horse is NOT what we elect and pay you to do!

The news media is not there to do YOUR JOBS for you and our elected and paid professionals would do well to remember that!

So stop this farce- CARRY ON LORAIN – you may have put yourself in the “entertainment industry ” with the Pipe Yard BUT THE COMEDY OF ERRORS AT LORAIN CITY’S SEAT OF GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE PUBLIC THEATRE WE NEED.

July 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm 13 comments

Updates – The Swing and Roundabout -the village

Many thanks to a citizen who did the right thing when reading the publicity of the loss of the BRHS swing and checking the Morning Journal and wondering if the swing purchased could be???? contacted members of the Black River Historical Society and sure enough- The swing is now back and secured at the Moore House .

However it seems there are those in Vermilion who do their one stop shopping in Lorain……….. not the type of out -of- town shoppers we need though!

We have had cloudy water literally and politically , murky mytherings, and gushing hydrants in this old neighborhood and whilst murky mytherings were and are taking place down the road at city hall


Morning Journal

Monday night as the spewing of speculation was taking place on the floor of city council – 5th street neighbors were experiencing spewing of a different kind- a water main break right after a “landscaper” came to the hydrant well for water.
see the rest of the story here:
Lorain official alleges company is watering lawns with stolen water by B Delaney

Acting Water Department Superintendent Dennis Pihlblad believes a landscape company doing work for Lorain City Schools, Down to Earth Landscaping, is stealing water from city fire hydrants. Pihlblad filed a police report on Monday saying he suspects the landscape company of causing more than $3,500 worth of damages to city water lines by the opening and closing of the hydrants too fast. He estimated the damages to repair recent water main breaks in areas where landscapers were stealing water amounts to more than $10,000, the report stated.

Now we know who and why wonder who will pay the “how” much?

Come to think of it maybe an open hydrant at Lorain City Council meetings may be needed to cool the hot heads and rhetoric 😉

July 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm 2 comments

Lame ducks- Pipe Yard – John Q

UPDATE NOTE: I have managed to capture, copy and paste WoM writer Brian Hazeletts thoughts back in the beginning of “Play Ball” they can be found here

Hazeletts thought at the time Pipe Yard

Just another day in Lorain politics it seems. You have to wonder whether we should require a “license for running for office” .

It seems in the past three meetings of council Mayor Krasienko has been less than flattering to not only citizens with a legitimate concern, insulting one council person as to their physical attributes( not so professional Tony), and now accusing on the floor ( words from mouth) of political opponents to his campaign for re-election for Mayor. Remember your thoughts as the “New Mayor in Town” ah the days of roses turned to “whine” last night.

“It’s come to my attention that a misappropriation of funds by the auditor may have occurred, along with tampering with public documents,” Krasienko said. “This legislation is an attempt to cover up a conspired action by Auditor Mantini and Councilman Given. I am publicly requesting the law director to begin a formal criminal inquiry and forward his findings.”

As bloggers have been accused of just writing from the work of the real journalists todays’ blog post will be based upon for the most part the work of others.

Last nights council meeting had “Mayor Krasienko” calling for the heads of the Auditor Mantini and Council at Large Given- you can see the Morning Journal report with video here

then you have the Chronicles Report here
AHHHHHH the PIPE YARD- Lorain’s edifice to “build it and they will finance it- they have to!”It came about with a surprise cost in the beginning through the Craig Foltin administration his pet project- and much publicity and “great huge checks” on display at city hall.

However there was a little blog that once was called THE WoM blog – writers for that blog were very concerned as to the amount of money this was costing how was it benefitting Lorain- Requests were made for the financials and those that write were informed that within 5 years the Pipe Yard ( named such , due in part to the steel company’s donation to the project) the Pipe Yard would be thriving, leading to businesses and even a hotel in the area, paying for itself through concessions and perhaps leasing agreements.

In fact Mayor you said in the Morning Journal article

But would you keep adding things at The Pipe Yard? New concession stands? Restrooms?

KRASIENKO: Only as necessary and if it can pay for itself. We saw (in 2007) that once the initial capital improvement was made — for the actual stadium itself — that through advertising and field fees, they were pretty much able to break even with operations and maintenance. We’re going to have to keep a very close eye on the maintenance and operations of The Pipe Yard. We definitely don’t want that to get out of control or out of our reach so that it would hinder the growth or change the quality of the product we have out there.

and then this from February this year

The city will spend $11,546 for Dubick Fixtures to install deep fryers, a griddle, a three-compartment sink and refrigerator at the stadium. The city also will spend $9,300 for Complete Ventilation to install a grease hood unit.

The upgrades come after more than $73,000 in improvements at the stadium last year, including a new party deck and walk-in cooler.

Well the years have passed and yes there are some very nice events during the days of summer at the Pipe Yard ( and marketing wise those events get bodies in the seats) . However since the WoM is now defunct…..I have asked today for a public records request for the total financials concerning the Pipe Yard.

I would like the following financial information with regard to the stadium known as the Lorain Pipe Yard.
1. What has been the total outlay /financial costs in total to date for the City of Lorain from the initial breaking of ground?
2. What is the monthly cost of the facility including up keep – man hours expended etc.?
3. How much income is realized from the events held at the facility?
4. Does the income cover the cost of running the facility?
5. If there is a loss how much is it per month what city fund covers the loss?
6. Who pays for the programs etc. and advertising, lights and field maintenance?
7. Are there outstanding bills/invoices and if so how much is outstanding and what city account would be used to cover such invoices.

You see ,as I have been pointing out of late, with city government and city schools there is another factor in the equation – those in the establishment have their administrations, the councils and boards but they seem to forget at times the other party in all these wheeling and dealings

Next Post – Are they thinking and what price publicity?

July 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm 6 comments

Swings and Rewards- Black River Historical Society

NOTE: I just learned that Jim Smith ( aka Conrad Reid) pictured was also the donor of the said swing to BRHS in 1992.


Black River Historical Society is the keeper of Lorain’s history and artifacts. They take care of the artifacts and the home on 5th St. The garden of the old house blooms with the love and care the volunteers heap upon what could have ended up just another rental or derelict house if not for their good deeds.

So what thanks have they gotten the “old-fashioned porch swing” stolen right off the porch” – One has to ask why? I am not sure you would get much for it in a yard sale – and although BOE member Jim Smith has sat upon it as Mayor Conrad Reid in 2007 – George Washington certainly didn’t plunk his bottom down.

They even took the chains – perhaps to hang from their own porch? Who knows why people do these things. Have a look at the swing in the picture-

Did your kids bring home a present for you? Has your neighbor acquired new porch furniture? Did you see one at a yard sale?

I am offering $100 REWARD for the whereabouts/ return of the Porch Swing .
Contact 440-246-6046

But readers can also REWARD themselves by attending the

Saturday, July 30, 2011, 3:00pm to 10pm
Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane, Lorain, OH 44052
•Wine Tasting – Local wineries – $10 includes souvenir wine glass and 5 tastings
•Arts, Crafts, & Antique Vendors
•Musical Entertainment-Missions of Music, Music by Dante, GNT Jazz(Witherspoon & Moore)
•Food Vendor-Jackalope, Chillin’ & Grillin & Mutt & Jeff’s
For more information please call 440-245-2563

July 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm 3 comments

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July 2011