Archive for August, 2011

Martin Hines – King of Karts ( racing) and my mum’s heart- receives the checkered flag

Further update on the funeral requests for Martin Hines from the Hertfordshire Mercury

We have been overwhelmed by the messages of condolence received from across the world,” the family continued.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kindness and tremendous support at this time of immense sadness.”

The funeral will take place at Waltham Abbey Church at 1pm next Friday followed by a reception at Cheshunt’s Theobalds Park in Lieutenant Ellis Way.

The family is requesting family flowers only but would welcome donations to their nominated charity – Wormley-based Teens Unite Fighting Cancer.

A Just Giving page will be set up in Martin’s honour, the link for which will be available via the Grand Prix Racewear website later this week.

UPDATE with regard to funeral arrangements Martins funeral will be held at Waltham Abbey Church, Friday 16th of September at 13:00 Details on how to get there can be found on

It has been an emotional time around this house- from the getting through of celebrations NOT celebrated

– to the planning of a tribute for my darling Uncle John ( my dad’s brother) 100 birthday.

And during all this trying to deal with the news that the obscenity that is cancer was claiming another of those of this family with a spirit and zest for living.

The announcement of Martin Hines ( my cousin) death spread throughout the racing world, broadcast just hours after his passing on the BBC during the Grand Prix – tributes from Formula One drivers, foundations, fellow competitors- flooded the internet .

Martin Hines the competitor, businessman, racing visionary, and tough opinionated “guru of the track” who held, in his career , the attention of two young princes and their mother – had finished his last race .

It fell to me to tell my mother her nephew, whom she loved so much, had died. Martin had surprised her just a year ago, she had watched his son, Luke, race at Mid Ohio , laughed , cooked him his favourite trifle and shared two very special days. As he drove out of my daughter’s driveway that Sunday and I watched my mum as he smiled and waved goodbye I remember thinking

she isn’t seeing a “world champion” successful businessman , tv personality she is seeing a little boy – her brother’s son and all that that held dear to her


I read all the tributes in the past couple of days and I too thought of the Martin they never knew- the Martin of my youth.

Martin was three years older than I, but his dad and my mum were very, very close.

We spent many Sunday afternoons having the traditional Sunday dinners together. Martin and I getting up to all sorts of mischief in my uncle’s big house ( at least it seemed big to me) whilst the adults did what ever they did – making forts and tents out of blankets – both of us bossy and opinionated even then. It was Martin that taught me to hold my own , his favorite game was “I dare….”

My uncle’s Bingo Hall nights would find us terrorizing the neighborhood as the proverbial cowboy and indian to shouts of

“Clicky Click number six” or Legs eleven” “unlucky for some number 13″….

drifting out along with clouds of cigarette smoke through the open windows into the alleyway that was our prairie.

We would sneak to the old burned out and bombed cinema and continue our play with the other cousins and neighborhood kids, using the water filled bomb crater as a place to float our “ships”.

Martin would take one of the remaining curtain ropes and swing across the crater. None of us “cowardly custards” would dare to follow his lead , the debris of the bombed structure would fall around us as he would swing back and forth laughing at the scaredy cats below. He really knew no fear.

My family left for Canada and I returned as a teenager. We ended up once again staying with my uncle and aunt and Martin. He introduced this rather ” naive countrified Canadian” to the grown- up London of the swinging 60’s.

“Don’t worry

said my aunt to my mum –

she will be safe with Martin looking out for her”

Martin and safe were not words used in the same sentence

I still smile at that first introduction to life in London. A double date with Martin’s latest and me with his friend- getting stuck in the mud in the local “parking place”.

Oh the story he told when we all arrived back covered with mud from trying to push him out of the mud- my uncle having to eventually come and rescue us . Martin was spotless and the rest of us caked with mud from head to toe.

How is he going to get out of this

I thought-

we are all going to be in trouble

but Martin smiled and joked and turned the situation on its head. He certainly had the gift of the gab…..

Through the years he had his share of loss, his daughter, Kelly, to the obscenity of Cancer, his mum and his dad. We would see each other at special functions of family through the years when they coincided with my being back in England.

Martin Hines has been professionally involved in motorsport for over 40 years, as a world champion winning competitor, talent-spotter and businessman. He won the FIA World Superkart Championship three times, the FIA European Championship six times and was multiple British Champion. Martin owns and runs Zip Kart (based at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire), the leading manufacturer and supplier of racing karts, and runs the Zip Kart Young Guns team which has discovered, and continues to discover, some of Britain’s best racing drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard, Anthony Davidson, Gary Paffett, Jason Plato, Luke Hines, Oliver Turvey, James Colado, Oliver Rowland and Jake Dennis.

Martin Hines said: “Grand Prix Racewear is recognised as the Harrods of motorsport; the one place you can go to buy the leading brands from people who know the business inside out. We want to continue to do what GPR does best – supply motorsport equipment to serious and professional motor racing drivers of all ages on a global basis.

The family was always proud of their cousin and the success he had made of himself and of the legacy left by his dad, Uncle Mark. Martin’s lifestyle was very different from the rest of us (the cousins) – he walked in a world of deals and wheels.

As I think of him today. it is of the boy who was the only one among us who would dare to swing across a flooded bomb crater on fraying rope relishing the danger of the moment. He dared…………………….

Martin, who finished his race as a champion

To Tina – his wife, Luke -his son and Tuesday – his daughter – much love and memories .

August 30, 2011 at 2:32 am 22 comments



But be assured we will toast to your continued health – this isn’t exactly a telegram from the Queen BUT the best I can do. You have always been one of the kindest gentlest men I know and I love you lots …..

HAPPY 100 …. Uncle John…. ( your Missy) and the family !

August 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm 2 comments

The Burning Question and Knock Knock -when is a door not a door

photo Lisa Miller

When it is ajar but nothing funny about this burning question…………

Buster’s Momma has a post that shouldn’t be missed…….. particularly poignant is the video interview with one of the neighbors- remember this “burn” was “PLANNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow, August 29, FORTY-TWO days will have passed since the demolition bid was awarded for both houses.
Tuesday, August 30, FIFTY-SIX days will have passed since the Mayor gave the timeline regarding the demolition of both houses.
It is unacceptable that this house remains standing after 6 controlled burns 4 months ago

August 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment


They seek him here they seek him there
Those pesky citizens seek his lair.
Is he really in Sheffield
Or is it Lorain?
Newman wants Biber to explain!
You see he can’t be at both
Newman wants witnesses under oath.

The previous complaint, filed by Lorain resident Denise Caruloff, had challenged whether Biber was eligible to vote in Lorain because of questions she raised about his residency. In a 2-1 decision earlier this month, the elections board rejected Caruloff’s complaint against Biber.

Biber did not return a call seeking comment Friday but has previously said that he lives in the Lorain home he and his wife purchased in 2008. His wife, Joan Perch-Biber, and the couple’s adult children live in the Sheffield Lake residence, he has said. The Bibers have suggested that media coverage of the controversy over his residency led to the Sheffield Lake house being burglarized while they were vacationing earlier this month.

Newman said he still has questions about where Biber actually lives and wants the elections board to take another look at the issue.

He said Biber’s claim that he lives separately from his wife in another city in a house that has had several other occupants since Biber bought it doesn’t ring true to him.

“What I’m looking for is to simply and straightforwardly get an illegal candidate taken off the ballot,” Newman said. “Wrong is wrong, it doesn’t matter who you are.”

It “MAY” be the case Mr. Newman thinks a bridge too far is not the one over the Black River 😉

August 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm 10 comments

Thoughts from a mind overdosed and low on grief- Asphalt Plant -Lorain


Ok I admit it my mind these past days is somewhere out there. Try as I might it has been absolutely horrendous trying to stay in this world’s reality and I haven’t been too successful in that endeavor.

As I feel the sucking pull of the maelstrom of emotions pulling me into the depths I try to think of everything and anything not in any way associated with my unreal reality.

Hence my thoughts on the Asphalt Plant.
Residents, council want to keep asphalt company out of Lorain (with video) Morning Journal was going to go to the meeting but emotional incontinence kept me away. I read the comments and the articles . Surprising what quality of life people in this community would be willing give up for a few jobs.

Oh I know the argument , we have progressed , we have filters and scrubbers
Scrubbers- Oh dear that visual popped into my head – an old scrubbber

(english slang . A coarse and sexually amenable or promiscuous woman. Derog.
2. An untidy, slovenly woman. prostitute)

and of course that visual segued into I wonder how many professions benefit (thereby jobs) by those scrubbers – just off the top of my head…….

Editorial Cartoon: Trying to get Legal Prostitution on the Ballot – The Cincinnati Beacon

1. police the vice squads definitely and they will need a vehicle
so sales
3. mechanic
4.uniforms and in the case of undercover , more training so personal
6. manufacturing for such things equipment radios computers guns Oh gosh!
7. medical- between the issues of such a dangerous lifestyle Dr. emergency room technicians
8. Pimps lets not forget them, they have the cash to spend in casinos, hmmmmm
new cars and clothes
9. Banker
10. Lawyer
11. Judge
12. Bail Bondsman
13. Let us not forget parole officer
14. Oh and hotel clerks and the
15.maid one a month coming in to change the sheets
16. Shoe and Boot clerks
17. Counsellors
18. pharmacist
the list grows like topsy!

Yup seem those “scrubbers” have advanced ….. can’t do without them 😉

But just as it reprehensible to feed off the life of another human being it is just as reprehensible to me to take a chance with the lives and health of our children in the vicinity of the those “asphalt scrubbers” for the sake of a few paltry jobs.

Lorain don’t prostitute yourself and remember the “pimp” is always the one that benefits the most and can feed you a sweet line to get your body and soul on that street.
The maelstrom calls……………….

August 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm 18 comments

Birthday————————- Chris Ritchey

Through the glasses darkly – Chris Ritchey

Last year was the first we didn’t share –
we always shared this week with those that care –
an anniversay, your birthday and then mine-
so we would share our celebrations on one day – combined.

I wrote last year of your birthday-

They say time heals and it gets easier- it doesn’t – I cry every single day with the missing of you , the ache of my being sometimes so overwhelming I can barely stand with the weight of it and these are my days and nights since the day you died. There is no celebration of life and love in this week just the need to get through and the welcoming love of a little boy who runs at life– just like you.

But cards have been sent- not to you – not to me- Your sister has sent once more a scholarship on this day to Lorain County Community College and thank you cards have been sent to those that have also remembered your life in this way .

Your soccer buddies have come through with a very, very generous amount and a pledge to the scholarship in your name to Cleveland Institute of Art. –

A legacy on your birthday and memories of the happiness I once knew as I watched from the sidelines you and those young men in the FDNY shirts enjoying the sport – the laughter -the comraderie – mere echoes now –

A present purchased – the Miss Chris birthday present – over the top perhaps, but I don’t care and I knew you which one you would’ve chosen and as a little boy once more runs at the world – I remember



Debra L. Richter
Alumni and Scholarship Coordinator
Lorain County Community College Foundation
1005 N. Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
440.366.7758 – Office
440.366.4078 – Fax

Michael Kinsella.
Cleveland Institute of Art,
11141 East Boulevard,
Cleveland, OH 44106
216.421.7412 or

August 21, 2011 at 12:02 am 8 comments


Misty photo Mark Teleha

I have tried for many months to keep this slice of the neighborhood free from varmints. I patrol, growl, snarl and bark at the cats – even the family of black and white funny cats. And what happens ???? I hear screams of

No Misty, No No No leave them alone – No – come here , come , NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

and then to add insult to injury I am not allowed in the house. There is such a commotion and even though it is time for me to go to bed I must have baths in this horrible stuff.

Why me ? Why am I the one being bathed when it is that cat that stinks.

I will never understand humans!

Now we have new neighbors, they are crooks, you can tell they even hide behind a mask and they have no respect for other people’s space.

She seems to be a single mother with two of her babies. I think I have seen the Dad once in a while he lives in the empty house next door . They too, sneak into my territory at night – I think they are after my friends in the pond – the ones that my master left in my care before he went away.

But they are so brazen they also come out and make sounds at me during the day. They sit in their tree and chatter at me .

This is bad enough but “SWMBO” ( she who must be obeyed) goes up on the balcony with the daughter and the little one and they ooh and ah at the babies and make funny clucking sounds and talk to them over the railing.

I just don’t get it- here I am on trying to save the day and they are clucking at bandits!

It is enough to make you hang your head in shame …..cavorting with the enemy …. but the most traitorous act of all the little one has taken to wearing one on his head!

so I will just lay here and wait my chance !

August 18, 2011 at 10:29 am 3 comments

Little Boy Lost – Gabriel Miller

I wonder if they know, those that meet and greet, how fragile we’ve become?
I wonder if they know where the tears do go of those who lost a son?
I wonder if they know how hard it is to put on the clothes of everyday?
I wonder if they know no matter how we try and no matter what what we say-
We are not OK!

A little boy, who gave such joy would have been two today,
the tears will come but not of joy – a mother, clutches a stuffed toy, arms empty – a heart not healed – memories that should’ve been – never to be.
A father, will take a breath and once more wonders what if?

Remembering Gabriel Miller and all the memories that weren’t to be . August 17th 2009 – December 31st 2009

August 17, 2011 at 2:15 am 4 comments

“I was shocked” said Dimacchia – errrrr so am I? More from Wonderland

From this mornings Atlanta Journal Constitution

I wish there was something we could do to keep her,” Dimacchia said

Really Tony – maybe you should have as the President of the BOE kept your “pen” in your pocket 😉

Cheshire Cat: How’re you enjoying the game?
Alice: They don’t play very fair.
Cheshire Cat: No one does if they think they can get away with it. That’s a lesson you’ll have to learn.


Interesting – at least I found it so-

Following the news of Lorain City Schools Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson’s departure from the district, several members of the school board expressed sentiments of surprise coupled with sadness.

“This kind of came as a surprise,” board member Paul Biber said. “We thought we had dodged this bullet.”

“I was shocked,” board President Tony Dimacchia said. “I thought we would for sure have her for this year.”

and yet On March 1st 2011 Dimacchia wrote, as the President of the Board of Education , a glowing recommendation for Atkinson to use in her job search:



You can find the whole file from the Dekalb website here




August 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm 6 comments

Down the Rabbit Hole in the “Wonder” Land of Lorain’s BOE


Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

I have been following the events of Lorain from behind the “somewhat ” safety of my computer and the phone. I say “somewhat” safe as I have been shouted at berated, insulted, chastised this past month electronically and also through the other link to you in the “other world” by phone.

Ha! but I am lucky I just shut down the computer , hang up on the bully boys and go back to my world.

But this past week the Morning Journal ran an editorial, I read and I thought about the content and the thoughts were worrying.

I want to address that editorial because there is something more worrying to me about what happened in the Caruloff vs Biber situation.

Whether you agree or not that Mr. Biber plays a worthwhile role in his elected position on the Lorain Board of Education or whether or not you agree with Ms. Caruloff’s platform or principles is NOT the issue here in this post.

OUR VIEW EDITORIAL: Challenge to Paul Biber’s residency was spurious complaint, waste of time

THAT WOMAN use of the word “spurious” (Lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin; not genuine; false.)

THAT WOMAN If a citizen feels strongly enough to go through the process of making a documented complaint under their own name as to what they believe to be a wrong doing how can that be false, lacking in authenticity etc? No! by this editorial the Morning Journal have negated, punished the rights of the “individual” to question and actually helped to denigrate the process of checks and balances by a citizen in my humble opinion.


But because Biber and his wife live separately, he on E. 29th Street and she in Sheffield Lake, the issue of his residency continues to come up, especially around election time.

THAT WOMAN – It would only come up at election time because that is when it becomes an issue- no complaint necessary unless the man is running for office.


As I watched and read as Ms. Caruloff’s complaint went through the process – what struck me was the onus was put on the individual , in this case Ms. Caruloff, and apparently anyone else who has a concern. We too , would have to prove the complaint (BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT ) , to defend the complaint, to be the one put in the “hot seat”.

Whether you agree with Ms. Caruloff or not . The fact is she is NOT an elected official, nor does she hold a public office , she is NOT an attorney , she IS a lay person.

Ms. Caruloff is a person who believed there was a something wrong and wanted it investigated. Haven’t we all been in that place at one time or another?

As with everything there was a “journey”.

Ms. Caruloff started her journey by witnessing another elected official Mr. Robert Gilchrist

voting in her ward knowing that he didn’t live in her ward.

Therefore, she went to the Board of Elections and wanted to know how this was possible. Apparently she was told to file a complaint -she did.

Ms. Caruloff then went to the meeting that was held in regard to the complaint. She showed, the opposite number Mr. Gilchrist didn’t – Gilchrist spoke through his attorney-

However, supporters of Mr. Gilchrist did show and Ms. Caruloff and others were verbally bullied ( in my opinion)- . These same people also brought up the Mr. Biber residency- were they denigrated, chastized for doing so even though they were rude and insulting ( where was THAT editorial) ? Ms. Caruloff also filed a complaint about Mr. Biber and his residency.
Another meeting , another hot seat, denigration and insults hurled through the “nameless faceless commenters who hide behind their keyboards ” on the Morning Journal site. The nameless/ gutless wonders made disparaging remarks as to Ms. Caruloff physical appearance and other personal insults. Ah the great debaters of our time SIGH!

But back to “Wonder” Land-

How does this process work?

Obviously we, the people, are ignorant because I too believed if I as a lay person, just an ordinary citizen made a complaint to government agency that governed that particular issue I would NOT have to be the investigator , the prosecutor and the star witness .

I will use the analogy –

if I look out my window and I see something wrong or out of the ordinary , happening in the house next door- I complain to the police dept, they come , they investigate they tell me what has happened and it goes from there – I don’t have to investigate prove beyond all doubt there is something amiss and also be the witness and prosecutor.

As a lay citizen we do not walk in the world of the in and out of legaleze, election law or the way the system works– the people paid for by us, appointed by us, elected by us are supposed to walk in that world for us.

They are ( well at least I always thought so until lately- apparently I was wrong) appointed, elected to help us through their world. We are for the most part childlike in our naivety as to how the process works-

However, it seems we have to be the investigator, the prosecutor and witness when questioning the process and the intent of the elections laws- is this the democratic process?

Did the Board of Elections , when she called about Mr. Biber’s residency tell Ms. Caruloff –

1. You need to file your complaint under you legal name
2. Do your own investigation to support that complaint

3. Prove conclusively that Mr. Biber doesn’t live in Lorain, ( no reasonable doubt here folks)-
4. Be your own witness and be cross-examined by Mr. Biber’s attorney
5. you won’t get the opportunity to ask Mr. Biber any questions under any sort of oath-

6. Be prepared and be berated in the media and in public

7. And should you wish an attorney present one will NOT be appointed for you!

Do you still want to file a complaint citizeness?

You see I believe that Ms. Caruloff, as I would, (silly me apparently) thought when she filed the “complaint” the Board of Elections ( THAT being their job to oversee the elections and the process) THEY would be the ones to investigate the complaint after all that is what is said on the website of the State Board of Elections under duties and responsibilities –

“investigates election fraud and irregularities;”

Who knew it was up to us the citizen to investigate- I guess thanks to Ms. Caruloff we KNOW NOW!


Caruloff was an unconvincing witness when questioned by Biber’s attorney

, John Otero. When Otero said Caruloff wasn’t even sure something was wrong with Biber’s residency, she responded that she brought the “complaint as a concerned citizen, that PERHAPS THERE IS something wrong.”

Who amongst us, as a lay personage, is going to put themselves through that process and the resulting animosity, insults, editorials and expense that came along with it ?

NOT ME!!!!!! and not anyone to whom I have spoken Then the question begs to be asked is this democracy in action and is it any wonder why apathy is rampant among the citizenry?

I also have one suggestion-

Ohio Revised Code
Section 3503.02 (D)

The place where the family of a married person resides shall be considered to be the person’s place of residence; except that when the spouses have separated and live apart, the place where such spouse resides the length of time required to entitle a person to vote shall be considered to be the spouse’s place of residence.

SEPARATED” added to that should be the words “LEGALLY separated “.

To the royal guards of this realm, we are all victims in-waiting.



August 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm 10 comments

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August 2011