Archive for January, 2012

Christopher Ritchey- The scholarships continue-Thank YOU

Thanks to the generosity of Chris’s friends, our friends, readers and the immediate family the scholarships given in remembrance of Chris have continued.
This week Chris’s sister Nikki and I had the privilege of viewing the applicants of the Chris Ritchey Leadership Award – Lorain County Community College for our input. The task was somewhat daunting as every applicant was very deserving. We submitted our top choices and will await the final decision by Lorain County Community College.

I am also pleased to say that once again thanks to some very special people in my life and Chris’s the scholarship in Chris’s name at Cleveland Institute of Art continues for another year and builds . Thank you so much for your donations I cannot begin to tell you what it means to myself, Chris’s Dad, sister, Nana to be able to have this living legacy in remembrance of Chris.

Should you wish to donate to either scholarship


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

If you would like to contribute to the Christopher Ritchey Memorial Scholarship at CIA please do so by sending the check to :

Attn M. Kinsella
Cleveland Institute of Art,
11141 East Boulevard,
Cleveland, OH 44106
mark Chris Ritchey Memorial Scholarship

January 31, 2012 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Murphy’s Law or Mother’s intuition……… which came first

I knew it!!!!! – I remember looking at my daughter a few months ago and thinking to myself

she’s pregnant

– I told my mum- then a few weeks later lo and behold an excited pregnancy test – she was 5 weeks-

No! you have to farther along – you can’t be 5 weeks I knew at least 7 weeks ago. I told Nan

But they all snickered and said

Oh just mum and her premonitions again

and when last month she looked a little bigger than she should be at 32-3 weeks they did an ultrasound and said

oh no the due date is still February 15th.

HMMMMMMMM I think there are wrong – Gavin came 2 weeks early and I figured Murphy’s Law would get me again . I somehow knew that whilst Christopher was having his 1st stem cell transplant in Cleveland I would be running between hospitals and I was right even though Chris was due out of the hospital a week before Nikki was due however Murphy was not to be denied and I ended up to-ing and fro-ing between Cleveland and Elyria.

I looked at my daughter last Friday night and told her Dad

you better pack a bag

. It was going to be his job to stay at the house with Gavin whilst mummy and daddy went to get the new baby. I was ignored, but I packed mine.

Of course according to Murphy the time was ripe – the previous Wednesday Gavin decided to give me his cold and not being a young it was three days coming – three days staying and three days going. I said to Nikki please hold out til Wednesday when I will be over this “gift from your son”.

Sunday just as I was ready to down a shot of NightQuil and crawl into freshly washed bedding that beckoned the weary – the phone rang- I grabbed my bag my husband grabbed his bag ( Oh wait he didn’t have one because

“there is plenty of time she isn’t due for weeks”

MALE non Murphy thinking

The family birthing unit at EMH was the destination- I was not impressed the first time and was decidely unimpressed this 2nd time – more on that later. Braedyn made his appearance into the world just after 6 in the morning . And although they maintain this 6 lb bundle complete with eyebrows etc. is 36 weeks – Murphy and I know better he had at least two weeks on them………

I have realized just how old I am trying to keep up with Gavin, whose energy is seemingly limitless and whose imagination gets us both into trouble- when the dog gates become a makeshift Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and a muddy Scout rushes into the room. Bath time – is an experience to be believed – Gavin nightly tries to prove Archimedes wrong and the water he displaces usually ends up soaking me. One towel for Gavin , one for the floor and one for me.

I have loaded logs with a crane, eaten all sorts of make-believe food- there goes the diet- been sent to the naughty chair more times than I can count for telling him No- flown an airplane, dumped all sorts of things with a truck , danced to Hot Diggity Dog and watched Toy story 5 times without ever seeing the whole thing and that was just today……..

to be continued

January 28, 2012 at 1:32 am 6 comments

Baby Update from Nag Nog – Lorain Dude 2

UPDATE – Lorain Dude One meets Lorain Dude Two

or Gavin meets little brother Braedyn Hunter see there is this Celtic thing going on with these names 🙂

or AAA RAIN as Gavin calls me- I will be a tad busy for the next few days to blog so the site will be hit and miss…. Gavin is needing a personal “Nanny” in order to give Mummy a rest when she brings home DIRTGavins moniker for him ( as at the moment he is still nameless- but we should know soon. He came in at 6 lbs and they say a month early but I always thought Nikki was farther along than they said 🙂 – He is 18 inches ( I believe) couldn’t quite hear as Dirt was crying his head off. But all things intact 🙂

But the “Nana” and Poo Bah paid a visit this morning

93 three years between the oldest and youngest generation

Safe in the arms of love

to be continued…………………………….

January 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm 13 comments

Lorain Dude times 2- It is a Boy!!!

A little early …. more later .. news not babies

January 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm 9 comments

Things I have learned in the past three days- Amies (Hardy) – Amie

You learn something new everyday apparently:

In the back and beyond of -or in the beginning or my “working” career I was a temp for the fashion industry in London. One particular job of work was for a receptionist for the Hardy Amies-( Ready to Wear) Salon

I was chosen from other temps because of my diction and lack of noticeable “dialect” also the “ready to wear salon” was trying to cash in on the “youth market “ of London’s swinging 60’s. My first morning ( being new to the world of fashion and only being back in London from Canada a short while I had no idea the hierarchy of the London fashion scene and who was who ( Hardy Amies was the designer to the Queen) . I made the mistake of answering the first phone call ( reading from the “script” I had been given )

Good Morning Hardy AMY Ready to Wear – May I be of assistance?

Within mere seconds of my first call- my outer room filled with models , managers ( even the cutters) and then this very tall elegant older gentleman- whom I was soon to find out was Hardy AMIES presented himself– that is the only way I can describe him he “presented his presence into the lobby”.

photoby Patrick Lichfield (Thomas Patrick John Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield),photograph,August 1970

He did not talk directly to me – you could feel the cold annoyance permeating from him though. My 17 years and the invincibility of youth did not come to my aid- I half rose out of the chair ( which was uncomfortable – I believe on purpose so that your back was straight and anyone coming into reception was met without a slouch.) not knowing whether to run or curtsy.

I was lucky ( I think) not to be instantly dismissed. A Mr. Seth spoke up for me -I know had I been in the Haute Couture salon – well I wouldn’t ever had been hired for that salon- I was not elegant, tall , swanlike or talked with the proverbial marble in one’s mouth ( and that was the criteria for their receptionist) I know even if I had been all those things I would have been thrown out unceremoniously.

As it stood I was given a 2nd chance and I remained the receptionist through the “showing season” – ah the tales I could tell…. and then I moved on to the recording industry.

As I was locked in my self- inflicted confinement last evening I was surprised to learn this man who scared me to sit straight had actually served in WW2 and had run a spy network and all sorts of daring plans to deal with Nazi collaborators-

The Queen’s dressmaker Sir Hardy Amies was yesterday named as one of the men who helped to plan the murder of dozens of Nazi collaborators in Europe towards the end of the Second World War.

Mr Darlow said: “When we went to see Hardy Amies, he said ‘sorry, old chap, I can’t remember a thing about it.'” He said Sir Hardy would have nothing to feel ashamed about. “Organising the assassination of Nazi collaborators across Europe was an act of patriotism. I admit, though, that it is hard to reconcile the Queen’s dress designer with this.”

At the out break of World War II, with his language experience Amies was called up to serve in the Special Operations Executive. Amies suspected that SOE’s commander Major General Colin Gubbins did not regard a dressmaker as suitable military material, but his training report stated:

“This officer is far tougher both physically and mentally than his rather precious appearance would suggest. He possesses a keen brain and an abundance of shrewd sense. His only handicap is his precious appearance and manner, and these are tending to decrease.

I was shocked as I watched the program and fascinated but considering he always knew what exactly was happening in both salons within seconds of events I think he probably used the tools of the trade from his war experience in his business. ( explains a lot) And he certainly wasn’t precious in appearance when he presented himself in the Ready to Wear Salon- I wasn’t the only one sitting up straight and that went for the clients as well as the staff. 🙂

I also learned from my stint in his salon – presentation is key – and the first person you deal with is just as important as any CEO or CFO.

I have also learned :

Even if your eyes are red and sore with crying everyday for these many months.
Your face is puffy and the wrinkles and lines of care are etched deeper into a sagging skin-
Your limbs no longer limber, you walk slower , and trail behind – that the food of comfort has added to an already plump frame.
Your hair, no longer shiny bright and well groomed
It matters not you are without makeup – you are not dressed to flatter- your manicure decidedly lacking –
No, it matters not to this little child who also makes his presence known loudly and joyfully at your arrival- because, all things aside he sees the patient playmate – a playmate and one who has time to enter the world of make-believe and throw snowballs and helps fill up his trucks with the cold white stuff and makes hot chocolate – you are beautiful once again in the eyes of youth .

January 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm 11 comments

I am folk weary – God with us or Gott Mitt Uns

It has been a “ripping emotion” few days. I have been defensive , very, very angry, speechless and disgusted on top of my already “emotional puddle person” that I am since I lost my son. I have pounded at this poor keyboard till I have probably broken this one too. “Old typists never die they just kill computer keyboards”.

Kenneth Ritchey

Apart from the pain, beneath contempt and disgust I feel about some “folk” and their selfish controlling impact they have had on my life, the lives of those I love more than life itself and my son’s death and -some of them “family”

I have learned I am not alone in having to deal with the “dregs”

Over at Busters House Blog – Lisa wrote a post- found here
“You could have healed Gabriel if you had faith.”
as Lisa said in a following comment:

I know why Gabriel died and so do all of you. I’ll spell it out for those who are new here: CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT, HYPOPLASTIC LEFT HEART SYNDROME. Period. I can usually deal with it when strangers tell me why they think he died (God’s plan, angels needed, blah blah etc.). Smile, nod in polite agreement, thanks and move along quickly, thinking all the while “they have no fucking clue”. This one hurt to the core. Moments like these yank me back to year one day one and hold me there for a little while.

I spent that day pounding the keyboard because I know how disabling it is to be taken back to the most terrible time in your life and to be hurt to the core. Lisa is my friend and I wanted to take away her pain and to show this “faith salesman” up for what he was.

I researched the arguments about God / Gods / gods, faith and beliefs literally taking apart the history of organized religion as we know it- bringing in all the hypocrisy, past sins and present of organized religion as it crosses from one belief into anothers – the post got lengthier and lengthier and the plethora of links turned the post text green.

Yes, I can debate the inconsistency of religion and beliefs – point out the sheer nonsense and illogical thinking in ALL faith systems but what would it serve? Am I going to change the thinking? NO! I can only “believe ” in my own beliefs and why SHOULD I take it upon myself to influence others?

Here am I right in the middle of a Christian community and predominately a ” Roman Catholic city” . My ways are not their ways and my beliefs are not their beliefs and yet “their ways” have been forced upon me and my family by their parishioners and their priests/ bishops and their “culture” etc. Recently I was told that because Chris was cremated that negated his chance for resurrection and he was doomed for eternity ( nice thing to impart to a grieving mother).

I wonder if that person had been born in a predominately Indian community whether they would have “preached ” the resurrection theory – probably not-

“The Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism, mandate cremation. In these religions, the body is seen as an instrument to carry the soul. As an example, the Bhagavad Gita. According to Hindu philosophy the human body is a combination of five basic natural elements; namely agni (fire), jala (water), vayu (air), prithvi (earth) and akasha (space/ether). When one dies, fire (agni tattva) ceases, and that living form is sent to its original state of creation. Fire (in the form of cremation) is used to complete the fifth element.

What one believes depends upon your culture, customs where you are born and where you live. It does not make your belief right or wrong ;you are usually in the middle of the majority for that area. I am not of the Indian culture but having an ancient heritage myself that had similar beliefs before the birth of Jesus Christ and the “organized “catholic church” ( the true definition of the meaning of catholic) a person who belongs to the universal Christian church- I can understand the beliefs of some of the Indian religions.

I would like to think “COMPASSION for those that grieve “ knows no boundary among the organized religious beliefs just the common denominator of humanity . Let me let you into my world and others who have lost a child once again – IT IS DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER LOSS IN YOUR LIFE-

Heart Thorns by Chris Ritchey

Unless one has lived through the losing of a son or daughter and had to watch as their grasp on the spark of life fades along with the hope – the sheer exhaustion of hour after hour- day after day – night after night and the tremendous toll it takes on your heart, body and mind – the ability to breathe, to stay strong fighting a losing battle and yet not daring to give up – just incase there is the slightest chance.

You have no idea the sheer terror , questioning , hoping , praying , the deals made with God, the what ifs – why is this happening- are we being punished – what can I do ? You are scared to leave their side to rest incase the worst happens whilst you aren’t there . You are mentally, emotionally and physically at the lowest ebb – you are desperate and as you quietly scream internally, you hedge your bets clinging onto anything that would take away the pain and heal your child as you watch your child fade before your eyes and the helplessness overwhelms you.

You hope against hope that even if YOU aren’t worthy of compassion or of “God’s benevolence” that one of the, in Chris’s case, thousands of people world-wide at least “one” would be deserving of having a prayer answered. .

When you outlive your child there is a guilt – a guilt that you wake in the morning and they don’t and that somehow you were lacking. You have no idea that even after death the wounds remain with you every day- you can relive those days in a flash all at once – everything you felt and hoped and dreamed and the utter despair floods in – you are at the mercy of grief.

So for some troglodyte of humanity to tell a grieving father that had he had faith his son would have been healed sickens me. There are times I want to leave this community , to run away but I would take my grief with me no matter the culture .

I am sick of politicians bringing God into everything nationally and locally – I am sick of the God Squad of athletes praying for a touchdown or a goal. I am tired of the self-righteous, pontificators of “their particular” brand of religion being forced upon one because they are in the majority of thinking in any one area. I am sick of wars based upon religion with all sides proclaiming God/ Allah/ Buddha/ Zeus/ Jehovah or whoever is on their side.

We KNOW nothing We just know the “stories and the fables and the experiences of others” passed down through a few thousand years- we only know what we believe and have “faith ” in and the caveman as he crawled out of his cave and saw fire from the sky had his beliefs too. We are just as ignorant and in more than one occasion lately it is the ignorance rather than the compassion that is at the fore.

You have your way – others have theirs and “I am sorry” and a touch of a hand will suffice to those that grieve. For those that preach at me about forgiveness- just because you say I should doesn’t mean I am able or willing to forgive the cataclysm of selfishness that has been thrust upon my family by those who can……..

to be continued…………………….

January 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm 12 comments

Guess who came to dinner and stayed – Guest Blogger Misty

Photo Mark Teleha

Ok! my turn to take over the blog! SWMBO ( She who must be obeyed) is in a rare snit this morning ( not that that isn’t unusual) I am hearing her going on about preferring dogs to most people– this is unusual because she really isn’t what I consider a “dog lover” -so those people persons must have done something really annoying.

I don’t know what she has to complain about I have ended up with this house guest who doesn’t seem to be going home . Infact the way he behaves he thinks this is his home. Now he, a rather yippy Pekingese named Tetley, belongs to the one they call Nana.

They have both been here to stay before -for a couple of days at a time- and I would be relieved when they left. But they have been here since the hot days of summer. There was a lot of commotion those first days they arrived. But now things have settled and it looks like the “Tetley” has decided he likes it, I have a feeling he is here for the duration. He has taken over the house!

Hurumph! he sleeps where he wants – EVEN is allowed on the couch and SWMBO’s lap – I am not allowed to do that – I tried the other day to jump on her lap and wa told ” You big lump get off you are too big” – well I may have put on a couple of pounds – I have to make sure I get my fair share of biscuits because Tetley is always in the doggy biscuit barrel. In fact he eats like there is no tomorrow, he is the one getting decidedly pudgy if you ask me – The Nana can hardly pick him up anymore .

One good thing is though that I get extra treats from the one they call Nana so it is OK if she stays, but her “Tetley” is spoiled if you ask me. He likes to bark at pussycats, squirrels and the mailman but has NO CLUE how to stalk his prey quietly – I have missed more squirrels since he has arrived, as for pussycats most of them are bigger than he is – he has a nerve getting in their faces- I have to protect him from them more often than not.

I even protected him from the black and white type and what thanks did I get for throwing myself between him and the danger- a face full of stink and yukky bath stuff and sentenced to the den for two days with the door open. And HE wouldn’t come near me and just laid on the couch with I swear a grin on his face. There is gratitude for you!

In fact he won’t even go out in the morning until I get up ( my one place of sanctuary- he isn’t allowed in the “HWTHSBO’s ( He who thinks he should be obeyed ) bedroom. But Tetley barks and barks at the door until I get up and he follows me out- can’t a girl get any peace and privacy.

The other day all hell broke loose here in our hood- Tetley got out of the fence after another dog- ( not that he could do anything if he tried)- SWMBO was in her pajamas trying to get through the gate and couldn’t – she wasn’t happy because she was saying some very nasty things about HWMBO’s “junk”- doesn’t she know all those buckets etc are needed and are his treasures. I thought I would help and decided I could squeeze through . I thought I might head Tetley off if I went the other direction- all I got for my efforts was MISTEEEEEEEEEEEEE- just you wait- get back here……..

The man from the next street cornered Tetley for SWMBO but she still couldn’t get out the gate (although I did) and Tetley was growling and spitting at the man ( just like a cat if you ask me) so he was scared to pick him up. SWHMBO was yelling to HWMBO to get up, come out and get the dogs. I don’t think he could hear her and as I was on the trail of some delicious smells in the front, I thought the Nana would get him. Apparently she didn’t because she didn’t have her hearing aid in.

SWMBO was getting very angry- paths and junk and gates and hell to pay. There was also something about retwisting her knee and being in pain. I guess she managed to get HWTHSBO because he got hold of Tetley, who was still growling and spitting at the man, then he came and found me down the road..hmm even he wasn’t too pleased with me- can’t understand it I am a “tracker” after all.

Well finally we all came into the house and SWMBO wouldn’t talk to any of us except the Nana. ( that wasn’t too bad actually) for the rest of the day but HWMBO did have to move some of his treasures and spent most of the of the day clearing the path.

Still I suppose it could be worse Tetley makes for good company when everyone is out and is so annoying that I look good by comparison. Oops – gotta go Tetley is going to have a bath and I better make myself scarce unless they decide I might need one too!

January 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm 5 comments

Eden Valley Enterprises – Emma “Grandma” Gatewood

Photo Source

Betty Lou Higgins of Eden Valley Enterprises a living theatrical experience-

Eden Valley Enterprises is dedicated to providing unique educational experiences. Our philosophy is that learning and doing are fun and our basic tool is theatre. While we specialize in living history programs, storytelling, and musical trips back in time, we are equally adept at other kinds of programs.

is looking for support for a documentary:

Ohioan Emma “Grandma” Gatewood who was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail when she was 67 years old in 1955! The storytelling program about Emma premiered to a sold-out house on November 1 and I already have a booking for another one in July. Now we are moving ahead to raise money to create a documentary about Emma to tell her story in more complete detail.

Though many serious hikers know that Emma “Grandma” Gatewood became the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67, they really don’t know the Rest Of The Story.

Most people don’t know that after she hiked the AT the first time she went back and did it TWO more times. Most people don’t know that she also hiked the Oregon Trail during its Bicentennial Celebration. Most people don’t know that she was instrumental in starting Ohio’s Buckeye Trail. Most people don’t know that she was truly a visionary of the ultralight hiking movement. Most people don’t know that she raised 11 children. Most people don’t know that she survived an abusive relationship. Most people don’t know that by the time she retired Emma had hiked more than 10,000 miles! Most people don’t know Emma Gatewood at all! We hope to correct this problem by telling Grandma’s whole story!

There is a special campaign on Kickstarter to help with this. We have until January 19 to raise $3500 in seed money for the project. No money will be collected unless we meet the $3,500 goal.

You can find complete information about this project at:

Donations can also be made directly to Eden Valley (regardless of whether or not we meet the Kickstarter goal) by visiting our project page at and downloading the form to mail a check or use the “donate button” to make a payment through PayPal.

As a not-for-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, all donations to Eden Valley are tax deductible.

Bette Lou Higgins
Artistic Director
Eden Valley Enterprises

January 13, 2012 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

Mark Puente- What Price Lunch??? Journalistic Integrity ala carte

During the last part of November 2011 I wrote a post on reporter Mark Puente and the ongoing Montelon/City of Lorain Police Department legal issues.

The ex -Plain Dealer reporter, Mark Puente, was accused of being a confidential informant for the Lorain Police Dept.

Confidential Informant
I had an issue with this alleged behaviour of Mark Puente.

The Plain Dealer( and all print media for that matter) is held to a higher standard by the citizens and the courts ( who often use their articles in their cases) than this poor little blog – It is the print media who took this burden upon themselves to be ” fair and unbiased and to report the news not be the news”
In this instance , if the information is correct that a journalist then became a “CONFIDENTAL” police informant, then by association, the Plain Dealer has become the news and the price they have paid his “loss of trust” in the 4th estate

I sent the post to Mark Puente in Florida where he now is employed by the
Tampa Bay Times
I received the following from Mark Puente:

Please attribute the statement to me:” I was NEVER a confidential informant for the Lorain Police Department.”

So round three … From the Plain Dealer


It seems Mark was truthful he wasn’t a ” confidential informant for the Lorain POLICE DEPT” BUT seems to me someone was splitting hairs it was the SHERIFFS DEPT. and then Deputy Sheriff Resendez ( now running for Lorain County Commissioner)
to whom , according to the deposition of Richard Resendez by J. Montelon’s attorney T. Gilbert on December 16th-2011 Mark regurgitated his information over lunch – found here-
Resendez Depo
or you can click on the link “deposition” in the Plain Dealer article.

It makes interesting reading from a couple of standpoints – the legal aspect – seems there are a lot of depositions happening lately in this old city and more to come; this serves as an example to educate we, the great unwashed, how the system works and what happened “under oath” at that restaurant in Westlake

Page 30
Q. So just to recap, you had a running dialog with the chief concerning these letters prior to your meeting with Mark Puente; correct?
A. Yes.

Q. And you had some discussions with Mark Puente
about the letters, in general, prior to the time
that you met with him at the Westlake restaurant
for lunch; correct?
A. Correct.

Q. Had he written about these letters in an article
prior to you meeting with him at the restaurant,
if you recall?
A. I don’t recall.

Q. Tell us what happened at the lunch meeting.
A. We discussed the letters. I provided what I knew about them that was sent to me, to Mr. Puente.Mr. Puente had information. Whether he received
letters or not was unbeknownst to me, he had information. And during the course of lunch I pointed out the fact to him that, again, in some of these letters individuals were being accused of committing a crime or crimes and I felt that that wasn’t right.

Q. Okay, continue on.
A. As I explained in my opinion, the difference to Mr. Puente saying if somebody says something about me personally, that’s one issue. But if somebody says that I committed a crime, that’s another issue, and I explained, again, in my opinion I thought that was a very, very serious matter. And as we discussed this, Mr. Puente began to indicate to me, well, you know the individual.

Q. Okay, continue.
A. And then he would give me clues as to, well, the individual didn’t retire from the police department.

Q. Continue.
A. As I tried to go through the years of the police department to figure out who retired and who didn’t retire, under whatever status that they left the police department, I started throwing out names. Mr. Montelon’s name was not one of the ones I threw out. As we started to continue the discussion, Mr.
Puente indicated, you’re just not getting it. At which point he goes, the individual is, and he referred to him as Joey. And I said, Montelon? He said yes.

Q. Who paid for lunch?
MR. PETTICORD: Objection.
If you remember.
A. I don’t remember.

Q. Was this an off-the-record discussion? He’s a reporter, you’re a non-reporter, you’re talking about matters relating to these letters.
Was there any kind of statement by him that this is off the record?
A. I can’t remember. I don’t know if that was ever said or not.

Q. Did he tell you not to mention my name if anybody
asks you where you got this information?
A. Yes, he did. He did mention that.

Q. What did he say?
A. Exactly what you said, that not to mention his name.

Q. But you did mention his name to the chief; right?
A. Yes.

Q. So why didn’t you respect his request?
MR. PETTICORD: Objection. Argumentative.
A. Again, I don’t — because he requested it when I provided that information to the chief that the name of Joseph Montelon was given to me, I also provided Mr. Puente’s name as the person who gave it to me.

Q. So you did not abide by his wish that you leave
his name out of it; correct?
MR. PETTICORD: Objection. Argumentative.
Yes or no?
A. No.

Q. Okay. Did you consider Mark Puente, you know,someone who you had a pleasant and amiable relationship with prior to that point?
A. Yes.

Q. Had he ever given you information in the past about matters that were part of his journalistic inquiries?
A. No.

Q. So this is the first time he disclosed information to you about something that he had been involved with as a journalist; is that correct?
A. That’s correct.

Q. Did you ask him how he knew that the individual who was the letter writer was Joe Montelon?
A. Yes.

Q. And what was his answer?
A. That Mr. Montelon told him he was.

Q. Any other information that you got from Mr. Puente that you didn’t know before you went into that meeting?
A. Other than Mr. Montelon’s name, no.

Q. Were any other names mentioned as associates of Mr. Montelon or people who might have assisted him in anything?
A. No, not that I recall.

Q. I think you said you didn’t remember if you met in person with the chief or did this by phone, is that correct, when you went to disclose this information?
A. That’s correct.

Q. Did the chief ask you questions about how reliable this information was?
A. I don’t believe so.

Q. And you told the chief — you used the term “mentioned as the letter writer,” but Mr. Puente said he, in fact, was the letter writer. That’s a little different; right?
A. Initially he mentioned Mr. Montelon as the letter writer. When I inquired how he knew, he expounded and said he was told by Mr. Montelon he was the letter writer.

Q. Did you tell the chief exactly what Mr. Puente had told you at the lunch?
A. Yes.

Q. Did the chief ask you to find out any additional information?
A. No.

Q. Did you have any further meetings with Mr. Puente
after that?
MR. PETTICORD: About this topic?
MR. GILBERT: About anything.
A. Oh, about anything? I couldn’t tell you.

So there you have it – I really would suggest reading the whole deposition. Whether or not Mr. Montelon or the LPD are the injured party in all this is not up too me to decide but as for this member of the journalistic jury – I find this lunch conversation very worrying. In my opinion, as stated in previous posts, Mr. Puente has become the story in his efforts to ” investigate the story” he sold his unbiased reporting cheaply even if his bosses don’t agree: (emphasis mine)

Neil Brown, editor of the Tampa Bay Times, issued a statement about the case late Tuesday.

“We have no reason to believe Mark told Mr. Resendez that Mr.Montelon wrote the letters or that Mark said Mr. Montelon told him he did,” the statement reads, in part.”Montelon’s own lawyer has said that his client never told anyone he was the letter writer. We remain confident that Mark acted as a responsible and ethical journalist in all aspects of this matter.

“Finally, in response to your question about why Mark will not provide an affidavit in the case, the Tampa Bay Times is keeping with the standard journalistic practice of preserving the paper’s and its reporter’s independence and freedom from being drawn into other parties’ legal disputes,” Brown wrote.

Sorry Mr. Brown after reading the deposition, unless Mr. Resendez perjured himself, I would say Mr. Puente gave away his independence and the integrity as he sat his bum down and involved a “source (s) “- inserted his bum and the rest of him right smack in the middle of the story.. He also acted as a delivery man and delivered a box of material- he became part of the story once he took an “active role in its direction- he inserted himself right smack in the middle of the story and investigation .He has left a bad taste in the mouths of many who have once again had the “trust factor trampled upon “

Puente acknowledged in November that he had given a box of records dealing with his investigation of police wrongdoing to a Lorain City councilwoman. The box contained rough drafts of two stories Puente was working on, according to court records. The box turned up in the raid at Montelon’s house in Wickliffe- Plain Dealer

No! Mr. Puente is NOW the story and the 4TH estate receives another blow and Mr. Puente receives yet another award – this blog’s

January 11, 2012 at 12:04 am 14 comments

LCCAA – lots of “action” here- not all HELP ( ful)

UPDATE: Audit finds and response to the letter……

LORAIN — Accusations in an anonymous letter of intentional underpayments of workers at the Lorain County Community Action Agency were unfounded, the antipoverty agency’s acting CEO and president said Thursday.

A biannual audit by the Ohio Department of Development found “no credence” to the accusation, acting CEO Jackie Boehnlein told the agency’s Board of Directors at its monthly meeting Thursday

The news keeps coming as to this agency and its “members”
LCCAA has also been “helped”

NOTE emphasis mine.

Council voted 9-1 in favor of the ordinance that will allow Director of Public Service Robert Gilchrist to buy the loans from Texas lender FH Partners. Council had rejected two previous proposals from the administration to buy the loans.

“I`m relieved,” Gilchrist said. “When you are responsible for the retention and the expansion of business in your city, the retention of a business that offers a good service in your community is a good thing.”

William Locke, executive director of LCCAA, said he was happy with Council`s decision. The deal will lower LCCAA`s lease payments on 502 and 506 Broadway from $6,000 a month to $2,500 a month for 15 years.

“I`m glad that Council finally passed the business deal for us,” Locke said. “It benefits all concerned. When I came back on the board in November 2006, we worked on how to eliminate some of these hurdles.”

The city will hold the mortgages, and LCCAA will make monthly lease payments, Gilchrist said, adding the lease money will go back into the revolving loan fund used to finance the deal. The loans have a current value of $825,000.

Now funny thing down the road that same Robert Gilchrist left the city and joined LCCAA-

If you were a cynic ( which I am) you could say he saved at least one job BUT not for long see Mr. Gilchrist had his own problems one being alleged “voter fraud”

and then he was as the Morning Journal put it “Dumped”

seems through the years LCCAA has had many problems :

•On July 28, William Locke, former agency executive director, was accused of harassment in a wrongful firing lawsuit filed by Holly Neely, former agency senior services coordinator.
•On July 12, Vince Urbin, former agency community service director, quit 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.

Please Note the 2006 accusations …. in 2011 that is the same accusations rearing its head in the latest letter.

And then we have in November:

Therese McCann, a community support specialist for the agency who was arrested Nov. 5 by the Ohio Highway Patrol. McCann, who was later fired from the agency, is charged with tampering with records, theft, driving under suspension, failure to signal, a registration violation and unauthorized use of license plates, according to Elyria Municipal Court records.

……she saw a stack of registration stickers in the LCCAA offices, took one and made a color copy of it. She then laminated the copy and attached it to the license plate on the back of her Focus

As regular readers are aware “this” “that woman” was drawn into the “target area” of the President of the Board of LCCAA and 3rd ward council person Tim Howard. You see he sent out an e-mail in support of Mr. Gilchrist ( found in the link) that I found questionable in content considering the effect it had. I called him to see if indeed he was the writer of the e-mail, Howard’s reaction upon my questions was less than polite and bullying in tone (in my humble opinion from one who was on the receiving end). Documented here:

Howard by this time was yelling – loud enough to be heard by my husband ( who was shaking his head and mouthing NOW WHAT ?? )


Interestingly enough Mr. Howard is one of the three very recent resignations due to health reasons.

The resignations of Howard, Vice Chairman Robert Weir and Executive Director Bill Locke announced during Wednesday’s emergency board meeting came as the agency was responding to allegations of mismanagement contained in an anonymous letter sent last month to the Ohio Department of Development and others.

The letter from the employees can be found here :CLICK ON TO ENLARGE
Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Photo Source Morning Journal

Now in fairness Mr. Locke mentioned in most articles and a “driving force” ( I hope he got his license 😉
has this to say to members of the community: You can find the full letter here

AS I plan to make my final exit as the president and CEO of the Lorain County Community Action Agency; I wanted to leave some thoughts for the “Community.” This open letter becomes more imperative in light of the unsigned letter dated Dec. 9, 2011, that has been circulated to the local media and was originally sent to the State of Ohio and to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services

In October 2006 I was called by the board and asked if I would return on an interim basis to help stabilize the organization. I reluctantly agreed and upon my return I found the organization on the brink of being shut down. The organization had a multitude of financial and operational issues ranging from financial going concerns and other financial ratio issues. The organization was about to lose the Head Start program because of deficiencies and non-compliance issues. Bottom line, we turned the organization around, and when I retired again July 31, 2011, LCCAA was considered to be one of the best operating community action agencies in the state. During the week of April 17, 2011, a team of federal reviewers conducted a triennial review of our Head Start program and there are no identified areas of noncompliance. When I retired for the second time on July 31, 2011, I left the organization operating efficiently. The Head Start review and the soon to be completed audits will confirm the previous statement

Obviously this agency who has apparently combined with EHCAC
has some major problems of “trust” and employees/ staff etc. crossing the “legal lines”.

This coming hard on the heels of the survey from the Plain Dealer
where only 23% of Lorainites trust their government I would think this 11 million dollar a year non profit needs to “take a good look inwards and outwards”.

And just a note to Lorain City Council and Administration I would certainly hope that before considering giving this agency any more space such as “Streator Park” you request they first get their own house in order before giving them another of ours!

Photo Source

January 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm 12 comments

Older Posts



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 231 other followers
January 2012