Archive for February, 2012

The GOOD??? Doctor – or Dentist….

My experience with doctors and dentists has been varied and under three different healthcare systems. I have a lot of questions and very few answers but I can tell you that ( in the United States at least) excellent training is available and at a “set bar” but there is more than just the certificate on the wall or the place of residency for a Dr. to give you a “Good Dr.”- I have found through personal experience
the who you know also comes into play in” Doctor to be or not to be” and what I experienced in that aspect is “scary”

This has been brought home to me in ways I never thought I would experience.
Of course YOUR insurance will in most cases dictate the who, where and how much for your healthcare”... so how do you know the person with the white coat is any good? You are putting your “health” in their hands -and do you even have a choice.

The Good???? Doctor series on this blog will start at the very beginning of my experiences and will not necessarily be a follow on- post after post sort of series, but I will give it its own category – the blog is also open to guest posts on this subject.

Like everything else in life there is a history

Imhotep was the first medical doctor known by name. An Egyptian who lived around 2650 B.C., he was an adviser to King Zoser at a time when Egyptians were making progress in medicine. Among his contributions to medicine was a textbook on the treatment of wounds, broken bones, and even tumors. Imhotep was also an astrologer (a person who believes that the stars and planets influence human affairs) and the architect (some who designs buildings) of the earliest Egyptian pyramid. In later centuries, the Egyptians worshipped Imhotep as a god.”

and we all know about

Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos (Greek: Ἱπποκράτης; Hippokrátēs; c. 460 BC – c. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (Classical Athens), and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the father of Western medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields that it had traditionally been associated with (notably theurgy and philosophy), thus establishing medicine as a profession.

However, the achievements of the writers of the Corpus, the practitioners of Hippocratic medicine, and the actions of Hippocrates himself are often commingled; thus very little is known about what Hippocrates actually thought, wrote, and did. Hippocrates is commonly portrayed as the paragon of the ancient physician, credited with coining the Hippocratic Oath, still relevant and in use today. He is also credited with greatly advancing the systematic study of clinical medicine, summing up the medical knowledge of previous schools, and prescribing practices for physicians through the Hippocratic Corpus and other works.

There are any number of references to the “art of medicine” from ancient tribal customs- the “medicine man”- the mystic healers of the tribes, that could intercede for the group with the evil spirits that plagued humanity – hence the “healers” were always held in high regard- for they were believed to have the power of life and death. Maybe one of the reasons Imohotep ended up being worshippped as a god!

But it may be surprising to you the school of thought that the first doctors/ healers were probably not human but “monkeys’!

The famous Roger Highfield. In his one of articles he was saying that monkeys were the first doctors and pharmacists! Evidence has emerged that humans learned the medicinal properties of soil and plants from fellow primates.

It makes perfect sense to me as our ancestors were wallowing about hundreds of thousand of years ago, spotting the nearest neighbor ( an ape) tending to various pains and ailments by chewing on certain leaves etc. and seeing “if it works for them- why not me” discovery.

The distinction between ape and human – apes saw the leaves chewed on the leaves and learned action A equaled result B but humans – well with us humans we complicate matters and we added “M” for mystique and “P” for the power in those prehistoric days . After all what is the point of knowledge if it can’t get you a higher place in the tribe. If you were the best hunter you got points and being a healer also gave you points and now we have evolved to my time on the planet and my story begins……….

To be continued :

February 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm 10 comments

Puk-wudgies and Settlers’ Watch- Beware the Puk-wudiges

Don’t ask me why but I have always thought of the “ground hogs” around my neighborhood as “Puk-wudgies”- it probably is a throw back to another of my mother’s poems and a remembered passage

And no tree begrudges
The little Puk-Wudgies
A pocket of acorns, a handful of mast!

In the vacated green space next to Settlers’ Watch lives a colony of “ground hogs”. They live in the tunnels that make up the old basement of a house that used to be. You can see them in the evening and early morning along with rabbits and geese foraging. Sometimes neighbors will leave fruit etc out for them so they don’t eat the plants so lovingly planted at Settler’s Watch. The squirrels haven’t been so accommodating and we have lost a plethora of bulbs this year.

Photo Mark Teleha
Settlers’ Watch, we hope, will become a recognized urban wildlife habitat garden therefore, we have planted the plants that attract the bees, butterflies and birds and hope the Puk-wudgies and squirrels forage in another part of the acreage .

Imagine my surprise when I heard from the background noise of the television in the other room- one of the “paranormal” tv shows investigating a family having a problem with “Puk-wudgies”- it seems they are Native American legend-

A Puk-wudgie is a 2-or-3-foot-tall (0.61 or 0.91 m) being from the Wampanoag folklore. Puk-wudgies’ features resemble those of a human, but with enlarged noses, fingers and ears. Their skin is described as being a smooth grey, and at times has been known to glow.

In Native American lore, Puk-wudgies have the following traits and abilities;
they can appear and disappear at will
they can transform into a walking porcupine (it looks like a porcupine from the back, and the front is half-troll, half-human and walks upright)
they can attack people and lure them to their deaths
they are able to use magic
they have poison arrows
they can create fire at will
Puk-wudgies control Tei-Pai-Wankas which are believed to be the souls of Native Americans they have killed.

Native Americans believed that Puk-wudgies were best left alone. When you see a Puk-wudgie you are not supposed to mess with them, or they will repay you by playing nasty tricks on you, or by following you and causing trouble. They were once friendly to humans, but then turned against them


Oh dear! and I had visions of fairy- like pixies scampering about amongst the roses and granny’s toenails – if not my cute little ground hogs( who for the most part mind their own business).

Still, according the “Paranormal Research Team”- ,the best way to be on the good side of the “Puk-wudgies” is to give them fruits and berries and they will be grateful and leave you alone . Hopefully, the grapes and berries at Settlers’ Watch should help keep the Puk-wudgies from playing any tricks on us- but just in case the next time you are jogging around over there you might want to run counter-clockwise three times 🙂 that porcupine you spy may just be a animal of a different kind ;).

The Puk-Wudgies
They live ‘neath the curtain
Of fir woods and heather,
And never take hurt in
The wildest of weather,
But best they love Autumn?she’s brown as themselves?
And they are the brownest of all the brown elves;
When loud sings the West Wind,
The bravest and best wind,
And puddles are shining in all the cart ruts,
They turn up the dead leaves,
The russet and red leaves,
Where squirrels have taught them to look out for nuts!
The hedge-cutters hear them
Where berries are glowing,
The scythe circles near them
At time of the mowing,
But most they love woodlands when
Autumn’s winds pipe,
And all through the cover the beechnuts are ripe,
And great spikey chestnuts,
The biggest and best nuts,
Blown down in the ditches, fair windfalls lie cast,

And no tree begrudges
The little Puk-Wudjies
A pocket of acorns, a handful of mast!

So should you be roaming
Where branches are sighing,
When up in the gloaming
The moon-wrack is flying,
And hear through the darkness, again and again,
What’s neither the wind nor the spatter of rain?
Photo Lisa Miller

A flutter, a flurry,
A scuffle, a scurry,
A bump like the rabbits’ that bump on the ground,
A patter, a bustle
Of small things that rustle,
You’ll know the Puk-Wudgies are somewhere around!

by Patrick Reginald Chalmers

February 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm 3 comments

Mould – isn’t all about Cheese and Penicillin-A fungus among us

This family had a brush with what we believe was toxic mould and that experience has left me sensitive and in red flag mode- I want to know what type of fungus is among us in the work places and buildings of this old city and especially her buildings that have been left to “fester” and what employers etc are doing about this major problem?

A few years ago my husband experienced heart trouble- without going into detail after a number of tests ( as his symptoms weren’t fitting the “mould” so to speak , the specialists came across the problem- the strings of the flap in his heart ( were breaking/broken) – I remember the heart specialist at the Cleveland Clinic saying this could be caused in one of two ways- One is a vicious blow to the heart such as what would happen if you were on a sailboat and the boom came across and hit you in the chest , or you slammed into a tree whilst downhill skiing etc. My husband had not had any blows to the chest but he had had experience in his work place with ‘mould” and it is mould that the Drs. determined was the likely culprit.

(Heart Problems)
Endocarditis is an inflammation of your heart’s inner lining. The most common type, bacterial endocarditis, occurs when germs, mold or other microbials enter your heart. These microbials come through your bloodstream from another part of your body, often your mouth. Bacterial endocarditis can damage your heart valves. If untreated, it can be life-threatening. It is rare in healthy hearts.

Risk factors include having:
•An abnormal or damaged heart valve
•A severe case of mitral valve prolapse
•An artificial heart valve
•Certain heart defects

There are any number of websites explaining the danger of mould and types, some are fairly harmless others deadly and you can’t just go by colour.
Types of Mould

Many people seek to define mould by the colour that it appears: ‘green mould’ or ‘white mould’, ‘grey mould’ or ‘brown mould’, or, even more general, ‘black mould’ versus ‘non-black mould’. Unfortunately, the colour of a mould rarely tells you anything useful: there are harmful and non-harmful kinds of mould in each colour group. It is difficult to impossible to determine if a mould is harmful based on what it looks like growing on a surface.

Types of Mould
Hazard Classes

Some countries have adapted a hazard class system to place moulds in different categories based on their health risks. They are broken into Hazard classes A, B and C:
•Hazard Class A:
Moulds in this group are either directly hazardous to health due to risk of infection or creation of toxins. They should not be in homes or workplaces and should be removed right away if found.
•Hazard Class B:
Moulds in this group can cause allergic reactions, especially over longer periods of time.
•Hazard Class C:
Moulds in this group aren’t known to cause any health risks or reactions in humans. Note, however, that even moulds in this category can potentially cause structural damage to things that they are growing on, and should still be gotten rid of

Sick buildings are one of the major causes of fungal illness, primarily mycotoxicosis or systemic fungal disease, in industrialized nations today. The United States is the least developed in fungal illness research and assistament to the community due to the high costs and fear of reprisals, so sadly, most American physicians have little or no education in treating this health crisis. The average American physician knows only how to identify a mold hyphae under a microscope, at best. due to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry funds the medical schools. Mycotoxicosis, often mistakenly called “Toxic Mold Syndrome” out of ignorance, has reached epidemic proportions at a national level in the United States due to defective construction, lack of regular maintenance, shoddy and inappropriate building materials, ignorance, and lack of government involvement; all or in part due to the high costs of standard and substandard remediation.

Source Alberta Mould Test
Canadian National Toxic Mould Center

following lists out some of the individuals at greater risk from “toxic mold” exposures
(again keeping in mind the amount and duration of exposre can be varied).

Pregnant woman, infants, the elderly, autoimmune compromised individuals, individuals
with Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer, Lupus, Asthma/Lung disease, Liver,
Kidney or Gallbladder Disease, Diabetes, Fibromyaliga, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, Central Nervous System disorders,
Arthritis, Muscle Disease, Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat conditions, just to mention a
few. Many of these diseases are now being linked to environmental causes.

In 2001, the University of Ottawa commenced a research project that encompassed
Kidney Disease, Diabetes and Environmental Toxins.

In the United States, Cornel University has publications and ongoing research
in the field of toxins and human disease. They state that about 40% of their
population die because of pollution and environmental toxins.

Recent studies have shown, that Canadians spend approximately 90% of their time
indoors. For those with illnesses restricting their outdoor time, this may present
greater risks to their health, especially if they are being exposed to “toxic mold”.

There are of course beneficial moulds
Benefits of Mold

Mold – A Natural Recycling Process
Mold can be destructive, but they are also beneficial. They help to make cheese, fertilize gardens, and speed decaying of garbage and fallen leaves. Today thousands of different types of mold fungi grow on and absorb food from substances such as soil, wood, decaying organic matter, or living plants and other organisms. After the devastating forest fires in Yellowstone National Park, mold was the first on the scene to begin the nature’s process of decaying the leftover matter and building a base for new plants and trees.

Mold in Processes
Certain types of mold have proven extremely valuable in the synthesis of antibiotics and hormones used in medicine and of enzymes used in certain manufacturing processes. Penicillin, a product of the green mold P. notatum, revolutionized antibiotic drugs after its discovery in 1929, and the red bread mold Neurospora is an important tool in genetic experiments.

An interesting fact is if a medicine name ends in “mycin”, you know it was made with mold. Another is that in a few certain kinds of cheeses, mold is added for flavor. Butchers also inject mold into animals before they butcher to preserve the animal. Without mold, we would not have beer or bread. Molds also have many industrial uses, such as in the fermentation of organic acids and cheeses. Some fungi, such as mushrooms and truffles, are considered tasty delicacies that enhance a wide variety of recipes, including pizza. Other molds can damage agricultural crops, cause disease in animals and humans, and form poisonous toxins in food.

You can buy kits for testing the type of mould you are dealing with and some mould remediation is more than a bucket of bleach….. clean the keyboard and do the searches you may be surprised at what you find

February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm 18 comments

Two little boys- my childhood song- the American Civil War connection

Two Little Boys” is a song written by American composer Theodore Morse and lyricist Edward Madden. It was written in 1902 and became a popular music hall song of the time, made popular by Harry Lauder. It describes the story of two boys who grow up to fight in the American Civil War. In 1969, it became a surprise No. 1 top-selling single for entertainer Rolf Harris in the United Kingdom.

My mother used to sing this song to me along with others such as Sweet Polly Oliver – not your typical lullabye. My father would sing to me as well, Ghost Riders and the Naughty Lady of Shady Lane. My grandmother also very vocal , with her “ditties”, and of course the Highwayman 🙂

But Two Little Boys always made me cry and yet I would ask my mum to sing it over and over again. I used to sing this to my son when he was a baby and colicky . I used to think of the Lorain connection to the Civil war and later the Gilmore connection- and Fanny of the Civil War Letters – who was our neighbor in a different time and age – but whose legacy lingers ……..

My daughter emailed a phone picture to me yesterday, as Gavin had decided Braedyn needed his company and protection ( along with Buzz Lightyear) as Braedyn was trying out the “big crib” – Gavin was showing him how it is done…. I thought of my two little “American Boys” and the American connection to my own very “English” childhood…

Morse – Madden arr. Braden) H. Darewski Music / EMI / Redwood Music (P) 1969
Cond. Alan Braden – Produced by Mickey Clarke

Two little boys had two little toys
Each had a wooden horse
Gaily they played each summer’s day
Warriors both of course
One little chap then had a mishap
Broke off his horse’s head
Wept for his toy then cried with joy
As his young playmate said

Did you think I would leave you crying
When there’s room on my horse for two
Climb up here Jack and don’t be crying
I can go just as fast with two
When we grow up we’ll both be soldiers
And our horses will not be toys
And I wonder if we’ll remember
When we were two little boys

Long years had passed, war came so fast
Bravely they marched away
Cannon roared loud, and in the mad crowd
Wounded and dying lay
Up goes a shout, a horse dashes out
Out from the ranks so blue
Gallops away to where Joe lay
Then came a voice he knew

Did you think I would leave you dying
When there’s room on my horse for two
Climb up here Joe, we’ll soon be flying
I can go just as fast with two
Did you say Joe I’m all a-tremble
Perhaps it’s the battle’s noise
But I think it’s that I remember
When we were two little boys

February 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm 7 comments

Krasienko – Mantini Round Three- and the Winner is???- but Lorain loses

Round Three ????

Lorain owes me but Auditor Balked

And Referee Riley:

Riley indicated in a legal ruling dated Feb. 7 that Krasienko was entitled to the return of $3,073 after Krasienko communicated verbally to the law department that he decided to revoke the relinquishment of the portion of his 2011 salary that would represent the 3 percent increase for the mayor’s salary for the year 2011.

Ex-mayor wants $3,000 back: Krasienko seeks refund of pay raise he donated to Lorain

Round Two:Krasienko

Although at the time Law Director Riley said it was a police matter – he eventually “settled” the matter

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

Law director settles city hall Pipe Yard dispute

Lorain mayor asks state to investigate city auditor

Round One: Mantini

Mantini backs Krasienko’s opponent for Mayor

Ritenauer wins: Beats incumbent for mayor of Lorain

and YOU- THE CONSTITUENTS can wake up and smell the coffee at City hall- LETS HOPE THAT PERMEATES THE REST OF CITY HALL 🙂 or all the talk “doesn’t mean BEANS)

Mayor Ritenauer Invites Residents to Constituent Coffee

Office of Mayor Chase Ritenauer
Mayor Chase Ritenauer will host a “Constituent Coffee” event on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. This is an opportunity for residents to convey their interests and concerns about the City of Lorain.

Join Mayor Ritenauer and his staff in Council Chambers located on the first floor of Lorain City Hall between 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Please R.S.V.P. by calling 440-204-2002 or email

Coffee and tea will be served.

February 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm 13 comments

It is better to have an aeroplane stuck on your head than saviour syndrome

There are days you “know” are going to be very difficult when you are a grieving parent. Those days you know the Gorilla of Grief” is waiting to pounce. You prepare for those days they are usually anniversaries you would sooner forget, memories that are nightmares and vision that is all hindsight.

If you have a job or can still have a hobby you throw yourself into those areas with a vigour born of desperation-

Please let me get through these days without thinking , without reliving the pain, to be able to breathe without holding your breath to keep back the tears.

This has been one such week for me and it continues- I haven’t been very successful in my “plan” to get through it and to the other side……. the other side keeps calling me back .

When Chris was first diagnosed and the treatments started- the 6 rounds of chemo and a month of radiation- I wished my life away wanting desperately to get through to the other side of February. I desperately wanted it to be October when he would be finished with the treatments for the “curable cancer” – not to see him hooked up to the poisons that were flowing through the IV to keep him alive.

I recall every step of walking from the waiting room at the oncologists that very first treatment to where he sat in a chair, with others, hooked up one poison to kill the poison of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – it is a mother’s worst nightmare and it is reality for so many. I didn’t want to relive those memories that I knew would surface.

So I threw myself back into “Lorain” as evidenced in the writing about St. Joes –

I also took on board part of my previous life when I was susceptible to what is known as the “saviour syndrome”. It is experienced by people who think they can make a difference in a situation- the “

I can do that” “I can fix that” ” I can make a difference”- I have an idea that might work-

The syndrome lessens as you become more experienced because reality, logic, beat down and eventually apathy are the cure for the “saviour syndrome”.

However , this week I had a reoccurrence of the “saviour syndrome” it just might take me away from the path of the Gorilla of Grief so I flung myself heartily back into the role of “trying to fix it”- IT being issues with the City of Lorain or at least pointing out some situations that I hoped would be proactive for the “powers that be”- it didn’t take long to remember why the saviour syndrome had been replaced by logic and apathy.I will possibly write about what happened to cure me later – I am not sure I can be bothered at the moment – but just let’s say – “they ( TPTB)” talk a good game but you know they really don’t want your input- you are the cog in the wheel they would rather not grease 🙂 and sometimes the cog is a nuisance not to be born……..

Oh well, we of the saviour syndrome types have all been there before which is why we are leery of “getting involved” again.

In fact, the other part of my “plan ” Gavin- did take my mind off the gorilla – The imagination of a child once more came into play- We still are “with fish”
and now the fish is a constant companion- Oh! he has lost his tail- the remote no longer works- he looks decidedly like a fish that got caught in the filter but he and his “leash” are always with us-. He has also been called by some in the family that “damned fish”!

Gavin is not satisfied with “toys as they are” they serve many purposes other than which they were designed.

For instance the Geo Track aeroplane pictured – sounds just like the “clippers used in his “big boy haircut” he experienced a couple of weeks ago with his “poo bah Ritch”.

So on the dreaded day I went to “play” in the world of a child again.

I became the client and Gavin the “barber” with the aeroplane taking on the role of the “clippers”, unknown to me the remote for the “plane /clippers was ON” and after a little while the “mechanism” found its mark – MY HAIR and very quickly my hair and the mechanism were one .

I quickly grabbed the remote to turn off the motor but the damage was done – I had an aeroplane stuck on my head and there was no prying it loose- although Gavin did try to pull it off which was met with a “teeth gritting silent scream” so as not to scare him. I said between the agony of the situation-

Let’s go find mummy and show her what we have been doing “

We eventually made it upstairs to where his mum was having a well deserved nap – she awoke to her mother standing by her bed with an aeroplane stuck on her head. Eventually the plane was removed ( along with the roots of some of my hair) and Gavin and I had a cup of tea and played “fire truck”

But all in all I would say having an aeroplane stuck on your head was infinitely more pleasant than dealing with the results of the “saviour syndrome” this week. The imagination of a little child did chase the Gorilla of Grief away for just a few moments.

Chris' face book icon

February 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm 7 comments

St. Joe’s Community Center- Three legged stool- one missing leg

Media Accounts of the meeting : February 16th-2012
Morning Journal
St. Joe’s fears eased as leaders intend to move forward with revitalization

Chronicle Telegram ( More in depth coverage)
Questions freeze veterans’ plans for St. Joe’s in Lorain


After all my words on the subject of St. Joe’s Community Center in the past few days

I thought I should at least go and see what was happening at the meeting called by the Veterans to discuss their issues and concerns as to the is it open or is it closing – St. Joes Community Center or Lorain County Community Center as they called it.

The attendees were mainly Veterans, various post commanders and Lorain County Veteran Affairs (Services). City Council members Mrs. Molnar/ Mr. Flores/ Mr. Edwards / Mr. Arredondo ( not sure which hat he was wearing City Council or South Shore Board Member. Leon Mason (audience) from Sherrod Brown’s Office ( who seemed to be the Sgt at Arms role 😉 Commissioners Williams/ Kokoski/Kalo- James Cordes Lorain County Administrator ( audience)
Mayor Ritenauer/Doug Rangel Director of Lorain Development Corp/Com Development/. There were also representatives from various tenants and businesses housed within the building.

A Mr. Giggolotti (sp) ED Note: GILLOTTI- thank you Chronicle for the correct spelling) acted as “facilitator” and admitted his interest in the building right up front. He also used the analogy of the three-legged milking stool.

Probably a poor analogy, in this tax payers opinion, because I was representing “the taxpayer” and this blog. I was there to find out some answers to my questions as evidenced on this blog ( please no more gobbledegook).

The three-legged milk stool

Leg number One The St. Joseph’s Community : the businesses – Veterans ,LCCC, non profits and agencies that pay to be housed in the facility

Leg Number Two The Management : South Shore Development Corporation and Ohio Realty Advisors

Leg Number Three The Government : City , County , State and Federal all whom have a “stake” and monies involved in St. Joseph’s or Lorain County Community Center.

But you see this three-legged stool has a problem it needs one more leg
THE TAXPAYER – from whence “ALL” of the government funding flows- we are the cash cow that provides the milk…. and no where and from nobody did I hear a mention of US 🙂 and without us that one leg – government well this is what happens

There was some “handbags at dawn” passionate dialogue between members of the Lorain County Veterans Affairs(Services) and members of Lorain County Government which, whilst entertaining, wasn’t helpful to the taxpayer who was trying to see a clear path to the barn.
The cow pats of confusion

Among the cowpats of confusion

One : Mr. Lee Berger ( Management)who stated things weren’t as dire ( and I am paraphrasing) as portrayed in the media and the infamous letter . He stated “we the community took this project on when the loss per month in 2010 was actually $65,000 a month and now we were only losing $25,000 per month”- Great but I don’t recall ever being told as a taxpayer the building was running 65,000 in the red each month- of course maybe I missed that cow pat!

Err…. and wasn’t this letter sent from Ohio Realty Advisors in the first place? Hardly the media’s fault for following up on it and since its tone was negative the articles were going to be less than positive .

Honestly – tip toeing through the cow pats here -I don’t think the letter was meant to be public. And now damage control is in full play. Please no cow tipping allowed:

Another Cow pat is the situation between the Commissioners and the Lorain County Veterans Affairs(Services)- the methane gas that permeated the air in that room certainly caused a bit of a stink.

Cow Pat Four – from the infamous letter it seems that Valor Homes was the stopped up udder – because they had not moved in quickly enough – the whole enterprise was backing up and in jeopardy.

It also seems, if I have sorted my way through the fresh cow pats, the Veterans ( at least the ones represented this afternoon) wish the Lorain County Veterans Affairs (Services) to move in St. Joseph’s as well – however there were concerns as to practicality from the “Government leg” .

The discussion didn’t seem to be getting to the crux of the matter – I had spent over an hour and half and seemed to be no further ahead in my confusion- I left – after Mayor Ritenauer stated the partnerships need to be in place- ( the three legs???) – support was needed from the veterans in order to help get the “tax issue” sorted out and a comprehensive sustainable plan needed to be in place. Mr. Berger had said they would be coming before the “community/ citizens ” in an open meeting in the next couple of weeks.

I hope they have more than one leg to the stool at that meeting or we will all end up in the cow pats!!! I await the next meeting of the “MOOvers and Shakers”

ED NOTE I will leave it to the reporters in attendance to give the account from their perspective and will link in the morning their articles.

February 16, 2012 at 12:41 am 23 comments

The reprise of “gobble de gook” – claptrap- wishy- washy -ask me no questions I will tell you no lies

As I continue in my very cynical state – I have lost patience – with the wishy-washy claptrap and those that believe we, the great unwashed, are there to be placated. This isn’t a new phenomenon for me as I was losing patience three years ago and in those three years I have experienced even more claptrap and not only from the political pundits but from the medical community – time to reprise my thinking of three years ago on this day that is an anniversary of:

Out of the Box Win- Win- Moving Forward

by Loraine Ritchey

ERRRRRRRRG!!! I hate those corporate and political buzz words- whenever I hear them they make me cringe and I have heard a lot of them lately .
A lesson in consultanese

The sound bites of the people behind the dreaded “flip charts” – I believe they are supposed to astound us with their intelligence. They are the “consultants” ( what exactly is a consultant anyway)and what do they do ?
consultant51 Source

ED NOTE:GEEK AND POKE ( One of my favourites- I just love the “take” by Oliver Widder)

One answer I received was They live over 60 miles away- are paid 250 dollars an hour – to tell you something you already know!”

They are not alone in my blame game of gobbledygook, they have plenty of company BUT it is WE THE PEOPLE that enable the gobbledygookers.

We, who pay , we who can’t make a decision or “plan” without their expertise ( even though we know what is needed ). WHY IS THAT I WONDER ?


News flash – most of what I see and read from “out of the box” thinkers has been done before- it is recycled, tweeked thinking. The trouble with boxes and out of the box – remember Pandora?
pandorasbox SOURCE

No 2. WIN WIN –
everybodywins SOURCE

loser1 SOURCE

Well I have news for you someone always comes in 2nd and therefore loses- no such thing as “Win Win”
Burst Your Bubble, painting by Erik Stenberg,

AND as for Moving Forward– not too bad as long as you know what is ahead
manrunning2Source Dave Brown
of the Independent

I am done with the – win win- out of boxes- moving forward thinking. I just want “common sense ” “integrity”“money where the mouth is to prevail- and I don’t need a study – a plan- a consultant – or ” Keyboard Kops” to evaluate .

Well it is still ok to dream isn’t it?
The Stuff that Dreams Are Made by John Anster Fitzgerald, circa 1858

February 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm 4 comments

St. Joe’s Community Center – Let’s get fiscal/ physical – Let’s get REAL

Let’s Get Physical Lyrics
I’m (they’re) saying all the things that I (they) know you’ll like
Making good conversation
I (they) gotta handle you (us) just right
You know what I mean
Steve Kipner/Terry Shaddick)

I am dithering – I am not sure what is the best course of action for St. Joseph’s Community Center( the old St. Joseph’s hospital) and I haven’t seen anything from those that should know and are in charge of the project to give me a clear picture.
There is a history to the Old St. Joseph’s Hospital;
From Lizzie’s Guide to Lorain

The house was called the “Devonian Baths” and was built in 1887 over sulphur springs discovered by accident by Gilbert Hogan, who had been drilling for natural gas. This is one of the early pictures of the hospital

March of 2009 the article in the Morning Journal
St. Joseph center in crisis: Lack of tenants, operating capital could cause eventual closure
had the then President of the South Shore Development Board ( In 1997 St. Joseph Community Center was created by the South Shore Development CDC )Jim Cordes ( Lorain County Administrator) as stating:

The center is running out of cash and faces about a $300,000 deficit this year, he said.

It seems that number ($300,000) continues to be a problem because according the Chronicle nearly three years later :

As of Dec. 21, Hipp wrote, South Shore had past due bills totaling $287,892. Hipp also wrote that his company projected that St. Joe’s would be running deficits of $25,000 per month as 2012 got under way, and there was no plan in place to absorb those costs.

Between those two statements a lot of “planning, bells and whistles, handshaking and patting on the back has happened .

Lorain City Council in 2010 approved money to operate St. Joe’s while Krasienko’s administration looked for ways to keep it open.

The agreement also calls for the current South Shore board, which has been largely defunct since the city took control of St. Joe’s at the beginning of the year, to be replaced with a new ninemember board. Five of the board’s members will be handpicked by IRG, which gives the company a controlling number of seats. Three members will be selected by the city. The county commissioners will pick the final board member.

In fact just last June 2011 another deal was brokered with great hoopla and artwork

“Definitely good news,” said Mayor Tony Krasienko. “Obviously, we’ve put a lot of time and resources into making sure the St. Joseph Community Center is a success.

However, there was concern from some on Lorain City Council as to the “way forward” and in July 18 2011 an update on the situation at St. Joe’s was requested. You can find the minutes of that meeting in the following PDF file
council meeting minutes

At that time The Board and members of council discussed the “way forward” with positive pronunciations and in response to Mr. Given’s question in July 2011-

There are many questions with long – term stability of the building and group etc.What kind of cash reserves do we have on hand for repair and maintenance etc. What if the basement floods or sewer breaks etc.


Lee Berger: Financially I am happy to say we are projecting to be stable by the end of this year ( 2011) with the sale of the 5th floor. We have done a lot of work internally to get the operating costs down to something we can handle and obviously leasing the building is our way out. Our projections in 2012, which we are working on now, will start the year at zero and hope with new leasing that we will be in good shape in 2012 and forward.

So what happened that just about 5 months after that meeting crisis hits?? and the Ohio Realty Advisors managing the property sends a letter

states in his letter ( emphasis mine) :

Hipp also wrote that his company projected that St. Joe’s would be running deficits of $25,000 per month as 2012 got under way, and there was no plan in place to absorb those costs.

“From the onset South Shore was operating in a deficit with no long -term plan to fund shortfalls,” Hipp wrote.

How things seem to have changed in 5 months

Did this whole project rely on one group purchasing the 5th floor and therefore injecting $300,000 cash plus build out into the project.

Is that the “business plan”???????

This is a bit like saying –

Oh! I am waiting for my Aunt Lilo Lil to die as I am in her will and then I can pay my mortgage and utilities and remodel – but Old Lil runs off with another suitor or writes you out of the will – and your creditors get stuck with the bill


Not a good business plan it seems at least to this “lowly surface dweller”. I am always amazed at the thinking ( which is more often than not) on basing financial decisions on a “projected income”- but then there is that old “well of the taxpayer” if things don’t come off as planned.

My concerns are these :

Why didn’t the South Shore Development Board and Ohio Realty Advisors in July express their concerns before Lorain City Council when Given ( pun intended) the opportunity. Since I was told yesterday the “letter” that was dated January 5th 2012 was to get the attention of the new administration Why not ask for a meeting , a phone call might have served their purpose a little better because NOW – well they are getting attention NOW aren’t they?


Given asked: How much do you think you need to have rented to cover all your costs and after that the pressure is off.

Berger:I have that in my performa and I do not have that with me but it will be presented to our Board during the next Board meeting- that will then be presented to council-

My understanding is that no information was received by council members– who was the follow through person? NOTE: Joel Arredondo-Lorain City Council President also serves on the South Shore Development Board

Also in Hipp’s letter he states

“The situation within the Administration of the City of Lorain over the past 10 months has also negatively impacted the progress of the project

Question since this was the Krasienko Administration ( who brokered the deal ) and just 6 months previously had the “celebration of St. Joes- and Robert Gilchrist was being praised…. what situation????? And why weren’t council informed there was a “administration” problem 5 months ago when they had the chance ?

And now my thoughts

I think cool, clinical accounting heads need to be in the mix – a “BUSINESS PLAN” based upon actual funding– not IF- not stop-gap budgeting – needs to be in place – because even with “new tenants” there are always expenses that come with being the landlord.

All costs should be itemized- all assets- actual income and actual costs not projected with whatever rosy coloured forecasts of ifs and maybe and hope ( hope like plan is a four letter word )….

And speaking of tenants
There are partnerships and groups within the space providing a valuable service to the community . Those tenants have provided income and a tax revenue to the City of Lorain . I would hate to see the loss to them and to us should the building close. They are also experiencing “physical problems” as per their letter found here
Jan 31 St. Joe’s tenants meeting letter to Southshore Board (1)

And lets us have some “real discussion” not the “congratulatory wishy-washy claptrap” as evidenced at the South Shore Development Board Meeting on Febrary 9th-2012
Scant answers provided at St. Joe’s board meetingby Brad Dicken ( who first broke the story of “the letter”)
Morning Journal – Rick Payerchin

The meeting lasted about 40 minutes, but shed little light on conditions at the St. Joe Center. The board did not have a quorum and could not vote on any proposals

ED NOTE: That was definitely the understatement of the year imho 🙂

Source -by Mike Luckovich‚ Oct. 07‚ 2004

South Shore Development-Ohio Realty Advisors City of Lorain and Lorain County LET’S GET REAL – Let me Hear your “Board ” Talk!!!! and walk the walk – too many people’s lives , businesses and money depend upon an accurate picture

February 13, 2012 at 12:05 am 33 comments

Happy 93 to my mum!!!!

My mum has seen life- she has seen war and peace –
lived in lots of places and become “dear” to many many people all over the world.

The last few years have been terribly hard on her
and this year was another blow. Having to give up her independence ( through no fault or health issue of her own) was particularly hard.

But in her gentle way she has made the best of a bad situation- and even though her memories and “precious things” had to be tossed to the curb she still continues to try to make more and to be thoughtful and loving .

I am thankful for every minute, for every day that I get to have “my mum”- she has been there sharing a cup fo tea and trying to comfort when the nights are long- and the days longer. I see the worry etched upon her face as she watches the pain I go through when the days of losing Christopher become all-consuming. She loves unconditionally – always has done- always finds the best in people – even those that have hurt her and caused her grief. There is not a vindictive thought in her little body.

Yes, I am terribly lucky to be able to share the cake her granddaughter will bake for her this weekend- to watch as she once again holds a new little great-grandchild in her arms as the older great-grandchild listens to her little “ditty’s” – those same songs she sang to me, to my children always bring a smile and a warmth. We will celebrate her 93 years and so much more a love that is timeless and a generosity of spirit that is unmatched.

Happy Birthday mum and thank you for all you give to us – We love you Lots and Lots and Lots

You are the best among us !!!!!

February 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm 14 comments

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February 2012