The Progress?- Then and Now- “Veterans Park” – Lorain Ohio

August 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm 34 comments

Official Logo BRB- design Christopher Ritchey 2007

A celebration took place on the 200th anniversary of the “first business” in this area ( the Nathan Perry Trading Post) August 2007- celebrating the settlement that became Lorain.
You can find the photos of that day here:

The White Dove Crow -2007 Veteran’s Park – 1807- 2012

A photographic history of that little green space from whence this city was born! A time caught in the lens of a camera of oh so long ago

Dan Brady has archived some of that history and in particular the War Memorial

JUNE 2011 found me once again writing about this park

“The homeless men ( one of whom apparently was groping himself – through his clothes as a female resident was walking through the park on a summer evening)settling down early in the evening so as to get the best bench- first come first served- ( what happened to the spacers so a bench could be made for sitting and not sleeping??)”

my conclusion at the end of that post 14 months ago



Fast Forward to this week and another wonderful photo that of a collage of the park

The full story can be found in the two Morning Journal articles of this week.”

But it is going to take more than foot patrols – it is going to take the City of Lorain to “clean up its property as well” including the missing lampposts, taking down the old hanging broken Christmas lights and removing graffiti and please put spacers in those benches.

The city needs to follow its own edicts what is good for the citizens with the Nuisance Sweep has to find the city not living in its own glass house
14 months of complaining falling on collective deaf ears……

Which picture do you prefer of this historic park ?
THIS ???

photo Morning Journal -NATE PARSONS


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Charleston Village, city of lorain, hell is other people, personal opinion, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

It starts with a “birth- day” – August 17th – Birthday- Chris Ritchey- and the Chris -Miss present

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rich Robbin  |  August 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Excellent, excellent commentary. The park needs ‘opened up’, i.e. tree branches hanging too low makes it a ‘doom space’. Lower branches trimmed. Let the daylight in and night lamps glow. Don’t expect anything too soon! Now that the ‘bats’ have not been able to nest along Oberlin Avenue, and the ‘au-natural’ landscaping exists along that abandoned looking area, I’ll shut up now before I get myself in trouble with my mouth!!!!!

  • 2. Renee Dore  |  August 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    This park is under utilized for events. Back less than 5 years ago this park was used for various festivals, Veterans Memorial events, personal events such as weddings, there was once an evening of dining/dancing under the stars for charity-black tie complete with a horsedrawn carriage to accompany those attending. There have been Friday lunches in the park with music, Lorain’s 175th anniversary celebrations, Sunday Church worship, free movies under the stars there….much of these events were tied into the businesses on Broadway as they were in conjunction with businesses there. Has this space been forgotten in the mix with Black River Landing and Lakeview??? Granted those places are nice but–this is also a very nice park-or could once again be. It was at one time an Lorain Growth/ mainstreet adopt a spot but that project is no longer being carried on.
    I just saw somebody doing something behind a tree there today-not sure what he was doing. I don’t think I wanted to know. Renee Dore

  • 3. Dennis Lamont  |  August 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    A great empty space ……………….while a couple of miles in three directions “life” is booming ?????? Where there is no will there is no way.

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    you are right there Dennis sigh……….

  • 5. Renee Dore  |  August 19, 2012 at 4:23 am

    I m going to say this again in the comment section-that public greenspace is deserving of a Historical marker-location-at the northwest corner-near Washington and West Erie-from where the first plotted village map from 1834 has it written as the location noted by the surveyer. It would give the space the recognition as a heritage sight dating back to the Western Reserve land it once was. Perhaps if it were recognized as an important place in Lorain’s history it might be taken care of as such. There is a historical marker on the East side near the boat launch ramp that describes that area as the place where the village began but the statement and settlers names mentioned does not match that location-it matches what happened in Veteran’s Park in 1834. Maybe that marker was supposed to go in Vet’s Park but ended up on the east side instead?? Who knows……Renee Dore

  • 6. Rich Robbin  |  August 19, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Now that I am working ‘downtown’. I have noyiced some things…. The ‘handout’ offices located there bring many people in … Out of their cars, in to get vouchers and who knows what other freebies they get… Back into their cars, sometimes cursing at children in strollers or carseats, sometimes working under the hoods of their cars with , cans of additives’ to get them ‘home’. With all of the free ies given out, not even a hot dog stand would br profitable…. Why would you even move a business there? Storefront churches, people looking for cigarette butts on the ground… Why would you want to open a business?

  • 7. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    The problem as I see it revolves more around looking at what is there from a very different perspective. It is much like the saying about leading a horse to water. You can lead people to the water like the horse, but that doesn’t mean that they will drink the water.

    The “perceptions” that exist for Veterans Park are the same for just about any park in Lorain. To me, speaking for only myself, I believe that the parks along with the other public spaces are broken into too many pieces,

    While some talk about “cleaning up the parks” by removing plantings, or parts thereof, I believe that the green spaces should be made greener, more landscaped, and more connected.

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I agree Brian but this isn’t just any park in Lorain this is the 1st public green space – and the very spot from which this city grew… by longevity alone it should be recognized as Renee states- in my opinion it should be a showcase of Lorain- It should be the first in line for succour….. it has paid its due as the heart of the settlement that became a city … archives Lorain history within its green … the civil war urn , the firefighters memorial , some of those trees that remain were planeted in rememberance of the victims of the tornado,… there are other little memorials hidden all over that park such as the Maine ( this park memoriilizes Lorain as well as Veterans. there is one one little poignant memorial plaque that states ) “Remembered as you were” could be that parks own epitaph………

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Yes Rich amazing isn’t the calibre of foot traffic that is on Broadway and the numbers – and quite frankly in my opinion the BUSINESS of social service agencies need to take responsibility for their clients…..

  • 10. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    There is an business philosophy that is a leading management principle that is taught in just about every business field. “One cannot manage what they cannot see”.

    I know that there are cameras at the Black River Landings, and there may be some at Lakeview Park, and a small business can install a series of eight cameras with recorders in their businesses for under $3,000.00, but the city cannot do it for under a quarter million.

    The problem is that while cameras deter criminal activity, our city cannot find a way to install cameras in a way that would PROMOTE downtown activity and deter crime at the same time. The problem is that while it is a known fact that they are useful, politics and red tape caused by egos keep them from being used.

    The internet is happening now. If anyone goes out to their mail boxes anymore, very little is actually really being sent and read that makes it into the small boxes that are attached to our dwellings.

    This is something that I felt Community Development should have been working on years ago.Imagine this for shits and giggles.

    If there were maybe four cameras at Veterans Park. One that concentrated on the stage area and the others that would show other areas of the park, residents would be able to SEE what is happening at the park. With a little bit of work, small segments of concerts and other activities that would promote the park can be available for viewing.

    I also believe that there should be live cams of the area in front of the Palace Theater that links to their current events and shows what a typical evening out is like.

    I feel that the real problem that lies with installing the cameras isn’t as much about the perception that big brother is watching you, the REAL PROBLEM is who is going to control who owns the cameras and the HUGE AMOUNT OF DATA that having such a system would collect.

    If the police control the cameras, the data about who is actually logging into the cameras will most likely be unavailable to the folks that need this data to target their marketing budgets and programs. The police will have a valid argument that they need control to deter crime, but at some point someone is going to have to be able to mitigate that the cameras are for a public purpose beyond just stopping people from peeing in the park so that discussion should happen before, not after the cameras are installed.

  • 11. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    While I understand your belief that Veterans Park should be preserved as a place of remembrance, It is a public space that belongs to every resident of our community and while the “theme” of the public space is of rememberance, it is a space that is designed to be festive and hold community events.

    The veterans, firefighters, and police don’t own the park, the public does. The organizations that the park is designed to honor should be excited that other groups of people would want to go to the park so that more of our residents can be exposed to the memorials that are erected in the honor of these organizations and give them the opportunity to educate the public on the outstanding service that many of our past residents have given.

  • 12. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Not only that Brian but who is going to monitor the cameras ? The cost of an employee – the cameras put up in known dump sites and their monitoring are being paid for our of Solid Waste hmmmmmmm and two officers are on duty just for that…..come to think of it there is “solid waste” being left by the homeless in Veterans Park maybe we could get in under that program of “dumping” .

    Avon Amherst etc are “perceived to be unwelcoming ” to the addicts, rso’s etc how do we changed the perception of “come dump, do drugs, live under our Christmas trees in Veterans Park- to an Avon? The city must take ownership of this park…. it is the only thing that survives from the very beginning

    But fair warning if I see any such behaviour in Settlers’ Watch, Ak Tribute of in the new Heroes Walk I will turn the damned hose on them ……….

  • 13. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    As an example, I am a veteran and support just about everything that honors the service that our citizens have made for our country. While I believe that protecting the memorials that have been erected are extremely important, promoting the cause is just as important.

  • 14. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Yes Brian it is a public spot and has been BUT I am the public too and you do think I am going to take my grandchildren to that park at the end of my street…..when there are needles and human excrement and who know was urine trails as I sit on step fixing his shoes like I did at the fireworks..

    No I am bloody tired of other people setting the “bar” for my neighborhood..( especially when those that are directors of these agencies like Catholic Charities leave in the evening and don’t have to reap what they have sewn….. enough is enough this is disgraceful and anti social behaviour and I don’t feel sorry for those that are destroying their lives and also my quality of life ( what is left of it) …….. I have rights too and who is speaking US…….

  • 15. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    AND Brian Veterans park is just the latest incarnation of the green space it is about community as you say ……

  • 16. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    The cameras are themselves a deterrent and don’t necessarily have to be monitored 24 hours a day by a police officer. Are the cameras that are installed in businesses monitored by a full time employee every time they are on? No they are not.

    Besides the fact that cameras deter crime, they typically have a recording loop from 24 hours to a week. Cameras can also broadcast continually, but can be set to record activity when they sense motion, therefore eliminating the need to view countless hours of recording if they have to be reviewed.

    I believe that Settlers Watch would be another great area to have a few cameras set up. Many cameras today are wireless and they are extremely inexpensive to operate. The high resolution cameras are low cost, are fairly reliable, and when they go bad, are super easy to replace.

  • 17. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Whose to say there aren’t cameras at Settlers’ Watch 🙂

  • 18. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I guess this is where I say that I see things differently. I agree with you that the residents deserve to have a safe clean place when they visit ANY PARK, the suggestion that I have thrown out is a possible step in making the park safer and deter the other activities that are problems today.

    This isn’t rocket science. Getting people involved with the parks start by getting people to use them and taking ownership of their community. The issues that you have documented are real. The problems that you see are present. So what’s next?

    I believe that TWO things have to happen to reverse the conditions that you mention. One is that what you have documented, the other is getting the segment of the community that want the same things that you want in the parks to support them.

  • 19. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Here is the perfect example for you. If the guy that was pissing at the park was caught on camera and it was reported in the papers that he was being prosecuted and the evidence was recorded footage, that would deter the behavior and tell the public that that kind of behavior is not going to be allowed at that location.

    Here is how it can work.

    Suppose that the cameras stream live video. A police officer drives by the park and suspects suspicious activity. The officer can call into the station that it may look like someone is using drugs there. An officer at the station can log onto the internet and watch the footage while doing his other activities. If the observing officer sees criminal activity, the previous officer returns to the park and makes an arrest. If that happened a couple of times, then the folks that do that type of behavior are going to have to find different locations to do their drugs.

    While this doesn’t completely eliminate the problem, it does create a SAFE ZONE where residents will become comfortable taking their children or allowing their children to play at the park.

    In the same sense. Suppose that a parent has middle school age kids that are old enough to go to the park themselves. The parent could log into the computer to “check up” on their kids.

  • 20. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I bet that if cameras were installed that there is an app out there somewhere that would allow the footage to be shown on an android phone. If an officer suspected criminal activity, he could just park around the corner out of site and drive up after he has viewed the activity and make an arrest.

  • 21. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    OK Brian I see your point however this neighborhood has taken ownership of the over 200 year old greenspace –
    “Getting people involved with the parks start by getting people to use them and taking ownership of their community”

    Been there and bloddy done that on more than one occasionand I am tired of the powers that be not following through when the community has……….me included………..

    I fought Foltin and Co , Veard ( Prudoff and Cole) back in 2005-6 to save it . was castigated called names ( history bonehead) remember those days by the then Editor of the Journal – was made front page news as driving the developer from town ( he is still here) I was insulted coerced and ridiculed trying to save that “piss park” Cole editorial . from becoming condos ( which also was bad urban planning ) that would have in all likely- hood become more “affordable housing” Even the Veterans groups were on board with the “dangling carrot” of a new monument and area at Black River Landing so the Veard, Foltin , Cole and Prudoff could have the park.. Oh I still have the letters and editorials written about me AND IT ISN’T EVEN “MY” HISTORY I am not letting that happen again whilst I am still able to speak………

    ….. YES see I have a special ownership to that park that I haven’t for others – I fought for that greenspace and for what it stands for and damn it I have “ownership” …….. and those that fought with me have more than a cursory interest….. so you see when for the past 14 months people have let the powers that be KNOW the deterioration of infrastructure and the happening in that park falls on deaf ears I get angry –

    I don’t care that the republican administration under Foltin tried to purposely blight that park- I don’t care that Gilchrist and the Democrats never followed through with their promises when we contacted them about deterirating conditions after we had community support and fixed the park once again and got the fountain going …. I don’t care that the Ritenauer administration has only been in office a few months. We have had an ongoing council and a parks committee , a police dept etc through all of those months and I want the “feces of humanity” out of that space………! I am going to have a cup of tea and a chill pill now……. maybe another post on this tomorrow ……..

  • 22. Brian  |  August 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    While it sounds like I have struck a nerve, my comments are merely suggestions and do not diminish your points.

    It is that since I have seen how things have worked “historically” in this city, I believe that new approaches to lingering problems should be explored.

    Lorain could “invest” hiring a couple of more police officers to police the park, but that investment would only be realized for as long as the funding was available to keep those officers employed. Cameras are more COST EFFECTIVE and once installed, become even more cost effective.

    The idea of cameras is hardly new. They are used all over the world, especially in your home country. The idea has merit, just INITIATING ideas like this have HISTORICALLY gotten to the point of a council meeting then falls on deaf ears.

  • 23. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Again I am not disagreeing with you re cameras but if you place the cameras and still nothing is done because that is what happens ( hell I will raise the money for the cameras if need be) …. nothing being done, no ongoing follow through has been the problem all along …...the public has been the cameras in that park, the eyes, the complaints filed , pictures taken they appeared on this blog ( check the links in the artcle-)

    it is all very well putting up cameras but you have to have more than a ” cursory reaction to what is being shown” and there isn’t one …..they the ones controlling the situation all just meet and talk and plant a couple of flowers, send in a foot patrol ( for how long and how often- they think this will be a deterrent ???

    and bitch actually that blog posts like mine etc and media coverage is showing Lorain in a negative/ bad light…... The city needs to get its perverbial finger out – stop pussyfooting around with the conglomorate landlords and the business of social service agencies stop being so damned politically correct and ‘LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE’ ….. because all over the world in Australia, the UK Canada this morning my readers are seeing a drug addict urinating on the monument to those that fought in all wars……
    the list of countries accessing this blog this morning

    United States
    United Kingdom
    South Africa

  • 24. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    The question to be asked to those American readers if you saw this picture of a guy urnating on a monument for American War dead but it was in Afghanistan or Iraq or Turkey or Syria or Germany/ France / UK would you be outraged??? would it make “headline news” nationally I am willing to bet it would so is it OK that it happens in Lorain Ohio ???????

  • 25. Darla Cuevas  |  August 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    My son goes to school next to that park. Having all them homeless men in the park is not a good thing. One guy attacked my son’s teacher a few months ago. it was in the paper. My son was scared, That man was comming after my 6yr old son.

  • 26. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    OMG this is not acceptable …… no way no how…… City of Lorain are you listening?????

  • 27. aka/mozart  |  August 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    there used to be a homeless lady not so long ago..that made streator park her wardrobe room…she would strip down and change her clothes…i think her name was Mary…she had very swollen ankles, and of course very unkept..the first time i saw her…i think i just stood there…never got too much coOperation at streator..but we did change the curfew there..and it has indeed made a difference in a neighborhood park.

  • 28. Dennis Lamont  |  August 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    And my answer to Rich is this ……have you ever been to a “neighborhood” that has been “gentrified” ??? Have you ever seen places cleaned up and upscaled ???? How’s about some of those folks signed up for social services having jobs in the area so they can get off the rolls ???? From the conservative point of view you just quit all this and walk away and let it all slide into the sewer …..or be burned out in the next set of race riots. The other side of the coin is that HUD provides much more money than any developer going is willing to spend in Lorain. Anything standing alone in Lorain will wither and die (St Joe’s now that it is isolated) …so yes unless it is part of a Development District, it ain’t gonna work.

  • 29. gramster1  |  August 20, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I’m outraged that this could happen anywhere and no one is outraged except for a few of us. We need to find a way to take back what is rightfully ours as citizens of this world. Besides, we’ve paid for it too!

  • 30. hammer  |  August 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I can see how some people are very upset about the public peeing, but ask most guys out there, and they will probably reluctly admit that they have done so also. I am not making an excuse, just a point of view. Men are lazy pigs when they can get away with it.

    The fact that this guy peed in a smaller public park is somewhat concerning. The issue may have been midigated had there been more people using the park at that time and the perp would have most likely went behind More for Less and peed out of the publics view.

    Back to the idea of cameras. Why doesn’t Lorain have some sort of system of cameras to promote downtown and deter crime? Anyone care to answer???????

  • 31. Brian  |  August 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm


  • 32. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 21, 2012 at 12:22 am

    it is about lack of public decency , respect and the fact this is not an isolated incidence of a guy getting caught short, you can see the “camp” under the Christmas Tree and the drug paraphenalia in a little park where children are playing for recess – the bedding on the benches…. it is not a damned hotel ……. and if dogs aren’t allowed to defecate in the park then I am sure the same applies to humans… maybe those who handed out the blankets with their “homeless Fair” a few months ago should have handed out pooper scoopers and poop bags…….

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August 2012

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