Archive for March, 2013

You have Cancer ! Paula’s journey shared –


NOTE: That Woman- I am no stranger to the look on a doctor’s face and those words- You have Cancer – you really only hear the one word CANCER as your world spins ,dives, a tiltawhirl of emotions, questions and terror, invade your being.

I have blogged about my son Chris and the “curable” Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that wasn’t cured.
Every day searches come to this blog looking for answers and a way through . I still cannot find the strength to document Chris’s journey, the hospitals , the treatment , his thoughts as he went through . I know his journey and the information would help these people who search but I am just not brave enough to start back on that time and relive those days, it is bad enough I daily relive his passing.

However, the same cannot be said of my dear and beautiful friend Paula – she has put herself aside once again to help others. Cancer will find its obscene way into every family, none of us are immune , and because it has found its mark once does not mean we have paid our dues to this vile disease. Paula is a member of one such family.

After you read Paula’s words if you have any questions or need any information she has agreed to answer personal emails , if she can be of help. Please email me at and I will forward them


“You have Stage 3 aggressive cancer.”
You’d think it was the beginning of my journey with cancer, it wasn’t. I’ve been to this rodeo with others before, Frank’s pancreatic 11 years ago, my sister-in-law’s brain cancer, the dozens of families and patients we’ve worked with over the years. It wasn’t even the first time I thought I had ovarian cancer; it probably began a year prior.

I had someone ask

“What did you think when you were told?”

My answer was,

“What have I done to my family?”

I was told “Keep strong” but I learned it takes a lot of strength to ask for help and to accept help.
You don’t have to tough out the pain, physical or mental. In fact, I realized that keeping a positive outlook gives the chemo the chance to work. I’m sure we’ve all heard that stress can cause cancer, so don’t give it a chance.

Sleep is a luxury and is needed to heal; you can’t help but be emotional if you aren’t getting your sleep.
People don’t usually know what to say or do when someone has cancer. Instead of asking what can I do, just do it.

Example: Ask what day and what dish shall you bring. It’s winter, shovel their driveway, call and say I’m going grocery shopping what do you need, better yet tell them to start a list each week and you usually go on Wednesday, call the day before and get their list. We’ve become Drug Marts best customer, if you’re going to a drug store call and ask if you can pick something up. I was amazed at how excited I became over surprise gifts and cards.

Always be positive when talking to a cancer patient, I had many nice compliments on my scarves or my outfit. I had an issue with wigs, we won’t even go into the horror of losing your hair, my Ob/Gyn had the best comment: “it’s only temporary”.

Back to the wig, I have a big fat Irish head, wigs from the American Cancer Society were too small. My insurance didn’t cover cranial prosthesis (even though it would have been cheaper than one prescription) After special ordering, the order was mixed up and wasn’t going to be ready until one month before chemo was to end, I said forget it

I have been touched by complete strangers care.

stJohnsWestShore logo

I have the best Healthcare Team. They are associated with St. John’s Westshore/University Hospital. I wanted to go to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where Frank was cured, but our insurance wouldn’t cover completely and I knew we’d be getting into the hundreds of thousands by the end

My General physician is Dr.Pete Gotsis, my oncology surgeon is Dr. Kristine Zanotti, my Ob/Gyn is Dr. Michele Belardo, my oncologist is Dr.Richard Chang.

Their support staff, their nurses are phenomenal, they’ve loved and taken care of me at the worst moments of my life.

I always said three factors saved Frank from the 3% survival rate he was faced with:

1. Early Detection
2. Great Healthcare Providers
3. The Best Prayer Chains/People in the World

I also learned in my previous experiences knowledge is power, but this time I couldn’t research my own disease, I always seemed to end up on the worst sites, the worst statistics, the horror stories. It was overwhelming, so I do my best to stay away. I even had survivors share the worst and unfortunately it was at the wrong time of day to reach out to my oncology team to help me with the information.

Best advice I received from a support group on the East Coast was,

“Pay no attention to those numbers. They’re five years old, you’re unique.”

Be grateful for everything, let others help.

Feeling alone, close your eyes and imagine all those past and present that love you and are thinking/praying for you
Try to find something to be thankful for each day, no matter how small. Sometimes for me it was “tomorrow is another day”. But I was always thankful for my family close and extended, (especially Frank and my mother who were always there) my girls for their love, care and concern and all my friends who would call and check without being asked. I have so much, I pray for those who have no one.

I’m not used to being on this side of the disease. I was always the problem solver, I was the caregiver, I was the researcher, I was the advocate.

But if I can help someone avoid some or all of the pitfalls of the C word I want to give back. Please let Loraine know and she’ll forward, we can speak candidly and confidentially.

I remember the one time I felt like myself, I was waiting to go in for chemo, at the reception window an elderly gentlemen came to the window to ask the receptionist how to get the coffee from the carafe. I told her I’d help him, took him over and demonstrated how it worked; it was so meaningful to help someone again.

March 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm 16 comments

A Time with Time Warner- Lorain City Council


The council chambers were hardly packed with irate citizens however, those that came clearly showed their frustration with their Time Warner issues.

TWC rep
Chris Thomas – Time Warner Cable
Photo credit – LISA MILLER

You can read the Chronicle coverage here :

Bad cable service may spur competition in Lorain by Evan Goodenow

Exorbitant rates, especially for “bundled” service in which customers receive cable, Internet and phone service from the company.
Pixilated or frozen images on some television channels.
An automated customer service center that makes reaching customer representatives difficult, and different customer representatives offering different solutions to complaints.
Frequent service disruptions due to antiquated equipment such as old cable boxes.

Morning Journal coverage here:

Lorain citizens voice complaints about Time Warner at public hearing by Jessica James

Ritchey explained to Thomas her experience with Time Warner customer service which resulted in a seven-hour long phone call about Internet problems.

NOTE That Woman- I DID NOT HAVE A 7 hour phone call – even I am not that tenacious to stay on the line that long. The “fix to my problem was supposed to happen after 7 hours- that didn’t happen! 🙂

“Since July 12, 2012, I have been blocked from my IP address intermittently,” she said. “Geek Squad recommended I call Time Warner and get the IP address changed. I called Time Warner and after seven hours on the phone 😦 (NOTE: once again this wasn’t accurate) my IP address did not change.”

But there is a truth in the Chronicle article that should be highlighted:
mayor groupTWC
Photo Credit – LISA MILLER

Lorain received nearly $658,000 in annual franchise fees last year from Time Warner which earned about $21.4 billion in revenue last year. With 5 percent of customer payments going to Lorain, Ritchey said city officials should help residents unsatisfied with Time Warner. “Your citizens leave Time Warner, you lose revenue,” she said.

I asked the City of Lorain, as per the previous article

to please , since they are receiving a substantial franchise fee to appoint an ombudsman or designate someone from the administration to be our representative -a person locally to turn to- when as according to the Morning Journal article

Ritenauer said roughly 9,125 households are Time Warner customers.

Mr. Chris Thomas , Time Warner assured those of us present Time Warner would look into everyone’s complaints.

As for me I will send out the link to this post later and see if my IP is still a no no. Actually I think there is a more subversive issue with another electronic entity “ecelerity” that is the key to my issues– we will see 🙂

March 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm 8 comments

custoMEr or consuMEr = ME!!!- Time Warner and Lorain IT


cartoon Source

Without further adieu, I would like to introduce ME- I am the ME in your customer and consumer THERE IS NO ‘ME ‘ IN IT.Although the City of Lorain IT department seems to think there is- you see they are saying – the fault is ME.

They have been saying it for months – infact since I first apprised them of the issue I was having with my IP address being blocked “INTERMITTENTLY”. I wrote about the issue here: in AUGUST 2012


I did what I was supposed to do, on the advice of various IT people, I authenticated ME and my IP up the yin yang and then TIME WARNER informed me they were having a problem with their IP’s being blocked………..

We are currently experiencing problems with sending e-mails as
they are being Blocked. Our team have been made aware of the problem and are working to resolve it
as soon as possible. As of now, we don’t have any expected time period on when the issue will be
We appreciate your patience as we work towards a resolution as quickly as possible. We
apologize for any inconvenience caused.

I waited and then after a week or so I was able to email my city council members, administrations and various depts. within the City of Lorain. All was right with the world for a couple of months but January 31st found the block bad IP came back to haunt.

NOTE: Let me just for transparency sake tell you that THIS BLOG ADDRESS (URL) IS BLOCKED FROM THE CITY OF LORAIN for the last 3 years or so – PEOPLE WITHIN THE CITY CANNOT READ MY BLOG USING A CITY SERVER-
I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM WITH THAT I don’t wish city personnel reading my blog on city time. I WANT THEM TO BE DOING THEIR WORK.

However it is this blogs URL that is blocked – not the IP address

I may be prolific but I am not a spammer– however being the co-chair of Charleston Village Society I have a lot of correspondence with various departments and administrations – no matter who is in office! For instance, the neighborhood known as Charleston Village has 5 concerned council people 2nd Ward, 7th Ward and three council at large that I send information to regularly.
CVSI has been involved in various projects in the past five years that partner with the city of Lorain – such as Settlers’ Watch, Admiral King Tribute Space and Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and the ongoing situations with that green space.

This means I have to contact Lorain utilities, street depts, community development , Chief of Staff and legal. I have to send annual reports , financial reports, support letters for brown field grants and tax documents for the city to keep in their files.

Not to mention having the City of Lorain’s first Block Watch program- where we need to contact the Lorain PD from time to time.

No matter which of my personal and non -profit emails I send from -I am blocked intermittently because it is coming from the same computer IP.

Now the ME in question is totally fed up with the THEM– for months I have been told by Auditor Mantini and the City of Lorain IT –

it is you on the block list – up to you to take it off- call your server,

So I duly contact Time Warner, I contact Spamhaus, I contact Microsoft and finally I contact MY Geek Squad( out of desperation) and so it goes. This computer illiterate who is paying for all of these people one way or another has to sort it out????

The upshot of all this is that they all say :

contact the city- they are the ones blocking – it is their problem

Do you notice a pattern here? ME I have to do this- I am the one who is PAYING FOR THIS RUNAROUND ……. ME!!!!!As my grandmother used to say

Why keep a dog and bark yourself?


But since it is ME that is tearing out my hair over having a blocked IP I tried to do what I could . This is the same situation as to my pixellating problems with Time Warner – it comes down to CUSTOMER SERVICE!
Yes I am pleased to say since Time Warner Cable Guys ran the new cable in my basement
I no longer have the freezing and pixelating- but getting through the “front gate” of the call center – well that was another hair tearing experience- and for that simple fix – I had to wait complain – write letters from MAY 4th 2011
until it was finally fixed DECEMBER 28th 2012

I could show readers the plethora of emails – transcripts letters on BOTH my issues with television and cable and emails. Should anyone want to see them contact me; they have become somewhat wieldy of late.

However , my issues with a blocked IP’s or lack of authentication communication and pixelating television is NOT the point I am trying to make .

We, who are experiencing problems with cable TV or internet service or for that matter problems with the city, are first and foremost CUSTOMERS of a service provided by those entities –

My monthly Time Warner bill provides the City of Lorain six dollars a month toward their bank account- approximately 600,000 a year comes into the city coffers from Time Warner – coincidently about the same amount as budgeted to run the City of Lorain Auditors Dept for a year and could cover a huge amount of Lorain’s MIS depts. $752.717.00 budget

If I leave Time Warner out of frustration , as has everybody else that contacted me – the City of Lorain loses money The city has more than a passing interest in this situation- your citizens leave Time Warner you lose revenue!

The bottom line as I see it

I am paying Time Warner for a service “cable since the mid 1980″s” to watch television and “internet since 1995” to provide me with access to email , the www, and to take me electronically anywhere I need to go ( with my IP address)

Time Warner, in turn, send $600,000 a year to one of the places I need to go. The place I need to reach is my local government who are also receiving money from me in the form of taxes and franchise fees.


I should not have to spend hours and weeks and in some cases months to get answers or help.

I should not have to write to Time Warner CEO or the FCC to get issues sorted– in the end it was a simple fix – new wiring in my basement shouldn’t have taken nearly two years of frustration and confusion.

I should NOT be the one trying to sort out the technical issues being faced by ME the consumer – I am paying for a service twice- I have identified my latest IP problem to Time Warner ( the IP designator) who gets my money to work with the recipient of my fees and the “blocker” the city of Lorain’s IT dept. to Fix IT- NOT ME!!!

Frustration, writing letters and having public hearings shouldn’t be the “business ” of the day! ( not in my world anyway).

Time Warner and the City of Lorain are intertwined they need to sort out these “untimely issues” and the citizens of Lorain need in my opinion a “local” LORAIN contact rather than the Time Warner call center debacle we have now “fielding” our concerns. time warner call center


March 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm 7 comments

Cowboys of Lorain- Schneider shoots!-Crazy Eight

marshalled 2

Further Updates: The Chronicle article of today:

Oh Oh George is “filing mad”

They had a contractor there despite the fact the house was scheduled for (demolition) Thursday,” English said. “We don’t know what happened, but the house is gone. Now we’ll be amending the suit to seek damages for wrongful destruction of my client’s property.”

English estimated he would seek damages in the $50,000 range for the value of the house.

“It appears they fast-tracked this to tear it down,” English said. “The same city that tore it down issued a permit to fix it,’’ English said. “Now they can just pay for it.”

The source was reliable – only I believed it was the Elyria house they were talking about as I understood the demo of the Lorain house was set for Thursday. George has too many of these homes 🙂 to keep up with. Anyway the Lorain home is “down”= the source was right- the Chronicle was right the house in Elyria still stands and I was wrong- wrong house that is – emailing at cross purposes 🙂

NOTE!!!!!I am sorry I had a ” usually ” very reliable source from Lorain County Government tell me the house in Elyria was taken down yesterday- according to Evan Goodenow the reporter from the Chronicle who went and checked the house still stands- so George is still UP one!

Remember Part Two of the series The Cowboys of Lorain- when I attended the Demolition Board of Appeals:
The Cowboys of Lorain- Part Two -The Demo Men!

Then this chap came up to the microphone,he rose with difficulty from his seat, he stumbled,limped his way across the floor , his face clouded with anxiety. He looked like he needed to be cared for and seemingly having the weight of the world on his shoulders – I actually felt sorry for this poor old geezer– er that is until I found out it was the infamous George Schneider – he of numerous blog posts and owner of hundreds of properties in this community.

I don’t know who I was more annoyed with – myself- for almost being taken in by his demeanor or the fact Georgie Porgy was asking for yet another of his properties to be given a 2nd chance. The appeals board denied his appeal but I bet you anything you like George’s attorney – Brett English will be back on the case “appealing” to a higher court.( Watch this space)


A Lorain landlord is seeking a restraining order against the city and the Lorain County land bank to stop demolition of a “dangerous property” house.

George H. Schneider filed the lawsuit Monday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court against Lorain, Chief Building Official Richard Klinar and the Lorain County Land Reutilization Corp.

500 25th
The house at 500 W. 25th St. is scheduled for demolition Thursday, according to a list supplied last week by the Lorain County land bank, which operates with staff of the Lorain County Port Authority, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

TA DA!!! and the attorney is … you got it right behind the eight ball- Brett English!!Of course Georgy has had dealings with the Lorain municipal Court before remember this one????


– 1965 E 28th Street
Complainant – City of Lorain
Defendant – George H Schneider – Attorney Brent English

That 180 days – and $1000 dollar fine was SUSPENDED and Mr. George Schneider on June 25th 2009 had to pay $614.00 initialed by MM

So why one wonders wasn’t the original judgement carried out?

Did things change, what”justifyable reasons” were given to the court to allow this lovely view to continue in one of our entranceway to Lorain


Was an eyesore demolished ? I couldn’t see any evidence of things looking better in the past 4 years ?
Was asbestos found? What happened -was it abated and did work stop? ? Or is it blowing in the wind along with the corrugated siding?Judge-Mihok

Does the good judge ever drive past 1965 E 28th Street and wonder if the Building Dept and the City of Lorain will come before his court again with 1965 E 28th Street ?

Do I have a crystal ball- that I can see the future of what would happen in two months – No it is looking at the past that tips you off- AND IF THE PAST IS ANYTHING TO GO BY – George will in all probability ( based on his past behaviour) – play this out in the courts will get his building permit – you know the one that will allow him to fix the foundation- ask for a couple of extensions- then pull another one on this property deemed unsafe because he can

cuffed n stuffed

If the permit is good for a specified period of time and I have been unable (for various reasons) to accomplish any of the proposed work on the property can I pull another permit after the aforesaid permit expires – how many times am I able to do this- Is there any documentation given to the city the property owner has the funds to complete the project?


The permit is valid for one year. However, you must start the work within 6 months of being issued the permit. An individual with a valid permit can request for an extension for up to 6 months. If after this extension, the individual must apply for a brand new permit. The Building Department does not require proof of funds for repair in order to receive a permit.

How many times can a property owner apply for the permit can he/she just keep applying for a new permit into infinity or is there a limit to the number of times a permit can be pulled for the same property and job of work?


I have attached “Permit Approval code section” for your review on permits. According to section 105.4, two extensions can be granted. After those extensions, the code does not restrict anyone from filing a brand new application for a permit.


Yes! Georgy knows the game he plays it time and time again- what is a few bucks fine and attorneys fees when the cost could be so much greater -he knows the process- it has worked for him before and he is using the same MO in Elyria
Dilapidated house disgusts, frustrates neighbors by Lisa Roberson
( owners)


It seems the neighbors, the City of Elyria etc. all find this house 352 S. Maple – Elyria a nuisance, eyesore and want something done. However Mr. George Schneider wants more time so his attorney

“Mr. English wrote a 7 page letter addressing the 44 violations found- ( emphasis mine)
In a response filed by Schneider’s attorney Brent English that aimed to address the 44 violations the city Building Department put forth as proof the building needed to be condemned, English said Schneider “would not to just sit by and let his house go

September 2012 That Woman
George Schneider- the legal arguments-give it some ” english”
1110 9ths
and George just keeps on adding to his “collection” – there are complaints this morning from neighbors about one of his latest acquisitions ($6,000) transferred in October 2012 1110- West 9th Street-

marshalled 2

at this rate we will need another employee to keep track of just George’s Building permits……….

to be continued …. what are the odds 🙂

March 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm 10 comments

The Cardinal “letter”- H for Hypocrisy- pappish style

VaticanLong time readers of this blog will remember I have a real issue with the Roman Catholic Church – so I have researched the inconsistencies with what the hierarchy preach and what they have done – for example lets talk castration and that cover-up ( under 6 Popes)-

The “MEN of God forcibly castrating young men to cure them of homosexuality and covering up the wide-spread sex abuse amongst the men of FAITH????????? and then enabling the cover-up of such disgrace even NOW!- I AM SICKENED!!!.

Now the issue of homosexuality is coming full circle considering these same pillars of the Roman Catholic church are now facing the scandal of their own homosexual behaviours- a scandal that has seen the current infallible Pope apparently having to leave office–Pope-REALLY-quit.html

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

I have written extensively about the hypocrisy of those that have power in the “organized church” and members of their flock ( locally) .

I have no issue with people having beliefs or being of a faith as long as they don’t interfere or NEGATE my beliefs. AND this is what the priest Father Divas and his parishioners did in my opinion to my family.

It is something I will not forget or forgive whilst my son’s remains are in a place I find abhorrent .

catholic hypocrisy
Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey DO- Susan Lombardi- Tim Lombardi Bishop Lennon- Father Divas

Somehow in this community of Mary, Mother of God Parish, Lorain , Father Divas, Tim and Sue Lombardi and their family Gonzales, Zaworski, Gott and the Vikas believe their right of faith superceded my own and that of my son’s .

They deemed it acceptable to gossip about the mother of a dead son at his ” viewing” .

They deemed it their right to bury a son’s remains without letting his family know.

They deemed it acceptable for write horrid letters questioning a mothers love of her son just a few weeks after his death.

They put their rubber stamp on his last earthly remains, they broke his family’s hearts, they ( his bride) went back on their agreement as to the agreement for our closure .

It is all documented

And of course the Roman Catholic Church, under the auspices of Father Daniel Divas, Bishop Lennon, as is their want “locally” ignored my letters , my questions and our pain.

I lost what respect I had for the for the Roman Catholic Church . This community of religion and the Vatican, too long, have covered up or ignored for the sake of “princes of this church”.

The aftermath of the death of my son found me sickened, incredulous and confused by the actions of supposedly “christian like” people and their “leaders of their church”. The pain caused to a family who lost their only son – the needs of this family discounted and ignored WHY? Is that christian-like behaviour or the teaching of the code unto which these Roman Catholics adhere? Painting-of-St-Peter-s-Basilica-roman-catholic-church-29888275-781-550

We take care of our own- thinking – well I guess it probably is – although my experience with the “power and flock of the local church” Mary Mother of God parish and Calvary Cemetery is of only importance to me and mine. However, it is, in my opinion, the high-minded disgraceful behaviour and the who is who – the decisions, ignoring the wrongs and posturing that is causing the institution and business of the Roman Catholic Church its current PR and participation problems.

Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church will being electing a new pope on 12 March. The new pontiff will have a host of issues to deal with, among them the decline in active worship right on his doorstep – in Europe’s Catholic countries……
In 1966, 80% of the French declared themselves Catholic. By last year, 35% of the overall population and 63% of 18-24-year-olds said they were “of no religion”.

In my opinion, Father Divas, and Bishop Lennon enabled such hurt to be done to us and enabled the compounding of a mother and fathers grief.

They enabled disgrace, they enabled dishonesty of the cruelest kind.

I wonder if any Hail Mary’s were given to Angela Lombardi Ritchey DO for her acts- the breaking of ones word ( in front of witnesses) the hurt caused by burying a son without his family in a cemetery not of his faith in a “family plot” that was not of his family and the tackiness that followed. How many Hail Mary’s does that get – I am assuming none because Father Divas of the confessional would have had to admit his part in this cruelty.


I wrote to the Vatican and to Cardinal Foley – who has since passed away- December 2011- he did respond to a grieving mother and that is the only comfort and succour received by the Roman Catholic ) CHRISTIAN Church this family received.

Why am I not surprised then at the whitewashing of the “sins” as the hierarchy and flock of the Roman Catholic Church deem them to be? The church is awash with disgraceful acts and cover-ups subjecting them to blackmail and perversion of justice.

fred lombardi
Ironically the new spokesman for the latest round of problems and scandals has the name of Lombardi
oh dear hopefully he is more honorable that the ones with which I have had to deal.

Oh! I am just a little tiny piece of the equation, insignificant among all the other “ignor stances” of the Vatican, the Popes – the cardinals, the archbishops, those who are the hierarchy of this church of shame and their underlings.

And still the community of Roman Catholics flock to their church, tears in their eyes – I know those tears – Why do these members of a world-wide congregation still follow these “icons” of the church for leadership?

These are men – with weaknesses and desires ( some so obscene by anyones standards- who go unscathed – protected into pulpits all over the world ) Is your kindly priest who forgives you your sins – one who blesses you after his own night of drunken debauchery, or crushing the innocence of a child brought to the church to be saved?

They sicken me with their hypocrisy just as I am sickened by those that pray on their knees and profess to be pillars of a community locally who follow the same hypocritical behaviour .
cardinal Obrien

Do the people believe these men have the ear to a God , they who have the power to save them to admit them have a key to enable them into some sort of eternal life ? Did these same men who wear the robes of archbishops who for years have trodden the paths of sinners have the power to forgive their congregations their wrongs. Yes! it is hypocrisy! On that an archbishop and I totally agree!

In a sermon in Glasgow, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, now the de facto leader of Scotland’s 760,000 Catholics, said it was obvious why O’Brien’s resignation and admissions of sexual misconduct left the church open to the “most stinging charge” of hypocrisy.

Ironically Cardinal Foley passed away from blood cancer two years to the month after my son- I hope his family has a peace denied to us by the members of his religion.


vatican 001

March 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm 3 comments

TWO BEE(s) and NO B—- BEE- A Stinging tale- Lorain City Council Continued

wann abee

I could not face another round of the posturing and pontificating – I knew the plot already-

The star performers on this one it would be a repeat of regurgitation

Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!
“Hide from your neigbours as much as you please,
But all that has happened, to us you must tell,
Or else we will give you no honey to sell

The Bee-Boy’s Song by Rudyard Kipling

So I will paint thee a picture as an audience member ( one who is paying for the tickets to enable the City of Lorain and those who govern) – one who watched the theatrical fracas and one who also reads between the lines 😉
keeper chase

News coverage here

Work deal repealed in Lorain Evan Goodenow

Approval came after three rancorous meetings this week Gates blocked a Monday vote and Richardson blocked a Wednesday vote — in which about 200 union and non-union workers packed the normally sparsely attended meetings. Several police officers were on hand to discourage fights……..

Morning Journal:
Lorain council scraps PLAs; Turns down project labor agreements for public construction jobs (with video)- Rick Payerchin

However, the PLAs also required workers of winning bidders to join their respective labor unions after seven days on the job, Ritenauer and Falbo said.

The union membership added to job costs for non-union shops, Falbo said. The requirement also could be unconstitutional, said Safety-Service Director Robert Fowler.
Overall, the PLAs discouraged companies from bidding on the work, Ritenauer said. Fewer bidders could lead to higher prices from companies that did bid, he said.

And , I was right , it was regurgitation the three bees- Gates, Lucente and Richardson were all abuzz and in and out the hive

Brian Gates ( 1st Ward Councilman): a no! – no show – no! played his walk -on to the hilt- he pontificates his lines with all the petulance of promises 😉

As council prepared to vote, some people walked out and called out “Brian Gates for mayor” ( Morning Journal)

the gates bee

The night’s actions were the perfect example of why Lorain’s leaders earned labels of being dishonorable and dishonest, Gates said.

After the meeting, Fowler bristled at the notion the city administration would purposely not enforce contracts.
“It attacks my integrity as a public administrator and the morals and ethical values as an individual,” Fowler said. “It’s very troubling.”

slow go bee

Councilman Lucente- 6th Ward ( nice man, if a little slow in delivery at times) was also a no!- no- show- no! however he at least made his speech and left the stage ( if not exactly leaving the audience wanting more he “cast” his vote’

butterfly  bee

The same could not be said of Council At Large Tony Richardson– he has the bigger part as he represents all the wards- including mine- as Council at Large-

Richardson was a “No Show- No- and DUNNO KNOW-( can’t vote don’t ask me )

( Personal critique for Tony- one way or another – you would have had respect from this critic- had you voted No or Support; I would have applauded but you did neither – you lacked the ability to play a leading role and faded off stage …

while Councilman Tony Richardson said he would not cast a ballot on the issue. Morning Journal

At-large Councilman Tony Richardson abstained to protest not being allowed to propose a compromise measure Chronicle

Ah! the cast of characters will be up for re-election soon but I will predict -there will be a return engagement !

March 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

Lorain City Council Chambers -A tale of two passions ——

men at work

For the past few days there has been a heated debate as to the rescinding of an ordinance passed in November 2011 Evan Goodenow

THe current ordinance involves calls for 75 percent of qualified Lorain or Lorain County residents to be hired for projects of $100,000 or more and includes a stipulation that workers unionize while working on the project. Nine percent of local hires must be minorities.

There was much ado about the ordinance at Monday nights council meeting
Lorain changing local work requirements for contractors (with video) Rick Payerchin

But the issue prompted different responses from the leader of the Lorain County AFL-CIO Federation of Labor and a local contractor who said the rules block some companies from bidding on Lorain’s public jobs

Two of Lorain’s Council members on Monday voted no! 1st Ward Councilman Brian Gates- and 6th Ward Councilman Rick Lucente- Councilman – at – Large Tony Richardson was absent . This act sent the legislation to a 2nd reading and a gathering of the forces tonight .

However tonight Brian Gates was absent as was Rick Lucente- Tony Ritchardson did show and cast the alone no! vote causing the whole thing to move to another vote Thursday. . I would suspect there will be further “gathering ” to fill the chambers on Thursday

I felt very sad as I sat in the middle of the chambers tonight. There was the posturing, testosterone flowing as well as some mouths – the polarization in the “stands ” all fighting for the vote of a council person- you could hear the “we supported you – you won’t get our vote” mentality rising to the fore.

wann abee

I looked around me- the participants of passion filling every seat and standing all around the room – heeding the call of their respective leaders – a show of force to show council members their power of the vote in the upcoming elections ( that is usually the way it works). This government chamber that usually sees a few elderly men and women sitting surrounded by vacant seats – was, before the meeting, over heating with body odors and emotions. Added to the mix were the Lorain Police Department who were there “just in case” passions flared inappropriately. I was concerned as more and more people filled the chambers as to whether or not it was exceeding the capacity.

The Union Leader ( at least I assume he was the leader ) pouring his energy out gearing up his supporters, talking at length to the “in the running” council want to be’e’ s.

The rows in front of me where sat some of the local contractors who were also there wanting to be seen and have their needs addressed. Men and woman of an “American” workforce divided by the shirts they wore but with one thing in common that I don’t think entered their minds tonight polarized as they were, their common denominator – work!

I saw the passion on their faces , each group wanting to work, to be able to work and earn a decent living. This piece of legislation that divided and was causing such an uproar- needed not this posturing.

I wondered as I watched why the leaders didn’t lead and negotiate something that would have been beneficial to both union and non-union – after all this wasn’t “historic” legislation this ordinance only came into being in 2011- surely some of the passion could have been put to better use “working” something out so that all who wanted work are able to do so.

If Lorain is to succeed then all of us need to put Lorain first- that goes for unions, non unions, administrations and council people. I know that when running for an elected office there are donations given by groups etc in order to elect a council member etc that best reflects their ideas. It is the way of elections in this country.

However, Lorain City Council members must also realize they also have to do what is best for the CITY of LORAIN- she is the one that needs their passion and support and their attendance at meetings!
We will see what tomorrow brings – hopefully less posturing. passion and polarization .

March 7, 2013 at 3:13 am 4 comments

Mothers of Time- March 3rd- Chris Ritchey


I have, over these many months, reached out and been reached by other mothers who have lost their young adult sons/ daughters to cancer. Our stories are varied but the ending tragically the same . We are fragmented, no longer whole and trying to find a way out of our hell. We share the horror of having to watch helplessly day after day as the life force slipped away from our child. We lived in hope of miracles, of cures. We endured hours and days and in some cases months of an emotional whirlwind which buffeted us , stretched us to near breaking , testing us and finally destroying all hope until the person we were crashed and burned as a heart stopped.

When reliving the death of their child some mothers will say:

they are so many weeks, months years OUT from the day of the death of their child.

As I read their words – the ones who are out – I envision them leaving the comfort of the home shores of a life they once had , the warmth, love and laughter- a lone sailor – embarking on an unknown sea , a journey hopefully one day coming full circle perhaps back to a place they left – a welcoming place where peace and laughter once more waits or perhaps they will find their world is flat and they will fall off the edge.

Either way they are so many days weeks months OUT from their previous existence, alone for the most part – no matter their faith- locked in a vessel whose sails are whipped by the winds of grief, the tides of tears, steered by despair, safe harbor elusive as laughter that was .


Then there are the mothers who refer to the days following the ultimate terror as being IN from the death of their child.

They too, bring a vision to my mind. I see them in a place, a forest of emotions and loss of hope .I see them as they claw and scratch their way through the briars and brambles of grief; every moment taking them deeper into the darkness of the forest. They too, are trying to move forward to the illusive spot of dappled sunlight which entices them forever to continue their journey “in” . Will they reach the meadows bathed in the sunshine? I hope a hope that is the case for to be trapped in the darkness without the warmth and light is a terrible prison.

Chris, I realized I haven’t thought of being – OUT from your death or even IN I AM STOPPED! Yes! the days continue to become weeks, the weeks months, the months now years- they mean nothing – they don’t exist for me.

I have not moved- I am rooted – the day of your loss is NOW – time has no meaning – I watch and wait for dappled sunlight or the edge of the world to come to me because I cannot leave you. I am tethered by my love for you – that has not died- the tether is stronger than time – I am just here – it is time that moves – I am walled by a circle of life that cannot be broken

March 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm 2 comments



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March 2013