Archive for September, 2013

Grenade and Garbage – Lorain Landlords- SWATted?


There are a myriad of stories – times from Lorain’s nearly forgotten and neglected history, stories of love, birth, death, of pride and decay in this neighborhood known as Charleston Village .

There is the charm of architecture of her old homes and the disgrace of those homes bastardized by owners who see them as nothing more than a way to use them and abuse them until they fall in upon themselves. We have both ends of the scale here.

I have written about the mega landlords who own dozens of properties. I have written about the shame of those that neglect , the criminals and drug dealers that rent from these multi property owners.
swat 5th street

However, Friday morning at 7:00 a.m we awoke to an explosion of sound that reverberated through the morning air, the phone started ringing , neighbors hiding as the invasion (of sorts) was under way, elderly citizens confused and frightened , facebook lit up with the happenings on 5th street.

sutton 1150

This quiet street street, only marred by ” the historically bastardized” rentals of Sutton Properties and his “apartments” on one end of the block and George Schneider’s adding to his inventory on the other end, was rudely awakened to our reality once again.

1037 5th
Photos of 1037 W 5th Councilman Dennis Flores

What brought members of the Lorain County SWAT Team with guns drawn and the announcing call of a flash bang smoke grenade?

According to Chronicle Telegram coverage found here

Victor C. Brooks, 44, of 1125 W. Fifth St., Lorain, was charged with drug trafficking and was being held Friday at the Lorain City Jail. Around late August, Lorain police received a tip that Brooks, who has been charged with trafficking in the past, was selling cocaine and crack cocaine out of his house, according to Lorain narcotics Detective Tim Thompson.

Police said they conducted “controlled buys” with Thompson during which they sent an informant to buy small amounts of crack from the dealer multiple times over the course of a month. Thompson explained that multiple buys were necessary to ensure a more serious charge for Brooks.

swat5th another

However, those of us watching the scene unfold Friday felt there had to be more to this story- Unfortunately, due to “mega landlords” we have had dealings with dealers but never were the arrests quite as stuff of which movies are made.

After all according to the LPD web site

SWAT teams are used in cases of Critical Incidents :

Critical incidents are defined as follows:

Hostage Situations: the holding of any person(s) against their will by an armed or potentially armed suspect.

Barricade Situation: the stand-off created by an armed or potentially armed suspect in any location, whether fortified or not, who is refusing to comply with law enforcement demands for surrender.

Sniper Situations: the firing upon citizens and/or law enforcement officers by an armed suspect, whether stationary or mobile.

High-Risk Apprehension: the arrest or apprehension of armed or potentially armed suspects where the likelihood of armed resistance is high.

High-Risk Warrant Service: the service of search or arrest warrants where the warrant service matrix or policy recommends or requires the use of SWAT.

Personal Protection: the security of special persons, such as VIP’s, witnesses, or suspects, based on threat or potential threat to the well being of those persons.

Special Assignments: any assignment, approved by the SWAT Operations Commander, based on a high level of threat and/or need.

The Lorain County SWAT Team is committed to preserve life in high-risk situations through the use of specialized training, equipment, and tactics in a professional manner that inspires confidence in the community.

Mr. Victor Brooks( the alleged dealer- innocent until proven guilty) of 1125 West 5th, is not only an alleged “pharmaceutical” dispenser of cocaine but he seems to have used his wealth to also become a multi- property owner in Lorain- 10 addresses and 16 parcels

Victor Brooks Properties

However, the 1125 West 5th street address ( to which the tax bills are sent and where Mr. Victor Brooks resides and claims ownership to neighbors , has another owner listed a Durrell Brooks- but Mr. Victor has also purchased 1140 W 5th just two doors down from Mr. Sutton’s Rentals at 1150 West 5th.
1140 5th

Durrell Brooks

Mr. Victor Brooks has quite the residential history as whilst he was ” investing” in his properties he was also, according to his court records, residing in the properties of one or two of Lorain’s multi property owners such as
Bille S Griffith – Property- 1525 Herbert Drive and
Perrella 4638 Oberlin Ave and our

Lady of the Landlords Deborah Akin ( of North Ridgeville and their over 40 properties) who owned Mr. Brooks’s 1025 Tower Blvd address – Ms. Akin also owns property on the block- 1224 West 5th
Akin 5th

Readers remember this, I hope-

Lorain police sweep 13 violent gang members off streets – suspects tied to nine murders over four years

of another group of murderous criminals. AND there was the other SWAT Team photos only this time in front of another of Sutton’s properties

813 sutton

and of course George Schneider again who has appeared before the “Judge” only to get jail time dismissed –

The landlords who ( in my opinion) lunch at our expense and peace of mind have another comrade to share their club!

Mr. Brooks and his portfolio of investments (possibly from his “business” dealings )has joined the ranks of Lorain’s multi property owners , he paid rent to some in his time and has property on the same streets as others. .

He will make into the Lorain’s Multi-property owners hall of fame and if and when convicted WHO is WHO in the 052.

Just a note: If I was doing any investigation I would be looking at his other properties and “living addresses” you never know what may be “hidden” 😉

September 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm 9 comments

Computing ME and the Intensity of a Mother’s Love


I have not downloaded the Dragon Software
coward that I am , especially due to my once or should I say many times experiences of being bitten by technology. I don’t want to do anything which may mess with the latest expensive desk top and my myriad of files ( even though I can’t easily access them – thank you Windows 8!!!!). I decided instead to “persuade” my husband to download it to his lap top- he only uses it for recipes and solitaire anyway :). Knowing my penchant for wrecking technology he is understandably hesitant, although he did say

“Yeah, Ok but it will have to wait – I can’t find the microphone- I thought I had it in the box” –

As mentioned, I wanted to make a start on one of three books I have in mind .

I will start the old-fashioned way

thought I

until he gets around to “finding???” and downloading the dragon .

However, as I started on – page one- that has not worked out too well. The writing follows the direction of the “ME of the moment” that is in control of my emotional state. I started as defensive me, then angry me, depressed me, wounded me, apathetic me, logical me and then puddle me. The fragmented “ME” -I am now- all had a hand in the writing and editing and therefore it was a jumble. The 1st page has been revised more times than a politician’s platform . I can’t make up my mind and neither can my writing.

I feel inadequate, out of my depth in this instance . I thought possibly if I could “talk” the story first and edit later I might be able to make some sense when it came to a direction and editing.

I tend , because of the blog and many years of a column, to edit as I write. This isn’t going to work in this case- I am too much a part of the story. I am not a mere observer. I am a mother first , a mother who has outlived one of her children – there is a blame, a guilt a questioning of life or faith of everything that was “before” my son died , changing the ME.
I was checking my searches this morning and the search –

how intense is a mother’s love

brought the person to the following post:
At that time, just weeks after my son died, I received a letter in my dead son’s clothes from my son’s “bride” the “healer”????? Angela Marie (Lombardi) Ritchey DO who made my love for my son something of a negative which “blinded me to who my son was” . I replied to Dr. Angela Ritchey in an open post-

The wounded me , shaken me and just trying to “live and get through the days “me due to the loss of my son found it cruel and incredulous she would try to taint the memories I shared with my son. I refused to let her take anything more of him, she and her family had done enough.

Hence the rise of the anger me” and the bitter me“!

Since that time the questioning me questions intent and the worthiness of some in the supposed healing profession.

I have realized, after these many months, the death of my son has not stopped my love for him, it is undying; if anything it grows with each “memory that should have been” is missed.

The love continues , but the love given to the son or daughter who is no longer among us has no outlet , no recipient. When Chris died , the part of me who was Chris’s mother died too. The other me– the daughter , the wife , mother of Nikki, grandmother of her children still lives and loves but I am fragmented from the “whole” . It is hard to find which “ME” will write the story but it will be “truth” no matter the ME .

Now whilst my husband is otherwise occupied I am going to look for that microphone !

September 26, 2013 at 11:17 am 2 comments

Lorain Dudes- Summer Song 2013

boys of summer

It has been a busy summer, although we didn’t spend too much of it in Lorain- although we had a couple of sleepovers when it rained and a day or two cooling off in the garden !

summer 1a

We checked out Cedar Point

Summer two coll

We took a plane ride to Florida to see Mickey Mouse – train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine where we drove the tractor- and a van ride to Detroit to work at Ford


We went fishing- Gavin caught his first fish- but I ( Braedyn) caught a much bigger one !

Fishing collage

Poohbah gave us a raft – Gavin tried fishing from the raft but all he caught were girls!


We saw the Battle of Lake Erie – although Nog says they got it wrong- what do you expect her ancestors were on the losing side- although she says she has not yet begun to fight !

ts ship collage

Before you knew it it was time for soccer again—–




September 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm 7 comments

PC- Beware that woman- PC s in Peril

e machine

No ! not political correctness- although??? :)I am absolutely destructive when it comes to my desk top computers. My husband won’t let me near his lap top- says I am a hazard…………..

Illustration by Christoph Niemann

Illustration by Christoph Niemann

In the past five years I have gone through 4 different computers. I started off with a Dell– actually it was my son’s – he let me at least read emails on it for a couple of years. Then when he transferred to Cleveland Institute of Art he took it with him initially and I didn’t do too much computer wise – just my column for Dancer Magazine . However Chris needed to upgrade to a Mac G4. – big bucks- thousands of dollars loaded with design software, printers of professional capacity and scanners – there went the credit card !

mac g4

and I got his old Dell.
old dell
I like the old Dell with Windows 95- but then the monitor went “phut”. A new monitor was purchased and I was upgraded to windows 98 and all was right with the world. Eventually the old Dell- died it sort of “wore out” in 2007- not so bad it had been through a lot.

The Geek Squad, at the time, downloaded what I had on the Dell to a disc and I started over with what was called an E Machine– of course that had another Windows version -XP I believe – but I managed for a couple of years when it kept doing strange things – cutting out AHH!!!! a another dreaded virus thought I – I did tend to attract them – No it was a leaky capacitor ( probably the cost of 30 cents to replace it if I was able but had it compromised the rest of the electronics?

Since I no longer trusted the E machine and the printer was “phut” as well, I purchased another desk top ( tower) (HP) the Geek Squad once again transferred everything over to and put all my files on the new machine.

I downloaded my “important” files to discs but you never know what is going to end up being important so I purchased an external hard drive that supposedly backed up my information automatically. You see files and documentation are very important to me – I like to keep my history and for the next 18 months I was quite happy with my Windows 7. I was comforted, lulled into false security thinking my files were being backed up incase something happened.

I did get a virus and quite a bad one due to opening a link sent by a friend OUCH!!! so I took the tower back in for cleaning etc. about 11 months ago and to have it checked out. It was cleaned and sliced and diced and all was well. That is until the printer went phut- again ( it was cheap) and I purchased a new HP printer.

Then horrors, after 18 months of the new computer it blew a motherboard. Well another computer was purchased and transfers of all files . Ah!!!! but this time things had changed I had to purchase more software in order to transfer over “Outlook” and the dreaded Windows 8– which I find annoying by the way… I think it is set up for touch screens .

Windows 8

Then I find out that the files, so carefully collected on the external hard drive, hadn’t for the last 10 months . Oh dear ! apparently when the computer was cleaned etc the instructions to copy to the external hardrive were negated. Who knew? Not me – the little red light was flashing that it was working. I no longer trust those little blinking lights 🙂

Luckily the old hard drive wasn’t compromised so Geek Squad were able to download everything. NOW IF ONLY I COULD FIND EVERYTHING WITH THIS DAMNED WINDOWS 8 .

A new external hardrive with “mega capacity” was purchased but I don’t trust computers (obviously) so I decided to go with ‘Carbonite” as a back up just in case.

One word of warning the initial downloading of your files can take 10 days to 2 weeks – mine was about 12 days and you have to leave your computer on.

Finally I received word my files were backed up somewhere and each new file would be automatically backed up- I can tell because a little green dot on each file tells me it has been backed up and it looks like the external hard drive is working??? Finally all was done and then the old new monitor blew- dragcomputer
The point of this post – just before my latest issues with “puters” I purchased Dragon, the software that will let me talk as the computer types. I was about to install when my latest crashes occurred.

I am hoping the Dragon software will allow me to “write” the three books I have in mind but with my “luck” I may blow a father and mother board and all their software offspring . So the next post of the Lorain Dudes – Boys of Summer will be up in a couple of days and I will be trying to “play the dragon” 😉

BUT just incase all goes PHUT and the screen doesn’t change for a while you will know why …..

September 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm 3 comments

Proclamation Lorain- Purple Heart Day


History of the Purple Heart Medal

The first precedent for honoring servicemen in American history, which involved the awarding of medals, goes back to August 7, 1782. On that day, General of the Armies George Washington, created “The Badge of Military Merit,” using cloth pieces of a purple sash he wore across his uniform, cut in the shape of a heart. That was our nation’s first military decoration. It was awarded to three Revolutionary soldiers for their actions in capturing the accomplices of General Benedict Arnold, in his attempt to turn over Fort West Point, to the British, during the American Revolution. The records show no others.

The philosophy behind military decorations has always been: since honor is something which no Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman likes to talk about, those who sought to honor these warriors, should give them a token of that honor, which they could wear without words. America’s present military decorations system has evolved from this single act by General Washington.
Although never abolished, the “Badge of Military Merit” was not issued again for 150 years. It was renamed the “Purple Heart Medal for Military Merit,” commonly known today as, The Purple Heart, on the 200th year of George Washington’s birth (22 Feb., 1932), with War Department Order #3. The first Purple Heart was awarded to General Douglas MacArthur, then Army Chief of Staff. War Dept. Order #3 also retroactively awarded the Purple Heart to WWI veterans.

During WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9277 on December 3, 1942, that decreed the Purple Heart would be issued to all branches of the military and differ from all other decorations in that an individual is not “recommended” for the decoration. Rather the individual is “entitled” to it upon meeting the specific criteria of: “wounds received while engaged in combat against an enemy of the United States of America.”

On Monday a proclamation by the City of Lorain will proclaim August 7th as Purple Heart Day. The ceremony will take place Sept. 16th 2013 at 6:00 p.m. ( City Council Chambers, Lorain City Hall, 200 West Erie Ave. at 7:00 p.m. All Veterans are invited to attend.
You can find media coverage with video on the Morning Journal link by Rick Payerchin

Don Fugitt Commander of Chapter 473 announces a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for October 27th


September 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm 1 comment


soet 11

As for those that carried out these attacks there are no adequate words of condemnation. Their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity.
–British Prime Minister Tony Blair

September 11, 2013 at 12:47 am 6 comments

Cleveland Institute of Art-Loren Naji Gallery- Chris Ritchey

invite direct


As regular readers are aware, last week I was contacted by Cleveland Institute of Art offering the opportunity to display some of my son Chris’s work. They will also realize that I faced somewhat of a dilemma as to whether or not to “display” what Chris termed as “homework” from his college courses in and amongst notable pieces of work by those who had continued after CIA in their professional capacity.


Nikki, my daughter and I decided to also include his portfolio of “advertising- design ” pieces including the last piece he designed for me for the dedication of Settlers’ Watch and commemorating a young man who lost his young life in service of his county- Eric Barnes .


I can honestly say it has been a very emotional week for my daughter and I as we once again looked through all of Chris’s works – trying to give some order to the display. Last evening was the pre show- I gulped my breath- swallowed back the tears trying not to become
an emotional puddle flanked by my husband and daughter.


Mike Kinsella CIA

Mike Kinsella CIA


Many thanks to the Chronicle Telegram and Howard Gollop-( ACCENT EDITOR) for the coverage in today’s ACCENT Section. We are hoping the coverage and the display will draw attention to the yearly scholarships in Christopher’s name to both Cleveland Institute of Art and Lorain County Community College
Chris accent article

To donate to either college scholarship please contact

Michael Kinsella – Director of Annual Giving – Alumni Relations
Voice: 216.421.7412 – Fax: 216.754.3633 –
Cleveland Institute of Art | 11141 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106


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

September 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm 2 comments

Sept 3rd- Tears Shed as Humour Found-Chris Ritchey

chriscia art

Texas and another September 3rd comes to mind today-

– one that we thought might bring you a cure- not to be– the cures can also kill-

and your body could not ( I found out later )take the amount of “curing” –

not a swine related flu but Acute Pulmonary Toxicity .

But it didn’t matter really did it – what catastrophic cause of the breakdown of your body which eventually took you from us – you are gone -from at least our reality.

As I looked once again through all your work trying to decide what you would want to put into the art show later this week – I was besieged by a thousand knives of my reality cutting ,slashing and ripping into what little strength I have with murderous intent — my brain flooded with so many memories – my heart mangled and wanting to stop beating – I couldn’t breathe, and then……..

Sleeping Homer

your ability to make me smile -just a silly little cartoon in amongst all the creativity , projects and seriousness –

fan pull- Chris Ritchey

fan pull- Chris Ritchey

I think of you as the fan above this desk continues to turn- I couldn’t reach the pull- after asking your dad so many times to get and extension to the chain –you took some wire and in just a couple of minutes made me one

Hey mum you should know by now how to make men dance to your tune

It was weeks before I noticed my dancing man was anatomically correct— and I still smile every time I have to pull his leg to turn on the fan.

So yesterday I breathed once more looked through all the, work, photos and files and once again you spoke……… and thanks to you – a smile played once more on my lips as tears fell …….

September 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment



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September 2013