The Hat – The Recent History – Charleston Village Soc.
The Hat has learned the group/ organization of Charleston Village started with neighbors sitting on a front porch 25 years ago having a glass or two of wine. Twenty one years ago that same little group had grown and volunteers worked for and received a 501C3 status. They quietly tried to improve the neighborhood, Lorain’s oldest neighborhood, worked with city government and sister societies.
2005 found the society front and center on more than one front. Our Annual Report ( with a hat tip to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd ) called Annus Horribilis ( Horrible Year)
Can it only have been a year ago, it seems so much longer for those of us that have been at the “front”? The winter of 2004-2005 was drawing to a close; it had been a long, long, snowy and cold winter. This organization was looking forward to spring.
Renee , our Portside Chairperson the head of the Lorain Litter Council was gearing up her volunteers for the “Adopt a Spot program”. Rich was involved in the fundraiser for the Lorain Arts Council, Tracy heading up the block watch program.
Diane was busy getting the cemetery on 6th street cleaned and archived and hopefully the start of a fundraiser to at last put in the entranceway and hardscaping for the resting place of Charleston Village’s Founding Fathers.
OUTCOME = Project accomplished archways and fencing installed headstones being refurbished a flag pole installed – history uncovered and the recipient in 2009 of Lorain County Beautiful Award and also Lorain County Historic Landmark Status. Project still ongoing
We were all looking forward to pursuing our particular interests when on a cold February night the first round of body blows- “The Shawnee Shame of Lorain”,
Pd article on the beginning of that fiasco can be found here
Cashing In Easter Shawnee article
or the giving away of our lakefront to sovereignty for slots. Months of research and becoming educated in all things to do with gaming followed. http://www.aproundtable.org/news.cfm?NEWS_ID=755&issuecode=casino
OUTCOME= We fought long and hard knowing this was not a well thought out “Plan” but one that would get the Mayor as he stated “to the table with the big boys” .
Tribal casinos are tearing apart the profitability of the existing CASINO business because tribes have no obligation to share profits with local communities or the state. Any agreements made today can be easily broken by
the tribes in the future.The only people who would profit from such an enterprise are a handful of Eastern Shawnee Indians in Oklahoma, the wealthy developers backing them and a Republican consultant named Terry Casey
It also came to naught- one because of “sovereign Land and another reason being National Capital One were “guilty of Securities Fraud ”
and the ‘option on the Port Land had to be renewed – thankfully Lorain City Council now aware of what “sovereign land” and all the facts denied this option.
If that wasn’t enough April when we should have been looking past the showers to the flowers found us dealing with the question of “Blight” “Eminent Domain” and all that entails with the “development “ of our neighborhood. Could we lose our homes on Portside, our history? Meetings with planners, blight study officials, attorneys, other neighborhoods, even a trip to Washington.
THE OUTCOME- THE FIGHT FOR THIS (a bit of a politicians fiasco not only thanks to the Kelo Case can you blight a neighborhood for “private development” but the URDA could not exist with a CRA area which this area had been since 1979. Also even though Foltin had them review the area twice ( at what cost) it didn’t meet the percentage of blight) But it was a struggle found here in the posts Bill of Blights
Part One and Two
Bill of Blights 1&2
Bill of Blights Part Three
Bill of Blights Part three
May 2005. The assault of two young girls on their way to the Middle school on 6th street, found us knee-deep in crime statistics, RSO and meetings on how to make our community safer. Young people breaking into homes I broad daylight. The abandoned homes and vehicles making it “safe” for the perpetrators of such acts to do their worst. More months of research, meetings and discussions. Murders and shootings. All the while the Shawnee are planning to lead the parade!
OUTCOME: It too, like the original Charleston Village died aborning , although we had initial success well….. read for yourself in the following link and below the quotes from that link .
We partnered with various groups ( 40 individuals in a Community Safety Forum ) to focus on a target area in order to turn the tide such as the Pilot Program for Community Safety, eventually centered in South Lorain under Father Thaden .
However, that particular pilot program failed after an initial success . The approach was one that needed a five pronged approach for success , Lorain Police Dept, Lorain Building Dept ( City of Lorain) Clergy and Social Service Agencies Lorain City Schools , Community ( neighborhood) surrounding the target area at the center of which was Lincoln School.
Sub police station – Lorain City Police
Pre School – Lorain City School
Information and Referral – El Centro
Employment – El Centro
Financial Literacy/ Housing program – El Centro
Senior program – El Centro
Youth Leadership program – El Centro
OUTCOME = Once again the effort failed due to the lip service of the then City of Lorain Administration- Mayor Craig Foltin and the withdrawal of the Lorain City Schools bricks and mortar.
Then came the floods, people dying being trapped because of rising water that had nowhere to go. Basements filled with raw sewage. More research, meetings and discussions. Although it has to be said Charleston Village did not suffer the brunt of the floods, but will suffer the brunt of the “cure” should the latest plan be implemented. !
Project “Dry Basement” –
OUTCOME= ONCE AGAIN HARD QUESTIONS WERE ASKED AND ANSWERS WERE FOUND WANTING – this gave rise to the Wom Blog -THE PROJECT DIED A QUIET DEATH- NEW SEWERS AND SYSTEMS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED
Our little historic park at risk of being bulldozed for private development started a whole new round of meetings, discussions, research, bad feelings and insults. CVSI wasn’t even aware (along with Lorain City Council) that these “plans” were being implemented. The shock and awe of “plans for progress”.
OUTCOME: We saved the Park and the process of who is who and who takes responsibility is still ongoing
The latest of course is the laying waste to our trees, 19 of them for a start on 2nd street, because First Energy is in our opinion technology challenged. A tree falls in Parma and the whole of the eastern seaboard etc is blacked out. The solution gets rid of the trees! More discussions, meetings and diatribe will be taking place on this.
OUTCOME = SETTLERS’ WATCH 2009
And THAT WAS JUST 2005!!!!!!!
you can find the rest of the report of 2005 here
TO BE CONTINUED …………………Advertisements
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, blogs, Charleston Village, city of lorain, hell is other people, history. Tags: Annus Horribilis, Charleston Village, City of Lorain, craig foltin, disgraceful, local politics, Lorain, Lorain County Beautiful Award, Lorain County Historic Landmark Status, neighborhood, waste not want not.