The time has come , the walrus said – Lorain

August 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm 11 comments

City  of Lorain

For decades, yes decades, I have been a supporter of Lorain. the story here as to how that came about

I spent a great deal of my young days and middle age days being “involved”. I met a great many people, learned a great deal about politics ( enough to realize I wanted “nothing to do with parties or the political arena). Running for City Council etc would have been the next logical step for someone so involved in the neighborhood.

I decided early on as an ‘Independent voter” and an independent thinker I could probably do more than by listening to the bosses of any political group. And since I was not a threat politically, I did manage to have a voice through elected officials either Republican or Democrat. I was an Independent before being an Independent was even popular.

This past week I posted on facebook I was “retiring from Lorain” advocacy and interest. Let me clarify, my neighborhood and the organization of Charleston Village will remain a cause but only as it directly affects them and the projects still underway .

During my son’s last months and for many months after he passed I had no desire or ambition to be involved in anything. I “hunkered down” with my grief, emotionally dead except to the world of grief. Apathetic as to Lorain, the world, the state , the politics of the day, the blathering , I remained apart. But then slowly ideas from a few of the CVSI Board members and the finishing up of Settlers’ Watch needed attention and I had the information etc. Slowly I started back into Lorain.

My respite however , saw me looking with new eyes and I have realized I am no longer willing to sit through endless meetings , listening to the same things I have listen to for decades seeing study after study collecting dust.

I realized this city is desperate – desperate to reinvent herself, desperate for anyone outside to take notice, her lake and waterfront touted as the silver bullet , trouble is bullets are meant to maim and kill


I sat , last month at a meeting with Lake Erie Landlords Association , invited because I had been outspoken as to their multi property owners , they want to change their image ( good luck with that) But as they are one of the most lucrative businesses in Lorain

For instance according to Ms. Carter of the LMHA

“housing choice vouchers alone pump 1.4 MILLION A MONTH
into Lorain County but The City of Lorain gets 64% of that money EVERY MONTH or approximately $900,000.00 PER MONTH COMES INTO THE CITY OF LORAIN-!!!

How about that BIG Business for you – lucrative one would say and that is just the “private” landlords and LLC’s .

Vouchers Per Zip Code
Amherst 44001 1.1%
Avon 44011 4.0%
Avon Lake 44012 0.6%
Col Station 44028 0.1%
Elyria 44035 23.2%
N Ridgeville 44039 1.1%
Grafton 44044 0.2%
LaGrange 44050 0.3%
Lorain 44052 32.5%
Lorain 44053 10.4%
Lorain 44055 21.3%
Sheffield 44054 1.5%
Oberlin 44074 1.5%
Vermilion 44089 1.3%
Wellington 44090 0.9%

Urban LEA

they are listened to by attorneys and politicians. My zip code gets more in funding for housing vouchers than the whole city of Elyria.

I realized it is going to take a more effort and more voices than just a few to change the status quo with that aspect of Lorain and I am not prepared any longer to even try. But I had an epiphany of sorts at that meeting.

Kent Sutton

Kent Sutton

As the age-old question, at all these vision meetings and discussions of Lorain was invariably asked by Kent Sutton

“What do you think is Lorain’s greatest asset”

Of course as always it was –

The lake, the waterfront, the port, Lakeview Park

and as the question got to me -I stopped -to think – in year’s past I would have rattled off an answer but this time as Kent Sutton waited for his answer – none was forthcoming –

the lake, the waterfront and various reincarnations of that “hope” ( spoken for decades) had culminated in the month before in a desperate bid for attention from the “outer world”( the one with expendable income) and found the Lorain Port Authority , City of Lorain, and Lorain consortium and downtown businesses ignoring their own “laws”


in order to allow an event that showcased debauchery, objectification of woman, drunks, breasts, showcasing other parts of the anatomy male and female and vomit – if that is the voice of the majority who am I to say naaaaaaay

( see videos here)

This was done so the City of Lorain and Lorain Port Authority could bring in more of the same and were proud of the fact they had corralled the “party animals” in one place. Lorain’s claim to success we can keep them sectioned so bring forth your beers ( literally) .

However , I said to those gathered Lorain’s asset was her people, although I realized I no longer meant it , just so they would move on to the next person at the table. The next in line said her history – I cringed knowing Lorain’s history was history for the most part.

1880 map
You will find her history in a couple of buildings, such as the Moore House and the New Lorain Historical Society Museum- Carnegie Library ( artifacts, pictures, mementos pieces parts ) The Lorain Lighthouse thankfully still standing .

– you will NOT find her history intact and revered on any of the streets you walk down.

I listened to the voices and the same concerns and ideas I have listened to in a surreal realization I had been here before too many times. I realized I no longer believed in this tired desperate city enough to try ……. and she doesn’t need another critic who isn’t prepared to help her…

440px-Briny_Beach Illustration John Tenniel

Excerpt from The Walrus and the Carpenter – Lewis Carroll

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
To come and spoil the fun!”

Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Charleston Village, city of lorain, hell is other people, Lorain Multi Property Owners, Lorain Port Authority, notorious opponents of exactitude, opinion. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

The Birthday and those between- Chris Ritchey Sept 3rd- Confidence- Chris Ritchey 2014

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Teleha  |  August 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Funny that you post this today. As we were packing up my son to take him to John Carroll, he made a comment about this city. My wife and I both told him to do what he could, so he didn’t have to live here. I told him the only thing keeping me here were my parents, and that were I to hit the lottery, we’d move with my parents somewhere outside of this city, maybe the county.

    I tire of looking at other cities, and their well-kept downtown area, while ours decays even further. Of looking at how well other cities crews work, and ours can’t even get redoing corner sidewalks correct. Sick to death of seeing them spend thousands and thousands on surveys that get put up on the shelf. Tired of the decaying houses, the residents that don’t give a $#it about others property, tired of people wanting more than what they’ve earned.

    I’m friggin’ tired of ALL OF IT, Loraine. And you know what? The same clowns will get voted back in the next election and the same steps will be repeated.

    Sorry for ranting. Thanks for writing this!

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Oh Mark can’t say we didn’t try 😦 and stuck it out as best we could – time for other priorities now.

  • 3. Rich  |  August 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    thank YOU LORAINE for all you have attempted to do for tge City. Most of all, thank you for Charlestonn Village !

  • 4. alandhopewell  |  August 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    As always, thanks, Loraine.
    If you ever need an ear, find it here….

    (Hi Alan I removed your personal info) and I have made a note of it Loraine

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    thanks everyone and Rich it was all your fault and that bottle of wine!!! 🙂 love you all lots!!!!!

  • 6. Dennis Lamont  |  August 27, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Having attended all those meetings togther I know exactly where you are coming from! Thanks for your support, work, and special viewpoint.

  • 7. aka/mozart  |  August 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I really had hopes with a new administration …….but the hope fell short…and the dread lives long. Ordinances not enforced…slumslords still a plenty…and what I would call poor decision making by most..ex:.(leon Mason..really? the political machine in overdrive…Don to the Dems…Hail hail hell.

    Oh the boat on long ave is still almost in the street…I called the traffic dept and the building dept….there must be an ordinance re that?..oh I forgot…city does not enforece ordinances any longer….boom boom boom..yep..still got them too! good fricken Loraine…but hey I hear there is really a great t shirt that has been designed…It really says it all….both of them 🙂

  • 8. Mark Faris  |  September 2, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I am Mark Faris. The Faris family was a longtime entity in lorain, along with my mother,s side of the family – the Andrew Meldrums. I,ve lost touch with all that, and was hopeful you could provide some sort of update. Thanks. I found a cool painting of the Lorain Lighthouse here in Key West. It triggered a lot of memories.

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  September 2, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Update on???? Mark sorry you will have to be more explicit Loraine

  • […] ( As a real estate agent and landlord painted a more than rosy scenario” and Yes there is a lucrative business in Lorain! 10 MILLION 800 THOUSAND A YEAR or 900,000 A MONTH coming from the voucher program alone into the coffers of the landlords , a majority of whom live outside Lorain. I am sure those stats haven’t decreased probably increased since the post […]

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