Archive for May, 2017

A tale of two- the Why- Land Of IZ not WOZ!!!

Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
Part Five- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/the-tale-of-two-the-how-supporting-cast/
January 2013 Photo Lorain 365

1. We now know that a property 3620 Clifton purchased in 2011 after five years of being open to the elements was deemed bad enough to be issued a search warrant in Sept 2012-

2. Declared a public nuisance and uninhabitable – the property listed for demolition ( along with two neighboring properties ) Jan 4th 2013

3.Given a reprieve because the “Duo of Will Do” ( Barbee and Johnson) owners pleaded before the Demolitions appeals Board for more time a week later Jan 11th 2013 by that same board . A board that had doubts caved to the “give em a break mentality”

-” and apart from the President who had to recuse himself ( Fire Chief Brown) had previously stated:

” for the record I have personally toured the last two properties (3620 Clifton) and they are a public nuisance. …. these properties are deplorable “

and Chief of Staff Derek Feuerstein ( No vote) we kept 3620 as part of our housing s stock in the City of Lorain.

But to be fair the City of Lorain Building Inspectors were to follow through and make sure the Duo of Will Do” would.

Did they continue to inspect in those ensuing months and years? I asked for all notes, inspections and reports and I received nothing in that regard from April 23rd 2013 through 2016 ??? Did not Mr. Cantu ( now retired- 2017) ever do a cursory contact??? If he did I didn’t receive any documentation .

Lorain 365 blog has its reservations at the time and JUNE 16th 2013

https://lorain365.com/2017/05/14/3620-clifton-avenue-part-three/

Demolition Board of Appeals meetings are held during the week and are impossible for me to attend. At the meeting held February 28, 2013, the owners were given another month to continue their work on the property. They were granted this extra time because they had roofed and secured the house, plus cleaned up the yard.

Since then, 3620 Clifton Avenue has never been mentioned in the newspaper again. I’ve gone by there a few times over the past couple months, but never stopped to take pictures because nothing had changed. When I went by there two weeks ago, I surprised to see that the houses on either side had been demolished recently!

The pictorial tour continued on that Lorain 365 post and the unanswered question from Lorain 365

How long does the City have to let this go on? Are the owners now caught up in the cycle of permit perpetuity? As long as there’s a permit in the window, the City will continue to watch from the sidewalk

AND THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION LORAIN 365 IS YES!!!!!!!!

4.April 25th 2013 Mr. Ralph Cantu, the gentleman Building Inspector who first asked for the search warrant had a change of heart and on that date declared to the Demolition Board of Appeals that the roof was nearly completed and he had agreed they Duo of Will do ” were doing what they said they would”.

Mr. Nathanial Johnson – one of the duo declared 4 1/2 months after the initial Demo ruling

“We have only a four by four section left . We tore down the fence and put in three more windows .

Mr. Daniel Rodriguez ( Engineering) Can we make a motion to possibly remove this case from the Board demolition board?

and FAMOUS last words from Mr. Cantu Yes because we could cite him on property maintenance if he doesn’t continue to go on.


” At least for another 4 years – you see 3620 was pushed to the back burner on the blogs – too many other issues with building and inspections reared their collective hydra heads

However in January 2015 this blogger asked Lorain 365 Blog to check out the property and GUESS WHAT , it was still as bad as ever and contacted Mr. Feuerstein as to what was happening with this property where it was in the system and the reply from Mr. Mason ( the then Director of Building Housing and Planning on February 9th 2015


LEON MASON ( no longer with the City of Lorain)

As it relates to the Clifton Avenue property (which I’m assuming is 3620 Clifton), it was forwarded to the County Land Bank to begin the foreclosure process. As you may or may not know, the process for demo has changed since the original program, and the county must take possession of the properties….

Due to statute of limitations being reached on some cases pertaining to nuisance inspections from previous years, the cases had to be dismissed. On that same note, the City can again issue notices as well as citations/summons for people to appear in court (e.g. tickets) for housing code violations.

I’m using the data as I type this email, to send letters to property owners whom are in violation of the Untenanted Property Registration ordinance, using the Vacant Property Report………There no longer exists a Nuisance Inspection Task Force; it is code enforcement with hopes on placing a strong emphasis on ENFORCEMENT.”

Sept 2016 and I started asking questions again and it looks like according to the public records request once again April 2016 -3 years after Mr. Cantu we can always inspect .. the property was before the Housing Court AGAIN!!!!!!
….
March 24th-2017 I contacted the Lorain County Auditor because 3620 Clifton had disappeared from their site…. demolished ??? but NO it was still alive and well and was then reinstated…… Can this tale get any better ?

How many heads on the Hydra….

1. a property that was deemed such a nuisance, a health hazard, on par with living in a 3rd world county for “insanitary conditions ” and ” according to Chief Building Official Klinar

This building has been deemed a dangerous building and poses an immediate danger to the public health and safety and welfare mandating summary abatement..

All fixed and abated because of a partial roofing and three windows – all the danger made to go away…. but it didn’t did it and the process starts all over again because according to one piece of paperwork hand written notes Chris Yates building inspector “nothing abated 7.18/16 and again 9/13.16 and still no change 11/22/16 …

May 16th 2017 the bloggers again went to inspect

Apart from this property still standing , the time the effort the frustration of 6 years of ownership with the Duo of Will Do and the 5 years before that … what of the waste of time, man power and sheer in my opinion lack of A decent “enforceable ” inspection process that is not equal across the system. This could be the reason this property on Lexington went from this in those same 11 years

to this

and why for the past 11 years we have had this at the “beginnings of Broadway???
This “expensive ” system to quality of life, to the taxpayers IS BROKEN

We are paying salaries for all these people,, INSPECTORS, JUDGES, FIRE DEPT, BUILDING AND PLANNING,SUPPORT STAFF,POLITICIANS ,AND HEALTHCARE AND MAINTENANCE , VEHICLES YOU NAME IT – THIS IS COMING FROM OUR POCKETS and there is a financial cost to us the tax payer…… and that will be the next item on the “AGENDA”

And we haven’t even touched upon 1348 W. Erie the poster child of Point of Sale

to be continued

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May 29, 2017 at 1:38 pm 1 comment

The tale of Two – THE HOW-Supporting Cast

Original Image Scott Bakalar

Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
January 2013 Photo Lorain 365
Let us just have a quick reminder of the facts of 3620 Clifton.
Sept- 2012 Inspections galore prior to getting a search warrant to inspect the “inside and outside of the property The Health Dept., the Fire Dept and the Building Dept. inspections all agreed , it “constitutes a severe safety and health hazard to the community”.

January 4th 2013– The property came before the Demolitions Board of Appeals and all members present including the councilman Eddie Edwards for the area concluded it was a hazard, dangerous, and eyesore open to the elements filled with trash and vermin….



REMEMBER THESE PHOTOS OF JANUARY 2013 ( Lorain 365) AS WE CARRY ON DOWN THE ‘WAY OF THE 3620″

Because, after the glad handing all around and agreement this property should come down gave way to the “Duo of Will Do – Mr.Barbee and Mr. Johnson who owed at that time $431.00 in back taxes (twice what they paid for the property ) and to date they NEVER HAVE paid taxes

So in the months and yes it has been YEARS this property has been “dithered about the ” Duo of Will Do” DIDN’T and now well $2,964.19 OWED. How is this happening ??? well!!!! you might ask.

Mr. Joseph Barbee and Nathanial Johnson (Duo of Will Do) came before the Demolition Board of Appeals a week after their initial decision of January 4th 2013 to “take it down” and cried have pity pity please. And for 13 pages of testimony on that January 11th 2013 day . I have linked those pages at the end of this post. READ IT AND SEE HOW THE SYSTEM FAILS US-
Chief Brown ( who had to recuse himself) Derek Feuerstein ( Chief of Staff) who tried to pin them down the “missing in action Howard Goldberg ( Prudoff’s Community Development ) and Rey Carrion who pleaded their case very well the cast of characters all of whom had their say and they wanted a “plan” as to how the “$17,000 committed to the project would be spent-
Derek Feurestein at one point asked

DF- Can I ask a question does it really make sense to buy a house for $200?
N. Johnston – Because anything can be fixed- if it was a hazard why would you sell it like that ?
D.F We {City of Lorain} didn’t sell you the hazard – It was the COUNTY AUCTION)

ED> Note AH HA!!! and another character has entered into the story of 3620

Richard Klinar ( Chief Building Inspector was also at the meeting) also stated : The time frame on permits and inspections are controlled by the State of Ohio- the City of Lorain has nothing to do with it we can’t shorten or lengthen

Another cumbersome character the State of Ohio
The Duo of Will DO had a credit card limit of $17,000 for the property
and even Richard Klinar had his doubts
“Just a comment , I find it hard to believe you can replace , electrical , plumbing, heating , roof , siding, windows, doors, drywall and insulate for $15,000

I would have chimed “WHAT ABOUT THE FOUNDATION ISSUES” but by that time you could tell the way this was going the 2nd 2nd chance for the property known as 3620 Clifton As I sat in the audience that day hearing Ralph Cantu (Building Inspector) ask as we were leaving

” I don’t know why you people {bloggers} are so hard on George (Schneider) ( who had also been at the meeting appealing one of his “portfolio of properties coming down) he is such a nice guy!

NOTE TO SELF – maybe a building inspector should be required to inspect properties not like or dislike the property owner.hmmmmmmm

BUT the end result of that meeting the demolition was put into abeyance for another week………… and then from Lorain 365 blog who covered this property from the very beginning …

“It is my understanding that the owners of 3620 Clifton presented an acceptable plan to the Board and will have to bring proof of progress to the next meeting on February 28th.
I will be there.
The work started

Photo Lorain 365
The only way the Building Department knows if these serial second chancers are completing the work to code is if they report back to say the work is done and request an inspection. The Building Department can only drive by and look at the outside of the house from the public sidewalk or an adjoining property (with the owner’s permission).

As long as the outside looks good and the house is secure, there’s nothing else the Building Department can do unless they are invited inside by the homeowners. That needs to change. Stop the repeated prostitution of problem properties in Lorain. Break this vicious cycle before it completely breaks this city for good. It’s time, Lorain.

The pages of testimony
doc into
Doc1
Doc2
Doc3
Doc4
Doc5
Doc6
Doc7
Doc8
Doc9
Doc10
Doc11
Doc12

And four years later

To be continued………………

May 24, 2017 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

A tale of two- the WHO, the How- Why?????


Original Image Scott Bakalar

Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/

We know these houses had to be enabled to end up in this deplorable condition – so just who enabled 3620- Clifton

The information requested on 3620 Clifton turned out to be very enlightening:

This property , according to then Councilman Edwards( January 2013) had been vacant for five years prior to the properties purchase by Nathaniel Johnson and Joseph Barbee for $200 ED NOTEno that is not a mistake two hundred dollars January 13/2011-

it was noted by Demolition Board member, 5th ward Councilman, and neighborhood resident Eddie Edwards that “Before the sale, the house sat empty for about five years, with its doors and windows open and generally falling apart…” and “The new owners also waited a year before taking action to repair it…”

Before this property ended up in “demolition mode “ a number of inspections were done and on September 4th 2012 a sworn affidavit before the bench of Judge Mark Mihok ( remember him)

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/you-be-the-judge-welcome-to-lorain-judge-mihok-and-george-schneider/

Ralph Cantu of the Lorain Building Dept signed the affidavit stating :

“The aforementioned premises presents conditions from the exterior that have become so dilapidated , decayed, unsafe, in-sanitary


(ED NOTE- ‘It is a disease of overcrowding, insanitary conditions and poor personal hygiene, and affects mostly children of developing countries.’ …”

or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation…. etc etc.

The search warrant was granted and inspections took place : Three departments inspected this property ( inside and out) on (9/4/12) All three , building, health and fire, declared this property a public nuisance at that January 4th meeting and Chief Brown the President of the Board and all members voted unanimously to declare the property 3620 a public nuisance.

In fact Chief Brown stated on that January 4th meeting over 4 years ago

“Unfortunately , there are some really good neighbors in that neighborhood and they have asked for help in this endeavor. They have lived with this for quite a bit of time . These properties( 3618, 3620, 3628) are deplorable…..

Poor Councilman Edwards would soon have to swallow more than his words as he stated to the Demolition Board of Appeals
” Thank you for your diligence . This has been a problem and a nuisance out there for the last few years . I am glad to see you taking action ….. It has been a real nuisance”

Well the nuisance continued as will this tracking the “talk talk happy talk”

Remember this property had tied up Building, Health Fire Depts. with inspections, court hearings, back taxes , manpower for at least 7 years before this Demolition Board finding 1.4.13 – I wonder if anyone accounts for those costs? And YET May 2017 – it STILL STANDS “WHY???????

To be continued……….

May 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm 2 comments

A tale of two – a tale of woe – Lorain


Original Image Scott Bakalar

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Twohttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/

In our quest to find how Lorain’s housing stock in the 44052 went from this for example ( sold for $100,000 in 2005)
(photo Auditor’s site)

to this in just 12 short years

Photos Councilman Dennis Flores – 1939 Lexington
ED Note a visit to Mr.Flores’ Face book page as he walks his ward is worth a visit – ( rose-colored glasses a requirement for those that get depressed easily)
https://www.facebook.com/dennis.flores2

In that 12 year period we had Craig Foltin (R) for Mayor and a couple of appointed mayors eg. Romoser filling out the last weeks of his term as Foltin left for more lucrative climes, Mayor Krasienko (D),(2008-2012) and current Mayor Ritenauer (D), 4 Safety Service Directors 3 (Community Development Directors ( that department segued into Building Planning and Housing) BUT the common denominator is and was the Building Dept. and inspections.

Foltin – Building Inspectors department came under the direction of Bill Desvari who was told to be nice ( see file Broke Homes- Chronicle Telegram) brokehomes

I won’t go into the legal issues faced by Desvari the Chief Building Inspector or even the legal issues of S/S Miller, and the serious legal issues of Krasienko’s S/S Director – Robert Gilchrist or the fact the long time Community Development Director Sandy Prudoff went to jail in that period.
What I do know for sure down spouts have been seen as an important , very important code enforcement issue. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/
I have to wonder why the dangling downspout at 1939 Lexington didn’t receive the same “inspection process” 😉

However, Lisa Miller and Lorain 365 has been on an “inspection process” of her own concerning 3620 Clifton
Part 1 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/12/3620cliftonavenuepartone/ 1 /13/13
Part 2 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/13/3620-clifton-avenue-part-two/1/19/13 and now we have the third in the series as Lisa revisited the “home” six months after the concerns of the Demolition Board of Appeals
Part 3 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/14/3620-clifton-avenue-part-three /6/16/13


“Since then, 3620 Clifton Avenue has never been mentioned in the newspaper again. I’ve gone by there a few times over the past couple months, but never stopped to take pictures because nothing had changed. When I went by there two weeks ago, I surprised to see that the houses on either side had been demolished recently!
How long does the City have to let this go on? Are the owners now caught up in the cycle of permit perpetuity? As long as there’s a permit in the window, the City will continue to watch from the sidewalk


Last Sunday Lisa and her camera revisited the “home” 4 years after that initial “inspection” of the 2nd , 2nd chance given to 3620 Clifton
Part 4 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/15/3620-clifton-avenue-today/ and they put up a parking lot – well not exactly it has just morphed in to “yard parking – and maybe the city inspection process was marred by the tree being in their line of sight.


There is a reason we have still got this lovely property .

I requested a public records request for information and documentation that followed this property and the poster child of 1348 West Erie from the city . It should be noted I received the information all 80 odd pages of it within hours , can’t complain about that efficiency.

Next up the talk the talk that enabled this fiasco……….

to be continued……

3620 photos Lorain 365 https://lorain365.com/

May 16, 2017 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

A tale of two- continued Lorain’s cast offs


Original artwork Scott Bakalar

Part ONE – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/

The tale of woe that has become Lorain’s deplorable housing , especially in the 44052 and 55 didn’t get where we are today by accident. So many years citizens, council people , newspapers and yes ‘Bloggers” pointed out there were situations needing to be followed through.

Multi- property owners going in 4 years from 34 properties to over 300 and the majority in poor condition, proofs those same people were trading properties back and forth to dump them ( so as not to be the registered owner when the Lorain Building Dept. came to call – the process had to start all over again. ). Then the “bank” dumps , unreachable predatory property LLC -majority being out of town- and so many reasons compounded to make the system broken BUT we also have ourselves to blame!

But first let me introduce you to Lorain 365 – Lisa Miller https://lorain365.com/ who wrote about one of the properties back in 2013 – in fact this property is the one we will be focusing upon — Let us start at the beginning: I was introduced to 3620 Clifton by Lisa on a winter’s day in January…..


Once upon a time in the Lorain

3620 Clifton Avenue – Part One
3620 Clifton Avenue – Part One
As Seen In Lorain: 3620 Clifton Avenue and the second chance
Posted on January 13, 2013 by Lisa

“Even though it was noted by Demolition Board member, 5th ward Councilman, and neighborhood resident Eddie Edwards that “Before the sale, the house sat empty for about five years, with its doors and windows open and generally falling apart…” and “The new owners also waited a year before taking action to repair it…” AND the Board went out to see this house for themselves AND took the Fire Chief with them AND talked to the unhappy neighbors – the owners have $17,000 and a plan and that was enough for the Board to grant them a second chance”

ED Note you will see

in the Lorain 365 post this was the original state of the home and was sold to the owners for 200.00 and it just gets better from there – this and the following post is a MUST READ, even if you just look at the photos included.

And then Part Two – a week after the first post as Lisa revisited the property that needed a roof and a few other things to stop it from being demolished .
3620 Clifton Avenue – Part Two

ED NOTE: However the one thing that always worried me ‘WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND ALLOWED THIS CARBUNCLE OF A TWO STORY ADDITION ON THIS LITTLE SLAB HOUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! I am not an engineer or architect but to put this “weighty” two story addition on a one story slab home, “a cabuncle on the bum of pre blight” was not a well thought out “plan” – even I know this was so wrong and not just from an atheistic viewpoint.


3620 Clifton Avenue – Part Two

3620 Clifton Avenue – Part Two
As Seen In Lorain: 3620 Clifton Avenue and the second second chance
Posted on January 19, 2013 by Lisa

As Lisa questioned at the time 4 years ago :

I am amazed that this house, which has been inspected and re-inspected by TPTB (and then some), was deemed worthy of a second chance. Sitting exposed to the elements for at least five years, sold for $200 to two guys who let it sit untouched for two more years (sale date January 2011) – it meant nothing to anybody until the city came knocking with the wrecking ball

To be continued………..

Photos Lisa Miller – Lorain 365

May 13, 2017 at 1:36 pm 3 comments

A tale of two “city” houses – downing of quality

Durand Map 1834

Many, years ago in a place called Lorain the settlers, pioneers of their day, in those early 1800’s built a foundation for this city of hard work, diligence and pride.

Families followed to work in the ship yards and steel industry. How wonderful for the immigrants to this country , state and city to have a living wage and able to “own” a home , dreams coming true. Neighborhoods grew , log houses became wood sided houses with porches and designed not for shelter only but for home and hearth, curtains hung , window shades drawn to be even with the next window, grass planted , sidewalks made an appearance , and bricked roads replaced wooden planks. The homes loved and admired.

Captain Wilford Home -416 Washington ( take a drive by today )

Ladies proud of their part in the growth of the community , starched white blouses , the very ladies who kept the those homes shining with pride, the daughters of the founding fathers .
2nd row no 7 – Mrs. Fannie Wilford – wife of Captain Wilford – Gillmore Civil War letters

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/

There has been a plethora of history of those same homes on this blog and others . However, as you drive around these same streets today , you will notice missing windows instead of lace curtains or even window shades, you will see homes not kept with pride but hanging on to their last gasping breaths of “being”.

Did people and values change , that is up for debate, did the plethora of social service agencies located in a cluster in this area cause problems , again up for debate, administrations , city councils that came and went , did we suffer from party politics or lack of forward thinking and the consequences of one’s administrative actions?

One thing is not debatable is that in the 44052- and the old neighborhoods in what is called South Lorain something happened or ,in my opinion, didn’t and hasn’t happened – property accountability. So where does that leave us , those who are now stranded by economics and age who are still trying for a quality of life, homes built with love for “home” now home to heroin dealers and fences not surrounding gardens but “fencing the stolen goods”.

In this series I am going to look at what is, in my opinion, an issue that is one of the major concerns as to how we got this way. The tale of two homes – their paper trail – and conclusions………

As one official stated at a meeting ( paraphrasing) – There are people in the west side of Lorain complaining their neighbor’s fence is leaning on their property but in ( what is called old Lorain neighborhoods) we have people complaining the next door house is falling onto their property…

To be continued

May 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm 5 comments

May 3rd – Kid Fix – Chris Ritchey

It became a joke around here -just as my being Marie Barone in your and your sister’s eyes “my needing a kids fix” . If I called you out of the blue it was

“Ok mum you wanting your “Chris Fix” ?

I don’t remember aging but I did and there were times during those “days of before” when I would call you or Nikki (when you were elsewhere) just to hear your voices. ” My kid fix” – just knowing the both of you were safe during those moments of my need let me rest easy.

Chris and his sister, Nikki – on the happiest night of her life


As you both moved on to adulthood and your own lives I had visions of your Dad and I becoming an old Darby and Joan

Old Darby, with Joan by his side,
You’ve often regarded with wonder:
He’s dropsical, she is sore-eyed,
Yet they’re never happy asunder

spending the remaining years just getting on with life, the two of us. That was not to be.
Horror of Cancer, took that imagined life away. Selfishness of an in -law family and their priest took any respite and dignity left to us . We are left needing a “Chris Fix” – to see your face, to hear your voice , to see your smile, to know you are OK.

Long nights turn into longer days and yet they fly by for some unfathomable reason months into years I cannot remember living. Your poor sister now bears upon her shoulders the needs of her mother and father and two little boys give strength and have become the givers of the kid’s fix.

In troubled days they bring the smiles, the voices of a male child once more and a respite denied by others and yet there is more – a child’s toy that connects us in all its innocence

I love you still ……

May 3, 2017 at 11:36 am Leave a comment


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