Archive for March, 2018

My roses their guns – walk away from Lorain?

I don’t need a little Christmas- I need  new leaves, blossoms, daffodils, tulips the sound of splashing water from the ponds, grass that is green . I need mother nature to  take me away  and screen me from  those that dwell in the “hood”.

I  can look at the snow drops peeking through  and imagine I  am far far away in a woodland  dell instead of the “No  Exit” that we are living. I use  mother nature and her children – trees and shrubs flowers and vines to  build a barrier between them and us.

I have been planted here  because I  chose a young, brown-eyed , perfect teeth  of a guy and followed him to  Lorain  and this house. It has been home for over 40  years now. And the issues and problems with  purchasing in a neighborhood that was transitioning has been well documented on this blog.

But in the past 10  years the bank dumps especially  with  the “Blue House” have lowered property  values – caused the neighborhood  that was at one point stable and going back to a more respectful quiet and family  area to  take a nose dive. 1121 W 4th   now owned by  one  MARRERO – RAMOS MIGUEL  . His “tenants” who  obviously  feel we should appreciate their  foul language and loud – gun totting lifestyle as they hemorrhage it all over the rest of the block.

2012 I knew that this was going to  be an issue from the very  first day  it sold…… after being dumped by  the bank

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/banks-banking-on-lorain-business-of-blight-devaluing-lorain/

“Well First Federal Savings of Lorain I have seen and “heard ” the “people” who have come to see your listing . I spoke to a couple of them as the parked on the lawn next door under my dining room window- as I informed them they were parking on another’s property and that it wasn’t a driveway – they knew and didn’t care- they were buying the  blue house? SIGH. Oh! and quite frankly I am dreading the rest of the summer thanks to you and your “business” decisions .

You, First Federal Saving of Lorain have, in my opinion, “dumped your unwanted housing” from $56,000 to 28 thousand (buy back )to 13,900 listing just two months later . NOTE sold for $12,500 – Great !!! And let us face it – it was your bank that made the decision just a few short years ago by giving a mortgage to someone unable to pay it in the first place that set in motion this chain of events.

You are responsible, in my opinion, for what will ripple out and effect this neighborhood. Don’t forget, you were also the mortgage holder and foreclosed on the other neighborhood house next door 1125, W. 4th street– now scheduled for demolition

AND then

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/

 

Flash  forward 6  years later and many  issues – the brown house was demolished- then came the highway  cut through  and parking wherever the needed to  park… boats, trucks and vehicles. I  suppose it was just a nuisance to  me and mine that we had to  live with  this disrespectful behaviours.

We  finally  purchased the lot next door  1125 W 4th   (2016)  duly  fenced , planted shrubs, trees, ponds and plants to  make our little corner of the world  a place for respite .

I argued there was hope for Lorain and this area , even knowing that it was an uphill battle due to  business practices that have made the surrounding  neighborhoods a concern for anyone wanting to  open  a restaurant or bring in an  “up  market” healthy  business. It was going to  be local and piecemeal at  best. Through a 501C3 we have tried our best to  bring something of which  we can be proud to the area:

This particular house 1121, W 4th   – a rental- with  a plethora of tenants  in the three bedroom 1 bath  home- including a very loud lifestyle,. has a business in the form of a funeral home  behind them – The fence behind the funeral home parking lot was knocked down  and so  now exposes those  coming for viewing a view that I  am sure isn’t what they  were expecting :

March 11th  found a “flock” of “yard birds” swilling alcohol comparing guns and shouting in the alley  – and witnessed by  more than me.

In the front of the house, across the street is a Charter School, and since these people live back to  front their trash   etc is always s there bidding a warm welcome to  the parents dropping off their kids.  March  18th

Trouble is  we can nothing about the intimidation  the “fear of ones safety” and IF WE don’t feel safe in our own street and  back garden  then does Lorain honestly  think walking this street to  the local opportunities or parking in the neighborhoods  just blocks away is an option.

People read this blog who  are not from Lorain- they  use it to  research  the community – they  come here to  find out about Lorain-

This type of post does Lorain no  good BUT it is the truth , it is what has happened all over this Ward 2  thanks to  banks local , national and international ( all documented for years on this blog) , out-of-town LLC’s , multi property  owners who  don’t give a damn and a population that is being held hostage and quiet  through fear of retaliation.

This past weekend March  18  my  two  little grandchildren coming to  help  their grandfather tidy  the new lot – get ready  for spring were subjected to  a wild-eyed , irate  witch calling them and their “Nog” – as she hauled herself on the flat-bed of a tow truck they  have parked next to  my  fence – every  form of filth she could muster from her large loud mouth.

 

The cause of this “in retaliation tirade”   because I asked her on  Sunday March  4th  – as her music  cranked up  when she parked her vehicle in the alley  doors wide open   was vibrating every  window in the neighborhood .

My  request to  turn it down   was met with  a torrent of Spanish peppered with  “fu##” bitch .. was given the” talk to the hand” among the profanities pouring from her  and I said either turn it down or I call the police –

“you go backa in your house, bitch   I don’t need you… I gotta a new car and testing it out”

I said test it elsewhere – as she entered the house  the tirade of go into  your house mother- fu##er  .

Back  to  this past Sunday –  we were lighting the fire pit and preparing to  have the kids roast hot dogs (  nice American  pastime) apparently  Tonya of the Tow Truck decided  she no  likka my  smoke ( which  I  may  add was NOT  blowing east but south)  and hence the abuse.  Well I  have news for her I am allowed to  be in my  own garden with  my  grandchildren .

Unfortunately , as I  looked at the kids faces and what I  was seeing , I  became disenchanted , angry  and fed up !

The  littlest one now no  longer wanted to  be in the garden – he was frightened – they  didn’t know what was happening- they  aren’t exposed to  this sort of behaviors with  their neighbors and the oldest (  8) saying:

Nog, I am sorry  you  have to  live here

it dawned on me he felt like I was in some sort of hellish  world  so  unfamiliar to  him… I was seeing  our home through  the eyes of an 8-year-old and I  didn’t like what I  was seeing there .

Yes so  am I  – I said

There is nothing I can do…  This ward has become a  “glut of yobos” gone too far – the tipping point tipped.

– and thanks to  First Federal policies  and devaluing the neighborhood  ( in my  humble opinion) by dumping this house for $12,500    I can’t even sell this property   and my  grandchildren will not want their inheritance- far from over the river to  grandma’s house we go  – it will be “dump it” for what we can get -I   am not living there .

So  Lorain you  will  lose again ….  take that to  the bank!!!!!

My  roses against their guns ………. ain’t happening … 

 

 

 

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March 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm 2 comments

March 3rd -It’s OK- Chris Ritchey

Reaching out- art work- Christopher Ritchey

It’s OK – (okay)  the origin of OK  has many  theories https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/what-is-the-origin-of-the-word-ok

but basically   translated – Ok (okay) means it is alright, it is fine  or will be OK – will be alright – will be fine.

When something traumatic happens  either in real life or in tv / movie land – invariably , along with  the hug and the patting on the back http://www.saywhydoi.com/the-back-pat-why-do-we-pat-on-the-back/ comes the  words – “it’s OK”

No  it isn’t OK  really …. but like shaking hands when you  meet someone it is something  those  who  try  to comfort  do.

I found myself yelling at the television as yet another traumatized mother – having disaster over take her family  – and the well-meaning friend , the “it’s Ok” tripping from their mouth for want of something to  say – throw away  words ….

NO it isn’t OK, it will never be OK – her  “ok world” is no  more – stop telling them it is OK- alright – you  will be fine – just stop! hold them tell them they  are loved

but I  am here to  tell you   when you  lose  a son or daughter   nothing is ever alright, fine or okay in your world   ever again.

OK! well I  maybe be making a mountain out of a molehill…  and bitching about the human condition when we are at a loss for words and trying to  be kind and give comfort  but it cuts me to  the quick when I  see and hear those words spoken

The flawed Hand of the Healer by Chris Ritchey

AND  it is not okay  that my  wonderful, talented, loving  son with  his whole life ahead of him- is nothing more than a memory- and in some cases not even that – whilst the dregs of mankind and other sons cause terror and destruction to the world’s children.

 

AND it is not OK that once again I am losing from my  life  a sweet, caring , selfless , sparkling wine of a woman to  the obscenity  of cancer- another family  waiting and watching as she leaves us slowly. It is not OK that she is leaving whilst   the cruel bitches of this world thrive………

It is NOT OK Chris that I  am here and you  are not…….. I love you

March 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm 1 comment

“Game of Loans” Clear as Mud- CDBG funds Lorain

The Lorain Development Corp – an ongoing ripple effect – standing alone – questions and accounting tools  all  as clear as mud to  me and I  have been writing about this for yonks!

There is a plethora of information starting with  a series of articles on Lorain Community  Development in 2008 ( 10 years ago  ) by  Mark Teleha

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/category/community-development/ and his interviews with  Sandy  Prudoff and Doug Rangel

“the opportunity to meet Doug Rangel. Doug is the Executive Director of the Lorain Development Corporation. Flashing back briefly, this is what Sandy Prudoff explained to me during the interview:

The other division, which is not really a city department, is our contract with the Lorain Development Corporation. The reason why we have a contract with them, we don’t have city staff doing that, is that he (Doug Rangel) has a ward of accountants, bankers, attorneys and business people. They, for no fee, and volunteer time, meet with Doug, and any small business request for financing, all the way up to $1.3 million on the Duane Building, all the way up to a $6 million undertaking of the Industrial Park, he and his Board, but primarily him, will structure the financing, monitor the financing. The Industrial Park had $2+ million for the loan, a loan from the State. A $2+ million loan from the Federal Government, a $2 million grant from the State, and a $2 million grant from the EDA (Economic Development Association)……

D. Romancak 2008

Doug doesn’t work for us, he works under contract with us. His agency is independent. He takes care of all the financing and business loans. So, first perception that we’re these rogue agents just doing whatever we want is definitely misplaced in a statutory city where we are the City of Lorain; we’re not separate and apart, we’re not different. We find it, sometimes amusing, as people say ‘There goes Community Development again, doing whatever it is that they do.” So said Don Romancak,

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/saving-downtown-there-is-available/

Note the above link make interesting reading as to  how the system was supposed to  work https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/community-development-city-of-lorain/

FAST FORWARD to  2015 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/money-for-old-rope-a-taxpayers-question/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/lorain-development-corp-lorain-op-ed/

and then  2016

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/lorain-development-corp-the-revolving-evolving-story/

http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/04/26/City-cuts-ties-with-Lorain-Development-Corp.html

Robert Ellis, a local attorney and president of the LDC board, said the corporation, a nonprofit, has two options — it can find another foundation that is willing to loan money to businesses in Lorain, or it can dissolve.

AND then the FBI enters the picture: http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.html

and THEN!!!  August 30th  2017

http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/30/Lorain-acts-on-defaulted-loans-before-HUD-comes-calling.html Glenn also noted the FBI investigation regarding the program, which began last summer, is still going on and now the situation  as it stands today February  28th 2018

as the ripple effect of decisions  made  by  Lorain and the spending of money  and write offs  is still causing  ripples

http://www.cityoflorain.org/announcements?view=1683  February 26, 2018 Public Hearing – CDBG PY2017 Substantial Amendment

http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2018/02/27/Lorain-wants-to-change-block-grant-spending.html

Ritenauer {Mayor} said one of the biggest hurdles to lowering that ratio, though, is the revolving loan program, which was frozen several years ago due to over $600,000 in loans being written off and thousands of others were delinquent. “The problem is HUD counts that credit against us so that’s inflating our ratio,” he said. “It’s just north of a million dollars and when we get payments that makes it go up. Well, we can’t spend it to make it go back down because they’ve frozen it. We’d be in good shape if they would unfreeze that money and we could put it where it needs to be.”

Also  the Morning Journal : ” Lorain puts local projects on hold to repay  federal money http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20180226/lorain-puts-local-projects-on-hold-to-repay-federal-money

Lorain’s problem comes in part because the city and HUD have frozen Lorain’s revolving loan program to help businesses. That was due to questions about loans raised by Glenn’s predecessor, Leon Mason, who led the Department of Building, Housing and Planning. That frozen account inflates Lorain’s ratio of CDBG money allocated to money spent, the mayor said.

10  years of documents papers and pointing up  the issue on this blog  with  Money  for Old Rope three years ago.. and that pesky  $600,000.00 I  couldn’t figure out and apparently I  wasn’t far off the mark. was I ( even if I  can’t understand  government accounting 101) 😉

In the middle of all this moneying…. and accounting is a loan of $250.000.01 to  South  Shore CDC

“As Mr. Mason stated, the issues with the revolving Loan fund came to him from the State Auditor

“I got an email from the state auditor who wanted to know why the city of Lorain had over $600,000 in loan write-offs,” department director Leon Mason said. “My response was that I didn’t know what he was talking about, and when he sent me the information, I was able to pinpoint some of the loans, but I did find some that were troubling, to say the least.” Mason said one that stood out to him was a $250,000.01 loan to the South Shore Community Development Corporation.

UPDATED- Minutes of the committee meeting April 11th 2016 where the report was given to  Lorain City  Council members

75_4-11-16commmin

Oh well – 2018 and we are still trying to  find our way  clear of this one. BUT I am troubled – I  am like the majority  of tax payers,  I  can’t even figure out my  own taxes let alone understand “accounting tools” of government .

I looked through spread sheets – I looked through “loans” and to  whom they  were made- BUT I looked at them as a citizen  with  a fair to  middling  IQ. I looked at was down as a “loan”  to  the City  of Lorain (Building Housing and Planning)

NOTE: Yes! I  know I  have issues with  the way  “that” department is and has been  run https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/ and the archaic means at their disposal when it comes to  checking Point of Sale and the “paperwork”-

Little did I  know I was in for  a plethora of emails and answers  and more  confusion. I looked at a sheet of  what were termed “loans”  and one in particular caught my  eye- no  interest and  under the category  “closed not paid”- since the 501C3 mentioned was still an ongoing organization HOW COULD THAT BE? Well what was to  be a simple question turned out to  be a confusing answer You  see this “Loan” wasn’t a loan – No!  No!  I  have it all wrong  apparently  BHP  needs an accounting tool  to  track payments for RENT etc.

The said organization paid out IN LEASE/RENT  $ 19,050 from  April 2013- March 2017 BUT  in the accounting for BHP this was down on the books as a LOAN

Why??  according to  the City  of Lorain : their  (BHP)  system is a LOAN system.  The way they keep track of any building lease/rent is to enter it in this system as it tracks the “due “ payments and categorizes them if they are late/past due etc.

Art Work Scott Bakalar

So confusing as it is  –  when is a loan  not a loan when it is an accounting  tool  with  BHP. Note: Excuse me  just  would make life easier it seems if it was classified under something say  :  Incoming rents from city  owned properties   I think there might be software somewhere to  handle that………. Just my  2 cents (  or is it?)  😉

Now let us get back to  South  Shore  Development Corp  and that $250,000.01 loan that was written off by  the Board of Lorain Development Corporation  on  February  3rd 2014

 

The Board  was  supposedly  independent of City  Administration and Council etc. BUT there were in place safety  measures – from Mark’s 2008 interview :

All of these loans are subject to review and approval by the loan board of Lorain Development Corporation as well as Board of Control, if they fall within the guidelines and would additionally require City Council approval if the loan request goes outside of guidelines. Doug Rangel “

In the case of the loan to  South  Shore Development Corp   there were issues with  conflict of interest. http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.html

One of the loans that HUD officials flagged is a $250,000 loan made to South Shore Development Corp. in 2011 to help keep the struggling St. Joseph Community Center afloat. That loan was never repaid and eventually written off by Lorain Development Corp. State auditors have said that more than $600,000 worth of loans distributed by Lorain Development Corp. were written off over the years, but Mason said that his research indicates that figure might be slightly lower because of how some of the loans were structured.

The HUD review said that the money lent to South Shore was troubling because at the time of the loan, Robert Gilchrist was serving as both the city’s service director and president of the South Shore board. HUD called Gilchrist’s dual role “an apparent Conflict of Interest.”

Mr Gilchrist – he of the diversionary  program –  voting illegally , pleading guilty  to drug charges

http://www.chroniclet.com/cops-and-courts/2016/06/10/Former-Lorain-Service-Director-Gilchrist-pleads-guilty-to-drug-charges.html

and alleged domestic abuse  which  cost him his job at as President of the Lorain County  Community  Action Agency  was also  in his Service Director position on the BOARD of CONTROL for the City  of Lorain.

You  know that BOC that  is one of the checks and balances  the taxpayers have. But hey  we are OK because this Lorain Development Corporation is a separate entity – although  contracted by  the  then Community  Development Dept. ( see 2008 interview)   and the money  to  fund it came from where ?  Too many  of the same names and  relationships for my  liking .

    http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20110630/state-oks-funds-to-tear-down-st-joes-with-document

Early in 2009, South Shore announced its intention to close the St. Joe’s center because its income was outstripped by operating expenses, notably high utility costs. Lorain City Council in 2010 approved money to operate St. Joe’s while Krasienko’s administration looked for ways to keep it open. Lorain Service Director Robert Gilchrist was a key in brokering the deals needed to keep the center open and yesterday he made the city’s presentation to the Clean Ohio Council in Columbus.

Such plans in 2011- ……….

You  can find the Board of Control minutes here – through various administrations http://www.cityoflorain.org/mayor/documents You  can also  access the Journal Entry  on the discussion with  the County  Commissioners  et al  APRIL 2012 with  charts and discussions in depth here JOURNAL ENTRY Commissioners Meeting St. Joes

2012 (no leasing) 2013 (15k ft) 2014 (15k ft) 2015 (15k ft)
Revenue 913 1,063 1,213 1,363
Expenses 1,046 1,077 1,109 1,142
Net Income (132) (14) 104 221
Capital/Other 212 200 200 200
Grants/Loans 0 0 0 0
Other Receipts 2 2 2 2
Profit/Loss (342) (212) (94) 23

Loans;

  • $1,350,000 Loan on Property from the State
    • Guaranteed $675,000 each to the City and County
    • Payback of the State Loan does not begin until profitable OR when SSCDC property is sold.
  • As a part of the development agreement a $250,000 Loan was provided to South Shore Community Development Corporation to cover operating shortfall.
    • Beginning on April 1, 2012 the first monthly payment of $1,488 is due.
    • The Loan is unsecured.

Grants:

  • HUD EDI Grant – $166,500. Grant funds were used to fund the LCCC expansion/extension and Little Lighthouse tenant improvement work.
  • HHS – $253,000. Grant funds were used to fund mechanical deferred maintenance to the then occupied areas and common systems.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant – $480,000
    • City application for funds allowed for both a grant component and loan component for use at St. Joe’s totaling $480,000.
    • In 2011, when EECBG project scopes for St. Joe’s were being developed, use of funds for maintenance of existing systems was disallowed.
    • The Dep. Of Energy also determined that the combination of both a grant and loan could not be used at St. Joe’s; thus the funding became capped at approximately $200,000.
    • City and SSCDC now developing a revised scope to utilize the available EECBG funds for non-maintenance energy efficiency projects.

CORF

  • $1,600,000 Grant Awarded to the City of Lorain for SSCDC project.
  • Mercy match over 3 years- $120k per year for 3 years = $360k
  • Demolition includes Building D, Reidy Scanlon Bldg., Thrift Shop.
  • The City of Lorain is currently advertising for a certified professional.
  • Demolition anticipated to begin summer of 2012

and the rest of the story????????????????????????????? Who  knows but I  agree with  Mayor Ritenauer .. to  me this is all as clear as mud………… and just to  help  with  information :

CPD_Funding_Grantee_Matrix_LORA-OH_OH_20180201

loraincdbg 2017

BDRLF written off_notpaid_

27Feb2018

Copy of Public Service Streets and 108 spreadsheet(2)

Economic Development Final http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Economic%20Development%20Review%20FINAL%20PDF.pdf

LDC Conflict of Interest Policy http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Lorain%20Development%20Corp%20Conflict%20of%20Interest%20Policy.pdf

LDC Subrecipient Agreement http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_LDC%20Subrecipient%20Agreement%20PDF.pdf

Portfolio Quality Report http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Portfolio%20Quality%20Report.pdf

EDA Title IX Plan http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_EDA%20Title%20IX%20Revolving%20Loan%20Fund%20Plan.pdf

 

March 1, 2018 at 11:03 am 4 comments


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