Archive for April, 2020

Nana’s MY BOOK- memories of another time

 

ED NOTE: My  mother, Violet Janet Gabbey  1919-2018

My  mum  had a long and amazing life. Mum was 99 when she passed  and was loved by  all her friends and family. However, 40  years ago  she was going through  a very  trying and emotional time in her life.  Her only  child, me,  was three thousand miles away  in the United States at the time and was unable to  do  much  of anything.

Mum had nights of not sleeping  I  suggested she use that time to  start writing down her memories of being young for her  granddaughter , Nikki . I have always found writing things down cathartic and still find that to  be the case. Mum scribbled notes on scraps of paper every  time she couldn’t sleep .( I  still have those notes)

A few years ago  we sat in the den and she and I put them in some sort of order. Mum then sent a copy  of what she named “MY  BOOK”  to  the oldest grandchild of each  of her brothers and sisters and to  some special people .

Please remember when reading her words and memories  it was a very  different time , especially  in her young years, what was  pretty  much  the norm then probably  wouldn’t be acceptable today.

Cover Design Chris Ritchey

So , where is the beginning of it all? Upon reflection and trying to  summon up  the very  first picture, there is a faint imprint in my  mind. Can  a child of three really  retain, retell the event so many years on? Could I  really  see six or seven human forms lying on a mattress of black and white ticking strung between wooden frames? The box like shapes, the harsh  sounds of human retching , the pungent smell of oil and vomit, that unpleasant fragrance still is in my  nostrils. Some photo of that time with  its sights and smells must have embedded itself forever in my  mind

I can still feel still the roll and steady beat of a noise below. I  was huddled, warmed and comforted  by  another little body  next to  mine. I can see my  mother lying stretched out a short distance away from us; her long dark hair was damp and lying untidily on the pillow. I knew somehow she was ill too. My  Father was on his feet , I see his arms with dark shapes and lines on them holding a cup  to  my  mouth. He was telling me

“Drink  this, you  will feel better” 

then oblivion and I  remember no  more .

Many  years afterwards I made the discovery  that my  first recollection was of being in a cabin of a troop ship  travelling home to  England. The ship  was bringing soldiers and their families, who  had been serving in southern Ireland  ( where the Anglo  – Irish War – [1919-1921]  had broken out after the Great War.(1914-1918)

My  father was a soldier and a very  good one.  I fear, however he always drank  too much  and was forever shouting . He had scores of wonderful stories in him. He had a moustache which  tickled and scratched  when he would kiss you.

The dark shapes and lines were tattoos which he had subjected himself to  in a far away  land. When I  was very little and  asked about them he said the one said ” I love Betty”  I used to  wonder how could my  mother  bear to  see that day after day , as her name was Charlotte! However,  the “I love Betty” was just my  fathers peculiar sense of humour . When I  was older  and could read and looked  more closely I found there was only  two  hearts entwined  with  a lover’s knot  and there was no  wording there at all……

To  be continued:

April 22, 2020 at 12:48 pm 3 comments

Morning Journal- Punishing Press-Part 4

Chris Ritchey

 

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

Part Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/morning-journal-the-punishing-press-part-3/

Part Three cont. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/morning-journal-the-punishing-press-pt-3-cont/

I have spent hours going through  old writings and blogs. Unfortunately, as I  have said a lot of the links are missing and in fact blogs have disappeared from the WWW. I can only go  by  the hard copy  I have. I can only  assure you  the reader  the information is true and I  have those documents in hard copy or in my  files electronically.

Here were go:

Front Page News .. a tale of a super woman, well maybe not 😉

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

Jon Veard & word of mouth scott bakalar on 22 Nov 2006

SO  SAYETH  THE NAYSAYERS:

““I’m going to extricate myself from downtown Lorain,” Veard said.
[…]
“I don’t have to do business in Lorain, especially if I’m not wanted,” he said. Veard, 65, who has run his United Properties development company in downtown Lorain for the last 44 years, said it will be “easier to do business elsewhere.”
Why?
“Admittedly, council has taken Jon to task a few times, but council has approved projects with him involved, such as the restoration of the Duane Building,” Foltin said.
Veard said he hasn’t faced opposition only from council, but criticism from citizen activists, such as downtown resident Loraine Ritchie. Veard said Ritchie has been a critic of his developments.

NOTE: THE ONLY  CRITICISM I  GAVE was his plans to  build condos in the historic park”

What is she attacking me for?” Veard said. “Let her develop downtown Lorain.”
Ritchie declined to speak to The Morning Journal.
But Veard said he’s tired of the criticism.
“I lost money on the Duane Building. I lost money on the Antlers Building. I haven’t made a dime yet on City Center. … Let them throw darts at someone else.”

The  quote came from the article in the Morning Journal- Kate Giammarise November 2006

HOWEVER A DAY  LATER… Mr. Veard  stated to  Joe Medici of the Chronicle

“Despite having three buildings up for sale downtown, local developer Jon Veard said Tuesday he has no intention of leaving the city…..“My roots are here. All my business and banking relationships are here. It would be a nightmare to move all that,” Veard said. “These people know me and when I ask for something it’s a done deal because they trust me.”
“I’m not selling because I’m mad about the park. Maybe (City Council) did me a favor when they shot it down. Building condos in downtown Lorain is risky business,” Veard said.

Which  publication printed the correct information? Remember media moguls you  are only  as good as your sources ( biased or not)? This knee jerk reaction maybe to  Cole and Co caused  Cole to  jump  once more into  the Editorial mode and chastise me  a “history  bonehead.. sorry  can’t link  to  it  BUT here is my  response :

As I  decided to  BOYCOTT the Morning Journal…. You  can find that WoM post here TUDOR Boycott

Who got it wrong John Cole? I think I know – tch tch tch – how much egg is on the face of your publication on this one? And poor Mr. Veard – he came across in your article as a whiney, sorry, pouting, juvenile, it seems I have more respect for Mr. Veard than his ”friends”. You did him no favor – believe me – in your portrayal of this Lorain Developer. What my international readers (and I have a “barrelful”) must think of this community, I shudder to imagine.
NOTE – Oh! and one more thing, it has been remarked that Mr. Veard is upset that he didn’t get the chance to show City Council his “plans” for our park  ( that other editorial  chastising Lorain City  Council….before they voted No! the first time. Check the minutes, I think you will find that Mayor Craig Foltin ”called for the vote” that night – that is right Mayor Craig Foltin.

And then YOUR “Love letter to Veard” Oh! come on now – hearts and flowers begging him – Don’t go-Please stay – when he apparently had NO intention of leaving. I ask you who is the “blow-hard and crank and short sighted” individual whose “long winded” piece sent the negative message of Lorain’s developer diva -great publicity for Lorain? Shoe fits – wear it JC!

But all is not lost – Cole and Company you can – by a change in editorial policy, adhering to unbiased news reporting and an apology to all who ”dare to suffer the editorial wrath” by stepping up to the plate and to those “long winded politicians” who do the best they can to represent THEIR constituents on City Council stop this ”Old-Boy Cott” Up to YOU!!!!!!!!

2007  was the Lorain Bicentennial  we had a city  wide celebration focused in on the little park. Now don’t go  looking for coverage- John Cole  denied any  coverage , that is until  so  many  organizations involved  took issue there was a small blurb in the Saturday section.

Link to  a number of photos of the event :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/with/1249174028/

However, the opening ceremonies were taped and one participant  berated the Morning Journal  for their stance and lack of coverage for the event. Problem was it was ME who  was spearheading the whole shebang.. Oh  well happened without him or the Morning Journal….

.

Tom Skoch

John Cole retired in February  2008 and a new editor Tom Skoch took over the editorial seat. Mr. Skoch reached out to  me and we came to  a friendly  truce. He was really  kind and instrumental in getting Charleston Village  projects publicity  etc. for the Admiral King Tribute Space, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and Settlers’ Watch . He may  not have been overly  fond of yours truly  but  he could see past the tree to  the forest.

Although  I  have been known to  come out fingers flying  when I felt the Morning Journal and others   and its staff needed a different perspective : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/media-as-the-word-turns-or-rolls-lorain/

 

You see at the same time all this bruhaha was going on  with  me  the news media were all over Councilman Dan Given and others with  the Community  Reinvestment Areas. This too had its birthing in politics and the blame game ensued.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/sigh-cra-p-p-stands-for-politics/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/here-it-comes-crappppp/

Before I get pilloried once more let me tell you  I  was involved in the CRA situation before any  of the media.I  did my  homework and I  have files two  inches thick, Courts, the players and their agendas, articles  comments  and documentation up  the ying yang.   Anyone wants to  see them -only  too  willing… Oh  and the politics  are mind boggling.

However Dan Given became the scapegoat  even though  the Plain dealer article OCTOBER 2007  used  in the court case had 11 inaccuracies  (  I wrote to  the Editor pointing out the journalists biased leanings  – no  reply) 

 NOTE: Article is no  longer on line but I  have the hard copy. There was a  friendly  relationship  between  the county’s attorney  and the journalist….. I  have the article

Later on I  took Tom and the MJ to  task  over an article in 2009I  had just 6 days earlier lost my  son to  cancer – but it was still important to  me that truth  and the whole truth  should be explored.

Dan Given was also pilloried in the article of December 10th 2009 but the readership of the Morning Journal has been denied the “rest of the story ” and denied so far as they  would not print Mr. Given’s rebuttal  leading their readership and those of the community in a direction that is less than accurate.  I  published his letter to  the MJ because they  wouldn’t- I  would suggest a read of that letter found in the link  below: 

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/two-sides-one-published-one-denied/

When you  go  to  the comments of that post  you  will find Mr. Skoch  had his say .. but since the claim by  the editors stated they  had reached out to  Mr. Given originally they  apparently  missed the part in all the bru haha that the Law Director had told Council members ( because of litigation they  couldn’t comment ) although  at least two  did …

Does ANY of this matter NOW? You  tell me as  recently  as March  12th  2020 Dan Given was accused of public corruption in a letter chastising    now Mayor Bradley  from the Lorain FOP for  supporting a political candidate they  have issues with. Click on jpg for a clearer picture.

Although  letters  and legal stating  no  wrongdoing 15 YEARS LATER DAN GIVEN IS STILL BEING ACCUSED. 10 YEARS  cleared of any  wrongdoing AND YET STILL IN 2020  THE FOP  ACCUSATION OF public corruption..

MAYBE THEY MISSED THE ARTICLE FROM 10 YEARS AGO!!!!!

GIVEN CLEARED – CHRONICLE – BRAD DICKEN  DECEMBER 10TH  2010

Given Cleared 2010

 

WHY ? If anyone had really  done ALL the homework and evidence complied and not just dwelled on the surface of the CRA situation  the story  would be  different, believe me I  looked at that CRA situation until I  was sick of it and the ones that should be held responsible  weren’t.

AND NOW!!! We have Mary  Springowski feeling the wrath  of imho  of a up-jumped egotistical  32 year old reporter  Kevin Martin / Morning Journal  trying the name and shame game  because Mary , in order to  reach out and provide information  to  her constituents with  information and participation. by  pasting  an article  on her facebook page ! Horrors she apparently  single handedly  has brought down the print media local by  publishing the article

Facebook post by  Mary :

THE REST OF THE STORY!!!!

( Mary) “What is happening with this money? Who should benefit from this? Who CAN benefit from this? There must be some regulations. If this is CDBG then it is geared towards low to moderate income areas. What are your thoughts? Remember, if you want them to be part of the permanent record, post your comments and thoughts on the city’s official Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/CityofLorainOH/

( Morning Journal)Lorain, Elyria to get stimulus money in coronavirus response By Richard Payerchin rpayerchin@morningjournal.com @MJ_JournalRick on Twitter Apr 1, 2020

The cities of Lorain and Elyria will receive money from the first allocations in the federal government’s economic stimulus bill due to the novel coronavirus.

The city of Lorain will receive $725,720, while Elyria will receive $439,110 in Community Development Block Grant money, according to an announcement from Sen. Sherrod Brown.……..

Innocent enough  one would have thought HOWEVER Mr. Martin thought otherwise  and  through  Twitter started on April 9th  to chastise Mary  for an  article written NOT by  Mr Martin but by  Rick Payerchin……..although  Martin  states he is speaking for himself ( that didn’t last long ) Click on the jpg for a clearer picture

 

 

Has Mr. Payerchin , the journalist  and writer  of the piece,  contacted Mary  with  his displeasure? NO!  according to  Mary.  Has Daryl Tucker the Editor  contacted Mary?  No! apparently  not BUT 13 days after Mary  posted the article on face book Kevin Martin  of Muck Rack  fame  and membership https://muckrack.com/ complained to  the Facebook Police for copy  right infringement –

APRIL 13th

If you believe that this content should not have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue:

Report #: 253706562467430
Rights Owner: MediaNews Group Inc.
Email: kmartin@morningjournal.com
Copyrighted Work: Other 

NOTE Martin does not use a personal email account in filing his complaint  but that of the Morning Journal .

This should never have  gone this far…. I  wouldn’t have had to spend five days  writing and reliving the punishing press… and maybe  “raking the muck” because I  was angry at the “punishment not fitting the crime”

All it would’ve taken was a phone call to  Mary  to  take down the post, explain why  there was a concern but No  the crusading journalist  jumped on his high  horse and banner of punishing the politician of the people……

WHY? what is his agenda …. when obviously  the writer  of the offending piece and the Editor didn’t complain…..  but because of Mr. Martin  -Mrs. Springowski  will no longer share , be interviewed  or subscribe to  the Morning Journal, and Mary  is always newsworthy  so  who  suffers by  this petulant posturing? NOT Mary ..  maybe Martin should be taught the old adage :

“Cutting off the nose to spite the face” is an expression to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one’s anger

 

THE END then again maybe NOT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2020 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Morning Journal – The Punishing Press- Pt.3 cont.

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

Part Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/morning-journal-the-punishing-press-part-3/

 

Regugitating( in more ways than one) this week has woken up  this poor old brain.  I started out wanting to  show that this particular  local paper the Morning Journal had indeed used tactics in the past in order to retaliate and by  all accounts a journalist working for them today ( Kevin Martin)  had  seemingly no  compunction about going to  the “over the top” reaction when    reporting   one of Lorain’s “popular with the people”  councilwoman. Mary  Springowski.  You  see, my  belief, knowing  Mary –  had  Martin or his boss Tucker  contacted Mary  personally and requested  she take down their article from facebook  and refrain from sharing in depth  again – Mrs. Springowki  would have acquiesced.

That “would have been the smart move” in my  opinion but that is not what happened . Instead a ” I was reminded of the quote in Maxwell Anderson’s play  ” Mary  of Scotland”

 

 

“We must look to  it….. has a woman’s  face( and principles 😉 stirred such  a confluence of air and waters to  beat against the bastions….”

 

Other thoughts have also  been running amok as I go cross- eyed reading the files, news article and editorials and I am thinking my  hindsight is telling me  there was more going on in that period from 2004- 2007.

Whilst I and others,  were in middle of the waters swirling around us  and we were fighting for our very  homes , way  of life and yes opinions  we were  fighting on more than one front. I can’t believe all these “plans were not part of a bigger picture” but I  suppose now I  will never know for sure

Shawnee( John Cole, Foltin and secrecy- selling off of lakefront land to   the tribe.. being lambasted…. as greedy  gobblers saw visions of casino  chips dancing in their eyes. Why  did it take  a small group to  point out the folly  of  having a reservation on the lakefront and the problems that would occur. Did Foltin , Cole Prudoff etc really  believe that was going to  happen as they  spent our money? Thousands upon thousands for what ????? ( as seat at the table with  the big boys?? https://clevelandmagazine.com/in-the-cle/the-read/articles/cashing-in . We , and me mainly , certainly  incurred the wrath when speaking out, but you  see this was going to be “here” in our neighborhood, all the plans swirling around and the bandwagons rolling … COLE and Foltin were NOT happy  with  me !!!!

Blight –  Before we in this Lorain’s oldest  neighborhood  could even get a handle on the Shawnee  during those same weeks and months another plan quietly  slipped into  place .

The Administration paying yet MORE thousands upon thousands  to  go  through  the process of blighting the whole neighborhood on the lakefront  where a casino entranceway, bus parking you  name it would go  .( for private development) .. can you  say  land banking??? And once again we were thrust into  those swirling waters and coming up against  media, politics. We were being stretched very  thin. Land banking  was what it looked like to  me BUT FOR WHAT PURPOSE

From my  testimony  re Blight  maybe ( in hindsight) I  wasn’t too far from the mark.…”Eminent Lorain V

“Interestingly enough the land banking- that I believe is going on – happens to correspond to the entranceways to that same lake front property. Our City officials in planning, administration and that same newspaper editor making the decision the sell the 200 year old green space that was the birthplace of this community without informing the public or even our representatives on City Council. City council and myself were politely told to keep our place until the decision and plans were made for that park

Veterans Park ..AND THEN  at the other end of the neighborhood  “planned  Blight of a historic little park .. Oh the wheeling and dealing pitting “history  boneheads ” ( Coles words not mine ) against  developers, and the administration – Foltin , Cole and Prudoff .. The proposed senior citizens condos in the Park.. we had to  take on the Veterans who  at one point had received hundreds of thousands for improvement for that park..”WHO TURNED NEARLY $500,000 DOLLARS INTO A BOONDOGGLE, BAD NEWS AND DEAD PARK?https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/veterans-memorial-park-thanks-for-the-memories/

Oh! we were taking a beating by  Cole and Co. Letters sent to  Veterans groups and meeting berating the history  boneheads, ridicule and downright untruths and nastiness followed us who  tried to  save  a tangible and imho  important part of Lorain’s history  from the earliest times..

http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2006/02/22/opinion/16173705.txt
Lorain’s City Council shouldn’t be so quick to reject downtown condos (John Cole)

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
But how can city leaders trumpet the need to save the park, when they have stood by and let it become such a vandalized dump? Lorain’s veterans barely use it anymore because it’s so seedy and because all the ceremonial action in Lorain these days is at Black River Landing.

You  see  the plans ( although NOT shared with  anyone in City  Council or even employees of Community  Development   came to  light  over a lunch… and I made some phone calls

You  can read the entire situation here  

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/

and  an except of a letter sent to  the city administration and in particular  Prudoff….  and there they  are  again

Cole,

Foltin

Prudoff

( if I  was a betting person I  would say  there was  some sort of collusion)  BUT that would only  be my  cynical  “OPINION” ( lawyers take NOTE!!!) 

 

….[Veard}  mention to two representatives of Charleston Village Executive Board on Jan 6th his “plan” as we were eating lunch in a very public place. There was no mention of the need for discretion, if anything the impression given was one of the plans for the park being a “done deal” and that all obstacles such as the Gilmore family restriction was and I quote “not a problem, I have been assured that isn’t an issue any more”.
I believe he was truly shocked when his plan did not meet with favor in our eyes. According to Mr. Veard, “you are the first ones that don’t like it” we were then informed, during that conversation, that other public officials, and non profits had been made aware of the plan to put condos in the “Veterans Park”, such as some members of the Lorain Port Authority, “ the veterans are on board”, the city, including Mayor Foltin and yourself (Sandy Prudoff), as well as the editor of the Morning Journal, John Cole.

At the same time Compass House was setting up  as an independent housing and bringing in 10 Registered Sex Offenders a night  .. and kicking them out into  the neighborhoods a so  many  days  –  worrying since the city  no  longer had a jail and the funding for the Shawnee bond was apparently  rolled over into  that bond which  went on ”

Jail–  Lorain City  Councilwoman Anne Molnar ( deceased) started to  look into the funding and where the money  had gone earmarked for a new Jail . Anne wrote to  Wom and we put up  the minutes of the meeting for her . Anne bless her “fighting for Lorain” heart  wrote to  WoM  at the time

Dear Loraine,
Thank you for posting the minutes of the police and fire committee meeting on WOM. You can sure work miracles on the computer, did a great job posting it on WOM. I believe when most people read them, they can easily see how the Mayor has twisted his words and lied .
There is a lot more to be told, that I found out later regarding the jail, and it is all to late now. Money wasted and spend, many lies told, and not all from the Mayor.[Foltin}  Anne

NOTE:  The minutes of that meeting and the unbelievable amount of money and spin here   Minutes of Feb 2003 No Jail

It seems you  couldn’t pick up  a paper without my  name being “used” . I  did seem to  be on some vicious treadmill…..me against the media and city  government.

Why? Yes I  was involved but a free press believes in free speech , at least I  always  thought so . Initially  I  was confused by  Coles’ comment in his editorials (problem is I  can no  longer link  to  them)  and then I  got angry.  I  started answering back.

 

The Shawnee  excitement came down to  earth  with  a bang when finally  City  Council  etc after receiving much  detailed information decided not to  renew the option for the land at Black  River .  I testified at length before members of city  council  and with  a plethora of documentation for the record. ( Was not well received by  the Foltin Administration)

Phot by Dan Brady

It was the selling of the little park that really  upset Cole and the Morning Journal – you  see  we along with  our sister organization of (Charleston Village Society) Black  River Historical Society  and Anne Molnar  and various residents  fought for that park to  remain a park.  We were gathering our arguments together when Frank  Sipkovsky, President of the then Black  River Historical Society  walked over to  City  Hall and put in each  councilpersons mail box a letter  detailing their concerns as to  what was going on with the park.   Councilman Dan Given  called for a vote  then and there  that evening to  settle this situation : and King Cole really  went off on them….

March 3rd, 2006:  Editorial by  John Cole in response to  Lorain City Council’s unanimous vote NOT to  sell the historic little Park…..

“You can’t make us believe that some council members didn’t cook up Monday’s vote in an illegal backroom meeting. That kind of government stinks as bad as those flooded basements. The state attorney general’s office should give these guys a wake-up call. Their vote could be invalid.

Every one of these zeros is up for re-election next year. Remember how they embarrassed you and your city with their rude and juvenile no-show act………
 ………

Lorain has too many short-sighted, long-winded politicians, cranks and blowhards and not enough people who can look past all that and push forward with positive accomplishments that can make Lorain strong and attractive again.”

 

To be continued …

April 16, 2020 at 12:56 pm 1 comment

Morning Journal- The Punishing Press- Part 3

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

 

ED NOTE As I  revisit the situations in the early  part of this century  I  am amazed at the amount of time, energy  and money  wasted. The 2004- through  2007  wheeling and dealing. Most of it centered around this old neighborhood, which  of course is why  I  became involved and why  I  came up  against the press and politics. Naïve is the word I would describe myself.  Reading the harsh  words today  as I  went through  articles  and posts  of an Editor and a Mayor of that time.

I couldn’t help  but think  today

  “ I  was not a politician, I  did not hold a job of work with  the city  or county  or with  anyone else.”

 

I  suppose I  was visible in the public eye due to  all the volunteer situations and events from producing Lorain Community  Music Theatre productions of Brigadoon and King and I , saving the Palace – Palace Players, one of the founders of Charleston Village Society  and a great many  other hats all of which  did not bring me in a penny and cost me personally. Looking back  and with  hindsight I  should have walked away  years ago.

However, I  was pilloried in the press and  by local government administration  as a “VOLUNTEER”- if this can happen to  me it can happen and probably  did  to others.  This is the reason I believe  this  regurgitating of “old news” is warranted.

Winston Churchill said,

“The further back you can look, the farther forward you can see…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from selling us ( Lorain’s oldest neighborhood) down the river – or on it  by  Foltin , Cole and the Shawnee , the gathering storm  of the Foltin Follies hit  Lorain Portside  with   not one but two  blight studies and to  hell with  this old neighborhood and its people .

( Planned Blight ) was also  on the agenda for the dismantling of the oldest greenspace in the county – now known as Veterans Park. Once again Cole , Foltin and Prudoff gathered together in the tower of power to  make this happen for the developer Jon Veard.  The paper calling that little slice of Lorain’s tangible history  a “piss park”

 

Unfortunately  I  cannot link directly  to  those editorials they  have disappeared , as has most of the Wom Blog articles at the time . I did however, manage to  save  some although  the links embedded originally are “broken” through  accident or design. A lot of revisionist history  happens in Lorain.

Let us start with Blight. As a founding member and co  chair of Charleston Village Society  ( 1986 to  present and a 501C3. )

http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/feature.shtml?f=375llage

I received phone calls from the neighbors over on the Portside section of our neighborhood

A Mr. Gould would be coming into  their homes to  start a blight study.”

This was also  around  the time Eminent Domain for  private  development was  being used  see Kelo case https://ij.org/issues/private-property/eminent-domain/

We (CVSI)  did some research  and informed the neighbors NOT to  let Mr. Gould onto  or into  their property  and homes.  We fought with  what little resources we had and travelled to  Washington D.C to  meet with  the Institute of Justice , became  “friends of court for the Norwood Case” .

The Norwood, Ohio Eminent Domain Trial

 

With  the help of the Institute of Justice  – Gould and Associates could not meet the required percentage  to  “blight the neighborhood”- the first step  in eminent domain .

On April 10th 2006 I  testified before the State Task Force on Eminent Domain ( Ex  Lorain Mayor Joseph Kozuira was a member of that Task Force.  part of the testimony was as follows:

We believe the citizens and taxpayers are the last to know. In the Portside case it is the taxpayer that is paying the $125,000 for the study- $50,000 from our Utilities Dept -$25,000 from the Lorain Port Authority and $50,000 from the city- ALL dependent upon the tax payer and yet we were not informed of the ordinance or the fact that our money would be used. Every time a toilet is flushed in Portside they are paying for their homes to be under the tool of eminent domain. This evening (April 10th) they are asking the City to remove them from the study.

The designation of Blight in Lorain gives the following options to the city: the tool of Eminent Domain, TIF funding, and zoning changes and readies the area “in case a casino” or another concept comes across the board. Blight designation HAS worked well in Lorain with Harbor Walk but that development was different in the fact that the city and the developer (who owned the property) took a disused shipyard and turned it into housing and a marina. It is a wonderful asset. The difference being that there was financing in place, architectural drawings and “real plan” not concepts or visions. The community was aware of the project, it was no secret.

The city of Lorain has contributed to the housing infrastructure problems; the city of Lorain has NOT enforced building codes,

brokehomes

therefore contributing to the deterioration of our homes and infrastructure and NOW say-“oh the area should blighted!!”

ED NOTE:You  can access the whole testimony  here Eminent Lorain V

Are you  adding up  these costs to  the taxpayer for the Shawnee, the Blight ? can you  see why  I  was an irritant in the underwear of Foltin and Cole.  Who  the hell was I  to  point out the “waste” and meddle in their plans?

And then came the Park TAKE OVER-  Lorain’s Oldest continuing green space from which  the City  of Lorain was platted and born :

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/the-history-park-1812-201-hundred-years-a-recorded-city-park-veterans-park-lorain-ohio/

“In the closing months of 2005 the Foltin Administration along with Community Development Director Sandy Prudoff, Jon Veard and Morning Journal editor – John Cole, in their infinite wisdom, decided the historic park should be condos. Foltin and Co started the wheels in motion to make this little park unworthy of its heritage .
Mayor Foltin quietly stopped work and maintenance on the park so that after a period of months the park and its infrastructure started to rapidly deteriorate. The fountain no longer was turned on, said to have major problems ( which turned out later to be a false statement)- graffiti wasn’t removed – only the grass was cut – the vagrants were allowed to use it as John Cole’s editorial stated as a “piss park”. In truth Craig Miller the Safety Service Director told me the park would be “blighted”. Events happened when Jon Veard let the plans out of the bag prematurely and I, along with others, started fighting to stop this fiasco of finance.

And John Cole really  had a field day  with  me and his editorials :  However, I  do  have to  thank  him because it was “HE”  who  gave me the moniker “that woman” hence the name of this blog ….. Of course I  was also  named a crank, blowhard and history bonehead…..Nice

To  be continued………

 

 

April 15, 2020 at 12:18 pm 1 comment

Morning Journal Lorain, The Punishing Press- Part two

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

This series stems from the fact a reporter from the Morning Journal, Lorain Ohio  in my  opinion got his knickers in a twist because  Council Woman at Large Mary  Springowski  shared a full article on facebook ( but  with  the who  what and where it was published) . Happens all the time but Kevin Martin took issue .. went to  twitter etc  ( operative word here TWIT) and one thing led to  another. We will get back  to  Kevin Martin at the end of this series. He has not been alone in the pseudo  bullying behavior over the years by the Morning Journal  publication from the publishers to  the editors.

However, I  bet a lot of people from Lorain have no  idea just what the meddling in Lorain has cost in dollars and cents.

 

ED NOTE : after the expenses were heading upwards of $100,000 dollars the monies were rolled over into a bond (see below) but before that happened I had started to make public records requests and here is the spread sheet from the City of Lorain Auditor at the time for the initial expenses incurred:

Casino Expenses

Hang on the ride continues. Since John Cole, former Editor,  is now deceased he can not rebut my  post but he had that opportunity  more than once when he was alive and  certainly took advantage of his position to  make my  life “interesting” . I will at the end of this series of course give the Morning Journal their unedited say on this blog!

2004

John Cole , Editor of the Morning Journal and then Mayor Craig Foltin put on a great dog and pony  show, dangling the casino  carrot to  the desperate population of Lorain. It was touted as a cure all for all our economic troubles. My  standing up  to  Cole re the Shawnee fiasco  didn’t do  me any favors and I was in danger along with  Anne Molnar  ( Lorain City  Councilwoman. now deceased , the only  city  council person who  took issue with  the Shawnee ) of being “squashed “.

The following is from the article Condos for Cole which  we will explore tomorrow!! Unfortunately  the links imbedded in these articles  have disappeared as has the original WoM Blog .

 

“It seems this town has a lot to thank Mr. Cole for in recent months. August 1st 2004 the editorial which pointed Lorain in the direction of the Eastern Shawnee. Starting off a firestorm of wheeling, dealing, controversy and spending of taxpayer’s money. The fact that National Capital One (in whose direction we were pointed) and Terry Casey, spokesperson for National Capital One who had a less than a sterling reputation was never mentioned in the editorial.

In fact although Dayton, Cleveland newspapers carried the story of Casey’s “faux paux” I could never find mention of that fact in any of Cole’s Editorials. The fact that National Capital One has pleaded guilty to securities fraud has not had any mention in any editorial I have seen since. And oh yes! the very person to whom Cole’s ability to “squash” was touted was that same Terry Casey in the infamous e-mail from Mayor Foltin: Also  Terry  Casey:

http://www.casinocitytimes.com/news/article/ohio-group-responds-to-tribal-casino-plans-148588

Plain Dealer 2005:

Repeatedly, Casey stressed that the Lorain plans had to remain secret. Foltin agreed but urged Casey to consider adding one person to the inner circle: John Cole, longtime editor of the local newspaper  [Morning Journal]

ED NOTE: This article is no  longer on line BUT you  can access it here as I  saved it : This article was in the Plain Dealer

Lorain mayor’s gamble paid off with casino deal

Talks with tribe kept secret from city officials, voters

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Molly Kavanaugh and Tom Breckenridge

Foltin Cole and Casino

 

Re: John Cole, longtime editor of the local newspaper. “I feel he should be briefed early (even in the next week or two) with the understanding that we are in very early stages and he will be the first to know if anything happens and when it becomes public,” Foltin wrote Oct. 11 in an e-mail to Casey. “He can personally squash any nay-saying and ensure broad community support.” – Plain Dealer  3/5/05

Now in 2007  I  archived after another series of Cole’s decision making for Lorain for my  records.   The  Shawnee fiasco  the hundred  thousand of dollars wasted   and my  take on Mr. Cole . Needless to  say  he wasn’t happy  with  me . And the  citizens of Lorain shouldn’t have been happy  with  him, we were led down a very  expensive garden path and I  for one didn’t not like being threatened with  being “squashed ” by  him….

https://thbarchive.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/october-15th-2007-cole-and-foltin/

COLE-fuc-*-us say :
Apologies to Confucius

Since they don’t put the comics on line TP ( or That Paper) I always get a bit of laugh reading Mr. Cole’s take on life and so since we know that on August 1st 2004 Johnny Boy’s editorial sent Foltin charging off to the Shawnee and Terry Casey – his latest writings -especially this paragraph caused the bile to move up and out of the stomach and nearly choke THAT Woman!

The second throw of the dice for Lorain was Craig Foltin’s pillow talk with the Eastern Shawnee Indians. Predicated on dubious legal claims and if-you-say-so financial, planning and managerial expertise, the treaty was signed, the chief and the mayor blew a lot of smoke in the air and, before you knew it, Lorainites woke up one morning blood brothers to Tecumseh. It was a lot of fun if nothing else. John Cole 

OH Johnny Boy! here I go again “nay saying” waiting to incur the wrath of the mighty King Cole! NO FUN for the tax payer -over $100,000 wasted by my calculations thanks to you supplying the bed for the pillow talk. And after a great deal of reasoning why we should jump in bed with your “slot sluts” you end up saying:

It’s time again for Lorain to jump into the casino game.

For your FUN peoples lives were disrupted and bunch of lemmings got on the casino tour bus 

following General Foltin to the Battle of the Little Big Bucks – A town divided , people in other parts of Ohio having their property compromised. I could go on – YOU SIR ! HAVE A PECULIAR IDEA OF FUN?

It seems a lot of the FEES were apparently rolled over into “a Bond” What Bond would that be I wonder? Could it be the Bond for the Jail?

The legal bill from Anthony Calabrese and the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease was rolled into a bond sale .

ED NOTE Anthony  Calabrese  was jailed for his part in another scheme according to  the FBI press release:

Anthony O. Calabrese, III was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay more than $200,000 for his role in a series of bribery schemes involving Jimmy Dimora, Frank Russo, J. Kevin Kelley, and others uncovered as part of the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation, federal law enforcement officials said.

Remember the “Jail that never was Bond“ Johnny Boy ? The Plain Dealer had an editorial on that subject .

Lorain, the largest city in Lorain County, has no jail. Its police send their criminal suspects to the county’s lockup. Some critics say the city of 68,000 people lacks a jail because Mayor Craig Foltin and Safety Director Craig Miller diverted available money that could have been used to replace the antiquated facility that was closed last year.

They say it was spent on City Hall improvements, downtown lighting, landscaping and the like.
So Johnny Boy the next time you decided to get us in bed together for some pillow talk – cause you good Ole Boys “just wanna have fun” – YOU FOOT THE BILL!!!

ED NOTE: This article among others as I  had felt the ire of the editor in his editorials  and on his  front page did nothing to  calm the savage breast… but no-one was going to  threaten and squash  me not whilst I  could write!!!!!

Continued  Part three 2005-2007

April 14, 2020 at 11:24 am 8 comments

Morning Journal Lorain- the Punishing Press?

ED NOTE: it takes a great deal nowadays to  get my  fingers flying over this keyboard. I have pretty  much  given up getting involved in all things Lorain. I am too old to   worry  about the future as it pertains to  me and this neighborhood. Tired of swimming upstream. However, there are times that cause me to  jump  back  in. This is one of them!

The Morning Journal vs City  Council Woman at Large  Mary  Springowski 

https://www.cityoflorain.org/305/Mary-Springowski

Mary Springowski . Council At-Large. Phone: 440-258-4302. Email Mary Springowski. Mary Springowski began serving as the Council at-Large representative on January 1, 2016 where she was gratified to receive the top votes in both the Democratic Primary …

 

 

Since the retaliation to  various citizens ( usually me 😉 has been an ongoing  behavior  this post will be in a series  one part every  day! Time for  a history  lesson  because history  once again is repeating itself – in my  humble opinion……( for the lawyers 😉

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

Long time readers of this  blog and the old WoM Blog will remember my  penchant for holding the local press , especially  the Morning Journal , Lorain to  account. Unfortunately, that has put me time and time again on the list for punishment for my  stance.

I had, with   regard to  publicity  for the various theatre productions etc. and non profit , volunteer news , a very  good relationship  with  the Plain Dealer, the Elyria Chronicle and  yes! the Morning Journal. I  would, when sending out press releases make sure the paper I  was sending to  had  a local hook that differed with  all three, meaning the press releases were geared to  each  paper so  they  weren’t rehashing the same article. This worked very  well and over the years I like to  think  I  built up  a good rapport with  the various newsrooms .

Unfortunately,  this came to crashing halt in 2002  with  the Publisher of the Morning Journal, Kevin Haezebroeck Publisher- The Morning Journal
Nov 2001 – Aug 2004 -2 years 10 months.

At the time I was on the board of what was MainstreetLorain a 501C3 . We were promoting  one of our events in downtown Lorain. Our Director , at the time  also  promoted the event in  the Cleveland Plain Dealer. This sent the  hierarchy of the Morning Journal , Haezebroeck , John Cole ( deceased)  and Bill Cyran (deceased) into  a frenzy of frustration.  I received a call from the Entertainment Editor ( since I  was doing the publicty) he had been told to  pull the article he was writing and the cover of the entertainment magazine. I  called Bill Cyran  and was told unless we got rid of our Director  the Morning Journal  would never give us any  publicity  again, I was informed  we could only  deal with  the Morning Journal. I  was shocked especially  since Mr. Haezebroek was a sitting member of our Board of Directors. As the situation went from bad to  worse,  and  as the majority  BOD did not support our Director, due to  not wanting to  fall foul  of the Morning Journal, our Director   then resigned .

I  was furious, not only  at the majority  of the BOD. and their, in my  opinion ,cowardice at not standing united, I  know  they  were probably   scared of retaliation with  their businesses  but that a “free press” – the 4th  estate,  would stoop to  such  behavior. I had at that time a couple of columns for  various publications ( freelance) and never had I  come across  such  punishing behavior.  I wrote in one of my  columns in 2002 :

 

“Locally, this writer has had cause for concern with her “morning news publication” It seems that community coverage has become tied to the amount of advertising dollars spent, dictates by the publisher and editor as to with whom a non profit is allowed to do business. Retaliatory punishment of an organization because of a personal dislike of an individual who had the audacity to support advertising outside the dictates of the local “fair and balanced” periodical.

There were threats of non-coverage of community events whilst certain individuals remained in their position. In fact the threats became reality. How? You ask can a publication get away with that behavior. Can it be that the publication involved has become so used to dealing with situations they dislike by throwing their weight around, without answering to anyone for their actions? Have they become immune to the seriousness of their behavior? Have bullying and “mercenary” attitudes become so commonplace that they have forgotten their first obligation to John Q. Public? Can they no longer see their editorial opinions chastising others for suspect behaviors could well be directed inwards?

Who? I ask, stands up to the publications and say “NO! We will not be bullied”. Members of John Q. Public who quiver with fear at the thought of their company, political ambitions or organization being on the receiving end of a “nasty editorial”. Yes, it seems our local media has us by the throat, they will be fair and balanced when it suits them, they will as a recent quote in an editorial stated, “we will be watching”. The question begs to be asked, “Who then watches the watchers?”

Who is Watching the Watcher

Unfortunately,  for the MJ and Haezerbroeck I became the “volunteer”  Director of the MainstreetLorain 501C3 until we could bet another Director. Poor Kevin he found me difficult to  work with …. probably  because I  didn’t cave in to  his threat ( stated at a restaurant   downtown when he was not in a good mood… I know he thought I  was just a little overweight housewife on 4th  street…. as he stated that day ”

” “never argue with someone who buys his ink by the barrel full …threat” as a matter of interest I  had more monthly  readers in one dance magazine than the MJ had in 10 🙂

However Mr. Haezerbroeck remembers it differently  and came onto this  blog  a few years ago  to  correct me .. What I would have said was it was not smart to fight with people who “buy paper by the ton and ink by the barrel”.

( still a threat ???)

Next up  2004 Please note some of the links in some of the post are no longer linkable due to  publications pulling them – but I  usually  kept the articles on file 😉

 

 

April 13, 2020 at 5:41 pm 5 comments

April 3rd- NO LIMITS -Chapt 3- Chris Ritchey

No Limits- The book 

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

After the engagement announcement and the resulting kerfuffle with  the in laws to  be, I decided I would only  do  what I  was asked , no  suggestions or real involvement with  this wedding. I  could tell it would be walking on egg shells time.

A few days after the ring fiasco  Chris called and said Angela wanted us to  go  to  Beechwood where she had made an appointment to try  on wedding gowns.  It was rather short notice but Nikki  and I,  for the sake of fence mending, agreed to  share in  what should have been a delightful afternoon. In fact it was  except the mother of the bride was not there, aunts and grandmother etc but no  Sue Lombardi.  Angela duly  tried on various gowns and she did look lovely. I suggested that I would purchase the  wedding veil  of her choice.

 

Since I  had to  get back to  a meeting – already planned- Nikki  and I  left. I found out later Sue eventually showed up  as she didn’t want to  take the time off work. Chris called and said Sue was  very upset and

“What would I  have done- would I  have taken the time off? “ 

” Chris you  aren’t pulling me into  that  situation”.. and I  kept quiet. 

 

Chris had  still not recovered his usual good humour , although  he was speaking to  his sister once again. I couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong now. Finally , Nikki told me : Apparently  Chris was beside himself  worrying as to  how he was going to  pay  for the wedding items that Sue and Angela had said  were his obligation. The rehearsal dinner, cars, flowers , liquor for the reception, gifts, photographer, honeymoon  etc. He had spent his savings on that ring and had just been offered a position with Wyse Advertising. Since  his family  had paid for all his college – 5 years at Cleveland Institute of Art he did not have any  student loans and he was trying to  get a loan for this wedding.

I thought to  myself some of those  of those expenses should have been covered by  the Lombardi  family and they  should have realized what a wedding list of over 200 would cost this young man.  but as I  said

I  was going to  keep  my  mouth  shut .

Chris came home from work and I asked him what exactly  was worrying him  and he told me. I told him his father and I  would pay  for all he needed to  pay  for and not to  worry. He balked at the idea  and I  said:

OK let us pay  for it , rather than you  taking out a loan  and you  can pay  it  back to  us over time.

It was decided and life pretty  much  went on, people being young and planning. Although   it wasn’t  all plain sailing as  the bridesmaids and groomsmen were picked and Nikki , Chris’s sister was left out of the plans.  Chris asked her why  she wasn’t going to  look at the bridesmaids dresses  and she informed him

” I  wasn’t asked , I  don’t believe I  am part of the wedding party” ( although  her husband was)

Chris immediately  got on the phone to  Angela

“Nikki  is one of the wedding party  right? ( the reply  of yes if she wants to  be) rather a backhanded invitation ….

Looking back these things faded into  the realm of  really  didn’t matter they  were inconsequential  in the grand scheme of life. Summer passed , autumn and Christmas and then in February  a trip  to  the Doctors for Chris, whom we thought  was not getting over bronchitus and swollen glands .

Our world was suddenly  turned  upside down inside out and  the silent screaming started : I wrote about the phone call   10  days  later:

All it takes is a phone call to  start you screaming

Hello!
It was a phone call that sent an icy cold that permeated through my very core and has not left me yet, my brain not wanting to “compute” what my ears were hearing, mouth dry, eyes welling with tears , the incredulousness, the denial , the confusion, the sheer terror that runs through your frame, your mind screaming, a few seconds that changes your life forever- nothing will ever be the same.

A phone call that leaves you weeping with fear, that terror, whose tentacles reach through your very being, tearing at your insides, ripping to shreds happiness and laughter. One of the people you love more than life itself, one that you gave birth to, cuddled, bathed, fed and protected is on Route 2 and has answered another (cell) phone to be told that test results (for possible bronchitis) have come back with a life threatening disease.

face of a cancer cell

Someone please wake me from this nightmare……..what am I supposed to do, what do I say, how can I do anything- someone , anyone why????????????????
The look on your husband’s face as he tries to understand the picture of what is happening with this conversation………

The dread disease that sends a mother into the world of deal making ,

No please – not my child , let it be me, take me ,God how can I bear this?
How can I be brave and make it better when my heart is exploding with pain, every part of me screaming from the gauntlet of emotions that are coursing through my very essence?

You are removed from the world around you –

Nothing matters, not the politics, not the crime, not the state of the roads, not the weddings, the weather, blogs, the pettiness, media , CRA’s, pontificators, principles , presidents, arguments ….. .nothing…. your world has shrunk, your planet consists of no more than 8 people and the all consuming fire of fear that your child is going to be in a world of hurt and you are helpless.


You want to curl up in a dark place – trying not to feel, to escape but the pain and confusion drags you back to the surface of desperation, despair and the reality that is now your world.

Eventually the body decides, through sheer exhaustion, to sleep but the nightmare doesn’t stop, you wake, a pillow wet with tears, a coldness that remains in your very core reminding you there is no escape- you truly do

“wake from sleep exhausted”(Susette Kelo)

Family , friends try to be encouraging and for that you are grateful but in a mother’s heart there is really nothing that they can do or say , you want to wake up from the nightmare, make it go away.

Make it stop

You look for anything that will give you hope -that there is a mistake but somehow inside you know the truth – it will not go away – it is going to have to be dealt with.

No matter how old your child becomes they will always be your child. You see not the young man or daughter – you see the chubby 2 year old with soft plump arms, the eyes that never change

only mummy can’t- no soft butterfly kisses or a cookie is going to fix this – there is no magic bandaid with happy faces.

Your life and that of your loved ones is contingent upon a surgeon’s knife and upon a lab in California – a stranger making a decision that will decide whether there is happiness , hope or pain to come in your life and that of your child. You are just another lab report , a number with an insurance billing code- a job of work.

This nightmare of speculation and waiting for the next body blow , like some sort of insidious torture technique, rips at you and the very fabric of your family . Life goes on around you but you are removed you go through the motions but you aren’t really there and you only care about the turmoil that one phone call caused.

The tests, the scans, the trips to the hospital, the waiting rooms with color co-ordinated furnishings, a laugh echoing through a hallway, people talking about the weather, a child crying as life goes on -biopsies, more waiting – hoping- praying pleading with a greater power

“please let them have this wrong ” “please let it be a mistake”

Watching every movement,

“are they eating , are they paler today , the cough – is it better, worse,?”

Trying to smile, to put on the brave face and make life normal until the results are in, cooking food no one really wants to eat , but the strength has to be kept up.

Laying awake watching the clock tick away the hours of life and darkness, waiting for morning……things always look better in the daylight,
but that isn’t true- the mornings come and there is no sanctuary in the watery, wintery sun. Days run into one another, hours, the calendar and the marked events deemed important enough to make note of are no longer significant in their passing.

The darkness envelopes and you think of other mothers, how do they cope with news that threatens their babies, their teenagers, the mothers whose sons and daughters return from war missing limbs and with horrific injuries, how do they cope even having them in harms way- day after day ?

How does a mother bear the news that her child is gone- no longer to hold them, to feel a heartbeat , to gaze with love upon their face, the hear their laugh , to see their eyes no more ….the gut wrenching sadness the rises up. unasked, unwanted, and overflows with the releasing of tears without warning.

Then the results and you know, even before the Doctor opens his mouth – you see his eyes- what they are…. you hear the bad news tempered with good news and hope and another journey begins…………and you know that somewhere another mother shares your pain and fear and is trying to make a deal

take me, not my child………………..

To  be continued

April 3, 2020 at 2:03 pm 3 comments


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