Posts filed under ‘a Cow -elle opinion’
The Hat has learned the group/ organization of Charleston Village started with neighbors sitting on a front porch 25 years ago having a glass or two of wine. Twenty one years ago that same little group had grown and volunteers worked for and received a 501C3 status. They quietly tried to improve the neighborhood, Lorain’s oldest neighborhood, worked with city government and sister societies.
2005 found the society front and center on more than one front. Our Annual Report ( with a hat tip to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd ) called Annus Horribilis ( Horrible Year)
Can it only have been a year ago, it seems so much longer for those of us that have been at the “front”? The winter of 2004-2005 was drawing to a close; it had been a long, long, snowy and cold winter. This organization was looking forward to spring.
Renee , our Portside Chairperson the head of the Lorain Litter Council was gearing up her volunteers for the “Adopt a Spot program”. Rich was involved in the fundraiser for the Lorain Arts Council, Tracy heading up the block watch program.
Diane was busy getting the cemetery on 6th street cleaned and archived and hopefully the start of a fundraiser to at last put in the entranceway and hardscaping for the resting place of Charleston Village’s Founding Fathers.
OUTCOME = Project accomplished archways and fencing installed headstones being refurbished a flag pole installed – history uncovered and the recipient in 2009 of Lorain County Beautiful Award and also Lorain County Historic Landmark Status. Project still ongoing
We were all looking forward to pursuing our particular interests when on a cold February night the first round of body blows- “The Shawnee Shame of Lorain”,
Pd article on the beginning of that fiasco can be found here
Cashing In Easter Shawnee article
or the giving away of our lakefront to sovereignty for slots. Months of research and becoming educated in all things to do with gaming followed. http://www.aproundtable.org/news.cfm?NEWS_ID=755&issuecode=casino
OUTCOME= We fought long and hard knowing this was not a well thought out “Plan” but one that would get the Mayor as he stated “to the table with the big boys” .
Tribal casinos are tearing apart the profitability of the existing CASINO business because tribes have no obligation to share profits with local communities or the state. Any agreements made today can be easily broken by
the tribes in the future.The only people who would profit from such an enterprise are a handful of Eastern Shawnee Indians in Oklahoma, the wealthy developers backing them and a Republican consultant named Terry Casey
It also came to naught- one because of “sovereign Land and another reason being National Capital One were “guilty of Securities Fraud “
and the ‘option on the Port Land had to be renewed – thankfully Lorain City Council now aware of what “sovereign land” and all the facts denied this option.
If that wasn’t enough April when we should have been looking past the showers to the flowers found us dealing with the question of “Blight” “Eminent Domain” and all that entails with the “development “ of our neighborhood. Could we lose our homes on Portside, our history? Meetings with planners, blight study officials, attorneys, other neighborhoods, even a trip to Washington.
THE OUTCOME- THE FIGHT FOR THIS (a bit of a politicians fiasco not only thanks to the Kelo Case can you blight a neighborhood for “private development” but the URDA could not exist with a CRA area which this area had been since 1979. Also even though Foltin had them review the area twice ( at what cost) it didn’t meet the percentage of blight) But it was a struggle found here in the posts Bill of Blights
Part One and Two
Bill of Blights 1&2
Bill of Blights Part Three
Bill of Blights Part three
May 2005. The assault of two young girls on their way to the Middle school on 6th street, found us knee-deep in crime statistics, RSO and meetings on how to make our community safer. Young people breaking into homes I broad daylight. The abandoned homes and vehicles making it “safe” for the perpetrators of such acts to do their worst. More months of research, meetings and discussions. Murders and shootings. All the while the Shawnee are planning to lead the parade!
OUTCOME: It too, like the original Charleston Village died aborning , although we had initial success well….. read for yourself in the following link and below the quotes from that link .
We partnered with various groups ( 40 individuals in a Community Safety Forum ) to focus on a target area in order to turn the tide such as the Pilot Program for Community Safety, eventually centered in South Lorain under Father Thaden .
However, that particular pilot program failed after an initial success . The approach was one that needed a five pronged approach for success , Lorain Police Dept, Lorain Building Dept ( City of Lorain) Clergy and Social Service Agencies Lorain City Schools , Community ( neighborhood) surrounding the target area at the center of which was Lincoln School.
Sub police station – Lorain City Police
Pre School – Lorain City School
Information and Referral – El Centro
Employment – El Centro
Financial Literacy/ Housing program – El Centro
Senior program – El Centro
Youth Leadership program – El Centro
OUTCOME = Once again the effort failed due to the lip service of the then City of Lorain Administration- Mayor Craig Foltin and the withdrawal of the Lorain City Schools bricks and mortar.
Then came the floods, people dying being trapped because of rising water that had nowhere to go. Basements filled with raw sewage. More research, meetings and discussions. Although it has to be said Charleston Village did not suffer the brunt of the floods, but will suffer the brunt of the “cure” should the latest plan be implemented. !
Project “Dry Basement” –
OUTCOME= ONCE AGAIN HARD QUESTIONS WERE ASKED AND ANSWERS WERE FOUND WANTING – this gave rise to the Wom Blog -THE PROJECT DIED A QUIET DEATH- NEW SEWERS AND SYSTEMS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED
Our little historic park at risk of being bulldozed for private development started a whole new round of meetings, discussions, research, bad feelings and insults. CVSI wasn’t even aware (along with Lorain City Council) that these “plans” were being implemented. The shock and awe of “plans for progress”.
OUTCOME: We saved the Park and the process of who is who and who takes responsibility is still ongoing
The latest of course is the laying waste to our trees, 19 of them for a start on 2nd street, because First Energy is in our opinion technology challenged. A tree falls in Parma and the whole of the eastern seaboard etc is blacked out. The solution gets rid of the trees! More discussions, meetings and diatribe will be taking place on this.
OUTCOME = SETTLERS’ WATCH 2009
TO BE CONTINUED …………………
I have in my lifetime , of course like all of us, experienced death of a loved one, a grandmother, grandfather, father , cousins, uncles and friends. I have cried tears reached out, tried to comfort. Any hurts and bad memories pushed away as one says goodbye and tried to ease the heart hurt of those who had loved who were left to grieve.
I couldn’t begin to imagine the pain borne by mothers and fathers of those who had lost a child. It was something foreign to me and I never wanted to know such pain.
Unfortunately, I know now how torturous, overwhelming and unending such anguish follows one day after day hour after hour as you are trapped in a surreal world.
The only experience I had, up until the point we lost Chris, with death was compassionate, a coming together of those that loved and grieved for the deceased. Honouring their final journey was paramount, in my personal experience, understanding the needs of those of the family- who were of paramount importance.
The worst thing in the world is the loss of a son or daughter. There is no greater loss- I defy anyone to disagree. Less than a year after Chris died I started to write a post- which I didn’t publish but I have now copied here.
My thoughts have not changed, my pain has not lessened. I wondered, as I wrote the draft those three ago, whether my feelings changed. They haven’t There is still the bewilderment of the cruelty faced in a parents worst of worst, the unfeeling inhumanity from those pious sycophants to religion and their church. No! they live their lives unscathed and unscarred ….
I have lived through November once again and have come to the conclusion date of a life I so nurtured and loved – my son. I unwillingly replay those last weeks, days, minutes and hours over and over again .
I question WHY? with so many things that happened- Why him, why a curable cancer that wasn’t curable- and Why didn’t I? I have had time to reflect and try to find answers for all of what happened- there aren’t any.
I knew that last day of his life how dreadful “living” was going to be without my son, I prayed I would die too. I was in such a state of confusion , the lack of reality of not fully comprehending this horror – but somehow I also knew his in-law family were not of the passionate feeling kind but they had a remarkable coolness as to the situation in which we all found ourselves fated together Little did I realize that coolness was a coldness of heart and soul that would shrivel compassion into nothingness.
I kept trying to put myself in Angela’s ( his bride of 549 days- )place – what must she be going through, I tried to understand –
I really did – BUT try as I might try to put myself in her shoes wasn’t happening- her reactions and that of her family ( especially her mother) to situations were totally foreign to me. I have said – she must have really disliked Chris family from the very outset- that has now become painfully obvious in the aftermath.
I have experienced death and when a loved one dies there was a “gathering of comfort, a support system, people understood the loss one was feeling” and when a parent loses the most precious thing in their lives their son or daughter- the gathering of comfort was intensified- because every parent dreads outliving their child. It is understood universally by everyone on the planet and yet…………
And yet this certainly wasn’t the case from my perspective with Angela Ritchey DO her parents Tim and Sue Lombardi and their clan.
They compounded the pain, anguish and grief , the most torturous time of a mother and fathers life and seemingly , at least in Sue’s case relished the power, she had by default- the power of punishment. I have written hundreds of thousands of words on what they did and the effect-
They like some plaintiffs in a divorce “grabbed ” what they were legally owed – without regard to the utter misery they caused in the day my son died and beyond. We were not a thought in their greedy self righteous thinking. Well I certainly don’t expect well wishes now of course but I can attest to the sheer anguish, pain and disgust they left with us.
In a divorce there is the dividing of assets, hurts and he said/ she said – nastiness, gossips and the trying to get the friends to take sides- this has happened as my son died and they did their worst. All this over the body of Christopher to whom I gave those days of life from my body and whom I would have traded places if it meant he could live. .
Life, I have had too many hours to ponder – I saw a television commercial the other day where it stated we live for 25,000 DAYS – it struck home – not a lot of time is it – especially to those of us who count the days wanting them to end the anguish I carry.
I decided to do some research and Chris only had 10,259. Then, as this brain that drives me, started going through those days I realized that we were lucky enough to have spent
over 9,509 of those days – every day with our son.
The days we didn’t spend with him whilst he was at CIA, we talked at 9:00 p.m. every night, when the free cell phone rate kicked in ( he would check in) – my Chris Fix Wednesdays would see his father and I meeting him at indoor soccer games at 11:00 pm at night to give him clean laundry, money and food for the week.
Even the days after his wedding- I was there at his apartment during the roughest Chemo, I cooked for him, made him comfortable, did what I could.
I was there every day of the weeks in hospital for the stem cell transplants , taking his food, changing the sheets, getting him water, orange slices anything to give him strength and hope.
We saw him at Nikki’s every weekend and I was with him everyday during his forced stay in Texas for the “SGN 35 Trial”" in Texas -bar 6.
I didn’t question at the time WHY I was with my son and not his “wife” I was just grateful I could be with him and take care of him- I didn’t question her “absence….. or the nagging thought
why does a woman who knows her husband is dying not want to spend whatever time she can with him?
I have plenty of time to add and subtract in my research and I came up with the fact although they dated – Angela Marie Lombardi was away at college, and then at medical school, it wasn’t an everyday romance- lives were being lived elsewhere hers and his. The high school relationship in the obituary (didn’t start til his senior year and yes there were other girls ( I have the homecoming and prom pictures). In fact, they broke up at one point during his college time and a girl named Kate was in the picture. The worst decision I now realize was the talking to my son about getting back together with Angela- how many times during this horror have I wished I hadn’t interfered. His story of the “cancer may not have changed BUT ours with this “family of misfortune” would not have happened.
I added up the days and added a few more just incase the fog of memory clouded the research and I may have missed a few.
The days with Angela totaled less than a thousand - Even Anne Boleyn had a thousand days but Anne Boleyn felt the sharp edge of the axe of a “ruling family” and we have felt the weight of the sharp edge of control of the Lombardi Clan.
As for Angela’s family I never met them until Angela graduated for Lorain Catholic High School we went to her graduation- quite frankly I said to Chris – well they certainly are rude are you supposed to be dating her after all they never even said hello- I didn’t see them again for 2 years when Nikki got married and they were invited to the wedding ( Angela was a bridesmaid) and then we went to a couple of their “Christmas Eves”.
I don’t suppose in the total time Chris dated and was engaged to Angela we spent a full 24 hours ( combined) in conversation with these people. And yet, these same people took our son remains, our closure , and grace in his final days and any comfort our faith could give us . They took away with it my faith in people, in priests, in religion, in family in healing and
And now these many , many months later, the pain still writhes ,slithers and encircles and the property of control was divided as they carry on with their lives , their plans and new romances but humanity and the milk of human kindness remains lost among the perpetrators of self……….
You don’t need a bible, a priest or a social book to tell one what is right and kind unless you are amongst the hypocrites of self
It is true! I have had an on again, off again, on again and now luke warm relationship with what used to be the “local newspaper” for Lorain - The Morning Journal . In fact, thanks to the now deceased editor, John Cole
I had a one woman boycott and before him under the publisher Kevin Haezebroeck of
” the “never argue with someone who buys his ink by the barrel full threat”
fame, I wrote the column:
Who is Watching the Watcher found here
Who is Watching the Watcher
……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?” …..
Years came and went, another publisher (Jeff Sudbrook) and another editor ( Tom Skoch) took the helm – fences mended between them and I. BUT the bricks and mortar of this publication at 1657 Broadway also changed- slowly the creeping disease of “web publications” and lack of print sales , bankruptcies, reorganizations took its toll,
“The acquisition may foreshadow additional moves by Alden, which is interested in two strategies to add value to its investments: (a) it wants its newspaper holdings to aggressively develop digital capabilities and revenues, and (b) it wants to see consolidation (mergers) among newspaper groups”
as well as downsizing, hiring of interns to “report” ( who had no clue as to this city and her “history – let alone the who is who ) did their time before moving on, moving the printing presses moved out of the building, leaving behind but an echo of the newspaper that was Lorain .
The building and the offices have become quiet and as sad as the aging newspapers stacked up along the walls in the last editor’s office. The smell of slow rot permeates the air. The parking lot now, with just a scattering of vehicles, gives one pause as to who will be the last to “turn off the lights” as far as Lorain is concerned.
The Morning Journal has revamped its website to fulfill the directive “to aggressively develop digital capabilities and revenues“- it is in my humble opinion ( remembering I am a potential customer) atrocious, hard to navigate, and definitely not user-friendly and has very little Lorain news- probably because the demographics in this city do not lend themselves to people’s “purchasing power” therefore the covering of more affluent communities.
Oh yes! I know about websites and “hits and page views” and I know that clicking here and there and everywhere when trying to find the “news” sends electronic calculations as to page views / hits and visitors and the numbers game to tell advertisers of your successful website. ” no matter the continent or country.
the more images used in a page, the higher the hit count – so while hits may be a good indication of poor page design, they won’t tell you much about traffic. Hits are often knowingly quoted by website owners in order to impress potential customers, most of whom are likely to think hits equals visitors – wrong!An example: If we have a site averaging 500 ‘unique visits’ a day and each visitor views four pages which each consists of seven images and one HTML file (representing eight hits) you will have a site ‘claiming’ 112,000 Hits a week!
500 visitors x 4 page views x 8 files (hits) x 7 days = 112000 HITS
Armed with these facts you will, we hope, be able to make a more informed judgement about the services on offer and the claims made by potential suppliers
A page view is where the page itself is viewed by a visitor – this is the most important statistic to take note of when managing a website.
A hit refers to a ‘document hit’ – you get a ‘hit’ whenever a document in your website is loaded. This includes pages, but also any images and external files within those pages.
If a page on your site has two images on it, you’ll get 1 page view but 3 hits.
So unlike page views, hits are really meaningless and should be ignored for most purposes.
It is a numbers game and the “punter” ( we the people) are the numbers in the game. Newspapers/ media are dependent upon advertising for their bread and butter. It costs money to report the news and people will pay one way or another to access the media.
The MJ’s competition Chronicle Telegram requires click on answers to questions by Google to read on their website. of course we may not be “truthful” when answering those questions You don’t get the editorials or the letters to the editor on the Chronicle website but you can access the main news with an answer to some “marketing questions”.
However, I have to say the Chronicle Telegram , has stepped up to the plate with their reporting and have in my opinion overtaken the Morning Journal in their “local news coverage”. Just as well as the Morning Journal Newspaper ( print edition) has become as thin as a street walkers foot wear .
I don’t have to buy it , I don’t even go to their frustrating website that often. So I was taken aback the other day when I was clicking around trying to find a specific article ( which I never did find) when this pops up.
I immediately left the page with a “you got to be kidding”giggle at the screen.
Then came the phone call Friday evening. A pleasant young man introduced himself as being with the Morning Journal. Since the turnover of “reporters”for the Morning Journal is quite frequent lately and I have been known to “give background information” etc. on certain articles they are trying to write, I waited to see what the chap wanted.
What he wanted was
” The publisher of the Morning Journal has invited you to read the Morning Journal- since we have expanded into Cuyahoga , Youngstown and Toledo we..
I stopped him right there- you see I started to laugh realizing it was not a personal invitation from the “publisher” – Oh! he said –
did I lose my voice or are you just having a good day.
No! the print edition is not even thick enough for me to buy it to light my wood burning fire , most of the news is a day late and behind the Chronicle Telegram’s- more or less regurgitated after the fact- and sorry but your website sucks and if I wanted news from Toledo I would go the Toledo Blade website .
The poor chap, he was at a loss for words- then recovering slightly informed me “
Yes! we are working on the website and going to the Toldeo Blade site won’t give you the whole of the news-
I started to feel sorry for him , obviously he was not a reporter but a telemarketer trying to get me to subscribe. So needing a bit of fun- after all HE CALLED ME AND INTRUDED ON ‘MY’ FRIDAY EVENING- I said:
Who is the publisher for the Morning Journal that wants to invite me ?
Telly the Telemarketer said:
The publisher is Jeff Sudbrook and the editor is Tom Skoch and they do a wonderful job
- Once again I set the poor chaps ears ringing with a loud guffaw –
I am sorry Tom Skoch has not been the editor for the past 6 months or so-
Tom Skoch retiring as editor of The Morning Journal on June 21
Well I am not sure that is true- I will have to check with my supervisor
- said a shocked Telly the Telemarketer
Oh it is true
says I –
maybe you should check with the Chronicle
- he didn’t find that as amusing as I did -so I said
call Rick Payerchin at the Morning journal Lorain beat – tell him you spoke with Loraine Ritchey – and told her the news that Tom Skoch is the editor and what a wonderful job he is doing
with that he said
” Thank you for supporting the Morning Journal”
Oh dear if I wasn’t laughing so hard I would have cried. How the 4th estate in Lorain has fallen………..
What a way to run a newspaper…………..
“In current use the term is applied to the press, with the earliest use in this sense described by Thomas Carlyle in his book On Heroes and Hero Worship: “Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they
NOW???? NOT SO MUCH IN LORAIN
Oh! loss of industry , poor economic times.
The City of Lilacs – garden clubs and hoopla post World War One. Then the rebirth in the 30′s 40′s and so on and so forth bringing us to the 1980′s
Monies being thrown at Lorain’s oldest park – founding greenspace- that tore out the Lilacs to put in the concrete bunker amphitheater in the 1980′s and three years after spending the equivalent of 1.5 million in today’s money the recipients of that money threw up their arms and walked away.
The park has been left in shambles and decay- far from the beauty and ambiance envisioned by Lorain’s founding fathers as they platted this town from its corner
Well poor economic times etc etc. there are always the excuses and apparently when times are “good” that too was the problem in Lorain . June 10th -1960 an editorial from the Lorain Journal throws a different spin on WHY things have gone beautifully bad in Lorain-
I seems that in 1960, at least, LORAIN’S SUCCESS was the culprit
Whether the spin is lack of success , growth and poor economic times or the fact Lorain was too successful it seems there are always excuses as the why Lorain lacks the beauty so many had envisioned , fought for and “tried to bring” to her streets.
We are left with the fact that it is just not that important, apparently, to the citizens and various administrations throughout the over 200 year history of Lorain in times of bad or in times of good . It seems the lack thereof of beauty and pride has made good copy for editors through the years but that is about all that has come from their words, a rally round the ideas and then PHUTT!!!
Nothing but a place for deadbeats and bums!” “ It has outlived its purpose” There is nothing historical about that park!” The city can’t afford to keep it up” It is a “piss park!!Nobody uses it, it is worthless!
So said John Cole and his editorials
and yet another time another editor
And 54 years after the 1960 editorial? It seems to me the last thoughts of that editor back in 1960 still hold true today
and definitely one that outlasts administrations and editors.
You can see the whole editorial here ( click on jpg to enlarge) and once again thanks has to go to Dan Brady for the research
As I checked the stats on my blog this morning – they were off the charts – all because of the searches for the headless man. He has been revealed . He was part of a post I wrote with regard to Downton Abbey connection and truth being even more interesting than fiction
I exchanged the WW2 for that boring old history of Kings and Queens and the aristocracy. However I can tell you Reality TV has nothing on these folk! But there is the connection with Downton Abbey fans. Oh! if these old walls could talk ;).
How I lost my virginity to the VERY racy real life chatelaine of Downton’s Scottish castle by Micheal Thornton
My post tied in the Downton Abbey, my mother, the abdication of a king and the late Princess Diana and today is receiving more readers than it did when first posted- ah the internet nothing goes away truly does it?
And just WHO WAS the headless man – read it for yourself :
those old photos whether on Facebook , other social media or even polaroid’s can come back to haunt……
The recent post about my Granddad Hines and World War 1
brought to the surface other memories , of my Nanny Hines ( his wife and my Nanna) tucking me into her lovely feather bed as she told me stories of my mum as a little girl, spoke of poems and sang the songs of my childhood. .
One particular poem, she would say was just for me – Meddlesome Matty. I was the “curious grandchild” the one who seemed to always be in the thick of any event from apple scrumping, climbing over the high walls that were covered in broken glass- set into the top to keep out the villians, in the middle of any altercation-
a lonely little petunia in a onion patch
my dad used to say. The trouble was I always wanted to see why I was being kept out! or what was going on. This little girl was always with her boy cousins getting into mischief, being the one who would be first to crawl through the boarded up doors of bombed out buildings – and the excuse
” I just wanted to see”
I have a strong feeling Braedyn has inherited the trait.
Meddlesome Matty was recited often as a “lesson” to me as was
There was a little girl
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
One ugly trick has often spoil’d
The sweetest and the best;
Matilda, though a pleasant child,
One ugly trick possess’d,
Which, like a cloud before the skies,
Hid all her better qualities.
Sometimes she’d lift the tea-pot lid,
To peep at what was in it,
Or tilt the kettle, if you did
But turn your back a minute.
In vain you told her not to touch,
Her trick of meddling grew so much.
Her grandmamma went out one day,
And by mistake she laid
Her spectacles and snuff-box gay
Too near the little maid;
“Ah! well,” thought she, “I’ll try them on,
As soon as grandmamma is gone. ”
Forthwith she placed upon her nose
The glasses large and wide;
And looking round, as I suppose,
The snuff-box too she spied:
“Oh! what a pretty box is that;
I’ll open it,” said little Matt.
So thumb and finger went to work
To move the stubborn lid,
And presently a mighty jerk
The mighty mischief did;
For all at once, ah! woful case,
The snuff came puffing in her face.
( If you wonder what ‘snuff’ is, it is ground up tobacco leaves flavoured with fruit or flowers or spices. People put it up their noses )
Poor eyes, and nose, and mouth, beside
A dismal sight presented;
In vain, as bitterly she cried,
Her folly she repented.
In vain she ran about for ease;
She could do nothing now but sneeze.
She dash’d the spectacles away,
To wipe her tingling eyes,
And as in twenty bits they lay,
Her grandmamma she spies.
“Heyday! and what’s the matter now?”
Says grandmamma, with lifted brow.
Matilda, smarting with the pain,
And tingling still, and sore,
Made many a promise to refrain
From meddling evermore.
And ’tis a fact, as I have heard,
She ever since has kept her word.
(30 January 1782 – 20 December 1866 / Colchester, England)
Unfortunately, I made no such promises -
– I have been burned by reputation, http://web.archive.org/web/20090108004352/http://thewomblog.com/?p=296
sneezed at by the powers that be
http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/non-quixote-tired-of-tilting-at-windmills/ on so many occasions,
plowed in where angels feared to tread
I have smarted with the pain of “people” –
become dizzy with the spin of government and legalese
And still it seems I haven’t learned the lesson my Nanna tried to teach me – time for Meddlesome Mattie to grow up me thinks before I “snuff” it
For more poems by Ann Taylor
As a follow-up : Rick Payerchin and the Morning Journal expanded coverage of Tuesday nights meeting ( you know the one where I threw a wobbly)
The Morning Journal coverage Wednesday morning
had more to say today
Lorain housing study draws praise, but citizens frustrated
The study included a photograph of “my icon house” at 1034 W. 4th St, said Loraine Ritchey of the Charleston Village Society, which seeks to preserve the city’s oldest neighborhood in central Lorain.
The house has been vacant and falling apart for 40 years, said Ritchey, who moved into her Lorain home in 1973. She added she has bugged eight administrations and the building department about it for decades, and credited former mayor Joe Koziura, who at least made the owner repair the roof.
“It’s a disgrace,” she said about the structure.
“You have let this city deteriorate, all of you, all of us, because we talk,” Ritchey said. “I’m not saying you’re doing that now. I think you’re trying to use the tools in order to get money to help.”
Stronger building codes are needed, she said, not just standing on the sidewalk making inspections.
Ritchey also disagreed with the “niceness” of the report and said she believed the city’s housing stock is in worse shape than the report stated.”
What I didn’t say was that I have been complaining ( in this complaint driven process – AT LEAST THREE YEARS , IF NOT LONGER, THAN THE CURRENT MAYOR HAS BEEN ALIVE AND WHEN DAN GIVEN( mentioned in the article) WAS STILL IN GRADE SCHOOL.
How these “departments’ etc, because administrations come and go but the “departments such as Building Depts and inspections as well as Community Development or whatever name it now has are constant with each administration, can sit there – faces blank – the first we have heard of it glaze- knowing that since 1975 complaints have been made….
WHAT DOES IT TAKE IN THIS CITY TO GET OFF THE STUDY CYCLE TO ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING?
“It’s time to take the house down,” Husky said. “That’s like one of the worst houses in the city. I’ve seen a lot of other nicer houses that could have been fixed up that you tore down. I don’t understand why this house is still standing”
WHAT DOES IT TAKE? I suppose my latest frustration with this city is the fact that we as citizens have done what we were supposed to do, followed protocol and procedure – this house is not a one-off……. it is the icon of what is wrong with Lorain- citizens ignored through Republican and Democratic Administrations and the “allowing” of deterioration by those that are PAID a very decent salary to carry out the will of the people when it comes to their quality of life.
AND THE THERE SHE WAS IN ALL HER GLORY ON THAT BIG SCREEN – with the warning that houses like this “F” House will impact the A and B and C housing in Lorain-
January 31ST 2008 I WROTE:
THERE IS A SURPRISE – ( after we had spent $90,000.00 on yet another study and report:
There was nothing really new in the report from Staubauch except “time lines”. Basically the developers will know we have a mess but that we intend to take care of it, and how and when will be needed to be part of the package that is sent out with the RFP.
Get rid of the Urban Decay -
Clean up the entranceways and gateways to downtown
Fix the existing commercial and building facades on Broadway
Get rid of the Transmission Lines
Move the sewer plant
City Hall is taking up valuable real estate
Take advantage of your “history”
Bring in the Arts
Get rid of the eyesores
Camouflage the existing industry on the river and lake front
HAVE A TIME LINE for completion, a plan and how it will be financed
The faces in the room told it all
“ We have been saying the same things for years”,
However, maybe now, a $90,000 opinion will be listened to by our leaders
Oh and just incase you think well maybe the powers that “B” (make that an F) don’t read this blog I will share one of the many emails about the Icon House
From: Loraine Ritchey
Subject: Gow House 4th and Hamilton 1034 4th Street
To: “tony krasienko” , firstname.lastname@example.org, “phil dore” , “Richard Klinar”
Cc: “Cathy Deangelis” , “Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 3:35 PM
For 34 years I have looked at this home deteriorating because for 34 years this house which was one of Charleston Villages oldest homes has sat empty I have attached a photo taken in 2002 by the County Auditor and another one taken in 2006 –
However windows have been broken out and it sits falling into further decay rapidly . This property is now open to the elements and to anyone who wishes to “use ” the property for nefarious means.
When Mr. Miller was the Safety Service Director he had it secured as undesirable activities were taking place – people using the property for criminal activities. This property is across the street from Irving Elementary School. Whilst we had great hopes last spring that the property was being purchased and rehabbed that deal apparently fell through and “nothing” has happened with that house for months except being open to the elements and becoming even a further eyesore.
Ideally we would like to see this property which was known as “The Bluffs” in its heyday rehabbed but something HAS to be done now- I believe a house that has been vacant for 34 years is rather a long time for us in this neighborhood to be patient Every day I look out my window at this picture of sadness and decay and I am not alone . I have written more than one article on this home . It is now 2009 and it is time for the owner Mr. Gow of Amherst to do something . Thank you Loraine Ritchey
And Dan Given , who as of Tuesday night had finished grade school, high school, college and beyond since I first started my “complaints “ and has had to put up with those complaints ,as he as part of the “legislative branch, sent them on the to “right” departments – along with others of his ilk stated :
“I’m still going to spin this thing back; the way we’re doing it now is broken,” Given said. “Issuing citations to property owners now, we might as well be writing them on toilet paper.”
‘COME FLY AWAY WITH ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Come and lay down in the meadow
Rest your head amongst the flowers
COME AND SIP THE SACRED POISON
FLY AWAY ON WINGS OF MADNESS
It is probably time for me to just walk away FROM ADVOCACY- wrap myself in my ivy covered walls and let Lorain go- she is no longer good for my blood pressure. Perhaps, due to age and time, I just can’t go on looking at things with rose-coloured glasses as I posted on face book last night – maybe I am done with “data dancing” and studies. and the way “government works ( or doesn’t )….I no longer have the time left to wait for the results of government- not this Loraine or that Lorain.
I have just returned home from the Buildings and Lands committee meeting at city hall… I am bemused, disgusted, and totally fed up with the way this city and government postulates and procrastinate and uses studies as tools and YET for all their talk my icon house which was featured in the study was used as an example of the problem – trouble is this vacant house has been a problem and complaint driven to these same Lorain city government agencies for 40 YEARS!!!!! Lorain has no teeth in her building codes or enforcement but they talk a good game – give me strength it is like living with the fairies in this community!
Should you care to see the lack of teeth in our building codes and enforcement in Lorain here they are . I wrote series about our “enforcement” or lack thereof !
So what got me in a tizz- wozz last night? You would think the report from Thriving Communities Institute of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy- Sarah Ryzner, the institute’s director of projects, and Paul Boehnlein, GIS and conservation planning specialist as summarized by Rick Payerchin of the Morning Journal would have been something to smile about. You would be wrong !
We sat in the audience listening to the self- congratulatory twaddle that always comes with these “study projects”. We sat for 40 minutes whilst we learned about how the process went ,pregnancy and yellow T-shirts included, although quite frankly it should have taken no more than 10 minutes- but that too is par for the course.
And then the numbers!
Oh we aren’t so bad off at all with our housing stock as we were treated to examples of home gradings of A through F.
As I looked at the photos of what this group considered a “B” home I choked- the C caused me even more discomfort but the F example was my “icon home
Yes! the one that I have complained about on three different blogs for many years and to whom I have spent 30 of the 40 years it has now been standing EMPTY and open to the elements complaining ( and this IS a complaint driven process here in Lorain) through the BUILDING DEPT. Nothing happened with in 30 years of complaints but of course if you read the links of what the Building Dept. can and can’t do and taking into account the loop holes found by our illustrious slum lords ( oops can’t call them that now after this report, you see those homes are apparently B and C) well don’t hold you breath.
Complaints made to administrations that come and go , through Community Development, through representatives on city council , anyone who was PAID to listen and deal with these problems . Still the house on the corner of 4th and Hamilton stands as derelict and disgraceful as she has been for decades.
I would like to know the experience and knowledge as to the people conducting the study as to their expertise in Lorain’s building code violations, their architectural background as they stood on the sidewalk determining their A, B, C’s . The bar they set was so LOW as to what was an A, B, of C home was to me just another “Data Dancing” report to get the money to pay the piper.
So what ? These studies/reports are just another tool governments use is done all the time, nobody reads these things anyway – it is just used to show the whomever is doling out the dollars they have documentation. Oh look! we have included data in our quest for tax payer dollars.
Everyone on the administrative staff and council knew the “protocol” as did we.
That is fine only please don’t insult the intelligence of those of us who live here, who deal with those B and C homes with such a report.
WE have to identify the problems to fix them . BUT!!!! I can only stomach so much clap trap and I am full to overflowing.
I said my piece at the microphone, which included my differing opinion with the way the homes in this community are graded by this particular “study” and data, because quite frankly I have dealt with the “vermin” in some of those very homes B and C. I wonder the grading curve , was Lorain’s housing stock compared to Youngstown, East Cleveland certainly not Lakewood as their D even F houses would fit in the A category for Lorain according to the photos presented.
So what good my rant? It amounts to nothing, it won’t change a thing in the way government works, dollars are dished out , data is danced and Lorain continues, just as ranting about a house on the corner of 4th and Hamilton has done NOTHING we continue…….. . Oh the house will come down one way or another , either by its own volition or the system will “FINALLY” work but even as we speak this B and C homes so “nicely” portrayed are deteriorating with each rain drop , each broken window, each missing downspout, each building permit NOT USED or code enforced, each STUDY!!! My data doesn’t dance it screams …….
The only positive thing I took away from the meeting at least the City of Lorain didn’t pay for the study that was Nordson………….
I use this video in most of my November 11th posts it tugs at my heart and my conscience. The Great War - 1914-1918 – my grandmothers and elderly aunts called it. When they spoke of the Great War it was not with the same camaraderie my mother and younger aunts and uncles who had fought and been “blitzed”. They, the aged, didn’t seem to have the same national fulfillment of achievement in their voices the attitude shown by those of the next generation.
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be” Winston Chruchill
The pride of watching the skies above as the Battle of Britain Pilots as they defended their “sceptered isle.” seemed missing as they talked of bombs and carnage, although on the side of victory , there was somehow something hollow in their remembrance of those years of World War 1.
This was a war that was so horrible, unthinkable with so many men lost, a generation lost , never had there been such human destruction on such a scale before or since. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars The Great War in Europe started in 1914- the 100 year anniversary will be noted in Europe next year.
The number of men mobilised by both sides: the central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey), and the allied powers (Britain and Empire, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy, USA), totalled over 65 million.
When the fighting was finally over, no-one could tell exactly how many had been killed but historians estimate that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield – and another 20 million were wounded…..it is perhaps best remembered for the staggering loss of human life. In the decade following the Great War many had the firm conviction that it should be “the war to end all wars”. …
I wasn’t born during either of the “World Wars” but I do remember my grand dad who lived to a ripe old age . I remember his whiskers, the smell of beer ( which wasn’t that unpleasant) and of sweet-smelling tobacco, although I can’t remember him with a pipe or a cigarette. The roughness of his jacket on my cheek as he held me on his lap toasting bread by the fire .
He was an old reprobate (I later learned) but to me he was the one who would come home from the pub and always had a present in his pocket for me , sometimes sweets, sometimes a few pennies and on one brilliant occasion a kitten named Jimmy!
I was the youngest girl grandchild and he would tease me unmercifully ( or so it seemed) but I knew he loved me even if his nickname for me was “maggot”.
We received a call he was in hospital and asking to see me . I went. I remember his little old face as white as the hospital pillow case upon which his head rested . He smiled , the twinkle had gone out of his blue eyes- he told my husband you take care of my little maggot in those United States of yours, squeezed my hand and said
come back tomorrow
As we drove down the country lanes in Suffolk to get to my other aunt’s, I could not shake the feel of his hand squeezing mine, it stayed with me the whole journey home. When we arrived my aunt told me he died not 5 minutes after I had left the room. He had made my grandmother’s life miserable, had given her 6 children , three sons and three daughters, and many, many hardships.
But as I read articles and history such as the Diary of Harry Drinkwater:
After five days in the trenches, we’re thankful we can still walk. I’ve had approximately an hour’s sleep a day – always standing up.
Often, when from sheer exhaustion I doze off, I’m awakened by a fat squeaking rat on my shoulder or feel it running over my head.
Most of the rations fail to arrive – because the communication trenches are water-logged and being continually shelled. We eat with hands caked in mud, which has caused many cases of acute dysentery.
Deluged: Three members of Harry’s company can be seen here posing in a trench flooded with mud almost to waist height
In common with others, I’ve done regular turns at the firing line. It’s a very creepy business looking over the top, imagining every noise is a German. A rat skirmishing among empty tins in no-man’s land is sufficient to attract all our attention.
Each morning, one hour before daybreak, every man stands in the trench until daylight. This is in case the Germans follow the old custom of attacking just before dawn. The same happens an hour before sunset.
Last night, I had a narrow squeak. I was wedged in the mud when I heard a shell coming. Unable to move quickly, I crouched when it burst on the parapet and got covered in dirt.
Later, we marched to our billets [for rest days]. This morning, Christmas Day, I took my shirt off – thick with dried mud – and had a wash. We had one tub and no soap between about 50 fellows.
Friday, December 31
Back on the firing line, and nearly up to our waists in mud. We’ve found a new diversion — at dusk, we put a small piece of cheese on the end of a bayonet, wait for a rat to have a nibble, and then pull the trigger.
I think of my grand dad as a young man , a career soldier, who fought in those trenches, slithered in muck, covered with lice and blood , fodder for cannon and rats alike , living the horror of trench warfare, and ultimately being “gassed ” and shot. I am sure this had to change a man. He sent three of his sons to war 20 years later, and according to my mum they too came home different men, as did my father
and millions of young men from around the world through the wars to follow .
Lyrics to I was only 19 at the end of the post
Today, more young men are returning home battle weary and scarred both physically and emotionally. And yet we count them among the lucky ones for many will never see the shores of home and we should never forget …………..
and grand dad this one is for you – Maggot
Lyrics to I was Only 19
Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing-out parade at Puckapunyal
It was a long march from cadets.
The sixth battalion was the next to tour, and it was me who drew the card.
We did Canungra, Shoalwater before we left.
And Townsville lined the footpaths as we marched down to the quay
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.
And there’s me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens.
God help me, I was only nineteen.
From Vung Tau, riding Chinooks, to the dust at Nui Dat
I’d been in and out of choppers now for months.
But we made our tents a home, VB and pinups on the lockers
And an Agent Orange sunset through the scrub.
And can you tell me, doctor, why I stil can’t get to sleep?
And night-time’s just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only ninteen.
A four week operation when each step could mean your last one on two legs
It was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn’t let your mates down til they had you dusted off
So you closed your eyes and thought about something else.
Then someone yelled out “Contact!” and the bloke behind me swore
We hooked in there for hours, then a Godalmighty roar
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon,
God help me, he was going home in June.
I can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
On a thirty-six hour rec leave in Vung Tau
And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle
Til the morphine came and killed the bloody row.
And the Anzac legends didn’t mention mud and blood and tears
And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real.
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn’t even feel
God help me, I was only nineteen.
And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep?
And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only nineteen.