Posts filed under ‘a Cow -elle opinion’

Lost faith in the system! Oh Her Again!! Lorain

Sitting in my drafts is a very long post about “Money where your mouth is”
, something I have tried to live up to all my life. You will see this neighborhood/ block in a different light than the historical aspect than I usually present.

I have lost faith in the system, maybe because over the years I have “used” the system and found not only do the wheels turn slowly but the accountability is nothing more than a slap or a letter!

Lorain’s policy of the

“we want to abate the issue not punish”-

All well and good but although the violators know this the majority of Joe Public (JP) is unaware. JP on the whole thinks there is accountability for the issues that contravene the laws.

You see we think that when an arsonist is caught he won’t be coming back to the neighborhood; not here – back home in two days and “community service”- the stench of the burning rubber still hanging in the air. We (JP) think we call with a” valid “complaint the situation will be taken care of to the satisfaction of the complainant but……. life in Lorain is not Home and Garden TV! Far from it we have had an instance where a business woman on a city board threatened a city official and the Mayor with “bean spilling” if he didn’t follow her wishes- only for her to get elected a precinct person ( a liason between the party and the city) for her chosen party – how wonderful the thinking in parts of Lorain is totally mind boggling imho.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/city-officials-caught-between-a-ritchey-and-a-dye-place/

How many times have I heard when grumbling out loud and on facebook as to situations-

call the city – call the inspectors-

It is a shock when you realize the hoops that have to been gone through. The complaints resolved are usually done so by people who care , who have respect for the system . BUT what happens when they are ignored – Prime example
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-housing-court-and-you-lorain-part-one/

“on August 5th I noticed that one homeowner in Lorain was cited for his outdoor showroom. He was found guilty and the terrible punishment after 4 YEARS of citations and a plethora of lawnmowers $150.00 and court costs.

3200 Jaeger Road 01
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/outdoor-showrooms-lorain-by-don-the-downspout/
3200 Jaeger Road 02

3200 Jaeger Road 01

I drove past two weeks ago even MORE vehicles were stored than the above pictures from August. …..
Or the retaliation game comes into play- after this post I had better add more cameras !!!

window
My recent go around, chasing my tail, is with neighbors who wish to put an above ground pool in their front yard ( garden to the English readers)
I got very upset when told of their plans ,as you will read in the draft post when published. I was told by all and sundry from bottom to top-

No! not allowed, can’t do that, etc. etc.

You would think I would be relieved by those words, EXCEPT I have lived here too long seen the lack of respect breed more lack of respect and why not we haven’t had any real accountability with their next door neighbors.

DSCF0002
Why wouldn’t my neighbors of the “planned pool” believe they can have a “water feature ” when for the past nearly two years their neighbor has used city property for storing construction vehicles, Rv’s on the front lawn.

Oh! there were complaints made for the parking of these vehicles around the neighborhood and they were told to move them. They did to other parts of the area and when it seemingly calms down the Construction LLC with apparently nowhere to park their equipment moves back. What is the point, can’t legislate respect for others or the codes? This young man and his family “know the codes” know they are contravening those codes but in my opinion have no respect for those codes or the neighborhood.

This “business” being run from a neighborhood zoned R3 , they can run a business from their home office – lots of people do!
http://www5.sos.state.oh.us/ords/f?p=100:7:0::NO:7:P7_CHARTER_NUM:2418413

BUT this construction business is using the neighborhood as their construction vehicle “garage/ parking area” and have done.
11226061_10205137488018048_8352066394168332905_n

One has to ask themselves is this fair to other construction companies in the city of Lorain whose overheads include storage and parking??? Shouldn’t a business ( commercial/ industrial) setting up in Lorain meet certain requirements- like storage, parking etc. Maybe they do and that is being ignored as well- who knows just another system??? So once again the view from the den window is what it is ‘ just bloody lovely!!!! ( that is me being sarcastic)

So why vent once again….. it doesn’t do any good…. Well Lorain will not get any respect from outside Lorain when her citizens do not respect the codes , others in the neighborhoods.. and USE and ABUSE the system.

This area of Ward 2 is one of the only locations in Lorain that can expand and has available land – a developer worth his salt coming down the street seeing out-door showrooms , non compliance and general lack of caring by the residents will be less than impressed. We paid a lot of money in 2008 for a lovely report DUH!!!!!
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/there-is-a-surprise/

The Staubach Company

Get rid of the Urban Decay –
Clean up the entranceways and gateways to downtown
Fix the existing commercial and building facades on Broadway

Uniform signage
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

Maybe we should turn this area and downtown into a RV park!

And when you are told “call the city” – no point…..no accountability at the end ….. just another day of chasing ones tail…….

April 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Lorain Development Corp- the revolving- evolving story!

http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/04/26/city-cuts-ties-with-lorain-development-corp/
A further update: Lorain cuts the cord with Lorain Development Corp:
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160424/lorain-cuts-ties-with-business-development-loan-board
UPDATE: The President of the Lorain Development Corp states the Board view

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160415/loan-program-does-good-for-lorain-review-board-president-says

A year ago April 15th, 2015 I wrote the post “Money for Old Rope – A Taxpayers Question”
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/money-for-old-rope-a-taxpayers-question/
I had once again been to a City Council Meeting and I didn’t like the report being given to City Council on a loan with regard to the Lorain Development Corporation
prime_industries

The exchange between council and Director Rangel can be found here- page three
3-16-15regmin https://thatwoman.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/3-16-15regmin.pdf

“Unfortunately I remembered $100,000 dollars with much hoopla being given to Prime Industries. http://www.loraincounty.com/manufacturing/feature.shtml?f=12666
prime_industries and media success stories such as the Morning Journal article October 2010- ALL “SOUNDED” VERY PROMISING
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20101003/prime-industries-prospers-by-going-after-niche-markets

Local customers include amusement park Cedar Point, which turns to Prime Industries for safety harnesses for its gravity-defying rides.
In addition to making new parts for Cedar Point, Prime Industries refurbishes safety harnesses after thousands of roller-coaster passengers have worn them out…..
… Other local customers include Invacare Corp., in Elyria; Bettcher Industries, in Florence Township; Nordson Corp., in Westlake; and Latanick Equipment Inc., in Huron. Prime Industries also makes parts for missiles built by Lockheed-Martin for use by U.S. armed forces in Iraq. With more than 500 customers, the company started as a division, called Advanced Foam and Plastics, of Kindt-Collins Co., based in Cleveland
The headline is a bit misleading( prospers???) because halfway through the article the history states:

Advanced Foam and Plastics was created to serve the foundry industry, but by 1984 it was known as Prime Design.
In 1997, Prime Design received $292,000 from Lorain to relocate here from Cleveland, creating 22 jobs.

A $100,000 loan from the city in 2000 helped expand, but by 2002 Prime Industries was up for sale
AND THEN
First, Rich and Joe Persico paid off the $292,000 loan from 1997, and then put up $145,000 of their own capital.

“Then” the city of Lorain loaned them $400,000 and a Warren bank also loaned them $400,000 in 2002 Prime Design became Prime Industries.
In May 2008, Lorain loaned the company $100,000 to gain new contracts. That is $600.000 by my calculations we have had some back in the employee income tax but still money for old rope imho.

leon
Eight months earlier, August 28th Lorain appointed a new Director of Building, Housing and Planning Department- Leon Mason .


The name of the department had changed from Community Development Dept (headed for decades by Sanford Prudoff) to Building Housing and Planning
http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20130614/NEWS/306149982


In three decades under former director Sanford “Sandy” Prudoff, Community Development grew into a overly large department with too little accountability to city leaders and providing too little benefit to Lorain, Ritenauer noted…………..
Prudoff controlled the agenda of how to spend CDBG money in the city with the administration and council seemed to have little say about what projects the city should do or skip, Ritenauer said.

Those determinations were “completely opposite of chain of command and hierarchy,” Ritenauer said.

It appeared the department grew to maximize the salaries for administering federal CDBG money granted to Lorain, Ritenauer said.

30 years , missing paperwork, things getting lax, housekeeping by the way side, the paperwork is either non-existent or “lost”, not complete in some cases.And it appears certain developers( who shall remain nameless in case I am accused of chasing him out of town again)😉 getting a great many trips to the ATM that was seemingly Lorain ? How many jobs have been created???

speak the truth
Trust– comes into play here , in my humble opinion:

TRUST– the employee that his “boss” knows what he is doing and is aware of legal ramifications !

TRUST – by volunteer boards the items brought before them are “above-board!

TRUST – by the Administraton -their departments heads, hired for their expertise, know what they are doing and are working with one goal in mind to better the City of Lorain!

TRUST by a City Council they can act upon the advice of those department “leaders”.

One area breaks down in that circle of trust and the ripple effect finally hits the shore with a great crashing sound, as it did last night in City Council Chambers .This morning’s headlines read :
Lorain Council Rips into Business Loan report by Rick Payerchin – Morning Journal
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160411/lorain-council-rips-into-business-loan-report

and ” Lorain revolving loan program has $600,000 in write-offs- by Katie Nix”

Lorain revolving loan program has $600,000 in write-offs

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

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

Lorain works to save center, and its tenants

South Shore took ownership of the St. Joseph facility in 1997 after St. Joseph Hospital merged with Lorain Community Hospital to create Community Health Partners. An $800,000 federal grant was used to get the building ready for its new tenants. Additional grants and loans were secured to bring it to its current condition.
The state has $1.4 million in loans invested in the community center, while the county and the city each have $700,000 in loans tied to the center. If South Shore files for bankruptcy, the state, county and city will be on the hook for those loans. Gilchrist said the city’s payments on its loan would be about $50,000 a year. Lorain is currently $1.3 million in the red.

After the loans are repaid by recipients, the money is intended to go back to another business.

prudoffres
With the notoriety gained by the Federal Investigation of Sanford Prudoff and Lorain Community Development is it any wonder the State and Federal Government are “checking” what has been happening?
Prudoff sc

Lorain works to save center, and its tenants

Federal Funds have certain rules which must be adhered to and Lorain has to be stringent in following those rules- other wise we are in trouble.

Should Lorain have to pay back those monies in question then the General Fund takes a huge hit and we can’t afford even that one dollar hit!
budgetres
cash-cow
Hopefully, the program changes, the rules are followed and the “iffy factor” becomes totally transparent.

Although, due to a possible investigation in the loan for South Shore Development Corporation,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/st-joes-community-center-three-legged-stool-one-missing-leg/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/st-joes-community-center-lets-get-fiscal-physical-lets-get-real/
not a lot was said ( under the Krasienko/ Gilchrist era) that money $250,000,and ONE dollar would give our General Fund a huge hit. Let us hope the Administration, Law Dept. and City Council will support each other on this and get to the very bottom of the “pot of gold- for some”

I remember under the Foltin Administration and Prudoff those “allowable ???” expenses paid to wine and dine the Shawnee and Capital One “tribe” initially, before I asked questions and then after??? well it was rolled over into a bond and I could no longer get the breakdown of all the monies spent but this country club of cash sure sent my red flags flying at the time- Dinner was literally on us!!!!!!

Casino expensesre

Lorain Development Corporation did respond to my post last April and it can be found here :

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/lorain-development-corp-lorain-op-ed/
Logo%20and%20Heading%204-11(1)
1)I prepare a loan write-up that provides a background of the project with financial information and the justification for approving the loan.

(2)Once I have completed, I provide this to the loan board for their review and approval.
We do this process just like bank’s credit teams do and have discussion and if everything is okay, loan approves the credit. They can also reject loan requests or modify them though these do not happen too often.

The loan board are various professionals in insurance, banking, law, small business owners, etc. who all live in, work in or own businesses in the City of Lorain. This board has been a self-appointing board since its inception and they are not appointed by administration or council. Board tries to keep a mix of professionals on board so it is not all bankers or attorneys but a mix. They are an all-volunteer board and most of these individuals have been on board from a few years to one person who has been on board since inception over 25 years ago.

Once the board approves the loan credit, all loans are submitted to Board of Control for approval as they will eventually sign for the loan.
http://www.cityoflorain.org/mayor/

Once board of control approves, we move to documentation of loan with all documents reviewed and approved by City’s Law Department. At that time, we also open a purchase order to commit money and submit check requests when we receive necessary documentation requesting funds.
hudimg
Loans are derived from two sources, one through HUD http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD and the other through the Economic Development Administration.
http://www.eda.gov/

You can find the PDF files of Director Mason’s report here:
Economic Development Final
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Economic%20Development%20Review%20FINAL%20PDF.pdf
LDC Conflict of Interest Policy
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Lorain%20Development%20Corp%20Conflict%20of%20Interest%20Policy.pdf
LDC Subrecipient Agreement
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_LDC%20Subrecipient%20Agreement%20PDF.pdf
Portfolio Quality Report
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Portfolio%20Quality%20Report.pdf
EDA Title IX Plan
http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_EDA%20Title%20IX%20Revolving%20Loan%20Fund%20Plan.pdf

April 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm 11 comments

Plump Lady Plummets – and the housing trip continues

Update : I received the following communication from Kaja Holdings/ Vision Properties as to the fact I had linked Harbour Portfolio with his clients Please see below :

Dear Ms. Ritchey:
It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with you on Wednesday. It is important for every community to have concerned citizens that care enough to voice their opinions on important issues. As a lifelong resident of Lorain County, I appreciate your efforts to preserve the history of Lorain. I especially appreciate your work for Charleston Village Society.

I write to kindly ask you to correct an inaccuracy in your April 7, 2016 blog post. In your post, you state that I may be able to assist the City of Lorain in serving Harbour Portfolio with complaints for Housing Code/POS violations, stating that my clients (Kaja and Vision) are all “part and parcel of the same grouping”. You brought up your suspicion that my clients and Harbour were related entities when we met on Wednesday and I observed Councilman Flores delivering the same message to Assistant Prosecutor Holmes in Court.
I have conferred with my clients and they have confirmed that Kaja and Vision are in no way related, whether directly or indirectly, with Harbour. They share no common ownership, staff, office space or other connection. One is not the subsidiary of the other, they are not sister companies and they do not work together in any fashion. Harbour is a competitor of Kaja and Vision. I respectfully request that you alter your post, print a retraction or otherwise clarify that the companies are not related.

Thank you,
J.R. White James R. White, Attorney at Law

Wurmser house 031716-001

Yesterday, I once again made my way to Lorain Municipal Housing Court, as readers know, I have been there a couple of times. In 2009 Lorain County Photographer’s blog ran a series of thoughts from Judge Pianka from Cleveland’s Housing Court https://clevelandmunicipalcourt.org/judicial-services/meet-the-judges/judge-raymond-l-pianka
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=304 http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=305

“Gee, there are people using the civil side of the court to evict people, but on the criminal side they were ignoring our summonses and complaints. So, it caused some cognitive dissonance on my part. So, we decided that you can’t just come into court and use one side of the court, the civil side, but ignore the criminal side of the court”


In 2009 this Lorain County blog – Lorain County Photographers Blog http://www.locophotogblog.com/ was feeling the frustration some of us, in the City of Lorain, had been feeling and documenting for years. There were hundreds of photographs taken, words written trying to find a way to keep our older neighborhoods free from blight from 2005 onwards. The time line for the above series was, of course, right in the middle of the Sub- Prime Crisis caused by banks and idiotic mortgages.

8 years have passed since the sub-prime mortgage debacle and Lorain is still feeling the ripple effects, Fannie Mae , Deutsche Bank , Freddie Mac etc. all selling off those write off mortgages to the LLC’s, a number out of state , such as Kaja Holdings, Harbour Portfolio, Vision Properties . You can find my thoughts here:
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-loraine/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-housing-court-and-you-lorain-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

You can also find the article from the New York Times on this group of LLC’s here on the what is happening .

Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers By MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN and ALEXANDRA STEVENSONFEB. 20, 2016

One of the larger firms in this market, Harbour has bought more than 6,700 single-family homes in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and a handful of other states since 2010 — most of them from Fannie Mae, according to the mortgage finance firm and the foreclosure research firm RealtyTrac.

Ten of the more than 50 homes Harbour bought in Akron have been torn down after being condemned and two others are slated for demolition

Harbour and its founder, Charles A. Vose III

I was at the court to see what was happening with the Point of Sale Icon House 1348, West Erie now owned by Kaja Holding/ Vision Properties etc etc etc.

I was curious to see what progress had been made if any or where the “abatement” stood. Pictures of the front steps etc taken a few days before court left me a bit wary as to “tripping hazards”. Turns out I should have been wary of the concrete lip outside City Hall.
Wurmser house 031716 door
As I entered City Hall- well not quite entered- as I fell flat on my face – I went down with an almighty thump. There is some good that comes out of being on the plump side – my fat shock absorbers , absorbed. It was so embarrassing as my chin hit the concrete and I went flat out. I was mortified, especially when the policemen ( running security at the door) rushed to my aid and it took two of them to hoist my “knocked the breath out of me frame” to vertical once more.

“I am fine really , just help me up, no honestly I am fine . she said hoping to salvage some dignity

Now why should I have felt ashamed and embarrassed , it was not my fault just one of those things, but I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. However, my mood and the pain in my head and neck from the jarring of the hitting the concrete left me less than tolerant when it came to Housing Court that afternoon .

snooty
Now the main purpose of taking people and LLC’s to court is not to punish ( so I am told) but to “abate the conditions as cited by our housing inspectors Well that makes sense .

Maybe it was the pain, the left over mortification from the half an hour before but I can say that some , actually three of the “supposed to be working for the city ‘s best interest” employees left me wishing I was a caricature artist. They would do well to remember they are working on the taxpayer’s dime , I was wondering if my dimes were being spent well.

The one, who decidedly made the most impression in my pain addled thoughts, was “Miss Looks like she is smelling bad fish” – nose so far in the air it is a wonder she didn’t trip over herself. Can you tell this in my opinion officious official really , as we say in England , got right up my nose!!!” But then I remembered I was not there to critique theatre but then again………….
Joe Koziura
You see, I am totally frustrated and fed up! Some of us were bleating on about the city and her housing long before the sub prime crisis.

One Mayor ( Joe Koziura) literally lost his campaign for re-election due to coming down hard on housing. I wonder if things would’ve been different had he succeeded instead of the loved by the landlords candidate Craig Foltin who backed off an aggressive stance by the Building Dept 2000 and look where we are NOW!!!!

article found here brokehomes
BROKEN HOMES
How abandoned houses are hurting Lorain, and how the city is trying to fight back

Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher
The Chronicle-Telegram

It’s not hard to find examples of crimes linked to abandoned or all-but-abandoned homes in Lorain. The crimes are an extreme example of the kind of “negative effect on the neighborhood stability and economic vitality of the city” that state auditors warned Lorain of a year ago.
“By not administering its code enforcement, property maintenance and building programs, it is difficult for the city to preserve its housing stock,” auditors wrote in their report.

Now Lorain, which had not come close to matching other cities its size in the vigor of its housing enforcement, has acted on recommendations made by the state auditors to hire two additional housing inspectors. The new inspectors started with the city in April………….

……Beyond that, the new housing inspectors have gotten only a lukewarm endorsement from Mayor Craig Foltin, who defeated his predecessor in 1999 in part by making an issue of what he characterized as an overly aggressive Building Department…….
craig_foltin
“We feel that if they don’t have a successful plan and aren’t self-sufficient and nice to people, then we will not continue with them,” Foltin said recently of the inspectors…..

down spoutres
Some of us are tired of fixing our properties and “ABATING” without going to court – doing the right thing because we should take care of our property. No matter if it was “vindictive” behavior that caused the inspections in the first place😉

Some of us are really angry how the “playing the system” works for multi property owners, who “prostitute the homes , buy cheap ,rent them out, and don’t pay property taxes and then walk away or dump them on some poor unsuspecting sucker in a rent to own scheme. The out-of-town LLC’s clustering together, confusing the cities and counties where they form like blobs of greed growing bigger with each added LLC. .
lexington

Why should the little guy in this city suffer when the MEGA property owners are, in my opinion, prostituting these properties.

Why should our property values decline because of trash housing?

Why should we be punished our neighborhoods looked at with scorn ?

It infuriates me when people I have been writing about for years just keep gathering more and more , paying less and less and in some case not even bothering with the property taxes walking away or even dying – leaving the trapped tax payer holding the bag and looking forlornly at what has happened to their neighborhoods. Sixteen years on and we are still on the same trip!

To be continued …………….

April 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

A Tall- tree- Tale ends- Lorain ( dudes)

the neighborhood  after tornado

the neighborhood after tornado

The Tornado of Lorain
http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/swio/pages/content/1924_tornado.htm
took down homes, and with it lives as well as beauty . The people living in Lorain in the early 1900’s cared- they cared about quality of life of beautification, they were proud of their homes , we don’t see a lot of that in Lorain’s old neighborhoods nowadays.
Admiral King Home back in the day-

Post Card Admiral King's home

Post Card Admiral King’s home


The Gillmore’s https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/general-gillmore-a-portrait-of-a-man-a-home-at-last/
at the end of my street, their home, now well over 100 years old , planted a tree . That particular tree grew through the decades, spared by the tornado, but age took its toll just as it does with all of us. The tree became a hazard and one day after a particularly bad storm in the early 2000 ‘s the tree fell across Oberlin avenue. Peggy Gillmore, was extremely upset about the loss of that tree planted by members of her family long passed.
403 Oberlinres
403 Oberlin
When the little park at the end of the street, now known as Veterans Park
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
was cleaned after the tornado. The community planted trees to once again add ambiance and to honor those lives lost in the tornado.

On the right side of my property ( next door) to the west was a huge Maple tree- actually tied with iron rods at some time in its history)You can see it in the photo from the Lorain County Auditors site –
1131

I believe that tree must have been young at the time of the tornado. The circumference of the trunk took up over a third of the small back yard- 33 feet . The property to the east side of my own 33 foot lot stood another very large maple – not as big as the one to the west – but gigantic in its own way.

This tree was probably planted after the tornado or perhaps grew from one of the maple seeds. Nevertheless , I could literally see it up close and personal from my den window, as it stood no more than 8 foot away. There have been times as I have watched “life ” in that tree. It hid a lot of “less than pleasant” sights through the decades as the properties on that lot and the one next to it deteriorated.”

Finally , the very large “pre tornado” tree to the right gave up and split where the crown met the trunk – sent one third of its branches crashing down.

IMG_0105
This one “branch”- bigger than most trees- fell across our property and landing with a bang onto the house next door, which was luckily vacant and abandoned . The huge maple, on the lot to the east , just feet away from my home took the force and redirected the fallen limb away from my home leaving the tree damaged and lopsided.

treeres
That was January 2008falling-tree
11254th
A great deal has happened since then, not of all of it good. We put up with a lot of issues from the lot next door. The little historic house was killed by “pimping landlords” https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/for-rent-one-city-who-dictates-the-health-of-your-neighborhood/ who saw that little house as only a way to make money for the least possible outlay –
grass
and the tree from two doors down finished the job. The house, after a few years, was finally torn down. A sigh of relief , no more vagrants and critters of the 4 and two legged kind hiding out.

Then it began -the parking lot from hell- lack of respect for another’s property- dump trucks, overflow parking and then the shortcut route from the alley to 4th- a cut through for traffic.

red truick

11226061_10205137488018048_8352066394168332905_n

overflow
How many times did I watch the lot become a road way ( even as recently as last week) ? Luckily , the Maple tree, dangerous as it was, as it too suffered over the years, was large enough to stop two-way traffic and large vehicles from making it an even more convenient roadway.

That did mean however the reversing into the alley by the dump trucks etc. We would be woken by the sound of backing up construction vehicles – no bird song here. NOTE: it seems to me if you are running a business from a residence then you should have legal parking for your construction vehicles .This block is R 3.

Fortunately we were , at last , able to purchase the lot. This meant the tree which I had complained about to the powers that be and insurance company as a hazard had to come down.

Down it came yesterday to the delight of my two little boys( Lorain Dudes) – loving every minute of watching the cranes, the “axe men ” in real life and all that taking down that tree involved.
dudesres

two dudeslunch
The view from the window has changed – the Maple tree , by the very size of its trunk blocked a less than perfect view. I will have to do some creative landscaping so I see green once more and appease the birds and squirrels who are definitely NOT happy with the humans here on 4th!

I am extremely happy with the difficult job Tree Pro of Lorain ( 440-288-tree) did in taking down the tree. I would recommend them highly and you know readers coming from me that is not given lightly!
2016-03-29 16.04.14

treres

tree collage

March 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm 1 comment

The Wayback machine- is a lesson not learned


Due to a need to find some documentation for someone , I recently had cause to go through three of my old hard drives. I tend to be rough on computers and especially key boards .

I soon realized in previous writings on the word of mouth blog and the Wom Blog , – now defunct and off-limits to the general public- the very important links – linked in the writings of the time – have now disappeared from the internet as well.
deadlogo

The Plain Dealer, Morning Journal, Chronicle Telegram articles (locally) are no longer a click away. They aren’t alone, links to so many “sources” have now disappeared- who says the internet is forever? I am sure that if I went to the library and trolled through the archives I would be able to find the original on microfiche etc -but who has time to do that?

For some unknown reason I did copy and paste an awful lot of material. However from 1998 until 2002 -I have downloads on floppys ( never understood why they were called that). I have an atrocious filing system ( read no system at all) which means looking for something means trolling through a plethora of files I have downloaded through, what has now become, decades.

As I have been trolling through, I came across situations I had been a part of that I deemed important enough to save. I soon realized most of those situations where I had thought to make a difference in the past 10,12, 15 years – things remained the same. I trolled through the Eastern Shawnee Sovereign land deal to get money and the spending of money to get a seat at the table with the big boys- that didn’t work out- but we sure spent a hell of a lot of money for the appetizers. Although the names changed the spending money to get money

judges
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/25/old-county-courthouse-to-get-3m-renovaton/
behaviors continue – read Judges and Elyria Court House. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/elyria-court-house-debacle-the-final-judgement/

The legal battle has also been pricey. The law firm representing the judges billed the county for $254,407, while the commissioners’ lawyers charged $73,404, according to figures provided by county Budget Director Lisa Hobart.
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/09/16/probation-dispute-between-court-county-settled/

The Lorain jail issue -where did the money go, the historic park for condos and the bringing back of Lorain’s “downtown” 2005- 2006- even farther back than that- and we are still saying the same things – different faces, different voices – the fight to keep our neighborhoods safe.

In 2005 a young girl was attacked on her way to school. There was a blame game going on at the time – however it was the neighborhood , the derelict and abandoned housing, the number of RSO’s flooding into the area from Compass House causing the greatest concern . The community rallied and we tried- held forums, with an ultimate goal – which in the end -failed

Notes from the Community Roundtable June 28th 2005

The following notes are an overview of the meeting and are not meant to represent official minutes.

Background

The Executive Board of Charleston Village Society Inc. asked various representatives to attend an informal “roundtable discussion”. The main concern is the safety of our young people as they are going through our neighborhoods. An individual heightened the concern due to the recent attacks as the young girls were heading toward school.

Charleston Village’s concerns are two fold. While the Lorain City Schools have implemented programs and resources to keep our students out of harms way whilst they are in school and on or around the school property and the City Of Lorain Police Dept. have been extremely involved with the school safety issue, both Lorain City Schools and the Lorain Police Dept. are restricted in their parameters. Charleston Village felt that there is a gap and that is the neighborhoods themselves that the young people live and have to travel through in order to reach their schools. Lorain City schools has over 10,000 students attending Lorain Public Schools – that is just under one sixth of the population of Lorain needing to be free from harm.

While some neighborhoods have implemented Block Watch programs and Neighborhood watch, there is a gap as these particular attacks happened during the day when most people who are involved with such programs are at work. Charleston Village wanted to address this “gap” in the safety net. We asked Rev Donahue of the Christian Temple Disciples of Christ and representative of the Downtown Ministries to facilitate the meeting. Charleston Village then contacted various stakeholders in the community to attend.

school lockdown
Yesterday back in this neighborhood Schools were once again locked down Morning Journalhttp://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160225/lorain-police-looking-for-man-who-attempted-to-abduct-children
Lorain police looking for man who attempted to abduct children

At a noon news conference at the Lorain Police Department, Detective Sgt. Buddy Sivert said the first incident occurred around 6 a.m. in the area of Washington Avenue and West Ninth Street. The suspect allegedly grabbed the female teen by the arm, made a threatening comment and punched the girl twice when she tried to get away.

Sivert said the girl was uninjured. Witnesses saw the suspect flee west on West Eighth Street.

The suspect is described as a white male roughly 5-feet 10-inches to 6-feet tall, in his mid-20s to mid-30s. He was said to be wearing a black jacket with a hood, dark jeans, dark shoes, dark gloves and possibly a mask over his face, Sivert said.

The second incident occurred a little more than an hour later around 7:20 a.m. in the area of Oberlin Avenue and West Eighth. According to Sivert, the suspect exposed himself and followed the female into someone’s front yard before fleeing westbound on West Eighth.

A short time later around 7:46 a.m. in the area of West 18th Street and Oakdale, the suspect grabbed another female teen from behind before fleeing eastbound on West 18th, Sivert said.
“I believe one was a middle school student and the others are possibly elementary students,” he said. “ We don’t know for sure, but we feel they were grabbed in a sexual manner.”

Chronicle Telegram

http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/26/would-be-kidnappings-in-elyria-lorain/
Sivert said extra patrols were in the area and detectives were asking residents and businesses in the area that may have captured video of the incidents to call police.

None of the victims mentioned a vehicle, so the suspect was likely on foot, Sivert said.

Sivert said there’s nothing other than a similar suspect description to tie the Lorain incidents to what happened in Elyria, nor to the incident last week in which 2-year-old Lorain resident Lana Lowther went missing for four hours.

I wish we had made a difference in those intervening 11 years- we didn’t
Oh! we now have an Administration that is taking down and dealing with the abandoned and most derelict of homes but it is a slow process. We have a Housing Court https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

which, in my opinion. needs some teeth or at least some intestinal fortitude with dealing with mega property owners and their issues – aka “accountability “.

We didn’t make a dent in the number of RSO or Adult parolees in the neighborhood, infact they have doubled in part of the neighborhood from that time .
We have within two miles of the attacks ( 1/3 of that area being the lake )
97 offenders in 83 locations
RSO4th

and 64 parolees . for all sorts of lovely crimes http://www.drc.state.oh.us/OffenderSearch

Paroleres

I wish we hadn’t failed – done more , I wish I had the key so that the children of this neighborhood, going to school had only to worry about their grades…………

February 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm 8 comments

Is Trump The Toxic Avenger – or Dynasty Destroyer

Toxicres
I am worried about what is happening to this world and especially the place I now call home the United States of America. I am especially worried about the election of a new President – The school ground playground antics – the laughable dangerous debates – What is a debate supposed to be ?.

formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward

.
Unfortunately, instead of fully debating opposing views we are treated to such eloquent language as “Loser ” ” Liar” . We are treated to who has the biggest gun politics and better yet who has the more “faith in God” – wonderful I am so excited…. the choice of weapons
gun

bushtweet

a gun toting demi god with a fire iron on his hip – Just what I personally don’t require in a President of the arguably most powerful nation in the world spilling the religious and lock and load rehetoric around the planet. Oh my ! talk about a “whose finger will be on the button?” What has caused this decline ?
trump

In my mind the Republicans and the following of the lemming flock ( and I am an Independent by choice and always have been) have succumbed to the power of the thinking and cheering on of a man that in any other time would be the lead in a B movie cult movie- His following of the poll people who are being entertained by the TOXIC AVENGER-

“Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when mop boy Melvin Junko falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.” Source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090190/?ref_=ttmd_md_nm

You would think after the jumped little corporal of the 1930″s red flags as to causing people to be put into categories would be looked on with fear not cheers! Have we become the citizens of Trumpville- waiting for our toxic hero to enlighten us?

But apart from the fact I feel like I am watching a train wreck happen with rationalization, intelligence and civilized behavior being the victims- I have no power to do anything . Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of choice , in my mind, as to any of them Republicans or Democrats- the driver didn’t get on the train !!!!!

We need a leader not a lout , not a dynasty and whilst I understand the change from Independent to Democrat by Sanders as being the easier way to get on the ballot – I also want someone who doesn’t take the easy way to get what they want…….. Lesser of the evils – you tell me???? The world is wondering????

February 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm 2 comments

Nov. 11th- Youth Lost- Medals worn- Remember

Design ( artwork Chris Ritchey  2009)

Design ( artwork Chris Ritchey 2009)

I have always tried to Remember those who fought on November the 11th – from granddads, uncles and my father- to my generation, my husband USAF, my cousins and to those friends who have lost their sons to war.

I was pleased and touched the last piece of art work produced by my son was in honor for another young man who gave his life for his country ( in remembrance)- Eric Barnes .

sword
I was reminded on Remembrance Sunday, as I walked through the dining room, of my father . I hadn’t looked at his medals in a very long time as they hung over the sword he bought me ( The Sword of Charlemagne ) incase I ever did Camelot again. He was coerced into polishing up a sword for the theatrical production in which I was involved -a lousy job and one he decided he wouldn’t do again – hence the purchase of the sword !

There was a lot of dust, the ribbons had lost their sharp colours over the decades and they decidedly needed a clean . I knew some of his medals were gone – RN Long Service and Good conduct Medal, The Arctic Star and the Oak cluster – I had used them to pin my dolly’s clothes when I was just a little one.
dad
Although I had written about his Royal Navy Career in the series along with my mother’s remembrances of those days of world war two –
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-everyone/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-everyone-part-two/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-everyone-part-three/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-4/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-5/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-6/

I can’t really remember having ever “looked ” closely at the medals.
I was surprised at the number of theatres of war in which he had been involved. And then, I remembered this man , my father who had been in the Royal Navy before war broke out and had seen so much in those terrible years was only 28 years old when Victory was declared – my mother 26-. War is for the young they say ……

1939-45 Star

1939-45 Star

The 1939 to 1945 Star was awarded for any period of operational service overseas between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 (2 September 1945 in the Far East).Naval personnel qualify after 180 days afloat in areas of operations as laid out in the regulations between certain specified dates.

africa-star-medal-lrg

THE AFRICA STAR******
Naval personnel anywhere at sea in the Mediterranean or in harbour in North Africa, Malta or Egypt between the above dates will qualify. Those serving in direct support of the Eritrean and Abyssinian campaigns between certain other specified dates will also qualify.

20130624-arcticstar_960x640
THE ARCTIC STAR**** The Arctic Star is granted for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees, 32’N) from the 3rd September, 1939, to the 8th May, 1945, inclusive. The Arctic Star is intended to commemorate the Arctic Convoys and is designed primarily for the ships of the convoys to North Russia and their Escorts. •Royal Navy and Merchant Navy: naval and Merchant Navy service anywhere at sea north of the Arctic Circle to include, but not limited exclusively to, those ships participating in, and in support of, Convoys to North Russia

Atlantic-L THE ATLANTIC STAR******
The Battle of the Atlantic took place between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 as German U boats, aircraft and surface vessels attacked the convoys transporting valuable supplies from America and the colonies to Britain.
Warships of the RN and aircraft of the RAF escorted the convoys, hunted the U boats, fought German ships and, despite some notable German successes, the allies won a comprehensive victory in the Atlantic

Italy_Star THE ITALY STAR Naval personnel must qualify first for the 1939 to 1945 Star before the Italy Star can be awarded. It is then awarded for service at sea in the Mediterranean between the above dates provided that it was directly connected with active operations in the Mediterranean theatre.
George 5th medal
George VI Medal *****The duration of the Second World War in Europe was from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, while in the Pacific Theatre it continued until 2 September 1945. The War Medal 1939–1945 was instituted by the United Kingdom on 16 August 1945 and was awarded to all full-time personnel of the armed forces and merchant marines

My dad also earned the Royal Navy – Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Naval-LSGC-GVI-orig

ww2-oak-leaf-midand the Oak Leaf –

Oak Leaf awarded to personnel who have been mentioned in despatches in action with the enemy (all environments) in war.

speedw16
HMS Speedwell
I believe ,in researching my dad’s history, a mention of the incident for which he was mentioned in despatches
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-4/

Cyril Green:

1400 – Explosion in our ship don’t know whether we hit or what it is yet someone gave a scream.

1445 – Explosion was heater drain observation tank in boiler room exploding. 2 stokers seriously scalded and 1 fractured elbow.

We left Harmatris to two Russian tugs and proceeded to Polyarnoe (Russia) at all speed.


I should like Commanding Officers of all Minesweepers to know that I fully appreciate the good work in the difficult conditions in the past few days searching, escorting, and hunting under the nose of the enemy sea and air forces. It does everyone, but especially the Engine room department, great credit that all ships have been ready for service whenever called upon and I am sure that valuable lives and ships have been saved by the good work performed.

1742A/1
CommanderSenior Officer, Sixth Minesweeping Flotilla “

The HMS Speedwell was a minesweeper and now a segue back to Lorain
and another naval man Admiral Ernest J King

Admiral King

Admiral King


His tribute space has the flags flying – not on a flag pole but a ship’s mast and a “minesweeper mast” at that rescued from the from the old American Ship yard.
Old Mast at American Shipyard
AK flag old

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller


( Now in place at the Admiral King Tribute Site 1st and Hamilton)

Photo - Lisa Miller

Photo – Lisa Miller


PLEASE TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE ERIC BARNES HEROES WALK THIS WEEK AND AS YOU REMEMBER THOSE THAT FOUGHT AND CONTINUE TO FIGHT – REMEMBER THEIR YOUTH -LOST – SOME WILL NOT GROW OLD AND DID NOT GROW OLD- AND THOSE THAT SURVIVED NEVER FORGOT – CHANGED FOREVER.

poppies

November 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm 2 comments

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