Posts filed under ‘Brit take’

No Exit – trapped in Lorain- The Others

freedom of speech by Chris Ritchey

I don’t know why  I am writing this , not much  point really  apart from getting it off my  chest. In my  theatre days I was part of  a production  at the Palace Theatre ( Lorain) of John Paul Sartre’s  “NO EXIT”  Three people trapped in their own kind of hell……

““All those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!

The “Other” people, they  come into  a neighborhood that is quiet  especially  in old Lorain ,  a Lorain that is not  growing old so  gracefully.

First: The Others   come in and dump  what used to  be decent family  homes onto  the market because of poor business practices and the sub prime mortgage scandal.https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/my-roses-their-guns-walk-away-from-lorain/

 

Then  : Others come in like money  hungry  vultures and buy  up the properties  for pennies on the dollar,

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/when-vision-is-cloudy-property-holding-llcs-ny-times/

Agencies  provide housing lists  where RSO’s and those on parole can “assimilate into  the neighborhoods- Bureau  of Community  Sanctions http://drc.ohio.gov/community

Bureau of Community Sanctions Overview

The Bureau of Community Sanctions distributes and monitors grant and contractual funds provided to local jurisdictions and private vendors to establish community sanctions and residential services for adult offenders that are re-integrating into the community or who, otherwise, would be incarcerated in local jails or state prisons. Programs funded by the Bureau include Halfway Houses, Community-Based Correctional Facilities, Community Residential Centers, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Community Corrections Act grant programs including Intensive Supervision Probation, Standard Probation, Prosecutorial Diversion, Non-Supervisory Treatment Programs, Electronic Monitoring, and Community Work Service. Additionally, the Bureau has provided Probation Improvement Grants, Probation Incentive Grants, and SMART Ohio Grants in order to alleviate voids in services.  The funds and contracts managed by the Bureau are addressed in Ohio Revised Code Sections 2301.51, and Ohio Administrative Codes 5120:1-3-01 and 5120:1-5-06.

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and the Adult Parole Authority , http://drc.ohio.gov/parole

The APA’s mission is to “aid in the reentry of offenders by partnering with community stakeholders and law enforcement agencies to preserve public safety by holding offenders accountable through diverse supervision strategies and technology.” The philosophy of supervision statement for the Field Services section of the APA is to “effectively supervise and provide opportunity for offenders to reenter into law-abiding citizenship and to reward, encourage, and promote positive behavior, while holding offenders accountable for negative behavior.” The APA determines release of inmates from prison to parole or transitional control, sets supervision conditions for inmates released on post release control, coordinates placement of offenders in the community and supervises them upon their release from prison. In addition, the APA assists counties in the development of basic felony supervision services upon request for the Courts of Common Pleas. The APA administers Ohio’s interstate compact agreement for probation and parole coordinating movement of supervised offenders among states.

 

and now rehab centers for drug dealers and convicted felons, along with  people who  NEED Rehab.   ( follow the money , and the grants)

https://www.familywatchdog.us/

RSO’s around my  house 165 mapable and 15 unmapable…. churches, schools also  in the same vicinity  along with  a struggling downtown.

A  neighborhood starts to  spiral downward, a business district suffers because of deteriorating neighborhoods surrounding  that district and they  are getting worse.

Others move into  these homes, others who are bent on living THEIR life style , no  respect, just  feed the sound system, deal  the drugs, intimidate what is left of  a neighborhood, bring in “others’ until  what is left are those that cannot move , are unable to  cope and so  hide within their homes, frightened of the “armed others”. 

 

The “left people, meaning those that are left – not of the political term- they  try to  call government, the police, anyone , they  for the most part do  not live this lifestyle, it is  foreign to  them , they  don’t understand  this disrespect  or how this is happening,  they  do  not know what can and can’t be done, they  reach  out for help……… and not a lot can be done.

There is NO  HELP  from the likes of a Bureau of Community Sanctions, helping THEM to  live in their neighborhood. No  service agency  for those that are left , trying to  live a peaceful hardworking  existence and live out their lives in their homes whether owned or rented.

Most of these issues, the music , the loud lifestyles, the implied intimidation  , watching people dealing  in parking lots ,  the lack  of quality  of life CANNOT  be addressed quickly  or with  much  accountability.  So  we live in a limbo  of fear of retaliation  perceived or intended.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/hurled-through-the-window-retribution-who-done-it-lorain/

The crime map  of this morning , as I  type, you   can see this old neighborhood  is seemingly  outnumbered by  the “Others”  How does  community  breathe in the 44052 . http://communitycrimemap.com/

 

Oh  some  of the drug deals etc are looked into  and documented for the courts by  our Lorain Police Dept, sometimes months of work goes into  these deals and dealers. BUT  what good is it when felons are given  a ” time out for  drug rehab” and a $750 fine and released back  into  the neighborhood. What message – Judges of Lorain and County  does this send to  the people who  are “left” ?

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/to-stabilize-or-de-stabilize-that-is-the-question-lorain-county/

The police can only  do  so  much, “call when there is an issue..  “make sure your  mention they have a scanner if you  believe that to  be the case” The police have to  witness the “crime or activity”. In Lorain on any  given day  or night there are only  6 -7 officers on the streets for a population of 64,000 and covering 24 square miles and is comprised of 113 Police Officers and 34 civilian employees.

The “Others” know the system they  know how to  get around the laws, they  know how to  waste time ,  they  know eventually  the “the lefts “ will either give up, die , move or just get plain worn out or be put down as a “complainer”…  Been there done that

In this house,  at the moment I have a hospice patient, last days of living in Lorain…. dying slowly without a murmur  and if you  ask me Lorain and the 44052 are following in the footsteps…….

I hope I am wrong but if this street and what is happening in this neighborhood is anything to  go  by  we the lefts  are terminal as there isn’t much  hope with  the solutions we have…… I  am not sure there will be a “continuation…..” not when the “others are spreading the disease as quickly  as they  are….

 

 

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July 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm 7 comments

10th Anniversary- That Woman blog –

TEN YEARS! a lot has happened since I put up  that first post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

As I  wrote that first post, I had no  idea that in a few short weeks my  world would fall apart .

 

I started off that  January  21st 2008 with  an ideal and a hope to  make a difference.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/  and continued to  explore my  own way  forward from the conflict of CRA  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/cra/ and with  “reports and studies”  on Lorain’s well being, visiting  the theatre and my  mentor and her quote of “this too shall pass” !

BUT then:  my  world did  fall apart and I  found not kindness, or compassion but selfishness -even in death. I found my  world upside down and I was in a state of disbelief .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/all-it-takes-is-a-phone-call-to-start-you-screaming/

 

 

After the horrendous news  given so  clinically  of my  son’s cancer , I continued to  write for my  own sake – to  take me away  from my  own  terrors  for a brief  while. The blog became a  cathartic tool to give me strength to  deal  – week after week , month  after month  documenting the days the events and the back story of the approximately  64 categories on this blog,  the 1,559 posts to  date with  at least  another 150 in draft form .

Drafts– they  reside in the not yet published stage for many  reasons- in some cases I  hesitate to  publish – are they  a “bridge too far” – should they  not be consigned to  hard copy – Would people really  understand and believe ( even with  documentation) ….. remains to  be seen


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/july-3rd-the-story-the-book-chris-ritchey/

and a few that will have to  wait until I am dead so  I  do  have the last word

ED Note: I wonder if my  family  will have the guts to  press publish 😉

If I can  pat myself on the back, the millions ( yes millions) of words written by  me in  10 years  – I can truthfully  say  every  single thought, opinion and happenstance is accurate and truthful ( to  the best of my  knowledge) I have documented  and or linked to documentation throughout those years the reasoning for my  opinions etc.

Has this blog accomplished anything changed thinking , made a difference. If I am honest NO!-


The hypocrites  still exist  getting on  with  their lives , falling on their  on their knees to  pray   and get their blessings from a church that has its own issues

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/the-cardinal-letter-h-for-hypocrisy-pappish-style/

– no  sanction for the pain they  caused  for those grieving  the loss of their son , brother and uncle .  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/december-11th-the-beginning-of-the-beginning/


Homes  and buildings in Lorain still are falling down, inspection processes are still a shambles thanks in part to  the procedures and the courts,  deals are still being dealt, government ( no  need to  say  more)

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-Loraine/

General Gillmore portrait

Lorain’s history  consigned to  files in a cabinet. Not one piece of Lorain Lorain’s tangible history  has been appreciated or  saved by  the thousands of words written about those early  pioneers.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Hardly  anybody  really  cares- scandals ( especially  with  this year’s White House) pile on and are forgotten , replaced with  even more poor behavior.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/is-trump-the-toxic-avenger-or-dynasty-destroyer/

Society,  as we  who  were bought up by  the  post war ( WW2)  generation thought  it should be, society  has not lived up the  “greatest generation” standards.

Source :https://backpackerlee.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/traditional-british-fish-and-chips/

The saying (which  the Brits will remember) – “today’s news is tomorrows fish  and chip   wrapper” – still holds true today. Although no  longer allowed due to  health  and safety  standards – they  can’t wrap up your  meal in newspaper anymore.

The premise is still the same  “the news today  is soon forgotten  consigned to  the garbage can”  – it can be resurrected come election time  in some cases but happenings that would have been unacceptable by society  in decades prior are  accepted for the most part.

Cartoon by Dave Walker

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/the-media-and-the-blogger-ad-it-up/

Oh! there will be a blow up on social media , posts and outrage BUT it is soon calmed , a new issue will take its place. We did our bit we were outraged on line thinking.  The perpetrators of  course have realized this new way  of protest and the fact  we  the public have a short attention span.

As my  mentor Jean Schaeffer said ” this too will pass”  she was right. So  why  bother , even the documentation linked to  from other blogs  , newspaper links  to  various stories  disappear  from my  site . I learned too late to  make hardcopies in those early  months.

I have documented the past 10 years, the good, the bad, the ugly,   and just maybe in the time to  come a researcher  will come across these thoughts and opinions and get the “true story” – who  knows – worth  a try  anyway. Well 10  years , I  am not sure I  have another 10 years  and the blog’s fate is day  to  day……………… but come what may  I  will probably  have the last word- remember  don’t speak ill of the dead 😉 just not done….

 

January 21, 2018 at 3:27 pm 5 comments

Figgy Pudding – A celebration tale – Chris (tmas) Pudding

Traditions in this house took a 180 degree about-face when my  son Chris died. I could no  longer have Christmas  in this house- Oh! my  mum has her “Christmas Grotto” in her little living room  and Gavin and Braedyn come a decorate her little tree and hang the ornaments.

There are no  longer twinkling lights inside or outside this house in celebration of  anyone’s birth- the beliefs of my  childhood torn asunder.

I have  “visited the holidays ” at my  daughters for the sake of her and her family  and the boys. Traditions changed from my  “English  Christmas of yesteryear” – now Christmas Eve  finds lobsters in the pot – named for those that are not very  nice.. and laughter yes, but the traditions of my  daughter’s youth  and of this house have gone the way  of so many  things. Yes! I visit  the holidays – peace on earth  and good will toward men – has a sour note…….. ( too many religious  hypocrites, sadness and questions  added to  the mix of my  life)

But Christmas  is for children and like every  other grandparent last week I  smiled, laughed and cried as the kindergartners at Braedyn’s school put on their holiday  program .  As all the children wore their Santa, Reindeer, Snowflake and Frosty  hats  little faces all a glow , voices were exuberant  in their renditions  and they  joyously  proclaimed the fun that was coming . My  eyes and heart  fell on  Braedyn singing along

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,Oh, bring us some figgy pudding, And bring it right here.Good tidings we bring you and your kin;We wish you a merry Christmas And a Happy New Year!

I realized not one of them, including my  own grandson, probably  had any  idea  what figgy  pudding was . For the cooks among you  there are two  versions – Figgy  Pudding and Christmas Pudding – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/warm-sticky-figgy-pudding-recipe-1918585

Traditionally  we and my  family, through the generations,   used the  Christmas Pudding   and this is the recipe  that is close to  what we  always served.( although instead of glace fruit – which  I  hate -we add dried apricots , shredded carrot and a shredded Granny  Smith  apple .)   http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/33519/delicious-christmas-pudding.aspx

Every  year my  mum and I  faithfully  made the “real” fruitcake -( not that terrible American facsimile  that is tossed like rotten pumpkins) and Christmas Pud.  It was tradition and Christopher’s job from about  the age of 7 was to  bring in the lighted pudding  to  the table – he loved lighting the pudding  but never ate any. The only  ones eating it were my  mother and I  and my  husband would “force a little down”.  Christopher was the last to  light a pudding in this house.

However, as I  looked at all those little faces – I  said to  Nikki:

Gavin and Braedyn have no  idea what they   sing about with  this song . They  have never seen a Christmas pudding !

I  decided then it was time to  hand the tradition over to  my  daughter and grandsons. We had missed out on  “Stir Up Sunday”  but better late than never  http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/26/stir-up-sunday-what-is-this-christmas-pudding-tradition-all-about-7109142/

All the members of the family, especially the kids, need to take a turn to stir the mixture and everyone should make a secret wish while they stir.

Gavin had gone hunting with  his Dad  but Braedyn and his mum were game –  so  over the river and through the snowy streets they  came today . Ingredients all measured out  and we have a new pudding maker in the family  under the watchful eye of his Nana .

We all made our wishes , there were smiles and a few opinions as to  how much  brandy  went into  the pudding and now they – the puddings ( we made too much  mixture so  now we have two)  bubble and sing on the stove for the next few hours.  I am not sure about the traditional pudding  boiling away  on Christmas Eve this year with  the lobsters in the pot – but to  each  his own………..

December 16, 2017 at 10:18 pm 5 comments

Money where your mouth Is – Part 7


Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-six/

It was just over a  year ago when we were working to create a garden from the muck  and mire   lot next door. We could have just  taken down the large dangerous tree and mowed grass.

However, for many years I had had to block views from that lot- when it held one of the “rentals” of Lorain and finally the vacant lot of “long grass and critters – of both two legged and 4 legged kind.
Apart from the fact, I had made promises to the City of Lorain ,   we would make the lot desirable and would enhance the ambiance, stop the 4th street cut though from the alley and parking of marine and construction vehicles and accumulate trash, I needed to be able to find at least a little joy in looking out of my windows. I no longer wanted to shudder at the construction parking lot and marinas we had put up with for many months, the  tenants from hell in the little brown house as it slowly deteriorated. I wanted a little peace and not angst . Part 1 through 6 will tell you of that journey.

We were almost finished with the hardscape and clearing of  lower lot in July of last year (2016)when illness struck and the 2nd phase of the lot behind the fence had to take a step back.
Lower front 2016

and then same time  2017

The illness held up Phase 2 for at least two months. There we were with dump trucks full of in fill dirt needing to be moved and levelled, 9 trees- fruit and evergreen -to be planted and Lilly pond to be dug. What a mess we were in.

Also when we took down that very large tree so close to our house we realized that side of the house needed to be painted ( well Klinar of the Building Dept. didn’t have to tell me that I could see it.) This meant more expense as the whole house need to be painted.

I can’t say I didn’t have two willing helpers whilst their “Poo Bah” was in hospital – they worked that dirt….


They more than made up for the weed letter from the City of Lorain and Building Dept. complained to by the “King of Construstruction” ( which of course turned out to be Swiss Chard, Morning Glories and Mint on my property poking through the fence in the alley .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/
One thing leads to another, apart from educating the city inspectors as to what is a weed and what is food we then had to stop  put screening around the chain link fence to contain the garden and plant tall “ornamental grasses “ to stop prying “alley commandos” from their vigilante inspection process”
The offending weeds ( spot the weeds in the fence ??)
and the same view after the screen of prying eyes fame

More expense and time and effort.

October 2016 found things getting better and the garden crew ( Gavin and Braedyn) were busy digging and the fruit trees were planted along with the layout for the “Lilly ponds”. The snows stopped work, but Spring found the need to put in a gravel parking spot and gravel along the alley – yet more money – but the fruit trees started to blossom, the Lilly ponds and dry stream bed feature brought flowers and smiles from behind the fence

Lilly pond and dry stream bed
Spring/Summer was busy this year peach blossoms in the mini orchard turned to peaches, apples, plums and cherries blossomed but another year is needed.

Scarecrows to guard the crops.
and planting to be done , ponds to be filled


Slowly the grass came in enough on the back lot-

then came the weed whacking and tidying

Sunflowers bloomed and sheds for tools put together

 and the corn grew,

Lily pads and still ponds thrived the sunlight

Roses Lilacs and rhubarb…

And a Scotch Broom sweeps clean 😉

So here we are 18 months later $20,000 dollars poorer – this put up a fence and a mini orchard and just mow turned into something much , much more than envisioned.  I am more relaxed and happy as I look out of the windows although the project that nearly killed the gardener…

but we have kept our word to the city administration and to ourselves remained true.

After Phase One we sent an update  of the front lot project to  the City  Of Lorain- we had used 6 local businesses, 10 ( men employed by  contractors) and spent $11,045.50

Phase Two  , we used  5 local businesses , materials, labor  etc came to  another $8,935.00 and still climbing ….

 The collage: Today Oct 2017:

 

Before

 

Soon the snow will fly  and next spring , hopefully all being well, tweeking will be done  and the gardens will continue to “bear fruit”.  Some have mentioned we were stupid to  put that amount of money  into  an empty  lot in “Low rain”  but this is our neighborhood, our home . We certainly  can’t make a difference on other neighboring streets, or  the “downtown” but we could make a difference on this old block, give the school kids and teachers a better view , show a little pride  and  put our money  where my  mouth is ! After all I  can’t criticize unless I am prepared to  do  my  bit to  beautify  this old neighborhood.

October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm 3 comments

The Scold – Lorain- the ducking/cucking stool


Time, people and trials in this town have left me in a sort of out here alone on a limb mode of thinking – the last of the “scolds”

Oh! I know there are others that share my thinking but could it be they are afraid of the “ducking/cucking stool ” which censors our opening of our mouths ( locally and nationally)? As if the bad mouthing, concrete crashing Neanderthals weren’t enough of a deterrent.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/windows-on-lorain-the-neanderthals-a-tornado-history/
I have seen it too many times over the years of advocacy and I seem to have come away from those years half drowned ,soaking wet and getting more and more weary of trying – life here can do that to you. So I now find myself walking away, not raising the volunteering hand – and have left most of the “community” – I just don’t fit in .

As I “escape” from Lorain and the world into the realm Roku watching murder, mayhem and mystery I supplement with programs such as “Escape to the County” and the land of my birth where there are still pockets of the idyll and people looking to find their dream in the country.

It was during one such viewing this morning and the town of Leominister
http://www.leominster.co.uk/ and the story of Jenny Pipes (1809) the last woman to be legally ducked. She pronounced a “scold” by her community and the magistrate passed sentence

“In the common law of crime in England and Wales, a common scold was a type of public nuisance—a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarrelling with her neighbours. The Latin name for the offender, communis rixatrix, appears in the feminine gender and makes it clear that only women could commit this crime.
….. being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond. Although rarely prosecuted it remained on the statute books in England and Wales until 1967.
Francois Maximilian Misson, a French traveller and writer, recorded the method used in England in the early 18th century:The way of punishing scolding women is pleasant enough.(ED NOTE spoken like a true man )

They fasten an armchair to the end of two beams twelve or fifteen feet long, and parallel to each other, so that these two pieces of wood with their two ends embrace the chair, which hangs between them by a sort of axle, by which means it plays freely, and always remains in the natural horizontal position in which a chair should be, that a person may sit conveniently in it, whether you raise it or let it down. They set up a post on the bank of a pond or river, and over this post they lay, almost in equilibrio, the two pieces of wood, at one end of which the chair hangs just over the water. They place the woman in this chair and so plunge her into the water as often as the sentence directs, in order to cool her immoderate heat.

Jenny Pipes came back from her ducking still “scolding” and her claim to fame of telling it like it was has outlasted the magistrate. http://www.jennypipes.org.uk/

“the idea of ducking was to curb the tongue of the offender; the ducking to continue until the culprit either gives up or was exhausted”

Of course where there is a pond there is also pond scum and “ducking the scold” does disrupt that “gathering and rising to the top” if only for a little while. I have noticed the pond scum usually multiplies!

I have seen the “cucking stool” happening (metaphorically speaking) locally so many times and THAT Lorain is one of the problems and the why the view we have is of this (rehabbed????) “cottage
March 2017

and the duckers can’t say they weren’t scolded for 4 years from that first demolition appeals board.
June 2013

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/dye-abolical-goose-gander-inspection-process-pt-2-lorain/


To those who have been ducked, and lived to walk away and tell the tale _ you will be missed by those that got wet with you

-to those that have returned to the bank of the pond to join the crowd – it is understandable-

-to those that keep trying -may it only be your feet getting wet…..

for those of you still “piping up’ like Jenny Piper and facing the wrath of the duckers and the chair I will have a towel waiting for you and a different sort of chair in front of the TV!

March 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Money Where Your Mouth is – Part 4

tree beforetreeres

The Tree Phase One of the Plan

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

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/

It took a few weeks, after we were notified, we had been successful in our bid to purchase the lot at 1125 aka ( Highway 1125) for the property to transfer .

The first thing we did was to ask for bids to remove the gigantic tree close to our house. We had stated in our “plan” to the city this would be done. The tree almost 90 feet tall was failing, it was less than 10 feet away from our house and if it had fallen it certainly would’ve taken out at least two homes. Estimates came in from nearly $5,000 to the lowest at $2,500. We went with a local company Tree Pro.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/a-tall-tree-tale-ends-lorain-dudes/

tree collage

Since other trees in and around our original property had to be taken down in recent years due to decay and literally falling over, based on the holes left behind by their removal, I knew
oldtreewillow

the loss of this gentle, yet worrying, giant was also going to be missed. I knew we would no longer get the benefit of shade on our balcony and mum’s flowers would have to be changed out and air-conditioning would be cranked up come summer, the tree provided so much shade to our lot and home. I love trees, always have done, it breaks my heart to lose them.
windowcol

What I hadn’t realized , this tree with its huge trunk and outstretched branches, some of which could be trees themselves, blocked from my view, through the den window, from all manner of issues in the neighborhood. How secure and serene my view whilst the maple had stood guard. The lifestyles of others hidden from me. I was lost in a world of bark, butterflies , leafy limbs, squirrels , birds and living things – my non human neighboring so much more pleasant than reality!

“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” D H Lawrence

All of a sudden – windows were opened to more than just sunlight and heat. Stark reality invaded my home, no longer could I sit at the desk in the den -protected from view and protected views- as fingers pounded the computer keyboard on a daily basis . The goldfish bowl of life opened me up to view, it was and is intrusive to my little world . The bamboo blinds helped but still there was a nakedness to the views which I hadn’t experienced in the 40 years of living here all because of the absence of the tree.

I knew the tree was a hazard, I knew it was dying slowly, I knew it had to go but I didn’t know how much that tree had added to my happiness and how desolate the outlook when it was gone. It softened and protected .

Tree and root

Tree and root


The wood hauled away the stump ground down leaving the “ashes” of what was once there.
ground

But even in its death throes still it made its presence known, gigantic roots extending throughout the lot next door, reaching for the water source we knew was to be found beneath. The trunk and upper branches lost to the chipper and lumber yards but the roots would not give up so easily . The clearing of the lot and new landscaping would be compromised. My only hope to replicate the privacy , beauty and well-being that had been taken away by the chainsaw would be in some ” creative” plantings”. The tree was so large it will take many, many months if not years to retrieve the ambiance and peace of mind the old maple afforded us ……..

To be continued…………….

October 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm 4 comments

History Regurgitated- Ohio Preservation Meeting

The 501C3 of which I am Co – Chair ( Charleston Village Society Inc) ( if you have been reading this blog has been around since the late 1980’s and a 501C3 since 1993) was invited to meeting on grant applications etc. for historic preservation fundingGayle Manningres
CVSI is completely reliant upon donations, cash and in kind. We are an ALL volunteer organization.
http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

Introductions were made in that crowded room ( they weren’t expecting such a large turnout)- boding well for historic preservation one would think. The list of communities with “Historic Preservation Districts” included Lorain- I don’t believe 90 percent of those attending “knew” where those are – BUT I can tell you where at least one district is found. The state designation encompasses the area of Lorain’s oldest neighborhood and the area Charleston Village Society oversees ( AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION) IN PLACE BEFORE THE STATE DESIGNATION.

My optimism changed quickly to DEJAVU – as the power point presentation got started. Wait a minute! I have seen the same sort photos, different years and different locations , the same power point presentation , even the same jokes when people filled Lorain City Council Chambers in 1993.

OHINv

The historical rhetoric continued -how to apply – what you need to do, what the benefits are etc. Yes, same spiel I heard nearly a quarter of a century ago. We were excited then, the state was excited there was already a “community based preservation group”( Charleston Village Society Inc) – fully involved with city leaders and the county . The speech I heard today by JEFF SIEGLER
DIRECTOR OF REVITALIZATION

Jeff

Jeff attended Ohio Wesleyan University where he received his bachelors degree in economics management. While working for a historic tax credit developer In Richmond, Virginia Jeff completed his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in urban revitalization. Prior to becoming the Director of Revitalization at Heritage Ohio, Jeff worked as the Director of the Lancaster Special Improvement District and Main Street Lancaster.

I had heard in essence heard before – you see we had his predecessor of long ago Kevin Kuchenbecker “talked” us- the BOD of mainstreetlorain”- into joining a Main Street program that was unwieldy , in 1999/ 2000 and was not designed for the area , Lorain is an entitlement city- which means we can’t get the same benefits non entitlement cities can access ( Funny that was never brought up when we were being “courted”)- “mainstreetlorain” organization 1996 had already encompassed an area far bigger than what a Main Street usually covers and I and my Co – Chair Rich Robbin did bring that up and told

not to worry it would be handled!

. Oh the problems were surmountable we were informed ( only they weren’t)

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey


Maybe a time to revisit that piece of history as Charleston Village Society Inc was a founding member of mainstreetlorain and on the board of the Main Street program in Lorain and at one time I was a volunteer director for 7 months so the organization didn’t go belly up. Main Street ( Lorain) eventually became Lorain Growth Corporation http://www.loraingrowth.com/ .

I have been involved up to my eyes in Lorain
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/pulse-magazine-treasure-town-a-blog-heartbeat/
but it was almost insulting to see that nearly a quarter of a century on these “historical preservation ” way forwards are stuck back in the last century and can only regurgitate the rhetoric

a healthy down -town has to have a healthy neighborhood and vice versa-

now what decade in the past was that ever mentioned??? ( sarcasm ) ,

you have to work together with local officials

.

To people who have, over the decades , been there done that, worked with 8 administrations, countless number of council people , not to mention police chiefs, fire chiefs civic organizations, educational institutions, we are not any farther ahead than when we met in the meeting room of the Broadway Building with Heritage Ohio in 1999/2000 and in 1993 when we went under the architectural review. In fact, we have lost a lot of significant homes and buildings and our downtown- well what can I say Channel Five said it all

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-lorain/60-percent-of-downtown-loran-empty-hopes-of-rezoning-as-entertainment-district-to-breath-new-life

So let us see what benefits we, as a neighborhood ,have derived from being in a state recognized district for these many years.

Lorain has a number buildings on the National Historic Register
200px-Antlers_2200px-Broadway_Block_(SW_Erie_n_Washington)_P2160036
200px-Eagles_Building,_Lorain,_OH
200px-Fire_station_no_1
200px-Gould_Block
200px-Lorain_post_office

200px-Lorain_West_Breakwater_Light
200px-Moore_House200px-Palace_theatre
200px-American_Felsol_Co__Bldg_on_West_9th_Street_(now_home_to_Planned_Parenthood)200px-Seher_house
Lorain_YMCA_BuildingJohnson_Steel_Street_Railway_Company_General_Offices_Building
St_Ladislaus'_Catholic_Church,_Lorain
William_H__Root_House

Oh and yes one with a hairnet controversy -Broadway Building, another with promises not fulfilled as the rain comes down – Eagles Building – look at them now (with fresh eyes).


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/the-wondering-donspout-wants-to-know-how-come/

How can that be? What doesn’t seem to be told or at least made very clear is that IF PRIVATE MONEY IS USED to rehab , tear down, paint a building pink there is nothing “Historical Preservation” can do!!!

The only time they have teeth is when “public monies” are used at any level. Have ANY of the historically significant homes in this neighborhood been cherished by the “Historians from Ohio”? We can’t even find funding to preserve the headstones of Lorain’s founding families in the little cemetery on 6th.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/a-cemetery-tale-charleston-village-lorain/

Cemetery  county  collage

I don’t think they even know the history of this- Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. Within walking distance of my old house
11274

( not historically significant except for maybe the window connection and the artisan who came to Lorain )

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/windows-on-lorain-the-neanderthals-a-tornado-history/

Captain Wilford’s Home

fanny gilmore  wilfordthomas wilfordThere is the Captain Wilford House, which housed the Captain his wife Fanny Gillmore of the Gillmore Civil War letters
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/
housecarwilford and we haven’t even touched on the rest of the Gillmore family although you can find the series here .
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Just take a walk and look at that house now.

Admiral Kings’ birth place – you may remember Admiral King
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/fleet-admiral-ernest-j-king-remembering-you/
admiral king visit

( Gov. Kasich sent a lovely proclamation when we designated the “tribute site across from his birthplace Gov Kasich wished him well in his retirement – hmmmmm not sure his office staff knew the history of the Commander of the US Fleet (WW2) as he had been dead 50 years – can you retire from death??? We informed them of their error and we received another proclamation but without the fancy gold seal 😉

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller

cvpark
The little historic park- the earliest surviving green space in the county 1807 saved from condos ( you know the importance of a public square statement) not by Ohio but by a bunch of “history boneheads of Charleston Village Society” – history boneheads – designated by Editor John Cole (Morning Journal)
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/the-history-park-1812-201-hundred-years-a-recorded-city-park-veterans-park-lorain-ohio/

The only thing I can see we benefit from in being a state preservation district is the fact if public monies are used in our neighborhood to rehab then there are standards to be met eg. windows unless the house is historically insignificant and when the city or country needs to demo a property we ( CVSI) are usually asked to provide a letter stating why we as an organization ,whose mission statement includes preservation of the neighborhood, don’t object – see an example file here

CVSI Gow House
Then to be told by the speakers, Oh it is a local issue, get ordinances passed, accountability is local and you need to take before and after pictures etc. etc. well that was it- accountability HA!
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/abate-the-wait-lorains-housing-court-objection/

I had to leave before I regurgitated…… I have 25 years for publicizing before and after and before and it has become “history’!

The Charleston Village Society Float in the international parade and the big blue box from 1992

before

rehabbed
Ah and 24 years later ……https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/

Time to get off the soap box.

June 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm 3 comments

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