Posts filed under ‘Charleston Village’

The Housing Tale- a history- not a mystery- just bank business

meter oh boy

My phone rang this morning from US Bank NA They have written twice to Charleston Village Society thinking we were a Home Owners Association.

USB they were following up on 1721 W 12th Street

According to the Lorain County Auditor’s Site this property transferred to them under Sheriff’s Deed January 5th 2015

Transfer History – 2015000025
Sale Date Sale Amount Conveyance/Exempt Number of Parcels
1/5/2015 $22,000 2015000025 1
Parcel Grantor Grantee

red flag
Not a problem there but the red flag went up once more because I had received a letter before ,from this bank, thinking we were a Homeowners Association for 329 Hamilton ah yes 329 Hamilton.

The other property mentioned as being under Vision Property Management AKA Kaja Holdings II ( of the many roman numerals association with Kaja ) and
RVFM II SERIES LLC ( most worrying all these roman numeral LLCs)-

This property was also a Sheriff’s Deed and according to the Auditors site was purchased back for $40,000 – and in my humble opinion was another bank dump for $4,355 WITHOUT POINT OF SALE – The obligatory hand-written sign RENT TO BUY went up AND YES THERE ARE PEOPLE NOW LIVING THERE !

Sale Date Sale Amount Conveyance/Exempt Number of Parcels
11/17/2014 $4,355 2014005153 1
Parcel Grantor Grantee

This property was coming up before Lorain’s Housing Court for No Certificate of Inspection ( aka POS) – outcome ?????????

When the US BANK NA phoned this morning – September 24th- I stated the property at 1721 W 12th was NOT in Charleston Village Society’s area and said:

“Are you selling this property on?”

I really can’t say I am just clearing any paperwork with the property

Oh well before you do “sell on” or transfer to a Property Management company for a percentage of the properties worth you should be aware there is a Certificate of Inspection requirement in Lorain- since January 1st 2014- Your bank neglected to follow through on that aspect for your property at 329 Hamilton . You might want to red flag your properties in Lorain as needing a Certificate of Inspection.

USB- Oh I will make a note of it

red flag
And Lorain might want to flag their properties, as every Lorain property that I clicked upon of the 116 owned by US Bank NA went back to them under Sheriffs Deed-

Granted it was a random search but what are the odds the majority of those properties are similar Sheriffs Deeds? Even the $100,000 5098 AVON BELDEN RD NORTH RIDGEVILLE OH 44039.

Elyria, you might want to check there are a plethora in your community – Hopefully they won’t be dumped – I can tell you from years of experience those type of sales do not “help ” the worth of housing stock in the neighborhood…..

The banks have been bailed out once for poor business practices “Banking and Sub Prime 2008- . I, for one, do not want to keep suffering for their poor mortgage decisions . Hopefully US Bank NA gets the message that they have to follow the laws of Lorain! Any Bets????

red flag
US Banksc

September 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

The Case of the Curious Lorain Neanderthal

downspout two
So poor old Don was found ripped from his roof damaged but not broken ! Now I wonder why poor old Don was targeted for victimization and who could have been irate with regard to his postings??? The clues are piling up- he has after all only been a guest blogger once

and the subject of a post once
Certainly your average Neanderthal doesn’t have it in for “donspouts” as their modus operandi. Will a complaint to the Building Dept. follow ???
The case of the Curious Neanderthal…….. to be continued – hopefully not … but watch this space.


August 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Selling of Lorain – An energy decision- red flags flying

I don’t get out much – prefer to stay in my own little world but when I do something usually finds me. And me being me has to look further into the subject. This week has been no different from the choice of parking place to the Powering Ohio’s Progess-

1223 W 6th

Parking Place :
I attended the demolition of a house on 6th Street you can access the links here

And of course there is also a back story on this one! How did this little house connect with an Independent candidate for the President of the United States ( watch this space).

LCAuditors photo - before

LCAuditors photo – before

I parked a little further down the street in the shade of a large tree. As I sat there, waiting for the demolition I looked at a cute cottage like house , faded and somewhat forlorn . It had character and I believe was much-loved in its day. It was for sale I wanted to see what it was like inside so I went to Zillow who pronounced the home

red flag

Quaint country charmer in the City! Good sized colonial on desirable street with lots of potential awaits the Buyer ready to express their renovation talents. This home has a large backyard and detached garage, unfinished bsmt, lots of light in the living room, ample sized bedrooms. Property is sold in as-is condition, Buyer to assume any and all point of sale requirements and repairs needed. Buyer responsible for own due diligence, inquiry and verification of all property information, condition, square footage and parcel data. Broker is not liable or responsible to verify any information as all data in MLS is reflective of public records. Buyers recommended to investigate all data. Cash sales only”

The photos were disappointing, the little home that probably was loved and cared for- by generations now pretty much a sad place………Photos from Zillow
zillow photo
Gone is the little porch railing , the landscaping and the inside ( sigh)
inside 1235res

Who could have done such a thing to this sweet little home? I checked and what to my wondering eyes did appear ? Those Banks and LLC’s – INVESTING IN LORAIN!!!!!
hisotry 1235

Deutsche Bank I know of old- but who was the current owner that purchased the “property ‘ AFTER POINT OF SALE in May of 2014 – 5 months after : Flat Iron Holdings they are out of Delaware but track back to California and they want cash! ( they should be hit with a flat iron if you ask me )-
but more interesting to me was the fact that the seller to Flat Iron was Mom Haven 9 LP- Texas ( and that had another company listed as an officer Momhaven 1 LLC which picked it up from Deutsche Bank – but I find interesting is Momhaven 1 LLC is also you guessed it – Vision Properties the people who are involved with 1348 West Erie (no POS) and 329 Hamilton ——–

as documented here
and how do I know this?
From Houston Real estate transfers

Jun. 8 N/A
Buyer: Jose Arredondo
Seller: Mom Haven 9 Lp, Momhaven I LLC (Partner), Vision Property Management LLC-Through A Consent To Action Taken Without Special Meeting Of General and Alexander Szkaradel

Well there you have it “taking an interest in Lorain “…



Then a trip to City Council last evening, where things got curiouser and curiouser – a resolution of support apparently forthcoming by two of the three council at large for full council-

First enegery  proclamationres

Oh it is just paperwork, City Council pass resolutions all the time- all nicey, nicey to support business, – resolutions mean nothing really or do they?

After last night’s meeting I did some checking on this one:

You can find the Powering Ohio’s Progress Here :–a-.html

Worrying to me, are these words from the press release – and we all know the usage of the English language and gobbledygook!
“While the typical residential customer using about 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month could expect to see a modest increase in the initial years

what is as modest increase when it is at home??? and more worrying is the Disclaimer of Maybe
From their own news release ….. red flags flying all over this in my opinion- and I became even curiouser !

red flag
red flag
red flag

This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management’s intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms “anticipate,” “potential,” “expect,” “will,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate” and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular; the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments and to successfully implement our sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission plan and planned distribution rate cases and the effectiveness of our repositioning strategy; the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases and the Electric Security

and it went on and on- so I checked with the dreaded detractors you know the naysayers and the haters. and this is what I discovered a couple said
Stated Scott Gerfen, Ohio Consumers Counsel spokesperson:

“1.9 million consumers paid billions of dollars to FirstEnergy for its transition to deregulated power plants, under a 1999 Ohio law. Fifteen years later, FirstEnergy is again asking consumers to pay charges related to the power plants. FirstEnergy’s requests include asking the government (the PUCO) to guarantee profits for what are deregulated power plants whose profits should instead be determined by the electricity market. Needless to say, we are concerned for consumers…”
The Sierra Club’s Dan Sawmiller agreed and criticized similar requests from Duke and AEP:

“These proposals from Ohio’s utilities are nothing more than a request to have Ohio’s electricity customers spend their money to bail out dirty old, obsolete power plants. These power plants are expensive and are being replaced in the market by cheaper, cleaner sources of generation, and we should not bail these corporations out now that they are unable to compete.”
and to be fair let us hear the arguments from
Mr. Chuck Jones President and CEO of Akron based First Energy Corporation

Vague usage of the English language – controversy– I certainly hope our city council members etc. do their due diligence into looking to this “possible” requested resolution and are prepared to say WHY they voted and if they know how much their vote would cost Lorainites or in fact- who could benefit ! BUT I ” somehow, think” that “possibly” that “may not” be the case. ;) chesalicjpg

August 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm 2 comments

Aug 3rd- The Lighthouse Shed- Chris Ritchey

chrisart collage

2002- You had just completed the 1st year of foundation courses at Cleveland Institute of Art. That Summer- a time of excitement in this family – getting ready for Nikki’s Christmas wedding. Once again I volunteered you for one of my community projects – your words still ring in my memory.

-” Mum if I was a mechanic would you volunteer me- Yes, I replied if you were a good mechanic”

MainstreetLorain( Now Lorain Growth Corp) had purchased a shed- it was going to sit on the ‘ mile long pier” welcoming the boaters, tourists and fisher folk, to be filled with welcoming information of what to do and where to do it in Lorain. John Houser, the MainstreetLorain Director, wanted a mural on both sides of he shed so it could be seen coming and going and a “free hand cursive “Welcome” .
Oh how you grumbled and I believe swore more than once at me – the surface was rough, hard to paint, there were grooves galore the heat didn’t help , the conditions lacking .

Mum this isn’t easy to paint this thing- why don’t you just stain it and put up a sign , I am sure there are plenty of photos of the lighthouse”

and so it went our back and forth.

The “Lighthouse Shed” eventually moved from the mile long pier to Black River Landing – It had weathered and a window added
sign 3
The shed sat there season after season , becoming even more weathered and worn

photo Mark Teleha

photo Mark Teleha

I would get photos from time to time – people standing by the shed at festivals – boats passing by

Source not known

Source not known

but you weren’t interested when I would send them to you –

” Not my best work mum!- I don’t know why I let you talk me into doing these things for you”

Graphics Chris Ritchey

Graphics Chris Ritchey

The shed faded from memory, especially when we received the dreaded “cancer” news.

It was just a few weeks after your death- I didn’t go anywhere , withdrew from the world, the grief too much to deal with , let alone meet up with “people”. However , I was expressly asked by a dear friend to attend a meeting at the Port Authority. I sat in back of the meeting looking everywhere but at those faces- so full of compassion for me- I dare not meet their eyes….. and there my gaze fell, as I looked out the window, on that damned shed – still there! The snow circled danced with her partner, the all prevailing wind,blurring the little painted lighthouse, and yet bringing those summer days to the fore.

– how is it possible ?I thought – the shed still there facing the elements but you – you were gone. Why???

I fled the meeting in tears , hopefully without causing alarm to others knowing I would not find any answer.

I stayed away – from festivals- from life and the shed went back into memory. Then, once more I had to attend an event at the “landings”. The poor old shed looked worn and dull but Gavin and Braedyn were impressed when they saw the lighthouse was painted by Uncle Chris. And so another opportunity for you to become tangible in their little lives, to share another story of Chris told to little bright faces. .
Braedyn Gavin Chris sign
Two years later a phone call-

Would Charleston Village Society like the donation of the “Lighthouse Shed ” for Settler’s Watch- great for keeping stuff in it?

I said yes, knowing I couldn’t bear to think of it ending up on a dump somewhere . And so the shed arrived to be placed behind the grapevines- my romantic notion – from a distance and if you squint your eyes this old weather-beaten shed looked eerily like an old settler’s cabin.

The shed certainly doesn’t look out-of-place. BUT the murals , well the rocks and lake were gone on the one side, the seagulls had lost their wings and the lighthouse itself faded into a mere shadow of itself all details gone -just an outline of what was once. –faded.
I knew I could call upon artists I know to redo the murals but I just couldn’t do that- I couldn’t bear your work and those memories to be painted over by anyone else. I had to do it but as my old art teacher informed me time and time again in school –

“Loraine you couldn’t even draw unemployment”

I decided I would “paint” not by numbers but by colours – fill in the lines, do what I could with your work to guide me . How bloody hard was that?

Tears streaming down my cheeks, blotting out the picture before me, trying to hold back the sobs that wanted to escape the confines of my heart. The wood had become even rougher in those 13 years of seasons, I would apply the paint only to have only half of each stroke adhere. I cursed the surface wondering if you were laughing at getting your own back. It took many mornings – it wasn’t the heat or the job itself which took so long it was the dealing with the raw emotions that attacked me as I worked. I could only stand up to that emotional maelstrom for so long.

Then came the bigger problem- the lake and rocks which had disappeared totally from the one side. How the hell was I going to paint rocks, waves , spray and the changing colours of the lake? I am not an artist, as I said . I went to the internet, pulled up “how to paint rocks and water”. I took a deep breath and began terrified I would mess the whole thing up. It doesn’t look too bad although I am sure you would be shaking your head at my endeavours .
The shed had turned for the most part a deep grey, rather than trying to power wash and bring it back we have decided to stain. And so two little boys were drafted to help stain “Uncle Chris’ Lighthouse Shed”
It became a “family affair” with your dad staining the “higher up” sections.
shed collage
We ran out of paint- the old wood soaked up the stain- more was going to have to be applied, another day-
A trip over to Nog’s, where Nana had some chocolates and a chance to feed your fish. We love you Chris – not forgotten as life continues to weather us.

feeding fish

August 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm 2 comments

Lorain – Common Core? values and POS? PT 5.

Monday Morning Update: FYI– the response received from the Lorain County Auditor’s Office with reference to my question as to where does the ” sale being blocked come from”- because I can’t find any where it would happen– the process seems to be reactive rather than proactive ”

The purpose of transferring deeds through the Auditor is to maintain an accurate record of property ownership and parcel identification and to collect conveyance fees required by Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 319.20 and 322.02. – See more at:
Loraine Ritchey:

I am responding to your July 21, 2015 email regarding – Point of Sale Lorain question.

The purpose of transferring deeds through the County Auditor is to maintain an accurate record of property ownership and parcel identification and to collect conveyance fees required by Ohio Revised Code.

At the time of transfer, our office will review and process documents as prescribed by the Ohio Revised Code and the Lorain County Standards for Land Conveyances. Under the laws that we must follow, there is no language that mentions a point of sale inspection must be completed in order to transfer real property. Therefore, the County Auditor has no authority to stop or reject any real estate from transferring that did not complete a point of sale inspection.


Paul Nishanian
Real Estate Assistant Chief Deputy Auditor

Part One–
Part Two-
Part Three-
Part Four-

The Point of Sale – Lorain- Do they or don’t they- Laws conveniently broken!!!!!!

When Point of Sale was introduced January 2014

“Effective January 1, 2014, The City of Lorain enacted Ordinance No. 173-13 in connection with the Point of Sale Program.”

Oh there was such an uproar- banks – landlords – realtors all screaming blue murder.
The local news media covered the situation the pros and cons

Sales would be blocked until repairs are made and failure to make repairs could result in first-degree misdemeanor convictions and up to six months imprisonment, a $1,000 fine or both.

For those of us, living in this old neighborhood, that has been diced, sliced and abused for decades, proponents of POS this was good news- maybe some of the rot in Lorain would be abated.

Banks such as First Federal Savings and Loan- the neighborhood bank( as they proclaim themselves) had issues- Well I have issues with them their track record of dumping property in this neighborhood leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I say dump because their sales prices have run anywhere from 10,000 on up to as recently as $22,000 ( actual 12,000 we were reliably informed) on my street which has caused in my opinion our property values listing to tank- thank you very much.

Wurmser front
But let us take a look at the poster child of the media
1348 West Erie– This “historical” although not quite as historical as the state led us to believe
made the Morning Journal

Lorain house sets record with $45,750 escrow requirement
In this case the home was owned ( after a foreclosure by)

The home is owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae

So Fannie Mae ( weren’t they one of the culprits in the 2008 in the subprime fiasco))

HOW did this property – the poster child of history mystery AND of the highest record amount to be put in escrow manage this transfer after 13 MONTHS AFTER POINT OF SALE ?
Parcel Number: 02-02-027-105-007 – 1348 West Erie- Lorain
Owner Name &

Tax Bill Mailed to: KAJA HOLDINGS 2 LLC

In fact another property in our “hood” transferred quietly
329 Hamilton Ave. lorainPhotos
You might remember this one if you read this blog it was mentioned as having a blue tarp roof for three years but it too changed hands – once nine months after POS ( foreclosure ) and then the “bank” sold it on 11 months after

329 Hamilton

Having a quick look at the info as to the buyer – the tax address and the owners looked familiar – Yes! that is correct another LLC using the same address as the purchaser of 1348 West Erie Address: RVFM 11 SERIES LLC

A rose by another other – stinks!!!

The questions began to the county and the city – where was the sales would be blocked portion of the program-( as mentioned in the Chronicle Telegram article)? Because obviously( as far as I could check) they aren’t in these cases.

I started with the County Recorders Office – Judy Nedwick – surely that is where the title transfer would meet a hiccup not having a POS documentation BUT the answer is NO!
judy nedwick

The Lorain County Recorder’s Office is the final stop in a real estate conveyance. We record documents as they are presented, and follow the rules of the Ohio Revised Code. We operate solely under those rules. I am unaware of any language in the Revised Code that would require our office to check for compliance with the Point of Sale program in Lorain. My office doesn’t receive anything (i.e. forms or applications) included with a deed that would alert anyone to whether or not it has complied with this program, and I don’t believe that we could legally stop a deed from recording based on it’s status with the Point of Sale program.

Judy Nedwick
Lorain County Recorder

Back to the city and this is how it works – Heather Graves , Building Dept. answered my questions

1. Seller makes application and pays the $100.00 fee (single family) $200.00 for duplex. Inspection is set up within ten business days of application.
2. Inspection is performed. The list of violations are established. If escrow is requested – the escrow report done. Paperwork given to me, and I get the information to the appropriate parties.
3. At this point there are two options. The seller can either make the repairs and call for a re-inspection and if all passes the Certificate of Inspection is issued, and the property can transfer. If the seller does not wish to make the corrections; the buyer can assume these and put the required escrow (the escrow amount is negotiable – with a material list or contractor quote the escrow amount can be lowered as long as approved by the inspector that did the inspection AND the Chief Building Official) amount into a private escrow account until the repairs are made, re-inspected and approved. I receive the original Notarized statement of assumptions and a letter from escrow agent stating that the funds will not be disbursed until the repairs are made; I then issue the Conditional Certificate of Inspection which is valid for six months (the allotted time per ordinance for the repairs)and the property can transfer. The ordinance does allow for one draw on the escrow (once half of the repairs are made or so) so that the buyer has the funds to complete the repairs. Once all repairs have been approved the final disbursement of escrow is released and the Certificate of Inspection is issued. The inspection is valid for one year from date of issuance (date of payment).
4. If the seller does not make application with the city and the property does in fact transfer without the above mentioned process; I go through the real estate transfers (usually every two weeks or so) and do the checks and balances on all transferring property. I then send out the violation letter along with a copy of the ordinance informing of the point of sale. The letter goes to both the BUYER and the SELLER (per the Law Dept). If the point of sale is not performed I will turn this over to the Prosecutors office so that the parties can be served and taken to housing court. Since the ordinance has taken effect (I don’t have exact numbers I apologize) but I would assume that are 50 properties have been served. There is a penalty clause in the ordinance that there is a penalty (up to) $1000.00 and (up to) six months in jail.

Your assumption is correct – I do in fact go through the recent transfers. I myself can’t think of another way. I have a very good working relationship with the escrow agents and real estate agents around the area. I work diligently to make this Point of Sale process as smooth as possible. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions. Have a great day.

Heather Graves
City of Lorain

I must admit I have sympathy for the job Ms. Graves is having to do because it is only the law-abiding that follow the law – such as my neighbor 1139 W. 4th who went through the steps successfully – BUT wasn’t the problem – he followed the rules BUT what about the people who don’t follow the ordinance. Does our “Housing Court” follow through- do they meter out punishment? And what punishment ?

For example according to Zillow 1348 West Erie

Lorain OH 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Home Available For Lease To Own Program. Garage, Vinyl/carpet flooring, Fireplace, Basement. Home may need updates/repairs. Sold in “as-is” condition.

screen shot
Do you honestly think a mere $1,000 dollar fine will deter the “property managers , such as the ones sharing the South Carolina address who are pulling the same stunt all over the country . According to one previous owner Kaja Holdings and RVFM 11 SERIES LLC falls under Vision Property Management-
well they certainly share the same address : 16 Berryhill Rd, Columbia SC 29210
Phone: 1-888-466-7932 • Fax: 803-354-5292 • Email:


A thousand dollars would mean nothing – and just who would serve the six months in jail? They have us law-abiding citizens of Lorain by the short hair so to speak as they make more money than it costs them in fines. KAJA HOLDINGS 2 LLC will have saved $44, 750 thousand by NOT following the ordinance with regard to 1348- West Erie Ave.

The people making the bucks out of plethora purchases are not deterred and seemingly some banks are transferring what they like when they like and who suffers? Oh yes! once again – the law-abiding property owner selling their property and trying to do their best such as fixing a downspout in February………

Next up just what does the Housing Court do as far as bringing down the hammer and is the hammer made of paper mache

July 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm 10 comments

Lorain – Common Core? values and math? PT 4.

UPDATE: According to Lorain County the following information 2835 Pearl Ave will not be demolished and will be receiving some much needed repair work to make it a better rental or sale property.

and actually the reason given for the CDC not filing for tax exempt : ”

Also, tax exemptions can not be acquired if property is rented for profit, regardless of CDC non profit status. This is why the CDCs you mentioned did not file for property tax exemption. They were renting the majority of the properties for income; little was used for office space for the most part”

Readers might remember that is why we in Lorain are paying taxes on 642 Broadway

the then for Profit business Follow the Fish rented ???? the space I have no update on that aspect of their business arrangement with the City of Lorain since the article April 15 2015 ( oh my ironically tax day)

Part One
Part Two-
Part Three-

Community Development – not for CVSI- the math doesn’t add up!

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

Oh! back in the days of ” we can do this – we can make a difference” the Charleston Village members knew we had a tough job if we were to turn this neighborhood around. We knew we weren’t popular with the Community Development Dept. at the time.

” They (CVSI) are nothing but a middle class clique”

according to Chuck Urindriski(sp)

I won’t go into telling you the obstacles that were put in our way by Community Development Dept. at the time. Why? when they were bending over backwards to get South Lorain group recognized as a CDC

“A community development corporation (CDC) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated to provide programs, offer services and engage in other activities that promote and support community development. CDCs usually serve a geographic location such as a neighborhood or a town. They often focus on serving lower-income residents or struggling neighborhoods. They can be involved in a variety of activities including economic development, education, community organizing and real estate development. These organizations are often associated with the development of affordable housing.”

South Lorain CDC- description :

“The South Lorain Community Development Corporation assists homebuyers by providing new and rehabilitated housing opportunities for low-mod income, market rate and first-time, income qualified families and individuals. The SLCDC promotes and encourages private sector commercial investment in the South Lorain Neighborhood.”

1850 Washington

And then there was Community Development bending over backwards for Direct Action for Central Lorain

Direct Action, a non-profit, builds and rehabs commercial and residential properties to generate revenue to provide home ownership counseling, educational and safety programming, youth recreational programs, and other activities to revitalize the Central Lorain neighborhood.”

cityhall castle
You would have thought with the interest Community Development had in apparently recognizing the historic worth of “downtown Lorain” and putting in the tools back in 1987- their interest in South Lorain ( a struggling neighborhood and business community) and Central Lorain- also a struggling neighborhood and business community- the mere fact a whole group of people were banding together in a grass-roots effort to promote, stabilize , research the history and therefore historic tax credits etc. and use our own money to rehab the homes would have been met with delight! Far from it!
Once again, we were naïve, we didn’t understand the unwritten rules- no place for this grass-roots group- we had no paid Director ( through government funding) , we were a democratic volunteer organization – the will of the majority- and therefore it seemed the proverbial loose cannon and maybe just maybe this “middle class clique would not fit the “plan”- lack of “control” and we asked too many questions – did not accept the status quo ( in my opinion that is having dealt with Community Development as it was for decades.)

It was the mere fact Lorain Community Development Dept. (at the time) put so many obstacles in our way and were very unhelpful when we went to them for advice etc. we exist today. We basically said, fine we will do it ourselves. You see we had people in the “village” who had expertise in various areas of government, research and who knew the protocol.
Homes tour
We raised money through opening our homes, put in our own money and did the paperwork for our own 501c3. It wasn’t easy, we as a neighborhood were unique, according to the IRS because we had not gone through the regular route of “local government” such as South Lorain CDC and Direct Action. But we managed independently of Sandy Prudoff, Chuck Urindriski(sp) and company of the City of Lorain Community Development Dept. and in 1993 we received , after a great deal of paperwork, our 501c3 and incorporation.

We were never listed on the City of Lorain website as one of their sponsored , non -profits, CDC’s or organizations such as South Lorain CDC, Direct Action CDC and Lorain Growth Corp. CVSI – never received or applied any monies from Community Development – contrary to some of that opinion! But whenever a grass-roots organization was needed for a study or grant funding- we were the first to be contacted.

We have however, through the years sent them a copy of our Annual Report and our Tax Filing status. In fact we have had in recent years after the Foltin administration( which was adversarial in nature) a partnership with the City of Lorain. A partnership which continues today ( hopefully) .

I believe our independent nature ruffled more than a few feathers. We have never received any of the numerous grants as did South Lorain CDC- For example The Stocker Foundation write in their report of 2007 they had given $15,000 to South Lorain CDC using the new houses built in their Annual report
Curious I went to the Lorain County Auditors site to see what had happened to those properties knowing the South Lorain CDC IS NO LONGER A CDC , NON- PROFIT OR ORGANIZATION.

It seems the city had transferred these properties over to the South Lorain CDC in 2006– they were transferred back to the city in 2011 and then the city transferred them to Direct Action of Central Lorain.

Direct Action of Central Lorain has also received numerous grants throughout the years as an example another of Stocker Foundations annual reports 2008
stoc da2008re
Memory came back into play concerning issues with the City of Lorain and Direct Action-

“Mason said earlier this month that he was frustrated by the delay and that Direct Action was slow to provide paperwork regarding the use of HUD money without producing new houses.

“Something doesn’t smell right,” Mason said of Direct Action, which owns 13 properties in Lorain besides the Lakeview property, according to the Lorain County auditor’s website”

That Woman decided to check the auditors site this morning and to her chagrin found Direct Action of Central Lorain owned 15 properties
I say to my chagrin because Direct Action of Central Lorain owes over $77,000 in back taxes on those properties and has seemingly done for many years:

1015 West 14th- $4,033.48 annual tax bill $489.22
1140 West 18th -$7,589.57 annual tax bill $622.54
1722 Washington -$4,466.16 annual tax bill $877.40
Washington lots – $2,469.21 annual tax bill $157.72
Direct Action headquarters 1850 Washington – $47,828.35 annual tax bill $819.60

1849 Washington -$5,222.13 annual tax bill $509.46
1037 W 22ns – $5,437.60 annual tax bill $751.10

I contacted the City of Lorain – I was told the City of Lorain cancelled their contract with Direct Action ( CDC) in August of 2013.
So I contacted the Lorain County Auditors office. There wasn’t any paperwork filed for tax exempt status on any of these properties – OH! OH! been there and done that before .

Howard Goldberg of Lorain Community Development Dept.
had neglected to file exempt status on over a dozen properties- a fact brought to light when Black River Historical Society ( now Lorain Historical Society) was caught up in the mess see pages 4 and 5 in the following PDF

Looks like somebody didn’t do due diligence and the paperwork to file exemptions on these properties belonging to Direct Action of Central Lorain.
No exemptions – no taxes …. Oh Lorain all that money and what do we have to show for it?

Ironically, Patrick Metzger who used to be the Director of South Lorain CDC , now in charge of

“The county’s Land Reutilization Corp. — most refer to it as the land bank — was incorporated in May 2012 as a way to deal with structures in need of demolition, identify tax-delinquent properties and redevelop those properties to restore them to their “tax-paying, useful life,” says Patrick Metzger, assistant director of the land bank and director of the Lorain County Port Authority, which is its administrative agent.

will be taking down his old headquarters as 2835 Pearl Ave,( which also owed back taxes. The old South Lorain CDC offices is now owned by LORAIN COUNTY LAND REUTILIZATION CORPORATION and owed
Unpaid Taxes: $39,355.90
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $43,396.95
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00 (once again according to the Auditors website.)

Guess South Lorain CDC didn’t file for an exemption either with the Lorain County Auditor and now it has been taken for TAXES???? among other issues I am sure!

My head is beginning to ache BUT good news is Charleston Village Society gets a PASS– We succeeded in our paperwork and managing to stay “profitable ” for the past 22 years we have been a non-profit without a paid Director, without grants and without relying on the previous Community Development Dept.

We have been transparent in all our dealings and reports – we didn’t fudge numbers and we didn’t and haven’t budgeted on “projected income” and when we spent money , every dollar went toward the designated project. We may not have much but we still have it and our records with the IRS are up to date.

June 30, 2015 at 6:23 pm 5 comments

Lorain – Common Core? values and math? PT 3.

Part One-

Part Two –

source: WEWS News net 5.

source: WEWS News net 5.


Still stuck in 1991 –
I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry when I read what I had said in 1991 . I loved living in an “urban setting” where the homes in the neighborhood were not the typical slab homes or the new cookie cutter neighborhoods of the USA.

Maybe because I had lived in a London suburb where I would daily walk to the tube station , shop on the local high street, attend functions within the community- all without that car. I was used to that way of living . How bloody naïve was I to think I was going to find that continuing in Lorain on Broadway.

BUT we, the Charleston Village idiots ( as we had been called on more that one occasion) thought we could help bring back that feeling of Broadway that had been lost .

I was told Broadway in Lorain was at one time reminiscent of the “High Streets” from whence I came.

In 1991 I could do quite a few of those errands- I can no longer do most of them – can’t go to the drug store, shopping????? Luckily I can still go to the Palace- although I have to say the last time I went, Saturday the 20th, upon exiting, we were met by a drunk slumped in a doorway- such a friendly welcoming ambiance.

By 1990 we were “INVOLVED WITH BROADWAY” The City Of Lorain recognized a healthy safe neighborhood brought foot traffic downtown- They held yet another meeting , to which the Village Idiots were invited
We went and the upshot of those meetings as featured in our May 1990 Newsletter
“Community should have a clear vision of what it wants to become”

I am not sure our “current downtown buildings” fit the vision we had.
But we tried, we got on the bandwagon – after all a bad downtown reflects negatively on the neighborhood and vice versa.

Charleston Village teamed up with the Downtown Lorain Growth Association

“We’re also excited over the Charleston Village’s grass roots organization which is banding homeowners together to improve the community-

Yes, even the Morning Journal got involved and would feature a home in Charleston Village every week in its real-estate section:



Oh we tried – Charleston Village reached out and we opened our homes for a the Ohio Preservation Statewide Preservation Conference ( a progressive dinner in each home). They came they saw and they were impressed.
I doubt they would have the same thoughts now a quarter of a century later. That lovely Renaissance Inn mentioned in their articles – look at it now

source Morning Journal

source Morning Journal

I could go on.

Downtown Lorain Growth Association – became Mainstreet Lorain 1995/6 ( not then affiliated with the Main Street Program- that came later). Charleston Village was one of the founding members of that new organization and had a seat on its board. Later Mainstreet Lorain did become a MAIN STEET Organization the first in Northern Ohio ( 2000)
Yours truly, ( when times got tough and we didn’t have enough in the kitty to pay for a Director) was the “volunteer” Director for 7 months of Mainstreet Lorain until we saved enough with memberships and grants to pay for another Director. It was during that time (2002) Mainstreet Lorain did not have its contract renewed with the Main Street program. We eventually changed the name to Lorain Growth Corporation
which is still part of the downtown today.

Oh we cleaned Broadway with the Lorain Litter Council, started the Lorain Arts Council, promoted its events, decorated windows of terrible eyesores of buildings, actually charged people to join us in searching for the Black Pearl as we searched along Broadway and each merchant’s premises , had car shows on Thursday nights- ending up at Scorchers. We worked with the Port and the usage of the land given ( now known as Black River Landing), yes and so much more !

Yes! we have been around the Broadway block for decades and watched the “vision” go “dark”
“60 percent of downtown Lorain empty; hopes of rezoning as entertainment district to breathe new life”

‘It looks like a ghost town’

I admit not having given completely up on Broadway , as a blogger, I have had my say of late.


That particular post brought me into combative mode with a member of the Downtown Review Board – remember the one that was put in place to promote preservation in 1987 OH! yes we were there too.

Yes, Cathy Dye – a whole series on my blog where she was the subject matter – the mother of the owner of 418 Broadway which has its problems

dye a tribed

It is my opinion( based upon her emails etc. ) that Mrs. Dye tried to use coercion and intimidation of City of Lorain officials in order to get what she wanted re her son’s building via her position of the Design Review Board , took vindictive action using the Design Review Board moniker and the Lorain Building Dept. It is also my opinion her son’s building, which has been well documented as to its problems, IS one of the problem buildings on Broadway.

A Morning Journal article recently had some quotes as to what was needed on Broadway :

ERRRRRRRRR where have I heard this before

Lorain also has a neighborhood of single-family houses immediately west of downtown, so incentives and training could help residents living just a few blocks from Broadway.

• Enforce property and zoning codes.
When run-down properties hurt the values of nearby properties, cities have to force property owners to act, Siegler said.

OH yes! I remember same thing they said in the LAST CENTURY and to add insult to injury Cathy Dye is quoted :

Dye said Lorain should require Broadway building owners to keep the historic and picturesque facades, but give them more freedom to modify the interiors and rear sections of buildings to create usable spaces

SC 2nd floor north
418 Broadway

Be patient.

ED NOTE– sorry but patience has worn thin – a quarter of century of the same rhetoric becomes numbing!!!

Lorain and other cities need a shared vision and a process of gradual action to implement that, Brachman said. She called the approach “strategic incrementalism.”

Revitalization “isn’t going to happen overnight,” she said. “It’s an incremental process.”

OVERNIGHT??????? we have been waiting and working on this for decades! Same old clap trap and so much yada yada yada and regurgitated ideas. And the newspaper decided to go to the “problem people” for the solutions … that at least was a was a novel approach………………

So Charleston Village how did we do when it comes down to revitalizing Broadway ?
a resounding FAIL!!!!


June 25, 2015 at 11:56 am 2 comments

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