Posts filed under ‘city of lorain’

“Game of Loans” Clear as Mud- CDBG funds Lorain

The Lorain Development Corp – an ongoing ripple effect – standing alone – questions and accounting tools  all  as clear as mud to  me and I  have been writing about this for yonks!

There is a plethora of information starting with  a series of articles on Lorain Community  Development in 2008 ( 10 years ago  ) by  Mark Teleha

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/category/community-development/ and his interviews with  Sandy  Prudoff and Doug Rangel

“the opportunity to meet Doug Rangel. Doug is the Executive Director of the Lorain Development Corporation. Flashing back briefly, this is what Sandy Prudoff explained to me during the interview:

The other division, which is not really a city department, is our contract with the Lorain Development Corporation. The reason why we have a contract with them, we don’t have city staff doing that, is that he (Doug Rangel) has a ward of accountants, bankers, attorneys and business people. They, for no fee, and volunteer time, meet with Doug, and any small business request for financing, all the way up to $1.3 million on the Duane Building, all the way up to a $6 million undertaking of the Industrial Park, he and his Board, but primarily him, will structure the financing, monitor the financing. The Industrial Park had $2+ million for the loan, a loan from the State. A $2+ million loan from the Federal Government, a $2 million grant from the State, and a $2 million grant from the EDA (Economic Development Association)……

D. Romancak 2008

Doug doesn’t work for us, he works under contract with us. His agency is independent. He takes care of all the financing and business loans. So, first perception that we’re these rogue agents just doing whatever we want is definitely misplaced in a statutory city where we are the City of Lorain; we’re not separate and apart, we’re not different. We find it, sometimes amusing, as people say ‘There goes Community Development again, doing whatever it is that they do.” So said Don Romancak,

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/saving-downtown-there-is-available/

Note the above link make interesting reading as to  how the system was supposed to  work https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/community-development-city-of-lorain/

FAST FORWARD to  2015 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/money-for-old-rope-a-taxpayers-question/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/lorain-development-corp-lorain-op-ed/

and then  2016

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/lorain-development-corp-the-revolving-evolving-story/

http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/04/26/City-cuts-ties-with-Lorain-Development-Corp.html

Robert Ellis, a local attorney and president of the LDC board, said the corporation, a nonprofit, has two options — it can find another foundation that is willing to loan money to businesses in Lorain, or it can dissolve.

AND then the FBI enters the picture: http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.html

and THEN!!!  August 30th  2017

http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/30/Lorain-acts-on-defaulted-loans-before-HUD-comes-calling.html Glenn also noted the FBI investigation regarding the program, which began last summer, is still going on and now the situation  as it stands today February  28th 2018

as the ripple effect of decisions  made  by  Lorain and the spending of money  and write offs  is still causing  ripples

http://www.cityoflorain.org/announcements?view=1683  February 26, 2018 Public Hearing – CDBG PY2017 Substantial Amendment

http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2018/02/27/Lorain-wants-to-change-block-grant-spending.html

Ritenauer {Mayor} said one of the biggest hurdles to lowering that ratio, though, is the revolving loan program, which was frozen several years ago due to over $600,000 in loans being written off and thousands of others were delinquent. “The problem is HUD counts that credit against us so that’s inflating our ratio,” he said. “It’s just north of a million dollars and when we get payments that makes it go up. Well, we can’t spend it to make it go back down because they’ve frozen it. We’d be in good shape if they would unfreeze that money and we could put it where it needs to be.”

Also  the Morning Journal : ” Lorain puts local projects on hold to repay  federal money http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20180226/lorain-puts-local-projects-on-hold-to-repay-federal-money

Lorain’s problem comes in part because the city and HUD have frozen Lorain’s revolving loan program to help businesses. That was due to questions about loans raised by Glenn’s predecessor, Leon Mason, who led the Department of Building, Housing and Planning. That frozen account inflates Lorain’s ratio of CDBG money allocated to money spent, the mayor said.

10  years of documents papers and pointing up  the issue on this blog  with  Money  for Old Rope three years ago.. and that pesky  $600,000.00 I  couldn’t figure out and apparently I  wasn’t far off the mark. was I ( even if I  can’t understand  government accounting 101) 😉

In the middle of all this moneying…. and accounting is a loan of $250.000.01 to  South  Shore CDC

“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.

UPDATED- Minutes of the committee meeting April 11th 2016 where the report was given to  Lorain City  Council members

75_4-11-16commmin

Oh well – 2018 and we are still trying to  find our way  clear of this one. BUT I am troubled – I  am like the majority  of tax payers,  I  can’t even figure out my  own taxes let alone understand “accounting tools” of government .

I looked through spread sheets – I looked through “loans” and to  whom they  were made- BUT I looked at them as a citizen  with  a fair to  middling  IQ. I looked at was down as a “loan”  to  the City  of Lorain (Building Housing and Planning)

NOTE: Yes! I  know I  have issues with  the way  “that” department is and has been  run https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/ and the archaic means at their disposal when it comes to  checking Point of Sale and the “paperwork”-

Little did I  know I was in for  a plethora of emails and answers  and more  confusion. I looked at a sheet of  what were termed “loans”  and one in particular caught my  eye- no  interest and  under the category  “closed not paid”- since the 501C3 mentioned was still an ongoing organization HOW COULD THAT BE? Well what was to  be a simple question turned out to  be a confusing answer You  see this “Loan” wasn’t a loan – No!  No!  I  have it all wrong  apparently  BHP  needs an accounting tool  to  track payments for RENT etc.

The said organization paid out IN LEASE/RENT  $ 19,050 from  April 2013- March 2017 BUT  in the accounting for BHP this was down on the books as a LOAN

Why??  according to  the City  of Lorain : their  (BHP)  system is a LOAN system.  The way they keep track of any building lease/rent is to enter it in this system as it tracks the “due “ payments and categorizes them if they are late/past due etc.

Art Work Scott Bakalar

So confusing as it is  –  when is a loan  not a loan when it is an accounting  tool  with  BHP. Note: Excuse me  just  would make life easier it seems if it was classified under something say  :  Incoming rents from city  owned properties   I think there might be software somewhere to  handle that………. Just my  2 cents (  or is it?)  😉

Now let us get back to  South  Shore  Development Corp  and that $250,000.01 loan that was written off by  the Board of Lorain Development Corporation  on  February  3rd 2014

 

The Board  was  supposedly  independent of City  Administration and Council etc. BUT there were in place safety  measures – from Mark’s 2008 interview :

All of these loans are subject to review and approval by the loan board of Lorain Development Corporation as well as Board of Control, if they fall within the guidelines and would additionally require City Council approval if the loan request goes outside of guidelines. Doug Rangel “

In the case of the loan to  South  Shore Development Corp   there were issues with  conflict of interest. http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.html

One of the loans that HUD officials flagged is a $250,000 loan made to South Shore Development Corp. in 2011 to help keep the struggling St. Joseph Community Center afloat. That loan was never repaid and eventually written off by Lorain Development Corp. State auditors have said that more than $600,000 worth of loans distributed by Lorain Development Corp. were written off over the years, but Mason said that his research indicates that figure might be slightly lower because of how some of the loans were structured.

The HUD review said that the money lent to South Shore was troubling because at the time of the loan, Robert Gilchrist was serving as both the city’s service director and president of the South Shore board. HUD called Gilchrist’s dual role “an apparent Conflict of Interest.”

Mr Gilchrist – he of the diversionary  program –  voting illegally , pleading guilty  to drug charges

http://www.chroniclet.com/cops-and-courts/2016/06/10/Former-Lorain-Service-Director-Gilchrist-pleads-guilty-to-drug-charges.html

and alleged domestic abuse  which  cost him his job at as President of the Lorain County  Community  Action Agency  was also  in his Service Director position on the BOARD of CONTROL for the City  of Lorain.

You  know that BOC that  is one of the checks and balances  the taxpayers have. But hey  we are OK because this Lorain Development Corporation is a separate entity – although  contracted by  the  then Community  Development Dept. ( see 2008 interview)   and the money  to  fund it came from where ?  Too many  of the same names and  relationships for my  liking .

    http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20110630/state-oks-funds-to-tear-down-st-joes-with-document

Early in 2009, South Shore announced its intention to close the St. Joe’s center because its income was outstripped by operating expenses, notably high utility costs. Lorain City Council in 2010 approved money to operate St. Joe’s while Krasienko’s administration looked for ways to keep it open. Lorain Service Director Robert Gilchrist was a key in brokering the deals needed to keep the center open and yesterday he made the city’s presentation to the Clean Ohio Council in Columbus.

Such plans in 2011- ……….

You  can find the Board of Control minutes here – through various administrations http://www.cityoflorain.org/mayor/documents You  can also  access the Journal Entry  on the discussion with  the County  Commissioners  et al  APRIL 2012 with  charts and discussions in depth here JOURNAL ENTRY Commissioners Meeting St. Joes

2012 (no leasing) 2013 (15k ft) 2014 (15k ft) 2015 (15k ft)
Revenue 913 1,063 1,213 1,363
Expenses 1,046 1,077 1,109 1,142
Net Income (132) (14) 104 221
Capital/Other 212 200 200 200
Grants/Loans 0 0 0 0
Other Receipts 2 2 2 2
Profit/Loss (342) (212) (94) 23

Loans;

  • $1,350,000 Loan on Property from the State
    • Guaranteed $675,000 each to the City and County
    • Payback of the State Loan does not begin until profitable OR when SSCDC property is sold.
  • As a part of the development agreement a $250,000 Loan was provided to South Shore Community Development Corporation to cover operating shortfall.
    • Beginning on April 1, 2012 the first monthly payment of $1,488 is due.
    • The Loan is unsecured.

Grants:

  • HUD EDI Grant – $166,500. Grant funds were used to fund the LCCC expansion/extension and Little Lighthouse tenant improvement work.
  • HHS – $253,000. Grant funds were used to fund mechanical deferred maintenance to the then occupied areas and common systems.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant – $480,000
    • City application for funds allowed for both a grant component and loan component for use at St. Joe’s totaling $480,000.
    • In 2011, when EECBG project scopes for St. Joe’s were being developed, use of funds for maintenance of existing systems was disallowed.
    • The Dep. Of Energy also determined that the combination of both a grant and loan could not be used at St. Joe’s; thus the funding became capped at approximately $200,000.
    • City and SSCDC now developing a revised scope to utilize the available EECBG funds for non-maintenance energy efficiency projects.

CORF

  • $1,600,000 Grant Awarded to the City of Lorain for SSCDC project.
  • Mercy match over 3 years- $120k per year for 3 years = $360k
  • Demolition includes Building D, Reidy Scanlon Bldg., Thrift Shop.
  • The City of Lorain is currently advertising for a certified professional.
  • Demolition anticipated to begin summer of 2012

and the rest of the story????????????????????????????? Who  knows but I  agree with  Mayor Ritenauer .. to  me this is all as clear as mud………… and just to  help  with  information :

CPD_Funding_Grantee_Matrix_LORA-OH_OH_20180201

loraincdbg 2017

BDRLF written off_notpaid_

27Feb2018

Copy of Public Service Streets and 108 spreadsheet(2)

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

 

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March 1, 2018 at 11:03 am 4 comments

Lorain’s Housing- owners of the dirty diapers- Part 3

 

And the clog in the system keeps on coming .

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/lorains-housing-the-owners-of-the-dirty-diaper-pt1/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/lorains-housing-owners-of-the-dirty-diapers-pt-2/

You  would think , this house at 1348 West Erie, after being front page in local media ( print and electronic) predatory  property holders   investigated by  all and sundry  ( including the NY Times) https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/when-vision-is-cloudy-property-holding-llcs-ny-times/ we would not find ourselves back to  square one.

Touted as the poster child by  realtors as being a negative because of  the amount of money  having to  be put in escrow ( Point of Sale) as  being a detriment  to  home sales in Lorain.

Lorain house sets record with $45,750 escrow requirement by R. Payerchin June 2014 –

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20140620/lorain-house-sets-record-with-45750-escrow-requirement

Let us revisit once again  the housing court history – First up after the dumping of the home by Federally  backed mortgage company  Fannie Mae to  Kaja Holdings  for ZERO dollars  and NO  Point of Sale Inspection, Fannie Mae acquired the property Aug. 2013

Sale Date: 8/5/2013
Sale Amount: $95,116.00
Conveyance: 2013003968
Grantor: KRAUSE TODD
Grantee: FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION

it was purchased February 2015 from Fannie Mae   1 year and 1 month  after Point of Sale was introduced to  Lorain

Sale Date: 2/3/2015
Sale Amount: $0.00
Conveyance: 2015090327
Grantor: FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
Grantee: KAJA HOLDINGS 2 LLC

Many trips to  housing court  and then finally  the lawyer (after much publicity)   arrived on scene only  to  be given “time” grace time to  fulfill their promises- little discussions at the table to  the side with  the ”  Lorain City Prosecutor ” who  agree with  giving the benefit of the doubt on more than one occasion  ( sigh) First up for Kaja Holdings was attorney


JIANG, LEI
http://eb5info.com/eb5-attorneys/35-lei-jiang
From what I could gather that day of August 12th,2015, the attorney Jaing, Lei was given another court date of September 9th to remedy and or update the situation

Then a lot of toing and froing – another continuance  this time   December 9th,2015  nearly  a year in housing court   https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

Fast forward  to  April 2016 5 months after the December 9th continuance another court date and another attorney this time

 

Mr. James White http://www.fkwdlaw.com/attorneys/james-r-white/

 

( who   started a dialogue on this blog ) https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/plump-lady-plummets-and-the-housing-trip-continues/

I had contact with Mr. White through emails about 1348 West Erie and what his clients proposed to  do : In fact August 3rd  2016  found the following email :


Hi Loraine- Several of the violations to  the exterior have been repaired. The City’s required escrow to  perform the repairs has been deposited with  an escrow agent with  repairs to  follow.

Great news “finally  something happening BUT…. looking through the paperwork on the home of 1348 West Erie PDF   found here :   1348

Mr. White did get that  escrow “lowered” from  $45, 750 . to  $16,680  and then lo and behold the property  changed hands AGAIN ( twice – albeit to  the same man but different LLC’s- Mr. Farah Issa  and Kaja Holdings got their escrow money  back!!!!


Mr. Issa was duly  notified he had to  assume the escrow amount  and he apparently  did according to  the PDF file  pages 34,35,36 of the PDF .

 

 

 

and

Certainly  Mr Issa was not unaware of the issues with  the house  .  Contacting the BHP Dept I received this email  via Mr. Given SS Director  (my  bold):

Attached is the file for 1348 West Erie Ave. Page 34,35 and 36 of this document is the current hold of escrow for the property from the new buyer. The escrow was released back to Kaja once the funds were placed for the new buyer. This property actually transferred to Prosperity Investment Fund LLC and then again to FICC Realty Holdings – same agent on the Corporations though (Carmen Camino). They were supposed to be in court on October 11th (the summons shows service on court site) but they did not come to the hearing. I must assume that Law will attempt service again (since they won’t issue warrant on corporation).

And yet after the Demolition Board of Appeals  pronounced sentence on October 19th, 2017
http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20171019/NEWS/171019306
because of the numerous complaints – Fannie Mae, Kaja , etc etc.  and lack of action on this property  ( well apart for the legal eagles that is) Mr. Issa showed at the  November 16th, 2017 Demo  Appeals Board ( even though his property was not on the agenda)
as covered by  Rick Payerchin of the Morning Journal
“Owner makes plea for house that has been Lorain ‘problem for decade’”
http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20171117/NEWS/171119547
and HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!! you  would have thought  Mr. Issa  would have gone by  his property  and at least secured the doors to  the garage and little out building ( cottage)when he was in town.
The only  ones , it seems to  me in my  opinion, making  headway  with  1348 is the attorneys  , it certainly has been a fairly  lucrative proposition for the past months and now years.
We, Lorain, are allowing this behavior. Where is our Law Dept.? They, including Law Director Pat Riley,   are supposed to  represent us, fight for us , this home , once loved , still loved has been left rotting  whilst  the legal system  floundered around  like the last dying gasps of that fly.  Those who  represent the legal aspect  are accountable for the last 2 years of this history  and if this is the way  we proceed legally  in Lorain then  we need to  address that aspect!!!

One , unless they  have researched the disappointing process of legalisms, inspections, housing courts, thinks it is easy   but trust me on this after years of the “history ” of 1348 – we, the public  are naïve and welcoming the big fat spider into our parlour to  devour our quality  of housing, buildings and life. It is the biggest foulest filling of the diaper yet and it oozes  out  a putrid stench  ….Picture: Arleevector)

 

 

 

 

November 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm 4 comments

Lorain’s Housing -owners of the dirty diapers- Pt 2

DEJA VU  the dirty  diaper is reeking 3620 Clifton November 3rd  2017


 

 

 

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/lorains-housing-the-owners-of-the-dirty-diaper-pt1/

 

October 19th- 2017 another year another Demolition Board of Appeals . (9:00 am) Hours of sitting scribbling notes and feeling filthy – hundreds of photos – disgusting photos of human and animal waste, homes that had been built with  families in mind left   rotting and decaying  , carpets heaving with  mold and fleas

and heaven knows what else that  was breeding in those structures.  The mold  in this home had attached itself  not only  to  the surface areas but has literally  compromised the wood and structure of the home. Well what do  you  expect when it had been open to  the elements for years.

 

In other properties , stairs to  the 2nd floor  so  dangerous that even the squatters had brought in a step-ladder to  gain access,  whole floors missing as they  had been torn up to burn in a partially  working fireplace. Even more disgusting –for me at least – is that human beings  were actually  living, partying and doing drugs in amongst the  human waste, mummified cats and some more recently dead animals , rat feces everywhere, a drive up  window where apparently  the dealer of drugs sat as his/her customers made their purchases. Hypodermic needles , remnants of alcohol containers, food  littered every  horizontal surface.   One home, although a small tree had grown through a window awning,  was not in the same terrible  state  therefore the Demo  Board took the home off the list voluntarily.

There is a  sub culture in this town using these nauseating dwellings   as evidenced by the insides of these structures. These structures  are obviously  deemed safe from prying eyes   by those who  frequent the vomitus homes for their illegal and dangerous dealings   because no  one in their right mind or any  sort of consideration of their own worth  would enter these places let alone  sleep on  an excruciatingly   filthy  couch surrounded by human feces and animal waste, rats and fleas – It just doesn’t bear thinking about .

It is no  wonder those that had to  inspect had to  wear masks and environmental protection gear. The Lorain Police Dept. having to  check to  make sure the properties were at least free of the dangerous human elements. Hundreds of photos later  I  was thankful the smells of those places  were missing from the presentation.

Everyone was sworn in who  intended to  speak . I didn’t take the oath  for once I wanted to  observe and keep my  mouth  shut……. and then Deja Vu. One of the homes 4310 Meister Road – empty  and decaying for 5-7 years

Since this was an appeals board, people could appeal the property  being put on the demo  list. A property  LLC representative came before the board  offering $70,000 to  save this house. There was much  discussion and to  the needs of the house, all which  apparently  could be rectified. Oh that is a positive one would think : So  why  was I  sending out panicked mind messages to  the Board members  ( not having been sworn in) NO! NO!  please NO!!

Back I was transported to  another demo  board of appeals  3620 Clifton on January 2013.

January 2013 Photo Lorain 365

1. We now know that a property 3620 Clifton purchased in 2011 after five years of being open to the elements was deemed bad enough to be issued a search warrant in Sept 2012-

2. Declared a public nuisance and uninhabitable – the property listed for demolition ( along with two neighboring properties ) Jan 4th 2013

3.Given a reprieve because the “Duo of Will Do” ( Barbee and Johnson) owners pleaded before the Demolitions appeals Board for more time a week later Jan 11th 2013 by that same board . A board that had doubts caved to the “give em a break mentality”

You  can find the series and reports ( all documented ) https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/a-tale-of-two-the-why-land-of-iz-not-woz/

The fact the gentleman at the mic was well meaning didn’t change my  mind. You  see he had not purchased or even had letter  of intent to  purchase from the supposed owner of the property ( another of those wonderful banks) – 

 

he did not have a business plan or list of contracted subcontractors showing the intent to  do  the work  or even a  check as a gesture of intent.

 As the representative of the legal dept. spoke those  words (paraphrasing because I  was instantly sent back to  another  time -2013) “we can always  re-inspect……. aaaaaahhhhhhhhh”and FAMOUS last words from  3620 Clifton

Mr. Cantu 2013 :  Yes! because we could cite him on property maintenance if he doesn’t continue to go on.    NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOO please no!

Because those same words uttered led to  3620 sitting for another 4 years and having to  start the process all over again…….. see the photo  at the top  of this post. The Statute of Limitations ran out.

When we (Lorain 365 Blog) https://lorain365.com/  researched the process of 3620 Clifton , we found that inspections are not all what they  are cracked up  to  be . For instance for the inspectors etc to  go  through the inside of these properties there is a lot of legal  procedures. The city  has to  get a search  warrant. ( these are for these abandoned homes).

We found the properties could only  be inspected from the street or neighboring property ( with  permission) in the case rehabbing a property ( residential)  unless the inspectors were “invited in by  the owners”.

Should electrical or plumbing permits are pulled  they  can fall under inspection process.

BUT what if people don’t ask them in or  pull those permits – and that does happen a lot believe me – happened to  the house  next door to  me on both  sides – one is now  demoed). You  see not everyone follows the rules ( if they  did we wouldn’t have these structures in the first place!!!!

 

I was very  interested in the mold abatement – and it seems   an unscrupulous builder, contractor  could very  well come in spray  the bleach  , chemicals  put up new drywall  change out the carpets and Voila…..you  are non the wiser…… unless the Building Dept are asked in………. Yes I  can see that happening with  especially  the out of town LLC’s – I  don’t think so!!!!! From the City  of Lorain BHP dept.

As to going in and inspecting the removal of mold etc. the Building Department has to be scheduled for an inspection. If the owner would like us to be out there for that inspection – we would go. In other words – we just can’t show up and expect to be invited in.

As far as the electrical, plumbing, heating etc. All of that work (the rough in inspections, undergrounds) will probably require permits (any new wiring, furnace/ac, water lines etc. require permits). Those inspections are encompassed within the Building Permit (and required Building Code regulations).

 

We, the law abiding citizens and property  owners ,  are not protected by  a system that has no  accountability – and so  it continues  – back to 1348 West Erie  next time …….. Welcome to  my  parlor  (Lorain) said the fly  to  the spider – slice us and dice up

To Be Continued

 

November 6, 2017 at 5:02 pm 7 comments

Lorain’s housing- the owners of the dirty diaper- PT1

Come into my  parlor said the FLY to  the SPIDER – Lorain being the name of the FLY  and the SPIDER -???)  

Notorious Opponents of Exactitude

 

I am not an inspector, I am not a builder, I am not a politician ,  I am not a legal eagle , ( although in some cases around this  “wonderland”  the eagle fails to  fly )I admit I  have no  qualifications what so ever pertaining to  “housing” I am however an “expert taxpayer”.  I didn’t come down with  yesterday’s shower and I am not a complete fool.

I have written about housing in this city  for years on various blogs, been picked up by  national and local media- brought situations to  the fore- and still the same behaviours when it comes to  “predatory property LLC’s “continue …

Back to  Lorain City  Hall on October 19th  and the Demolition Board of  Appeals – ( why ? when I  said I was done!) because the icon house of  thousands of my  words and documentation was on the list. 1348 West Erie

 

In 2012 I  wrote about this house situated in one of the better areas and also along the main thoroughfare into  what is called “Lorain’s downtown, business , entertainment, waterfront, social service and law offices abound  District“-

In 2012, as  I wrote about this home,  we thought the house was one of the oldest , historically  speaking in Lorain according to  Ohio  Historic Inventory

only  to  do  some detective work to see the original house on that site was destroyed by   the 1924 Lorain Tornado . After the tornado a home was built over the original foundation  – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/lorains-history-mystery-the-wurmser-house-a-tale-of-two-houses/

 

It wasn’t another tornado causing this home  to be on the demo  list.There is a  blockage in the bowels of the building housing and planning system and Lorain’s right to  decent housing .

The system is clogged, broken and the cause of a lot of Lorain’s housing ills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cartoon Source – Sannimas – https//www.sswm.com

So who or what  Lorain City  /  Lorain County  Dept is  helping to fill the dirty  diaper of decay , to  bugger up the system causing the foul stench  to  permeate Lorain’s  older neighborhoods , streets and if something is smelling in Denmark

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”

it is positively  putrid ( in my  opinion) in Lorain!

The social media will have discussions of conspiracy, kickbacks  and anecdotal evidence-  to  be fair  that has happened – ( William Desvari Chief Building Inspector under Mayor Craig Foltin)  comes to  mind .. Those decisions made during that time  have resurfaced just a few weeks ago

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/am-i-bovvered-lorain-fire-in-the-belly/

The mere fact reports stated from the Chronicle Telegram Newspaper that earlier in another administration ( Foltin) “inspections were “case closed” by an administration that was “landlord friendly” on this building.
http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/07/Section-of-Broadway-remains-closed-until-Thistle-Building-is-razed.html

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20120427/NEWS/304279955  The date on that particular article was around the same time the 1348 House documentation was starting to  be  written.

Even before that  2012  article the rot  was setting in , the “waste product “of”friendly inspections”    brokehomes      started to clog the flow. Yes   we did have the issues  of fraud  etc in the Building Dept.


http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/07/lorains_chief_building_officia.html

Desvari was placed on paid administrative leave in February while police investigated accusations of accusations of dereliction of duty, conflict of interest and issuing improper building permits against him. He was hired in 2003 for the $63,000-a-year job.

In 2004, he was charged with falsifying his job application for not disclosing felony convictions of fraud, forgery, theft and passing bad checks, all from Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court between 1987 and 1990.

And the tale continued http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2012/08/06/Former-Lorain-official-dies-while-awaiting-trial.html

You see it wasn’t that he was  a fraud and a thief  – known to  have issues, criminal  charges and legal issues  but the fact that HE WAS HIRED by the Foltin Admin in the first place is my  issue  .   And  WHY when the initial reports of his  “iffy  ” resume  reached us through the media  – where was our outrage -why  didn’t we use our collective voices to  say  NO!  this isn’t right?

Did not Mayor Foltin, at the time, do due diligence he was and is a very  intelligent person, you  mean to  say  he did not  check the on line university  for the degree of Billy  Boy was  well pretty  much non  existent. Well the diaper may  not have been full but it was fast becoming  smelly. There were certainly enough red flags back then but it seems  the Foltin Administration  REPUBLICAN- 2000-2008 were  red / green color blind.

Of course we also  had issues with  the next administration  this time DEMOCRAT- 2008-2012 Mayor Krasienko  – and that is still on going – a Safety  Service Director – Robert Gilchrist  ( also  a resume that had flags) who  was less than desirable  and one of whose participation in the loan program   is still under investigation by  the FBI- Photo source Gilchrist’s Mug shot ( but I ask you  who  is really  the “mug” in all this????

http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.htmlhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/tag/robert-gilchrist-service-director-lorain/

 

Of course the whole 5th floor of city  hall was also now starting to  reek from the odours  as to those in charge- we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Sandy  Prudoff – controversial  head of Community  Development for many  , many  years ……… http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2012/06/sanford_prudoff_former_lorain.html

Sanford Prudoff, former Lorain official, pleads guilty to conspiracy; will testify against Anthony O. Calabrese III

found also  to  be entangled with   Attorney  Calabrese who worked for the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP 

This law firm was brought into  the city  also  under the Foltin administration (according to  Lorain City  documentation)

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/mj/20131118/NEWS/131119348

Cleveland law firm to pay Lorain $3 million (with video)

http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2013/11/anthony_o_calabreses_former_la.html

You  can see why  people in chat rooms and face book pages call out corruption and kickbacks no  matter who  is in city  hall or on city  council . The smell of those involved  hasn’t gone away  and lingers on those who  now  work in the city  environment and I  can  see the diaper  being filled .

The smell oozing through the political cracks  did start  to  attract attention and although we can “hopefully”  eventually   catch  those  that add to  our  decaying housing, decaying building who  are found to  be crooks -gaining money  and power through nefarious means  –they  are the least of our worries .

No,  it is my  opinion what is happening now to  fill the diaper , which  is causing the blockage in the “system” of decent housing is far more dangerous- yes money   and a lot of it is involved , but LEGALLY –  which  is even more  horrendous than all the  fraudsters we have had though the years.  WE ARE INVITING THEM IN TO  THIS COMMUNITY –  we are the little fly  inviting in the great big money  grabbing salivating spider and its enablers!

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

 

TO  BE CONTINUED ……………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 22, 2017 at 4:09 pm 2 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 2 comments

Am I bovvered ? Lorain- fire in the belly?


The Catherine Tate Show https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catherine_Tate_Show

Those that follow this blog will have realized I haven’t written anything for a few weeks. I write for me for the most part to get what is inside me out so I can breathe and to share my son. Other than that I write about the happenings or non happenings in my life, city and history.

August is a bad time for me – I can’t celebrate with fond memories the day of the birth of my son because it is also the anniversary of his being told he was dying and all the fuss and drama of that “damned in- law family” on that day as we waited in the hospital. Happy memories are tainted, my birthday ,wedding anniversary all contribute to the angst that is August for me.
UPDATE: SEPT 2ND. 2017 http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20170901/lorain-aware-of-violations-at-building-that-burned-on-broadway
However, I can usually be raised from these depths by some of the “happenings or non happenings of government , building inspections , neighbors from hell, windmills to be tilted to start pounding at the keyboard. But so far even the absolute disgust felt at the total devastation of an historic building, possible loss of lives just blocks away didn’t move me except for a little bump of conscience. .

That situation should have stirred me to be a bothered.(bovvered)

VIDEO: good Samaritans take action to help residents trapped in burning building
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2017/08/thistle-building-history.html

The mere fact reports stated from the Chronicle Telegram Newspaper that earlier in another administration ( Foltin) “inspections were “case closed” by an administration that was “landlord friendly” on this building.
http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/07/Section-of-Broadway-remains-closed-until-Thistle-Building-is-razed.html

photo source Morning Journal


A Building Inspector Desvari ( now deceased) known for fraudulent activities http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2010/07/21/Former-Lorain-building-official-charged-again.html
decided according to the current Chief Building Inspector Dick Klinar ( call me Richard) two days after the fire on August 9th 2017.

“There are many variables that determine if a sprinkler system is required, size of building, number of exits, distance to property lines, distance to exits, Type of construction, etc. Mr. Disvari { sp Desvari}approved it for this use in 2007 so he must have determined it was not necessary.

4. There was no exterior fire escape there, that would have been determined at the time of construction of the building if necessary.

5. The old violations on file were either dismissed or abated. The most current were forwarded to the prosecuter {prosecutor}

I should have been all over this situation where people’s lives were put in jeopardy due to a sober living facility on the ground floor that doesn’t seem to have “from the research of others” quite the legitimacy of authorized care programs. Hard Questions should and could be asked so why am I not asking them?

More like a bed and shared 1/2 bath with this disgrace on the floors above -NOTE( video choppy and hard to see but worth the patience to those that might be bothered.)

Remember??? OLD VIOLATIONS ON FILE DISMISSED OR ABATED ( Dick Klinar)

hmm looking at the video gives new meaning to “abated”

I waited for the outrage from the community-

1. an Historic Building gone- due to ??? ( still waiting for that determination)

2. Inspection process that was and is as rotting as the roof that was sheltering those of the need of help and care.

3. People living in the middle of an entertainment district whose very lives were in danger( in my opinion- obviously not shared by others) every night they bedded down.

4. The risk to other occupied businesses and “residents” on Broadway let alone to the responding Fire and Police services.

5. The financial and physical cost to the City of Lorain

6. And where is our “legal dept., housing court, the checks and balances where is the follow through?

No! there was no outrage not even a little flutter except on one of the facebook pages but that soon died down. Lorain was not bovvered so why should this Loraine?

Am I bovvered???? well I took the time out from being underwater to surface for a short while this morning so I must be a little bovvered

August 25, 2017 at 4:39 pm 3 comments

Many faces of The Captain- Settlers’ Watch- Lorain 2017

Photo Mark Teleha

As I started to write this post with regard to the tree carvings at Settlers’ Watch and their journey
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/settlers-watch-an-overview/
( yes you will see they have travelled over time) I realized we were coming up on the 10th anniversary of the first carvings. Time, bugs, road salt and weather have taken their toll.

But it is “The Captain” who has changed and was on life support for a year or more. We spent hundreds in chemicals and treatments and this is his story.

Born 2007 The Captain had a rough birth- CVSI had raised money to carve some of trees taken down by Ohio Edison – 19 of them along 2nd street making the street uglier and without any softness or much worth .

We had just started the carving – first up Lorain Portside Sign to coincide with the Lorain Bicentennial August 2007
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/

when a change in the plan for the new sewers blindsided us. Originally these were going to bypass the area BUT as with all things plans change and trees marked for carving were taken down ( without warning) and piles of materials were stored on the site. We had already taken donations and the carvings were contracted.

This meant since they chopped down his tree and the one destined to be Eric Barnes Eagle we had to purchase other pieces of wood to be carved into the Captain and Eric Barnes Eagle off site.
The eagle when finished was safely stored at inside at the City of Lorain but the Captain went to Black River Landing.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-captain-arrives-and-the-eagle-landed/

He was supposed to be sealed and not stored on concrete due to the heat coming up from the concrete and in direct sunlight- this didn’t happen . Unfortunately, in the ensuing months of not being maintained , the toll taken by summer and winter the Captain started with issues.

2007-2008

Photo Mark Teleha


When we finally brought him back to the site he was very dry and whilst the other carvings took a gallon of sealer for all 4 he took 2 gallons by himself, he was soaking it up like a sponge but he and the other carvings finally had a home

Photo Mark Teleha

There he stood spring , summer , fall and winter for the next 4 years

Lorain365

His other problem is he attracts seagulls – these seagulls have a tendency to sit on his hat and poop – that poop eats away at the sealer opening his wood up to the elements and bugs .In 4 years he went from this to this

And his issues continued:

It was one day (during Pride Day 3 years ago) as we went to give him a coat of sealer we noticed what looked like a bullet hole in his back. No! not a bullet hole BUT wood wasps had made their homes in him, and the Heron and Lighthouse.

The Heron and Lighthouse were a quick fix but the Captain had a attracted seagulls who delighted in sitting on his hat . Their guano had eaten through the sealer and the wood on the top of his head leaving a huge hole in his head – just brilliant for collecting water. .

Research was started as how to preserve him and his crumbling insides- Many hundreds of dollars later we tried with preservatives , bug deterrents – drilling holes in him filling him with the wood chemicals, stabilizing wood pieces and plugging him up. We reached out to professionals all over the country. We added a hat over his carved head until we could deal with the damage and the seagulls. We had to leave his head open to access his insides.

Photo Lorain 365

Try as we might, his rotted insides didn’t react well and the chemicals actually reacted with the sealer and the Captain turned a dark mahogany.

He was literally flaking to death – his ship’s wheel would find the stanchions falling to the ground, his arms where the wasps and insects had done the most damage were hollow and flaking off, shedding with every week. It looked like curtains for the Captain. Obviously none of the “professional fixes ” were working we had to stabilize him whilst we experimented – otherwise the Captain was sunk.

His hat was retied onto his head ,back to front to protect his face , his cracks and holes filled with a special wood compound but

would it harden- would it stay- could we carve it -like the can said?

We worked on the top of his arms and shoulders , replaced the wheel stanchions . covered his top half with a black bag to keep out the water and painted his lower half with a white preservative- and there he sat for most of last summer, fall and winter.

Photo Lorain 365

The unveiling was done with much trepidation this June

The test areas seemed to be holding so the next step filling the insides- no more bugs but cavities were still a huge problem, experiments with special insulation foam and various fill products seemed to work- he was less hollow and stable. Where the foam etc leaked out we could carve it and it held the wood product alright and so we left him without his black bag and the water was shedding off him .

So there we were – what next? Obviously we couldn’t leave him looking like he was and we could no longer seal it with the varnish- The men in the know-( his surgeons) decided house paint.. but that would look awful I thought but something has to be done to cover and seal the patches etc. House paint it was – Tudor Brown ( can you guess where that came from)- well it looks good on my house) – the problem was he looked flat and semi glossed… a bit softening and highlighting, the Captains face changed again –

He is a little grayer ( more like driftwood than mahogany this time around) – but then who wouldn’t be grayer after all he has been through- I know I am! Fingers crossed and if you would like to donate to the Captain’s Hat
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/passing-the-captains-hat-2015-update/

If you can see your way to helping to fill the Captains Hat – 100% percent of your donation goes to the project. We are a 501C3
Make checks payable to Charleston Village Society- ( Captain’s Hat in the memo line)
1127 West 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052

There is still work to do at the very base and if this fix holds then hopefully he will remain at his helm for a few more years …Oh and his hat was put back on just incase a seagull alights!!!

July 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

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